Haven't updated this in a while. o_o


Birds chirped, the sun shined, and children played. It was a perfect day in Konoha, with perfect weather. The outdoor lunch party which has been buzzed over the day before was all set, with guests arriving. The party was held on Hyuuga property, in what they called their "backyard." Decorations had been thrown all over the place, as if it were actually a birthday party instead of a torturous training session. Pure white was the symbol for the tainted black clan.

Minato, Kushina, and Naruto arrived first. The Fourth Hokage always made sure to be early to all important events involving Hiashi and his violent wife, Hikari, being in the same room. This habit was started after the disaster at the dinner party last year. Hizashi composed a song about the chaos, fittingly named Champagne Fiasco.

Speaking of Hizashi, he greeted the coming guests alongside his brother. "Welcome, Hokage-sama, Kushina-san, Naruto-kun!" he greeted happily. The elder twin stood by his side, silent and obviously not in a good mood. The younger twin made sure to cover his brother's grumpiness.

"Why don't we play a little game? Try to guess which one is Hizashi," the younger twin humorously proposed. Minato and Kushina laughed at the silly game. Although they were almost identical, it was a piece of cake to tell them apart. Their son, on the other hand, actually took the joke seriously.

His blue eyes that were similar to his father's stared at the two twins intensely. His eyebrows were furrowed in complete concentration. "Hmm..." Minato and Kushina felt a bead of sweat rolling down their necks. Naruto definitely did not inherit his stupidity from either of his parents, or so they hoped.

The Uchiha family was right behind them. Sasuke took the opportunity to hit the back of Naruto's head. "Usuratonkachi," he named the blonde. "Itai!" he yelled out, glaring at the Uchiha. The two glared fiercely at each other.

Sasuke and Naruto were separated when two Hyuuga children dashed between them, almost knocking them down in the process. One was a young lower branch member with black hair and pale green eyes, and the other was a main branch member with long brunette hair and lilac eyes. The lower branch member frantically chased the main branch member. They stopped when the brunette met a dead end at a semi-circle of tables.

"H-Hanabi-sama! Onegai! Give it back!" Akito, the lower branch member, begged. Hanabi sneered. She waved a small, shiny scalpel in the air. "What do you even need this for?"

"I have to cut open flesh with that!" Akito answered. The tool was dropped in disgust.

"Hey, hey, kiddies. Play nice, will ya?" a 22-year-old man with dark brown bangs over one eye lectured. He was Hyuuga Hatori, the well-known Dual-Dojutsu-User of the Hyuuga clan. His hobby was spoiling books and his job guarding secrets. It has been rumored that he blurts them out to Akito due to the fact that he's unable to bottle it all up. It's unknown whether he's a lower branch or main branch member, but people assume he's a main branch member due to his lack of fear of Hiashi.

Shisui, who unexpectedly flashed by Hatori's side, laughed at this. "Play nice? Says the Sharingan thief," he retorted. Hatori playfully punched the Body Flicker prodigy in the shoulder. Or attempted to. The Uchiha flickered to his other side before he had the chance to do so, and then the two engaged in their own version of tag.

After the two left, Akito picked up his scalpel. He looked around at the party. He was worried when he didn't find a certain heiress-in-training. "Hanabi-sama, where's your Nee-chan?" he asked. Hanabi glared at him for referring to Hinata as such. "Probably hiding. That coward..."

Akito stared at the ex-heiress in concern. Hanabi was extremely spiteful and condescending towards him, but they were still family. She was a bitter person due to the horrid training she was burdened upon in vain. Her upbringing made her cold, arrogant, and not used to being #2. "Hanabi-sama..." he murmured to himself.

Hinata paced back and forth in her room, wringing her hands as if it would wring away her worries. Neji, who sat himself on her bed, was just as worried as he watched her repetitive movements. He'd much prefer that the public training session be canceled, but Hinata's fragile pride would be shattered if that happened.

He felt incredibly helpless, especially in situations like these. There was nothing he could do to save Hinata's parents' marriage or stop the fighting. If he tries to interfere, then there was a good chance that Hiashi could lose his temper and activate his Cursed Seal. That would only make the problem worse than it already is.

What is he supposed to do? Assure her that everything will turn out "just fine"? The false hope will only hurt her more in the end. He could only do as much as she can–suffer in the sidelines.

"Hinata." The heiress stopped in her tracks, directing her attention towards her cousin. Her eyes were shining with tears yet to fall, and another hospital trip yet to arise. Neji could almost hear the screaming and wailing confined in her head. "I'm so sorry that I can only watch, Hinata... But please, remember that no matter what happens, I'll always be by your side," he promised.

Hinata turned away from him, heading straight towards the door. Neji immediately followed her out of the room. He noticed that her strides were graceful, yet still quick-paced as she created more and more distance between them. "Hinata–"

–She slapped down a vase, letting it shatter between them. The tension between them grew freezing cold. It reminded Neji of the time when he was branded with his Cursed Seal and he was watching Hiashi's back get farther and farther. She was only a meter or two away, but 100 miles wouldn't make anything feel any different. Her face was cold, stony, and emotionless.

"Always be by my side?" she echoed. The words resonated throughout the entire Hyuuga complex. Neji wondered if his own heartbeat also reverberated. His greatest fears were coming alive.

Don't leave me. Please, don't leave me. I love you. I love you so much.

"How are you supposed to promise such a thing when you can't even do anything about what's happening here and now?" she questioned. Hinata sneered. Neji kept chanting the same line in his head, like hope could actually change what he knows is bound to happen. Could this be destiny? She sneered. "Forever is so transient, so evanescent, so... so..."

"So fragile." Fragile. Has their relationship been fragile all along? What happened to the love they were expressing just yesterday? It was just last night when he was holding her in his arms, whispering honeyed words and sugary hopes. Hope. He doesn't even have that anymore. "I hate it. I hate it so much!" she shrieked.

Is it over?

She turned away from him again, striding away from his frozen figure.

Is it gone?

It was funny how her screams were so similar to her mother's, and her steps so similar to her father's.

Is it dead?

She certainly inherited the worst traits from both of her parents.

It's over.

Transience. Evanescence. Fragility.

It's gone.

Isn't that the beauty of life?

It's dead.

If only it could stay immortal.

It was 30 minutes until the training began. The party had already started the second the Ino-Shika-Cho trio and their children entered. Luckily, it seemed that Fujiwara Hikari would be running late. They had an hour until they had to worry about lakes being set on fire.

"Yo, Uncles 1 and 2!" Hatori called out. Hiashi and Hizashi both turned around. Hiashi glared at him for referring to them in such a casual, friendly, informal manner. Hatori grinned, waving at them. "Where's the birthday girl? It'd be a shame if she missed her own party."

The twins shared a glance. The same question floated about in their heads', also, now that it was brought up. "Rock-Paper-Scissors," Hizashi proposed. Hiashi scoffed at the idea. "Are you an idiot? If she wants to be a coward, then she shall be a coward," the older twin declared. Hizashi stopped and considered his brother's harsh words, then sighed. "I guess you're right... You can lead a horse to water, but you can't force it to drink."

At the same time, they engaged in the childish game. Call it twin telepathy.

"Cheater," Hizashi accused. Hizashi rolled his eyes at the younger twin. "Only an idiotic Sharingan-user could and would cheat at Rock-Paper-Scissors." The two twins earned a passing glare from Fugaku.

Hizashi hesitantly knocked on Hinata's bedroom door. He braced himself for crying, screaming, and fire. Mostly fire. And random flying objects. Kami, those are dangerous. "Hinata? Hime-chan? You in there?" he called out.

The response he received wasn't the one he expected. "What do you want, Father?" Neji's muffled reply called out. Hizashi entered the room, finding his son with his face buried in a pillow. For Kami's sake, Hizashi didn't think he could deal with two clinically depressed teenage girls. "What the hell, Neji? Where's Hinata?"

"Gone." Hizashi stared at his son, then sighed. The scenario felt incredibly awkward for him. He sat on the edge of the bed, and smoothed down his son's long, silky brunette hair. "Why are you in her room?"

Neji replied with an masked, incoherent mix of words he couldn't quite grasp. "What?" Again with the same pattern of sounds he didn't understand. "What?" The teenager Hyuuga lifted his head from the pillow, and yelled at his dad. "Because her bed is soft! Get out, Father! Just get out!" he yelled.

Hizashi froze when he saw Neji's stressed, impatient, furious face. He cautiously and gently put a steady hand on the younger Hyuuga's shoulder. "Okay, Neji. If you want me to leave, then I'll leave," he told the hectic teenager slowly, "but I'm your father. No matter what happens, I'll always be by your side."

He stood up, walking slowly towards the door. Just as he was about to reach for the doorknob, a frantic hand clutched onto his sleeve. "Don't leave me," he implored. Tears rained down his face and sobs took over his body. He couldn't even hold himself up any longer, and collapsed to his knees. Hizashi embraced his son, saying comforting words that only a father could provide. "Shh, Neji... I'm right here."

Sakura released a longing sigh once she arrived at the lunch party. Her emerald eyes were focused on Sasuke. The cool, handsome, capable Sasuke who captured her heart. Of course, it was only unrequited love, but that didn't matter. Itachi made everything alright.


As Itachi stuffed another mini crustless sandwich into his younger brother's mouth, he smiled. Sasuke glared at his older brother. After he swallowed the food, he made sure to not hesitate to speak, lest another addicting finger food be shoved at him. "Aniki, I'm not a child. I can feed myself."

The words fell on deaf ears. Itachi kept beaming at Sasuke with an adoring gaze, stroking his face. Ah, yes, that's right. Sasuke also needs a drink to wash the food down. He grabbed a nearby glass of iced tea–a glass they both seem to share, Sakura noted–and put it to Sasuke's lips. The younger Uchiha was forced to swallow all the liquid that traveled down his throat. Itachi kept smiling as he heard his gulps.

Suddenly, Sasuke choked when Itachi tipped the glass too far. The liquid dribbled down his chin and onto his clothes. He kept coughing while Itachi kept grinning. "Wh-what the hell, Itachi? Stop trying to kill me!" Sasuke exclaimed.


Everything is just fabulous.

Itachi tilted his brother's head up with one finger. "Kill you? I'd never kill my otouto. You're too precious to me." His face showed no doubts in his promise. The honesty frightened Sasuke.

I'm going to be killed by this obsession...

Hiashi, whose mood had noticeably gotten worse, scowled at the Uchiha brothers. "Incest will not be tolerated," he declared. Itachi chuckled. Hiashi definitely had no idea.

"This isn't incest. I'm just giving attention to my pure, sweet, innocent younger brother," he denied smoothly. Itachi ran his hand through the dark spikes in Sasuke's hair. The younger Uchiha frowned at this. "I am not pure. I am not sweet. I am not innocent. And you're damn right I wish I wasn't your brother!" Sasuke rose from his chair.

Itachi mirrored his actions. He wrapped his arms possessively around Sasuke's waist. "I love you, Sasuke. I really love you. You know that, right?" the older brother reminded the younger. To help prove his point, Itachi planted a chaste kiss on Sasuke's cheek. "I love you so much, Sasuke. My Sasuke, my otouto, my love..."

Sasuke scowled at Itachi. "Why are you saying this now?" This sudden Otouto Complex didn't make much sense. Usually, Itachi was more distant. He should be stabbing forks into his thigh right now, acting like the sadist that Sasuke has always known. Why is he so suddenly attached to him?

Sasuke looked up at onyx eyes much like his own. Itachi's eyes shined with something that only Sasuke was special enough to witness. The younger brother could feel it radiating from the older brother's heart. Pain. He always tries to hide it, but Sasuke was always able to see through his pathetic mask.

It's always like this. Sasuke always has to be the one holding Itachi up, catching him when he falls, embracing him when he feels alone. Itachi has come to rely on his younger brother so much that it almost becomes instinct.

But that's pathetic.

Itachi is the older one.

He should be holding Sasuke up.

Not the other way around.

And so, there are times when Itachi feels like giving up. Times when he feels like all efforts are fruitless. I'm a failure as an older brother. That's what his heart always mumbles to him as he sinks into the shadows, blending in with the darkness that surrounded him.

"Aniki? Have you been taking your medicine?"

"What medicine?"

"N-never mind..."

Hiashi walked away from the Uchiha brothers before he got to witness anything more happen between those two. He has experienced brotherly love–thanks to the idiotic Hizashi–and Kami-sama, that is not brotherly love at all. Innocent? More like incest!

Speaking of brothers, what the hell is Hizashi doing? Hinata is still nowhere to be found. Idiot. That idiot. Is he really wandering around the Main House to look for Hinata? Why didn't he just use his Byakugan? Idiot!

Hiashi, being the smart one, activated his Byakugan to check on his idiot brother. His eyes projected the image of Hizashi comforting a teenager in Hinata's room into his mind. Hiashi's eyebrows knotted together.

Is that... Neji?

What the hell?! That idiot! Sometimes Hiashi really felt the urge to activate his brother's Cursed Seal. It'd be in vain, though. They say that even death can't cure idiocy. "Tch..."

Moving on towards the real problem, Hiashi redirected his enhanced vision to his daughter. He dearly hoped that his daughter wasn't going through "The Rebellious Stage." Chaos is bound to erupt if that were the case, especially with her current position as heiress and her genetics.

When he found who he was looking for, he instantly regretted it. He found Hinata, but by her side was none other than the woman who would was the beginning and end of him. This woman, who set a lake on fire, who made it rain blood during the Third Shinobi War, who can put even the Kyuubi in its place, who captured his heart...

Hinata's mother.

His wife.

His brother's lover.

Fujiwara Hikari.

And so, the mysterious Fujiwara Hikari shows herself...

Next chapter!

Hanabi's jealously?

Poor Neji is heartbroken, but it's nothing compared to the anxiety Hinata has!

Itachi seems to suffer from clinical depression. How will Sasuke cope with this?

And? What exactly happened with the Hyuuga twins and Hikari?

Until next time~!

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