A Distant Shore

An InoHina Crossover Fanfiction

Chapter Five:

Tour of The Kingdom

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any other copyrighted material used or referenced to in this fanfic.

After an irritatingly long brunch filled solely with Ariel's idle chatter, Ino was fully prepared to throw the wretch back into the ocean of which she came. Her overworked fingers gripped the handlebars of the wheelchair with an intensity that only arose when she was near red head—Oh how she despised that woman. Her ward was silent, that she was most grateful for, as she pushed her down the corridors toward the carriage house. The lack of conversation, however was causing her to dwell on the idiotic red-head Eric had married. Ino nodded to her fellow servants as she passed them, not really paying attention as to who she was nodding to.

When they reached the carriage house, Ino talked to the carriage driver who helped Hinata into the open seat. Without even looking back at her, Ino grabbed two riding hats off of the shelf and placed one on her head before throwing the other at Hinata who fumbled with catching it. Hoisting herself up, she plopped down in the feathered cushion and waited for the carriage driver to finish attending to the horses. She turned a sidelong glance to her companion who was smiling as she looked around. Every time a horse moved or made a sound the merwoman jumped and smiled sheepishly.

"What are those beasts? They're so dark, and large—like the night sky!" Hinata asked giddily.

Ino rolled her eyes and roughly placed the hat on the violet haired woman's head. "That is a horse. Actually the one you're referring to is Night Mare. Ariel named her..."

Hinata smiled as she adjusted the hat into a more comfortable position. "It's a most befitting name." She caressed the straw hat thoughtfully, "Will they help carry us to our destination?"

Ino nodded and sighed. "We're going to ride through the town. Because of your..." She paused and looked down at Hinatas' immobile legs before continuing on. "Disability, we have no other way of getting you around. So, we ride." The blonde nodded to the horseman as he climbed into the front seat. With a flick of his wrists, he ordered the horses into motion and they began their journey into the kingdom.

The roads were bumpy and Hinata winced in pain; even though she couldn't move her legs, she could still feel everything that happened to them. The pain however was multiplied from her damaged limbs. She would take the pain because she had brought it upon herself.

The crowned prince gave his wife a forced smile as they walked through the gardens, her hand nestled in the crook of his arm. The spring flowers were in full bloom and released an almost heavenly scent, but the prince was too preoccupied to enjoy it. Even though he breathed in the sweet aroma, the stress on his mind could not be lifted. The prince was worried.

In two months time, his wife would give birth and possibly die in the process. After all he went through to get her, she might be taken away just like that. The prince sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Then there was the Ino situation. He could see the loathing in her eyes as she stared at Ariel, he could feel the hate radiate off of her in waves. Or, possibly, could that be his own guilt?

Ariel asked to take a seat and he led her to a stone bench that over looked a large fountain. He watched her smile widen as she let her gaze roam around the area. She didn't deserve Ino's hate, it should have been directed toward him. How could be call himself a man when he let the women he cared about suffer as they do?


He smiled, "Yes?"

Ariel took his hand in hers and held it to her swollen stomach. "Don't worry okay? Our daughter will not kill her mother, I will live through this. We will be happy and raise her well, so please. Don't hide from me?" Her eyes pleaded with his and he caved. Burying his face in her hair, he let out a shaky breath and kissed her temple. He prayed her words would come true.

Hinata smiled as they passed by shops and street merchants selling their wares. More than once did the carriage driver have to stop for children who ran in front of the horses trying to catch their ball or just playing tag. She turned her gaze to her hand maid and her smile turned south as she silently watched her. The woman's blue eyes seemed unfocused as she stared out into space but the sad frown on her face pulled at something in Hinata's chest. "M-Miss Yamanaki, Where is y-your favorite p-place in the k-kingdom?"

Ino turned to her, her eyed focused but nothing else on her face changed. "I...Don't have one." She looked down at her hands which were laying flat on her black gown. "I am not allowed out of the castle unless I am with his highness... or his wife."

Hinata blinked and her eyebrows furrowed. "Y-you do n-not get a-a day off?"

Ino lifted her chin to look out over horizon. "No, I am indentured servant." When the merwoman gave her a confused look, she sighed and rolled her eyes. "I was sold by my family to work in the castle at a young age. I must work off their debt before I am allowed to be free."

"T-that is n-no way to l-live...A-aren't you t-tired?" Hinata rubbed her hands over her aching legs. "I-i would b-be..."

Ino turned a glare to the merwoman. "You live in the ocean, get to swim around and be care free, what would you know about being tired? You've never had to clean after someone else's mess for ten years, you never had to be punished for someone else's mistakes. What to you know about hardships? Have you ever loved someone you could never hope to have a future with? Have you given up the only thing you had left to give only to have it thrown back at you like it was nothing? Don't talk as if you know what I've been through. You don't have the right to be sympathetic." By the time she had finished talking, her face was red and tears fell from her eyes. She turned away from her ward and crossed her arms over her chest.

A/N: So, It's been a while, sorry for the late update! If you read any of my other fics then you know that I just recently moved. If not then, now you know. I feel like the last scene came too fast but...well, with the way I made the plot, I was having a hard time figuring out how I would get Ino to open up to Hinata xD Anyway, tell me what you think!