Summary: He promised to protect her heart, but it was breaking and he wasn't there.
Author's Note: I am so angry and so sad from chapter 614! So in my depression and sadness, this happened. Hope you find it as heart wrenching as I feel. Also, thanks to BananaBabe903 for bringing this up to me. We shall cry together with a bucket of ice cream. Now, enjoy this read or cry with us :'(
She thought her heart was going to stop. She thought she was going to die when she heard the news. Every blood in her drained until she was pale and shaking. This was just too much for her to take. First, her father and Shikamaru's father and now, now it was him too? She clenched her mouth from crying out in agony as her body slumped to the floor. She thought they would all come back. Everything would end up the same way it always had been.
She was idealistic, maybe too idealistic.
She heard her cries and her eyes, blurry and fuzzy, looked over to the weapon mistress. She knew Tenten loves him, many did. He was a man of calm strength, a beauty that was far more exotic than any could even comprehend.
She was the only one who understood.
Her tears fell for her father, Shikaku, and his. More fell as she thought about all those who had lost their lives. What are they going to do now? Everything is in ruins. Everything.
She felt her teammates land their hand on each shoulder and squeezed. That was it. She cried, cried far louder and messier than she had cried for the Uchiha. She clenched her fists far tighter than she had done in battle and her hope, oh what hope was there? They promised and now, those promises are just whispers in the wind.
Her father, she loves him so much. He was there when there was no one else on her side. He was her knight and she was the princess. She felt the wrench in her stomach twisting her insides as she cried louder. He promised to protect her. He did and yet, she wasn't happy with the outcome. How could he just leave her? Leave her to tell her mother that her father wasn't returning? The man they both love was dead?
She bit her bottom lip so hard, it bled.
Shikaku, Shikamaru's father was the wisest man she had known. He was filled with strategic plans and though she never admitted it, he was like the other half of her father. He always smiled at her through her bad days and whispered comforting words while her father screamed and shouted threats to those who broke her heart. He was like a peaceful meadow where she could just relax in his company. He would make promises that kept her smiling throughout the day, but who will do that now that he was gone?
She slammed her fists against the grass beneath her.
Neji, the Hyuga prodigy. He had to go and crawl into her heart. He was just supposed to be another shinobi male like Naruto and Kiba, and yet he was more. More than she had thought he was. She admired him. He, with his long hair and flawless moves, captured her thoughts in more ways than one. It wasn't long before he noticed her eyes on him. She fought the memory as it replayed. She didn't want it to happen, but she couldn't do much but cry her heart out even more.
"Why are you watching me?" he had questioned calmly as he walked up to her.
"Because you are beautiful," she didn't budge when he stopped a mere foot away.
"You must say that to every man," Neji narrowed his eyes slightly at the comment.
"Only to those I find exotic," Ino smiled, "… you, Neji, are far more beautiful than you think."
"I am not vain," Neji was feeling a bit unnerved from this conversation.
"Neji," Ino took a step forward and she was a breath away from his face, "… your mind," she touched his temple, "… hold many secrets," she moved her fingers down smoothing over his cheek before touching his heart, "… your heart," she looked to his chest, "… it holds many people close."
She looked up to see him staring at her and she smiled openly at him. She found she likes him a little more than any other male. With the exception of Shikamaru and Chouji, she sees them as brothers. Her head dipped down and her eyes stared at his heart.
They weren't the closest people; they probably would be considered acquaintances at best. She didn't mind it though, she knew him and he knew her. Lately, their acquaintances grew into friendship. It wasn't the let's-get-to-know-each-other type of friendship. It was more of an I-know-of-you-and-you-know-of-me-so-let's-continue-getting-along type. She was happy; she wouldn't want to tell him her dirty secrets, after all. After that, she found he was nothing like what she thought him to be. He was more than handsome, more than strong, more than perfect.
"Tell me Neji," she whispered those words softly as she looked up and their nose barely brushed one another, "… am I one of those people?"
She cried harder clinging onto Chouji who held her tighter. How much pain must they all suffer before there was peace? Before the damn war was over?
His words, like soft whispers in her mind, continued to repeat itself over and over in her head and she thought she would just die. Die from all the pain her heart was in-taking and die from all the memories that continued to bombard her mind.
"He promised," she managed to say before her throat closed and she sobbed harder against her teammates shoulder.
"Shh," he hushed quietly rubbing her back soothingly as everyone else continued their solemn expression and tears.
"He promised," she cried softly as her tears ceased, "… he promised," it was barely a whisper before she fell asleep through her tears. Maybe she will dream of him and stay asleep for the rest of her life? Maybe she will see her father and Shikaku again? Maybe she will be happy again?
Dreams: where promises continue to stand, unlike reality. Reality only brings heartbreaks and tears.
Nothing but broken promises.
"The closest," she heard him say and she laughed.
"Don't lie to me Hyuga," she leaned closer lips about to brush, "… my heart will break."
"I don't lie," he whispered leaning down, "… I will protect your heart."
"Promise?" she closed her eyes.
"Promise," and their lips touched.