Author's Notes: Spoiler for Naruto 614
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. If I did, I sure as well would not have let the travesty known as chapter 614 occur.
His voice is choked, garbled with blood as it streamed down his chin, and he is shaking against her, trembling violently, like a fluttering bird struggling to get free.
Except that he is already free, judging from the fading mark on his forehead.
"Nii-san, what's wrong?" Hinata clutches at her brother, her lilac eyes meeting his.
"Hinata please – tell – tell her –"
Hinata feels something within her break, as she regards her dear brother, on the brink of death, his eyes oddly brighter than she had ever seen them in his life.
"I know, Neji-nii-san," Hinata sobs, her throat clogging up, "I always knew!"
"Of course. I will. I promise – but don't – don't go!" Hinata shakes him gently, her eyes baring into his own, "Nii-san! Please!"
"After the war –" Neji manages to whisper, "I was going to – I wanted to –"
"There's still time!" Hinata urges him, "Neji-nii-san, you can tell her after the war, you can have a future together, what you always wanted – "
"A future…" Neji smiles then, a calm smile, and Hinata can't understand why he's smiling.
Naruto's arm is around her, but for once, she can only look at and think of her brother, her dear, dying genius brother, who is slipping away from her… and more importantly, from someone else… someone who never knew she even had him.
"Neji-nii-san! Neji-nii-san! No! No!"
It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair to him. He was so young, so full of potential. And –
"Tenten," Hinata gasps, "Oh, Tenten… I'm so sorry…"
"N-no," Tenten shook her head, "He – he wouldn't have – he – he –"
"Calm down, Tenten, please," Ino grabbed the girl's trembling shoulders, "I know how you feel – "
"He promised me," Tenten bit out, "FUCK, HE PROMISED ME!"
"Tenten! Wait –"
But the girl had all but exploded, her eyes fierce, glittering brown, burning with anger and streaming with tears, her scrolls whipping behind her as she charged towards the enemy in reckless abandon.
They should have never been separated in the first place. Neji had always counted on her to protect his blind spot. Every mission, ever since they had been kids…
And now… now she had nothing to protect anymore. Nothing to live for.
Metal sang and blades whipped through the air, as Tenten avenged herself.
"No – no – " Hinata sunk to her knees as she eyes the lifeless body, burnt and charred, lying in a bed of blood, "Not you too!"
"Tenten…" Naruto murmurs, crouching down beside her, "She…"
"I never got to tell her!" Hinata cried, "It was nii-san's last dying wish – and I – never – got – to – tell – her – "
"He loved you," Hinata whispers out, a pale hand reaching out to push away Tenten's blood-soaked bangs, "He's loved you for years and after – after this war – he was going to propose…"
"Don't worry, Hinata," Naruto tells her one day, kissing her forehead, as they stand together at the twin graves, where the two can lie together in peace, together as they always were meant to be.
"My parents are happy up there. Together. And now – Neji and Tenten can be, as well. It's a better world up there, anyways. They'll be happier. I'm sure of it."
Author's Notes: I would rant or cry here, but I'm really too shaken up by this chapter and sad to write much more. Damn this, it should never have happened. How could you, Kishimoto-san? Why him?