Since a week prior when the war had ended, Hyuuga Hiashi had been on edge. He had stopped eating, and didn't sleep much either. He spent his days pouring over scrolls, and his nights curled up in front of the living room fire, staring into it, as though willing it to consume him. He demanded at that all the curtains in the house be drawn shut, and drifted along the shadows, looking more fearful and sallow with every passing day.

One day when Hinata was away on mission, Hiashi summoned his youngest daughter and his nephew to his quarters.

Hanabi and Neji were decidedly concerned. Frightful that their guardian was dying, they knelt at his bedside urging him to tell them what had him so troubled.

In stark contrast to his usual composure, Hiashi was haggard that morning. He climbed up from bed and began to pace whilst chewing the nail of his left thumb. A few times he paused and stared strangely at the two youths, before he resumed with his pacing, his chewing, and his muttering.

Finally, he stopped. "It's about the curse," he whispered.

A curse? What curse? They beseeched that he continue!

"The Hyuuga curse," said Hiashi, watching horror grow in Neji and Hanabi's eyes.

"A curse?" said Neji. "Like the Uchiha curse?"

"Worse!" said Hiashi. "Much worse. I fear we're all affected by it at some point in our lives. As Hinata is the Hyuuga heir, I was hoping she would be spared, but – well-" he sighed. "With the end of the war, everything has changed. You see... When two powerful doujutsu users of differing clans come together, the sexual tension is unparalleled. The more powerful the user, the more potent the attraction. Hinata is not to be allowed anywhere near Uchiha Sasuke."

Neji and Hanabi blinked. Their expressions of horror and anguish slowly transformed into confusion, and then...annoyance.

"Wait," said Neji. "That's it?" His eyebrow twitched.

"Oh no, it's much more! This curse has destroyed clans far greater than ours!"

"So to simplify this – Hinata's not allowed to date Sasuke," said Hanabi. Neji was already walking out of the room.

"She's not allowed anywhere near him," Hiashi corrected her. "Tonight I will be leaving for negotiations in Kumo and will not be back for some months. Hanabi, I leave my will with you."

"You want us to date him?" said Kiba, wrinkling his nose. "Sorry, I don't swing that way."

Tsunade rubbed her temple. Reasonining with Kiba was like arguing with a five-year-old. "I at no point said I wanted anyone to date the Uchiha."

"Distract him, date him, same difference!" snarled Kiba.

"I'm not dating him!" another chunnin cried.

"I already have a girlfriend," said Rock Lee, looking scandalized.

Tsunade felt her headache begin to intensify. She blindly rummaged in her desk until her fingers wrapped around a bottle of sake. "No one is dating him," she reiterated through her clenched teeth. "I strongly suspect romancing any of you is the last thing on his mind. Uchiha Sasuke has returned to Konoha after being a missing nin for the past five years. All I ask is that we have an extra pair of eyes on him at all times. Naruto and Sakura will take up most of this slack, but they do have missions, so in their absence-"

"Hinata will do it," said Hanabi, cutting Tsunade off. Everyone turned and stared at the young Hyuuga.

Several of the village chunnin had been summoned to the Hokage's office that afternoon, but Hinata was still on mission. Her younger sister had been sent to the meeting in her stead. And as the group bantered about the inconveniences of dating an Uchiha, several thoughts had circulated then run rampant in Hanabi's mind. Like her father's appeal that Hinata stay as far away from Sasuke as possible, and the simple fact that if Hinata did get caught up in someone so unhinged, it would likely derail her course for clan head. "Hinata will definitely do it," Hanabi said, somehow containing her smirk.

The Hokage looked skeptical. "I'd rather hear that directly from her..."

"I was sent here as my sister's representative. Whatever I say is definitive," said Hanabi, even though it wasn't entirely true.

About the office, Hanabi was receiving a variety of looks. From Ino, there was suspicion, from Shikamaru, disinterest, from Sakura, relief, and from Shino, concern. Kiba's was the only threatening expression. He began cracking his knuckles and mouthed something that looked strongly like I'm going to kill you, but Hanabi averted her gaze.

Tsunade was mulling this all over. Only half her attention was on the matter at hand, the other half on the sake bottle discreetly clasped in her hand. "Well – fine then. Please deliver this mission scroll to your sister. It should have everything she needs to know. Have her notify me if there are any problems."

Hanabi stepped forward and took the proffered scroll. "Thank you Hokage-sama."

Several days later, Hinata sleepily looked over her new mission scroll. "I have to...what?" Look after Sasuke? Why would the Hokage give her such a mission? She glanced at Hanabi, who shrugged, looking just as confused as she was.

Hinata pressed her lips. Oh well. It was a mission, and she would complete it. It was her will of fire! ...or something... She scratched her head and realized she had never actually spoken to Sasuke, and they had never been formally introduced. She didn't even think they had met eyes. What color were his, she wondered. Sasuke was a doujutsu-user, and his eye-color seemed like it would be fairly obvious. She tried to picture his gaze, but just couldn't produce a mental image. Again she mused about how peculiar it was that she had been given such a mission.

Hinata thanked Hanabi for the scroll and closed her bedroom door to get ready for her mission. She failed to see her sister's blank expression twist into an evil sneer.

In her bedroom, Hinata got dressed in her usual shinobi attire. She untangled her long hair, and wrapped her hitai-ate about her throat. She went over the scroll again, and tried to mentally catalogue everything she knew about Sasuke. He was a recently-reformed missing nin, but she would try not to let that intimidate her. He was Naruto-kun's best friend... her mind momentarily drifted, but she quickly refocused. He was strong. He was obstinate. He was...

Rather thin.

The seventeen-year-old Sasuke stood in the living room of his apartment that morning, taking his fighting stance, and adjusting it to its potential. I should guard my knees, he thought, crouching slightly. Nothing could get to my head... Even so, he raised his arms a little. Any opponent was likely to target the sharingan.

He paused as his stomach growled, then scowled. He hadn't eaten anything the previous night. He was surprised Naruto hadn't stopped by to sprinkle some food over him as though he was an animal. Everyone had been treating him with caution and suspicion the past few days.

Sasuke returned his attention to the task at hand: to improve his stance and find what needed to be guarded the most. My head, my eyes... he shook his head. Nothing can touch my eyes. Again, he lowered his hands. My throat, my stomach, my heart...

His mind drifted to what the second Hokage had told him during their rare encounter just before the end of the war. That the Uchiha were a cursed clan, powered by their emotions, driven by heartache. He scoffed and clenched his fists.

A sudden tapping noise penetrated his thoughts.

Dropping his stance, Sasuke glared at the door. Probably Naruto, to check up on me again, he thought in annoyance. He approached the door and threw it open.

She...wasn't Naruto.

White eyes. Hyuuga. Hyuuga...female...something. His mind spun. What was this Hyuuga doing at his door? He was vaguely aware that he was staring, but what concerned him more, was that she was staring back, her lips parted. Lovely pink lips.

At the same moment, they caught themselves. As he glanced away, she abruptly looked down. From the corner of his eye he watched her raise the basket she carried. "I cooked." She forced a smile.

He glanced her over. "What else can you do?"

Author's Note: Re-write of A Light in Darkness. Yes, I changed the title. I'm even changing the plotline to rationalize how perverted this story seems to be. I can't definitively tell you how much is being re-written and changed, I myself do not know. If the original A Light in Darkness and Light haven't already been deleted, they will be deleted shortly.

'Hyuuga Curse' of course is a play off the 'Uchiha Curse,' in the latest manga chapter. Oh yes, the power of emotions! I'm hoping to eliminate most of the angst and make this less "intense" and such. I'm not gonna say it won't be a challenge, so I need all the support I can get!

Meanwhile, please vote on side-pairings. Lee will probably be with Tenten, and Shikamaru with Temari, but everything else is up in the air. With Gaara, it's tricky, because the person I used originally died in the manga.