Inspiration came in the night, as it so often does. To be honest, this plot bunny has been wriggling in my mind for months now, and I kept putting it off, but now I think I will just go for it. Enjoy!
"Hello." Bold Italics will be used for the person on the other side of the line.
Hinata watched the raindrops splatter against the glass floor to ceiling windows in her apartment building. It was raining so hard that her view of the city below her was blurred, but it didn't matter. There wasn't much to see anyway; just buildings and lights and cars and people that had a life. Unlike her.
Okay, so that wasn't completely fair, since she did have family and friends and a job, but she felt like she was coasting. Like she could disappear and no one would notice.
Her phone was warm in her hands. Hinata didn't know why she always carried the thing around. It's not like anyone ever called her. As the thought occurred to her, she scrolled through the contact sheet on the phone.
It wasn't like she called anyone either.
She had only two contacts; Neji and her father, and that was just in case something went wrong at work and she needed to contact them. Funny enough, living alone was just like living back at home with her family… only here there was less noise.
Sometimes she wished that something would just happen. That something would happen, and there would be a meaning to her existence, other than being the HR manager at Hyuuga Corp. It was a good job; she was good with setting rules about how to deal with people. She just wasn't good with the actual people. Hinata sighed, lost in her thoughts.
'It's stupid,' she thought. 'I am twenty-four years old, I have a college education and a managerial position in a large firm. I earn a six-figure salary and own an amazing apartment in the city. But it's so hard for me to just converse with someone when it's not directly related to business. What is wrong with me?' she thought, chewing her lower lip. She placed her free hand flat on the cool glass, almost feeling the vibrations from when the liquid pellets raining down from the sky slapped against the window.
I need an alarm-system in my house...
Hinata jumped as the opening notes of Good Charlotte's 'I Just Wanna Live' blared from her phone, the appliance vibrating madly in her hands. Hinata looked down at the item in shock. Someone was calling her?
It must be a wrong number.
She answered anyway.
"What really is there to live for, huh? Why shouldn't I just give up right now?" the person on the other end of the line ranted without preamble.
"Erm… sir?" Hinata started.
"I mean, I… When you find out that the brother you've loved all these years killed your entire family, what do you do? What are you supposed to feel, huh? And you find this out the day your bride walks out on you in the middle of the ceremony?" the man yelled into the phone. His breathing was harsh over the line. Hinata could feel her heart racing in her chest. Whatever was she supposed to do?
"Everything is going wrong. Everything. I wanted the kid. Why wouldn't Sakura believe me, huh? Even when I told her I wanted it… she goes and… she goes and drinks, and then the bitch falls off the edge of the roof and ends up killing my little boy," the man sobbed over the line. "I felt him kick… before… I put my hand on her stomach, and felt my little boy kick my hand… and she…" the man's voice broke as harsh sobs sounded over the line.
Hinata swallowed nervously. How could she tell this man that he'd called the wrong number? How could she tell him that she wasn't sure she wanted to hear all this? She didn't know who he was.
"S-Sir?" she tried again. She couldn't ask if he was alright, because he so obviously wasn't.
"I'm on the edge of a building, you know," he chuckled. "Because it's too much. I had an 'episode' at work, and got fired. I'm the second son. My big brother's the heir, and of course he inherited, since he offed my parents… I just can't wrap my head around it," the man rambled. "And then I think, the confusion and the pain and the fear, well they'll all end if I jump, won't they?"
Hinata's breath caught in her throat.
"No!" she screamed suddenly into the phone. "No."
There was utter silence for a good ten seconds. It was so silent, she could hear the rain over the line.
"…Why…not?" the man whispered brokenly. "Would you deny me that? Why can't I just jump?" Hinata swallowed again, her hand fisted in the material of her flimsy top.
"You can't give up. Not ever," she said, her voice shaking. The breathing over the line got heavier, more erratic.
"Tell me why." Hinata paused at the command. The very desperate command.
"Because to give up is to be weak, and you must be a very strong man to call out when you were drowning. A weak person, like myself, would have just drowned," Hinata said softly into the phone. The harsh breathing over the phone disappeared into a gasp, then started again, even more erratically than before.
"What is your name?" Hinata asked. "Tell me, so that we can talk. I will tell you mine, if you like," she added when he hesitated. It would be pathetic of her to do something so stupid as to be afraid when there was a life in her hands.
"Tell me your name first…" the voice said, strangely timid.
"Oh no," Hinata said with a small smile. A smile she knew he could hear in her voice. "I asked first. Be a g-gentleman, Caller-kun," she teased gently. The silence was so long that she worried that she'd done the wrong thing.
"S-Sasuke…" the voice said after a while.
"H-Hello, Sasuke-san," Hinata replied. "I'm Hinata." Now that the introductions were made, Hinata was unsure of what to do. This was hardly her forte.
"Hn. Hinata? 'In the sun', huh?" the man said contemplatively as he recited the meaning of her name. Hinata smiled.
"Un!" she responded, nodding even though she knew he couldn't see her. "Ano… Sasuke-san?" she murmured after a moment.
"Sometimes I feel like… like I'm the opposite to you. I don't know what to do to escape this darkness. I don't know which way is up and I… I just want to let go. I can't do this anymore," he said suddenly, his words quickening with purpose and his harsh breath rasping over the line.
"S-Sasuke-san!" Hinata barked into the phone, surprised at the sharpness in her voice. "Get away from the edge of that building. Now," she demanded. The line was silent.
"I can't. You know, Hinata-chan…I can see the Tatoyana Corp roof from where I stand… and I'm thinking… it looks like a good place to land, hmm? It's close enough that I'm sure I will land there, and far enough for me to actually die and not just end up in the hospital," he choked out, his voice ringing with fake cheer.
Hinata's eyes widened. The Tatoyana Corp roof? Why, she was looking down at the very same one! That meant… Sasuke-san was somewhere in the vicinity, was he not?
"B-But what about the Sansetsu Inc roof? Is that not closer to you?" Hinata asked, trying not to scare him off while desperately trying to pinpoint his location. He chuckled.
"I know what you're trying to do. I'm not an idiot. If I jump to the Sansetsu roof, I'll think I died, and then wake up in a hospital. It's not far enough. And don't even suggest Kamogawa, because I'll land on my feet. And heading for the road would just be… tacky. I don't think the apartment owners would want my bloody corpse so close to their front doors," the man on the other line scoffed.
Hinata was already out the door.
She knew where he was!
"You don't have to kill yourself, Sasuke-san. You should get help. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?"the brunette said, trying to keep her breathing calm as she jogged down the hallway outside of her apartment.
"Who the hell even made up that stupid saying?" Sasuke snarled. "It's too much! I doubt they had a life anything like mine!"
"Tell m-me, then. You don't know me, and I-I won't judge. G-Go ahead," Hinata said, reaching for the door that led to the stairwell of the apartment building.
"…You don't really want to know…" Sasuke said, sighing. He sniffed. "I can't tell you anyway… It's too much…" Hinata took the stairs two at a time, forcing herself to calm her breathing.
"I-I want to know. I have n-nothing but time," she returned. The line went silent.
"I… I don't know where to start," Sasuke said hesitantly. "And I don't want to go over it. I don't want to think about it all. I just want to escape it. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I can't work – I don't have a freaking job…"
"Start anywhere. We'll share information then yes?" Hinata supplied, not even realizing that her stutter was gone in the face of her purpose.
"A trade? Y-You mean, you will tell me stuff too?" Sasuke asked. Hinata heard thunder rumble through the line, and then heard the echo of the noise around her. She was close to him!
"Yes, a trade," she said a little breathlessly as she continued to run up the stairs. She could have taken the elevator, but she couldn't risk meeting someone in there and have him realize what she was trying to do.
"Okay, but…" he said after a long moment, then continued. "I don't see what good it is going to do."
"It can't hurt to make a new friend. It is never too late, is it? To make a new friend," Hinata returned, her thighs beginning to burn from running up the stairs. Her breath was beginning to puff from her lips, but she reigned it in as best she could.
"Would you come? When they bury me, would you come?" he asked after a long pause.
"You would have to share information with me, Sasuke-san. But if I knew where to go, I would go," she replied. "But you aren't going to die, so why ask questions like that, ne?" she returned. He didn't respond for so long Hinata almost worried, but the rain and his heavy breathing over the line told Hinata that he was still there.
"I'm twenty-five…" he supplied, breaking the silence.
"Uwaah, only a year older than I am," Hinata said over the line, gripping the guardrail and pushing herself even faster.
"I like tomatoes," Sasuke went on, his voice trembling. "They're…They're my favorite food."
"Tomatoes?" Hinata repeated. "That's different! I know this man in the market that sells me tomatoes for little to nothing! And he always has the best, most red ones. I will take you to see him one day!" Hinata said as she paused for breath at the door that led to the roof. As she had suspected, it was slightly ajar from when Sasuke had gone through it.
"My favorite food is cinnamon rolls," Hinata said. "I guess we are different, ne? You like savory and I like sweet." She leaned against the door and peered outside, her grey eyes frantically scanning the roof.
"I don't like sweets at all," Sasuke muttered. "My big brother has a sweet tooth… and he…"
"What about friends, Sasuke-san?" Hinata interrupted. "I don't have many friends at all. Do you?"
"I don't have friends. I've never had time for them," Sasuke spat. "I'm too bloody rich to know who wants to be my friend from who wants my money."
"Oh, you have that problem too, ne?" Hinata breathed. "We actually have something in common…" the Hyuuga heiress sighed into the phone.
"I guess we do…" Sasuke returned. "I should stop bothering you now, though. I don't know what I was thinking…"
Hinata pushed the door to the roof open and craned her neck around. The rain soaked her hair immediately, draining down her forehead and into her eyes. Hinata blinked rapidly to clear her eyes, and then she saw him.
A dark figure standing at the very edge of the building, a phone clasped to his ear. His shoulders were slumped to the point that Hinata could almost literally imagine the world's weight resting upon his slim frame.
"You're not a bother, Sasuke-san," Hinata said quietly, sincerely into the phone, stepping out into the rain. "Step away from the edge of the building." When he didn't move, Hinata continued. "You're stronger than this, Sasuke. I don't know you, but I can hear it in your voice. I can hear it. And I can see it. I'm looking right at you. You don't want me to see you fall, do you?" she whispered into the phone. She felt her throat close up as he took an unsteady step closer to the edge of the building.
"I'm all alone too," she said after a moment. "If you let me help you, you can help me too," Hinata was sobbing desperately at this point. "Just please don't jump!" She watched a shudder ripple through his slim frame before he took three steps away from the edge of the building.
She could hear his answering sobs as he took another step backwards, collapsed to his knees and covered his head with one hand.
"So… can I call you again?" he asked through his sobs, and Hinata could see him tilt his head back and stare into the sky as he waited for her answer.
"Yes," she replied.
Agh, so it's a one shot, since I have so many freaking projects and so little time! I will continue this if you really beg and flood my inbox with reviews etc, and since I literally could not fall asleep until I'd typed this up. What do you guys think? (I could not bring myself to read it over)!