Kawaii ko (cute child)

chapter 1: six years after

"Isn't she cute, father?"

I wake up brutaly. I was dreaming about this day... the three years birthday of Hinata. But what came back to my memory isn't the death of my father... it was my first meeting with Hinata. "Isn't she cute, father?" I said those words, it was a long time ago.

"that's not true, brother Neji. Because...I can see it...It's not me at all...the person lost ans suffering wihin the destiny of the main and branch houses...is you..."
What is this morning? now what Hinata had said to me at the end of our combat, at the time of the first examinations of Chuunin come back to my memory ... She wasn't wrong. But since this time, I changed. I succeed in freeing me of this hatred which locked up me and destroyed me.

All that is far behind me. I have been Chuunin for a few years ....And if I continue to dream , I will be late. On the way, I meet Koichi and we walk together. he is a chuunin older than me, and we are in the same team.
Koichi:"Eh, Neji,could  you present me to your cousin?"
Neji:" My cousin... you want to mean Hinata?"
Koichi:" Of course!  She isn't easy to approach... but  she is so beautiful!"
It is true too that Hinata became a very beautiful girl... and a chuunin, too. And we get along better, like normal cousins.
Neji:"You have sights on my cousin? I don't want to disappoint you, but you don't have any chance."
It's not true. I think that if somebody invite her to go out, she couldn't say no. She is too nice. But it is the first time that one asks me to play the messenger.
Koichi:" You want to keep her for you?"
Neji:" Hey! She's just my cousin!"
I don't know why, but I am a little mad. There are no reasons however.
Koichi:"  I will not eat her.Please, just present me."
Neji:" Ok, ok."

I succeeded in speaking to Hinata in the afternoon, and I present Koichi to her... and we are currently all three discussing in front of a bowl noodles to the restaurant. In fact, Koichi speaks, and Hinata listens . And I, what do I do? I would have to leave and leave them together... but this idea don't please me. I don't know why.

It is late, and Koichi always speaks. He's a true chatterbox when he wants. I see on her face that Hinata would like to go home, but  she doesn't dare to stop him.  It's my turn to play.
Neji:"Hinata-sama. It is late, I will accompany back you on your premise."
I take along Hinata quickly, leaving behind me a disappointed Koichi pays the bill. Finally we are little calms. When we arrive to Hyuga House, all is already quiet. Nobody awaited her return. It saddens me a little. If something happens to her ; nobody would have known anything of it... Nobody wouldn't have protected her.
Hinata: " Thank you for escorting me at home, Neji Nii-san.(big brother)"
Neji:"my duty is to protect you."
She looks at me strangely then go home. I surprised myself to answer that. Protect her. Eh well, She is the heiress of the family, and that I am from branch house, therefore I owes protect her in theory.... But it is the first time I do it. When I thinks that a few years ago, I tried to kill her... I'm glad that I didn't succeed.
Protect her... and if it's....

My family is invited to the main house for the 18 years birthday of Hinata. For the first time in 14 years, I return here . The relations between our two families are better and better .Hinata is very beautiful wearing kimono, If Koichi could see her...
If I could take a photograph of her, I hope he will forgive me for the past evening. Hinata agrees for a photograph. I think that the interior garden will make a beautiful framework...
Neji:"sitting on this basin, it is perfect. You are like a painting ."
Hinata reddens. No, doesn't redden, smiles for the photograph. Perfect.

From interior of the house, we hear noise. Hanabi is training.
Hinata: " Hanabi trains much, She's really skilled. And Father is proud of her."
Neji:"he can also be proud of you, you nevertheless became chuunin at 13."
Hinata: " I disappointed him. He doesn't pay any more attention to me, now."
Neji:" He continues to teach you our style of fight?"
Hinata: "No, for a long time,  nobody cares of my training. I manage alone."
Neji:"But how can you progress?! There are lots of  secret techniques to know for really excelling in our style of fight."
Hinata: "I know, but..."
Neji:"Train with me."
Hinata: "!?"
Neji:"Yes, I will teach you the techniques. I know them."
Hinata: " but... I am so bad.. you will waste your time with me"
Neji:"You are not excellent, but you are not bad either. You are the heiress of our family, you must know these techn..."
I become silent seeing tears in the eyes of Hinata.
Hinata: "You are so strong, Neji... so estrong... I don't deserve to be the heiress... that should be... that should be  you!"
She begin to sob. I feel embarrassed.
Neji: "No. only you deserves to carry this title... and there is a reason if I am  stronger than you, the heiress."
Hinata: "?"
Neji:"Hinata, I am stronger than you ...   to be able to protect you."

Protect you... it became my reason of living.

chapter 2: problem


        "Protect Hinata". It's strange, I can't say what is the moment when it became something very important for me...  6 year ago I try to kill her, 6 year ago, I hate her, her and all her family . I accused them for murdering my father... but I was wrong. And when I learned the truth, I felt released. My father had chosen himself to die. He had done it because he wanted protect his brother, protect our family. And I didn't understand anything. But I changed. And, Father, if  you looks at me, I hope that you are proud of me now. I too will give my force and my life to protect the others. And especially Hinata...

Hinata. She's tired, but she will not give up easily... I see  she get up with a resolute face.
Hinata: " Neji Nii-san, I will try one more time. Attack me."
We are training together, at home, to the kaiten technique of defense . It became an habit, to find us several evening per week at home, to work together. She progress, even if she will never be  an extraordinary strong Shinobi. Objectively, she has a good level. But she isn't enough for our family. I ask me  whether I must feel sorry more for her or me . But she never complains.
Neji:"We stop here for this evening, Hinata?"
Hinata:"huf... huf... I agree huf..huf.."
Hinata sat by ground, breathing hard... but smiling. She smiles always when she's at home, whereas she never do that at the principal manor. I like to see her like that.
Hinata:"huf..huf..I will come home now, Neji Nii-san"
Neji:"I accompany back you"
Hinata:"But you do not need..."
Neji:"I said: I accompany back you. No discuss allowed, I will do it in any event."
She laught a few. I like your laughter, Hinata.

"Neji! Neji!...... NEJIIIIII!!!!"
The acute howl of Tenten transpierces my left ear." What?! Don't shout!"
"I have called you for 10 minutes! Return on earth or we will never finish this mission!!"
Ah, yes, it's true, we are on mission... but of what I thought ? Koichi looks me while laughing and address with Tenten.
Koichi:"I'm sure he thinks of a girl"
Tenten: "a girl? Neji?"
Koichi " Even the best can fall."
Tenten: "a girl? Neji with a girl???? ... it must be true ... looks, he reddens "
Neji "Stop that Tenten! "
Koichi:"who is she?"
Neji: " It's not that at all!! then leave me quiet!!"
It's like  asking  Naruto to keep silent ...  let us end  this mission quickly. I don't know if I would support  a long time the interrogation of my teammate. But it's true that I thought of a girl. I thought of Hinata. Eh well, she is a girl. she is my cousin too... and it's that, the big problem.

        Very big problem... enormous problem...  When I hated her, it was simpler. I didn't need to question myself. Now, the object of my problem is bombarding me with shuriken, kunai and other CFO (cutting flying objects) so that I train my defense.
Easy, no CFO still touched me. my defense is perfect. At least Physical defense... because heart defense... I lay down arms. The image of Hinata made the effect of a nuclear bomb. My heart was definitively atomized. I see her, I see her all the time. Behind me, in front of me, on my left, on my right, everywhere...  She can't escape my glance. And I can't escape her image. Damn Byakugan!
Neji:"OUCH!" too much seeing her, I don't  anymore pay attention to her kunais. As we don't see any more stars when the sun is here.
Hinata " Neji! you bleed!"
The cut on my arm isn't very deep, but it bleeds much. Fortunately that our preferred medical specialist is there. I speak about Hinata, of courses. She is one of the specialists medical in the chuunins. All teams reclam her when we make the teams before leaving on mission. She is so kind when she cures the wounds...
Her fresh hands on my skin make me shiver. She is so close to me to look my wound. I can feel her soft odor, the heat of her body. Her so white and so soft skin...
I have really a big problem...
"Do I hurt you, Neji?"
"No, no, it's nothing"
I turn away the glance. She turns over to my wound. Neji... she don't call me anymore Nii-san (big-brother). I don't call her anymore Hinata-sama, either. We really became very near... But  what do I think of? She is my cousin! MY COUSIN!!! My...

"HINATAAAA! "a call stops the course of my thought. Naruto saw us and rejoin us. Always also agitated and noisy...
Naruto:"Waah, Hinata! you succeeded wounded Neji, Mr.-perfect-defense? And you didn't do it  light , moreover! "
Neji:"It was just a moment of carelessness!! "he gets on my nerves, this guy.
Naruto:"Ne, Hinata, you agree for this evening? "
Hinata :"Y-yes, Naruto-kun"
Naruto: "Ok, great! see you this evening then! "and he leaves running. 

He gets on my nerves...........
This evening?......... 
what will that mean?....... 
Hinata has a Rendez-vous with Naruto.... 
this evening? 
this evening... 

ah no, I will not let him do! I will not leave Hinata with this guy!! It's true, as an older member of our family, I must supervise her frequentations... My bad conscience whisper me that She is old enough for go out alone. Good, I agree,  I don't support to see her with another guy. And Naruto get on my nerves for this reason . I hope He will be set out again on mission  to the other end of the world!

    When we return to the village, a servant comes: "Hinata-sama, I sought you. Your father reclame your presence. There are guests at house and he wants to present to you."
"B.-but, I have already another engagement... and usually, Father..."
Astonishing. Hiashi-sama never praises her older girl when he receive guests, in fact, usually, she isn't even presente. As if he had only one girl, Hanabi.
servant: "it's an order of your Father."
Hinata: "... I come... Neji... euh...  could you ......"
Neji: " say to Naruto that you can't come, it's that?"
Hinata: "Yes, please"
Neji: "I would do it".
It will be funny to see his face. It's a pity for Hinata, she seems really sad not to go. But it fit me well. If I had known... I would not be as much delights.

            With the noise which the light-haired boy seems to emit permanently, I find Naruto quickly and I transmits the message to him.
Naruto: "Nooooo!!! That's not fair! For once I was at the village and that I could invite her !!!  That Hyuugaaaaaa family!!! And that make you laugh?!"
Neji: "your face is hilarous."
Naruto "You want that I arrange yours?"
I dodge the fist of the agitated boy and I make him a trip which sends him  bite the ground.
Neji: "It's not my fault. don't avenge on me."
Letting Nartuto be sulky, I return at home. Who are the rather important guests so that Hinata must attend the meal? I will ask her tomorrow.

chapitre 3: departure

        The following day, I don't succeed in seeing Hinata all the day because of a ton of mission which fell to us above. The missions, it is like the rain. There are sun periodes with nothing to make interressant, and when the storm eclate, we are submerged by requests. Fortunately, Hinata comes at home this evening... and if I invited her to the restaurant after training... that would anger Naruto, then it is all good.

I await Hinata impatiently, she's late. When finally I hear  knocks on the door... I discover at entry the sulky face of Hanabi.
Neji: "Hanabi-sama?"
Hanabi: "My sister said to me to say to you that she is sorry and that she could not come today."
 She seems really in a bad mood. She turns over and begins to leave.
Neji:"Hanabi-sama! wait! Is Hinata sick? "
Neji:"But then why..."
Hanabi:"She can't come. It's no business of yours."

What a horrible brat! I forgot that there was more possessive person than me about Hinata... , I should speak about Naruto with Hanabi one day, that could be amusing.. Hanabi semmes more and more upset when she begin to walk in the empty street ... empty ?... emptyyyyy !!

Neji: "Hanabi-sama!"
Hanabi:"WHAT NOW!?"
Neji: "You are alone. You don't have an escort?"
Ah, she seems guilty . She left without permission... 
Neji: "I will escort you to home."
If something happens to Hanabi, Hinata would be angry at me... no, she is never angry at anybody... She would cry. And I would not support it.

       When we arrive close to the principal manor, Hanabi draws me in a small street instead of moving towards the door. Looking at left and right to control that nobody spy us, the small girl whispers me:"I will show you a trick, but if you promise never repeat it."
Neji: "Promise"

She draws me in a cul-de-sac and pulls... a piece of the wall!!!  In fact, there is a hole in the wall, camouflaged very well. The opening is small, Hanabi threads there but me... I don't think I can. Well, with my current form, I can't, with a transformation, I would success. Other side of the wall, I recognize one of the interior gardens of the Hyuuga manor. It's a  fault in the protection system of the house, but it is quite useful.
Hanabi:"Goodbye, Neji-niisan."
Neji: "Goodbye, Hanabi-sama. Transmit my greetings to your sister."
Hanabi put the camouflage back and I find myself before a wall again. Very well done, this secrete way.
I feel anxious despite everything. What did happen so that Hinata was obliged to send her sister clandestinely to notify me? I want go to see what happen with Hinata herself, but my Byakugan reveals me Hanabi looking at me and  guarding of the other side of the wall.
 I understood , I don't have the right to enter. Pest of sister !

    I had difficulty to sleep this night and I am completely wild-looking arriving at the District of Chuunins, when Koichi jumps before me and starts to shake me while howling: "NEJI!!! what happened?! What happened to Hinata!?"
The whole group of other Chuunin surround us and question "Neji, what happened to Hinata?"
Still half asleep, I have difficulty to understand: "Hein?... what... Hinata?..."
The strident voice of Tenten resounds in my ear: "She was withdrawn from the chuunins! you must know  why!"

Withdrawn Hinata...... of... the chuunins?!!! The news awake me completely:
Neji: "WHAAAAAAAAT??????"
Tenten:"Ah? You didn't know, you either?"

       I run towards the manor, imitated by the others. But Guard on entry refuses to let us pass and don't provide us any information... the secrete way! I give the group of Chuunin which storm in front of the door the slip and I join the cul-de-sac with precaution. A transformation into a child, and I pass without problem by the passage. The interior garden is desert and by chance(actually, it's undoubtedly done for that) window of the room of Hinata is very close. I examin quickly the room.
The room is empty... and Hanabi sat by ground in the medium, the eyes reddens and the hands holding her knees.She seems to have cried. I whisper:"Hanabi". The young girl joined me in a bush in the garden.
Neji:  Hanabi, what happen to Hinata? Where is she?"
Hanabi: "Left to Kaishima... to marry... she left this morning..."

chapter 4: Neji goes rescue

Under the shock, I don't say anything. I can't believe in it. I don't want to believe in it. But Hanabi continues: "Hinata was promised in marriage to the older son of Kaiho, the most powerful family of Kaishima. As a sign of alliance between our families... they left this morning while taking her along."
Neji: "And she didn't say anything?! she lets them do? You let them do it?!!! You let them take along your sister!!! "
Hanabi: "I... I can't do anything" she sobs  "And besides, you either you could not doing anything, Neji!! "
It's like a dagger which has just inserted in my heart. To let take along Hinata so far, let them  marry her with a stranger...! No! No!

        Without thinking more , I go out the house and leaves Hanabi sobbing in the garden. Then I run on the road of Kaishima. It is still early, I catch them up, they didn't walk too much way. My thoughts whirl in my head. I don't know what I will do... but I will not let them carry you, Hinata!

        After a long race, I further see on the road the dust from a group moving. It's perhaps them. A little common sens finally reachs me, accompanied by a minimun of strategic thought... but strategy was never my strong point. I hide in the trees to estimate the situation. The convoy consists of a palanquin and ten guards by horse and  by foot. My glance transpierces the worked walls of the palanquin to be posed on the woman sitting at the interior.

        My heart beats stronger recognizing Hinata. she is her, no error possible, even if her face is covered with make-up, even if her silhouette is wrapped heavy kimono of red silk and brocart, even if her dark hair are covered with a gold cap. She is Hinata. she could be so beautiful wearing that... but her glance. The glance of a child given up in an unknown world, an  obscure forest. The glance of a small girl who has just lost all her family... a glance threated to be submerged by despair at any moment. It hurts me so badly, so badly to see her like that...

        I want to run towards her and to take along her elsewhere, towards a softer life. But I realize that I can't do nothing . Hinata will never agree to come with me, not to endanger our family and the village. Kaiho are powerful. And where could we flee? There is no possible escape for Ninja. No other way. I feel the tears running on my cheeks... no... no... don't take along the only person who counts for me... don't take along my reason of living... I must find an idea, I must find a plan... I need it!

        In spite of the tears which scramble my vision, I follwo the road with my glance. And I see the bridge. The bridge! The most direct road towards Kaishima needs to cross a precipice between two cliff at the bottom of which runs an agitated river. This precipice is the exact border between Konoha and Kaishima. A bridge was built there, but it was built to be easily destryed in the event of conflict and  cut the accesses between the villages. If I brreak this bridge before they reach it, they must return in Konoha. I know, I save just time . But in Konoha, I could count on other Chuunins to help me salvage Hinata. And on Naruto. Although I have difficulty to admit it.

        My plan threat, I  go to the action. I quickly pass beyond the convoy hiding me in the bushes and I hide close of one of the pillar of the bridge. Gai-Sensei... it's the moment to use the techniques which you taught  to me... I must have the force to break these pillars. Making  chakra explodes in the interior of me, I concentrate all my force on the pillars... Alas...!  even if severely damaged, the pillars held out. And the first walkers arrives at the bridge, I must turn over to hide in the trees, any hope lost... I must look at the palaquin engaging on this bridge, I must look at  Hinata like a victim which be taken along to the torturer...

    When a sinister cracking resounds. The weight of the palaquin, the horses and the men made break the pillars already partially break and the bridge begins to rock. Panic seizes all... people  grip where they can, the carriers stumble and I see with terror the palaquin falling in the gap. NO! Hinata!

    After a fall which seems to last an eternity, the palaquin falls in the river. Hinata, whydidn't you jump out of the palaquin? You are able of it!! My spirit has a time lag on my body which already plunged to her rescue. I see, as in a nightmare, Hinata in the palaquin taken by the river and sink . Blocked by heavy clothing, Hinata can't free herself of the vehicle which drags her increasingly deep. I see her despair, her panic. I am here,Hinata!

    I success reaching the palaquin, breaking the door, slicing with my kunai the kimono which retained her captive and I finally draw towards surface an unconscious Hinata .

chapter 5: together

   The flow carries us both and the bridge is already out of sight. Gathering my energy, I jump out of water while carrying Hinata and I maintenances to the top of the wave. I deposit Hinata on the firm ground of a small beach. She still breathes. I see her waking. She opens her eyes, she sees me... she seems disorientated.
Neji: "Hinata, it is me, Neji. You recognizes me? "
Hinata "They.... sold... me"
Her voice  is covered by rumble of the river. She looks at me fixedly, her  eyes opened wide and continues to speak with a deaf voice.
Hinata: "They... got rid of me... they sold  me! Sold! SOOOOOOLD! "
She howls on this last word, She lets burst her despair and continues to howl like a wolf in death.
Neji: "Hinata, keep silent! they will find us! "
But nothing calms her, She cries and shouts, completely submerged by her emotions, all that she drove back the last days... and undoubtedly since more a long time.
Neji: "Hinata! "I  seizure her by the shoulders and I shake her a little but She continues to howl. shut up... shut up... I must keep her silent or they will take her again!!

        Well, I admits that there exists other means to silence somebody... but in the inspiration of the moment... I... I stuck my lips against hers. She had a start. But I held her firmly. It worked, She was keep silent... I would have... I would have stop... but I continued to kiss her... I felt like a shiver propagating in her shoulders, she relaxed... and answered my kiss. , My spirit has switch . Short-circuit. HS. Yeah, I believe it was this time when I stopped thinking. When her so soft lips opened, when our tongues met.
    I don't know when my hands had moved from her shoulders, but I found of them in her hair and the other caress her naked back...... right,  I had torn her kimonos with my kunais...
        An alarm bell resounded in my head and I tried to move away from Hinata. But she was studded with me. No, don't hold me like that, Hinata.Don't hug my chest, don't you hear my heart which will explode? Don't look at me with your begging eyes, desperate. No,don't tear the few fabric which still masked the most tender parts of your body.
        I could not resist to you, Hinata... I cannot resist to my name which you whisper with semi-voice, intersected of sobs... I can't resist to your hands which attract me towards your  body trembling of cold... I cannot resist to you... Hinata

You don't cry any more. I hear your calm breathing .
You aren't cold any more. I feel the heat of your body under mine.
But I don't dare to raise my head posed on your chest. I am afraid to meet your glance.
I feel that you caress my back timidly with the end of your fingers.
It give  me courage again. Courage to look at you. You smile to me. Your glance is sad, but you smile to me... a smile which is only for me. I pick your smile with my lips.
I would like to stay like that until the end of the world.

Chapter 6 to 10