chapter 16: night meeting .

Hanabi slips into the obscure streets of the city in silence. She must see Neji. She has questions to ask  him. Without being seen by the guards, enter in the manor of the branch family, and go to the apartments of his cousin. But she finds only his wife there, with a man who isn't Neji....

An affair?  Hanabi jumps in the room and makes lights. The Neji's woman and one of the intendants assistants raise with an expression of terror, worsened when they recognize Hanabi Hyuga. But she puts a finger on her lips, asking  silence. She whispers: "Where is Neji?"
Korine: "He... He's not there...."
Hanabi: "Where is he? If you answer me, I would forget what I just saw."
The two faulty ones look down, then the woman answer:"We  don't live together anymore. Neji lives in an apartment downtown, with her maitress. He's independent... the family of the main branch don't know it. I give you his address."

When she has the address, the small girl disappears without a word, leaving behind her the two adults dubious and surprised. The small girl runs towards Neji's apartment . She didn't know that he had cut his bond with the family. A true rebel. Very interesting.

At the door, she knocks without worrying about the late hour. she knocks a long time, when the door opens brutally. A man hand takes hers and draws her violently inside, then closes again the door behind her. But Hanabi isn't anxious, it's just  Neji . Now he probe the surroundings using his Byakugan, seeking any trace of danger... or guards of the Hyuga family. Not seeing anything, he relax a little before turning a severe face towards Hanabi.
Neji: "Hanabi-sama... you still left without authorization? and in the middle of the night!"
Hanabi: "I have questions to ask you."
But Hanabi stops  when she see Neji's girlfriend to enter in the room, not completly awake. She had read in the inquiry report that she resemble Hinata a little.
The investigators are wrond. she doesn't resemble Hinata.
She IS Hinata!
Hanabi leaps in the arms of the young woman while shouting: "Sister!!!!!"

Surprised Yuuki can only catch the young girl who explodes in sob while tightening herself against her older sister. 
Who would be able to recognize Hinata inside Yuuki? The timid teenager had become a blooming woman. Black eyes and hair like a night without moon, wearing clothes emphasizing the beauty of her body...  no, really, nobody could have find Hinata by looking at Yuuki. But at the bottom of herself, Hinata is always the same, soft and quiet, not  very assured. Only the pure glance of Hanabi could transpierce the outside envelope of the first sight, and recognize the liking heart of her sister. 
The two sisters embrace in silence,sharing the intense happiness of the meeting. 

Patiently, Neji waits until the two sisters calm, while supervising the neighbourhoods with attention. If Hanabi doesn't return quickly at home, the Hyuga family will discover her departure, leave to  search her..... and will be too interested about Yuuki and him. 

Hanabi: "Sister!! I was afraid so much! Initially, I believed that you had died, and then the family wants to find you dead or alive, and then investigators are in the other ninja countries, and then....."
yuuki: " Hanabi, calm down. I'm here."
Neji: "Hanabi, you're a Ninja, then acts as a Ninja and calm down. You must tell us the last events exactly... "
Yuuki: "Neji, don't  bo so hard with Hanabi..."
Neji: "We don't have much time. Hanabi must return to the manor as quickly as possible... "
Hanabi: "I won't return! I stay with Hinata!! I hate them!"
Neji: "Don't call her Hinata anymore, but Yuuki! You don't understand? She hides to escape to our family! You are endangering her by your whims! "
Yuuki: "Neji! "
Neji: "If you stay here, it's as if you give Hinata to them yourself!"

Hanabi lowers her eyes, she understood all that. But it's so difficult to listen to the duty when all her heart wish the opposite. Hanabi seldom makes whims, she always follows the rigid way imposed by the clan. Her only deviance was always Hinata, her only refuge, the only person with who she can follow her heart.
Yuuki: "Hanabi, you muwt go home. Everyone will be very anxious if you disappear... You're the most important Hyuga child... "
Hanabi: "No!It's you! You're the older, then as long as you will live, you're the heiress!!"

The heart of Hinata  tightens at the mention of her so heavy burden : heiress.
Yuuki: ", Hanabi. Now it's you. You are strongest and...."
Hanabi: "It's the rule: the heir is the older. No possible dispute. We won't change an ancestral rule of the clan like that."
Neji: "I agree with you on the fact that Hinata is the heiress of the clan, Hanabi. But did you think well  what that implies?"
Yuuki leaps and stand before Neji: "SHUT UP! I... I don't want that you speak about it!... please, Neji....."

Neji looks her with attention, reading her emotions on her face. Then he closes his eyes and leans towards her, until their faces touch. The face marked with a mortal black seal touch the black fringe of Yuuki with tenderness. This black seal of the secondary branch, the black seal that Yuuki wish with all her heart to see disappear from the face of her love... The seal she never want to see on the face of her sister.
Neji: "... I know, Yuuki."

Feeling forgotten, Hanabi draws Yuuki by the hand abruptly. She had just understand that Neji is Hinata's boyfriend and that don't please her. Hanabi doesn't like to lend her older sister. But for the moment, Neji is the only person who's able to protect Hinata, then she entrusts her to him.... for the moment. Now completely calm, Hanabi starts to think. Hinata is alive, she knows where she is, it's better than nothing.
Hanabi: "I will return, Sis.... No, Yuuki. I will return to see you."
yuuki: "Hanabi... Be careful... "
Neji: "I accompany her back, Yuuki, don't worry."
yuuki: "Thank you, Neji."

The two Hyuga girls embrace with force, then following her cousin, Hanabi leaves toward her house. Neji brings her until their small secrete way and tll her a last recommendation before leaving: "Paid attention to what you say. Don't put her in danger !"
Hanabi: "I know."
Then she passes by the hole of the wall and enter her room in silence.

Yuuki didn"t fall asleep again and she awaits Neji a little anxious. More and more of people know who she is. They are more ally, but  more risks to be discovered too.
Yuuki: "Neji... I'm anxious...."
Neji: "Yuuki, you must sleep. Spare your health "
She goes against him and she surrounds her with his arms to reassure her.
Neji: "don't worry about Hyuga, my angel. Worry  only about you and our child"

Chapter 17: a working day.

Because she didn"t sleep much the night, Yuuki goes out of the bed with difficult. Neji's mission starts later and she take care not to awake him. Since the adventure with Naruto, Yuuki wear her black lenses even the night. It's a new type of lenses, that she can several days without problem. Even if someone surprise her in the middle of the night, she always has the black eyes. The only dangerous moment  is when she must change the pair of lenses, like this morning. After having carefully checked the absence of any camera, spies or others, Yuuki withdraws her lenses and take a new pair, when she's surprised by her reflection in the mirror.
Two large white eyes are looking at her. She had taken the habit to see herself with black eyes. Two large white eyes, signs of her being a member of the Hyuga family.
In the asleep spirit of Yuuki, this idea brutally become essential.
She's Hyuga. For always and ineluctably Hyuga.
She can't flee this reality eternally.

Thoughtful, Yuuki leaves to the medical cabinet. Some visitor, as always. Yuuki take inks with top secret composition and trace complicated signs on an arm. Then she murmurs a jutsu. The drawing shines and contracts until the size of a coin. She succeeds. The visitor, a Chunin who leaves on mission tomorrow, will have his arm protected from the paralysis. The following visitor is taken care by Dr. Isha, assisted by Yuuki. This Jounin lost consciousness while returning of mission, and the cause is a seal on his hand. The Doctor quickly trace a seal-parade and the jounin awakes. 

Then Yuuki leaves to seek a scroll of technique in the library at the request of the Doctor. They are very old seals, which are forbidden for the non-specialists and kept in the residence of Hokage. With her authorization and narrowly supervised by an Anbu, Yuuki take the scroll and recopy the requested seals. But her Byakugan in action reveals much more to her! Yuuki was unaware of the existence of this room full with scroll about seals, and there's no doubt that  many secret techniques kept here could be useful to her... But she'll see that later, the anbu supervising her shouldn't have any suspicion.

She complets her work and go back to the Doctor and helps him to prepare the seal on a parchment, ordered by the hokage for a mission of class S.

Still some visitors, and it's the pause of midday. Yuuki eats a bowl of ramen and returns to the medical cabinet. Nobody's here yet, she'll be alone. Yuuki locks her office carefully, takes some sheets and brushes and concentrates her chakra in her eyes. Her vision spread in the villages and focus in the room old seals scroll. Her glance traverses different roller before stopping on the one about control seal. Her byakugan intensifies and her vision plunges in the heart of the scroll, reading the characters rolled up with the old paper. An invaluable knowledge which she patiently recopies on the sheets. Then she passes to another scroll. There're extremely interesting techniques... The afternoon consultations make her stop her research, and she works with enthusiasm,  happy by her discoveries.

chapter 18: discussion at Hyuga manor

At Hyuga manor, It seems that Hanabi ceased her whim. She’s eating with all the family at the table this evening. But she stays quiet and don’t speak during all the meal, not even answering anybody.
Hiashi: "Hanabi, Stop being childish."

The little girl doesn’t even blink. The greatest pride and hope of the Hyuga being so hostile toward the family is a bother. Order and discipline should be recalled to her ! But she’s extremely strong against the pressure. She’s a future great shinobo without any, provided that she doesn’t use her talents against the family.  The white eyes of the adult can always read her resentment on her face. It’s the expression of somebody who’s likely to become their enemy....

After the meal, Hanabi takes her Shuriken and goes to train in the garden. The parents and the great-parents reunite to discuss the matter. The situation is worse than they think. Dissensions reappear between Hyuga’s members is a weakness,which could someday damage the whole family. The reconciliationwith the branch family had strengthened the power of the clan, but the revolt of Hanabi threatens the new balance.
The grandmother: "Hinata disappeared, Neji doesn’t have a child yet, and now Hanabi who’s  opposed to us. The survival of our blood is threatened... "
Hiashi: "It’s only a momentary revolt."
Hiashi’s wife: "You underestimate your daughter.... her resentment will only grow if we don’t do something, like the Neji’s hatred against Hinata formerly."

Once again, the memory of Hinata comes to haunt the conversation. To get rid of this cumbersome heiress is not so easy.
Hiashi: " Hanabi doesn’t direct her anger toward the right people. The culprits are Kaishima’s men who lost Hinata...."
Hiashi’s wife: "We sent her there. We thought that it was the best decision, but Hanabi suffered from this separation. She rejects all the fault on us now."
Hiashi: "We won’t reconsider our previous decisions. The important thing is to defuse Hanabi’s rebellion quickly "
Hiashi’s wife: "We could ask Hanabi to help us in the search of Hinata. I am sour that she’s still alive...."
The grandmother: "the chances are weak."
Hiashi’s wife: "I am sour. She’s my daughter, I feel that she is alive."

Hiashi launches a short glance to his wife. Hinata and Hanabi inherited  of her sensitivity. But it’s what currently poses problem to them.
Hiashi: " Shinobis shouldn’t reason with their emotions..."

His wife answers nothing. She’s perfectly conscious of her duties and would never answer against the word of her chief and husband. But her desaprobation can be read on her face.
The grandmother: "If we find Hinata, we could reconcile with Hanabi. But what could we do with Hinata after finding her ? Set her in mission is too dangerous and the marriage with Kaishima’s family is cancelled."
Hiashi’s wife: "We could marry her to someone in the village. In the best case, we could make enter her husband in Hyuga family. In the worst case, she’ll live with him outside of the family but in Konoha and under high protection."
Hiashi: "About the seal..."
Hanabi: "I don’t want Hinata to be sealed!"

The voice of  the young girl makes the parents start by surprise. Opening one of the door, Hanabi enters. She heard all the meeting without being discovered. Really, she’ a future very great Shinobi!
Hanabi: "If I help you to find Hinata, you promise not to seal her and keep her in Konoha ?!
Hiashi:’wife "Hanabi, don’t be insolent..."

Hiashi analyzes with attention the face of his daughter. She shows such an insurance... she knows more about Hinata than them, without doubt. He must yield a little, to gain more.
Hiashi: "I promise it, as the chief of the clan. When we find Hinata, we won’t harm her, and She will live here. But it will be your task to prevent her to leave. "
Hanabi thinks a little time. Hinata could return to the house like before. She too will be happy, undoubtedly. She seemed so sad when she had left the house... Refusing to admit that Hinata loves Neji, Hanabi doesn't see any difficulty now.
Hiashi: "Now, Hanabi, help us to find Hinata."
Hanabi: "I already found her."

chapter 19: Hyuga dramas, evening

The evening is merry in the small apartment of Yuuki and Neji. Her discoveries had put the girl in a state close to the euphoria. The two lovers are literally swimming in happiness, until the bell sounds.
Through the closed door, Yuuki recognizes Hanabi and wants to open to her, but Neji retains her with a serious face. By habits, he looked at the surroundings. And he saw that they were encircled. A little further in the street, Hiashi Hyuga is looking toward them. When his glance crosses Hinata's, her face becomes pale and she starts to tremble. They're in a trap. She is so much disturbed that she doesn't manage anymore to keep her Byakugan. If she could it, she could have seen the face of her father with a not very usual expression.

The bell continues to sound impatiently. Neji draws behind him a trembling Yuuki and opens the door before a happy Hanabi. She runs towards her older sister, but stops when she see her about to melt in tear. A little dubious, she tries to speak to her. 
Hanabi: "Sister, all is good, you know. You'll be able to return to the house... The parents agreed... and they have promised... " 
Yuuki speaks in a sob "I... didn't want to come.. back ..." 
Hanabi looks at her sister without understanding and starts when Neji says hardly: "Then you too sold your sister, Hanabi! I believed that you want to protect her." 
Hanabi: " I do it!" 

Seeing that Hiashi is approaching, Neji answers nothing to Hanabi and stays in front of the sobbing Yuuki, between his father and her. Hiashi and Neji looks each one  fixedly during a few moments, then the chief of clans breaks the silence. 
Hiashi: "Neji, why did you keep Hinata here without preventing us?" 
Neji: "To protect her. I formerly promised to my father that I will always protect Hinata. And I will always do it." 
The hand of Hiashi slaps Neji violently, in response to his insolence. 

Hearing a moaning in his back, Neji turns without bother about Hiashi and the pain on his cheek anymore. Yuuki has just fall down, sitting on the ground, sobbing hard. She sobs and and cries in an uncontrolled way, with her eyes dilated by the shock.
Neji: "Yuuki!  Yuuki, hold on!"

Focused on the sobbing Hinata, Neji doesn't even pay attention to the other spectators of the scene. Kneeled near her, he tries to speak to her, but she doesn't seem to hear him. Hanabi is upset to see her sister like that. Now she's feeling guilty, she moves back and want to flee. Hiashi makes a sign for the guards who encircle the building, before catching her younger daughter by the hand. Drawing Hanabi, Hiashi leaves toward  the Hyuga manor. All these childish way must cease.  Before the guards can approach her, Neji  takes Yuuki in his arms, and leaves towards the manor too. They can't escape now.

All the family is here to welcome Hinata, but shed's always crying and she clings hopelessly to Neji, refusing even to answer her mother. Hanabi is always firmly held by Hiashi, but all her insurance disappeared, like any trace of resistance, mined by the conscience of her error. The servants are running in all sides in a completely useless way, whereas the Hyuga members stay motionless, without knowing what to do nor what to say. The members of the secondary branch are here too, but Neji is unaware of them and he leaves behind a servant towards  Hinata's room. Her futon is already installed on the ground and Neji put her in. Servants run with hot tea and a calming medicine, then they withdraw. Seeing that Yuuki is falling asleep under the effect of the drug, Neji sit beside her. He don't want to elave her alone.

Nobody comes to disturb Neji while he takes care on Hinata.. The others of the family are holding council, but Neji can't concerned about it. Hinata only is in his thoughts.

After a long wait without sleeping, Neji sees finally the Yuuki 's eyes opens. When she recognize her lover, the girl smiles. Then  her face darkens when she understands that it's her old room.
Neji: "How do you feel, Yuuki?"
Hinata: " Fine... I... I don't remember very well, what happened?"
Neji: "The Hyugas found us, and we were brought back to the manor."
He doesn't remind her the treason of Hanabi.
Hinata: "What we will become?"
Neji: "I don't know...."
They stay quiet both. They would like to embrace, feeling the warmth of the other to comfort themselves! But in this manor, where all is fixed and subjected to ancestral rules, they don't dare to show more their culprit relation.
Hinata: "Neji..."
He looks at her, she has a calm but determined face.
Hinata: "Let's go. I'm ready to face them."
Neji: " I will always be with you, Yuuki. "
Their hands joins, their face touchs. Together.

chapter 20: Hyuga's drama, morning

Most of the family members are here, sitting in the reception room, this morning. When the sliding door opens before Hinata and Neji, the silence settles and all the attention goes on them. Hanabi only lowers her head instead of raising it.
All these glances which are fixed on her make Hinata tremble, but she manages to keep her composure. She must stay strong. She withdrew her lenses to she her white eyes, and her long hair is carefully capped, but she kept her clothing of the day before, refusing to put on the hyuga traditional Kimono. She isn't anymore the old Hinata. She and Neji advance to the room center, facing the clan chief, Hiashi.

In the heavy silence, Hiashi rises and advances towards them, but Hinata speaks first.
Hinata: "What do you want from me?"
What kind of answers are possible to such a question? None. There's no answer. Hyugas don't want anything from Hinata, they don't expect anything of her since a long time, they don't know what to do with her. Too different, she doesn't enter inside their preset mould, they don't know anymore how to react. Then they  don't answer.
Hiashi: "Hinata, your unconscious behaviour  created a great disorder in the clan, threatening our balance! What answer do you have to this?"
Hinata: "The disorder was created only by your arbitrary and unjust decisions!"

Usually, Hiashi is calm and masters himself. But for the second time in a day, his emotions overcomes him and his hand rises to slap her daughter. But Neji interposed and blocked his arm. All the room resound  from such an audacity. Hiashi's anger turns to the young man who faces him.
Hiashi: "How dare you, Neji?! First you hide Hinata from our family, then you dare to touch her in a unforgivable way! You dishonoured her, whereas you are cousins! Your crime is unforgivable! You deserve an exemplary punishment!"

But he doesn't have the time to form with his hand the signs feared by the secondary family members, the signs which activates the seal on their head. Another hand blocks his movements and hold his fingers tight firmly. It's Hinata's hand, which holds her father without weakening. In her other hand, a kunai shines. Then she turns it towards her own throat.
Hinata: "If you do  something to Neji, I'll cut my throat."

Her threatening voice make the others Hyuga stop as they were raising to help the clan chief. Nobody dares to move anymore while the father and the daughter's glance clash, maintained one by the other. Hinata won't yield, she's decided to go until the end, and her father reads it in her eyes with horror. But he doesn't yield either, he's the chief of the clan, he just can't let pass that...
A voice resounds in the silent room: " I'll cut my throat too, if something happens to Hinata!" Pointing a knife towards her, Hanabi raises and faces the glance of her father. She decides , this time, to truly help Hinata.

Now,  all the younger generation is bound by the same fate and is drawn up against the chief of clan. They are united,  main and secondary branch family, sisters and cousins, more united than their parents were, united in life and death as a strong clan must be united. Hiashi's anger alleviates and leaving place to a great sadness. He must recognize that they're right. The older  Hyugas are responsible for the disorders and the dissensions inside their clan. Whereas the Hyuga's young people could understand themselves and ally.

Hiashi ceases his fighting against Hinata and she releases him. Looking at the face of her father, she reads tiredness and sadness there. He doesn't say anything, and Hinata speaks with her soft voice: "Let us live the life  which we have chosen."
Then she smile to Hanabi. Taking Neji's hand, she leaves the room with him. They walk straight. They're going home, in their small apartment. They're free.

chapter 21 to 25