chapter 21: after the crisis

A few weeks passed and nothing occurred since. Hanabi came several times to visit them, but no other member of their family. Hanabi, said that  the Hyuga manor's atmosphere is sad, and thata Korine benefitted from the occasion to obtain divorce withou trouble. She stayed in the secondary house however, with her lover.

Now  Hinata can life with discovered face, and her friends chunins copiously celebrated her "return". Tenten burst of laughing when she learns that Neji actually lives with Hinata, but some other people seemed to disaprove this union between cousins. But for Hinata and Neji, nothing could sully their happiness.

 The small daily routine took again its rights. Hinata engaged again as Chunin, but with a specialization in medicine and seals, and she doesn't leave anymore on external mission. She chooses it herself and made the request to the Hokage. Except when exceptional case requires her competences, she'll remain at the village or near it. First, she doesn't want to endanger the village by letting her Byakugan fall into enemy's hands. In addition, she doesn't want to endanger her child. And finally and especially, she studies the seals with eagerness under the direction of Dr. Isha.

 This week, Neji is on mission in water country and Hinata go home alone. But when she arrives before her door, she drops her bag from the surprise to recognize her parents who were waiting there. Not knowing what to say, Hinata opens the door, let them enter and sit down in the living room. Then she go in the kitchen to prepare some tea. Now, they're sitting all the three in silence in front of their teacup.
Hiashi: "Hinata... I have a request to present to you, in the name of the Hyuga clan..... Do you accept to take my place and to become the chief of the Hyuga clan?"
The surprise make Hinata dumb and she can only look at her father with round eyes.
Hiashi: "We discussed much in the clan. You are the heiress... and especially you were able to join together the two divided branches of our family. We would like that you, and Neji, take now the direction of Hyugas and that you bring together the two families by your marriage."
Hinata: " Marry us??"
Hiashi: "We must ask an exemption from the Hokage to marry between cousins, but it's possible. I think that it will be accepted."
Hinata: "..Father.... I.. I don't know..... I must speak about it with Neji before... "
Hiashi: "We will await your answer, Hinata."
The departure of her parents leaves Hinata thoughtful. She waits that Neji returns to speak about it, but also herself has already some ideas of answer.

One week later, Neji and Hinata announce at the Hyuga manor that they want to meet the chief of clan.
Hinata: "Father... Neji and I decided to accept to become the head of the Hyuga family, and to marry. There will be nothing anymore but only one Hyuga family. "
Hiashi: "Thank you both, Hinata, Neji..."
The decision is then announced to all the members of the clan. A date for the marriage and the transfer of power is fixed and the preparations of these events start quickly.

 After the evening meal, Hinata and her parents are alone in the garden. It's a moment of calm and peace, a moment when the hearts can open.
Hiashi: "Hinata, we have took much arbitrary and unjust decision, especially towards you...."
Hinata: "You never asked me my opinion, nor what I wanted to do.... especially .. this marriage.... I felt... sold."
Hiashi's wife: "Hinata, we organized this marriage for the interest of our two families, but for your too. We thought that the Shinobi life was too dangerous for you, and that it was not appropriate. You would have been sheltered in Kaishima, and you could have been happy over there."
Hinata: "No, I couldn't have been happy. I am Shinobi  by choice... "
Hiashi: "We were mistaken... Will you forgive us, Hinata? We thought really that what we did were right... "
Hinata stays quiet one moment.
Hinata: "Yes..."
The calm silence of the night  prolonge, There's no need there to say more. Time will still be necessary before Hinata and her parents really speak freely together, but it will come, gently.
Hinata: "Father... I want to speak with mother, alone."
Hiashi: "Well, I leave you between women. Good Evening, Hinata."
Hinata: "good evening, father."

Staying alone with her mother, Hinata hesitates a little and nervously plays with her fingers. Her mother lets her do patiently, waiting until she speaks.

Hinata: "Mother... I'm pregnant.....Not of Neji, don't worry like that."
Hinata keep silent a moment before speaking again.
Hinata: "I won't say who is  the true father of the child. I promised."
The mother: "I'm happy for you Hinata. We didn't want to speak  about the problem of children for the moment... but you were responsible and you think about it yourself."

Hinata doesn't undeceive her mother  concerning the reasons of her maternity and smiles.
Hinata: "We will soon announce it publicly, and Neji will be the father of the child. I want that nobody other know that he's not really the father. You will keep the secrecy, mother?"
the mother: "can I nevertheless inform your father? "
Hinata: "I... yes, I agree. I can't myself speak to him about this... "
The mother: "We will keep the secrecy, I promise."

Surprising Hinata, her mother gently passes her hand in her hair.
the mother: "I'm so proud of you, my daughter."

Chapter 22: Peaceful garden

The evening is clear and Hinata stays alone in the garden after the conversation with her parents. The calm make her  forget  almost all the bad memories which haunt this house where she grow. Not far from her, Neji looks at her. When he saw that Hinata's father returned in the house, he left to see her. But as she were talking with her mother, he waited. He didn't listen to what the two women said, but he saw the face of Hinata lighting. She seems happy, and Neji doesn't want to disturb her.

Hinata  turns over towards the house, looks with her Byukugan and starts by seeing Neji so close. 
Hinata: " Neji, you were here?" 
Neji: "For some time, yes." 
He approaches and sit close to her, attracting her against him. 
Neji: "You seem happy..." 
Hinata: "I spoke to my mother, about the child. She accepted it, and she will keep the secrecy." 
Neji: "It will be our child, and that of anybody of other." 
Hinata smiles to Neji, before new concerns disturbs her. 
About Naruto, will the child have is blond hair? And what the Fox did him? 
neji: "a concern, my angel?" 
Hinata: "Nothing... Not everyone will like it,  to have a children between two so close cousins..." 
Neji:  "Let's them say! In any event, nobody will dare to make any remark loud, because our child will be Hyuga. Our clan is feared and respected in the village, enough to make conceal the scandalmongering." 
Hinata: "It's true, our clan has considerable privilege nevertheless..." 
Neji: "It's normal, we're the most powerful clan of Konoha. Our child will have the best conditions to become a great Ninja." 
Hinata: "But if it doesn't want to become ninja..." 
Neji: "We will support it nevertheless." 
Laughing,  she tightens more against him.
Hinata: "Neji, you remember...? In this garden.... you said to me that you would protect me and that I was the only Hyuga heiress."
Neji: "And it's always valid. You're the only and single chief of clan, I'm here only to support and protect you "
Hinata: "Thank you, Neji... It's because you're near me that I found the force to advance."
Neji: "No, Hinata. The force always was inside you. I just protected you, so that you can make leave this force. Today our clan started to change, thanks to you."
Hinata: "But the future of our clan won't be neither without you, nor without Hanabi. I would need your assistance to both, of your force."
Neji: "Count on us."
Hinata: " Neji, are you still angry against Hanabi....?"
Neji: ".... between her and me, that was never the great love...."
Hinata: " Fortunately for me!! But you should forgive her. Even if she's  already a frightening Shinobi, she remains a child subjected to a strong pressure and who has a great emotional need. She feels very alone, you know...."
Neji: " I'm not angry with her anymore, Hinata, don't worry. Everyone can do mistakes.. especially when we're young...."
Now they laugh both, remembering the old hatred which bounded their families, and which they exceed.  Together, they went from hatred to love. Together, they will follow their road in the joy as in the sorrow.

Chapter 23: Hyuga, chief of clan.

Hinata doesn't wear a Kimono. She wear a battle dress and her emblem of the Leaf. Only two discrete blazons on her clothing announce her membership of the Hyuga clan. But today, it's as a chief of this clan that all inclin in front of her. Today is the day of the transfer of power between Hiashi Hyuga and Hinata Hyuga. The totality of the Hyuga family is present as well as the VIP of Konoha.

All the previous day and all the night, Hinata was sick because of anguish about this ceremony and this crowd. But this morning, she dominate herself successful and she stands proud like a future chief of Hyuga.

A speech of his father, one of her grandmother, then the symbolic handing-over of the blazon of the family to Hinata, and the assembly inclines.

Chief of clan Hinata Hyuga.

Contracted, she looks in the crowd facing her been,  where Neji is and discreetly holds a small paper in his hand. Hinata slightly concentrates her Byakugan without making appear a single vein on her face ( fruit of a long practice as Yuuki) in order to read the text writen on the paper. It's her official speech. She and Neji worked a long time on it and have writen it, knowing well that the day of the ceremony, Hinata would be too much panicked to remember or improvise a correct speech. In the attentive silence of the room, the new chief of clan starts to speak with her soft voice. Then as the words leave, her voice strengthens and becomes more powerful. Hinata speaks with passion about a new reconciled Hyuga clan, about a plain and strong family facing to adversity, about a clan welded and devoted to the village of Konoha. A thunder of applause punctuates her words when silence falls down in the room.
The new chief of clan showed a future for which they want to fight.

Then everyone comes to congratulate Hinata while the maids arrive with furnished plates. The reception can start. The guests disperse in the room, the ones approaching strategically the dishes, the others greeting such or such person who comes especially for the occasion. Neji joined Hinata to help her to face, but also to protect her from any attack. In the Ninja country, we know very well what assassins can do, and this kind of meeting is a dreamed place to achieve a murder. But fortunately, nothing sully this memorable day, and everyone could celebrate with ostentation the new chief.

 It's only when the last guests leaves  that Neji and Hinata allow themselves to return on their apartment too. In their small apartment? no, surely no, first for reason of safety, but also... the chief of the clan, to live in a small poor apartment...? It isn't serious!! Thus Hinata and Neji moved. Neither at the principal manor, nor at the secondary manor. To mark the fusion of the two branches, they made arrange a building on the principal domain, far  from the old manor. It's their house now, and the head office of the clan, since the office of the chief is there from now on. But as the night is advanced, Neji and Hinata walk towards the room and fall together asleep on their bed without changing clothes.

Drop by drop, the days pass. While she dresses this morning, Hinata looks at her silhouette in the mirror with pride. Her belly becomes very round. She doesn't enter any more in her clothes and  had to buy new one for pregnancy. She's happy. She takes weight well regularly and the Doctor is very satisfied. All occurs well for the mother and the child. for the future father to, in spite of a light recrudescence of possessivity. The only black spot which crumples the gossips of Konoha is that the father and the mother are still not married. The marriage is planned for later, after the birth of the children. Definitely, these young people don't respect anything, normally we marry before having children.

 After having looked herself in the mirror, Hinata dresses quickly and leaves to the principal manor, in one of the training rooms. Her teacher is already here, but he would not dare to make any single remark about the chief of clan being late. Since Hinata said that she want to study more the ninja sciences of Seals and Potions, the Hyuga family provides her the best teacher, plus Dr. Isha. Worker and tough, Hinata progresses extremely quickly in her fields. But what her professors don't know is that Hinata studies in secrecy the prohibited seals that she copied in the secret archives of Konoha. There's a seal thta she would like to find, since a long time: a seal which cancel the one of Neji.

 Unfortunately, for some time, she must learn another seal without her professors knowing it, and even without nobody knowing it except Neji. With this simple thought, the heart of Hinata tightens and her hand poses on her belly like to protect it. Her little baby.....

 Like all Hyugas future-parents, Hinata and Neji used many time their Byukugan to look at their child sleeping in Hinata's belly. They looked at it with attention and tenderness, at this very small cluster of flesh in growth. They have seen it to grow and develop, taking form. They know it by heart..................... and thus they could see.... the four tails of fox.
The small girl, because it's a small girl, has four tail of fox.
Her face, all her  body is human... but she has four tails of fox.
Heritage of the Naruto's blood.
Heritage of the demon-Fox who lives in her true father.

Chapter 24: The responsabilities of a chief

During the development of the fœtus, Neji and Hinata saw four outgrowth which appeared and growed on the bottom of the spinal columns. After only few days,  Hinata understood what they could be: tails of Fox. Neji was wondering much more, and ends up to ask his wife, who doesn't seem to worry much, not as much as he thought, and in any case less than him.

Neji: "Hinata… Our child, what happens to her?"

Hinata: "It's…"

She hesitates one moment. She can't betray Naruto. But she can't betray Neji's confidence either. He, who accepts this child even she's not his, who already loves this girl....  He must obtain answers to his questions.

Hinata: "It's.. four tails of Fox." 

Neji: "…what? Tails of Fox? But how? why?... from Naruto? "

Hinata: "Yes."

Neji ponders a few moments in silence. He remembers that he saw Naruto's chakra taking a strange shape when they fought at this famous examination of Chunin. Indeed, it could resemble tails. Maybe they arean hereditary capacity? Neji doesn't know anything about the family of Naruto, he's an orphan. But it wouldn't be exceptionel that Naruto could have Tails of fox. Many ninja clans have genetic capacities, which are out of the commun...and some family are in relation with animals. For example, Kiba's family with dogs.
A Ninja clan who have inherited by blood of Fox? Neji never heard about it, but he knows that some clans hide their capacities. Is Naruto in this kind of clan?

Neji raises his eyes towards Hinata to ask her more. But she shakes her head gently.

Hinata: "I can't say more, Neji."

With a little impatience, he retorts: " I understood well. All that relates to Naruto is secret, I know."

If Neji had been a little older, it would have known the terror of Kyubi and would have immediately understant the bond with Naruto. But Neji blongs to the generation which never heard about the nine tails Fox. The older Ninjas would have been shaken by fear to discover a Fox child, but no Neji and especially no Hinata.

Neji: " How will you do with our family and the village? Everyone will see these tails of Fox, and will ask questions." 

Hinata: "I will hide them. I know already how. With a seal "
 She must hide them, absolutely, as soon as possible. She understands well that  her child would be in danger if someone other discover that the Fox transmitted something to her. She almost complete a Genjustsu seal  which will mislead the other Hyugas about the interior of her belly. But she must invents a more powerful seal for the day of the birth. She works hard on it, with the help of the formula of Naruto's seal and others prohibited seals.

In her office of chief, Hinata audits the accounts quickly. All is in order. But to manage a clan is more work than she thought. Fortunately, although officially withdrawn, her father and his grandmother keep helping her .   Nevertheless, as the Chief of Hyuga clan, she must take the decisions and the responsabilities. The responsability … Suddenly, Hinata understand that ,she must also think about the future of the village. All these problem with her family was a personal problem. But the military power of the village is concerned too. She isn't allowed anymore to take egoist decisions without thinking about the consequences for Konoha. She isn't allowed... to hide to Hokage what happens with Naruto.

It's a terrible decision. What will be the consequence for her, for Naruto, for the child? She made a serious fault by keeping secret the reasons of her pregnancy, since the beginning. And now, she makes another fault when she hides that her child is marked by the Fox. Chief of Hyuga clan. She shouldn't flee her responsibility and her duties towards Konoha. Hinata calls a guard and send him to require an appointment with Hokage, as quickly as possible.

When he comes back from his mission, Neji finds Hinata sitting in her office. But she seems in a deep reflexion, he doesn't disturb her. Hinata hears him going to the kitchen, but doen't calll him. She would like to have him coming with her to reassure and comfort her... but she must talk with the Hokage alone. 
The afternoon, she goes to Hokage's office.

Hokage: " Good afternoon, chief of Hyuga clan. What matter do you want to talk with me ? "

Hinata: "I come… to speak about Kyubi."

When she explain the problem, Hinata does often pauses. And her words are punctuated with hesitation and awkwardnesses. But the hokage lets her finish without intervening. She's still a very young chief of clan. 

Hinata: " You know that the shape of the Fox seal had changed a few months ago. In fact, I discoverde that…. Part of the modification  had been established inside me… so as to form.... a seal of fruitfulness. My child…. Is  Naruto's … The Fox caused my pregnancy. And…. Now, The Baby has…. tails of Fox. Four."
All is told. Hinata feels better. Hokage stays a moment in a pensive silence, a distressing silence for Hinata. 

Hokage: "And What do you want to do with this child, chief of Hyuga clan? "

Surprised that her opinion is asked, Hinata stammers: "But, well  ...... to give her birth, to raise her..."

Hokage: "And about the tails of Fox?"

Hinata: "I'll seal them, with the same type of seal as Naruto's."

The hokage looks at her with an interrogative face.
Hinata: "Naruto was rejected by the Adults of the village because he has the Fox sealed inside. I don't want that my daughter suffers the same rejection, of the same hatred. That's the reason. I want to hide that she's the daughter of the Fox and the daughter of Naruto." 

Hokage: "Who know the real paternity of the child? And the tails of Fox?" 

Hinata: "About the paternity, Neji, Sasuke and me."

Hokage: " And no Naruto? I see, it's Sasuke's will. What a troublesome guy, this one.... and about the four tails?" 

Hinata: "To tell the true, Neji is the first who don't want to tell to Naruto. About the tails, Neji and me only. I find a way that other Hyugas can't see the tails." 

Hokage: "Well, It seems that's a wise decision. Warn me if there's any other change in Naruto's seal, and inform me about the evolution of your daughter. If you need to consult specialists of Great Demons, I would give you their name." 

Hinata: "ah, well, yes, Hokage-sama."

Hinata leaves the office, a little deafened. It's all. Nothing were imposed to her, her decisions were accepted. They were thus right?  The Hokage looks at the leaving girl with a a little tender smile. She takes her first steps in her role of clan chief and VIP of the village. She doesn't have yet the habit to see her words and her coices having so much weight. Concerning the Kyubi, this evolution is disturbing and must be supervised.

Chapter 25: Only one road for two 

Hinata returns with a quiet pace, and rejoins Neji who's training in the garden. He stops when he sees her and asks: "Where did you go ? You still left without escort, it's  dangerous."
Hinata: "I survived without escort all my life, Neji. And I'm still alive. I would not like to be surrounded permanently by vigilant guards."

Neji: "I was at the house, you could have asked me..." 

Without going down in the garden, Hinata passes her arms around Neji's neck. 

Hinata: "Excuse me, I wanted to go there alone. Without you. To have the courage to do it. I don't want to depend on you all the time. It would be a too heavy burden for you. Neji, I went to see the Hokage and I said her... about the tails of Fox."
With an abrupt gesture, Neji releases himself from the arms of the young woman and moves back. In silence, hurt, he walk in the garden before turning again  to Hinata, furious. 

Neji: "Without even speaking to me before? You decided it all alone?"
Hinata: "Neji... I... I must to do it. I'm not allowed anymore to hide that form our Hokage, I have responsibility towards the village... "
This answer does nothing but poke Neji's anger, and he replies with a deaf voice: "You're becoming like your father. The clan, the village... all good excuses!" 

Hinata: "Neji! Our family, our village, they are people whom I love and whom I want to protect! I'm not strong like you, I can't protect anybody when I fight. But if , by my decision, I can preserve from danger all the people I like, then I would do it. It's for you too that I do it." 

Neji: "Without speaking to me whereas I'm the first concerned? You will take all your decisions alone now, and will impose them to me, arbitrarily?"

Neji and Hinata

Hinata feel tense, standing on the parquet floor. She has bare feet and don't want to go down in the garden where Neji goes and turns in round, like a furious lion. Why doesn't he want to understand? 

Hinata: "No, I.... Neji, I try to do the best than I can... I thought that it was necessary to do it without you. I....." 

Neji shot her a furious glance
Neji: "Then it's like that? Now that you have again honor, family, friends, you don't need me anymore, isn't it?!" 

Hinata stays dumb of stupor one moment.

Hinata: "..... but.... no, it's not......."
Yes,  in fact, she realizes that it's that. She doesn't need him anymore, she doesn't depend of him anymore... Neji, who observes her with attention, perceives this reversal. He closes the eyes, and without warning, jump above the wall of the garden.
Hinata: "Neji? Neji!!"

She sees the disarray on his face, sadness, the feeling of treason and abandonment.  She would like to catch up with him, but it's impossible. Bare foot on this ground, she would be wounded. In normal time, she doesn't have any chance to catch up with him, but in pregnancy, it's absolutely without hope..... 

Nothing is without hope. She runs to follow him. She still has muscles and reflexes of  a Ninjas. She didn't lose sight of him, and his race leaves some traces. He must really be upset. But he avance faster than her, going away little by little. She sees him moving away from her. Her heart tightens. It's undoubtedly just a blow of anger, he'll go home in the evening, or tomorrow... or never. And if he never return??  In spite of all her efforts, the distance increases, she'll lose him...
Neji, looks behind you, just a moment!!

By reflexe, Neji turn his glance behind him. When he sees Hinata on his trace, he stops right on the spot. In a glance, he sees that she's alone, almost without weapons and with feet. 

Neji: "What an insane girl!!!!!!"

He immediately turns back and rejoins her quickly. Although Hinata saw him returning, she continues to advance,  to meet him more quickly. When Neji meet her, he begin by slanging her: "You lost your head, Hinata?! A race in your state! And without guards, weapons or shoes!! You want to kill yourself ?!!"

She lets him shout, then encloses the Neji's chest in her arms, firmly, and poses her head above. Under her ear, Neji's heart beats quickly.
Hinata: "Neji, it's true,  I don't need you anymore. But I want you  close to me. It isn't a necessity, it's a desire, a wish, a request.  It's more invaluable, for me."

Without answering its embrace, Neji stays motionless.
Neji: "Then why? Why do you do all without me? I have some time the feeling that I don't exist anymore for you. All these mysteries of which I am excluded, all these decisions that you take alone ... "
Hinata: "Soory, it's difficult. I have still difficulties to face all... "
Neji: " Supports on me, Hinata."
Hinata: "I will do it. I won't take anymore my decisions about our child without you,  I promise."
They tighten one against other a long time before going, following the same direction, by desire.