Pairings: GaaHina, NejiHina, One sided SasuHina if you squint
Summary: When the villages were first established the founders tried to acquire many clans under their banner, the two most sought after being the Hyuuga and the Uchiha. Konoha acquired the Uchiha, Suna acquired the Hyuuga. Hinata, an outcast socially and in her family at her young age one day runs into a red-haired child who just so happens to possess a demon. A 'What If' story. The initial idea was from a fanfic I read but it was never finished. I'm going to completely different route for the most part, but I thought the premise was intriguing. Initially a GaaHina story but the fic is taking a turn towards a strong possibility for NejiHina. I have no clue, I'm just along for the ride guys.
Warnings: I've taken huge liberties with the actual series and the general flow doesn't 100% match the Anime...and it ain't gonna.
He opened one eye and found himself smiling slightly when he met white. Opening both of his eyes he saw Hinata leaning over to look at his face, her own expression slightly puzzled. With a grin he shot forward and wrapped his arms around her, earning him a high pitched squeak as they landed on the ground giggling. Once they were done the two children laid on his floor, looking at each other.
“You don’t sleep.” She observed, blinking curiously. He liked how she wasn’t shy around him anymore so she didn’t stutter. Around everyone else she was horrible but with him, and only him, she was comfortable. It made him feel good.
Nodding, he took one of her hands “I can’t sleep.” He confessed “I have really bad nightmares and bad things happen.”
A sad expression came over her and he found himself hugging her. He would never be able to convey in words how everything she did was endearing to him because he loved her so much.
“Is that why you have the circles around your eyes?” she asked and he nodded “Is it painful? Not to sleep?”
Gaara started, blinking at her. No one had ever asked him that before. No one had ever cared enough to, not even Yashamaru. “No…it doesn’t hurt but…” he frowned as he tried to think of how to explain it “I haven’t been able to sleep for as long as I can remember so…I guess I’m just used to it.”
“Do you get lonely at night? Everybody is asleep at night time, so you’re awake all by yourself. It must be lonely.”
His smile was warm “It used to be.” He said “But I have you now Hinata-chan, so I’m never lonely.” She smiled brightly at him in response. After a moment, she freed her hand from his and he looked up as she brushed her fingers along his tattoo.
“What does it say?” she was curious.
“It means ‘Love’.” He answered looking back at her “It’s a reminder. At first, I was just going to care for myself and find my own existence but…I have you.” His gaze turned thoughtful before sitting up. His serious expression piquing her curiosity, she sat up as well, blinking innocently at him. “Hinata-chan, I could give you this mark and it’ll show that we belong together and no one else.” He frowned “It might…hurt though, so if you don’t want to…”
“Did it hurt you?” she asked, her hand reaching to move over the fresh tattoo again. He shook his head.
“I don’t remember.” He answered honestly. He put a hand to his chest “I was hurting more here.” He looked over at her sorrowful gaze and gave her a reassuring smile. “I’m okay now.” He told her “You worry too much.” He teased lightly and the children giggled when he gently nudged his forehead with hers.
Her tiny hands pulled back her bangs “I don’t know if it’ll look as nice on me Gaara-kun.”
He shook his head “No, not there.” Gently he picked up her right hand “Here.” He rubbed the top surface “It won’t be so big so it won’t hurt as much.” A frown emerged “I don’t want to hurt you like last time…”
“It’s okay Gaara-kun, I’ll just be more careful next time. And I’m all better now, the healers came, remember?” another worried frown “So please don’t be sad.”
Initially he looked over at her in surprise. Then he nodded and smiled. This was why they belonged together, this was what love was, he was sure of it. She would never leave his side again. Ever.
Hinata raised her hand and looked at him seriously “It’s okay if it hurts a little bit,” she said softly “it’ll be our promise to each other.”
She understood. How was she always so understanding?
We’re the same. Two halves of the same whole. That’s why we belong together. We don’t need anyone else and no one else will hurt us again.
“Give me your other hand.” He told her and she did “Just hold my hand until it’s done okay?” his gaze was careful on her. She was nervous and a little scared because he had told her that it would hurt. But there was also eagerness. She wanted to be with him as much as he wanted to be with her. Leaning forward he pressed their foreheads together and squeezed her left hand as he held up her right. “I love you Hinata-chan.”
She smiled “I love you too, Gaara-kun.”
He could tell it hurt her because her grip on him had been strong and tears had been in her eyes. She didn’t cry, however, even though he would have been fine with it if she had.
You don’t have to prove anything to me anymore Hinata-chan, I trust you now because I love you.
When it was finished she raised her hand, wincing a little but otherwise fine. The kanji looked red and angry but she smiled, knowing that he had the same mark, so that made it okay. When he looked over her hand he saw that she was bleeding slightly. He brought her hand to his mouth and pulled away stunned afterwards. Confused, she tilted her head slightly.
“Mother says…” he frowned, shook his head, and then looked at her “she says that she likes the taste of your blood.” He doesn’t seem to know if he’s happy about that or not but he looks too distracted for her to try and get his attention. Instead she looks around, his room is not very big and it was very simple. It had a bed which, thankfully enough, could fit the two of them although Gaara never slept. There was a dresser which currently held a few of her clothes that he had taken from her house when he had sneaked in. Since it was going to be the two of them he said that she would stay with him from now on. That had scared her a bit but Gaara was really strong and he told her that he’d protect her so she would never have to worry about her father being really angry or lashing out at her. She was happy that it really would be just the two of them, he never yelled at her or told her that she wasn’t doing good enough. He always told her that he loved her and that she was special to him. Only her mother had ever said those words to her and she was gone now.
There was a hissing sound and then streams of sand began to surround her like a barrier as the door to their room opened, revealing a jounin she had never seen before.
“Lord Kazekage wishes to see you.” He said flatly, his face showing no emotion. Hinata felt arms come around her as her friend pulled her close. She could feel his anger.
“She stays with me.” The boy said with finality “She goes where I go.”
This seemed to surprise the jounin for a moment before he nodded solemnly and moved so that the two children could walk out. Gaara kept hold of Hinata’s hand as they walked down halls that were unfamiliar to her. They felt cold and frightening, making her move closer to her friend. He gave her hand a squeeze and did not protest her lightly clinging on him.
The Kazekage’s room was massive; she had never seen anything like it. There wasn’t a room in the Hyuuga compound that could even come close to comparing. Everything in the room seemed so large, especially the kage’s desk. Frightened, she continued to keep pinned to her friend as he looked up at his father, his eyes cold and hard.
“What is it?” the child asked in a monotone voice. It caught Hinata off guard. He had the same expression from that one day when she had gotten too close and startled him. Gaara was kind of scary when he did that so she was glad that he only gave her smiles and looked happy.
The Kazekage stood up and walked around his desk, leaning against it when he reached the middle. He stared down at the boy and the boy glared up at him as if daring him to do or say something to anger him. Instead the man turned his hard gaze over to Hinata.
“So, I see this is where the Hyuuga disappeared to.” The man began, crossing his arms. “Your family has been looking for you little girl.”
“Th-they…h-have?” she was honestly surprised. Normally they didn’t even know she existed unless it was time to train and then they called her a failure because she would cry and sometimes even give up when they’d fuss at her too much.
“Of course, you’re their heir, after all.” The Kage said simply and Hinata’s shoulders slumped. Of course, they weren’t honestly worried about her, they just wanted her back because of what she represented.
“She’s not going back.” The redhead said coolly, catching the man’s attention “Hinata-chan is staying with me and no one else.”
Hinata, being the Hyuuga that she is, practically saw the gears churning in the Kazekage’s head. It frightened her, because he looked in her direction with a calculating look.
“You want to keep the girl?” the man turned back to the boy.
“I’m going to keep her.” He said firmly “She belongs with me.”
There was a moment of thoughtful silence before the Kazekage smiled “They’ll keep coming after her until they get her,” he raised a hand before the boy could speak “so, let’s make a deal. I can make it so that no one will ever question her belonging to you. No one else will try to claim her.”
Her friend didn’t trust him and she didn’t either, but she was too scared to do or say anything. “Name your terms.”
“The Hyuuga are an elite clan, but there are certain things I can and cannot do because they are ‘clan issues’. If I am related to them, however, this changes things and since she’s still legally part of the clan… “ he snaps his fingers and a black ops appeared with a scroll “All you have to do is sign this and she will legally belong to you for the rest of your lives. As Kazekage, I can finalize the document and that will be it. All you have to do is sign this with her. Those are the terms.”
“What happens after we sign it?” the boy wanted to know “What does it mean?”
A slow smile emerged on the man’s face “Do you know what the term ‘marriage’ means?”
Both children looked at each other in slight confusion. They had no idea.
“It means that you two become legally bound to each other as husband and wife. Anything you own will be yours and because it’s legal no one can ever challenge your right to each other. The contract is final, once you sign it, that’s it. You can’t break it. You can say no if you want but then it’ll just be more hassle for you in the long run. This will make the two of you official to everyone in the village. Everyone will know that she belongs to you Gaara.”
The Kazekage was lying. Hinata didn’t know what he was lying about, but she could tell that he wasn’t giving them the whole truth. Gaara believed him, however, or rather, he believed him enough to want to sign the scroll. Her friend looked at her “Hinata-chan,” he said softly “it’s your choice. No matter what I’m not letting anyone take you away from me.”
Hinata looked up at the Kazekage who had a blank expression on his face. If she said no it could hurt Gaara’s feelings and he might think that she’s not as serious about their friendship as he is. She only had one question “W-what ab-about the c-cursed s-s-seal?” she asked, very nervous. That seal would be detrimental to them being together because it would mean that she wouldn’t be able to truly leave her home to be with her friend.
“That’s the best part.” The Kazekage said “You’re a main house member who would be married to my son. Your sister will become heir and they cannot brand you since you will be leaving your house by marriage. As long as I personally approve it the document becomes valid, you don’t need anyone from your family to sign as I can verify that you have given your consent.” He smirked “One of the perks in being a Kage.”
He wasn’t lying about that, she could tell. “B-but…w-would they s-still t-train me? I w-want to b-be able to p-protect Gaara-kun t-too.”
Both males looked at her in surprise and she really couldn’t believe her words either. If had hadn’t been for meeting Gaara, she never would have had the courage to do or say something like that. But he promised to protect her and she believed in him.
“Well, since we’ll be in-laws soon, I’m sure we can work something out.” Hinata hated that man’s smile; it looked so sly and shady. He looked as if they had just helped him win the lottery, all of that from them signing a piece of paper?
“O-okay.” She looked at Gaara “I w-want to s-stay with y-you.”
She was given a warm smile but when he turned back to his father it was cold and unfeeling “Alright, we’ll sign it.”
“You know,” the boy said as he watched his ‘wife’ wash her hair “I don’t need you to protect me, I can protect myself.”
Turning, she frowned at him and he smiled at how cute she looked “No.” she said firmly “We…we protect each other. It’s only fair.”
Well, that did make sense. He nodded “Okay then. You’ll get stronger and I’ll work really hard to be able to control my sand. I don’t want to accidently hurt you…” like he had that little girl, the same one who had rejected his medicine even though he had tried to apologize. Well, that was fine, he had Hinata, he didn’t need that girl. She was one of them which meant that she didn’t matter. Her life didn’t matter to him. Maybe next time if she came around him he would kill her, give her something to actually scream about. Mother seemed to agree with him, so that made it okay.
“Can I wash your hair, Gaara-kun?”
Blinking, he looked down at Hinata. “Sure.” It didn’t matter to him either way. When he sat down on the stool he gave her a funny look “Why do you wear your towel like that?” he was curious “We look the same and I keep mine around my waist.”
A look of confusion crossed her face “Um, this is how they told me I should do it when I go to bathe.”
“That seems silly.” He frowned before leaning back to let her wash his unruly hair. “I mean, if we look the same it shouldn’t matter.”
“I think it has something to do with you being a boy and I’m a girl. I think if you’re a girl you’re supposed to wear your towel like this.”
That made sense. He still thought it was dumb when her body was practically the same as his, but he didn’t want to protest too much and hurt her feelings. “If you’re a girl, how come you have short hair?”
The young girl looked thoughtful. “I don’t know. My mother kept it like this and I didn’t mind.”
“You should try and grow it to see what you look like.” He offered before closing his eyes as she poured warm water over his head.
“You don’t think it’ll look funny?” her pale gaze shifted to the floor.
“No.” he looked at her strange “Nothing on you looks funny.”
This seemed to be the right answer as she smiled and him and nodded “Okay. I won’t cut my hair anymore.”
In the middle of the training hall of the Kazekage’s compound were Hinata and two males he didn’t know but had bandages around their heads. The older man looked almost dead, the younger one looked extremely angry and hateful towards Hinata, which was starting to really make him mad.
Both males bowed at her “Hinata-sama,” the oldest began “I hope that it is not an inconvenience to you by my bringing Neji here.” He gave her a warm smile which made Gaara change his opinion about him looking dead. “Hiashi-sama insisted, as he was assigned to be your guardian before your…arrangement.”
Hinata looked nervous at Neji but nodded “I-I don’t m-mind if Neji-niisan i-is here.”
“I mind it.” All heads turned towards Gaara who was leaning against the wall on the far side. “If he keeps looking at you like that, I’ll kill him.”
Everyone paled, even Hinata. She took a few steps towards him “Gaara-kun you…”
“I don’t like how he looks like he wants to hurt you,” the redhead said firmly “I don’t like his eyes. No one will ever hurt her.” He looked straight at Neji as he said this “Guardian.” He said the word as if it were something disgusting. What sort of guardian looks at the person they’re supposed to protect with open hostility? Especially his Hinata. Mother was also furious, she wanted him to just go ahead and kill him anyway, don’t give him a chance to strike out at what was his.
But Hinata-chan won’t like that. He reasoned. He also didn’t want to kill in front of her. It wasn’t something he quite understood but for some reason having her see him kill felt wrong. She was too…pure. He began to grow very annoyed.
This is why I told her she should just let me protect her.
The Hyuuga boy looked at Gaara for a moment longer before turning to Hinata. His eyes narrowed at her bare forehead and then his gaze flickered to the red marking on her hand. “What is that?” he asked.
“This?” raising her hand she showed them the marking Gaara had given her weeks ago “T-this is my p-promise to Gaara-kun. T-that we w-would only…l-love each other. N-no one else.”
Both Hyuuga males stared at her in shock. Then they schooled their faces back into blank masks.
“Does it hurt?” Hinata’s cousin asked. “Is it a seal?”
“It d-did hurt w-when I g-got it.” Hinata admitted. “B-but I don’t t-think it’s a s-seal.”
Taking a few steps forward, Gaara pulled back his hair to show his tattoo “It means that she belongs to me and I belong to her.” His tone suggested that any further questioning would result in violence.
Strangely enough, the boy’s gaze changed when he looked at Hinata. It wasn’t trustful, but it wasn’t hostile either.
“I suppose it doesn’t matter, since you’re no longer a part of the main house.” Neji eventually said “And your cage is even smaller than mine.” He whispered the last part. The boy turned back to Gaara “We will have to strike at her to train.” He informed the redhead “If she’s serious about becoming stronger she will end up being hurt.” He looked at Hinata “You’re too kind to be a shinobi, Hinata-sama.” He told the girl “Let him protect you like he wants.”
Her pearl-colored eyes shifted to Gaara whose expression was impassive. He’s never had to worry about being hurt because of the sand, but Hinata was different, she couldn’t control sand. She wanted to become strong enough so that they could protect each other. Scowling, he turned his head away “Do whatever you like Hinata-chan, but if they truly try to harm you, I will not hesitate to kill them both.” He looked at the two males “Remain useful, so I don’t have a reason to eliminate you.” Walking back over to the wall he sat down, arms crossed.
As much as he didn’t like it, he couldn’t help the happy feeling he got when she smiled brightly at him in thanks. He could endure anything as long as he could continue to see that smile.
“Neji,” the older man said, backing away “Your skill level is advanced for your age. Hiashi-sama complained that her stances were off and her strikes not firm enough. Perhaps she will learn easier from someone her own age.”
Neji nodded “I understand.”
“You have been studying the charts we’ve given you, right Hinata-sama?”
Nodding, she stands straight and respectfully, her expression serious. “Yes, Ko-sensei. I have also read the books you have given me on our techniques and the Byakugan as a whole.”
Nodding, he turned to Neji “It has been over two years now since we started this training and you have come very far from where you began. Do you know the hand seals for the Byakugan?”
Hinata nodded “Y-yes but…I haven’t tried to activate it because I think I’m doing something wrong.”
“I wouldn’t worry over it much,” Neji informed her “The texts make it sound more complicated than it is. Once you’ve activated it, it only becomes easier, not harder. You already have an understanding of chakra manipulation and how to move chakra where you want it. When you use the hand seals focus your chakra near your eyes. Despite what the texts say, it is really as simple as that.”
“It is disorienting at first,” Ko warned her “So today, we will teach you, after today, you will take a week to learn how to focus, walk, and maneuver with the Byakugan activated as if you were seeing normally. For you, a week will be more than enough time. Once you’ve mastered seeing, we will begin to actually use what you have been taught about chakra points. The books tell you how to use it on an opponent but it is better to do than to read. Use it to get the fundamentals down.”
Her heart was pounding. They really believed she could do it right now, she could see it in their eyes. It was different from when she had been at home and her father had become frustrated at her every mistake. After mother died he had had very little patience for his daughter. She looked over at Gaara. He was sitting near the door as he always did, his face was impassive but she has known him long enough to see the encouragement in his eyes. He also believed in her.
I can’t let them down. Closing her eyes she began to focus her chakra to a specific point, right behind her eyes. There was a strange sensation, as if something was waiting there for her. Was that what Neji had meant?
Hinata had practiced the hand seals over and over until she could practically do them in her sleep. Keeping her chakra focused her hands moved quickly through the seals and she could feel something shifting within her. At the last hand seal she knew she had done it correctly.
“Byakugan!” immediately her entire vision shifted to a level she had never before encountered. She could see forward, backward, all around her with vivid clarity. It was disorienting and she found herself swaying a few times before she felt Neji’s hand on her shoulder keeping her steady. When she looked over at him she blinked. He looked exactly like all the charts she had been given to study; it was as if she could see into him. “I…did it.” The eight year old said in wonder. She saw her cousin nod even though she wasn’t directly looking at him. With her vision she looked at Gaara and paused.
It was as if he had two separate flows of chakra within him. One was unmistakenably his, the other was…more malicious. What was that?
“You’re seeing Shukaku’s chakra flow.” Neji explained to her quietly. “The one tailed demon resides within him, that is why he is so feared. It is also why he can manipulate sand to the extent that he does.”
A demon? Was that why he couldn’t sleep? Was the demon the one giving him nightmares? She looked at Neji “Are you afraid of him?”
“Hinata-sama, you are the only person who does not need to fear him.” Her cousin explained to her “You are the only person he will never harm.”
“How do you feel, Hinata-sama?” her sensei asked.
Frowning, she inclined her head near the source of his chakra network “I feel a little dizzy.” She admitted “But it’s not overbearing.”
“Because it is genetic, our minds will quickly adapt to our own ability.” Neji told her “We are giving you a week but it will probably only truthfully take you three days. Regardless, use the remaining time to try and activate it without using hand seals. Before you ask yes, it is possible.”
Giggling, she allowed her vision to return to normal by simply sliding the chakra she used to activate it out. She blinked a few times to get her bearings straight and then looked at them.
“Now that you understand how to activate it,” Ko continued “There is little more we need to do here today. Just remember to practice.” They all bowed but when Ko turned to leave Neji hesitated.
“Ko-san, can you give me a moment with Hinata-sama?”
He nodded “I’ll be right outside.”
Once he was out of hearing range her cousin turned to her, his expression very serious “You’re the only person I can ask to do this, especially since you’re basically considered an exile to the clan.” Hinata grimaced but then shook her head. He smiled thinly “There are techniques that I have acquired. I can learn them on my own with time, but it would be easier with someone else. With that, I will also help you learn these techniques.”
“You mean the main house’s –“
“Yes.” He cut in “You are technically barred from learning them because you are considered an outcast, even though you are legally still part of the main house. I am barred from them because I am a branch member.”
She opened her mouth then closed it “You…want to work with me?”
Hesitating, he shifted uncomfortably “I know I have not been…kind to you these past few years but even without a seal you are in a similar situation. I can learn them, I fully understand and can grasp the concepts. Normally one has to be taught.” He smirked “We will learn on our own.”
“I agree to help you Neji-niisan.” She promised “But I’m still far behind you…”
He shrugged “You’re not as far away as you think. In any case, I must be going. I will see you next week.”
Flashing her friend a smile she automatically reached out for his hand and he moved away from her. Stopping, her eyes widen with surprise and not a little bit of hurt. “G-Gaara-kun?”
He looks highly agitated with her and she’s not sure why. When she begins to shrink into herself his anger suddenly disappears and he pulls her in to embrace her, his face buried in her neck.
“I’m sorry.” He said softly “I didn’t mean it. I was just…”
Smiling, she wrapped her arms around him “You are all I need Gaara-kun.” She says softly and he lifts his head, his eyes filled with guilt and sorrow “I will tell you that as many times as you need to hear it, because I love you.” She smiled “No one else but you.”
His grip on her tightens as he holds her “I keep doubting you,” he says softly “Whenever I see you with others I don’t like it. I hate it. I don’t want to share you with anyone. I’m sorry.”
This happened often although it hasn’t seemed to irritate her yet. Hinata had infinite patience with others, especially Gaara, who so desperately needed it. She wishes that she could show him that she loves him as much as he loves her, but she knows that he’s been hurt too badly and it will simply take more time.
However, there is one thing that she is a little upset about. “You…never told me the truth about why everyone is afraid of you.”
Her friend snapped away from her as if she had slapped him. His eyes are wide as he takes her in but she only looks sad and hurt. She hadn’t known? He thought everyone knew.
“I thought you already knew.” He admitted “E-everyone else…”
Taking his hand in both of hers she moves closer to lean on him. “Father always told me it was because you were evil but you’re not at all.”
“Even though I kill others?” he has given many threats but he has never actually killed in front of her. She doesn’t even know he killed the assassin from an enemy village that had tried to force Hinata to jump off that building the night they had met. There were a lot of things he didn’t tell his gentle Hinata. Was that…bad?
Closing her eyes briefly she sighed and then looked at him “No one else matters.” She told him, quoting from the promise she had made to him “Only us.”
It wasn’t that she liked the fact that he killed but he was her entire world and he was all that truly mattered. Even though she cared for those close to her like Neji and Ko, she would always choose Gaara, because he has never, ever betrayed her. He has never hated her, he has never looked down at her. He has loved her unconditionally, no one else would do that for her before she had met him. It is in her nature to be kind and to care for others, but in the end she will always stand by Gaara, no matter what he does or says. He is her constant, her anchor, and she was his. Always.