Pairings: SasuHina, some mildly implied one sided NejiHina. More to come if I feel like it.
Rating: T for now
Summary: Set during the 4th Shinobi war. Sasuke encounters the two Hyuuga and Hinata's words make the Uchiha strive to prove her wrong. No matter what it takes. Madara, however, has bigger plans for this unexpected scenario...
Notes: Part 1 of the memory implants. Yes, there is a solid reason why the memories are not in Hinata's POV.
“Forgive our tardiness,” Hyuuga Hiashi bowed respectfully before Uchiha Fugaku “there was my daughter’s ceremony. Today is her third birthday.”
The bow was returned. They were standing out in the back of the Uchiha manor. Both adults had a hand on their children’s backs; said children were trying very hard to hide behind their fathers.
“I understand, Hyuuga-san.” Fugaku said thinly, hiding his slight irritation well. The Hyuuga thought they were so much better than everyone. He would not have been late had it been the Hokage meeting with him. “In any case, are you sure you wish to do this with my second born? Itachi may be older, but not by much. He’ll be chunnin by the next cycle if not the year after.”
Hiashi’s hand rose. “While I am honored that you would wish to use your heir, Hinata is my heir. The second born will come to the Hyuuga house. That way, we both keep our heirs. If I have a son in the future, we may re-negotiate the terms if you wish.”
Fugaku nodded. He wanted the prime genes of the Hyuuga mixed with Itachi’s if at all possible. Still, Sasuke wasn’t a bad choice. He was the same age as the girl; it would be easier for them to get along. Mikoto would be furious about Sasuke going to the Hyuuga house as he was her favorite, but she would just have to get over it. Itachi was simply more promising. “Very well.”
The Uchiha clan head pushed his son forward just a bit. “Sasuke.” His voice was firm and the three year old looked up at him with wide dark eyes. He looked afraid, but mostly nervous and curious. “Do you remember what we discussed earlier? About what a fiancée is and how you should treat her?”
Clinging a little tighter to his father’s pant leg, he looked over at the two people with the strange white eyes before looking back up and nodding. “Papa said that I have to l-love and protect her. Because she’s special.”
He nodded, giving the boy a thin smile. Since this was something he did not do often, it made the little boy’s face light up. A little more confident, he let go of his father’s leg and tried very hard to look more mature so he could continue to impress him. In response, he put a hand on Sasuke’s head.
“That’s right. That girl is Hyuuga Hinata. She is your fiancée. When you are old enough, you two will be wed and you’ll unite our clans. It’s a very big responsibility. I trust you can handle it.”
“I can handle it, papa!” the boy exclaimed, his little face scrunching up in determination. “I’ll love and protect her always!”
The two men chuckled at the boy’s enthusiasm. They could only hope it would last.
“Hinata.” Hiashi looked down at his daughter who clung even tighter to his robe. “You heard Uchiha-san. We also discussed what a fiancé is. Go and properly introduce yourself to your betrothed.”
She made a very soft noise when she was pushed forward. She looked as if she wanted to run for the hills. Although Sasuke also wanted to hide behind his father, it was the first time the man had looked at him with any semblance of pride. He couldn’t let him down.
They stood in front of each other. Hinata squirmed nervously, fidgeting with her kimono sleeves. Sasuke was also very nervous, his pale cheeks tinted with red. Her eyes were white; he wondered how she could see. Maybe the white-eyed people were blind?
The girl stood up straight and with perfect posture, bowed politely to him. “M-my name i-is H-Hyuuga Hinata. I-it’s very n-nice to meet you, Uchiha-san.”
“Hinata.” She made a soft ‘eep’ sound and stood up quickly, looking very nervous. She did not turn to her father. “You don’t need to be so formal around him. You two are engaged.”
Sasuke immediately caught on and turned to his father. “So, I can call her Hinata-chan?” she made another small ‘eep’ and his father nodded. “Okay.” The boy turned to Hinata and made his own polite bow. “I’m Uchiha Sasuke, but you can call me by my first name if you want.” Standing straight, the three year old moved forward until he was almost nose to nose with her.
White eyes widened almost comically and she gasped, her hands flying to her face. Then, in a move that could only be described as three year old boy curiosity, he reached out and grabbed her cheeks, pulling. Of course, he was only doing this to get a better look at her eyes which failed because she started squinting and making noises. He frowned, what was she doing that for?
“Sasuke!” his father barked and the boy immediately jumped back, looking sheepish. Hinata’s cheeks were solid red and tears had sprung to her eyes as she rubbed them. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I-I was just...” he looked down. “Her eyes...”
Hiashi did not seem offended, for he chuckled. Closing the distance, he put a hand on Sasuke’s head. Tears had sprung to the boy’s eyes and he looked apologetic. “It’s alright, Sasuke-kun. We are Hyuuga and our eyes are naturally like this. Your fiancée is not blind. She can see very well.”
“O-oh.” Blinking, he looked at Hinata “I’m sorry, Hinata-chan.”
Slowly, the girl shook her head, her face still half hidden by her sleeves. The tears disappeared and her eyes crinkled in a smile. His own smile spread, happy that all was forgiven. Now that the hard part was out of the way, Sasuke was eager to move on to his ‘duties’.
Grabbing her hand, he began to tug her along “Ne, ne, Hinata-chan, let’s go play, okay?” he looked at his father who nodded.
“Hyuuga-san and I...”
Hiashi chuckled. “Come now, at this point we are practically family.”
A nod. Fugaku smiled thinly. “Agreed. Hiashi and I need to discuss some important matters in any case. Feel free to play as long as you like. You two will be spending a lot more time together.”
Both children nodded and Sasuke turned back to Hinata. “C’mon, I have something I want to show you!” when she staggered a bit he became a little impatient. “Hurry up Hinata-chan!”
“B-but Sasuke-kun...” she chimed in softly, trying her best to hurry with her kimono constricting her usual movements. He wasn’t trying to hear it, however, and continued to pull her along. The two adults watched in amusement at the scene before turning to go inside.
“Good.” Itachi praised the two five year olds as he sat on a tree stump. The two were doing taijutsu training, mostly for Hinata. Her father had been complaining about her slow progress to a point where he was seriously considering giving up on her. It irritated the older brother, because she was just a child and not everyone could progress quickly. Itachi knew a part of it also had to do with the fact that Hinata was the Hyuuga’s first born and yet she wasn’t even as good as Sasuke.
Hiashi could say whatever he wanted, the Uchiha/Hyuuga rivalry continued. He felt Hinata should be superior and was frustrated that she wasn’t. Thankfully, she didn’t know that, it’d only further discourage her.
So they had actually pulled him off missions when they could so he could supervise their training. Unsurprisingly, Hinata did much better with praise and gentle adjustments than tough love. Sasuke had been somewhat impatient with her at first but that had quickly changed when the two started to reach equal footing.
In the beginning, she had cried a lot and would give up. Itachi had ended up giving her a long talk about that. He had told her if she was going to be a good fiancée she would have to stop that and work harder at becoming a better shinobi. That she couldn’t depend on Sasuke to always protect her. His obvious disappointment in her and her desire to be a good fiancée for her best friend had been a solid motivator.
Although she was still shy and introverted around others, she was definitely more open with Sasuke and himself. She looked up to him the same as Sasuke and Itachi could only hope that perhaps it would quell the future anger and resentment his little brother would come to feel for him in regards to their rivalry. He really didn’t want Sasuke living in his shadow, even though it was unavoidable.
Finished with their training, the two children beamed up at him, sweat on their brow. It was then that Itachi noticed the bruise on Hinata’s cheek. He saw how she had tried to cover it with makeup, which was why he hadn’t immediately noticed it.
Apparently, Sasuke noticed it as well, for the young boy moved forward, poking her cheek none too gently. Itachi almost sighed, his little brother was so...normal. A small part of him envied it. Hinata cried out and hands flew to cover that side of her face. White eyes looked away sheepishly.
“What’s that?” Tilting his head, he kept shifting so that Hinata was forced to look at her. “Hinata-chan, how did you get that bruise?”
She shook her head and her lips thinned, meaning she had no intentions of answering the question. He was sure it wasn’t from her family, the Hyuuga didn’t abuse their own and the Gentle Fist was a bit too elegant for the type of bruise she was sporting. It looked almost like a hand print.
Itachi, being the genius he was, decided to take a stab at it, as he had seen something like this before. “Hinata, otouto.” Both children turned to him. “Does anyone at the academy know you two are engaged?”
Sasuke looked a little oblivious but Hinata immediately knew and understood what he was implying. Not surprising, considering. It confirmed his suspicions and he sighed. “Hinata, did the girls at the academy gang up on you?”
Gasping, she immediately turned away. Sasuke still looked clueless for a moment before it finally dawned on him what he was talking about. Anger emerged and he turned, grabbing Hinata’s shoulders.
“They’re picking on you because of me, aren’t they?” he shook her “Those dumb girls, I told them I don’t like them!”
Poor Sasuke. Itachi remembered going through that at the academy and then with his genin team. If he even looked at another girl funny the others would gang up and bully her. It was one of the reasons why he didn’t care for girls too much. Knowing Sasuke with how clingy and attention-seeking he could be, he was probably just as affectionate around her as he was at home. Even though the two didn’t have romantic feelings for each other – yet, it really was only a matter of time with the way Sasuke constantly tried to impress her – the other girls wouldn’t see it like that. If they didn’t know that the two were engaged, then Hinata was a threat to their prospects.
“Sasuke, calm down.” Itachi motioned for them to come over. Both hesitated, because Itachi had a penchant for thumping their foreheads. He continued to motion them closer and the moment Hinata neared he poked her forehead lightly but enough for her to feel it. She squeaked and rubbed the red spot. Before Sasuke could start snickering, Itachi poked his forehead too, just to be an annoying big brother.
“Hinata,” he put a hand on her head. “I know you don’t want to fight them but if you don’t defend yourself, they’ll keep doing it. You don’t have to lash out at them, but don’t let them hurt you either.” He looked at Sasuke “You’ll have to decide whether or not you want people to know you’re engaged, otouto. You can always just say she’s your best friend, because she is, and for them to leave her alone.”
Scowling, the little boy took her hand. “I don’t care! I promised to love and protect Hinata-chan! I’m not scared to call her my fiancée!” he looked almost pouty and Itachi tried not to smile. Sasuke’s naivety was refreshing in a world like his.
“Alright then. You’ll have to tell those girls then and Hinata will need to make sure they don’t pick on her.” He gave her a thin smile. “Alright, Hinata-chan?”
It was rare he called her that but it had the desired effect. She blushed and nodded, gently squeezing Sasuke’s hand. “I promise I won’t let them pick on me anymore, Itachi-niisan.”
“Good. Keep getting stronger.” He dropped his hand. “A fiancée should strive hard to be just as strong and resilient as her betrothed. So don’t fall behind Sasuke.”
She nodded with a bright smile “Okay!”
“Hina-chan!” waving, seven year old Sasuke rushed over to his best friend who was on her way to the academy. They always met at the spot where their paths to their districts would intersect and she would give him his lunch for the day. Because she was his fiancée, the Hyuuga made it her responsibility to ensure that she started early on being a proper wife. She was already turning out to be an amazing cook and Sasuke looked forward to her lunches.
She waved back, handing him his box when he approached. He took in her overnight bag. “Oh, okaasan told your family then about staying over tonight?” Sasuke asked and she nodded. His grin widened. “It’s gonna be so much fun, let’s train today, before we go home, okay?”
Giggling, she took his hand as she always did when they walked to school. Although their feelings were still platonic, Sasuke was very defensive over ‘his Hina-chan’ and so made it a point to show everyone that she was definitely off limits. This didn’t seem to stop a certain idiotic blonde, who constantly tried to flirt with Hinata or compliment her. It made Sasuke really mad but he refused to say anything because he didn’t want to look insecure. Whatever that word was Itachi had used when he had told him about the scenario.
Today he was going to show off the technique he had finally mastered. It was sure to impress her lots; it had impressed his father after all. Excited, he was practically running to the academy, flashing grins back at her every now and then. She returned them until they entered the academy.
When she tried to tug her hand back he stubbornly gripped it tighter. He knew the girls stared at Hinata, that they didn’t like her. Oh well. She didn’t need them anyway. None of them would be good friends for her if they were like that.
They sat together and paid attention to the lecture, as they always did. Getting good grades was important, even though both of them knew a lot of what was being taught already. Still, they had to keep up appearances because of what clan they hailed from.
Then it was time for his favorite part of the day: Lunch. Being the growing boy that he was, he liked to eat lots and Hinata always delivered. He was pretty lucky that he was going to marry a girl like her because she’d cook like this for him breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He could hardly wait.
He was in such a good mood that he felt like being a little mischievous today. He grinned slyly at the oblivious Hinata and took in her cute little onigiri. Of course, he had his own but for some reason he wanted to take hers too. With absolutely no warning, he snatched up one of hers right out of her bento and popped it into his mouth.
White eyes widening, she looked down at his half-empty one and pouted. “Sasu-kun!” she moved forward but he pushed her away with a hand. “That was mine! You always steal my onigiri! No fair!”
“Foo bash.” His voice was muffled as he finally started chewing.
Then he stopped. His face turned an interesting shade of green. He swallowed it practically whole, eyes watering as he glared at Hinata who no longer seemed upset at all. In fact, her expression was somewhat smug.
Red bean. She had filled it with sweet red bean. So...gross....
“You did that on purpose!” Dear gods he wanted to gag, it was so sweet! “I hate sweet things!”
The little brat started giggling. “Serves you right, Sasu-kun. You always steal mine. You’re a big meanie.” And then without warning she snatches two of his three tomato slices and pops them into her mouth. His eyes widen to saucers at this and he all but tackles her, chopsticks snapping near her face.
“Give them back!” she let out a high pitched squeal as the two wrestled, lunches forgotten. “You don’t even like tomatoes! It’s sacrilege! Ah...you swallowed it! Hina-chan no fair!”
In no time the two children had gone from fighting to giggling madly, as was typical. Faces red, their foreheads pressed together as they leaned against one another. Once they calmed down they leaned back against the tree they were sitting under, his head on her shoulder.
“Hey, Hina-chan?” he turned to look at her. “Do you think it’ll be like this when we get married and stuff?”
She looked thoughtful. “Um, I think so. Because, we’ll still be the same so...” she frowned as she continued to think of a proper answer. “Well, I think when we get married we’ll be living together, so it’ll be like this all the time.”
“Really?” he smiled and yawned, feeling tired after eating and exerting all that energy. “That’d be nice. Will you make me onigiri every day?”
“Mmhm. I promise.”
He grinned. “You’re the best, Hina-chan.”
“Hi obasan! Ojisan!” Sasuke was holding Hinata’s hand as they ran through the district. They had just dropped off Hinata’s overnight bag and were heading towards the training grounds. They stopped in front of his aunt and uncle’s shop, giving them polite bows.
“Oh, it’s Sasuke-chan and Hinata-chan.” His aunt smiled fondly at them. “You two look bigger by the day.”
“Hello obasan, ojisan.” Hinata said politely. She was over so much the Uchiha clan was practically her family as well. She was over constantly, playing with Sasuke or training with him. The Hyuuga preferred that over him being over there. It irritated Sasuke’s parents but neither child knew that and it wouldn’t have mattered to them in any case. “We’re going to go train now.”
The elderly gentleman laughed. “Always training. I hear you two are at the top of your class. Your parents must be proud.”
The two blushed but nodded. “W-well...we should get going...” Sasuke began to tug on Hinata’s hand.
“Oh!” his aunt clapped her hands. “You two stop by after training. I have something I want to give you.” She winked at them and their faces lit up. Maybe it would be candy. Obasan always had the best candy.
“Okay!” they chirped and were off.
White eyes were wide with wonder as the fire died down and Sasuke flopped down to the ground exhausted. Okay, so maybe doing the Gokyaku no jutsu right after heavy training had been a bad idea. Of course, he had wanted to show off by showing her that he could do something so awesome without even being at full strength. Lesson learned on that one.
“You okay, Sasu-kun?”
He nodded as Hinata sat down beside him, dabbing at his forehead with her handkerchief. Panting, he smiled up at her, his face flushed. He really loved having her around. His aniki could rarely spend any time with him and he had no other friends. Hinata was always there, a solid constant in his life. Her presence made it easier to deal with not being able to spend time with Itachi. Before his father had acknowledged him, her presence had helped fill in the empty gap that had come from that as well. He was fine with not having any friends; all he really needed was her.
“We should get back. Your papa should be home and maybe you can show him your grades.”
“Oh yeah!” just like that he was energized again. He had gotten all superior marks and wanted to show them to his father. “C’mon!” just like that they were up on their feet and he was practically dragging her along again.
Today was the best day in a long while. He got to show Hinata his cool new technique, had been complimented by his aunt and uncle without Itachi’s name being mentioned, and now he’d be able to show his father his excellent marks. Top if off, Hinata was staying the night again, so they would play and talk about shinobi stuff all night – or until his mother fussed at them to go to sleep. Then again, they would always just curl up underneath the covers of his bed and whisper and giggle until they eventually fell asleep.
It was already dark by the time they left but when they reached the Uchiha district they immediately noticed something was wrong. All of the lights were off, not even streetlights were on. As the two slowly entered the very quiet district, Sasuke could feel Hinata cling to his arm.
“Sasu-kun...” her voice sounded shaky. “Sasu-kun...something is wrong. I’m...I’m scared.”
He was scared too, terrified even, but squeezed her hand, gulping. “J-just...stick by me, okay Hina-chan?” she nodded and they continued forward. Sasuke ignored the feeling of being watched, not wanting to frighten Hinata anymore than she already was. “They’re probably just all gone to a meeting or something and forgot to leave on the lights.”
The reassurance sounded hollow even to his ears.