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30 January 2009 @ 09:23 pm
Title: Lullaby
Author/Artist: tasogaretaichou
Pairing: Hyuuga Neji x Hyuuga Hinata
Fandom: Naruto
Theme: #22 cradle
Disclaimer: Naruto and it's characters do not belong to me. I just borrow them for my own twisted purposes.
Notes: Ok, I didn't like this one at first, but as I got into it, I really enjoyed it. Hopefully I captured the emotions of the moment right, as it's not a moment that I've ever gotten to experience yet.

Some things in life, as far as he'd always been told, were certain. Straightforward, understood, and in many ways just were. It wasn't even something so simple as a matter of preference, personal or otherwise. It was just a simple fact of life. Very much the way the sky was blue and wounds bled and snow was cold.

Hyuuga Neji believed in that certainty, believed in it as he believed in the strength of his team, the depth of his dedication to Konoha. The certainty of everything in his life at this point had been his anchor, had served as a centerpoint for so many of the decisions he made, so many paths trodden and choices made and abandoned.

Everything changed, but even then, everything followed a set pattern. The way he fought, the way he lived, even the way that he felt. All were things he understood, things he could predict. Things that he could count on to remain stable. Unchanging.

At least.... that was the way he'd always seen the world.

Looking upon life through white eyes made expressionless by the binds of genetics, and kept expressionless by the binds he placed upon himself. By the hardships of life and the utter refusal to surrender any portion of himself to the unknown, because a surrender such as that would mean an acceptance of those things in life that he cannot control, that he cannot place into the neat and ordered boxes in which he prefers to keep things. The order makes sense, it's comforting in a way.

But that comfort is hard to find anymore. Now, there is a new fear. A new worry. One that, had anyone told him he'd one day carry, the boy he once was would have laughed out loud at the idiocy of the statement. But the man he is today is not laughing now.

Holding his breath at a sudden shifting of the soft blanket beneath his gaze, he freezes, waiting as the tiny body shifts, infant fist stretching slightly before the baby gives a soft murmer and sleep once again descends upon her. A moment's patience, to make certain that sleep is genuine, that the danger of another four hours of fretful crying are not poised to erupt, and Neji relaxes again, his eyes once again finding the face of his newborn daughter as he shakes his head slightly.

It's a wonder, in so many ways. Not only in her mere presence -- though he will admit, to himself at least, and to Hinata at times -- that there are moments when he feels unable to breathe, unable to even conceive of the fact that this tiny, helpless being has been entrusted to them by God. He wonders about the world he's brought a child into. About whether they can raise her into a good shinobi, and even beyond that, a good person, in the sort of bloodstained and divided world they live in.

He wonders if he is up to it. Not because the logistics of it are that difficult to comprehend. He wonders because, for perhaps the first time in his life, Hyuuga Neji finds himself terrified. Utterly paralyzed with the fear that somehow, someway, he will do something that he has spent his life proving doesn't happen. That he will fail, and fail at something that carries an importance which somehow manages to encompass and eclipse everything else, something that suddenly means so much more than anything else, any other decision he has ever faced and right now he feels as though no other decision he will face could ever measure up to this one.

It feels weak, but he can't help the way his hand shakes slightly as he lifts it ever so slowly from the edge of the railing, the cradle's gentle rocking easing to a stop as he reaches down and, with fingers more gentle than he ever would have believed they could be, smoothes back the thatch of dark indigo hair at the crown of his daughter's sleeping head, the back of a single finger resting against the baby's cheek for just an instant.

How can he do it? How can he protect something so small, so helpless? Will he be able to? Will he ever be able to fill the role he never realized would feel so daunting. Neji is not an emotional man, and as such, he makes no pretenses at being warm, caring, tender. Whether he feels those things or not, the fact remains that there is a rift between feeling and acting. Will she understand? Will she be able to see how much he, how much they cherish her? How they would give their lives for her in an instant? How their love will never diminish?

He hopes he can. And he hopes she will.

Straightening up, he turns to glance over his shoulder at the faint impact of feet against the tatami floor behind him, his blank eyes somehow managing to soften slightly at the sight of his wife, the side of her leaning against the edge of the doorway, dark head resting against the doorframe, dim light from beyond framing her petite sillhouette and shining off the curtain of dark hair hanging down her back. She smiles at him softly, standing there for a moment before pushing away from the doorframe and stepping quietly over beside him. Without even a word, she sidles up beside him, easily fitting herself into the hollow of his arm, her head coming to rest on his shoulder and her eyes joining his as she sighs softly.

"I hope she grows up strong. Like you."

And as he swallows a sudden lump in his throat and turns to press a soft kiss to her forehead, only one thought stands out in his mind.

So do I...
Psyche: soredamn tendonitis...
Noor: NejiHinanaureen_rally on April 29th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Yea i'm sure Neji will quake at the sight of his new baby. I can def. imagine Neji being like "ok now what am I supposed to do with this?"

love it.