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01 September 2008 @ 01:40 am
Title: Unbreakable
Author/Artist: tasogaretaichou
Pairing: Hyuuga Neji x Hyuuga Hinata
Fandom: Naruto
Theme: #16 - Invincible/unrivaled
Disclaimer: Naruto =/= mine.

They'd always considered him invincible. Those he fought beside, those he fought with. He was different from them, he always had been. And not simply in physicality or the blankness of his eyes or even the emerald marking of the juuin on his forehead. He was a genius, the rest of them... mere mortals. At least, that was how it had always come across to Neji. Not in the sense that he agreed with them, but simply in the way they treated him, the way they looked upon him. They admired him, feared him, trusted him.

It was that trust that was the most galling, in part because those that he trusted were so few and far between and in part because honestly... he didn't really know why. What they "trusted" was nothing more than a fashioning of their own mind, an idyllic fantasy they created of what they wished him to be. Perfect, unrivaled, unparalleled among any of them.

That they felt this way mattered little to Neji. Raised as a genius, treated from the time of his childhood as one who was born to surpass, born to succeed, it was only natural that he'd grown up believing in their words, believing in his own infallibility. And it had taken one head of blond hair to knock that smug arrogance out of him, to make him see it for the fantasy that it was.

And yet in spite of that, the word still clung to him as he aged. Invincible. Different, set apart and above those he walked beside, always with yet never the same. It was something he grew accustomed to, and learned to simply set it aside. After all, they didn't know any better. But he did.

Neji never thought of himself as invincible. In fact be he knew better, a fact that he truthfully held more dear than anyone may have suspected. Invincible meant isolated, infallible meant perfect. And perfection was little more than an illusion. He had seen himself falter, seen his strength fail him and seen the jaws of death snap shut mere inches from claiming his life on many occasions. His experiences were little different than those of any other shinobi of Konoha. But still in spite of that, the whispers prevailed.

She thought of him as invincible. But not in the same way as the others. Her eyes looked on him not as a warrior, a tool, a comrade. They looked on him as a husband, a lover, a provider. They were the same eyes that watched him leave for his missions and welcomed him home with laughter, relief, and the faintest hint of silvery tears of relief as he kissed her gently in welcome.

Hinata never cried when he left, nor did she sob tears of relief upon his return, grateful that her fears were unfounded and he had indeed returned home to her. There were no fears to asauge, no reassurances to be offered. He would walk down that path, pause at the gate and turn to see her, standing proud and silent, her eyes never leaving his as they told him what he already knew. To her, he was invincible. In her eyes, there could be nothing stronger, nothing braver and truer than him.

And it was during those times, those momentary reprieves from life and struggles, looking down into her eyes so full of hope and trust and sincerity... that Neji truly did feel invincible.
Psyche: discontentdiscontent