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22 April 2007 @ 10:08 pm
Breaking Free  
So yeah, my muse wanted sadness and angst and demanded it in the form of NejiHina prompts again. Hence I bring prompt 2, "freedom". Be warned, it's not happy fluff like most of my stuff is. And yeah, I know I said I was gonna write some non-NejiHina stuff, but the muse demanded and she always gets her way. But that's alright b/c she now has a couple of other ideas that DON'T involve my OTP. So look for some NON-NejiHina stuff soon for your reading pleasure. That will prolly make some of you sad, some of you happy, and some of you will remain indifferent. XD. Either way, plz enjoy.

Title: Breaking Free
Fandom: Naruto
Warnings/Ratings: PG for blood.
Pairing: NejiHina
Theme: Freedom.
Summary: The price of freedom is often more then we realize, until it's too late.

Breaking Free
Blood peppered the front of his shirt, crimson spatter warring with the clean and untouched white. Some of it was his, most of it wasn't. Feet sliding across the dusty ground, the moon's light the only illumination that lit the blood-stained battleground with her gossamer fingers of soft moonshine. Once, twice, three times and into the rotation he knew so well, the movements fluid and easy, flowing from him with practiced ease as the chakra pulsed down his limbs and erupted in a whirlwind of obliterating force as Neji effortlessly pulled the energy into the familiar dome of the kaiten.

He didn't know who it was that had attacked him during what had become his nightly ritual. All he knew was that at some point during his routine training, his finely-honed senses had been made aware of a presence, concealed with some degree of skill yet still possessing the raggedness of untrained and unmastered abilities. A novice, likely some pretentious underling come to watch the Hyuuga clan's strongest train himself, hoping to goad the white-eyed man into a fight that would only prove to be pointless and a waste of his time.

That was the thought that Neji had told himself, even as he rolled expressionless white eyes and turned towards the shadows where he knew the other waited. He had simply called out to them, beckoned them onward. Made a show, of sorts, of illustrating that he not only knew they were there, but knew he outmatched them. Perhaps that was the reason for the widening of those same eyes as a shadowed figure rushed him, small gloved hands moving in a blur of seals. A girl, by her size and shape; or a child. The body was too small, too light to have been anything else. And the figure moved like a kunoichi.

He hadn't planned to fight seriously. After all, this was likely only a child, an Academy student come in the dead of night to test their fortitude and their mettle against Hyuuga Neji, who was well-known throughout Konoha as one of the strongest Jounin. Likely there were even others, waiting hidden in the shadows beyond his range for their comrade to return and regale them with tales of narrowly-escaped injuries. And though he might not have wished to humor such a thing, neither did Neji wish to severely injure or kill a child.

But those thoughts changed when the kunai was thrown, grazing his cheek with a deadly precision that did everything to show the seriousness of it's wielder's resolve. She stood her ground, another blade drawn and held at the ready, stance light and variable. A Hyuuga stance. And for a moment, the gears of Neji's world slowed, stalling as his brain processed this new information. One of his own clan, attacking with what seemed a very real intent to kill. As he dodged a flurry of Juuken-enhanced strikes, his mind grabbed for shreds of thought in an attempt to identify who in their right mind would attack him this way. There were certainly those of the clan who disliked him and the relative closeness he held to the Soke simply by virtue of his familial relationship to Hiashi-sama. But for one of them to attack him? The thought was a difficult one to wrap his psyche around.

And yet, his opponent was surprisingly skilled. Obviously of lesser skill then Neji himself, but enough so to warrant his seriousness. With a clash of steel as kunai met, they seperated, his sharp vision locking onto those same small hands as one bare fingertip was raised to a slit in the black porcelain mask. A flash of white teeth and the spark of crimson as blood welled up from split skin.

Taking bloodied finger, she ran it over the opposing palm, forming characters Neji couldn't see before hands flew together in a series of seals he did recognize. Blood ran cold, chilled to liquid ice in his veins as the black hand of fear clawed it's way through his innards. He knew those seals, would have their sequence engraved into his mind for all eternity regardless of how many times his subconscious mind attempted to block it out. He would always see the burnt-in afterimage of a different pair of hands slowly forming those same seals, caging him into his destiny.

Had the Jounin taken the time to think, he would have noticed that they were different, that though similar, the series of simple hand motions and movements were subtly altered from the ones he so dreaded. But at the moment, analytical thinking was not the foremost thought that drove Neji's current actions. Perhaps it was fear, perhaps rage, perhaps simply an unconscious outburst against the one thing he had struggled against since he was four years old. Chakra hummed, movements sharpened as he let go of inhibitions and struck out with the same ferocity that he showed on mission, to those who dared call themselves his enemy.

His opponent saw, reacted, but all too late. He felt the chakra leave his open palm as the flesh of his hand impacted with a hard crack against the center of her chest, her own palm striking hard at the center of his forehead, bearing with it a searing burn that seemed to rip through his very mind itself. Neji forced pain-wracked white eyes to focus on the black mask, so similar to that of an ANBU and yet different entirely. He felt the crushing pain in his forehead begin to eb, it's harshness unraveling to a dull ache, carrying with it a curious sense of lifting weight.

She dropped to her knees, ragged breaths the only evidence of the damage his strike had wrought. Shakily, the girl raised her head to look at him as the ties of the mask broke and the black porcelain slipped away. And as the smooth ceramic hit the ground, cracking in two, Neji felt a crushing grip take hold of his lungs at the familiar face that smiled weakly back at him, thin trail of blood coming from the corner of lips that shouldn’t have been that pale, had they been getting adequate bloodflow.


Neji was frozen, face blanched, body immobile. Not her. It couldn't have been her, shouldn't have been her. Hurt and anger flashed in his eyes as he finally gained control over his wayward limbs, fingers digging into her shoulders as he shook her. It didn’t make sense. Why she of all people would attack him, force him to this point, push him and drive him to lose his control, to do the one thing that was likely certain to bring about his death. And she…thanked him? For what? For the strike that had likely burst her heart with it’s vehement blast of chakra? His grip tightened on her arms, bruisingly tight against her fair skin as he shook her again, her dark head lolling back and forth with the force of his anger.


It was the only thing he could think of to say, the only question he could ask. The girl in his arms coughed, bright blood staining white teeth, trickling from the side of her mouth as she raised one shaking hand to brush fingertips against his forehead with a faint smile. Lips moved slowly, deliberately as she fought for the breath to tell him the truth, to make him understand. One word, barely audible in it’s whispered delicacy.


He caught her hand in his without thinking, expression changing from anger to one of shock, confusion and something that resembled despair as he looked down at her. Freedom? How was this freedom? What did the concept that had always seemed laced with brutal irony have to do with her rapidly-fading life? White eyes turned slightly upward, their normally pearlescent colour beginning to dim as life slipped swiftly away into the night. Yet in spite of that, he could see himself reflected in them, bandages burned away from a forehead that no longer bore the seal that had caused him a lifetime’s worth of pain. And in that moment, Hyuuga Neji understood what she meant. Not freedom for her. Freedom for him. And now, all the pieces fell into place as she weakly squeezed his hand, another cough sending blood bubbling up from ruined lungs and heart. She’d taken everything she’d learned, everything she’d worked so hard for, and put it into one purpose. And that purpose had been his future, not her own.

Hinata-sama…you…perhaps you were even more trapped within the cage of the Hyuuga then I was. If so…was this your way of changing your own fate?

It all made sense as he watched the light fade from eyes he had never realized regarded him with such tenderness. She had taken herself, all that made her who she was, and tempered it for the one goal of setting him free from his curse. And she had done it in the only way she had known how. Perhaps she had even known that the end result would be this. Known that he would have reacted as he did, that her own life would be the bounty paid for his release from captivity. Known that and yet still made the choice to push forward, to fight against fate’s hold on her. And in doing so, she had erased all the pain. And all the hurt and anger and rage he’d held inside had evaporated into so much smoke, leaving behind nothing but calm and a knawing emptiness that rested where her presence once had.

Neji felt her hand grow limp as her body relaxed, the last breath of life leaving it in the faintest whisper of his name, soft smile still on her face. Letting go of the still-warm fingers, the Jounin realized he was shaking as arms slipped around her shoulders, holding her limp form against his chest, bare forehead resting against her face. Freedom, she had said… Freedom was a gift. Something precious, to be coveted, and something he had yearned for and thirsted for since the juuin had been carved into his forehead. Something he had never thought he would…regret. But now, when faced with the startling reality of it all, Hyuuga Neji could no longer be sure if the price paid for freedom wasn’t too much of a price for him to bear.
Psyche: okayokay
With. Ninja. Swords.sangomeister on April 23rd, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!! That was so good!!! I think i'm going to cry... oh wait I already did!!!! anyways that was great, i really liked it! And btw where do you get these prompts you talk of. I've always wanted write some fanfic. but I'm never sure if I'm able. Could you please let me know and this goes to the memories ^_^ arigatou! I ♥ your stuff!!!!!
Neko-taichoutasogaretaichou on April 23rd, 2007 10:08 am (UTC)
Well, this one came from a ways back in hyugacest, where someone listed up a list of 50 prompts. Other then that, I participate in a weekly writing challange where we all swap themes/prompts.
Melandra Kayemel_kay on April 23rd, 2007 07:33 am (UTC)
Nice one!
rockleelover93rockleelover93 on April 23rd, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
I like
I like this Neko-chan. Please read Castle Hallow I need your appoval. You are the fic sensai to me.
Neko-taichoutasogaretaichou on April 23rd, 2007 11:37 pm (UTC)
Re: I like
heh, alright, though I'll warn you that I'm not a big KH expert. XD
rockleelover93rockleelover93 on April 24th, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: I like
Its not about KH I made it up myself
(Anonymous) on April 25th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC)
Ahh so sad
*cries* *cries* Why did she have to die... so cruel >.<