The Fourth Great Ninja War. Training every day for it, was the most skilled Second Branch member of the great Hyuga Clan. Hyuga Neji. I admired his posture, the way he moved while attacking a lifeless dummy was completely flawless. I was nowhere near his skill level, so I watch him from behind the forest line to take notes. I believe he's noticed me once or twice, when he practices with his byakugan. He never seemed to look over toward where I was whenever he noticed.
Today I tiptoed out of my house and ran down the path into the forest with my notebook entangled in my arms. I sit down in my usual spot, just as Neji walks into the training yard. I whip out my pencil and I open my notebook. I look intently at the determined teen in the fields, taking his stance. I see my hand absent-mindedly making sketching movements so I look down at my notebook, and I realize that I hadn't been writing words, but drawing.
The sketch marks show him perfectly, looking like I had instead taken a photograph. I look up towards where Neji was supposed to be standing, but he was gone. I sighed to myself, and reached to untie my hair from it's long braid. Suddenly I jump when someone lightly touches my shoulder. I turn and look up to face them, and I stare right into Neji's white-purple eyes.
I blush hard and feel my face get incredibly warm when he returns the eye-to-eye stare. 'Rin? What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at home this early in the morning?' He asks with concern flashing in his voice. 'I don't care if I'm out here early or not, if I don't study someone strong I'll never amount to anything. So I decided to study you. Even though I do study, I'll never amount to anything, I've always shown how much of a failure I am.' This was the half truth. People have complimented on how well I did as a medical ninja with Sakura and Tsunade (This was after Ino gave up the career of medicine), but they all said that I needed to brush up on my fighting skills. I always thought that deep inside Neji's head, I never meant anything to him. I looked at the dirt and blushed as Neji slipped the notebook out of my hands and flipped through the notebook, looking at what I had 'studied.'
'These are amazing,' He finally says, after closing the book and placing it back into my shocked hands. 'But why would you be trying to hide from me instead of asking for help?' He asks curiously. 'Because I didn't want to bother you.. I've been taught not to bother the higher-ups.' I sighed. He just nodded and grabbed my hand. 'Rin, you're on my team. Ever since Tenten left it's been that way. You can ask me for help any time you want. I owe you for saving my life countless times.' He smiles at me faintly as my face goes red. He takes my hand and pulls me out into the training field. I drop my book as He guides my arms into a fighting stance and shows me how to fight.
'The front lines won't be that easy to handle Rin. Are you sure you want this post?' Tsunade asked me a few months later, when I was to report to her for my place to take in the upcoming war. 'I'm sure I'll be able to handle it, miss. I'll stick to Neji like glue. I also have a talent for healing. I promise it won't put any burden into your hands.' I stated calmly, although, beneath me, my legs were shaking. 'Yes, I know you will do me no burden, but I'm still worried. Since your father died you've been alone. I doubt he'd want you to die.' 'I know. I'm doing this all for him, and I won't die.' I reply. Tsunade sighs, and waves her hand with a smirk on her face. 'Remember, the boat to the hidden cloud leaves at 6AM sharp. Stick to Neji like GLUE.'
I run outside and see Neji standing outside, staring right at me. 'Why were you in there?' He asked me, as he crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows. 'Well... I.. um... uh....' I tried to answer, trying to keep my reason for meeting with the Hokage a secret. 'You were talking to the Hokage, right?' He asks, still keeping a suspicious face. 'Well, yes, I was.' 'What about?' 'Well.. I um..' I stutter, the doing my best to keep secret away, and a blush rose to my face.
'Please, Rin. Tell me. What did you talk about?' He says, sighing. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, 'I asked the Hokage to go to the front lines when we head to the cloud village tomorrow!' I say quickly, scrunching my eyes closed, not wanting to see Neji's reaction, if he heard it properly. 'You... WHAT?' Neji shouted, with worry clearly evident in his voice. 'I may have taught you how to fight and you are exceptional at healing, I am really worried about you! You're just a beginner. You'll be killed!' 'I know. I just want to be of help to you! You're on the front lines, right?' 'Yes, I am. But I've been training for years! You've only been training for a few months. You're not ready!' He yelled.
I opened my eyes and looked into his worried white, pearly eyes. My hands curled up into fists. 'I want to fight in the front lines because I want to fight near you when we're there! I want to fight in the front lines because I want to impress you. I want to impress you because I LOVE YOU!' My eyes widened and I covered my mouth quickly. I ran into the trees away from the Hokage's tent, and tears welled in my eyes, praying that Neji thought I had never said it.
Neji stood outside the tent with pure shock on his face, and he looked down at the palms of his hands. He thought to himself on what he had just bared witness to. She loves him? This couldn't be true. She wasn't anything like Sakura or Ino, who were gluttons for dating. He never even let the thought come to his mind until now, but he had realized he loved Rin right back.
Why else would Neji worry about her? Neji admitted to himself he owed Rin so much because Rin saved his life countless times, but the burden he had on himself would have lifted after teaching Rin the whole gentle fist style in the time span a month (Which he thought was some sort of miracle) but doing exactly that had taken no weight off his heart.
Neji decided to take action. Rin... he didn't want her to feel any pain. Especially pain he had caused her. Running into the woods, he activated his byakugan and searched for Rin's chakra.
I ran through the woods until I reached team 7's training field. I sat down at the edge of the stream and I look down at my hands. I slipped my only and most important secret to who I was supposed to keep it from! It was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life. Tears welled up even more, and spilled over the rims of my eyes and carefully rolled down my cheeks. Looking down at the water, I realize that this time of year, fresh water is piercing cold. I shake my head. I think to myself that it would be stupid to die on something like that. I take of my ninja sandals and dip my feet in the water though, hoping to cause myself a bit of relief with physical pain. It'll work, for now.
Sensing Rin's chakra, Neji ran out into the former team 7's training field. He sighed in relief that she hadn't done anything to hurt herself. He walked up to her and put his hands over her eyes, wiped away her tears and said playfully, 'Guess who.' Rin was silent for a moment, then Neji could feel heat coming from her cheeks. 'N-Neji?' She asked, and whirled around. He stared right into her eyes and smiled.
The look she gave him wasn't happy nor sad, as she launched herself at him and hugged him tightly. Neji hugged her back and rubbed her back. 'I'm sorry I didn't do this earlier, Rin.' He said, as Neji tilted Rin's chin up. He looked at her in the eyes again and slowly but surely, he pressed his lips against hers. Her eyes opened as wide as they could have been, but melted into the soft lips of the Hyuga. After pulling away, Neji smiled brightly at Rin. 'I love you.' He whispered.
The next day the leaf had brought everything they needed to the cloud village. I had walked with Neji over to where our company was, and we waited for Gaara, our good friend and Kazekage, to address us. Knowing him, he was most likely watching us with his sand vision.
After everyone had stopped talking, Gaara watched each and every one of us with a hard stare, waiting for the right time to speak. As if he had waited too long, people from different villages turned to one another and began to quarrel.
Each sand eye exploded in between each of them, and Gaara raised his hand. He began to speak loudly, just when everyone became silent. 'Three times now, we've fought world wars, for our own nations, our own villages. We've hurt one another. We've hated one another. That hate bred lust for power. This lust for power created ME. I was a jinchuriki, an embodiment of hatred and power. I hated this world, and all the humans in it. I've wanted to destroy it with my own bare hands. This is the same thing the Akatsuki is trying to do to us today.' Gaara started, and I smiled and looked around at the other shinobi who were beginning to calm down. 'But, one man, one ninja from the hidden leaf stopped me. I was his enemy, yet he wept for me! He saved me! My enemy, my fellow jinchuriki. He suffered the same pain as me, yet had no ill will. There are no enemies here. All because we have suffered what Akatsuki has done to us! The Leaf, Sand, Mist, Rock and Cloud are no more. There are only shinobi!'
As Gaara finished, everyone began to cheer. I smiled at Neji. He grinned at me. 'Ready?' 'Ready as I'll ever be.' I answered him. Then Gaara said his final words. 'Those who agree, follow me!' He jumped off of the platform and lead us out onto the battle field.
My heart started pumping with adrenaline. I had no idea why, all my comerades were with me. I could fight now, and I also have healing... and my secret Jutsu.
Suddenly, Gaara stopped us. The sensory ninja were all looking towards the ground, and Neji activated his byakugan. 'Careful.. there's chakra rising up from the ground.' I listened to the ground underneath my feet and prepared myself.
It turned out that Neji was right. These white..... things emerged from the ground, and began attacking us.
Not easily killing them off, we all began to fight the creatures. 'There's no end to them!' I yell, trying to keep my voice higher than the clang and smashing of the fighting. Neji looks to me and nods, while quickly turning back to the creature he was facing. Our company had been fighting off these things while the midrange company had been watching our back from a distance.
Neji and I were back to back, finally killing off our opponents. We look to each other and scan the forest line. Watching the branches move, we see many resurrected shinobi emerge from the forest. 'Crap.' I stated. Neji tried to keep me back, but then, also coming from the trees... was Neji's father.
Neji was devastated. His father... had come back to life.. and was going to fight the shinobi forces. This couldn't be true. His hand lowered, and ran to catch up with his father, hoping to cut him off before his father reached the close combat company. Rin ran after Neji, but was too afraid to interfere.
She watched them fight, and she could clearly see that Neji was crying. She stood there, keeping her guard up as best she could, but she was frozen. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know how to handle a situation of someone brought back with Edo Tensei. The swelling emotion she was thinking about would soon overpower the fighting will in her. Though she was far away from the fighting, and standing in the rare safe spot, she knew everything that was going on around her, but she began zoning out of her state of mind.
Her eyes widened as she snapped back from zoning out, and both Neji and his father were on the ground. She ran up to them. She didn't know how long she was out of it, but it must have been a long time, seeing how beat up both men looked. Suddenly, a coffin rose out of the ground, and colleted the older Hyuga up, shut the body in it, and sank back into the ground. Neji looked severely beaten, and he was barely able to keep his eyes open. 'I'm sorry, Rin. It's kind of ironic, how I told you.. that you'd be killed..... when really, I was the target. Look at you.. even when you're even slightly injured, you're still beautiful.' He said slowly, and rubbed his thumb shakily against Rin's gash on her arm.
Rin carefully smiled and began to attempt in healing him. 'Please.. Rin, I'm too bashed up inside for you to heal me. I'm going to be the first of the gang to die. Just... worry about....' Neji trailed off, and his eyes became shut. His arm fell to his side, and the slight smile faded from his face.
'No.. No... Please... NO! NEJI! No... Come back....' Rin began shaking the lifeless body, to try and wake him up. 'Neji.. please.. come back... come back.. please..' She held his hand as tears easily streamed down his face.
She leant down and kissed his cheeks, and finally deciding what to do. Her eyes closed, and then opened, as she became determined to do something about her fallen loved one. She pressed her hands together, and a blue light emitted from her hands, over Neji's heart.
She stayed still and focused all her life energy and chakra into Neji's heart area, and all the gashes, cuts, bruises and life-threatening chakra point wounds had wasted away. Just when she was about drained of energy, she kissed Neji on the lips, before her eyes closed, and now her lifeless body flopped to the ground.
Neji suddenly awoke, not knowing what just happened to him. He was in the battlefield.. he was alive! He looked behind him and saw the front lines covered with blood and kunai, yet, there was no sign of Rin.
Then.. just knowing where she might be, he looks down beside him and see's Rin's body. He rubs her shoulder, hoping that she had just fallen asleep from crying.. yet, on the battlefield he never knew that would happen. She didn't move. He called her name and softly shook her, and asked for her to wake up. No, this couldn't be.. those words ran through Neji's mind countless times, as he shook Rin's body more. A rare tear ran down from his eyes, as he stands up and picks Rin up. He runs silently into the woods, hoping nobody had followed him, he was going to say goodbye to her one last time, before going back to the battlefield.