The truth shall set you free

8. Family reunion

8. Family reunion

These past two days or so, she had thought hard of reasons not end everything. The process had been quite long for her. On top of giving her headaches -they had been at their worse- it took all the effort of the world to delve back in time when she used to go to a shrink and support group.

The only reasons that came back and went back and forth from mouth was that: life was beautiful, that these were just sad days and one should fight back while remembering good days and count on love ones. She felt like laughing.

For these same reasons, she realized that there was nothing to save. There's nothing more for her since there was no one in her life to fight for, no one to care, and her life had always been a roller-coaster in sadness-town. Even when she had her breakthrough promise by optimism's gurus, everything went downhill.

Truth was her life had always consisted of her swimming through and against the cold and angry water of a lonely ocean and had only known about what such an experience could make on feel. Now, she was tired and numb.

Now she decided to occupy the post that had been waiting for her all this time: she would watch over time fly by without her as the bystander she was. There was no hope.

"I talked with the doctor"

The great surprise of these last days unlike her unending dejection and expected dark conclusion on life was Obito. She was at her lowest and he could have easily taken advantage of the situation -she didn't even want to live. There were just too many ways to get rid of her without the Police discovering the why and the how.

Yet he called a doctor to look over her, a woman who came every week. He even looked over her his self, make sure she ate or stop drinking Bourbon. For a moment it felt like she was grasping that notion of having someone looking after you -friendship.

Well he surprised that was at first, and it was too predictable. He could do better than that cheap manipulation. She knew it and had been in the first rows to watch his talent unfold. After all, up until now the Police didn't come to demand anything.

She knew better now. All the people around her were there for something and any type of kindness was a lure to get to the big prize. That's why she protected the money, because that was the only thing her enemies wanted and she wouldn't give them the satisfaction.

Why would she let them win until the very end? Why did she have to always be the victim? The loser?

She supposed money was what life decided to give her to compensate all the hurt. It was cheap as repayment and it never and would never heal her wounds, but it was his. She had always wanted something or someone for her. Money would have to do for now.

Don't they say purchasing helped against depression?

"I know what's happening. And I'm here for you"

You mean the money, she could help but thought. It wasn't dry or bitter as it could have been, just an afterthought of someone who couldn't be surprised anymore about human's nature.

All she wished now was that he did his 'speech' and went away so she could drink peacefully.

""Don't let him win over. It's him who is the problem, not you. You can't continue living the way you do. You're killing yourself. That's no solution. You have the right to live like any human being on this earth" Obito said in a monotonous voice

His voice was even more blank that usual. It was so painfully visible that he was playing a game. At least he was more persuasive than that with Madara.

There was a time when she would have cared and felt hurt to have someone trying to manipulate her to have something but now she felt like laughing. There was no need to call on his bluff because not only was it stupid as things could get worse, but she didn't want to. She wanted to be left alone.

"You're really a mess"

"I have always been" she chuckled humorlessly

"I'm not talking about that. You're always a beautiful woman, kind and intelligent. The problem is you're letting yourself go. You don't sleep, you don't eat but drink all the time, you don't even go to the veranda… you're lifeless -like a zombie. You're young. There life beyond unworthy people that had hurt you, you know?"

"So what?"

"It hurts to see such a beautiful person wasting her life away"

Despite herself, despite her wish to be numb, hearing that stung. What hurt even more was that deep that she realized her heart was pushing out to be saved but there was no one. The more Obito spoke, the more her heart squeeze and the more she wanted to get rid of him. Her wounds were just too fresh for her to be able to be stone-cold.

That's how people lost their fight. They easily gave away to scavengers even knowing they were after something they had; all because it was in human's nature to seek warmth and acceptance near others. It was worse for some like her that craved for it like men would crave for air during asphyxia.

He could have stabbed her; he wouldn't have gained the same result of pain and desperation.

"I can help you… I will help you"

Maybe if she played his game and showed him that she didn't need anything from him, maybe he'd stop playing her 'friend' or bring a doctor directly at her house to kill her silently. May be he'd stop saying what her heart desired so she could heal and be stronger to survive.

"Obito san… I don't know the story behind the scar on your face, or your real relation with Madara. I don't know anything about you, and I don't want to. Please, do the same with me"

"You're depressed. You're dying inside"

"Dying? A little bit of depression never killed anyone"

"Yes, it's not about death -it's far worse. It's like living with the cancer, the hurt it imply without finding a way out, not even death. I can and I will help you"

"I don't want anything to do with you besides business. My life's my life and I want to be able to do with it whatever I want. That include ending it if I feel like" she said with the calmest of voice, her tone steady since they began

"Why?"

"I don't understand"

"Why do you want so hard to let go? Why do you refuse my help?"

"Does it matter?"

"It does for me" he said with his cold mask getting cooler with time

They exchanged a blank stare for one minute. She didn't want to go down where her mind was dragging her and wished it was just feminine vanity talking. Another person to disappoint was too much for her to handle. All that she wanted at the moment was to become rougher and hoping and starting from zero all over again was out of question.

But she remembered what an intelligent man Obito was.

"I don't care about what you do with your life, and I wish for you to do the same with me"

As expected from such a situation and possible reactions to it, his face finally took an expression. It was like he was confused, then he wondered why he came in the first place.

Good, was all Hinata could think of.

"And I wish for you not to ever-"

"Let me see my daughter, you scumbag. She'll dismiss you when I'll talk to her!"

There was no rushing to the office's window or jumping out of indignation and anger to the door. She was stuck to her chair as always but this time the rage rushing into her changed from her lethargy.

After all that happened -handing her to a sociopath, killing her mother- he dared coming to her house. Her heart that laid dead in her ribcage pumped with renewed strength of deep hatred.

Sure her life had been a misery before him, but the fact that she crossed Madara's path and that he entirely destroyed her, he deserved to die by her own hands. He was still alive because she had been focused on someone else.

Couldn't they leave her alone?

When she stood before him, the words flooded easily with the venom filled in her throat.

"Get. Out. Now"

"I'm the only relative you've left Hinata"

"The only?! You're lucky you're still alive. You'd better get out of here before I kill you"

"Kill the man that took you in with your mother when your father threw you away? I fed you, and let you live under my roof. You even went to school on my account. Now that you live in a palace -still thanks to me- with money overflowing, you want to kill me… I have doubt now about Madara's death"

"You think I should thank you? After you ruined my life?"

"Your life was miserable before me"

"And even worse after you. I have nothing to do with a scumbag. Get out now before you regret it"

"Who do you think you are? You're just a petty little girl full of herself. All of this, you get it in filthy ways yet you're showing off like you're the best thing on earth. You're no one Hinata and no one cares about you. You're pretending that I ruined your life certainly because of that leech you once called boyfriend. Huh, what a joke! Before me and after me you had plenty of times without me and yet you're still here… pityful" he spitted

She didn't even know if she expected him to change, but it felt like a century since her wedding. Whatever made her think so, he had the same despicable air. His expression was still frozen into that pinched scorn drawn over his precociously wrinkled face.

He was really lucky that she wouldn't kill him.

Hinata looked straight into his only available eye, the other hid under bandage. Her mother should have known better than that. Then what could see a woman with low self-esteem that got asked divorce from her husband after so many years of marriage?

She pushed against his chest and he stumbled back.

"Get out of here, you scumbag! Bum! You're just a piece of shit" she pushed, unconscious of anger gaining more and more field "get out of MY house!" she screamed and pushed him once more

"You… My mom died because of you, you ruined my happiness and gave me away to an unstable man. I had a life and a future with Sasuke dammit! Is this your conception of treating your child?! Hell broke loose under my feet after I CAME to save your sorry ass since you were stupid enough to try to steal from one of Madara's casino, even after working for him for so many years. It's because of your stupidity my life is ruined now. You'd better get your fucking ass out! YOU son of a bitch!-"

A sharp noise pierced the air.

Her head turned swiftly to the side, her delicate cheek bruised from Danzo's slap. When she reached for the burning flesh, a warm liquid met her fingers' tip -it was a small string of blood. She looked up at him.

"Stop with the psychotic look. Who do you think you are? I took care of you and your mother and did my best for the two of you after your father threw her out of his house. No one wanted you but I took on me and let you in.

Your father has only wanted your younger sister since she's worth thousands of you, and your sister has preferred the luxury and prestige of Hyuga name. Even that good-for-nothing guy you had loved over your family threw you aside. Oh, I know about him being a father and working in a good company all thanks to his new fiancée, a future doctor who is by the way from a good family that actually loves her –so far better than you.

You only have me! Now you show me disrespect and you disrespect your husband's memory. Do you think you're worth better than us? If anything-"

"YOU PIECE OF CRAP! GET OUT! GET HIM OUT OF HERE!" Hinata screamed

She attacked him furiously as she had waited since her eyes fell upon him that day, but he grabbed both her hands and pressed it until blood stopped running properly. No matter how hard she tried to pull or threw fists at him, her attempts were quite vain.

Danzo dragged her toward him, closing even more the distance between their faces.

"You're worse than me. You're just a petty arrogant little girl full of crap who got too much power through filthy ways -just like a dirty whore. You're pretentious but empty. Where do you think your life's going?"

"Zetsu! Zero! GET this shit out of my house! Get him out! Where the bloody hell are you?!" she screamed to the top of her lungs, looking erratically everywhere.

"Go ahead ungrateful bitch"

"Fuck off old geezer! Zet-"

"Stop touching her!"

Obito put a period to their quarrel when he slid between Danzo and her, shielding her from the older man's malice. His body was angled strangely, as if ready to give a hit -which landed on Danzo's face. The abruptness of the flesh connecting started Hinata, but it fueled her need to hurt the man… and to thank her savior. Seeing Danzo eating dirt was enjoyable.

But the pain had been already done. All she could do was to stare at Danzo with empty eyes reflecting her numb soul. His words were still swirling in her head, blocking any message her senses received -she was lost again in the darkest corners of her soul.

"You again" Obito said "Get them out"

After the quarter's visit of last time, and now Danzo, she didn't have the courage to look back up. She knew something was waiting to finish her, to break her into millions of pieces. Seeing Danzo today was enough to bear as a weary load.

Her decision was taken: she'd go sleep in and let Obito and the others take care of everything. So, she turned her back to the scene.

"I asked you to put them out for heavens' sake"

"No one is going anywhere!"

His voice whipped on her like a lash on a fresh wound. Or like a wrecking ball. No image was strong enough to represent what hearing his voice again did to her.

Her body recognized it and its texture as skin would recognize fire -it's too familiar and hurt too much. Nothing, no sound or appearance could save her now. All her nightmares of recent days resurface as soon: his wedding with his perfect fiancée, and her father and sister in the room clapping for them. Everything was fueled back.

Her anger, her hopelessness, her aimless guilt… all of those negative feelings was washing over her as if her recent existential pilgrimage had never existed. The harder was the hurt to see the object of her deepest dream there and be reminded that she would never have him. She'd never be happy, while others had the right around her.

No force was left to hear the chronicle of his perfect life, yet her words got stuck in her throw. Her mind labored, trying to block out any feeling of hope or need his presence slid through her defense. It felt like an earthquake though she was vaguely aware it was her legs wobbling.

The house tilted at the weirdest angle.

"Zetsu! put them out. All of them" Obito said

"I said that no one is going out"

"And who do you think you are?"

"And you? Who are you? Her new little pet?"

"What do you want this time? Money? There's nothing left here for you"

"It's funny how life can turn around isn't it?"

"Hinata won't receive you now"

"I'm sure she'd manage some time for her coheir"

That was the second baffle she received

Finally she turned back to meet face to face with him. Her heart fell like a stone into her stomach when he eyes fell on Itachi, Izuna and… Sasuke. She looked like nothing while he seemed to have grown so much more gorgeous than before –it was breathtaking, heartbreaking. Though he was there as an enemy, nothing else.

All her enemies came to ruin her life, with an amazing timing -she was at her lowest. They were there for her head for sure, but nothing made a sense but a mess of confused thoughts. How could they all be reunited in the same place at the same time as if they made an appointment?

This was still not a nightmare, but her legs couldn't run fast away. She inhaled sharply.

"We meet again… Hinata"

She saw how his scary smile slowly turned into a hard line after his eyes took in her appearance. Nevertheless, he continued to move closer and closer. Were all of her enemies really present? Would his perfect pink haired fiancée follow behind?

Did she really hear right?

"What is the meaning of this Itachi?"

Obito turned to Itachi while Sasuke kept staring at her with dark eyes.

"I've been looking after him, so after sometime I found him. But with Madara around, I just kept track of him until this day. His real name is Uchiha Sasuke, the son of Uchiha Madara"

The most stoic of all them turned toward the famous Sasuke. Even Obito took in a deep breathe.

"Is it some kind of joke?"

"You know that I'm not one to joke, Obito. If you still look past resemblance, there's still blood test. None is to ignore we're in the modern era"

"Don't play coy Itachi"

"All the words of the world are useless now. We all know the reason behind our presence"

She felt like throwing up.

Obito stepped aside and now Sasuke was directly before her eyes. There was a big difference between imagining and living something. That sentence took its significance in its entirety now for her.

Her body froze all over again.

"I really thought you'd win when you played the almighty god on us… but how could you have won? Your ways to obtain this power are so disgusting they're almost funny. Seducing and marrying older rich man? Do you even a goal anymore?"

Everything was mixing in her head…

"I don't care what you think of me" she said but never looked into his face

"Of course you've never. You just wanted to win your way up so badly. Now, look around! You're all alone, with no goal and about to lose even that little you are so gripped to"

"She's not alone!" Obito quickly reply

"The new pet is talking. She doesn't care about you"

"Big words for a pathetic penniless profiteer that knocked up a clueless girl who helped him finally finding a decent job" she fought again, only to end this time a hair away from his warm body "really pathetic! I can't take looking at you" she spitted, hoping to hurt him even a bit

She tried to push against his chest but nothing could be done. It was like pushing against a wall.

"I see you kept a good track of me. Go easy there or I'll start thinking that you have a soft spot for me in your iced heart" he replied, sarcasm filling every beat of his deep voice

"You're stupid if you think I feel anything for you"

"And you're even stupider. You love your wealth so much yet you never did anything to find out about possible coheirs"

She clenched her jaw.

"What? You teamed up with my enemies to show you exist?"

"I would have gone on with my child and Sakura without caring about your existence if you didn't go as far as burning my house. I must have hurt you in your damn pride."

"What do you fucking want?"

"The fucking papers and testaments of Uchiha Madara, your dead husband who is also my father"

"… Is this some kind of sick joke?"

"At first I almost throw up at the mere idea of sharing any kind of kinship with Madara or you… I'm still disgusted but when I realized... I… what's mine is mine"

Hinata lowered her head, and then a dry laugh escaped her.

"So what? You're just a bastard! There's no way you have rights here! I'm the mistress of this house. It's all mine" Hinata said and snatched her arm from Sasuke's grip

"I know my brother Miss Tsuki, and he'd have never signed his wealth to some… woman he used for fun. I'm still asking to see your marriage certificate. Even if you were married, without papers designing you as his only heir, his son has more right than you as he's his closest relative" Izuna added with his condescending tone of last time

When she looked the provenance of the voice she realized the world wasn't limited to Sasuke. All her enemies were looking at her, making fun of her; all of them ready to kill her. Air wouldn't reach the bottom of her lungs, and her heart squeezed too much.

"You think you'll get me, but none of you can! You'd better get out of here before I get mad. And you, you stoop really low for attention! You deserve nothing here -none of you deserve anything here as I do. You're nothing"

"I didn't give a fuck about you, but you came back. I'll make sure you don't even get a cloth on your back"

"Out! Throw them all out! This is still my house and they can't do a fucking thing about it! Out! Get them out!"

It went downhill. All around her were tall aggressive figures and their eyes; she could see her enemies surrounding her with triumphant twinkles in their pupils.

Her world swirled all of a sudden. She was screaming her despair but nothing could be done. Hinata screamed and screamed, threw her glass again the wall but she couldn't purge her anger, desperation…

Flashbacks flowed through her minds, lots of scenes with different actors and landscapes but all reflecting the same thing: her guilt, her past failures, her hatred… her mind hurt so badly, then her lungs where air went suddenly rare squeezed in. Strong arms tried to provide a weak source of help and warmth that never reached her –it only made her fight harder…

She was falling into pieces…


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