Chapter 12 : Danger
In actuality, Hinata knew that to be untrue.
Her head was resting upon his neck, cool cheeks warmed by him while legs rested over the crook of his arm. Hinata nuzzled the fabric of his yukata, breathing slowly as if asleep but he knew otherwise.
Hinata couldn’t help but feel tranquil and at peace. She wished that the days would continue on like this.
On the nights where they hadn’t been able to find shelter, both ended up sleeping outside, against a tree or even up on the tree branches when it had rained.
Sasuke’s body always seemed to produce enough heat for the both of them against the chill of the night or the slight breeze that made her wounds ache.
All their nights were spent together.
She remained settled into his lap and intimately wrapped in his arms until morning and then onward until night and the pattern would start again. Her heart always seemed to beat wildly for him before being lulled into a comforting stutter as sleep took hold. They had traveled a distance now and by they, she meant mainly Sasuke and his summons, Aoda and Garuda.
Her wounds protested far too much for her to walk and instead Sasuke held her in his arms the majority of the way so that her body wouldn’t get jostled around and cause her pain again.
His care of her was rather immaculate.
He always brought her food when she was hungry and stopped travel when she started getting restless or tired and all she did, for the most part, was lay back in his arms as he carried her throughout the journey. She knew Sasuke slowed travel down because of her.
He did most of the hard work by looking for food and finding shelter along with looking after her while she remained mostly useless.
But never did he complain about anything and she was immensely glad that he never left her behind. She wouldn’t be too surprised if he deemed her unworthy of his time and left her in the middle of the forest alone because of her disabilities but she prayed that he wouldn’t.
She didn’t want to be without him.
Hinata had been slightly insecure at times when he left her in search of food, afraid he would abandon her but he never did.
He always came back.
A small part of her wished that the trip would take a little bit longer, that her time with him would lengthen but that would be too selfish of her.
She needed to return to Konoha to see her friends and family. They are probably very worried that she had been missing for so long, yet she couldn’t help but think that once they returned to Konoha, things would return back to how they were before. She didn’t want to become a stranger to Sasuke again.
She didn’t want to lose him.
Her throat seemed to tighten at that thought, causing her to panic slightly in discomfort at what seemed to be their imminent future.
She didn’t want to leave him, but was it the same for him? Hinata had come to understand him for the most part but sometimes she was unsure of what he was thinking. Why did he willingly take care of a currently disabled and useless person like her? What benefit could she bring him other than hindering him on his travels?
Her lips pursed tightly into a thin line, lashes covering lavender eyes from his view.
The sound of birds chirping and forest life had died down miles ago and Hinata could only guess that they were getting closer to civilization or possibly a desert. She prayed that it wouldn’t be a desert since she didn’t want to be deprived of water or food again. The length of time under captivity was already enough for her.
“There’s a town up ahead,” he said reassuringly, the deep baritone of his words seemed to vibrate against her head as her ears were currently pressed to his chest, listening to the lulling rhythm of his heart beat.
Perhaps they will get to sleep soundly in a bed tonight.
Sasuke swiftly set her down to her feet as her dainty fingers immediately clasped around his arm to steady herself as it had been hours now that she had been in his strong arms.
Strong hands tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear before sweeping her bangs aside and she felt the rough fabric slide across her face. It had startled her slightly when he wound the fabric around her head and tied it across her eyes, shielding them away from the world.
She didn’t need to ask to know why he had done that. It was obvious that her eyes would attract attention and so he had managed to procure the white cotton strip to hide them from possible danger. She knew that there were too many people out there who wanted to covet the Hyuga eyes.
He wanted to keep her safe and the thought kept made her heart stutter a beat before warming comfortably.
Sasuke quickly forced his chakra to the surface, wrapping the both of them in a light genjutsu to alter their appearance and aura’s. He didn’t want to waste too much chakra on casting an entire genjutsu on the town. Sasuke simply didn’t have enough chakra to spare.
After all, his wounds took too much toll on him, forcing his body to slow and deter his movements along with his fast thought process.
“Come.” Sasuke led her forwards before untangling her finger from his sleeve to lace their fingers together in a strangely comforting hold, not too tight yet not loose enough for her to let go.
Her cheeks blushed lightly, almost childishly, at the fact that they were holding hands again even though she had been pressed against his body and wrapped in his arms for almost hours on end. She was always attached to him most of the time until he decided to hunt for food and even then, she could feel his presence linger.
Her fingers tightened around his own as he led her forwards when the many scents of food, metal, and other industrial things assaulted her nose.
The stench was strong and made her stomach coil in unease.
There was something rather menacing and evil about the town that they were setting foot into and it made her nervously cling tighter to him as the noises became louder. Out in the forest, the only sounds she could hear on most nights were the rustling of leaves, crickets chirping and other times she could hear the howl of wolves.
This was much more noisier.
Hinata should be used to this since Konoha was also the same with the streets, always bustling with people and the noise was perhaps, even louder. Somehow, she missed the forest life where everything was more tranquil and calm. It was rather peaceful when it was just the two of them.
Where it was just her and him together. No one else.
Hinata didn’t have to see to know that they were getting stares, her skin prickled at the sensation of their sharp gazes on her. She could feel Sasuke’s genjutsu wrap around her entire body but even then, the people still stared.
She didn’t know what he had conjured but it was obvious these people were just nosy about seeing new people in the town.
They picked and prodded with murmurs and words spoken about her and how dirty she was which made Hinata feel very unnerved.
Which she admitted that she was rather dirty with all the dried blood, dirt and grit staining her skin since their captivity. During their travel, Sasuke haven’t been able to find any source of water other than the rain water and that didn’t help anything.
She didn’t smell did she? Her nose wrinkled in uncertainty. Sasuke had never worded anything of the sort to her. Perhaps he was considerate of her and was too kind to voice those words in fear that he would embarrass her, she didn’t know.
Her cheeks quickly heated in mortification.
“What is someone like him doing with a girl like that?” Someone had laughed rather mockingly. She knew that Sasuke was handsome, he had always been fairly (immensely) popular with the girls even back in school but did she really look like such a mess next to him?
“Probably his sister.” Another woman had voiced before they guffawed at her, their gaze hot on Hinata’s back. Her lips pinched tightly together before she managed to control her emotions and willed herself to calm down.
She was not his sister.
The icy countenance on her face seemed rather intimidating as Sasuke led her further off and his hand had tightened in her own. It was as if he hadn’t heard the obnoxiously loud woman or he chose to ignore them. Perhaps he was used to being talked about wherever he went, the good and the bad because she was assured that the Konoha gossip did not make anyone happy other than the gossipers themselves.
Hinata slowly followed him, fingers holding tight onto his like he was her only anchor to the world. The women continued their gossip and talked. She was unsure of herself now, feeling rather uncomfortable as they picked and prodded her apart with their words.
This was what she didn’t miss, the fact that humans can be such judgmental creatures.
Sasuke frowned slightly, noticing the unease that shined clearly on his companions pretty downturned face. It was obvious that the rude women’s words were causing her discomfort.
Holding her hand tighter, he pulled her into the inn to the left. The many nins dressed as regular citizens didn’t go unnoticed by him as they passed. There were a lot more dangerous rogues in this town than he had originally thought.
Sasuke had quickly paid for a room with the sliver of money he had stolen from a civilian when they had passed before the old inn keeper handed them the key to their own room.
Hinata hadn’t even realized that he had money on him since she was sure that he didn’t when they were in the forest. His yukata didn’t have pockets and being that she was attached to him most of the time, she knew he didn’t keep anything on him other than his katana.
Perhaps he had ′found′ some, she mused as she followed him further into the building.
There were many pairs of eyes that had followed the couple’s backs, trailing the two rather conspicuously as they walked but only one followed closely.
A man standing next to one of the food stalls quickly spit out the tooth pick in his mouth and settled his calloused hands onto the hilt of his katana.
Even with that weak genjutsu, the bearded man was able to see right through the little trick with his superior abilities.
He was sure that the man who walked past with the blind girl was definitely the bastard Uchiha who had killed off his whole unit of men. He had spent months trying to recollect an army of assassins ever since because of him and yet the Uchiha hadn’t even seen him.
Even though he tried to hide his mismatched eyes behind those long bangs of his, the bastards pale cocky face was rather hard to forget.
The blind little woman next to him was a mystery though. Flawlessly pale alabaster skin and dark obsidian hair.
Perhaps the Uchiha’s little bitch? Well, he had plenty of time to find out. If she was the Uchiha’s weak spot then this was going to be too easy.
He was sure that the Uchiha was undoubtedly attached to the blind girl in some way with how he had let the pathetic thing hold his hands and cling to him rather tightly. They could use her as leverage later on. Perhaps once he killed the Uchiha, he could find out what it was that attracted the Uchiha to the little bitch.
He smirked darkly.
Things are going to go his way for once.
With a wave of his hands, he gestured for his men to follow him and the many nins had quickly tossed away what they were doing, cracking their fingers and preparing for some ‘excitement’ that they knew would happen.
“Separate the Uchiha bastard away from the blind girl.”