Chapter 21 : Burn
Happy endings were reserved for most fairy tales and a nin’s life was never a fairy tale. Life and death is sometimes only just a second away. And Hinata wanted to treasure every moment that they had together because she didn’t know what tomorrow would bring, be it good or bad.
But she did know one thing.
She wanted to stay with Sasuke.
Her lips curved into a wide goofy grin as she glanced at her silent companion through long dark lashes, listening to his strong heart beat against her ears.
Although, Sasuke hadn’t said a word after they started traveling northwards, the silence was fairly comfortable, as it has always been between them. Usually Hinata was extremely clumsy like a bull in a China shop around other people and the atmosphere was almost 99.9 percent of the time awkward and nerve wracking. One of the only people that she was completely comfortable around was Sasuke, as odd as that sounds.
He made her feel at peace and she was sure that everyone would think her insane if she ever let those words leave her mouth. Most would be running for their lives or avoiding him just at the first sight because he was their living nightmare.
Who in their right mind would feel peace or tranquility in Sasuke Uchiha’s presence?
They would probably all point their fingers at her, ridicule her for her disturbed state of mind but Hinata didn’t mind in the least.
Not if she Sasuke at her side.
Because she refused to have it any other way.
At that thought, her intricate fingers gripped firmly onto the cotton of his sleeve, chilled cheeks settled against his collarbone while her temple was set onto his neck, where she could feel his heart beat pound fiercely in his arteries like a drum of rhythm against her skin. It seemed so surreal that he was here again.
Hinata had wanted to pinch herself several times to see if she was really dreaming but she was afraid of suddenly awaking to reality. That in itself would be a nightmare.
And she thought, if this was a dream then she didn’t want to wake up.
The wind whipped her long hair back, tangling the long silken strands and brushing along Sasuke’s hair with her own, creating a unity of ebony darkness.
Sasuke’s speed seemed almost leisurely as he trekked across the land with her in his arms and she was reminded of all the nights that she had spent against him like this. Just his warmth and calming heart beat was enough to make the entire world fade around her until only he stood in the middle with her.
Her spindly arms tightened around his neck, as if to encase him against her so that he couldn’t leave her behind again no matter how hard he tried.
At the thought of Sasuke Uchiha, feared and formidable, chained and bounded to her was almost laughable. In actuality, he could break off her arms and toss her aside like a ragged doll if he didn’t want to be close to her.
But he hadn’t.
And Hinata couldn’t help but smile wider at the imagery.
Before long, Sasuke’s feet finally touched ground inside the eerily quiet Uchiha compound. The newly rebuilt compound that remained ominously desolate, grim and intimidating. The entire area was exceedingly quiet, except for the sounds of birds chirping and wind rustling the leaves in the trees.
His steady footsteps made way to the big home and stopped as if he was barricaded by an invisible wall taller than himself.
This is what is left of the Uchiha legacy.
Bitter laughter threatened to billow out of his thin lips but remained buried beneath the darkness that welled inside of him, trapped and confined in the deepest recesses of Sasuke Uchiha.
Just like the memories of his clans massacre.
The nostalgic feeling and flashing memories bombarded him like the stormy waves against rocky shores, gradually wearing at the surface until nothing remained. The intervals and intensity varied until he stood completely stock still in front of the closed doors.
Then, he could see blood. It dripped down the corners of the door and bled onto the pavement to create magnanimous puddles until his vision was encased in red, completely obscuring his view of reality.
Even the metallic scent was strong and prominent to his nose; although, there was none.
His dark eyes stared blankly forwards at the dark wood ingrained with a fan colored in half red and half white.
The Uchiha symbol.
This was his home.
Hinata worriedly glanced at his still form, feeling how his aura wildly brushed against hers like a blizzard bombarding the surface of the ground until everything froze under its intense surge. His emotions were rampant and it showed in his aura no matter how calm his face or body was.
She lightly tightened her arms around his neck, slowly drawing him from his memories until he finally opened the doors and entered into the dark house with her in his arms.
Then, he paused again.
His dark eyes took in the same surroundings yet he was quick to realize the oddities in his home.
The walls were the same.
There wasn’t a spot that he didn’t recognize yet it all seemed so foreign to him.
The furniture had been replaced with modern ones.
All the cupboards filled with items that he knew should not be there.
Random photos he didn’t recognize nailed to the wall with fancy trimmed frames.
Someone had entered his home.
His jaw clenched as did his free hand at the completely engrossing thought.
“Who?” Sasuke’s voice was rather calm but Hinata could definitely feel his suppressed irritation and rage just by the stroke of his dark aura against hers, burning and dangerous like a wild fire.
Yet she knew that he would never hurt her.
Strangely, she couldn’t blame him for his annoyance and anger. Who wouldn’t be upset when foreign people came into their house and fixed everything up without permission from the owner?
If she didn’t tell him, she was sure that someone else would have anyways. And Hinata was never one to lie so the words had already found way out of her mouth.
“Sakura-san and Ino-san renovated the compound a while back...” Hinata trailed off, glancing at Sasuke’s cool and calm face. The temperature seemed to drop almost -100 degrees just at the mention of the first two names and Hinata felt slightly sorry for the two women whom she had indicated.
She remembered that this renovation had been done not too long after Sasuke had left the town in search of redemption. Sakura and Ino had taken it upon themselves to help Sasuke remodel the entire compound and refurbished all the furniture to their own liking, with little to no help from Naruto.
If Hinata had known, she would have tried to stop them but, unfortunately, everything was already said and done now. At that point in time, Hinata had never been close to Sasuke or Sakura to put herself into the position to defend Sasuke’s will. She didn’t have any rights and she didn’t want to invade Sasuke’s privacy without proper permission from him and so she couldn’t solely enter his home to help him re-arrange everything. He probably wouldn’t have liked that anyways.
And if she remembered correctly, Sakura had even planted a couple of sakura trees in the back.
Hinata grimaced at the thought.
“I want it out, Hinata.” His words were dark and ice cold with the ability to freeze anyone down to the core. And Hinata was sure that if they didn’t remove everything, Sasuke was going to set it all on fire along with the compound or use it to kill the people who put it there.
Either options seemed very appealing because neither would benefit Sasuke.
“We can move everything outside,” she reassured him with a soft touch of her hands against his skin, calmly stroking the back of his neck with the insides of her warm palm in soft repeated motions. And her soothing aura serenely moved against his own raging one, slowly molding against his until he visibly calmed underneath her fingertips.
Consequently, all the furniture and oddities in the house did not remain very long. It was quickly removed and burned outside in a massive fire that Hinata thought would alert the town or cause a forest fire.
But she doubted anyone would pay attention to this area.
Most people avoided this side of town like the Black Death Plague. Anyone who walked past made sure to avoid the home by several yards in deference to the mishap years ago just from the fear of the unknown. Even if they were alerted, perhaps they would even cheer or delight in the fact that the Uchiha compound was being burned down once again.
And they wonder why Sasuke had wanted to destroy them all.
She grimly shook her head and followed Sasuke to the back of the compound, biting down on her bottom lip in contemplation if she should tell him about the sakura trees. Yet the words barely had a chance to leave her lips when Sasuke had found out himself.
He had stopped in his tracks, gaze narrowed intensely at the row of newly planted trees that he obviously did not recognize nor wanted to recognize.
And the irritation was suffocating when he had uprooted the trees with his bare hands as if it was Sakura’s neck and burned it down to a sooty crisp until there was nothing left in the back yard.
Even the grass was charred and burnt in the mass array of fire before Hinata had finally put it out with a water jutsu in case they really did start a conflagration of some sorts.
By the time that they were done, the entire living area was cleared out except for certain rooms in the house that had not been touched by Sakura or Ino.
Thankfully, Sasuke’s room had been one of the ones left alone. That was possibly done in fear of his vengeful wrath and sure enough, no one wanted to be on his black list.
It was oddly empty in the house now and Hinata found herself standing in the middle of the desolate living room next to Sasuke. She calmly waited with him, letting him take in the new yet different surroundings as long as he wanted, fingers managing to slowly entangle with his own in a soft hold.
She didn’t fear rejection anymore because they were way past that now.
His long tapered ones enclosed around hers, fitting them into the gaps between her delicate hands when he finally dragged himself out of the gaping hole in his heart.
Sasuke’s dark eyes swept across Hinata’s silk swathed form.
Earlier, when he finally took in the full picture, he had been surprised at her color choice.
Blue and red.
The expensive silk kimono glittered from the sunlight in shimmering sparkles, shining before his eyes. There were white and yellow chrysanthemums and butterfly patterns across the sleeves and along the bottom of the kimono with a vermilion obi in the center.
The blue brought out her moon kissed skin while the deep vermilion obi was a great contrast to the dark colors. Hinata looked like she belonged here in the Uchiha compound even more than he did.
She was wearing his colors.
And he didn’t seem to mind in the least.
In fact, he couldn’t think of any other woman fit to wear his colors on their body.
“I like your color choice,” he said, the corner of his lips tipped upwards into a sinfully decadent smirk when he saw her pretty cheeks blush a tad darker in embarrassment. She shyly buried her face into his arm, choosing to ignore his blatant tease at her choice in outfit.
Truthfully, she didn’t quite know why she chose to wear this kimono and obi ensemble today. Probably just to spite her father and rebel in the only way that she could without bringing harm to the Hyuga name.
But then again, she was sure that she had already been there and done that.
And Hinata had discovered that there wasn’t much that scared her anymore. In fact, her worst fear, Hiashi, was just another road block now that she found herself willing to briefly encounter before walking around. He didn’t rule her every action with his ideology any longer because she chose to disregard his constant compulsion for control of her and her life.
The person that was in charge of her life was herself.
If she wanted to be with Sasuke, then she won’t let anyone become their road block. Not if she could help it. But the only problem was that she didn’t know what Sasuke was thinking.
Did he want to stay?
She didn’t ask in fear of the answer and had been prolonging it for as long as she could but the words had already made it out of her mouth before she could stop them.
And Hinata came to realize that she had become so comfortable with him that there were no qualms in speaking her mind.
“Are you staying?” She murmured lightly against the cotton of his shirt, body firmly pressed against his arm as if he was her only anchor to the world.
Sasuke had wanted to avoid the question but the hopeful look in her eyes made him want to lie; even though, he was never one to falsely state his opinion in any matter. There was never a need to.
If they didn’t like what he said or chose to disregard his warnings, he could just simply kill them.
“I don’t know.” He finally replied with a firm thinning of his lips at the deplorable thought of staying in Konoha for the rest of his lifetime.
Sasuke did know and his intentions were not to stay in Konoha; even though his actions may seem otherwise.
He had come solely one reason and this reason was standing right next to him with a wide adorable smile on her petal pink lips.
Sasuke was going to leave in due time, but not without one Hinata Hyuga. Regardless of what may obstruct his way, he will remove them all effortlessly.
Although Hinata is a variable that he can’t control, he had other ways to persuade her and he was sure that it would work if he deployed a viable strategy.
Sasuke never walked face first into anything without the careful planning of every step and detail.
He did realize that when it came to her, all his defenses and barriers came shattering down in an array of smoke and light. She held him together in the moments where his sanity wanted to abandon him and she was the only person who had managed to calm the darkness inside of him until he was just a mortal man at her feet.
And Sasuke wanted to capture her light.
What he wanted, he took. When did he have any remorse for what anyone else felt?
And because he wanted to keep Hinata, he would take her with him.
Willing or not.