Don't Hold Your Breath
"Left," Sakura nods.
"Are you sure?" Ino asks, stopping the car.
"Yes, I'm sure. Is there something wrong Ino?" Sakura asks, her eyes glinting threateningly.
"Ten Ten, be a dear and take over navigation, would you?" Ino quick flash of a smile was enough to prove that she wasn't taking any answer but the one she wanted.
"I don't think so," Ten Ten replies, raising her hands. "You're not dragging me into this."
There follows a loud, heavy silence. Both Ino and Sakura show signs of s truly heated cat fight coming up. A loud honk jolts everyone in the car and Ino peeks in her mirror, to the angry rows of cars behind them. Sakura reaches out, tapping the right mirror. Ino flashes her a death glare and slams her stiletto heel on the accelerator. Ten Ten grins like a maniac while the other three scream in fright. The car eventually comes to an abrupt halt. Hinata, Sakura and Ino exchange frightened glances.
"Woo!" Ten Ten grins. "Can we do that again?"
"You're crazy!" Ino yells.
I heard that you've settled down.
Found a girl, and you're smiling now
I heard that your dreams came true, guess she you things I couldn't give you.
Ten Ten stares up at the mansion towering above them. Her smile suddenly gone, along with her confidence. Ino sighs and leans back against the high security wall. Sakura pats her back comfortingly, but she, as they all know, there's just nothing they could do. Ten Ten swats her hand away and walks straight up to the gates. She grabs onto the steel bars tightly, her attempt to at least stall the torrential river of oncoming tears. Hinata moves to pry her hands away before turning her attention to the intercom at the side. Ino's head lowers and her eyes darken at the sight of Ten Ten needing some comfort. The one and only strongest friend she's ever had. Her fists clench and she glares up at one of the many windows, not expecting to see Neji standing on the other side. Her temper flares further and she turns away from him.
"Lady Hinata?" the voice crackles from the intercom. "My apologies, if we were alerted to your arrival-"
"No, Kaiya, we didn't tell anyone. It's alright," Hinata replies, eying Ten Ten cautiously.
"No miss, we should have known," the voice insists. "You can now enter."
The wrought iron gates swing open and Ten Ten nearly collapses. Sakura takes her right arm and Ino takes her left. They both know she'd drag herself in there even if it killed her. They know how much it means to her. Hinata leads the way, as customs dictate, but she wishes she could support her friend too. Ino stares up at the mansion. Her estimate is that the building is at least 13 stories high. The wood gleams in the light, like it was just polished, but that's impossible. No one would be eccentric enough to have their entire home polished, inside and out. Would they?
Sakura smiles sadly as her gaze wanders around the expensive, antique vases. The hand painted scrolls hung on the wall with their beautiful scenes of nature. Then she notices Hinata biting down on her lip and twiddling her fingers nervously. A habit which she finally got rid of after working so hard for years. Then it hits her, Hinata is just as lost as her, Ino and Ten Ten in her family home. Then, at the end of the hall, someone comes into view. A young man, handsome, Sakura can tell by Ino's wide eyes and because she's nearly drooling. Typical Ino. She's always had an eye for good looking people, perhaps not with the best personalities, but definitely good looking. Ten Ten smiles as she pushes them away gently, and immediately Ino darts off.
"Hey! Let go! ARE YOU DEAF?"
The three girls stare as Ino drags the poor guy back with her. Her arms tightly wrapped around his waist. She grins contentedly and makes a peace sign with her hand. Sakura's breath suddenly catches in her throat. Her eyes trail from his jet black, spiked hair to his dark eyes and pale skin. Those darkdarkdark eyes meet hers in a fearsome death glare, and her entranced state vanishes. On instinct, Ino skips back and away. She recognises that look. He turns to saunter off to wherever he was heading before being so rudely side-tracked, only to have a fan whacked against the back of his head. He turns to glare at her, not expecting for it to have absolutely no effect on her whatsoever. Instead, she hits him with it again, right on his forehead. It leaves a stinging red mark in its place and Sakura grabs her friend's hands, dragging them away.
People like that always did bring out her contemptuous side, Ino smirks.
They turn at an intersection and stare at the great door ahead of them. They grasp each other's hand to calm their nerves enough to enter. No one has the courage to lead the way, and Ten Ten is fighting with everything she's ever known to suffer just a little bit more by going in. Ino looks over at Hinata and meets Sakura's eyes. Together, as if they read each other's minds, they step forward. Their goal rises up further and further, as intimidating as it ever was, and as it ever would be. Five feet away from the doors, and they swing open.
Old friend, why are you being so shy?
It' not like you, holding back and hiding from the light.
He glowers at them, and she does whatever she can to avoid his piercing gaze. Sakura squeezes Ten Ten's hand in comfort and she peeks up at the men sitting across from them. To say that they were intimidated and scared out of their wits, would be an incredible understatement. Ino stares at Nara, Shikamaru, her memories of him are fuzzy and she barely recognised him at all. Hinata is struggling to try and meet Neji and her father's eyes, but the stern looks they both wear are too much for her to bear. Sakura keeps her eyes on Uzumaki, Naruto, a grin threatening to show on both their faces. Ten Ten however just looks at the floor, where her hands rest. She can't look at him. At Hyuuga, Neji. It seems, that he has difficulty look at her too, in his own way.
The meeting ends when Hinata's father abruptly stands. He glares at her, as if she were some kind of disappointment to him, before moving to leave. However, that's when Sakura stands. Her eyes darkened from the extreme feelings that she's constantly pushed back against on her friend's wishes. This time, her friend's requests mean nothing to her, not when she's been complying for all the years they've known each other.
"That's it, isn't it?" she glares, her fists trembling from her rage. "Nothings ever good enough for you! Hinata tries her hardest to make you happy, to make you proud of her, and this is how you treat her? She works overtime and always had perfect grades. She's never spoken out about anything! What could you possibly have against her?"
"Hinata, control your friends," he states, then pauses at the door. "If you have to keep them."
"Whoa!" Ino gasps, holding Sakura back from chasing him down. "Calm down! Hey, wait up Hinata!"
Sakura and Ino race out in search of their friend, who they're both sure was in tears. Or close to crying. Leaving Ten Ten on her own. Neji's friends choose that moment to leave. Only Neji and Ten Ten remain. Her worst nightmare, and exactly what she was trying so hard to avoid. He doesn't care though, does he, about how she feels. Since when has he ever cared.
I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited, but I couldn't stay away.
I couldn't fight it.
"Why don't you leave Ten Ten?" he suggests. "We both know that you have no relevance to Hinata's life. She'd forget you soon enough. You're wasting your time here, and with her. Do everyone a favour and leave."
"I wish I could Neji," she smiles sadly. "but I didn't come for you. I came to support my friends… My sisters. So, say what you like Neji. You can't hurt me, or change my mind…" she pauses by the doorway. "Oh, and I wish you the best, with your girlfriend. It was Himeko, right."
"She's not my girlfriend," he replies. "She's my fiancée."
Ten Ten's veins are suddenly filled with ice and her heart stops for a moment. Her lungs being stabbed with millions of senbon with each shaky breath she takes. Her grip on the door increases exponentially. Tears line her closed eyes and she takes a deep breath. She blinks away the tears and turns to smile at him. Fake. Her happiness is all fake, it's all for show, for someone who doesn't feel the same way. Not anymore, at least.
I had hoped you'd see my face and be reminded that for me, it isn't over.
Sakura hunches over, hands on her knees gasping for breath. She glances outside to see the sun ready to disappear below the horizon. Hours. She's spent hours running around the mansion in search of Hinata. Of course, that was after Ino and she realised that they'd have better luck splitting up. How smart was that? Not very, considering that she's never once been anywhere in that mansion twice, and there's still miles to go that's unexplored. She straightens up and takes in her surroundings.
"Haven't been here before either," she sighs. "Geez, this is like a labyrinth!"
She spins around to see that guy Ino was drooling over glare down at her. "Make me,"
"Tch," he scoffs. "You're not worth the effort."
"Excuse me?" Sakura glares, fuming.
"You're not welcome here," he clarifies. "and after that outburst, you never will be. Not that you had a chance before."
"Go on," she growls. "I know you have more to say. Spit. It. Out."
"You have no manners, you don't anything about this family or the customs practised here. The only place you belong is the street or the hut you call a home. Rude, indignant people aren't accepted here," he meets her eyes with a scare-off-the-Grim-Reaper glare. "You don't insult Hiashi-Danna."
"I don't care if I insulted Hiashi," she snarls. "He's been putting Hinata down for years. Of course, I wouldn't expect you to understand."
He scoffs. "What's to understand. You have no manners whatsoever."
"I did what I did for Hinata, which of course you wouldn't understand. When was the last time anyone cared enough to speak up for you? Or, who do you care about to speak up for?" she sees his shocked expression for just a moment before it disappears, and scoffs. "If anyone here wasn't worth the effort, it's you."
With that, she walks past him and out of sight. She's still silently fuming over what he said to her, but is outwardly grinning like a Cheshire cat at getting one over him. Turning to the right, she soon bumps into Neji who glares down at her. Her fists clench in fury, but she, instead of screaming at him, bows as rudely and clumsily as possible before continuing on her way. She wants to beat his face in, as does Ino, and Hinata has refused to speak to him, but they know she won't keep that up. She looks up and her face brightens immediately, she breaks into a run and glomps a frantically searching Ino. Who, in turn, falls under the weight of her surprise passenger.
"Sakura!" Ino yells, furiously shaking her by the shoulders. "Where were you? We were so worried!"
"Let her go Ino," Ten Ten murmurs. "She's turning blue."
"Eek!" Ino squeals. "Sorry, sorry!"
"Where were you, Sakura-chan?" Hinata whispers.
"Huh? Oh, I was just taking a walk," Sakura replies, sheepishly. She didn't want Hinata to feel guilty.
Ten Ten stares out at the stars in the crystal clear skies. There was no cities or towns nearby, and so the amount of visible stars rose by a lot. Each was beautiful and twinkled like diamonds. There was a calm, cool breeze rustling through the trees. All in all, it was an idyllic, peaceful scene that exuded calmness. Then Neji made his appearance, and Ten Ten's peaceful night went up in smoke and ruins. Her grip on the balcony rail goes slack.
"Is there something you require?" Ten Ten asks, dully.
"What are you even doing here? You're suffering," Neji states.
"Tell me, after all this time, why do you care?" she murmurs.
"I never asked you to come," he retorts.
"I know," she replies, somewhat bitter. "I came with Hinata. You know that already, so why are you asking?"
He turns away from her. "You mean nothing to me."
"Is that so?" Ten Ten comments, then whispers. "Never mind, I'll find someone like you…"
She keeps her back to him, and her lips sealed before she gets herself kicked out, for her friends' sake. The tears begin slipping down one by one. She looks up to the sky and closes her eyes, letting the breeze wipe away her hidden tears. The twinkling stars of hope are swallowed by the despair and hopelessness of the darkness that is night.
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don't forget me, I beg, I'll remember you said;
Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.
Author's Note: Hi, this is another story I'm starting on. I just can't help it. Well, this is, and I swear it is, Sasusaku. I just needed a start which explained why they were at Hinata's family estate and such. That and I just had to have an Adele song… She'll have quite a few songs featured here, along with voices like RyanDan and Hayley Westenra. So, that's what to expect!
Ahem, also I have no planning system. So, it just comes out. Oh, and I DO NOT take song requests for this. This is supposed to be a solo thing, and therefore don't want much, if any, help.
Annee loves sasusaku. Your amazing, brilliant, fabulous, fantastic, treasure of a story got me wanting to write one full of songs too. Yours is, naturally, going to be much better, because you're a better writer.
Show love for Adele and Someone Like You!
YAY! Adele kicked Madonna's record holding butt!
P.S. Technically I'm working on chapter six, but it'll be a week or so before I update, and bear with me... It's a while before they become a couple, but it's starting to show!
Review at least once per chapter please; okay? Thank you!