Chapter 55

(Konoha Hospital)

Hinata and Naruto listened as the war outside of the hospital continued to wage on. Neither would be of much use in aiding their comrades. Naruto was not even close to being fully healed and Hinata was not prepared to leave Naruto by himself.

'I hope everyone is okay.' Naruto thought as he cursed his own weakness. He closed his eyes and settled back in his bed with a sigh of irritation.

Hinata looked at him and could understand his frustration. She too wanted to help but she was unsure of how much help she could be. Truth be told, she was also weary of leaving Naruto by himself. She wasn't sure why but she got the feeling that he was going to need her protection. She slowly traced his whiskered cheeks and she felt him relax against her.

They both looked to the door when they heard a knock. Hinata got out of bed and calmly walked towards the door. She opened the door and smiled at the doctor who was checking on Naruto. She knew that there had to be a swarm of patients arriving and was grateful that he would take the time to check up on Naruto.

"How are you two doing?" He asked as he went to check on Naruto.

"We're fine, though I wish that I was out there helping. Our village is under attack and here I am stuck in bed!" Naruto grumbled as the doctor checked his vitals and condition.

"We will be fine Uzumaki-san. The leaf village is strong and we will always survive. Trust in your comrades as they trust in you." The doctor said as he gave them both a kind smile and turned to leave.

"Arigato." Hinata said with a smile and small bow.

"Think nothing of it. You are both ninja of the leaf and protect us from harm. I should be the one thanking the both of you." He said as he left.

Hinata turned to return to Naruto's side before she heard another knock at the door. Confused as to why the doctor would return so quickly, Hinata opened the door and was shocked to be faced with two main branch Hyuga members.

"Hello Hinata-sama" the first said in mockery as a devious grin came to his face.

"What are you doing here?" Hinata asked, as the feeling she had been getting earlier began to return in full force. Something wasn't right here and she had a bad suspicion as to the reason for their presence.

"Your father has decided to finally take care of a glaring problem that has plagued our clan for some time now." The Hyuga said as he and his superior entered the room. Hinata backed away warily and stood in front of Naruto. Naruto could tell from the looks in their eyes that these two Hyuga hadn't come for a simple chat. They were there to hurt or more than likely kill them both. Naruto tried to move his body and once again flinched with pain. He would be of no use in the coming fight.

"Your father has decided that you and your little demon-boyfriend have been a stain on our clan for too long. We are here to remove that stain." The leader said as he finally spoke.

"Byakugan!" Hinata shouted as she fell into her battle stance. However, she was shocked when her eyesight remained unchanged. She looked towards the mirror hanging beside Naruto's bed and saw that her byakugan had not activated.

'My byakugan! I've lost it.' Hinata thought in despair as the two Hyuga smiled at her inability to use the clan's kekkei genkai. Hinata's hand went to her unmarked forehead as she finally realized that her Byakugan had been sealed away with her brief brush with death.

"It's only fitting that you lose the byakugan. It is only for a Hyuga to use and you are no longer a part of our clan. Your days of perverting our birthright is over!" The subordinate Hyuga said as he activated his Byakugan and attacked Hinata.

"Be careful Hinata-chan!" Naruto shouted as he could only watch helplessly as his girlfriend fought off the male Hyuga.

Hinata jumped and avoided the palm strike from the Hyuga. She ducked under his follow up strike and was able to kick him in the chest. Without her Byakugan she wasn't sure where to send the burst of chakra that shot from her foot after the contact but it still had an effect as the male Hyuga coughed up blood and fell back.

"How dare you mix our style with that of another's?! You are truly a disgrace upon our clan!" He shouted as he attacked again.

However, even without her Byakugan, Hinata was holding her own. The problem with the Hyuga fighting style was its predictability. Hinata knew every move that he was going to make as she recognized the kata that the man was using. She studied her former clan's different positions and styles extensively as she wanted to find the ones that best flowed with her serpent style.

Hinata grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back and kicked the back of his knee causing it to buckle and he fell to his knees. He grit his teeth at his predicament. He couldn't believe that she had been able to beat his so quickly.

"You rely far too much on the Hyuga's style. I know all of its flaws." Hinata said as she twisted his arm painfully.

"Let him go."

Hinata turned and her eyes widened when she saw the elder Hyuga holding Naruto by the throat as his other hand was held palm open towards Naruto's chest, right over his heart. The look on his face told her that he would kill Naruto if she didn't comply. Hinata released the first Hyuga in defeat.

"Eight Trigrams: 64 strikes!" He shouted as he got to his feet and hit Hinata with one of the clan's most powerful techniques.

Hinata cried out as she was launched back into the wall. She slowly slid down as she felt her chakra shut off from the blows to her tenketsu. She was still able to raise her head and look at the two Hyuga. The leader was admonishing his subordinate for his earlier defeat. He turned and looked at Hinata.

"This is where it ends. I will kill this piece of scum in front of you and show you the punishment that awaits those that cross our clan." He said as he slammed his palm in Naruto's gut. His coughed up blood and was wracked in pain. The Hyuga wasn't finished and continued to strike Naruto in various, non-lethal points on his body.

"Stop it!" Hinata cried out as she tried to get to her feet, but ultimately failed.

"You are in no position to be making demands. Be silent and watch as your so called lover is finally erased from the earth." The Hyuga leader said as he threw Naruto back to crash into the wall. He told his subordinate to hold him and the second Hyuga walked over and held Naruto up as he waited for his superior to land the finally blow.

"That is quite enough." All present parties turned to look to the door, where Itachi Uchiha was calmly standing.

"Itachi Uchiha?! What are you doing here?!" The Hyuga leader asked in surprise and concern. Beating Hinata and Naruto in their weakened states would have been simple enough. However, to meet the killer of the entire Uchiha clan face to face was another matter entirely. Itachi said nothing as he calmly strode into the room and faced off with the two Hyuga, who fell into combat stances.

"You two are endangering my mission. That I cannot allow." Itachi said in a calm tone.

"Our mission is to ensure the death of these two. We do not fear you Uchiha!" The subordinate Hyuga yelled as he activated his Byakugan and rushed forward.

"Stop you fool!" His superior shouted, but to no avail.

The Hyuga was an inch away from striking Itachi in the heart when his vision began to darken. The last thing he saw was the Mangekyuo sharingan in Itachi's eyes.

"Tsukuyomi. That idiot ran right into it. However, I won't be so easily defeated." The Hyuga superior said as he spared his unconscious comrade not a glance.

As the Hyuga focused on Itachi's midsection, so as not to be caught in a genjutsu, Hinata had slowly been able to crawl over to Naruto. Her body was slowly recovering from the earlier attack but she was still unable to rise to her feet.

'Naruto-kun.' Hinata thought as she pulled her way to his unconscious body. Naruto had blacked out earlier from the attacks on his body and was unresponsive, though Hinata could tell he was still breathing.

'I've got to do something.' Hinata thought as she watched Itachi and the Hyuga fight. Actually, she really couldn't call it a fight. Itachi seemed content to dodge every blow coming his way while the Hyuga seemed determined to kill the Uchiha. However, no matter what he tried, he was unable to touch the Uchiha prodigy.

Hinata desperately tried to think of something she could do. No matter who won this confrontation, it didn't bode well for either her or Naruto. She was unsure of the reason behind Itachi's presence, but she knew that it couldn't be good. However, simply crawling over to Naruto's position had taken all of her strength and she realized that Itachi had had enough of the troublesome Hyuga member.

In a blink of an eye, Itachi launched a kunai at his opponent. The Hyuga easily so it coming and dodged. He rushed forward and slammed his palm into itachi's chest. Itachi then burst into a swarm of black ravens.

'Genjutsu! When did he activate it?' The Hyuga thought as he quickly dispelled the technique. He was too late however, as Itachi was already behind him with his sword piercing the Hyuga's heart. Itachi pulled the blade out and calmly cleaned the blade before returning it to its sheath. He turned and observed the struggling girl as Hinata was still desperately trying to get to her feet.

"That you can move after suffering from that earlier attack is impressive." Itachi said simply with no emotion.

"What do you want?" Hinata asked as she finally got to her feet.

"Naruto." Itachi said.

"I won't let you take him!" Hinata said as she swayed a bit.

"You are in no condition to stop me young Hyuga. Stand aside as I have no quarrel with you." Itachi said.

"You want to hurt Naruto-kun for what he did to Sasuke? Your brother deserved his fate." Hinata said venomously.

"Agreed. I hold no grudge against Naruto for the death of my pathetic younger brother. Sasuke was a fool to rely on others for strength and for allowing his jealousy of Naruto to overwhelm his mind." Itachi said in agreement.

"Then why are you here?" Hinata asked a bit unnerved that not a shred of emotion had crossed his face at his previous statement. It seemed that itachi cared nothing for his deceased brother.

"My organization seeks the Kyuubi." Itachi responded.

"For what purpose?" Hinata asked.

"That is none of your concern. This is your last warning, stand aside or you will suffer the same fate as those two Hyuga." Itachi said as he walked towards Hinata.

"I will not leave him!" Hinata shouted as she glared at Itachi. She was confused when she saw his sharingan transform. Her vision then blackened as she heard Itachi activate his most powerful genjutsu.

"Tsukuyomi"

(Tsukuyomi world)

Hinata opened her eyes and found herself strapped to a cross. There was a blood red moon in the sky casting a red tint to everything.

'What's going on?' Hinata thought as Itachi appeared.

"This is the most powerful genjutsu in the Uchiha's arsenal. I control this world and you are trapped. For the next 72 hours you will relive your worst nightmare. If you are strong enough then your mind will not shatter." Itachi said as he disappeared.

"My worst nightmare? What does he mean?" Hinata wondered as she tried to break free of the ropes binding her to the cross. It was very strange to her. She had been in a genjutsu before but never one this powerful or this real. She could feel the ropes biting into her wrists the more she struggled.

"Hinata-chan."

Hinata looked up and saw Naruto standing before her.

"Naruto-kun!" Hinata cried out in happiness.

"Why Hinata-chan? Why couldn't you save me?" Naruto asked sadly.

"What? What are you talking about Naruto-kun?" Hinata asked in confusion.

"I was captured Hinata-chan. I was captured because you failed to protect me. I did everything I could for you Hinata-chan! I loved you with all of my heart and you let me die!" Naruto shouted in rage at her.

Hinata was at a loss for words at the hateful look in Naruto's face. She had never seen in directed at her before and it tore at something in her heart.

"I would never do that Naruto-kun! I love you." She cried out as tears began running down her face.

"If you love me so much then why did you allow Itachi to take me? You know what? You're clan was right all those years ago, you truly are weak and useless!" Naruto said as dark figures began to appear behind him.

Hinata was fully crying now at the painful words coming from the mouth of her beloved. She could say nothing as the dark figures began to attack Naruto. Hinata screamed in anguish as Naruto was left broken and near death. He crawled over to her and looked her in the eye as blood ran out of his broken body.

"This is all your fault." He said as he died right in front of her.

'This can't be real! This isn't real! Please stop it!' Hinata screamed in her mind as she closed her eyes and willed the scene away. However, it was not to be as the genjutsu continued.

"Naruto!"

Hinata opened her eyes and watched as Kurenai appeared beside the dead body of Naruto. Kurenai cried out in sorrow for her dead student and looked at Hinata with hate filled eyes.

"Why didn't you do something Hinata?! How could you allow him to die like this?! I guess I was always wrong about you. You are not strong or a worthy ninja. You are a disgrace!" Kurenai shouted at her as the dark figures once again reappeared.

"K-Kurenai-nee-san! Look out!" Hinata cried as the dark figures approached Kurenai. Her words hurt Hinata but she was able to put that aside as she tried to warn her sister.

"This is your fault Hinata. If only you could have been stronger than none of this would have happened." Kurenai said as the dark figures tore her apart as well. Hinata's eyes widened in disbelief as Kurenai's blood splashed onto her body. Hinata screamed out in anguish at the sight but it was not over.

"Hinata."

Hinata opened her eyes and saw Shino walk up.

'No! Please no!' She shouted as she closed her eyes and tried to block it out. However it was to no avail. Shino continued to speak.

"Our team is broken because of you. I had always thought that you were strong. You overcame your depression when you family threw you out and you were a strong ally. However, I know see that I was wrong. For you to allow this to happen shows that you are a weak and helpless child that is always looking to others to do the work while you stay back and cower in fear. I have never been as ashamed in another as I am now." Shino said as the dark figures once again emerged.

"Please stop it." Hinata said desperately in a broken tone. She couldn't take it. The dark figures were not so accommodating however, and Shino as well as torn to pieces, his shouts of pain and agony ripping through Hinata's head.

"Hinata."

Hinata was shocked when the mangled bodies of Naruto, Kurenai, and Shino disappeared and Naruto was once again standing in front of her. He was once again looking at her in disgust.

"Why Hinata-chan? Why couldn't you save me?" Naruto asked sadly.

'No, not again! Please not again!' Hinata shouted in her mind as she cried out in anguish and fury as the genjutsu began to repeat itself.

And so it went for hours. Hinata was forced to relive her worst nightmare. Her most precious people were dying because of her weakness. The genjutsu actually began to change slightly and others were brought before her. Soon everyone that she considered a friend or loved one would be presented to her and brutally killed after proclaiming her a weakling and the cause for their imminent demise.

Hinata was not able to take this for much longer and was on the verge of a mental collapse. Her head fell to her chest and her eyes began to fade as her mind began to shatter to pieces.

"Hinata."

Hinata's head jerked briefly before she once again began to slip into the darkness that represented her mental breakdown.

"Hinata!"

Hinata warily looked up. In front of her, she once again saw a precious person of hers preparing to die. This time it was Anko. However, something strange was happening. Anko's curses and hateful words began to deem until Hinata couldn't hear her at all. She could see Anko's hateful eyes and her lips continuing to move but there was no sound.

'W-what's going on?' Hinata thought tiredly.

"Hinata you must listen to me! If you don't then both you and Naruto will be lost." The voice said.

Hinata vaguely recognized it as the same voice she had heard before she had been resurrected.

"Who are you? What do you want?" Hinata asked softly.

"That isn't important right now. You have to be strong or Itachi will be victorious." The voice said urgently.

"I-I can't. I'm too weak. I'm nothing but a burden to others." Hinata said as the affect of the genjutsu became apparent.

"That's a complete lie! Do you really think that Naruto and the others believe that? You are strong Hinata. You are the only one that can save Naruto and you must overcome your fear to do it. You fear that you will fail all those that you care for as you will not be strong enough to protect them. This is a very real fear that all feel at some point in their lives, but you cannot succumb to it." The female voice said.

"What can I do? I'm not strong enough to break this technique. Naruto-kun is going to be captured because I was too weak to save him. It is all my fault." Hinata said as her tears began once again.

"Stop talking like that! You can still protect him but you must act quickly." The voice said.

"I don't know if I can." Hinata said as she began to slump down again. Her mind had taken a large amount of strain and her mental strength was nearly nonexistent.

"Are you going to prove your fears right? Are you going to stand by and let the one you love get captured and possibly killed? I think not! Stand strong Hinata Yuhi! You are powerful and with my help you will succeed." The voice said once again.

Hinata used what little strength she had to observe the genjutsu she was trapped in. It had once again restarted and Naruto was once again in front of her. While she couldn't hear his words she had long since memorized them. The dark figures approached him again and were preparing to end his life.

'No. I won't let this happen!' Hinata thought as Naruto was attacked.

'I won't let it happen.'

'I won't let it happen!'

"I won't let it happen!" Hinata shouted as she felt a power spread through her body.

"Good girl. I knew you were the one worthy of our power." The feminine voice said softly as Hinata's power began to erode the Tsukuyomi.

(Real world)

Itachi had grabbed Naruto was preparing to leave out the window. Only a few seconds had passed since he had captured the young Hyuga girl in his genjutsu and he was preparing to take his prize. Itachi truly didn't bear a grudge against Naruto. His brother had chosen his path and had paid the consequences.

'Foolish little brother. I had hoped that you would accomplish so much more.' Itachi thought. He paid no mind to the single tear that fell down his face at the thought.

Itachi was broken from his thoughts when he felt a pulse come from the young Hyuga girl. He watched, intrigued as she slowly began to awaken and rise to her feet.

'Impossible. No one has ever been able to break out of the Tsukuyomi unless they are of Uchiha blood.' Itachi thought as a bright white light began to envelope Hinata's body. The light was awe inspiring as it seemed as pure and white as snow yet held an indescribable power within it.

Hinata got to her feet and turned to look at Itachi. Her eyes were pure white and her hair began to grow until it reached far down her back. Strange symbols began to form on her skin. The symbols were very faint and were almost invisible against her pale skin. However, Itachi's sharingan showed him in great detail just how complex the markings were. He couldn't begin to imagine what their presence meant just as he couldn't figure out how Hinata had been able to break out of the Tsukuyomi.

"You will not take him." Hinata said in an ethereal voice. Itachi lowered Naruto to the ground as he observed his opponent. That she had been able to overcome one, if not the, most powerful genjutsus in the world was truly a shock to the elder Uchiha. For the first time in a long time he wasn't sure what he was going to do. It wasn't that he feared her, though the amount of chakra she was releasing was shockingly high. He was still sure that he could defeat her, however, without knowing exactly where this power had come from and what it allowed her to do he was erring on the side of caution.

Hinata raised her hand as the white chakra began to form in her had. A long white pillar of chakra appeared in her hand. She brought her right hand up and grabbed the center of the pillar. She pulled back and the column of white chakra began to bend and stretch as well until it seemed that she was holding a bow of chakra.

"Leave." Hinata said calmly as she released an arrow of pure white that flew at Itachi at speeds that even his sharingan couldn't follow.

The window behind Itachi exploded out from the force behind the attack. Hinata calmly jumped to avoid the sword that was about to hit her from behind. She turned and stared at Itachi who was once again surprised by what he saw. Hinata's eyes were still white but there were now the telltale veins around her eyes that showed that her Byakugan was back.

'This is very interesting. However, I no longer have time to waste.' Itachi thought as he watched Hinata draw back on her bow once again.

"You will not take the one I love Itachi Uchiha. You clan seems to know only how to destroy. You will not destroy our love nor will you harm anyone I care for." Hinata said as the arrow of chakra began to grow in size until it was roughly triple the size it was before.

Itachi quickly ran though the calculations of how much damage that arrow would cause compared to the earlier one he also tilted his head a bit when he felt foreign chakra signatures swiftly approaching. Coming to decision, Itachi relaxed his stance and put away his sword. His cloak had been vaporized by the earlier attack after he had hastily switched his body with a nearby object. That the attack was strong enough to still damage his clothing spoke of its strength.

"It seems my time has run out. Both you and Naruto are very interesting Hinata Hyuga." Itachi said.

"My name is Hinata Yuhi. Learn it well as it is the name of the one who will kill you." Hinata said as she continued to watch him.

"We shall see. Our next encounter will be very different young Yuhi." Itachi said as he sank into the ground and disappeared. Immediately, the door opened and the doctor from earlier appeared along with a few Anbu and Kakashi and Kurenai.

"Hinata?" Kurenai said in shock as she took in Hinata's new appearance.

"It's okay nee-san. We're both okay." Hinata said as she slowly walked over to Naruto and placed him back in his bed. She climbed in with him and laid her head on his chest. She then rose up and kissed him on the lips. The white light that flowed around her began to seep into Naruto before she broke the kiss and passed out on his chest.

(Three days later)

The war was over and the leaf had once again survived. Their losses were costly but with the return of their forces that had been out completing missions during the start of the war, the leaf was still powerful. The village itself had taken only minor damage and was quickly on the way to being rebuilt.

Tsunade looked over at the patients in the hospital. She could only sigh in annoyance at how things had gone. Orochimaru was dead. That actually was a bitter sweet piece of information for her. While he was deranged and evil, a part of her would always remember when he was her teammate and the many battles and adventures they had gone on together.

'Speaking of teammates.' Tsunade thought as she looked down at the bed that held Jiraiya.

He had walked back into the village and had only been able to inform her that Orochimaru was dead before passing out. Tsunade was in no shape to heal him at the current time as she was low on chakra. She had nearly died in fright when she realized that he had been struck with Orochimaru's kusanagi. The legendary blade's poison was nearly incurable for anyone other than herself. However, her fear was unfounded when she realized that he had passed out from exhaustion, not envenomation. Upon further inspection she saw that there was a strange seal on his body. She hadn't been sure at the time what that meant until she had been able to build up her strength and began to heal him. Jiraiya had told her himself what that seal was for, after he had woken up.

'It's a seal Tsunade. I placed it on myself before the fight. It absorbs the poison and stores it away. However it can't neutralize it.' Jiraiya had told her. She had him slowly release the seal and she extracted the venom at the same time. It didn't take too long and he was now fine, though he would be bed ridden for a few more days.

Tsunade left Jiraiya's room and walked around the busy hospital. The hospital was filled with injured ninja but things were slowly starting to wind down. She smiled as she saw most of the boys that were injured just a few days ago were now sitting at the bed sides of their girl friends. She had gotten the news from Shizune about how they had all fought together to defeat Jugo.

'We were very lucky.' Tsunade thought as she reached her office and thought about everything that had happened. The village was now on lock down as they tried to take stock on everything that had happened as well as what they were going to do now. They hadn't been hurt drastically but either the sound-sand invasion or this recent one but all together both of those battles had reduced the village's strength down to less than half of what it had been before.

She knew that she was going to have to make some serious decisions soon as other villages would now be watching Konoha very carefully to see whether they could take advantage of the situation. Tsunade knew that the hidden stone village would love nothing more than to annihilate Konoha, however they were still hurting from the third great ninja war and were not about to attack again without a firm idea of Konoha's strength.

Tsunade was very grateful to the hidden sand village as they had provided supplies and support for their leaf allies in the recent days after the battle. Gaara was in line to become the next Kazekage and with the attachments he as well as his sister had to the leaf, Tsunade knew that they had at least one ally that they could always count on in case another hidden village decided to test their luck.

'Things are hectic. I've got to decide what missions we will accept or decline, what to do about the losses we suffered, and I have to figure out what the heck happened in Naru-chan's room.' Tsunade thought as she pulled out a bottle of sake and took a long draw of the liquid. Neither Naruto nor Hinata had awoken yet and she was starting to get concerned.

"You know that isn't very good for you Hokage-sama."

Tsunade looked up and was instantly on guard as a figure dress in a black cloak that hid all of his features stepped out of the shadows.

"Who are you and what do you want?" Tsunade asked warily as her Anbu guards immediately appeared in the room with their blades at the ready.

"Easy, easy I'm not here to fight. I just want to talk to you about Naruto and Hinata." The mysterious man said simply.

"Then talk, but first I want to know who you are!" Tsunade shouted as she cracked her knuckles.

"Who am I? Well…..That is a secret!" The man said in a jovial tone as all the occupants of the room stared at him as if he were insane.

'Something tells me that this guy is going to be a severe pain in the butt.' Tsunade thought as her eyebrow twitched.

(end)

Here's chapter 55! It's a bit short compared to my others but that's because this was the best place to cut it off. Next chapter will be long and it will deal with the aftermath of the war as well as how things are going to change. There may even be a lemon in there, I haven't decided just yet. It would be my first time writing one and I would like your opinion as a reader as to whether or not I should write one for this story or not.

The mysterious man has reappeared! What information does he bring about Naruto and Hinata? What power did Hinata tap into? Why do I always have to end a chapter with a cliff hanger? That is a secret!

Till next time, Kyuubi123 out!