‘How could I fail this so badly? How could I let everyone down when they relied on me the most? I am the sole Jonin of our group and yet I am the biggest failure of us all,’ Neji thought to himself. His lavender eyes looked up from the ground to see Sakura lying unconscious in the bed in front of him.
Guilt ate away at Neji, he was the Jonin in charge and yet he was the one sitting, perfectly well, while she was the one in a comatose state. It had been days, the only thing he had done was sit by her bed, hoping she would wake up soon.
Shizune entered her hospital room to check on Sakura, to be surprised to find Neji still sitting there. She looked him up and down as he obviously wasn’t paying enough attention to notice her, probably a side effect of the several days without sleeping or even eating. The more she saw the more concerned she became, he was still wearing the same white robes he had been wearing on their mission, they were still stained with the blood from the mission. His hair, usually well taken care of and free of tangles or breaks, was a mess, tangled, even splashes of mud and blood stained the brown locks as he stayed, not caring about it at all.
“Neji, you should go home,” Shizune let out as she made her way to Sakura to check the chart. “You don’t look very well and you constantly staying here won’t make her get any better.”
Neji looked up, meeting her eyes with his fatigued ones. “With all due respect, this is my fault. I will stay until she gets better,” Neji responded.
Shizune opened her mouth to respond, but closed it again knowing full well how stubborn the Hyuga could be. She made the necessary adjustments to Sakura’s chart and took her leave.
Neji’s gaze fell to the floor once again as she left. He was trying his hardest to fight off sleep as it was getting increasingly difficult, but it didn’t seem he would win this fight. His eyes closed as sleep came for him, finally accepting that he needed to rest.
Word around the Hyuga compound had already started to spread; no one had seen Neji in almost a week but knew he’d been sighted entering the village after his mission. Most people weren’t worried, they had learned not to worry about Neji, but that didn’t stop Hinata from being worried.
She watched as Tokuma entered the Ming House Compound and went to ask him, he and Neji could often be found training together as Tokuma had the better Byakugan but Neji the better Gentle Fist. “Um, Tokuma?” Hinata started, her usual shy demeanour getting the best of her.
Tokuma turned to face Hinata, curious of what she wanted; she rarely talked to him. “Yes, Hinata-sama, what is it?”
“H-Have you seen Neji Nii-san? I haven’t heard from him since he left for his last mission,” she said, the worry on her face being very apparent to any who could see.
Tokuma shook his head in response, he was a little surprised Hinata of all people hadn’t heard from him, Neji was always so close with Hinata. “No, sorry, I haven’t seen or heard from him either. I think Sakura was with him on the mission and I heard she’s in the hospital, he might be with her,” He responded.
Hinata’s lilac eyes widened as she heard the news, how had she not heard of Sakura being in the hospital. She nodded at Tokuma wiping the surprised look off her face. “Thank you, Tokuma,” she said quickly before running off in an obvious hurry.
Hinata quickly made her way through the hospital, only stopping to ask which room Sakura was in. As she approached the hospital room she reached out for the door handle only to stop as she caught sight of her cousin in the chair by Sakura’s bed. She knew Neji better than anyone in the village and as she saw him sleeping in the chair knew she should probably let him sleep.
Neji never fell asleep sitting up like that, if he had it was obvious he was fatigued beyond belief and should probably be left alone. The sight of him wasn’t very positive, but in his current state he was not going to be the best to talk to. Hinata entered quietly, pulling a blanket from the closet and placing it around Neji. She looked between Neji and Sakura, wishing he would come home and she would get better, and turned to leave. As she opened the door and stepped outside, she almost ran right into Shizune.
“Oh, sorry,” Hinata let out quickly as she walked around her and started making her way back to the compound. It was obvious Hinata wasn’t the happiest, but she was at least glad that Neji was okay.
Shizune watched Hinata, with slight awe, before turning back to Sakura’s room. She noticed the blanket placed around Neji and look back toward Hinata as she left. A smile crossed her lips as she thought about it. ‘Perhaps Neji isn’t always this stoic and stubborn if Hinata cares this deeply for him,’ she thought to herself. A slight smile crossed her lips before she turned and walked away from the room.