Hinata sat in the main parlor of her home, waiting for her father. He didn't ask to speak to her in private often and whenever he did, it was about something upsetting. Hiashi walked in and she sat stock straight. "Ohayo, Otousan," she said with a polite bow.
Without a word, Hiashi sat down on the pillow opposite Hinata. After a few moments of watching his child fidget with her hands, he sighed heavily. "Hinata, I have recently received a rather disturbing report from a member of the house staff," he said sternly.
Hinata felt her chest tighten with nervousness. "R...report?"
"Yes. They said you've been hiding something from me. You were seen putting on, a wig," Hiashi said as his eyes narrowed.
"Hinata...is this true?" Hiashi asked as he tapped one finger on his knee.
Hinata looked down. "H...hai, Otousan."
"Take it off," Hiashi commanded, "Now."
Hinata timidly nodded and removed the pins from her wig before sliding it off. Her hair fell to her shoulders in thick, blue-black ripples. Her heart pounded painfully in her chest as she stared at the floor, waiting for the venomous chastising to begin; when it never came, she chanced a glance upward. What she saw made her jaw drop in shock. There were tears in her father's eyes. "O...Otousan?"
"You...you look just like her," Hiashi said with a shaking voice.
"Her?" Hinata asked quietly.
"Your mother," Hiashi said as he closed his eyes.
Hinata's eyes widened. "I...I look like...Okasan? Is...is that why you didn't want me to grow my hair?"
Hiashi sucked in a deep breath. "Yes. In fact, from the day you were born, I knew that you would be her twin." He was silent for a moment as he chose his next words. "At first, I was happy, but after she died..." Hiashi swallowed. "...I could barely stand to look at you."
Tears began to flow from Hinata's eyes. "I...I see."
"So, I made you cut your hair. Although the pain has lessened in recent years, I knew if you grew your hair long, it would resurface again. However...the result is, apparently...not what I expected."
"What I am feeling," He shifted a bit in his seat. He wasn't used to speaking with anyone that way and it made him uncomfortable, "is not the pain I feared, it is pride," Hiashi finished with a small smile.
Hinata's eyes suddenly held hope. "R...really?"
Hiashi nodded. "Pride that my daughter is just as beautiful, as her mother."
"Otousan... Thank you...thank you so much!" Hinata chirped as she hugged her father tightly.
Hiashi was so surprised that his quiet, reserved, and abnormally shy child would do something so bold that, for a moment, his arms stayed at his sides. When he heard the small sobs coming from her, he embraced her gently. "I'm sorry, Hinata. I should have shown pride in you long ago."
After a while, Hiashi cleared his throat, and father and daughter parted. "I do have something else I would like to speak to you about, though."
Hinata resumed her place on the floor pillow she had occupied earlier. "Something else?"
Hinata was suddenly a bit nervous again. "Oh..."
"I would like to know what you see in such a boy," Hiashi answered plainly.
Even through her nerves, a blush crept over Hinata's cheeks. "I...I've liked him for a long time. S...so many people don't take the time to see what's inside him."
"Go on," Hiashi said as he folded his arms.
"He has a good heart, he's c...caring, sweet, and he always does his best. Th...that's what I admire about him the most. He never gives up. No m...matter what anyone thinks of him or how bad things get, he keeps on trying." Hinata's voice became a bit quiet. "In fact, b...before he graduated, he tried so hard that...that he...he pretended to smile all the time," Hinata said sadly.
"Pretended...you mean all of his idiotic grins were fake?"
Hinata shook her head. "Not all of them, b...but mostly. I wanted s...so much to talk to him, but I didn't know how. Now that he has friends and family, most of his smiles are real. I...I want to be there to see all those smiles, Otousan. P...please, don't take me away from him," she said as she threw herself into a very low bow.
Hiashi sighed and closed his eyes in thought for a few moments. "Alright."
Hinata looked up from her bow with disbelief and hope.
"I will allow you to see him...for now. But I want to speak to him sometime in the near future. I still consider him rude, loud, and uncivilized. It will take much before I will change that opinion."
Hinata decided two hugs in one day might be pushing it, so instead, she opted for another bow. "Thank you, Otousan. I promise you will not regret it."
"We shall see." Hiashi rose from his seat. "I have a few matters to attend to. I will see you at dinner."
Hiashi began to walk away.
"I...love you," Hinata said in a small voice. Hiashi said nothing in return, but he did smile and nod. Hinata knew that was the best 'I love you too' he could manage, so it made her happy.
As Hinata stepped outside the room she noticed Hanabi standing there with a contemplative look on her small face. "Hanabi-chan?"