Pairing: Hyuuga Hinata/Hyuuga Neji, Hyuuga Hinata/Uzumaki Naruto, various other background pairings both het and slash
Fic Title: Rosemary for Remembrance
Link: LJ / FF.net
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17, explicit sex, incest, character deaths, violence, adultery, dub-con, suicide
Why This Must Be Read: Rosemary for Remembrance branches off canon at around Chapter 238, but in scope follows Neji and Hinata from childhood onwards. If there is one Neji/Hinata story you ever read, or even one Naruto story you ever read, make sure it's this one. Everything about it -- storytelling, characterization, prose, plot -- is absolutely stunning . The author shows amazing insight into canon aspects of their relationship, and then takes it one believable step further, exploring the dark side of clan politics and powerplays. And as you can probably tell from the warnings, this fic is dark. It is not a typical love story. One of the best parts about Rosemary is the various ways both Neji and Hinata, the Naruto world, and the people who populate it, are separately fleshed out into full detail. The evolution of the Neji and Hinata relationship is a joy to watch, entwined with a beautiful, haunting look at the past and present of the Hyuuga clan. The author describes it as a story of two lives and it really is, but also so much more.
A short excerpt:
When you have studied someone as Neji had Hinata, it is a simple thing to dissect that person. To cut her into easily digested pieces in front of her peers. To expose every weakness, and every hidden fear.
Even virtues can become flaws under a strong enough glare.
He knew how to tear her up, and how to take her apart, because he had been watching her every move since she was three years old.
“The person lost and suffering within the Main and Branch Houses is you, Neji-niisan.”
What stung was that she could do the same to him when, as far as he knew, she had never really seen him at all.
Fandom Category: Naruto
Pairing: Hyuuga Hinata/Hyuuga Neji
Fic Title: Raindancer
Rating/Warning(s): T, incest, some violence, character death
Why This Must Be Read: In which Hinata becomes the head of the Hyuuga Clan, Neji remains her guard, and they both deal with the consequences behind her new position. A much lighter story than Rosemary, it charts Hinata and Neji's growing closeness with gorgeous imagery. My favourite aspect of the story is how true it stays to the Hinata canon presents, working within the constraints of her characteristic shyness, while still showing an absolute steel core of strength. As Neji falls for Hinata, we do too.
Courage, after all, was not about being above fear. It was about being terrified and doing what needed to be done anyway. Hinata had that ability in spades- she had never been above fear from the moment she'd been born. It was her constant cold companion.
Neji stared out into the Hyuuga dark and wished, not for the first time, that there was something he could do to make her feel safe... even for just an hour.