There is beauty in kindness, even against cruelty.
Maybe especially against cruelty.
The strength to face adversity with grace, the wisdom to cease the perpetuation of hostility–it is honorable, admirable…
… entirely untenable.
Suffering needlessly isn’t her style. Eye for an eye might make the whole world blind, but against reality-bending dojutsu she’d easily make that trade.
For her, mercy is a luxury–spent sparingly and only on the rare occasions she can afford it–her main currencies are preparation and paranoia.
For a long time after The Incident, Cloud nin become the boogeyman for nearly all clan children.
Because they are shinobi, their parents do not use it so blatantly–they don’t use it consciously at all, too much tragedy surrounding it–it’s in the furrow of their brows, the tight, lingering hugs, the fearful hovering and grateful sighs of relief every time their children are back within their line of sights.
It is something not talked about but whispered, child to child: Cloud nin will come get you if you stray too far, if you don’t listen to your parents, if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It devolves, the way things do, rumors and degrees of separation and time muddling things. Cloud nin will kidnap you if you don’t finish your homework, if you don’t eat your vegetables, or don’t go to bed on time. Small, childish things.
Eventually, they all grow out of it…
… nearly all of them, that is.
It was never just a childhood boogeyman for Hinata.
Konoha goes to war.
They are peacetime children, yes, but shinobi all the same–in a way, they have been training for this their entire lives.
And yet, there is caution. The clan heirs held behind the safety of Konoha’s walls. They are powerful, yes, but still vulnerable. Once they are sent onto the battlefield, there is no turning back.
For a moment–for a few months at least–she has held that inevitability off. Where she goes, the others can follow, and this is one path she does not want to trail blaze for them.
But all children must face their fears someday.
A/N: … I guess this is more… pre-Hinata/Shikako… I’ll be honest, the prompt is a little bewildering. Like… I don’t even know if I’m interpreting it correctly? And then making it match a ship I’ve only had a couple hours to ponder on is a little… so I kinda just ended up grasping at threads that didn’t match…