Neji's mother returns home after a two-month-long mission. Revolves around her relations with her son, her outlook on life and how she deals with her painful past (Hizashi's death). Supposed to be serious and sad. IT IS NOT ENTIRELY FINISHED, but since I'm almost done I thought I might as well ask people for opinions. It's the most serious story I tried to write so far and I know, that it's either the greatest crap or the greatest masterpiece I could come up with. Come on: decide, which of those two would it be. Pretty please ^_^ Mother?s return by GreatMarta By the time she reached the gates of Konoha, the sun had already disappeared from the sky. It was a dark, cold night, and there wasn?t even one star to be seen above. Perfect circumstances for an ANBU, who comes home from a two months long mission. A successful mission, that is. Yumi walked along an empty street, enjoying the briskness she could feel in the air. Now, that she found herself within the borders of her home village, she could allow herself to chill out a little bit. Just a little bit. Even here, even now, somebody might be watching her. The chances of being attacked here, on her own playground practically, were quite small, but even quite a small chance is a chance. Afterall, it is her home village, where she had experienced the worst tragedy of her entire life. Oh geez, here I go again, she thought to herself. It hasn?t even been 5 minutes since I entered Konoha, and those memories approached me already. It was better last time. Sighs? Get a grip, woman. You?re an ANBU. You can?t allow yourself such weakness, right? Yumi was an ANBU. A very good one. A professional, devoted to her job and mission. She strictly followed a set of draconic rules, that infiltrated every aspect of her life. As soon as the training program she created for herself became too easy, she complicated it in any way possible. She was able to meditate for hours, and not even a bird dropping poop on her head could distract her. Her colleagues admired her self-discipline, self-control and determination. They said, that Yumi-san was a companion they could rely on and a pleasure to work with. Sometimes, one or another would dare to call her ?a hell of a woman?. But none of them would suspect, that such a strong, tough woman could find herself hopeless against a certain enemy. An enemy, that would always return, no matter how hard she fought him away. This enemy existed within her mind and tormented her with the past she so badly wished to forget. She walked slowly, taking the longer rout. She should hurry home. But she just kept on walking around. With every step, the memories were getting harder and harder to ignore. Slow down. The slower, the better. Okay, slowly but steadily, go home. Home. Your very own home. Full of your very own belongings. And the heart of darkness, consuming the very core of your being. She entered the Hyuuga estate and directed her steps towards the part, which was inhabited by the Branch House. Soon, it was the time to face the door of her house. There she stood, staring at the door-handle. Staring, as if expecting to hear some words of compassion from it. A piece of advise would be nice. Geez, that is sick. Woman, what is wrong with you? What?s the big deal? Now, you will pull the handle, enter the house and go sleep in your bedroom. You are tired from the long journey. You need a rest. If you stay here, you will eventually fall asleep in the standing position. And that would be a shame, right? Alright. Come on, reach the handle? But no. Suddenly, the handle moved on it?s own. The door swung wide open, and revealed the figure of a young, long-haired boy. His white eyes met hers, green, and forced a gasp out of mouth. For a few seconds, the woman and the boy remained in eye contact. Both of them needed those few seconds desperately. It was the first time they saw each other in two months. Neither would admit it, but now, that they finally reunited, their hearts pounded like crazy. Yumi gazed at the boy?s handsome face, amazed of how much he could grow within those two months, and how much he reminded of his father. Every time she saw him, he looked more an more like him. It was amazing to see him grow. So amazing to observe the changes in his look. My, my, what a beautiful boy she had. Dark haired, white eyed, with a balanced figure and an excellent posture. And still, that inner charm and a kind of cuteness. He was perfect. He must be very popular with the girls. She bet he was. He was 13 years old already. Soon, he would start to notice, that the opposite gender may be attractive. Sighs? ?Good evening, mother? the boy first broke the silence. His tone was calm, and didn?t let much emotions show through it. Afterall, the situation wasn?t this unusual. Yumi often took long-time missions and often returned at night. He was used to it. ?Neji? she answered, reminding herself how pleasurably his name tasted on her tongue ?I thought you have already gone to sleep? ?I stayed at the training ground for a longer time today? he explained ?I didn?t feel tired at all. I suppose I suspected, that you would return home today? ?So it seems? she agreed with him, and even allowed herself to smile weakly. The sight of her little boy and the sound of his voice was a surprisingly strong remedy for her arching heart. ?Please, come in? he moved, to let her pass. And she did. She made it inside her house. To enter the place where she lived, after such a long absence, was like sinking into a deep, muddy water. To find herself surrounded by the objects she knew so well and the scent connected with them, to let the image of them update within her memory, was like exploring a wreckage of a ship she once owned. It was hers. That wooden floor, the hanger-hooks on the wall, the mirror? She stopped by the mirror, to take a look at her own reflection. She looked horrible. Her brown hair, tied in ponytail, was fat, oily and dirty. Many small scratches, as much as a few wrinkles covered her face. Black circles surrounded her green eyes. The ANBU uniform looked, as if it went through two world wars. Overall: one, great mess. ?You must be hungry after your journey? her son turned to her ?I am going to prepare a supper for you. Or would you like to take a bath first?? he offered. Now that?s a young gentleman. ?I guess I?ll start with a bath? she decided ?And yes, it would be nice if you could prepare something to eat. I?d greatly appreciate that? ?Then I shall cook rice with crabs? he announced and headed towards the kitchen. She was proud of him. He was so helpful and caring. Boys usually do everything just to avoid having to fulfill their chores, but her son was different. He had a great sense of responsibility. He could organize his daily schedule on his very own, finding time for trainings, missions, chores, learning and everything. Not even a minute would go to waste in Hyuuga Neji?s life. He was a professional. Just like his mother. ?Mother?? he suddenly turned to her. ?Yes, Neji?? ?It is good, that you returned home safely? he said in his usual, plain way. He wasn?t good at showing emotions. But she knew, that what he said, was true and came from the centre of his heart. ?It is good to be home? she nodded.