Why do you ship NaruHina? I like every other ships of you but not NaruHina. I will never forget the fact that Hinata commented about how manly and big and warm Naruto's hand was although Neji literally sacrificed himself a moment before and his dead body lied in front of them.
I get where you’re coming from. First off, I want to reiterate that Neji dying that way was bullshit. We’re supposed to believe that a wooden projectile was flying at some precise magical speed where it would pierce and cause fatal injury to one and only one human body, without further traveling through that body to pierce the bodies on the other side of it; yet Neji couldn’t knock it away with Kaiten (Revolving Heaven) or another badass taijutsu move? The narrative tells us via Hiashi’s thought bubble that Neji’s moves “won’t be enough” but it’s bullshit. That is contrived bullshit. It’s the opposite of a Deus Ex Machina. Kishimoto needed somebody “important” to die to up the emotional stakes and make people fear for their faves, and Neji was the best pick because killing him also does away with that inconvenient “fate” and “branch house” plot line from early Naruto.
Now that we’ve dealt with Neji, back to Hinata. Basically, while I think it was bullshit for Neji not to be able to deal with the threat, I don’t think Hinata’s action of attempting to be a human shield and nothing more was out of character. Hinata is not a very good ninja. I wouldn’t bet on her ability to pull off a move to block the projectiles or to track them at Neji’s level. Moreover, Hinata has a pattern here and in Pain’s attack of more or less a death wish. Basically, Hinata values her own life and contributions so little that she is willing to risk certain death if it can buy Naruto-kun even a one in a million chance at another minute of being alive.
Note that I’m not saying this is a good thing. But I see it as in keeping with her temperament coupled with her childhood. She ought to be, at this point, in a better world, still in the first half of her character development.
(In my better world, after destroying the wooden projectiles with revolving heaven, Neji turns and asks her what the hell she was thinking doing that and we get a character development scene for both Hinata and Neji. Obito’s big speech about comrades dying? Um, why were the hundreds, maybe thousands of other corpses littering the fields after the projectile attack not enough for that? Oh, right, because none of those corpses had names, therefore nobody gives a shit.)
But back to the darkest timeline. Hinata’s comment about Naruto’s hand is coming at the tail end of a speech about basically “we have to go on, we can’t stop to grieve now, if we give up, that’s when they truly die”. Essentially, snap out of it and keep going forward. Kurama and so on pitches in too and Naruto renews his resolve, and takes Hinata’s hand as part of this resolve.
So. In this scenario about committing to life in the midst of death, Hinata’s focus on the tactile, grounding sensation of Naruto’s hand, and what it represents, makes complete sense to me.
Going back to why Neji dying was bullshit, literally everything about the rest of this scene could have happened the exact same way without Neji dying, provided you actually give a shit about people who die who don’t have names, an enormous problem in Naruto.
For my other reasons why I like NaruHina, I refer you to this post I made earlier on the subject.
I am… uh… not terribly popular among Tumblr NaruHina fandom though, for the record.