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Rahi's journel
Yeah, I'm officially dead here. You'll never see me again.

Current Location: uhh....
Current Mood: giddy giddy

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I think I possibly might end up coming back. However, there's only one use I know of for this place for me right now, & then I'm going completely over to DeviantArt.
I just wish my dad would hurry up & find the cd with the scanner program stuff on it, cause we got our internet upgraded, & then the scanner/printer/copier stoped working. That thing is the only thing getting my drawings form my desk to my profile at deviantart. And I got one pic that I can't wait to upload. Well, I can wait, but that's not my point.
The pic is a bit of a Flame x Scarlet comic type thingy. Now since I know any of my old contacter's have no idea who Flame & Scarlet are, I'll direct you to http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2987606/1/Tales_Of_Flame . Sure it's a pokemon fic, but it's one of the best i've read, easily rivally Two Half's by DameWren. And it's long, plus a part of a network of which two other fics are present in. Anomaly & Hoenn Chronicles.
Now since there's only one person watching me (and possibly one other person who's gonna come to see something), I doubt It's gonna matter all that much that I'm writing most of this. Just another sample of the insanity that haunts me everywhere, but never reveals itself cause it's afraid of my imagination's power. Now what am I talking about?!? I'm making no sense, even to me...which is very odd......

Current Mood: energetic energetic

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From my constant ons & offs due to FCAT, me being grouded from the internet, relatives visiting, spring break, etc., from now on I will stop saying I'm gonna do something, & do it instead. There are several things I wanna update but can't due to not enough time, & being cut off from my home computer (I can't load the stuff on CD's & but them in the school computers cause they're programed to not give any back).
Bottom line, your probably gonna hear even less from me because I'm gonna be working (or being distracted from) a bunch of stuff that I'll hopefull post someday time soon.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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I'm posting for no apparent reason, cept the one that anyone unfortune enough to read this will soon find out.

It sucks...it really does. For pairings like NaruHina from Naruto & IchiRuki from Bleach (where, it's not clearified in the actual anime/ manga), it's so easy to find fanfics & pics & icons...but for pairings like IchiMasa from Tokyo Mew Mew (where their love for each other is clearly difined throughout the entire series)it's nearly impossible to get anything...let alone anything worth checking out.
thats what sucks. I hope it's just with the small, slightly unimportant fandomes that I partake in that anything like this happens.
As I keep repeating, it sucks.

Also I added in a pic for experemental reasons. Forget where I got it, though I know it was at a website that someone gav me the link to on some other thingy.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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Chapter three (origanal) of Twice Shy by DameWren

“Sakura! Don’t you think you should get up?”
No, as a matter of fact Sakura did not think she should get up. She was still tired and therefore she should still be in bed. She was too groggy to remember why she was so tired, but she trusted that she had a good reason.
There was more bellowing from the kitchen. Covering her head with a lilac-colored pillow she once again asked herself why she had thought it been a good idea to get an apartment with Ino. Sure, the girls had mended their friendship years ago, but she should have known that did not necessarily mean that they should room together.
Ino had always been somewhat of a queen bee growing up. Pretty, confident, and smart, she was someone most of the other girls could look up to, even if she was a bit overbearing. Placement on the team with Chouji and Shikamaru had proven to be good for the young woman, finding that the more she bossed the boys around, the more they shrugged her off. She’d calmed down considerably working with them, and the group had developed enough cohesion that they had stayed together even after Shikamaru achieved the rank of chuunin. Not many teams stayed together once ranks changed.
Still, it wasn’t until she achieved chuunin that she had been drafted into the Intelligence Corp., and it was there that Ino had truly come into her own.
Intelligence and spy training had an interesting effect on Sakura’s old rival. Ino was sneaky, and woe be it to anyone who underestimated her shrewdness. She had effectively reformed her role as queen bee to now use a combination of skillful manipulation and badgering to get people to do what she wanted. Sakura was terribly glad that Ino had started dating, and maybe was even starting to fall for, Shikamaru. Even at his laziest, he was able to see what Ino was doing. Whether or not he bothered to stop her was another matter entirely.
“Sakura! Get out of bed!”
Lifting her pillow enough to read the clock, Sakura noted the time, then lay back down. “I’ve only been asleep for five hours; let me sleep!” she yelled back.
There was stomping in the hallway before her door flew open to reveal a rather irritated blond.
“If you want to stay up until three in the morning, that’s your business, but don’t expect me to put up with you sleeping in all day, forehead girl!” Ino exclaimed, stomping over to the bed with her hands on her hips.
“I was working, stupid Ino-pig, and it’s only- Hey!” she yelled as Ino yanked blankets off the bed. “Give those back!”
“You won’t say that once you hear the news,” Ino said with an evil grin.
Realizing that there was no way Ino was going to let her sleep, Sakura sat up on the bed. “What news?”
Ino stalked to the door and looked at Sakura over her shoulder with a triumphant smirk. “Naruto and Hinata are back,” she replied, and slipped down the hallway towards the kitchen.
“WHAT!” Sakura yelped, hopping out of bed, her shoulder-length hair swinging. She bolted down the hall in her pajamas, grabbing the doorjamb to stop herself. “They’re back!”
Ino offered up another smirk as she sat down at the small dining room table with her breakfast. She was wearing a sleek fighting dress with a scooped neckline and a stand-up collar, her long hair up in an elegant twist except for her trademark one piece that fell in the front. “Shikamaru told me. Apparently they came in late last night and spent a few hours in debriefing with the Hokage. They got home almost as late as you did.”
Sakura sat down at the table across from Ino with a slight thud and pushed a couple of strands of pink hair out of her face. Shikamaru was in intelligence with Ino and generally news that came from him was accurate. News that came from Ino was either accurate or spun towards some goal. Generally that goal was matchmaking.
“You’re sure?” Sakura asked. Just the idea of seeing Naruto again was a shock. She had been assured that he was coming back, that he was safe and just off training away from the village. Still, she hadn’t been able to really let herself believe that. In so many ways the memories of those three years were painful.
Ino nodded. “Of course I’m sure. Would I tell you if I wasn’t?”
“Where is he? At his old apartment?” she demanded.
This time she shook her head. “No; apparently someone left him a house for when he turned sixteen. It’s over on the west side of the city.”
“Do you want to go?”
Ino smiled. “Thought you’d never ask.”
Sakura stood up and headed back down the hall. “Just let me get cleaned up.”
“We should bring a housewarming present!” Ino yelled down the hall after her.
Hinata finally fell asleep, albeit fitfully, and woke up late. Looking at her clock she groaned softly, then pulled herself up out of bed. It was nearly ten o’clock, and she had told Naruto that she would be over this morning. With any luck he would have slept as late as she had. Getting up in the morning had never been his strong suit.
She walked to the end of the room and slid open the doors that exposed the courtyard below. Beyond the railing she could see Hanabi and her father training, her father correcting Hanabi’s stance and then making her run through the series of strikes again. Her sister had improved quite a bit in three years. She wondered if her little sister was preparing to test for chuunin.
Remembering she was late for her meeting with Naruto, she grabbed her things and headed down to the bathhouse. She scrubbed herself and washed her hair but didn’t allow herself to soak in the tub afterward. Dressing in her standard black pants and cream-colored tunic, she performed a quick hair-drying jutsu to save time (Sora knew a ridiculous number of techniques related to hair). Running back upstairs she brushed out her hair and rolled out her hair sticks, choosing a pair of redwood sticks with a stripe of darker wood inlayed through it. Pulling her hair back into its customary bun, she slid the sticks in and patted her hair to make sure it was all secure.
She left her room and headed down the stairs, trying to figure out how she was going to find Naruto’s house, when a voice stopped her.
“Hinata-sama?” Neji said from the top of the stairs. She turned to look up at him, his opposing figure taking up much of the doorway. “Where are you headed?”
“I’m going over to Naruto’s. I told him I would be by this morning,” she said. She was determined to go, but she wanted to get out of the house before her father finished training with Hanabi simply to avoid any possible confrontation.
Neji nodded. “I’ll go with you; I know where the house is. Afterwards we can start working on your training.”
Hinata wanted to go alone, to catch a few minutes where she could just have Naruto hold her. But she didn’t know where the house was while Neji did, and somehow she got the feeling he wasn’t going to let her go alone even if she said something. So, with an inward sigh she waited for Neji to walk down the stairs and join her. They were silent as they collected their coats and put on their shoes. Neji held the door for her as she walked through, then the two of them set off through the village.
It occurred to Hinata that her already serious cousin had become even more serious in the three years she had been away. It also occurred to her that if they were going to do anything more than walk in silence, she was going to have to start the conversation.
“What have you been doing for the last three years, Neji-nii-san?” she asked.
He looked at her for a second and then offered a small shrug. “Hokage-sama saw fit to keep my genin team together, although all three of us passed the jounin exam last year. I have been going on missions with them, along with training with Hiashi-sama.”
She smiled at him. “Congratulations on making jounin. Its amazing that all three of you moved up in such a short amount of time.”
“I confess it was very difficult, but we worked hard. Plus, they look to put teams that will work well together for missions, and the three of us are so accustomed to working with each other that it outweighed our youth. We are one of the few teams that has stayed together for so long; most people have gone into specialist training. They put us with a couple of older chuunin who specialized in genjutsu and ninjutsu and we passed.”
“Do you know how the others from our chuunin test group are doing?”
“From what I know, they have all made chuunin at this point. Nara-san probably would have made jounin, but they keep him very busy in intelligence and he says it can’t be bothered. I don’t know which of them are planning on testing for jounin with you and Uzumaki-san.”
She smiled sadly. “If I take the jounin exam. Otousan seems determined to keep me from testing. I suppose my chuunin exam was embarrassing enough.”
Neji didn’t respond immediately, leaving the two of them to walk down the street silently, listening to the sounds of the village bussing around. He startled her in more ways than one when he spoke.
“Hinata-sama, I want to apologize for the way I acted towards you during the chuunin exam,” he told her.
She looked at him with a slightly confused look on her face, traces of sadness on her face from the old memory. “Why? You needed to defeat me in order to continue with the test.”
Clasping his hands behind his back, he bowed his head as they walked. “Still, I was fighting you out of anger. You fought hard and I belittled you because of my hatred for the head family. I dishonored both you and myself.”
She shook her head and looked at the ground at her feet. “Neji-nii-san, I can understand why you hated the head family. We weren’t very fair to you or your father.”
He stopped and put a hand on her arm to stop her as well. Hinata couldn’t remember at time he had ever touched her except for their one fight. Looking into his eyes, she found they gleamed with emotion and purpose that she had never seen in him before. “My father chose to give his life to protect the village and the clan. Now it is my choice to follow in his footsteps. Cursing the head family and my fate is not going to change anything. I will take what fate has given me and make a better future. That is my nindo.”
He was willing to bury the past, she realized. To undo years, generations of division between the two groups, and move forward to create one family together. She had been so frightened that she was going to arrive home to a situation similar to that in the Kaze, where the branch family was ready to overthrow the head. Instead the cousin she had been so frightened of her whole life was here offering a truce.
It brought tears to her eyes, but she did not let them fall, standing with her back straight and turning herself to face Neji more fully. “I do not intend to run the clan the same way my ancestors have, Neji-nii-san. Most likely the way I want to do things will bring me into conflict with my father. I am still finding the strength to defy him, but I will, and when I do I don’t want you to be caught in the middle. I am not quite the same girl who left three years ago, and I cannot guarantee that you are going to like what I’m going to do.”
Neji offered her a rare smile, just the barest upturning of his mouth. “I have noticed you are not the same, and while I cannot guarantee I will always agree with you, I offer my support to you nonetheless.”
She smiled brightly and nodded. “Thank you, Neji-nii-san.” she said.
He nodded, and they turned to start walking down the street again. “Tell me,” he said, “about this new style you have learned. You said you have incorporated our strikes into it?”
Hinata began to explain Shina-To-Be, the Kaze, and partner training to Neji. He asked good questions, which made it easier for her to talk. The only thing that threw her off was that he kept asking questions about her and Naruto. He had mentioned it the night before as well, but she couldn’t understand why.
She was considering asking when she heard a wild stream of barking quickly followed by a large white dog that nearly knocked her over. She jumped back letting out a shriek of surprise, only to nearly loose her footing again as the dog circled her legs, butting his head up against her.
It wasn’t until she got a good look at the dog that realization dawned upon her. “Akamaru!” she asked and the dog yelped happily. “Look at you! You’ve gotten so big!” she said, kneeling down to be at the dog’s height while she scratched behind one of his ears. The dog leaned forward and licked her cheek, making Hinata giggle.
“Akamaru!” came a deep yell from down the street. Looking up, Hinata spotted two familiar figures running towards them. One was a man in black sunglasses with a long, high-collared jacket and the other had on a big parka, which he was wearing open over a tight-fitting t-shirt.
“Akamaru, what the hell are you doing running- oh!” The man with the parka stopped to stare at the girl playing with his dog. “Hinata? Is that you?”
“Kiba-kun! Shino-kun!” she exclaimed happily, standing again with a final pat to Akamaru’s head.
Shino nodded at her and she could see the faint wrinkles of a smile around the edges of his glasses. “Hinata, it is good to see you back in Konoha again and looking well.”
“Looking well?” Kiba asked incredulously. “Shino, have you had those damn glasses of yours checked recently? Hinata’s turned into a BABE!”
Hinata suddenly found her hand grabbed and she was spun around in a circle, Kiba inspecting her as he turned her around. “Damn, what did you do to yourself? You look hot!”
Her face turned bright red, embarrassed beyond what she had previously thought possible. She couldn’t believe that Kiba was talking like this! Things only got worse as he tugged on her hand to bring her closer to him and dropped one arm over her shoulders.
“Hey, have you gotten a chance to see the village yet? A lot of things have changed in the time you’ve been away. There’s a great restaurant that opened up on the other side of town. How about I show you around and then we grab dinner?”
“Um, actually, Kiba-kun, I’m on my way to see Naruto,” Hinata said ducking out from under Kiba’s arm.
“Why? You were just forced to put up with him for three years,” he asked.
“She’s dating Uzumaki-san,” Neji said from behind her, arms crossed over his chest. Kiba had matured into a rather roguish teenager, whose combination of bad-boy charm and a cute dog had started to win him dates with many of Konoha’s young ladies. Generally the girls’ fathers objected, but generally Kiba didn’t give a damn. Neji didn’t exactly dislike Kiba, but he might as well stomp any ideas of him dating his cousin right now.
“Eh? Naruto?” He scrunched his nose in disgust and shook his head. “Hinata, whatcha doing going out with an idiot like him?”
“Kiba-kun!” Hinata said shocked. “Naruto is not an idiot!”
“Heh, he does a pretty good impression of one, running around yelling, pulling pranks, and eating ramen.”
“Naruto is a sweetheart! He’s one of the kindest, bravest, and strongest people I know!” Hinata said, with a startling ferocity.
“He also,” Neji said calmly, “beat you in the Chuunin Exam, Kiba-san.”
“Heh; it was a fluke,” Kiba responded with a dismissive wave. “I’d kick his ass now. Besides, Hinata’s been on a mission for three years with him; she probably hasn’t had a chance to see what her other options are.” He gave her what could only be described as a wolfish grin.
“I really don’t think I need to, Kiba-kun,” Hinata said, wishing she just had a little bit of Sora’s ability to tell off men. “I’m very happy with Naruto.”
“Yeah, well, we’ll see about that,” he said. “Shino and I were heading out to train, but maybe I’ll come bug the idiot with you. Could be fun.”
Much to Hinata’s disappointment, Shino nodded. “I would like to see Uzumaki-san again.”
She sighed. First Neji, and now Kiba and Shino. Things weren’t going well for her and Naruto getting some time along together.
“He’s going to kill it,” Sakura said, staring at the large leafy green thing in her arms.
Ino shrugged. “You obviously don’t understand housewarming presents,” she said with an air of infinite superiority.
Sakura scowled. “It’s you who wanted to bring this instead of something practical that we knew he could use.”
“Cup ramen is not an appropriate housewarming present,” Ino scolded Sakura.
The other girl rolled her eyes. Decision-making between the two girls always took forever. It had taken them three months of paint swatches and arguments to agree on painting the kitchen white. “But that’s what he likes. Everyone knows that that’s what he likes.”
“What if he’s grown up in the last three years and doesn’t like it anymore?”
Sakura stared at her. She couldn’t see that happening. A Naruto who didn’t eat ramen? She wasn’t sure he would still be Naruto.
They continued to gripe and grumble at each other as they walked down the street. They had spent so much time arguing over the present that it was almost eleven o’clock.
Ino glared at something Sakura said, then pulled out a slip of paper. “Okay, so according to Shikamaru his house should be right kiddy-corner for his one.”
Both girls looked up at the house and stared.
“Are you SURE?” Sakura asked, disbelieving. “Who would give a house like that away to Naruto!”
Into looked back down at the sheet in her hand. “That’s the address I was given.”
Sakura shrugged. “I suppose it couldn’t hurt to go over and knock,” she said wearily.
They crossed the street and cautiously walked up the front steps. They shifted their weight from side to side for a second, before Ino got impatient. “Oh, don’t be ridiculous! We’re ninja for heaven’s sake! What could possibly be behind that door that we can’t handle?” She made a fist and knocked loudly on the door.
They heard a thump, the sound of feet, and then the slipping of the deadlock. The door opened and a very bleary-eyed young man poked his head out.
“Hello?” he asked, clearly not yet awake.
Both girls stared. Where they had expected Naruto’s head to be was, in fact, a bare and rather well-muscled chest. Slowly their eyes moved up to his face where blond hair was hanging in his eyes. He was rubbing his eyes with one hand while he yawned.
“HOT DAMN!” Inner Sakura screamed.
“Naruto?” Sakura asked disbelieving.
“Huh,” he said as his vision cleared. “Sakura-chan? Ino-san?” he said, looking between the two of them. They continued to stare at him.
Suddenly he grinned broadly, let out a whop and both girls found themselves in a crushing hug, potted plant and all.
“Na-Naruto-kun,” Sakura managed to get out as her lungs were crushed. Well, at least it was definitely him.
Just as quickly as the girls had found themselves picked up, they were suddenly released again, gulping in air.
“It’s great to see you! Come in! Come in!” he said, holding the door wider.
Cautiously, they walked inside.
Naruto had decided that he couldn’t sleep in the bedrooms. He didn’t want to sleep where his parents had once slept, and he had shut the door to the nursery, not intending to open it up again for a very long time. That left him with the guest bedroom, but the spring-filled mattress had felt odd after years of sleeping on the ground or on a futon. Finally, he had pulled the drop-cloth off of the couch, pulled his camping blanket out of his backpack, and slept there. He had spent a number of nights on the couch at Sora’s with Hinata and Miki right after Nori’s death, since his sister wouldn’t let them sleep in each other’s bedrooms.
The sun was relatively high in the sky when he heard the banging on his front door. It only partially registered in his brain, but he swung his feet off of the couch and walked like a zombie across the living room floor to the door.
The shock of seeing Sakura and Ino at his front door had shaken him out of his slumber and gone a long way to restoring his good mood. Seeing old friends again, even if they had both been brats and even if his crush on Sakura had long since faded away, brought a tremendous sense of joy to his heart. They had come to see him as soon as he returned.
“We brought you a philodendron,” Ino told him, pointing at the plant Sakura was still holding.
Sakura waited for him to say something stupid and unintentionally rude, but instead he grinned and said. “Awesome! Thanks!” His words left Sakura standing there rather dumbly, staring at him. This was Naruto?
Ino looked at her, clearly wondering why she wasn’t talking, before turning back to Naruto. “It’s a beautiful house. Traditional and modern all at the same time.” Naruto realized it was true. Now that he was seeing the house in the daylight rather than just the small light from the jutsu, he realized that it was a nice blend of a modern layout with traditional simple lines and materials. All of the floors were done in a wood so dark it almost looked black, while the walls were in a finely grained wood that seemed to glow red in the sunlight. The single couch that was uncovered was dark green with a classic sleek look, although Naruto could attest to the fact that it was very comfortable.
“Yeah, well, I was surprised to get it, but it’s pretty cool,” he said, trying to sound nonchalant, but failing miserably. Fortunately, Ino and Sakura thought he was trying to disguise his pride, while he was actually trying to not reveal that it was his father’s house. He wasn’t ready to tell his friends everything.
“Who gave it to you?” Ino asked.
“Heh,” Naruto said, rubbing the back of his neck with a falsely bright grin. “Yondaime left it to me; don’t ask me why!” ‘Please don’t ask me why,’ he thought. ‘I don’t want to lie to you and I don’t want to explain.’
“Really? Yondaime!” Ino asked, stunned. Poor Sakura continued to stand there and stare, philodendron in hand.
“Yeah; weird, huh?” Naruto replied.
Ino’s eyes narrowed. She hadn’t been trained as a spy for nothing; she could tell that Naruto was holding something back. She had opened her mouth to grill him when there was another knock on the door.
“Hold on,” Naruto said, grateful for the interruption. He walked past the two girls to the door and pulled it open. There on the doorstep were Hinata, Neji, Shino, Kiba, and great big white dog.
Naruto’s face was instantly pulled into a grin, although he was rather surprised.
The dog bounded in and started bouncing around the room. Finally, he jumped up onto the couch, put his front paws on the back, and howled.
“Ack! Stupid dog; get off my couch!” Naruto shouted, grabbing the dog’s collar and trying to pull him off. Akamaru, however, wouldn’t budge. “Damn it, Kiba! Get your dog under control!”
Kiba just leaned against the doorjamb and smirked. “Looks like he’s doing fine on his own to me,” he replied with a shrug.
“Damn it! I hate dogs!” Naruto exclaimed, grabbing Akamaru around the waist and trying to pull him off that way.
Hinata sighed and headed over towards the couch. “You like Dango,” she said softly and reached up to scratch Akamaru behind the ear. “Akamaru, would you mind getting off the couch please?”
The dog gave a soft woof and bounded over the back to the floor, sending Naruto flying back into the fireplace. He scowled at the dog as he got up. Akamaru snorted and lay down in the doorway next to Kiba’s feet. “Yeah, but he’s the correct size for a dog; one you can pick up and move.”
“Dango?” Shino slipped past Kiba and stepped over the dog to get inside the house, followed by Neji.
Hinata smiled. “He was a dog that belonged to some of the people whom we trained under while we were away. He’s a kind of dog from the Far West called a corgi. They’re smaller than Akamaru.”
“A corgi?” Kiba asked, surprised. “I’ve seen pictures of them in books, but no one I know of has seen a real one in years. They’re funny-looking.”
“HA! That’s what I said!” Naruto exclaimed.
“They’re not funny-looking; they’re adorable!” Hinata protested. “Sora brought one back from the far west for Miki.”
“Who are they?” Sakura asked, finally shaking herself out of her stupor.
“Miki and Sora? Umm, well…” Hinata bit her bottom lip as she tried to figure out where to begin. Tsunade had declassified everything but their fights with the Akatsuki so that they could tell their friends and family what happened, but it there was still so much to tell.
Naruto decided to begin by diving into the deep end. “Sora’s my sister. She used to be part of a team that killed crazy bastards in the West. However, her and her partner Yasu dropped out of the business about six years ago. Miki is Yasu’s daughter.”
“Sister?” Sakura said. “You don’t have a sister!”
Naruto grinned and started digging through his bag. “Sure I do. Where the hell did it go?” he asked into the bag, practically diving into it. “Aha! Here it is!”
He walked over to Sakura and handed her a framed picture. Sakura blinked. Two faces, eyes covered in sunglasses, grinned twin maniacal grins out at her. They were standing close together and Naruto was making the victory sign, while the woman was apparently holding the camera. The sun glinted off their sunglasses and the large gold stud in her nose.
“That can’t be your sister, she looks nothing like you. Her hair is burgundy!” Sakura said disbelieving, handing the picture off to Ino for inspection.
“Sora’s hair color is apt to change at any moment, so that doesn’t really count for much,” Naruto said. “But I never said she we were blood related; I just said she was my sister.” He started to pull other things out of the bag, littering them on the couch.
“She’s a former student of Hokage-sama’s who took us to train for three years as a favor. In the end, Naruto and Sora adopted each other in a way,” Hinata said, hoping that would hold them from asking more details. The relationship between Naruto and Sora was simple and complicated all at the same time. The secret of who his parents were and what they had been planning on doing were all wrapped up in how Naruto and Sora came to be siblings. But it boiled down to being brother and sister in the end.
“Really, she’s Hokage-sama’s ex-student?” Sakura asked. She looked back at the picture again. Tsunade had taken on an apprentice or two before Shizune, but Sakura had gotten the impression they hadn’t stayed very long.
“Yeah, well, Nee-chan’s not all that good at medical stuff. I mean, she’s better than most, but not good enough that it made sense for her to stay apprenticed to Tsunade, so they only were together for three years,” Naruto said. “Before that she had trained with the Kaze, and after that she started traveling with Yasu.”
“And who are the Kaze?” Sakura asked.
Hinata sighed. “Maybe we should all sit down and start from the beginning.”
“Yeah,” Naruto said with a sheepish grin.
“Don’t you think you should get dressed, Uzumaki-san?” Neji asked flatly.
Naruto looked down at himself and suddenly realized that he was still wearing just his drawstring pajama bottoms. Looking up, he noticed Hinata’s face turning redder and redder. “Heh. Yeah, I probably should,” he replied, grabbing his bag and running up the stairs to change. “Be right back!” he yelled back down.
Ino gave off a ladylike snort and looked at her watch. “Hmmm, it’s almost lunchtime; we should get something to eat.”
“We could go grab something and bring it back here,” Sakura said.
“That would probably be best,” Neji said.
“Are you sure?” Shino said. “Naruto hasn’t had a chance to unpack yet, so perhaps it would be better to eat at a restaurant.”
“I’m sorry, it’s just that we got in so late last night, we haven’t really had time-” Hinata stopped talking as soon as she realized that the others were looking at her funny. She stared at them, trying to figure out what she had said that was odd.
Fortunately, Naruto chose that moment to come running full force down the stairs. “All right! So what’s up?”
“We’re going to go get something to eat,” Sakura said. “Since there’s nothing to eat here.”
“You can explain what the hell you’ve been doing for the last three years while we eat,” Kiba added.
“We should probably pick up some supplies at the grocery store for you while we’re out,” Hinata said to Naruto.
“Yeah, you’re right. Let’s see what’s in the kitchen,” Naruto said suddenly, grabbing Hinata by the wrist and pulled her into the other room.
Sakura snorted and shook her head. “Only Naruto would think there might be something worth eating in the kitchen of a house that’s been boarded up for years.”
Ino narrowed her eyes and latched onto Sakura’s arm, pulling her to the other side of the room close to the kitchen doorway. Peeking around the corner into the kitchen, she saw Naruto and Hinata standing and talking to each other in a language she didn’t know.
She turned her back on them to look at Sakura. “Ask him out,” she said.
“What?” Sakura asked, shocked.
“Forehead girl, stop being stupid and ask Naruto out! He’s definitely date worthy and he was crazy about you before he left.”
“I don’t know…” Sakura’s voice trailed off as Ino let out a howl of frustration.
“Give up on Sasuke. After all these years I would have thought that you would have grown up enough to move on!” Because Ino was Sakura’s friend, and because she knew that even after all of these years Sakura was still in love with the dark-haired, dark-hearted boy, she didn’t bash Sasuke the way so many others would have.
“Just because you gave up on him and fell in love with Shikamaru doesn’t mean I have to. Besides, I’m not in love with him anymore; it was just a schoolgirl crush and I’ve moved on. I just don’t want to date anyone right now and am tired of your incessant attempts to play matchmaker, Ino-pig!”
“But why not at least go out with Naruto!”
“Because,” Sakura said with a smirk, “he’s kissing Hinata in the kitchen.”
Ino started and looked behind her into the back corner of the kitchen. Sure enough, Naruto and Hinata were in each other’s arms and softly kissing. There was something so tender about it that all ideas of putting Sakura and Naruto together flew out of her head. There was warmth radiating from the pair and a sense of tranquility that Ino had rarely seen in anyone, let alone the loud boy and nervous girl. It made her not want to disturb the pair.
Unfortunately, it did not have the same effect on Neji. He came striding across the living room and into the kitchen. Walking up to the couple, he grabbed Naruto by the collar and forcibly pulled him away from his cousin. Naruto, caught off guard, found himself thrown up against the kitchen cabinets with Neji in between him and Hinata.
“What the hell was that for!” Naruto exclaimed.
Neji folded his arms across his chest. “What are your intentions towards my cousin?” he asked.
“What do you mean ‘what are my intentions’!” Naruto yelled back, advancing towards Neji.
Hinata quickly slipped between the pair. “Neji-nii-san, Naruto, please, stop it!” she said slightly desperately.
Both men tried to grab her at the same time. This resulted in Hinata getting pulled in two directions, then released, at which point she stumbled off to one side. Naruto managed to be a hairs-breath faster in grabbing Hinata, so in the ended she up at his side, arm wrapped protectively around her shoulders. She sighed. At least he hadn’t shoved her behind his back. She hated when he did that.
From the doorway, Sakura, Ino and Kiba boggled at the scene. Shino seemed to express mild interest from a few feet behind them.
Neji glared at the couple. “The two of you vanish for three years and suddenly come back a couple. As the one responsible for her protection, I am hardly out of line asking you what exactly you are planning to do with my cousin.”
“Planning to do with her? One responsible for her protection? I’m not the one who put her in the fucking hospital!”
The dark haired man sucked his breath in between his teeth. “That was years ago and I apologized for it!”
“He did, Naruto!” Hinata agreed quickly, turning underneath his arm to lay her hand over his heart.
He looked down at her with a scowl and she smiled back. “I think Neji has changed in the last few years,” she whispered quietly in western. “He’s been very kind to me since we returned. Give him a chance.”
The tension in his body eased slightly, and Naruto turned to face Neji again. “You apologized to her?” he asked.
Neji nodded.
“And now you want to be her protector? No more of that stupid “fate” crap?”
Again Neji nodded. Naruto snorted and looked him straight in the eye. “Well, you don’t need to protect her from me,” he said firmly.
“All right,” Neji said and both men realized that was all they needed to say on the subject.
There was another knock on the door. Sakura turned and walked across the living room. From the kitchen, they heard the sound of door opening, followed by an enthusiastic cry. “Sakura! It is good to see you looking as beautiful as ever! Is it true that our two wayward friends have returned home?”
Sakura’s voice was slightly strained as she answered. “Yes, Lee, they’re in the kitchen.”
There was the patter of feet across the floor and a large green blur slid into the room. Rock Lee had grown in the last few years and was now sporting a standard issue green vest, but the energy radiating from the young man had not changed.
“NARUTO!” Lee yelled, striding across the room to grasp Naruto’s hand and shake it vigorously. Naruto swore he could feel the bones in his hand fracturing and was grateful for his healing abilities. “It is good to see you again, my friend. The power of youth has once again prevailed and your glorious return has been much heralded throughout our group, bonded together through the brotherhood of our first chuunin exam! We are thrilled to welcome you back and eager to hear of your trials and triumphs throughout your years away!”
Naruto gave a stilted laugh as he tried to extract his hand from Lee’s grasp. “Good to see you too, Lee-san.”
There was a large sigh from the doorway. Tenten was leaning up against the doorjamb, pinching the bridge of her nose. “Lee, we don’t have time for this,” she said, clearly having gone through this situation many times before.
“Ah, that’s right! I am sorry, my friend, but we are going to have to save our catching up for a later time, as we have a mission we have to complete.”
“A mission?” Neji asked.
“Yep,” Tenten said, “we’re supposed to leave within the hour. We’re meeting Gai-sensei by the main gates in forty five minutes; estimated time away is five days.”
“Humph,” Neji said, turning to his cousin. “Hinata-sama, I’m afraid we will have to save your training for later.”
She smiled sweetly back at him. “That’s fine, Neji-nii-san. Be safe on your mission.”
He nodded at her and turned to leave with the rest of his team. Lee slapped Naruto on the back. “We will return to the village in five days. Perhaps then we can get together and train!”
Naruto smiled and nodded. Training with Lee would be challenging to say the least, and he was interested in seeing how his taijutsu matched Lee’s at this point.
Tenten waved as they left the kitchen. “Good to see you again, Naruto-san, Hinata-san.”
They offered short waves back as the three left. No one said anything as the dust from the Lee tornado settled.
“Well,” Naruto said, “are we going to go get something to eat?”
“How long have you two been together?” Ino asked, perturbed.
“Umm…about a year and a half I think,” Naruto replied. Hinata nodded.
“Why didn’t you tell us immediately!” Ino yelled.
“We were trying to be discreet!” Naruto yelled back.
Hinata put her hand up to his chest. He looked down at her and instantly calmed down.
Ino arched an eyebrow at them.
“What?” Naruto asked, laying his arm across Hinata’s shoulders.
Ino smirked. “ Nothing. Well, we can go to lunch only if I come back so that I can get a tour of this house. I want to see what the rest of this place looks like.” Ino said, crossing her arms.
He shrugged. “So we’ll go get something to eat and then come back,” Naruto said. Then his eyes began to sparkle. “Can we get ramen?” he asked.
Sakura smirked at Ino. “Lets go get ramen,” she said.
“All Right! ICHIRAKU HERE WE COME!” Naruto yelled, grabbing Hinata’s elbow and starting to pull her towards the door.
“What! But there are plenty of ramen stands closer!” Ino exclaimed.
“But they’re not Ichiraku!” Naruto shouted back, helping Hinata with her coat. Hinata turned and smiled at the group.
“He’s attached to the idea now; we’re not going to be able to sway him,” she said matter-of-factly.
Shino pushed his glasses father up his nose. “All right then, we should get started,” he said, heading towards the door. Kiba shrugged and followed him, leaving the two young women with no alternative but to follow along.
Capter 2 (origanal) of Twice Shy, sequal to Two halfs, both by DameWren

Chapter 2

“You’re involved with Uzumaki-san?” Neji asked as they walked through the streets of Konoha back towards the Hyuuga house.
“Yes,” she said quietly, no so much because she was embarrassed as because the streets were so quiet at this time of night. All the houses had their curtains drawn and only the streetlights illuminated their way. Konoha was fast asleep, and Hinata didn’t want to wake it.
Neji was silent for a while. He had known about his cousin’s crush on the boy for quite a while; a person would have to be blind not to notice. However, it hadn’t occurred to him that the two might actually develop a relationship during the time they were away. Teammates were teammates, comrades in arms, not someone to get involved with. Romance should be saved for when they were older and ready to settle down.
The eldest child of the branch family had spent many years of his life hating the head family only to find that his father had found his honor in dying to protect the clan. It had taken years of training with Hiashi and a great deal of growing up to understand the way things were. He still wished things were different, but he had found a purpose in the way things were. He was supposed to protect Hinata no matter what. That was what he had decided.
And he wasn’t sure where his involvement was needed when it came to Hinata’s dating the loudmouth ninja. He either needed to protect her from the boy or protect her from her father.
“Does he treat you well?” he asked solemnly.
There probably wasn’t a question that Neji could have asked that would have shocked Hinata more. Why on earth was he asking her that?
“Um, yes, Neji-nii-san, he treats me very well,” she replied.
Neji was impressed by the fact that Hinata was able to look him straight in the eyes while she said this. Normally, personal admissions of any kind were delivered to the ground about a foot in front of her feet. At least that was what would have been normal three years ago.
Her eyes slid forward again and they continued walking down the street. “Your father will not be pleased with you being involved with Uzumaki,” he said, almost offhandedly.
Hinata nodded. “I know.”
“You don’t view your father’s opinion as important.”
There was a steely determination in her eyes when she looked back up at him. “Of course I consider his opinion important. He’s my father. But I’m not going to let his opinion rule everything I do.”
Her statement knocked Neji back a bit. He was beginning to think that what was normal for Hinata had changed a lot over the last three years.
They turned a corner and headed towards the front of the Hyuuga manor. She forced her breath to slow as they walked past the white wall of the estate, looking up at the green tile roof. They reached the gatehouse and Neji slid the door open, waiting until Hinata had passed through to close the door behind them. Removing her backpack, she sat down on one of the benches, undid the clips on her sandals and took of her coat. Stowing each in its proper spot, she stepped up into the house.
She was unsure if the house had changed at all in the last fifty years, but she was positive it hadn’t changed in the last three. It was the same polished wood floor, the same white walls, the same large overhead beams. Backpack in hand, she wandered down the hallway, remembering the details. She stopped as she spotted her sister.
Peaking out from around the corner of one of the halls was Hanabi, long dark hair hanging down into her small, serious face. Hinata stopped and smiled at her. The girls had never been particularly close. It wasn’t that they didn’t get along, but once Hiashi had stopped training Hinata and sent her to the academy, all of his focus had shifted to Hanabi, and the girl had rarely left his side. Hinata had been dismissed as just another Hyuuga shinobi, and not a terribly good one at that, while Hanabi had become the prodigal daughter.
Hanabi was very quiet, very serious, and very good at taijutsu.
Hinata offered her a warm smile, but Hanabi simply stepped out from around the corner and offered her a small, “Onee-chan, it is good to see you again.”
She fought to keep her smile from falling. “It is good to see you too, Hanabi-chan. You’ve grown a great deal since I saw you last.”
The younger girl was taller, however she remained a little on the gaunt side with a tinge of a haunted look about her. She was twelve now, but she looked younger. She simply nodded in response, acknowledging the comment, but not really responding to it.
Hinata was about to try again at conversation, when her father stepped around the corner to stand behind Hanabi. “You have returned. Welcome home,” he said in his low, monotone voice.
She dropped her bag to bow to Hiashi, face composed, spine straight. “It is good to be home Otousan,” she responded formally.
“Put your bag in your room and come sit with me before you go to sleep,” he said, turning to walk back down the hall.
Hinata sighed inwardly. It was nearly two in the morning and she had been hoping to postpone interacting much with her father until she was more rested. But what her father said was law, so she offered a soft “yes” and climbed the stairs to her room. It definitely hadn’t changed a bit. Her low desk was still sitting in the corner across from the door with its little lamp. Her closet was behind that, and in the center of the opposite wall was a little dresser with a small jewelry box she had inherited from her mother. The last wall was made of doors that slid open to reveal the open courtyard below. It was rather austere, but it was the way things had always been.
For a moment she panicked, wondering where she was going to put all of the stuff she was bringing back from Sora’s. She had clothes and jewelry, an entire boxful of scrolls, massive amounts of the dark and smoky tea from the west that she had grown to love. She had dishes and teapots and several pieces of art. There was no way that she could store them all in her room. She shouldn’t have brought back so much, but she hadn’t been able to resist when she knew she would probably never be visiting the west again.
Perhaps, depending on how big Naruto’s house was, she would be able to store some of her things over there.
She dropped her bag into a corner and headed back downstairs.
Kneeling next to the door, she slid it open, stepped inside, and then knelt again to close it. Standing, she walked to where her father was seated, Neji off to one side. There was a cushion waiting for her across from her father and she gracefully lowered herself onto her knees, keeping her spine perfectly straight.
Her father stared at her for a long moment before speaking. “Did the mission go well?” her father asked.
“Yes, Otousan.”
“Then you completed all of it successfully?”
She resisted wiping her hands on her pants. “Almost; there was one section we were unable to complete, but the training portion went well.”
He gave her a look that clearly stated that he thought she was making excuses. “I trust that you have been practicing your Jyuuken?”
Hinata bit her lower lip and willed her lungs to fill with air. “Considering how basic my taijutsu skills were and that I had no one proficient in the style to teach me, Sora and I decided that it would be better for me to learn her style of fighting, Shina-To-Be, and adjust it to take advantage of my bloodline limit.”
There was a deathly silence in the room. Nothing in the room moved, as if it had all been shocked into petrification.
“I see,” her father said, his voice low and dark. “Hinata, do you understand your duties as heir to the Hyuuga clan?”
“Yes, Otousan,” she said softly.
“Then you understand that you are responsible for the continuation of our clan, whose strength lies in a fighting style that you have abandoned.”
“Otousan, with all due respect, I did not abandon Jyuuken. I saw an opportunity to increase my skills and I took it, fully intending to return and resume Jyuuken training.” She maintained eye contact with her father the entire time, although she looked more like a deer in the headlights than a confident young woman.
Again, there was silence in the room. It was the first time anyone could remember Hinata contradicting her father, and even if her words were polite and her voice hesitant, it still shocked all of them, including Hinata. She had to keep reminding herself to breathe.
“You need to think about what is best for the clan, not what is good for yourself,” he said.
Hinata didn’t understand how he could do this to her. How all of a sudden could he make her feel like a horrible, selfish failure when she had been trying so hard? She was trying to be the best heir she could be, but she wasn’t sure what exactly that meant. She had her own ideas about where she wanted the clan to go, what she wanted it to become. But sitting there on her knees in front of her father, all those dreams seemed wrong, or at least misguided.
“You will stop training in this other style and concentrate on your Jyuuken,” her father ordered.
“Yes, Otousan,” she found herself saying, despite the fact that she loved her Shino-To-Be style and didn’t know how she could give it up.
Suddenly Neji’s voice rang out from the side of the room. “I am willing to take charge of Hinata-sama’s training,” he said.
Hinata looked over at him, startled. Neji was a natural at Jyuuken and years ahead of where she was, so it made some sense that he would train her. However, there was a risk that Hiashi was going to take it as an insult that a member of a branch family thought to train the heir of the house.
Fortunately, her father simply nodded. Apparently, she was already so low in his eyes that it didn’t matter to him. “Start immediately,” he said.
“Yes, sir,” Neji replied with a slight bow.
“Good.” He looked back at Hinata. “Do you have anything else you need to tell me?”
Hinata thought about the million stories she had, times she had succeeded, even triumphed. There was so much she wanted to share that it was virtually bursting out of her chest. But her father only wanted to know what she needed to tell him, important facts, not stories.
“Hokage-sama has requested that I participate in the upcoming jounin examination.”
Her father’s eyes formed into slits. “You are not yet a chuunin.”
“I took a test in the west that Hokage-sama says counts as being equivalent. She wants me to at least participate in the fighting.”
“No. We do not want a repeat of your chuunin exam,” he said firmly.
“But Otousan, it is Hokage’s orders and it won’t be a repeat-”
“No,” he cut her off with an icy tone. “I do not want the leaders of this village to watch you fight.”
She closed her eyes and dropped her chin to her chest. He meant he didn’t want the leaders of the village to watch her fail.
“I will go to talk to the Hokage tomorrow and have you removed from the testing group. Now, go to your room; you should get some sleep.”
She wanted to fight, to press the issue and get him to at least give her a chance. He hadn’t seen her fight in three years; he couldn’t make a judgment on her fighting abilities when he hadn’t seen her in so long.
But once again she found herself unable to take a stand. All of her confidence had drained out of her and without thinking she found herself standing, bowing to her father, and leaving the room to head up to her bedroom.
Hinata couldn’t sleep. She lay awake on her futon in the middle of her room, alternating between lying there with her eyes closed and staring at the ceiling. It was no use; she couldn’t stop replaying what her father said in her head.
How was she supposed to move on from here? She didn’t know how to hold it together, how to prove to her father that she wasn’t someone who should be dismissed.
Sighing, she turned over to look at the clock. It was either way too late or way too early to get up, depending on how you looked at it. But, she didn’t have anything else to do, so she rolled out of her futon, flipping her braid over her shoulder. She might as well unpack the little that she had brought with her and maybe go back over some of her notes. She clicked on the small lamp that sat on her desk and slid open her closet door to grab a floor cushion.
Picking up her bag, she started to unload items onto the top of her desk. She had her standard change of clothes, toiletries and blanket all packed towards the top for easy access during travel. But at the bottom of the bag were the things that she valued most and therefore did not want to risk leaving behind for a few weeks.
She was about to start unloading them when there was a soft knock on her door.
“Come in,” she said quietly, not wanting to wake the rest of the house.
The door slid open a little and Hinata could see Hanabi’s white eyes reflecting in the low light. The girl was wearing a black yukata, her feet bare, her hair hanging in her face, one section running down the side of her nose framing her eye. She looked like a dark ghost standing at the edge of the light.
“Hello,” Hinata said in a soft voice, covering just how startled she was with a soft smile.
“I couldn’t sleep and I saw your light on,” Hanabi said solemnly.
Hinata gave her what she hoped was an encouraging smile. “I couldn’t sleep either. Would you like to come in?”
Slowly, Hanabi pushed the door open a little wider and slid through the narrow opening. Closing it silently behind her, she waited while Hinata got up to pull another cushion out of the closet. Hanabi knelt carefully on the cushion, her legs tucked up underneath her.
Hanabi didn’t say anything and Hinata didn’t know quite what to do, so she carefully started to pull things out of her backpack. There were two leather-bound books, a couple of flat packages wrapped in cloth, a roll of soft dark leather tied with a leather thong, and something in a long slim case.
“What’s all that?” Hanabi asked somberly.
Hinata looked up, startled. “These? Ummm, well…” she smiled lightly. “These are the things I thought were most important to have with me. Sora is sending the rest of my things later on, but these things I didn’t want to be without.”
Hanabi looked at her, puzzled. “What are they?”
“Well, these,” she said unwrapping the flat package, “are pictures. There’s me, Naruto, and Sora, our teacher.” She handed her sister a small, framed picture of the three of them in their pajamas sitting on the kitchen counter. It was the first picture of the three of them they had ever taken together and was still one of her favorites. Next came a slightly larger one. “And then here is just Naruto and I a few years later.” This one had been taken while they were living with the Kaze during something called the festival of colors. They both were both dressed up in the showy dress clothes of the west, him in a deep orange pants suit and her in a dark blue-green langha.
“And then of course,” she said, handing her sister the last picture, “there’s you, me, Otousan and Okaasan.” It was one of the few they had of all four of them, taken just after Hanabi was born. It was a formal picture, although it didn’t hold the rigidity that future family portraits would have. Hinata’s mother was sitting in a chair, holding Hanabi in her arms with a slight smile on her face. Hinata, dressed in a small kimono, was standing next to her mother’s knee, one small fist held to her mouth. Their father stood behind the chair with his hands on their mother’s shoulders, looking fiercely into the camera. Growing up, both girls had spent hours looking at the picture, trying to remember a past they couldn’t quite grasp.
Hanabi took in a halting breath and then looked back up at her sister. “And the other things?” she asked hesitantly.
Hinata handed her one of the books. “This is just another photo album. More pictures of the three of us. This,” she said, tapping on the book, “is just full of notes.” Very important notes, but notes nonetheless. It wasn’t something she was willing to share with Hanabi yet.
The younger girl flipped through the pages of the photo album briefly before settling on a page. “Who’s that?” she asked, pointing at a photo.
Hinata leaned over to look. “That’s Sora again, same woman as the one in the pink bathrobe in the other picture, just a different hairstyle. She’s generally kind of…ummm,” she paused trying to find a polite way to describe Sora. “Fashion forward.”
Hanabi looked at her incredulously. Hinata had to admit it wasn’t one of Sora’s better outfits. It was while she still had her candy cane hair and she was wearing her modified version of the Kaze uniform with a miniskirt instead of pants paired with a top that looked like it was just barely covering the bottoms of her breasts. And of course she had on her boots.
They stared at the photo for a few seconds longer before Hanabi closed the book and set it aside. Hinata reached and picked up the long skinny case.
“This,” she said, opening the box and taking out the object inside, “Is a battle fan.” She opened it in one hand with a sharp crack. “My friend Shivani gave it to me when I left the Kaze. The spokes are made out of steel, see?” Hinata turned the fan over, showing her sister the pointed metal strips that made up the body of the fan. “The tips would be poisoned and while the fan is open you can slice your opponent. Closed, the fan can be used to block or hit. Kaze ladies used to carry them to fancy dress parties so no one would know they were armed.”
“Does it work?” Hanabi asked, clearly not impressed. She remembered the Suna nin who fought with a fan, but that one had been enormous. This looked like a regular folding fan.
“Well, I’m not very good with it, but Shivani is amazing. She fights with two, one in each hand, and the damage she can inflict is unbelievable. I’d never use them as anything other than a last resort though.” Hinata closed the fan with a snap of her wrist and placed it back in its case. “Shivani sent a present for you too, but it’s with the rest of my things that Sora is sending in a few days.”
“Really?” Hanabi asked with wide eyes.
Hinata smiled. “She said you sounded sweet.” Shivani also said that Hanabi would probably be jealous of all the cool things her older sister had done, but Hinata omitted that part. Shivani had a whole talk on why being a little sister sucked which she was apt to spew out at any second.
Hanabi showed almost no signs of hearing the compliment, but Hinata through that she could detect a faint blush dusting her cheeks. “What’s the roll of leather?” Hanabi asked, pointing.
With a smile, Hinata picked up the dark brown suede and carefully undid the tie. “The actual case Sora had made for me, but the important part is inside.” She unrolled the leather and then flipped over the top flap. Hanabi gasped softly and Hinata smiled. “These are all of the hair sticks that Naruto has given me over the past year and half.”
There were at least two-dozen pairs, made out of every possible material and in all the colors of the rainbow. They ranged from simple and practical to long and ornate. All in all they were staggeringly beautiful. Hinata smiled at them fondly. “He bought the first pair because I mentioned cutting my hair. Then I said I thought they were too nice for everyday use and he bought me more casual ones. By the time he finally worked up his courage to tell me that he liked my hair long, he’d already bought me a dozen pairs. After that, I think he just never got out of the habit.”
“They’re beautiful,” Hanabi whispered softly running her fingers over the tops of the sticks. Other than their formal kimonos, neither she nor Hinata had grown up with pretty things to wear. The Hyuuga household was always rather austere, and their training clothes and everyday outfits were just about all the girls had.
Hinata smiled as her sister delicately brushed her long straight hair out of her eyes and looked longingly at the hair ornaments. “Do you want to try a pair?” she asked.
Hanabi looked up with wide eyes. “Could I?”
Her smile widened encouragingly as Hinata nodded. “Of course, just pick a pair.”
It took several minutes of long study before Hanabi decided on a pair made of black lacquered wood topped with large red glass beads, flecked with gold and a few stands of gold beads dangling from the ends. Turning her sister around, Hinata grabbed her brush off the table and started to comb Hanabi’s hair.
It amazed Hinata how much more at ease she was around Hanabi now. Her little sister had always been so much better at everything than she was that it was impossible not to be at least a little envious. They had never really functioned as sisters before, not in the traditional older sibling/younger sibling roles. But all of her time spent with Miki and the children of the Kaze, patching up Naruto’s little gang of hellions, and hanging out with the other girls, made her feel more nurturing then she had before.
Hinata pulled Hanabi’s hair back into a tail at the base of her neck, then twisted it up and tucked the end inside the twist. Holding it in place with one hand, she inserted one of the sticks with the other, pushing through the twist and then flipping it over and back through the hair next to Hanabi’s scalp. Then she added the second one and then stood to grab a hand mirror out of her closet. Hanabi patted her hair nervously as Hinata returned and handed her the mirror over her shoulder.
Hanabi sighed softly as she looked at herself in the mirror and tilted her head so that she could see the deep red beads against her dark hair. It had been a long time since she put her hair up in anything other than a ponytail for training. She smiled at her reflection in the mirror as she touched the beads and then at the reflection of her sister over her shoulder.
“Would you like to try another pair?” Hinata asked with a smile.
“Sure,” Hanabi said with a soft giggle. She turned back to look at the ornaments again.
The door to Hinata’s room slid open. “What are you doing up so late?” their father asked from the doorway.
“Umm, neither of us could sleep, so-” Hanabi started.
“You have training tomorrow morning, Hanabi. You should be in bed.” His voice was gentle but firm, leaving no room for arguments.
“Yes, Otousan,” she said quietly, reaching up to pull the two hair sticks out, her hair tumbling back down into her face. “Thank you, Onee-chan,” she said standing up and handing the sticks back to Hinata. She bowed formally to her sister and father and then scurried out the door, slipping out of Hinata’s grasp.
“Please refrain from interfering with your sister’s rest,” Hiashi said calmly. “She is training very hard and needs her sleep.”
“She saw my light was on and came in, Otousan, I-”
“Nevertheless, the responsible, intelligent thing to do would have been to send her back to bed. I would prefer if the bad habits you have acquired did not rub off on her.” There was nothing harsh about his voice, but it cut her all the same. It was the patronizing voice he had used to speak to her since she was a toddler.
“Yes, Otousan” she said quietly.
He nodded his head at her and closed the door.
Hinata clutched the skirt of her yukata in her hands. She would not cry.
Author’s Notes: Shortish chapter, but it said what it needed to say. Plus, chapter three is shaping up to be rather long so it will all balance out in the end. And things get a little more upbeat.
Thank you guys so much for all of the reviews; they really mean a lot to me. If y’all have questions it’s probably best to post them on my LJ (link in profile); I’m better about responding to them there.
I put this here to help someone get the origanal chapters of Twice Shy.

Twice Shy
Chapter 1

Naruto and Hinata walked down the road towards the big gates that marked the entrance to Konoha. Naruto’s hand twitched to reach out and grab Hinata’s, maybe even to pull her up next to him and wrap his arm around her shoulders.
She was right there next to him, but he couldn’t touch her. Not with the guards watching.
They had both agreed that the generous amount of affection Naruto liked to shower on her probably wouldn’t go over too well with the rest of the village, especially her father. They were going to have to tone it down in public, at least for a while.
It had been a long time since they had left the village on a mission with an old friend of the Hokage, a woman who had become like an older sister to both of them. Now they were walking back towards their home and she was walking back to her home, a few days journey away.
They both wished that she was here with them, for more reasons than just the mission. With Sora already gone and Hinata out of reach, Naruto was already starting to feel lonely.
They approached the guards who were eyeing them wearily. Naruto supposed that two people arriving in the middle of the night probably was suspicious, especially two ninja that they didn’t recognize with Konoha forehead protectors. Neither of them looked much like they had when they had left at fourteen.
“Who are you and what business do you have in Konoha?” one guard asked when they got within fifteen feet of the door.
“Uzumaki Naruto and Hyuuga Hinata. We’ve just returned from an extended mission,” Naruto said, stopping.
Both of the guards started slightly in surprise, looking between each other and then back at the pair. “You’re Uzumaki Naruto and Hyuuga Hinata?” the other one asked suspiciously.
Naruto smiled. “You know of another pair with white eyes and whisker marks?” he asked, his voice holding a hint of amusement.
The guard snorted. “Hmm…you’re early,” he said. “We weren’t told to expect you for a few more days, and there was supposed to be three of you.”
They both had to hold themselves back from wincing. “Our companion had things she needed to take care of. We hurried here so she could get back to them,” Hinata said quietly.
The guards looked at her, vaguely surprised that she had spoken. Everyone in the village knew about how extremely timid the Hyuuga heir was. The other one grinned and knocked on the door, starting to yell. “Hey, open up the gates! We got a couple of shinobi returned home!”
Noises could be heard coming from the top of the city wall, before one of the giant doors swung partially open to allow them entrance. The guard walked through the opening, motioning the pair to follow him.
“Oi, Genma!” the guard yelled out to a group of ninja standing around the door mechanics, laughing at some joke. A man with shoulder-length brown hair held back by a bandana and a senbon between his lips turned to look at them. “You wanna take these two to the Hokage? She wanted to see them as soon as they got in.”
The man grinned, the senbon dangling precariously from one corner of his mouth, but not falling out. “Hey, it’s the loud kid from the Chuunin Exam a few years ago. Sure, I’ll take ‘em. Come on,” he said, waving goodbye to the group he’d been talking to and starting to saunter down the street with his hands in his pockets.
Naruto and Hinata began to follow him through the lit streets of the village, half hearing the sound of the gate closing behind them. They had left before rebuilding from the Sand invasion had been completed. It was odd, walking past the closed-up shops, houses and restaurants that looked familiar and yet not. Konoha had always been somewhat of a hodgepodge of architecture, mixing old styles with colorful stucco walls and brightly colored roofs. After a few generations of battles, the buildings had had portions rebuilt so many times that it was almost a patchwork.
The sights and smells around them, the sent of food drifting out onto the street from an open restaurant, the hum of the streetlights overhead, the twisting streets and colored walls were all definitely Konoha. But it wasn’t quite the same. It wasn’t quite the village they left behind.
“So, how long you been gone for?” Genma asked casually over his shoulder.
“Three years,” Naruto said rather softly, as if unable to really believe it himself.
Genma whistled softly. How he was able to do this with a sharp metal stick in his mouth, neither Naruto or Hinata could figure out. “Long time to be gone at your age.”
“It was an important mission,” Naruto said, with a half grin, the confident, rambunctious child returning.
“Oh, I see,” the man said, looking back over his shoulder at them as he opened a door into a large cream-colored building. “Well then, it’s probably confidential, right?”
Naruto’s grin widened as he entered, stopping to hold the door open for Hinata. “You got it.”
They walked three flights of stairs before heading down one of the hallways. This wasn’t the building that the Hokage’s office used to be housed it; they must have decided to move it sometime within the last three years. Looking out of a window, Hinata realized why. The new offices were directly opposite the hospital. Tsunade apparently wanted to be close to any potential patients.
“Hokage-sama?” Genma said, knocking on the door. “Hokage-sama, we’ve brought Uzumaki and Hyuuga to see you.”
There was a series of quick, quiet footsteps on the other side of the door before both halves swung open to reveal Tsunade. Naruto grinned. She hadn’t changed a bit. Same blond pigtails, same ridiculous bust, and not a single sign that she had aged a day.
She smiled back. “Welcome home.”

“I’m sorry Obaa-san; we weren’t able to bring Sora back with us,” Naruto said as he hung his and Hinata’s coats up on the hooks next to the door.
“You don’t seem upset about the fact that you failed,” Tsunade said, leaning back in her desk chair. It wasn’t so much that she was upset, as she was surprised. She would have thought a failed mission would have made Naruto defensive and have him spouting off about how he was going to succeed eventually.
Hinata picked up the teapot on Tsunade’s desk and poured all three of them a cup. “Onee-chan needed to take care of Yasu and Miki,” she said. “They need her right now.”
“Besides,” Naruto said, plopping down in the chair next to Hinata and taking the cup of tea. “It’s not like she’s disappeared. We just have to wait for a better time.” He grinned at her. “Then we’ll get her here.”
Tsunade looked at the pair sitting across from her. They were definitely the same two that she had sent away, but they had changed. Naruto still hummed with energy, but he sat half slouched in his chair, whereas three years ago he had sat on the very edge. At least until he decided to stand on it. He didn’t seem to feel the need to shout how he was going to succeed, although all of his old confidence was still present in his statement about getting Sora here eventually.
He had also grown. A lot. He was at least six feet tall, maybe an inch or two more. Fortunately, he also seemed to have grown out of some of the awkwardness he had as a pre-teen or his long limbs would be going everywhere. Somewhere along the line he had also abandoned his bright orange suit in favor of long black pants and a rust red jacket with a stand-up collar. The spiral design, she noted, was still there, but only on his shoulder, the symbol embroidered on in black. It was like everything about him was the same, but slightly calmed down.
The girl on the other hand seemed to have opened up. She still seemed relatively quiet and soft spoken, but her stutter had disappeared and she was sitting up straight in her chair. She looked down as Ton-Ton butted it’s nose up against her leg and smiled as she bent slightly to scratch between it’s ears, making the little creature grunt happily. Her hair, apparently now rather long, had been twisted up into a large bun held in place by a pair of sticks topped with silver and decorated with a short fall of pearls. Like Naruto, she wore long black pants, but she wore a fitted creamy wool tunic that fell to mid thigh with slits up to her waist. The sleeves stopped halfway between her wrist and elbow and the collar was cut in a square, framing the Leaf forehead protector tied around her neck. Tsunade noted the swirl that symbolized the Hyuuga house had been embroidered in its standard red onto the lower left corner of the shirt.
“Who’s Miki?” she asked. She recognized Yasu, Sora’s old partner from her mercenary days, but Miki was new to her.
Naruto and Hinata looked mildly surprised that she didn’t know, but didn’t think much of it. Sora must not have mentioned Miki in her reports, although that did seem odd. “Miki is Nori and Yasu’s daughter,” Hinata said quietly.
“What happened to them?” Tsunade asked. “Why do they need Sora?”
They both stared at her for a few seconds before Naruto started exploded. “What do you mean what happened to them? They’re in mourning from Itachi murdering Nori!”
“Itachi?” Tsunade repeated, shocked.
“Yeah, Itachi and Kisame!” Leaning forward to bang his fist on Tsunade’s desk, Naruto continued. “Those idiots ripped down their defenses, killed Nori and were trying to kill Yasu and Miki when we arrived. All to get to me! And now, Yasu is so messed up that she can’t even really take care of herself, let alone Miki! They won’t come down off the mountain!”
“Are you telling me that the two of you fought Itachi and Kisame!” Tsunade said, practically shouting. It was enough to startle Naruto out of his rant, leaving him staring at her slightly gaping. Then he looked over with a questioning look at Hinata.
Hinata gulped. “Um, yes; about six months ago,” she said.
Fire burned in Tsunade’s eyes. “All right, you two are telling me everything that happened, starting from the beginning, right now!”
“I’m going to kill her! What part of ‘under the radar’ does that girl not understand?” Tsunade was furious and making no efforts to hide it. She punctuated her last word with a punch to the wall, although apparently her full strength wasn’t behind it because it only left a deep dent and not a hole.
Hinata flinched, but Naruto just sat there slumped in his chair. He was still steaming over Itachi and Kisame, the retelling bringing all of his anger back up to the surface.
Tsunade pushed the heel of her hand against her forehead and ground her teeth together. “So, just to make sure I have this straight; she took you out of a well-protected area to go live on a farm?” she growled.
“It was a well-protected farm,” Hinata remarked timidly. Actually, in the end the farm had proven to not be protected enough, but it didn’t seem to be a good time to mention that.
“Then she took you across the mountains and into the West where she got you mixed up in the military coup where you were nearly executed and then forced to fight to the death?”
“It was more of a political coup than a military one, and when we got around the fighting to the death part, we didn’t actually have to kill anybody,” Naruto said, hoping to placate her.
It didn’t work. “Then she has you live with these people, making side trips all over the bloody west where you consistently get yourself in trouble and end up captured, injured, and almost killed!”
“None of those were really all that bad, Hokage-sama,” Hinata said.
“And then, to top it all off, the three of you go head to head with four of the most powerful ninjas in the world! The same ones that happen to be after you!” she yelled, pointing a finger at Naruto.
“THAT Sora had nothing to do with; she didn’t want to fight them either! And it was two and then the other two, not all four at once; plus we had Yasu and Nori to soften Itachi and Kisame up for us before we got there! We kicked their butts!” Naruto yelled.
“It hardly makes a difference! It doesn’t change that fact that it is an absolute miracle that the two of you are here at all!”
They really couldn’t argue with that. When all was said and done, it probably was a miracle that they were here
“Hokage-sama, I don’t understand why all this is a surprise to you. I thought Sora was sending you reports,” Hinata said, confused.
She exploded again. “Reports? Do you know what I got in the way of reports?” Tsunade shifted through a pile of papers before pulling out a couple of sheets and standing up to hand them to the two ninja. Hinata held them while they both leaned they heads together to read it.
Naruto burnt his pants today trying to do one of the fire jutsus. I don’t know what was funnier: him running around screaming until I hit him with the water jutsu, or how red Hinata’s face was when he was standing there with his pants in cinders.
She’d drawn stick figures of all the action, labeling things like “Flames coming out of Naruto’s butt” and “Hinata’s super-blush.”
They groaned under their breaths they remembered the incident. At least Sora hadn’t sent the photos. They both knew that somewhere Sora had photographs. Her camera seemed to always be at her fingertips in the pocket of her coat, and there was nothing she liked more than pictures of embarrassing Naruto and Hinata moments. Hinata turned to the next page.
I’ve decided that trying to teach Naruto to cook is a completely wasted effort. The boy can chop things up and clean dishes like a pro, but he can’t follow a goddamn recipe to save his life. Speaking of which, here is the latest recipe for Chocolate Espresso Torte I’ve been making. You should give it a try (not that you’re much better of a cook than Naruto, if I remember right).
She had written the recipe on the back.
Tsunade scowled. “I can cook just fine, too.”
Naruto shrugged. He knew he couldn’t.
“For the past three years, THAT is all I have gotten in the way of reports,” Tsunade said, waving an irate hand at the papers on her desk. “She wouldn’t write for months and then all of a sudden I’d get one of these drivels. I should have 36 full reports on your progress, detailing where you were and what you were doing, and instead I have 10 of these.” She held up the thin stack of ‘reports’ that Sora had written, shaking them at them.
Both of them pulled back slightly, Naruto sticking his hand behind his head and attempting to laugh. “That’s Nee-chan for you!” he said.
Tsunade tweaked one irritated eyebrow at them before slamming the reports back down on her desk. “Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking, putting the three of you together. I would have thought that Sora would have developed a slightly less reckless attitude over the years.”
“They make each other worse more than anything else,” Hinata said.
Naruto looked at her, crossed his arms, and started to pout. Hinata smiled gently and reached across the distance between them to rest her hand on his bicep. They stared at each other for a few seconds before Naruto sighed and detangled his hands enough to put one of his on hers and give it a gentle squeeze.
Tsunade smirked and raised an eyebrow at the pair. Hinata’s cheeks instantly reddened as she put her hands back into her lap. Naruto scowled. “What?” he asked.
“Gotten closer in the last three years, have you?” she said, leaning on the desk with one hand, the other resting on her hip.
Hinata instantly reddened.
“Yeah!” Naruto said with a grin.
“I see. And what is your relationship now?” Tsunade asked with an arched eyebrow.
Naruto’s grin widened as he jumped up to grab Hinata around the waist while her flush deepened. “Hina-chan’s my girlfriend! She says I’m a great boyfriend and she’s the greatest girlfriend in the whole world!” He squeezed her tight.
Hinata was rapidly starting to resemble a tomato. “Naruto!” she whispered desperately.
Tsunade’s eyes went wide before settling into a fierce scowl. “I swear if Sora let the two of you have sex, I’m going to-”
Naruto had let go of Hinata and was leaning across the desk in a flash. “I’m not a pervert like Ero-sennin!” he yelled, ruffling Tsunade’s hair.
She politely cleared her throat. “Well, hanging out with him certainly had the opposite effect on you,” she said mildly. “Have you thought about how Hinata’s father is going to react?”
Naruto scowled while Hinata looked down at her hands. “We’ll figure it out,” Naruto mumbled.
“Still, I assume you two are going to…tone it down some in public for a while,” she said with a slightly irritated edge to her tone.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah…” he said dejectedly.
Tsunade smiled. “Well, you should be happy to note that I am going to make you guys write up the reports for the entire last three years jointly. That means that you’ll have to spend time together in order to write them no matter what Hinata’s father wants. And considering how many things you’ve done-”
All of a sudden she stopped. Tsunade looked at them for a long minute before a slightly frightening grin came over her face. “You two passed some sort of test when you were with the Kaze?”
“Yeah, we got our blacks.”
“Which is halfway between a beginner and a full warrior?” She leaned forward onto the desk.
“Yeah,” Naruto said, still slightly puzzled.
“So essentially you two tested for chuunin,” she said with a smug smile, resting her chin on the back of her interlaced fingers.
“But, Hokage-sama, the Kaze test was nothing like the chuunin test,” Hinata protested.
Tsunade waved her protests aside with a flip of her hand. “Yeah, but you two could probably pass that now no problem, right?”
They looked at each other, both vaguely shocked. Could they? Well, they certainly would be a lot better prepared than they were now. Thinking back on the challenges and the fights they realized that they probably wouldn’t have too much trouble with the chuunin exam. It wouldn’t be a walk in the park, but it wouldn’t be too bad either.
The evil grin returned to Tsunade’s face. “Plus if we divide all of the things you’ve done into separate missions rather than just one big one, I’d say you’ve accomplished quite a few in the last three years, wouldn’t you?”
They both nodded hesitantly.
Her grin widened. “Then I expect both of you to be at the qualifying rounds for the Jounin Exam in four months!”
“All right!” Naruto said, pumping one first into the air.
“Jounin Exam?” Hinata said nervously.
Tsunade nodded. “It works a little bit differently than the Chuunin Exam. Fighting comes first, but it’s only done in front of a panel of Konoha judges. After all, we don’t want other countries to see the abilities of our up-and-coming jounin. From there, candidates are selected and divided into teams of five. Each team has two months to develop into a cohesive unit before the mission.”
“Mission?” Naruto asked.
The woman nodded. “It’s a different set-up every year as villages take turns hosting. The only requirement on the part of the village is that the mission must start and end in the capitol city and that there is a two week time limitation. Once those two weeks are up, all teams must have completed the mission or they will fail the exam.”
“You mean all five pass or all five fail?” Naruto asked, flabbergasted.
She shook her head. “The team must pass in order for any member to be passed onto the rank of jounin. However, what members of the team pass is up to the home village.”
“And, the mission is difficult?” Hinata questioned.
Tsunade leaned back in her chair. “Generally, the missions are tough, dangerous and only the best complete them. That is one of the reasons we test here first; we don’t want to send ninja who aren’t ready. Otherwise they don’t come back.”
Hinata gulped. “But you think we are ready?”
Tsunade nodded. “At least ready enough to fight in the trials. I don’t know if we’ll put you on a team, but I’d like to see what you can do.”
“All right!” Naruto yelled, jumping out of his seat. “Just you wait, Obaa-chan! We’re going to be the best two there! Everyone else better watch out!”
The older woman smiled while Hinata looked slightly nervous. “I’m glad-” Tsunade started, but was interrupted by a knock on the door.
A guard poked his head in. “Hokage-sama? Neji-san has arrived to escort Hinata-san home whenever the debriefing is finished.”
Hinata’s spine stiffened but simply acknowledged the guard with a short nod before turning back to Tsunade.
She looked at the clock and noting the ridiculously late hour, shook her head. “Well, I think that’s enough for the night. I expect you to have all of the reports on my desk within the next week. We’ll have the two of you qualified for the Jounin exam yet.”
They both stood to get their coats when suddenly Tsunade stopped them. “Oh, Naruto wait, I forgot something.” She reached into a desk drawer and pulled out a small object which she promptly threw at him. He caught it in one hand and looked at it. It was a set of keys.
“A document surfaced about a year and a half ago, although it took us a while to check its authenticity. It’s been in the archives forever, but no one paid much attention to it.” She smiled. “Apparently Yondaime Hokage made you his heir.”
Naruto’s eyes widened. Did this mean she knew the reality about who he was, where he had come from? Had everything somehow come out into the open in the three years he had been gone?
“Apparently, the man felt a connection to you considering that he sealed a demon inside you,” she said with a sad sort of smile. “In any case, he left everything to you, including his house for when you turned sixteen.”
Naruto gulped. “His house?” he whispered.
Tsunade nodded. “It’s a townhouse on the west side of town. It’s been boarded up for years now; no one knew quite what to do with it. I remember when Yondaime used to live there; it was rather charming. Clearly a bachelor pad, but some of the village matrons had helped fix it up for him so it wasn’t so bad.” She smiled. “Take good care of it; a lot of us have fond memories of that place.”
Naruto just continued to stare at her. His father’s house. It was almost too much for him to think about.
“In any case,” Tsunade continued, “I had your things moved over into the house a week ago in anticipation of your return.” She glared at him. “Couldn’t you have emptied out your refrigerator before you left on a three year mission? I had to give hazardous duty pay to the people who cleaned it out.”
He chuckled apologetically, still reeling from the news about the house.
She shook her head in resignation. “I’ll have one of the guards show you where the house is. Now both of you go home and get some rest.”
As they finished gathering their coats, Hinata laid her hand on Naruto’s arm. “Are you okay?” she whispered in Western.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he replied, squeezing her hand as they stepped out onto the hallway. His eyes fell on the man standing opposite the door. “Neji-san,” he said with a nod of his head.
Neji nodded his head back. “Uzumaki-san,” he said, his voice low and clear. He looked down at where Naruto’s hand was still covering Hinata’s, then up at their faces.
Hinata quickly removed her hand to walk towards her cousin. “Neji-niisan, it is good to see you again,” she said formally, but with a small smile.
Again, Neji nodded. “It is good to see you as well, Hinata-sama. Your father has sent me to escort you home, if the Hokage no longer needs you,” he stated, looking up at Tsunade, who was leaning against the doorframe, sake bottle in her hand.
She shook her head. “No, we’re through for the evening. Go home and get some rest you two. Juro,” she said to one of the guards by door, “do you know where Yondaime Hokage’s house is?”
“Hai, Hokage-sama,” the scarred man said with a nod.
“Good. Take Naruto there; he’s the new proprietor. Sleep tight you two,” she said finally, closing the door to her office.
There was a dull silence in the hall. Naruto was staring at the closed doors. No matter what he said, Hinata realized that her boyfriend was in fact not fine. The news of living in his father’s house, a house he had probably never even seen before, was hitting him hard enough that he was drawing back in on himself. She wanted to go with him so that they could see the house together and she could hold his hand as they walked through the door. But Neji was waiting to take her back and she knew there was no way she could get out of it.
She walked over to her love and softly said his name. When he looked at her, almost as if he was surprised to see her, she wrapped her arms around him in a hug. It only took him a split second to hug her back.
“I’ll come by the house tomorrow morning, alright?” she asked into his shoulder, switching back into Western so only he would understand.
She could feel him nod before he released her, running his hand up and down her back once before letting her go. “Sleep well, Hina-chan,” he said with a smile that was only partially forced.
She smiled back, then leaned down to grab her bag before nodding towards Neji. The two of them walked down the hall in silence.
Naruto turned back to the guard picking up his own bag. “All right, you wanna show me where this house is?”

He stood at the foot of the front steps, staring at the house. Juro had pointed out the house and then headed back to Tsunade’s office. Naruto stood alone on the street, staring up at the house. His father’s house.
It was on a corner in a quiet, residential neighborhood that Naruto didn’t remember very well, although as a kid he used to run all over the village. The lot it was on was apparently long and skinny, but the house appeared to be three stories tall. The stucco was pained dark green from what he could see in the dark, broken up by many windows and a chimney along the side. Tsunade had said that it was boarded up, but apparently someone had taken the boards down recently and the house looked in relatively good shape.
Slowly, Naruto walked up to the front porch. The boards creaked beneath his feet. He pulled the keys out of his pocket and stared at them for a second before holding his breath and inserting the biggest one into the lock. He turned it and the door swung open with a moan.
It was dark inside, but with a few quick seals and words, Naruto had a ball of light playing along his fingertips. For some reason he was hesitant to turn any of the lights on. Slowly he made his way through the first floor of the house. Most of the front of the house was a living room with a large stone fireplace flanked by bookcases. There was furniture, couches, chairs, and couple of tables, all covered by large dust cloths. The large framed picture over the mantle was covered as well and Naruto carefully removed the cloth. It was a picture of Konoha from the rooftop of some building, just as night was falling.
He wandered father back and found the kitchen, horribly dated but still spacious. Three of the walls were dominated by long stretches of dark countertop and lightly-colored cabinets. Tucked into the back corner was what Naruto assumed was a table under a large drop cloth. Behind it was a door leading to a small bathroom. There was also a door that opened to reveal steps down to a basement. A quick trip down revealed that it was a large pantry of some sort.
Heading back up the stairs and into the living room, he climbed up to the second story. There was a traditional hallway with sliding doors and another stairway going up to the third story. Naruto decided to keep going up and look at things from the top down. He was surprised to see a small spiral staircase. Hesitantly climbing it and opening the door at the top he found himself in what must have been a rooftop garden. There were raised beds and pots scattered around a patio area. They were all massively overgrown with weeds, but he could see what lay beneath. He smiled slightly, remembering the days he had spent hunched over in Nori and Yasu’s rice fields. It might be fun to try to grow something again.
Back down on the third floor he discovered the master suite, complete with a traditional bath. Like the rest of the house, clothes covered all the furniture, but even without the furniture exposed, he could imagine what the room looked like. And he could almost picture his parents sitting on the sofa in the sitting area, looking out the window at the moon over Konoha.
He quickly left the room and headed back down the stairs. The second floor held two smaller bedrooms, another bathroom, and a small informal sitting room. It was the second bedroom that caught Naruto’s attention. Something about the yellow room seemed vaguely off, but it took him a moment to realize what it was. Underneath the sheets, all of the furniture seemed vaguely small. Hands shaking, he walked over to the rectangular lump underneath the wide picture window and pulled the cover off with his free hand. For a moment he just stood there staring at it, and then his eyes started to water. It was a white crib made up with puffy light-blue bedding.
His bedroom. This was his bedroom.
Slowly he fell to his knees, and then rocked back so that he sat on the ground with his legs drawn up to his chest. His arms closed around himself, ending the light jutsu and leaving him in total darkness. He let himself go and simply cried.
He hadn’t felt so alone in years.

I had to split the chapters due to them being so large. Chapter 1 of 3 origanals.
Chapter three

Rahi & Hinata walked quietly out of Hokage’s tower. Rahi was already calculating where Naruto could be, while Hinata was just beginning to wonder why Rahi had asked her to come with him. She worked up the courage to ask.
“Because,” he replied, “I was thinking that I could test your Kage Bunshin this way. I summon a bunch of bunshin, & you do the same, & we set off in groups of two in search of Naruto. I know that my clones will do fine, but It’s a good test for you. Try summoning twelve clones now.”
Hinata hesitated before obeying. Otou-san wouldn’t have let me hesitate, she found herself thinking as she whispered, “Kage Bunshin no justu!”
As Rahi predicted, she summoned all twelve without a problem. “Good, Kage Bunshin no justu!” He summoned the same number of clones. “Now we’ll go off in our groups.” All of Hinata’s bunshin nodded & followed Rahi’s bunshin who had taken off. “Come on!” said Rahi and they both took off after their bunshin.
When they had reached a mountaintop near the edge of the village, Rahi told Hinata to stop. “Our clones will find Naruto, however I told you to summon to many.” He explained, “There are only about seven places Naruto would most likely be at this time of day. This way, my bunshin can test your bunshin’s speed & endurance. The test was for your bunshin after all.”
Hinata simply nodded, & waited.
Rahi watched her. Something wasn’t right. She didn’t act this way before, why now? It probably had something to do with the rules he sent to her father. They probably restricted him from making her fail as often as she did in front of him, that wasn’t something he had in mind when he wrote them. The rules were meant to help keep Hinata from faltering in her training with Naruto, nothing else. But apparently it meant a lot more to Hinata.
He sighed under his breath.
If they got a bond now, then she might just fail as often as she always did, & wouldn’t be able to recover because of it. To her, failing in front of him would end up being just as good as failing in front of Hiashi. He couldn’t afford that. Either that happened or he broke her shell much quicker then he had planned. Unless…
No. What was he thinking? Sareen would never accept! He looked over at Hinata. She understood his methods, maybe she would teach Hinata…
No, she wouldn’t.
But maybe…
There is a possibility…
He battled his conscious over the matter. He ended it with another sigh. He would just have to ask her when they got there…if he could take it.
---10 years ago in the Earth country off the boarder of the Stone country---
“You chose the wrong time & place to attack, baka!” Rahi angrily yelled at the man a few yards away from him. Rahi was in his usual outfit except his leaf headband was tied around his upper left arm alongside his shadow & dragon headbands & he wasn’t wearing his jounin jacket. He had left it at his house.
The man was in dark brown clothing, but it was hard to tell because the sun had already gone down. An Earth headband was barely visible above his bandage-covered face. Only his right eye remained uncovered.
“What are you going to do about it? Your not even a Stone nin!” the man shouted mockingly across the distance between them.
“I don’t have to be!” Rahi smirked as he lifted his hand out in front of him & activated his justu. A swirling ball of light blue chakra in his hand, accompanied by three wide strands of purple chakra slowly rotating around it vertically.
Rahi leaped the distance of a few yards & jammed the ball of chakra into the man’s torso before he had a chance to even think about focusing his chakra for defense or retreat. “Akurei raimei boro no justu!”
Sareen saw the explosion from where she stood, outside her now burning home. Her blonde hair blowling in the slight breeze, her hazel colored eyes focused. She recognized it. “Rahi-kun…” was all she could say before forcing herself to turn away & tend to putting out the already dieing fires.
The man flew back & through a good three trees before thudding on the forth. Rahi stood there in the middle of the road, panting. It had been a long time since he had summoned on the powers of his demon. So long he had completely forgotten how…the justu had turned weak.
He looked up, prepared to start chasing down the man again, but instead saw him lying against a tree, dead.
At the sight of the dead body, his stomach lurched. He threw up.
He did it again & again until he could stop it. His first kill in over five years. He didn’t think that if you stopped, it would be possible to feel the pain you always feel the first time you do it.
No. It wasn’t the pain of killing someone…it was the pain of doing something that hurt those close to you by doing. By them knowing you did it. He looked up into the dark sky, then over in her direction. “Sareen-chan…” was all he could say before he collapsed & wept on the road.
It was noon before she saw him again. She couldn’t sleep with him out there where she didn’t know. She knew he could easily take care of himself, but she was just worried that he wasn’t here, not for his life or anything like that.
When she saw him slowly walking up the road, back toward their little house off the edge of the village, she was overjoyed. She ran out of the tent she had set up to sleep in until she could rebuild the house & ran down the property to the road.
When she called out his name as she ran toward him, he didn’t seem to hear. Something was wrong, she realized. When she was right in front of him, she stopped & hesitated, then she held her hand out to touch him. The moment she attempted to, he suddenly pulled back, noticing for the first time that she was there.
“Sareen…Sareen-chan I…I didn’t…didn’t mean to do it…I…”he collapsed on the ground again but wouldn’t let the tears fall. He had promised himself to never be in such a weakened state in front of her. Never.
“Rahi-kun…didn’t mean to do what?” she was sure she already knew, but also knew that he needed to tell her if he was to recover with no scars. Emotional ones anyway.
“You told me…countless times…not to, but I just…I just did. I didn’t mean to. I…I would blame…but I never blame…I never blame unfairly…you told me not to…but I did…I didn’t mean to-”
“Rahi-kun. Stop repeating yourself. There’s loads of things I told you not to do. Tell me what you did…please.”
He looked up & saw the worry in her eyes. “I…I killed that man…the one that attacked…it was an accident…”
Before he could continue, she wrapped her arms around him, & before he could pull away she kissed him on the cheek, “It’s okay. You were defending your home. There’s nothing wrong with killing if you’re defending your home. You’re the one who taught me that, Rahi-kun. It’s okay.”
They stayed like that for a few minutes, Sareen holding Rahi, until he finally returned the kiss, except on the lips. Sareen didn’t let them stay like that for long, but when she pulled her lips away, she made sure that was the only thing that parted. Her Stone headband was still up against his forehead & her arms were still wrapped around him.
After another moment of just looking into each other’s eyes, she pulled away & stood up, extending her hand to help him up as well. “Come on…your tired, you need rest. I set up a tent that you can sleep in.”
“You’re tired to, Sareen-chan.” He let a weak smile through. However when he realized it, it fell, along with his face as it looked at the ground. When he looked back up at her a second later, there was a much stronger smile on his face.
“You’re already recovering.” She said gently, referring to his stronger smile
“It’s easy when you’re around” he replied
Sareen smiled back, “Same goes with you.”
They quietly walked back to the tent together.
---Back to present time in Konoha---
Naruto panted in the clearing of his training spot. He had been practicing the Kage Bunshin forms & trying to use them in ways he could specify exactly how many of which form were summoned. He had found that it was relatively easy to use both forms at the same time once you mastered both.
He had also gone through his usual drill of taijustu that he picked up from watching other shinobi & his classmates, & practiced all his other justu, like rasengon.
He had just decided to take a break & head over to Ichiraku’s for some food when a voice stopped him.
“There you are! We’ve been looking all over for you!”
Naruto turned & was utterly shocked to see both Rahi & Hinata standing in a tree.
“Huh? What are you guys doing here?”
“Tsunade-chan, Kakashi, Kuranai, Sakura, Kiba, Shino, Hinata, & I have been waiting for the past thirty minutes for you to show up at the Hokages tower. So we were sent to go find you.”
“Huh? What do you mean you’ve all been waiting for me?”
“We have a mission! Possibly A rank & none of us can get started until you get there.”
“Anyway, head that way,” he pointed toward small mountain near the edge of the village, “We’ll meet you there.”
“Why don’t we just go to the Hokages tower?”
“Because we’re Kage Bunshin. See ya there” & with that he went poof, with Hinata’s bunshin close behind him.”
“Oh…” was all Naruto said before obeying the bunshin’s order
“Hmm…it would seem as though our bunshin have found Naruto. Let’s go meet him, shall we?”
He was disturbed by her response, just a simple nod. She followed him as he headed in Naruto’s direction. It didn’t take long at all.
“Hello, Naruto. Nice day for a mission isn’t it?”
“Huh? Rahi-sensei! Umm, your not a Kage Bunshin too, are you?”
“No. Come on! I doubt Tsunade-chan has much more patience left!”
After a moment, Naruto replied with “Ok.”
The three started walking toward the Hokages tower. Rahi kept a close watch on Hinata. If she acted the same around Naruto, then maybe he would still have a good chance at teaching her without…her…help. He couldn’t bare to say her name, even in his own mind.
To his immense relief, she did. She was back to her shy & hesitant self, the one Rahi needed to work with.
“Finally! Now I can get on with the day!” yelled Tsunade when they went through the door.
“Naruto was-”
“I don’t really care at the moment, tell me later. I’m really behind today because of this, but oh well! The mission is B rank & if I could have enabled a third squad I would have, but unfortunately we don’t have much money to spare. In other words, I couldn’t afford it.”
“Anyway, you all are going to be heading over to the Grass country. You’ve been hired by the head of the Futotteiru clan, Okii Futotteiru, to spy on the Wazuka clan. The Wazuka clan is very powerful & secretive, however they lack numbers. This is why they haven’t waged war with the Futotteiru clan. Apparently, Okii Futotteiru thinks that they might attack any day now. It will be your job to stop an attack if any occur. The Futotteiru have numbers but lack any real skill, so if it becomes a clan war, don’t rely on them too much. If a clan war occurs, then you must stop it with as little casualties as possible. I don’t really trust the head of the Futotteiru clan to know what he’s doing, but he is the one who will give you your pay at the end of the mission. In five days, the Futotteiru clan will be sending a treaty party to the head of the Wazuka clan to prevent any other ideas of a war between clans. You will be bodyguards in this party as well. What will mark the end of the mission, if all goes well, will be when the party safely arrives back in Futotteiru territory.”
“Kakashi, Kuranai, Rahi, this is all you’ll need to know about your mission. Kakashi, Kuranai, please go over them with your teams. You will be leaving tomorrow. Dismissed!”
They all filed out of the room, one by one. Kuranai & her team, Kiba, Shino, & Hinata, decided to get a little team practice in because they hadn’t been able to in the past few days. Rahi decided to accompany Kakashi, Sakura, & Naruto for obvious reasons.
“Alright, I know it’s been a while sense we did a team practice, but I need to know that you guys will be alright without me.” Said Kakashi when they reached training field number 27
“Huh? Why?” asked Sakura
“Because, in a few weeks he’s going to be assigned to a new genin team.” Answered Naruto
“What? Is that true, Kakashi-sensei?”
Kakashi waited a moment for effect before, “Yes. It is true.”
“WHAT?! Why?”
“Because this genin team’s all screwed up.” Answered Rahi, “Sasuke leaves, your all out of sync, & Naruto is all imbalanced! That’s one of the reasons I got called in to start training Naruto, because it would be pointless for you two to continue training together.”
“Uh, Rahi-sensei? Why would it be pointless?” asked Naruto
Rahi looked at him for a moment to make sure he wasn’t pranking him before answering, “because Sasuke was the one that balanced yours & Sakura’s abilities. Without him, there’s nothing that you would get that she wouldn’t or vice versa. You’re like opposites, except you have a good number of similarity’s…I think. No, you don’t have too many similarities, but what I’m trying to say is that you two are different in ways that make training you two together very hard. It might be done, but at the cost of a lot of wasted time & energy.”
“And what about me & Hinata?”
Rahi was slightly startled by the question. He hadn’t expected Naruto to even start thinking about Hinata as a training partner for another week or so, yet here he was. “Well, you & Hinata are so different that it makes training you two very easy. That’s why she’s your training partner. Or at least with me.”
“Huh? If they’re both different then-” began Naruto
“They’re different in different ways! Could you imagine Sakura being as shy as Hinata? Could you imagine Hinata being as open as Sakura? You can’t can you? And if you can, then it’s painting some pretty bad images in your brain, right?”
Naruto stopped to think about it. It took a few minutes of Rahi & Kakashi waiting patiently to nearly make Sakura explode with Naruto’s slowness. In fact it did….sorta.
Sakura groaned, “can’t you pick up the pace, Naru-”
“Shut up, Sakura. You’ll only slow him down.” Said Rahi quickly
Sakura was shocked by the interruption. “You can’t-”
“Yes, I can.”
“If it interrupts my students, then yes, I can.”
“Uh, Rahi-sensei? You don’t have to interrupt Sakura-chan, she’s just a little impatient right now. Plus you don’t want to get her mad, she’s hits really hard.”
“Not as hard as Tsunade-chan, & she will hit me if I don’t get your training done. Besides, only seven people still alive have hurt me before. I doubt Sakura will be any different. In fact, why don’t you try to hit me now, Sakura?”
“We came here for a team practice, not to prove that you can’t be hurt.” Cut in Kakashi
“Nice to know someone here is smart. I thought you were supposed to be to, Sakura. Aw well. Done yet, Naruto?”
“Good. Now what was it that you wanted to practice, Kakashi?”
“So, Hinata, what has Rahi been teaching you?” asked Kuranai
“Um, different Kage Bunshin forms. It’s interesting to learn to do something most people in the village haven’t even heard of. You wouldn’t h-happen to have heard about them would you?”
“Wha? Kage Bunshin forms? There’s only the Kage Bunshin isn’t there?” asked Kiba, who was right beside Hinata.
“No, Hinata. I’m afraid I haven’t heard of more then just the Kage Bunshin no justu. Of course, I don’t know what range of justu Rahi has either. I never heard of him before last week, when I was informed alongside all the other jounin that he was coming back. I wasn’t the only one there who hadn’t heard of him though. Tell us more about these other forms, won’t you?”
“Um, well according to Rahi-sensei, there are three forms. The first one is more of an illusion clone. They aren’t affected by anything physical. The s-second one is what I believe is known throughout the village & beyond. It’s a solid clone, but can’t take much of a beating before disappearing. The third one is suppose to be able to take in three times as much as you can, & are very hard to hit. They a-are solid as well, & they can be killed. However, if they do get killed, then it doesn’t affect the one who summoned the clone & they won’t disappear until you dismiss them. Rahi-sensei says t-that we are no where near the required level to learn the third, but he says that by the time we come back to Konoha, we’ll have learned it.”
“What do ya mean, come back to Konoha’?” asked Kiba
“Uh, in about a week, me & Naruto-kun are going with Rahi-sensei on a training mission. It was originally just Rahi-sensei & Naruto-kun, but Rahi-sensei seems to think that I will help in some way. He also, of course, plans to train me as well, but…” he voice trailed off.
Kuranai paused a moment before saying, “Hinata, but what?”
“Um…I…I don’t see where I could help. I mean…all I ever do is…hold most people back.” She said the last part so quietly that Kuranai had a hard time hearing. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t.
“Is that what you think?!” exclaimed Kuranai. Hinata jumped at the sudden loudness of her voice. “Because from what I’ve seen, you haven’t held anyone back except yourself. At times you may feel like your holding people back, but it’s only natural to feel that way sometimes. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t held someone back sometime in their life.”
“Ano…” was all Hinata could force out of throat.
Kuranai sighed, “Anyway. Shino, Kiba! You two get to spar first, alright?”
“Yes, Kuranai-sensei.” Answered Shino plainly
“Yeah, yeah.” Answered Kiba
The next day, all of them were packed & ready to go on their mission. Until they reached the grass country, they would travel as one group. All of them, with the possible exception of Naruto, knew what they were going to be up against, & what they would most likely be going through.
However Rahi was more concerned about getting his training plans finished then the mission.
“We’ll do fine! The mission’ll be a cinch, but planning Naruto & Hinata’s training won’t!” was his excuse
“I don’t see how!” exclaimed Kuranai in his face. He didn’t flinch or even seem to mind
“Besides! We haven’t even gotten into the Grass country yet!”
“So there’s no reason to take the mission serious yet.”
Kuranai fumed at him, but didn’t say a word. Finally, she just walked away from him & more toward her students.
“That was fun while it lasted.” Remarked Rahi brightly, making it loud enough for Kuranai to hear. She ignored him.
She reminded him of someone…a bit too much.
That evening, they set up camp about a mile away from the border on the Grass country’s side. It would only take them about an hour to reach Futotteiru territory & start the main parts of their mission in the morning. There were three tents set up. A boys tent, where Naruto, Kiba, Shino, & Kakashi were to sleep in, a girls tent, where Kurenai, Sakura, & Hinata were to sleep in, & a supply tent, where a good amount of their supplies were being temporarily stored & where Rahi decided he would sleep. Everyone trusted him enough to know he wouldn’t take anything. Though Kuranai was having her doubts…
The campfire was set, & Hinata & Kuranai were tending to cooking the food. Shino had his bugs in place, so no one was worried about an ambush. Though Kiba & Akamaru were on look out just incase.
Rahi was working on his training plans, Kakashi was reading a book away from everyone else, especially Kuranai, Sakura was in the girls tent doing something, & Naruto was off to the side, trying to practice his taijustu.
“Man, if your that bad at taijustu, then I’m going to have to teach that to you too!” said Rahi to Naruto
“Hey! I had to teach myself taijustu so shut up!”
“What? Why’d you have to teach yourself? Aren’t you supposed to learn that at the academy? Or is there a village training program for that?” the look on Naruto’s face told him no. “Wow, I’ve been away from Konoha for too long if there isn’t a training program for that. Doesn’t change the fact that I’ll have to re-teach you it.”
“Won’t you need to teach Hinata as well, then?”
“No, taijustu can be taught to one person alone. Also Hinata needs to learn Jyuuken, not standard taijustu. However, quite a few things that I want you to learn would be much easier if you have someone else that needs to learn it as well. Usually if they can do it before you, they can give you much better tips then I can. Then there’s a few…more unique things that I need to teach you, & a few…other unique things I want to teach Hinata.”
“Things you need to teach me, & things you want to teach Hinata?”
Rahi knew what he meant. He looked around to make sure no one was close enough to hear. Kakashi was too into his book, The girls tent where Sakura was in was on the other side of the campsite, Shino was near Hinata & Kuranai who were near the girls tent, & Kiba & Akamaru were somewhere in the perimeter.
“Your not the only one with a demon sealed inside them.” Said Rahi quickly. His statement made Naruto gasp, “Do…do you have one?”
“No. I have five.”
“WHAT?!” screamed Naruto, looking fiercely at Rahi. Everyone looked at him.
“Now that you’ve attracted everyone’s attention, I suggest we get off the subject. But first, yes five.”
“I need to teach you control, & I want to teach to her suppress. I’ll explain more later, when we’ve already left on the mission. And after you tell her, if I can.” He muttered the last part so that Naruto couldn’t hear him.
They all got rested up for the next day.
-- Futotteiru clan head house--
“Ah! You must be the Leaf shinobi I hired from Konoha, am I right?” asked the really fat man in the middlemost chair in the room. In fact, almost all of the Futotteiru were fat (I don’t mean ‘pleasantly plump’, I mean fat), the guards were fat, the worriers were fat, just everyone was fat! But the shinobi reminded themselves of Chouji, & didn’t discriminate.
“Yes, we are.” Said Rahi, “I’m Rahi, this is Kuranai, Kakashi, Naruto, Sakura, Hinata, Shino, & Kiba. Kiba’s dog is named Akamaru.” He said, pointing to each of them in turn.
“Ah, yes. I am Okii Futotteiru, & I am the head of the Futotteiru clan, as you probably already know. The Wazuka clan has been acting…uncomfortably violent toward us for the past few weeks. I need you to find out what they’re planning, wither it be war, or just a nice tea party, you need to find it out for me. As you probably know, we will be sending a convoy to the head Wazuka clan to form a…treaty so that we may be, er…comfortable again. Two of my men will accompany you to make sure that progress is being made with the, er…spying. I’m sorry to not show trust in you, but these are dangerous times at the moment. I can’t take chances. Good day.” He waved a hand at two men near the wall, who immediately turned & walked toward the group of Leaf shinobi.
“Their names are Senshi Futotteiru, & Hoka Ichizoku. They know how not to get in the way, trust me.” He spoke words of confidence, but Rahi was slightly troubled by what he said. He wasn’t sure if it was what he said, or how he said it, but it still troubled him.
“If you need help getting around the area, we’ll help you. However, I don’t like to talk to much so don’t start a conversation with me.” Said Senshi warningly. “We are here for only the reasons that Master Okii Futotteiru has said, nothing else. We will assist if necessary, though.” Said Hoka, “This way to the Wazuka border.” Hoka walked out of the building, while Senshi waited for the two teams of Leaf shinobi to follow Hoka.
He did lead them to the border, but after that, they left it up to the shinobi to find their way to Wazuka territory. It wasn’t that hard, since Kakashi & Kuranai had been there on a few missions before, & Rahi didn’t mind being far from the top. He usually hated being on top.
The five genin remained silent, & followed the three jounin’s lead. Senshi & Hoka never spoke, though occasionally Senshi would take out a sheet of paper to write notes on. Rahi was sure that it was for some kind of report for that Okii.
Surprisingly, Rahi had never been to the Grass country before. He had traveled far, over a hundred different country’s…very big exaggeration, he decided. Anyway, he had traveled far & all over, but never to the Grass country. There never was anything here that the Akutsuki would go after, as far as he knew anyway, & before that he never received any missions in Leaf or Shadow that lead him here. It was a new experience for him, to say the least.
“Hey, Rahi.” Said Kuranai un-expectantly.
Rahi however, did not show his surprise, “Yes, Kuranai-chan?”
Kuranai did not expect the -chan, but she did not show it either. “Don’t you have a special justu for spying?”
“Yeah. Quite a few, but none of them are of use right now. Why?”
“Am I the only one who EVER thinks ahead?!” she exclaimed, her voice never going above normal volume. Rahi merely shrugged, pissing her off. No one said anything until they found themselves on a cliff top overlooking the Wazuka village. Shino positioned his bugs, while Kiba, Kakashi, & Hinata began scooping the area for enemies, strange activities, etc.
Kuranai reheated some food for a small break, Sakura was on lookout, & Rahi was beginning Naruto’s taijustu re-training. Senshi asked why they were taking a break & Kuranai answered, “So that we won’t need one later.” He accepted her answer after a few agreeing nods from the other shinobi.
Hoka remained silent throughout the day, & into the night. The only words they ever heard him say were the ones he spoke in the main building. Then, he had spoken his words with great care, revealing no emotion behind them.
To Rahi, it seemed as though he was having some troubles with the clan. He obviously wasn’t a part of it, or at least not by blood, due to his different last name. Ichizoka. It sounded familiar…from where?
It didn’t matter. The mission did, he reminded himself. So many things he concerned himself with & probably none of them were worth it. He decided to stop thinking & get some rest.
-the author-
A little insight into Rahi’s past in the beginning of the chapter. I think that was very much needed to help humanize Rahi. Also, a bit of conflict between Kuranai & Rahi but don’t worry, It will die out soon. I’m trying to hurry & get the setting out of Konoha and on the training mission so don’t expect many more chapters to be in there. I think it will be one to two chapters till they’re out. I think I’m getting better at having the actual personalities of the original Naruto characters, but soon I’ll only have to focus on Naruto & Hinata.
I’m planning on this whole book only taking about a month or three in the Naruto world so don’t expect many major advances in time. It’s taking me over three chapters just to get through a few weeks so it might take a while. There will probably be a few questions about Rahi having five demons sealed inside him, but more about that will be explained later, when he’s teaching Naruto how to control the Kyuubi.
Anything else that’s a problem or something will be answered in the reviews or complements or whatever.

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I have (prety much) unrestricted internet access now so I'll be on a lot more. Happy New Year!

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Chapter 2

The time passed way too fast in Rahi’s opinion. Naruto was already looking eagerly at him before he had planned out exactly what I was going to teach him two days later.
“What do you mean? You said you would start training me today!” yelled Naruto
“I know, I know. I haven’t figured out what to start off with & if I’m going to bring Hinata along then I need to, not only figure out a training plan for her, but also I need to find someone else to train with her while I’m getting you up to scratch.”
“So! Then don’t bring Hinata along, not like I’ll miss her or anything!”
For a moment Rahi looked at Naruto with what looked like an angry face & Naruto could sense the killer intent coming from him. Then Rahi sighed & said, “by the time our training time is up, I’m sure that you will look back on what you just said & hate yourself for it. I think you’ll find that…” his voice trailed off.
I think you’ll find out that she has a huge crush on you? Or that she’s extremely unhappy with life & you’re like the light in it? Or that all she needs is some good encouragement & she’ll be more the worthy of being a training partner? Or that you’re lucky enough that she IS your training partner? He didn’t know what to say.
Naruto waited impatiently for him to continue. When he did not, Naruto said, “You think I’ll find what?”
Rahi shook his head, “forget it. I think that you’ll know a lot of things that would fit there before our training time is over.”
Naruto gave a frustrated groan; Rahi probably didn’t think he was worthy of knowing the important stuff either. Go figure, he was just like all the others.
“Come on. Until I figure this stuff out I won’t be training you. Instead I’ll be teaching rather simple justu until I can be sure that you can handle the hard stuff. We’ll start with the Kage Bunshin v1.”
“I already know Kage Bunshin! Try teaching me something that I don’t already know!” yelled Naruto
“No, you know Kage Bunshin v2, I’ll be teaching you Kage Bunshin v1. It’s not that different from Kage Bunshin v2 except that in v1, the clones aren’t really there, like in most other clone justu. The main difference though, is that v1 clones don’t disappear unless you want them to. There are three Kage Bunshin versions in all.”
After a moment of processing this information, Naruto said, “how come I’ve never heard of this before?”
“Because I’m probably the only one in leaf that knows it. Only Kage Bunshin v2 was actually taught to outsiders- I mean to say is that there was a village that developed all the Kage Bunshin & only taught v2 to others.”
“Then how come you know them?” asked Naruto suspiciously
Rahi sighed; he wished that Naruto had some common sense. “I was raised in the village. Leaf isn’t my home, it’s just the village that I serve.”
“How can you switch villages?” yelled Naruto
“I thought I told you to stop yelling all the time. Anyway, to answer your question my home village was destroyed when I was really young. Then I was raised by a different village &, because it wasn’t my real home, I was allowed to leave it without becoming a missing nin. Now will you let me explain how to use v1 or not?”
Naruto merely grunted before proceeding with the training.
-Tenten –
Tenten kept on daring nervous glances at Neji. Their whole team was supposed to be taking a break & having some lunch on top of a small mountain overlooking their training field, but Neji had refused. Something was bothering him. Lee seemed oblivious to it, but Gai knew it wasn’t something they should bring up. She had followed his lead.
Whatever was going on, it somehow made having lunch quiet & uneasy, & it made Tenten worried to know that it was because something was bothering Neji.
She had tried to get him to let her in so she could help on countless occasions, never succeeding. Her reasons hadn’t really taken on a word form so she couldn’t explain it to her father, who didn’t think much of it. When they finished their lunch, Neji still hadn’t stopped looking overtop the mountain. It made her worry ever more.
“OK! Lee, Neji! First spar!” said Gai proudly
Neji responded by taking a fierce look at Gai & saying, “No disrespect, Gai-sensei, but I’m not in the mood for fighting. Lee would easily defeat me, it would be a waste of effort & time.” He then continued looking off the mountain.
Gai took one quick look at Tenten as if to say ‘try to find out what is going on’ before turning to Lee. “Looks like I’ll be sparring with you today Lee!” he said, letting out his usual proud & booming voice that all three of them had learned to respect.
“Oh! What an honor!” exclaimed Lee before getting into a fighting position, “I will come at you with my full strength & ability!” & their sparring begun.
Tenten walked hesitantly toward Neji before sitting down next to him. After another moments of hesitation she spoke up, “Looks like we’ll have nice weather for the next few days, not too humid, not too hot, not too cloudy-”
She silenced for a moment as the wind picked up briefly, sending a light breeze on them. When it came back down she continued, “but, the weather seems to be one of few things that are right today.” She sighed before looking over at Neji with worried eyes.
Neji merely glanced at her. He knew exactly what she was talking about he simply just- “I don’t want to talk about it.” He said firmly before getting up to watch the sparring.
Tenten stayed put for a few seconds, before following.
When the sparring was almost finished about twenty minuets later, she spoke again. “At least give me a chance to try to help.”
Neji looked at her for a few seconds before sighing. The only thing he said before they headed to their individual homes was, “Rahi’s here.”
“I’m telling you I need someone else!”
“And I’m telling you that we don’t have anyone else! What is here is what you’ve got! No one else can possibly even come close to Hinata’s level!”
Rahi was in Tsunade’s office, trying to find a suitable third ninja for the training mission. Tsunade had given him all the papers on all the ninja up to a year before & behind Hinata to try & find someone at her level.
There was none.
“What about a second year before her?”
“All of them are chuunin & above! She’s no where near that!”
“Still at the academy!”
“This can’t be all of them! There has to be someone in this whole dang village that is equal level with Hinata.”
“Why are you so concerned about getting Hinata to go on this mission anyway? You’re obsessed by it.”
“I have multiple reasons, none of which I think I am required to tell you.”
Tsunade glared at him, sending shivers down his spine, “Fine, fine.”. After a moment’s silence she spoke again, “How about bringing someone from one of the other…places…that you’ve been to?”
Rahi looked at her, slightly shocked, “I’m not…entirely sure that is a good idea. Unless…” his voice trailed off as he started pacing & muttering to himself- or that’s what Tsunade thought.
After a moment Rahi suddenly let out a rough groaning sound, “I need direct answers, Neda! Stop giving me all that technical crap. By the way it would probably come clearer if you were actually here.” He said, emphasizing the last word with a fierce downward point from his hand.
And with a sudden blow of hot wind & light, standing about two paces away from the door was Neda.
The demon was about eight foot standing straight, but he was hunched over to keep his surface from scorching the roof. Neda was known as a powerful fire demon in other parts of the world, when he was completely free of human bonds. But now he was basically a very loyal friend (some would say ‘slave’ instead) to Rahi. His surface was actually a thick layer of hot air. But underneath, which is what was visible, there was cooled lava & magma. Despite this, Neda was extremely hard to track.
At the sudden sight of him, Tsunade tripped over her own chair & fell over, knocking down her chair & a few documents on the desk in the process. Both Rahi & Neda were seemingly oblivious to this.
“I think it would work,” came Neda’s dark, deep voice, “you saw Sareen with your own two eyes, she has undoubtedly been waiting for you. And knowing her, she has a few pupils that need some extra attention.”
“Are you sure? Aw, well. If it works, it works, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. That’s just the way life goes.” He turned suddenly to a now re-seated Tsunade, “We think that’s a really good idea. We already have a few people in mind that might be good for it.”
Tsunade looked at him until she realized what he was talking about, “oh yeah, right. So when are you going to leave?”
“To find your third pupil, when are you going to leave?”
“When Naruto & Hinata are ready.”
“Wait, so your NOT going to know who the third one will be until you’re already on the road?”
“Yup. Life isn’t any fun without a few surprises.”
Tsunade sighed in response & Neda had a thought- ‘perhaps I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand him’.
“Hinata-sama, the Hokage requests your presence. I believe she has a mission for you.” Said Neji walking into the courtyard where Hinata was trying to relax for her evening training with Hiashi.
She looked up at her cousin, “B, but my evening training is soon to begin.”
“Hokage-sama requested you. I believe she outranks Hiashi-sama, as such it would be wise to obey her over your father.” He said it so unemotionally that Hinata was slightly hesitant, though she saw the curl of a smile on his face
Finally she responded, “Yes. Your right, Neji-nii-san. Goman.” & she lifted herself & walked to her room to change out of her training clothes.
After changing, she walked though the house to the gatehouse where her sandals & jacket were lying in wait for her. She put them on & walked out of the Hyuuga manor.
The whole way to the Hokages office, she wondered what she could have been called for. Is it really a mission? But at this time of day all the mission’s would have been taken. So then what was it?
When she was about thirty paces away from the Hokages office, she stopped. It wasn’t because that she just now spotted it, but it was because she noticed that Naruto had just walked into the building.
Her heart almost stopped. Was she going to be doing another mission with Naruto? She hoped so, & with that hope she urged her legs to continue moving toward the building. Once inside, she proceeded to the Hokages office, trying not to think about anything related to Naruto, yet failing miserably.
When she walked inside the office, she wasn’t entirely shocked to see Naruto was impatiently waiting in a seat across from the Hokage.
“There’s one of them, now we just got to wait for that **ed Rahi. Have a seat Hinata-chan.” Said Tsunade pleasantly. Hinata obeyed immediately, trying not to blush when Naruto looked at her.
After a few minutes, Tsunade seemed to grow as impatient as Naruto, & occasionally paced around the room. “WHAT is taking him so long?” exclaimed Tsunade, “he is rarely ever late & when he is he’s never more then five minutes overdue!”
Hinata looked over at Naruto. He seemed to be acting like Tsunade, just pouting instead of pacing & talking. She didn’t know what to do to calm them down.
About ten minutes later the door finally opened revealing Rahi.
“Sorry I’m late. Just got back from the stone village-”
With a small flinch he said “I was taking your advice, Tsunade-chan, & trying to decide before I got myself in a mess. If you don’t like it, then just remember I got it from you so don’t hate me for it.”
Tsunade looked like she was going to roar again but was able to calm herself enough to resist the urge
“As I was saying, I just got back from the stone village & received the word that you wanted me here from Kapa. I just got back one minute ago so don’t yell at me about it. So, what’s the mission?”
Tsunade spent another moment to calm herself before answering, “Seems how you’re going to take these two on the training mission in a week or so, I wanted you to get more acquainted with them so all three of you are going to spend the rest of the day with each other. No complaints!” she yelled at Naruto who had just opened his mouth to say something. “I will trust you to not get into any trouble, Rahi, & if you do…you know exactly what I’m going to do.”
Rahi responded with an amused look on his face, “You know me.”
“Before you ask, you will receive pay for this, Naruto & Hinata. It is a D rank mission because there is no danger.” She then sighed & said brightly, “Your all dismissed! Have fun spending some quality time with each other.”
“Come on, you two” said Rahi, Naruto, if a bit defiant, & Hinata obeying. They followed Rahi all the way up to a mountain near the Hokage Monument, but still overlooking the village.
“We’ll have a small picnic here. I got your favorites, Ichiraku’s best Ramen to go, some of the finest Oishii Cha tea, & my favorite, egg cheese sandwich.” Rahi said, handing the cuped Ramen to Naruto, the tea to Hinata, & opening a small package containing his sandwich. When Naruto & Hinata saw the sandwich, they looked at it, then at Rahi with very confused looks on their faces.
Rahi, noticing this, explained, “It’s from the land that I was in before I came back to Leaf. Somewhere in the far west, no actually east…aw well, on a map it would be the far west. You won’t see it anywhere around here.” After a moment of digging in to his sandwich, Rahi noticed that they were still looking confused. It took him another moment to realize what it was.
“I’m very good at knowing what is most likely going to happen when certain things occur. Because of this, I suspected that we would get an ‘at ease’ moment, I guess you could say, so I picked up a few things.”
Hinata sipped her tea politely before a question popped up in her mind, “If you’ve been to m-many lands, Rahi-sensei, then you must n-know many languages, right?”
Rahi smiled at the ‘Rahi-sensei’ & answered, “Not in all cases but in some yes. I know about ten different languages, but I’m only good with four of them. My nicknames for them are East, West, Far West, & Dragon.” He said counting them off, “Now when you’re done with those, I have real meals for you two. I’m not really good at cooking anything above the basics so I picked up a package.”
At this he turned to Hinata, “I understand you are exceptionally good at cooking, am I right?”
Naruto looked back & forth between them. He knew that the few times he had tasted food that Hinata had cooked it WAS exceptionally delicious, but he didn’t think she might actually be a really good cook. Now that he thought about it, he didn’t think much about anything that had a relation to her. He wondered why.
“Ano…um, yes. I seem to b-be very good at preparing food, but…I don’t really know about cooking it.”
“Well that’s certainly good enough! I’ll have to get Sareen to teach you how to cook really huge meals with very little materials. I think you’ll find that she’s some-what similar to you.”
Hinata blushed at the comment, & continued sipping her tea. She was done a little after Naruto, who was surprised to see that Rahi’s sandwich was completely gone, including scraps, by the time he started sucking down the soup.
“All done? Good.” And he handed both of them a rather bland meal or plain rice balls, dumplings, a glass of water, some strange pills, - the usual stuff. “Now I’ll be looking for a good training spot for you guys. I’ll be back in about ten minutes max. By the way, the pills are unique training vitamins & I suggest you take them before eating the rest; it can leave a bad aftertaste” & he jumped away into the trees, going at top speed.
When they had finished their meals, they sat quietly waiting for Rahi to return. Naruto looked as impatient as he did earlier & sighed a few times, but never got up to start pacing.
He’s not as energetic as usual, Hinata realized. He must have used up a large amount of his energy if he was as…physically calm as he was now. She wondered how he did it & was about to ask before the words got caught up in her throat. She still didn’t make a noise, which she was thankful for, but was still too nervous to start up a conversation with him. If they were to talk before Rahi got back, it would have to be Naruto’s decision.
Luckily, it wasn’t long.
“What do you think of Rahi-sensei?” Naruto asked
Hinata was a little startled by the question, but answered as quickly as she could force herself to. “Ano, well…h-he seems to know what he’s talking about. He h-helped Kiba-kun with a justu that was supposed to have only been in his family. I think…we c, could learn a lot from him.” After saying this, she had to remind herself to breath. It was amazing that she didn’t just completely just shut down in the middle of the sentence.
Naruto looked like he was considering what she said. “If he knows about Kiba’s family then he’s sure to know many other justu that he could teach to me. So I guess your right, Hinata, we could learn a lot from him.” Her heart nearly stopped when he grinned at her, “It’s just a matter of getting him to teach it.”
“H, hai.” Hinata agreed
“Glad to see your talking finally. I thought I would have to stay in that tree for the whole ten minutes.”
Naruto & Hinata looked up in the tree above them, startled. There, Rahi was standing on one of the lower branches. He was holding two small purple crystals in his hand.
“By the way, I thought of a good idea that you guys should do” he said, jumping out of the tree & landing next his two seito, “it’s a tracking ability that revolves around these” he held up the crystals, “& it shouldn’t be all that hard to use. First you have to do a simple justu, then make the justu permanent, & you’ll always know where everyone of these” he held up the crystals again, “are.”
“You both are to wear them at all times. They have a special justu on them so they can’t be taken away by anyone, only freely given away.”
Naruto & Hinata just stared at him. After a few moments he responded with, “What?”
“Uh, why were you waiting for us to start talking to come out of the tree?” asked Naruto
“Because, I wanted to know what your…friendship status was. Anyway, I need you two to get this tracking thing done with so that I have a lot less to worry about.”
Naruto & Hinata shared a brief moment, in which Hinata blushed, of looking at each other before doing as they were told.
“Good job, Hinata! I must say that I expected you to take an extra day to finish the first form of Kage Bunshin.” Said Rahi.
All three of them, Rahi, Hinata & Naruto, were training together. Rahi had decided that it would be good for Hinata to learn the Kage Bunshin’s as well, alongside Naruto who had still not mastered the first form.
“How is she doing it so fast? If she could learn this stupid thing so fast, then how did Neji beat her so badly in the chuunin exam?” he stopped to wrinkle his nose, “Its got to have something to do with being a Hyuuga right?” asked Naruto, expecting that he had figured it out.
“No. It’s more of natural talent & potential. Neji has barely a fraction of Hinata natural potential, though I’m sure he has that skill.” He turned to Hinata, “Your just too afraid that you’ll mess up. In fact, your so afraid that it’s the only thing you can do, you’ve got to loosen up, mistakes are part of the human nature.”
“Another thing that let her master the first form faster then you was because you taught yourself the Kage Bunshin with that scroll. But in my opinion, the thing that helped her the most was that she wasn’t used to summoning form two Kage Bunshin’s, like you are. That’s what is interfering with your progress.”
Naruto grumbled at this.
“Now it’s time to get you on the basics of form two. We should have enough time for you to get started on them before we have to split & go home. But first, let’s check up on you, Naruto.” Rahi said as he turned toward Naruto, “Show me.”
Naruto preformed the single seal for the Kage Bunshin, & yelled “Kage Bunshin no justu!” Instantly several Naruto bunshins, twelve to be exact, appeared in the area. Rahi began his process that determined which form the clones were in. It was called ‘the poke, stab, kick, kill’ method. If it was form one, none of these would actually hit it. Form two, it would disappear at the stab. Form three, it should survive all of them.
Unfortunately, if any were hit physically, then Naruto did not succeed in performing form one.
The first seven bunshins were, indeed, form one. However when he reached the eighth, it stepped back slightly at the poke; a sign that he had been hit physically. Rahi was about to say he had not succeeded again, but decided against it. He performed the ‘stab’, a quick launch of his hand into a sensitive pressure point near the rib.
It collided, sending the bunshin into a nearby tree. It got back up, slightly panting. Without hesitation, Rahi performed the ‘kick’, an easy kick to the head that would normally nock someone out if they didn’t put up a defense. It collided as well & sent the bunshin flying into another nearby tree.
It got up again. Without hesitating, Rahi performed his special four seals & activated his killer justu. It collided as well, in a flash of bright purple light Rahi had ran up to the clone & smacked it as hard as he could, sending it flying straight through several trees.
Naruto was amazed by how much his clone was withstanding, but mostly by how powerful the justu was. He could feel it. It was almost…inhuman.
After the slight amount of dust cleared, they could all see the bunshin slowly getting up, panting heavily. After a few moments, Rahi broke the silence.
“I don’t know how, but you seem to have created a form three clone. Form three can withstand up to three times as much as you can, & they remain solid until you dismiss them…even if they’re already dead.”
“Very helpful in many situations, they are capable of doing everything you can, however they never age & never grow stronger, though it may seem as though they have because they have the ability to learn.” He turned to Naruto, “And in your case especially, they can do even more.”
Naruto knew at once what he was talking about. The Kyuubi. His clones could also use the kyuubi chakra. But what else could they do with it? Everything he can? What if one of them were possessed by Kyuubi, would they then be able to do everything that the kyuubi could? Wait, how did Rahi know about the kyuubi? He would have to ask when no one else was around.
Hinata just looked back & forth between the two. She didn’t understand what Rahi meant. She gathered enough courage to break the new silence, “Um…shouldn’t you continue checking Naruto-kun’s clones?”
Rahi & Naruto looked at her, making her blush. “Yeah, we probably should. Arigato, Hinata.”
The rest of the clones were, indeed, untouchable illusions. Because of this, Rahi decided that Naruto had mastered form one, making him extremely happy.
Hinata was also secretly happy about it. Naruto saw her smiling happily in her usual pose of looking a little bit in front of her feet, her fore fingers gently pushing off from each other in a continues motion.
“Now, Naruto, I don’t want to teach you form three yet, I suggest you practice the form one until you can choose whether or not there’s a form three bunshin in the midst, ok? As for you Hinata we’d better teach you the basics of form two, quickly, as we only have about half an hour left.”
Naruto & Hinata simply nodded.
“Ok, I think I’m going to go home.” Said Naruto
“Yeah, you probably should. See ya later, Naruto, & be sure to say goodbye to Hinata as well.”
“Huh, why? Can’t you say it for me?”
“No. And it wasn’t a request, Naruto. The more you two interact, the easier it’s going to be for you to help each other. In other words, your training will be easier. Now go say goodbye to her. She’s over by the river.”
Naruto wrinkled his nose & obeyed, extremely confused, though not bothering to stifle his grumbles.
When he arrived at the river that was only a few yards away from where they had been training, Naruto found Hinata washing her jacket, which had been dirtied in the dirt during their training.
“Hello, Hinata.” Said Naruto cheerfully, grinning at her & sitting down a few feet away from her, giving her room to continue her washing.
Hinata looked up at Naruto startled, “H, hello, Naruto-kun.” & with an effort continued washing her jacket.
“I was thinking of heading home, getting a bite to eat at Ichiraku’s first, & getting some sleep. Rahi told me to say goodbye to you first because, well he said something like the closer we got the easier our training would be or something like that. It didn’t make much since to me, though. Anyway, I’ll see you tomorrow, Hinata.” & he grinned at her again making her blush.
“Um…goodbye, Naruto-kun. And…arigato…for today…” her voice trailed off, she wasn’t able to continue. The words got caught in her throat.
“Huh? What do you mean, Hinata?”
Hinata looked up, prepared to see the anger, or fury she was used to seeing from her father, but instead just got the confused look from Naruto. He just didn’t know what she meant, nothing else.
“Goman, Naruto-kun! It’s nothing…really.” She said quickly, bowing her head
Naruto just kept looking confused, then he shrugged. “Alright, bye.” & he turned & left.
After a few minutes, in which Hinata finished washing her jacket & hung it to dry, Rahi’s voice broke the silence that had settled after Naruto left.
“I wasn’t expecting him to say goodbye that way, but I guess it still has the same effect.” Hinata looked over at him, once again startled.
“Anyway, I was kinda hoping he would leave early so that I could talk to you.” He walked up to Hinata, & took a look at her jacket. He performed two seals & gently poked it, sending a burst of hot wind through it.
Hinata grabbed the jacket & realized that it was completely dry.
“I could teach you that as well. It’s simple really, but our time together is almost up, so I need to talk to you first. I realize that your father has his own way of teaching you things, however I have some rules that I want you to pass on to him regarding that. If he breaks these rules then he has to answer to me, if he doesn’t, then he has to answer to the Hokage.”
“First, he can not have any training sessions with you that start or last after ten o’ clock. Second, he will accept any methods I use, unless if you, & only you, ask for his advice and/ or aid. Third, if I receive any signs of mistreatment, or at least in my opinion, then I DO have the right to storm into his house, & kick his sorry butt all over Konoha and/ or demand to know what is going on. Fourth, if he doesn’t agree with something that I do, then he will answer to me, no acceptations. If he doesn’t agree with something that I do, that is not limited to you & me, then depending on what is, is depending on if he will answer to me or both me & the Hokage. Fifth, if he does anything that I don’t agree with, then I will take it up with him.”
“Now if he doesn’t receive these rules within the week, then I will personally give them to him, which considering how I hate him almost as much as he hates me, it won’t be a pleasant experience for anyone watching or listening. Here, they’re all written here,” he handed her a slip of paper folded in half, “any questions?”
“Um…ano, uh, why will me & N, Naruto-kun getting closer…um…make it easier for training?” she said uncertainly.
“Because, the closer you two are, the more you two know each other. The more you two know each other, the better that you can help each other. The better you can help each other, also means the faster you two learn what I’m teaching you. The faster you learn, the faster you become great shinobi. The faster you become great shinobi, well you know the rest.”
A few moments passed before Hinata said, “I should probably be going home know, Rahi-sensei. Arigato. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Bye, Hinata. Be sure to get that to your father.”
“I will, bye.”
She departed without another glance back at her new sensei. She was going to be able to skip all the challenges that her father kept on giving her, all the challenges that she always failed in. Or at least she hoped…
She quietly walked through Konoha, heading in the direction of the Hyuuga Manor. It only took her about eight minutes, before she was looking up at the huge house, knowing precisely what was inside. As she walked inside the gatehouse, taking off her sandals & hanging her jacket, her thoughts wondered to how Rahi & her father had met- & why they hated each other.
Rahi had said that he liked her because she was so different from her family. She wondered if that meant that he could tolerate her for that reason alone, what if he hated her for being a Hyuuga & that was why he even bothered?
No. He also had said that he hated the Hyuuga clan because of how they ran things; he didn’t hate Hyuuga clan exactly…
Absentmindedly, she walked to the courtyard, where she knew her father was, no doubt having prepared another challenge for her. On her way there she checked the clock- 9:49.
It was almost ten. There wouldn’t be much time for any of the challenges that her father usually had in store for her, so she was probably off the hook.
She gracefully sat down, neatly tucking her legs beneath her, in front of her father, waiting for him to speak.
“Ah, your back. Welcome home, Hinata-chan.” Said Hiashi, her father
“It is good to be home, Otou-san. Where is Hanabi-chan?” Hinata asked formally
“Hanabi is in bed, resting for her test at the academy tomorrow. As you know, this will leave more time for your training. You need a lot of work in Jyuuken, & I expect you to put forth that work.”
“Um, Otou-san…Rahi-sensei-”
“What did you say?” asked Hiashi, suddenly looking twice as serious as usual
“Rahi-sensei. H, he’s my new sensei. He gave me, um, rules to give to you.” She held out the slip of paper, still folded in half from when Rahi had given it to her
Hiashi took it without a word, & read it, his face reading more & more anger as he read each word.
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing! Or reading…whatever.
Rahi had always wanted to damage the Hyuuga traditions & now he is at it’s most vital point, it’s heir!
Set of rules that Hiashi must obey by written word of Rahi & the fifth Hokage regarding Hinata’s training
1. Hinata will not undergo any training that lasts or starts after ten o’ clock without Rahi’s approval
2. If signs of heavier training within hours are seen, without Rahi’s approval, then you will be forced to cease it.
3. Any methods used by Hiashi, may, with the permission of the Hokage, be disallowed by Rahi
4. If Hiashi does not agree with the methods of Rahi, then he may discus it with him privately
5. If signs of mistreatment toward Hinata are seen by Rahi, then he maintains the right punish you for it
6. If these rules are broken, then one of two things will happen- One, Rahi will personally punish you for it. Or two, the Hokage will set a punishment accordingly
How Rahi had gotten on the Hokages good side he didn’t know, but because he did owe his allegiance to the Hokage, he would have to abide by these rules, no matter how much he didn’t want to. Then he noticed another thing on the paper, something that had been obscured by his fingers before
These rules may be crossed without punishment with the written AND verbal permission of both the Hokage & Rahi, and the supervision of Rahi.
Well, that would mean that he couldn’t object to the rules by saying it would hinder Hinata’s progress in her training. Rahi would always be willing to stay up all night for any one that he let through his personality barrier, & with him writing these rules, Hinata had already done that.
Hiashi sighed; he would just have to live with it for now.
“How did your training go with your team?”
“Um, the Hokage t-told me, Naruto-kun, & Rahi to train together for the evening.”
Hiashi winced at both of their names, although it was so tiny that you’d have to be close up & looking specifically for it to see it. Naruto, the boy who could very well be that vile beast. What was the Hokage thinking? And then Rahi…what use could they possibly serve for Hinata’s training?
Hiashi sighed again before speaking again, “then how did your training with Rahi & Naruto go?” he successfully hid his distaste for the two while speaking
“It was surprisingly s-successful, Otou-san. Although I didn’t learn much in the few hours that we trained, I did make good progress.”
Hiashi nodded, trying to look thoughtful, & succeeding as usual. “In what, did you make progress in?”
“The justu that Rahi-sensei was teaching both of us. It was very…unique.”
“Which justu was that?”
“Uh, Kage Bunshin.”
“I do not see what is so unique about that. Many in our village know Kage Bunshin. And, unless my information is faulty, Naruto-san knows it as well.”
“Ano, Rahi-sensei was teaching something a little b-bit…different then the Kage Bunshins I’ve seen, though I’m not s-sure about what you’ve seen.”
“Really? What was different about it?” asked Hiashi, slightly interested
“Well, as Rahi-sensei put it, ‘it’s supposed to be an untouchable illusion.’ It’s not affected in any way by, uh, physical m-measures.”
Hiashi spent a few moments to take in & digest what she said. An untouchable illusion? That was not the Kage Bunshin at all. Then what was it that he taught her? He checked the clock quickly to make sure it wasn’t ten yet.
“Show me.” He said simply & firmly
After a few seconds, Hinata bowed saying, “Yes, Otou-san.” She then stood, & began focusing her chakra. She formed the required seal & whispered, “Kage Bunshin no justu.”
Instantly four Hinata bunshins appeared, all standing & facing Hiashi.
He was a little surprised by what he saw, she had actually made some success. Buy what surprised him was that the clones looked solid, not like illusions at all.
He stood up & gently tapped one of the clones. Nothing. He didn’t feel I thing, it was as if it indeed was an illusion. He then slowly sent his arm all the way through it. Again nothing. It was if it was air. Here he was, his arm all the way through an illusion bunshin of his eldest daughter. He pulled his arm away.
“Very nicely done. I must admit, though, I haven’t seen this type of justu for. It is, as you said, unique. However I’m not entirely sure it is the kage bunshin. Probably a justu that mimics it.”
“Uh, Otou-san? Rahi-sensei said s-something about three different forms of the Kage Bunshin…& s-something about all three of them originating from the same village.”
Hiashi thought about this for a second, not even noticing Hinata de-summoning her clones. He never knew where the Kage Bunshin originated, he realized. And since Rahi had been raised in the Shadow village, it could make since if they created the Kage Bunshin. It would only be natural to have other versions of a useful justu, like Kage Bunshin, in their ranks if they had, indeed, created them.
“It makes sense.” Said Hiashi simply before, “Considering how we cannot get any training done, it would be wise for you to get some rest for tomorrow.” He waited a moment before adding, “you may need it.”
Hinata was still confused by what he meant when she left the courtyard for her room.
The next day, Hinata underwent her usual mourning routine. Get dressed, do chores, eat breakfast, straiten up, get ready to meet team for today’s mission. The only difference was that she was told to go strait to the Hokage instead of meet her team by her father.
He had looked tired, as if he didn’t go to sleep at all that night. However that was the only difference. He was still the same person he always was as far as Hinata could remember.
When she opened the door to the Hokages office, she was surprised at what she saw. Rahi, Kuranai, Kiba, Sakura, and Shino were all there, standing in front of the Hokages desk where she was seated.
At the sound of the door closing, everyone turned in Hinata’s direction, “Ah Hinata-chan,” said Tsunade, “That’s almost all of you, just got to wait for Kakashi & Naruto now.”
“Um…what’s g-going on?” asked Hinata
Kiba was the one who answered, “We’re all going on a mission together. All details have been disclosed until the rest of us show up.”
“Two shinobi squads?”
“Yup. Apparently, that Rahi guy is taking the missing position on team seven. Though with our individual skills, I really wonder what kind of mission it is. Shino’s been working on possibility’s, but nothing very exciting yet- excluding if it’s an A rank mission. I think it makes sense but Shino doesn’t for some reason…ah, well.”
He made his signature, wolf grin at her, “If there’s going to be this many shinobi on it, then it’s got to be something important at least.”
Hinata gave her signature, shy smile in return
The door opened, revealing Kakashi, a few minutes later. The first thing said was by Tsunade, “I thought you were going to be the last one here!”
Kakashi looked surprised, “I’m not? Who else is supposed to be here?” he asked casually
“Naruto is. I never thought I’d actually say this out loud, but I’m getting tired of him not coming here first thing in the morning! Sure he annoyed me enough, but he’s become unpredictable even in what I thought he would always do the same thing.”
“Naruto won’t always be doing the same thing, of this I assure you.” Said Rahi suddenly
“Huh? How would you know?” asked Kiba
“Because I’m his…well, technically I’m his private sensei but he’s not the only one I teach.”
“Ha ha! I knew that baka would need extra help! Ha ha ha ha ha! Hilarious!” Kiba was laughing his head off. Hinata could hardly stand to let this humiliation of Naruto continue, but before she could get herself to do anything Rahi responded.
“In a few months, Naruto could make you eat those words blindfolded, without chakra, & both hands tied behind his back. Besides, its just a few bad habits that he has that you’ve seen that make you think he’s a baka. Some people actually look up to him, & his ability to always get back up. If my information is not faulty, then that is how he beat you in the chuunin exam.”
Kiba’s face went cold for a few seconds, then warmed back up. “That was a fluke! If he hadn’t of gotten lucky then he would have lost!”
“I don’t mean to interrupt, but Naruto’s awfully late. Someone should go look for him.” Cut in Kakashi
“I agree!” said Tsunade, “Rahi, why don’t you? You seem to have picked up on his habits rather quickly-”
“I was born with that trait. Anyway, I doubt it would take me any shorter to find Naruto then Kakashi, but why not?” He headed for the door, but when he opened it he turned toward Hinata, “why don’t you come with me?”
Kiba was about to object, when Hinata answered without hesitation, “Yes, Rahi-sensei” & hurried toward the door after him.
When the door shut, Kiba turned to Kurenai, “Rahi’s teaching Hinata?”
Kurenai looked a little uncomfortable in her present situation, “Yes. In about a week, she, Naruto, & Rahi will go on a training mission together.” She was barely able to get the last words out before Kiba yelled, “WHAT?!”
-the Author-
I seem to be too far on top of things as it was the first of November (when I finished the chapter) and it is now a few weeks later. I have the third chapter done, & the forth chapter is about half finished.
Anyway, I need more critics so I know what I’m doing wrong so I can get rid of it somehow, & I need more compliments so I know what I’m doing right! Angel_Drake is doing a very good job of that, thank you.
That is all for now…except one thing I might as well tell you about. I’m planning on having bonus sections later on in the ff, I’m hoping they will either be humorous or will clear something up that I couldn’t say in the ff.
I wanted to write a bonus section that explained that Rahi was surprised that Naruto wasn’t exactly fighting back a whole lot, but it’s much easier just to tell you so I can start writing my other chapter’s. See ya!

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