"Sasuke, Itachi, hey!" Kangae called, a grin on her face as she waved at the Uchiha duo waiting for her at the entryway to their native district. "It's nice to see you guys again and sorry I haven't been by sooner."
Nearing the two boys she passed the eldest brother the box filled with pastries she got from a bakery nearby. Something sweet to kiss ass with.
"I've been busy." She said sheepishly in apology and Sasuke scowled, drawing her eye.
"Nii-san says you're starting the ninja academy. Without me." He pouted and Kangae could feel her face twitching into a coo at the frankly adorable display.
God she loved kids.
"I got offered." She laughed, ruffling Sasuke's already fluffy hair and watched as those round lil cheeks puffed up even more. "By the Hokage himself - I kinda had to take it."
And that was putting it mildly.
"But why without me!" The little boy whined. "And Ino! And everyone else!"
Kangae held up her hands placatingly.
"That's just how it worked out and it sucks but hey, look on the bright side." She smirked, nudging the frowning boy. "I can teach you what I know! Screw the system, I'll help you cheat it."
Sasuke looked positively delighted.
"Really?" He squealed, voice pitched high in excitement. "Really, really? Not like when Itachi says really and lies?"
Said boy faltered in his quest to fish out the dango lined in the box she handed over and blinked down at his younger brother, who staunchly ignored it.
Or maybe the boy didn't even notice, one never knew with children.
"Yes really, really!" She teased. "Though I'm sure most of what I'll be taught for the first few months will be what you've already learned in clan training."
"Not exactly." Itachi interjected, having found a piece of chocolate to munch on instead. "Since you're on track for an early graduation you'll be moving through the class years quickly, which means more knowledge will be accessible you, faster."
Kangae quirked a brow.
"You are an early grad too huh." She remarked, pupiless blue eyes guileless. "Got any tips?"
Itachi turned towards the house.
"Not particularly." He said, walking now and the two of them scrambled to catch up. "But if there's something you need advice on, I'd be happy to help you - provided I'm in the village."
"I'll keep that in mind." Kangae warned, eyeing the other up with a needle thin gaze. "Don't think I won't."
The older boy laughed softly, a breathy, airy little thing and looked askance back at her.
Kangae pursed her lips, scanning the Uchiha heir up and down critically only to swallow whatever it was that she hoped to say when Sasuke grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her ahead.
"Come on!" He urged. "Aniki's being too slow, let's just go to my room and get my shuriken! We can practice!"
"Okay!" She laughed running alongside the other child through the district, the single splash of color in a sea of dark hair and when they reached the main house, Itachi was already waiting for them.
"Come on, inside." Sasuke urged, not surprised to see his brother standing there and pushed open the heavy tatami doors to the gaiken.
Kangae slipped off her sandals.
"You can say hi to kaa-chan and I'll get the weapons." Sasuke announced, bare feet slapping against the wooden floors as he took off down the hall. "I'll be right back so don't leave!"
Blinking the Yamanaka peered into the ornate house and stood stock still until she heard the door close and Itachi stepped up beside her.
"He's been eager to meet with you again." Itachi said in explanation, rather gently and Kangae grinned. "It's all he's been talking about for the past few days."
"Aww I missed him too." She cooed and Itachi huffed a laugh, pulling off his own sandals before heading into the hallway. "Take me to Mikoto-sama?"
In silence the two made their way towards the tea room, where they found the Uchiha matriarch practicing calligraphy?
No, Kangae realized after a second glance, the woman was creating custom explosion tags.
Another skill she needed to learn it seemed.
"Kaa-chan,"Itachi announced. "Kangae has arrived."
Setting down her brush with a careful and well practiced hand, Mikoto turned to face the two of them, a smile on her beautiful face.
"Kangae-chan!" She beamed. "It's good to see you! Entering the academy I hear?"
Kangae rolled her eyes skyward.
"Does everyone know?" She asked dryly and Mikoto giggled.
"I suspect word has gotten around that the Yamanaka clan savior is going to attend." She admitted lightly and Kangae grimaced.
"That's annoying." She muttered and Itachi eyed her.
"You don't like the recognition?"
She grimaced further, feeling her face twist.
"It's about how fast it spread." Kangae pointed out. "People run their mouths too much."
"Even ninjas must keep pastimes." Mikoto remarked before standing. "Now, shall we make our way to meeting hall?"
Kangae looked towards the doors.
"Won't Sasuke be looking for us?"
"Shisui will take care of it." Itachi said and Kangae glanced at him confused.
"Okay." She drawled and Mikoto gestured for them to follow her.
"I'm terribly sorry to spring this on you Kangae-chan." Mikoto said hurriedly, under her breath and it was then the girl noticed the fancy state of dress the woman was in. "But the council - they're interested in meeting with you. Now."
Her brow furrowed.
"Why not tell me in advance?" So I could prepare went unsaid.
"Fugaku mentioned you were to train with Sasuke early this morning and they decided to address your request for our son to join you and the other heirs." Mikoto said, lowly. "Again, I apologize but here's the chance you wanted."
Kangae stayed silent, nodding to herself as they neared the meeting room, she had briefly seen it while talking with Fugaku but it had been empty.
She'd never met these people and she saved the second son of their head.
She had the advantage here.
Who cared if they surprised her with this meeting? She had all the cards and her request was a small thing to ask in return for Sasuke's life.
They would give this to her even if she had to pry it out of them.
Even if she had to make them.
"We're here." Itachi piped up, hand pressing briefly against her shoulder in support before the doors opened and he slid away.
Kangae looked around the room without moving her head.
It was filled to the brim with Uchiha, far more than a council should hold.
Had others come to watch?
She had to play this carefully.
"Yamanaka Kangae." Fugaku called from his place at the head of the ensemble. "Our clan welcomes you."
Kangae smiled pretty and bowed.
"And I'm honored to be here." She said rising, noting that both Mikoto and Itachi had taken a seat next to their clan head, to his left and right respectively. "To what do I owe the occasion?"
"We want to offer you what you asked for." The man nodded echoing his wife's earlier words. "You will train with Sasuke and he will be allowed to train with the Hyuuga heiress on the condition that all practices are done here."
"May I ask why?" The mind reader ventured after a moment and Fugaku inclined his head.
"He is most secure within clan walls." He explained, his figure imposing and the eyes of many an itch under her skin. "After the attack, we think caution is best."
She didn't know if Hiashi would go for that.
But to train with the Hyuuga heiress would strengthen clan relations.
But she still hasn't spoken to the Hyuuga about any of this yet.
She could though, when she went in for Hinata and her weekly training. Saturday evening, three days from now.
One Sunday before she had to start school the following monday.
"The training takes place at the Hyuuga compound because the Hyuuga feel the same." Kangae admitted. "Their land is under rotated guard and twenty four seven surveillance which is always in number when more clan children come over."
Kangae glanced around. Their hawk gazes sharp and their thoughts surlish and muffled.
"You weren't the only ones worried about the attack, many clan households have upped their security in the past months. You could come see it if you'd like." Kangae offered. "The Hyuuga grounds I mean. If you want I can arrange it with Hiashi-sama and Hisana-sama."
"And what would this accomplish?" A wizened old voice said and Kangae turned to the speaker - an elderly Uchiha woman. The distrust and surliness radiated darkly from her mind.
"I'd like to alternate between the two estates." Kangae said smoothly. "It's only fair to the Hyuuga who I've already been training with regularly, don't you agree?"
Careful now, she thought and Fugaku shifted.
"I suppose it is." Fugaku drawled. "If the Hyuuga agree to such a deal then so will we."
"Kangae!" Sasuke shouted, irked bounding around a corner with Shisui hot on his heels. "I said don't leave and you did anyway!"
The boy was pouting, lips pursed and Kangae shrugged playfully.
"Your mom needed me for something, I'm sorry." She said, waving at Shisui who did the same back, dark eyes watching her closely. "But I'm done with that now - let's practice, I have some tips for you."
Usually the academy curriculum could be completed in an average of four years - but there were those exceptions who were given the chance to graduate within one.
Three months for each level, and Kangae had to pass four different tests to proceed.
Her father explained the set up to her.
The academy itself was designed to create well rounded genin, battle ready, trainable soldiers.
The admission requirements were to love the village (sure), hope to preserve peace and prosperity (whatever), and be able to endure training (she could do that).
They also mentioned something about being healthy in mind and body but well, this was a village of liars.
As far as anybody knew Kangae met all those bullshit bullet points and she wouldn't argue. Her people lived here and she was a citizen, that's all that mattered. And since technically the conditions were met, Kangae's admission to the Academy was facilitated - quick and tidy.
The curriculum and academic section of the academy were military focused. Sure, just like any old school reading, writing, geography and all that shit were taught in class but absolutely all of it was for the sake of being of ninja, to join the ranks. They wanted to teach them strategy, about other nations and how to best travel and infiltrate them. They learned the shinobi rules yada yada, get long special lectures from veteran shinobi, and train to handle their standard weapons and tools; kunai and shuriken, ninja wire and tags, etc.
Kangae was especially interested in learning the basics of trap-setting. Oh, that and more about chakra, hand seals, and how they intersect. Her own clan training focused on clan techniques and mediation - with of course, the weekly sparring match but the Yamanaka weren't technically combat ninja. They were infiltrationists, spies, torture specialist.
They were cogs in the shadow system.
But if Kangae was gonna be a threat to anything then she couldn't just be a Yamanaka.
That, sadly, wasn't good enough.
She needed to be well rounded. The jack of all trades. That was ambitious, true, to desire to be versed in all three disciplines but taijutsu, ninjutsu, and genjutsu couldn't be all that different and all the greats in the Naruto series were fucking monsters. Nagato and his crew, the Akatsuki, Orochimaru and his ilk, Jiraiya and so many more could do everything.
And so would she. Kangae couldn't be mediocre and just her mutation wasn't enough to get cocky or complacent with. Which meant giving it her all at all three. And all three would come with rigorous study and repetitive practice. Especially taijutsu since that seemed to be the hardest. She was deciding to take a Lee-like approach to her training (hell maybe she could find the kid and make him a sparring buddy) and gym being replaced with taijutsu classes in this world helped give her a solid basis.
Kangae was told that the students were put through the ringer to help train their bodies and develop their stamina and that sparring was often.
She liked the sound of that.
Ninjutsu, stupidly, was mainly what the academy decided to focus on teaching the budding young ninja and genjutsu seemed like an afterthought. Especially with how they focused more on how the illusion worked than how to create them. The only saving grace was that they showed the kids how to figure out if they were trapped in a genjutsu and how to get out of it.
And yeah, there were kunioichi classes - which she wouldn't mind if they were unisex but they weren't. So yeah.
But back to the point, Kangae had to learn all this, all these things that usually were learned in four years in one.
That was like summer school, she could do this.
Kangae would start out in one of the many level one classes they had starting every two months or so to keep the turnover of young shinobi high - wartime did just end - and so she'd start as a novice. But she couldn't take a year to move up to level two like everyone normally did. She was on the accelerated course after all. She had to learn level one curriculum in three months and test out of the class. And she had to do that three more times.
Three months for each year.
Like she said, summer school.
Besides if actual toddlers could pass then so could someone with the mind of an adult.
"Kangae-chan! I haven't seen you in a week or so," Blinked dark eyes and the stern porcelain face of Yoshino stared back at the young mind reader - intense as always but welcome. "Working hard I've heard."
She smiled a lazy bashful thing as she moved closer to the dark haired woman arms reaching out to give her a customary hug, the clutching of their limbs a warm affair - not brief due to their time apart.
"How have you been?" Yoshino asked, easing away and into a crouch to meet the young girl's eyes and Kangae shrugged.
"Good I guess," She began, thinking back on the shitstorm that became her life recently. "I got offered a spot at the academy so we're all hoping for an early graduation."
"I heard, it's been a bit of a hot topic." Yoshino smirked, moving back into a stand. "I'm sure you'll be getting offers of all kinds soon."
"That's actually why I'm here." Kangae said reaching towards the bowl on the counter for an apple, only to smile briefly when the Nara woman - whose reach was longer - passed the fruit to her. "He knows Shiranui Genma and because nepotism is smiled upon, got me a face to face with him."
"It's that very same nepotism that got you the meeting in the first place." Yoshino drawled amusedly and the young Yamanaka sent the other a sly look.
"I know, isn't it great?" She said, grinning as she took a bite of what was now her breakfast. "Look at how happy I am."
"Happy enough to keep trouble to a minimum?" Came the grumble of the Nara clan leader and Kangae shrugged, not bothering to look at the man as he entered the room and smirked.
"Brat." He laughed, mushing her ponytailed hair and Kangae whirled around to slap him away but the man was already seated at the table.
Staring at him with narrowed eyes, the reincarnation unclenched her fists and took down her hair.
"Don't do that again."
"Don't be annoying."
Shikaku sipped his tea.
"Hurry up and finish let's go." Kangae rushed, rolling her eyes as the smile she tried to suppress finally burst into view. "Unless we're early we're late."
The jounin looked long suffering as he got up but that didn't matter, not when he went out of his way to promise Kangae this favor.
"You can regret offering what you offered later." She sniffed, moving towards the doors and outside. "Shiranui-san first - bye Yoshino-oba!"
The woman waved and the two of them were off.
"So is he meeting us here or are we meeting him there - wherever there may be?" Kangae asked her godfather the moment they were far enough away and he quirked a brow.
"Which did you want to do?" He drawled and the young Yamanaka pursed her lips.
"I'm not the one who should be comfortable." She said with narrowed eyes, her pupiless stare needle thin. "He is."
Shikaku looked long suffering.
"Must we? Today of all days?" He grumbled and Kangae hummed, blue eyes guileless and Shikaku snorted. "We can just go meet him then, make it easier on the lazy bastard."
"Good." She smiled, sliding down from the man's wooden banister. "That's what I wanted to do anyways."
"No wonder Yoshino loves you."
Kangae shot him a look.
"Why?" She asked waspishly and Shikaku chuckled.
"You're difficult," He drawled. "like her."
"I'll tell her you said that."
"Do you want to meet Genma or not?"
"I don't know, do I?"
"Well figure it out because we're here."
And like promised, leaning against the bar of some ninja bar was Shiranui Genma.
His senbon swished through the air as they approached and his blue eyes scanned the two of them down.
"You know, it's a little early for this. " Genma said in greeting. "You haven't even graduated yet."
Kangae simply smiled.
"I call it being prepared. " She said. "Because I will be graduating in a year and I'd like to have a reliable ninja to apprentice under - you're one of three."
His brows went up.
"Telling my odds huh?" He chuckled. "Or rather your odds. Why would I pick such a rude little girl?"
She smiled harder.
"Because I want to specialize in sharpshooting and you wield senbon well enough to make it your main weapon." She pointed out, watching his thin needle twist through the air. "I want that."
Genma hummed slowly, gaze sliding towards Shikaku and the man cackled, grinning like a shark.
"Thought I was exaggerating about her did you?." Her godfather laughed. "And yes, she is always like that - if she's not playing nice trying to weasel something out of you, little snake that she is."
Genma smirked, crossed arms unlacing to wave about a manilla folder around - her request forms - and Kangae eyed them.
"I'll think about it, rude one." He said amused and Kangae nodded. "In the meantime, I'll be watching, you sound like an interesting kid from all that I've been hearing."
"Thank you." She said carefully, restraining herself from asking him just what he heard on her and instead turned to Shikaku.
"Ready?" He asked and she nodded. "Good, I'll see you around Shiranui."
The man nodded waving the folder once more in farewell and when she blinked he was gone.
I'm back and its been longer than june 16 since I've updated. 2018 I think? Anyways this chapter was really hard to spit out. I had to reread my story alot to piece together the next logical step in the story.
Next chapter is Hyuuga talk about Sasuke, the first day in the accelerated class I made up so that we had a reason these kids graduated and entered the academy so young! I also tried my hand at explaining the leaf academy system.
Thank you all for your patience/support and sticking with this story and me! ️❤ (also none of my stories are discontinued! I was just in a long hiatus!)
Also please excuse any errors I'm uploading this pronto and I looked over it once.
Kangae is 5 and some change.