Uzumaki Naruto rolled over in his bed and away from the offensive sunlight that snaked its way through his window blinds. It was way too early to wake up. Worse, the sunlight had interrupted a great dream in which Naruto had been declared the Fifth Hokage. The only consolation was the smell of breakfast wafting in from the kitchen.
'It'll still be there in five minutes,' Naruto thought as he buried his head in pillow. Sadly, any hope he had for five more minutes of blissful sleep was interrupted by the sound of stomping feet.
"Wake up you bum!" Naruto jumped at the scream and landed on the floor.
"Not funny, Naoko," Naruto grumbled at his twin sister. It occasionally boggled Naruto's mind that Naoko was actually his sister. She was a morning person. Naruto liked sleeping in. Naoko had solid chakra control and possessed incredible potential for genjutsu. Naruto...didn't. Instead, Naruto had unmatchable endurance and physical skill.
"Hey, if I'm going to cook breakfast you're going to wake up and eat it," Naoko crossed her arms and shot a mock-glare at Naruto.
"What did you make?" Naruto asked as Naoko helped him to his feet. It was moments like this that erased all doubts they were related. Naruto was a bit taller than his sister, but not by much. The twins were actually shorter than most of their peers. 'The joys of poverty,' Naruto thought coldly. He shook away that thought.
"Miso Okayu, boiled eggs, and some green tea," Naoko listed as she flipped a strand of her hair back into place.
"We aren't sick. Why did you cook Okayu?" Naruto questioned behind a yawn.
"Okayu is cheap and we have plenty of rice," Naruto's twin explained as the two sat down at the table. The kitchen was very small. The appliances could barely fit in the area of the two-bedroom apartment. Naoko and Naruto would always be grateful that the Third Hokage had found an apartment where they could live together. The twins' lives were hard enough, and would have been unbearable if Naruto and Naoko had been separated. The Uzumakis were Konoha's social pariahs. The civilians especially seemed to distrust them. Naruto had heard some of the rumors about himself and his sister and had done his best to shield his 'little' sister from them. Truthfully, neither Naoko or Naruto knew which twin was actually the oldest. They had asked the Third Hokage several times, but the old man revealed that he did not know who the older twin was.
Thus, Naruto declared himself the older sibling. Naoko didn't challenge her brother on his declaration. She realized that Naruto had a strong desire to be a protector.
"Good point. I actually like your Okayu," Naruto said after the traditional 'itadakimasu'. "Ne, Imouto-chan, why are you and Hinata growing your hair out?"
Naoko looked up from her rice porridge. "Oh, someone found out that Sasuke actually likes short hair. All the other girls are cutting their hair. Hinata and I decided we are growing ours out."
"Gotcha. You and Hinata will look nice. Even better, I don't want that rat bastard getting any ideas," Naruto complimented his sister and her best friend before indulging in his dislike of the "Last Uchiha".
"So, you think Hinata will look nice with long hair, eh Nii-chan?" Naoko teased.
Naruto swallowed his boiled egg and looked at his sister in confusion. "Yeah. Why are you making such a big deal about it?"
"Oh, no reason," Naoko mentioned offhandedly. She collected the dishes and took them to the sink. "Maybe I'd like to hear some compliments occasionally. I know how much Hinata will appreciate yours."
"You two always look nice," Naruto said with a shrug. Naoko could only sigh at how dense her brother was.
'Am I going to have to beat sense into him like last time?'
Naoko was clearly going to have to beat some more sense into her incredibly dense brother. It was bad enough that he had skipped class...again...but he had tried to convince Hinata to go along with the half-baked plan he had worked out with Kiba, Chouji, and Shikamaru. Naoko's only consolation had been that Naruto had tried to spend time with Hinata. The blonde orphan was acutely aware of her best friend's overwhelming crush on her brother. Naoko, being the wonderful friend and sister that she was, had been doing practically everything in her power to hook Naruto up with Hinata.
She knew the direct approach rarely worked. The only time she had to truly 'beat some sense' into him was a few years ago. Naruto had once been a notorious prankster. It had been an outlet to strike back at the villagers who were most...ardent in their disapproval of Naruto and Naoko. In addition, Naruto had used his pranks to get more attention than what Iruka-sensei and Naoko could provide. The pranks had begun to become vindictive and cruel.
It had truly frightened Naoko. She was thankful that she had been the only person to see that scary side of her brother.
There were nights where she had horrible dreams about Naruto crossing the line and driving away the few people who truly cared for them. Naoko had woken up in a cold sweat one night after a dream where Iruka-sensei and Hinata had abandoned the Uzumaki twins.
Naoko had taken all of twenty seconds to wake up her brother and yell at him for nearly an hour. The blonde had no real memory of what she had said to her brother. It was all a sleep-deprived blur of fear, anger, and hurt. The only thing she truly remembered was the look of absolute horror on Naruto's face and his frantic apologies.
As Mizuki-sensei asked Fuki a question about standard ambush formation, Naoko quickly shook her head to clear those dark memories. After that 'conversation', Naoko had stopped talking Naruto out of skipping class with Kiba, Chouji, and Shikamaru. Naruto's dark moods had all but disappeared quickly after Naruto expanded his social circle. It was also around that time that Hinata had confessed, in a roundabout and demure way, that she was developing feelings for Naruto. Naoko had decided that day that her brother and her best friend should give each other a shot. Naruto had become friends with Hinata because of Naoko a while back. Naoko just needed to figure out a way to get those two romantic amateurs to take the next step.
'I'm glad he's happier,' Naoko thought almost randomly. 'He's so protective. Naruto needs something to fight for.'
Naruto grimaced as he dodged a punch from one of the classmates he couldn't really remember. The boy Naruto was sparring was about as average looking as a person could be. He had brown hair and brown eyes. He was taller than Naruto, but shorter than Shino. Naruto's opponent wore a simple blue shirt over black shinobi pants. The other boy simply blended into the background.
Naruto was ashamed to admit a part of him hated the other boy.
There were three goals Naruto had for his life. First, was to become Hokage. Second, was to make sure his sister had a nice house of her own with a giant backyard for flowers. Third, Naruto wanted to simply be recognized as a loyal shinobi of Konoha. The third goal would naturally lead into the other goals, and was the most fundamental statement about Uzumaki Naruto. He desired recognition and acceptance above all else.
The idea that someone would willingly settle for ordinary or 'just enough' was anathema to Naruto.
The young outcast launched his counterattack with a basic side kick. Naruto had positioned himself so that he had a clear shot at the boy's unprotected side. The opponent grunted as the kick knocked him down.
"Katō Shinji has been knocked from the ring. Uzumaki Naruto is the winner," Mizuki announced. The two boys quickly made the Sign of Harmony and went their separate ways. Naruto beamed as Naoko and a few others cheered for his victory. He flashed his supporters, mainly his sister, a thumbs up and a smile. It took a second to realize that Hinata was politely clapping for him too. Naruto grinned just a bit more as he noticed Hinata was smiling and had a bit of a blush on her cheeks.
If Naruto was absolutely sure that Naoko wouldn't pound him into the dirt and refuse to cook dinner for a week, he would have asked Hinata out already. 'I'll talk to Naoko after the graduation exams. We're stressed enough about my Bunshin screw ups...'
The thoughts quickly retreated as Naruto put on his 'brave face'. He was aware that Naoko could see right through the emotional mask. Naoko was also aware that Naruto used the mask so that she wouldn't worry. It was an odd dynamic, but the Uzumaki twins knew it showed how much they cared about each other. "Well, good to see I'm still awesome."
Naoko rolled her eyes at her brother, but was still smiling. "Glad to see that you're still humble, too."
"Y-You did very well, Naruto-kun," Hinata said warmly.
"Thank you, Hinata." Naruto saluted his only real girl friend. "Maybe I should trade you for Naoko for a while. All you'd have to do is help me cook."
"M-Move in..." Hinata stammered and struggled to control her blush.
"Please stop teasing my best friend, dummy." Naoko was torn between laughing and yelling at Naruto.
Naruto laughed. "Don't be jealous that Hinata is more fun than you."
"Hyūga Hinata and Haruno Sakura, please enter the ring," Iruka-sensei announced.
"Good luck, Hinata," Naruto said while simultaneously, Naoko added, "Good luck, Hinata-chan!"
The Hyūga heiress waved at her friends and entered the ring. "Good luck, Sakura-san."
The two girls gave the Seal of Confrontation. "Thanks, Hinata-sama." Iruka quickly gave the signal to begin. Sakura attempted to start the match with a snap kick, but Hinata was the number one kunoichi candidate for a reason. The Hyūga heiress's advance quickly shifted into a sweep kick. Sakura was on her back before she even had a chance to register that Hinata had ducked under her kick.
"Yield?" Hinata asked quietly.
Sakura sighed and nodded. "I yield. Dang it, I'd been working on my taijutsu."
The two girls made the Sign of Reconciliation quickly. "Your form has been getting better..."
"Thanks, Hinata-sama. I guess I don't have the advantage of being raised in the most feared taijutsu clan in the entire world."
The two girls chatted for a second as Mizuki-sensei called an end to the sparring. The class headed back to the classroom in small knots of friends and cliques. Naruto was walking with Chouji, Shikamaru, and Kiba. The blond-haired orphan wasn't really paying attention to his friends. Instead, he was worried sick and trying desperately not to show it.
'I have to pass...If I don't become a shinobi, how will I protect Naoko and Hinata? How will I show up Sasuke and Kiba?' Naruto thought at a million miles an hour.
"You look like you're thinking about something important," Mizuki said with a smirk on his lips. The teacher had snuck up on Naruto.
Naruto nodded. "I'm still having trouble with the Bunshin, Mizuki-sensei. Um...do you know any advanced chakra control techniques? I don't know if it will solve my Bunshin problem, but it might help make sure I pass."
"Well," Mizuki slowly began. "I know of a few, but I'd have to get permission from my superiors. You aren't a ninja, and I can't authorize that training."
"Ah man," Naruto looked down in an attempt to, feebly, hide his dejection.
'And...this will be so much easier than I ever thought!' Mizuki wanted to shout in triumph. "You've been working hard, so I'm sure we can work something out. If you behave and keep on task for these next few days, I'll see if I can finagle some...extra credit..."
Naruto's dejection fled in an instant and he looked up. His eyes were alight with sheer joy and relief. "Thank you, Mizuki-sensei! I'll do whatever it takes!"
"I know you will," the teacher said almost warmly. "Your faith will be rewarded."
Naruto and Naoko were almost in a panic-mode. They had been practicing the Bunshin almost nonstop for days. Hinata had even snuck out of the Hyūga Complex to help Naruto learn 'Tree Walking'. Naruto had managed to climb one of the trees near the apartment complex in two days and had noticeably improved his chakra control.
It just wasn't enough.
"You are improving so much, Naruto-kun," Hinata said soothingly. "I know you'll succeed."
'I really wish there was a better time to figure how I'm going to talk with Hinata about going out...' Naruto complained internally.
"Thanks, Hinata," Naruto responded. "I wouldn't be half this good without all the help you...and Naoko...have given me."
Naoko looked pleased that Naruto had remembered that she had helped. 'I really wish there was a better time to figure out how I'm going to get Naruto to ask Hinata-chan out..'
"I wish I could do more, but we don't have much time," Hinata lamented. Naruto could see the worry in her face.
"Hey, we've got a few days." Naruto tried to give Hinata his most reassuring smile. "I'll get it."
"We have faith in you, Nii-chan," Naoko assured her brother.
"Thanks, sis." Naruto didn't know what kind of hell it would be without his sister. His twin was easily one of the most important people in his life. At this point, Naruto couldn't truly think of someone that even came close to Naoko.
"I want to stay and help, but..." Hinata started.
Naruto shook his head. "You have Hyūga stuff. It's alright, Hinata. I don't want you to get in trouble. You're already risking a bunch being out here training us without permission."
"Good luck Naruto-kun. I'll see you tomorrow! Bye Naoko-chan," Hinata finished quickly before dashing off.
The twin Uzumaki children exchanged a look. "We really owe Hinata-chan a lot. I'm glad she's my best friend."
Naruto nodded at his sister's statement. "You've got the Bunshin down. What am I doing wrong?"
"You're not doing anything wrong! That's part of the problem, Naruto. Hinata-chan says you're molding chakra properly. I know you're using the right hand-seals and using them almost perfectly!" The blonde finished with a half-growl-half-scream of frustration. She wanted her precious brother to graduate more than anything.
"Almost perfectly?" the 'big' brother asked with a snort.
Naoko brushed a strand of hair out of the way. "Well, not everyone can be as great as I am."
"And as humble. You are an example to us all, Naoko-dono," Naruto said with all the sarcastic faux-reverence he could muster.
"When the world is mine, I'm banning sarcasm, peasant." Naoko threw her nose up theatrically. "I'm going to go work on getting dinner ready...unless you me to stay out here and help you?"
"I do, but at this point, there's nothing we can really do. I'm going to keep at it for a while."
The girl twin chewed her lip. "Are you sure?"
"I'm sure, Sis. I know cooking helps clear your head. I promise, I'll pick up the slack when I cook tomorrow," Naruto did his best to reassure his sister. Naoko nodded once and headed back inside.
"Let's do this!" Naruto declared to the world. His voice was full of defiance, but it was a front to keep the doubt from slipping in. He tried the Bushin no Jutsu once again. It didn't work, but Naruto kept trying. There were too many people he refused to let down by failing.
The Uzumaki Twins entered the Academy for the Graduation Exam together like they always did. Naoko appeared to be nervous, while Naruto was the very definition of confident. The blonde smiled warmly at her brother before heading to a small clique consisting of Hinata, Ino, Sakura, and Tanaka Miwa. The girls chatted amongst themselves, but Hinata took a moment to wave at Naruto. The Uzumaki boy finished his greeting to Aburame Shino and jogged over to the girls.
"Morning, ladies," Naruto said with a grin that seemed to stretch for miles. "You all look ready to graduate and take on the world."
"I guess we are," Ino replied with a laugh.
Hinata looked down to hide her blush. "It sounds like you have made great progress in your training, Naruto-kun."
"You know it!" Naruto declared. Naoko didn't frown, because she didn't want to break the confident mood her brother had generated. The Uzumaki maiden just couldn't shatter the hopes of her best friend.
Her brother was lying. It broke her heart.
Naruto's words to Hinata didn't reach Naoko, but by the time she was focused again Naruto was off to the next group. It was painful to watch him move among the Academy class...saying his goodbyes.
Umino Iruka was patrolling the class in an attempt to gauge the information gathering skills of his students. There were not many attempts at cheating, which disappointed Iruka somewhat. His students were shinobi and not civilians. They were destined for a life of spying, patrols, and sabotage. Iruka was upset that only a few were taking advantage of the opportunity to test their skills. Aburame Shino was using his kikai beetles to great effect. The Academy teacher made a mental note to place a commendation on Shino's file. The next pair of cheaters made Iruka very proud. Hinata had been growing her hair out long for some time. It was widely believed she was still trying to catch Uzumaki Naruto's attention. Iruka wanted to laugh at his private knowledge that she didn't need to try as hard as she thought. The scarred Chuunin had seen enough awkward friendships-on-the-cusp-of-more to know what was happening.
'I'm impressed by how well some of the students are doing on the test,' Iruka admitted to himself. He slipped by Naruto's desk and realized that the boy had worked out a system with Hinata.
Iruka had long since overcome his original distrust and bigotry towards the Uzumaki twins. They were just so earnest about wanting to make friends. The teacher also felt as though Uzumaki Naruto was a bit of a kindred spirit. Iruka had become a prankster to fill the void and hurt in his heart following the Kyūbi's assault on Konoha. Naruto had taken to pranking for very similar reasons.
'You've certainly grown, Naruto...I hope you pass, but I can't afford risking your future if you aren't truly ready...'
Naoko was very proud of her brother for his performance on the written exam. If he did well enough on the academic test, the taijutsu test, and the shurikenjutsu test, he might be able to squeeze enough points out to graduate. The next test was the taijutsu exam.
'Please let all those 'spars' against Kiba help out. I know we worked with Hinata-chan some, but she always focused more on chakra control. Naruto...you have to win. I'm not going to let you fall behind...'
The first few spars were not very noteworthy. The Academy students were showing competence, but nothing outstanding. It was giving the Uzumaki girl hope for her brother. If he fought one of the students looking to coast through the exam, he could impress Mizuki-sensei and Iruka-sensei!
"The next spar is between Uzumaki Naoko and Naito Miho," Iruka-sensei announced.
"Good luck, Sis!" Naruto shouted excitedly.
Miho and Naoko performed the pre-spar rituals. Iruka nodded as the two girls slipped into basic taijutsu styles. The spar began with the girls probing the others defenses. Naruto still cheered for his sister, but wanted to frown.
"Worried about your sister, Naruto?" Shikamaru asked. It caught Naruto a bit off guard that Shikamaru had said anything. Naruto had half expected him to be asleep.
"I'm not worried. She's definitely going to win, but I just know she doesn't like the Academy taijutsu style. She's always admired Hinata's Jūken and wanted to learn something similar." Naruto pumped his fists as his sister deflected a punch by Miho and landed a jab to the girl's rib.
"I can see what you're saying," Shikamaru admitted. "Your sister is trying to move like Hinata does."
Naruto nodded. "Yeah, they've been best friends forever. We've all been training together since I convinced Naoko we needed to be ninja."
Shikamaru just snorted and started watching the match again. At least Naruto thought he was paying attention. It was hard to tell sometimes. The male Uzumaki Twin shouted in support of his sister who had just taken a hit to her shoulder.
"Come on, Sis..." Naruto willed his twin on. Naoko took a step forward and grabbed Miho. The blonde shifted her weight and threw the other, very surprised, girl over her shoulder. "Hey! You used my move!"
"Winner by ring-out, Uzumaki Naoko," Iruka announced proudly. Naruto and Hinata congratulated Naoko before Iruka called the next match. The matches progressed steadily. Naruto cheered for his friends, but there were no surprises in the matches. Finally, Iruka called Naruto's name. He was up against Iha Tobio.
"Good luck, Nii-san," Naoko said with concern. Both Uzumaki twins knew Naoko had zero doubts Naruto would win. It was just that she was hoping for Naruto to get a perfect score.
The boys quickly followed through on the sparring rituals. Naruto entered into his stance. The second Iruka-sensei gave the signal to begin the match, Naruto acted. His action was not an attack. Instead, Naruto fell into his old prankster mindset. The blond-haired outcast baited Tobio into throwing a punch. The other boy obliged, much to Naruto's undisguised glee. Tobio didn't even have time to squawk in surprise when Naruto sprang into the second phase of his plan.
"Yield?" Naruto asked. Naruto had twisted Tobio's arm behind his back. In order to drive home the fact that Naruto had won the spar in a single move, the Uzumaki was holding his hand as if there was a kunai in his grip.
"I yield," Tobio readily agreed.
The boys were dismissed and Naruto strolled over to Hinata and Naoko. "Well?"
Hinata smiled hopefully. Naruto's display was very impressive. "I think you were amazing, Naruto-kun."
"Thanks, Hinata." Naruto turned to his sister and grinned cheekily.
"Almost impressed," Naoko teased.
Naruto huffed. "Stingy."
"Uzumaki Naruto, please enter the ninjutsu examination room," Mizuki stated professionally. Naruto finally allowed his nervousness to show. Hinata and Naoko both whispered a heartfelt 'good luck'. It was do-or-die time. This was his second attempt to graduate.
'I hope this goes better than the first time,' Naruto hoped. The young man had attempted to graduate over a year and a half ago. His goal had been to become a shinobi and provide Naoko with a bit of luxury. There hadn't been a shadow of a doubt that Naruto had been completely unprepared. It had been a crushing blow to his ego. The embarrassment did have a silver-lining. Naruto had learned a valuable lesson: just because he had the desire, didn't get rid of the need for hard work.
'I have improved so much thanks to everyone's help. I can do this,' Naruto assured himself as he entered the exam room. His teachers were sitting behind a desk practically covered in hitai-ates.
"Welcome to the final section of the graduation exam, Naruto!" Iruka said excitedly. The teacher was trying to will Naruto to success.
"Thanks, Iruka-sensei," Naruto responded with his usual warmth. The response had an unmistakable twinge of nerves around its edges.
"Naruto, we need you to show us the Henge no Jutsu," Mizuki commanded.
"Here we go," the young Uzumaki announced as he finished his hand-seals. As the excess chakra dissipated as smoke, a perfect copy of the Third Hokage stood within the examination room. Iruka smiled as he marked down Naruto's score.
The Kawarimi no Jutsu was simple enough, and Naruto passed easily. However, Naruto knew what was coming. He struggled to get his nerves under control.
'This is it! I can do this!'
"Bunshin no jutsu!" The young man's voice nearly cracked due to the utter desperation in his attempt. Failure was unthinkable. He had to succeed. "D-Did I make a clone?"
Iruka looked down. "I'm so sorry Naruto..."
The weight in Naruto's stomach threatened to drag him through the floor to the center of the Earth. He barely found the strength to look to his left. He had actually made a Bunshin, but the clone was a pale, sickly fascicle of Naruto.
The shock of Naruto's failure was unbearable. His small improvement only served as a form of cruel mockery. The boy felt that he had betrayed Naoko and Hinata. The two girls had worked so hard to train him. Hinata had risked getting in a lot of trouble by sneaking out to help him! Naoko had been so worried. He would never tell his sister this, but he knew she had cried once.
Mizuki leaned in. "We can't fudge this, you know. He lost too many points on the Academic and taijutsu portion of the exam to make up for not meeting the Bunshin requirement."
"Wait...how did he lose points on the taijutsu portion? He showed great ingenuity in his fight!" Iruka's whisper came out as a hiss.
The other teacher shook his head. "And do we grade ingenuity? The forms say that he has to meet certain criteria in his stances. Naruto, unfortunately, didn't do that."
Iruka sighed in a mix of defeat and disappointment. 'Of course, Naruto's stance was bad! That was the point of his gambit!' "This isn't right. I'll break the news..."
"I'm sorry Naruto, but we can't pass you at this time," Iruka began. Naruto nodded sadly. He left the room. The 'elder' Uzumaki twin couldn't bear to face Naoko, Hinata, or anyone else. The teachers watched him leave. "I wish I could talk to him, but we have the rest of the students to test."
"You could meet with the Hokage after we are finished here," Mizuki suggested helpfully. "Maybe you can convince him to give Naruto some kind of waiver?"
The scarred Chuunin smiled at his friend. "That's a great idea, Mizuki. I'll do that. If you could find Naruto after we're through here and tell him I'll see him tonight?"
He nodded in response. 'This is working better than I could ever have dreamed!' Mizuki wanted to shout. His luck could not be this good. The rest of the exams were a blur. The dastardly teacher only registered a few of the other aspirants. Uchiha Sasuke passed with no problem. The other abomination passed. Mizuki was disappointed he could not fail her as well.
The last aspiring Genin passed their test and left. Iruka quickly turned to Mizuki. "I'm going to meet with Hokage-sama. Thank you for agreeing to look for Naruto..."
Mizuki simply nodded as his co-worker hurried out the door. The grey-haired Chuunin whistled as he left the Academy. Iruka had once mentioned one of Naruto's hiding spots. The other teacher had described it as a place for Naruto to 'decompress' on stressful days.
'Part of me is disappointed he didn't go there to kill himself,' Mizuki mentally shrugged. That part was silenced by the sheer convenience of the current situation. It was the perfect opportunity to escape his complete disaster of a situation. 'I played too many hands,' Mizuki admitted. If he got out of this predicament, Mizuki swore to find some place quiet and tropical and never deal with any shinobi ever again.
Naruto wasn't at the Hokage Monument. He wasn't at Ichiraku or anywhere near his apartment. He was quietly sitting on the balcony of an abandoned hotel. This section of Konoha had been hit pretty hard by the Kyūbi. The area had been somewhat rebuilt and used as an urban combat training zone and a potential kill-zone in the event of an invasion. The urban training was not used extensively due to the fact that Konoha probably wouldn't be fighting an aggressive war against Amegakure, Kumogakure, or any non-shinobi forces anytime soon.
'I'm not sure what I should do,' Naruto lamented. There was no way he could face his sister or friends right now. It would hurt too much to see them with their hitai-ates, even if he was really proud of all of them. 'What did I do wrong?'
"Hello, Naruto," Mizuki's voice emerged from the shadows. The sulking young man jumped at the sudden apperance of the teacher.
"Mizuki-sensei? What are you doing here? How did you find me?" Naruto asked at a million miles per hour.
Mizuki put on his 'happy teacher mask'. "I have some good news about your exam."
"I don't see how the exam could have good news other than Sis and Hinata passing..." Naruto pouted.
"Well, Iruka left immediately after the final Genin passed to meet with the Hokage. We've decided to let you take an 'extra-credit' assessment."
The young man jumped to his feet. "Tell me what I need to do."
Mizuki smiled. He never expected it to be this easy. 'I'll certainly never forget tonight. This is where this little facade ends, demon!'
Author's note: Well, here it is! This is the last of the five Escapees from my 2014 Plot ADHD Asylum! I hope this is as well received as my other recent stories!
A few details: The reason Sakura calls Hinata-sama is that there is no succession controversy in the Hyuga Clan. Thanks to exposure to Naruto and Naoko's confidence and their support, Hinata is far more confident than in canon. Our favorite Byakugan Princess is publicly known as the heiress of the Hyuga. Naruto's also a bit more focused and further along than in canon because he has both Naoko and Hinata helping him out. In canon, as you are all aware, Naruto was completely on his own except for the occasional help from the Third Hokage and Iruka.