AN: Moi moi, Peruna here. This is my first English fanfiction, so please excuse the odd mistake here and there, but point them out, so I can correct them. There is one passage in particular which I'm sure I messed the present and past tense up but I just can't find the mistake, so I'd be real glad if someone finds it. With that said, have fun and thank you for reading.

I do not own Naruto.

1

It is another hot day in Konoha. The heat of a typical summer in the Land of Fire bearing down from a bright, cloudless sky. A light breeze sways the leaves of the great Hashirama trees, whispers through the blades of grass on the training fields and gives a gentle reprieve for those unfortunate enough to be out and about. Civilians hustle through the streets going about their buisness, children laugh and play, many a Nara lazes in the shadows letting their minds wander while their bodies rest while a young, green clad shinobi uses the youthful weather for some refreshing exercise.

In front of a large, cleanly cut stone stands another young man, aged beyond his years by a hard life of disappointment and regret, and mourns silently.

His clothes are black as night, a stark contrast to his silvery hair that shines brightly in the sunlight and the off white tone of his armour, and if he gave any thought to it, he might be uncomfortably hot, but the cold emptiness inside of him can't be pierced by the jolly summer weather.

His eyes stare blankly at the inscriptions on the stone, not seeing the names of his loved ones as they lay unmoving on the sleek lines, not needing to look to know exactly where they are. The last of his precious people has been gone for a little more than a year, but the loss feels so overwhelming and raw even now, even after all the work he has done to distract himself and hoping it would get better, wishing for time to start healing his wounds because he just can't do it himself anymore.

Even now the thought that all that is left of his friends, his family, is the mark on his name, the tomoe of his eye, the blood on his hands ... The thought that of the man who has saved him the first time, who showed him how to live again and always held a warmth he could relax beside, is nothing left but memories and lines carved into hard, unfeeling stone, plunges him into despair, leaves him so far over the deep end that he has no idea how to return to shore.

Truly lost, the last Hatake stands stock still, gaze locked on the stone, and wallows in his dark emotions.

It is a long time before anything but nature moves around him. The sun has reached and passed its blazing zenith and is on its way to the horizon, when, from the direction of the path leading past this training ground, a small figure appears.

Brushing a few bushy branches of undergrowth aside carefully, the figure steps into the grass of the clearing and nearly disappears in a few high bushels that come up to its chin. Large, round eyes set above pudgy cheeks are glistening with intent as they take in the man with the spiky mop of hair and the smooth memorial stone. Then they trail a path from there through the annoyingly tall grass towards itself until the stiff, green blades tickle a cutesy button nose in a child's face.

Slowly, deliberately the little being shifts its weight onto the right foot, swaying to that side in order to lift the left foot and snake it carefully forward through the grass stalks. With nary a sound and a brow wrinkled in concentration the child shifts onto its other, newly placed foot and continues moving forward in such a manner until the higher tufts of grass make way to shorter, uneven patches of growth.

Still picking its way carefully and oddly silently, the child keeps its eyes on the path its feet are taking, avoiding loose stones and a small group of weeds that might be stinging nettle and curling its little toes into dry baked earth for better balance.

Despite all the thoughtful deliberations the child's gait is quite wobbly and zigzagging until finally a pair of feet in black sandals and bandage wrapped shins come into view.

Unsteadily the child stops next to them and raises its eyes to the knees that are level to its face, then lets them trail up the dark clad legs over the thigh pouch and to the greyish flack jacket. There is a mop of flyaway hair and a chin that indicates that somewhere up there has to be a face, too. Intently the small child stares at the chin, with its head tilted back and to the side to be able to look that far up and trying to will he giant to look at it.

Apparently that works since the chin tilts forward to reveal a masked face.

Hatake Kakashi blinks slowly. Next to him stands a little kid, just small enough to still be considered a toddler, not that he knows or cares much about children, and stares up at him.

With a round face full of baby fat and childishness and a thick mop of light blonde curls on top of its head one might call it cute. He doesn't. He stares at it as it stares at him. A hard grey eye meeting with ones the colour of a river pebble: bluish, greenish, greyish, like a stone of unknown origins with spots of algae in the shallows of a stream. The pebble eyes break the staring contest and rove over his masked face, the concealed eye, the silver hair before he can see the whelp locking onto the hitai-ate that sits crookedly on his brow.

The ankle biter -and the kid really is one, barely taller than his knees- scrunches up its face and narrows its eyes into slits. They meet with his dispassionate stare again before the kid looks away, facing the memorial stone.

With a huff the little thing sits down and then falls back to lie facing the sky.

Kakashi watches for a few more moments, wondering faintly what a kid that can't be older than three does all the way out here alone before he turns back to the stone, not really caring at all. No matter what is going on in its little head, the child will run back home to its family sooner or later. At that thought a sharp pain of loss engulfs him and he buries himself back into his guilt.

Well, I guess I can't deny it anymore, I think, staring at the endless blue of a perfect summer sky, I'm not home anymore and that's Kakashi.

I take in the tall, towering figure looming beside me, his tufty silver hair defying gravity and looking so incredibly real, how it sways in the wind and all. I have spent a long time marvelling at the graphics of this place, how real the CGI looks, what a wicked dream I am having, living in sweet, sweet denial.

But I can't do it anymore.

It almost causes me physical pain to admit it, but it seems like I'm not in Kansas anymore ... or Bavaria as it is the case. And this isn't Oz, but some kind of Naruto universe. Naruto-verse. Joy. The dream of every fanfiction-ish fan ever. Self-Insert all the way over here ...

I guess it could be fun. Never been much of a dedicated fan of the original Naruto series -or at least I haven't been for a looong time- but I still like to think I had a general overview of happenings up to a certain point. Maybe I can mess with things or something ... I just wish dying wasn't such a bitch ...

I look over at Kakashi, a tiny spark of excitement and giddiness in my chest coming to life, but it is overshadowed by my mounting desire to wallow in self-pity. The longer I look at him, the more I am reminded of everything I have lost.

For the sake of self-preservation I tear my eyes off him and let them wander over the skies. It will be getting late soon, maybe I should go back and find the woman who appears to be my mother in this oh so wonderful new life of mine.

Thinking of that woman like that brings my thoughts to my old mother and a sudden, overwhelming longing comes over me. With a great effort I keep myself from letting out a sob, my chest clenching with the desire but no sound coming over my lips. My eyes sting and burn so I close them, not allowing any tears.

Maybe I can still stay a bit. It is so nice and quiet here, maybe I can take a little time and just be sad a little with no one judging ... Yes, I will do that ...

-O-

The woman that birthed me into this world, that carried me under her heart for the better part of a year holds about as much fondness for me as I do for her. Which is to say: none. There is no love lost between us, really. However mutual our feelings though, it doesn't make for a very decent home life. I ponder that as I stand at the edge of my crib, the stupidly high bars of this puny prison blocking part of my view of the rest of the apartment.

The woman and I live in a shabby one room flat with an old kitchenette in the corner and a small bathroom. There isn't a lot of furniture, only a folded futon in one corner, my crib in the other opposite the kitchenette and a couple of thin seating cushions, two of which are currently occupied by the woman and her best friend.

The two are chatting avidly, the woman much more relaxed than she usually is. It works wonders on the bitter lines of her face. She almost looks young now. Sadly her friend isn't here often, I usually get away with a little more curiosity when she is. As of right now, I am trying to follow their conversation.

My Japanese isn't the best. I blame the woman for that, since she doesn't bother talking to me much, and maybe even myself because I didn't put an effort into learning before that afternoon at the memorial stone where I faced the fact that I will never go home again, that I might never be able to converse in my mother tongue again.

But now I give my best to learn as fast as possible. No matter what I want to do with my new life, I have to be able to talk. I had resigned myself to a very frustrating few years, but surprisingly my brain soaks up the new knowledge like it's a sponge.

Once again I thank the heavens for small blessings and continue to stare at the woman's friend in order to concentrate.

Unlike the woman, who is most definitly a civilian, her friend is probably a kunoichi. She doesn't wear any uniform for this visit, but she moves with a grace and underlying power I haven't been able to observe before, neither here nor at home. It awes me, to say the least, the way a prowling tiger might awe me. I wonder if all shinobi display such grace.

I guess, I'll have plenty of time to find out.

The woman is ranting about financial troubles and how she is taking on a second job now, because the landlord has raised the rent unexpectedly. The friend nods along sympathetically and then, after the woman has run out of breath, she speaks up.

"What about Hikari-chan?"

The woman's gaze snaps up and to me and thanks to my childish body I can't control a wince and the instinctual stumbling back from the cold eyes. "What about her?" comes the woman's reply, while I lose my balance and land on my butt. Valiantly repressing the urge to hide under my blanket, I keep watching the two, even when the woman's expression darkens at my curiosity.

"You can't leave her home alone any more than you already do."

"Nothing I can do about it. I can't afford a sitter", snarks the woman back.

The friend is silent for a moment, shooting me a contemplative look. "Have ... Have you tried asking your parents?"

It is as if the temperature in the room had dropped. The woman's expression morphs into a furious scowl. "No, I have not. The last time we talked, they threw me out of the house and told me not to come back until after I married the brats father."

Utter silence. Then the friend gives a sigh. "Do you know who it is? Maybe I can get him to give some support."

The scowl on the woman's face lessens by some degree, although it still seems rather frustrated. "I don't remember all that much from that night, but I'm pretty sure it was that young one. You know, the one with the mask and the white hair?" The friends eyes widen, the woman notices. "Do you know him? I mean, there aren't a lot of ninja like that around, I guess, but it would be such a lucky break, if you knew him. Maybe he would-" The woman's now distinctly hopeful rambling was cut off by her friend.

"I wouldn't get my hopes up." The blunt statement rings out, stopping the woman in her tracks.

Slowly her face morphs back into a scowl. "Why?", she demands, "If you know who I'm talking about, why should I not get my hopes up? This is the best news to me in years! If I had talked with you about this sooner ..."

"It wouldn't have changed anything", the friend rather coldly intercepts, "Hatake Kakashi cannot and will not take the responsibility for the kid, even if we could get a hold of him, which we will not."

Silence.

Utter silence.

Dumbfounded, I blink at the scene. I can't have understood that correctly, right? There is no way Kakashi has sired a child, right? All fanfictions aside, how would that even happen? Is this after the events of the story? But that can't be, I have seen Kakashi a few weeks ago and he didn't look all that old. He didn't even look as old as in the anime, although that was kind of hard to determine given my poor vantage point at the time ...

But ... Just ... What? Is this kunoichi really implying that my biological father this time around was Hatake fucking Kakashi? What the hell?!

"What the hell are you saying, Miko?", the woman questions, rage boiling underneath her skin so obviously, it makes me uncomfortable. That can't be a good sign. The friend, this Miko, can leave when she doesn't want to deal with that but I can not.

That stupid urge to hide has gotten a lot stronger and is pushing away my still reeling logical side in an effort to get me out of the danger area. Numbly, I crawl towards the furthest corner of my crib and curl around my pillow, pulling the blanket over myself.

I hear a long sigh. "Hatake has enough problems as it is and I have no doubt that whatever happened that night is on your head. I don't know how you got him to jump into bed with you, but he can't have been fully conscious."

A pause, in which I hear the woman's loud, angry breathing. It sounds like she is getting ready to really lay into her friend for saying that, but the friend continues, a note of anger in her calm voice. "You disgust me. I never would have thought you would take advantage of a grieving shinobi like that."

"WHAT?!

"You will not drag him into this mess, do you understand me, Keiko? I will not stand for it! And if I hear you've been asking around for him and causing a scandal, I will make you regret it." The friend doesn't seem all that friendly anymore. With the last words a cold intent fills our apartment and lingers heavy in the air.

Trembling, I try to ignore the dread and fear induced by what is probably Killer Intent -as my mind oh so helpfully provides- and curl into a tighter ball.

"I will leave now. And I warn you again: Do not even utter the name of Hikari's father or I will come here and ensure money will be the least of your worries."

I hear the woman scramble up to her feet, sucking in a loud breath, probably to say -or rather shout- something, but Miko the not-so-friendly friend beats her to it.

"Goodbye."

With that the Killer Intent vanishes and I can only guess with it goes the friend that used to make the woman more relaxed but now has made her utterly furious if the rage filled and frustrated scream is anything to go by. I can't supress a whimper. This can not end well for anyone in the vicinity. Especially me.

I am right.

-O-

The shelves tower over me, displaying all of their goods in a quite appetizing fashion. Busting vegetables next to ripe fruits next to all the other produce. I consider the good-looking, brightly colourful groceries, not quite believing what my eyes are telling me.

It is winter now and although most of the Land of Fire doesn't have freezing temperatures even in the deepest of winter, there shouldn't really be this fresh of farming produce available. I mean, this apple is practically screaming "freshly picked, only a day old" at me and that just can't be true. Even the stuff at the farmers market in the height of harvesting season doesn't look this ridiculously good.

Maybe it is a genjutsu?

My mouth waters and my stomach rumbles. Time to find out, I guess.

With a quick glance left and right, I stretch and snag a gleaming red apple that almost looks like a Christmas bulb we would hang on our tree back home this time of the year. Shaking that painful thought away, I pull the apple close to me with both hands, trying to conceal it as I sneak back to the entrance of the store.

While moving, I let a tingle of chakra slide toward my palms, probing the apple.

On the surface my chakra encounters some sort of thin, slimy layer that I can neither see nor feel with my hands. Shifting the curious chakra tendrils a little to further explore the new sensation seems to disrupt the layer and it dissipates almost immediately, leaving behind the juicy feel of the apple.

Surprised, I look down at the fruit. It is an apple alright, nice and red and yummy looking, but no longer as supernaturally appealing as before. Huh, so that really was a genjutsu. Curious ...

That was the first time I felt another's chakra with my own and the first time I had an up close example for a chakra induced illusion. Now, how does that work?

Contemplating the issue, I turn the apple in my hand, running my stubby fingers over he smooth surface.

Chakra isn't all that foreign to me anymore. Since my birth into this world I have spent a lot of time on my own, unable to really move during the first year, then cooped up in the crib even when I technically had the ability to move about again. Some rare times that woman would take me out, set me on the floor of the apartment and then watch as I struggled to walk, but it hasn't happened often and has become even rarer in the past year or so.

Whenever I could, meaning whenever that woman left the apartment, I took to singing or humming or whistling to myself. To fill the silence or just to occupy myself and sometimes as a sort of bittersweet reminder of home. But I could only make noise when that woman was gone. Any attention I attract from her is usually bad attention.

So whenever she is around the flat, I have to think of something else to do. I played with my fingers and toes and wiggled stealthily from one side of the crib to the other, exploring my baby and then toddler body and what it could do within the limited space.

During those times of introspection, I discovered my chakra.

It pulses through my body like blood and even after I took my sweet time simply feeling it out and observing it, I would never have thought it possible to manipulate it with only my mind. It feels like blood, rushing to and fro and simply doing its thing, and I sure as hell can't consciously guide my blood around, so why would it be different with chakra?

Alas, thanks to my "foreknowledge", however sketchy and incomplete it might be, I knew it is possible to move my chakra at will and had more than enough time and boredom to try my hand at it.

First it was only gathering chakra in a specific area, trying to let the pulsing energy stick there instead of flowing through. Then, when I had a good feel for it, I started letting the gathered chakra move around the pathways. In the end I played with it for countless hours, swooshing it through my limbs in patterns and trying to increase the speed at which it would go, chasing that heady feeling I always get when my chakra moves faster than my muscles can tense.

Some time ago I took to leaking chakra outside of my body, testing and probing everything I could reach with it just to see how the different materials felt like. Like I just did with the apple.

Does all foreign chakra feel slimy? Was that just the casters signature? Or maybe it's all genju-

I am ripped out of my thoughts when a heavy hand lands on my shoulder and whips me around, causing me to stumble slightly. The owner of said hand looks down at me from his towering height -not that that says much, in my current state nearly all adults tower over me which makes it a slightly bit less intimidating.

His face is rather angry and disapproving though it softens a little when he takes in my appearance -well-worn clothes on a slim body, unkempt dusty blonde hair, maybe even the fading bruise that peeks out of my shirt sleeve. That doesn't relax his harsh grip on my shoulder though and I cringe a bit at the feeling of his fingers digging in at the base of my neck. It hurts, but not overly so.

"Hey! You can't just take the apple without paying for it. That's stealing", the man explains harshly, angry but aware of my young age.

He needn't have bothered to explain, since I know that already. It has in fact never been my intention to actually pay for the fruit, given my absolute lack of money. That thought must show on my face, because the mans eyes narrow. "Where are your parents, girl?"

"Un ... ano ...", I try to stall, my eyes darting to the side , trying to assess the situation. My environmental awareness sucks! I will have to work on that.

"Kaa-san ... ano ... she's over there." My finger reaches out and points at a woman behind the man. He turns, zeroing in on the unfortunate distraction I have provided.

As soon as he does, I rip my shoulder out of his grasp and dash for the exit.

I weave through someone's legs to clear the door and run like a madman down the street. There is a commotion behind, so I hurry into an alleyway, which has another alleyway connect to it, trying to loose any pursuers I might have.

When I tear into another rather busy street, I try to reorient myself. Where can I go? Where can I go? Frantically I take a left -smaller street- then a right -another alleyway- and race down a path towards the training grounds.

I can't hear anything over my harsh breathing and clumsy footsteps. I don't know if they are still following me, don't dare look over my shoulder lest I fall. So I just run as fast as I can to the one place no one will bother me at. The memorial stone. Because people still respect the fallen's peace. Well, people other than me. I will gladly exploit the space given to the memorial to save my ass.

Before I can leave the path in direction of the stone, I trip over nothing and bury my face into the dirt.

A moment I lie still, silently acknowledging how that fucking hurt!

Another moment of stillness goes by and through my hammering heartbeat and wheezing breaths, I hear ... nothing. Just the trees rustling with the breeze.

I slowly pick myself up off the ground, trying to ignore my stinging knees and face as well as the throbbing bruise forming on my shoulders and my shaking legs. This has to be the most intense workout they have ever gotten in this life and they are not coping well. Once standing on my feet again, I begin limping on. Snivelling and whimpering I trudge through the foliage toward the stone.

When it comes in sight, I stop and really, really want to turn around and leave again, because standing there is -of course, curse my luck!- Kakashi.

But I am tired and hurting and want to rest a little bit before going back to the apartment. Here, no one will bother me, or at least I am pretty sure that Kakashi will mind his own buisness. He is just standing there, utterly ignoring me, so that is a good sign, right?

My mind goes back and forth on it for a few more minutes of standing there like an idiot, before I shove the thoughts away and just go over there, sit on the ground and stretch my legs out in front of me. The stupid apple is still cradled securely against my chest and I am still hungry, so I elect to eat it.

For a while that's all I do, biting and chewing mechanically, my mind turning to my family as I stare at the memorial stone. Back home I had a father and a mother of whose love and affection I could always be sure and two brothers which I had a good relationship with. Here I have a bitter and angry woman and a depressed, somewhat suicidal man that doesn't even know he has a daughter.

From the corner of my eye I observe how motionless Kakashi stands and a random thought of How does he do that? That isn't good for circulation' crosses my mind before being shrugged off. Ninja being weird, that will be something to get used to, I guess. That brought on a much more interesting thought though:

Will I become a ninja?

That is, like, the thing to do in this world, isn't it? The civilians are prey and the ninja are the predator, right? Not that all shinobi are taking care of the civilians all the time ... at least not here in the Land of Fire, I guess ...

But when I think about it, shinobi seem to have a lot more freedom than the civilians, or is that just perception? Since Naruto and all those fanfictions usually depict the ninja lifestyle that seems to be the most desirable, but is that true?

It will become pretty bloody sooner or later and the whole military dictatorship is a bit of a turn-off, but then again, the civilians have to deal with violence and suppression, too. Maybe, if that is unavoidable anyways, learning some ninja magic will be more fun than whatever civilian job I could get into. Chakra control is already kinda fun, so there's that, too.

How would I get into the Academy though? It isn't like any old kid can just get into the classes just that. You have to get enrolled and stuff. Are there entrance criteria?

Well, I know it was possible for orphans and civilian kids to get in thanks to Naruto and Sakura, so lineage isn't a criteria, or at least not an uber important one. Hmm, this will require some investigation. Maybe that woman will help me get enrolled, if only just to get me off her hands for long stretches of time. I can only hope so, otherwise I was out of ideas.

Maybe I should start reading first before contemplating formal education. And isn't that a problem and a half?

Nibbling at the apple core, I shift my weight and wiggle my legs, before they can go numb. My knees ache a little where the scabs are pulled taut but I don't mind all that much, I've had worse.

Idly I pluck one of the apple seeds out of the core and study it, looking at it from all sides and rolling it between my pointer finger and thumb.

It is smooth to touch and a dark, shiny brown colour, round on one end and pointy on the other, just a typical apple seed really, no matter that it is the first one I have seen in this life.

Gathering chakra at my fingertips, I send an investigative tendril into the seed. It feels different than the apple, not sweet and juicy and enticing, more like the wood of my crib but also alive if sleepy.

Now very curious I bite into the apple core and hold it between my tiny milk teeth to free up my other hand to poke the seed with another small dose of chakra. It pings back. There was actually a reaction to my chakra poke! That part of the seed that feels alive twitched!

I poke the seed again and it pings back again, a little harder to make out this time, but still there.

I feel like squealing! This is so much fun! The first time the environment reacted to my chakra!

Getting a heady feeling I can't quite contain an excited giggle.

I poke again, but this time instead of a lively ping, the seed feels as dead as the floorboards in our apartment.

Disappointed, I try again, a little harder. The seed fills with my chakra, almost bursting with it and then literally bursting.

I jerk my pudgy hands away, throwing my fingers out to avoid the ballistic seed pieces. Not quite successfully.

After inspecting the fingertips of my right hand and with a muffled 'Ouch' I dig a piece out that is sticking in my thumb. I wipe the forming drop of blood off on my left upper arm that is still somewhat clean.

Another inspection of my fingertips doesn't bring forth any other splinters, so once again curious I remove the apple core from my mouth, pluck out another seed and replace the core between my teeth.

Once again I let my chakra seep into the seed. Again it feels a little wooden and alive and kind of sleepy. No reaction though.

Wanting a reaction, I poke it with my chakra, instead of letting it passively permeate the seed. To the poke it reacts: little rise in that living part against my chakra.

Oh! Why does that feel so nice?! This is awesome!

Instead of poking right again, I first let the chakra seep in again, passively investigating, not trying for a reaction, just feeling it out. Yes, yes, wood and a little piece of life and ... not really sleepy feeling anymore, more like exhausted now.

Am I killing the seeds with my poking?! I don't want to kill the seeds! It is so much more fun when they are alive and pinging back at me! I'm sorry little seedling! Please don't die!

Frantically rifling through my thoughts I try to find out why? Why does my chakra kill the seed? Isn't chakra life energy? Is that why a seed, a living thing, can have a detectable reaction to me? Maybe it isn't my chakra killing it? Wait. No. Or yes?

The exploding was definitely because of my chakra, since I totally overloaded that thing in my frustration.

But the pokes were smaller than that. Like super, way much smaller. Also is my passive chakra seeping killing it?

I squint at the seed between my thumb and pointer as if that will help me tune into my sensing of chakra. With slow permeating I get the same results as before: wooden, small and exhausted but still alive.

For about two minutes I do nothing but observe the seed through my chakra. The live part of the seed doesn't really fluctuate, it gives the feel of being tightly drawn into itself, kind of defensive, like when I try to hide under my blanket like the four-year-old I apparently am, but it doesn't waver or die either. Just sitting tight, waiting for it to be over.

...Maybe I shouldn't anthropomorphise an apple seed so much.

Hmm... So passive observing chakra has no real effect, poking active chakra makes it exhausted and an aggressive overload leads to explosion.

Okay, so maybe the reaction to aggressive and passive makes sense, what with death and ignorance respectively. But why does an active but not really aggressive poke have a negative impact?

Maybe ... maybe it isn't the poke itself that has the negative impact but the reaction to it the seed gives? Maybe that pinging takes a lot of energy and since the seed doesn't really have that much energy in store two pings can tire it enough that it dies! Death by chakra exhaustion. In a seed? Huh.

Can I give the seed some energy back, so it doesn't die?

No way to know but try.

Letting a little more chakra seep into the seed, I try to kind of twist it, make it more appealing, while in my mind egging the thing on to eat the chakra.

Here, little seed, put, put, put, come on ... Yeah okay, I'm talking to the seed like it's a chicken. I'm weird, so what?!

The little life in the seed wavers, not drawn in so tight anymore.

An excited grin stretches my lips. It wavers again, seems kind of all over the place now, then ...

The seed combusts. Just bursts into flames. Surprised I let go, throwing my hands out like I did when the first one exploded. Not my best idea, since not I had a burning hot ball of flames on my legs and no matter how small: That hurts!

Panicky I swipe at the thing, brushing it away, because ouch. Not nice.

Spitting out the apple core, I stick the hurting fingertips of one hand in my mouth to suck on and rub the other over the now bright red spot on my thigh where the seed had landed.

With my attention on my legs I can see that the sandal clad feet next to them have turned their toes in my direction. Following the shins upward and then cricking my neck to look even further upward and upward, I can see a mostly covered face turned downward, one stony grey eye observing me.

On reflex I yank the hand out of my mouth and hiding it behind my back try to look as innocent as possible. No, I didn't disrespect your mourning by hiding out here after getting caught stealing an apple and then playing with exploding and combusting apple seeds while giggling like a little girl, what are you looking at?

Even through the mask and with only one eye visible, Hatake Kakashi looks very unimpressed with my innocent look. His silent staring kind of unnerves me.

"Umm..."

Flee or engage? I wonder what he is thinking. To him I'm just a little girl. And that is kind of all I am right now, period. He doesn't even know that I'm supposedly his daughter.

I cock my head a little, trying to get a better look, which is kind of hard with how small I am. He looks pretty young, his cheeks are still a little rounder than I would have expected.

How young is he anyways?

My assessment of 'probably not even twenty' is somewhat vague but it is enough to be disgusted at that woman that poses as my mother and agree with her used-to-be friend -I haven't seen the kunoichi since that day over a year ago, so I'm pretty sure that friendship is dissolved. There is no way that Kakashi at that age -at the time of my conception he must have been even younger than he now looks- would have consciously agreed to some kind of bar fling and he absolutely does not need that kind of baggage that is my existence.

I'll have to tough it out without a father here, since I won't tell him that that's supposed to be his job.

I still kind of want to call him dad. Because, come on, having Hatake Kakashi as a dad could be really awesome, if he didn't have so many problems. Maybe I'll tell him when he's older.

"Hello, isi."

Until then I'll just call him dad in a way he won't understand. Win-win, right? Right.

I should probably go now, his staring is still unnerving.

Laboriously I get onto my shaking legs and stumble away from the memorial stone. Again I don't look back, because I don't want to risk falling. I also don't want to see him looking at me like I'm a weirdo anymore. If I'm honest, that kind of hurts.

When I get back to the apartment building that woman and I live in, I sit down on the stairs and wait, hoping I didn't miss her coming home from her job. I don't want to spend the night on the doorstep.

--000--

Edited: 14.04.2018

So, I edited the chapter so that I can upload the new chapter tomorrow without a guilty conscious.

Thank you to Cisk Kazzarch for pointing out typos and spelling mistakes and generally for being the first to review.

Also, a thank you to j23d for reminding me that paragraphs are a thing to be used and make reading much more enjoyable. I tried to put a lot morein while editing this chpter to break up those huge chunks of discription.

A quick thanks to everyone else that reviewed as well. Reading reviews of any kind makes me happy and keeps me motivated. See you tomorrow with the next chapter!