This is my first Naruto Fan Fiction.
Note that this story is based on a still ongoing Show / Manga in Japan.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto!

Please Read and Review.
Thanks, and enjoy!

I want to thank hollywood1390 for editing this chapter and giving me some pointers which i'll use next chapter.

Naruto - Hinata Gaiden.


Chapter 1 – Finding one's strength.

It has been 1 year now since he had left .I promised myself, after I saw leave for his training, to train as well, and become stronger .Neji helped me out a great deal, and I have been able to improve. However, my father told me last week, that if I wish to improve and become more like Neji, I must conquer my greatest fear. The problem is, that this thing I fear the most is out of my reach. And even if it was within my reach, I still lack the courage to face it head on. I truly want to change, I really do, but…… I'm too afraid.

Hinata, a young shinobi from the hidden village Konoha, wasn't able to sleep this night. Her thoughts kept her awake all night. She truly wishes to fall asleep so that she could start her training again early in the morning, but she couldn't. She decided to get out of bed, and get dressed, to go outside and take a midnight walk through Konoha. The village was really peaceful at night, for the only people she saw where the guards.

After a while Hinata reached a training area just outside of the village, and decides to sit down against one of the large wooden poles. It was a nice night. The sky was clear, and the temperature was pleasant, and the starts where shining brightly.

Hinata closed her eyes momentarily and could only see his face.
She missed him terribly, even though they hardly saw each other, she still misses the feeling that he is only a few minutes walking away from her.
Every time she saw him, she thought about walking up to him and just tell him how she feels for him. But every time she chickened out. That was her greatest fear…. Not the confession itself, but the idea of getting rejected by him was unbearable. After an hour of sitting and watching the stars, dreaming of what could've been, she finally felt sleepy and returned to her house, to sleep the rest of the night.

The next morning she had been waken by her little sister Hanabi, who couldn't stand her big sister's alarm clock going of this early. Hinata didn't get enough sleep and simply slapped right through it. She could hardly keep her eyes open during breakfast, and had trouble concentrating. After she gotten dressed, she fell asleep again on her couch.
About 30 minutes later, she woke up by feeling somebody's hand on her shoulder.

It was Kurenai, hear team's Jounin. "Hinata, wake up! We're late enough for the mission briefing as it is! We need to get going!"

Hinata blinked and rubs her eyes a sec, before looking at her sensei. "I'm sorry. It's just that I haven't had much sleep lately. I'm really exhausted."

"Perhaps you should stay home today and rest. The mission is only a C-class mission, and by the looks of the details given, Shina and Kiba should be able to pull this off on their own."

Hinata rubs her eyes again and stands up. "No, I'll be alright. I need to be strong, right?"

Kurenai couldn't help it but smile at the determination Hinata's eyes showed. "Well, let's get going then!"

After the short mission, Hinata, Kiba and Shino met at the training area. Kiba looks at Hinata who sat on the ground against the same wooden pole she did last night, nearly asleep. "Yo, Hinata, are you okay? You look a little pale girl!"

Hinata was frightened for a sec by Kiba's loud voice. She sighs and stands up. "I'm okay Kiba, really. I just……" She suddenly collapses onto the ground.

Kiba and Shino rushes over to her side. Shino places his hand on her forehead, as Akamaru pokes his nose at Hinata's cheek. "Hmmm…. She has a fever. We should take her to the hospital." Kiba nods and picks her up, and walk her to the hospital.

In a hospital room, a nurse checks on Hinata as Kurenai walks in as well. "What happened to her?"

Kiba turns to his sensei and sighs. "She just collapsed like that."

Kurenai sighs deeply as the nurse finishes her research on Hinata. "Well it looks like she's over exhausted. She'll need to stay here until her fever is gone."

"I guess I should have ordered her to stay home to rest for the day. Then this wouldn't have happened. She just worked to hard these last few months, anxious to improve herself." Kiba and Shino nod, recalling how much energy Hinata has been putting into her training. "Kiba, Shino, why don't you 2 start today's training, and I'll be with you two in a half hour."

Just like the 2 boys left the hospital to start training outside the walls of Konoha. Kurenai noticed a tear running down Hinata's check and wipes it off. "I know you miss him, and how badly you want to impress him with your changes when he returns. However, if you keep this up, you'll only waist precious time in the hospital because your body can't keep up." Kurenai sighs deeply and leaves the room as well. As the door closes, Hinata opens her eyes, staring at the sealing. She could hear her father words clearly inside her head.

Flashback

It was right after her last sparing match with Neji in front of her father and Hanabi. Like always, Neji defeated Hinata effortlessly. Her father walked up to her as she's being helped on her feet by Neji. "You have improved a lot, but you're still weak." He activated his Byakugan, and stares Hinata directly into her eyes. It's just the same as the time when she was matched up against Neji in the preliminary round of her first Chuunin exams. She could feel the pressure of her fathers stare and she tries desperately to look away. But her eyes couldn't fool her father, and he deactivated his Byakugan.

He sighs, seemingly disappointed. "You are weak because fear is holding you back. Do you wish to be strong like Neji, Hinata?"

"Y-Yes father…."

"Hinata, if you truly want to become stronger, you must face you're greatest fear. Confront it, challenge it, fight it, and overcome it. Only then you'll be able to take the next step towards true greatness."

End Flashback

Hinata blinks once and keeps staring at the sealing with her white eyes, sighing deeply. "It seems I have little choice then, huh father?"

The next day, early in the afternoon, Kurenai came to pick Hinata up from the hospital, and to walk her home. "Hinata, I've told the Fifth about your situation and she agreed with my suggestion to give you a week to recover. So, that means you won't be doing anything this entire week, but resting and relaxing." Hinata didn't say anything, and just stared at the ground as they walk towards the Hyuuga mansion. "And I'll be coming by every day to check on you." Kurenai laughed. Hinata didn't smile and just kept staring at the ground.

Kurenai have seen Hinata depressed before, but not like this. She was concerned about her student, and after they arrived at the mansion, and saw Hinata leave for her room without saying anything, she decided to talk to her father. The female Jounin wondered through the huge mansion till she arrived at the training area. There, as always, Hiashi was training his youngest daughter Hanabi. "Excuse me Hyuuga-sama. May I have a word with you?"

Hiashi turns to Kurenai and frowns. "You again, if it's about my older daughter, then you might as well leave. Don't waist my time with the same old discussion concerning Hinata."

Kurenai nearly lost her cool at that moment but took a deep breath. "I just wanted to inform you that Hinata is ordered to rest for this weak with no exceptions."

Hiashi turns to the young female Jounin with an emotionless face. "Very well, now if you have nothing else to inform me about, you are excused. You've interrupted me long enough." Kurenai bows and leaves the training area, and walks towards Hinata's room, just to find her young student already fast asleep. She sighs and smiles at the sight, and decides to leave the mansion.

The next morning Hanabi storms into Hinata's room again, quite angry coz her sisters alarm clock woke her up again. But when she opened the door to her sister's room she was shocked to find her bed empty. On her pillow there was an envelope addressed to "Everyone". Hanabi opened the envelope and unfolded the letter, and starts reading it.

Beginning of the letter

To Everyone,

As most of you know, I've had a hard time my entire life. Most of you also know that in the past year I've been working hard to try and improve
myself in everyway possible. I felt after collapsing from exhaustion 2 days ago, that my progress has haltered.

Most of you know that the mind can stop a person from achieving its goal for various reasons. Mine is the lack of confidence. Although I've been improving in that department, it's not enough. My father once told me the only way I can improve further is to overcome my greatest fear. First I didn't quite understand, but the time I had resting in the hospital and at home after I collapsed, made me think about a way to actually improve greatly. If I face my greatest fear, and overcome it, I'd be able to feel more confident about myself.

Those who where with me in my first Chuunin exam probably have noticed, just like I did, how I changed during my match with Neji. I actually started to like myself a little more since then, and was proud of the fact that I didn't ran away and hide like I always did.

I believe, that if I could gather all the little bits of courage I have to getter, I should be able to face my fear. To face that fear, I need to travel outside Konoha's safe zone, and use every skill I've learned so far to track down the source of my fear. I won't return until I've reached my goal.

Please don't worry, and don't go after me to try and get me to change my mind. I will return, I promise. I won't go back on my word ... I won't run away... For that is my ninja way.

Hinata.

End of the letter

Hanabi suddenly launches out of Hinata's room yelling for her father. "Father! Father!"

Hiashi steps out of his study room to see what all the noise is about. Neji, who has been accepted by Hiashi as his student, came out of the study room as well. Hanabi trips and falls onto the ground in front of them, and struggles to get up, breathing heavily. "What is it Hanabi?"

"Hi… pant Hinata… pant is gone… pant" She hands her father the letter with shaking hands as Neji helps her up.

Hiashi narrows his eyes as he finished reading the letter. "This isn't good… Neji, get this letter to the female Jounin in charge of her team, and tell her Hinata is gone. Tell her to meet me at the office of the Fifth." Neji nods, takes the letter and leaves.

While speeding to the usual training ground and meeting place where Hinata usually meets up with her other team members, he reads the letter.
As he finished reading he narrows his eyes in frustration. "I knew that this would happen sooner or later….. Shit!"

He arrives at the training spot, with Kurenai, Kiba and Shino turn towards Neji. "Neji? What brings you here? Is something wrong with Hinata?" Neji simply nods and hands her the letter. Kurenai reads the letter quickly, and then looks at Neji with disturbed eyes, which in return looks right back at her with his usual seemingly emotionless eyes.

"Hinata probably left last night, taking all her scrolls and weapons with her." Kurenai looks at Neji a bit worried now.

"This is pretty bad isn't it?"

"Yes it is. Hiashi-sama requested our presence at the office of the 5th as soon as you've read the letter and know of the situation." Kurenai nods and turns to Kiba and Shino.

"You two stay here and don't waste too much energy. I have a feeling we'll be getting a mission soon." With that Neji and Kurenai take off to the Tsunade's (the 5th Hokage) office. As both Neji and Kurenai enter Tsunade's office, they could see she's in deep thought. She looks up as Neji hands her the letter.

"This is the letter Hinata left behind Hokage-sama." Tsunade carefully reads the letter word for word, and once she's finished, she lifts her sight at Kurenai.

"Do you have an idea where she's going?" Kurenai shakes her head. Tsunade then turns her attention to Hiashi. "Hiashi-sama, we'll make sure to get her back safely."

"Thank you Hokage-sama." He bows and leaves the office. As the door is closed, Tsunade lets out a deep sigh, and turns to Kurenai again. "Hinata is the shy girl in your team, right Kurenai?" The young, female Jounin nods. Tsunade reads the letter again and then turns her attention to Neji. "You and Hinata faced each other during the Chuunin exams a bit more then a year ago right?"

"That is correct Hokage-sama."

"What exactly happened during that match? Give me as many details as you possibly can."

Neji closed his eyes a sec and opens them again a second later. "It was right after the match between Naruto and Kiba. When we faced each other, me and Hinata, I observed her emotions by watching her eyes and her body language. It was safe to say that Hinata was scared to fight me. She even started to hyperventilate out of the stress for just standing in front of me, eye to eye. I told her that she should quit for she would only get hurt. Then Naruto yelled from the balcony, telling Hinata to beat me up, and saying he knew she could do it." Neji chuckled a bit at the thought.

Both Kurenai and Tsunade glared at Neji who immediately apologized and continued on with the story. "I'm sorry, I got side tracked. The words Naruto yelled at Hinata somehow changed her. When I turned back to Hinata, her eyes have changed completely. She was much more confident about herself then before those words. And she even challenged me to fight. Though she had no chance of winning, she fought with everything she had, and more. Even after I caused internal damage to her, and shouldn't even been able to stand up on her own, she still did. Even at that moment she wanted to continue the fight. I gotten enraged by her and intended to kill her, and was luckily stopped by the referee and the Jounins."

Tsunade closes her eyes to think, folding her hands under her chin. "Hmmm…. But this still doesn't tell us where she is heading."

"On the contrary, it tells us exactly where she's going." Tsunade, Kurenai and Neji turn to the side entrance of Tsunade's office, as Sakura walks in.

"I'm sorry to interrupt Tsunade-sensei, but I think where she might be headed. I've been in the same class as Hinata in the academy, and know a great deal about my classmates. Ever since the academy, she has been observing Naruto. During the classes, if Naruto screwed up, like he always did, and was laughed at by everyone, she was quiet, and just watched him. We all know what drives Naruto, what his goals and dreams are, and even started to admire him for it. Hinata admired Naruto ever since the academy and sees him as a role model."

She turns to Kurenai and continues. "You should noticed as well, especially after his match with Kiba, before her own match against Neji, that when Naruto walked up the balcony, the expression on her face when she offered him her ointment." Kurenai nods as Sakura continues. "That expression she had on her face wasn't that of just admiration. That was the expression of a shy girl utterly in love with someone, but terrified about letting him know."

Kurenai suddenly snaps out of her concentration. "She has gone looking for Naruto!"

Tsunade sighs deeply, obviously worried about the girl. "Nobody knows where Jiraiya has taken Naruto. They are probably traveling all around the country. There is very little chance she'll find them. But she being someone of the main family of the Hyuuga clan, she has a unique bloodline, which is wanted by EVERY hidden village around. The chance that she'll run into danger is far more realistic then the chance she find Naruto! Kurenai, assemble a team ASAP, and track her down! You have one 30 minutes to get your team ready. Neji, Sakura, you'll join them as well. Now go!" Kurenai, Neji, and Sakura leave Tsunade's office in a flash.

Tsunade takes out 2 scrolls and opens one up. She starts to write down a message and roles it up again. Then she opens the other scroll, and performs a few seals to activate the scroll, summoning a regular looking hawk. Tsunade attaches the scroll onto the hawk's back. "Make sure this scroll reaches Jiraiya." The hawk spreads its wings, and swoops out of the window, leaving as fast as he could.

In the meantime, in front of the Hokage's monument, Kurenai, Sakura and Neji appear in a blur. "Sakura, you get Shikamaru. Neji, you get Lee and Tenten! I'll get my team and meet up just outside the main gate. Let's go!" Just as they appeared, they disappear, in a blur.

Sakura reaches the Nara residence and knocks on the door. Shikamaru's father opens the door. "Hmmm?"

"Is Shikamaru home? I need him for a mission!" He scratches the back of his head while yawning.

"Eeeehhhh….. I think he's still asleep. If you have a s…."

Suddenly Sakura pushes the old man aside and speeds up the stares. "I'm sorry, but I'm in a hurry!" She slams open the door of Shikamaru's door, seeing the Chuunin still fast asleep. Sakura pulls the poor boy out of his bed giving him a rather rude wake-up call. Shikamaru yawn and rubs his eyes.

"What the….Huh?"

"Get ready quickly Shikamaru! You're needed for a top priority mission! Where leaving in 25 minutes! So hurry! I'll fill you in on the details when we're on the way to the meeting point! Go, go, go!"
"Ugh….. how troublesome…."

A few minutes later Sakura and Shikamaru arrive just outside the gate, just to see that they are the last ones to arrive. Shikamaru scratches the back of his head, looking at the rather large group. "Isn't this a bit much to return just one little girl?" Kurenai shoots Shikamaru a glare that could kill most, sending the shivers down his spine. He slowly moves next to Kiba as Kurenai answers his question, still following him with her glare.

"First of all this little girl you're talking about happens to be the heir of the Hyuuga clan. The Hyuuga hold a bloodline limit called Byakugan. It's wanted by every hidden village for its unique features. This means this little girl could be in serious trouble!" Kurenai turns her attention away from Shikamaru, who whispers to Kiba.

"I told you girls are really troublesome. They always seem to get you into these kind of situations."

"I agree, it…" Kiba and Shikamaru both get knocked out by team Kurenai, Sakura and Tenten.

Shino and Neji smirk at the sight, as Lee shivers a bit. "Youth is a wonderful thing, but can be dangerous at times as well."

Kurenai picks up Kiba and stares straight into his eyes, making him feel really uncomfortable. "Kiba, you'll be in front, and follow Hinata's sent with Akamaru." She drops Kiba and turns to Neji. "Neji, you'll cover the back, and use your Byakugan to see ahead from time to time as Kiba thinks we're closing in. The rest will stay in between. That's it. Let's get going! We are at least 6 hours behind."

Team Kurenai leaves the hidden village of Konoha, on a mission to retrieve a fellow leaf ninja.


I'll update ASAP.

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