Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or the characters associated with it. This is simply a story that sprouted from my amateur mind.
There was only the fire. Everyone else had fled in fear, and now there was nothing but the destruction, the boy, and her. She looked at the boy, gazed deep into his soul. She could not see him though; she could not see anything anymore. She called out, but her voice was hallow as a drum. She screamed, and he stood there. That boy in her dreams, with no soul….
"Hinata-san, Hinata-san! Wake up, you're going to be late!"
Hyuuga Hinata slowly opened her eyes, sitting up in her bed. She looked up at the man waking her up, and rubbed a tired eye gingerly. "What…time is it?" Hinata's voice was soft as she spoke this, half from the abrupt wake up call, half because she had a soft manner about her in general. The man was her lead guard, care taker, and uncle.
"It's late, your carriage leaves in an hour. What kept you sleeping so hard, Hinata-san?" Hinata stepped out of her bed and stood up straight, rapping her arms around herself to conceal her frame, despite the loose fitting white night gown.
Hinata walked to her window and starred out of it longingly, tapping her fingers against the cool glass gently. "I was…dreaming." She dreamt often lately, always of the same boy. She could not see or hear him, but she knew he was always there. She almost had seen him in this dream, almost felt him….
She sighed at the lost opportunity, but quickly forgot about her thoughts on her dream. It was a big day for Hinata, and she had to get ready. She asked Hizashi to kindly leave the room and let her dress. "Please do not take long Hinata-san, tardiness will not be appreciated on your first day." He left, and she removed her nightgown quickly by allowing it to fall from her shoulders and puddle at her feet.
Hinata clumsily ran while the garment was still entangled at her feet, and thusly fell right on her face. "Itai!" she muttered out in pain, hoisting herself back up. "Some priestess I make…." She said sadly, looking at her clumsy feet with a bit of resentment. Hinata once again ran toward the clothes she had laid out for herself, carefully avoiding any dangerous articles of clothing waiting to trip her as well.
She wore her finest white kimono, with dark blue trimming and a small stem of flowers on her side. Hinata dressed her long hair up in an elegant bun with strands flowing around her face. The beautiful girl looked over her appearance in the full-length mirror, but saw no beauty. Hinata sighed again, not sure how improve on her current appearance. A call from the window distracted her, and she ran to it. "Hinata-san, the carriage is here! It's time to go, hurry up!"
"H..hai!" Hinata called. She looked over herself once more, and bit her lip lightly. "It isn't perfect…but it will have to do!" She ran for the door eagerly, displaying the first sign of a smile all morning. It quickly faded when she was about to close the door, and looked around her large elegant room. "Goodbye room. I'll be back someday, I'm sure!" Hinata closed the door to her childhood, and soon stepped into the carriage that led to her future as an adult, as a woman, as a high ranked Priestess.
He opened his eyes slowly, looking around the dungeon that he called home. He went through the usual routine, brushing his teeth, showering, getting dressed. The boy was young, but clearly in the process of becoming a man. His blonde hair glistened in the proper light, and his body was growing tall and lean. He was also quite well built, and attractive if seen in the proper time and place. It was not his body that you'd normally be attracted to though. It was his eyes that could captivate a soul. They glowed with the hope of a grand future, and yet…they were dimmed from years of solitude, grief, and hate.
They glowed more often now though. His body was becoming strong from the physical aspect of his training, and he hoped to impress the Head Priestess with his ever-changing appearance. Soon, he thought to himself with a smirk, she will acknowledge me for who I am…. Uzumaki Naruto!He ran out of his room in his meditation robes, a wonderful contrast of black material with orange ties, and skipped over to breakfast. Outside of his dungeon-like residence was a beautiful palace, full of the finer and more beautiful things in life. It was all for him, but he'd only known the dungeon since he was young. When he was given the choice of a better room once Lord Sarutobi had mediated his situation, he decided to stay in the dungeon. For better or worse it was his own place since he was a baby, and it gave an odd sort of comfort to him.
He ran full force through the halls, eyes tightly shut while laughing. This proved to be a bad idea, after crashing head first into the High Priestess herself. The two collided and fell to the floor. Eyes wide open to the beautiful girl, a smile appeared. "Hello Sakura-sama! I hope I didn't hurt you!"
Sakura frowned, and gave Kyuubi a death glare. "Watch where you are going Kyuubi! You could have hurt someone!" She got up with rage written all over her face, but offered a hand to help him up non-the less. Kyuubi smiled, and took the hand eagerly.
"Anosa anosa, can I accompany you to breakfast, Sakura-sama!" Sakura sighed, but agreed. She did not like how the Kyuubi was so much her burden. When she had first been sent to the Kyuubi Palace to keep the beast tamed through various forms of meditation and spiritual controls, Sakura had thought it dangerous and deadly. Now, it was just annoying. Back then she was young, and pitied the Kyuubi for being trapped in the dark dungeon with no one to care for him properly. Then Lord Sarutobi learned of the way the Kyuubi was being treated, and changed things for the better. Once allowed to roam the halls, Kyuubi got to know more of the Priests and Priestesses who inhabited the palace.
It was then the Kyuubi met the then young Sakura, and fell for her. It had to have been the best yet worse thing to ever happen to Sakura. The Kyuubi followed her all around the palace, creating havoc to gain her attention. But because she was the only one he'd listen to when he was causing mayhem, she was promoted again and again for keeping the peace. Then, the old Head Priestess retired and named Sakura her successor, and Sakura basically was queen of the Kyuubi Palace ever since. It came with the burden of the Kyuubi himself though. He had his sweet, kind, virtuous moments, but also his annoying, rude, troublesome ones. Sakura guessed she was happy with the way things turned out. After all, one annoying admirer was far better than the life she could have been leading as a lower servant to the higher ups in the castle. She had great strength, and was respected back in her hometown, but the palace was for the elitists, and Sakura's talent could easily have been overlooked.
"This food is great Sakura-sama! Have some waffles!" Naruto shoved a syrup-clad waffle right in Sakura's face, and she cringed her face and hit the fork-full away. This, sadly, caused a chain of events where the waffle flew off the fork, against the syrup bottle, which spilled conveniently onto Sakura's lap.
"Kyuubi baka!" Sakura punched the Kyuubi, and he went flying. Oh sure, he could have dodged it easily, but any contact from the beauty was worth the pain. He hit the wall, and laughed.
"Gommenasai Sakura-sama! I'll ask a servant to buy you a new pink kimono, if you wish!"
"I can do that myself, thank you very much!" She stormed out of the breakfast hall as everyone watched, holding back laughter. Kyuubi chased after Sakura, and walked about a foot behind her for safety.
"I really didn't mean to Sakura-sama, honest! Hey, let me make it up to you with some ramen!" Sakura looked back, ready to pummel the troublesome teen boy again, but couldn't bring herself to do it.
Those damn eyes,she thought to herself, lowering her own. I just can't stay mad at him with beaten down eyes like those. "I just hope you behave when the new applicant arrives tonight."
Kyuubi blinked, and got a very confused look on his face. "Another one applying? But I just started to remember all the girls and guys already living here! Why do we need another dumb girl here to keep track of me, I am fine on my own! Can't it at least be a Priest? Preferably one who won't be so 'I must be trained by Sasuke!' crazy?"
"Hey! Sasuke-kun is a strong, noble…drop dead gorgeous………..huh? Oh! Sasuke-kun deserves your respect, as does the new Priestess coming in!"
Kyuubi folded his arms and pouted a little. "What's so great about her? I've met tons of these girls before, why does this one impress you?"
"She is practically a princess in her own right!" Sakura took a flipbook out from a fold of her stained kimono, and flipped through a few pages to where the information regarding the new applicant was. "Heir to the noble warrior Clan, Hyuuga. Hyuuga Hinata showed signs of divinity and spiritual connection since the age of four. At 6 she was accepted into the area's prestigious School of Aggressive Divination (S.A.D.), usually reserved for teens, and-."
"But you were accepted into an even better school at age 4!"
"Quiet Kyuubi! Ahem…At age 7 she was released from the school, dubbed a 'disaster of a warrior'. Hinata was temporarily exiled from her clan, and put in the care of her uncle, Hyuuga Hizashi. At 10 Hinata was forced into a serious battle against a rival clan, and proved to have enough combat skill to lead her clan. The clan accepted her as their true heir, but Hinata still preferred the peaceful life she lived in the country with her uncle. At age 12 she became a certified Priestess-."
"But you became the Head Priestess at age 12!"
"SHUT UP! A certified Priestess, despite the average age being that of 19. Hinata has performed several acts of good in her area, most people referring to these actions not as simple spiritual divinity, but true miracles. Hinata also continued her physical training, proving to be amongst the strongest female warriors using spiritual techniques within recent history, at the tender age of 16." Sakura smirked, and placed her hands on her hips. "So, what do you have to say to that Kyuubi!"
"…You were dubbed the same thing at 14." Sakura fell to the ground in frustration. Kyuubi sure had a one track mind….
"Look, she will be a great addition to this place, so shut it!" Sakura opened the door to her room that she had just stepped infront of, opened it, and took one last look at Kyuubi. "And spill anything on my kimono again and I'll have all nine of your tails on a platter Kyuubi, the fox demon!" She slammed the door, and Kyuubi stood alone in the hallway for a few seconds.
He then turned away, and muttered softly, "My name is Naruto…and I am a human." The boy walked over to a window and looked outside at the fresh glow of the morning sun. He would be late for training with his sensei again, but he didn't care much.
He clenched a fist, but then relaxed and closed his eyes. He was human, no matter what anyone told him. No demon could ever feel the pain he felt, he knew that in his heart and soul.
Kyuubi looked towards the distance, and could feel the new Priestess coming toward him. He thought of the past girls who had come to the palace as possible Priestesses, and he had refused them all despite Sakura's frustration with him. She was in charge of finding the girls, but it was up to him to accept them into his world. "I hope this one," He said softly, staring at his own reflection, "I hope she doesn't look at me with those cold eyes. Just once, let one of them accept and like me. Please, just one….."