AN: Ok, so I haven't been around for a while. Things happened. Here is the next chapter.


Chapter 5: Separation Anxiety

Hinata Hyuga was about as happy as the Hokage was around Jiraiya. Not at all. At eight in the morning she was seen walking through the city streets in a way that said, "get in my way and you better enjoy life as a eunuch." People literally turned into alleys to get out of her way. She stalked towards the Hokage tower radiating anger… which was really just a cover for fear.

Four days. Naruto had been gone for four days on a mission he had told her would take TWO. Naruto doesn't lie, he doesn't break promises. That means he ran into complications or… or something happened to make it impossible to return. She wiped some tears from her eyes as she ran up the stairs towards the Hokage's office. Shizune was waiting outside the door in her desk.

"Good morning, Hin… DON'T GO IN THERE!"

Hinata didn't care if the Hokage was mad or angry for her coming this early, she needed to talk.

"Tsunade-sa… what are you doing?"

Hinata walked in on the Hokage during an early morning drink. But it wasn't just a shot of sake. Tsunade was downing an entire bottle of sake. With no glass, straight from the bottle. Hinata stared at the Hokage and Shizune stared as well.


"Yeah, what is it?" Tsunade was still partially sober, or so it seemed.

"Ano… Tsunade-sama… I wanted to know if you've heard from… Naruto-kun…"

"Naruto? Bastard got held up in Suna with an injury. Said something about a coup… bastard worrying me for two days… bastard worrying Momo and… and me…"

"He's in Sand injured?"

"Over used his gift, that bastard… needs a few weeks rest, leaving us all here…"

"Tsunade-sama, my team has done well on their first few missions, would it be possible to send them on a mission to, say, sand? For more information on the coup, of course."

"You just want to go make-out with that bastard, don't cha? Well, all I can say is that… I forgot what I was going to say." Tsunade had finished her bottle of sake and tossed it into a bin by her desk, where it sat next to three other empty bottles. Then she passed out on her desk.


"Just a sec?" Shizune went over and used a medical jutsu to get rid of some of the effects of the alcohol in her system. She had learned early on in her apprenticeship that if she were to ever learn anything on certain days of the week she would need to learn that jutsu. Tsunade woke up a few minutes later.

"Wha… damn hangover… Hinata? What are you doing here, again?"

"You were… telling me to take my team on a training mission to Suna?"

"I… don't remember that."

"Hinata-sama, don't confuse Tsunade-sama like that!"

"Gomen… Tsunade-sama, I… I wish to take my team to Suna. I can't say that it is strictly business, as Shisui, Momo and I are all worried about Naruto."

"I wouldn't worry too much. Naruto is strong. He just over used that last gift he got from his best friend. Freaked the hell out of me when they gave the medical report, but he is safe with Gaara."

"Wha… what do you mean?"

"You know… his other eye, the one he keeps covered?"

"Yeah, he told me it's sharingan, from Sasuke."

"That's right, but it isn't just sharingan, its Mangekyo."

"Wha… How?"

"He won't tell. The instant his eye was put in, it went from regular to Mangekyo. And he can't turn it off, which makes it different from Kakashi's. That, and it was from the most powerful sharingan user to date."

"So… what did he do?"

"Some weird technique Kakashi taught him. But, you know Naruto, he sort of put a whole hell of a lot more power into it. I doubt even he will be moving for a week more, at least. Damn bastard… nearly killed himself again…"

Hinata had been worried enough, but after hearing Tsunade curse under her breath she was feeling light headed. She had only just gotten closer to Naruto… and he had almost died just when… just when he had told her he loved her.

It would have been better to have never known if… that had happened.

"Can I take my team? I won't stop their training, and it might improve Konoha and Suna relations! A survival exercise in the desert with long distance travel while interacting with the ninja's of Suna would surly be beneficial for a genin team."

"I highly doubt our relations can be improved any more then Naruto did by saving their Kazekage, for the second time now, and ending a coup de tat almost by himself almost literally, but I will give your team a mission."

"What kind of mission?"

"C-ranked. Deliver Naruto some clothes and personal effects while not getting killed on the way. You have permission to remain in Suna until Naruto is ready to return. At which time, you will escort him home without getting him killed."

Hinata was overjoyed. She ran up to Tsunade, who still smelled of sake, and kissed her on the cheek while wrapping her in a hug.

"Thank you so much, Tsunade-sama!" Hinata ran out of the room, leaving a smiling Tsunade and a Shizune that looked ready to kill her boss for drinking on the job.

Naruto woke up feeling like his head had exploded and a two year old had put it back together. He couldn't shake the fuzziness out of his ears, but then again, he couldn't even shake his head. Sounds clumped together and swirled around in his head before becoming recognizable as voices that said words that made no sense. A few seconds later he realized that the words actually did make since, but he was barely hearing them. The voice was… Temari's. Naruto opened his eyes with great pain to find himself exactly where he thought he would end up. A hospital bed.

He no longer had to listen in on a conversation about what was probably him because whoever was talking with Temari noticed his eyes open.


Naruto quickly closed his left eye and pulled his pillow over his eye. He tried to speak, but only managed a dry throated wheeze.

"Hey, you're awake finally. Kankuro, get the guy something to drink."


"You idiot…"

"Water, you ass! Kami, how did I end up with an idiot for a brother, and another who didn't talk to anyone for five years unless it was to ask for their blood?"

"Kami hates you."

"Gaara-kun, that wasn't a nice thing to say to your sister! Apologize."

"Gomen, Temari."

"Wow… I have one word for you, Gaara. Whipped."

Naruto had no idea what the hell was going on in his room but apparently it was the designated area for loud speech and giving him a headache. He closed his right eye as well and pulled the pillow completely over his head before letting out a light groan.

"I think he likes the quiet, Temari."

"Then shut up, Kankuro."


Almost instantly the noise in Naruto's room dropped down to nothing. Gaara had spoken, and when Gaara used that tone of voice it meant he was ready and willing to back up his orders with… corporal punishment. Naruto slowly removed the pillow from his right eye and opened it. The world blurred into focus as he blinked into the light. Gaara and his two siblings, along with Matsuri, stood around his rather large hospital bed. A small floating pile of sand was holding a glass in front of his face containing a large amount of water. He nodded to Gaara in thanks before taking a slow sip. He set the glass on the table by his bed before trying to speak once again. With a hack and a cough he was once again able to speak.

"How long was I out?"

"You have been unconscious for… just over three days now."

Naruto frowned at that information, out of surprise and partial anger at just being kept from fulfilling his mission, even when it was a little bit harder then it had originally sounded.

"Damn… I promised them I would be back a day later, not four…" He tried to move his legs, but found that it was more like moving them through drying concrete. "… or five days. Hinata-chan is gonna kill me."

"So you finally got together with the Hyuga girl. All those years ago, in the chunin exam, it was pretty obvious to most of us that she had it bad for you."

"I didn't see that."

"Gaara, need I remind you what you were concentrating on during that entire exam?"


"Thanks for reminding me about my obliviousness again, you are only the… three hundredth to do so."

Naruto gave a smirk and another cough. It seemed even his extremely boosted immune system was suffering from the weakness that followed such a display of power. He lay back in bed and stared at the ceiling, about to nod off again, but Gaara's face was suddenly above his.

"Naruto… the eye."

"The… eye?" Naruto had kept his left eye tightly shut for most of the last six years, and it was habit for him to never open it at all. Now, subconsciously, he moved his hand to cover it.

"Yes, Naruto. The eye."

Naruto's open eye flashed towards the three others in the room, none of whom knew what the hell they were talking about except from reports from the prisoners, and those made next to no sense. Gaara noticed his attention shift and turned to his siblings and fiancé.

"Please leave us alone for a moment."

His family only nodded, seeing the seriousness of the situation, and left without another word to wait in the hall. When Matsuri blew Gaara a kiss and softly shut the door Gaara turned back to Naruto with a small smile that Naruto could never say he had seen on his friend's face before.

"Kankuro is right, Gaara. She has you under her thumb."

"I like being under it." Gaara sat in a chair by his bed and motioned for him to begin. Naruto sighed and began.

"You remember the massive search for Sasuke about seven years ago? Just after the Akatsuki incident with you."


"We failed. He escaped again, and we thought he had gone south over the ocean to train after his most recent loss to his brother. A year later the Akatsuki thing came to a head, which you know. I was the one to finish off most of the people in the innermost sanctum. No one else was with me in the end except… except Sasuke. He came back, I assume to finish off Itachi. But… he… he was helping me. It was only after Itachi was killed did I realize that it was not Sasuke at all, but Orochimaru in his body."


"Hai, and then he went after me with Pain at his heels. I fought them off, killing Pain and cutting Sasuke in half…"

"You mean Orochimaru."

"No, Sasuke was there… in the end. Orochimaru's soul, I think, was unconscious from the shock, letting Sasuke come to the surface. He gave me his eye, because I had lost mine. That was, of course, after I fought the final member of the Akatsuki…"

"You sound as if he was different…"

"I don't want to talk about it, really. But… in the end… I received the sharingan from Sasuke and the Mangekyo from killing him."

Gaara leaned back in his chair and stared at Naruto.

"That's… very interesting… that would imply that the activation for the Mangekyo is not the act of killing your best friend, merely the residual feeling from it. That would also explain Kakashi being able to have it."

"Hai, that is what we both think."

Gaara thought in silence for another minute before the door was opened and an easily recognized face walked in with his hands in his pockets, followed closely by Temari, now carrying a small boy with blond hair and most of his hand in his mouth.

"Uzumaki Naruto, still getting nearly killed for a living, I see."

"Shikamaru, nice to… see you? Where were you in the invasion? And is that your kid?"

"Hai, that is my kid."

"His name is Ichi."

"Ichi?" Naruto looked at Shikamaru who sighed at the name his wife gave their child.

"To answer the other question, Naruto, I was out of the city on a mission. I am, technically, under Suna's and Konoha's orders and Suna counsel members wanted me to go talk with, of all people, the Raikage. I thought it was strange back then, but I realize now it was just them getting rid of me for a coup."

"The Raikage?"

"Couldn't see me. What did they expect?"

"Bastard of a kage, I'll take Kaze and Ho over Rai any day."

"I'll take that as a compliment, Naruto, but now I must return to my duties. Executions must take place as well as official pardons."

Gaara stood and nodded to Shikamaru and Temari before patting his nephew on the head, getting him a giggle from the boy, and heading out the door. Temari grabbed Ichi's hand and made him wave at Naruto and once again Naruto was alone.

Naruto laid back and went to sleep, trying to get rid of the massive headache and the pain behind his left eye.

"Alright team, technically this mission is a C rank for the distance we are traveling and who we might meet, not because we might run into enemy ninjas or even bandits. But don't rest for a moment, be on alert for anything that could or even couldn't be an enemy."



"We know, you gave us the same talk three minutes ago when we all met at Naruto's house. We are only at the gate."

Hinata stared for a moment at Shisui and Haimaru, who was nodding in agreement, before realizing they were right.

First mission jitters even when I have been on hundreds. This must be what Naruto felt all the time, leading forces against possible Akatsuki positions. I need to trust them, even though they aren't as trained as I was on my first C ranked mission.

One I failed.

No, don't think like that, Hinata. We are talking about Uzumaki Naruto's daughter and her friends. And me. We'll be fine.

"You're right. I just had a long night. Gomen."

"Sensei, we'll be fine."

"Hai, and even if a ninja pops out of nowhere, Gin can take 'em. Gin can take anyone." Haimaru gave the dog sitting on his head a small treat and the dog gave a bark in thanks. Hinata noticed that he hadn't included himself with his dog. It was something to question.

But later.

"Alright, let's go."

And with that her team walked out the west gate of Konoha. Hinata in the lead, always wary, Momo and Shisui behind her and Haimaru with Gin in the rear. They would walk for two days to get to Suna, and there was no need to rush. As they walked, they each did something to train themselves on Hinata's order. Momoko was told to focus chakra to her feet and barely pick up a piece of the path before letting it go with every step. It looked just like she was walking, but after a few miles she had started to sweat. Shisui was working with his bloodline and Haimaru was busy training himself and Gin to be able to act without speaking, using hand signals and other movements.

Hinata had her Byakugan active from the second mile till night.


"Hai, Shisui?"

"I have been working with my bloodline, like you told me to, and found something interesting."

"What is it?"

"My bones are different from that Kimimaro guy. Naruto only described him using blunt weapons from his bones or just pointed weapons, like a spear or a small edgeless sword. Only a few of his weapons were actually blades. I think my bloodline can be easier to use for either blunt or sharp creations, and it is more difficult to make creations of the type you aren't."

"How do you figure that?"

"I can't seem to make any bone that I get out of my body to not be extremely sharp. It took almost all my chakra to make a small ball the size of a soldier pill that wasn't sharp."

Hinata looked back at Shisui, who now had a blade three inches long extending from the palm of his hand. She watched him concentrate and slowly the blade began to grow dull, but as soon as he stopped it became sharp again.

"That is very interesting to know. Shisui, I don't think you really need to worry about it, though. If you have a talent for making them sharp, go with that."

"But… it is so much easier to… you know…"

"Kill? Kimimaro killed with blunt weapons, didn't he? Sharp just means less pain if you are an expert at it. And killing… well… no one I know or respect enjoys killing. But it is something that must be done in our line of work. Don't hesitate to do so to save your life or the life of your teammate."

Shisui looked down at the ground before nodding and they all continued walking, Shisui trying desperately hard to accept what his sensei said. Momoko next to him gave him a slap on his back, causing him to nearly fall forward.

"Cheer up, Shisui! Your skills are awesome anyway, just because they're yours."

Shisui gave her a small smile and continued to work on his bones.

Who knows what he could do eventually?

Momoko suddenly tripped next to him while accidentally stepping on a rock instead of the path and finding it too difficult to pull up. It turned out that it was her saving grace, because her entire team turned to face her and stopped all forward movement.

Just in time to see a kunai go through the area that had been Momoko's heart an instant before and a kunai with an explosive tag hit the ground directly where Hinata would have been.

The tag went off, sending the team to the ground for cover. Less then a second later they were in ready stances and scanning the trees for enemies.

They didn't move for ten minutes.

But no one showed up in even Hinata's sight.

No one had had been there to begin with.

What was going on?

The team stopped moving when the sun fell, and Hinata, used to long periods of time without sleep from her days as a chunin, took look out for the night.

She couldn't keep the Byakugan on all the time, but her senses were on alert for anything.

And Momoko's tent was in her direct vision.

The first kunai had been for her, the other had been for me. Who was really the target of the attack? Why would anyone want Momoko, specifically, dead? I don't think I have many enemies… and Momoko has never even been outside the walls since she was found. Are they really trying to get… Naruto-kun?

No, that isn't right. No one outside of Konoha would know about Momoko's or my own relationship to Naruto. What was the purpose of the attack and why didn't I sense the one who made the attack. Not even Naruto can run a mile in less then a hundredth of a second, and that is what they would have needed to do to have avoided detection. It wasn't a trap, we checked afterwards. Some one threw those kunai with a purpose.

But what was it?

Hinata didn't sleep that night.

Naruto, for reasons of his own, didn't sleep any more than her. For the fourth time that night he woke in a cold sweat, and finally gave up on sleep. The nightmares weren't worth it. Most of the time they were perfectly normal dreams of guilt for Sasuke's death or memories of beatings in the past. The usual for Naruto, who rarely had dreamless nights and very few good dreams to speak of. But these dreams were different.

They were so real.

And they hadn't happened.

He would be assaulting the base of the Akatsuki and everything would be happening identical to that day so long ago, but this time a voice was in his head telling him to turn here, jump the trap there. Every movement he made had been dictated to him by an unseen speaker who Naruto knew to be the voice of his late prisoner, the Kyuubi no Kitsune.

Then he won the battle, saving the world.

Then the voice, weak from the energy lost, made one final command.

The girl… set Her free…

And Naruto saw himself stagger to the cages of the prison and find his soon to be adopted daughter.

Only, instead of his daughter it was a seven foot tall woman.

Chained and bound to a point near the ground.

Good… my job is done here…

The dream had no horrible parts, except the death of Sasuke again and again, but it was when he stared at the woman and she stared back. But not into the dream Naruto's eyes. Not the eyes of the Naruto he saw walking around.

Into his eyes.

And then he would wake up.

What is this?

Each time he dreamed the woman would change. But each time she would look him right in the eyes.

What is the meaning of this dream?

Naruto uncovered his eye, his headband had been returned to him, and decided to go back to sleep.

This time, the dream woman would look into both of his eyes.

And he would find out if this dream meant anything.

But he dreamed no more that night.

His daughter, on the other hand…

The daughter of Uzumaki Naruto slept no better then her father. He dreams were less substance and more blurry visions of nothing and something at the same time. All she saw was shapes and colors that came together in one place for instants, never into a coherent object or tangible thing. Sounds and colors blended together in her mind so that she would have said an objects's color was loud and it sounded green. It made perfect sense to her, until one clear voice pierced the insanity of her dream word.


Momoko heard and instantly understood something. The voice was not in the dream. But, when she thought about it, it wasn't out of the dream, either. It was… above the dream and yet… who would call her daughter?



… the voice was part of the dream but not in it. The voice was… it was almost like…

Who… who are you?


… the voice was the dream. The colors and sounds and shapes were the voice… or the source of the voice… if that made any sense.

What do you mean?

Stay… safe…

What are you talking about? Who are you?

And then the colors were gone, the sounds taken with them, and the shapes drifted away into nothingness.

Thousands of miles away on the bottom of the ocean to the south east, hundreds of miles to the north west, and only a few miles away to the north east something happened that night. Shrines set up thousands of years before Konoha even existed began to swirl with energy. A crack was widening. A time limit had run out. And Order gained more power. The world would fall.

At 3:42 in the morning thousands of ninjas across the five elemental countries awoke, but went to sleep moments later due to a lack of a known reason. Awoken for no known reason, but a reason none the less.

Hinata Hyuga and her team were ready to go early the next morning, eager to reach Suna later that day. Eager, but definitely more cautious. They traveled in silence and stealth off the beaten path and through the trees until they reached the dunes of Wind Country. Then they loosened up more, their vision unblocked and no one in sight.

But none were totally unaware.

They had been attacked by an unknown force and the whole thing was completely unresolved. The questions were still there. Who? Why?

And, for Hinata, how?

Yesterday… an attacker would have needed to have no chakra at all to evade my vision. Not even the smallest of insects can evade my sight, so there is no way a human of any chakra size could evade my Byakugan. No chakra at all… life wouldn't be possible.


Hinata dropped her frown and put a smile on before turning around to face Momoko. She was forgetting the most important fact of the attack. It was ineffective.

"Hai, Momo-chan?"

"There is a man coming at us from the direction of Suna."
Hinata stared up in shock, having looked only moments ago and saw nothing, to find that there was, indeed, a man coming from the direction of the still out of sight Suna.

And the Byakugan wasn't picking up any chakra from him.


"Be ready for an attack, everyone!"


"Be on guard, Haimaru. This man in not normal." Either that… or something is wrong with my eyes…

The team was in loose ready stances when the man came within shouting distance. He appeared to be elderly, though not overly so. He just walked towards them. Hinata decided to give the strange man a warning.

"Halt where you are and identify yourself!" Hinata watched as the man didn't even appear to hear the warning and kept his rather slow pace towards the steady.

He was close enough now that they could see the kunai in his hand. Hinata was getting worried, the man's actions defied human logic.

"Stop, or we will be forced to kill you!"

Nothing, the man was within fifty meters of the group now. His clothes were strange and simple. Brown and rough robes covered his body. The man's steps were methodical and symmetric, constant and consistent. And he never slowed.

Then he was only twenty meters away.


"Maybe he's deaf, sensei."


The three students were starting to feel extremely uneasy. Something about this common man, almost run of the mill in appearance, was causing their sensei to sweat more then the heat called for. And her face showed all the worry she had kept hidden until then.

The man was ten meters away. He didn't even turn his eyes to look at any one person, just walked and walked like that was all he knew how to do.

Until he threw the kunai in his hand directly towards Momoko.

It was simply blocked.

And the man didn't even care or notice. He just stopped walking.

And then vanished.

Hinata was staring at the place where the man had last stood, noticing nothing. No wind or sand kicked up from speed. No mark of anything on the ground to show there was even a man there to begin with.

Not even footprints.

Or a kunai, seconds ago blocked by Momoko.

It was as if nothing had been there, and nothing had happened.

"Wha… sensei?"

"What the HELL?"

"Okaa-san… what was that?"

Hinata just stared at the point in the air where the man had stood. Not once had she seen anything with the Byakugan besides the empty space where a man should be.

But the kunai, Momoko had assured her, had be physical. She had felt the force against her own when she blocked it.


"A… genjutsu?"

There was no one within miles of them.

"A mirage?"

A group hallucination?


No chakra, no evidence, no man, no kunai, no nothing.

Was she going insane?

Naruto lay in bed after being ordered to remain there by a very insistent Kazekage. Time crawled by with nothing to do and no one to talk to. His head still hurt like hell, making it worse. Naruto sighed. Inactivity combined with a lack of ramen would be the death of him.

That, and the fact that he didn't even know if his daughter and… Hinata… even knew he was alive. Sure, four days was a long time, but even a chunin traveling at top speed would take over a day to reach Konoha. And with the situation here, Gaara might not have a shinobi to spare. Naruto grimaced as he thought what they would do.

"Tsunade-bachan will probably just kill me for making her worry. Hinata will kill me in sparring. Momoko will bug me about not making it back in time for days… weeks… years…"

"Why would I do that, otou-san?"

Naruto quickly turned his head to face the door instead of the window. Standing there he saw Hinata and her team. And, instead of anger, he saw confusion.



"Why are you wrapped to the bed with sand?"

Naruto tried to shrug, but barely managed to move.

"Gaara insisted that I remain in bed for at least another day. And when the Kazekage insists, and you ignore him once or twice… well…"

"You are forced to listen. And it was fourteen times, Naruto." Gaara stepped from around the door as well before releasing the sand. "Stay in bed or I will contain you to it for another day."

"Hai…" Gaara smirked and left. "… okaa-san." A piece of sand flew from the window and smacked Naruto in the back of the head.

"Damn it…"

Naruto stretched his arms and sat up in bed, motioning for them all to have a seat. With only three chairs in the room, Hinata managed to sit on the side of Naruto's bed. She placed her hand over his forehead.

"Well, Naruto… you don't have a fever."

"No, just a massive headache and sore nerves."

Haimaru was staring at Naruto like he was sprouting horns from his head. "Naruto-san?"

"What is it?"

"We heard you basically took down a few hundred ninja with one move. What was it and can you teach me?"

Naruto, normally, would have ruffled the kid's hair and told him that he might learn it when he was older. That is what he would have done if his dreams had not been what they had been.

"Haimaru, I took out only a few ninja with a move. And you don't want to learn it. To learn that move… you would need a certain blood limit and… and you would need to kill your best friend with your own hands…" Naruto wasn't looking at Haimaru anymore, he was looking through him into his own memories. "That, Haimaru, is something no one should ever need to do."

Silence filled his small room as he looked out the window. Hinata was the first one to break the silence.

"Naruto… I heard the whole story from Tsunade. About..." She reached down to his headband, but stopped before touching it. "… you know. I thought you would like to know something. On our way here, we were attacked."

That got Naruto's attention. Instantly his eyes went from dull and lifeless blue-grey to a worry filled light blue. Hinata couldn't help but smile a small smile. It was definitely an improvement, but he could get better.

"Wha… who…"

"I don't know."

"Otou-san! We think it was this old man we saw this morning in the desert! The day before we had been attacked, but no one was there. Today a man walked up, threw a kunai at me, and then he disappeared."

"Disappeared?" Naruto looked in confusion from Momo to Hinata. Both nodded. Shisui spoke up.

"Hai, the man vanished as if he was never there. The kunai as well. There were no marks in the sand where a kunai would have hit, and no foot prints."

"Could the wind…"

"The wind was very light, not enough to fill foot prints and cause a kunai to vanish instantly."

"Then... Hinata's Byakugan. What did you see?"


"What do you mean?"

"I saw nothing, there was no man despite the evidence for it. Same with the day before. The only chakra I saw for either attack was in the explosive note in the first attack. There was no one for over a mile in any direction. At least… there wasn't any chakra. The man we saw was a shell without chakra. If he existed... no… he couldn't exist. Each individual cell of our bodies uses chakra and has chakra inside it. This man had nothing. There was no chakra in his body."

"So… this man was… a ghost?"

"Ghosts do not exist, Naruto-san." Gin barked an agreement.

"I know that, and you know that… but does that ghost know that." Naruto smirked as Haimaru and Shisui sighed and Hinata and Momoko giggled. Hinata smiled wider as Naruto's eyes once again found the deep blue glow that he only had when he was happy. And that was worth the trip.

"Alright, you three. Gaara already gave you your rooms, so be in them by ten. Until then explore the city and meet our allies. And don't get into any fights."

Shisui froze at that. But his sensei gave him a reassuring smile and he smiled back. Maybe he would go talk to Gaara about Kimimaro Kaguya, and the blood he carried in his veins.

Haimaru ran out the door with his black friend at his heels. Momoko gave her otou-san a hug before following Haimaru in his escape. She knew exactly where she was going. Though, minutes later, she would forget when she saw something interesting and then she would wander the city for hours just looking at things.

Hinata, on the other hand, stayed right beside Naruto's bed.

"Hinata, that man…"

"Everything I know about these attacks points to one of two options. Either all four of us are insane or someone has found a way to elude the Byakugan."

"Well, you are a little crazy." Naruto smiled up at her. Hinata decided to lay down next to him.


"Hai. You fell in love with me, didn't you?" Hinata smiled back at him.

"I guess I did."

"But don't worry. I'm perfectly sane. I can prove it. Only an insane person wouldn't fall in love with you."

"Really?" Hinata kissed him on the nose.

"Really." Naruto leaned over and kissed her on the lips. Only a second later a third voice entered the room.


"WHAT?" Naruto shot up in bed, breaking his kiss with Hinata, to turn and face the Kazekage. Gaara was unfazed by his outburst, but Hinata as embarrassed as ever.

"When I said you couldn't get out of bed, I didn't mean you could do any… strenuous activities… while still in bed."

"WHAT?" Naruto went beet red and Hinata looked like she was about to pass out. "That… we weren't gonna… shut the hell up!"

"Good." And with that, Gaara was gone. But, at the same time, Hinata was blissfully unconscious. And Naruto, not wanting to disobey the Kazekage, decided to let her sleep right where she was, under his arm.

But Naruto didn't fall back into sleep as the one he loved did. He had too many things to think about.

Who was the woman?

Who wanted his daughter dead?

And why... why did it happen now?