I don't really know what this story is all about. But I got inspiration for it from a fan fiction that I read dealing with the American Revolution featuring Naruto characters. This story takes place during the Civil War era, and has characters from the Naruto series in it. In this story, Neji's father is still alive, and he has a younger brother, Sansho.
Main Characters: Order of first appearance or mentioning
Naruto Uzumaki: Tailor in Philadelphia, PA at time of the Civil War
Chouji Akimichi: Private First Class in the Union Army working as a recruiting officer.
Hinata Hyuga: Heiress to the Hyuga Family.
Hiashi Hyuga: Head of the Hyuga Family and older brother to Hizashi
Neji Hyuga: Cousin to Hinata, created a large business and enlisted in the Union Army
Sansho Hyuga (briefly mentioned): Younger brother to Neji by 3 years.
Hizashi Hyuga: Younger brother to Hiashi
Sasuke Uchiha: Head of the Uchiha plantation in southern Maryland, and business partner with Naruto.
Sakura Haruno (briefly mentioned): Neighbor of Naruto
The Tailor and the Heiress
Bullets whiz by his slightly pointed ears, causing his eyes to twitch. His blonde hair sticks out from underneath his smelly old helmet, coated with blood and dirt from the battle. The noxious fumes coming from the sheer amount of blood produces his blue eyes to tears. He is in the middle of the civil war between the Confederate States of America and the Union; it has been going on for one year now. What started out for the North as just a simple crushing of the rebels turned into a full scale battle that would probably still be raging on well after his death. His legs are woozy from running in between trees for the better part of a day. The beating of his heart is escalated to heights uncharted. Frantic breaths fill up his starving lungs with air as he continues to push forward. So many have died for the cause of the war, but this is only the third battle he has been in yet. To make matters worse, it had been an attack they were not ready for.
At 5:15 that morning he had been awoken from his slumber by the bugles sounding an impending attack. When they had all gathered, preparing for battle, they learned that the 25th Missouri Infantry became engaged in a battle with the Confederate troops about two miles away. They geared up and headed out into the fight at the break of day, none of the men said a word. At the first sight of enemies the battle lost control; the generals were working just to keep everyone under control. One of his friends, Chouji Akimichi, had died in the onslaught. Embittered, he was now tracking down Chouji's killer through the wilderness.
Even though it was the middle of a battle, his thoughts were constantly straying back to his home in the North, back to his love, Hinata. How long had it been since he enjoyed a home cooked meal, or indulging in his leisure activities. At the first sign of major war he had went and signed himself up despite protests from Hinata. Right before leaving, he had finally asked her to marry him. She had agreed, and Naruto told her of her fathers demand from Naruto. She had not agreed to it, but realized it was necessary and let him go. He still missed her to this day and could not wait to get back to Philadelphia to marry her.
He wondered where his friend and business partner, Sasuke Uchiha was. The young man lived in southern Maryland where he and his family were wealthy plantation owners, who were the major agitators that started this infernal war. So of course, Sasuke enlisted in the Confederate army, and he hasn't seen his friend since. Hell, he could be in this very battle and he would never know it. The haughty Uchiha had told him before he left that if he ever saw him on the battlefield he wouldn't hold back. That worried him greatly, was Sasuke that serious about keeping his slave population? It could possibly ruin their partnership if they saw each other.
This is what it's like to be Naruto Namikaze in the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee. The year is 1862 and this is the first day of the soon to be two day battle. By the end of the battle many casualties will occur on both sides, and friendships will be lost. Some family members will receive terrible news on the fates of their loved ones; others will rejoice that they will live to see another day. The fear of dying becomes prevalent in all of the soldiers. The truth is, Naruto Namikaze is scared to death.
One year before…
A blonde haired man wakes in his meager apartment located in south-eastern Pennsylvania. He pulled out the Philadelphia paper and scanned over it quickly. His face contorted into a grimace upon seeing the news of the Union campaigns in the South. The newest campaign, the Battle of the 1st Manassas, was a total failure for the Union army under General McDowell. Union casualties numbered 462 killed, 1,214 wounded, and 1,312 missing or captured. A shot of sorrow filled his heart, causing him to mourn his loyal brothers. A faint knock at the door disrupts his thinking, and he gets up to open it. A tall, chubby fellow is at the door, with bright orange hair sticking out of his oddly shaped hat.
"Are you Naruto Namikaze?" The man asks, huffing in the doorstep.
"Yeah, what's up?" Naruto lets the man inside and they take a seat at the table.
"I am here to say that my superior commanders in the Union Army request for an enlistment in the army from you or one of your siblings. Bear in mind that if you have three male siblings two must go."
"Thanks for the information and I'll get it all sorted out." The man gets up to leave, not wanting to overstay his welcome. "What's your name anyway?" The orange-haired man looks over his shoulder.
"Chouji Akimichi, Private First Class, at your service." Naruto chuckled lightly as Chouji stared at him curiously. "What is so funny?"
"Has your time in the military tightened your speech? Lighten up!" Naruto doubled over as Chouji became flabbergasted.
"Well, I must be off I have other civilians to recruit. Would you happen to know where a Neji Hyuga lives?" Naruto froze as the Private said the name and his blood chilled.
"Yeah, I know the name, and I can show you where he lives." Naruto answered, and he got up from the table.
"I am deeply in your debt Mr.Namikaze." Chouji stated.
"No problem. After we go there I can show you around town, you don't look like you're from here." Chouji smiled slightly and nodded.
"I am not from here, I confess, but I am from Pittsburgh. I am a descendant of the Scots-Irish frontiersmen." Naruto nodded, and opened the door to the shabby hallway from which Chouji came.
Both men walked through the town without word. Naruto was too busy thinking about enlisting in the army and Chouji was fumbling through his stack of papers. The hot, stick July day was making its presence known as the fabric from Naruto's clothes stuck to his back. He stopped abruptly as he saw the Hyuga's esteemed daughter, Hinata, flutter by in her beauty. Unfortunately, he had forgotten that Akimichi was tailing him with his face down. Chouji collided into his back and sent the blonde man sprawling in front of Hinata's feet. Papers were strewn through the cobblestone road as Chouji hurried to pick them all up. Naruto looked up to see Hinata's beautiful face looking down at him in curiosity and he felt red creep onto his tanned skin that was unusual for the area. He quickly got up and brushed the dirt off of his tunic and breeches.
"I am deeply sorry, Miss Hyuga. I wasn't paying attention." Naruto said stiffly, he had never been in a conversation with her before. But from prior experience the Hyugas were a very strict sort of people. Naruto was shocked when the heiress' expression changed to a soft smile.
"It's quite alright. I was daydreaming myself. Who is that odd fellow with the orange hair that's with you?" Naruto snapped back to reality and quickly picked Chouji off from the street, papers in tow. He whispered in the Private's ear who she was, and Akimichi quickly dropped into an odd bow.
"My name is Chouji Akimichi, Private First Class. Pleased to meet you, miss." He clumsily picked up her hand and kissed it softly. Hinata laughed and withdrew her hand.
"And what is your name?" The blonde-haired potential recruit startled at Hinata's question quickly flew into gibberish. He flushed a brighter red and Hinata laughed some more.
"I am sorry, but I didn't quite catch that." She smiled reassuringly and Naruto took in a deep breath.
"My name is Naruto Namikaze, I am the local tailor." Hinata gasped slightly at hearing Naruto's surname.
"Was your father the famous war hero, Minato Namikaze?" Naruto nodded slightly and Chouji's jaw dropped. He knew what was coming next; Hinata would curse his name and then leave in a flurry. Instead, she swooped down and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Naruto's face flared up with more red and Chouji snickered.
"Your father was a very brave man, but my parents think otherwise. You see, none of my family supported the war with Mexico." Hinata's eyes flickered with anger for a second, and it then disappeared.
"I'm sorry to interrupt you Miss Hyuga, but I must be on my way. Chouji needs escorted to your cousins house." Hinata's face lit up with bemusement.
"My family will not like this one bit; this Chouji Akimichi is a recruiter for the war, is he not?" Chouji and Naruto both nodded their heads in affirmation. "The family is all for the war, but they do not want any household members leaving for battle."
Chouji grimaced, and Naruto figured that he did not want to meet this Hyuga family. Naruto clapped him on the back and gave him an assuring look.
"I will accompany you back to my house, as I was just out for a walk anyway." She smiled again, and turned to walk forward.
The remainder of the trip went without incident and all party members were somber once again. Naruto was still in awe that the beautiful Hinata Hyuga had actually talked to him. They arrived at the enormous iron gates and Hinata signaled for the guards to let them in. The cobblestone path led the way to the biggest manor in all of Philadelphia and possibly Pennsylvania. Hinata told the two men to wait and that she would fetch her father and Neji.
"You like that Hinata girl don't you, Naruto?" Chouji said breaking the eerie silence that filled the doorstep. Naruto blushed profusely and shook his head.
"No, I don't. She's in a completely different class than I am; there would be nothing for us." He sighed and leaned against the brick wall.
"What does that matter anymore? We're at war, and I shudder to think that some of us will not make it out alive." Chouji shuffled his papers once more at the sound of loud footsteps inside the manor.
Both men swooped into a bow as Hiashi Hyuga strode out of his lavish manor and looked upon the two. Neji stood behind the elder Hyuga, smirking slightly.
"So you have come to request Neji's enlistment for the Union Army?" Chouji looked up and hurriedly started to speak.
"Yes sir, I have orders from my superiors to request your nephew's enlistment as he does have a younger brother to carry on the family name." A curious glint flickered over Neji's face at the mention of serving in the army. Hiashi's face contorted, and he appeared stiff.
"There is no other way out, is there? Young Sansho is not old enough to take his place, correct?" Neji exploded into outrage as Hiashi insinuated enlisting his brother.
"How can you think for a second I would let my sibling take my rightful place?! I am joining the Union Army, and I will come back. Nothing you say can change my mind." Naruto gaped at Neji's rebellious nature. There had never been insubordination among the Hyugas.
"If you go to fight, I shall cast you out of the family name." Hiashi retorted in anger, his face starting to turn scarlet and veins appearing around his eyes. A bang filled the doorstep as the door was torn off. A furious Hizashi Hyuga stood in the doorstep, along with a distraught Hinata appearing behind him.
"Over my dead body, dear brother. That boy will be allowed to do as he pleases. His business has brought in an insurmountable amount of profit towards our family gains. Is that not enough?"
Hiashi stood speechless, and reluctantly nodded his head. Naruto gave an odd whoop of joy, which caused everyone present save Chouji and Hinata to stare at the "commoner" standing in their presence. Chouji started to laugh but quickly shut up when Hiashi sent him a death glare.
"Er---well, if Mr. Neji Hyuga would like to enlist, I ask him to accompany me back to headquarters to file his charts." The two elder Hyugas nodded, and Neji stepped forward. "Thank you for your hospitality."
Naruto turned to leave with Chouji, but decided to do something drastic. He spun on his heel and looked Hinata straight in her blue-gray eyes. "Would you like to accompany me to town, Hinata?" Naruto asked, amidst glares from Hiashi, Hizashi merely smirked. Hinata blushed from behind her uncle, and looked down.
"Yes, Naruto, I would love to walk with you." Hiashi almost held his hand out for Hinata to stop, but his brother stopped him from doing so and let Hinata take Naruto's outstretched arm.Through the city they walked behind Akimichi and Neji, arms intertwined.
"That boy is the son of Minato Namikaze, the great war hero that saved the armed forces in Mexico." Hizashi hissed under his breath at the doorstep.
"In that case, his lineage is that much greater." Hiashi spat back, distaste and sarcasm evident in his voice. His brother opened the door back to the house and they went inside. As they were walking Hiashi pressed on, "I know exactly what is on that street rat's mind. He wants my daughter." Hizashi stopped and turned to look his older twin in the eye.
"And if he does? I seem to remember a dear brother of mine who fell for a street rat." A smug grin appeared on his face, and Hiashi was crestfallen.
"That was different; I was the suitor asking for her hand in marriage, of course her father accepted, I was from the elite Hyuga family." Servants started to stare curiously at the two quarreling brothers. Hiashi sent them a glare and they all hurriedly went back to work. Hizashi sighed and continued on into the study with his brother following close behind.
The walk to the study was fraught with Hiashi's incessant complaining of his daughters eventual fall for a commoner. Once they got into the book-laden study, the elder Hyuga pressed the subject even more so and caused Hizashi to grow increasingly irritable. Their fighting continued on for the better part of an hour, each one refusing to give ground on the matter. Servants pooled into the estate and served them a variety of refreshments, and other things. Finally, after another hour Hiashi started to crumble.
A reluctant Hyuga agreed that if the two wanted to marry, they would have his consent. Hizashi held his breath for the inevitable catch in the consent and it came. Hiashi also stated that in order for Naruto to fully gain his daughter's hand in marriage, the boy must enlist himself in the army. He would also have to meet with the rest of the Hyuga family. Hizashi reluctantly agreed to his brothers statement and made his way out of the room, stopping at the doorway.
"Oh, and brother," Hizashi said with his back turned. "Don't ever try to control my son again." He walked out with a confident step in his walk after throwing his brother a cheeky grin.
"So your father really was Minato Namikaze?" Hinata asked curiously while they were sitting in a small shop. For the past hour, the heiress had not let up with the barrage of questions for Naruto. He had to chuckle to himself, no one else had ever seen that much interest in his life.
Naruto nodded, sipping on his tea. "Yes, but I go by the name of Uzumaki. I didn't know my father well enough to use that name. He died a year after I was born. My mother soon followed him." He answered without emotion, but yet an underlying sense of sadness penetrated from his eyes.
Hinata was clearly taken aback by this new knowledge and asked him how he had lived by himself all those years. Naruto told her about his uncle first taking him in, and then he died of tuberculosis after two years. The local tailor had taken pity on his plight and took him as an apprentice. His life continued like this for the next fourteen years of his life until the tailor died and left a seventeen-year-old Naruto with his business.
"So, now that you basically know my life. What about yours?"
Hinata answered with the phrase 'sheltered environment' and when pushed by Naruto to elaborate, she explained how she was kept back from the rest of the world until shortly after her seventeenth birthday. He had instantly developed an even deeper growing contempt for the Hyugas upon hearing that she had never participated in the modern childhood growing experience. Emboldened, he asked her out on another date the following day, on which he would have her experience the joys of a childhood.
"Yes, tomorrow would be wonderful, Naruto." He leapt with joy, a huge smile cracking on his face. He pumped his fists in the air victory style and propped his leg up on a chair.
"Then tomorrow will be your best day ever Hinata! I'll pick you up after midmorning!" Occupants in the shop started to stare at the enthusiastic blonde, and some even gave him small, odd smiles. Hinata smiled at his antics, and the smile soon turned into suppressed giggles. It wasn't long before they both burst hysterically with laughter.
Chouji poked his head into the shop and looked at Naruto. Neji came up behind him and a furious look came onto his face.
"Are you trying to court my cousin?!" Neji roared furiously, staring intently at Naruto. Hinata grew red in the face as she tried to stand up to set her cousin straight. Namikaze held her back already with a deadly glint in his eyes.
"What is it to you if I am??!!" Naruto shouted causing the entire shop to stop whatever they were doing and watch them intently. Never before had a commoner stood up to a Hyuga like Naruto was doing at this moment. "Hinata is a thinking human; she can make decisions for herself! You Hyuga's don't rule her entire life." Naruto's contempt of her family was going full throttle, and would have kept on going if not for Hinata intervening and leading Neji out the door before thanking Naruto. The populace in the shop stared wide-eyed after the events, stunned by Naruto's defense of women, and from his rebuttal of a Hyuga. Even Chouji looked at Naruto oddly. A dark-haired man who sat in the corner clapped softly and soon everyone followed suit, as Neji stood there flabbergasted.
Chouji bade him good-night and made his way to the local hotel. The shop was nearing closing time as the dark-haired man who had started the clapping walked up to Naruto and introduced himself.
"My name's Sasuke Uchiha, you may have heard of my family's cotton business in northern Maryland." He said, sticking his hand out. Naruto shook it with distaste and it became apparent to Sasuke. "Your father is Minato Namikaze, is he not?" Naruto nodded. "Then it only makes sense that an upper society member like myself should associate with the son of a noble hero."
"Listen: I am not the son of a noble hero; just the son of a common soldier who happened to save his battallion and then died. I am neither rich, nor do I have anything else worthy of value. I don't know what you're playing at but power and position don't get people anywhere with me." Sasuke smirked; clearly Naruto said something he liked.
"That is why I shall still associate with you. Naruto Namikaze, you have an odd demeanor about you." Naruto looked floored. Is this guy mental? "I will see you after your date with Hinata tomorrow. I have some business to discuss with you."
Seven months had passed after the childhood experience date between Naruto and Hinata. To Hiashi's displeasure and Hizashi's amusement the boy had come to them first, asking for their acceptance of a marriage proposal. Hiashi had agreed as planned, but also told Naruto of the rule he had to fulfill. Naruto accepted it whole-heartedly and set off again jovially.
Sasuke Uchiha had proven true to his word on having a business proposition for Naruto. He had proposed that he would sell Naruto his plantations cotton for 1/3 of the regular price if Naruto would produce it into clothing and sell it at a higher price to other countries and split the profits fifty-fifty. Naruto good-naturedly agreed and his business had been booming ever since. It had even gotten to the point where he was forced to relocate into one of the bigger buildings and hire over thirty tailors for the jobs.
Early in the autumn breeze of September, Naruto was waiting outside of his tailor shop for Hinata to stroll by so they could walk through the local park together. Thoughts of proposals fluttered through his head, as they had been doing for three weeks now, whispering words of advice. He mentally swatted them away as he saw the Hyuga beauty walk towards him with a smile on her face. Naruto cracked a huge grin, and rushed to give her a hug. They embraced, and then walked down the cobblestone path towards the lake.
"Why are you so happy, Hinata? Not that I don't want to see you happy—it's just…" Naruto stammered while trying to ask a simple question.
"Because, Naruto, I am merely happy that my father has allowed our relationship to carry this far." She answered him, completely ignoring his chronic stammering. "I honestly didn't think that we would be able to see each other, but I am grateful that we have been able to. You have shown me more of the outside world in these seven months than I have ever seen in my life. I am very grateful."
"Well, uh, Hinata, funny you should mention me showing you things, and our relationship. I have something to tell you." Naruto started to say, but was cut off by Hinata who held a finger to his mouth.
"Oh, can't it wait until tomorrow? I'm in too good of a mood for news." Naruto shook his head vigorously and continued on.
"No, please, I have to tell you now." She told him to continue and Naruto took a breath before telling her exactly what he needed to say.
"I have accepted Chouji's offer to enlist in the army. I'm leaving in two weeks." He winced as her face grew red in anger. Just like her father in times of anger, Hinata's eyes also bulged and the veins behind her skin started to show a faint visibility.
"You did what?! Naruto, you told me you weren't going to!"
Naruto grew increasingly guilty through the rest of the argument. After Hinata had yelled at him for a good part of thirty minutes she fell into his arms with tears streaking down her cheeks.
"What if you die out there?" She asked him quietly, her blue-gray eyes searching his light blue eyes.
"Then always know that I love you." Hinata seemed crestfallen, but still wanted to continue their date. There was an awkward air about them, and Naruto pushed himself into more guilt over her distraughtness. He felt so bad that he had to leave, but it was necessary if he wanted to marry her. The end of the day came entirely too quickly and they agreed to meet each other the next day. The rest of the week, and most of the week after passed by without incident and then the eve of Naruto's departure came.
End of September. Philadelphia's train station. Naruto's departure.
Smoke filled the area as soldiers filed into the station. Each of them shed silent tears, and some sobbing, as they said their good-byes to their loved ones. They picked up their bags as officers directed them into the compartments. Naruto walked into the area with two bags filled with personal belongings, Hinata at his side gripping his arm tightly. He set the bags down and turned to face her.
"Hinata, I'm sorry I have to go, but this is for my country. My father would have wanted me to go."
"I still don't like it that you're going." A train whistled after she said this. Naruto hurriedly stuffed his hands inside of one of his bags, pulling out a small box before dropping to one knee in front of Hinata. He opened the box and took the object out. He held it up in his hands for Hinata to see.
"Hinata Hyuga, I have loved you from the moment I saw you nearly seven months ago. After I come back from the war, if you'll still have me, will you marry me?" His eyes sparkled in anticipation as she slowly nodded, a large smile appearing on her face.
"Of course I'll marry you, Naruto." He picked her up with both arms and kissed her as if he was to die the next day. They stood wrapped in each others arms for a moment, each not wanting to let go.
"I have to go now Hinata, wish me luck." Their flushed faces met again in a second kiss, this more passionate with the first. At its break Naruto drew in a deep breath. "God only knows I'll miss that." Hinata laughed solemnly as they stared into each others eyes one last time, ice blue meeting blue-gray.
"You'll always be in my thoughts. Just come back to me alive and in one piece." She added a silent please under her breath. Naruto nodded and gave her another hug and a peck on the cheek before turning to walk away. The pain was getting too hard as she watched him board the train and stick his head out the window. Above all the noise he shouted out.
"I'll come back to you, I promise!"
At his words, the train rolled away into the distance, away from Philadelphia, away from Hinata. She crouched on the platform by herself and wept as it started to rain. Young Sansho appeared behind her with an umbrella over his head and he stood over his older cousin. She looked up into his eyes, eyes that were just like hers, and noticed the young boy was equally distruaght and had been crying.
"They'll both be fine, I'm sure." He said quietly and in a voice that shouldn't belong to a thirteen-year-old. Hinata nodded, and stood up, taking the umbrella and held it over them both. They made their way under the archway and onto the street, both still silently crying.
Hinata knew that Naruto would be okay, somehow. If she had learned anything from him the past seven months, it would be that he always kept promises. Now, all that mattered would be how long she would have to wait for her love to come back to her. But with her cousin by her side, she knew she could get through it. Both of them together, each waiting for their loved one to come back.
Endnote: This is intended to be a one-shot and the ending is left ambiguous to be taken how you like it. If there is sufficient feedback I may consider elaborating more on the story. But as of now it remains as you see it. Reviews, in any form, are welcome and greatly appreciated.