Though many years had passed since the great ninja villages had formed, tradition still played an important role. Traditionally, shinobi would carry their gear in backpacks. Anything, ranging from weapons, to explosive notes, to scrolls containing sealed food supplies and clothes. In short, backpacks remained a traditional custom to shinobi, world-wide, to this day.
At the eastern gate, of the great hidden village of Konoha, a pink haired girl could be seen waiting with a not so drunken anymore bridge builder. "Damn it! Where the hell is everyone?!", Sakura seethed. The bridge builder Tazuna, accompanying her, sweat dropped.
'Aren't shinobi supposed to be patient or something? Kids these days...'
Sakura was wearing her usual attire, consisting of a red dress and tight black shorts underneath that. On her shoulder blades two straps could be seen. Said straps, were attached to a backpack, rather medium in size. Tazuna took note. "That's a pretty super big backpack for a girl, kid. You don't honestly have that much stuff to bring, right?"
The pink haired little girl snapped her head to the bridge builder in agitation. "This backpack is barely big enough for my bare essentials I need to woe Sasuke-kun with! So no, It's not too big." She finished that statement by glaring at the old geezer, causing him to sweat drop. "Uh, riiiight."
'Super scary little demon girls these days...'
Both Sakura and Tazuna were brought out of their thoughts when they heard someone calling out to them. "Hey! Sakura-chan, Tazuna-san! Sorry I'm late. Naru-nii-chan didn't let me go until he was sure I had breakfast.",she finished scratching her head sheepishly. Tazuna looked confused, while Sakura giggled. "That's true, he's more of a mother-hen than Iruka-sensei is. And that's saying a lot!"
Natsuki blushed cutely, and came to a stop near the other two. She grunted, in a very lady like manner, and repositioned the backpack on her shoulders. Sakura took note and grinned. "Wow, your backpack is even bigger than mine! What you got in there?"
The red haired girl smiled and motioned to her backpack. "Not much, really. Weapons, cup-ramen, scrolls, cup-ramen, books, cup-ramen, clothes, sleeping bag, hygiene things and cup-ramen!", she finished, smiling brightly. The old man that had been listening in on them gaped at her, while Sakura rolled her eyes playfully. "You said ramen four times, Natsuki-chan! Taku, no wonder it's so big!"
Natsuki scratched her head sheepishly and was about to retort when everyone's attention was brought to the newest arrival. "I see I'm still somewhat early... Then again, with Kakashi-sensei, an hour late is early in his books." Natsuki grinned at the ebony haired girl that had joined them. "Good morning, Hanabi-chan!" She then gaped when she took note of Hanabi's own backpack. "Ah! Your backpack is even larger than my own! Do you also have a lot of cup-ramen in yours?", she asked naively.
Sakura let out a small giggle while Hanabi's lips curved to form a small smile. "Not everyone is addicted to ramen, Natsuki-chan...", she drawled. "And besides, I plan to do a lot of training if we have the time.", she said raising her nose in a mock snootily manner.
"Then you obviously don't plan on doing nearly enough training if that's the most your going to take with you." A new voice spoke. Everyone turned to the raven haired boy that had just arrived and gaped. His backpack was even LARGER than everyone else's! Hanabi glared at the Uchiha scion and turned away from him. "Whatever."
"Now, now children, no need to be arguing so early in the morning. We're supposed to be nice to each other!" The new arrival came in the form of a silver haired scarecrow. Everyone's jaws practically dropped at Kakashi's backpack, it was even larger than Sasuke's! They eventually got out of their stupor though. Kakashi's students and the client then all greeted him out of respect, while he waved it off good-naturedly. "Ne, Kakashi-sensei?"
Kakashi turned to the one that had addressed him. "Hai, Sakura-chan?" The cherry blossom haired girl eyed the backpack on Kakashi's shoulders seemingly with disinterest. "What do you have in your backpack that makes it even larger than Sasuke-kun's?"
And indeed his was even LARGER than the largest so far. The silver haired man scratched his head sheepishly, sweat dropping. "Eto... Well... We might be gone for two or more weeks, so I figured that I would need to take along enough...", here he coughed slightly trying his best to look as innocent as possible, "...reading material."
Everyone present, save the scarecrow, sweat dropped. 'Perv...'
Sakura shrugged and addressed everyone. "Well, that only leaves Naruto-kun and Anko-san that still needs to show up. I wonder how large their backpacks will be? So far, everyone that has arrived has each come with a bigger backpack in growing order."
That 'was' interesting, Kakashi idly thought. He then turned his head in the direction where he sensed two people to be arriving via shunsin.
"Good morning everybody!", two cheery, but near annoying, voices chorused together. The scarecrow nodded to acknowledge their presence. "Good mo..." But was cut off when Sakura displayed what he thought to be a newly emerging bloodline when she shrieked at the two arrivals.
"WHERE ARE YOUR BACKPACKS!?" Everyone's attention turned to the two new additions, and lo and behold, neither were wearing backpacks! The blonde arrival held up his arms defensively and tried to explain, "Hey, relax Sakura-chan. We got it covered!", only to wince when she shrieked again. "The hell you do! What are you going to do, sleep on the ground? Huh!?"
Naruto was slowly growing annoyed, so he decided to draw her attention elsewhere. "Hey look! Sasuke's checkin' you out!", he stage whispered. He grinned slightly at the indignant look on Sasuke's face and the blush now adorning Sakura's face. The other, purple haired, arrival spoke this time. "Well, lets get this show on the road kiddies! I don't got all day, ya know!"
With that said, they started their journey, walking out the east gates.
Several hours later...
The sun shone down upon the group of people headed to wave country. Generally, shinobi of Konoha rejoiced in the fact that they had sunny days most of the time. It also helps that sunny days meant no muddy sandals or depressed thoughts. Unfortunately for the poor sun, the current group of shinobi seemed to despise it. "Damn it! Why did we have to travel in this heat!?" A hyper active, raven haired boy asked his sensei. "Because no bandits in their right mind, would attack people on the road in this kind of heat, Sasuke-kun", he drawled lazily.
Naruto smirked at the way Sasuke and Kakashi would squabble about irrelevant things. It kept his day interesting. It also helped that Sasuke got Sakura's full support in badgering their sensei, while his sibling spent her time asking Anko and Tazuna honest curious questions. He turned his attention to the dark silk haired girl walking along with him far back from the other group. "You okay, Hanabi-chan?"
The aforementioned girl blinked slightly, just now coming out of her thoughts, and nodded politely. "Hai, I'm fine Naruto-kun." She frowned when the blonde looked pointedly at her, and sighed recalling a previous event.
"Hey, Kakashi-sensei's here... Naruto-kun?" The blonde turned to the girl that stood in front him, blocking the sun from where he was laying. He frowned slightly and gently reminded the girl of something. "Hanabi-chan, remember our agreement from when we're in private?"
The lavender eyed girl made a sour face at glared at the blonde. "Yes, of course, Naruto-'sama'" ,she said, spitting out the suffix venemously. The blonde sighed and stood up. He then looked Hanabi into her eyes and spoke kindly, but firmly. "Hanabi-chan, if you can't address me respectfully without doing it in a spiteful way, then don't address me that way at all. I didn't force you into doing it, and I'm not doing it now. It was merely a friendly wager between friends, that I was reminding you of. So if it annoys you that much, then by all means just drop it." He finished glaring at her, then turned his back to her and walked off.
"W-wait!" He turned his head to look at Hanabi. "What?" He asked coldly. The lavender eyed girl bit her lip and closed her eyes for several seconds before opening them again, looking into the blonde's eyes shamefully. "I apologize, Naruto-sama. That was very rude and spiteful of me. Could you please forgive me?" She hated the words that she had just forced through her throat, and Naruto could tell. It was not often she had to ask for forgiveness or apologize for something, being part of the Main hyuuga branch.
The blonde eyed her face for several seconds, looking for any deceit, before his face lit up in a warm smile. He closed the distance between them and gently placed his hand on her shoulder. "Thanks, apology accepted" He said kindly, squeezing gently. No further words were needed, and Hanabi understood, also now smiling shyly.
The lavender eyed girl sighed and turned to the blonde that was frowning at her. "Gomen, Naruto-sama." The smile that lit up on his face was enough to make up for addressing him like that. Unknown to both of them, a silver haired man had heard the interaction with great interest, thanks to his advanced hearing.
'sama?', he thought amusedly. 'To think that she'd change so much from what she used to be, in almost two months. I wonder how you do it, Otouto?'
The scarecrow then decided to tease Hanabi, and hopefully try and get a reaction out of the blonde. 'He's too damned indifferent to things for his own good! A blush! That's all I ask, Kami-sama!'
Initiating his plan he slowed his pace until he was close to the blonde boy and ebony haired girl. "Soooo..." He drawled. "Naruto-sama, huh Hanabi-chan? I thought you hated his guts?"
The girl in questioned blushed a very deep crimson and glared at the scarecrow. She gasped when she felt the blonde walking next to her, pull her closer to him with his one arm, into a 'half-hug' as he'd privately labeled it. "Hanabi-chan hate little ol' me?", he asked with mock hurt. "I was under the impression she was too sweet and cute to be able to hate anyone...", he trailed off, either not noticing or not mentioning the blush and cute smile that now adorned Hanabi's face.
Kakashi narrowed his eyes at them then snorted and returned to his previous position he was walking at. 'Damn, nothing! WHY!?'
Much later, Naruto had followed Kakashi's lead and taken out a book from the Icha Icha series... That being the latest installment: Icha icha – Violence. Currently he was openly discussing the content of the book with an eager Anko leaning into his shoulder and reading with him, much to the annoyance and horror of the other people present.
"So you see...", he said, very amused at the cute way Anko paid attention to him. "It's not really just your plain run off the mill Adult book. Where with normal smutt books that follow a formula of, Introduce characters, find a way to get hot and naked, bang, orgasm and 'the end'. But with Icha icha, it's actually more interesting, with its own formula being, Introduction to the story and characters, decent plot, character development instead of instant sex, along with drama and all that, which isn't exactly smutt as people would call it at first glance."
Of course Naruto had taken precautions to prevent himself from corrupting his innocent sibling, by applying a genjutsu to her and Sakura to make them hear something different. Sakura included, because he didn't want to have his hearing any more damaged thanks to her screaming. Honestly! He loved Sakura dearly like a sister, almost as much as Natsuki, but his poor ears could only take 'so' much.
He had also taken great pleasure in the uncomfortable looks Sasuke sported while he also listened in on his discussion with Anko. He smirked then, when he realized Sasuke was drooling slightly. His smirk only widened when he noticed Hanabi glaring jealously at Anko from the corner of his eye.
Naruto turned to look at Anko, silently telling her a message with his facial expression, the one visible eye alone. She seemed to understand and smiled miscivously, licking her lips and staring at the lavender eyed girl.
Anko broke the ice. "Hey Hanabi-chan, would you also like read some? I can see you look really interested, and I'm sure Naru-chan wouldn't mind his other side accompanied, if you know what I mean...", she said seductively. She grinned brightly when the younger girl blushed several dark shades of red and huffed at them. Meanwhile, Naruto smiled secretly at their interactions.
About half an hour later, Naruto noticed something odd up ahead in the road. A puddle of water. Looking around, he realized that he wasn't the only one to have noticed. He slowed his pace until he was trailing along the back of the group, along with Kakashi and Anko. 'Strange... Natsuki never told me of 'this' in my previous life. Did things change that much already?'
Nearing the puddle, Naruto spoke calmy, and discussed the weather. "Lovely weather we're having, huh?" The silver haired scarecrow next to him nodded and gave a cheery response. "That's right. It hasn't rained in weeks thanks to this lovely weather." Anko decided that they wouldn't be the only ones to have some fun, and gave her own chirp. "Yeah! And looking at the sky, I can tell it probably wont be raining any time soon either!" Naruto laughed inwardly when he felt chakra spike slightly in the direction of the small puddle. 'Idiots...'
They had just walked several feet past the puddle when all three of them were wrapped around the deadly chains of two mist nukenin. "Three down.", was the synchronized statement from the two killers. They pulled their chain harder causing the three they had trapped to be cut into multiple different body parts.
"Aaaaaaaaaahhh!" Sakura and Natsuki had frozen and screamed in horror, having seen their teammate's 'die'. Hanabi also froze, seeing death now for only the first time in her life. Sasuke was the fastest to react, having accepted that death would be part of his life long ago, no thanks to his clan being murdered by his older brother.
With skill and precision fit for one of the top students of his class, he pinned the chain into a nearby tree with a well thrown kunai. He leapt forward and delivered a stronger uppercut to the closest of the attackers. He briefly smiled smugly only to wince painfully when he was kicked back several feet away. He had not noticed the other attacker unbinding his chain.
Hanabi seemed to snap out of her stupor and activated her byakugan and charged to the nukenin that had attacked Sasuke. It seemed her opponent wasn't as skilled as her sensei, as she could keep up with him, if just barely. Seeing an opening, she struck his heart with a jyuken strike. She froze in horror when the man coughed up blood and in a last ditch effort, attempted to kill her with his claw...
Back with Tazuna, Sakura and Natsuki, the atmosphere still held some shock and horror. Natsuki was the first to 'somewhat' get over it and prepared to defend the group when the remaining nukenin charged them head on, while the other dealt with Hanabi.
Natsuki winced when the heavy claw made contact with the kunai she held. Had she paid attention, she would have noticed the wound the claw had caused. Her entire arm felt numb, she idly noted, then attempted to move out from under his claw to attack him. Her eyes widened when his foot made contact with her chest and he kicked her several feet away. Natsuki's eyes widened even more in horror when the nukenin closed in on her, getting ready to deliver to final blow and end her life.
She winced and closed her eyes in defeat. 'I'm sorry, Aniki...'
Hanabi expected to feel pain any moment now... Aaaany moment now. Well, where the hell was it it?! She cracked open an eye and let out a gasp when she saw both Anko and Kakashi in front of her, restraining the man that had been about to kill her. With one well aimed punch, he fell to the ground, unconscious. Hanabi however, was no fool. She knew the man would die soon enough thanks to the powerful Jyuken strike she had aimed directly above his heart. The thought of knowing that she was the cause of someone's death, made her feel hollow inside.
She bit her cheek slightly, when her thoughts were interrupted by Anko. "You alright, kid?" The lavender eyed girl's eyes widened in surprise. Was the purple haired woman actually concerned about her?
Kakashi's, Anko's and her own attention turned to another part of the field when they heard someone scream. Their eyes widened in horror when they saw the last nukenin about to deliver a death blow to Natsuki.
'Shit, I won't make it in time!' Kakashi thought panicked. Anko shared similar thoughts. 'Fuck! Naru-chan's gunna kill us if she's hurt!'
For Natsuki, time, seemed to slow down. She waited with baited breath for her death to come. 'Is it over?', she thought morbidly. She cracked open an eye in fear. Then the entire clearing was suddenly filled with enough killing intent to kill a jounin. Thankfully, none of it was focussed on her.
Her jaw dropped in awe when she saw a blonde haired figure standing in front of her, holding the nukenin that previously was about to kill her, by the neck with his right hand. The nukenin in his grip seemed to glare at him and lifted his deadly claw and attempted to rip the blonde's throat out.
Naruto effortlessly caught the claw in his left hand, while still holding the man with his right hand. He glared dangerously at the man in front of him. "You seem to value this puny claw." He tightened his grip on the metal claw.
"AAAAAAHHH!" A very audible scream of pain could be heard in the clearing, after a bone being snapped was heard. Naruto took note of the nukenin's pain filled gasps, while still glaring at him. From the side of his eye he noticed Natsuki bleeding. His one visible eye that had been glaring at the nukenin turned ice cold. "No one hurts my Imouto." He stated in a calm, dettached voice, effectively causing shivers to go down the spines of everyone in the clearing.
With a casual flick of his wrist, the man's neck was snapped and he fell limp in Naruto's hand. "No one...", he said, his eyes flashing a bright red for a split second before returning to cold lifeless orbs. He tossed to body aside without care and turned to Natsuki. When he noticed her fear filled eyes, he allowed the usual warmth that filled his eyes, to return. "You're bleeding Natsuki-chan, let me fix that.", he said in a warm caring voice.
Natsuki seemed to come out of her stupor and smiled shyly at Naruto, allowing him to work on her bleeding hand. "Arigato, Aniki."
The tense atmosphere that had previously clouded the area disappeared when the blonde's killing intent vanished as quick as it came. Kakashi let out a sigh of relief. "Well... we're still all alive. I better check that scratch on Natsuki. Those claws looked to be poisoned."
Anko and Hanabi however, were still glued to where they were standing. Each for different reasons. Hanabi's being that she had just witnessed the normally cheery and smiling blonde, had killed someone with little effort. That wasn't what bothered her, though. It was his uncaring attitude towards the one he had killed that unnerved her. 'H-how can he be so nonchalant when he just took someone's life?!'
The purple haired woman got out of her stupor almost as fast as Kakashi did. She did, afterall, hear what had happened to the Uzumaki siblings several years ago. But seeing it with her own eyes did surprise her slightly. 'So this is your 'other' side, eh Naru-chan?'
The silver haired scarecrow approached the two cerulean eyed siblings. He eyed the wound his fellow Icha icha brother was studying. 'Yup... Poison. It's a good thing the Kyuubi is sealed within her too. With her tenant, the poison may take a few days to get out of her system, but she won't die at least.'
"Imouto." The blonde haired boy spoke. "I'm going to open the wound to allow the poison to leak out, so bear with me." He then placed a finger near the wound and then slowly, as if by magic, the wound opened, allowing more blood to leak out. Obviously the blonde knew how to create chakra scalpels. The boy frowned. "There's more poison in than I thought.", he murmured.
The silver haired scarecrow looking at the blonde work, nodded in agreement. "Indeed. The poison must contain a herb that magnifies how the poison spreads when in contact with chakra?"
The blonde nodded in agreement, and turned to Kakashi. "Quite"
The scarecrow also nodded. "Rather true."
The blonde. "Perhaps"
The two look-alike's turned to stare at the pink haired girl in no small amount of fear. "G-gomen!"
The blonde quickly turned back to the wound he was busy addressing and nodded in satisfaction. He then created a small amount of water in his palm and washed the blood from the wound. Then with tender care, he wrapped a bandage around it, to help prevent anymore bleeding. His eye curved, signifying he was smiling to the young redhead. "There we go! Much better. You might feel a bit dizzy, though."
The redheaded girl blinked at her brother and took a step forward only drop into his arms when she felt the world spinning. "Huh? Is it the poison, Aniki?", she asked trying to get used to the new dizzy feeling. The blonde shook his head in an amused manner. "It could be, but I'll go with blood loss for now. It will take a while before you're back to normal. So until then, you're not walking."
The lightheaded redhead blinked dazedly at the blonde. "But... if I'm not going to walk, then...", she gasped when the blonde pulled her arms over his shoulders and lifted her, supporting her on his back by holding onto her legs. "I'll be giving you a piggyback ride until then, Suki-chan.", he said in his usual cheery voice.
Kakashi nodded in agreement. "It's only until you can walk on your own Natsuki-chan. But right now... I need to have a little chat with our... 'client'..." He then turned to said client, and narrowed his one visible eye. "I think there are some things you haven't told us about this mission... Tazuna-san."
The old bridge builder gulped in fear. 'Shit... I knew I should have blown the rest of my money on sake this morning.'
Several hours later the group decided to set up camp. After threatening their client with bodily harm, they had found out that a rich billionaire owning a shipping magnate was after the bridge builder. They had almost turned back to Konoha, when Natsuki insisted on continuing for the sake of proving that she wouldn't be useless and freeze up again. Naruto had assured her that she wasn't useless, though he was ignored thanks to her stubborn personality.
The redhead had been somewhat miffed when Hanabi had called her weak for getting hit and poisoned, only to grin like a cheshire cat when her sibling had teased the lavender eyed girl for being jealous and also wanting a piggyback ride. The blush on Hanabi's face was more than enough for Natsuki to not hold a grudge.
They had decided to take turns on guard duty while the others slept. Kakashi was to take the first two hours, Hanabi and Naruto the next two, Natsuki and Anko the following two and Sakura and Sasuke the last two.
Kakashi's shift had just ended. So it was with great amusement that he woke the blonde up with a light water jutsu. Kakashi crawled into his sleeping bag, either not noticing or caring that the blonde was now glaring at him. Unlike Kakashi, the blonde didnt wear his facemask to bed.
Naruto sighed, and went to wake Hanabi. He was somewhat surprised when he noticed she was still awake when he got to her sleeping bag.
The two now sat near the campfire, both lost in thought. Naruto let out a yawn and turned to look at Hanabi in concern. 'She's been a lot different since we were attacked.'
His concern grew even more, when he noticed her shuddering. It wasn't cold. He placed his hand gently on her shoulder, so as not to startle her, and shook her. "Hey, you okay?", he asked quietly. Two lavender eyes snapped open and turned to two concerned cerulean eyes. "Huh?", was the most intelligible thing she could come with.
The blonde grinned saucily. "You okay? You've been out of it since we were attacked." The young girl felt her throat tighten. "I-i'm fine, Naruto-k..-sama." She gasped when the blonde placed his hand on her forehead, still looking at her in concern. "You don't look fine, Hanabi-chan. Seriously, what's wrong? Maybe I can help"
Hanabi turned her gaze back to the campfire. "I doubt it...", she muttered. Her eyes widened when she felt the blonde's hand rest on her cheek, and slowly turned her to face him. "Try me.", he said sternly.
The lavender eyed girl closed her eyes sighing, and unconsciously leaned into his touch. 'May as well just tell him. That way he'll leave me alone.'
"When you..." She stopped speaking, feeling her throat constrict again. When the blonde rested his hand on hers, she pressed on. "When you k-k-kill...Do you a-also feel e-empty?", she asked in a hollow whisper.
The blonde closed his eyes and sighed. 'So that's it, huh?'
Hanabi let out a gasp when the blonde's eyes opened again. This time his eyes held none of the warmth she enjoyed seeing them. Instead, it seemed as though he had aged several decades. The eyes of someone that had seen unimaginable pain and horrors, but had pressed on and survived.
When he spoke, she was also surprised. His voice, usually calm and confident with a cheery edge, now held little trace of what it previously had. Instead, he spoke in a soft, but kind tone of voice. "Yes. Every... single... time.", he said, now staring into the campfire as if recalling the past.
Hanabi frowned at his different behaviour, but pressed on. "Does it get easier...? The killing, I mean..." A chuckle greeted her question, a hollow but sorrow-filled chuckle. "No, Hanabi-chan. Taking another's life... is never an easy task. It never gets easier... and sometimes gets harder..."
The lavender eyed girl looked decidedly put off, but pressed on. "Then, h-how? Y-you made it look so e-easy, earlier?!" The blonde turned his eyes to her, and smiled kindly. "Taking another's life never gets easy, Hanabi-chan... The best that can happen, is for you to grow used to killing... I try to keep it in the past when I have more important things to do. Remember that it's pointless to take missions as a shinobi, if you cannot leave those that you've killed exactly where they are... in the past."
Hanabi nodded, understanding the blonde somewhat, only to have her thoughts of earlier return tenfold. 'I killed that man! I could have attacked a different tenketsu, but I... '
Slowly tears started falling from the ebony haired girl's eyes. The blonde sitting next to her noticed, and squeezed her hand that he held softly. "Hanabi-chan? What's wrong?" The girl turned her puffy eyes to the blonde's. "I-i k-killed that man! I could have spared him but I didn't! I'm a... a m-monster!"
Naruto's eyes widened panicked. He gently pulled the petite girl to his chest and slowly rubbed circles on the small of her back, while she sobbed into his neck. "Shhhhhh. It's okay, Hanabi-chan... You're not a monster!" This seemed to be the wrong thing to say, as her sobbing increased several fold.
The blonde closed his eyes and sighed. "Listen... If you were a monster, then you wouldn't care over the fact that you killed another human being. Instead you'd probably dance over the dead body or something. You're not a monster, Hanabi-chan... You just value human life. That's all."
The lavender eyed girl lifted her teary face from the blonde's neck and looked into his eyes. "R-really?" The blonde smiled warmly at her. He gently kissed her forehead and then pulled her into a warm embrace. "Yes, really."
They sat like that for several minutes, with Hanabi wrapped in the blonde's arms. The blonde was brought out of his thoughts when the bundle on his lap sighed happily. He grinned. "You feeling better now?" Whispered to her ear. The girl nodded, unknowingly tickling the blonde's neck with her nose. "Feels nice.", Naruto heard her murmur.
"What feels nice, Hanabi-chan?", he asked kindly. The petite girl shifted in his embrace for several seconds until she came to rest in a comfortable position and leaned back into the blonde. "This... what your doing..." The blonde blinked confusedly, and looked pointedly at the lavender eyed girl resting in his lap. "You mean the hug?"
The nodding of her head, answered the blonde. Naruto frowned slightly. "You've... never been hugged before?", he asked incredulously. He felt her petite form tense slightly before relaxing. "My... mother, used to hug me and Hinata-nee-chan when she was still alive."
The blonde's eyes widened in understanding. "I see... But, don't you hug Hinata-chan then? And what about your father?" The girl chuckled bitterly. "In an elite clan such as the Hyuuga, things like hugs and affection are disapproved of. My mother used to be the exception before she fell ill, and my father... is incapable of emotion."
Naruto's eyes narrowed dangerously. 'So neither she nor Hinata have ever really...'
He shook his head to clear his thoughts. What was in the past, was in the past after all. Right? The blonde returned his attention to the petite girl in his lap, and pulled her closer to him, tightening the embrace somewhat. "Hey... Hanabi-chan?"
The lavender eyed girl, cracked open her eyes while still enjoying the relatively new sensation, and listened to the blonde. "Hai, Naruto-sama?" The blonde bit his lower lip, and then as if coming to a decision, spoke. "If you're ever feeling lonely, and want to talk, or even just want a hug... find me... even if I'm at home. The same goes for Hinata-chan... Your both welcome to visit, or even stay over if you're feeling stressed out from your clan. Okay?"
Hanabi's eyes widened in shock. "B-but!" The blonde put a finger to her lips and playfully shook his head. "No 'buts', Hanabi-chan. No one deserves to be alone. Not you, not Hinata-chan, no one. The two of you are more than welcome to visit, and I expect you to take me up on my offer when things aren't going too well, alright?"
The petite girl stared at the blonde in silent awe, until she felt her control slipping and her eyes becoming moist. Slowly but surely, she started sobbing into the blonde's chest again, but this time, instead of tears of grief, she cried tears of joy. Naruto smiled warmly and held her to him, gently stroking her back.
Unknown to both, a single eye cracked open from a silver haired scarecrow. 'Interesting... He's almost like the Sandaime. Probably not as wise, and minus the age... but he'll make a fine shinobi...'
Unconsciously he spoke aloud, causing the blonde that was on watch to sweat drop.
Yo, people, fans, homie's and bitches! Latest chapter just out!(obviously) If I have time I'll try and have the next one finished for tomorrow, hopefully. In the meantime, if you wish to read more of my works, take a look at my other side fic that I'm working on in my profile.
It's called 'The way of the super pervert'.(That's right, I'm advertising in Author's notes now. )
If you feel kind enough, leave some reviews and tell me what you think, both for this and my other fic if you haven't already read it.
Peace be with you, and all that.
P.S. I'll fix any mistakes I made as soon as I track them down.
P.P.S. Armageddon broke 50k hits a while ago, as of right now it's on 64907. So, what I'm trying to say is... thank you all for reading.