After trying and failing several times with the strange female contraption known as a 'pad', Tenten had finally deemed the surprisingly helpless kunoichi ready to go out. After explaining to her that she needed to change every four hours, the weapon mistress finally exited the bathroom, parting with a bade that she'll be waiting outside.

Hinata nodded and waited patiently for the door to click shut before turning towards the mirror. She slowly lowered the hood of her cloak.


A pair of wide lavender eyes, fearful and shocked, flashed through her mind. For a minute there, she had believed that her Byakugan eyes had returned, but apparently, it had just been her imagination.

For now, her eyes were just grey. Just Rinnegan.

Hinata let out the breath she hadn't realised she'd been holding before walking out of the bathroom.

Tenten was waiting at the exit, but she wasn't alone.

Hinata didn't say anything as Sasuke turned towards her, a neutral expression settled on his face. They stared.

Seconds crawled by.

"Well, Hinata-san, if you're free, do you want to come down to the shop with me? I could use some help and company!" Tenten broke the silence.

The kunoichi in question tore her shaded eyes away from the Uchiha and slightly shrugged, earning her a bright smile from her brunette friend. Tenten skipped down the hospital steps, and Hinata moved to follow her.

Just as the exit doors were about to swing close, a calm voice stopped her.


She paused but didn't turn around to look at the Uchiha.

"When's training?"

Hinata tensed, taken aback from the question. After all that had happened before, he still wanted to train? He still wanted to even be in the same village as this monster?

Sasuke watched her carefully from underneath his long bangs, having to remind himself to breathe every few seconds.

Every since that night, he had been thinking.

It had been a dead shock in the beginning. When he had been under Orochimaru's wing, he had been faced with many people to kill. However, he had done it with the belief that they were stepping stones to get rid of the true danger itself, his sensei. Ninja were meant to be merciless, killing machines, but Sasuke had always thought that there should be a purpose in killing. A motive. A selfless one.

When Itachi had killed his clan, he had felt pure rage and betrayal. His once beloved brother had slaughtered their family for the sake of power. In response, Sasuke had made a promise to himself to bring that murderer down and avenge their family's vain deaths.

However, apparently his idea for shinobi had been proved wrong. A ninja was a merciless, killing machine, at the dispense of whoever they took orders from. Whether it'd be the Hokage or even his sensei, he was supposed to kill because of orders, not because he was trying to bring about the greater good.

In their world, good and bad ceased to exist.

Which was why he had been shocked when he was expected to follow Hinata's orders and kill the baker. He had been expected to blindly follow orders, not think for himself and ponder his own morals. He hadn't known all the information, and he had hesitated, because he had been foolish and believed that you couldn't kill someone unless there was a proper reason to kill them. How could someone's death be in vain?

Sasuke had learned that in real missions, he won't always have access to all the information. For the sake of their village, he would just have to have faith in the orders and follow them through. He was expected to be a ninja, not a human.

For some reason, that left a heavy feeling inside his chest, but he pushed it over; it was to be later examined.

Which was why he had stumbled out of bed that morning and into the bathroom, rubbing away sore, puffy, sleep-crusted red eyes, trying to brush his teeth and pull up his pants at the same time. In a matter of seconds, he had dressed and was flying out the door, running up the steps and counting the doors.

He had said so many things last night, so many stupid things. He needed to talk to her.

Following his memory, he stopped in front of a door and hesitated, his heart clenching. Heavily, he gathered up his courage and raised his fist, knocking carefully twice.

Sasuke lowered his hand, feeling almost too self-conscious, smoothening an invisible wrinkle out of his shirt.

He waited.

A minute passed, perhaps two, and he frowned. He knocked again and waited.

No answer.

The third time he knocked, his hand slid down to the doorknob. Thoughtfully, he turned.


Sasuke let himself in, cautiously looking around, as if expecting some three-headed snake to appear any second.

The apartment… looked normal enough. It was dark, for the curtains were drawn, but he could make out the faint outlines of various chairs, tables, and other such furniture.

Hesitantly, he walked forward, passing the living room and heading straight for the open bedroom.


No response.

The bed was made, except for the pillow that had somehow tumbled off. He walked over to it and picked it up, dropping it when an object fell out with a thump.

Sasuke's onyx eyes narrowed as he knelt and picked it up gingerly.

A mask.

He looked at it thoughtfully, tracing the red markings of the feline with his thumb before pocketing it. Then, he replaced the pillow on the bed and looked up.

A light poured out from the ajar door of, what he assumed if this was indeed the same setting of his own apartment, the bathroom.

He slowly approached it with light, baby steps, one foot in front of the other. It felt as if he was in some black tunnel, approaching the light at the end.

His pale hand pushed the door open, preparing himself to see-

Nobody. It was empty.

Onyx eyes scanned the bathroom, taking in the mirror, the toothbrush, the closed shower, the clean tiles, the puddle of blood-

Wait, blood?

His eyes widened, and he turned and ran.

Instincts told him that she would be at the hospital, and upon arriving, he met Tenten. Running a hand through his hair, he was about to ask her if she'd seen the new transfer, before the devil arrived.

He couldn't do anything but stare at her, and from what she could tell from her shaded eyes, she was doing the same. His voice seemed to have stopped working.

Just as Hinata was about to leave, Sasuke had regained himself and called to her. Not knowing where to begin, he went straight to the point.

"When's training?"

He saw her tense, and for a moment, he thought she wasn't going to answer. But softly, almost too quietly that he almost missed it, keen Uchiha ears caught the word.


He watched her departing, cloaked back until it disappeared and breathed.