Title: Seeing Things Invisible
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or Naruto.
"Do you know why you're here, Kagome-san?"
Kagome nodded to the old man in front of her. "Hai, Hokage-sama. You wish to know the details of the mission I participated in last night." Her arms were beginning to get stiff in their position behind her back.
"I have already gotten a debriefing from your superior this morning. I have called you here to give you a special mission. It is completely optional, of course, but I will say now that you are the best for the job." The Hokage waited for a moment, watching the reaction of the young kunoichi. Her posture was rigid, the perfect at attention stance. "At ease, Kagome-san."
The Hokage rolled his eyes at the formality. "I know that you've recently made chunin, and as a chunin you expect higher rank missions. For you, though, I have a mission that will keep you within the city walls for at least five years." The old man slid a mission scroll across his desk. Kagome picked it up and unrolled it partially.
"You want me to become a teacher's assistant for Umino Iruka? I thought Sango-chan was given that position."
"She was, but with this newest batch of students, I felt you would be better fitted for the job. Read the class list."
Kagome's eyes scanned to paper, picking up a few key names. Hyuga Hinata, Uchiha Sasuke, and Uzumaki Naruto. Everyone knew who these three children were. The heiress of one of the strongest clans in Konoha, one of the two surviving members of the famed Sharingan clan, and the infamous trouble maker of Konoha. Other key clan names jumped up at her, none of them nearly as important. "I don't understand, Hokage-sama. Why am I better suited for Umino-san's assistant than Sango-chan?"
"Sango-san is an exceptional ninja, there is no doubt about that, and she certainly has much more experience than you since she graduated a year early from the Academy." The Hokage chuckled at the miffed expression on Kagome's face. "That's not to say you aren't a prime example of Konoha's best. The problem with Sango staying Iruka-san's assistant is that her clan is full of demon slayers. Although the details of Kyuubi's defeat have been kept confidential, Sango is old enough to remember that time."
The Hokage leveled a stare at her. "I must know whether or not you are willing to take this position before I tell you the truth about the Kyuubi. You didn't lose any family members in the attack, but many of your friends did. What is your opinion of the fox demon?"
Kagome sat down in one of the chairs in front of the Hokage's desk. "My family is an old line of holy people. We observe demons as rational beings, much like humans, that have their own cultures and hierarchy. It is only recently, though, that my family stopped aiding the demon slayers in their hunts. We now only place wards, exercise possessing demons, and produce sutras. "
"And why is that, Kagome-san?"
"My Father believed that demons were more than wild animals that needed to be eradicated to protect the villages. Many times a demon attacks for a reason, not just because they're bloodthirsty."
"Exactly. Sango is a very open-minded individual, when compared to many of her clan members, but she still holds a prejudice against the Kyuubi. You, on the other hand, have been raised to be accepting of anyone." The Hokage fell silent, allowing Kagome to absorb that statement before continuing. "So do you accept this mission, Higurashi Kagome?"
Kagome was at a loss for words. Part of her balked at the thought of civic duty for so many years, she ached to get out in the field and make a reputation for herself that didn't include her priestess background. On the other hand, she was incredibly curious as to the secrecy surrounding the Kyuubi attack. Sango-chan remembered what happened that day, but Kagome hadn't left her family compound yet. She hadn't even known Konoha had been attacked until she went to the academy six months later, at the age of eight. She studied the old man before her. It was by his decree that the adults kept tight-lipped about what happened the night the Kyuubi was defeated, and now she was being given the chance to be privy to that information.
"Hai, Hokage-sama. I will accept this mission."
The Hokage let out a small breath of relief. "What you are about to hear, you must never repeat. If you are caught speaking about this around anyone around your age or younger, the consequences with be harsh. Do you understand me, Higurashi Kagome?"
"Yondaime, as powerful as he was, did not kill the Kyuubi." The Hokage held up a hand to silence Kagome when she looked like she was about to say something. "Instead, he sealed the demon inside a vessel through a ritual that cost him his life. That vessel was a newborn child, a boy named Uzumaki Naruto."
Kagome blinked hard. She had known that the 'vessel' needed to contain a demon as strong as the Kyuubi would have to be human, but to use a newborn child? "Is that why the adults treat him so badly?"
The Hokage nodded. "They know they can never speak about it, but that doesn't mean they will forget. They have decided that since the Kyuubi is locked away in Naruto-chan, he must now be the Kyuubi. Their ignorance and intolerance has led to their hate. Like I said, Sango is an opened-minded young woman, but she lost family members in the battle. She would be hard-pressed to treat Naruto-chan as equally as you could. This is why I asked you to take over this position."
"Thank you, Hokage-sama."
The Hokage chuckled. "I can see that your Father brought you up to be a fine lady. That will come in handy on infiltration missions, when you need to become a civilian. I think you will do well on the field, once you're done here." He motioned to the scroll. "Read that scroll tonight, but don't stress about memorization. You're only dealing with Academy students. Report to Iruka-san tomorrow morning before classes begin. He will fill you in on your specific duties. You are dismissed, Kagome-san."
"Hai, Hokage-sama." Kagome rolled the scroll up and bowed to the Hokage before heading out the door, her steps quick and steady.
Iruka looked over the papers the Hokage had sent him. Sango-san was being placed back into active field duty and a replacement had already been lined up. It was a young woman named Higurashi Kagome. He didn't recognize her as one of his students during his time as an assistant teacher and figured she was part of the other class, run by Takajima-sensei before the woman retired. A glance at Higurashi-san's file told him that she was indeed three years younger than him. She'd started Academy three years late and graduated at the age of fifteen with slightly above average scores. She gained her chunin rank during the exams four months ago, at the age of nineteen.
Iruka frowned. Higurashi-san didn't seem to be a very outstanding kunoichi. Her taijutsu was below average, she had almost no skill in genjutsu, and her weapons skill was only a few points above a beginning genin. His breath caught at her ninjutsu scores. They were obscenely high compared to her lacking skills. He hadn't seen a score like that since he'd snuck a peek at Kakashi's file. Iruka scanned her file, trying to figure out why her numbers would be so unbalanced. In her bio, Iruka read that she'd grown up in the Higurashi compound, a shrine about a mile out of the village. The family was under the jurisdiction of Konoha, but Higurashi Kagome was the only member to become a ninja. Iruka wondered if it was possible that her training as a priestess lent a hand in her exceptional ninjutsu.
A knock on the class door brought Iruka out of his thinking and he shuffled the papers back into the file before shoving the whole mess into his bag. He strode to the door and pulled it open.