Author's note: Thanks to -Splasher- for reviewing the first part. I made a few changes to it. Hopefully, it's at least slightly better now. And before anyone says anything, the word choice in intentional in this part.
I've Learned to See Through the Eyes of the Unloved
"Hey Yasha, how much longer until the Chuunin exams start?" the white wolf demon Kai-lika(leek-uh) asks from the base of the tree I'm sitting in.
"About two weeks according to the notice in the village. Why?" I ask, her ice-blue eyes meeting my dark ones.
"Finally some fresh meat," she licks her lips before sniffing the air. "Some ninja from the village are here to search for you again."
"No, you can't eat them," I frown and hide my chakra for the second time this month.
It's been a good three months since I last spoke with/saw my brother and Sasuke. I met Lika a few weeks after coming to the Forest of Death. We've been together since and almost every night we sneak into the village for supplies like kunai, shuriken, food, etc. Honestly, I'll take not being noticed over hearing 'Get the Hokage! It's the ghost of the Inuzuka girl and the demon wolf she embodies!' every time someone sees us in the shadows.
Kai-lika explained to me about her being injured and sealing some of her life in me when I was born to make sure she wouldn't die. In a way, I've got the same demon issue my former teammate Uzumaki Naruto has. Difference is that at least he had someone that was there for him, our former teacher Umino Iruka who has always been like an older brother to Naruto. He has all that I ever wanted, someone to care about him. I say that Naruto and I are similar because neither of us had much of a choice in the matter. Naruto had the Nine-tailed Fox sealed inside of him to protect the village; Kai-lika sealed part of herself inside of me as a way to save her own life.
I jump down from the tree branch and land next to my demon wolf companion silently.
"Are they gone?" I ask her in a whisper and she sniffs the air again.
"Yes, they may be able to hide their chakra from us but they can't hide their scent from me."
I sigh and head back towards the tower at the center of the forest as Kai-lika follows behind me.
"Heading home already?"
I nod and glance at the river next to us before kicking a stone at my reflection.
"We need to start setting traps for anyone who comes too close to our entrance to the tower."
"At it already then? This'll be fun hopefully," she comments, her taste for human flesh audible in her voice again for a moment. "I don't see why you attacked your reflection though. You don't look the same as you did when you came here. Your hair is much longer and eyes don't show any emotion at all anymore."
"I know, but I suppose it's because I still have my clan's red fangs on my face and I still keep my forehead protector around my neck."
"You still care for your family and village although they never really cared for you. That's the loyalty of a wolf for you and that's why I chose you to hide part of my life in when you were born."
I roll my eyes and sit down at the base of the tower with Kai-lika lying at my feet. She was right about one thing. My family and the village never cared about me. There wasn't a single search party sent out to look for me after I went into the Forest until after Kai-lika and I decided to take a walk into the village one night and some idiot thought we were demons. Kiba and Sasuke probably never told anyone I left and it's not like anyone would've cared enough to look for me anyway. I sigh as I get up to open our entrance into the tower, a small trap door hidden under the grass and a tunnel big enough for two people to walk side by side that Kai-lika and I had created ourselves. Hey, we needed someplace to hide from search parties and the tower was never searched anyway.
"What's wrong?" Kai-lika asks from the bench she had claimed for sleeping on tonight.
"Nothing," I lie and turn so my back is facing her and I settle down on my chosen bench to sleep.
We won't dare sleep on the beds in the hospital wing. We've got no idea who or what's slept in them. And to be honest, I'm like this every time a search party is in the Forest. I start to miss my family and teammates/friends, if you'd call them that since all of them ignored me unless the absolutely had to talk to me and they avoided those occurrences as much as possible. I sigh slightly and try to sleep as much as possible which isn't at all possible when you've got a she-wolf sleeping across the room from you and snoring loudly.
Right now, I'm sitting in the Hokage's office with Kiba. We're waiting for our senseis, Kakashi and Kurenai, to show up. We both know why we're about to get reprimanded, again. We both miss Yasha too much to focus completely on our missions and we can't say anything about it without having everyone say that the demonic white wolf has possessed us. Not that either or us would admit to missing her anyway. The Chuunin exams are in a week and both Kiba and I run a high risk of not being allowed to participate because of our poor performance in missions since Yasha left. I hope I'm right in thinking she's still alive and that she might show up during the exam, for Kiba's sake that is. He's been so jumpy lately that he nearly hit Kurenai with a jutsu he and Akamaru were practicing in the park. Kurenai was watching him practice from a good fifty or so feet behind him, according to Shino and Hitata.
It's hard to believe that Yasha's leaving messed with me and Sasuke so bad. Scratch that, I can't believe he's taking worse than I am and that Mr. Perfect isn't so perfect anymore. The idiot nearly lets Naruto falls over a waterfall and he has the nerve to complain about me screwing up a jutsu. Arg, I miss you sis. Why'd you have to leave? You've got both of us hoping that you're still alive and that we might get to see you during the exam. As long as we're still allowed to take part in the exams, that is.
"You ready, Yasha?" Kai-lika questions as we wait in the bushes near the fence around the Forest of Death and listen to Mitarashi Anko tell the candidates for the Chuunin exam about the second exam.
"Yeah, I'm just sorry I left before the exam now. I always wanted to meet Anko in person and not just hear stories about her."
"Why? You're much better looking and much stronger, even without using my strength."
I roll my eyes at the white wolf demon beside me. She refuses to let me put myself down even if she has to exaggerate what she says so badly it's not believable.
"Oh yeah, one last thing," Anko calls out to the candidates. "JUST DON'T DIE!"
A half hour later the candidates enter the forest and by that time Kai-lika and I are already waiting not far into the forest.
"What's wrong, Akamaru?" I ask my pup. He's sniffing the air and barking a lot.
I sniff the air and a faint smile crosses my face.
"Hinata, check around for a wolf and a human traveling together."
"Right," my shy, dark haired teammate answers and activates her clan's kekkei genkai, the Byakugan. "There's no one like that within sight, Kiba."
I growl angrily and sniff the air again. Yasha's scent and that demon wolf's are in the area we're in but there's no sign of them. Yasha, you had better still be alive. That demon wolf is dead if you're not.
Haruno Sakura and I are facing this weird ninja from the Hidden Grass Village. Naruto's missing right now too to top things off. The ninja pulls down his bottom eye lid and I start hallucinating. I'm seeing my own death and it's terrifying. I fall back on my butt and throw up once it's over. That guy takes out two kunai knives to throw at Sakura and me but all of a sudden a huge gray wolf leaps down from the branches above us and attacks the guy.
A white wolf that is a bit smaller than the gray one jumps down and forces me and Sakura onto its back before jumping back up to the branch it had jumped down from.
"Uh, thanks," Sakura tells the wolf but it motions back to the fight below.
The Grass ninja is having trouble keeping the gray wolf from ripping out his throat. It seems like the wolf knows how ninja fight and it's going for that guy's weak points to catch him off guard for a shot at his throat.
I watch the fight between Yasha and the Grass ninja with a mix of emotions. I'm happy because she's using the transformation jutsu I taught her and doing extremely well in her fight but I'm also a bit worried because I've never known Yasha to fight with the intent to kill that she has now.
"That hurt," the pink-haired girl Yasha had called Sakura earlier says and I yipp excitedly. Yasha had missed the ninja's throat but had gotten a hold of his arm and flung him into a tree a few feet away.
I look up at Kai-lika and signal that it's time to go while breathing heavy. This is the first time that I have used a transformation jutsu like that and that fight had just used up a lot of my chakra. Talk about an adrenaline rush though.
Anyhow, she jumps down and stands next to me for a moment before starting towards the river. I look back up at Sasuke and Sakura and nod when they say 'thank you'. I turn and follow Kai-lika just as Naruto enters the area and starts shouting about a giant snake.
"It's a shame you weren't able to kill that ninja before," Kai-lika comments when I meet up with her at the river.
"Shut it. At least they're safe for now," I pant and get a drink of water from the river.
"You did well for your first time as a wolf."
"Thanks. I'm staying as a wolf until we reach the tower. I need sleep."
"You won't make it to the tower without passing out," she states the obvious. "We can rest under the roots of one of the trees, come on."
"Right," I sigh and follow her there.
On the way we pass my brother and his team but we don't bother to stop. They aren't in any danger and even if they were I wouldn't be able to help them like this no matter how much I want to try and protect him.
"We can rest in there," Sakura says as she points to the bottom of a tree where the roots came above the ground and made a small cave, sort of.
"Finally," Naruto sighs.
I go into the opening first to make sure it's safe with them right behind me. We get about halfway in when we see the white wolf from earlier sleeping but we don't see the gray wolf, yet.
"Both of you stay quiet," I order my teammates and we sit near the entrance but we don't let the wolf out of our sight.
Not long after the wolf wakes up and looks at us. It snorts and puts its head back down.
I turn my head to look at Yasha to make sure she hadn't transformed back in her sleep and see her curled up in a ball and sleeping peacefully...as a human. I shake my head and sigh. I am blocking her from the view of her former teammates so I suppose it doesn't matter much.
Hinata and I wait by the base of a large tree for our teammate Aburame Shino to return from his bathroom trip. He's not the type of person anyone would want to mess with so me and Hinata aren't worried about him but Hinata's shy and quiet so one of us is almost always with her to make sure no one attacks her. Akamaru starts to bark all of a sudden and Hinata instinctively activates her Byakugan to look around.
"Well? What is it?" I ask her, my voice unintentionally harsh.
"Shino's not far off but that's not why Akamaru's barking. Naruto and his team are inside the opening formed by the tree's roots," Hinata reports. "There's also a wolf and another girl at the rear of the opening, both of them are sleeping though."
"Alright then," I say, a slightly cocky and happy tone in my voice as I walk over to the opening of the tree roots. "Hey Uchiha, you can come out, it's my team out here."
Sakura and Naruto look at me like they don't believe it's Kiba telling us to come out. I sigh and leave the opening with them behind me.
"What?" I ask rather harshly. I am still a bit shook up from the fight with the Grass ninja even if I won't admit it. Watching that gray wolf try to kill that guy was scary.
"I just wanted to talk to you about something," he motions me away from our teams. "You do know that there's a wolf and a girl in the back of that cave right?"
"A girl with the wolf? You think it might be?" I ask, my eyes wide.
"Yeah, at least I hope so. I can't wait to tell her that I actually listened to what she said-"
"And that I've learned to see through the eyes of the unloved just like she said, right?" I ask, cutting him off.
Kiba nods in response as we walk back to our teams.
"We're going to make sure that the wolf in there doesn't decide to have us for a meal."
My ears twitch at the words of Yasha's brother and her former teammate.
"Yasha, Yasha wake up!" I growl and pull on her sleeve to try and wake her up. No use, she won't wake up and to make matters worse, it looks like she's having a nightmare.
-starting from the beginning of the nightmare-
"What's going on? Where am I?" I call out nervously into the darkness surrounding me. "Lika? Sasuke? Kiba? Someone? Anyone? Answer me please!"
"Why are you calling out to them? They don't care about you. They never have. They just pretended to so that they would've have the demon wolf that was born when Kai-lika infused you with some of her life as an enemy. Even Kai-lika herself fears you, that's why she stays with you. She figures that if she pretends to be your friend that she won't be in danger. That's why everyone ignored you and acted like you weren't there, none of them think you're worth caring for because you've been a mutated demon wolf since you were born," a sinister, female voice echoes from within the darkness.
"Who are you?" I ask fearfully, a kunai in each hand for defense and out of a nervous habit I'd developed when Kakashi-sensei took us to the Land of Waves on a mission months ago. "Show yourself!"
My eyes widen as a girl almost identical to how I had looked before entering the Forest of Death appears in front of me. Difference is, she looks even more animal-like than Naruto had when he had weakened the seal that keeps the Kyuubi within him when he fought that Haku kid on the bridge. Her dark brown hair is partly a dark gray that resembles the color of my fur as a wolf and her eyes are still dark like mine but hold a blood red tint that's darker than Sasuke and Itachi's Sharingan eyes.
"What's wrong? Scared of who you really are?" she laughs. "The fact that you're alive is the reason no one loves you."
"Shut up! That's a lie! You are not me! Who are you?" I shout angrily. She has to be lying. There is no way she is telling the truth.
"You're scared," she coos sadistically. "What I say is the truth. You-we are a result of life and death being combined. You, who was just being given life, and Kai-lika, who was near death, being combined created us, a creature who is both hated and feared."
"That's not true!" I shout out of fear that it is true.
"It is and you can thank Kai-lika for allowing you to know all of this. You transformed into a wolf, the very same animal that caused all of this for you, just to save someone who pretended to care for you."
"That is a lie," I snarl viciously. "Sasuke tried to keep me from coming here."
"He and your brother did that just so that they could kill you themselv-"
"SHUT UP! I don't believe you!"
"I don't believe you, it's not true, it's not true," I whisper, tears streaming from my eyes.
"Yasha, Yasha, please wake up," Kai-lika's gentle voice reaches my ears as her soft fur rubs against my face.
"Lika?" I question quietly, the words from that thing in my nightmare still ringing in my ears. She nods and licks my face. "You're my friend, right?"
"Of course. But I never should've shown you that jutsu, I'm truly sorry if the part of my life I hid within you has caused you trouble since you transformed," Kai-lika bows her head shamefully.
"It's alright, I don't mind because I'm fairly sure that most of the nightmare was just my fears manifesting themselves," I tell her smiling.
"And what fears are those?" Sasuke's voice comes from behind Kai-lika.
"You ok, sis?" Kiba's voice comes from beside Sasuke's.
"I'm fine. What are you two doing here?" I ask coldly, ashamed that they had seen my slight breakdown.
"Dumb Bitch," Sasuke's nickname for me brings a small smile to my face.
"We care about you, Yash," Kiba helps me up. "And we miss you looking out for us."
"Kiba's right," Sasuke admits rather reluctantly. "It's been weird not having someone throwing poison senbon needles at enemies on dangerous missions to weaken them and not having someone bitch at Itachi when he gets caught trying to poison my food."
"He seriously did that?" Kiba gapes and Sasuke nods in reply. "Wow. I figured that was just someone spreading a rumor about him. And I thought not having Yasha clean up my room before mom and Hana can yell at me and not having her follow my team on missions to try and protect me was bad."
Kai-lika looks at me like the two of them are from outer space and I just roll my eyes. I had told her the things I did to try and at least be noticed by them but she didn't want to believe me when I said they had no idea just how often I helped out.
"Why are you two telling me this?" I ask skeptically, not having even the slightest clue what they are going on about.
"You told us to learn to see through the eyes of the unloved, remember?" my twin asks and I nod slightly.
"When you left, we both blamed ourselves and we both have something to tell you," Sasuke adds, more than a little resentment in his voice.
"I wanted to tell you that I've learned to see through the eyes of the unloved since you left," both my brother and Sasuke say together.
"Kiba. Sasuke. You two really do care, don't you?" I ask, tears threatening to fall from my eyes, realizing that they had actually listened to what I had said for a change.
"We miss you, Yasha," Kiba admits.
"Come back with us," Sasuke adds. "Trying to keep Naruto from getting us all killed on my own is harder than I thought."
"I can't. I have to stay here with Kai-lika or else she'll die," I stroke the fur on the back of her neck tenderly.
"Yasha, I've caused you enough trouble. Don't worry about me and go back with them. They both love you and I know you care for your brother. Besides, didn't you say that you care for him more than you should?" Kai-lika motions to Sasuke at the end, her voice dropping somewhat.
"Lika," I smile at her fondly. "Even if that's true, I'm not leaving you. You called me a wolf before for a reason. I'm loyal to those who need me most."
"True," she agrees.
"Do we want to know what you two are talking about?" Kiba asks.
"No, you don't," I answer but my eyes had rested on Sasuke when I spoke. "I can't go back without Kai-lika and she's not welcome in the village."
"So? My clan's estate is on the village outskirts. She can stay there, no one will know but the three-" Kai-lika growls at him, "the four of us, and you can come back."
"Are you serious, Uchiha?" Kiba asks critically/jealously. Kiba had never liked how I looked out for both him and Sasuke. I suppose I should've noticed that before leaving. Talk about being blind.
"Yes, Kiba, I'm serious," Sasuke glares at Kiba before turning to me and Kai-lika. "Well?"
"Agree to it, Yasha," Kai-lika urges. "It's worth it and I'll behave. I won't eat anyone, I swear it."
I nod to Kai-lika but I'm not sure of whether or not I should agree. "Why are you doing this, Sasuke? And where are you going, Kiba?" I ask as Kiba walks away.
"To tell our teams to get ready to head towards the tower," my brother answers as he leaves me alone with Sasuke.
Kai-lika had followed him.
"Well? Do you accept or not, Yasha?"
"Since when did you call me Yasha and not 'Bitch'?" I question. Truth is, I'm rather fond of the nickname for me for some reason. Probably just because I've gotten so used to it and not being called by it for three months was kind of weird. "And you didn't answer my question."
"I told you that I learned to see through your eyes when you left and I...uh...I-"
"Sasuke?" I look at him questioningly. "What's wrong? What are you trying to say? Can't the great Sasuke Uchiha finish a sentence?"
"It's nothing. Are you coming or not?" Sasuke asks, a rather sharp tone to his voice.
"Idiot. Just say whatever it is you were going to say already or else I'm staying here with Kai-lika," I snap, the fear that he was hiding something from me growing with every passing second. That dream had messed with my mind more than I'd like to admit.
"Listen, Yash-" he stops seeing my face as he steps closer to me, "Bitch, I'm only offering because when you left, I realized that I'd gotten used to having you around and that I cared about you, a lot. Yasha, I love you and I've learned to see through the eyes of the unloved because I love you and you said you'd come back when Kiba and I learned that."
My eyes widen and my breath catches in my throat. I had slowly fallen in love with Sasuke over the years we've known each other although I had thought that he didn't care about me and here he is admitting that he loves me.
"S-Sasuke," my eyes tear up, "I-i don't know what to say."
"You can say you'll come back, Bitch."
"You're an idiot," I punch him in the arm, making sure to leave a mark. "Yeah, why shouldn't I come back now that I know I'm not unloved and that the person I love most loves me?"
"Whatever," he smirks before leaving to join the others. I follow behind him and offer to lead both his team and Kiba's to the tower safely. Once they're inside the tower, Kai-lika and I leave the forest to await Sasuke and my brother at the entrance to the Uchiha compound as we had agreed upon on the way to the tower.
It's been two years since Kai-Like and I left the Forest of Death. Both Sasuke and my brother have become Chuunin and of course Naruto couldn't keep his big mouth shut and blabbed to the Hokage about me living in the Forest of Death. The Hokage himself named me a Special Jounin like my idol Mitarashi Anko for the accomplishment, although I think just trying to find food that wasn't poisonous was the worst part of it. Currently, my family has been acting like a normal family, with me and Kiba as the star children seeing as Lika and Kiba decided to threaten to destroy the estate. Of course Naruto's statement to the Hokage about me and Lika nearly got Lika euthanized for being the 'demonic white wolf' but Sakura and Sasuke stood up for her, saying how she helped save their lives. And as for my relationship with Sasuke...we're not exactly 'just friends' but we're not more than that either. He supposedly plans on asking me to marry him when he becomes a Jounin but that's going by what Kia-lika made him confess after dragging some unmentionables from his room at the Uchiha compound all the way to my room at my mom's house. No idea if that's true or not though seeing as Kiba's the one who relayed the information to me and he was in an incredibly pissy mood at the time for some reason he wouldn't explain. Lika can be evil at times but I love her all the more for it, even if she does threaten to steal my journal almost every day just for the fun of it.