A/N: whoa, two chapters in one day! Yay! I had inspiration. Anyways, you learn about Kaiya's past in this one! TA-DA!

I do NOT own Naruto. I believe it's pretty obvious seeing as Deidara is dead and Sasuke has yet to return to the village. (sob)

Chapter Five: Making Friends and Confessions

"Is she alive?"

"Of course she's alive, Inari!"

"Well, she's been…not awake for a few days now…"

"Shut up, brat; Kay-chan will be fine!"

I squeezed my eyelids tighter, trying to ignore the voices that hovered around my head. Which, if anyone cares, felt as if someone had used it as a nutcracker; I winced. It wasn't for another few minutes until I realized that I was laying on something soft and comfy with a warm blanket covering me up. It was odd and I began to finally wonder where the heck I was. When no answer came to me, I groaned and allowed my purple eyes to flutter open, only to be met with two wide, worried blue orbs. I yelped and nearly fell off the bed if Naruto hadn't caught me.

"Geez, Naruto!" I said weakly, holding my hand to my chest to calm the rapidly beating heart within. My friend looked at my face anxiously before throwing his self on top of me, squeezing my body tightly. I blinked a few times before remembering why I was asleep. Or, well, unconscious. A pout crossed my features.

"Stupid Zabuza…" I muttered angrily. Naruto laughed and pulled away, smiling widely at me. I grinned back.

"I was so worried about you, Kay-chan!" he cried out sadly. I scoffed, crossing my arms and turning my happy grin into a make-believe cocky one.

"Psh, you think that would've killed me? Aw, you underestimate me, Naruto."

My friend laughed again before hopping off the bed and running out of the room I was in. Turning my head to the side, I noticed two people there, one a woman and the other a little boy. I smiled at them kindly.

"Hiya, I'm—"

"KAIYA!" I turned my head to the door, only to get attacked by something pink. I yelped for the second time that morning before smiling and hugging Sakura back.

"Hey, Sakura, what's up?"

"How are you? Are you okay? Are you in any pain at all? Let me see—" She continued to fire off rambling questions, leaving no room for me to interject between each new one she threw at me. All I could do was sit there and listen, waiting for my moment to answer her. I saw Naruto standing in the doorway, talking to the woman and little boy happily. But my brow creased and a frown replaced my smile as the little boy said something and marched out of the room angrily.

"Eh? What's wrong with him?" I asked Sakura curiously. Her own happiness seemed to fade for a moment before she grinned again. But, being the master at it, I noticed it was a fake smile.

"Oh, it's nothing! He's just touchy about us being here is all," she tried to assure me. I appraised Sakura before sighing and shrugging, letting the matter go for now. With a swing of my legs, I was standing up and out of bed. It wasn't until I saw Naruto blush that I realized I was only wearing a long, white T-shirt. I quickly scrambled back into the bed and threw my pillow at the male, a blush chalking up my features.

"Get out so I can get dressed!" I yelled in embarrassment. He nodded and left the room quickly, closing the door behind him. I sighed and got up again, searching for my training clothes. With a swift look around the small square room, I saw nothing beside a knee-length blue kimono with a silver swirl pattern. Then it hit me.

"Oh no…am I, uh, supposed to wear that?" I demanded, pointing at the kimono. Sakura smiled apologetically before grabbing off of the hanger it was on and handing it to me.

"Sorry, but your clothes were bloody and dirty," she explained. I frowned, trying to think back to when I had been bleeding. Sensing my confusion, Sakura smiled. "It happened after you became unconscious."

My mouth formed an 'O' shape and I nodded, grabbing the garment reluctantly. Sakura left me to my privacy and I got dressed quickly, slipping into the velvet outfit smoothly. I looked in the body sized mirror on the back of the door, staring at myself critically. It seemed a little tight in the waist seeing as it clung to it like glue. I had the same problem with the chest area and I didn't like it. I brought my hand to my chin and scratched it, thinking.

Maybe it's supposed to be like this? I thought curiously. I had never worn a kimono before, so I couldn't be sure, but it seemed like a good reason as to why it fit so snugly in those areas. Spotting the white slippers by the bed, I slipped into them and looked back in the mirror. I frowned, pulling at a strand of my knotted hair. Grasping the brush on the only dresser, I began to work through my hair calmly, getting out all of the knots. Soon, my sandy-brown hair was brushed and cascaded down my back serenely and, thinking I was now presentable, I opened the door and walked out casually. Naruto and Sakura were sitting at the dining room table in the small house, talking. Or, well, more like arguing on Sakura's part.

"Did you ask her out…again?" I asked from the doorway. The two Genins looked up at me and stared, not answering my question. I tugged at a strand of my hair self-consciously, twirling it around my finger nonchalantly. I looked down at my outfit, wondering if I was missing something.

"Do I really look that bad?" I asked, pulling at the hem of the kimono. Naruto shook out of his stupor and grinned widely, giving me a thumbs up.

"No way! You look totally hot, Kay-chan!"

I felt myself blush a dark red and I turned away shyly, staring at nothing in particular. I didn't get compliments that had to do with beauty that often, seeing as I didn't spend so much time on it. I got compliments for being strong and quick-witted, not for being pretty. Spotting the couch, I waltzed over and plopped down, crossing my legs calmly while staring at the T.V. The little boy was sitting on the other side of the couch, staring at me with wide eyes. I smiled at him kindly, causing him to blush and turn away. I snickered.

"Hi, I'm Kaiya," I greeted, holding out my hand. The little boy looked at it for a second before grasping it in his own, shaking it softly. I finally got a good look at him. He wore a yellow hat with a teal stripe that went through the middle of it. It was a little big on him, so it kind of overshadowed his large brown eyes. He had overalls on and his brown hair sprouted out from under the hat. All in all, he was pretty adorable.

"I'm Inari," he introduced quietly. I grinned wider.

"Nice to meet you Inari," I laughed freely. He was just too kawaii and I couldn't help but giggle at his shyness. I turned back to the T.V., hoping to relieve the blushing kid of any more embarrassment. Sakura joined us calmly as Naruto ran out the door, saying something about Kakashi and Sasuke. I looked around, just noticing their absence.

"So, where are they anyway?" I asked. Sakura yawned widely, covering her mouth with her hand.

"They went into town. I went with Sasuke yesterday, but last night you're fever got higher, so I decided to stay with you."

I blinked a few times in shock before smiling gigantically.

"You didn't have to do that, Sakura!" I admonished with a few waves of my hand. She smiled back at me but didn't say anything and so we turned out attention to the T.V. once again. I'm not sure how long we three sat there, but what felt like no time, Naruto came barging back into the house, looking flustered. I shot up worriedly, thinking Zabuza had returned, but he just grinned at me and pointed.

"See?! She's awake!"

I blinked before glaring and whacking his blonde head, sending him face-planting into the ground.

"Naruto, don't do that! I thought something had happened, you dobe!" I cried out before leaning against the wall casually. The door was pushed aside as two people followed the now swirly-eyed Naruto. Recognizing the two faces, I grinned and waved.

"What's up?" I inquired. Kakashi smiled under his blue mask and walked over, feeling my forehead. I huffed, but didn't do anything even though I knew I was fine. He removed his hand and gave me a one-armed hug, seeing as his other arm was occupied with a few bags.

"It's nice to see you've got your…er…spunk back, Kaiya," he said, glancing down at Naruto. I smiled happily before turning to Sasuke. He was staring at me just like Naruto and Sakura had been; only I noticed he was breathing slightly heavier. I stared down at my kimono, once again, but saw nothing the matter. I twirled a piece of hair around my finger self-consciously as I crossed one of my arms across my chest, trying to hide the tight fit there. My crush was growing, seeing as I actually cared what he thought of my outfit, and I didn't like it one bit. When you love someone or even like them in that way, they have the power to crush you. They have the power to completely destroy you from your inside out. And it was a scary concept.

I sighed impatiently. "What? Why are you staring at me?"

He shook his head slightly and stared at my face, his emotionless mask once again on. "Hn, don't flatter yourself. I wasn't staring because of how you look."

I glared viciously, only vaguely feeling the small chip that put in my self-confidence.

"I didn't say you were teme. But you were staring at me and it's annoying. And how would you staring at me be flattering in any way? It's just disturbing."

Sasuke narrowed his eyes as I glared; you could practically see the sparks between us. After a few seconds of glaring, I rolled my eyes and walked past the avenger, heading outside.

"K-Kaiya, where are you going?" Inari asked from the couch. I stopped in my tracks and turned to the little boy, smiling widely.

"I'm going to go and look around the town. Would you like to come? If that's okay with your mom, of course," I added. His face brightened slightly and he jumped off the couch, running into the kitchen. Naruto gaped at me, shocked, as did Sakura. Kakashi and Sasuke simply raised a single eyebrow at me.

"What?" I demanded. Naruto began to sputter, so Sakura covered his mouth and turned to me.

"What he's trying to say is none of us have even been able to talk to Inari. Well, not civilly, at least," she explained, her voice calm and curious. I nodded and began to think on it when Kakashi shrugged.

"Have fun, but be careful, Kaiya. There are some dangerous characters out there," he warned casually. I gave a one-armed shrug before smiling at Inari as he ran over to me, slipping on a pair of sandals.

"M-Kay, I'm ready!" he declared. I smiled and stuck out my hand, letting him grasp it firmly before walking out the door. I noticed the blush on his little cheeks when he grabbed my hand, but pushed it aside as I struck up a conversation with him.

"So, Inari, has your grandfather told you about our fight with Zabuza?" I asked him calmly. The little boy's cheery outlook seemed to darken as he gave a small nod and I frowned. "You don't like us fighting this…well, this whole thing, do you?...Gato and his cronies, I mean."

Inari shook his head and I nodded, waiting for him to elaborate. A few minutes of silence passed, he finally looked up from the sidewalk and at me.

"You shouldn't fight him. You'll only end up dead," he muttered. I blinked in shock, staring at the little boy for a moment. As I looked in his eyes, I saw a deep sadness that I knew all too well. My eyes softened and I smiled sadly.

"You've lost someone." It wasn't a question.

And Inari didn't answer. I looked up at the sky, smiling at the clouds and the sun.

"Inari, did you know my family was killed when I was about your age? Maybe even younger," I told him suddenly. His head shot up, staring at me with wide eyes.

"Your w-whole family?"

"Yep, all of them…well, besides me, obviously. I remember running away because the man who killed them was after me. I ran and ran and ran, but it seemed like he kept catching up to me. Eventually, I landed by the Leaf Village and the people there took me in. The very first friend I ever made there was none other than the number one hyper-active knuckleheaded ninja in all of Konoha: Naruto Uzumaki."

I laughed softly at the memory of meeting a small boy with electric blonde hair.


"H-Hey, stop it! Give it back!"

My small eight-year-old ears picked up a sound coming from the playground nearby. I changed my course and headed towards the spot, my curiosity sparked. I past numerous villagers who smiled at me and waved, but I only nodded back. They weren't really happy to see me; they felt pity towards me. Nothing, but pity and sympathy; it was disgusting. I didn't need those two things. When I finally reached the playground, I saw four boys, three of them throwing a ball between themselves. The fourth boy was trying to get it back, his blonde hair and blue eyes sticking out among the dark-haired kids. I noticed, out of the corner of my small eye, another young boy on the boardwalk, his feet dangling over the edge. I knew his last name. Uchiha.

But I turned my attention back to the matter at hand and marched over, my face set into a determined scowl.

"Pardon me, but what's going on?" I asked politely, despite my face. The three boys throwing the ball turned to me and smiled.

"Hi Kaiya, want to play?" one asked. I wasn't sure how they knew my name, but I didn't really care; I only had eyes for the small boy still trying to reach for the ball. I could tell he was trying not to cry by the way his eyes shined desperately. I grinned at the boys and nodded, so the one with the ball threw it over to me. Instead of continuing their stupid game of 'keep-away-from-Kyuubi' even though they didn't know he was the Kyuubi, I walked over to him and smiled widely, handing the ball over.

"Here ya go!" I stated, making sure he got a good grip on the ball. His cerulean eyes blinked at me, shocked, but I had turned to the other boys, glaring angrily.

"You…guys…are…JERKS!" I yelled before bonking each one on the head. They all lay on the ground, their eyes replaced with X's and I smiled, wiping my hands in a satisfied manner. I looked around at the rest of the kids on the ground who did nothing to help the poor boy. I glared.

"Anyone else want to mess with…uhm…" I mumbled, turning to the boy curiously. "Sorry, I didn't catch your name."

He murmured a response but I couldn't hear it, so I smiled and leaned forward. He blushed. "You're going to have to speak louder. I'm afraid I didn't hear you."

"Uh…I'm Naruto," he repeated, a tiny bit louder. I smiled, standing up straight and turning to the other kids, glaring again.

"Ok, anyone else want to mess with Naruto? If so, you'll be answering to me," I warned them, holding up one fist and nodding down at the three boys with X's for eyes. The children shook their heads in unison, so I grinned.

"That's what I thought."

With that said I turned to Naruto and grinned, holding out my hand. "Hiya Naruto, I'm Kaiya Hakura!"

He grabbed my hand hesitantly. "Naruto Uzumaki."

"Hm…Naruto Uzumaki, you say? Oh my goodness, I know you!" I cried out, pointing. He stared at me for a second, scared, but I just smiled and grabbed his hand, leading him away from the kids at the playground. We walked down to the boardwalk and I waved at the Uchiha kid happily, who just raised a brow and turned back to staring at the water. I frowned but soon grinned again, turned back to the perplexed Naruto.

"You do?"

"Mm-hm, of course! You're destined to be my best friend!" I told him happily. He blinked before allowing a small smile to break out on his face, which quickly turned into a full-blown grin. He poked me and ran away, laughing over his shoulder, "Tag, you're it!"

I giggled and chased after the boy happily, tripping a few times, causing Naruto to laugh at me. I pouted and he'd come over to make sure I was okay and I'd poke him before taking off in another direction, giggling as he glared playfully at me, than chased me hurriedly.


"You see, Naruto didn't even know his parents. They died when he was born, and all of the villagers hated him, so he was all alone," I whispered to Inari. The little boy was staring ahead, wide-eyed with the current information. I released a silent sigh, thinking how much we both had actually changed. He became more rebellious and more of a tough-guy, where as I actually managed to grow up, if only a little bit.

"I didn't know that…" Inari whispered after a while. I smiled down at him, ruffling his hair.

"How could you? He doesn't like to talk about it much, but I can tell it still hurts him. I'm not going to ask you to tell me who you lost to Gato or anything, Inari, but I want you to know that you aren't alone. You have your grandpa and your mother and the rest of your family! Plus, you have Kakashi, Sakura, Naruto, and me too! Oh, and Sasuke. I forgot the teme for a second," I muttered with a scowl. Inari stared up at me, watery eyed, before nodding in understanding. I grinned and grabbed his hand tighter before running into the town with a shock Inari clutching my hand tightly. We walked around the town, talking to people Inari knew and those who owned the shops.

"Mmm…food!" I mumbled happily, chewing on a large cookie I had bought in a bakery. It was soft and chewy and had gooey chocolate chips in it that melted in my mouth.

Ah, it was heaven!

I smiled down at Inari and laughed happily. He laughed too, eating his own cookie pleasurably. We were heading back to the house, both of us carrying about four bags of things. I had managed to find some money in the pocket of the kimono along with a note saying to have fun with money. I wasn't sure who gave it to me, but I guessed it was Inari's mom. When we entered the house, I saw the ninja's in the family room, sitting in a triangle-circle thing while the actual family was in the dining room. I gave Inari a small kiss on the cheek and walked over to the ninja's, smiling widely.

"Hiya, what'd you guys do today?" I asked, sitting down next to Naruto. He immediately dove into one of my bags, searching for something sweet to eat. I yawned widely.

"Trained, basically," Sakura stated. I ran a hand through my hair, looking at Kakashi.

"Why didn't you tell me? I would've gone with you guys instead of out on the town," I stated. Naruto poked my cheek.

"No you wouldn't have."

I stuck out my tongue at him, but turned to Kakashi, who smiled. "You just woke up, Kaiya. You are in no shape to train right now. Besides, you look like you had fun today."

I grinned widely and nodded my head vigorously. "I did. Inari's such a sweet kid and I think we can understand what he's been through a little better than most people. I suspect you all already know?"

The others nodded, except Sasuke who just shrugged. I stared at the ground for a second before telling Naruto what I had told Inari today. "I told him about when I saved you from the mean playground kids."

The blonde ninja snickered under his breath, but still looked a little tenser at the mention of his bad childhood. "Wonder whatever happened to them?"

I shrugged my shoulders, playing with the hem of my kimono distractedly. Why is that I can get through to Naruto and Inari, but I can't get through to Sasuke? It's like he's on a totally different planet where I can't reach him and I'm afraid if I don't soon, he may be too far gone to get back. I shivered at the thought of losing him. And I don't mean that in an 'Oh, Sasuke, I will DIE without you' way, just that he's still a friend of mine. Even though he's a jerk sometimes, he's still a human being who's had a rough past. But no matter what I did, I could never get through to him and that was even scarier than falling for him. I stood up abruptly, grabbing one of my bags and heading towards the door.

"Kay-chan, where are you going now?" Naruto whined. I turned around and smiled at him smally.

"I'm just going to go and sit outside for a while. Clear my head, ya know?" I stated, pushing aside the door and walking out into the fresh air. It had gotten dark when Inari and I came home, but now it was pitch black with little sparkling stars lighting the way. I slung the bag over my shoulder and walked towards the forest, searching for a small clearing of some sort. I needed to think for a little while, to just clear my head and get my jumbled up thoughts together.

I was constantly on edge since I'd woken up this morning, worrying about Zabuza, even though he was apparently dead, according to what Inari had told me on our trip into town. And though I wanted to believe he was dead, I have a hard doing it; there was just something not right. Then there's this Gato character who still wanted Tazuna dead, which put him and his family in dire trouble. Not to mention the fact that I was missing Shikamaru terribly, what with his sarcasm and sexism and the fact that he'd be able to help me un-jumble my thoughts.

"Gah, I need to just stop thinking altogether!" I cried out, rubbing my temples slowly. After walking in the forest for five minutes, I finally came up to a small clearing with a babbling brook. The trees were swaying in the light breeze, some of the leaves letting go and twirling around in some kind of elegant dance that only leaves can do. I sat down on the ground, staring up at the star-full sky while eating a few of my snacks every now and again. My mind only began to go into overdrive again when I heard twigs snapping behind me. I shot up, searching for a weapon in the clearing seeing as I had forgotten my weapons pouch at the house. I got into position and was ready to fight when Sasuke walked into the clearing. He raised a slender black brow at my position and I sighed, relaxing before folding back on to the ground calmly.

"Hey Sasuke, what's up?"

He just shrugged and stuffed his hands into his pockets, staring up at the sky. His face creased as he glared angrily and I sighed, already knowing what he was thinking about.

"You're thinking about Itachi again, aren't you?" I asked with a tilt of my head. He glared at me viciously, but I was unfazed; we both knew I was right.

"Spare me the 'forget revenge' speech, Kaiya. I've heard from enough people," he snapped. I shook my head and lay down in the grass, crossing my legs at the ankle.

"Who said anything about forgetting revenge? I was simply stating a fact. And…" I hesitated for a second before taking a deep breath. I was hoping this would work and if it didn't, than that would suck. "And, well, I just wanted you to know that you aren't alone. I understand your—"

That did it.

"What the hell do you know? You have no idea what it's like to have everything you loved taken away from you! How the hell can you sit there and tell me that you understand when you don't?! I'm so sick of everyone saying that they understand what I'm going through and that revenge isn't the way to go! Damn it, I wish that everyone could just leave me alone! I don't need your fucking sympathy or pity, got that? So you can just LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!"

I watched as he breathed heavily, his rant finally over with. His eyes were flaming with rage and his face was set in a terrifying glare. But I still acted as calm as ever, waiting for him to calm down a little. I really hoped he wouldn't leave because I needed to explain why I understood. Of course, if he did leave, that would just ruin everything and I'd have to go tackle him so that he would listen to me.

Complications, complications, I thought. Sasuke turned his back to me, stuffing his hands back into his pockets and turned his glare up to the sky. I waited a few more minutes before sighing.

"You know, my mom used to have a spot like this in our backyard. Of course, it was a little more barren, seeing as it was so close to the Land of Earth. But it was still nice," I started abruptly, not taking my eyes off the sky. I was aware that Sasuke was now watching me, but I pretended not to notice. "When I was little, like really little, I lived in a small village just out side the Village Hidden in the Stones. It was a pretty poor village, nothing to fancy, but it was still nice. Everyone couple weeks we'd go to Iwagakure and trade goods, get money, things like that. I actually met a man named Deidara once; he was cool, I liked him. He visited me a few times, but I heard after I left, he disappeared. Anyway, we were in the village one day, trading our medicines for some food."


"Come on, Kaiya!" my mother urged, carrying our jars of special medicines. Father was off, trading his weapons for some money as my mother and I were going to sell the medications and herbs for food. The market was packed and heavily populated with booths and wagons and animals and people, all of whom I usually saw every month. I waved my small hand at a cabbage merchant who had given me three heads of lettuce when we needed to extra food. My mother began to set up her booth near a man selling snake skins and potions. I was too busy helping mother to notice him staring at me from the corner of his yellow eyes.

"Mother, how long do you think it will take to sell everything? I'm already bored!" I complained with a pout. She smiled down at me and ruffled my sandy-brown hair lovingly.

"Hopefully not long, but I don't know. Why don't you go look for Deidara?" she suggested. My eyes lit up and I nodded before skipping off, waving at her cheerfully. As I skipped through the town, I smiled at people I had met before at the market. Many of them stopped to say hi and tell me how much I had grown since last month.

"My, my, Kaiya Hakura, look at you! You've—"

"Grown?" I finished with a yawn. It was getting really annoying, but I was still trying to seem polite, so as not to anger my mom. The elder woman smiled and nodded, her rotten teeth showing. I smiled back weakly, a bit disheartened by the fact that I had yet to find Deidara. I left the old woman and walked down the street, dragging my feet slowly. My head was bowed, my eyes locked on the pavement underneath me until I rounded a corner and bumped into someone. I stepped back, blinking in shock before looking up at the person I bumped into.

"Well, if it isn't little Kai, un," Deidara said with a smile. I grinned and wrapped my tiny arms around his waist, hugging him.

"Dei-kun! You didn't come to visit me last week," I pouted. He laughed and hugged me back, letting the mouth on his hand lick my cheek. I giggled and held on to his hand, letting him walk me back towards the market place.

"Sorry Kai, I had some people I needed to see, un. You shouldn't have travelled so far from the market place," he chided gently. I rolled my eyes and stuck out my tongue before skipping ahead slightly. I heard him chuckle behind me but I paid no attention as the noises of the market reached me. I ran over to my mom, making sure that Deidara was still behind me, and found her chatting with a man. His long, black hair cascaded down his back and looked rather thin as it swayed from side to side with each movement. His skin was pale as bone and there were purple markings under his slanted, yellow eyes that went down the bridge of his nose. I felt myself slow down, eyeing the man suspiciously. There was something not quite right about him, but I pushed away the feeling and smiled largely.

"Hi, I'm Kaiya!" I greeted excitedly. My mother laughed and continued to sell our supplies as the older man chuckled.

"Hello Kaiya, I'm Orochimaru," he introduced with a slight bow. His voice was sleek and smooth, but sounded as if there was some kind of hidden agenda behind his current purposes. Deidara came up behind me and placed one hand on each of my shoulders, pulling me closer to him.

"Dei-kun, this Oro—Orch—uhm…" I muttered.

"Orochimaru," Deidara finished. I beamed and tilted my head back to smile at Deidara. But than I quirked an eyebrow and looked from one man to the other.

"Have you already met?"

"Once or twice," Orochimaru confirmed with a smile. I looked at the two men before shrugging and hopping over to help my mother with her supplies. I grabbed the food we had gained and placed it in a brown basket already half-way full of delicious looking and smelling food. For the rest of the day, I helped mother with the trade and getting our newly acquired things together. Every now and again I would glance over at Dei-kun and Orochimaru, only to see them arguing or glaring. Of course, Orochimaru seemed pretty calm although I could detect some kind of angry spark in his yellow eyes. Finally, after we had sold everything, we walked to the path and position ourselves in the direction of our village. I turned around and smiled up at Deidara.

"You'll come and visit, right?" I pleaded, giving him my best puppy-dog-eyes. For some reason, I noticed that Deidara looked a little sad, but he quickly smiled.

"Of course, un," he assured. I grinned wider and hugged him tightly. He gave me a hug back and a small kiss on the top of my head. Orochimaru was coming with us, to stay for the night because the hotels were all booked, so I waved goodbye to Deidara and skipped down the path with my mom and Orochimaru.


"Mother? Father?" I yawned late that night. When we had gotten home, Father had already cooked dinner with the last of our food from our last trip to the market and so we had eaten, than went to bed. Orochimaru was staying in the guest bedroom and had been in there since dinner was over, the door shut and locked. I had had a bad dream of snakes and monsters and blood, thus waking me up. But I found that once I had woke up, I couldn't get back to sleep, so as I laid in bed just staring out my window, I had heard a crash from downstairs. Curious, I crawled out from underneath my covers and walked down the silent stairs. The back porch light was on and I cocked my head to the side curiously, wondering why.

"Mother, Father?" I asked into the night, walking over to the open door. I stepped outside but soon stopped dead in my tracks. I felt something warm and thick under my barefoot and as I looked down, I saw a red liquid sitting there in a pool. I could tell from the feel and scent that it was blood; a metallic, salty scent that stung my nose. My senses had always been a bit more acute than regular people, but mostly my sense of smell was very strong. My eyes widened and I followed the trail of liquid into the forest, searching for the source. Finally, I came upon a large clearing that was bathed in moonlight. Before I even reached the actual clearing, I saw three figures there, two of which were slumped on the ground. The third was standing near them, swishing a long lethal looking silhouette around. But as I got closer, my blood ran cold and my heart nearly stopped.

The two figures on the ground were my parents and the one standing, twirling the lethal weapon was Orochimaru. At first, I thought he had just found them. Surely, he wouldn't do something so terrible to my parents? But when I saw the blood on the blade of the weapon, a katana I now realized, I knew he was to blame. My father's eyes were half-lidded and his mouth formed one word before he left me for good: Run.

That's when my scream let loose. Orochimaru had already seen me before I had made the noise, but he was just waiting for me to yell. A smirk crossed his features.

"Why?! Why did you do this? We were nothing but nice to you!" I cried, holding back my tears. I would not give him that satisfaction.

"Yes, that is true, child. But see, in order to get what I want, I had to get rid of my obstacles," he explained, motioning towards my now dead parents. Suddenly, I saw all around the edge of the clearing, bodies of my family. Some of them were still alive and they all mouth the same thing before leaving me all alone: Run. My mind suddenly clicked.

"I-It's me you w-want," I whispered, terrified. The man's smirk grew even wider and he walked towards me. I took some clumsy steps back before grabbing a nearby kunai from one of my dead cousins, holding it in front of my protectively. I would not die.

"Leave me alone."

"Oh no, I can't do that," he muttered. "You see, with the strength and chakra you possess, you will be the greatest weapon for us! You have acute senses, can see things sometimes in your dreams, and can even move things with your mind if you had the discipline! And I can give that to you."

I stopped for a moment before continuing to back away. I wanted nothing to do with him. He killed my family and left me alone. With one mighty thrust, the kunai went flying at near invisible speed and struck the man in the stomach. Without looking back, I turned around and fled. The time from then to the Leaf Village was a large blur of colors noises and nightmares of my dead parents and family. All I remember vividly was seeing those yellow eyes and my dead family members, staring at me accusingly.


"I actually thought about, you know, taking my own life a few times on the way to the Leaf Village. Of course, I had no idea I was to end up here, but either way, I still had those thoughts. But if my family had wanted me to die, why did they tell me to run? That's when I decided I had to live. They had died protecting me and if only for them to have not died in vain, I had to survive and live a new life. Now, if I die during a mission, I'm fine with it. It would be an honorable death and I'll be able to see my family again. But I won't go looking for death. Not anytime soon, anyways," I finished, my eyes narrowed as I stared into the forest.

I tilted my head back to stare at the sky, noticing how dark it had gotten.

How long have we been out here? I wondered distractedly. My mouth stretched in a yawn and I smiled, turning to look at Sasuke. He was staring at me, emotions actually managing to leak through his protective barrier. He was still guarded, but not as much as before. My smile grew as I cocked my head to the side.


"How can you talk about your family's deaths and than be so carefree right after?" he asked quickly. I thought about it for a second and smiled again.

"Because, I know that even though I can't see my family, they're watching over me. Also, I'm not alone anymore. Sure, my family is still gone, but now I have a new one. I have Naruto and Kakashi and Sakura and Taru and Shugo and Himiko and Shikamaru and the Nara's and…" I hesitated for a moment before grinning. "Well, you. You know, I'm not going to say revenge isn't the right way to go because nobody can tell you which to go. But you really need to know something, Sasuke."

I stood up and brushed off my kimono, vaguely aware that my butt was completely numb.

"You aren't alone either. Whether or not you choose to embrace that fact is completely up to you."

I gave him one last smile before heading back to the house, my arms crossed behind my head leisurely. Unfortunately, before I even left the clearing, an upturned root tripped me and I fell to the ground with a grunt. Almost instantly, I was back on my feet.

"Damn, I was hoping that wouldn't happen," I muttered angrily, glaring down at the root before huffing and heading off, hearing Sasuke call me a klutz. I turned around and stuck out my tongue before continuing on, hearing him follow behind.

"You should really watch where you're going," he told me calmly. I rolled my eyes and turned my head to face him, continuing to walk forward.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, believe it or not, I do. It's just the things I run into that don't watch where—"

I was cut off when I rammed into a tree.