Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Grains of Sand

A lone female ninja ducked through the shadows as she made her way stealth fully through the village. She was terribly late and doubled her speed accordingly as she scolded herself under her breath.

A crack sounded in the air, probably nothing more than a twig in the underbrush and as a horn in the silence.

She went still, senses on alert for anything out of the ordinary.

Evil intent.

She quickly made the appropriate hand signs. "Bakyugun." She palmed her weapon and shifted her weight into the balls of her feet.

Three in the trees. Two in the bush. One right behind-

She spun and let her kunai fly.

It was deflected with a small ping and suddenly she was surrounded.

Obscured headbands kept her from identifying her attackers, no matter, they would go down all the same. She hadn't reached jounin status to fail now.

She ducked a punch and sent a gentle fist into the man’s chakra system. He fell to the ground with a yelp as his entire chakra network shut down with a violent jolt.

She swung around and struck a kunai wielding arm at the wrist. She accurately jagged the chakra points in his arm, shutting off his chakra to his arm.

There, ninjutsu would be useless to him.

Thinner and sharper, she focused her chakra to into a thin ribbon and sliced off an offending hand of the third, I will not be defeated.

A scream split the morning air and was quickly silenced as fourth enemy stuck a kunai into the injured man's throat.

Hinata paused at the ruthlessness and then took quick inventory. The first one was still down, the second trying to gather chakra for a jutsu unsuccessfully, the third was dead, the fourth was glaring at her murderously from behind a mask, and the fifth . . .

Her eyes widened as she looked up to find the sky empty and then directed her eyes to the ground. She threw her weight backwards just as the fifth broke through the ground in a sneak attack. She barely missed an uppercut and, in order to avoid the three kunai, then let herself fall loosely to the ground.

Twisting gracefully, she caught herself on one hand and struck the ninja, who had thought to take advantage, solidly in the groan.

He fell with a strangled yelp.

She gathered her legs beneath her as she eyed the remaining ninja. The first was getting to his feet while the second was fingering his weapons, and the fourth was on the move.

She had to take care of them quickly before they came up a better plan.

They were trying to capture her, that much was obvious. The absence of advanced and extremely deadly techniques were sadly lacking on their part. Either they had only sent newly minted chuunins after her who didn't know any advanced jutsu or they wanted her alive and unharmed.

She had the advantage. She wouldn't hesitate to use anything in her arsenal and had no problems inflicting damage on them. She couldn't get careless. They were not properly briefed on how to fight her and if she gave them too much time-

She whirled, leaned out of the path of a blade, and sent a gentle fist straight into the enemy's heart.

He fell, dead.

She turned her attention to the last two only to blink.

They were down.

She blinked again as she looked deeper with her bakyugun.

They were dead.

She glanced around confused and activated her bloodline limit, still nothing.

Well, there were approaching Anbu but that was expected.

Someone had helped her.

The question was who.

She bit her lip and dismissed all her friends. Not that they wouldn’t help her . . . It's just . . . They wouldn’t be so quiet about it. Shino would have inquired if she was alright at the very least while most of the others would have lectured her ears off.

She sighed, she had to report this incident to the Hokage and-

Her thoughts stumbled to a halt as her mouth parted in surprise.

There. . .

. . . just under the first ninja's chin . . .

. . . small, seemingly harmless, and easily overlooked . . .

Her heart pounded painfully in her chest as her blood roared in her ears.

There . . .

. . . .nestled innocently against the ninja's adams apple . . .

. . . a few grains of sand.