Kimagure Ni

On A Whim

-o- Ni -o-

No Soui Ten

The Differences

It soon became apparent, that the girl lacked the aggressive drive of a shinobi. She was as timid as a young rabbit, hesitant, wary and cautious. Though being alert and thinking through ones actions was important to hesitate, to be afraid, she may as well walk through a dark forest in neon colours and shout "Oi enemy ninja, feel like murdering me?"

Opposing what Madara had said, she survived the first week and the second. Soon a month passed and she was still alive, somewhat settled into her new world; her world that revolved around Uchiha Itachi, newly registered missing-nin and S-classed criminal. She followed his orders as if they were law and when not told what to do, she shuffled along silently behind him or stayed in her room. She was uneasy around the few other members she had met, though to her relief the man known as 'Madara' had all but disappeared.

Itachi had been assigned a partner. A frightening giant man, that was less of a man and more of a shark hybrid. His skin was a pale blue, like a corpse somewhat, but with a deeper colour. His eyes were small dark and beady, a sneaky look about them. Gills were upon his strong cheekbones but what frightened Hinata most (apart from his alarming size) were the jagged razor sharp teeth that he bared in a cruel smile. His hair was close to the colour of hers, but held up by his hitai-ate in a windswept way. From what she had heard, he was from Kirigakure no sato and one of a group of seven swordsmen.

That was the way she survived. She observed, she listened and she followed Itachi's orders. When he would train her (which was frequently) she knew without a doubt he was disappointed in her. He had no problem with her Jyuuken-style attacks and her fledgling Byakugan wasn't mature enough to be used properly. It was that disappointment that made her worse.

The Uchiha wasn't sure on how to approach the problem at hand. He brought her with him as an act of mercy, and because she'd reminded him of his little brother. It was odd how they were so completely different, like light and day, fire and water. While his brother became angry and more determined when he couldn't do something, she lost confidence in herself. He daren't try and anger her, or shout at her to try and spike some resistance for h knew it would lead to withdrawal and sensing weakness one of the Akatsuki would kill her just to be rid of her miserable existence.

Would it have been kinder just to kill her? This false hope seemed to be destroying her emotionally as it was.

"Why do you waste your time on little nezumi eh?" Kisame asked, sitting by a tree and watching them train, or in other words, Itachi sidestep and Hinata trying hopeless attacks. Mouse. That's what he'd currently nicknamed her. He sometimes referred to her as 'Usagi' as whenever he got too close she would jump away from him like a startled rabbit. She may have to change her name until she's old enough to defend herself somewhat, but was there really any point with those giveaway eyes? Still, she seemed unwanted and there were many Hyuuga. But the heiress? "It's been a month and there's no improvement, hell I'd say she's getting worse."

As expected, Hinata's movements started to become clumsier and she felt the familiar sting of embarrassment and disappointment. Just like Otousama, they were disappointed in her.

"Focus," Itachi said, pushing her back and making her stumble. And just like Otousama she was letting them down. It was hard, from when she could walk she was being taught Jyuuken and Hyuuga techniques and now she was being taught Gouken and all kinds of different things.

"You got patience I'll give you that," Kisame snorted. She couldn't let them down or they'd leave her, abandon her and her last shot at life would disappear like smoke in the wind. Her determination sparked. This was her last chance, every moment was a fight for survival, a need for improvement and she couldn't let it slip through her fingers.

'Something is forcing her to improve,' Itachi thought, easily blocking her tiny hands and feet. 'Survival instinct. She's slowly moving faster, her attacks getting sharper.' The soft glow of chakra flared on her fingertip as though she had caught a firefly and in a courageous act, she thrust her finger into a point in Itachi's calf.

"Oh?" Kisame said, noticing the Chakra spike. Hinata's small sense of pride immediately slithered away as fear coiled her insides. What if he got mad at her for it? What if…? What if?!

"Hinata," Itachi said looking down at her. She looked up hesitantly, with wide doe like eyes. Questioning and worried, wondering if she had done wrong. "Good, I want to see that determination constantly."

The swelling feeling in her chest was indescribable. Her heart fluttered like a butterfly's wing and her cheeks felt pinched as a smile broke out on her face.

"Hai Itachi-sama!"

And the Uchiha continued to learn the differences between the Hyuuga heiress and his younger brother. While Sasuke worked to prove he was as good as his older brother (yet hoped to prove he would be better) Hinata worked to gain respect and praise, to do things right. While Sasuke became determined when he did things wrong, Hinata became determined when she did things right. While the young Uchiha became bored easily of one technique once he'd mastered it, Hinata went over and over it desperate to improve and perfect it.

Maybe it was not how she was alike to his brother that had caught his eye, maybe it was how different they were.