A/N: Hey. ODL here! If you're wondering why this story looks so familiar, it's because I took over it. It was originally by Kuro-Shinzui-Ookami, but she has officially handed the baton to me. I hope I do a good job!
Hyung Tae Kim is a Korean anime artist. Look him up. His colors are amazing, though his girls could wear more clothes. :D
Oh, and please take care of me! #bows profusely#
Disclaimer: No, I don't own Naruto. And anything you read about Hyung Tae Kim in here is a lie. Except that his art is delicious. Which it is.
Chapter One—Tokyo Academy's Finest Catch!
Hyuuga Hinata had always been alone.
It was something she accepted—just as easily as she accepted that that her hair was jet black and her eyes cloudy blue, that she would never grow any taller than 5'4" or grow breasts any bigger than a B cup (though, on occasion, she would swear that she was graduating to C). She had never known parents, as far as she knew didn't have them, and didn't particularly crave for any either. The Matron was her Mother, and the thirty-or-so other children in the orphanage her siblings. They were her family. They plugged up the hole in her chest that yearned for love, although they never really gave it.
Occasionally, she marveled at how, in a building occupied by so many people, she could never really belong.
The Matron was kind to her, of course. She provided her with her necessities—her food, her water, her clothes. Sometimes, she was even warm, although that warmth quickly fizzled away in the face of the chill that comes with stress. She fussed over her occasionally, loathing the fact that a "pretty young lady" such as Hinata was stuck in a Home with screaming infants and defiant toddlers, and that she had to wear shabby hand-me-downs rather than newer, trendier outfits.
Hinata could care less how she looked. As a girl, she had her vanities, but channeled them differently than most, choosing to push perfection onto paper rather than try in vain to brush it on her face.
Drawing came naturally to her; it was something she would do all the time if she had the chance. And, luckily, she was good at it. Her art teachers marveled at how, when she'd walked into class on the first day, she had managed to reproduce her classmate's faces on papers within minutes, and how her shading always looked impeccable. They lamented at her incompetence with other media—Hinata hardly got along well with paintbrushes—but it was obvious she would get far. Her "friends"—the people who talked to her on occasion and rarely got feedback—clamored for her secret.
She had none. All of her life, she had done nothing but draw and dream, dream and draw. She'd only practiced, drawn until her fingers were covered in graphite and eraser shavings covered her bed sheets and caught in her hair. Drawn until everyone around her assumed she had zero social skills and stopped trying to make conversation. Drawn until her whole life revolved around art.
It was for this reason that she had applied to the best art college in the nation. Internationally, it was renowned for outputting some of the best masters the world had seen, all working in a million media. She'd heard rumors that Hyung Tae Kim had studied there for a few years, and just the thought of sitting in the same room he once did made her stomach flutter. She'd turned in her portfolio and her resume, and wrote her essay a million times over before deciding that her paper was satisfying.
The only thing about Tokyo Academy that wasn't perfect was the fact that it was an all-boy's school.
Blip. Blip. Blip.
The incessant beeping of her alarm forced Hinata awake. Groggily, she felt around for the snooze button and smashed down. For one full minute, she snuggled into her pillow, trying to, once more, let sleep embrace her.
Then a shock jolted her awake. Frantically, she tossed off her covers. What day was it? What time? Had she overslept?
Oh god, oh god, oh god…
She hadn't even started to "transform" herself yet! Leaping out of her small bed, Hinata ran into the bathroom across the hall. Grateful that none of the other kids were up so early, she hastily took a shower and marched back, grabbing a pair of scissors from the bathroom drawer. Wrapping her towel more tightly around herself, she bounded to her mirror. She frowned down at her curves—they certainly weren't going to make this job any easier—and then gave a sad smile to her hair. It was long, thick, and fell in beautiful waves—the only vanity she had allowed herself. But art was more important.
Binding her hair in a braid, she brought the scissors to the end and chopped it away. If fell with a substantial thud to the floor, and she looked down at it ruefully and continued her work, snipping until her hair settled in a boyish crown around her head. She pouted at herself in the mirror. Her face was not necessarily pretty—she'd always thought its shape too round and her eyes too pale, but her lips were pursed and puckered like a baby's and her button nose could only be described as cute. She looked at herself more closely, trying to decide if she made a convincing boy.
The neck was too slender, no Adam's apple protruding from her throat. The face seemed gentle. Her shoulders were slim, and her B-cups had never looked quite so big in her entire life. She frowned at herself, hoping the fiercer expression would make her look more masculine.
It didn't. She was perfectly androgynous. Cute-androgynous, sure, but androgynous all the same.
She shrugged. There wasn't much she could do about that.
Next, she reached under her pillow for something soft—an extremely long strip of silk cloth she had bought from a nearby cosplay store. She wrapped it tightly around her chest, hissing as the binds compressed her. It was uncomfortable, but she would live.
To top all of this off, she pulled out a set of semi-baggy pants and a medium-sized polo shirt. At first, she'd considered dressing only baggily, but as a result had looked silly and somehow false. The polo made her slim figure seem more natural, the straight-legged jeans hiding her curves better than she had hoped.
She held the train tickets in her hand. Her backpack contained her life savings for food and emergencies (and more clothes), her sketchpad and Ebony pencils, and, further down, her female necessities. She'd requested to room alone, and her advisor had said that there was a high chance her request would be accepted. That made things so much easier. She'd already sent the bulk of her belongings to the Academy—they'd already tucked them in safely in her future room.
Sighing, she braced herself. She was ready. All she had to do was leave. That was it.
She placed one foot in front of the other, ready to begin her journey.
"Nee-san? Where're you going?"
Hinata froze midstep, and then watched, effectively chagrined, as Konohomaru's wide eyes looked at her from head to toe. He whistled quietly, his question answered.
"I made it into Tokyo Academy."
Konohomaru nodded. He was only twelve, but he was probably the most mature of the children in the Home and she tended to confide in him. "So. I have to call you Hinata-kun now?"
Hinata blushed, once more humbled, and nodded. "H-Hai!"
He stuck his tongue out at her. "Good luck," he said, and then gave her a wide smile and a thumbs-up. "Don't act too girly. They might think you're gay. Oh. And." His face became serious. It really was, sometimes, hard to believe that this was the kid who, only a few weeks ago, had drawn mustaches on the portraits of all of the past Matrons. "Listen. Seriously, Hina-chan. If you're discovered---it's an all boy's school. If someone finds out, you'll get hurt."
Blushing madly now, Hiinata cleared her throat and held her head high. "Thank you for your concern, Konohomaru-kun. But don't worry. I won't b-be discovered. A-and there's an all-girl's school next door! Nobody will have the time to look at me. I'll waist-deep in my dreams!"
She ruffled his hair affectionately, and he pouted, unconvinced. His concern touched her, so she leaned over and very gently gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Konohomaru smiled warmly, and then suddenly began clawing at his cheek as though it were infected. Hinata blanched. "Are you okay?" she asked. She hadn't put on any lip-balm today; was he having a freak allergic reaction?
He wrinkled his nose at her. "Nah," he said mischievously, "It's just that being kissed by another guy is a bit gross."
Laughing, Hinata flicked his forehead and ran away before he could catch up to her. But mostly before she would lose control and decide to look back.