Hinata had been put to work on gathering supplies for the potion Hay Lyn needed. Sasuke was collecting firewood for obvious reasons. When they had finished with their tasks Hay Lyn was creating a strange potion in a black cauldron. Sasuke was starting to suspect she was some sort of witch which would explain why she's so creepy.

"Viento ven a mi" winds picked up around Hay Lyn. She then muttered a few words in a strange language he didn't understand and swirls of lights appeared from thin air. The lights were sucked in to the cauldron. Hay Lyn smirked finishing the potion and pouring it into three vials. The liquid was blue with tiny specs of light at first but then faded to a dark blue color. While Hay Lyn wrote a reply for Mikoto Hinata went through some of her books reading the ones that interested her. Sasuke felt awkward here since Hay Lyn would look up from her letter to look at him suggestively. Hinata didn't notice or else she would have put a stop to it.

"There!" Hay Lyn smiled rolling up the letter. "Here is the reply and these" she handed Hinata the vials, "are her special potion. Be sure to remind her that its one vial a month okay?"

"One vial a month got it" Hinata tucked the letter and vials into her bag carefully.

"Be very careful" Hay Lyn eyed the bag.

"Don't worry. I'll see you some other time" Hinata secured her bag.

"What your not staying?" the disappointment was clear on her face.

"I've got a deadline this time"

"Aw alrighty then" she smiled again, "Be sure to bring him back with you next time" she shot Sasuke a hungry glance.

Sasuke was beyond creeped out at her. For some reason he felt that if it weren't for Hinata never leaving him in the same room as Hay Lyn alone then she wouldn't hesitate to rape him. He would have to make sure to thank Hinata for not leaving him.

Instead of a direct answer Hinata replied with, "See you soon"

"How do we get out of here?" Sasuke followed Hinata closely. He felt Hay Lyn staring at them.

"The door" she said it like it was childishly obvious.

They made it to a large wooden door with a cross at the top. Webs were coating the top of it suggesting that it wasn't opened much. Hinata didn't hesitate to push it open. The wood groaned at being used but opened anyway. They stepped out closing the door behind them. Sasuke didn't overlook the blood stains that coated the dead grass and dirt. Their shoes were the only thing heard until Hinata abruptly stopped.

"Its locked" she muttered.

"Locked?" Sasuke looked ahead seeing a large metal gate. The gate was chained together with a huge lock to secure it.

"She probably forgot to unlock it" frowning she walked to the right along the metal fence trying to find another exit. "we're going to have to search for another way out"

A shadow caught Sasuke's eye and he whirled around to see what it was but it was gone. "What the…"

"Try not to curse here"

"Why not?"

"You haven't noticed?" she asked amazed.

"Noticed what?"

She stopped turning to face their right, "We're in a cemetery"

"What?" he looked around him taking everything in. It was true. He saw tombstones all around the house they had just been inside. He clicked one and one together, "Wait so… those bright lights were…"

"Human souls" Hinata finished for him waiting for his reaction.

"And why did she need them in the potion?"

"They were only lending a bit of their power into the potion for her to use. The potion is a life preserving potion"

"Life preserving?"

"Yes. Mikoto is… dying and there is a way to save her. Thing is the last ingredient for her remedy is a rare flower that grows only in Suna once a year."

"So… they use the potion to keep her alive until then?"

"Yes"

"That's…" he couldn't find the right word for it.

"Found it" she smiled. "Our way out" she pointed to a hole in the metal fence.

Both climbed through without hesitation. Outside Hinata informed Sasuke that they were going to deliver the message to Mikoto so that they would finish their side mission. Sasuke only nodded and followed. It didn't take them long to get to her place. It was amazing considering that once they passed her high walls the normal dry hot climate didn't exist. Instead there were trees and flowers surrounding a large home in the center. Sasuke looked around at all the flowers while Hinata knocked.

The door swung open, "Hinata dear!" a female with long black hair hugged Hinata.

"Hey there" Hinata smiled.

"Who's here?!" a masculine voice was heard from inside the house.

"Its Hinata!" the woman yelled back.

"Let her in!"

With a bow the woman let them inside. Sasuke saw the inside was as earthy and green as the outside. Plants surrounded them and if Sasuke didn't know better he could have sworn he saw one moving as if waving at them. Hinata only smiled while they followed the woman who had greeted them at the door. She was a chunky woman who wore earthy greens and browns. A man was bent over tending to plants when they entered a large room. He rose dusting off his blue overalls. The lady cleared her throat letting him know they were there.

The man turned spotting Hinata right away, "Oy Hinata is that you?!"

"I wasn't going to stay little forever" Hinata giggled.

"But man! You are a woman now! I remember when you didn't have breasts!" he laughed loudly.

Hinata's face as well as Sasuke's turned red. Sasuke turned away pretending to look at a plant while Hinata looked down at her chest to see how bad it had gotten. It was true, as a young girl she as every other girl was flat as a board but as soon as she hit her puberty she had definitely grown into a woman. The lady next to her only coughed and scolded the man for even looking in the first place.

"Well how could I not? They're big and still growing! like a beautiful flower she is blossoming!"

"And your wilting" the lady retorted.

"I take no comments from the woman who is already wilted!" he huffed crossing his arms.

Hinata smiled at the familiar scene. Ever since her first time there shortly after her 'death' in Konoha they had accepted her into the family. The man had been like a perverted uncle. Of course never to her until today since she was too young for such things. The chunky woman was like the giddy aunt whom she could always count on no matter what the cost. And the servants who were probably out tending to the garden or the mistress also had grown to love Hinata as the young sister.

"Well aren't you going to introduce us to your friend?" the woman inquired.

"Bah! I bet he's the boyfriend right? Uchiha right?" the man smirked knowingly.

"Yes" Sasuke answered.

"No" Hinata answered.

"Well which is it? Answer! You're a man!" the man commanded of Sasuke.

"He is an Uchiha but-" Hinata responded before Sasuke could insult the man.

"Oh stop badgering her" a petite woman commanded in a soft voice.

"Mikoto?" Hinata couldn't believe it.

There standing in the doorway was Mikoto. It was surprising because she was standing at all. Due to her fate she had refused to get out of bed fearing she would collapse somewhere and be forgotten. Of course her servants adored her even though she had quite a temper and was very rude to all. They knew she did it because she did not know how to react to people. At least until Hinata had started helping out one day. Mikoto wore a long red and golden dress with black seams. The dress only showed how thin the woman was, probably from mal-nutrition because being that thin was unhealthy and unattractive.

"Hinata-chan?" it was like she was trying to make sure it wasn't a hallucination. Her pale hand reached out to Hinata.

Hinata walked slowly towards the woman catching her frail body against her more secure one. "What are you doing out of bed mother?"

'Mother?' Sasuke was shocked but didn't show it of course. He wondered if Mikoto was really Hinata's mother or not.

Mikoto looked up at Hinata, "I heard you were here" she felt a tear come out, "I feared I only imagined them telling me of…of…"

"Sh… sh… sh…" Hinata picked Mikoto up bridal style gently rocking her.

"my… daughter…" Mikoto drifted to sleep.

"Rin go tell the cook to make something light to eat for Mikoto then something a little heavier. She will be hungry after." Hinata commanded.

"Hai" The chunky lady shuffled away with a smile on her face.

"Cho"

"Hai" the man was very attentive now.

"Go tell the servants to not bother Mikoto for the rest of the day. I will tend to her personally. You are free to go out for the day as well"

He bowed, "Hai Thank you"

"Sasuke"

"Hm?" he hoped she wasn't going to tell him do to some chore for her.

"Go get some rest. We will be traveling at dawn and I don't want to take any breaks. You can rest in the room down the hall to your right"

"Fine" at least he didn't have to do chores.

Hinata carried Mikoto down the hall, made a left to another hall and at the very end stopped to open the door. Mikoto was so light that Hinata could more than likely hold her with one arm. Of course she didn't try it. The large bed took up most of the room, decorations were all around the room in various colors. It seemed sad that the room looked so beautiful, so lively that in comparison Mikoto looked dead in the center of the bed tucked under her colorful blankets. Hinata took out one of the vials popping it open. Mikoto was still asleep. With a kunai Hinata cut her wrists letting her blood drip into the vial. The orbs reappeared glowing a bright blue then a red. Smiling a bit Hinata sat Mikoto up so she could pour the liquid into her mouth.

"come on Mikoto" she whispered.

The liquid was carefully poured into Mikoto's mouth. The air seemed to pick up around Mikoto while the red liquid glowed even as it slid down her throat. Few seconds went by when things calmed. Hinata watched her mother figure slowly awaken.

"Hinata" Mikoto was still weak.

"How you doing?" Hinata softly asked.

"Better now. Thanks to you" a faint smile graced her lips.

"It was nothing"

"Slitting your wrists for a blood offering isn't nothing" she chuckled lightly.

"it's the least I can do" Hinata countered.

"Your so stubborn"

"I got that from him sadly"

"I wish I could of knocked some sense into that man"

"He's dying of old age anyway"

"He doesn't have the right to. Life is wasted on the bitter"

Hinata smiled, "I know"

A knock was heard on the door. Hinata answered, "Yes?"

"The lady's food is ready" Rin announced.

"Bring it in"

"You made them make me lunch?" Mikoto sounded surprised.

Hinata didn't respond. Rin set up the small bed side table and placed the food trays on it before bowing and excusing herself. Mikoto eyed the food hungrily though it was obvious her strength had not completely returned yet. With a sigh Hinata spoon fed Mikoto gently wiping away any excess.

"You treat me like a child" Mikoto complained between bites.

"I treat you as a sick mother"

"Shouldn't I be ailing your sicknesses?"

"only when I was young. Now I am grown I take care of you when you need me"

"Then stay here. You can take care of me and I you"

"You know I cant. I have unfinished business"

"Are you still with that?"

"I have to find out why… can we help you little Uchiha?" she was annoyed.

Sasuke opened the door seeing Hinata sitting by Mikoto who had some color on her cheeks finally. "Is there a shower around here?"

"Uchiha… Sasuke?" Mikoto was confused. She could have sworn Hinata's boyfriend Itachi hated Sasuke. So why would Hinata hang around him?

"Yes" Sasuke confirmed.

"Well… an Uchiha. The second one I've seen in this lifetime"

"My brother I bet" Sasuke grumbled.

"No, your mother"

Sasuke couldn't help but freeze for a split second at the thought of his mother. His mother who he had adored when he was a child. His mother who took care of him, defended him and nursed him. The same who had turned out to be a traitor to Konoha. The one who argued with Itachi causing him to leave and join the Akatsuki. The one who died at Itachi's hand causing Sasuke to believe Itachi was the wrong one in the family. It was a good thing Sasuke had discovered the truth while with Orochimaru or else he would have gone through with killing his brother.

"My mother is dead" Sasuke flatly said.

"Oh I know" Mikoto frowned. "She was a beautiful woman. Intelligent too!"

Sasuke sighed in annoyance. Hinata noticed, "Sasuke the shower is across the hall from the room"

With a nod he excused himself leaving the door cracked open. Hinata stood to close it when Mikoto chuckled.

"Strange isn't he?" Mikoto smiled.

"Understatement"

"Are you in that group with him as your partner?"

"Is it obvious?"

"Naturally to a mother"

Hinata let out a big sigh, "He arrived a few days ago. Boss let him in. Its not like he had anywhere else to go anyway. Doubt Konoha would give him a chance to make it past the gates."

"Do you think so?"

"Well… I don't know really"

"Just remember, keep your friends close but your enemies closer"

"Yeah" 'Thing is… which one is he?'

"Can you be a dear and fetch me some more lemonade from the kitchen?"

"Sure thing" Hinata smiled.

"Aren't you going to grab the empty glass?"

"I'll just bring a pitcher"

"Smart"

Hinata walked out of the room making sure to close the door behind her. The house was quiet due to no one working. Looked like the servants and everyone else had listened to Hinata and left. She heard the water running in the bathroom across her old room. She doubted he realized he had been relaxing in her old room at all. Then again it looked like a plain room anyway. She never had been one for decorations or girly things out of her home with the Akatsuki for fear of someone finding them and either stealing them or accusing her of being in the organization. Very few people knew about Hinata and the Akatsuki. Mikoto was only one of the few Hinata trusted with her life.

In the kitchen Hinata grabbed the pitcher of lemonade taking it back to Mikoto who was asleep. With a small blow Hinata chilled the water even more for later when Mikoto was awake. Estimating she would be asleep for a few hours Hinata decided to pick one of the many books from the small library to read through. She found one on the earth techniques she still needed to perfect. To practice Hinata placed a small seed into a small pot. The pot was placed in front of her while she kneeled on the floor. The book lay open to the page needed. It took little concentration on Hinata's part since she had done this quite a few times already and was only warming up.

"Sal y abre hacia mi" she whispered to the seed with her right hand over it palm down.

The seed glowed a light blue color before slowly growing toward Hinata's palm. When it was done a beautiful white flower opened itself to Hinata.

"Beautiful isn't it?" Mikoto spoke next to Hinata.

"You should be resting"

"I felt the flower. I had to see what was happening"

"Oh my apologiess"

"You forget I'm so attuned with earth"

"Yeah"

"You really have bloomed into your real self Hinata"

Hinata looked at the flower before her, "Not into a beautiful flower. More like a venus fly trap"

Mikoto's laugh was like hearing bells ringing. Her strength was definitely returning. She shook her head lightly, "No. I don't believe that"

"it's the truth"

"Why do you hate yourself so much?"

"I don't"

"Yes you do. I can see it"

"…"

"Did you know that plants like it when you talk to them?"

"I don't garden much honestly" she frowned.

"Maybe you should. Its quite therapeutic"

"I'll consider it when I get home"

"You do that sweetie"

"Go back to bed now will you?"

"Alright"

Hinata helped her back into bed making sure to cover her. They spent the next few hours talking and Mikoto taught Hinata more techniques to practice with until next time.

Dawn came soon and Sasuke was already outside the house waiting on Hinata to say goodbye to Mikoto. Even he had a conversation with Mikoto about his mother and past relations with his family. It was enlightening to hear about the good parts about his family. He had grown to think the Uchiha's were nothing but traitors. Much as he is now. He had betrayed Konoha, he had betrayed his brother unknowingly of course and was now going to betray Hinata. Maybe that's all he's good for.

Hinata finally stepped out of the house to stand next to Sasuke. "Ready?"

"Been ready" he retorted.

Hinata tried to tell Sasuke that they would have to separate later on but he stubbornly said no. Irritated at having to take him along she started her search on the under ground places. Mostly criminals hung out there so she thought it would be the best place to start the search.