No I don't own Naruto! Stop asking me, for the love of god!

Eye Envy

A.K.A. - "Hey! What about us?"

Staring at her crush, Hinata began poking her fingers together. While she had revealed her long hidden feelings in the midst of battle, Hinata still had moments where she wanted to hide. This just happened to be one of them. "So, Uchiha Madara just announced at the Kage Summit that the Senju and the Uchiha both descended from the Sage of the Six Paths? Then, he went on to claim that only a Sharingan would be strong enough to control the power of the Biju and reform this super Biju called the Juubi?" Hopefully, the story she had just heard was simply the results of too much stress and too little sleep.

Unfortunately Naruto, recently escaped from the Ninja Alliance and fully briefed by his old friend Gaara, nodded rapidly. "It was the weirdest thing! According to his explanation, the Sharingan is like the key to ultimate power, yet it came from the Rinnegan. I mean, if Akatsuki was led by a ninja with the ultimate doujutsu, why didn't Madara try to make Nagato into this new Jinchuuriki? Then I remembered that Kakashi-sensei said that the Uchiha and the Hyuga used to be related, and thought that maybe you would have some idea on what the hell that old psycho is talking about. I mean, the Byakugan is pretty kick-ass but it sure as hell doesn't make you a super powered god figure. You know what I mean, Hinata?"

Taking a seat, Hinata sighed. "The history of my clan is really complicated Naruto-kun. While I technically should have been briefed on all of our mythology already, Father is still considering Hanabi as heir. Until the line of succession is determined, he will not pass on the final secrets of the family to anyone. So I have no idea what we could do to help." That and she had been tiptoeing around this subject for years trying to prove her worth as a ninja. While she really did not want her little sister branded with a curse seal, Hinata sure as hell did not want to have the fate herself.

Frowning, Naruto snapped his fingers. "Hey, I've got it! Your dad came back a few days ago to deal with the Hokage vote, right? Why don't we just go and ask him? I mean, this could be vital for the safety of the village! Plus, I think that he owes me a bit for making Neji less of a jerk so things should go ok!" Staring at her love in shock, Hinata tried to remember how to breathe. If Naruto-kun tried to demand answers from the Hyuga Clan Head like that, his ashes would be spread to the four winds! She had to stop this at once!

Smiling, the hyperactive blonde grabbed her arm. "Come on Hinata! You can introduce me to your family!" Finding her wrist captured in his strong grip, the young Kunoichi found breathing much more difficult. What was she so worried about again? Naruto wanted to meet her family! Maybe he remembered her heartfelt confession after all!

-----

Hyuga Hiashi was many things. These included being a loving father (in his own mind), a strong leader and a merceless Konoha Jonin. Over the course of his long and illustrious career, the proud Hyuga had dealt with trials and tribulations that would have shattered other men. Returning from his trip to find his home destroyed and people saved by Uzumaki Naruto was probably the most shocking thing in his recent memory. Dealing with said hero of Konoha in his temporary headquarters, a blushing Hinata to the side, was about to top that. "So you see Hyuga-san, I just wanted to know if you have any idea as to what the heck Madara was talking about. I mean, there is no way that the Sharingan could have that much power while the Byakugan doesn't, right?"

Taking a sip of his tea, Hiashi cursed that old braggart Madara. Thanks to his little self-righteous spiel, the Hyuga would look like a bunch of weaklings unless the truth came out. However, that would not exactly endear his clan to the village. Honestly, he would like nothing more than to ignore the situation until he had more time to think, but with Uzumaki's recent elevation of status, it was not like he could throw the brat out on his ass. Plus, if an idiot like the blonde Jinchuuriki could figure this out, then others would soon follow. His best bet was controlled dissemination of the information, and he had such a perfect tool right in front of him it would be a shame to waste it.

Sighing, the Clan Head faced his guest as stoically as possible. "Normally, I would have ordered you killed for such presumption, Uzumaki. However, given the fact that you saved our village and you provided key information, I feel that I have no choice but to reveal some small part of our clan's history. If only to placate the rumormongers and deviants that will attempt to paint the Hyuga with the same brush as the traitorous Uchiha. So settle down and listen, for I refuse to repeat myself." Noting the stillness that embraced the room, he took a deep breath. This was going to take some careful editing, but he should be able to pull it off.

"Back before the ninja villages both great and small were formed, there lived a man of grand vision. Said to be the grandson of the strongest fighter of the land, this man's name has long been lost to the sands of time. While considered by some to be a myth, this warrior did in fact exist. He spent years traveling the lands that are no longer remembered, protecting peoples long since dead. Although known for many things, this warrior's greatest power was indeed his eyes." Taking a breath, the Hyuga smiled slightly at his captive audience. Despite his demeanor, he had always enjoyed this old tale, even if it was somewhat embarrassing.

"Some say that he could see the ticks on a hawk in flight. Others say he could view a hundred moves into the future, before a single strike was launched. Either way, his enemies knew to flee while his allies welcomed him to their homes. Truly this man was a great man, and well loved by all. However, like all true heroes eventually do, he tired of a life of conflict and settled down. The hero found a wife to the north and in due time she bore twins to carry on his legacy." Of course, now things were going to get a bit awkward.

"However, the hero could not sit idly by. It was known across the land that his clan's patriarch had defeated a powerful demon who sought to shape the world to its whim. Although the creature's strength was broken, the descendants of that leader of men were left to deal with the efforts of his battle. Instead of one giant force of evil, nine smaller flames had been lit. The man of sight and his cousin, the man of the fist, were required to be ever vigilant lest the weaker demons cause that destruction. However, the two cousins could not work with one another, since neither would trust the other to control such power. While kin, both families fought each other nearly as much as their demonic enemies and they suffered for it."

"Aware of this challenge, the man of sight made a vow to his own children. Even as the lineage of the great warrior shattered, their resolve must remain firm. Therefore, he sent both sons into the world, hopeful that they could discover the true paths to personal power. Each had an obligation to protect the land from such evil, and it was the man of sight hopes that by dividing their paths, that a more effective defense could be established. Thus the once great warrior passed, praying towards the future." Taking a sip from his tea, Hiashi decided that the watered down conclusion of the story would do the trick. With his brilliant performance, the changes would seem all the more natural.

"The eldest son traveled towards the sun, discovering a grassy plain. Our legend is somewhat unclear, but it appears that he discovered a beautiful woman of fire. His eyes, like his fathers, could observe the flow of choice, and he knew that this creature would give his line the strength to do great things in the future. The woman was wary at first, but the son strived long and hard to impress her. After working towards his goal for a year and a day, the woman returned his attentions and they wed. Their line grew strong, and took the name Uchiha, as those who fanned the flames of their power. Over time and through rigorous training, they developed their ocular gifts to the point where no action or intention could be hidden from their sight. Thus, the Sharingan was born."

"However, the younger son traveled towards the moon, climbing the cliffs in the dead of winter. One day, his trek was interrupted by a horrible storm, and it seemed his life would soon end on an icy cliff. But out of the gale a woman of pale beauty appeared, untouched by wind or snow. She took him into her home and nursed him back to health. Over the many months of his recovery, the younger son fell in love with the woman of ice, and joined her with her in marriage. They took the name of Hyuga, or those who sought out the warmth of the sun. Their efforts created sight that could find the slightest hint of life's flame and spot the most distant flake of snow. Thus the Byakugan came to be."

Sighing, Hiashi met their shocked gazes with ease. "The reason that his story does not circulate outside the Hyuga Clan is the simple reason that we dislike mentioning that we descend from the younger line. The Uchiha ignored the story as much as possible since by the time the two clans reunited, they were bitter rivals. Uchiha and Hyuga do not view themselves as family, except for the purposes of excluding intermarriage for fear of genetic disorder. That is the simplest and basest truth." Nowhere near complete, of course, but still rather more than he had previously wanted to leak to the village.

Frowning, Naruto rubbed his chin. "Well, that answers that question. What it doesn't answer is how that stupid Sharingan keeps getting so powerful. I mean, Kakashi-sensei was able to use some sort of advanced version, and so where Itachi and Sasuke. I've never heard of anything like that dealing with the Hyuga." Oh ho? So Sasuke had the Mangekyo Sharingan then? That did make things much more serious than he had thought.

"Rumors of the price for the Mangekyo Sharingan have spread amongst the clans for quite some time. Based upon the evidence present within our libraries, the Hyuga elders and I have developed certain theories. Since the Uchiha were formed with a union of fire, the stronger their emotions the more powerful they became. However, given the intensity of the standard ninja lifestyle, it would have to be rather severe emotion to make any sort of impact. An absolute sense of loss or guilt would be required. In this case killing his brother might have, at some level, caused Sasuke to awaken his own. From what the rumor mill has stated Kakashi developed his own after utilizing the guilt of the death of his teammates. Such feelings do not come easily."

"However, the Hyuga have never experimented in such tactics or brutal rituals. Our skills came from the woman of ice, and as such we believe in strict emotional control to gain power. Our clansmen have grown so insightful on the nature of emotional response that we can read an opponent's intentions from the slightest of twitches. Yet, the highest level of the Byakugan remains observing the tenketsu points and manipulating them. Honestly, such power as the Mangekyo is not worth the price."

Sighing, Naruto haphazardly bowed before standing. "Thanks a lot Hyuga-san. At least you've given me something more to think about. We're going to need any bit of help possible to deal with this mess. Oh, and I won't tell your secrets and thank you for your trust." Hiashi had to stop himself from smirking. Oh, he knew the child would never break his word, but he gave off so many signs of his thoughts that the skilled ninja of the village would read him in an instant. Thus, the information would reach the right people and ease the pressure on the clan. Satisfied by his actions, the Clan head barely noticed as Hinata joined Uzumaki in his departure.

-----

Gathering her courage, Hinata touched Naruto's shoulder to provide the depressed man some comfort. "I'm sorry that was not of more help, Naruto-kun. It appears that the clans split before the Uchiha gained most of their powers. But if there's anything else that I can do to help, please let me!" She was a little shocked at her own brazen attitude, but something had changed between them. Hinata knew what Naruto needed, and found that she was unable to deny her idol anything. If she had to lie down and die again, she would do so in a heartbeat.

Sighing, Naruto gave her a wan smile. "I know Hinata-chan, and I thank you for it." However, something in her gaze must have touched him, because his next words completely took her by surprise. "Hey, could you come with me for a bit? I think that we need to talk." Stunned by the request, it was all the Hyuga maiden could do to keep up with the Genin. Before too long, they found themselves on the head of the Yondaime Hokage, staring out at the ruins of the village. Hinata could not help but tear up at the sight. Konoha was her home, and seeing the extent of the damage was nearly heartbreaking.

Looking uncharacteristically serious, Naruto sighed. "Hinata-chan while the story doesn't tell us a lot about how to defeat Sasuke it did show me something. I think that you take after your ancestor more than any other Hyuga that I have ever met." Blinking at his tone, Hinata tried to understand what he was talking about. Her Byakugan was nowhere near as powerful as Hanabi's, let alone Neji's. How could she possibly live up to such an impressive legacy as the first of the Hyuga?

Putting his hands on her shoulders, the blonde met her gaze with surprising passion. "When I heard about that woman in the snow saving your ancestor, I realized that it was just like you." Noting her surprise, he cracked a grin. "I might be popular now, but we both know that wasn't the case before. Now that I've saved the village, everybody wants to be my friend or get to know me. But only one ninja had the guts to help me fight with Pain, even when it looked hopeless. If you hadn't acted, I would probably be dead now."

Blushing, Hinata looked away. "Naruto-kun, I just couldn't let you die! Even if you never return my feelings or look at me as anything other than a friend, I will always try to protect you! You've been my inspiration for so long, I would do anything for you!" Realizing just how forward she was being, the shy Kunoichi shrunk into herself a bit. She could not bear to see Naruto-kun's rejection, or worse, his pity.

Lifting her face up, Naruto cupped her face. "I know that I've been really focused lately, but I will never forget someone who fought to protect me. There are very few people on that list, and I will cherish every single one for as long as I live." Dropping his hand, Naruto gave her one of his true smiles, and she felt her breath leave her body. It had to be the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. "So, why don't we take this one day at a time? I know I'm not as great as you say, but you are a lot better than you think. So to start with, will you just sit here with me for a while? Then maybe we can go find something to eat?"

Smiling, Hinata could not join him fast enough. This was the happiest she had ever felt, and she never wanted it to end. Oh, she knew that his feelings for Sakura-san where still there, but at the same time, she had hope. This was a chance to begin something with the man of her dreams, and there was no way Hinata would screw that up. So she sat watching the village, held in Naruto-kun's arms, and sighing in contentment. The slight aching in her eyes barely even registered.

-----

Observing the moon, Hyuga Hiashi drank his tea in silence. Reestablishing the clan's holdings was a time consuming process, and this was only his second break of the day. Although, the first break simply involved playing story teller to Uzumaki and his eldest. The Clan Head decided then and there that he liked the little brat. Naruto reminded him of another strong-willed ninja of the past, and it would not surprise him if they were related. Of course, the only ones who knew for sure simply were not talking.

It was such a nice little fairy tale too. Despite his desires to feed false information, most of the story was even true. Before settling in Konoha, it was used as a traditional bedtime story for the Main Branch Hyuga. Of course, he had related the watered down version, designed to be used on only the youngest members of the family. The true story was only explained in detail from father to son and mother to daughter upon the child's ascension to adulthood. It was something of a family secret after all, and could potentially be very embarrassing. However, upon the Uchiha rise to prominence, it was considered a bad idea to spread so much of the clan's dirty laundry around, and the information was restricted to the Clan Elders and Clan Head.

The truth of the story was quite a bit darker. While it was true that the Elder Son found a woman with a fiery spirit, she was actually a kitsune in disguise. The year and a day of effort included following her bidding and catering to her dark desires. There was even talk that some form of cannibalism was involved before the creature would allow their joining. Their union was formed from dark desire, and a powerful need for strength. While the clan later covered up such crimes with careful political marriages and an impressive battlefield resume, in the end their ambition consumed them. Why else would the survivors of the once great name try to kill one another off to prove their dominance? Their most powerful techniques were driven by the destruction of bonds and loved ones after all. It was almost sick, even by ninja standards.

The Hyuga's secret was the nature of the woman of ice. Like his sibling, the younger brother found a spirit to mate with. However, his choice was a Yuki Onna or Snow Woman. While the Kitsune wanted reverence and darkens, the Snow Woman was attracted by the warmth of the Younger Brother's spirit. She was giving and kind, and from all accounts utterly happy with her mate. The Byakugan evolved from her ability to track heat sources for sustenance, and it was only through trial and error that the Gentle Fist was developed to take advantage of this skill. The only other odd skill was the tendency to be overly protective of close family members.

Snorting, Hiashi took another sip. Of course the clan fragmented after the death of the Snow Woman, worried that their gift would be divided by inaction, and mindful of the mutations that yet another such division would cause, the Elders at the time decided that the younger members would only act to protect their kekkei genkai. After a Branch Member tried to perform a coup later on though, the Caged Bird Seal was developed to insure loyalty. Their purpose was too important to allow the petty jealousy of some to threaten the overall mission.

Still, it was still an oddity as to why the Byakugan did not seem to have an evolved state. If the legends where true, the Rinnegan was a power unmatched under heaven. Theoretically, Sharingan and Byakugan should be nothing in comparison. Yet the Uchiha had managed to create that barbaric Mangekyo Sharingan by kin slaying. Despite similar attempts in the Hyuga clan, nothing ever came of it. Ah well, it was not a question that could be easily answered today. Hyuga had been searching for such information for generations. After all, if it was as simple as sacrificing yourself instead of another, then who would really be interested in such an action? The Caged Bird Seal would destroy the results in the Branch Family and the Main Family members were too important to waste in such a fashion. Taking another sip of tea, Hiashi simply enjoyed the moonlight.

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Author's Notes

Ah, now that was relaxing! :)

I know that I should focus on the next chapter of Escape from the Hokage's Hat. Really, I do. It's just that this has been bugging me lately and I could not hold back my irritation any longer. I mean, have you seen Danzou's power-up? The love of the Sharingan is just plain nuts and its past time that people start asking more questions!

I know that the concept of the advanced Byakugan has come up quite a bit in other stories, but this kept bouncing around in my head, refusing to shut the hell up. So I decided to write it and see where it led me. I don't really view it as my best work, but I keep being told I should try out a little original fiction. Well, to those of you who asked, here is my attempt. I hope it amuses some of you at least.

While I view this as a one shot, I might add to it if I find myself in the mood. For now my main focus is Escape from the Hokage's Hat, and I am hesitant to take away from that. I might have even tried to simply develop this into a challenge, but did not want to presume.

Anyways, thanks for putting up with it, and I'll go get back to work. I'm only forty percent done with the next chapter, and I know that you are all curious as to what happens. So please, stay tuned!