Summary: What if Hanabi wanted more than just the title of Heiress? A glimpse at her sister's diary points the younger girl toward something else to take away from Hinata. Hinata/Naruto/Hanabi
Standing a few meters apart inside a wide room was a small girl and an older man. The girl, Hyuuga Hanabi, stood around four feet tall with brown hair and pupil-less eyes wearing an emotionally composed face. She was panting slightly from recent exertion, a sheen of sweat coating her brow. The middle-aged man was Hyuuga Hiashi, the girl's father and Clan Head. He had dark colored hair, similar eyes as the girl, and had a strong, impressive build. He looked as noble and as composed as always.
"Otousama, how is my training going in comparison to Hinata-neesan?"
The small girl always compared herself to her five years older sister, even though the younger Hanabi came out the better performer she always had less to show for it.
"You are adequate." It was the closest thing to a compliment that the stern father would ever bestow on anyone. But it wasn't enough for Hanabi, she wanted more.
"Would I make a better heiress than Hinata-neesan?" A gleam of hope and envy could be seen in the young brunette girl's eyes.
"Hinata is the eldest and heir. No matter how embarrassing she may be, I will not have you questioning this." His face was impassive and apathetic, not showing even a hint of remorse at scolding his youngest daughter nor insulting his eldest. "Our training is concluded for the day. I have other duties to attend to today and tomorrow, I will send for someone at my next opportunity to train you."
Hanabi watched him walk out of the training room with brief flash of resentment. Her father may have spent much more time training her than Hinata, but the time they spent together was more out of duty. It didn't fill the hole in her chest that made itself known every time the young brunette seen one of her cousins being hugged or comforted by their parent.
Seeing that there was no-one else in the room with her, she decided to take her anger out on the nearest training pole.
Blinking away from the memory, the now seven-year-old Hanabi returned herself to her origami. It was a hobby she had originally taken up to help with finger dexterity. However she practiced the art more often for its meditative and therapeutic properties, something to take her mind off her solitary existence.
The sound of angered footsteps pulled the young girl from her careful and measured folding.
"He's such a pain. And this damn seal makes me wanna-" The young woman was cut-off quickly.
"Shh! Keep your voice down." The other woman, both Branch members Hanabi noted, had the sense to lower her voice.
Hanabi was about to comment on their lack of decorum, apparently neither of the women noticed the Clan Head's youngest daughter quietly seated near the corner of the sitting room. She stopped herself when she heard her father's name.
"Look, I know Hiashi-sama is a pain, but we have to deal with him. He's our Head and all we can do is hope for Hinata to take over soon. She's such a kind-hearted girl, she'll be much more pleasant to serve."
Hanabi's hands clenched themselves into small fists.
"I wish his wife was still around, he was such a different person then. He actually cared for and was willing to express his love to Hinata and Taira-sama. Such a shame Hanabi never had the chance to know her or him when her mother was around. He didn't start getting bad until Hinata was kidnapped and only got worse when Taira-sama died giving birth to Hanabi."
'Otousama was… loving?' The seven-year-old could hardly wrap her mind around that thought as the gossiping Branch girls' voices faded into the background. 'He was caring toward neesan and Okaasan. Why doesn't he seem to care for me? Those girls said he changed after neesan was kidnapped. When did that happen and why did he become so cold after? Am I undeserving of his love? No, if anything I'm more deserving than Hinata-neesan. She must have done something to cause him to be distant. She stole my father's love before I even had a chance to receive and appreciate it!'
The girl, far too mature and jaded for her young age, stood, her nearly completed origami crane long forgotten on the desk. The movement attracted the attention of both Branch House women.
"Hanabi-sama! I- I- We didn't know you were there! We were just discussing, uh, a book I had read."
The small brunette girl ignored any stuttered apologies and pleading, simply walking out of the room. Hanabi didn't hear or care for whatever they were talking about or doing anymore. All she cared about was the thought that Hinata had gotten herself kidnapped at some point, and that had started the change in her father from a loving man to a cold, unemotional shell of a father.
Her legs seemed to have a destination of their own while Hanabi was feeling the most intense surge of jealousy she had ever experienced. She resented her father's lack of compassion toward his youngest daughter, bitter over the fact that she would never know her mother's love. Most of all, she was angry and jealous that Hinata knew and would remember both of these things.
She came to stop outside a white door, briefly pausing to check the hallway, opening the door only after ensuring no-one would see her enter.
Hinata's room wasn't any larger than her own. The walls were painted differently; Hinata seemed to favor lavender and cerulean colored walls with an off-white ceiling. The desk had a few pieces of paper that Hinata seemed to be practicing her kanji on. The dresser was clean other than a few knick-knacks.
With her older sister at the academy Hanabi couldn't take her frustrations out on Hinata, so the younger girl made do with glaring at the contents of Hinata's room.
Glaring at inanimate objects wasn't as satisfying as sparring against the elder Hyuuga girl. As Hanabi was about to leave the room she noticed a purple leather book peeking out from under one of the pillows. Curiosity getting the better of her, Hanabi snatched the book and immediately rolled her eyes.
The cover of the book had little stickers of bowls of ramen sprinkled all over it.
'How immature, and this person is supposed to lead the influential Hyuuga clan?' she thought as she moved to flip open the book.
It was a diary -- Hinata's diary.
Glancing at the first couple of pages rewarded nothing interesting. They described basic insecurities Hanabi was already aware her older sister had. The next few pages were equally as dull with Hinata rambling on about whatever nonsensical thing happened that particular day, the young girl was about to close the book and exit the room when she noticed one particular entry.
'Naruto-kun talked to me today! I'm not sure what he said, I was too busy staring at him to pay attention. As I was working up the courage to ask him to repeat what he said it happened again. That pink-haired man-stealing bitch Haruno bumped into Naruto-kun, pushing him closer to me, as she was walking by. I tried, I desperately tried to control myself, but with him so, so close to me I couldn't help myself. I fainted. Again. One of these days, Naruto-kun, I'll overcome my shyness. Then I'll talk to you and confess my feelings for you. You will, of course, tell me that your crush on the pink-haired gorilla was a lie to give yourself time to come to terms with your feelings of love to me. Then we'll get married.'
Hanabi was more than a little surprised her kind-hearted and gentle sister would call anyone such names, even in the privacy of her diary. She banished that shock quickly though and replaced it with bitter jealousy. 'Another thing you have that I don't, Hinata-neesan. You were born the heiress, you were loved by Otousama when he was a better father, you knew and were loved by Okaasan and now you have someone you want to spend your life with. Well… you don't have him yet, do you neesan?'
The young girl flipped back to the first page of the diary as she began combing the entire contents of the book for more information on this 'Naruto-kun.'
According to her older sister, his name was Uzumaki Naruto and he was the same age as Hinata – twelve. The Hyuuga heiress physically described him with 'hair as bright and golden blond as the shining sun, blue eyes deeper than the ocean, cute whisker marks on his cheeks and a beautiful smile that could cause my heart to beat faster than ever before.' Hanabi conceded that the picture her sister painted was attractive. Naruto's personality was portrayed as loud and out-going, very expressive of his emotions. That also caught her attention, perhaps this boy could supply the happy feelings her family always failed to give her.
The negatives for him, from what Hanabi could discern from the book, were his desire to prank people, an obsession with the color orange, and the boy seemed to survive on ramen. The wardrobe was easily dealt with. She was also confident she could easily intimidate him into eating more properly, 'he is only a commoner after all. I will glare at him while ordering him to wear different clothing and eat healthier.' The pranking would be harder to deal with. She would need to give him focus.
'He wants to be the Hokage; I can likely manipulate him using that as a goal to convince him to be more serious in his studies and training. Whether I am chosen as the future Clan Head or not, I can at least ensure that I have one thing Hinata-neesan does not. And being the wife of the future Hokage wouldn't be too bad of an alternative.' The young girl finished her thought with a vindictive smile; she would take at least one thing away from her older sister.
Placing the diary back the way she had found it before, she left the room to mentally plan out tomorrow's events.
Hyuuga Hanabi watched from the shade of a tree as the Ninja Academy let out for the day. She could see dozens of children ranging from eight to twelve years of age walking out the doors of the building. From what the seven-year-old girl could remember, the academy was in its fourth of an eight month term.
She took notice of her older sister, Hinata, being escorted away by a Chuunin with messy black hair and oddly red colored eyes. Hanabi turned back to the doors, waiting for a specific student.
Minutes after the last kid walked away she still hadn't spotted her target. It wasn't until ten minutes later that she spotted the boy.
'Golden blond hair – check. Blue eyes – check. Whisker marks on his cheeks – check. Ugh, obscene amounts of orange clothing – check.'
With her mental checklist finished she made her way toward the boy with small, determined steps.
The boy in questioned was walking the other way with at a quick pace, never taking notice of the small girl following him and trying to catch his attention. Within minutes he seemed to arrive at his destination.
Hanabi was becoming extremely agitated as she tried to catch the blond boy's attention in a way that would be somewhat dignified, she settled for moving her tiny legs faster in order to try to catch up to the boy. By the time she nearly caught him he stepped inside a small food stand, 'I really should have expected this considering what I read in Hinata-neesan's diary.'
The young brunette girl paused outside Ichiraku's Ramen stand for a moment, collecting herself, before stepping inside. Her eyes immediately locked onto her reason for being here. She calmly, with all the composure she could muster, moved to stand a few feet away from him. While waiting for him to take notice of her, Hanabi couldn't help but be disgusted by his eating habits. 'He eats like an animal, perhaps I will need to put a lot of work into him. Oh well, the reward should make all the effort worth it.'
The girl, growing tired of being unintentionally dismissed, coughed slightly.
"You are Uzumaki Naruto, correct?"
Naruto stopped consuming his third bowl as he turned to answer the little girl talking to him.
"You bet I am! Uzumaki Naruto, future Hokage! Hey, you have strange eyes like that weird girl in my class."
'Maybe I underestimated just how much work I would need to put in,' Hanabi thought with a sigh. 'The boy has no tact to speak of.'
"I am Hyuuga Hanabi. I assume you're referring to my older sister, Hinata." The young girl took a moment before moving to put the start of her plans into motion. "I have heard of your dreams to become the Hokage and I would like to aid you on your journey. May I take a seat?"
"Umm, yeah, sure." Naruto blinked in surprise, most people just laughed when he told them his dream.
"Thank you." After sitting on the stool next to him she continued. "Now, you wish to become to Hokage, a very lofty goal for anyone to have. As someone who doesn't come from a clan I'm sure you already know how immensely difficult it will be for you to achieve your dream, you will need assistance. I would like to offer you a trade."
"How can you help me? You're just a little girl."
Hanabi bristled at the slight insult but quenched that anger quickly.
"I am the second heir of the Hyuuga Clan. We are the most powerful and influential clan of Konoha. I'm unsure of whether you're aware of what you need to attain the position of Hokage, but it takes much more than brute strength as a ninja. You must also have the support of the councilmen and general public. You will also need to know how to act appropriately in public. Social etiquette," She noticed his slightly confused look and clarified. "How to act and speak in public and social situations along with how to properly eat when you have company or are a guest. Being a Hokage means you will be the face of the village, if you act like an uncivilized animal then it is what the other villages will see when the think of Konoha."
"And you think you can help me?"
"What do you get out of this?" Naruto's words were laced with suspicion. "People don't like to help me."
Hanabi was expecting that question but she wasn't prepared to answer it in such a public place.
"That… that is something we will need to speak about in private," she reluctantly answered before gaining her composure and getting off the stool. "Follow me."
She turned and made her way toward the door. Only then did she notice the blank stare coming from the still seated Naruto.
"I said 'follow me.'"
"I'm not leaving my ramen."
"Your food is more important than this discussion that will help you realize your lifelong dream of being Hokage?" Hanabi allowed her apathetic emotional mask to crack, revealing a bit of disbelief."
"Not food." Naruto corrected. "Ramen."
"You've eaten over three bowls in the time I've been here, you have had enough."
"I normally have over ten bowls before I leave, Hanabi-chan." The young girl flushed slightly at the familiar way he addressed her. "You'll have to wait."
"Look," her frustration mounting. "Just bring your food- no, your ramen with us."
It took a few more minutes of arguing before they both exited the stand, Naruto carrying a few take-out containers of ramen. Hanabi led him in the direction of a training ground she often went to when she needed to take a break from her clan.
Once they arrived the girl took a formal seat on her knees as she motioned for Naruto to sit across from her.
The boy immediately began digging into one of the ramen containers.
"I would like…" Hanabi looked down at the grass between them both in shame. "I would like you to be my friend."
She knew she couldn't just demand he promise himself to her, it would take time for her to 'win' him away from her older sister. Even though the young girl had a long-term goal involving Naruto she was still embarrassed to have to ask someone to be her friend. Hanabi spoke to and interacted with many people from her clan, but they only seen the daughter of the Clan Head.
The brunette felt a hand under her small chin tilt her head up. She was greeted with a large smile on Naruto's face, one that brought a small smile to her face as well.
"I'd be your friend anyways, Hanabi-chan." She blushed slightly again. "But, if that's what you want then I'll be the best friend you will ever have."
Hanabi forced her blush away while taking note of the empty ramen containers. She could immediately deal with one problem this day, hopefully.
"Naruto-san, why do-," she was interrupted.
"Naruto or Naruto-kun; friends don't call each other 'san.'"
"Very well, Naruto, why do you wear such bright clothing?" She made a motion with her hand indicating the blue, white and orange monstrosity that was his jumpsuit.
He blushed slightly out of embarrassment while scratching the back of his head.
"It, umm, it helps people notice me. A lot of people ignore me and I want people to see me and pay attention to me."
Hanabi had noticed this while she escorted Naruto away from Ichiraku's. Most people looked the other way purposefully; some had even stared disdainfully at the blond. 'This is likely the real reason he wishes to become the Hokage, to be looked at with respect and awe. Not the most altruistic of reasons, but then again I'm doing this for selfish reasons so I don't have any room to speak.'
"Naruto, you must learn that there is a large difference between positive attention and negative attention. Going out of your way to be obnoxious in order to gain attention may work in the short-term, but you have to be aware of the long-term ramifications."
"Huh?" Naruto appeared more than a little confused.
"What I mean is that while you may get people to look at you today by wearing orange and speaking loudly, this will cause people to see you in a bad light in the future. Years into the future people will still remember you wearing orange, playing pranks to annoy people, yelling loudly at them, and generally acting like a pest." She forced a small smile at the end to soften the blow before moving on.
"If you want to be the Hokage you have to start planning for the future. It is a long road you have to travel to get to that point and it starts before you even become a Genin." She paused to make sure he was keeping up with her. "So, you will need to work on your image and how people view you. Do you understand?"
"I- I think so." He seemed reluctant for a moment before adding to that. "So, I should stop playing pranks and wearing orange?"
"I'm not telling you to change who you are, but to pay more attention to how everyone sees you. If you enjoy playing… pranks, then you should continue to do so." She was careful, she didn't want to change him completely too rapidly and cause him to resent her later. "You should just tone it down and target only those that you feel deserve it."
"Ah, I get you. I don't really want to get rid of the orange though, I really like it."
"Then you should keep some orange, but go with darker colors. Browns, blacks, dark greens; colors that will blend in with your surroundings."
"Does this fit in with the 'how people see me' thing?"
"Yes." She said with a slight smile. "People must learn to respect you before you gain a position of leadership and it would be hard to gain respect if you dress like a kid instead of a ninja."
"I don't-," he looked down in embarrassment before forcing out the rest of his words. "I don't have any money for new clothes this month, but I'll probably have enough next month when I get my check."
"Nonsense. I can purchase them for you, my clan is extremely wealthy."
"No! I couldn't let you do that, it wouldn't be right."
Hanabi thought quickly on a way to compel him.
"Naruto, we're friends, correct?" She spoke with a sly tone.
"Well, yeah." Naruto blinked, slightly confused at why she was asking.
"And friends do nice things for each other?"
"Then you will let me buy you new clothes." Before masking her face with obvious depression. "Unless… unless you don't consider yourself my friend…"
"No! I do!" Naruto jumped to his feet and quickly reassured her. "It's just… I don't think… Fine, you can buy me clothes. Just stop being so sad, I don't like seeing my friends sad!"
She brightened up noticeably which caused him to let out a relieved sigh.
Hanabi felt slightly guilty at manipulating him, but she pushed it aside quickly. 'This will also help him be a better person, so it's not like I'm hurting him.'
An hour later her companion had tossed away his old, bright jumpsuit in exchange for something much more presentable. A black zip-up ninja vest covered a dark orange sleeveless shirt and basic black ninja pants.
"Hanabi-chan. I just…" Naruto scratched the back of his head with a slight blush. "I just want to thank you."
Hanabi could hear the sincerity of his words.
"No-one has ever done something like this for me before, other than the old man."
And before she could react Naruto had crossed the small distance between them and enveloped her in an embrace.
Hanabi stiffened in surprise before tightly wrapping her arms around his midsection and burying her face into his chest. Tears poured out of her eyes slowly as she choked out a sob, causing Naruto to attempt to pull away. She wouldn't let him break the embrace though.
"Hanabi-chan, why are you crying? Did I do something wrong?"
"No, it's just…" She pulled back slightly so that she could look him in the eye. "It's just this is the first time I can remember being hugged."
"But- but what about your parents?" The shock was apparent on his face.
"Okaasan died when I was born and…" She was reluctant to openly admit the next fact. "And my Otousama is not a loving man, I see him for training and formal fucntions, but those are the only times I see him."
Hanabi turned her head down slightly in shame.
"Hanabi, look at me." She peered up at him, partially out of shock that he didn't call her 'Hanabi-chan.' "If you ever want a hug, I want you to come to me. Okay?" He gave her a small smle.
"Really?" And for the first time that day, Naruto was able to see the insecure seven-year-old girl that she hid behind her apathetic mask.
"I mean it. I promise I'll always be there for you and I never break a promise!" His small smile widened to a full 'foxy' smile as he pulled her into another hug.
Hanabi enjoyed the moment for a few more seconds before reluctantly pulling away. She wiped away any remaining tears before regaining her previous composure.
"Thank you, Naruto-kun." He smiled at the added honorific causing her to blush lightly. "I need to return to the clan compound. I'm not sure when I'll be able to see you again, but I'll meet you outside the academy when I can."
They said their goodbyes and went their separate ways.