Chapter 1: Lost, Everything
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor do I plan to at anytime in the future.
The clouds were slightly overcast flying overhead of the Hidden Leaf Village, essentially leading to a perfect day for cloud watching. People were going about their normal routines; shopping, working, and the like. Shinobi were walking to and fro, generally enjoying the rather generic nature of the day. Even the ANBU seemed to be in a slightly more relaxed state, despite keeping an eye open for possible threats to the village. For the ninja, missions were rather slow in coming, mainly due to having people who would normally be requesting missions wanting to take things slow with the newly instated Godaime Hokage, the Slug Princess of Konoha and member of the Densetsu no Sannin, Tsunade Senju. It wasn't so much that foreign dignitaries and daimyo were untrusting of the newly instated Hokage, but it was a general courtesy to try and not overwhelm a new Kage with missions unless they were incredibly important, such as threats of a coup de grâce against a leader or the capture of a high-ranking criminal.
Inside the Hyūga compound, however, was a slightly different manner. Today was the day of another spar for one Hinata Hyūga. For you see, ever since she lost the opportunity for promotion during the Chūnin Exams approximately one and a half months previously, the Hyūga were becoming more and more unsatisfied with Hinata's performance as heir. They were disappointed that Hinata was not living up to her title as heiress to the clan, to the point where there were talks of replacing her with Hanabi, her younger sister. Hinata not only had not made Chūnin, she lost to her cousin Neji, who while being a prodigy, was a member of the Branch House of the clan. That was considered unacceptable; both by the standards of Hiashi and the Hyūga Family Council, a group of elders who helped Hiashi run the family. As heiress, she needed to be the best in the Jūken, or Gentle Fist, fighting style. For her to lose to Neji was a disgrace upon the Main House. If anything, she should have wiped the floor with Neji, or at the very least used the Cage Bird Seal to save face. So, for the past month and a half, Hinata had been put into a rigorous and exhausting training schedule in addition to her normal training with her team and her missions for the village.
Currently, she was in a spar with a member of the Branch House around her age. Her cousin was currently at a required training session with his sensei and Hanabi was currently in another part of the household with her personal tutor working on her studies for the Academy. So Hinata's audience consisted of the Hyūga elders, four men and four women, and her father Hiashi Hyūga, the current head of the clan, as well as a few members of the Branch House. Hinata, by nature, was not one that wanted to hurt people she cared about. It was part of the reason she did so poorly in spars against friends and family; she didn't want to cause some sort of permanent damage to someone she cared about. The Jūken was famous for being a deadly fighting style that would leave little behind for an autopsy. One proper strike to the correct area could cause serious damage to internal organs. The fear of causing that kind of damage to a member of the family or a friend scared Hinata, which is why she usually hesitated and fought defensively in any of her spars. Today, that mindset would cost her dearly.
The spar had stared out easy enough. The member of the Branch House she was sparing with was nowhere near Neji in terms of skill. The match was easy going to start with. There was nothing more than a few hits here and there, with the audience remaining silent until the match was over in order to critique. Hinata so far had the upper hand, since she managed to close off a few tenketsu in her opponent's body. However, at some point, she left herself wide open for a strike to the heart, which would have ended the match. Seeing this, in an attempt to minimize the damage and avoid a lethal strike, she spun to attempt to take the blow to the back. Unfortunately, as her opponent was going to make the strike, he pumped too much chakra into the strike. As Hinata spun to avoid the strike, the Branch member attempted to recall the strike, but it was too late. Instead of cutting off the chakra flow to his hand, Hinata's opponent accidentally created a pulse it in his palm instead of recalling it and sent the pulse into Hinata's back, right in between her shoulder blades. That freak incident did something no one present saw coming.
Hinata was immediately on her stomach, screaming her throat raw as she lay on the ground writhing in excoriating pain. She didn't know what was going on; one moment, she was sparing, the next there was a pulse from a poor Jūken strike, then this pain. She was terrified of what was going on. A Gentle Fist strike to the back, even if it was lethal or damaging, was not supposed to hurt like this. She simply clung to her sides as she lay on the floor. The spectators were simply trying to figure out what was going on. Even Hiashi couldn't tell what was going on. Several people were going to activate their Byakugan, but as the medics were prepared to go in, two moving lumps appeared near Hinata's back. It looked like two different masses were trying to escape her back. Everyone stood back in shock, not entirely sure what was going on with the "failure" of the clan. No one had to wait very long, for just as everyone was going to start questioning what was going on, the coat that Hinata was wearing ripped open in the back…to reveal a pair of wings. Each one was approximately five feet in length, pure white with the palest shade of lavender tinting the wings giving them an even softer look to them, and covered in soft feathers that would flow silently through the air like a human-sized owl. Everyone stood by in shock. Not a single person near the arena had a clue as to what was going on. That is, everyone except Hiashi, who had a look of surprise, fear, and unadulterated hatred on his face before putting on his stone-like façade that was typical of a Hyūga and making his way into the arena where his "daughter" lay.
Hinata made a move to raise her head to examine what was going on. Things were a little too quiet for her liking and she was a bit nervous as to what was going on. As she attempted to open her eyes-apparently at some point she closed them-she was met with the sight of feathers. 'What are these doing here?' She touched one delicately, and was shocked to realize that the feather was attached to a wing, and that she could feel something coming out of her back. 'W-what's going on here?' she frantically tried to have her mind catch up with what was going on, but before she could, Hiashi was upon her.
Hiashi grabbed his eldest daughter by the throat with his left hand and raised her up to eye level. "I do not know what kind of abomination you are trying to pass yourself off as, but I will not stand for it." Hiashi's tone was both cold as ice and scalding as fire. "Clearly, you are not human, and you are certainly no daughter of mine anymore."
"B-b-but, Otou-san," Hinata tried to speak, but she was finding it difficult as she was being choked. Before she could continue to plead and beg for forgiveness from her father however, Hiashi silenced her with a slap to the face, after he had dropped her to the ground. Hinata was on the verge of tears looking into the face of the man who she called father.
"I already told you, you are no daughter of mine. A daughter of mine would not be a freak of nature. It is clear that you are no Hyūga. You are nothing more than a mistake of nature; a monstrosity that was attempting to pass yourself off as human." Hiashi then raised his voice to Hinata. "As of right now, you are no longer a member of this clan. You are stripped of your title as heiress. You are not even worthy of bearing the name of Hyūga. You are no longer welcome among our clansmen and will be given five minutes to leave this compound, or you will be executed. Now, get out of my sight, wretch!"
Hinata, now scared, confused, and in a lot of physical and emotional pain, did the only thing that she could in the situation; she ran out of the compound as fast as she could, not even bothering to try and gather any personal belongings or trying to look back. She no longer was welcome and was now alone in the world. She ran out into the streets of the early afternoon, not fully realizing that things were going to get worse before they got better…
Team 7 just entered the gates of Konoha after returning from a C-rank mission to deliver some reports to a local town. Kakashi was still nose-deep into one of the little Icha-Icha books that he usually carried around with him. Sasuke Uchiha was as much for conversation as usual, Sakura was still trying to get a date with Sasuke while telling Naruto that he was an idiot for the sixteenth time that day-Naruto actually kept track-and Naruto was currently trying to figure out what to do when he got home that day.
Naruto let out a heavy sigh. It had been a rather boring mission. Listening to middle-age men talk about stuff like economics and the local news that was in the report was boring as hell. There were not even so much as a random group of bandits to chase down. It was essentially a D-rank mission disguised as a C-rank only because it was outside of the village. His team didn't even bother with trying to train on the way there or back. Naruto looked at his team. Lately, he had been noticing things about them that he either didn't pay attention to earlier or was ignoring up until now. For instance, he had noticed that, while it seemed that Kakashi was playing favorites by only training Sasuke, it was more for the fact that Sasuke had the Sharingan more than anything else that pretty much made him train Sasuke. Not to mention, Kakashi had tried over and over to beat into Sasuke's head the importance of teamwork and loyalty to your friends, which he explained to Naruto and Sakura shortly after the Exams was the reason he took Sasuke away during the one month between the Exam and the Finals. Granted, Naruto could tell there was more to it than that, but at least it didn't seem like Kakashi wanted to leave them high and dry.
Sasuke was also someone that Naruto began to see in a somewhat different light. Before he received his curse mark, Sasuke was a bastard. Now, he was a bastard with an anger problem. It seemed that, whatever his brother Itachi did to him when Itachi and Kisame tried to capture Naruto, it gave Sasuke a short fuse. Naruto and Sasuke were always competing now in everything: spars, training routines, even so much as outdoing each other in jutsu. He was always competitive, but Naruto was beginning to notice that Sasuke was not doing so for fun; it seemed he was trying to prove something to someone. Naruto was confused, since Sasuke always thought that he was better than everyone else to begin with. What would someone like Sasuke have to prove to anyone, much less his own team?
Finally, there was Sakura. After bringing back Tsunade to help Sasuke out of his comatose state, Naruto thought that he might have a chance to show Sakura just how much he was worth. However, after seeing her reaction to Sasuke returning to consciousness, Naruto began to realize that any chance he had with Sakura was long gone. As much as it pained him to admit it, Sasuke would always have the one thing that Naruto would never have: Sakura's affection. No matter how much Naruto achieved, no matter how strong he got, no matter how far he went as a ninja, Sakura would never seem him as more than an annoyance at best. It hurt Naruto, but he realized that maybe it would be for the better. After all, many people had been trying to tell him for years to get over her, so would it be all that bad if he did? Besides, it would be nice to at least be friends with a girl that didn't beat you up alongside the head for bad-mouthing her crush. For that matter, it would be nice for a girl to give him the time of day without adding some sort of insult.
Naruto began to think about some of the other girls in his rather limited social circle-he thought it would be weird to ask for a date from someone that wasn't around his own age- but none seemed like good ideas to try and ask about possibly becoming a girlfriend. Tenten, if Naruto remembered correctly, was Neji's teammate, had perfect accuracy, and took being a ninja seriously. Plus, she would appreciate the fact that he brought her idol, Tsunade, back to the village. She was OK, and a bit prettier than Sakura, but chances were she wouldn't feel comfortable being with someone who beat her own teammate as badly as Naruto had beaten him. Not to mention, she did seem more interested in a career than a relationship. Ino was definitely out; she was pretty, but also another Sasuke fan girl. Chances were, he would just be pushed aside like that if the opportunity to be with Sasuke ever changed. There was that one girl from Sunagakure, Temari, but dating someone from another village was usually considered taboo. Besides, he was a little intimidated by someone who could beat you up with a giant fan, or who had brothers who could actually kill you without leaving a body behind. Before Naruto could contemplate things further, he and the rest of Team 7 heard what appeared to be a mob on the next street over. This piqued Naruto's interest a bit while making him a little nervous.
Kakashi noticed this and inwardly sighed. Naruto didn't exactly have a pleasant childhood. True, he didn't have any assassination attempts on his life, but it didn't matter when you were mobbed at random for the first eight years of your life. Kakashi would know; he ended up saving Naruto from quite a few of these mobs back when Kakashi was a part of Naruto's protective ANBU detail, alongside Yūgao Uzuki, a man by the name of Yamato-who was codenamed Tenzō at the time-and Itachi Uchiha before he became a missing nin. He knew that Naruto was a little nervous around large groups of villagers because of this. That said, even he found it odd that there would be a mob in town that wasn't chasing Naruto for once. Kakashi looked at his blond student and noticed that he was curious as to what was going on. Sakura seemed annoyed that they stopped, since she wanted to try and get Sasuke on a date after the mission was over, and Sasuke seemed to be trying to see what Naruto's problem was. Kakashi decided, rather than ignore the situation, that he would let Naruto do what he felt he needed.
"Yeah, Kakashi-sensei?" Naruto asked.
"I take it you are worried about what that mob is for, right?" Naruto nodded a little, but Naruto was more curious than afraid.
Sasuke got a smug look on his face. "What's the matter, dobe? Are you afraid of a few civilians?" Sasuke asked in an antagonizing tone.
"Shut it, teme! You know how I feel about large groups…"
A fist slammed into Naruto's head. "Shut up, Naruto-baka! Just because you can't be man enough to face a few civilians like Sasuke-kun, doesn't mean you have to hold us up!" Her inner seemed to agree. 'Shānnarō! Yeah, baka! You're taking away our Sasuke-kun time! Quit being a sissy and let's get this mission over with already!'
Kakashi intervened before things got out of hand. "I have a solution. Naruto, how about you go over and try to figure out what's going on. The rest of us will go ahead and deliver our report. This was a pretty easy mission, so I think we will be fine if you aren't there this time." Kakashi then smiled with his eye in an upside down "U" shape. Naruto thanked his sensei and ran towards the sound that the mob was coming from.
"Kakashi-sensei, are you sure you want that baka going off to find out what's going on? Knowing him, he probably would just get beaten to a pulp or something, and he would probably just end up making things worse by being the usual baka that he is," Sakura spat off.
"I trust his judgment, Sakura. He has his own reasons for doing this. Now, the rest of us have a mission to complete." With that, the rest of Team 7 left to report to the Hokage.
Naruto knew from experience that Konoha citizens didn't just gather together in a mob for no reason. When he was younger, he was the victim of several mob attacks. He would be beaten, slashed, and several other things that Naruto didn't feel comfortable remembering. Usually, it was to try and "Exterminate the Demon," or "Hunt the Fox." But, randomly mobbing when he wasn't around for the beating…it wasn't their style. He started to think about what exactly they could be attacking. He doubted that it would be another demon container like him; it wasn't exactly a status that most people bragged about and Naruto doubted that someone would just waltz into Konoha and let themselves be beaten up by a random group of people. That didn't leave much else as far as Naruto was concerned. There were enough unusual looking people in Konoha that most citizens were tolerant of other people who didn't look the same as the rest of the population. That didn't leave much to Naruto's imagination.
As Naruto rounded the corner, he saw a group of perhaps ten or twelve people beating someone or something up, with a group of about twenty or thirty surrounding them, shouting out things like "monster," "freak," and "Kami's mistake." This infuriated the blond Genin. He was pretty much looking into a portal of the past, seeing his younger self in the middle of that beating. He didn't even know what they were attacking and he already didn't care. 'Not to mention,' Naruto thought to himself, 'there still is no ANBU or other ninja around to stop this mess. I guess I will have to stop this myself.' Firming his resolve, Naruto made about fifty Shadow Clones to charge the mob and try to get them away from whatever held their interest. Thankfully, the crowd had recognized him as the Kyūbi brat. They may have wanted to beat him in the past, but with him being a ninja and being able to make hundreds of copies of himself, they decided to bolt to avoid a beatdown by the most hyperactive-knuckleheaded ninja in Konoha.
As soon as the crowd left, Naruto went to where they were to see what appeared to be a girl laying face-down on the street, covered in bruises and blood. What got Naruto's attention immediately was that this girl had a pair of wings growing out of her back. 'Wait, wings?' Naruto thought. That was certainly unique, and it would probably explain why the mob attacked her; people tended to act violent towards what they didn't understand. The wings were white with what appeared to be some shade of lavender on them. He tried to see if he could get a better look at the girl, when he started to notice some rather familiar things about her. First, she was wearing the remains of a female beige or tan jacket, with what appeared to be a red flame-like symbol on them. She appeared to be around his age, or at least his size, with bluish black hair. "Wait, it can't be!" Naruto exclaimed, mostly to himself since the street still was one of the smaller ones in town and there were not that many people around right now. But, sure enough, when he turned the girl's head over to look at her face, he saw it was indeed Hinata Hyūga.
There were a lot of questions going through Naruto's mind, but first and foremost, he needed to get Hinata out of there. There was no telling just what could happen to her all out in the open like this. He created another shadow clone to go find Tsunade and get help and he created half a dozen or so more to go and try to clean his apartment so it would be easier to get Hinata inside his apartment. Trying carefully to lift her so that he wouldn't aggravate her injuries further, he ended up carrying her with her head resting against his chest and his arms directly underneath her so that her wings draped over his arms. With a small blush, since he had never carried anyone like that before, he raced to try and get Hinata to his apartment.
Tsunade's day was going well, all things considered. Ever since she took office, things were rather calm, for the most part. Granted, she hated paperwork with a passion, and listening to reports like the one she was listening to right now for Team 7 was a bit of a pain, but the perks seemed to work in her favor. No one to bother her except Shizune whenever she wanted a bottle of sake, a group of loyal ANBU that could do whatever she needed to have done, and the only people she had to answer to were a bunch of old farts on the Council that would probably kick the bucket within the next few years. So, it came as no small wonder when, while Kakashi was finishing the report, a certain blond knucklehead came knocking, or rather pounding, on her window. "Baa-chan! Baa-chan, I need your help! It's an emergency!"
Sakura walked over to the window and made a violent attempt to grab Naruto, but was caught off guard when he started waving his hands in front of his face. "Wait, wait, don't shoot the messenger clone!"
"Sakura, stand down," Tsunade ordered. Sakura then went back to admiring her crush while Sasuke went back to ignoring her. "OK, you're one of Naruto's Shadow Clones, I'm guessing. So, what brings you here?"
The clone got a little nervous, which wasn't lost on the Hokage or the Jōnin present. "Well, the boss found someone lying in the street being beaten up by a mob and asked me to come get you."
"Well, why didn't that baka actually THINK for once and take them to the hospital? That blockhead is as dense as a post!" Sakura complained.
Tsunade was in deep thought. Naruto may have liked to pull pranks, but he wouldn't joke about someone needing medical attention. It wasn't in his nature. Plus, she was just as curious as everyone else as to why he didn't simply take this person to the hospital like everyone else. A couple hundred scenarios ran through her mind, and about half of them were not pleasant. In any case, she supposed it wouldn't hurt to find out what was going on. She turned her attention to Kakashi. "Kakashi, is there anything else important you need to report that cannot be written up later?"
"Not that I'm aware of, Hokage-sama."
"Then I expect your written report sometime tomorrow. For now, go and pick up your pay. You are dismissed."
Three 'Hai' were heard as the remaining members of Team 7 exited the room. "Shizune?"
"Yes, milady?" Shizune had a feeling of what her master was going to say, but still felt it proper to at least act professional.
"I need you to cancel the rest of my appointments today. If it's Jiraiya, tell him to wait until I get back to give his report. This may be a prank, Shizune, but my gut is telling me that Naruto would not be this serious for nothing."
With that, Tsunade took a medical kit, which was stocked with both the basics for medical field treatment as well as a few odds and ends for inside cases like a camera and evidence collection kit, and headed off to fallow the Shadow Clone to Naruto's apartment.
Neji returned from his training to find the Hyūga compound a hive of activity. 'This is strange,' he thought, 'I wonder what has gotten everyone's attention today. Did I miss an important clan meeting today?' Deciding that he wanted answers, he walked up to a member of the Branch house that he recognized, a young man by the name of Kō Hyūga, and asked what was going on.
"Oh, Neji-san, I take it you haven't heard what was going on today?"
"Kō, I wouldn't be asking if I already knew. Did something important happen?"
"Well, Neji, it seems that Hinata has been banished from the clan…" Kō stated. Neji was a bit in shock. He would admit that, up until recently, he wasn't one of Hinata's biggest supporters; that said, even he was a little shocked to hear that she was no longer a part of the clan. Before he could ask for more information, however, the Branch member that spared with Hinata earlier rushed up to Neji. "Neji-san, Hiashi-sama demands your presence in his office at once." Neji thanked the member and walked off to see what his uncle wanted with him. "You wished to see me, Hiashi-sama?"
"Neji," Hiashi's tone already alerted Neji that something was up. Hiashi's tone, if it really could change temperatures, would have given Neji frostbite by now. "I need you to rid this household of Hinata's things. You need not know why she was banished, other than she was a disgrace to the clan. Do whatever you wish with her former belongings, but I do not wish to see them anymore. Do I make myself clear?"
"Hai, Hiashi-sama." Neji replied. He walked out of his uncle's office deep in thought. He was a bit suspicious about what exactly was going on inside the clan. One does not simply banish an heiress for no reason. The fact that everyone else was in hushed tones suggested that something big happened, but it was being kept a secret. Whatever the case may be, Neji knew that he had to preserve Hinata's things for her, if for no other reason than to find a way to give them to her. He walked into the Clan's archives and, with the help of a Main Branch member who thought highly of the former heiress, brought out a surprisingly large classified file containing all of Hinata's personal information. He then went into his room to grab a sealing scroll he got from Tenten for his birthday last year and sealed all of Hinata's personal belongings; her book of pressed flowers, a small chest under her futon that contained her diary and other various knick-knacks, her clothes, her photo album which contained all of Hinata's personal pictures, her small jewelry box which was inherited by her late mother, and a small fox plushy she received as a gag gift from her teammates while she was in the hospital. Once everything was sealed, Neji snuck out of the compound and headed straight for the Hokage tower.
Author's Notes: Hello, and welcome to my second full fic. This idea has been bouncing around in my head for a while now and I finally decided to write it down. I got this idea after reading two different fics; one is An Angel's Love, by Chewie Cookies, and the other fic's name is Naruto Yuuhi, by anime-death-angel, which is about Naruto growing a pair of red wings and being adopted by Kurenai. I wanted to make my own fic based on the idea of someone having a pair of wings.
You will see that Sakura and Sasuke won't be getting much love in this story. Personally, I think it would be rather dull of me to always write them in one particular fashion every time. Kakashi will be OK, but will be kinda the way he is in canon. I personally don't feel that great about Kakashi-bashing simply because I don't feel he did that much wrong other than focus too much on the past. Case in point: I feel part of the reason he trained Sasuke over Naruto back in Part I during the Chūnin Exams was because Sasuke was fighting a Jinchūriki. Sure, Naruto was fighting a Hyūga, but how long could we honestly say that Sasuke would have lasted without the Chidori against Gaara? Five minutes, maybe.
In case anyone is curious, Hiashi will be a bit of a villain in this, but like any decent villain, he has his reasons, which I will explain later. After all, if I gave away everything now, it wouldn't be much of a story, now would it? ;-)
As for the timeline, I tried to set this up sometime between when Tsunade is instated as Hokage and Sasuke's defection. If that wasn't clear, I apologize. One of the hardest parts about Kishimoto's storytelling is that he doesn't expose the concept of time very well. Things that look like they could take months instead take weeks. It ends up being very confusing.
If anyone is interested, I don't mind if you want to draw art for any of my stories. Just send me a message and give credit where it is due. I don't know, just want to throw that out there.
Sense this is my second story; I will have to balance writing this and For the Sake of One. I will not say my update schedule, because mostly I don't follow one. I get the idea for what I want to do for a chapter, and I write it as I go along. Be patient as I am also trying to balance college classes as well. Keep that in mind when you ask me to update quickly. If you have any questions about any of my fics, feel free to leave a review or PM me and I will see if it is something I can answer. Until next time, Ja ne!
Densetsu no Sannin: Three Legendary Ninja. That is, Orochimaru, Jiraiya the Toad Sage, and Tsunade Senju.
Tenketsu: Chakra points
Sunagakure: Hidden Sand Village
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