Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. In fact, I'm not even sure if I like Naruto. But there you have it. Naruto belongs to Shueisha, and was written by Masashi Kishimoto.

Also, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha belongs to Seven Arcs and Ivory. It was written by Masaki Tzusiki,

'My Fate' was published by Avex Trax, and written and performed by Anna Tsuchiya.

'Innocent Starter' was published by King Records, and written and performed by Mizuki Nana.

'Concrete Angel' was published by Epic, written by Alex Christensen, and performed by Yasmin Knock.

Chapter One: The girl in the mirror. (Op: Concrete Angel)

Hyuuga Hinata, age seven, was sitting on her bed. She had no idea what the time was, and had little care for such matters – or any other. She had tried her hardest, and yet... it hadn't been good enough. Her younger sister was as skilled as she, while their cousin Neji had outstripped her long ago.

Her father had finally given up. The following Monday, she would be transferred to the Academy for basic instruction, rather than following her family's tradition of home-schooling until the final graduation year. Perhaps Hinata could have been an effective ninja... but she was Hyuuga, and a Hyuuga with a weak jyuuken was worse than useless.

It almost seemed too much effort to focus her eyes to see her reflection in the full-length mirror opposite the window by which she sat. It almost seemed too much effort to continue breathing. The helpless feelings had been growing for some time, and finally with her father's decision, the crushing weight of despair had settled upon Hinata's small shoulders like a mantle of shame.

Any competent therapist – any competent general practitioner – would have seen the signs of depression forming long ago, but naturally the Hyuuga were above such weak things as mere doctors. When they were injured, they saw a medic-nin. When they had witnessed atrocity, they leaned upon each other. When they killed, they had siblings to care for them.

No competent GP had the slightest clue that Hyuuga Hinata existed as a person.

She didn't even react when she heard her sister's scream of pain as Hanabi was put through the same gruelling training exercises that Hinata had failed at mere hours before. Even reacting... there was nothing she could do. A sharp cracking sound preceded another scream....

And Hinata realised that it was not her sister screaming. Her eyes swam, the world shimmering behind tears of despair and shared pain, and for long moments, she stared not at the grey walls of her own bedroom, at her small reflection in the laughing mirror, but at what appeared to be a throne room, a red carpet beneath her feet and black walls, lit by golden prisms.

"Why do you always disappoint me, my Fate..?" A woman's voice asked, hints of madness laying hidden beneath false concern. "How can you be so cruel to your poor mother..?" A phantom hand – the woman's hand? - touched her cheek almost gently, before the woman stepped back and raised the whip in her hand, bringing it across....

Hinata felt the searing line of agony across her own back as the whip curled around her/not her ribs to score across her shoulders.

"I'm s-sorry... mother..." The voice sounded like Hinata's own, and yet... surely there wasn't such a note of sadness and loss in it. The world swam again, and Hinata felt a sense of vertigo, before finding herself staring at her cousin's white eyes.

"Hinata-sama. Are you well?" Neji asked, coldly, stepping back once her eyes had focussed again.

"Y-yes..." Hinata whispered, nodding slowly. "I'm... s-sorry..."

"You worried your servants, screaming like that." Neji told her. "But if you are not harmed, I must return to my training."

"No, I... I'm fine. Thank you, Neji-niisan..." Hinata mustered up the energy to give him a small smile. "I think... I fell asleep."

Neji frowned at her, then nodded and left, closing the door quietly behind him and leaving Hinata to flop back on the bed and stare at the ceiling.

'That... wasn't a dream... or genjutsu...' Hinata thought to herself, whispering even in her own mind, half afraid that terrible woman could hear her. 'Was it... some kind of vision from the Byakugan? No... my mother is dead...' Her thoughts paused as she realised something else. 'And I'm... not Fate. I'm Hinata. But that Fate... had my voice... and my feelings...' It wasn't much... but it was enough. Hinata realised the truth: She was not alone. Somewhere, out there, someone felt her pain.

Hinata didn't feel that connection again for another year, until a particularly brutal training accident landed her in the infirmary. She was sure it had been an accident... Haruno-san wasn't reliable enough to have been chosen to teach her a lesson by her father.

Still, it was a crippling blow to her self-confidence. Haruno had demolished her with a single strike that had somehow penetrated her guard. Her Jyuuken had suffered further after being reduced to only one hour of serious training a week with Hyuuga trainers, forcing her to pick up from scratch the academy-schooled Taijutsu style. While that came easier to her than Jyuuken, she was still years behind those who had been learning since joining the academy at age four.

As she lay, once again, on a clean white sheet, she felt a sense of disconnection from the world. Too weak to attempt to activate the Byakugan, she was limited to her mundane senses as the room subtly changed. The pain in her chest became more acute, and the ceiling was decorated with moulded plaster and gilt.

"Fate-chan... how do you feel?" A woman asked, and Hinata felt herself struggle to sit up before being pushed gently back down. It wasn't her mother, but a brown-haired woman wearing a servant's uniform of some kind.

"I will be fine." Hinata heard herself saying. "Arf..?"

"Is resting. The bonding ritual was successful. The pain you're feeling is due to an unregulated power surge just as the ritual completed. I still haven't been able to determine the cause." The woman moved to where Hinata/Fate could see her while laying down, and smiled.

"I feel.. strange." Fate murmured, softly. "As though... another were... I were not here."

"Likely, feedback from your new familiar. Can you tell how she is feeling?"

"No, Linith..." Fate shook her head. "It's not... her. It's the other... from twelve months ago."

"I see." The woman – Linith – frowned. "It's not fading?"

Hinata felt Fate shake her head.

"Where is she? What can you learn?" Linith asked, concerned, and waved a hand through the air, murmuring something. Hinata gasped as a series of screens and arrays appeared, though Fate's body did not react.

"She is... hurt." Fate whispered. "An accident... she is in a... hospital?" Hinata was vaguely aware of someone murmuring in the background, frantic-sounding med-nin filling the room. "They are worried... her chakra coils are confused. I believe they mean her magic... or something like it. Her name is..."

"Hinata." Hinata whispered, causing a furor among the med-nin. If she tried, concentrated her chakra control, she could see them, even understand what they were saying. It must be the same for Fate attempting to focus on Linith. "Who are you... Fate..? Why do you... hurt like I do..?" As she whispered, two of the medic-nin started forming hand seals.

"Fate, break it. Break the link, right now!" Linith was shouting, suddenly, and Hinata watched, helpless, as she formed strange hand-seals that looked nothing like anything she had been taught at home or in the Academy. She felt Fate twist and squirm within/beside her, and suddenly, she was alone again, staring at an unfamiliar ceiling, surrounded by medical-nin.

"She's stabilising." One of them declared. "Her coils are normalising..."

"She's ok. Hinata-sama, can you hear me?" Another asked, and after a moment was recognised as an outcast Branch Family member.

"I can..." Hinata whispered, nodding. "And see you."

"Good." The branch member seemed relieved. If the Hyuuga princess had died on her watch, disgrace or not, her own head would have rolled. "Can you tell me what happened?"

"No..." Hinata shook her head. "I'm s-sorry. I d-do not know."

"Alright. Well, if you remember anything, be sure to let us know." The other med-nin told her, before looking to one side and nodding to someone, who left rapidly. "How do you feel?"

"A l-little off centre..." Hinata admitted, sitting up slowly. "My chest is sore..."

"We repaired the damage. It's probably just some phantom pain left over from the blow you took. That Haruno girl is going to be dangerous some day, unless she gets her chakra under control." The Hyuuga med-nin muttered the last part. "You should take the rest of the day off to rest. You can stay here if you wish." As the med-nin spoke, the other people present gradually filtered out of the room, leaving them alone together.

"T-thank you." Hinata whispered. "I will..." She lay back down, pulling the sheet over herself weakly.

"I'll leave you to it, then." The med-nin stepped away, and left her. Hinata attempted to slip into a meditative trance, trying to re-establish that connection she had felt, but the task seemed impossible now. She almost felt it, for a moment, before it was brutally severed once more, and Hinata realised that somehow, she had been sealed. Unbidden, silent tears leaked from her eyes as she stared up at the ceiling. That remembered presence – the sense that, even after failing, being dropped from her father's training regime, she was not alone... it had kept her alive, kept her wishing to become better so that some day, she could look at her father proudly and say 'I did it'. Her heartfelt desire... just like that Fate's.

Yet now... because of that Linith... Fate didn't want her any more. A small part of Hinata changed, then, as she finally learned a part of the Hyuuga legacy that had been denied to her. Hatred, coalescing inside her, towards the brunette who had cut her off from the friend she never had. A small fire, now, but in time...

It was with a welling anger that she drifted across the thin line between deep meditation and sleep, and perhaps it was sleep that saved her. Not her own, but as the other slept, her crying soul reached out just as Hinata's did. Linith's barrier dissolved at a touch, and with a little assistance, Fate reached out to the other soul that knew her pain.

In the darkness of their dreams, three souls met in the shifting dimensional sea. In the darkness, colour faded, a soft glow surrounding the three figures as they met.

Hinata put her hands together, nervously tapping her fingers together as she finally saw Fate. The blonde eight-year-old's long hair was worn up in two long tails, and she wore a simple white dress with red belts at the throat and wrists. Her left hand was out to the side, and rested on the flank of an enormous, fox-hued wolf that outmassed both children combined. Hinata's dead, white eyes met Fate's depthlessly sad red irises, then focussed on her black pupils, looking so out of place in a familiar face.

"You are... Hinata." Fate whispered, the tone of her voice lost despite the identical pitch.

"Y-yes..." Hinata nodded. "Fate..." She was stammering, but somehow, it was okay. "T-thank you... because of you, I..."

"No..." Fate shook her head. "I... know your heart. Your father, still..." And that was all that needed to be said.

"And your m-mother." Hinata swallowed. "Will I... ever..."

"Be good enough..?" Fate finished the sentence, then shifted her gaze slightly to look past her. "No... I won't... but..."

"We have to keep trying..." Hinata agreed. "Because... they're wrong. Father will..."

"Return to the way she was before... the kind, gentle mother that I remember..."

"When I can prove I'm worthy of his love again." Hinata swallowed, finishing Fate's sentence.

"Maybe then... s/he'll smile again..." They spoke together, closing their eyes as Fate clasped her hands to her throat.

"But to do that... I have to get stronger..." Fate whispered. "And... so do you... Hinata. Just... not giving up isn't enough..."

"We have to learn something... that is suited to us... your techniques..." Hinata suggested, timidly.

"Your magic..." Fate nodded. "But... we cannot learn tonight... I am too weak... as are you..."

"From our accidents..." Hinata nodded. "But... I know you're real, now... and... you want... this. We can meet, again and again..."

"Until it is enough. Until we can see their happy, proud smiles again..." Fate agreed, hand clenching gently in the dire wolf's fur ruff.

"Fate-chan... Hinata-chan..." The wolf spoke at last, mouth hanging open. "I'm sorry. Intruding with such timing..."

"No, Arf..." Fate gave a weak, sad smile to her familiar. "It's thanks to your power that we have finally met... so, please..."

"Continue to lend us your strength, Arf-san..." Hinata finished, shyly.

"Right..." Arf nodded, slowly. "I won't let you down. Either of you." The wolf was older, more confident in herself than either human girl. "But neither of you can maintain this any longer tonight. Goodbye, Hinata-chan."

"Y-yes..." Hinata whispered, nodding as the blonde and her wolf slowly started to fade as the white glow around them dissipated. "Good luck..."

"Safe dreams..." Fate whispered back, and then Hinata was alone as the darkscape faded into a normal dream.

(Ed: My Fate)