One Light In The Darkness
I don't own Naurto. Masashi Kishimoto still does.
Ino sat up like a shot. Sweat poured from her head. Reaching for her chest, she willed her racing heart to slow. These dreams, or nightmares depending on how you look at them, were starting to ruin her beauty sleep. When she asked her father about them he had been less then revealing about them. Stating that he wasn't sure, and it was best for her just to write down what she saw upon waking. Reaching over she grabbed the pen, and paper left for her. Taking a moment to gather her thoughts, she began to write what she could remember.
The smell of sulfur was overpowering, it burnt her nose, and made her eyes sting with tears. Flashes of yellow and orange danced at the edges of her vision. Her heart fluttered at the sight. Hope seemed to fill her at this sight. The wind shifted. A new voice that carried on it. So different yet so familiar it teased at her memories. Images of pink, then nothing. A chill runs down her spine as a second, more malevolent floated across the field. The blood lust so thick it was threatening to overwhelm her. Despair was all she felt, flashes of her death made her breath hitch. A soothing feeling filled her as images of happier times washed over her. Her with her team, her with her mother, and father. A young man under a tree, her first kiss. Her body tensed as she was enveloped in a embrace from behind. It slowly melted into it. a sigh of contentment escaped her lips. Loving words were whispered into her right ear. The warm breath tickling her face. Her courage renewed she felt another presence to her left. Images of lavender filled her vision, a smile graced her lips as if greeting an old friend.
Ino placed the pad down. That was all she could remember. The rest seemed so close, as if she had but to close her eyes and it would be there welcoming her home, yet so far away that it danced outside of her sight. Sighing to herself she resigned herself to a sleepless night. Thinking back to her dream, she wondered who it was that had impressed her. It felt so good she didn't want it to end. They seemed to hold her like she was their lover. This caused her to blush. Her mind worked overtime wondering who it could be. They felt familiar to her somehow. Like she knew them, yet didn't all at the same time.
Ino was soon found fast to sleep, a contented smile on her face.
Tsunade was not having a very good morning. After being woken from her sake-induced coma by her apprentice, she was hauled away to a goddamn council meeting two hours earlier than it should have been. After delivering the combined reports of all those involved, she listened to the bullshit they continued to pour out at her, ranging from a more advanced retrieval group, a call for her dismissal for allowing the only heir to the eye disease to leave with the village's number one traitor, and a call for the demon's death for allowing him to leave. This one caused her to pause. How on earth could they blame him for 'allowing' the traitor to leave? The bastard left his teammate half dead. And the backup sent by Orochimaru damn near finished the job. Should she kill him for breaking the law? No. Enough blood as been spilt on behalf of that cursed clan. She simply settled for glaring him back into his seat. Shortly after she just got up, and left stating that she would rule over the Uchina/Haruno matter later. Entering her office, she was greeted by an unexpected guest. Sitting in a chair was Yuhi Kurenai, who jumped to attention as her leader entered the room.
Tsunade stared at the woman in front of her, seeming to read her by the way she stood, looking for any sign that would betray why she was here. At least that's what it looked like to Kurenai, but in reality Tsunade was simply trying to wish her away so she could go back to drinking, because Kami knows she needed it. Sighing, she pressed forward.
"What brings you here today Kurenai? Your teams still inactive for a few more days?"
"Yes, but it is my team that brings me here today Hokage-sama. Or at least a person on it?"
"What has the Inusuka got himself into this time? I swear, if it isn't Naruto, its him causing me to gray more."
"It's not him. It's Hinata I talk of. It was brought to my attention that something foul is being played out in the Hyuga compound."
"Stop. You know it's village policy not to interfere with the internal workings of the Clans. I'm sure whatever you've heard isn't as bad as it sounds."
"You're wrong, Hokage-sama. You haven't heard anything. I was told by Hiashi himself what is to befall his eldest should she not turn from the path she's on," spat Kurenai.
Tsunade nodded to Kurenai to tell her to continue.
"It was the other night when I was called to the compound by two branch members. I was presented to Hiashi shortly before 9 that evening. He seemed troubled. " Kurenai went on to tell her leader about the meeting that she had with the Hyuga leader. When she had finished to was expecting her leader to fly of the handle or react in some way. All Tsunade seem to do was stare out the window.
Tsunade had a reaction, all right. It made her ill to even imagine that happening to the poor girl, far too kind to be from that heartless Clan. But her more logical mind had taken over. There had to be a reason why he would have let this leak. Some reason to air the Clans 'dirty laundry'. Hiashi is a cunning man. Not to be taken lightly, and doesn't do things without thinking them through. But what could it be. Tsunade was brought out of her musings by Kurenai calling her name.
"What do you think we should do, Hokage-sama? I don't believe we can just sit on this one. It could very well destroy the Hinata we both know."
"You're right, we can't. But I need time to figure this out. I'm not sure she'll be willing to just give up on him like that. Not with their past. No, we need time to plan. And it just so happens that Naruto is leaving on a training trip in a few days. I'm not sure how long the pervert plans to take him for, but hopefully it will be enough for us to devise some kind of plan." Tsunade paused for a moment. "Tell Hiashi this. That his troubles can be put on hold, that the issue will be leaving in two days time. And Kurenai send Hinata to me. That girl needs a kick in the ass, and I'm just the woman to do it."
Tsunade leaned back into her chair over looking her village, the village her ancestors helped to build. 'What's your game, Hiashi? This a very dangerous game you're playing. What do you hope to gain from this?'
Hinata sat on moss covered bench, overlooking a statue. She hadn't been to this place in several years. Not since that night. She had refused to remember that night, locking it away in the depths of her soul, afraid to let it out. Hugging her knees to her body she stared blankly at the stone, lost in her own thoughts. There was a well hidden-secret in the village. So well that only five people knew of it. Two of them were already dead.
A medium build man stood with his back turned to three kneeling figures. The man was looking out a large pain of glass into the distance. No one moved for some time before the standing man spoke.
" The leaf must think use stupid," he paused. "Stupid, and weak."
"What has the leaf done, milord?" asked one of the shadowed figures.
"After our failed little acquisition, we demanded a body in return. The body of the head of the Hyuga clan. If we couldn't breed the blood line into our country, we would experiment on it."
"Has the body of that man arrived? Or are we to escort it?" another asked.
"No, it has arrived all right, but it was not who we asked for! It was that damnable man's twin brother! His eyes and DNA were sealed after death with that damn seal the branch members use!" Calming, he continued. " They put us into a type of bind with that move. We cannot publicly denounce what they have done nor can we simply march in, and take it. We have to be more cunning then that. "
"What are your orders, milord?" the three spoke.
The man grinned. "You three are to observe the young heiress, and her mother. You are to take either one when the chance presents itself. This is a long-term mission. Take as much time as needed. You cannot be found, nor can you be linked to this village. For the betterment of Kumo you must succeed."
Two years later:
After much planning and watching, the Kumo ninjas were ready to make their move. The young heiress and her mother took an afternoon walk through the large park. They got lunch, and sat to eat it at a bench away from the busy stand. This is where they would make their move. The two females made their way thru the throngs of people to a local ramen stand. Placing their order, they waited. Hinata fidgeted around her mother's legs. She stared into the crowd, looking for the young man she had met here the other day, hoping they would be able to talk again. Failing to see him, she took the food and walked with her mother to her bench.
A young blonde boy rushed through the crowd drawing glares, but little else, his sole focus on reaching his destination. The ramen stand. He had promised the little girl he had met yesterday that he would be there tomorrow, and if he learnt anything from the old man, it was NEVER break a promise. He had spent too much time at the training ground, and lost track of time, and was now hurrying to meet her. Arriving at the stand he greeted Ayame and Teuchi. Seeing that the girl and her mother weren't, there he went to towards the bench they had taken him to yesterday, hoping to catch them there.
Hinata, meanwhile, was worried. She was worried that her newly met friend didn't like her. Didn't want to be seen around her, thought her a weakling like her father. She passed the time with her mother, chatting about the happenings of the Clan, and what she wanted to do after training with her father that evening. Hinata's little sister was with the wet nurse for the evening, and they could do whatever she wanted. A cracking of a twig had her mother aware in a moment, but it was already too late. A prick to her neck, and she was unable to move. Hinata panicked, and raced to her mother hoping to help. She found herself hoisted over a shoulder, and a gag firmly placed in her mouth. Tears fell down her face.
Naruto was rushing head long to the bench when he witnessed everything. Shock over loaded his system. His two new friends were being taken prisoner. He didn't have many friends. He couldn't let his two new ones be taken. He reached into his tattered pocket, and pulled out the bent kunai that he'd found near a training ground. He threw it, and charged in.
Only years of experience allowed the kidnapper to dodge the poorly thrown blade. Turning to face what he assumed was a squad of ANBU, he was surprised to see merely a racing boy. He laughed, and swatted the boy away. Hinata watched in horror as her new friend flew away landing in a heap yards away. Her eyes widened as she watched him rise from the dust and race once more into their rescue, only to be thrown away again. Hinata and her mother were cried as this happened three more times. Blood ran down Naruto's lip. A black eye was forming, and he was walking with a limp. Still, he walked towards the group.
"Look kid, I'm losing patience with you. If you don't leave soon or play dead you really will be," one of the kidnappers snarled.
Naruto paused for a moment, regarding the men. "I.. I won't let...I won't let you have them," came his strained response. The three ninjas sneered at the boy.
"Fine have it your way, death it is"
The man walked up to the now stationary Naruto drawing a blade. "So long kid!" Naruto stood defiantly, glaring at the man like he had the villagers many times before. While never physically harmed the mental damage was just as bad. The stroke never fell. Holding the blade back was a man in a dog mask. Three others soon joined him.
"You three are under arrest for assaulting a citizen of Konoha, a wife of a clan head, and their heiress. Come along peacefully." said the dog-faced man.
The Ninja broke free of his grip, jumping back to his companions. "That damn brat kept us to busy. This was NOT part of the plan" one spat.
"I know! We have little choice. Fight, and run or we do as instructed."
The two others nodded in agreement. Throwing several smoke bombs they took two the surrounding tree's. Their escape was cut short however as they where throwback to the ground. As the smoke cleared, they were faced with something they had tried to avoid at all cost. The third Hokage was standing before them. A hard gleam was set in his eyes. Seeing their only escape route cut off they moved into plan B. The three pulled open their vests, exposing exploding notes. The Konoha ninja moved to rescue the girls, but they knew they wouldn't make it in time. Using her remaining strength, Hinata's mother was able to shield her daughter from the blast.
Hinata lowered her head into her knees, and cried. Cried for her lost childhood, cried for her lost mother, and cried for the boy who never knew his mother.
The setting sun painted the room with hues of orange, and red. A set of piercing blue eyes stared lifelessly through the big sliding windows that he stood next to. His mind in turmoil about the past few days. He knew he was leaving on a training trip, he should be happy. Yet all he could feel was a gaping hole. In the span of a few hours he had lost his family. He wasn't strong enough to stop his so-called brother from falling into darkness. He watched as his crush walked willing into the shadows to follow a boy who didn't return her feelings. He lowered his head more as he thought about the two girls that had showed up with Sakura. If it wasn't for Kakashi-sensei... he paused in that train of thought, not wanting to think about what might have happened. He had failed them as well, Ino had lost her crush, her rival, and her best friend. These thought played through Naruto's mind until a voice broke him out of them.
"What brings you here today, Jiraiya-sensei?" came the monotone response.
That caught him off guard, but he didn't let it show he wasn't Konaho's top spymaster for nothing. "I just came to talk to you a bit." said Jiraiya as he came into the room, and stood looking out the window with his pupil. " After our last conversation I did some thinking. And you're right, I was only going to teach you how to wield the foxes' chakra better, clean up your fighting style, and come back. I was going to let Kakashi teach you jutsu."
"And now? Why change your mind?" asked Naruto never taking his eyes off the village below.
Jiraiya paused for a second. His eyes fluttered to the door for a brief second before moving back to the window. He took a deep breath, contemplating . "You were right." stated Jiraiya simply. " You deserve better than that. No half measures will keep you alive, and help you with the goal you want for yourself."
For the first time since he had entered the room Naruto looked upon his sensei. "Hokage is a dream of mine,. My goal is something completely different." He looked back out the window. "I failed them, ero-sennin. I wasn't strong enough, wasn't smart enough. "
"I know. Losing a teammate is very rough, and you'll always wonder, what could I have done better? what..."
"I'm not talking about that bastard! I failed to keep Ino and Hinata safe. If Kakashi-sensei hadn't showed up they would have been raped and killed. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself... I know what it's like to have something sacred taken by force.'
To his credit, Jiraiya was able to keep the shock from his face. Though inside he was raging, and heads would roll. A very quiet gasp was heard from the hallway. He shot his eyes to the door, and back to Naruto, who seemed to be lost in his own world. "Get some sleep, Gaki, for tomorrow you start on the road to your goal... and your dream."
Jiraiya exited the room, and looked around the hallway. "You can come out now," he said. A few seconds later, a young blonde girl stood in front of him. Her head was held down in shame. Jiraiya regarded the young woman for a moment. 'A Yamanaka? And the heiress! Damn, Gaki has all the luck, I swear' "What brings a pretty girl like you here?" he asked with a lecherous look.
The young women paid no attention to the look she was getting. "I came to see how he was doing. I d-didn't mean to overhear your conversation." Gathering her courage, she asked the question bugging her. "Is it true?' she asked in a low tone, so low that Jiraiya almost missed it.
He knew what she meant, but he had to see the resolve this girl had. "Is what true?"
Ino's head snapped up. Tears threaten to spill. God, she hated to cry, and she'd been doing far too much of it lately. Looking right into the eyes of the man in front of her, she asked again. "Is it true what he said."
Jiraiya was taken aback by the sheer determination he saw in her eyes. They were daring him to lie to her, daring him to dance around the question. For a moment, he saw a younger Tsunade in the making. And it scared the piss out of him.
Cliff hanger! Sorry for the long, long over do update. Real life beat me to death, and this chapter didn't want to flow. I wasn't to happy with it, ended up rewriting it several times. still not pleased with it, but much better than it was. Sometimes thing just have to be forced in order to move on i guess. Hope you enjoy. Please review