Ch1- a timid but kind heart

"Now the names for squad 7" Iruka sensei called out looking at the sheet of paper in his hands. "Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno" I bit my lower lip. It looked like I wouldn't be with Naruto then. It seemed a long time before all the teams were listed and Iruka was finished. My lavender eyes shifted to the face of my new team mate, Kiba.

"Hey Hinata" a confident smirk flashed across pale lips.

I jumped a bit and softly said "oh h-hello" I could feel my cheeks turning slightly pink. My breath hitched and I looked away from him. I wasn't much of a conversationalist. In fact I would usually blush and squeak out two words and then faint if a boy talked to me….one specific boy anyway….Naruto. My lavender eyes shifted to the other corner of the room where the blond was sitting on a desk trying to get Sakura's attention.

As for usual Sakura seemed uninterested as she gazed bluntly at a raven haired boy that drove most young girls crazy, Sasuke. Honestly when I looked at Sasuke all I saw was arrogance. I wasn't one for thinking down on people either. I had a lot of respect for Sasuke's strength but I didn't like the way he looked down on everyone.

That's why I always liked Naruto so much. He was kind to everyone and always kept true to his word. That part of Naruto touched me. I didn't care about the beast locked inside of him. Naruto was Naruto, not a monster that people have tried to make him out to be. Just a lonely child, like me.

Before I knew it the class was filling out the door into the hallway. I quickly stumbled my way to the door and followed everyone out. The sky was gray and it looked as if it were gonna rain soon. I sighed. I'd forgotten my umbrella and it looked like father had forgotten to come get me. I looked around as other children left with their parents. I was 12 now; I could walk home on my own.

I bit my lower lip and started to walk down the street. I could already hear the distant thunder and at the thought of being out in a storm I cringed. Suddenly I began sprinting and quickly turned a corner. I landed on my back and found myself staring up at a tall man. "s-sorry" I managed to stammer out that one word.

He slipped the book he was reading into his pants pocket and looked at me for just a moment "You're a Hyyuga? Miss Hinata I would assume?"

I nodded "y-yes sir"

"You're going to get caught in the middle of a bad storm miss Hinata, would you like me to escort you home?" his voice wasn't full of happiness nor kindness, just a husky whisper.

"No thank you, I don't wanna cause you any trouble" I struggled to my feet "Gomen, I didn't mean to waste your time" I whipped my body around him and ran off in the direction of my house. "Your late" my little sister whispered as she opened the door "and you're all wet"

"Gomen" I shivered as I pushed my hair away from where it clang to my pale face.

"Hinata" my father looked at me from where he sat at the table with his tea in hand "What squad are you on?"

"Squad eight, sir" I said softly wishing my teeth would stop chattering.

"Oh, Try not to hold your team mates back, if you can help it" his tone was gruff and harsh.

I nodded as my heart sank "yes sir" that night seemed endless; all night long I tossed and turned in bed. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't strong. Why I wasn't what my father wanted me to be. "Why am I so pathetic?" I felt the tears well up in my eyes and I buried my face into my pillow.

"Morning" I smiled at Iruka sensei the next morning.

He smiled down at me "Hinata, would you mind coming to see the Hokage with me?"

I nodded but my voice wasn't working with me. I followed Iruka to the hokage's office. My gaze shifted from side to side. Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura where standing in a line on one side of the room and Kiba and shino on the other. I tugged lightly on the back of Iuka's shirt.

"Yes?" he looked back at me.

"Um….a…am I in trouble"

He chuckled softly "no Hinata"

The third Hokage leaned forward and folded his hands "Were switching you over to team seven"

"Me?" I whispered confused.

"I feel you would….how should I say develop more with Kakashi sensei. Not to mention that both you and Sasuke have eye jutsu and would make an excellent team."

"Oh"

Kiba muttered "does that mean I have to take that" he pointed to Sakura who sat whining to Kakashi about "not wanting to leave Sasuke"

The old man chuckled "yes Kiba, sakura will be transferred over to your team."

Kiba looked completely irritated. I couldn't help but giggle. Then I realized I would be on Naruto's team after all. At that I couldn't help but smile. "Well go on then" the third Hokage dismissed us. I followed Sasuke and Naruto out into the sunny morning.

"N-Naruto" I felt my cheeks turn beat red.

He looked at me over his shoulder "eh?"

"Um….I j-just wanted t-to…say th-that…"

"Would you spit it out already, I can't hear you when you're mumbling like that" he was stating rather loudly in my face. My heart sped up and the blush on my cheeks spread throughout my entire face. "You're really weird ya know that?"

"Naruto" sensei snapped "leave her alone. That's enough" I walked behind them about four feet. Naruto seemed to be unhappy that Sakura was no longer in the group. We stopped in a large grassy field.

"Where just going to have a few mock battles, it's okay to fight for real. Just remember your not trying to kill your team mate" Kakashi explained bluntly. "Sasuke vs. Naruto and Hinata you'll be fighting me"

I felt my limbs lock up and I began to tremble and shake violently. He placed a comforting hand on my shoulder "remember Hinata, it's not a real fight. I won't kill you" I bit my lower lip. No he won't kill me….just throw me into next week.

I sighed "I'm….I'm not much of a fighter"

"That not true, you're a ninja and a Hyyuga" the silver haired man said in a comforting tone patting my head in a manner that made me feel two inches tall.

"Yes, but I'm weak" I whimpered.

"Just try and we'll work on your weak spots"

I stepped back and took a shaken stance, I was aware of the fact that I didn't look fierce and that I looked like I knew I was about to get the crap kicked out of me. He charged at me and I instantly flew across the ground unable to dodge the first hit. A soft whimper escaped my pale lips as I rolled over onto my side. I stood on shaking legs and charged at him full speed. He gracefully dodged my fist and I stumbled forward and landed face first on the ground.

I knew he was holding back, that he could easily hurt me if he wanted. A sigh escaped my pale lips and I whispered "I'm sorry"

"What are you apologizing for?"

"I…I can't" I could feel the tears forming in my lavender eyes now. I couldn't even fight this fight. I didn't wanna waste his time by just falling down every time I tried to make a hit. He sighed and said softly "at your age it's normal to not be the strongest or the bravest." He knelt down in front of me.

"You don't have to worry about all of that now, it comes later in your life" I dried my eyes with my sleeve as he spoke. My gaze shifted to Naruto as he took one of Sasuke's fists to his stomach. The blonde skid across the ground and lay still for a moment. In seeing his pain my heart sank a little deeper into my stomach, only to rise up with hope and admiration when he forced himself to stand up again.

"You really care for Naruto, don't you?"

I jumped a bit and my cheeks turned bright pink. I could only nod and bite my lower lip. "It takes a special girl, Miss Hinata. Naruto has been ridiculed and isolated by the people around him because of the demon inside of him. I'm sure your father has told you all about it."

I nodded. Father had told me several times that I needed to stay far away from Naruto because of the nine tailed fox inside of him. I never cared about any of that though. Naruto was a good person and he cared about the people around him even when the failed him. He didn't deserve to be treated that way.

"You're not afraid of him?"

"N-no sir, not at all"

"You're a timid girl who claims to be weak, but you've got a good heart" his eyes bared a smile I couldn't really see behind the mask that covered his lips. Kakashi stood and forced Naruto off of Sasuke "that's enough of that"

I was still a little shocked. My cheeks were still cherry colored and I was still breathless. "The three of you are going to have to work together. I'm aware that Hinata wasn't here for our little bell exercise but I'm sure she understands team work better then the two of you" he muttered somewhat glaring at Naruto who sat pouting on the ground.

"Tomorrow will be Hinata's first mission with us and I'm sure it'll be ok. Still when you go into see the Hokage, do not be disrespectful, Naruto"

The blond completely ignored the exaggeration of his name and leapt to his feet "yes a mission!" I looked from the smile on Naruto's face to the vacant expression on Sasuke's. They were so different….and in some ways they were still alike. I sat quietly trying to figure them out. "Like brothers" I whispered to myself.

The walk home didn't seem too long. It was lonely and boring though. I'd made a complete failure of myself today and wasn't at all proud. My father was out back training with my cousin Neji as usual when I walked inside. "Make them some tea or father will have a fit" Hanabi muttered as she walked out of the kitchen. I nodded and got right on making the tea.

My hands trembled as I carried the trey out back. I was nervous about the way the tea was swishing around in the cup as I stumbled toward the door. I hated how clumsy I was. A few drops of tea splashed out of the cup as I whimpered "H-hello Neji" my cousin ignored me as I set the trey down on the porch. Luckily this time I hadn't dropped a cup or dumped tea all over my father.

Realizing I wasn't wanted outback I walked back into the house and sat down on the ledge of my bed. My head fell against my pillow and my lavender eyes fluttered closed. I wasn't really tiered at all. I still felt ashamed of myself for backing down from a mock battle of all things. "You're a timid girl, but you have a good heart" those words….made my heart race and my body heat up.

"Hinata" my younger sister called from down the hall.

"Yes?" I shot up from my bed and my eyes popped open.

"There's a guy here for you"

"A guy?" I whispered as I crept down the hall.

Kakashi sensei was standing in the door way with my sister waiting for me.

"What is it?" I whispered timidly.

"I want to train with you a bit more today, you didn't exactly participate much today."

I muttered a soft apology and followed him out the door. We didn't walk back out to the training field. "Sensei, where are we going?"

"You didn't stammer"

"I…don't always stammer…."

"Every time you've spoken since we met I have heard you stammer in every sentence"

"I'm s-sorry"

"And you're always apologizing"

"Only when I've caused a problem" my voice was timid.

"You're not causing a problem by stammering, you just said you were sorry for it"

I bit my lower lip "father s-says it's annoying"

"I see" was all he said as we entered a small grove. It was pretty much empty, nothing but grass and a lake filled with filthy dark green water. I stood and began to fidget with my index fingers as I often did when I was nervous or even flustered.

"Just throw a few kunai at that target to get started"

I gingerly lifted a kunai from my pouch and clumsily threw it at the target where it clung to a tree branch. The first one landed just above the target and stuck there in the bark of the tree. The second one didn't even make it and fell to the ground. I sighed and lifted a third and a fourth and a fifth, each was a fail that just didn't make it to the target.

I threw them until I was out of breath and my throat felt dry and my lungs burned. I'd cut my hand several times by grabbing the blade of the kunai while taking it out of my pouch. All the while my sensei sat and observed every move I made. A loud squeak erupted from the back of my throat as I fell to my knees in exhaustion. "I'm sorry, sensei, I can't" my breathing was loud and labored.

"You did good. You didn't stop once to look at the gashes in your hands and even though you were missing you didn't get frustrated and give up. That's good." His voice was sharp but kind as he spoke "now give me your hand"

I smiled faintly holding out my bleeding hand for him to bandage. I watched as he quickly but gently wrapped my hand in gauzes. "Thank you"

"You're welcome, get some sleep and remember to be on time tomorrow" he sounded like he knew he didn't have to tell me to show up, he knew I would.