The next morning H-Naruto and N-Hinata woke up, cleaned up, went into the kitchen, and were greeted by the sight of breakfast made by Kurenai. On the table were four servings of miso soup, rice, a little poached fish, and some toast.
A sight that N-Hinata greeted with eagerness, since the majority of his morning meals consisted of simple instant microwavable breakfasts and/or ramen. With some milk on the off-chance it would help him grow taller by now, not that such an issue was important at the moment.
"Good morning Kurenai-sensei." H-Naruto greeted, but not as warmly as she usually did.
"Good morning Hi... Naruto." Kurenai greeted back, remembering the new rule about name usage. The two genin sat down, but neither looked that sociable at the moment and Kurenai suspected she was to blame for that. "I understand that you two probably have some issues with the way Kakashi and I are regarding this situation, but you must know we're just protecting you both."
"From what?" Both body-swapped teens asked.
For some reason, being asked that one simple question practically destroyed Kurenai's resolve. 'It's like they don't trust us at all anymore. I guess their trust in both of us has been shaken if not damaged. I just hope that can be fixed.'
"There are many more problems you two will have to face because of this change. Much more and much worse than just having to act like someone else. There are threats and dangers both of you are aware of." She said to get their attention.
Kurenai first looked at N-Hinata. "Naruto, there are things you're vastly unprepared for. And I don't mean just how to act around the Hyuugas. I mean things that girls are prepared for that boys barely think about. Things like what girls experience during puberty, and how to deal with boys."
"I'm not dating any boy. That's disgusting." N-Hinata said with a grossed out expression.
"Boys don't always take no for an answer Naruto. That's why rape exists in the first place."
N-Hinata looked confused. "What's rape?"
"Don't play dumb with me boy. You know full well what rape is."
N-Hinata looked even more confused. "I've never heard that word once in my life. I would appreciate it if you stopped assuming I know what everyone else knows since everyone else made damn sure I learned as little as possible."
Kurenai did not look convinced. "It's common knowledge."
"Kurenai-sensei." H-Naruto interjected. "It's very unprofessional for a teacher to assume their student already knows something and thus doesn't need to be taught. If Naruto-kun says he doesn't know what rape is you should give him the benefit of the doubt and explain it to him."
"Yes Kurenai, you should." Tsunade said as she came into the room, surprising everyone.
"Hokage-sama?" Kurenai asked, not expecting her.
"Hey Baa-chan what brings you here?" N-Hinata asked.
"Oh nothing, just a request from Kakashi that I oversee Kurenai."
The genjutsu mistress did not know what to think. "What? Why would you need to oversee me?"
"Because when I told you to do this job I warned you about being overzealous but Kakashi has reason to believe you're letting your personal views on gender get in the way of being fair to these two."
"I am not! If anything Kakashi's the one being unfair. You should reprimand him not me."
Tsunade looked mildly amused, it was like dealing with child who had been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. "You sure were quick to try and redirect blame to someone else, sounds like there is something you're guilty of. Unfortunately I don't have all day but I am going to see for myself just what you and Kakashi are doing in regards to teaching."
"It's only been one day Hokage-sama. You can't expect us to have taught them that much to begin with." Kurenai defended.
"I'm aware of that, but what I'm more interested in is the quality of your teachings, not the quantity." Tsunade replied.
"Unfortunately we haven't had much time to teach anything beyond gender-appropriate walking because of Naruto." Kurenai said, a hint of accusation in her voice and eyes.
"If I may, Hokage-sama, I can explain that for you." H-Naruto interjected.
"I'm listening." Tsunade said.
"Yesterday we had reason to believe that Kakashi-sensei had no intention of teaching Naruto-kun anything during this time. When called on it he claimed Kyuubi was a factor and Naruto-kun took it as prejudice against him. Was that not a natural reaction for him?"
"Honestly it was. Was the issue resolved?"
N-Hinata nodded. "Somewhat I guess. Kakashi-sensei later told me that I'm so used to having Kyuubi's chakra in me that I might not know how to fight without it and he needs to get me used to that first. And Hinata-chan needs to get used to fighting with it. Because of that, he's not yet sure where to start teaching."
Tsunade nodded, pleased. "Okay, that sounds good. Now explain how helpful Kurenai has been."
H-Naruto spoke up. "Kurenai-sensei seems to believe that Naruto-kun intends to misuse my body first chance he has."
Tsunade turned to Kurenai. "Misuse? How?"
"I never said that." Kurenai defended.
"Didn't you say just last night boys are always interested in being perverts?" H-Naruto asked. "And didn't you try to order me to not ever be alone with him? Or even care about him like I do?"
"What?" N-Hinata and Tsunade asked in shock.
"Hinata you are taking my advice out of context." Kurenai warned the girl in a boy's body.
H-Naruto turned to the slug sannin. "Kurenai-sensei said to me last night that she had a bad experience with a crush in her past and thus thinks it's a bad idea for me to show any interest in men at all, and even so much as told me to not care for Naruto-kun 'if I knew what was good for me'." She made quotation gestures with her fingers for the last part.
Tsunade looked at Kurenai with steel in her eyes. "Kurenai Yuuhi, I order you to see Inoichi right away to set this straight. Until I say otherwise, you are off this assignment until further notice and if I find out you are being a misandrist on the job when I ordered you not to be you will be removed permanently. Maybe even removed from being a jounin sensei."
Kurenai wanted to object, but doing so would only provoke the hokage further. "Yes Hokage-sama."
Tsunade looked at the genin. "For now, Kakashi is your only sensei in this. If Kurenai isn't back here by the end of the day, assume she's not coming back at all." They nodded. "Kurenai, follow me." Tsunade ordered, and the two kunoichi left. Kurenai tried to give H-Naruto a hurt look, one of betrayal to make the shy girl/boy have pity on her, but H-Naruto refused to look at her right then.
N-Hinata looked at H-Naruto. "I'm not causing a problem with you and your sensei am I Hinata-chan?"
H-Naruto shook her head. "No, this isn't your fault Naruto-kun. It's Kurenai-sensei's fault for deciding I'm the only one here who deserved to be helped. I hope she can learn that she's wrong about you, but if she can't, then I can learn to live without her."
N-Hinata just stared at his companion in this crisis. "Hinata-chan, everyone was implying something about how you see me. Is there something you haven't told me yet?"
"There is, but I wasn't trying to hurt you Naruto-kun. I just didn't know how to tell you or when the right time was. But right now, I think I can say it to you. With what we're going thru, what's there to be shy about anymore?"
N-Hinata shrugged, and H-Naruto took a deep breath before continuing. "Naruto-kun, I like you. And I don't just mean I like people like you, I mean I like you. You Naruto-kun."
"What do you mean?" N-Hinata asked, then got an idea. "Wait, you mean like how Sakura-chan likes Sasuke?"
H-Naruto nodded. "Yes, I was just too shy to tell you before. I wanted to, but... unlike Sakura it's not easy for me to just come out and say it."
There was some yelling outside, most of it on Kurenai's end, making the genin uncomfortable. "Let's go somewhere else." N-Hinata suggested. H-Naruto nodded.
Kakashi saw Kurenai be led away by Tsunade, wondering how she would take this. "Sorry Kurenai, I know you'll probably hate me for this, but I can't let you get in the way of their friendship just because you had a bad experience." He said to himself.
Kurenai heard this and turned an angry eye at the masked jounin. "Damn right I hate you now! Not that I ever liked you to begin with you smug porn addict! And how dare you say it was just a bad experience? It was hell for me!"
Undaunted, Kakashi closed his eye. "Yes, it was a very bad experience. I will never deny you that. But you're so afraid it's going to happen again you're seeing signs of it where it doesn't exist."
"What is this 'it' you're referring to?" Tsunade asked.
Kakashi wasn't sure how to answer. "Something that happened when we were younger."
The Third Great Ninja War was terrible. It was now a child's war. So many of the brave ninja who risked their lives in battles were barely out of the academy. Forced to switch from throwing kunais at wooden targets to human flesh. Parents often had been forced to bury empty coffins, because there was nothing left to put in the box.
Most of the war was being fought between Konoha and Iwa. The two sides seemed hellbent on annihilating the other. Skirmishes between groups ended up as bloody massacres, no quarter was given or pity shown.
This was no war… this was butchery and brutality, and each day it only got worse and worse. It felt like there was no chance of this war ending without one side being completely wiped out by the other.
Lines on maps were constantly changing. One day one side seemed to be gaining ground only to be pushed back the next day. Landscape and terrain once so familiar had become unrecognizable due to devastation caused by jutsu.
Yesterday, a report came to Konoha; a group of Leaf ninja had been captured and taken to a former estate of a noble of the Land of Fire, which was now being used as an HQ for the enemy forces in the land.
The Hokage ordered an immediate rescue of this group. Scrounging up a few reserve members he placed the only senior member available as their leader, Kakashi himself.
Of course in recent months he had grown accustomed to his new name, Kakashi of the Sharingan. He had received one of the eyes from a close friend and fallen comrade, and he had promised to use that eye to protect others. So far he had kept his promise. Though there had been many members of the Uchiha clan who demanded that the eye be removed from Kakashi, since he was not of Uchiha blood. However he told them very clearly that they would take it from him when they pried it from his cold dead socket.
That kept most of them at bay, though he had gotten into the habit of sleeping with one eye open, both on the battlefield and at home, just in case.
Right now, he and his team were moving at a fast pace, through the shadows of the night. Though he used the term team very loosely. These were kids, graduates from the academy that was spitting out new soldiers for the battlefield each month.
And they seemed to get younger and younger each time. Kakashi worried there would be no children left before the end of the year, or worse the academy would become unnecessary and kids would become shinobi before they could even start the program.
But right now the future of children wasn't what the silver-haired shinobi was concerned about. Right now he had something more immediate to worry about.
Breaking into the hideout had been fairly easy. There had been virtually no guards around the perimeter.
The inside however was a completely different story. The moment they had entered alarms started to blare. The fight between the two sides had been brief but terrible. No casualties on the Konoha side but there were some very bad injuries that would need immediate treatment Kakashi ordered the squad to remain where they were.
He found the prisoners being held in the cellar, many of them were in pretty bad shape. Iwa ninjas had a nasty reputation for using torture on their prisoners. However, it was not until he had released the last one did he realize that one was missing.
He quickly learned from the others that she had been taken away about an hour ago before Kakashi arrived, somewhere upstairs. Kakashi ran off before they had even finished the sentence.
"Kurenai!" Kakashi shouted as he kicked open the last door in the hideout, and came to an immediate halt at what he saw, both his eyes wide.
Kurenai was completly naked, her body pale her hair matted down with sweat and blood covered her young body, not all of it her own.
In front of her was the body of an Iwa ninja, a much older male in his late 30's or early 40's. He was lying on the ground with a large pool of blood pooling underneath him from the various stab wounds on his chest. His eyes were wide open with a look of frozen shock on his face.
Kurenai just stood there, her hands wrapped around a kunai as her body shook violently.
Kakashi took a hesitant step forward. "Kurenai?" He said softly.
Suddenly her head jerked to side and she stared at him with her red eyes, eyes filled with fear, hate, and rage.
"Kurenai, it's me. Kakashi. I am here to rescue you." He said as he held up his arms to show he had no weapons. "You know me, I'm that bastard from the academy."
"Ka… Kakashi?" She said softly, the kunai still pointed at him.
"Yes, it's me. It's alright, I am taking you home." He said as he took a step forward, only for her to take a step back.
"Kurenai, put the kunai down. It is all over." Kakashi said, speaking slowly and calmly. He then slowly reached out and offered his hand. "Give me the kunai."
She continued to stare at him, but the look of hate and rage left her eyes, leaving only the fear. Slowly she reached over to hand him the kunai. The weapon becoming loose in her grip but then the kunai slipped from her fingers and fell to the floor. Her whole body started to sway, she was about to fall over.
Kakashi quickly ran forward and caught her before that could happen. "It's alright, I got you. Kurenai what did they-?"
Suddenly he paused, the facts clicked together, naked girl, older man with his pants around his ankles and a locked room.
"Oh Kami-sama, Kurenai… did they-?"
The young girl gripped Kakashi's clothing tightly as tears started to flow down her cheeks. She passed out, unable to answer, and Kakashi wasn't sure if he should be relieved or not she couldn't say it.
Kakashi heard something small bounce on the floor, and saw a time-release smoke bomb rolling his way. On instinct he got outside as quick as he could with Kurenai just before an explosion happened, filling the room with what he assumed was some poisonous gas.
"Someone was waiting for me to show up and rescue her." Kakashi realized, getting madder. He put Kurenai down by a tree. "Show yourself you monster!" He announced to whoever was waiting in the shadows. A few darts were thrown at him, but Kakashi substituted with a log to avoid the hit. He didn't stay hidden long in case this guy used the opportunity to take Kurenai back. And when he came back out, he had his sharingan out.
"So you finally show it. Good, I was hoping to see it in action while you were here." The mystery person said before appearing, wearing a blue poncho with a hood to conceal their identity. "Though to be honest I had been hoping another kunoichi would show up to save her instead of a guy. Just my luck."
"I know that voice." Kakashi said, surprised by the familiarity. "You were responsible for this?"
"Dang, I thought you wouldn't catch that." The guy said before removing his hood, revealing a man's face with green eyes and messy short brown hair that wasn't really spiked. Nothing about him really marked him as unique, but he was a face Kakashi had seen before. "Guess your ears haven't been dulled by your eyes."
"Sanchiro, what is the meaning of this? How could you do this to Kurenai? You know what she thought of you." Kakashi asked, appalled that the man that had been Kurenai's interest since the Academy would betray her like this and in a war ground nonetheless.
"I didn't want it to be her, but I needed an offering right away and she was available. What choice did I have? It was either her or me. Would you let yourself be raped?"
Kakashi narrowed his eyes. "Don't speak like you were trapped into an ultimatum. If that were true you would have brought Kurenai back to Konoha rather than wait for someone to show up and ambush them. Or did you think I'd forget you just said you were hoping for another girl to show up."
Sanchiro frowned. "That's what I always hated about you Kakashi, you're too damn perceptive." Pulling out a sword he charged at Kakashi, hoping to find an opening. Kakashi armed himself with just a kunai and charged as well, making Sanchiro smirk victoriously.
The two clashed and swung their weapons, then stood apart with their backs to each other. Kakashi fell down with a cut on his left side that was bleeding badly but not fatally. Sanchiro stood with the kunai embedded in his leg. "Really Kakashi, you thought a kunai was going to beat me?"
"Wasn't... trying to beat you." Kakashi wheezed.
"Then what were you trying to do?" The brown-haired blue-cloaked ninja taunted, removing the kunai from his leg.
All of a sudden he got his answer, in the form of a yellow flash. Minato Namikaze appeared and quickly scoped out the scene, seeing his student on the ground, an unconscious kunoichi by a tree, and a Leaf nin standing over Kakashi with a bloody sword.
"Yo-Yondaime-sama?" Sanchiro asked in fear, then noticed the kunai. 'The kunai! It must have a Hiraishin seal on it. But I thought Yondaime-sama only used tri-kunais for that jutsu, never normal kunai.'
"Shut up traitor." Minato said, using a rasengan to punish the traitor and send him crashing into a rock. He would live, but only for the sake of the T&I department, not because he deserved it.
"Remember Kurenai I was the one to rescue you, bring you back home, and arranged for you to get the help you needed to recover." Kakashi reminded her. "Yes a man hurt you, but another man helped you, so don't judge us all the same."
"I remember what happened perfectly that night." Kurenai said, her voice filled with bitterness. She could remember it with near perfect detail. She could not forget what happened that night, no matter how much she wanted to forget.
"I suspect you are experiencing some sort of relapse now, and you're not helpful to your student in that state of mind."
"I'm not relapsing." Kurenai argued.
"If that's true then you have nothing to fear from seeing a doctor." Tsunade stated. "And since I am one, we can get this settled right here and now." Though in reality she could have easily ordered Kurenai to comply. But in this case it would be much better if she agreed voluntarily.
"I'm telling you there's nothing wrong with me. Is it wrong to protect a girl's virtue?" Kurenai asked.
"In that case Kurenai which one are you concerned about? The girl in mind or the girl in body?" Tsunade asked back. "Which is it you're afraid of? That Naruto's going to deflower Hinata's body, or that Hinata's going to get a boy's sex drive while she is a boy's body with boy hormones?"
Rather than answer, Kurenai hung her head as if defeated or saddened. "Why is this happening now? Why does she have to be so interested in a boy this young? I thought she was better than this, better than those airhead fangirls who think with their hormones and princess fantasies rather than listen to the voice of experience. Why is she in a hurry to grow up?" The entire time she spoke she sounded like she was restraining a sob.
"Is that what this is really about?" Kakashi asked, but Kurenai didn't respond. "Kurenai, Hinata is not a child. She is going to become an adult whether or not you're ready for her to do so. And adults get adult thoughts and urges, be they man or woman. Hinata having a crush on Naruto isn't making her a fangirl. Trust me, I have a bonafide practically certified fangirl on my team and Hinata could not be more unlike her."
"What do you know about Hinata?" Kurenai asked, still refusing to look at anyone.
"You think you're the only non-Hyuuga who's interacted with the girl? I've spoken to her before not too long ago." Kakashi claimed.
It was a sunny afternoon one day and Naruto was out in a training field by himself. Sasuke was away being training exclusively by Kakashi for the chuunin exam finals, Sakura was off doing who-knows-what making it clear he wasn't invited, and Jiraiya currently needed to see Sarutobi about something.
'At least I finally summoned a toad and gained their approval. And not just any toad, the big boss toad and partner to Yondaime-sama himself.' Naruto thought with enthusiasm, at this point in time still in his own body. Now he was practicing taijutsu in preparation for fighting Neji in the upcoming weeks.
He was so into it that he was unaware he has an observer. Hinata watched him with interest from behind a tree. 'Naruto-kun, you're fighting Neji-niisan for me? You even swore to beat him for my sake?' She was going by what Shino had told her when she was recovering from Neji's attempted murder. She felt bad that Neji was in for a world of hurt, but she was so flattered Naruto was doing this for her. 'I bet you're not even thinking of becoming chuunin for that fight. You want it, but that's not your motive for winning. You're trying to right a wrong. You are so noble.'
"Why don't you go talk to him?" Some said behind her, making her eep and turn around frightened, only to see it was Kakashi. "Calm down, I'm just here to see how he's doing since Sasuke is resting now. Is he being taught well?"
Hinata slowly nodded. "I... I haven't s-seen everything, but he h-has this man with white hair and a red coat instructing him now. If I heard right then Na-Naruto-kun was able to summon the s-same toad Yondaime-sama was partnered with."
Kakashi looked at his student, who was unaware he had an audience. 'So he summoned Gamabunta even though he's still a genin? If he does well in the finals I ought to reward him with a more useful jutsu. Sure, summons are handy, but not in all situations.' "That's good, but why are you hiding? Are you afraid of him?"
"What? No, I could never be afraid of Naruto-kun." Hinata stated.
"Then why not go up to him and say hi? He's not going to bite." Kakashi suggested.
"I... I can't. I don't want to distract him."
"Then offer to train with him. He's going against a Hyuuga soon and he could benefit from having experience in fighting your style."
Hinata looked away. "I'm on doctor's orders not to train with others for a little while longer. W-watching him is all I can do."
"You can encourage him. Let him know how you feel about the fact he's fighting on your behalf in all this." Kakashi offered.
Hinata poked her fingers together. "I'm... what if I stutter too much and he can't understand me and decides I'm not worthy fighting for anymore?"
"You really think Naruto is that shallow?" Kakashi questioned.
"What? No, of course not. Naruto-kun is a noble caring boy who'd never abandon someone just because they're not perfect." Hinata defended.
"Then why are you so afraid of him rejecting you if you're certain he won't?"
Hinata swallowed nothing, as if trying to keep back something. "Because I'm afraid of if he does reject me. If he does, if he told me he didn't care, I'd have nothing left to hope for."
Kakashi put his hand on her head. "Well Hyuuga-san, if he didn't care he wouldn't have sworn to avenge you now would he?" She gained a look of realization and hope and he smiled. "You matter to him, and maybe he doesn't return your affections yet, that doesn't mean you can't earn them. But if you ever want to be happy with him, you're going to have to make a stand someday. I imagine you don't want to spend the rest of your life just watching him after all."
With that Kakashi left, giving the girl an opportunity to act. Tempted, Hinata's shyness won over and she continued to watch while being unseen. 'Someday Naruto-kun, I'll be brave enough to tell you what I feel. I'm just not ready right now.'
"If Hinata was like Sakura she'd be all over Naruto getting in his way while trying to make herself the center of his attention." Kakashi told the genjutsu mistress. "But she doesn't do that. She's too shy to even try."
"Shy types are the ones men love to take advantage of the most." Kurenai rued.
"Kurenai, if Naruto wanted to take advantage of her wouldn't he have been able to do so already? Even before the body-swap?" Tsunade asked.
"He was fixated on the Haruno girl who had the intelligence to tell him no. Once he realizes Hinata's an option he's going to turn his eyes on her." Kurenai explained.
"While she's a boy and he's a girl?" Kakashi asked.
"He can still take advantage of her, regardless of the gender roles in the bodies done."
Kakashi narrowed his eye, running out of patience with her insistence that Naruto intended to hurt Hinata. "And what about her two teammates? Surely by now you realize they don't intend to rape Hinata. Why can't you give Naruto the benefit of the doubt? What is your real problem with him?"
Kurenai frowned but refused to speak.
"You might as well answer the question now Kurenai since Inoichi will get it out of you later today anyway. Admitting it yourself will earn you back at least some credibility." Tsunade advised.
"You want to know what my problem is? After all my advice and help for her Hinata's throwing all my teaching out the window and basing her self-esteem on the opinion of a boy. A boy that was trained by two perverts, is barely supervised, and harasses another girl who clearly told him no several times yet he refuses to take no for an answer. Who knows what that boy will do to Hinata if he finds out she actually wants his affections?"
"First, I take offense to being called a pervert. Second, You really think the moment a guy finds out a girl is sweet on him that all he can think about is getting into her pants?" Kakashi asked. "If that was true then how do you explain Sasuke? If he acted the way you say he should then Sakura wouldn't be a virgin anymore. Feel free to check her gynecological records if you think I'm wrong."
All active kunoichi were required bi-monthly gynecological exams. Standard health regiment, especially for genin to ensure none had been sexually abused but were hiding it.
"Actually Kakashi, I don't think it's just that." Tsunade suggested. "The first person she criticized just now was Hinata, not Naruto. I think she's mad at her own student too, not just your own."
"Why would I be mad at Hinata?" Kurenai asked.
"Maybe because she's showing independence from you and you clearly don't like why. And even though you know you should support her you can't bring yourself to do it. Not when it involves being close to a boy." Tsunade concluded.
"I... I'm trying to help her." Kurenai insisted. Why was that so hard for them to understand? She was only looking out for Hinata, just like she had always been looking out for her since the day she became her teacher.
"Then help her by stop acting like a paranoid zealot." Kakashi declared. "She became an adult the moment she graduated from the academy. Stop treating her like a child."
"I am not!" Kurenai said, almost yelled.
"Then prove it. Submit to a simple psychological evaluation. It will take two hours at the most. If there is nothing wrong then you have nothing to worry about." Tsuande said very calmly. Though there was a hidden look behind her eye, suggesting that something bad would happen if she refused this request.
Kurenai's eyes darted back and forth between Kakashi and Tsunade, she kept clenching and unclenching her hands as she thought over everything in her mind. Finally after a long moment she let out a long sigh and nodded "Fine."
"Now was that so hard?"