The next morning started out beautifully. The sun was shining bright, the sky was clear without a single cloud in sight, and the air was fresh and cool. Kakashi went out and inhaled the pleasantness of it all. It was the kind of feeling that made him glad to be alive, until the survivor's guilt came back again and ruined it. He closed his eyes for a moment and reflected on the past, seeing the faces of those he vowed never to forget. When he heard the sounds of the two genin approaching him from behind he opened his eyes and focused him mind back to the present and the tasks that were at hand.

"Okay you two, as you know it's going to be just me for the next two weeks. Unless Hokage-sama decides Kurenai is fit to return or I'm not fit to continue." The cycloptic jounin said to his two current students, who sat down on the porch located at the backside of the house.

"What exactly is wrong with Kurenai-sensei anyway?" N-Hinata asked.

"She's going to be okay, isn't she?" H-Naruto added. She had always seen the red-eyed kunoichi as level-headed and controlled in the past. Sure, a little firm in her teaching, but never so paranoid and dismissive of anyone.

"It's complicated kids." Kakashi said as he rubbed the back of his head and tried to choose his words carefully. "I'm not going to sugarcoat it, you were both affected by her actions so you deserve to know the truth. To put it simply, Kurenai was getting paranoid over what the two of you, Naruto more than Hinata, would do with your new bodies and it got the best of her. She's afraid that Naruto is going to do inappropriate things to Hinata's body and Hinata is going to start thinking more like a boy."

N-Hinata and H-Naruto frowned. "What? When exactly did it become a crime to be a boy?" N-Hinata asked, clearly offended.

"No, it's not that Naru... sorry, 'Hinata'. You see, Kurenai has... issues if you will, with men. It stems from a past traumatic experience during the last great ninja war." For a brief moment Kakashi let himself travel back through a sea of memories to that night when he had rescued Kurenai from the enemy base and the results of the privations that she had suffered at the hands of her captors.

Kakashi let out a sigh "The experience, I won't go into details, left a very deep scar on her personality, one that has never truly faded. Since then it's been hard for her to be comfortable around males that she's unfamiliar with. She's never spent any real time around Naruto before, and I'm not sure what her opinion of Hinata being friendly to him is."

H-Naruto blushed and fidgeted a little. "She... she's never ac-actually said anything on the subject. I thought she was respecting my privacy."

Kakashi nodded once. "I imagine she was doing that. She's not a misandrist, at least I don't think she is, but she does feel more relaxed around women than men. This situation you two are in, it pretty much blurs the line between genders, and in essence makes the roles irrelevant. I think seeing a boy have this much access to a woman's body is just more than she could handle in terms of trust." Kakashi also suspected that if it had been any other girl in the village Naruto had switched bodies with, Kurenai would not have reacted as badly as she had. But, Kurenai had known Hinata for years and trained her, there was a personal connection.

"But I don't want to hurt Hinata's body. Heck, even if I was sick enough to do that, right now I'm in it. I'd be the one to experience the pain." N-Hinata objected.

"That's not quite what I meant 'Hinata'." Kakashi replied.

H-Naruto however knew what he meant, and she didn't like the idea of the woman she had looked up to accusing N-Hinata of doing such a thing. 'After this, I don't think I can ever have as much faith in my sensei as I used to have.'

"But enough about that. We need to get to your training." Kakashi continued. "So 'Hinata' needs to work on the juuken and 'Naruto' needs to work on a different form of taijutsu. Naturally I can't teach anything about the juuken, or at least, officially I'm not supposed to."

"What do you mean?" N-Hinata asked.

"I was never taught the juuken, but I have seen it in use enough times to know a thing or two about it. Same with Gai, hence why he's able to help Neji."

"Really? I always assumed that Bushy-brows was the only one Gai taught and the other two were just self-trained." N-Hinata claimed.

Kakashi shook his head. "Lee might be Gai's favorite, but Gai would never train one student at the expense of the other two."

"Unlike you huh Sensei?" N-Hinata remarked, with a slight bitterness in the tone that did not go unnoticed.

Kakashi's good eye lowered for a moment, but only for a moment. "My point remains that while I'm no expert on the juuken I'm not completely clueless on it either. Sometimes I think the Hyuuga forget that you can learn a lot just by watching someone do something. Even without a sharingan. For now, though let's start with some chakraless taijutsu exercises then work our way to chakra control and then we'll take a lunch break. From there we'll resume the same routine until dinner at which we'll instruct you both on how to behave like the other to reinforce your cover."

"Do you really think we can pull this off?" N-Hinata asked.

"Would you prefer we just tell everyone what happened?" Kakashi asked back. "Especially if it could get back to whoever wanted to take the girl's body in the first place?"

"You got a point." N-Hinata said, not wanting any harm to come to the girl he felt responsible for.

"Now then, let's get training." Kakashi said with his trademark eye-smile.

"Has either of you seen Hinata lately?" Hiashi asked as he sat observing both Neji and Hanabi working out separately but in the same place. Hiashi was sitting down on a cushion watching his youngest daughter and only nephew while another branch member set next to him, gently fanning the Head of the Hyuuga clan as he sipped his afternoon tea.

"No Otou-sama, not at all." Hanabi replied without missing a beat in her training exercise.

"Not since a few days ago when she went out. I didn't catch where she was going." Neji answered, also without breaking his concentration.

"She must be doing something with her team then. Though I'm surprised she had not notified me this time. That's not like her." Hiashi said more to himself than them.

It was then that Neji suddenly halted his exercise and knelt down before his uncle. "If you wish Hiashi-sama, I will go out and locate her."

However, Hiashi waved his hand dismissively. "No, while I have faith you would succeed there is no need for you to do such a thing. Rather I will go consult with Hokage-sama. I am certain she will know where she is."

"For now, let's start with training you both can do together." Kakashi said when they got surrounded by trees. "The first exercise will be tree-walking. Now remember that both of you are working with new chakra levels and this will help you both get a little used to them. Once we're done with that we'll get to water-walking. And since you two are both familiar with the exercise, I doubt I need to tell you what to do here."

The two teens nodded and each selected a tree. Both ran to it and contacted with the bark, and had the exact results that Kakashi had predicted. H-Naruto went rocketing backwards and skidded on the ground for a few feet, and N-Hinata simply fell to the ground.

"Remember you two, you're dealing with different chakras. Adjust your control to accommodate. Take your time, don't rush it. Once you get this done, learning how to use the other's jutsu will be much easier."

The two genin brushed themselves off and tried it again. This time they managed to get up the tree by a few steps, N-Hinata by two more than H-Naruto, and they both managed to land carefully. Almost right away they tried again, and surprisingly they both got to the first branch.

"Good, you're making better progress than I thought." Kakashi praised. "It must be because you're both already used to tree-walking, getting used to it all over again wasn't as hard as it sounded. Or maybe you just got lucky." He smiled a bit. "Let's find out by having you make it to the top within an hour."

The two nodded and continued the practice while Kakashi watched carefully.

"Tsunade, Hiashi is here to see you." Shizune told her mentor over the intercom system

'I was afraid of this.' Tsunade thought as she closed her eyes and mentally sighed before opening her eyes and pressing down on the button to respond "Send him in."

Moments later the head of the Hyuuga came in. "Sorry to disturb you Hokage-sama, but I have a concern. No one has seen my daughter in some time."

"Were you not told anything?" Tsunade asked, trying to sound like she was unaware.

Hiashi shook his head. "No. I was told nothing from her jonin sensei and no one in my clan has seen her recently. Considering what has happened in the past, I fear the worst." Though the tone of his voice suggested otherwise.

"Well, kudos to not acting in a panic then like some parents would." Tsunade credited. "However, your daughter is safe. I simply assigned her to some additional training for some time."

Hiashi looked confused. "Why? She is already getting private lessons, and furthermore why was I not informed? Hinata is still my daughter and I have the right to be aware of any decisions that would keep her from her home."

"I have heard concerns regarding her progress and offered her a program that will see to her needs without putting her into an environment where she could be overwhelmed with pressure. As for informing you, it was intended. However, one of the jonin involved seems to have had some kind of meltdown, and ensuring there was no threat to your daughter because of this became a concern. I apologize for procrastinating on informing you." Tsunade smoothly claimed.

Before Hiashi had time to make a comment Tsunade continued. "And I can assure you Hiashi-san, that you will be kept informed from this point onwards." The Hokage then pressed the buzzer button on the side of her desk and the doors opened to reveal Shizune waiting outside. "My assistant will show you out. Good day."

With that said and done she returned to the stack of paperwork that was on her desk.

Hiashi stood there for a moment his face a mixture of confusion and indignation. For a moment it appeared as if he was ready to speak again, to call Tsunade out. However, Tsunade did not even turn her eyes back to him, in fact it looked as if she had even forgotten that he was here. The leader of the Hyuuga clan continued to stand there in silence, watching the slug sannin read through a document. He then turned slowly around and exited the Hokage's office, feeling more confused than he did when he arrived.

"Well done you two." Kakashi told N-Hinata and H-Naruto, both taking deep breaths. They just barely managed to do it within the one-hour time limit, but both succeeded in reaching the top of the tree.

"That... that wasn't so hard..." N-Hinata panted, though he was leaning against his tree. H-Naruto sat down, stretching their legs for a moment.

"Okay kids, now that you're done with that I think we can move onto some relaxing taijutsu for now. I think for the time being it will help for you to learn some shared stances, both to make it easier for me and for when you change back and do not need to relearn all over again." Kakashi stated.

N-Hinata and H-Naruto nodded and despite their fatigue both stood ready to learn.

"I'm going to start with one of the more popular ones around, for several reasons. It's commonly known as tai chi, or taiji to some people, and while it is a taijutsu style it is sometimes used for other purposes, such as meditation, civilian exercise, and even health recovery."

N-Hinata looked confused. "How can it do that?"

"Well for one, tai chi when practiced is usually done slowly, allowing one to work on their sense of balance as well as get their muscles moving without straining themselves or running low on breath. It also teaches patience, helps in recovering chakra quicker, and it helps keep the yin and yang parts of your chakra in balance."

N-Hinata blinked. "Yin and yang parts?"

"We'll get back to that part Nar... Hinata, for now just think of it as putting your chakra in better balance so it will be easier to control and more effective in jutsu. Now, these days tai chi is more commonly used as a practice taijutsu and a prerequisite to the more combat-ready styles ninjas prefer to use. So, this will help you ease into your new bodies better, even though odds are you'll never use it in missions."

"Now, tai chi is rather popular and in fact each of the five major villages has their own variant to it." Kakashi continued. "Suna uses the Sun style, which focuses on footwork and hand motions, giving them the impression of graceful dancers. It helps them in better mastering wind jutsu and puppetry, as well as moving around in the sand. Iwa uses the Hao style, which focuses on endurance and perfecting chakra control. With it they are better able to endure most enemy attacks and are capable of performing more jutsu than other ninja. Kiri uses the Yang style, which is the most flexible and adaptable of them all. As a result, it helps Kiri-nin excel in virtually any other field they wish to specialize in. Sort of a 'jack of all trades master of none' kind of taijutsu that allows them to find what they master in. And Kumo uses the Wu style, which like the Hao style is minimalistic but allows for more surprises and offensive options."

"And what does Konoha use?" H-Naruto asked.

"We use the Chen style, the oldest known form of tai chi. It's the most expressive kind, taking the most advantage out of keeping the body in motion. It switches between fast stances and slow stances and is good for building up strength and agility. It works with Naruto's natural energy but also forces him to learn restraint, and it works with Hinata's focus but forces her to take initiative. So, it's the perfect shared taijutsu for the two of you, in theory at least. We'll know for sure when you get started."

Kakashi then showed them both a bow stance and instructed them on how to mimic it. After that he slowly went through the motions of an introductory kata, pausing after each motion to give them time to replicate it. After he finished he resumed the original bow stance, as did they, and repeated it, this time a little faster.

"You both did good today kids, I'm proud of you." Kakashi said as they all sat down to dinner, one he had delivered to him. N-Hinata was upset it wasn't ramen, but he had to admit that sukiyaki did taste pretty good.

"Heh, if I had known that swapping bodies with someone would finally make you do your job, I'd have done it before Wave." N-Hinata joked.

Kakashi however did not look amused. "Naruto, I get that I wasn't the best sensei, but do you think that maybe part of the problem was you?"

N-Hinata frowned. "Oh, you mean like how every single person except Hinata says the problem is me? No, why would that thought ever once cross my mind?" He replied sarcastically.

"Now Naruto, I don't mean to offend, but maybe this will help you in the future. There was one particular problem on your end in regards to your training. It wasn't your skills, it wasn't the fox, and it wasn't your behavior. It was frankly your conviction to your goals."

N-Hinata looked confused. "What do you mean?"

"I wonder the same thing Kakashi-sensei, why would you doubt Naruto-kun's conviction?" H-Naruto asked.

"Okay Naruto, you make it no secret that you want to become hokage someday right?" Kakashi started, and his student nodded. "And of course, most people don't believe you'll ever succeed. And while it would be easy to blame the fox or social stigma for why they dismiss you so much, let's ignore that for now. Let's pretend those are not factors. If everything else was similar, what other reason could people have for dismissing your claims and dreams?"

N-Hinata just shrugged. "Dunno."

"Part of it is how you express yourself. Shouting out to the whole world that you're going to become the greatest hokage ever is more acceptable from a child half your age or younger. At your current age, it comes across less as 'I really mean it' and more as 'Pay attention to me dammit'."

N-Hinata frowned, clearly offended by this.

"Think of it this way Naruto, imagine if Sasuke said 'I'm going to kill my brother' the exact same way you say you're going to be hokage. He stood up, threw his fist in the air, and screamed it like the volume somehow makes it truer. Would you really believe that he actually meant it? Or would you roll your eyes and tell him to shut up?"

Now N-Hinata stopped frowning, looking like the message was sinking in. "So, people don't believe me... because of the way I say it?"

"That's part of it, not all of it." Kakashi answered with a curt nod. "Another part of it is the effort you put into it. People are going to judge you by what they've seen, and most people don't see you actually trying to become hokage or a better ninja."

"I am!" N-Hinata protested loudly.

"But not everyone sees that. In the Academy, everyone saw Sasuke take his training seriously and succeed because of it. You on the other hand, everyone saw you goof off and cut class and as a result fail. Why would anyone take your dream seriously if you don't take the work seriously?"

"I did, it was just so boring." N-Hinata objected.

"So, you want to become hokage but only until it gets boring to do so?" Kakashi tested.


"But that's how people see it Naruto." Kakashi warned, holding up a single finger. "One of the reasons you got people's respect when you defeated Neji was because that time you presented yourself with solid conviction. That was a fight that did matter to you, that was a goal that you put your all into achieving."

N-Hinata scoffed. "How would you know? You weren't there."

"They videotape it Naruto, mostly for the judges to get second opinions on later. I managed to see the recording of your match and heard details from my colleagues. Trust me while I do regret not being there for your match I never intended to ignore it entirely."

"So, then what's the difference? Why take me seriously when I'm fighting Neji but not when I'm training?" N-Hinata asked.

"Again, part of it is how you act. In the academy, you acted like you were only there because you had to be, not because you wanted to be. Sure, Mizuki is proof that some of the teachers were against you and probably made you fail on purpose, but if you weren't really trying to learn anything in the first place that's squarely on you."

"I was trying to learn, they just weren't teaching me anything worth learning." N-Hinata protested.

Kakashi did not reply right away, and slowly looked towards H-Naruto. "Hinata, what would you say are some of the things you learned at the academy? Just at the academy, nothing from your clan or other teachers."

The girl in a boy's body fidgeted for a moment before straightening herself. "Off the top of my head, some of the stuff we use when out traveling or camping. Same with history of the Elemental Nations, genjutsu recognizing, and battlefield tactics. The Hyuuga focus primarily on personal offense and defense, leaving the rest of ninja skills for the Academy and our jounin sensei to cover."

Kakashi looked back to N-Hinata. "That doesn't sound like anything worth learning 'Hinata'?"

N-Hinata looked unconvinced. "I already know how to sleep outside and scrounge for food. I already learned about history and I suck at anything genjutsu. So that's nothing I didn't already know."

Kakashi looked annoyed, getting the feeling that his student was either being stubborn or still missing the point. "Alright, then let me show you another reason I didn't take your training too seriously. You want to become hokage right?" N-Hinata nodded. "What do you intend to do as hokage?"

"Protect people, duh."

"And how exactly do you intend to do that? What will be your village management policies? What laws do you want to create or remove? What allies do you want to reach out to? What will be your economic priorities?"

N-Hinata shrugged. "I figured I'd work on all of that stuff when I got the job."

"Do you want to work on all that stuff?"

N-Hinata was silent for a bit, then sighed. "Not really, no."

"Which brings me to my other reason. You say you want to become hokage, but you don't seem like you really want the job. You like the idea of being hokage and having all the perks that come with it, but when it comes to the actual work involved you're completely disinterested. It's very much like Sakura, she may think she's a great kunoichi but when push comes to shove her true desire is not to be stronger but to be paired up with a more romantic Sasuke. Anything that she thinks doesn't get her closer to that goal is considered trivial, and it's likely she's not seeing the full picture of what being with Sasuke would actually be like. She thinks it'll be all lovey-dovey, not considering what actual couples have to go through."

N-Hinata looked like he was trying to protest the point but couldn't think of a way to do so.

"Let me put it this way, imagine that you succeeded in getting Sakura to want to date you. What exactly do you think would happen?" Kakashi continued.

"Easy, she'd be nicer to me and want to be around me more."


N-Hinata blinked. "Well, we'd do stuff obviously, and maybe more people would start being nicer to me too."

"But what kind of stuff would you do? Other than take her to your favorite ramen stand?" Kakashi pressed.

N-Hinata shrugged. "I dunno, I'm no expert on these sorts of things."

"Sounds to me more like you don't really want Sakura as your girlfriend."

N-Hinata glared. "Yes, I do!"

"No Naruto, you don't." Kakashi insisted, crossing his arms. "You want her to be nicer to you and you think you can sponge off her popularity, but beyond that you don't want Sakura."

"Yes I-"

"No, you don't. You don't want Sakura, you don't want to be a ninja, you don't want to be hokage. You're like a child that says it's wants to run away from home, what you really want is for your problems to go away. You haven't thought beyond the first date, you easily get bored by ninja training, and you don't know what you'd do as hokage. That is why I haven't been taking you seriously Naruto or training you properly, because at the end of the day you don't want to learn what I have to teach. All you want is attention and praise, nothing more."

"Well why is that a bad thing?!" N-Hinata yelled, tears in the corners of his eyes.

"Because I'm not required to give you either. No one is, no one owes you any attention or praise. You're entitled to basic human decency, but more than that? You have to earn it, you can't get away with demanding everyone treat you like you're special."

"You're making me sound like Sasuke!" N-Hinata argued.

"Yeah, except there's one big difference between the two of you. He actually wants to learn what I have to teach."

N-Hinata glared while shedding tears then stormed out of the room, slamming the door hard enough that if there had been a picture on the wall it surely would have fallen off the hook.

"Weren't you being a little harsh on Naruto-kun Sensei?" H-Naruto asked.

Kakashi sighed. "Perhaps, but sometimes tough love yields better results than coddling. I am aware that Naruto has gotten the short end of the stick more often than he should have, but he should never develop a victim complex Hinata. That will lead to him ignoring all responsibility and accountability. Otherwise he might start acting like your cousin someday, rude and under the impression that no one else is allowed to be upset at him for it."

H-Naruto nodded, still vividly remembering the times when Neji thought that just because he suffered once that he was allowed to make everyone else miserable as well. The idea of Naruto becoming that entitled did not sit well with her.

"Naruto will come around, he may be angry but the good thing is deep down he wants to be happy. Unlike some people, he wants to resolve the issue, not just throw that anger in someone else's face. I just want him to realize that the happiness he wants may not be the happiness he needs." Kakashi said before standing up. "I think we ought to call it a night. Feel free to do whatever before heading to bed."

H-Naruto nodded then watched Kakashi disappear. But a single thought continued to linger in her mind, hanging over her like a dark stormcloud 'Does that mean Naruto-kun might not be what I need either?'