Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Did a story before, but it failed epically. So I'm trying again.


A 12-year old Hinata stared at a tree stump, its smooth wood and unmarred surface nearly mocking her of her efforts in activating her Kekkei Genkai.

It must have been some sort of sick record because during all of her 12 years of life, Hinata's Byakugan had not surfaced even once. Many times she was accused of not trying hard enough and had been deemed unworthy. She was still taught the clan's taijutsu nonetheless.

Her title had been stripped and the Elders had been perplexed. Hinata held the Clan's white pupil-less orbs, yet unable to activate her Kekkei Genkai.

Hinata had been deemed a failure.

Here she was at the age of twelve, useless and worthless.

It wasn't that she never tried, by god she tried countless amount of times, she just couldn't. No matter how many times she forced chakra into the hand seal for activation, her veins never bulged. No matter what she did, she could never impress her father.

A kunai embedded itself into the stump.

Why did she even go home?

Not bothering to take the kunai out of the grain, Hinata headed back to that wretched place.


The Hyuuga compound was quite busy, Hinata observed. Usually, the clan members would be headed toward their midday duties or settling in for meetings about now. Something was up.

Indeed Hinata saw her Father, Hiashi, with the Elders behind him, approaching her.

"Hinata" Her father's cold voice commanded "The Elders and I have come to a decision about your situation"

Hinata stared at all of the faces and their satisfied dispositions. Something in her gut twisted at what was to come.

Hiashi paused, as if the next words would haunt Hinata's life forever.

"You will become a member of the branch as your duties as a main member are-"

"too much for you to handle".

Somehow, Hinata knew it would come to this. Who would let a Byakugan-less Hyuuga member exist in the main house?

Even so, tears stung behind Hinata's useless eyes, threatening to spill. Hinata almost couldn't breathe.

Hanabi objected.

"Oto-Sama don't!" Hanabi clung behind Hinata, her hands fisted into her older sisters clothing.

Tears freely fell from Hanabi's eyes, staining her sister's thick jacket.

Hiashi shot her down,

"Quiet Hanabi, it is for the best"

Hanabi bawled more, her fists growing ever so tighter on Hinata.

"No it isn't! I'll never see nee-san ever again!"

Seeing that he wasn't able to reason with Hanabi, Hiashi closed his eyes in displeasure and motioned a branch member to take her away.

"Send Hanabi to her room. I will talk to her later"

Hanabi refused and struggled violently.

"Let me go!"

A strike on one of her pressure points stilled the young heiress and Hanabi was carried away.

"Now Hinata" Hiashi turned to his daughter "Do you understand?"

Hinata looked up, red eyes and dry tears marred her face. She sniffed once.

"H-hai Oto-sama".

Hinata followed her father and the elders.

Pain gripped in her chest, twisting through Hinata's entire being.

She was scared. She was shaking.

Hinata had been there when Neji was branded. The amount of pain in his eyes was terrifying. Hinata never wanted to see anyone in that amount of pain ever again.

Hinata brought her trembling hands to her forehead. It would hurt and it would hurt badly.

Hinata squeezed her eyes shut and almost bumped into an Elder from behind when she reopened them.

The Elders moved to the sidelines, opening a tunnel like path to a room with a single chair.

Her father stood beside the chair, waiting.

Hinata took a step, then another.

Each step felt like forever before she stood in front of the chair. Wretched anticipation wormed through Hinata's body as she sat on the chair, dazed.

Her father then went through unique hand signs blindingly fast and invoked the seal. A sickly green glowed from Hiashi's hands. Hiashi brought his right hand up to Hinata's forehead and pressed his index finger against the skin.

Hinata's eyes squeezed shut and she clenched her jaw in preparation of the pain.

The branch seal then formed on Hinata's forehead and pulsed once.

Hinata did not feel anything and opened her eyes.

The Elders and Hiashi were puzzled. Instead of the usual screaming that would follow, nothing did.

Light discussion drifted among the Elders.

Hinata caught horror on the Elders faces and wondered what she did wrong. The seal began to fade before disappearing completely.

Hiashi hastily performed the seal again and placed it on Hinata again, with the same result.

The Elders convened quickly.

"Hiashi" One of the Elders spoke "Leave Hinata. We need to talk"

Hiashi turned to a still trembling Hinata who was pressing her index fingers together in habit.

"Leave"

Heart pounding, Hinata jumped out of the chair and ran out of the room as fast as her 12-year old legs would take her.

What had just happened to her? Why didn't the seal work?

Her legs brought her to Hanabi's room.

"Nee-san!"

Hinata nearly fell over when Hanabi jumped out for a hug.

"I thought they branded you!"

Hinata herself was not sure what just happened to her.

"A-ah s-something h-happened s-so they-y de-decided t-to do it l-later"

It was somewhat of a truth. But Hinata didn't want to worry her younger sister so Hinata smiled; her first smile all day.

Hanabi smiled in return, her mood suddenly brighter,and began running off her past events of the day to Hinata. A calmness rested in Hinata's chest as her little sister went on about her father's training.

"-and then we worked on..."

Tomorrow, Hinata would graduate from the Academy. She was looking forward to that.


"Hiashi"

The leader of the Main branch was brought to attention.

"The seal only works on members who possess the Byakugan. To have the seal fail on Hinata means one thing: She does not

possess the Byakugan and thus not a Hyuuga." One of the Elders stated.

"Therefore" The same Elder continued, "Hinata must be banished as stated by Section 167B Paragraph 5 in the Hyuuga Doctrine as stated: No Hyuuga may reside in the residence for more than a day unless approved by the Clan Head. Maximum stay under approval is three moons"

This was what Hiashi feared. He did not want to banish his own daughter from the clan. All those times, he had beaten Hinata to activate her Byakugan... A small twinge of guilt and remorse sparked in him. It was repressed and Hiashi thought his best to go against the Elders. There was one.

"The Hyuuga Doctrine also states in Section 103E Paragraph 1: All members born into the Clan are Hyuuga. Hinata is my daughter and a Hyuuga despite her abilities"

The Elders visibly bristled with irritation. The Elders had no use for a weak main member that they could not control.

"Well then Hiashi" Another Elder spoke. "We have a Proposition for you"

"Hinata will remain a Hyuuga. She will reside outside of the compounds and will not be involved in clan

matters."

Hiashi pondered. The Elders were manipulative and wanted control. He didn't want any of his daughters to be their pawn.

It would be tough for Hinata, but it was for her own good. Hinata wasn't fit to be in the clan as she could be easily controlled due to her nature.

I'm sorry Hinata.


"Hinata-sama," a servant called interrupting the sisterly talk between Hinata and Hanabi.

"Your father requests your presence. I am here to escort you"

Excusing herself from Hanabi, Hinata stood.

"Hai"

An escort? Why? Hinata did not get it.

Hinata froze as a mental realization wash over her.

It would have to do with the failed branding. This was not good.

Nonetheless, Hinata, with a heavy weight in her chest, followed the servant.

"Hinata, sit"

Her father prompted her to a chair. His expression was emotionless, as usual.

A different chair than last time Hinata noted.

Once the wooden chair held the 12-year old's weight, Hiashi began.

"Certain disputes have occured with the Elders and I. Especially on your legitimacy as a Hyuuga."

Hinata fought her nasty habit of finger fiddling and remained at an aristocratic posture.

She became distressed at what she had heard. Legitimacy issues usually meant expulsion from the clan.

"However" Hiashi continued "I was able to strike an agreement with the Elders"

Hinata braced herself.

"You will live outside of the compound, but remain a Hyuuga. A daily stipend of money will be sent to you-"

Hinata didn't hear what else her father had to say.

Expulsion...

Even if she was still a Hyuuga by name, living without true family was hard.

It shouldn't be that bad.

A wet tear dropped onto Hinata's pants. No matter how much she denied herself of the decision severity, the pain was still there, the pain from leaving her kin. Even when Hinata suffered enormously by that name, leaving what she represented was to stomp on her ancestry. It hurt.

"Further details will be sent to you later. You will leave tommorrow."

Hiashi had seen the weeping form of his daughter too many times. But just this once, he allowed his fatherly instincts out; if only for a whisper of a second.

"I am sorry, Hinata"

Did she hear right?

Hinata jerked her head upward.

Hiashi's statue of a face looked back.

Hinata's head drooped again.

She was probably seeing things.

"H-Hai, Oto-sama".


The sun was bright and shining, contradicting Hinata's predicament. The 12-year old was to graduate today, but even that could not bring her to leave her bed. Hinata simply stared at a miniscule spot in her near spotless room, still not believing she was going to leave. Hinata stayed in bed, yet awake, if only to prolong her stay in futile.

The stress and pain, it was too much for a 12-year old to handle. The sun's light filtered through her sliding bedroom doors, futher beckoning her to get up.

"Hinata-sama", a servant called through the doors. "Time to get up".

Why did they still bother with the honorific?

Hinata, still in bed, turned away from the door and looked the other way.

It was scheduled for her to leave for the apartment her father had arranged for her after graduation.

Graduation was something that Hinata was not looking forward to anymore.

Everything in her room that was valuable to her was packed in a duffel bag next to her bed.

The door slide open with a clack and Hinata felt the sun's warm rays on her back.

"Hinata-sama", the servant called again more sternly "Please get up".

Knowing that invoking the rage of her father in the morning causes trouble for everyone, Hinata sat up.

"Please arrive at the dining hall in 3 minutes"

When the servant left, Hinata heard footsteps pounding up to her room, gradually getting louder.

"Nee-san!"

Hanabi burst in sobbing. After the news was broken to her, the child realized there was no going against what was being done. Hinata could only console and comfort her.

Hanabi could only cling to what was left of her last moments with her kind sister.

"Will you visit?"

Hinata tried to smile, if only for her sister.

"I w-will t-try"

Hinata then realized something.

"H-hanabi, I-I will n-nee-d t-to ch-change"

Hanabi blanked, nearly feeling dumb for not realizing that.


The Hyuuga usually didn't have formal breakfasts. Most of the clan members were on missions. Breakfast was usually a grab and go.

Hinata ate out of necessity not because she was hungry. The emotional stress had taken its toll on her.

The table was near silent as the other members could only watch the 12-year old's fate.

With her duffel bag slung, Hinata arrived at the compound gates. Hanabi had walked along with her as Hiashi had permitted.

"Hinata!" Hanabi's voice echoed as Hinata walked on the path leading out of the area.

"I'll bring you back!"

Hinata could only turn back in acknowledgement before walking on.


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