Sorry about the long wait, been a crazy month. This chapter is a little shorter than the last, again my apologies.

well hope you enjoy, I will try to have chapter 5 up asap.

as always reviews are more than welcome.

Chapter 4

It had been a week since Team Seven had left on their mission, and Hinata had not had any news as to how it was going or when they would return. She was worried that something may have happened to Naruto, and afraid that even if he returned he would want nothing more to do with her. She came close to going back to the way she once was, but decided that she honor everything she had learned in her short time with the blond, even if it would be all that she had left, she would hold onto everything, and become a strong Kunoichi that Naruto would be proud of.

Kurenai had been worried for her student, as well as her teams' dynamics. But after the first she came to realize that she had nothing to worry about. Hinata was performing much better than before, her attacks were fiercer and more precise, and there was no more hesitation when she would strike. As for the team itself, they performed as they usually did, though Hinata would only talk to Kiba when required to, and surprisingly Shino was also giving the Inuzuka the cold shoulder. He did not like the underhanded tricks, his teammate used in attempting to gain Hinata's affection, nor the fact that he was willing to break her heart for his own selfish reasons. All in all, the atmosphere that no surrounded team eight was less than friendly, and at times even hostile.

"Again!" Anko shouted sadistically, throwing a kunai perilously close to her charges head, cutting a few strands of mint green hair. "Again! Closer together and Faster this time!" she shouted throwing another kunai with a twisted smile on her face.

"Yes Anko-sensei!" Fu replied taking more senbon needles between each of her fingers, quickly taking aim, and throwing them once again in quick succession, on the practice dummy, over where a heart would be were the senbon, group together to spell out the words "Anko Is Great"

"Better, now do the liver!" Anko said a sadistic smile gracing her lips. Fu sweat dropped but continued to do as her crazy temporary teacher told her.

"Gato's gone, he's actually dead."

"Yeah, I heard it was all thanks to that group of ninja."

"They must be incredibly strong to have defeated Gato so easily."

"I heard that they took out Gato's rogue ninja without even breaking a sweat."

"Yeah and one of them was a former member of the 'Seven Swordsman of the Mist', not to mention his apprentice.

"That's amazing!"

"Not only that but that blonde one has been an enormous help with building the bridge, it wasn't supposed to be finished for another month, but at the rate its going it'll be finished in a day or two."

"Wow, how could we ever repay them?"

Everywhere that Sasuke went he would hear conversations about Naruto, or something that he knew Naruto had done, even if the villagers didn't know it was him. The more that people thanked him and his team for saving them and bringing hope back to their homeland, the more he began to despise his teammate.

'How did Naruto get so strong so quickly? Has Kakashi been training him in secret? Has someone else been helping him to get stronger? I have to be the one to get stronger, not that dobe, I deserve that strength not him. I have to defeat Itachi to avenge my clan. I'll confront that dobe tonight, and force him to tell me how he got so strong.' Sasuke thought savagely as he walked back to Tazuna's house.

Sakura had been at odds with herself since the short confrontation with Zabuza and Haku. On one side she was both in awe and terrified slightly of Naruto's new found strength. On the other she was slowly coming to a realization about her feelings not only for the blonde but also for her other teammate. She had always assumed that Sasuke was more than what he let show, that in time he would let her in on the man behind the cold eyes and stoic expression.

She had always thought that he was strong, and could help her to get strong as well now that they were teammates, but after seeing his reaction to Naruto's strength, and talking with Naruto a few days ago, Sakura just began to get more and more confused. And the more she tried to see 'underneath the underneath' the more she realized that Naruto was a complete mystery, and Sasuke only cared about one thing, getting stronger for his revenge. The boy she had imagined him to be simply didn't exist, she had created an elaborate fantasy that would never come true. She had thrown away the first and best friend she had ever had over a boy that wouldn't even acknowledge her existence. Just the thought of Ino was enough for the pink haired Kunoichi's heart to hurt, and be filled with guilt.

She thought back on the conversation with Naruto, his words affected her more than she would ever admit.


"Naruto, could I have a word with you for a second?" Sakura asked as she finished running laps on the water, while Kakashi remained on the land with Sasuke who was fuming over being the only one who had yet to master the tree walking exercise.

"Sure, what do you need Sakura?" Naruto asked walking over to her, he already had a good idea of what she wanted to talk about.

"Well… You see… The thing is… How did you get so strong?" Sakura asked lamely.

"With hard work and constant training." Naruto said deciding to at least tell her part of the truth. "Why do ask?"

"It's just I never knew you were that strong. You've never shown that kind of strength before, and I thought maybe you had been training with Kakashi-sensei in secret or something." Sakura said glad that he was opening up a little.

"There are many thing that you don't know about me, not that you have ever taken the time to get to know me before." Naruto said without any kind of malice, he merely pointed out the fact. "You were always too busy with Sasuke. Not that it matters now."

"Naruto…" Sakura began but was quickly interrupted by the blonde.

"Like I said it doesn't matter now, is there anything else you wanted to talk about?" Naruto said not wanting to open old wounds any more than necessary.

Sakura was taken aback by the sudden change in subject, but there was still more that she wanted to know. "Yes, I wanted to know if maybe you could help me and Sasuke to become stronger as well." Sakura with determination in her eyes.

"No." Naruto said bluntly.

"What? Why not? Why won't you help us?" Sakura asked outraged by his sudden rejection.

"Why do you want to get stronger Sakura? To impress Sasuke. Why does want to get stronger? To get revenge against his brother. I have no interest in helping either ambition." Naruto said with a serious look on his face.

Sakura stood there unable to reply, she knew what he said was true. "I have no desire to help either of you for such selfish reasons, true strength comes from the desire to protect someone else, to help others. You have no such desire, and until you do I will not help you. As for Sasuke, his thirst for vengeance will never be quenched. He will seek out ways to get strength regardless of the consequence. Even now his hatred for me grows simply because I am stronger than he thinks I should be. He is arrogant and selfish, he believes that everyone is beneath him, which includes you. Tell me Sakura, why is it that you chase him so religiously? Has he even ever noticed you, or given you the time of day? Has he ever even acknowledged that you're alive?" Naruto said in a tone that would be fit in discussing the weather.

Sakura stood speechless, looking as though she had been slapped. Before she had time to think of something articulate to say Naruto began to walk away. "If you truly want to get stronger, do it for yourself and those that you wish to protect." Naruto finished before disappearing into the trees, leaving Sakura to her thoughts.

End of Flashback

Sakura sat with her arms wrapped around her legs in deep thought, growing more and more frustrated at her situation. She knew what she wanted to do, she just didn't how she was going to do it. She sighed in defeat and decided to put it on hold until they returned to Konoha.


Silently the ninja walked through the little apartment, his target lay sleeping only a few feet away. As quickly and silently as death itself he struck, before the unsuspecting Genin even had time to register what had just happened he was already dead, a headless corpse. Quickly the ninja sealed the head of the Genin into a scroll, and still without the shadow of a noise he was gone.

Naruto opened his eyes startled, he had just been meditating and recalling old memories, when something quite unexpected happened. Moments ago he had been recalling what he and the reanimated Itachi had discussed after their battle with Nagato, when suddenly the memory became clouded in mist, barely there, almost as though it had never happened. Now this had happened a few times in the past, mainly around memories about a certain Hyuga girl, but never had it happened to this extent, the more he tried to recall the war, the more clouded it became, even his battle with Madara, with the exception of Obito, who remained unclouded.

This worried Naruto as much as it intrigued him. He was by no means an expert when it came to time travel, but he had a theory in regards to what this might be. He thought that this happened only when he changed something from the previous timeline, if it didn't happen or happened differently than the original outcome would also change, leaving the clouded memories in his mind. He was still having trouble figuring out which actions would change the future for the better, but at the same time he figured that any future was better than the one he escaped from.

There was one other thing that was on the young Jinchuuriki's mind, he was slowly but surely fusing with his younger self's mind. Not that it was a bad thing, but it was growing increasingly harder to keep his emotions in check. He was still confused as to how to handle this situation with Hinata. He knew it wouldn't be resolved for a while longer, he still had the meeting with the other Jinchuuriki that he would be leaving for as soon as he returned to the village to get Fu. Almost immediately after his return from the gathering, he had to participate in the Chunin exams, which left him little to no time at all to try to talk with Hinata.

The only thing that Naruto could say in this situation, were words from one of the smartest men he had ever known, "Troublesome."

"Hey dobe, come with me." Sasuke said barging into the room without bothering to knock.

"What the hell do you want Sasuke?" Naruto said without even looking at his raven haired teammate, annoyed that he had been pulled away from his thought.

"I want you to fight me." Sasuke said heatedly, not liking the way Naruto wouldn't even look at him when he was talking. "It's time for us to finally show who the stronger one is."

"Go away teme, I have better things to do than play around with you." Naruto said flatly.

"I knew you were nothing more than a coward, once dead last always dead last eh Naruto." Sasuke said trying everything he could to get under the blondes skin.

"Fine, don't say I didn't warn you." Naruto said still in the flat voice standing up without looking at Sasuke. "Meet me outside." He finished before he disappeared in swirl of leaves.

Five minutes later Sasuke was staring daggers at Naruto who merely looked bored. For a few more moments they just looked at one another, then both moved faster than the untrained eye could see. Sasuke was attacking without hesitation, putting everything he had into beating Naruto, and failing miserably. Naruto was completely and almost effortlessly dodging every single attack that Sasuke threw at him, succeeding in infuriating the Uchiha further.

"Fight me damn it!" Sasuke yelled out in frustration unable to land a single blow.

"As you wish." Naruto said in the same bored tone instantly going from defense to offence.

Ten seconds later Sasuke, who had been easily taken down and immobilized, was looking up from the ground in disbelief, "How? How did you get so strong?"

Naruto looked down at the boy he had once considered his brother, "Through sweat, blood, tears and hard work." He said with a look in his eye that no twelve year old boy should have, the eyes of a man who had seen far too many battles, and far too much death. "This strength wasn't given to me, it was earned, and it was gained by never giving up. Something a born genius like yourself can never understand, everything always came so easily to you, you never really had to work for it. Someone like you can never become as strong as someone like me. You rely on your natural talents and your Sharingan to excel, whereas I rely only on my own strength, and resilience to move forward. You desire strength for the sole purpose of avenging your clan regardless of what happens to anyone else along the way, I desire strength to protect those that are precious to me as well as those who cannot protect themselves. And for these reasons you will never beat me, you will never be stronger than I am."

Naruto looked directly in too the eyes of his teammate, "You may be a genius in the eyes of the village and other shinobi, but I am a genius too, a genius of hard work." He finished and turned his back on Sasuke, before disappearing in a swirl of leaves, leaving the stunned and confused Genin unable to move with only his thoughts for company.

The return trip to Konoha was quiet and rather uneventful, Naruto and Kakashi were in the lead having a conversation about the upcoming book for the Icha Icha series. Taking up the rear were Sasuke and Sakura, neither of them were talking, or even looking at anyone else. They simply stared straight ahead, in deep thought about their own conversation with Naruto. It wasn't until they reached the gates of the village did they even realize how far they had traveled.

"Ok I will go report to the Hokage about the success of the mission. Naruto you may go and prepare for your next mission, then head straight to Hokage tower, Fu will be waiting for you there." He then turned to the other two, "You two are dismissed, we will meet up tonight with team eight for a mandatory dinner, I will let you know the place and time when I bring you your pay vouchers."

Naruto had already gone before Kakashi had finished giving the others there instructions, Sasuke noticed and spoke up before Kakashi had the chance to leave as well. "What mission is he going on already, and why aren't we, his team, going with him?"

Kakashi looked at him for a moment before answering, "The mission in question is a private matter between Naruto, Fu and the Hokage. I cannot divulge its details with anyone, even his own teammates. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get to the Hokage's office." And with that Kakashi vanished in a swirl of leaves.

Sakura turned to look at Sasuke, and was taking slightly off guard by what she saw. She had expected him to question Kakashi further and demand answers like he usually did. She had expected him to get angry and storm off in one of his childlike silent tantrums. What Sakura had not expected was too see a look of understanding and acceptance on the face of the young Uchiha. She watched as he turned around and walked away silently. 'Soon, very soon, I'll be as strong as you Naruto.' Sasuke thought before turning his head back to his pink haired teammate, "Let's go grab something to eat." And with that he kept walking, not waiting for a reply.

"Lord Hokage, our mission to wave was a success. The land was liberated and Gato is no longer a threat to anyone, and as requested all his money and assets have been distributed to help rebuild the economy of wave." Kakashi said as he stood in front of the Third Hokage.

"Excellent, and what is the status of your team?" Sarutobi asked going over the report Kakashi handed to him.

"Both Sakura and Sasuke have gone through a significant change. Sakura has begun to take her training far more seriously, and has improved by leaps and bounds. I will be filing a request tomorrow for to begin training part time as a medical Nin, and asking Kurenai Yuhi to teach her more in depth in the art of Genjutsu." Sarutobi nodded his head in approval, and Kakashi continued, "Sasuke has had a rather life altering encounter with Naruto, and as far as I could tell, it was for the better. He seems more determined now than ever before to become stronger, however he is no longer interested in having power simply handed to him. In his own words he told me this, 'I will defeat Itachi, but with my own power, with the power of my natural talent combined with the power of hard work. Only then will I be satisfied, only then will the honor of my clan be restored.' The boy seems to have been completely humbled."

"A very interesting turn of events indeed, and what of Naruto?" Sarutobi asked looking away from the report for the first time.

"It would seem that Naruto, even without the use of Kyuubi's chakra, is well beyond Chunin or even average Jonin. And given the unique way that the boy trains, and the intensity of the training himself, I'd say in a few months he could give me a run for my money as well. His Ninjutsu is limited but extremely impressive, comprised of nearly all A and S-Rank Techniques, all usable on a master level. What would take years for a Jonin level ninja to learn and master to that degree would take Naruto only a few weeks." Sarutobi's face showed no shock but a look that clearly showed he was impressed. "His Taijutsu isn't nearly at the level of Guy but it too is impressive, and his ability to improvise on the fly is second to none. His Genjutsu is average. Overall he is a shinobi to be feared, he will pass the Chunin exams without much effort and even the Jonin exams if he wished too." Kakashi finished talking and waited for the response of the man sitting across from him.

"This leaves much to think about. When should I expect him and Fu to arrive?" Sarutobi asked as he looked at the one eyed Jonin.

"Within the hour, I think, I sent a message to Anko shortly before we arrived back to the village, Naruto is already preparing." Kakashi said as he readied himself to leave.

"Good, here are the pay vouchers for you team, you are dismissed." Sarutobi said handing Kakashi the pay slips, and sitting back down.

"Thank you Lord Hokage." Kakashi said before disappearing in swirl of leaves.

After Kakashi was gone the Sarutobi twitched his fingers a in a less than noticeable way, two hooded figures appeared in front of him kneeling down.

"Yes Lord Hokage." The ANBU in a wolf mask said.

"Bring 'those two' too me." Sarutobi said, and without another word the two elite ninja vanished. Hiruzen Sarutobi put his face in his hands and squeezed the bridge of his nose, he really hated feeling his, and the time was closely approaching for him to, yet again, choose a successor.

Naruto was running out of time, he had managed to pack all of his things in only a few minutes, for the past fifty minutes, of the hour he was allotted, he had spent in a desperate search for Hinata. He was forced to abandon his search however as he once again checked the time, "Damn it, only five minutes to get to the Hokage's office." Naruto said himself, as he turned around and began moving towards his new destination at breakneck speed.

With only thirty seconds to spare Naruto walked into the old man's office, Fu was already there as were two other ninja Naruto had not been expecting to see. "And here I was beginning to think you were going to be late." Said the first ninja.

"NONSENSE, NARUTO BURNS BRIGHTLY WITH THE FLAMES OF YOUTH!" The second man yelled excitedly in his 'Nice Guy' pose, causing everyone to sweat drop.

"Pervy Sage, Bushy-Brow Sensei what are you two doing here?" Naruto asked as he looked at the men standing next to Fu. Earning him a fist to the back of his head by Jiraiya.

"I have asked you a million times not to call me that." Jiraiya said as hit his godson a second time, "Anyway, we are your escorts to the meeting. Every village is allowed to send two escorts with their Jinchuuriki."

"Yes and we, One of the legendary Sannin and great toad sage Jiraiya, and Konoha's Green Beast Might Guy!" Guy said yet again in his 'Nice Guy' pose, this time with an odd shine from his smile which had to be the effect of some kind of Genjutsu. "With us around, no danger shall dare to show its face, I won't let a single hair on either of your heads be touched by the enemy, and if can't do that I will do one thousand laps around Konoha using only my hand while balancing Lee on my feet, and I if can't do that then I will…" He never got to finish because at that moment Sarutobi chose to interrupt him with a cough.

"Guy, they already left." The Hokage said as he returned to his paperwork.

Guy deadpanned as he bowed to the Hokage before running out the door to catch up to the others, who were waiting outside the tower. Together Jiraiya, Guy, Fu and Naruto took to the roofs, and made their way to the village gates, it was a long journey to get to their destination, and they only had two days to get there.

Just as Naruto exited the gates another team entered, and for the briefest of moments, blue eyes met white hinted with lavender. Then the moment was gone, and in seconds Naruto had already lost sight of her. There was no time to stop, no matter how much he wanted too, no matter how much he wanted to turn around and embrace her, he had to keep moving forward.

Blue eyes met white ones that were tinted with lavender, for only a moment in time it felt as though everything had disappeared, like the world outside those eyes vanished, like everything was as it should be. Then the moment was gone, the world started once more, and within seconds the blue eyes were gone, not even turning to look back, and see the tears.

"He d-didn't say anything to m-me, I haven't seen him in a week and h-he didn't even l-look b-back." Hinata said as tears fell down her cheeks. She had been anticipating this moment for days, upon hearing that Naruto was back in the village, she rushed back at full speed, determined to make things right, to get her Naruto back. She would make him understand that she didn't care about the stupid fox inside him, and that she didn't have those kind of feelings for Kiba, that she wanted to be with him, Naruto, and no one else. And then she saw him, and then he was gone, not a single word passed between them.

"Hinata, I'm sure he would have stopped if he could have, he's probably on a mission and just doesn't have time to stop, and he was with Lord Jiraiya after all, not to mention Might Guy. He would be lucky just to keep up." Kurenai said putting an understanding hand on her students shoulder. "Let's go turn our report now, then you all can take the rest of the day off." She then leaned in and whispered into Hinata's ear so that only she could hear, "And you can ask the Hokage when Naruto will be coming back." There it was and Kurenai saw it right away, that small but strong glimmer of hope in her eyes, she knew she had reached Hinata.

"Ok." Hinata said looking at her teacher, "Let's go." Without waiting for the rest of her team Hinata took off, her destination, Hokage tower, followed moments later by her team.

'Maybe I still have a shot after all, it looked Naruto didn't even want to acknowledge Hinata. He didn't say a word to her, heck he didn't even look back.' Kiba thought as they jumped from roof to roof through village.

'I hope Kiba doesn't do or say anything stupid.' Kurenai thought as she looked at the back of her students.

'That was very odd indeed, my insects seemed extremely excited when that girl passed me, were they reacting to her chakra. Perhaps she also uses insects. I will try to find out more about her if I can.' Shino thought as he tried to calm his colony down.

'Naruto-kun, please don't give up on me, on us yet.' Hinata thought clinging to the little hope she still had.

"You spent more time with her than I did, what do you think of her skills, what level do you think she is at?" Kakashi asked the female sitting next to him.

"She is easily Chunin level, not yet Jonin, but she could be there within a year or two. Her chakra reserves are well beyond the normal Jonin, but not quite as large as Naruto's. Her chakra control is pretty bad, she can barely do the tree walking exercise, and she's completely incapable of water walking yet. I recommend working on that first, her jutsu is minimal, mostly D and C-Rank, none of which she has mastered. Her Taijutsu and speed are nearly Jonin level, and her ability to use weapons is high Chunin. She is extremely intelligent, but she rarely shows it." Anko finished eating before she continued, "That girl is a real diamond in the ruff, she will make a valuable and powerful leaf shinobi, her village was foolish for exiling her."

"Thank you, I now have a much better idea of how to train her." Kakashi said as he stood to leave, "And thank you again for doing me this favor."

Before Kakashi could leave however, he was stopped when a kunai landed exactly where his foot would have been if had taken another step. "You can repay me a little tonight, with dinner and desert, your treat of course." Anko said as she walked over to him seductively, placing her hand on his chest "Thank you Kakashi I'd love to." She said in a slightly lustful voice.

The only part of Kakashi's face that could be seen looked unaffected and bored, but if anyone were able to see his face under the mask, they would see the elite Jonin blushing bright enough to rival a certain Hyuga, he was after all a closet pervert. But before he could do anything Anko had disappeared in a swirl of leaves. "Excuse me Ninja-san, here is your bill."

"Huh?" Was Kakashi most intelligent response.

"The Kunoichi you were just talking to, she said that you would be paying her tab." The waitress said handing Kakashi the bill.

"Oh, yeah no problem." Kakashi said before opening up the bill and nearly fainting at the amount written down, "How much did that women eat today?" He demanded shocked at the outrageous amount this place must surely charge.

"You misunderstand, Miss Anko eats here so often that we opened a tab for her that she pays every month, today is collection day." The waitress said pleasantly.

Kakashi sweat dropped, why he agreed to pay before he even looked at the amount. It's not like he could go back on his word now, he too was a man of his word. Reluctantly, very, very reluctantly he pulled out his wallet, and nearly cried as she handed it back to him nearly empty.

'I can't believe fell for that.' Kakashi thought miserably putting his considerably thinner and lighter wallet back into his pocket. So much for looking underneath the underneath.

"Hinata! Run, get out of here! You're no match for them!" Naruto shouted, unable to get to her side to help her.

Kiba lay dead only a few feet away, he died protecting Naruto. ("Protect her Naruto, she has always loved you, and I have always loved her, protect her." Were his last words.)

Time appeared to be slowing down, or maybe his adrenaline was just pumping to fast. All Naruto knew was that for some unknown reason, his eyes were drawn to a single kunai flying slowly through the air. Fear spread through his veins like poison, as the kunai slowly came closer to its target, as though being guided by the hand of death himself.

"NOOOOO!" Naruto awoke screaming with tears in his eyes, it took him a few seconds before he realized he had been dreaming. A nightmare that had plagued his dreams for months before his return to the past. He focused his eyes and realized that there was someone over him.

"Naruto-kun, are you ok?" Fu asked as she leaned over him, she had been trying to wake him for a few minutes, after he had begun to talk in his sleep. "I was so worried when you started yelling…" she let her sentence hang feeling slightly embarrassed as she noticed the close proximity between them. Her lips were only inches from his, one of her hands on his chest the other on his cheek, and if anyone were to see the two they would presume they were lovers, seconds away from a passionate kiss.

"S-sorry about that, I was having a nightmare." Naruto said as he gently moved Fu's hands so he could sit up, he too had instantly noticed how close they were to one another, as well as the slight blush that was spreading across her cheeks, and for the shortest of moments, he was tempted to stroke her cheek. Before the thought had fully developed in his mind however, he stopped it, shocked that he would even consider such a thing. He loved Hinata, and no matter how far away she was, whether they were together or not, he would not betray his feelings for her. 'What the hell was that all about?'

And that's when it struck him, like a blacksmith would an anvil, Fu just then had reminded him of Hinata. The shy way she blushed, was the same as the young Hyuga heiress. Feeling slightly relieved that he was not developing a cheaters mentality, Naruto began to look at his surroundings. "Where is that perverted hermit and bushy brow-sensei?"

Fu, who still had a small blush gracing her cheeks, pointed to the door, "Lord Jiraiya said something about research, and Guy-sensei said he was going to survey the area again."

They sat there for a few minutes in a fairly awkward silence, before Naruto came up with a brilliant idea that was guaranteed to work. "So, do you want to go get some breakfast?" absolutely genius.

Fu smiled widely at that, "Sure that sounds good."

The young Uchiha was lying on his back alone in his back yard in the now completely deserted Uchiha compound. Exhaustion was threatening to overtake him. He had been continuously training since the sun had risen, trying desperately to quiet the storm of thoughts raging in his mind. He had always thought that being the top of his class meant that he was the best, but Naruto had thrown that idea straight to hell. Another thought was poking at him, if he had been so wrong about Naruto, who else could he have been wrong about, who else might have surpassed him while his superiority complex was blinding him to the truth.

It was then that Sasuke realized something, there was one person that might be able answer some of his questions. There was one other person that Naruto had spent a lot of time with for a while now. 'Hinata.' Sasuke shot up, and immediately made his way to the Hyuga compound. Maybe she could at least tell him what kind of training the boy was doing, or who he was training with. He would settle for any information he could get.

Hinata was making her way back to her room after her evening training session with her father, panting slightly from the exertion. She now far surpassed her little sister in terms of speed, strength, and raw power. In fact at the moment she could go toe to toe with Neji by only removing two-fifths of her extra weight. Without her weights at all she was easily the strongest Genin Kunoichi in the Leaf.

"Lady Hinata, you have a visitor." Came the voice of a branch house member walking up behind her, just as Hinata was about to open the door to her room.

Sighing in her mind, Hinata turned around keeping all emotion off her face, "Thank you for telling me, who is it?" she asked not really interested at all, she already knew it wasn't her Naruto, the Hokage told her that he would not be returning for at least a week.

"I believe it was the student of Kakashi Hatake," Hinata's heart skipped a beat, hoping that perhaps Naruto hadn't needed a week after all, "Sasuke Uchiha." Her heart fell in disappointment, she felt foolish for letting herself get her hopes up. "He is waiting at the gates."

"I'll be there shortly, please show him inside." Hinata said turning back to her room, she wasn't in any kind of rush to see Sasuke. She took her time changing her clothes, and fifteen minutes later Hinata made her way down to where Sasuke was waiting. She entered the room to see Sasuke standing there waiting patiently for her.

"Lady Hinata." Sasuke said as he bowed to her.

"Sasuke, is there something I can help you with." Hinata asked trying to get directly to point.

Sasuke slightly taken aback by Hinata's sudden business like demeanor, got straight to the reason he was there, "I wanted to speak with you about my teammate, Naruto."

Hinata had been caught slightly off guard, she was not expecting this conversation to be about the object of her affection, "What about Naruto-kun?"

"I know you two have been spending quite a lot of time together. I have even seen you two sparing on occasion, what I would like for you to tell me is… How did Naruto get so strong? Has he been training with someone in secret? If so do you know who it is?" Sasuke said in a rush, trying to say what he needed to say.

Hinata sighed, this was definitely not a conversation she wanted to have.