Chapter 9: The Chunin Exams:
Part 2: Hinata Fights Back!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
Hello everybody! DexG23 here with another chapter! Now as a warning, Hinata and Naruto's battles are going to make them OP or semi-OP (depends on how anybody looks at it). Now remember both Naruto and Hinata have a (As Dante from DMC4 said) a trick up their sleeve.
Naruto head lay on his arms as he let him mind wander. Even though he wanted to cheer for his teammates, he just couldn't help but think about the conversation that he and Shino had two days ago.
Naruto had met up with Shino in the hallway after he had breakfast, the insect-user reminding the blonde of what had happened in the forest a day ago.
"Oh, hey Shino. Sorry about yesterday, but I was bushed."
"It's understandable, the event of yesterday also left me tired.", Naruto's face then took on a more serious look. If Shino wasn't the way he was, he would have had a look of shock on his face. But instead he briefly raised an eyebrow and began his tale. (And no…there will be no flashbacks within flashbacks)
"We had just gotten a second scroll when Kiba decided it would be a good idea to rest.", he looked to see if Naruto was following along before continuing. "I could tell that Hinata-san's mind was on something else whenever I looked at her. That was when Kiba-san asked about you."
Shino nodded, "He asked her what she saw in you and why you two always hung out." Naruto didn't like where that was going. What did it matter to Kiba if he and Hinata hung out. "That was when my insects started picking something up. I tried to get their attention but Kiba-san yelled at me to stay out of it. That was when I noticed two things. One, Hinata-san's fists were balled up and shaking, she almost looked ready to explode when Kiba-san started to talk exceedingly negative about you. And two, a low growling sound came from the bushes behind our group." It didn't take a rocket scientist to know what was going to happen next. "As the growling was getting louder and closer, my insects started to act more and more erratic. That was when Hinata-san yelled at the top of her lungs for Kiba-san to, as you would say, "Shut the hell up"." That threw Naruto for a loop. He had been on the receiving end of Hinata's anger only once, and it was enough. But to hear Hinata cuss, that strangely brought a smirk to his face.
"Wow, I didn't know she had that in her."
"And the rest…well you heard already.", Shino concluded.
Naruto nodded, but something was bothering him badly. "Why would Kiba do that Shino? He could have easily smelled the bear before it attacked. Heck even Akamaru, probably smelled it right?"
"Indeed, Akamaru also smelled the bear and tried to get his partners attention, but Kiba-san was too caught up in his own jealousy to see it." Naruto cast Shino a questioning look.
"Kiba likes Hinata", Shino said simply. "Kiba's animalistic logic mainly tells him to compete with another male that shares the same feelings as he." Naruto's understanding of Shino's words appeared on his face in the form of a light blush.
"I-I don't know what you're talking about, but thanks for telling me Shino.", he then proceeded to walk away…quickly.
Shino's smirk was hidden under the collar of his coat, "Naruto Uzumaki, you and Hinata-san are horrible liars when it comes to your personal feelings.
As Naruto's mind came back to the present he thought about Shino's words, "Okay, I admit I like Hinata-chan. But I don't even know how she feels about me. And then there's Kiba… I don't know what to do about him. But I know one thing…I'm going to need to have a word with him about the forest incident."
"Penny for your thoughts?", a voice broke him out of his thoughts. He turned to see Hinata with a slight smile covering a worried expression.
"I'm just thinking.", he replied.
"Would I be right if I guessed that Shino told you about what happened?" She watched Naruto nod his head sheepishly, her joining in, "Yeah, not my best moment."
"But I wasn't your fault."
"I know, but I still feel bad about yelling at Kiba like that." She noticed Naruto stiffen a bit.
"He had that coming."
"Naruto-kun I don't want you two to fight."
"Well what if we have a match…", Naruto said lowly. The silence that followed was only filled with the sounds of battle below. Naruto had turned away afterwards but a hand on his shoulder gently pulled him back around as sapphire met lavender.
"Just don't do something you're going to regret." Then the announcer Hayate's voice called their attention.
"Now for the next match:", the entire room was silent as they watched the names shift again and again until it landed on two names.
Naruto let his gaze wander over to Hinata, her own gaze had wandered and locked onto her opponent, Neji. The elder of the two Hyuga's gaze pierced into her almost like a blade. She felt herself starting to shake but managed to push it down before her cousin would notice, but judging by the smirk he had he already seen. But that smile quickly disappeared as Naruto stepped into his line of sight. Naruto's gaze held a calm but threatening look to them. The other genin and jonin almost thought they were going to fight, but Neji's voice broke through the tension.
"You won't be able to protect her this time…Uzumaki."
Naruto calmly replied, "I won't have to…Neji." His reply had a distinct edge in it that everyone noticed.
"These two have met before" was the thought that ran through their heads as Neji walked down the stairs. Naruto turned behind him to see Hinata with her head down.
"Hinata…Hinata-chan, look at me." Hinata lifted her head slowly to meet Naruto's gaze. "I know I've only seen you a few times after the mission in Wave, but I can tell that you're a lot stronger now. Don't think about the past, just think about the here and now. You. Can. Win. All you have to do is believe in yourself…", he then much to everyone's surprise, including Hinata's, took her hand, "because I do."
Hinata closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her eyes opened back up, revealing a steeled resolve and determination.
"Now go kick his ass." Then to everyone's surprise, Hinata vaulted over the railing to the floor below.
"You know Naruto… you have a way with words.", Kakashi spoke up after watching his hyperactive genin give a very moving speech. "Are you and her together now?", he then teased. His answer was a now sputtering Naruto.
"I-I don't know what you're talking about!"
"Then why is your face turning red?", Sakura added slyly.
"S-Sakura-chaaaaan!?", Naruto then proceeded to hide his face in his jacket. "J-just watch the match."
"Never thought I'd see the day…Naruto stuttering.", Shikamaru said with a smirk. Choji nodded alongside Ino who was laughing.
Down on the arena floor:
"All right, if no one has any objections…", Hayate raised his hand looking at the two combatants, then lowered his hand, "Begin".
Both fighters remained motionless, until Neji spoke up, "Before we begin , I would advise you to quit now." Hinata's eyes slightly narrowed as her cousin continued to speak, "We both know that it is pointless. No matter what training you went through, the end result will be the same." He shifted his gaze to the catwalk, "And this time… your little friend will not be here to save you"
"Neji…", Hinata cut in. "Are you done?" Now it was Neji's turn to narrow his eyes. "Because if you think I'm going to give up here…", the Hyuga heiress then slowly shifted into the Jyuken stance, her Byakugan activating along the way. "..You are sadly mistaken."
"Have it your way.", the branch member replied, shifting into his own and his Byakugan activating as well.
Then they attacked, Hinata threw a palm strike first with Neji blocking then retaliating with his own, which was also blocked. This process continued on as chakra visibly flew from every block and parry made until Hinata found an opening!
"Now!", but Neji backed away managing to still get grazed by it. Hinata then allowed herself to smirk as she saw Neji shift to get used to the chakra point she managed to close.
On the catwalk Naruto smirked as well, "That got him." He then noticed the looks of confusion thrown his way.
"All she did was graze him though.", Sakura asked.
"Yeah she didn't hit him full on.", Ino added.
"That actually may be all that's needed.", sounded a voice from behind them. They turned to see Might Guy, Neji's jonin instructor and team 10 leader, and Rock Lee, Neji's teammate. If one were to look at the two they would think they were looking in a mirror sideways. The only difference being in height and the fact that Lee has this hands and forearms wrapped up. Both were watching the match while talking. Guy also noticed that Lee's grip on the railing had tightened.
"That's what makes the Hyuga clan the most powerful clan in the Leaf village. And the most formidable of fighters.", Lee spoke.
"What do you mean?", then Guy took over.
"Their taijutsu is unique, passed down through the generations. The taijutsu Lee and I employ is used to break bones create contusions; Concentrating only on external damage. The Hyuga is to attack internal organs and the chakra network where the chakra flows. It's more…subtle. It may not be as exciting to watch, but the damage adds up over time."
Naruto chuckled dryly, "Yeah, and on top of that it hurts… a lot." Most of the genin turn to Naruto, who scratched the back of his head sheepishly, "I made the mistake of asking her to go all out…chakra included. I was in pain for the rest of that day."
Sakura gasped in unbelief. But as she looked back at the renewed fight below she heard her sensei's voice.
"You see no matter how much you train, your internal organs can never be built up. This kind of attack makes any kind of ninja vulnerable."
Back on the arena floor Hinata was pressing her offensive as hard as she could. "C'mon Hinata faster! You can do this!"
"She's giving him all he can handle.", Shino thought.
"Hinata…", Kurenai thought. She was one of the few people informed about Hinata's mother. She even met the woman once. Letting herself smile she let her thoughts convey what she was feeling, "Hana-san must have put you through your paces."
"Attacking the chakra network…", Sakura mused then turned to Naruto. "These guys are…incredible." Naruto turned to her with a smirk.
Hinata lashed out with a palm strike again, making Neji back up again. The two waited only a few seconds and as the distance shrunk, both Hyugas pulled one arm back and attacked! A visual display of chakra appeared on both sides of the hunched over fighters.
"Did she get him?", Sakura spoke to no one in particular.
Please be alright…", Naruto hoped. But his hopes were dashed he heard her cough.
Neji backed up with a triumphant smirk as he backed up, revealing that while he had struck Hinata in the chest, he moved her arm to strike his shoulder. Hinata then shoved Neji's arm out of the way to try to counter but Neji just caught her arm and struck it with two fingers. He then rolled her sleeve down, "W-wait you mean…"
"Yes. I could already see your chakra points. Your nothing more than a dart board to me!", He then hit her with a chakra-less palm thrust knocking her away.
He heard Naruto call her then looked up at him with a sneer. Then looked back at the fallen Hyuga heiress who was struggling to get up. "Now do you see?", the branch member stated. "No matter how hard you try. No matter who trains you…." He saw Hinata freeze up as she was getting to her feet. "…you will always and forever be a failure. That is your fate, your destiny."
"Don't listen to him Hinata-chan!", Naruto shouted. "You can win, I know you can!"
Hinata rose to her full height, her eyes blocked from view by her bangs, and then lifted her hands together. It was then the audience noticed something.
"Hey, when did she get her hands bandaged?"
"Really Naruto? I thought you would have noticed holding your girlfriend's hand felt different than normal.", Kakashi chimed in, teasing at the same time.
"Sh-shut up Kakashi-sensei!", Naruto stammered. He didn't deny it though.
As Hinata removed the bandages around her left hand, it revealed an ornate marking. The marking looked like a tribal sun tattoo. She then spat out a bit of blood out of her mouth, and made three hand signs, Ox, Dog, and Rabbit, and then whispered, "Reserve Seal: Healing: Release". Suddenly Hinata's body was enshrouded in a light green aura.
"Whoa what kind of chakra is that?", Ino asked.
"Medical chakra.", Kurenai answered. "She's using the medical chakra that's stored in the seal the accelerate her healing."
The once the medical chakra ran its course, it faded away. Hinata then took a deep breath and breathed out, glad that the damage she took from the hit to the chest wasn't a fatal blow. Then she raised her head and gave Neji a glare that Naruto remembered real well.
"What is it?", Sakura asked.
"Hinata's mad." He then looked to Lee and said, "Lee, I'm afraid you might not get to fight Neji in the finals." Upon seeing the student of the Green Beast giving him a confused look, he just said, "Let's just say that I did something that Hinata made me pay for. In pain."
"Is Hinata that strong?", Ino spoke up, curious about the former shy girl on the arena floor.
All Naruto said was, "She hits harder than Sakura. A lot harder."
"You know Neji… I pity you.", Hinata spoke. "You're living in a past that neither you nor I had anything to do with."
"Oh really", Neji scoffed. "Of course someone from the main branch would say that. You live your prim and proper lives while the branch does all the work. You even got that blonde pest up there to-"
"Leave. Naruto. Out of this.", Hinata cut off, Neji merely scoffed again but left it alone.
"I'll give you one last chance. Forfeit this match, or I won't be able to hold back."
Hinata got back into the jyuken stance and her Byakugan sprung back to life, "I never asked you to."
This time Neji was the aggressor, charging in. He threw a palm strike aimed at Hinata's head. Then to his surprise Hinata tilted her head and dodged the blow. His surprise was repaid when Neji then received a fist to the abdomen that threw him back a surprising distance. He leapt back to his feet to see Hinata standing in the same place she was before. Only her fist was still extended. The branch member then gave a sneer, "So now you're forgoing the Hyuga style? That there just prove how much of a failure you are."
"I'm not forgoing anything," the Hyuga heiress calmly replied. "The Hyuga style is predictable to those who have fought a Hyuga before. So …", she then got back into the jyuken stance once more, but with her right hand by her side and curled into a fist. "I decided to improvise a bit."
"Seems to me like a desperate attempt to prove me wrong. But, it is futile, your fate here is to lose.", Neji shifted into the jyuken stance. "And you will."
"Enough talk then! I will prove to you that fate has no hold on us….even if I have to beat it out of you."
"Tough talk…but can you back it up!", Neji took off at full speed this time and lashed out with a palm strike. Hinata dodged and retaliated with one of her own, which Neji blocked, but the older Hyuga was pushed back.
"How is she doing that?!", Neji growled out as he blocked another strike and tried to retaliate with one of his own. The opposite held the same for him as well. He just couldn't land a hit on her! It was down-right frustrating! It was time for another approach!
Hinata ducked and dodged Neji's strikes, then threw another strike at her opponent, who parried it away and got some distance. Not wanting to let go of her advantage Hinata chased after him…just as planned.
Up on the catwalk Naruto noticed something was off, because when Neji got distance he just stopped. That would be a bad idea…unless, "Hinata don't-"
"TOO LATE!", Neji yelled as Hinata was within a foot of him. "Eight Trigrams: Palm Rotation!" , Neji spun on the ball of his foot and a dome of chakra sprung to life, catching Hinata's right arm in it! You could barely hear the wild sounds of the dome for Hinata's cries of pain. Suddenly Neji stopped and using the momentum of his previous jutsu, he bludgeoned Hinata in the abdomen with a palm strike hard enough to send her flying into the wall on the other side of the room, cracking it on impact.
"Hinata-chan!", Naruto called. This was bad he had seen Hinata worn out but that jutsu had went beyond that. The chakra from being caught in the dome had shredded her coat sleeve to almost ribbons, and the arm beneath. All that remained was the now motionless body that wore them.
The other genin and jonin looked on at the brutality of what had just happened. Some looked away while some just mumbled words like, "After all that." Sakura and Ino especially looked on in shock. Here was the girl who was the shyest person in their class, now fighting harder than both of them combined. And to see her take a hit like that, it was almost too much to watch.
Meanwhile, Neji was slumped over panting from fatigue. But he let a devious smirk come to his face. "It may have cost me some chakra. But it was worth it." He had shown that main branch failure the difference between elites and failures. He then looked up to see Naruto yelling his heart out for Hinata to get up. "Yell as much as you want pest, she won't be getting up for-" His train of thought was interrupted when he saw the prone form of Hinata start to move.
Everyone watched with tense expressions as the Hyuga heiress started to get up. Naruto intensely tried to keep himself rooted in his spot. As much as he wanted to help, he couldn't. He would be risking getting her disqualified. "Come on Hinata. Get up."
Hinata got to her feet holding her arm. It was bleeding badly but it was healing.
"Why don't you just give up?", Neji called out confidently. "You're bound by fate to lose this match."
(AN: this will be the first time I'm doing this. But I wanted to try it)
(Insert song: Bleach OST: Hollowed)
It took Hinata a while to catch her breath but she spoke with as much determination as she could muster. "I can't afford to lose." Her eyes closed and then snapped back open, "I made a promise to a friend and I intend to stand by it! So if you plan on trying to make me give up, as I said before, you are sadly mistaken." She then shakily got back into her custom stance. "I'm not the one bound by fate Neji…it's you."
"Neji's expression visibly changed to rage at that point, "Fine then!" He charged at Hinata, his entire being laced in killer intent. If he was calmer, Neji would have caught the hidden smirk on his cousin's face. He threw his palm forward, only to be met with the crunch of wood. Suddenly he felt an intense grip on his wrist.
"That's what I was waiting for!", shouted the voice of the owner.
"What?", Neji's confused face was answered when he looked over at Hinata's right hand. The bandages that surrounded it burned off, and with a loud yell, an intense amount of chakra was released! Great enough that the wind was blowing around the room itself.
"What an intense amount of chakra!", was the main thought that went around all the jonin's thoughts.
"What have you been teaching your genin, Kurenai?", Asuma said as he was able to regain his bearings.
All Kurenai could do was shake her head as she adamantly watched the seal that was hidden on her students right hand glow and chakra start to form around Hinata's arm.
Not wanting to get hit by whatever Hinata had planned he tried to get loose. "Let go!", but Hinata just dodged the palm strikes to the head.
"My turn!", she said with a growl, her scales becoming more pronounced. Suddenly the amount of chakra shot up as it formed a giant lion head! The last thing Neji saw before the hit, a very angry lion.
"GO FOR IT!", exclaimed Naruto's voice.
True to its name, Hinata's fist impacted her cousin and the jutsu engulfed him, chakra and all. The explosion that followed caused a shockwave that nearly threw everyone off their feet.
"To think she completed a jutsu you couldn't Hana.", the old hokage thought.
When the dust cleared, it revealed Neji lying motionless on the ground, body smoking and cloths torn to shreds, and Hinata standing tall and proud.
Hayate went to check on the fallen Hyuga. Luckily he found a pulse. He looked and gave a nod to the younger Hyuga, which garnered a relieved sigh from the girl. But just as he was about to call the match-
"NO!", everyone's eyes shot down to a struggling Neji. "I refuse…I REFUSE TO LOSE TO A FAILURE!"
Luckily Hinata was still standing in the same spot. She took a deep breath, and as Neji charged, she moved her headband to her forehead, squared her shoulders, dodged the angry palm thrust from her cousin, leaned back and –
Two forehead protectors met, and the older owner of one collapsed in a heap.
"Naruto Style: Head smash", Hinata said with a smirk. Everyone looked at Naruto with a 'really?' look on their faces.
"What? It's an awesome jutsu I made up.", they all sweat dropped.
"The winner of this match is Hinata Hyuga!", Hayate announced.
Hinata beamed at the praise that came from her friends on the catwalk. But that was interrupted by the throbbing pain in the front of her skull, "Ow".
After she got to up the stairs, she hoped that Naruto wouldn't swing her around in a fit of joy.
"Alright good job Hinata-chan!", but it was not to be.
"Naruto-kun, as much as I enjoy you swinging me around and all, my head is killing me. Please stop."
"Oh, sorry Hinata-chan.", he put her back down and scratched the back of his head, all the while keeping his wide happy grin on his face. "I didn't think you would ever use my special jutsu."
Hinata laughed lightly, the headache ebbing away very slowly, "Yeah, neither did I. But Neji-nii-san was a tough opponent. Not even my Lion Fist could take him out."
"So that was the name of that technique! Man, when I saw you were about to clobber him I just got amped."
"I heard.", Hinata replied with a smile.
While they were talking, all Sakura and Ino could do was gape at how wide the gap between them and Hinata had gotten. She had when from being the shy girl in class that came behind the two kunoichi, to blazing a trail in front of them so fast it seemed next to impossible to catch up. As it stood now, of the three of them, Hinata was the most powerful kunoichi no, ninja of all of them.
Said Hyuga turned to look at her fellow kunoichi. "Don't think that just because you now have a super-powered punch that you're gonna beat us!", Ino challenged.
"And when we've gotten stronger, we'll see who is the strongest out of all of us!", Sakura added.
Behind Hinata Naruto smirked, he had a feeling that when Hinata showed what she could really do, the gap that she placed would become a challenge to his teammate and her friend.
Hinata smiled and held up a fist, "I will look forward to that day then. And believe me, next time I'll have two super-powered punches."
"What a wonderful display of youth!", Guy called out, effectively ruining the moment.
"Hinata-chan I will strive to be stronger than you now!", Lee called after showing up directly in front of Hinata.
"Huh!", was all the heiress could say at the display.
"Well Hinata –chan..", Naruto said. "It turns out that Neji was Lee's rival. And since you beat him just now-"
"You are now my rival!", Lee completed.
"Oh…great…", Hinata said with a nervous smile on her face. "What have I gotten myself into?"
Then the announcement came, "The next match will now be decided." The words on the screen shifted again and again until it stopped. When everyone spied the names, they spotted the competitors already glaring at each other. Everyone had also happened to miss the gasp of worry from Hinata.
"Time to settle this once and for all!", was the thought of both fighters.
Wow…FINALLY! I'd never thought I would actually get through that! Now before anybody burns me for how I intrpretted Guy and Lee. I'm sorry because I honestly have no clue what they would say, so I went with the logical choice. And now for the moment we've all been waiting for
Naruto VS Kiba. Place your bets folks because this is going to be one heck of a fight!
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