Alexei: I recently went back and reread many of my old stories, and aside from horrible typos and bad grammar surrounding me from all sides, my fic, "Shared Secrets," dug a particularly annoying hole into my soul, and thus, I decided to rewrite it. I took the first couple chapters and edited them, but it still didn't seem right, and such is the life of an author. Eventually, I came to this single conclusion; I just had to start over. Now, the story is completely scrapped, apart from several key plot points, and I am starting from the beginning, Chapter three in the manga to be exact, with the introduction of Uchiha Sasuke.
Disclaimer: If I owned, it wouldn't be on this site, now would it?
Chapter 1 - "Uchiha, Sasuke"
This Chapter Follows: Chapter 3 of the manga
Naruto was grinning ear to ear, looking as smug as a twelve year old possibly could. It caused his tan, whisker-indented cheeks to raise and his cerulean eyes to crinkle, appearing almost as if they were shut completely. He chuckled quietly to himself, and I couldn't seem to tear my gaze away from the aura of happiness that surrounded him.
I sat three rows ahead of my goofy classmate, turning most of my body to enable myself to see him without using any chakra draining jutsu's. Not that I knew that many. I was leaning so that my side was pressed against the back of my chair, resting my chin on my top of my forearms and giving a small smile at his joyous expression. I didn't have to worry about catching his gaze, because he never payed any attention to me, anyway. Most people didn't.
"Naruto," A classmate of ours clambered up to his seat and interrupted his solitary happiness. "What the hell are you doing here? Only those who passed the exam are supposed to be here." It was true that last we had all heard Naruto hadn't even come close to passing the required exam to graduate from the academy, but nonetheless, there he sat. Not that that was a bad thing. I was certainly happy for him.
"Hey hey," Naruto greeted the boy like it was the most normal thing in the world; like the entire class didn't exclude, bully or just ignore him everyday. "Can't you see this forehead protector?"
Before he could answer, a sugary sweet voice floated past their ears, causing them to pique with interest..
"Hey," she said, catching the attention of the two adolescent males, as well as that of their surrounding peers. "Will you let me through."
A flaming blush blossomed across Naruto's face, concentrating along the apples of his cheeks. I could see the hearts in his eyes as she approached and a surprised smile fought its way through his lips.
Haruno, Sakura; a classmate of ours. She was the girl that Naruto had a crush on, and with her emerald green eyes and rich, rose pink hair this was no surprise, really. She was talkative and outgoing, as well as smart and attractive. She was essentially the perfect catch. Any guy would be lucky to have her, and Naruto wanted to be that guy.
"Naruto," Her voice flitted around the room like a pixie, reaching every corner as she pointed at the blond haired boy. "Move your ass! I want to sit on the other side of you!"
Naruto's happy face fell to one of annoyance as he turned his gaze to the boy residing on his other side: the reason Sakura wanted to sit on that side.
Uchiha, Sasuke; the most popular boy in class. Though honestly, he seemed a bit scary and unpredictable to me. He was dark, not only in his looks but his attitude as well. His onyx, spiky hair and simple navy shirt seemed to accentuate his seclusive and brooding demeanor with their dark colors.
The boy payed no attention as Naruto sat fuming beside him, his tan hands twitching as if imagining squishing Sasuke's head between them. It wasn't long, however, before the Uchiha glanced over.
"What?" Even his voice was dark, too shadowed with repressed annoyance for his young age.
"What do you mean, what?!" Naruto yelled, drawing the attention of the rest of the class. I flinched a bit. He really did have a loud voice, but it seemed ten times louder as the room quieted.
Sasuke didn't seem to feel like answering which wasn't a problem, as Sakura literally climbed over the blond to get to the boy she liked, making it hard for him to argue.
"Sasuke-kun!" She squealed, her foot squishing into Naruto's cheek. "Can I sit next to you?!"
It was only moments before Naruto's mood was at an all time low, for the day at least. He sat with his chin on his desk, glaring the Uchiha and his pink-haired fangirl. I felt empathetic of him. All he wanted was a tiny bit of attention from his long time crush, and all he got was a scandal in the face.
I sighed, turning my attention to Sakura. She had hearts in her eyes, a similar expression to what Naruto had exhibited toward her. She, however, was staring at Sasuke, who seemed to have no interest in her, or anyone, at all.
I let my eyes wander over to the third of the trio, the ever silent Sasuke, and was surprised as my gaze met a pair of the darkest eyes I had ever seen. I blushed, blinking and turning back around in my seat.
Obviously, it was a fluke that Sasuke and I locked eyes. He eyes must have been wandering as well and passed over me the moment mine did him, or maybe he saw me staring at Naruto and was wondering what was wrong with me to so creepily watch someone. I didn't think I was being that obvious. I blushed, shaking my head and fidgeting. No one ever looked at me. No one.
I sighed quietly to myself, hiding in the large folds of my jacket and trying to disappear.
"Starting today, all of you are real shinobi." I looked up to see Iruka appear at the front of the classroom in a puff of smoke, several papers in his hands.
That must be the list of teams, I deduced. I don't think we get graduation certificates. I'm pretty sure that's what the headbands represent.
"However," Iruka continued, bringing me out of my thought. "You are still genin. The hard journey that lies ahead has only just started. You will soon be getting missions to help the village, but before that I will be assigning you to a three man team. To head each of these teams will be a jounin sensei. You will follow your sensei's instructions in order to successfully complete your missions." It was as I expected it to be. I had trained the last seven years of my life to become a shinobi, and now it was finally happening. I didn't know whether to squeal like Sakura or faint like... well, myself.
I wondered who's team I would be on. I didn't really know many people in class, aside from the obviously popular or, in Naruto's case, infamous ones, and I didn't really have any friends. Sometimes people greeted me in the hallways, but generally everyone just avoided me because I was different. There was an invisible wall the separated me from them on a social standing. I was a Hyuuga: A member of the most powerful clan in our village. Not only was I a Hyuuga, I was the Hyuuga heiress.
And it was pretty lonely.
"-And Hyuuga, Hinata."
I glanced up as I heard my name being called by the man I called sensei. "Huh?"
I didn't want to admit I hadn't been paying attention, that I had in fact been moping unjustly, and luckily Iruka seemed to sense that. "You're apart of team 7," he repeated for me.
Seven... Seven wasn't a bad number, I had heard that some even considered it a lucky number. I wondered who else I was teamed with.
"Iruka Sensei!" I flinched as Naruto's booming voice sounded behind me. "Why does an outstanding shinobi like myself have to be on the same team as a prick like Sasuke and a freaky Hyuuga?!"
Freaky Hyuuga? That was me, right? I was on the same team as Naruto?
I smiled. He was my inspiration to be stronger, and a warm feeling spread across my chest at the idea of being teammates with him.
"Sasuke's grades were the best of all twenty-seven graduates," I watched as Iruka's teeth ground together in obvious frustration. "And yours, Naruto, were dead last. You do understand that we have to balance the teams, right?"
Sasuke's grades were the best... and Naruto's were the worst... I wondered where that left mine on the scale. I wasn't bad, but I knew I wasn't the best. What would Father think of this? He probably wouldn't be very happy.
"Bah." Sasuke murmured at Naruto. "At least the Hyuuga won't get in my way." I turned my head and glanced at the two to find Sasuke glaring ahead and Naruto glaring at him.
I bit my bottom lip, worry wrinkling my brow. I really hoped that this would work out, even with the obvious tension between Naruto and Sasuke.
"This afternoon," Iruka went on, ignoring the boys. "We'll introduce you to your Jounin sensei's. Until then, take a break.
It was chilly outside, even with my jacket on. I had the hood pulled up to my head to protect against the cold, damp air, but it wasn't doing much. I felt like the humidity was just soaking into my clothes and weighing me down. It was like drowning without being anywhere near the ocean. I sighed.
I was hoping to use this break to get to know my teammates. Not that I had the nerve to actually approach one of them and ask, I wasn't an instigator, but I had assumed that it would just happen. It made the most sense. My mistake.
I sighed again, playing with my fingers and leaning against the wall. I wasn't sure why I was outside. I simply followed the flow of people and ended up out here, but it wasn't like there was actually anything for me to do. It would be pretty lonely for me to go back and sit alone in the classroom for the rest of the break, but it was also lonely to just stand here leaning against the wall.
At least it was warmer inside. That was a plus.
I pushed myself off the faded brick and stumbled down the pathway back in the direction of the classroom. There weren't many people around, but even so I could feel the eyes of those who stayed on the grounds. I was the lone Hyuuga, like usual. I hoped it didn't have anything to do with my personality. Maybe people found me annoying. I should try harder.
I kept my eyes on the ground, and even so, nearly stepped on the remnants of a half-eaten rice ball. I wondered to myself who would leave such a mess on the ground. Seems like something Naruto would do, but I hadn't seen him since break began. Hmm. Sasuke had a rice ball with him as he sauntered out on break though.
I paused, my heart beating in my ears. A muffling sound had reached it's way to my sensitive tympanic membrane. I glanced around, noting the open window near where I stood. It had an awning over it, like the ones that covered the food stands near the school. I heard the muffled sound again and realized it was coming from inside the window. I took a tentative step closer to investigate. I peered my head through the opening, my breath hitching at what I saw.
He was on the floor, tied and gagged with tape over his mouth. His head shifted just enough for him to make eye contact with me, glaring like it was my fault that he was stuck in such a position.
I froze. What had happened? Was he okay? Should I help him? What if the person who did this was still in there? What if they got me too? Memories of an event long ago touched the surface of my mind and my hands started shaking.
A muffled grunting caught my attention and I looked back at Sasuke. He had an onyx eyebrow raised, as if asking "Are you gonna help me or not?"
I squeaked, scrambling over the wooden sill in a hurry. I stumbled onto the floor next to him, panicking a bit as I kneeled over him to help. My hands still shook as I undid the bindings; however, luckily I didn't even have to undo them the entire way. As soon as they were loose enough, Sasuke pushed me away and took them off himself. He ripped the tape off his mouth without so much as flinching and then got up and stomped out of the room. I sat there silently for a brief moment, unsure of what just happened.
Blinking, I pushed myself up and I ran off to find Sasuke. He hadn't gotten far, of course. It wasn't like he was in a hurry, but he did seem to still be stomping. The childlike act didn't suite usual composed and adult-like demeanor, and I almost giggled at the sight.
"S-sasuke-san?" I huffed, catching up to him. "What h-h-happened?" I was out of breath and still a bit unnerved, making my stutter worse than normal.
"It's none of your business." He brushed me off verbally, which in itself was better than ignoring me completely, like he did with most people. It was probably because I was his teammate that he offered such a courtesy.
"Oh Sasuke-kun, you're so shy!" I was cut off by a blushing Sakura. She stood near a bench covered on one end with a half eaten bento box, holding her curled hands up to her cheeks in excitement. She didn't seem to notice me at all as she approached the dark haired boy. "I hope you are ready now? I sure am!" She addressed Sasuke with a nodding head, giggling.
"I have to go," he grumbled. "Where's Naruto?"
She waved off his question, giggling. "Hehe. Don't change the subject. Who cares about Naruto? All he does is goof off and fight." She continued, not noticing Sasuke brushing past her. "Well, it's not like he had a normal childhood. He doesn't even have parents." Sasuke stopped at this, tensing at her comment. "He can do whatever he wants. If I acted like that, my parents would ground me for months. He's so lucky, all alone, parents never saying what to do and what not to do." I took a stumbling step back and Sasuke turned his head to Sakura, an unnerving gleam shining in his eyes. He was upset, but she didn't even notice. "That's why he always makes trouble.
Sasuke glared at her, finally speaking in a quiet, menacing tone. It caused frightened chills to run down my spine. "The feeling of having your parents yell at you... it's nothing compared to what he feels."
"Huh? What's wrong Sasuke-kun?" Sakura took a step back, matching the distance I had with him.
"You're annoying." He smirked cruelly while saying this before turning and walking off to continue his search of Naruto.
Sakura didn't move for what seemed to be eons. I don't even think she realized I was there until I spoke. "That feeling you h-have right now." Her head whipped toward me. "It's p-probably what Naruto feels like all the t-time."
She pondered this for a moment before gathering what was left of her bento box from the bench and wandering away, mumbling to herself, "Maybe next time I can be a little nicer to him."
I paused, unsure of whether or not I should go back inside or follow Sasuke. I chose the latter, not feeling comfortable being alone quite yet, and curious about what had happened to the Uchiha. "S-sasuke!" I called out, hurrying to him.
"hn." He didn't look my way as he continued walking, purpose decorating his steps.
"Y-you..." I paused, matching his pace. I didn't want him mad at me, but I felt this had to be said. "You didn't h-have to be so cruel to her."
"She didn't have to be a moron," he grumbled back. "and why are you following me, Hyuuga?" He glanced at me, annoyance in his eyes.
I looked down at the ground, blushing at the direct eye-contact. I upset him. "W-well. We are t-team mates, right?"
I wasn't sure how that was an explanation, but he seemed to accept it.
"So this is where Naruto lives?" Huh, this milk went bad a couple days ago.
"Yes. He isn't very smart, but I think giving them all to you is best. You have a nose for these types.
"Them? Anyone else interesting on my team then?"
"Of course. You will take charge of Sasuke of the Uchiha clan and Hiashi's oldest daughter, the young Hyuuga heiress. Oh, and Kakashi? Good luck."
Alexei: Now, I assure you that I intend to continue this fic; however, only after I wrap up my previous project. I just wanted to throw this first chapter out there to fish a bit for interested readers. So, while yes, I will continue this, I cannot give an accurate estimation as to when this will become my main focus. Until then, feel free to review and follow. It'll give me insentive.