Naruto was grinning ear to ear, looking as smug as any twelve year old possibly could. The smilecaused 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 Hinata couldn't seem to tear her gaze away from the aura of happiness that surrounded him.

She sat three rows ahead of her goofy classmate, turning most of her body to look at him without using any chakra draining jutsu's. Not that she knew that many. Hinata was leaning with side pressed against the back of her chair, resting her chin on my
top of her forearms and managing a small smile at his joyous expression. She didn't have to worry about catching his gaze, because he never payed any attention to her. Most people didn't.

"Naruto," Another classmate 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 everyone had all heard Naruto hadn't even come
close to passing the required exam to graduate from the academy, and yet there he sat. Not that that was a bad thing. Hinata 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. Hinata could see the hearts in his eyes as the other girl approached and a surprised smile fought its way through Naruto's lips.

Haruno, Sakura; a classmate of theirs. 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 Hinata. 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. Hinata flinched a bit. She may have enjoyed basking in his aura, but Naruto really did have a loud voice, and it just 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!" 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. Hinata knew what he must have been feeling. All he wanted was a tiny bit of attention
from his long time crush, and all he got was a scandal in the face.

She sighed, turning her attention back to Sakura. The pink-haired genin 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.

Hinata let my eyes wander over to the third of the trio, the ever silent Sasuke, and was surprised when her gaze met a pair of the darkest eyes she had ever seen. she blushed, quickly blinking and turning back around in her seat to face the front.

Obviously, it was a fluke that she and Sasuke locked eyes. He eyes must have been wandering as well and passed over her the moment that hers did him, or maybe he saw her staring at Naruto and was wondering what was wrong with her to so obviously and so
creepily watch someone. She didn't think she was being that obvious. Hinata blushed, shaking her head and fidgeting. No one ever looked at her. No one.

Hinata sighed quietly to herself, hiding in the large folds of her jacket and trying to disappear.

"Starting today, all of you are real shinobi." She 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, She silently deduced. I don't think we get graduation certificates. I'm pretty sure that's what the headbands are for.

"However," Iruka continued, bringing her out of her thoughts. "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 almost exactly as she expected it to be. She had trained the last seven years of her life to become
a shinobi, and now it was finally happening. Hinata didn't know whether to squeal like Sakura or faint like... well, herself.

She wondered whose team she would end up on. It wasn't like she really knew that many people in class, aside from the obviously popular or, in Naruto's case, infamous ones, and she didn't really have any friends. Sometimes people greeted her in the hallways,
but generally everyone just avoided her because she was different. There was an invisible wall the separated Hinata from them on a social standing. She was a Hyuuga: A member of the most powerful clan in our village. Not only was she a Hyuuga, she
was the Hyuuga heiress.

It was pretty lonely.

"-And Hyuuga, Hinata."

Hinata glanced up as she heard her name being called by the man she called teacher. "Huh?"

She didn't want to admit that she hadn't been paying attention, that she had in fact been moping unjustly, and luckily Iruka seemed to sense that. "You're apart of team 7," he repeated for the girl.

Seven... Seven wasn't a bad number, She had heard somewhere that it was even considered a lucky number. She wondered who else She was teamed with.

"Iruka!" She flinched as Naruto's booming voice sounded behind her again. "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 means, right? I'm on the same team as Naruto?

Hinata smiled to herself, despite the insult. He was her inspiration to be stronger, and a warm feeling spread across her chest at the idea of being teammates with him.

"Sasuke's grades were the best of all twenty-seven graduates," Hinata 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... Hinata wondered where that left hers on the scale. She wasn't bad, but she knew she 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." Hinata turned my head again and glanced at the two to find Sasuke glaring ahead and Naruto glaring at him.

she bit her bottom lip, worry wrinkling her brow. She 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 instructors's. Until then, take a break."


It was chilly outside, even with her jacket on. She had the hood pulled up to her head to protect against the cold, damp air, but it wasn't doing much. She felt like the humidity was just soaking into her clothes and weighing her down. It was like drowning
without being anywhere near the ocean. Hinata sighed.

She was hoping to use this break to get to know her teammates. Not that she had the nerve to actually approach one of them and strike up a conversation - wasn't an instigator - but she assumed that it would just happen. It made the most sense. Her mistake.

Hinata sighed again, playing with her fingers and leaning against the wall. She wasn't sure why she was still outside. She followed the flow of people and ended up out there, but it wasn't like there was actually anything for her to do. It would be pretty
lonely for her to go back and sit alone in the classroom for the rest of the break, but it was also lonely to just stand there leaning against the wall.

At least it was warmer inside. That was a plus.

She 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 she could feel the eyes of those who stayed on the grounds. She was the lone Hyuuga, like usual.
She hoped it didn't have anything to do with her personality. Maybe people found her annoying. she should try harder.

She kept my eyes on the ground, and even so, nearly stepped on the remnants of a half-eaten rice ball. She wondered to myself who would leave such a mess on the ground. Seems like something Naruto would do, but she hadn't seen him since break began. Sasuke
had a rice ball with him as he sauntered out on break though.

Hinata paused, her heart beating in my ears. A muffling sound had reached it's way to her sensitive tympanic membrane. She glanced around, noting the open window near where she stood. It had an awning over it, like the ones that covered the food stands
near the school. She heard the muffled sound again and realized it was coming from inside the window. She took a tentative step closer to investigate. She peered my head through the opening, my breath hitching at what she 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 she, glaring like it was her fault that he was stuck in such a position.

Hinata froze. What had happened? Was he okay? Should she help him? What if the person who did this was still in there? What if they got her too? Memories of an event long ago touched the surface of her mind and her hands started shaking.

A muffled grunting caught her attention and she looked back at Sasuke. He had an onyx eyebrow raised, as if asking "Are you gonna help me or not?"

Hinata squeaked, scrambling over the wooden sill in a hurry. She stumbled onto the floor next to him, panicking a bit as she kneeled over him to help. Her hands still shook as she undid the bindings; however, luckily she didn't have to undo them the entire
way. As soon as they were loose enough, Sasuke pushed her 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. Hinata sat silently for a brief moment, unsure of
what just happened.

Blinking, She pushed myself up and she 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 Hinata almost
giggled at the sight.

"S-sasuke?" She huffed, catching up to him. "What h-h-happened?" She was out of breath and still a bit unnerved, making my stutter worse than normal.

"It's none of your business." He brushed her off verbally, which in itself was better than ignoring her completely, like he did with most people. It was probably because she was his teammate that he offered such a courtesy.

"But S-sasuke-"

"Oh Sasuke, you're so shy!" Hinata was cut off by a blushing Sakura. The pink-haired girl 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 Hinata 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." Hinata stumbled back
in shock 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 Hinata's 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 Hinata 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. Hinata don't even think she realized that she was still there until she spoke to the other girl. "That feeling you h-have right now." Sakura's head whipped toward her. "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."

Hinata paused, unsure of whether or not she should go back inside or follow Sasuke. She chose the latter, not feeling comfortable being alone quite yet, and curious about what had happened to the Uchiha. "S-sasuke!" She called out, hurrying to him.

"hn." He didn't look my way as he continued walking, purpose decorating his steps.

"Y-you..." She paused, matching his pace. She didn't want him mad at her, but she 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 Hinata, annoyance in his eyes.

She looked down at the ground, blushing at the direct eye-contact. I upset him. "W-well. We are t-team mates, right?"

She 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."

"Yes, sir."


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.