As I watched my daughter play with her puppies I couldn't help the sigh that escaped me, there should have been another child at play here, but due to my own stupidity and stubbornness he was not.
I remember when I first realized that I was expecting my second child, but I refused to be taken off of active duty so I didn't tell my superiors and I kept going on missions -and for that I will never forgive myself.
I remember hiding the pregnancy, I used a low level genjustsu to ensure that no one would notice my enlarging stomach (I wouldn't be the first kunoichi to use it to make themselves look thinner).
I really hadn't planned to hide it forever, I fully intended to finish the pregnancy safely within the walls of the village, but that didn't happen.
I remember I was more then seven months along and I fully intended to stop and spend the rest of the pregnancy in the village after this mission -I should have stopped before that.
The mission was a simple one, it was just tracking down some nuke nin that had been spotted near the border.
There were complications with the mission, it became a great deal more dangerous, it forced us to stay out longer, it even came to a point were I had to tell my team about the baby, they weren't pleased, but then again this mission wasn't even supposed to last a week and tracking isn't exactly taxing (especially for my family, my clan has always been good trackers, the children are usually doing something pertaining to it by the time they're crawling or before -some have even called our senses and skills with canines a kekki genki).
After two and a half months I ended up getting separated from my team and my ninken, I then found the targets but they also found me -a fight ensued, a fight which I almost lost (the fight was two to one and the one was very pregnant with no back up) the odds weren't good but I won the fight in the end, but I was also injured, I went into labor right there.
Some Kumo nin found me, I was to tired, to far into the labor, and to injured to move much less fight them. I don't know whether or not they thought I was going to die, but they helped me,
I still remember the baby, it was a boy with wild brown hair and I thought he took after me in the looks department, and his cry, I smiled at the memory, he wasn't crying, he was howling.
I remember holding him, becoming familiar with his scent and he with mine, I remember the Kumo medic asking me what i wanted to call him, I named him Kiba, I remember how sharp his nails were, he cut himself with them when he fisted his little hands together, I remember taking those little hands in my own and wiping away the blood onto my own clothes before the kumo kunoichi helped me to cut his nails, then the medic healed the cuts.
I got to hold him for a total of fifteen minutes before those thrice accursed jerks that called themselves Kumo nin took him from me, looking back on it I don't think they expected me to be able to fight back as much as I did.
Not even thirty minutes after they left (with my baby) my ninken, Kuromaru, came running up to me, the rest of the team not far behind him.
I remember quickly telling him what happened as he sniffed the baby's scent and blood, I remember telling him to find Kiba as the rest of the team arrived, I remember watching him run after those lowlifes that stole my baby before my injuries became to much for me and I passed out from pain, from heartbreak, from bloodloss, and even from fear (but it was mostly the bloodloss).
That was the last time I saw my son or my ninken, Kiba not having the clan markings (yet, I told myself) could not be recognized easily and thus even if we could find him, it could not be proven that he was an Inuzuka. That was four years ago, many in the clan and the village helped search but very little to nothing was ever found. And now my family was not complete.
I still remember when afterwards Nara Shikaku told me that Kumo was having a population crisis so my kid as probably still alive, I know he was only trying to reasure me that my pup was still alive and ok, but that didn't stop me from punching him, I was in to much pain to see the silver linning -I think he knew that too, because he didn't try to stop it (the punch).
But now I can see the silver linning for what it is, -hope- I know Kiba is alive even if others do not, Kuromaru is still out there searching for him.
And since last year the Inuzuka and Hyuuga clans have gotten along great, amazing what kidnapping and hating the ones responsible will do for a relationship, but at least Hiashi still has his daughter, even if he did lose his brother.
Catching up to those puppy snatchers was easy, actually grabbing the pup was a great deal more difficult -they never put him down, one of them was always holding him, which would make attacking out of the question due to the possibility of harming or even accidentally killing the pup.
so far they were taking pretty good care of him, but he was not theirs to take care of.
After they had taken the pup they had double timed it back to Kumo where getting to the pup became even more difficult.
Time went by quickly, I watched him as much as I could to ensure his safety, as well as looking for an opportunity to grab him.
They had placed the pup in a shinobi orphanage (the pups there learned to be a shinobi whether they liked it or not). I had made contact with him a few times to gain his trust but was never able to grab him.
Then came the day, they decided to put him into their academy and I knew that, that could not be allowed -he belonged to the leaf and his family.
So that night I snuck inside the orphanage, past the tired nin that worked there, I used everything I had to sneak into the room that I had previously marked as Kiba's disabling traps as I went.
He was sleeping soundly on his futon along with the other pups, but Kiba was an Inuzuka and so was not like them, his heightened senses awoke him as I walked through the doorway, while they remained sleeping (what if I had been an assassin?), he recognized my scent and so didn't make a sound as I walked up to him and licked his face (he had been playing in the dirt again) and I then whispered into his ear his greatest desire and that if he came with me (quietly) then he could have it.
That had been almost a week ago, we had to hide from the nin that came searching for him afterwards, and I had to hunt to feed the both of us, so the trip had taken longer then I would have liked, but I finally had done it, I had the pup and now I was taking him home.
The big doggie, who could talk, told me that if I came with him then he would give me a mama , but that I had to go to her, but I didn't really mind, I liked doggies and the people at the orphanage just didn't have enough time for all of us, so some of us fell at the wayside.
I had always wanted a Mama and a Daddy, all of us at the orphanage did, but very few of us ever got one, but soon I would have a Mama and the doggie even told me that I would even have a big sister, and cousins, and aunties, and uncles - I was so excited I couldn't wait!
Plus the doggie (who said his name was Kuromaru) was nice and a lot of fun, he was a really big doggie with a black coat with white underneath with a missing ear and a eye patch, he let me ride him- but I had to hold onto him really hard because he went so fast, -turns out he was a ninja dog.
I remember the people at the orphanages teaching us about nin-animals, though I always thought that it was odd when they would talk about nin-dogs and look directly at me, I even remember them talking about a clan of people and nin-doggies (I thought that sounded really cool).
Finally, there it was -the village of Kohona, my mission was almost over and then we could rest.
I ran to the open gates, the nin-dog on duty recognized me and barked a welcome (Tsume and I helped train him -and many others, - they won't forget us any time soon, I can tell you that), and I barked one back as I ran through the gates with the pup riding on my back past the startled gate guards.
As I ran through the village I noticed a few ninjas begining to follow me, some of them were pack members and probably regonized me and realized who I had on my back, others were probably just curious.
As we neared the Inuzuka compound I found myself getting excited, it had been four years since I had been home.
I corrected Hana's stance before I let her go on to the next kata when I heard a bit of a commotion coming from the compound gates, but whatever it was it didnt appear to be dangerous or else the alarm would have been sounded.
I continued watching Hana's training when a dog ran right up to me, a ninken with a young child on his back, -my ninken with my child on his back.
I barely noticed my clansmen and comrads watching me as I stared at the most beautiful sight that I have ever seen, my little boy, -he had my wild brown hair, and my face, he even had my feral looking eyes. The small toothy grin that he gave me reminded me of his father -how I loved that smile.
Before I even knew it I was holding him in my arms and hugging him tightly, I never even noticed myself moving to due so.
Finally our family was complete.