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Old 01-26-2009, 09:28 PM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Default An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Well, this is my fanfic. uh..yeah. It gets pretty good if you stick with it. It's pretty long though. Still, i love hearing feedback from my readers, so comment lots, but please be nice.

WARNING: This Fanfic is rated...well probably PG-13, i'd say, for 'expressive' language and implied sexual content.


PART 1 (The Beginning)
Chapter 1 (The Mountain’s Head)

Annoyed, I pushed my wispy, pale-blonde hair back behind my ears as I climbed. I would have cut all my hair off, but I never got around to it. I was climbing the face of Mt. Hokage in the Hidden leaf Village, Konohagakure. It was one of my favorite spots to go and to think. With the help of my Chakra I reached the top of the 1st Hokage’s head that was carved into the mountainside. The Hokage is the leader of our village. Those whose faces were on the mountain were no longer living. Mt. Hokage made an interesting place to sit and watch the people in the village, swarming around like little bugs as they went on throughout their daily lives, unaware that they were being watched by a fifteen-year-old Chunin.

True, I should probably be out on a mission like most of the other Chunin, but today was one of those days that the hokage refused to acknowledge my existence. Her name was Lady Tsunade and I knew that she did not like me. Most of my assignments came from her, supposedly, through Kakashi Hatake, one of the many sensei in the village of Konohagakure. Whenever I tried to see Lady Tsunade, which was very rarely, her assistant would disappear into The Hokage’s office only to return moments later saying that Lady Tsunade was either busy or not there. It was obvious she didn’t want anything to do with me and I couldn’t understand why. I’d only seen her a few times and always from a distance. I’d never even spoken to the woman!

But that was not what I had climbed the mountain to think about. It had been almost five years since Orochimaru had killed my parents. I didn’t know exactly how it had happened or why. All I knew was that it must have had something to do with me because nobody wanted to talk to me about it.

“Don’t worry about it, Tsukiko,” they would say to me, “It didn’t have anything to do with you.”

Which obviously made me think it did. Adults didn’t say things like that unless they were lying. Adults were always lying, trying to cover things up, and I always had my ways of finding out the truth.

I’m not exactly like normal ninja. I can sometimes see things before they happen or see things that have already happened. True, there are many ninja who can predict their opponent’s moves, but this isn’t like that. I see actual scenarios of things and people, sometimes they’re people I know and sometimes I don’t know them. My visions came in handy sometimes, like when I knew Sunagakure was going to attack. Not that anyone believed me before hand. They had dismissed it as just nightmares when I awoke from my dream vision. When the sand-ninja attacked, however, they began to believe me. All except the hokage. She still wouldn’t listen to a word I said and had to be told by other people before she paid any attention at all. By then a battle was often on her own doorstep.

I had never before had a vision about my parents. That is why I had climbed onto the mountain early this morning- because last night I had dreamt about them.

Their names were Yuki and Kasumi and I had seen them in a dark room, sleeping peacefully at first. I knew that in the next room my ten-year-old self lay sleeping as well. Suddenly there was a loud crash and Yuki and Kasumi both sat up instantly. They ran into the next room to see my sleeping form in the hands of a man wearing a black cloak. Only his golden eyes shone in the darkness. My mother launched herself at my attacker while my father, Kasumi, grabbed the kunai out of my bag on the floor. Orochimaru deflected Yuki with a simple shove of his fist and deflected the kunai thrown by Kasumi using his own Chakra energy.

There was a mad scrabble as my parents tried to take me back from Orochimaru and in the end they both lay dead on the floor. By then I had awakened and was screaming. I made enough noise to be heard by the neighbors, but by the time they got there Orochimaru was gone and I was alone, sitting in the middle of the floor near the bodies of Yuki and Kasumi. One of the neighbors, Kazuko, stared at me with wide eyes before turning to face the Konoha police force that had come to help.

“Alert the Hokage and assemble the ANBU Black Opps. Tell them Orochimaru is in the village,” Kazuko said to them. They nodded and hurried to obey.


I wondered how Kazuko had known Orochimaru had done it. Whenever I questioned him about it he claimed he had seen Orochimaru run off. Not a chance. I hadn’t even seen Orochimaru leave and I had been watching it all happen in my vision. Strange, also, that I had no recollection of any of that happening. I didn’t remember anything until the next day when I awoke to find myself in the hospital. That was when Kakashi-sensei told me what had happened…

Since then I had been living with Kakashi-sensei and he took care of me like a daughter, though he was rarely home. I had my own room and pretty much free-range when it came to doing whatever I wanted. I had no curfew to be home by. I could stay out all night if I wished and Kakashi didn’t ask questions.

My thoughts were interrupted by a rustling of branches behind me and I whirled around with a kunai in my hand, expecting an attack, but saw it was only Naruto Uzumaki. Naruto was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, hyperactive ninja who was three years younger than me. He was annoying sometimes, but he was always nice and helpful.

“Hey, Kiko, what’re you doing up here?” He asked with a grin. Kiko was what most everyone called me, except Kakashi who insisted on calling me Tsukiko.

“Just thinking. Hoping to get some peace and quiet for once,” I said with a faint smile.

“Oh.”

“What’re you doing?”

“I was bored,” He said with a grin, “Neji, Sakura, and I just got back from a mission and now there’s nothing to do.”

“Oh. How about some training?” I asked him.

“Alright!”

One thing about Naruto is that in a way he is like me. He has two different types of Chakra energy. His normal, blue Chakra, and the red Chakra that he claimed came from the nine-tailed-fox demon that had been sealed inside of him when he was a baby. It startled me when he first told me about this when I was 13 years old. I too, had often felt the presence of a red Chakra within me, though I never said anything. If what Naruto had said was true then I had a demon sealed away inside of me as well, but I didn’t tell anyone. I did research, learning all I could about the 9 biju, which are tailed demons, and the Jinchuriki, who were the human hosts in which the demons resided.

Naruto and I started our false battle immediately. He took a stance and performed his shadow clone jutsu, which created multiple copies of himself. As if one Naruto wasn’t bad enough. All four of the clones leapt at me and I crouched into a ball and at the exact moment they hit me I released Chakra energy from all 64 Chakra points in my body, throwing the clones backwards and disintegrating them. As soon as the clones were gone I leapt into the air as the real Naruto burst forth out of the ground. I landed gracefully on my feet a safe distance away.

“Did you really think that would work on me, Naruto?” I asked with a laugh, “I watched your battle against Neji during the Chunin exams, remember?”

“Oh yeah? Try this!” He exclaimed. He quickly cloned himself and using his clone for support, began to roll a ball of Chakra energy known as Rasengan. I could have easily dodged it, but instead as he threw it at me I held up my hand and created a shield with the Chakra emitted from the Chakra points in my arms. The Rasengan ball struck the shield with a force that would have knocked a weaker ninja backwards, before reflecting back and striking the true Naruto dead in the stomach.

I walked over to where he lay on the ground, the breath knocked out of him, and I stood over him and smiled.

“This battle…is over,” I said, extending a hand to help him up.

Chapter 2 (Summoning Scroll)

Bored after our battle on the 1st Hokage’s head Naruto and I made our way back to the village.

“Man, I’m starving! Let’s go get somethin to eat!” Naruto said to me.

“What is it with you and food, Naruto?” I asked with a sigh, “Alright. Let’s go to the Ramen Bar.”

I followed Naruto into the Ramen Bar, but I didn’t eat because I wasn’t hungry. Naruto was chowing down on his third bowl of ramen when in walked two of our friends, a large boy named Choji and his lazy pal Shikamaru.

“Hey Naruto. Hey Kiko,” Shikamaru said, sitting down beside me.

“What’s up, Shika?” I asked as Choji sat down beside Naruto and ordered a bowl of ramen.

“Naruto and I were supposed to do some training today, but I see he’s too busy stuffing his face. What a drag,” Shikamaru said with a sigh.

“Oh. I forgot. Sorry Shikamaru,” Naruto said through a mouthful of ramen, “I’m too beat from my battle with Kiko.”

“How about a game of Shogi or Go?” I offered Shikamaru.

“Alright, Kiko, you’re on,” Shika declared.

A few minutes later found us outside, sitting at one of the stone tables. I beat Shikamaru twice at Shogi and twice at Go before he admitted defeat.

“Man. Beaten by a girl! What a drag,” He said with a sigh. Shikamaru thought everything was a drag. He was a player who based his entire game upon strategy and predicting his opponent’s moves. By relying on pure, rash, instinct I had beaten him.

“Sorry, Shikamaru, that’s how it goes,” I said with a shrug, smiling at him.

When the sun started to disappear I made my way back to my house. Kakashi wasn’t home, but I cooked chicken and left some out for him anyway. Just as I suspected he came home a few minutes later and found the food on the table.

“Hey Tsukiko. How was your day?” Kakashi asked me as he lowered his mask to eat. I was perhaps one of the few who had ever seen his face.

“Boring, mostly. I beat Shikamaru at a few games of Shogi and Go,” I said with a shrug.

“Really? Asuma-sensei tells me he’s really good at those games. He’s never even beaten Asuma! How did you defeat him?” He asked interestedly.

“The same way I do everything else- through a series of rash actions ruled by instinct.”

“That doesn’t work for a lot of ninja, but it definitely works for you. I heard you beat Naruto in a fake-battle,” Kakashi said.

“No big deal,” I said with another shrug.

“It’s impressive that you can emit Chakra from all 64 points in your body and still be able to control it,” He said, impressed.

“It’s no big deal,” I repeated, insistent.

“If you say so…but I think Neji Hyuuga would be a good match for you.”

Neji Hyuuga had the ability to block all 64 Chakra points by striking them all at once, sometimes more than once. I had seen him do it to Naruto during the Chunin exams, but when Naruto used the Chakra provided by the Nine-tailed Demon Fox, the Chakra points became unblocked and Naruto kicked Neji’s butt.

“Maybe,” I said to Kakashi, “I’m going to bed.”

I was actually looking forward to sleeping, for once, in the hope that I might have another dream about my parents. I rarely have two dreams in a row without them being related to one another, so I was extremely hopeful. As soon as I closed my eyes, the vision began, but it was not about Yuki and Kasumi…

A cloaked figure was running through the woods at nighttime. I didn’t know who he was and he carried a scroll in his left hand. He was running fast by gathering the Chakra in his feet so I knew immediately that he was a ninja, though of what ranking I was uncertain. My vision followed him until he stopped. He had come to a waterfall. He knelt down on the ground and pulled out a kunai, which he plunged into a rock that was perfectly round, except for the slit in it that the kunai obviously fitted into. Suddenly, the waterfall stopped flowing, revealing a small hole in the face of the rock beneath it. The cloaked man put the scroll into the secret hole and then took his kunai from the rock and the waterfall started flowing again.

“There,” Said the man in an oddly chilling voice, “It should be safe there until she finds it…”


I awoke with a start and knew that I must go to that waterfall. It was dark outside, as the hour had grown late- past midnight. I listened intently to the house around me and heard Kakashi’s steady breathing from the next room. He was asleep. I slipped out of bed quietly and opened my window slowly, then, I climbed out. I was still wearing my day clothes of a black skirt and black long-sleeved shirt so I didn’t feel out of place. I was barefoot, but it didn’t matter as I left the village and made my way into the forest, taking the same path the man had taken in my dream.

It wasn’t long before I came to the waterfall from my dream. I hastily shoved my kunai into the rock I’d seen and I was more that delighted when the waterfall ceased to flow. I walked over cautiously and peered into the hole. The scroll was still there! Whoever the man had wanted to find the scroll had not found it. By the light of the moon I unfolded it and read it. I knew what it was immediately- a summoning scroll! A select few ninja were able to summon creatures to do their bidding. Naruto and Master Jiraiya could both summon toads, Kakashi-sensei could summon his ninja dogs, and Lady Tsunade could summon a giant slug, so I’d heard. This particular scroll was binding with snakes. I didn’t really have a problem with snakes and I was ready to sign the scroll. Who knew when I’d get another chance? Most ninja couldn’t summon animals because they didn’t possess enough Chakra energy to do it…but if my suspicions were right, and I did have one of the tailed demons inside of me, then this would be just the way to get this beast to lend me its Chakra!

The scroll had the names of three ninja, that I did not bother to read, and they had pressed their fingerprints beneath their names, all in blood. Without hesitating I carefully bit the pointer finger of my left hand and signed my name.

“Tsukiko Akane,” I murmured aloud as I finished. I pressed each of my fingers to the one I had bitten and then pressed all five to the scroll. I checked the particular hand seals indicated that I would need to summon. There was only one, besides the finishing seal, that I did not know. It was the symbol for serpent and merely required one to lace their fingers together before completing the hand seals.

I took my stance and gathered all the Chakra, I alone, possessed. I formed the hand seals and pressed my left palm to the ground.
“Summoning Jutsu!” I said loudly. A moment later there was a flash and before me lay one of the most lethal-looking creatures I had ever seen in my life!

------------------------------------------------------------------------

So let me know what you think so far and then i'll post Chapters 3 and 4

Last edited by HisGothicTwilightPrincess; 01-28-2009 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:21 PM
Retsu Retsu is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

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Old 01-28-2009, 12:46 AM
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Charizard Morph Charizard Morph is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Retsu? umm, just having a large picture of an enter button isn't helpful, it's confusing.

Try explaining that you think the fic would be easier to read if there were spaces between paragraphs.

HGTP, instead of having a solid wall of text, like below V

Quote:
Annoyed, I pushed my wispy, pale-blonde hair back behind my ears as I climbed. I would have cut all my hair off, but I never got around to it. I was climbing the face of Mt. Hokage in the Hidden leaf Village, Konohagakure. It was one of my favorite spots to go and to think. With the help of my Chakra I reached the top of the 1st Hokage’s head that was carved into the mountainside. The Hokage is the leader of our village. Those whose faces were on the mountain were no longer living. Mt. Hokage made an interesting place to sit and watch the people in the village, swarming around like little bugs as they went on throughout their daily lives, unaware that they were being watched by a fifteen-year-old Chunin.
True, I should probably be out on a mission like most of the other Chunin, but today was one of those days that the hokage refused to acknowledge my existence. Her name was Lady Tsunade and I knew that she did not like me. Most of my assignments came from her, supposedly, through Kakashi Hatake, one of the many sensei in the village of Konohagakure. Whenever I tried to see Lady Tsunade, which was very rarely, her assistant would disappear into The Hokage’s office only to return moments later saying that Lady Tsunade was either busy or not there. It was obvious she didn’t want anything to do with me and I couldn’t understand why. I’d only seen her a few times and always from a distance. I’d never even spoken to the woman!
But that was not what I had climbed the mountain to think about. It had been almost five years since Orochimaru had killed my parents. I didn’t know exactly how it had happened or why. All I knew was that it must have had something to do with me because nobody wanted to talk to me about it.
“Don’t worry about it, Tsukiko,” they would say to me, “It didn’t have anything to do with you.”
Which obviously made me think it did. Adults didn’t say things like that unless they were lying. Adults were always lying, trying to cover things up, and I always had my ways of finding out the truth.
I’m not exactly like normal ninja. I can sometimes see things before they happen or see things that have already happened. True, there are many ninja who can predict their opponent’s moves, but this isn’t like that. I see actual scenarios of things and people, sometimes they’re people I know and sometimes I don’t know them. My visions came in handy sometimes, like when I knew Sunagakure was going to attack. Not that anyone believed me before hand. They had dismissed it as just nightmares when I awoke from my dream vision. When the sand-ninja attacked, however, they began to believe me. All except the hokage. She still wouldn’t listen to a word I said and had to be told by other people before she paid any attention at all. By then a battle was often on her own doorstep.
Try spacing it so that it doesn't look intimadating V

Quote:
Annoyed, I pushed my wispy, pale-blonde hair back behind my ears as I climbed. I would have cut all my hair off, but I never got around to it. I was climbing the face of Mt. Hokage in the Hidden leaf Village, Konohagakure. It was one of my favorite spots to go and to think. With the help of my Chakra I reached the top of the 1st Hokage’s head that was carved into the mountainside. The Hokage is the leader of our village. Those whose faces were on the mountain were no longer living. Mt. Hokage made an interesting place to sit and watch the people in the village, swarming around like little bugs as they went on throughout their daily lives, unaware that they were being watched by a fifteen-year-old Chunin.

True, I should probably be out on a mission like most of the other Chunin, but today was one of those days that the hokage refused to acknowledge my existence. Her name was Lady Tsunade and I knew that she did not like me. Most of my assignments came from her, supposedly, through Kakashi Hatake, one of the many sensei in the village of Konohagakure. Whenever I tried to see Lady Tsunade, which was very rarely, her assistant would disappear into The Hokage’s office only to return moments later saying that Lady Tsunade was either busy or not there. It was obvious she didn’t want anything to do with me and I couldn’t understand why. I’d only seen her a few times and always from a distance. I’d never even spoken to the woman!

But that was not what I had climbed the mountain to think about. It had been almost five years since Orochimaru had killed my parents. I didn’t know exactly how it had happened or why. All I knew was that it must have had something to do with me because nobody wanted to talk to me about it.

“Don’t worry about it, Tsukiko,” they would say to me, “It didn’t have anything to do with you.”

Which obviously made me think it did. Adults didn’t say things like that unless they were lying. Adults were always lying, trying to cover things up, and I always had my ways of finding out the truth.

I’m not exactly like normal ninja. I can sometimes see things before they happen or see things that have already happened. True, there are many ninja who can predict their opponent’s moves, but this isn’t like that. I see actual scenarios of things and people, sometimes they’re people I know and sometimes I don’t know them. My visions came in handy sometimes, like when I knew Sunagakure was going to attack. Not that anyone believed me before hand. They had dismissed it as just nightmares when I awoke from my dream vision. When the sand-ninja attacked, however, they began to believe me. All except the hokage. She still wouldn’t listen to a word I said and had to be told by other people before she paid any attention at all. By then a battle was often on her own doorstep.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charizard Morph View Post
Retsu? umm, just having a large picture of an enter button isn't helpful, it's confusing.
If that's confusing, you're doing it wrong.

It being life.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charizard Morph View Post
Retsu? umm, just having a large picture of an enter button isn't helpful, it's confusing.
I'd have a picture of me ripping the hair out of my skull right now

But you wouldn't get it.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

This is a great fiction so far! I like the way you bring out the characters' personalities. The "enter-button" thing that's going on here might prove your point, but just in case, I'll make it clear: double-space when making a new paragraph, not single-space, if that's even a real phrase.

I also think it gets a bit confusing when you use nicknames all the time, but that's just me, I guess.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:09 PM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

okay guys, thanks for the input. i'll put spaces between my paragraphs so it's easier to read. I'll go back and edit my original post so hopefully more people will come and read it. Okay, time for the next Chapters.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 3 (The Snake)

It was a snake, of course, and it was four feet long and had black scales that shimmered in the moonlight. I was in complete awe.

“Finally, masssster, I wondered when I-” The snake began to talk, but stopped and looked at me with unblinking, yellow eyes.

“You are not my masssster,” It hissed at me.

“I…you can talk?” I asked, feeling lightheaded.

“Of courssse I can talk, you sssily girl! Who are you?” He demanded.

“Tsukiko Akane,” I replied automatically. The snake noticed the scroll and slithered over to it and he appeared to be reading it!

“I sssee. You Jussst thought you’d add your name to sssome random ssscroll you found, eh, girl?” He asked, still observing me with his yellow eyes.

“N-no. I saw this place in a dream. I saw a man leave the scroll here for someone to find, but apparently no one ever found it,” I said quietly.

“You found it,” Said the snake in a voice that chilled my bones. I said nothing in response.

“What d’you mean you sssaw it in a dream?” He asked finally.

“I can do that, sometimes. See the future…or the past…” I said to him, “I think it may have something to do with the biju.”

“Aha! Ssso…you have one of the tailed demons, do you?” The snake said, pleased. I didn’t know why I had told him that so I shrugged it off.

“I think so. Sometimes I feel the presence of another Chakra besides my own. It is exactly as my friend Naruto described it to me and he has the nine-tailed-fox inside of him. If I have a demon, I don’t know what it is. I was hoping to coax this beast into lending me some of its Chakra by attempting to summon something,” I explained.

“And you sssummoned me. The wissse and the beautiful Saromi?” He asked me. I noticed that he did not extend the ‘s’ when pronouncing his own name.

“With all due respect, Saromi, you are what I was granted by my Chakra,” I said to him.

“I sssee. Well, I think we can work out a deal, Tsukiko Akane. You sssee I was growing bored, not being sssummoned asss often asss I used to, Ssso I will do your childish bidding in return for you letting me out to basssk in the sssunlight and to catch my own prey. Do we have an agreement?” Saromi hissed, still staring at me with his yellow eyes.

“Yes. We have an agreement,” I said to him.

The sun was beginning to rise as I went back to the house. I’d promised Saromi I would summon him again as soon as I explained it to Kakashi. He was sitting in the living room, reading one of those novels he was always reading, when I walked in. He glanced up, but didn’t say anything until I walked over to him and handed him the Summoning Scroll.

“What’s this?” He asked, setting his book aside.

“A Summoning Scroll. I can summon snakes now,” I said quietly. I explained about the dream I had and about finding the scroll behind the waterfall. I then commenced to tell him about Saromi and the deal we had made.

“You never even stopped to consider this, did you? Did you even read the scroll before you signed your name in blood?” He asked exasperatedly.

“Of course I read it,” I said indignantly, “Most of it…”

I summoned Saromi as soon as Kakashi was done being annoyed at me and wanted to see. Saromi stretched out across the floor and raised his head to look at Kakashi with those yellow eyes and then at me.

“I sssee you kept to your word, Tsukiko Akane,” He said to me.

“I did. You are more than free to go outside and slither around or whatever it is you want to do,” I said to him. He nodded his head and flicked his tongue out at me, but he remained in the house.

“I have a meeting with the Hokage,” Kakashi said suddenly, “I’ll see you later, okay Tsukiko?”

“Sure,” I said as he walked out of the door. A moment later Saromi turned to look at me.

“He was lying to you. He did not have a scheduled meeting with the hokage,” the snake said. I didn’t doubt Saromi for a minute and I was hurt that Kakashi would lie to me. So I followed him, hiding in the shadows and walking as silently as possible, and Saromi followed me. Kakashi did go into the Hokage’s office and we listened to what was said. Shizune, Lady Tsunade’s assistant, was trying to tell him the same bull crap story about Lady Tsunade being too busy right now.

“This is important, Shizune, I must speak with her now!” Kakashi insisted.
“Well…perhaps for a moment…” Shizune said and then she let Kakashi into the Hokage’s office.

“Quickly, Saromi, you must go and hear what is being said. Don’t let yourself be seen,” I ordered him. The snake slithered into the building, past Shizune’s desk, and lay himself against the wall so that he looked like a piece of trimming, from a distance. A few minutes later he slithered back outside to me.

“I didn’t hear much, but I know that your grey-haired friend-” He began.
“Kakashi,” I said quickly.

“Yesss, Kakashi, told the woman that you had learned to sssummon sssnakes. Ssshe gasssped and muttered sssomething too low for me to hear. Then Kakashi sssaid ‘ssshe found the ssscroll. Ssshe’d seen it in one of her dream-visionsss.’ then they both continued to ssspeak in a voice too low for me to hear, but it sssounded as if they were talking about a mission of sssome sssort,” Saromi said to me.

“Why would Kakashi be telling the Hokage about me?” I wondered aloud.

“I don’t know. I’m just the messenger,” Saromi replied.

“Right. C’mon, let’s go up to the mountain where I can think. Maybe I can do some training while you bask in the sunlight,” I said finally.

We made our way to the top of the 1st Hokage’s head and when we got there Saromi stretched out on the rock to let the sunlight warm himself. I didn’t really feel like just sitting around so I began to practice using larger amounts of Chakra from the different points in my body. Saromi watched me for a while, before suggesting something.

“I knew sssomeone once who usssed their Chakra energy to form wingsss that could fly. You ssshould try that,” He suggested quietly.

I tried this for a few hours, but it was difficult because I could not see behind me. All I succeeded in was wasting a bunch of Chakra by shooting it out of my back. I was interrupted in my training when Saromi lifted his head suddenly.

“Sssomeone is coming,” He hissed quietly, “Get down.”

I ducked behind the rock Saromi was laying on and listened intently, but I didn’t hear anything at all.

“You can come on out now, Tsukiko, I know you’re hiding,” Said a familiar voice. I poked my head out behind the rock and saw it was Pakkun, Kakashi’s ninja dog.

“Pakkun! How did you find me?” I asked, crouching down to speak to the ninja dog.

“I smelled you out of course. Bit easier than usual considering your friend their has a very distinct scent,” Pakkun said, pointing his paw at Saromi. Saromi slithered down off the rock and over to where Pakkun sat. Pakkun backed away.

“Who are you, ssstranger?” Saromi hissed at him.

“My name’s Pakkun. I serve Kakashi Hatake. I know about you, Saromi. I am here for Tsukiko,” The dog replied.

“What do you want with her?” Demanded the snake.

“It’s not me that wants her, it’s Kakashi,” Pakkun said.

“What does he want me for?” I asked Pakkun.

“Something about he’s arranged a battle for you,” Replied the dog, “And he wants to see you at the training field, pronto.”

Chapter 4 (The Battle and the Tiger)

I followed Pakkun back to the training field after telling Saromi he could stay there until he was summoned. Kakashi Hatake was waiting for me and with him stood two people I knew to be Neji Hyuuga and Guy-sensei.

“What’s up, Kakashi?” I asked as I approached them.

“Well, Tsukiko, Guy and I have arranged for you and Neji Hyuuga to have a battle. We’re both curious to see who will come out on top, so to speak,” Kakashi said with a smile.

“No rules. This is just for fun, of course, so there is no shame in backing out or admitting defeat. The battle goes on until one admits defeat or Kakashi and I decide that it is enough,” Guy-sensei said. I saw Neji smile at me wryly from behind his sensei.

“Are you ready?” He asked me lightly.

“I suppose so,” I said with a sigh. I didn’t really want to battle Neji and I knew I was a little low on Chakra after my training, but I was going to do it anyway. We made our way out onto the training field and faced each other.

Neji was using his Byakugan, an ability that let him see the flow of Chakra in my body. He must have seen that I was low on Chakra because he smiled confidently.

“This will be an easy battle,” He said certainly.

“That’s what you think,” I said coolly.

“Gentle Fist!” Neji said as he launched an attack at me.

I leapt aside quickly and doubled around, striking him in the back with my own fist. He whirled around with a speed that surprised even me and he managed to strike me hard across the chest. I staggered backwards and leapt quickly out of range. I was used to fighting close combat and knew that it was an advantage for him as well. I’d seen many of his previous battles so I knew that throwing shuriken or kunai would be useless because he could block them by spinning and emitting Chakra from his hands. He leapt at me, preparing for another blow, and as he came closer I emitted Chakra from my hands forming a shield, blocking his attack and sending him flying in the opposite direction. He picked himself off the ground and stared at me in amazement.

“You should not be able to do that! Your Chakra control is…amazing!” He exclaimed.

“You ain’t seen nothing yet, Neji,” I said with a wicked grin.

“No problem, I can block your Chakra points,” He said smoothly.
He prepared his Eight Trigrams 64 Palms attack and I simply smiled. I had watched him practicing before and I knew that he would strike two Chakra points, then four, then eight, then sixteen…doubling until he had successfully blocked all 64 Chakra points. As he moved to strike the first two I emitted Chakra from them, blocking his attack, and then from the next two, then the next six, until I had successfully blocked all of his attacks and had Chakra flowing from all of my Chakra points. He was shocked.

“You can’t block my Chakra points, Neji. I blocked your attacks and I can still do this,” I said as I gathered a large amount of Chakra, formed a ball, and flung it at him. It his him square in the chest, flinging him backwards. I now had little to no Chakra left and when he went to counter-attack I was unable to defend myself and was thrown hard into the ground by his Gentle Fist technique.

I was barely conscious. I was aware that he was approaching me in the outside world, but I was trapped in my mind at the moment. I imagined I saw a large cage with silver bars and some sort of seal on it in crude writing.

“Who’s that approaching?” Said a silky smooth voice from inside the cage. I inched my way closer, peering inside cautiously. Something was crouched in the corner of the cage. Something I knew immediately, that was dangerous.

“What are you?” I demanded.

“Me? Why I am nothing more or less than the five-tailed tiger demon. You should know this if you dare approach me,” She replied in a voice that sounded like purring. I guess I immediately assumed the demon was a she. It sounded like a girl, but I suppose it could have been male.

“So I do have a Biju inside of me!” I exclaimed aloud.

“You? You are my human host? I see…Then I suppose if you are visiting me you need some of my Chakra, yes?” She asked me. She walked closer to the bars of the cage and though I could barely make out her cat-like form, her green eyes shone through the darkness.

“That’d be nice, you know, since I let you live inside of me,” I said coolly.

“Very well. Here you go,” she said smoothly. A Chakra that was more orange than red, flowed from between the bars of the cage and surrounded me. I felt myself filled with energy and incomprehensible power.
Back in the real world no time had passed and as Neji approached to see if I was okay, I leapt out of the hole in the ground that had been made. The orange Chakra flowed inside of me and outside of me and I couldn’t control it.

“It’s just like Naruto!” I heard Neji exclaim.
Kakashi and Guy saw it, too, and I imagine they both knew what it was. How could they have known and not told you, Said a voice in my head that sounded suspiciously like the tiger. I was filled with rage and a desire to hurt and do bad, but deep inside of me I knew this was wrong. I tried to stop as my hand raised, sheathed in Chakra so that it resembled a tiger’s paw, down to the long lethal claws that were made out of Chakra. Neji was standing before me, in an attack position he leapt at me, preparing his Gentle Fist attack but I easily leapt out of the way and knocked him aside leaving four deep scratches in his back.

“Tsukiko! No! Do not do this!” Called a voice. It was Kakashi and he was running towards me on the field, despite the obvious danger. The cat forced my gaze to lock on him. NO! I screamed inside my head, DO NOT DO THIS! DO NOT HURT HIM! BACK, TIGER, NO!

I felt the beast recoil and take it’s Chakra along with all the energy it had given me so that I felt drained. I lay on the ground, feeling empty and bruised. Neji was on the ground and Guy rushed over to him. Kakashi walked over to me.

“Tsukiko, are you alright?” He asked, falling to his knees beside me. I was furious. He had known about the demon, I know he had known. I was furious and I was livid, but I was still myself. I got to my feet shakily, my face contorted with anger, and I ran. I ran away from him, from Neji, from Guy, and from that damned Tiger Demon.

I didn’t go back to Mt. Hokage because I knew they would have no trouble finding me there. I went instead to the place where my parents were buried. It was a grassy hill where beautiful flowers grew. I sat down between the two gravestones, exhausted. I suppose I fell asleep there because when I opened my eyes the sun was a little lower in the sky and my energy had been mostly restored. I knew that I had done wrong. I had probably almost killed Neji or Kakashi Hatake. What would my parents have thought? I ran my fingers over the names carved in the stone and tears stung my eyes. I missed them. I could recall picnics and games of Shogi in the late afternoons. Yuki would always cook extravagant meals for celebrations like birthdays.

I felt the tears fall from my auburn-colored eyes and roll down my pale cheeks. I couldn’t remember the last time I cried and doing so made me feel weak and pitiful.

“You miss them don’t you?” Said a voice from behind me. I leapt to my feet, whirled around, and found myself face-to-face with the person I least expected to see…Lady Tsunade!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Okay, is that better?

Last edited by HisGothicTwilightPrincess; 01-28-2009 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:32 PM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Join Date: January 26, 2009
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Chapter 5 (The Hokage)

What are you doing here? I demanded through clenched teeth. She was the last person I wanted to see right now.

Its okay to miss them, She continued, ignoring my question, and its okay to cry about it.

Im not crying! I growled venomously, And if I am, its not because I am sadits because I am proud!

She made a move as if to place a comforting hand on my shoulder, which was so obviously the wrong thing to do. As soon as she touched me I flared Chakra from all of my Chakra points, forcing her backwards.

Do NOT touch me! I hissed at her. Her brown eyes narrowed and I found myself unable to move. She was using some sort of Paralysis Jutsu on me.

How dare you use your jutsu on me! Let me go! I growled.

Not until you let me say what I have to say! I came here because I thought you deserved an explanation, but if you want to fight me She said calmly.

An explanation? About what- the fact that I have a demon inside of me? I kinda figured that out for myself! Are you going to tell me why and how, or are you going to lie to me like you and everyone else has always lied to me? I demanded.

Yes. I am going to tell you, She said, still calm.

I said nothing, shocked. I felt her release me and I sank to the ground.

Orochimaru did this to you, Lady Tsunade said quietly, When you were two years old he and the Akatsuki took you from Yukis house and placed the five-tailed demon inside of you until such time as they would need it. We took you back from him and since then have kept you heavily protected, in fear that he would try and take you back. If Orochimaru took you back he would have the power of the five-tailed demon.

Why me? I demanded, Why not some other 2-year-old? What makes me special?!

I cant answer that, Tsukiko, She replied sadly.

Cant or wont?

She said nothing, merely watched me with her brown eyes. We were in complete silence for a very long time and she came to sit beside me on the ground.

So, I heard you have the ability to summon snakes now, huh? She asked casually.

Yeah, I said with a nod.

Id like to see.

I stood up and took a shaky breath, wondering why I was even complying to her request in the first place.

Summoning Jutsu! I said, forming the hand seals and then pressing my palm to the ground. Saromi appeared in a flash of smoke.

I wasss thinking youd forgotten about me, Saromi said to me. His eyes flashed suddenly on Lady Tsunade.

What isss ssshe doing here? The snake asked quietly.

She wanted to see me summon you, I replied with a shrug.

I am not sssome cheap trick, Tsukiko Akane, Saromi said threateningly.

Of course not, I said soothingly, She just wanted to see how powerful you are.

Ah. Impresssed? The snake asked Lady Tsunade, letting his scales flash in the setting sun. He also showed his fangs. Lady Tsunade, however, was not frightened.

Oh, yes. You are a very fearsome creature. You must be the strongest of all the summoning snakes, She said to him, flattering him. Saromi hissed delightedly.

Certainly I am not the ssstrongest, but I am the mossst clever, if I do sssay so myssself, and perhapsss one of the mossst beautiful, He replied.

Yes, I can see that for myself, Lady Tsunade said, smiling.

Tsukiko do you have anything for me to do or can I go back to my sssun bathing? the snake asked, looking at me.

Go ahead, Saromi, I said with a faint smile. We both watched as he slithered off towards the forest and I had a chance to think about what I had done.

IsNeji okay? I asked Lady Tsunade.

Of course. I healed his wounds myself. All he has now are faint scars on his back. They insisted he stay in the hospital overnight, but you can go and see him if you want, she said to me.

I thinkI think Ill do that, I said faintly. I walked off in the direction of the Hidden Leaf Village but Lady Tsunade did not follow. She remained standing by the gravestones, looking rather sad.

I was nervous about going to the hospital to visit Neji. I wasnt entirely sure if he blamed me for what had happened and I stopped by the flower shop to get him some flowers before going to visit him. The door to his room was halfway open and I could see him lying on the bed. He looked distant and he was frowning slightly, as if he were thinking hard about something.

Neji? I said softly, knocking on the door. He looked up, startled.

Kiko. Come on in, he said, pulling himself up into a sitting position. He didnt have a shirt on and he was heavily bandaged. I walked in and sat in the chair beside his bed, feeling miserable.

Im sorry, Neji, II couldnt control it, I said, not looking up at him.

I dont blame you, Kiko, he said soothingly, Did you know? About the demon?

I shook my head slightly.

I had suspected, butI had never tried to use it before. I didnt think it would be soso I struggled for the right words but couldnt come up with anything.

Dont worry about it. Im fine, he said, smiling slightly, Or I would be fine if I could get up from this bed.

Why wont they let you go home? Lady Tsunade said that all thats left is scars, I said, frowning.

You know doctorsalways wanting to make sure everythings in tiptop shape before letting a person go. When did you talk to the Hokage? I always got the impression you did not like her.

She came to find me. She explained about the five-tailed demon tiger that Orochimaru put in me when I was two years old, I said quietly.

What has Orochimaru got to do with you?

I told him everything that Lady Tsunade had said to me. He seemed simply stunned that no one had ever bothered to tell me this before.

Now I amwell Im rather afraid of trying to use it again. I dont want to hurt anyone again, I murmured, abashed. Neji frowned contemplatively for a moment, then smiled faintly.

Tsukiko, I will help you train. I will help you better control your Chakra so that, if you need it, you can better control the Chakra of the five-tailed tiger-demon, he said decisively.

R-really? Youd really do that, for me? I stammered, blushing faintly.

Of course. I dont want you to have anymoreaccidents, he said, wincing slightly as he touched his back.

Oh! I almost forgot- I brought you some flowers, I murmured, showing him the roses Id gotten from the flower shop.

You can put them in the vase on the dresser, he said, nodding to the dresser. I did as he asked and then turned back to him.

So when will we start training? I asked curiously.

We would start this very second if they would let me leavebut I suppose tomorrow morning is soon enough, he said with a faint smile.

Good. I need to rest as well, and recover my Chakra. Im exhausted, I admitted.

You go home and get some sleep, he said to me.

Are you sure?

Yes. Ill be fine. Ill see you first thing tomorrow morning.

Okay. Ill meet you here, I said brightly, walking towards the door.

See you tomorrow, Kiko.

See ya, Neji.

Chapter 6 (Training)

When I got home Kakashi was there waiting for me. He was sitting on the couch, reading one of his books, but he seemed tense and worried. He looked up when I entered and a wave of relief passed over him.

There you are, Tsukiko. I was worried about youI should not have made you battle Neji Hyuuga, he said quietly.

No way! It was a good battle for both of us. I would have found out about the demon sooner or later, I replied.

So, Lady Tsunade told you?

Mostly. I think there are some parts she left out

I imagine she had a good reason for doing so, he said mysteriously, What all did she tell you?

I repeated everything Tsunade had told me, just like I had repeated it for Neji a short while ago.

Good. Im glad youve gotten that straightened out. I suppose we can start training you on how to better control the demon tomorrow afternoon-
Kakashi began.

Actually Neji Hyuuga has agreed to teach me, I said softly.

Oh? he said, sounding surprised, but hes only a Chunin and hes younger than you.

But Kakashi, you know as well as I do that he is more than qualified to be my teacher. He may be younger, but he is stronger and smarter. He is the prodigy of the Hyuuga Clan and he will be an excellent teacher, I said with a smile.

Well, fine, then. Ive got enough work to do with Sakura and Naruto anyway, he said, shrugging his shoulders. He returned to his book with a blatant look of indifference, but I wondered if he was not actually wounded that Id rather have Neji for a teacher. I shrugged it off and went into my bedroom.

As I got ready for bed that night I noticed that my stuffed lion, Isamu, had fallen off the bed sometime during the previous night. I picked him up and wiped the dust off of him. I sat down on my bed, remembering how I had gotten Isamu.

It was a week after the death of my parents and I was finally sent to live with Kakashi Hatake. He seemed anxious about having a child to care for, but he stepped up to the job with a large amount of bravery. Yuki had been his cousin, after all, and he was the only family I had left. When I arrived at his house he had a present for me, wrapped in a box with blue paper. I opened it to find a stuffed lion that was very soft and very good to hug.

This is Isamu. His name means courage and bravery. Whenever you feel as if you are having a difficult time and feel like giving up, hug Isamu close to you and borrow his strength, Kakashi had said to me.


I hugged Isamu to me and tears formed in the corners of my eyes. Kakashi really was a good person and I did think of him more as a father than anything. He took care of me and he always would. When I was sick, he was there to put a cool cloth on my head. When I injured myself training he was there to wrap my bandages. When I was feeling grumpy or sad Kakashi always found a way to make me smile. I smiled now and wiped the tears away before they had a chance to fall. I yawned sleepily and lay down on the bed with Isamu still held tightly in my arms. That night I had no bad dreams at all.

The next morning I awoke with the sun and got dressed quickly. I left Isamu sitting on my bed and grabbed my backpack from the corner as I hurried downstairs.

Where are you off to in such a hurry? Kakashi asked from the kitchen where he was eating breakfast.

Training with Neji, I replied, skidding to a halt beside the kitchen table.

Oh, was all he said, looking hard at his porridge. I walked over promptly and threw my arms around him in an embrace.

Youll always be my favorite teacher, Kakashi-sensei, I said with a smile.

Alright, alright, he said, laughing slightly and pushing me away. He was blushing.

Go on and have fun, he continued, motioning towards the door. I smiled once more before heading out the door.

I reached the hospital just as the nurse was escorting Neji outside. He looked exasperated as she insisted on telling him to go home and get some rest.

You really need to take it easy after all thats happened. Those were some pretty serious injuries, the nurse lady said.

Of course, he said smoothly, walking over towards me, Are you ready, Kiko?

I smiled at him and nodded my head. I waved at the nurse, who frowned disapprovingly.

Lets go before she tries to commit me to the hospital again, he murmured quietly. I laughed as we walked off.

So, where are we going to train? I asked once we were out of earshot of the nurse.

There is a place at the edge of the village where there are some old houses that are going to be torn down. They wont tear them down until next week, so it should be an okay place to train and we wont have to worry about anybody bothering us, he replied.

what sort of training will we be doing? I asked curiously as we approached the abandoned buildings.

Well, Ive never seen you train before. I want to know the limits of your strength. I want you to show me what you can do, he said slowly.

I can summon snakes, I said brightly.

Really? he said, looking very interested, let me see.

I formed the hand seals quickly and pressed my left palm to the ground.
Summoning Jutsu! I said loudly. There was a flash of smoke and Saromi appeared. Neji took a cautious step backwards.

Dont worry, I assured him, Neji, this is Saromi. Saromi, this is Neji Hyuuga. Hes going to help me train.

Ah. I see, Saromi hissed quietly. He was observing Neji with unblinking eyes and Neji was watching him with a calm expression on his face.

He wanted to know what all I could do, so I showed him how I could summon you, I continued to Saromi. Saromi flicked out his tongue and then sort-of nodded his head.

Very well. Neji Hyuugayou have a very good student at your command. Train her wisely, Saromi said to Neji. Neji inclined his head slightly and then Saromi slithered away.

That is a very impressive skill, Kiko. Where did you learn that? Neji asked me once Saromi had left.

I found a scrollwell, I saw a scroll in my dream

I proceeded to tell him all that had occurred. He listened patiently, without interrupting, and looked thoughtful.

I wonder who it was that hid the scroll there, he murmured aloud when I was finished.

I dont know.

There was a short moment of silence, which Neji broke.

Lets get back to training. What else can you do? he inquired.

Ill show you. Throw a kunai at me, I encouraged, handing him the one that was in my backpack.

Are you sure? he asked, slowly backing up to a good throwing distance.

Positive. Hit me with your best shotif you can, I said with a smirk.

Neji tossed the knife expertly and it flew towards my shoulder. It got about a half-foot away when I flared Chakra from the points in my shoulder. The kunai went flying in the opposite direction and landed harmlessly in the grass. Neji stared, amazed, as I went to pick it up.

That is amazing, Kiko. You already have excellent Chakra control, he said as I returned.

I know. Its justthe five-tailed tiger demon is a different sort of Chakra then the one I can use now. I think that, even if you blocked all of my Chakra points, I would still be able to use that of the tiger demon, I said quietly.

That is what happened when I battled Naruto during the Chunin exams, he said, nodding his head in agreement, so what were you working on before I agreed to teach you? I know it was something because when Pakkun brought you to the training field you were low on Chakra.

WellSaromi said there is a way that very powerful ninja can use their Chakra to make wings that can fly. I was trying to do that, I said.

How much did you accomplish?

I accomplished nothing more than shooting a lot of Chakra out of my back and severely weakening myself before a large battle, I replied smoothly, It is difficult to do anything with Chakra that comes from behind me because I cant see.

Ah. Well, thats why I am here. Were going to continue working on those Chakra Wings, Kiko, Neji said brightly.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:47 PM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Join Date: January 26, 2009
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Age: 26
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Chapter 7 (Early)

We worked throughout most of the day and by noontime I was getting tired. I had not managed to form Wings with my Chakra and we had reverted to a different sort of training. Neji would through one kunai at me, then I would block it. Then he threw two, then three. We got up to five before a flash of movement caught my eye and prevented me from blocking the last one. Luckily I ducked just in time and missed having my shoulder ripped open.

What happened? Neji asked as I bent to pick up the knives.

I thought I saw

I looked around and spotted immediately what I had seen. I swore softly. It was Lady Tsunade, watching us from a distance. When she saw I had spotted her she ducked behind a tree.

Its the Hokage, I explained to Neji, shes been watching us.

Ah. I cant believe I didnt noticeeven with my Byakugan, he said, annoyed. Byakugan was Nejis Bloodline trait. It allowed him to see just about anything, including the flow of Chakra. Obviously this made it easy for him to see if someone was following him.

You had your attention focused entirely on me, not over there. It is completely understandable, I assured him. He didnt respond and I walked over to where Lady Tsunade was hiding.

You can come out now. We know youre there, I called to her as I approached. She came out with an embarrassed smile.

Kakashi told me Neji was training you. I just wanted to see how it was going, she explained as Neji and I walked up to her.

How long have you been watching us? I asked, partially annoyed.

Almost an hour. Youre doing goodbut what were you trying to do shooting Chakra out of your back? she inquired.

She was trying to make wings, Neji explained, Ive seen it done before. Saromi told her about it.

Ah. I seebut you were unsuccessful? Tsunade asked.

Obviously, I replied coolly. She frowned slightly.

Well, Ill let you get on with your training. Im supposed to be doing paperwork. Its getting late so unless you want to train all night I suggest you two call it quits soon, she said as she walked away. I narrowed my eyes at her retreating back and then turned to face Neji.

She does have a point. It is getting late, he admitted.

Well, why cant we train all night? I asked him. He laughed quietly.

Youve got the spirit, but not the strength, Kiko. You cant build up strength by repeatedly exhausting yourself beyond the breaking point. You need your rest, just as I do, Neji said to me.

Rightand youve just gotten out of the hospital, too. I should have let you go home ages ago! You must be exhausted! I exclaimed.

Not at all. well, maybe a little bit. But I had fun, training with you. Would you like to go to Ramen Bar? he inquired.

Uh, sure. Im starved and I doubt Kakashi has cooked anything for dinner. Actually, I dont think Ive ever seen him cook anything. All he ever does is read, I said, rolling my eyes, but he is a good teacher. The best, actually. And hes always taken care of me.


The sky was growing dark and a few stars had appeared as Neji and I reached the Ramen Bar. We walked in and who should we find there but Naruto, stuffing his face, along with Sakura and Nejis cousin Hinata. Sakura was one of Kakashis students. She had pink hair and green eyes and I got the impression that she usually didnt do anything. She fit the helpless girl stereotype perfectly.

Hinata on the other hand was silver-eyed and blue-haired. She was more than capable of taking care of herself, but she was a shy, timid person. It was public knowledge that she had a major crush on Naruto. Naruto himself seemed to be the only person who didnt know. Hinata and Neji pretty much got along, most of the time, seeing as Hinatas father was training Neji personally. Hinata was basically the heir of the Hyuuga Clan, but Neji was the prodigy.

Hey Kiko, Hiya Neji. Whatre you two doing out so late? Naruto asked through a mouthful of Ramen.

Theyre here to eat, obviously, Sakura said, rolling her eyes at him.

Weve been out training all day, I explained as Neji took a seat beside Hinata. I took a seat on the other side of Neji.

Arent you supposed to be taking it easy, Neji? Hinata asked in a quiet voice. Neji smiled at her.

Im fine. Its Kiko thats been doing all the training. All I had to do was sit there and throw kunai at her, he assured her.

Cant put it anymore blatantly that that, I said, smiling at him.

Once we ordered our food and it had arrived we began to eat. Naruto, who was on his third bowl of ramen, insisted on talking to us.

Man, I wish Grandma Tsunade would give us another mission to go on already. Im bored, Naruto said. Naruto always called the Hokage Grandma Tsunade because, although she didnt look it, she was actually in her fifties. Lady Tsunade used her jutsu to keep herself looking young and it worked. Not a wrinkle on her face or a bag under her eyes.

Naruto, didnt you just come back from a mission yesterday? I asked accusingly.

Yeah, but that was just some stupid escort mission. I want to go on a real mission!

Naruto, it wasnt just some stupid escort mission. We were accompanying the daughter of a feudal lord to the Sand Village, Sakura said, annoyed.

She was just some kid going to visit her friend. She was like 6 years oldshe still had a teddy bear for cryin out loud! he exclaimed.
I studied my ramen, avoiding eye contact with anyone for a moment. I was thinking of the fact that I still slept with my stuffed lion. What sort of Shinobi was I?

When Neji and I finished eating he walked with me back towards Kakashis house. The lights were all out and I wondered if Kakashi was out or if he was asleep.

Ill see you first thing in the morning, Kiko, Neji said as he waved good-bye to me.

Sure. Thanks Neji, I said, smiling gratefully. I ducked inside before anything else could be said. I went to my room and lay down, feeling exhausted. Isamu stared at me with his little, black, beady lion eyes.

Training with Neji is funits a lot better than training by myself, I said to Isamu. Being a stuffed animal he didnt respond. I picked him up and hugged him to me, yawning sleepily. I curled myself into a ball and went to sleep.

Early the next morning, before the sun was even up, someone was knocking on my bedroom door.

What? I mumbled sleepily. Kakashi stuck his head in the door.

The Hokage has summoned all the Genin and some of the Chunin to her office. Youre one of the Chunin she wants, he said to me.

Ah! The woman never speaks to me and all of a sudden she comes to watch me train and summons me to her office at-what time is it anyway? I demanded.

Five oclock, he replied.

Five oclock! She cant even wait until sunrise! I groaned.

Will you get up? Stop whining, at least you finally get to do something, Kakashi said, rolling his eyes at me.

Fine. Ill be out in a minute, I grumbled. He left, shutting the door behind him. I got up reluctantly, leaving Isamu on the bed as I got dressed.

I am right, though. Tsunades never paid any attention to me before. I wonder whats changed I said to Isamu.

On my way to the Hokages office a few minutes later I met up with Naruto, Sakura, Hinata, and a bunch of other Genin. Among the Chunin chosen was, to my delight, Neji.

This was earlier than I expected, he said with a faint smile as I walked up to him.

Yeah. Do you have any idea whats going on? I inquired.

Something to do with an intruder. Thats all I know, he replied with a shrug. Shikamaru, who was also a Chunin, was walking along beside Neji. He looked as depressed as early.

Man this is such a drag. Why couldnt this have waited until later? Shikamaru groaned.

you think everything is a drag, Shikabut in this case I agree with you completely. This is such a drag, I said, smiling faintly.

Are you kidding? This is gonna be great, Naruto said, running to catch up with us, I bet Grandma Tsunades got some big, Top Secret mission for us to go on.

All of us? Shikamaru said skeptically.

Naruto how can you possibly have this much energy so early in the morning? Sakura whined, The sun isnt even up yet!

As much as I disliked Sakura for her lack of contribution to anything, I had to agree. The horizon was just starting to turn faintly pink.

Chapter 8 (The Imposter)

When we reached the Hokages office her assistant led us straight back to her. Lady Tsunade was sitting at her desk, sipping a cup of coffee. The room was filled with the scent of warm coffee and that woke us all up a little bit. Tsunade set the cup down before looking up at us.

I suppose youre all wondering why I called you here, she said slowly. A few people nodded, others murmured yes. Naruto, on the other hand, pushed his way to the front of the crowd.

Is it some Top Secret mission? Is a group of ninja about to attack the village? Are we going to start a war? Naruto asked excitedly and at rocked speed. Tsunade frowned and opened her mouth to tell him to shut up, but before she could I punched him in the arm.

Shut up and let her talk, Naruto, I growled at him. He grinned sheepishly.

Last night at around Midnight a group of ninja infiltrated the village. They knocked out two of our guards. The guards were found unconscious and when we were able to resurrect them they claimed a group of about three or four kids, around the age of twelve, had entered the village and defeated them. Now, these kids are nowhere to be found and we have reason to believe they are somewhere in this village, posing as either Genin or Chunin. Obviously I have called you all here to help weed out the intruders, Lady Tsunade said to us.

Excuse me, Lady Tsunade, but how do you know that the intruder is not one of us in this room? Neji asked her.

A very good question. Those of you who are here are the ones who are most heavily guarded and unlikely to be taken by surprise. Neji and Hinata, you are both members of the Hyuuga clan. Their guards possess Byakugan and would have been able to sense an intruder coming, Lady Tsunade explained, and Tsukiko, you live with one of the greatest ninjas in the village- Kakashi Hatake. I doubt any harm would befall you in his house.
I nodded my head in silent agreement.

Now, I suspect the intruders will be posing as a lesser ninja so that they can slip by unnoticed. I ask you all to keep an eye on anyone you see behaving oddly. We dont know what theyre after, but we sure dont want them to get it. I want you all to go about your days as normal, but be extra attentive, Tsunade continued, Any questions?

Almost everyone shook their heads no.

Just one question, I said stepping forward, Couldnt this have waited until morning?

No, she snapped at me, now get to work.


Neji and I left the Hokages office together and I saw him looking oddly at me.

Whats up? I asked him.

Why are you trying to provoke the Hokage? he inquired. I contemplated my answer for a moment before responding.

Because it annoys me that shes gone from ignoring me to being completely absorbed with me. I still resent her for ignoring me the first fifteen years of my life, I replied.

You want her to hate you? he asked exasperatedly.

Better than her being nice without me knowing why, I grumbled. He shook his head in quiet amazement.

So, what do you think of the assignment? he asked, trying to change the subject.

I think she is wrong about the intruders disguising themselves as less-experienced ninja. If I was an intruder Id disguise myself as a well-known, well-respected Shinobi, I replied.

Why?

Because, if theyre after information, then it makes sense for them to use someone experienced. I mean, if a younger ninja starts asking questions aboutI dunno, the list of those wholl be on guard duty or something, itll look really suspicious, but if its someone likeGuy-sensei, for example, it wont seem as suspicious, I answered.

Guy-sensei was Nejis teacher, and was the first person that had popped into my head when thinking of experienced ninja. Why didnt I use Kakashi as an example? I wondered to myself, but shook it off.

So you think we should start staking out the older ninja? Neji asked me.

Its just a suggestion. We can do whatever you want, I replied awkwardly.

Well, I agree with you 100% Kiko. Usually I wouldnt defy a direct order from the Hokage, but shes got a dozen others to keep an eye on the Genin and Chunin. And I trust your instinct, he said simply, Where shall we go first?

As it turns out we didnt have to go anywhere. Rock Lee, who was a teammate of Nejis, and a miniature version of Guy-sensei, straight down to the green jumpsuit and bushy eyebrows, along with the bowl-like haircut. My run-ins with him were limited, but I knew the bond between him and Guy-sensei was strong.

Neji, Tsukiko, I cannot find Guy-sensei. I thought perhaps he had started training without me, but I have been to all the training fields and he is not there, Lee said to us. Neji caught my eye and nodded his head. Had I not just used Guy-sensei as an example? Of course now we had to tell Rock Lee so he wouldnt jump out and ruin our whole operation.

Rock Lee, we think there is a possibility that Guy-sensei is being impersonated by ninja who have infiltrated the village, Neji said to him.

What?! Someone is impersonating my Guy-sensei! I will make them regret the day they were born! Lee shouted, and tried to take off running. I grabbed the back of his jumpsuit and jerked him backwards.

Discretion is key here, Rock Lee. We dont know for certain and there are three or four ninja in all, so we dont want to spook the others, I said to him, Do you understand?

He nodded his head in understanding.

I will be here to help if you need me. Tsukiko and NejiIm with you! he said, giving us a thumbs up. It was difficult to restrain from rolling my eyes at Neji.

I didnt ask Neji where we were headed and he didnt volunteer any answers. Rock Lee followed behind us, still fuming that someone had impersonated his beloved teacher. When we arrived at the gate to Konohagakure I saw Guy-sensei leaning against the gate, talking to the guards.

That is not Guy-sensei, Lee whispered to us.

How can you tell? I inquired curiously.

A student has a way of knowing these things. His posture is completely off, for instance. My Guy-sensei would never slouch like that. This intruder is way too relaxed, Lee replied reverently.

I stand by Lee. I can see that his Chakra levels are a lot weaker than the real Guy-senseis. This is definitely an imposter, Neji said softly. His eyes were squinted. He was using his Byakugan to look at Guys Chakra levels.

Let us take him out! Lee said, and again I had to grab him by the back of his jumpsuit to keep him from running out and ruining everything. My efforts were futile, however, because who should pop up then but Naruto.

Hiya Neji! Hiya Kiko! Hows it goin? Have you found the intruder yet? Naruto said loudly.

Be quiet you idiot! I snapped, but it was too late. The Guy-imposter had heard him and was running towards the gate. I let out a frustrated, tiger-like growl, and took off running after him.

It only took me a few seconds to catch the imposter. I leapt into the air and knocked him into the ground hard enough to jar his ninjutsu and reveal his true form- a scraggly brown-haired, brown-eyed kid who looked absolutely petrified. I had knocked the breath out of him and he was pretty much immobilized.


Chapter 9 (The Psychic and the Dream)

You are a disgrace to the name of ninja Naruto Uzumaki! The Hokage was shouting. We had turned the imposter in and told the Hokage everything that had happened. She was rightly furious at Naruto and so was I.

Your recklessness nearly cost us one imposter, I growled at him.

And you spooked the other two into running! Now we can only hope the one imposter we did manage to catch will rat on his friends, Tsunade continued, livid.

Well he should, seeing as he was so scared of Kiko, here, Naruto said cheerfully.

Shut up, Naruto! Tsunade and I shouted simultaneously. We glanced at each other, surprised, and quickly looked away. Naruto looked irritated.

No fair! Yall are gangin up on me! he complained.

Shut up and get out of my office. All of you, Tsunade said. Neji inclined his head slightly, but I opened my mouth to protest. Neji grabbed my arm and dragged me out behind him along with Naruto.

The last thing you want to do is pick a fight with the Hokage, Neji said as soon as we were outside, though I was impressed with your temporary unity.

Well, I wasnt, Naruto grumbled.

Quiet, you, I said to him threateningly.

Easy, Kikoits not Narutos fault hes an idiot, Neji said to me.

Yeah. Its not my fault Im a- Hey! Naruto protested, Im not an idiot!

Did the Hokage say what the intruders were after? Neji inquired, ignoring Narutos discontent.

Something about a schedule of the guards, Naruto replied with a shrug.
I stiffened slightly. I had only been using that as an example and Id hit it dead on! Neji, being the brilliant person he was, picked up on it immediately as well.

Kiko, I want to talk to younow, Neji said quickly. He led me away from Naruto and towards the place where we had trained yesterday.

How could you have possibly know exactly what was going to happen? he asked, amazed.

I dont know. I was just using it as an example, I replied truthfully. There was a curious expression on Nejis face that I interpreted as skepticism.

Neji, I swear to you I had nothing to do with any sort of attack on the village, I said earnestly.

Oh, I believe you, he assured me, I was just thinkingyou have dreams sometimes, dont you? About things that happen in the future or things that have happened before?

Yeah, howd you know?

You told me yourself when you were telling me how you came to summon snakes, remember?

oh yeah.

And a lot of people know you predicted the Sand Villages attack a few years ago, he continued.

Not that anyone bothered to listen to me, I said wryly.

I would have listened to you, he said quietly.

There was an awkward silence in which I looked away, blushing a very deep shade of red.

Anyway, as odd as this sounds, I believe you are psychic, he said finally.

Psychic, I repeated. The word sounded strange to me.

Yes. You know things no one else knows, you see things that happened before your time, and you have dreams about things that havent happened yet.

Well, if all those things make me psychic then I guess that is what I am, I replied with a shrug.

Right. Now that thats settled, how about we get on with our training?

Fine by me.

Kakashi found me around lunchtime. He looked around at the buildings with a curious expression on his face.

Interesting place to train, he remarked.

We chose it for its remote location, hoping we wouldnt be interrupted. Obviously we failed because first Tsunade found us, now you I said as I deflected the last of the kunai Neji had tossed at me.

Mm. Well I just heard that you helped capture one of the intruders and I came to congratulate youboth of you, Kakashi said with a smile.

We wouldve gotten them all if Naruto hadnt ruined it, I grumbled.

Yeah, he does have the tendency to do that, he said sheepishly. Naruto was his student after all.

Oh, I almost forgot, Im leaving to go on a mission shortly. I wont be here for a few days, Kakashi said, So dont have any wild parties at the house while Im gone.

I scoffed and aimed a playful punch at him. He ducked out of the way, laughing.

Bye Kakashi, I said as he walked off.

Later gator! he called back cheerfully.

After we finished training for the day Neji walked me home. The sun hadnt quite set, but we were both tired anyway. Probably from having to get up so early.

See you tomorrow, Neji, I said with a faint smile.

Bye Kiko.

I went inside, not at all liking the fact that the house was empty. It didnt feel as safe without Kakashi there. Falling asleep was difficult that night, even with Isamu, and when I finally did get to sleep I began to dream.

A cloaked and hooded figure stood outside the house I now called home. The person raised a pale hand with red painted fingernails and knocked on the door. A gray-haired man opened it immediately with a mask covering half his face. It was a somewhat younger version of Kakashi Hatake.

My ladywhat are you doing here so late? he asked, stifling a yawn.

Yuki and Kasumi are dead, Kakashi, she replied in a hoarse voice. He gasped audibly.

Wha-who? Orochimaru! he growled angrily.

Yes. Now, there is a time to mourn for your sister, but this is not it. She knew the risks when she agreed to take the mission. With Yuki dead this task falls to you and you alone, the hooded woman said.

What about Hiashi? Or Jiraiya? he asked anxiously.

Hiashi Hyuuga has his own child to care for, and now his nephew as well. The task will only fall to Hiashi if you refuse or are incapable of doing it anymore. As for Jiraiyawell, would you trust him with your kids if you had them? the woman asked. Kakashi shook his head.

Of course not. I will do it. Yuki entrusted me with this taskshe mush have known something I dont, he said.

Shes not the only one who trusts you, the cloaked woman said seriously, then she walked away.



I awoke with a start, my heart pounding in my chest. Isamu had fallen off the bed and I snatched him up, hugging him close to me. I walked through the empty house feeling more alone and full of questions than ever before.

When the sun rose a little while later I had chased the bad dream monsters away with the smell of pancakes cooking. There was a quiet knock on the front door and I opened it to find Neji standing there.

There you aresomething smells good, he said, inhaling deeply. I blushed furiously and mentally smacked myself in the head. He meant the pancakes smelled good.

Its pancakes, I said, feeling idiotic, uhwould you like some breakfast?

sure, he said with a smile.

A few minutes later as we sat at the kitchen table, eating breakfast, I remembered one of the names mentioned by Kakashi in my dream last night.

Hiashi Hyuuga is your uncle, right? I asked in what I hoped was a casual voice.

Yes. Hes Hinatas father. Why do you ask? he inquired. Now Id have to tell him something

It was just a name I heard in my dream last nightbut I dont really remember it, I lied quickly. I didnt know why I had felt the need to lie to him and I felt bad about it, but he had believed me.

Is he in danger? Neji asked quickly.

No, not at all, I assured him, I think it was a past-tense dream.

Oh, he said then hesitated slightly before asking, Are you sure it wasnt Hizashi Hyuuga?

No

Youre sure?

Yes. Why? Who is Hizashi Hyuuga? I asked curiously.

My father.

There was an awkward silence in which Neji stared determinedly at his plate.

Heyuh, Im not really hungry anymore. Why dont we go ahead and head out? I suggested quickly. He nodded, grateful for the change of subject. I put the dishes in the sink, thinking Id wash them later, and put the leftovers in the fridge for Pakkun.

Later, when we were training, I was able to successfully form wings with my Chakra energy. I let out a triumphant whoop that died out as I saw a figure approaching on the horizon. It was Guy-sensei. The real Guy-sensei, I supposed, who had been found locked in his own basement. As he got closer I noticed he looked unusually sad.

That is the real Guy, isnt it? I asked Neji when he came to see what I was looking at.

Yes, but Ive never seen him look so grave before he murmured.

Tsukiko Akane? The Hokage wants to see you in her office right away, Guy said when he reached us.

What for? I demanded.

I cant saybut you had better go, too, Neji, Guy said to him.

Yes, Sensei, Neji said, inclining his head obediently.

We walked towards the Hokages office together.

I wonder what she wants us for? Neji mused aloud.

I dont know, but Im getting tired of this woman interrupting my training. I feel like I live in her office as much time as Ive been spending there, I said, rolling my eyes. Neji tried to look stern and disapproving, but failed miserably as he burst out laughing. This delighted me beyond anything and I also began to laugh.

I wasnt laughing a few minutes later, however, when we were in the Hokages office. She looked even more grave than Guy-sensei.

TsukikoKakashi Hatake is missing.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Chapter 10 (Top-Secret)

My mind was completely blank. I simply stood there, staring at Lady Tsunade for a very long time.

Weve had contact with the village he was supposed to be traveling to. He was supposed to have arrived late last night, but he did not. I have a large grouped of ninja scouring the woods for himeven the ANBU Black Opps have joined in. Now, the matter at hand is where you will stay until Kakashi returnsand he will return, she said. This last part was obviously supposed to be her way of reassuring me.

I am fifteen years old, Lady TsunadeI am more than capable of staying by myself, I said. Even to me my voice sounded hollow and distant. I wondered to myself why I had said that. I didnt even want to stay by myself!

You will not be staying alone. Kakashi wouldnt want that, Tsunade said strictly, You will be staying with-

Hiashi Hyuuga, I chided at the same time she said it. There was a moment of stunned silence in which I was dimly aware of both Neji and Tsunade staring at me in amazement.

How did you-? Never mind that now. Yes, you will go and stay with Hiashi Hyuuga until Kakashi returns. Hiashi is already aware of this. I want you to go home and get some clothes and anything else you may need, then I want you to go straight to Hiashis house, understand? Tsunade asked me.

Yes, Hokage, I said, nodding my head. She seemed surprised at my lack of resistance, but I didnt feel like waging war with her todayI was too worried about Kakashi. I did pause at the door, however, and turned to face her.

I want to help look for him, I said tonelessly.

Thats absolutely out of the question! she exclaimed.

Why not?

She thought carefully before answering and when she did answer her voice was strained with emotion.

Kakashi was dealing with a Top Secret Mission that only a select few know about and only about a third of them fully understand. Only those who are highly qualified and who have been with this project since the beginning are out looking for him, she said quietly.

Hiashi knows, I stated calmly, and again she stared at me in amazement, So why isnt he out there searching?

HiashiHiashi is working on a different part of the mission now, she replied.

With Kakashi gone the assignment falls to him and now his life is just as much in danger as Kakashisand if Hiashi is killed my voice trailed off as I thought about the next person mentioned in my dream- Jiraiya. The super-strong, but super-perverted ninja who was sometimes Narutos teacher. He also wrote a series of trashy romance novels that, I was sad to admit, Kakashi was addicted to.

How do you know-? Tsunade began, but I left the office abruptly, letting the door slam shut behind me.

Halfway home I heard a voice call out my name from behind me.

Kiko!
I turned to see Neji running towards me and I paused to wait for him to catch up.

What was that all about? he inquired.

Ill tell you later, okay? I promise, I murmured to him. He looked considerate for a moment and then nodded his head.

Okay.

He followed me back to Kakashis house without saying anything else or asking any questions at all. When I went inside he said he would wait outside for me and he would escort me to Hiashis house, where he also lived.

I went to my room and grabbed my bag out of the closet. I started throwing random articles of clothing into the bag without really thinking about it. When I was finished with the clothes I looked around the room curiously. I had the feeling I was forgetting somethingIsamu! I grabbed the stuffed lion quickly and put him in my bag.

I couldnt stop myself from peering into Kakashis room in the hope that he would be there, but it was empty.

Are you ready, Kiko? Neji asked softly when I walked out the front door. I nodded my head numbly. We walked towards the Hyuuga household together and I could tell Neji was struggling, trying to think of something to say.

Well at least youll be staying at my house until Kakashi comes home, he said in an attempt to cheer me, Itll be just like a sleepover.

A sleepover where I get to ponder the fate of my most beloved teacherI thought miserably to myself, but Ive got to be brave. For Neji, if nothing else.

Yeah. Itll be like a sleepover, I said, smiling at him.

As we approached the house I saw Hiashi Hyuuga standing out front, waiting for us. He had the hereditary silver eyes of the Hyuuga Clan that was dominant in both Neji and Hinata. When we reached Hiashi, Neji bowed and motioned for me to do the same. I did.

Welcome to my home, Lady Tsukiko. Hopefully your stay here will be a pleasant one, and short in the safe return of your Sensei, Hiashi said to me, inclining his head slightly.

Thank you, Lord Hiashi, I said quietly. Hiashi turned his attention on Neji.

I am counting on you to help your friend feel welcome, Neji. Will you show her to her room? It will be the one across the hall from yours, Hiashi said to him.

Of course, Lord Hiashi. Come, Kiko, Neji said, beckoning to me.

I followed Neji down a series of hallways until he stopped.

This would be your room, he said, indicating a door to his right. He opened the door for me and I walked in to have a look around. The walls were painted black, as was the cherry wood wardrobe that was in the corner. There was a small desk, which was also made of cherry wood. The bed looked just as expensive as everything else. The bedclothes were red satin.

Wow, was all I could say. Neji smiled slightly.

The Hyuuga Clan does have expensive taste, he admitted. I followed him back out of the room so he could show me some other places.

My room is there, he said, indicating the room across the hall, and the bathroom is down that way. Lady Hinatas room is on a different hallway, but sometimes her little sister, Hanabi, can be found wandering around.

I didnt know she had a sister, I said, surprised.

Well she does. Hanabi is Lord Hiashis youngest daughter, Neji replied.

What about you? Have you got any siblings? I asked curiously.

No. Ill leave you to get settled in, shall I? he said. I nodded my head and went into my room. A moment later I heard Nejis bedroom door shut.

I set Isamu on the bed and began to put my clothes away.

We wont be here long, I said to Isamu, but it is always good to make sure were comfortable.
The stuffed lion had no response to this.

Youll have to stay out of sight, Isamu. What sort of ninja still sleeps with a stuffed lion, after all? What would Neji say if he knew? I said to Isamu. The lion still didnt reply, and I could only hope he wouldnt be offended.

Chapter 11 (Nightmares!)

When I was finished putting my things away and had grown bored with my new accommodations, I slipped out of my room and knocked on Nejis door.

Yes? he asked from within.

Its Kiko, I said quietly, as if it would be anyone else, Do you still want to know how I knew those things in the Hokages office?

Yes. You may enter, he replied immediately. I opened the door slowly and peered inside. His room was almost identical to mine, except that his bedding was black rather than red satin. Neji himself sat on a mat in the middle of the floor. A stick on incense burned beside him.

What are you doing? I asked curiously.

Meditating, obviously. Its very relaxing. Have a seat, he replied, indicating the mat. I sat down cross-legged across from him and he smiled.

Now, I believe you wanted to tell me something? he asked.

Well, the other night I had a strange dream

When I finished recounting every detail of this strange dream, Neji looked thoughtful.

And you have no idea who the hooded woman was? he inquired.

Not the faintest, I replied. There was a moment of curious silence.

So, what do you think about the Top Secret mission? he asked me.

Well, Im not sure. I think it has something to do with mesince whoever Im staying with seems to be working on it. What do you think?

I think youre an idiot for not telling me sooner, and I mean that in the kindest way possible. I also think you are the Top Secret mission, he replied.

What? Why would I be a Top Secret mission? I asked, startled.

How about the fact that you have a five-tailed demon inside of you? Or the fact that Orochimaru has been trying to get his hands on you again since you were two years old?

Oh yeah. I forgot about that, I said sheepishly, but wait a minute! That meansit is my fault that Kakashi waswell, whatever happened to himand that my parents

Kiko, the last thing you want to do is go blaming yourself. It is not your fault, he said sharply, Yuki and Kakashi both knew what might happen to them and they both readily accepted it, out of love for you. Just as I am sure Lord Hiashi must know the dangers, even now. You are not to blame.

I couldnt really think of anything to say after that and I stared intently at the stick of incense.

Thank you, Neji, I murmured softly.

Im merely stating fact, he said with a shrug, but you are most welcome, Kiko. No, how about we go find something to eat?

Sure, I said, smiling at him.

Later that night I found myself back in my room. I hugged Isamu as I covered myself with one of the cool satin sheets. I closed my eyes and fell asleep almost immediately. As soon as I was asleep, I started to dream

Deep in the forest, past two rivers, near a rock shaped like an elephant, men in dark cloaks inhabited the ruins of an old castle. One of them went down to the dungeon where a gray-haired man was strung up, held by rusty chains on his hands and feet. He was bruised, dirty, and tired.

Kakashi Hatakehow nice to see you, the cloaked man said in a chilling voice.

Orochimaru Kakashi groaned.

Yes. Now my guards tell me you are being most uncooperative. You wont tell us where the little girl is, hmm?

Never! I would rather die than betray her he retorted weakly.

Die like your sister? Die like poor little Yuki? I could have spared her, you know? But it is so fun to watch them die, Orochimaru replied, smiling evilly. Kakashi struggled against the chains, trying to launch himself at Orochimaru. Orochimaru merely laughed, a cold, chilling, evil laugh.

Lets see how well you can move after this, he said, raising a hand. The last thing I heard was the sound of Kakashi screaming

No! I screamed aloud, waking myself up. I was crying and my heart was pounding in my chest. Isamu had fallen off the bed, but I wasnt looking for Isamu. The door opened and Neji walked in, looking extremely worried.

Tsukiko whats wrong? he asked, alarmed.

I saw him, Neji! I saw Orochimaru! Hes got Kakashi andNeji, hes torturing him!

I was trying to stifle my tears and keep my voice calm, but I couldnt. Neji came to sit beside me on the bed and he opened his arms to me. I fell into his embrace, sobbing madly.

He was startled and uncertain but did his best to comfort me. He patted my back awkwardly and made quiet, soothing noises.

Its possible it was just a nightmare, he murmured quietly. I shook my head no.

No, Neji. It was one of those psychic things I said, through my stream of tears.

Well, what do you want to do? You want to go to the Hokage? We can go to the Hokage, he said softly. I nodded my head weakly and he stood up, taking me with him.

Then lets go, he said.

It was late at night, probably midnight at the latest, and Neji and I hurried towards the Hokages office. It was difficult for me to walk straight and I ended up leaning on Neji for support.

The Hokages assistant wasnt at her desk so we went and knocked on her office door.

Who is it? Tsunades voice asked sharply from within.

Neji Hyuuga, Lady Hokage. Tsukiko and I wish to speak with you, he said.

Very well, she said, surprised, Come on in.

Lady Tsunade sat at her desk, a pile of paperwork sitting in front of her, and a glass of something that definitely wasnt tea sat beside her.

Its a little late for a social call, isnt it Neji? Tsunade asked, but her eyes were on me.

Forgive me, Hokagebut Kiko had one of those dreams again. Will you tell her about it Kiko? Neji asked me gently. I shook my head no.

I cant, I said softly.

Dont worry, I will. Kiko saw Kakashi in her dreamhe was being tortured by Lord Orochimaru, Neji said to Tsunade. I let out a strangled sob at the way he so blatantly stated this fact.

It is as I feared then, Tsunade said slowly, Did you see where he is, Tsukiko?

Some castle ruins. In the woods. Past an elephant-shaped rock formation, I said hoarsely.

Ill send a team of ninja in that direction immediately, she said.

I want to go.

Absolutely not!

But I can help, I insisted, I can show them where Orochimaru is hiding.

Thats not necessary, Tsukiko. The best thing for you to do is to return to Lord Hiashis house, Tsunade said.

Yes Hokage, I said meekly. I narrowed my eyes at her in a death glare before stomping out, letting the door slam behind me.

Neji, dont let her out of your sight, I heard Tsunade say to him.

Yes Hokage, I heard him reply.


Chapter 12 (Rescue Mission)

I hurried away from the Hokages office and back to the Hyuuga house without Neji. As soon as I had found my room again I snatched up my backpack and shoved Isamu inside. I was shoving clothes in the backpack when Neji walked in.

Now where do you think youre going? he asked casually.

You know where Im going. Dont try to stop me, I retorted without stopping.

Im not stopping youIm going with you, he said coolly.

Absolutely not! Its too dangerous, I said. There was an odd silence in which we both realized how much I sounded like Lady Tsunade. Talk about creepy!

If you think Im letting you walk into Orochimarus midst alone, then you are crazy Tsukiko Akane, he said finally, besides- you would starve before you got there. You dont even know where the kitchen is, do you?
I shook my head no with a watery smile.

You finish packing and Ill go get some food. Meet me outside when youre finishedand dont even think about leaving without me because Ill find you, he said, walking out the door.

A little while later we met outside the front door of the Hyuuga house. Neji had a large pack that he insisted was light.

Are you ready to go? he asked me.

YeahIm really glad youre coming with me, Neji, I said quietly.

Im just following the Hokages orders. She said not to let you out of my sightand I dont mean to, he replied with a shrug. I couldnt help itI had to hug him. I threw my arms around him. He stood there stiffly.

Youre not going to cry again, are you? he asked awkwardly. I shook my head and pulled away from him. I punched him lightly in the arm.

Hey! First a hug, then a punch? Whats that about? he asked, laughing faintly.

Im a girl of many emotions, Neji Hyuuga. Now lets go find my Sensei! I exclaimed.

It wasnt long before we had to stop for the night, but wed gotten deep into the forest. We had reached the first of the two rivers I had seen in my dream. I had wanted to continue but Neji had kindly pointed out that I couldnt burst in and save Kakashi if I was half-asleep.

We made a makeshift camp not far from the river. I started a small fire and dragged up a good stock of wood.

I didnt have time to grab a tent, but I got two sleeping bags so at least we wont have to sleep on the ground, Neji said as he rolled the sleeping bags out.

Cool, I said, stifling a yawn. I plopped down on the sleeping bag and reached for my backpack. It fell over and out fell Isamu, into the dirt. I froze and out of the corner of my eye, saw Neji pick Isamu up and brush the dirt off of him.

Cute. Whered you get it? he asked, handing Isamu back to me.

K-Kakashi gave him to me a long time ago. His name is Isamu, I stammered.

Nice name. It means courage, right?

Uh-huh. You dont think itschildish? For me to have a stuffed lion? I asked anxiously.

Of course not, he said with a smile, Especially if Kakashi gave him to you.
Before we went to sleep Neji took a look around with his Byakugan to confirm that we were indeed safe in our little camp.

That night I had the same dream again. The dream about Orochimaru and Kakashi. When I awoke, sweeping silently, I saw that Neji was sleeping peacefully a few feet away. I scooched closer to him and he opened one eye.

Swrong, Kiko? You have another bad dream? he asked groggily.

Same one, I whispered through my tears.

Come here, he murmured, opening his arms. I moved over and he embraced me.

Do you want to put more wood on the fire? he asked a few minutes later.

No. Im quite warm now, I replied, snuggling closer to him. I felt him smile and close his eyes.

Goodnight, Tsukiko, he said softly.

Goodnight, Neji, I whispered, closing my eyes.

The next morning when I awoke the fire had died out completely and I was cold, despite Nejis body heat. I rolled away from him and stood up, stretching. Neji opened his eyes and looked up at me, smiling. I blushed faintly.

Come on, I said quickly, Weve got to find Kakashi!

We can eat first, he replied, getting up, Well need the energy.

Ten minutes later we left our pathetic little camp and we were on our way.

Strange, Neji remarked as we ran, I dont see any of the ninja Lady Tsunade said she would send.

I turned my head slightly to see that he was using his Byakugan to look around.

Since when does Lady Tsunade listen to me, anyway? I muttered darkly, rolling my eyes, besides, the ninja are probably all out looking for us.

He looked at me oddly.

I wonder if were considered missing-nin because we left without her permission? he mused.

Dont we have enough to worry about without wondering if were missing-nin? I replied.

Yeah. Good point.

Sometime around midday I realized I was lost. I slowed down to a walk and Neji looked at me curiously.

We should have reached the second river by now, I said slowly.

You mean were lost? Neji asked exasperatedly.

No! Just a little turned aroundbut I have an idea, I said quickly. He watched curiously as I took a stance, formed the hand seals, and pressed my palm to the ground.

Summoning Jutsu! I said loudly.

Saromi appeared in a puff of smoke.

There you are. Everyone in the village is out looking for you. What did you do, run away? Saromi asked me, flicking out his tongue.

No. Were going to rescue Kakashi from Orochimaru, I informed him. The snake froze.

Did you say Orochimaru? Saromi hissed.

Yes.

Well, what do you need me for? he inquired.

Can snakes find water by smelling?

Of course.

Well Im looking for a river. A big river, I said.

Ah. Youre lost, Saromi said wisely.

Im not lost. Youre here, I said agitatedly, Now, can you find the river or not?

Yes. Follow me, Saromi said, and took off slithering towards the East. Neji and I had been heading north.

It didnt take long for Saromi to find the exact same river I had seen in my dream.

Excellent, Saromi. Now, we follow the river until we reach the elephant-shaped rock structure, I said, Would you like to come with us?

I have nothing better to do, replied the snake.

We reached the elephant rock just as the sun slipped beneath the horizon.

Do you have a plan? Saromi asked lazily. I looked helplessly at Neji.

I thought you had a plan! he exclaimed, How did you plan on rescuing Kakashi without a plan?

The same way I do everything else, I replied.

Which is? Saromi inquired.

Through a series of rash actions ruled by instinct.

I think I was quoting myself and I smiled slightly.

I dont think that will work here, Kiko, Neji said desperately.

Well, all I know about this place is that its heavily guarded, but almost no one stays inside. Kakashi is in the dungeon and-

Something hit me in the back of the head suddenly and I blacked out.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:32 PM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Chapter 13 (The Butterfly Child and Orochimaru)

When I came to I was lying on something cold and hard. Thinking I was still sleeping outside on the ground I reached out instinctively for Neji, but this was a huge mistake. Pain shot through my skull and I let out a startled cry.
Tsukiko! said two voices, one weaker than the other.

N-Neji? Kakashi? I groaned.

I opened my eyes slowly. I was either in a dimly lit basement or the dungeon where I had seen Kakashi being tortured. My guess would be the latter, but not the most reassuring. I lifted my head slightly and had to stifle another scream. I laid my head back down weakly. Everything from my neck and above hurteven my eyelids!

Kiko are you okay?

I opened my eyes again to see Neji crouching beside me. His lip was split open and bleeding slightly. His body was plagued with a horrid disarray of bruises. My Godif he looked that bad then what did I look like?

Never mind me. Are you alright? I demanded faintly.

Nothing that wont heal, he assured me.

Where is Kakashi? I asked suddenly. There was a low muffled groan and I tried to turn my head but Neji stopped me with a gentle hand.

Dont move your head. I think your skull may be cracked. Kakashi is chained up- I said dont move, Kiko! he exclaimed, but I ignored him and lifted my head, gritting my teeth as I did so. The pain in my skull was almost sickening, but after a few deep breaths it dissipated slightly and I was able to open my eyes. Kakashi was just as I had seen him in my dream- weak, bruised, and bloodbut alive. Relief spread through me.

Kakashi, I breathed, Are you okay?

Oh Im just peachy, he said sarcastically, but with a faint grin, Never better.

I laughed uneasily, making my head swim again.

Now I know where she gets her sense of humor, Neji said with a wry smile.

I didnt think she had one, Kakashi replied.

Stop making fun of me, I growled playfully. Spots danced in front of my eyes that had nothing to do with anger. I swayed for a moment then began to fall over. Neji caught me as gently as possible and laid my head in his lap so I wouldnt have to lie on the stone floor. I blushed when I saw Kakashi smirking at me, but he said nothing.

What happened? I asked, referring to our capture.

Well you failed to mention the fact that there were guards outside. They hit you in the head and I fought with them, but there were more of them than me and I was captured. They carried us in here and tossed us down the steps. Thats how you cracked your skullon the stone floor, Neji informed me. He and Kakashi both winced slightly at the memory.

Have you tried to get Kakashi down from there? I inquired.

No, he figured hed let me hang here, said Kakashi sarcastically, Of course he tried!

The chains are made of Chakra. I cant break them, Neji explained.

Maybe I can give it a try, I said.

Youll do nothing of the sort, said Neji at the same time Kakashi said, No way, Tsukiko!

I was slightly annoyed at the fact that they were ganging up on me, but I was too tired to do anything about it.

So, do you have a plan? I murmured to Neji.

I have many plansbut I assume you mean one for our present situation?

That would be most helpful, yes, I said, rolling my eyes. Even that hurt.

Wellnot really. Its obviously best if we dont let them know who you are. So no more Tsukiko, Neji said slowly.

I agree, Kakashi said from the wall.

And no more tiger demon Chakra, Neji continued.

Ill second that motion, I muttered darkly, Whatll my new name be?

There were a few moments of silence. Neji sighed.

Chouko, he said, startling me.

What? Kakashi and I both said in unison.

Chouko, Neji repeated with an apologetic sort-of smile, I thought of it while you weresleeping.

I like it, I assured him. His smile turned into one of relief.

I like it, too, he said, It means butterfly child.

Oh great, now Im a caterpillar, I said with the same playful sarcasm used by Kakashi. They both laughed and for a second my head didnt hurt at allbut only for a second.

The door to the dungeon opened and the laughter died immediately. The footsteps on the stone stairs echoed coldly around the dungeon.

Ah. So nice to see youre all awake, said a chilling voice.

Can you sit up, Chouko? Neji whispered to me.

I dont know, I whispered back weakly.

Try, he encouraged, do it for me. I hate to think of what hell do to you if youre laying down.

Struggling, but with Nejis help, I forced myself into a sitting position. I opened my eyes and found myself looking into the cold, red eyes of Lord Orochimaru!

My blood practically froze in my veins and for a few moments no one dared say anything.

So, your name is Chouko, is it? Orochimaru said, taking a step towards me, Tell me, Choukodo you know who I am?

L-lord Orochimaru, I murmured fearfully.

Good. Then you know how very, very afraid you should bebecause little girls are so much easier to break than boys, he continued in his chilling voice.

A flash of movement made me jump as Neji practically threw himself between Orochimaru and myself. His fists were tightly clenched.

Stay away from her, Neji said in a low, dangerous voice. I was surprised Orochimaru didnt recoilbut then again, Orochimarus voice could freeze fire. Instead of recoiling Orochimaru laughed.

Didnt my guards teach you anything? Orochimaru asked with a smirk. He raised his hand and Neji was hurled backwards against the wall with a thud that echoed through me. I let out a strangled cry and Orochimaru smiled like a cat that catches the canary.

Looks like Ive found Choukos weakness, he said with an evil grin, Will she tell me what I need to know, or watch her boyfriend die?

Nejis body was limp on the ground now.

If I tell you what you want to know will you let us go? I asked hoarsely.

WellI suppose Ive come to far to deny such a simple request, not when Im this close to getting what I want. YesI will let you and your boyfriend do, Orochimaru said.

And Kakashi?

Very well. I shall let Kakashi go as well. Now, answer me before I change my mind- where is Tsukiko? Orochimaru snapped.

Tsukiko who?

I dont know her last name! She could be using Hatake for all I know! he retorted. A thought that had never occurred to me before. Tsukiko Hatake... Ew

If you mean Kiko Akane, she was sent away as soon as Kakashi went missing. They sent herto Kirigakure, I lied swiftly.

I turned my head as the chains that were holding Kakashi broke. When I looked back Orochimaru was gone, but the door at the top of the stairs was open. We had wonor had we? Was it a trap or had my pure, rash instinct really gotten us all out alive?

Chapter 14 (A natural born leader)

Kakashi was on his feet now. Between the two of us we carried the unconscious Neji outside.

I wish we had his Byakugan about now. Itd come in handy, I murmured.

I have Sharingan, genius girl, Kakashi said.

Oh yeah. I forgot, I said sheepishly.

Sharingan was another bloodline trait that was sort of like Byakugan. Kakashi had been given his Sharingan eye by his dying friend. It was the eye that he almost always kept covered by his mask.

Well, do you see anyone coming? I inquired.

No, he replied.

Then lets go.

As we walked alongside the river, Neji started to regain consciousness and we had to stop and tell him what happened. He drifted out of consciousness twice during the tale and had to be reawakened. When we got to the part about my lie to Orochimaru he smiled faintly.

Thats my Kiko, he murmured, before losing consciousness again. This time he could not be reawakened.

We need to get him back to the Village as soon as possible. Its not good for him to be losing consciousness like that, Kakashi said, unable to keep the worry out of his voice.

Kakashi, if I keep going the only way Ill get back to the Village is if the rescue ninja carry me back in a body bag, I said shortly, Im already dizzy and there are spots in front of my eyes. We need to find a safe place to rest.

He recoiled slightly at the coldness of my voice and immediately nodded his head in agreement.

Not only did we find a safe place to rest but we also found mine and Nejis backpacks abandoned in the brush. Theyd been left behind when wed been captured. I pulled the sleeping bags out of Nejis pack and rolled them out. Kakashi helped me lift Neji onto one as gently as possible. When everything was settled I lie down beside Neji and rested my head on his chest. I glared at Kakashi, daring him to say something or laugh, but he had looked pointedly away.
Good, I thought sleepily, He's not gonna say anything.

As I was drifting off to sleep I heard Kakashi muttering to himself.

Looks like Orochimaru knew something I didnt as well. Humph. Boyfriend, he grumbled with a sneer. I wanted to say somethingbut I fell asleep.

That night I dreamed a team of ninja was heading towards us. Medical ninja by the look of it. And on the ground in front of them, leading them apparently was a familiar-looking deadly black snakeSaromi.

I awoke with a start, sitting up as I did so.

Whats wrong? Kakashi asked, alarmed.

Nothing. Help is on the way, I said with a relieved sigh.

Wha-? Oh. You had a dream, he realized.

A vision, yes. Theyve become quite frequent since Orochimaru captured you I murmured. At that moment four medical ninja burst through the trees with Saromi in the lead. They all froze. They looked surprised to see us alive, even Saromi. I took charge immediately.

Neji is the most injured. Get him first. Hes passed out so I imagine youll need a stretcher. I can only imagine what Kakashi has been through. He thinks hes strong, but he needs rest and probably food, too, I said to the immobilized ninjas.

Tsukiko- Kakashi protested.

Shut up, Kakashi. As for me, Ive got a rather nasty headache. Im not entirely sure what happened. Neji seemed to think I had a cracked skullbefore he passed out that is. I Dunno why, but maybe because there was spots in front of my eyes and I feel so dizzylike Ive been tossed about in a dryer, I finished.

The ninjas mobilized as soon as I was done speaking. Neji and Kakashi were both put on stretchers, despite Kakashis insistence that he was fine.

Can you walk Lady Tsukiko? one of the medical ninja asked me. There was that name againLady Tsukiko; the same thing Hiashi had called me. Since when had I become a Lady?

I think I can walk, but if I fall do try to catch me before I pass out, I said dryly. I heard Kakashi laugh from where he sat and I smiled. The medical ninja smiled as well.

A sense of humor is always good, no mater how crude, he said, and then walked away.

Saromi slithered up on my shoulders and draped himself around me in a somewhat oddly reassuring manner.

Im glad youre okay, Tsukiko, Saromi hissed quietly.

Thanks to you. Howd you convince them to come? I inquired curiously.

Simple. I talked to the Hokage, he replied.

Oh shell talk to a snake but not to me? I said, slightly annoyed.

To tell you the truth she wasnt in much of a state to disagree with me.

What do you mean?

Youll see what I mean when we reach the village, Saromi assured me.

We reached the Village by nightfall. I had walked on my own but my head was throbbing. Kakashi had fallen asleep and Neji had not awakened. As we reached the gate I saw three people waiting for us to arrive. One was Hiashi Hyuuga, undoubtedly worried about the safety of his nephew. Jiraiya was there, though why I couldnt say, other than that he was supporting the Hokage.

Lady Tsunadeshe was leaning against Jiraiya out of sheer exhaustion. She had circles under her eyes as if she had not slept in days. Her face was pale and gaunt. When she saw us approaching she swayed slightly. She made as if to step towards us, but Jiraiya placed a hand on her arm.

Wait, Tsunade. We need to know what happened first. You would come to regret it if you blew the mission. Justhold it in, for now, he said awkwardly. She nodded numbly and watched, transfixed, as Jiraiya walked over to where Kakashi was trying to sit up.

Has the mission been compromised? Jiraiya asked him. Kakashi shook his head no. StrangeLady Tsunade looked disappointed. Shed wanted the mission to be compromised? Maybe I just wasnt good at reading her expressions.

Orochimaru is headed to Kirigakure, Kakashi said. Everyone looked surprised, but I stepped in front of Kakashi as my newfound leadership skills flared again.

Now is not the time to hear that story. Neji needs immediate medical attention. Kakashis been chained to a wall forthree days, I think? And Im pretty sure my skull is cracked, I said, swaying slightly.

Everyone looked from me to Tsunade. They didnt know if they should obey a fifteen-year-old Chunin, but as their Hokage was in no state to give orders, they began to do as I said. The medical ninja carrying Kakashi and Neji walked through the gates, followed by Hiashi and Jiraiya. I started to follow them, but stopped when I reached Tsunade.

Are you angry at me for leaving when you said no? I asked hesitantly, Neji was only following your order to not let me out of his sight, so you should be mad at me, if youre mad at anyone. I dont apologize for my actions, nor do I regret them. I saved Kakashi, against your orders, and I escaped from Orochimarus clutches yet again.

Im not angry, she said wearily, Im justglad youre safe.

Youll take care of Neji, wont you?

Yes.

Good, I said, taking another step towards the gate, but I paused again, Id suggest you get some sleep before you make any big decisions, though. You look worse than I feeland Ive just escaped a dungeon.

I didnt think you liked me. Thank you for your concern, she said softly. I scoffed slightly, but it was difficult to feel animosity towards the woman I despised when she looked so worn-out.

I just dont want you to massacre Neji, I said ruefully. She shook her head faintly and smiled, as if remembering something.

You remind me very much of someone I used to knowa long time ago, she said thoughtfully.

I frowned curiously at her, but she was lost in her own thoughts. My head was throbbing again and I took a feeble, stumbling step towards the gate before falling. Right before I lost consciousness I felt someone very strong catch me and I knew I was safe
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:52 PM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Chapter 15 (The Hospital)

I was hovering on the edge of consciousness. Something shiny was floating above my head and I raised my arm in an effort to grab whatever it was.

Well! Welcome back to the land of the living, Tsukiko, said a familiar voice.

My vision cleared and I saw the sparkling thing was actually the light, and it was farther away than I had thought. The voice belonged to Kakashi who sitting in a chair beside my bed, reading one of those trashy novels.

How can you read that trash, Kakashi? I groaned.

You ask me that three times a week, Tsukiko, and its not trash, he replied testily.

I sat up suddenly, causing a rush of pain and dizziness that I readily ignored.

How is Neji? Is he okay? Did Tsunade fix him? I demanded, trying to get up.

Worry about your self first, he said, forcing me back down, Youve got a pretty nasty concussion and a fractured rib. Youre lucky there wasnt any internal bleeding.

Yeah. Lucky. Yip-de-doo, I said sarcastically, Now what about Neji?

Hell be fine. The Hokage is with him now. Shes fixed both of you up quite well, he replied.

Oh did she finally get some rest? I asked, relieved. Kakashi raised an eyebrow at me.

Not that I actually care or anything, I added quickly.

Of course you dont, he said with a smile, I was impressed with your leadership skills, thoughbut if you ever tell me to shut up again, Ill knock you into next week. Got it, shrimp?

I knew he was only joking and I smiled at him.

Whore you calling a shrimp? I asked playfully.

Hmmyou. I was calling you, Tsukiko Akane, a shrimp, he said smugly.

I growled playfully and lunged at him. He laughed as he dodged out of the way, then he grabbed me from behind and began to tickle me. Being as ticklish as I was I was on the floor in seconds, breathless with laughter as Kakashi continued to tickle me.

StopKakashithat ticklesIcantbreathe! I gasped through my laughter. At that moment the door opened and who should walk in but Lady Tsunade.

Arent you supposed to be resting? she asked, frowning. I dived back into the hospital bed in record time.

Its not my faultKakashi was tickling me to death, I said dramatically, pointing a finger at him.

Oh sure, blame the Sensei, Kakashi said, mimicking my dramatic tone. I stuck out my tongue at him. Tsunade blew out a sigh.

You two are such children, she said, rolling her eyes, Honestly, I dont get how you can share a house without destroying it.

Tsukiko keeps her head most of the time. Shes really ticklish though, Kakashi said with a smile.

Well no more tickle fights until her rib healsgot that, Kakashi? Tsunade asked, hands on her hips.

Yes Hokage, he replied meekly as she headed for the door.

Spoil sport, I grumbled to Kakashi. The Hokage whirled around.

I heard that, she said with a hint of a smile, and I almost forgot- Neji wants to see you.

I was out of bed and halfway down the hall before I realized I didnt have the faintest idea which room he was in. I turned sheepishly back towards where Id come from.

Second door to your left, Kiko, Tsunade called from my room. It sounded like she was laughing at me.

I knocked on the prescribed door and heard a voice from within say enter. Neji was sitting on the edge of his hospital bed. He didnt have a shirt on and I could see his back was bruised from where Orochimaru had thrown him into the wall. I also couldnt help but notice how particularly good and attractive his back was. This, and remembering that it was my fault he was injured, made me lower my eyes.

Good evening, Kikohow are you? he asked hesitantly, The Hokage wouldnt say.

Concussion and a cracked rib, but Ill live. What about you? I inquired.

Nothing the Hokage couldnt fix, he assured me.

Neji, Im so sorry. Its my fault you go injured. I shouldnt have let you come with me, I said miserably. To my surprise he smiled.

Let me? You think you let me go with you? For someone so brilliant you sure can be stupid, Tsukiko, he remarked. I stared at the floor as I tried to decipher if Id been insulted or complimented. I think maybe both.

Did you compliment me and insult me in the same sentence? I asked blankly and he laughed.

Probably. My point is, I would have followed you to the end of the Earth to help you find Kakashi.

Why?

Because you are my friend, he said simply, Now will you please look at me?

N-not until you put a shirt on, I mumbled, blushing.

Ah. Is it distracting?

I nodded my head, blushing even harder, but he said nothing. He grabbed his shirt off the chair beside his bed. He was either the most egotistical guy in the world or the most understanding. My guess would be the latter. I looked up when he finished putting his shirt on.

So how long are they keeping you here? he asked me.

Probably overnight. You know doctors, I said, rolling my eyes.

Yeah, thanks to you, he replied, but winked to let me know he was joking. We shared a smile.

Still, youd better hurry up and heal. Weve still got a lot of training to do, he said seriously. I let out a fake groan and lay my head down on the edge of his bed.



PART 2 (Love)
Chapter 16 (A new mission)

It had been two months since our glorious escape from Orochimarus clutches. I still spent most of my time training with Neji and we had progressed sufficiently with my Chakra Wings. Though my wounds had slowed me significantly, I was now able to rise a few feet in the air before gently floating back down. I thought perhaps I could do more if I borrowed the tigers Chakra, but I was too frightened to do that.

It was really early in the morning, before sunrise, and Kakashi and I were walking towards the Hokages office.

Im getting really tired of these early morning things, I grumbled, shivering slightly form the cold.

Kakashi laughed softly, but he was only halfway paying attention to me. He was reading another one of Jiraiyas novels. I rolled my eyes. I wished Neji was with us, but he spent his mornings training with Hiashi.

When we arrived at the Hokages office her assistant, Shizune, told us to go on in. Lady Tsunade was sitting at her desk and she smiled at me when I walked in. She had taken to doing that every time she saw me- smiling, as if this would make me forget the animosity felt towards her. The sad part was I couldnt help but smile in return.

I have a mission for you, Kakashiand you, too, Kiko, she said when we were both inside.

Both of us? Kakashi and I chorused, equally surprised.

And Neji, too, Tsunade added. Kakashi groaned audibly. Tsunade and I both raised an eyebrow at him, but he shook his head dismissively.

You can fill Neji in later. I want the three of you to go to the Sand Village. We believe Orochimaru may have spies in the area and I want you to find out what hes up to. Youll have the full cooperation of our allies in the Sand Village. Kiko, youll be using that other namewhat was it?

Chouko, I provided.

Yes, exactly. I want you to leave as soon as possible so go find Neji, Tsunade said.

Yes, Hokage, we said and headed for the door.

And Kiko? Tsunade said. I paused halfway out the door.

Yes?

Take a jacket. It gets cold in the desert at night, she said quietly. I rolled my eyes and followed Kakashi out, letting the door slam behind me.

Take a jacket, I mimicked once we were outside, What the hell is that about?

I Dunno, Kakashi replied, shrugging his shoulders, Lets go find your boyfriend and get a move on.

Hes not my boyfriend, I snarled.

Okay, okay. Whatever, Kakashi said, laughing slightly.

When we reached the Hyuuga household I led Kakashi through the maze of hallways to where I knew the Courtyard would be where Hiashi and Neji trained. When we walked out my jaw dropped.

Neji was shirtless again and he was aiming punches and kicks that Hiashi was straining to block. Sweat was pouring down Nejis back and his hair had come loose from where he usually kept it tied behind his back. God he looked so good! I wasnt aware I was staring until Kakashi said something.

Oh for Gods sake, Tsukiko, put your eyeballs back in your skull and stop gawking. I know youre a teenager but you look like a female version of Jiraiya, he scoffed. Oh my god, how embarrassing! Id been practically drooling over Nejiand in front of Kakashi! Thank the stars Neji hadnt noticed!

Hiashi finally noticed we were standing there and he called the training to an abrupt halt.

Forgive us for interrupting your training, Lord Hiashi, but the Hokage has given us a mission in the Sand Village and Neji is to come along, Kakashi said to Hiashi.

While the adults talked I kept my eyes focused intently on the ground. Neji knew almost immediately what was wrong and he went to grab his shirt from where hed left it lying on the steps. Hiashi who must have raised his eyebrow curiously did not miss this movement.

It bothers Kiko, Neji said by way of explanation.

I dont think bothered is the right word, I murmured, blushing furiously. I looked up once Neji had his shirt on and I could see he was blushing as well. Kakashi and Hiashi shared a knowing look.

Hormones, they said simultaneously, and Kakashi rolled his eyes.

And Im stuck with the two of them for this entire mission, he grumbled.

You have my sympathies, Hiashi said, unable to suppress a small laugh. I was getting annoyed and I think Neji was, too. You never know- its hard to tell what Nejis thinking.

We were on the road to the sand village less than an hour later. I had Isamu tucked safely away in my backpack and I was feeling quite cheerful.

So whos leading this mission anyway? I asked.

Who do you think the Squad Leader is, Shrimp? Kakashi replied, shoving me playfully. I lost my footing for a moment and stumbled before pushing him back. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Neji smiling.

We stopped for the night at the edge of the forest with nothing but miles and miles of desert in front of us. We made a small camp a little ways off the main road. It was too cold out to sleep outside so Kakashi set up one of the lightweight tents. There was a river not too far from where wed put up camp and a little while after sundown Neji disappeared to go bathe there.

I waited a few minutes before trying to slip off silently after him, but Kakashi noticed me leaving.

Where are you going? he asked curiously.

Erm

I couldnt think of a good enough explanation that would satisfy him.

I cant think of a good lie and the truth would gross you out so, for your own sake, Im going to say nothing and disappear mysteriously into the night, I said, wiggling my fingers mysteriously for effect.

Fair enoughI think, Kakashi replied with a puzzled frown.

I found my way to the river by the light of the moon. I had resigned myself to the fact that I wanted to see him without a shirt on again. The image had stayed fresh in my mind all day long. I had also resigned myself to a Jiraiya-like method of hiding in the bushes.


Chapter 17 (Swimming)

He was swimming in the river, wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. My mouth went dry when he climbed out of the river, dripping wet. He pushed his soaking wet hair out of his face and frowned slightly before diving spectacularly back into the river. I watched him swim for about five minutes before he climbed out again.

You know that I know youre there, right? he said loudly. I froze for a full minute and felt myself turn beat red. Avoiding his eyes I came out of the bushes.

You talkin to me? I mumbled.

Theres no one else hiding in those bushes, is there?

Howd you know I was there?

Never spy on someone who has Byakugan, he said with a wry smile.

Ill bear that in mind for future reference, I said sarcastically.

If you wanted to watch me swim you didnt have to hide in the bushes, Tsukiko, he said quietly.

Yeah I did. It wouldve been to embarrassing if youd known I was watching, I muttered.

I knew you were there the while timeI was showing off, he said with a smile, You have nothing to be embarrassed about.

Again I had the though that he was either the most egotistical guy in the world or the most understanding. This time I wasnt so sure it was the latter of the two.

Will you please look at me, Neji said interrupting my thoughts.

I blushed again and looked up. For the first time ever I noticed the curse seal on his forehead. Id heard his story when he told it to Naruto during the Chunin exams. The curse seal had been placed on him because he was a member of the Branch Family instead of the Main Family of the Hyuuga clan. If he disrespected a member of the main family they could activate the curse seal and torture him.

Youre staring at my forehead, Kiko, Neji said calmly.

Oh, sorry. I was looking at this, I said, brushing my finger lightly across the mark. He closed his eyes for a moment and shivered pleasantly.

Do that again and youre going in the river, he said playfully. I smiled delightedly and, just to see if he was joking or not, brushed the mark again. I let out a yelp as he scooped me up in his arms, carried me to the waters edge, and tossed me into the river.

The water was cold! I came up spluttering, gasping for breath. He stood on the bank laughing at me.

Stop laughing at me, Neji, Im freezing! I exclaimed, teeth chattering.
He continued to laugh and, with a somewhat graceful leap, jumped into the water with me. He floated on his back freely. I was staring at him, but he didnt care.

You know how I got the curse seal? he asked casually.

Yeah. I remember you telling Naruto at the Chunin exams, I replied softly.

Then you know more about me than I do you. I dont really know anything about you other than you have a demon and Orochimaru wants you.

Theres not much more to me, I replied with a shrug.

Of course there is! Obviously you live with Kakashi-sensei. Why, if you dont mind me asking? he inquired curiously.

Orochimaru killed my parents. They were trying to protect me from him, I admitted quietly.

Im sorry.

It was a long time ago, I said with a shrug, even though it really wasnt, but it seems like whoever I stay with is in danger from Orochimaru.

Its not you fault he wants tokill you, I suppose?

Kill me, torture me, how should I know?

I wonder why he chose you to put the tiger-demon in? he mused.

I dont know. Maybe I was just the first child he saw.

Maybe because youre psychic? Neji suggested.

I always assumed the psychic thing was demon related, I replied. My attention was drawn to his bare chest and I lost my train of thought for a moment. It took all of my willpower not to run my hands over his chest.

Maybe you should ask Kakashi, he said.

Ask Kakashi what? I asked absently.

If you were psychic before Orochimaru put that thing inside of you. I think that- Are you even trying to listen to me? he demanded.

Huh?

He let out a heavy sigh and started to swim towards shore. I grabbed his arm.

No, wait! Im totally listening. You saidsomething about Kakashi and Orochimarus thing, I said quickly. He laughed and shook his head.

I thought you were freezing? he teased lightly.

Really? Mustve been my imagination, I murmured.

We really should get back to Kakashi, Neji said seriously.

But Im soaked! And yourepractically naked! I said, letting my eyes wander again.

My clothes are on the shore, genius, he said, tapping my forehead.

Oh. Right, I said sheepishly, looking back up.

Kakashi may be asleep, but if hes awake and asks why youre wet well tell him you fell in the river, he said smiling faintly.

Okey-dokey.

Chapter 18 (The Sandstorm)

Kakashi was still awake when we returned to our camp. He was reading his book by the light of the fire. He looked up as we returned and raised an eyebrow at the fact that I was thoroughly soaked.

Neji threw me in the river, I said cheerfully before he could ask. Neji cut his eyes at me.

I thought we agreed to say you fell in? he said coolly.

And you did what? Jumped in and rescued me like a big strong man? I said in my best Scarlett Ohara impression. Neji let out a snort of laughter.

Oh for gods sake, Kakashi said, rolling his eyes, Im gonna go throw up now.

Neji and I both laughed as Kakashi got up and retreated into the tent.

A few minutes passed and Neji and I sat in front of the fire in
comfortable silence. I wanted my clothes to dry before I went into the tent.

Do you remember what we were talking about before you gotdistracted? Neji asked.

Uhme? I guessed, and he nodded his head.

You were telling me about your parents.

Yuki and Kasumi.

Yes. What was it like before he said, his voice trailing off into silence.

Before Orochimaru killed them, I finished evenly. It was weird that I could talk so easily about this with Neji. It wasnt something I usually talked about, even with Kakashi. In fact, all the adults around me usually avoided the subject and Id never felt like talking to any of the other kids. Still, maybe I could talk so openly with Neji because he was an orphan, too.

Pretty much the same as living with Kakashi, I suppose. I had a lot of free range as far as doing whatever I wanted. No ones ever tried to tell me what I can or cannot dowell, besides Tsunade, I said quietly.

And even when Tsunade tells you something you openly defy her, he added with a hint of admiration in his voice, youve never been a bird in a cage.

He subconsciously touched the curse seal on his forehead, which was now covered by his headband. I gave him a sympathetic look. Before his battle with Naruto during the Chunin exams, Neji had felt like he was trapped by the power of the Main Branch. The symbol on his forehead was that of a bird in a cage. I touched his hand a gently pushed it down, away from his curse seal.

Youre not a bird in a cage anymore, Neji, I whispered reassuringly, You forge your own destiny.

Thanks, Kiko. Im glad I have a friend like you, he murmured softly. I blushed faintly.

Thanks NejiIm glad youre my friend, too, I said.

Oh give it a rest, you two! shouted Kakashi from inside the tent, Im trying to sleep!

Shut up, Kakashi! I growled, still blushing. Neji laughed quietly and we both headed into the tent. All the sleeping bags were laid out so that it was like one big pallet. Kakashi made a briefly annoyed noise and turned his back on us.

I woke up sometime during the night to find myself spooning with someone I automatically assumed was Neji. Hell, thats whom Id been dreaming about before I woke up. I pressed my face into his back and sighed.

Get the hell off me, Tsukiko! Your boyfriends on your other side, he grumbled. It was Kakashi!

Shit! Sorry, I mumbled sheepishly as I scooted away from him.

No problem. I know Im irresistible, he replied with a grin. I punched him in the shoulder, a little harder than I usually would have.

Ow! Kakashi protested.

Whats going on? asked a new voice sleepily. Neji had been awakened by our interaction.

Nothing. Go back to sleep, I murmured to him. I rolled away from Kakashi and snuggled up close to Neji. He seemed faintly surprised, in a sleepy sort of way, but didnt pull away from me. We were both asleep within minutes.

The next morning we left our little camp and, after filling our canteens at the river, followed the road into the desert.

From this moment on you will be Chouko, Kakashi said to me as we crossed into the desert.

Should I have a last name, too? I inquired.

You could use Hyuuga, Neji said almost instantly.

Kakashi frowned at him as I blushed deeply.

Oh like it wouldnt be blatantly obvious that you two arent related, the way you act around each otherand the lack of vivid white eyes, Kakashi said.

I suppose youd rather use your last name then? Neji shot back with a hint of sharpness in his voice. Kakashi flushed scarlet.

I never said that! he retorted. I stared blankly at the two people I loved most in the world. Were they fighting over me?

Let Chouko deicide then, Neji said. Beneath his calm exterior his voice sounded like ice. I looked at the ground.

I think theyre both a little too inauspicious. Maybe a made up one would be better, I said quietly, Personally I like the name Chouko Aimi.

A very good decision, Neji approved.

Excellent, Kakashi added, not wishing to be outdone. I let out an exasperated groan that sounded more like a growl and walked quicker to get away from them.

A while later they both caught up with me. Kakashi had reverted to reading his novel as he walked and Neji was looking around the desert with his Byakugan. I wondered vaguely what he was doing that for. I never considered the possibility of a threat until he grabbed my arm suddenly.

Were being followed, he whispered, loud enough for Kakashi and I both to hear.

Where? I didnt notice anything with my Sharingan, Kakashi said with no hint of his former animosity.

To the West. Itwell it looks like a child, Neji replied uncertainly. I looked Westward with my dull, normal vision and saw nothingexcept some sort of a cloud. It got closer and closer, whirling faster and faster, until I realized what it was- a sandstorm!

It was on top of us before I could say anything. The winds were hectic and I couldnt see anything. My backpack was wrenched from my grip by the wind and all my stuff went flying. I opened my mouth to yell, but ended up with a mouthful of sand. Blind and gagging I reached out and latched on to the first thing I felt.

Chouko is that you?

It was Neji I had grabbed. He couldnt see me anymore than I could see him.

Yes! I called back.

This sand is infused with Chakra, he informed me. Infused with Chakra? So I could fight it off! Without letting go of Neji I flared Chakra from all of my Chakra points except the ones in the hand that was latched on to Neji.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:59 PM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Chapter 19 (Isamu)

The sandstorm didnt last long. When it was over we found Kakashi crouching behind a rock reading his novel. Go figure. He stood up when he saw us.

Someone did that deliberately, he declared.

There was Chakra in it. Id say so, Neji agreed.

Damn. Are you alright, Tsukiko? Kakashi asked, looking me over anxiously.

You must call me Chouko. Yes, Im fine. My backpack is gone though, I replied, looking around. Some of my things could be seen lying in the sand.

Well find them, he assured me.

It took us almost 45 minutes but we collected almost all of my possessions. The only thing still missing was-

Isamu? I said, trying to keep the hysteria out of my voice.

Wecouldnt find him, Chouko, Neji said gently. My heart plummeted. No Isamu? Butwithout Isamu I never would have become a ninja. I remembered the day I had my first match

I had been ten years old, barely an Academy Graduate and Kakashi had, with my permission, arranged a battle for me. It was to be between myself and a ninja from the Cloud Village. Id been extremely nervous, despite Kakashis confidence in my abilities. The morning of the match I confided my fears in Isamu. This was back when I pretended he talked back to me. In my mind Isamu had reassured me, telling me how great a ninja I was.
I wishI wish mom and dad were here, I had said to Isamu, tears welling up in my eyes. Isamu wiped them away with his paws.
Theyre watching you from heaven, the stuffed lion had assured me, Theyre proud and they would never, ever let you get hurt. Besides, you still have Uncle Kakashi. He has a good heart. He loves you and he would never let anything bad happen to you, either.


My thoughts returned to real time and I let out a strangled, half-sob. Strange that Isamu had always sounded smarter than me, in my mind.

Itll be okay Chouko, Kakashi said.

No. I need Isamu, I insisted, Hes my strength and courage.

Hes just a toy. Youre not a kid anymore, Chouko, he said with a faint hint of irritability in his voice. Tears welled up in my eyes and I ran away from Kakashi, running blindly into the desert.

A few minutes later Neji found me sitting on a rock, lost and staring at the ground. I wasnt crying anymore but Kakashis words had cut me deeply.

Im sorry he said that, Chouko. He doesnt understand, Neji said quietly.

Do you?

To an extent, yes.

I want my Isamu, I said, biting my lip to keep from crying.

I knowbut we need to get to the Village. We can come back and find him another time, okay?

Okay. My head hurts.

Because of the sunlight. It hurts your eyes more than you realize.

Oh, I said and hesitated a moment before asking, Wheres Kakashi?

He went on ahead to the Sand Village. Well catch up with him later, he replied smoothly.

Cool.

When Neji and I reached the gates to the Sand Village there were four ninja waiting to welcome us. Three of them I had seen before- Kankuro, Temari, and the ever-frightening Gaara. All had competed in the Chunin Exams before and were often found hanging around the Village Hidden in the Leaves.

Temari was a blonde-haired girl who fought with a giant fan. She had a spunky attitude and absolutely hated to lose. She had frequent run-ins with my friend, Shikamaru. I wasnt the only one who suspected they were secretly dating.

Kankurowell, personally, Id always thought he was a little weird. He was a puppet master. He fought only with puppets and for some reason he always wore face paint. This always made him a little weird in my eyes.

Gaara. Gaara fought with sandor should I say sand fights for him? Gaara was the human host for the one-tailed demon, Shukaku. He was pretty messed up in the head, no doubt about that, but I sort of felt bad for him. He had been all alone and hated Shukaku had made him strong, no doubtbut it had also turned him into a cold-blooded killer. He eventually found a new purpose for living, however, and that was protecting his friends, who were also his siblings, Kankuro and Temari.

The fourth girl was one I didnt knowbut I think Id seen her at the Chunin Exams before. She had dark red hair and vivid blue eyes. Her face was freckled. She wore a dark red dress that had a split up the side. I also noticed that Kankuro seemed quite taken with her and, since they were holding hands, I assumed they were dating.

Well well. If it isnt the Leaf ninja. About time you two showed up, Temari said, smirking.

Hey Temari. We were delayed. There was a sandstorm in the desert, I replied.

Yeah thats what Kakashi said when he came through earlier. He also told us about your new nameChouko, Kankuro said, smiling at us faintly.

Gaara hadnt said anything but I could feel his eyes on me. I glanced at him and found myself held captive by his pale blue eyes. There was a coldness there I had only seen once before- in the eyes of Orochimaru.

So where is Kakashi? Neji asked the others, oblivious to mine and Gaaras moment.

Hes already headed into the village, replied the girl Id never seen before.

Oh! Chouko, Neji, this is Mei. She lives in the village, Kankuro said to us, smiling at her. She smiled back.

Nice to meet you, Neji said politely. My attention was still fixated on Gaara. His mouth had twisted into a small, odd sort-of smile that made me shiver. I wanted desperately to know what was going on in his mind. Maybe nothing at allmaybe something. He looked like he wanted to kill me, though I couldnt imagine why. His lips formed my name soundlessly and my breath caught in my throat.

Chouko? Neji said in an inquiring tone, Do you want to go ahead to the hotel room? You need to get out of the sun.

Sure. Lets go, I said, feeling slightly relieved for an excuse to get away from Gaara.

Temari, Kankuro, Mei, and Gaara led us to the room where wed be staying. There were three bedrooms and Kakashi was already in one of them.

Well let you get settled in. Well meet with you first thing in the morning to tell you what we know so far, Kankuro said to Neji and myself.

Thank you Kankuro, Neji said, inclining his head.

Later that evening I was in the room I had claimed. I was pondering the stare of Gaara when someone knocked on my door, making me jump slightly.

Come in, I said softly. The door was opened and Neji walked in.

I thought that, since you dont have Isamu, you might like for me to stay with youto help you sleep, he said with an awkward smile.

S-sure, I murmured, blushing faintly, If you want to, that is.

Of course I do.

It took me forever to get to sleep that night and when I did I woke a short while later from a series of frightening nightmares I couldnt remember. I sat up slowly, pushing my hair out of my face as I did so.

Whats wrong, Chouko? Neji muttered sleepily.

Just a bad dreamI think Im going to go outside for a minute to get some fresh air.

Should I come along?

No, Ill be fine. I am a ninja after all. You go back to sleep, I said with a faint smile.

Okay. Good night, Chouko.

Gnight Neji.

Chapter 20 (Isamus return)

I left the hotel silently and began to walk through the deserted streets. It was past midnight and no one was awakeat least, thats what I thought until I saw the dark figure of a person standing on a rooftop. The figure beckoned to me and, although every fiber of my being was screaming danger, I leapt onto the roof with a single, graceful bound. I could now see the figure clearly- it was Gaara.

You should be sleeping, Chouko, he said slowly. His voice was low, creepy, and monotonousbut it also sounded a little sad, to me.

I cant sleep, I murmured shakily.

Because of your demon?

How did you know-

That is why I am unable to sleep. The demon inside of me is beyond my control if I let my guard down, he continued on as if I hadnt spoken. I shuddered slightly.

My demonthe five-tailed tiger demonshe doesnt do that, I stammered.

Its female?

Yes.

Can you use her power?

I considered my answer before responding.

I canbut I dont. The last time I did II hurt someone very dear to me, I said softly. He nodded in understanding. For a moment neither of us said anything, then he walked closer to me and pulled something out of a pack on his back.

I believe this is yours, he said, holding it out to me. It was Isamu.

Isamu! I cried joyfully, hugging the lion to my chest, Where did you find him?

In the desert. The sand brought him to me.

Thank you, Gaara.

He looked up at me with the same fire in his eyes that I had seen before. I took a stumbling step backwards and a slight frown creased his forehead.

Why are you afraid of me, Chouko? he asked quietly.

Becausethat look in your eyelike you want to kill me, I murmured, abashed.

Kill you? No, never kill youyoure not that good at reading facial expressions are you?

I suppose not. What is the emotion behind your eyes, then? I inquired. The twisted smile returned and a hungry gleam shone in his eyes.

Ill show you, he whispered.

The next thing I knew my back was pressed against a statue of a giant fish, the symbol of the Sand Village, and Gaara was inches away from me. My breath caught in my throat as he slipped his hands around my wait slowly. He pressed his lips against mine, clearly being dominant. My mind was practically numb. I couldnt have pulled away even if I wanted tobut I didnt want to anyway. Neji and I had never kissed before. Id never kissed anyone before, as a matter of fact, but I didnt think it could get any better.

Gaara finally pulled away from me, smirking slightly. I felt my knees go weak and I sank to the ground.

Hows that for an explanation? he inquired. His voice wasnt any less creepy or monotonous than it had been before, but it sounded a little less sad.

Well youve certainly given me a lot to think about, I said, my voice an octave higher than usual.

Its a good thing you couldnt sleep anyway. Later Chouko, he said, and then walked away.

I spent the rest of the night alone. Unable to return to the hotel room and face Neji and not trusting myself enough to seek out Gaara, I spent the night wandering and wondering. Did I like Gaara? Yes, in a weird, frightened sort of pitiful way. Neji had never made any advances towards mewed never even kissed. Many people thought we were together but we werent. He probably didnt even like me!

When I finally returned to the hotel room Kakashi was the only one awake. He was in the kitchen cooking breakfast and he raised a curious eyebrow when I entered.

Where have you been? he asked curiously.

Out, I replied, stifling a yawn.

All night? he asked, perplexed, And without Neji?

Yeahso? I said, eyes narrowed, Its not like were dating or anything.

His expression was a puzzled one and he opened his mouth to say something, but at that moment Neji came out of the room.

Good morning, Chouko. I never heard you come home lat night. Whered you go? he asked. I smiled and held up Isamu by the paw.

You found your lion! You went out into the desert at night? Alone? he asked, suddenly alarmed.

Yeah. It was no big deal, I said with a shrug, Besides, I needed Isamu.

Neji looked torn between disapproval that Id gone off on my own and the desire not to start any arguments. Isamu saved him from either option.

Hes not even ripped or dirty at all, Neji said, inspecting the lion. Of course Isamu wasnt dirty- all the sand had followed Gaara away last night.

After eating the breakfast that Kakashi had prepared the three of us went to meet with the Sand ninja to find out what they knew about Orochimarus spies. We met them in a conference room of sorts. It was a safe place where no one could eavesdrop on us.

As soon as we entered the room my heart stopped briefly. Gaara stood in the shadows, leaning against the wall in a would-be casual way. Temari, Kankuro, and Mei sat around a small round table. Neji and Kakashi both sat down, leaving the only available seat to be the one facing Gaara. He smirked at me as I sat down and I felt my face turn red.

I only halfway listened as Temari explained that they were pretty sure Orochimaru had three spies in the area. One they thought was a shopkeeper in the village. Another was posing as a teacher at the Academy. They had no idea who the third one was.

After that my mind pretty much went away from the conversation. Gaara, moving as inconspicuously as possible, came to stand directly behind me. No one even noticed. A few minutes later he slipped a note into my hand. As I read it he made his way back to his original spot.

Meet me by the gate if you can get
Away from your friends for a little while.

I looked up at him and nodded. I folded up the note and put it in my pocket.

When we left the conference room I started to walk away from Kakashi and Neji. This did not go unnoticed by them.

Where are you going, Chouko? Kakashi asked making me stop in my tracks. I considered my answer.

I cant think of a good enough lie and the truth would gross you out so, for your own sake, Im going to say nothing and disappear mysteriously for a while, I said, getting the feeling that I was quoting myself. Kakashi sent a curious look at Neji, but when he saw Neji looked just as confused as he did he turned his gaze back on me.

Thats usually a line you reserve for sneaking off with him, Kakashi said, nodding to Neji. I shrugged my shoulders and proceeded to walk away. Neji snagged my arm.

I dont like the idea of you going off on your own, especially with all the spies around, he said quietly.

Well I wont be alone, if that eases your concern, I snapped.

I hadnt meant to sound so cold and I regretted it immediately. A look of hurt realization spread over his face and he let go of my arm. I turned my face away and fled. Neither of them tried to follow me.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:40 AM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Chapter 21 (The Demons)

I met Gaara just outside the gates to the village. Before I could even ask why I was there he kissed me fiercely. All thoughts of Neji drifted out of my mind.

That was maddening, he murmured, Being so close to you with him there.

He kissed me again.

Deep within me something stirred and I heard the voice of the five-tailed tiger demon in my head.


"This looks like fun,"
purred the tiger. No, tiger, I thought furiously, but I was ignored. I felt all the strength of the tiger fill me, along with an intense joy and playfulness. The energy that radiated from me made Gaara take a step back.

Wha-? he began, but was cut off as a similar energy filled him. I assumed this was Shukakus Chakra- a dark, lethal-looking, reddish brown Chakra.

Whats happening? Thisisntnormal, Gaara said through clenched teeth.

He thinks Shukaku will hurt him. Tell him to stop fighting. The raccoon-demon just wants me, said the voice of the tiger in my head. I laughed lightly.

Dont fight him, Gaara. I think youll find Shukaku has become quite tame, I said. It didnt occur to me that listening to and trusting a demon might not be a smart thing to do. Gaara stopped fighting and Shukakus energy filled him.

Unbelievable! Why-?

Ill explain later. Run with me, I encouraged. This time my voice held the alluring timbre of the tiger demon.

I ran without even thinking about it. The tiger within me was enjoying the freedom that Id finally given her. Behind us Gaara, still amazed, ran instinctively on the power of Shukaku. They were slower than us. This time it was entirely the demon that spoke through me.

Come on, Shukaku, she said cheerfully.

Slow down, Kouta, said a voice that must have been Shukakus.

Whos Kouta? I wondered vaguely.

I am Kouta you silly girl, said the tiger lightly.

Oh. I didnt know you had a name. You never told me that, I responded.

You never asked, she replied.

We ran through the desert for a long time. It could have been days, months, or yearsthere seemed to be no limit to the strength of the demons. Eventually we stopped at an oasis and Kouta and Shukaku returned to their separate, dormant, places.

Shukaku has never been that way before. Never so calmso manageable, Gaara, said, the amazement still in his voice.

I know. It was because of Kouta, I think, I said slowly.

That is the tigers name?

Yes.

Then she is rightfully named so. Kouta means peace. She made Shukakupeacefully. Usually I must be asleep for him to control me, he said quietly.

It is amazing, I agreed, Im glad I didnt hurt anyone this time.

Nor did I. who did you hurt last time?

I hurt Neji, I whispered painfully. Just saying has name brought to mind the look of hurt Id seen on his face a few hours earlier. My distress was evident because Gaara walked over to me.

I shouldnt have asked. Ive upset you. Imsorry, he said awkwardly. He put his arms around me and kissed me.

Holy Cow! said a voice. We broke apart and looked up to see Mei and Kankuro approaching us. Gaara and I both had to fight back the demons that had been reawakened by the kiss.

I didnt know you two were like that, Mei continued, eyes wide. Gaara didnt say anything and neither did I. He was harnessing his demon whereas I just didnt want to say anything.

Scram you two, this is our make out spot, Kankuro said with a hint of humor. Gaara took my hand suddenly, almost desperately, and led me away.

Theyre both sort of creepy, I heard Mei remark when they thought we couldnt hear them anymore.

Gaaras always been like that, Kankuro replied, I dont know what the story is behind that Chouko kid, but it cant be a good one.

When we were far enough away Gaara and I both let the demons go. Shukaku and Kouta both took control of us to have a conversation.

We could go back and kill them, Shukaku suggested.

No, Shukaku. Theyre only children. Besides, I think I am ready to go back to the village now, Kouta replied. Gaara and I both sighed in relief. Kankuro and Mei had no idea how close theyd almost come to being lunchmeat for demons.

Come on, Shukaku, Ill race you, Kouta said playfully.

When I returned to the hotel Kakashi and Neji both sat on the couch. Kakashi was bandaging a wound on Nejis back. They both surveyed me silently when I walked in.

What happened to your back? I asked, trying to sound unconcerned.

One of Orochimarus spies recognized me as a Leaf ninja and attacked. We fought. I won. The Sand ninja have him now. The only people who know are those who are in on the mission. We feel certain that the other spies dont know what happened, he informed me.

I was gone a long time wasnt I? I said wondrously.

Three hours, Kakashi provided. Without saying anything more I went to my room and shut the door.

I wonder where she went for three hours, Neji said, unaware that I was listening.

And who she was with, Kakashi added dryly.

You could have followed her.

There was a stunned silence.

Do you know what she would do to me if she caught me spying on her? Especially if she has a boyf- the word died on Kakashis lips. The intense silence that followed made me uncomfortable. I was exhausted. It felt like weeks since Id had a good nights sleep. I collapsed onto the bed with a yawn and fell asleep almost instantly.


Chapter 22 (The Special Place)

I awoke later that nightor maybe it was early the next morning, seeing as it like an hour before sunrise. I was alone in my room, apart form Isamu, but I soon found what had awakened me. Someone was knocking at my window! I made my way to the window groggily and opened the curtains. Gaara stood outside with a familiar smirk on his face. I opened the window.

Wake up, he said coolly.

I am awake. What do you want? I inquired, partially annoyed that he had interrupted my sleep.

Good. Get dressed and come with me, he said, ignoring my question.

Alright. Wait there while I get dressed.

I closed the curtains and quickly dressed in black jeans and a black T-shirt. I opened the curtains again. Gaara hadnt moved an inch. I climbed out the window and he greeted me with a breathtaking kiss.

Its difficult being away form you for so long, he murmured quietly. I blushed faintly as he took my hand and we began to walk.

How long were you outside my window? I inquired curiously.

A few hours, he admitted.

Geez, Gaara, thats kinda creepy, I said, shivering slightly.

An adjective Ive become accustomed to, he replied with a wry smile. I laughed slightly.

So where are we going? I asked as we walked towards the Gates to the Village.

A special place.

What sort of special place? I prodded.

Youll see when we get there, was his reply.

The sky was just starting to get a slightly lighter shade of purple when I saw we had come to a large plateau-type rock. Gaara climbed up and then helped me up as well. The rock was smooth, almost as if it had been weathered by salt water. Gaara sat down cross-legged, facing east. I did the same. Within moments the sun had burst over the horizon in a glorious array of all shades. We were silent as we watched in awe.

That was amazing! I said in barely more than a whisper, once the sky had turned blue.

I thought you would enjoy that, he murmured softly, Shall we go back to the village now? I wouldnt want you to get sun-burned.

I nodded my head wordlessly.

As we approached the gates a curious sight met our eyes. Two men were fleeing the village with a group of ninja chasing after them. Neji and Kakashi were amongst this group of ninja.

Those must be the spies, Gaara said tonelessly.

We should help, I said, and we took off running.

Even as we ran I saw one of the ninja grab something out of a pouch at his waist. It was a Shuriken. He tossed it at Neji and my heart stopped momentarily. Koutas strength flooded through me, unbidden, and I reached the spies within secondsbut I couldnt stop! I couldnt reign the tiger in and she reached out with her Chakra claws and grabbed the two spies. Everyone stared in transfixed horror as she squeezed the life out of the two spies then they limp and motionless on the ground. I couldnt move. My body wouldnt obey my mind. Whispers broke out among the crowd that had gathered. Neji, who had avoided the Shuriken, walked over to me with his arms outstretched. He looked so comforting, as if I could bury my face in his chest and forget about the world. But another presence behind me kept me from doing so. Gaara had caught up with me. The sand swirled around him as he slipped a possessive protective arm around my waist. Neji let his arms fall, a look of hurt confusion spread across his face.

I could hear the accusing whispers of the crowd. They talked about me and they talked about Gaara, but the one word that echoes through the crowd was the word demons. I felt Kouta stirring within me.

Gaarahelp me I whispered fearfully.

Ill get you out of here, he promised. The sand swirled around us and I felt the Earth move beneath my feet, but I stayed standing.

When I opened my eyes we were far away from the village and the crowd and the people Kouta had killedI had killed! Realization crashed over me like a wave of cold water. I was a murderer.

Chouko, are you okay? Gaara asked cautiously.

I killed, I said numbly, I murdered them.

They were bad people, he said reasonably, And you couldnt help it. As long as you dont obsess over itI think youll be okay. Learn from my mistakes.
I stared at him slowly.

Kiss me, Gaara, I murmured.

What? he asked uncertainly.

I dont want to have to think right now. Kiss me. Distract me. Some how I said desperately.

If you are certain he said, walking closer to me. His lips pressed against mine and liquid fire shot through me, replacing confusion and pain with passion and desire. My hands clutched the front of his shirt madly. His arms were wrapped around me tightly, refusing to let me go, crushing me to him. My mind was humming pleasantly, all bad thought forgottenfor now. I knew there was something dark looming in the very back of my mind, but I didnt want to face whatever it was, at least not for a few hours. I fought for dominance and won quickly, pushing Gaara to the ground. His eyes widened as my hands wandered down, away from his chest.

What? No, ChoukoI cant, he murmured, grabbing my hand.

Hmmwhy not? I asked. Every second waster talking, my mind was becoming clearer, the unwanted memory coming closer.

It would be wrong. I would be taking advantage of you, he whispered painfully.

I want this. I need this, I murmured, kissing him again. Shukaku and Kouta burst forth, lured by our passion, which intensified with their presence. They both wanted it as much as I did. Gaara was the only one who seemed reluctant and now he was having to fight Shukaku as well.

dont make me hurt you, said Kouta in her sugary sweet voice. Gaara hesitated.

Chouko? he asked anxiously.

Do it, Gaara, I whispered in his ear. I kissed him again. That was all the incentive he needed to flip me over on my back and run his hands under my shirt.

I thought you didnt want to? I teased playfully.

I never said I didnt want toevery second of every day since the first day I saw you. Youll let me know if I hurt you? IIve never done this before, he admitted quietly.

Not have Iand you could never hurt me, Gaara, I murmured. We kissed again and then the demons took over.
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  #15  
Old 02-09-2009, 03:15 AM
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Darksong Darksong is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

I'm still reading this. I have yet to read chapters past 10 XD

Even though I would imagine Neji being a bit more... serious. Everyone else's personality is perfect, though.

The title of part 2 gives me a nervous feeling, but that's just me.
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Last edited by Darksong; 02-09-2009 at 03:21 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2009, 07:54 PM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Hoorah! I actually DO have readers! Yayness! Yeah...i could never perfectly capture the essence of neji. I guess maybe this is how I would prefer him to be. anyways, here's some more fanfic...

Chapter 23 (Tangled knots)

When I returned to the Village a few hours later I didnt care that everyone was staring at me. I didnt care that my hair was messed up or my clothes were rumpled. I didnt care about anythinguntil I returned to the hotel room to find Neji laying on the couch, staring pointlessly at the ceiling. He glanced at me when I entered and took in my appearance. The look of hurt had been replaced by a look of cold indifference. I turned my face away, regretting what had just happened.

Where is Kakashi? I asked without looking at him.

No idea, he replied bitterly. I bit my lip as I went to my room.

That night when I awoke from a nightmare I was crying. I knew it wasnt a psychic vision thing, but it had still upset me. I went and knocked on Nejis door.

What? he asked irritably. The sharpness of his tone made me recoil slightly.

II h-had a nightmare, I stammered anxiously.

So go find Gaara, he retorted coldly. I retreated to my room with tears in my eyes. I stood there a moment before going into the living room where Kakashi sat on the couch, reading a novel.

Whats wrong? he asked, looking up from his book.

I had a bad dream, I murmured quietly, sitting down beside him, and Neji was really mean to me.

I dont blame him, he replied airily, you left him for Gaara.

I did not, I protested, Neji never made a move on me. Besides, Gaara and I connect. In a special way.

You sound like every other love-sick teenager in the world, Kakashi said, rolling his eyes, Its obvious to me that Neji loves you. In fact its rather sickening. I dont like to think of anyone being in love with you.

His words stunned me. Neji loved me? But hed never done or said anything!had he?

Im so confused, I said, dismayed, How do I chose between them?

Which one do you l-feel the most affection for?

I dont know.

A moment of silence passed and Kakashi sighed heavily.

I cant help you, Tsukiko. My words would only make you more confused, so Im going to take a leaf out of your book and say nothing as I disappear mysteriouslyonly youll have to do the disappearing because Im trying to read, he said with a smile. I laughed quietly.

I think Ill go for a walk. I need to clear my head and reconsider some things, I murmured quietly.

Good luck.

It was pretty late at night and the streets were practically empty as I wandered aimlessly. I didnt expect to see anyone and almost fell over when Mei simply popped out of nowhere in front of me.

Hey Chouko. Did I scare you? she asked with a grin.

Yeah, you did, I admitted.

Cool! So, what are you doing? Going to meet Gaara? she asked slyly.

NoI have a predicament and my mind is a tangled web of knots.

Talk to me. Maybe I can offer some feedback and help you to untangle some of those knots, she said brightly.

I explained my Neji/Gaara situation and Mei listened intently without interrupting. When I was finished explaining she looked thoughtful.

I think you should date Neji, she said swiftly.

Why? I asked, surprised she had come to a decision so quickly.

Because Gaara is creepy. Plus youve already had time with him. I think Neji deserves a chance. Besides, if you break up with Neji you can always come back to Gaara. Its not like hell get taken by anyone else, but Nejiwell he wont be around forever, she replied with a smile.

Wait a minute, whats that supposed to mean you little freckled hobgoblin? Youre not trying to steal Neji are you? I demanded.

No! And Im not a little hobgoblin, she protested, Im taller than you are!

Whatever, I said with a faint smile, Ill see you later, okay Hobgoblin? Ive got some more thinking to do.

Im not a Hobgoblin!

I smiled again and left her standing in the street.

I went to Gaaras sunrise place to think and by the time he got there I had made my decision. He sat down beside me and I rested my head on his shoulder sleepily.

Im sorry, Kiko, he murmured softly.

About what? I asked, startled by the sudden use of my regular name. I guess my name didnt matter now that Orochimarus spies were gone.

What happened yesterdayshouldnt have happened.

But it did and I dont regret it, I said smoothly, Now shut up and watch the sunrise with me.

I saw him smile slightly.

After the sun had risen, which was just as magnificent as ever, Gaara turned to face me.

This is going to be our last sunrise isnt it? he asked painfully, I can hear the difference in your voice. You love him.

Gaara I love you alsobut I cant be with you, I said with a pained expression.

I know. I dont want you to go butI cant stop you. Shukaku wont fight Kouta. Just knowthat II l-I love you, Kiko. And Ill always be here if you need me, he said softly.

Im sorry Gaara, I said as I stood up. He was silent as I walked towards the edge of the plateau.

Kiko? he said suddenly. I turned to face him once more.

Yes, Gaara? I inquired curiously.

Keep Neji out of dark alleys. Shukaku is not happy.

I couldnt conceal the shudder that followed, but I understood his warning. It wasnt a threat or a joke, but a simple fact. I nodded my head and left.

Neji was still locked in his room when I returned and Kakashi was asleep on the couch. I grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled a note that made me smile.

Do you like Tsukiko Akane? (Check yes or no)
Yes No


I slipped the note under Nejis door. There was a moment of silence and I heard him laugh softly. The note was slipped back out with the Yes box checked. My heart soared and I added another question.

Do you think Tsukiko Akane is an idiot for not realizing this sooner?
Yes No


I slipped the note under his door and again I heard him laugh before returning it with the yes box checked. I quickly scribbled another question.

Will you open the door so Tsukiko Akane can come in and talk to you and stop referring to herself in the third person?
Yes No


I slid it back to him and a moment passed before it was returned with the No checked. I frowned to myself and scribbled:

Why not?


A few moments passed and I heard the sound of a pen on paper before the note was returned a final time.

Because I dont have a shirt on


I laughed loudly and heard the lock click. I tried the doorknob and found it had been opened for me.

He was standing beside the door when I opened it and it was true that he didnt have a shirt on.

So you broke up with demon boy? he asked, ignoring the fact that I was looking at his muscles.

yeah I said absently, Why arent you wearing a shirt?

It was very hot last night when I went to sleep, he replied.

Did you sleep without pants on too? I asked before I could stop myself.

Once I realized what Id said I blushed and clamped a hand over my mouth. He shook his head slightly in disbelief and didnt honor me with a response.

You did, didnt you? Thats why you wouldnt let me in when I had a nightmare, I said. It was his turn to blush.

Im sorry, Kiko. I was angry. Was it just a dream?

Yes. I accept your apologyon one condition, I said, walking closer to him.

Whats your one condition? he asked without moving.

I was only inches
away now. I leaned forward and his silver eyes widened in surprise as I kissed him. He responded almost instantly, pressing me against the wall, kissing me slowly and with so much passion I thought my heart would burst! Gaara had never ever kissed me like this before! Neji used his soft hands to distract me, running them over my skin lightly. My world spun suddenly and everything went dark.

When I came around I knew immediately what had happened. I opened my eyes to see Neji standing over me, eyes shinning with concern. I could also see Kakashi standing in the corner, shaking with silent laughter.

You fainted, Neji said anxiously, am I that bad of a kisser?

No, youre good. II forgot to breathe, I admitted sheepishly. Kakashis silent laughter became audible and I shot him an irritated look.

He heard you fall, Neji explained, And when I told him what happened he started laughing and wouldnt stop.

Shut up, Kakashi! I growled venomously. He stopped laughing but continued to grin like an idiot.

Whatd I tell you about telling me to shut up, Shrimp? he asked playfully.

Dont call me Shrimp. Get out of here, now, Neji and I have things to doI just have to remember to breathe this time, I said, pointing to the door. Kakashi looked disgusted.

Well were leaving today so dont do anything too time consuming, he grunted, then left the room.

So, am I a better kisser than your Desert Rat? Neji asked me. A spasm of pain passed over my face.

Can you not talk about himplease? I asked quietly.

Of course, Kiko. Sorry, he said soothingly.

but you definitely are, I said with a smile. He smiled a smile that lit up the room- that lit up my whole world. I pressed my face into his chest as he embraced me and I knew for once that everything would be okay.
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  #17  
Old 02-09-2009, 08:08 PM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Part 3 (The Truth)
Chapter 24 (Flying)

I was struggling as I soared higher and higher towards the top of the tree where Neji stood waiting for me, encouraging me with words I had long ago tuned out. Itd been well over a month since we left the Sand Village and this wasnt the first time Id caught myself daydreaming about Gaaraif he were here Id be able to use Koutas strength without having to worry about killing my trainer. As it was, I was forced to use my regular, blue Chakra, which was strongbut not strong enough to hold me up for very long. I plummeted towards the ground. I barely managed to land on my feet before I collapsed on the ground, breathless. Neji leapt out of the tree and landed effortlessly beside me.

Thisisnotworking, I growled, panting heavily.

You went higher than yesterday, he said soothingly, and if you would only use a little bit of the demons Chakra-

No, Neji. You know I wont take that risk. Not after what happened at the Sand Village, I said shortly. We both easily recalled the day Kouta had killed the spiesand I recalled what Gaara and I had done afterwards. Neji had never spoken about that, but I was sure he knew what happened between us.

I know, Neji said with a sigh, referring to my refusal to use Koutas Chakra, Lets go get some ramen. You look famished.

I nodded my head and smiled gratefully as he helped me to my feet.

We walked down the street towards the ramen bar holding hands. We hadnt done anything to hide the fact that we were now officially a couple. Most people knew it. I think even the Hokage was aware of it. The only one who really gave us grief about it was-

Naruto, Neji sighed as we approached the Ramen Bar and saw the hyperactive little runt sitting there stuffing his face, along with Shikamaru and Sakura.

We can always slip past him, I murmured, but it was too late. Wed been spotted.

Hey Kiko. Hey Neji, Naruto said with a grin. We sighed and braced ourselves for Narutos annoyingness.

Nejis got a girlfriend. Nejis got a girlfriend. Nejis got a girlfriend. Nejis got a girlfriend! Naruto chanted gleefully. Neji nodded to me briefly and I gathered Chakra in my fist.

Hey, Naruto- I said, interrupting his chant.

Huh?

WHAM! I punched him in the face and he went flying off his stool.

Nice punch, Kiko, Shikamaru complimented.

Thanks Shika, I said with a smile.

Yeah, even I cant punch that good. Hell be out cold for a week, Sakura commented, grinning.

Well it is Naruto, I said with a sigh, Hell probably be up and running around again in an hour or sobut I dont plan to stick around that long.

Shouldve punched him in the kidneys, Neji remarked as he moved Narutos unconscious body out of the way and sat down.

well I wouldnt want to cause any lasting damage. Its always best to hit him in the head. He cant get anymore brain-damaged than he already is, I said. Neji laughed and so did Shikamaru and Sakura. I smiled, pleased with myself, and proceeded to eat Narutos ramen.

A few minutes later I heard a familiar sound of approaching footsteps and turned to see Kakashi walked towards me. He glanced down at Naruto and raised an eyebrow at me.

That looks like your handy work, Tsukiko. Whatd you knock my student out for? he inquired.

He was being an annoying little pest. He better be glad I was exhausted from training to punch him too hard, I muttered.

Oh. Well I have a mission to go on and I thought Id let you know I wont be home tonight, Kakashi informed me, then he walked towards the door.

Hold it! Where are you going? Who are you going with? How long will you be gone? I demanded.

Ill only be gone a few days, Tsukiko, he said, rolling his eyes, and Im going to Kirigakure.

Kirigakure?! I yelped, As in the last known location of Orochimaru? And youre going alone?

Well yeah. I am an adult, Tsukiko, and Im qualified to go on S-Rank missions. Besides, its been months since you set Orochimaru on a false trail. Ill be fine, he insisted, So stop worryingand dont throw any wild parties while Im gone.

If you get kidnapped again, I am so not coming to save you, I said, annoyed by his airy attitude. He shook his head skeptically and left without saying anything that his usual Later gator to me.

You know what this means? I asked slowly, turning to Neji.

Party at Kikos house, said a groggy Naruto, who was starting to wake up.

Shut up, I growled at him.

It means youre about to drag me off to the Hokages office, bust down a few doors, and knock her into next week? Neji guessed with a hint of a smile.

You know me so well, I said fondly, Lets go.

When we reached the Hokages office her assistant, Shizune, refused to let us in.

Im sorry Tsukiko, but the Hokage isnt seeing anyone right now. Shes in a meeting. If you like I could give her a message when she becomes available- she started. I was having flashbacks of a younger me, always blockaded by Shizune when I wanted to talk to Tsunade. I cut her off mid-sentence.

Yeah you can tell her thanks for sending Kakashi on a suicide mission! I shouted.

Shizune recoiled slightly. Chakra was flaring from all of my Chakra points. It wasnt my normal, blue Chakrait was the light orange Chakra of Kouta. Neji reached out a hand to calm me. I think Kouta would have killed him right thenif Tsunades door hadnt opened. My body became immobile and I was forced into a state of calm tranquility. Tsunade had used her paralysis Jutsu on me and for once I was grateful.

Ill have to ask you not to attack my assistant, Kiko, Tsunade said. I opened my mouth to say sorry, but shut it again promptly. No way I was apologizing to Tsunade! Instead I looked to Shizune.

Forgive me, Shizune. I lost my temper, I said, then turned to Tsunade again, eyes blazing, You. I want to talk to you.

I surmised as much, she said, eyes twinkling slightly, I assume this is about Kakashis mission?

Anger flared in me again at her cool attitude.

You know damn well- I started and she immobilized me again.

If you cant remain calm then I wont be able to talk to you immediately. Now, come with me Kiko. Neji, you can stay here, Tsunade said. Neji looked at me hesitantly and I nodded briefly.

Stay here. Ill be fine, I assured him with a note of authority in my voice. He looked relieved not to have to defy an order from the Hokage and he sat down.

I do have a guest, but he wont mind the interruption, she said as she opened the door to her office. Curious, I walked inside to see that her guest was actually Jiraiya, the Pervy Toad Sage. His eyes lit up when I entered the room and he sat up a little straighter in his chair.

Tsukiko Akane, he said, nodding his head to me.

Jiraiyayou know my name? I murmured.

Of course I do. I was there when you and the Hyuuga kid rescued Kakashi Hatake from Orochimaru. I havent seen you since Tsunade carried you past me into the hospital.

So it had been Tsunade who had caught me when I fainted. I had wondered about thatstill, hearing Kakashis name reminded me of why I as here. I turned to Tsunade who had taken a seat in her Hokage chair.

So why did you send Kakashi alone to Kirigkaure? Isnt that the last place Orochimaru was known to be? I asked, forcing my voice to be calm. I couldnt help but notice that when I did this my voice adopted the sharp, authoritious tone that had become second nature to me when I wanted results.

Actually the last known hiding place of Orochimaru was a much smaller village about a 100 miles West of Kirigakure, Jiraiya informed me. It was then that I remembered that finding Orochimaru was his job.

But wont he go after Kakashi or send one of hishis pawns after him? I persisted.

Tsunade and Jiraiya exchanged guarded glances before looking back at me.

You have to understand Orochimarus nature before you understand that the danger to Kakashi is minimal, Tsunade said.

Orochimaru has probably lost interest in Kakashi, for now, because he no longer thinks you are in the village. Orochimaru wants your power, not your old Sensei, Jiraiya explained.

Mypower? I asked blankly.

The five-tailed demon, he replied patiently, See, Orochimaru is a power-hungry freak. He wants all of the demons for his own.

Then why give me Kouta in the first place? Why not keep her for himself? I inquired, confused.

The demon needed a human host immediately and he wasnt ready for it. He thought that by placing it in you he would always have access to it. He didnt count on us getting you back, Jiraiya said with a triumphant smile.

But why me? I demanded, frustrated, I dont understand why he chose me. Im not special in any way. I mean, without Kouta Im just an orphan who can summon snakes.

They both froze as if they realized something.

You can summon snakes? Jiraiya asked wondrously.

Yes. would you like to see? I offered. He nodded his head briefly and I stood up.

Chapter 25 (Saromi and Jiraiya)

Feeling slightly anxious as they both stared intently at me, I took my stance, formed the hand seals, and summoned Saromi for them. Saromi looked around the room and his eyes fell on Jiraiya. The snake hissed loudly and the Toad Sage stiffened.

Saromi, Jiraiya said coolly.

Jiraiyaall these years and I still havent gotten the taste of your little toad butt out of my fangs, Saromi hissed. I looked curiously at Jiraiya.

You know my snake? I asked and then turned to Saromi, And you bit him on the butt?

My last Master didnt like me very much. But he thought it would be amusing to wake Jiraiya up with a snake bite, Saromi explained.

Yeah, hilarious, Jiraiya grumbled, Really witty.

Who was your last master? I asked Saromi.

Thats Top Secret, said Saromi, Jiraiya, and Tsunade. I frowned, annoyed that I had been so openly stonewalled.

If you dont actually need me for anything, Tsukiko Akane, theres a particularly juicy rat I was trying to devour, said Saromi.

No but all means. Return to your meal, I said, openly revolted. The snake flicked his tongue out at me and retreated.

A silence followed Saromis departure in which I was able to ponder what I had leanred about Orochimaru. Kakashi wasnt in any dangerand here I sat with two of the three most powerful ninja in the world, The Legendary Sanin, the third of which was Orochimaru.

Youre both Sanin, arent you? I asked, though I didnt need any confirmation.

Yep, said Jiraiya, grinning.

And you both grew up with Orochimaru, didnt you? I inquired. Tsunades face darkened.

Yes, she said heavily. A moment passed.

Then I trust your judgment on the matter. When you say Kakashi isnt in any direct danger, I believe you, I said and I stood to leave.

Its been a pleasure seeing you again, Tsukiko, Jiraiya said.

Master Jiraiya, I said, nodding my head in acknowledgement.

And might I add youve turned into quite a beautiful young woman, he added, Just like your mother.

Thank you, I said somberly. As I closed the door behind me I heard
Tsunade say Youre such a pervert Jiraiya.

I smiled faintly as I walked out of her office to find Neji waiting for me.

Well, looks like that went well, Neji commented as we left.

Yeah I guess so. So, where are we going? I asked curiously.

Its getting late and I thought Id walk you home, he said smoothly.

I dont want to go home. Itll be all empty and lonely, I grumbled.

I can always stay with you. if you want me to, that is, he offered quickly.

sure I said with a faint smile.

Back at my house we sat on the couch watching TV. Neji had his arm around me and I was resting my han don his leg. I smiled to myself and began to brush his leg gently with my fingertips, tickling him. He looked down at me curiously and I continued to tease him playfully.

Something deep within me stirred and I drew away almost instantly.

Whats wrong, Kiko? Neji asked me, his voice slightly higher than usual.

I cant do this, I said sadly.

Why not?

Because the tiger-demon gets excited when I do. I think she would hurt you, I said quietly. He stared at me silently.

Who-Gaara?! he demanded. I nodded my head sadly.

You and Gaarayouwith Gaara he stammered disbelievingly.

I thought you knew, I said, astonished.

No way! I never thought you two had gotten thatintimate, he said through clenched teeth.

Im sorry, I whispered, inching away from him, Youve every right to be angry with me.

NoKiko, Im not angry with you. As much as itdispleases me. You werent with me then so I have no right to say anything. Come back and sit beside me.

I did so and he put his arm around me once more and we continued to watch TV.

The next morning when I awoke Neji was sleeping peacefully beside me. We hadnt done anything more than spoon the entire night. Still I was feeling utterly peaceful with his arms wrapped around methat is, until I heard someone knocking on my front door. Neji rolled over groggily and opened one eye.

Who has a hammer? he murmured.

Someones knocking on the door. Ill be right back, I assured him. I kissed his lips lightly before going to see who had awakened us.

I opened the door feeling rather annoyed that my morning with Neji ad already been interrupted. My mood didnt improve when I saw it was the pink-haired Sakura at my front door.

Good morning Kiko. The Hokage wants to see you in her office ASAP. Neji, too, but Hiashi said he didnt come home last night. Any idea where he might be? she asked with a faint smile.

Erhes here. Thanks for the message. Later Sakura, I said, quickly shutting the door before she could make any comments.

That wasnt very nice, Neji said, coming out of my room.

Its just Sakura. Shell get over it. The Hokage wants us ASAPalthough I dont know why Tsunade thinks I would obey her summons after she stonewalled me so many times yesterday, I grumbled.

What if somethings happened to Kakashi? Neji said worriedly.
He hasnt been gone that longbut lets go just in case, I said slowly. Neji nodded in agreement and we left almost immediately.

Chapter 26 (Polar Tanning and Secrets)

When we entered Tsunades office both she and Jiraiya were sitting in there waiting for us.

Whats with the ASAP? Did something happen to Kakashi? I demanded immediately.

No, nothing like that at all. I have a mission for you. Both of you, Tsunade said with a faint smile.

What sort of mission? I asked warily.

I want you and Neji to go with Jiraiya to the Land of Waves. Not to Kirigakure, however, but to an island called Miashi. Miashi is the lands main port for all ships importing and exporting goods within the country. Recently theyve been having some trouble with pirates. Since Kirigakure has been having its own problems, the Chief of the Island, who is a personal friend of mine, asked me to lend him a hand, Tsunade explained. I looked at Jiraiya curiously.

I didnt think you went on missions that arent Orochimaru-related? I said suspiciously.

Well, I was heading that way anyway for research for my next book. Its rather cold there and snows a lot. You know what that means? he asked excitedly.

What? asked the three of us cautiously.

Polar Tanning! he replied, practically drooling at the thought. I frowned disapprovingly. Neji and Tsunade both raised a curious eyebrow.

Polar tanning is nude winter sunbathing, I explained to them and to Jiraiya said, You really are an old pervert Jiraiya!

I know, he said with a malicious grin.

Now, lets get a few things straightened out before you go. Tsukiko, as always your name isnt safe outside the village so youll have to revert to Chouko, said the Hokage.

Right, I said with a sigh.

Jiraiya you keep your eyes on the road, okay? No peeping at every girl you see! If I hear even a whisper of complain about your wandering eyeswell, Im sure you remember what happened the last time I caught you peeping, she said pleasantly.

Mm-hmm, Jiraiya said, wincing slightly.

What happened? I asked curiously.

Tsunade got all pissed because I was looking in her windowshe broke both of my arms, six of my ribs, and ruptured several internal organs. I was hospitalized for over a week, Jiraiya answered.

Ouch! I said, looking at the Hokage with a mixture of wonder and impressiveness.

Well at least he learned his lesson about spying on me, Tsunade said with a satisfied smile, I think we should send another ninja with you three. Any suggestions, Neji?

Well, if the stories about Master Jiraiya are true, we shouldnt let it be a girl, Neji said slowly.

Oh absolutely, Tsunade agreed, definitely one of the boys. Youll have a hard enough time keeping him away from Kiko.

Aw, why do you insist on treating me like a dirty old man? Jiraiya whinned.

Because you are a dirty old man! Tsunade and I said simultaneously. We looked at each other, surprised, and I scowled slightly. Jiraiya laughed loudly and I shot him an evil glance.

Why not take Naruto? Tsunade suggested.

When hell freezes over, I muttered darkly.

I agree with Kiko. Narutos got the stamina most ninja would die for, but when it comes to brains hes got the short end of the stick, Jiraiya remarked.

What about Shino? Neji put forth.

No way! Shino is weird, I said with a grimace. Shino was a boy who had bugs living inside of him that he could control.

HmmmWhat about Shikamaru Nara? Tsunade inquired.

He and Kiko are polar opposites. Hes a strategist whereas her actions are purely instinctual. Theyd drive each other nuts, Neji remarked.

I can work with Shika, I argued, He and I are sort of friends. .he hates work though.

Hell get over it, Tsunade said shortly, and itll do him good to get off his lazy butt and gt active. Shikamaru it is, then. Ill have him sent in. The three of you can go prepare for your departure.

Yes, Hokage, Neji and I said obediently. We left, leaving Jiraiya sitting there with a stupid grin on his face as he leaned over the desk to talk to her. When Neji shut the door I motioned for him to be silent and I pressed my ear to the doorknob.

-no need to tell her anything she doesnt need to know, got it? Tsunade was saying.

She has to find out sooner or later, I heard Jiraiya reply.

And you most certainly are not the person to tell her itll have to be me, I suppose. She already hates me, Tsunade replied with a sigh.

Oh come on. She doesnt hate you. Shes justnot very fond of you. You are a difficult person to get along with.

Oh shut up Jiraiya.

Hehehe. So when do you plan on telling her? he asked, his tone serious once again.

Her sixteenth birthday. Its only a month away. I think Orochimaru will go after her again then.

Butthenis it safe for her to leave the village? I would think you would try to keep her as close as possible until then.

Lady Tsunade laughed dryly.

You dont know her as well as I do. She will always find a way to keep busy. No one tells her what to do, she told Jiraiya.

Sounds familiar, he said with a light laugh.

Yeah I know. Also, shell be with you. Orochimaru wouldnt dare

Wouldnt the ANBU Black Opps be better qualified?

You dont think shed notice if creepy guys in masks were following her around? Besides, so far this mission has been given to those whom I trust the most. That number has been shortened because of it. You are one of the ones I still trust, Jiraiya.

Neji pulled me away from the door urgently and a few seconds later Shizune came around the corner. She smiled at us briefly before we left, walking out the front door.

You shouldnt eavesdrop, Kiko, its rude, Neji said lightly.

Well talking about people is rude, too, I argued, and it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out they were talking about me.

Neji and I met up with Jiraiya and Shikamaru an hour later at the gate to the Village Hidden in the Leaves.

Oh man, Kiko, this is such drag. Whyd you have to bring me into this? Shika groaned.

Because we needed another ninja and youre the only one in this village who doesnt totally suck, I said coolly, Now quit your whining Shikamaru!

He groaned again, but followed us out of the gate.

Itll take us a day of walking to reach the harbor. Tonight at sunset a ship leaves that goes to Miashi Island and we had better be on it. The next ship doesnt leave for three days! Jiraiya said as we walked.

Hey Master Jiraiya, whatd Old Lady Tsunade mean when she said the Head of the Island was an old friend of hers? I asked slowly. Jiraiya laughed loudly.

I have no idea, he said brightly, but I sure hope its a lady!

I rolled my eyes and scoffed at him.

Wed get along so well if you werent such an old pervert, I said pointedly.

Im not old, Im just experienced! he declared.

Great, an experienced pervert, I said, rolling my eyes again, How old are you anyway?

Fifty-two and proud of it, he replied, The same age as old Tsunade.

And yet she looks so much younger. Its got to suck being the only one of your old squad who actually looks over the age of thirty.

Well, I never cared much about outward appearances. I am a hermit after all. I live on a mountain, all alone. Just the way I like it! He decreed.

No one to peep on, I pointed out.

Yeah, thats been a major setback, he said gloomily.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:27 PM
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HisGothicTwilightPrincess HisGothicTwilightPrincess is offline
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Chapter 27 (Jiraiya is helpful)

We reached the harbor late that afternoon and we barely had time to scramble onto the ship before it took off.

Why is the ship leaving at nighttime? I asked the deckhand who was leading me to my cabin.

The captain hopes to avoid pirates. All the other cargo ships have been attacked as soon as they get in sight of the island. By leaving tonight the captain ensures it will be tomorrow night when we reach the island, the man explained. He talked admirably of his captain so I didnt bother to say I was skeptical about this plan.

Ah, here we are. Its a small room but at least youll have it to yourself. Dinner will be ready shortly. I assume youll want to eat with you companions? he inquired.

Yes, I said with a brief nod.

Then you can dine in Master Jiraiyas room. Ill be back to show you where it is once you settle in, he said.

Thank you.

The room was small, but in a cozy sort of way. There was a small bed that was obviously not supposed to be comfortable, as well as a small table and dresser. Probably the best part was the small round window which I could look out and see the ocean.

When the deckhand led me to Jiraiyas room a little while later Neji and Shika were already there. They sat around a table eating rice and dumplings. Jiraiya was moping.

Whats wrong with you? I asked the sage.

There are no girls on this ship besides you, he wailed.

We havent even been here and hour, how could you possibly know Im the only girl here? I inquired, rolling my eyes.

I talked to the captain and he made a point of saying he admired your bravery. All the girls in their village were either too scared to come or had been forced to stay behind by their over-protective fathers or boyfriends for their own safety.

Bravery has nothing to do with it. Im an orphan, so theres no father to stop meand Neji would have to be nuts to think he could stop me. Im just really looking forward to kicking some pirate butt, I replied hotly. Neji smiled faintly and shook his head.

I dunno about the orphan part- Kakashi mightve stopped you if he couldve gotten away with it, Neji said to me.

No way. If I cant stop him from going on a mission, then he cant stop me, I declared, feeling my anger rise, and besides- He wasnt even there! If he wanted to keep me safe he shouldve taken me with him to Kirigakure!

Tsunade wouldnt have let him. As a matter of fact, he asked her. Shes pretty hard-pressed to keep you safe as well, Jiraiya inputted, drawn from his moping by my rising annoyance.

God thats annoying. I dont need protecting! and since when does Tsunade give a crap about me anyway? The first fifteen years of my life she barely even knew I existed and all of a sudden she cares enough to keep me away from Kirigakure?

No one said anything. Neji was at a loss for words. Shikamaru was ignoring me. Jiraiya said nothing, but surveyed me quietly with a small frown on his face.

Im going to bed, I grumbled, and marched out the door without saying another word.

That night I had a dream and for the first time in my life I didnt know if it was just a dream...or a vision. I feared the latter.

Orochimarus face shone out from the surrounding darkness. His gold eyes glittered coldly and seemed to be peering into my very soul. He licked his lips maliciously.
Will you join me or will I have to kill you? he asked me, Consider your answer well, my child.


I awoke in a cold sweat, petrified that what I had seen may be real. The room felt stuffy and I couldnt breathe. I made my way to the Top Deck and hung my head over the rail. For a moment I thought I might puke, but the feeling soon faded.

Are you okay? someone asked. I turned to see Jiraiya walking towards me.

Just peachy, I said, shaking slightly, W-what are you doing up here? Spying on mermaids?

He didnt even crack a smile, but continued to look concerned.

Whats wrong, Kiko? Youre pale and shaking, he said quietly.

Ihad a nightmare, thats all. It just creeped me out a little bit, I muttered.
HmmTsunade tells me your dreams are sometimes more than what they seem. Was it a dream of that nature?

Im not sure, I admitted shamefacedly, Usually I can tell the difference, but

Maybe you should tell me about it.

After I recounted the dream Jiraiya said nothing. I couldnt help but notice that he seemed a little paler as well. We both leaned against the rail and stared out over the water.

What was Orochimaru likewhen he was young? I asked Jiraiya. He looked at me surveying for a moment before answering.

He was a completely different person. He was always polite and a hard-worker. Sarutobi-sensei thought that Orochimaru could take his place as Hokage one day, he said with a sigh.

What happened to make the 3rd Hokage change his mind? I inquired.

Orochimaru wanted to be Hokage for the wrong reasons. He wanted power. He began meddling in thingsforbidden jutsu

So he wasnt always bad?

Some people think not, butsomething about him just wasnt right. When his parents died he began to study revival jutsu. When he killed the third Hokage during the Chunin exams, it was revealed that he had progressed far. He resurrected the first and second Hokage and used them to battle the third. According to the ANBU who witnessed it, he almost resurrected the fourth, but Sarutobi stopped him, Jiraiya said quietly. I shuddered visibly. So Orochimaru had been an orphanjust like me.

I shouldnt be telling you this, Jiraiya said suddenly, turning back to face the ocean.

I was just curiouswhat about Tsunade? What was she like? I asked eagerly.

Brilliant, out-going, strong-willed, and independent. No one told her what to do, not even Sarutobi-sensei. we used to call her flat-chested Tsunade, he said, laughing at the memory. I laughed as well.

Hard to imagine a flat-chested Tsunade, I remarked, but surprisingly easy to imagine a young Orochimaru. What were you like?

Lazy, arrogant, and pig-headed, he said, grinning.

Havent changed much, then? I teased lightly. He shook his head and laughed.

So, I couldnt figure out who you were mad at earlier- Tsunade or Kakashi? he asked me. I clenched my teeth.

Definitely Tsunade.

Why?

She purposely ignored me when she became Hokage. She wouldnt speak to me or look at me. Any missions I got came through Kakashi. Then when I found out about the five-tailed tiger demon, Tsunade started to pay attention to me. I guess because now that I know about Kouta, Orochimaru wants to get me, and she doesnt want to risk an attack on the village or whatever, I told him.

Tsunade just wants to protect you, he argued.

Well shes doing a hell of a job, isnt she? I retorted, I was captured by Orochimaru and I escaped using my own wit and intelligence. Yeah I got injured, but Im smarter and more cautious because of it. If she had listened to me I couldve led an entire team of Shinobi to where Orochimaru held Kakashi captive. We couldve rescued Kakashi and killed Orochimaru.
Jiraiya was speechless for a moment.

I dont know exactly why Tsunade doesnt listen to you, but bear in mind that she sent an entire team of Shinobi after you. Which consisted of some of the best medical ninja Konohagakure has to offer. In fact it drove her nuts not being able to go after you, he informed me.

Why didnt she go if she was so eager? I demanded.

Because I wouldnt let her go and leave the Village defenseless, he retorted, and even then she insisted on waiting at the Gate for them to bring you all back.

Why? Why am I so important all of a sudden?

I cant tell you that!

I blew out a sigh. I was too tired to fight right now.

Of course you cant, I said coolly, then I yawned loudly.

You really should get some sleep, he encouraged, I have a bad feeling about tomorrow night.

Alright. I think Ill be able to sleep nowit was just a dream after all. Thank you for talking with me, Master Jiraiya. Youve helped put my mind at ease, I said, giving him a hug. He cleared his throat and pushed me away awkwardly.

No problem, Kidnot scram, he said gruffly, but I could see he was blushing. I laughed loudly.

Good night, Jiraiya, I said, shaking my head as I walked towards the stairs.

Chapter 28 (Orochimarus Revelation)

The next afternoon the island came into view. Neji, Jiraiya, and myself were on the top deck. Shikamaru was somewhere below, taking a nap. I was beginning to wonder why wed even brought him along in the first place.

Weve got to be alert now, Neji said quietly, squeezing my hand.

Haha! Vigilance is my middle name! Jiraiya said haughtily. A few seconds later the look out gave a shout.

Ship approaching from the North East! the man cried. We all turned towards the rear of the boat and saw three ships approaching fast.

You were saying, Jiraiya? I asked tauntingly.

Shut up and go wake Shikamaru. Weve got trouble, he said, frowning.

I hurried below deck as fast as I could. I found Shikamarus room and burst in.

Wake up, Shikamaru! I said loudly. He lifted his head and opened one eye sleepily.

Kikoyou should knock, first, you know?

Theres no time for that! Get your ass in gear, weve got pirates coming up big time! I said. He got up immediately and we raced back towards the Top Deck.

Oh man, this is such a drag, he muttered.

By the time we reached the Top Deck the ships were upon us.

Theres no running from this onewere going to have to fight, said a man who must have been the captain.

The Toad Mountain Sage never runs from a fight! Jiraiya declared. His enthusiasm was contagious and when the pirates began to board the ship I knocked three of them overboard with a single punch.

Lets rid Miashi Island of its pirate problem once and for all! I said eagerly.


A little while later, however, I was anything but enthusiastic. Neji and I were together on one of the ships, fighting our butts off, but the enemy gave no sign of retreating.

We have to make our way to the center of the ship and take out the captain, Neji said to me as he quickly landed three blows to his current opponent, its the only chance we have of defeating these scumbags.

Alright. We can do it, I said quickly.

It didnt take us long to fight our way to the center of the boat and when we did we found a grisly man standing there waiting for us. He had an eye patch, a wooden leg, and a grimy gray beard.

Whats this? Two ninja, just to fight little old Natomi? the pirate murmured, well, luck for them it is a fair fight!

Neji and I both ducked as the pirate whose name was Natomi threw a ball of energy in our direction. I tried to get close enough to punch him, but he kept throwing those damn energy balls, making me duck out of the way. Neji was also good at close combat, but couldnt get close enough to hit him with the Gentle Fist technique. He was able to block the energy balls or dodge them because he could predict their patterns with his Byakugan. Every time one of them flew at me, however, I either had to flare Chakra from all of my Chakra points to keep it form hitting me, and I could feel my power quickly draining.

Couldnt you use your Eight-Trigram Palm-thingy? I asked Neji as I dodged another energy ball.

I cant- youre in range and it would hit you, too! he called back.

At that moment, when Nejis attention was focused on me, Natomi shot a particularly large energy ball towards him and hit him dead in the stomach! Neji went flying backwards. This distracted the pirate long enough for me to rush at him, both my fists blazing with Chakra. I punched the gleeful pirate dead in the stomach and he crumpled to the ground. I turned to face Neji, expecting a cheerful congratulations, but he was still on the ground and he wasnt moving.

N-Neji? I murmured, sinking to the ground at his side. His eyes were half-closed and he was gritting his teeth.

That was really powerful, he said painfully. He was clutching his stomach. I pushed his hands away and gently lifted his shirt to see a large, purple bruise.

Ooh, that does look bad, I said, biting my lip anxiously.

Ill be okay. Ive had a lot worse injuries than thisI just need to rest for a moment
His eyes closed.

I sat there a few minutes, then heard a faint rustling sound. Before I could react I felt the coldness of a steel blade press against my throat.

Give me one good reason why I shouldnt slit your throat right now, Chouko Aimi, said the voice of Orochimaru. I frozethen my brain kicked into overdrive. I didnt have time to think of a good lie. The only way I was walking out of there alive is if I told him what he wanted to hear. My heart was pounding, but I forced my voice not to shake.

Because I am not Chouko Aimimy name is Tsukiko Akane, I said slowly. I felt the blade drop and I had already turned to face him when Orochimaru grabbed me with a shadow possession jutsu, freezing my body.

How do I know youre telling the truth? he demanded.

Because it is I who possess the five-tailed tiger demon, Kouta, whom you placed inside of me when I was two years old.

Y-you are Tsukiko. That is the only way you would know that name. You are Tsukiko Akane. You are my daughter.

Chapter 29 (More Revelations)

My mind froze along with the rest of my body. Had he really just said what I thought he said?

D-daughter? I repeated blankly.

AhI see Tsunade never told you about your heritage. Tell me, child- up until this point whom did you believe to be your parents? he asked with an evil smile.

Yuki and Kasumi Akane, I replied slowly, the ones you killed!

Oh dear. You do hold a grudge dont you? Well I suppose I cant blame youall the lies youve been told over the years.

Its not a lie! I know you killed them. I saw it in a dream.

Im not denying I killed them, its just that I had a very good reason. Everything you know is about to change, Tsukikoand how fitting that I should be the one to bring on this wave of change. But for the time being, what say we get off this ship and travel to my own village, Otogakure? Your choice is really quite simple. Youre curious and I hold the answers to all your questions and I will never withhold that information. I can make you a princess, give you anything you want. Youll have power beyond your wildest dreams he said eagerly. I looked at him, eyes blazing. I was filled with confusion and uncertainty, but for now my main concern was safety- not for myself, but for Neji, Jiraiya, Shikamaru, and all the islanders.

If I go with you, will the pirates stop attacking the ships around Miashi Island? I asked him.

If that is what you want. I will draw them away- youve all but incapacitated their leader anyway, he replied, nodding to the pirate.

And my friends? Youll leave them be?

Yes. They could come, too, if you like.

No! I said. This was dangerous enough for me, no way I was dragging them into it as well.

Ill go with you, but my friends will not, I said strongly. Orochimaru inclined his head.

Alright. Come with me to the main ship. Is there anything you need me to retrieve from the supply ship you were on?

Just my backpack, I murmured, Its in a small room below deck.

As he led me out of the room I turned just once to see Neji raise his head groggily. Filled with sorrow, I mouthed the words I love you to him before I was whisked away.

Orochimaru led me, keeping me carefully under Shadow-possession Jutsu, just in case, to the biggest ship of the three. The one which Jiraiya was supposed to be attacking. He led me to a room larger than the one on the supply ship.

You stay here and Ill be back for you in a little while. Dont try anything funny or Ill be sure to kill your friends, he said lightly. With a soft, uncharacteristic giggle, he left the room, locking the door behind him.

I collapsed onto the bed, which was surprisingly soft. My mind was spinning with unanswered questions. Was Orochimaru really my father? If so, who was my mother? I was tired and I would have gone to sleep, but I wanted answers.

Almost an hour had passed before Orochimaru returned to me, my backpack in hand. By then the boat we were on had begun to move and we were on our way. He shut the door behind him and sat down at the writing desk in the corner. He surveyed me silently for a moment and then smiled faintly.

So, what are your questions? he asked me.

Well, first and foremost-.if youre my father, thenwho is my mother? I asked shakily.

AhIm not sure youll like the answer.

I can handle it, I said certainly.

Your mother isLady Tsunade.

I stared at him uncomprehendingly for a minute.

Wh-wha-? How is that possible? I stammered. He raised an eyebrow at me.

Surely you know how its possible? he said with an amused smile. I blushed.

I dont even want to think about that! I just meanthow can she be my mother? She hates me! I exclaimed.

Well, I dont know anything about that, but I know shes your mother. Trust me, I was there, he replied with a smirk. I shook my head in disbelief.

Any more questions? he inquired.

Why have you been trying to find me?

Well thats simple enough- youre my daughter. You belong as much to me as you do Tsunade. Shes been hiding you from me. There must be a reason. I want to know what you can do. What makes you special, my little Tsukiko?

I can think of two things.

Do tell, he encouraged.

WellI can summon snakes.

Really? Show me.

I got to my feet shakily, sliced my palm with one of my fang teeth, formed the hand seals, and pressed my palm to the ground.

Summoning Jutsu! I said loudly. Saromi appeared in a puff of smoke and observed me lazily.

Tsukiko Akane, what-? Oh, Saromi hissed. His eyes found Orochimaru, not with malice, but with a curious indifference.

Saromilong time no see, Orochimaru said with a grin.

Whose fault is that, Orochimaru-sama, replied the snake, I assume you told her everything?

Were getting there. You see, Tsukiko, I can summon snakes as well. In fact, I left the Summoning Scroll for you. How did you find it?

I saw it in a dream. That is the second thing that makes me special. I sometimes dream things that have already happened or will happen in the future. Im sort of psychic, I suppose, I murmured quietly.

Ah, I see, he said, eyes wide. Saromi hissed and twisted himself around my ankles.

Just a suggestion, Orochimaru-sama, but perhaps you should let Kiko rest? She looks exhausted. I think youre giving her too much to process at once, Saromi said.

Of course. Tsukiko you need rest. Oh and heres your bag, Orochimaru said, tossing me my bag.

Thanks, I said quietly. He smiled briefly before leaving. Saromi slithered onto my lap and twisted himself around my arm.

Are you nuts Tsukiko Akane? What are you doing with him? Youre going to get yourself killed, the snake hissed.

Hes my father, I said defensively.

Yeah? Well my father choked to death on a sewer rat! I learned from his mistakes. You should learn from your fathers as well. Hes a bad person. Stay away from him, he retorted.

Shut up, Saromi. I didnt ask your input. Scram, I growled.

Not unless thats an order. Im staying right here to make sure you dont get yourself killed, he snapped.

Suit yourself.

I laid down on my bed and closed my eyes defiantly. I felt Saromi slither onto the pillow next to me. As I began to drift off to sleep I wondered if Neji and the others were okay
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Chapter 30 (The Death of a Teacher)

That night I dreamt again. I saw Orochimaru standing in the center of a large room. A white-haired man was kneeling before him.

Back from Kirigakure so soon, Kabuto? Orochimaru inquired.

Yes, Lord Orochimaru. Kakashi Hatakeis dead, the man replied.

Pity. I had hoped to pit my daughter against him. It would have done her good to kill her old sensei, like I did mine.

Forgive me, said the man who was Kabuto.

It could not be helpedstill, she needs a goal for when we begin her trainingshe can fight you, Orochimaru said lazily. Kabuto looked momentarily frightened, but quickly bowed his head.

As you wish.


I awoke with a start. The room was dimly lit by a single candle on my bedside table. Beyond the light of the candle I could see Orochimaru sitting in a chair, watching me. His golden eyes glinted interestedly, sending chills up my spine.

Do you always dream soviolently? he inquired softly.

Huh?

You were thrashing around in your sleep, Saromi provided from the floor where he was laying, You knocked me off.

Im sorry, I mumbled, I must have been having a nightmare.

I was refusing to think about what I had just seen. I was waiting until Orochimaru was gone. Waiting- no, postponing the time until I could deal with it. I couldnt deal with it just yet.

Never say youre sorry, Tsukiko, Orochimaru said firmly, Its a sign of weakness.

I searched my brain for a response that would make our conversation last longer. It was difficult because my brain had gone numb as a defense mechanism.

Wouldnt it take real strength to apologize? Strength of mindstrength of character? I inquired.

Touchbut no. That is the sort of mindset harbored by weak people who refuse to admit they are weak, he replied.

Good answerbut are those weak people or just good people?

The way I define and comprehend goodness, all good people are weak, but not all weak people are good.

Whats your definition of goodness then?

Good people are those who oppose me. I guess that makes me bad, he said with a faint laugh.

I see

And what about you, little Kiko? How do you comprehend goodness? Enthrall me, please.

Goodnesswell, good people are those who have something worth fighting for, I think, I said slowly.

What you speak of is love. You think to be good, you have to loveI agree with your assessmentbut is love a weakness?

No, I said confidently.

No? he asked, seemingly surprised.

Its not a weakness. To have someone you care so much about that you would put your life on the line for them, do anything to protect them,even die for them. It can be used against you, but its never a weakness. Youre more likely to defeat a person who has never known love. That is a weak person, indeed, I replied with certainty.

Orochimaru stared at me with a somewhat mystified expression. Then he got to his feet and headed towards the door.

I disagree with some of your logic, but I enjoyed talking with you Tsukiko. You have given me something to think about it. Good nightand I hope you dont have anymore nightmares, he said to me. I inclined my head in thanks and he left.

As soon as he was gone I laid my head down on the pillow and began to weep as all the memory of my vision came back to me. Kakashi was dead. Kakashi who had loved me. Kakashi who had raised me since Yuki died. Kakashi who always made sure I ate my vegetables and brushed my teeth. Kakashi with whom I had played and had tickle fights. Kakashi who knew how to make me smile, even when I felt alone and unloved, he was always therebut no more. No more sarcastic, joking humor. No more Kakashi, always late, always reading one of those perverted novels.

I let out a strangled sob as Saromi slithered from the floor to the bed and sat beside my head.

Whats wrong with you? demanded the snake. I didnt want to say it aloud, to make it final in that way.

Had a nightmare, I said, still weeping.

About what?

I shook my head and didnt respond. After I cried all the tears that I could cry I curled up into a ball and fell into a troubled, uneasy sleep.

When next I awoke the boat was no longer moving. An unsettling chill had settled over me and my entire body felt numb. I didnt careI was too exhausted to care. There came a quiet knock on the door, which awoke Saromi who was sleeping on my pillow.

Come in, I said dully. The door was opened not by Orochimaru, but by Kabuto, the gray-haired man from my dream. The man who killed Kakashi.

Good morning, Lady Tsukiko. My name is Kabuto. Your father wants me to escort you shore, he said. I got to my feet, pushing my hair out of my face. I slung my pack over my shoulder and Saromi draped himself across my shoulders.

Alright, I said to Kabuto, Lets go.

As I followed Kabuto off the ship I couldnt help but notice how many people there were staring at me. Even as we got off the ship there was a crowd of people surrounding the ship, and they all bowed when they saw me.

Why are they bowing to me? I asked fretfully.

Because theyre from Otogakure. Your father is like a King here so, in their eyes, you are a princess. Isnt that what all little girls want anyway?
I didnt bother to tell Kabuto that I wasnt a little girl- hell I was almost 16 years old.

the Land of Sound consists mostly of hidden lairs. Your father changes his location once a week, so as to never be foundhe is considered a criminal, after all, Kabuto said as we walked along a dirt road.

Sounds tiresome, I remarked.

Not to Lord Orochimaru. He gets bored easily and quickly, he replied stiffly.

So, where is his lair this week? I inquired.

A castle in the mountains. Its difficult to find if you dont know the way there and its easy to get lost, so keep close Lady Tsukiko.

It took us a few hours, but we found the castle. Kabuto treated me like I was goddess child. He even asked me if I wanted him to carry me! When I so much as stumbled he would check me over like I was a porcelain doll before apologizing profusely for the difficulty of the trail. I think Kabuto may have gotten lost a few times, but I stuck with him and we eventually made it to where Orochimaru was waiting for us.

There you are. You didnt encounter any problems, did you? he asked as Kabuto bowed.

No, Lord Orochimaru, Kabuto replied.

Good. Tsukiko are you ready to start training?

What kind of training? I asked suspiciously.

Im going to teach you personally. Anything you want to know and more, Orochimaru answered, Follow me.

I followed my father into the castle, down a number of hallways and corridors, until we came to a large hall. There were no windows and the walls were made of thick concrete. A few wooden practice dummies were pushed off to the side.

This is your own personal training hall. Therell be one of these every time we move. So, is there any specific sort of jutsu you would like to learn? Orochimaru asked me.

Wellbefore I left Konohagakure, Neji and I were trying to master the use of Chakra to make wings, I replied slowly, I can form them, but I cant get very far.

With the Tiger-demons strength you should be able to et quite far.

WellI never actually used her for that before. I was always afraid Id hurt someone, I said awkwardly.

No need to fear now, daughter. This room is impenetrable.

What if I hurt you?

You insult my strength. I am a Sanin, after all. Go ahead and use the five-tailed tiger demon, he encouraged. I took a deep breath and found Koutas strength within me. I let her Chakra fill me.

I concentrated hard and formed wings with this new Chakrabut it wasnt wings like I was used to. There were four wings total, two on each side. I shot into the air, barely flexing the wings.

Ill bet I look like a big orange butterfly, I thought to myself.

A tiger butterfly, said Koutas light voice, Why are we flying?

Just to see if we can I thought in response, Its always good to know your limits.

When I landed in front of Orochimaru he applauded me.

Very good daughter. A whole new world of attacks has been opened to you. I shall do my very best to train you, he said.

Chapter 31 (Help)

I had been with Orochimaru for over a month in since which we had moved four times. We trained our butts off in preparation for my battle with Kabuto. I could now carry a large amount of weight when flying. Kouta thought this would help if we needed to drop rocks on our enemies. I noticed that I was becoming more and more aware of Kouta and we were more of the same person than before.

I sat in my room one evening eating dinner. My battle with Kabuto was to take the next morning. This was the first time in a long time that I actually almost looked forward to. I looked around my room dully, realizing that it had been several days since Id seen Saromi. At that moment something burst through my bedroom door.

Everything seemed to freeze as I took in the scene before me- Jiraiya, looking a little worn but pleased and surprise with a battering ram in his hand. Saromi was at his feet.

I told you she wouldnt be locked in, Saromi hissed at Jiraiya, Do you ever listen to me?

I dont trust snakes, Jiraiya said coolly.

Whatre you doing here? I asked blankly.

Rescuing you of course! Now come on, before that traitor Kabuto comes along, he retorted.

Just let me get my claws on that murdering little bastard, I growled venomously, my voice sounding like Kouta.

Whatre you muttering about? Jiraiya asked.

Kabuto killed Kakashi! I wailed.

Youre nuts. Kakashi Hatake is in the Leaf Village. I saw him not two days ago, demanding to know if anyone had seen or heard anything about you.

K-Kakashi is alive? I asked disbelievingly.

Yes, now come on!

I followed Jiraiya without question and we didnt run into trouble until we reached the entrance. There stood Kabuto with three other ninja. Jiraiya moved with lightning-fast speed and knocked all three of them to the ground. Somewhere one of them managed to get a kunai stuck in Jiraiyas shoulder pretty deep. More ninja were coming. I had to do something

Koutas strength flared inside of me and I formed my Chakra Wings. I grabbed Jiraiya and launched us both into the air. I flew as fast and as far as I could we reached a clearing in the forest where I could set him down. I helped treat his wound without speaking. I was pretty strained from the flight.

Youre going to need a medical ninja ASAP. Im not strong enough to heal you right now, I said, my voice still sounding detached.

Right. We need to get to Konohagakure. Everyone is worried about you. Can you fly that far? he inquired, wincing painfully as he got to his feet.

I can try.

It was nighttime when we finally reached the Village and it was very late. The houses were all dark. I was exhausted, but I dropped Jiraiya off at the hospital.

Where are you going Tsukiko? Jiraiya asked as I started to walk away.

To talk to Tsunade, I replied wearily. He didnt say anything else.

I stumbled a lot but I somehow managed to make it to the Hokages office. Shizune wasnt there and the door to Tsunades inner office was partially open. Without prelude I pushed the door open and walked in.

Tsunade was sitting at her desk. Her hair was messy and unkempt. She looked pale and thin. Her brown eyes had a sort of haunted, dead look. However frazzled she mayve been, just seeing her filled me with an overwhelming sense of security and warmth.

Mom I said weakly, then collapsed.

When I woke up I felt comfortable and warm for the first time since I dreamt of Kabuto telling Orochimaru that Kakashi had been killedbut Jiraiya had said that wasnt true. So where was I now? A hospital seemed the most likely place. And if I opened my eyes who would I see? Orochimaru or Kakashi? I braced myself for whatever the answer and I opened my eyes.

I nearly cried with relief. It was neither Kakashi or Orochimaru.

Mother, I said softly, loving how it felt to call her that.

Tsukikoso you know, huh? she said slowly.

Yes. Where is Kakashi? I inquired, biting my lip slightly in case Jiraiya had been lying.

I chased him and Neji away after sunrise to get some sleep. I suspect theyve only gone to the waiting room, though, she replied, I wanted to talk to you myself first. You must have a load of questions.

Justwhy didnt you ever tell me? I asked quietly.

The third Hokage thought it would be harder for Orochimaru to find you if I distanced myself from you, she answered sadly.

Sarutobi-sensei, I said softly. It frightened me how much my voice sounded like Orochimarus. Tsunade noticed it, too. She closed her eyes, too tired to flinch at the bitter sound.

I didnt want to, but he was right. You were safer with Yuki and Kasumi. They were dear friends of mine and when he killed them

You went to Kakashi to take me. I saw it in a dream once. And if Kakashi were to berendered incapable of caring for me, the responsibility would fall to Hiashi Hyuuga, I murmured, remembering the dream.

And after Hiashi would come Jiraiya, yes, she confirmed.

Jiraiya as a father, I said, shuddering visibly. Tsunade smiled ruefully.

Its something that couldve happeneda long time ago, she said mischievously.

Ew! Not something I want to imagine, I said, clapping my hands over my ears. Tsunade laughed and I smiled, but my smile faded quickly.

Stillso many people could have died because of me, I said quietly.

They all knew and were prepared. You are very dear to all of us, Tsukiko, she replied softly, Still, I was afraid you would figure it out before now.

Really? How was I supposed to do that? I inquired.

Every time I saw you it was like looking at an angrier, shorter version of my younger selfI have a picture, she said, digging around in her pocket. She handed me a small piece of folded paper. I unfolded it to find myself looking at a younger version of Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Orochimaru. When I first saw Tsunade I thought it was meonly her hair was up in pigtails.

Young Tsunade was grinning and sticking out her tongue at Orochimaru who was pointedly ignoring her. Jiraiya was between the two, making rabbit ears with his fingers. I smiled faintly and looked up at Tsunade.

Our hair is the exact same color, but you always wear yours more like Orochimaru, always down. Your eyes are a touch more golden than mine and your skin tone is more like his as wellbut we look enough alike to be recognized as mother and daughter if someone sees us standing side by side, she said, also smiling.

Why didnt Orochimaru recognize me the first time, though? I inquired.

My guess is he was expecting you to look more like him, she replied. I looked down at the picture again.

Well he does look like a girl, I said with a laugh. Tsunade laughed loudly.


Chapter 32 (Reunion)

At that moment the door was flung open and I found myself being crushed by hugs. Reacting instinctively I flared Chakra from all of my Chakra points and both Neji and Kakashi were thrown backwards.
Hey! That wasnt very nice! Kakashi grumbled, getting to his feet.
It was sort of a reflex action, I said sheepishly. My eyes found Neji as he got to his feet. He looked at me and suddenly nothing else in the world mattered. He smiled at me slowly and I felt tears form in my eyes. We embraced and he kissed me passionately. He didnt care that Tsunade was standing there, or that Kakashi was miming throwing upbut I did care. I pushed him away gently and very reluctantly.
I need to finish talking to Tsunade, okay? Can you wait outside? I inquired, he nodded and I turned to Kakashi, Kakashi, Im glad youre not dead, but can you scram for a minute?
I was supposed to be dead? he asked with a frown, Who said I was dead?
KabutoIll explain later. Now scram, I said. He rolled his eyes.
Yes, your Royal Shrimpiness, he said, heading towards the door. I threw a pillow at him.
Thats not even a word, I retorted. I heard him laugh as he shut the door behind him.
Tsunade picked the pillow up off of the floor and handed it to me with a faint smile.
So now what? I asked finally.
What do you mean?
Well do I have to call you mommy and let you tuck me in at night? I asked, smirking slightly. She scowled at me.
I dont care what you call me, but Im not tucking you into bed. Youre a Shinobi! but you do need to make a decisionyou dont have to decide right now, but-
What decision, Mom? I asked calmly.
Well you can come live me or remain in Kakashis care.
I thought carefully, considering both options and making a decision in less than a minute.
I want to stay with Kakashi if its all the same to you. You have too many Hokage-duties for me to deal withbut you should tell Shizune that she no longer has the right to keep me out of your office, I said finally.
Consider it done, she said with a smile, I do have to go now, though. I have a village to runand I dont think Ive slept in a month! Shall I send Kakashi and Neji back in?
Yes, please.
She paused at the door and then walked back over and gave me a rib-cracking hug. I stiffened slightly at the contact, which I still wasnt used to after being handled with porcelain-like care for the past month.
Ah! Tsunade! Cant breathe! I gasped. She released me, looking triumphant.
Ive always wanted to do that, she said with a smile.
What, choke me to death?
No, Ive never been able to hug my daughter before, she said simply, then left.
Kakashi and Neji came in a few minutes later. They sat down instead of hugging me to death, for which I was thankful. The intimacy Id received today was not something I was entirely used to yet.

So how is everybody? I asked in a would-be casual voice.

Fine, Neji replied, Worried to death about you mostly.

What about my knight-in-shining armor- Jiraiya? I asked curiously.

Hes locked himself in a room at the hotel saying hed gotten inspiration for a new novel, Kakashi said, his eyes sort-of glazed over.

Jeez, Kakashi, dont drool all over yourself, I teased lightly. He aimed a playful punch at me which I dodged.

And youre okay, Neji? I asked him.

Fine. Just had the wind knocked out of me. I saw Orochimaru take you and I couldnt do anything, he replied, fists clenched, If I ever see that bastard again, Ill kill him.

ErrNeji, that bastard is my father. He had every right to take me. Not to mention the fact that hes a Sanin and the chances of you killing him are slim to none.

Wait a minutedid you sayOrochimaru is your father? Neji demanded.

Oh, you found out about that, did you? Kakashi asked awkwardly.

If you mean about Orochimaru being my father, Tsunade being my mother, and the only reason I am living with you in the first place if for my own protection? Yeah, my father told me, I said coolly. Kakashi flinched visibly.

Dont call him that, he said sternly.

Wait a minute, Tsukikoexplain, please, Neji said, confused.

The Top Secret Mission theyre always going on about is me, but not for the reasons we thought. Its because Tsunade is my mother and Orochimaru is my father. Thats why he chose me to put the tiger demon in. Because he knew I would be a powerful enough host to control her powers effectively. With Sanin for parents, how could I not be? I explained quietly.

But what did he want you for this time? I had always thought his main goal was to kill you, Kakashi said to me. I raised an eyebrow at him.

Kill me? Kill the only part of him thats still alive? Thats still human? He wouldnt kill me. You dont understand him as I do, I said shaking my head,

He wanted to teach me.

T-teach you? What did he teach you? he asked anxiously.

More than anyone in this Village ever couldno offense, Sensei. Ive learned more about my own abilities in the past month than I ever hoped to know. Jutsu that long ago faded from thought. Jutsu that others only ever dream of. Newly found jutsu combined with old jutsu. I am perhaps the only living Shinobi who knows the weaknesses of Orochimaru, who could kill him. HahaI could overthrow an entire village if I wanted to, I said with a cold smile. I couldnt help but notice how cold my voice sounded. So much like my father

Tsukiko Neji said quietly, distressed.

Fortunately for you, power doesnt interest me. Now, forgive me, but I need to rest. I know too much and my mind is weary. I havent slept well in ages, I murmured. Kakashi was staring at me, eyes wide as if he didnt know me. He left without speaking. Neji didnt move at all.

The cold feeling had settled over me again. I sank back onto the bed tiredly.

Tsukiko, Neji murmured, brushing the hair out of my face, Your words are bitter and cold as ice. I will not leave you. I will stay here.
I didnt say anything and he climbed into the bed beside me. He was warm and I snuggled up close to him. I fell asleep before I could tell him thanks.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: An Untitled Naruto Fanfic

Chapter 33 (Answers in the form of Dreams)

That night I dreamt I saw two people standing in the middle of a clearing in a dark forest. The moon was the only source of light. Both the figures were cloaked and hooded. One of them held up a small, blonde-haired baby that was sleeping peacefully. As the figures approached each other they lifted their hoods.

One of the figures was Tsunade, maybe fifteen years younger than she was now. The other was an old man- the third Hokage.

I brought herjust like you asked, Lord Hokage. Though I do have my doubtsI trust you, Sensei, Tsunade said. She hugged the baby close before handing it to the Hokage.

If everything you told me is true then it is for the best. Shell be going to stay with Yuki and Kasumi. Theyve always wanted a child, The Hokage replied.

Do they know? she asked, biting her lip.

Yes. Many know who her mother isvery few know who her father is. Yuki, Kasumi, Hiashi and Jiraiya all know. Well build strong defenses around her. Orochimaru will never lay hands on her as long as I live, he replied.

Thank you, Sarutobi-sensei. Shell be safer in the Village than with me.

Is he aware of her existence?

I think soI must go now.

She took a step backwards. At that moment the baby woke up and began to cry. Tsunade froze and turned around as if torn by an invisible bond.

Tsunadeshe cant know about you. When she turns 16 you may seek her out and tell her, if you wish. Butif she turns out to be like himyou have only two choices- either give her to Orochimaru or lock her up, the Hokage said.

No! Shes only a baby! she protested, I couldnt let them

Shell get older. This sweet baby you see before you may not always be so innocent and pure.

I dontI cant

The baby was still crying and Tsunade took her from the Hokage. She held the baby close until she stopped crying.

Does she have a name? the Hokage inquired.

Tsukiko, she murmured.

A good name. It means moon child, correct?

Yes. my childI will come back for you one day, Tsunade said quietly.

She gave the baby back to the Hokage, then fled.


I awoke and turned over drowsily. Neji was sleeping peacefully and even snoring lightly. I closed my eyes and almost instantly a new dream started.

A present-day Tsunade and Kakashi sat in her office, deep in conversation.

She didnt sound like herself. Her voice was cold and empty, Kakashi was saying to Tsunade.

Im sure shes just tired. Shes been with him for over a month now. Theres no telling what hes done to her, Tsunade replied.

He taught her things. Jutsu, she told us. She seems confident that she could kill him andI do not think she underestimates her strength.

She is strong, but she is also confused. I think she needs to rest. With time I think she will recover her old strength and spirit. Just be nice to her. Earlier in the hospital, when she threw the pillow? I caught a glimpse of her old self. The Tsukiko we know and love is still the somewhere. She just needs time to heal, Tsunade said quietly.

Of courseyoure right. It just startled me, is all. She sounded so much like Orochimaru


I awoke with tears streaming down my face and a heavy pain in my chest. Neji awoke immediately.

Tsukiko! Whats wrong? he asked quietly. He wrapped his arms around me.

I dont know who I am anymore, I murmured, weeping.

Youre Tsukiko Akane. Youre who you always have been. My Kiko he replied softly, kissing my forehead.

I know too much. Bad things. I dont want to do it anymore, I said, shaking my head heavily, I just want to rest.

Ill see if I can find a doctor. Maybe they can give you something to help you sleep, he said, getting up. He left the room and returned a few minutes later with a pill and a cup of water. I downed the pill and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.


Chapter 34 (Jiraiyas Book)

A few weeks later, I was preparing to go out. I pulled on a pair of jeans and a black T-shirt. It was my sixteenth birthday and Lady Tsunade wanted me to meet her outside her office. I left my room and paused in the living room where Kakashi was sitting on the couch, reading Jiraiyas new book. There was an expression of annoyed revulsion on his face.

Whats wrong, Kakashi? I inquired, You look like you sat on a thumbtack.
That was my lame attempt at humor. I was having trouble finding a way to make things funny without sounding evil about it.

Its Jiraiyas new novel. I cant read this trash! he grumbled, tossing the book onto the floor. I laughed loudly.

What made you change your mind? I asked him.

The main character is named after you, Kakashi mumbled.

What, seriously? Give me that! I demanded, snatching the book off the floor.

I skimmed through the first chapters and then dropped the book in disgust. It was full of lies and perversion.

Im gonna kill that perverted, toad-summoning, ass, I growled.

Have fun with that, Kakashi said with a sigh, I guess Ill go re-read an older book.

I snatched the novel back up, wondering if Tsunade knew about this.

As luck would have it both Tsunade and Jiraiya were standing outside her office when I came running up.

Mom! Have you seen this? I demanded, panting slightly.

Hahaha! Mom! Jiraiya said, laughing loudly, Mommy Tsunade!

He stopped laughing when he saw the book I handed her.

Hey, whered you get that? The reading of that book is prohibited by anyone under the age of 18! he exclaimed.

Kakashi-sensei reads them. Jiraiya I should murder you! I growled.

What? I just named a character after you! You should be flattered! he retorted.

JIRAIYA! Tsunade said angrily. Shed just finished skimming though the book and she threw it at him.

Get lost, Toad Boy, before she breaks your arms. Hell Ill do it myself! I said pissedly.

Ha! Just like your mother! he said, laughing lightly, and then he took off running as Tsunade and I both clenched our fists.

Should we go after him? I asked her once he was gone.

Nah, let him live in fear for a little while. I wanted to walk with you for a little bit, and talk some.

The moon was rising as Tsunade and I made our way to the top of the 1st Hokages head on Mt. Hokage.

The first Hokage is your great-grandfather, you know? she informed me.

Really? I used to come up here all the time to think or just to relax when I was feeling lonely and tired. I never knew he was my great-grandfather, though, I murmured.

Such a fitting place for a family reunion, said a voice from behind us. Tsunade and I whirled around to find ourselves face-to-face with Orochimaru. He quickly grabbed Tsunade with his Shadow-possession jutsu and walked over to her.

Cozy spot, eh, Tsunade? he murmured in her ear.
I took a stance and built my Chakra. I searched the ground below me and found tree roots. I poured my Chakra into them and formed the hand seals.

Wood Style Jutsu, I said, summoning the roots forth. In the blink of an eye I had Orochimaru pinned to a tree, unable to move.

that jutsuyou shouldnt be able to do that, Tsunade said from where she stood, still frozen by Orochimarus shadow possession.

Well I can, I said with a wicked smile, Now, Orochimaru, if you hurt her, I will kill you, got it?

I only got her before she got me. I was never going to hurt her. I would never hurt her, but she doesnt believe me, he replied, sounding hurt.

Like you wouldnt kill me if you got the chance! Tsunade spat at him.

Hey! Cool it! Both of you. Kids dont like it when mommy and daddy fight, I said coolly. They both fell silent. I had to admit, I was enjoying that power.

Now, father, what are you doing here? I made my decision already. The Leaf Village is my home, I said quietly.

Well, Im just bringing my daughter a birthday present, he said innocently.

Well what is it?

The Leaf Sword.

He opened his mouth and his tongue turned into a snake. The snake opened its mouth and with a gagging sound, deposited the sword onto the ground before me. Then the snake turned back into his tongue.

That was utterly disgusting, I declared, but thanksI think.

Thats the sword he used to kill Sarutobi-sensei, Tsunade said angrily.

Is it? Id almost forgotten. Funny how easy it is to forget things. I also come with an offer. Tsunade, do you remember when I asked you to heal my arms? One of the things I offered you was a place at my side. We could be a family, us three. We could rule the world together, Orochimaru said quietly.

Not in a million years you slimy bastard, she retorted coldly.

Ouch. Ah well, power never held much appeal for you, did it? Not like Tsukiko and myself, he murmured.

What are you going on about? I demanded.

You like power, my little Kiko, and one day youll come back to me, he
replied smugly.

I think not. Now, get the hell out of here before I change my mind about killing you, I said, releasing him from the roots.

Goodbye, Tsukiko. Ill see you soon, he said with an oily smile. Then he left.

Chapter 35 (Happy Birthday)

It was a moment before Tsunade was freed. She walked over to me cautiously.

Hes wrong, you know? I dont want power. Im not a leader. Leaders have tactics and strategies. Everything I do is rash and unplanned. I have a certain level of caution which is just enough to keep me alive. I lied the entire time I was with him. I made him think that I was like him. I only went with him so he wouldnt kill Neji and the others. I always fight for my friends. Thats my ninja way. Im not like him, though. Not really, I said quietly.

I know that. You dont have to explain it to me, she replied, That jutsu- he taught you?

Its one of the ones he taught me, yes. Not the most powerful, but as I said, its sort of a reflex action.

That jutsu was used solely by the first Hokage. Only one other person in the world can use it, or so I thought. That was the jutsu used to create the very foundations of Konohagakure. It could be very dangerous in the hands of the enemy. Can Orochimaru actually use this jutsu? she asked me. I thought back to my training.

No. We studied it vigorously through scrolls and accounts of the 1st Hokage, but Orochimaru could never quite grasp the art of it. Its one of the things I can do that he cant, I said proudly.

You really think you could defeat him? she asked hesitantly.

Yes, I said without hesitation, He trained me in Hokage-level combat. I can match all his jutsu with his own and there are things I can do that he cant. I know his weaknesses. I could probably kill himbut I hate killing. And hes my father. I dont think I would enjoy killing him. I believe he wanted for me to kill Kabuto, though.

My voice had taken on that cool, distant tone again and I could see it bothered her. Unfortunately I didnt know how to get warm, loving Tsukiko back.

Hokage-level combat, huh? she said with a faint smile.

Or higher, considering we combined all sorts of jutsu, I replied with a shrug.

So you think you could beat me?

I became quite alarmed.

I dont want to fight you! I said, shocked.

Thats not what I asked, I merely asked if you thought you could beat me.

I dont like the direction this conversation is going. Its my Birthday, give me a break, I murmured.

Oh, I almost forgot- Happy Birthday! she said, handing me a small package. I opened it slowly to find a necklace with a tiger pendant on it. It was a white tiger with blue sapphires for eyes and stripes.

Its beautifulit mustve cost a fortune, I said in awe.

I had a lucky streak in poker last week. All my lucky streaks are followed by bad luck, thoughI guess that would account for our run-in with Orochimaru. Anyway, I thought it would help make up for all the birthdays I missed, she said awkwardly.

Oh definitely.

As I fastened the necklace around my neck, my eyes fell on the Leaf Sword left behind by Orochimaru. I walked over and picked it up hesitantly.

What should I do with it? This is the sword that was used to kill the third Hokage I murmured.

The way I see it, its not the swords fault, but the fault of the person who wields it. Do with it what you will, she replied with a shrug.

HmmIm nut much of a weapons buff. maybe I could take it to the Waterfall Place, I said to myself.

What Waterfall place? she demanded, her voice suddenly sharp. I gave her a puzzled look.

Ill show you, I said quickly.

I led Tsunade to the waterfall place where I had first seen the summoning scroll in my dream. I found it with ease, as if I went there everyday, even though Id only been there once.

I know this place Tsunade murmured, looking around and frowning slightly. I saw realization come into her eyes and she hung her head sadly.

What is it? Whats wrong? I asked quietly.

When I was young I used to come here all the time, with Orochimarubefore he was evil, she replied, a distant look in her eye. I looked down at the sword in my hands and remembered why I was there.

I took a Kunai from my backpack and plunged it into the perfectly round rock, causing the waterfall to cease flowing.

Oh! How did you do that? Tsunade asked, inspecting the rock.

Thats simply how its done, I answered with a shrug, This is where I found the snake summoning scroll. Turns out Orochimaru put it there.

I put the sword in the Secret Hole. It fit perfectly, as if it were made for it. I took the Kunai out of the rock and the waterfall began to flow again. I turned around and found myself peering through the trees at another familiar place. Tsunade followed wordlessly as I walked through to another clearing.

This is where you gave me to Sarutobi-sensei when I was a baby, I said quietly.

How did you-? she asked, eyes wide.

I saw it in a dream. I see a lot of things like that.

hmm

You never liked the fact that I see things. Why?

BecauseI dont want you to become dependent on this ability or to misread the information you get from them. Often times things can be misinterpreted when you only get part of the information.

On the contrary. I find my dreams often give me better insight to the truth than real things, I replied stiffly.

Hm. What else have you dreamt? Tsunade asked. I hesitated before responding.

I saw Kakashi talking to you when I was in the hospital, I said, blushing faintly, and a long time ago, I saw Orochimaru take me from my par-from Yuki and Kasumi.

Oh, was all she had to say. Shes heard my quickly amended mistake. I sighed and then yawned sleepily. Tsunades gaze softened immediately.

You ready to head back to the village? she asked gently.

Yes, mommy, I said with a grin. She smiled as well and cuffed me lightly before heading back towards the village.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'll post Part 4 shortly
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