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Yōso no josei.

Chapter Text

Nothing ever caught the eye of Sasuke Uchiha, not even the people of the village bowing to him interested him at all. His mind was a one way track, ‘Get strong to kill Itachi’ was his mantra before he went to bed that being evident that he only focused on killing the man who destroyed his family. His anti-social, bad boy attitude attracted many of his female peers who have formed a fan-club of sorts dedicated to him and him only, and this as well did not catch his attention, it is safe to say that nothing would ever interest him for more than 30 seconds…that is not true. There has been a mystery that has been clouding his mind for the past 3 years and he has yet to crack it, he has racked his brain trying to learn the secrets of this mystery. What is this mystery you ask? Well the village pariah is that mystery, Natsumi Uzumaki.

The girl just basically screamed odd, she unlike the rest of the village did not even pay attention to him. She did not bother him, she always kept to herself and radiated a sense of power and elegance at the same time. At first this did not bother him at all, until she was able to swiftly move him out of her way when they were in a collision course with each other. It happened so fast he barely noticed it, she was already some feet away from him when he realized what happened. Since then he has tried subtly to communicate with her, but he has failed coming off as arrogant and aggressive whenever he spoke to her, resulting in the girl just walking away or entirely ignoring him…of course him being drawn to him, has gained her hatred amongst the majority of the Sasuke fan-club, the only friend that Natsumi had seemed to be Hinata Hyūga, as he has seen the two girls interact with each other several times. He has also seen her interact with Iruka Umino on many occasions, the way he viewed it Natsumi looked up to Iruka like a father of sorts, so if he needed anymore information on her he would need to ask the Chunin.

“Class dismissed, prepare for your exam tomorrow.” Iruka said with a smile as the soon to be ninjas ran out excitedly chatting with one another.

Sasuke searched through the stampede of academy students in search of the one who has been swimming through his thoughts, he caught no sight of her she must have left long ago. When he deemed it was safe he approached Iruka who sat by his desk scribbling something. Sasuke cleared his throat grabbing the scarred man’s attention.

“Sasuke, you’re still here? Well, what may I help you with?” Iruka asked the rookie of the class, who sighed as he looked around.

“I-I’d like to ask about…Natsumi.” The last Uchiha said in a hushed tone, at fist Iruka was surprised at the Uchiha’s sudden interest in Natsumi, before he chuckled mentally.

‘Even the mighty Uchiha has a crush.’ He thought with mirth.

“Natsumi? What about Natsumi?” he asked feigning his obliviousness.

“Anything you know about her.” Sasuke replied.

“Well she’s been an orphan since birth, she doesn’t have that much friends besides Hinata…and maybe Ino I’m not sure about that one. She seems to have the gracing of the Hyūga clan, and well that’s all I can really say without breaking the academy’s jurisdiction.” Iruka said and Sasuke seemed to seethe in the inside.

“Thanks anyways sensei.” He muttered before walking out the class.

=-=-=-

‘Argh! Why am I even entertaining the thought about her!? I should be focusing on getting rid of Itachi!’ Sasuke screamed in his mind.

“Because you LIKE her.”

‘Shut it you!’ Sasuke hated the fact that he had some sort of miniature manifestation of himself in his mind which always bothered him and would second guess everything he thought.

‘You know it’s true.’ The inner him said and he growled ignoring the nuisance that wandered through his thoughts, during his muse he failed to notice the very same girl occupying his thoughts pass by him.

=-=-=

“A-Ano Natsumi-chan, was that Sasuke-san?” The shy Hyūga asked.

“Don’t know, and don’t care.” The smaller girl replied with her usual stoic tone.

“He l-looked f-flustered.” Hinata commented missing her friend’s response.

“Lucky him.” She replied without a hint of any emotion.

Next day.

Sasuke sneakily glanced at Natsumi who had her eyes closed and was leaning on the Hyūga heiress’s shoulder. Hinata had a large blush painting her face red, probably due to the close contact with her friend.

‘Could I really like her?’ he asked himself.

‘Haha, you finally admitted that you like her.’ the inner-Sasuke said with a smirk.

‘No I didn’t you stupid little chibi!’

‘Hey you’re the one calling yourself a stupid chibi.’ The IS(inner-Sasuke) said.

‘Why you little-‘

Sasuke was pulled out of his muse by the door getting kicked open by his top two fan-girls. He sighed as he resisted the urge to slam his head on the table.

“My foot clearly entered first!” the pink haired Sakura exclaimed as she fought with her rival.

“Wrong! I entered first!” the blonde Ino said.

“Simpletons.” Natsumi muttered in her nap, luckily only Hinata heard what she said.

Sasuke tuned out the rest of the argument and completely missed the two girls taking seats next to him.

“Alright now, settle down.” Iruka’s eye twitched as he was completely ignored.

“SHUT IT YOU BRATS!” the students cowered in fear at Iruka’s signature inflated head.

“Good, now I wish you luck and prepare that you are ready to become one step closer to becoming shinobi and kunoichi of the village.”

That is when a silver haired Chunin walked in, Sasuke did not miss the glare the man sent towards Natsumi who had woken up from her slumber.

“Mizuki will be helping with the exams. I shall not waste anymore of your time. The first portion of the exam is a written test.” He announced and there were several groans filling the class.

‘Too easy.’ Sasuke thought with a smirk as Iruka began with handing out the papers.

=-=-=-

The class had moved outside for the second portion of the exam, which he would guess would involve the use of projectiles and Taijutsu. For the 6th time for the day, Sasuke looked for Natsumi who sat under a tree resting her head on a still flustered Hinata’s laps.

‘I haven’t seen her doing anything physical, this would be a first.’ Sasuke thought with a hidden smirk. He ignored the callout as they were called out for their turn to throw shuriken/kunai at a target.

“Uchiha Sasuke.” Iruka called out, the Uchiha pranced to Iruka as he stood behind a line separating him and the target. He glanced to the side and saw Natsumi watching with nearly no interest at all.

‘She’ll be different once I get all of them.’ Sasuke thought with a smirk as he was handed 6 kunai. He took a deep breath closing his eyes, when they snapped open he threw all the kunai at once and they all hit a bull’s-eye. He smirked as he heard cheering, he looked over his shoulder and yet he saw that Natsumi was bored.

‘…Huh, nothing…all right, this should get her attention.’ he thought as he was given twelve shuriken.

He jumped back as he threw them with a slight curve, the shuriken seemed to be off course until they all hit each other ricocheting off each other and all hitting a bulls eye, the cheering got louder at the impressive show of skill.

He walked away glancing at Natsumi who gave a cute yawn as she rubbed her eyes, his eye twitched as he scowled.

‘Nothing….NOTHING AT ALL!’ he yelled in his thoughts.

‘Trying to impress our love interest are we.’ IS said with a coy smirk.

‘Shut up…please…just shut up.’ Sasuke begged as he sulked his way to an isolated spot.

“Uzumaki Natsumi.” Sasuke did a 180 as the girl’s name was called out. He watched as she stood up and walked towards Iruka with a graceful step.

‘This should be interesting.’ Sasuke thought as he examined the girl who grabbed the handful of kunai and glanced at them with boredom.

“Do I have to?” she asked with a sweet, soft and cold tone.

“Yes Natsumi, you have to.” Iruka replied with a sigh, and the girl shook her head before turning away.

“Natsumi, you haven’t thrown anything.” Iruka stated, only for Natsumi to point at the targets. All of them including the shuriken targets had bulls eye hits on them.

“W-what? But when?” he asked staring at turning to Natsumi.

“When you gave me the kunai.” She replied flatly.

“And the shuriken?” Mizuki asked with a narrowed gaze.

“I stole them from sensei’s hand.” She replied before returning to Hinata who congratulated her friend.

‘I-I didn’t even see her move to throw them.’ Sasuke thought with wide eyes.

“R-right, anyways we’ll take a 15 minute break before commencing to the Taijutsu portion.

Sasuke spent the whole break glancing at Natsumi who was interacting with Hinata.

The fights were boring, to say the least. No one put up a fight worth watching, they either dragged on too long or ended to quickly. He awaited for his turn but it seemed he wouldn’t be fight for a while, neither would Natsumi. Hinata had already won her fight against Kiba, which came as a shock to the class.

‘Heh, the Uchiha should put that demon-bitch in her place.’ Mizuki thought with a smirk as he surveyed the clipboard in his hands. It had a list of the battles, on the bottom of the list is Natsumi VS Sasuke. He chuckled as the match approached. He had drawn up the matches the previous night.

“That’s odd…but anyways, next match is Natsumi VS Sasuke.” Iruka announced and the class went silent at the announcement.

“N-Natsumi-chan.” Hinata called out staring at her friend in concern.

“This will be quick.” Natsumi reassured with a barely visible smile.

Hinata nodded watching her childhood friend rise to her feet and walk to the fight ring. Sasuke at first was unnerved but forced himself to the ring.

He now stood in front of Natsumi, he had to hold the impulse to hug the girl. She was too cute to take serious.

She has pale blond hair that cascaded down to her mid-back with hime styled bangs and two long parting strands that reached her jaw, and has another strand sticking out near her scalp. She has milky white skin with three thin lines on each cheek resembling whisker marks. Her eyes were a stark contrast to her pale colors being big and bright blue. She wore a white blue tinted kimono with large sleeves, holding it together is a large orange ornate bow. The kimono did a good job at hiding anything she wore underneath, as it completely hid her form. She stood at 4’5 and has lithe build.

“You know the rules…Hajime!” Iruka announced allowing the two to proceed with their battle.

Natsumi stood still merely staring at Sasuke who felt his eye twitch, it seems to be doing that a lot lately.

‘She’s not taking me seriously! I’ll teach her to do so!’ he thought as he rushed in, for the first attack.

Natsumi tilted her head to the side as she watched the Uchiha rush at her.

‘So volatile.’ Natsumi thought.

Everything happened so fast again for the third time in Sasuke’s life, something happened so fast that he could barely acknowledge what took place. Because one minute he found himself running at Natsumi and the next he was lying on his back with the girl straddling his chest, her hand poised like a dagger near his throat an ice cold glare staring into his eyes.

“You…lose.” She asserted with a dagger like voice.

The class was so silent you could hear a pin drop from the Hokage tower.

“S-Sasuke-kun…lost?” Sakura was the first to speak as she stared with her jaw on the ground.

The Sasuke fan-club broke out in outrage as they called the match as faux.

“Whoooa! You go Natsumi!” Kiba roared with laughter as he cheered the petite girl on.

‘Well done Natsumi-chan.’ Hinata thought with a smile.

‘What!? The demon-bitch won!?’ Mizuki thought in outrage as he nearly crushed the clipboard in his hands.

“Winner, Natsumi.” Iruka announced as Natsumi got off Sasuke and bowed before leaving the ring.

‘She beat me…how? I can’t recall seeing her move at all…just who is she exactly?’ his interest in her peeked through the roof now, he stood up and left the ring ignoring the rest of the class.

“Alright we’ll take a 30 minute break, before moving on to the last portion of the test.” The scarred Chunin announced as the class broke up to all sorts of groups.

“Y-You did well N-Natsumi-chan, Tou-san shall be pleased.” Hinata said with a smile.

“Don’t undermine yourself Hina-chan, when I tell him, he’ll be more than pleased of your performance.” Natsumi said with a smile causing Hinata to sport a mega blush and nearly faint from the praise, she repeatedly bowed in a comical manner eliciting a soft giggle from Natsumi.

“You’re so adorable Hina-chan, come lets eat, Junko-san got us cinnamon buns.” Natsumi said and Hinata smiled as the two shared the sweet treats.

Natsumi stood in front of Iruka and Mizuki as she was tasked with performing the three basic jutsu of the academy.

“Do they have to be strictly academy standard?” She asked and Iruka shook his head.

“No, as long as you can perform the standard technique or better.” Iruka answered and Natsumi nodded as she performed a Henge mimicking the Hyūga head, Hiashi.

“Very good.” Iruka said as he ticked on Natsumi’s jutsu sheet.

“Next the Kawarimi.” Iruka as he tossed a blunt kunai at Natsumi who substituted herself with a nearby glass.

“Excellent, next perform a bunshin.” Iruka said ticking on the sheet.

“Hai.” The girl responded as three identical clones of herself appeared next to her.

“Impressive, no hand seals at all, expected from you Natsumi.” Iruka praised as he handed Natsumi a dark blue hitai-ate.

“Arigatou.” Natsumi bowed as she retrieved her headband and left the room.

Mizuki snapped his pencil in half as he watched the girl leave the room.

‘Guess I’ll have to do things myself.’ He thought with a low growl.

=-=-=-=-
Natsumi was greeted by Hinata who smiled at her smaller friend.

“You passed.” She said nearly hugging the girl before stopping herself, unsure of how Natsumi would react. The lithe Genin saw this and shook her head before hugging Hinata.

Hinata was shocked at first but relaxed into the embrace hugging the petite girl.

‘Hn, of course she would pass.’ Sasuke thought as he stalked the two from a corner.

End of chapter 1.

Chapter Text

||Hyūga main branch-Head home.||

Natsumi and Hinata sat on their knees as they enjoyed their supper in silence. Sitting in front of them is Hanabi Hyūga, Hinata’s younger sister and Hiashi Hyūga, Hinata’s father and the head of the Hyūga clan.

“How did the examination go?” Hiashi asked as he finished his meal.

Natsumi noticed that Hinata struggled to answer, she seemed uncertain of how to respond to her father’s question so she saved the girl the trouble and spoke up instead.

“It was nothing we couldn’t handle, Hinata performed with extraordinary skill. She aced all the tests and took down the Inuzuka with relative ease.” Natsumi praised, Hanabi tilted her head as she gazed at her sister with a hint of respect before going back to her meal.

“Excellent and what of you, Natsumi?” The stoic man asked.

“I performed more or less the same as Hinata, I bested the Uchiha in our Taijutsu match.” She responded and Hiashi let out a snort…well the Hyūga equivalent of a snort.

“If Fugaku still walked the earth he would be seething in fury.” He said, looking down at the two girls. One shook under his gaze, while the other remained unfazed.

“I am proud of you…both of you, and I await the time you both shall showcase what the Hyūga clan is.” Hiashi said with a small smile, Natsumi bowed with Hinata.

“Hai.” They both responded.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

1 Week later.
Sasuke hasn’t been able to find Natsumi for the whole week, he thought such a person would be easy to find but it was impossible. She questioned everyone that would talk to him and none of them knew where she could be, so he unwillingly opted to wait until he sees her again during the team placements. So here he was in the class stalking the girl again, he noticed that the two inseparable girls had their Hitai-ate wrapped around their necks in similar fashion.

He ignored the bickering between Sakura and Ino, as they fought each other besides him. He would never entertain them like they wanted, never. Iruka walked in and everyone kept quiet afraid they would have their ears blown by Iruka’s devastating shouts.

“Wow, that’s a first.” Iruka muttered before clearing his throat.

Sasuke tuned out Iruka’s speech and went through the events of the previous week, at first Natsumi was just a small mystery but now she was his second objective besides Itachi, the girl had an air of anonymity surrounding her.

He left his realm of thoughts as his name was called out.

“Team 7; Uchiha Sasuke, Uzumaki Natsumi, Haruno Sakura and your Jonin instructor is Hatake Kakashi.” As soon as Iruka announced this, the entire Sasuke fan-club groaned, while Sakura exclaimed in joy. Sasuke on the other hand glanced at Natsumi who shook her head.

‘Wait this makes no sense, the top two of the class are always paired with the dead last…so I must have been announced as top male rookie of the year while Natsumi the female rookie of the year…and Sakura must be the dead last…but she’s smart, I guess. That means she just didn’t do well in the other subjects that didn’t involve book smarts.’

‘Must everything be so annoying?’ Natsumi thought with a sigh.

=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

It’s been 3 hours since everyone else was picked up by their instructors, but not team 7. No team 7 has been sitting in the classroom for the past 3 hours waiting for this Kakashi character, at first it was just hilarious that a ninja can be late but now they just wanted to murder him.

‘I’ll make sure to inflict momentous pain on him…I do wonder if he has ever experienced frostbite?’ an evil thought ran through the regal Natsumi.

‘What’s taking him so long!?’ Sasuke has become so impatient he has been gritting his teeth for three hours and he was certain they were wearing away.

“He’s LATE!” Sakura exclaimed as she tapped her foot on the ground.

“We are quite aware of that.” Natsumi pointed out and Sakura’s eye twitched.

“You’ve gotta problem with me!?” Sakura questioned as she marched towards the short girl.

“Yes…but if I were to list all the problems I have with you, Hatake would have arrived 5 days too early.” Natsumi mocked and Sakura lost her temper and attacked the fragile girl.

However the pink haired Genin did not get far, as she crashed into a row of tables. She groaned as she tried to sit up, and glare at the petite girl.

“I would suggest that you don’t ever try that ever again.” Natsumi stated as she glared back at the taller girl.

“Hn, stop your bickering you two.” Sasuke demanded as he glared at Sakura, he believed the pink haired girl was at fault.

“Hmph, keep her on a leash.” Natsumi said, but before Sakura could retort the door opened revealing a man with gravity defying silver hair.

“…Looks like I came at a bad time.” he commented with a chuckle.

“You are Hatake, no?” Natsumi asked as she rose from her seat, the man tilted his head to the side.

‘She’s smaller up close.’ He thought.

“Yes, yes I am…follow me.” He said walking away with the team following him albeit with some animosity amongst them.

=-=-=

“I am Kakashi Hatake, I will be your Jonin instructor for the time being. Now my cute little Genin let’s get to know each other, tell me your likes, dislikes, hobbies and dreams for the future.”

“Why don’t you go first sensei, so we get the feel of it.” Sakura suggested and Kakashi sighed.

“Fine, I have no desire to tell you my likes and dislikes… My dreams for the future… Hmm… As for my hobbies… I have lots of hobbies…"

‘All we got to learn was his name?’ was the mutual thought between the three Genin.

“Now, you with the eternal scowl.” Kakashi said pointing at Sasuke who frowned.

“Hn, My name is Sasuke Uchiha. I hate a lot of things, and I don't particularly like anything. What I have is not a dream, because I will make it a reality. I'm going to restore my clan, and kill a certain someone.” There was a tense silence between the four.

“Well done with ruining the mood.” Until Natsumi spoke up.

“Hn.” Sasuke replied with a grunt.

“I believe grunting is not a good social implication.” Natsumi mocked and Sasuke just ignored her, she might be interesting but she can be annoying as well.

“Right moving on, the pink one.” Kakashi said referring to Sakura.

“I am Haruno Sakura, I like…my hobbies include…my dreams for the future are…” with each pause she would stare at Sasuke sending shivers down the Uchiha’s spine.

“And dislikes?”

“Ino-pig and this small brat!” she growled out glaring at Natsumi who waved her off.

“Delusions give you a sense of pleasure, I shall not take that away from you by stating that your words mean nothing to me.” Natsumi said and her words cut through Sakura like an ice dagger.

“…Anyways, last but not least…chibi.” Kakashi said and as soon as those words left his mouth he felt as though he has doomed himself.

“Ever call me that again and I shall castrate you by dipping your genitals in a bucket of liquid nitrogen, and I’ll serve them to you as a frozen treat…do you understand me?” The tone she had used made Kakashi shiver as he gulped, for one who did not know the context of the conversation they would find the scene of Natsumi pulling Kakashi by his collar comical.

“Y-Yes ma’am.” Kakashi replied with a gulp.

“Good.” Natsumi responded as he released the grown man who let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

‘Just like her mother…but worse.’ Kakashi thought.

‘Note to self; do not call her a chibi.’ Sasuke thought.

‘You got that right.’ I.S said with a nod.

‘S-she just threatened Kakashi-sensei…and he agreed, I’ll force her to teach me how to do that, Cha!’ Sakura thought.

“My name is Natsumi Uzumaki. I like cinnamon buns, dango and pocky as well as the Hyūga clan. I dislike ill-mannered fools, untidiness and sour treats. My dream for the future is to watch Hina-chan rise through the ranks. My hobbies…well my hobbies, I’d rather not say.” Natsumi said and they all raised a brow at her evasiveness involving her hobbies.

“Now that we know each other, I can tell you about your Genin test.” He started off.

“WHAT!? We just had a test!” Sakura screeched.

“Sakura dear, you might want to practice control over your vocal chords that was too much of a high pitch.” Natsumi suggested and Sakura blushed as she covered her mouth.

“Thank you Natsumi. Now as I was saying, the exam you did last week was just to root out those who were not ready from the ones who are. This test will be supervised by me your sensei, if you pass this test you become a real Genin, if you fail well than you’re back to the academy for another year.” Kakashi explained.

‘I knew it couldn’t be that easy.’ Sasuke thought.

“We will be meeting at training ground 7 tomorrow at 08h00 hours, bring all your equipment and I would suggest you don’t eat breakfast…unless you want to puke of course.” He said with an all too giddy tone.

 

“Anyways, get some rest.” Were Kakashi’s bidding words before he vanished in a swirl of leaves.

As Sasuke turned his head to face Natsumi, she was already gone leaving behind no trace.

‘What the…? Where did she go?’

“Sasuke-kun would you like to go on a date?” Sakura asked with a blush only to be giving the silent treatment by her crush who walked away.
===========-------------=================
Sasuke glared at the path ahead of him, he was not excited about the test that they will be taking this morning. He raised a brow as he spotted a small red bridge over a small stream, sitting on the railing is none other than Natsumi.

‘She’s early.’ Sasuke thought as he picked up the pace, this might be the only time he can get to know his teammate a little better without Sakura or Kakashi disturbing them. He stopped some feet away from her and leaned against the railing.

“Morning.” He greeted and Natsumi turned to face the raven haired teen.

“Greetings.” She replied with a nod before going back to gazing at the sky.

“So Natsumi…who taught you how to fight?” He asked, he was expecting some cold response but Natsumi seemed to be in a good mood today.

“Mostly I taught myself, that is before Hiashi-san took me in.” she replied with a small smile.

‘So she lives with the Hyūga’s no wonder she’s so close to Hinata.’ Sasuke thought, so now he knew something about the smallest Genin of their year.

“And I believe you did the same hmm, Sasuke-san. That was some extraordinary skill with your kunai and shuriken, but next time do not too much power into the throw as it may be too much and the projectiles might knock each other out of the air.” She suggested.

Sasuke stared at her in realization; she had been watching his take on the test and had just given him a pointer. At least now he knew that he had grabbed her attention at least once. Alas, all good things must come to an end, and that end for Sasuke’s good mood is a pink haired female by the name of Sakura.

“Morning Sasuke-kun…and you too…twerp.” She greeted her crush with a bright smile, but directed a frown at the small girl.

“How charming.” Natsumi remarked waving off the pink haired girl.

Sakura did not pay any attention to her rather she opted to provide her crush with all of her focus.

“How are you Sasuke-kun? Did you sleep well?” she questioned the raven haired teen who felt like shoving a damn scroll in the pinkette’s mouth and sealing it.

‘Don’t you just wish that you could sweep Natsumi off her feet and run off with her to some secret location *cough* your room *cough*.’ Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse, the annoying figment of his imagination appeared.

‘One of these days…you’ll see.’ He thought letting out a barely audible growl, but apparently Natsumi had a good sense of hearing as she had picked up the sound of his snarl.

“What? Hungry Sasuke-san?” she asked teasingly, a smug smirk gracing her elegant features. This of course caught Sasuke off guard as he jumped in shock and glared at the small framed teen.

“What’s it to you? I’m sure you didn’t eat as well.” He said shooting an arrogant smirk at Natsumi who looked stunned at first, but was that a giggle that escaped her lips? Indeed it was, a giggle filled the air as Natsumi hovered her hand in front of her face.

“Forgive my lack of manners, but what you said was quite hilarious my deary. I for one did not fall for Hatake’s attempt at trickery. I ate a full breakfast, and enjoyed my tea.” She said gazing upon both Sakura and Sasuke who looked shocked.

“Y-you ate? But Kakashi-sensei said we shouldn’t you baka!” Sakura screeched and Natsumi couldn’t help but let out a snort.

“He didn’t say we shouldn’t, he suggested that we shouldn’t. There is a difference my ignorant child, now you pay for your inability to listen.” Natsumi was enjoying herself, picking on her teammates was so much fun.

‘…I…I fell for it. Me. An Uchiha. I fell for such a thing.’ Sasuke thought in shock though his face did not betray him. He grit his teeth as his stomach played against him and growled in hunger. All eyes were on him as the belly of the Uchiha let the world know that it was hungry.

“And the first piglet went oink.” Natsumi sang with a smirk, Sasuke glared at her…suddenly he was starting to hate her.

‘You know you love her.’ I.S teased while drawing an imaginary heart with Sasuke’s and Natsumi’s initials in it.

Sakura was about to defend her eternal lover, when her stomach followed and let out an even more terrifying growl. She blushed as she saw the look Sasuke sent her.

“And then the second piglet roared like a beast.” Sakura resisted the tempting urge to lunge at the girl, and opted to glare at her.

“As much fun as your hunger provides me, I cannot have you lagging during the test.” Natsumi pulled out a scroll from the wide sleeves of her lavender kimono and unsealed the contents.

“Be honored not many can say they have tasted the bliss that is Junko-san’s delicacies.” Natsumi said revealing to them bento boxes filled with mouth-watering food.

“Eat up my naïve teammates, eat.” She handed them the meals and watched in both disgust and amusement as they scuffed down the food to the last grain.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

3 hours later.

Kakashi appeared on a branch in puff of smoke with his ever so present eye smile.

“Yo.” He greeted raising a hand to his maybe-students.

“YOU’RE LATE!” Sakura screamed out in anger at the white haired Jonin who scratched back of his head sheepishly.

“Now, now Sakura. I have a reasonable explanation.” His students waited for this so called reasonable explanation, “I was lost on the road of life.” They all faltered at his lame excuse.

“Now, who’s ready for some fun teacher-student bonding?” Kakashi asked with an all too giddy tone.
==========================---------------------=======================
End of chapter 2.

Chapter Text

Sasuke hid on a branch of a thick tree in the foliage surrounding their training ground. There hasn’t been much movement since the test began around five minutes ago. He could tell Sakura was nearby due to the scent of her perfume carried by the wind, but his other teammate was good at hiding herself as he couldn’t spot her elegant form.

He eyed Kakashi carefully who stood at the same spot since he started the test, the man hadn’t moved much he just stood there staring off into the distance.

‘I wonder where Natsumi went?’ the raven haired preteen thought as he searched the area for the petite blonde.

“What do you need Uchiha?” a voiced asked.

Without skipping a bit Sasuke answered, “I’m looking for Natsumi.”

“Oh…but I’m right here.” Sasuke’s eyes widened as he turned back and indeed Natsumi was present, a smug smirk plastered on her face. Sasuke nearly jumped out of the skin, he hadn’t even sensed her.

“Be mindful of your surroundings Uchiha, in real situations you would have been killed on the spot before you even knew it.” Natsumi chided as she twirled around and stared past his shoulder and peered at their laid back sensei.

“Hn.” Sasuke didn’t have a verbal response for her so he kept his mouth shut and watched their trainer idly stand on the spot, ‘He’s not taking any of this seriously.’ It angered him that he, an Uchiha elite was being treated like a mere distraction.

“Alright time to test him.” She whispered swiftly rising to her feet and stretching lightly. Sasuke raised a brow before snorting; this would be entertaining to say the least. A small Genin such as her, going up against a probably skilled Jonin.

“Yeah, right good luck with that.” She only beat him during the exam because he wasn’t focused, yeah, it was just pure dumb luck on her side.

“Arrogance is your forte.” She muttered, her gaze staring deep into his own eyes. Without another word spoken she walked around the foliage, her movements at a moderate pace as she prepared to face the lone eyed Jonin.

Kakashi raised a brow as he caught sight of a calm Natsumi, using his finger to keep his book in place he watched her with a hint of curiosity, ‘Well, this should be quite interesting.’ He thought as he sent his notorious eye smile, “Natsumi, so finally decided to confront your Sensei?” he asked cheerfully. She smirked as she returned the eye gesture.

“No…I’m here to beat him.” She quipped with the smirk still present as she grabbed the obi around her waist and lightly tugged on it, unraveling the bow. She threw it to the side as she slid the kimono off her shoulders. Underneath the ornate garment was a one piece outfit. It was made of dark grey material with a lone zipper running down the middle. It stopped at her shins where it was met by a pair of dark sandals. Its sleeves ended just past her shoulders, at which the long sleeves of a mesh under shirt took over. Light thin metal plates of armor guarded her hips and thighs as well as a lone plate strapped along her chest. Her forearms were guarded by vambraces made of the same metal. All in all, the outfit reminded Kakashi of a modified version of the Sandaime’s battle gear.

“Now I’m more presentable for this bout.” She spoke as she stood in a stance, one frighteningly similar to the Gentle fist.

‘If she does know that technique, then I’m screwed.’ He thought as he critically examined her form. It wasn’t giving him any comfort, it was definitely the feared taijutsu of the Hyuga clan. His eyes diverted to her legs as they switched and to some unknown signal she took off.

She rushed at the older ninja and closed the gap between them in a matter of seconds, once a few feet away from him she thrust her arm forward opening her palm mid strike. Kakashi saw this coming and slapped it away, the first palm was followed by another which he slapped away again. She spun around and squatted slightly her palm closed into a fist aiming for his sides. The skilled Jonin grabbed the fist and began his counter-attack. He lifted his left leg and planned for a kick, but it seems Natsumi had anticipated that as she jumped and planted her feet on his chest, and pushing forward. Kakashi stumbled back releasing his grip on her; he turned his attention back on her and saw the thin smirk stretching her lips.

“Well, you’re flexible.” He commented and he noticed that she had placed her right hand on her left shoulder, “But, you hurt yourself as well.” He chirped with a light chuckle but she rolled her eyes.

“It’s already healed.” She replied while rolling the shoulder and a pop was heard, she stared at him once more and looked to the right. Kakashi followed her gaze and saw an identical Natsumi rushing at him, he’s lone eye widened, ‘When did she create a clone? Better question, where did she learn to create a Shadow clone?’ He asked himself as he blocked a strike from the clone which immediately dispersed as it struck him. He blinked but cursed as he had momentarily forgotten about the original. A sharp pain shot up his side, followed by two more that spread to his back and abdomen. He grunted as he glared at Natsumi who had struck him three times, she leapt back as he lashed out at her.

“Huh, that’s all it took to draw your attention?” She asked her, relaxing her stance as she a thin brow at the veteran.

“Well excuse me for being surprised by a Genin being able to create a Shadow clone.” He said with an irrate tone, “How does a Genin know that technique?” He asked suspiciously and she shrugged her shoulders.

“Since when do opponents exchange secrets?” She asked with a snort. He was about to retort but noted that she was in fact correct, opponents should never trade secrets.

“Fair point.” He sighed fully pocketing his book, he needed to treat this small one seriously.

“You only decide to put away your book once I’ve completed my test run? Mockery.” She frowned as she bent down and collected her discarded articles of clothing, “Rude.” She muttered as she threw her kimono on and began to bind it with the obi.

Kakashi felt himself deflate as she berated him and wore her kimono, “…Sorry…I guess.” He said rubbing the back of his head. She merely huffed, and turned away. He blinked and blinked, was she going to just walk away? “Natsumi?!” he called out. She ignored him and continued to leave the battle area. Soon she was engulfed by the foliage and hidden by the trees.

‘That was weird.’ He thought as he slowly took out his book, ‘I’m not sure who she takes after, her father or mother?’ he wondered before slightly wincing as a pain shot through his sides, ‘That wasn’t the Gentle fist, but something similar.’ He glanced at his side and lightly rubbed it.

He looked around before randomly picking a path, he began his slow walk in search of his other students.

---------=-==-=-=-=-------------

Sasuke watched in a bit of awe and jealousy as he watched Natsumi confront Kakashi. She was able to land four strikes on him, and all of them caught him off guard, ‘I’ll land twice that amount, I’ll even make him submit.’ He thought as his arrogance took over.

‘But she looked hot doing it.’ His inner nuisance chipped in with his own two cents. He growled and forcefully muted him as he went to confront their Sensei.

-----=-=-=------=-=-=-=--=

Sakura watched the little scuffle and felt a bit of dread, ‘I-I can’t do that.’ She thought as she compared herself with Natsumi, and as much as she hated to admit it…she was weak compared to the blonde twerp. Her stature was just a guise for what she was truly capable of…is this why Sasuke paid more attention to Natsumi than herself? Because of her capabilities and strength? It must be! Sakura was more attractive than that loli! So strength it is! She must become stronger and prove to her beloved that she’s the only one meant for him!

-----=-=-=-----=-=-=-=-=-

“Well…Sasuke Uchiha-san, you seem a bit head over heels.” Natsumi’s signature grin took hold over her graceful visage as she lavished at the sight of an incapacitated Sasuke who was less than pleased by her laughter. It was embarrassing for him, an UCHIHA! To be trapped in such a manner and left to be a laughing stock for a Hyuga sponsered brat such as her. He growled and glared at her, his coal orbs leering into the swirling pools of sapphire.

“Get me out of here!” he ordered which brought a pause to Natsumi’s giggles as she stared at him with her head tilted to the side. Her bright eyes fluttered as she blinked multiple times and claimed a seat on the ground (Something Sasuke never thought he would see from her) just staring at him. Silence. That was it, she just sat there and stared at him as if he were some sort of perplexing puzzle. Sasuke was suddenly reevaluating his thoughts on the blonde enigma, but just as he was about to word his frustration a shriek grabbed his attention.

“S-SASUKE!” Sakura’s wail was soon followed by the sound of a body hitting the unforgiving gravel. Just past the shrubs their pink haired teammate lay unconscious from the shock of seeing her infatuation as a head with no body.

“My oh my.” Natsumi commented as she hopped to her feet and dusted down her kimono of any dirt or grass that would dare cling to the material. The blonde approached her fallen comrade and knelt beside her, placing the back of her hand against Haruno’s forehead; from there her hand moved to the other’s cheek before with hasty action her wrist cocked back before unleashing a stinging slap upon the sleeping girl’s skin. It did the job as Sakura sat upright with a loud screech as she clutched her flushed face and sent an emerald glower at the smiling half-pint.

“What is your problem you brat?!” Sakura exclaimed but she would receive no answer as Natsumi had already turned around and focused on Sasuke, working on freeing him from his earthy prison. All of her anger died down as she saw the last Uchiha in peril, being the fangirl that she was she took to assisting Natsumi with digging the raven haired male out of his predicament.

Once the entire team was collected and seated, Natsumi picked that moment to speak up and address the test which she estimated would end in less than an hour.

“Let us clear any foolish illusions of grandeur, none of us can beat Kakashi Hatake-sensei-“

“You seemed to be doing just fine, and I almost got a bell myself.” Sasuke intervened only to be shut up by a glare that promised him pain and suffering.

“Never interrupt a lady Sasuke Uchiha-san. Now as I was saying, we are genin who have just recently left the academy defeating a Jonin with experience such as our sensei is just a dream…so there is only one option, we need to work together to get the bells.” Natsumi stated but she was met with silence and scoff from her fellow teammates.

“Yeah right, you only want to get a bell for yourself and use us as bait.” Sakura crossed her arms and set a stone locked gazed at the smaller girl who refused to budge. However the next words shocked the pinkette.

“Natsumi is right.” He never thought in a million years that he would be agreeing to someone else’s opinion but this was for his future and he would not allow anything to stand in his way of getting stronger, if he had to shelf his pride just for an hour he would do it and listen to the chibi seated in front of him.

“Thank you Uchiha-san. Haruno, unless you have any better idea I suggest you listen up and let the grownups handle this.” Sakura held no response so she silently seethed and begrudgingly accepted.

“Good, now I have an idea…”

---- A few minutes later ----

‘Hm, they only have ten minutes left.’ Kakashi thought as he spared a moment to steer his eye away from the book he held and scoured the field. He was met with a plain of undisturbed greenery, trees which hosted to a variety of critters be they birds or squirrels. Sometimes, one just needed to enjoy the little things in life…such as the blonde who just stepped out of the shrubs.

“Ah if it isn’t my adorable student, Natsumi I wondered where you disappeared off to.” Kakashi spoke up as he lowered his book. If their last encounter taught him anything, it was to not underestimate the girl approaching him.

“Still reading that book I see Hatake-san.” Natsumi traded her own words as she once more undid her obi and allowed for her kimono to glide to the ground.

“It’s an interesting book, I would lend it to you but I doubt you would understand.” Kakashi narrowed his eye, he knew that Natsumi was a confident and poker faced individual but for some reason it was different this time around, there was an edge to the way she spoke and stood.

“Heavens no, anything written by Jiraiya is raunchy and unfitting of a lady such as myself.” Kakashi was a bit surprised by her knowledge on the book and its author, he felt a little unsettled now.

“Shadow clone Jutsu!” Two identical copies of Natsumi sprang to life besides the Genin, both mirroring their creator’s stance. Dealing with one was already a mess, now with two more…he needed some quality book time after this.

The two clones rushed at him with Natsumi following a second later with some distance placed between her and her copies. As they approached the white haired Jonin, the clone on the left gained a boost in speed and led the way, now all three blondes were in a single file with varying speeds to their gaits.

The clone ahead of the rest suddenly lowered herself as she slid across the grassy terrain and aimed to kick out his legs. Kakashi responded by leaping back to stay out of its reach but it would appear that his movements were predicted as the second clone leapt over the first and attempted to strike him from above. Whipping out his forearm Kakashi was able to block the palm strike but felt a near bone shattering throb course throughout his arm.

“Argh!” he grunted as he pushed the clone back and tried to look for the original Natsumi.

“Fire Style: Fireball Jutsu!” Kakashi’s lone eye widened as he felt the looming heat lick his back as well as the glow of amber approaching him from behind. His stutter was used against him as the first clone lashed out with her legs and locked Kakashi down while the second clone managed to capture his arms, effectively trapping him.

A fiery explosion rocked the training grounds as Kakashi was engulfed in flames however he managed to escape as he leapt out of the accumulated smoke and embers, his uniform singed and scorched from the attack. Scanning the grounds from above he could see both Natsumi and Sasuke, but where was Sakura…or was she left out of the equation?

“CHA!” For what felt like the hundreth time that day, his eye widened as he brought his attention to the space above him. He spotted Natsumi –or maybe a clone- latching onto Sakura’s arm and twirling her about for momentum before proceeding to launch the pinkette at the airbound Jonin. The impact was more than he expected as Sakura’s fist connected with his head sending him crashing to the ground. Sakura followed after him and planted her feet against his chest upon landing, knocking the wind out of him.

“Sakura now!” Sasuke yelled and the pink haired Genin scurried around as she reached out for the bells attached to the disoriented Jonin’s waist. Her fingers clasped around the metallic spheres but just as she was about to yank at the string, she heard the wail of the timer and her hand suddenly grasped at smoke. Kakashi was gone.

“Shadow clone.” Natsumi clicked her tongue as she veered her head towards the location of the timer. A sigh left her lightly tinted pink lips as she began walking off towards where she deemed her sensei would be. Along the way she swept her kimono from the grass and draped it over her shoulders. Her two teammates followed after her all in silence as they prepared themselves for the bad news.

“Well I must certainly say…”Kakashi began as they approached him. His lone eye surverying the three Genin who displayed different demeanours. Sakura seemed…sad, Sasuke was brooding (as usual) and Natsumi bore her signature poker face that gave away little to no thoughts at all. They were a little rough around the edges and needed more training, especially on the teamwork department but Kakashi was pleased to know that they could work as a team, he just needed to teach them how to work effectively. Sasuke and Natsumi were already capable ninjas on their own, but Sakura was lacking in certain departments so he would need to focus more on building her up, but by no means did this gesture to him ignoring his whole team. Yes his team…which meant…

“You passed.” He flashed them an eye smile much to their surprise, even Natsumi quirked a brow which he would take as a victory.

“We pass?” The blonde questioned suspiciously.

“Yes, the true purpose of the test was to test you ability to put aside your differences and band together to take on a common enemy. You are ninja of the leaf, and teamwork is the essential strength of a Leaf shinobi. You three are still a little rough around the edges, but I have my faith in you…so with that said, I’ll see you next Monday at 0700 hours right here, team 7.” With his speech deliver, the silver haired Jonin left with a swirl of leaves probably off to the Hokage.

The official team 7 was left in silence. Nothing spoken for a good minute or two before the posh blonde of the trio cleared the smoke and mirrors.

“Kakashi Hatake has never passed a team. That speaks volumes of what we have managed to accomplish.” Natsumi began as she slowly turned to face her teammates with a sparkle in her eyes, “I say this is a time to celebrate wouldn’t you say?” another episode of silence fell on the training ground, Sasuke scoffed as he turned around and began heading for his ghost-town of a family estate. Sakura glued her eyes on the red and white crest on the boy’s back as he ventured the path away from them.

“How about you Sakura-san? Care to join me for some ramen?” to say that Sakura was shocked was an understatement…never would she have imagined that the blonde twerp would address her in such a manner. The pinkette was conflicted, she could decline and chase after Sasuke but she knew that he would just slam the gates in her face as soon as he got home…or she could join Natsumi and learn more about her fellow female and perhaps milk something out of the gathering.

“…I would like that.” Sakura responded with a nod of her head, and yet again to her surprise Natsumi smiled at her, and it wasn’t her smug or belittling grin, but an actual smile. The blonde spun on her heels and led the way, her kimono riding the wind.

End of Chapter 3!

Chapter Text

“Natsumi…c-can I know more about you?” the young blonde raised a slender rounded brow at the question shot her way. She’d come to learn that her rosé haired teammate was more soft-spoken when not around her crush, in fact Natsumi could swear that Sakura was intimidated by her. She’s heard little from the fangirl since they arrived at Ichiruka’s, Natusmi sometimes would forget that she wasn’t alone until the other shuffled.

“About myself? In what manner?” Natsumi questioned as she dipped her set of chopsticks into the pork broth pooling within the bowl topped with long spindly noodles. That was one thing that Sakura learned about her impish partner, she always carried a sealed pack of metallic chopsticks each baring her initials at the top.

“Stuff…like, are you and Hinata…a pair?” the question caught Natsumi off-guard and the poor girl nearly choked on her own saliva. Hunching over and smacking her chest she cleared her airways and panted as she recovered, her cheeks a bright shade of scarlet but whether it was from choking or from the question itself was only known to her, but the general guess would lead to both.

“E-excuse me?” She rubbed her throat and turned her head to face the now flustered Sakura who felt embarrassed for asking the question. Yet Sakura knew she couldn’t be blamed! Natsumi and Hinata were ridiculously close to the point that it would raise questions from people outside of their friendship. The way Natsumi would cling to the Hyuga heiress was odd, and her mannerism suggested more than a buddy system between the two. One time Sakura could swear she caught Natsumi nuzzling into Hinata’s neck as if leaving a hickey. She needed to know!

“You and Hinata, are you two in a relationship?” Sakura asked once more after some self-motivation her stern emerald gaze peering into the ocean pools that Natsumi possessed. Sakura was no specialist when it came to reading people but she could tell that there was some hesitation in Natsumi as her lips twitched with empty words and darting eyes, of course this was Natsumi, the girl regained her composure as fast as she lost it and a light tug pulled on the corners of her lips.

“Hinata and I are friends, best of friends in fact…I’d go as far as to say we are sisters in all but blood. You should know that same sex relationships involving a clan heir are met with negativity especially with one as regal as the Hyuga clan.” Natsumi explained and the more that Sakura that about her words the more they made sense. The Hyuga clan was one of Konoha’s first clans and possessed a Kekkei Genkai that could only be passed down through blood relatives of the clan, meaning that they married amongst one another. If she had to guess, Hinata was already meant to marry a cousin of hers to keep the clan blood pure.

“For you to bring up such a question…Sakura Haruno, are you eyeing me?” Natsumi teased with her lips creasing into that familiar smirk of hers that managed to be both majestic and smug. It was Sakura’s turn to feel the heat in her cheeks as they burned with several shades of red that nearly outdid the colour of her dress. She reeled back and waved her hands in front of her defensively
.
“N-NO!” she protested and Natsumi clutched at the fabric of her kimono right where her heart would be, her face shaping into an expression of mock sadness.

“Am I not beautiful Haruno-san? Do you think of me to be an unattractive troll?” Sakura began to panic at her teammate’s words and just as she was formulating a response, the sound of jovial giggles broke through her ears. Natsumi was not hurt nor offended, which allowed Sakura to release the air she didn’t know she was holding in.

“Worry not Sakura-san, I am only jesting with you but since you brought up the topic of love and romance, I must say that I do not view myself with anyone…not because I have no interest in such a thing, but circumstances place me at a disadvantage. Besides, who would want to date a small girl such as myself.” She laughed but unlike her chuckles from prior, this one felt dry and forced.

“You may be snobbish but you are pretty, I’m sure you’ll find someone.” Sakura answered and the two girls just stared at one another for what felt like an eternity before a light thud called to their attention. The females of team seven turned to the counter where they food had lost all its warmth due to being forgotten but what immediately drew their attention was the plastic bag set on the wooden surface with what appeared to be books. From what Sakura deduced they were coloured orange, teal, and red respectively.

“Sorry to interrupt your chat girls, but I have your stuff Natsumi-chan.” Ayame spoke as she leaned against the counter, her hazelnut eyes brimming with a knowing to them. However before Sakura could question the contents of the plastic Natsumi hurriedly reached out for the parcel and tucked it between her calves, shielding it with her kimono.

“Thank you Ayame-san.” Natsumi smiled and bowed her head in appreciation. Ayame giggled and waved her hand before disappearing into the back again, leaving the newly graduated Genin to themselves once more.

“…Why are you so polite?” That was her next question and Natsumi found it easy to answer as she coiled strands of noodles around her chopsticks, dipping them in the bisque allowing them to absorb the porky flavour.

“I grew up in the Hyuga clan, etiquette is the first thing one is taught. It has simply become second nature.” The blonde answered and with her words spoken she brought the gathered noodles to her mouth and slurped on them, and Sakura couldn’t believe she would say this…but the action was graceful.

“So you were raised by the Hyuga…that explains a lot.” Sakura said more to herself than her companion. A few minutes would pass with peaceful silence between the two, only the lively sounds of Konoha made them aware of their whereabouts. Sakura felt the chill of the night breeze as the sun lent the village a few more rays of amber light. The cold was settling in and despite the warmth of the Ramen stand, her skin was still exposed to the intrusive air that blew past the flaps behind them.

“It’s getting late yes.” Natsumi spoke her thoughts as she finished up her bowl…well her tenth bowl that is. That was yet another thing that Sakura learned about Natsumi, the little girl had the belly of a beast one that could engulf entire villages…if only she knew.

“Yes it is…Natsumi, one more thing.” Sakura didn’t know how she would ask this but she needed to. Natsumi turned to the pinkette with a quirked brow and waited for more to be spoken.

“Can we…of course whenever you’re free that is, but can we train?” Sakura asked and already she expected a no, so imagine her surprise when Natsumi agreed.

“Of course. You are my teammate, we have to be strong and learn to work together for this team to be successful. We have a week before our first official team meet up, although I wish Sasuke-san would join us I know he would decline. You just tell me when you’re available and I’ll make my way to you.” Sakura felt ecstatic and never had she imagined that she would be getting along with Natsumi, perhaps she had misjudged her blonde teammate.

“Great! I-I mean, thank you! Can we meet on Monday? From there we can schedule other meetings.” Natsumi nodded her head as she rose from her seat and pulled out a wad of notes, Sakura was about to do the same when the whiskered female stopped her.

“Don’t worry I’ll pay.” Before she could protest the blonde had already done so as Ayame returned and accepted the payment.

“Monday, Sakura-san…until then, enjoy your weekend.” With that Natsumi left with her parcel. Sakura sat for a while before sighing but before she left she spotted something on the ground, it was a dark red covered book which must have been dropped by Natsumi. Picking it up she rushed out in search of her teammate but couldn’t spot her anywhere.

-----========-------=========-------

Hyuga clan compound – 21:00

Natsumi sat on the edge of the bed garbed in her pajamas composed of silk. Behind her was Hinata, seated cross-legged with her soft hands going through the golden tresses of her minder.

“How did your test go Natsumi-chan?” Hinata asked in her voice that could rival the texture of her pyjamas. Natsumi hummed as she swung her legs beck and forth, her toes brushed against the tatami creating a bristling sound.

“It was moderate, we expereinced difficulties but managed and proved to Hatake-sensei that we were worthy of being a team, but I tire of talking about myself. I am more interested in your day Hinata-hime.” The meek heiress found herself flattered and could only produce stammers. It would be a few seconds before she would be able to piece together a coherent statement.

“Kurenai-sensei tasked us in several layered Genjutsu, Shino and I had little trouble but we had to assist Kiba. In the end we were able to break the entire illusion to gain Kurenai-sensei’s approval.” Natsumi eyed her pseudo-sister and Hinata caught her gaze through the assistance of the mirror placed above the dresser facing the bed the two occasionally shared.

“And she treated us to ice-cream.” A satisfied smile crawled along Natsumi’s face.

“…I am proud of you Hinata-hime.” Natsumi said and Hinata found that her blush from before returned with a vengeance. Natsumi giggled at the girl’s reaction as the night continued.

An hour had passed and Natsumi had left Hinata to roam the Hyuga compound, the night’s breeze brushing against her skin and carrying her sun-kissed strands. The pale moonlight cast brilliant pallid glows against her skin and the surfaces of the complex, however her favourite feature of the night would have to be the pond at the centre.

She visited it every night to compose her thoughts and reflect on memories, it also helped her meditate. This was also the best time to do so for everyone was asleep aside for the branch members who would patrol the yards in search of any oddities.

“That is enough for today Neji.” Her walk came to a stop as a familiar voice broke through dusk’s silence. in the small distance she spotted two males garbed in the traditional Hyuga practice gear, both baring a striking resemblance to one another.

“Hai Tou-san.” The younger of the two responded and immediately she recognized the duo as she approached them, stepping out of her momentary shadows and into the light. The younger male spotted her and she could see the slight jerk in his body as he forced himself to stop whatever he was about to do, instead he smiled which caught the older’s attention causing him to turn around and eye the approaching blonde.

“Ah Natsumi-chan.” The man spoke with a gentle smile as his pale eyes gazed at her.

“Hizashi-san, Neji-kun.” She greeted with her own beam. The father and son duo, she had a lengthy history with them…in fact they largely contributed to her adoption into the Hyuga clan. They were the few that were important to her besides Hinata, Hanabi, Hiashi, and the Sandaime (as well as the Ichirukas).

“Here to meditate?” Neji asked and Natsumi nodded, an action that was mirrored by his father.

“We shall not distract you any further, Neji let us head to bed. Also congratulations Natsumi-chan, I look forward to seeing out your journey as a Kunoichi of Konoha and a representative of the Hyuga clan.” Natsumi bowed in appreciation before watching the two leave. Once she was certain that she was left to her lonesome, she wandered over to the pond that reflected the moon’s luminosity. Colourful Koi fish swam in circular motions before breaking their pattern and cutting across the pool of water, her favourite was the bright orange one, it had an appeal to it.

“Alright.” She clasped her hands together before lightly seating herself near the pond’s edge and shutting her eyes. She brought her hands to her knees and took a deep breath before exhaling. Seconds passed and when she reopened her eyes she was met with different scenery, a field of lavenders flanked the clearing she was in with a layer of sunflowers in the further distance, furthermore high oak trees hid bits of the mountains enclosing the terrain. Ahead of her was a rather large mountain the peaked past the clouds with an enormous cave entrance at the base, but the cave itself was restricted by a large metal gate held together by a paper seal in the middle.

Natsumi rose from her meditative stance and walked towards the gate, only stopping some feet away from it. Large peering orbs glared through the darkness before the prisoner made themselves clear, crimson fur lined a gigantic creature that resembled a torso with long ears and dark patches surrounding its ears, it had a humanoid torso and long tails that numbered at the attendance of nine.

“Kurama.” Natsumi greeted in her perpetual polite tone that seemed to be carried by every word that left her lips.

“Natsumi.” The creature’s voice was deep and gruff, shaking her very being. To any normal person this monster would be a terrifying sight, but to the blonde it was just her friend, although that wasn’t their initial relationship a few years ago.

“Does she still slumber?” Natsumi questioned and for a brief moment Kurama –as it had been addressed- looked over his shoulder and into the darkness of the cave before turning back to the petite kunoichi shaking his massive head.

“No, but I believe she will awake soon. She rambles now.” Kurama responded and Natsumi sighed but accepted the news with a nod. The young girl sat herself on the meadow and focused her blue eyed gaze at the Biju.

“Let us talk Kurama…”

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Next morning.

Natsumi returned from her morning training, finding the door to her room slightly ajar. She did not panic for she could already sense who it was. Entering the room she found the only other person who was smaller than her, Hanabi Hyuga, Hinata’s young sister.

“Hanabi~” Natsumi called out to the girl who was hunched over on the other side of her bed. The girl did not look up but when Natsumi heard the distinct sound of paper rubbing against paper she panicked. Hanabi looked up and stood from her crouched position with an orange covered book.

“Natsu-nee, what is a puss-“before Hanabi could finish the phrase Natsumi had already leaped over the bed and clasped the girl’s mouth, keeping her from saying the rest of the word. The kunoichi proceeded to snatch the book from the child’s hand and chuck it towards her pillows.

“O-Oh nothing, here read this.” A flustered Natsumi pulled open her nightstand drawer and retrieved another book.

“Gutsy Shinobi.” Hanabi mouthed the title of the book before looking up at Natsumi with her big innocent eyes. She couldn’t say anything for she was shooed out of the room and left to return to her own with this new book in her possession.

Natsumi groaned as she threw herself on her bed and felt the orange covered book in her hand.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

three months later.

“This is Empress checking in, I have sight of the target.”

“This is Depressed sponsor…I see it too.”

“Pink squire reporting, still unable to see the target.”

“Alright, Empress, and Depressed sponsor, close in and capture the target.”

Sasuke Uchiha prided himself for being a capable ninja, so when they were tasked with capturing a mere cat he thought it to be a waste of his time…but that was three hours ago and he has suffered at the paws of the devil, boasting several slashes across his forearms. Each time he got close to capturing the devil’s spawn he wound up getting hurt in one way or another and he was just one scratch away from burning the cat to a crisp but he couldn’t do that since it was the daimyo’s wife’s cat. He noted that Natsumi appeared to be immune to the cat, meaning it never attacked her which he found irksome and it bothered him, did she have to be good at EVERYTHING?! Argh it was so infuriating…yet alluring.

‘Oh boy, you are so madly in love.’ Sasuke could swear that obsessing over Itachi has driven him over the edge of insanity and the little voice in his head was a result of it.

‘I’ll show her.’ The Uchiha thought as he leaped into action and lunged at the cat that had tucked itself in between a series of trees within Konoha’s park. The auburn furred feline hissed as it arched its back, paws swiping at the Uchiha as he fought to capture it. The scuffle between man and beast continued for several seconds but Sasuke lost the battle as the cat was able to land a clean slash at his cheeks. He yelled in pain, choosing to cup his bloodied face allowing the creature to scamper off.

“How graceful Uchiha-san, however I did not take you for a masochist.” He growled as Natsumi’s voice entered his ears. He shot a fiery glare at her but snarled at seeing the cat resting in her arms…that bastard!

“This is Empress, target subdued.” Natsumi reported through the ear piece, alerting the two other members of the team who would then appear a few moments later. With the whole team assembled Kakashi smiled at the trio.

“Great job team, we did good!” he was met with a collection of blank stares, all three with similar thoughts about their sensei’s words.

“Alright let’s report!”

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“Tora! My baby!” Natsumi pitied the fluffy cat as it was nearly crushed by the daimyo’s wife who had some girth to her. She suffocated the cat with a bone-crushing hug. Sasuke on the other hand was less sympathetic as he watched with glee, that would teach the cat to mess with an Uchiha.

“Excellent work Team 7.” The aged but wise Sandaime Hokage spoke in his elderly voice right after the woman left the room. Iruka sat next to him sorting through scrolls, searching for one appropriate for the team.

“Thank you Hokage-sama.” Kakashi would respond for his team while bringing his hand to the back of his head.

“Available missions include painting Ms.Midoriya’s fence, pulling weeds from-“ Iruka was not given the opportunity to finish listing the missions due to Natsumi’s interruption.

“Pardon me Iruka-sensei but I must be bold and state that I believe that we are ready for something more challenging than chores.” Iruka was stunned but a part of him knew that Natsumi would say such a thing sooner or later.

“Oh.” Hiruzen brought a hand to his chin and stroked at the wisps of his beard.

“There is no way-“Again, Iruka was interrupted, this time by Sasuke who wouldn’t allow himself to be upstaged by his blonde teammate.

“She’s right. We have been completing D-rank missions for the past three months.” Sasuke added his own bit. Sakura stared at her teammate with awe, wishing she had the courage to be so daring but she simply could not question the voice of authority especially if the village’s leader was involved. The Sandaime was a powerful man, trained by both the Shodaime and the Nidaime Hokage. He was known as the god of shinobi due to his extensive knowledge of different jutsu all gathered from his years as an active shinobi on the field.

Iruka could not believe his ears, these genin were rude and too confident in their abilities! Did they believe themselves to be ready for the dangers of the real world beyond the gates?! No he must stop this right no- even his thoughts weren’t safe from intrusion.

“Very well, I believe you can handle a C-rank mission…a simple escort mission should do.” The Hokage spoke up as he shuffled through his collection of mission scrolls.

“Escort...?” Natsumi questioned, letting the question linger in the air. Of course the adults seemed to catch what she meant and had varying reactions. Kakashi coughed into his hand, the Hokage sighed and massaged his temple, and Iruka cast his eyes on the scrolls deciding it was too much for him.

“Not that kind Natsumi.” Kakashi decided to speak up, although he knew that the girl was joking he just wanted to clear that out of the way. it was also obvious that his other students seemed a bit confused by what just happened, clearly unaware of what the blonde was suggesting.

“Bring in Tazuna.”