In the Hidden Leaf, a youth of the Hidden Sand who found his sole purpose to be that of destruction was trembling. The mission to destroy the Village hidden in the Leaves was 'cancelled'.
He was obey orders and stay put until more units arrived to do reconnaissance, only after they have found the perpetrator that had been dipping their hands in political matters was he to go back.
A stench of blood drifted through the air in a secluded area of the Hidden Leaf as the ninjas responsible of Gaara were heavily injured. Their arms were crushed as they leaned on a wall.
'Pathetic.' Gaara thought as he looked at these weaklings who put down hatred for a flimsy reason.
'This is all pathetic!' Did they think they could just rescind the order to destroy the Hidden Leaf?
The Tailed Beast within him had been waiting to cut loose for years, and he too desired to see blood!
Kill kill kill kill! He wasn't a tool anymore! He will destroy the village on his own if he had to!
"It seems you want much more than you are currently capable of." A voice rang into his ear.
The sand that would normally automatically protect his body didn't react as the white-haired man in an Anbu mask appeared. From the descriptions he was given, this was one of Orochimaru's lackeys.
"What do you want?" He calmed his killing intent and looked at Kabuto with an eerie stare.
"To help you out."
"Your Master never showed up." He spoke, and Kabuto knew what he was referring to instantly.
"A hidden Kage-level ninja of the same 'type' as Orochimaru was able to gravely injure my master."
"You can believe what you will... Anyway, my master has grown so enraged recently that he was willing to bring out his most precious 'results' out to see the light of day. You should be grateful." The white-haired ninja fearlessly approached the youth.
"We are willing to make a trade." He continued, his hands pulling out a scroll with chains wrapping it.
"...What 'trade'?" Gaara became a little interested.
"This scroll contains the valuable 'Curse Mark of the Abyss'. It was created solely to allow a Jinchuriki to gain greater power, a treasure that can allow you to overcome the One Tail's mental erosion." The last sentence made his body tremble.
For years, he had never been able to sleep. Always plagued by nightmares whenever he closed his eyes. Kabuto would never be able to understand the grief the One Tail's brought into his life...
"...What do you want?" He knew nothing came for free. There had to be an equal price to pay for this.
"I want you to search for a dog."
"A certain dog wielding the Executioner Blade of the Seven Great Ninja Swords, and his owner with pink hair. Search and destroy them, and my master will award you with what you desire most." Kabuto disappeared into a puff of smoke after finishing.
Gaara stood there with blank eyes, his heart struggling with himself. He no longer wanted to be treated as a 'tool', but he also desired that Curse Mark that could finally bring an end to his suffering. The sands around him then scattered:
"Fine." Was all he said before he began searching.
In the training grounds where Hinata's teams normally trained, Sasuke polished her Taijutsu.
How? By fighting multiple rounds with her until she finally started showing improvements in her skill.
He didn't hold back on her, even taking off his headband so he could use both his Dōjutsu.
Hinata could also feel herself improving as her reaction time became faster. The more she fought with him, the less time she had to think of her insecurities. This bolstered her spirit greatly.
In truth, Hinata was neither untalented nor feeble-minded by nature. It was only due to the pressure of her Clan and the constant breaking of self-esteem by her cousin that she became so meek.
However, the more she fought with Sasuke, the more she polished her techniques way beyond what she initially expected. Even creating her own 64-Palm Rotation that perfected suited her.
As for Sasuke himself, he also felt the benefits of fighting a Dōjutsu user as he integrated the large changes in his kinetic vision into his fighting style naturally. Perhaps older Sharingan Users would be able to beat her easily, but he still had much to learn... As abilities and technique were imbalanced.
The explosive growth in his eyesight and kinetic vision would sometimes confuse him due to how inexperienced he was as a fighter. The hesitation brought by having too many options was normal considering 'sight' wasn't the same as 'strength'.
The more he fought, the more he was able to balance his mind and body, the more courage he had towards killing his brother. These eyes should be enough for him! He will definitely kill him!
"That's enough. Let's rest." After reaching his mental limits again, they stopped their spar.
Hinata looked at Sasuke curiously as he started covering his eyes with his hands in fatigue.
"Don't your eyes hurt?"
"N-no. Ummm, are you feeling well?" She asked in response to his sudden question in confusion.
"..." He didn't give an answer, but she could somehow vaguely understand as Dōjutsu user.
"...I think you should sleep."
"Right here, right now?" He was surprised at this bold advice, but she continued on seriously:
"Using too much mental strength and not properly resting can lead to lasting consequences. I've heard that those with less 'pure' Byakugan from the branch family sometimes overstrain their minds." This advice was purely out of goodwill.
The less 'pure' the Byakugan, the more limited their sight improvements and stamina. Those with the most 'impure' Byakugans couldn't even use its strongest functions without passing out...
She had even heard that overuse of the Byakugan for those of the farthest branch families could even end in them falling into a coma. If they don't rest immediately, then their condition only grows worse.
Although Sasuke understood the logic, he refused to sleep. He wanted to return to his home first.
"Wait!" Hinata stopped him abruptly.
"Please rest right here. You can barely walk." The hesitations in her tone was crushed by her worry.
"I won't..." It wasn't that he didn't understand, but that his guardedness wouldn't let him sleep here.
Throughout his entire life, he didn't trust anyone other than his teammates, and that was the most he could stretch his faith in others. Although his rational mind believed that she wouldn't try gauging out his eyes as he slept, it was still a fear in his brought about by his trauma. The 'sudden' nature of his brother's betrayal lingered in his heart... How could he carelessly go to sleep here?
"Please." Hinata's held her hands together as she looked at him in the eye, not avoiding them one bit.
This was probably the first time she had requested him to do anything in such a manner... Although he wasn't sociable, he wasn't no dense idiot who couldn't understand that she truly worried for him.
Normally, he could brush girls off, but the sincerity in her eyes made it hard to deny her, as that would make him too much of a jerk towards her when she was being thoughtful of him. He couldn't say 'no'.
"Okay." He finally decided to agree.
Although he was uncomfortable to sleep outside without teammates around, he chose to put some faith in her. When she saw that had stopped being stubborn, she made a sweet smile. Happy that he wouldn't overstrain himself due to their spar.
She would feel at fault if he did so.
However, she miscalculated a little. As it seemed like Sasuke was a deep sleeper despite his looks.
After going to sleep, it was lights out. She cleaned up the mess they made while training, and was patient enough to wait for him to wake up. The only problem was that he seemed to be a bit too sleepy.
Ten minutes... to half an hour... to a full hour... to multiple hours... even dawn fell as he was asleep.
Seeing that her Clan members would be worried if she came home, she wanted to wake him up.
"I really have to go home."
"My grandfather might get worried. Ummm, please Sasuke, please just wake up...!" She was on the verge of tears as she couldn't bring herself to shake his body to wake him up. Then an idea hit her as she thought of a different method.
There was a time when her younger sister, Hanabi Hyuga, used to need to be woken up with water.
Rather than shaking him around and invading personal space, she'd rather use this method to make him sense the coldness on his face. Then the both of them can split up and go there merry way.
She picked up a bottle of water from where they had prepared some food to eat and uncapped it.
After drawing in closer and soaking her hand, she was about to flick some on his face, but in instinctive reflexes kicked in as his arm became like a snake to grab her wrist, stopping her doing so.
"Sasuke...!" She didn't know whether to be angry or amused by how he was still sleeping despite grabbing her hand... She retracted her hand, and he let go of her as well, but she didn't give up.
She couldn't leave him here after all...
'He must have used a lot of energy...' To still not wake up even after moving, how much did he use?
She couldn't understand what was driving this black-haired youth at all... She remembered back to the things he said to her and the information she already knew, but none it could let her understand what kind of drive makes people live like this...
From the time they spent together.m, she knew the only thing he thought about was training and fighting to an unnatural degree. Even her competitive classmates weren't this driven...
That not to mention his strange eyes... She had heard that the Uchiha Dōjutsu was a copy-wheel that is coloured red, just like one of his eyes. If that was the case, what was the other Dōjutsu he had?
He wanted to keep it a secret, so she respected his privacy. However, that didn't change her curiosity.
She soaked her hand again and decided to continue try waking up. The result was this:
She tried flicking water on his face.
He stopped it with one hand.
She used both hands to flick water on him.
He turned to block using the back of his head.
Losing patience, she threw water directly from the battle in the direction of his face on impulsive.
He rolled his entire body to dodge.
Hinata: "..." She had so many 'questions' right now.
Sasuke: "..." Was still a badass sleeping beauty.
She wanted to cry at his nonsensical this was! Why was he so good at ‘sleep CQC’ anyway...?!
Her hand unconsciously pointed her fingers at him and was about to use brute force, but regained her composure and pulled her hand back. Doing that wasn’t ladylike at all, she mustn’t act impulsively...!
She looked at what was left in the water bottle and how ‘cool’ Sasuke looked while sleeping with his arms crossed in dismay, then decided there was no other option but to ‘chest’. She opened her Byakugan and focused on his every movement like never before. Her mind was predicting a future where she’d jump and accurately hit his face!
However, the Bloodline Seals within her reacted as soon as they sensed her surpassing her limits.
Sakura hadn’t expected this, the reason her Bloodline Seals stayed dormant until now was because they were supposed to be inactive until she was in an ‘actual fight’. One that would push Hinata’s Byakugan to work to their limits.
The time-traveller expected her to awaken this power only when the situation called for it, like if she was to fight against Neji. However, the situation took a strange turn when they were activated for the sake of ‘waking Sasuke’...
Hinata didn’t even have the time to react as the Strengrh of a Avalanche Seal and Strength of a God Seal robbed her of her consciousness as soon as they travelled to her eyes. Her hand leaned onto a nearby tree as she slowly fell unconscious.
In the end of the day, she failed to wake him up...!