The first thing Ino asked after seeing the two was:
"Is closed eyes a fashion statement?"
If Sasuke wasn't blindfolded with his headband, he would have rolled his eyes at her dumb question.
"Hinata lost her vision." He looked at Sakura, and she quickly realised what had happened.
But on the other side, Sasuke felt something was off about her looks but couldn't quite put his finger on what. He could sense her just fine, but having closed eyes essentially made him colourblind.
Maybe if he was a little more attentive, he'd realise that her hair was longer now, but that didn't matter to him whatsoever. He was more focused on the fact that Hinata's grandfather had scolded him...
After the Hyuga had found him and Hinata unconscious in the training field, they had one-sidedly deduced that someone must have attacked them secretly. Sasuke found it a pain to explain and just nodded along whatever they were saying after a bit. Little did he realise when he accidentally agreed to take care of Hinata due to them not understanding the mutations in her eyes.
Hinata's secret guards had been increased in both quantity and quality, leaving no room for another incident to happen with them being unaware. The fact that he had to stay with her or else risking them seeing through his lie kinda irritated him...
It wasn't that Hinata herself was annoying, but the fact that he didn't know how to treat this girl...
He promised to train her in order to help her get back at her cousin, yet he failed to do it...! He was so annoyed at his own failure to the point he made it his mission to make up for what had happened.
The first thing to do was talk to Sakura about this.
"I understand." Sakura nodded her head and looked towards Hinata, who was feeling miserable.
As a main branch Hyuga, her eyesight was one of the only things she was confident in. They were the proof of her ability and relation to the Hyuga. When she lost them, she started doubting herself more.
Who would she be without her eyesight and bloodline limit? This question had never occurred to her before now, and thinking about it only proved to terrify her...! The only thing she could rely on were the people around her right now...
"I'm sorry..." She held Sasuke's hand tight while feeling like she was being a bother to them.
Her self-esteem had hit an all time low the moment she woke up this morning into a world of nothing but darkness. Her other senses sharpened as she realised sensations she took for granted, yet they could do nothing but boost her internal fears.
Would she be abandoned?
"Hinata..." Sakura couldn't help but lead the two upstairs into Naruto's house with a guilty look.
"He went to train."
"I'll leave her with you. One of you take her home when she wants to." The failure in his desire to help her made him to embarrassed to say near. It was better to do something else than play around here.
"...Sasuke." Before he opened the door, Sakura called out to him after deliberating a little...
"Can you and Kakashi-sensei check around for a red-haired sand villager named Gaara? He's a Jinchuriki like Naruto and is really strong." The last words 'strong' seemed to have caught his interest.
He hasn't had the chance to test out his Eternal Sharingan yet and wanted see how far he had grown for his highest priority 'mission'. Would he be able to avenge his family with his current strength? He needed to test his limits a little.
Even as he agreed and shut the door behind him, a light appeared in his eyes as he chose to not actually involve their sensei into this. The boost in confidence his eyes gave him made him 'blind' to the fact that he wasn't yet a experienced ninja.
No matter how great his eyes, there was no way they could make up for the difference in age and wisdom gained from experience. It was too bad Kakashi wasn't here to explain this to this dolt who really put too much faith in his Dōjutsu.
If only she was aware of his recklessness being heightened thanks to her improving his Bloodline Limit, she wouldn't have let him go out alone if she knew what would be the outcome of this action.
She was distracted by the pressing matters before her and didn't have the mind to spare her attention.
Once he had left, Ino looked back at Sakura and practically 'ordered' for her do something again:
"I have a Mentor who secretly taught me Medical Ninjutsu. She also shared her research in Sealing Ninjutsu with me, allowing me to improve their Bloodline Limits." She lied through her teeth.
Haku, who had previously been waiting outside to protect them, also entered the moment Sasuke left and overheard this excuse. His eyes shone with a shining radiance as soon as he heard this.
"Really?!" Sakura felt a little awkward after seeing that girly smile of his. At first, she had been on guard against Haku and Zabuza, never planning to boost their abilities, but the time they spent together really made them quite close as a 'family'.
"Can you prove it?" Ino asked as she was more than a little suspicious of everything considering her common sense had recently been thrown out the window. Sakura's sudden hair growth and almost mystical tattoo was also too sudden for her.
"Sure, but..." She looked at Hinata, who was looking really confused over what she had heard.
"Not now. You two go talk to each other, I need to talk with Hinata for a bit." Sakura shook her head.
Ino was about to refuse, but as the diligent 'brother' Haku was, he grabbed her and dragged her along without giving her time to complain. His sister's 'orders' was absolute and unquestionable.
Seeing that they were alone, Sakura turned to Hinata with a pained look as she immediately started checking her sight. This wasn't what she planned when she passed on her Bloodline Seals.
There shouldn't have been a reason for Hinata to overuse her Byakugan so early, the Bloodline Seals she imparted needed time to mature before they could be used. She realised that all of this was due to her thinking she could 'preplan' for the future...
"What happened... to me?"
"I 'mutated' your Bloodline Limit."
Sakura's eyes looked around her. It was then she sighed, feeling uncomfortable as she checked Hinata's condition. It was only after figuring out that Hinata's eyes needed some time to mature the same way as Sasuke's Sharingan did she answer:
"For now, I'd like to apologise first. I hadn't intended for this to happen." The adult version of Hinata she met in the future overlapped with the current kid version before her as she looked at her.
To think, that 'cold flame' woman who could shift between having the gentleness of water to the chilling sharpness of ice had grown from such a shy and introverted little girl. She couldn't even find many similarities between this child and the strong, independent mother Hinata would become in the future. It was to the point she had a thought:
'Did I mess up her past?'
From how she could instinctively sense that there were now secret Hyuga bodyguards taking turns opening their Byakugan to check on them, she didn't know if this situation was good or bad...
Sure, it was through fighting Neji to the point of being on the verge of death that she was able to overcome her inferiority complex, but not all growth had to be so extreme... There were other ways as well to nurture her into a strong person.
And overcoming this 'hurdle' was one of them.
"...What happened to my eyes?"
'She did not say it was fine.' Sakura instantly saw through the words that had yet to be spoken.
To Hinata, her action may seem more like a malevolent scheme. Though she was quite, being among such a clan that was staunch in the ways of tradition made her more sensitive and intelligent.
If it wasn't for the fact that she occasionally thinks too much, she'd have matured much quicker without being dragged down by her insecurities and fears. She squinted her closed eyes at Sakura accusingly yet didn't say bring up her negativity.
"I've imparted my Bloodline Seals. The Strength of an Avalanche Seal and the Strength of a God Seal to be more specific." She decided to be upfront about this since closed eyes didn't mean weakness of mind. Hinata would sense any lies from her.
Not by using a Dōjutsu, but intuition.
"And my eyes will be stronger after they have finished 'mutating'?" She asked Sakura carefully.
"Of course." That what Bloodline Seal did, after all.
"...Why me?" To her, there was no reason Sakura would pass this to a 'stranger'. They had barely met and talked before. That's not even mentioning that she was the 'Fallen Princess' of the Hyuga who was cut from inheriting the position of leadership of the Clan after they concluded her to have 'no talent as a leader'. Say these 'Bloodline Seals' DID improve her Dōjutsu: Then how would Sakura benefit from this? What did she want from her?
"I'm not sure how to explain this..."
"Please tell me everything." After losing her vision and the ability to use the Gentle Fist, her heart had hardened out of necessity. If not, she'd be drowning in grief from losing what made her 'HER'.
"You have a stalker." These words seemed a little out of place, mostly because Sakura was diverging her attention rather than answering. She can't say to someone who had yet to grow close to her that she did it because they were good friends, right?
"..." If she could, she'd widen her eyes in response.
"Am I not right, Toneri?" She asked while looking in the direction of the moon, her eyes seemed to be able to sense this guy even as he was on the moon despite not having any ocular Jutsus or Dōjutsu.
This seemed to be a result of her Six Paths Thunder Seal that changed her senses a little.
In fact, she could even feel that she could control chakra much more freely than before thanks to whatever that 'whitening' of her skin did to her Chakra Pathways. She felt an intense gaze on her and now even Hinata after she had woken up...
At first, it was too vague to actually matter, but after a bit, it became so strong that she felt it hard to ignore. The young Ōtsutsuki on the moon was shocked after she pointed out his 'peeping'.
"Are you the Sage's successor?" As he wasn't yet at the level of projected himself, he chose to send his voice to their location. Hinata was scared stiff by the sudden disembodied voice of her 'stalker' and clung onto Sakura for protection.
Having no sight meant her Gentle Fist was useless after all. She wasn't sure who this person was.
"Shouldn't you be asking how I know your name?"
"..." In truth, he was curious about that as well.
"Well, that all doesn't matter. Introduce yourself."
Even though she knew about the things he had done in the future, the current Toneri probably wasn't as 'dark' as his older counterpart. She knew that his obsession towards Hinata could probably be cured right now if they talk things out.
"I am Toneri Ōtsutsuki. That what I'm only comfortable with sharing right now."
"You aren't even going to introduce yourself properly to who you consider your 'future bride'?"
"Bride?!" A mix of embarrassment and fear arose in Hinata's voice as she couldn't understand where the voice was coming from. Plus, what was more important than that was him being a 'stalker'.
"...How do you know about that?" The only reason he checked on the world of Shinobi was due to feeling a massive 'change' in spacetime. Then he stuck to observing Sakura after realising that she seemed to have gained a 'Six Paths' Seal.
"Is your father still alive?"
"...He died a month ago."
"I'm sorry for your loss..."
"Did the Sage tell you about us?"
"It doesn't matter who told me about you. The most important thing here is that I know."
"What is your purpose for calling out to me?"
"I don't agree with how you 'desire' this good friend of mine." She hugged Hinata protectively.
"...It's tradition. Don't people of the Hyuga Clan also have arranged marriages for their members?"
"People make the traditions. I know what I need about your clan, and know that you aren't a bad person at heart, but if you don't agree taking the proper steps first before throwing out a proposal to my friend: Imma kill you dead." Her eyes gained a pink hue with electric energy as she spoke.
Toneri naturally sensed the clear threat in her words and backed off. He wasn't sure about the limits of the Sage's Successor or what her powers as a Ōtsutsuki Clansman was entirely. It also wasn't like what she was proposing was nonsensical.
There was a time in the past when his father helped him project himself at the Hyuga Clan before telling him who his fated wife would be that would carry on his Clan's legacy. He wanted to respect the memory of his father, but realised after seeing the scared expression on Hinata's face that his idealistic daydreams of everything working into his favour went too far. He hadn't expected that she would react like this after they finally met.
Of course the young Toneri would agree! He didn't want to be hated by Hinata, but most of all, thanks to his lack of common sense to how marriages worked, he was panicking on the inside right now.
Wasn't their first meeting a disaster? And what did she mean by 'stalker'? He only recently started to check on her using his powers as an Ōtsutsuki Clansmen. Therefore, he was giving her the space she needed, right? How was he a 'stalker'?
Little did he understand that he'd taken 'giving her space' a little too far to the point she wasn't even aware of his existence until now. Even arranged marriages worked more 'normally' than this...
"Sakura, who is this person?"
"An alien. One that lives on the moon."
"???" She had so many questions after hearing that response, but Toneri's voice spoke out first:
"I'm a proud Ōtsutsuki! How dare you degrade me to the level of mere 'alien'?" The boy scoffed.
'Was he always like this?' Sakura thought.
"Anyway, he is technically blind as well. Maybe you can talk to each other and settle things? He seems to be under the assumption that you'll marry him in the future." She tried to reason with Hinata.
There was no point in trying to ignore or reject this disembodied voice, so might as well befriend him.
He had yet to do anything to them yet. Who knows? He might even help them fight the Akatsuki if they win him over to their side. Though if the opposite happens, she'll go 'up' and crush him.
"She will marry me, aren't I right?" Toneri boasted pridefully as he looked at the only girl who is destined to be with him. He could endure the solitude of living with no one else on the moon with the dreams he had of their future living together.
He couldn't get her not, but maybe he could-
"No." Hinata's patience had run out after all this nonsense as she cleanly refused his proposal.
"Because I don't know you."
"Then let's get to know each other, THEN get married in the future? Oh, I understand this now! It was communication that was needed for bond to form between future life partners."
"Don't worry, I understand!"
He clearly didn't though... The fear she had towards him lessened as she realised how harmless he was. Truthfully, this was the first time someone had so brazenly proposed to her...
Sakura smiled after seeing this change in Hinata as she'd forgotten about her negativity. Even is she couldn't fight, Sakura was sure she'd be able to stay strong now she had a friend to talk to about her ACTUAL problems. It was better than bottling things up. Having Toneri around would also act as a layer of protection now her Gentle Fist was sealed.
She didn't know what the future awaited them, but she decided to keep Hinata close for now...
Who knows what lies or idiocy Toneri will feed her?