Snap Back To Reality
Hina. My new parents had named me after goddamn vegetables, and I couldn't even be angry at them. I looked like a vegetable too, much to my ire. I had ﬂuffy green hair, the kind that was the same colour as kale and broccoli. I thought it was actually kind of a cute name... It appealed to my western aesthetics, but probably not so much to the Japanese one here. Suzuki Hina. I was a car brand too!
I'd not always been Hina. I had been Joanne Linus, a half Indian half Greek successful Bio-Chemist from Australia. Yeah... well apparently, I wasn't anymore. The thought made my head reel in a way that made my tiny, tiny little baby body stumble from dizziness. I was born to my loving parents Suzuki Yua, and Suzuki Noritaka.
I ﬁgured I was somewhere in Japan. My eyesight hadn't come in until I was 3 months old. In that time I took to just listening to people. It was a little maddening how boring everything was. There was my kaasan and tousan, and niisan, and they kept me busy, placing plenty of kisses on my forehead and baby talking me. It kind of made me stop crying, because I did that a lot. I was just so sad because of everything really. Not being able to see, not speak, not do much of anything and completely and utterly left to my thoughts about how stupid my death was and how embarrassing it was that I even remembered it. Oddly enough the rest of the memories regarding my previous life was blurry. I remembered vague things, and knew I was forgetting something… someone very important. I tried not to dwell on it, or my death.
I had choked on vegetables... yup. I died choking on a large bit of bok-choy while slurping down some ramen. Yeah, well hopefully my family was laughing about it instead of crying, because honestly, I deserved it for kicking the bucket in such a stupid way. Here I thought I'd die doing something heroic like pushing someone away from a car or stopping a shooting. As if the universe was laughing at me, it let me keep my memories and my new name meant vegetables too, just to drive home the point that I died choking on bok-choy.
Of course it took me about 6 months to ﬁgure that out, after my kaasan speciﬁcally told me. I just stared at her dumbstruck and then proceeded to pout as best as a 6-month-old could. I spent the next few months desperately trying to walk and talk. I wanted out of this boring old house!
"Nii!" I exclaimed opening and closing my pudgy hands up at my big brother, and boy was he big. My parents had a funny way of naming us. My brother was 4 and he was really tall and chubby. He had brown hair... which I was totally not jealous about because how in the world did anyone have naturally green hair?! Anyway, my parents had named my older brother Taichi, which literally translated to large one. He may be large but oh my god was he soft. He wasn't fat or anything, no he just had the softest personality ever!
"Hina-chan, how did you get out of your crib?"
I just puffed out my chest. How did I, a 35-year-old grown as women, get out of a crib in this barely a year-old body? Well apparently, I was Spider-Man. I don't know how it worked, but I had this sticky substance in my body that was all warm and energetic and buzzing with power and it was so sticky.
If I was going to be stuck as a baby, I demanded entertainment. My brother sighed at me in a 4-year-old equivalent of exasperation. Still he picked me up from my armpits and threw me in the air like I loved him doing. His warm green eyes smiled back at me with an innocence only children had. He was the cutest doting older brother ever!
"You having fun Hi-chan?!"
"Yes, yes!" I squealed in delight, enjoying the way my body jumped.
Apparently despite my very mature mind, my childish instincts still remained. I wasn't exactly sure how this worked, and I wasn't going to question it. Plus, if I was going to be a kid I might as well enjoy it right. I had an excuse now for acting like an immature brat, something I had no excuse for as a professional career woman before. My fun was stopped short when kaasan walked in, her brilliant green hair pulled up in a bun, and her just as green eyes staring down at me. She was oddly intense and extremely paranoid. Despite these less than idea traits she was also really sarcastic. She was sardonic to a fault and it was just fun to poke at.
"Tai-chan, you know how I feel about you throwing Hina-chan," she chided picking me up.
I let out a whine when I was put back into my crib. My poor brother was looking thoroughly admonished and I didn't quite have the vocabulary to tell my kaasan how this was all really not his fault. I was barely allowed out of my crib because of this woman, and she was so paranoid that she had baby proofed every corner in the house that was even remotely pointy.
"Kaasan~" I whined.
"No young lady, you're going to sit here until lunch. Here play with this ok."
Normally any other kid would have been ﬁne with the stupidly irritating chew toy in the shape of a broccoli, but I was not. I wanted out of this prison. Taichi let out a little 'I'm sorry' before he was led out of the room. I let out an irritated huff, throwing the stupid vegetable toy out of the crib. I wanted it to hit the wall dramatically, making a loud sound to show my frustration, but my stupid weak baby arms only managed to toss it half a meter.
I slumped down in my crib, sucking my thumb. This life was stupidly boring. I was used to large families, with endless events and things I had to take care of. This life just felt dull in comparison. I had only been outside once and that was back when I couldn't see anything. My tousan was more willing to take me out but only ever to our backyard and to the bakery downstairs that we owned, but even that was only once.
I decided that I was done listening to my kaasan. I was Spider-Man for gods sake! I could do anything. Mwhahahaaha! I was tired from climbing the crib before but I was determined to get this right.
"Yu' goo," I gurgled in my ﬂuent baby language.
I put my palm on the wall and pulled out that sticky substance inside of me and put it on the wall and did the same with my knees and then I began crawling on the wall. I was so focused on it that I didn't realise I had climbed upside down. Oh my gosh was I on the roof! I may have been cursed to remember how bad my vegetable related death had been for the rest of my life, but karma evened it out by making me goddamn Spider-Man!
I was so shocked by the sudden name calling at I didn't realise I had let go of my concentration. That's when I found myself falling. I let out a cry of shock when I collided into strong arms.
"I got you, I got you. Hush."
It was my tousan! I threw my pudgy little arms around him in relief. Wow I was so close to dying just then! I couldn't control my stupid baby emotions and began crying. He pet my back gently with his really big hands that basically took up more space than my whole back combined. I felt safe in his arms. I looked up in my father's relieved black eyes and let out a sniﬄe.
"Scawry," I mumbled, wiping the snot from my nose.
"Oh, I'm so sorry Hina-chan. How- How were you climbing on the walls?"
I shrugged. Maybe mutants existed in this world? Maybe I was some one of a kind accident by the universe? I had absolutely no idea.
"What happened Nori?" mom asked, rushing into the room.
"Hina was... she was climbing on the walls Yua! Do you think... is this chakra related?"
Chakra? Ok what? I was more than a little confused and slightly alarmed by the term. Was it like in the manga where they had chakra and ki, and all that? Was this normal in this world I had been born into? Judging by my mother's expression she looked pale and uneasy from the question. Oh my god was this like the whole mutant situation in X-Men where the world hated us or something?! Was I going to be taken by the government to be experimented on?!
"We can't tell a soul Nori! If- if they ﬁnd out now— I can't lose her too!"
Mom was paranoid sure, but this was a borderline panic attack. I let out a worried sound, sending her the best worried expression I could. It calmed her down a little and she ran her ﬁngers through my hair like I liked it. My dad sighed.
"Yua, she could get hurt. I've heard stories about chakra opening early in children... some of them were paralysed forever."
I paled. What? Oh shit I did not want to be bed ridden. I just got cool sticky powers! I did not want to suddenly become a cripple from it!
"Nori, let's discuss this after we put Hina to bed. She looks scared."
I was given a kiss and put back into my crib. They mumbled words to get my eyes closed again before turning the lights off. I was too worried to sleep, but my body was small and tired. I couldn't keep my eyes open for long.
It had been 3 weeks since that incident. I hadn't touched my chakra or whatever in fear of accidentally paralysing myself. I ended up bugging Taichi more to stave off my boredom. I sat with him and mother while she taught him how to read and write. I absorbed the information as best as I could but in this body, I was forced to sleep 90% of the time and doing anything made me extremely tired. I had bouts of energy yes, but beyond that I was passing out from the constant need for sleep.
It was all stupidly boring until one day dad brought home another man, a tall rather intimidating looking man wearing cosplay. I looked him over with confusion. Was dad into anime or something? This dude was also really pulling of that Jounin costume. He was tall, well-built and he felt different, more dangerous. Maybe he was a serial killer who was also really into cosplay?
"You must be Hina-chan?"
"Uh-huh! I am."
"Hi-chan, this is Shikaku-san, he's a ninja. He's here to look over you to make sure you're ok," dad said slowly, as if I couldn't understand him normally.
I gave the cosplayer a confused look. Shikaku? As in Nara Shikaku? Wasn't this a little too much? Were they larping or something? Was this man maybe a doctor who was cosplaying, so my dad decided to get him over for a check-up. Why introduce him as Shikaku then? Could this actually be Shikaku... what a stupid thought.
"Can I hold your hands?"
Mother's hesitant voice put me on edge. What even was going on right now? I hesitantly held out my hands. It was always a little surreal how tiny they were. Shikaku wrapped his ﬁngers around my hand engulﬁng it and then looking me up and down in a calculative gaze.
"Her tenketsu is very developed. She has an abundance of spiritual energy and not enough physical to balance it out. If this goes on, she could really damage her body in the future," Shikaku said gravely.
Wait tenketsu? Was this guy shitting me because ﬁrst they talk about chakra and now they're taking a cosplayer's diagnoses on my tenketsu system seriously. I looked down and noticed the sharp glint of a kunai in his holster and the healed cuts and callouses in his hands. This was a man who worked daily with weapons.
I was in Naruto.
My brain froze for a second and I lost track of the conversation in front of me. The actual fuck? I was in NARUTO. I was reborn in Naruto. No way. No way in the 9 hells was this real? It wasn't right.
"She hasn't had any problems so far. Why should she train with you?"
I was snapped out of my little existential crises by my mother's raised voice. I turned to her and she looked frightened, and a little bit crazy too. Dad looked worried but he put a hand on mom's shoulder and calmed her down.
"I understand your worries Yua-san, but I am not going to force Hina-chan into anything dangerous. She's only a year old. However in about 5 years if she doesn't balance out her physical energy with her spiritual energy, her body will begin deteriorating and it will be too late to do anything at that stage."
"My baby," Yua cried, clinging to me.
"M'kay! I good!" I said placatingly, patting her forearm in a 'there there' motion because I sucked at comforting people.
"Yua-san, I know this isn't ideal, but we are in tremulous times and I will not sugar coat this. She will be expected to be a Shinobi in the future. It's incredibly rare to see a child her age with this much chakra control."
Holy shit! I was wondering how much more intense life changing news I could hear in one day. This was insane! Nara Shikaku was taking me away to train me to be a Shinobi? What even was going on? Was this real or just some fever dream?
"I never wanted her to be a Shinobi."
Mom's voice was broken. She looked so sad, like she expected me to die at any moment. I mean she wasn't wrong. I was the kind of person who would choke on a vegetable and die, so maybe her paranoia was founded. If this was in fact real, and I was going to be a Shinobi, I doubted I would even get to battle before dying. Knowing me a training accident would probably do the deed.
"I'm truly sorry Yua-san, but this is unfortunately the world we live in. We must do what is good for the village, and what is good for the people in it. Hina-chan will be trained by the Nara clan to the best of our abilities."
"Are you... are you going to take her away?" dad asked.
"I will unfortunately. She will need to be monitored by an iryo-nin. You and your family will be welcome into the clan compound whenever you please. The Nara clan often take in civilian children with promise, mostly orphans, but sometimes children from the Academy. We have a visitor's compound and you are welcome to stay there should you please."
"Thank you, Shikaku-san," dad said bowing.
Mom bowed too but it was stiff. She picked me up from the chair and took me to my room. I just sat on her lap for a few hours. Taichi walked in, sensing the tense atmosphere. He put a hand on mom's lap, sending her a worried look. To my surprise mom handed me to Taichi. She was trembling.
"Kaasan, 'm bye bye?" I asked, eyes wide in.
I was honestly panicking. Not only was all of this a shock, but it was all happening so soon. Naruto was real. My body was killing itself. Shikaku, was taking me away to the Nara compound to train when I was only a year old! I hugged Taichi. Despite everything family was important. I had lost my old one, which hurt so much even now, and I had grown to love this one. I didn't want to go! I didn't want to die either.
"The man's taking Hi-chan away?" Taichi said beginning to cry.
"Oh baby... no. It's just for a few years and we will visit all the time," mom assured running her hand through Taichi's hair.
Shikaku and dad walked into the room and I noticed the little duﬄe bag. It probably had all my things in it. I let out a sad sigh. This wasn't so bad... I just had to treat it like a necessary hospital visit. My old mom had cancer and she practically lived in the hospital for 3 years before making it out. This was just like that except until I managed to pull up my physical chakra or something. 5 years. I had 5 years and I wasn't ready to die.
"T's okay," I said placatingly tugging at Taichi's chocolate brown locks. My brother said me a sad look which made my heart break. He was too cute to be sad. I hated seeing him sad.
"My apologies Yua-san, Taichi-kun," Shikaku said with a wince. "I know this is hard, but we have to do this for Hina-chan ok."
My big brother nodded, hoisting me up. Mom picked me up, holding me in one hand and holding Taichi's hand with her other. I walked out of the house for the ﬁrst time since mom was a paranoid woman who baby proofed everything and was certain I would die if I was out of sight. A few of our neighbours sent us curious looks but they were too busy to ask. I took in Konoha, because this was deﬁnitely Konoha, with wide eyes. It was like a perfect mix of Old Japan and New Japan. It was actually pretty cool. I noticed how the more we walked, the less colourful the peoples outﬁts were. Then there were people milling around wearing headbands with the Konoha leaf symbol on it and I was a hundred percent sure Shikaku wasn't just some cosplayer.
The Hokage Mountain cemented that fact.
I was a little surprised to note that Minato's face was not up there. Sarutobi Hiruzen's face was... which meant I was somewhere between the 2nd great ninja war and the 3rd great ninja war. Great. Judging from how young Shikaku looked, around his early 20's I'd say, probably the 3rd ninja war. I buried my head in mom's kimono for a second.
Oh god how was I going to cope with this revelation?
I was so confused and taken off guard that I couldn't even bring myself to panic. I just stared dumbly ahead until we reached the Nara compound.
"This is the outer Nara district," Shikaku gestured.
It looked like the rest of Konoha, if a bit more on the traditional side. There were more houses here than stores and the stores that were present were weapons stores, ninja gear stores and the occasional food joint. It was all very traditional Japanese, with wide open spaces with lots of grass and light-coloured timber houses which made the whole place oddly calming and very open. It was very unlike the cramped civilian district we came from.
Mom and dad didn't look impressed, just stiff and sour. I couldn't blame them. They were giving away their barely a year old daughter to a clan they probably only heard about from word. I was just surprised that the Nara clan was willing to take in and care for a civilian one year old. Why were they being so altruistic? It wasn't like they were obligated to help me not die.
A girl in her teens, around 17-19 walked up to us, her spike brown hair cut to her neck and her dark brown eyes looked at us curiously for a second before turning to Shikaku. I noticed that her movements were sluggish, and she favoured one side in a very visible limp.
"Shikaku-sensei! Is this the little girl we were notiﬁed about?" she asked.
"Yes Hanami-chan. This is Suzuki Noritaka, Suzuki Yua and Taichi-kun," Shikaku introduced.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Hanami-san," father greeted the girl, putting on a smile and bowing slightly.
The ﬂustered girl bowed a little lower. She looked at me with a big smile, eyes dropping slightly in that friendly Nara way.
"Hello Noritaka-san, Yua-san, I'm an iryo-nin who specializes with children. I can sense the immense yin chakra from..."
"Hina," Shikaku supplied.
"Hina-chan," Hanami nodded.
"You'll be looking after Hina?" mom asked, sending a look appraising Hanami.
"Yes, I am a very capable Iryo-nin. I worked out in the ﬁeld for a few years but unfortunately with my-," she gestured to her right leg, "my career got cut short. I trained for another 3 years in the hospital to specialise in taking care of children."
"Hanami-chan is a very capable Iryo-nin. You will be leaving Hina-chan in good hands," Shikaku said ﬁrmly.
"Follow me. We'll get Hina-chan settled into her new place and then we can talk some more over lunch."
I was taken in a moderately sized house and into a surprisingly normal children's room. At ﬁrst glance it was normal anyway. I noticed it wasn't. The crib wasn't made out of wood, but steel and despite it being painted a sky-blue, steel was still steel. The windows were high up, enough to let light and wind in without being compromised. The toys in the corner were rubber shuriken and kunai and on the walls were posters of katas. Sheesh, were they going to get a 1 year old to learn martial arts? It seemed kind of excessive.
"I don't want to leave Hi-chan," Taichi said tugging at Hanami's yukata.
"No weave," I agreed, nodding my head for emphasis.
Hanami sent a worried look to Taichi and then back to my mother who remained unhelpfully silent. To my shock mom handed me over to Hanami, and with glassy eyes ruﬄed my hair, turned around to hold Taichi's hair and then left. It was so sudden and abrupt that I just gaped. Then I felt the tears prickle at my eyes and I grumbled wiping them away. Wow that hurt a lot more than I cared to admit. It helped a little that Hanami's spiky brown hair was distracting enough to tug at.
Mom left me.
It hurt that it wasn't the kind of mature heart felt goodbye I expected from her. I was only a little consoled when my giant of a father walked in to tell me in a babying way that they would have to leave me here. I sniﬄed, letting my stupid baby emotions get in the way but nodded in understanding.
"You're such a smart girl," dad cooed, pushing my bangs up and kissing my forehead.
I snorted, but it came out more as a gurgle and my vacant hands held his beard for support. He chuckled before a sad look crossed his face and he sent me down gently in my new crib. He sent a quick goodbye to Hanami, turned his head around to send me one more heartbreakingly sad look before leaving.
I sat in this crib, alone and with my thoughts. Wow... just wow. I was in Naruto. My family left me in the Nara compound. What else was going to hit me in the head next?!
A ball hit me in the head, and I groaned. I clutched my new wound with wide tearful eyes. God this tiny body felt pain on a different level. Even a tiny scrape felt like the whole world was going to end. I fell to my butt and gripped my shirt not to cry. I was a grown as woman. Baby hormones or not, I was not about to cry. The Nara boy that had thrown the ball at me rushed up to me and hastily picked me up, apologising to me and cooing my name. If I remembered correctly, this boy was Shin. I was hoping his brother's name was knee or something. God only my English wired brain could think up of something that lame.
"I'm alright," I managed to say in that annoyingly childish voice of mine.
"Wow, you're really brave huh!" Shin praised.
"Of course I am!" I agreed puﬃng out my chest.
"And apparently just as proud as an Uchiha."
That was Hanami's voice. I turned to Hanami and beamed her a smile. She was practically like a big sister to me in the 6 months I stayed at the Nara clan. She had to deal with my potty and meals, so she was also kind of like a mom.
"Hanami-nii!" I exclaimed, jumping of Shin's arms and running straight to her legs. Her good leg I mean. I hugged it, barely reaching her knees.
"Wow Hina-chan you're so fast," Hanami chuckled, ruﬄing my hair.
"I'm like Minato-sama fast!" I said boasting loudly.
"Yeah Konoha's little green ﬂash," Hanami chuckled. "Now little ﬂash, why don't you stop skimping your exercises?"
"I wanna play Shoji with Shuki-chan!" I huffed.
"You can play Shoji after you exercise."
"Can I get ice-cream too then?!"
"Hina-chan," Hanami sighed exasperatedly.
I chuckled. I always tried to push my luck. "Ok, Ok I'll do my stretches!"
It had become a routine to stretch for at least 2 hours every day. When I was taken to the compound I honestly expected more. I had asked why I only stretched, and Hanami patiently explained why it was damaging to a child's body to do any intense exercising. I could expect another 2 years or so before they even thought about getting me on actual exercises. I was ﬁne with that. The Nara laziness syndrome was kind of rubbing off on me. Also it was kind of nice being around people who treated me like a smart kid, rather than the toddler I was meant to be.
This time when I went down to the outer Nara training ﬁelds I was surprised to ﬁnd Shikaku there. That man was always busy. If I remembered correctly, he would be a Jounin Commander in the future which essentially made him the right-hand man to the Hokage. I hadn't seen his father though. The clan head was rather elusive and too busy for any no name children.
"Shikaku-sensei! What are you doing here?"
"I was planning to meditate with you and Hina-chan today," he hummed.
"You look tired," I blurted out.
He blinked in surprise at my deduction. It wasn't like he had any overt displays of physical tiredness. His eyes didn't have bags and he wasn't slouching. He just felt tired, with the way his posture wasn't so attuned to his centre, and how his hands, normally tucked into his kimono was beside him hanging down.
"I am," he agreed, giving me an appraising look. "Meditation is a good way to clear the soul, to bring equilibrium."
Wow he was using pretty big words, not even bothering to baby me. I was still only learning the language by ear, but it felt nice to not be treated like I was invalid. I gave him a smile and an enthusiastic nod.
"Ok then Hina-chan, let's meditate now. This doesn't mean you get to skip out on your stretches later."
"Aww, I was hoping you'd forget," I whined.
Shikaku laughed. "Careful the Nara is rubbing of on her."
"Shikaku-sensei don't encourage her," Hanami groaned.
That's how we got comfortably into our future meditation sessions.
This story starts of pretty light-hearted, but things take a pretty dark turn later on. It's not always happy feels, although sometimes it is. I try to balance darker themes with lighter moments, because I don't like it when a whole story is a downer. Around chapter 30 is when you have what is essentially the tragic backstory. It does get a bit sad then, but beyond that, this story is a blend of comedy/fluff/angst/action/adventure/politics.
Explicit gore, torture, violence, mental/physical abuse, sexual content (not written yet), ptsd, slavery
Non-explicit sexual violence (only in passing mention and not to mc)
This story has explicit gore, torture, and violence. Non-explicit sexual violence. I do not write rape scenes with the main character or otherwise. She will not be going through any sexual violence in this story. However there are mentions of rape during enemy occupation in war. There will be major character death, torture conducted on and by the protagonist. Explicit mental/physical abuse to several characters.
While I have not written any sexually explicit scenes or romantic scenes yet, it is because the protagonist is a child. However there may or may not be romance/sexual content later down the line. I will not consider this smut, because it is not for the intents and purposes of the readers sexual gratification, and more so to further the plot. Romance will not be a centre focus of this story, even when it is involved later on. I will update this is if there is romance later down the line.
There will be ROOT/Danzo in later chapters, as well as Orochimaru. I get complaints from people that they don't like following these characters so here's the warning if you don't like them.