Snap Back To Reality 3
Living at home was... odd. The bakery was nice, but I sucked at baking. I was an alright cook in general, but baking wasn't something I was used to. Taichi moved with the grace of a veteran as he kneaded the dough and worked in tandem with our parents like he was born to do the work. I stumbled along in my duties and ended up botching a dozen or so breads before I was assigned to serving the front desk. I stood on a stool and served easily enough, but my appearance was a little off putting to the customers once I ended up back in my usual clothes.
Yua became more and more distant towards me. Dad was always there, always a bright light in this suddenly dull life. He was a little sad when the Academy got brought up, but he never actively discouraged me or spoke ill of Shinobi to my face. Taichi, who used to dote on me easily enough was starting to see the strain I suddenly put on the family dynamic. He was becoming confused and his doting stopped, and he became wary of me, which hurt a lot.
I was blood and yet I didn't feel a part of this family. I felt like an intruder stepping into an already established dynamic that worked. I didn't ﬁt and it was obvious. There was nothing to do about it though. The Nara Clan helped me solely because if they didn't, they'd be letting a citizen of Konoha die young, especially someone who showed promise. They wouldn't let me back in there to live with Hanami even if she wanted to. Clan compounds were for family members only, and since I had parents, I couldn't be adopted in either.
Living with the Suzuki's was odd and uncomfortable, but I was an adult and I could make do. If I really was a kid, then I'd probably be coming out of this with some mommy issues and a whole truckload of abandonment issues. To take my mind of my shitty circumstances, I visited Hanami about twice a week, continued studying at the library and doing my training and once in a while I would go to the park near the Nara compound to see if Kakashi was there. He hardly was. I only saw him once and I bumped into the White Fang, who was a legend around the ninja parts. It wasn't cool seeing him. He was a nice man and knowing he would die wasn't pleasant.
"So you're the Hina-chan, I've heard so much about from my boy."
"Yes sir," I said with a wry grin. "Kakashi-kun talks about me?"
"Oh, all the time. He thinks you're smart and really co-"
"Tousan!" Kakashi interrupted, cheeks tinted red.
It was odd to see Kakashi so ﬂustered, but it reminded me that beneath all that unusual intelligence and maturity, he really was just a kid. A kid who looked up to his dad. A dad who would disappoint Konoha and be blamed for protecting his comrades over the interests of his village. A dad who would then later commit suicide. The thought had settled in the pit of my stomach, making the whole encounter more melancholy than it was exciting.
The image of a ﬁve year old Kakashi being carried away by his affectionate father made me feel largely hopeless. I was just a kid, a kid who knew a war was coming and who had to be prepared. I would have to be prepared for death, and worst of all I had to be prepared to meet more people who I knew were going to die.
What a souring thought.
The elusive Academy was ﬁnally here. I was taken to the entrance ceremony with my dad. Mom was mostly moody all morning, sending me in my Shinobi outﬁt a look of disdain. She sent me a strained smile after dad had a chat with her privately. I smiled back, but it was probably just as strained as hers.
Kids and parents milled left and right, and all their attentions turned to a very big ﬁgure. I had to admit Sarutobi Hiruzen was a ﬁgure to behold. He looked like a kindly grandfather, but his presence alone exuded a power that everyone felt. Even dad seemed entranced by it.
"Today we are coming together to herald in the future generation of ninja. We are here on a very special day to carry on The Will of Fire, the heart of Konoha to its future. You all will have an important part to play in protecting this village and its people! We are leaves in a tree that stand united together. I expect great things from all of you."
He spoke with a lot of strength, but his words were weighty. All the kids nodded, probably not really understanding his words directly but the tone behind it. It was very inspirational and all, even got me into the whole Will of Fire thing for a second. He probably made this speech every year, with the same weighted words that marked the future of a bunch of child soldiers who would see war before they were even prepared... not that he knew about that now, or at least I hadn't heard anything about war yet. Tensions between Konoha and Kumo were age old, and now we also had Iwa to worry about.
"Ok tousan, I'm going to go now," I said.
"Be safe Hi-chan, and you better be top of the class ok. The strongest kunoichi ever," he said ruﬄing my hair.
"Of course," I snorted proudly. "Who do you think I am?"
He just laughed at my conﬁdence before sending me off. I waved at him before milling my way in with the other kids. We were taken into a wide amphitheatre like room, with long wooden benches and a lot of sunlight. It was actually kind of nice, not like the concrete stuffed classrooms of my old life. It looked more like a university lecture hall than a primary school room which was also making me smile. This was just a pleasant place.
I noticed a few distinctive kids. 2 Uchiha, a few Hyuga, an Aburame kid... wait was that Nohara Rin? Kami, it was a little disconcerting knowing that cute little girl was going to die soon. Finally my eyes settled on Kakashi who I walked straight up to and sat next to him. I gave him a brief nod and we settled in together silently but comfortably.
"Settle down brats! My name is Fuyumi Tsyuya, and I'm going to be babysitting your asses for your foreseeable future, so you better get used to me!"
Tsyuya, was a rather angry looking woman. Her face was set in a scowl, and even when she wasn't scowling you could see the permanent creases in her forehead set from that constant expression. Despite how moody she was, she was a straight to the point kind of teacher. Talk and you were punished, distract anyone and you were punished. Really all you had to do was keep your head in the work while she was around. She seemed reasonable enough, but then again class had only been going on for 10 minutes.
"I'm so sorry I'm late!"
The whole class turned to look at the boy that came dashing in through the door looking out of breath, cheeks puffed red, and fixing his goggles. Tsyuya-sensei looked angry... angrier? The boy got head shot with a chakra enhanced chalk to the forehead. He fell to the ground groaning as the class snickered. A glare from sensei made all of them shut up.
"Don't be late again Uchiha. Take a seat."
Surprisingly the only free seat wasn't next to Rin, who was sending Obito a sympathetic smile, but to me. The boy gave me a grin, and I smiled back politely as he sat next to me. Wow, I was sitting next to the future antagonist of the series I read in my previous life. Kind of weird. Right now he was just a kid though, a kid who probably was late because he was more worried about helping an old lady cross the street than getting to class on time for his ﬁrst day. Why was it always the good people who were hurt the most?
I stopped thinking about it when sensei began her lessons, giving us a course structure overview and then suddenly starting us on our ABC's. Wow. What a waste of time. I put my hand up catching her attention.
"Sensei, I already know how to read and write."
"We encourage students who already know how to do those things to bring personal study material. Anyone else know how to read and write?"
A few hands went up, mostly from Clan kids and some from civilians. I expected some backlash for being unwilling to do the assigned work but apparently, I had lucked out and received a very level-headed sensei. She told us to bring whatever reading material we wanted, as long as we completed our assigned homework, she didn't care what we did in class. Then she proceeded to angrily sit down and patiently explain how to do something as mundane as reading to a bunch of kids.
I didn't know what I expected. Shuriken practice, maybe a ninjutsu 101, historical indoctrination, or even taijutsu forms, but apparently this was just normal school. LAME! This was so lame! I spent the better part of the lesson just ﬁnishing the work out of boredom, because talking in class wasn't allowed and sensei was honestly scary.
When it was ﬁnally time for lunch and the bell rang Obito practically bounced out of his chair, letting out a whoop as he rushed out the door. Kakashi rolled his eyes and I chuckled.
"So what's up with the mask?" I asked, quirking a brow.
Kakashi just shrugged. "Fair enough."
Eh, I was kind of curious, but not enough to hound him about it. I knew what he looked like underneath any way.
"How far are you with taijutsu?" he ﬁnally asked.
"Just about halfway."
He seemed surprised at that. He probably thought I was some kind of genius because I could run up trees before him or something. I mean he wasn't wrong, I wasn't exactly dumb, but I probably wouldn't be as smart as him in the future once he fully matured. He was the real prodigy here; I was just some poser pretending to be a child. It kind of got blurred sometimes, the line between a child and an adult. On one hand I acted far more irrationally, and emotionally than I ever had in my previous life, but on the other it didn't exactly erase decades of years' worth of experience.
"Your chakra control is good though," Kakashi pointed out, bringing me back to the world.
"It's always been good," I agreed. Probably cause I'm so aware of it. "But I spent my whole life focusing on my ﬁtness because I was sick."
"You were sick?"
"Well kind of. I was born with an overabundance of spiritual energy, and that imbalance was going to overheat my chakra coils, so I was taken in by the Nara to get my physical energy to par."
I should be dying right now if it weren't for them. That was a scary thought. Kakashi hummed, apparently appeased from his sudden curiosity. He didn't often talk, but when he did, he was an inquisitive soul, always looking underneath the underneath, like a perfect little Shinobi. I was content to stay lazily in class by Kakashi but another part of me was itching to run outside too. It was good weather, and running was oddly addictive. Hanami really turned me into a masochist, didn't she?
"I'm going to go out for a run," I said standing up.
"Always," I smirked.
I just hoped I didn't end up like Guy in the future... although being a badass taijutsu master didn't sound too bad. Really, I enjoyed running and training because there wasn't much else I could do. 90% of the library was restricted to me. There was ﬁction books, cookbooks and biographies to read, but this wasn't Australia, this was a military state and books were heavily regulated here.
Anything on science or chakra beyond the basics weren't available to me or I would have already pursued a more academic career. By this world's rule you had to be strong to get more knowledge. You had to either be a respected ninja, or the child of a rich noble to get access to scientiﬁc material. Maybe that's why technology here sucked, because the system didn't encourage people to pursue science but strength and ninja related skills instead. It was all rather a bit disappointing if I were to be honest.
I was so lost in thought completing a lap around the Academy, when I noticed someone calling out behind me. I turned around to see a boy with the bushiest eyebrows and the most blinding grin, sprinting at me at almost an insane speed. Holy shit was that Might Guy?
"Are you perhaps also training?! What a beautiful ﬂower of YOUTH!"
"Nee, you're running laps too? Want to join me?" I asked.
Guy looked like he was going to cry. He grinned brightly at me screaming a very enthusiastic "Yosh!". I genuinely was beginning to like this kid. Maybe it was his enthusiasm, or the absolutely unending energy coming from him. It was admittedly inspiring. I liked him in the manga of course, but I wasn't so sure the characters translated over into real life. Guy wasn't going to die in the future. That made me feel a little better.
"Hey, want to see who can do the most laps?" I asked curiously.
Guy's eyes widened and his smile brightened even further if that was possible. Apparently, he was just as competitive as I was.
"Of course! May the power of YOUTH drive us forward!"
What followed was an intense sprinting session. The other Academy kids looked at us like we were crazy. They weren't exactly wrong. After the 10th lap, we weren't running pretty, with sweat practically pouring out of our faces and even a few Academy teachers milling around to watch and laugh. By the 15th lap I was panting heavily. Guy and I met eyes and we both suddenly got the energy to continue on, unwilling to lose. It was by the 20th lap that I practically collapsed onto the ground heaving harsh breaths. To my surprise, Guy who looked like he was ready to do another lap, stopped to help me up. What a fucking saint!
"Y-you win," I managed to huff out, slumping down beside a tree.
"That was fun! Yosh! I will strive to be faster and stronger! Um... I am truly sorry! How rude of me! I did not catch your name."
I gave the kid a smile. He talked funny, but in a good way, and I appreciated his green jumpsuit. He was going to grow up to be a ﬁne man.
"Suzuki Hina," I said bowing slightly.
"It has been an honour to meet you Suzuki-chan!"
"Call me Hina," I said before gesturing to him.
"Of course Hina-chan! I am Might Guy! Y-you may call me Guy!"
Was he blushing? Oh kami he was blushing. How cute. I chuckled and nodded, using his ﬁrst name and making him turn beet red. It was actually really hilarious. Kami, I shouldn't be enjoying tormenting children, but then tormenting children shouldn't be so fun.
The bell rang soon after and to my embarrassment Guy had to help me stand up. A few girls snickered at us, pointing out how green the two of us were. I mean they weren't wrong. I did have green hair, and green eyes and khaki was just a darker green. Guy however was decked in a turtleneck green jumpsuit. When I gave him a once over, I was surprised just how long his eyelashes were. How unfair! They looked way too pretty.
I slumped down next to Kakashi and he held his nose, giving me a grimace. I chuckled smelling myself. I smelt like sweat and stink... not a good smell but whatever.
"You should take a shower. Also why did you hang out with him?"
"Why not, he wanted to run too," I shrugged.
"His dad's the eternal Genin and apparently he can't even use ninjutsu. He shouldn't even be here," Kakashi pointed out.
He didn't seem particularly against Guy, just like he was pointing out the obvious. I frowned. Guy was eventually going to be a Jounin, the Beautiful Green Beast of Konoha! He was the dude who beat Madara Uchiha to the ground without a tailed beast, or clan techniques, just intense training and a will of fire. That had to mean he was strong enough with just his taijutsu, and it wasn't like other specialists existed. Kurenai was a genjutsu specialist and she wasn't particularly any good at taijutsu. Kakashi just had a skewed understanding of normal, being a mini adult prodigy and all. At least I had an excuse, having lived another life, but he was straight up a genius.
"If you work hard enough at anything, you'll be great," I said shrugging. "I'm not particularly strong but because I train a lot I got there."
"Yeah but you're different."
I didn't bother ﬁghting with Kakashi on this. He'd grow out of this stage eventually. Guy would prove himself and his hard work wouldn't be a waste... neither would mine.
Time went on and the Academy ﬁnally moved past the whole basic maths and Japanese stage. We began learning the basic taijutsu forms and started practicing hand seals. Of course Kakashi being the overachiever he was, aced about everything. I was struggling with taijutsu in that I knew the moves and had perfected my form easily enough, but actually sparring was different. I sucked. It was kind of a bummer. I wasn't particularly a ﬁghter in my previous life and apparently it translated to this one too. I got my ass kicked on several occasions. Guy's insistence that I never give up made me continue though. No use on crying over broken eggs.
To my surprise I never really interacted much with Rin and Obito after a one-time conversation with them. Obito was chronically late, and after Rin joined the Kakashi fan-club too, Obito had made Kakashi his reluctant rival. There was also Kurenai, who I talked to on the occasion and Asuma who had taken to the other girl. Guy and I got closer, our relationship consisting of us partaking in more and more ridiculous challenges together. The girls liked to tease us, often putting Guy down and telling him he wouldn't make it past genin without any ninjutsu. I wasn't willing to ﬁght a bunch of toddlers in verbal play, because honestly that was beneath me on so many levels, so I always just gave them an infuriatingly fake smile before dragging Guy away to do a more ridiculous challenge. We were close sure, but I drew the line at wearing a matching jump suit when one day he declared our 'eternal friendship' and presented me with one.
Really life was actually good... that was until war was oﬃcially declared. Kakashi didn't come to class the next day, or the day after that. His dad had committed suicide... even with my basic knowledge of Naruto, I remembered that. It made me wallow uncomfortably in a feeling I couldn't quite place. I had important information in regards to the future of many lives here, and some part of me wondered if I was obligated on a moral level to share it. Thankfully I wasn't a very moral person. I would protect my friends and family, but it wasn't like I was going to go out of my way to protect the Village. And who was going to take a five-year-old girl seriously when she spouted future knowledge anyway?
The tension within the Village was growing. The civilians were ordered to focus their careers towards the war effort. When I went home the smell of sweets wasn't there, and the only thing on stock now was bread. Safe to say my parents didn't look to happy. I walked to the Nara compound to ask around for Hanami was I was promptly told that she would be bunking in the hospital for the foreseeable future and that she would only be free on Sunday's.
It was like suddenly, in just one week, the whole world has switched into a mess. The Academy lessons began speeding up too. Then almost as if a punch in the gut, 4 months into the war and Kakashi graduated. A ﬁve year old kid graduated. It made me pause and wonder just how messed up this world was. Sure Kakashi was a genius, but he was still practically a foetus. How could anyone look at a kid who barely reached above an adult's knee and think oh wow this looks like someone who is ready to go to WAR! Jesus fucking Christ this was messed up.
I was currently making my way to a family meeting of sorts. I'd only seen some of my aunts and uncles in passing. They pointed out I was an odd child and left it at that. They neither loved me or hated me, just was mildly indifferent because they knew Taichi, and he was family, but I was not. I was just blood. Without Hanami, I felt lost. I had no family bonds now, or at least the one person I truly loved was sent to slave away day and night in the hospital because of WAR! I knew this was coming and still it caught me off guard how different war made things.
"Hina have you gotten ready?"
I put on the only yukata I actually liked. It was a dark teal colour, with fan patterns in a pale green all over. It kind of looked like a peacocks tail and I totally loved it. I had cut my dark green hair in a boyish way, letting my bangs hang over the side of my face while the back was cut very short. It looked cute enough for a girl and let me easily tie up any lose strands while I was training or sparring. Yua didn't like it, but that woman barely liked anything about me.
"I'm ready kaasan!" I called out, slipping on my shoes and following her.
She gave me a once over before turning to leave. Dad gave me a smile, but it looked strained and a little stressed. He just looked stressed in general if I was being fair. Yua pinched Taichi's cheeks, doting on him a little before leaving. Dad was too stressed to pay me any attention. I didn't mind. This made me feel oddly like Harry Potter and it wasn't like I was going to complain. I had parents in my previous life, parents who were good people. I was an adult and I didn't need that again... but it still hurt a little every time mom ignored me, or every time she praised Taichi and put me down. Adult or not, constant favouritism and subtle put downs did eventually get to your self-esteem a little.
We walked towards a rather normal looking house. I recognised this as Uncle Eiichi's house. The man owned a rather well-established barbeque restaurant. He had a boy a little older than Taichi who was so snooty even Taichi didn't like him. Aunt Saiko's son though, he was a real sweetheart. I had a few other cousins I only heard in mention. Apparently, the whole extended family was here. It must have been serious if everyone was called in. We weren't a big clan or anything, but every family had adults, and adults had to provide and manage their careers which was harder said than done. It was why I stayed away from having a family of my own in my previous life. My career took up too much of my time and it would have been irresponsible of me to dump my children on someone else if I had them.
"Tai-kun, Hi-chan why don't you two go and talk to Matsu-kun?"
It wasn't a suggestion; it was an order. Taichi nodded and I snorted. I wanted in on the adult table. If the war was going to affect my family I needed to know how. Apparently, dad meant it when he told me to leave because he gave me one of his rare glares. I huffed and reluctantly followed after my brother.
"Come on Hi-chan, I know Matsu-kun is annoying so we can prank him together or something."
I nodded in agreement. It took a lot to annoy my meek submissive brother, but Matsu was just that— annoying as fuck. He thought he was god's gift to the world or something and because our parents often borrowed money from his father to keep us aﬂoat, we couldn't do a thing against him. Thankfully he was rather stupid, so I could get away with insulting him every so often and he wouldn't even realise.
"If it isn't broccoli-chan," he sneered.
"You know it," I said nonchalantly munching down on an apple for effect.
His insults were so lame. I doubt he'd ever be able to get a reaction out of me, which just made him hate me more. He called me the usual names, making fun of my vegetable name and my green hair. Then he took to making fun of my muscles, because he found it ugly on a girl. I really couldn't care less what I looked like to be honest. I enjoyed being a narcissist, and admiring my toned form, but I couldn't care one bit if I was pretty or not. In fact I was about just above average in the looks department and that was ﬁne with me. I was pretty in my previous life and that only brought me grief, cat calling and in general sexist behaviour in the workplace. Someone once even had the audacity to question if I fucked anyone to get into the job I did. Here, if I grew up looking like an ugly girl I wouldn't mind. It wasn't my job to be pretty, I wasn't a model, I was going to be a ninja. The more intimidating I looked and the less cute I was, the better.
"It's because of you we can't do business," Matsu accused suddenly.
I send the kid a look that basically screamed 'are you an idiot'. He blushed indignantly, balling his ﬁsts together as Taichi and a few of the other kids backed away.
"You Shinobi are ﬁghting! That's why people haven't been coming to the restaurant!"
"Seriously? You're blaming me?"
I rolled my eyes. Of course they were. They didn't know any other Shinobi, and they were just taking their frustrations and paranoia out on me. I had nothing to do with the war, and I'm certain I probably would have nothing to do with ending it either.
"Would you rather we go to war or let Iwa-nin come here and kill all of us?" I asked, silencing the kids.
"They wouldn't be coming here to kill us if you didn't ﬁght them in the ﬁrst place!"
Matsu tried to grab me, but I just put a palm on his face, keeping him at arm's length. I let out an angry sound. Verbally abuse me all you want, but if you got physical, I would retaliate. I pushed him away and he made a sound of disbelief.
"Your just an ugly girl! We don't even want you here! Right Taichi?!"
My brother looked like he was put on the spot. I know I shouldn't feel disappointed when a kid got peer pressured into agreeing, but he was my brother and when it seemed everyone was against you, it hurt when someone on your side caved. He nodded and I let out a sound between a whimper and a growl. I got up and the kids backed away, fear in their eyes.
"That's right. I'm going to be a Shinobi. I'm going to go to WAR while you stay here, safe. I'm going to become strong and an important part of this Village, a vital one. What are you going to be then huh?"
Matsu shouted something about not wanting to hang out with a loser like me before isolating me from the rest of the kids. Good riddance, I was so glad they ﬁnally left. I could just sit down and practice going through my hand signs. My ﬁnger dexterity needed some work after all.
After a while of going through the motions even I got bored. I wanted in on the adult talk. Time to practice some stealth! I paid close attention to the sound my feet were making before I made my way to the guest room. Japanese walls were rather thin, so it wasn't impossible to hear through, even if it was muﬄed.
"We have to budget wisely. If this war goes on for more than a year, we will have to take a loan from the Village reserves. As it is now, we're barely making half the proﬁt we used to and it's only getting worse."
That was Aunt Seiko. Dad was accenting. This war was deﬁnitely going to ﬁnancially ruin our family. If I was correct it would go on for about a decade before ending. A whole fucking 10 years or so. I wasn't in on the exact timeline, but if I recalled correctly Kakashi was put on a genin team with Obito and Rin when he was about 10 or 11. That meant there would deﬁnitely be about another 5-6 years of war until Kanabi bridge and then maybe some more until it ending. I doubted our family could survive ﬁnancially for more than a year or two on just their money.
Oh kami, I would have to push my plans forward. Time to become a genin as fast as I could. If I did, I could provide ﬁnancially for my family. Yua might have been a shit mom, but Noritaka was a good man, and I would rather slit my own throat then let Taichi starve. He was too soft to survive in this cutthroat world without me looking after him. Mom could go suck a lemon.
I knew what was coming. With poverty came a lack of food, and with a lack of food and supplies I would have to spend more time working to provide than working to get better at fighting. If I eventually went down that path I'd be as weak as any other civilian kid, and everyone knew we were the fodder out there in war. Civilians almost always ended up in the Genin Corps, which was just a fancy way of telling us we would never amount to anything but to be the foot soldiers that contributed more in numbers than with power. I refused to be that. There was nothing more in this world that I hated than mediocrity.
I was oﬃcially done trying to be a good civilian daughter. No more doing average in tests to keep myself in the Academy. If I had to fake being a prodigy, it was now or never.
I was going to be a ninja.
A/N Ah poor Hina, the world just keeps throwing her into more and more desperate situations! I just want to thank everyone who reviewed! Also as a side note, this is M for a reason, it might start of pretty ok, but some scenes in the future are super gory and disturbing. Also Hina is canonically bisexual with female leaning, that's not really a warning, it's more just me saying that so you guys don't get confused. Since it's from her perspective she won't really address it directly. Although it won't really be an issue considering I've written about 20 chapters so far and romance isn't a thing yet, or at least Hina isn't the least bit interested in it at all.
I usually do a reply to reviews down here for those who want to read it.
Ildoradogam- Ah thanks a lot! I would love to have a beta though, but I have no idea how to get one so I try my best with grammar and all that, but there's still mistakes here and there.
topsyturvy-dream- OMG thanks for that review! You're pretty spot on with Yua actually XD Her backstory is a pretty obvious one I'd like to think. Hina just doesn't give a shit though, she's not one to take other peoples excuses or care, she's all about that logic. Also yeah, she's definitely going to have crushes on older people, but she won't act on those either even if she has them! Honestly being an adult stuck in a kid's body isn't all that great XD
RyusakiUchiha- Thank you! I'll do my best!
Mytheos- Thanks, I'm glad you think its good!
Shadow Wolf 15846- YES! I am delivering!
Once again, thanks to all you lovely readers. Keep safe out there since we're all in troubling times 3