A Song for Them @nihilistic_bunny
Breaking Waves Arc, Our Roots

Naruto Fan Fiction!

Adventure! SI-OC!

(Title)

"A Song for Them"

A/N: Oh. My. Gosh. I can't keep up a normal posting schedule. I'm not even going to say when the next time I post is for the foreseeable future. It could be anytime after next Sunday, I honestly don't know anymore. This chapter is so much shorter than the last one because I just can't put out 9,000 words worth of coherent plot a week. Sowwy. But hopefully this'll answer a lot of the questions you guys have had! ...and maybe, yanno, give you some more.

I listened to 'Roots' by Imagine Dragons and some lovely Wave sound and Ocarina music by Relax Sound Project when writing this. RSP is the reason why I had Sora learn the Ocarina in the first place. Fun facts!

(EDIT) 2/20/2019: Cleaned and fixed the issues with distinguishing the POV switches.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own 'Naruto' or any of the canon characters! It is a really messed up world if you think about it too much.

WARNING! RATED M! Angst. Nightmares. We'll be talking a bit about Sora's many issues. Prepare yourselves!

Breaking Waves Arc,

Chapter Thirteen: "Our Roots"

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." -Maya Angelou

Perspective:

(Sky)

He was glaring at me. Does he think that'll make me back down and submit? I didn't avert my own steady gaze. I wasn't going to change my mind, not about this.

One grey eye was boring into two violet ones.

"It was a direct order," He said for the umpteenth time in the past hour. "It turned out fine this time, but what about next time? I need to know that you'll do what I say, when I say."

'That's fine.' I signed. His eye narrowed at me in suspicion, I continued. 'As long as the order does not leave you in danger of imminent death by a deranged sociopath.'

"...how the hell did you teach Naruto those signs?"

I shrugged one shoulder, 'Part of the special vocabulary we made. Nara Shikamaru had helped. Naruto isn't fond of it, but learned for my sake.'

Kakashi-sensei nodded, understanding dawning now that I had mentioned my Nara classmate, then he pinned me with a stern look. "My point still remains, Sora. I need you to agree with me on this."

I let out a particularly tired exhale, I was over this conversation already. With an annoyed frown I signed, 'You are telling me that if you got orders to leave us to an uncertain fate, then you would leave?' I countered, raising my brow at him in challenge.

He stared at me coolly for a moment, obviously contemplating his . What'cha got to say now, Sensei? On one hand he was trying to prove a point to his rebellious female student and establish chain-of-command... On the other he would never, ever do something like that. He knew that. I knew that. The silver-haired man told us that much the second day we met him. This conversation was over, he just didn't know it yet.

After a moment he closed his eye and sighed. And what a sad, begrudging sigh it was. I smiled in satisfaction, because I knew I had won this argument. When he opened his eye again it was to glare at me half heartedly. "...go away." He said petulantly, like a little kid.

I was still smiling in victory as I got up. I waved cheerily at him as I left the room, he was glaring sulkily at me. It was later that same day, nearly dusk now. Kakashi had slept all of five hours before waking up in time to force down an early dinner. After gathering the boys, he told us that we would head out tomorrow after sunrise and start whatever training he had cooked up in that sadistic mind of his.

I walked down the hall and headed to the kitchen, briefly glancing out the large window to admire water. Ignoring the instinct that told me the window was far too large, a glaring safety hazard. The sight lines all too accessible for any two-bit shinobi with a kunai to play assassin. Wide enough for it to be a simple matter for anyone to slip in during the night and slit all our—I abruptly stop that train of thought.

I pause, staring out the window at nothing in particular. I can distantly hear the sounds of birds calling to each other and the faint sounds of Tsunami-san's voice. I'm never fond of how my mind works when Terra is being quiet. I don't like being so reminded of how this world has raised me in such a stark contrast to my first life. Bah... sight lines and assassins in the night. Good 'ole Academy training right there!

I take a deep breath, clearing my mind...

It is a lovely view. The setting sun has cast the entire horizon in a lovely orange glow, giving off the illusion that the water was on fire. The air was rich with the smell of salt and damp earth. The Land of Waves smells nothing like the Land of Fire.

'For a place being oppressed by a criminal overlord, it sure has a nice sunset.' I thought, and I heard no familiar voice in reply. Terra has been oddly quiet for a while now. I wonder which memories she's gotten herself lost in now. I can only hope she's going over the Wave Arc, the ones we remember at least. It would be helpful to have a refresher on what's to come. I continued down the hall.

Sasuke, Tazuna and Tsunami-san were in the kitchen already. The Hero was out setting up the last of the traps around the area, just so that he had something to spend his excess energy on. I sat down at the table in the kitchen alongside Sasuke, Tsunami-san was filling in Tazuna on everything that happened in the village while he'd been away. It didn't seem all that important -gossip really- but I still listened. Who knows? It might turn out to be important later on. At some point I spaced out, wondering about what it would take to create a sort of Sensory Array here, to alert us to any intruders or hostiles. I know we have one surrounding the village back home and that it's maintained by the Konoha Barrier Team. Over the years I've been totally unsuccessful in getting them to answer any of my questions regarding the maintenance and operation of said barrier, so far at least. But, I know I'm wearing them down with my homemade apple tarts! It's really only a matter of time now.

Unfortunately while I was lost in my musings, Tsunami-san had asked me a question. I looked appropriately sheepish when all attention was on me while Duckie rolled his eyes. Tazuna squinted at me, "You don't talk much, do 'ya? I don't think you've spoken one word since I met you all back at the Leaf."

"Tou-chan, that's a rude question!" Tsunami-san admonished, hands on her hips.

The man raised his hands defensively, "It's just a question!" then he turned back to me, "I didn't mean anything by it, Sora-san. It's okay if you're just super shy or something."

Duckie answered, rather thoughtlessly, for me before I could get my notepad out.

"Sora can't speak."

...tactful, Sasuke was not.

The atmosphere instantly became uncomfortable with that statement. Duckie became confused himself, unused to how normal people react to my condition. I couldn't really fault him for it though. For as long as we've known each other—well, been aware of each other's existence -going on six years now, wow- he's known that I couldn't use my voice. It was just normal thing to Duckie. The fact I was considered 'normal' to him made me feel all sorts of irrational happiness that was usually only reserved for my Hero and Funinjutsu studies.

"Oh... sorry." Tazuna mumbled, chakra swirling with embarrassment and pity. Before anyone could start to feel too awkward for asking a very reasonable question, I'd pulled out my notepad and wrote.

"It's really okay, I get asked that all the time. I lost my voice when I was young. I've learned to speak in different ways since then." I smiled reassuringly at them. The bridge-builder and his daughter, thankfully, relaxed when they realized I wasn't offended. I glanced at Duckie out of the corner of my eye, he was still looking lost. I'd have to explain it to him later.

The front door swung open and in stepped an orange wearing blonde, "It's finally done, 'ttebayo! It's all done!"

All heads were turned towards his dramatic entrance. I raised my hands and signed, 'Welcome back. Did you double check it all?'

He nodded tiredly, "Yea-huh... I even made sure to triple check the wire traps to make sure the animals couldn't trip them on accident or somethin'."

With the Hero back safe and sound, I stood up from the table and stretched my arms above my head, a yawn escaping my lips. I turned to my best friend, 'You got first watch, Hero. We are counting on you.'

The blonde looked at me a moment, absorbing my words before a face-splitting grin broke out. "I won't let you down, dattebayo!" And with one more smile to my Hero, I nodded a goodnight to our hosts and headed back to where Scarecrow had better be resting, Duckie trailing slowly behind me.

We had set up a watch system earlier. Kakashi-sensei doesn't really think that it's likely that anyone will show up before Zabuza recovers but if there was going to be an attack, the best chances of it happening would be tonight before we've had a chance to recover. Naruto was on the first watch and then Sasuke would wake me up to take the last watch before dawn. We all agreed, much to his chagrin, that Kakashi would not be getting a watch and would instead be recovering, unless one of us screamed bloody murder during the night.

When I stepped back into the room I was happy to note that Scarecrow was already sound asleep. I made my way over to the corner and pulled out the mattress Tsunami-san had been kind enough to lend us, and laid it out near the window. I pulled my orange-pink hair free of my ribbon and ran my fingers through it, grimacing at all the dirt and oils that I've acquired over the day. I made a mental note to ask Tsunami-san about where to bathe when I had a free moment. I laid down on my futon, wincing only slightly as I was made reacquainted with the bruises on my back and shoulders. But thankfully, I found sleep not too long after my head hit the pillow.

Perspective:

(Moon)

I stand up from where I'd been sitting in the shadow of the building, it was about time to wake up Sora for her shift. My watch shift was almost over and there had been no sign of an enemy presence. There had been no movement at all except for when the Idiot got up to go to the bathroom. It had been boring actually. I'd half hoped that something really would happen so I could at least have something to do. Silently, I step into the guest room that was given to us for the duration of the mission. I lean my head pass the doorframe and see nothing too unexpected or out of the ordinary. The Idiot was snoring obnoxiously loud and Kakashi was as still and as silent as a corpse. Though my eyes narrow when I see that Sora is sleeping restlessly, shifting uneasily in her sleep. She's actually having a nightmare right now, I realize as I move closer. I felt myself frown. I guess it's not really a surprise after our run-in with Momochi. Even I'm having a hard time thinking about sleep knowing he's still out there right now, recovering his strength. I didn't think that she seemed scared at all though. I guess she was just putting up a front.

The screen window is open and it's letting in plenty of moonlight for me to walk over to her, easily stepping over the Idiot who had sprawled himself across both his and Sora's futon and somehow turned himself upside down during his sleep. I roll my eyes, making a mental note to place my bed far, far away from him. I kneel down next to the older girl and saw that she was holding onto her pillow with a white-knuckled grip, she was also sweating a lot with a pained grimace on her face. A bad nightmare then.

"Sora." I whisper.

No response. Just choking her pillow further.

"Sora." I tried again but she still didn't hear me. I held in a sigh a reached over to shake her shoulder to wake her up. My fingers brushed her shoulder and—her eyes snapped open—there was now a kunai pressed to my throat.

I froze in place.

She was breathing heavily, her eyes were wide and frantic. I watched, not moving a single muscle, as she slowly registered that she wasn't wherever she was just dreaming about. Her purple eyes locked with mine and I saw the second she recognized me, she blinked and her pupils focused on my face, her lips moved without a sound.

'Sa-su-ke'

Then her eyes fell to her hand, the one still holding a kunai to my throat, and she scrambled away like she'd been burnt, the weapon falling out of her grip and hitting the blanket with a muted thud as she stared in total shock. I fell backward onto my ass, letting out a breath I didn't realize I'd been holding. I stared back at her in disbelief. Why the hell is she sleeping with a kunai under her pillow!? Naruto didn't—I didn't even sleep with a concealed weapon!

It was then I noticed that her hitai-ate had loosened during her sleep.

I could see her neck now.

I stared and I couldn't look away.

There was a jagged scar across her throat.

I was snapped out of my momentary stupor when her hand went to her neck, covering the scar back up. An awkward and heavy silence followed. The air around us turned near-suffocating as we just stared at each other. Waiting for the other to speak or just say anything about what just happened. She glanced down first, breaking eye-contact, then she looked back at me with an apologetically expression before quickly standing and escaping the room. Leaving me alone to my thoughts and all my new questions.

What... happened to her?

"...ahh... you're welcome... for saving you... bastard... 'ttbayoooo..."

Right, not alone. The Idiot was here too.

Perspective:

(Sky)

'Step. Tap. Step. Tap. Step.' were the only sounds besides the gentle lapping of the water and the soft melody of the nocturnal insects. I wanted to smile but couldn't find the energy for it. Kakashi-sensei was being extra considerate of me. I'd run from Sasuke the moment I'd gotten my wits about me and ended up sitting out on the back deck of the house, just watching the grey waters slosh back and forth under my suspended feet. Inhaling the sharp scent of brine water had calmed me from my scattered thoughts and frayed emotions.

'You should be resting.' I told him instead without turning to face him. I know he'd seen all that happened with Sasuke, it was obvious that's why he was here now.

"Maa... I glanced outside and felt the overwhelming urge to stretch my legs. Fresh air is good for the body, you know." The man drawled from behind. I didn't buy it for a minute. He was still too exhausted to try and suppress his chakra, he was currently in a lot of pain and putting up a tough front.

Idiot, I found myself thinking far too fondly. Ah, there's that smile. My dear Sensei, with great effort, hobbled over to me on his temporary crutches and sat down on the edge of the deck next to me. He was an arms-length away, being very aware of my need for personal space. It was quiet as we simply sat in each other's presence. I took an unusual amount of comfort in the simple and compelling feeling of his chakra being so near to me. We listened to the tide gently rolling underneath us. I looked up at him out of the corner of my eye and his eye met mine, he looked tired.

Then he spoke, his tone was gentle but firm.

"That month... tell me about what happened during that."

He knew.

Of course he knew, it's probably in some secret, disclosed file about me. He wasn't asking either. Wasn't giving me a choice in the matter. Scarecrow apparently thinks I need to talk about my issues-which is hypocritical and downright hilarious coming from him. The King of Issues, himself. I've never spoken about that time away. Not to the Sandaime, not to Neko and definitely not to Naruto. Kakashi has probably already read the official report, heck, even heard the whole story straight from Neko himself!

I gripped the wood of the deck a bit tighter and I could feel my shoulders rising up defensively.

I don't like thinking about it.

...so why did he want me to talk about it?

I don't want to.

I found I couldn't hold his gaze and looked away.

The moon was almost full and hanging high in the sky. I wondered, briefly, how almost every time I looked at the moon it was full or nearly so. It certainly wasn't natural. Was this because it wasn't the same kind of moon from Before? What the heck controlled the tides before Kaguya was sealed away? Were the tides actually effected here? I wondered if it's perpetual fullness Hamura and Hagoromo's doing? So many questions and no one to ask... I don't remember being so curious in my first life. It's frustrating.

But... I think... I'd like to visit the moon, one day.

Kakashi was still here, still watching me.

I sighed.

Being around observant people is always unnerving. It makes me feel so exposed, like something is crawling just underneath my skin and I can't get it out. I just want to go hide under my blankets and cover up to make that feeling go away! It feels so wrong.

"Sora, you can trust me." he said, his voice soft and so earnest. And his chakra... I've never met someone who could make their chakra lie with them, I don't think even Kakashi has accomplished that. His chakra tells me he cares. Probably against his better judgement, he actually cares. I look up at the silver-haired man again, he was looking back at me with sympathy in his grey eye... and he looked so... sad.

Darn it. Puppy-dog eye, he does it well. I felt my shoulders sag with resignation. He already knew most of the story already, so... I pulled out my notepad from the tools bag strapped to my lower back. I was still dressed in my usual gear, prepared just in case I had to help fight off any surprise visitors during the night.

I wrote it because I didn't have all the words needed to tell this story.

Stiffly, I wrote, "Naruto doesn't know and will NEVER know the truth about this. Someone had told him that I'd been adopted by some distant relative and I had to leave unexpectedly. That is ALL he will ever need to know." I leveled my Sensei with a dead-serious look. I wouldn't do that to my Hero, he needs to believe in the Village. That his home is a safe place.

Scarecrow nodded. A silent promise.

I began, "It had been early September. Before the first snow when it was still cold at night. I had been walking back home after leaving the library, I had stayed there too long reading, and it had gotten late but I didn't think anything of it." There had been no moon out that night, only dim lanterns that littered the street. It had been deserted. "Not until I sensed that there was only one other chakra signature near me. A man with a blank white mask dressed in black stepped out of the shadows and he took me, knocking me unconscious."

There hadn't been a sound as I was taken right off the street. No one around to see it happen and I couldn't call out for help. It had been surreal. I glanced up at Scarecrow briefly, attempting to gauge his reaction so far. No luck. I licked my dry lips and wrote what was probably the most important detail of this tale.

"When I woke up, I was in a strange place with no windows. Not long after I waking up, a man entered, he'd called himself Danzō Shimura. He told me that I'd been chosen to serve the village who had taken me in, my new home, with my knowledge of Fuinjutsu and because I might be capable of the same healing abilities my Mother had."

The same blood as her, the same blood that healed the wound on my neck. My Kaa-chan was an Uzumaki. She had their special blood.

...I don't know if I have it.

"He told me it was a great honor to have been chosen by such an elite group as his. That I was lucky to be under his protection, under his care, from then on. Anything could of happened to an orphan like me, that had no one to care about them."

I was very aware of how bitter the words read, but I was bitter. I remember just how terrified I was when that bandaged man walked into the empty, grey room I'd been dropped in. I remember the dark and twisted chakra that was inside of him. I had listened and felt sick to my stomach as Danzō had told me that the Sandaime had no say in who he chose to enter into his Foundation.

I hadn't been so afraid before in my lives.

"And then?" Kakashi's voice brought me back to the present. Gently prodding me to continue. I hadn't realized how long ago I'd stopped. I took a shallow breath and put my pen to the paper again.

"Danzō had deemed that I was well suited for learning to become a medical ninja. The one who had taken me off the street was in placed charge of my training and immediately began me on studying medical ninjutsu and my physical conditioning." He'd been chosen to teach me because he was the best Root had when it came to medical ninjutsu. Danzō probably had also taken that man's background dealing with young children into account. I scoffed to myself. That man had not been older than a just boy back then.

Not much older than I am now, when I think about it.

"What kind of conditioning?" I blinked, slightly taken aback by Scarecrow's tone. His voice took on a surprisingly cutting edge. His chakra was already churning darkly, with varying amounts of dread and suspicion. Gone, was the nonchalant attitude and easy going Sensei I knew. I was now getting a glimpse at the feared veteran ANBU of over a decade. I looked away from my teacher and swallowed thickly as my mind flashed back to the dully lit training room. To all the hours I spent in a pained, crumpled heap on the floor mats.

"Evasion and stamina." I wrote, "An Iryo-nin is supposed to be able to successfully evade any and all oncoming attacks so that they can remain useful to their squad and complete the mission assigned to them." That's what he had taught me. With every slicing brush of his fingertips. "He..." I faltered in my stroke. This was a lot to be telling Scarecrow and I was suddenly feeling a lot of things I thought I'd stopped feeling a long time ago. Terra wasn't talking. Wasn't comforting me through this. I need her to tell me to—to tell me to—

"It's okay to breathe." Kakashi gently reminded. And, yeah. Breathe. Breathing is good. Deep breaths... Deep... His chakra was so warm and sympathetic. I just wanted to close my eyes and melt into it, it'd be so much easier than this. I'd rather go fight Zabuza the Demon than do this. Heck, I'd rather be in the Forest of Death, fending off giant man-eating snakes than be here, doing this right now.

I shoved those thoughts into a steel box and wrapped it all up in chains.

"For each time I failed to avoid one of his attacks, I'd be cut. He was using a medical technique he called 'Chakra Scalpels' and every time he'd touch me I'd be cut on the inside. And every time, he would tell me just what had been cut and how it affected my body. Muscles. Tendons. Occasionally he'd... break the bones just to show me how it was done most efficiently and effectively."

There are two-hundred and six bones in the human body.

There twenty-seven bones in a human hand.

I felt the ghost of the pain and my fingers twitched.

Even today, I could still hear his voice in my nightmares, the deceptive kindness in his tone. Still dream about the false smiles he would wear as his hands started to glow pale green.

"Hello again, Sora-kun. Ready for our next lesson?" he would ask politely. As if I had any choice.

"After every one of our spars he wouldn't repair the damage unless I had memorized and repeated back to him what'd been injured during the spar and what it did." I had learned a lot about the human body in that time. More than I had ever wanted to.

Do you know what was probably the most pathetic part about the whole thing?

He didn't care. Not about me, not about what he did. I could feel it in his chakra. He hadn't been hurting me out of any sort of twisted pleasure or spite. No good or ill intentions. He didn't care what happened to me after he was done 'teaching' me, he just came back the next day to start over again. The pain and fear he caused me meant nothing whatsoever to him. He'd just been following orders, like any good soldier. The most pathetic part was that I don't know whether or not I hate him for it.

"What was his codename."

Another not-a-question. I took a deep breath to steady myself. This information would most definitely change something in what would happen, it'll change how Kakashi is going to react. I could lie. Why? It would only serve to protect him. I... didn't care about what happened to him.

I didn't want to.

"His name was Kabuto. Yakushi Kabuto."

There. Done.

Kakashi's chakra was churning darkly again, there was no amusement to be found, only the dark. He was looking at the page with intensity, like he was trying to memorize the characters on it. I was surprised by Scarecrow's overly protective and vindictive reaction, and incredibly warmed by it at the same time. That... comforted me so much more than I thought it could. I felt some tension drain from my shoulders and my neck. I have good people that care about me. I had to remind myself of that fact sometimes.

I was almost done with this story, I realized. I took another fortifying breath. "After two-and-a-half weeks of training, Kabuto had been assigned somewhere else and I was moved to a training facility. There, I was to begin my practical ninja training with the other children who lived there." It was basically a hardcore version of the Academy without all the, yanno, humanity. I wish I could've said that hadn't been happy to see other human beings besides Kabuto but, I couldn't. I had been happy to see other faces there, even if they were empty of emotions. I remember... there had been a boy with skin so pale I was sure he'd never spent a day in the sun before. He liked to draw, so I gave him my notepad, ink and a brush.

His name had been Hito. I couldn't quite shake the feeling that quiet boy with the big, dark eyes was someone that I hoped I'd meet again one day.

"It was a few days after I arrived at the facility that Neko, my friend, had found me and took me home." I wrote. Finally finished.

That was the end of that story. After everything that happened and I'd seen Hiruzen again, there had been regret and sorrow twisting throughout his chakra. He made no excuses or gave me any non-explanations, he only promised me that I didn't have to ever go back there. It took me a while, but I eventually forgave him.

Naruto hadn't forgiven me so easily though. As soon as the blonde had caught sight of me after an entire month of separation, he'd ran to me and latched onto my waist and began sobbing big, ugly tears. There had been yelling and snot and spit and tears thoroughly soaking my shirt. The whole sha-bang. The Hero has never been, and probably never will be, a pretty crier. For weeks after I came back Naruto had refused to leave my side for longer than an hour or so, for fear of someone coming to take me away from him again, even going so far as to crawl into my bed and sleep next to me every night. Needless to say I started to have even more, terrifyingly diverse, nightmares after that month. His Bright and Breezy chakra was a comfort I often wrapped myself in when they dreams became too much.

My Hero has no idea how much he helped me by just being him.

Neko had taken the whole ordeal harder than me, I think. He was angry by what happened to me, he still is. He understood what I went through better then anyone else though we've never talked about it. He was raised by the Foundation after all. I didn't want to ever consider what would've happened to me if Neko hadn't come for me.

I closed my eyes and breathed. And for the first time in years I felt a little lighter. The weight wasn't gone, oh no. But... it was bit easier to bear. There was quiet that fell over us as Kakashi absorbed my story. I didn't read his chakra, I didn't want to know what he was feeling right now. I just wanted to be, just for a moment...

When I looked back at him, his fingers twitched. Scarecrow made an aborted motion to lift his hand and I knew he remembered about what happened on the road here and how I had reacted. I smiled warmly at him. For an elite killer, he could be such a softie sometimes.

I then leaned over and rested my head against his shoulder and closed my eyes again. Indulging myself the feeling of the moment. He stiffened up almost imperceptibly as soon as I made contact with his sleeve.

Hah.

If he didn't want my affections then shouldn't have tried to initiate it in the first place. Hadn't Neko warned him that I'm incredibly affectionate? He also shouldn't have had such an inviting chakra either. The silence was comfortable as Scarecrow resigned himself to pillowing my head. The moon seemed brighter now, somehow.

At length he spoke again, "I think... tomorrow we'll learn about the proper way to approach a Shinobi-at-Rest." he drawled dryly. I snorted a wry laugh and nodded against his sleeve. Yeah, that would probably be a good idea...

Perspective:

友達 (Friend)

It was morning once again. I ended up just sitting outside with Sora until sunrise, she nodded off at some point and ended up asleep using my leg as a pillow. She was just like a puppy, I thought. I have to admit, it was an adorable sight. If not awkward and uncomfortable as all hell for me. I didn't sleep all night. Like hell if I was going to fall asleep when there was chance of attack on my students after that cluster-fuck yesterday. No matter what my surprisingly stubborn female student insisted that I do. I was the Sensei here. It was a good thing I didn't either. I wouldn't of seen that little incident between Sasuke and Sora.

Which reminds me... I discretely glanced back towards my students. Sora and Sasuke were using Naruto as a buffer and were very obviously not paying any attention to one another as they all followed me. Awkward and tense. That's not a good sign. I... should probably do something about that, right?

Hm...

Well, they're smart kids. They can figure it out themselves, it'll be a good bonding experience for them. Yeah. Anyway... the time awake had given me plenty of time to think on everything Sora had confided to me this morning. I'd decided that when we got back to Konoha I was going to find my cute kōhai and let him know the name of the agent that was not only responsible for taking Sora to damned Danzō in the first place, but who was also the same person behind her aversion to any and all physical contact.

I think that'd really make his month.

I didn't ask Sora for a physical description of the agent, I didn't want her to relive it anymore than she already had to. Not to mention that any description she'd given would be almost a decade old, and thus, almost worthless considering this guy was Black Ops. If she'd even seen his face at all. If this 'Kabuto' was still alive then he was probably still a shinobi of Konoha, and still, a comrade. So, grievous injury was off the table. But we might as well have a face to go with the name.

I led my little students out into the middle of the forest. Sasuke and Sora shooting me questioning looks the entire way, Naruto just happy with the thought of training. Tazuna-san was back at the house, going over some of his diagrams for the bridge with some of the other men from the village, -they were all civilians and posed no immediate threat, I'd checked- then they'd spread the word that the construction was back on and the rest of the workers would get ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow, Tazuna-san would go out and continue with the construction. I'd have to spare one of the kids to protect him and then they'll switch out every day until one of them finishes the training to take over the protection full time.

We came up on a clearing surrounded by plenty of good sized trees. They'll do fine for this training. I turned back to the budding teenagers behind me, "Okay, we will now start the training."

Naruto jumped up with an excited cheer, "Hell yeah!"

I waved him down, there were some things I had to make sure of first. "Before that, I want to talk about chakra with you guys."

Naruto's face screwed up and he frowned, the blonde then put his hands behind his head and leaned back. "Bah! I already know all about chakra! Sora-chan made me read all about that, like, a million times until I remembered it all, 'ttebayo. It's the stuff everybody has and it's how we can use jutsu. No chakra means no justu." He nodded to himself, very certain of his knowledge. Oh? Well that's good and all, but they're still not using their chakra right. That needs to be fixed.

"It's good you know what chakra is, Naruto. But that's not what I want to talk about." I told him. I then had Sora's complete attention after I said that. Good, it seemed like her mind was somewhere else for a moment.

"Eh? Then what is it?"

"You guys aren't using your chakra properly." Naruto immediately made a sound of offense that I ignored, "Listen, to release chakra means to bring out Physical and Spiritual energy and mix them together within your body." I then explained to them that they were wasting chakra and energy with how they were doing things now. Their expressions when I told them they were going to train by climbing trees was priceless.

As I hobbled on my crutches up the side of the tree, each of their eyes lit up with excitement. Even Sasuke had a spark behind his usual indifference to everything. They didn't really say much as I explained to them about chakra control. That they needed to gather their chakra in their feet and keep a constant hold over it as they climb the tree, I told them that if they learned to have fine control over their chakra then they could theoretically master any jutsu out there. I then went on about the stamina that was needed for the chakra control before Naruto had a chance to interrupt me. He was literally buzzing with energy by the time I finished.

I reached into my weapons pouch, "Well... me talking all day isn't going to accomplish anything. This is just something you'll have to learn with your bodies." I threw kunai at their feet. They flinched appropriately when the knifes landed in front of them. "Use these kunai to mark how high you make it up the tree. Then use that mark as your goal and try to surpass it."

Surprise, surprise. Naruto was the first to pick up the kunai.

"You guys won't be able to just walk up the tree at first... I suggest getting a running start and build up momentum. Got it?" I told them. That's funny, Sora looked at me like she couldn't believe what I just said. I can already see her imagining what would happen if she just ran right at the tree.

"Ha! This'll be easy for someone like me! I am the most improved after all!" Obnoxiously shouted my blonde student. I didn't roll my eye at him, that wouldn't be productive.

"Why don't you stop the bragging, pick a tree and hurry up and try to climb it." I challenged.

They each moved to focus their chakra into their feet.

"HERE I GO!"

Sora didn't have to imagine what would happen for long, as the boys took off running ahead of her. Naruto planted one foot on the side of the tree. Another. And then gravity took over and he promptly fell back onto his ass. Sasuke didn't fare too much better either, I noted. My Uchiha student made it about five steps before the bark cracked under his feet and he back flipped away. Well, that's about the difference I suppose.

It should be interesting to see who picks it up first. Hm. My bet is on Sora doing it first. Although the boys have more chakra than her in comparison, she's actually not that far behind for someone who didn't come from a prestigious ninja clan like the Uchiha or is an Uzumaki Jinchuuriki. I briefly thought about Kushina-san and what a chakra powerhouse she used to be. And then the familiar guilt hit me in force, because I wasn't there... I wasn't there and I didn't help and they—Yeah, okay, focus on the genin now.

Think healthy, productive thoughts.

...what was I thinking about? Oh, right. Sora. Chakra. Sora has a larger chakra capacity than the average genin, even for a kunoichi. Something I suspect her Mother had a hand in. The routine she preformed this morning before the boys woke up seemed to be born out of pure habit. She was doing advanced flexibility stretches and simultaneously preforming chakra exercises, slowly expanding her overall capacity. Not for the first time, I find myself wondering just who exactly was Uzumaki Ikari?

Still looking into it.

Back to Sora, she's also had the most practice in manipulating her chakra with her Fuinjustu studies after all. I know for a fact some of her barrier designs require a specific amounts of Physical and Spiritual energy for activation. So I don't think this shouldn't be too challenging for my kunoichi student. She, unlike her teammates, didn't charge straight at her tree and instead gave it a considering look before placing her hand on the bark and closing her eyes. Wait, can she...? Nah. She can't actually sense the chakra in the tree. I watched closely as my red-headish student opened her eyes again and placed one foot firmly on the side of the tree. She carefully tested her hold by pulling and pushing against the bark. She bounced on her other leg as she prepared herself mentally, then she lifted her other foot and placed it right next to the other.

She grinned so widely when she remained still standing.

Then her arms began to windmill as she obviously felt her chakra losing it's grip. Sora overcompensated by applying more chakra and bark cracked under her boots, my little student fell onto her back with a thud. Looking quite annoyed with the tree, glaring like it was it's fault that she fell. Yep, just like I thought. She's taking a more cautious approach to it. She caught me staring. When her violet glare snapped to me, I eye-smiled cheerily and waved. It only succeeded to further her annoyance. She huffed before standing and dusting herself off to try another attempt. Shooting me one last glare to get the point that she was less than pleased with me across.

Heh. I smiled under my mask as I leaned back against the tree trunk, watching my little students try and fail humorously. This teaching thing is fun.

Maybe Gai was onto something with this?

Perspective:

(Sun)

Damn it, not again! I fell backwards and hit the ground, hard. My head is starting to get sore from all the falling. I can feel all the bumps starting to grow, owwww...

"Tch." I look over to see the Bastard glaring at his newest mark—which is way higher than any of mine are! I'm barely getting any higher on my tree and it's been hours already, how the hell am I going to catch up with the Bastard at this rate!? Ugghhh... I wonder if Sora-chan is doing any better than I am? I look over to the tree she was training at to see...

Huh? Wait—where'd Sora-chan go? I start to look all around me and I couldn't find her anywhere! The Bastard was at his tree, Kakashi-sensei had come down and was leaning against another tree and was reading his porn awhile ago, but I didn't see Sora-chan anywhere! She was gone! Then I saw her boots at the bottom of her tree but she wasn't in them! They were just sitting there next to her tree, her cuts in the tree only go a little ways up before just stopping. She wouldn't of just stopped training and she would've told me if she went back to the Old man's house early.

"Hey, where's—" 'Thunk!' "—AHHH!" I stumbled back as a kunai just landed in the ground! Are we being attacked!? Is it that Brow-less freak!? There was a loud whistle and I snap my head up to see—Sora-chan! Sora-chan is way up in the tree! Wait, how did she... she did it? She did it. She DID IT, SHE MADE IT ALL THE WAY UP THE TREE! "WOW! YOU DID IT, SORA-CHAN!" I shouted so she could hear me. She was sitting up on the very, very top of the tree! I could barely even see her way up there! She waved down at me. I turn to see the Bastard's face and he's looking up at her in surprise. He shouldn't be so surprised, it's Sora-chan! She's always learned stuff faster than everyone. Except Taijutsu, hah, she's really bad at that! I'm only a little bit upset that it was her that figured it out first but...

It's Sora-chan, so that's okay. She stood up on the side towards us and stood sideways, just like Kakashi-sensei did! Now she's running down the side of the tree! She's spread her arms out and it looks just like she's flying!

"That's so awesome 'ttebayo!" I cheered. I wanted to do that, too!

"Looks like the best at controlling chakra right now is Sora." Kakashi-sensei said. Sora-chan ran down and came to a stop next to him and he smiled at her -at least I think he's smiling, his eye curved up- and messed up her hair, "Good job!" She scowled at Sensei for messing up her already messy hair but it didn't last long before she was smiling again. She was just that happy, which made me smile, too.

Kakashi-sensei then looked at me, "As of now... Sora is the closest to becoming Hokage, unlike a certain someone." WHAT!? What did that Bastard-sensei just say!? I scowled at him because—dammit! I was going to be the Hokage! Then he looked at Sasuke and said, "I guess the great Uchiha clan isn't much either..."

The Bastard started glaring at Sensei, he must be pissed too. Sora-chan just stared at Kakashi-sensei with wide eyes and her mouth hanging open for a minute before she smiled. It wasn't her happy smile either, it was her sneaky smile. The one she always used to get whenever we'd come up with pranks to pull on the bullies. She smiled her sneaky smile and crossed her arms over her chest, then she raised her eyebrow at me and I knew that look! She only uses that look when she wants to make me mad.

C'mon Hero, I DARE you.

Oh, it's on Sora-chan! I ran back at the tree, I was gonna beat Sasuke and show Sora-chan that I could do it too! I was gonna make it all the way to the top this time!

"RAAAAAHHHH!"

I'm the Hero, after all!

Breaking Waves Arc,

Chapter Thirteen: "Our Roots"

END

A/N: Ahh... now you know what happened to Sora. Had you been expecting all that? Hm? That whole thing took place right after Chapter Five: "Hoodwinked" I'd been hinting at this for a while now with how Sora doesn't react well with people touching her and her panic attacks. Poor girl. I'm a mean author. The Narutoverse is mean. Will she ever catch a break? No. I've despicable plans for my dear ... mwahahaa-MWAHAHAHAACough-cough-hack... hem. Sorry, melodramatic moment there. At least I ended this chapter on a semi-positive note... speaking of which...

Tell me, each of the boys got a POV turn this chapter, how did I do? Nobody was OOC were they? Did I do Naruto okay? I couldn't get into the right headspace until I did a POV in the next chapter and it all just clicked. I hope I did it well! You'd let me know if I didn't, right?

Very Lovely People who wrote me and made my entire week... Outcast001, Girl-luvs-manga, duchessliz, Zhaky, Innieminnie, -Thank you for answering all my questions!- purplefeather9, Mayumi Yuki, Dareth, DiabolicalGenius1, Hunter of the sea, Blackenflamen and kiki8o!

I love your reviews. Each and every one of them. Even when you think they're harsh or long-doesn't matter! I. Love. Them. Thank You for giving this story a chance and Thank You for taking the time to write to me.

Author Question!

"Deserted island. Who would be the worst person to get stuck with? Pick anyone."

Why do you keep asking such ridiculous questions? Is there something wrong with you? Really. 'Cause I want to know. Sigh... Hidan. The answer would be Hidan because he would keep trying to sacrifice me to Jashin or somethin' bat-shit crazy like that and we'd spend all our time running around the island and-he's just a DICK!

There. Now please come up with a question for sane people next time, hm?

Sora: "...what was all that just now?"

Author: "Just a mild break in sanity is all, love. Go back to training. Go on."

Sora: *Glances around nervously* "O-Okay... crazy lady."

Author: "WHAT WAS THAT, LOVE!?"

Sora: *Runs-Like-Hell*

Haha, wuv yew all! 'Till next time!

-Nanami

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