Only The Beginning - Chapter 10 - MidnightRain19 (2024)

Chapter Text

Chapter 10: Of Desires

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." –Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Naruto & Hinata

Her skin feels on fire, biting her lip not to gasp.

Naruto has turned what was meant to be a simple kiss into much more, trekking them into dangerous territory when his hand slips beneath her nightgown and palms at her breasts. He thumbs at her nipples until they're completely hard from his touch, fingers roaming and caressing further along to sides of her stomach and below.

"Hinata." Naruto murmurs out her name into the pulse of her neck, dragging out on the last syllable into a low groan when she shifts her body into his rising erection. He swallows her sigh with another kiss, pulling her as close as she can get to him to elicit another moan.

'We need to go to sleep.' A sudden thought bubbles up into Hinata's mind.

Despite this warmth, despite this heat between them that feels nearly palpable, they need to stop.

And it is this clarity that comes through the haze of pleasure that reluctantly, she grabs Naruto's hand before he can tug fully away her bra.

"Sleep. We're never go to get any rest if we...if we continue this." Hinata manages to say.

Naruto looks equally as dazed as she must look, cobalt orbs foggy before clearing as the reality of what they were teetering towards comes through. He pulls back, but doesn't fully move away like she expects.

"sh*t, I'm sorry! I've just been wanting to kiss you for so long and we got interrupted before so-" Naruto stops his sputtering at Hinata's smile. Maybe there's no need for him to apologize, that she loves him all the same despite how terrible he is when it comes to intimate acts like this.

Even with all of Pervy-Sage's lessons he still was unprepared for the real deal.

'Love burns at you kid, you'll know the sensation when it's time. It will consume at your thoughts no matter how much you try to bury it and soon enough your body will react to her and only her.' Jiraiya's musings resurface.

He hadn't paid his advice much attention back then, too caught up in the need to be stronger and train harder than any of the vigorous exercises he went through at the Academy, to ensure that the next time he and Sasuke fought he wouldn't lose.

Thinking on it now, he still hasn't fully accomplished either of those goals...

It was during all those downtimes though when they simply sat and enjoyed the quiet of the forests and calm of the air fresh with pine and moss that Jiraiya provided him with such life lessons that truly stuck. In spite of a majority of his lectures being tainted with 'research' that mostly got him slaps or glares at the best of times, Jiraiya maybe for once got this one lesson right regarding love.

His body has yet to catch up with his mind though, taking in slow deep shuddering breathes until the urge to peel away the layers of Hinata's clothes one by one leaves for now. His own shirt is layered with a thin coat of dampness he fans away, clinging to him uncomfortably like a second skin.

They're still a tangle of limbs and sweat, the scent of strawberry to jasmine lingering on her skin even when Hinata turns over away from him to adjust her position more comfortably.

It's no surprise to him that Hinata falls asleep first minutes later as he listens to the rhythm of her breathing, of how her violet hair now messy from their actions slips against her flushed cheeks.

"You have better restraint than I thought. I figured that Old Pervert's lectures would have you going at it no matter the time of day." Kurama mentions.

"Yeah? Well, I know enough that this isn't the right time." Naruto snorts back.

Crimson eyes bore into him when he turns himself away before he lets loose a sharp, gravely laugh.

"Humans get so easily consumed with feelings of passion and longing, you'll give into your lust eventually and so will the woman as well."

Naruto gulps, steeling his nerves.

He lets one arm loosely wrap around Hinata, not fully ready yet to part from her warmth. There is always his living room couch if this becomes too much for him, the pricks of the unhinged coils digging into his sides from the corners of the sofa would be enough of a distraction to keep these thoughts at bay.

Morning comes too fast once more, waking to the sight of a haze of pale yellow light beginning to pour in. It's still early from the way the moon shines against a background of pinkish teal, ribbons of thin white clouds streaming in. Downstairs as well is too quiet with streetlights casting orange glows on empty streets, no familiar sound of footsteps of the tenants below heading out for work, the market, or even the light chatter-arguing of the older couple a few doors down.

'My alarm hasn't gone off yet.' He realizes.

Hinata stirs at his movement, lifting her head away from his shoulder where she somehow ended up in the midst of deep sleep.

A yawn escapes her before she can help it, stretching her hands up allowing him a brief view of her cream skin.

"Just the type of view I like to start off my day!" Naruto jests lightly, snickering when Hinata jolts and meets his gaze that yes, he is indeed awake.

Her eyes glance around frantically, a bundle of confusion and sleepiness that only makes Naruto's grin widen. They must follow such a rigid schedule at the Hyuga manor down to a T, staying with him is such a complete change to her usual lifestyle where he's often slept in until noon simply because he could.

"Don't worry, we didn't oversleep you know! We still have a good 7-10 minutes before my alarm is set to go off." Naruto relates, knowing where her thoughts have gone.

At this, Hinata's shoulders relax as she falls back into his sheets. "Ah, that's barely anytime at all! Should we get up now since we're both already awake?"

The suggestion rests in the air for a long minute, blue to violet eyes watching each other waiting for one to make the first move. The familiar stirrings of desire bubble up taking in their bodies. From the outline of skin against the plain white cotton of one of Naruto's many t-shirts to the taste of each other still lingering on their lips, one of them is about to break. Eventually Naruto is the first to look away, feeling his face burn with a telltale heat.

"I um, actually already reset it to go off in 15 minutes." He coughs.

Hinata giggles into his chest then, feeling equally drowsy and sluggish as his body is to leave this warmth before she whispers something just loud enough for him hear.

"Reset it for 20 minutes instead."



Karin could still be sick.

Or at least she is behaving that way with how quiet she currently is staying towards the back of the group, not even wanting to latch onto his arm like usual begging for his affection.

It's strange, but there's no reason to complain or truly think about it.

The most important thing right now is the gift Itachi has given him in death; his eyes. Those very eyes that will boost his power exponentially, break through the current limitations his own eyes continue to have.

Smoke singes the air tinged faintly with the scent of blood the closer they get to the hideout, the cracking of bones echoing throughout the barren landscape. The sun is dipped low in the sky now, chill picking up in the wind as the last curtains of sunlight fall against desolate trees, a reminder they've been out in the fields for nearly a full day with barely any stops.

"Ah, the guest of honor arrives." Tobi remarks at finally seeing their arrival. He lounges languidly in the shadows, as if having been counting the minutes just waiting for him to show up.

"Save it, I don't want to discuss any further plans until I have Itachi's eyes implanted." Sasuke cuts him off.

The process will be grueling and painful, putting his trust of sight in a man he can't even fully believe in. He could very near blind himself if one nerve is struck incorrectly or if he attempts to overuse his eyes too fast after the procedure is done.

'This operation would do better in the hands of a skilled medic nin.'

And inevitably a flash of pink crosses his thoughts, olive green eyes sharp and warm before darkening into a cold dullness that is all because of him.

No, Sakura would never agree to any of this.

Jugo and Suigetsu immediately head for their respective rooms but Karin lingers, scarlet eyes dancing between the two of them. Tobi glances her way and she stiffens just briefly at his piercing look.

"I'd like to be on standby. Just in case you need any assistance during the transplantation. It's going to be...messy." Karin explains at his questioning expression, straightening her posture biting back any fear threatening to crawl up.

Tobi looks back to Sasuke for approval and he shrugs, resisting a sigh. As long as Karin didn't get in the way of the process she was fine to stand back and watch how it worked.

The more skills she learned, the better.

So she is there as all his facial nerves are numbed, the cutting of the blood vessels of his eyes one by one. The sick smells of antiseptics and gauze waft around him, bandages wound tightly around his face before he can even move to sit up. The rest of the remaining Akatsuki are his most useful allies at this point, but even they will run out of tolerating with him if the Eight Tails isn't properly captured soon in the common days.

Along with the Nine Tails.

"Wait; don't rush it!" Karin warns, but he pushes away her hand just as he feels her fingertips brush against him.

His skin practically burns at the urge to tear off these bindings and finally see for himself everything through Itachi's eyes, to use the power that in the end his body was too weak to handle.

The power pulses like a drum and he grits his teeth to be patient.

Even with these wrappings he can still feel Karin's stare, from her continued odd change in demeanor to the way she shifts back from him at knowing her touch won't help.

And abruptly he asks what is weighing on his mind.

"Are you still sick Karin? Tell me." He orders.

"I'm fine Sasuke; honest. The healer I used is one of the best around." She mutters out.

The way she says this so bitterly, her whole body seeming to tense just having to explain this into the silence of the room.

"Did she heal you 100%?" Sasuke pressures her and Karin once more becomes quiet and still.

"No, not exactly." Karin grumbles.

"What comes next Sasuke; once your eyes are fully healed that is?" She asks softly switching topics. He hears the scrape of her chair against the granite, of the shifting of glass vials and tubes that assort this procedure area.

He moves his head in the directions where he hears her footsteps go, clicking his tongue at her obvious dodge of the question. Maybe it isn't that important to know right this minute as long as her illness truly won't be a hindrance to his plans, he can get the answers he wants out of her at a later date by force if need be.

She still loves him after all from the way she dotes upon his every need. Even her skin becomes riddled with goosebumps just from being close to him, warm and bright knowing she remains of use to him.

But now she just might be keeping something from him...

"You already know that answer to your question." He snaps and in spite of his currently lost vision, he knows she has flinched.



This must surely be the passion Kurenai-sensei spoke of during her early days of dating Asuma-sensei. The thrill that makes your heart pound, the rush of warmth that comes just from sending each other secret smiles during a long meeting.

More though than all those little moments and bigger than the times spent eating dinners together or training out in the forests is the pure lust that comes when it is only you two alone.

But in her case she must bury these feelings, push away the intensity of her kiss with Naruto just hours ago.

"Are you almost done packing?" Naruto's voice cuts into her thoughts and she nods quickly, adding in the last of her kunai and the one grainy photo she has to go by of that man.


What little she gathered told her retrieving back said eye wouldn't be easy, those talisman earrings he wore acted as a barrier to prevent any and all shinobi from getting too close.

Still though, that wasn't a complete failsafe and nor would it stop her.

"Did you tell Hiashi of your plans?" Naruto asks as he adjusts on his own backpack and Hinata feels herself stiffen at the returning memory.

"It will upset Lord Hiashi not to here this from you in person Lady Hinata."

Ko's warning runs through her thoughts and she shakes her head, sighing. "I passed along a message to Ko, I'm sure he's already let him know of my plans. I know he would prefer me to stay here in the village, however..." Hinata trails off.

Naruto arches a brow, gesturing for her to continue. "However?"

A smile makes it way upon her face once more. "However, I know I want to be with you much more. To get stronger and see the world with you Naruto."

Naruto pauses then, cheeks gaining color that she's seen upon herself so many times before. He opens his mouth to speak before shutting it close once more, averting his eyes to the ground and shuffling his feet before lightly mumbling they should get going.

Kumo is quite the distance away and on the way there she is sure Naruto will want to check in at Mount Myoboku based on the Great Toad Sage's premonition.

It lingers in the back of her mind to ask what Naruto was about to say, but she decides against it for now. The fluttering in her stomach gives way to a growing wedge in her chest, this path they're about to go on will test so much more than the current state of their relationship.

Morning dew still rests upon the forest floor and leaves, smell of pine and maple lingering all around them. The forest still feels asleep, birds tucked deep into nests in the canopy and creatures of the night making their last patrols before retreating back into the shadows for rest.

But it's hard to take in the beauty of the nature surrounding them when they're being watched, not by the guards from Konoha's main gate or even the ones situated just outside the main trail that leads into Konoha who patrol the area hourly.

Hinata activates her byakugan, studying their chakra signature before it clicks.

'Wait, that's-'

The snap of a branch breaks off her thought and Naruto is immediately on edge to defend her, coming in front of her view as a flash of brown hair leaps down from the trees.

"Big Sister!" Hanabi pounces, nearly knocking Naruto out of the way to envelop her in a hug. Her auburn locks are still damp either from a shower or having leapt here quickly through the trees, twigs and leaves intertwined through each strand of her hair.

"You didn't think you could leave me without a proper goodbye, could you?! You've barely been home and already you're going back out on the road?" Hanabi complains, pouting revealing the ruddiness her cheeks.

"I know Father would've just wanted me to stay here within the village and while I know I would get stronger training under his and Neji's tutelage, I want to travel to the other nations with Naruto. It benefits our clan as well to make connections outside of Konoha." Hinata remarks.

Hanabi frowns, still not completely satisfied with her answer before squirming away from Naruto's affectionate ruffling of her hair, sending him an utterly ineffective glare. "Just because you might one day be my brother-in-law doesn't mean I'm okay with this situation!"

Naruto freezes up then, retracting back his hand. "Huh?"

Hanabi's eyes grow frostier so reminiscent of Father's or Neji's, looking between them both. "I'm sure Father's asked you this already, though I want to hear it for myself properly. If Big Sister is truly going with you on such a dangerous trip where there is the potential for severe injury and even death, then I want to know do you truly love her?"

"Hanabi..." Hinata begins, sharpening her voice but her gaze is focused completely on Naruto.

Naruto doesn't immediately answer looking tongue-tied for once unsure what to say to appease her when romance and love still isn't his forte, looking to her instead and her whole body feels set aflame from the intensity of his stare. There are hundreds of ways Naruto can answer her, but then she supposes silence is a response in of itself.

And Hanabi watches him too before a light grin crosses her face, stepping back from them with a nod.

"Never mind; I just got my answer."



'He's implanted Itachi's eyes into himself; still recovering and to soon work with the masked man.'

Right at 12:00 am on the dot, Karin's message has arrived. Well, she knew the repercussions of not keeping to their deal of every 3 days. The messenger bird disappears back into the cold night, slipping back into the darkness from which it came.

It's written on a scraggly damp note, ink having bled onto the edges and stains at her fingers. Still, Sakura reads the message 5 times over committing it to memory.

Sasuke just became a much more formidable enemy.

And once his eyes had properly healed from the procedure, there was no telling what he would do next.

She swallows down another gulp of her now cold coffee, willing her mind to focus on her upcoming shift come sunrise. The patients coming into the emergency room are sicker than ever, stress from all the talks of upcoming war again leading to more cases of heart attacks and strokes.

On top of that by the end of the week new protocols will be in place to begin rationing supplies and food, triaging their incoming patients based on how truly injured or ill they are.

And if they can even be saved in time...

A distinct buzz resounds in her pocket breaking her from her thoughts, peering down at her pager. The ringtone that chimes out is the one she set for Lady Tsunade specifically.

For her to be up at this time of night as well can't be good.

Still she takes her time moving to stand and stretch, muscles popping at having finally being moved about. She really has been sitting down for hours, too many hours.

'I should take Ino up on that offer of doing afternoon or morning runs. At least to take my mind off of work and this assignment.' Sakura considers.

She passes by the ICU on her way to Tsunade's office, thankfully no code blues in process or confused patients attempting to wander about. It's a unspoken rule to never say aloud a unit is 'quiet' especially during a night shift, but it's the first thing that comes to mind to ask the charge nurse Manami when they cross paths near the stairs.

Hazel eyes shine with friendliness, one of the few older nurses not ashamed or annoyed to take orders from someone less than half their age by nodding in her direction politely. "Making rounds Sakura? We're all clear up here! Room 3 had some congestion and a bit of a rash that cleared up with a breathing treatment and some antihistamines."

Sakura shakes her head, gesturing to her pager pinging out again. "Going to check in with Lady Tsunade, just wanted to take the long route to see if anyone needed anything."

Her eyes as she expects turn a shade darker, clouding with subdued alarm. She can't blame her, most everyone is on edge in spite of needing to put up a mask of calmness for their patients and themselves.

"Ah, let's hope she hasn't made some late night gamble with a psych patient or something like that one time!" She jokes, but the smile doesn't quite reach her eyes.

"I'm sure it's just going to be to review the current patient census and available beds." Sakura jests back lightly.

She takes the stairs two at a time, crisscrossing through the telemetry unit and bypassing the surgical wing until finally she reaches Tsunade's door. The lights are on, her figure looming over what looks to be a stack of paperwork.

Yes, definitely not good news.

Tsunade looks up and sees her before she can even knock, urging her inside.

"Close the door, we have much to talk about."

Sakura plops down into the nearest chair, nodding her agreement. "Yes, we do. Where do you want to start? Hospital business or...Other business?"

A smirk ghosts across Tsunade's face, Sakura matching her grin with one of her own.

"Well, with all the terrible sh*t I've heard today so far, yes your good news would be nice from the so called 'Other business' first. Has your little experimenting and toying around to get a mole actually come to fruition?"

'That's one way to put it.' Sakura muses, granted it wasn't exactly positive news, though at least they could be better prepared for what is coming.

They go into code-speak, the Danzo incident wasn't too long ago and there is no telling how many of his spies or associates with his same ideologies remain lingering about.

Even with seals in place across this room, Sakura lowers her voice.

"My scarlet mole tells me that the raven has traded out his old eyes for new ones." She murmurs.

Tsunade's eyes widen a fraction, reaching for her sake.

"Damn it Sakura, that isn't good news!" She hisses.

But it's important news and she's known Lady Tsunade long enough by now to know she's pleased to have this knowledge at hand.

Sakura straightens up in her seat, pushing on. "Apparently the raven hasn't fully recovered yet, masked man is guiding and advising him how to proceed."

Tsunade snorts at that as she drains the rest of her glass down, they both knew that much or at least had an inkling of that.

Amber meets jade once more before they both fall to the files and folders below. "War is hell Sakura, all the training in world I and Shizune gave you can't prepare you for what you will see out there."

Sakura agrees silently, swallowing at feeling her tongue getting dry. Images flash to mind of traumatic injuries described in grisly detail from all her medical textbooks, the ones that made her stomach churn and threatened to make her nauseous.

Those images would soon be their reality.

In between these preparations she should visit with Lady Katsuyu. Lady Tsunade herself hasn't ever been to the Shikkotsu Forest as far as she knows from the stories she's told her, but the legendary unexplored region could medicinal plants and herbs not found in any of the other nations. She pictures woods shrouded in fog, trees densely packed together enough that blots out the sun for the majority of the day.

More than just improving her medical ninjutsu, she needs to boost her nature affinities to defend herself properly.

"When will you get the next update?" Tsunade asks as they start to switch gears to look at the ER's current census and staff load.

"3 days." Sakura replies breezily, having memorized it to heart.

Every 3 days at midnight...

As long as Sasuke doesn't find out.



'I'm not going to find anything here.' Kakashi sighs.

Naruto's apartment is much cleaner than the last time he was here like a completely foreign territory, blinds shut only letting specks of light in. Jiraiya's manuscripts sit in the same corner, but gone are the familiar scatterings of empty ramen bowls to strewn laundry, everything organized and in their proper place.

He starts first in his room, the best spot to gain an idea of where he's gone off to. He imagines it must be to Kumo or Mount Myoboku even though he never mentioned an exact location during their last talk, these are only strong hunches based upon his behavior leading up into his departure. Though he's visited Naruto's apartment plenty of times before no problem on Hokage's orders or simply to check in, Hinata now stays with him and to dig through Naruto's personal items would mean potentially going through hers' as well.

As if having expected his presence to eventually come Naruto's left little to no clue of where his final destination is, the faint smell of lilac lingering in air near his sheets to the scent of ink and ramen by a set of books stacked neatly on top of each other.

Hinata must be with him, at least he can confirm this fact to Hiashi to give him some ease.

'They checked out these books around a week ago from the Central Library.' Kakashi reads as he picks up one book with the title of 'Konoha's clans throughout the years: From the Warring States to Present Day.'

He knew Naruto had been doing some research into his family, but this was much more extensive than he realized at the scattering of notes along the indents and corners of each page.

Even then, there is little that can be found on the Uzumaki clan within these pages.

'This isn't of top importance right now. The Akatsuki are coming after him; after the Nine Tails.' He reminds himself.

And perhaps among that group Obito may truly be alive, ignoring the twinge of his chest tightening at the thought. Lately visiting the memorial stone hasn't been enough to calm him or push away these nightmares. If anything with each passing day there is unnerving sensation of his old comrade watching him, of anger that has only grown over the years now into a malice for the sins he's done.

He sighs, closing back the book and stepping back out of Naruto's apartment.

Gai catches him midway in his trek back to the Hokage's office, for once not looking giddy and eager to challenge him to another duel at his somber look.

"I assume at the direction you're coming from Naruto knows of your the plans the Kage have been talking of?" He questions.

Kakashi shakes his head, Naruto has already left the village to prevent being confined here and saying this makes Gai's brows furrow.

"It wasn't to be confined here in Konoha, it's too risky and increases the likelihood of a Pain incident all over again. They want to keep confined on a island near Kumo, somewhere far enough away from the battlefield and the Akatsuki." He explains.

Tightness returns back to his chest, the bitter sensation of eyes watching him.

Waiting to strike.

It doesn't matter how far Naruto goes or how much they try to put him in a cage out of harm's way, not with the abilities they've seen within the Akatsuki so far.

Eventually they'll cross paths with all of them, delaying it won't help.

'So I'll be ready if that truly is you behind the mask Obito.' Kakashi steels himself.

As if his old teammate can hear his thoughts, the feeling of being watched burns at him doubly so.


Naruto & Hinata

Fog lingers about even though it's midday, Naruto staying ahead brushing past fauna and bush jagged and swirly that could only grow in a climate like Kumo's.

'We're getting closer; there's a strong chakra signature just a few meters up ahead.' Hinata determines.

Motoi, their guide since they re-entered the village (based on their asking and insistence on where to find 'The Octopus') has stayed mostly quiet even though he knows this supposed island far better than them.

"Is this the right location?" Naruto asks looking back to them as they reach a clearing where sunlight simmers down across the area, looking more to Hinata than to Motoi.

Motoi nods before Hinata can answer, the cascade of the falls resounds close by, crystal blue waters shining.

"The Eight Tails, or Killer B's residence is just up ahead." He confirms.

Though he can't be sure what type of mood B will be in to suddenly having strangers here on the island. The exotic plants and animals that call Turtle Island home can't be enjoyed as much from the mini tour he's done so far, overshadowed by looming thoughts of war.

Does Naruto even know this Island will become an enclosure for him as well as the holder of the Nine Tails? He can't imagine so from his current expression and actions, but that is news for another time.

Naruto steps forward then, pounding at the door until abruptly a tall, burly man appears before them. He takes them all in silently before his eyes rest upon Naruto at his stare.

"You're the Octopus, or err Killer B, right? I need your help on how to connect and train with my tailed beast the way you did, you know!" Naruto blurts out in one breathe.

"You can't train with me ya fool, especially not when you have all of that all balled up inside of ya like a wall!" Killer B remarks before shutting the door right in their face.

"What does that even mean?" Hinata murmurs in surprise at his blunt answer, glancing back to Naruto only to frown in concern at his clutching towards his chest.

"It's everything I've buried, all the anger and vitriol over the years." Naruto whispers back.

And among that are the dark secrets, the guilt he buried on top of it not even wanting Hinata to know about these cruel and icy thoughts he's had in passing...

But now all of that must come to light.


I'll be altering a bit the order of the countdown to the Fourth Shinobi War. With Hinata here, she'll be influencing Naruto's Nine Tails training a bit and doing some training/studying on her own as well. Hope you all look forward to it! Let me know your thoughts!

Enjoy. Review. Favorite. Follow!

Only The Beginning - Chapter 10 - MidnightRain19 (2024)


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