AN: Hayate's take on two moments in the missing month.

I'm pretty sure someone asked about this.


October 15th

"Hayate, I think you ought to hear the truth," my sister says, as she and I pack lunches in the Namikaze household's kitchen.

"The truth?" I ask. Inside, my mind is spinning like crazy—this is the Big Secret. Mom and my sister never really told me much of anything, and I've gotten used to being kept in the dark. I'm not a shinobi yet—I just really want to be.

Without Mom, and after learning the truth about her, I feel like I have to be ready for big secrets. That's what being a shinobi is really about.

Maybe this is about that strange not-Kei chakra? I didn't notice it before—before everything, but it's definitely there. It's been there, moving a little, ever since I could clearly feel her chakra. It might've always been there, for all I know, but it doesn't feel like her.

"Well, part of it." Kei says, and the side of her mouth quirks in a half-smile. "So, wanna hear?"

"Yeah," I say, "even if I can't hear it all. Is it because I'm not old enough?"

"Hayate, there are people older than the Hokage who can't know." Kei pauses. "Well, yet. I want to hear what you think before I say anything about them."

The Hokage isn't that old. The Third Hokage was, but he retired. "I can handle it."

Kei finishes packing her lunch bento and gestures for me to finish mine. I stuff some extra rice in it to fill the gap, then close mine with a loud click so Kei can tie them both. I'm still learning shinobi knots, and things sometimes get loose if I do it.

"If you say so." Kei says, sighing. She's been doing that a lot lately.

Together, we move to the couch. I sit down on one end, so I have the arm-wrest to myself, and Kei sits cross-legged on the middle cushion and grips her knees.

"Sis?" I ask, surprised. She didn't seem that nervous a second ago…

"Give me a second, Haa-chan." Kei replies, shifting on the couch.

Before last week, I would've said Kei never called me that anymore. I…I don't think she's really done it regularly since I was a baby. I don't know if that means she's nervous or that I should be. Maybe it's just both.

Her chakra seems to go with option three.

"Okay, so…" Kei looks at the ceiling. "Remember that time we got Obito back? That mission?"

How could I forget? "Yeah, I do. You never said where you got him back from, though." I pointed out.

My sister's expression goes pinched again. "I didn't. And I'm still not gonna, so don't ask."

Rats.

"So, something happened on that mission?" I ask instead.

Kei nods. "Yeah. So, what I didn't mention…well, the long story is too long, so I'm just gonna say I'm a Tailed Beast Host now."

…What?

Kei looks away. I can feel her chakra going all weird, centered around a…a seal, on her chest. She's afraid I'm going to hate her—it's just so obvious. That's even more obvious than the not-human chakra right in front of me, in some ways.

And it hurts, too, because I can't imagine being that scared of my own sister.

I scoot closer to my sister and hug her really hard.

"Haa-chan?" Kei says, surprised. She pulls me closer almost on reflex, so I don't end up falling over.

I adjust my grip and squeeze harder. "Is it hurting you?"

"Him, and no." Kei replies after a pause. She rubs my back. "You're taking this, uh, pretty well."

I ignore that. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I…I am." Kei almost sounds surprised to hear herself say that.

"Then what's the problem?"

Kei laughs and hugs me back, just as hard. "Good point, Hayate."


October 17th

"Monster!"

Someone says that to my sister on the way to school, about two days after she told me about Isobu-san. She's going to work, but it's the same building so we're walking together.

Only some jerk just popped up out of nowhere, to yell at us!

He's bigger than either of us, but he's not dressed like a shinobi and he doesn't feel like one. What he feels like is a drunk, a civilian, and a jerk. Maybe not all of those at once all the time, but he's afraid of us on top of that.

Well, of my sister.

Kei just smiles, but it's not a nice smile. I've heard about smiles like that, where it's really obvious someone's gonna get bit.

"Is that really the best you can do?" Kei asks, raising one eyebrow. "Because I've heard and fought worse."

"My sister's a special jōnin, so you'd better not mess with her!" I snap, refusing to be ignored.

We're kind of drawing a crowd…

Maybe next time I can get Kei to take me to school over the roofs. There are fewer idiots up there.

The man seems to abruptly realize that we have an audience, and looks around. He looks a little baffled by everyone giving him weird looks.

Kei tilts her head to the side and pauses. "…Have you been drinking?"

Eh?

I can feel other shinobi in the crowd, and I look around to spot an Uchiha MP officer approaching pretty quickly.

"So what if I have?" the civilian demands, and I can see that his face is all red and blotchy—but not just because he's angry.

Kei sighs and takes a couple of steps toward him, one hand outstretched. The man backs up, but she just lets her hand drop and says, "We all lost someone that night. I know you're hurting, but I'm not the monster here. Because there isn't one we can easily lash out at."

"Is there a problem here?" the Uchiha officer asks, finally reaching the scene.

The civilian man abruptly bursts into tears.

My sister looks at him, like she's trying to figure out if he's going to be a problem, and says, "I think he just needs some place to calm down."

The MP nods. "Do you want to make a statement?"

"No, we're already late." She jerks her head to let me know it's time to go. "Come on, little brother."

"All right."