Chapter 1

Ending to Start a New Beginning

"Come on Amari! This isn't a challenge of who can run the slowest!" Ryu called over his shoulder.

Amari wasn't far behind him but she was, unfortunately, taking up last place in this race to their designated hangout spot away from the orphanage and just outside of the Leaf Village. It was a secluded place that no one back at the orphanage knew of as well as the location they trained whenever they could.

Kasai had taken a head start, as always, and kept the lead with ease while Ryu stayed behind to keep Amari in line of sight. Over the three years she had been at the orphanage, he had grown protective over her, likely because of her lack of self-confidence and how fragile she was.

Unlike the boys, Amari didn't have thick skin. She was a sensitive person who saw herself as others saw her. If they saw a failure, she saw herself as one. Of course this was an unhealthy way to see herself, she understood that, but she couldn't help it. Even when she put everything she had into whatever she was working on, she always felt like she was coming up short and that only made the feeling so much worse when others gave voice to the silent negative voice in her mind.

Ryu and Kasai did their best to always encouraging, but Kasai had an extremely competitive attitude when it came to races and the like. Ryu, on the other hand, never let a competition change his attitude. If she was lagging behind in the event, he restrained his abilities so he could stay within arm's reach of her to offer aid if she needed it. Amari knew this as a fact because she had seen how fast Ryu really was and his speed now was only half of his real speed.

She didn't mind him staying behind for her and watching after her. She had come to care a lot about Ryu and Kasai in the three years since she woke up to the latter flicking her forehead, but her care for Ryu had steadily become a crush.

When he was around she felt stronger, although she never told him that. It wasn't that she didn't want to tell him. She wanted him to know how much she appreciated him and his patience…But she could never summon up enough courage to say it. If she tried she'd only end up stuttering and blushing feverishly and that would be embarrassing.

She had only turned ten years old three days ago on what was the anniversary of her arrival at the orphanage. By her estimation, that wasn't anywhere near old enough to fully understand romance, or at least that was one of her excuses for not speaking up. Ryu probably didn't hold the childish feelings she had for him anyways. He looked after her more like a big brother would a little sister instead of a boy who wished to protect his crush.

Maybe I'm not his type, Amari considered. She shrugged it off and kept running.

Over the past few years Kasai had taught her about ninjutsu and how to control her chakra better while Ryu had spent time teaching her taijutsu and the importance of ninjutsu, genjutsu and taijutsu as a whole in the ninja world.

In their few years of training she began to advance quicker than all of them expected, especially Amari herself. She didn't know it, but somewhere deep inside her the genes her parents passed on were reawakening. The Nara in Amari allowed her to become a quick study and a better tactician while the Uchiha in her helped to make her a stronger and better fighter.

Her appearance hadn't changed much in the three years. She had grown a few inches, but she was still the shortest of the group and she still kept her wild blue hair long. Clothes shopping wasn't exactly available at the orphanage so her clothes hadn't changed at all.

Despite her lack of memory, she still wore the purple bandana she woke up with. It was the one thing that she felt extremely protective over that wasn't a person. Her friends believed it had been a gift from someone she could no longer remember and Amari was willing to agree because of how personal the piece of cloth felt. Everything else was just material items that held no meaning to her.

Amari smiled to herself in response to Ryu's taunt and began focusing her chakra towards her legs and feet to speed up. This was supposed to be a race after all so she had to at least make him work a little bit. She channeled her chakra as best as she could then let it surge through, allowing her to speed past Ryu while giggling.

"Come on Ryu! You'll never catch me from back there!" Amari yelled over her shoulder.

"Using your chakra to speed yourself up is cheating!" Ryu yelled back. He quickly sped up with his natural speed to match her new speed. She couldn't help but laugh at his response as they ran shoulder to shoulder. Laughing was the best kind of medicine there was even if you weren't feeling sick. Everything seemed so much easier when you were laughing and having a good time. It was like no matter what the world threw at you, as long as you could laugh you would be okay.

That was one of the things Kasai had taught her and the reason why he always smiled. Depression was easy to fall into in their circumstance and insanely difficult to climb out of. For him, the best way to combat their less than glamorous life was to keep searching for the positive in everything so he could smile and laugh every day. His lesson helped her in recovering from waking up without knowledge of who she was better than she expected. Being accepted by Ryu and Kasai as their little sister was another big help and something she cherished dearly.

This race had become their ritual since they began training. For the boys it was so they could work on their normal speed and stamina while Amari used it to improve her athleticism and work on her chakra controlled running.

The boys out matched her in strength and stamina, but her chakra control had become better than Kasai's and was on the path to becoming on par with Ryu, who also surpassed Kasai's great control in the last year. The Hyūga had managed to do it thanks to his passion for Medical Ninjutsu, which required superb chakra control to use properly. A bonus was that he was able to heal them after training all day so they weren't limping around or bruised badly.

None of them were masters of their practiced ninja arts, but they were definitely stronger than anyone they knew back at the orphanage.

Amari and Ryu were nearing the finish line where Kasai was waiting for them up in a tree. He looked bored as he watched the two running on the forest floor but that was normal Kasai. He liked to be active instead of sitting around waiting to begin training.

Patience was not a virtue he held.

It actually seemed like Amari was going to win this time. Ryu still probably wasn't running full speed, but that didn't stop the Shadow user from getting a little bit giddy over it. She was shoulder to shoulder with Ryu and neither was able to keep ahead for very long before the other would speed up.

They were tooth and nail and mere strides away from their designated finish line. When it seemed she was about to win, something snagged Amari's foot and sent her tumbling, rolling and skidding across the ground at her chakra running speed. She tumbled across the ground until she crash landed into a tree trunk back first. She cried out in pain and fell chest first back onto the ground. Almost immediately the pain receptors in her back began screaming bloody murder at her.

What the hell did I trip on? Amari questioned as she attempted to push herself up.

It wasn't as if there was a root or stump she hadn't noticed. They had run this forest dozens, if not hundreds of times by now. She knew what was on the ground for almost every inch of the run and the ending where she had just tripped didn't have anything she could trip on.

Before she could even get onto her knees, a hard kick landed square in her ribs, knocking the wind right out of her lungs and forcing to crumple back to the grassy floor in a ball of pain. She tried to breathe through the pain, but each breath elicited jolts of agony through her chest. As she struggled through the pain, she glanced up to see who was behind this assault. Her eyes widened in shock when she found Kasai staring down at her with an evil glint in his eyes.

No, he can't have.

Ryu suddenly appeared in the air behind him and kicked him hard enough in the arm to send him flying away from her and out of her line of sight.

This wasn't normal, this wasn't training. This was something that Amari didn't understand as she felt tears welling in her eyes from the amount of pain each breath caused.

Ryu crouched down next to her but didn't take his eyes of Kasai who was supposed to be their best friend. When and why had that changed? What made Kasai set a trap for Amari or Ryu to trip on? What caused this sudden change in their best friend?

Ryu checked Amari quickly with a diagnostic jutsu. "Just broken ribs," the Hyūga assured her.

It didn't feel all that assuring, but it was better than whatever the alternative could be. Amari didn't know what the alternative was or how bad it could have been, yet if he was confident that broken ribs wasn't that bad who was she to doubt him. His eyes could see more than hers could and his medical knowledge far exceeded her own. That meant he was the one she needed to listen to right now.

Ryu looked back to Kasai—who had picked himself off the ground—with an ice cold stare, colder than Amari had ever seen the lavender eyed boy look at anyone. "Why?" he demanded in an infuriated tone.

Kasai merely shrugged at them. Something had changed in their best friend and not just because he had hurt Amari. That was the most obvious change, but the more subtle changes were in the look of his eyes and his posture. His eyes had been full of life and fun over the years. In all the time Amari had known him he never once lost his smile except when something serious was happening.

He always had a joke or a one liner at the ready to make the others laugh when they needed it most. His posture had been straight all the time, a very proud person but not to the extent that it ever got in the way of their friendship. Now his eyes held nothing but the evil glint she had seen and his posture was slouched like he had lost his pride and hated his friends for it.

Her friend looked like a completely different person, his normal green eyes didn't hold the same life anymore, his short brown normally messy hair was spiked like pitchforks and he looked at his friends with the deepest contempt.

Where was the boy Amari had once called friend? What happened that caused him to look at them like he wished their death?

"I want one of your eyes Ryu." The air seemed to still around the forest as Kasai began walking towards them. "I will become the strongest ninja that this shinobi world has ever seen, rivaling that of Hashirama Senju, the god of shinobi, and your eye will help me achieve that goal. I will kill you both if you try to fight me," Kasai said.

He wants to take one of his eyes? Can he do that? Is that actually possible? Amari looked to her other friend in confusion but Ryu seemed to understand what was going on.

There was a sad look on his face but it was also one of understanding at the same time, like he had expected something like this to happen. Amari couldn't allow her friends to fight; she had to bring them to their senses. She tried to push herself up only for pain to explode from her side.

She cried out in pain and grabbed at her ribs, hoping that by putting her hand near it would somehow miraculously ease the pain. It was like her ribs were exploding from the inside, numbing the rest of her body so she could only feel the crippling pain they caused. "Your little shadow is down for the count already." The green eyed boy let out a sigh of disappointment. "It would really be a waste to kill someone so pathetic."

Ryu growled in irritation as Amari whimpered in pain and struggled to breathe. His words struck a deep wound in her heart. Kasai was like a brother to her…and he believed her to be pathetic. Old feelings from when she had woken up came back; the feeling that she was pathetic trash that no one wanted was filling her already aching heart at this sudden betrayal with more pain.

"Amari, stay down. Your broken ribs will only get worse if you try to fight him. I will deal with Kasai," Ryu said as he stood up all the way.

Deal with him? He means kill him. Amari attempted to grab at his ankle to stop him but he moved away from her. Damn it, don't do this you two. We're supposed to watch after each other, we're in the same boat and have to stick together.

Amari couldn't voice her thoughts, she felt paralyzed with shock as she watched her two best friends stare each other down.

She felt so weak.

Her best friends were about to fight and she couldn't do anything but stare and watch. Had she actually improved at all? Had all that training been for nothing? Was there truly nothing she could do to stop this madness?

"I knew one day I would have to fight someone from stealing my eyes, but I never expected it would be youof all people, Kasai," Ryu spat his name.

Kasai smiled evilly. "What can I say? I aim to surprise." Ryu took up his fighting stance and by the snort of amusement from their former friend she had to assume he had activated his Byakugan. "So you are going to fight this futile battle I see? You know you could never beat me in taijutsu or ninjutsu."

"We shall see about that when you are face down in the dirt, as always," Ryu responded calmly. Kasai growled in agitation and threw two kunai at the Hyūga. Ryu dodged with ease and blocked the kick that the green eyed boy attempted to go for immediately after it.

Amari watched helplessly as her friends began to battle one another using shurikens and kunai they found on their walks in the forest and taijutsu to hurt one another. Ryu outclassed Kasai in them all and managed to hit multiple impactful strikes, but Kasai managed to land more than a few physical blows as well as managing to cut Ryu in a few places with a kunai.

Tears finally poured over, burning down her cheeks like acid but not blurring the two people she cared about in this world trying to kill one another. Why do they have to fight? Why can't they stop and remember that we only have each other? Why would Kasai do this?!

She couldn't take it anymore. When the both of them pushed away from one another and began panting from the tiring fight, Amari lashed out with her shadow. It captured both of them with ease from the amount of shadow she had to work with and stopped their fight completely.

"Stop it! Stop fighting each other!" Amari cried.

"Great, the crybaby is out," Kasai groaned.

That stung and made her tighten her hands into fists to fight off the emotional pain it caused. "We're a family, remember? Please stop fighting each other, we have to stick together," she pleaded.

There was a snort of amusement from Kasai but Ryu was the one to speak. "Amari, you must let me go. Kasai won't stop this now. The boy we called friend is no longer alive, he was killed by the corruption of power I always feared from him," Ryu stated calmly.

She knew he was right, but this entire situation still wasn't right. Amari wanted to keep her only friends; she didn't want to be alone again. She remembered the feeling of loneliness very well, it made her feel cold and like she couldn't breathe. It was like something was purposefully constricting her and tightening its grip around her as it dragged her further and further away from others.

"Don't worry Ryu, her jutsu will only last a few more seconds and then I can kill you and take what I want," Kasai said. Just as he said it, the Shadow user could feel her jutsu wearing off from both boys fighting to break free until it slithered back to her and exhaustion began to set in. I'm still too weak. I can't stop them. "And there goes the weakest link. But now that I think about it…how about we take out the weakest link so we can fight in peace." Their former friends smile turned murderous.

"If you touch her again I will tear you apart!" the lavender eyed boy growled as he jumped forward to strike Kasai. Ryu appeared to hit nothing and it looked like Kasai had disappeared.

Maybe he left, Amari hoped. If he left then her friends wouldn't have to fight and everything would be okay, or mostly okay.

"Amari!" Ryu shouted. She managed to look up momentarily to see Kasai's hands in the seal of Tiger. Fire style. Digging down deep, she found what remaining strength she had left in her small body and pushed herself up through the tsunami of pain that washed over her and began weaving her own handseals. Snake, Ram, Monkey, Boar, Horse, Tiger.

Against her common sense and what her pain receptors were telling her, she took a large intake of breath and struggled to keep from exhaling it too early. Fire Style: Fire Ball Jutsu! The friends turned enemies released their flames at one another at the same time. Through the pain of her wounds, Amari could feel her chakra draining faster and faster as each second went by. He had more chakra than her right now and if this kept up he would push her own fire and his into her.

Amari closed her eyes and did her best to calm her nerves by focusing her remaining chakra into the jutsu. Control what chakra you have, that is what is important. If you can keep it up long enough he'll have to stop. The fires pushed against one another until finally they both disengaged their jutsu with neither fire reaching their intended targets.

Exhausted from the expense of chakra, Amari collapsed forward right back on her already broken ribs. A mere whimper escaped her as she struggled to look back up at Kasai.

From what little she could see from the ground, he appeared pensive and angry. Internally she felt a small hint of pride. Not for his look, but because her stupid plan to try the jutsu she hadn't been able to do until that moment actually worked and kept Kasai's fireball, who had been practicing it longer than she had, at bay. She would have been even happier about it if it wasn't for the terrible circumstance surrounding her.

"Impressive. You actually managed to use the jutsu correctly." He smirked an evil smirk. "It only took you three years to get it right and it still wasn't all that good."

Of course he would attack her verbally. There was little that was below someone who willingly betrayed their friends and attacked a mostly defenseless girl. Amari did her best to keep her breathing calm, but it was steadily becoming more ragged through a combination of the broken ribs and raw emotion.

He was right, wasn't he? She was weak. If it hadn't been for her calm mind and good chakra control she wouldn't have lasted a second against his Fire Ball Jutsu.

Kasai jumped back to the ground and began fighting with Ryu again without another word or glance in her direction. The two traded blows again until finally their former friend played his trump card. He had one play on the field that the Hyūga boy didn't and that was the use of Amari to get to Ryu.

"Say goodbye to your little shadow."

Amari turned her head away when she saw him throw a swarm of kunai at her.

This was really it. Her so-called friend had turned into a monster. After everything they had been through together, after all the long days and nights of training, after all the time they spent helping and caring for each other he was just going to kill them both. He was going to sever their friendship by killing them like they had never really been friends in the first place.

There was a sound of air being cut and then the sound of kunai being batted away and puncturing its target. It took a few seconds but Amari realized that she felt no pain aside from her ribs. She hazard opening her eyes, fearing what she might see…and then she saw Ryu standing in front of her, kunai scattered around him and blood dripping from several that hit their mark.

She could hardly hear him panting in pain over the sound of her heart beating hard and rapidly in her ears. Amari's eyes grew large in shock and even Kasai seemed surprised by the action.

"Ah, you used the Body Flicker Technique just like I did, you copycat." His voice was condescending. "And all for what? To save some pathetic girl who isn't ever going to be good enough to be a ninja."

"You're wrong," Ryu coughed. Kasai raised an eyebrow in question. "She'll become stronger than you or I ever could. She is not some pathetic girl. Amari is far more than you will ever realize," her friend responded between sharp breaths. Kasai looked at Ryu with a pointed stare but said nothing as he started walking towards them.

Horror had sewed itself into the young girl's body. Her mouth hung agape as she stared at the back of her friend, unable to find her own voice in all this. No no no no. He can't have.

"Ryu!" Amari found her voice.

He grunted in response to her shrill scream.

No. No. Ryu why would you do this? You can't leave me here alone.

Kasai approached Ryu and struck him hard in the chest, pushing the kunai further in and making him fly into the tree trunk that she had crashed into with a cry of pain from the boy. Kasai then picked her up by the throat and looked deep into her onyx eyes, his eyes revealing his attempt to understand what his former friend had said. Amari wasn't even sure what Ryu saw in her that made him say that. Was he just bluffing? It was possible, but why would he waste his breath on a bluff?

His green eyes bored into her until Amari had enough and attempted to throw a punch at him. He easily brushed it aside and landed a solid punch into her ribs that took what fight she had left out of her. Then he punched her again. And again. And again until her cries of pain were accompanied by waterfalls of tears streaming down her face.

"What am I going to do with you?" After a moment of thought, he reached down and picked up a kunai, gripping it tightly in his hand. "I know. Let's give you something to remember me by." In a flash of speed, he sliced the kunai upwards from her cheek bone, up through her left eye and eyebrow.

A horrible shriek of agony reverberated through the quiet forest.

With a grunt of effort Kasai tossed her to the side away from Ryu and out of his way so he could get on with the atrocity he was about to perform. Amari crashed hard into the ground, which only served to send another eruption of pain through her ribs and continued wails of pain from having her eye destroyed.

Amari only managed to hear the scuffle between the two over the sound of her own cries and the throbbing pain that seemed to echo from her left eye and ribs into her ears. Her heartbeat never seemed as loud before as the pain continued to peak to higher and higher levels. She attempted to open her left eye, and she succeeded, but all she found was impenetrable darkness.

Warm blood trickled from the wound onto the hand she returned to the wound, down her cheek and onto her lips, coloring her skin with the crimson mask and bringing with it the taste of iron she wished to never know.

"Now that I have what I need it is time for me to depart before real ninja show up. Goodbye friends,it was fun while it lasted," Kasai said then ninja jumped his way away.

Damn it…Damn it. Amari lifted her head to see the broken form of Ryu still resting against the tree trunk. Ryu. Tears formed in her right eye as she summoned up the scraps of strength she had left to crawl her way over to him. He was still breathing from what she could see in her blurry eye, but he had one eye shut with blood running down his cheek the same as her.

Kasai had gotten the eye in the end and succeeded in killing her friend and leaving her for dead. He had betrayed them and they weren't able to stop him from getting what he wanted.

It was doubtful that anyone would find them now. No one knew of this spot from the orphanage and the only chance of anyone finding them was going to be real ninja. What would they do then? It wasn't like they could fight if the ninja decided to kill them. What if they thought she had been the one to kill him? What would they do to her?

She finally reached Ryu and forced her shaky body to her knees before wrapping her arms around his neck and allowing herself to cry for his inevitable death and likely her own.

Amari cried like she had never cried before as she held her best friend as tightly as she could, hoping by some miracle it would stop death from taking him. No amount of Medical Ninjutsu could keep him alive at this point and he appeared to lack the energy to use it. "I'm so sorry Ryu," Amari cried. "I- I should have let you go! I just wanted-" She just wanted to save her two friends…but her actions cost her them both. "I was…I was too weak to do anything. I was just a burden to you, I always have been."

And now she was going to be all alone again or die in the wilderness, if she was lucky.

She sobbed into her friend's neck until he grabbed her shoulder and moved her back so he could meet her single eye with his own. "You have never been a burden to me," he told her. "Strength is not just your skill in a fight, Amari, but your will to never back down as well. You were strong, you are strong," Ryu assured her.

Amari shook her head in refusal of his comment but he shushed her retort before it formed. "Shh. It's okay, Amari. Everything is going to be okay."

"How- how can you say that?"

He smiled. "Because….you're safe. You'll survive this and keep moving forward, just like you did when we met."

Again she went to shake her head because it wasn't on her own will she moved forward. She had him and Kasai there at her side…and now she'd have nothing. Ryu stopped her argument by speaking again. "My time is short, my friend. Please, do not disregard my words." He flinched in pain then continued. "I have a favor to ask of you. It won't be an easy task that I will ask, but it is important all the same."

She nodded while tears cascaded down her face. She would do anything for her friend even if it meant carrying him all the way out of here and to a hospital just for the chance that he may survive.

Ryu grunted as he brought his hand to his remaining eye. "I want you to take my left eye. You won't be able to see out of your left eye again and you are the only one I can trust with its power." The boy forced a weak smile. "Consider it a late birthday present." His smile faded. "But this is not all I ask of you. I want you to become a ninja and take down Kasai. I…I never wanted to ask this of you, I would've preferred us to fulfill our dream of becoming our own team, but I fear I have no choice. He seeks a dark path and if he finds out you lived he will undoubtedly come for you."

Take his eye? There was no way she could take her friends eye just as Kasai had done, not to mention she was probably too weak to handle having it. "Ryu I- I can't take your eye. I'm not strong enough for this." Kasai was too strong for her to beat. How could she even think to stand a change when he went toe to toe with Ryu?

"I wan- I want to do this for you but I'm just too weak," Amari said. There was no way she could defeat Kasai, let alone become a strong enough to be a ninja. She was a weakling. A no-count. Useless.

Her friend smiled at her but she couldn't find anything worth smiling about right now. This was the end of her entire world for a second time.

"Then you will become stronger," Ryu said with his smile in place. He rested his raised hand on her shoulder. "Never let someone's words ruin your courage and never give up, no matter what happens or what anyone tells you. You are a ten year old child, you can't be expected to be a master of your jutsu's just yet. You have a hidden gift, Amari. You just have to open it up and give it to yourself.

Amari bowed her head slightly and bit her lip to hold back the emotions his words gave her. Finally, she nodded. If he believed in her and wanted this of her, then she would become stronger for him to honor his memory.

"Do not become consumed by revenge but do not forget what happened here. It will make you stronger in the end."

She wasn't sure about that, not when this entire situation was stealing from her the one person who made her believe and feel strong enough…and good enough.

Ryu twitched at the sound of a branch cracking. "You must take my eye now before someone with bad intentions gets here. I'll use what remaining chakra I have left to perform the procedure."

It took time but he performed the transplant by using his Medical Ninjutsu to keep her out of it as he worked blindly yet with perfect accuracy.

He would have made a great medic, she thought bitterly.

After it was over Amari's left eye socket held his lavender eye. She could actually feel the difference between her regular eye and the Byakugan eye. It was like gaining a new limb with an unknown power lurking within it.

Accidentally she activated the new power. The colors through her left eye changed to an inverted black and white yet also allowed her to see the smallest of intricacies of a leaf bending under the wind as it fell to the forest floor in front of her. Another new ability she found was that her vision could extend to even further lengths in front of her and at almost every point three hundred and sixty degrees around her.

There was so much she could now perceive that she wouldn't have been able to notice before like the bird that was directly above them and the squirrel climbing a tree only a few meters to the left of them. A more pressing matter, though, was that she could see the fading chakra network of Ryu.

She could now literally see him fading away in more than a physical sense, that was not something she wanted to be able see. With a gasp, she immediately deactivated it and her eyesight returned to normal. There wasn't any significant draw on her chakra but it felt so foreign in her eye socket.

"...I'm sorry," he apologized. "I'm sorry I wasn't able to stop Kasai. Sorry I've made you the target of power seekers…But I believe my eye will be in good hands, and now you can see a better future for both of us. One where we aren't bound to the life we've lived. Until you've grown stronger, though, I would ask that you cover it up so people don't know. It will keep you safe."

Amari nodded to her now blind and dying friend as she pulled her bandana down to cover her left eye. From now on I won't show anyone my eye and I'll tell them I'm actually blind. I won't let them know I have two eyes, I promise…And I will see a better future for us both.

Ryu managed another smile as he rested his hand on her shoulder. "Stay strong for me Amari…I'll be at your side to the end, I promise."

She choked out a sob and hugged him one last time.

Not long after Ryu passed away in her arms.

Tears burned down her cheeks as she held Ryu's lifeless body, sobbing until her eyes no longer shed tears and her sobs became whimpers. She was alone again. Her friends were gone and now she was going to have to find some way to fulfill the dying wish of Ryu. The pain was overwhelming and burned inside her like a fire she would never be able to douse.

She was lost and alone. No friends and no parents.

Everyone she cared for died.

A gust of wind blew through the forest and was followed by four individual thumps landing on the forest floor behind her. An hour had passed since the fight and she had repeated to herself that she was alone and everyone she knew and cared for died over a hundred times during that time. It was only right that she torture herself mentally for being too weak to save her friend.

"Go away," Amari whimpered. There was only pain in her heart right now. She did not want to fight with anyone right now. "Just leave me with him." Her voice was but a whisper in a raging storm of anguish and suffering.

Amari heard the sound of a foot stepping forward. "Kurenai wait," a gruff voice called. The walking didn't continue. There were whispers that she didn't listen to but a heavier foot suddenly stepped forward.

They were organized. Someone was definitely in charge here.

Ninja squad. Real ninjas.

"What happened here?" a more relaxed but stern voice asked. Amari didn't answer. She didn't have it in her to explain how one of her best friends turned into a metaphorical monster and killed her other best friend in an attempt to gain an eye.

A damn eye. He chose power over friendship.

Anger started to well up in the young girl. She couldn't comprehend the betrayal of Kasai any better having the thing he desired. All it did was grant a strange power to her that she didn't fully understand yet. Was their friendship so meaningless to him that he betrayed them for something she saw as trivial?

She turned her head and body around to face whoever the people were, ignoring the pain in her ribs the action caused. If they wanted to know what happened all they had to do was look at her bloodied face and her dead friend to get a good grasp of the situation. The ninjas looked at her with studious eyes and small shock, undoubtedly caused by her bloodied face and pathetic look.

Based on the symbols on their forehead protectors they were ninja from the Village Hidden in the Leaves and without a doubt Jōnin's if she could sense their chakra correctly.

One was a woman with fair skin, a slender build and red eyes. She had long untamed black hair and wore a red mesh armor blouse with only one long sleeve similar to Amari's mesh top only this woman's sleeve was on her right arm not her left. She also had bandages wrapped around her hands and upper thighs. Judging on the lack of any other woman in the squad, she had to be the one named Kurenai. Her red eyes felt vaguely familiar and unknown at the same time.

I feel like I've stared into red eyes before and found comfort, yet hers are different in a way I can't quite put my finger on.

The man next to her had dark spiky hair and a big beard with a cigarette between his lips. He wore the standard ninja uniform with his sleeves rolled half way up and the flak jacket that the other two men also wore. He had a sash that had the kanji for Fire marked on it around his waist.

There was a man in a green jump suit, an unzipped flak jacket and orange leg warmers. He wore his forehead protector around his waist with a red cloth and to top it all off he had a black bowl cut and bushy eyebrows. Definitely the odd ball of the group if Amari had to guess. In a lighter atmosphere his leg warmers and eyebrows would have made her giggle.

She was not in a giggling mood. No amount of laughter could heal this wound on her heart.

The man who had spoken to her and taken a step forward had silver hair. He wore a similar outfit to the spiky-haired man with a green flak jacket, dark blue pants and a long sleeve just without rolled up sleeves. This silver-haired ninja also wore fingerless gloves with metal plates on the back of them while his left eye was covered by his headband and the rest of his face, with the exception of his right eye, was covered by a blue mask.

His uncovered eye was lazily half open but his stare was still intense. He had seen a lot of bad things if she had to hazard a guess. Seeing how he looked practically unfazed by her appearance, she had to doubt he was the most compassionate person of the group.

"I- I failed him," Amari whimpered. The woman looked at her with sympathy, probably because she looked so damn pitiful. She sure felt pitiful. If these ninja were to attack her she'd be dead in seconds if they were kind, it would be hours if she was really unlucky.

"Kakashi," Kurenai pleaded.

The silver-haired man, Kakashi, didn't even glance back at her. He looked the most serious of the four and he was definitely not taking any chances with the situation at hand. "Don't forget, Kurenai, that there are kids that can be stronger than us."

They are being cautious of me? A weakling like me? Amari turned away from the ninjas and back to Ryu. Couldn't they tell she was a pathetic excuse of a fighter? It had to be obvious enough for Kasai to notice it and continually make remarks about it.

"What exactly happened here?" Kakashi asked firmly.

His firm tone on any other occasion wouldn't have brokered much argument from the young girl, but as she glanced to Ryu she couldn't find it in herself to speak. She felt the pain and tears coming back as the memory of the fighting and eventual death of her friend played through her mind again. "I- I don't want to talk about it…Please, I just want to be alone." Yet that was actually the thing she wanted least. What she wanted was her friend back, but there was no way that was possible.

There was a sigh behind her then another set of footsteps forward. "Did you know the boy well?" Kurenai asked. Her voice was soft and filled with care; it was gentle and almost motherly.

Amari nodded silently. My best friend, the only one who cared about me. The woman crouched down on her left and rested a hand on her shoulder. The young girl glanced to her and caught the comforting look she was giving her.

She should have voiced it but she didn't have the strength to. She knew her voice would falter and she would cry again even if no tears actually fell. "I'm sorry." The woman looked truthful in her apology for something she had no part in. "I understand this is hard. Losing someone close to you is never easy, but we need your help finding who did it. Who killed him?"

A monster, a savage being with no remorse, a boy I will kill when the time is right and I have become strong enough. Those were the thoughts that crossed her mind but she knew that was not what they were searching for. They were looking for who he was so they could find him and bring him in or kill him or whatever mandate the ninjas had for this instance.

I can't tell them. They aren't the ones who are meant to kill him. His life wasn't theirs to take; it was hers for failing to save Ryu and then promising the same boy that she would stop him. Instead of answering her question, she asked her own. "You are Jōnin of Konoha, yes? I don't know why I ask, I can tell by your chakra. You are all far too strong to be Chūnin or Genin," Amari said.

While it was possible they could have remained at those ranks, the strength and chakra she could sense from them was far too strong for those ranks, definitely this woman next to her and the man who was standing close behind her as if he thought she didn't know. She could feel their strength irradiating off of them.

The air seemed to still with her comment. No answer was necessary, but the tension in the air was so thick it was almost palpable. Was it abnormal for someone her age to have such a keen ability to sense chakra levels? Did that make her a threat? If this was going to be the end, she wasn't going to go out without saying her final goodbye to the boy in front of her.

Amari wrapped her arms back around Ryu's neck and rested her forehead against his. This would be her last chance for goodbyes. "Goodbye Ryu…watch after me, please. I wish I could have helped you…to have saved you from that bastard." She felt her tears coming back against her wishes not to cry anymore. Kurenai stood up next to her and took a step back, giving her the courtesy of privacy. "…you will always be in my heart and I will make you proud. I will grow stronger and become the ninja you wanted me to be."

A man crouched down next to her and put a hand on her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her…and then rested his other on Ryu.

That was a bad move.

No one was allowed to touch Ryu, least of all someone she barely knew. Who were they to think they had the right to touch her dead friend? Amari lashed out with her shadow, attaching herself to all four Jōnin in an instant despite her dwindling chakra. There was no way she would be able to hold it for much longer, but what time she had would allow her to issue out her threat. "Shadow Possession Jutsu? But that's impossible. This is the Nara Hidden Jutsu," one of the men behind her said. It was the only voice she had yet to hear so that meant it was the bushy browed Jōnin.

The Shadow user turned to look to her right where the silver-haired Jōnin was crouched next to her. His uncovered eye seemed unimpressed at first with his head only being slightly turned but still in visual sight of her right eye.

Amari felt her anger surge around her as a new but slightly familiar feeling in both of her eyes formed. She had activated her newly acquired Byakugan in her rage and now she could see the chakra network of the silver-haired Jōnin as well as the other three through her bandana.

Suddenly Kakashi's eye widened in shock.

Dust particles in the air were easy to see in the air and she could make out the slight twitches of leaves falling to the ground behind him as if they were moving in slow motion for both of her eyes. "Remove your hand or I'll kill you," Amari threatened, her tone cold.

An instant later her shadow receded and slithered back to her as exhaustion made her anger dwindle away.

With the rage gone from her mind, Amari was able to consciously perceive the odd change in both of her eyes. Her right eye felt similar to the Byakugan eye, yet completely different. She understood why her left eye could catch small details, but her right eye now could see the same things, minus the inverted black and white.

Everything appeared so much clearer, like someone had wiped away the fog from her originally perfect sight and gave her better vision than what was initially considered perfect. Instinctively she deactivated both her Byakugan and whatever had happened in her right eye as she brought her hand to it. "What the hell was that?"

Why had her eye felt so…different? It was the only word she could think of. It had felt like it was drawing on her chakra just like the Byakugan had and granted her better perception than her eye had ever given. But my right eye is normal…right?

"Kakashi?" the voice that had mentioned Shadow Possession asked in question.

Kakashi let go of Ryu and looked over to the other Jōnin and shook his head. "Not now, Guy."

The silver-haired Jōnin looked back to Amari, who was lowering her hand from her eye with the unfulfilled desire to have a mirror or something to see what had happened.

The strain on her chakra was beginning to take its toll and she could feel her body crashing hard. Never before had she felt this tired, but the man next to her had no intention of letting her sleep. "You are coming with us back to the village. Do your parents know where you are right now?" Kakashi asked.

She shook her head. What parents? she questioned bitterly at herself. "We're orphans." Whoever her parents were, they hadn't been around for the last three years and Amari couldn't remember past that. Maybe her parents had loved and cared for her. It was always possible. The bitterness she had now wasn't really at them; it was more towards herself for losing Ryu and at Kasai for killing him.

"I figured as much. There was a third boy who you considered your friend who did this," Kakashi stated instead of questioned. Amari nodded regardless. "Where are his eyes?" he asked, motioning towards Ryu.

Amari gulped, the truth was the only thing she could answer with. This ninja knew that his eyes were stolen. Maybe they had been watching her or saw the transplant and were waiting for her to waste her remaining chakra. "He took one…and Ryu…" she trailed off.

The masked Jōnin looked at her with a watchful eye. "Your covered eye?" he asked. She nodded again knowing that either way she would have to tell them. She was not in a position to do anything else. If they took it and killed her then that would be that. Right now she didn't have a chance in hell of fighting back. She barely had enough chakra to grab them with her Shadow Possession Jutsu before and there was no way she would be able to do anything to fight them now.

"Byakugan?" he asked. Amari nodded again. Kakashi let out a sigh. "We'll take care of him then. We'll let you know where he is buried when you get better. For now let's get you back to the village."

She felt something tap her neck then everything went dark.

The three Jōnin surrounded Kakashi and the kids once they saw the girl crumple to the ground unconscious. Kurenai silently picked up the girl with a compassionate look on her face while Kakashi respectfully picked up the boy.

This was an interesting turn of events, Kakashi thought.

The four began ninja jumping their way back to the Leaf Village carrying the two children who were at the center of this strange day. Guy was the first to speak up. "Kakashi, what happened? Why did you look at her in shock?"

How was he going to explain this to the others? Truth was as good of a start as any. "From what I can tell, the boy was an orphaned Hyūga from the main branch considering he doesn't have the seal on his forehead."

Which was strange in of itself. Someone should have at least taken him in among the clan to protect his eyes from this happening. How he ended up out this far away from the compound and away from his clan was unknown for now.

The others nodded in understanding to his explanation. They followed along on that much easy enough.

"Whoever he fought took one of his eyes from him. She has the other in her left eye." Kakashi stopped himself as he tried to figure out the best way to phrase his next words. No sense dancing around it. It's going to shock them regardless. "Her right eye now holds the Sharingan."

"What?" the three Jōnin asked in shocked unison.

He was aware at how crazy that sounded. The only living members of the Uchiha that he knew of were Itachi and Sasuke with the former being a rouge ninja and the latter being inside Konoha. Sasuke had yet to unlock his Sharingan, which left Itachi and Kakashi as the only holders of the dōjutsu…until now.

This mysterious girl now held two of the great dōjutsu's in her eyes and somehow also knew Shadow Possession. She was definitely of Uchiha blood, but as far as anyone knew Itachi had killed everyone. How did she manage to survive and remain hidden for so long? Did she even know of her heritage?

With the way she reacted, I doubt she even knows who the Uchiha Clan are.

"How is that possible? The whole clan was murdered by Itachi save for Sasuke," Guy pointed out. Kakashi wasn't sure how it was possible, but it was. The pain of losing her friend had activated her Sharingan with only one tomoe.

"I don't know," Kakashi conceded. "Her knowledge of a Nara Clan jutsu and unlocking of the Sharingan eye means that somehow her real mother or father were born into the Nara clan and knew the jutsus and one of them was also an Uchiha. There is no other way it is possible for her to know that jutsu and have the Sharingan."

If one of her parents happened to be a Nara and she hadn't learned the jutsu through other means then that would give them a lead to follow to find out exactly who this girl was. It would all depend on how forthcoming the Nara's would be with that information and if they actually had records of whomever this girl's parent had been.

There was a thoughtful silence between the four Jōnin for a few long minutes.

"Do you think we should split up and look for the other boy?" Asuma asked at length.

Kakashi had thought of that but they didn't even know where to start other than he had a Byakugan eye. If the kid was smart he would have gone to ground and had a place to hide before betraying his friends in the case he failed or ninja had shown up.

Their mission had been to find what the disturbance was and see if it was another village's shinobi fighting a squad of Leaf ninjas or if it was rogue ninjas. The boy had a Byakugan eye now, but he was working alone. Currently they had more pressing matters with solving the mystery of how this girl was part Nara and part Uchiha.

Kakashi finally shook his head after thinking a bit longer on the question. "No. He was on his own and betrayed his friends. By all means he doesn't deserve to go free but…this girl has a purpose in becoming stronger to defeat the boy who betrayed her friendship. If we take that away, what does she have then?"

Another thoughtful silence fell between them until all three nodded in agreement.

Hopefully the Hokage would know more about the origins of this girl.

"She'll want to become a ninja then," Guy stated.

The Copy Ninja nodded. That was a fact he knew for certain. Becoming a ninja was the only way she would be able to perfect her jutsu's and become stronger, and she would definitely become stronger if that cold red stare was any indication.

The killing intent that came off the girl…He had experienced far more potent levels of it in his time as a shinobi, but the amount that flooded off of her in that moment…He'd be a liar if he said it didn't send a shiver down his spine.

"What's wrong Kakashi?" Kurenai asked, clearly seeing the faraway look in his eye.

It was strong…not strong enough to paralyze an enemy with fear, but I could feel it irradiating off of her. This girl is no ordinary kid. In that red eye he could see the depths of her feelings as if it was a real mirror to her soul. He saw the anger, the pain, the sadness, the growing hatred and the intent to kill him if he didn't let go of the boy.

"The killing intent that came off of her was strong…She would have tried to destroy me had she had the strength and chakra to attack."

Concern filled Kurenai eyes as she looked down at the girl in her arms. The look wasn't because Kurenai feared for her own safety. She was worried about the kid, worried that she would turn into someone who enjoyed hurting others. She'll need to be watched until we know her intentions and her personality better.

"For now she'll need to see the doctors while we talk to the Hokage about her."

This girl was going to be one of the rarest cases the village was going to have next to the boy with the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed in him.

Time would tell if that would be a good thing.

A/N: A note here regarding why Amari/Haya was given the Byakugan. I know her having both eyes may lead some of you to stop reading here and now because of that choice, and to those who do and actually read this note, thank you for taking the time to read these two chapters and have a pleasant day. To anyone hoping to stop me from posting this with negative comments, don't waste your time. Nothing you say will make me stop posting this story.

Now, to those sticking around the reason she was given the Byakugan and Sharingan was because when I first came up with this story I wanted Amari/Haya to be of Uchiha and Hyuga blood. I really liked the idea of a child with both Sharingan and Byakugan eyes. But I loved the Nara Clan techniques and characters too much to pass up the opportunity to write a Nara and Uchiha child. I couldn't get the idea out of my head, though, and I knew this would likely be my only OC based going through the Anime Naruto story, so to sate my desire for it, Ryu and Kasai were created for this moment...and then their characters became so much more later on beyond just a way to give Amari/Haya one Byakugan eye. I won't spoil that, obviously I don't want to spoil the surprises ahead, but if any of you are worried that her having both eyes will make her overpowered, don't. Eyes alone do not change the course of a fight, one needs to be physically capable and intelligent as well to win a fight.

Final words, this story goes beyond just the fight scenes within it. There are plenty of emotional struggles ahead for the characters in this story, and those struggles, in my opinion, are what make this story awesome. I have made the people I've let read this story before I posted it cry, and that to me is a victory. So, all I ask is if you're on the fence between leaving and staying, I won't beg you to stay or ask you to read something you don't like, but if you can look beyond my self-indulgence of a Byakugan and Sharingan warrior, you may find this story to be as entertaining and emotional to read as it has been to write it.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I will see you next week!