AN: Hello and welcome to this plotbunny that won´t leave my head. It is crossposted on my AO3 and Tumblr. Especialy triggering content will be between -WARNING- Labels
„We are looking for the leader of this village", the dark-haired Chunin announced upon arrival at the little village.
"That would be me, Master Ninja. I am happy to see that the Konoha deemed us worthy for their help.", a brown-haired man dressed in a dark kimono answered.
"The Hokage heard a child had been taken by Bandits that threaten the safety of the roads. She send us as soon as she got your message.", the other Ninja answered. He was blond with a scar running down the left side of his face.
"They have taken my only daughter and demand us to help them to trap the handlers that will come through this area in a few weeks' time. Otherwise, they will defile and kill her.", the leader answered with tears in his eyes. She was the only thing left he had from his deceased wife.
"We have gathered as much money as we were able to to pay for your services. But please return my daughter to me."
"Tell us what you know and we will see what we can do."
It was only a short while later when rustling caught the attention of the ninjas and they noticed the man stop.
A little girl, barely older than seven, had just stepped out of the underbrush that was surrounding the village in the woods. Her clothes were ripped and her skin scratched.
"Papa?", she called out, her large eyes looking around for her parent only to ran into his arms the second she found him, "Papa!"
"Mirja.", he sobbed, not yet believing how she could have escaped the bandits.
"How did you escape the bandits?", the first ninja asked the girl softly.
"The monster.", she breathed fearfully of her unknown man.
"Did you cross path with it?", the father asked shocked and the girl shook her head only to nod then, "What now. Yes or no?"
"They entered its home. It attacked. I ran.", she mumbled, pressing her face into her father´s chest.
"Monster?", the blond ninja asked with a frown.
"Yes. It lives in the depths of the woods and kills the game we are hunting. It had attacked a hunter a few times, luckily never killed them, but it still is a hindrance.", the father growled, "But now that you are here and my child safe. Can´t you take care of it instead?"
A silent conversation crossed between the two ninjas, one that needed no words.
"We have to see to the bandits. They are a threat and the Hokage wants them dealt with. If the opportunity arises we can look into it."
"Thank you. There is a guest house you may stay in if you wish. Provisions are provided. Now allow me to see to my daughter."
"We have everything we need.", and with these parting words, the ninjas disappeared within the woods the child had just escaped from.
Jumping from tree to tree they followed the path the girl had left within the forest. "A monster?", the dark-haired one broke the silence with a short huff.
"Probably just a wild animal. Civilians are easy to scare. We follow the track and then react to what we find. At least the girl is already safe. Do you sense anything Saki?"
"Nothing yet, a few animals at 10 o´clock. Say, Yaku, do you think this might be a trap?", the dark-haired one asked his friend.
"No. There was information by merchants about a group of bandits that were rumored to cross the border into this territory. The kidnapping just forwarded the decision to intervene. At least that's what I heard in the mission room."
Ten minutes later they entered a clearing that was splattered with blood and covered in dead bodies. Sari and Yaku had found the bandits and they all were dead.
At once they grabbed their kunai and got ready in case an enemy would attack. Even though they did not sense anyone in close proximity.
Noticing a trail of black fluids the two friends decided to follow it, it must belong to the ´monster´.
For almost an hour they tracked it, searching for any hint on what the monster might be. But apart from the strange drops, there were barely any prints or anything. Whatever it was, it was able to hide its tracks.
It was then that the sound of splashing water reached their ears and they jumped back into the trees for cover.
There in the center of a very small clearing was a pool of water with a small figure leaning over it. It was another child, maybe eight years old, with wounds on its arms and shoulder (at least those were the ones they could see). The dark splotched had been blood they now realized, and they knew, all in all, it was not a small amount the kid must have lost.
"A child?", Yaku whispered in shock, "A child killed the ten bandits? Alone?"
"I can´t detect any awakened Chakra, that kid is a civilian.", Sari answered just as quietly, "At least not from her, but there is something big closing in from 3 o´clock."
Just as he had finished his sentence a big shadow jumped into the clearing and came to a stop next to the child. A Wolf. A wolf bearing a
"-Konoha Headband? Is that wolf wearing a headband?"
"Look at its markings. Don´t some of the Inuzuka Nin-ken have them?", Yaku mused, "What is an Inuzuka Nin-ken doing here in these woods with a civilian that just killed a group of bandits?"
"I don´t know, but we have to let the Hokage know.", the eldest of the two hummed, calling a summon of his to send with a message.
Leaving the clearing behind, Yaku and Sani made camp around one kilometer away, but still close enough for Sani to sense the child. It had not left the clearing, neither did the Nin-ken.
It was late the next day, the two had searched the area for any signs of other bandits in the meantime when another group of two Konoha nins joined them.
"Hokage-sama informed us about your find. Are you sure it is one of our nin-ken?", the Inuzuka ninja that was one of them stated. She was one of the oldest clan members that were still active, usually staying within the walls nowadays to train the young lings. She was sent to confirm if it was indeed one of their Nin-ken that lived in these woods. Even though none was missing, what meant it must have been here since the last Ninja-war almost ten years ago.
"And are you sure it is a civilian child with it?", the other ninja asked.
"I couldn´t detect any developed chakra within it. But I am sure we will know more after you used your Biyakugan.", Sani answered.
"Indeed. Now let us move. If it really is as injured as you claim in your message, the earlier the wounds can be tended to the better."
The Wolf had left the clearing when they arrived, though the child was still there, huddled against a rock with a small fire burning in front of it. And it did not seem to have noticed their approach- not that any civilian would, they were trained chunin and Jonin from Konohagakure after all.
"You were right, it is a civilian child.", the Hyuga answered, "Now we need to find out how it killed the bandits and what it had to do with the wo-"
An ax had embedded itself in one of the trees they were hiding behind. The civilian child had not only noticed but also attacked them.
At least that was what they thought until they saw the squirrel that had been cut in half by the blade.
It was then the wolf returned, jumping through the trees and over the rock right between the ninja and the child. Hackles raised and teeth bared.
"Gado.", the Inuzuka breathed and her Nin-ken whined.
With their cover blown they stepped out of the shadows, their arms raised to show they mean no threat.
"Gado. You are alive after all this time?", she asked the wolf that stood before her, her own Nin-ken stepping forward to greet its lost friend.
The air was thick with tension, neither side knew what the other would do.
"Don´t be afraid, child. We mean no harm.", she smiled, her excellent senses having smelled the growing fear within the child, "Gado. Please, we mean no harm. Allow us to see to the child and come home with us to Konoha. You have been missed."
The Wolf turned its body to look between the child and the ninjas as it was contemplating what would be best to do.
"Gado. The child is injured and needs help. Please allow us to take her back to Konoha and make sure she will be alright.", the Inuzuka pleaded again, a hiss by the child underlining her words.
Finally, the large Canine relaxed its posture and allowed his old comrade to step closer.
"Thank you, Gado."
Just like one would do with a scared animal did the woman approach the child with the three men staying back to not scare it more.
"Hello, my name is Inuzuka Maiko. I know Gado, the wolf you live with, since our childhood. Would it be okay for me to check your injuries? I promise I won´t hurt you."
With huge eyes that were the color of bronze, the child stared at the approaching woman, its breathing hitching and muscles tensing.
After what felt like hours it finally nodded.
"Thank you. I promise I won´t take long."
With gentle hands the ninja checked the child´s injuries, watching her eyes for any sign of pain. But to her surprise did the child not react to anything.
"Did you take care of the wounds yourself?", she finally asked and the child gave one simple nod, "You did well, if you hadn´t I think you would not be alive at this moment. Now, that being said, those wounds are far from healed and seem to have already started to get infected. You will have to come with us and Gado back to Konoha so you can be properly tended to."
Even though the woman´s voice was soft, the edge in it had the child understand that it was not a suggestion but an order. One it knew it had no choice in. It might have been able to kill those bandits, but they were untrained and drunk. These people standing before it breathed trained, sober, and not to be messed with. The child knew when there was a fight to pick. That, and the wolf who had saved it seemed to trust them, and it recognized the symbol on their strange band to be the same one Gado was wearing.
Nodding one more time, the child let her head hang in submission. It was ready to be bound and dragged to wherever the adults wanted it. It was used for that to happen. No one had ever treated it with care and softness. Only ever with hate and distaste. Enough scars on her body were proof of that.
"We will stop short at the nearby village and then make our way to Konoha. It will only take one day to reach with one of us carrying you. One of my comrades will do so.", Maiko continued.
Again the child only nodded but let her eyes roam towards the men.
"Hello, my name is Sari, and this is one here is Yaku.", the blond one introduced them to it, "Who would you like to carry you?"
"Guess we have to figure it out ourselves then.", he grinned hoping to relax the situation a bit, "Rock, Paper, Scissors, and best of three."
In the end, did Yaku have the pleasure to carry the child, mindful of her injuries he winced whenever he jumped harder than he had wanted to. To the child though it seems like it was causing him trouble and fear about retaliation grew in its heart.
"Once we are in Konoha, Yaku and I will escort you to the hospital to be checked over. Hokage-sama or someone else will properly want to speak to you to determine what will happen from now on.", Sari explained, "You might be given to a guardian who will see to your well-being and raise you.
Again she only nodded.
"You look tired. Sleep if you want. I promise you will not fall.", the only woman stated having observed the child for the whole time. She had noticed its eyes closing more and more.
"I will stay back once we are close to the village. The villagers were not really on good terms with ´the monster´ as they called it. I would rather avoid any confrontation that could cause stress to the kid.", Yaku whispered to his comrades noticing the child had indeed fallen asleep.
"It might be best. Gado will probably stay with you. While the three of us speak with the villagers."
The Ninken in question barked in approval and so it was settled.
"This is the child?", were the first words the woman spoke once she entered the sterile room it was sitting in.
"Yes, Lady Tsunade. This is the Child you were informed about.", Yaku bowed.
"Good good. You go and give your report. I will take care of the child. Does it have a name?"
"We don´t know. It seems to be mute.", he continued.
"Or just shy. I will find it out. Now leave me alone."
"Hai, Lady Tsunade. Bye Kid.", he waved goodbye but the kid did not react.
"Finally alone. Now kid, tell me where it hurts. And what is your name.", she asked with pure authority in her voice. Authority the child had only ever heard from its clans´ head-family.
It intimidated it so much it covered into itself and averted its eyes.
"You don´t want to talk brat? Fine. I will get my answers one way or another. This might feel weird.", she continued only for a warm tingly feeling to spread through its whole body.
"Two cracked rips, extended bruising on the whole body, malnourished and not just recently. Fresh wounds on the sides, arms, and back. As well as old scarred ones all over the body. No damage to vocal cords or any other indication for a speech impediment. You seem to be able to understand us, am I correct Girl?", the woman stared the young girl down who nodded submissively.
"I heard you were able to kill a group of bandits. Is it true?"
Again the child nodded.
"How did you do it? Your chakra-system is barely trained."
The child simply looked at her clenching hands. She had used them and an ax, cutting and punching the men that were threatening the weak girl.
"Who trained you and where are they now?", the woman continued her questioning, but the girl simply shook her head with tears threatening to fall.
She knew pain would come for her. It always came for her when she had used her strength and injured others, or when she did not give the answers her opponent was looking for.
"Fine if you don´t want to answer. Get me Inoichi!", she called the last words out and one of the scents the girl had smelled disappeared, "Until he is here hold still so I can treat your wounds. Most of them will scar, seeing that they were treated efficiently but poorly. Though with how many you already have they won´t stand out."
The next minutes went by in silence. The young girl let the woman do whatever she wanted, her muscles and mind tense waiting for the inevitable pain she knew would be coming.
She smelled him before he saw him.
"You asked for me Lady Tsunade?", a tall man with his blond hair in a ponytail and dressed in dark clothes entered the room.
"Inoichi. I want answers from the girl but she refuses to talk. And I don´t think any time I will wait for her to be willing will help. Get me the answers. I have to do settle some things. You have time until I return in about 30 minutes.", the apparent leader spoke as she walked out the same door the man had just entered through.
Her words were final and held an underlining threat.
Inoichi was the one who would bring the pain, the girl was sure of it, her clan-leader and his family rarely punished the others, they had their people for that, and he must be one of those for this woman.
"Now girl, allow me to introduce myself. I am Yamanaka Inoichi and, if I am honest, you are the youngest person I had ever the task to interrogate.", he spoke in a slightly pitched tone. He seemed confused on how to get the answers his leader was demanding.
She knew that tone. A few of her brother´s father´s men had it before they found pleasure in hurting her. She had learned, that if she offered as little resistance and some guidance there would be less pain for her in the end.
He wanted answers she could never give him. She wouldn´t speak and could not write well, so unless he was able to read her mind there was no way to offer him the answers he seeks.
One of the nurses had brought her a glass of water earlier. Slowly she stood up and walked to the small table in the corner where it stood, the man´s eyes following her interested though he made no move to either follow or stop her.
With one quick move, she smashed the glass between the table and her hand, grabbing the largest shard and offering it to the man who accepted it with confusion and calculation written all over his face. It turned into shock when the small girl in front of him turned her back to him, lifted her dirty shirt over her head, and pressed her eyes close in expectant pain.
Her breathes became strained and flat until it stopped for a moment when she heard the man lean forward behind her.
But instead of sharp pain, the shard would bring her,
there were soft fingertips on her shoulder asking her to turn back around.
"I will not hurt you like this.", he stated, "Please open your eyes."
She followed his plea and turned back around, the shirt clutched to her chest in comfort, and eyes averted to the floor.
He sighed and she turned her head in submission, she must have done something to annoy him. And annoyed men meant more pain.
A gentle hand slowly lifted her head to make her look at him and with no other way she complied.
He was even more shocked when he noticed the resignation and acceptance in her eyes.
Using his abilities, he let his mind enter hers. Careful to not startle her.
"I am sorry you were hurt in the past like this. But that is not the way we do things here in Konoha. Not with children. I have the ability to read people's minds and watch their memories.", the man´s voice echoed in her mind and she stumbled back in shock and surprise.
Her mind had always been her safe place, and now she wasn´t even safe there.
A small sob left her chest, but she forced her fear into hiding.
"I will search your mind for the answers Lady Tsunade is seeking now."
The last two days ran past her inner eye. Her meeting with the ninja and the fight with the bandits. Then her time alone within the woods and the large dog.
The pictures then made a huge jump to a few days within her early years. Her brother´s father was beating down on her, his heavy boots crunching her fingers and stepping on her back. His dagger cut the skin and his words her heart.
"You useless piece of life. A disgrace to any family. A monster like you should never be allowed to be alive. I should kill you, but even that something like you do not deserve. How dare you to talk. How often do I have to beat it into you? You are not allowed to talk. Or do you want Lady Dia to die? You are a cursed Monster, whoever you talk to dies. Your mother, my beloved wife, died when she heard your first scream. I should have killed you then. You are a Monster just like your father." She heard the man´s words and felt his kicks again. It then turned to a moment where someone else was cutting her skin for something she couldn´t even remember anymore. Then the day she had decided to end it all. The only person she somehow trusted, the man who had taught her to fight, following Lady Dia´s wishes and never called her by her name - Monster – turned out to be just like anyone else. She had been early for her training and accidentally listened in on him and his brother. He called her a useless monster and a waste of space. Just like everyone else did and she could not take it anymore. If no one cared for her, why should she try and become strong to protect them, to prove her worth? She had smuggled a dagger that belonged to her dead mother out, intending to ask her teacher about writing she had found on it. She would use it to cut her own throat in a way she had learned hunting, only to let her body fall down a deep crack in the earth.
Blinking she returned to the present again. Her eyes found the pained ones of the adult at once and she looked away ashamed of her weakness.
"That bad?", the woman from before asked from behind the girl making her flinch, "It must be if it makes you look like this. Tell me, what is her name."
"Monster. Or a waste of space.", he answered sad(?).
"Girl it is then. What about the way she killed the bandits?"
"Simple Taijutzu and an ax. They were drunkards, late-year academy students could have taken care of them."
"Is she a threat to the village?", she asked now interested.
"I don´t believe so. She seemed to have never hurt anyone out of malice or if it weren´t to protect someone else. She never defended herself regardless that she was able to.", he continued.
"What do you think of her?"
"As a ninja: She could have become a feared kunoichi if she had been raised within the right family. She might still become an average Chunin if you can earn her trust and show her what it would get her. As a father: I want to go and make her clan see the damage they did and make them pay for it. No child of seven should cut their own throat and jump down a bottomless hole because they don´t see another way. I would go and find a family to accept her into their mists and show them all the love she had been denied.", he stated, his voice growing cold when he started about his fatherly opinion. It confused the girl. No one had ever cared for her, and now this stranger did? Wanted to make her clan pay for something she knew to be the only reality. There had to be a hidden agenda and plan.
"I see. And why doesn´t she speak?"
"She was ´trained ´to believe people die whenever she speaks. It is so ingrained in her mind that she properly will never speak. No matter what."
"And with trained you mean-"
"Mhm, for now, she will have to stay here until her wounds are healed enough so they don´t get worse. I will have made a decision then. For now, you can return to your duties."
"Yes Lady Tsunade.", the man bowed and left.
"And you girl. Rest. Food will be brought to you soon. Try to not eat it too fast."
And with them the girl was alone.
Three days went by until the girl was to meet the woman, Lady Tsunade, again.
"How are you feeling Girl? Reports say your wounds have healed well. And I see this to be right. Good. I have some new clothes for you. I want you to get dressed so we can leave."
Obedient the girl did as she was told and within a few minutes, she was ready to leave. The clothes she had been given were similar to her old ones. Some comfortable underwear, a pair of long black trousers, and a long-armed brown shirt. All her scars were covered and she was glad about it.
Walking one step behind the woman, she followed her through the halls of the hospital to the great entrance.
"Tch, of course, he is late. Spend too much time with Kakashi.", she heard Lady Tsunade whisper barely loud enough for her ears to catch.
"I cannot let you leave the village knowing there is no one waiting for you. That and the Inuzuka would probably riot. They were about to lay a claim on you. Not to mention the skills you already have. One of my Jonin will keep an eye on you from now on, if he decided to show up already, as a guardian. Once he sees you fit enough you will join the academy to train."
The girl stood a meter beside the woman, her eyes cast on the floor.
"You wanted to see me Hokage-sama?", a male asked appearing out of thin air just beside her.
"Decided you finally show up? You spend too much time with Kakashi, I have a new mission for you, seeing that your injuries are not yet healed enough for longer missions outside the walls."
He said nothing.
"Good. Here is the money, you will receive your mission payment twice a month until it is over. This payment is a bit bigger being the first. Use it to buy the girl some clothes and whatever she will need living with you.", the girl was able to hear the smirk the woman must have on her face and the confusion the man probably had.
"Girl- living- with – me? I don´t think I understand."
"This Girl was found by Yaku and Saki on their last mission. She had killed a group of ten bandits and was found to have befriended a lost Inuzuka Ninken. From now on you are her guardian. Make sure she is well enough to join the academy soon. Any information you need in this mission scroll. Girl, behave.", and with these words did the woman leave the scared girl and confused man alone. Well not all alone, she could smell one of the hidden men were still close enough to keep an eye on them.
She was not trusted and she could not blame them.
"Name: nothing; Age: nothing; Heritage: nothing; Other: tried to commit suicide at the age of seven- What the-, does not speak, was questioned by Yamanaka Inochi and found to be no threat… That´s it?", he read the apparently empty scroll, the sound of the paper telling the girl he must be furiously turning it around looking for more. But apparently, there was none.
"Well, come on Kid. I need food. At least you will be quiet and won´t anger my hangover.", he sighed, " My name is Genma, though if you don´t speak you won´t use it I guess."
Giving a short nod she stepped towards the man and stayed just behind him, giving her enough distance so would have to turn around first to hurt her.
Hangover men, she had learned as well, were just as dangerous as annoyed ones.
"You look too thin, come on, I know a place to eat."
She nodded again but kept her eyes cast on his feet while following him as close as she dared. The scent of the hidden man following them in the distance.
Off the calm street near the hospital, they quickly turned onto a more busy one, and soon there was no way for her to keep her distance and still follow behind him.
"Come on Kid, I don´t want to have to go looking all over town for you if you get swept away by the crowd. Or do I need to carry you?"
Not wanting to get on the bad side of the man now responsible for her she quickly shook her head no and stepped beside him, though her body was tenser than before. Whenever she had been walking next to her brother´s father like that she had been in trouble and later she would bleed.
One more reason why she hated to be close to people.
A small jerk went through her bones when one of the men´s hands came to a rest on her shoulder. He retreated it at once and let it hoover behind her back.
She was sure he would hit her any second now. But again, nothing came.
"Just so you don´t get lost.", he hummed, his hand close enough for her to feel the heat of his skin, but away enough so he would not touch her.
Genma guided her through the streets by moving his hands to either the left side of her back or the right one. Like this, they reached the restaurant not too long after.
The smell of grilled meats and vegetables entered her nose and soon her stomach rumbled in hunger. The food in the hospital, while not being bad, was not smelling this delicious.
"We eat and decide what you need today and things we can get you over time.", Genma declared upon taking his declared seat and motioning for her to sit down as well.
She had rarely been allowed to eat at the table with others in her past and usually had only gotten the scrapes and leftovers.
Almost scared, but definitely shy, she took the seat next to her new guardian.
She still had not looked at him.
"Ahh Genma-san. Welcome back. Welcome back. What can I get you and your cute guest? Is she an academy student?", a girly voice spoke with pure kindness in her voice.
"No. I will take the usual and for her…. Just the same but child-sized I guess. And some water please.", he ordered and the girl wanted to shrink away from the looks she felt on her skin.
"Of course of Course. I will be right back.", the servant hummed.
The two of them sat in silence for a few minutes, the man watching the girl with intense eyes until she heard him lean closer.
"I don´t know what your story is girl, but I know that no floor is interesting enough to keep staring at it for the whole day. You are allowed to look around if you want. Or at least at me. I would like to at least know the face of the Kid I am responsible for.", he sighed, though his voice was more tired than annoyed.
Slowly she did as he had asked her and lifted her head to look at him for the first time. He wore a dark blue shirt under a dark green west and cloth around his head. He was young-looking, with brown eyes and a knitting needle in his mouth.
"See, no need to be afraid. Now, do you know where we are?", he asked his eyes studying her every reaction. He might not like the task given to him very much, being turned into a better babysitter, but orders by the Hokage were orders by the Hokage and he would be dammed if he angered her.
Lady Tsunade was outright scary when she was pissed.
He watched her shake her head ever so slightly.
"You see the little grill in the center of the table? We will get raw food and grill them ourselves.", he explained and she nodded, she knew how to prepare meat so it was edible, "There will be different sauces to dip the finished meat."
Again she nodded ever so slightly.
It was then that the ordered dished arrived and the fire was lit.
"Itadakimasu.", Genma hummed and placed the first pieces of meat and vegetables on the grill.
She watched him, contemplating if it was okay for her to already eat or to wait until he is finished. But then he would have to wait for her and she decided to place small pieces of her own food on the edge of the grill. Well, she tried it, but no one had ever taught her how to use the chopsticks properly.
She only ever used knives and her hands.
Glancing at her guardian, she decided to use her fingers to get the two pieces of meat off the grill. Only to be stopped by a strong hand around her wrist at the last second.
Shocked and scared she looked along the arm to the face of the man. As soon as she saw it she wanted to jerk her arm away and free. His eyes were hard and on the edge of being angry.
Her breathing hitched in growing panic but she did not dare to even blink.
"Don´t.", was all he said before letting go of her arm and at once she pulled it back against her chest and covered away. Her eyes still cast on him, "You will burn and end up in the hospital again. Don´t you know how to use chopsticks?"
She shook her head no.
"Of course not.", he breathed and started piling his grilled meat and vegetables on her plate while replacing it with the raw pieces of hers and the rest of his on the grill, "Now eat with your fingers if you need to."
But she didn´t. The girl kept staring at the man trying to realize why he had stopped her and what punishment he would give her once out of the public.
"Lady Tsunade let you out of the hospital already?", her known voice of Inoichi caught her attention then and she turned to look at him.
He was accompanied by a large round man with red hair and colorful markings on his face and a tall black-haired one with two scars on his face.
"Shiranui Genma.", he greeted the guardian who stood and gave a small bow.
"Yamanaka- sama, Lord Nara, Sensai-sama."
"Lady Tsunade made you her guardian? Or did you kidnap the kid of the streets?"
"Mhm, she looks scared.", the dark-haired man stated, "and she is clutching her right arm."
"I might have used too much strength when I stopped her from placing her hand in the fire.", he explained biting on his knitting needle starting to sound annoyed.
"Well, try to be more careful in the future.", Inoichi reprimanded the younger man, only to speak in her mind the next second, "No need to be afraid of him. He is not like the men you used to know."
She affirmed her understanding of him with a small hum.
Nodding their goodbyes the three men left and Genma left out another sigh, mumbling "Now I have them on my ass as well."
A whispered "You are the Jonin- commander Shikaku. You suggested him didn´t you?" Inoichi´s voice caught her attention once again, only for the black-haired men to answer with a chuckle and a, "He was bored and wanted a challenge."
"There is no bigger challenge than being a father.", the big man laughed but was too far away for her guardian to be able to hear them.
"Eat up girl. Your food is getting cold.", he grumbled, "I did not mean to hurt you."
With big eyes of surprise, she looked back at him and saw the sincerity in his eyes. No one had ever apologized for hurting her before.
Slowly she ate the food and even though it was cold, it still tasted better than a lot she had been able to eat in the past.
"We need to get you clothes, shoes, sanitary products, and stuff for the academy, though they can wait until you are ready.", her guardian started his planning aloud, "That won´t be cheap."
Their first stop after the food was a general store where they bought the sanitary products she needed as well as some snacks the man thought she might like. Then they went and bought her a pair of the same sandals he was wearing as well. It felt strange for her to wear them with her being only used to heavy and already worn boots. Clothes would be more difficult as it turned out. The girl had never owned something new or had the allowance to chose what she was to wear and Genma did not know what girls her age wanted. In the end, did one of the shopkeepers help him and gathered clothes that she said were sought after and would suit her well.
She tried them on, but some of them would show the scars that were on her arms and legs, or even on her stomach and she had learned to never let anyone see them if she did not want to feel pain.
"Girl?", the man asked when she had not emerged out of the dressing room. She poked her head outside to acknowledge him.
"Do you like the clothes?"
She nodded a yes.
"Then what´s wrong?", he asked and she looked away in shame with tears of fear threatening to rise.
"Girl? You need clothes. Show me what is wrong with them.", he argued, "Come on we still have to get everything to my place."
Stepping away from the curtain she turned her back to the man who was responsible for her and waited for him to enter after her through the opening.
It did not take long for him to follow her invitation and poke his head through the opening.
He bit through his senbon when he saw the little girl in the clothes she was trying on. Her arm and legs, no, all her body that could easily be covered by clothes were littered with scars. There was almost no undamaged skin. He started to understand why she was behaving as she did. He became angry and had to take a few deep breaths before he thought to be able to talk to her calmly enough.
"Is that what is wrong with the clothes you like?", he asked with a strained voice and she nodded afraid she had angered him.
"Wait here. And don´t change.", he ordered before leaving and closing the curtain behind him.
"Do you have a mesh shirt that will reach her elbows and knees? As well as the clothes you chose for boys?", she heard him ask the seller with a whisper.
"We might have. Please wait for me to look. Don´t she like the clothes?"
"They are too revealing.", was his answer and she heard the woman walk around the store gathering things.
"Here girl. Try these on and chose the one outfit you like most from those you already tried.", Genma ordered a short while later and she did as she was told.
The clothes she then tried were just as fitting as the first were, and looked almost the same, only that these were not revealing her scars.
"Better?", Genma asked, and she answered by opening the curtain and showing them off to him.
"Better.", he nodded, "Go, change back and we can leave."
Armed with three new outfits Genma walked her to her new place to live.
His whole posture had not relaxed since he had seen the scars and it scared her a bit.
She might have been told he was not like the men in her past, but trained habits could not be unlearned in a few hours.