Author: Riniko22

Notes: The Characters and Places within this story are not mine, and remain the property of their respected owners. As such, I do not own them, nor am I making any money off them. So sad, honored reader, this very tragic tale of penniless author that fell into the spring of drowned …

The characters in this story will likely not act the same as in canon (written or video), so do not flame me about this. Some will have grown up with different influences on them leading them to react in different ways. Advice is always welcome.

Sorry for the long delay between chapter 8 and 9, you would not believe the long week I had. While, reaching into the back of the refrigerator for a soda, I fell in and was flash frozen until the power went out from the bill not being paid. I glad now that I decide against direct withdraw there. ;)


Hitotsu ni suru

Chapter 9

Hinata woke-up late the next day with the sun shining brightly into her room. She had found herself unable to sleep well, waking-up every few hours from disturbing dreams of Naruto dying in her arms. Blinking her eyes to loosen the crusty remnants of sleep, Hinata yawned lightly while stretching her still tired muscles. Now that her eyes were clear enough to see, she noticed the lateness of the day. "Pease don't let me be late," she cried, before turning to look over to her clock. She was visibly relieved to see that she had just enough time to take a quick shower before hurrying to meet her new team.


Ranko walked a little slower than the other girls did on the way to the Hyuuga compound. So, that she could disguise her knowledge of the village. The fact that she was actively looking around as they walked along did work to complete the picture of a young kunoichi getting to know a new home.

Ranko wondered again, why Kyuubi had not spoken to her for a while as she followed along casually talking with her new friends and sensei. She was worried that maybe Kyuubi been weakened more than she was letting on. Knowing that there was little that she could do about it she decided to give her new friend time to rest. She brought her full attention back to the conversation that was going on between Sakura and Ino; she listened for a few minutes until she could ask a question.

"Sensei, could you tell me a little about the girl me are going to meet," Ranko asked before Ino could start another discussion on the newest fashions or worse yet bring up Sasuke again. It was really getting to the point that if it came to a choice between the two, she would voluntarily keep the subject on what would look best on them. She just hoped that they would not start up again, on what would be the best outfit to catch Sasuke's attention, it had taken everything she had to live though the last one.

"I don't want to bias your opinion about your other team member Ranko, so I will just tell you the publicly know information for now and let you find out the rest from her personally. OK?"

"Yes, Sensei that's fine by me, I really just want to know enough about her to greet her properly," replied Ranko. She was hoping to get more information about the girl that Ranko's new memories were telling her had been Naruto's only true friend, even if he never realized just how much she had cared for him. The more she could get people to tell her about the village and the people that lived here the easier it would be for her not to say or do something that would give her own secret knowledge away.

"The young kunoichi, Hyuuga Hinata that we are meeting will be the third member of Team Eight; she will be working along side you and Sakura. Hinata is the eldest of the two daughters of Hyuuga Hiashi, and current heir to the Hyuuga clan. Their clan is one of the largest and most powerful clans in Konoha, the Hyuuga family carries a powerful Bloodline trait called the Byakugan, using this ability in combination with their family unique fighting style has made them very powerful in the village," Kurenai explained. "I will leave the rest for you to find out from Hinata herself as we will be arriving at the Hyuuga compound soon."

"Thank you, Sensei. I am sure that Hinata-chan will be an excellent teammate for both Sakura-chan and myself," Ranko answered back with a confident tone. Ranko could tell from Kurenai-san's description that there was much more to know about the Hyuuga family than she had told her or from what she was able to make of Naruto's memories. She doubted that Ino or Sakura had caught the tightness that had entered her voice as Kurenai-san mentioned Hinata's father Hyuuga Hiashi. Kurenai-san had covered her distain for the man well, but with Ranko's senses, it had been easy to pick-up. Whatever the reasons for this she knew that she would be keeping a watchful eye out to discover why.


Hinata had just stepped out of the Clan's compound to wait for her new sensei and teammates when she faintly heard Ino's voice coming from down the street. Turning to look that way, she could see the blond haired girl and the three that she was instructed to look for. She recognized the dark haired Jounin with them as Yuuhi Kurenai, her new sensei and the pink haired girl with her as her former classmate Sakura. The red haired girl was new to her; Hinata guessed that she was Naruto's missing sister, Ranko. Clenching her hand into a tight fist, so as not to breakdown again from the still fresh pain that Naruto's death had left, she regained control of her emotions. She would be strong, honor Naruto's memory, and do everything she could to make friends with his sister. Knowing that the other girl was likely hurting more than she was, having lost her brother before she could even meet him for the first time.


"Sensei is that dark haired girl that just stepped out of the gate Hinata-chan," Ranko asked.

"Yes, it is Ranko. It looks like our timing was just about perfect," Kurenai said to the group. Before turning to face the girl again and wave her over in greeting. "I hope that you have not been waiting long Hinata-chan?"

"No, sensei. I had just stepped out to wait for you, hoping that you had not been waiting for me, when I heard Ino-chan's voice. Will Ino, be going our team also, I was under the understanding that I would be meeting you and my new teammates for today," Hinata asked with what Kurenai detected to be a little less hesitation than she was used to hearing from the shy girl.

"Ino-chan will be going the four of us for lunch before we have our official team meeting," Kurenai offered. I wanted to thank her for her excellent help this morning helping Naruto's sister Ranko. Ino and Sakura spent this morning with Ranko, helping her find clothing and supplies." Turning slightly towards Ino, she continued talking, "After, the five of us finish eating; Ino-chan is welcome to join us for training, if she wants."

"I would love too, if nobody minds," Ino gusted happily. "I don't really get enough training in with Asuma-sensei and the boys," she said before reddening slightly when she realized how that might sound.

"Don't worry Ino, I know what you mean. Asuma is an excellent teacher, but as the only Kunoichi on your team, there are some things that he may miss. I'm sure that he would not mind if you wished to join us for training if you desire when it does not interfere with his training schedule." Kurenai really would not mind having the girl join them when she could for training. It would allow her to watch the four girls practice one-on-one or against uneven forces and she really did want to make sure that the girl received some additional help. She did not think that Asuma would have a problem with this; he would know that it would only help the girl and his team as a result.

"Now, hurry along girls, we have a free lunch on the Hokage's tab, so don't feel that you need to hold back on my account. I know just the place for us to go. I hope you all like Korean barbecue because I heard that they have the best in Fire country." Kurenai exclaimed, as the girls followed behind her.

Ranko attention had been drifting off the four until Kurenai-sensei brought up lunch again. And, hearing that she did not need to hold her appetite back and that it would be at the Hokage's expense make it all the sweeter. Just thinking about it made her stomach start to growl slightly in anticipation to the other girl's amusement.


After they arrived at the restaurant and seated, Ranko had to ask Kurenai a question, just to be sure. "Sensei, you said that this meal was on the Hokage's tab and that we could order as much as we wanted correct?"

"Yes, as long as you are eating what you order there is no limit on what you can have. Just, don't order anything that you really can't eat." She answered the girl, Kurenai knew that as long as they actually ate what they ordered or close to it that there would be no problem. The Hokage himself had told her last week about the place and this was the first time that she had had the chance to try it out. Besides, how much could her and four girls really eat anyway?


Ranko knew that she would need to start out light on her order, so that Kurenai would not question her. Looking down the menu, she picked out several dishes that would be a good start. And, she would be sure to let the server know that she would be ordering a dessert at the end of the meal. She had learned long ago that this would have the server checking back more often to see if she was ready. When she did, she would just ask for more then. Usually the only places that she had been able to get away with this were new all you could eat buffet that had not heard of her or her father yet. Afterwards, they would always change things and place a limit or just ban them from returning.

The others were surprised when they heard Ranko place her order. However, she caught their curious looks, reassuring them that she was just really hungry, and would be eating everything.

When everyone's meals arrived, they were shocked by the speed and the amount of food that the new girl was putting away. In fact, when she finished, they where stunned when she placed another large order all before they themselves had finished their own meals. And, were surprised again when Ranko asked them if she could have the rest of their unserved meals while she was waiting for her third order. After the forth massive order they had stopped asking her how she could possibly eat that much and stay that size and began to wonder if she may be related to the Akimichi clan somehow. Until they remembered Naruto's epic orders of ramen the few times they saw him eating. The only thing that would tie her more firmly as Naruto's sister now would be if Ranko had insisted on wearing orange.

When she was finally finished eating the staff actually cheered, or at least the owner did. He had never been so glad to have listened to the other restaurant owners when they warned that he should never offer an all you could eat meal. In addition, the knowledge that the Hokage had already covered the party's order had kept the food coming. As Ranko began to leave the owner rushed over and insisted on taking her picture to be placed on the wall over the table in honor of her accomplishment. In the months ahead this would turn out to be the most profitable idea he had ever had, as the Akimichi clan on hearing of it vowed to overturn Ranko's record.


When Team 8 finally reached the training grounds, it was much later than Kurenai had originally planned. She had thought that they would be finishing here soon, not just getting started. Lucky, it would still be light out for several hours before they would have to call a halt to the day's testing.


AN:

Sorry, it took so long. However, I promise to try to get the next chapter out sooner. There is a chance that I might even have a chapter out by next week.

The next chapter will be detailing what happens during Ranko's testing and what that will mean for her and Team 8.