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"Okay, so what do you know about Taijutsus?" I asked the Uchiha. Yuki twitched and cast a nervous glance around the training ground. I sighed and tapped her on the forehead, another annoying habit that I picked up from Itachi. The girl jumped and turned back to me, "It's one of my better skills." She said, though not arrogently. I sighed in relief, that would help. I had discovered over the past few days that I wasn't good at teaching normal ninja skills. "Show me what you can do." I said and stepped back to watch her.
Suddenly someone tackled my legs and I yelped and lept away before my attacker could take me to the ground. Ruri laughed at my face from her place on the ground, "I call that the Deadly Tackle!" She said between laughs. I glared and opened my mouth to say something when Arashi spoke, "Great, so why don't you attack the Akatsuki? I'm sure they'll give up if you hug them around the legs!" I knew I shouldn't say anything but I couldn't help but snap sarcastically, "Wait, you're standing up for me? Oh my gosh, the world MUST be ending!" I could hear Ame groaning in fustration from across the clearing. Ruri slapped a hand over her mouth to keep from laughing, her eyes wide.
Ame toyed with her food, not eating while I lessuarly sipped my drink and Ruri devoured everything on her plate. I honestly didn't know how she stayed so thin, she acted like Naruto when it came to eating. "So..." Ame started and Ruri and I both turned to her, "This team thing obviously isn't working well. And I'm sorry to say it's your fault." Ruri immediately got defensive, "It's that jerk Arashi! He doesn't treat anyone like he treats Tora or me, so why should we treat him any different."
The Hatake woman just gave Ruri a tired look, "I've already talked with him. He said that he tried being friends at first, but you two were so rude to him that-" Ruri cut her off, "He pratically accused Tora of purposefully scaring people and-" This time I was the one that cut her off, "Ruri. It doesn't matter. Ame is right, we are being very rude." My friend threw up her hands, "Only because he was rude to us! I can' even believe that you're just going to sit here and..." She waved her hands fustrated, unable to find words. I actually smiled, "Sometimes the best thing to do is to sit back and let things happen. Excuse me I have to get Tenshi from daycare." I stood and left a fustrated Ruri and tired Ame alone.
"Mama!" Tenshi sang when she heard me coming. When she was old enough to understand things, I came up with a code to tell her when I was approaching, two fast taps with my toes then one hard stomp. I smiled, "Hello, sweetie. How was your day?" Instead of answering like she usually did, Tenshi tilted her head and asked, "Can we go see Itachi-nii-san?" I blinked at her surprised and felt a blush creep up my scarred face. I hadn't seen Itachi since that night at the Sakura Festival, and I wasn't sure I was ready to see him again just yet. I was still embarressed about hugging him, "Uh... why don't we go see Aunt Sakura?" Tenshi was usually distracted by the mention of her favorite aunt, but she wouldn't let it go, "No. I want to see Itachi-nii-san!"
I sighed, feeling defeat tugging at me, "I don't know, Tenshi. Itachi might be a little busy at the moment. If you're good we'll stop by later." Tenshi tried to snatch her hand from my grip, but I didn't let her go. After the almost-disaster at the Sakura Festival, I refused to let go of my daughter unless I was absolute sure I could grab her again. "I want to go now!" She screamed, bringing the attention of the other families to us. Some of the older women shot me a disapproving look, whether from Tenshi's tantrum, or that I was too young to have a four year old daughter, I didn't know. I frowned, "Stop demanding, Tenshi. If you misbehave again, we won't even go to the Uchiha compound."
Tenshi succeeded in yanking her hand from mine and snapped, "I hate you!" I sighed and tried not to take it personally; to a four year old, using the word 'hate' was just another ploy to get what they wanted. "Well I still love you." I said and hoisted Tenshi up on my hip, despite her complaints. She tried to push me away, "I don't want you to carry me! I'm a big girl now!" I groaned, Tenshi was acting strangly lately. I wondered if it was belated terrible twos. "I'll let you walk if you behave." Tenshi pouted but didn't struggle again. I set her down and went to grab her hand, but she snatched it away, "I'm a big girl. I don't want to hold your hand."
"Tenshi..." I started warningly, but was interuppted by a girly voice, "She doesn't want you to get lost, Bat." I spun to see a snobby little girl Tenshi's age sneering at my daughter. Her mother was busy talking with another woman. Tenshi stiffened, but didn't turn towards the voice. Her little fist clenched and I knew this wasn't the first time someone had teased her. Pressing my fingers in her back I said, "Come on, sweetie. Let's go see Itachi-nii-san." Tenshi stumbled, as if she wasn't prepared for my nudge forward, but found her footing quickly. The girl laughed, "You can't even walk without help." She taunted. It took all my will not to smack the brat. I did cast a withering glare over my shoulder, for once glad that my scars made my face grotesque. The girl hid her face in her mother's skirt.
After we had gone a ways I said, "Don't listen to them, sweetheart. Those kids are just mean" Tenshi sniffed, and I knew she was trying to keep from crying, "They're right." I stopped and knelt down beside her, gently running my thumb under her sightless eyes, "I don't hold your hand because of your blindness, I do it because I'm protective over my little girl." Tenshi rubbed her red nose, "I can't walk without someone leading me around things." I bit my lip, feeling a deep pain in my chest to see her so upset, "It's true, but-" Before I could finish, Tenshi changed the subject, "Our teacher says I'll never be a ninja." I was grateful that Tenshi couldn't see my outraged face, I was going to have to say a few things to that woman!
"Tenshi, you can be whatever you want to be. It will be harder for you to become a ninja, but it's still possible." My blind daughter touched my scars, her face once again the innocent one I wa used to, "How?" She asked in a small voice. I trapped one of her little hands in mine, "Did you know your uncle Lee has no gift at nin- or genjutsus? All he knows is taijutsus and guess what? He's the best at taijutsus." Tenshi shook her dark head, "No, you are!" She protested and I couldn't help but smile, "Alright, he's second best. Then there's Uncle Reiko and me. We didn't start our training until it was very late. See? You can be a ninja, but you have to want it more than anything." Tenshi hugged me, "I want you more!" She said sweetly and I picked her back up, laughing. Secretly I wondered how long it would be before she thought otherwise.
Uh... I have no idea what happened. If it's bad, forgive me, I've had a horrible week and I was forcing myself to write this.
Flamers Welcome! In fact I kinda expect some people to flame this chapter...