The Next Ace of Aces

Chapter 12

Just a little bit of a present for my readers. From my family to yours, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday. May you all have a wonderful New Year as well!

Chapter 12

Two weeks had passed and just as Nanoha said, she made herself fully recover back to her regular fighting form. Tsunade was amazed at the sheer determination Nanoha possessed, citing it was just like Naruto's. As such, Nanoha repaid the kindness she had by telling everything she knew about combat training. The sheer amount of information she had caused Tsunade to marvel in just what could be done to increase the success rate of missions, promote better team unity, reduce injury and fatality, and create overall better shinobi.

Nanoha's combat ability hadn't lessened over her 10,000 year sleep. As she was a primary long range fighter, her spell ability and defense was top notch, though she did want to learn how to increase her speed and even water and tree walking. Tsunade decided to instate her as a Chuunin level shinobi, only so she could go ahead and begin to earn pay and keep her training official on the books.

As for the others, Naruto had started to slowly get back to normal, though he still remained quiet. Hinata, though more confident now, had yet to tell him her true feelings, and still didn't know when the time was right. Tenten just kept wondering when all of this would be over and things would be back to normal. Though the training they were going to do today may be more than any of them bargained for.

"Alright, time to get down to business." Nanoha overlooked her new team, seeing the potential they had. "First things first. We need to make sure your Devices are all on par. Since you will be facing flyers, you'll need the same ability. Kyu, you'll need to choose from two spells to copy into Kerykeion. You can choose Raising Heart's Axel Fin spell, or Bardiche's Sonic Sail spell. This will allow Naruto flight."

"What about me Nanoha?" Hanabi hoped she would get a flight spell as well.

"Unfortunately Blitz Caliber isn't able to handle flight spells on her own. You'd need a Unison Device to help boost the mana…I mean chakra control. I forget they're the same thing. But back on point." Nanoha answered. "You have your own transport spell with Wing Road and that can be just as mobile as a flight spell." She saw Hanabi look a little down, but knew she'd be excited when she heard this news. "Though I do have some new news to update you with. Due to the fact that Blitz and Maki are sister devices, Maki can unison with you giving you access to both Revolver Knuckles at once. But it seems she can only sync with you and Hinata."

That made Hanabi's day. "I'm fine with that!"

"Me too!" Blitz chimed in as well.

"So if they can share a Unison Device, what does that mean for us?" Tenten asked about her and Naruto.

"I did some research while I was in recovery. Even though Kyu is linked with Naruto, she has yet to fully transfer all of her chakra into Naruto." Nanoha explained. "It will take at least 5 years before she's at complete balance, so she still contains her massive reserves of chakra. It does seem that she's become very fond of you and Hinata, and has created a link with both of you. So she would be able to Unison with the two of you. Bardiche is a little different. He's fully synched with you Tenten, but for some reason, he's not compatible with Hinata. Though he's perfectly fine with Naruto."

"Probably a guy thing. They have to stick together right?" Tenten gave Bardiche a glare, causing him to sweat a little. "I'm just playing with you Bardiche."

"Oh, uh forgive me my Lady." He was still getting used to the fact that Tenten liked to have fun with him and wanted him to feel relaxed around her.

"So as it stands, each of you have the ability to do Unison, but can only Unison one device at a time. Kyu would basically enhance your chakra levels, effectively supercharging any spells you do, so she's what I would call a Booster type. Bardiche would infuse all of your spells with lightning, increase your speed, and give you access to his Zanber, so he's a Lightning Type. Maki would boost speed and strike power, so she's a Fighter type." Nanoha gave a breakdown of the three Unison Devices. "There may be more devices out there, and who knows, there may even be Unison devices we don't know about. But now with that out of the way we can get to the next part of training. Hinata if you would let me have Raising Heart for a bit please?"

"Ok." Hinata wasn't sure what was going on but she gave her device back to her former master.

"Been a while since we've done this right Raising Heart?" asked Nanoha.

"It has Nanoha. So do you want Aggressor Mode or Exceed Mode first?" Raising Heart could already tell what her previous master wanted to do.

"Go with Aggressor, and then we'll show Exceed." Nanoha then put her plan in motion. Raising Heart went online, changing into active mode and changing Nanoha into her Aggressor Barrier Jacket. "Alright, what you see here is my basic Barrier Jacket. If I'm right when you first activated Raising Heart, this was what went online, right Hinata?"

"It was. But I don't understand, isn't a Barrier Jacket supposed to be custom to each mage?" Hinata asked since she had created a new jacket with Maki before.

"It is. Though I think Raising Heart knew you were in trouble so she didn't have time to properly set up your jacket and her Active Mode with you." Nanoha explained. "But now that we have time, we can properly set that up. For now though I want to show you, each of your devices has its forms and Full Drive, and even has their Barrier Jacket modes. Did you know that since you're the new Masters, you can restructure their base outward appearance to better suit your style of combat? It was a new feature added to them just before the Great Mage War."

"We can do that? Since when?" Tenten was surprised she could do such a thing.

"Since now. Command Code 7-9-4-1-0-2-1 Unlock Master Control. Full Limiter Release." Nanoha said, causing Kerykeion, Cross Mirage, and Blitz Caliber to glow for a few seconds. "There we go. See even though their previous Masters had high control over their Devices, a limiter was placed on every single Device no matter what it did. There was also an Override control that all high level officers knew in order to disable a Device. Though I feel that time has long passed and you need to be able to use your Devices to their maximum potential."

"So why didn't it affect Kyu, Bardiche, or Maki?" Hinata wondered why they didn't glow as well.

"Kyu was never set with a limiter or command lock at all. Bardiche and Maki had theirs released when they were upgraded. As for Raising Heart, hers was completely released when I did a final separation from her 10,000 years ago." Nanoha said as she began her next explanation. "So now that you have complete access and control of your Devices, you need to customize them to your own style." She then reset Raising Heart back into standby and handed her to Hinata. "Alright, let's see what you come up with."

The four looked around, figuring out just what would go on. "Actually, I like Cross Mirage the way he is. Ever since we started working together, things have just been very smooth. I don't think he needs to be changed at all." Tenten didn't really have a preference to her style and Cross Mirage had done nothing but improve her ability.

"Same here. Blitz is just fine. She's perfect." Hanabi added. "Since I specialize in close combat, Blitz is just right."

"Well, Hinata? Naruto? Any preference changes for you?" Nanoha looked over at the other two. She figured Naruto might not do anything but she knew Hinata was going to change things up.

Naruto just nodded his head saying he was fine. Hinata though already had things planned. "Actually I know what I want to do." She immediately activated Raising Heart, going back to the Exceed style she had with Maki before her upgrade. However instead of Raising Heart becoming a staff, she had Raising Heart shift into two long arm protectors that came to her elbows and covered her hands. It also became a pair of boots that came up to her knees as well. Finally, Raising Heart's core gem was centered on top of her left hand. "Now that feels more comfortable, perfect for a melee combat type."

Nanoha looked over her former partner's new look, "Interesting I must say. How do you feel Raising Heart?"

"Just perfect!" Raising Heart agreed that things were much better with Hinata now.

"OK then, time to get some good training in." Nanoha had an evil grin on her face. It had been 10,000 years since she trained a group of people, but that wasn't going to stop her one bit. Since today was the first day, Nanoha started off with an intense regimen that worked primarily on physical endurance and stamina training. One thing Nanoha did was to also have the Unison Devices join in, while not being unisoned with their masters. Also they couldn't fly as well, making things much harder for them. After about eight solid hours of training, they were all ready to collapse…except for Naruto.

"How…in the world…is he not tired?" Tenten was lying face up on the ground breathing heavily. "He had…to have cheated!"

"It's in his bloodline…remember?" Hanabi was just as exhausted. "I think he's getting used to using it now that Kyu's separated from him."

"So I take it all of you are good and tired right?" Nanoha looked on at everyone with a smile.

"Tired? Are you insane?" Kyu screamed out as she rubbed her legs. "What are you, inhuman? I'm hurting in places I never thought I had!"

"But you only ran about 6 miles Kyu-chan? Was it really that bad?" Nanoha knew that even though she had the Unison Devices run a much shorter distance, with their height, it would feel as if they ran the same as their Masters.

"Yes!" Kyu had a huge pout on her face. All she wanted to do was go home and soak in a hot bath.

"Well I can tell you've all worked hard, so let's all go get a good hot bath, a good meal, and a good night's sleep." Nanoha watched as they all helped each other up, but Naruto had gone off on his own and had been looking into space for some reason. "I wonder what Naruto's thinking about?"

Hinata had seen him and even though she was somewhat sore, she still could walk fine. "Naruto-kun, what's the matter?"

Naruto didn't pay much attention and didn't hear her. He was still looking off into space. Hinata shook him just to get his attention, "Huh? What's up?"

"Naruto-kun, you were staring into space for some reason. What's wrong?" Hinata hoped to get something out of him.

"Just thinking about a lot of things. I've really been wondering about my life." Naruto sighed as he sat on the ground. He noticed Hinata sit beside him. "Ever since that mission to get Sasuke back, it's made me think about what kind of person I really am."

Hinata knew this wasn't normal for him, "Naruto, what do you mean?"

"I mean maybe everyone is really right about me. Maybe I am truly a dead last failure." He had his head down staring at the ground. "I mean I failed to stop the person I called my best friend, I put so many people at risk because of my stupid self, and I was too stupid to believe that Sakura really didn't care about me."

"Don't say that Naruto. Sakura was just using your kindness against you." Hinata hoped her words would mean something to him. "Both her and Sasuke didn't know that you're a really good person."

"Would a really good person let one of his other teammates nearly get killed?" Naruto spat back. "I knew something wasn't right with Neji and I did nothing to stop him too."

"Look you can't prevent things from happening all the time. No one can do that." Hinata knew he seriously doubted himself and she had to stop him. "Everyone makes mistakes. It's how we learn from them that makes us better people."

"Yeah right. I'm the son of one of the greatest Hokages in Konoha, and I make mistakes that almost kill someone. That's not worth it anymore. How can I even come close to being as great as my father was if I can't realize that someone is manipulating me?" Naruto's self pity continued. "All I am is just an unloved, worthless, failure of a person. I've failed my parents, I've failed my village, and I've failed you guys."

"You're wrong Naruto!" Hinata knew this was it. Naruto had to know that he was loved and he wasn't a failure, and he needed to know now before his depression ended up getting him killed somehow. "You aren't a failure because a failure wouldn't have learned the Rasengan faster than the creator of the jutsu. You haven't failed your parents because their expectation was for you to live and find happiness in life and be the best you can be. You've done that for as long as I've known you." She took a deep breath knowing what she was going to do. "And you're not unloved because you have friends who will do anything for you…and you have me…that loves you with everything in my being Naruto."

Naruto paused for a minute when he heard that. Hinata loved him? That can't be true. "Hinata, listen, I know you're worried about me but please don't force yourself to say things that you think would make me happy. That's not the real you that I know."

Hinata couldn't believe what she just heard. She just confessed her complete love to the boy who meant the world to her, and he thinks she's just forcing herself to lie. "Naruto…you…why?" She couldn't stop herself from crying her eyes out and running away from him faster than she's ever run before.

"Hinata…wait Hinata!" Naruto called out but she was already gone. "I don't know why she did that. She's never been that way."

"Naruto what's the matter with Hinata?" Tenten, Hanabi, and Nanoha all came over to see what was up. "Why is she crying like that?"

"She came over and tried cheering me up and then she said she loved me. I don't know why. I told her she didn't need to force herself to say things like that to make me feel better." Naruto replied. However when he did, the result was not what he expected. Tenten slammed him in the face with one hell of a haymaker punch, dropping him to the ground.

"YOU IDIOT!" Naruto looked at his sister and saw her seething in rage. "Who the hell do you think you are! I cannot believe you are truly that stupid!" She turned and ran in the direction that Hinata ran, hoping to salvage things.

"What did I do wrong?" Naruto was more than confused now as he rubbed his sore face.

"Naruto, when Hinata told you she loved you…she wasn't lying to you, nor was she forcing herself to lie." Hanabi knew that things were messed up for Naruto, and knew how Hinata felt. All she could do was hope that there would be a way to save things. "You may not know this, but she has loved you for as long as I've been alive."

"She's really felt that way about him?" Nanoha was interested to hear more about Hinata's feelings for Naruto.

"Yeah. You should have heard her the night we came back from our failed mission. You were sedated Naruto so you didn't hear anything, but I heard the whole thing. She was in tears worried about you Naruto. She kept putting herself down, saying she was weak and a failure for letting Sakura hurt you." Hanabi continued. "When she came to bed I could feel just how hurt she was."

"Hanabi, are you serious?" Naruto was starting to think he may have just made a huge mistake.

"If you don't believe me, then believe this." She pulled a small book from her back pouch. "This is Hinata's Diary. I'm her little sister; I have access to these things."

"She's right. I did the same thing to my older sister too." Nanoha remembered how easy it was to get her sister Miyuki's diary. She saw Hanabi thumb through some pages before stopping and doing a strange hand sign.

"Don't worry about reading anything else. Hyuuga women are taught a special privacy jutsu for things like this. It can only be seen by female Hyuuga eyes unless a special release jutsu is done for others to see it." Hanabi handed over the diary for Naruto to read. "Now read this and see for yourself."

Naruto took the diary and started reading, wondering just what he would find.

Dear Diary,

It's been one of the worst days of my life. Neji turned on me and nearly killed me yesterday. I guess he really couldn't get over his anger of Uncle Hizashi's death. I wish he could have looked past blaming me. I was a three year old girl when that happened. What did he expect me to do against a Jounin? Well, knowing my luck, the stupid elders will pin the blame on me and want to use it as another reason to brand me with the seal or exile me. That's all they really care about is their precious image. But that's really not the worst part of my day.

Naruto was hurt worse than I could imagine. That pink haired bitch Sakura actually used his crush on her against him. She knew how much Naruto loved her and she exploited it. She had Naruto believing that she loved him and cared for him, and what did she do? She threw him right in the path of Sasuke's Chidori. Naruto's too kind a soul to have that done to him. He would have gone as far as death for her, but she didn't care. You don't know how mad I am at her! I want to grab her pink head and rip it straight off her body for what she did! But that's not me at all. Naruto wouldn't want to see me like that.

Speaking of Naruto…why him? Why does all this bad stuff have to happen to him? It's not fair! He shouldn't have to hide his pain. I want to be that person that he can lean on to let out all of his sadness, his pain, and his suffering. I want to be the person that he knows he can count on. But look at me. Naruto tells me that I'm strong and I'm a really good person, but he doesn't know the real me. He doesn't know that I'm weak and helpless. I mean I can't even muster the courage to tell him that I've loved and admired him from the very day he stopped those bullies from picking on me when we were little. Every day I see him training so hard, it makes me want to be like him more and more. He has real courage, real determination, and a true heart of gold. I know he does that to hide his loneliness, but I just wish that I could tell him he's not alone anymore.

My only wish is that Naruto be happy and he'll be ok. He was so destroyed and I don't know if I can go on with him like this. I miss the real Naruto, the one that's happy and full of life, the one that will stand up for what he believes in, the one who won't let anyone stop him from his dreams. I hope he comes back soon, and I hope I'll finally be able to gain the courage to let him know that I want to be at his side forever. I don't care if I'm by his side as Hinata Hyuuga or Hinata Uzumaki…although Hinata Uzumaki would sound a lot nicer…but as long as I'm at his side helping him achieve his dreams, I'd be the happiest girl in the world…and I'll have accomplished my dream as well.

Kami, please hear my prayer…please help Naruto. Please help heal him and bring him back to all of us, at least so we can see him smile again.

Love always

Hinata

Naruto was speechless. There was no doubting it, he screwed up big time. "Tenten is right. I really am an idiot."

"Naruto, if there is one person in this whole world who would never try to hurt you, it's Hinata." Hanabi took the diary back, sealing it up and putting it back in her pouch. "And trust me, she's not the only one that wants to payback Sakura for what she did to you. I want to break that pink banshee in half for what she did to you and for how she hurt Hina-chan."

"I've got to talk to her. If I don't make things right, I'm no better than everyone else that treated me badly." Naruto knew what he had to do. "Hanabi, where do you think she went?"

"She's probably by the river. She goes there and looks at the water when she's thinking about things." Hanabi knew that's the likely place her sister would be.

"Thanks Hanabi. I just hope I haven't lost one of the most precious friends I have." Naruto took off full speed towards the river, hoping he could make things right and hopefully not end a valuable friendship.

Tenten had already known Hinata would be by the riverside. She was under the bridge doing her best to console her best friend. Hinata had been crying for a good 20 minutes and hadn't stopped. When Naruto showed up, she immediately became defensive of Hinata.

"What do you want you jerk?" Tenten didn't feel like letting anyone near Hinata. "You've done enough so why don't you leave ok?"

"Tenten, please. I need to talk to Hinata. It's really important." Naruto hoped Tenten would let him speak, but he knew it was going to be difficult.

"There's nothing you have to say to her. Just leave her alone!" Tenten snapped back at her brother. She wasn't moving an inch.

"Tenten, why don't you shut up for once and let me fix the dumbest mistake I've ever made for a change!" Naruto was adamant to speak with Hinata. He had only one chance to correct things and if he didn't then nothing would fix things. "If you're not like every other person in this village that hates me, you'll back off and let me do this."

That struck a nerve with Tenten. She never hated Naruto at all, except for right now, but for him to use that comparison meant he was dead serious. Plus this was the first time since the failed mission that he so much as showed some fierce emotion. "Alright, I'm watching you. You make one wrong move and I swear you will have a kunai right in your head…and you know I won't miss!" She let go of Hinata and got up, moving away from the two. She moved far enough out of hearing range, but still watched the two.

Naruto took a deep breath and went and sat down. He kept some space between him and Hinata because he knew she didn't want to be near him. "Hinata…I know you probably don't want anything to do with me but can I ask one request of you?" He heard her stop crying just enough to listen to him. "What makes a nobody like me special to you?"

"You're not a nobody Naruto." He heard her call him without an honorific for the first time. "I don't know why you would think that."

"Maybe it's because I really am the biggest idiot in the village." Naruto sighed as he looked at the ripples in the water. "I mean look at me. I was too stupid to realize that there really was one person in this whole village that truly cared about me."

"Naruto, what are you…" Hinata was slightly confused at what he was talking about.

"Hanabi showed me your diary." Naruto replied. "Don't be mad at her ok. If she hadn't shown it to me, I probably wouldn't have known how bad I messed up."

Hinata's face turned red hearing this. "What did you read?"

"She had me read the entry you made after we got back from the failed mission. She told me how you were when I was sedated." Naruto kept thinking back on how Hinata poured everything out and he didn't hear a thing. "Do I really make you feel that way? Do I really make you feel stronger?"

"Naruto, you're a person who's inspired me to do so much." Hinata wiped away the last of the tears from her puffy eyes. "My clan is always pushing me to be a cold and arrogant person because I'm the clan heir, and it's the image of the clan. But that's not me. I can't bring myself to look down on people." She rubbed her eyes once more. "And you're been a person who's been through so much. I don't think it's fair that you have to deal with everything you've been through. I just don't get how you do it."

"How I do what? Keep a smile on my face when it feels like my world is going to blow up in front of me? Honestly, the only time I had a real smile was when you and Tenten told me you didn't hate me for having Kyu sealed in me." Naruto replied back. "To be honest, when I was alone at home, I was never happy. There were mornings that I didn't want to even wake up because of how things would be. Even after I became a Genin, I thought things would get better, but it turned out to be different. I just told myself I had to keep moving on."

"But why did you change so much after what Sakura did to you?" Hinata couldn't understand how Naruto could talk about keeping up a fake smile then suddenly enter a massive depression.

"The fact is…I don't know the first thing about being in love. No one ever taught me anything. I just had to go with things, ya know." He took a pebble from the ground and skipped it across the river. "I thought I had finally understood it when Sakura told me how she felt, but the moment she threw me in front of Sasuke it felt like everything I knew was wrong."

"That happens when someone breaks your heart Naruto. But you can't let yourself be consumed by that grief." Hinata finally showed off a small smile. "You have to let those who care about you help you move on."

"Too bad I pushed those people away from me." Naruto shook his head in defeat. "Honestly I don't deserve people like you in my life, not for what I did."

"Naruto…" Hinata managed to compose herself just enough to do what she needed to do. She slapped him. "That's for being an idiot and not realizing that there are people who love you. Not just me, but Tenten, Kyu, Lady Tsunade, Nanoha, Kerykeion, all of us!" She then grabbed his head and looked him straight in the eyes. "And this is to prove I'm not lying." She took a deep breath and threw caution to the wind, planting her lips on his own in a deep kiss. Tenten was watching from afar and the moment she saw it, her eyes went wide.

Hinata released the kiss, leaving Naruto slightly dazed. "Hinata…uh…I…whoa."

"You see, that's what it feels like when someone loves you, like I do. I don't care if you don't love me the same way, but as long as you, the real you, comes back to us then I'm happy." Hinata started tearing up again. "And you don't know how hard it was for me to do that to you. My whole body is shaking from it."

"I guess I don't have to keep up a fake smile anymore. But it's not fair that I don't return the same feelings to you though." Naruto felt his lips, still slightly tingling.

"Naruto, if you feel the same way about me, I want it to be because deep down you truly love me. You're one of my best friends, but if you want to take it further, do it because you want to and because you feel it here." She pointed straight at his chest. "I fell in love with you over time, and it will take you some time as well to truly understand your own feelings."

"Well…I do feel bad that I don't know a whole lot about you, like some of your favorite things to do. So, sometime after training, do you just want to hang out? Even if it's just at the apartment?" Naruto scratched his head and slightly looked away.

"I'd like that a lot Naruto-kun. I really would." Hinata was now smiling more. For the first time in a month, her heart felt at peace.

"Let's go meet up with everyone. I need to apologize for being an idiot." Naruto slightly chuckled. "That and also get some ice on my face. A punch and a slap in the same day hurts!" He rubbed his face carefully, not to bruise it anymore.

"We'll have Lady Tsunade look at it." Hinata felt so much better. She had missed seeing Naruto like this, actually giving a real smile. As she and Naruto walked back to the Hokage's office, Tenten watched on, happy that things finally took a turn for the better.

"Looks like you're stronger than you know Hinata. No one weak could do what you just did." Tenten simply smiled as she went off to get Hanabi, Nanoha, and the Devices and then off to meet with Tsunade.

After a half hour, Tenten, Hanabi, and Nanoha met back up with Naruto and Hinata. Naruto had been sitting with a small ice pack on his face to keep any swelling down. "So it looks like you finally had some sense knocked into you huh Naruto?" Tenten had a smirk on her face, knowing she was the one that hit him first.

"Yeah, although Hinata-chan went about it a better way than you did." Naruto replied. "Did you have steel plates in your gloves or something? Geez!"

"Well then, now that Naruto's back to normal…finally, we can start to get things down to business." Tsunade was definitely happy that Naruto had been knocked out of his depression finally. She knew it wasn't going to be instant, but he now understood the truth of things and would recover at a good pace with the support he had. "I know that Nanoha was going to start you all on a new training regimen to get you used to dealing with Sasuke, Sakura, and Neji, but we have to look at the primary mission."

"So what did you have in mind Baa-chan?" Naruto asked.

Tsunade cringed slightly but was glad to hear him call her that. "I'll let you off easy for that one brat, but for now we need to start trying to locate the other Lost Logia Bijuu and convert them. Naruto you remember that Jiraiya told you about the Akatsuki, correct?"

Naruto thought back and remembered the run in with Itachi Uchiha, "Yeah, we had a run in with them before we found you. I think when they saw Kyu, they were a little unsure as to what was going on."

"Well he sent me some information telling me that they are on the move." Tsunade took out a folder with some information. She took out two pictures, one of an old man with a scratch on his nose, and one of a tall armor clad man. "This is Roshi and Han. They're both shinobi from Iwa, and the Jinchuuriki of the Four Tailed Monkey and Five Tailed Dolphin-Horse. From what Jiraiya told me, the Akatsuki has already captured and extracted these two Lost Logia."

"Wouldn't that kind of extraction be dangerous if the proper procedure isn't used?" Kyu asked, wondering about two more of her kind.

"Yes. It's fatal. With such a high quantity of chakra or mana stripped from someone like that, the body goes into apoptosis, and death is eminent. Only one person has been able to successfully survive a forced extraction like that." Tsunade turned and looked at Naruto. "It was your mother Kushina that survived due to her Uzumaki blood. Chances are Naruto, if Kyu was forcefully removed from you, you'd survive as well."

"Do we know of any other Lost Logia that we can hopefully find?" Tenten figured things were getting bad now.

"There is one confirmed, and Naruto here happens to know him." Tsunade answered. "Remember Gaara of the Desert? You faced him once. He's actually sent correspondence, hoping to speak with you again."

"That's right! Gaara has the One Tail!" Naruto remembered after Gaara's defeat, how he explained that he and Gaara are alike.

"Yes. That's why I'm sending you to Suna to meet with him. Hopefully he'll be willing to understand things and will be willing to undergo the extraction and conversion. Also here is information on other Jinchuuriki that Jiraiya has found." Tsunade took three more profile pictures out. One was a girl with green hair, another a girl with blonde hair, and one was a dark skinned man with braided hair. "This first girl is Fu, holder of the Seven Tailed Horned Beetle. She's a kunoichi from Taki, the village in the Grass. From the information Jiraiya has, she quite despises humanity in general due to her treatment. Right now she's still in Taki. The second female is Yugito Nii, holder of the Two Tailed Monster Cat, and the man is Killer B, holder of the Eight Tailed Demon Ox. Both of these are Jounin level ninja from Kumo, the village in the Clouds." Hinata shuttered at the mere mention of that village. From time to time she still had nightmares about the night she was captured. Tsunade could see this would be a large hurdle for her to overcome as well.

"For right now these three are still in their respective villages, but knowing Akatsuki, they could strike any moment." Tsunade placed the dossiers back into her file. "Naruto, you've already had a run in with Itachi and his partner, so there's the possibility that they may not come after you. However I want you to keep a good eye on Kyu just in case."

"Anything else we should know before we get going?" Tenten hoped here wouldn't be any problems on this particular mission.

"The only other thing is that you three will be going alone. Nanoha and Hanabi will be staying here to do a detailed search through the bunker in the Forest of Death. Other than that, good mission and come home safely. You leave in one hour." Tsunade answered back. The three Genin looked at each other and nodded as they left to get supplied.

One hour was more than enough time to get prepped. Hanabi returned home for the time being until Tsunade needed her, and Nanoha was at the gates to see off her new team.

"Ok if you have any questions, feel free to contact me telepathy. As long as you focus on talking to me, you'll reach me." Nanoha instructed. "I'll try to get more information for you and relay as soon as I can."

"Thanks Nanoha-sensei." Naruto was more enthusiastic as ever.

"And please don't call me that. It makes me feel even older than I already am!" Nanoha said shakily. "Calling me Nanoha is just fine."

"Alright then. Hopefully we'll be back within a week. I hope Hanabi-chan won't be too much trouble for you." Hinata knew how pushy her little sister could be, so she hoped things wouldn't be bad.

"She's just like me. We've gotten along just fine. Now good luck and Kami speed." Nanoha wished them well, but none of them left just yet. "Something wrong?"

"Actually, why don't we test something out? Why walk to Suna and take 3 days to get there when we can fly there." Tenten thought it would be interesting to try out her new flight spell.

"Ten-chan, are you sure that's a good idea? What if someone sees us?" Hinata was feeling a little nervous about this idea.

"Then people will probably believe we're using a wind jutsu." Tenten then leaned over and whispered in Hinata's ear. "Besides, the faster we get done with this mission, the longer you'll get to hang out with Naruto." She saw Hinata's face blush and knew she had her hooked. "Ok she's in. You in Naruto?"

"Why not. It'll be pretty fun." Naruto was in full enthusiasm.

"It's unanimous. Guess we better change into our travelling clothes." Tenten took Cross Mirage from her neck and gave him a bit of polish. She then looked at Bardiche on her shoulder. "Ready Cross Mirage and Bardiche?"

"Of course my Mistress." Cross Mirage was in full agreement with his Master. Bardiche also nodded as well.

"They're good, and so am I. Cross Mirage, Set Up! Bardiche, Unison Set!"

"Kerykeion, Set Up! Kyu Vixen, Unison Set!"

"Raising Heart, Set Up! Mach Caliber, Unison Set!"

The three immediately set up in their Barrier Jackets and engaged Unison. Unlike last time, Kyu created some slight changes with Naruto. His hair didn't lighten, instead it became red like hers. His clothes darkened to a blood red and orange color and his barrier jacket now changed from white with orange trim to black with red trim. Tenten's unison changes gave her a completely new look. Her hair was now blonde and her barrier jacket changed into black with yellow trim. She also now had a silver metal gauntlet on her right hand as well that had a yellow triangle on top. She also now had a solid white cloak draped from her shoulders. As for Hinata, her barrier jacket didn't change in color, but her hair became dark blue and she how had the white headband she had before. Her Revolver Knuckle was now on her left arm and her boots now changed back to her rollerblades.

"Whoa, is this what you felt before Naruto?" Tenten gave herself a look over after her unison with Bardiche. "I feel so much stronger."

"It's normal. You'll probably feel a lot more if you had unisoned with Kyu. But you can talk about it later. Get going." Nanoha instructed.

"Ok so…how do we use these flight spells again?" Naruto just had a dumb look on his face.

"We'll handle everything. You just hang on." Raising Heart took the lead as four pink wings appeared on each of Hinata's boots. Two yellow wings appeared on Naruto and Tenten's boots. Within seconds the three shot skyward at full speed. Of course being their first time flying…

"WHOOOOO! This is awesome!" Naruto screamed as he shot through the air. Nanoha just shook her head as she looked at the three.

"First time flyers. Happens every time." She slightly laughed as she walked back into the village.

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