Strength of Her Own
Hinata has a secret.
“Byakugan,” she whispers.
She scans the village until she spots Naruto, also alone, practicing his reverse punch. Then she heads for the punching post, and times her blows with his.
It’s the only time she ever spies on him. She blushes sometimes, imagining what she could see if she so chose. Imagining she’s his girlfriend, or his companion at arms. But her heart’s desire isn’t to have Naruto, but to be him. To have strength like his, but all her own.
Some hours later, Naruto heads for the ramen shop. Across the village, Hinata trains on.
A Fractured View
Shino has a secret.
Ninja protect their children, but not like civilians do: not by shielding them from pain. Ninja arm their children with shuriken, bloodline limits, animal companions. But the Aburame clan’s practice of putting babies into the hive, so the insects can colonize their flesh and bones, is something other shinobi find a bit… creepy.
Shino doesn’t understand this. Who wouldn’t want a weapon that works at any distance and can never be taken from you? Who wouldn’t thrill to the fractured view from ten thousand compound eyes?
This is his secret: beneath his collar, Shino is smiling.
Kiba has no secrets. If there’s anything that Hinata and Shino don’t know about him, it’s because they weren’t listening.
It’s different with Akamaru. They can communicate whatever they want with body language. When they were both puppies— when they were both young, since everyone in his family spoke fluent dog, it took Kiba a long time to pick up human speech.
That’s why he makes sure he tells Shino and Hinata everything, and that he says it loud. It’s not their fault that they’re only human. They’re his teammates too, and he wouldn’t want them to feel left out.