Birds of a Feather
Chapter Five: Lines
Sakura ran down the stairs, trying not to let the
limit panic her more then she was. She needed to find Naruto and
she needed to get to Ibiki's office and read through his notes. But
most of all
she needed to watch where she was going.
Sakura collided with
solid but soft and tumbled backwards, having no hope of keeping her
Whatever she ran into let out a soft cry and all Sakura saw was a mess
"Watch where you're going there."
squeaked out an apology. She stopped the moment she recognized
standing in front of her, trying to steady Hinata.
Sakura cried. "I'm sorry!! I didn't see you! Are you okay? Why are you
Shikamaru sighed at the barrage of questions. "We
Hokage-sama was here. What are you doing here?"
"There was an
the market, at the matchmaker's hut," Sakura blurted out. "Ibiki-sensei
and... ah! I only have four hours to help him."
trying to decipher what she had said. "Who attacked him?"
Sakura continued. "At least, that what people are saying. No one knows
but they have it trapped in the sewers. Kakashi-sensei thinks that this
something to do with the assassination attempt on Hokage so I'm going
Ibiki-sensei's office and try to figure out what's going
frowned as he listened. He hated to admit it but things were slowly
together in his mind. And that meant he was going to have more work to
just reporting to the Hokage.
"I think I might have a few
said, watching as Sakura's face lit up. "But I need to talk to Hokage
Hinata can tell you about what happened."
"I need to find my
"I'll pick them up on my way to Ibiki's office,"
replied. "Naruto was the one who told us that Hokage was here, he
be at the tower."
Sakura nodded and took Hinata's hand, ignoring
other girl's protests as she dragged her away. Shikamaru merely sighed
shuffled up the stairs to find the Hokage.
"It was wired wrong?" Sakura asked as she and Hinata entered the
Hinata nodded dumbly. "I don't know how else to explain
said softly. "It had the right shape but... the chakra was all
Sakura frowned as she took in what Hinata said. "I just
understand," Sakura sighed. Her eyes began to mist a bit as she started
realize she had little hope of putting things together in the little
Hinata saw the change in expression and took a tentative
forward. She reached out a hand and put it on Sakura's shoulder.
your sensei wrote something down."
Sakura blinked and looked at
She nodded firmly and walked over to the desk, slowly moving through
of paperwork. Hinata worked silently next to her, trying to find
They were so caught up in their work that the girls
Shikamaru's call for attention. "Che," he finally settled on. "Just
ignoring us then."
Sakura blinked back to reality just in time
Naruto bound over to her. "What did you find?"
"Huh?" she asked,
bit dazed from all the reading.
"Shikamaru explained on the
interjected, taking a seat on the side.
"So did you find
Naruto asked again.
Sakura shook her head and turned to Hinata,
the other girl had better luck. Hinata had turned several shades of red
twitching her hands nervously. She still managed to shake her
Naruto reached forward and took the sheet out of Sakura's
"What's this?" he asked, looking it over.
"It just a list of
that the Tengu clan married into," Sakura said, trying to snatch it
"It's like all of Konoha is on this list," Naruto yelled.
except Sasuke's..." he trailed off a bit. "Hey Hinata, your family
isn't on the
Sakura watched as Hinata's emotions went quickly
nervous to uncomfortable. She heard Sasuke shift slightly and looked
him. His eyes had darkened, probably at the mention of his
family..." Hinata started silently. "We couldn't marry a Tengu
"Why not?" Naruto ventured.
Hinata fell silent
let out a sigh. "You can't cross the Bloodlines," he stated
"You just don't," Sasuke replied.
Sasuke blinked when he realized the question had come from
He frowned deeper, knowing he didn't have the answer to that, and
looked over at
"I don't..." Hinata started. "It's just a
sense," Shikamaru stated. "Bloodlines are mostly dominant genes and
child with two dominant techniques could cause a conflict."
produce a child that expressed both traits," Sakura
was true," Shikamaru replied, "then why don't we have super strong
members with Sharigan?"
"Gah," Naruto said, putting his hands in
head. "I don't get it."
"Neither do I," Sakura agreed. "Why
would it be a
"I could..." Hinata began, quickly trailing off when
attention was on her. "I mean... I c...could look at... ummm..." Hinata
took in a deep
breath and tried to find the right words. "We have family records. I
to see... maybe it was tried before."
"So you think this thing
related?" Sakura asked Shikamaru, taking attention away from the
He frowned. "I don't know but we have a monster running
can morph its physical essences into imperfect animals."
Shikamaru paused. "That day... when the woman came out
window, you didn't see it?" Sakura shook her head. "She had wings but
wings. It was like they were made of chakra but solid."
before Sakura quickly started shuffling through the pile. She pulled
file she needed. "The Tengu clan has a connection with the hawks of
it's secondary to their main Bloodline technique."
Sakura read down the sheet. "They can manipulate their
to take on the characteristics of birds," she said softly.
birds," Shikamaru said. "Not dogs like we saw."
"The dogs were
Hinata ventured. "The physical form may have been right but inside was
"But the birds were real enough to fool even
Shikamaru said. "Just not Hane-san who would know all the birds in the
"Nama," Sakura whispered. "When Hane saw the bird in
office, that's what she called it. And Ibiki asked me to get a feather
Hinata suddenly moved, shuffling through the scrolls before
Sakura one. "Ibiki-sensei wrote something about the
the report over, moving through Shizune's testimony about the hawk
her own. Ibiki had noted all the similarities and noted at the end the
Nama was attacked only a few days before the attempt on
"Ibiki-sensei thought," Hinata began, trying to ignore
attention on her, "that something had attacked Nama and tried to kill
it to be
able to replace it in the Tengu aviary."
"Wait... was it after
or the Tengu clan?" Naruto asked.
The room fell into silence
Naruto's simple question. "Hane was in the same room with Hokage-sama
thing exploded," Shikamaru pondered.
"And if she was the
added, "then the bird bomb accomplished its mission. This would explain
there was no second attempt on the Hokage."
"But that doesn't
sense," Sakura frowned. "Why would it target the Tengu
"Stop for a
moment," Shikamaru said, grabbing an empty scroll and shoving it at
"There are too many ideas at once. Start writing things
glared at him and was about to hurl insults but logic struck first and
realized he was right.
"First, we have the fact that the Tengu
married with every prominent family except those with Bloodline
Shikamaru started, "based on a rule that none of us really
The room was silent after he finished until Naruto
at him. "That's the most you've ever said!" Shikamaru sighed and sat
Sakura frowned at Naruto trying to ignore Inner Sakura's giggles at
"Naruto! Be serious," Sakura chided.
said, interrupting the teammates, "there's the creature that can morph
imperfect animals. We've had one hawk in the Hokage's tower. Four dogs
forest. And the creature in the marketplace that Ibiki fought." He
wish we knew more about that last one."
"The Konoha police force
there," Sakura said. "One of the officers was hurt by it."
would work," Shikamaru drawled. "But it's not like we can just walk in
look at their notes." Sakura frowned as she thought of how to get
"I can ask," Sasuke said suddenly. Sakura looked at him,
for further explanation but got none.
of the story and not wanting to waste time having to explain. "There's
left, the matchmaker. I'll take that one."
"What about me?"
"Take this radio and go to the Tengu Aviary," Sakura
not allowed there any more, but if they are involved someone needs to
them. I'll stay here and try to work more on Ibiki's notes. Let's meet
in an hour."
The assembled group nodded and quickly dispersed,
Sakura alone in Ibiki's cold office. She looked up at the wall,
seconds tick away, leaving them with just over three hours.
Shikamaru found her at home, pouting on the steps of her house. He
sat down next to her and ignored the way she flipped her blonde hair at
signifying she was still mad about being left behind.
right to go on the mission without you," he stated simply.
furrowed and let out a silent sigh. "I know," she whispered.
surprised by her lack of fight. "Got your voice back?"
to the doctor," she said, keeping her words short and
"I spoke too much," she frowned. "But... I don't know
night was different."
Shikamaru sighed and put a hand behind his
"Ino... last night, you didn't just lose your voice. There are several
Ino shook her head fervently. "Nothing bad happened,"
"Nothing bad, right," he stated. "But did
she cried. "Nothing happened."
She paused. "They
came to talk to me."
"The Konoha police," she
"They said that... thing knew Ibiki-sensei's name."
It knew mine
Her hands tightened on her dress. "They said a
few of the
shopkeepers saw me go inside the tent." Shikamaru frowned. He had been
don't know... what did I say?"
Shikamaru breath caught in his
throat as he
saw her eyes. They were brimming over with tears.
"I could have
anything," Ino sobbed slightly. "They think it was just names, maybe
jutsus but... what if it was more? What if I gave it addresses or
something that would hurt someone?"
"It couldn't be that bad,"
stated. "It's not like you knew anything important or..."
matters?" Ino cried, standing up. "You don't get it! How could I... I
that woman trick me! I'm supposed to be a ninja!"
said, realizing his mistake.
"Just forget it," she screamed,
door. "Just leave me alone!"
Shikamaru cowered as the door
him. At least now he knew what he needed. He thought of going in and
apologize but he knew time was short. It was just something that Ino
to figure out on her own.
Sasuke frowned as he examined the Police Department. It was woefully
understaffed and the building was falling apart. It was almost an
insult to have
the Konoha police force still wear the Uchiha fan on their shoulders.
would never have let it get this bad.
The desk sergeant
approached to ask
who he was but jumped at the familiar face.
at him without emotion. He hated this place. He had avoided it since...
night. But here he was in a place where most of the Uchiha clan had
Now it was devoid of their presence and barely being kept up by the
The desk sergeant had left, presumably to find the
was in charge. Sasuke didn't move. He had no intention of going inside.
wanted to get the information and leave. But every moment here was
eroding his resolve. Every smell, every noise was familiar and reminded
"Uchiha-sama, it is good to see you," the police chief
with a deep bow, two deputies at his side.
that you have finally returned here," the chief started. "After what
"I need information," Sasuke interrupted, cutting
deluge of sympathy.
"Oh... about what?"
"The attack in
Sasuke stated firmly. "I would like to see the report on
fell silent, staring down at the child. He nodded suddenly, much to the
of his subordinates. He pulled a scroll from the deputy's hand and gave
Sasuke, who quickly began to read it over. The frown on his face
increased as he
"It is good to have an Uchiha inside our walls again," the
smiled slightly, watching Sasuke flinch a bit.
Sasuke rolled up
scroll and handed back to the chief. With a curt nod and thank you, he
his heel and left. As soon as he was gone the deputies took the chance
question their chief's action.
The police chief looked past the
sergeant to the back wall where the portrait of his predecessor hung.
didn't see the look in his eyes," the chief replied. "I thought, for a
that I was receiving an order from my chief."
Someday, the chief
as he looked at his mentor's image, someday there will be an Uchiha in
Hinata moved quickly through her house, trying to avoid everyone there.
heart beat quickly as she shuffled towards the back part of the
complex. All she
needed to do was make it past the kitchens and she would be in the
"What are you doing?"
Hinata squeaked at the
front of her. "Neji-niisan!"
He eyed her cautiously. "What are
here?" he amended.
Hinata's feet shuffled on the ground. This
of the Hyuuga compound was not some place she would usually be but she
a right to be here. In fact, she had business here. She should just
tell Neji to
leave her alone.
But instead, she reverted to her normal mode
apologetically. "Gomen," Hinata cried.
And then much to their
she pushed past him and quickly ran to the records room, sliding the
She paused for a moment, trying to catch her breath and at the same
preparing for Neji to storm in and yell at her.
But it never
instead, she hurriedly made her way towards the pile of scrolls that
to document the family tree. She scrolled it down, noting all the names
were there and the lack of Bloodline families.
Maybe they wouldn't have written it down if it was tried. But then,
didn't help Sakura-san at all.
then she thought possible. She turned slowly and saw the tall form of
standing in the doorway, Neji standing behind him a few
He looked around the room and then settled his
her. "Is there a reason why you are in the family records
hand automatically went to wringing her coat. "Yes, sir."
waiting for her to continue but she didn't. "Why?" he
looked at him and at Neji and then back at the floor. "Because..." she
stopping the moment her voice cracked. "Because..."
Neji's smirk. She didn't need to look up to see it or the disapproving
her father's face. Maybe even disappointment in her inability to
anything without fear. But then, she was so used to either of those
looks on her
father's face, she didn't think she would recognize them without
"Hinata, if you have no business here..."
we marry a
For the first time, Hinata saw something else
father's face. Surprise. Even Neji looked like he hadn't expected
"Because you can't," Hiashi stated.
Hiashi frowned. "Why do you want to know?"
faltered. She paused. "I need to know."
Hiashi eyed her warily
turning to Neji and dismissing him with a flick of his hand. Neji
started a bit
and then disappeared just as Hiashi closed the door.
"I can tell
Hiashi said, "as you are the heir to this family. But it must never
Hinata frowned. It would not help Sakura-san but the fact
father was acknowledging her position was enough. So she nodded
"It was tried," Hiashi started, "once before. The result
disastrous. Two dominant genes fought for control and the body of the
was mutated beyond recognition. It was an abomination and the decision
to destroy it and forbid the procreation of a dual Bloodline child from
Hinata gasped. "We were part of that?"
head. "No, only of the judgement."
Sasuke pulled the tatami mat away and slowly descended down the stairs.
today he had been forced to reencounter places he wished he could
reason for this self torture was a mystery to him. He supposed it had
to do with helping a teammate but it didn't seem to be reason
Rather then ponder on the reasons any more, he lit the
swept the light across the room. The seats were covered in dust and a
mildew filled the air. If he looked closely, he could see the
impression on the
mats of Uchiha members that were long gone.
He moved slowly,
pile of scrolls that contained the secrets of the Uchiha. He slowly
one, bringing it back upstairs with him. After replacing the tatami
mat, he went
outside and sat on the seats of the shrine.
Reading the report
police officer had bothered him. The way they described the way the
attacked, the way that it moved, there was something familiar in that
account. That and the description of how the beast interacted with its
environment. It could obviously copy the physical forms of things, at
As he read the scroll, his hypothesis was proven.
the days of the third Hokage, they had attempted exactly what Shikamaru
said. A Tengu member with Sharigan.
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