The Blue Spiral

Hatake Kaze is a not-so-normal shinobi from Konoha, for many reasons. But when she finally awakens from her seemingly endless coma, she finally gets to find out what those reasons are.

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2. Awakening

I woke up to the sound of a regular, steady beeping. My eyes fluttered open, and I felt power surge through me. I felt tubes and wires all around me, sticking into my arms and a mask over my mouth and nose, giving me air. And I took my first conscious breath in over two years. It felt amazing.

I should've felt tired, but I was wide awake. I felt my right eye surge with chakra, and it tingled all the way around my body: down my neck and chest, through my arms and to the tips of my fingers. Down my legs and into my feet, giving me movement.

I pulled the mask off of my face and was greeted with a rush of cold air. But I didn't stop, didn't slow for a minute. I sat upright and looked to the side, seeing a pile of clothes by my bedside. The ones that Kakashi got me. I ripped the rest of the wires and tubes off and out, almost leaping out of bed. I got changed out of the white nightgown that the hospital must have provided, into a very comfortable and fitting singlet with a crop top underneath, track pants that weren't too tight or too lose and black ninja sandals.

Damn, I thought. Kakashi did well.

Saino's voice rang in my head again, and I could hear the urgency on her voice. "Kaze," she said. "You need to hurry. Kakashi went on a dangerous mission with Guy and Yamato, and they came across some trouble - in numbers. You need to get there in time to stop them from being killed!"

My common sense told me that there weren't many people that could outdo Kakshi, and why should this be any different? But my gut told me that something was wrong, and of course, I followed my gut.

I was out of there. I almost flew out of the window, running across roofs like a streak of lightning. Nobody noticed my flaming hair, and I counted that as a good thing.

When I reached my house - that was still incredibly well-kept - I immediately went for my room. I took my mother's silver ribbon and tied up my hair into a ponytail, before grabbing my katana and pulling it out of its sheath. I looked it over for rust or any other signs of decay, but there were none. It seemed that Kakashi had been cleaning it on a regular basis, like I always had. Since I had no belt, I buckled it onto my back, with the handle over my right shoulder. I pulled the hair that got trapped under it out, and looked in the full-length mirror.

"Do you know where they went?" I asked Saino. My voice rang out inside my head, but I never once opened my mouth.

"Through the forests to the east of the village," she said. "They have passed a few smaller villages along the way and bought a few small supplies. They haven't quite crossed the border of the Lands of Fire and Wind yet, I think."

"Do you have an exact location?" I liked around and spotted a photo of Kakashi and I on my bedside table, next to my headband. I took it out of its frame and looked at it. It was of us at my Graduation ceremony - the day I passed my Genin exam. I looked down at my headband, and strapped that into my forehead.

"No, but if we go through the same villages, we can ask around," she answered as I pulled out my black cloak from my wardrobe and put it on, pulling on the hood to hide my hair and the mask over my mouth and nose. It felt awful to muffle my air supply so soon after breathing again, but it had to be done. I tucked the photo into a secret pocket, where I wouldn't have to worry about it flying out.

"It'll be a start," I agreed. "But someone's bound to notice that I'm missing soon."

"Then we'd better hurry before something really bad happens," she insisted. "With your speed, we should reach the first village in under an hour - they were there in that time frame."

I grinned. "Make it half," I challenged aloud. And then I was off again, flying over rooftops and towards the east forests of Konoha.

I don't know how I never ran out of energy, over the many plains that I ran through. And for such a long time, I never ran into any trouble. None of the swooping birds caught me, and I only occasionally stopped to drink water from the streams. I only slowed down when I saw the first village coming closer. I took the mask off my face and took joy in breathing fresh air again, although I kept the hood on. I put on a small smile and wandered into the town.

It was a perfect example of peaceful - small and quiet, yet buzzing with happiness. Everybody was so happy and were all smiling, and a few nodded to me as I passed them. One even said "Good afternoon, miss!"

"Afternoon," I replied, smiling and nodding to him. And I noticed that he, along with every other person, was wearing a black armband. A sign that one of their own had died. I wondered who it was.

Soon I saw something promising: a fruit merchant. Something small that would easily fit into a pack, that would be exactly Kakashi's style. I wandered over to him and he looked up at me, and I noticed that he looked just as friendly as everyone else.

"Good afternoon, miss," he greeted me. "What may I get you?" He spread his arms wide, displaying his food.

I smiled and shook my head. "I'm mot looking to buy food, I'm afraid," I told him. I took the photo out of the pocket and held it out to him. "Actually, I was wondering if you've seen the man in this photo, by any chance?"

The man studied the photo for a second and then burst out laughing. I tilted my head in confusion as he grinned at me. "Ah, yes. I've seen him. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to know who you are before I tell you anything."

I smiled. "Smart," I agreed,and pulled off my hood, revealing my mass of red hair. "I'm the girl in the photo, his sister. That was taken a few years ago, obviously."

The man chuckled. "Of course you are," he said. "You must be the little Hatake. My word, do you look like your mother."

"You knew my mother?" I asked, tilting my head again as he nodded with a smile. "And I'm assuming you know Kakashi."

"Indeed I do, Hatake-san," the man replied. "You seem to be in a hurry, so I'll spare you the story. He came to this very stall just a few hours ago. Said he was heading east - some madman traitor to catch before he wiped out a village. Mass murderer, you see," he continued. "Took quite a lot of our own just last night. That's why we're all wearing black armbands." He pointed out the one he was wearing. "Completely psycho, and fought off and killed quite a number of our security before he escaped. But we all carry on. They wouldn't want us to mope around all day. And I will say that his two companions were quite surprised to see him talking so openly to an apparent stranger."
"I see." I nodded, pulling my hood back up. "So I just keep heading east?"

"If you go fast enough, you're bound to run into them sooner or later," he said with a smile. He chucked me an apple, and I caught it, surprised. "To reunite a family, an apple's not worth much," he explained, seeing the look of confusion on my face. "You look like you need a bit of food."

I smiled. "Thank you," I said.

He waved off my thanks. "No worries," he replied. "Just stay safe." I nodded, and hurried off, munching on the apple. I quickly finished it and chucked the core in a trash can, before speeding off again, pulling my mask up over my face.
A mass murderer. They were going to try and take on an apparently psychotic mass murderer that apparently killed a bunch of people in one town and escaped?

You're nuts, Kakashi, I thought grimly. And I have a bad feeling that something is wrong.

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