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Sarutobi had asked her to revive an old tactical concept, and lead a team of reconnaissance specialists. The last one had come to grief, but she didn't think the concept itself was flawed. What happened to Nomaru, Mattai, and Kobaru-sensei had been a tragic accident. At least that was what she told herself on her good days.
On her bad days, her thoughts were much darker. Sometimes they flirted with treason. Of a sort, anyway. If her suspicions were correct, she wasn't alone in such thoughts, just in failing to act on them.
Narration (Kurenai's PoV)

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Aburame Shino was not quite sure what to make of his team.
It was logical that he might be assigned to a reconnaissance team. His abilities were quite suitable for such a role. Shino was a great believer in logic...
For all of his own rationality and desire to maintain an objective focus, how did he end up in this situation? He was teamed up with two of the most emotional and erratic genins in his class. Uzumaki Naruto's abilities followed no sane progression. He failed his exam because he was singularly incapable of creating an acceptable bunshin. But yesterday, he was somehow a genin anyway, and furthermore capable of using the far more demanding Kage Bunshin technique.
There was something quite odd about the boy, something that ran far deeper than just being class clown at the academy. His kikai bugs were unusually wary of being too close to his body. Something about him smelled odd to them, but they couldn't really explain what it was. That alone would be cause for concern. Things that couldn't be easily categorized were invariably dangerous. The idea of the smiling, ramen-obsessed blond being dangerous was ludicrous, but the principle still held. He had a secret, and for a shinobi, secrets can kill.
On the other hand, Hyuuga Hinata was all too easy to comprehend. She had an obvious fixation on their teammate, Naruto. To give her credit, she seemed intelligent on other subjects, and seemingly every female her age was obsessed with at least one member of the male gender. Although Naruto was harder to comprehend in such a role than the Uchiha heir, it was just as irritating to have to deal with.
Narration (Shino's PoV)

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"There's a lot going on here that I don't understand. I'm used to not knowing things. But now I can't accept that. I don't understand how you can see yourself so differently than everyone else sees you. I don't understand why you… Why you seem to hate yourself. Something is not right. And I do not think that something is you, Hyuuga Hinata. I was an orphan. I don't really know what it's like to have a family, but I always wanted one. I always wondered what it would be like to have parents or a brother or sister. Maybe I had some idealized image of family, because I knew I'd never have one. Shino's parents seem kind of neat. But now I'm starting to wonder if I might have been better off in some ways."
Naruto, to Hinata

What good did it do? What good did it do when her father berated her over and over for every mistake? What good did it do when he reminded her of her failures before every match with her sister? What good did it do to make sure she was always aware of what a failure she was?
No good at all.
Then why did he do it?
Narration (Hinata's PoV)
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