During her fourth year at the Academy, Tetsuki was brought in to T&I. A nerve wracking experience for anyone–T&I’s reputation being far from kind–because it’s designed to be so.
It’s especially awful for a ten year old who has no idea what she’s done wrong and why she’s being asked so many bewildering questions by a blonde man with a soft smile and lethally sharp eyes.
Beneath the layer of frenzied panic in her mind, Tetsuki was struck with the thought that no one would care if she disappeared. There was no one who would miss her, no one who would notice–or speak up if they did–just one of many Konoha orphans who mysteriously vanish.
She answered as truthfully as she could.
No, she does not know any Cloud nin.
No, she does not know anyone from Lightning country or of Lightning descent.
No, the boy she transformed into is not a real person.
He was just a boy that she imagined: when Yanagi-sensei told the class to practice their henge, with the condition that they couldn’t use anyone in the room as a template, Tetsuki was just completing the exercise.
Instead of transforming into someone she knew outside of the room–mostly because at that point, she didn’t really know people that weren’t also her classmates–she thought about that boy. Someone so opposite to her–dark skin to her pale, light hair to her dark, bright easy smile and an exuberance that couldn’t be overlooked.
She named him Ryohei and imagined that maybe, in another life, they might have been friends.
Instead, she was brought to T&I and realized that she had none.
Naruto Uzumaki does not look like him, different shades and shapes and even the smile is different. But maybe–in this life even–they might one day be friends.
A/N: Spoilers? This section references another mostly unwritten fanfic Trailblazers which is set in the Katekyo Hitman Reborn ‘verse where Tetsuki is “originally” from.