Running. Our feet thudded against the ground, pounding out a rhythm that I didn't want to give up. I maintained pace as my eyes darted next to me. My twin sister was doing the same as me, except she was concentrating on the dirt road in front of us. Her dark blue hair flew behind her. Her face flushed with exertion. Her violet eyes shone determinedly in the darkness. I looked ahead of me. We were both tired. We'd been running for god knows how long. It felt like eternity to me. We needed to rest. But the beat. So rhythmic. It put me into a trance. My energy flooded through me, washing away my exhaustion. I had to keep this beat going. For me. For her. For our lives. For... What was it that I wanted? I didn't know anymore. All I knew was that we needed to continue. He was definitely following us, and I wasn't about to let him get a hold of my sister on my account. --- The gates towered above us. "They call this a hidden village?" I exclaimed. "This thing is huge!" My sister laughed beside me. We were still out of breath from the run. "Yeah." I started to walk up to the gates. Would we be welcomed with open arms? Who knew. Our clothes were tattered, ripped, dirty. Normally, I would have an almost white fur covering me, while Marylyn had an almost black fur cover her. But not today. Today we had no fur. No, we wore clothes today; her outfit was a dark blue medium-length skirt with fishnet leggings and a dark blue T-shirt under a gray jacket. Mine was the same, except light blue. I tightened my black and red plaid hat over my head to cover my almost light pink cat ears. Marylyn followed suit short after with her green and white plaid hat. I heard the chattering of the villagers. Talking about a festival coming up soon. My ears twitched under my hat as I caught, just barely, "Sakura festival". Sakura festival? What in the hell is that? I shrugged it off. I would find out soon enough. My eyes trailed to Marylyn. She was only staring forward at the gates, in awe by their size. I let a slightly exasperated smile cross my lips. She had always been like this: hyper and immature, in awe at just about anything. Two people approached us from the gates. "State your business," the one on the right ordered. He was a tall man with tan skin, strong features and a dark red hair. His light blue eyes were indifferent. In his mouth was a pocky stick. His hands were in his dark blue slack pockets. He had a fishnet shirt on, barely covering his chest. Me and Marylyn looked at each other. What was our business? To get away. But of course, we weren't about to say THAT. We had to come up with a story, and quick. I tore my eyes from Marylyn's. "We're lost and we need shelter." The guy on the left spoke. "We'd have to bring you to the Hokage first." He was extremely pale and was average height; just an inch or two taller than me. He had dark blond hair and sea green eyes. His outfit was basically the same as the others, except he had a jacket over his fishnet shirt. We exchanged glances again. Hokage? I, as usual, nodded at them. They nodded in reply and motioned for us to follow as they made their way into the village. We did as they ordered. --- Damn that's a big building. My jaw practically touched the ground when I saw it. "B-Big... b-building..." Marylyn said, in absolute shock, "W-We don't have to... climb any stairs, right?" The red-head looked a bit surprised by the question. "How else would we get up there?" My head fell forward into my sulking position. Marylyn's unsteady hand on my back to urge me forward definitely didn't help. --- After the extremely long climb, we finally arrived in front of the door to the person who may or may not have granted us completely new lives. "COME IN!" shouted an obviously cranky female voice. The door was opened to show a large-chested, double-pigtailed blond woman. She was in a green cloak-like jacket that covered her robes. She was leaning against her palm, supported by her elbow on the desk in front of her. Her expression was extremely annoyed. "What?!" The two men explained our half-lie. How we were "lost and needed shelter". Well, that's the truth, but not the whole truth. But that's not a matter to go into right now. The Hokage gave us both scrutinizing looks. "Names." "Dylain Azuriaaaa," I sang. My tone was calm, indifferent. "M-Marylyn Azuria." Hers was nervous and jittery. What is with her?! She eyed our hats. "Why do you wear those?" I spoke up. "We'll take them off if they're out." I pointed at the men over my shoulder, jutting a thumb in their direction. Though obviously suspicious, she waved her hand and nodded, ordering them to exit. Shocked as they were, they still blinked, bowed, and exited. Me and Marylyn exchanged glances. We hadn't expected for her to do that. No, we expected her to be too suspicious of what we had up our sleeves. Well... hats. I reached up and pulled off my hand while Marylyn did the same. Our furry ears twitched. The Hokage stared in wonder. "Neko onna, eh?" We nodded untruthfully. But it made the best sense right now. "Interesting. Alright, you can stay on one condition." We tilted our heads towards each other curiously. "You will join a ninja team." I choked on my own spit. "Wh-What the hell?! Do you seriously expect me to believe that ninjas are real, lady?!" "Calm down," Marylyn said soothingly, patting my back. She turned to the Hokage. "Sorry, she gets like this when shocked..." The Hokage laughed. "Ninjas do exist, Dylain. And they are here, in this town." "Ninjas!" I laughed, a bit shaken. "Yeah right!" "Tomorrow, come here and you will meet your ninja teams." She turned to a very large stack of paperwork, and her carefree expression turned pissed. "Damn Shizune, giving me all this work!" I raised an eyebrow in exasperation. "So where are we going to stay?" She looked up at me. "Oh, yes! SHIZUNE!!" A woman with a pig in her hands and short dark hair rushed in. "Hai, Tsunade-sama?!" "Get these two a place to stay." "That's your job, Tsunade-sama!" I grinned at this, my pronounced incisors gleaming. Though this Tsunade was the leader, she appeared to be ruled by her own underling. How ironic. Eventually, it was all sorted out. We got a two bedroom house in the center of the village, just by a ramen shop called... Ichiraku? I probably wouldn't be able to ever remember it anyways. --- We stood in front of our house. I tilted my head curiously and stepped up to open the door... but a voice behind me stopped me. An energetic voice, male. Male? That's definitely not Marylyn. "So you're the new neighbors?" asked the voice. I whipped around, my hand flying to my hat to make sure it was still there. I saw Marylyn staring at him stupidly and bopped her on the head. She yipped and looked at me in a playful anger. I rolled my eyes and looked up at the owner of the husky, energetic male voice. Handsome was my first thought. He had messy brown hair and dog-like features. Major turn-down was my second thought, because of these features, including the eyes and the pronounced canines. He had on a gray jacket with furry hood that was down on his back. On his face were two red triangular marks that I instantly recognized as tattooed (or birthmark) fangs. Suspiciously, my voice rang out, "Who're you?" "Your neighbor," he replied, grinning. Small barks approached and I glanced to the side to see a small white dog dashing towards him. The puppy leaped up into his arms. He laughed and caught the dog, stumbling back a bit. "Akamaru!" The puppy licked his face. I sighed and said, "Sorry, I don't know anyone by the name of 'Your neighbor'." Marylyn chuckled at my joke. He looked up at me curiously, then laughed and walked up. I scrunched my nose up. "Sorry. Kiba Inuzuka." He held out a hand for me to shake. I gently touched my hand to his, then flinched back. It was warm; too warm. It shocked me. I winced as he too pulled his hand back quickly. I glanced up to see his staring at me in wonder. I tilted my head curiously. "Nani?" He chuckled and shook his head. "Iie, betsuni." Though still curious, I sighed. "Dylain Azuria." I pointed at my sister. "That's the dim-witted clone-- er, twin of mine named Marylyn." Marylyn growled. "What the hell, Dy?!" Kiba laughed at that, causing me to crack a tiny half-smile. I liked his smile for some reason. It was almost like it radiated light. Maybe it was the lighting. I hoped that was what it was. I didn't want to be hanging with Fang-Boy here just because he had a bright smile. I didn't really like his scent all that much, remember? "Well," he said, "I should get going to let y'all settle in." He waved as he started to walk away. I let out the breath I realized I was holding in. "Finally," I muttered. "Fang-Boy don't smell too good." Marylyn sighed. "You're oh-so-nice, Dylain." "I know, aren't I?" We entered our new house and looked around.