A quick appetizer for you guys while I continue raising the other plot bunnies(for slaughter).
Just so we're clear, I hate probability. I hated it in math class, I hate how it's related to karma and I hate that it reincarnated me into a shounen fighting anime. Oh, and according to canon? I end up being locked in a cell my entire childhood, being forced by my clan into mass suicide, brainwashed by Orochimaru and dying horribly of a debilitating disease mid-battle.
Yeah, I'm Kimimaro, the last Kaguya. I am currently three and a half and locked in a dark cell. My life has officially never sucked so much, and I know it's only going to get suckier.
At least there are positives.
1) I have one of the strongest Kekkai Genkai currently in use. Think about it; I(canon-future me) fought a Jinchuuriki(Gaara) and a taijutsu prodigy to a standstill/exhaustion, while dying and moving under willpower alone. Basically, I am Badass.
2) I'm going to be in a prime position to affect canon.
3) I can potentially undermine Orochimaru.
So, what am I currently doing, you ask?
Well, all of my relatives are such lovely people they deign to talk to me and lend me things to pass the time and give me nice food. All sunshine and daisies here; please, note the sarcasm.
I'm making my own entertainment. I sing songs that I remember from my own time, sometimes in English, sometimes I try and translate them into Japanese, but the words never fit quite right. After a lot of careful experimentation, I figured out how to grow bone knives. Thankfully, the whole 'protruding through the skin' thing doesn't hurt quite as much as it sounds. I think my nerves temporarily shut down/disconnect at the the point of exit or something, so it's more of a dull ache.
Now, because I am in a bloody cave, the decor leaves much to be desired. So I tried to grow my bones into animal shapes and make some nice statuettes. Harder than it looks, but certain species are easier. My giraffes are the best of the lot, but mainly I think because they have long limbs anyway. When I got bored of that, I started carving the wall. No, not depressing faces like canon-me, we're talking William Morris, Celtic knot, Henna, Medieval illustration style patterns, scenes, letters, animals and landscapes. I was a pretty sweet drawer in my other life; I got three A-levels in Art and Design.
Okay, in about two/three years time, I'm going to end up the last of my clan and free. So, I have a plan.
I'm going to join up with Orochimaru.
Don't give me those looks, just hear me out!
When I meet Orochimaru at that lake, I'm going to lead him back here to the Kaguya clan settlement under the pretense of collecting my stuff, but in reality, I'll give him access to whatever my clan have lying around. Why? Because the reason canon-future-me died so young was because Kabuto didn't have my medical history. It could buy me some time. Also, I would actually like to take my stuff with me.
Then, I'm going to make contact with Juugo, and ditch Orochimaru then and there. I'm taking us both to Konoha. Mainly because I want to screw over Orochimaru by not giving him what he needs to make the Curse Seal. But also, Juugo's a really sweet guy and I want us both on the 'good guys' side in this universe. Konoha has Jiraiya, who could possibly help Juugo, and they have(or will have) Tsunade, who could help me. I could trade them knowledge of Orochimaru's experiments in return, which I'm sure they would like to have.
Well, this is where everything changes. I'm in front of Juugo's cave. Oh, and I'm holding the fluffy white puppy that he scared off. I'm a sucker for animals, I know, and I'm a dog-person. I tie the puppy to the branch of a tree with some string I have in my sealing 'may-come-in-useful' scroll. I've got everything in there.
The fight with Juugo wasn't much of a fight, I just restrained him with my own spine(which still creeps me out when I do it, because the biology classes from my old life scream at me). I give the 'I will be your cell' speech. And then I change the world.
"I've heard of someone who might be able to help you, Juugo. I'll come with you and try and help you get in contact with him."
He looks at me with these big puppy eyes and inside I'm just going 'dawwwwww'.
"Really? I don't have to kill anymore?"
"I don't know about that, I can't see the future; but if we get that wild side of you under control, you don't have to worry about killing the people you want to protect."
Ummm...think of something cool to say...steal Gaara's backstory? "Yeah. In order to really live, you need a purpose. Living for no reason, is the same as being dead. Living for yourself destroys you from the inside out and makes you weak, so you need to live for someone else and protect those precious to you."
"But they'll all see the monster and hate me!"
"Then protect me."
"I know the real you; I know you aren't a monster and I don't hate you. I'll protect you and others from yourself and you can watch my back."
I smile and nod. "Yeah. Come on now, we can get going right away. If we run, we can make it to the next town by noon."
We walk out of the cave, and then I remember the puppy tied to the tree. Juugo is surprised to see it as I untie it and it runs towards him, yipping happily.
"I didn't know if he was yours, so I left him out here until I came out with you," I say. Juugo's cuddling it in his arms as he blushes. So CUTE!
"He's not mine, but he followed me around all day yesterday and he didn't want to leave."
I shrug. "He can come with us, I don't mind and I like dogs. And I've heard that looking after an animal has a calming effect."
And that's how Juugo, the puppy newly-named Chinsei, and I joined up. We stopped at the river behind the town briefly.
"What are you doing?" Juugo asked as he sat on the bank.
"White hair and red face markings like mine aren't common or natural for civilians," I say, unrolling my sealing scroll. "We need to look like travellers while we go through towns."
I unseal some blankets, cooking utensils and twine. Rolling up the blankets, I tie them with the utensils threaded onto the twine. I cut two large branches from the surrounding trees and smoothed both ends, forming staves. Now, we had two traveller's bundles. I toss one to Juugo, before henging myself. Now I'm a head taller than Juugo, with orange hair darker and more brown than his and stubble on my chin.
"Our cover story is that we're nephew and uncle itinerant workers who've saved up just enough to move to Konoha for a new life. Your name is Juushiro, my name is Kimaru. Your father was killed by bandits and your mother died of sickness in the winter; both when you were quite young. You're excited because you want to learn to read and write and become a successful merchant. Only I can read, but just a little bit, and I want to just own my own house and have a steady job. I call you Juu-kun, which you complain about because you're almost grown up and you refer to me as Kim-oji. Got it?"
Juugo boggled at me for a moment, before nodding hesitantly and hefting his bundle up onto his shoulder. "Ah, Kimi...Kim-oji? We're going to Konoha?"
"Yeah. Konoha's generally the most tolerant of the shinobi Villages. And by that read slightly more ethical when it comes to getting what they want and less likely to stab you in the back if they don't like you. I have a near-extinct Kekkai Genkai, which they'll want, and you're very strong, which they'll also want.
They also have contact with the man Jiraiya of the Sannin, who's a Seal Master. He's the one I think can help you."
There are two bandits following us down the road. Shitty job of looking like they aren't interested. Thank God they don't seem to have noticed the songbirds fluttering around Juugo. Still...
"Juu-kun, what have I told about feeding the birds?" I snap. "I know you like birds, but that food is for us!"
He looks at me, registers the quick flick of my eyes towards our followers and proceeds to play the 'chastised child' card remarkably well.
The bandits keep their distance until Juugo and I stop for the night, kindling a fire and both (feigning) sleeping like ignorant civilians would. Despite the fact that a civilian wouldn't have heard the two men approaching, to a shinobi, especially one trained by a Sannin to be the best of the best, they were bloody pathetic.
I couldn't let any sort of word get back to Orochimaru, so I killed them. Nothing flashy, just a Shunshin behind them and slitting their throats with one of my bone daggers.
Oh yes, you're probably wondering why I haven't gone mentally unstable from killing people while having a very civilian set of life morals in my memories. Simple. It's a side affect of the Yang chakra Kaguya use to manipulate their bones; for some reason a Kaguya just can't get battle stress while using their Kekkai Genkai. All the conflicting hormones get converted into chakra, much in the same way an Akimichi's Yang nature allows them to convert fat and calories into chakra. So while I'm fighting, I don't actually feel anything. It's like I'm just floating in a swimming pool, the water blocking the majority of emotion from reaching me. However, according to Kabuto's research, to the rest of my clan who couldn't use their bones like I could, it's like being totally high. That's why they were addicted to brutal slaughter, they couldn't get enough of it.
Me however, gets the safe benefit of never having a battle-related nervous breakdown. I an seriously in love with karma right now, forget what I said before.
Okay. This is the big one. The gates of Konoha are roughly just under half a mile down this road.
You know, Juugo didn't get much expansion on his character in canon. But travelling with the guy for the past few days has been really nice. I only had to calm him down twice, but both episodes passed really quickly. His ability to 'talk' to animals keeps giving me Disney vibes, but it's beginning to cement one of my theories about his little condition. We started to open up to each other, the both us reminiscing about our childhood confinement. Of course, I would have loved to roam the countryside like Juugo did, while he would have been quite pleased with being so securely restrained.
Back to the present though. From Pain's invasion, I know that there's a barrier around the Village which detects intruders. So I have to presume that once Juugo and I cross it - where it starts though, I don't know - we're going to be watched. And we do not want to make a bad impression. I remove the henge, reseal all our stuff into my scroll and tell Juugo that we're going to walk in with our hands visible and open.
I have to say this though, those main gates are pretty impressive. I wonder how many shinobi it took to get them into place? Or was it just two Akimichi at full size? Still, it's the two Chunin in the Gatehouse we have to worry about. Not that we couldn't take them if it came down to it, but we need need to present our case in a way that won't make every active ninja want to stab us full of sharp and pointy things. Well, I stab myself full of pointy things every time I use Shikotsumyaku but that's beside the point. Hah hah, puns. Oh Kami, this it; I'm going to change the timeline. Hahahahaha...What the HELL AM I DOING? I CAN'T DO THIS I'LL MESS THIS UP BEYOND COMPREHENSION AND ALL OF US ARE GOING TO DIE! WE-E'RE ALL DOOMED! DOOMED I TELL YOU! DOOMED!
Thank all of the Kami I didn't say that last bit out loud.
The two Chunin, Izumo and Kotetsu I think it is, stand outside their Gatehouse, ready for us. Kotetsu(?) lets his hand fall to his kunai pouch. Juugo and I continue our approach, but then I hear the laboured gasps from Juugo that signal that he's about to have one of his episodes. In front of Konoha. Shit.
I stop abruptly and execute a sharp turn, slamming my hands into Juugo's chest. The markings are curling across his face, but they promptly retreat when I brush chakra from my hands against his network. He looks at me sheepishly and I sigh.
"It's okay," I whisper. "I'll tell them that you need me to keep calm, but it's extremely likely they'll separate us for a while at first. I want you to stay calm as much as you can. Take Chinsei with you," I say, scooping up the wriggling puppy and depositing the little guy into his hands.
"Can we...help...you guys with something?" Yeah, Izumo and Kotetsu are just behind us. They both have kunai in their hands. Juugo instinctively hugs Chinsei closer, while I spread out my empty hands to show that I'm not a threat.
"Chunin-san," I start. "I am Kimimaro of the Kaguya Clan. Behind me is Juugo of the Scales. I cannot say much more; listening ears are everywhere. We wish for an audience with Sandaime Hokage-sama. We are running from enemies of Konoha and seek help from this Village." Then, because I can't resist it, "Please take care of us."
I always thought that the Hokage's office looked kind of empty in the show and to someone like me, who's spent most of their (current)life underground, all those floor-to-ceiling windows send alarms running through my head.
Anyways, the show never quite captured the sheer presence the Sandaime had. Well, how could it? It's just frames. Only in person can you really register the...the...aura, yes let's go with that word, the man has. It just fills up the room and right now, all of it's focused on little ol' us.
It's like a chimpanzee. Yes, they're like cuddly, wizened children when you look at them. But a full-grown chimp, despite it's small size, can bend solid steel bars, rip out your throat with ease and troops in the wild will systematically hunt down and tear apart small monkeys for food.
Similarly, the Sandaime resembles a harmless old grandpa smoking his pipe. But it would be no bet at all that he could tear us apart in less than two seconds if the whim took him.
I fall into the deepest formal bow I can pull off without it looking awkward. "My deepest thanks, Honourable Sandaime-sama, for permitting us to speak with you." Yes, I am going to play the respectful card; I do not want to be on his bad side, thank-you-very-much.
"You said you were fleeing from enemies of this Village, did you not?" He says above my head. Oh Kami, he hasn't said I can straighten up yet. With my neck exposed like this, both sides of my memories, but mostly the shinobi one, are screaming at me to stop baring one of my vital points to a man I barely know. Yet, if I stand up from my bow, it could be considered an insult.
"What reason can you offer for me to take in two shinobi from another Village, especially a reason so delicate that you seek to tell it to my ears alone? Rise, and speak."
I straighten up. I can sense Juugo huddling closer to me. I take a deep breath.
"Sandaime-sama, while Juugo here is an unaffiliated shinobi, I have renounced the tutelage of...Orochimaru."
The violent spike in the Sandaime's chakra sends the two of us diving to the floor on instinct. Chinsei yelps and tries to burrow further under Juugo, while us two are left breathless and choking. Suddenly, the chakra pressure stops and the old man is standing over us.
"Why do you run from him?"
"Soul-transferring ninjutsu, his immortality," I gasp out. "Needs a strong host. I was chosen. Wanted Juugo for experiments. Sent me to collect, but we ran. Can offer info on current experiments, base locations, personnel. Leave Juugo alone, he has no part in this; he's just sick. He needs my presence to stop his regression."
Next thing I know, my wrists are grabbed and chakra-suppression sealing tags slapped on. A sharp pinch on the pressure point in my neck and I'm go...'
Well, do I have your interest? I thought this would be an interesting thing to write, especially the effects of Orochimaru not getting the curse seal. Also, this is a number of firsts for me: first SI fic, first first-person fic.
And as much as I do enjoy SIs, I am getting tired of all the cracking-under-stress insanity. Not that this Kimimaro's personality isn't going to be weird, but only within the realms of quirky/thinking-outside-the-box.