Usually fuinjutsu scrolls were furled up to reduce the amount of space they took, since sealing arrays could actually get impractically long, so much so that the more complicated techniques like the one that had resurrected me required an entire clearing to write out even when done by an expert. As a result, when I put up a fuinjutsu scroll in my room, it took up a lot of space.

I'd unfurled it and then used a handful of senbon to secure it to the wall of my room. It stretched all the way from the floor to very near the ceiling and it had taken me a good while to write the entirety of it out.

It wasn't a complicated fuinjutsu though. I just didn't have a handle on shrinking it down yet. I knew it could get much smaller, but I was new to this. So I was proud of my work anyway. Not that it was my work alone - the seal wasn't an invention of mine. It wasn't even close to an invention. It was as standard a fuinjutsu as there was. The basic sealing fuinjutsu - it made a pocket dimensionwhere an item could be stored. Tinker powers were insane like that. Pocket dimension? Too basic to keep out of the hands of a gennin. Put it in the introductory material, but leave out how to put a bijju inside until the kids get older.

That was probably something they only shared with chunnin. Fucking Tinkers.

My impression that fuinjutsu was broken started in the academy when they introduced us to the jutsu that let you swap places with a fuinjutsu sealing array with just the use of a few hand-signs and the caveat that the array was large enough to be easily noticed and only single use. Graduating to gennin had only made me more annoyed with the art.

Naturally, I was delighted to be learning it.

I'd set things up so that the seal's activation condition was a timer. The mechanism was pretty simple. You put the chakra that was going to activate it in one part of the seal and you put the chakra that would keep it from activating in another. The second area was intentionally designed to leak out the chakra at a well-defined rate. If you knew that rate, you could use it to figure out how much chakra it would take before it would all leak out. Once it was all gone? The chakra in the first area could flow to the rest of the seal, activating it. In other words, Tinker Bullshit meant that removing things from pocket dimensions after a user-specified timer had run out was pretty simple.

The timer went off early the next morning. When it did, chakra flared and a bell not unlike the one Kakashi had used to test us appeared just in front of the scroll. Gravity asserted itself a moment later and it fell, jingling, to the floor.

I had made a makeshift alarm. Not terribly original, but I was taking learning fuinjutsu seriously and so I was trying to make a point of getting more practical with its use in order to grow more comfortable and familiar with it. I wasn't the sort of person that only used my powers in combat situations.

Kind of the opposite really.

My eyes snapped open when the bell rang, but even though I had been asleep I still knew exactly what had happened. For one I had been the one to make the makeshift alarm. So the fact that it had worked like I had hoped it would wasn't surprising to me. For another my insects considered a seal going off beside me while I was asleep to be something worthy of reporting back to their hive-person, so I actually remembered watching chakra flare spontaneously from an indiscernible, but probably extra-dimensional, source and the way the bell had fallen and clattered against the ground moments later.

I hopped out of bed and headed for the kitchen. Meanwhile, bugs flew out of me, heading for my closet to lay out my ninja gear and clothing. A simple dark green sleeveless shirt, an even darker green pair of pants, pouches full of ninja tools like kunai, ninja wire, shuriken, and then of course my sandals.

Sandals weren't as bad as one might imagine. If I wasn't using chakra to assist my traction, I was doing it wrong. So wearing sandals was actually a useful training aid, since it forced good practice.

Bugs beat me to the cupboard and were already pulling out bread by the time I entered the kitchen. As an Aburame we had a lot of insects on our clan grounds, most of which were carefully cultivated for our own use. So when I got into the kitchen I lathered the bread in a honey spread that had been collected from our bees.

I yawned as I came back into my room then sat down on the bed, which had been folded by my bugs in my absence. Then I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, took a bite of toast, and realized I didn't have some place to set it down while getting dressed. So I stuck it to the back of my hand with chakra.

While I got out of my pants and switched into the ones that my bugs had laid out for me, other bugs began bringing me a plate from the kitchen. They landed on the bed as I pulled on my pants. Then I took the bread hanging from the back of my palm and set it on the saucer. Finally I changed my shirt, picked up the saucer, and continued eating my pre-breakfast snack.

I started feeding my bugs too, but I did it differently than usual. Kakashi had made it clear to me that my bugs had a tell that he could pick up on. They got more agitated when they were eating my emotion-ladened chakra. So instead of just feeding them normally, I started drawing on emotion. Desire to kill, pushed into chakra, then fed to my bugs for breakfast. Anger at the village for how sick it was, pushed into chakra, then fed to my bugs for breakfast. Sorrow for all that I had lost, pushed into chakra, then fed to them.

I had my bugs keeps track of each other as they ate. The bugs that were good at handling their emotional diet, I would allow to continue breeding. The ones that weren't I would be sending on glorious missions. Instead of staying close to their hive, I would send them out into the wider world to explore for the sake of the hive. I wasn't so heartless that I just had the other bugs rip them to shreds. I was a benevolent ruler and not one to waste my resources by administering them foolishly. Just because they weren't being bred didn't mean that I considered them unworthy of life.

I yawned, feeling much more tired then I had before. Having my bugs eat me chakra wasn't the sort of thing that gave me energy. However, it was important. My bugs and I had a symbiotic relationship. Eating my chakra helped them to be stronger, because it was of higher quality then they would otherwise get. It let them grow with me and made them more dangerous over time, especially compared to wild trump bugs who risked death when trying to eat from more refined chakra sources. Meanwhile, I gained their assistance and loyalty.

Especially since I tended to breed obedience to me into them; bugs being unwilling to sacrifice themselves by hurling themselves into the way of jutsu had been a problem. It was the sort of thing that had nearly ended the world when humanity had done so badly in it's fight against Scion. Sometimes, the best tactic was to throw away your life just to delay something that was infinitely stronger than you were. Sometimes they were people. I shoved more emotion into my chakra and gave it to the bugs. I didn't want to think about the things I had done.

Mornings were a lot nicer for me than they had once been. I didn't have to take a bath or spend time in the shower. Having bugs was really nice. I'd used to have to bathe and having to literally let myself drain afterward had been infuriating.

So I'd come up with a solution. Now I just let my bugs eat the grime and the like off of me. It tickled, but it was efficient. I still washed sometimes, but they were more then capable of handling most cleaning and being in liquids was pretty annoying for me what with all the holes all over my body from the tunnels that my insects had made.

Shibi had been a little creeped out by it at first, but some of the clan was starting to come around to the idea I'd gotten from cleaner-shrimp in my previous life. It would probably become standard practice within a generation or two for Aburame to bathe themselves with insects, once babies started being bathed in pools of trump bugs rather than water, and everyone became acclimated to my innovation. No one liked waiting for their tunnels to drain, after all and shoving plugs in all the holes wasn't that much better.

So yeah. Awesome start to the morning. I could skip straight to the morning jog. Hopefully that would wake me up enough to do some light training before I met up with the team.


An hour later and after having worked out and eaten a bit more, I showed up at the training ground to meet up with the rest of the team. Mindful that Kakashi was starting to develop a habit of being late, I brought along my fuinjutsu reading material to the training ground.

I had also worn a dark green sleeved jacket, because I wasn't exercising right now and there was no way I wanted to be sleeveless this early in the morning if I wasn't also going to be active. Also, Naruto was really immature. He would point at my arms and make me feel worse about myself, which didn't engender the sort of headspace I wanted to be in on my first day on the job.

Sasuke glared at me when I arrived a few minutes late. "Since when are you ready to be a gennin, cry baby?"

Good morning to you too Sasuke. How was I even supposed to make peace with the boy? I'd kind of tried to destroy his dream. Not really, but that was how he saw it.

I didn't see a way to make peace and so I considered other options. I could treat him like I had Bitch's old mook; hurt him for disrespecting me. Another option was honesty. We had passed because the Leaf thought kids like Sasuke were ready to be gennin, so obviously a few tears weren't something they were going to take exception to. I could apologize? Or maybe I could do something a bit better than that. Appeal to his ego somehow.

Then I realized he didn't understand. He didn't understand why I had done what I had done. Not really. Maybe I could get across to him exactly why I had done what I had done? Put it in terms that he could relate too: For you, the day you lost your clan was the worst day of your life. For Itachi it was a Tuesday. Tuesday comes weekly for ninja. Good luck surviving the year.

I decided to go with something less confrontational. "Maybe I'm not."

I walked to the edge of the tree line and sat down to read.

Sasuke watched me walk away, but quickly settled on turning away from me and ignoring me like I was one of the girls that had a crush on him.

While the boys yawned at each other, trying to keep their drooping eyes open, I read about how to recharge seals whose chakra battery had drained, effectively, how to add time to a fuinjutsu timer by re-adding chakra to the portion that delayed its activation.

The kids nodded off for a while and I made a mental note to seal some blankets next time I was out here so I could cover the little tikes the next time it happened, but then vetoed that note because I really didn't want to be the team mom. They were pretty cute though, innocent pudgy scow-less child faces…

No. Definitely not. Once long ago on the Undersiders, Brian had tended to bring the team coffee and the like in the morning. I'd do something like that. No blankets. Caffeine to keep them awake instead. It wasn't perfect. Giving Naruto caffeine sounded like the first step to a Simurgh plot. It was better than blankets though.

I went back to reading.

"He's not showing up," Sasuke said nearly two hours later.

Naruto yawned. "This sucks. I want to go back to bed. Where's Kakashi-sensei at anyway?"

My bugs hadn't reported him watching us and I had them spread out all across the training ground. I didn't mention it though. I had an idea for how to start getting the team working together, but the first step was separating Sasuke and Naruto. I didn't want to get too social with them until then.

The sun was out and I would call it morning as opposed to the crack of dawn when Kakashi finally decided to show up. Thanks to the bugs that I had watching his house, I actually knew he was on his way early enough that I got to choose a good place to stop before rolling up the fuinjutsu scroll and handing it off to my bugs to carry home.

Kakashi hadn't been busy; he had been sleeping. He looked very well rested when he showed up to meet us. In my past life I had learned that the early birds really did tend to gobble up my worms though. So I wasn't complaining.

Naruto glared at him. "You're late!"

"Sorry, it was the cat from last time. He was watching my house, so I couldn't leave," Kakashi explained.

"Liar!" Naruto accused, pointing his finger at him.

"Alright kids," Kakashi said, ignoring Naruto. "Today's our first official day as team seven. So lets go over what I'm going to be expecting of you today and most days. First off, we meet here in the mornings. Next? We train. Running. Katas. Weights. Target practice. Chakra control exercises. You'll be working on the fundamentals, since all of you suck."

"Awhh. Come on Kakashi-sensei. I want to learn a bunch of really cool ninjutsu. Can we do that in the mornings instead? Can we? Can we?"

"After our morning exercise," Kakashi said, ignoring Naruto. "We'll be heading to the Hokage Tower to pick up missions. Hopefully, we can get in at least two each day before we break for lunch. Though probably we can do more. After lunch we'll head back to the training field and we'll either do more missions or we'll head back here and work on developing each of your abilities. If we ever do get around to learning ninjutsu, that's the time it'll be done. For today though? We'll be spending more time planning out your training then actually doing it, since I think it's important to have an idea of how you want to develop as a shinobi."


The reception desk was manned by the same chunnin that had been handling our applications two days ago. When he saw me, he smiled. "See what did I tell you. You passed!"

"We're here to pick up a mission," Kakashi said. "So you can ignore the gossip."

The chunnin laughed and we headed deeper into the Hokage tower until we reached a large open room where four tables were laid out in a semi-circle that faced the door. Three of the tables had chunnin sitting at them and going from left to right they had paper labels hanging from them with the labels A, B, and C respectively. The A table had less mission scrolls available then the B table which in turn had less than the C table.

The fourth table was what really caught my attention, and not because as the D table that held D ranks it had the most missions on it. No. The thing that made the fourth table stand out was the person handing out the missions.

The Hokage was there.

This man ruled the Village Hidden in the Leaves, because he was considered the village's strongest ninja. Which was a stupid basis for rule, but apparently when the strongest guy decides he's in charge that's just how it goes. He was nicknamed the God of Shinobi, which was perhaps the most arrogant nickname I'd ever heard.

Of course, much like Hero, he kind of backed it up. Here he was, one of the oldest in a profession where dying at Naruto and Sasuke's age wasn't exactly uncommon. Maybe he had survivors bias. He had lived, so fuck the other kids, obviously that's normal. Statistics? What's that? I kill people with superpowers.

Seeing him here, sitting at a table filled with D rank mission scrolls? It caught me off guard. Though now that I realized he was here, it occurred to me that today wasn't just any day. It was the day that many fresh gennin would be taking their first mission. The Hokage wanted to be the person who gave the new gennin that very first mission.

"Hello Kakashi," the Hokage said. His voice held no trace of guilt for his part in perpetuating the training of child soldiers. Listening him to speak, there was no hint of disapproval for what the Hyugga were doing either. He greeted Kakashi instead of addressing something of actual importance, like the bloodline purges in Mist.

I didn't like him.

Especially after him railroading me onto a team with two thirteen year olds. Well, I was thirteen too, but that was different- I wasn't counting myself with the two boys.

"Honorable Lord Hokage," Kakashi said. He gave a respectful nod of his head to the village ruler. "Team seven, reporting for our first mission. What do you have for us today?"

The Hokage smiled from underneath his pointed kage hat. "We've got lumber to carry from the docks by the river to a construction site on the other end of town, several hundred sealed scrolls filled with food product from out of town to both deliver and unseal, and a mock mission where you're team can try to hunt down a missing animal."

"Huh?" Naruto said. "What kind of bogus missions are those?"

"Those are the D rank missions you might be going on today," the Hokage told his Endbringer container.

"Don't worry Naruto. Today's just orientation. We'll get more interesting missions soon," I said. I wasn't sure if that was true, but I figured it was the sort of thing that would keep him from making a scene.

"Oh! That's good cause I want real missions, believe it. That stuff is all so boring. You should know that I'm totally ready for saving princesses and stuff you old geezer."

Fuck. Thankfully, the Hokage wanted his Endbringer container to like him. The despot chuckled. "If a princess needs saving I'll be sure to let you know. Kakashi?"

Kakashi reached his hand out to accept a scroll. "I suppose we'll do the mock mission. Unless… it isn't to catch a cat is it?"

The Hokage straightened and met Kakashi's eyes. "I'm afraid it is Kakashi. I'm afraid it is."

Kakashi glanced at Naruto. "I'm not sure we're ready for this mission Hokage-sama. Best if you give me the one for moving lumber."

"A wise choice," the Third Hokage said, his eyes glittering with amusement at Naruto's expense. It was unprofessional. Maybe even cruel.

When we were leaving the tower Naruto drew closer to me. His voice was low. "Tera… just what sort of cat is Kakashi dealing with?"

"He's lying to you," I said. "There is no cat." Kakashi shot me a dirty look. "He thinks you're gullible."

"Gullible?" Naruto asked. "What's that mean?"

How to put it in terms he would understand. "You know when you do a prank and you get caught and the teacher tells you not to do it again and you agree that you won't do it even though your going too," I asked.

"Oh yeah. That happens all the time," Naruto said. He chuckled and smiled a bit while staring into the air. Probably remembering past pranks. "What does that have to do with a gullible though?"

"If the teacher believed you? That was them being gullible."

"Oh," Naruto said. "You mean kind of like you when I pretended to not know what the word meant?"

Fuck. I was officially a Naruto prank target. Thankfully, his opening salvo was fairly tame. Hopefully he wouldn't henge into me and paint my face on the Hokage monument. Or ask Sasuke out. Or try to arrange for my tunnels to be filled with glue. Getting back on Naruto's good side needed to happen sooner rather than later.

Naruto gave me a smug grin worthy of Lisa.

"Nice try dead last, but I'm not buying it. You didn't know what gullible meant until she told you." I wasn't sure if what Sasuke said was true.

"Sasuke!" Naruto groaned. "She totally fell for it. Why did you have to ruin it?"


After doing two missions and eating lunch, Kakashi brought us back to the training field and plopped us down in front of him.

"I have an idea of what I want to work on with each of you, but I'm also curious how you want to guide your own development. We're a team and so we're going to have this discussion together. Lets start things off." Kakashi looked to me. "Tera, I want to know how you hope I'll help you to become a better kunoichi."

I'd actually given this a bit of thought. "Have you heard of the Puppeteer Sasori of the Red Sands from Sunagakure?"

"I have," Kakashi said. A thread of chakra snaked out from his hand and snatched a kunai from his ninja gear pouch. Then it tossed it into the air and he caught it. "You're looking to become a puppeteer? That surprises me."

I shook my head, letting him know I didn't actually plan to become a puppeteer. "You're the Copy Ninja. You're famous for copying other people's most prized jutsu. I've been thinking about Sasori for a while. Mainly, I was wondering how he managed to control over a hundred puppets at the same time as if he was only controlling one. I suspect he has a secret technique that lets him multi-task. Something less obvious than a clone jutsu. I'm hoping you'll help me to recreate it… and maybe keep it secret too, so it's something that gives me an edge that others can't reproduce?"

Kakashi nodded. "Alright. It's an interesting idea. I can't make any promises, since the Sharingan plays a big part in how I manage to copy techniques. However, I'll spend some time thinking about it at the very least. Anything else? Hopefully something concrete rather than theoretical?"

"Yeah. I'd also like to learn fuinjutsu. I'd rather specialize in that then the use of insects, long term. Especially if we can work out a way to apply seals via my colony?"

"Hmmm…" Kakashi frowned. "Well you're certainly proposing an interesting development path. It's actually very different from what I was thinking. Was there anything else?"

"I have other ideas, but I don't want to split my training around too much."

"Okay. Well I have do a few problems with your proposed training for yourself," Kakashi said. "Lets say we succeed. You can multi-task your entire swarm at once and you can lay powerful fuinjutsu with them. What happens next?"

I defect and do whatever I want, because no one would be able to touch me? Get Orochimaru to share how he was planning to become immortal? Resurrect my friends? Leave this reality for one that was less fucked up by abusing my Tinker power? Declare myself Hokage? Honestly there were a lot of options. If I had powerful fuinjutsu, mind control the entire world really wasn't very far out of reach. "I guess I work on other things?" I asked.

Kakashi shook his head. "No. You get sent on missions that need your talents. You face more dangers. You do it earlier than you would have otherwise. You do it when you're still at only chunnin level with your other skills, when people who would usually be taking those tasks are very much your superior in every one of those skills that you're weak in. Are you following?"

"You're saying I'm focusing too much on offensive training?" I wanted to say that he was implying that I was a glass cannon, but no one here used cannons. So the metaphor didn't really work quite as well. "Like I'm an explosion fuinjutsu on rice paper?"

"Not quite, but close enough. Which brings me to what I was thinking I would be teaching you. You have the start of an extremely powerful defensive technique with the way you've taught your bugs to intercept incoming jutsu. I want to build on that. I know over a thousand jutsu. I was thinking we would go through each of them until you're unlikely to encounter a jutsu you don't know how to disrupt or which you don't already know that you can't disrupt. How does that sound?"

"Good," I admitted. Very good actually. There were definitely techniques that I didn't know how to block. Especially higher tier ninjutsu that had much more chakra backing it. It was also an idea that I could really respect from Kakashi. Wanting to focus on keeping a thirteen year old safe made sense.

"Alright. The second thing I want to work on is stopping people from negating your bugs. Your clan is pretty well known, so plenty of people have sat down and planned out ways to deal with your insects. I don't want those to catch you off guard. Beyond that? I want to shore up your weaknesses. I'd prefer someone work hard to get around your bugs only to be taken down when you're more dangerous than they anticipated rather than folding like you did when I engaged you in taijutsu."

I thought about what he was saying. If I were to summarize, my suggestions were ways to dramatically improve my ability to use my bugs while becoming very versatile through the use of bullshit fuinjutsu seals. The spirit of his suggestions was going a different way. He wanted to make me the sort of ninja that had a so-called ultimate defense and no weaknesses.

"That sounds good," I said. "But… I'm not so sure about the taijutsu. Maybe kenjutsu instead? The way I see it is that their's always going to be someone better than me at taijutsu, so there's not much point in making it a focus."

"Always better? Nonsense," Kakashi said. "If someone is better than you at taijutsu, you have yourself to blame. Regardless, being skilled at taijutsu is a prerequisite for being good at kenjutsu. But we can add in kenjutsu as soon as I deem you ready."

Brian would disagree. If he was alive. He wasn't though. Ironically, in the end Brian hadn't turned out to keep to that old maxim about fighting away - not after taking Victor and using his skill-thief power to teach himself to fight.

"Sounds good," I said.

"Okay," Kakashi said. "I think we have a good idea of where we're going to be going with your training for a very long time. Sasuke, Naruto, do either of you have any thoughts on what you just heard."

Both boys had been listening intently. Even Naruto. Talk about secret techniques and awesome ninja training was the sort of thing that held his attention in a way that few things did. In some ways, it wasn't even surprising that he struggled to learn basics but then could pull off learning a forbidden jutsu in a day. That was the sort of thing that could actually get him motivated.

"Uh…" Naruto scratched the back of his head. "I… she was trying to tell me to do stuff yesterday with her bugs right? I… didn't always understand what she was asking…"

"Thanks for reminding us," I said. "That's something we definitely need to fix. Sooner rather than later. Also we need to figure to what was messing with your head when you dismissed your clones."

"If thats all the comments you have…" It was. Neither boy brought up anything else. "Lets move on to Sasuke," Kakashi said. "So Sasuke, thoughts on your training?"

"I've already told you my plans. I want to kill a certain someone." His brother. "I want the power to kill him. So give me that power."

It seemed like such a stupid response to a part of me. It wasn't though. It was a cultural thing. My former culture had prized things like creativity and individuality. This one had special words that meant things like my honorable teacher. There was a level of expectation that the teacher would take care of things. Sasuke was basically declaring that he trusted Kakashi to know how to make him strong, there was an undercurrent of respect there that was usually lacking, since Sasuke rarely bothered giving his teachers their due honorific.

Despite that and not for the first time, I was surprised by the lack of creativity and self direction people in Konoha had, at this age anyway. They got shown the leaf sticking exercise and there first reaction wasn't, I wonder if I can climb with this? Or use it to pick up weapons with my feet without anyone noticing? Or use it to improve traction? Or hold multiple weapons at once? Or if the technique can be used to grasp at air? Or a thousand other things.

Instead they just blindly treated it like a mere chakra control exercise. It was actually maddening. They got a power, a weak one like sticking things to themselves, and then instead of breaking out some scrolls and spending the next week or two coming up with novels ways to apply it, they just honed their control over their chakra with it.

My reaction was so opposite to theirs, that the entire academy had felt like a joke at times. Months and months after learning the leaf sticking exercise, we'd go over some famous Cloud ninja who used the sticking technique to fight with eight swords at once. The rest of the class would be like, oooh, ahhh, wow, so novel, and I'd just sort of frown at Shikamaru because why the fuck was he looking up as if something interesting had been said. It made me really envy Itachi for being able to skip out on daycare - though probably he needed to stay what with the going psycho and killing his family thing.

Fucking Leaf village. Stupid Konoha.

Iruka thought he was such a good sensei. I wondered what he would think of what the gloomy bug girl thought of him if I really spoke my mind. He knew I didn't like him. He didn't have any idea just how bad a teacher I thought he was.

Kakashi had frowned at Sasuke's words. So I wasn't the only one who was unsatisfied with Sasuke's answer. "Can you be a little more specific in what you're hoping to learn?"

"I'll need to know kenjutsu and genjutsu. That man. I…" Sasuke looked down. "I need… he said…" He shot a look at me and Naruto, then his fists clenched and he looked back to Kakashi. "Power."

He had called me a cry baby, but my reaction to watching him struggle with his trauma wasn't to think he was a cry baby. Itachi was going to choke to death on bugs after I had them burrow through his eyes. Fuck people who messed with kids. He'd broken the rules. Didn't matter if he didn't know they existed. I fed the rather easily generated killing intent to my bugs for lunch.

Kakashi's voice was gentle. "I'll teach you that and more. I'm familiar with his fighting style. I've even copied it."

Sasuke gave a jerky nod. Naruto didn't say anything. I felt like it would be wrong to say something too. What I'd just heard felt too raw and personal for me to even be here to hear it. It felt more like something he should have been trying and failing to explain to a therapist while the door was locked and there was a promise that there was no recording devices active. It also gave me the context to realize that he had tried to open up with me during the bell test. It had been the same rambling.

I felt like shit. He'd tried to open up to me. Then not even twenty minutes later I had argued for his failure. I didn't feel bad for doing it, but I did feel bad that it had happened. It must have seemed cruel of me. Heartless even. Especially since Sasuke was just a thirteen year old playing at being a cape. I was willing to concede that an argument could be made that reciprocating his trust in me was the better thing to do for him, even when the alternative was him getting into potentially deadly fights. I hadn't understood though. I'd thought he was out of it because of the lightning jutsu, not because he was trying to tell me about the sort of shit that I would expect Jack Slash to put his bother through if he had had one.

Kakashi turned to Naruto next. He took a deep breath as if preparing himself. Then he spoke. "Alright Naruto… let's hear it."

Naruto grinned. "I want to learn a bunch of awesome ninjutsu! Like how to make a forest that attacks people like the first Hokage or even better water dragons like the second. Oh! Shooting lightning would be cool. Can you make orange lightning? Because I'd rather make orange lightning than regular lightning. And I want the ninjutsu you to teach me to be big. Really really really big. That way anyone who sees me fighting has to notice, they can't pretend I'm not there, so they'll need to acknowledge that I'm a somebody."

Yeah. Three guesses why the kid that wanted attention had chosen to learn the mass shadow clone jutsu and then used it to literally fill entire forests with his face when there were probably so many horrendously dangerous jutsu available in the scroll that might even be more effective than the admittedly powerful technique he had chosen to learn.

"Hmm… elemental ninjutsu is a chunnin skill and advanced usage like making a dragon is something that you're only going to see from jounin," Kakashi said. "As for forests, that requires a blood limit. But regardless, I'd rather focus on the basics with you Naruto. Improving your taijutsu. Helping you to think a bit more strategically and tactically. It'll be a lot of review, but you'll be much better for it. I'd also really like to get you used to letting your clones do most of the fighting for you."

I agreed completely with Kakashi's assessment. For Naruto, who could make so many of himself, a slight improvement to his basic skills meant he could call on five hundred clones that were slightly better. There was something to be said for having an army of shinobi who could do the basics. Even when I was planning to try to learn, multi-tasking, had been used by Sasori to gain exactly what Naruto could get already: an army.

"What?" Naruto said. "Wow not cool Kakashi-sensei. You gotta teach me a bunch of cool jutsu, believe it. How else am I gonna be Hokage, huh? The old man knows tons of jutsu and I need to be even better than him. This is serious so please teach me ninjutsu. Please please pleasseee."

"Frankly, you don't have the kind of chakra control to begin learning the jutsu you're asking me to teach you," Kakashi said. "We'll work on fixing that. Then we'll revisit the subject."

"Chakra control! You want me to work on my chakra control? But… that's what the academy teachers were saying…" Naruto was more then a little disappointed.

"I don't know what to tell you Naruto," Kakashi said. "If you want to have a style that revolves around high powered elemental jutsu? You're going to need to be able to convert your chakra to an elemental type. So for now… you'll be learning chakra control and focusing on the basics. Sasuke, Tera, your thoughts?"

"Elemental chakra?" Naruto mouthed silently, frowning.

"Naruto has enough chakra that I can probably help everyone else train for longer by moving it to some of us, though that will probably only come up if were doing chakra intensive training like jutsu practice. Also… I really want Naruto to be able to follow my bug's instructions. Other than that…" Notebooks worth of stuff. If we had his clones carry fuinjutsu explosives, then we had a suicide bomber strategy that might put Iwa bomber-nin to shame. If we had one Naruto learn to be really serious, then maybe we could pop him to spread seriousness to the rest of his clones at key moments. Really, a lot of my ideas depended on the mechanics of his forbidden jutsu. "Another thing, why was Naruto's jutsu a forbidden technique and can we teach Naruto to do whatever got it that rating?"

Kakashi looked to me. "Do you really think he should learn that? After what you told us yesterday?"

I thought about it. "I suppose it depends. I've thought of some pretty scary applications, but… I don't know the limitations of the technique. Can you summon a clone whose weapons are already inside someone?"

Naruto blanched and made a show of scooting further away from me. Damn. Kakashi was right. Naruto probably wasn't ready for that. Actually, it might be that Kakashi had just been deflecting me away from fuinjutsu with talk about ultimate defense. I could see him thinking the same thing about me: that I just wasn't ready for carrying around a few thousand explosive fuinjutsu scrolls with my bugs.

"Nevermind," I said. "I'll give you a notebook later. You can look through it on your own time and share with Naruto anything that you think he should learn."


A/N: I hope everyone is picking up on Taylor making blatantly false claims about her team and the village. She doesn't think Sasuke would ever die for Naruto, but cannon says he would. She doesn't think Naruto knows when to get serious. Cannon says he does. She sees Sarutobi as being for child soldiers, he was involved in pushing back graduation ages. She sees the Hokage as viewing Naruto as a tool, he sees him as his unofficial grandson. From their perspective? They see the glimmers of the powerhouses that team seven will become and think that given a few months the team is probably already ready for the chunnin exam. So Tera isn't super awesome in their eyes. She just the girl on the team is exactly like the arrogant Kakashi who doesn't think the little Obito and Rin are ready, but a lot more willing to fuck over her team to enforce her own ideas of what is right and also so utterly brazenly disrespectful of authority that she goes as far as ripping open emotional wounds to get what she wants.