Bound to Eternity: Chapter 25 - Teacher and Student

Sorry it's taken so long to put this small of an update out but moving and then a busy summer full of classes and other activities has kept me...well...busy. I'll not bore you with anything further. Just note, as always, that I don't own any of the manga/anime contained within.

With a wave and a promise to catch Ranma later Naruto slipped away from the crowds and, when he was sure no one was watching, disappeared from sight entirely.

The invisible blond spent the next several hours sitting in on various classes and touring the grounds. What was being taught in each of the classes wasn't nearly as important to Naruto as who was teaching and who was being taught. It was already fairly obvious that Ranma and his associates were the exception, not the rule, in Nerima. But seeing as most of the strange ones he'd seen so far were in Ranma's age bracket it meant the school was likely the best place to check up on any others he might have missed.

He was actually rather disappointed with what he found. Ranma, Akane, Ukyo, and a weird pasty faced kid with candles shoved into his headband all shared a classroom together but they seemed to be the only really remarkable ones in that grade level. Nabiki and the Kuno boy were a grade or two above the others but were, again, the only really interesting ones in their grade. That pretty much did it for the student body.

The teachers were sadly lacking as well. Aside from the elder Kuno the only excitement to be found in the teachers numbers was a language teacher who apparently vacillated between bombshell and kid sister depending on how much energy she drained from "trouble" students.

There almost seemed to be more promise outside the school than inside. During his whirlwind tour he spotted Ryoga(wandering in and out of a supply closet on the second floor), Shampoo(delivering something via bike across town), Mousse(attempting to follow Shampoo and failing miserably), and the little gnomish Happosai(clutching a bag and being chased by a mob of pissed off females). Still the school was where Ranma spent a good deal of his days and thus was probably the most interesting place in town, aside from the Tendo home that is.

Even before his rather brief tour Naruto had known he wouldn't be able to take any more least at this level. It would have been a complete waste of his time and frankly would have put him to sleep faster then it did Ranma. College courses were more on his level but even those were likely to be boring as hell.

Aside from middle school and the ninja academy he'd been self taught for the most part. Oh he'd played the part of student once or twice during his wanderings but he hadn't payed much attention when he actually was in class.

'So if being a student is out,' he thought as he perched on the chain link fence that guarded the roof, 'what legitimate reason do I have for sticking around Furinkan? Do I even want to stick around Furinkan during the day? Would I rather be somewhere else?'

The ring of a bike bell and the crash of glass interrupted his contemplations. He leaned over and caught a quick glimpse of the tail end of a bike and a bit of purple hair before he heard the yells and screams. A smile began to tug at his lips as first the bike then its former rider were punted back out the shattered window. They were followed by a string of vile words no high school girl should have known ending in a rather loud "AND STAY OUT YOU PURPLE HAIRED FLOOZY!"

Naruto tried to withhold the laughter he felt rising in his chest but a distance cry of "My darling Shampoo!" proved to be too much for the blond.

Students and teachers alike paused to consider the peal of laughter that floated over the school and what it might mean before turning back to their previous activities.

After his bout of side stitching laughter Naruto recovered enough to consider his next course of action. Being a student was out but leaving Furinkan would take a lot of fun and chaos out of his day...and that would just not do.

A rather disturbing grin found its way onto his face as the only other option became readily apparent. The following chuckle was scarily reminiscent of a certain snake Sannin and sent shivers down the spines of those occupying the classroom directly below his perch.

"You can't be serious kit?" Kyuubi grumbled. "The pigtailed runt isn't half bad but now you want to teach the rest of these pathetic low life humans?"

Naruto chuckled again. 'Ah but look at what I have in mind. Fun neh?'

The blond could almost imagine the look of horror that crossed the fox's gigantic face before he heard the deep, almost subsonic, chuckling.

"Oh kit...," the Kyuubi practically purred, "you're a fleshy little puke of a mortal but you're damn entertaining. Do it. I want to see their faces. I want to feel their horror and taste their despair. Dooooooo iiiiiiit...."

Their mixed laughter would have made even Orochimaru quiver in fearful anticipation.

It was actually pretty simple to set up. All it took was the merest of prods and a tidy little sum of cash to get the boy's gym teacher to agree to a semester long break with Naruto(in disguise of course) as his replacement. The poor man had been trying to find a replacement for years but no one was willing to take the job with a Kuno as Principle so he settled for the next best thing...a long vacation. The man even waved the need for paperwork after a short demonstration of Naruto's Bunshin no Jutsu.

"It's not like you really need paperwork anyway," the man grumbled as he threw his few personal items from his office into a duffel. "Kuno doesn't care as long as you conform to his freakish little idea of a world and keep the kids in line while he's gone."

Naruto assured the man that his students would be well taken care of and would be in top physical form when he returned. This seemed to settle any remaining doubts the man had. With a little shimmy of excitement the man disappeared out the back door and was on a plane bound for Okinawa four hours later.

Principle Kuno was even easier to appease then the gym teacher had been. Naruto had simply appeared in the man's office, decked out in his full teaching persona, and told him that he was the replacement gym teacher for the year. The tropically inclined man found Naruto's enthusiasm inspiring and his hair cut(a part of the specially built henge Naruto had produced just for this job) perfect. The man's signature and stamp of approval weren't even dry before he was making a public announcement over the PA system.

"Aloha Keikis. Dis is da Big Kahuna speakin. All male keikis be gettin a new gym teacha today!" Naruto could practically hear the school grown at the announcement. The principle didn't seem to care. "Jus remember to show da new Kumu some respect yeah? Das all Keikis. Mahalo."

Naruto was given a pair of sheers and told to "Cut dem naughty Keikis hair if they gives you any trouble." The sheers were tucked deep within Naruto's new office desk and promptly forgotten.

Ranma and the rest of the 10th grade boys were dressed and on the field promptly at 1pm. As they would be the first to experience the new gym teacher they were all a bit nervous. Their luck with new teachers was not all that good. The last one they'd gotten liked to leave them as empty husks...deprived of their energy for the slightest infraction.

Ranma wasn't all that worried. He knew he could deal with just about anything the school could possibly throw at him. He was more interested to know what had become of his new friend. As far as he'd heard Naruto hadn't appeared in any classes yet and, considering his stated age of nineteen, he most likely wouldn't unless he bluffed and scammed his way in. Ranma didn't know why anyone would choose to do something like that if they didn't have to anyway.

They waited...and waited some more. Ten minutes passed without a sign of the new teacher. At twelve minutes past Hiroshi and Daisuke were just beginning to complain when a terrific shout cut through the sports field air and left everyone wide eyed and alert. The shout was like no other they'd experienced before. This was not because of its volume or It was the visual and tactile portions of the experience that left them gaping.

Ranma was the only who got to experience the tactile portion...for which the rest of the class was profoundly grateful. They, however, had to suffer through the visual portion.

All Ranma heard was a rather strident "DYNAMIC ENTRY!!!" before he found a shoe connecting with his face and driving him to the ground.

The scene seemed to freeze for the barest of moments as it imprinted itself on the minds of every person present. After all it wasn't every day you saw the school's premiere martial artist take a flying side kick to the face from a green and orange blur that shouted things like "DYNAMIC ENTRY!"

Ranma's body went limp as his face was driven into the grass and dirt. The green and orange blur resolved itself into a green and orange mountain of spandex covered muscle and blinding teeth...forcing many to look away out of disgust or flash blindness.

The man's black hair was cut and spiked so that it formed a perfectly level plane atop his head. His eyebrows were thick and fuzzy...thicker and fuzzier then any the students had seen before. The man's broad square jaw, combined with the cut of his hair made his head look like a brick. His eyes, huge blue orbs that glowed with a youthful light, and his grin, full of glittering white teeth, were the only saving grace for his face.

The rest of his six foot five body bulged with muscles...all of it tightly wrapped in a hideously tight green spandex suit. His lower legs were encased in orange sweat guards that clashed wonderfully with the green of his suit.

He looked like a Greek god that had stumbled into a Richard Simmons exercise program and been horribly mutated. All in all it was an amazing combination that no one outside of the elementals had likely seen anything remotely similar to.

The Kyuubi was howling in laughter as Naruto, in his modified Gai/Lee henge, watched his first class's reaction to his entrance and appearance. He'd wanted to give the correct first impression as well as test Ranma on his ability to detect an incoming threat. The first impression was going well but Ranma's reflexes were apparently lacking when it came to sneak attacks. That would be something he'd have to fix quickly. And if repeated dynamic entries weren't enough then Naruto didn't know what would do it.

A low grown and the feeling of a shifting body beneath his feet alerted Naruto that Ranma was coming back around. Naruto kindly stepped off the boy's head and allowed him to stand. The pigtailed boy, after a few twitches and moans, shot to his feet and pointed a finger at the man responsible.

"Hey! What the hell do you think you're...woah."

Ranma's tirade cut off as he got his own first look at the green beast before him. His jaw went slack and his eyes bulged at the sheer absurdity of the man that was, apparently, their new gym teacher.

"Welcome students," Naruto boomed in his newly modified voice. "I applaud your youthful choice to attend gym class." He heard a couple of low muttered comments about choice before continuing on. "My name is Maito Gai and I will be your instructor for this year. As your instructor you may call me Gai-sensei. I expect nothing but your best youthful effort in this class." He clapped his hands together. "YOSH! The class will run four laps! Saotome," he said, pointing at the pigtailed youth who was just now recovering from his "introduction", "sixteen laps for you. You will not step over the finish line until the last member of the class does. GO NOW!"

The class was so stunned that they all shuffled off towards the track without so much as a peep in protest. Within minutes they were plodding along not unlike zombie joggers. Only Ranma was moving at anything resembling a decent clip but even he still had a rather glazed look about him.

Deciding that his class needed some motivation Naruto produced a number of clones and enmeshed them and himself in a modified illusion so that only one of him could be seen at any one time by any of the students. He and the clones then proceeded to divide themselves up among the students where they offered helpful jogging tips and generally scared the daylights out of each and every one of them.

Ten minutes later the class was standing at attention in the center of the field eyeing their new teacher warily. The jogging they were familiar with. Giving Ranma extra laps was something new but not really ground breaking in their minds. After his entrance however they were all collectively waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Naruto clapped his meaty paw like hands together loud enough that some of the closer students winced. "Now. I have reviewed Tosha-sensei's notes on this class and I am most displeased with your apparent lack of progress," he said as his voice dropped several octaves further as he leaned forward down to the students' level. His eyes went steely blue and glinted menacingly in the process which, combined with the rest of the image he was presenting, caused a good number of the boys to shiver in horrified anticipation of the terrors to come.

"Therefore," he said as he stood strait once more, "we will have to work extra hard to get you all in top physical form before Tosha-sensei's return next semester. I will work you harder then you have ever been worked none." Naruto's eyes settled firmly on Ranma as he said this, letting everyone know their martial arts prodigy wouldn't be getting an easy out. "There will be no mercy, no quarter, and no slacking. Obviously some of you are better off then others." Here he glanced first at Ranma then at several of the more...puny...specimens. "Fear not. I will not judge you based on what the best of you can produce. I will judge you instead on how far you've personally gotten once we're through. I expect nothing but the best from each of you."

A clipboard appeared in Naruto's hand. "Saito, Tosa."

One of the shorter boys jerked as his name was called out. "H..hai...S...s...sensei?"

Naruto sized him up in one glance. "Fifteen pounds over optimum weight. Too much fatty food for lunch. Finished fifth from last during this afternoon's run. Labored breathing lasted for three minutes and thirty-six seconds longer then optimal after run."

Tosa's eyes bugged out a bit. "D...does it really say all that?" he asked, staring at the clipboard.

Naruto turned the clipboard around and showed the class. The page only had a list of names on it...nothing more. Even Ranma blink blinked at that. Before the class could fully grasp what their new sensei had done he'd moved on to the next name.

"Gosunkugi, Hikaru."

A thud somewhere near the back of the class announced how well Gos had taken to being called upon by their new sensei. The crowd of boys parted, giving Naruto a clear view of the sprawled boy. "Nineteen pounds under optimum weight. No lunch. Bruising in six locations due, most likely, to bullying. Finished last this afternoon." Naruto strode forward and nudged the boy's arms and legs with his foot. "Minimal muscle tone except in right arm...I don't want to know why." It was a testament to how much the muscle bound titan scared them that not a single snicker or guffaw escaped the class's lips.

Ignoring the boy passed out at his feet Naruto turned to another student. "Komatsu, Hiroshi."

The second half of the pervy duo straightened abruptly and attempted to meet Naruto's eyes. "Three pounds over optimum weight. Didn't finish lunch. Started out well during the run but fell towards the back of the group near the end. Finished eleventh from last."

Hiroshi slumped a bit but didn't look to displeased with the evaluation.

"Saotome, Ranma." What noise there was vanished when Ranma's name came up. The crowd split once more giving Naruto a clear path to the pigtailed martial artist. The boy had obviously recovered from his earlier surprise attack. His arms were crossed and his lips were tilted in a cocky half smile that clearly showed he knew he was at the top of the heap.

"Excellent muscle tone. Double standard lunch size. Easily finished sixteen laps and could have done a half dozen more before the time limit expired." Naruto cocked his head slightly, which looked decidedly odd with his new look, and studied the boy further. "Bruising around the solar plexus, right shoulder, and lower right back. Multiple counts of other older injuries as well." Ranma wasn't smiling anymore.

Naruto 'hmm'd' and turned away as if moving on. The next moment his foot was connecting with Ranma's chest. The pigtailed boy bounced off the ground once, controlled his flight, and landed in a crouch fifteen feet away. Before Ranma could even recover his breath Naruto spoke again.

"Reflexes sorely lacking against surprise attacks."

Don't expect more real soon.