Chapter 10: Demons revealed! Sexy Sensei Kome!
The funeral for Asuma was solemn and quiet. Shikamaru lit a cigarette and smoked it the entire them the procession and ceremony was going on. Fumi cried into Katsu's shoulder. He consoled her with a pat on the back. Yue had his hat removed and simply let his long hair flow around his shoulders and his black kimono.
Ino and Chouji were present and made Chip and Uri come too. Always sentimental, Uri was a mess of tears and it was Chip's job to pat her, though looked less enthused about consoling a crying girl than Katsu did. It wasn't until Uri began crying on Ken's shoulder that he realized that he'd much rather console his sister than anyone else and promptly returned her to his arms, shooting a jealous glare at Ken.
Kurenai stepped forward and placed one of the trench knives she recovered onto the monument beside his picture and stepped back. "Goodbye," she whispered sadly and kissed the edge of the frame. Naruto clenched and unclenched his fists.
After the funeral he was in his office with Sasuke. The two were almost inseparable in hard time, each drawing strength from the other as brothers might do. "Susanou…Susanou," Naruto repeated over and over again. "I've never heard mention of Susanou before."
"Orochimaru never mentioned it to me either. I was much interested in asking him questions about his subordinates though." Sasuke thought deeply. "This guy knows all about Orochimaru and already has a pretty sizeable army of talented ninja…Damn. We're at a total disadvantage, Naruto."
"For now. Let's just concentrate on defense. I'm not about to send another team to find out more about this guy unless I'm going along too."
"Count me in," Sasuke said angrily. "I've got a score to settle with that bastard." They sat in silence for a little while until the Uchiha headed toward the door. "By the way…Have you noticed anything odd about Inari's abilities?"
"Not really. Why?"
"Ask him about a golden fox…" With that Sasuke left, leaving Naruto perplexed.
Aiki and Awaji had their heads pressed together as they struggled with their books. The black haired Awaji growled and slowly went through some hand seals. Aiki swished his tails and replaced his human ears with his wolf ears. Tora watched them with amusement.
"You guys should have paid more attention in class, then you wouldn't have had to study so hard for the genin exam," she said with a chuckle. Awaji and Aiki glared at her for being right. She giggled.
"No no no, Aiki it's sheep…monkey…tiger," Awaji explained. His friend gave him a funny look. He checked the book to make sure they were looking at the right diagram.
"What are you talking about!? It's monkey rat ox!"
"What?! That's sheep. This is monkey."
"No way, stupid!"
"Yes way!" They growled and headbutted each other angrily. All of the studying they had been doing was finally wearing on their nerves. Shino-sensei had set the day for the final exam and everyone was running around like a chicken with their heads cut off. Except for a few students like Sasuga and Tora, who was a year younger than everyone else.
"Stop fighting, you two. Maybe we should take a break from studying and go to Ichiraku. Besides we've got bigger problems to worry about after we pass the test."
The boys closed the book and gave each other an apologetic look. "I get ya," Awaji muttered. "But we're probably not even going to pass the test." Aiki's ears drooped and he nodded.
"Sasuga and I'll help you study so stop worrying. What do you think we'll have to do for the final?"
Awaji groaned and tried to hide his face behind the book. "Chakra control… I haaaate hate haaaate chakra control."
"Bunshin," Aiki croaked. "I hate hate haaaaate bunshin," he said copying his friend.
"AND HAND SEALS!" The two shouted in unison, realizing that they didn't understand hand seals any better after having studied them for an hour.
"We're doomed!" Awaji wailed. Aiki had to restrain himself from letting out a mournful howl. Tora giggled as they arrived at the ramen stand.
"Why hello, kids," the ramen shop owner greeted. "What's for today?"
"Give me your spiciest ramen," Tora ordered eagerly.
"Give me something to make my brain bigger," Awaji said without humor.
Aiki looked at his friend. "They sell that?? OH! You must mean Inuzuka brand Dog Food! I'll have that!" The three humans looked at him with disgust. "What? It's supposed to make my faster, smarter, and shinier than all of the other kids."
"Aiki'll have some tanuki ramen," said Tora laying down the money for their meals.
"Tanuki?? Like the Shukaku????" Aiki tilted his head, his mind baffled by Tora. The girl pointedly ignored him like the confused puppy that he was. Awaji chuckled and opened his book. Seeing all those diagrams almost made him lose his appetite so he closed it again and groaned.
The three scarfed down about ten bowls each of ramen. Aiki felt so good he just wanted to sleep in the warm sun and forget that he even heard the word 'test'.
"Ne, ne, ne!" Naruto screamed, rushing over to the ramen stand. "You guys have lunch and you don't even invite your dear old dad? No allowance for a month!"
Awaji jumped down from his seat and grabbed Naruto's cloak. "Oi, old man! Aren't you supposed be doing Hokage stuff and not picking on little kids?!"
"I am doing Hokage stuff! I'm showing the Fifth Kazekage around town," said Naruto grinning broadly. Aiki blinked in surprise as Gaara appeared, arms crossed. He looked surprised for a second but his expression softened when he saw his son. Quiet as always he only waved a little.
"I just ate a tanuki!" Aiki piped. Gaara raised his eyebrow curiously. Tora and Awaji laughed. "What?"
Tora poked him bashfully. "Tanuki ramen doesn't actually have tanuki in it, silly. It's just a name." Aiki gave a disappointed 'oh' and hopped down from his seat.
He walked over to his father and bowed deeply in respect. "Oh great Kazekage-sama, help me study for my genin exam!" Gaara tousled his hair and gave him a pat.
"WHAT?! What kind of dad are you!" Aiki whined falling into his father. "I'm doomed."
"Maybe if you stopped skipping class with the Uzumaki kids you'd have a better chance," he stated with hint of criticism in his voice. Naruto and his kids looked around innocently. "Besides, you already are a fine ninja. Just believe in yourself and you'll pass.
"As a matter of fact, I'm assisting the Hokage with examinations this time." Naruto grinned since it was his brilliant idea that brought Gaara to Konoha. Gaara paused. "I think he just likes having me around since I've been a leader long and I'm more responsi-" The rest of his sentence was cut off by Naruto's hand over his mouth.
"Well, it's time for us to go! We still have to go talk to teachers and instructors for the class. Let's go you, damned tanuki." With that he pushed, Gaara forward and away from telling what seemed to be the truth.
The next day Shino has the class split into five groups of six. Sasuga, Tora, Awaji, Kumo, and Aiki comprised one group with another girl with rabbit like teeth. She was aptly named Mochi. After the class had grouped together, Shino then instructed them to choose a wooden tile laying face down on the table in front of him.
Awaji walked up to the table and gulped. He didn't know which one to choose so he did a quick rendition of Eeny Meeny Miney Mo and chose the fourth tile and took it back to the group without looking at it. On the teacher's signal everyone turned over their tile to reveal a technique that they'd have to perform for a grade. Aiki and Awaji went pale. The tile had "B U N S H I N" written in red paint on it.
The first group performed kawarimi, Shino throwing rocks at them, each one bouncing off a wooden log expertly. The second group the shadow shuriken technique aiming at a dummy of a Sound ninja place in the middle of the field. Finally, Shino arrived at their group his clip board in hand.
"Aburame…Kumo," he stated firmly. Kumo sweated a little always nervous to perform in front of his father. He stepped forward and concentrated.
"Kumo bunshin no jutsu." A second and third clone appeared beside him, hands in their pockets. Kumo straightened up and released the jutsu the clones disappearing. He swallowed a little as Shino scribbled something on his clipboard.
"Uzumaki Tora." Tora created four perfect clones, each doing something different. Shino nodded approvingly and moved on to Sasuga. Sasuga created four clones as well. Awaji and Aiki were standing stiffly fearing their turns. "Now… " Shino looked at the two of them. "What's with standing so stiffly for? Have you two been practicing?" They nodded just as rigidly as they stood. "Then there shouldn't be a problem. …." They waited with bate breath for Shino to call the next name. "Sabakuno –"
"WOOO!" Awaji cheered. He almost did a dance until he noticed the small vein beginning to pulse on his teacher's temple. "Ah…sorry, sensei." He took a big step back, leaving Aiki to his fate.
Aiki nodded. He was terrible at this jutsu since no matter what his clones has wolf ears and tails. He hadn't attempted the jutsu since Naruto placed the new seal on his chakra and wasn't even sure he could pull off the technique.
Taking a deep breath Aiki began to concentrate on the jutsu. He tried to feel his chakra and mold it into a clone of himself WITHOUT tails and ears. "Bunshin no jutsu!" he cried. There was a collective gasp. Beside him was a large hulking clone with six red eyes, wolf ears, tails, talons and fur and everything. It was the most demonic looking clone anyone had ever seen.
"So it's true, he is the demon that attacked sand," he heard a boy whisper.
"He's father's a demon too. Hokage-sama defeated him once before."
"I knew that kid was bad news. My mom says nothing good ever comes out of Sunagakure no Sato."
"Shino-sensei! I'm scared!"
Aiki stared at the demon beside him, transfixed. He could here the jeers and whispers surrounding him as well as a whisper deep inside. It stared as a low whistle that grew into a searing howl. The seal around his stomach began to burn and his head began to ache so badly he fell to his knees. "No…not now…"
"What's happening to him!?"
"He's turning into a demon! He's going to eat us!"
Shino dropped his clipboard and knelt at Aiki's side. "Everyone quiet down. Aiki-sama? Aiki-sama?"
But the boy could not hear his sensei's cries. The howl was splitting his ears and he became filled with the urge to taste blood and destroy. It was the same as the village of humans he slaughtered. The demon was inside him, trying to escape. He was the demon prince of the Dairou pack, a fate that would not leave him alone.
He pushed Shino aside and transformed into a large red dairou demon. The children around him screamed and began to run to safety. "Aiki!" Tora screamed. The demon howled and took off away from the school, jumping to a nearby rooftop to escape.
Sasuga sprang into action. "Kumo, Tora. Follow me. Awaji, stay here with sensei until Naruto-sama comes." Awaji nodded. Kumo and Tora followed Sasuga to the rooftops to trail their friend.
It wasn't hard to see where Aiki had gone. His claws dug deep grooves into the tiles of roofs and where he had taken to the streets stands were turned over and people were screaming. Still enough of himself to know he was a danger to people; it appeared that Aiki was heading towards the gates of Konoha.
"Kumo, can your spiders make rope strong enough to hold him?" asked Sasuga.
"Mmm, I'm not sure how strong he is but my spiders can create a pretty strong rope if they have to."
"Good. We have to catch him before he gets into the forest. Once he's in there we'll never catch him." Kumo extended his arms.
"I attached a few spiders to him before he took off, I'll have them tie him up," Kumo sent a few spiders out of his sleeves to relay the message to their brethren.
The three landed in front of the gates. The two guards there were knocked out claw marks everywhere. Just outside the gates they heard a scuffle. They were there immediately. Tiny spiders were wrapping their silk around a struggling Aiki.
"Aiki!" Tora cried running to his side. The wolf snarled and snapped at her. "It's me, Aiki. It's Tora-chan. Don't do this..." She held out her hand slowly but again Aiki snapped viciously.
"Don't get close," he snarled. "The seal the Naruto placed on me…It's being eaten away. I'm changing into a demon…like my mother. Tora! Kill me! It's the only choice that you have."
Tora stood up and glared down at him. "No. We're friend and friends help each other. I'm not going to let your demon blood take over. That's not the real Aiki! The real Aiki is sweet and kind. This Aiki is just a cheap imposter! Byakugan!!" Veins pulsed around her eyes.
She had a clear view of the chakra within Aiki. It was in turmoil, flowing in all directions and eating the seal that kept his demon chakra from prevailing. If she could only stop the flow of demon chakra, even for just a little bit, they might have a chance at saving him.
She would have to stop the seal from being consumed. The Demon chakra was centering on his navel. But if she failed she could kill him.
"Tora…" Sasuga looked at her, his SAS glaring at the same thing she was staring out. "You can do it."
Swallowing hard, she fell into Hyuuga-stance and pointed her first to finger. "Jyuken!" She hit two points near Aiki's navel. When he coughed up blood she was afraid that she had failed but slowly the wolf began to transform into a young boy again. Soon Aiki was lying slumped against a tree, covering in loose silk.
Kumo pushed up his glasses as Shino, Naruto, and Gaara landed behind him. "Crisis averted," then he added, "For now."
"Good job." Shino nodded and did something rare. He smiled. Kumo blushed profusely and tried to hide his face in his collar.
Gaara gathered his son and put him on his back. "Hinata should-"
"No. Jiraiya. Let's go!" Without even acknowledging the children the two leaders took off. Awaji came running through the gates just in time to see them run away.
"What's happened?" he asked between pants. Tora welled up with tears and started crying. "What?! Tora!"
"Aiki's demon is winning… DAMMIT!" Sasuga punched the tree.
"Stop worrying. Jiraiya is one of the Legendary Sannin," Shino added. "He's great with seals and if anyone can help him than he can. Tsunade also will lend her hand to help… Now, let's get back to school.
"Awaji still has to perform his bunshin," said the teacher pushing up his shade. Awaji's jaw nearly hit the ground.
"You're really sadistic you know that!?"
Jiraiya and Tsunade stood over Aiki's body. The new seal was still smoking as it did its job. "Something's not right… But this should hold him for a long time. This seal works with the jewelry to naturally control and redirect the demon chakra."
"That's a huge seal," Naruto commented at the complex diagram imprinted on the young boys chest and stomach."
"It has to be," Tsunade quipped in. "This boy is generating a lot of chakra. I had Kiba look in to it and he says that the Dairou clan has no idea themselves what's happening. Perhaps it has something to do with Gaara and the Shukaku?"
Gaara looked ashamed. "I don't think so but if it is…" He sighed heavily. "Naruto said that his children received some of Kyuubi's power but to what extent they aren't sure. As far as I can tell, Aiki can manipulate earth better than any dairou."
"Will he be able to take the genin exam," asked Naruto worried. "I mean, can he still use chakra?"
"Only one fourth of his total power. Like you, he'll have to struggle with that limit until we can think of something better," answered Jiraiya.
Aiki remained under Tsunade's and Hinata's care for another week before they were satisfied that he was safe to be released. The usual group was there to greet him at the hospital doors. Even Kumo showed up.
"Did you hear!" Awaji exclaimed. "Naruto's going to give us all a honorary D-rank mission because we chased you down!"
Sasuga shook his head. "Even though Awaji had the easiest job, he gets the honor too. Geez." Awaji gave him a dirty look but Sasuga ignored it.
"Even though you failed our quiz last week," Kumo started. Aiki look devastated. "He's still letting you take the genin exam…tomorrow."
"WHAT?!" Aiki couldn't believe his ears. "TOMORROW! I'm-"
"Doomed," Tora finished. "We know. If it's okay, we wanted to train all day!" Awaji and Sasuga nodded enthusiastically. Aiki flexed his bicep.
"I'm fit and ready to go!"
The day of the exam arrived and Aiki was exhausted. Fumi literally had to drag him out of the bed and down the stairs. She complained the entire time about how troublesome it was that he spent all day horsing around before an exam and how she troublesome it was that she had to wake him up but she wished him good luck anyway.
When he arrived at the examination, the student avoided him like the plague. He was a little disappointed that all of the friends that he had made in Konoha had abandoned him so quickly but he couldn't blame them. He was a monster after all. Only the Uchiha, Uzumakis, and the Aburame stuck by him.
It was strange but he felt closer to Kumo after what happened. The boy seemed to understand what it was like to be an outcast because of his spider infestation and gave a quite vote of camaraderie to the Suna native.
Kiba walked out into the classroom and smiled warmly. "Hey, kids! For this exam, you'll have to disarm me and get past me to proceed to the level of genin! Got it?" Akamaru barked. The kids all saluted and began to form a line.
Brandishing a kunai, Kiba tried to throw the kids off their guard. He was lenient and gave the kids at least two tries and most that failed the first time were successful the second time. Tora used a kaiten to know the kunai away and expertly dodged around Kiba. Kumo used his spiders to bind the teacher in place, much to Shino's approval, and walked past calmly. Sasuga had Kiba on the ground in a five seconds flat mixing Uchiha techniques and Hyuuga fluidity to get past. Awaji passed by pure accident; cutting himself on the arm with the kunai as he tripped forward thereby causing Kiba's kunai to melt. When it was all said and done, Awaji was over the line and much to everyone's surprise he passed. Naruto was never more relieved.
Finally Aiki's turn came. Gaara clenched his fist tightly as he sat behind the table with Naruto. Aiki looked at his father, Naruto, Kiba, the kunai, and his friends. Awaji gave him a wink and mouthed something with a wide grin on his face. Aiki nodded and looked a Kiba.
"So…I can use any jutsu?"
"Yeah, just lay it on me!" Kiba grinned and shook the kunai him. "Ready?" Aiki nodded. Everyone watched with bated breath, most afraid him going demon again.
"Oiroke no jutsu!" There was a puff of smoke and tall red-haired girl without clothes was draped around Kiba's neck. Two wolf ears pricked forward and two tails swished behind her. "Kiba-sama, can I puh-leeeease pass. I promise to give you a big fat kissy wissy if you let me."
Somehow Jiraiya descended from the ceiling with an eyeglass plastered to his eye. "YES!!! This is perfect! A+!!" Tora gave the old man a flying kick to the face for being a pervert and dragged him out the door unconscious.
Gaara was paralyzed with shock. As was Kiba, who was developing an amazing nosebleed, even Akamaru was pleased, a pool forming around his paws. Aiki slipped past and untransformed.
"Did I pass!" He asked curiously. All eyes, some friendly, some accusing, were one Naruto.
Naruto and Awaji burst into laughter. Their mirth was short lived as Hinata cleared her throat. "Uh…yeah…you pass. Heh…" He looked at Gaara who was glaring at him. "WHAT! I didn't teach him!"
"I DID!" Awaji said proudly. Hinata and Gaara glared at Naruto some more.
"Naruto," Hinata began in the same voice she used to scold her children. "What did I say about teaching our kids that jutsu?" He bowed his head in shame. She sighed and bowed in apology to Gaara.
"I just hope Kankurou never sees that jutsu," Gaara groaned. "Come and choose your headband, Aiki."
Before him on the table were two headbands: one for Suna and one for Konoha. "You have to decide which village you want to belong to," Naruto explained. Aiki nodded and put the Konoha headband on his head. Gaara nodded slowly but Aiki grabbed the Suna headband and tied it around his arm.
"There. Now I'm a part of both," he said grinning.
"But…you can't be a part of both," Gaara interjected calmly.
Gaara looked at Naruto for help. The blond Hokage seemed to think for a second. "I think…you can belong to both," he said finally. "It'll be hard protecting two villages though." Aiki nodded and gave the nice guy pose. Naruto and Gaara both pounced on him. "Uh… that's not necessary!"
Sasuga, Tora, and Aiki sat in the classroom and waited patiently for their jounin. Everyone else had already met his or her instructors but theirs was oddly late. "Maybe he was on a mission," Tora though out loud. "And he's unable to get back in time." She envisioned a tall, muscular heroic type ninja and squealed.
"Or maybe he's a lazy bum," Sasuga answered. In his mind the image of a fat, portly ninja carrying bags of food formed and he became annoyed and disgusted. Aiki, however, remained quiet and optimistic. He wasn't sure what kind of instructor they would receive.
Not soon after, the door slid open. Three sets of eyes were intently fixed on the doorway. Sasuga and Aiki were in love at first sight. A long set of fishnet legs held up with black garter belts, a pink skirt that bordered on miniscule with slits up the sides, a fishnet shirt, and a jounin jacket barely able to contain what was inside it walked in. Tora narrowed her eyes and knocked her two teammates skulls together to return them to reality but neither felt the pain. They just straightened up and went about making themselves look presentable, that is, as presentable as they could with their noses pouring blood.
The woman's silver hair flowed into her face, leaving only one brown eye exposed. She blinked and closed the door behind her. "Are you team 6?" asked a very very manly voice. Suddenly the two boys were in morbid disbelief.
"You're a MAN??" they cried. The two collapsed in deep sorrow and wept. Tora still peeved, felt justified just a little.
"Just kidding!" the jounin said in a very airy and feminine voice. She giggled. "I can't believe it's my team!" She ran over and gave them a giant group hug. No one was sure what to make of her but Aiki and Sasuga didn't care, her chest was smothering them and there was not a better way to die.
Tora broke away from the hug forcefully, leaving their teacher a little confused. "Why were you late?" she scolded.
The woman put the tip of her finger to the lips and looked up at the ceiling as she thought. "Well, there was this burning orphanage and I just couldn't-"
"LIAR!" Tora yelled. "And it's not even a good lie!!"
Aiki gingerly put his hand on Tora's shoulder. "Hey, don't be so mean. It's her first day on the job you know…"
"Awww, Tora-chan doesn't like me," the instructor said a little tearfully. "And I was hoping we could have sleepover and do each other's hair."
This did not win over the Hokage's daughter. "I can't believe you're a jounin. You seem like such an air head." She turned her head refusing to look at the travesty before her. There was a brief flash in the teacher's eye and suddenly she was behind Tora and slipping a kunai in her pouch. Tora blinked and suddenly her two pigtails fell down around her shoulders. Some of her hair fell in front of her face. The jounin hugged her from behind.
"Now we're like twin sisters!" She gave a bright airy laugh that made even Sasuga and Aiki question her intelligence but she was pretty so at least she had some saving qualities. Tora gritted her teeth, though she was fuming inside. The woman clapped her hands together. "Okay, okay. Introduction time. Who wants to go first?"
Aiki opened his mouth to speak but Sasuga pushed him to the side. "Uchiha Sasuga! I'm the youngest son of the Uchiha clan. I like training, my family, and long walks in the park. I dislike people who try to hurt my friends and family and uncooked food…like sushi." He bowed deeply. "It's a pleasure to meet you." He looked over to Aiki who was growling slightly in displeasure. Sasuga laughed nervously and let his friend introduce himself.
"I am Sabakuno Aiki, son of the Kazekage. I have dual citizenship so that's why I have two headbands. I like just about everything but I dislike demons and people who hurt others. Oh… And I like really pretty girls, like you sensei," he said turning up the charm. The teacher giggled a little and looked at Tora who was angrily putting her hair back in to pigtails.
"And you are…"
"I am Uzumaki Tora. You know who I am. I like nothing that is your business and I definitely don't like you," she stated frankly. "They just like you because they think you're a sex bomb waiting to go off but boys are inherently stupid so…" She shrugged indignantly.
The woman just smiled the whole time, though Sasuga and Aiki seemed to be nursing their hurt feelings. "Well, my name is Hatake Kome. I like puppies-"
"YES!" Aiki shouted, arms raised in victory. Sasuga looked defeated.
"And long walks in the park-"
"YES!" Aiki deflated as Sasuga cheered.
"So it's nice to meet you," she finished. Tora rolled her eyes. Kome smiled but gave a conspiratory look at Aiki that no one noticed.