By: Nyssa Benthin
The show Naruto is © Masashi Kishimoto
This story begins 20 years before the show as we know it (when Naruto is 12). Therefore it is 8 years before Shino is born, and Shibi (Shino's father) is around 20 years old.
This first chapter is an introduction, and the first chapter uses an alteration of a known song - rest assured this is the only time I do this in the entire book, and I feel it works well with the story (if there are any 'song fic' haters out there). People looking for in depth Aburame clan insight, romance, and canon-realistic backstory on Shino's family, will get exactly that.
Enjoy all you kikaichu lovers. :3
There are many kinds of clans (families, "Ichizoku") in Konoha, the hidden village of the leaf. It is an extremely diverse village when it comes to specialized ninja techniques. Konoha is home to four noble clans, and many smaller clans that have sectret justu, all adding to the village's power and prestige.
Some clans are bound by blood, with kekkei genkai; abilities passed down to their children through their genes. There are two large and noble clans like this in Konoha with dojutsu (eye techniques). These of course are the Hyūga, with their all seeing Byakugan, and the Uchiha clan, with their amazing sharingan. These clans generally marry within the clan, which can lead to some mild incest with second cousins (because of the passing down of the ability to the children through their genetics) in order to try and preserve the purity of the ability. All the same they are powerful clans and feared throughout the fire country.
Then there are the families that specialize in certain abilities. The techniques do not require special lineage, but how to do them are kept secret. The clans are in this category would be the Yamanaka, Nara, and Akimichi ichizoku's (Famously known to work together as the "InoShikaChō" team).
Then there are a special, third category of clans. Groups that take a technique that technically anyone can learn, as it is not a kekkei genkai, but yet it is a jutsu that requires it to be passed to you from a former generation. One wonders how such clans began, and who was the first to blaze the trail so many generations ago. These clans take their jutsu to another level. One could say it is almost a form of obsession; total immersion and love of their technique, because the lifestyle and habits of the members become that of what they study. It becomes an extension of themselves.
The Inuzuka clan fits into this category. They are a close-knit group that works with dogs. They pass on the knowledge of how to communicate with dogs to their children, and specially breed canine companions that become their partners in ninja techniques, as well as their best friends. Everything they do, including all their jutsu, is dog-like, from their scraggly appearance, outgoing personalities, fang teeth and piercing eyes.
Then…there is the Aburame clan.
If you had to point out the most immersed, specialist, unique clan in all of Konoha, they would be the one you would pick.
Although a relatively small ichizoku in terms of numbers, the clan's stronghold takes up a large part of the farthest Eastern edge of Konoha in the shadow of the village wall. Surrounding it is a tall, wooden wall, with a single set of bamboo doors that remain closed 24/7 except to let people in or out when needed (as compared to most other clans that keep their doors open during the day). Silk cloths garnish the entryway, brush painted sumi-e style with images of various species of insects and arachnids. The reason for the large space is because most of their clan is gardens and trees. They breed and protect insects in these tree groves.
This is because the Aburame's are bug specialists.
Members of the Aburame family are easily recognizable by the clothes they wear; large jackets with high collars that cover the lower half of their faces, and dark sunglasses to cover their eyes. Their actions and manner of speech are as purposeful, calculated and patient as the insects they study and love. Their thoughtful calmness can come off as arrogance and unfeeling to those not familiar with them.
This 'inhuman' behavior is because of their clan technique, which revolves around the insects they house within their bodies. They are literally living hives; a colony of the insects living and breeding throughout their body and under their skin. They are not just any normal insect, but a rare, intelligent, and dangerous beetle known as kikaichu; destruction bugs. These small insects feed on chakra, the energy that flows though people and animals, and that is all they require to survive. In the wild they attack their prey in swarms and devour its chakra, killing or completely knocking out their victim.
The kikai bugs and their human hosts have relationship of mutual benefit; a symbiosis; or as some call it 'a contract'. The kikaichu have a food source and safe nest for breeding their young, and the host gets an army of deadly insects at their constant beck and call. The Aburame's communicate with them in their own language, the silent language of the insects. They can also talk to most other insects, it is a skill taught from birth to their children.
Because of an unfortunate side effect of the thousands upon thousands of kikai living in every available nook and cranny of their bodies, the Aburames must wear dark sunglasses to hide their eyes, so as to not frighten the masses. The delicate network of chakra that weaves around the eyes is almost indistinguishable from the eyes themselves. Within the first year of receiving the insects, the eyes are lost to the kikai as they venture out into outer appendages from their nests within the torso. All that is left are dark, empty eye sockets.
Of course, one would think why would you ever pass on an ability that renders you blind? But that is not the case. The kikai that live in the back of their eye sockets around the optic nerves transmit what they see to their host's brain using chakra connections. The kikaichu become their new eyes. The change is not too different, because the eyes of the kikai are similar to that of mammals or arachnids, they are lens based and not multi-faceted. An evolutionary trait they gained due to their predatory and high intelligence nature in the wild.
Most in Konoha don't even realize what they are hiding behind the sunglasses, all they know is that it makes them look even more creepy and inhuman.
The Aburames are indeed so introverted, so reclusive, that not even people from their own village know much about them. Frankly, most people in the village don't want to know about them. Their general avoidance of human contact is not one of hatred or distrust. It is merely in their nature.
They are not devoid of feeling or emotion, as their fellow ninja tend to think by their subdued actions and voices. When you have a million insects living under your skin, it can change your behavior to something that most don't classify as truly 'human'.
However, where they may be inhuman in their behavior and appearance,
if you really got to know them,
they likely will be some of the most humane people you'll ever meet.
Still, many in Konoha fear and don't want to think about the Aburame clan.
The most mysterious ichizoku in all of Konoha.