Summary: Creating a jutsu is dangerous. Too bad an eleven-year-old Naruto didn't know that. AU, Naruto with MPD.
Warning: Some bad language.
Disclaimer: Not mine, apart from the parts that are.
A/N: The joy of a new chapter. -sheepish grin- Thanks to martinique (again) for beta-reading, and just being cool, generally - and to everyone who reviewed. I really do appreciate every review left. To reassure readers; there will be no bashing if I can help it - and I'll try to insert Shino in somewhere. Also, to any writers out there who're interested in a challenge, I'd like to direct you to the 'Unusual Adoption' Challenge (http:// nest. avidgamers. com - without the spaces). It'd be really interesting to see a couple of people try it out.
'When do you think Ibiki-sensei's going to notice we stole his book?' Naruto yawned, his left hand scrawling away as he turned the page of the book he was taking notes from. After ten months, four dislocations and seventeen breaks in his right arm (which took surprisingly little time to heal; recently, they'd been fixing themselves overnight, much to Naruto's bewilderment. He was pretty sure broken arms weren't suppose to do that) he'd found himself adapting to writing left-handed, and, much to Iruka-sensei's shock, he probably had neater writing with his left. Of course, when around other people he used his right hand as much as possible – a strength is only so when other people are not aware of it, brat – but Iruka had managed to find out, using his super-secret sensei skills.
'I'm bettin' he noticed when we took it,' Red said lazily, giving the impression that if he could, he would be shifting to slump against a wall. 'You can't say he ain't observant, after all.'
It was probably true, but Naruto liked to believe that he had successfully got one over his eagle-eyed sensei. It made him feel proud of himself; something that was rare when he remembered his academy class and the fact that he was still near the bottom despite having extra tutoring and five voices in his head - he just couldn't do exams, and half the time for practicals he was messed up from Ibiki-sensei's latest training routine. Red and Grey refused to help him most of the time as well; Red, because he wouldn't do anything unless he got something in return, and Grey, 'just in case you're stuck without one of us to help you'. Like that was ever going to happen.
He turned another page, running his eyes down the printed text – this was something no one was technically supposed to get their hands on before they were chuunin rank and recruited into Intelligence. Ibiki-sensei had a tendency to treat Naruto's choice of department as a foregone conclusion, but Naruto wasn't entirely sure. They were all a bunch of psychos in Intelligence, and Ibiki wasn't even the worst among them. The book was Konoha's intell. book; a gathering of data on a variety of customs in different countries in case anyone had to fake where they came from and information on all of the Hidden Villages, how they got promoted and all that stuff, and comparing it to Konoha. Normally, Naruto would have avoided this like the plague; it was low on jutsus (the only one he'd seen written down was the Hidden Mist's mist technique, and he was pretty bad with water techniques anyway, so that sucked) and high on dull text.
It was, however, exactly what he needed to complete his essay for the academy and get a really high mark – Iruka-sensei always gave extra points if people managed to work in detail from outside the academy textbooks, and Naruto was determined to get the highest mark in the class this time. Red had bet him stamina training that he couldn't beat Sakura.
That was something Naruto quite enjoyed about sharing his body. Any training anyone put in contributed to their strength as a whole, and so there were various arguments on who had to be in control as Ibiki-sensei made them run insane numbers of laps around the village. It was Red's turn all of next week, but Red had offered to do both his week and Naruto's if Naruto won the bet, and that was something Naruto just couldn't pass up on, even if it meant he had to put actual effort into his academic work.
'You ain't goin' to win,' Red drawled. 'There ain't much to be said for the girl, but she does have a brain hidden behind that forehead, which is more'n can be said for you.'
'Hey!' Naruto objected, waiting for Naru to act as a peacemaker almost automatically, but Naru was not forthcoming. There was a silence.
'He's asleep,' Legacy said finally, and Naruto shrugged. That was another weird thing he'd found out about – they could all sleep at different times; Grey said it had something to do with the activity being in different parts of the brain, meaning they could shut parts down at will without adversely affecting the other personalities… or something to that effect. Grey had the problem that his voice was so monotonous that it had a tendency to make the others fall asleep when he went into long explanations. They still needed a couple of hours sleep a night, so the muscles in the body could rest, but they could stay awake for longer than they would otherwise, just switching control of the body.
'We done?' Shi grumbled, and Naruto stuck his tongue out at thin air, knowing the others would get the point of the gesture. Shi wouldn't care of course; he rarely cared about anything that didn't have to do with fighting or surviving. He was a bit… animalistic in a way – vicious as anything, but wild and unrestrained when he fought. He'd tried to kill Ibiki-sensei once or twice, hating that the man could make him afraid. Ibiki-sensei had just broken both of Naruto's arms.
That hadn't been a good day.
'No,' Naruto replied. 'I just have to get in the part about the Hidden Grass's genin graduation.'
'Naruto,' Grey said blandly. 'This essay is on the uses of chakra control.'
'It's sort of connected,' Naruto defended. 'I mean, the intell. book says that the Hidden Grass produces some of the best medic-nin, and their genin are supposed to show their mastery of one medical jutsu and that's… kind of connected to chakra control.'
Red made a sort of satisfied humming sound in the back of their mind, and altered the dimensions of the soul room briefly – Naruto saw a flash of double vision for a second, seeing Red twisting a shougi board out of the blank air and then wave it about. "We goin' to have another game, Legacy? The score was 3-1 to me, yeah?"
Legacy grumbled something under his breath, and then Naruto's vision swam back and he was staring down at the essay again. Whenever one of the group chose to alter the soul room dimensions, it felt really weird. Like his vision was doubling in on itself and he was being split in two.
Naru said he'd felt the same thing when he was in control and one of the others wanted a game of something, so it obviously wasn't that big a problem. It was just odd. Had soemthing to do with the creating of matter, which wouldn't normally be a problem as it was imaginary or something, but then the person who'd created the thing had to co-ordinate it with the other five minds so it could exist in their vision as well... and that was about all Naruto had caught from Grey's explanation.
He finished his essay with a flourish as he tore his mind away from debating the soul room (and he inserted in the part about Grass's graduation, whatever Grey said; he didn't care if it wasn't entirely relevant, it was showing he knew more than everyone else, and that was always good, right?)
'Ibiki-sensei's on a mission today, right?' Naruto asked, and there was a consultation between the personalities who were awake.
'Think he's torturin' someone over in HQ,' Red said, slowly, thoughtfully. 'He seemed too happy for anythin' else, yeah?'
That was probably true – and as a bonus, it meant Naruto had the entire Saturday free. Normally, on weekdays, he turned up at a training field at five, had two and a half hours of training, then went to the academy and afterwards came back to do more training. On weekends, Ibiki just made him train solid – Naruto was vaguely curious why the man seemed to have so little work to do and so much time to dedicate to inflicting pain on a poor and innocent young boy, but decided against mentioning it.
'Is there anything I need to do?' he asked, and Legacy replied.
'Buy food,' he said thoughtfully. 'Then training. Naru wanted to work on that sight borrowing jutsu Ibiki-sensei showed us last week.'
'An' I want to work on that genjutsu,' Red said quickly. 'The camouflage one.' Red maintained that they never did enough work on genjutsu, which was probably true – as a whole, they seemed to fail miserably with illusions and even Red, who prided himself on trickery, wasn't that good at it. He tended to rely on kawarimi and ninja tactics such as 'diving into nearby bushes before running away very quickly'.
'Alright. I wanted to buy some more ramen anyway,' he said, and Red twitched.
'I fuckin' hate ramen,' he grumbled, and Legacy snickered.
'Individuals must always suffer for the good of the whole,' he said purposely in his most pompous tone of voice, and Red growled at him.
'Trying to become Shi now?' Legacy mocked. Naruto grinned as he listened to the developing argument, searching through the precarious piles of paper covering his kitchen table - he knew his wallet was buried here somewhere. Finally catching sight of a flash of orange, he dived on it overdramatically, sliding across the table through snowdrifts of paper and then collapsing over the other side.
'Ow,' he whined, and Red paused in his arguing to laugh at him. Naruto barely managed not to preen at the attention, instead letting only a smug smile rest on his face.
Shoving the quite average-looking wallet (his Gama wallet had been burnt quite a while ago; Naruto was very sure that at least one of his personalities had pyromaniac tendencies) into his pocket, he sauntered out of the door, half-ignoring the others as Naru woke up and try to stop the ongoing shouting match.
'Will you both please be quiet!' Naru begged, and Naruto found his smug smile fading into a more natural grin.
'Hey, hey,' Naruto said as they wandered the bookshop, henge firmly in place and paper bags containing his food for the week dangling by his side. He originally came into the shop looking for something which would contain some awesomely powerful jutsus that he could easily learn and use to show his innate amazingness, but now... 'You know that orange book that Genma's always reading?' He nodded discreetly to where the books were piled, and there was a thoughtful silence.
'Go fer it,' Red said at last, and Naruto sidled over to the books, picking one up with all the casualness of a born actor who had Ibiki trying to hammer stealth into his head (and failing, nine times out of ten). He flicked a page open, ignoring the WARNING: 18+ ONLY written on the cover, and began to read the text.
He choked about half a page in, when the 'busty heroine' was described in great depth – bra size and all. Turning another page introduced a 'busty villainess', and then on the third page, the two somehow got 'caught up in the passion of the moment, ripping each others' clothes off in desperation as they ached for that fire that came only from the touch of each other...'
Naruto put the book down, feeling like his ears were going to burst into flame any time soon. He'd never realised Genma was such a... pervert. That was mildly disturbing. He glanced down at it again, feeling the slightly stunned thoughts of his personalities (Naru was humming very loudly, and Naruto got the impression that he was curled up in a very tight ball, rocking back and forth with his hands over his ears). A grin twitched at the corner of his mouth as he shifted his grocery bags subtly.
'Sooo...' he said in a mock casual voice, quickly getting over his embarrassment for the chance to taunt the others. 'Reckon we should buy one?'
Naruto!' Legacy spluttered, clearly mortified. 'How could you-?'
'I dunno,' Red said, a sly tone entering into his voice. 'D'you reckon there's one with guys only?'
Legacy's protests increased in volume, and Naruto tried very hard to stop himself from snickering. 'We could always ask,' he suggested, and Red 'hmm'ed thoughtfully.
'It would be a good learning experience, don't you think?' Grey said suddenly, and there was a feeling of shock from everyone. Grey – joining in on a joke? 'After all, if we ever get sent on an infiltration mission, we might need to know about gay sex...'
'You- I-' Legacy started, and Naru continued to hum loudly, changing occasionally to 'I can't heaaaar you, can't hear anything, no, nothing at all-'
'What's wrong with sex?' Shi asked, and his voice had more of a growl in it than usual.
'Yeah,' Red snickered. 'You asexual or somethin', Legacy?'
'No! I'm just not a pervert!' Legacy shouted and Naruto did laugh at that, ignoring the curious looks he got from the other shoppers in the book shop.
'Relax,' he snickered. 'We're going. No need to panic about us buying gay porn.'
'I hate you all,' Legacy said with great dignity, settling down to sulk. Still stifling chuckles, Naruto walked out of the door, turning left and bumping into a solid chest.
So much for ninja reflexes, he thought grumpily as he pushed himself up from the floor. He glance up to see Ibiki standing there, disapproval nearly radiating from him, and flinched.
"I thought you said there was no training today, sensei," Naruto said, hoping he didn't look guilty as he smiled weakly – because he could have sworn there wasn't any, really.
Ibiki looked at him, and his face could have been carved from granite; Naruto stopped smiling abruptly. He could hear Shi growl low within him, but instead forced a grin back onto his face, hoping he didn't look too terrified. Six months, and Ibiki-sensei could still freeze him with killing intent – what had he done wrong now?
"I lied," Ibiki said at last. "That girl – Tinten-"
"Tenten," Naruto corrected, without really thinking about it. Ibiki snorted softly and amended what he said.
"-Tenten isn't around, is she?"
Naruto hoped he didn't look as confused as he felt – it didn't help that Naru was questioning Legacy on what exactly Ibiki-sensei meant by asking about Tenten. She'd turned up to watch a couple of their training sessions from time to time (or more precisely, she'd stumbled across them while Ibiki had been showing Naruto the effectiveness of senbon by throwing them at him and had decided to tag along) but Ibiki-sensei didn't seem to much like her, for all that the girl seemed to hero-worship him and his training techniques.
...Naruto could feel his muscles aching at the very thought of Ibiki-sensei's training. Tenten had to be insane, he decided.
'She had training with her genin team,' Grey informed him, and Naruto dutifully relayed the information to Ibiki, who's face still showed little emotion.
"Good," he said at last, gesturing for Naruto to follow him away from where others might hear. Naruto sighed, looking down at his groceries regretfully, and hauled them along.
"I told you I had work today," Ibiki said slowly, and Naruto nodded, eying him warily. Ibiki-sensei wasn't going to use this as an excuse to try out more 'training sessions' was he? Ibiki smirked, apparently approving of the way that Naruto was standing, ready to bolt for one of the escape routes from the clearing at any sign of violence from him.
"I did – there was a traitor in the chuunin. Remember how I asked you to keep an eye on Mizuki?"
Naruto nodded again, then blinked as he put things together.
'Mizuki-sensei was a traitor?' Legacy asked in a horrified voice, and even Red seemed disgusted at that.
'Knew there was somethin' wrong with that bastard...' he muttered, and Naruto shook his head slightly to return his attention back to Ibiki.
"It turns out that he replaced the Forbidden Scroll in the Hokage Tower with a fake about a week ago, and was planning to abandon the village with it in his possession. He says that it's in the clearing where there's a shed – do you know where it is?" He seemed to need some verbal assurance, so Naruto confirmed it, wondering what the man was getting at. He didn't give away any more information than he had to, after all.
"I can't go and get the scroll, because it would draw attention to the fact that it's been stolen. So I need you to get it – and I need it back here by... say, two hours at the latest?" Ibiki said, his eyes boring intently into Naruto's own, as if trying to convey some deeply secret message that flew straight over Naruto's head.
'Is he sayin' what I think he's sayin'?' Red questioned, thankfully not quite as slow on the uptake as Naruto, excitement clear in his voice.
'What do you think he's saying?' Naruto said, wondering what he'd missed.
'I think he's sayin' that we can learn some kinjutsu,' Red said, and there was a clear grin in his voice.
'Aren't you jumping to conclusions?' Legacy asked, and Red snorted.
'Nah, nah, think about it. It's only goin' to take us twenty minutes max to find this scroll, and maybe ten to get back, an' Morino knows it. That leaves us an hour an' a half, yeah?' Red said.
'Congratulations,' Grey said blandly. 'You can do basic maths.'
'Don't be a prick,' Red snapped at him. 'That's Legacy's job.'
'The jutsus in that scroll are forbidden though,' Naru said uncertainly. 'Are you sure that's what Ibiki-sensei meant?'
'Who cares?' Naruto said, finally getting a grasp on the idea Red was advocating. 'If it gives us a chance to learn some more jutsus...'
'That's immoral,' Naru said, a pout obvious in his voice. 'Can we at least make sure they're decent?'
They grinned in unison, and Naruto looked up at Ibiki. "Got what you're saying, sensei," he said cheerfully. "Will I need to make sure no one else sees it?"
There was a satisfied look in Ibiki's eyes as he nodded, waving Naruto away with the flick of his head, and the boy bolted, forgetting all about the bags he had left behind. He had jutsus to learn!
"Found it!" Naruto shouted in triumph, pulling out a large scroll out from beneath a loose floorboard in the shed. Red snorted.
'Subtle, Mizuki-sensei ain't,' he said. 'C'mon, open the damn thing already?'
Red didn't really need to prompt Naruto, because he was already moving outside into the sunlight and opening the scroll without any hesitation. Naru was mumbling something about 'being forbidden for a reason,' but he'd already sort of of agreed to it, so everyone ignored him.
"Kage bunshin, boring..." Naruto muttered, his eyes flickering over the scroll quickly – he learnt to scan-read after a long, long time. "Random interrogation technique, also boring. Ibiki-sensei could teach me that anyway so..."
'Kage bunshin sounds useful, yeah?' Red interrupted quickly. 'I mean, it's a buncha solid clones, an' you remember everythin' that's happened to 'em. That's, like, ultimate trainin' technique.'
'Well, yeah,' Naruto admitted. 'But they're also bunshin. And I hate bunshin.'
He continued to flick over the scroll – "One-handed seals – by altering the chakra paths in your hands and mind blah, blah, high risk, sounds kind of cool, might come back to that. Medic-nin technique, I'm crap at healing, so maybe not... Eight Trigams Sealing Style? What's that?"
'Weeell,' Red began in a long, taunting drawl. 'It's a seal-'
'And you need a lot of training for seals, so it's far too complicated for us to learn,' Legacy interrupted hastily. "Weren't you interested in the one handed seals anyway?'
Naruto was not convinced by Legacy's quick change of subject (c'mon, not even he was that stupid, whatever Red said) but let it drop for the moment. He'd bug Red about it later, when Legacy was asleep.
Yeah, those sound cool,' he said. 'Couldn't we write a couple of these down and then practise them later, though?'
'I don't think we have anything to write with,' Naru said uncertainly. 'We could... memorise one between two or something though.'
'I say we take the clone one, yeah?' Red said instantly, and when Naruto started to whine – 'Face it, I'm smarter'n you. I know these things. Now shut up and memorise one yourself.'
'You're such an irritating-' Naruto began, half-exasperated, half truly annoyed, but Red cut him off.
'Time's a-wastin',' he said, and there was a definite impression of a smirk. 'Hey, kage bunshin only has one handseal movement. Score.'
Naruto looked down at the one-handed seal jutsu, while Naru and Legacy argued on whether they should learn the medic-nin jutsu (apparently, it was forbidden because it cut the blood vessels without damaging skin – so, basically, one hell of an assassination technique). He swore.
"...That's a lot of handseals," he said, and there was a silence. Red whistled.
'...That is a lot,' Legacy said, a note of awe in his voice, forgetting about his argument with Naru. 'I don't think we have much of a chance of memorising those.'
'Or, alternatively,' Grey said, sounding as if he were reciting well-known knowledge, 'The user may choose to engrave handseals into their skin, which can be activated and used as if normal handseals by channeling chakra through them.'
'Where did you get that from?' Naruto asked, trying not to sound too impressed.
'The scroll,' Greysaid, his voice bland. Naruto flushed and looked down to see the writing scrawled out there, with the appropriate symbols written out beneath it.
"That looks like it would hurt," he said aloud, thoughtfully. "Do you reckon I could get Ibiki-sensei to do it for me?"
'I dunno,' Red said. 'That'd be aidin' an' abettin' or somethin' like that.'
'...That would just be no, then?'
'Yeah, pretty much,' Red replied, and Naruto considered this.
'How much time do we have left?'
'What, d'you reckon we've got a clock in here or somethin'?' Red demanded derisively, but it was Grey who interrupted his mockery.
'Sixty eight minutes.'
There was a long silence, in which it seemed like Red was searching for something to say. Eventually he sighed. 'Y'know what? I was goin' to make some cruel and sardonic comment here, but forget it. Teasin' Grey ain't any fun.'
'Naruto, you aren't thinking of-' Naru began, but Naruto had already drawn out his kunai.
"Where do you lot reckon I should carve them?" he asked, and Legacy sighed.
'You really should remember to talk in your head, you know,' he said. 'Switching from one to another is just strange, and people are going to think you're crazy.'
Naruto shrugged as if to say 'so what?' and continued to look expectant.
'Left arm,' Shi said bluntly. 'Best place.'
'Why?' Naru asked, and Shi seemed to be debating whether to answer or not. Naruto shrugged again. Whatever. He wasn't overly bothered one way or another. He did listen as Shi finally chose to speak up.
'Fewer breaks. Chakra lines are more sturdy. Less likely to burn out,' he got out, before subsiding. It was probably the longest thing Naruto'd ever heard Shi say, and he blinked for a second.
"Okaaay," he said softly, placing the tip of the kunai against his skin. "We draw all of the handseals, right? And there's twelve of them?"
'Yes,' Grey confirmed, and with a determined look on his face, Naruto dug the kunai in, no more than a few millimetres. A jagged gasp forced its way out of his mouth as he curled it around his wrist, follwoing the symbols on the scroll. That was snake... Now, horse.
His arm felt odd, like fire was beginning to tingle its way down there, the hint of coming pain, and by the fifth symbol, his right hand was shaking almost uncontrollably. Grey steadied the arm and they continued to cut – why weren't the cuts healing? Normally, they'd be gone by now, because of his weird healing thingy, but the blood was still welling out of the cuts and obscuring where he was trying to draw the next symbol.
He was running out of room on his forearm, and Naru was breathing sharply in his mind, even as he tried to help Grey keep the arm steady. Shi was growling something, mumbling under his breath, but Naruto didn't even want to try and make out what he was saying. It was undoubtedly crude – Shi had an alarmingly large vocabulary of swear words.
They moved up, past his elbow to carve the tenth symbol. Ram and rabbit left. No big deal. He could do this. His blood felt like it was boiling as he made another few unsteady cuts. One more symbol. Why wouldn't his hand stop shaking?
Last symbol, last cut, and then it was done and his left arm just wouldn't stop hurting. It felt like... like fire was crawling down it, and he could swear that there was some kind of light gleaming from out behind the symbols as he roughly dug out a few bandages and shoved them on sloppily, one-handed.
'Think we should go find 'biki-sensei now,' Naruto said, trying not to tremble.His hands moved as if of their own volition – oh, Red had taken over; why? - making a shaky handseal over the scroll to transform into a smaller, easily held scroll. Control was released, and Naruto bent down to pick it up.
'Memorised everything we need?' he asked, closing his eyes tightly against the pain that was building up in his head.
'C'n remember kage bunshin,' Red said, and his voice sounded weird. 'All we need.'
'Medic-nin?' Legacy slurred out, and Naru whimpered.
'No way. Head hurts to much to memo- memor- learn it,' Naru said, but even through the pain in his voice, there was a greater steadiness to his words than the others'.
Naruto nodded once, and shook himself. "Right," he muttered. "Ibiki-sensei. Going."
He swore he stumbled over every bleeding rabbit hole there was on the way to the clearing.
"You look pale," Ibiki said, and that was as close as the sadist ever got to concern, Naruto thought hazily.
"My arm hurts," he whined, uncertainly. "I carved some stuff into it, and it won't stop bleeding. I think I got blood on the scroll." He waved the transformed scroll at Ibiki – and there was, indeed, a couple of blood splatters across the cover. Ibiki snorted.
"How atmospheric," he commented dryly. "What gave you the inspiration to carve things into your arm?"
"The scroll," Naruto said, and it was becoming harder to speak. Everything was starting to go blurry in front of his eyes, and he blinked in confusion, wondering why it wouldn't clear up. None of the others were saying anything, either. "Saw the one-handed seals, an' the alterations with the no-handed seals but carving stuff into your arm, and now my arm's sorta burning and it feels weird and-"
He pitched forward onto the ground, his knees buckling under him, with one last thought.
'Ibiki-sensei didn't even bother to try and catch me. Bastard.'