This story is very much off-color, in a manner of speaking. Yes, it is wildly sophomoric, but for a reason. The characters' behavior ultimately adds a sense of irony to the story and sets up the punch line. Still, young readers should find another story, and anyone who feels embarrassed or annoyed by abject silliness and sexual innuendo should turn his or her attention elsewhere.
Also, there may be a significant spoiler from the later portions of the manga.
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One of the overhead fluorescent bulbs flickered briefly, and then went dead.
None of the room's occupants seemed to care or even notice. They had other things on their minds. It was spring. The weather outside was beautiful. Shouldn't they be off training, or enjoying a rare moment of relaxation?
"It really sucks that we have to sit here like this!" Naruto kicked at a hard wooden stool, the only empty one in the room. He then rubbed his belly, telling the other young men where his mind had wandered.
"True," Shikamru said with a frown, stopping the errant stool with one foot. He frowned, bothered by the need to make such an unnecessary move. "The uncertainty irks me more than the waiting." He sighed. The sky was a piercing shade of azure today. The cloud structure was breath-taking.
"No." Kiba shook his head, furrowing his brow. "It's the waiting. It's been nearly an hour. No one has told us a damn thing!" He shook his head, wondering what kind of trouble Akamaru might be getting into on his own. Most of the un-neutered bitches were in heat now, and his furry companion still had all of his plumbing.
"It's not so bad," Sai said, wondering why everyone sounded so upset. The seating arrangement might be uncomfortable, but he had been saddled with much worse in his Root days. He continued to draw on the sketchbook he had brought with him. "Am I incorrect in thinking that a gathering of friends and comrades is a good thing?" He was still learning the vagaries of emotions and human relations.
"It's not like this is a picnic or something…." Naturally, that was Choji. Big-boned and not really obese, the large boy still spent a great deal of his time thinking about food, buying food, or eating food. "Owww-ww-w…." He hit the floor hard when his tool collapsed. Frantic, he checked the contents of a large satchel he had slung over one shoulder. The snack bags were all intact.
"Well, we could have a picnic…." Naruto eyed Choji's bag with unhidden avarice. He had been thinking about Ramen earlier. That had left him hungrier than before. "Choji brought the food…." He looked over at one of the other shinobi, one whose face and dark glasses were shaded by a voluminous hood. "And Shino brought the ants…." He pointed at a long string chain of insects that the other boy was busy training, and then shrugged when no one laughed at his joke.
"They are not ants," Shino replied, in somewhat gruff fashion, pushing his glasses further up along the bridge of his nose. "They are chakra bugs." He scowled. "But… I cannot expect you to remember that…." He thought back to the day that Naruto had returned to the Hidden Leaf Village after being away for two years. "…If you have trouble remembering your friends and their names…."
"Ohhhh-hhh-hh-h!" Lee stood up, unconsciously posing in that way of his. "Naruto might not be the brightest ninja…." His desire to stand up for a friend was running far in advance of his brain. "And he may still be the only Genin here…." He was oblivious to the way that the orange and black clad boys was clenching his fists and biting his lip. "But he would never fail his friends!"
"Perhaps we could put our time to more practical purposes," Neji said calmly, diffusing Naruto in deft fashion. He took a moment to straighten the headband that covered his Cursed Seal. "For example, instead of complaining or becoming indignant, why don't we try to ascertain why we are in this particular building?" The group of Leaf shinobi were seated in a small classroom at one of the administrative buildings. While that particular structure housed numerous Departments and Divisions, it was bordered on one side by the Konoha Hospital and a number of small clinics.
"Must there be a reason?" Sai tapped his drawing brush against his lip. "Could this be a test of some sort? Might someone want to test our patience, or see how we react under difficult circumstances?"
"I'll show them some difficult circumstances!" Naruto harumphed and began standing on one foo6t and then the other. "I need to take a leak!" He blinked when a number of his friends slid their stools back away from him. Then, his eyes went wide. He had been joking. But, once he thought about draining the lizard, he found he really did have such a need.
"A test…." Shikamaru rubbed his chin, ignoring Naruto. He then placed his hands the way he often did, whenever he wanted to think deeply. "Patience. Hmmmm-mmm-mm-m. That sounds like patients." He closed his eyes. "I suppose the Hokage might want the medical staff to give us physicals. It has been a long time since we have been through anything like that."
"That makes sense, I suppose." Shino sounded like he had bitten into an exceeding sour lemon. He hated to disrobe in front of people. "We were not the only group on the way here." The observant type, he had seen other ninjas travelling in groups, and had spied a number of kunoichi gatherings as well.
"And, we all went through great deal when those Akatsuki guys attacked," Choji added. He, his father, and his whole family had been some of the many shinobi who had done their best to defend Konoha. "Not to mention all of the fighting that followed." The invading forces had caused a great deal of havoc and withdrawn, finding that Naruto was not within the wall of the great village. He wiped a tear away. A number of his favorites snack shops and eateries had been leveled during one onslaught or another.
"Ahhhh-hh-hh-h! That Hawk group, too." Lee looked troubled. Gai-sensei had been injured fighting that group of ninjas alone, until help arrived. But, that wasn't the part that had him feeling confused and conflicted. Uchiha Sasuke had been leading that cell. "And the fighting that happened after the Hokages met and the Nations worked together." He tugged at his green stretchy suit. It was a new one and still had that 'New Suit' smell. His other one had been torn and bloodied during the battles and skirmishes.
"Sasuke…." Naruto whispered to himself, before sighing. His face looked blank for a moment. He put on a fake smile, but that didn't fool anyone, not even Sai, who knew a thing or two about fake facial expressions. Forcing himself to chuckle, he said "That Uchiha jerk should be made to wait here too, instead of lounging around in some cozy prison room. " His one time friend and former teammate had attacked Konoha, but had changed sides once again later on. The aid that Hawk offered in the war against Pain and Uchiha Madara had ended up turning the tide at a critical moment. Just the same, the Elders and much of the populace considered him a traitor, and he was undergoing a long series of interrogations in hope of finding where his true allegiance might lay. The truth about the Uchiha clan was on everyone's lips, but that had not brought with it an ounce of forgiveness.
"Whatever!" Kiba was shrewd in his own way. He understood how Naruto must feel. The Boy-With-The-Fox had been welcomed home as a hero, despite the past grief and disdain he suffered from the other villagers in the past. It was ironic, with the last remaining Uchiha being seen as a monster, after once being the envy of every guy and the heartthrob of every girl. "He's probably getting boned up the ass by some big hairy prisoner as we speak." He held up a hand when Naruto whirled around. "I was just joking." He smirked, another thought coming to mind. "Hah! I bet there will be some kind of examination…."
"…." Shikamaru hung his head. A genius, he could easily predict what Kiba was going to say.
"Yes," Shino commiserated quietly. He didn't need to be some kind of savant to predict what his teammate might say. "This could get bad."
"What kind?" Lee almost sounded like an eager puppy. He pictured himself standing on a giant imaginary podium, as a gaggle of Leaf medical personnel read off his amazing statistics to an adoring crowd. He wondered why his teammate looked at him and shook his head.
"It's probably the type of examination that will determine who really gets to be Hoakage some day." He smiled when Naruto looked eager for a moment, thought better of it, and then stuck his chin out belligerently. "Not to mention the kind that will see who truly gets the girl of his dream." That had Lee going starry-eyed, Choji quivering in anticipation, and Shikamaru wishing he could be anywhere but there. "And the perfect way to set up bragging rights for the rest of our lives."
"Do you honestly feel a need to continue?" Neji spoke in a dry deadpan voice. "The silence really wasn't all that bad."
"I can't leave Lee and Choji hanging like that…." Kiba's eyes lit up. "So to speak…." He stood up and leaned against a white plaster wall in an insolent and jaunty fashion. "Of course… I'm taking about… how big we all are…." He tried to keep a straight face, barely winning that battle. A little ribaldry ought to cut the edge off of this dreary waiting.
"Uh huh. Wow. Really great." Naruto, naturally, had missed the gist of things. "At least I'm not the shortest one any more."
"I wouldn't be so sure," Kiba quipped. "Especially if there is a basis in fact for Sai's joking a while back." He laughed at Sai's quizzical look. "Here. Let me spell it out for the mentally challenged. I'm talking about length. A very special length. A very im-por-tant length."
"O!" Understanding burst into flames within Sai's eyes. "Penis size!" Who could possibly forget the way that the former Root member had baited Naruto before becoming a replacement member in Team Seven? The boy began sketching.
"We have a winner!" Kiba laughed. "They'll be measuring a lot of stuff, but we all know what the crucial thing is, right?" He looked around the room, making eye contact with everyone. "Does that have anyone feeling embarrassed?" There were a few sweat drops form at the edges of Lee's brow. "Worried?" He purposefully looked at Naruto, who opened his mouth to make a retort but managed to keep his cool.
Naturally, no one really believed that the medical ninjas would be measuring manhoods, not even Rock Lee. But, that didn't stop Kiba from taking those balls and running with them. After all, boys will be boys.
Leave me out of this," Shikamaru drawled, wanting to exclude himself at the earliest possible point. In his mind, he pictures a shogi board and an imaginary opponent.
"Sure," Kiba said affably. Then, eyes sparkling with mischief, he nodded at Shika and mouthed "Really small," holding up the thumb and index finger of one hand, an inch or too apart. That had Choji about to come to his friend's defense until Kiba spoke again. "But we all know who the r-e-a-l man in Team Ten is, don't we. Big men have big man tools, am I right?"
"Yes… well…." Choji was a sucker for attention. Kiba's playful slight of Shikamaru was long forgotten. "And… you know…." He coughed. This kind of bragging coming hard to someone with such a pure heart. Grunting, he performed one of his improved Mega-size jutsus. His right arm tripled in size. "I can do this to any part of my body…."
"Hah!" Kiba actually felt a brief surge of jealousy. "Someday you'll get the girl or girls of your dream." He smiled a sly smile and whispered into his friend's ear. "Don't give up. I bet that some day you give Ino a true out of body experience. If you know what I mean…."
POP POP POP POPPOP POPPOP POPPOPPOPPOPPOPPOPPOP
All but a handful of Choji's snack bags had ruptured when he twitched, sending a veritable fountain of edibles upward and outward. Chips, rinds, and pretzels rained downward soon thereafter.
"Thanks for the food," Shino said sarcastically. A number of pretzels had handed in his lap, and his cowl was shedding turnip chips the way an avalanche sheds snow. Holding up one long pretzel rod, he made a spur of the moment decision. He would play along with this childish game. It wasn't a mission by any stretch of the imagination, but he wanted to feel 'Included.' "Choji is not the only one who can change his size. By sending numerous chakra bugs to a certain site, I can increase length and width at will."
"Euuu-uu-uw…" Naruto made a face, once again earning Shino's wrath. It was not the awestruck reaction the hooded boy had hoped far. "That's just gross…." He spit out a number of pork rinds he had been chewing on, so as to keep from choking. "I don't need to picture that."
"…." Lee rubbed his eyes, chasing away a disturbing image. For one who was very eager to talk about youth and manhood in a philosophical sense, he was incurable shy when it came to the physical and sexual topic of manliness. Nevertheless, curiosity had him blurting out "When you have an… uh… you know… bugs don't come shooting out, do they?" As soon as the words left his mouth, his eyes widened and his put a firm hand over his mouth. Had he asked that question?
Neji stared at Lee, pale in face and looking rather shocked. Naruto clamped his mouth shut, looking like he might want to vomit. Shikamaru actually cursed, the shogi game in his mind erased without a single remaining piece. Sai sat straighter, waiting for an answer. Knowledge was a very important thing.
"I hate stereotypes," Shino grumped, pulling his cowl further over his head. So much for trying to fit in.
"Don't we all," Kiba said smoothly, redirecting the bawdy conversation. "Back to the subject. I personally have nothing to worry about. You've all heard the saying, no doubt… the way that pet owners start to look like their pets over a long period of time." He thumped his chest. "I know you have all caught sight of Akamaru when he does his dynamic marking…."
"Hey, nobody here would peak at that kind of thing!" Naruto looked indignant. Nevertheless, he had seen just what Kiba was making reference to. They all had. It was impossible to miss.
"Sure… sure…"Kiba chuckled, knowing that response would get Naruto riled up.
"What kind of thing?" Lee cocked his head. Innocent at heart, he had trouble remembering something he had merely seen in passing. His face turned bright red when Kiba whispered the answer to him. He teetered left and right, nearly losing his balance altogether.
"I truly don't understand the different reactions I have seen," Sai stated. "Does the size, shape, or length of a man's penis truly mean so much?" One of his eyebrow arched upward when he saw Naruto vigorously shake his head. His ears deaf to the answers that the other boys gave in response to his honest question, he began drawing a new scene at a furious rate. His nascent sense of humor had raised its ugly head again. "Here…." He held up his handiwork.
"SAAAA-AAA-AA-A-IIII-III-II-I…." Naruto stood up, knocking his stool over. His eyes had an animalistic look, his canine teeth had grown longer, and a whisp of orange chakra danced about like a tail.
The paper Sai crafted had a tile written in fancy calligraphy, reading 'Relative Penis Size.' Five figures graced the page, rendered in remarkable detail. There was a drawing of a Paramecium, a Flea, a Lady Bug, and a Field Mouse. Centered between those four sketches was a picture of Naruto, his eyes closed, holding up a V-sign.
"Hah hah ha…." Kiba slapped Sai hard on the back. "Just as we all suspected…." Naturally, he and a number of the guys knew better, since they sometimes shared the same shower room after missions.
"I… AM… NOT… SMALL…." Naruto had three 'tails' now. He put his hands on his trousers, and began to pull then down. He stopped, when a strand of shadow caught each of his hands and moved them upward against his volition. Each shadow stretched back to Shika, who looked rather bothered. "I am not small," Naruto repeated, calming down, his chakra appendages disappearing.
"Uhhhh-hhh-hh-h…." Lee stood on his stool, driven only by the need to help a comrade. "Do not let size bother you! You were once the shortest of the Genin, but you defeated Kiba and Neji…."
"With a fart!" Kiba still felt a need to mention that whenever the subject came up. He just could not live down the memory of that match.
"It's OK… I'm not small, Lee." Naruto held up his hand, hoping to stop Lee before Bushy Eyebrows got himself overheated with another one of his speeches.
"And later, when the village was in peril, even though you were so small, you helped defeat a monster that was taller than a tree!" He had not witnessed Shukaku. Few people had. But, over time, the story of Naruto defeating Gaara spread over town. "So…." Lee held a finger up, ready for his dynamic conclusion. "It is not about size… it's about how you use what you have!" Unwittingly, he had just handed Kiba another topic on a silver platter.
"That is sooo-oo-o true, Lee." Kiba grinned. "Maybe you know more than people give you credit for." He rubbed his hands together. "About the Birds and the Bees, I mean."
"Birds?" Lee looked clueless. He then turned to Shino, the person he considered to be an expert on everything insect in nature. "Bees?"
Neji sighed. Shikamaru put a hand on his forehead. Even Choji felt experienced at that moment.
"I will explain," Sai said. He had ready many books and scrolls, trying to learn the things that most people took for granted. "I have read up on that subject."
"…." Naruto resisted the urge to curse. As a member of Team Seven, he had ample opportunity to hear Sai lecture on numerous topics. There was only one thing worse than being stuck in this room waiting, and that was being stuck here while the other boy began pontificating. "The 'birds and the bees'… sometimes expanded to 'the birds, the bees and the butterflies' or 'the birds, the bees, the flowers, and the trees' is an idiomatic expression which refers to human courtship and sex."
"S-s-sex…." Lee swallowed hard. His voice had shot up the octave scale.
"I believe that the Birds and Bees is frequently used in reference to teaching someone… usually someone very young… a child perhaps… about sexual congress and pregnancy. If-" Sai was interrupted before he could continue.
"That's right! We've all had that kind of lecture from our parents, right?" Choji smiled, and then caught sight of Lee. Why was his friend staring down at his feet? He was also hit by a realization that was too often true in any of the shinobi villages: a large number of children grew up missing one or both parents.
"I will continue," Sai said. "Parents often use euphemisms and metaphors when they are uncomfortable about a subject. In that way, they do not need to speak too openly, or to get more technical than is necessary at the time."
"Well, thanks for that explanation, Professor!" Kiba wanted to get back to the topic du jour. "As we were saying-." It was his turn to be cut off.
"To be more specific, and according to written and spoke tradition, 'the birds and the bees' is a metaphorical story sometimes told to children in an attempt to explain the mechanics and consequence of sexual intercourse through reference to easily observed natural events such as plant pollination." Sai held up a sketch showing just that. Once again, the speed and detail of his art were staggering. "The choice in animals may have come from various literary sources. For example… mrphl brfl grblgrb." Naruto had sent a bunshin over to gag his friend. That earned him a round of applause.
"I do recall a song," Neji added. "And that's why birds do it, bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. Let's do it, let's fall in love."
"Great." Kiba gave the Hyuuga boy an 'Et tu, Neji' look. Well, since they were off topic as it was, he would return the favor. "Do you sing that to Ten Ten?" He hoped for a classic reaction.
"Sing?" Neji looked perplexed. "Ten Ten?"
"Never mind!" Kiba shook his head, wondering if Neji was even more clueless than Lee. He was s glad that he hadn't been paired with Gai. "Before we were rudely interrupted, Lee had changed the subject for the better. But, that's only natural, seeing that he is a true man's man." He gave Lee a thumbs up, but no light 'pinged' off of his exposed teeth.
"Ahhh-hh-h…." Lee missed the playful sarcasm. "That is because my teacher is Maito Guy!"
"Actually, if you want to be accurate…." Sai felt the need to interject again. "It's 'Might Guy.' I read that somewhere. You see, it appears that…." He quickly sketched mythological animals to combat the bunshin that Naruto was sending his way.
Choji had put his fingers in his mouth and whistled rather loudly. Sai's beasts and Naruto's bunshin all stopped in mid swing, looked over at the stocky boy, and the disappeared in puffs of smile and swirls of ink.
"As Lee was saying," Kiba began again, after saluting Choji. "While it's great to be huge, size isn't everything. It's how you use it."
"But… I wasn't… I didn't…." Lee looked wobbly again.
"By the way… I know why your suit is stretchy…." Kiba felt an urge of pure evil. He saw that Bushy Eyebrows had begun to sweat. "It's so when you pop a massive chubby, you don't get bent in half or damage your pants!" He smiled when Lee tripped over his stool and rolled ass over teacups.
"I feel sorry for Shino and Hinata," Naruto said to no one in particular. "I never knew that Kiba was so crude." He hadn't meant to speak loud enough to be overheard.
"Huh?" Kina looked shocked. "Huuu-uu-uh?" He pointed at Naruto. "You are one to talk! We all remember the times you created a naked girl when you couldn't get Henge right!" Everyone nodded their heads automatically. "I know all too well how often you break wind!" That wasn't entirely true; but, again, a certain memory would never give Kiba peace. "O… yeh… and who knows what other bad habits you might have learned, traveling around with that perverted Sannin!" That was jealousy speaking. A young man with a young man's hormonal fluxes, Kiba could only imagine the kind of places that Jiraiya had dragged the other boy. "I mean…." He hung his head, realizing what he had said. No, realizing who had had made reference to. "Sorry…." He bowed to Naruto. It could only bring pain, that mention of the deceased hero.
"It's alright," Naruto said. "I miss him, but I'm getting over it." He met Shika's and Choji's eyes, knowing that they could commiserate. Then, an idea struck him. While he did have slight perverted tendencies, he wasn't particularly crude. Just the same, there was a way he could gain points and earn respect with the other boys. He would brag just the way that Kiba intended. "He taught me a lot of things. He took me to many innn-nn-nteresting places. But the key to everything was frogs…."
"Frogs?" Choji scratched and yawned. "What do you mean? Frog on a stick?" Naturally, thinking of 'places' in other villages had him thinking of foreign food stalls. If there was 'Squid-on-a-stick,' why not 'Amphibian-on-a-stick'? He grimaced when Shika actually cuffed him on the back of the head.
"NO!" Naruto was a big fan of eating too, but he thought of frogs in an entirely different way, of course. "No one should eat frogs!" He forced himself to calm down. "You all know what I can summon. You know that's because I have a contract with the frogs. But, I never told you guys about the waythat I learned Senjutsu." Point of fact, he had never gotten around to explaining what the Natural Arts were in any great detail. "It was from Pa Frog. Fukasaku. A great sage."
"From a frog. Sure. OK." Kiba rolled his eyes, and then stopped. Naruto looked serious. Very serious. "Sorry."
"I'll tell you guys the story some day. But, by learning to stay perfectly still…." Naruto turned his stool over, and then began balancing on one of the feet without flipping the seat over. "And by using natural energies…." He took on a yoga posture, while his eyes changed. "I can gain enormous chakra, and make my body harder."
"Really?" Lee suddenly looked well again. The subject of strength never failed to correct his mood.
"Yes," Naruto said. "Hit me. As hard as you like."
"I can't…." Lee held his hands up. There was no way that he would strike a friend, not even to prove a point. This wasn't training, after all.
"Gai is gay," Naruto said. "Everybody knows it. That's why he has never been on a date… with a girl…." That ought to do it.
"Aaaa-aaa-aa-a…." Lee struck without warning, surprising no one but himself. After unleashing an attack that could have cracked one of the training posts down the middle, he was immediately frightened. "I'm sorry… Naruto… are you OK?" He winced. His hand really hurt. It felt as if he had struck a rock.
"I'm fine," Naruto said, reassuring his friend. "Sorry about that Gai stuff. I was only joking." He grinned. "Although he did give me a green stretchy suit, once. Ero-Sennin made me throw it away." That was true, since the Frog hermit wouldn't be caught dead having a pupil who wore something like that. Naruto lied in joking fashion, adding "He said I should never accept candy or clothing from strange men…." That had everyone laughing. Lee even managed a smile, knowing that Naruto was just pulling his leg.
"So… what you are trying to say in a roundabout way…." Kiba actually looked serious. Strength was Lee's addiction. Kiba thought a great deal about girls. "You can get really hard…."
"That's right," Naruto said, throwing out his chest. "And, I can stay hard for a very long time." He had never ever thought about things in this manner before. As it was, he hoped that he wouldn't ruin everything by blushing now. "That kind of thing comes in very handy, you know."
"Wow!" Choji looked impressed. He did blush. "I can get big… but it doesn't last very long." He had thought about things in just those terms, even though he was far from being a sex fiend or pervert. He was simply a normal boy, after all. "Wow…." He shuffled his feet.
"Uzumaki Naruto.. stud…." Kiba chuckled, making light of things. But, once again, he felt a twinge of envy. "Who would have thunk it?"
"Not me!" "No way!" "Never would have guessed it." The chorus of answers had Naruto frowning where he should have been feeling proud.
"Not only that," Naruto rushed to add. "But with my chakra… Kyuubi's chakra… and nature chakra… I have never-ending endurance!" He worked hand seals and created a number of bunshin. "I can go all-l-l-l-l night, or…." The clones lined up in a conga line, rubbing their hands together. "I can… cough cough… pull a train…." He turned away that time because his face felt like it was on fire. He could brag on just about any subject without shedding a single sweat drop. This was the one true exception.
"You are that strong?" Sai naturally pictured Naruto tugging at a locomotive and a long string of passenger cars. "Impressive…."
"A train?" Lee wanted to know, even though he felt like he didn't want to know.
"Consensual sex between one woman and several men," someone offered. Aghast, everyone realized that it was Neji. "For example, 'the stripper agreed to pull a train with all of the guys at the bachelor party'. Knowing that, you should understand how the term arose… what?!" He wondered why everyone was looking at him the way that they were. He frowned when Kiba chuckled. "I have no actual experience with that kind of practice! The retainers at the Hyuuga estates sometimes talk about earthy subjects… that is all…."
"Train schmain!" Kiba shook his head. "Who cares how much you can do or how long you can do it!" He hooked one thumb under his arm and stood tall. "It's quality that counts, not quantity. Just ask the girls!" He sounded uber-worldly at that moment. Choji stared in awe. Shika and Shino sighed. "You can guess who the true master of the Doggy Style is."
"Ooo-oo-o… I know…." Lee was so eager to offer an answer, he hadn't had time to be embarrassed. "It's Akamaru!"
"Well, of course…." Kiba said. "But, I meant amongst humans." He thumbed himself in the chest. "Me, of course. And you should see me when I show the girls my Shikyaku no jutsu, the 'Down on All Fours Technique'. Heh heh heh." Now that his bragging was done, it was time to up the ante in this boyish nonsense. "But I bet everyone here has a skill or two that will get him some tail!"
"Tail?" Sai turned to look at Kiba. "Does that mean you actually do it with dogs?"
"SAI!" Kiba practically growled. "That's sick. And it's disrespectful to dogs!"
"I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one he pisses off," Naruto said under his breath.
"Tail," someone said. Everyone was stunned yet again. This time it was Shino, not Neji. "A piece of ass." Everyone's mouth fell open. Shino had just said 'ass'. "Girls, in a sexual manner." This time Lee did fall off of his stool.
"Right!" Kiba nodded his head. "Take Shino, for example." He fought back a smile. He was certain he knew his teammate better than anyone else did outside of the Aburame clan. The other boy was likely as clueless as a stump. This would be a good way of teasing him. "I bet he can create all sorts of pheromones that can drive women wild. Thanks to those bugs that had you guys looking nauseous earlier. I bet he can have the girls barking like dogs if he wants!"
That was just the tip of the iceberg. Everybody's fantasies took flight then.
"Let's see," Choji said, getting over-excited. "I can get real big. Naruto can stay real hard. Kiba can do it better than dogs do. Shino can use special scents…." He looked at each and every guy in the room, his mind spinning wildly. "I wonder what Shika can do…."
"Please… do me a favor… don't wonder that kind of thing…." Shikamaru looked doubly bothered this time. Choji should know better.
"What can't he do," Kiba rushed to say, before the question died out. "I mean, he is Konoha's number one genius after all." He chuckled and spread his arms wide. "He's probably a Love Guru." He licked his lips. "I mean, we've all seen him walking around with Temari from time to time. Woof!"
"Shit." Shikamaru rarely swore. This was just the perfect occasion.
"And what about his jutsus," Naruto asked, happy to add fuel to the fire.
"His jutsus?" Choji looked perplexed fpr a moment, before snapping his finger and nodding his head. "Yes. Kagemane no Jutsu. The Shadow Bind Technique.
"He could have a girl moving anyway he wanted… or any way she wanted…." Kiba laughed when Shikamaru put a finger in each ear. "It must be sweet, being a genius." On that cue, he turned to look at Neji. The white-eyed Jounin didn't seem eager for attention, either. "Hmmm… what special tricks do you have up your sleeve…."
Neji didn't not honor that inquiry with a reply. But, mind ever running forward, Rock Lee was quick to praise his teammate, without thinking of the context or the consequences. "Neji is really great, one of the greatest of the young generation. As you all know, he has the Byakugan…."
"That's right," Kiba said. "The ultimate peeping tool. He can see in almost every direction. He can use it to see through things… like clothing…." He smiled when Neji looked indignant. "And… if he can sense chakra… he can tell when a hot and willing babe is ready…."
"I wish I had the Byakugan," Choji mumbled.
"And… and…." Lee was eager to continue, so much so that he didn't realize how Kiba was twisting things. "He can use the Gentle Fist style of Taijutsu. That means-"
"He is very good with his palms," Naruto added, beating Kiba to the punch. Kiba gave him a thumbs up just the same. "That stuff is sure good for pain…." He hit himself at multiple parts on his body, acting out events from his past duel. Then he held his hands up and made a squeezing motion, as if he imagined himself fondling someone or some things. He repeated the motion very quickly, as if he was fondling a large number of things or grabbing one thing a great many times. "I bet it's really good for pleasure, too." He just grinned that shit-eating grin of his when Neji stared him down.
"Gentle Fist, too." Choji sighed.
"That…." Lee paused, and then shook his head, as if to drive out unwanted thoughts. "Naruto was talking about Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms… I think…." He swallowed hard, trying not to imagine himself fondling a certain pink-haired girl. He smacked himself hard in the forehead, leaving an angry read mark, before promising himself that he would do one thousand push-ups and one hundred laps as punishment for impure thoughts. "We should not forget Kaiten… the Eight Trigrams Palms Heavenly Spin."
"Heavenly Spin…." Kiba grinned again, his eyes lighting up. He just loved innuendo. "No more words are necessary, right boys?"
"At least I can get really big," Choji whispered, feeling inadequate. Then, his glance going to one person he could still feel superior to, he said "We shouldn't forget Sai."
"YES WE SHOULD!!" Naruto and Kiba had said the same thing at the exact same moment.
"Ummm… just because he dresses more like a girl sometimes… and has that Bishōnen look down pat…." Choji, kind-hearted as he was, forced himself to continue. He did not want to picture himself at the bottom of the totem pole of manliness and machismo. "He still must be a man…."
"Let's see… Sumi Bunshin no Jutsu… ink clone technique…." Kiba shook his head. "Too messy. Super Beasts Imitation Picture, the Chōjū Giga… no, too funky." He rubbed his chin. "I don't see much use for the Ink Haze Technique or that Ink Transport stuff either." He gave Sai a brotherly pat on the back. "I bet you will win a lot of girls' hearts one day, when you learn to draw romantic pictures…." That actually had Sai looking hopeful. "And hot steamy erotic scenes…." That had blood jetting from Choji's nostrils.
"He can probably draw himself up a condom or two, any time he needs them." The room went silent again. That had been Shino.
"Everyone seems to have such wonderful abilities." There was one person Choji had overlooked, someone who viewed himself as the bottom rung on the ladder. Lee. "You are all very lucky." While he hadn't been playing along with the game, and really hadn't been listening intently, he had managed to store away every word that was said. Naturally, he took things more seriously than they had been intended. "I… I can't even bring myself to talk to a girl." He almost looked as if he were about to tear up. "If someone ever had any liking for me, I wouldn't have anything to offer…."
"Lee…." Neji's eyes were sympathetic. This was nothing new to him. He had seen his teammate look down on himself many times. It was difficult, being limited to Taijutsu, when most of the strong fighters could perform numerous Ninjutsu and Genjutsu techniques.
"Don't worry about it!" Once again, Naruto confirmed Neji's opinion of him. He truly did have great eyes and an enormous heart. "We all know how tough Gai-sensei is. He chooses to rely on Taijutsu alone, even though he knows other skills." He spoke more quickly, before someone made derogatory comment on Gai's success rate with the fairer sex. "And… and… we all saw how you almost beat Gaara, right. So… when it comes to girls…." His train of thought was running out of steam.
"That's right," Kiba said, taking over. "That forbidden technique. Opening a number of the Eight Gates. Let's see, what are they?"
"The Gate of Opening," Naruto offered. He had read up on the subject once, and then spent an entire week bugging Kakashi, trying to get him to teach that technique. It releases the instinct restraints on the bodies muscle. Unlocking that gate allows the user to use the Front Lotus."
"Front lotus…." Sai piped up, seeing a chance to join in to this male bonding ritual. "That sounds kinky." He had always wanted to use that word.
Everyone just stared at Sai for a moment. Then, Naruto continued, mentioning the Gate of Rest, located on the brain, and how its use increased stamina. He then mentioned the Gate of Life, located on the spinal cord. "That releases the limit on the nervous system allowing information to travel at a much faster rate. A side effect is the user's skin would turn red."
"Kinky," Sai repeated. He liked the way that word rolled off of his tongue.
"The use of the Gate of Life will allow the user to use the Reverse Lotus, which in turn forces the first five gates to open." Naruto gave Sai a 'You had betty not say Kinky again' glare.
"K-" Sai didn't have a chance to get the word out. Feeling somewhat churlish, Shika had acted to quiet the chirping boy with his trademark jutsu. He nodded reluctantly to Naruto, who went on to briefly mention the Gate of Pain, the Gate of Limit, the Gate of View, the Gate of Wonder, and the Gate of Death.
"There's more to it than that, you know." Kiba spoke in a hushed voice, as if he was going to reveal the greatest secret in the Universe.
"Wh-… wh-… what do you mean…." Lee felt a chill go down and then back up the middle of his back.
"Once someone learns how to open the eight Chakra Gates…." Kiba looked to the left, and then to the right, as if he was making certain that they weren't being overheard. The sense of drama in the room rose sharply, even though everyone except Lee knew that Kiba would be joking. "They can open the secret Ninth Gate. And they don't need to open any of the other Gates to do it!"
"N-n-ninth gate?" Lees yes were larger and rounder than usual. His bushy brows quivered like caterpillars walking on an electric line.
"Yes. The Ninth. The Erotic Gate." Kiba kept a straight face. "Also referred to as the Sex Gate."
"Sex Gate." Lee looked like he was overheating again. Neji opened his mouth to put an end to things, and then reconsidered. That which doesn't kill one, makes one stronger. Lee could learn something from this kind of verbal horseplay. "Naruto… you didn't mention the Ninth gate. You didn't explain that one…."
"Uh…." Naruto felt as if he was caught with his hand in a Ramen jar, or had been discovered just as he was about to pee on the back wall of the Dormitory. "That is… I… you see…." He tried to think up an answer, but wasn't certain were Kiba was going with things.
"He was probably sworn to secrecy," Kiba said suavely. "He must have felt bad, after he told me about it before. But… you're lucky, Lee… I didn't promise anybody anything…."
"Ahhh-hh-h…" Lee listened intently, his breathing getting faster and louder.
"Once a man learns how to open the Sex Gate, he can access the eight Kama Gates." Kiba thought quickly, making things up as he went.
"Karma?" Sai looked over at Kiba. "I believe that word refers to the concept of 'action' or 'deed' in Indian religions . It relates to cause and effect , and is paramount in originating in Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist philosophies." He shrugged. "I suppose there could be a connection. Hmmm." Before anyone had a chance to stop him, he continued. "Through the law of karma, the effects of all deeds actively create past, present, and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life, and the pain and joy it brings to his self and to others. The results or 'fruits' of actions are called karma-phala. Perhaps that is relevant. Phala. That sounds like phallus, the erect penis. So-"
"Can someone please stuff a sock in his mouth?" Kiba looked angry. He began to understand what Naruto must have gone through.
"Is that some kind of sexual invitation?" Sai pursed his lips. "Sock rhyme with c-" Choji took his empty satchel, turned it over, and placed it over Sai's head. A number of snack fragments tumbled out, gathering on Sai's shoulders like the world's worst case of dandruff. "Mmrml brml frmlll…." The words were too garbled to make out.
"Thank you, Choji. You're a real pal." Kiba took a deep breath and let it out. "Kama. Not karma. Kama. It means pleasure; sensual gratification; sexual fulfillment; pleasure of the senses; desire; and the aesthetic enjoyment of life in Sanskrit. In Hinduism, it is regarded as one of the four goals of life. The others are… well…."
"Worldly status… duty… and inner freedom ," Shikamaru said, coming to Kiba's aid without thinking. He sighed again. "I would settle for solitude, peace, and quiet."
"Right. Thanks." Kiba continued. "Back to the Kama Gates. Releasing those brings all sorts of sex-u-al powers." He smiled, seeing how rapt Lee looked. The other boy was hanging on his every word, totally unaware that he was fabricating things. "The Gate of Affection, located in the heart, removes all of your fear and makes you look attractive. The Gate of Desire, located in the brain, sets the spirit of youth on fire and makes you sound attractive. The Gate of Lust, located in your balls, sets all of your sexual energy free and makes your touch feel like the door to Heaven…."
Shikamaru looked like he wanted to be sick, and not just because Kiba's discourse sounded so corny. Lee looked the way he usually did whenever he heard a stirring speech from Might Guy. He had swallowed everything, hook line and sinker.
"Ahhhh-hhh-hh-h…." Lee's fists were clenched. He stood tall and heroically, like someone was going to chisel a sculpture of him on the great cliff. "I can do this. I can do it. I will do it."
"The Gate of Arousal, located in your Johnson, will set your partner's mind and heart ablaze, and will make your lips taste like the sweetest honey!" Kiba's voice was rising towards a crescendo. He was shamelessly playing Lee like a violin, viola, or cello. But, he was running out of ideas. Hoping Lee wouldn't catch on, he began borrowing from a certain time-honored terminology. "The First Base Gate will make you a master at kissing… an S-class criminal at French kissing… and will prepare you for…." There was a pause for effect. "…. Mouth to breast action."
"O." Choji wiped his brow. Intellectually, he knew this was all a game, but he couldn't help but get drawn in a bit himself.
"Ohhhh-hhh-hh-h…." Lee had both arms up, as if he were embracing the Will of Fire, or had just won a tournament bout. "Yes…."
"The Second Base Gate will make your every movement a ticket to Paradise. You will be Konoha's Green Beast in the truest sense of the word. Groping. Heavy Petting. And… and…." Kiba felt a twinge of guilt. Lee truly looked like he was high on life. But, he couldn't bring himself to stop. He was already past the point of no return. "…Hand to genital action."
"What have I missed?" Sai removed the bag from his head. An instant later, Naruto put the bag back on.
"Uhhhh-hhh-hh-h…." Lee was actually quivering now. "Yes…."
"The Third Base Gate will win the girl's heart forever!" Kiba pumped one fist in the air. Lee followed suit. "As a side effect, it makes it look like the user's member is made of pure gold. And… it will bring…" He paused again. "…Mouth to genital action!"
"Shit!" Shino looked embarrassed. A growing pool of chakra bugs spread away from his feet. He scowled when everybody looked in his direction and felt a need to clarify things. "I simply lost control for a moment. It happens sometimes. It was only with bugs. Nothing else."
"Ahhhh-Ahhh-Ahh-Ah…." Lee's eyes were closed. A huge smile creased his face. He now stood in a world of his own imagining. "Y-e-s…"
"Finally… the Homerun Gate…." Kiba shrugged when he caught Naruto's 'You Know This Has Gotten Pretty Lame' look. He smirked when the yellow-haired Jinchiruuki blushed just the same. "Dynamic Entry!" He had felt compelled to crown the whole rigamarole with Gai's and Lee's famous line.
Lee's loud undulating shout caught everyone off guard. Choji convulsed, popping the last of his intact snack bags.
"I… I can… I can become… I can really become…." Lee's voice was rising in pitch.
"This can't be good," Neji said.
"…A SEX MACHIIIIIIIIII-IIIIIIII-IIIIIII-IIIIII-IIIII-IIII-III-II-INE!"
This time, it was Lee who had frothy blood spurting from his nose.
"This is Hell," Shikamaru griped.
"You created a monster!" Choji shook an accusatory finger at Kiba. Lee was moving about erratically, as if he had accidentally imbibed some alcohol.
"That almost looks like the form for the Suiken," Sai observed, the bag held tightly under his arm. "Except for those thrusting hip motions." He tapped one finger on his cheek and nodded his head. "Perhaps instead of the Drunken Fist, this should be called the Drunken Pe-" He never had a chance to finish.
"SAI!!" Everyone had shouted at the same time. Everyone except Lee and Sai.
"By the way, Lee." Naruto may not be in Shika's and Neji's class, but he could still come up with a brilliant solution now and then. It looked like Lee had gone over the edge. His friend needed to make a safe return to reality. "Can I be there when you explain all of this to Sakura?"
"!!" Lee ran face first into a wall, bounced off, and then crumbled to the floor. Neji moved to offer assistance.
"You may indeed be Hokage some day," Shikamaru quipped, relived that things had finally come to an end.
"Whew!" Choji wiped his brow.
After a few more moments passed, Lee was back on his feet and looking fine. He had finally caught on to the truth of the situation, but seemed no worse for wear.
"Everything's fine now," Naruto said, a little too prematurely.
The door swung open. A veritable chill entered the room, a moment before the famous man did. His face was a road map of scars. His very presence was known to cow prisoners into submission.
Naruto's heart leaped up into his throat. The Master Interrogator. The Boss of Torture. The Fearful Examiner. Could he have brought Sasuke with him? Had the Prodigal Son been cleared to join his fellow shinobi again?
The person who walked into the room was not an Uchiha. For that matter, it was not a man.
"I am Aisu Taijian," the wizened old woman said in a raspy voice. Her hair was a shade of gray that approached blue. She didn't seem to have more than two or three teeth remaining. Her breasts rested somewhere close to her knees. "I work at the Clinic as an instructor. I am ready for you now."
"Ready?" Naruto felt a sense of dread in his belly.
"For what?" Choji looked at the floor. He wondered if he would need snacks. Maybe he could gather the scattered chips up and put them in a bag.
Shikamaru said nothing. He merely placed his face in his hands. This couldn't be good. It didn't take a genius to know that.
"Today's lecture is on…." The woman's eyes narrowed. She had a very important job, and she loved her work. "Sexual Education."
The shinobi could have heard a pin drop.
"That's why I'm here," Ibiki said. "You all need to go." The way he said that, each of the stunned boys wondered if the room had been bugged. "Badly." Truth be told, he used the same words for every group that he shepherded. He wasn't the only chaperon, not by a long shot. Naruto and the others were just 'lucky,' that's all. "At least the virgins do."
The frightful man had said it.
The 'V' word.
Almost every boy in that room felt as if the eyes on the world were upon him. They 'knew' that they would be one of the few who had to march out under the victorious eyes of his fellow ninjas. How could they ever show their faces again?
"You!" Ibiki pointed. "You can go home, if you like." He double-checked a written clinic note he carried. The name matched the boy. "Everyone else with me!" He turned and left through the door. The elderly matron followed.
The group stood stunned. As one, they looked at the person who had been singled out.
It was Shino.