A/N: I'm annoyed by all the poorly written, badly thought-out fiction where the author inserts himself into Konoha – bloodline, powerful, well known family; hell, why not Kakashi, or even Naruto – or some unknown, powerful stranger – as a father? Or, ooh, let's skip to the academy. Naruto's team, duh – maybe I'll help him out, or someone else! Or – ooh, what if I am Naruto/Sasuke/Sakura/Kakashi/insertcharacterhere with future knowledge – I'll be the best assassin – the best shinobi – I'll be ANBU, youngest yet!
No. That's not what would happen. The shinobi world isn't picture-perfect for you or me. So, this is my take – what if it was me thrown into that chaotic, mind-fucking world? I've tried to mimic what my responses would be, although I wouldn't take it seriously, as there's no way I could ever accurately predict what I'd do in this situation. Plus, It's written to be interesting, and a good read… Which ordinary, day-to-day life would not be.
I don't know how far this piece of fiction will go; it's written on a whim, but an interesting whim that I find stimulating and quite fun to write. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it.
Only A Moron
To be reborn a Shinobi… Man, that's so cool! Right?
Only if you're a senseless moron. A nutcase to the suicidal degree. It's not fun and games, all flashing jutsu and amazing feats. It isn't epic. You don't get the hottest shinobi to bed and marry, become the elite and yet still be wonderful and brilliant and content.
When sharp, stinging, motherfucking painful consciousness screams at you, loud and buzzing and everywhere, red and raw and suffocating – the pressure building – squeezing you from every angle – it's hot and wet – constricting, jerking, traumatising – can't breath can't think can'tseecan'tmove –
Thankfully, I don't remember the rest of it; I'm pretty sure I blacked out at some point, and the rest is just a mindless blur. I wasn't born to a family, or any sort of bloodline. This was the world of Shinobi: there was an abundance of orphans.
I later found out that my mother – although I hesitate to call her so – was an average Kunoichi; single, pregnant, but oh so determined. She wouldn't let me hold her down (the only reason she didn't abort was to help supply the next generation of soldiers). There came a day when she just wasn't quite fast enough, and the head injuries she suffered caused her to induce pre-mature labour, with copious amounts of blood loss and a slowing grasp on her basic motor functions. She died, twenty minutes after I'd been forcefully pushed into the land of the living ninja.
Out I popped, a healthy, if small baby: a pink, shrivelled little thing. My body was too fat and my limbs were too stubby and awkward, my head too heavy for my neck to support. I was trapped, unable to move, see, or emit any sound more complex than a warbled whimper.
Before this duly horrifying event, I can honestly say that, like most people, I couldn't remember ever being a baby; my memory wasn't quite that good. Although, I imagine that the first time round was a warm, smothering cocoon of love and a gentle, hypnotic rocking (after all, the motion still instils a subconscious feeling of familiar comfort).
This time was rather more clinical. From what little I remember, the nurses looked after me just fine; however, after I'd spent a few weeks at the hospital and had been issued a clean bill of health and vitality, I'd promptly been shipped to the closest orphanage. It wasn't abusive or particularly horrid, but unpleasant all the same. It could have been an all right experience, but I missed my family terribly, and the replacement only made filled me with anger; the loss was a near constant, aching pang – I still feel it now, you know. I shouldn't have been taken so suddenly away from them.
Of course, I didn't know it was an orphanage at first. Back then, I didn't know much of anything at all; my surroundings were barely perceivable, and any speech I did hear was foreign and incomprehensible. I knew two languages, and could recognise several others, and even manage a few words of each. This one, however… It wasn't something known to me. It sounded almost like Japanese, but the tone was off and the accent didn't match.
I took to learning with the rest of the children, trying to absorb as much as I could, albeit at a much slower pace; my mind just wasn't the same. It was filled more, with less free neural pathways available and ready to soak up new lingo. In the eyes of my caretakers, I must have been a quiet, mature child, if a little dumb with an unfortunately low vocabulary.
I was fortunate that I understood the world and people better than my peers, else I would have been completely behind, unable to understand anything; it wasn't hard, when being spoken to like a child, to figure out what the adults would be motioning to and trying to explain. I got the hang of the language within a few years.
Not long after I'd turned three (Strangely, my birthday was still the same) the population of the orphanage started to rise in unpredictable patterns; Within one week, four children had turned up, and it was five days until two children came in at the same time.
It was around this time when I finally figured out where the heck I was. Don't blame me; my realization of the Shinobi world didn't hit me as soon as I stepped foot in it. In fact, seeing as I was so young, the only times I'd set foot outside the orphanage was to crawl around and awkwardly toddle this way and that. After two years, where I'd shot up a fair bit (but still short – a vertical challenge I hadn't managed to overcome this time around) and had started being able to run and walk around, I was still only about the height of people's knees. As much as my obliviousness embarrasses me… If anyone had been wearing a hitai-ate, I wouldn't have been able to see it from my stupid angle.
"Look at that, Rijii," One of the care workers by the name of Aiko said to me one day, when the sun was burning bright and shining, the air was moist and the wind was warm. She picked me up and lifted me onto her shoulders (I was careful not to pull her hair or shift awkwardly). Making sure I was secure, she held out her arm to focus my gaze and pointed at a cliff wall in the distance. "It's called the Hokage Mountain; each one of those people swore to protect you, me and Konohagakure. They are strong and powerful; we're lucky to have had three such great leaders."
My thoughts puttered to a halting stop, shock stilling me, eyes wide and disbelieving. Hokage… Konohagakure… I recognised those words. But, no… It couldn't really be possible, right? It was just a work of fiction. A silly cartoon. But… That cliff was not cartoon, and could not possibly have been drawn. It was clear in the daylight, sharp edges carved with careful precision, edges worn and weathered from age and rainwater.
I almost slapped myself at that unbelievable stupid internal debate. Had being treated like a baby really dulled any possible sense of logic within me? Of course it was frickin possible. I was three years old. Reborn in a strange, unfamiliar land – emphasis on the born. I don't think flying pigs could have surprised me right then.
I looked around myself – really looked, focused like I hadn't been able to with my previously bleary eyes, poor height and lack of spacial awareness. There – across the far right – a black blur as something (someone, I corrected) darted across a rooftop. Coming up across the street was a tough, scarred man, wearing a khaki green flack-jacket, dark pants, powerful, purposeful stride, and – were those bandages? A… A hitai-ate?
Shit, was my only coherent thought. I'm surrounded by trained assassins.