First off, I would like to say that everything I know about Naruto canon comes from either the first 13 episodes, or fanon. That said, I have probably mangled canon beyond recognition in this. Also, this comes from me reading a story about Naruto not being able to die because of the Kyuubi, and thinking about him managing to split the Kyuubi's powers between multiple people. And grew. It scares me. I scare me.

Side note: The posting of this story marks the point where I have uploaded 20,000 words onto . Not counting my profile full of rambling. Yay me! :claps:

Sorry, my sisters are watching the Suite Life of Zack and Cody. It's annoying, but it worms its way inside my head.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, not even if I fall through a hole in time-space and land in the past, because I have no interest in recreating something as freaking massive as Naruto and Naruto Shippuden.

There are many things the citizens of Konoha do not know about the group of shinobi known as the 'Rookie Nine'. (even if they aren't exactly rookies anymore)

They know of Nara Shikamaru's legendary laziness, but they do not know that it is a facade, a way to hide the fact that he has a painful disease that will come to be known as gout in the time when shinobi have been long forgotten. (when the Rookie Nine's legacy is only that humans can walk the earth freely)

They know of Yamanaka Ino's temper, but they have no idea that she takes in young animals that have been abandoned and nurses them back to health. (and if she finds it odd that there is a disproportionate number of foxes in that number, well, only the Rookie Nine know)

They know of Akimichi Chouji's kindness, but they don't know that he is quite willing to hit someone over the head if they're being an idiot. (a fact that almost all of the Rookie Nine can attest to)

They know of Inuzuka Kiba's noisy brashness, but they don't know that that brash exterior hides a mind that managed to beat Shikamaru in Shogi once. (and Shikamaru refused to speak to Kiba for a month afterwards)

They know of Aburame Shino's kikai, but they have never seen his kikai form a beautiful pattern as he attempts to explain why a seal should go a particular way. (and the ones who have will never tell anyone)

They know of Hyuuga Hinata's shyness, but they've never seen her get drunk and strip-dance on a table. (and heaven help anyone who tries to learn something like that)

They know that Uchiha Sasuke deserted the village, but they don't know that it was only at the Sandaime's orders or that he was reporting back constantly. (and there are only eight others who do know)

They know that Haruno Sakura is an amazing medic-nin, but they don't know that she knows the jutsu to make several threats that would be considered anatomically impossible utterly possible. (and she has acted out those threats several times, after all, everyone knows Danzo would never willingly have quit the council)

They know that Uzumaki Naruto is the jinchuuriki for Kyuubi no Kitsune, but have no clue that he is also a seal master. (not even Jiraiya knew, but the Rookie Nine do)

And the citizens of Konoha most especially don't know that the Rookie Nine are family to each other. After all, only two of them are actually orphans, right?

Right, but one doesn't have to be an orphan to need a family.

Kiba, whose clan, despite famous loyalty, ignores him for his older sister. After all, the Inuzukas are a matriarchal clan, so the younger male doesn't matter. Shino, who does not have separate entities living in his body. He has many different bodies, and even his clan thinks he is a freak for that. Hinata, who is viewed as weak and worthless by her clan.

They have no family worth the name.

Shikamaru, whose family was so busy with politics they had no time for a little boy who was crying in pain because moving hurt. Ino, whose mother believes that girls should be thin, forces her to vomit up all the food she eats. Chouji, who has never cared about cooking, and is therefore not an Akimichi in the eyes of his clan.

They have no family worth the name.

Sakura, whose parents disowned her when she decided to become a ninja. Sasuke, whose only living family murdered his parents and forced him to watch. Naruto, who has never known a family and was living on his own at four.

They have no family.

The nine of them bonded over anger at their jounin instructors for forcing them into the chuunin exam before they were ready, earning them the nickname that would stick with them for eternity. But it became something more.

It became a family.

Yes, Ino and Sakura still fight over Sasuke, but all of them know that it's just for old times' sake. Yes, Naruto and Kiba still act like utter idiots, but the others smack them out of that rather quickly. Sure, each of them is damaged. Yes, none of them quite know how to interact with normal people, but they know how to interact with each other, and that's all that really matters.

That's why, when Kiba and Shino managed to get Hinata to admit that her family abused her, the Hyuuga compound had eight very pissed off shinobi, six of whom were from the clans, descend upon it, insisting that she be allowed to live somewhere else.

That's why, when Sakura admitted that she didn't have a constant home in Konoha, Naruto immediately offered her his apartment for them to share, damn the rumors.

That's why, when Ino passed out from lack of nutrition in the middle of a spar, Shikamaru insisted that she could live at his clan's compound. Once again, damn the rumors.

When Kiba and Akamaru showed up at Naruto's apartment, dripping wet and shivering from the cold, Naruto and Sakura decided that there would be three people living in that apartment.

When Shino showed up with a bundle of clothing, three became four.

When Shikamaru's clan's compound burnt down, Naruto, Sakura, Kiba and Shino insisted that Shika and Ino move in with them.

Eventually, the nine of them all ended up living in the Uchiha clan's compound, because Naruto's apartment was just too small.

The villagers of Konoha still think that there are mass orgies going on at the Uchiha compound every night. Why else would nine people who had no obligation to each other live together? They have absolutely no idea how a shinobi's mind works.

They also have no idea that Naruto is not the only jinchuuriki in Konoha anymore.

Not since Sakura walked in on Naruto while he was changing and saw the seal on his stomach, discovering that he was the jinchuuriki for the Kyuubi no Kitsune. She informed the others via loud yelling at Naruto for not trusting them with something like that.

Shino, as a fellow seal master, insisted that they dissect the seal and figure out how to share the burden of being a jinchuuriki between the nine. And everyone else agreed.

Eventually, they figured it out. Now, each of the Rookie Nine contains one tails worth of the Kyuubi no Kitsune's power, though Naruto is still the only one who can contain the fox's mind.

Something no one knows about jinchuuriki is that, as long as they have elemental chakra from the bijuu in their bodies, they cannot be killed. Any wound they receive, fatal or not, will be healed,

The shinobi known as the Rookie Nine are both feared and respected among the shinobi corps of Konoha, for the same reason. There are certain missions that are so high in danger that they are considered suicide missions.

The Rookie Nine will take these missions and return, unharmed. No one knows how they do it, but everyone knows that only an idiot would mess with someone that powerful.

And so, the Rookie Nine have become the most feared ninja in the Elemental Countries. And no one knows their secret. At least, until one of them slips up, and manages to contract a fatal wound while in Konohagakure.

Also, this is dead. The bunny wheezed out its last dying breath in the last line. If you feel that you can revive the bunny and make it your own, just let me know, okay?

In other words, feel free to adopt this story, but let me know first, okay?