I'm too lazy to draw a manga, let alone Naruto. Kishi does a good job without my meddling, so let him keep doing it I say; why ruin a good thing?
WARNING: I'm only putting this in once, so read. There will be bad language in this story. There will also be eventual incest, and it will be of the fairly close kind. If you don't like that then I suggest you don't read.
There will probably be violence and all the other stuff that come with your average Naruto Fanfic (its about ninjas, there will be violence. End of story). And if you don't like femNaru stories, I suggest you read the summary again and if you still cant see 'FemNaru', then go get your eyes checked.
You have been warned. That's it, no more warnings. If you start complaining about my language choice after three chapters you can go fuck a dinosaur.
See? It's starting already...
A DIFFERENT GENEALOGY
ACT I: SCENE I
~ THIS GIRL IS WHACKO ~
"All right, who can tell give me an example of a bloodline limit?"
More than half the hands in the class shot up to answer the question he had asked, and Kotesu sighed.
"A bloodline that doesn't come from Konoha" he clarified.
All of the hands that had previously been waving in the air dropped; Well, at least they knew the ones in their own village... That was miles better than last year's batch of fresh meat. Kotetsu hoped Izumo was doing better with the upper class. No doubt Hana's girls were trouncing both their classes…
Seeing the terrified looks on the boy's faces he began to sweat. Why did he sign up for this again? Oh yes, Izumo lost a bet with Shikaku - really, who in their right mind challenged a Nara to a game of Shogi, and made a bet that they would actually win? Izumo was an idiot! He had told him not to move his king, and now they were stuck teaching! He wanted to go on missions, damn it!
"Don't worry, all right?"
he tried to reassure the group of seven-year-olds with a relaxed grin before continuing; it seemed to work on some of them, much to his relief. He really wasn't good with kids at the best of times.
"One example is the Ice Nature found in-"
He was interrupted by a brief knock at the door before Hana entered with the Hokage. He gawped for a moment before hurrying to the door and stepping outside with the two.
Sasuke Uchiha, along with his entire class, strained his ears and leaned over his desk in an attempt to hear what was being said outside. They couldn't really see much thanks to the panelling of the door, but he could make out three large silhouettes and one smaller one. He knew who the larger ones belonged to but not the smaller one.
The small one cried something gleefully and jumped onto the silhouetted belonging to Hana, and then the Hokage. He was stunned that someone had the gall to do that. You didn't just run up and randomly hug the village leader. This guy was already an idiot in Sasuke's mind. A brave one, but still an idiot.
"Work hard kiddo! I would have killed for this when I was in the academy…"
Kiba's sister was easily heard before she and the Hokage disappeared. There was a tense atmosphere when Kotetsu-Sensei re-entered the room. It quickly turned to bafflement when they caught sight of his companion. Sasuke realised this was the small silhouette.
She was a small girl, perhaps a bit younger than he was but not by much, and had shoulder-length, wild-looking blonde hair fastened in haphazard pigtails. He could just make out bright blue eyes and faint scratches on her cheeks. She wore a baggy black t-shirt, orange shorts, and black fingerless battle gloves with metal on them, like Itachi's did..
Sasuke deemed this as odd. As far as he knew, girls were supposed to have tidy hair and wear skirts; not shorts.
"All right I know this is a bit unorthodox, but this is your new classmate boys, be nice okay?"
Sasuke thought their instructor must be ill; what idiot would let a girl into the boys class? there was no way she would keep up - the Girls were given Kunoichi classes for a reason. In his mind, the prospect of being nice was laughable, and he could tell that some of his classmates were having similar thoughts. Apparently the girl did too, for she snorted rather loudly.
"I don't care if they're nice or not Bandage-Face. As long as there's no damn… flower arranging…"
She shuddered at the mere thought of such an activity, and sasuke found his interest spiking; he'd been under the impression that the girls liked those weird classes. This one was odd; while he admitted interest however, he still didnt like her. the only free seat was beside him, and there was no doubt that she would start to fawn all over him.
"…as long as there none of that stuff I'll be perfectly fine"
She finished scratching the inside of her ear with one finger. Sasuke stared at her, taken aback by the culture shock. Even Kiba, whose mother and sister were far from the usual female ninja, was surprised. He was beginning to revise his opinions on her at first impression; maybe she wouldn't fawn over him after all, or was that too much to hope for?
"My name's Kot-" Kotetsu attempted to correct her.
"Bandage-Face" she informed him stubbornly.
Even Sasuke snorted with laughter. Kotetsu decided to give up; if she called Hana 'Dog-Lady' and the Hokage 'Old Geezer' he sincerely doubted he was going to escape without some sort of new nick-name.
"As I was saying, this is your new classmate. She's been skipped a grade so do try to be a little bit less rambunctious with her, she's a year younger than you are. She didn't really… mix well with the other girls so she'll be joining us once a day instead of the girls-"
"Bandage-Face, can I introduce myself or are you going to do it for me?" she interrupted.
Kotetsu ignored the snickers and nodded sheepishly. She beamed at him and then Sasuke (along the rest of the class) was given another shock. How could this girl be so… not-girl-like, but still look like… like that?! It defied all logic!
"I'm Naruto Uzumaki! I'm six! Nice to meet 'cha!" she grinned loudly.
There was silence for a few moments before Kiba broke out into laughter.
"F-Fishcake? Your name's Fishcake?!" he choked out.
A few of the other boys in the class snickered. They were the stupid ones. Sasuke had picked up on the slightly darker expression on her face and thought better of it. She glowered at Kiba and the boys who sat snickering with him. Before Kotetsu could stop her she had jumped from bench to bench to land directly in front of Kiba.
Hana stopped walking momentarily and slapped her hand to her forehead.
"Shit! I forgot to warn him about the name thing!" she yelled to herself.
She considered going back for a few moments before tossing the idea aside.
"If they can't cope with Naruto, then the future male ninja of Konoha will be a source of eternal embarrassment! They can find out the hard way!" she said to herself, ignoring the worried look the Hokage was giving her.
Kiba meanwhile was about to be given some negative reinforcement for calling Naruto 'Fishcake'. Naruto did not pause at all after jumping across several desks, and smashed her small fabric and metal covered fist to Kiba's nose. The boy yelped in pain, uncaring of the tears that sprang to his eyes; that punch bloody hurt!
There was a horrified silence throughout the classroom. Not even the faint buzzing of Shino's bugs could be heard. Shikamaru, who had been half interested, half asleep, was now fully awake.
'Never piss this girl off. She's almost as scary as mum' he resolved, giving Kiba a pitying glance.
"Who the hell are you calling Fishcake, Flea-Bag? My name means Maelstrom! Not Fishcake, Maelstrom! Got it?"
Naruto rared the words directly into his ear, an Kiba nodded vigorously, trying to stem the blood that poured from his nose. Kotetsu gave him a pitying look and mouthed 'nurses office'. Kiba wasted no time and hurried out of the room. Sasuke stared at Naruto as she smiled at Kotetsu and asked him where her seat was, not failing to use his new name.
"You can sit next to Sasuke, Naruto. Sasuke! Put your hand up!"
Sasuke did as instructed, albeit somewhat warily. Despite his idiotic personality, Kiba was no pushover. He had just had his nose apparently broken by a girl a year younger than they were. Sasuke saw no harm in being a little cautions; he made a particularly noticeable mental not to never call her Fishcake even for a joke. It was too much of a health-risk.
The girl, still standing on Kiba's bench, looked over to him and hopped across the benches and plopped down into the seat beside him. She grinned at him before turning to ask Kotetsu if she could get a textbook till she could buy her own.
This was too strange for Sasuke; much as he hated it, he was used to girls doing their utmost to coax him into talking or even looking at them. Naruto did not do this, and refreshing as it was, Sasuke found this odd. In his later life, he would deem this the moment he fell for the girl.
That was speaking in adult terms, in a future tense however; at the moment, all Sasuke's 7-year-old mind could think of to explain this odd feeling was: 'this girl is whacko'
"All right, back to bloodlines. I've given you one already, can anyone think of any others?" Kotetsu asked hopefully.
There was no need to regain order or discipline. As far as he was concerned, Naruto had been provoked by Kiba, and had probably given the class a desperately needed wake up call. Whilst scaring the stuffing out of them. There was no answer for several minuets until Naruto gave a frustrated sight and opened her moth once more.
"Lava Nature and the Rin'nengan, though the Rin'nengan is kinda iffy. It might not be real" Naruto stated.
The boys stared at her.
"What? The Old-Geezer has good books in his office!"
Sasuke saw his brother standing by the gates and hurried over to meet him.
"Itachi! You don't have work?" he asked.
It wasn't often his brother met him at school; not that he needed to be picked upon a regular basis any more, but even his father occasionally came by. For Itachi to meet him was a rare treat.
"I requested the week off so we can do a proper offering this year" he explained.
Sasuke nodded in understanding; every year they would make an offering with their father to their mother. Sasuke didn't remember her much, he'd only been one year old when she died, but he remembered to be a kind, loving person. He had been so distracted by the event in class that day that he had, momentarily, completely forgotten about it.
As they walked through the streets back to the compound, the conversation discussed his day at the academy and inevitably turned to Naruto.
"There's a weird girl in the boys class now, so I completely forgot. She's whacko! She broke Kiba's nose because he called her fishcake! She called Kotetsu 'Bandage-Face' and the Hokage 'Old-geezer'!" he informed his brother.
He was doing all he could to stress how not-girl-like (and therefore 'whacko') she was. Itachi raised an eyebrow a fraction, which indicated his surprise to Sasuke.
"You aren't talking about Naruto Uzumaki are you?" he asked.
Sasuke eyes widened.
"You know her? How?"
he pushed aside the garden gate; Itachi took the gate from him and passed through himself, closing it behind him before joining sasuke on the walk up to their front door
"Father sponsors her" he answered.
Sasuke felt confused; sponsor?
"Konoha doesn't have a lot of orphans, about on hundred in the whole village, so they are all sent into ninja schooling. High ranking ninja sponsor them until they earn Chunin rank or turn eighteen; whichever comes first. Father sponsors Naruto, though I've only met her a few times. It was when you were younger so you probably don't remember her" he clarified.
Sasuke gawped at him; he was so shocked he almost forgot to take off his shoes before entering the house.
"Father did that?!" he asked in complete surprise.
Had Itachi not been the one who told him, he would never have believed such a thing possible. He sat down at the table at Itachi's order. His older brother started to trundle awkwardly about the kitchen intent on making them a sandwich. Despite his skills as a ninja, his skills as a chef were very limited.
"You are completely shocked" Itachi noted, smiling.
"B-But father isn't, I mean…" he couldn't find the appropriate words to explain his thoughts.
"Why would he do that?" he asked. It was as close as he could get to what he really wanted to say. Itachi gave a soft laugh as he laid a tomato sandwich in front of his younger sibling and helping himself to left-over rice balls.
"I was surprised when I first found out too, but he seems to genuinely worry about her as much as you or me, odd as it seems"
Itachi took a bite from one of the rice balls. Sasuke hurried cleared his own mouth before asking another question.
"Why? Why did he sponsor her anyway?"
He was still finding it difficult to understand his father's actions. There was a pause before Itachi answered in a voice that told Sasuke he understood their father as much as he did.
"I have absolutely no idea Sasuke. None at all"
After this new information was revealed, Sasuke changed his opinion of Naruto from 'whacko' to 'really whacko'
"You're so lucky Naruto! You get to join the boys' class!" Ino wailed as they walked back from the academy.
Ino had also been skipped ahead, but much to her discontent she was stuck in the girls' class with the flower arranging. Not that she minded this, but Naruto got see Sasuke as much as she wanted!
Not to mention the boy's class just got extra training; she did flower arranging everyday in the shop, she'd rather be in the boys' class. In fact, she had the same opinions her friend held.
It was not that Naruto was bad at flower arranging (she grew up helping Ino in her family's shop so it was impossible for her to be terrible), it was just she was considerably more boisterous than the other girls, and hated the class with a passion.
After turning a gorse bush into a few throwing stars and using her flower arrangements for target practice, Hana had finally decided the girls' additional education was not for Naruto.
"I know, but I thought the boys would be smarter since they get extra training, but Kiba can be really stupid sometimes! Even Sasuke isn't all that smart, and he's supposed to be the top of our class! They have no common sense!"
Naruto kicked a stone in irritation; It had been a week since she moved into the second year class with Ino, and they boys' apparent idiocy despite the extra help baffled her.
"Whaaat? Really? That's impossible!" Ino asked, clearly shocked to her core.
"His solution to a hostage situation was killing the hostage taker Ino! That's it! No danger-analysis or nothing!"
"What? are you sure?" Ino asked, faltering slightly.
"You know I sit next to him Ino. It was impossible not to hear him!"
Ino could not think of anything to say to this and decided it would be better for her pride to drop the subject. Naruto was very stubborn and refused to loose in an argument. She was very much the same, and if they started arguing there would be no end to it due to stubbornness. Instead she turned the conversation to Naruto's mother.
"Do you want me to come with you to visit your mum? I don't have work today!"
Actually, she had specifically requested - begged her father on hands and knees - time off for this exact purpose. Naruto sometimes got depressed when she visited her mother, and needed someone to cheer her up afterwards. Besides, you shouldn't visit graveyards by yourself.
Naruto looked shocked for a moment before breaking into an even wider smile.
"Really? That'd be awesome!"
She squealed a very un-Naruto-like squeal. It showed just how grateful she was for the offer; Naruto would only squeal when she was ecstatically happy. The walk to the cemetery was not a long one. They spoke to kind old priest and he guided them to the grave site of Kushina Uzumaki - the graveyard was huge, and they always got lost trying to find the grave.
Ino actually knew the route fairly well by now, but the priest was one of a small number that was nice to Naruto and she knew her friend enjoyed talking with him. Naruto loved her friends, but she was a social creature, and loved talking with other people too.
For some reason though, everyone seemed to glare at her, making it near impossible. Ino wasn't about to deny her a rare snitch of conversation from someone she didn't see on a regular basis.
Naruto lit the incense and laid down her offering (Miso Ramen) before clapping her hands together and closing her eyes in prayer, Ino copying her actions. Naruto was in the midst of telling her mother about how much of an idiot Kiba was when she heard a familiar voice.
"Naruto? Is that you?" she looked up from her prayer and saw Mr. Perma-Frown standing some distance away with Sasuke and some other guy who looked familiar but she couldn't quite remember.
"Perma-Frown? What are you doing here? And why is Duck-Butt-Head with you? You know him?" she asked, running up to the man.
She had only met him a few times, and she could barley remember most of them. She just knew this was the guy who took care of her bills and stuff till she could do it herself; Ino trotted over curiously.
She recognised Naruto's nick-name for her benefactor and was curious to see what he was like. Sure Sasuke was there, but if what Naruto said was true she was probably being a bit over zealous with her admiration. Either way, Naruto was more important than Sasuke any day.
"Visiting my wife" he stated plainly.
Ino gave him a deadpan stare. No wonder Naruto called him Perma-Frown, was his face glued like that or something?
Had he smiled? Like, ever?
"I've never seen you here before, who are you visiting?" he asked curiously.
Ino glanced at the two boys standing with him, eavesdropping with apparent eagerness. She recognised Sasuke without a second thought, but not the other one. They looked kind of the same. He caught her staring and she blushed, and turned back to Naruto.
"My mum! She's over there!" Naruto pointed to the grave.
Fugaku gave a nod of understanding, or approval, Ino wasn't quite sure which.
"Why is there ramen on it?" Sasuke asked bluntly.
Itachi smacked him on the back of the head.
"That's my offering! She says ramen reminded her of my dad - I don't know who he is, but I always give her ramen when I visit"
Naruto seemed to be completely unaffected by Sasuke's bluntness.
"Eh? But it's ramen! You can't give people ramen as an offering!"
Naruto's face faltered slightly. Fugaku was about to reprimand him but Ino got there first. She punched his head where Itachi had previously slapped him.
"Who says it isn't? The priest said it was all right, so who says Naruto can't use ramen Duck-Butt-Head?!" she yelled, Naruto's nickname for him slipping out.
Sasuke stared at her in shock, though that was to be expected as Ino had been a member of his fan club not two hours ago. Itachi seemed to be amused; he had a small smirk on his face. Ino caught this and glared at him before sticking her tongue out and pulling down one of her eyelids.
He snickered at the action, drawing a raised eyebrow from Fugaku.
"I didn't mean, it… well…"
Sasuke fumbled as he searched for the meaning he was trying to explin, face red with embarrassment. After some time, he looked to his father, eyes pleading for help.
"I think what Sasuke is trying to say is that he didn't mean to offend you, he just considered ramen to be an unusual choice for an offering" Fugaku clarified.
Sasuke nodded vehemently. Naruto looked at Ino; she was busy trying to poke the older boy's arm in an apparently sensitive spot. He seemed to be amused by her efforts. Seeing she had a chance to talk to Mr. Perma-Frown without her bodyguard, she asked a question yet to be answered again
"Perma-Frown, how'd you know Duck-Butt-Head?" Perma-Frown looked as surprised as he could look in her experience."Sasuke? He's my son."
Naruto's jaw dropped open.
"That's his brother, Itachi."
He nodded towards Itachi, who was preventing Ino form hitting him by placing a hand to her forehead. Seeing a good opportunity for Sasuke to get to know his ward, he decided to be sneaky.
"I have to go speak with the priest, do you mind if Sasuke and Itachi stay here?" he asked.
Naruto, mouth still agape, shook her head. He thanked her and briskly walked away towards the priest's hut. Naruto and Sasuke were left with an awkward atmosphere, on only broken by Ino's frustrated yells and an occasional chuckle from Itachi.
"You're visiting your mum too?" Sasuke asked, genuinely curious. Naruto nodded she seemed distracted for a while before she brightened up; she grabbed his arm and dragged him back towards the grave.
"You can say hi! Just me, Ino and the Old-Geezer visiting is boring!" she proclaimed loudly.
Sasuke stared at her.
"But I don't know her, I don't even know what she looks like!" he objected.
"Pft. So? Who cares? Mum won't!" she said, shoving a stick of incense into his hand.
Sasuke decided it would be easier to just do as instructed. He lit the stick of incense and placed it in the holder and clapped his hands together. Before closing his eyes however, he turned to Naruto.
"At least tell me what she looks like, its weird praying for someone I never met…"
Naruto raised an eyebrow as she clapped her own hands together again, and surprisingly, a frown decorated her face.
"I don't really know..."
Sasuke was stunned by her confession; his mother had died when he was one year old, but he could remeber a few things; feelings mostly, but he had a few concrete images of her face stored away. The smell of her hair was a particularly strong image for some reason.
"The Old Geezer says she had red hair, and hated girly stuff like me, but... But when I think of her, I get the feeling she didn't have red hair. I think it was brown or something else really dark" Naruto contined.
She closed her eyes, presumably in concentration and made a disgruntled face before opening them once again. She rubbed a hand to her forhead and truned back to her prayers instead.
"I just think of mum and leave it at that, or my head gets all weird and I get a headache from thinking about it all so much."
Sasuke noticed the less cheery tone of voice. It didn't sound right on her for some reason. She should be cheery, he decided, and made moves to distract her from the headache-inducing thoughts.
"Idiot, it's because your brain is slow"
"Is not Duck-Butt-Head!"
When Fugaku returned from his supposed visit with the priest, he allowed himself a small smile at the sight that greeted him. Naruto had somehow dragged Sasuke into prayers for Kushina.
Even Itachi seemed to have lightened up for once (the boy was too much like him for his own good sometimes) and was involved in a game of Jan-ken with the blonde girl. He was certain she was one of Inochi's twins. With that ponytail and those eyes, she looked very Yamanaka-like.
Itachi caught his momentary show of emotion and his mouth parted slightly, the Itachi equivalent of jaw-dropping, before narrowing his eyes. Fugaku sighed. It was just like Itachi to realise there was more to Naruto to meet the eye. Unfortunately for Itachi, that information would never be known to him unless he became clan head all of a sudden.
Fugaku would take Naruto's history to his grave, and he had no plans to die in the near future. Itachi would only find out after his death, and only then. As for Sasuke, it would be better if he never knew at all, but Fugaku was not naïve. Keeping secrets was hard in a ninja village, and the bigger the secret the easier it was to expose.
"Ah! Perma-Frown's back!" Naruto yelled, pointing to Fugaku.
He walked over to the small group easily avoiding Itachi's suspicious gaze.
"It's been good to see you Naruto, but I'm afraid we must be going. These two eat more than you would expect." he informed her, face carefully blank. Naruto pouted, but nodded.
"Try to eat something other than ramen, you'll never get taller if you don't eat right"
Naruto avoided his gaze pointedly, very interested in one of the flowers left behind on a nearby grave. Sasuke snickered and Naruto glared at him before stamping on his foot.
"Don't laugh at ramen! Ramen is awesome!"
"Tomatoes are way better…" Sasuke huffed, leaning to the side to keep the weight of his now injured foot.
Naruto's eyes widened in suprise.
"Eh? You like tomatoes too?"
Sasuke nodded - he did not show it, but he was just as pleased with the revelation.
"Salt or sugar?" she asked.
"Sugar…" Sasuke replied, equally surprised. Naruto frowned.
"Nuh uh! Salt is waaay better Duck-Butt-Head!"
A warning look from Fugaku stopped the fight before it got too far out of hand. Ino snickered and Itachi smirked. Ino punched him in the stomach for laughing at her friend, ignoring her own laughter at Sasuke.
"Then, till we meet again Naruto" Fugaku nodded his head slightly.
There was a small pause on his part before he turned towards the grave and did the same. Itachi's eyes narrowed slightly and Sasuke's widened.
"Bye Perma-Frown! Man-Lady! See you tomorrow Duck-Butt-Head!" Naruto yelled, waving as they walked away.
Itachi spluttered at the nickname he had been given in time with hysterical laughter from Ino and Sasuke.
"C'mon Naruto, lets go get something to eat from Choji's place!" Ino pulled at her friends arm. "I'm hungry!" Naruto smiled and let herself be dragged out of the cemetery, waving goodbye to the priest as they went.
After that day, Naruto and Sasuke considered themselves as slightly more than just passing acquaintances.
Three years later, and Naruto had progressed through the academy well. She was now nine years old, and had developed close friendships with several of her classmates, though she was closer to Ino and Sasuke than she was the others. They knew her best.
She was in her second to last year of classes, Izumo's - 'Bandana-Head' - class. She still wore her unflattering baggy black t-shirt, and orange shorts. She still attended the boy's extra theory and workout classes instead of the stupid class the other girls were forced to attend. Poor unfortunate souls.
A collective groan ran throughout the classroom as Plaster-Face handed out the test sheets. Ino was going completely loopy since it was a pop test, and she hadn't done any form of studying for the past week.
She was bullying Shikamaru into giving her a brief run-down on what they had covered during the last month or so. Naruto hoped that she would do as well as she had the last two times. She'd come second twice in a row! It was unbelievably good luck and she hoped this string of good luck would continue.
Despite this, she was slightly worried. She barley read over her books, preferring to practice with her physical arts or weapons, After all, they were far more useful in despatching an enemy than knowing who proposed what in the Foreign Amnesty Treaty, but she still remembered what she saw in those books word for word.
At first she passed it off as just understanding what they were talking about for once, but after reading them again, she found that was not the case. These books made no sense! She barley understood what half of these treaties were for, but she found herself pouring the answers out when asked vocally or otherwise.
Even more disturbing, after seeing a fight breaking out at Ichiraku's earlier that day, she just had to think about it and it popped into her head with fearsome clarity. That was not something she wanted to remember, but she did. All this led her to believe this was something weird. Naruto hated weird.
Despite this, she still wanted to do her best in the test. She would not loose out to all those other sorry excuses for female ninja who stalked Duck-Butt-Head all day, gushing about Glasses-Lady's adorable flower arrangements. Ugh. Bleargh. No way was she going to loose out to them!
Thank god Ino wasn't one of them! She would have had to punch her some sense into her head, and she didn't really want to punch Ino. She'd get mad, and Ino was kind of scary when she was mad.
She picked up her pencil and stared at the first question on the paper, determination in her eyes.
Minato Namikaze, before election as Fourth Hokage, was offered two different positions of importance in the Leaf government system. State these positions ad give two reasons for each of your answers. You must include dates and full names and ranks of any other ninja mentioned in your answer.
The answers were already there by the time she finished reading the question. She didn't feel too guilty either, since the reign of the Fourth Hokage was one of the few subjects in the class on Konoha history she enjoyed (and thus, fully understood). Strange memory alterations aside for the time being, she picked put the pencil to paper and scribbled furiously.
Sasuke stared at the list of student rankings that had just peen posted on the class notice board. Once again, Naruto had somehow managed to gain almost the same marks as him: she was one mark off of a tie for first place! This was the third time already!
Since when did Naruto get so smart? He knew she was smarter than most of the boys in the class, especially in the extra lessons she had joined instead of the girls' classes, but an almost tying for first place three times in a row? That was just weird! Naruto wasn't that smart!
"Move out of the way Duck-Butt-Head! You're blocking the view!"
Naruto pushed him aside roughly so as to gain a better look at the results. This, coupled with her ever-so-complimentary nickname, gained her a large number of glares from many of the other girls. Naruto didn't even notice. Sasuke twitched; how could she not notice all those glares?
"You did it again?! What super-study method are you using? Tell me! I'll never get his attention if I'm not smart!"
Ino was just as shocked as he was, but the frustration in her voice was directed somewhere else entirely. Sasuke pitied the poor soul she'd set her eyes on since she had decided he was no longer worthy of her attention.
"I just read what Dolphin and Bandage-Face tells us to! I dunno how I'm remembering all of it, let alone how I keep getting the same marks as Duck-Butt-Head! I keep telling you Ino! And why are you complaining? You got second place!"
Ino frowned, and Sasuke watched them traipse to the back of the room and plonk down in their usual seats.
"Maybe you have some freaky bloodline that lets you remember stuff!"
Ino seemed determined to come up with an explanation for this strange behaviour, much to sasuke's interest, but all Naruto did was give Ino an exasperated look.
"Ino! My mum didn't have a bloodline! You already know that!"
"Yeah, but what about your dad?"
"I don't know who he is! Mum never said!"
"Exactly! He might have had one!"
"That's impossible Ino. The old-geezer would tell me if I had a bloodline!"
Ino huffed but could think of no reply to that. She looked like she was about to say something else, but they were interrupted by Iruka announcing the start of the class. More interested in the technicalities of assassination, Sasuke paid no heed to the conversation and it was soon forgotten.
The rain poured, but Naruto could care less about the liquid that rendered her clothes little more than sodden fabric. She sat on the protective barrier of Konoha Bridge, watching as thunder crashed and lightning sparked throughout the sky, the warm feeling of summer rain penetrating through to her skin. The humidity that had caused the storm was barley noticeable to her, for she had other concerns.
This sudden memory improvement for example. She watched as lightning blazed, setting the sky aflame with white light, but this was not unnerved her so much about this storm. What had the blonde girl so on edge was that she could remember every pattern painted by the electricity that the atmosphere had discharged on Konoha.
She wasn't even trying to remember it! All she had to do was think, and Bang! There it was, clearly envisioned in her mind. Every detail. She could even remember the shadows the building created by the glow created by the storm. Thunder roared throughout the area and Naruto gripped the wood of the barrier with her soaked hands.
Her legs that had been previously been dangling over the edge of the railing were pulled up to her chest and she buried her face in her knees. She couldn't actually remember the sound, but it was like a red flag popped up every so often when she visualised the storm. A red flag with 'here there be thunder!' printed on it in unmistakable bold print.
This scared her more than she cared to admit. Ino passed it off as a genetic trait but Naruto was nowhere near as confident with her theory. What kind of genetic inheritance could account for this level of memory? Had her mother been still been alive, she would have asked her and been given a very clear, sensible answer; whether it was one she wanted to hear or not.
But her mother was not here, and she had very few adults she could turn to for support. The villagers avoided her as much as possible (unless they were trying to yell at her for her pranks), and the adults she had questioned about her sudden increase in recollective ability were as baffled as she.
The Old-Geezer had passed it of a photographic memory seeming very convinced with his own answer. Naruto didn't like that answer though. Wasn't a photographic memory something that was present from birth, like Shikamaru? Most of the Nara's were born with photographic memories; they could remember pretty much everything from their moment of birth.
Shouldn't she be able to do the same thing if that were the case? The logical answer would be yes, but she did not - no matter how many headaches she gave herself in trying. It was only for the last few months that this ability had emerged and that told her this was not a photographic memory like the old-geezer suggested. That scared her.
She released one of her white-knuckled fists from the barrier and hugged her knees closer. She did not cry - crying did not solve anything. Never had, never will, but she was genuinely afraid of herself. And that made the strange all the worse. It was not that the ability was unwelcome, it was very beneficial, but it was mysterious, unknown, not something that she had accounted for.
Naruto was always sure of herself, and avoided the unknown for fear of becoming unsure and her resolve weakening. This came from the villagers' hatred for her. She didn't know why they hated her, but she was afraid of the reason whatever it was. Yet she hated not knowing what it was.
She had a clear resolve to always be in control of her own actions from this; the sudden cognitive upgrade was uncontrollable. Thus, it was to be feared.
"What the hell are you doing out here you idiot?!"
Naruto swirled her head to one of the streets on the side of the river, raging currents swirling from the tempest that hung over the village. Her wet hair clung to her neck face and shoulders, and she pushed it aside to clearer see the one who called out to her.
"Are you crazy? What the hell were you thinking coming out in a storm like this?!"
Sasuke had to fight to be heard above the raging winds; tentatively bracing the storm, he hurried towards her seat on the bridge. He wore a long ninja cloak, but it did little to protect him from the storm - it was already completely soaked through.
He grabbed her arm and pulled her from her seat, hurrying to the shelter of a closed shop-entrance. She stared up at him, he being slightly taller than she was. He gave her a look of wide eyed horror as he took in her dripping appearance, fervently removing his own soaked cloak and draping it around her shoulders. Naruto stared at him, a perplex look on her face as he did so.
"What on earth were you thinking going out in a storm like this?" he yelled, trying to make his voice be heard above the snapping thunder and howls of the wind.
"I just felt like going for a walk" she informed him, completely unconcerned.
His eyes bulged in their sockets for a brief moment before he clapped her on the back of the head with his hand. Naruto winced as the blow added to the already irritating headache she had devolped - she'd been having a lot recentley, and they seemed to be getting worse.
"Are you crazy?! You could catch pneumonia out here! Never mind the lightning just out side the village wall that could frazzle you!!"
Sasuke whacked the back of her head once again for good measure.
Naruto gave him an exasperated look.
"You know I don't get sick duck-butt-head!" she grumbled truthfully.
In all her years, she had never once caught so much as a measly sniffle. Any physical injuries quickly healed too. It was another oddity that completely baffled her. Then again, these headaches were making her wonder is she really was as healthy as she had previously thought. Sasuke, displeased her casual attitude to her health, refused to remove the irritated look from his face.
"Just because you don't get sick doesn't mean you can't be electrocuted you idiot!"
He whacked her on the head again.
"Ouch! Stop doing that duck-but-head! I do feel pain you know!" she grumbled.
They bickered in the shelter of the shop entrance, faces illuminated by the flashes of angry light, voices barley audible over the sound of the wind.
"What are you doing out here if it's so dangerous?" Naruto asked
She was genuinely confused; here he was lecturing her about going out in a storm when he was doing the same thing!
"I'm looking for you dimwit!" he retorted.
"Ino's dad called mine after Ino went looking for you earlier. She's going nuts by the way, she thinks you've been caught in a tornado and dumped in the middle of Wind Country."
Sasuke let this information be absorbed. The girl began grumbling to herself about stupid overprotective pigs, and Sasuke fought down the urge to laugh at her grumpy, exasperated expression.
"Dad sent me out to look for you since he's kind of gone paranoid too, thanks to Ino. He's turning the village upside down. It's quite scary actually…"
Sasuke shuddered at the memory. Worry was not an expression he was used to seeing on his fathers face.
It just seemed wrong somehow.
"Perma-Frown? Are you sure?" she asked in disbelief.
Sasuke's eyebrow twitched. She had the head of the Uchiha clan turning the village upside down looking for her due to her imbecilic nature and all she could say was 'oops'?! He dashed these thoughts from his head; they could be attended to later. Right now, his priority to get the stupid girl back indoors.
"Come on, I'm supposed to take you home if I find you."
Not waiting for a reply, he took her hand and led her out of their temporary shelter. Naruto protested loudly but found herself being dragged towards the Uchiha compound all the same; Sasuke deemed this as payback for matching his test scores for the third time in a row.
Whack-A-Mole no Jutsu! Seriously, that is Awesomeness right there! Mandarin, I salute you!
But you can't hypnotise everyone with the Moon *snorts loudly*, because you are still an Evil-Nasty-Man. An old one.
The evil ones are always so funny...
Yes, I am twisted. Your point being...?
*Revisions made 25th April 2010: Spelling and Grammar Errors edited - UK English used. A few plot holes corrected. Some additional description, but nothing excessively important.