Unsung Story of the Inconspicuous
A/N: This is my story, Unsung Story of the Inconspicuous. It's a comedy and at times a parody of the world of Naruto: there's a lack of dull characters I find somewhat odd. Not everyone can have a tragic backstory, so I wanted to tell the story of a character who desperately tried to live a normal life in a world that refused to allow anyone emotionally healthy. A whole family-not-a-clan, more specifically.
To do that, I decided to use a character who should have been more dramatic than she was, who swiftly derailed as many cliches as I could find.
Her name means Lightning.
Note: I'm using Japanese name suffixes to indicate unusual modes of address/ relationships, but will probably stop that when it gets too complicated or irritating.
I don't own Naruto or any of its characters, storylines or affiliates.
It was called the Genematrix, because at least one aspect of their lives had to be cool. The Genematrix was the source of every tragic story, dramatic interlude and attractively damaged character alive and previous. Simply put, its job was to make certain people's lives very interesting.
It was their job, very specifically, not to get caught in it.
"They" were technically a clan in both function and mannerisms, but the word "clan" was a Genematrix fetish and so they were instead a "family united under a common goal". The Gairano were unique for one very specific reason- each of them possessed the ability, or mutation, more likely, of a causality ... fail-field. Unlike other people, caught up in webs of intrigue and character development, Gairano could and compulsively did self-edit and generally stayed out of trouble, using this bizarre twist of fate to keep things running smoothly and staying out of it so that they could keep doing it.
And so, for a very long time this family united produced sickeningly and inappropriately emotionally well-balanced people and sent them off into the world, taking care to remain comfortably middle class even when presented with wealth, and fit enough to survive but not so much so as to lead the pack.
And then she was born.
To be fair, this wasn't her fault.
It wasn't even that she was wilfully malicious- if she had been, it would have been excusable. No, what went wrong was simply this:
Her mother died.
Her mother had some nine months previously stood for a few seconds too long in a Plot Device and had unwittingly spawned herself an electrokinetic daughter who detonated upon birth. Luckily the Genematrix had been stopped from descending on the two minute old murderer by a quick-thinking family member smacking a very surprised and extremely traumatised child in the head.
So maybe it was her fault.
Grief, unfortunately, wasn't exactly a staple of the family, and so her father simply squared his shoulders, dug through the sparking rubble and pulled out the daughter he promptly named. This one, the family united under a common goal thought with deep suspicion, was trouble.
Despite the Genematrix's best efforts, the less than imaginatively named Raiku was raised by a father who was neither abusive nor distant, who brought her up to be decent and to believe in self-sufficiency and the underappreciated value of boredom. Raiku, unsurprisingly, grew up to be pragmatic, emotionally well-balanced and enduring, if a little socially awkward.
This wasn't really the Genematrix's fault either; it was only a force of narrative causality, and it was trying its best.
Raiku was, in a word, average.
Certainly almost all of her skin had to be covered to avoid electrical mishap and negative or positive impacting experiences selectively, and for similar reasons she never went and ultimately didn't know how to swim, but she didn't have a hard or tragic life, and so she considered herself fairly lucky.
But lucky nonetheless.
To Raiku's credit, she tried. She really did. She was in the middle of her class, occasionally lower, and she had almost no friends. Her relentlessly cheerful personality had gotten her a great deal of suspicious looks as time went on, but she quickly learnt how to brood at appropriate times, and so she went through life largely undetected. Then, as these things do, something happened. A seemingly innocuous series of events apparently unrelated but of course purposeful, would change everything.
The family knew trouble when they saw it:
She was screwed.
Raiku smiled brilliantly.
Quite literally, as sparks danced along the edges of her straight white teeth. But aforementioned teeth were hidden behind a dark latex mask stretching up from her shirt, so it didn't really matter.
Today was the day she graduated, so unlike most other days, she could smile freely- her natural cheer hadn't made her many friends in the family, and as naturally suspicious creatures, the shinobi had been unsettled and edgy until the instalment of the mask.
She was twelve, and she was allowed to be happy today.
She was also right on time and walked down the sun-drenched street with her gloved hands in her pockets and a distinct air of punctuality that so many more interesting characters have never been able to achieve. She sent an eye-creasing smile to the store-keepers setting up and putting various items on display outside their shops, and they nodded in courteous response.
And that's when it happe-
She put her hands in her pockets, casually derailing narrative form.
The Gairano family was known to be distant, living on the edge of town on a slightly raised part of the mountain, allowing the comfortable compound to slightly overlook the city, alleviating the suffocating aura of the tall concrete buildings. Better yet it was also a really annoying climb, which was why they'd chosen it.
Raiku waved cheerfully to someone she didn't know particularly well as she crossed the street to the earthen schoolyard, weaving between families bidding kids tearful goodbye on their first day of school. Expression fixedly cheerful above the mask, she ducked under carelessly made arm gestures, what would have been a shock of white hair dyed carefully brown and tragically spiky.
No amount of hair curlers, scissors, hair gel or chakra would make the hair fall down in anything but loosely formed spikes, but they'd adjusted by cutting it so short even normal hair would have been spiky.
'Oi, Sakura!' a blonde girl with a devilishly smug expression called to a pink haired friend. Raiku murmured an excuse when she had to brush past, barely squeezing free of the throng to rest in front of the school building, a tall brick structure painted cheerfully with a traditional roof.
There was a distinct void in the noise next to her, and she looked up from the ground, hands resting on her knees as she caught her breath and cooled down.
Uchiha Sasuke – level five risk of drama. Impressive, since there were only three levels.
He looked down at her dispassionately.
She made a two fingered, casual salute and walked off as quickly as it was possible to nonchalantly walk off. A tall man in the garb of a chuunin smiled down at her warmly as she slipped her shoes off just inside the school doors, absently scratching a scar on his nose. 'You ready for the test today?' he asked, tucking his hands into his vest.
'Yes!' she responded cheerfully, smiling with equal warmth and bowing as much as she could. It was a learned skill, bowing from the bent position of removing shoes without tripping endearingly, but she'd learnt it well. She bowed again and padded past him, leaving Iruka fighting off the strange sensation of immediately and automatically forgetting a student he'd just spoken to.
'Raiku,' a boy with grey hair and a piece of grass in his mouth nodded, brooding aimlessly like all shinobi did when they weren't killing things. She waved, sitting down cross-legged outside the classroom door, just under the drawer she'd put her bag into. 'Ready for the test? We gotta pass to graduate,' he said to break the silence stretching on.
'Yep,' she confirmed readily. He made a curiously adult noncommittal sound and looked away, crossing his arms across his chest and leaning against the wall.
'R-,' a shy, stuttering voice began. Raiku's head whipped around, ready with a stock expression comprised of sparkling eyes and a cheerful tilt to the head.
Hyuuga Hinata- level one risk of drama.
The dark haired girl jerked back in surprise at the quick reaction, and Raiku counted in the pause before speaking. 'Hi!' she chirped. She decided chirping was a bit much. 'How are you?' she asked with a substitute of mild cheer.
'Okay,' Hinata said almost hesitantly. The stutter would drive her insane if she was in a team with her. Or it would drive Hinata insane- Raiku was incredibly patient, but with an average heartrate of three beats per second what was a long time for her was a startled silence for someone else, leaving her finishing other people's sentences when they took too long.
The white-eyed girl blushed. Perpetually, but it was noticeable right now. She could hardly be blamed, with that Plot sitting in her shadow. Only it wasn't the poor things fault this time, with the hyperactive blonde suddenly hanging off the smaller girl's shoulder.
'Hinata, you seen Iruka-sensei?' Naruto grinned with almost manic cheer. 'N-N-,'
'Iruka-sensei!' Naruto exclaimed, pelting down the hallway. Uzumaki Naruto – drama level ten, human whirlwind.
Raiku blinked rapidly in alarm as Hinata swayed ominously. 'He's gone!' she exclaimed quickly. Hinata caught herself, flushing scarlet with embarrassment.
'Come on,' Iruka sighed in good natured exasperation, casting the clan member a look and unlocking the classroom door.
Raiku let Hinata enter first, climbing up the plain wooden steps to a spot three rows from the back, near but not too near a window. Uchiha usually sat a few in front, so she should be free of the fangirls today, free to do the test and enjoy the last day of genin school.
Someone tragically high on the drama ranking cleared their throat in irritation.
Raiku smiled down at the front.
There was a silence.
'You,' Uchiha said, dark eyes looking at her irritably.
She turned her head, blinking up at him curiously. He was almost feminine in beauty, but the drama rank stamped onto his forehead stopped her from liking him. He waited expectantly, eyes drifting from her to the empty place next to the window pointedly.
He was going to use her as a fangirl shield.
He scowled at her and pushed past, settling with an almost spiteful efficiency. There was a pink haired girl shooting her the most threatening stare she'd ever received.
Raiku broke into a cold sweat.
A Plot oozed its way over the desks towards her: and then there was the one girl in the village who didn't love Uchiha Sasuke, who might just have been- she slammed her elbow onto the desk, and the Plot gave a feeble sound, like air released from a cushion, and vanished.
She felt the deadpan stare coming from her left, and smiled in the general direction of the front of the classroom nervously. The stare shifted off her, like a pressure alleviated. Maybe she shouldn't have assumed today would be so carefree after all. She sank down in her chair, troubled eyes just above the level of the desk. Someone turned into a naked woman.
She should have been sick today.
There was a loud crash as drama level ten made his presence known.
'You've got a Plot on you,' her father said absently, stirring his noodles with his left hand and holding a brush with the other. Raiku blanched, already large eyes rounding to impressive size.
'You're a jerk, and you can't paint,' she informed him stiffly, turning her nose up in the air and putting her bag on the table. She slipped her shoes off, fixedly ignoring his snickers. Her father was roughly six feet tall with a wiry build, hardly unusual for a shinobi. His hair was thin but didn't look to be going anywhere, dark brown and trimmed short on the back and sides. Dark grey eyes glimmered with good humour over the table at her, taking in the headband place securely on her forehead. The steel felt strangely heavy and the fabric left a few square inches of skin left between mask and headband, which was ideal.
'Going for the direct, standardised approach?' he asked, recognising it was odd for a new genin to wear it so plainly.
Raiku narrowed her eyes at him. He grinned at her, looking down at his ink painting again. Their house was made from wood and very traditional, because it was old rather than because it was the feeling they tried to get across. There was a great deal of light in their home simply because they liked it that way, and while there was an occasional painting or picture the entire home was largely plain.
The shoji doors weren't so fortunate- they'd been expertly mended, but the fixes were clear to the eye when less than a metre away. Her father lamented the loss of the beautiful doors they had around their small shrine, but she refused to wear as many clothes in her own home as she had to outside, especially in summer. All in all, the skin exposed to the elements was the remaining square inches on her face.
Raiku yanked down the mask that reached the bridge of her nose, nudging his chair with her elbow on her way past him to the kitchen, placed around the corner. 'Good day at school then I take it?' he grinned at her back, keen eyes taking in the starts of white roots.
'I passed,' she confirmed, pulling down a satchet of instant miso, rubbing a hand through her hair at the pointed look.
'You've gotta dye it,' he reminded her, watching the kettle suspiciously.
'I know. And dad,' she added after a moment, expression deadpan. 'I'm twelve. I'm okay with a kettle, really I am.'
He sniffed, looking down his hawk-like nose at his noodles. 'Teammates?' he asked, changing the subject.
'Hatori Daisukenojo and Ryuu,' she said, stirring the water and the mixture together.
'Just Ryuu?' he asked, raising an eyebrow.
'I forget his last name,' she said dismissively.
'Daisukenojo,' her father muttered to himself, trying not to laugh.
'He's nice!' she said defensively, putting her hands on her hips.
'Sure,' he managed, shoulders shaking with repressed mirth.
'You're a jerk, you know that right?' she demanded.
'Sure,' he repeated again, biting the inside of his cheek.
'Dad,' she said warningly, narrowing her eyes at him. 'You only think this is funny becau- Plot!'
He slammed a foot onto the oozing black mass as it crossed to her, amusement vanishing with it.
There was a long silence.
'Well, looks like defending someone to me's out,' he said eventually, sending her a grin.
'You suck,' she said flatly, sipping her miso.
They fell into familiar, comfortable silence. Her father vanished from the room briefly, coming back with a towel, newspaper, gloves and a small packet of brown hair dye. 'I hope you know people think this is for me,' he said, waving it at her. 'They think I'm going grey. Grey! At my age! Thirty six!'
Wisely, Raiku kept her mouth shut regarding certain temporal discrepancies, choosing to finish her miso instead.
'Come on Sparky,' he gestured, pulling the gloves on. 'And try not to zap me this time.'
She quirked a brow as minute sparks dissipated in the air she exhaled.
'Show off,' he rolled his eyes.
Life as normal.
A/N: Criticism and advice appreciated. I'm as yet still getting a feel for the character, and while it may seem as though it's not really a Naruto story as such, I promise that that is temporary. Right now I'm establishing character, but as well as that I wanted to focus on Raiku's life. She lives a life that borders on normal for us, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve here.
Send me your ideas.