There wasn't supposed to be a second chapter to this. But ...my friend and I were discussing the changes in the Superman rights and how it would affect the character ...and all of a sudden, there's a chapter two. Needless to say, but neither Superman nor Naruto belong to us ...and neither does anyone else, real or created character, included in this piece.
Kishimoto was currently very happy, eating some of his favorite spicy noodles and talking shop with other mangakas. Actually most had already left for the evening and he was fortunate enough to be left speaking with one manga artist that he always admired. Akira Toriyama, creator of the inestimable Dragon Ball series.
"It is a puzzle." Toriyama-sama was saying.
Kishimoto heartedly agreed. "The ramifications are enormous even over here in Japan." He commented on the current difficulties sorting out ownership rights to the character of Superman. One of the most iconic superheroes ever created.
The older artist shook his head. "It will be good in the long run, but the legal battles are far from over and will be very complicated."
Kishimoto nodded and then grinned.
The younger man shrugged. "I was just ...my mind wandered. What if Superman actually left D.C. and was bought out by ...say Marvel?"
Toriyama-sama smiled and then chuckled. "The thought is outrageous. Or perhaps an enterprising mangaka with a lot of money would buy the character for Japan. How would Superman look on the pages of one of our manga magazines?"
The conversation turned after that, but a pleasant evening indeed. Much later, Kishimoto was getting ready for bed and wondering if he needed to take any anti-acid medicine before turning in for the night. No, he was fine. Yawning, he padded over to his bed, going over the marvelous time he'd had talking to Toriyama. He chuckled again about the thought of Superman in a Japanese manga as he started to drift off to sleep.
Kishimoto groaned. "Wha?..."
Another nudge, harder this time. Someone was wanting him to wake up. The manga artist grabbed his pillow and pulled it over his head. Hopefully they would get the hint and leave.
The pillow was suddenly yanked away with such force that he sat up in shock, staring. Kishimoto blinked, and then groaned. "Oh, not again!"
About a year ago he'd had an incredibly vivid dream about his own characters. So convincing he'd actually kept a bowl of red M&M's for a few weeks afterwards, just for the Kyuubi. Of course, nothing had happened.
But now ...Shizune was staring at him with a disgusted expression.
"Not again?" She frowned. "I was not one of those to visit you previously. So it can no be 'again' as you put it. Really, I thought you were better at details."
Kishimoto groaned. It had to be the spicy noodles. But he loved them so, were these dreams bad enough to keep him from eating them?
Shizune held up a huge sheaf of papers, waving them at him. "Have you any idea of the paperwork required for such a transfer of personnel?"
The mangaka sighed. "What do you want? More screen time? More money, what? I just want to get back to sleep." He paused a moment. "A dreamless sleep."
Shizune sighed and shook her head. "I just want you to be a bit more considerate. Bringing Superman into NARUTO is not a painless move."
"Of course not." Kishimoto waved one hand at her. "I'll try to ...wait. WHAT?"
The Hokage's assistant pointed at the bottom of one sheet of paper. "Transfer orders for Superman to join the rest of us in Konoha."
Oh goodness. This dream was NUTS! Oh, it probably came from his dinner conversation, but wow. Kishimoto rubbed his face wearily. "I'm not buying the rights to Superman. That court case isn't completely done yet anyway."
Shizune flipped through the myriad papers and pulled out a sheet. She frowned sharply. "According to this schedule this Superman is to start next week." She pulled out a pen. "Now. Do you want him to start at the Academy level or genin? Not jounin surely."
Kishimoto groaned and closed his eyes. This wasn't happening!
"Well, he can't start at genin, that would be an insult." This voice was much deeper than Shizune's.
Kishimoto opened his eyes and blinked. Morino Ibiki. The torture master. Somehow, with this dream ...that was appropriate. "What do you want?" He moaned.
Ibiki frowned and shook his head. "How can you expect to insert Superman into Konnoha? The man sticks out like a Uchiha in room full of Akamichi. And who really wears underwear as outerwear? We'd be a laughingstock in the ninja community."
The manga artist sighed. No use fighting the dream. Fine. He'd go with it. "Number one, I haven't the rights to Superman. Second, he could always change his clothing."
Ibiki shook his head looking angry. But more telling, he didn't go away. There had to be more to it. Finally Kishimoto shrugged. "What else is wrong?"
"Another pretty boy? You haven't written enough that you had to bring in an outsider? A pretty one? Give a bachelor a chance why don't you?"
Kishimoto blinked. Ibiki? Insecure? That was ...unexpected.
"I for one like the idea." Purred another voice.
Kishimoto turned around quickly, looking shocked as he stared at Kurenai. "Excuse me?"
"No need to excuse you. I approve this move." Kurenai smiled. "Big, strong, moral ...what's not to like?"
"Really? I'm not even gone yet and you're looking to replace me?" Asuma growled at Kurenai.
The kunoichi shrugged. "You died. And he's cute."
Asuma shook his head. "I'm not completely dead. Came back, remember?"
"Only partly, and controlled by a villain." Kurenai pouted. "Go into the light, darling."
Another voice interrupted. "Don't bother, the light's pretty but everyone who has died has come back. EXCEPT FOR ME!"
Kishimoto sighed and rubbed at his ringing ears. He knew that shriek. "Tayuya."
He turned and everyone was gone except for the angry red-headed kunoichi.
She pointed a lethally sharp looking kunai that Kishimoto sincerely hoped was only made of dream-stuff. "How dare you! You bring back so many dead. So MANY! But me? Me you leave out? Why?"
Kishimoto deliberately didn't tell her is was because he'd forgotten about her. He wasn't that stupid. "I'll consider it." He lied.
"Grand! Positively grand! We look forward to this new addition to our family!" The voice boomed out from behind him.
Kishimoto sighed and he almost felt like crying. This was too much.
"Yosh! The power and strength of youth flow through this Superman and we look forward to training with him!"
No. NOW it was too much. Both of them? Oh no.
Slowly Kishimoto turned and groaned. Mighto Gai and Rock Lee were beaming at him. Teeth gleaming and thumbs thrust upwards in support. And worse? They were holding up a picture of Superman with his tights dyed green and a new haircut. One shaped suspiciously like theirs.
"You. Can. Not." Kishimoto bit out the words. "You can not change Superman's outfit."
Gai's smile didn't even dim. He stepped forward and turned Rock Lee around to show off hat both of them were now wearing green capes. "We're willing to change too! See? We added the strange half-cloak he wears."
Rock Lee spun around and pumped his fist energetically. "Yes! Even though these incomplete cloaks would not keep us warm in Konoha's winters, we will make the effort to meet this Superman half-way."
"We don't need him!" Kishimoto winced at the shriek, spinning to see a pink-haired virago glaring at him. "Tear up the transfer papers!"
The mangaka watched as his own character flexed her fingers, cracked her knuckles and basically threatened him inside of his own dream. No, the spicy noodles may not have been worth this after all.
"I mean it!" Haruno Sakuro looked very serious. "I mean, why do we need this guy with super strength when you have ME? I spent most of the time as a genin being helpless. I finally become useful and important and STRONG. And now you bring in a ringer? How dare you?"
A discrete cough had Kishimoto turning to stare at a bandaged and blind Sasuke. Even blind the Uchiha looked and acted arrogant. "We don't need this guy. But if I may ...I hear he's got some good eyes. Heat vision and x-ray and all that. It doesn't compare to the Sharingan, of course. But they'll do until I can get my own eyes back."
"And I hear they're pretty eyes." Ino purred, looking longingly at Sasuke. Kishimoto found it interesting as the Uchiha ignored the blonde completely.
Another voice and Kishimoto turned reluctantly, he was getting tired of this dream. He stopped though, seeing unexpected faces. The Mizukage and Raikage. "Yes?" He asked, unsure.
The Mizukage smiled with pure threat in her gaze. "Just why does Konoha get this new Superman? Why not the Mist Village?"
Kishimoto sighed and shook his head, turning to the Raikage. "You want him for your village too?"
But the leader of the Cloud Village shook his head and smiled. "I just want to be able to fight him first, he looks interesting."
"Fighting? Is that all you can think of? This opportunity should NOT be wasted." Kakashi stepped out of the shadows, his one visible eye wide with anticipation.
Kishimoto hesitated, then shrugged, he might as well ask. "What shouldn't be wasted?"
"Bringing over others, of course!" Kakashi grinned beneath his mask and held out a list which the mangaka carefully took. The paper felt real. Stange dream.
Looking down he read the list, then sighed. "Huntress, Hawk Girl, Wonder Woman, and ..."
"Make sure Wonder Woman brings that rope of hers." Kakashi said eagerly. Too eagerly.
Kishimoto stared until the copy-nin looked away, then glanced back down at the list. "Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and ...you know these are villains, right?"
Kakashi grinned and shrugged, looking not a bit embarrassed.
Kishimoto sighed and looked back down at the list. "Who is this you have starred and underlined their name?" He squinted.
The copy ninja 'meowed' and waved one hand like a paw.
"Ah. Catwoman." Kishimoto nodded. "I should have known."
Kakashi 'meowed' again, and shrugged. "It's the leather."
"I don't want to know. And you have Supergirl down here. Isn't she too young for you?" The artist shook his head.
The copy-nin held up both hands in surrender. "For the younger shinobi." He lied.
"Pervert!" Sakura shrieked and chased Kakashi out of the room, then she spun to point one accusing finger at Kishimoto. "You're enabling him!"
The manga writer looked shocked. "What have I done?"
Sakura snarled at him. "Icha Icha novels? Remember? You wrote him that way!"
Well. That was true enough, but he'd be doggone if he apologized for the actions of one made up character to another character.
Orochimaru stepped out of the shadows and Kishimoto stilled. The two looked at each other a long moment, then the crazy villain smiled evilly. "Why Superman? Batman would be better."
Kishimoto shrugged. "Why ask me? It's only a dream."
"But it is YOUR dream, after all." Kabuto stepped out to join them. "And he only wants Batman because he has a teenage sidekick in tights."
"Spoilsport." Orochimaru whined.
"And I'd like to object to Superman joining our ...family." Kabuto continued. "We have no kryptonite in our lands."
"Kryptonite?" Kishimoto scratched his head. "How do you even know about that?"
Kabuto shrugged, even as he stepped in front of the artist's PC, hiding the screen. "I have many ways of gathering information."
"Batman does sound more cool." Naruto spun Kishimoto around. The artist looked shocked to see that the young man had been raiding his pantry and was holding a cup of instant ramen.
"So. You want Batman instead of Superman?" Kishimoto asked.
Naruto shook his head. "We've been over this before. Whose name is on the manga."
Kishimoto nodded. "Yours. It's your story. I get it."
"You can bring them in as guest villains, or someone I gloriously defeat after many trials and such. But don't bring in franchise-making names. This is MY story."
"Right." The artist nodded. "This one request I can actually agree too. No Batman or Superman. This is Naruto."
The blond smiled, a hint of red energy behind his eyes. Suddenly Kishimoto shivered, remembering he hadn't been leaving out the red M&M's the Kyuubi had requested in the last dream. But the nine-tails didn't materialize and suddenly he was alone in his room.
Kishimoto looked around. It was over. Thank goodness.
He turned to go back to bed, and stopped short. Batman was sitting in one chair and Uchiha Itachi in another. They were staring at each other. Kishimoto froze.
Batman nodded. "I have a bat cave."
"I had the Akatsuki cave."
The Dark Knight shrugged lightly. "I am feared."
"Goes without saying." Itachi returned.
Batman narrowed his eyes. "I have an alter ego, a disguise."
Itachi went still. "Why?"
Batman smiled. "To get laid."
Itachi leaned forward, putting his chin on his fist. "I'm listening."
An annoying ringing made Kishimoto wince and wave one hand, no one was more surprised than he was when he knocked the alarm clock off the night table. He blinked groggily. "Oh thank goodness." Though he did wonder, who would have won the 'coolness' award between Batman and the elder Uchiha.
At least it was over. He got up and padded toward the bathroom, when he stopped cold. Chills ran down his back. He turned and stared. When had he changed the background on his computer?
Kishimoto reached over and tapped a few keys, worry lines appearing between his eyes. "Oh hell." He muttered. When had he changed his password?
A vision of Kabuto stepping in front of the computer crossed his mind, but surely not. He looked up. Maybe he needed to go to the store for more M&M's.