# Author's Note: Yes, the chapter is extremely late. Sorry. But my combined laziness and my rather funny editing process have held me back – I write about a hundred words, re-read the entire chapter, tweak some things to my liking, re-read it again, leave it for a few days (or weeks) and then go back re-re-read it again, then write some more, repeating the process . . . I'm a kind of obsessive writer. But at least that way I don't need a Beta as the leaving-for-a-long-while takes most of the fresh feeling of accomplishment from my biased mind and shows me everything that sucks so that I can change it appropriately.
Okay, so more to the topic, in this chapter we shall introduce the Dubious Duo, Kakashi and Gai, and their little stalker Tenzou (more commonly known as Yamato, but that's just a codename)!
Also, I think I should clear something up – even though the characters listed are Itachi and Hana, they will not be paired up in future. I chose those characters simply to give readers an idea of which generation, exactly, I was talking about in the summary. The age of the characters, where they would be in the plot, etc. I hope this doesn't disappoint anyone :)
Recap: Last time, on A LITTLE OUT OF CONTEXT – we introduced a bunch of characters, they arrived at the Academy for their first day of school, stayed there for half an hour relatively unharmed, then things caught fire and it was Itachi's fault however much he tries to deny it, and now they're tied to a tree. That's . . . about it. None of it really made any sense. Enjoy!
.:Why Small Children Generally Don't Like Strangers:.
"Kotetsu, why are you wearing a dress?" Genma asked, half-horrified and half-exasperated at his Genin.
"Lost a bet," Hagane Kotetsu shrugged, smoothing the baby-pink skirts over his knees as Umino Iruka began choking back laughter.
Genma sighed despairingly. "I don't want to know. Just watch these kids, and don't screw it over this time."
"You're leaving us?" Kamizuki Izumo, the third and final member of Genma's team, asked, mock-hurt.
"Yeah, you remember what Kotetsu did the last time we got babysitting duty," Iruka cackled, glancing at the boy in the dress.
Kotetsu drew himself up indignantly, but the effect was lost as the puffy pink sleeves bounced around his face. "It wasn't my fault! Izumo was the one that set the traps!"
"But you sent them into the forest in the first place, if I recall correctly," Izumo countered.
"Your mom sent them in," Kotetsu replied obnoxiously.
Kotetsu looked like he was about to reply, but Genma cut him off before the two could devolve to insulting each other's ancestors. "Look, there are six-year-olds running around a burning building and I'm not sure that Shikaro-sensei has figured out that fire is hot yet. Just hold out until Raidou gets here." Genma gave his team a final glare to emphasise the 'don't screw up' part, made a hand seal and disappeared.
Eight seconds later, Kotetsu was tied to a tree next to the instigators of the fire. (Genma had reappeared, just to see if they were really going to to what they were told, but the cross-dressing boy was instead trying to bury Izumo's head in the ground. Genma took action, and then he had disappeared again.)
Or at least, they were with who they believed the instigators to be.
Hyuuga Kimi was all but gnawing at the ropes that were restraining herself and three others, wondering what she ever did to merit this hellish punishment. Kotetsu was on her left and Tsukeru Sarah and Uchiha Itachi were on her right, Sarah happily chatting away at whoever would listen. Itachi was . . . being Itachi. He sat with a silent frown, blaming Shisui, the Tsukeru girl, his mother and these Genin (everyone but himself) for starting this mess.
And Sarah was beginning to get really annoying, too.
". . . so I asked what it was, 'cause he was telling me to, but when he told me the answer I wish I didn't ask at all. I'm not gonna say, because I don't wanna scare you guys," Sarah added, looking pointedly at Iruka, who was watching incredulously as the six-year-old attempted condescension towards the people that had tied her to a tree. "But anyway, then Kenji took the TV and I had ta go to my room. But it wasn't my fault anyway," Sarah added as if it were important.
"I feel your pain," Kotetsu said fervently. He, too, knew the unjust horrors that came with having siblings.
But Sarah had stopped listening as she turned her wrath to Itachi. "You have a brother as well, dontcha? He's the same age as my little brother! Or, maybe. Sorta. Jei's two. Sasuke's one, right? Aw, wouldn't it be great if they were in the same year? They could be ninjas together!" She then seemed to have an excellent idea and said to Kimi, "Your . . . uh, I dunno who he is to you, sorry, but Jei is Neji's age! Isn't that great, Kimi? We can dress them up and go on playdates and make them best friends!"
(At this point Sarah proceeded to imagine a baby Neji in a cute little bonnet and gnawing on a crayon. Then, in a deep monotone, baby Neji said "It was fated, bitch." and then the image dissipated. Sarah was mildly disturbed.)
Kimi's eyes went round in terror and she gnawed faster, throwing caution to the winds and no longer trying to resist the urge to escape – she would get away, punishment be damned. Kimi would spend no more time than absolutely necessary with this crazy kid and her family. Kimi wasn't very close to Neji's part of the family anyway, but she didn't dare say something in case it encouraged the insane redhead. (And how did Sarah know Kimi and Neji's names, anyway? No one had told her . . .)
Izumo had no such qualms, however, and encouraged away. "So how did you start the fire, anyway?" he asked curiously. "It would've taken some pretty advanced jutsu to do that much damage to a school for tiny little ninjas."
Sarah grinned the devil's grin and nudged Itachi with her shoulder as both her arms were bound to her sides. "We did, didn't we, 'Tachi? We burned it all! Aren't we great?"
Itachi refrained from asking how she knew his name. In fact, he refrained from reacting in any way whatsoever. But as he was only six, hiding his thoughts and emotions was not yet second nature. Itachi's face, rather than staying blank, contorted into a grimace as he tried not to show the annoyance he was feeling.
The expression on his face made Sarah's own smile falter.
"Wow, are you okay?" Sarah asked, concerned.
Itachi's eye twitched. He clenched his teeth, willing his expression to become smooth as a slate of stone.
Sarah seemed troubled. "You look sick."
I am a ninja, Itachi repeated in his mind like a mantra. I am a ninja. I am a ninja. I am . . . I . . . This isn't working! She sees through me! I must– stay– calm–
"You look constipated," Sarah observed eloquently.
Just above the scene, Retsukuma Xara was hanging from the lower branches of the tree, completely oblivious to the thick aura of impending doom that surrounded it.
The reason she was there, upside down and red-faced, is the coffee in Tsukeru Sarah's shuriken holster. Though she did wonder why a six-year-old Academy student had a shuriken holster in the first place, Xara never once thought of why said child would have coffee at that age. She didn't really care, either, because it would belong to soon enough.
She would take them by surprise. The six ninja below – enemies, all of them. But they would never see her coming, because no one can outmatch the wit and cunning of Retsukuma Xara!
She stretched as far as she could go towards the enemy – the babbling redhead that was holding her coffee hostage–
– Not low enough. Xara was still at least a body-length away.
She unhooked her legs slightly, hanging precariously from the branch, and swung down a few more inches.
Drat. Her hands were grabbing at nothing. Still too high.
Xara was straining with as much strength her little self could muster – maybe if she stretched far enough, she would be able to snatch the coffee straight from its prison –
Then the tree exploded.
Namiashi Raidou had arrived at the scene just in time to witness many small children burst into flame in a matter of seconds.
When he had picked up the pieces of brain that had fallen out of his ear, the Special Jounin had the sense of mind to panic. He approached with a water jutsu at his fingertips only to realise that nothing was wrong, per se – one of the children had spewed fire at another, and the red-haired girl seemed to be happy and fairly healthy when she should be in the process of burning to a crisp. The tree, however, was not faring as well in its battle against the flames. If it weren't for the fact that the rope – that had bound the four to the tree – had disintegrated, the other three would be char-grilled as well. But Raidou didn't have time to process anything else as the flaming girl – who was giggling like a maniac – launched herself off the tree and flew at his face.
Kimi, though burned once more, was just glad to be rid of the rope. She was about to make a leap for freedom, just as Sarah and Itachi had done–
But something grabbed her arms and jerked her back to earth.
Kimi gazed up dazedly when the world had stopped spinning, resigned to seeing which horror fate had decided to bestow upon her this time.
It was the boy in the dress. Why were ninjas always so incredibly insane?
"You're not going anywhere," he said. "Someone needs to be punished for this mess, and it sure as hell isn't going to be me."
Kimi fainted, not having anything left in her stomach to throw up.
"That was a little harsh," Iruka said, eyeing the unconscious Hyuuga girl's yellow pallor.
Kotetsu seemed lost. "But the rest of them got away! Seriously, we're going to have hell to pay if all of them escaped. If the Third isn't above giving us crappy missions as revenge for stealing his hat, he's not going to worry about punishing us for something we didn't do."
"What're we going to do about him?" Izumo jerked a thumb in Raidou's direction – the Jounin was curled up on the ground, whimpering and holding his burned face.
Iruka just laughed, saving Kotetsu from saying what they were all thinking. "If a Jounin doesn't have the skill to dodge a flying six-year-old, he doesn't deserve immediate medical–"
The scarred boy was cut off as another flying six-year-old knocked him clean off his feet.
Xara's landing was miraculously soft. It was the second landing that winded her – when whoever she had fallen on threw her off violently.
When her vision began to return from the world of pain it had been living briefly, she saw vaguely that three people were talking around her. Conspiracy, she thought, it must be a conspiracy to . . . to overthrow the Hokage and take the village! Or something!
"You deserved that," Izumo told Iruka.
"Shut up, it's not like I expected a kid to fall from the freaking sky!" Iruka complained, picking himself up and glaring at Xara, eyes narrowed. Xara stared at the sky dizzily.
"We did crazier crap when we were at school; it's about time we pass the baton to the youngsters."
"Ah, those were the good old days."
"We graduated three days ago." Izumo rolled his eyes.
". . . Oh holy crap on a sandwich. Are they both unconscious?" Izumo sounded nervous.
"We're gonna be in huge trouble . . ." Iruka was laughing. He rubbed his back like an old man and glanced down at the two unconscious kids. "Seriously, I don't want to be the one Genma-sensei finds with this mess."
"Then let's make like a banana and split," Kotetsu said.
A pause, then Iruka facepalmed. "That was bad, Kotetsu."
"I try." Kotetsu examined his nails haughtily.
"And that was gay."
Yes, it's definitely a conspiracy, Xara thought dazedly.
Before Kotetsu could lunge for Iruka's throat for that comment, Izumo slapped him upside the head.
"Stay focused, idiot. What're we gonna do about the kids?"
"We're only Genin, I'm sure Raidou-sensei will take the rap for us!" Kotetsu didn't seem perturbed by the violence one bit.
"So we're framing him?"
"The Academy is on fire? But what about Itachi? He's all small and defenceless! He'll never make it!" Mikoto wailed at Shisui, who seemed supremely unconcerned.
"Itachi started the fire, Obasan," Shisui said. "He's really strong for a little kid – he'll be fine."
Mikoto totally ignored her nephew. "Shisui, you should know better, my sweet baby boy wouldn't hurt a fly! And you just left him there? Oh, I'm going to make sure your mother hears about this!"
". . . But 'kaasan is still in hospital. Won't making her angry reopen those wounds?" Shisui asked.
Mikoto paused in her worry about her son, and decided to begin harrowing herself over her sister's wellbeing instead. "Oh no, is Kyoko healing well? I hope her ribs are okay . . . An ironing board! Who would have thought an ironing board could make such a deadly weapon . . . Oh, I hope her liver stops teleporting around her body, that's really dangerous . . . That jutsu really messed her up . . . Oh, I should visit her . . ." Mikoto began pacing.
Shisui sighed. "I'll go pick Itachi up, Obasan. I think 'kaasan would want you to visit her. Last I saw, her liver was in her lung and the medics had to keep her from axsfosititon."
"Asphyxiation, dear," Mikoto said distractedly.
Sasuke gnawed on Shisui's fingers. "Obasaaaan, it's drooling on meeee," Shisui complained.
"Suck it up, kid. I'll go visit Kyoko. Yes. Er, take Sasuke to your father to babysit, Shisui! He won't mind, will he?"
"But 'tousan is on a . . ."
Mikoto nodded decisively and made a hand seal, and the woman disappeared in a puff of smoke.
". . . mission . . ."
Nara Shikaro was trying to count heads, but as his students were crawling over each other like centipedes in a jar it was sort of difficult to keep track of them. And believe it or not, the ex-Jounin had used up all of his chakra with his song and dance introduction, so forcing them to sit still was out of the question.
But then good old Genma and Aoba showed up and saved the day.
Things actually got a whole lot worse.
Aoba went inside to get the kids that had been either too scared or too stupid to escape the burning building.
Kondo Takeshi – Shin – was the unfortunate latter.
Aoba found the boy at the head of a small group of children, one hand out as if to prevent them from approaching the burning bookshelves, the other closed in a determined fist.
"Don't worry," he told the children behind him with an authoritative voice, gazing at the fire. "It's more afraid of you than you are of it."
"Kondo, you're a moron."
Yes, Aoba just loves kids.
Shin's reaction was more extreme than the man had expected, however.
The grey-haired kid pointed a quivering finger and screamed one long, dragging scream. He looked around frantically, still pointing and screaming as if trying to get others to join in, then ran from the room without taking a breath. Breaking glass could be heard from the hall.
Outside, a small grey blur shot through a window, screaming.
Genma dropped the sheet he had been calling the roll from and managed to catch Shin before the kid broke all of his bones.
He should never have left his post.
The rest of the students, seeing an opening, scattered like cockroaches.
Genma swore, accidentally dropped Shin on his head and was about to go round up as many of them as he could – but when he took a step the ground exhaled painfully under him.
The Jounin realised that it was his former teammate, Namiashi Raidou, that he had stepped on. That must mean that the three kids that caused this whole mess should be tied to a tree alongside Kotetsu somewhere around here –
–aaaaand the tree they had been bound to was a blazing inferno.
They were gone. Genma sighed dejectedly.
It took a lot to horrify Tsukeru Sarah.
Or, so she had thought. But this new and terrifying turn of events caused her to question whether she really deserved that statement. Sarah had escaped the clutches of the strange transvestite trio only to run into a horror beyond all horrors.
"Do not worry, small YOUTH child! The great and YOUTHful Green Beast of Konoha has arrived YOUTH! Fear no more, for I shall YOUTH return you to the Academy so that you may frolic YOUTH with your fellow YOUTHs!"
The flash of shiny white teeth was blinding. It was a wonder that the redhead did not combust (an occurrence that, by now, would be entirely unsurprising) from the sheer brightness of it.
A faint "you moron, we're on a mission" could be heard before the world turned upside-down and crapped itself. Sarah had been thrown unceremoniously over a green, spandex-clad shoulder and then whisked away at a speed that had to have rivalled that of a bolt of red lightning. Because red always goes faster.
. . . But this guy was dressed in green . . .
Sarah promptly decided to stop thinking before the paradox made her head explode.
Uchiha Shisui marched towards the school with both determination and a small, chicken-haired child in his stride.
Step THUD step THUD step THUD . . .
"I think you have a growth on your leg," a grey-haired, bespectacled child observed.
"It wasn't my idea, Four-Eyes," Shisui complained. "I gotta find 'Tachi and no one wanted him, so Sasuke had to come with me."
Shisui's face suddenly brightened and he glanced at the his classmate as if he had had an excellent idea.
Yakushi Kabuto sensed danger and tried to back off – he had been in Shisui's class long enough to know that every idea the Uchiha had was invariably a bad one – but Shisui had thrust Sasuke into Kabuto's unfortunate hands before he could react.
"Watch him, I need to find 'Tachi before Obasan bites my head off," Shisui said, determination glinting in his eyes.
Kabuto looked down in horror at the bundle in his arms, then attempted to plead with his classmate – he should sacrifice Yuugao instead – but Shisui was gone.
Stupid Shisui. Stupid Body Flicker. Academy students aren't even supposed to know that technique!
Raidou groaned in pain as he came to – he had fallen asleep; it was a natural reaction the body had when it required intensive healing.
He did not faint.
As his vision cleared, Raidou realised that he couldn't breathe. As he wondered how the two sensations could be connected in any way, memories came flooding back: People were showering each other with sake and illegal substances; the kunai sliced through his stomach and he vomited blood; the syrup was everywhere . . .
No, wait, that was last week's Jounin party – an experience he had no wish to relive.
The correct memories followed soon after: He had received a broken nose, fingers and an unwanted tattoo for completing a dare that involved Inuzuka Tsume and a punch bowl; the medics told him to stop whining or they'd emasculate him; a flaming six-year-old threw herself at his face . . .
Yes, that seemed about right.
He realised what the weight on his chest was. No, the syrup wasn't being forced down his throat. No, he hadn't ingested a punch bowl.
It was Genma.
There was an awkward silence before Genma spoke. ". . . What are you doing behind a school building with two unconscious girls, Raidou?"
Raidou blinked once, shocked and mildly horrified at the implications, and tried to form a sentence, but the pain from the burn in his face only allowed him a few muted protests.
Genma's eyes were wide. "I'm just . . . gonna . . . take these kids back to Shikaro-sensei. I don't need to know."
Raidou tried to protest that it really wasn't what it looked like, but instead he fell asleep again.
Because Special Jounins don't faint.
Kabuto dragged Sasuke along by the scruff of the neck, in search of someone else to dump him on.
Luck seemed to be on his side today, as a likely candidate waltzed straight up to him.
"Hey, kid, can you do me a favour? I need a . . . Ah?"
Mitarashi Anko was suddenly burdened with a squirming blob of black hair and blue jumpsuit.
"Watch him for a moment, would you?" Kabuto said quickly, then he hurried away before Anko could hurt him.
Itachi glared at the book and thrust it back onto the bottom shelf as the fire blazed around him.
Useless, just like the rest of them.
All the books that focused on the creation of babies were up on the top shelf. But, though he was loath to say it, Uchiha Itachi could not reach them.
Curse these tiny arms!
"We have YOUTH arrived!"
"Don't mind him, we think he has Tourettes," Hatake Kakashi told Shikaro and Tsukeru Sarah nonchalantly. Maito Gai dropped the child from his shoulder unceremoniously. "Someone called us to put out the fires?"
"Yes, well, as you can see the entire school is a blazing inferno. Fix it. Shikaro pays you well."
"But . . . aren't you a Jounin?" A small voice chimed from behind Kakashi's leg.
Floppy brown hair and wide, black, cynical eyes followed the voice. At thirteen years old, Tenzou worshipped the ground Kakashi walked on. "Isn't that right, Kakashi-sempai? Shikaro-sensei is a Jounin, so he should be able to put out the fires on his own."
Kakashi sighed. "Sometimes there comes a time in a man's life where he has to admit that he has given up. I'm afraid Shikaro-sensei has long since jumped off that bridge. And I don't think he can swim."
"Your YOUTH metaphors are so ins-YOUTH-piring! That is why you are my NUMBER ONE RIVAL!" Maito Gai was on the verge of tears. "I challenge you, Kakashi! I will put out the west side of the building faster than you can extinguish the flames on the right!"
Kakashi rolled his single visible eye and got to work.
Tenzou and Sarah were left to watch them go in complete awe.
"GAI, GO LONG!"
"Anko, you are most YOUTHful today!" Gai complemented as he caught Sasuke in mid-air.
The tiny Uchiha had retained the same expression of contemplation on his face the entire time.
Retsukuma Xara had feigned unconsciousness with the appearance of the new arrival (Genma) in order to find out more about the (nonexistent) conspiracy, but her plans (delusions) were shattered as she was prodded awake.
Now she, a white-eyed girl and a grey-haired boy were being led to the front of the Academy where everyone had gathered in the initial stages of the fire.
As she was being forced to sit down – and struggling against it with her life – something in the air caught Xara's eye.
A flying child.
She didn't know children could fly.
But the thing that held her interest was the green-and-orange blur leapt up, caught it and threw it again in the same move. The child went flying towards Shikaro-sensei.
"Stay here, kid; Shikaro has bigger problems to deal with. Damn ironing boards never know when to stay put . . . his job is on the line, Shikaro's is . . . frosting . . ."
Nara Shikaro finished tying the knot in the rope, nodded once, and then left little Sasuke bound to a loose training log while he ran (with difficulty; he wasn't exactly a slim person any more) to retrieve a pair of students that were trying to make a great escape.
No one at home knew that he hadn't taken his medication today – Shikaro had slipped it into his great-grandson's breakfast when Shikaku and Yoshino weren't looking.
It would forever stay unknown that Shikamaru's genius had actually been medically induced at an early age via drugs meant to stop an old man from talking to himself.
Sometimes you just have to feel sorry for the Nara clan in general.
Sasuke suddenly went flying and then appeared in front of a small green dog. It seems that someone had substituted with the log for some reason or another, and Sasuke had been caught up in the jutsu.
The dog began picking at the ropes.
"Whatcha got there, Haimaru?" Inuzuka Hana asked quizzically, eyeing Sasuke. Then her eyes widened. "W-wait, Haimaru – you can't have people babies!"
She scanned the area and saw a group of children her age staring at something. She kicked the closest one in the back. "Hey you, can you make sure Haimaru doesn't run off with his baby? I gotta check if this usually happens at hone," she said.
Retsukuma Xara was indignant at the treatment. She glared at Sasuke, who glared back. "I don't have time for the likes of you," she hissed. Xara then kicked Shin in the back, just as Hana had kicked her, and pointed from the grey-haired kid to the one-year-old and back.
Shin shrugged non-committally and then watched the girl dash off towards the green and grey blurs that were rapidly extinguishing the fire in the Academy.
Shisui grabbed the back of Itachi's collar and dragged the six-year-old from the burning library.
"Idiot, you're gonna die of smoking if you stayed in there," Shisui scolded.
Itachi said nothing. He was in a bad mood because Shisui was right. As a shinobi (a tiny, tiny shinobi), he should have known that the smoke from the fire would damage his lungs.
His quest to discover the mechanics of human procreation would have to wait.
Tsukeru Sarah blinked as that Xara girl breezed past her, accompanied by Tenzou, to go meet those strange shinobi that had kidnapped her on her way home.
Sarah shuddered slightly. She had never been in close proximity to such dangerous levels of YOUTH before, and she did not wish to repeat the experience. Not wanting to have anything more to do with them (as even Sarah had her limits), the girl picked her way through the crowd of ugly, squirming children and frantic teachers towards her clan's compound.
Then her face hit the grass with a satisfying smack.
Sarah looked around wildly, wondering what had happened and why she wasn't on fire yet – that seemed to happen a lot when something unexpected occurred around her – and realised that she had tripped over a log with a baby tied to it.
Sarah stared at Sasuke.
Sasuke stared back.
Sarah had a flashback.
"Because our clan is small and pathetic," Sarah's mother explained condescendingly, "I am going to get you to make it bigger and better and more prestigious. Listen to me carefully, Sarah. You need to bring home an Uchiha or a Hyuuga and grow up with them and make sure they never get away, and when you're old enough you'll make little prestigious Uchiha or Hyuuga grandkids for me. I won't settle for anything less. Mummy failed when she was a young girl as well, so now she's going to live her life through her children and her children's children!" Insert hysterical laugh here. "You understand, Sarah? Uchiha or Hyuuga. Uchiha or Hyuuga-yuuga-yuuga . . ." The voice echoed and faded away.
Sasuke sensed danger and started to squirm behind the ropes, but Sarah had already begun working on untying them.
"I'm gonna take you home," Sarah told Sasuke happily. "Mummy's gonna be so proud of me!"
Sarah hugged Sasuke until his eyes bulged and began marching towards her home once more.
# Colossal Author's Note: Are you confused? Haha. Not much I can do to remedy that. Sorry about all these Author's Notes. I simply cannot contain my brain vomit. In future chapters I'll try to keep you from having to dig through uninteresting monologuing to find the actual story. ._.u I know that this type of OC-centric fic has a very selective audience, but I hope it appeals to some people. But then again, it's not entirely OC based – there are plenty of adults I like messing with as well, namely Raidou, Genma and Aoba. Plus there's Iruka, Kotetsu and Izumo, and Kabuto, Yuugao and Shisui . . . Gai, Kakashi and Tenzou . . . the Sannin . . . Sai and Root . . . Akatsuki . . . Well, there's going to be a lot of characters, okay? Gratitude and cookies to everyone who has reviewed so far – I really appreciate it :) Criticism is also very welcome; I haven't written anything in over six months (before I began writing again a few months ago, of course), so I would really like to know if I've gained or lost the ability to write well, regardless. :p
For future reference, these are some Japanese terms I may end up using:
Okaasan – Mother
'kaasan – A less formal version of "Mother", most likely "Mum" or "Mummy". (I'll stick to the Australian spelling of those words, thank you very much, annoying squiggly red line.)
Otousan – Father
'tousan – A less formal version of "Father" . . . Yeah, you got that.
Obasan – Aunt/Aunty/Auntie (whatever your preferred spelling)
Sensei – Teacher; person who knows more than you (e.g. dentists and doctors are referred to as "sensei" in Japan as far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong)
Sempai – Senior/Superior (i.e. a junior student would calla senior this)
Kouhai – Student/Underling (i.e. a senior student may call a junior this)
Komatta – Troublesome (har har har. I may not use this because I doubt there will be much of Shikamaru in this story, but I thought it was interesting to know. :D )
I will also be using the traditional Japanese order for names: Last-name-first, first-name-last. I don't really know why.
Keep in mind that I don't speak Japanese; I'm just a shameless anime fan. But at least I've looked them up briefly before using the terms, so I have a vague idea of what they mean.
Another huge thanks to Sarah, who has finally made an account under the name 'eL Saro'. She helped write this chapter; I just put it together. Much credit for the funnies go to her. Hope you enjoyed it (and I hope I can bring myself to update sooner this time.) Remember, you can't underestimate the esteeming value of a review. Seriously. Even if it's just one word, it still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (Unless it's a flame of course, but in that case one word isn't going to make me give up on writing. If you want to flame something, degrade it in every way possible and do it with style! The least I'm asking for is a dignified flame.)
A Short Dedication: To my recently deceased goldfish, Bender. You were so slim and orange, and that stylish kink in your tail must have been the envy of all the other fishies in the tank. You will be missed, little guy.