Authors Rant: I was surprised when I saw how many visitors there were for this story, but no one reviewed! TT-TT Well, hopefully I'll get some reviews this time around. I'm starting to think that I might not continue until I get some reviews, 'cause I mean, I need to know whether this story is worthwhile or not... Anyways, here's the next chapter.
Chapter 2 ~ First Impressions
"Well then… "Shikamaru started, gazing at the sky. Suddenly he closed his eyes, and muttered something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like "Ugh, this is so annoying."
I was a bit worried about what was going through his head, but before I could verbalize my question of concern he was already asking me something.
"What do you think you could do to help us? Or at least what are you skilled at?"
I started with surprised. "Why are you asking that question? Aren't you curious about my past?"
Although it seemed that Shiho and the slugs seemed to agreed with me, they didn't seem to be surprised in the least.
Shikamaru simply gave me an exasperated look.
"Everyone has something in their past that they would rather leave unsaid. And right now, I just need to know how I can incorporate you into our situation, since you did want to help. But, I can't do that without knowing what you're willing to do or what you specialize in. Unless you can tell us about that thing that you said was inside you. S-satan was it? If you are a jinchuuriki, we can't tell the higher ups otherwise they'll just put you through interrogation and lock you up, just like they were going to do with Naruto. We don't want that to happen quite yet."
At first, I stared at the boy. That was the most I had ever heard him say in the half hour or so that I had known him for.
Then I smiled slightly. His logic did make sense, except for the 'jinchuuriki' topic since I didn't know what it was. I wonder whether part of the reason was that he just couldn't be bothered to go through the trouble of asking all the questions most people would.
Looking away from him, my gaze wandered around aimlessly as I answered.
"Let's see... I can- crap!"
"Excuse me?" Both the female and male voices exclaimed in synch.
I didn't realized how odd that sounded, and at the moment I didn't care. I had spotted the unconscious girl from the fight earlier under water. I think her name was Linata. Or was it Hinala?
In any case, she was unconscious, and the water that had been filling up the crater was flowing over her face. When I reached her the water was up to my knees, but thankfully she was lying on a slab of rock so she was only a couple inched under.
Gently but urgently, I lifted her up into my arms. Her face was full of bruises, and probably the rest of her body as well. And though at first I didn't notice since the water had washed it away, she was bleeding from many places.
I walked as quickly as I could back to my group, trying not to jostle the girl too much. It was hard since I was climbing upwards and was trying to get there as fast as I could. Also, she was very light and seemed so fragile. She couldn't have weighed more than 90 pounds (40 kg) and was no taller than five feet (152 cm).
By the time I got to Shikamaru, I was slightly out of breath. I set the girl down and ignored whatever looks Shiho or Shikamaru were or weren't giving me. Breathe in breathe out. Phew. Next was CPR. I don't know how long she had been under water though… I shook my head a bit and told myself that she wasn't dead. Yet.
At this point I was determined to save the girl. I had wasted enough time carrying her here and over thinking the situation. I didn't have time for that. The clock was ticking, and if I didn't help her soon she really would be dead.
I leaned forward and softly pushed the long black hair away from her face, and at the same time noticed that she was cute. I couldn't help but blush slightly. What would you do if you had to 'kiss' a cute girl when you already had a crush?
Alright, I had no clue where my crush, Ruby, was; nor if I would ever see her again ever since I ended up here, but it's still a legitimate crush nevertheless!
Shit, there I was, wasting my time again. I really had to get this CPR over with. Both hands shot out towards the unsuspecting girl. I was going to finish this before I wandered off into my own world again.
Finding the proper place, I started to do the compressions. How many was I suppose to do again? Ugh. Then I noticed the popping sounds and how the girl grimaced. At least she was still alive. But it seemed that she had broken some of her ribs.
After fifteen seconds she still hadn't coughed up any water. Time for the next step. One hand moved to her chin, holding it firmly, while the other pinched her nose lightly and tilted it back so that the mouth was open. I took a deep breath pressed my lips against hers, blowing air into her lungs.
I saw her chest rise as I blew, and took this as a good sign. After another breath, I repeated the compressions. This time around, a small amount of water had been pushed out. Now for the breaths again.
Deep breath and …
Did her eyes flutter open just now? It looks like she is close to waking up.
Another deep breath and …
That's right. Fly. Just as my lips touched the girls, three weapons were thrown and a kick aimed at my head connected. And I flew into the crater full of water, where not too long ago the girl I saved had been lying helpless.
I just barely dodged the next attack that followed, and I only managed to do so because of the angry "Why you… Byakugan!" shout that followed. Now, I was thoroughly soaked in water. Thankfully I wasn't in shock so it didn't take me long to figure out that someone was attacking me.
If I had wasted even one second being stunned, I would have become a sandbag in no time at all. Whoever was attacking me had some amazing combat skills.
The assailant landed gracefully in front of me after failing to use me as a cushion. Without missing a beat, he thrusted his palm towards my chest multiple times, which I easily dodged. As fast as the attacks were, they had all been aimed at the same place.
The reason that I hadn't attacked the guy yet in self defense is because I saw no reason to fight. Until I could figure out why I had made him so mad, I wouldn't do anything in fear of making enemies in this unknown place. Well, I wish that that was the main reason. The real explanation was that although his moves were somewhat predictable, he was damned fast and I was no close-combat expert. I would much rather prefer to throw boomerangs around, thank you very much.
Following the previous sequence, the combinations emerged. Swooping kicks, a couple of punches, the odd high kick here and there, as well as our favorite palm thrusts ensued. Since we were in water, I had the advantage as I was only evading but he was attacking. The slippery terrain didn't help either of us though.
After an amazing twenty five second match, he finally stopped his attacks, stood still and glared at me. Yet at the same time as he glared he seemed to look me over, almost as if he was trying to see how strong I am, or trying to figure out who I was. In turn, I took advantage of this pause and looked him over myself.
The young man had straight, long, dark hair which almost reached his waist, and a band tied low over his forehead that had the same symbol as Shikamaru's did. You know, the one that looked like a leaf with a random swirl in the middle? Anyways, he wore dull colored clothing that was now slightly muddy from landing and fighting in the water. The clothing consisted mostly of the colors white and dark brown/grey or black. He was about my height, and I was 5'8" (172 cm). But the most peculiar thing was his eyes. They consisted of milky white pupils which almost blended in with the whites of his eyes. Also, there were multiple veins sticking out of the side of his face starting from the edge of the eyes and reaching to the ears.
Finally, after he was finished with his examination, he spoke. His voice had risen from anger and venom was dripping off of every word. Well, it was more like he spat the sentence out.
"How dare. Some weak. Filthy. Shameless manlike you. Kiss! Lady Hinata. You may have even been trying to kidnap her!"
I winced each time he paused. Or maybe it was from the pain of falling and then having to do quite a bit of dodging soon afterwards. Then understanding flooded into my face as I recognized the name that was mentioned in the sentence.
"That's right, her name was Hinata!" I accidently said out loud. I completely ignored the fact that he thought I might have been trying to kidnap Hinata right in front of Shikamaru and Shiho, and that somehow kissing her would help me do that. Instead, I focused on the fact that I finally remembered the girl's name and wouldn't have to embarrass myself by calling her something else when I talked to her.
"You didn't even know who she was!" When I saw the expression of rage on his face, I decided that if looks could kill I'd be dead ten times over.
He moved himself into some sort of position, his body facing sideways. "Divination Field, 128 strikes."
All of a sudden, he lunged towards me and aimed his hands at my torso. "Two strikes!" After a slight pause, he attacked the same place but faster. "Four strikes!" This time I was able to dodge, and couldn't help but wonder what the blue hues surrounding his hands were. "Eight strikes!" Each attack tried to hit more spots on my body than the previous. But they weren't punches, surprisingly enough.
"Sixteen strikes, thirty two strikes, sixty four, one hundred and twenty eight!" I couldn't avoid every one of them, and so was surprised that it barely hurt when it hit. There was no physical damage as far as I could tell. But I did seem tired, abnormally so. I decided that it was because of everything that had happened has drained me, and now I was feeling the effects in this fight. I mean, remember that I had just saved the world before I ended up here.
"I have hit most of the tenketsus in your body. You shouldn't be able stand up anymore. Even if you can, up won't have the strength to go anywhere." Well, isn't he just one talkative guy. And considering that I don't even know what these tenkesus were, this lecture doesn't seem to be helping me in any way.
"Although I must say I'm impressed that you have dodged several of my attacks. You are the first to do so. Nevertheless, I will bring you to the hokage to be judged for assaulting and attempting to murder a Hyuuga."
"Uh, sure. Wait, no! How did you come to the conclusion that I was assaulting her? On the contrary, I was trying to help her. And who are you, her boyfriend? " I retorted. As I stood up with a little difficulty, and I wondered if the reason he said I couldn't stand up was because I should be tired after our little brawl. Well, it'll take more than that to keep me down. Though I could feel Satan's energy start to seep into me.
The incredulous look he gave me once I stood up was absolutely priceless. I couldn't help the small chuckle that slipped out. Having only seen his enraged face the entire time, this new expression didn't fit his image at all. But the stupefied look wasn't frozen on his face for long. Whether it was my laugh or the fact that I stood up, the pissed off aura (which by this time I was all too familiar with) returned. Actually, this time it seemed that he didn't want to simply kill me, but rather put me through excruciating torture until I begged to be killed.
"So it seems I won't be able to bring you to the Hokage alive. Then, I'll take it upon myself to show you to the gates of hell." His voice was so cold that I could easily imagine a cup of boiling water freezing instantly. "Empty Palm."
By this time, Satan's energy was overflowing. I could see my hair now, as it reached past my shoulders, and it was completely white without any trace of black. My skin was also different, taking on more of a sharp rock-like texture. I could feel the fangs pressing against my bottom lip and claws taking their shape at the ends of my finger-tips.
I really didn't need to hear his voice at the moment. With any luck Satan won't take over my body. I had hoped that something would have changed since the incident, like he wouldn't be in me anymore. Hell, I'd be happy if he didn't try to destroy the world and didn't talk to me.
Get out. I thought, directing it to Satan. And don't –
Whoosh. An enormous amount of energy was flying towards me, and I just barely raised my hand with the 666 mark in time to absorb it. I looked towards my friend whom I had been fighting, and realized that that energy blast was his fault. He was definitely trying to kill me.
Well, we can't have that, can we? As he started to run towards me, I shook off my metal bracelet. Shaking it, two wings clicked out, creating a small boomerang which I named Zero. The minute the wings appeared, the man who was just about to attack me froze on the spot. I glanced down at the boomerang. It couldn't have spanned more than two hands across, yet it could stop such a vicious man in his tracks without ever having done a thing yet.
"As much as I enjoyed this little scuffle," I began sarcastically, "I'm afraid you have misunderstood some things. Let's just peacefully walk back to where Hinata, Shikamaru and Shiho are and talk this out,"
The young man unwillingly nodded and took off as fast as he could back to the group with a sense of urgency. Before following his lead, I took a look at myself using the water's reflection. Red eyes and pupils in slits, horns, and a 666 mark covering my forehead were only a few of the differences in my appearance.
Slowly I changed back into the original Jio. Back to having short black and white hair, normal-shaped pupils with the original coloring, the 666 mark dissipated from my forehead, with all fangs and claws gone. I could still feel some of the energy flowing through me. If it weren't for that, I'm sure that I would have collapsed.
I made it back to the group a minute after the guy I was against did. Surrounding a now conscious Hinata were five new people, including my attacker and the pink-haired girl I met earlier. Shikamaru was still in the same place, but wore a tired expression.
"Jio, you made me go through quite the interrogation. Half of their question was about you, after asking about the village. They weren't even satisfied when I answered all I could." Shikamaru's head turned to stare at the culprits. The guilty weren't bothered at all by the gaze.
Then the familiar pink-haired girl spoke first.
"Hi Jio. You already met me, but I'll reintroduce myself. The name is Sakura Haruno, a chunin that specializes in medicine. The one I'm healing is-"
" Hinata Hyuuga!" I turned my head, wondering who and why someone would rudely cut in. The sight that met my eyes was astonishing. The interrupter was a person was wearing tight green spandex clothing and bright orange leggings, with huge bush eyebrows and a horrific black-haired bowl cut. The bag on his back seemed to indicate that he had been traveling, because as far as I understood the only thing ninja's usually had was a small pouch at their waist which held their weapons.
"I am the noble green beast of Konoha, Gai! Your youthfulness is commendable, having saved Hinata as you did even though you were strangers. My student here, Rock Lee –" he paused his speech to quickly wave his hand in the direction of the person he was introducing. Rock Lee was an exact copy of his teacher appearance wise, albeit smaller. I was just hoping that he wasn't the same chatterbox as his look-alike. "–is also full of youth just as he should be and is one of the best taijutsu user of his age. We should have more ninja's with as much youth-"
"Teacher, do you really think this is the time to be talking about that? We should get introductions over with then help the village." The girl who interrupted Gai had brown hair pulled up into two buns and seemed bossy. Although I was glad she cut him off because he was obviously starting to babble, she seemed like the type that had trouble being patient. Turning to me, she introduced herself. "I'm Tenten, chunin, and weapon specialist. Nice to meet you."
"I will see to Lady Hinata's health before helping the village," the familiar voice of my attacker added.
"She's stable now as should become conscious soon." Sakura answered to his concern. "Actually, she has already regained consciousness but fainted again, probably due to the pain. But I'm not sure what the blush was about…" She muttered the last part more quietly than the rest, but I caught it thanks to my more acute hearing as a result of using Satan's energy.
Tenten pointedly looked at my assailant, obviously prompting him to introduce himself. Reluctantly and hatefully, he followed Tenten's instruction.
I waited for him to continue as the others did, but he turned his attention to Hinata after giving me a glower. Tenten seemed to catch his glare and sighed, filling in the info that Neji himself wouldn't offer.
"He's also a chunin and is considered a genius, though a different kind of genius than Shikamaru."
"You're a genius, Shikamaru?" He is just full of surprises, isn't he? "You never told me."
"Why would I? You really only needed to know my name. In any case, Tenten was right. We need to do something other than chat."
As if on cue, one of the Katsuyu slugs notified us about the latest news report.
"Naruto was able to suppress the Kyubi on his own."
"On his own!" was the surprised exclamation that came from Sakura.
"Yes, even though he had nine tails by that time. Right now he is fighting the last Pain."
A certain chatterbox spoke up.
"Lee," Gai began, face full of worry and seriousness, contrary to my expectations as my first impression of him was different. The student obediently ripped his gaze off of the slug and turned towards his teacher. "We are going to assist Naruto!"
"Yes, sir!" the crisp and somber response came without hesitation. The two exchanged nods were about to take off when the slug interrupted them.
"Please don't. You'll only be in his way."
"But look at what they did to the village!" Rock Lee definitely wasn't happy. "He can't manage alone!"
"Naruto seems to have a plan. Let us have faith in him," the slug continued smoothly. Although I couldn't read her expression, because she is a slug, she wasn't perturbed in the least.
It was at around this time when I felt that I was beginning to be forgotten. And for good reason. I didn't understand how anything worked nor how to help in this situation. And although Shikamaru had tried to explain, I went off to save Hinata and my only knowledge was that of what was explained before I met Ino's group.
Speaking of Hinata, it was around now that she started to stir, her consciousness returning. I was going to go see how she was doing, just as Gai, Rock Lee, Tenten, Neji and Shiho were, except that the aforementioned Neji sent me another glare, daring me to come closer. Immediately I backed off, sliding away to sit beside the slug. No need to make our relationship any worse than it already was.
"Everyone…" Hinata's soft voice floated across the silent air.
"Thank God. Everyone was worried about you." Tenten replied straight away, as if she couldn't wait to explain the obvious.
"Are you okay, Lady Hinata?" the smaller of the spandex twins asked.
Without answered his question, Hinata slowly sat upright with the help of Sakura and Tenten.
"Thank you, everyone. Thank you, Sakura" Again, her feather-light voice wafted to the nearby onlookers. I was surprised at the difference in the tone of voice between her and Neji. I understand that although people are in the same family they don't have the same personalities, but they seemed to be the polar opposites.
"I'm really glad that you're alright. You really overdid it this time." A small smile came from Sakura.
"Everyone!" The slug broke through the touching conversation with more news. "Naruto has defeated the last Pain."
All eight heads swiveled towards the slug and I.
"I knew Naruto could do it!" "How is Naruto doing? Is he hurt?" was the response that proclamation had received. But Hinata had caught sight of me and barely seemed to hear the replies. At first she stared at me confused, and seemed to be struggling with some thoughts. Then suddenly her face turned bright red and she fainted on the spot. I most probably had a clueless expression on my face.
The slug answered the question that was thrown out, apparently not realizing that HInata was out cold.
"He's exhausted, but otherwise okay,"
"So where is he?" Gai inquired. I wasn't as interested in what the blond kid was doing as I was in HInata. Why wasn't anyone worrying about her? They had been all over her just a few seconds ago. I never would have guessed that it was because the group thought she had fainted out of relief that her crush Naruto was fine, as I was told later.
"He is going alone to where the real Pain is."
Everyone had shocked expressions, including me. Though my reasons for being shocked were different. A patient was unconscious and in need to more health care, and everyone was staring at the slug.
"Why would he do something like that! Teacher Gai, we should follow!" The angry voice of the male Hyuuga rang out.
As everyone else finally digested the news, I was sitting there with a renewed sense of stupefaction. Neji, the one and only Neji, who only ever seemed to be either pissed or emotionless, was angry! I honestly shouldn't rely on first impressions.
Ninja's really were something else.