Bwahaha, procrastinatin equals the updating of this story! :D
Also, random pointless references to Emeralds!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, but I love mop-head to pieces.
Chapter 10: Stone Skipping and Biology Lessons
Due to his history-lesson-gone-wrong, Obito decided that he would take learning into his own hands. After all, if he was to become the next Uchiha Madara, he might as well become as smart as the old man, right? He may not retain information as well as the legendary Madara, but he could try.
So, via Kamui-space and his incredibly convenient knowledge of all the Ninja Academy's hiding spaces, Obito maneuvered himself to an old book room, stole a few books, and returned to his cozy little cave tucked in the middle of nowhere. And, when a suitable candle was lit, for no sunlight reached the inside of the cavern, of course, he began to read. Reading usually hurt his head, but it wasn't quite so bad at the moment.
"What are you reading?" asked Tobi, leaning so far over the Uchiha boy that his swirl face was all that Obito could see.
"Stuff," replied Obito shortly.
"What's bee-oo-loggy?" asked the swirl-face.
"Biology," corrected Obito. "I'm learning about genetics."
"Obito, you're not helping," Zetsu snapped. "Explain to him."
From his tone of voice, it was more like Zetsu wanted to know as well. The two boy-creature-humanoids sat all their Senju cells down in front of Obito, waiting patiently for him to begin. Obito, who had simply wanted a moment's peace and maybe sharpen his dull mind, groaned.
"It's the study of people's genes," he tried.
"Jeans? Like the kind we see people wearing?" Tobi inquired. "Do people eat jeans? Do people wear jeans for their underwear? Do people poop jeans?"
"No, wrong word!" growled Obito, flipping one of the pages. "A gene is a like a code that gives you a trait, like black hair."
"Oh. So, I have a gene for green hair?"
This, Obito could not quite answer, because he wasn't sure if Zetsu's hair was made of grass, or if it was actually hair. Both were equally possible, given that Zetsu was a plant-man, and people of this world had absurd hair colors left and right. Obito had witnessed the purple hair of a fiery Anko, naturally silver hair like Bakakashi's, and then plain black and brown, like his and Rin's.
"Yeah, I guess so," said Obito.
"How about blue hair?" asked Tobi. "How about red hair? How about orange hair? How about green-purple-yellow hair?"
"I don't know, it might be possible," Obito replied to the last one. "I've seen orange and red hair, but never blue."
"I've seen bluish colored hair," Zetsu piped up.
"I want to know if they have bright blue hair," Tobi insisted. "Like, the color of the sky! Wouldn't that be cool, 'Bito?"
"Not really, you'd stand out too much," Obito answered flatly. "You could never be a shinobi because you're so bright."
This was rather contradictory — Minato-sensei was a blonde that stood out by far, and Kakashi's hair was like a lighthouse's beam. Rin and Obito had blended quite well into the shinobi environment, but there were plenty of people who didn't. Kushina-san, for instance, was brighter than a strawberry plus a tomato plus a habanero, and probably louder than Obito himself. Meanwhile, there were freakishly tall people for his age, like Ibiki, and then the popular kids, like Asuma and Kurenai.
Obito paused, wondering where he'd gone with his train of thought.
"Still, you could be a regular person," Tobi suggested.
"I've never seen a blue-haired person," Obito said.
"I have," Madara randomly interrupted. "I've seen quite a few."
"Really?" asked Tobi eagerly, "where?!"
"First off, there's several people in Kirigakure who have dark blue hair, sort of a gray-steel color," Madara mused out loud.
"Bright blue," Tobi prompted, poking the old man in the knee. Madara glared at the swirl-face, who cowered like a puppy, before sitting down beside Obito. (He wouldn't tell, but he swore he felt his knees creak).
"Bright blue," echoed Madara. "Yes, I've seen a few of those, too."
"Really? Did they have wings?" demanded the swirl-face.
"How did you get wings from this?!" exclaimed Zetsu, throwing his hands up in the air. Tobi, however, had a short attention span to things he didn't want to pay attention to, so he turned to Obito and tried eating the biology textbook. Obito jerked the pages away from the swirl-face, preferably as far as possible from Tobi's mysterious eyehole. He didn't want to Kamui the book away, because he was sort of tired and didn't want to waste the effort.
"Well, you said jean-eat-icks, right? If you had jeans, wouldn't you have to break the jeans to grow wings?"
"Tobi, that makes no sense! Wings come out of your back!" exclaimed Obito incredulously, nearly ripping a page from his book out as Tobi scrabbled to catch its front page. "Hey, I'm returning these, you know!"
"Blue-haired people tend to be strange," Madara said thoughtfully.
"Seriously, guys, you're all nuts," Zetsu deadpanned.
"Red-haired people tend to be hot-tempered," continued the old man, stroking his chin.
"If you don't stop trying to take this book, I will hit you with it," threatened Obito, when Zetsu pretty much climbed all over him to get it. He shoved at Tobi's chest, and then kicked him away, accidentally whacking Madara in the arm with the book while he was at it. Madara glanced at the mildly, rather amused by the whole thing. Zetsu was surprised the old man hadn't blown up on them yet. The lawn-topped humanoid of Senju DNA awaited the day when the old Uchiha went crazy and threw his Eternal Mangekyo's ultimate jutsu on them. He never quite got his day, but he certainly got a kick out of everyday pranks. There was one that included a mop, and for some reason, it irked the old man enough to shove his fan into Zetsu's gut. One time he missed because Zetsu pulled Obito in front of him to block the blow. The fan slipped through Obito and got Tobi square in the gut; though why Tobi had been there at that exact point in time (maybe stealing from Obito again), nobody really knew.
"No hitting!" wailed Tobi. Obito smacked the pale hands away from the book.
"Stop trying to take my book!" replied the young Uchiha.
"I wanna read!"
"You can't read!"
"I want to know if blue-haired people can fly!" cried the swirl-face, reduced to ground-shaking sobs. Everyone just stared at him.
"Blue people cannot fly," Madara informed him gently.
"They can't?" Tobi seemed, perplexedly, dismayed at this fact.
"No, they cannot. They can make glaciers, though," replied the old man.
"Where the hell is this going?!" hissed Obito. "Let me read in peace!"
"Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep darling Obi—"
"I said read, not sleep!" Obito took the book and whacked Zetsu across the face, then gaped at what he'd just done. Back in his Academy days, he'd been too clumsy to instigate such a brawl, missing his punch when he swung for it. Besides that, usually Bakakashi shoved him back down in his seat, with a pointed glance at Rin. And then Obito shut up.
"Ow, man," Zetsu said flatly.
"Do you feel pain?" Madara asked.
"Seriously, old man, have you gone senile?!" demanded Obito, his understanding of everything in the world turning upside down. The old man had gone batty, he was sure of it. All motherly and caring, Madara was asking Zetsu if he was hurt, of all things to ask.
"Silence, child, I want to know if Hashirama's DNA can feel pain," snapped the old man.
"You have no teeth!" exclaimed Tobi. "That means you can't fly!"
"What, do tell, is your definition of fly?" asked Zetsu, folding his pale arms. He made a strange face — mouth elongated into what should have been a snarky grin, but instead was a flat display of his irregularly sharp teeth. The meaning of it, Obito could not discern.
"You know, it's when you take something and stick it in your eyehole?" Tobi said, posing his answer as a question.
Obito slapped his forehead, exasperated.
"I'm going to go…take a walk," he finally decided, tucking the (now safe) book under his arm and trudging to the gigantic boulder that closed off the lair. "Old man, I'll be back in twenty."
"Don't let no Senju skip your stones," Madara called, lost in thought again. Obito rolled his eyes. The day he resurrected that old man in the presence of the Ten Tails, he desperately hoped that he would return to his right mind. Besides that, Obito didn't believe there were any Senju clan members in the surrounding forest, so he supposed he would have been fine without Madara's warning.
Ignoring the bickering tree-children behind him, he used his Kamui and sifted through the earth, appearing on the land's surface. He'd ambled over to a small stream when he heard a strange sound.
It was like someone was whispering right next to his ear.
Pssst. You there, with the wild hair.
Obito touched his hair self-consciously. It had grown into a massive mane comparable to that of Madara's, and he agreed that it was quite wild. Bushy and thick, he found himself amused by the springiness and coarseness of his hair.
"Who's there?" he asked suddenly, ceasing his insensible pomf-ing of his hair.
I'm a ghost, didya know that?
"Uh, well, I can't see you. Technically, I should be a ghost too."
Really? When didya die?
"Ninja World War Three," explained Obito, glancing around himself nervously. No one was in sight…wait, what was that misty area over there? The little fog was coagulating itself into a human-shaped blob, a creepy one.
There was a third one?! I died in the second one!
"You must be old, then," Obito said.
Hey, I was twelve when I died, okay?
"I was thirteen," Obito said. "I was saved by a crazy old man, though."
Aw, man, lucky duck. Things like that happen in this world, huh?
Obito wasn't sure what that meant, in truth, but he agreed.
Do you know the old man?
"Not really. He's sort of like my….grandpa? But way older," Obito supposed to the invisible ghost, tapping his foot against a big rock. He pondered the rock, standing so still, beside the little creek that trickled around the bend. The little mist had formed into the shape of the boy, loosely.
It would have been cool if my grandpa saved me…or my sister! My sister is awesome, she's the best, and the strongest kunoichi ever!
"Sure," Obito said simply, for it must be natural to think one's sibling superior to all. The boy must've idolized his sister.
So, what's your name?
"I'm Obito. Uchiha Obito." Obito smiled at this, patting the badly sewn patch on his coat, the messily cut Uchiha clan crest. "No one knows I'm alive, though, so here I am. What's your name?"
My name's Nawaki. Nice to meet you, Obito!
"Hey Nawaki. No last name?"
Well, my clan's sort of disappeared….
"That's okay. I have a friend who is clanless, yet she is also a shinobi," Obito said, rather proud of the fact. He recalled a tidbit of information he'd heard from the older Academy kids — back in the old days, only the elite clans were allowed to have children raised in ninjutsu. The clanless society had hardly a thing.
Well, I'm not exactly clanless.
Obito gestured to the fog — a strange notion, when he thought about it — to continue his line of thought.
Well, technically, my name would be Senju Nawaki.
"Well then, Senju Nawaki, nice to mee— Senju?" Obito stared incredulously as the fog magically picked up a stone and successfully bounced it across the river. Blinking a few times, he watched as the pale cloud formed itself more completely into a young boy, about his height, with round cheeks and a Leaf hitai-ate. Grinning, the boy sent another stone skipping merrily across the creek.
Yep! Uchiha, right? My sister knew an Uchiha. My grandpa knew an Uchiha too!
"R-really?" Obito said, mouth twitching at the corner.
Yep! The cloud giggled. My grandpa was the First Hokage, and his friend's name was Uchiha Madara! They were the strongest shinobi in the world.
Obito stared at the little mist boy, impossibly skipping stones over the water.
And my sister's name is Tsunade, and she's got funny teammates! One is a guy with really long hair, and the other one is a funny man with white hair. His name's Jiraiya — we're good pals.
Jiraiya, legendary Jiraiya and Tsunade and Orochimaru. But mostly Jiraiya, because Jiraiya trained Minato-sensei, and Minato-sensei was, obviously, Obito's sensei. Other than that, Obito was mainly gaping at the fact that this boy was the First Hokage's grandson, and…
"Where are you buried, Nawaki?"
Huh? The blob of mist that was Nawaki shivered. Oh, in Konoha's Memorial Cemetery. Why?
"Why aren't you there?"
It's kind of boring, he attempted to explain. The fog shrugged. I've got lots of friends, though.
"F-friends?" This was delving into supernatural ghost territory, and Obito wasn't sure he wanted to go there. He was still trying to determine if he was hallucinating or not.
Yep! One of them is my great-uncle, and the other one's his wife. She's got blue hair. Isn't that cool? My grandaunt had blue hair!
Obito stared. He was definitely hallucinating, because how else would blue hair have come up in this conversation? Rubbing his good eye, he stared hard at the ghost. Then he rubbed the socket without an eye, where the muscle that lifted his lid was severed, just to make sure there wasn't some foreign object sending him strange emissions down the optic nerve.
I have another friend that has silver hair. He's much older, and he's a legendary ninja, apparently. Have you ever heard of the White Fang?
Definitely a dream. Maybe he was still inside the cave. No, he was inside Tobi-land. That must've been it. Only Tobi could have come up with such a ludicrous thought.
"Yeah, I have," Obito replied absently. "He was my friend's dad."
Kakashi was his friend?
Really?! That's so cool. I also have a friend who died when she was about my age. She's real pretty, I just met her a little while ago. Ooh, I think I know your friend, then. He's got the same silver hair as the White Fang and he visits her grave every day.
Obito's stomach dropped.
"Her name wouldn't happen to be Rin, would it?" he asked nervously, rubbing his hands together.
Rin? How'd ya know? The ghost smiled.
"Oh, she was my teammate. Since I'm supposed to be dead, too, Kakashi's the only—"
So is that why that guy visits two graves? No wonder!
"Why, exactly, are you here?" Obito followed the ghost's path. Nawaki picked a trail down the opposite bank of the stream and picked up a few more pebbles, tossing them expertly so that they bounced across the calm water to the other side. Obito, who had tried skipping those same stones, had never been successful. Meanwhile, the Senju ghost simply aimed and tossed, aimed and tossed. He often closed one eye and squinted at the water.
For fun, I told you.
"Really?" asked Obito dubiously.
Yep. Hey, are you a chuunin?
Obito got the feeling that Nawaki would never stop asking questions, and he'd be suffering through the eternal genjutsu of Tobi-land for the rest of his life. This was not the Eternal Mangekyo he was trying to achieve so he quickly told the ghost boy that he had to take his leave soon.
I'm not a ghost boy, Nawaki said, as if reading his thoughts. My granduncle claims he's a ghost, though. Besides that, can I tell you a story? It's pretty interesting. It's about this eagle that—
"I gotta go train, Nawaki," Obito said too loudly.
Oh. Okay! Nawaki beamed. Have fun!
Obito scampered back down the path and flew through the stone as quickly as possible, emerging in a messy heap of Kamui-blob. He found Madara glaring at him accusingly, for what reason, he did not know. Tobi stood over him, and Zetsu was hanging from one of the Gedo Mazou arms. Obito realized that he had no idea where he'd left the biology book — he looked around frantically, until Madara cut him off.
"You let the Senju skip your stones, didn't you?!"
Obito, for the fifty-fifth time, deemed that he lived with crazy people.
Hahi! See you next timeeeee.