Hey! Thanks so much for all the love and comments, guys, you really make my day! :)
Just a heads up, if you know my OC Mariko, then I just want to make a shout out about an upcoming story that features just her...because the other one has gone nuts, lol.
OBITO AT THE MALL?! What chaos is impending...?!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, because...HOLY MADARANUGGETS, THE NEW CHAPTER'S OUT. LEMME READ IT REAL QUICK.
I'll talk more about this in a different story... *still hasn't finished reading yet*
Chapter 8: The Trouble With Definitions
"Underwear, underwear, get your free underwear!"
Why is that man shouting about free underwear?
"Store closing, store closing, everything must go! But folks, that means that you can get ALL THE UNDERWEAR YOU NEED!"
The spokesperson for a closing shop did a rather amusing little jig outside the doors of the mall, strutting back and forth with a speakerphone and a sign, tap dancing when he could. Yes, his tap shoes rang clearly against the pavement outside the outlet mall.
"Obito, I think you need new underwear."
The unexpected comment from Zetsu caught the Uchiha by surprise, and his eyes grew wide and his mouth made a little "O".
"Uh, what's that supposed to mean?" Obito ventured cautiously. He wasn't quite sure if Zetsu was trying to be taken literally, or he was just pulling his leg. The latter was often the case, but the grass-head's straight face gave nothing away, not even a glimmer of a sharp tooth beneath his lips.
"Oh-Bee-Toe!" And then they were distracted, because Tobi, dressed in an awfully suspicious dark hood, tugged on their arms insistently. He was shaking his behind in such a manner, Obito nearly mistook him for the awfully flamboyant spokesperson jiggling by the mall entrance.
"What," Obito spat, a little more forcefully than he'd intended. Tobi, looking as hurt as a mask could look, sort of deflated a little. "Sorry, Tobi, what were you saying?"
"OH! OBITO! I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU!"
"Shoot for it," Obito said, sidling out of the way of mall-goers making their way to popular sales. Zetsu decided to stand back, cross his pale arms, and ponder what they were doing at an outdoor mall. Well, to explain such an interesting event, they would have to go about two days back into the past.
"Dear old man," Obito had dictated, reading a letter he'd drafted earlier, "currently, I've felt the urge to bang my head against the cavern wall because I'm bored out of my mind. I want to train, but you're telling me to meditate, and I want to kick people in the face and try new tricks with my Mangekyo, but those two and the rest of them—" a broad gesture towards Zetsu and Tobi, and then all the bodies hanging from the statue "—are too stupid."
"Hey!" called Zetsu.
"Besides that," Obito continued, disregarding Tobi's pouty dance and Zetsu's pissed expression, "I have gathered that there is a big sale down in an Iwa border town, and would like to go. I promise I won't do anything too bad. Love, Obito."
The "love" part had been thrown in just to see if it would jerk any strings. Obito threw the old man a smile, hopefully a sweet one. He'd decided against cutting his wild mane, in an attempt to look similar to the old man and make some impossible clan-blood connections, or something.
Madara stared at him flatly.
"Pretty please? With a cherry on top?"
Madara stared for another few minutes.
Obito began to wonder if he was dead, and this was just a shell of the legendary Uchiha, poised before him in a sitting stance. Apparently, Tobi wondered that too, because he was crouching mysteriously behind Madara, giggling to himself and poking the man's leg. Then, Madara swatted him away so fiercely that the swirl-face yelped and fell on his bum, rolling away pitifully. Zetsu sniggered.
"You're not a little girl," Madara began. He sounded as if he'd continue, but he didn't.
"No, no I'm not," agreed Obito.
"He's a cat!" piped Tobi.
"He's an Uchiha!" added Zetsu. The two snickered, and Obito threw them a glare of daggers.
"He's poop!" Tobi declared, delighted. Obito balled his hands into fists, knuckles cracking. "Poooop!"
"I'm well aware what he is, boys," Madara said, annoyed. "I'm tired of hearing your voices. Shoo."
And they shoo'ed.
"If you make me send a black Zetsu up there, then you're never going out until you've done ten thousand push-ups and cleaned this cavern over twenty times," Madara finally ruled.
"YES!" exclaimed Obito, despite the horrendous consequences befitting someone more like the youthful Gai back in Konoha. Obito hadn't been within the range of regular humans in months, unless you counted the humanoid Zetsu things hanging from the ceiling, a swirl-faced creature, and a dinosaur of an Uchiha.
"Remember what I told you," Madara said tiredly. Obito, however, continued to do his happy jig in place, ignoring the exasperated tones of the mighty Uchiha.
"CAN WE GO SEE POOP?" asked Tobi excitedly.
"NO," both Obito and Zetsu replied in unison, so forcefully that Tobi cringed and covered his eyehole.
And so, they went to the mall.
Like little girls on a shopping spree – sort of .
"Well? Spit it out," Obito said, urging Tobi to ask his question.
To Obito's dismay, Tobi pointed at a women's shop, his finger directed straight at the lingerie. If Zetsu thought this was funny, he didn't show it, because his face was so straight, Obito thought he might've turned into a zombie – not that he wasn't like one already.
"You know everything, 'Bito, right? Like how you know what poop is, right? Whazzat?" Tobi enthusiastically waved at the underwear shop and attempted to drag his companions towards it.
"We are not going inside there, Tobi," growled Obito.
"Why not?" The swirl-face pouted; a sulk that consisted of dropped shoulders and a childishly tilted head, because he had no face. If anything, his eye-hole impossibly seemed to narrow in disappointment.
"B-because that's…that stuff is for girls," Obito stated as clearly as he could.
"Girls?" Tobi echoed.
Zetsu sniggered then, his straight face breaking into a toothy grin. Obito swung around, attempted to backhand that pale, snarky expression. However, heeding Madara's warning, his hand dropped abruptly and he spun quickly away from Zetsu, crossing his arms. The green-topped plant boy copied the young Uchiha's defensive position, though the grin still stuck on his face, almond eyes narrowed with smug glee.
Maybe, Obito thought, in the future, he would create expressionless plant men.
"Obito," continued Tobi, disregarding the near attack to Zetsu's poor face.
"What now?" Obito was tired, and his voice took on a weary tone similar to that of Madara looking after his three ridiculously bizarre ducklings.
Obito slapped his face in exasperation.
"That looked like it hurt," deadpanned Zetsu, nose wrinkling in another snicker. Tobi giggled girlishly, which was ironic, because apparently he had no idea what the female gender was. Then again, the plant-swirl-face-creature was pretty much sexless, so it didn't really matter for him anyway. As far as Obito cared, Tobi was a "he".
"A girl is…" The simplest things in life are the hardest one to explain – an idea that ran through Obito's mind painfully, at that moment. "For example, uh, Rin is a girl."
"Rin Rin is a girl?" Tobi asked brightly.
"So girls are those funny frumpy thingies with pretty hair?"
"Uh…hey, Rin's not frumpy!"
Zetsu snorted with laughter then, and the fact that they were standing in the middle of the mall across from an undergarments shop was funny enough.
"Then what about Bakakashi? Is he a girl?"
"Tobi, he is not a girl."
"And Rin Rin?"
"She, is in fact, a girl. Got it?" Obito really wanted to get away from this topic.
"I still don't get it."
Zetsu had to fall back on a bench, then, because he was laughing so hard. Mall passersby glanced at the kids warily, while other children stared at them with wide, curious eyes. Obito crossed and uncrossed his arms, stuffed them in his pockets, and made a deal of studying the lopsided Uchiha crest he'd proudly sewn onto his jumper by himself. Though, at the moment, it wasn't providing him much comfort in anyway, and it offered no escape from Tobi's ludicrous misunderstandings.
"What don't you get?" snapped the Uchiha.
"Why are there girls?"
"Why are there boys?" Obito replied sarcastically.
"I dunno, I thought you were going to tell me." Tobi shrugged. "Are you going to tell me?"
The swirl-face was so childish and so innocent – in a way – that Obito sighed and contemplated if he should answer.
"You know what, Tobi?"
"What?" If Tobi had a face, he would've been smiling eagerly. And if he'd been a dog with a nice, fluffy tail, he'd be wagging it.
"Go ask the old man when we get home."
"AWWW MANNNN!" Tobi cried, latching onto Obito's sleeve. "PLEASE 'BITO, TELL ME, PRETTY PLEASE WITH A CHERRY ON TOP!"
Obito stared dryly at the swirl-face. Zetsu got up then, and gestured to the one store that still sold shinobi ware. He said something about getting some new fabric, in case Obito ever needed new clothes, but Obito wasn't listening. He really should've listened, because that store turned out to be the one with the materials that made his Fourth Shinobi World War outfit, and it was right next door to Iwa's greatest mask maker. It was all coincidental, of course (as Zetsu would claim with a roll of his eyes, while Black Zetsu glared at them all menacingly – with Kisame and Deidara in the background wondering if Zetsu ate human food).
Obito was busy producing an Uzumaki Mito worthy glare at Tobi, for how dare he pull the cherry trick? That was Obito's thing.
"I'm not buying you any ice cream unless you stop bothering me."
"NO! NO 'BITO, DON'T TAKE AWAY MY ICE CREAM, PLEASE! PLEASEEE!" Tobi was withering on the floor then, sobbing pathetically, a strange, clear fluid leaking from his eyehole. He melted into a puddle of wriggling swirl-face, until Obito yanked him harshly to his feet and made him stand.
"Then don't bother me anymore with it," Obito snapped, his hand tight around Tobi's arm to make sure that the sniffling swirl-face didn't deteriorate before his eyes again.
"Okay." Tobi agreed, and was a very good boy after that. He received his favorite chocolate fudge sundae, with far too many sprinkles on top, which he slipped down his eyehole when they were out of public eyesight.
"See, Obito? Tobi is a good boy," Zetsu said approvingly, patting the masked boy's head. It made a mysteriously hollow noise, so Zetsu stopped, an inquisitive, sort of bewildered expression on his face. It was as if even though he was made of the same stuff, he had no idea how Tobi's body worked. He and Obito wondered for the longest time – Was Tobi's face hollow? Where did he keep that ice cream?
"Where does that ice cream go?" Obito wondered out loud, deliberately directing the question at Tobi. The furtive glance that Tobi returned, eyehole dark in the shadows, was rather frightening.
"I don't know, Obito. I thought you were going to tell me," Tobi replied quite nonchalantly, scooping the last of his ice cream down the dark, unknown vortex of his eyehole.
"If I knew, I wouldn't be asking," Obito said. Reasonable enough, right? Tobi seemed to think otherwise, because he tapped his chin thoughtfully. Again, the hollow knocking sound was heard as his finger rapped the bottom edge of a thick swirl. "So, where does it go? I know you're hiding it from me," added Obito, hoping to prompt the answer out of the swirl-face.
"I don't know. After all, I don't poop!"
The two others stared at Tobi, a little incredulous at this realization, and a little bit of something strange and indescribable.
"We should all ask Madara!"
Tobi's grin was not infectious, for it could not be seen…
"Old man, Tobi has a question."
"Answer it yourself."
"I can't, it's too hard."
Madara stared flatly at Obito, the same flat stare that always meant he was thinking, even if just slightly. Madara was so mighty, apparently, that he didn't require thinking most of the time. It just came to him, like Hashirama when his wife was stolen by an Uchiha.
"Well?" Madara waved Tobi over.
"MADARA, WHAT'S A GIRL?"
"Madara, where does all the food in Tobi's eyehole go?!" added Zetsu excitedly.
"NO, NO, ANSWER ME FIRST! WHAT'S A GIRL?!"
Obito plunked down unceremoniously, the thin mattress of his meager bed rattling slightly. He crossed his legs and ignored the sudden heat radiating from Madara. The Sharingan glower was directed at Obito, but Obito pretended to know nothing, nothing at all.
"WHAT'S A GIRL?!" Tobi insisted, whining now. And everyone, even the sleepy Zetsus hanging up on the Gedo Mazou, knew that Madara could not stand whining, not one bit. The old Uchiha turned on Tobi then, his eyes screaming murder, but his face an amused, ominous smirk.
"Let me tell you a secret, Tobi," he said deeply.
"Oooh what?! What's a girl?!" Tobi whispered breathlessly, wringing his hands in joyful anticipation.
Madara pointed at Obito.
"That, right there, is a girl."
Obito's eyes went wide.
And years later, an Edo Tensei revived Madara would scoff pitifully at Obito's job poorly done, and tell Obito that he could throw hardly as far as a girl, and run slower than that pinkette over there. Obito would growl, and then make a snarky comeback by reminding Madara of the Senju granddaughter that nearly blasted him to pieces with a punch.
Tobi: "I still don't know what a girl is."
Obito: "Deal with it."
The more I write, the more I wonder about Tobi...