|a ninja's guide to surviving high school
Author: ninjakitty7 PM
High school is tough, but it gets a lot tougher when a demonic fox lives inside you and all your friends are ninjas. It's a world of angst, rivalries, friendships and romance inside the halls of Koon High, but outside, trouble is brewing. A dangerous world awaits them after graduation…assuming they all don't kill each other first.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 6 - Words: 18,882 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 04-03-13 - Published: 10-07-12 - id: 3063759
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter Four: The Weirdness of Girls and Boys
"And then he said 'that is the truth of our youthful passion and the heat of our entirety!'"
Nathan rolled his eyes and tried to resist the urge to throttle the boy who was practically dancing next to him. Clad in a green jumpsuit with ridiculous looking orange leg coverings, Lee Rock had been jumping with glee ever since he had been elected to join Nathan's three-man team. For the third time in the last fifteen seconds, Nathan regretted having chosen Lee to help lead the attack on the girl's flag. The boy was incredibly fast and an expert at martial arts, two skills which would come in handy once they breached the girl's line, but his annoying, talkative personality made Nathan wish he had chosen someone else. Anyone else. Anyone who would shut up for more than two seconds so he could think in peace.
"Lee, that makes absolutely no sense." Nathan replied patiently.
"But, Instructor Gai told me that…"
"Instructor Gai was wrong."
"But…" Lee protested.
"No." Nathan interrupted. "Just be quiet Lee."
"Hey, Nathan, I smell something." Nathan's other companion, a brown haired boy wearing a gray hunting jacket, whispered. Instantly, the squad came to a halt. Nathan looked inquiringly at the speaker, but he was occupied with sniffing the forest floor like an animal searching for the scent of its quarry. But that made perfect sense seeing as that Kobe Inuuk was a member of a clan that raised hunting wolves alongside their children. Decades of evolution had melded the wolves' excellent sense of smell into their masters, and as a result the Inuuk clan was renowned for their tracking skills.
"There's someone nearby." Kobe whispered softly.
"Female?" asked Nathan.
The other teen gave a feral grin, revealing rows of unnaturally pointy teeth not unlike those of the wolves he always hung around with. "Oh yes, definitely female." He assured Nathan. "And alone too I think."
"Huh," Nathan muttered to himself, crossing his arms.
"I'll take care of them!" shouted Lee excitedly. "One, a hundred, or a thousand –I'll fight them all single handedly!"
Though Nathan's face portrayed nothing more than usual, his arm began to feel an involuntary twitchy urge to punch Lee in the face. He forced himself to take several breathes before he trusted himself to speak civilly to his annoying team member. "Go with Kobe as planned. I'll take care of this."
"But…" Lee protested.
"Go!" Nathan snapped.
The hand-to-hand combat expert frowned but was smart enough to listen to his leader. Gesturing to Kobe to follow, he sped off into the undergrowth. Nathan waited until they were gone before heading in a different direction. It was time to find the intruder.
Tenten almost had fallen asleep when she heard footsteps. Immediately, she perked up where she sat on a tree branch high above the ground. She grabbed one of the weapons she had resting nearby and lay prone on the gigantic tree limb, watching the forest for signs of activity. It came soon enough. A figure emerged from a series of thick bushes, stepping through the shrubbery and into the clearing directly below the tree where Tenten waited.
Tenten's heart leaped with excitement when she recognized the young ninja. It was Nathan Henderson. Only he had those refined, gorgeous features and long silky hair that any girl would envy. She thought he was beautiful; a bit feminine looking perhaps, but to counter that there was an unmistakable, dominant aura of masculine power projecting from his being. Sitting in the treetops she could feel it as she watched him. Every movement, every subtle gesture captivated her sight, extending a wordless invitation that she could not refute. Nathan was a powerful ninja, one of the best in all of Koon even before he graduated from high school, and the craving to see his legendary talents in person was an intoxicating lure that Tenten was unable to resist.
They said he was the best. Tenten would need to see that for herself before believing it.
She leaped from perch and, as she spiraled through the air, she grabbed a handful of the sharp, round stones from her pockets and hurled them at Nathan. They rocketed towards the unsuspecting ninja, blurs of motion against the forests backdrop, and for a moment it seemed that they would hit Nathan at the last possible moment; Nathan spun on his heels, and in a flurry of rapid strikes, plucked each of the stones out of the air. With deliberate slowness, he opened his palm and let each of the stones drop leisurely to the ground.
"Not bad," Tenten admitted. "Thought I had you for a minute."
Nathan looked at Tenten. "Oh, it's just you." He said. His face never changed, never shifted from the emotionless mask he entertained, but the disappointment in his voice was clear. Nathan began walking away. "I don't have time to play games with you."
His callous words hit Tenten like a ton of bricks. For a moment she was speechless, too stunned by his dismissing words to say anything, but gradually the shock gave way to anger. How dare he! She had so eagerly looked forward to this moment for weeks, no, months, training rigorously and practicing for an opportunity to fight Nathan, and now that it had come he had the audacity to brush her aside as if she meant nothing!
"Don't you walk away!" She yelled at Nathan's retreating figure. "Turn around and fight me!"
Suddenly Nathan paused. He looked at her over his shoulder, a bemused look on his face that shattered the usual stoic-ness. "You would challenge me without your weapons?" He asked quietly.
"I'm here aren't I?" retorted Tenten. "And I have more than enough weapons to take you on, Nathan Henderson!" From her jumpsuit she produced her weapons. Kunai chiseled from stone, windmill shurikens carved from wood –her hands bristled with an arsenal of handcrafted projectiles. From the moment Asuma had confiscated her personal stash of weapons, Tenten had been busy building new ones.
For the first time in her life, Tenten saw Nathan smile. It was a brief smile that vanished as quickly as it had formed, but it was unmistakable. A warm glow of satisfaction filled the beautiful markswoman as Nathan turned to face her. Finally he was taking her seriously.
"You were serious about your challenge." Nathan said. He looked down at the ground, and when his head came back up, Tenten saw his veins bulging alongside his eyes as aura rushed into them, activating his clan's legendary bloodline technique. "I apologize for my disrespect, Tenten. You're not one of them."
Tenten smirked. No, she was not one of them. Not another one of those mindless, fawning girls.
"I will show you no mercy." Nathan stated.
"Good!" Tenten yelled. With a wordless battle cry, she lunged forward and hurled a hailstorm of stone kunai at Nathan. No sooner had she unleashed the first wave, her hand plucked another weapon and tossed it. Another one followed swiftly after that, and then another. She paused to watch as over a dozen of her projectiles sped towards Nathan, but then frowned. Whatever satisfaction she had been nurturing vanished when she saw the young ninja just standing there, placidly viewing the tidal wave of weapons speeding towards him. The bastard was still underestimating her!
Moments before the first wave of kunai was upon him, Nathan's body dropped down to a crouch, and he spread his arms wide. He yelled something, and suddenly a dome of swirling, yellow light sprang up from the ground and engulfed him. Tenten's weapons struck the glowing veil, but it might as well have been a concrete wall for all the effect it had. Her arsenal bounced off the barrier of light and fell uselessly to the forest floor.
""Y-you can do that?" Gasped Tenten. She gaped in fascination as Nathan's luminous shield faded, revealing the young Henderson's form spinning rapidly. Gradually, he decelerated until he came to a standstill.
"Hakkeshou Kaiten," Nathan answered. "The Heavenly Spin."
Tenten was speechless. For months now she had observed Nathan's duels, carefully keeping track of each and every one of his techniques to exploit weaknesses in them. She knew there were not many to begin with. The extent of his Byakugan gave him almost three-hundred-and-sixty degree vision, allowing him to see an attack from virtually anywhere. But this technique, this Heavenly Spin…Tenten had never seen Nathan use it before. She had imbedded each of her kunai with chakra to increase their velocity to a point where it would be impossible for Nathan to deflect them, and yet his technique had effortlessly blocked her attack.
"You're the first one I've shown this too, Tenten." Nathan continued. "Because you were brave enough to seek me out and challenge me."
The young markswoman felt a rush of pride swell in her body. To show a ninja a secret technique was a sign of utmost respect. There were few greater honors for it meant either identifying one another as trusted allies or as an equal enemy. Which Nathan meant to relay at the moment, Tenten was unsure. However, she did notice herself involuntarily blushing in the face of Nathan's unprecedented praise. Quickly, she retorted, "You're not as scary as you think, Nathan."
From her belt, Tenten hefted two scythes she had constructed and tossed one to her left hand. She twirled them deftly and prepared for Neji's assault. Ranged weapons were no good against Nathan's defense; she would have to settle this in melee combat.
Nathan jumped forward, his leg lashing out at Tenten. She ducked under it and cut at Nathan's torso, but he flipped over it in mid-air and landed on the ground. Her other scythe tore at his face, forcing him to block the shaft of her weapon with his arm. Gritting her teeth, Tenten tried to overpower Nathan, but the strength he exerted was unbelievable. It was like trying to push past a wall. With a grunt of frustration, she whirled away, slicing at Nathan's head as she retreated. He leaned back, allowing the stone blade to pass a hairsbreadth from his face, but made no move to pursue Tenten.
"Not bad," Tenten commented. "You're strong, but to be honest, I'm disappointed."
She charged forward, slashing at Nathan's body with her right scythe, and when he nimbly stepped to the side to avoid it, she struck with her left. He parried it casually, but Tenten had expected that. She smiled. He was concentrating on the two scythes in her hands and could not see what she could –the concealed third and fourth scythe that was now hurling through the air towards the back of Nathan's head. Though Nathan could not see them, his white-eyes suddenly widened when he heard the additional weapons soaring at him, and with a muttered curse he leaped into the air.
"Not so fast!" Tenten shouted. Her hands shifted, controlling the threads of chakra she had attached to the weapons before she had thrown them. The scythes responded to her touch immediately, altering their trajectory to pursue Nathan.
"Kaiten!" Nathan yelled. His body spun, faster and faster until he became a whirlwind of blurry motion, and then the sphere of light consumed him. The two scythes were battered harmlessly away by the cyclone of speed and chakra, but when Nathan landed on the ground, he noticed that his right arm was bleeding. Droplets of blood spilled on the grass from a deep gash below his elbow where his Heavenly Spin had failed to deflect the scythe. Gritting his teeth in pain, Nathan exhaled deeply, shaken by how narrowly he had escaped Tenten's ambush.
"How…how did you know about the flaw in my Kaiten?" Nathan asked as Tenten approached. There was only one flaw in his technique, one blind spot that could be exploited only if an enemy knew exactly where it was. And Tenten had found it. "I've never shown you it before today."
"You haven't, but Holly has." Tenten admitted. "I was surprised because I didn't think you could use it because…well…"
"Because I'm not from the Main Family," He finished for her bitterly. A thought struck Nathan. "You've been practicing for this fight, haven't you? You've been training with Holly because we both use the same fighting style."
Tenten smirked wryly. "Guilty as charged. It seems all that practice was unnecessary though. You're not as good as everyone raves. "
"Really?" asked Nathan. There was nothing in his voice. No hurt, no curiosity, no embarrassment. Nothing. "Then let me show you something Holly never has."
She never saw it coming. One second Nathan was standing several feet away and then the next he was suddenly in front of her. The tip of his hand shot out towards her face, giving Tenten only a second to move out of the way. It sped past, imbedding itself deeply into the tree behind, but that did not slow down Nathan. Before Tenten could mount a counterattack, Nathan struck again, his hands a flurry of motion as they rained down a blur of attacks that Tenten could barely defend. Her danced to intercept each blow as they came, but several times she wasn't fast enough to keep up and the sharp point of his hand would penetrate her defenses, painfully impacting against her flesh.
Again and again his blows came, each time faster than the last until Tenten could barely keep track of them. More and more slipped past her guard, sending waves of blinding pain through her body with each successful impact. She heard fabric tear as the integrity of her jumpsuit gave way to Nathan's furious assault, but she could do nothing to stop it.
"Damn it!" Tenten cried. She lashed out blindly at Nathan. He blocked it easily, but it gave her time to escape from his onslaught. She stumbled backwards and the scythes dropped from her hands. Her head felt light and her body screamed in agony. Against a normal opponent, she could have easily shrugged off the beating she had sustained. But each strike from Nathan was like a dozen from a regular ninja because of the way his clan channeled their chakra into their attacks. It was another feature that made them so powerful.
Tenten barely even notice that the torso section of her jumpsuit had torn away during the skirmish, revealing far more flesh than she would normally feel comfortable showing to a boy. But she was in no shape to think about that much, a fact that testified to her exhaustion. Her outfit was one of her most prized possessions. She claimed it came from an aunt that was a legendary ninja, and always wore it. Even during PE class when everyone else wore uniforms, Tenten would wear her jumpsuit, ignoring the reprimands she received. She was one of the best ninjas out of all the girls; the souti didn't care as long as her grades stayed up.
Wearily, she looked at it and groaned. Her jumpsuit was ripped from her waist to just blow her chest, exposing her naked abdomen and a glimpse of the training bra she wore beneath. She noticed Nathan staring at her, but he seemed so far away. Too shocked and too much in pain to blush or even cover herself, Tenten was satisfied to collapse on her knees. Nathan kneeled down beside her and rested a hand on her shoulder.
"Gentle Fist Style, Sixty-Four Hands of Mist," said Nathan.
"Too…too fast." murmured Tenten blearily. "I thought…I thought I was disappointed. T-thought you weren't scary."
"No, you were right. I'm really not as scary as people make me out to be."
Tenten couldn't believe her ears. She thought she might be hallucinating from the pain. It was the most personal thing she had ever heard Nathan say. Her knees suddenly gave way, and her body pitched against Nathan's. He instinctively grabbed her to stop her from falling on the ground, and Tenten's head came to a rest on his shoulder.
"I'm glad." She whispered into his ear, smiling. Up close, he felt so warm, not at all like the cold that his icy persona alluded to. Tenten could hear his breathing, shallower and more erratic than usual, probably the result of his first up close encounter with a girl. Was he blushing? Did he like what he saw? She wasn't as well endowed as some of the other girls in the class, but maybe Nathan wouldn't care. Then again, up until then, she thought Nathan didn't care at all, one way or the other. Boys could be so weird sometimes.
Maybe you're more human than we believed, Tenten thought. Maybe you're alright after all.
Nathan felt the girl go limp in his arms as unconsciousness finally took her. She had fought it well. Most of his opponents blacked out before he got halfway through Sixty-Four Hands. Slowly, he eased her to the ground and then scavenged for the torn fragment of her jumpsuit that had ripped off during their fight. He carefully placed it over the gaping hole in Tenten's outfit and then backed away, satisfied that her modesty was protected. She was an attractive girl, but Nathan would not stoop himself to such a barbaric level to exploit a situation like this.
Still, she was the best opponent he had faced in quite some time. Given the proper equipment and a little bit more training, Tenten had the potential to even become a worthy sparring opponent. Well, Lee might be a little better, but she was definitely prettier. And a lot less annoying.
"Nathan…" Tenten whispered. Startled, Nathan looked at her. He thought she had passed out, but maybe she had just fallen asleep from exhaustion. He watched her for a few more minutes, but when she said nothing more, he shrugged it off. While it was slightly odd that he might be entertaining Tenten in some fashion or another in her dreams, Nathan did not have time to dwell on it. The game was still on.
Still, as he sped off into the trees towards the front line, Nathan concluded one thing: Girls could sure be pretty weird sometimes.