Happy Unbirthday. Here, have some fic.
Chances are high you’ve never heard of me. I retired from fandom over five years ago … but I found your stories and greatly enjoyed them. You inspired me to write, so this belongs to you–whether you like it or hate it. Thank you for reminding me why I love writing.
Shiranui Genma stood in the Hokage’s office, chewing on a poisoned senbon. He almost spat it at the Hokage as the final words left his mouth. “Leave immediately, Shiranui.” Sarutobi Hiruzen gestured to whatever disposable chuunin was his lap dog assistant for the day. The kid offered Genma a scroll. “No,” Genma said. He kept both hands tucked in his pants’ pockets, so he wouldn’t assassinate the Hokage for what he was attempting. The other jounin in the room, all awaiting their own mission assignments, turned their attention to Genma sharply. The majority appeared beyond incredulous, or narrowed their eyes at him as if he were a traitor and they were plotting his execution. A few, though, rapidly turned their attention to exits and obstacles; he knew they were calculating who to kill first if they had to fight their way out of the room. The Hokage’s office had seals on it that prevented teleportation jutsu of any kind. A cloud of smoke escaped Sarutobi’s pipe. “Your mission, Shiranui.” He withdrew the pipe from his mouth and gestured toward the scroll the chuunin held out. Genma didn’t take the scroll. He stood his ground. “No.” Nothing in the world could compel him to leave the village now. “I’m unavailable for missions for the next four days,” Genma drawled. He rolled the senbon from one corner of his mouth to the other. The chuunin shook, glancing between Genma and the Third Hokage. He lowered the scroll; Genma smirked. “What the hell is going on?” a jounin Genma had never worked with asked. “Treason,” another muttered. Sarutobi frowned. If it was meant to convince Genma to change his mind, or be a chiding correction, he didn’t care. Genma would die before abandoning his duty. He knew his sworn vows; he knew his families’ oaths and covenants; he would not betray them. Genma wasn’t Konoha. “Why?” Sarutobi asked. If the Hokage really didn’t know … then Genma’s opinion of him, as well as Genma’s compatriots’ opinions of him, would only sink lower. He was a poor, pathetic man–clinging to power after Namikaze Minato-sama’s death. “Kakashi is out of the village on a mission,” Genma drawled. Sarutobi blinked. “I know.” “Why does my eternal rival’s absence mean you can’t take on the Hokage’s youthful mission, Genma?” Maito Gai asked with great enthusiasm. Genma bit the senbon hard. He didn’t want to have to fight Gai, not seriously. But if Gai left him no choice, Genma would do it. It would hurt … but Genma was a shinobi. He couldn’t remember life without pain. “Uzumaki-dono is to be guarded by a Hatake or Shiranui at all times,” Namiashi Raidou stated, from where he stood at Genma’s back. “It’s the law.” Raidou’s voice was bitter, as all the Uzushio survivors were, at the loss of Kushina-hime and the last Namikaze, as Naruto bore his mother’s name due to its prestige. The second born child would have carried the Namikaze name … but now it was just one more thing of Uzushiogakure that was dead. It didn’t matter which Uchiha in particular had been responsible for ripping the Kyuubi from Kushina-hime. The Uzushio survivors would bide their time and see all of them dead for it. It would be a massacre so bloody that no one would ever, ever forget it. Ninja had long memories. “Truthfully, Uzumaki-dono should be guarded by both a Hatake and a Shiranui at all times,” Genma clarified. Genma wondered if the Hokage would even notice he was a shadow clone. He would never leave Naruto alone, not even with a shadow clone of Hatake Kakashi. Kakashi hadn’t sent a shadow clone on this mission, as he normally did, because two Uzushio genin could not be trusted to a Konoha commander. Once Naruto was old enough, once the Uzushio survivors had more time to grow and recover, they were leaving for Uzushiogakure. And there would be an Uzumaki as Uzukage again. They would rise in might and strength, and the world would tremble before them. And when Uzushio rose again, there would be no treaties. There would be no allies. For Konoha had taught them that allies, that trusting, that letting outsiders in only led to the destruction of all they loved. No Uzushio ninja ever needed to be taught the same lesson twice. Konoha taught them what it was to be stabbed in the back by someone who was smiling that claimed to be a friend as close as family. “Ah, I see,” Sarutobi said. Genma laughed at him on the inside until his guts almost burst from his body. No, no the Hokage didn’t. Because if he did, he wouldn’t be smiling at Genma with fond indulgence. He would be attempting to separate Genma’s head from his shoulders. Uzushiogakure had proverbs. The two every parent taught their child went like this: “War rages all around you. Its name is Hatake.” And, of course, “Death is your constant companion. Its name is Shiranui.” At seventeen, Genma was the Shiranui Clan Head. He had always lived up to his name. With Kakashi at his side … well, all of the Uzushio survivors and descendents knew what awaited Konoha. “When War and Death unite, desolation follows.”