Freak Academy | Chapter 1 | Different
Why was being different such a big deal? It was the one question nobody was able to answer. It was always the same features the bullies would point their fingers at.
"Oh look at the blue skin!" "He's got gills!" "What's wrong with his eyes?" "What a freak!"
No matter how many times they said it, it always hurt - badly. It was tough being in only fourth grade and already having been shunned by society. His mother kept insisting that he continued trying. Every single time, they would give him that look, as if to say:
"Are you crazy? Of course we won't play with you!" followed by a witty remark about his appearance or his matching jutsu. It was starting to wear him down. His mood was at an all time low - he used to be such a cheerful bloke - and even his grades were affected by this change. It was early in the morning, and Kisame was getting ready for another day at the academy. His mum was prancing around in the kitchen, before her shinobi duties began. She'd made him breakfast, an onigiri, but he had no appetite. The rice ball was only nibbled a bit, before it was time for the young boy to go. As his mother sent him off to the academy, she couldn't help but worry about her son. How couldn't she? When a happy kid turns sad and isolated over time, something is wrong. She had to do something, soon.
The first class was over, and it was recession. The others were playing hide and seek. Kisame decided to once again try his mother's advice, and when it seemed as though everyone had been found, he snuck over and asked them.
"Hey, um... Can I join you?" They exchanged irritated looks but then snickered.
"Sure you can. You'll seek, we'll hide," they said, with angelic looks on their faces. He couldn't believe it - they actually let him join! He nodded happily, hid his face in his hands and leaned against a tree. He stared counting to 100.
"97... 98... 99... 100! I'm coming!" he exclaimed a few minutes later, and began his search. When recession was over, he had found nobody. It was like they had completely vanished. He began to suspect that they'd set him up, and went back to class, with a nagging feeling of defeat. A couple of minutes after class had started, the group he had failed to find noisily entered the class room, all laughing and looking happy. One of the kids, Zabuza, glared at him and smiled mischievously.
It was the last recession before the last class. Kisame had given up trying to play with the others. They hated him, obviously. That's when he noticed a kid he hadn't seen before, sitting on a bench in the school yard. The kid was cutting holes in a paper bag and put it over his head. Kisame decided to give it a shot, and went up to him from behind. He didn't know exactly what to do to start a conversation.
"Um... Hi," he muttered. The boy turned towards him. The holes in the paper bag were in front of his eyes, and Kisame could make out that they were yellow. The boy didn't answer, and just kept staring at him.
"Uh... What's your name?" he stammered.
"If you want to tease me, just get it over with," the boy whispered, with a sad tone. Kisame sat down next to him, and smiled warmly.
"I don't want to tease you. I don't even know you," he assured the boy.
"That usually doesn't stop people," he whispered and inched away from him. Kisame felt he needed to change the subject.
"Why are you wearing a paper bag on your head?" The boy looked down and fidgeted with his fingers.
"Because I'm ugly," he stated bluntly. Kisame couldn't help but laugh, and the boy glared at him.
"You can't possibly be uglier than me!" The boy seemed to chuckle a little and took the bag halfway off. His face was half black and half white, the black half's eye was completely round, and his eyes were indeed yellow. His hair was a moss green colour and around his neck was a small venus fly trap. He sure did look strange, but not ugly.
"No, you aren't ugly," Kisame reassured him, and the boy smiled.
“Are you new here?” he asked.
"Yes, I’m starting tomorrow. My name is Zetsu, by the way. It’s nice to meet you. No it isn’t." Kisame was startled Zetsu’s odd change of opinion, and the plant boy blushed.
"Sorry, I mean we are Zetsu. That’s better."
It was the first day of 7th grade and Kisame was surprisingly well rested. Outside the sun was shining and the birds were chirping. Miss Hoshigaki was no longer worried about her son; his condition had greatly improved during the last year. She was making pancakes, an American recipe, as she always did the first day of school. She called for Kisame to come and eat, but he was way ahead of her. He was already eating his share.
"Well you're up ea-" she began to say, before he ran off again. He did have to hurry, otherwise he'd be late. He wrapped up the last of his pancakes and put his shoes on, just as the doorbell chimed. The confused mother opened the door to find her son's only and best friend, Zetsu. Kisame pushed past her, and the two boys went off.
"See you later mom."
"Have a nice day, Ms. Hoshigaki. Not." Soon the two boys were out of sight.
"Good grief. They grow up so quickly..." They were both in a good mood. The possibility of this being the last year at the academy was one damn comfortable thought. Kisame noticed that the fly trap around his friend's head had grown a bit during the summer.
"How's your summer been, Zetsu?" he asked, genuinely interested.
"It's been fine. It was boring. The weather has been nice. And the rest was lame. Stop being so negative! Make me," Zetsu discussed with himself.
"Anyway... How about you?" he finally asked, after Kisame had patiently listened to Zetsu and Zetsu arguing.
"Well it's been fine. A bit boring, but that was to be expected." The two (three) boys continued discussing more or less random tings on their way to the academy. They could’ve graduated much earlier than 7th grade, but they were going to have fun nonetheless.
It was the pre-jonin selection party. Everybody was attending - they more or less had to. The only problem was that the party sucked. Nothing was happening. The two (three) friends felt very out of place, since they were still mostly shunned by the “normal” shinobi. Some of the chunin had drunk before the party, but it was mostly dead. Suddenly Zetsu's stomach growled and Kisame realised once again that he had never seen the plant boy eat anything but snacks.
"Are you hungry...?" he asked, almost happy that his friend was acting human for once.
"Yes. Very." The multi coloured boy got up from the sofa they were sitting on, and exit the gymnasium. Kisame sat alone for a couple of minutes, before deciding to follow him. Where could he have gone? All the food was in the gym. He headed towards the bathrooms, when an odd smell struck him. He'd always had a good sense of smell, but the thought of what it was unnerved him. It was blood. He followed the scent, which lead him to one of the corridors. Zetsu was sitting next a girl, bent over her. Blood was pouring onto the floor, and Kisame couldn't move an inch. What had happened to her? His heart skipped a beat when he realised that his friend was eating her. The flesh had already been torn from one of her arms, and only the bone was left.
"... Z-Zetsu...?" He mentally kicked himself – the one thing he shouldn't do was catch his attention! Zetsu spun around with blood all over his face.
"Kisame?" He struggled to turn around and run for dear life, but somehow he couldn't. The expression on his apparently cannibalistic friend's face was a mix of fret and sadness.
"Kisame... we're sorry," both sides of Zetsu said, before a shriek echoed through the corridor.
"What the ****?! What've you done?!" Zabuza yelled, before Kisame involuntarily punched him in the face. The pestilence cowered in pain before sprinting away as fast as he could. Kisame turned towards his guilt-ridden friend and tried to smile, but failed.
"Zetsu... Zabuza will tell people, I'll help you get out of here," the blue teenager said, not wanting his best friend's secret to be found out. Zetsu stared at him in disbelief, before smiling a red-toothed grin.
"It's okay. We can take care of ourselves," he assured him.
"Are you sure? I mean, if authorities find out you're screwed!" Zetsu smiled again, somehow managing to not look menacing.
"Yes, we are sure. We have somewhere to go." Kisame couldn't help but smile back.
"I'll keep your secret, I promise." He insecurely walked towards his friend, ignoring the corpse the best he could, and gave the cannibal one last friendly hug.
"Thank you, Kisame. And if you don't we’ll kill you." Zetsu shut his fly trap around his head and disappeared into the ground. Kisame remained, more or less stumped. He had lost his best friend. He was scared and alone again. Suddenly someone grabbed his shoulder, and he jumped 10 feet in the air with a shriek. Thankfully, it was the former exchange student, Kakuzu, a member of his three-man-team. The scarred jonin looked rather confused at the gory scene in the corridor.
“Kisame… what happened here?” he asked, more careful than normal. Kisame realised that he was shaking all over fell to his knees, more or less horrified at what he had experienced. Kakuzu kneeled down next to him, and held his petrified friend tightly. Soon they heard footsteps behind them, and as people’s shocked screamed pierced their ears, Kisame passed out.
Alrighty then! The first chapter of my story Freak Academy.
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