Mission statement at the bottom.


Illimitable: (Adj.) Impossible to limit or circumscribe; limitless

"Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be his world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow."

- Frankenstein; or, A Modern Prometheus.

How does one utilize a limited vocabulary to describe such an incomprehensibly perfect creation? Magnum Opus - which in and of itself meant The greatest single work of an artist, writer, or composer - was far too small in scope for what Kenichi of Amegakure was feverishly working to accomplish. The entirety of the war, Ame's greatest shinobi technique developer had worked almost non-stop on what words simply failed to describe the enormous complexity of. Kenichi would be the man who wrote history, who rewrote the very understanding of life itself. Kenichi Nil - for he himself knew not who spawned him - would create life, not from the natural womb of the earth below, but from the mind and hand of Man. For decades, he slaved over his goal, and many called him stupid and foolish, only putting up with him because his research bore more fruits than simply the theoretical, many of the creations spawned from his pursuits had been defining reasons his village was lasting so long against the bastard soldiers from the Leaf.

Of course, the War had its purposes too - the dead from both sides provided perfect materials with which he could grow his Magnum Opus. Noble clans and bloodlines were difficult to come by, but his techniques made it so that all he needed was but a sample, and he could make far more. The entire war he came closer and closer to achieving success and perfection, but the simple fact of the matter was that he never put all of his eggs in one basket. Many dozens of 'children' - if one were to call the bastards of Man and not the babes of the earth 'children' - came out either imperfect or with defects that came from a then urefined process. He had started things out rather crudely - he'd simply stolen random assorted body parts from random assorted corpses, stitched them together, and then revived the body through the use of many self-developed kinjutsu, and while he had eventually been successful in breathing life in to the corpse, the act had taught him the single most important fact about the creation of life - be it by stitching together body parts or growing baby bodies in a synthetic womb, simply forcing a body to live deprived it of something that made it alive: A soul.

That very fact had been what had taken him so damned long to refine the process. He had learned to create bodies with multiple genetic 'parents' just before the second Great War had begun nearly a decade ago, and his Magnum Opus' body had been crafted and finished mere months ago in the twilight days of said war. The difficult part was that souls couldn't be grown by man - the only way a soul could be 'crafted' was naturally, and he neither had the time nor the resources to make a soul naturally. He didn't have the desire, either, but that was a different topic. The only way he could breathe true life in to his Magnum Opus was to coax a soul out from the Pure World and seal it within the infant child's body. The problem was, someone couldn't simply steal the soul, he'd learned early on that that would damage it and leave the person a sickly, frail being. But one couldn't wait for a soul to chance upon his pathway either - it took too long and the result weren't nearly what he desired. No, he had to coax a soul out from the pure world and gently guide it in to its new body, in an impossibly intricate process that would result in the damaging or destruction of the unspeakably fragile thing should the performer even make the tiniest mistake.

So, when Nil realized his base was under assault by Konoha ANBU, he panicked and began the process somewhat early, not bothering to attempt for a young soul specifically, instead taking the first one that looked strong in will. Sweat beaded down from his forehead as he slowly, perfectly, but frantically guided the pale blue glowing orb of fire and chakra to its host, his Magnum Opus. If it worked, he could feasibly claim godhood, if it didn't work, he would have to run and start from scratch. Needless to say, failure was not at all acceptable - not now, when he was so close.

"Come on... There you go." He cooed the fist-sized figment of a former man. "Right there... Life is waiting you again." He smiled warmly, even as in the distance he could hear the explosions and feel the shaking of the Anbu attacking his failures, or, specifically, the failures he'd decided to keep, as opposed to the failures he'd abandoned. The soul seemed unsure, it inched forward only to pause and falter, and wait. The sounds of battle grew ever closer, and the soul inched forward ever more slowly, until finally it did as it was begged and pleaded to: It entered the body of the baby boy, fresh from the synthetic womb.

There was the briefest pulse of pure blue-white light, and then there was silence. The man hardly dared to breathe, before his door was smashed open by an earth-style user. He panicked - stumbling backwards and trying to shout eight different words of cease and desist at once because they had the wrong idea, but they cared not - their orders were for him to die. He knew exactly why, of course, 'Kenichi the Grave Robber' and all that, somehow Suna had seen him pilfering their dead for blood and tissue samples, and word spread like wildfire. Soon all villages had reason to believe he'd stolen from their dead, with Konoha being the more vengeful of the bunch, they had far more noble and legendary clans, and he and his agents were more often seen on their post-slaughter grounds than any others. It was not at all his fault that the largest clans from the Warring Clans period had flocked for the Leaf and their trees.

Without any fanfare, three kunai were sent flying through the still air and they all three impacted with his chest with a wet tearing sound. He fell to the ground, helplessly bleeding out.

They confirmed the kill soon after the body stopped twitching, and the light left his eyes. ANBU Panther stood at full height after he and his squad-mates assured they were all safe. They were a moment from making their exit before a child's loud, shrieking wails pierced the very air around them, doing what very few could claim to have done and startling the assassins present. The man in the panther's mask stared at the shrieking infant, and then at his squadmate, who wiped a fleck of blood off of his wolf's mask.

In the dark room, all was silent, save for the baby's cries. Finally, Wolf broke the silence, "I wasn't aware he even had a child." He murmured, with a quick glance around the room to make sure the madman's other protectors weren't lying in wait. They had cleared the cavernous building before they killed the Ame researcher, but one could never be too careful.

Panther shook his head, "he doesn't. He was rendered infertile in the last war." Had he been off duty, he may have snickered at the thought, but now wasn't the time. "What was he doing here?" He slowly crept forward to the child, noting the small seal on the infant's left breast, it held the kanji for 'soul'.

Their third member melted out of the darkness, Rat held in her hand a sheaf of papers, her attentive eyes were scanning over them at dizzying speeds. "I..." She stuttered, "this..." Despite her great skill, some injuries never healed, with a loud huff, she rolled up and tossed the papers to Panther, who caught them without looking.

Panther unrolled the papers and stared at them intently.

His next words would, unknowingly, be the ink for the pen that would write history itself. "We need to bring this to the Hokage." A pause, "someone shut that child up."

In one word, Hiruzen Sarutobi's life was hectic. His daily schedule included reading battle reports, coming to terms with casualty lists, issuing orders, leading his village, suing for peace, ending the war, and exercising his slowly aging body to make certain he would be more than prepared should the worst happen and Iwa or Ame or any of their enemies attack them at their home. Such an idea was beyond preposterous, of course, the war was in its twilight - it was nearly over! But he still had to be prepared for anything, even during peace he took one day out of the month to sharpen his skills and work on something new, he wasn't called the 'God of Shinobi' for nothing, after all.

In all his years in leading his village, he could claim he'd seen a great deal of horrifying, stupid, and befuddling things - sometimes separately, sometimes all at once. He'd also heard the most confounding things ever, his personal favorite being a rather talentless failed genin swearing he could create a jutsu that transcended time itself, needless to say, after the explosion he had never been heard of again. But in all his years, he'd never seen something so horrifying, so arrogant, so terrible, as what his Anbu Assassination team had brought him.

Their mission had been simple - kill the man who was suspected of stealing bloodlines from their dead, burn his body, destroy his lab. They knew what he wanted their bloodlines for, after all, Konoha was the envy of many nations due to their rich bloodline presense - ignoring the obvious, the Sharingan and the Byakugan, there was Hashirama's Mokuton bloodline, the Kurama's genjutsu, withered though it may be, and so many countless more. What kind of mad scientist shinobi wouldn't want their bloodlines?

But Hiruzen had expected he was simply replicating the blood and distributing its power amongst Ame's forces; or trying to, at least, no Sharingan had been seen outside of their half of the field of battle. No, instead, the mad man Kenichi the Grave Robber had taken his hubris to the farthest possible level, he tried to steal a gift only afforded to Kami and he tried to create life from nothing. Worse, the monster succeeded in creating another, a bastard child of man, harboring a stolen soul and an innocent, albeit tainted heart. The baby - who, by all accounts and the man's own written reports, had the blood of several clans, the most noteworthy being that of the Uzumaki and the Uchiha - was asleep in the arms of ANBU Wolf, blissfully unaware of what it was and what was going on around it.

Hiruzen looked up from the notes stolen from the now thoroughly destroyed lab, to the child, back to the notes, and then back to the child. He could hardly comprehend what on Kami's earth this even was, let alone what he should do with it. Did he give it to Uzushiogakure? To the Uchiha? To any of the other clans it was bastardizing by sheer convenience of existing? Did he put it up for adoption and watch it? Did he kill it and put it out of its tainted misery?

No, he couldn't do such things, he decided, as he watched the baby stir silently, contentedly. Bastard it may be, it was a child, brought in to this world by the dealings of a madman, that didn't mean it deserved to die. But if not death, what could it do? How could he possibly turn this around, repair such a broken existence? Did he even want to?

He sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. Broken... It stuck to his mind, reminding him of his not-so-little student. She had just lost all the family she had, little Nawaki, kind Dan, she was grieving terribly, another problem he didn't know how to fix. He sighed again, so many problems, so similar, so different. He wished he could help her, but she needed an anchor, and he couldn't be it. He wished he could help the child, but it needed a fair - if second, or perhaps stolen - chance at life, and he couldn't do that, either, he had neither the time nor the resources.

Hiruzen blinked, his dark eyes sharpening as the pieces to the puzzle slowly started clicking together. It couldn't be that simple, could it? Was she still even in the village? She had sobbingly said she would leave after the funeral, but that had been a week ago.

He sighed, he may as well try, it would kill two birds with one stone, possibly fix two lives with one solution. "Is Tsunade Senju still in the village?" He asked his ANBU.

"Yes, Lord Hokage." Said one from the shadows.

"Summon her." The best case scenario would be that this would be very bad in the beginning, but become very good after a while. Or, worst case, it would be absolutely terrible in the beginning, she would hate him for trying, leave, and never come back. He had seen her eying the sake last he'd seen her.

He sighed and shook his head as Wolf placed the baby in a basket. He prayed for the best case.


Best case... Best case... He repeated it silently like a mantra, as if - through will alone - he could affect her decision. "I apologize if I was not clear enough -"

Tsunade, though livid, showed a great deal of restraint by resisting the urge to scream such profane language that it would give the monks at the fire temple a heart attack. Instead, she unintentionally oozed a pure wave of killing intent, "I know what you said, Sensei." She interrupted him, "but I don't understand WHY!" She roared, "why in Kami's name should I take care of some brat?!" The unspoken 'I couldn't keep my own alive' was clear to Hiruzen, even if she herself didn't let the sorrow slip in to her eyes.

"You know well and good just what it is, Tsunade." Hiruzen said calmly, as he did when she was still just a genin, and not a legendary ninja with strength enough to break apart the Hokage Mountain. "It was made as a weapon, a bastard child of man born from a fake womb. I truly know not what to do with it but raise it and see what it is, truly; but to do that I cannot trust it any lowly foster mother." He said, knowing full and well that she saw through his lies, but also knowing that she knew he respected and loved her too much to tell her the truth. He was asking her to take this child as a call for help, an olive branch, a desperate plea for her to try and make herself better. Perhaps in raising one life, she could atone for the loss of two.

"But me?!" She demanded, looking like she wanted to throw either of the two other Sannin under the carriage, but also well aware of who said Sannin were, and how stupid such a solution would be. Jiraiya would turn the child in to some kind of lecherous pervert, and Orochimaru would do... Whatever it was Orochimaru did usually, but to him, making it twice as creepy. "Why not keep him for yourself, or send him to a different village?"

Hiruzen shook his head solemnly, "I considered that." He said, "but that would require entire forests worth of letters sent back and forth between allied villages in order to coordinate the exchange perfectly. Someone would intercept it eventually, they would learn, and we could start a third world war before the second even finished. It would become a martyr without even having died, everyone would be fighting for control of the undead monster-child, simply because of what it is and what it could become." He explained. "With its Uchiha blood alone, it has access to one of the most powerful dojutsu in the world, and chakra reserves and fighting instincts to boot. The Uzumaki blood will give it vitality, chakra, strength and stamina, it is a weapon that is already sharp enough and it's not even housebroken." Though thankfully the child hadn't eaten in its entire life, so it had nothing to vacate from its bowels, Hiruzen's office was spared the smell. "I cannot trust it to anyone but you, Tsunade."

Tsunade deflated, the stress and sorrow of losing her loved ones weighed upon her visibly, now. Weakly, she asked, "are you certain there isn't anyone else?" She looked to the sleeping child, who had changed from peaceful to somewhat fitful, it was having a dream it seemed. Hiruzen couldn't help but wonder if the soul was feeding it dreams of an old life, or from the Pure World itself. "I... Don't think I'm up to it." She said meekly.

Hiruzen smiled solemnly, much as he wished it weren't true, he'd convinced her. "Tsunade, you are a Sannin. More than that, you are Hashirama Senju's granddaughter. If anyone can raise a child, teach it right from wrong, it would be you." He paused, and gave a solemn look for effect, "if you truly wish it, I will look for a suitable replacement if you do not think you can do it. But at least try it... For your old sensei?" He cracked a grin.

She tried to suppress her own grin and failed, with a deep, exhausted sigh, she relented. "Fine... I'll try... But I hope you know what you're doing, Sensei..." She walked over to the child, peering cautiously in to its basket. It began to rouse as the dim light of twilight was blocked from its eyes, "because I sure as hell don't." She reached in and gingerly, delicately, picked up the child, idly noting the 'Soul' seal on its left pectoral.

The madman certainly was trying to make a weapon, she thought, giving the Hokage a brief bow before leaving the room with the bundle of joy in her arms. She could see it in its eyes, a sort of awareness in one's surroundings that simply shouldn't exist in one so young. She decided, however, that intentions or no, it would at least get its own decision for what its new lot in life would be. She knew better than to suspect Hiruzen of wanting the weapon for himself, but she still feared he would corrupt the monster - child? - and turn it to his own devices. ANBU floated through her mind as they no-doubt began following her home to her silent compound.

She couldn't help but grin, she knew Jiraiya's reaction would be one for the history books.

As she walked home, she wondered what she should name it, as it had no name for itself.

Okay... Silently gulped the white-haired toad sage. Don't bring up Dan and Nawaki. Don't bring up Dan and Nawaki. Don't bring up Nan and Dawaki - Damn it! He knocked on the blonde slug medic's door, before he let himself inside. Tsunade had, simply, not been the same since the death of her young brother and her beloved, he was afraid she would do something rash if left alone for too long, and though he knew she was too strong for self harm, she hadn't been seen outside of the Senju compound for a month, not since their funerals. He would be a bad teammate if he didn't at least check on her.

"Hime!" He called out, in the jovial, obnoxious tone he had long ago adopted, such a tone completely belied the serious reasoning behind his impromptu visit. He just wished he could have brought in Orochimaru, but he was the one of three Sannin that was on deployment, Jiraiya and Tsunade were home on leave, though that would certainly be ending soon for one of them.

He didn't get what he'd expected - instead of silence, he was greeted by the loud cries of an infant child. A 'what the hell' look stretched across his face, not even wiped away by what came next. "Damn it, Jiraiya!" The dulcent tones of his favorite medic roared out in a tone of irritation reserved specifically for him. "I just got him to shut up and sleep!" Her voice was muffled by the walls, but they themselves shook from its raw force, he shuddered to think how loud she would have been if he'd been in the same room.

The toad sage blinked heavily. Since when did she have a kid? Since when were kids gestated and spawned in one month? And, most importantly, who was the lucky bastard?

Bewildered, he strode through the house, up the stairs, and to the sound of a baby's cries. It quieted down somewhat as he got closer, but when he opened the door the baby was still crying and Tsunade was still cooing it to sleep in her own odd, gently violent kind of way.

"Hush little gaki don't you cry... Momma's going to stick a knife in Jiraiya's eye." The slug ninja cooed, rocking the child to sleep.

"Uh -"

"If you so much as twitch too loudly and keep this kid awake any longer than he needs to, I swear Jiraiya, I will put you through a wall." The mother threatened as the child calmed down. "There there..." She sounded wholly uncomfortable with what she was doing, like she had no idea at all, yet she also conversely sounded like she was completely within her element. Jiraiya couldn't explain just what he thought of this, he was equal parts jealous, confused, purplexed, and simply befuddled.

The child quieted down, and after she made sure it was sound asleep, she turned to face the offending toad sage. Said sage had to immediately clamp down on his lips - her entire front half was covered in vomit. She saw what he was suppressing and the glare in her brown eyes could have set him on fire, they were so intense.

"Out!" She mouthed, forcing the white-haired man outside and down the stairs, gently closing the door behind her.

When they were safely downstairs and in her kitchen, Jiraiya let loose the tidal wave. "What the hell was that, when did you get a kid, whose is it, is that vomit, when did you get a kid?!" He asked in rapid-fire.

"Sit down and shut up." Tsunade ordered, kicking a chair out for the toad sage. "In order, that was you waking up Hibiki, I got him a month ago, that's a long story, yes shut up about it, and a month ago, learn to listen." She glared at him.

Jiraiya gawked, "what?!"

Tsunade shook her head drowsily, "listen." She cleared her throat, "that 'spy network' you're working on say anything about Kenichi the Grave Robber?" She asked, the toad sage nodded slowly. "He wasn't stealing kekkei genkai. He was stealing body parts, genes, blood, anything he could use to make a child."

The man blinked, "make a child!? You mean -" He almost shouted, but he caught himself. "You mean that thing is... What, an impure resurrection?"

"No." Tsunade said, but she thought a moment. "I don't think so. I don't know, Hiruzen doesn't think so, but the point is the kid's a walking nightmare." She said, "any other village catches wind of it..." She caught herself, and with a pursed lip she inclined her head, as if forcing a correction through. "Him." It sounded as if she didn't quite agree with the term, but she pushed on. "It could start a war... So..." She sighed, "Dan... And... I... Had... A... Kid." She said slowly, forcing the contrived story out as she'd made it. Simple, but effective. Her voice audibly shook at the mention of her dead lover, but Jiraiya noticed immediately how only one tear fell down her cheek, as opposed to the waterworks that would have sprung a leak had she even mentioned the man a month ago.

"You took it." Jiraiya said, "you." He pointed at her.

Had she had a tea cup, it would have gotten a pretty large crack in it. "Yes. Why?"

Jiraiya blinked, "are you even... Ready for such a thing? That's not your grandpa's gift dog, Hime, that's a human being..." He said, "... Kind of..." He was having trouble simply wrapping his mind about what this woman was doing, the kid's bastard status hadn't even really registered yet.

Tsunade's eye twitched at the mention of Butters the Dog. "That... Was an accident, and you know it." Also was it a story she wholly regretted sharing with him and the snake-nin. "But what's your damn point? I'm the greatest medic kunoichi in the world." She said without an ounce of humility, or arrogance, "what is there to it that Shizune and I can't do?"

Jiraiya blinked again, "Shizune? Dan's... Sister? Niece?" Another anchor for her? Maybe this wasn't that much of a bad idea after all, but still - a kid! An undead demon baby, sure, but still - a KID! Even he wasn't that stupid, and he'd accidentally spied on Mito Uzumaki at the hot springs.

"Yes." Tsunade growled, so what if she took Dan's niece under her wing? She needed someone to look up to, Tsunade needed a companion - and someone to hold the damn diapers if the situation called for it. She had made a mental note a week ago to invest in the Shadow Clone jutsu her uncle had crafted. An extra set of hands - or twenty - may be worth its weight in gold, and definitely worth the chakra cost.

Jiraiya didn't comment further, he shook his head, "my point is it's not a dog, it's a living, breathing, human being." Whether or not it was actually human aside. If it came down to it, Jiraiya honestly thought that Tsunade did have what it took to take on a kid, but she wasn't exactly emotionally stable, right now. "Are you sure you can handle something like this?"

Tsunade sighed, feeling frustration build up within her. "Yes." She said firmly. "but -" She caught his attention, "this is temporary. I'm still planning full and well to leave this damn village... But sensei needs someone to watch him until he can find someone better." Her voice faltered somewhat as she finished, telling Jiraiya all he needed to know: Despite what she said, she knew full and well that Hiruzen had pulled a fast one on her and she was stuck with the kid until it became an adult.

Jiraiya sighed, "alright." He relented, "alright. But you've got to do something for me."

Tsunade's eye twitched, "what?"

"You've got to bring Orochimaru in on this."

Tsunade blinked, but relented after some argument. Even if she thought she could do this on her own, she may need help from time to time, someone to watch the brat so she could go off and get a breath of fresh air. Though, she didn't admit that, not even close, bullheaded as she was, she had to argue it, and Jiraiya appreciated the effort - it meant she was, indeed, healing; slowly, perhaps, but healing nonetheless. Maybe, just maybe, if she figured out this kid thing and got a hold of it, it might help her heal all the faster.

And, he had to admit, 'Uncle Jiraiya' had a certain ring to it. Especially since he could be that kind of Uncle, the kind that lived to make the little gaki worship the ground he walked upon and could make him annoy the hell out of his adopted mother.

Jiraiya grinned, and soon they got to talking of other things, with Tsunade soon forcing him to put his money where his mouth was when the kid woke up again and started wailing.

Two months out from her official/unofficial adoption of little Hibiki Senju, she had fallen in to something of a routine. She woke up, she checked on the gaki. She did her exercises, she checked on the gaki. She brushed up on her techniques, she checked on the gaki. By that time it would usually be around breakfast, so she'd feed the thing. She had been floored at how much baby formula had cost, and though she wasn't hurting for money - she was a Senju, after all - she did regret letting so much go so she could have a few months of food for the kid stored up for whenever she got redeployed to the frontlines. After his first feeding, she would go about her day, checking in on him out of either habit or a lack of knowledge on what to do, and around the time she was studying up on medical techniques and the human body - noon time - Shizune would show up and the two would chat.

Shizune was the quintessential little sister, even before Dan passed she'd been somewhat perfect for the role. It didn't hurt at all that, in exchange for Tsunade imparting some of her not inconsiderable medical knowledge upon the kunoichi, she'd help out with the kid. Shizune seemed to know the whole 'mom' thing a lot better than Tsunade, so she ended up teaching Tsunade as much as the sannin taught her.

She would admit, however, that she hadn't been able to hold back laughter when the young teen opened up the door - baby in arms - and nearly shrieked when the snake sannin revealed himself. The grin hadn't left her face when the snake summoner stared at the baby, utterly dumbfounded at what he saw. He understood the story quickly enough, though Tsunade had had to deny him the right to see Kenichi the Graverobber's notes, Hokage's orders, she said.

Oddly enough, the snake summoner had bonded with the child quicker than she would have predicted. They weren't as close as the kid and Jiraiya, no, not at all, but the kid seemed to appreciate Orochimaru's quiet contemplative self as opposed to Jiraiya's boisterous, lecherous attitude. Matter of fact, the only one of the group of four that the kid didn't seem to like was Shizune, of all people, every time she cooed at him like a baby or did any 'goo goo gaga' noises, he looked at her like she was a fool, and if she didn't stop, he started crying, apparently having quickly figured out that crying quickly summoned the medic of the household, who would do whatever it was to get him to shut up again. Impossibly bright, that kid was.

More time passed, and eventually it came time for Tsunade to get rotated out with Jiraiya, who had left for the frontlines soon after his visit. The three sannin were never on the battlefield at the same time unless it was an important battle, and though Hiruzen had kept her off of the lines as long as he could, so she could get to know the kid and vice-versa, she had to get deployed sometime. Unfortunately for her, Shizune had too many obligations to watch over the kid 24/7, which left the slug sannin's two teammates. Or, to be more specific, one team mate, because as good with the kid as Jiraiya may be, he was tired and haggard from war and needed time to rest, which meant Orochimaru had to be the first of them to take on the 'Baby Rotation'.

To say the snake summoner hadn't been amused would be an understatement. He stared at her for a full five minutes, in that silence that was characteristic of him. He didn't say no, but in his silence he seemed to simultaneously question her sanity and make fun of her, the kind of 'you seriously think I should be left alone with a baby for a full duty rotation' look that told her she should feel stupid. She told him that that was exactly what she thought, especially given how the kid seemed to appreciate his presence a bit more than Jiraiya's, but the only caveat to the pale ninja watching the baby would be that he would have to defer to Shizune's far more motherly nature if such a need arose. Powerful and intelligent he may be, parent material, Orochimaru of the Sannin was not.

Nothing proved it more than when she got a note from what was very obviously a frantic, terrified Shizune, after a particularly tough week in the field hospital.

He's a madman! She had written, I came to check on little Hibiki and he wasn't in the living room or in his basket in the dining room. I asked sir Orochimaru where he was and he said Soriddo was watching him! HE LEFT THE WELLBEING OF A BABY TO A SNAKE! Her hysteria was clear through her handwriting, and the fact that she'd flagged down a shinobi messenger, one of the ones what would deliver their messages even if it killed them, to get it to the sannin as fast as he could.

Now, Tsunade had patience, she was willing to give her teammate the benefit of the doubt and assume that Shizune had neglected to mention a few details - perhaps he was filling out a report, or cooking himself some food. She'd sent a message to Jiraiya to get the full story, and it was only slightly better - apparently Orochimaru's snakes had never seen a human infant before, so he let one of his favorite snakes, Soriddo, look after it for a while so it could get a feel for what a human baby was like, while Orochimaru did a few tasks he couldn't be disturbed from. The baby was fine and unharmed - according to the snake, he'd actually seemed somewhat happy he had something his size to play with - and though Shizune had told off the man who was ten times as powerful as she could ever hope to be, nothing big came of it.

Though Tsunade had made certain to write Orochimaru her own sternly written letter, vowing to put him through the Hokage's monument if he ever left the wellbeing and safety of a human baby to a summons, no matter how noble or strong the summons' species may be. Given what the kid was, and what Kenichi the Graverobber did, it was more than likely that the kid was some kind of target, or at the very least he was a target due to his 'lineage', and connection to Tsunade. That meant, in its simplest form, ninja far more powerful than a stupid snake would try and take the kid, or - kami forbid - kill him.

Orochimaru understood, the tone of his letter seeming to indicate he was growing fond of the thing - who seemed to watch him work with rapt interest, whenever they were in the same room together and it thought the sannin didn't know it wasn't napping.

Real smart kid. With some training, it'd make a good ninja, one day.

Unfortunately for Tsunade, the war was in its final death throes, and for her last two months on the field, any enemy ninja that could still fight, fought like a cornered dog - ferociously and with no regard for self preservation. She'd nearly had some unholy combination of a panic attack, a seizure, and a heart attack, looking at all the bloody bodies that came in during the last few months. She'd been able to bear it, just barely, that first week, but she had to physically force herself to not vomit as time went on. One time she had passed out wholesale during a surgery that would have given a shinobi back his legs. Her assistants had finished the surgery, not as well as she could, but still finished it, and thankfully they misattributed why she'd fallen out - thinking she was just exhausted, not a medic with a new-found pathological fear of of blood.

She had never scrubbed harder in her life after that specific night had ended. She'd practically removed the entire top layer of her skin. She could not wait to get back home, to her clean home, her somewhat clean gaki, her clean teammates, her clean apprentice, and revel in the lack of blood.

Her rotation ended up running a month overtime, with Orochimaru coming to back her and the rest of Konoha's forces up for the final battles. Then, apparently, the fun had begun back home, because it was Jiraiya's turn for the Baby Rotation, and Orochimaru had admitted full and well that he left a snake in the house just to make sure Jiraiya was actually watching the kid and not sneaking off to a hot-spring to spy on naked women. And it was true, the toad sage hadn't abandoned the kid to go to the hot springs.

The fool had brought the baby with him, with Pa toad keeping it company and keeping it quiet while Jiraiya conducted his 'research'. Though Tsunade had a sneaking suspicion that Pa had swatted the baby on the face to make it cry and reveal Jiraiya, because somehow its cries had escaped the toad elder's Perfect Muffling technique to attract the eyes of the women on the other side of the divider. A few had gone over to investigate, and the rest was history.

Once the war was all well and done, was when the Hokage and the elders fought the last of the war with the only weapon deadlier than the most forbidden of all jutsu: The spoken word. Negotiations were in full, somewhat violent swing when she returned home, to find one of the most bizarre sights greeting her eyes.

Shizune had a frying pan in one hand and a dirty magazine in the other, with Jiraiya cowering on the ground in a 'duck and cover' position, shielding his head from the medic-in-training's deadly weapon.

"You don't read porn in front of a baby!" The teenager shrieked like a banshee, her eyes wide with rage and a vein clearly visible on her forehead. She was continuously beating Jiraiya upon the head, back, and ass with the frying pan, a loud 'dong' noise echoing throughout the home with each smack.

Tsunade decided from then on that she loved Shizune, and if his laughter was anything to go by, so did little Hibiki. After she'd rescued the baby from Jiraiya's home and made certain Katsuyu had a good eye on him, she treated the medic-in-training to an admittedly lavish dinner, that had gotten interrupted an hour in to things, when one of the slug's split halves informed Tsunade that the baby was wailing, and due to its lack of limbs, it couldn't do anything to satiate it.

With a resigned sigh, Tsunade excused had herself and allowed Shizune to keep eating - still the sannin's treat. She deserved it after months of keeping the baby alive in the face of two questionably sane sannin, even with her tight schedule to consider. She got back to her home in record time to go through the motions - the kid didn't want a bottle, so he wasn't hungry. He didn't smell, so he didn't need to be changed. He didn't burp, so he didn't have gas.

As it turned out, Orochimaru's snake was still around, and Soriddo had decided to see how well it could terrify the kid before it reverse-summoned itself. Tsunade's slug summon corroborated the story, though she didn't admit that she'd had a hand in getting the snake in to position and thoroughly regretted the aftermath. She'd wanted a good laugh, instead, she'd been partially deafened.

Damn summons. Tsunade sent Katsuyu away and spent hours trying to get the little gaki to calm down. It was well past midnight when the kid finally calmed down enough to sleep, and Tsunade vowed to give Orochimaru an earful about letting his summons roam free in her - or any of the sannins' - home.

That soon became her routine, and after a month passed the news came back alongside the Hokage - the war was over, the Leaf had won, however barely, he didn't add. She continued raising the kid, staunchly maintaining that it was a temporary thing even as the new year came and went. Before she knew it, the Hokage was visiting her with a bit of news.

Something, way back in the part of her brain that she didn't like to listen to, actually feared what he had to say, but dropped that fear when he said it. This day, January thirteenth, was the one year anniversary of when the ANBU teams had found the child, so by all rights, it was Hibiki's birthday. Simply put, no one celebrated birthdays like ninja, because no one was more happy they'd survived another year than those who knew they could die at any given moment. Tsunade had been hesitant at first, but when Shizune had appeared out of nowhere, practically bubbling with excitement over the prospect that 'her little Hibiki-kun' was already one, the slug sage had relented and the three sannin, the Hokage, and the niece of her deceased lover all had a quiet, if characteristically ninja, celebration for Hibiki Senju's first birthday.

As she watched the baby take a fistfull of cake with its surprisingly dextrous fingers, but fail horribly at guiding it to his mouth and instead smear it all over his face and bib, Tsunade the slug sannin, the greatest medic of her generation, and the broken woman who'd lost nearly everything she'd cared about in the war past, with a deathly fear of blood to replace them, allowed herself a small smile.


Self Inserts are a dime-a-dozen. It seems every time I check the Naruto category, one or two more have sprouted up.

So, obviously, I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

But this isn't a Self-Insert. I'll say that again - this is NOT a SELF INSERT.
Exactly what it is and what it will become must not be spoiled, but revealed by storytelling.

The only thing I'll reveal is that the 'Insert' has never read the manga or watched the anime in his entire life, meaning that any meddling with the timeline will be unintentional. That being said, some things - even in this seven thousand word prologue - have already been hinted at, and you might be able to guess where I'm going and how I'm going there based on the content of this prologue.

I hope you enjoy what I've got for you all,

I present, for your consideration: