For most of my life, I've been weird. At least, that's what most people would say about me. I've been kicked out of every school that I've ever been to, usually because of accidents that happened on field trips — and they were accidents, so don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Because of that, when we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was sure that something would happen to warrant my expulsion.
Regardless of that, on the way there while my class was on the bus to go to the museum, Nancy Bobofit, a decently popular girl at Yancy Academy, decided that it would be a great idea to tear up her peanut butter and ketchup sandwich into small chunks and throw them at my best friend, Grover Underwood. He was what people would call an 'easy target' due to his crutches and being naturally scrawny.
On any normal day, I'd do something about it — yelling at her, threatening her, or both are all things that could happen — but a certain word kept me from doing much of anything: probation. If anything went wrong on the trip and I received the blame for it, whether I'd done it or not, I would be expelled. It was that simple.
Naturally, Bobofit knew that, probably because of her popularity. She also took advantage of it, as she was wont to do, and was going out of her way to piss me off.
"I'm gonna kill her," I muttered darkly. Grover dodged another piece of the sandwich.
"It's okay, Percy," Grover said in an attempt to console me. "I like peanut butter."
Another chunk of Bobofit's lunch got lodged in Grover's hair. He winced and my eyes narrowed.
"That's it," I started, beginning to stand up, but my friend pulled back down quicker than lightning.
Looking back on it, a small part of me wishes that I had just punched Nancy Bobofit in the face and called it a day. Expulsion was nothing compared to what I was about to experience. But I do know that my heritage would have caught up to me anyway — going back in time and changing it would just be delaying the inevitable.
When we arrived at the museum, everyone walked off the bus. Mr. Brunner, the wheelchair-bound Latin teacher, gave a small speech about what the day would entail while Mrs. Dodds, the pre-algebra teacher, looked on with a nasty expression.
A short while later, my class was walking by the Greco-Romani exhibits and Mr. Brunner was explaining each one and what it was thought to represent as we moved past it, occasionally stopping to give a large description.
While we had stopped at a certain statue with — ahem — a phallic attachment, Bobofit began giggling with her clique. Now, I'll freely admit that Mr. Brunner is a wise person — choosing to ignore them might not have been the best solution, but it worked for him.
I wasn't that wise. In fact, I neglected my probation status, so much so that I physically turned around.
"Will you shut up?!" I said, much louder than I had intended for it to be. Mr. Brunner — as well as all of my class, Mrs. Dodds, and the museum personnel — obviously heard me.
"Do you have something to say, Mr. Jackson?" the Latin teacher asked.
"No, sir," I replied, feeling very foolish for yelling as loud as I had.
Mr. Brunner paused for a moment before turning to the statue. "Tell me, Mr. Jackson," he began, looking at the sculpture. "What does this effigy represent?"
I waited, looking at the statue before my eyes widened. "That's Kronos eating his children, right?"
"Yes," Mr. Brunner accepted, not entirely satisfied, "that is correct. Why did he do this, Mr. Jackson?"
"Kronos was the king of the Titans," I began. "He didn't trust his children, the first gods, because his father Ouranos foretold that, one day, Kronos' own children would rise to overthrow him, just as Kronos had done to Ouranos. This was the reason that Kronos ate his children. If they were in his stomach, Kronos would always know where they were.
"Unfortunately, while this would have worked, the Titaness Rhea, Kronos' wife, hid their last child, Zeus, and had the Titan King eat an infant-sized rock instead. Years later, when Zeus had grown up, he fed his father a nectar and mustard cocktail, leading Kronos to vomit his other five children out of his stomach.
"Zeus, his siblings, and the peace-loving Titans fought against Kronos and his army for about a decade in the Titanomachy. Eventually, just as Ouranos prophecized, Zeus overthrew Kronos' reign and became king, but not before using his own father's scythe to slice the Titan Lord into a thousand pieces. The Titan's remains were cast into Tartarus, where they were to remain until the end of time."
While Mr. Brunner gave me a large smile, Bobofit began to mumbling to a friend of hers.
"Like we're gonna need this in real life. Yeah, it's going to say on our job applications, 'please explain why Kronos ate his kids.'"
"And why, Mr. Jackson," Mr. Brunner began, "to paraphrase Miss Bobofit's excellent statement, how does this question matter in reality?"
"Shut up!" Bobofit yelled at my friend, her face as red as her hair.
I paused, racking my memory for anything Mr. Brunner might have said in class that involved real-life comparisons while trying to figure out how I had memorized my long answer. "I don't know, sir."
Mr. Brunner still had a smile on his face, but it seemed more forced now. "Very well, Mr. Jackson. Half-credit for your answers."
"You had your Sharingan activated when you read that portion of your textbook," a calm voice said, interrupting my thoughts. "Those eyes give photographic memory, among other qualities."
It took every ounce of my willpower to not jump and yell, but it was a very close thing. The voice didn't respond when I questioned it quietly through my voice. By the time it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to think my answer, the voice was gone.
Mr. Brunner dismissed us for lunch not long after that. Grover and I ate together at the large water fountain, isolated from the other students.
"I'm really impressed, Percy," Grover remarked as he chewed on his swiss cheese sandwich. "It was pretty awesome how you gave such good answers to Mr. Brunner's questions."
"I wish I knew how I did that," I said, confused.
"I already told you, foolish boy," the voice in my head said, returning. I almost jumped again. "Don't make me repeat myself."
"Who are you?" I asked in my head, assuming that it could hear me. "Why are you in my head? Why am I the only one that can hear you?"
Suddenly, a black and white hue took over my reality while the sky turned red. Everything was frozen, from the crumb of bread that was in the process of falling out of Grover's mouth to the spit flying out of Bobofit's.
A man with his hair pulled into a ponytail appeared in front of me, the same shades coloring him like everything else. His most notable feature, to me at least, was the permanent tear tracks engraved into his face. A cloak with clouds dotting its surface wrapped around his body.
"I only have a few moments to speak to you as of now, young Uchiha," the man began. "I'll have to make this as quick as possible.
"My name is Itachi Uchiha. You are one of the last living descendants of my once-powerful clan. For the past fifteen-thousand years, our family has been all but extinct, with only a single family surviving in the gene pool until now.
"The eyes I spoke of earlier — the Sharingan — are very special eyes that only awaken in our clan. You are the only member to unlock these eyes since the near-extinction of our family.
"For thousands of years, I have waited in the pure world, not reincarnating, leaving all of my friends and family behind as they chose to try again at life. I had almost lost hope of our bloodline activating ever again, but my patience has finally been rewarded.
"As I've said, your eyes are special, and one of the many abilities they grant is a photographic memory when they are active. I will explain more of its abilities later when I have more time, but for now, you will just have to wait."
With those last words, Itachi faded out of existence and time resumed. The blue escaped with him, and color returned to the world.
"What the hell was that?" I screamed in my head. I looked at Grover, who was silently picking crumbs up and off his shirt. I was about to ask him if he had seen Itachi as well, before —
"Can I have your apple?" he asked. I wasn't feeling hungry anymore, so I gave it to him.
We sat in a comfortable silence for a few more minutes as I thought about what my apparent ancestor had said before Bobofit came over to us. Before I could ask what she wanted, she dumped her entire lunch into Grover's lap.
"Oops," she said mockingly, grinning sadistically at me.
I tried to remain calm — really, I did. I tried to remember what the school counselor had told me — count to ten, get control over my temper, et cetera — but I was so angry at Bobofit for doing that that my mind went blank and, the next thing I knew, Bobofit was in the water. I don't remember touching her, but I don't remember anything from that point, so I'm not surprised.
"Percy pushed me!" she screamed, and I bowed my head. This was it — I was getting expelled yet again.
Mrs. Dodds practically materialized next to me, a sickly grin on her face. Some of the kids around us began to whisper.
"Did you see? —"
"— the water —"
"— like it grabbed her!"
"Now, honey," Mrs. Dodds began.
"I know," I interrupted foolishly. "Erasing textbooks for a month."
Clearly, that wasn't the right thing to say, as evidenced by when she shook her head in the negative, her cruel grin growing.
"Wait!" Grover shouted, grabbing Mrs. Dodds' attention. "It was me. I pushed her."
I stared at my best friend, stunned into silence. As far as I knew, Mrs. Dodds — no, just Dodds. She had lost all of my respect — scared Grover to death. I couldn't believe he was trying to cover for me with her of all people.
But it was no use. Dodds glared at him and his wispy chin trembled.
"I don't think so, Mr. Underwood," she chided.
"But —" he began to protest.
"You-will-stay-here!" she almost growled, the words coming out in one jumbled mess like she was trying to hold onto her humanity. Oh, how right I was.
Grover looked at me desperately, but I smiled at him.
"It's okay, Grover," I said. "Thanks for trying."
"Honey," Dodds said, but the word sounded like the opposite — venomous, poisonous. "Now."
Bobofit smirked at me. I glared at her. For reasons I still don't exactly understand, she began sweating like a pig before vomiting all over the ground — she had hopped out of the fountain almost immediately after Dodds had come over.
I looked back at Grover, who was trying desperately to get Mr. Brunner's attention, but he was wrapped up in the novel he was reading. I looked back toward my demented math teacher and, somehow, she was already atop the staircase that led into the museum. I couldn't help but feel like I was missing pieces of a puzzle.
"Okay," I thought in relief as she stopped by the gift shop. "She's just going to make me buy a new shirt for Bobofit."
But that wasn't the case. As soon as I arrived near her, she walked away, deep, deeper, and deeper still into the museum. When I finally caught up to her, the two of us were standing across from each other in front of the Kronos statue from earlier that day. The effigy's eyes bored into mine as if trying to extract secrets from within my head.
The gallery was completely empty aside from the two of us. A noise echoed against my ears and I strained them to better listen. It sounded like growling. How odd.
"You've been giving us problems, honey," she said, just like how a person would remark about the weather.
"Yes, ma'am," I said, still respectful on the outside. I wanted — no, I needed to not get expelled.
"Did you really think that you would get away with it?" The look in her eyes was beyond angry — no, it was evil. Pure evil.
"She's a teacher. It's not like she's going to hurt me." I gulped nervously. "I'll try harder, ma'am."
Suddenly, thunder shook the building despite the sky outside being clear.
"We are not fools, Perseus Jackson," Dodds began, and I narrowed my eyes. Why was she using my full name? "It was only a matter of time before we found out. Confess to the crime and you will endure less pain."
"What the hell is she talking about? Did they find out about my illegal stash of snacks in my dorm? Oh, no, did they find out that I'd gotten my essay on Tom Sawyer without reading the book? Will they take away my grade? Or worse — make me read the book!"
"Well?" she demanded impatiently.
"M-ma'am, I don't —"
"Your time is up," she said, but it wasn't the voice I knew from Dodds. No, it was almost demonic in nature.
Abruptly, Dodds began to change before my eyes. Her eyes began to glow like hot coals, her fingers stretched into talons, and her old lady jacket turned into large leathery wings.
Something clicked at that point — this old hag-looking monster that I knew to be my pre-algebra teacher was going to use her crusty talons, bat wings, and yellowed teeth to try to rip me to shreds.
Things began to get even stranger — my vision turned black and white as it had earlier with Itachi, and the silhouette of Mr. Brunner — who had been outside up until a moment ago — slowly rolled on his wheelchair, showing that time had not stopped.
"What ho, Percy!" he shouted, tossing a pen through the air.
"Die, Honey!" Dodds screeched as she lunged toward me. But everything was moving in slow motion, including their voices. I dodged the creature that was once my math teacher and grabbed the pen, but when I looked at it in my hands, it wasn't a pen anymore — no, it was the bronze sword that Mr. Brunner used on tournament days.
Dodds turned toward me again and hissed. "DIE!" she wailed as she lunged at me once again, but my vision showed me the path that she would take. I rolled under her strike and swung my blade, slicing clean through the math teacher monster's midsection.
She screamed in pain and exploded into a wave of yellow dust. A wave of air flew past me and when I turned to thank Mr. Brunner, he was gone.
"What the hell is happening to me today?" I asked myself, walking outside.
Bobofit turned toward me and gave me a dark look. It wasn't very intimidating when she had and amount of vomit on her shirt.
"I hope Mrs. Kerr whooped your butt!" she shouted viciously.
"Who?" Who was Mrs. Kerr?
"Our teacher, duh!" Bobofit scoffed and walked away.
I walked over to Grover, who was still sitting by the fountain.
"Where's Mrs. Dodds?" I asked him. He winced.
"W-who's Mrs. Dodds?" Grover stuttered, not meeting my eyes. I was about to begin badgering him to tell me, as he obviously was lying to me, but I remembered that I had Brunner's pen in my hand. When had it reverted from the sword?
I walked over to the wheelchair-bound man and he looked down from his novel, as though he'd never put it down in the first place.
"Ah, that would be my pen," he said, looking into my eyes. "Next time, please try to bring your own writing utensil, Mr. Jackson."
"Sir," I said, staring defiantly into his eyes. "Where is Mrs. Dodds?"
But Mr. Brunner gave me a blank look. "Who?"
I sighed. "The other chaperone, Mrs. Dodds. The pre-algebra teacher."
Mr. Brunner frowned at me and sat forward, looking mildly concerned.
"Percy, there is no Mrs. Dodds on this trip. As far as I know, there has never been any Mrs. Dodds at Yancy Academy." He frowned further. "Are you feeling alright?"
I heard a small chuckle in my head, and Itachi spoke for the first time since he had materialized in front of me.
"He's a good liar, I'll give him that much." I had the impression that Itachi was shaking his head. "But he cannot fool me. What you have seen is most definitely real and, as such, you will need to learn to defend yourself. You won't always have someone on hand to give you a weapon — quite the opposite, really."
I grimaced as I began to walk away from Mr. Brunner without giving him an answer. "Then teach me, Itachi. I want to learn.
"Very well," Itachi acquiesced. "Every night, as you sleep, I will teach you how to defend yourself against foes with your chakra, your wits, and your strength."
"Chakra?" I said curiously.
"Indeed. By the time I am done with you, descendant mine, no one will be able to fight you and win."
Does this look like CJShikage's first chapter? Yes, yes it does. But there are only so many ways to introduce a character, especially in the style of the first chapters of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
If the aforementioned author desired of me to take my story down, then I will. The only reason there is for myself writing this if because I feel like CJ's story has become too convoluted. I will try to remain true to the Percy Jackson canon storyline before branching out in everyone's favorite book in the original series: the Titan's Curse.
All you, the reader, must do is bear with me until then.
Oh, and I should probably put a disclaimer in here.
Naruto is a property of Masashi Kishimoto and Percy Jackson is owned by Rick Riordan. I do not own either series in any way, nor do I attempt to make claims of the said ownership. This is all in good fun, after all, and to hone my writing skills.
I will see you in the next chapter.