Fan Fic: In the Blood

In The Blood is a Next Gen Naruto Fan Fic written by justplainrii. It takes place twenty-seven years after the end of the manga, and is a slowly unfurling mystery that starts when Sasuke finds a young boy who is the spitting image of his deceased older brother, Itachi. Eventually, he brings the kid back to Konoha to train him, despite having a genin team of his own to look after. And that child turns out to be a clone of Itachi.

Pretty soon, more clones start to show up, and all the evidence points to Orochimaru being responsible. Despite the scale of the plot and large number of OCs, the story manages to stay firmly grounded in Konoha.

Complete as of May 2014. At 162 chapters (plus Appendices), it's really long. The author occasionally updates with one-shots set in the universe of the fic, as well.

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Tropes found in In The Blood

  • Abusive Parents: Sasuke, full stop. He calls his children "failures" and "disappointments", is always dictating their lives, and pushes them way too hard emotionally and physically. He also disowns one of his children when she's eight years old and throws her out of the house. He later disowns his firstborn son, and nearly kills his youngest son in a duel.
    • He's also verbally abusive towards Ino, and while he never outright hits her, he does not shy away from physical aggression and intimidation towards her.
    • Ino could be considered an example of Parental Neglect. She refuses to tell anyone about Sasuke's abusiveness, out of fear of being ridiculed or blamed for not stopping him, which just allows the behavior to continue and hurt her family. Unfortunately, this is Truth in Television at work. Many victims of abuse blame themselves and avoid telling others out of shame or guilt. The author herself is a survivor of abuse much like Ino's.
  • Adorkable: Fuzan, comic book nerd. Made even funnier by the fact that he's Zabuza's clone.
  • Alternate Character Reading: All the clones' names are alternate readings of the originals'.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Suigetsu, towards Karin, frequently.
  • Apologises a Lot: Yakata, especially when he gets nervous.
  • Arranged Marriage: The reason why Kiine initially runs away from home. Seems to be shaping up into a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, however, as she gets along with her fiance quite well - though both of them are still opposed to the marriage. In the end, they do get married and have children.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Takeru, Sasuke's second son.
  • Aloof Older Sister: Nadeshiko.
  • Babies Ever After: In addition to the children of the original cast, their childrens' children show up in the later bits of the story. Most of them are welcome additions, but not all.
  • Baby Factory:
    • Mist drafts their female ninja with bloodline limits into a mandatory breeding program to try to replenish their clans.
    • Rather than using artificial means, Orochimaru uses human surrogates in his experiments with clones and modified fetuses. When Karin admits to being the creator of the clones, this is still true: she used her own body to grow them.
  • Badass Adorable: Inou (Sasuke's youngest son) and all of Sasuke's genin team.
  • Benevolent Boss: Naruto, after becoming Hokage of course.
  • Body Horror:
    • Asaoto, who has the same bloodline limit as Kimimaro Kaguya. He can't control his bone growth, however.
    • Sakura gets a glimpse of Karin's pregnant stomach. It's riddled with scars. Most of them are from Asaoto.
  • Bonus Material: The appendices and reader questions count as this.
  • Break the Cutie: Takeru attempts this on Yakata. And when and when his first attempt doesn't work, he leaves the kid in the Forest of Death, alone.
  • Broken Bird: Nadeshiko. Bonus points for the fact that her childhood nickname actually was "little bird".
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Inou, when interrogating Orochimaru, has his own technique backfire on him when he dives too deeply into the consciousness. He’s a shivering wreck as he comes away from it. Ooda, the other side of the interrogation, is even worse off.
  • Camp Gay: Kou's dad. Oh, oh so very camp.
  • Character Development: Besides Sasuke (see Characterization Marches On), Takeru gets some too after meeting Shikake. He becomes more responsible and less of a Jerk Ass. He even lampshades this in chapter 142 by stating he's an adult now and well beyond childish thinking unlike his "friend" Gyosei.
  • Characterization Marches On: Sasuke starts off as an unrepentant control freak, with an emotional chokehold on his family. One epiphany and a few years later, he’s far more gentle and permissive, letting his family run their own affairs.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Hajime and Ninako.
  • Cloning Blues: Though most of the clones aren’t aware that they’re even clones to begin with, the ones that do know have severe identity issues. Except for Kiine, possibly because of the way it was explained to her.
  • Colourful Theme Naming: Shusuke, Masao, and Murasaki, former students of Naruto's, have names that contain the kanji for "Crimson," "Blue," and "Purple," respectively, which suits their nature as a team. Kurenai's daughter Benio shares a similarly red-themed name.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Sakura mentions that Lee proposed to her in an outrageous way in chapter 6. Over 100 chapters later, the proposal is actually seen in a flashback. He wrote it, with Naruto's help, on the faces of the Hokage Cliffs.
  • Daddy DNA Test: Sakura attempts one on-the-sly for Naruto and Yukio.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: None of the clones were raised by their creator, instead left with foster families or as Doorstop Babies. Except for Ooda and, somewhat, Asaoto. The rest were given away to keep suspicion away from Karin and her hometown.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Lampshaded when Karin and Suigetsu talk about what he'd name his son. He refuses to name him Mangetsu. He informs her later that he'd have named the promised clone of his brother this, however.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After her husband's death, Hanabi attempts to drown herself and her newborn son, believing that they'll be reunited in the afterlife.
  • Destructive Romance: Sasuke and Ino.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Replace Nadeshiko declaring her retirement as a ninja to Sasuke with someone coming out to their parents and you have one heartbreaking scene.
  • Doorstop Baby: A fair amount of people. Most, if not all, of them turn out to be clones.
  • Driven to Suicide: Sasuke - after his Heel Realization - believes everyone would be better off without him and attempts this. He's saved by his father and brother.
    • In her backstory, it's revealed that Hanabi attempted this after her husband died. She didn't succeed and has been a Jerk Ass ever since.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Yuki. Much like his predecessor, Haku. Unlike Haku, Yuki isn't as comfortable with it.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Nadeshiko and Ooda.
  • Emotionless Girl: Nadeshiko, according to her brother, Takeru. This isn't true, however.
  • Establishing Character Moment: While an abusive jerk to begin with, Sasuke's true colors come through in chapter 46, when the full nature of his abuse comes out.
  • Evil Is Petty: Takeru. Oh, Takeru.
  • Expy: Several in-universe comic book titles are translations or adaptations of existing Western comics, including Shonen Gumo, Kakuidori, The Magnificent Four, Haru-Kuru, and Choujin-man.
  • Flower Motifs: The sixth arc, Marigold, uses these as chapter titles and plot devices.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Riverman. Once upon a time, he was the minor character Zaku, a sound ninja from the Forest of Death arc.
  • Gentle Giant: Juugo, of course.
  • Giant Mook: An unnamed man (later called Riverman) who seems to be a former Sound ninja. He can summon rivers of water from his hands at will and is dangerously devoted to Orochimaru.
  • Happily Married: Lee and Sakura; Chouji and his wife Chun; Kiine's parents.
    • Though not actually married, Suigetsu and Karin would fit as well.
  • Hates Being Touched: Sasuke, strangely. Orochimaru's treatments to enhance his body while in Sound left him physically and sexually traumatized.
  • Heel Realization: Orochimaru unintentionally helps Sasuke finally realize how abusive he is. After he's saved from an almost successful suicide attempt by his brother, he makes a genuine - and eventually successful - effort to actually be a good father and husband.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Kakashi and Yamato, to the point where Kakashi is called Kotoji's second daddy. They become official partners later in the story, and he lives at Kakashi's place even after he marries Hashiki. They're all fine with sharing.
  • Hidden Depths: Nadeshiko.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Kenji and Sakari, the Haruno siblings.
  • Ill Boy: Asaoto, who is constantly ill from the uncontrollable bone growth attributed to his bloodline.
  • Innocent Prodigy: Yakata.
  • Impersonating the Evil Twin: Ooda impersonates his original, Orochimaru, in order to protect his mother.
  • In the Blood: A major theme of the fic. Also, a Title Drop.
  • Jerk Ass: As you've probably guessed by now, Takeru and Sasuke fit this description to a T. They both get better, though.
    • Hanabi is this as well. What makes her case interesting is that she was once a kind woman whose personality became warped after the death of her husband.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Suigetsu, whose gruff exterior belies the fact that he cares a lot about Karin and the children in his care.
  • Keet: Kotoji
  • Kick the Dog: Sasuke instigates a lot of these moments, often towards his children. Some examples...
    • Throwing Nadeshiko against a wall to the point of leaving bruises on her.
    • Disowning two of his children. One, for being a pacifist, and the other for being in a relationship with a Hyuuga and getting her pregnant.
    • Using lethal force in a duel against his youngest son, Inou.
    • Takeru has his moments too, too, mostly towards Yakata.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Many of the canon characters are married with children. This adds up after a while.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Everybody except Yakata is aware that he's a clone of Itachi. When he finally finds out, he's told in the most devastating way possible.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Ooda.
  • Mama Bear: Don't you dare get between Karin and her kids.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Yuki and Kou, with Kiine.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Hajime, Sasuke's first son, has a name that means first.
    • Nearly every OC has a meaningful name, all of which are explained or translated in the appendices.
  • Mental World: Explored by Yamanaka mind reading techniques.
    • Orochimaru's mind manifests as a traditional theatre. This is an early clue that his identity is an act.
  • Moe Couplet: Nadeshiko and Yakata.
  • Mind Rape: A dangerous side-effect of Yamanaka mind-reading, which blurs the line between an interrogator's memories and their target's. Unfortunately, it happens to Inou, and his target.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: See Heel Realization.
  • My Greatest Failure: For Nadeshiko, it's the accidental death of Shusuke in the Chuunin exams. She's visited his grave, every Saturday, for ten years, and it's implied that she continues the habit into adulthood.
  • My Own Private "I Do": Ninako and Hajime
  • Mysterious Waif / The Ophelia: Murasaki.
  • Never My Fault: Sasuke manages to somehow blame his family for things that are even, clearly, because of him. This is especially apparent in chapter 104. Orochimaru causes him to completely reverse his thought process and realize that most of his misfortune is his own fault.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Orochimaru - of all people - is the one who finally brings Sasuke to his senses about how he's been treating his family and Yakata. And it actually changes Sasuke for the better!
  • Papa Wolf: Much like his counterpart, Karin, Suigetsu does not appreciate it when you mess with his kids.
  • Parental Favoritism: Sasuke to Takeru, his second-born son. Sasuke being a second-born son himself has nothing to do with this at all, of course.
  • Pregnant Badass: Karin, who spends most of the story pregnant. Both in flashbacks and the present-day. She gives birth to ten children in total over the years, all while single-handedly running a clinic and doing her own research.
  • Promotion to Parent: Nobuhiro, Yuki's adopted older brother.
  • Rebellious Princess: Taki Kiine.
  • Secret Relationship: Ninako and Hajime, who have been dating for seven years.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Ooda's first performance in a play very similar to Yume Nikki.
    • The names of the Taki family - Kuni, Mikan, and Tensho - are all references to Ōkami, with Tensho being an alternate kanji reading of Amaterasu. Kiine's daughter Sakuya continues the trend.
    • As revealed in the appendices, Sasuke's children share birthdays with the release dates of the Metal Gear Solid games.
    • A child psychologist at the hospital named Maiya looks and behaves a bit like another Maya from another story.
    • Takeru's best friend Gyosei is based on Akio Ohtori, according to the appendices, with Sakura's daughter Sakari filling in the role of Utena and her girlfriend for Anthy. Other Utena references exist in the form of alternate kanji readings.
    • Two movies are released near the end of the story, titled The Scissor Man and Suzume Kuro. Ooda stars in both of them, making him this universe's Johnny Depp.
  • Shrinking Violet: Ooda, painfully shy with Blinding Bangs.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Acts 4 & 5, as well as Acts 6 & 7.
  • Spin-Offspring: The canon characters' children, though the plot doesn't give all the focus to them.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Nadeshiko.
  • Team Mom: Sakura.
  • Theme Naming: The chapter names for each arc each follow a theme, with a healthy dose of Rule of Symbolism. They are: Birds (Act 1), Light (Act 2), Numbers (Act 3), Anatomy (Act 4), Fabric/Craft (Act 5), Flowers (Act 6), Constellations (Act 7), Musical Terms (Act 8), Stones (Intermission 1), Writing (Act 9), Knitting (Act 10), Chess (Act 11), Parasites (Act 12), Oxymorons (Act 13), Colors and Days of the Week (Intermission 2), Food (Act 14), and a return to Music and Birds for the final act (Act 15).
    • The mid-arc interludes are the nicknames of the POV character in question.
    • The one-shot chapters have continued this trend with chapters named after collective nouns.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Ino; after experiencing mental, emotional and sometimes physical abuse from Sasuke, finally, finally snaps at Sasuke in chapter 103 when he tries to disown Hajime.
  • The Nicknamer: Shingetsu, to everybody. He tends to work familial terms into the names of the clones, whom he's aware of. i.e. Kiine + neesan = Kineesan.
  • The Reveal: Karin is truly behind the creation of the clones.
    • Takeru is actually Shikamaru's child.
  • Those Two Guys: Hatsumoto and Yamada, a pair of chuunin guards.
  • Tough Love: Sasuke believes this is the way to raise his children.
  • Unwanted Spouse: Ino ends up being this towards Sasuke.
  • Verbal Tic: Yakata has a stutter and a habit of repeating words and phrases.
    • The Uzumaki clan appears to have a genetic verbal tic. Naruto frequently adds "y'know" to his sentences; Kiine does the same with "yeah" like her predecessor, Kushina, an early sign that she's really Kushina's clone. Karin even appears to have one, saying "okay" quite frequently. When delivering Kotoji to Yamato in disguise, this tic becomes apparent when she grows upset.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Inou wants very badly to earn his father's respect, and he works for it to the point of physically harming himself. He nearly dies in a duel with Sasuke after the Chuunin exams for this very reason.
    • Even though he's a grown man, Sasuke frequently wonders if his father would approve of him and his family. When they meet in the afterlife, Fugaku makes it very clear how proud he is of Sasuke, even if Sasuke doesn't believe him.
  • What If the Baby Is Like Me?: Ultimately, this is one of Ooda's worst fears, on account of his hatred towards his appearance.
    • Ooda's daughter, Hatsumi, inherits his white skin and golden eyes, but her features as seen as beautiful by most people, rather than a mark of shame.