Author: IzumiTheMoogle PM
Sasuke Uchiha acquiring the Curse Mark was something horrible; Orochimaru's plans for him were almost clearly in view. But... what if someone else in Squad Seven was cursed? And what if this curse was different than the last one? -CHAPTER 26 UP AT LAST!-Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Friendship - Kakashi H. & Gai M. - Chapters: 26 - Words: 65,296 - Reviews: 212 - Favs: 75 - Follows: 72 - Updated: 12-19-10 - Published: 05-15-09 - id: 5064270
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I've drawn a picture of Yuuka (of the Musashi Order) and put it up on my deviantart page! Just in case you're curious, here's a link!
h t t p : / / izuhina – chan . deviantart . com / # / d35fjay
(Remove all the spaces of course, because FF is kinda dumb that way… :/ )
I may or may not put up more art for this story in the future! So stay tuned! Of course, if any of you are willing to do art…. ;) Really, though, in all seriousness, if any of you are ACTUALLY considering fanart for this story, I would be eternally grateful! But don't feel like you're obligated to do so!
Enjoy this chapter, dear readers! :D
Reader Reviews for Chapter 25/Recent Reviews
Crazy4Zoro: (Lovin' the username!) That's awesome! I'm really glad my fic helped you out with ideas for yours! That always makes me happy! :D Thank you very much!
Clovers-Charm: Wow, thank you SO much! It really means a lot to me to hear that someone really loves what I do here! Ohh, I know! I really hate it when I find a good fic and it's left to die… T.T
Arrowachi: Hahaha, I'm glad! ^^ Yeah, I have a lot of fun writing for confused mentally tortured Kakashi… :D Thanks a bunch! That's really good to hear! I'm always afraid of how I portray Gai and if everything's up to snuff. Glad you think so!
Here Forever: Thank you! I'm glad! I hope you like this installment! :)
Anon15 (ann.): Ehehe… Heh… ^^' Well… It's taken a while, but I have indeed updated!
Black Winter Cat: Oh I know! Wouldn't we all like to do that to the Orochimaru dummy! :/ But thanks! I'm happy you like it! Thank you for your patience!
chirikyubi: Buahaha! :D Yes I did. I tend to like to end on cliffhangers a little too much! Thanks a lot! I hope you like this chapter too!
kakashifan7 (ann.): Aw, thank you so much! I'm glad you like this story enough to follow it! And it's the only one you follow! Wow, what an honor! Thanks! :)
KyuukiTheAnimeFreak: Oh wow, you actually cried? Jeez, I'm sorry! T.T (At the same time, I'm glad my story can elicit that kind of emotion… ) I hope this chapter is to your liking as well!
MemoriesOfNobody: Thank you! I really appreciate my patient readers! And I'm super happy you like this story! I'll try and be better about updating!
Joliette (ann.): Hahaha…. Well, I'm really sorry about the late update… ^^' But I hope you like it all the same! Woohoo! Go Kakashi fangirls! :D
LunaQuetzal: Hahaha! It's like you can read my mind! Actually, yeah, I have to admit, writing for a suffering Kakashi is quite pleasing for me… *sigh* I'm such a sick person… :/ But who knows if he'll ever remember himself? *evil smile*
Prescripto13: Thank you! I'm really glad you like it! :D Hope you like this one too!
Piper Julian: Thank you very much! I'm really happy you thought it was well done! Also, thank you for your compliments to me when guessing my age! I really appreciate it! ^^ I hope you enjoy this chapter as well!
Sora Tayuya: Have I ever told you how much I love your reviews, Sora? XD I know! Writing Jiraiya moments saddens me every time… T.T Haha, maybe you're right. Maybe Orochimaru is arrogant. But maybe he actually knows what he's doing. Maybe Kakashi's gone for good… *evil smile (X2)* Hahaha! You know, you're the only one who's commented about how creepy Kabuto is! Though… After this chapter, I'm sure you and a couple other people will have some choice words for him… O.o Thank you very much, as usual! I really appreciate your thoughts! A chapter isn't complete until it gets a comment from Sora-chan! ^0^
Kakashifangirlnumber1000: Thank you very much! I'm so glad you still enjoy this story! Hope you like this chapter too! :D
Panther raced down the hallway, the rest of her team right behind her. Her eyes darted from wall to wall as she took in her surroundings. Torches lighting up their path every twenty feet or so, dirt floor, rounded ceiling top.
Typical underground stronghold.
However, that fact worried her. She didn't know Orochimaru personally, but from what she had gathered, he enjoyed complicated processes and making his enemies struggle. This place was far too simple-looking; not at all what she'd originally imagined.
"He's gaining!" Came Badger's harsh voice from the back of the group.
"Which one?" Panther asked.
"What should we do, Panther?" Asuma asked uneasily, "We can't just keep running from him! We don't even know our way down here!"
"I know that," Panther snapped, "He has a clear advantage over us."
"So what?" Badger growled, "I say we stop right now and fight! We've got him outnumbered anyway!" The strain in his voice made it perfectly clear that he wanted to take on Kenshin himself.
"I would rather not be so reckless, but it looks like we don't have much of a choice!" The leader said distastefully, skidding to a halt. The team followed shortly after. Panther's eyes narrowed behind her mask as Kenshin's shadow moved around the corner:
"Alright, ANBU… Let's be swift!"
"Shit!" Fox swore sharply under his breath as he cart wheeled to the wall in an effort to dodge the fourth set of Masaru's attacks. He winced, only slightly, as two long gashes appeared on his arm and side. So much for dodging…
The group leader panted hard as he quickly took his squad into account. Phoenix tried his best to ward off incoming attacks with senbon, though they did him little good. Genma did the same, trying to approach it from a more strategic standpoint and dodge as many as he could. Owl stood steadfast, taking attacks as they came his way and trying to get close enough to land a solid hit on Masaru.
Trouble was, that was virtually impossible at the moment.
Fox's eyes suddenly widened behind his mask as he felt a gust of wind and just managed to jump away before the attack was able to cut too deeply into his shoulder.
Masaru laughed hysterically from the other side of the squad, "Ooh, lucky! If you had moved one second slower, I woulda lopped your arm right off!"
"Fox," Genma mumbled in a low voice.
"Fine, Shiranui. I'm fine," The man stood up all the way, fists clenched tightly.
How were they supposed to do this? This shinobi was such an advanced wind user, that it seemed he could attack with just the wind itself. When compressed, it made for an incredibly lethal weapon. Something the Eastbound squad had recently learned too well… Not only that, but he was fast. Faster than anything Fox had ever seen before. It sounded crazy, but… It was like this man was the human embodiment of wind.
Masaru sighed and put his hands behind his head, "Well this is no fun! Come on, you guys! You're supposed to be the best the Leaf Village has to offer! Is this really it?"
"Go to hell," Genma hissed between the senbon in his mouth.
Phoenix chuckled, "Well wouldn't ya know? I was just thinking the same thing."
Masaru's eyebrow twitched in irritation for only a moment before his face settled into a calm demeanor. Far too calm for the situation they were all in. He abruptly sat down on the floor cross-legged. Dust spread around him in clouds.
The squad tensed, "What's wrong?" Phoenix asked with a sardonic voice, "Tired?"
"… Waiting?" Fox replied uneasily.
"For what, exactly?"
Masaru's crooked grin took up almost his entire face, "For you to start running."
"And what makes you think we're going to run?" Genma asked.
"You're going to run. And I'm going to chase you. I'll be more entertaining. I always like to see my prey squirm. Now…" He rested his chin in the palm of one of his hands. His eyes flashed with an intent that the ANBU recognized as completely murderous.
"Make my day."
"He's giving a chance for us to run…" Fox thought. His gaze narrowed, "Because he knows he can win. As much as I hate to think about it, running just might be our best option… But can we? How? How are we supposed to outrun someone…
Who's as fast as the wind?"
"I ser-… -ord Oro-maru…"
"… I… Se…rve…L-ord… -maru…"
"Come now, I know you can say it… You want to say it… You know it," A voice slithered into her ear, "Do I need to give you more?"
She sobs. Shudders. He smiles.
"I… S-Serve…L-L-Lord Orochimaru…"
"Now now… That won't do, will it? You have to say it with more conviction that that."
It enters her blood again. She feels it coursing through her veins. Each drop has a heartbeat of its own. Twenty heartbeats coursing through her brain.
Her body rocks up and down. Shakes violently.
Pain… Pain… Pain… PAIN.
A knife plunges into her wrist. Another into her ankle. Another into her knee. Another into her jugular.
She screams. Screams as loud as she can until screams won't come any more. She can't hear herself.
Too painful to scream any more…
One phrase echoing through her head through the pain: "I serve Lord Orochimaru. I serve Lord Orochimaru."
Suddenly the pain is all sucked from her body in an instant, and she convulses from the shock. Her fingers and legs tingle, tremble…
"Are you ready to try again?" A voice maliciously sweet. And it makes her cry. It makes her afraid.
She doesn't remember how to nod her head. Her brain says nod but her body only twitches and curls up into a ball.
"What is your purpose on this earth?"
She freezes. Her eyes widen. Answer the question! Answer the question! Dear God, answer the question! When you don't answer, the pain comes! It kills! It KILLS!
She squeaks when she opens her mouth at first, "I serve…" With conviction! Do as he says! Do you want to die again? "I serve!
I serve Lord Orochimaru! My only purpose on this earth is to serve him! I am a lowly pawn! I don't have the right to speak out against him! I will repent, repent!" Tears fall from her eyes in a flood as she speaks.
Through the blurry vision, she can make out a long curved smile. It belongs to the malicious voice.
"Good girl. I knew you would come around. Once you get yourself put together, carry out the plan. You already know what you have to do."
She whimpers and curls up into a ball again. Her body still won't stop trembling. She nods her head in affirmation as her brain begins to send correct signals to her body again.
The malicious voice chuckles. A bright light pours into the black room as the door is opened.
As he leaves, Kabuto pushes his glasses up to his nose with a satisfied smirk.
Gai blinked in shock, watching Kakashi get down into a familiar fighting pose. As the words his rival spoke sunk in, his face turned red with fury, "Your Lord? What in the hell are you talking about Kakashi? Get serious! This isn't funny!"
"He doesn't think it's a joke, Gai," Raven spoke solemnly. He studied Kakashi's face with a scrutinizing gaze, "I told you, there's something wrong with his eyes."
"Kakashi, please-" Gai began again.
"You are all threats to Lord Orochimaru. You must be dealt with," The Copy Ninja spoke adamantly.
"Shit… No… You have to run!"
Gai's fists clenched in absolute anger. He couldn't believe it. He wouldn't believe it. Kakashi did NOT just refer to Orochimaru as he 'Lord'! Something was wrong! This wasn't the Kakashi he knew! It was so frustrating! The man they were sent to rescue was right here in front of them and they couldn't even take him back!
"Orochimaru's handiwork, I'm guessing," Fang suggested sourly.
"More than likely," Hiroto said, "The sannin is a powerful but twisted man. It wouldn't be beyond him to take control of a person's mind."
"Brainwashing, huh?" Fang mumbled.
"That would make sense I suppose," Raven mused.
"Damnit, run! I can't control-!"
"Enough talk," Kakashi suddenly stated. His left eye opened. The group tensed just seconds before the Jounin launched forward to strike. They scattered.
The punch that Kakashi threw didn't hit any of the squad. Instead it hit the floor. And the rocks shattered underneath its force.
The Northbound team all took in startled gasps of breath, "W-What the hell?" Fang cursed in confusion.
"Something's wrong, it has to be," Raven said quickly as he landed back on his feet and avoided debris, "It would be unthinkable for Kakashi to be able to do that normally!"
"Oh no… This… This heat…"
Suddenly Kakashi was right in front of Raven. The leader's eyes widened under his mask, "How-?" Kakashi delivered a series of kick's that sent the man flying back to the wall with a loud grunt. Snaps and a strange sizzling sound echoed throughout the room.
"Raven!" Gai shouted urgently.
Fang groaned agitatedly, "Gai, check on him! Hiroto, back me up! Kuraru!" The ninja hound gave a low resounding growl before transforming into a clone of Fang. The two of them launched at Kakashi in a powerful vortex, "Fang Over Fang!"
Kakashi quickly brought up his arms to defend himself, though he was still pushed back by the sheer force of the duo attack. What remained of the sleeves of his shirt was torn to shreds- along with his bandages –and he hit the wall with a loud crack.
"Sorry Kakashi," Hiroto quickly apologized before rolling his right sleeve up to reveal the sound device he created. He held it up with trained expertise and honed the sound onto Kakashi's location.
Kakashi, who had just begun to recover from Fang's attack, was forced back down to the ground by the sudden horrible pressure on his ears. They hurriedly became warm with blood as the silver-haired man tried in vain to get up again.
Gai ran over to Raven, kneeling down by the man, "Are you alright?"
Raven, using both the wall and Gai for support, hoisted himself up and held his stomach with a hand, "I believe so…" He grunted, "A few broken ribs, for sure. But other than…"
"What? What's wrong?" Gai noticed how his teammate's speech had slowly come to a stop.
"I…" Raven removed the hand from his stomach. His silver ANBU vest was charred black, "I've been burned…"
"Wha-You mean...? You don't think…" Gai looked over to where his rival was being held down by Hiroto, "You don't think… Kakashi did that to you… How could he?"
"I'm… Not sure," Raven muttered, "But it bothers me. We need to get him out of here Gai. And back in his right mind."
"… Right," The Green Beast agreed, "How do we do that? We can't just keep fighting him like this. On a good day, if he was serious, Kakashi could probably take on all four of us and defeat at least three of us. I don't really know what kind of condition he's in now, but… These new abilities he has. And this twisted mindset… It doesn't bode well for anyone here."
"I'm not sure yet," The leader admitted, standing up straight. His injury seemed to be ignored, "But we have to find some way."
"That's not possible," A voice came from the hall they entered in.
As all of their heads turned to see who walked in, a cylinder of flames shot out right at Hiroto. Alarmed, the man jumped out of the way, releasing his hold on Kakashi. The rest of the squad ducked to the walls, trying to avoid the intense heat of the flame.
As soon as the heat died down, the squad got into battle positions, "Identify yourself!" Raven demanded.
Their attacker stepped into the room all of the way. Red eyes and flaming orange hair greeted them, "Second born of the Musashi Order: Yuuka Fukodosei," Her eyes flared with anger and contempt as she spotted Kakashi regaining his lost footing on the other side of the room. Her face screwed up into a look of disgust.
"You…" She uttered with enough hatred for two people, "Have you been defeated already?" The Northbound team was shocked into a stupor as they felt themselves starting to physically sweat. The temperature in the room was rising exponentially. Yuuka continued her verbal onslaught, "Are you that weak? You, the Fourth Born, the favorite! Lord Orochimaru trusts you more than anyone else! And yet, what do you think would've happened if I hadn't shown up just now? You'd be beaten!" She scoffed, an evil smile appearing on her face. The temperature in the room grew faster, "Maybe I should just kill you now… Save Lord Orochimaru the trouble."
… Why is she still so jealous…?
A fist suddenly collided with Yuuka's face. With a surprised grunt, she was knocked to the floor. The temperature began to cool. Gai pulled his fist back with a sneer.
"I may not know entirely what's going on here... But I do know that Kakashi's a shinobi of the Village Hidden in the Leaves; a damn good one too," His eyes flashed with anger, "and I will not let you insult him."
Heh… Typical… Always have to be the shining star, don't you?
Yuuka hoisted herself up slowly. Flames began to sprout up around her, "You son of a bitch…" She said darkly, "How DARE you," She looked up at the squad with a twisted smile, "You may think that he's the Kakashi you know, but he's not! Lord Orochimaru has made him one of his children! He's not who you think he is! This isn't some fairytale! He can't just 'get better', and you can't just 'fix' him! It's impossible!"
Now it was Raven's turn to launch forward at Yuuka. The woman was prepared this time, though, and simple threw him off of her with a good amount of force.
"Fang, Isamu!" The two called were alert immediately, "You're with me!" He turned his attention back to the furious woman in front of him, "And you, miss, are fighting us," Fang and Hiroto fell into place beside Raven, effectively blocking her off from Kakashi and Gai.
Gai looked surprised, "Raven!"
Yuuka scowled, appraised her surroundings, and then laughed, "Really? The three of you? Fine," Her eyes smoldered, "You'll hardly be a match for me."
"Fang," Raven sad quickly.
"Right," No sooner had he said it than Kuraru transformed into clone of him again, "Fang Over Fang!" The attack surprised Yuuka who, like Kakashi, was able to block it, though it pushed her back into the hallway where they came from.
Hiroto received a nod from Raven before pulling up his sound device again. The waves began reverberating off the walls, and soon the rock of the wall began to crack and crumble, "It's about to go, Raven!"
"Right," The squad leader nodded. He looked over his shoulder, "Gai. I know you know what you have to do. It's a tough task, but I know you can do it," He turned his back to the Green Beast, "We're bringing him back to the village Gai. Even if we have to drag him there."
No… Stop… You've got to stop.
"I know," Gai nodded. He gave his signature thumbs up and smile combo, "You can count on me! I'll get Kakashi to come around! You all just stay alive."
This… This is Gai. He's not an enemy!
"Will do," Raven nodded right before running through to the hallways with Hiroto right as the sound waves caused a wave of rock to cave in the entrance.
Gai faced Kakashi with a frown on his face. His rival was simply standing there, staring at him. Appraising him. It looked like the man was already breathing pretty hard for the short fight he had just been in, "Come on Kakashi… Don't make this difficult. We need to get you home."
You can't fight him! If you do, you'll just speed up the process!
Kakashi went down into another fighting stance. Gai did the same, "If you're not going to hold back, than neither will I, Eternal Rival!" He smiled, "Just don't complain if I kick your butt!"
I'm sorry, Gai…
… Okay, I think it's safe to say that I have no excuse for why I haven't updated in… *checks story* 5 months… Ahh! That number just makes me sick to my stomach! I'm so ashamed! -.- I'm really sorry, dear readers! I've gotten so many messages asking me if this is a dead fic, and it makes me sad, because it's definitely not a dead fic! :(
Rest assured, I will keep going with this story until it is DONE. You have my word. So, in short, so very, very, very sorry for the ridiculously long wait. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if you guys had to go back and reread the whole story just to remember what happened. And please do! If that'll help you understand the story more, please do it!
Oh, by the way… I didn't think about Fang being an Inuzuka until this chapter. I mean, I always knew it my head that he was an Inuzuka, but I kinda did a facepalm when I had him attack Kakashi and Yuuka. "… Fang Over Fang…? Wow." Pretty literal! XP So there's no pun intended there, but if you wish to interpret it as such, please feel free to do so. ^^
POLL RESULTS TIME!
This is for the 'How Old Do You Think I Am?' poll that I put up last chapter! And heeeere are the results! What I'll do is put the age and then the amount of people who guessed that age.
16 - 1
17 - 2
18 - 2
19 - 1
20 – 2
23 – 1
And the correct answer iiiiiiis…
I'm sixteen years old! ^^ (Congrats to Clovers-Charm! You were the one who guessed right!)
I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty fun to see how old other people thought I was based on my writing. Kinda encouraging actually! :O So thank you to all who participated in this pointless little poll!
Read n' Review! As always, I love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for supporting me! :D You guys are the best!