|A Fox's Heart V2
Author: demonfox910 PM
Sasuke's gone. Naruto explores his untapped potential to avenge his best friend, and Sakura starts seeing Naruto in a new light. Naruto swears that he will see the world burn before he loses anyone else. Revised edition of "A Fox's Heart."Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Romance - Naruto U. & Sakura H. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 12,975 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 37 - Updated: 04-20-12 - Published: 03-25-12 - id: 7958017
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Few people understand life's bad points more than Naruto Uzumaki. He is the jinchuuriki of the most powerful Tailed Beast, the Kyuubi no Yoko. He didn't have any friends for most of his childhood. The village he protected every day by keeping the demon contained, the village he fought to protect as a ninja in its service, treated him like filth. He was never just a child. He was never even an ordinary ninja. To those pricks, Naruto was always filthy demon spawn: undeserving of their love, respect, or protection.
Despite all that nonsensical crap, Naruto never hated them. He just wanted what was rightfully his, what they would never give him. Naruto wanted respect, acknowledgement. That's where his dream of "The Next Hokage!" comes from.
Of course, not everyone was horrible to Naruto. His teachers Iruka, Kakashi, and Jiraiya all liked him. Teuchi and Ayame at the ramen stand were always kind to him, and his teammates and classmates, as time went on, generally got along with him.
The thing is, since Naruto didn't have anyone for a good deal of his life, he clings tightly to those he has now. His friends are his family, and, to him, every single "precious person" is more than worth risking his own life to save. So you do not, ever, ever fuck with Naruto's precious people.
Because if you do, you are dead. You beat Naruto and he'll get straight back up. You hit him until anyone else would be bloodied and broken and he'll put on a cocky grin and ask "That all you got?" See, you can't stop him because he doesn't give and he doesn't quit and he never breaks a promise. He will just come back until he's pounded your face into the dirt and then he'll wait for you to rise so he can do it again.
Team Kakashi was always somewhat unstable. They started out with a loser, a fangirl, and a broody avenger who belittled his teammates.
The loser became stronger, practically by himself and almost unbeknownst to his team, the fangirl took the initiative after some self-denial and started training under the finest medic-nin on the planet, and the broody avenger turned traitor and nearly killed the loser, his best friend; Naruto Uzumaki.
The former loser and the former fangirl worked themselves almost to death to transcend their respective limits and bring home the only one who hadn't changed; the broody avenger, Sasuke Uchiha.
Naruto had three main goals in his life: Bring home Sasuke and save his soul from being consumed with hate, become the greatest Hokage and be acknowledged and respected, and win the heart of the former fangirl: Sakura Haruno.
When Team Kakashi had been wittled down to only two members because the avenger was busy being a traitorous jackass and their sensei had been hospitalized, Naruto and Sakura were joined by the token creepy effeminate guy: Sai; and the creepy undercover guy: Yamato aka Tenzo.
They started going out on missions again, and life became somewhat normal, but normal for The Leaf's knucklehead ninja and beautiful cherry blossom means something completely different than what it would mean to you or me, so no one should be surprised when a mission to bring home their beloved friend goes wrong.
Today finds the newly reformed Team Kakashi racing through Rice Country to crash an arranged meeting between a spy and Sasori of the Red Sands, who had been killed by Sakura and the Late Elder Chiyo of The Sand on the Team's last mission.
They reached the bridge in silence, stopping to recover at the side opposite of the spy's expected arrival. Naruto, Sakura, and Yamato reached into their packs for a quick drink. Sai eyed his canteen, but then put it back on his belt.
Naruto turned to Team Kakashi's newest member and frowned. "It's not a good idea to not drink. You'll get dehydrated, and even if I don't like you, the Team'll suffer if we aren't all on top form."
Sai smiled without a trace of emotion. "I wouldn't be worried about me being on top form. Perhaps you should be drinking a little extra." The fake smile got even wider and even faker. "After all, dickless, I'm not a pussy."
Naruto turned scarlet at the last comment and grabbed Sai by the front of his shirt. "You wanna run that crap by me again, you pale creep?" he growled. "I thought we had some kind of understanding back at the damn hot springs, but if you really want your head to roll, go ahead." Naruto leaned in close then, so Sai could see his slit pupils and larger-than average canines. "I dare you." He growled. "Keep talking."
Sai just kept smiling and gently detached himself from the raging demon container, backing off a couple of steps. For her part, Sakura kept a straight face throughout Naruto's uncharacteristic outburst. After all, she had no reason to like Sai.
Yamato stood up after a quick swig from his canteen. He sighed and looked up at the two teenagers. "Are you guys done?" he asked. "Because I'm not above controlling you with fear if I run out of other options." The captain's eyes were almost bugging out of his head, and his face looked like it had been shadowed. Naruto found himself wishing for something to put between the ghostly captain and his own face.
Sai nodded curtly, and after getting over the freaky expression on Yamato's face, Naruto did the same.
"Okay," Yamato said, the water break over, "here's the plan: You three will wait here. I'll meet with the spy and signal you if the need arises. Remember that the goal is to capture without too serious an injury. He needs to be able to answer questions, got it?"
The team nodded.
Yamato smiled. "Good. But first, I need to get into character."
The former anbu slapped his hands together in the snake seal and intoned "Wood Style." Wood and chakra rose around him and formed into the hunched shape of Hiroko, Sasori's preferred walkaround puppet.
The disguised shinobi turned to Sakura. "I'm going to run through different tones of voice. Let me know when I have it right and I'll stick with that when talking to the spy."
The rosette nodded. Yamato ran through several voices; high and low, clear and hoarse. With Sakura's instruction he finally settled on a deep, gravelly voice very much like that of Sasori when in the puppet.
With that matter settled, Yamato explained how they would be positioned. He would wait, in clear view, at their end of the bridge, to meet the spy on the bridge when he arrived. Sai, Naruto, and Sakura would wait behind a boulder on the same side, ready to intervene and aid the captain, or restrain the spy.
They didn't have to wait long. Within less than a half hour of waiting, the slim figure of Kabuto Yakushi emerged from the path on the opposite end of the bridge. The traitorous medic started conversing with the former anbu, but then without warning darted in and lashed out with his signature move, the chakra scalpel, breaking Yamato's disguise and grazing his upper right arm.
The captain jumped back, then immediately flicked his right index and middle fingers, signaling the rest of the team. The genin, chunin, and anbu immediately formed up in front of their captain.
Naruto already had grown claws and fangs, and his eyes were now slitted, with blood-red irises replacing cerulean.
Naruto growled savagely. "Well, call the rest of the people I'm sure you brought, you traitor," he taunted.
Kabuto smiled. "Please, Naruto-kun. I don't need any assistance to defeat two anbu, a female medic, and a genin. Orochimaru-sama allowed me to do this alone. We learned of Sasori's demise almost as soon as it happened, and have been tracking your group since you departed The Leaf."
Yamato stepped in, drawing a kunai. "If you've been tracking us," he asked, "then why haven't you tried to kill us yet?"
"Because," Kabuto retorted, "even though we knew Sasori was dead, we didn't know why you were coming here. We could guess you were making for Orchimaru-sama, both by your team's members and the way you were going, but your objective was a curiosity."
Yamato seemed to accept that. Before he moved to attack, however, he was cut off.
"All I heard was that little bit about you being alone," Naruto said, "Okay, then, you traitor," Sakura stepped in then and at the same time, they both asked "where is Sasuke?"
Kabuto brought his hands up. Chakra began swirling around his fingers, before solidifying into a pair of chakra scalpels. They let out a whirring hum sound.
"Well," he said, laughing softly, "I really would like to tell you. But then, the dead can't hear. I'd be wasting my time."
Yamato actually smiled, as did Sai. Unexpectedly, it was Sai who spoke first.
"You're overconfident," he said, the fake smile now scary rather than mocking, "and that will be your undoing. You're outnumbered and outclassed."
Sai snatched his scroll and brush. His hand was a blur as he painted.
Yamato drew his hand back, preparing to hurl his kunai.
Sakura prepared to charge.
Naruto flexed his claws like an Inuzuka. He could control his first-phase jinchuuriki state with ease now. Kabuto obviously thought he was the same little kid from two and a half years ago. He was about to regret that. Big time.
There was a singular roar from Naruto and Sakura as all hell broke loose.
Yamato's kunai came hurtling towards Kabuto's midsection. He avoided it by swaying to the side just as two blurs of orange and red closed on him.
Kabuto leapt back, just barely avoiding a set of claws aimed at his chest, while Sakura's fist demolished the spot he had previously occupied.
He went to immobilize both teens with his scalpels, aiming for the back of Sakura's neck to sever her spine, and for the tendons in the crook of Naruto's arm.
That's two, he thought.
The ex-medic was fast, but Naruto proved faster. Displaying uncanny flexibility, Naruto ducked under the scalpel, before spinning and springing his foot upwards to crash into Kabuto's chin.
Kabuto was launched away from the two Leaf nin before his second scalpel struck Sakura, but he managed to twist in the air and land on his feet.
I didn't expect him to be that fast, he thought. I'll catch him this time.
Making use of his excellent chakra control, sharpened by years of using medical jutsu, Kabuto pumped chakra into his legs and shot forward, hurling a fistful of shuriken.
Naruto and Sakura leapt in sync to avoid the shuriken. As they rose into the air, a group of wooden spikes sped towards Kabuto from Yamato's arm, batting away the shuriken, accompanied by a quartet of ink lions, courtesy of Sai.
Kabuto managed to disperse three of the lions immediately, but the fourth raked his shoulder before he struck it with a chakra scalpel. He jumped back to avoid the spikes. They impaled the bridge just as the Sound nin started healing his shoulder.
Naruto flashed forward with a pair of kunai and attacked Kabuto, trying incapacitate him. Kabuto retaliated with his scalpels, which Naruto would block with the kunai.
Kabuto was loath to admit it, but he was actually having trouble keeping up with the jinchuuriki. Naruto's fox-enhanced speed was on par with, if not better than his own. On top of that, the blonde had considerable physical strength, and it was obvious that he'd improved on what had previously been the taijutsu skills of an average genin.
Kabuto was finding it harder and harder to match Naruto. The blonde was striking out with his entire body in some weird animalistic fashion, something Kabuto was not equipped to fight with his trademark style of using just his hands. What made the situation even worse was that there were three more shinobi; all of which were presently hanging back.
Realizing he was, as the pale anbu had said, outmatched, Kabuto slashed wildly at Naruto's face to drive him back, then spun and made a break for the forest. However, he was promptly met with the rest of Team Kakashi. He'd thought they were behind Naruto this entire time!
Yamato brought up his hands to form a set of seals. Kabuto, panicking slightly as he realized that he was trapped, tried to escape with a chakra-enhanced leap. Before he could reach the trees, however, Sai met him in the air, and he had to activate his chakra scalpel to stop a double-sided tanto from cutting him from clavicle to hip. Yamato lowered his hands and simply watched.
The two hit the ground. Kabuto managed to duck a scything kick that Naruto had swung at the back of his head, but his face quickly met Sai's knee. As blood began oozing from his nose, he avoided an open palm to the face, before feeling his diaphragm cave as Naruto kicked him in the chest.
Kabuto hurtled towards Sakura and Yamato. Tsunade's apprentice caught him by the throat and slammed him into the dirt before squeezing—hard. The sound nin felt himself losing air as his larynx was constricted, so he grabbed the girl's arm with both hands and cut her tendons with a chakra scalpel—only to have them immediately start repairing themselves.
Sakura raised her other hand and clenched it into a fist. Realizing that he was finished if it hit, Kabuto kicked Sakura away with both legs, then rose and darted away again. He had to escape.
Yamato huffed in annoyance. "Enough." A wooden tendril shot from the earth and wrapped around Kabuto's body, arresting him in mid-stride and holding him still.
"Stop trying to run," Yamato said. "You were caught the minute you stepped on the bridge." Kabuto gritted his teeth in defiance and went to shout something, but a chop to the back of the neck silenced him.
The captain looked back to his team and gave them a smile. Naruto was back to his normal appearance, and Sakura was holding her arm, double checking the tendons Kabuto had cut.
"Good job," Yamato said. "I knew you'd get the hang of working with each other eventually."
The team, sans Sai, sweat dropped. However, they all shared the same thought. Does he mean he was just using that as a lesson? He could've ended it anytime?
There came a knock to the dark room's door. The man didn't want to go in. Nobody would have wanted to go in. The snake sannin's private laboratories generally put horror films to shame. This one in particular stank of death and chemicals. It was like a mold-filled mortuary filled with corpses that had been left in the sun for a few weeks. The man gathered his courage and spoke.
The reply was quick. The Otokage's voice was deep but raspy, like grinding metal.
He obeyed, and tried his best to cease breathing as the horrible stench struck him, only taking a few short breaths in, and only then breathing through the back of his throat.
The man knelt in utter reverence and fear, not daring to look up.
"What is it?" his lord asked.
"The scouts have returned. I regret to report that Kabuto-sama failed and has been captured, my lord." He held his breath. Orochimaru was unpredictable, and bad news was rarely tolerated.
There was a calm intake of breath. "Give the order for ten chunin to meet me at the west exit in five minutes. I'll be attending to this matter personally."
"Yes, my lord." Trying to gain favor, the man added "I wish you good luck."
He did not look up—he didn't. But he could feel those horrible eyes on him. He heard a chuckle. He froze. He thought this was the end. He'd forgotten his place; his lord was going to kill him. Oh please God no, no, no! I don't wanna die!
The chuckle became a deep, entrancing laugh. "Luck doesn't exist, you insignificant fool. Even if it does, I do not recall ever needing it. Now get out of my sight."
"Yes, Orochimaru-sama." The man rose, before bowing low and ducking out of the room, shutting the door on his way out. He hurried to carry out his orders, all the way praising whatever angels had watched over him.
The snake sannin, former Akatsuki member, and S-ranked criminal sighed happily. "At last, Naruto-kun, you have come to visit me." He rose from his lab chair.
His face was illuminated by the lamp on his desk. However, it was not the face of a pale, black-haired man in his fifties.
It was the smooth, pale skin, lean physique, thin jaw, and dark hair of someone else. Three tomoe swirled in a pair of Sharingan eyes.
No, this was not the form of Orochimaru. This was the form of Sasuke Uchiha.
As I said, this is just a well-edited rewrite of the first story. Tell me what you thought! If you read the last one, tell me how this compares!
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