'Betrayal is but a subtle glimpse at human composition. You see it once, you see it twice, and you consider it meaningless. When on the receiving end, however, you start to witness the hurt it comes with. Then you start wondering if you can ever trust again, driving away those truly close to you in the process.' ~?
"I'm done..." Naruto collapsed, his body overtaken by the blessful stress of exhaustion. Just half an hour ago, he was told he was the son of one of Konohas most prestigious Hokages— the Yondaime. He fought against Pein and rose victorious— the supposed leader of Akatsuki. But his most dignifying act eclipsed the knowledge of his parenting. That is, making Pein see the error of his ways and provoking the revival of those that had perished that day.
He felt his body hit something soft, and almost immediately, his dazed mind wondered why the ground had turned into silk sheets of magnificent comfort. He cracked open his eyes to see the mask of his sensei, Hatake Kakashi.
"Nice job, Naruto." The man accommodated the boy on his back and began their trek towards whatever remained of their village.
Naruto smiled. His sensei had no idea how glad he felt to see him walking about like the village hadn't been obliterated from the face of the earth. Or that he hadn't just died an hour ago.
"Kakashi-sensei..." The blond pressed his face against the Jōnin's back, unable to sustain the weight of his own own head. The stress on his body was far too much to handle, even for a shinobi as powerful as himself. "I'm glad you're alive..." He only had a few precious people in his life— losing one of them would tear him apart.
Kakashi chuckled and glanced back at his student. A student that had finally surpassed the teacher. He was glad, and extremely proud all the same for being partly responsible of molding, and raising him into a specimen with more promise than any Kage. He truly was going to be Hokage. Nobody could say anything in contrast. "You truly are your father's son, Naruto..." His sensei would of been honored, ecstatic even. Just like any father when seeing his son turning into a magnificent man.
"Thanks, Kakashi-sensei..." Naruto mumbled, his sensei's words barely registering in his brain.
Kakashi noticed the little slip up. He glanced back a bit surprised. "You know who your father is?" It was supposed to be an S-class secret, known only to the Hokage and a few others.
Back in what remained of the village, its people were waiting patiently for its hero. The one who'd come mid battle and defeated Pein all by himself. For thanks to their Jinchūriki, all who perished had been revived. In the end, the lack of casualties was what kept spirits at their peaks.
"Isn't it his fault we were attacked in the first place?" One spiteful villager spoke offhand.
The Rookies, comrades of the savior felt a numbing dread crawl down their bodies by the sudden change in aura the villagers poised. One moment, they were preparing themselves for a warm welcoming. The next, however, anger became apparent like the village's demise.
"HEY, HE'S RIGHT!"
Then it began. The shouts, the cries for blood, and the demands for Naruto's death. It took but a spark to ignite the moss fire, and a mere phrase to change the fate of the planet.
"WE WANT JUSTICE!"
"IT'S THE FOX'S FAULT!"
"WHERE IS THAT BASTARD?!"
Shikamaru narrowed his eyes, a deep frown on his scratched features. He looked about at the mob with distaste and came to an obvious conclusion. Even by those lacking his superb IQ, something was obvious— Naruto cannot come here. "Sakura! You need to cut Naruto off! Tell him not to come directly towards the village! If he does, things could get bad!" The Nara desperately shouted, the screams for blood in part of the villagers, picking further at his patience.
Sakura's fragile green eyes started to show liquid emotion. How could they suddenly change their opinion from a single negative shout towards the blond that had saved them all? She knew of his burden, and she would admit that she was scared at first. But deep inside, she knew Naruto was not influenced by the fox that was bound to his very soul. Savagely wiping her eyes with her wrist, she nodded once towards Shikamaru. "I got it!"
Kiba and Shino were practically shaking in anger. They could feel their blood boiling with the intensity of a pit full of molten lava. The utter blasphemy the villagers exposed, left a powerful emotion of hatred. He just saved all their asses and look how they repay him. By making a mob that wants nothing more than his death.
Hinata, the girl in love with the blond before he was even a Shinobi, felt spiteful. Something rare and unheard of by the shy and beautiful teenage woman known to be the level headed and calm one of the Rookies. She knew of the burden the Jinchūriki had, and cared not. Instead, her love for him only grew to new bounds. The boy had been protecting the village since he was born, yet he was considered an outcast, a troublemaker since he was able to walk. "Naruto-kun..."
Sakura pushed through the screeching crowd with relative ease. The natural flexibility her womanly body gained from the breathtaking training her master, Senju Tsunade, allowed for such a feat. She sidestepped left, right, jumped over three and twirled to her right, skillfully avoiding a random melee weapon that was being waved about by some fool who thought he could even scratch her teammate. She would sooner skewer him through the chest with a hormone inducing needle before letting him anywhere near Naruto.
Finally, after much hassle of dodging and jumping, she reached the edge of the mob. She took a couple breathers and made her way through the forest, where she could faintly sense the chakra signature that was her sensei, Hatake Kakashi. She ran through the trees, her breathing getting heavier with every step, but the worry of what would conclude if Naruto got any closer keeping her adrenal glands pumping at full burst into her beaten body.
Sakura felt tears leave her eyes once more. The liquid made its way down her cheekbones and pushed off her face by the almost insufficient speed she was partaking. She bit her bottom, quivering lip and took in a shuddered breath.
How could they do this to Naruto?
She knew he was a little annoying sometimes, and he could be a pest at the most inconvenient of times. But even so, he was the kindest and most heartwarming person she knew. He was seelfless and giving most of the time, willing to put his life in front of the face of adversity when his comrades were in danger.
Yet they still hated him for the fox that had haunted him since birth. She loved him, like a friend or a close comrade; she loved him. And so did the Rookies, because they had the common sense to see the difference between a container, and the contained.
They were fools.
Fools for not being able to see the love Naruto had for his village. Fools for not seeing the kind heart he had towards others. Fools for not seeing the rare willingness he had to give his life for their ungrateful lives...
She vertically sticked over the trunk of a tree with magnificent ease. In a single push of her joints, the Chūnin launched herself in the direction Naruto and Kakashi outlined over the distance. "Naruto..." How was she going to tell him? How was she going to tell him that the village had gone up in arms just to finish what Sakura did not doubt had been attempted at his birth? "Naruto! Kakashi-sensei!"
Naruto felt a cold chill settle in his body seeing the fear, bordering on horror expressed over Sakura's usually beautiful face. Instantly, Naruto forced his way down Kakashi's back, despite the tight hold the Jōnin had on Naruto to avoid dropping him. "Sakura-chan, what's wrong?!" The blond asked, a thin coating of determination hiding the feeling of dread concurring through his battle worn mind.
"The villagers, they-!"
All eyes went towards the shadowy figure that was Danzo. The leader of ROOT. The unwanted yet needed source of evil in the Leaf Village. The man stepped into the light, a large tree keeping him relatively shadowed. The usual limp in his step gave a false sense of security for enemies who dare attack him. His shroudy intent made them all uneasy. "You two," the man glanced at both Kakashi and Sakura, his voice firm and authoritative. "Go back to the village. You are not needed here. I will handle this. Personally."
Sakura did not like this man. She could literally feel his dark intentions, and she would sooner shave her head bald before leaving Naruto alone in such a weakened condition. She took a step forward, opposition her clear intention to whatever the old man planned. But before she could open her mouth, Kakashi placed a gentle, yet commanding hand on her shoulder, stopping her from doing anything that would later come back and bite them.
He shook his head and made her take a step back as he took one further. "If I may ask, Danzo-sama. What are your intentions to speak with Naruto alone?"
"That," Danzo spoke, a noticeable edge to his speech. "Is none of your concern, Jōnin. I will be acting Hokage as of now, since Tsunade has entered a state which won't compel her to continue her position."
Naruto's eyes broadened at the news. He was surprised but at the same time expectant of it; she had healed the entire village by herself. It was expected of such pros. "Baa-chan?! Is she ok?! Is there anything we can do?!"
"Calm down, Naruto." Kakashi advised.
"At the moment, she is in a stable condition." Danzo assessed playing along, his one visible eye narrowing towards the Copy Ninja. "As I said before, Hatake, Haruno. I need to speak with the Jinchūriki, alone. Now, if you would please."
"Forgive me, Danzo-sama. But, I cannot le-"
"I will not repeat myself once more, Hatake." Danzo hissed, his patience wearing in a slowly declining rate.
The elder snapped his fingers, and around them appeared a squad of sixteen ROOT agents. They were all of them prepared for the order to slaughter whomever their master indicated.
"You are disobeying both a Hokage and an elder. Either you walk away now so I may inform Naruto of the current situation in what remains of the village, or, both of you are charged with treason and insubordination for disobeying a direct order from your superior-"
"You can't do tha-!"
"Sakura-chan! Kakashi-sensei!" Naruto interrupted, detaining their pointless fruit for any hope of getting their way. Somehow, he had an idea of what the man wanted to tell him. But if he was going to be told, he did not want to by people he cared for deeply. He just couldn't allow his facade of bravery to shatter in front of them. Not when he suspected what the situation was with the villagers. "Please... let us talk, alone."
Kakashi hesitated, Sakura looked at him with worry. But he kept his expression firm and demanding as best he could. The Copy Nin sighed and patted Sakura on the back. Sakura gave a shallow attempt to find assurance in the hidden smile of her sensei. Finding little, her head slumped in admittance. Finally, both of them started making their way towards the villagers who were wanting to assassinate their comrade.
Naruto observed their depart, a stony expression nibbling at his confidence by the figures of his two precious people leaving him alone with fate. They disappeared completely from his line of sight. He sighed. "Tell me what you have to say."
Danzo smiled. Naruto cringed.
"GAH!" In less than a second, a Tanto went through his heart, liver, lungs, stomach, spine, arms, legs and every major organ needed for the human body to persevere. All sixteen of the ROOT agents made work of their steel blades. Blood dripped down his chin, his vision turned wavy, his breathing started to slow and his consciousness was smoothly fading. "W-why...?"
Naruto dropped to his knees. The sound of his flesh meeting the ground, somehow echoed and rebounded in his mind. Denial that the end of his shinobi career immediately came in first. Second came regret, but his training as a shinobi negated the overlaying steps; he was done. Not even the Kyūbi could save him now.
"This is how it needs to be, Uzumaki." Naruto raised his head, even if his brain registered it as a one hundred ton boulder, he forced the last of his strength to hear the words of the man responsible for his death. "You could be a worthy weapon, I have not doubt about it. Since you were born, I have been looking for a way to include you into my ranks. But unfortunately, the gains no longer meet the losses. Akatsuki wants you, and in order to ruin their plans, I need to kill the Kyūbi. By killing you."
'Kyūbi huh...?' Again he was being pushed to the brink of death because of the fox that had been stuck in his gut for over sixteen years. How many attempts had there been with this one? He honestly stopped counting after the last milestone of a hundred. His eyes turned dazy and glassy, his body no longer registering pain.
The ROOT agents mercilessly pulled all sixteen sharp blades out of his body at the same time. A painful cough accompanied a bulge of blood. He fell face first onto the crimson colored grass below, drained.
"Prepare for the next step..." Danzo ordered.
A single ROOT agent with a cat mask bowed at the elder. He nodded towards his comrades, and they prepared to continue.
"I saved the villagers the trouble of dealing with you. Had you reached the village you would of seen a very familiar sight. A nostalgic sight of your childhood. A sight filled with glares and repulsion. A sight where even your comrades would look at you with distaste."
As Danzo spoke, his men started sticking hundreds of Super Explosive Tags all over Naruto's body, head to toe.
"I know your regeneration pros, Uzumaki. But even a Jinchūriki cannot survive getting stabbed in all major organs at once, then blown into dust a minute after."
Naruto's worries were confirmed; the villagers vowed for his demise. He knew that today would either be a day where he would finally be accepted, or the day where he could no longer live within the Leaf. Somehow, he should of seen this coming.
The last thing he saw before a ROOT agent placed a tag over his eyes, was the smug and emotionless face of Danzo looking down at him. He could no longer go back to the Leaf. Not when the whole population blamed him for its destruction. He no longer had a reason to live. He didn't even get the chance to answer his first confession...
Naruto struggled to open his eyes. He was in his mindscape, the knee deep water in sight. His body aknowldeged nothing as it covered most of his legs, yet he knew the liquid borked the appendages. The familiar gate that held his misery, was in full view, basking him with warmth. The visibility of the large pipes in the ceiling stretched out as far as his eyes could reach, unnerving him by its appearance. However much, for the light in the scape seemed dimmed at best.
Ever so slowly, he raised his head to see the Kyūbi standing on all fours. An image that would inspire any artist to draw the magnificent creature as it stood proud and tall. "Kyūbi..." Naruto muttered, his body feeling exponentially weak, even in his mindscape.
The Nine Tailed Fox glared down insignificantly. The edges of its snout scrunched into a feral scowl. It would make any living Shinobi lose all hopes of leaving alive in the presence of such an overpowering creature. But Naruto would not. What else did he have to fear? He was already dead, strictly speaking.
"Kōzō..." (kid) The fox growled in disgust, a ferocious tone escaping its self, repugnance clear in its red slitted eyes. Never did he think he would speak in such a disappointing way towards a human he was starting to accept as a worthy container. "ARE YOU GIVING UP ALREADY?!"
Naruto's body clenched as the shout, adjoining to scream, made a chill crawl down his pain inhibited nerves. The magnitude of the screech made the walls and the water below reverberate by the shockwave that'd of taken down a small forest in repercussion.
Naruto felt warm tears prickle at the edges of his eyes. He knew the fox was right. He was supposed to be a Shinobi who never gave up, one that would acknowledge a challenge and take it head on. But this..."WHAT ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO DO, KYŪBI?! Even if I survive, I can't go back to Konoha without having everyone blaming me for its destruction... WHAT THE HELL MORE CAN I DO NOW, HUH?!"
"FOOL!" The Kyuubi roared, once more causing Naruto to shake as he took the blast as best he could. "IF YOU DIE, SO WILL I! I REFUSE TO ALLOW MY CONTAINER TO PERISH IN SUCH A PATHETIC WAY!" The fox slapped its hands together in pray.
It searched for something hiding deep inside of itself— a certain type of chakra that it never expected to be needed. 'This chakra was supposed to be given to the one me and my brethren chose as the old mans will. And I have no doubt it's you... I know my kin would agree... Thankfully, those fools stabbed the kid exactly where his major tenketsu's stood. This should imbue itself with the Senju DNA hiding deep within his cells and give him what I hope.'
Naruto stared in wonder as the Kyūbi leaked chakra out of its body and through the pipes overhead. Strangely, however, this chakra wasn't red, it was purple. "What are you doing...?" The blond asked bewildered.
A pulse went through his body.
A single pulse that made him clutch the area where his heart signaled life. He felt sick and outage, like his body was shutting down by the overwhelming feeling of blood turning into solid lead. His breathing became labored, his hearing turned mute, and his eyes... they were on fire. "AAAHHHHH!" With one final shout, he clutched both his eyes. They stinged and throbbed in a silken line of excruciating pain, unparalleled to all feeling before.
"This is the last memento we had of you, old man... " Kyūbi whispered, the momentary moment of emotion almost making him barf.
"This is chakra that was sealed within me. Chakra that belonged to the Sage of the Six Paths, Naruto. This will give you the power you need to survive and do as you wish. I'll take ahold of your body momentarily— you can't survive this alone." The Kyūbi released the seal being used to locate the long forgotten chakra, its eyes forcing into the distance.
Danzo saw with much satisfaction as the last tag was placed over the Jinchūriki's eyes. For a single moment, however, he could of sworn on his long lost compassion, that the boy's eyes flickered purple with a red slit in the middle. He shook his head and turned to make his way for the village that needed a ruler with an iron fist.
Various minutes of walking later, he did a single seal, and allowed himself a small smile hearing the explosion in the distance.
Half an hour later, Naruto stared at his reflection in a small lake miles away from Konoha. Those magnificent, purple and circle filled eyes stared right back. He chuckled. He couldn't wait to see Sasuke's face when he sees this.
Minutes ago, he had gone and checked for verification of Danzo's words, and wasn't surprised to see the villagers with torches and pitchforks— all of them calling for his blood. How pitiful. Why did he bother with them? He didn't know if it was thanks to his new eyes that he could see through their false sense of care, or that he finally grown up thanks to his own 'comrades' attempting an assassination.
"I no longer have a home... What now... Kurama...?" Naruto asked, still not used to calling the fox demon by its birth given name. Thanks to him, he could live, thanks to his chakra and the Sage's chakra. But now what?
He no longer had a purpose in life.
His dream of being Hokage was brushed aside by the cold hand of fate, and he no longer felt like there was a need for him in the world. He no longer wanted to be in the world. His comrades had abandoned him, -hell, they might've even helped in someway at the attempt of his persona- and his life was lingering in misery. Lesser beings would of killed themselves by now.
Kurama simply laid on its belly, its red eyes illuminating the damp and dark cavern that was his domain. "Make your own home, kōzō..." (kid)
Naruto mused that for a moment. His thoughts on the fight with Pein somehow returned to him, but more importantly, a technique that the leader of Akatsuki used to build a planet of his own. Naruto grinned. Kurama chuckled.
A/N: Believe it or not, this story has an intensely complex plot. Miss a detail, and you're screwed for the later chapters. Thanks for reading! (Quick warning: Bleach characters will appear in chapter 4 and beyond. A little annoyed that people keep complaining about that. It's classified as a crossover for a reason~ttebayo! XD)