UltimaShishigawa: Hey everyone! I'm back! Okay, one day I thought to myself "what if Naruto and Sasuke's roles were reversed like Naruto said in Volume 52?" So I decided to act on that. This fic will tell that story. It's set in the Shippuden era, but it won't actually start in Shippuden until after the battle at the Final Valley. Enjoy! :)

Disclaimer: UltimaShishigawa doesn't own Naruto Shippuden, or it's characters.


Chapter 1: My Friend!

One Naruto Uzumaki was packing his backpack. As he was doing so his left shoulder pulsed with pain. Naruto gripped his shoulder while muttering a string of curses.

"Stupid Curse Mark! Why the hell did Orochimaru place it on me instead of Sasuke? Wasn't Sasuke his original target?" Naruto asked as he dropped to one knee. His eyes widened, however, when he remembered Orochimaru's exact words.

-Flashback-

Naruto had managed to block the giant snake from getting a paralyzed Sasuke.

"Naruto?" Sasuke asked. Naruto then looked at Sasuke revealing that his hair was wilder than usual, his whisker marks were darker and bolder, and his once cerulean blue eyes were now blood red with slits for pupils.

"You okay, scaredy cat?" Naruto asked, quoting Sasuke's very same question that he asked during Team 7's first C-rank turned A-rank mission.

"?!" Sasuke watched in shock as Naruto easily pushed the snake back before jumping atop it's head and stabbing it's head with his claw-like nails and raking it down it's back as he ran at Orochimaru. As he neared Orochimaru, Naruto jumped off the snake. The snake summoner looked on with intrigue.

'Naruto has become quite powerful. Even more powerful than Sasuke and with Nine-Tailed Fox inside of him he could become even stronger.' Orochimaru thought. As Naruto descended on Orochimaru the sound ninja jumped back causing Naruto to hit the tree branch. Orochimaru then appeared on another tree branch as he smiled a crooked smile.

'The sharingan pales in comparison to the Nine-Tails' power. Heheheh, he will make a better vessel for me than Sasuke.' Orochimaru thought. Having made up his mind he formed three hand seals. Naruto quickly recovered and turned toward the tree branch Orochimaru was perched on.

"HOLD STILL YOU SNAKE BASTARD!" Naruto angrily yelled.

"Heheheheh, well done, Naruto. You passed with flying colors." Orochimaru said. Naruto gave Orochimaru a confused look.

"What do you mean "passed?"" Naruto asked. Orochimaru continued to smile his crooked smile.

"You have proven to me that you are superior to Sasuke. That the power of the Nine-Tails is far more powerful than the sharingan. So now I've decide to leave you with a gift." Orochimaru said. Suddenly, Orochimaru's neck extended before he reached Naruto and bit the left side of his neck.

"AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!" Naruto screamed in agony.

"Curse Mark of Heaven Seal!" Orochimaru muttered before he retracted his neck. Naruto dropped to his knees as he grabbed where Orochimaru bit him. Naruto's features returned to normal as the pain coursed through his body.

"NARUTO!" Sasuke screamed as he threw several shuriken at Orochimaru, but the snake easily deflected the shuriken. Sasuke then looked toward Sakura.

"Sakura, you go tend to Naruto while I hold off this guy!" Sasuke ordered the pinkette.

"Okay!" Sakura said before jumping over to the branch Naruto was on. Sasuke then glared at Orochimaru.

"What the hell did you do to Naruto?!" Sasuke angrily asked. Orochimaru chuckled.

"I merely gave him a little gift." Orochimaru said as he began to sink into the tree branch he was standing on. Sasuke quickly jumped toward the branch.

"STOP!" Sasuke ordered.

"My name is Orochimaru. Should you wish to meet me again then you had best get through this exam." Orochimaru said before completely submerging in the branch just as Sasuke landed on it. Sakura, meanwhile, reached Naruto as the blond continued to scream in pain. She then looked at the spot to find that the three holes which showed that Naruto had been bitten changed into the three tomoes of the sharingan.

-Flashback end-

Naruto shook off the pain that the Curse Mark always inflicted and finished packing. Lastly, Naruto undid his headband before placing it in his shuriken pouch and placed the picture of Team 7 in his backpack. He then put his backpack on before opening his window and jumping out.

-Meanwhile-

Sakura was walking home. As she was walking she couldn't shake the feeling that something bad was gonna happen tonight. She then looked up and stopped dead in her tracks as she saw one Naruto Uzumaki walking towards her. She also noticed that he had his backpack and he wasn't wearing his headband which was strange considering she hardly ever saw him without it. Now that she thought about it the first time she ever saw him without it, and him still being awake, too, was after Orochimaru had branded him with the Curse Mark.

-Flashback-

Sakura had managed to pull Naruto and Sasuke under a tree (Sasuke being unconscious due to chakra exhaustion and Naruto being unconscious due to the Curse Mark.) before she was attacked by three sound ninja named Dosu, Zaku, and Kin. Lee had come to her rescue, but sadly he was no match for Dosu's sound style jutsu. Even teams eight and ten came to help, but their efforts proved futile against the sound ninja. When Kin grabbed Sakura by her hair the pinkette was forced to use a kunai to cut her hair to get free. However, everyone's attention was drawn toward where Sasuke and Naruto lay due to the air becoming thick and hard to breathe. Sakura's eyes widened at what she saw.

There stood Naruto with more unruly hair, claw-like nails, darker whisker marks, fang-like k9s, and crimson eyes with slits for pupils, but he also had black flame like tattoos along the left half of his face and body.

"Sakura, who did this to you?" Naruto (Nine-Tails' chakra/Curse Mark 1st state) asked as red and purple chakra swirled around him. He then looked toward the three sound ninja and glared.

"Shit! His Curse Mark awakened!" Dosu cursed. Naruto then appeared behind Dosu before grabbing his arms and pulling back.

"How dare you hurt my friends! I'll make you suffer!" Naruto said as he continued to pull on Dosu's arms.

"ARGH! STOP! PLEASE!" Dosu screamed in pain. Naruto continued to pull until a loud cracking sounded through the area. Naruto then let go of Dosu's arms allowing the sound ninja to fall to the ground. Zaku dashed at Naruto, but the Nine-Tails' jinchuriki disappeared causing Zaku to stop.

"WHERE ARE YOU, YOU BASTARD?!" Zaku yelled. Suddenly, Naruto appeared in front of Zaku and punched him in the jaw sending him flying into a tree. Naruto then turned his attention on Kin. The sound kunoichi was paralyzed with fear at seeing her teammates get taken down so easily. Naruto then started walking towards Kin. Sakura couldn't believe what she was seeing. This wasn't the loud-mouthed knuckleheaded ninja she knew. This new Naruto was more vicious and uncaring. Being unable to watch any longer as Naruto was being consumed by his new power Sakura ran toward him and wrapped her arms around him from behind causing Naruto to stop in his tracks. Naruto looked back at Sakura with surprise evident in his eyes.

"Sakura?" Naruto asked. Sakura looked at Naruto with tear filled eyes.

"STOP NARUTO! PLEASE! THIS ISN'T YOU! THIS ISN'T THE NARUTO I KNOW! I CAN'T STAND TO SEE YOU ACT THIS WAY! PLEASE STOP!" Sakura cried. Upon seeing Sakura's tears, Naruto's k9s, whisker marks, and nails returned to normal and the Curse Mark receded back to it's original position on his neck. Lastly, his pupils changed back to normal as his eyes changed back to their original cerulean blue.

-Flashback end-

Naruto walked past Sakura waking her from her thoughts.

"What are you doing out this late, Naruto?" Sakura asked. Naruto stopped in his tracks, but didn't respond. When he didn't answer Sakura became worried.

"Naruto?" Sakura asked.

"Go home, Sakura. It's none of your business." Naruto said. Sakura was taken aback by Naruto's response, but quickly recovered before glaring at the blond.

"What do you mean it isn't my business? You're my teammate and friend, remember? Of course it's my business!" Sakura replied angrily. When Naruto didn't respond with a comeback Sakura's anger disappeared.

"Why do you have your backpack?" Sakura asked.

"..." Naruto said nothing as Sakura tried to get him to answer. Tears welled up in Sakura's eyes as she began to realize what Naruto was doing.

"W-where are you going, Naruto?" Sakura asked as she tried to fight the tears threatening to spill out.

"..." Again Naruto didn't answer.

"ANSWER ME, YOU IDIOT!" Sakura yelled as she swung a fist at Naruto, however, the blond held up his hand and grabbed Sakura's fist stopping the attack and surprising the pinkette.

"I'm done...being your punching bag, Sakura." Naruto said with no sign of emotion in his voice and still not turning to face Sakura. The pinkette couldn't fight the tears any longer and allowed them to spill out.

"W-why are y-you leaving?" Sakura asked.

"Why do you care? Wouldn't it be easier for you to win Sasuke's heart if I weren't here?" Naruto answered with his own question.

"But we're all on the same team! You can't just leave! I don't want you to leave!" Sakura confessed. At this, Naruto turned around and looked at Sakura with seriousness in his eyes.

"Didn't you say, when we did introductions with Kakashi-sensei, that you hated me?" Naruto asked. "Why should you care?" Sakura's eyes widened as she remembered saying that the day Team 7 was formed.

"But I didn't know you that well back then! I've regretted saying that since that day!" Sakura said. Naruto then let go of Sakura's hand and turned away.

"There's nothing left for me in a village where everyone hates me for...something...I had no control over." Naruto said. He then proceeded to try walking away, but Sakura quickly reached her hand out and grabbed Naruto's hand.

"What about your dream to become Hokage? Are you just gonna give up on that?" Sakura asked as the tears kept coming. Naruto just looked over his shoulder at Sakura.

"How can I be Hokage of a village that will hate me no matter what?" Naruto asked. Sakura's eyes widened as she loosened her grip on Naruto's hand. Naruto removed his hand from Sakura's before turning completely away from the pinkette.

"Good-bye, Sakura." said Naruto as he started walking away.

"Take me with you!" Sakura blurted out causing Naruto to stop dead in his tracks.

"You don't mean that." Naruto said.

"YES I DO! If you won't listen to me and stay then I'll go with you!" Sakura said.

"You've got a mom and dad who love you. Do you think you could honestly abandon them?" Naruto asked. Sakura opened her mouth to answer, but found she couldn't.

"Good-bye, Sakura." Naruto said as he attempted to leave again.

"If you leave, I'll scream!" Sakura threatened. Suddenly, Naruto disappeared causing Sakura to go wide eyed.

"Sakura...thank you." Naruto, who had reappeared behind Sakura, said before tapping her on the back of her neck.

"Naru...to." Sakura said before losing consciousness. As she fell forward, Naruto appeared in front of Sakura and caught the pinkette. He then lifted her into his arms before disappearing.

-Later-

The Sound Four, consisting of Sakon/Ukon, Kidomaru, Jirobo, and Tayuya, were at Lone Pine Hill waiting for Orochimaru's "chosen one."

"When is that bastard gonna get here?" Tayuya asked as she began to lose her patience.

"Calm down, Tayuya. He will be here soon." Sakon/Ukon tried to keep Tayuya as calm as possible. Just then, Naruto appeared causing the Sound Four to go on the defensive.

"Relax, it's just me." Naruto said. The Sound Four lowered their guard as they saw it was Naruto.

"You little fucker! You should know better than to sneak up on people as strong as us! We coulda killed you within a second!" Tayuya warned. Naruto scoffed.

"As if." Naruto said. "Let's go!" Sakon/Ukon, however, stopped Naruto.

"First, take this." Sakon/Ukon said as he handed Naruto a strange looking black pill.

"What's this?" Naruto asked.

"As of right now your Curse Mark is only in it's first stage and it takes years to achieve the second stage. This pill, however, was developed by Lord Orochimaru to accelerate the process. However, you will have to die first." Sakon/Ukon explained. Naruto gave Sakon/Ukon a surprised look.

"What do you mean?" Naruto asked. Sakon/Ukon chuckled.

"That pill was designed to cause the one who takes it to enter a death-like state. If you come out of it then you should be able to access the second stage of the Curse Mark." Sakon/Ukon explained. Naruto, figuring he had nothing left to lose, took the pill. A few seconds later Naruto collapsed to the ground.

"C'mon, let's get him in the urn and get him to Lord Orochimaru." said Jirobo.

-The next morning-

Sakura Haruno awoke in a panic to find that she was in her room, in her bed. "How did I-?" Sakura began to ask before remembering her confrontation with Naruto.

"Sakura...thank you."

Those words rang in her head as she kept playing the events back in her head.

"Are you FINALLY waking up?" Inner-Sakura asked.

What are you talking about? Finally waking up to what?' Sakura thought.

"To the fact that you don't love Sasuke and that, in truth, you actually love Naruto, duh!" Inner-Sakura answered. Sakura's eyes widened in surprise.

'I do NOT love Naruto! I love Sasuke!' Sakura thought. She could tell that her inner self rolled her eyes.

"That is total BS! If that were true then why did you try to stop him from leaving, huh? If you didn't love him then you coulda just let him leave, but you didn't! You tried to stop him because you couldn't imagine a life without him." Inner-Sakura explained.

'...' Sakura tried to make an excuse, but found she couldn't because she realized she really couldn't picture a life without the blond knucklehead. Her eyes widened to the size of dinner plates as she finally realized that her inner self was right. All the time she had spent on Team 7 with Naruto had caused her feelings for Sasuke to change to a more brotherly/sisterly type while her feelings for Naruto had changed from seeing him as just a friend to feelings of true love. That explained why she tried to stop him from leaving instead of letting him go and why she was so upset when he wouldn't listen to reason.

As quick as she could, Sakura jumped off her bed, slipped on her ninja sandals, and jumped out of the window toward the Hokage tower.

-Hokage Tower-

Tsunade Senju, the Fifth Hokage and the Slug Sannin, was sitting at her desk distraught at the news that had come in at dawn.

-Flashback-

Tsunade was sitting at her desk while filling out paperwork lest she be on the receiving end of her disciple Shizune's nagging for not working. As she was filling out another file Shizune came rushing in.

"LADY TSUNADE!" Shizune shouted. The busty Kage sighed as she looked up at her apprentice.

"I haven't had any sake in two days, Shizune, so relax." Tsunade said with a look of boredom. Shizune shook her head.

"It's not that! It's about Naruto! He's left the village!" Shizune exclaimed. Tsunade's eyes widened in shock at the news.

'N-Naruto...has left...the village?' Tsunade thought. Tsunade's whole body went numb as she registered what Shizune just said. Shizune, however, was worried as she saw Tsunade wasn't moving, but was clearly in shock.

"Lady Tsunade? Lady Tsunade! LADY TSUNADE!" Shizune shouted the last part trying to get the Slug Sannin's attention. Without warning, Tsunade stood straight up causing the chair to fall back.

"GET SHIKAMARU IN HERE IMMEDIATELY!" Tsunade ordered/shouted as she slammed her fists on the desk.

-Flashback end-

Tsunade massaged the bridge of her nose.

'How did this happen? Naruto has always been a bright and cheery boy. His dream was to become Hokage, but now he's left the village. What happened to you, Naruto?' Tsunade thought. The Fifth Hokage then thought back to her's and Jiraiya's battle with Orochimaru.

-Flashback-

Naruto was standing in front of Tsunade who was kneeling on one knee.

"What do you think you can do? I'm far stronger than you." Kabuto taunted. Tsunade looked toward Kabuto and then back at Naruto.

"JUST GET OUT OF HERE, NARUTO!" Tsunade ordered.

"No way! I never go back on my word! That's my nindo, my ninja way!" Naruto shouted. Kabuto growled in frustration.

"I'LL END YOUR PATHETIC NINJA WAY HERE!" Kabuto yelled as he ran at Naruto with his hands cloaked in blue chakra that took the shape of blades. As he ran he took out a kunai. As Kabuto got close Tsunade closed her eyes. When she heard the sound of the kunai piercing skin she opened her eyes only for them to go wide with shock.

Naruto had caught Kabuto's hand that had the kunai in it, but the kunai had pierced through the middle of his left hand. Naruto then held out his right hand before a shadow clone appeared and placed both it's hands over Naruto's right hand. Naruto's headband fell off as the wind swept around him. Within a second a ball of blue chakra formed in his right hand before the clone disspelled. The Curse Mark then over took the left side of Naruto's body and face as the jutsu turned purple in color.

"That can't be-!" Kabuto said before being interrupted.

"RASENGAN!" Naruto (Curse Mark 1st state) shouted before slamming the purple Rasengan into Kabuto's stomach. The Sound spy was sent flying back before hitting a boulder. Tsunade's eyes widened at the sight before her.

'That moron managed to master the Rasengan? Incredible.' Tsunade thought. Suddenly, Naruto fell to his knees before landing face-first on the ground. Tsunade quickly moved towards the genin before rolling him on his back. She then unzipped his orange and blue jumpsuit jacket before placing both hands on his chest. Green chakra soon encased her hands as Tsunade began treating Naruto's injuries. She watched as the black flame-like tattoos of the Curse Mark receded back into the three tomoed shape mark on the left side of Naruto's neck. Suddenly, Jiraiya appeared beside Tsunade followed by Orochimaru appearing beside Kabuto as the Sound spy pulled himself out of the indention he made upon making contact with the boulder.

"Jiraiya, this mark on Naruto's neck is-." Tsunade said as she looked up at Jiraiya.

"I know. The Curse Mark." Jiraiya said without taking his eyes off Orochimaru. The snake Sannin chuckled causing Tsunade to look toward him.

"I gave him that mark for showing me that he had become more powerful than Sasuke." Orochimaru said. Tsunade glared at her former comrade.

"Soon I will have the power of a Tailed Beast." Orochimaru said as he started chuckling. At that moment, Tsunade stood up.

"I've heard enough from you, Orochimaru. I'll die before I let you touch Naruto!" Tsunade said as she began flying through hand signs. Jiraiya quickly began forming hand signs as well. Orochimaru looked toward Kabuto.

"Kabuto, do it." Orochimaru said. Kabuto nodded his head as he too began forming hand signs. Suddenly, all three bit their right thumb before slamming their right hands on the ground. A seal appeared on the ground underneath their hands.

"SUMMONING JUTSU!" All three shouted before smoke billowed out of the seals. When the smoke cleared it revealed the slug summon: Katsuyu, the toad summon: Gamabunta and the snake summon: Manda. Orochimaru chuckled.

"Just like old times!" Orochimaru said with his crooked grin. Tsunade and Jiraiya glared at Orochimaru.

"As of today, we are Sannin no MORE!" Tsunade yelled the last part.

-Flashback end-

Tsunade sighed as she looked out the window at the village.

'I won't let you go that easily. I still have that bet on you becoming Hokage...idiot.' Tsunade thought. A knock at the office door stirred Tsunade from her thoughts.

"Come in!" Tsunade ordered. The door then opened to reveal Shikamaru.

"You summoned me, Lady Hokage?" Shikamaru asked while looking at Tsunade through tired eyes.

"I apologize for waking you so early, but I'm afraid it can't wait." Tsunade said. Shikamaru gave Tsunade a confused look.

"What is it?" Shikamaru asked.

-Meanwhile-

Sakura was jumping along the rooftops trying to get to the Hokage tower as quickly as she could.

'I have to hurry! I can't let Naruto be taken away! He has to be brought back so I can tell him how I truly feel about him!' Sakura thought as she pushed as much chakra as she could into her legs to speed up. Soon she arrived at the Hokage tower and ran inside and up to the Hokage office door. She stopped at the door and held her hand up getting ready to knock when she heard a voice.

"WHAT?! Naruto has left the village to join Orochimaru?!' A male voice asked to which Sakura recognized as Shikamaru.

"That's correct. For what reasons I don't know, but this will be an S-rank retrieval mission. Odds are Orochimaru has some of his top men escorting Naruto to wherever his hideout is. You and a squad of ninja will pursue the Sound ninja who have him, retrieve Naruto Uzumaki and bring him back home to the Leaf. Understand?" Sakura heard Tsunade say.

"Yeah." Shikamaru's voice said.

"You can pick whoever you want for the squad." Tsunade's voice said.

"I've got just the people in mind." Shikamaru's voice said. Sakura heard Tsunade chuckle.

"The mission begins as soon as you have assembled your squad. Dismissed!" Tsunade's voice said. Sakura quickly made her way down the hall to make it appear as though she had just arrived before the door to the office opened and Shikamaru came out before running past her.

'I've gotta hurry!' Sakura thought as she ran after Shikamaru.

-Later at the gate-

Shikamaru, Kiba and Akamaru, Choji, Neji and Sasuke were gathered at the Hidden Leaf gate.

"I still can't believe Naruto left the village." Choji said. Kiba nodded his head.

"Yeah, who woulda thought." Kiba said. Sasuke, however, was lost in thought as he tried wrapping his mind around what was happening.

'I can't believe the dobe left. He always swore he would protect his village, but now...he's abandoning the very village he swore to protect.' Sasuke thought. He was snapped from his thoughts when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Sasuke looked and saw that the hand belonged to Neji.

"Don't worry. We'll get Naruto back. Naruto spent so much time saving others from the darkness that he became consumed in it. Now he is waiting for someone to save him from that same darkness." Neji said.

"But what if we can't stop him?" Sasuke asked.

"If anyone can pierce through the darkness Naruto is immersed in, it's you." Neji said. Sasuke nodded his head in understanding.

"Alright, our target is Naruto. If the Sound try to stop us we are to take care of them, but as I said before our main goal is retrieving Naruto." Shikamaru said. However, when they were about to leave Sasuke felt a presence close by. Just then Sakura appeared.

"Sakura? What are you doing here?" Sasuke asked as he approached the pinkette whose head was bent down slightly so her bangs concealed her eyes.

"P-please..." Sakura said. Sasuke gave her a look of confusion before he noticed tears hitting the ground in front of Sakura's feet. The pinkette looked up at Sasuke with tear filled eyes.

"P-please bring Naruto back to me, please! This is my...my once in a lifetime request!" Sakura said as she hugged herself in a futile attempt to stop herself from crying. Sasuke turned away from Sakura.

"Hn. That loser will come back either willingly, or by me dragging his ass back. Count on it." Sasuke said causing Sakura to look at him with eyes wide in surprise. "Consider it my promise of a lifetime." Sakura smiled a small smile as she watched the Naruto retrieval team head out to get Naruto and bring him home.

(AN: I'm gonna skip to the battle at the Final Valley. If you wanna read about Neji, Shikamaru, Choji and Kiba's battle with the Sound Four then please wait until I release Naruto Chronicles V.2 Vol.5, or rent Naruto volumes 23, 24 and 25 at the Logan County Library which is next door to the IGA and Dollar Mart.)

-Final Valley-

Naruto was standing atop the head of the statue of Madara Uchiha when Sasuke arrived and landed atop the head of the statue of the First Hokage: Hashirama Senju.

"NARUTOOOOOOO!" Sasuke shouted in an attempt to get Naruto's attention. Naruto, seemingly ignoring Sasuke, then started walking away.

"Are you just gonna ignore me, Naruto?!" Sasuke asked causing Naruto to stop in his tracks.

"What do you want, Sasuke?" Naruto asked without turning toward the Uchiha.

"I want you to stop this and come back to the village with me." Sasuke said. Naruto just chuckled.

"And who would be there waiting for me? I don't have a family, the villagers hate my guts and the only girl I've ever loved hates me!" Naruto said. Sasuke gritted his teeth.

"Sakura doesn't hate you! She begged me to bring you back to her!" Sasuke argued. Naruto then turned toward Sasuke causing the Uchiha's eyes to widen in shock. The Curse Mark had covered the left side of Naruto's face, but Naruto's left eye was now black with a gold iris.

"She wants me to come back? Hn, only so she has a punching bag to hit while trying to win you over. No thanks, I'll pass." Naruto (Curse Mark 1st state) said as he turned to walk away. Suddenly, Naruto found himself on his back with Sasuke standing over him with his right hand clenched in a fist and cocked back.

Sasuke then swung and punched Naruto in the face causing the Nine-Tails' Jinchuriki's head to jerk to the right. The Curse Mark receded and Naruto's left eye returned to normal as he looked at Sasuke as if the punch didn't faze him in the slightest.

"You're coming back to the Leaf even if I have to drag you back!" Sasuke said angrily. Naruto just smirked.

"Let's see you try." Naruto said. Instantly, Naruto pulled back his legs and kicked Sasuke sending the Uchiha sailing through the air and falling all the way to the water below. Sasuke quickly righted himself and landed on the water's surface while pushing chakra to the soles of his sandals to stand on the water.

"Kakashi, Sakura, do they mean ANYTHING to you anymore, Naruto?" Sasuke asked. Naruto jumped off of Madara's statue and landed on the water's surface across from Sasuke.

"They used to...at one point. They were proof that someone actually cared, but now I have but one reason to live." Naruto said earning a questioning look from Sasuke.

"What do you mean?" Sasuke asked. Naruto chuckled.

"Heh heh heh, I mean that I need power so I can get the truth about the Nine-Tails' attack from Itachi. I never would've gotten it if I stayed in the Leaf." Naruto explained.

"If you go to Orochimaru then he'll just take over your body!" Sasuke said.

"If it happens, it happens. So long as I get the truth then nothing else matters." Naruto said causing Sasuke to go wide eyed from shock. What had happened to the care free, knuckleheaded ninja that he used to know? The one whose ninja way was to never break a promise. Sasuke gritted his teeth.

"I don't know why you're like this, Naruto, but...I WON'T LET YOU GO!" Sasuke yelled the last part before pulling out a kunai and tossing it at Naruto. The Uzumaki quickly pulled out his own kunai and tossed it at Sasuke. The two kunai met in the middle and hit each other before the two genin ran at each other and punched each other's fist.

-Hidden Leaf Village-

Sakura was in her room looking at the picture of Team 7 that was taken after their first successful mission. Naruto and Sasuke were glaring at each other with Kakashi standing behind them with one of his signature eye smiles and his hands on their heads and Sakura was standing between them smiling. Tears hit the glass cover on the picture as memories of Team 7 flooded Sakura's mind.

The mission to the Land of Waves, the chunin exams, the battle against Gaara, Itachi and Kisame's infiltration of the Leaf, Naruto's departure. As the memories kept coming Sakura held the picture close to her heart.

"Naruto...Sasuke..." Sakura whispered sadly.

-Final Valley-

Storm clouds had gathered over the Final Valley as Sasuke and Naruto's battle raged on. The two were completely even. Neither of them could deal a blow to the other without recieving an injury themselves. Again and again their fists met either rock, or each other. Naruto formed the index and middle fingers of both his hands into a cross.

"SHADOW CLONE JUTSU!" Naruto shouted as several shadow clones appeared all around Sasuke. The Uchiha activated his two tomoe Sharingan before the clones all rushed at him. Sasuke grabbed one clones arm, kicked another one before hurling the first one into two others and tossed three kunai which impaled three more clones. Sasuke then jumped into the air and formed a few handsigns.

"FIRE STYLE: PHOENIX FLOWER JUTSU!" Sasuke shouted as he blew several balls of fire at the shadow clones.

BOOM!

Smoke covered the area as the clones were destroyed by the fire style jutsu. Sasuke landed on the water as he waited for Naruto to make his next move. His eyes widened in shock, however, when the smoke cleared to reveal Naruto with a clone charging up a Rasengan. Sasuke gritted his teeth as he formed a couple handsigns before gripping his left wrist.

Sasuke then pumped chakra into his left hand before changing it into an electrical current. Naruto, seeing Sasuke charging up a Chidori to counter his Rasengan, smirked.

"This is just like on the hospital roof, huh, Sasuke? Only this time there is no one around to stop us!" said Naruto. Sasuke's eyes widened slightly as he remembered about that.

-Flashback-

Naruto had returned to the Hidden Leaf with Tsunade to wake up Sasuke who was in a Tsukuyomi induced coma. Tsunade, using her famous medical ninjutsu, had managed to wake Sasuke up. Sakura, who was relieved Sasuke was okay, immediately hugged him. Tsunade had left the room to give Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura some privacy.

"Thank goodness you're okay, Sasuke." said Sakura. Sasuke looked at Sakura with tired eyes.

"Sakura...you're hurting me." said Sasuke. Naruto, however, was gritting his teeth as he watched the whole thing.

'No "Thank you, Naruto." No hug. No NOTHING! It's always Sasuke this and Sasuke that! I'm tired of being in that bastard's shadow no matter what I do! Well, that's it! No more!' thought Naruto as the Curse Mark reacted to his anger.

It overtook the left side of his face as the bangs of his hair concealed his eyes (he still hadn't put back on his headband). He then walked over to his teammates before gripping Sakura's shoulder and forcibly moved her out of the way. Sakura landed on her butt before she looked up at Naruto with a glare.

"Hey Naruto, what was that for?" asked Sakura. Her eyes widened, however, when she saw Naruto's features. Naruto's nails resembled claws and his k9s resembled fangs. His whisker marks were darker and more pronounced and his eyes were blood red with slits for pupils. The black flame-like tattoos of the Curse Mark covered the left half of his face. Naruto glared at Sakura.

"Stay out of this." said Naruto (Nine-Tails' chakra/Curse Mark 1st state) before he turned to Sasuke and grabbed his shirt collar.

"What do you want, Dobe?" asked Sasuke as he glared at Naruto.

"You and me, the roof, now!" said Naruto. Sasuke smirked as he activated his Sharingan.

"Fine." said Sasuke. Naruto let go of Sasuke's shirt collar before the latter got up. They left the room with Sakura following them.

-Roof-

Naruto and Sasuke arrived on the roof of the hospital. The two then faced each other. Sakura, meanwhile, watched from the doorway with concern for her teammates. Sasuke then took out his Leaf headband and tied it around his forehead.

"Aren't you gonna put your headband on, Dobe?" asked Sasuke. Naruto just smirked as his features returned to normal and the Curse Mark receded.

"I don't need it." said Naruto. Sasuke then gave Naruto a mild look of curiosity.

"Weren't you the one who claimed that when two people fought while wearing their village's headband showed that they recognized each other as equals?" asked Sasuke. Naruto just chuckled.

"Well, maybe I don't see you as my equal." said Naruto as he pointed his thumb at his forehead. "Because I know you won't be able to scratch my forehead." Sasuke glared before dashing at Naruto. He threw a punch at the blonde jinchuriki, but Naruto caught his fist with ease. Sasuke then jumped back before weaving through handsigns. He then inhaled deeply.

"FIRE STYLE: GREAT FIRE BALL JUTSU!" shouted Sasuke before he blew a large fire ball at Naruto. The blonde genin smirked as he put his fingers into that familiar cross.

"SHADOW CLONE JUTSU!" shouted Naruto as several shadow clones appeared. The clones then rushed at the fire ball and sacrificed themselves to stop it.

BOOM!

Smoke surround the roof due to the explosion caused by the fire ball hitting the clones. Sasuke looked where Naruto had been standing to try and find the Uzumaki. Suddenly, three shadow clones leaped out of the smoke. Two of them grabbed Sasuke's arms (one per arm) and the third latched on to him from behind.

"What the-?!" said Sasuke. The smoke then cleared to reveal Naruto with his right hand in a single sign. Sasuke's eyes widened as his Sharingan allowed him to see what that handsign was for.

"I win." said Naruto. "GREAT CLONE EXPLOSION!" The three clones then began to glow.

"SHIT!" shouted Sasuke.

KABOOM!

The clones exploded leaving behind thick, black smoke. Sakura, who had been watching the whole time, had been blown on her butt and began to panic as she didn't see Sasuke, or Naruto get out of the blast radius. Thankfully, since it was only three clones the explosion wasn't powerful enough to blow the roof apart. Naruto then appeared on the right water tower. He looked down and smirked.

'Even if Sasuke was healed enough to where he could leave the hospital that explosion made sure he's gonna be here for a long time.' thought Naruto. His smirk turned into a frown, however, when the smoke cleared to reveal that Sasuke was still up and moving and was now currently charging up a Chidori. Naruto growled as the Curse Mark overtook the left side of his face.

'I shoulda known he would use the substitution jutsu to get out of it.' thought Naruto as he looked to where the blast went off to see one of his clones laying on the ground before it disappeared in a puff of smoke. His smirk returned, however, as he held out his right hand and a shadow clone appeared before forming a Rasengan in his right hand and disappearing.

Naruto then jumped off the water tower and held out his Rasengan using right hand. Sasuke then held out his Chidori using left hand. Sakura, unable to take the fighting anymore, jumped up and ran toward her teammates.

"STOP IT! STOP THIS SENSELESS FIGHTING! PLEASE!" Sakura begged. Naruto and Sasuke saw Sakura running toward them.

'Shit! I can't stop!' thought Naruto.

'Damn it! Sakura will get caught in the blast!" thought Sasuke. Suddenly, Kakashi appeared between Naruto and Sasuke, pushed Sakura back and caught the two genins' jutsu using arms before flinging them into the twin water towers.

BAM!

The two members of Team 7 punctured the water towers with their jutsus. Sasuke ripped out his left arm causing water to pour out of the water tower and on to the roof of the hospital. He then looked to his right as Naruto ripped his right arm out only to go wide eyed when he saw that Naruto's Rasengan had blown a huge hole in the back of the second water tower.

'What kinda jutsu was that? If that jutsu had hit my Chidori, then I would've...' thought Sasuke. Kakashi approached the two genin with a glare.

"What were you two thinking? Those jutsus were way too powerful to just be used for a spar! The power behind those jutsus was meant for the kill!" Kakashi said as he berated the two for being so careless. "And on top of that, if I hadn't got here in time Sakura could've been killed!" Naruto gritted his teeth as the Curse Mark receded.

"Hn." Naruto grunted before he back flipped off the roof of the hospital and took off across the rooftops at high speed.

"Naruto!" Sakura called after the blonde genin as she tried to go after him only for Kakashi to stop her by placing his hand on her shoulder.

"I'll go after Naruto. If he sees you right now...it probably won't end well." said Kakashi before he disappeared in a swirl of leaves. Sasuke then walked up to Sakura.

"Sakura...don't ever get in the way again." said Sasuke before he went back inside leaving behind an upset Sakura.

-Flashback end-

Sasuke shook off the memory before he and Naruto dashed at each other with their jutsu using arms cocked back. As they reached each other they thrusted their jutsus forward.

"CHIDORI!"

"RASENGAN!"

The two jutsus collided with each other causing a torrent of air and lightning. Suddenly, however...

BOOM!

The two jutsus exploded flinging the two former best friends back. Sasuke slammed into the feet of the First Hokage's statue while Naruto slammed into the feet of Madara Uchiha's statue. Sasuke then pulled himself out of the hole his body made.

'I have to bring this fight to an end soon. I could try another Chidori again, but I've already used it once which means I can only use it one more time. Not to mention I have no clue how many more times Naruto can use that Rasengan. I'll have to wait for an opening. That's when I'll be able to strike.' thought Sasuke. He then looked toward Madara's statue to see Naruto standing.

However, his nails and k9s resembled claws and fangs respectively and his whisker marks more darker and more pronounced. His hair was wilder and his eyes were red with slits for pupils. Naruto chuckled darkly as he walked forward.

"Why are you trying so hard to bring me back, Sasuke? Why do you care? Ya never cared before!" shouted Naruto (Nine-Tails' chakra.) Sasuke gritted his teeth.

"BECAUSE YOU BECAME MY BEST FRIEND!" shouted Sasuke causing Naruto to go wide eyed.

"Your...best friend?" asked Naruto. Sasuke nodded his head.

"Yeah, I hate to admit it, but it's true. Back when Team 7 was formed I couldn't care less about you, Sakura, or Kakashi. All I wanted was revenge against Itachi for destroying the Uchiha clan, but over time I found myself getting use to being around you and the others." said Sasuke.

"And as time went by I even found myself wondering why I wanted revenge when it wouldn't change anything. It wouldn't bring back my parents, or the rest of the clan. So I decided to just enjoy my life as a shinobi...with my friends." Naruto looked at Sasuke in shock. He couldn't believe the supposed avenger was choosing his team over vengeance. However, Naruto growled.

"You say that revenge won't bring your parents back? At least you had parents at the start! I never had any parents to begin with! I've been alone right from the beginning! What would you know about it, huh?!" Naruto exclaimed.

"Naruto, you don't have to be alone anymore. Just come back to the village with me and you'll never be alone again. Sakura, myself and the rest of the Rookie 9 will be there for you. We all have a bond with each other." said Sasuke as he held out his right hand. Naruto stared at Sasuke with wide eyes. He then reached into his shuriken pouch and pulled out his Hidden Leaf headband before looking at it. He then closed his eyes and pictured all his friends looking at him and smiling.

However, his mind then pictured Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki.

"If you want to learn the truth then you need to sever yourself from your past.

Sever yourself from everything and everyone that will make you weak. Only then will you be able to gain true strength."

Itachi words to Naruto rang loud and clear to him. Naruto tied his headband around his forehead before his eyes snapped open.

"A bond? We have a bond, you say? In that case..." said Naruto as purple chakra started swirling around him. The Curse Mark overtook Naruto's body, wrapping around him. Sasuke's eyes widened at what he saw. Naruto had completely transformed. Naruto's hair had grown to the point that it reached his waist and was a sickly pale orange. His skin was gray and his whisker marks, if possible, were even darker and he had a black "X" on the bridge of his nose. Naruto then opened his eyes to reveal that the whites of his eyes were black, but his iris' were still red and his pupils were still slits. Two webbed hand-like wings tore out of the back of his orange jumpsuit jacket.

"I'LL JUST HAVE TO SEVER THAT BOND!" Naruto (Curse Mark 2nd state) yelled.

"Naruto..." said Sasuke who was stunned at Naruto's new form.

"C'mon Sasuke! It's time we finished this...as equals!" said Naruto. Sasuke couldn't believe what he saw. Was this still the same Naruto he remembered? Or was the Naruto he knew gone forever? Sasuke shook those thoughts from his head. He closed his eyes and tightened his headband.

"All right, Naruto. I'll face you as an equal. Did you know that when two shinobi of equal strength face each other they can read each others thoughts through a simple exchange of fists?" said Sasuke. He then opened his eyes to reveal that a third tomoe had formed. Naruto smirked.

"If that's the case, then can you read my thoughts? Can you tell what's on my mind?" asked Naruto.

"Let's go, NARUTO!" Sasuke shouted the last part. Naruto just continued smirking before the two former best friends dashed at each other.

-Meanwhile-

Kakashi and his ninja hound, Pakkun, were headed toward the Final Valley as fast as they could.

"Kakashi, Naruto and Sasuke's scents are growing stronger, but Naruto's scent has turned darker." said Pakkun. Kakashi nodded his head in understanding.

'Naruto, I'm sorry that I wasn't there for you when you needed someone. I'm sorry that I made you feel alone, but I won't let that happen anymore. Naruto...Sasuke...hang on!' Kakashi thought as he pumped as much chakra as he could into his legs and sped toward the Final Valley.

-In the Leaf-

Thunder rumbled as Tsunade looked out the window at the storm clouds.

"I'll become Hokage no matter what!"

"Just you wait! I'll master the Rasengan in a week and then you'll have to give me that necklace!"

"I never go back on my word! That's my nindo, my ninja way!"

A tear rolled down Tsunade's cheek as she remembered what Naruto had told her before and after he had brought her back to the village.

"Naruto..." said Tsunade.

-With Jiraiya-

Jiraiya, or as he's better known as the Great Toad Sage, was sitting on the Fourth Hokage's head atop the Hokage monument.

'Naruto...I'm sorry I couldn't stop Orochimaru from corrupting your pure heart. No, I'm sorry I couldn't be there to ease your loneliness. Forgive me, Naruto.' thought Jiraiya as he looked up at the storm clouds.

-Final Valley-

Thunder roared and lightning crackled as the two former best friends clashed. Though Sasuke's three tomoe Sharingan allowed him to keep up with Naruto's Curse Mark enhanced speed it couldn't help him with the enhanced strength. Everytime he would block a punch, or kick Naruto would just deal a more severe blow. If he couldn't get control of this fight...

"What's the matter, Sasuke? Are ya getting tired?" asked Naruto. Sasuke looked toward Naruto and saw he was in just as bad a shape as himself. They were both battered, beaten, bruised and had several cuts.

'Damn it! There's still no opening! I guess I'll have to make one.' thought Sasuke as he made a couple of handsigns before gripping his wrist. As he began charging up a Chidori, Naruto smirked.

"The Chidori again? Fine, but it won't work!" said Naruto. Suddenly, a sharp pain coursed through Naruto's body causing him to drop to one knee as he gripped his left shoulder. The Curse Mark then receded causing Naruto's features and hair to return to normal.

'Damn it! Not now!' thought Naruto (normal.) Sasuke's eyes widened in surprise before they changed to determination.

'There's an opening!' thought Sasuke. He then dashed at Naruto with full speed. Once he reached Naruto, Sasuke thrusted the Chidori through Naruto's left shoulder. The Uzumaki looked at his pierced left shoulder with Sasuke's left arm through it before looking back at the Uchiha with wide eyes. Sasuke removed his arm from Naruto's shoulder allowing blood to flow out of the wound to mix with the water. Naruto coughed up blood before he finally collapsed.

Sasuke gasped for air, trying to catch his breath for he had exhausted almost all of his chakra to bring Naruto down.

'I didn't hit a vital spot so Naruto should survive. Now to just get this moron back to the Leaf.' thought Sasuke. His eyes widened, however, when he saw red chakra begin bubbling out of Naruto's body. Jumping back, Sasuke watched as Naruto stood up and the red chakra formed around him like some kind of shell. The chakra shell then took the shape of a fox with a single tail. The wound Sasuke managed to inflict had even healed completely, leaving no trace that it had been there in the first place.

"Sasuke...you aren't the only one...whose special." said Naruto (Nine-Tails: One-Tail mode.) However, the Curse Mark overtook the left side of Naruto's face and body and even turned the chakra shell purple. Chakra versions of Naruto's Curse Mark 2nd state webbed hand-like wings sprouted out of the back of the chakra shell.

"Naruto..." said Sasuke. Naruto (Nine-Tails: One-Tail mode/Curse Mark 1st state) then disappeared before reappearing on the feet of Madara Uchiha's statue with Sasuke jumping on to the feet of the First Hokage's statue. Naruto then held out his right hand as he formed a Rasengan without the need of a shadow clone.

'If I use the Chidori again I'll be all out of chakra...but I don't have a choice.' thought Sasuke as he formed two handsigns before gripping his left wrist and charged up a Chidori. The red and purple chakra swirling around Naruto then caused Naruto's Rasengan to turn black. However, at the same time some of the red chakra drifted toward Sasuke and turned his Chidori red.

"It's time we ended this battle..." said Naruto as memories of all the battles he and Team 7 had been in flooded his mind. "...AND ALL THE BATTLES WE'VE HAD UP 'TILL NOW!" Ruby Sharingan met blood red eyes. The minute the thunder boomed and lightning crackled the two former best friends launched themselves at each other.

"SASUKE!"

"NARUTO!"

As the two reached each other they slammed their respective jutsus together.

"RASENGAN!"

"CHIDORI!"

A giant black sphere formed around the two and grew to the size of the Final Valley itself!

-Inside the sphere-

Naruto and Sasuke were trying to push each other back as hard as they could. However, Naruto caught an opening and plunged his Black Rasengan into Sasuke's chest, but it didn't have enough power to finish the job. At the same time, Sasuke thrusted his Red Chidori at Naruto, but only scratched the forehead protector on his headband.

Naruto changed back to normal while Sasuke's Sharingan deactivated as the two began to drift away from each other. However, at the last second they finally managed to make the comrades sign which they were never able to bring themselves to do back in the ninja academy.

-Outside the sphere-

The sphere continued to float there before white cracks began to form all over it. The cracks continued to spread all over the sphere until finally...

BOOM!

The sphere exploded causing a large earthquake to occur. Once the earthquake ended Sasuke washed up on the shore of the Valley...unconscious. Naruto, however, managed to limp his way over to Sasuke while holding his right arm. His clothes were shredded as was his headband. Naruto looked down at the unconscious Uchiha to see that he didn't look much better either.

"Why? Why would you go so far for me...Sasuke?" asked Naruto. Suddenly, pain shot through Naruto's right arm causing the Uzumaki to grip his arm tightly while gritting his teeth as he dropped to his knees and leaned over Sasuke.

Naruto's headband came undone and landed on Sasuke's headband covered forehead before sliding and landing on the ground. Naruto looked at Sasuke for a few minutes before standing up and limping toward the forest. He then looked back at Sasuke's unconscious form. It then began to rain. Naruto looked up at the pouring sky.

'Even the heavens are crying.' thought Naruto. He then looked back at Sasuke.

"I'm sorry." said Naruto before he turned and walked into the forest, disappearing from sight. Laying on the ground next to Sasuke was Naruto's Hidden Leaf headband which he had received from Iruka with a scratch across the Hidden Leaf symbol. At that moment, Naruto's picture of Team 7 and Tsunade's necklace washed up next to his headband. The picture of Team 7 was still in one piece, but the glass was cracked over Naruto's image.

-Meanwhile-

A strange plant-like man wearing a black coat with red clouds and a venus fly trap-like thing on his head had been watching the whole fight.

"We'd better report this to the leader." said the man before he sunk into the ground.

-Final Valley-

Kakashi and Pakkun arrived to find an unconscious Sasuke laying on the shore. Kakashi rushed over to him and immediately noticed the scratched headband, the necklace and the broken photo. Pakkun sniffed the items.

"They're Naruto's." said Pakkun. Kakashi looked at Sasuke with sadness more than evident in his lone visible eye.

"Can we track him?" asked Kakashi. Pakkun shook his head sadly.

"I'm sorry, Kakashi, but that's gonna be impossible with how hard it's raining. Naruto's scent is already weaker than it was before." said Pakkun. Kakashi sighed as he carefully lifted Sasuke into his arms.

"That's all right, Pakkun. Could ya get Naruto's headband, picture and necklace?" said Kakashi. Pakkun nodded his head.

"Yeah." said Pakkun. Kakashi then looked at the unconscious Uchiha in his arms.

'I'm sorry I'm late, Sasuke. I know you must've fought your hardest.' thought Kakashi. Once Pakkun collected Naruto's items he and Kakashi made their way back to the Leaf.

-Meanwhile-

Orochimaru and Kabuto were leading Naruto through the secret hideout. Orochimaru was covered in bandages from head to toe and Naruto now wore a boy's kimono with bandages around his torso, arms and forehead.

"I'm glad you were able to make it, Naruto. Facing an Uchiha with the Sharingan must've been no easy feat." said Orochimaru. Naruto looked at Orochimaru with a monotone expression.

"Enough chit-chat. I wanna start training as soon as possible." Naruto said in an emotionless tone of voice. Kabuto glared at Naruto.

"You will learn to show Lord Orochimaru respect, Naruto." said Kabuto. Naruto glared back at Kabuto.

"And who is gonna make me? You?" asked Naruto. Orochimaru chuckled darkly.

'He already wants to start training without any regard for his own health, heh heh heh heh. He will make a fine vessel once he is trained properly.' thought Orochimaru.

-Elsewhere-

A group of people, all wearing the same black coat with red clouds, were gathered together.

"Naruto Uzumaki has left the Hidden Leaf Village and joined Orochimaru. He even managed to beat your little brother, Itachi." said the plant-like man. Itachi looked on without a word, or hint of emotion. Kisame chuckled.

"Well, who would've thought that the Nine-Tails' jinchuriki would manage to beat Itachi's little brother. I guess you managed to get under both their skins, eh, Itachi." said Kisame.

"The Nine-Tails' jinchuriki is still no match for my art, hmm." said another man.

"No matter. Within three years the hunt for the Tailed beasts will begin. We will simply save the Nine-Tails for last. Until then, we will begin amassing funds for the Akatsuki. You're all dismissed." said a man with purple eyes that had several rings around the pupils.

-To be continued-


UltimaShishigawa: That's that! Man, that was long. Okay, from here on the story will be told from Naruto's P.O.V. Also, I know I said I wasn't making anymore stories until I finished the ones I have going now, but I couldn't think of anything, but this. Also I've been on a vacation from writing because I've been busy and everything. Anyway, read, review, comment and don't flame. Peace, I'm out!