Disclaimer- I don't own any Sonic or Naruto characters mentioned in this fanfic! :'( This goes for every chapter in the story so I don't have to retype it over and over again. XD
A/N- Hey guys! I'm baaacck! And with a new Naruto/Sonic fanfic too! Well…not exactly new…but kinda a continuation…You know what I mean! I realize that it's been like a month since the last chapter of the prequel, but I can explain!
That isn't important right now, the story info is!
Even though this seems canon at first, don't think that the story is gonna follow that path. As you know, (if you read A Faster than Sound nin) a certain snake and his lackey is (X_X) dead, yeah, so don't expect it to follow the regular Naruto Shippuden. Speaking of this being a sequel, you don't have to read the prequel, but it's highly suggested that you do so you know the backstory and such.
Enough of my yabbering, it's story time!
It's a stare down.
The strong breeze in the clearing we're occupying blows our hair around, making it flow in the wind. The sun is bright and there are few clouds to block the view of the clear blue sky. It would be the perfect day to laze around and do nothing. I would be doing precisely that, while eating the prized Ichiraku ramen of course, if I wasn't completing an important mission.
We had just left the Hidden Sand village to find the Akatsuki hideout so we could save Gaara. Now, we're standing in a field in front of an obstacle that I didn't know we would have to face until later when we went in to save the Fifth Kazekage. Great. Now Gaara is going to have to wait a bit longer.
I'm standing here, tense and ready for some action, with Kakashi-sensei, Granny Chiyo, and Sakura as we eye our opponent on the other side of the clearing. He's just standing there, cloak with red clouds fluttering in the wind along with his jet black hair. Under his slashed headband are his activated red eyes which are normally the exact color of his hair when chakra isn't swirling around in them. I grit my teeth and feel a bead of sweat roll down the side my face. Itachi…
Granny Chiyo, beside me, takes a step forward and I glance at her, wondering what she's going to say. Her eyes don't leave the raven's face. "So…That's the one." She narrows her eyes. "The child who wiped out his entire clan…"
"Kakashi. Naruto." I whip my head around back to Itachi as soon as he says my name. In the corner of my eye, I see that sensei subtly tenses up when the Sharingan user utters his as well. "It's been a while." It's been about three years. Three years since I saw the bastard in the hotel I was staying in with the Pervy Sage, Jiraiya.
Scowling, I speak up even though my heart beat is pounding a million miles per minute. "I wasn't enough for you, huh?" I growl out. "You had to go after Gaara as well!" Dammit, he could be dying right now! We have to hurry and save him! I point my finger at the raven, confidence growing. "I'll destroy every last one of you!" They will get what's coming for them for taking my friend! Gaara is the Kazekage; he had earned respect from all of Suna's citizens. He doesn't deserve to die!
Itachi starts to move his right arm and Kakashi gasps, holding his arm straight out to the side. "Everyone! Whatever you do, don't look him in the eyes!" We three look at the jonin before nodding. Itachi then makes a hand sign in front of his face, staring blankly at the four of us, as Kakashi explains why. "Itachi's genjutsu is a visual jutsu which means, avoid eye contact with him and the jutsu won't take effect."
"Yeah, that I know." I respond to him, having had many experiences with the Sharingan. Sakura has had a lot too. I think sensei's only explaining this to Granny Chiyo so she won't make the mistake of doing so.
"Okay…but then how are we supposed to fight him?" Sakura asks, fists clenched. I can tell she wants to take down this guy as much as I do for killing Sasuke's family and for keeping Gaara.
Kakashi pauses for a moment before answering. "That's…the tricky part. You have to anticipate his moves by watching his feet, his body." Sakura and I have done that before with Sasuke, but none of that was as serious as this right now. "He's going to be more difficult to read than Sasuke, so be vigilant."
I see Sakura struggling to keep her eyes lowered. It's hard not to look into someone's eyes. When we sparred with Sasuke before I left, we fought without staring at my rival's eyes maybe once a week. We had just started doing that too, so we are nowhere near pros at it. We might as well be still beginners.
"It's like fighting with one hand tied behind your back…" Sakura points out, glancing down.
"It's been a while since I've been up against the Sharingan." Granny Chiyo starts. I turn and look wide-eyed at her, not believing her words. "Don't be so surprised. I've been around. And I know that there's more than one way to fight against a visual jutsu."
"How?" I ask, desperate to find a way to take down Itachi once and for all without screwing up.
"If it's one on one, you get out of there. You won't have a chance. If it's two on one, then one of the duo could provide a distraction as the other goes in for the kill."
"What if one gets caught in it?"
"Then the one who's free can either strike the Sharingan user or their comrade to knock them out of their daze. So one of us needs to be a distraction while the rest of us hit him with various attacks."
After I take her words in, I turn towards Itachi and smirk a little. "Alright." I say stepping up. "Let's g-"
"Wait." Sensei stops me, holding out his hand.
I blink, confused. "What Kakashi-sensei?"
"Do you have a problem with my plan?" Chiyo deadpans, glancing askance at the jonin. "Are you hinting that it won't work?"
"No." Kakashi replies simply. "It would work on any other person, but what we are dealing with here is more complicated." Chiyo raises a brow, telling him clearly without sound to continue to explain himself. "Itachi has the Mangekyo Sharingan. If you get hit with it, your sense of time will be warped. Hours can seem like days. I should know; I have personal experience." He narrows his uncovered eye. "It can't be broken just like that."
I inwardly gasp before facing Itachi again. His Sharingan is nothing like Sasuke's at all! If I look in Itachi's eyes, I'm done for!
The old woman grunts. "Hm…What a troublesome fellow this is." I can't help it to compare her to a specific person of the Nara clan.
"Good job, Kakashi." Itachi's deep voice carries over the wind. "Nice to know that your time trapped wasn't wasted."
"I've also learned something else." I listen closely, knowing that every fact could help me in some way. "Using the genjutsu exhausts you, doesn't it? You can risk permanent damage." Kakashi pulls up his bandana, showing his own Sharingan. "But, I wonder how much." He places his hand on his hip. "Things are not going to go like last time. Not at all."
Just for a second, I see the raven lose his composure before regaining it, closing his eyes. A grin grows on my face and I point to myself. "And don't think I'm the same kid back then either!"
"Naruto. Leave him to me." I look at him, frowning. Please don't let him do the same thing he did when we were with the bridge builder…! "I'm going to need you to have my back. I'm going to need you all this time." After a few seconds of awe, I nod and smile, focusing back on the raven across the field.
Then, all of a sudden, Kakashi sprints forward toward the Uchiha. In a flash, he throws a fist, but Itachi catches it with little difficulty. I scowl at that, but then focus on the real raven running at us quickly. Holding out my hand, I summon a ball of wind and plan to meet Itachi in the middle. When I get close enough, I yell, "Rasengan!" before slamming the technique straight into the Uchiha's chest.
My moment of triumph is quickly squashed when Itachi disappears in a cloud of smoke. "Another shadow clone?!" Of course this won't be easy. When the smoke fades away, I'm shocked to see Kakashi, Sakura, and Granny Chiyo all laying on the ground, motionless. Not knowing what to do, I just stare at them. "Wha…?"
They all start to get up, and I start to calm back down; but then Sakura turns into Itachi. My eyes widen before I narrow them and get into a fighting stance, knowing that serious combat is coming soon. In my peripherals, I see that Chiyo and Kakashi also transform into the raven. Cold sweat is forming on my forehead. What's going on here?
Not liking this situation at all, I do what first comes to mind and throw a multitude of kunai in their directions, hitting all of them. My mouth ultimately falls open when the shadow clones float midair before turning into black crows and fly off above my head. Realizing what's happening, I look up to see the birds forming another Itachi. "But I didn't look into his eyes!" I yell aloud, frustrated that I've fallen somehow into the Uchiha's trap.
"It doesn't matter." He says, watching me from his place in the sky. He's red eyes are piercing mine, but I don't glance away knowing that I've already been pulled into his genjutsu. "All I need is a single finger."
My breath hitches as I get what he's saying. He can cast genjutsu without his eyes! What am I going to do now?!
"But," He continues, voice floating over to where I am. "I'm not going to use my Mangekyo Sharingan." Surprisingly, Itachi floats back down and grounds himself a few yards away from me. Gritting my teeth, I glare at him and get ready for anything, literally. I'm trapped in a world he made. The raven just stares at me with no expression, causing a cold shiver down my spine. "I want to talk with you."
I expected many things, but that was not anywhere near the words I thought that would come out of his mouth.
A confused frown appears on my face, but I know better than to drop my guard. As much as I don't like it, I'm trapped and he can do anything he wanted with me, which includes taking me for the Nine Tails. But…Itachi isn't doing anything. He has his chance, but he isn't taking it. Even though I'm still cautious, I let curiosity guide my mouth. "Talk?" The uncertainty is heavily laced in my tone. I never thought that I would ever be having a conversation with the man who murdered my friend's family, but here I am.
The raven takes a step forward. "It's more of a negotiation, really."
I instantly take a step back, not wanting the space between us to get any less. "Why would I even try to negotiate with someone like you?" I yell with a deep scowl. What's with this guy? Why in the world would I listen any words he has to say? Itachi is part of the Akatsuki, who is after me! So why would I-
"You do value your friend's life, correct?"
My mouth goes dry very quickly and it seems like a golf ball lodged itself in in my throat. I try to speak, but my tongue doesn't want to cooperate.
Itachi, seeing my expression, continues. "I take that as a yes." The raven takes a couple steps forward and I want to move backwards to keep him from getting too close, but my body doesn't listen to me. Heart rate increasing, I try to get my legs, arms, something to at least twitch, but it's like my body is made out of stone! After willing myself to move and not getting any result, I grit my teeth and focus back on the Uchiha who is now a few feet away from me, no emotion in those red eyes. "Don't waste your time. This is the place of my creation."
Anger and fright are bubbling up inside me as my breaths get shorter and more panicked. "What do you want from me?" Oh wait…I know that. "You're not taking me to get the Kyuubi! My friends and sensei will make sure-"
"We don't want you anymore." Itachi says, cutting my words off and effectively short-circuiting my brain in the process. "Nor any of the tailed beasts."
I blink a couple times, horribly confused. He doesn't- They don't want- What? Akatsuki isn't after the beasts anymore? Then what are they after? I know that I should be happy or at least relieved about this, but something seems off. Yeah, I can't trust any of the words coming out of his mouth. He might be trying throw me for a loop, or something. Time to burst his bubble because I'm not buying any of it!
"Then why'd you take Gaara, huh?" I really hope he's okay right now. "If you don't care if he's a jinchuuriki, why in the hell isn't he back in the Hidden Sand with his people?"
"We needed him as bait to get you here." My nervousness rises as he comes even closer, his monotonous drone filling the air. "And it worked." He stops right in front of me and looks down at my face. "Now, you will listen, or the Ichibi container loses his life." Dammit, now I have no choice! Wait…I don't want to think this, but what if he is already dead? Then the raven is just hanging an empty threat over my head. When I ask if he is, Itachi answers with a, "No, unless…"
"Unless I don't listen." I sigh out, severely upset about this new development. I can't really do anything but comply in this situation. Yeah, the raven could be lying through his teeth, but what if he isn't and I make the wrong move? I can't have the death of my friend on my hands. Even though I know that I'm going to regret this, I give in and ask lowly, "What do you want?"
"I want to make an exchange."
"An exchange?" If I could move, both of my eyebrows would be invisible under the fringes of my hair. What does he want that he can't already take by force? Not that I want him to, mind you, but just seems too weird.
"Yes. I will return the jinchuuriki we have in our possession to you." I can't believe this. He'll give us back Gaara? Is he serious? "In a week. At noon, we will meet on Tenchi Bridge. I will be alone with only my charge, and you with yours. If you two aren't the only ones, I will kill the Ichibi holder on site."
"Wait." I say, slightly worried that I'm going to have to exchange another person for Gaara. That's what I guess he's talking about. He wants me to go alone with someone that he, or his group, wants so we can trade. I'm really apprehensive about this. Having Gaara back will be great, but…who does Itachi want? "Who do you want me to bring? What's their name?" Are they from my village? From somewhere else? A child? Elderly? I have no clue!
Itachi actually smirks and I'm taken aback because that's the first sign of emotion I've seen on him today…or ever really. "I won't give you a name." Is he really giving me a riddle? Right now? "I don't need to. He was known by everyone then, but is nothing but a fading memory now. He destroyed homes and split apart families, not caring in the slightest. However, you ninja held him in a good light." Itachi backs away from me and I realize that I can move now. Clenching and unclenching my fists, I continue to listen to the other. "He was here and gone, like a swift breeze."
The smirk leaves the raven's face and the cold blank expression returns, making my gut churn. "But I know that you can bring him to me, and you will, if you want your friend alive."
A nice little teaser, don't ya think? XD
Who does Itachi want, hm? And Why? Even though you might know the first part, the last one won't be cleared up for a while…or will it? :P Ya gotta wait 'n see!
Oh! And the winners of the poll will be making their debut next chappie! So stay tuned for that!