Naruto dashed towards Kiba, his four clones moving into an arrow formation around him. He watched Kiba settle into the Taijutsu stance favored by Inuzaka, crouching low with both hands curled into claws. 'This is my chance… I have to make it count!' Naruto thought as his first clone slid low to the ground, aiming for the taller boy's knees. Kiba flipped over the attack, using the momentum to land a devastating axe kick on the next clone, but Naruto paid it no mind. His minions were unlimited and disposable.
Kiba dodged a roundhouse from Naruto's third clone, but the blonde smiled as his first doppleganger recovered from his sliding kick and grabbed the Inuzaka from behind, lacing its arms under Kiba's shoulders in a full nelson. The hold was even more effective due to the vast height difference between the two boys, as Kiba was bent over backwards. The Inuzaka's eyes widened in panic as Naruto swung a haymaker at his unprotected face.
The blow landed heavily, and Kiba's eyes glazed over momentarily, but Naruto wasn't finished yet. He and his two remaining clones took turns landing the heaviest punches and kicks they could think of, punishing Kiba's face and body. Naruto could see the Inuzaka's stamina quickly draining. Just a few more hits, and Kiba would be down for the count. However, Kiba wasn't fighting alone. Akamaru, who Naruto had assumed was just a pet, flew into a rage, savagely biting the clone that was holding Kiba. The clone dispelled in a puff of smoke, and Kiba leapt clumsily backwards, dropping a pair of smoke bombs to cover his retreat. The last thing Naruto saw before the smoke enveloped him was Kiba forming a hand seal.
"YEAH! SHOW HIM, NARUTO!"
Sakura was excited, leaning over the balcony railing as she cheered on her crush. Naruto had gone on the offensive early and had dealt some serious damage to Kiba. The larger boy was panting heavily as he crouched low, his fingers forming a single hand seal.
"Ninja Art: All Fours Jutsu!"
Sakura's emerald eyes widened as Kiba placed his hands on the ground, his features becoming slightly beast like. The transformation lasted only lasted a moment before Kiba was on all fours. Naruto had yet to appear from the smoke grenade, and the rosette hoped that her teammate had something up his sleeve.
"This is it for Naruto." A female voice behind her said. Sakura turned, prepared to lecture the speaker, only to find that it was Kiba's Jonin Sensei. The woman was wearing more bandages than clothing, showing more skin than was decent, and had red eyes that reminded Sakura strongly of the Sharingan, minus the tomoe's. Sakura vaguely remembered the woman's name… Kurenai… something. She had only heard it the one time during Team placement. "This is one of Kiba's strongest attacks. It greatly increases his strength and speed. There's no way your student will be able to keep up, Kakashi." Sakura desperately wanted to punch the satisfied smirk off of the older woman's face.
Sakura looked to her sensei, who was standing beside the red eyed woman. "You know what they say about counting and chickens, Kurenai," Kakashi said, obviously unworried as he gave his colleague his trademarked eye-smile. Sakura anxiously turned back to the fight, her stomach in knots. If this Jutsu was as strong as Kurenai had claimed, Naruto might be in serious trouble. Kiba's transformation was finally complete, and the large teen had taken on a feral appearance. His canines had lengthened, his muscles had bulged, and his fingernails had sharpened themselves into claws. Sakura couldn't help but gasp as she lost sight of Kiba almost immediately. 'Naruto IS in trouble… Kiba is so fast!'
A loud crack echoed through the arena as a yellow and blue bullet sailed out of the now dissipating smoke, skipping once, twice, thrice, then rolling to a stop. Sakura immediately recognized the figure as Naruto, who slowly climbed to his hands and knees while spitting out a mouthful of blood. However, his opponent was going to give him any time to recover. In the blink of an eye, Kiba was standing over him, planting an elbow square into the middle of Naruto's back. The blonde slammed into the ground, but before he could even think of regaining his feet, Kiba had punted him halfway across the room. The ex-Jinchuriki landed face down, unmoving.
Sakura's heart leapt into her throat. Had Naruto… lost? "Come on, Naruto! Get up!" She said under her breath. "Get up!" Little did she know that a certain Hyuuga heiress was about twenty feet away, thinking the exact same thing.
"Get up, Loser!" Kiba mocked as he walked towards Naruto's fallen form.
Sasuke smirked. She didn't think that anyone else had seen Naruto's hand dip into one of the pouches on his waist as he rolled to a stop after Kiba's brutal kick. She wouldn't have seen it herself if she hadn't activated her Sharingan to follow the Inuzaka's movements. The last Uchiha had an inkling of what Naruto was up to, and she couldn't wait to see the look on Kiba's and Kurenai's faces. She momentarily wished that she had Sakura's photographic memory so she could capture the moment forever.
As Kiba neared Naruto, Sasuke tensed. 'Any moment now.' The Inuzaka was laughing as he pulled Naruto up, grasping the boy by his hood. Naruto still had not moved an inch.
Naruto forced himself to remain limp. He'd only get one shot at this, and it was his only chance. Kiba's All Fours Jutsu was too powerful: the boy was too quick. However, he had something special for people who liked to move too fast.
The blonde felt Kiba lift him up and fought a smirk that tried to rise to his lips. This was gonna be good.
"The little guy fought well, but he is horribly outclassed," Temari said as she watched the fight disinterestedly. Gaara growled. He had been sure that Uzumaki had been a tough competitor, that the boy's blood was worthy of his Mother, but it looked like the blonde was all talk. The Uchiha, on the other hand, now she might be able to prove his existence.
Shikamaru sighed. "This is troublesome. I was sure that Naruto was tougher than this."
"Well, he started off well," Chouji Akimichi mumbled through a mouth of potato chips. "I don't think I've seen anyone but Sasuke give Kiba so much trouble."
Shikamaru shook his head. He had to be missing something. There's no way that Naruto would go down after a couple of hits. Giving up wasn't in his vocabulary. "There's gotta be something… Kiba's strong, but I don't think Naruto's down for the count, yet."
Chouji shrugged. "Well if he's going to do something, he'd better do it now. Kiba's about to take his head off."
'Come on, Naruto.'
Sakura didn't think she could watch Kiba beat up Naruto again. After all the training he'd done, after all the things he'd accomplished, she couldn't help but feel a gaping hole in her chest as she watched Kiba lift her friend into the air.
"COME ON, NARUTO! SNAP OUT OF IT!" Sakura shouted at the top of her voice.
"I told you, Kakashi," Kurenai said, still smirking. "Your student is good, but he's no match for Kiba."
Kakashi ignored her. She hadn't seen what he had, obviously. Naruto had palmed something as he went down. If it was what Kakashi thought it was, then this fight was going to turn around in a hurry.
"Sealing Art: Weight of the Earth!" Naruto shouted, slamming the sealing tag in his hand against Kiba's chest and pushing his chakra through it. The tag glowed purple for a moment before dissolving into the Inuzaka's jacket. Kiba let go of him immediately as the effects of the seal took hold, falling to his knees as he strained against the unexpected weight. Naruto didn't give him any time to recover as he landed on his feet, cocking his fist back.
"Wax on…" Naruto shouted, reveling in the fear that filled Kiba's eyes.
"Wax off!" Kiba flew backwards as the punch punished his jaw, skipping once across the stone floor before finally coming to a rest, flat on his back. The dark haired boy tried to get up, but between the beating he'd been given and the Weight of the Earth, the Inuzaka was unable to regain his footing. Naruto breathed deeply, relieved that he'd have a moment to recover from Kiba's All Fours Jutsu.
"Who's the loser now?" Naruto shouted as he calmly walked towards his fallen opponent. It took a herculean effort, but he managed to hide the pain that coursed through him with every step. The blonde Genin was sure that Kiba had broken something with that last kick.
The Inuzaka glared at him, finally able to push himself onto one knee. Kiba was bleeding heavily from the corner of his mouth, and his eyes still seemed slightly glassy. "You're still the loser here, Naruto! There's no way that I'm going to lose to a dead last like you!"
"You sure about that?" Naruto replied, narrowing his cerulean gaze. "You're on your last legs! All these years, you've thought you were better than me! Now look at you! You can't even stand!"
Kiba smirked. "I don't have to." Kiba began digging into one of his pouches. Naruto wasn't about to give him a chance to use whatever ace the brown haired boy had up his sleeve. Ignoring the pain in his chest, Naruto dove towards Kiba, tackling him back to the ground. However, he was a moment too late, as a small pellet bounced across the ground… Directly towards Akamaru. The puppy sniffed the pellet for a moment before devouring it whole.
"Dude, your dog just ate that!" Naruto shouted, worried about the small animal's health.
Kiba laughed from beneath the blonde. "That was the plan."
"Wha-?" Naruto was interrupted by a ferocious bark and a crazed Akamaru that rammed him right in his injured ribs and knocked him off of Kiba. Naruto, gasping in pain, held his side as he lay on the ground.
"That shouldn't be legal! Naruto had this fight won!"
Sakura was livid. Why was Kiba allowed what amounted to a 2-on-1 advantage? Brushing her hair over one shoulder, the rosette turned to her sensei, demanding an answer with her gaze. Kakashi just gave her an odd look before turning his attention back to the fight.
"You know as well as I do that the Inuzaka's canine companions count as a ninja tool in all official tourneys and fights, Sakura," the Jonin replied after a moment. "You notice that Naruto didn't complain the first time that Akamaru interfered in the fight, correct?" Sakura nodded. "He's been itching for a fight with Kiba for a while. He's obviously done his homework and knows that Kiba and Akamaru are a package deal."
"Well, it's still an unfair advantage if you ask me!" Sakura retorted. "Kiba gets a 2-on-1 matchup against anyone he fights!"
"And Naruto could have a hundred to one matchup if he so chose," Kakashi replied levelly.
Kurenai gave her colleague a hard look. "And how is that?"
Kakashi just shrugged. "Shadow Clones."
Kurenai started laughing. "There's no way a Genin could create a hundred Clones! Get real, Kakashi!"
Kakashi just chuckled. "Naruto can make a lot more than a hundred. I don't think even he knows how many he could make. After all, his chakra is virtually limitless."
Naruto panted as he lay on the ground. 'Just tune out the pain,' he thought. 'Get up. Kick the dog. Hard. Beat up Kiba before he can start adjusting to the extra weight. 100% fool proof plan to victory.'
He focused on Step One, tuning out the pain. He took several deep breaths, feeling the pain shift to the back burner of his mind with every exhale. Time for Step Two. Rolling over on his side, he rested his weight on his uninjured side and pushed, managing to prop himself up on his hands and knees.
"What did you do to me, loser?!" Kiba yelled, still struggling to stand. Naruto didn't bother to answer, focused as he was on getting on his own feet. "Well, whatever it is, it's not going to work! Akamaru and I can still beat you! Ninja Art: All Fours Jutsu!"
Naruto finally stood, just in time to see Kiba do the same, the taller boy using his strength enhancing Jutsu to counteract the Weight of the Earth seal. Naruto felt a trickle of blood drip it's way from beneath his headband. It carved its way through the scar over his eye before sliding down and dripping off his chin. Naruto formed the Ram Seal, shouting out the name of his favorite Jutsu as Kiba flew through a set of hand seals.
"Shadow Clone Jutsu!"
"Ninja Art: Man Beast Clone!"
Two Shadow Clones poofed into existence, flanking either side of their creator, as a shroud of smoke surrounded Akamaru. The smoke cleared almost immediately, revealing what appeared to be a second Kiba.
"Your clones have nothing on this Jutsu, Naruto! Akamaru now has access to the same strength, speed and Jutsu that I do, and he doesn't have to deal with the weird Jutsu you used on me!" The transformed canine took this as a signal to attack. Akamaru vanished from sight, only to reappear to directly in front of the blonde, landing a brutal punch that sent him flying. When he finally came to a stop, Naruto hurt everywhere.
He had no idea what to do. His Weight of the Earth seal wasn't going to work a second time and there was no way he could keep up with Akamaru's enhanced speed… But maybe he didn't have to. Rising to one knee, Naruto formed the Ram seal again.
"Multi-Shadow Clone Jutsu!" Several hundred clones appeared between the blonde and Akamaru, whose eyes widened at the army standing in front of him.
The man-puppy turned back to its master, looking for orders. "Just go through 'em, Akamaru! They're weak… Just like he is!"
With a roar that caused the stone floor to tremble, the clones charged. Akamaru tensed, getting into a combat stance… As the clones simply thundered around the confused puppy. Instead they had their sights set on the vulnerable Kiba. "Get Naruto! I'll deal with this!" Kiba shouted.
Naruto smirked. Kiba knew the score. They each had an advantage, an ally (or army) that the other wouldn't be able to overcome. Kiba wouldn't be able to fend off the clone army that surrounded him, and Naruto wouldn't be able to keep up with the transformed Akamaru. Now the only question was… Who would remain conscious the longest? Naruto knew that if there was one thing he was good at, it was taking a beating.
He didn't even try to fight Akamaru. Instead, he curled up into a defensive ball, refusing to call out as Akamaru pummeled him again and again, sending him tumbling around the stone floor. He knew that Kiba wasn't faring worse. The idiot had tried to fight the clones instead of protect himself. Now the Inuzaka was receiving the beating of his life. Two clones had pinned his arms to the ground as clone after clone stomped and kicked the taller Genin.
"ENOUGH!" A voice shouted over the cacophony of clones. It was Hayate. The Jonin walked over to the fallen Naruto. The still-transformed Akamaru backed away as the proctor stood over the blonde. "Are you conscious?"
"Yeah…" Naruto replied weakly, his voice gravelly.
"Can you stand?"
"Then get up," the Jonin did not look amused. He walked towards Kiba, the mass of clones parting to let him through. "Are you conscious?" Naruto could hear Hayate ask the question, if only faintly. He couldn't hear Kiba's response. "Can you stand? Then get up." Hayate walked to the center of the ring as both boys started to try and find a way to rise.
Naruto didn't know if he could stand again. The mere thought of putting himself through that much pain made him cringe. He was out of… everything. Well, everything but chakra, but he never ran out of that. He felt battered all over. Placing the arm that hurt the least on the ground, he couldn't help but cry out as pain lanced through his entire body. Darkness closed in on the edges of his vision.
"GET UP LOSER!"
Sasuke… That was Sasuke's voice, right? Couldn't she see he was trying to take a nap? He craned his neck and saw the beautiful Uchiha glaring at him, her dark eyes roiling with emotion.
"I SAID, GET UP!"
Man, she was beautiful, especially when she was angry. Which was good, because she was mad a lot. Even when she had been trying to kill him and Sakura in the forest, her perfect features and ebony hair had struck him as the most gorgeous thing in the entire world. Well, if this Goddess of Vengeance demanded that he stand, who was he to argue?
He put weight on his best arm, pushing himself off the ground. He ordered one of his legs to take his weight, and surprisingly enough, it did. The other foot shortly followed, and albeit slowly and clumsily, Naruto found himself standing. The world went in and out of focus intermittently, and the darkness at the edge of his vision threatened to overwhelm him at any moment, but by Kami he was standing. And now that he was on his feet, he found he wasn't injured half as bad as he had thought. He looked towards Kiba, who was still on his hands and knees.
"You have ten seconds to find your footing before the match resumes. No clones, no animal companions, no Jutsu. Taijutsu only. The first fighter knocked unconscious or unable to rise will lose. I will not allow this… circus… to continue," Hayate looked towards Naruto. "I'm trying to decide if your strategy was either one of the most clever or most idiotic I've seen."
Naruto shrugged, wincing. "I get that a lot. It's a fine line."
Hayate looked towards Kiba, who was still on his hands and knees. "Your time is up. Do you yield?"
"No! I won't lose to him!" Kiba spat. "I'm an Inuzaka, one of the most powerful clans in the Leaf Village. He's nothing but an orphan! He's so pathetic even his useless parents didn't want anything to do with him! They'd rather die than have to spend a single moment with such a fucking loser!" Gasps could be heard from the upper balcony.
Hayate sighed as he turned back to Naruto. If looks could kill, Kiba would have been dead on the spot. "You may resume."
The blonde nodded as he limped towards Kiba. The fifty feet between them felt more like a mile. Kiba managed to get one foot beneath him. Thirty feet. Kiba had finally started to stand. Ten feet. The Inuzaka stood mostly upright, swaying slightly. One arm hung uselessly at his side. The other took a swing as Naruto neared, but Kiba's depth perception must have been off, because the blonde wasn't anywhere close to being within range. The weak punch whiffed a full foot in front of Naruto's face. He didn't even have to dodge, and the missed blow left Kiba overextended. Naruto, never one to pass up such an easy opportunity, grabbed Kiba's good arm and slammed his palm into the vulnerable elbow joint. The joint broke with a sickening crackling sound.
"My arm! You bastard! You broke my fucking arm!" Kiba howled. The Inuzaka started to fall, but Naruto grabbed a fistful of his jacket and kept him up. The ex-Jinchuriki cocked his fist back and nailed Kiba directly between the eyes, breaking Kiba's nose with a fountain of blood. Kiba's eyes rolled into the back of his head as he lost consciousness. The blonde prepared to give him another blow, but a hand on his shoulder stopped him.
"It's over," Hayate said. Nodding, Naruto dropped Kiba to the ground and tried not to take pleasure as he watched the boy's head bounce off the stone floor.
"The winner is: Naruto Uzumaki!" That was the last thing that Naruto heard as the darkness, no longer content with hovering around the edge of his vision, enveloped him in its warm embrace.
And that is Chapter 14. Leave me a review to let me know what you thought! I hope that it met all of the sky-high expectations you guys had for the highly anticipated rematch!
To answer the question I know is coming: Why didn't Kiba use the Fang over Fang? The simple answer is: He didn't think he had to... and then he couldn't. He was pummeling Naruto with only the All Fours Jutsu. Then, the Weight of the Earth Seal effectively disabled the Jutsu. There was no way he could use a Jutsu that required so much mobility, and he knew it. The reason Akamaru didn't use the Fang Whirlwind is simple: He wasn't ordered to. At the end of the day, he's a dog. He'll attack without command if Kiba is in trouble, but he won't use specific Jutsu without being ordered to do so. I hope this clears this up and keeps me from getting asked this a dozen times in the reviews.
I hope to have the next chapter out soon, and I apologize for the delay on this one. I'm done making promises about updates, because I'm obviously horrible at keeping them.