Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Tayuya wanted to be dead. She knew that she wasn't far from that fate either as she trudged through the forest. Her left arm hung limply at her side, the flesh torn apart and the bone mangled beyond any logical hope of reconstruction. Her breathing was laboured and there was the recurring taste of blood in her mouth, side effects of what she knew was a couple of broken ribs. As if none of that was bad enough, she had also pretty much exhausted her chakra reserves.

Turns out that the fat ass she had stayed back to fight wasn't as much of a pushover as she had expected. The chubby bastard had several tricks up his sleeve, one of which ended with her arm being crushed between a tree and the expanded canon ball form that he had taken. At the time, Tayuya had fully expected the kid to tear right through her, but he was as soft on the inside as he was physically. Still, her arm was completely fucked now, and she wasn't even sure if she was walking in the right direction.

"Stupid fucking cunts! Couldn't manage a simple fucking retrieval mission! And now look at us! None of those fuckers better survive, or so help me, I'll choke them with their own insides!" she yelled angrily, trying to distract herself from the blinding pain pulsating from her arm.

"Why the fuck does Orochimaru even care about the stupid emo fucktard?! Just take the fucking eyes! It's that simple! Cut the little mopey bitch out of the equation!" she continued. "But nooo! Can't do that! Can't harm the fucking merchandise can we?! Orochimaru needs another boy-toy after all!"

Tayuya's increasingly staggered walk wound up with her tripping over herself and hitting the ground hard. She winced and grit her teeth in an attempt to force back her urge to scream as tears forced their way out of her eyes. The strained howl that came out of her was enough to help her push through the pain and stumble back to her feet again. Her vision had only gotten fuzzier, but she was determined, and, to quote Kidōmaru, 'more stubborn than an ox with a hard on'.

She had to force herself not to chuckle at that, lest she risk doubling over in pain. In the back of her mind, she somewhat hoped that Kidōmaru had survived the mission. Despite being a complete and total tool, as well as a mild pervert, he was actually not too difficult to deal with. At least he retained a personality that wasn't completely focused on sucking Orochimaru's dick or going all necrophilia on everyone that he killed. Although it wouldn't be a complete loss if he had died. If Tayuya was assuming correctly, the mission was a failure, so they would all get fucked over anyway. Orochimaru had a thing about uselessness amongst his subordinates. Needless to say, the redhead was fairly certain she was walking to her death, or worse.

Still, that didn't do much to deter her from her path. It wasn't as if she had much else in regards to options. She was dying at a steady pace now anyway, so why not just go and get it over with. Sure, she could just pull out a kunai and end it herself, but Tayuya refused to be a weak willed sell out bitch as to end it like that. As far as she was concerned, only pussies committed suicide. Even the whole concept of seppuku was just a bitch move by a coward.

She tried to snort in amusement at her own thoughts, only for it to leave her in a coughing fit. Hacking up a few mouthfuls of blood, Tayuya once again collapsed to the ground. Spewing out a worrying amount of the thick crimson liquid, the girl let out what was supposed to be a growl. It came out a gurgled mess as she clawed angrily at the dirt, trying desperately to drag herself to her feet once more. In the end, she only managed to steady herself on her hand and knees.

"That fat cunt!" she spat venomously.

If she wasn't so absolutely sure that the 'fat cunt' in question was already dead, then Tayuya would be making it her life mission to hunt him down and force feed him his own lard filled ass until he drowned on it. Thankfully, the fucker had been soft, and now he was paying for that pathetic excuse of a shinobi's iron will with a kunai buried deep into his skull. If she hadn't gotten so badly injured, she would have enjoyed sticking around and having her summons bash his body into paste.

Tayuya sat back on her haunches as she took a few calming breaths. Her vision was only getting worse as she moved, and there was a distinct ringing in her ears. She didn't recall hitting her head during her fight, but she couldn't exactly remember what broke her ribs either. If she had to hazard a guess, she would say she had a concussion of some sort. Just another injury to add to the list at this point she supposed.

Forcing herself to stand for yet another time, Tayuya continued to walk. As she went, she tore off a strip of cloth from her shirt, tying it tightly around her arm as a makeshift tourniquet. She knew that it would leave her arm completely dead after around thirty minutes, but it was a better alternative to bleeding to death. She was somewhat confident that Orochimaru could fix something as simple as a dead and broken arm, if he bothered to spare her life that is. Despite knowing the Sannin's nature, Tayuya was strangely optimistic about it.

An unnaturally strong breeze swept through the trees, causing Tayuya to sway precariously in a desperate attempt to stay off the ground. The redhead had already fallen too many times and she was certain that she would not get up from another. Disastrously, the breeze was merely a forewarning for the storm yet to come. The wind picked up violently as a raging wind jutsu tore through the area, ripping trees from the ground and throwing everything into airborne chaos. Tayuya was tossed around like a ragdoll; barely managing to use what strength and focus she had left to twist herself around and out of direct danger.

She succeeded in keeping herself from getting crushed by the trees, for the most part, until the jutsu finally died down. But it wasn't over. Tayuya was dealt yet another significant blow as a blade of wind sliced deep into her side. Her would be gasp was cut off, a stray tree branch slamming into her and sending her plummeting to the ground. As it would have it though, it seemed that fate wasn't quite done with its apparent tormenting of the girl. Her arm, flailing around as it was, became wedged in a forked branch of a toppled tree. The sudden jerking stop was enough to snap her tendons and rip her shoulder from its socket, giving the girl a new and intensely intimate understanding of suffering and agony.

"FUUUUUUUUUCKK!" Tayuya screamed at the top of her lungs, tears flowing freely from her eyes as she clawed desperately at the tree branch, shredding her fingernails as she did so.

"Fuckin' fuck, shit!" she whimpered, her voice becoming brittle and shaken.

Tayuya's crying lead to another pain filled coughing fit that once again ended with her tasting blood. The world spun around her, making her dizzy and tired. Letting herself go limp, Tayuya hung her head and stared at the ground. She almost laughed at seeing that she was hanging barely a foot off the ground, and yet it felt so far away in this moment. She wasn't unaware of the blood pooling below her either, her hand reaching up to clutch weakly at the gash in her side. Surprisingly enough, she couldn't really feel it, or anything else for that matter. Her body had gone almost completely numb.

"Heh, so this is how I die?" she muttered to herself. "Strung up like some slaughtered pig. The guys would piss 'em selves laughing if they could see me now" she regurgitated some more blood. "How… how the fuck am I still alive?" she whimpered.

Logically speaking, she should have been dead by now. Tayuya wasn't exactly a large person, in fact, she was rather small for her age, and she knew she had lost more than enough blood to leave her dead. Perhaps it was just some sick joke. Life's way of making her suffer for the things she had done for Orochimaru. If that was the case, then it was definitely working. Tayuya had never felt so completely helpless in her life. Her body was broken, her mind was wavering between angry and distraught, and her life teetered on the edge of death.

There was literally nothing that could make things worse.

"Are you Tayuya of the north gate?"

The girl's eyes widened as she looked up. Her surprise only increased as her eyes finally managed to focus on the origin of the disembodied voice. It was a boy, barely a couple of years older than she was. He was just standing there, looking at her unsympathetically with his dark blue eyes. He didn't appear to be sporting any noticeable symbol of any hidden village, which struck her as odd. The rather expensive looking katana that was tied to his waist also didn't help in making him appear to be possibly friendly. She didn't exactly have connections to anyone who could afford something like an expensive sword save for Orochimaru.

"Am I hallucinating you?" Tayuya mumbled.

The boy seemed to become thoughtful at that question, scratching at his dark red hair. "If I say yes, will you answer my question?" he asked curiously.

Tayuya was too exhausted to really care at this point. She'd be dead quick enough, so it wouldn't hurt to humour the guy, even if she wasn't actually hallucinating him. "Who wants to know?"

Pinching his chin lightly, the boy looked at Tayuya strangely. "Well, if I'm just a hallucination of yours, then I suppose you are the one that wants to know who you are" he said. "Perhaps, subconsciously, you aren't sure who you are inside. Maybe you should express yourself a little, get some dark secrets off your chest, like perhaps the location of your master," he continued with a hopeful expression, gesturing for her to 'spill the beans'.

Tayuya snarled and spat at him. "Go fuck yourself, you prick. I ain't telling you nothing!"

He shrugged. "Oh well. It was worth a shot," he said casually. "Not every day that I find the person I'm looking for half dead. I just wanted to see how strong peoples loyalty to Orochimaru were"-he glanced at her oddly-"Apparently strong enough to disregard the fact that you're dying"

"Person you're looking for?" Tayuya questioned angrily. "You've been fucking stalking me? You sick fuck!"

"I've been tracking your team as a whole" the boy replied calmly. "The other three, or rather four, have already been, hmm, how should I put this? ... dealt with. That left you as my prime target. But, as you may have picked up, I say that in past tense because you seem to be stubborn, and I not one for torturing cute girls for information I can get from someone else"

Tayuya growled. This guy had managed to break the record for how long it took someone to get on her shit list. It was one thing to call her cute, but it was an entirely different thing to disregard her for a different target because of her appearance. She would have been much happier had he used her near dead condition as an excuse to not bother with her.

"What the fuck does that mean? You think you're too good to hurt me? Think that just because I'm a girl I need to be treated like glass. Fuck you, you pussy, and your stupid sense of morality!" had she not been so angry and focused solely on the boy, Tayuya might have wondered where she was getting the energy to even argue with him, or at least gone back to wondering why she wasn't dead yet.

The boy just shook his head. "I wouldn't call it morality," he said, pointing to his ears. "I just hate high pitched squealing. Really hurts my ears and isn't worth the results to put up with it for long"

Tayuya's eyes lit up and she grinned viciously. Pulling what small amount of chakra remained in her system to her control, she moulded it up into her mouth. Pursing her lips into position, the redhead let out a sharp chakra imbued whistle. The boy was quick to recoil at the sound, jerking his head as if he had been punched. He stumbled and swayed clumsily as he tried to shake his head free of the sudden dizziness. Tayuya waited in anticipation for him to hit the ground like a sack of bricks, but it didn't happen. Almost as suddenly as it had occurred, the boys dizziness vanished, leaving him standing in front of the girl with a painful ringing in his ears, but even that was short lived.

"What the fuck! How are you still conscious?" Tayuya demanded. Her technique, despite having been used with such little chakra, should have been enough to blow his eardrums and leave him a discombobulated mess, if not knock him out completely.

The boy shook his head again and stared at her with intrigue. "That's a little surprising" He walked up to her, catching her free hand as she lashed out at him. "Seems you could be useful after all"

Tayuya was about to scream at him some more before she felt a blinding pain burn its way into her side, right where her gash was. While not in any way comprehensible, she did manage to scream, albeit in pain more than anger. Her attempts at thrashing around were halted as she felt her body being unnaturally disobedient to her will. It didn't last long, and soon the boy was stepping back from her panting and twitching form.

"That should keep you from bleeding out for a little while," he said, turning his attention to the tourniquet on her trapped arm. Grabbing it, he pulled it tighter.

"AAAAAAAHHH!" Tayuya screamed. "Fucking stop it!" she pleaded, once again crying. "Just fucking kill me, you bastard!"

Her eyes widened as he stepped back and drew his sword, the steel of the blade seemingly gleaming at her hungrily. Tayuya closed her eyes tightly as she prepared for what she assumed would be her death. However, instead of the expected pain of being slashed, or stabbed, she experienced a sudden sensation of weightlessness, followed very quickly by pain as she crumpled to the ground. She grit her teeth and tried to hold back her pained howl, only for it to come out a gurgled and spluttering mess as she cried into the ground.

Tayuya felt herself get turned over roughly. Opening her eyes, she stared fearfully into the dark blue eyes of the boy, not finding a hint of sympathy or warmth in them. His eyes shifted their focus, and her eyes followed, landing on her mangled arm. She could tell that he saw it as a lost cause, but his opinion didn't really matter to her. There was no doubt in her mind that Orochimaru could fix her. She just needed to survive this ordeal, in whatever way she could.

The boy frowned and shook his head in disappointment. "Your arm is beyond help. It'll get infected the way it is, and I can't afford for you to simply die before you tell me everything you know," he explained.

The kunoichi felt her stomach sink. The boy wasted no time in denying her a chance to argue or attempt anything rash, grabbing her unbroken right arm and using it to flip her back onto her stomach, twisting the limb up behind her back as he went. Tayuya yelped and screamed in protest, finally getting some sort of idea as to what he intended to do. His solution to this was to gag her with a torn off piece of her shirt.

Resting his knee on her right arm, he kept it pressed against her back and kept her from wriggling out of position as he went about positioning her mangled mess of a left arm. Happy with his preparations, the boy stood back up, replacing his knee on Tayuya's back with his foot. Picking his sword back up from the ground next to him, he lowered the blade to the girls arm and readied himself, raising the sword up above his head.

Tayuya screamed into her makeshift gag desperately, tears streaming down her face as she tried to thrash around, but to no avail. The boy simply put more weight down on her, causing her to whimper pitifully. She watched in morbid horror as he brought the sword down in a clean slash. At first she didn't feel it, but soon the burning pain set in, along with the realisation that her arm was now definitely gone, severed just above her elbow. Unfortunately, Tayuya's torment wasn't over as the boy knelt down again, leading to a familiar burning pain in what was left of her arm.

In the end, Tayuya's mind couldn't handle the stress anymore, and the redhead passed out from the pain.

Naruto stared down at the unconscious form of Tayuya. To be honest, even he was surprised that she was still alive, let alone only just now passing out. Then again, it shouldn't have really surprised him all that much. Orochimaru was not one to assign the weak to his personal guard. While not exactly what Naruto would call strong, the sound four were definitely not weak, Tayuya especially it seemed.

Rolling her back onto her back, Naruto inspected her wounds. The dodgy job he did of cauterising the gash on her side and the stump of her arm would hold up for a little while, but eventually she would die from internal wounds. She would need proper medical attention soon, and it would need to be of top quality too. Naruto knew where he was, and he also knew that Konoha was the closest village that met the requirements, but he wasn't exactly sure if he wanted to go there just yet.

He looked back down at Tayuya and sighed, wiped his blood-covered hands on his black pants and collected his sword, sheathing it back at his waist. Making a few hand seals, he bit his thumb and placed his hand on the ground. With a puff of smoke, a small toad appeared in front of him.

"Go tell the Hokage that I'll be dropping in for a visit. Tell her that I'll need a medical team ready on arrival for a guest," he said.

The toad seemed to look up at him strangely. "You're going to Konoha?" it asked in shock.

Naruto nodded. "Make sure to tell Ma and Pa to keep Jiraiya out of the loop. I don't need him interfering with my business any more than absolutely necessary"

The toad nodded in understanding before dispelling. Naruto let out an exaggerated sigh. Picking up Tayuya's limp form, he positioned her on his back as best he could and went about his slow journey towards Konoha. He almost felt the need to shed a tear at the slow demise of his dark orange shirt as Tayuya's blood began drenching and staining it. Still, he wasn't going to leave her. She was now far too important to let die, or worse, return to Orochimaru's clutches.

"Never thought I'd find another Uzumaki, especially not like this," he mumbled to himself. "Should have figured that Orochimaru would have gotten his hands on at least one of them"

While not positive that she was an Uzumaki, Naruto wasn't going to let the chance slip by. Her red hair was one indication, but these days that wasn't a sure defining trait. Her chakra though, had been what really peaked Naruto's interest. It shared a couple of notable similarities with his own, similarities that he knew were more or less not present in the majority of the population of the elemental nations. He would get the Hokage to do a full blood test to verify for him, but until then, he would consider Tayuya to be an Uzumaki.

"Well, this is going to be one hell of an interesting coming home party" Naruto said.

Needless to say, Naruto was not looking forward to seeing Konoha again… at least not this soon.


So this has been a little idea floating around in my head for a while now and I thought I may as well see how it goes on here. Don't have much planned with it as of the moment, but anyone that follows my other stories on here should know that I rarely plan anything out, which means that chaos could potentially be around any corner in this story. That being said, I hope that this turns out to be an enjoyable story for all that take the time to read it.

I also wish to point out a few things to help those of you reading. For one, Naruto is older in this story, as is Tayuya. Naruto is around the eighteen-nineteen mark, while Tayuya is around the fifteen-sixteen mark. This is important, as it should indicate a different age and maturity gap between Naruto and the rest of the universes characters, who will all remain the same age as depicted in canon.

The title and summary for this story are not set in stone. I will gladly take any and all suggestions in regards to bettering these.

Please leave a review telling me what you think of this as a start. Even flames are welcome.

Next chapter should be uploaded very soon guys.

Till then.

Soul out!