Itsumo

Chapter 19

Predator

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Sasuke walked down the clean, white hall slowly, looking around in case of traps. They'd exited the room after looking in vain for their friends. Chouji and Akamaru followed. Sasuke swore under his breath. "Where could they BE!?" HE yelled, slamming his fist against the wall, eyes shut is frustration. "How could they just disappear!?"

Akamaru barked, and Chouji said, "Well... If you yell, any enemies will hear us, and we aren't exactly Jounins, are we?" he asked, shrugging. Where was Shikamaru when you needed him... Anyways, what could they do?

"Sa-" Chouji started, suddenly stopped... and looked at the had coming out of his shoulder. The chips fell from his hand, spilling over the clean floor and scattering in all directions, as the boy slumped over. His blood spewed forth, shooting onto the floor and drenching the fallen chips in a small pool of blood.

"Chouji!?" Sasuke turned, stepping forwards to help him, eyes wide. What had happened? A sound filled the hallway, a sickening mixture of bestial growl and deep laughter. A chill settled over Sasuke's spine, and Chouji was flung aside. Sasuke gaped at who was revealed.

It was Kiba... Or at least, Sasuke thought it was him. His eyes were wide with anticipation and blood-red, his mouth in a feral smirk. Knuckles cracked as his claws were opened. He smiled cruelly. "Sa-su-ke..." He half sang, in this strange, gruff voice. "Better run-run form the big bad wolf..."

Sasuke gasped, one eye looking at the bleeding body of his companion. "Kiba... Why?"

"Because... I wanted to find put how strong I really am..." Kiba said tauntingly, using the words that would provoke him most. He wasn't disappointed.

Sasuke's mind filled with memories of death, of the slaughter of his family, and the words that were basically the same... "You're dead," Sasuke's eyes narrowed, and his hand shot to his kunai... And felt an iron claw crushing it. Kiba was suddenly standing before him, eyes boring into his own. He suddenly yanked, throwing Sasuke and crashing him into the furthest wall. 'When did Kiba become so strong?' Sasuke swore and activated his, "Sharingan!"

Sasuke stood, brushing himself off, almost unhurt. "You thought that would hurt me, Inuzuka?" he yelled, shooting the words off.

"Nah..." Kiba loosened himself up, hunching his shoulders. "Just getting ready, cleaning off my claw..."

"You're disgusting!" Sasuke spat, looking the new Kiba up and down. 'He's fast, and strong... and completely out of his mind...' He spared a glance to look at Chouji. 'He's dead... Chouji, I will avenge your death... soon...'

"I know..." Kiba raised a lip, showing Sasuke his fangs. "That's the way I like it..."

And he disappeared.

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A burst of light, and Ino was suddenly visible, sitting next to Sakura, exactly like she imagined.

"Save you?" Sakura looked at Ino, and nodded. "I'm trying..."

"Sakura... You need to, before they... The people in this place are insane... What they do, they kidnap shinobi and experiment on them... And sell them to the highest bidder! It's horrible!"

Sakura's eyes widened. "I never thought-"

"It's worse... They erase their memories, and sometimes bring out the more... unstable parts of their personality..."

Sakura gasped. "You mean, they..."

"Yeah... Some people are driven insane by the chemicals they use. And-"

"Chouji!?" A phantom of Sasuke's voice floated through the darkness. Sakura looked around. "What was that?"

"Sakura... There's something you need to know: This is your own mind, I think. I'm pretty sure. Things echo in here, from the past, present, future... You're a psychic, Sakura. Your abilities are maturing, Sakura. That's how I got in here from so far away. This isn't Shintenshin. I think it's my Sharingan, focusing into your head. Sakura, you have to help us... I hear screams almost nonstop... Please..." Ino's voice faltered, and screams surrounded the two, from Ino's memories. Suddenly, the screams disappeared... with Ino. Sakura screamed... And the darkness disappeared.

Her eyes fluttered open...

---

Naruto's eyes widened. "Kyuubi..." he whispered, breath caught in his throat. He was bigger than Naruto remembered, larger than the academy... His head could have easily been the size of one on the Hokage Monument...

"Yeah, it's me, whelp. I'm going to give you the most painful experiences of your short life, then I'm taking over this pathetic thing you'd call a body. Sounds like fun, as you humans would say..." The grin on the fox's face was enormous. "I've been stuck her for thirteen years, but now..."

"Now..." Naruto stepped back, shaking. "Now..."

"Now... you die!" A giant paw, the size of a bus, came crashing towards Naruto, who just barely dodged. The voice rang in his ears, as he dodged attack after attack.

"First, I'll have my fun with that girl you like so much...Then, I'll give the copy-eyes brat a token of 'friendship'... The one who hides his face will meet a reckoning when his own student starts slaughtering his men... And with your ninja skill, I can transform into anyone! I'll be unstoppable... Even moreso than before! And, I shall destroy all of you pathetic things you call 'shinobi'... Payback! I shall have more fun than ever! Then, I will set out to destroy all of your pathetic species!" The Kyubi's tone was victorious. "The only opposition is YOU!"

All nine tails lashed out at Naruto, who couldn't possibly dodge such an attack. HE was swept away, thrown far from the force of the hit. He felt as if every bone in his body were broken. He fell slowly, flying through the air. The wind ripped at his clothes as he fell, faster and faster, for a seeming impossible amount of time, before he felt his back smash on something solid, and the rest of his body stopped. He laid there, breathing, wondering when the Kyuubi would find him...

---

"Hey, Uchiha... Gonna hide forever?" Kiba's voice rang out through the large room the two had eventually found themselves in. Holes, broken furniture, burns on the floor.... The room was a mess. Both Sasuke and Kiba were injured, but Kiba easily had the upper hand.

"I wonder where you are..."Kiba half-said, half-sang, taking small steps towards where Sasuke was hiding and sniffing the air. Sasuke swore, and prepared seals for another jutsu. He was hidden behind a table that had been shoved into the wall by some attack or another. Panting heavily, he perfected the final seal and shot out at Kiba, breathing deeply. "Goukakyuu no jutsu!"

Kiba stepped to the side, and spun violently, dodging the attack and crushing his claws into Sasuke's claw. Feeling the bite of wood, he spun and threw the chair leg from Sasuke's substitution jutsu at the just-reappearing Sasuke. It caught him on the chin, and he flipped backwards. "Okay... Plan B... Hoping Akamaru will follow my lead..." Sasuke smiled at the thought, and nodded at Akamaru in his hiding place. Quickly, he ran through a number of seals, hoping his Sharingan would work in this case.

"Juujuin Bunshin!!" Sasuke shot a soldier pill from his pocket, (swiped from Kiba earlier in the battle), and Akamaru jumped and took it, landing on Sasuke's shoulders. Akamaru barked something (Sasuke didn't understand it, but assumed it was about the jutsu), then they were enveloped in a burst of smoke.

Two Sasuke's, half-beast and half-man, stood there, looking at Kiba ferociously. The jutsu wasn't perfectly done, so one's human qualities were dominant, and the other's bestial half took most portion. Sasuke himself, felt the claws that his hands had grew, the new gruffness in his manner, the dulling of his thoughts and instincts, replaced partially with a different set. The way neither dominated annoyed and confused him, enough to make him go insane. He just wanted to finish this battle. Akamaru, used to the jutsu, was ready, but not THAT ready. This form was almost as different from Kiba's as possible for the jutsu to work... The whole chakra system, the length of limbs... Added to the imperfections of the jutsu, and you've got one confused dog. But both just let it go, and Akamaru started his signature 'Gatsuuga!'. Sasuke just ran ahead, surging chakra to his feet.

"Using my family jutsu against me, eh, Uchiha? And Akamaru, you stupid traitor..." Kiba got into a stance, ready for the two. First he dealt with the Gatsuuga, clashing his claws with Akamaru's to counter it. Akamaru started to spin faster, and both strating spinning like gears. Then, Sasuke attacked Kiba's feet with a duck and a kick. Kiba just hopped, letting the Gatsuuga keep him in the air before shooting out his feet to hit Sasuke and Akamaru, one in the face and one in the leg.

Kiba had also had grown claws on his feet, and they'd extended out of his shoes, slicing Sauske's face badly. Akamaru fell backwards, the momentum of the spin sending him furthur. Both, though, stood shakily, staring at the Inuzuka boy.

"Hoy, Uchiha, you didn't think I'd fall for my own jutsu, did you!?" Kiba laughed, shooting off the seals to create a bunshin, and heading after Akamaru. Sasuke felt the 'pop!' that meant the end of the Juujuin. "Damn..." he said, shooting a shuriken at Kiba. Kiba smiled, jumped forwards and pushed Akamaru up to catch the blade in his chest. Akamaru, though grabbed it and slashed Kiba's arm, then went after the neck. Kiba shot a foot towards his stomach, and Akamaru threw the shuriken quickly before being returned to his normal body.

Kiba swung to the side, but the shuriken dug deep into his shoulder. Panting heavily, he ripped it out and grabbed Akamaru. Holding it to the dog's neck, he stepped back. "Don't want to lose another teammate, eh, Uchiha?" Kiba called out, half laughing insanely. "I think, though, that I'd rather you did..."

Sasuke was a blur, running faster than he ever had before. Kiba, though, jumped and swung his foot exactly where Sasuke's head would have been, had he not dropped to the ground and shot up his own feet to knock Kiba's, sending Kiba falling to the ground. Kiba felt the smash on his leg, and decided to fling the dog into Sasuke's face... So he did, along with the shuriken he was holding. Sasuke rolled to the side, and jumped to his feet, while Kiba was already on his. Sasuke shot to his feet....

And felt a blade dig into his arm...

The world turned black...

.:To be continued:.

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Evil, EVIL Alden... Two story plotline's chagning dramatically, Plan and now Itsumo...Well, Chouji's out, Akamaru and Sasuke are in a fix, Naruto's getting attacked by Kyuubi, and Sakura... I'm still not sure about her... Also, I'm not sure whether Kiba's moves are Bloodlines, but for the purpose of the fic, I'm assuming not.

Well, seeya next chapter (hopefully)!