All right, more serious chapters coming up!
Itachi: cracks knuckles Oh yeah…sees kunai pointed at his head Damn…
Cyber1: HAHAHA! WRITE MORE OR HE DIES!
Itachi: I wish I could kick this person's ass…but Kikai-chan…err…BPK won't lemme do anything…
BPK: Damn straight! Now, back to this fic!
(Itachi beats the crap out of Cyber1 behind my back)
Konoha: Forest of Death
"Hey Itachi. It's Kisame. We've got Naruto."
Itachi and Orochimaru whizzed through the trees at record speed toward the Konoha Village. The two were able to make it to the Konoha's forest borders just under Itachi's predicted hour time limit. Both shinobi stood before the large gates bearing the village's leaf insignia. "Well, let's go ditch Suki in the town square and head straight for the Forest of Death," said Itachi, not once changing his tone.
"Heard that Suki? We'll leave you in the-" Orochimaru turned around, expecting Suki to pounce on Itachi and begin yelling like a loon. She was nowhere to be found. "Shit…"
"Gah, forget her. She'll be around to piss us off later. Let's just go." Both disappeared in puffs of smoke and headed toward the Forest of Death chuunin exam area.
"Damn them…leaving me here without turning back to help…" Suki had been struck in the leg by a stray kunai. She now sported a deep wound (and the kunai) in her left leg, close to puncturing the shinbone. Suki limped toward the gates, muttering silent curses at Orochimaru and Itachi. "I'll kill Itachi for leaving me here…and I'll kill Orochimaru for being his friend…And I'll kill that timed wooden box for shooting the kunai at me…"
She managed to reach the village and get her leg treated. With the money she had stolen from Itachi's wallet earlier, she decided to eat a bowl of beef ramen at the Ichiraku Ramen stand. As she walked through the village, she noticed many groups of young ninjas and their instructors tending to everyday life, each group proudly bearing their village's symbol upon their Hitai-ate bands. "Hmm…I wonder what's up? Why so many from different villages?" Within minutes, she was already at the Ichiraku Ramen stand.
"One beef ramen please."
"This is the infamous fox demon, eh? Looks too stupid to be evil," chuckled Itachi. "Thanks, Kisame, Kabuto. You can leave. We'll take care of this brat."
"Hai." Both Kabuto and Kisame disappeared in a puff of smoke, leaving Orochimaru and Itachi with Naruto.
The blonde shinobi was tied to a tree and held in place with kunai. As usual, he continued to scream and whine like a child. "Sakura-chan and Sasuke-punk will be here to save me! Let me go! I'm too young to die without my ramen! I'll get you good! Kakashi-sensei!" Yes, he continued to whine and ran his mouth a mile a minute.
"I wonder how my brother even stands you…you little freak."
Suki sipped the last of the soup, already having finished off the noodles. With a satisfying slam of the bowl and chopsticks, she smiled. "God, that stuff's good! I should come here more often." Upon hearing light sobs, she turned her head to her right, seeing a pair of young ninjas. One was female, about twelve years old, and she wore a red dress and black shorts to contrast her flowing pink hair. The other, a male, was about the same age as the former. The boy had raven locks, spiked up with bangs down. His navy blue shirt had a wide collar and sported the image of a red and white fan on the back. Both shinobi wore the leaf on their headbands.
"Sakura, lighten up," said Sasuke in his usual stoic tone of voice. He knew it didn't sound too comforting, but hell, he was never the comforting type of person. "Come on, Sakura…You're…you're breaking the code of the ninja, and I hate people who do that." He slowly got up off his stool when Sakura grabbed his arm and began to pour out more tears from her emerald orbs. "Sasuke-kun…please don't leave me like N-Naruto l-left u-us-s…please?" Sakura hung onto Sasuke's arm, still crying.
"Never…I'd never leave…but we're wasting time just sitting here. Kakashi said that he'd be back…and it's been about an hour, so let's go." He noticed Sakura still planted on the stool. He sighed and shook his head. Sasuke pulled at his arm to get Sakura off the seat, then pulled her into his arms for a few moments. "Sakura…Sakura-ch-chan. Just stop crying, okay?" He felt Sakura's head nod yes in his chest. "Good, let's go." He placed an arm around Sakura's shoulder and led her out of the stall. Just as soon as they were within three feet of the stand, Suki stood before them.
"Excuse me, are you two looking for someone?" She received a glare from Sasuke, who tightened his grip on Sakura as she reduced her tears to mere sniffles. "Yeah…our friend, Naruto," Sakura replied to the older woman.
"Oh. Well, I'm kind of in a hurry to find my-" she hesitated and her left eye began to twitch uncontrollably for a few moments. "I'm trying to find my boyfriend. Yeah…He said that he would be here or something. Something about a 'Forest of Death' exam area or something… Do you know where that is?"
"Aa." Sasuke pointed to his right. "Go down that way, and then take a left at Hikari Avenue. You'll see a park. Go straight through the park until you see the Ninja Academy. From there, take a right until you see a large, fenced area with numbers on the gates. That's the 'Forest of Death' chuunin examination grounds."
"Thanks. Good luck finding your friend! And Ms. Sakura, please try to stop crying. It seems your boyfriend really cares about you." Suki ran off full tilt, following Sasuke's directions, leaving both Sakura and Sasuke blushing bright red.
"That was weird. Why would her boyfriend be in the 'Forest of Death'? Sasuke-kun?" Sakura looked up at Sasuke, who himself was contemplating the matter in his mind. Before he could answer, Kakashi appeared before them. "Yo!"
"Kakashi-sensei!" Sakura yelped, grabbing onto Sasuke's collar, exposing what part of his chest that the wide collar concealed.
"Sakura, let go!" Sasuke said, blushing again. He attempted to push her off, much to Kakashi's amusement.
"Save your lover's spat for later, you two. I just got some hot info on Naruto's location. He's in the 'Forest of Death' examination grounds…with…"
"With who, sensei?" asked Sakura, burying herself into Sasuke more, her action being replied with Sasuke's arm gripping her tighter.
"With Uchiha Itachi and Orochimaru." The flame in Sasuke's eyes began to flicker, and Sakura noticed this. "Sasuke-kun…you don't think…you don't think that girl's boyfriend is-"
"I swear! I'll get you good!" Naruto continued to boast.
"Shut up. Now…about that kyuubi…" Orochimaru dug through his pocket to pull out the scroll that they had stolen earlier that night from the innkeeper. "I'm glad we got this back. Heh, now to release it." Orochimaru untied the scroll and bit his thumb until he drew blood. He grabbed the free end of the scroll and unwrapped it, coating a thin line of blood on the rolling scroll. Twirling the document around, Orochimaru began to recite a spell. After his verse, he rolled the scroll back up and brought it up to his lips, all in one fluid motion. "Shinda no Kitsune! (Death's Fox!) Awaken!"
"Haha! Baka, like that could stop-" Naruto paused in mid-sentence, feeling a strange sensation overcome his body. His thirst for blood overpowered his senses, erasing the genin's mind of ramen, and replaced it with the hunger to kill. Naruto's blue eyes began flashing golden-amber, his breathing becoming heavier with each flash. He bared his teeth, feeling his face narrow out like a cone, making way for his fangs to grow in. His fingernails became blades that cut even through the toughest stone, making it so that even the most ancient mountains could crumble into dust between his fingers. Nine tails popped out from behind, whipping Naruto free from his bindings to the tree. His whiny, childish voice was gone, and his body was barely recognizable under the orange jumpsuit. The real Naruto was gone; only to be replaced with a snarling beast that raged like a fiery inferno and glaring daggers that pierced into Itachi's delight.
Itachi nodded, smirking. "I think he's good to go, don't you?"
The remaining members of Team Seven flashed through the branched canopy. Sakura, having already dried her tears, followed close behind Sasuke, the Uchiha boy who had kept a close watch on his flower petal since they took to the trees.
"Sasuke-kun…you don't think…you don't think that girl's boyfriend is…"
"Let's hope not. If he is, I'll be sure to send him to hell and back, then lather, rinse, repeat."
Sakura shook her head, burying her face into Sasuke's collar, A.K.A his bare chest. "She was too nice…She can't be with…"
"Itachi," Sasuke finished for her. "If so, then I hope Aniki goes to hell."
Thoughts of Itachi clouded Sasuke's mind, as well as Sakura's and Kakashi's. His big brother, the reason he was alone, had taken away his friend and was planning to release the demonic persona in Naruto. Once resurfaced, the behemoth fox will again rage its fury on the continent, spilling innocent blood and reducing copious villages into a mound of ash. And again, the risk of losing Sakura increased and visions of her lifeless and bloody in his arms haunted Sasuke's feelings. I won't let that happen.
"Oy, Sasuke-kun!" shouted Kakashi. "They're right over there."
Sasuke and Sakura stopped huddled on a high branch hovering over their targets. Both whispered, "No…"
"Damn you…" Suki grumbled as she ran through the examination forest. Though she wasn't thinking it, she did feel that she had missed Itachi deeply. "Ack, that's just the girly sensations. Like I'd miss him." Just wait 'til I find him. Sure enough as the words ran through her mind, she halted to see Itachi grinning wildly, the thirst for blood shining in his crimson eyes. His lazy, deadpan self was gone, only to be replaced by the real shadowed persona that was Uchiha Itachi, the renegade ninja deemed traitor in his former home. Orochimaru nodded approvingly, watching Itachi stare down the snarling fox demon; the massive, creature foaming at the mouth and snapping his rabid jaws. In his delight, Itachi hadn't noticed Suki approach slowly.
Suki, partly confused and angry, inched closer step by step. "Itachi…What the hell is going on?"
Itachi turned away from Naruto slowly, craning his neck as he did so as to face Suki, the devilish grin still planted on his face. "Hn, nandayo, koibito? (What is it, Sweetheart?) I just wanna have some fun."
"If you want fun, come back home with me so I can kick your ass at Bloody Roar 4! Seriously, I don't know what's going on anymore…Nande? Itachi-kun, nande? (Why, Itachi-kun, why?)"
"Maybe it's because that's what I like to do. Blood spraying like a broken punch fountain, heaven's tears cleansing my dirtied body, the fires raging through the villages, the sensations of driving kunai into a corpse…a soothing stroll through the park." Recited the elder Uchiha, never allowing his sly smile to slip away.
"Murder." Suki glared.
"Forgiving the forsaken."
"Innocent blood spilled."
"Cleansing of the guilty."
"love." Itachi finished for her. Suki's eyes filled with tears of rage. "Sometimes, I'll never understand you, Suki. Why do you cling to me? Why do you hang on when you know you're destined to fall? Why fall in love with a mass murderer like myself, a man who killed his entire family as the thirteen-year old ninja prodigy and leader of elite Anbu? You what I think you are? Baka."
"And you know what I think you are?" burst Suki. "A selfish bastard who can't even keep his own apartment clean!"
"Heh. Kyuubi, sic her." Naruto, rather, Kyuubi, obeyed Sharingan commands. The goldenrod bullet shot directly at Suki, who didn't even have enough time to dodge. Scarlet splashed, smearing Kyuubi's snout. Itachi laughed for a few moments before going suddenly silent. What just happened? From a distance, possibly a tree, a high-pitched scream echoed throughout that section of the examination grounds. "No!"
"No!" shrieked Sakura. "It's not her fault! No!" Sakura shook with anger, sadness, grief, and fright at the display. "Why, Naruto?!"
Sasuke held her back, preventing her from plummeting almost 50-feet to her doom. "Sakura, shut up! Get a hold of yourself!"
"But Naruto just killed her!"
"Watch it, you two!" Kakashi cried, grabbing both of his students and dodging the swift charge of Kyuubi. The silver-haired ninja set Sakura and Sasuke down by the trunk of the tree and lured Kyuubi away from the remaining two of Team Seven.
Sakura, filled with curiosity, decided to creep closer to Suki. She gripped Sasuke tightly, and he too wanted to see what had become of the ramen girl from earlier. Both young ninja inched closer to the bloodied body. To their surprise, she wasn't dead. Though she was bitten quite severely around her torso, they were thankful that Kyuubi's fangs hadn't punctured any vital organs, even while Suki was cursed with an internal injury. She was still breathing, only her breaths were puffs in short intervals. And to add to the shock, Itachi shuffled toward Suki. He dropped down to his knees and stared at the dying girl, watching as a stream of blood trickled from the corner of her mouth. He cocked his head to one side and whispered softly, "Why stop me? I'm just doing us all a favor…" He lifted her up into his arms, cradling her like a mother would an ill child.
Suki didn't even turn her head to face him, though his Sharingan eyes shone a different light. "Why…not?" She coughed hard but weak coughs, splattering blood on Itachi's neck.
"I merely want to rid the world of its evils--"
"Then go to therapy." Cough. Splatter.
"Iie. I'd rather--"
"Destroy the world?"
"Amai no kisu. (Sweet kiss)" Itachi's face hovered over Suki's for a moment before he swept her curtained bangs aside, only to plant a simple kiss on her forehead. "That's all you're getting…for now." He laid her gently on the grassy field as he stood up, leaving her in Orochimaru's "care". "Watch her for me. If you do, she'll cook you more tonkatsu."
Sasuke's eyes flared when he saw the murderer of his family standing right in front of him. The bloody heap of his entire clan lay sprawled across the floor…and he was only eight. Grow up hating me…He heard those malicious, uncaring words ring through his head. Grow up hating you…that's exactly what I did. I won't let what happened to her happen to Sakura. "I won't let that happen!" Sasuke charged at Itachi, leaving no opportunity open for Sakura to follow. "Aniki! Anata wa shinda dayo! (Aniki! [Big brother!] You're dead!)"
Itachi turned to face his little brother. "Am I now, imouto?"
I'm sorry for late updates! Well, I hope I won that Itachi key chain I saw on ebay…I really want that thing…seeing that it'll be the first Itachi thing I have besides a few (yes, few as in 3 or 4) pictures of the dastardly dastard. I'll continue my work on The Last One Standing chapter 3 right away!
If you have any good Itachi pictures to model after for patterns (no fanart, unless you know it's exact and/or accurate) please send! I've been looking everywhere for good pics and I just find a bunch of fanart or the pics I already have! Domou, minna-san!
'Til next time, Ja ne!
Black Phoenix =.=