Naruto and the characters don't belong to me; they belong to Kishimoto. Hey, if I owned them…well, life would be more interesting…XD

Rated R for dark themes, future…situations and the usual yaoi-ness. Pairing is Kyubi/Sasuke/Naruto, if you didn't know…

Side note – this takes place after the Chuunin exam, but Sasuke never leaves, and the two never fight (well, not that much) and Kakashi still trains the three of them.

Think age 15!! If you've got questions, I'll try to answer them as best as possible.




Kyubi vanishes before the information has a chance to sink in, before either of them can react to the noise. Sasuke glances back at Naruto. Someone's at the door.

The blond looks as bewildered as he feels, the skin flushed and the eyes too blue to look into very long. Naruto's hands are still touching his waist and stomach beneath his shirt; the boy is almost in his lap.

Distantly, Sasuke can hear brief voices, and then the sudden, violent slam of a door.

"…crap," Naruto mutters.

"Come on," Sasuke sighs. "It's probably Tsunada-sama."


"What…was that?" Chouji is the first to speak, coughing on fragments of his food. Nervously, he crinkles the bag and shoves it under his shirt for safe-keeping.

"That wasn't Naruto," Kiba whispers. "There's no way that was Naruto…right?"

"It has to be. Who else looks like that?" Hesitantly, Shikamaru looks at the others, at Hinata hiding her face behind her hands, and reaches out to knock on the wood. Of all the days we come to visit, they've got to be acting strange …what a pain in the ass…

"Akamaru?" Kiba tilts his head up, but the pup merely whines, shrinking back into the shadows of the hood. "Akamaru, what's wrong?"

There's a mutter of sound behind the closed portal; Shikamaru can almost hear words. The doorknob twists and the door is yanked open for the second time.

"You have five seconds to run!" The strange Naruto yells—

oh shit, he's serious… Shikamaru has time to think. –look, his eyes are blue—

"Goddammit! What the hell are you doing?" snaps a familiar voice, then.

"Fuck off, brat!" Naruto turns his head to growl and snaps briefly at the arm shoving him aside.

"Move!" Sasuke orders, and pushes again, bracing himself on the door. Spitting, Naruto glares at them one last time and slips beyond their sight. Scowling after him, Sasuke glances to the four people waiting on the doorstep; surprise flashes through his eyes.

"Oh. It's you guys." Sasuke frowns. "What are you doing here?"

"Uh, we…came to visit?" Chouji shrugs when no one would answer. His eyes slide in the direction that Naruto has disappeared; his round face is unnaturally pale.

Shikamaru would bet that all of their faces are whiter than normal. With a blank face, he takes stock of Sasuke's outfit, baggy pants and wrinkled shirt; he wants to stare at the fact that Sasuke looks rumpled and flushed. Sasuke never looks rumpled and flushed. "Is this a bad time?"

Sasuke glances over his shoulder, still frowning, still stiff and unyielding. He hesitates before replying. "…no. Come in, Naruto will be glad to see you, at least."

"Huh? You mean the crazy psycho Naruto? He didn't seem to be that happy if you ask me," Kiba points out, his hands clutching carefully on the edges of his furred hood. Akamaru yips briefly, and Kiba frowns upwards.

"Don't be stupid, Akamaru—"

"That was Uzumaki," Sasuke replies slowly. "Not Naruto." He steps back to the side to let them through the doorway, glancing peculiarly at each of them.

"It's true!" Chouji whoops out. "It's true, isn't it! I was right!"

"Geez," Shikamaru mutters. "Don't be so loud."

Sasuke leads them into the small living room that contains a frayed couch and a coffe-table. "What's true?" he asks, motioning to the floor and couch. "Sorry, we don't have that many places to sit."

"That Naruto messed up his jutsu and got stuck," Shikamaru shrugs while everyone crowds behind him. His gaze falls on the blond sitting off against the wall and glaring at everyone as if he dreamed of murder. Shivering, Shikamaru is the first one to pull himself together and seats himself on the end of the couch as far away as possible. Definitely something strange…

"I was right!" Chouji repeats, following suit and settling his body on the floor.

"Shut up already," Kiba mutters. He pulls Hinata to his side and crouches, sniffing faintly at the air and glancing frequently at the blond.

"Well…" Sasuke looks strangely uncomfortable; it catches Shikamaru's eye because he's never seen Sasuke express any uncertainty in all the years he's known the other boy. "Something like that."


Naruto peeks around the doorway in the shock of seeing the four people seated in various spots in the living room. They…came to visit? Wow they came to visit! No one notices him except for Kyubi, who merely turns his face away. The anger is a soft flicker in the back of his mind; he can sense, somehow, that the fox is struggling hard to keep everything 'nice' for him.

I can't believe they came to visit… Naruto feels blundering and shy and hides his tiny smile. He doesn't want to walk right out there, knows that it's something too frightening at the moment. What if they find out? Naruto glances at Kyubi, but the fox doesn't look back.

Hinata is the first to notice him; she gives a small squeak and stares at him from behind Kiba's shoulder. "N-Naruto-kun…?"

"Ah," Naruto smiles shyly and ducks back a fraction. "Hey."

You look…" Shikamaru glances at the others. "…good."

In the silence, Kyubi snorts and drags his fingers against the carpet, tearing it. From the couch, Sasuke motions for Naruto to come away from the door.

"…what's up with him?" Kiba finally asks and pointing to Kyubi after the blond seats himself at Sasuke's feet. "Why is he so…"

"Rude?" Sasuke murmurs, amused, poking Naruto's back with his foot.

"Asshole," Kyubi snaps back harshly; Naruto never noticed how dark his voice sounded with a demon speaking the words. The fox flings a piece of the carpet at Sasuke. "I wasn't the one who let them in. They're not even supposed to be here."

Sasuke snags the fragment out of the air and flings it back. "I'm aware of that—stop ripping out the carpet!"

"He's just…crabby," Naruto offers in the lull, and slides into crouch next to the demon. "He's really not that bad…"

"I am too," Kyubi deadpans. "You should get to know me."

Naruto looks back in time to catch a glimpse of Sasuke's mouth twitching into a smile; the rest of them can't seem to find the words. The blond smiles blandly. Sasuke had gotten to know the demon—In a way, Naruto amends—and the dark-haired male didn't seem to unnerved. But that might just be the way Sasuke was.

"That's just weird," Chouji sums it up for the rest of them. "I mean…you're both Naruto, right? But you're all…split up. Weird. Sucks to be you."

"Chouji," Hinata whispers. "T-That wasn't nice."

"Well, I'm glad you guys came to visit!" Naruto beams at them, attention zinging back to the others. "I mean, so far we've only seen Ino and Sakura and Iruka-sensei, and Tsunada-hag, of course—"

"I'm not glad," Kyubi snaps, sneering at him. He digs his fingernails into the carpet and tugs violently. "I was getting somewhere. Now I have to wait. I hate all of you."

He did not just say that, Naruto thinks, as Sasuke chokes while trying to inhale and coughs. Dark eyes meet blue in shock and Naruto fights off an unseemly snicker at the distress in his face.

"…What were you guys doing?" Chouji asks.

Naruto glances at Sasuke and frowns. The rending sound of the carpet cuts through the silence. Save the day, Sasuke and explain that one.

Shifting, Sasuke replies, "Sparring."

Before he can stop it, Kyubi's head shoots up and the demon glares at the dark-haired boy. "That wasn't—"

"Sparring? You guys were sparring?" Naruto cuts him and manages a disbelieving pout for Sasuke. "Why didn't you let me spar? I like sparring!"

"Maybe next time," Sasuke shoots both of them a pointed look in turn. "And stop yelling."

"…I wasn't yelling," Naruto mutters. "Stop being a jerk."

The curiosity in Shikamaru's eyes fades the tiniest bit; Naruto curses under his breath. He's suspicious…Without thinking, he settles back into Kyubi's side. Naruto glances around at the state of their clothes, at uncombed hair and Kyubi's hostile attitude. Of course he's suspicious; we're out here alone and no one knows what happened—

"But—" Kyubi repeats, scowling at him and bunching the torn carpet in his hands. "We weren't—"

"Shut up!" Naruto hisses under his breath, leaning close to smack at his hand one last time. "You can't say that we were…um…you know!"

"Why not?"

"…um…because…because they'll want to try it too!"

Kyubi's eyes go wide and his expression darkens. "I'll kill them first—" he growls, trying to get up. Naruto has to grab at his clothes and tug him back down before anything can happen

"So…why do they have to stay out here?" Shikamaru glances at Naruto pulling at the other Naruto.

"Would you want two of them in the village?" Sasuke replies.


"Ah, Inoko-san…"

The woman at the desk pauses in her conversation and looks up at the Hokage. "Yes?"

"Could you tell me if Ashitaka reported back?"

"—There's no record, Hokage-sama."

"Odd…" Tsunade frowns and touches her chin in thoughtful silence.

"Would you like a man to locate him, Hokage-sama?"

"Yes," Tsunade said after a moment. "Send two, and keep me informed."


"What do you mean, he's not Naruto?" Kiba mutters to Akamaru. "That's stupid; of course he is! Look at him!"

Yipping, Akamaru shies back until only his dark little nose pokes out of the fur lining Kiba's hood. The young man scowls and shakes his head briefly.

"Fine, be that way—I'll prove it." With a shout, Kiba cuts off the awkward conversation in the room. "Sasuke—That's Naruto, right?" Kiba points to Kyubi with a vaguely uneasy quiver to the middle of his stomach.

—no way no way—red, his eyes were red—people don't have red eyes— is the thought in his head.

Uzumaki watches them with narrowed, cunning eyes and smiles a fraction.

"I…" Sasuke hesitates; he doesn't look in Shikamaru's direction because if he did, the suspicion would crumble any proper defense he wanted to raise—how was he supposed to answer a question like that?

"Ah, of course—" Sasuke's gaze is drawn to the sullen fox. Kyubi's focus has slid towards the window and a strange expression is drawing down his shoulders and pulling tight his lips—

"I get to eat them, right?" Kyubi unexpectedly rises and stalks towards the window; the only one not to watch him move is Naruto; the blond is looking out the same window. Sasuke forces down his anger and opens his mouth to speak.

"Eat us?" Chouji pauses briefly in his munching. "Are you serious?"

"Sasuke—" Naruto hesitates, then gives him a glance so full of abject despair, Sasuke forgets the reason he was about to yell.

-this is bad-bad-bad—

The doorbell rings, and Sasuke has a moment to think What now? in the sudden silence. He exchanges a glance with the group in general, then rises to his feet.

"Can I eat them?" Kyubi repeats impatiently; the blue eyes slide to his and Sasuke shudders at the dark amusement garnered there.

"No, moron. Go sit down and behave." Sasuke bites out, but Kyubi merely smiles at him. Sasuke doesn't like the sharpness in that smile and reaches for the door. What's up with his attitude? floats briefly in his mind.

"Sasuke—" Naruto calls out. "Don't—"

"Yeah, don't," Kyubi mocks.

"Quiet, Naruto." Sasuke yanks open the door, looking darkly over his shoulder at the fox. "—and can't you behave like a normal boy?"

"Sasuke-kun!" he hears, before he can turn back. Even as his eyes snap to the voice, a horrible sense of fate chokes him. This is unbelievable—this isn't happening—He barely—just barely—keeps himself from slamming the door. He takes a sickly breath and shudders as the young women—most of which he can't remember their names—all squeal out a greeting.

"Uh," Sasuke tries to speak. "What do you want?"

Most of the girls giggle and among the noise he hears "Came for you!" and "Sasuke-kun!" and a soft "Aw, he's so adorable in sweatpants!"

Sasuke grimaces and tightens his grip on the door.

"Uh, should we be leaving?" Chouji whispers loudly. "Shikamaru?"

The first girl of the group, the one Sasuke assumes is the leader—Momoji, he thinks her name is—she moves decisively forward. He wonders why he doesn't see Ino or Sakura heading the females today; belatedly, he remembers what had happened with both of them and figures they had reason not to come.

"Aren't you going to let us in?" Momoji asks brightly, smiling.

"Uh…." Sasuke decides it's better not to turn his head away. "This isn't a good time—"

"But you've already got company—"

Against his will, he glances over his shoulder, dreading what his instincts were telling him. This isn't good. Shikamaru and Kiba, at least, look a little worried. Chouji doesn't seem to care, as long as he still has the bag of chips he stashed earlier; Hinata…well, he wasn't sure if Hinata always looked that shy and nervious or not.

Naruto…Sasuke's gaze lingers briefly on the blond; he looks pale and small next to Chouji. Like a child.

Then there was Kyubi, bristling and baring his teeth in the shadow of the window.

"No," Sasuke repeats. "It's not a good time—"

"Okay, then—" Momoji turns neatly on her heel and snaps her fingers. "The rest of you, go wait out there!"

"Wait—" Sasuke tries to protest, but the damage is done. With one more warning glance at Kyubi, he shuts the door behind the three girls who have entered unwillingly. "Why are you here?" in a halting voice, exquisitely aware of the exact moment Kyubi flows into movement. Sasuke moves to head him off. "Keh-Uzumaki—"

"Bite me, Sasuke," Kyubi growls, gliding around the three girls. He smiles thinly, baring the tips of his teeth.

"How rude," one girl mutters. "Honestly, you shouldn't be so rude to Sasuke—"

"Rude?" Kyubi grins sharply for Sasuke and slides around the girls in another circle.

Sasuke rubs his forehead discreetly. "Uzumaki," he tries to say as the girls whisper amongst themselves.

"Well," Momoji remarks. "No wonder you're all the way out here, away from the village—with the way he's acting…" Her voice crawls to a stop; she sneers in disdain.

"Well," Kyubi drawls, pushing his face close to hers in hostility. "No wonder you're ugly."

Great, just great. With a speed unexpected, Sasuke reaches out and twists his fingers into the loose fabric of Kyubi's dark shirt, pushing back against the chest. "Hey," he said, thumping his knuckles against the muscle. "Go outside."

Kyubi's still-blue eyes slide towards his in a surprise quickly masked with a sneer. "What?"

"Out," Sasuke repeats, pushing. The side of his face tweaks as the girls begin to giggle behind their hands; he can't stand the sound. Kyubi doesn't speak when he leans up against Sasuke's hand, leaning into personal space.

"You want me outside—with the rest of them?"

God—how many could there be? Sasuke shudders; he pushes aside the catch of panic in the demon's henge-blue eyes, the rise of something darker. I can't deal with all of them at once— "It's too…crowded in here, Uzumaki."

"Tell me about it," one girl mutters.

Kyubi stares at him; Sasuke catches a flicker of red, of anger and inhuman power lurking behind his eyes. "Not happening, brat."

"You're better off outside," Sasuke drops his voice to a rough whisper. "—and you will, if you ever want to spar again."

Kyubi pushes so close with a snarl on his face that Sasuke feels the brush of his hair and the radiating warmth of his skin. In a very quiet voice, soft and delicate, the demon whispers "You won't walk for days when this is over, human—"

Sasuke stumbles as the demon vanishes with burst of violent chakra.

"Ooh!" Momoji's two disciples squeal and quiver in place. "Sasuke-kun is so strong!"

Sasuke feels the high pitch of the voice grate through his skull and turns away without a word. Even when Momoji latches onto his arm and the two minions circle around with prying eyes and fingers, he forces down the shudder.

"—Can't believe you're staying here—"

"How annoying," Shikamaru mutters as the girls 'float' past.

"Tch. Sasuke should have a way better place—"

Sasuke scans the faces and stops short—there is no mop of blond hair and the bright eyes looking back at him. "Where's Naruto?"

Momoji blinks coyly from her perch on Sasuke's arm. "Sasuke-kun is so silly—Uzumaki already went outside like you said, remember?"

In the silent pause that follows, Sasuke gives her a 'yes, we know you're stupid' look and Kiba distinctly mutters out "Idiots."

"I-I-I think he's eh-in the back," Hinata murmurs.

"Thanks," Sasuke replies and heads for the wallway and towards Naruto. By the time he reaches the door—it wasn't a very long hallway—he realizes that his arm is still attached to Momoji. "What…" Sasuke pulls at the weight on his arm. "-are you doing?"

"Going with you!"

"No—you can't come inside. Go back to the other room."


"Now!" Sasuke shouts.

The girls scatter with another wrenching squeal—

I can't kill them. Can't. Kyubi will, but I can't—god, why did I tell him to go outside? Sasuke debates the benefits of slamming his forehead into the wall, then sighs and reaches for the doorknob. "Naruto?"


Chouji breaks the unnatural silence by breaking open a fresh bag of chips, brushing off the crumbs. Without places to sit—Shikamaru refused to move and Kiba just sneered at them—the three girls stand and fidget to the music of a crinkling bag.

"Hey," Chouji asks. "Shikamaru? Where's Ino? Isn't she usually at the head?"

"How should I know?" Shikamaru mumbles.

After a pause where Momoji exchanged dark glances with her two subordinates and Chouji munched on chips, Kiba raises his head and blinks. "I hear…screaming."


"Naruto?" Sasuke shuts the door behind him, leaning against it for a moment, then walks towards the bed. He touches light fingers to the shaking lump of bed-covers. "Hey, I know you're not sleeping…"

"Mmhn…" Naruto makes a hunching motion and Sasuke can feel the shaking intensify.

"Naruto?" Sasuke pulls at the cover. "Come on, look up here."

"…sorry," Naruto rasps, burrowing away from Sasuke's gaze. "I just didn't want to be out there…not when they…"

"You think I do?" Sasuke settles on the bed. "Sit up."

Naruto complies with his forehead bumping against the middle of Sasuke's chest; his hands tug up the blanket until it's wrapped around the shoulders. "Sorry," he repeats in a whisper. "But those girls don't like me."

"I'll get rid of them," Sasuke promises. "Come on—" he presses his hands to the head.

"Don't." Naruto snakes his arms around Sasuke's middle. "Can't you stay in here? They'll just do that girly stuff…"

"Naruto—" Sasuke pauses to run his fingers against the blond hair. "It's okay—I'll be right there—"

—rapid knocking on the door interrupts. Sasuke's breath hitches in his throat and he glares at the offending door—

"Sasuke! Sasuke, you better get out here!" someone shouts between pounding on the door.

It's Kiba, Sasuke thinks. What is it now? Sasuke strides off the bed and walks to the door while Naruto covers up his feet in the blanket. Sasuke yanks open the door and growls "What is it?"

Kiba glances at the Naruto behind him, sniffing strangely, then shrugs and clears his throat. "Uh…"


"Uzumaki's attacking the girls outside."

"…great." Throwing one last glance at Naruto—who smiled bleakly—Sasuke brushes past Kiba. Squeals and hysteria beckon him from beyond the hallway, unhappy about having to save a bunch of useless females, and even less pleased by the fact he'll end up dealing with a hostile demon.



"You're so strong, protecting us—Sasuke-kun!"

Sasuke ignores the relief and teary thanks from Momoji and leans to peer out of the window. This day can't get worse...

"Are you going to stop him?" Momoji breathes.

"Yes, so shut up," Sasuke tells her without looking. "And you will all stay inside."

"Yeah, yeah, okay," Shikamaru waves him off. "Go turn them off already."


"Uhm…" Kiba glances back inside the bedroom, vague unease skittering around his spine at the sight of a single bed, the scattered clothes and a small, wrapped up bundle of Naruto. "You okay?"

Nodding, Naruto says, "Just a little…tired."

"Oh. You gonna be in here for a while then?"

"I don't know."

Kiba absently pats the trembling Akamaru when he whines. I can smell sex and blood in here, too. The thought leads him towards a conclusion he can't quite grasp, and shunts the possibility aside. They're just not telling us something…

Akamaru yips in his ear.

"No," Kiba murmured. "That's not possible; you're just smelling the jutsu."

But the room still smells like sex, smells like Naruto and Sasuke and the bitter tang of Uzumaki's sweat. He realizes his nose is twitching reflexively, and he's glancing slowly around the room as if searching for something; Naruto watches him stand there with huge blue eyes. Uncomfortable, unsure, Kiba asks out of habit, "You sure you don't wanna come back?"


Sasuke stomps out onto the yard, ignoring the happy cries and sniffles that his presence generates. He whirls and walks backward to pinpoint the demon, jaw and throat tight with frustration. Broken shards of shingles litter the yard and crunch under his feet.

"Uzumaki!" Sasuke catches sight of the demon prying up another shingle. The girls have grouped together behind him, and while most fall into silence with his entrance, one or two still shake their fists and spit shrill insults.


Kyubi snaps his head around, shingle dangling and sneers. "Fuck off already."

"Get down here."

"No. No – no – no and, you fucking bastard, no!" Kyubi flings a shard at the females; Sasuke watches it shatter on the grown and hears the squawking mutter behind him. "You said outside, I'm outside!"

"And you're supposed to be normal and that doesn't mean attacking other people!"

His only answer is several shingles self-destructing at his feet.

"Goddammit—" Sasuke tugs at his hair. "Stop ripping up the roof!"

Kyubi stalks to another section of the building. Sasuke can see bare patches of wood where the shingles once lay. "Why? It's fun and I like fun—"

"Yeah? Well now it's gonna leak in the rain—you like that? You like getting rained on?" Sasuke is barely aware he's yelling right back, barely aware that he's dodging brittle sharp edges on the ground.

"Yeah?!" Kyubi bares his teeth and laughs. "Good, I hope you drown!"


Naruto feels too nervous about going back out into the living-room—as comfortable as he is around the others, something about the three females trigger his instincts into warning. They aren't here for him, and he has no protection if they decide to attack him—

Why they would he doesn't know; it's just an oily fear that gnaws inside his gut. He wants to run, wants to hide away until the silence whispers around them and no one but Sasuke and Kyubi are within arms reach.

But he can't, so he follows Kiba down the hall, hanging back in the shadows when they reach the room.

"Hey—what's going on out there?" Kiba darts to the window where almost everyone else stands, crowded and pushing for a glimpse.

Shikamaru sniffs. "They're yelling. That's about it."

"Aw, I was hoping they'd fight—"

Chouji clears his throat. "Hah." He rustles his bag. "I bet they will—Never seen Sasuke so angry—hey, Shikamaru, what do you think will happen?"

"How should I know?"

Naruto stands with his arms around his middle and wishes again that he was somewhere else. Flushing, he even wishes briefly there hadn't been an interruption and that he was busy, rather than sick with some fear that someone would find out.

Hinata, still seated on the couch, smiles shyly at him. No one else seems to be aware of his presence—

Naruto feels almost relieved, almost relaxed. He can hear yelling under the higher, feminine shrieks. I hope Sasuke isn't yelling too much at him…He edges forward, wanting the bravery to go up to the window and look for himself, or even go outside—

—"Stop shoving, I can't see Sasuke!" The girl Naruto recognizes as Momoji stands at the forefront, her nose almost flat against the glass.

"…nothing but trouble," he hears Shikamaru mutter.

"I hope Naruto's getting what he deserves," the smaller third girl pushes between Chouji and the wall. "Hey, let me see!"

"Isn't he-eeyeaaah!"

Naruto jumps as someone screams very close—his eyes fly to one of the nameless groupie girls who points at him. She's nearly white with fear, and suddenly, the three girls have refocused their attention on him.

Oh crap, Naruto thinks. They really are stupid.

"Geez, what's your problem?" Shikamaru cringes, covering his ears.

"Na-Nah-Naruto!" The girls gasp.

"Eh…" Naruto pulls back, ducking as the girls whirl out of their places and surround him, heart slamming near his throat; he can't breathe, can't think and if the females didn't back off—

"There's two of them?"

"No way!"

"Well, look! He's right there!"

Silence falls into the cracks when Naruto merely shrugs and weaves his fingers together, swallowing nervously when the girls look at him like he has some strange creature crawling on his foot.

"It's not a bunshin, is it?"

"No—" Shikamaru tries to speak.

"Hmph. Who cares?"

"It's not—"

Naruto can't speak. He tries to vanish deeper into the shadows because he doesn't want such close scrutiny, can't speak and move and yell like he wants to—Sasuke—

"Well, he doesn't act like Naruto—"

"—mabye he is a bunshin—"

Eyes like stones glare at him, mocking spite and gleeful in their hate. Naruto shudders and turns his gaze downward—The noise increases to match the hostile screams outside—

Oh, how he hated those girls—

"Leave him alone!"

Naruto jumps for the second time, twitching and slightly sick to his stomach, and looks at Kiba.

"What?" one girl gasps. "-What did you say?"

Kiba bares his teeth and even Akamaru manages to snarl as the boy snaps out the words, "Because, you stupid bitch, he's not whole. He messed up a jutsu—you see him? That's him!" Kiba draws in a breath. "That other Naruto—" something flickers in his gaze—"Well, that's him too!"

"Buh—" Momoji sputters, half-curled hands drawing up towards her chest.

"—So stop harassing him when he's hurt and I won't have to point out your stupidity."

When his words fall into the quietness, Chouji hides a smirk behind a handful of chips. Shikamaru manages a twitching mouth, and even Hinata pulls a frown at the three girls.

"Kiba…" Naruto pushes his laced fingers against his stomach and enjoys the brief warmth of the unexpected defense.


The girls suffer a moment of apoplectic shock, a triad of open, stunned mouths and trembling lips until—Naruto's eyes fly upwards, washed in a shielded rage, helpless frustrated anger so dark his eyes close and the world swayed—in the distance, one girl explodes into delayed, indignant rage.


—and a infuriated ear-scratching shriek from above them pulls all the attention upward.

Naruto's eyes close. "Damn."

"God," Chouji swallows. "He's sure making a lot of noise."

"oh don't—" Naruto lets out a strangled half-breath of sound—the girls, all three, are yelling and crossing their arms and reassuring each other that yes, they were special and the rebuke was some strange fluke because Kiba was a freak too

Then the rage seeped into black threads and Naruto feels fear and he can almost taste Sasuke on his mouth again, and this time, Kyubi is really going to eat him—

Kiba is yelling back insults that sting the wounded pride—the room is noisy and crowded –the house wasn't that big—and Naruto can hear Sasuke's voice—

—feel Kyubi's angry jealous hate

—and it was all coming down. Naruto opens his eyes and whips his head around to face the window—it was open, just a crack, and before anyone realizes it, Naruto is gone.


"Get down here!" Sasuke remembers screaming. He had to be loud, had to yell because there were too many girls around him and Kyubi looked ready to destroy anything he could—

Sasuke is afraid, coldly horribly afraid and can't stop himself from yelling back.

"Alright, Sasuke!"

"—tell him—yeah!"

"—just what he deserves—"

"Stupid stupid Naruto—"

"Shut up!" Kyubi shrieks. "This is our fight you stupid bitches!"

Kyubi's rage is drowned by the resounding yells against him. Sasuke feels arms on his skin, hands and hugging bodies and doesn't care—even though his skin crawls and he can't stop shaking and wishing for nothing more that he and Naruto and—god, even the demon—were alone. Quiet. Calm.

—so angry, angry enough he'll kill me this time—

Kyubi is leaning over the peak of the house, fingers and knuckles white—as white as the teeth he shows in threat, white like snow and Sasuke wants those eyes to be red instead of blue so he doesn't have to see Naruto in that face. Sasuke wants Kyubi to stop snarling and looking so pissed

—he wants nothing to do with this, nothing at all—

—so he stares up with his own burning eyes and remembers how it felt and glares all the more—

"Kick his ass, Sasuke!"

"—needs a good smack—"

"—such a retard—"

"—yeah, proper ninjas don't—"

Dimly, Sasuke will remember hearing yells from inside the house, hearing voices that preluded the demon's shriek—

—horrible shrieking painful noise that digs between his ears and scratches inside his chest because it's so loud and it's hateful and broken like glass.

-he's lost his temper, Sasuke thinks.

Girls cry out noiseless against Kyubi's scream—Sasuke has to cover his ears with a wince—many of the girls surge back, back against Sasuke and his own anger, against him and Kyubi's fury darkens down around them; the demon looks so angry he wants to smile.

His heart thuds and Sasuke realizes his Sharingan is active and his heart thuds again—and Kyubi's force of departure shatters more of the brittle shingles and then the demon's streaking towards Sasuke. Silence falls between the space of breathing and screaming and Sasuke pulls back—the demon will kill the girls if they're close, he knows it, but most of the girls are scattering in instinctive speed as the demon flashes by them, at them, over them—

—it's Sasuke he wants to kill—

—and a wordless cry falling before the blur of blue and blond and cream-colored skin as Kyubi and Naruto tumble around the ground. Naruto's arms are wrapped around the middle of his double, and by sheer weight he's holding down the demon—even as Kyubi scratches and hisses and viciously sinks his teeth into the flesh

"—stoppit—" Naruto pins the demon long enough to yank Kyubi's head back by the hair.

Kyubi snarls and twists, wordlessly enraged, the strength of the demon flips their bodies, until his clawing hands are leaving blood on Naruto's arms and shoulder—Sasuke feels the echo of Naruto's head meeting the earth in a painful thud.

"—Stupid weak little mudworm—" the demon flattens a hand on Naruto's chest, the other curling into claws and held high above Naruto's head for the killing strike. "Fuck the seal and this bullshit—i'll destroy you first!"

"Naruto..." is all Sasuke has time whisper.

Kyubi twists. Sasuke hears screaming and the hand streaks down with all of Kyubi's force and body behind it. Even to the last moment, he sees the stubborn glint in those blue eyes and at the last moment, Naruto bucks. The deadly force in Kyubi's hand crushes onto Naruto's shoulder instead of the skull, snapping the collarbone and three ribs instantly.

Sasuke watches the pain bloom in Naruto's eyes, the blood on the corner of his mouth--

he's dead-no way-no way he could survive that—

Sasuke does the only thing he can think of. Fingers flash and the shuriken whistle out into the air. Focused, Kyubi doesn't dodge the weapons and three of the five shuriken meet the muscle of his back and shoulder. Twitching, Kyubi doesn't even stop—Sasuke sees the arm raise again despite the blood streaking the shoulder—

something's wrong

—So Sasuke flies through a jutsu with only the thought that he'd have to avoid Naruto, somehow, and he wasn't sure if it was possible--he knelt and inhaled all at once—

"Katon Goukakyuu no Jutsu!" and he felt the focus spark through his fingers and then he was blowing fire—quickly, he slams his hand to the ground and channels his chakra out. The fire rushed along the path and lashed straight for the demon—

—screams and the sense of fear—the burning smoke in his throat, the numbness—

—fire and smoke and the empty-gut feeling of using too much chakra—

did I—did I stop him? Sasuke doesn't know if he could find the strength to stand. "Naruto?" The smoke is so thick he can't see anything around him yet, even though he can hear everything—

The breeze begins to disperse the lingering haze and then Sasuke chokes in disbelief.

Red eyes shine eerily through the densest part of the haze—they glow and Sasuke bites his tongue down on the scream in his throat and tastes blood.

"Bastard," the demon hisses.

Naruto—where's Naruto Sasuke scans the ground—did he miss? Miscalculate? where—no, there—Sasuke's eyes snap to the coughing, curled up Naruto on the ground. Still alive-Still there—and in the heartbeat he looks back to the demon.

he's really…

Kyubi's eyes flare in their bloody color and slowly, he shows his teeth—Sasuke is dimly aware of the dead-silent crowd around them--silence, thank god, cause Sasuke doesn't think Kyubi would stay as 'calm' as he was—

"—Fuu Kaze no jutsu!"(1)

—and sixteen kunai find a pattern around the demon, flaring white. A man in a painted bird mask lands—Kyubi snarls as he fades behind the light—

The Anbu. The Anbu came. Sasuke goes limp and nearly falls. He hurts all over and his throat burns. He has to catch himself with his hands flat on the ground and looks up. The light in the trap-jutsu fade enough to show Kyubi stalking in a tight little circle with flexing hands. Sasuke watches him move with a strange sensation. Why is he doing this?

"Are you—" the Anbu begins.

"He'll find a way around those," Sasuke warns the Anbu. "Don't take your eyes off him, but—" Then darkness drags at him by the chest and he hits the ground in a semi-conscious blur.

but don't hurt him he wants to say, but can't find the strength.


A/N – yay! Took me long enough, but it's here! I, uh, didn't plan for this to happen? No, really…oO—Kyubi wasn't supposed to lose it—and this chapter was getting so long I had to break it down…but I hope this helps even if I did put a cliffhanger in at the end—but it's necessary, people. I'll show you why next time. XD

1 - Fuu Kaze no Jutsu Sealing Wind Jutsu ( i think? i made it up! oo)