AN: yet another chapter of 'Impassioned Shades' and I still haven't lost my inspiration for it. I've been getting a few emails from you asking on whether or not I was going to finish this chapter or even continue the story.

During the time I was working on this, a terrible thing happened-a fellow writer, and one that I greatly admired was forced to put down her pen and go into seclusion for her last few months on this world. She's only 15 and is already accepting of her passing. It made me question life, and where I truly stood. From that, I have become determined to finish this fic and to continue writing for not only myself but for her.

Please enjoy this chapter and while you are reading it, please think of her.

Impassioned Shades of Red

By: feathergurl

Dedicated to Yumemi-chan, who's passion for writing and simply living lead me to discover the hidden beauty in sadness and the strength in never giving up, even in the face of death.

Act 7- Bloodline unleashed

90 years ago.....

"Aniki, what's wrong?" Sasuke looked up at his brother in worry, a small frown on his face.

"Nothing's wrong. I'm simply thinking." Uchiha Itachi glared solemnly out the window, resisting and pushing down the intense urge to snap at his smaller sibling, who at the moment was innocently poking Itachi's side in curiosity at the others remarkable muscles. The prodding wasn't helping the elder's attitude either.

There were just too many reasons for him to hate his little brother, to wish for his death. At Sasuke's birth his father had instantly placed the boy as his successor, chosen the little idiot to become the next ruler of Konohagakure when it was supposed to be him.

Slowly but surelyhis brother's small fingers were crushing his dreams and ambitions, steadily twisting his family against him. Once, long ago, he had been the pride of his family but with his rapid growth in power they had come to fear whom, or rather 'what', he was becoming. So, when the first opportunity of escape materialized they took it without another thought and made their second son a scapegoat of sorts.

It was only natural really, when one thought about it.

With the birth of Sasuke they were able to conveniently strip him of his title and give it to the weaker of the two-- a helpless babe that was neither a threat to them nor their reign. The senseless fools thought they would be able to hide behind this small child, behind their written laws.

"We will see..."

Itachi quietly walked from the room, leaving a confused and almost sad Sasuke to watch his brother walk away without another word. Small hands gripped furiously at the thin kite held within their grasp, the toy fluttering to the ground as the young boy dejectedly began to cry, a sharp pain filling his chest.

"Aniki, why don't you love me...?"

------

"Sasuke..."

"SASUKE!"

Sasuke blinked lazily in surprise before looking up at Naruto who held a small, dusty kite within his hands. He must've spaced out...

"What's a kite doing in the armory?"

The Uchiha's eyes widened slightly at the words, the ruler looking once more down at the kite held within Naruto's hands. The young ruler hesitantly and somewhat unconsciously reached out to touch the faded cloth, inwardly shirking back in horror.

"This kite was my favorite toy, I always—"Sasuke paused for a moment, his eyes sad and forlorn. The young ruler suddenly drew his hand back sharply, his eyes catching site of a small drop of blood on the delicate fabric. So small, yet so significant.

The vampire abruptly turned on his heals and walked over to a wall laden with swords, his eyes skimming the large range of weapons as if searching for something. Within seconds the ruler found his target, the brunette's long fingers clenching around its plain black sheath as he lifted it from the wall, moving to hand it to Naruto who looked at him strangely.

"You wanted to give me that?"

Sasuke looked at the blond in annoyance before wordlessly offering the sword to Naruto once more. The blond in return pushed the kite out towards Sasuke as if asking him to hold it. Sasuke hesitated for only a moment before taking the kite with a steely mind, firmly squashing out any memories that would cause him further pain.

With a sigh Naruto took the sword, looking it over half heartedly before rolling his eyes as he gave Sasuke an amused glance.

"Sasuke, you know I already have a sword. Thank you, but—"

"You don't take that you don't fight," was Sasuke's flippant answer, the ruler taking a no-nonsense stance, his arms folded over his chest, a cool and emotionless mask covering his features.

Naruto glared at Sasuke, who was more then willing to smile mockingly back at the blond.

"Fine." The blue-eyed boy huffed out, pressing the sword flush to his side.

Sasuke smirked, stroking Naruto's irately red cheeks.

"Now koiishi, you'll be thanking me later when you see what a real blade can do."

The blond gaped at Sasuke, his eyes widening as he spluttered wordlessly at the double meaning.

"Lover?! Blade?" Naruto very nearly had a heart attack when Sasuke laughed deeply, his voice rich and deep as it caused the human to shiver. Ever so slowly the Uchiha drew closer to Naruto, his breath mingling with the other's as his crimson eyes traced the contours of the blonde's face.

"You know what I mean. When this is all over... I want you to be my lover." Sasuke whispered thickly, his eyes coming up to lock with Naruto's own.

Naruto very nearly dropped his sword at the soft words, his startled gasp blocking up his throat as he moved to step back but was instead pulled to Sasuke, the vampire gently capturing his lips with his own. Neither moved for a few moments, Sasuke staying absolutely still as he looked within Naruto's dazed eyes, never once blinking or looking away.

Naruto was the first to pull back, touching his lips in wonderment as he gazed at Sasuke in confusion.

"You ..."

"Yes?" Sasuke asked quietly.

Naruto bit his lip, bending down to place his sword on the ground before straightening up as he shakily leaned in towards Sasuke, stopping only inches from the vampire's lips.

"You...you better mean that, you bastard." Naruto leaned in as he pressed his lips to Sasuke's, shivering at the pleasurable feeling that raced through his body at the light contact.

Naruto jerked at the sudden move, making a small sound of surprise as he tried to move away from Sasuke's gentle touch, only to be held in place by Sasuke's hands. The vampire lightly kissed Naruto's jaw before trailing his smooth lips down the expanse of the blonde's throat, gradually beginning to torture the blond with soft, seductive licks.

"I won't hurt you, Naruto."

Slowly the blond relaxed, his hands clenching onto Sasuke's shirt as the lord drew back from his neck only to press his lips curiously against Naruto's once again. This time the blond eagerly opened up his mouth; unable to comprehend the fact that he was kissing Sasuke willingly and that he truly wanted to feel more. Slowly Sasuke pulled back for breath, the vampire battling with his urges to take Naruto right then and there. Naruto groaned at the loss of contact and whined as he attempted to capture Sasuke's lips with his own, only to be stopped in the action.

"Naruto, I can't continue much longer. If I do, I won't be able to stop myself from taking you and I want you to be ready."

The blond looked up at him with glazed eyes, his lips swollen from the passionate kisses the two had just shared. Naruto's eyes suddenly widened, something clicking within the human's mind as he clumsily jumped back from Sasuke as if burned. A jumbled mix of thundering thoughts and rampant feelings rushed through his mind at an alarming rate, none of the realizations helping the stunned, confused blond.

"I- I—"

Sasuke bowed his head to Naruto. "I'm sorry. Please forgive me for touching you, I had no right to do so. It's best I go ready myself for the battle." The ruler turned to leave, only to be stopped by the blonde's gentle but firm grip on his shirt.

"I'd also like to be your lover." Naruto finished quietly, letting go of Sasuke as he turned away, unable to meet Sasuke's eyes. The vampire was shocked into an unwilling silence before he hesitantly closed the space between the two of them, wrapping his arms around the turned body of the blond as he gently nuzzled Naruto's neck.

"After this battle is over, and Konoha is safe, whenever you wish it- I will be here. Until then, if you'd allow me I would like to lay my claim over you."

The human swallowed thickly at the words, motionless for a few moments before he nodded in acceptance, stepping away from Sasuke as he removed his outer cloak, shakily unbuttoning his shirt as the cloth parted to show his smooth, unmarred skin.

Sasuke let out a small breath, trying to calm himself as he suddenly remembered Kisho's past warnings. "Naruto, before I do this there's something you need to know. We all as a village have forsaken the luxury of drinking straight from humans and from that we have become better at controlling our animalistic side. However, when I bite you, I may become aggressive and I ask you to trust me. If things get far too out of hand I want you to stop me, in any way you see fit. Do not worry about hurting me, is that understood?"

Naruto nodded shakily, lowering his shirt down his shoulders so the cloth was now hanging only midway against his back, the long sleeves sliding loosening around the blonde's arms.

Licking his lips the human nervously spoke up. "What would you like me to do?"

Sasuke lightly traced Naruto's neck, before beginning to languidly rub the planes of the blonde's shoulders. "Just relax..." the vampire's breath grazed over his ear, making the human shiver as Sasuke's long arms came to wrap around his waist, pulling him so he was now flush up against the other's chest. Teasingly Sasuke traced the curve of Naruto's neck with his tongue, earning a small muffled squeal at the action. The blond let out a tiny moan before clamping his mouth shut, flushing faintly in embarrassment as his head came to rest on Sasuke's chest, his blue eyes shut in apprehension.

The blonde's pulse beat erratically beneath his tongue, calling out to him as it slowly seduced him with its lulling, hypnotic beats. Painstakingly slow, Sasuke drew his lips back as he carefully pressed his fangs against the delicate skin of Naruto's neck, the human's eyes snapping open as he latched desperately onto his pale hands.

With a small squeeze to Naruto's clenched fingers, Sasuke began to slide his fangs into the blonde's neck, taking the other's gasp of pain with a dull animalistic pleasure as he slid the rest of his fangs into the haven of the human's body.

The younger mortal made a choking noise deep within the back of his throat, trying to pull away from Sasuke as the fangs spread an indescribable heat throughout his body.

"Sa....suke..." Naruto willed himself to stay as still as possible, trying to let Sasuke finish the ceremony. The said vampire closed his eyes, beginning to chant the memorized mantra's within his head, muffled whispers occasionally emitting from his position against the blonde's neck. A loud keening sound suddenly tore from Naruto's neck, an intense pleasure ripping through his body as he nearly fell to his knees, light beginning to shine about him and Sasuke as the vampire finished the spells, his dark red eyes flashing within the room as the male fought with the decision to draw back or to take and turn Naruto now.

"Kami," Naruto whispered wearily, still caught off guard from the near orgasmic wave that had just ripped through him moments previous. "You bastard Sasuke, you didn't ah—!" the human was caught off guard as Sasuke growled suddenly, clamping down even harder as if to protest Naruto's insult.

"Sasuke, you're hurting me. Please let go..."Naruto whimpered, tilting his head back even thought it was rather painful, to look Sasuke in the eye. "Koi, I promised you that I wanted to become yours and you said so yourself— now is not the time. Please Sasuke, please let go. I don't want to have to hurt you." Naruto's blue eyes locked with the other's blood thirsty red ones, the vampire's orbs so unlike those of the calm and collected Sasuke the boy knew and, if to be honest, loved.

After a few moments the vampire lowered his eyes as he slowly withdrew his fangs, the Uchiha licking up the blood that stained his lips. "I'm sorry I lost control."

Naruto shook his head before wincing, "It's fine Sasuke, I trusted you to listen to me and you did."

The vampire hesitantly nodded his head before regaining his brusque attitude. "We've dallied for too long, we need to get out and back down to the courtyard. The men will have gathered there by now."

The blond nodded his head, gingerly wiping the blood from the wound as best he could before pulling at the shirts cloth as he began to button it up. "Why don't you go ahead of me? I need to talk with my father for a little bit and he'll be on the other side of the castle rounding up the rest of his men."

Sasuke quickly protested. "Naruto I don't want you to—"

Naruto gave the Uchiha an amused glance. "I'll be at the courtyard with Kyuubi soon. Remember what we talked about yesterday, alright? You know I can take care of myself." The blond pulled his cloak on, before leaning down to pick his sword off the floor.

"If you're sure then I'll go ahead and meet you there," Sasuke resignedly said. Naruto noticed the indecision in the other's voice and gently reached up to stroke Sasuke's cheek.

"We have all the time in the world Sasuke, this is just something we both must do."

The blond received a terse nod in return as the ruler turned his head to press a soft kiss the palm of Naruto's outstretched hand. "Be careful Naruto, they're bound to break in at any time."

With a quick nod Naruto turned and headed out the room, leaving Sasuke alone in the armory. The ruler idly looked around the room before smirking grimly.

'Is this why you hate me, Aniki?'

------

Naruto raced down the halls, occasionally side-stepping and sliding out of the way of some of the slower people.

"Excuse me, coming through!" the blond yelled as he viewed a crowd just ahead of him.

The gathered men's eyes widened in comic surprise as they realized just who was running straight at them, leaping out of the way just in time as the blond raced through their parted ranks.

"Naruto-sama the courtyard is—" the nameless man was cut off as Naruto ran on, yelling back to the crowd as he was turning a corner.

"I'll be there soon!"

The group stared at the empty hall blinking, before staring some more, silence of the hall seeming pale in comparison to the blonde's bright, exuberant voice. Suddenly, one of the men piped up, a clear grin on his face. "Sasuke-sama's going to have fun with that one in bed!"

The group as a whole snickered before laughing outright as they began heading down the hall, their momentary laughter and comradeship easing them into an uneasy sense of peace.

They could only pretend things were going to be all right and maybe, just maybe they would.

"O-otousan!!"

At the call Iruka turned around to see a breathless Naruto running down the hall, his cloak billowing out behind him as a faint stain of red lay half hidden at the base of his shoulder, only visible when the lapel of the cloak would sway a bit too far. The commander instantly realized what it was, and at the realization his eyes widened to frightening proportions. With a wave of his hand he ordered his men to stop before running up to greet the blond.

"Naruto, when did it happen?!" the man softly touched the wound, careful to not further aggravate the bite. The blond, whether at the question or the touch, winced.

"Just now, back in the armory. That's not the only thing though; on the way here I think I figured out where they're going to break in—" another large rumble shook the foundations of the ground, this time much closer and louder then before. Suddenly, the back wall of the castle began to crack and groan, Naruto shakily gained back his voice as he motioned to the men and pulled his father in the opposite direction.

"RUN!!! DON'T STOP UNTIL WE GET TO THE COURTYARD!" the blond flinched only slightly as he heard the walls cave in, running steadily along with his father and the group.

"How did you know they were going to break in here?!" Iruka yelled to his son. Naruto let out a growl, speeding around the nearby corner as he glared at Iruka. "I DIDN'T!! I THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO COME IN FROM THE DUNGEONS!"

The group let out uneasy laughter at the yell, looking at Naruto and Iruka with worried eyes. One of the nameless men spoke up, "Iruka-sempai, Naruto-sama, I think we have a problem..."

The two stopped in their bickering for only a moment to simultaneously look at the man who in turn, was gawking up at the ceiling. "Oro?" tilting his head back Naruto followed the other's gaze, his blue orbs widening as he whispered out the one thought that was on all of their minds.

"Shit."

----

Sasuke was standing before the large crowd of gathered soldiers, worriedly awaiting Naruto's arrival. As if sensing his discomfort Kisho placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, wordlessly trying to console the other. "What's wrong Sasuke-sama?"

The brunette hesitated before shaking his head. "It's nothing, just pre-battle jitters."

Kisho somberly looked over his spectacles to gaze down at Sasuke. "Sasuke, please tell me then, where is Naruto-sama?" At the words the Uchiha jerked slightly, sending the older vampire an irate look.

"I wish you wouldn't do that. You ask a question even when you already know the answer." Sasuke let out an annoyed sigh, trying his hardest to ignore Kisho's amused chuckle. "Sasuke, I don't always know the answers. I merely make educated guesses."

The red eyed ruler snorted in grim amusement as he absently ran his tongue over his fangs. "I don't know where Naruto is, he told me he'd meet me here and it's been nearly an hour since then."

Kisho nodded in understanding before letting out a small 'hum' as he tapped his chin. "And there is surely a reason for your intensified worry. Before the ceremony there would have been no cause for worry as you knew, albeit reluctantly, that Naruto was perfectly capable of handling himself."

Sasuke blushed at Kisho's sharp observation, inwardly cringing that he would have to tell the other about the claiming. "We, I mean, back in the armory I..."

The ancient scholar raised a brow. "Yes?"

The tongue tied Uchiha finally muttered out an answer. "I claimed him back in the armory."

To say the other was shocked was an understatement. "Sasuke! We are about to head into war, if one of you were to die, why the effect would be catastrophic!"

At the quiet chastisement, Sasuke winced slightly before nodding his head. "I know that Kisho-san, but it...something just told me to do it. Naruto wanted it as well." Sasuke blatantly avoided Kisho's eyes, afraid of the anger he would see there.

Contrary to Sasuke's worries Kisho spoke up in a soft voice, only a light tinge of reprimand in the tone. "You know who else was joined there, Sasuke. I thought you knew better then to do such things on holy ground." Sasuke gave a meek nod, feeling like a little child once more.

"I understand Kisho-san, I'm sorry."

Kisho shook his head. "It's not me you should be saying sorry to, it's their spirits who deserve the apology."

"I'll pray and ask them for forgiveness tonight." 'If we're still alive', Sasuke thought cynically.

The crowd looked over at the two, waiting for orders as they stood quietly in the courtyard. Clearing his throat, Sasuke prepared to go ahead without Naruto when suddenly a ragged soldier, one of Iruka's men, stumbled into the crammed courtyard. "Snakes... Naruto-sama... Iruka-sempai!! Danger!!" his words were slurred and nearly incomprehensible, but to the ears of Kisho, Sasuke and Kakashi were instantly understood and quickly stirred three into action.

"6th regiment head to the southern gates, 7th to the northern!! 10 and 9 come with us!! I want this man treated!" Sasuke, after issuing the orders tore down the passageway the man had just come from, Kakashi, Kisho and Akai following close behind. Nothing was said as the men raced towards the danger, a scream suddenly echoing from up ahead causing Kakashi's eyes to flash dangerously.

"Iruka..." the silver haired Jounin suddenly sped up, the man the first one to turn the corner and come face to face with the chaos. Iruka's troops were vainly lashing out at the snakes, a few of the reptiles lay sprawled on the ground dead, many more of the soldiers in a similar position. Iruka himself was being squeezed mercilessly by one of the larger snakes, a demonic looking man smiling sadistically from atop its head.

"OI!! SNAKE FACE, PICK ON SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE!!" Kakashi's head snapped in the direction of the yell, his one eye widening as he watched Naruto bravely run forward, his sword at ready. Sasuke and the others had come around the corner by this point, just in time to watch the blond charge the snake.

With a magnificent leap Naruto soared through the air, passing just under the snakes head to skillfully slit the giant's throat. The snake let loose a loud bellow, its body thrashing wildly in the throes of pain. By accident the creature dropped Iruka, the vampire landing on the floor in a breathless, bruised heap. Kakashi rushed forward and ran to Iruka's side, worriedly turning the other onto his back.

"Iruka?!"

The brown haired man painfully opened his eyes, dazed and confused. "Kakashi...?"

"Yes it's me. We—" the Jounin was abruptly cut off as Iruka interrupted him mid word, "Stop Naruto...it's Orochimaru!"

Kakashi's head shot up to look at the demonic man who had quickly jumped down from the snakes head as the creature began to fall. "Sasuke-sama!! Get Naruto out of there! He's in danger!"

Sasuke looked over at Kakashi before rushing towards Naruto, stopped dead in his tracks as a giant snake slithered in front of him. "Kuso!"

Naruto meanwhile was having his problems of his own. After catching site of the others, he had accidentally turned his back on the 'dead' snake and nearly had his head bitten off in the process. The dead snake had turned to be very much alive, pure spite and anger keeping it moving.

"Screw it!!" in a sooth motion Naruto had slid his sword back into it's sheath before gracefully forming a wave of hand seals, a bright blue light beginning to gather in the palms of his hands. "Rasengan!!"

With a loud scream the blond shot forward, shoving his right hand into the snakes throat, blood covering him completely as the jutsu exploded violently.

The young man backed up mechanically, trying hard to ignore the green blood that ran down his arm. At the small but firm sound of clapping, the blond looked over to his left shoulder to see the pale, snake faced man smirking teasingly.

"Brilliantly done I must say. So you are the infamous Naruto, the boy wanted by both the Uchiha brothers and the child once thought to be dead."

Naruto's eyes narrowed as he growled, already angry and in no mood to be teased. "Orochimaru, the rebel slave of Uchiha Itachi," he shot back.

The man let out a sister chuckle as he tapped his thin lips teasingly. "My my, aren't we a feisty one? I can see why Itachi favors you more then his sprawling harem."

Naruto shuddered in disgust at the man's mention, watching Orochimaru's motions with hawk like eyes. "That bastard can go to hell for all I care. Now what do you want?" Inwardly the blond was shaking in fear, stories of the man's legendary strength rushing through his mind.

"I simply wish to fight. You and your father are well known for being some of the more aggressive and stubborn fighters within the Konoha empire. I want to taste that wonderful essence, to feel the power of the key." Orochimaru's voice came out in a hiss, his silted eyes flashing like a snake's in the thrum of the hunt.

Naruto made a disgusted, overwhelmed gag in the back of his throat as Orochimaru licked the blade of his sword, the man's long tongue rolling down it's silver length.

'What the hell is this sick bastard talking about? I don't even have one of the keys!' Naruto's thoughts were broken off as he heard Sasuke yell out an unfamiliar jutsu, and for a moment the blond turned his head to look at the disturbance. Bad idea. In a split second Orochimaru had drawn his sword and had charged straight towards the blond, the young human barely having any time to jump out of the way before he less then gracefully drew his sword.

"Orochi-bastard!" Naruto screamed, his eyes burning with anger. "If you want to fight, fight honorably." With a smooth twirl of his sword Naruto shot forward, sparks flying as the two clashed violently.

The snake summoner grinned madly, leaning forward as their swords shook in the heat of their strength. "Such fiery blood."

At the mocking words Naruto's eyes narrowed in anger as he let out a loud bellow of outrage. In a well practiced motion Naruto ducked down before flipping his sword backwards to make Orochimaru stumble forward slightly as he immediately moved in for the man's middle.

Orochimaru was faster however and in a blink of an eye had disappeared only to reappear behind Naruto, his cold breath grazing the blonde's neck. "You're marked, eh? He wouldn't like it if I did this then?"

At the words everything seemed to slow down for Naruto, thoughts and images of Sasuke flashing through his mind as a hot red pain suddenly blossomed in his side.

The pained, otherworldly scream echoed throughout the hall drawing every man's attention to the gruesome scene in front of them. Orochimaru's sword had been stabbed deep into Naruto's left side, the blonde's blood splattered across the white marble floor in a drizzle of ruby red. The human's back was arched to the point of snapping, his head thrown back in agony as his hands aimlessly clawed at the sword, spreading more of his precious fluid across the silver length of the weapon.

"NARUTO!!!"

Sasuke's enraged scream broke the stunned silence of the hall as the vampire began to glow, an ominous wind whipping around his frame as his red Sharingan began to elongate and narrow. The ruler's shirt ripped as long, dark tendrils of light began to pour out, the threads weaving in an intricate pattern to create the beautiful yet hideously dark sight of black, ripped wings.

With a snap the wings spread out to their full length, the Uchiha soaring up from the ground as a deep, dark, red light began to crackle about his fingers. Orochimaru was transfixed, an amused and almost childish glee pouring from his eyes. "Yes! The true power of the Uchiha line!! The power that will unlock the keys!"

Sasuke growled at the words, his voice deep and foreboding as his chakra seemed to swirl about the room. "No one touches what is mine." The vampire shot towards Orochimaru, his fingers birthing forth sharp nails that were easily deflected by the man who smirked teasingly.

"Thank you for the wonderful demonstration Uchiha-sama, but now I'm afraid I've work to do." Orochimaru slid his sword out of Naruto in a graceful yet aloof motion to punctuate the biting, mocking words. "We'll meet again I'm sure."

Before Sasuke could strike he was gone, Naruto's body falling towards the ground while Iruka screamed out in sorrow, the man's yell snapping Sasuke into action as the vampire caught the blond only inches from the floor. "Naruto! Wake up you idiot!" it was all Sasuke could do to stop himself from shaking the blond as he prayed to the gods his mate was still alive. Kisho, covered in a good amount of snake blood as well, ran to Sasuke as he grabbed Sasuke by the shoulders, making sure not to touch the others wings.

"Sasuke-sama, yelling at him will help nothing." Kisho looked into Sasuke's silted eyes, wordlessly begging him to understand. "Orochimaru was easy on him, Naruto could've been dead now instead of injured." Before Sasuke could reply a startlingly familiar red chakra began to swirl around the prone body of Naruto, nearly blinding Sasuke who was still holding the blond.

"Fucking... when I see that bastard again I'll rip out his throat and eat it myself." The growled complaint caused Sasuke's eyes to narrow in surprise, the red chakra fading away to show the taller and more sinister looking copy gazing down at him and Naruto.

"He'll be fine. He's only passed out from blood loss and shock. Orochimaru, the bastard, used a seal to block my chakra from healing him for more than 24 hours." The Kyuubi growled to show his intense irritation.

"You can't do anything?!" Kyuubi gave him a grave look, before tilting his head to Kisho.

"Both of you know what happened the moment you released your bloodline. Your Sharingan will now remain as such until you are able to stabilize it with Naruto's chakra. You know what must happen in order for that to occur." Kyuubi gave Sasuke a playful smirk earning a glare in return.

"Not now, Kyuubi. I'm not in the mood for your—" The ruler was cut off by Kisho who squeezed his shoulder slightly in warning.

"Children, if you are done bickering with one another, I have a proposal. Since both Iruka-san and Naruto-sama are injured and no longer safe here within the town it would be wisest to move them to another location, no?"

Kyuubi and Sasuke looked at one another before looking toward Kakashi who was trying to calm a hysterical Iruka. As the demons and vampire's eyes locked the two nodded in agreement before tilting their heads to Kisho.

"I would like it if you were to accompany Naruto to the winter castle far in the west. He'll be the safest there due to the mountains that surround it. Invasion will be nearly impossible and if things go bad...I know that he, at least, will remain safe."

Kisho sighed as he nodded his head in agreement, locking eyes with Kyuubi to let the demon know he would do his best to protect him and the boy.

Sasuke gravely looked down at the unconscious form of Naruto before placing a soft kiss to his brow.

'Stay safe my mate...'

----

"Has there been any news from Konohagakure?"

"No, I'm afraid there hasn't Kisho-sama. The first messenger arrived weeks ago and our last dispatch..." the post master trailed off as he nervously smiled. "I'm sure they're just having a bit of a time getting back through the mountains. The snow is beginning to fall harder after all."

Kisho nodded his head in a tight but polite motion, letting a small smile tug at his lips. "I'm sure that's all it is, thank you for your time."

The man bowed to Kisho. "Think nothing of it. Have a good night Kisho-sama." The ancient scholar nodded in reply as he watched the servant walk from the room, closing the massive doors behind him.

"Such weak hearted servants Sasuke-koi has." Kyuubi's drawl came out more like a purr, his lips twitching in amusement. Kisho shook his head in resigned humor as he settled down on the couch next to Kyuubi, looking into the crackling flames of the fireplace. "That mouth of yours will surely get you in trouble one of these days my dear Kyuubi."

The being shrugged indifferently as he lazily leaned against the couch and Kisho. "I've spoken this way since my birth, I'm not going to stop now. What's the saying... we're all creatures of habit?"

Kisho chuckled in amusement, "Usually that's a saying reserved for human beings, not demons." Kyuubi sniffed in mock anger at the playful prod.

"Hmph. You forget, I'm technically human with Naruto..." the fox spirit trailed off as the room became silent, the only sound the fire crackling within the large hearth.

"He hasn't woken up yet has he?" Kyuubi's voice came out in a whisper as his usually fiery eyes dulled some.

"No, but by all accounts he should be awake. His body is completely healed and any jutsu Orochimaru might have placed on him would be gone by now." Kisho paused as he idly took off his glasses and rubbed at their dusty lenses. "When he wakes up, there won't be much we can do for him. He'll find out one way or another that we've heard next to nothing from Konohagakure and Sasuke has yet to return. It seems as if he might very well be dead, but I trust in him and pray to the gods that it is not so."

Kyuubi glared into the fire, his claws idly tapping the side of the leather couch. "Sasuke's nowhere near that weak. The power that surrounded him when Naruto and I fell...I felt it from the depths of my place within Naruto's soul and even now I remember it as nothing I'd ever seen before. There is something curious however of that particular fight. Orochimaru vaguely mentioned a key, and I presume he was speaking of the third but he implied it resided within Naruto... 'I want to taste that wonderful essence, to feel the power of the key'... those were his words." Kyuubi noticed the small flare of chakra that stirred within the vampire's chest at his words, and with a grave smirk he continued on. "What's more, it seems as if the power of the Uchiha line will be the one thing to truly unlock the power of the keys and to lead us to the lost one."

Kisho shook his head. "To do that, there have to be three...and currently there are only two. The third one is lost, it disappeared ages ago."

Kyuubi's eyes glinted as he leaned forward in his seat, his red eyes meeting Kisho's as he looked intensely at the other. "It was never lost, for it lies in the very blood of the Uchiha line. It was clever of the founders, frighteningly so as the two existing keys were made to represent their two souls while the third acted as the representation of their joining. This third key was passed down through each generation by the means of blood, biding its time until the future of the Uchiha line would come to rest in joining of two young men once more. One a weeping fan... and the second the fox of fire." The demon watched in sadistic pleasure as the scholar's eyes widened with each passing second, the ancient vampire whispering under his breath.

'...The key to me
Hidden deeply
Within the one who gives himself
To whom his heart has chosen truly
...'

Kyuubi nodded at the words.

"Naruto is the flesh of Konohagakure, the son of Konoha's only defense captain. Make no mistake, Naruto will give himself willingly to Sasuke with absolutely no hesitation in his heart. Our child, Kisho-san, will be birthed from the joining of the third key and the blood of Konohagakure. The heir, it seems will be the one to determine the fate of the Uchiha kingdom."

The scholar was dazedly quiet for a few moments before his lips twitched slightly as it gave way to a rather tired smile. "For 900 years I've been plagued with this legend, and now, with its solving I feel oddly happy. How ever did you figure it out?"

The red-eyed demon smiled suavely. "That, my dear Kisho-san, is for me to know and you to keep wondering about." The jaunty reply earned the Naruto replica a light whack to the head.

"Sasuke-sama will most definitely hear about this outrageous behavior."

Before Kyuubi could come up with an appropriate reply the two heard a faint groan float up from the nearby bed, and in an instant the pair rushed to the blonde's bedside.

"Kami-sama, could he be waking up?" Kisho eagerly looked down at the prone human and Naruto's eyes as if on cue, slowly slid open, the boy's blue orbs dazedly locking on the two.

"K-kyuubi..."

The demon nodded as he settled down on the bed next to the blond, threading his fingers with the human's as he gently stroked the hair away from Naruto's eyes. "Little One, we were beginning to think you would never wake up." Kyuubi gave Naruto a smile that was not unkind. "It's good that you're finally awake."

The pale human winced in confusion. "How long have I been out?"

At the question Kyuubi became silent for a few moments before answering the boy quietly. "Nearly a month." Naruto gawked at him in shock as he tried to grasp the large amount of time. "I remember, Orochimaru..."

"Yes, Orochimaru did indeed stab you in the side." Kisho nodded to Naruto who gave him a tired look in return.

"Where's Sasuke? I remember him screaming my name before I blacked out. I'd like to talk with him."

Kisho looked gravely down at the ground as Kyuubi squeezed Naruto's hand, letting out a sigh. "Sasuke-koi...is still in Konohagakure, Little One. We haven't received word from him or the troops for nearly two weeks."

The demon tried to lessen the blow of the news and gave Naruto's hand another squeeze, inwardly wincing as he saw shock, fear, hurt and denial flash across the blonde's face. "He can't...he's fine. He has to be fine. He promised me he'd be here for me after it was all over." Naruto's voice held such conviction and desperate belief that neither Kisho nor Kyuubi had the heart to say otherwise.

"I'm sure he's fine, Little One." Kyuubi smiled shortly before standing up. "I'm going out for a breath of fresh air and, by the way, Kisho-san has something to tell you."

The scholar threw Kyuubi a withering look as he passed by, inwardly swearing to chastise the other later. The demon didn't even flinch as he easily returned the look with a devious grin.

Kisho sighed tiredly as he kneeled next to Naruto's bedside, his blue eyes darker then usual. "When you fell, Naruto-sama, something extraordinary happened. Sasuke-sama's blood limiters cracked and his hereditary power was unleashed."

At the words Naruto's eyes instantly widened, the boys mouth dropping open in shock. "K-kisho-san, that's just not possible!! Otousan told me-the books they all said—"

"That the blood could only take on such power during mating. Yes, that is what was believed, but this completely contradicts that theory. You, his most precious person, were threatened and in the face of that threat he unconsciously called on his power to protect you."

"The mating ceremony is already complex but this has only furthered the need for your joining to him. He is tortured by dreams of you and now, with this power, he will be more like a demon then a vampire. I am not telling you have to do this right away, but be aware that he will be snappish and cold when he returns. Being close to him, and becoming a restraint of sorts for his blood by mixing it with yours, will surely lock away the power until he is able to better handle it. Please understand, that having such brutal power and facing the sight of bloodshed daily will turn a person's heart to ice, if only for protection."

Kisho gave Naruto a grave and somber look, his eyes telling nothing but the truth. "When we left, more then half of your father's men were dead and the few squads of Konohagakure were battling furiously, the battlefield a chaotic death trap. Sasuke-sama joined them soon after, but not before giving me this. He wanted you to have it." The ancient gently placed a small golden necklace in the palm of Naruto's hand, the delicate chain adorned by a golden fan that had the engraved words of 'family' and 'duty' on it's front.

"Sasuke..." Naruto stared down at the necklace trying his hardest to push down the tears that wanted so badly to leak from his eyes. What hope was he clinging to? This necklace, it said it all. Sasuke had believed he wouldn't make it back and had sent this pitiful token to tell him not to worry.

"Stop it." Kisho's voice was stern and quiet as it shocked Naruto from his reverie. "Trust in Sasuke-sama, he wouldn't tell you something and then go back on it. That is not his way Naruto-sama."

"I-I'm sorry, it's just...I'm not ready to lose him." Naruto's tears finally began falling as he brokenly stared down at the necklace, numbly feeling the bed lighten as Kisho stood up. "I understand Naruto-sama, but please, trust in him. Rest now and in the morning we'll talk." The old vampire gently touched Naruto's shoulder before turning around and following Kyuubi's earlier path.

"Sasuke..." with a pained whimper Naruto clutched furiously down on the necklace, falling back on the bed to bury his face in his pillow. Memories of Sasuke's voice filtered through his mind and for a split second it was as if he could literally feel the distance between the two of them. Sasuke was screaming, screaming so loudly that his chest rose and fell with an unspeakable, burning anger.

But why?

Was what Kisho said really true? Would Sasuke truly be more like a demon, whose families were famous for bloodshed and brute violence? Could he really become that cold?

The blond bit down harshly on his lip, coming to his decision in the silence of the room. If giving himself to Sasuke...would trap that power away and bring him back to who he used to be, then regardless of his fear of being hurt once more, he would do it.

Yet as all things in life are, it wouldn't be quite that easy.

----

"You didn't believe any of it."

Kyuubi's terse statement did little to further Kisho's already stressed attitude. "No, I did. However, my own words only seem to bring sadness to myself nowadays and I've begun to see that as the ages wear on living sometimes becomes unbearable. The sorrow that has accumulated over the centuries will surely be the thing to kill me."

The room was quiet as the pair stood in the abrasive silence, Kyuubi speaking up as he idly scratched his chin.

"At least you won't die of a broken heart." And with that he walked away.

End of Act 7- Bloodline unleashed

AN: Waiiiiii!!!! It's done! Took me nearly two months to get this out and I apologize for the delay. I hope to get chapter eight out earlier then this one but as I've already started high school and I know it's going to be getting even more hectic, we'll see. I've also been working on the dedication fic for my 300th reviewer- ebooeboo! It'll be out soon, so if you be so kind as to read it... ( grins) shameless advertising I know. Also, go to check out the link to my new fanart!! You'll find it in my profile.

To the following reviewers of chapter 6:

Kodoku- OMFG LMAO!!! XD!!!! Well, you know the funny thing is- I literally pounced on the SasuNaru pairing the first day I read Naruto. But really, when I read your review I burst out laughing, you had me to the point of hysterics and my dad looked at me weird when I finally fell off my chair. (snickers) I HAVE COME, I HAVE SMUTTED AND I HAVE CONCQURED.

In other words....

SASUNARU ALL THE WAY!!! XD!!!

Anime redneck- (smiles) arigatou, but to be truthful, I'm not the only one with a supernatural fic. Chibiorochimaru has a wonderful vampire fic called the '13th Hour' I'd check it out if you haven't already. Hope you enjoyed this chapter!

Midd- (chuckles) hai hai!! Thanks for your support and for reviewing

Dark hanyou- (blushes) I'm glad you like my fic so much, I'm really trying my hardest. Hope you enjoyed the chapter!

RainWashesEverythingAway- I AM LUVVVVED XD!!! But really, thanks for reviewing and for continuing to read this story.

Mel- I was just being lazy I'm afraid. I was trying to enjoy the last of my vacation before I go on to high school ( is scared shitless) but I really am going to try to get chapter 8 out faster then this one. Nyaa you still haven't emailed me yet... have you tried? Or maybe I just accidentally deleted it?

Red Rose- eheheh (grins) still, it counts for something that you actually reviewed. There are quite a few I'm sure that are just reading my story and haven't even touched the review button (glares) btw...hope you enjoyed the chapter!

HakaKou- awwwww ;.; I feel so loved. But thank you, even though I don't really think this will ever be the best of my work, I appreciate it that you are enjoying it so much. Hope the chapter was worth the wait! Keep reading!

Raiknii- Tihi, tankyu!!! Hope you enjoyed the chapter!

AnonymousKitsune- (blushes) it's not that good...there are so many fics out there better then my own. But thank you all the same for the kind words and praise. Hope this chapter more then made up for the wait.

If-I-see-you-in-my-dream- ehehehe, arigatou!! If theres one thing that I'm proud of it's the way I've been able to turn out Naruto and Sasuke. Naruto was a bit OOC in this chapter but he should be more in character in the upcoming act. Hope you liked it!

The BirdFox Hybrid Productions - (grins) yes, secretly we love GaaNeji. Tihi.

orlis-gal48(2 - I think we're going to be seeing some sex real soon...yup, definitely. Naruto's gonna have to make Sasuke be gentle though and to do that he's going to have to help Mr. Iceprick loose a bit of that unwanted demon side. Hmm...wonder how he's going to do that though?

Yaoilover S- gomen nasai...but you can always be the next one to get a dedication fic! Hope you enjoyed the chapter!

Rima- Aa, (grins) I'll definitely be putting Akai in more often from now. I had the urge to at least mention him somewhat in this one, so I'm hoping to have him play a bigger role in the next few chapters.

Tzuzuka- I have updated!!! Hope you enjoyed the chapter!

Alyssa- ehehehe (nervous laugh) now, now...no need to get violent. (sweatdrops) hope you enjoyed the chapter!

Moonlight2- you flatter me, really. I hope this chapter was just as enjoyable as the last one. Thanks for your support and keep reading!

Bill the Cat- lmao...you're name always cracks me up, especially when you happen to make comments pertaining to Itachi. (grins) tis funny I tell you, but I have to keep picking on him as he is the villain of the fic.

Macy- hope you enjoyed the chapter!

AniMePeRfEcT- thanks for reviewing, hope you liked the chapter!

Anika- LOL!!! So true though...gomen that it's getting harder to follow I just gave away one of the major plot points this chapter so I'm hoping it will make things a lot easier to follow. I decided not to tell so much of the war in this chapter but I might elaborate more on it in the next. Thanks for reviewing!

Pochacco5- Orochimaru perverted? No, you don't say!! I dunno...I think he's kinda a bit of a pervert in the manga...but yeah, in the story I'd say theres some light innuendo there. Hope you enjoyed the chapter!

Yami no Elessara- I'll try and encorporate more humor into the story, however I think we're getting into a somewhat dark arch as things continue. This wasn't really intended to be a humor fic but I've been beginning to get the idea of writing one. So if I don't put that much humor in here, I'll more then gladly make up for it in my other fic. Hope the chapter was enjoyable!

black-mystic3- the fluff be coming. Though it might be a bit longer until you see some, I'll try and get a bit in but I can't promise anything.

Naruke- Tankyu for reviewing!!! Hope you enjoyed the new chapter!!

Yasai-chan- waiiiii you honor me far more then I deserve (blushing) I'm glad you're enjoying it so far and I hope the chapter was worth the wait!

Narutofan118- thankyou for reviewing, hope you enjoyed the chapter!

Kitsune of Mist- ahahahaha! You should see me in the morning! I look more like Kakashi with sasuke's glare thing going on. Thank you so much for sticking with my story!! Hope you enjoyed the chapter.

COY- oh great one? O.o Uu?! (blushes) I hope you enjoyed the chapter...thank you for reviewing!

vixenUchiha- ;;;; ehehehe so glad you like it, make sure you thank nikki though, she gave me tons of inspiration!!

Jollenar- eh...lol?

futago akuma-tenshi01- maa maa...I like to reply to the reviewers, besides, if it wasn't for all of you I wouldn't have even been able to come this far. Thank you for reviewing, I hope this chapter was enjoyable!

Queen of Anime- arigatou so much for your constant support and your kind reviews. I hope you truly enjoyed this chapter.

MaidenInTheMoon- waiiiiiiii daisuki da!!!! ;3 mo-chan loves you!!! Hope you enjoyed the chapter!!!

Crazyinulover- heh. It only gets crazier my friend.

Mari the Rare Item Hunter- (sweatdrops) thoust have updated...hope this made up for the long wait.

Mon- that's actually a good question, I'm pretty sure I'm not pushing ahead, I just had to get these two rapidly moving chapters out...the next few will definitely focus more on the characters. For example, in this chapter it was my intent to tell more on Sasuke's past— just as you'll eventually learn about Naruto's. Part of the legend, has also been solved and has given away what will need to happen for sasuke's bloodline to be calmed and Konohagakure to be saved. as for the smut, it's just on the horizon and I'd say in about 2 chapters we'll finally be seeing some SasuNaru action.

If I'm correct NC-17 is equal to M or possibly even dirtier. As far as I can tell NC-17 covers the really dirty stuff like descriptive anal penetration, S&M, oral and all the fabulous taboos of sex and rape. It would also most likely include severe language, heady violence and just...carnal human nature. Since ff has been cracking down all these new rules I'm going to have to post the sexual chapter on another site, since it's going to be a hard R or possibly a straight NC-17. Hope this was helpful!

Shikashinigami- eheheh ;;; (blushes) thank you, and I really hope this chapter was just as addicting and well worth the wait.

Kisu- (grins) thank you so much for the compliment, I really enjoy your stories as well!! Hope this chapter was satisfactory! LQ- yeah, there was a short time period that it was just being a bitch and kept saying chapter six wasn't there, which pissed me off to no end. But anyways...hope this chapter was enjoyable.

Munku-JGSPTV- awwww, I'm so glad I've made the idea of MPREG appealing for you, even if only in my fic. I'm so sorry I took such a long time in updating, but I hope the chapter more then made up for the delay.

Zkylar- tankyu!!! Hope the battle was somewhat enjoyable!!

Hyuuga Nikki- ;.; (huggles nikki tight waiiiii!! You're too kinddddddddd (glompshuggleskisses) hope you liked the chapter!!

sunsetflame- awwwww thanks nee-san!!! Hope you liked this chapter just as much as the last one!

chibi-uchiha- hmm, you really think so? (is so proud) I'm glad Naruto's coming out okay...I think he was a bit OOC at the end...demo...he should be back to normal in the next chapter, aside from a few depressed streaks.

Chaos- oh believe me, he'll get what he deserves- do you think anyone is going to get away with hurting Naruto without Sasuke making sure they are left on the floor in pain or well on their way to the afterlife?

Dark Mimiru-Chan- Aa, ehehe I'm glad you like it so much- I really hope this chapter was well worth the wait. Can't wait to hear your feedback!

ghostninja85- eh...another thing that's been bugging me. Truthfully, that was part of the reason though it was also a necessary addition to the plot and I'm using it to extend the story at a much easier pace. This story, with luck and time, should get well into the 20s...so I wouldn't worry. At the least it'd be about 14-17 chapters...which I don't really think I'll be doing. Well...it all depends. Hope you liked the chapter!

izumi- last chapter and this one as well, I'm sure seemed quite rushed. However the next few chapters I'll be trying to do at a much slower speed. I'll be elaborating more on the battle but...well...you'll just have to read to find out!

The Laer- weeeeeeeee!!! (grins) I'm so glad you liked the robes. I'd had the idea ever since I was a little kid and saw my first kimono, which just happened to look SO god dammed beautiful and ethereal... I suppose I actually thought the designs were moving....(giggles) Hope you enjoyed this chapter just as much!

Wolfgirl13- tankyu!! Hope you enjoyed the chapter!

Kuroi Kitsune13- lol!! Still, even if you were only half awake, thank you so much for reviewing and reading my story!! I hope the chapter was enjoyable!

Tryster- well I got some action in. Both SasuNaru action, which there will be more of, and a small drabble of action in general. I know the last chapter went a little fast and this one did as well, but the next few chapters should be much slower paced. This was one of the focal points in the story and I found myself cramming a lot of things in at once. I hope you enjoyed the story and I can't wait for your feedback.

TheTrueSilver- (grins) thanks for the review, I hope the chapter was worth the wait!

Ryouseiteki- awww, you're review was so long!! And hai hai...I know. I'm not going to kill anyone important...at least...not yet. (grins) I hope this chapter was enjoyable to read and will be received by you with just as much enthusiasm! Can't wait to hear your feedback!

Teki Star- eheheh thanks for the word of good luck, I think it helped me, if only a little. So sorry for holding Act 7 off for so long. I hope the chapter was enjoyable and well worth the wait!

KageKitsune16- LOL!!!! XD!!! So glad it was worth the effort, I hope this chapter turned out to be just as enjoyable.

Anime Lass- ehehehe (sweatdrops) took me nearly two months...but I finally updated....ne? thank you so much for helping me with this chapter, as well as with my other fic "The way of things." ;3 yes, that's what I plan on calling it. Hope you enjoyed the end result!!

Jenniyah- naruto's going to be turned soon, and I mean...real, real, soon. Orochimaru's stirred up a lot of crap, but it's all going to hit the fan in the next couple of chapters. Can't wait to hear your feedback!!

Shinoko QueBok- (stares at the very...very long review and resists the urge to burst into tears) waiiiiii!!! Arigato for the wonderful compliments, but I truly am no where near as wonderful as the authors Kiya-sama and ChibiOrochimaru as well as...well... I would go on, but it'd take me a day and a half to finish typing out the long list of names. But really, your review was so very much appreciated and made me smile and blush like an idiot. So tell me now, who are you?!

Until next time!

Feathergurl-

September 2nd, 2004