Hey everyone. I know it's been a hell of a long time since I've updated any fics, let alone this one. There's just been a lot of shit that's been going on. My mother doesn't accept me for who I am. I hate that. I don't need her approval. Fuck her approval. But I wish she would at least accept me for who and what I am. Maybe I'm asking for too much though. After all, she's conservative. I'm a liberal. It doesn't mix well that our points of view are completely different. She wants me to follow in either her footsteps or my father's. She doesn't want me to become like my brother. She wants me to be a perfect little clone of my sister. I'm not my sister. I'm not my brother. I'm me. If she can't accept that, then that's her problem. Hers. Not mine. But it becomes mine because all I want is to make her proud in my own way. It doesn't work out that way. She doesn't seem to accept anything that I do.

Enough of my angst. Let's move on to Chapter Seven of I Can't Be Born Again.

Title: I Can't Be Born Again
Recap of Chapter Six

Naruto stared at his ticket.

"My name is going to be… Akitaka Yukina?" he asked incredulously.

"Akitaka?" Sasuke wondered. The name seemed familiar to him, but he didn't know where it was from – at least not at the moment.

"So what's your name, Sasuke?" Naruto asked, leaping over to see the ticket.

"Akitaka Sano," he replied, trying to save the ticket from being ripped in half.

"So what's the point of this entire mission?" Sakura inquired to their teacher.

"Well, there have been rumors that the grand hotel we'll be staying at has been used as a house of operations for Orochimaru's minions," Kakashi explained. "We're there to find out if that's true or not."

His three students nodded, knowing that just the rumor of Orochimaru making plans there made this mission ten times more dangerous.

Chapter Seven: Losing Control
By Kyuubi-kun

"So, where exactly is this place?" Naruto asked Kakashi after the genin had absorbed what was dangerous about this mission.

"We head to Tazuna's," Kakashi replied simply. "In the Wave Country, after a few days, if we get there early, we will board the S.S. Born Again. Then we will be on the ship until it sails to Michikure, which is a small port town about forty miles from Konoha. We should be on the ship for about one week."

Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura nodded, knowing what would need to be done to keep this mission top secret. Sasuke and Naruto, while having to live with each other for two weeks, would have very little contact with Kakashi or Sakura so they had to remember all of the information they managed to pick up while not allowing anyone else to know what they knew.

Later that night, the four of them set down for camp. Naruto was given the first watch. He sat against a tree while Sakura, Sasuke and Kakashi slept, keeping a wary eye on the surroundings and an acute ear for any strange sounds.

It was late. Naruto knew that he had gone over the time needed for him to watch and that he should be thinking about getting some kind of sleep, but he found that he didn't want to. He wasn't an insomniac like Gaara was, but he was afraid to sleep. It seemed like every time he closed his eyes, the nightmares were waiting to pounce on him, killing the remnants of his sanity.

"You should've gone to sleep, dobe," a voice cuts into his thinking. "Your shift was over nearly an hour ago."

Naruto turned and looked at Sasuke. He shrugged, not wanting to speak. He didn't seem to have to speak, though, because Sasuke nodded as though he understood.

"You don't want to have nightmares, do you?" the Uchiha asked in a soft voice. It was a voice that Naruto had never heard from the Uchiha before – soft, alluring, filled with sadness and pain. It was as though Sasuke was speaking from his own experience.

Naruto, after thinking for a minute, figured that he was. After all, the boy had had a lot in his childhood, of a different sort than Naruto's, but nightmares always attack when a young boy is asleep alone.

"Yeah, I suppose it's that," he whispered, almost inaudibly. Sasuke managed to pick up his words, though.

The two sat there for a while, not really paying attention to the time as they were both wrapped in their own thoughts. Sasuke was just about to turn and talk to Naruto again when a weight slumped onto his shoulder. Looking over, alarmed, he was surprised to see it was just Naruto.

And he was asleep.

Blushing slightly, he shook his head and decided that, just for today, he would allow the blonde to sleep here. The Uchiha looked around, trying not to disturb the blonde that rested on his shoulder. He was going to do his job, and that was to keep watch.

The blonde moaned in his sleep. Sasuke looked at him. The boy was sweating and shivering slightly. There was obviously something wrong with him – dreams shouldn't bug people night after night. He didn't know what to do, but he knew that he had to something. Naruto needed help, even if the boy wouldn't admit it.

He was mumbling in his sleep again. Sasuke couldn't pick up the words that were being said, but he knew that whatever was plaguing Naruto, it was ultimately defeating him.

Sasuke shook Naruto's shoulder, trying to wake the boy. The blonde's hands grabbed his wrist, nails digging into his skin. With a hiss of pain, the Uchiha tried to pull back, but it wasn't working. He studied Naruto's face. It was full of distress.

Suddenly, Naruto's eyes flew open. But they weren't the boy's eyes. They were red, like flowing blood from a wound. The boy let out a feral sound and backed away from Sasuke, eyes wide, fearful, yet angry.

Sasuke studied his teammate. "Naruto?" he asked softly, as to not wake Kakashi or Sakura. "Are you okay?"

Naruto didn't answer as he kept backing up. There was something beast-like to his movements, almost as though he couldn't stand on two legs. Sasuke found this interesting as well as slightly frightening.

The scars along the cheeks of his teammate blurred, eyes narrowing at the Uchiha. Claws appeared where his fingernails were supposed to be. Sasuke stared at them, a chill running down his spine. Before he had a chance to take in all of the changes that Naruto's body had gone through in the last few seconds, the blonde leapt at him angrily, a snarl on his lips.

Sasuke couldn't move, couldn't even move his limbs to defend himself as he stared into those crimson eyes. They were filled with bloodlust, a demonic intent that Sasuke didn't even know that the dobe possessed! And he was frozen, unable to do anything but wait for those claws to sink into his flesh.

But that never happened.

A blur came in between them, grabbing Naruto from the air and putting him into a hold. The boy thrashed, trying to free himself from Kakashi's grip, but it wasn't working. The jounin was just too strong for him.

"Naruto," the silver-haired man barked harshly. Naruto looked at him, anger and rage gleaming in those red eyes. "Control it, you know how to!"

Sasuke had no clue what his teacher was talking about, but the form of Naruto paused for a moment before the blonde let out a blood-curling scream. He was gripping his head, those claws digging into the flesh of his scalp. Sasuke was surprised that Kakashi didn't try to prevent Naruto from inflicting pain on himself, but he could have been busy with other matters at the moment.

Naruto closed his eyes, opening them a few minutes later. He leaned against Kakashi for support, too exhausted from fighting inside his head to really be able to do anything. Kakashi looked at him, worry in his eye.

Naruto just smiled at his teacher, though it was halfway between a sad smile and an apologetic smile. Sasuke stared at Naruto. The boy's eyes had changed back to their normal blue. He could see the changes he had witnessed disappearing as the boy drifted off to sleep.

Kakashi picked up his student and carried him over to the sleeping bag. No one was surprised to notice that Sakura was awake. She looked between the three of them with confusion.

"What happened?" she asked softly.

Kakashi just smiled in his own way at her. "Nothing, can you take watch for now?" he asked. "I have to talk to Sasuke."

Sakura nodded and slipped out of her bag, heading to the perimeter of the camp they had set up. Sasuke and Kakashi took seats by Naruto, so that they could keep an eye on him.

"What the hell just happened?" the Uchiha growled, staring into Kakashi's only showing eye.

Kakashi shrugged. "Naruto has his own secrets. Some of them he does not wish to divulge to anyone who doesn't know them," he explained. "You're the same way. You both have dangerous secrets, but you keep them hidden inside."

"My secrets won't attack my friends, though!" Sasuke protested.

Kakashi looked at him. "I wouldn't be so sure about that, Sasuke."

"What do you mean?"

"One of your secrets nearly killed Naruto last year, if I remember correctly."

Sasuke flushed and turned away, gritting his teeth and clenching his fists. So he had made a few mistakes! So what! He was human, and humans weren't perfect – but he would never intentionally attack Naruto, would he?

Memories came flooding back to him and he paled. He had. Unclenching his fists and allowing his hands to settle on the ground, the boy tried to shut out the memories that hounded him. He had almost killed Naruto. He didn't want to remember that though! He didn't want to visit that part of his life again.

Kakashi watched his student, wondering how Sasuke would deal with this. He knew that, no matter what, it wasn't his place to speak about Naruto's secret, even to his teammates. The law didn't really have anything to do with it either, since Kakashi could really care less about the law – it was all about the trust that the boy placed in his companions. If Naruto was ready for them to know, then he would tell them and not Kakashi.

"Just don't bug him about it, Sasuke, because you know that you've made the same mistakes that he has," Kakashi told his student. "The only difference in the reasons behind the mistakes. However, the result is still the same, so I wonder if the reasons really matter."

Sasuke thought about that, but before he could ask any more questions, Kakashi had already fallen back asleep. He sighed, staring at Naruto.

Secrets, eh?

What exactly could the blonde idiot hide?

Kyuubi-kun's Korner!

Don't mind this chapter. I was stuck for ideas, and then all of the sudden, I had the urge to listen to industrial music. Gotta love my industrial. Anyways, yeah, this is chapter Seven of I can't be Born Again. Hope you liked it... Kyuubi-kun's off to update more fics...