I Want to Break Free by lemmings12

Rating: PG-13 for language

Summary: After Naruto completed the task of retrieving Sasuke, things haven't been well. On the contrary, everything remains the same on the surface, but underneath the tensions are boiling, especially in Naruto. All of a sudden, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox gives an ultimatum to Naruto: locate the Kyuubi's offspring and all of Kyuubi's chakra will be at Naruto's service. This puzzling journey then weaves and twists into an amazing test of Naruto's nindo, loyalty and strength. Finding the offspring proves to be difficult, and even more incredible when he finds out one of them exists in the Leaf village.

Timeline: Everything that has happened up until ch. 217 (pp. 18-19) is applied. So, from the moment Sasuke and Naruto meet has occurred, but from ch. 218 and so forth has not happened. That's where my story deviates from the original storyline. Does that make it AU?

Pairings: shounen-ai het SasuNaru, ShikaIno, LeeSaku are some

Disclaimer: Characters, setting, and story idea belongs to Kishimoto Masashi. Plot is mine.

AN: This is my first Naruto fanfic, so there's bound to be problems somewhere, sorry!! Please leave constructive criticism, and avoid comments like "This sucks" without giving a plausible reason. ALSO, there's BOUND to be some OOC aspects because it's my 1st attempt writing Naruto AND because it's hard to keep the characters in character when they are not my own creations. If you detest any OOC features, please don't read then!

Sorry for the uber delay, but I am updating the 3rd chapter concurrently w/ the 2nd chapter!

Key: "speaking"

bold for emphasis

thoughts

Enjoy!


Ch. 3 Sasuke's Flashback

( In Sasuke's POV --- sorry for switching from 3rd to 1st person, and I know being inconsistent is bad, but the chapter came out like this! )

After Naruto left in a rush completely ignoring Sasuke, Sasuke went into the Hokage's office as ordered to do so.

"Godaime, you asked to see me?" Sasuke stoically responded.

"Yes, thank you for coming." Tsunade replied. "How are your missions going?" she randomly asked.

"Is that pertinent to the purpose of the meeting?" Sasuke countered.

"Hm. Not really."

Sasuke merely looked at her with a bored expression.

"Alright. I'll be blunt. What happened between you and Naruto? Naruto himself says he does not remember. He claims to have blacked out, but not from your hits rather from his loss of chakra." Tsunade quickly summed up.

"I don't know what happened either. I hit him, so he fell off a cliff, but then I became unconscious after a wave of chakra hit me." Sasuke responded.

"Was it Naruto's?"

"I don't think so. It was much more powerful than Naruto's. It reminded me of the chakra I faced when I was required to fight with Gaara in the Chuunin Exam."

"I see." Tsunade mumbled to herself, "Did Kyuubi break out? But the seal..."

"I'm sorry to not fulfill the necessary information."

"No, it is alright. Please continue with your missions."

"Thank you."

Sasuke quickly departed the building and headed to a familiar training area. To the place where Kakashi-sensei had designated his first survival mission to Team 7.

"So, Naruto doesn't know either? I wonder if it had something to do with what I said. Before we both lost consciousness..."

FLASHBACK:

"SASUKE!" Naruto howled as the two stood on the heads of large shinobis separated by a vast waterfall.

My back turned to him, I didn't respond. I remained stationary for what seemed like an hour. Then, his voice called again breaking the awkward silence, but it wasn't encouraging, it was... something else. Something I couldn't comprehend.

"Sasuke! What are you doing? Why'd you run away? After pledging your loyalty to Leaf, this is how you repay them? Repay the people who love you!" Naruto demanded a little emotionally.

This time, I chose to turn around ninety degrees, so only half my face was exposed... the pure side.

"How shallow, dobe." I commented authoritatively. "No one loves me. They only see the last survivor of the Uchiha clan. A name, not a person. A Sharingan user. What do they know about Uchiha Sasuke?" I shot back coolly.

"That you're a jerk. A conceited cocky bastard." Naruto replied smoothly, but not showing a hint of kindness.

"That's what you see, but what does Sakura see? Kakashi-sensei?" I countered emphatically, my eye hardening.

"Does it matter what they think of you? They acknowledge you! They know you exist!" Naruto responded angrily.

"I'd rather be invisible than deal with the existence I left behind." I explained solidly.

"So that's why you left? Because you couldn't deal with how people treated your pathetic identity?! What kind of stupid reason is that?!" Naruto shouted back enraged. "Chouji, Neji, Kiba, Shikamaru, and Lee all came and decided to help bring you back because you had some stupid emotional problem?!" he yelled louder in a vicious tone.

This time, I directly faced Naruto, so he could see that half my curse seal was activated.

Baka, what do you know?" I calmly responded, smirking a bit.

Then, Naruto decided to launch an attack at me as he threw himself across the gap and landed a punch to my right cheek that sent me sprawling some feet away from him. Of course, it hurt, but I wasn't about to show the pain as I slowly got up and composed myself.

Baka, I seek power, because I'm an avenger, and living in the Leaf with those people obsessed with someone they don't even know is not going to help me become stronger!" I emphatically declared.

"Urusai." Naruto simply stated, looking down at the ground.

Oddly enough, his fists were not clenched, but his face remained darkened because of the shadow.

"I thought I knew you. After all, you're my teammate on Team 7, but if you think so little of Sakura-chan and Kakashi-sensei, then what am I to you? If you want power, go ahead and take it. I wouldn't want to be around a stranger anyway. But, unfortunately for you, I promised Sakura-chan that I'd bring you back, if it was the last thing I'd do. I promised her with my 'nice guy pose,' so I'm obligated to bring you back." Naruto explained softly, and then looked me straight in the eye.

His own eyes were darkening to a midnight blue.

"Even if it means your death." he concluded soundly as his fists began to shake uncontrollably.

"Before you start, I want you to know, I think highly of you more than anyone else." I stated indifferently.

"I'm honored." he dryly responded getting into an offensive stance.

"In fact, I consider you someone special to me." I added awkwardly. What was I thinking at this point?

"I thought so too. But now we both know we're wrong." Naruto clarified as he began running furiously towards me his right arm arched back.

"I consider you my equal." I said softly as Naruto closed the gap between us. "I don't hate you." I admitted firmly moments before Naruto's right fist was about to make contact with my face.

Naruto's fist never reached my face as it stood there hanging in the air.

"Why'd you say that?" he muttered angrily.

"Because it's true." I replied. "Why don't you hit me?"

"Because... because... it's like...before..." Naruto incoherently answered as his eyes softened allowing the soft baby blue color to resurface.

In Naruto's present vulnerable state, I activated my Sharingan. Naruto looked shocked for a moment, and then took a couple of retreating steps.

"Since I don't hate you, I feel no remorse in attacking you, because you are my equal." I explained. "Otherwise, I'd be wasting my time, but now I can test how strong I am."

"What." Naruto demanded as a statement. Immediately, his eyes hardened again changing to a deep crimson instead. "I was a stupid guinea pig test to you? Is that what being an equal means to you? Someone you can compare yourself to so you can feel better about yourself by beating me? I'm just a stupid test to you?" Naruto shouted, his voice becoming increasingly louder in fury.

"You want to become stronger too. Don't think I'm ignorant for not recognizing that you used me as a test for yourself as well." I shot back bitterly.

"But, at least I acknowledge you as my rival, a person!" Naruto clarified furiously as red chakra formed around his fists.

"Rivals are pointless. Because everyone is a rival for you are always alone." I replied gravely.

"URUSAI! Stop talking about yourself! I'm not you!" the blond-haired boy bellowed.

"So, you never knew me then." I asserted.

"Wrong." Naruto's voice announced. "I knew you had some compassion."

"Only to you." I specified.

"To trick me. Setting me up as your personal test to yourself. I might as well be your puppet, but I'm cutting the strings here. I refuse to fight you."

"Then, how are you going to bring me back?" I asked suspiciously.

"You're not going to run away now. You'll want to stick to your precious plan and provoke me to fight your stupid game." Naruto confidently remarked.

"Really?" I questioned.

"Yeah." he shot back.

"You're going to die if you don't fight me back." I announced before disappearing in a flash.

I landed in front of Naruto and sent a roundhouse kick to his face, in which he ducked but I kicked his gut with my other leg. I continued to land a series of blows and kicks to various parts of Naruto's body, but he remained true to his word by not responding to my attacks. Then, I decided to release my fire jutsu at him, to motivate him to defend himself at least. Predictably, he dodged it, and I began my sequence of attacks again. In the midst of my attacks, Naruto demanded, "Why aren't you fighting to your fullest abilities? You said you wanted me to be your test, so come on, and take your best shot."

"If I truly go serious, you're dead." I answered stoically.

"So, it's not like you care." Naruto quickly replied. His voice held no caring tone either.

"I told you. Then, it's wasting my time."

"But I'm someone special to you, so I can't possibly be useless to you."

"You are when you're not doing anything!" I shouted back angrily my emotions in control.

"You're sick, you know that? You can't possibly be human." Naruto finally stated to me.

Before I could say or do anything in return, a tsunami of flaming red chakra overwhelmed me knocking me unconscious. The last image I had was of Naruto with his gleaming, fox-like eyes pouring straight into me before I welcomed darkness.

END FLASHBACK

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( back in 3rd person )

The wind was cool as it came in through the crack of the window. Ero-Sennin was snoring like a thunderstorm was inside the room, and was rudely taking up half of Naruto's mat as well. So, Naruto rolled aside and decided to stare out the window in hopes that sleep would come back.

"Ne, I wonder where I should start? Kyuubi's children... will they be foxes or humans? Will they talk like Kyuubi does? Wouldn't they attack me? I suppose Kyuubi would do something then. How should I lose ero-sennin? Oh wait, that's easy. I guess I'll leave him in a room locked in with my clones using the oiroke no jutsu. Sa, that's settled. I wonder how long it'll take. Does anyone actually miss me in Konoha? Ha, probably not. 'Sides the fact everyone's still in the hospital..." Naruto rambled to himself softly as his eyes gradually became too heavy to keep open.

Soon, he fell asleep and dreamed of a misty land. In this strange location, he continuously wandered in silence. Then, he tried moving toward the sound of singing in the distant, but never arrived neither here nor there.

"I want to break free

I want to break free

I want to break free from your lies

You're so self-satisfied, I don't need you

I've got to break free

God knows, God knows I want to break free..."


Lyrics from "I want to break free" from Queen


AN: Please review except for flames and flames under the guise of helpful reviews!

nighty-night and sleep tight!