Standard Disclaimer: Naruto and all belong to Masashi Kishimoto

A/N: Per Saro's begging, I'm posting this. My one and only foray into Naruto fanfic that just had to be done after they forced me to start watching the series. So! Gift fic for Saro and Porcelain…

edit: Thank you, Ith, for pointing out the word I forgot to erase. -smiles- I've gone in and made the correction.


The reflection in the mirror taunted him.

Mocked him.

He twisted his face first to one side and then the other. Meticulously, he looked over each of his juvenile features through critical eyes. Lifting his hand, he stroked two fingers along the curve of his cheek and down the line of his jaw. His brows lowered, lips compressing in a thin line with his distaste.

His face lacked the definition he longed for. Even now that he was finally entering adolescence it was entirely too damn soft around the edges for his peace of mind. His face was still round. And the curve of his nose gave every indication it would never gain the more appealing, aristocratic angle Sasuke would grow into.

Itachi had only increased his irritation. The elder Uchiha's appearance had made the curl of envy in his soul blaze even brighter now that he'd seen for himself the looks that obnoxiously tragic boy would inherit as he aged. The brothers had too many other similarities not to expect Sasuke to follow in those physical footsteps.

'It's just not fair,' he lamented with another scowl for his reflection. Stopping himself when that reminded him of how much that emphasize the roundness of his face.

Taking a step back, he broadened his focus to his entire form. Twisting from side to side in front of the mirror and looking over his shoulder, giving the rest of his body the same intent perusal. Without the bulky clothing he was expected to wear, he was proud to be able to say his physique at least held some promise.

Even if the damnably yellow hair still showed no signs of darkening.

Huffing in frustration, he slid his palms down his over his stomach. 'Why this body? There had to be other babies on hand, so why the hell did they pick this one?'

It was the greatest of insults.

To forcefully cram such a perfect, beautiful body as his into this…this… child.

The kitsune sighed again, raking both hands through his hair to hold it flat against his skull and peer at the change it made to his appearance. That style made his eyes stand out, and they were really this body's only saving grace. Blue was uncommon enough, and the color was at least clear and vivid.

Unfortunately, however, it also made those fucking cheeks stand out.

Scowling darkly at his reflection again, he ruffled his hair violently to return it to its natural style. He stroked one of his hands down his stomach again, drumming his fingers against the mark of the human's seal. He tilted his head to one side, absently chewing on his lower lip as he traced the inner circle.

'Idiots. They're supposed to be the greatest shinobi alive and they thought this squiggly little thing would be enough to hold my soul?' The kitsune let his lip curl up off blunt human teeth. The gesture proved far less intimidating than it should have been thanks to his lack of fangs. And with renewed annoyance, he stuck his tongue out at the reflected boy. 'That Hokage at least… he had to know it was suicide to send me into that body. They're supposed to be masters of the shinobi, greater than all the others. He had to know I would devour a soul that young…'

The kitsune tapped his foot idly against the floor. Boredom set in, and he crossed his feet to sit down in front of the mirror. He tilted his head back as he continued his pondering, picking out the imperfections in the ceiling. Lazily balancing a kunai against the silly human headband, he closed his eyes and folded his arms over his chest.

As much as he wanted to believe the humans had some higher understanding of what they'd done, there was still that niggling doubt. That discordant suspicion that he had managed to get his ass captured by a group of humans who'd managed to seal him in this body through blind luck alone.

Sitting up quickly and snatching the kunai before it could fall, he held up that clenched fist. Staring at his now-familiar reflection with grim determination, he growled out, 'I will never again be tricked this way.'

These humans… All these weak, disgusting little humans would find out soon enough just how mistaken they'd been to think they could defeat a creature as old and powerful as him.

But he was a patient kitsune.

He would wait.

Every slight, every whispered word, he would file away. Faces, names, families… All the humans who had been so cruel and so very, very insulting to him would pay for what they had done. He would show them that when one dabbled with a soul as magnificent as a nine-tailed kitsune, it was the height of idiocy to act as they had.

He would force them to admire him, to worship him.

'I will learn what they are capable of This body is getting better at their techniques every day.' The kitsune smiled darkly at his reflection, tracing his fingers over those hated cheeks again. 'I will master everything they know. I will become great, become the one who leads them. And after they all bow to me, then-!'

The kitsune jumped to his feet in a fluid motion, stalking forward and pressing his palm flat against the mirror. He watched his blue eyes flash scarlet with the rise in his ki, the malicious smile on his face slowly gaining intensity. 'Then there will be absolutely nothing they can do to stop me. The creature they most abhor will become the creature they all admire. The creature they strive to become.'

Stepping back from the mirror, he slipped the kunai back into its place with reflexive ease. With a frown he pivoted to stare out the window, following the faint clang of metal on metal to the trees. It was a simple matter to locate Sasuke's ki, pinpointing the boy as he sparred with that pervert Kakashi.

He absently ran his hand through his hair again. Eyes narrowed slightly as he meticulously followed their movements until they cycled through to repetition. He admired their dedication, the discipline they forced upon themselves to become the shinobi they wanted to be. But there was absolutely nothing more boring than the hours upon endless hours of repetition humans used on the simplest of instruction.

For now though, he couldn't afford to complain too much.

A smart kitsune always knew when to bide his time.

He had formed the most perfect illusion in this human body, and he would play the face they'd given him as long as necessary. When the time was right, he would turn all their human techniques against them. And he would prove to all of them just how powerful he truly was.

Shrugging into the bright orange jacket and fastening it closed before heading out to continue today's training with his fellow classmates. Naruto glanced back at the mirror one last time before readjusting his headband across his forehead. He reached up and rested one fingertip against the etched leaf symbol of the village.

He would become the Hokage.

Maybe by then the rest of his body would have caught up with his damn cheeks.