AN: Don't ask. Really. This wasn't even something I was planning to write. I felt like crap last night and started writing to clear my mind. I half didn't remember what I wrote. Then later today I opened the file and stared. It was well over 1300 words. Rereading it, I realized it had the beginnings of a plot and thus I smacked on some more text, worked up a plot with my twinja and here you have it folks. A test fic.

I really need to stop doing this.

Note: Unless I get too many complaints, I'm gonna probably make this sasunaru. I need a test fic to work on my shounen-ai skills and I think this one would work. This will also probably be angsty because I need to work on my angst skills, too. I've gotten rusty.

Disclaimer: I don't speak Japanese. That should clue you in.

Consuming Me

Prologue


Tsunade sat at her desk with her chin on the desktop as she stared dully at the wall. Today was the anniversary of a very saddening day. Three years ago her favourite loud-mouth had disappeared. At first one assumed he had been attacked or kidnapped by the enemies. However, after two weeks of searching the ANBU came up with nothing.

Then, just a few days later...

::flashback::

A kunai suddenly flew in from the open window and successfully embedded itself in wood of the desk. Attached to it was a piece of paper with scribbles on it. Tsunade arched a brow and plucked the paper from the weapon. After taking a few minutes to decipher the poorly written hiragana she raised her brows in shock.

"Tsunade-baabaa. Tell your men to quit looking for me. I don't want to be found. I have my reasons. Maybe I'll return but at the moment, I just can't. Please understand. I know I'll be classified as a missing-nin but I doubt there will be too much concern. I'm only a genin and half of Konoha will probably be pleased with my disappearance. Tell my friends... well, I don't know. Tell them whatever you want. I may come back after I finish doing what I need to do. Don't worry, though. I'm still going to become Hokage." She could almost see the smile on the boy's face as she read the letter. "Anyways, I'm running out of room. And, uh, don't be too harsh on Sasuke after he wakes up from his coma. If anything you should blame me for not bringing him back before he got to Orochimaru. I'll be back. -Naruto."

Tsunade sighed and put the paper down. Great; just great. Not only had the boy just decided to become a rogue nin, he was asking her to NOT look for him and asking her to let Sasuke off the hook for going to Orochimaru. Did he expect her to move mountains as well? She tried to imagine why Naruto would leave. Yes, a good portion of the villagers didn't like him but he had friends. Even after Sasuke had nearly killed him Naruto seemed even more determined to bring him back and save him from Orochimaru. So was there something she was missing?

::end flashback::

She had kept her promise ironically enough. She knocked the charges on Sasuke down to probation and ANBU watch for six months. He grudgingly agreed but that was about it. However she wasn't able to keep Naruto from becoming a low-class missing nin. Mainly because of him being the Kyuubi vessel, a good number of people concerned that he might try to do something. And after a good while arguing, Tsunade was forced to A-rank him. She only prayed the boy wouldn't get caught.

If anything happened to him...

And to make today even more troubling she had received word that Sakura had gone missing on her mission. Her team mates had returned badly injured and claimed that the enemy had disappeared and apparently Sakura did so as well. She was now in the midst of trying to organize a search-team. Her prized pupil was going to be found.

The ANBU captain appeared in front of her at that moment. "The team has been assembled. I'll be attending with them. We'll find Sakura, Tsunade-sama."

Tsunade gave a nod and attempted to keep up her Hokage image. "OK. You're dismissed. Bring her back safely."

The man nodded and disappeared.


The guards at the main gate of Konoha were bored. With the outbreak of attacks in and around the Fire Country security had been upped a notch. However, there had been no direct activity toward the village and thus the guards found it a waste of their time.

"So, what plans do you have after our shift is over?"

"Food. I'm absolutely starving. Barbeque is what I have in mind. Wanna come?"

"That sounds good but I have to see my wife first. She's expecting soon."

"Oh yeah, I remember that. Congrats."

Their conversation was cut short when a figure came into view along the dirt road. As it got closer they could distinguish that it was two figures. One was a tall cloaked person and he was carrying the other on his back, piggy-back style. As they looked closer, they could see the unconscious figure was a woman with pink hair and she sported a jounin vest. They stood up. "Who goes there?!"

The cloaked figure looked up some. "Ah! Good, can you help me? It's not that she's heavy but I've been traveling for a while. She needs a doctor badly. You might want to send for one!"

The two guards exchanged looks before nodding. However before they could do anything a group of four walked out the main gate. ANBU. However they stopped as the cloaked man approached, Sakura draped across his back. He seemed to slow down a bit as he looked up but continued on. "Hey there! This woman needs treatment! I found her a few miles back and she's in need of a doctor! Here, take her, I know nothing about taking care of an injured person."

"How did you know she belonged to this village?" One of the ANBU asked as another relieved her from the cloaked man's back. "Oh, her hitai-ate had the symbol of the leaf so I figured she was from here. I hope she'll be OK. She's been unconscious nearly the whole time."

'Well, that's not the truth, but a little white lie never hurt anyone. Besides, I'll be gone before she wakes up,' the cloaked figure thought grimly. "Anyways! Since she's back here safe and sound, I'll head back the way I came. See ya!"

"Wait."

The cloak figure stopped, not turning around. "Is there something else, Sir?"

"Who are you? How do we know you aren't who attacked her?"

The cloaked figure laughed softly. "It would be a little stupid for me to attack her then bring her back here, wouldn't it?"

"You never know. You didn't answer my first question."

"Ah. I suppose I didn't. I'm a traveler. I happened to pass by and came across a place that seemed to have been the site of a fight. As I went around it, I found the girl in the woods. I think she might have a broken arm. I'm not sure."

"It's the law of Konohagakure for you to come and give your story to our superiors for records."

"But I'm not from Konoha."

"I think you are."

The cloak figure visibly stiffened. OK, so the ANBU team leader was familiar to him but he didn't think the person would be able to pick up on who he was. "I'm sorry, but you're mistaken."

"Sir, we need you to come with us."

The cloak man winced from inside the safety of his hooded cloak. If it weren't for Sakura he wouldn't have even gotten so close to the village. "I can't do that." He turned and walked away, preparing to make a run for it should they pursue. He wasn't ready to return yet.

With a flick of the hand from the captain, one ANBU left with Sakura and the other shot forward to intercept the unidentified man. Said man took off into a run away from the village. All three ANBU pursued.

The captain, whose mask was in the shape of a wolf, narrowed his eyes from behind his mask. The man gave off a familiar presence and then took off. Was he an enemy?

They surrounded the man who looked around him for a way to escape. One ANBU charged forward to attempt to grab him but he jumped back and out of the way with quick reflexes.

The captain frowned. This man was a ninja. He could feel the chakra. It was faint, but he could feel it. He held up his hand and made a simple flick. All three ANBU attacked.

"Please don't fight me, I can't fight you all." The voice was softer now, as if it pained the man to say it. The ANBU captain hesitated. That voice... it almost sounded like. But... could it be? Was it possible?

One of the ANBU threw a set of kunai at the man and with a poof he turned into a log. Kawarimi. Such a basic jutsu. The Captain spotted the man continuing to run down the path. Before he could get very far the captain was standing in front of him. The man crouched down knowing the other two ANBU were behind him. He had no choice. He couldn't risk going back in his condition.

"I'm sorry, but I can't go back. It's too dangerous. Please forgive me." His voice was nearly a whisper as his hands flew through seals. The captain recognized the jutsu immediately and began his own set of seals to counter it.

"Kanton! Goukakyuu no jutsu!" The voice rang out as a large volley of fire was released from the captain's mouth. The three ANBU paused after the flames disappeared. Where was the other's attack?

The captain scowled. It had been a decoy. He never completed the jutsu. Just then the man reappeared behind the two other ANBU, hitting both in the back of the neck with a knife-strike, causing them to crumble to the ground; unconscious. This man had taken out two ANBU? He looked up to see the man was on the run again. Damnit, would he give up already?

The cloaked man jumped from tree to tree in a desperate attempt at escape. He had to get out of there. A whistling sound caused him to duck as three shuriken embedded themselves into the trunk just above him. "Does the guy ever give up?"

"No, I don't."

The cloaked figure turned around and was met with a fist. He stumbled back, nearly falling off the branch and blocked the next punch. Just as he was about to take his own offensive strike the man appeared under him and kicked his jaw, sending him up into the air. The cloaked figure twisted around in mid air to see the ANBU nowhere in sight. Warning signals went off in his brain as he flipped back around in mid-fall. Wait... this was...!

The cloaked man gave a grunt as the final hit, a powerful kick, slammed him down into the trees below with a yell of "Shishi Rendan!"

The cloak figure crashed through the trees as one thought ran through his mind as he crashed through a branch. He hit the floor roughly and moments later he heard the footsteps of the ANBU captain approach him.

The figure's head was still hidden by the cloak and a cloth covering his face from the nose down as he looked over to the wolf-masked man standing over him with his arms crossed. "Heh. Not surprised you became captain so soon, Sasuke..."

The ANBU took a step back and hissed, reaching down and grabbed the man by the front of his cloak, jerking him up to his face. "Who are you?" He growled lowly. When the man refused to answer, Sasuke pushed him roughly against a tree and ripped the wooden mask from his face, showing two gleaming sharingan eyes and an angry scowl. He glared as he grabbed the cloth covering the man's face and ripped it from him. His eyes widened as he pushed the cloak off the man's head to be sure.

Sure enough, smiling up at him weakly was a man with an unruly mop of bright yellow hair and whisker like markings on his cheeks. However this guy wasn't the same Naruto. Curling around the left side of his face were black seals that wove around his left eye which was a deep red and the pupil slit like an animal's.

"Heh... it looks quite appealing doesn't it?" Naruto inquired his voice soft and hoarse. "It's a real kick with the ladies."

Sasuke stared at Naruto, the red sharingan of his eyes refusing to fade. "You... you've been gone all this time. Everyone was so worried about you. The Hokage... she said you're the reason I didn't get such a harsh penalty. Is that true?"

Naruto closed his eyes, smiling. "You needed a second chance."

"I didn't ask for your help!" Sasuke screamed in Naruto's face, his own face turning red from anger.

Naruto's smile disappeared as he opened his eyes. "No. You didn't. But I gave it to you anyway. So get over it, Uchiha. You were going to get your ass fried and I wasn't going to let that happen." To try and lighten the mood, he added, "Besides, I've not kicked your ass in a fair fight. You aren't going to deprive me of that chance are you?"

"You were the one who left, bastard." Sasuke replied, eyes narrowing. "And you come back looking like this."

"I didn't want to come back. I found Sakura and knew she needed medical attention. Otherwise I would've never got near Konoha's gates. Not yet, at least."

Sasuke too a deep sigh, letting his eyes fade back to onyx. "What happened to you? My sharingan can't analyze those seals."

"...If you aren't going to let me go then let's get this over with, please. I'm tired."

"But you didn't even use any of your chakra."

"...I know."

Sasuke shook his head, his anger dying down for the moment as he let go of Naruto's neck. "Come with me. If you try to run, I will catch you."

"I know."

Naruto followed Sasuke as he asked, coming back to the two ANBU who he had rendered unconscious. Squatting down, Naruto tapped the two behind their necks and within moments they regained consciousness. After a few instructions from Sasuke, who had placed his mask back onto his face, the two fell in behind Naruto with Sasuke in front. Naruto sighed and closed his eyes. It seemed today was not his day.

As it had not been his day for three years.

End Prologue


AN: Nnk. Another one of them there "Naruto leaves and returns" fics. Aren't you just so thrilled? You're all allowed to smack me now. I know I very well deserve it.

This might be yaoi and it might not be. Anything you guys prefer? ::flops::

And by the way: I'm absolutely sick of the word "cloak" now.

Too tired to write anything coherent anymore and thus I end it here.

Phoe-chan