Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of the characters created by Kishimoto-sensei.
Naruto was happy to be going to dinner with Hinata. She was his first friend. He knew somewhere in his mind that there might be something more eventually but right now the only thing on his mind was catching up with her . . . and then he saw her clothes that night. Suddenly catching up took on a whole new meaning.
Hinata was wearing a very revealing black dress the was cut low in the front to show the beginnings of her well rounded cleavage, which Naruto had never taken note of before. The back was almost completely exposed save for several thin back strings that danced back and forth across her back. The dress stopped just above the knees showing off her very well toned and longer legs. Naruto found himself suddenly trying to drink in every last detail of her appearance. She had grown taller since he'd last seen her and despite however much he grew she now came up to his nose. Her hair was still kept really short but the style changed slightly to frame her more refined face.
Hinata was equally stunned by Naruto's appearance. When she'd seen him at the party he was quite dirty and wore some heavily damaged traveling clothes. It seemed that now that he had a chance to clean up and go shopping it was as if she was looking a different boy. It was then that she realized, Naruto was no longer a boy but a young man well on his way to full adult hood. He was so much taller now too. Hinata feared that she would be taller than Naruto now, especially since she was taller than all of the other girls in village except for Ino. She was taller than many of the boys too, so that made her feel even better that Naruto had gotten so much taller. His hair was quite a bit longer now but still flew in ever direction just as it had in his youth with the exception of a very short pony tail pulling his hair straight back from his head in the back only. He seemed to have a bit of an orange-red-tinge sprinkled through the blindingly bright blond locks of hair but it looked good anyway. His eyes were still the same startling cerulean blue she had fallen in love with so long ago, however on closer inspection she could see a hint of purple around the edges and that his pupil became slightly animal like. His body was really well toned too which she appreciated so very much. He wasn't bulky like Kiba nor was he wiry like Shikamaru, but simply fit. He was wearing a long-sleeve, black turtleneck and very nice, tan, khaki pants.
"You look wonderful Hinata-chan," said Naruto trying to hide the blush. He was happy he took his Kaasan's advice and dressed up a bit.
"You too Naruto-kun," said Hinata with only a slight stutter.
"So you ready to go," said Naruto motion down the street outside of the Hokage Tower where they met.
Hinata didn't trust herself to speak so she just smiled and nodded.
Naruto turned and started walking down the street, followed closely by Hinata. He was very surprised when Hinata took his hand in hers. When he looked at her he could see that she was worried about but before she could pull away he gave her hand a gentle squeeze to reassure her.
Naruto, at his mother's suggestion, stayed away from the ramen bar that night and instead took advantage of one of the more secluded restaurants in town. Dinner was enjoyable with Naruto's usual antics and wild gestures as he recanted some of his time away with Hinata.
"So it's true, you really are Yondaime's son?" asked Hinata.
"I know," said Naruto, "It's hard to believe eh?
"You do look like him though. Especially now that you've gotten older," said Hinata with a warm smile.
"Thanks," said Naruto with an equally warm smile.
Hinata slid closer to Naruto and the small bench they shared in the park after dinner. It was a cool night out but Naruto was feeling several degrees warmer thanks to the close proximity of Hinata. The girl wrapped her arms around Naruto's middle and nuzzled her nose against the nape of his neck.
"I missed you Naruto-kun," said Hinata in a half whisper.
"I missed you too Hinata-chan," said Naruto finding the –chan suffix to take on a whole new meaning. Hinata moaned slightly at the sound of his voice shooting a reminder of Ai's words through his mind. Hinata slid one of her arms up Naruto's chest and continued up to his cheek and turned him to look at her.
Naruto found himself leaning in closer to her before his lips met hers. Naruto could feel such strong and passionate emotions radiating from the kiss and did his best to match it. It wasn't a forceful and aggressive kiss or sloppy and wet, but warm and loving and filled with so much emotion. It wasn't like the first kiss they had shared together so many years ago. Naruto completely lost track of time and space and despite the wolf/fox whistles ringing through his head from Kyubi, he was thoroughly enjoying the kiss.
Naruto woke up the next morning feeling extremely refreshed. Or at least he was until Jiraiya decided to wake him by dumping water on him, despite the fact that he was already awake and just enjoying a bit of reminiscing from the night before.
"You damn pervert," said Naruto angrily to his sensei.
"Speak for yourself boy," said Jiraiya motioning to his 'pitched tent'.
Naruto at had the good graces to blush profusely.
"So, I take it dinner with the screamer went well," said Jiraiya.
"More of a moan actually," mumbled Naruto under his breath.
"Really?" asked Jiraiya excitedly as he pulled out his notepad.
"You put one word about me or Hinata in your perverted books and I'll castrate you. And before you say I can't, let me warn you now that I will find out the limits of the new seal if I have to, to see the job done right," said Naruto coldly.
Jiraiya blanched, "You wouldn't risk your life like that would you?"
"Want to try me?" asked Naruto coldly as he rubbed his forearm.
"Right then," said Jiraiya, "But I can't promise Ai-chan won't say anything."
"Why do three of the largest perverts in world have to be part of my life?" asked Naruto mumbled as he began to dress himself.
Jiraiya was counting though on his hand, "Three?"
"You, Ai-chan, and Kyubi," said Naruto with a mild sneer.
"You never told me Kyubi was a pervert," said Jiraiya excitedly, "Do you think you could relay some of his greatest sexual conquests to me?"
Naruto's eye just twitched before he punched Jiraiya putting him through a wall. He would explain to his mother and she would forgive the damage to the wall for as often as she had done the same thing to others.
Naruto eventually walked out of the house to pick Jiraiya up off the lawn before he damaged it. "So why are you here Ero-sensei?" asked Naruto knowing how much it annoyed the old man when he called him that.
"Tsunade ordered me to train you for the Jounin Exam starting in six months," said Jiraiya, "Other than that we need to do a few missions with Itachi to take care of the Akatsuki."
"Okay," said Naruto, "That's good then because after we fought them before we got back to town I maxed out the new seal as far as it could go for now. I want to try and put on another chain now. I think I'm ready for it."
"Naruto, are you sure? You almost didn't come back from the last one," said Jiraiya.
"I almost didn't come from any of them and yet here I am," said Naruto, "So will you prepare the seals or not?"
Jiraiya was actually thinking it through carefully, "I'm going to need a much more powerful seal this time as you can channel so much more energy. It might help a bit if you can channel off as much of his chakra before hand too."
"But that always leave's my chakra coils completely fried afterwards," said Naruto.
"I've been thinking about that," said Jiraiya, "What if we had your Kaasan on hand to repair your coil system after you're through with burning through his chakra?"
"That might work but I can't imagine she'd be too happy to find out that we messed with the seal," said Naruto, "Can you imagine how she'd react if we told her we removed my father's seal and replaced it with a weaker seal?"
"It was only weaker for the first week or two and then you put on that first chain," said Jiraiya.
"The new seal is only now beginning to get stronger than the old one," said Naruto.
"You've finished three chains so far, you've only another dozen to go," said Jiraiya encouragingly.
"And the new cage, let's not forget how much of a bitch that's going to be," said Naruto.
"Okay, and a new cage," said Jiraiya, "But think of it this way, the sooner you finish the better off we'll all be. I know I'll rest easier."
"And let me guess, we can get it done sooner by including my mother in it," said Naruto sarcastically.
"Now you're getting it," said Jiraiya.
"You know that bastard is listening to everything we're saying. He knows I'm coming after him again," said Naruto.
"That's why we're going to try it this way and see what happens," said Jiraiya, "Besides, I've already scheduled a meeting with your mother for ten minutes from now."
Naruto groaned, he wasn't looking forward to this at all.
Sure enough ten minutes later Naruto found himself fidgeting in his mother's office.
"So Jiraiya," said Tsunade, "I've given you your orders and yet you still insist on talking to me about something.
"Yeah, yeah, don't get you're panties in a bunch," said Jiraiya waving her off but earning him a death glare all the same.
Tsunade did her best to calm herself. She didn't want to scare her son after he'd been away for so long and she had yet to pump him for information about his date with Hinata. "What is it you needed to speak with me about?"
"Naruto, show her," ordered Jiraiya.
Naruto nodded reluctantly before he pulled off his shirt.
"What's wrong Naruto?" asked Tsunade worriedly going into medic mode.
"Show her," ordered Jiraiya one more time.
"Fine, but don't say I didn't warn you," said Naruto before he channeled a bit of chakra.
Tsunade watch him channel chakra but didn't see anything wrong as he continued to channel chakra and then she saw what they wanted her to see. There wasn't a seal on his stomach any more. Instead she now saw a seal on his forearm and three tattoos that looked like chains. From two of the chains on his lower abdomen, below where the old seal was located, emerged what looked like an animal paw and from the other on his shoulder there was what looked like a bottle brush sticking out of one end only.
"What the hell is that?" yelled Tsunade as loud as her voice could go, "Where is your father's seal? Who gave you permission to get tattoos? What the hell happened to the Kyubi? Did it escape? Is it coming here? Should I alert our forces?"
"Kaasan, relax," said Naruto as he stopped channeling chakra and the tattoos faded. With the fading of the tattoos something clicked in Tsunade's head.
"Those are seals aren't they?" asked Tsunade.
"Yeah," said Naruto.
"What were the seals holding exactly?"
"The two on my lower abdomen hold a front and a back leg of the fox. The one on my shoulder holds a tail," said Naruto.
"And the forearm seal. It looked like a control seal," said Tsunade.
"It is," said Jiraiya, "Naruto can now tap the Kyubi's energy as he wishes with out it permanently diminishing the Kyubi. However, right now he can't channel that much of the Kyubi's chakra yet because the seal is unfinished at the moment."
Tsunade sat down heavily, "Why would you do such a thing? Did the old seal break on its own?"
"No, we destroyed it," said Naruto honestly. If he was going to get his mother to help than he needed to be completely honest with her now.
"Why would you do that?" asked Tsunade in shock. She just couldn't fathom any possible reason to do such a thing.
"The seal was diminishing Kyubi too fast," said Naruto, "He's only at about three-quarters of his full strength anymore."
"That's good isn't it? I mean that means that Kyubi is dying," said Tsunade.
"Exactly, and we don't want that," said Naruto, "I've learned a few things from Kyubi. He is terrified of death and yet he welcomes the freedom it will guarantee him. If he dies within me then he will be reborn to walk the land again and his first stop would be none other than Konoha for a little pay back, not good. However, if he dies with me then he will be forced onto the next plane of existence. That's why he's been only too happy to give me his chakra whenever I ask for it. It will bring his death faster."
"Then why doesn't he just overload you with chakra to kill himself sooner?"
"I'd die before he could channel it all away and then he'd move on with me. Like I said, he's afraid of death and isn't in any rush to die. Besides, he's a firm believer in a slow and painful revenge. He'd simply revel in it if he were to attack Konoha when they believed he was no longer a threat to them," explained Naruto.
"So he's sadistic too, not surprising really," said Tsunade.
"Well, that's when we decided to try something drastic. Using some notes my father had collected that he left for me in the hopes of creating a more permanent binding for Kyubi, Ero-Sensei and I came up with this new seal. It doesn't have the destructive aspects of the former seal. Kyubi isn't very happy with me as a result of this new seal. The idea is to slowly build the seal to completely bind Kyubi within me, hence the soul binding chain seals you saw. Once I have completely bound his legs, tails, and neck I will have full command over all of his powers and be able to control how much chakra I use with the control seal and most importantly, Kyubi is able to reclaim all of his lost chakra while I sleep," Naruto finished with a smirk.
"So what's the down side?"
"The problem is the way in which the soul binding chain is attached," said Jiraiya, "Because it involves the soul, Naruto must actually enter his soul and face off with Kyubi. Naruto was damn lucky with the first chain from what he tells me."
Naruto laughed, "Yeah, I was smiling at Kyubi through the bars that held him in when suddenly the bars vanished. Kyubi was so shock at his suddenly freedom he didn't even react until I put the first chain on his front paw. Unfortunately, I didn't get any further than that because he knocked me silly after that. His only mistake was hitting me to a range that his new chain prevented him from getting to me. Good thing too or he might have killed me in his outrage."
"Yeah, and you were unconscious for four days. Do you know how hard it was for me to maintain such a powerful binding seal for so damn long, especially with Ai-chan dancing naked hoping to get some play time with me?" complained Jiraiya.
"Yeah, well, two of those days were spent trying to attach just one more chain . . . which I did," said Naruto.
"If you hadn't Kyubi might have been able to break through the one chain," said Jiraiya.
"Anyway," said Naruto changing from the past to the present. "We want to try and attach another chain or two this week."
"I see, and you think you'll be able to?" asked Tsunade.
Jiraiya then took the lead in explaining the plan to drain as much of Kyubi off as they could before Naruto went after him.
"So you want me to perform a chakra coil repair in less than two minutes?" asked Tsunade incredulously.
"Can you do it or not?" asked Naruto.
"Maybe," said Tsunade, "But I think I'll need Hinata's help, which would mean you would have to tell her your secret."
Naruto paled at that thought, "Forget it then, we'll do it the way we've done it in the past."
"Naruto, you can trust Hinata with your secret," said Tsunade softly, "She is a wonderful young woman."
"But everything is going so well right now. What if she becomes afraid of me as a result?"
"What if you wait until later and she gets angry for keeping the secret for so long?" asked Tsunade to counter the point.
"She could say that now," said Naruto.
"True, but before you were under orders not to tell anyone without my permission," said Tsunade calmly, "if you'd prefer, I could explain it to her."
"No, I'll tell her," said Naruto, "if anyone is going to tell it's going to be me. But . . . but would you . . ."
"I'll be present at the time, you don't have a choice as this is an S-level secret of the village," said Tsunade, "And Jiraiya will be elsewhere as I don't want the girl to be uncomfortable from the ogling pervert."
Jiraiya smiled before asking, "Who? Me? Never . . ." It was at that point that Jiraiya was sent out of the building through the new skylight that just happened to have roughly the same shape as his body.
"Hinata should be here shortly, we'll tell her then," said Tsunade, "Trust in her Naruto. She won't be afraid of you."
"I hope you're right Kaasan," said Naruto softly, simply radiating worry.
The door to the office open and Hinata entered as though she were floating on air. Her smile went from ear to ear. Tsunade had the distinct impression that nothing could take that smile off her face.
"Morning Tsunade-sensei," said Hinata airily, "Isn't it a beautiful day in Konoha?"
Tsunade looked out the window at the brewing storm clouds before smiling and giving her son a glance at which he turned bright red.
"Morning Hinata," said Tsunade, "You seem awfully happy today."
"Do I really?" asked Hinata still a million miles away, or rather five feet away. Hinata then saw Naruto sitting without a shirt and smiled before she got the far away look. "Have you ever noticed that when you like someone you see them everywhere you go even though you're eyes are just playing tricks on you."
"Really now?" asked Tsunade, "So you're seeing visions of Kiba again huh?"
At that Naruto and Hinata were both scolding Tsunade while she was just laughing at them. It was then that Hinata realized that Naruto was really there and still not wearing a shirt. Having trained as a medic-nin for some time now she started checking Naruto over much as Tsunade already had.
"Hinata, Naruto is perfectly healthy . . . well at least physically so," said Tsunade with a smirk from the look it earned her from Naruto.
"Then why is he here without a shirt," asked Hinata trying not to blush too much. Honestly she was really enjoying the view rather thoroughly.
"Hinata, I'm about to let you in on an S-class village secret," said Tsunade before nodding to Naruto.
"Hinata, how much do you know about Kyubi?" asked Naruto.
"Yondaime-sama killed it," said Hinata, "Your father did what no one else could at the cost of his own life."
"That's not entirely true," said Naruto, "Think for minute Hinata. If my father killed the Kyubi why didn't he kill it the first night it began to attack?"
"I don't know," said Hinata, "Maybe he wanted to try to let the village beat it before sacrificing his life."
"That's a good theory but wouldn't he have been there the whole time fighting?" asked Naruto. He could have told her the entire story straight through but he felt that it might be better to help work through to the answer.
"I guess so, but if he wasn't there, where was he?"
"With my mother," said Naruto, "My father had a plan for the Kyubi but he had to wait on someone to arrive first."
"Who?" asked Hinata slightly confused before she put her hands to her mouth, "He was waiting for you to be born wasn't he. He wanted to see you before he gave his life."
"Very true," said Naruto, "But that is not all he wanted me for. He discovered that he could not possibly kill the demon because it would simply be recreated elsewhere before returning to finish Konoha."
"Then what could he do?" asked Hinata.
"Good question, what do you think?"
"Well, he could send it to another dimension I suppose but that would be almost impossible for one shinobi to do alone if at all. He could have sealed it in something," said Hinata last.
"Exactly," said Naruto, "Sealing the demon away was his only hope to stop the monster."
"But what does this have to do with you being here. Do you know where it was seal? Did it break free from the seal?"
"Do you remember Gaara of the Sand?" asked Naruto to Hinata.
Hinata shivered at the memory, "He had a sand demon in him right?"
"Absolutely correct," said Naruto, "Now, Shukaku is only a one-tailed demon. Not very powerful compared to Kyubi wouldn't you say?"
"Yes, quite so," said Hinata.
"Now, the Kazekage of the time wanted to use Shukaku's power as a weapon for the village. But it was too powerful to be controlled when sealed within an object so they sealed it into a human. The seal that hold's Shukaku back is rather weak and as a result it torments Gaara relentlessly. But the Kazekage was right. The only way to successfully seal a way a demon is within a human body, but not just any human body, the body of a child, specifically a new born child." Naruto stopped there to let it all sink in to make sure she understood everything.
"Now my father understood this and had studied the notes the Kazekage made when sealing the demon in Gaara. My father found a way to properly seal the demon away so that it could never break free, but there was an enormous cost to bare," said Naruto.
"His life," said Hinata, "He gave his life to seal away the demon properly."
"More than that he made it so that the child would grow up with the demon chakra and be able to use it a weapon more successfully than Suna was able with Gaara," explained Naruto.
"So why tell me?" asked Hinata before all the pieces suddenly came together, "You're the container aren't you?"
Naruto nodded solemnly expecting her to run from the room in fear. He was very surprised when he found her hugging him tightly instead and crying. Reflexively Naruto soothed her and rubbed her back in a comforting manner as his Kaasan had done for him several times in the past when he was upset.
"Is that why you weren't raised in the village?" asked Hinata after a while.
"Yes, Sarutobi-sensei was wise enough to see that the villages would still be very angry about the Kyubi and all of their lost loved ones and would probably take it out on Naruto-kun," explained Tsunade, "So he conned me into taking the brat away. Bastard set me up from the start I tell you. He knew I would love this brat as my own. He knew it, I'm not sure how he knew but he definitely knew."
That earned a small snicker from Hinata.
"The reason I left a few years ago for training Hinata was because of the Kyubi. A group of S-class criminals is after the power of the nine-tails. Ero-sensei took me away to train to prepare. During that time we made a few discoveries about Kyubi and the seal my father place on me," explained Naruto. After that he went into telling Hinata about he knew seal and there plans for attaching another chain.
"But why can't you do it all at once?" asked Hinata.
Tsunade thought it was a very good question.
"Can't," said Naruto, "If I did I imagine I wouldn't be able to control all of it at once. The control seal allows me to adjust the output of energy, but it only allows so much control. It still constantly bleeds chakra off of Kyubi but in minimal amounts. If we were to connect all of them at once, it would put that minimal output level so high that it would completely fry my body and my brain."
"Right then, just a few at a time," said Tsunade calmly, "So what do you think Hinata? Can we repair his chakra system fast enough to give him a chance at attaching another chain?"
"With my Byakugan it shouldn't be much of a problem, but I will have to thoroughly study his specific coil system for days to make sure I know every inch of it," said Hinata. Truthfully, she knew that wasn't really necessary but it was the perfect excuse to spend more time with her Naruto-kun.
"Very well, then you can join Naruto in preparing for the Jounin Exams," said Tsunade, "I've decided that you two shall team up for the exam."
"I thought Jounin Exams were individual?" asked Naruto.
"Yes and no," said Tsunade, "You can take the test alone as most people do but you can also take it with a team of up to three people but this is rare as it often portrays an image of weakness to the judges that you need more people to do what one person should be able to do."
"Then why would we team up if it makes us look weaker?" asked Naruto.
"Partially to throw off the Akatsuki into thinking you are much weaker than you truly are. Partially because you two are considered the village prodigies because of your lineage and your apprenticeships to the Sannin," explained Tsunade, "The examiners will automatically make the exam much more difficult for you as a result and I am expecting the pair of you to be absolutely flawless when you take the exam."
"So team training then?" asked Naruto, "Are you sure it's wise to place Hinata so close to me? I mean with the Akatsuki and all wouldn't it put her in more danger?"
"Probably but it will also keep you much safer. I love Hinata like a daughter but she is not as valuable or as important to this village's future as you are," said Tsunade sadly. Naruto and Hinata could see how much it pained her to say such a thing but they both understood the harsh reality of the words and the truth that rang from them.
"I understand Tsunade-sensei, I am to be Naruto-kun bodyguard," said Hinata.
"Actually, he's yours," said Tsunade, "You just have to patch him up afterwards."
"I'll protect her with my life," said Naruto seriously.
"I will protect him with mine," said Hinata, not caring what Tsunade said.
"Well, you'd better go find that pervert and start training. We'll try to attach the next chain in one week," Tsunade ended the conversation effectively.
"Yes Kaasan," said Naruto while Hinata replied with her normal, "Yes Tsunade-sensei."
With that Hinata and Naruto departed.
"Ah Sasuke-kun, you have indeed grown much stronger," said the slithering voice of Orochimaru.
Sasuke simply hissed in response. While he acknowledged Orochimaru as a good trainer and more than able to give him power it did not change the fact that Sasuke thought of him as a vile and repugnant piece of subhuman filth that was worth less than the fecal matter of a dog.
"I think a test of your strength is in order Sasuke-kun," said Orochimaru, "I believe it is time you became a full Jounin."
Sasuke glared at the wretched old man.
"You will of course be in disguise while you stay within the boundaries of the Hidden Sand Village," said Orochimaru, "If you happen to kill the Kazekage while you are there then all that much better."
Sasuke understood now. The exam was merely a cover for him to enter the village and assassinate the Kazekage.
"Yes, I think this will be the perfect test of your abilities. Eliminate that demon thus striking two birds with one stone. His death will hurt the alliance with Konoha and it will ruin the plans of the Akatsuki," hissed Orochimaru before his laughter rang sickeningly through the empty halls of the Hidden Sound Village.
Sasuke ignored the laughter before leaving to continue his training. For nearly three years Sasuke had done nothing but train his body and mind with one goal in mind. To reclaim his lost honor at the hands of that fraud, Naruto. Sasuke trained his speed above everything else. He knew that if he was going to have any hope of reacting in time to the Kirameki that he'd have to improve his speed and strength until he'd reached a point beyond Lee, beyond Neji, beyond Kakashi, and most importantly, beyond the speed of Naruto. The only thing Sasuke had not attained was the famed Mangekyou Sharingan eyes, but that too would come to him soon. In his time in Sound the only person he'd befriended was Kabuto and Kabuto likewise befriended him, whether it was on orders or not, Sasuke did not know not that he gave a damn either. He was somewhat happy to have the friendship with Kabuto. If it wasn't there he would no doubt have tried to kill Orochimaru several times by now not to mention the pitiful replacements for the Sound Five that were subordinate to him. As it was he'd already killed three of them just training, on the other hand they were easily replaceable. Still Kabuto was an important bond to him however, it was a bond he would be only too happy to dissolve if it meant he gained the power he so desperately sought after.
"So, the Kyubi vessel has grown a lot over the last three years," said an insidious voice, "to think, he could eliminate those four substitutes so easily."
"He has lost the element of surprise now," said another voice that was equally laden with evil, "We know of his abilities and can counter them easily."
"Do not underestimate that brat," said yet another voice, "Every time we have underestimated him we have suffered losses. It will not be so easy to replace those substitute bodies. The bodies that can support our levels of chakra are far and few between. We cannot afford to be so wasteful in the future."
"Kisame is correct," said the first voice, "I fear that if we do not take the Kyubi now then all of our plans will be for not, his growth is much too rapid to be contained."
"He was weakened severely just in killing those substitutes," said Kisame, "He would not survive against the real thing."
"Maybe, maybe not," said another voice softly, "I have studied the vessel and I believe that he is hiding something terrifying. Even though he called on the Kyubi's powers in that fight it was not nearly as strong as it had been when he fought in the Chuunin Tournament in Stone."
"Is it possible that the Kyubi is dying?" asked another.
"That would completely defeat our plans. If Kyubi were to die than it would rematerialize and we would not be able to contain it. Most likely we would be destroyed as the Kyubi is no doubt aware of our presence thanks to that vessel," said the first voice again.
"I do not believe that is the case," said the softly spoken man, "I would appear that the Kyubi's chakra is constantly flowing through him now but when he calls upon it, it is much, much weaker than usual."
"Do you think there is a problem with the seal?"
"No," said the softly spoken man, "There is something else at work here."
"Very well, continue observation. He will be entering the Jounin exams. We will take him and the one-tail then," said the first man, "Be ready for it."
With that all of the images vanished from their meeting place.
"This is going to suck," said Naruto as he prepared for what was sure to be a very dangerous and rough experience.
"Don't worry Naruto-kun," said Hinata reassuringly.
Naruto nodded before pushing a bit of chakra through his fingers before touching the control seal on his forearm and maxing out the power out put, or at least maxing out for as much as his body could handle. Naruto features changed rapidly. His eyes turned blood red, his whisker marks enlarged, his fingers turned into claws and his canines sharpened and elongated.
Hinata was doing everything she could not to run away from this awful red chakra. It scared her to no end to think that there was such evil in this world that it could create such a chakra. And yet despite the terror that flooded her veins, she stood her ground and watched Naruto carefully as he released wave after wave of chakra. Into random techniques that were performed so quickly that she would have missed them if she hadn't had her Byakugan activated.
Naruto continued to burn through Kyubi's chakra as fast as he could. It took nearly an hour to drain away his limit.
Hinata watched fearfully as the evil red chakra tore apart his chakra coil system. It enlarged everywhere and even cracked and popped in other areas. She knew that Naruto must have been in the most intense of pain and yet he continued on with expelling as much of the Kyubi's chakra as his body could handle. Hinata knew now why they had traveled several days journey away from the village to do this. If they had been anywhere near the village it would have terrified everyone and possible sent many into severe shock and maybe even induce a few strokes and heart attacks among the elderly as had been the case in Kyubi's first attack.
Naruto finally dropped to the ground in intense pain.
"Hinata, Tsunade, you must hurry now while I create the barrier seal. As soon as you've finished get outside the seal or you might be killed by the chakra release from Naruto once he connect the soul binding chain," ordered Jiraiya has he started to work in laying down the seal in his own blood.
Hinata couldn't believe the amount of damage to his chakra coils but she and Tsunade both began to work rapidly to repair the coils.
"Hinata, fix any cracks and bursting points, I'll heal the majority of the damage," ordered Tsunade as she started to rapidly heal large portions of the coil system. Tsunade's healing was very effective but it didn't help much with the parts Hinata was told to heal. Hinata followed along behind Tsunade healing every crack and hole rapidly but with perfect accuracy that had come to be expected of her.
"One minute," warned Jiraiya as he started on the outer track of the sealing circle and moved rapidly around the edge of the circle.
"Done," said Tsunade as she leapt out of the circle so as not to disturb the sealing circle.
"Ten seconds," said Jiraiya with urgency in his voice.
Hinata worked quickly to finish the last crack and at the last second leapt from the sealing circle. Hinata had barely landed before the circle glowed in a pale purple color.
Jiraiya was trying to hold the seal as sweat poured from his head and hands. "Tsunade, I need you and Hinata's help. Take up a position to form a triangle and start channeling chakra into the edge of the seal," just as Jiraiya finished speaking the seal flared bright red and orange. "Hurry!"
Hinata and Tsunade both understood the urgency and took their place.
"He's working quickly this time," said Jiraiya, "That red flare means that he is attaching the soul binding chain. Kyubi must be really tired for him to have attached it this quickly."
Suddenly the seal flared a blinding white, "That's one chain completely. There will be a huge chakra surge in just a second so brace yourselves." Jiraiya then channeled chakra into the bottoms of his legs to hold him to the ground and then a lot more chakra into the seal.
Hinata watch what Jiraiya did through her Byakugan and did her best to follow suit, though admittedly she did not have nearly as much chakra as he did.
Just as Jiraiya said there was an enormous surge of chakra from the seal. It took all of Hinata's ability to just stay a part of the sealing circle. It only lasted for a moment but it was enough to sap her of almost all her chakra.
The dull purple glow returned.
"This one will probably take a lot longer," said Jiraiya, "Kyubi should have gotten a lot of energy back on that so he'll be a bit tougher on Naruto this time. Hinata and Tsunade, go ahead and get some rest. I'll wake you when I need you again."
Hinata was hesitant but upon seeing Tsunade get up and lay down on her sleeping roll, Hinata decided she would join her.
The next several days passes with the seal glowing red and then stopping suddenly. Jiraiya said that it was simply an attempt but failed. Naruto would eventually succeed or else give up and wake up to try again later.
On the seventh day the seal glowed bright red again, "He going again, seems like he's got it this time," shouted Jiraiya.
Hinata and Tsunade took their places on the circle again and began channeling their chakra.
This one was much more severe than the first one.
"Damn," said Jiraiya, "Kyubi was able to regain a lot of his chakra. This one is going to hurt a lot."
"Why tell us that?" asked Tsunade.
"So you can brace yourself," said Jiraiya with a deadly serious voice.
Jiraiya wasn't lying when he said it would hurt. Hinata's entire body felt as if it were on fire as this evil red chakra passed over her for the simple fact that her hands were touching the circle. She could only imagine the pain that Naruto was in.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity the blinding white flash hit signaling that Naruto attached another soul binding chain.
"Finally," said Jiraiya with a heavy sigh, "Now we just have to wait for him to wake up. You two can rest, I can hold the seal until he wakes now."
Hinata and Tsunade both nodded before standing. Tsunade made it to the bed roll before collapsing. Hinata barely made it two steps.
"I should have asked Itachi to help," said Jiraiya annoyed, "Then again, I still don't trust him completely."
Days passed again with no sign of Naruto waking or any surges of chakra.
"What is taking that brat so long?" asked Jiraiya to no one in particular. He didn't like the answer he received when the sealing circle flared bright red again, "Shit. Tsunade, Hinata, he's trying for one more."
Hinata and Tsunade both whipped around to look at the seal before hurrying into position.
This time the seal flared red for hours on end with the evil chakra.
"Is the beast trying to break free?" asked Tsunade.
"No, this must be a tail," said Jiraiya though he winced in pain, "The first two were fast and must have been the last two feet. This must be one of the tails, its Kyubi's main source of power."
"Is this what Naruto planned?" asked Tsunade.
"Originally he was going to just get two tails. He must have settled for that last two legs and one tail," said Jiraiya.
"Tsunade-sensei," said Hinata with a gasp, "I don't know how much longer I can hold this."
"Just a little more Hinata," said Tsunade, "We need you right now. Naruto needs you right now."
That seemed to have reinforced Hinata's resolve to help.
Finally the blinding white light flashed ending the soul binding chain's attachment.
The seal faded to purple again before dieing out completely. "Finally," said Jiraiya before collapsing backwards into sweet oblivion.
Tsunade did exactly the same things as Jiraiya.
Hinata though forced herself to crawl the last few feet towards Naruto before collapsing with her head resting on his chest.