Warning list (complete list in next chapter)
In Soviet Russia, you own Naruto. Here and now, Naruto owns you.

Pairings: One friendship triangle(?)... No Yaoi/Yuri
General FAQ section located at end.

Fox Identity
by Arkhe


A small, young boy approached the park, drawn by the vibrant voices. Among the trees, gardens, playground and open spaces, were a great deal many children in the throes of laughing and playing merrily. At first, he'd taken hesitant steps, but had eventually ended up wandering amongst them, gazing in open wonder at the joyful throng. He had only yet to choose a group to join, when a parent gasped at seeing him. It set a chain reaction of adults gathering their children until there were two opposing sides with an invisible border separating them.

One side consisted of parents and their confused children.

The other was Uzumaki Naruto.

The parents had glared at him, willing him to cross the unseen barrier, so that any action they take, they can later justify it towards the defense of their offspring.

And though all the children didn't know what was happening, it didn't stop them from interpreting the blond boy as an unwelcome person that their parents had mutually agreed on. Most backed away and a few had sneered at him too. A few even dared to throw a rock in his direction, to encourage him to leave.

Naruto glared back for only a moment, not understanding why this happened.

Never understanding why this always happened.

Actions like these had repeated themselves time and time again at different stages as he grew up -sometimes more than once on the same day! Because of these instances, a naive young Naruto had sworn to find the reason for why he had been treated so poorly. From eavesdropping at any opportunity, to forcing himself to expand his vocabulary so that he could understand all the kinds of books he could get his hands on; his wealth of obscure knowledge grew. By now, he developed his mind to be primitively, yet sharply analytical to every not so common details. But he still never found out as to why these events repeated.

Naruto backed down from the baleful glares and retreated for any place that wasn't home just yet, openly grimacing at the thought. Spending time inside the house was just as unbearable when his own housekeeper detested his presence. She would not even give him her name or time of day, let alone any semblance of conversation. But she would leave soon, as did all the people prior to her.

In fact, hours later on arrival of his home, Naruto found that she had already gone and the sparse amount of his worldly possessions had been vandalised. It did not surprise him. Some caretakers of his had also left under similar circumstances. This time, he resolved not to report this case. It just would not do for another to come and then repeat the cycle again.

Forgoing the tending to the current disarray, Naruto had opted to wash up to start dinner immediately. So it was when he pursued cleansing himself in the bathroom, he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror.

And his sad visage stared back.

The faucet continued to pour, now totally ignored as Naruto had engrossed himself with his reflection.

A silent plea crossed his eyes.
A yearning to become someone else...
A wish to change that face...
An intent to kill that person staring at him...

The person in the mirror's look changed from hurt to hatred. It was not uncommon for him to be on the receiving end of this look and he had expected it from the mirror all the time.

It had been long ago, weeks -perhaps even months, when he would deny all the damnings against him. Voicing vehemently to himself that he was not any of it and then questioning as to why it was like this. But all too soon did it change. He found himself believing them and repeating the names... All the time questioning his right to life.


The person in the mirror had lowered their head a little.

"I don't deserve to live."

The reflection bore bare teeth.


It had practically spat on him.


! ...There!

In the eyes... He saw... something... Something there...


Mustering more emotion into this burst, the reflection had shown him a flicker of red irises for a brief moment. Not caring what to make of it, Naruto was swept with emotion. Summoning every inch of hatred and malice into the very image that stared back at him, he screamed at the face intensely, believing the very essence of the word.


And then it just happened so quickly...

A falling sensation...
A corridor within corridors of ankle-deep water...
A row of bars held together by a seal...
A demon locked away unmoving...
Unblinking red eyes of the Nine-Tails staring through him...

Dead red eyes staring...

His reflection's red eyes staring right back at him.

Though back in the present, Naruto's young, limited mind was elsewhere, as everything he knew finally fell into place.

Everyone hating him.
His 'whisker' birthmarks.
The red eyes he now donned.

"I am a demon."

With this new understanding, his eyes turned back to their old blue tinge almost as if they too acknowledged this.

In a week, Naruto would go to a library and research any and all details of the mythical kind, finally pinpointing just who he had briefly encountered. It would be weeks before he would structure the need to grow stronger. And it would be years before he would finally fathom a destiny only for him.

But for now, he understood one need--

Naruto tugged at his facial muscles into an unused expression. It was by closing his eyes and baring rows of teeth in an amused snarl, giving the impression of a wide, foxy grin.

--a need for retribution.

End prologue.

Feedback, constructive criticism and flames welcomed.
I'll take it and a side of fries. If it's informative, I'll hold-off the obligatory soft drink.

Author's notes:
Well dear reader, I'd like to thank you for reaching this point.
Anyway, I guess I just wanna say... Nothing really 'cept that this chapter was based on the few times the series references Naruto's childhood, when he was staring into a mirror.

Just to clear up a few things (updated by 20th of October 05, and on 8 March 06);

General FAQ
There'll be a little heat and one triangle. The focus is mainly on friendships. It's going to sketch out; -Naruto being torn between choosing finding his place amongst friends or the closure of revenge.
-Expect 30+ chapters over all.
-I'll reply to all reviews. Additionally, if a common question keeps popping up, they will be answered in the newest chapter, and then subsequently removed with the chapter that follows that one.

I apologise, but the commitee will not deliver your next chapter until they are happy that it has a quality seal of approval. That is all.

Have a Great, Happy day!

Release: Jun 04 '05
First revision: Oct 20 '05
Second revision: Mar 08 '06