AN: Somebody shoot me please. I have so much crap waiting for my attention; homework to do, two other active stories to write, sleep to catch up on, Al Pacino movies to watch…and what am I doing? Writing another story.
Yeah, I'm definitely doubting my sanity. Not exactly bad for you guys though, at least it isn't if you enjoy these fics. Whatever, I'm gonna stop talking now. Enjoy!
This fic starts all the way back at the beginning of Naruto. This chapter coincides a bit with the first chapter; you'll recognize the stuff that's the same. However, I will be using some small references that may spoil information we learn through the manga's current status, and more as it moves along. These spoilers aren't much, really just info about a few people and a few words we learn later on.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
In the shadows cast by the full moon two adults crept under the cover of the looming fortress walls of the city hidden in the leaves. Inside the walls, many of the citizens of the shinobi village of Konoha were settling down for the night. A number of families were happily celebrating the graduation of their children from the Ninja Academy and into the rank of Genin. The one child that hadn't passed was no longer within the village walls. "Is it done?" a woman's voice asked.
"A complete success. We can head out after him in a few minutes. Right now the Hokage has shinobi looking for him, but no one will be able to find him before us," a male boasted.
"Then perhaps you should hurry before the Hokage sends actual trackers after the boy," another woman interrupted from the shadows behind them.
"What are you doing here?" the man asked.
"Making sure the two of you don't mess this up. Remember the jinchuuriki needs to be eliminated; after that the Scroll of Sealing should be taken directly to the meeting point," the second woman informed them.
"We know; we'll take care of it. This plan can't go wrong," the first woman assured.
"Then get going," the second woman ordered.
In the shadows cast by the full moon two people scowled before taking off after their target.
Iruka arrived at the clearing to find an exhausted, battered, yet surprisingly enthusiastic Naruto. The boy showed no fear or guilt after having attacked the Hokage and stolen the forbidden scroll. The fact that, as an Academy student, Naruto believed he had been able to master one of the techniques housed within that scroll was even more amazing – and a bit frightening.
"Oh this? Mizuki-sensei told me about it. And this place too," Naruto enlightened him before once again stating his intention to graduate using the new skill he had learned. The moment Naruto had mentioned the other sensei, Iruka had stopped paying attention to the boy. He jumped back to attention just in time to shove his student out of the way of the oncoming projectiles.
Iruka felt himself thrown back against the small shack in the clearing, but he ignored the pain and instead turned to pinpointing the location of the attacker. Mizuki was sitting smugly in a tree at the edge of the clearing. "Hmmm…I didn't expect anyone to get to him before I did," Mizuki stated, looking appraisingly between the sensei and his student. "This will cause a small hitch in my plans. I was just going to kill Naruto and send the scroll off; nobody would have missed the brat anyways. Now it looks like I'll have to kill both of you; it'll be difficult for me to get out of this without catching any suspicion," he pondered aloud.
Naruto was staring at Mizuki with horror. Iruka could see the understanding and belief flash through his eyes as he considered Mizuki's words. "Naruto, whatever you do, do not give up that scroll," Iruka ordered his student.
"Why should he listen to you?" Mizuki asked, looking over at Naruto. "Let me let you in on a secret brat," he began, "Iruka hates you as much as the rest of the village. Would you like to know why?"
Naruto's terrified face faltered slightly betraying his curiosity. "Don't!" Iruka shouted at Mizuki. When Mizuki smirked at Naruto, Iruka shouted, "Get out of here Naruto!"
Naruto didn't listen to him; instead, Iruka could tell that the boy's attention was fixed firmly on Mizuki and the answers that he had always wanted. "The reason they all hate you…twelve years ago when the Kyuubi was sealed…it was sealed in you. You're the one that caused all the pain and suffering in this village. Iruka's parents and so many others…you killed all of them. You're the Kyuubi," Mizuki stated.
Naruto's face scrunched up in confusion as he tried to decipher what Mizuki had told him. As he fit all the pieces together his entire demeanor darkened, causing Mizuki to smirk in pleasure. Iruka's mind flashed back to the meeting with the Hokage earlier that afternoon. Naruto didn't deserve this; he didn't deserve to lose every ounce of faith he had managed to build inside the village.
Iruka reacted as quickly as he could when he saw Mizuki ready one of his larger shuriken. He managed to shield Naruto, but not without the shuriken becoming lodged in his back. "Get out of here," he grunted through the pain. Naruto looked up at him with wide, uncertain eyes before his face once again hardened. This time, Naruto nodded and grabbed the scroll before heading out of the clearing.
Iruka stood up a bit shakily and lunged at Mizuki. If he could hold the other Chuunin off, then Naruto stood a chance of making it back to the village relatively unharmed. Unfortunately, Mizuki simply smirked and dodged Iruka's sluggish attack. "You're slow, and if you honestly think he'll get away then you need to re-evaluate the situation," Mizuki claimed.
Iruka's eyes widened, but he didn't slow his attempted attacks. He pulled out several kunai and launched them at the other sensei. Mizuki easily deflected and dodged the first wave, but he wasn't paying enough attention. The second group of kunai that Iruka sent at him had more success.
Mizuki grunted and hunched over slightly trying to remove the two kunai that was imbedded in his calf. He yanked one of them out and launched it furiously back at Iruka. Iruka dodged the hastily thrown retaliation and prepared to attack again when Naruto landed back in the middle of the clearing.
Iruka looked at the boy in confusion. "What are you doing?" he hissed to the younger boy. Naruto stared at the edge of the clearing; he clutched the scroll a bit tighter but showed no signs that he had heard Iruka.
The Chuunin realized why when, a moment later, Mizuki's smirk widened and young woman walked into the clearing. "I'm surprised it took you so long, Kimiko," Mizuki stated.
"The kid's not bad when he's panicking," the young woman responded.
"Whatever, let's finish this and get out of here," Mizuki snorted, looking at Naruto with disdain. "Our plans have already been botched enough," he added.
"Right," Kimiko responded, gazing between Iruka and Naruto.
"Give me the scroll Naruto," Iruka ordered, holding out his hand towards Naruto.
Naruto snapped his attention onto his teacher, but it took his mind a moment to catch up to the situation. When it did, Naruto quickly scrambled to his feet and handed Iruka the scroll.
Before Iruka realized what his student was doing, Naruto had placed his hands together and shouted, "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu." His eyes widened when he saw nearly twenty copies of his student appear, surrounding the two of them. Iruka bent down so that he was more securely hidden amongst the clones. When he was out of sight, it took just a quick flick of his wrists and instead of Iruka, another Naruto was crouching on the ground. The scroll was no where to be seen.
"Screw this," Kimiko cursed. "We need to just get rid of all of them. Find the scroll first and make sure it isn't damaged," she ordered.
Mizuki nodded and launched an oversized shuriken into the congregation of blonds. One of the clones disappeared, but the rest jumped into action. Kimiko cursed a second time, as five clones lunged at her, each armed with multiple kunai and shuriken. "Raikou Funsai no Jutsu," she shouted, holding her hands in front of her with both palms facing out.
An arc of lightning shot from her palms, decimating the five clones in front of her as well as four more behind them. She couldn't risk using that jutsu as the numbers dwindled for fear of destroying the forbidden scroll. While Mizuki was engaged in physical combat with three more clones, she gazed at the remaining nine Naruto's trying to distinguish the clones from the others. Unless Iruka had managed to escape, then one of the blond brats had to be the sensei. It was most likely that that clone was the one hiding the scroll; she just wasn't quite sure what he had done with it.
Her thoughts were interrupted when three of the waiting Naruto's lunged at her, weapons drawn. She immediately dispatched two of the clones with a quick punch; Kimiko was about to turn to her third when Mizuki appeared behind it. A quick chop to the back of the neck and the clone disappeared in puff of smoke. "We're wasting too much time playing with these pieces of trash," Kimiko growled. "Just take them out," she added.
Mizuki grinned menacingly and jumped at the remaining six figures still standing in the middle of the clearing. As he lunged forward, two of the figures dove for the trees at the side of the clearing. Kimiko followed the one that had gone to their left, and coincidentally towards the village. Mizuki eliminated the remaining four clones, before turning to go after the Naruto who had jumped into the trees on his right.
Kimiko easily caught up with Naruto; the boy had abandoned the trees and was racing along the forest floor towards the village. She jumped out of the tree and sprung towards Naruto; Naruto fell face first into the dirt when the older woman landed on his back. "Well, that means you aren't a clone," Kimiko replied smugly, when the body underneath her feet didn't pop away in a puff of smoke. "That means you're either the Kyuubi's host, which means I get to kill you, or you're the sensei in disguise, which means I get to kill you and then take the scroll," she added, when Naruto squirmed a bit so that he could glare up at her.
"Don't touch Iruka-sensei!" Naruto shouted rather foolishly.
Apparently Kimiko thought it was foolish as well; she stood up rolling her eyes and allowed Naruto to get back up. "You're just an annoyance that I need to get rid of," Kimiko stated coldly, causing Naruto to back up a bit nervously.
Despite his nervousness, Kimiko's earlier statement rang true. Naruto wasn't bad when he was panicking. "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu," Naruto shouted.
Kimiko was immediately surrounded by fifty clones. "Well that's impressive," she deadpanned, looking around at the group surrounding her. "Unfortunately for you, I'm not a pushover. I also have no reason to go easy on you, since we want you dead," she informed him.
Naruto didn't falter for a moment; the clones ignored the statement and lunged forward at the enemy shinobi. Kimiko easily dodged the sloppy and unorganized attacks from the clones. After a moment she grew restless and once again began forming hand seals. She paused mid seal and swung her head to the left, completely forgetting about the onslaught of clones. Two of the clones managed to land punches to her stomach; another lodged a kunai deep in her left thigh.
Kimiko fought the urge to scream, when the hits brought her back to her main focus. "Lucky brat, it seems like that Hokage of yours finally sent someone else out after you," she growled at him. "Unfortunately for you, they aren't going to get here in time."
The foreign shinobi repeated her earlier jutsu easily getting rid of the remaining shadow clones that hadn't been able to get out of the way. Without his shield of clones, Naruto was left wide open to attack.
Kimiko restarted a new set of seals. After she finished the last one, one hand went to the pouch on her hip and another to her mouth. She inhaled deeply and muttered, "Piripiri Koki," before breathing out. A deep gray smoke flew out from her lips and began to fill the clearing.
The last thing Naruto saw was Kimiko placing a gas mask over her face. He immediately brought his hands up to his mouth and nose hoping to keep from inhaling whatever she had spread through the air. When he felt cold metal touch the side of his neck, his eyes widened as the blade bit into the side of his neck. He managed to move out of the way after the fist cut on the left side of his neck. When a second kunai sank into the right side of his neck, Naruto opened his mouth and screamed.
His hands immediately flew up to his neck and he gagged as he breathed in the noxious air around him. "Enjoy the last few moments of your life," he heard a muffled voice say before a third kunai was once again driven into the left side of his neck.
Kimiko left the site quickly; she could feel a shinobi, probably Jounin level, closing in on her position fast. As she made her way back to Mizuki, she hoped he had gotten rid of the other sensei and found the Scroll of Seals.
The clearing they had occupied earlier was empty, so she took a brief moment to orient herself before taking off after Mizuki. She found him about half a kilometer away; the sensei was on the forest floor unconscious, and Mizuki was rooting around the area. The scroll was nowhere in sight.
"Did he have it?" Mizuki asked when she walked up to him.
"No, it wasn't anywhere in the area," she answered, "but he is dead."
"Iruka didn't have it either," Mizuki stated, gaining a bewildered look from his companion.
Kimiko was about to retort when she sensed several people heading towards the clearing. "Damn we're in trouble," she muttered, "At least three shinobi, probably Jounin, are heading this way. If we stay, we'll be caught."
"We can't go back without anything," Mizuki countered.
"The kid's dead; that'll be enough for now," Kimiko claimed. "We need to leave now," she added, taking off. Mizuki glanced back once wishing he had something to show for all their trouble. That brat's death wasn't satisfying enough for all the work they had put into the operation.
The Jounin cursed when he entered the small area and found nothing but a haze. The Hokage had told him that the boy would be here, now he just had to get rid of whatever substance was in the air. It was very likely that it was poisonous. He wasn't sure if the boy would be able to stand poison, even with the any recuperative abilities the Kyuubi gave him.
A quick wind jutsu cleared the area and he cursed when the fleeing fog revealed the boy's prone figure on the forest floor. Hopefully Naruto's sensei hadn't met the same fate, but that wasn't his responsibility at the moment. His orders were to bring the boy back to Hokage Tower where he would be treated.
The Jounin gave the boy a quick once over and was relieved to find him still breathing. The blood that he occasionally coughed up and the gurgling noise that accompanied his breathing was disconcerting, but as long as he continued breathing there was always a chance that the medics would be able to take care of him.
He gently hoisted the boy onto his back and took off back towards the village. If what the Hokage had said was true, this was going to cause a lot of problems.
And not just for the twelve year old in his arms.
AN: If you only know of Naruto through the English dub, Kyuubi is the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox.
If you're not up to date with the manga, jinchuuriki basically translates into "Power of Human Sacrifice". It is the technical term that we learn applies to Naruto because he has the demon sealed inside of him. It's isn't technically a spoiler because it appears that the only reason we haven't heard of it before is because of the laws in Konoha that restrict anybody from talking about the Kyuubi's sealing. For anyone outside of Konoha that knows about sealing incidents, it is the proper term; hence the fact that it is used here.
On another note, please don't ask me about pairings. I learned my lesson in my first two fics. I know that everyone has their own preferences and that when they come across a fic that they like, they won't those pairings to be used in that fic. There probably won't be any pairings in this fic, at least not in the beginning. I will not answer questions about pairings; it's that simple.
I hope that covers everything. If you have any other questions just add them in a review or email me. I hope you all enjoyed the chapter!
Kage Bunshin no Jutsu / Shadow Clone Jutsu
Raikou Funsai no Jutsu / Lightning Raze Jutsu
Piripiri Koki / Burning Exhalation