AN: Hey guys. This is the first chapter of my very first Naruto fic so please take it easy on me okay. I have only seen about the first ten or eleven episodes of Naruto and most of my info comes from other fics and my little bit of insight into the show.
This will be a Naruto/Kagome pairing simply because Kagome is one of my favorite characters and I find that I am able to write easier when I am using her. This will be angsty and I hope you like it. This has been floating through my head seen I first started watching the show in September I think it was. Oh well feedback is greatly desired.
Now on with da bloody fic.
Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto or InuYasha, Kikyou would be dead again, Sasuke, InuYasha and Sesshomaru would be in leather always, Naruto would be with Kagome, and all four guys would be at my beck and call always. But sadly I own nothing so I will have to make do with this. Nor do I own the song Behind Blue Eyes, hell I can't even carry a tune more or less write one.
Kyuubi talking to Naruto
Random thoughts, song lyrics and little quotes.
AND THE SKY MOURNS
one knows what it's like
They hated me. Always have, probably always will, and yet I never really understood why.
I love them with all of my fragile heart and soul, and yet they still hate me.
To be the bad man
I cry for them and yet they act as if they don't even see it.
They wanted me dead so they tried to kill me, but they never managed to finish the job. Over and over again they struck, and yet they never won. Their blades were never fast enough, never cut deep enough, but that never stopped them from trying. They always come back.
To be the sad man
They wanted me dead so I tried. Over and over, time and time again I slashed, adding to my growing collage of scars. And yet no matter how much I try even I cannot cut deep enough. It heals, it always heals, and yet there are always scars to remind me of every pass of every blade.
I heal too fast and they see and call me freak and monster, kicking me all the while. "Demon!" They scream at me as my ribs shatter, crack and break. All the while I just lay there wishing that it would end and yet knowing that it won't. They never finish me off. It is as if something holds them back, as if their desire for me to suffer has not been fufilled enough to let me die. So they cut away at me with blades that never strike just right and then they leave with the morning light only to return when the sun fades.
It only worsens if I cry out in pain. When I scream or cry they only laugh and beat me harder. So I learned not to cry in pain by the age of six, when I had my very first kunai slipped between my ribs as I lay asleep. Many times I have come back to the fourth floor apartment that I call home and they have been waiting for me in the darkness.
Behind blue eyes
I'm evil, didn't you know that. At least that is what they tell me. Sometimes it is hard not to believe them, if they all believe it then it must be true on some level right? So I took the beatings, fighting back only when necessary. I deserved to be punished, at least that is what they all told me. I've reached to point to were my own reflection makes me sick. I hate my eyes, so blue and deep they scare people.
An' no one knows what it's like
I have never understood why they hate me with all that they have. What could I have possibly done in the short years of my life to earn the hatred of almost every living being in Konoha. What had I done that was so wrong that they could never forgive me?
To be hated
Was my very existance so very distasteful that they felt the need to take away any tiny bit of happiness that I have ever possessed. I remember that I had found a wounded fox in the woods once and had brought it home with me to treat it. I had always had a special bond with foxes, they were one of the only creatures that were not afraid of me for some reason or another. I had always felt as if we were connected somehow. I had spent a great amount of my childhood in the forest playing with the animals that dared to come near to me. Over the years I began to understand the language of the kitsune and often wished that I lived among them. They were a caring species much unlike the village that I lived in and I wished desperatly that I had that kind of life. Foolish I know. I had made it a place to sleep on my bed with me as its wounds healed and had foolishly dubbed it Kyuubi on a whim of fancy.
I had been returning home one night with food for my only friend when I sensed something was wrong. It was like I could feel Kyuubi's pain and fear, like he was crying out for me. I had dropped everything at once and raced for home. When I had arrived my over active sense of smell had immediatley tripped me up. The stench was horrible. The smell of blood, lots of it and the overpowering smell of death was present. I had known before I entered my room that Kyuubi was dead, but I still went anyways on the off chance that my nose was wrong.
It wasn't. I walked into my room and almost vomited. There across my bed was Kyuubi, or what was left of him at least. Someone had slit the animals throat and then skinned him while he was still alive. Then they had slowly drawn and quartered my fox slicing him into pieces. His blood had covered the floor, walls and bed in my room. On the floor had been a single piece of parchment smeared with the blood of my fox. It had read as follows:
Dear Little Naruto,
Did you really think that we would let another of your kind live in this village? Know that you will always be alone, we will never let you be happy. Why should we? Evil deserves no peace. Poor little fox never knew what hit him, but we made sure it suffered greatly. Never try to bring your kind into our village again or the punishment will be much more severe.
I had stood there, an eight year old boy looking at the remains of his first and only pet strewn across his room like so much garbage. I would never forget this day for as long as I lived, and I knew it would haunt me for a very long, long time.
To be fated
I had not understood then what they had meant by my kind, nor would I understand that until many years later. I did however understand one thing, nothing that I loved would ever be safe if they were caught around me at all. That night I had fled into the forest closest to my apartment and took refuge in the tree roots. I had slept fitfully that night and the next mornig woke exhausted. I had retuned to my home intent on giving my once pet a proper burial only to realize that I owned no shovel or digging tool of any kind. Still that would not stop me.
Entering my home I noticed that the smell had grown much worse over night as the stench of death had settled in. Going to my closet I gathered one of my few black t-shirts and procceded to gather the pieces to my once pet and carried him into the nearby forest. I had dung a roughly one foot hole with my hands in the ground beneath my favorite tree before I stopped to place the body inside and cover it up. Afterwards I had prayed for the animals spirit and a safe journey for him into the afterlife. I had stood there for sometime before throwing back my head and howling in the traditional kitsune mourning call. It was a haunting sound full of grief and loss, that my vocal cords should not have been able to produce, but then again I had never been normal.
Not even a full minute after the echo of my call faded it was answered back by the voices of the foxes in the woods, all who had once lost someone dear to them. We had sung together well into the afternoon and then into the night. As dawn broke once again I had warned the other kitsune in the forest to stay far from the village and the other shinobi that might harm them. If they were to ever need me and I was not close enough to hear their call to go to my home and hide, they were not to come out for anyone unless it was me.
That next day I had returned to my home and scrubbed the blood and remians from my room. I burned my sheet and bed spread, deciding later to make new ones from any spare fabric I could find around town.
I have never had anything in my apartment like Kyuubi again.
To telling only lies
Things had remained the same for the next four years as I slowly grew older and learned new tricks in the acadamy. Then when I was tweleve things changed dramatically. I flunked the exam again and was once again humiliated by everyone. I sat there on the swing outside of Iruka-sensei's dojo and watched as the others were congradulated and I didn't fail to notice the harsh looks that they all sent my way. It was then that I realized once again just how alone I really was. My only friend was this swing.
It had always been there for me. It was there when I was shunned and spit on by the children and their parents. It was there when I flunked the exam the first two times and there for the third. It would be there long after I died.
All I really had anymore was this swing and my goggles.
It's ironic really to realze at the age of tweleve that you probably won't live much longer. My will to fight, my will to live was slowly fading each day and I could barely find the strength to get out of bed in the morning, not that I ever let this be known to anyone.
Then later Mitzuki-sensei used me to steal the sacred scroll and I learned the multi-shadow clone jutsu. Then Iruka was there and I learned a secret.
A dark secret.
Finally after tweleve long, dark, fucking years I found out why exactly the entire damn village hated me. I found out that I really was a demon. Tweleve years ago the Fourth Hokage sealed the nine-tailed kitsune Kyuubi inside of me resulting in his death. Ever since then I have been an object of hate for the village. They take their hate for Kyuubi and their grief over the lose of their loved ones out on me.
Suddenly it all made sense. The cold glares, bitter glances, hate filled stares. Why I could understand the foxes from the forest and what the note had meant by my kind. Why sometimes when Iruka-sensei looked at me his eyes would darken with grief and he would quickly look away. The Kyuubi had taken his parents from him, left him alone, an orphan just like me. I deserved to die for that alone. The only person to ever care for me and I killed his parents.
But then when Mitzuki tried to kill me, Iruka saved me, and I was confused. Why would he save me, a monster, a MURDERER? Why save me when I took everything from him?
But my dreams
And then he told me that he saw himself in me and I was speechless. The man that I admired said that I reminded him of himself. I graduated that day too. I recieved the Leaf headband and Iruka took me out for noodles. I think that was one of the best days of my life in some ways. I finally had someone that cared for me and was there for me, even if deep down inside he hated me for what I had done.
Soon after though I realized that things had changed much more than even I had imagined. I began to hear a strange voice calling my name and suddenly things around me seemed sharper and clearer than ever before. It was not until about two weeks before genin training was to start that I answered back.
The voice was husky and seductive, making me want to listen and at the same time cover my ears. The voice spoke to me, telling me that his name was Kyuubi and that he was the youkai that resided inside of me. He told me that he did not hate me, that on the contrary he admired my strength and dedication and that he wished to help me achieve my goal. We talked far into the night he telling me some of his past and I listening and asking questions. Finally I asked one that had bothered me since he had revealed his identity.
"Kyuubi, why has it taken you this long to try and talk with me? Why have you not tried to speak with me before?"
"Kit, I will admit that I could have spoken with you earlier but I was afraid that you would not care to speak with me, that you would hate me. I have watched you from the inside Naruto, I have felt what you have felt, seen what you have seen, and experienced your life from my cage. I have brought you much sorrow and pain, and you would be justified in your hatred of me. Yet when I witnessed the scene with Iruka I was unable to bear the silence anymore. I wanted you to know that you always had me too."
I was speechless. Here was the so called heartless youkai Kyuubi telling me that he had been afraid that I, worthless Naruto Uzumaki would hate him. Then something he said struck me.
"Kit?" I questioned him.
"Yes. You remind me of a baby kitsune with your whisker marks and your sweet smile. If it bothers you I will refrain from calling you that."
"Bother me? Not in the least. I was simply stunned that you would choose to call me by such a loving name, as if I was family."
"To me Kit you are family."
They aren't as empty
After that my life was brightened considerably with the knowledge that there was someone that did not hate me in the slightest. Later though I was put on Team Seven with Sasuke and Sakura, who I had the biggest crush on since forever. Through the years we have had many conflicts, many problems, from Sakura and her unhealthy obsession with Sasuke, to Sasuke and his unhealthy obsession with his brother. And after a suprisingly short time, the crush I had on Sakura disappeared.
Before I had only admired the cherry blossom from afar, but close and prolonged contact with the girl had soon crushed the feelings. After the numerous attempts to win her affections or at least to become friends with her, and after numerous hits and cuts, multiple rebuffs and insults, I finally gave up. Not that I ever let anyone know that, it would ruin the carefully constructed image that I had crafted over the years. I had learned at a very early age to keep my true feelings bottled up inside where noone could see. I would wait until I reached the cold, lonely apartment that I called home before I cut out my pain, or I would venture into the woods and scream and howl it out with the other animals.
As my conscience seems to be
So I still called to her cheerfully every morning when team seven would meet up by the bridge. Only one thing in my life was comforting and constant, and that was ironically enough, was Kyuubi. Who would have ever guessed that the suppossed source of all my pain and heartache would be my only comfort. Over the years I had come to regard the constant voice in my head as the friend that I had never had. Kyuubi was my family. We would stay up late at night and talk until dawn, he trained me when I was bored and comforted me after a new beating or cutting episode. And through it all he called me Kit.
I have hours, only lonely
It was after one such beating that Kyuubi and I talked and forever changed things.
"Kyuubi I'm so tired. So tired of everything and everyone. They all hate me, even the ones who do not know what I am. I don't want to be alone anymore."
"Kit, I am so sorry. I can only promise you that I will never leave you, not even in death. I will stay by your side in this life and in the next, for as long as our souls exist."
"Do you promise?"
"Yes Naruto, I promise. Now sleep and regain your strength."
After that our relationship changed for the better and we were closer than ever, but things in the outside world did not change for the better. I was fifteen when the changes began. In the times of the full moon my lonelyness would reach an all time high and I would howl at the moon, craving something that I could not describe. Kyuubi told me that I was maturing enough to desire a mate, and during the full moon the cravings would become worse. I took to sleeping in the forset the nights before, during, and after the full moon when the cravings were the strongest.
My love is vengeance
Soon I became accustomed to the craving and I passed into my sixteenth year effortlessly. Other things had changed with me too. My strength had multiplied almost unimaginably and my senses had sharpened to a almost painful degree and yet noone seemed to notice. In the village I still took the beatings as a small way of to repent for my past sins, only fighting back enough to stay alive. Just because they had been unable to kill me in times past did not mean that I would take the chance and die by their hands. I would only die when we both chose to leave this world and that time had not yet come.
That's never free
Then things changed drastically, and all because of a single mission.
Team Seven had recieved a simple assignment for a assassination in Earth country and we set out with no worries. I was tired at the begining of the mission, due to the fact that we had recieved the mission in the middle of one of my private training sessions with Kyuubi in the forest. The animals had alerted me of Kakashi-sensei and his arrival in the forest before he got within even two hundred yards of my location. I had quickly assumed the pose of relaxation and lazyness that I was famous for as I listened to my team leader describe to me the details of our mission. I had a bad feeling about this mission but instead of saying anything, I had agreed to meet the team in an hour at our spot.
I had quickly returned home and gathered my supplies before heading out to the bridge. Once there I had took to the trees and masked my chakra, only offically arriving after everyone else and was even late enough for Sakura to smack me once again.
But my dreams
When we had left I had puposely hung behind the rest of them assuming the role of slowest while I constantly scanned for danger. Sasuke and Sakura would never realize just how loud they really were. They even breathed loudly for heavens sake. Hell even Kakashi made more noise than was necessary. I on the other hand, glided through the forest quiet enough for Sasuke and Sakura to take notice. Sakura had commented that since I practically acted like a animal it only made sense that I moved like one sometimes too, while Sasuke only scoffed and Kakashi remainded silent.
I could practically smell Sakura's fear, and I knew that I was creeping her out with the way I was silent in the forest, as if I were home. And in truth I was home. What the other three did not know was that I was stronger that I let them think I was. I had trained long hours, daily, for years with the kitsune inside of me. I had learned many many new jutsu and had even created some more of my own.
They aren't as empty
Oh yes I had them all fooled. I was strong, so much stronger than they were and yet they never even guessed. Hell all I really did was train myself. Kakashi-sensei spent most of his time training Uchiha and Sakura. The silver-haird shinobi did not believe that I was responsible enough or strong enough to handle his training. So in my free time I trained with Kyuubi, and I had a lot of free time.
The more we trained together the closer our bond grew and the more I changed in small ways. My strength, speed, stamina, and senses improved greatly. My sight, smell, hearing, nightvision, hell even my touch and taste capabilities shot up. I was suddenly Naruto on hyperdrive.
The mission itself was a routine assassination of a merchant in Earth country that was becoming a little too big for his pants. We disposed of him in less than four hours after we arrived in the town. We were on the return trip home from the mission that I had decided was too damn easy for my liking, when it happened.
I was bringing up the rear as always, out of sight out of mind right? We were at most two and a half to three hours outside of Konoha when we were ambushed from all sides. Sasuke, Sakura, and Hakashi-sensei were taken by suprise even though I had tried to warn them that there was someone following us some twenty minutes ago. Needless to say they did not believe me. After all I am Naruto, the weakest member of team seven, the class clown, dead-last, the king of all things dobe right?
As my conscience seems to be
For such high class shinobi damn those three are gulible. My sense of smell had picked out the odor of someone following us before they had got close enough for even Kakashi to sense their chakra. They came at us, at least more than twenty shinobi all dressed in black with no describable features, and all armed to the teeth. They attacked immediately and relentlessly, throwing kunai after kunai, shurikin after shurikin.
We were holding our own until Sakura slipped up. She was skillfully ducking just like she had been taught when suddenly one of the shinobi caught on to her and attacked head on. She panicked and tripped, falling hard enough to jar her hip leaving her stunned and open for attack. The first blow to her head knocked her out and the second attack would have been the kunai that killed her had I not jumped in front of it, blocking her with my own body. I didn't even flinch when it embeded itself in my shoulder. After all it was only another kunai to hang on the wall of hundreds that had tasted my flesh at some point in my life, only another scar to add to my collection to one day show my mate.
I have hours, only lonely
At that thought I really did flinch. A mate was such a wishfull thought that would never take root. There was noone who would even consider going out with me, not to mention spend the rest of eternity by my side. Hell there was noone who would even desire to see me without my shirt on to be able to even notice my scars, not to metion the ones that ran below the belt. I had long ago accepted the fact that there was noone that would be able to love a monster like me. If my own village could not love me then who could?
My love is vengeance
I kept going, weaving in and out of the crowd of shinobi, each powerful on their own right with the same level of chakra as Sasuke, it was not a easy fight. Still I never paused as more and more slashes and sacrs were added to my body as my shirt and pants were sliced through. My only goals were to aid my team, to protect my family of sorts and to kill the enemy. As if from a distance I saw Sasuke go down and I knew that if I did not do something soon I would loose my team.
I quickly scooped up Sakura and performed the transportation jutsu and covered the distance between us and Sasuke in the mere blink of a eye. Placing her down as gently as I could I quickly assumed the position of watchdog over both Sakura and Sasuke, who had been thrown into a tree knocking him out. I flittered around the area were my friends prone forms lay quickly fighting back any advancing ninja and trying to protect their bodies. Kakashi-sensei battled not far from me, facing his own fair share of shinobi.
That's never free
Sakura had managed to take down about two before she had been rendered useless while Sasuke had destroyed five, leaving about sixteen left for me and Kakashi-sensei to handle on our own. Now this would not have normally been a problem except that each of the ninja were jounin, on par with Kakashi himself. The team leader managed to take down six more shinobi before a kunai in the leg stopped him from going forward. I finished off the three that were trying to get at the bodies of my comrades before turning my attention to the seven that were slowly advancing on the form of my leader still wary of the kunai that he still clutched in his hand. Kakashi the Copy shinobi was very very well known for his ability to get out of even the most dangerous of situations, so the attackers were constantly on guard.
one bites back as hard
There were seven shinobi left in all and each were in much better condition than I was. Seeing that I would be sorely out numbered I quickly performed the seal for the multi-shadow clone jutsu and automatically there were five more Naruto's ready for battle. I had meant for there to be more of me but my energy was failing and there wasn't anything that I could do about it. Whistling I called out loudly in an attempt to direct their attention off of Kakashi and on to me. "Oi! Jackasses, why the hell would you wanna kill him for? Why not take on someone better than you? I would be more than happy to fuck up those already ugly faces for ya!"
Saying that the attackers were not a bunch of happy ninjas would be a gross understatement. They all came at me at once only to be intercepted by my five clones leaving two to get through to me. They came at me as one unit, attacking together and with all their might. They were rapid fire in their attacks but I was able to keep two steps ahead of them, meeting their blows and returning them with equal force. Distantly I heard the death cries of at least four of the five shinobi that faced my clones as I finished the two I faced with a quick slip of a kunai in the ribs for one and the swift snap of the neck for the other. Turning I watched as four of my five clones disappeared after their orders had been completed and the chakra I had supplied them with ran out. The fifth was having a hard time with his opponent, he was struggling to stay 'alive', a true testement to the weakening of my jutsu.
Then as if out of nowhere the fifth struck his blow, throwing the shinobi into a nearby tree with enough force to snap his entire rib cage and puncture both lungs. Naruto five disappeared, believing his job to be accomplished not knowing that while punctured lungs were deadly and the shinobi would die in less than a minute, that that minute was all a shinobi needed to complete a kill. Watching as if from a distance I saw the last shinobi pull a shurikin from the folds of his vest and with a quick flick of his wrist send it flying straight for Kakashi-sensei.
None of my pain an' woe
I reacted on pure instinct alone and quickly summoning my chakra, I forced over half of it into my legs in an instant. Quickly I threw myself across the clearing and landed right in front of Kakashi-sensei, just in time to intercept the shurikin that had been headed straight for his heart with my back. It happily made itself at home in the flesh of my back in the one place between my shoulder blades that I could not reach. I looked down at Kakashi-sensei and saw that he was looking up at me with a look of amazement on his face. Gently I looked down at him, a reasuring smile on my face. "Kakashi-sensei don't worry, I can already sense others coming from Konoha, they will be here any minute now, so you can relax. I think that not even I could mess this up." I collapsed onto my knees in front of him, breathing heavily. "I'll just sit here and wait for them to arrive. I'm sure they will be here soon."
Kakashi-sensei sighed in relief and closed his eyes. I could tell the exact moment when he lost his grip on reality and slipped into the darkness. The smile dropped off my face and my shoulders slumped even more. There was noone coming from Konoha, I had lied. We were still too far from the village for anyone to sense us, but I had needed to reasure my team leader so he could relax and let me do what I could. It hurt to know that Kakashi would not have relaxed so easily had he known that his life probably depended on me. Now don't get me wrong Kakashi-sensei is strong, one of the strongest that I have ever seen, but even jounin need time to heal. Before this mission Kakashi had been sent on a solo mission were he had sustained multiple injuries, none life threatening, but more than a little draining on his energy source.
Can show through
Looking around I saw that Sasuke and Sakura were indeed out and all three of my teammates were bleeding heavily. Their lives would end if their bleeding did not. Stripping off my shirt and flinching as it pulled on the kunai in my shoulder and the shurikin in my back, I ripped the shirt into shreds and procceded to bandage my teammates wounds. I did not stop and take the time to tend my own wounds, only pausing to rip the kunai from my back with the aid of a nearby tree limb, I would rely on Kyuubi and his healing abilities to do what they could. There was not much that I could do concerning the shurikin, it was embedded to deeply for my to pull out on my own. I was bleeding heavely and was weakening fast from all the strain. I had to do what I had to do, and I had to do it now. My time was running short.
Konoha was still to far away for me to go and get help, and if they were not taken to a medical-nin soon they would die. I was not even sure that I had enough energy to do what needed to be done, but I would find a way. Dimly I realized that I was still bleeding as I finished tying the bandages on my team mates wounds. This was unusual. Most of the time my wounds would have been atleast partially closed and yet I could feel the blood flow as if they had just been freshly made.
But my dreams
"Kyuubi, what is wrong? Why aren't we healing?"
"Kit, your chakra is at an all time low and there is not enough of it left to both heal you and continue to run your bodily functions. You will have to tap deeper into what is left of my reserves to gain the energy that you seek. I must tell you that my supply is running low and the healing will only be partially if at all effective. Just about all of our energy will have to be foucused on that one task to accomplish anything."
"That is not an option Kyuubi, I must get them to the village! I will need as much energy as possible to get all three of them there as soon as possible. Is there no other way?"
"Kit, I promised you long ago that I would stay with you always and I meant it. You do what you think is neccesary and I will be behind you. There is one way that we both know, but it is extremely dangerous. First you run at full speed and use what is left of our chakra and then you tap into it. Do you rememer what I speak of?"
"Yes, I remember and I understand."
"Then I will trust you Kit."
They aren't as empty
Kyuubi cut the contact with my mind and left me to my own choices. I did indeed know what he spoke of, and it was very dangerous. Once a shinobi exhausted all of their chakra they would more than likely be very close to death if not dead. Chakra helped to regulate everything about a shinobi and without it we are as helpless as a newborn kit. However there was an alterative. If a shinobi was skilled enough, after the depletion of their chakra they could tap into their Rei or spirit. Every person has a basic element tied to their body or their spirit, and each contained a strong but limited supply of energy. The base element of my Rei just happened to be earth like Gaara, the only diffrence between us was that his diverted onto sand, while mine was wrapped around the earth itself, meaning that I had a certain affinaty for plants.
Then suddenly I had an idea. Quickly I focused, trying to check the depths of my chakra reserves and tell how much I had left at my disposal. There was not a lot there. I would be unable to cast the Multi-Shadow Clone Jutsu again, not to mention the Transportation Jutsu, but I would have enough for a minor jutsu and enough to increase my speed and strength slightly. After one last deep, steadying breathe, I began to put my plan into action.
my conscience seems to be
I stooped and gathered my fallen team mates, being careful of their injuries. Sakura was draped piggy back style on my back while Sasuke and Kakashi-sensei were each over a shoulder. I quickly dropped into the leg-spread stance needed to preform this jutsu, and after calling up every last ounce of chakra I possessed I released it in three waves and then set about sending it in three directions. The first wave I pushed into my hands and out of my body as I made the appropriate hand signs for the Gum-Gum Jutsu, a handy little tool that I had invented in my mischief making days along with the Sexy Jutsu. This jutsu had the ability to make any object stick to the caster or any item of their choice, and only the caster could seperate the two objects.
The second wave I sent directly into my legs and feet to boost my speed, and to cut down the three hour trip to less than thirty minutes. Had I been at full strength it would have lasted only a hair over ten minutes. The third and final wave I focused onto my upper body and torso areas, making my body more than strong enought on take the wieght of three bodies and still travel quickly. And then suddenly with a blast of chakra I was off.
I have hours, only lonely
I could feel the blood of my teammates and the blood from my own wounds drip down my body as I ran. I had never imagined going this fast in ths condition. I was making good time and yet I knew that the tank was coming dangerously close to empty were my chakra reserves were concerned. Then it happened. Fifteen minutes into the run my chakra supply ran dry.
I could feel the jutsu lose its power and I came to a stop as quickly and as softly as I could. It was time. I had hoped that by some grace from Kami that I wouldn't need to use this technique and summon this energy. I didn't know how it would effect my personality or my actions, so I knew that I would have to be careful in my dealings with it.
I reached into myself, trying to find the strands of Rei that were intermixed with my soul. When I located them I quickly grabbed them and yanked, bringing them to the surface. I could feel them over-taking me as the surge of energy sprung forth. I felt my canines lengthen into fangs and the skin around my cheecks began to burn. I realized that my whisker marks were widening, and growing darker. I could only imagine how feral I probably looked at that moment. However there was no time to waste.
My love is vengeance
This energy supply, while strong, was small and would not last for more than ten minutes before it dissipated, it was going to take fifteen more to reach Konoha. I ran. I ran faster than I had ever run before in my life, desperation clinging to every move of my body. And I was desperate. If anything had tried to stop me at that moment, friend or foe, I would have killed them without any hesitation. That single thought made me worry. The Rei really did have an effect on my personality, mind you a small one, but an effect none the less.
Desperately I ran, never slowing, never stopping, not even as the Rei in my body began to wain. The trees and plants, the Earth itself, seemed to move with me, aiding me in any way possible. The trees moved their limbs from my path, the shrubs and bushes shrunk back from me, and the ground itself shifted to make my path as safe as possible. Then finally the little bit of Rei that I had left in my body was gone, but still I did not stop. The use of the all of my chakra and my Rei was enough to almost kill me, any other shinobi would have been dead by now. I, however, have never been an ordinary shinobi. I had one more option of power that noone knew of.
For years now I have wondered what there was that I had to give to the village that I had not already given them. After sometime thinking on the subject I finally realized that all I had left was my life. There resides in every being along with their Rei another force, an alternate source of power, even more elusive than Rei itself. When all else was exhausted and there were no other options, a person could tap the source and achieve things that they normally would never be able to do. It was the source of a mothers strength, that kept them going when they should be dead, and gave them the strength to save their child.
My life was my power source.
I could take and channel my life energy through my body in a similar way that I channeled my chakra. This was much more dangerous than channeling my Rei through my body. The prolonged use of my life energy would drain me far greater than the exhaustion of my chakra and Rei. After great use of my life energy there would be little left of me to be saved. Drawing on my life energy could bring out more of my more animalistic traits like my Rei did but I should retain control over myself.
No one knows what it's like
I have lived my life for the people of my village and I would gladly die for them or anything that would bring them happiness. If the return and survival of my teammates would bring my village happiness, even at the expence of my life I would gladly take that leap. My life meant nothing when it was weighed against the lives of my team. There was noone in Konoha that would truely mourn my passing, I knew this and I had learned to live with it long ago, early in my life.
Ever since the rest of the village had discovered the secret of the Kyuubi inside of me what little group of friends that I had believed I possessed had greatly withdrawn from me. They feared me now in a way that they had never feared anyone before. Not even after Sasuke deserted and I had to bring him back had they treated me any diffrent. I was still the outcast, the hated youkai child. Sasuke, a proven traitor, was treated with more respect and warmth by everyone than I had ever been.
To be mistreated
The only one who would mourn me in the slightest would probably be Iruka. Dear sweet Iruka-sensei. My teacher, my father, one of the only men I had ever respected. I would miss him dearly, and if I continued I would surely die, but if I stopped my teammates would instead. I did not falter as I tapped into my life energy.
To be defeated
"Kit! What are you doing?"
"I'm doing my duty to my village Kyuubi, I'm bringing their loved ones home."
"But Naruto, if you continue to use your life as an energy source you will die! This is exactly the reason why I never told you that you could access your life energy before. I knew that you would pull a stunt like this one day. Please Kit you must stop! I know that you love that village but you can not die today. Not now, not here, not like this, and not for them. You have so much more to offer them besides your death! Do not allow this to end now!"
"This is how it had to be."
"What of your dream Kit? What of becoming Hokage? What of teaching the village that blood does not make a person? That what you are, does not define who you are. That family and parentage does not determine the worthy from the unworthy. What about those dreams? Are they alone not reason enough to stay alive?"
"Kyuubi we both know that those are only dreams, that they would never allow us to become Hokage. We are lucky that they allowed us to become chuunin, although you see how they still keep us on Team Seven as an excuse to keep us monitored. We will never rise to any spot of high power as long as there are still those in the village that know of who you are, of what I am. This is no time for a childish fantasy. We have a choice to make, us or them, and we both know that we will not allow them to die so easily."
Behind blue eyes
"I know Kit, I know."
"Kyuubi there is one thing I would like to ask you."
"Anything Kit, ask me anything."
"Will you stay with me?"
"What do you mean?"
"Towards the end, will you stay with me? Not because you are sealed within me, but because you want to. Will you stay up towards the surface so that I can feel you there. My biggest fear has always been to die alone, weak I know for a shinobi, but I have never been a regular ninja."
"You are not weak now, nor have you ever been. You strength is unrivaled in any ningen or youkai that I have ever seen. Always be proud of who you are, there is no other like you in this world or the next. And as for staying with you I will consider it if you answer my question truthfully."
"Ask me anything Kyuubi, I very rarely lie."
"Then tell me why. Tell me why you would so willingly die for them when all they have ever done is treat you cruelly?"
"My teams life--"
"Give me the real truth Naruto."
no one knows how to say
"Fine. I have always hoped that one day when the children of Konoha looked back in history and read about the youkai Kyuubi and how he was sealed, and that they would read of me also. I have always hoped that when they read about us they would not feel the hate of their ancestors and instead would remember us fondly as the two who saved the village or performed some great act of kindness. I do not think that I can handle the thought of being hated by a whole new generation. I know that it is selfish of me Kyuubi, but if I must die I wish for it to be in a way that will help others, and not at the hands of my own villagers."
"It is not selfish Kit, it is simply a dream, an honorable dream. I understand your wish and I respect it. I will do everything in my power to help you accomplish your goal. I once promised you that I would stay with you always, that I would follow you even into death and I meant it. I will stay with you for as long as the fates will allow. I would have never left you in the first place. I should have died a long time ago, and I would have, had I not been sealed inside of you. Ironically I could probably say that you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You taught me of the strength and importance of the emotions that I had always shunned. I have learned in my time with you that emotions give you strength of the greatest measure. So yes Naruto I will stay with you, close to the surface where you can feel me. I will share your death, as you have shared your life with me. We were meant to be together you and I, and I have never been one to go against fate. Do what you must, and know that I will never leave you."
"Thank you Kyuubi."
"You are welcome Kit."
"Alrighty then enough with the mushy stuff. Let's show Konoha what we are made of."
"Yes Kit, let them know the name of Naruto Uzumaki, the greatest shinobi to ever live."
I was secure in the knowledge that when I died, my death would have accomplished something. I would die for the village that had shunned me my entire life. With my death I would prove to them that I really was human after all, that I had feelings and dreams, morals and ethics that I abided to even if they could not understand them. With my death, I would prove to them that I was and always had been human, no matter what it was that lived inside of me. With my death, I would prove to them that I had lived.
That they're sorry
Distantly I could feel as I continued to run, old wounds begining to reopen as the very life was sucked from my body. With the consumption of my chakra, Rei, and life energy, my healing capabilities were begining to regress themselves and undue the progress that they had accomplished before. It was strange really, it was like feeling myself dieing from an outside party. I was under no illusions, I knew that I was dieing. I think that on some level I had known that I would not make it out of this mission alive before I had even started. I remember thinking that I had a bad feeling about this when Kakashi-sensei had first briefed me about the situation. It seemed that my insticts were right once again. Sometime I really hated the damn things, even if they had saved my life on numerous occassions.
My blood was soaking the ground that I touched as I ran, and it dripped on the grass that I sailed over. I was alive now only because of my will to get my team home. I was suprised that I wasn't being chased by wolves or other wild animals hungry for an easy kill. Then finally after what seemed to be an eternity I could see the gates of Konoha and feel the chakra of the many shinobi that lived in the village. Many were assembled just in front of the gate, no doubt alert and wary due to the feel of my and Kyuubi's chakra.
'Just a moment more you three, we're almost home. Just hang on a moment longer and we will have you to the hospital in no time.' I could not help but whisper in my mind to my team that I carried on my back, even though I knew that they could not hear me.
An' don't worry
I reached the gates mere moments after that. Standing there panting I tried to call out to them, to tell them that my team needed help, that we were ambushed and I had done what I could. My voice did not come out the same. Instead of the slightly husky tember that it had grown to over the years, a keening growl was heard. It was the panic call used by all kitsune when the ones that they cared for where in danger and they were calling for the aid of the pack. As deeply emersed as I was at that moment in my more basic insticts, it was a sound that came automatically. I was pleading with them, begging them to help me save the only pack I had. To the villagers it was a nightmare come true.
They could not see the human crying out for help, they only saw the youkai, covered in blood with three of their most beloved shinobi slung across its back and shoulders. They could not look beyond the supposed monster before them and see the boy that they had known for almost seventeen years. Desperate, I called out to them again, trying to make them understand me. I tried to find my humanity again, just enought to speak, to tell them that my pack was dieing, that they needed help.
I managed only two words in a broken inhuman tone, "Helllppp...theeemm."
At my words there was a flurry of motion, and everything seemed to happen at once. The shinobi rushed forward and suddenly the wieght of my team was off my body. I caught the gleam of steel from the corner of my eye right before a burning pain laced through my ribs. I stumbled backwards on shaky leggs, slipping in my blood as the kunai was pulled from my side. I clutched at the new wound as more blood poured forth. I was dumbstruck. Why would someone attack me? What had I done this time?
With the appearance of my new wound I could feel my energy slip almost completely away, and my more basic animal qualities retreat. My fangs withdrew and my mind cleared to its normal human state. My eyesight bluring I looked up at the face of my attacker, and suddenly felt the need to cry.
"Hinata...why? What...have I done...this time?" My voice sounded so weak to even my ears and it was further broken by the blood that I was coughing up.
Her voice came to me, for once not stuttering as she spoke, "Because you attacked your own teammates and then tried to bring them back here like you had done nothing wrong. The villagers were right about you. You really are nothing but a monster, a filthy youkai."
It was with those softly spoken words that I finally cracked. My eyes slid closed in despair. They thought that I had done this? They believed that I was so much the monster that I would attack and almost kill the only sort of family that I had ever had? It wasn't true. I would never do anything like that. Where was Iruka? He would tell them. He knew me better than anyone.
I'm not telling lies
I opened my eyes and scanned the gathering of shinobi that were closest to me, to my horror I saw everyone that I had ever cared for standing there looking at me like I was the most disgusting thing on earth. The rest of the rookie nine were there and none of them made a move to help me. There was a scream to my right that drew my attention, so I turned my head slowly in that direction to see what all the fuss was about.
I saw it then, something that almost made me smile. Konohamaru. He was standing there struggling against the other shinobi of the village to get to me. They were holding him back, not wanting him to get near the monster that was me.
"Let me go you assholes, let me go now. The Boss needs me. Can't you idiots see that he's hurt? Why won't you help him?"
"Honorable Grandson, we will not let you near that monster, he might attack you like he did his team."
"You dumb fucks, Naruto would never attack me or his team. Even if he did why would he bring them back here instead of leaving them in the forest to die?"
"Who really knows the way the mind of a youkai works Honorable Grandson? That monster cannot be trusted."
"Iruka where are you? You know Naruto better than anyone else, tell them that he wouldn't do this. Tell them Iruka, tell them now or he is going to die."
I had been wondering when Iruka-sensei would say something, I knew that he would believe me and would tell the villagers that I could never do anything like that. I turned my head to him as he stepped forward.
"Hurry up now we must get these three to the hospital as soon as possible. There is no time to waste."
I was confused. These three? Why only three? Had one of them died? Had I not made it in time? It was then that I noticed the body in Iruka-sensei's arms. Kakashi. He was cradling Kakashi-sensei in his arms as I lay here bleeding to death. He was alive. As I looked around I saw that Kiba had Sasuke in his arms and Rock Lee was carring Sakura. They were all alive. It hit me then, why Iruka said three and not four. I would be getting no medical attention in Konoha. They were going to let me die. They were not going to work with the slim possibility that I had to survive and try to keep me alive.
They aren't as empty
My hand clutching at my wound I hit my knees in the growing puddle of my blood, staring blankly at the man I had once called father, if only to myself. I felt nothing as I heard the others knock Konohamaru out and drag him away. I was numb like I had never been before. I stared into Iruka's eyes for the longest time it seemed, just staring, trying to tell him that I loved him and needed him. I begged him with my eyes not to leave me here, to die alone. I could barely fell Kyuubi as I was fading to fast. I wanted to spend the last moments of my life with my father but it seemed as if I did not have one anymore.
my conscience seems to be
He stared back at me, regret in his eyes but no real remorse. I watched as he glanced down at Kakashi's bleeding form and I saw the love in his eyes for the jounin. I understood then. Iruka loved Kakashi, and his life came before my own. It was okay then, I understood. Maybe now with me gone Iruka could be happy. Without the taint of me in his life, maybe he could be with the person he loved. I looked at him again and nodded my head saying without words that I understood. I motioned him forward, I had one last thing that I wanted to say to him.
I have hours, only lonely
"Iruka-sensei...do me...a favor...please."
"Sure Naruto, anything."
"Take care...of Konoha for me. Be happy with Kakashi...please. Tell Konoha...maru...that I want him...to be Hokage for both of us. And spread my ashes in the forest when you have the chance. Now hurry...Kakashi...needs help."
"I will Naruto, I will do everything that you asked. I am so so sorry."
"I don't like being..lied to...sensei..you know that. Your not sorry..and that's okay, I understand and I'm not mad. You should go now, I'm just going to rest here for a while...maybe I'll see you later ne?"
"Ne, Naruto later."
My love is vengeance
With that he was gone and I was alone again, the others having left while we talked. I collapsed forward catching myself with my hand and rolling onto my back roughly. I arched in pain as the shurikin that was still in my body was dug in farther by my sudden impact with the ground. Blankly I stared up at the sky, noticing for the first time the thunderclouds that had gathered in the night, strange thoughts running through my brain. 'I wanted to see the stars again before I died, but I guess that it wasn't meant to be. It's going to ran soon, that will be good for the crops.'
That's never free
Then my thoughts from years ago came back to me,
'It's ironic really to realze at the age of tweleve that you probably won't live much longer. My will to fight, my will to live was slowly fading each day and I could barely find the strength to get out of bed in the morning, not that I ever let this be known to anyone.' Yes it was ironic then, just as it was ironic now. I realized that I would not live much longer now that I was almost seventeen. In reality I had been dieing since before I was tweleve and it would finally end tonight. A small humorless chuckle escaped me. Yes it was all going to end tonight and for some strange reason I couldn't find it in me to really be sad about it. All it meant for me was a possible chance for peace, maybe even a small dose of happiness.
No one knows what it's like
As if somewhere, somehow, someone had heard me, the sky opened up and it poured down rain like Konoha had not seen in years. Soon I was coughing again as the downpouring water rushed down my nose. I thought of turning my head so that I would not drown in the rain, but what would be the point? For all intents and purposes I was already dead. I was dead or pretty damn close to it and I had made my peace with that. My whole life had been borrowed time and I guess that I finally ran out. A person who should have never been born can't really complain when their life ends now can they? Besides I had always liked the rain, though it would be nice to feel the sunlight one more time.
To be the bad man
And to talk with Iruka again, even though he had just left me I still loved him. Dear sweet Iruka. I really couldn't blame him, after all he loved Kakashi and I only held him back. I wonder what it felt like to be loved like that. It would be nice to be held just once by someone who loved me. Hum. Stupid thoughts I know. Slowly I raised my eyes to look at the sky again and watch the rain drops fall.
I uttered my final words, "It sure would be nice to be loved..."
There on the now muddy streets of Konoha, I, Naruto Uzumaki, at just twenty days shy of my seventeenth birthday died alone.
To be the sad man
And the sky mourned.
But they always say that death is just the begining.
Behind blue eyes
AN: So what do you guys think? Don't worry it won't end here. Feedback it definatly desired, as a matter of fact it is required. REVIEW if you want the next chappy. : ).