Chapter 10: (Unlikely Allies)

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of the other anime or games I'm takin this shit from.

Review answers:

K starting with Mute Thunder: Naruto is currently 13 years old. The same age as the assassination of the Sandaime and the fight with Sasuke in the Valley of End.

DarkSyde14: thankyou for the compliment, yeah I'm goin for a bit more mechanical fighting element here than the simple he knocked him 3 miles across the ocean before smashing into a volcano type style. This story will be focused more around using the environment and the opponents' weaknesses against them in how they fight.

GLH: My math is not off. Tobi is not a part of the Akatsuki, nor is Orochimaru, nor is Naruto. Orochimaru is a deserter; Naruto and Tobi are merely subordinates training to one day become members. As for the leaf not knowing about the Sound. Yep yall caught me I screwed up. But guess what? I don't care hehe.. Aaaand… guess what else? I'm not goin back to re write it to fix it. Call it a inconsistency and move on. Though thanks for pointing it out I do appreciate that.

Konradamkool: Hmm, well y'know I've liked the idea of this paring for quite awhile. But I've seen some really bad attempts at it. And I have to say this story is teetering on the edge of jumping into the super speed category. So I'm backing up a bit. At the moment Kyuubi is Naruto's friend. Romantic relationships are… Ehh well there's still time to steer my story away from I'm a evil demon fox but after seeing you go through some shit I'm gonna turn into Naruto-kun this poor baby that.

Kyuubi's flirting is not taken seriously on the premise that although they did spend the majority of 2 years getting to develop a friendship she's still a super demon queen and he's a 14 year old kid. There's really no reason that she'd fall for him, so she flirts with him to try to corrupt him and to amuse herself. She enjoys seeing him flustered because it gives her a sense of power. Also her kindness is limited mainly to Naruto she's very untrusting of everyone and she really doesn't care about other human life in general.

Honebar: I am aware of who Minato Namikaze and Uzumaki Kushina are. The Yondaime Hokage was named Kayaku. That's not going to change. As for Kushina and Even Pein I may be able to work something in there.

Thanks to all reviewers I will continue to slowly chug along till it's done.

And now on with the story..

A dim light cast from a few scattered candles provided the only visible proof that the two figures were indeed in the room. The small flames, set atop the melting wax cast a gentle glow on the tight and strained features of the pale faced man. "Curse that infernal old man! How dare he steal my jutsu, Once I regain my arms I will take pleasure in grinding his precious village to dust!"

His silver haired companion scribbled through his latest failed ingredient list for a remedy. "It's truly perplexing Orochimaru-sama, I can't isolate the problem.. It's as if your arms simply aren't there. There's no blood flow, no chakra signal of any kind, it's mind boggling. I'm not trying to doubt the medical expertise of the person we're looking for but I have to wonder if there's really anything that can be done medically to restore them.."

Orochimaru let his lips curve into a cold smirk. "I'm certain, in all the world there is no one with the skill or knowledge to rival that person. Even restoring the very life to my arms is but a simple operation to someone of their caliber."

Kabuto smiled and adjusted his glasses. "I must admit as a fellow medical ninja I can't help but be excited to meet the one hailed as the best, or to see them in action."

Their musings were cut short as a sound Jounin came running up to the room and bowed low. Kabuto glanced over and released a latch allowing them to enter the room.

The Jounin knelt down to whisper in Kabuto's ear and the silver haired man rose bowing to Orochimaru following the Sound ninja out the door. A few minutes later Kabuto walked in and looked at Oorchimaru with a smirk.

"We've found her."

000000000000000000000000000000000000

Naruto yawned loudly for the 5th time that morning. Kyuubi paid the small blonde no mind as she aimlessly walked through the beautiful garden

He was wearing goggles, an orange jacket, a black t shirt, black ninja pants, sandals, and a red backpack. His tall red headed companion wore a short elegant reddish pink kimono with elaborate flower patterns decorating it, cut off a bit higher than the middle of her hips. On her right calf she wore 2 oversized golden rings seemingly held in place by magic. She walked barefoot making nearly no sound as she moved across the wooden bridge listening to the rushing water passing underneath them.

The blonde haired boy lazily turned his head moving his bright blue eyes across the scenery. He snorted. "Meh, what a waste of cash this place is way too expensive.. You know how much ramen you could buy with all the cash the dude musta spent on this place…"

Kyuubi rolled her eyes. "Well I think it's beautiful. Mortals have a strange way of expressing their love but it's certainly a romantic gesture.. none of the other Youkai would have thought of a gift like this for their mate."

Naruto chuckled. "I guess so.. Still it seems kinda big to me if it's made for just one person." He scratched the back of his head and looked at a line of people moving into a stone doorway. "Hey look they're moving on ahead of us."

Kyuuubi waved her hand dismissively "I don't care. Let them go it's not like we'll actually be lost anyway, I like it here I wanna look around some more. she sniffed the air.

Naruto yawned again and hopped up on the rail tucking his legs under the support board. she turned and looked at him out of the corner of her eye with a mischievous glint. Naruto's hand materialized in front of his chest gently gripping the kitsune's hand stopping her from pushing him over into the water. He smirked and yanked her into him bringing his other arm around her in a bear hug.

Kyuubi pouted her lips before smiling and leaning forward pursing her lips. Naruto leaned back to avoid the sudden kiss and he over extended letting her go and flailing his arms to no avail before falling onto the water. He quickly brought his chakra together to prevent from falling under the surface. He rose to his feet but before he could blink Kyuubi stood behind him resting her chin on his shoulder.

A soft music began emanating from the inner castle, most likely a part of the tour meant to enhance the experience. As the melodious tune reached the ears of the fox lady she closed her eyes and began humming and swaying back and forth with the tempo. Her head still rested on Naruto's left shoulder leaving her swaying face in very near proximity to his face and every time she moved to the right a stray strand of crimson red hair lightly smacked against his cheek.

Naruto's face turned red as a tomato. He looked at her from the corner of his eyes before she spontaneously opened her eyes and pulled her head up gripping him by the shoulder and spinning him around. Like everything else she did, this was a single graceful movement leaving him slightly disorientated and wobbling. She rested her soft hands against the back of his neck and let the other rest on his wrist. This sent an electric jolt through Naruto's spine nearly causing him to nose bleed and drop unconscious. He shook his head trying to clear it and looked into Kyuubi's ruby red eyes. She tilted her head as she resumed swaying her hips dragging him along for the ride. "I wanna dance, come on." Naruto shook his head. "Uh I don't know how.." Kyuubi interrupted him and pulled him to the side as she bounced up and down switching her movement to the more upbeat tempo of the new song. "Just follow me. " Naruto nodded and did his best to keep up with the bouncing and swerving Kitsune.

She led them in little mini circles all across the lake as they effortlessly stood atop the water. Kyuubi then decided to get fancy and grabbing his wrist she leaned out using his static body to pull herself back in and leaned back for him to catch her and hold her to look up at him.

Naruto didn't know he was supposed to catch her, however, and so when she leaned back she dropped right through his hands and plopped into the water.

Naruto's eyes widened and he instantly began sorting through complex jutsu and escape plans that might prolong his existence for a few more seconds. He never got a chance to execute any of them when a slight bubbling of the water in front of him slowly gave way to a rising head of red hair stopping when a set of glowing red eyes became visible. The head traveled the short distance over to him and Naruto was paralyzed from the sheer killing intent coming from the slow moving head. The water began to boil from the heat it emitted and turned it into a hot spring releasing gaseous bubbles from the sides as Naruto attempted to take a step back.

The head finally came to a stop directly in front of him and rose up a bit more revealing a mouth. "Naruto-kun..." Kyuubi cooed sweetly. A fist exploded out of the water connecting with his crotch and his eyes bugged out of his sockets before he dropped like a stone into the boiling water. Kyuubi exploded out of the water with red chakra swirling around her acting as a self dryer. She looked at the quivering boy under the water and formed a tail of red chakra from her lower back reaching it in and wrapping it around Naruto's ankle.

The boy was hoisted high above so his upside down head was eye level with Kyuubi's. She wore an unamused frown as she poked him in the fore head directly under his quickly fogging goggles. "You need to learn how to dance."

The blonde haired boy, finally regaining control of his body feebly lifted his right arm and gave a weak thumbs up while still dangling upside down. "I'll look into getting some lesson's Kyu-chan." Kyuubi broke into a grin and summoned 7 other tails of red chakra out of her lower back to join the first and she lifted them up to tickle her captive prisoner. "Good container."

Naruto began to laugh uncontrollably but unable to escape the woman's grasp he was powerless to stop her. Kyuubi slowly lowered her tails until the only one remaining was the one holding his ankle. "Hmm good container indeed,, Here.. I'll give you a treat."

She lowered him a bit lower so his head was just above her chest. As Naruto focused his eyes he noticed he had a direct view of Kyuubi's impressive cleavage. He closed his eyes and shook his head as blood trickled out of hhis nose.

Kyuubi laughed evilly. "Ne, Naruto-kun.. what's wrong.. after all we did spend all night in that hotel bed on our date didn't we?"

Naruto continued shaking his head. "Yeah, playing board game's all night, which might I add.. I won the majority of."

Kyuubi closed her eyes and grinned ferallly. " Well that's true hehe G-6 Mmm, you sunk my battleship."

Naruto stopped struggling and he looked to the side with a annoyed look on his face. "You are the only one who could turn that into a sexual innuendo." He muttered.

Kyuubi just grinned showing a fang hanging from her upper lip.

Naruto closed his eyes and shook his upside down head. "Hentai Kitsune."

000000000000000000000000000000000000

Kabuto ducked under a branch as he followed Orochimaru bouncing through the trees. "I also know a little about Tsunade-sama..

I was part of the medical squad after all.. I know that she was the first one that came up with the proposal to have medical specialists in a 4 man squad. That was a landmark in history. What would happen to a combat squad if there was no one to administer emergency treatment on the battlefield?"

He smirked. "The result is quite obvious."

Orochimaru nodded solemnly. "Hmm the many countless wars.. brought about many advances, that were made possible by many sacrifices. When a person loses something he is able to realize its importance. And what created one of the legendary Sannin who has been praised as a medical specialist, were the sacrifices."

Oorchimaru laughed maniacally as he shot through the trees picking up speed. He was beginning to grow excited. "Soon, I will have my power back kukuku."

000000000000000000000000000000000000

"Tsunade-sama please wait." Shizune pleaded running up behind her. "What happened? It's like a miracle for you to win this much but you look so gloomy."

Tsunade looked around uneasily. "This city.. I have a bad feeling about this place. We're going to leave."

"What? But this place is a tourist resort." Shizune protested. She looked thoughtful. "I know, let's go and look at the castles and enjoy the place."

Tsunade started to walk off and rolled her eyes. "Then go take a look so we can leave quickly." Shizune hurried after her mentor calling for her to wait up.

000000000000000000000000000000000

Orochimaru collapsed against a pillar. Instantly, Kabuto was at his side. "Orochimaru-sama?!" the pale faced man growled. "Let's finish this business quickly... Even if we have to get a little rough."

0000000000000000000000000000000000

Naruto Twisted his wrists in a wringing motion for the twentieth time and watched as a bit of water dripped from the taught orange jacket. He frowned. "Really Kyuubi-chan did ya have to knock me into the water to prove your point." Luckily the said fox was not here to hear the blonde's complaining. She had chosen to find a drink bar to get some wine while he set up their food sack like a picnic. He chuckled lightly at the thought of that; the great 9 tailed demon fox and a human boy were having a picnic together.

He slapped it out and tied the sleeves around his waist deciding to let it air dry as a belt. Naruto found a secluded spot under a large tree. Behind them was the stone castle wall providing a suitable resting space for their backs. Naruto lightly tossed the sack down against the wall. He then turned around and took a good look at Tanzaku castle. It was a decent view but if he was at the top of the tree he knew he'd see a much better portion. Using his chakra to stick to the surface he jogged up the tall tree and hopped to the top.

He focused in and got a breathtaking view of the massive feudal castle. Seconds later the middle exploded outwards. And the surrounding structures crumbled as well. A giant worm shot up out of the dust and moved over to the wall. Naruto was completely caught by surprise and didn't react immediately. He just stood there staring at where Tanzaku Castle used to be as the giant worm slithered past him and then poofed out of existence.

After a full minute Naruto shook himself out of his stupor and turned a round. From his vantage point he could see quite far and he used this to his advantage to try and locate Kyuubi. She was suppressing her chakra so as not to draw attention to themselves so he couldn't sense her by signature.

Suddenly he senses kicked in and he leapt from the tree just as the wall next to his foodsack blew inward before crashing down onto the small bag and bashing into the tree.

Naruto landed on the balls of his feet crouching and turning into a roll. He rose up and looked at the debris all around their foodsack and narrowed his eyes. Some had robbed him of lunch.

His eyes flashed a cool blue glow. Someone was going to pay.

000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Shizune gazed up at the massive structure. "Wow, Tanzaku castle is impressive! I can see why it was classified as a cultural landmark."

"Don't be so carefree we're leaving the city." Tsunade admonished walking away. Shizune once again hurried to catch up and whined. "Aww Tsunade-sama can't you take a closer look? I mean it's free to look at after all.."

Suddenly Tsunade stopped. "What's this chill I feel?" she murmured softly. She turned to look at the castle.

Suddenly the structure exploded outwards as smoke billowed out in massive clouds.

Tsunade and Shizune widened their eyes in surprise.

As the smoke faded a hissing sound emanated from the bottom of the structure and a giant head of a snake rose up revealing two figures standing on it's head.

Shizune narrowed her eyes. "That's.."

"Orochimaru." Tsunade finished.

Said man chuckled before mockingly calling out. "I found you."

The two of them jumped off the snake and it poofed into smoke as they landed in front of Tsunade and her disciple. The blonde woman spoke first. "It's been a very long time, Orochimaru." She made mental note of his condition. "What do you want with me?" Kabuto closed his eyes. "You should have already guessed it by now Tsunade-sama."

The blonde woman shook he head. "Forget it, ask someone else, I quit medicine a long time ago." Kabuto shook his head slightly. "The legendary kunoichi who won her fame as the medical specialist, Tsunade-hime.. only you can cure this."

Tsunade narrowed her eyes. "The wound affecting your arms isn't an ordinary one is it? What did you do?"

Orochimaru chuckled. "Nothing much, I just got wounded killing the third, that's all."

Tsunade and Shizune took a step back feeling the stone wall behind them. Tsunade closed her mouth and lowered her head slightly. "You... did you really?"

Orochimaru shrugged. "You don't need to look so scary. All things with form eventually perish, that goes for people too. You should know what I'm talking about.. since you let two of your loved ones die."

Tsunade's eyes began to twitch as they boldly displayed her fury.

Orochimaru, however, paid it no mind. "Oh yes, ku ku, thier deaths were gruesome." he smiled.

Shizune shot forward with a snarl screaming "You scum!" She landed in front of Tsunade and launched a barrage of poison darts from a launcher on her wrist. Kabuto immediately intercepted them.

Shizune shot at him and dashed from side to side.

She's fast.. Kabuto thought.

Shizune reached for a needle inside her robe and screamed "Get out of the way!"

Kabuto drew his own weapon and refused saying "I won't let you!" Shizune's assault was halted when Tsunade commanded her to calm down.

She hopped back keeping her guard up and taking her place at Tsunade's side.

Tsunade smiled sweetly. "Orochimaru. You've been like that since the old days, she closed her eyes and widened her smile playfully. You know what my personality is like right? Stop joking around."

Tsunade slowly brought her eyebrows down and opened her eyes to mere slits permeating rage and slammed her fist backwards into the stone wall behind her. Cracks spread out from the contact before the entire wall crumbled to pieces.

Kabuto blinked in surprise. She's strong... the debris crashed to the ground all around them raining small fragments of stone. And scary... I bet she's single..

Kabuto shook his head and held his arms out in surrender. "We didn't come to fight.. we came to negotiate."

Tsunade cocked her head to the side. "Negotiate?"

Suddenly a voice came from behind her as the dust finally started to settle. "I'd like to negotiate. Negotiate where the hell you're planning on takin me for lunch since you just smashed my entire food sack!"

A young boy with spiky blonde hair, goggles keeping it in place, and a black t shirt, black ninja pants with an orange jacket tied around his waist and cerulean blue eyes walked out of the fading smoke. He folded his arms and glared at the group of people in front of him. Orochimaru glanced to Kabuto. The silver haired man took the hint. He stepped forward and bowed politely. "My apologies, young man.. However we're discussing grown up things at the moment I will compensate you for your losses once we're done."

Naruto laughed boisterously. "Che, like I'm supposed to buy that, no I aint movin till you pay up now Dattebayo!"

Kabuto narrowed his eyes, his false disguise of friendliness vanishing. "Now listen her you brat, This is the grown ups table, either scram or you'll lose more than a day of lunch."

Naruto unfolded his arms and brought a weak fist into his other cupped hand cracking his knuckles. He grinned ferally. "So you geezer's wanna play huh. Fine by me"

Tsunade flicked a small pebble at the top of the blonde's head skimming it through his spiked hair looking like a mini meteor blasting through a golden field of wheat. "Oi gaki, these guys are way out of your league, go home already."

Naruto moved his head to dodge the projectile but was surprised by the sped which it had been launched. His head had been skimmed. That was a feat. He turned to look at the blonde woman who's been able to land a hit on him by flicking a rock. Examining her he didn't find anything particularly threatening or dangerous.

But he could see the underneath that pretty exterior lay a much more formidable foe. He had been underestimating them. If they were at this level he might have to actually put a little effort into this. Kabuto growled. "Enough, Orochimaru-sama I will remove this pest please don' let this minor nuisance obstruct your negotiations any further."

Naruto's eyes widened and his head snapped around to view the pale faced man. "Orochimaru.." he echoed.

Kabuto shook his head. "That a simple boy like you would hear of Orochimaru-sama's legend is quite surprising, however you needn't worry yourself with him."

Kabuto twirled his curved hawkbill knife. "You see… you have to deal with me now."

Naruto glanced at Kabuto and a smirk traveled across his face. "I thought you looked familiar." He muttered. Kabuto didn't hear what he said but then again he hadn't really tried.

Kabuto flicked the handle of his knife up, caught it in his teeth, and began forming seals for a jutsu.

Naruto snickered. "Oh you wanna make hand signs huh, well I got a hand sign for ya. He held up his right had and then made some random elaborate motions around it with his left before dropping all the fingers but his middle and proudly flicking Kabuto off. The silver haired man gritted his teeth and vanished in a poof leaving a small hole of upturned ground.

Beside Naruto's foot a hand shot up and wrapped around his ankle in a vicegrip. The body of Naruto suddenly poofed into smoke revealing Kabuto to be gripping a log. Wrapped around the log was a burning piece of paper. The rest of Kabuto's body emerged from underground and ran face first into a nearly burned out tag.

By the time his brain told his arm to throw it, it was already glowing white. The explosion blew back the upturned earth and caused Tsunade and Shizune to hop to the side to avoid some debris.

Orochimaru widened his eyes and blinked in surprise as his hair was blown bnack around his face. Now he was interested in this little brat.

Out of the smoke the curved hawkbill knife shot out and flew right at Naruto's form. Tsunade tilted her head to the side. She had seen something when he'd made a substitution but just barely. She'd been able to follow him and new his current position but the fluidity he'd executed that jutsu had been Jounin level.

Naruto's left hand flickered in front of his face and revealed a kunai. He deflected the knife and sent it flying to the side Naruto was already kicking and the knife handle connected sending it flying to the side. Kabuto's body blurred into view as he twisted his body around the deflected knife and lost momentum skidding to a stop. Naruto's kunai twirled around slicing through the invisible stitching thread that had been about to wrap around him and severed it from the handle of the discarded knife.

Kabuto narrowed his eyes. "Impressive brat, tell me how did you see through my attack and know that I attached invisible thread to the knife?"

Naruto shrugged never lowering his kunai from defense. "Well it's obvious that you wouldn't just send a straightforward attack like that so I looked for a hidden attack inside of it."

Kabuto chuckled. "I see, well then I suppose I'll take you a bit more seriously then. It seems you have a little skill after all." Kabuto flashed through a few more seals and Tsunade's eyes widened as she recognized the technique. Orochimaru had become interested in the battle and had put his request of Tsunade on hold for the moment.

Kabuto's hands lit up with a glowing blue chakra aura. He smirked. "Now, let's see what I should hit first." He charged forward and lashed out in a arcing chop. Naruto leaned back avoiding the invisible blade and threw his left hand still gripping his kunai down while his right slid into a pouch on the back of his pants.

Kabuto had his right hand extended from the first failed attack but he still had his left available and he thrust forward. Naruto shifted to the side off balance and his hand hit the ground on the tips of his fingers pushing in before flattening his palm and flipping backwards catching Kabuto's counter slash in a scissor hold with his legs. Still on his right arm he twisted his torso sending the surprised Kabuto twisting off his feet and onto his back.

During the flip Kabuto's right arm dangled behind him and upon impact it slapped against his left shoulder before flopping off and coming to a rest on the ground. Kabuto quickly rose to his feet ignoring the wind getting knocked out of him and pushed off his knee to stand fully erect again. As Kabuto looked up he was surprised to find that Naruto had vanished. He looked around and noticed that Orochimaru was still interested in the fight but was looking at the space where Naruto had just been standing.

But Naruto was no longer there..

Suddenly he felt a pair of hands grab his calves and yank him down sinking into the earth. His acute senses noted that even though he was being drug underground the earth wasn't breaking apart like it should. Suddenly his brain clicked.

'Genjutsu!'

He brought his hands together in the release seal and screamed "KAIII!!!!!"

The illusion was dispelled and Kabuto dropped his hands to his sides as his vision revealed Naruto standing 4 feet away from him with a cocky smirk. Kabuto moved to attack him but suddenly he felt his knee give out. His left arm went completely dead and his hands lost their blue glow hanging limply. Even when his brain sent signals to his body the limbs wouldn't respond.

His eyes widened in realization why the boy was just standing there. "W-what the hell have you done to me!"

Naruto chuckled. "Well I didn't really do much of anything.. Heh for being such a hotshot medic ninja you sure are pretty stupid. It's not exactly a bright idea to make handseals when you've got chakra scalpels activated, even if it's for releasing a genjutsu.

Kabuto's eyes widened.

Naruto continued "But you forget that when I knocked you over you were still trying to take a shot at me so you didn't have to time to deactivate'em when you flopped your hands around or got to your feet either.. so you pretty much carved your arm and knee up too, good job."

Kabuto narrowed his eyes in fury. He dragged his one good leg forward and in that instant Naruto looked like he remembered something and snapped his fingers.. "Oh yeah since your in the spot I'll mention one other thing I set up."

He smirked ferally.

"Art is… a bang."

The explosive clay he'd inserted into the ground exploded underneath Kabuto sending him blasting backwards and rolling his body along the ground before smashing into a small bush destroying it.

Orochimaru stood in absolute shock. A boy, no older than Sasuke himself had just crushed Kabuto effortlessly. 'Who the hell is this brat!'

Kabuto coughed up some blood as he tried to force himself to a sitting position. His hand feebly reached into his pouch and he pulled out a brown pill. He popped it in his mouth and swallowed chuckling weakly. "I'm not much good at Tai-jutsu but.."

Suddenly his eyes bugged out and he fell to his knees. "W-what's goin on. He doubled over before his entire body became rigid and he dropped to the ground on his side unable to move even a single muscle.

Naruto closed his eyes and scratched his nose. "Oh right yeah while you were in the gen-jutsu I switched your little foodpill pouch with those poison seeds, that should teach you to rely on outside stimulants so much.. And that ladies and gentlemen is what they call… checkmate."

He vanished in a blur of speed only to reappear next to the paralyzed man. "Don't worry that seed's only an ingredient in a much more complicated and lethal poison.. It'll just paralyze you for a day or so.."

He reached down and plucked off Kabuto's glasses he held them up examining them before dropping them in front of his face. Then he stomped down hard breaking the frame. He ground his foot into the crushed glasses snickering. "Yeah, that's right you're a lil bitch without your glasses aren't ya four eyes haha I bet you were on of the nerdy kids who got your lunch money stolen.. so since you and that blonde she hulk destroyed my lunch I'll just keep your foodpill pouch as a consolation prize."

He turned to walk away and twisted his gaze to Orochimaru. The pale faced man gulped. He turned to look around but to his horror Tsunade had already left, fleeing the town most likely. "Curse you, you infernal brat.. how dare you ruin my plans!"

Naruto narrowed his eyes." You have something I want old man." The pale faced Sannin growled. "You upstart I'll teach you some respect!" The sword of Kusanagi came up out of his throat and his neck extended launching out at Naruto.

The boy sidestepped and the strike passed him by. He then reached out with his left hand and gripped the extended neck yanking forward. Orochimaru's unprotected body was pulled forwards into a powerful side kick.

Orochimaru felt the bile in his chest rise and try to come out of his long throat but the vice grip Naruto had on it made that impossible. This caused him to gag and a compressed bubble of air went back down his chest and began to damage his organs. Naruto kicked him two more times before bringing his right elbow down on the top of the skinny man's spine.

He then finally released his hold of the man's neck and dropped his limp body to the ground. He then reached down and took hold of Orochimaru's left wrist, tore off the bandages, and raised his purple dead arm up. Orochimaru could barely make out what the child was doing until he felt it begin to slide off.

His eyes widened in realization. No wonder Kabuto had lost.

Naruto slid the Akatsuki ring off of the crippled man's finger and then let the arm drop to the ground. "You who have betrayed us are not worthy to wear this, I will see that it makes it back to the leader, he will know what to do with it."

Naruto then looked down at Orochimaru. "You didn't have any jutsu this time, to finish you like this would be an insult to all those who've trained me.. but mark my words traitor.. you will get what's coming to you one way or another and the next time we meet.. I will finish you."

Naruto walked a few steps away placing the ring in his pants pocket before vanishing in a poof of smoke.

Kyuubi sitting on a destroyed spire of Tanzaku Castle's remains allowed a smirk to travel across her naturally clear glossed lips. "Not bad Naruto.. for a human." She stood and instantly combusted into flames. The fire burned brighter and brighter until suddenly it snuffed out leaving a hissing trail of smoke.

000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

"Gai-sensei!" Lee cried out. He bolted upright as sweat drops sprinkled off him. his head was pounding, Suddenly a nurse came in to the room and a bright light was turned on. Lee cringed and tried to protect his sensitive eyes from the harsh adjustment. "Lee-san, are you alright?" the nurse questioned.

Rock lee slowly brought a bandaged arm up in a weak thumbs up. "Yeah, I um.. I am sorry for worrying you.. I only had a nightmare.. I'm sure it's nothing, thank you Sarasha-san."

The brown haired Nurse looked at him and smiled. "Get well soon Lee-san we need strong shinobi like you."

Lee nodded and slowly dropped his head onto the pillow. His mind traveled back to the battle. The first time he'd been utterly crushed. He had thought the beatings from Neji were defeats. Those were like slaps on the wrist compared to that shinobi.

'That monster.. no. I refuse to think that about him.. he's only what his village made him.. Shinobi are tools.. that's the bottom line I suppose.. Who am I to judge, I stepped into that ring to fight you with firm belief that I could not lose, that I was going to show Gai-sensei and Sakura-chan my true power my nindo…

But.. now..'

Lee closed his eyes and pulled the covers over his head.

And so morning came..

Lee was finally able to leave his room and Gai had come to personally escort him. they were walking around the Hospital talking about when he got better. The training would be upped. When he got better the missions would be harder. When he got better he would become a Chuunin. When he got better…Perhaps hell may freeze over..' Lee thought somberly.

Gai noticed the look on his students face but did not say anything. What could he. The truth was in front of them, no matter how unfair or how terrible it was… they could not deny it. But that didn't mean he was going to lay down and give up.

"Don't worry Lee Jiraiya-sama is going to get the legendary medic ninja Tsunade-sama to fix you right up." He smiled and flashed him a thumbs up. Lee smiled a little bit and lifted a weak fist and a soft accompanying "Yoshi."

Le then tuned to look at the boy leaning against the wall. "Neji-san." He acknowledged him. the Hyuuga boy shook his head. "Lee, Tenten said we should come to see you but she couldn't make it due to her mission with Jiraiya-sama."

Lee nodded.

"However." Neji continued. "I'm not going to sugarcoat it.. You were born destined to be a man. But not a shinobi. Only now.. at the end do you fully understand.. hard work, effort, desire.. all of it is meaningless if your opponent is fate."

Gai glared at his student. "That's enough Neji!"

The Hyuuga ignored him. "I'm not telling you this to be mean or to try to put you down. It's for your own good. You escaped this time with your life, but if you try to continue down this path you will find only pain and failure.. I offer you the same advice I gave to Hinata.. give up.. quit trying to play ninja and live your life while you still can."

He came off the wall and started walking past them when his shoulder was gripped by Gai.

"Neji." Gai said with a serious voice. "The next time I tell you to stop in that tone of voice you will stop.. or I will relieve you of your ability to speak.. Hyuuga or not... Do you understand me?"

Neji's eyes widened. The boy could feel the killing intent radiating from his teacher. The Hyuuga boy unable to speak under the intense killing intent merely nodded.

Gai tightened his grip on the Hyuuga's shoulder beginning to feet the bones compressing under his fingers.

"You and Tenten have never treated me with the respect of a Sensei and that's fine with me I don't care how you treat me.. mock me, make fun of me, but not Lee.. you will not mock the dream he's put his very soul into.. "

Gai released Neji who immediately left quickly exiting the hallway.

Lee looked at Gai and blinked in surprise. Gai placed his hand on Lee's head. "I can't stand it any more Lee.. I can't let them drag such a beautiful dream through the mud any longer."

Lee's smile widened across his face and he nodded. Just then a doctor came up to him. "Are you Maito Gai?" she asked him holding on a clipboard. Gai flashed her a nice guy smile and a thumbs up. "Correctamundo and this is my prize student Lee!"

She smiled and bowed down to his eye level and lightly punched him on the shoulder "Yes it actually concerns this little trooper. Though if we could speak in private I think it would be best." Gai nodded and Lee bowed with his crutch. "Alright excuse me, I'll be on the roof getting some air."

The adults nodded and walked into a room as Lee hobbled up the stairs and out the door into the warm sunlight. He smiled and breathed in the fresh air before he opened his eyes. He immediately turned around and tried to hobble back down when a voice stopped him.

"Stop."

Lee stopped and bowed his head slightly. "Good morning Uchiha-san."

Sasuke didn't turn around from his position at the railing. He stood with his hands at his sides, his back to Lee and the door.

"You.. have a lot of nerve showing your face here. After you stole my opponent it wasn't enough.. you had to take my power as well."

Lee turned around beginning to narrow his eyes but keeping in control.

Sasuke kept his back to him. "Rock Lee.. who the hell do you think you are.. You're nobody.. you don't even have a damn clan I'm an Uchiha.. that last Uchiha how dare you take my power from me when I was so close.. Don't you see how close I was to killing him. That seal.. the technique Kakashi taught me.. I could have done it but now.."

Lee shook his head as his fists tightened around his crutch. "Uchiha-san, the seal you're referring to was evil, it wasn't worth the price of the small amount of power.."

Sasuke snorted shifting his gaze to the Hokage memorial just barely visible form his vantage point on the roof. "Price? What price? Making me look a little weird? Since when does that become not worth it you loser!"

Lee snapped. "When it endangers Sakura-chan and all the rest of our comrades, when that thing was on you, you didn't care about any of us. You even bit Sakura-chan to drain her Chakra to fuel your own!"

Sasuke closed his eyes and lowered his head. "Since when have I ever considered any of you comrades.. You're nothing to me but stumbling blocks."

Lee took a step back then grit his teeth., "How can you say that. Sakura-chan has chosen you.. she wants more than anything to be accepted by you She is not like your other teammate who simply likes you for your looks and popularity.. and yet you say that even she.. one who would give her very life for you is nothing more than a tool to you.. What kind of man are you!"

Sasuke opened his eyes and looked up staring at the clouds. "I .. am an avenger. I have no time for friends or comrades."

Lee shook his head and threw down his crutch. He took a few steps forward and straightened out to his full height although it hurt him to do so. "I have heard of the night of the Uchiha massacre. I feel I must say however, I believe I know why you were spared."

Sasuke turned his head to look at him out of the corner of his eye.

Lee narrowed his eyes and continued. "Than man who killed all those people.. his very family.. and felt nothing.. he must have sensed it.."

Sasuke's black eye's began to change to a deep crimson as the pupil split and created 2 small black commas.

Lee finished. "You Uchiha Sasuke… are just like him! You're no better, in fact.. you might even be worse!"

Sasuke twisted around and vanished in a blur of speed before appearing next to lee and spinning under him lashing out with his foot. Lee's instincts kicked in and he jumped the first sweep and pulled his wrists in to block the second kick of the Konoha Senpu. The impact sent him skidding back across the roof. He felt a muscle in his back snap and he grimaced but managed to get back to his feet in time to see Sasuke finish his seals and a loud chirping resonated through the upper half of the Hospital.

Sasuke charged forward his Sharingan blazing. "For those words I will send you to hell you worthless piece of garbage!"

Lee charged forward and called out "Dynamic entry!"

Just as they were about to collide Kakashi fazed in between them and he gripped the ankle of lee and he wrist of Sasuke. Lee was flung to the side and Sasuke was sent smashing into the door to the stairwell. The Chidori blew through the door and took out a portion of the surrounding wall as well.

Lee was flung totally off the building with a sprained ankle.

Gai was listening to the results of Lee's diagnosis a floor down and by chance he was facing the window when the dropping form of Lee could be seen plummeting from the roof.

Gai's instincts took over and he sprung forward past the surprised doctor and out of the window shattering the glass. He flashed seals out then called

"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"

A huge cloud of smoke kicked up and Gai fell feet and arms first using his weights to help him drop faster to catch up with lee before he impacted. Gai took Lee into his arms and used his legs to cushion the fall landing on top of the 10 foot Turtle's head.

"Lee?!" he cried out. But the boy had fallen unconscious so there was nothing that could be done except take him back to the hospital room.

This time Gai didn't leave his side until he awoke and was able to recount what had happened.

000000000000000000000000000000000000

Kakashi yawned. Sasuke hadn't responded too well to his little lecture. But then again he didn't suppose it was a big deal just a little hotter version of him and Gai's stupid little rivalry. It would blow over soon enough. Of that he was sure.

As he was leaving the training ground his nose buried in his orange book he lifted his free hand in a saluting motion and said "Yo, I was just leaving, the training ground's all yours.."

Gai stopped and folded his arms glaring at Kakashi. The one eyed Jounin lazily stopped and turned around to face him. "So what seems to be the problem Gai? Hmm another of your stupid games? Eyy let's do Janken this time."

Gai shook his head. "Not this time Kakshi, actually I was wondering about your student Sasuke.. what kind of punishment would be fitting for a boy whon uses a A rank assassination jutsu on a injured fellow leaf comrade?"

Kakashi raised an eyebrow. "I talked with him about it.. so don't worry.. I assume Lee's fine anyway?"

Gai shook his head. "Talked.. you talked with him about it.. Kakashi that's grounds for execution.. and you TALKED with him about it!.. why am I not surprised.. though I wonder if it had been one of your other students if your punishment may have been a bit more severe. '

Kakashi narrowed his eye and turned a page in his book. "What are you implying?"

Gai unfolded his arms and made a fist smashing it into the air. "I'm not implying anything.. this is just more of your blatant favoritism!"

Kakshi laughed. "Oh really.. Mr. hidden lotus and 8 celestial gates.. you're really one to talk.."

Gai shook his head. "You're wrong about that Kakshi, yes it's true that I hold Lee more dear to me than either Tenten or Neji. He's more important to me and he's my favorite. However, as a professional Shiniobi and Sensei I offer Tenten and Neji the same opportunities I do to Lee."

Gai opened his fist and made a chopping motion. "That's the bottom line Kakashi.. Lee seeks out my instruction while the other two are embarrassed to be in the same room with me.. But you.. You favor Uchiha ok, fine no harm in preferences.. but when you allow that favoritism to control your actions that's the problem."

Kakashi closed his book and looked at Gai. "And you think you have a right to lecture me because.. ?"

Gai shook his head. "I didn't come here to lecture you Kakashi. I came here to make you atone.. let me ask you something Kakashi.. That fighting style Sasuke used, the speed, the timing, where did he learn it from? Where did he learn the movements for high speed combo's?"

Gai balled his left fist up. "You and that damn Uchiha leech took everything! Lee had nothing.. he wasn't even a natural genius at Tai-jutsu, he gained all of his skill through hard work and years of effort.. and you and the Uchiha come along and take that from him with not a word of thanks!"

"Lee may look similar to me but he's had it soo much harder than you or I could ever dream of.. we can't begin to fathom what it was like for him.. He has no parents.. No family no talent no friends.. nothing!"

Tears welled up in Gai's eyes. "And damn you Kakashi.. you and the rest of this entire village see us as nothing more than a joke. How many times will we be expected to turn away and pretend we can't hear your jeers, your laughing, your mocking, and yet when the time comes you depend on us as if we're comrades. Comrades aren't part time Kakashi!"

The masked Jounin rolled his eyes. "Is that what this is about, little Gai can't take the strain any more.. Your stupid little games, your ridiculous speeches about youth and those damn spandex suits.. You look like a Power Ranger.. you sport a bowl cut to make you look more like Bruce Lee I assume… and you have eyebrows the size of half your face… if you don't want to be a laughing stock then change your appearance and stop acting like such a incompetent fool."

Gai sighed. "You don't get it Kakashi.. This isn't about my damn eyebrows! This is about our feelings. So what if we look strange that doesn't give you the right to treat us like circus trash! And Lee.. he has been stripped of everything he has and that little brat tries to kill him?!"

Kakashi snorted. "Gai I feel bad for what happened to Lee but you can't honestly come here and expect to start pushing me around for my policies, the fact is Sasuke and I have the Sharingan.. And we're not going to just not use the ability to improve ourselves because it might make you feel bad."

Gai unballed his fists. "There's no point in further talking. I came here to reclaim Lee's honor. I demand that either you or your student apologize for the wrongs you've done to Lee."

Kakashi laughed and turned around to walk away. "Gai, go home."

Suddenly the earth was rocked by a tremor. Kakashi turned around to see the two leg warmers and weight belts embedded in the ground next to where Gai had thrown them.

The green glad man narrowed his eyes and took a fighting stance. "Then, I will reclaim his honor through your defeat."

Kakashi looked up at Gai and sighed before moving to the side with blinding speed. Kakashi was caught off guard how fast Gai could move without his weights. The punch had almost connected. Kakashi looked on in awe as the ground exploded outward from the hit. Kakashi immediately rolled to the side and drew a Kunai only to have it kicked from his hand the instant it came to rest in front of him. "You're serious!" Kakashi said surprised.

Gai looked at him with cold eyes. "Yes Kakashi I am.. If I fail to defeat you this time I will take my own life in shame of my inability to defend Lee's honor.. That is the Self rule this time."

Kakashi slipped up his head band and revealed his Sharingan just in time to avoid an arcing wheel kick that sent a burst of air into him.

He then jumped up as Gai appeared behind him delivering a downward chop. Flashing through a set of seals he called out "Earth Style: Grand Pillars no Jutsu!"

Instantly the ground shot up around him and formed pillars of rock separating them. Gai began smashing through the pillars with little to no difficulty. Kakashi meanwhile began working on a Gen-jutsu. Gai smashed through another set of pillars. Only to find the number wasn't decreasing at all. He jumped atop one of the pillars to get a better view of the battlefield when he noticed that all the pillars were perfectly proportioned even where he'd smashed through them.

Realizing it was an illusion he canceled it but pretended to still be caught inside of it.

Kakashi decided to end it quickly and flashed out the seals shouting:

"Leaf Style: Fang Pursuit Jutsu!"

His pack of Ninja dogs charged at the unaware Maito Gai. As Soon as the two larger ones ran up to grab his shoulders the spandex clad Jounin suddenly elbowed backwards directly into the dogs' noses and sent them sprawling back wards. He then avoided the smaller one kicking it away and throwing a Kunai at it before it landed to dispel it.

Kakashi realized Gai had only pretended to be caught in the Gen-jutsu and jumped back when he saw the Gai standing there flicker. The kicking Gai crashed into the ground where Kakashi had just been and he jumped up and spinning back kicked through a large boulder to get to Kakashi.

The Silver haired Jounin was nearly finished with his seals then Gai's fist embedded deep into his solar plexus. The Jounin was unable to form the full amount of seals and it looked like it had been a one hit knockout but the body poofed into a log. Gai was already preparing an explosive tag and slapped it on the Kawarimi log and threw it at Kakashi like a bomb. Kakashi outran the explosion and then dived underground. Gai dropped into stance and placed his fist an inch from the ground before delivering a one inch shockwave punch completely collapsing the tunnel Kakashi was traveling under.

A high pitch screeching could be heard before Gai jumped up to avoid Kakashi's Raikiri piecing out of the ground. The silver haired mans body shot up like a bullet out of the upturned earth and into mid air Gai gripped Kakashi's wrist and swung him around before twisting and flipping him onto his back. Gai then moved around and pulled up on the arm before kneeling down and fracturing the wrist and dislocating the shoulder.

Kakashi screamed in pain. He gripped a kunai with his other hand and slashed Gai on his cheek as the other man flipped away. Kakashi rose up cradling his fractured arm.

Gai formed his own seals and called out

"Air style: Pressure Coffin no Jutsu!"

The air around the training area began to condense and suddenly Kakashi dropped to his knee finding it difficult to stand let alone move.

Gai narrowed his eyes. "You and everyone else are always mocking Lee and I for our 'old fashioned' weight training but look at you know.. You can't even move in this weight but I on the other hand..."

Gai ran up to him and roundhouse kicked him in the ribs. Kakashi felt a few ribs crack. Then Gai began flashing out punch after punch crashing down on Kakashi until finally the Silver haired Jounin's Sharingan eye was so swollen it was unusable.

Gai finally backfisted him, sending Kakashi into the grassy earth. Gai looked down at him breathing heavily from exhaustion and released his air Jutsu. "Well you don't have to worry about that headband anymore Kakashi.. it seems I've helped you cover that eye of yours up naturally for awhile.." He bent down and reached into the barely conscious Jounin's pouch and pulled out the orange book. "I think taking this will probably be more damaging than the entire beating."

With that Gai limped over and knowing that he was too drained to pick up his weights decided to leave them there as he made his way off the field just as it started to rain leaving the evening cleaners to discover Kakashi.

000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

The council was outraged. The village was in turmoil. Left with no public figurehead the villagers were in a state of panic. The Shinobi were still trying to rebuild, the looters were still trying to take advantage of the instability. The threat of invasion was only be coming more and more real with each day.

And now Hatake Kakashi was in the Konoha hospital for injuries suffered during a battle with Maito Gai. There were too many inside jobs to allow Orochimaru acess to execute his surprise attack. The council had placed a special level of restrictive measures on the Shinobi until the loyalties of each had been thoroughly tested. Maito Gai had broken several rules and was under extreme scrutiny. Rock Lee was another matter altogether. Though Gai had been needed to maintain high level mission acceptance and thus was let off with a minor pay deduction and a strong probation the attack on the Uchiha had been much more dangerous. The last of the Uchiha was a village treasure for a failure of a ninja like that boy to endanger the life of the Uchiha had been a serious problem.

However, Uchiha Sasuke had instigated it. This left them unable to meet out a punishment fairly. There was a slight loophole though. The attack had come during Rock Lee and the sand ninja Gaara's match. This could lead some to suggest Rock Lee's involvement in the overall attack. Reports from the other Genin state the boy hindering the Uchiha in swiftly defeating Gaara once they had fought in the surrounding forest. The village needed a scapegoat to pin the timing of the attack on. Councilman Homura had suggested they kill two birds with one stone. This leads up to the meeting that was called with the strange stipulation that all Genin as well as Jounin were to attend.

Gai entered and took his place near the back of the Jounin. He couldn't help but feel his treatment of Kakashi may have been overboard. But when things concerned Lee he was always more sensitive. He sighed and focused in on who was there. To his surprise he could see the Genin in formal clothing. A murmur to the side from Kurenai and Asuma confirmed that the Genin were ordered to sit on this particular council decree as well.

Suddenly the main members rose signaling the silence of the surrounding assembly.

Homura took his position at the front of the table as the orator Samaeda came to the podium.
"We of the council have reached a new and troubling decision concerning the future of one of our Shinobi's and their true loyalties."

He took a piece of paper from the second seat and confirmed that it bore the signatures of the entirety of the council before continuing. "As you are all aware of, the Hidden Sand Village was allied with Orochimaru in the invasion and it was during the match against their star player Sabakku no Gaara that the invasion was launched. It was this timing issue that baffled us. Why during this match.. what was it that set it apart from the others that Orochimaru chose to instigate his plan."

The assembled Jounin turned to one another to mouth silent questions.

Samaeda continued reading. "We have looked into all the different factors and we have found that Gaara had several matches prior to this particular instance. The key therefore, must have lied in the other player as well. The invasion occurred during the match between Gaara and Rock Lee. Furthermore, according to testimony from the other Genin present at the time of the final battle with Gaara, Uchiha Sasuke was deterred from immediately defeating him and was allowed further time to escape by Rock Lee's interference."

"The final piece of evidence is in the surprise attack at the hospital, according to testimony of the staff at the time Rock Lee attempted to assassinate Uchiha Sasuke further cementing his affiliation with Orochimaru."

Lee looked like he was going to cry as the Genin around him began looking at him in surprise. He shook his head furiously. "W-wait that's ridiculous I have not done anything wrong I was seriously injured fighting Gaara how can you say that I was working with him?!"

Samaeda looked at him furiously. "Young man you are in enough trouble as it is, this is a council meeting declaring our findings and decisions there is no place for you to defend yourself there will be a trial for that at a later date. Now I will finish and you had better not have an outburst like that again or you will be forcibly restrained."

He then turned the piece of paper over and began again "To continue We have decided that Rock Lee is young and moldable so usual punishment of execution for treason is a tad unreasonable. However, we can not afford to have a counter agent in range of any village proceedings. In order to facilitate the process of the rebuilding process his immediate removal has been decided. Rock Lee you have one last night in this village, tomorrow morning at 10:00 A.M. You will be transported to the Konoha Correction Facility where you will remain until the date of your trial is decided. With the village in its current state it is estimated that the proceeding will require at least a year to make it down the list of backlogged cases."

Lee's eyes bugged out. "B-but this is not fair.. I have put everything I am into becoming a Shinobi..I do not understand why you are doinbg this to me.. I did not attackUchiha Sasuke I was attacked and merely tried ot defend myself.. please believe me!"

He turned to his teammate but Neji had his eyes closed and looked the other way. He heard Ino lightly gossiping. He turned to Sakura. "Please, Saukra-chan believe me I'm not-"

Sakura interrupted him. "Save your lies traitor, I knew something was wrong with you when you attacked Sasuke-kun… he could see through your little act and you thought you had to get rid of him.. Honestly, I hope you enjoy bath time in prison."

Lee looked down with a broken heart as 2 ANBU materialized next to him. "We will escort you back you your quarters and keep watch until the appointed departure time." Lee nodded dumbly. Samaeda walked forward. "Place your Headband on the table here Rock Lee thst band is worn only by official Shinobi and you are most certainly not among us."

Lee reached around his waist and pulled the headband off feeling the material slip through his fingertips as the metal band attached to it gently clanked upon contacting the table.

The meeting was then called to a close and left many Jounin and Genin with many unanswered questions.

Maito Gai was nowhere to be found.

Later that night..

Lee lay on his blanket using his second pair of clothes as a pillow. He sighed softly. "How did things get so messed up.. I only wanted to be a Shinobi and now.. I'm not even a citizen on Konoha, worse yet I will never even see Gai-sensei.. I wonder if when he returns from his mission he will send me a message."

Lee's soft murmuring was cut short when he heard a gentle rapping at his window. He tried to ignore it at first but finally it became annoying so he rose up and threw the blanket off and padded over on his bare feet.

He was completely taken off guard when he saw Gai standing there with a strained look on his face. Lee's eyes teared up and he threw the window open softly crying out "Gai-sensei."

Gai shook him surprising Lee. The boy looked up at the stern eyes of his teacher and feared that he may have come to yell at him for his betrayal. Lee shook his head.

"I know what they said sensei but I-" Lee was cut off when Gai entered the window and covered Lee's mouth.

"Be quiet Lee, we don't have time for this right now. Hurry and get that blanket. "Wrap everything you can fit in it"

Lee looked at him in surprise.

Gai just stared out the window with a wild look on his face. He bit his lip and looked around cautiously.

Lee grabbed his pictures and a few of his clothes though most were green jumpsuits. He threw the meager pile on the middle of his blanket then looked around for any specific items he might need on a hourney.

Gai looked at lee with a look of impatience. "Lee hurry we don't have time for this, we need every second we can get." Lee nodded and then grabbed his styling gel to keep his hairstyle and some shuriken and tossed them into the bay before tying it up and sticking it on the end of his wooden Boken stick. Gai flashed through some seals and a stone turtle appeared and opened its mouth.

Gai took the stick and threw it in the turtle mouth along with all the food in Lee's cabinets. Lee went to put on his leg warmers but Gai stopped him. "No weights, we need full speed for this put the weights in the mouth."

Lee complied.

Gai then dessumoned the turtle and he went to the window. And told lee to get on his back. Lee got on and held on tight. "Where are we going Gai-sensei? I have to leave for the correction facility in the morning.."

Gai shook his head. "No, you're not going there Lee. We're leaving, and we're not coming back."

With that he blasted off.

Gai had placed a Genjutsu on the ANBU watching him but when they switched shifts if the new ANBU came in to check on them the shadow clone and henge combination he'd left in Lee's bed may or may not fool them. He wasn't a master of illusionary arts but he knew he'd just have to hope they assumed they were simply preventing him from leaving.

If they didn't check then they would have till morning to get out of tracking distance. If then did then they might be in for a fight. Either way now that they were missing ninja their life was about to get a lot more complicated.

"Lee I'm not going to lie." Gai stated as he blasted straight up the wall to Konoha using chakra to stay connected to it and moving at speeds that eyes less than the Byakugan or Sharingan couldn't register. "Life is going to be hard for awhile, but I promise you I will make it my life's goal to help you, you are already a splendid Shinobi but I will do everything I can to help you become even better. I don't know what the future holds for us but I will not abandon you to fate.. Those fools in the council have cut the last string.. The flames of youth have been snuffed out in this place.. We will go to a place where we will be respected, we will be equal, we will be happy and our flame will burn once again."

Lee looked thoughtful for a bit then looked up and smiled at Gai. "I'd like that Gai-sensei" he said softly crying. He had enough foresight to know not to shout out like usual during their run. He did, however notice the incredible feat of Gai carrying him on his back and still moving at a blinding speed nonstop until the point he was lulled to sleep by the steady motion.

000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

A long smirk spread across his sharp features as amusement flickered in his dark eyes. "Well, it survived.. but barely. The damage is extensive."

His dark haired companion sighed. "Just a few years ago it was in the height of it's prime.. look at it now."

The first speaker suddenly moved his dark eyes to the left as if catching sight of some invisible motion and raised what would be an eyebrow if he had any. "Well, what's this.. Dissention in the ranks it seems."

The other closed his eyes and bowed his head further concealing his lower face under the long collar of his cloak. "It never ceases to amaze me how foolish this village can be.. once again they have lost another irreplaceable piece. Orochimaru, Myself, Naruto-san, and now the Green Beasts. The man shook his head. "And soon it seems my foolish brother will leave them for the snake.. This village will not stand another decade. With or without our assistance it will crumble."

The blue man laughed softly. "Well, in any case it seems that Orochimaru is no longer here so there's no reason for us to interfere, we should report this to the leader at once."

His shorter partner nodded with an emotionless look on his face. "However, before we do I need to expend some chakra or the compression will prevent me from accessing it for movement correctly."

The tall man grinned revealing rows of sharp feral teeth and looked at his partner knowingly. "The one track minded fool is going in a straight line, it will take a hunter ninja team less than a day to discern their location.."

He lightly fingered the strapped hilt of his sword. "You know a few techniques for creating false patterns and paths to mislead trackers don't you?"

His emotionless comrade said in his customary monotone. "Yes"

The man released his hold on the hilt of his sword and strapped a different set of treads on his sandals looking in the direction of the forest before grinning and slapping his friend on the back. "Well let's go have some fun."

Note: ok the next installment of Bloody Pawprints is done. Tsunade is introduced and Lee and Gai go AWOL. Now the Naruto leaves is done azillion times but I haven't seen Lee and Gai leave done. I got to thinking. Lee is a really cool character but he's kinda become filler. And yet he has such a dynamic character that I had to have him in the story. Also Lee and Gai take a lot of shit. More so then Naruto almost. And b/cthey grin and bear it or pretend like they don't hear it we all kinda assume it's normal and don't pay attention. But they're human's too and there's only so much a guy can take. Especially when Kakashi steals the only thing Lee's got goin forem. Anyway. That's where all this came from.

In the next chapter. We see Jiraiya and Ten Ten's progress in tracking Tsunade cuz remember she left Tanzaku town using Naruto's fight as a distraction. Also important to remember that Orochimaru never got to offer to bring back her loved ones cuz he was interrupted b4 he could.

Well lotsa stuff coming but b4 that…

The next chap of Holowed Space. Hopefully won't be as long as last one but it depends on how much I get inspired to write.