Hi, guys. Welcome to my Sonic Naruto Crossover story. I'm a huge fan of Sonic and Naruto, so I'm writing this for all you Naruto fans out there.

Legal Disclaimer: Not I, nor is there really anyone else who can claim to own both Sonic The Hedeghog and Naruto. Sonic is owned by Sonic Team. Naruto is owned by Masashi Kishimoto. Me? I'm just messing with both.

The Kitsune in the Leaves

Chapter I: Dark Tidings

Once there existed a nine tailed demon fox. The most powerful of all demons, one swing of its tail could crumble mountains and create tsunamis. At its full power, the demon fox could destroy the world. This demon, known in the world of the shinobi as the Kyubi was said to be a being of pure malevolence. Fifteen years ago, it was finally sealed away. But now, the seal had started to weaken...

Angel Island.

Truly, there could be no greater wonder on all of planet Mobius. Better known as the Floating Island, this mysterious paradise was the home to one of the most powerful artifacts in existence, the Master Emerald.

Being one of the most prized possessions in the universe, its guardian, Knuckles the Echidna worked round the clock, making sure the Emerald never fell into the wrong hands. Trained all his life to be attuned to the island and the Emerald, Knuckles sat alone in the inner chambers of the Hidden Palace Zone. He contemplated on the eternal power of the Master Emerald, and its energy that flowed through the island, the universe, and his own soul.

Most people would object to the idea of living inside an active volcano. But Knuckles the Echidna was not "most people." He was completely content with living in a home right under the infamous Lava Reef Zone. He liked lava. It was red just like he was, and he loved the lustrous glow it gave to the dark caverns, so far beneath the surface. A place that the sun could never find.

There was another reason that Knuckles was such a lava lover. It was a real wellspring of energy. Whenever he got close to it, he felt so invigorated and stronger than normal. A master once told him that such things contained large amounts of something called "chakra" and that's what made him so attached.

"Chakra," Knuckles dismissed the word, finding it too strange for his tastes. Still he knew there was an outpouring of energy in everything. His meditations saw this. When the echidna would close his eyes and brood, he could sense the flow of this "chakra."

Even from deep within his underground chamber, he could feel the flow of life thorough the trees and animals on the surface, in the snow falling on the ice caps, in the rushing waters of Hydro City, in the fungus on Mushroom Hill, and of course, in the boiling lava.

This time was different. This time, he found something in the lava that was not quite right. There was something lurking inside the molten core of Lava Reef. Something alive.

"An intruder is after the Master Emerald," that was guaranteed to be Knuckles' first thought. "Whoever this is, he's coming closer to the Hidden Palace."

Knuckles jumped out of his lotus meditation position and flexed his muscles. "How the Hell does Espio stay in that position all day?" he asked himself. "The time for thinking is over. Time to get into action." The red echidna whisked his way towards the secret palace teleportors. "I pray he doesn't know about these things," he thought as he entered into a large purple circle. A light blue and white energy emitted from the circle and surrounded the echidna. He closed his eyes as he let the psychoportative energy take effect. The light seeped into every molecule of the echidna, forcing his body to compress into a ball. The light erupted from the circle, sending Knuckles spinning through the vortex.

Time and space reformed around him. Knuckles' mind knew that the energy left him, and when he opened his eyes, he found himself standing on another circle, this time hundreds of feet above the palace in Lava Reef.

"He's here."

Knuckles stepped away from the teleportation circle and found himself on top of a rocky cliff, overlooking a sea of magma.

"There. That's him." Knuckles set his gaze on the magma sea's surface to discover a figure walking on the lava. The guardian narrowed his eyes, trying to get the best assessment of the intruder as he could. He saw that this person was humanoid in appearance. The cavern lighting would only allow for a black silhouette of his image.

Knuckles shook his head. "At this point, I can't even tell if it's a man or a woman." The lava walker clearly had long flowing hair that allowed the hot cavern air gently blow through it. "He" was wearing what looked like a white kimono. His clothing too appeared unharmed by the intense fiery heat.

"This isn't so weird," Knuckles thought to himself. "Tails was once telling me about designs for lava proof equipment. Someone must have gotten hold of that stuff. Still, why am I getting these weird vibes from this guy?"

"Something feels so…off," said something in the back of his mind.

The echidna wanted to spend more time examining the stranger, but that plan was ruled out when the mysterious stranger allowed himself to be fully submerged in the lava.

"Damn! I don't like this one bit. I've got to get back to the Master Emerald."

Knuckles returned to the Master Emerald shrine via the teleportation circle, but was shocked to see that the stranger beat him to it. In fact, this guy was standing right in front of the Emerald.

Under the emerald's green glow, Knuckles caught a glimpse of the mystery man's face. He was sure it was a man. The soft chuckle he let out as he stroked the Emerald's surface had be a man's. The man's soft voice was unsettling, but Knuckles' eyes widened in terror when he saw his face.

The man's skin was chalk white. Two yellow spheres with narrow slits served as the man's eyes. A malevolent smile rested on his face. He opened that mouth of his slightly to let his tongue slide out of his mouth. His tongue came to be at least five feet long and it continue dto grow. The man let his tongue slowly lick the Emerald.

"Do you know what this is?" the man asked, turning towards the echidna. "Power. Pure power."

"You're good, man," Knuckles said. "Not many humans have been able to get so close to the Master Emerald."

The man grinned and then let out a small chuckle. "Human, eh? Very few people would still see me as a human." He brushed aside his long jet black hair that was partially concealing his face. "Human," he mused. "A title every man would do well to abandon."

Knuckles pushed away the creepy feelings that radiated out of the man and started to think more about what the man's strengths and weaknesses. "This guy looks like he's got some good tricks, but he doesn't seem like the combat type. Maybe my fists can deal with this."

"All right, pal. You've made it this far. I'll give you that. But nobody can touch the Master Emerald without going through me."

"I take it that you are the guardian of this precious gem. Pity. Shouldn't the keeper of this great relic be having more fun?" the man asked in a seductive tone.

"There's nothing fun about my duty as a guardian, and as much as I might enjoy cleaning your clock right now, it's all part of my job."

"That is why you will lose," the man revealed a sinister grin.

"Enough!" Knuckles shouted. He slammed his fist into a nearby rock, making it shatter into powder. "I'm taking you down!"

Knuckles leapt into the air and swooped down towards the man with fists extended. In a blur, the man vanished. The echidna caught himself in mid flight and darted his eyes across the chamber for any sign of the man. He stood in the chamber, realizing that he was all alone.

"Now how could a human move that fast?" Knuckles let himself blink. And when his eyes opened, he saw him. The man appeared of nowhere and stood right in front of him. The man gave a sly smirk and smacked Knuckles with the back of his hand, sending the guardian flying across the chamber. His flight ended when he crashed into the cavern walls.

"Crap! Not only is he crazy fast, but he has to be strong, too."

"Fool," the man said mockingly. "You look like someone who takes things a little too seriously." The dazed echidna groaned as he lifted himself up and already got himself into a defensive stance as he saw the man approach him. "Guardian of the Master Emerald, huh? Such a heavy title. You must have such a heavy burden. Having to sit and watch that thing all day and all night."

"Who asked you?" Knuckles snapped.

"I'm just offering some friendly advice. You see, you're problem is that you have no appreciation for the very treasure which you devote your life to. You have no interest in discovering the infinite potential inside. You just strut around this island of yours. Your body is strong, I'll give you that. But you're mind and heart are weak."

"Shut up! You don't know anything about me!"

"Maybe not," the man nodded. "But you do know the truth of what you really desire. Why else would you be so infatuated with that bat thief?"

"I said shut up!" Knuckles yelled. He lunged straight at the man, hoping that he could connect a blow on him this time. The man didn't even try to dodge.

Knuckles' clawed fist was only centimeters away from the man's face, but a sudden jab to the echidna's stomach intercepted the attack and sent Knuckles back to kissing the floor.

"He didn't move a muscle. How did he get me?" A set of footsteps coming towards him gave the answer. There was a second guy. Judging from the pain in his chest and his breathing trouble, Knuckles guessed that this guy was strong, too.

Knuckles lifted up his face to meet his attacker. It was a young boy, probably no more than fifteen years old. The echidna almost felt relieved when he saw that the kid looked like a normal human. No white skin. No snakelike eyes. He was a human boy with black hair and black eyes. Most of his long, white shirt was opened, revealing his muscular chest. The little comfort that Knuckles had when seeing the boy were lost when he got the chance to stare into those eyes. The boy stared directly at Knuckles and he could do nothing, but look into those eyes. Knuckles felt as if those deep, onyx eyes were speaking to him, telling him a tragic story of hatred and vengeance.

Not letting his sights off of Knuckles, the boy began to make some odd hand motions that had no meaning to the echidna. Soon, the air became alive with lightning. Small lightning bolts began to zap and run through the chamber, dancing wildly with the Master Emerald. It all gathered into the kid's hand, where it formed into a ball of white and blue energy.

With his free hand, the boy lifted Knuckles into the air. His other hand looked ready to shove that crackling glob of energy right into his face. A move which Knuckles was sure would have devastating results.

The air grew hotter under the presence of all the lightning that shot around the chamber. The sound of the power crackling in the air played around in the echidna's ears. It sounded like a thousand birds were chirping in his head. The entire chamber was alight in a cool, blue aura.

"There's something about this energy," Knuckles thought. "It's strange, yet it feels so familiar."

"Shall I kill him now?" the boy asked coldly.

"No, Sasuke. Let him go," the man answered. "He is still useful to me."

"As you wish," the teenager mumbled. He loosened his grip, letting Knuckles drop to the ground. The electrical force that ran around his hand quickly faded away.

The man bent down to talk to Knuckles face to face. "This is your lucky day, guardian. I'm not here for your precious Master Emerald. It will be safe for now. I'm looking for the chaos emeralds. Do you know where they are?"

"Like I'd tell you," Knuckles didn't say the words so much as he spat them out.

The slits in the man's serpentine eyes contracted. Knuckles couldn't help but stare into them. He felt as if his very being was being pulled into those yellow eyes. His mind was screaming at him.

"Get away! Don't look into his eyes!"

Knuckles could barely make a sound. He was overcome by the sensation of a wave of invisible energy invade his mind and senses.

"My head! Get out of my head! Aaaahhhh!"

"Angel Island...it's gone. I can't feel its presence anymore. But I'm right here, aren't I? Standing right in the middle of the Hidden Palace. But no, I'm farther away than I've ever been before. This guy. He's taken me away somehow."

"Don't bother fighting it."

"I can't feel the soft grass of the hills like I always could. I can't see the azure skies like I always would. The crashing of the sea, the snowflakes in the ice caps. All those unique, exotic mushrooms, found only here. Gone. Even deep in my palace, I was able to attune myself to all these things. I was one with the island. But he's...separated us. I'm lost without it."

"Please...," whispered the echidna. "No more."

"Stand up," the man ordered.

"I can't."

An outside force took hold of his body and did the echidna's work for him.

"Please. Just...let me fall," Knuckles wheezed.

"Giving up already?" the man grunted. "I thought you had more in you than just that."

The man shoved Knuckles into the Master Emerald, then looked down on him, so that their eyes would meet again.

"Do you know what I could do if I had the power of the emeralds?" the man asked. "Do you know what I could become? Do you want to know?"

The Master Emerald began glowing and dimming erratically.

"The Master Emerald. It's resonating in a way I've never felt before. It's in pain. It's...afraid. This guy is scaring it."

Knuckles desperately wanted to turn his head to look at the emerald. He wanted to touch it, to calm it down, but there was no way to break the gaze of the man's glowing serpentine eyes.

"You guessed right, guardian. The emerald is in pain. Not from me, but from you. It doesn't want to be guarded. It is pained that you actually want to spend your whole life just standing by and watching. It wants you to take it and use it. A wise man would take that gem and use it to find the truth of this world."

The room darkened. The Emerald wasn't able to suffuse the chamber with its green glow like it normally would. Purple black flames manifested in the cave to offer its own unnatural light. The flames swam in the air, surrounding the stranger and the guardian.

Staring into those serpentine eyes, Knuckles heard the cries of hundreds of lost souls echoing in his head. Hundreds of people who were murdered. Their blood and spirits stolen to fuel the man's dark powers.

"What good is a soul if it's imprisoned for all eternity?" a thousand ghosts cried in unison.

"Look at me!" the man bellowed.

Knuckle's eyes were forced open and he was mortified at the sight before him.

A gargantuan snake stood before him. It had a ghostly aura to it, suggesting that it wasn't a real snake, but something else entirely. Whatever it really was, Knuckles couldn't take his eyes away.

"No. N-not real. Can't be real."

"No?" asked the man. His voice seemed to come from everywhere. "You're not convinced?"

The snake opened its mouth, letting out a hellish cry, revealing a gaping may filled with a myriad fangs. Knuckles cringed at the smell that must have come from rotted meat that never made it down the snake's throat. Venom dripped off every fang. The echidna's blood rushed away from his face, as if it knew it couldn't handle being poisoned. Knuckles was left as white as a sheet.

"If you can't tell me where the chaos emeralds are, then I'll extract that information myself."

A hideous, slimy forked tongue wriggled out of the maw and slithered its way towards the echidna.

"The chaossssss emeralds," hissed the serpent.

"I'm gonna get eaten."

The snake's otherworldly tongue licked Knuckles, drenching him in saliva. Smaller snakes started appearing and crawling along the big snake's tongue. They slithered towards Knuckles and began to attach themselves to every part of his body. One of them made its way right into Knuckles' mouth.

He gagged as the snake wormed its way down his throat hole. More snakes aimed for Knuckles' orifices. There was a snake of appropriate size for every hole. Two little ones snaked up his nostrils. Two smaller ones wriggled into his ears.

Knuckle's mind was blocked off from all thoughts by the hissing and slithering that went through his brain. He could sense the snakes crawling around in his brain. They wrapped their bodies around it, constricting his thoughts. They sank their venomous fangs into its soft, wrinkled flesh. The poison burned through the echidna, filling Knuckles with the foulest of venom, so potent that it melted his brain into jelly.

"Chaossssss emeralds," hissed the snakes in unison. The hissing echoed through his brain

The man could tell from his victim's gaunt expression that he was way past his limits, but that was no reason for him to end the torment.

One of Knuckles' eyes twitched uncontrollably. Something from inside his head bit into the back of his eye and ensnared that eyeball in its fanged jaws. The snake burst through his now empty eye socket and presented the sight of Knuckles' own gouged out eyeball to him. His other eye was left just so he would be able to see that. The snake then swallowed the eye and Knuckles was forced to watch as his own eyeball went down the snake's gullet.

The giant snake who overlooked it all finally spoke. "Sssssssonic the Hedgehog."

Knuckles' whole body convulsed and then collapsed onto the floor. His head was spinning from the agony. His mind tried to save itself in the only way it could. He let out the biggest, nastiest barf he possibly could. Dull green and yellow puke spilled out of his mouth, a flow of blood followed with a bunch of snakes getting spewed out with it. Knuckles passed out into the pool of his own vomit. The snakes, with their mission accomplished, disappeared into the ether, along with anything they did to the echidna.

"Illusions suck. Don't they, guardian?" the man asked. "These genjutsus have such great effects on mindless animals. I'm finished now, but don't ever forget the name of the one who sent you to Hell. My name is Orochimaru."

"Do you know where the chaos emeralds are now?" Sasuke asked, not looking very interested in what just happened.

The man calmly walked towards the exit of the Hidden Palace and motioned for Sasuke to follow. "Yes. We must find Sonic the Hedgehog and his friend, Tails."

"It's been awhile since I've been back to the Floating Island," Rouge the Bat said to herself as she wandered through the wilds of Mushroom Hill Zone. "Let's see. I know Knux keeps that secret entrance around here somewhere." She turned over various mushrooms in search of the key. "Come on, Knuckles. Don't make it so hard for your girlfriend to find you. I'm the one who should be playing hard to get." She uprooted a multicolored mushroom and found a metallic pad lying under it. "Gotcha," she announced triumphantly.

Rouge pressed the pad to see a wooden panel slide open, revealing a staircase leading underground. The bat felt a soft golden glow emanate from the underground passage. She smiled because she knew all too well what it was.

After reaching the bottom of the staircase, Rouge find herself standing in front of a huge glistening power ring, rotating in midair. She licked her lips as she extended her arm to touch the magic ring. "Hidden Palace, here I come." Upon contact with the ring, Rouge and the golden band disappeared, leaving a glitter of magical sparks behind them.

Seconds later, a beam of light descended into Hidden Palace chamber. Rouge emerged out of the beam. "It's good to be back!" proclaimed the bat. "Yoo Hoo! Knuckie boy, where are you?" She hollered.

Rouge's face turned from a look of amusement to horror when she found her echidna boyfriend lying face down on the cavern floor in a puddle of his own blood and vomit.

"OH, MY GOD! KNUCKLES!" she screeched.

Rouge beat her leathery wings and swooped down to Knuckles' body. She turned him over to get his face out of the muck. She immediately checked his pulse and breathing. "He's dying!" she choked. Those words hit a part of her heart that she so rarely got in touch with. "Hang on, Knux. I'll save you!"

Rouge pounded on the echidna's chest as hard as she could. "Wake up, Knuckles," she protested. "I'm not letting you die. You hear me? You're a survivor. You have to live!" Tears that she could have sworn were boiling hot started flowing from her eyes.

She bent down and placed her mouth over his, pouring her air into his lungs. "Listen to me, Knux. You're going to make it out of this one." She stroked her hands along his cheeks. Knuckles' skin felt cold to the touch.

"Knuckles, whoever did this to you, I swear they'll pay!" Rouge turned her thoughts to vengeance, but pulled away from them right away. "Thinking about that won't help him right now. There will be plenty of time to think about that later if Knuckles should…NO!" Rouge shut her eyelids tight and smacked her head. "Don't you dare think like that!"

The bat turned her focus back to Knuckles. "Listen to me, Knux. You're the strongest warrior I know. You can't leave like this."

Knuckles showed no change.

"DAMN IT! DON'T DIE, YOU BASTARD!" Rouge screamed, pounding on his chest with every ounce of her strength. Her cries echoed through the chamber walls. When the echoes died down, she too fell silent. "If you die, I'll be all alone," she said in almost a whisper.

Rouge had never seen Knuckles in such a vulnerable state. As she stared down at her dying lover, her heart tore itself apart, sapping every bit of energy she had out of her. She dropped down onto Knuckles and wrapped her arms around him. She had to force the words out of her dry mouth. "Please…I love you," she sobbed. The cave grew so silent that one could hear the ripples made from the dripping of Rouge's tears into Knuckles' blood.

Orochimaru and Sasuke both slowly hiked through the island's forest. They had no need to fear any pursuers.

"Prepare yourself, Sasuke. We must head to the Mystic Ruins to find the chaos emeralds."

"You seem to know this place pretty well, Orochimaru-sama."

Orochimaru let out another chuckle. "Of course I do. After all, this isn't my first trip to Mobius."

Chapter 1 is done! Thanks for reading! I hope you all liked it so far. Stick around and you'll see pretty much the entire Naruto cast appear in the upcoming chapters. In the meantime, please review and tell me what you think. Especially you Naruto fans. Comments, critiques, questions, and suggestions are all welcome and encouraged.

See ya next chapter!