I do notown Naruto in any way, shape, or form.

People have complained in later chapters of this fic that a twelve year old Naruto having sexual urges is borderline pedophilia. Therefore in order to preserve certain peoples' moral instabilities I am warning you now that I refuse to change my story. If you don't like the idea of Naruto being able to have sex at age twelve and in turn being lusted after I ask you to refrain from reading on the grounds that your sensibilities may be offended. Also, this is not, I repeat not, the usual take on Naruto. In fact he is much different than his usual self. I am writing this fic because I like the idea of a Naruto who is not as forgiving and naive as in the anime and manga. Oh, and if you like the Fourth Hokage then you might also be offended because he is not a good man in this fic. Sakura bashing as well.

All right to people who have read this, or really whomever,

I finally got a beta! Therefore all of the chapters will be going through reconstruction. Before you get all up in arms I WILL still be updating so don't flip out. That's really all I wanted to say. I really like what my freaking awesome Beta purefoysgirl has done with my fic—or as I call it "My little Mess"--so if you guys have time definitely check out her stuff...it's great. Okay...well enjoy.

Prologue

Another blow could be heard in the otherwise soundless night. I should know, it was me being hit. I curled into a ball and just took it because I knew that after awhile it would stop…it always did. I don't know exactly what it was that I did to infuriate the villagers tonight, but the beatings are becoming more and more frequent.

I barely feel the pain anymore, it's like I'm just dead inside.

When it had first started, I hadn't done anything to antagonize the villagers—I'd avoided them and they, in turn, had ignored me. And then one night for no discernible reason, they had suddenly struck.

No part of my body had been left unscathed.

Not long after that I had started playing my pranks. The way I see it, if they were going to attack me anyway, I might as well get something out of it, get my own dig in.

But there had been no pranks today. No, today they were using the same old justification, and as if to confirm this theory they spoke one word aloud.

"Monster!"

It was a word I was more than familiar with by now.

"Monster!"

And the kicking continued.

I didn't even warrant enough importance for them to use their fists.

After all, dirt will stain your hands, but will wash right off of your shoes.

One of them gave me a final kick and then, spitting on me for good measure, they all walked away with smug, satisfied smiles on their faces.

"Stupid fox," I heard one of them say. "Not so tough now, are you? How does it feel to be helpless? As helpless as we were when you killed the Fourth and nearly destroyed our home!"

As the laughter faded away I got up and made my pained way back to the place where I slept. I wouldn't call it home—that's a concept I just can't understand. I have no home, only a place where I sleep.

Climbing through the front door, I closed it and immediately went to bed, burrowing under the covers. I knew they had broken some bones, maybe popped some things inside me. At the very least there would be bad bruising, but I wasn't worried. I knew I would be healed by morning, I always was, I always have been, so why worry? Anything they've done to me, I've undone, and inwardly I laughed at the stupidity of those villagers who still haven't caught on. They really thought I didn't know! But I knew, I've always known.

I've always known everything.

They thought I didn't know that I'm the container of Kyuubi no Kitsune*, ha! What a joke that is! Ever since I can remember I've had conversations with it. Supposedly, the Third Hokage had decreed that no one was to speak of it, else they would face harsh punishment. So instead of speaking with their mouths, they used the next best thing and thought themselves safe...Safe from the Third Hokage's retribution, safe from Kyuubi's wrath.

And Kyuubi had certainly had a perfectly good reason to be wrathful, for attacking their precious village of Konoha. The village had blindly killed its kind without knowing or caring anything about it. I say "it" because Kyuubi is neither male nor female, it simply is. And what it had been was outraged at the slaughter. Wouldn't you strike back at those who killed your people? I know I would!

It's common knowledge that Kyuubi had been "killed" by the Fourth Hokage. What wasn't common knowledge is that the ANBU* had been dispatched before Kyuubi's attack on the village. Their mission had been to kill all of the kitsune youkai* that they could find. Since Kyuubi was the undisputed leader of the kitsune youkai—of the youkai kind in general—it defended its charges and attacked the source.

The Fourth Hokage had been no hero—he'd been the monster, the murderer. He had first blood upon his hands. And they fancied him a hero. What a joke! Some kind of hero, committing genocide on anything and anyone more powerful than him. And when he bit off more than he could chew with Kyuubi, he did the only thing he could to get his last bid in—he sealed it inside me, his newborn son. His "sacrifice" was just melodramatic overacting, and very much what the people wanted in a martyr, in a hero.

Not a lot of people know that I'm his son, and the ones who do don't know that I'm ashamed that I am his son. What kind of person would want a father like that? If they knew the truth, they'd be horrified, too—but, no, he's the ultimate hero. They even put his goddamned face on Hokage Mountain next to previous leaders who had actually cared about their people. Hell, the First had been able to communicate and even control youkai. Key word here is "communicate" as opposed to "eradicate" like my dear old father. Like I said, some hero, but it all boils down to people seeing what they want to see.

Tired and worn out, I found myself seeking out Kyuubi. Most people assumed that I was Kyuubi in human form, and in a way they were right—it lived inside me, sharing my thoughts and experiences, always there when I needed it…the only constant thing I had.

So how was the beating tonight, brat?

I laughed, amused by the undertone of concern I heard in its voice.

Does it matter? It isn't like either of us cares, Kyuubi—I'd have to have emotions for that. And what're you asking me for, stupid fox! You were there, too!

I know pest, it chuckled, but I can't help but worry about you, especially seeing as I won't be here much longer—

Don't talk like that, you stupid old fox! You're the only parent I've ever had! You can't just leave me!

Don't worry, brat, I'm not going anywhere right now. Even though you were born human, I still think of you as youkai, at least as an equal to hanyouYou know, when the time comes that I cease to exist, you will be fully one of the youkaiand quite possibly one of the most powerful beings on earth. When that day finally arrives, I want you to do something for me.

What, Kyuubi? Just tell me what you want me to do.

I want you to find any remaining youkai, no matter the species, and protect them as I did.

Yes—it was a confident promise. Anything else?

Yes, child. Be happy.

I tried to smile, wondering if this fondness I felt for Kyuubi was something like love. Emotions were things I had no basis in; I had too little experience with them to really know what they were. Bitterness, anger, sadness—these were things I knew, but this happiness that Kyuubi spoke of might never be within my power.

I will try

Hmmph. Go to sleep, then. The healing has started but it will go more swiftly with rest.

Yes, Kyuubi, I mocked, purposefully childish.

Gods, sometimes I forget how young you really are! Just nine, you little chibi!

Shut up, stupid fox!

I could feel Kyuubi's amusement, that vast weight of knowledge and life all swirling around in my head, the kind of experience that allows it to so benignly tease a being hardly a fraction of its age.

Stupid is something neither of us will ever be…Even if you do make a study of being annoying.

I'm ignoring you, now, I told it. I turned over to go to sleep, already more comfortable, and heard Kyuubi murmur, Goodnight, little youkai.

End of Prologue

Kyuubi no Kitsune: Nine-tailed fox demon

chibi-spoiled child

hanyou-half demon

youkai-demonkind, demon

kitsune-fox

Hokage-"fire shadow" leader of Konoha (village hidden in the leaves).