A/N: Gah. I was trying to up load the new story and forgot to edit the first chapter to put in line breaks and disclaimer and stuff. So it's here. I don't own anything recognizeable as Masashi Kishimoto's. I own Mika, and Tomo, and the plot. Well, here's the second chapter. I was going to post it in a week, but I didn't want anyone to think I missed the mistake. I know it's there. I just don't know how to fix it. Enjoy.
The Four Tails
By Original Dark Angel
Chapter 2: Tomo, The Four-Tailed Wolf Demon
Itachi slowly dragged his blade across his victim's throat and dropped the corpse. For just a moment, his awareness was genuine as he stared at the blood-stained blade in horror. Slowly he ran his finger along the blade, unsure if the blood was real or a figment of his imagination. He hoped desperately for the latter, but the sticky wet liquid told him otherwise.
Itachi dropped the blade and frantically rubbed off his hands on the robe he wore, his partner ignoring him entirely. Itachi looked around in confusion, memory and present tangling in his brain.
Kisame finally took notice of him. "Shu," the missing-nin from the Village Hidden in the Mist commanded.
Itachi's ring burned, and the calm emotionless demeanor reappeared on the Uchiha features. He turned to his partner. "Mission accomplished, Kisame. Let us return."
Kakashi returned to his home with a sullen twelve year old in tow. His slow pace was only in consideration for his unwilling companion's sprained ankle. He dragged Sasuke through the door and deposited the gennin on the couch. "Don't move from that spot or I swear I'll turn you over to Gai for a few days."
He returned to find Sasuke sitting on the sofa, arms crossed and leg propped up. The dark-haired gennin glared up at him. "Hurry up. I want to go home."
"You're staying here for a week, maybe two," Kakashi informed him as he opened the first aid kit. "Don't argue."
"I'm not helpless."
"You decided to spar with Naruto, fall off the cliff and sprain your ankle. Deal with the consequences. Besides if you go home, Sakura and Ino will come over to serve as your nurses. Do you really want them around when you can't out run them?"
Sasuke's glare darkened, but he allowed Kakashi to wrap his ankle. "Naruto's arm had to be sprained, or dislocated, or something if not actually broken. It definitely didn't look right. Why doesn't he have to stay here?"
"I checked Naruto's arm," Kakashi reproved quietly. "He can take a fall better than you. Now shut up and stay off of it. I'll get you something to eat, and find a few blankets after that so you can get some sleep."
Sasuke tested his weight on his ankle for a second before conceding defeat and returned to the couch. "Three days."
"One week. I'm the jounnin-sensei. What I say goes." Kakashi gave his little irritating smirk/smile/whatever-the-heck-expression-it-was-because-all-Sasuke-could-see-was-a-single-eye, and reassembled the first aid kit. "It's one of the few perks of my job. Now behave yourself. I'll be right back."
"Not ramen!" Sasuke yelled after his departing sensei, before sitting back on the couch in a worse mood then he had started the day with.
When Kakashi returned with the best Ichiriku had to offer and an unexpected dinner guest, it was to find Sasuke fast asleep on his couch. Kakashi dumped the bags on the table and set Naruto to work serving up the food while he took the more unpleasant task of waking up the Uchiha. Previous experience had taught Team 7 that Sasuke was not by any standards, a morning person.
"Sasuke. Sasuke. Wake up, Sasuke. I've got dinner. Sasuke."
Sasuke bolted upright and only Kakashi's jounnin speed kept their skulls from colliding. "What the hell is the dobe doing in my home?"
"Language," Kakashi reminded him. "And this is my home."
"What the hell is the dobe doing in your home?" Sasuke muttered grumpily into the throw pillow that he had buried his face in, upon realizing that Kakashi was right about his location. Kakashi didn't answer but a minute later he realized that he should have because Sasuke had returned to sleep.
"Sasuke?" Shrugging, Kakashi abruptly tossed the gennin over his shoulder and headed for the kitchen, ignoring the flying fists and feet. It wouldn't last long, and soon enough there was a howl of pain as Sasuke went limp when his bad ankle felt the pain of fighting back. Kakashi unceremoniously dumped him into a vacant chair and Naruto put a bowl of steaming ramen in front of him. "Eat," Kakashi smiled, mussing both boys' hair fondly. "I found Naruto at Ichiriku's, so I brought him along."
"One gennin guest wasn't enough, Kakashi? You went looking for a second and had to settle for the village moron?" Sasuke sniped, arms crossed and tone sulky.
"What did you say, Sasuke-teme?" Naruto yelped.
"Is your hearing as deficient as your intelligence?"
Naruto's third bowl of ramen in as many minutes went flying as he dove for Sasuke by the simple expedient of leaping over the table. Kakashi rescued his bowl of ramen and was sitting on the counter, eating rapidly while the boys were distracted with the impromptu wrestling match taking place on his kitchen floor. He barely had enough time to replace his mask before Sasuke went stiff, paler than normal, and dead silent. This meant that his ankle had been jarred again enough to leave the gennin in pain. Naruto realized this at the same time as Kakashi and immediately began apologizing.
"Shut up, dobe."
"Shut . . . you shut up, Sasuke-teme!" Naruto shrieked. And they were off again. Kakashi waited sixty seconds to intervene and then separated the two. "If Sasuke adds more injuries to his list, then he's going to be spending longer on my couch than he really wants to. Naruto, finish your ramen before I summon my dogs. Sasuke, eat your ramen and then you can go back to sleep."
For two glorious minutes, there was absolute silence in Kakashi's kitchen. It was good enough for him.
Anko surveyed the perfect copy of Tomo in front of her, comparing it to the wolf at her side. "Very good, Mika."
Her daughter released the jutsu and bounced up and down. "I told you that it could be done with animals, kaa-san!"
"I'm not an animal," Tomo reminded the excited seven-year-old. "I'm a demon. I have chakra and powers even if I can't currently use them."
Mika huffed. "Well kaa-san still didn't think it would work!"
Anko tugged on her daughter's hair to regain Mika's attention. "And you proved me wrong. Turn into me one last time. Then you and the demon can go play until lunch."
There was one cry of delight, and one of outrage. The humans ignored Tomo's protests and Mika closed her eyes, concentrating hard. It had been far easier to turn into Tomo than it was to turn into a human. "Henge!"
Now she was the same height as her mother and she quickly mimicked her mother's stance. Hopefully her mother wouldn't notice that the tips of Mika's hair had remained silver. It was harder to maintain a different hair-color.
Anko tugged on Mika's silver-tipped hair with a grin. "Keep working on it, Mika. Now scat. Stay out of trouble, you two!"
Staying out of trouble was impossible for the silver pair, as Anko later discovered, although at least their brand of trouble drew less attention than the fox vessel's pranks. "Tomo's such a pretty wolf," Anko tried maintaining a serious face, but a giggle escaped.
Tomo gave her a dirty look, as he submitted to Mika's petting. His silver fur was highlighted by several garlands of wildflowers. Mika had spent most of the morning creating them and decorating her sleeping pet. Upon waking, Tomo bravely wore the flowers to make Mika happy, but Anko's teasing and laughter were too much. Shaking free of the flowers, he bounded up the stairs and curled up at the end of Mika's bed to sulk.
Once upon a time, Tomo was a mighty demon with powers not-to-be-belittled. Like his older brother and twin, Tomo drew his powers from the moon and was always more powerful at night. He had been the size of a boss summons, small for a demon, but still threatening, with his four tails, sharp fangs, and unnaturally colored eyes. A drenching icy chakra signature warned all that Tomo the four-tailed wolf was nearby. There was something reassuring about the tiny humans and pitiful shinobi running for their lives as he froze whole towns for amusement, his brother, Hoshi melting them with his ashy breath and lava-like drool. Then Akatsuki had changed all of that.
It was a moonless night, the only time the twins were vulnerable. Without the moon, their powers were reduced significantly, leaving them with only their intelligence and tails. Even their size was diminished to the size of a rather grand alpha male. They had been curled up in a cave waiting for the night to end and their powers to return when a huge fire lit up the entrance of their cave and two figures leapt through the flames. They had been wearing long black cloaks and one wielded chakra unnaturally. Tomo had thought them both to be male until long blue hair fell loose as Hoshi's claws severed it from the owner's head. Not that long hair was a defining characteristic, but the woman's reaction upon the loss of her hair was. She screamed and sank her katana up to the hilt in Hoshi's side. Her companion had slapped her for that, and Tomo tried to comfort his brother while the humans were distracted.
Without powers, the wound couldn't be healed, and without any form of escape, Tomo couldn't take his brother away from the dangerous humans. So he licked his brother's coat and rumbled reassuringly. Eventually the humans had stopped arguing, and the woman pulled a small statue from the depths of her cloak. Releasing the jutsu on it, the man revealed an enormous bonding statue and summoned others, eight more cloaked figures, through the flames and began a ceremony that Tomo could barely believe existed. He had whined like a frightened pup, and his brother pushed him away with his head. Tomo resisted, and Hoshi bit him, regaining the younger wolf's full attention.
Tomo had his orders, and even if he didn't like them, he obeyed his elder brother. As a shattering light, sound, and feeling of the very air occurred, Tomo leapt through the flames blocking the entrance and raced away, his four tails singed black at the ends permanently as a souvenir. When the sun rose, Tomo waited for his powers to return so that he could go and destroy the humans that had harmed his brother, but they never did. Tomo's chakra was dependent on Hoshi's, and Hoshi was sealed inside of the ugly bonding statue, as Tomo later observed. But by getting away and disrupting the ceremony, Tomo had made it impossible for the Akatsuki members to remove the statue from the cave, or for the leader himself to leave. Since Akatsuki set up shop in his old home, Tomo was forced to move on, to find a new home and new companions. Even as he left, he swore to someday free his brother from the statue.
Mika slipped into the bed and rested her head against his chest. "Kaa-san is sorry, Tomo. I'm sorry I decorated you without permission."
Tomo licked her hair once to let her know that she was forgiven and rested his head over hers. Let Anko grovel for a while longer.
Tomo had been running from the hunters for a week now, but his foot had only worsened since he first slipped in that snake hole two days ago. He couldn't get much further. Cornered in an alleyway of the small town, he turned to face his pursuers stoically. The largest lifted his weapons . . . and then the silver haired child tumbled out of a box nearby. Tomo leapt forward, snatching the child's collar and dragging her out of the way of the flying shuriken. The hunters leapt forward and sank a kunai into Tomo's side as Tomo pushed the child away from him. Tomo's pain-filled yelp gave Mika new fire. The silver-haired child leapt onto his back, clinging to his neck.
"Don't hurt my doggy."
"Get out of my way, brat."
"I know you didn't just call my daughter a brat."
Tomo hadn't even seen the woman appear behind the hunters. Her eyes proved her claim over the child. They were the same dark eyes of his little rescuer. She was smaller than all of the men, but Tomo could tell by both her chakra and her hitiate that she was a ninja and therefore more than strong enough to take out the hunters. She broke the largest one's arm and tossed his weapons to the ground before any of the men turned around.
"To threaten a child, barely four years old with weapons? What kind of men are you?"
"Not the girl," one sputtered. "We just want the wolf."
"So you're picking on helpless injured creatures? You're more scum than I thought you were. Get out of here. If you see this wolf around again, just remember he's under my protection. Scat."
Anko turned around and reached out for the child. Mika went to her and pointed back at Tomo. "Kaa-san! Look at my doggy!"
"I see the doggy, Mika. I just don't know what we're going to do with him."
There was nothing he could do about it. He'd simply have to forgive Anko. She had taken him in despite misgivings and Tomo loved Mika too much to leave in a huff. Honestly, they were turning him into a house pet.
Tomo heaved an exaggerated sigh and nipped Mika's neck lightly. The silly child had fallen asleep mid-day, and Tomo knew that if she took a long nap now, she would be impossible to put to bed later. Mika grumbled and buried her face further in his fur. Tomo used his snout to push her off of the bed.
Mika hit the floor with a startled yelp and looked up at Tomo with a pout. "That was mean, Tomo," she whined.
Tomo snorted. "Learn to sleep at normal hours then, brat."