WARNING: This story is Naruto/Sasuke, meaning Naruto is seme and Sasuke is uke. This also means there will be yaoi, which means male/male sex will appear in upcoming chapters. This will eventually have mpreg as well. If any of the above squicks you, please hit the back button on your web browser.
By the way, this is also a challenge fic. The challenge was found on Sweetsong's profile. Drop by and read some stories.
The Fox Hunts
I. My Prey
A young boy rides his horse across a shadowed pattern of leaves that decorate the forest floor. The sunlight peeking between the branches gives his pale skin a glossy glow. Silky black hair presses against his scalp as the strong thoroughbred he rides gallops at breakneck speed. The barking of hounds can be heard ahead of the rider. He tightens his hold on the reins, kicking his horse's side, urging it to go faster. It complies and the forest around them becomes a blur. Light shines in his vision, turning the world white as pained yelps echo around him.
He tugs at the reins, forcing his horse to come to an abrupt stop. It whinnies with annoyance and snorts loudly. The boy's black eyes meet the fiery red ones of his target. Glistening white teeth are stained red with blood, that runs down it's jaws covered in equally red fur. Nine bushy tails swish around agitatedly behind the fox that is larger than a Saint Bernard. A threatening growl quivers from it's throat.
The bodies of five, maybe six dead dogs surround it. The blood making a large puddle in the middle of the green gas. Piles of dog flesh, fur, limbs and no-longer-internal organs are scattered everywhere. One dog is split right in the middle, between it's hind and forequarters. It's front paws twitch as it pants with soft whimpers. The fox tears out it's throat, ceasing it's movement, as the fox swallows the tissue. A pink tongue flicks over it's chops before it bares it's teeth in a malicious smile. The boy smirks in return.
"I, Sasuke Uchiha, will kill you, Kyuubi of the demons." The boy says confidently. His boots leave the stirrups as he slides off his horse's saddle. He draws his sword from the sheath strapped to his back, holding it in front of him with both hands. They stare at each other, sparks flashing heatedly between them. The boy is first to move. The swing of his sword meets only air as the fox ducks and rolls pass him. He turns and freezes in shock.
The fox has grown over five times it's original size. It's canines are nearly as long as the boy is tall. Holy shit… His fingers tremble, lightly tapping the sword's tip against the dirt below him. He steels his nerves as he raises the sword slicing it against the beast's muzzle. His blade snaps in half. Not good! He tosses the sword aside and backs away slowly, one step at a time. The demon fox growls with an uncanny similarity to a human chuckle.
Sasuke turns to run, but is stopped by a massive paw pressed down on his chest. The sound of his armor cracking can be heard as more pressure is applied. His one free hand lets slip a knife hidden within his armguard. He sticks the blade into the creature's leg with as much force as he could muster. The beast doesn't even wince. It's nostrils snort in amusement, mussing the boy's hair.
It lowers it's massive jaws to his skinny, little arm. It clamps the weedy thing between it's teeth, soft enough to not bite clean through, but hard enough to have a firm hold. No…no…don't… The boy pleads internally. His pride keeps him from voicing his protests. They would have been futile anyway. The fox pulls it's head back, ripping the arm from the boy's shoulder. Warm blood splatters on his face as pain and shock hit the core of his nervous system. A high-pitched scream breaks from his lips causing birds to fly away chirping in fear.
Closed eyelids snap wide open, revealing dilated black irises. The adrenaline pulsing through his body makes his chest heave as fast as his heart beats. His hand moves immediately to his other arm. His narrow fingers massage the tissue and muscle as he presses against the bone. His eyes roll to the side tentatively, fearing that it may be his imagination. The sight of his arm still connected to his shoulder releases a sedating effect on the adrenaline racking his body. He wiggles the fingers on said arm and breathes a soft sigh. He changes his gaze, looking up at the ceiling. He lays one arm against his sweat-covered forehead. Shit. It happened again. He rolls his head to the side. The calendar tacked on his wall has a red circle around today's date. The words 'HUNT' is written in big, bold letters.
He sits up, pressing his hand to his forehead. His fingers and thumb massage his temples in small circles. I'm just nervous, that's all. It is my first time. Even Itachi had been scared on his first hunt, right? A light, bitter chuckle emits from his throat as he crosses his arms in front of his chest. Yeah right. He's the only person who actually managed to drive away Kyuubi and on his first hunt, too! The only way I could top that is by killing Kyuubi myself. An image of Kyuubi ripping his arm off flashes in his mind. His hand immediately flies to his head once more, nursing his headache. Damn. I need to get it together. He groans softly.
A loud knock interrupts his brooding. He sits up stiff and rigid, schooling his face into a blank expression. An Uchiha does not show his weakness. The door opens as an almost identical, yet notably more mature face looks at him dully. "So you're awake, little brother. Come, Mother has already made breakfast." He disappears closing the door behind him with a soft click.
Sasuke steals a glance out his window. It is still dark with a large white moon hanging in the sky. The hunt starts when the rising sun appears on the horizon. I better get ready.
Sasuke walks down the steps to the kitchen. His heavy boots clomp on the wooden flooring. He turns his head, seeing his father and brother already eating a plate of ham and eggs. His mother is pouring orange juice for his father, who thanks her pleasantly. She smiles. She turns and notices Sasuke.
"Good morning, Sasuke. Please eat your fill. You'll need your strength." She motions to an empty seat where his breakfast is already placed. He smiles and nods. He takes his seat and stabs a fork into the ham. He brings it to his lips, but pauses as he remembers the dismembered dogs from his nightmares. "Is something wrong, Sasuke?" His ever observant mother questions. Sasuke shakes his head and tries to give her a reassuring smile.
"No, I'm just excited. I'm finally sixteen, old enough to hunt Kyuubi, after all." He says, stuffing the piece of ham into his mouth, ignoring the queasiness of his stomach. His father laughs and ruffles his youngest son's hair.
"Spoken like a true Uchiha! Today, we'll bring back Kyuubi's head for sure!" He exclaims, smiling broadly. His mother doesn't look convinced, but smiles anyway. It's not her place to interfere with tradition, even if it means letting her two boys walk straight to their deaths.
Many hours have passed since sunrise. The sky is a vibrant shade of light blue with hardly a cloud in the sky. The sun shines warmly, calming the foreboding feeling that lingered in Sasuke's bones since before the sun rose. It seems so deceptive, as if the gentle weather is trying to lure him into a false sense of security. An image from one of his many nightmares fixed that problem instantly, like waking someone by splashing a bucket of cold water on them. He glances around the small unit he had been assigned to. There is his brother, looking attentive as an experienced huntsman should. Then there's that boy, Kiba, from the Inuzuka family who raised the foxhounds. He too is the youngest in his family and this is also his first hunt. Shino Aburame is on his horse next to Kiba, listening to, or maybe ignoring, the chatter that is coming nonstop from the dog trainer. Sasuke doesn't know much about him, but he's seen him with Kiba frequently. The other four men in his group are older than him. He'd seen them with his brother before, but had never been acquainted with them himself. Sharingan, Sasuke's horse, whinnies impatiently. The strong thoroughbred clearly bored of walking and eager to gallop. Sasuke scratches the horse's ears, soothing it with soft words.
"Sasuke," his brother speaks out of the blue, "get ready." A scream follows his words shortly after. Sasuke whips his head around to see one of the older men writhing on the ground. The man's horse is gone, possibly having run off. Kyuubi has the man pinned down. The man's screams are muffled by the large fox who has his jaws clamped over the man's face. Kyuubi snaps his jaws shut, smashing the frontal section of the man's skull. Blood spurts out and the writhing limbs stop moving. Kyuubi opens it's jaws, letting the mass of blood, tissue, and bone slip out. It looks Sasuke in the eye. The boy freezes, momentarily forgetting to breathe.
Please don't kill me. Sasuke pleads silently with wide eyes. The creature doesn't move, becoming almost stiff as a statue. The soft 'shink' of a blade being drawn from it's sheath breaks the tense moment. Itachi and his horse, Mangekyou, race pass Sasuke, charging at the monster fox. The fox evades the attack and turns to run away. Itachi and the rest of the unit chase after it, leaving Sasuke behind. The boy trembles, the violence having jarred all his nightmares to the forefront of his mind. He holds his head in his hands. Get it together, Sasuke!
The fox hiding in the dense foliage looks over his prey. The older man would realize the other fox is just a decoy soon enough. Now is the time to finally take the boy, the one he had patiently waited ten years for. He creeps silently along the ground, lowering his belly to the floor. The boy is too busy muttering and shaking to notice. Just like that time. The fox muses. He pounces, knocking the boy off his horse. Wide, black eyes stare into his fearfully. Kyuubi's forepaws are spread to pin the boy's wrists, while his hind paws hold down the boy's thighs. Kyuubi licks Sasuke's neck, trying to calm the boy. Sasuke slowly shuts his eyes.
Please, let this be another nightmare. Let me wake before it eats me. Please. Sasuke thinks as he falls into unconsciousness. The fox looks over the boy who just fainted.
It's amazing how much humans change in such a short period of time. The fox notes. The most obvious difference being the boy's height, having grown about three to four feet taller than he remembered. The baby fat had melted away, replaced with strong, toned muscles. His once stubby fingers and legs had stretched out beautifully, making him look more elegant rather than cute. Of course, some things never change. The boy's skin is still pale as a swan's feathers. His black eyes are still alluring as always. The dark hair managed to keep it's strange yet lovely shape, as if it never grew out since that day.
The fox's ear twitches as he catches the sound of hooves and dogs. He wraps one of his nine tails around the boy's waist and places him carefully on his back. His tail wraps around his and the boy's torso, so he can run without worrying about the boy falling off and hurting himself. Just before he takes off, the older man returns. The normally stoic-faced man has a look of surprise. In the many years Kyuubi and that man had faced off against each other, he had never seen such an expression on the man's face before. He doesn't dwell on it for long and runs off at full-speed. The horses chasing after him are unable to keep up.
---10 Years Prior---
A short, blond boy who looked no older than six years old, dressed only in a large white t-shirt and denim shorts, limps through the forest. He has a deep cut in his leg. The blood spills out, leaving a trail behind him. Damn. That human…how could such a young human give me such a wound? If I'm lucky, these hunters will think I'm just some stupid kid wandering in the forest. I better find a place to hide while I wait for my leg to heal. He comes across the small hollow of a dying tree without leaves. The hole is large enough to permit a small human or animal inside. This will be the perfect place to hide. I wouldn't be surprised if an animal has taken up residence though. Well, if that's the case, I'll just kill it. I need it more than that thing anyway.
He crawls on all fours and enters the hole. While the entrance may have been small, there is plenty of space within the hollow for three or four human children. His eyes make out an outline of a figure in the corner of the hollow. He approaches the figure, his nails turning into claws.
"Don't kill me." The soft voice strikes a familiar chord within the young blond and he retracts his claws. Ah yes, it reminds him of the whelps he often saw in the nursery and the daycare.
Just a child, huh? Human perhaps. It's hard to tell with all these animal scents lingering around here. The boy sighs, sitting next to the human child.
"Don't eat me. Don't take my arms from my body. Don't take my legs. Don't make red water come out of me. Should of listened to older brother. Older brother was right. The fox will get me. Must hide. Must hide." The child rambles in low whispers. By now the fox-turned-boy's eyes had adjusted to the poorly lit hollow. The human child is hugging it's knees, burying it's face in them. It's whole body shakes madly as it sobs. The blond places his hand on the child's shoulder. The reaction is immediate as the child lifts it's head from it's knees, spreads his legs and pushes his back against the wall. "AHH! THE FOX!" The child screams. The blond chuckles.
"Hey now, do I look like a fox to you? The monster fox is like really big, way too big to fit in here. And it's hairy and red and has all those tails!" The blond says, waving his hands as he speaks. The human child, human boy, visibly relaxes. "So, you're hiding from Kyuubi, eh? Well, he's gone now, you know."
"No," the boy responds immediately, "it's out there. Brother said to stay home. I followed and saw Kyuubi take a man's arm off his body. The man yelled a lot. Then he stopped. Kyuubi will do the same to me. I'm gonna wait here. Brother will find me."
"Oh? What if he doesn't find you? You might starve or die of thirst or something."
"No, brother will find me. Brother always comes for me."
"Your brother sounds really cool."
"He is. He's gonna kill the fox. Then he's gonna take me home."
"If you say so. By the way, my name's Naruto Uzumaki."
Authoress Note: Well, I saw this challenge ages ago and came up with a fairly good master/slave prototype concept. I managed to rework it within the last few months and have come up with a pretty solid storyline to go with it. Then I just waited until I was able to write again and voila. Here we go. I think Sasuke's being IC here. Remember how he first reacted to Zabuza and Orochimaru's killer intent? Same thing here. More revealed next chapter.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. This fiction is made purely for fan services and entertainment.