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Naruto snickered as they ran from Hiroroshi Katsugaya and his team. Shino was holding the flag and Shikamaru was happily blowing Hiro-team's camp up. It was day three of their camping trip and Naruto had decided to take the flag and laze for the rest of the week. Shikamaru had agreed quickly. Shino had been guilted into it by the lazy boy, because of what had happened on the first day. The trio fled back to their camp quietly, making sure to leave false trails behind.


Naruto tilted his head to acknowledge Shino. He executed a complicated maneuver for pure showmanship as he tried to delay the kikai user's game.

"I know you heard me. Death gave you excellent hearing, did he not?"

"So he did. What is it?"

"Why did you do it?"

Naruto closed his eyes once he had ensured his footing. He landed and crouched, nails digging into the bark of the tree.

"I have told you before Shino. For you, I would do it again."

Shino growled.

"That doesn't fucking answer me!" Shino yelled.

"Why should I!? You've never appreciated it! Debt is all you think of! I didn't do it to tie you to me! You weren't even supposed to fucking know!"

"Fuck you!"

"No, you don't love me Shino. I don't bend over and take it from anyone." Naruto hissed. "I've given my soul for you, and now you wish to take my body as well?"

"You know damn well that isn't what I mean." Shino gritted his teeth. Naruto looked away. The white blond closed his eyes tiredly.

"You were my first friend. You accepted me first; you fed me when I had nothing, what more reasoning could there be for me to help you? I loved you first, when I knew I shouldn't. And not in the way I tease you over. You are dear to me, Shino, and this I have told you many a time."

"Would you do it for Shikamaru? For Hinata?"

"Never for Hinata. She would die if I sacrificed so much for her. I would do it for Shikamaru, I would do it for Iruka. Never for the Hokage."

Shino stared at Naruto. The blue eyed boy stood, pulling his nails from the tree.

"But that doesn't explain."

"Because you do not want to hear it." Naruto snapped. "You never have. Mei did it; I did it, what is there to understand?"


Naruto froze.

"Who is Mei?"

"No one."

"Then why is she so important?" Shino pressed.

"Whoever told you she was lied." Naruto whispered. "I'm going to camp. I've no wish to be interrogated. Not by someone I should care about."

"I thought you loved me."

Naruto leapt away. He spun in the air, landing smoothly on another tree branch.

"Have you not heard? I have no heart." Naruto leapt again, vanishing into the shadows of the trees.

"You deserve that." Shikamaru murmured quietly from the branch above his head. "He has explained his reasoning too many times already and still you question him."

"It's inconsistent with him!"

"That he would sacrifice!? He fucking sacrificed his happiness to save Yuka, his ear for my father, his heart for a woman who never returned to him. He loves so deeply that he would do anything, but you question him."

"What woman?" Shino barked.


Shino blinked at the soft reverence in Shikamaru's voice.

"Who was she?"

"I do not know." Shikamaru closed his eyes and warped, bending the shadows to bring him to camp.

"I don't understand." Shino sighed. He followed the path Naruto had taken, not eager to return to a camp that would be silent upon his appearance.




Shino shifted uncertainly.

"Can I call you friend?"

The tow headed boy toppled off the swing ungracefully. He sat up, wincing when the swing cracked him in the head.

"Why? What do you want?"

"My parents said to stay away from you, but I see no reason to." Shino waited through the silence that met his statement.

"Can I call you my friend?" Naruto spoke suddenly.

"I should think so."

"Is this a game to you?" Blue eyes met hazel. For once, Shino saw the true intelligence that hid just below the surface. "Would you turn your back on me when the truth comes out?"

"Comes out?" Shino repeated, confused.

A sharp bark of laughter escaped Naruto's mouth.

"Surely you can't expect to relate to me in public. It would end you. Whatever my family did to bring shame, it would extend to your family. Privacy would be best."

"I…see." And Shino did. He just wondered how Naruto had seen it first. "It is not a game to me."

"Then yes, by all means, call me friend." Naruto turned away. "Go, you know the families will come soon."

Shino inclined his head and walked away. He passed the high echelon families on his way out. He bowed to each and every head, gaining favor for his clan. He smiled behind the collar of his shirt. He had also gained the hand of someone the village hated and feared.


Naruto sighed as he landed on the woven net. He curled up in his spot and fell into his mind. He dropped through the layers until he reached the one that hosted his gifts. Acting quickly, he clamped the lid to the red chest closed; shoving the blood colored fog in before it had even a moment to escape. He turned and sat on the ground, eyeing the many colored chests in the room. He knew only the capabilities of two, the death shroud and the poisonous mist. Everything else, he dared not touch for fear of what would happen to him. He closed his eyes when he felt the cool chill of death settle around him.

"Were you not forbidden from venturing here? Have you not opened gifts I have no use for already? Do you wish to burden me with more and fail?"

I merely wished to give you the chest that will let you speak to your precious Mei.

"We both know this is impossible. Go back to your realm and leave me be. I've no patience for you."

So rude you are to me. I would be offended had I a soul or heart to care.

Naruto snarled at the barb.

"What more do you want from me? Shall I cease my acting and act how you believe I should?"

You do that already. Jaded little child of my heart, you are.

"And now you claim to have a heart. Pathetic."

Ah, you wound me. Your friend, Shino, says the same to you doesn't he? He is right. You have no heart, no soul. Only power and the ability to use it.

"And my brain which tells me to resist it."

Death grinned tightly, blue lips pulled back almost ferally.

Pity I don't agree with your brain. With a too casual flip, a chest flew open. Naruto cried out and ran to it, flipping the lid shut and shielding it with his body. What good will that do boy? I have already released it. And then pain hit Naruto. He screamed, curling into a ball as his spine tried to claw its way out of his body, as his head throbbed and ached as his brain fought and rebelled, as his heart beat harder than he ever thought it would. And then the pain hit the height of a new level of pain and Naruto blacked out.

"Tell me Naruto? What is it that you want most?"

Naruto smiled up into the violet eyes of his caretaker.

"I have what I want most Mei. What more can I ask for?"

"What is it that you mean?"

Naruto smiled shyly and scuffed his shoe into the floor.

"I love you."

Mei's eyes narrowed. There was a crack as her palm met his cheek.

"You can't. Ever. They would take you from me to cause you pain."

Naruto looked up at her, his eyes watering not from pain, but from heart break.

"I understand." Naruto looked away.

Mei jerked his chin so he was looking at her.

"Don't ever love. And if you do, don't you ever tell someone you love them. It'll only cause you pain."

And Naruto understood. He dropped his eyes and walked away.

Love was for the weak and those who could afford to love.

He could not.

But he did.


Shikamaru fell onto the mat. Naruto's body was misting with something unfamiliar to him. Shikamaru took a step forward and paused. He sighed, leapt back and fell through the wire, landing on the floor. Between one breath and the next, he had dragged Shino away from the camp.

"What is it?"

"Something new." Shik.amaru answered glibly. His eyes slid to the silent boy's

Shino paused, putting together his thoughts.

"Then we wait."

"Hn." Shikamaru glanced at him again and then leapt away. Shino sighed and went a different way. On the days he went after Naruto, Shikamaru took his side. Shino bit his lip angrily, drawing blood. He had gone to Naruto first, why could he not accept Naruto as he was now?

Shino closed his eyes wearily.

He already knew why he couldn't accept this new Naruto.

He could not find it in himself to fix the problem.



"Yes Naruto?"

Naruto blinked in surprise, not expecting an answer.

"Will you leave me?"

"Not if I can help it."

Naruto nodded and smiled.

"Thank you."

Pathetic thing aren't you? Naruto spun as the voice cut through his memory. But I see why you love this bitch. Was she a good fuck?

"You're a sick fuck aren't you?"

You are the one with such saccharine memories that they sickens me.

"They are my memories."

Sick little fuck aren't you?The Kyuubi grinned ferally. His chakra came together, and a likeness of Mei appeared, birthed from the flames. Is this your Mei?He ran his finger down her cheek and the thing leaned into his touch. Let me show you what it would be like with her. The Kyuubi's voice had slipped down a decibel and it was husky enough to drag pleasure from an unwilling boy. Naruto snarled, baring his teeth at the fox. He pushed against his mind, and found himself trapped by the Death god's weaving. He raged against the barrier, even as breathy moans escaped his guardian. He faced away, unable to see even the effigy of Mei touched by the too handsome man. But nothing could save him from hearing his first mentor's voice switch from pleasure into pain. Naruto dragged in air as Mei screamed for his help. He turned only when he heard the last breath rattle past her lips. A sob caught in his throat when his eyes met the oh so familiar violet of the first person he had let himself love. The Kyuubi had used her body, had damaged her, had taken his pleasure from her and destroyed her.

Naruto didn't think as he attacked the barrier. He screamed in rage, tears running down his cheeks as the Kyuubi caressed the dead woman's body.

Do you still want her boy? After I've used her so?

"I hate you!" Naruto paused and tipped his head to the side. A feral smile split his face. He closed his eyes and the Kyuubi found himself choking. The feral smile widened as Naruto twisted the demon's chakra to his bidding. When the Kyuubi finally regained control of his powers, he threw himself at the barrier. Naruto stayed where he was as the man, no, demon slammed into the barrier again and again. The great Kyuubi no Youko stopped and glared into the cold blue eyes of his jailer.

That was the cost of my counsel boy. Never forget.

Naruto met the demon's eyes unflinchingly.

"I'll kill you for that." A slow smile spread over the foxes face. As a final insult to the memory of the red haired bitch the child dare reminiscence over, he ripped the woman's head off and tossed it at the bars. The head stuck. Naruto tilted his head and stared at the woman. Soulless blue slid shut and Naruto leaned forward. He kissed the head's mouth deeply and pulled away. His mouth was stained with blood. The Kyuubi stared in shock. He had forgotten that the boy was more than he seemed. The fox howled when the boy spat on him, false blood from the woman's mouth landing on his face.

You're dead boy! Dead!

"Poor pathetic you. Haven't you heard? I have no heart, no soul, only a head that believes they still exist." He smiled brightly. "You haven't had you? Is Death still not on speaking terms with you? Pity." Naruto reached for the head and caressed its cheek tenderly. "Was she a good fuck? Or did you need to use your hand since her body doesn't actually exist?" A sly smile twisted Naruto's lips. "Poor you! Foxes are such naturally sensual creatures, and you've been stuck within me for twelve years. Oh, you must be raw from having to use your hand so much."

And the Kyuubi was reminded of the slyness that filled the child was influenced by him. In that second, he had never been more proud of the boy with the white blond hair. On the other, he hated him with passion. The Kyuubi turned away.

Are you finished taunting the mongrel?

"Should I be?"

Do you not want to know what I have gifted you with?

"Why should I? I never wanted it?"

Ah, you do not wish to have the power to heal? I gifted it to you because too soon you will be expected to go on missions.

"Do you not want the deaths that will occur?"

Only if you wish for your precious friends to live will you accept my gift.

"As you wish then. I cannot stop you anyway, the process has already begun. May I leave?"

Why should I let you?

"Have you not let the fox torment me enough?"

You must learn to have no heart, what you did to that head is one step closer to that path.

"Ah, I gave you my soul. I never said you could have my heart as well. After all, don't you have one?" Death looked away. He ran a dirty hand through filthy hair before turning back to the boy. He answered honestly.

To be Death, you must have no heart, but once I did.

Naruto was tossed from his mind before he could respond or question the response he was given. He sat up with a gasp, clutching his chest. A bitter smile crossed his lips as he closed his eyes.

How could he have forgotten? He was never supposed to have a heart.

I updated it!! Sorry I haven't done that in forever and ever. Could make excuses but I won't. Don't hate me? Pleash?

Peace and Love

-Dream Hime