This story was written several months ago, around the same time that I started writing Pride of Suna. I was in an angsty mood but ended up not posting it, and so instead gave it to someone else to use. Checking his profile now, I notice he doesn't have the story posted, which either means he never used it or just took it down for some reason. Either way, he doesn't seem to be writing at all anymore (and won't return my PMs), and I still have plans for this story, but would first like to get a few opinions from others before going too far with it.

I hope you enjoy it.

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A Wicked Requiem

By Legendary Legacy

A Naruto Dark-fic

Standard Disclaimer: Naruto and all the characters and places within are the property of Masashi Kishimoto. They are used without permission. The plot, to the best of my knowledge, is my own.

Additional Disclaimer: If you are familiar with the rest of my work, this one may come as a surprise to you. This fic will be much darker, more angst-filled and not nearly as comical as the rest. There will most likely not be any major pairings (unless some form of suitable inspiration hits me (which it probably won't)), and I have rated it M for explicit language, violence and death among other possible things.

Please enjoy.

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Prologue

By the pricking of my thumbs

Something wicked this way comes

And when sleep takes you tonight

Will you wake to see the light?

--Bruce Dickenson, 'The Book of Thel'

Run. Chase.

Hide. Stalk.

Fear. Bloodlust.

Hunted. Hunter.

It watched on: Watched the timeless game of cat and mouse play out before it. It was all so familiar, and yet so very alien at the same time.

This game was all wrong.

It was not supposed to be the prey. IT was supposed to be the predator! IT was supposed to be the one enjoying this game! IT should NOT be the one running away!

Unfortunately, that was the only thing that it had been able to do for several years now. It wasn't by choice, of course. It was just that it didn't have any say in the matter.

So it continued to watch in silent fury, cursing its existence as nothing more than a caged animal within the confines of the body of a frightened eight year old boy.

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"Come back 'ere, ya damn monster!"

The boy, unsurprisingly, wasn't struck with the sudden urge to turn around and run back to his pursuer, and instead began running harder.

As he turned another corner, hoping to reach his home before the man reached him, unshed tears began to cloud his vision. He'd never allow anyone else to see them (He'd be damned if he would give the villagers the satisfaction of knowing that they were affecting him), but that didn't mean that he never cried. Quite the opposite actually, as that's how he usually fell asleep.

Everything was so unfair; he'd never done anything wrong to anyone. Well, maybe he'd play a practical joke now and then, but the stupid villagers made it seem like he'd killed someone. Why should he always be the target of their attacks?

Usually it wasn't bad. He had learned to easily ignore the cold stares or the way people refused to look at him when they passed on the street. Even the harsh words that were sometimes directed toward him could be brushed off without any real effort. The worst that they usually did was throw trash or rocks at him, but even that wasn't so bad, since they almost always missed anyway.

But there were some times, like tonight, when things could get out of hand.

He had been eating dinner at the Ichiraku Ramen shop; one, because he loved ramen, and two, because it was the only place he could go where the workers didn't look at him like he was planning on poisoning the other customer's food. After three bowls and very rare 'Have a nice night,' from the owner and his daughter, he began to head back to the orphanage.

He hadn't made it far when an older man, assumingly drunk by the way he was swaying, stumbled into him, sending both falling to the ground.

He was just getting back to his feet when he felt the man shove him back down.

"Whada ya think y'er doin', little punk?" the man had slurred.

He quickly climbed back to his feet before he retorted, "Hey, you're the one who ran into me!"

People walking by began noticing the scuffle, and upon seeing who it was that was involved, stopped to see what would happen.

The intoxicated man leaned forward, gazing into the face of the boy. He sneered. "So it'sh you, is it? Little bastard!" The man took a swing at him, but missed and stumbled, falling back to his knees. He glared furiously as the boy laughed at his drunken display.

"You been a...plague on us good people fer long enough, demon!" the man continued, finally seeming to find a sense of balance as he returned to his feet. "Im'a do to you what should'a been done the day you was born!"

The boy stopped laughing and looked around cautiously. It didn't seem like anyone watching was making any plans to break up what was about to happen (and a few that look ready to support the drunkard, he noted sadly), so he did all he could do.

He ran.

He had hoped that the man, in his inebriated condition, wouldn't be able to keep up, but that didn't seem to be the case as the chase was still going on more than six blocks later. He'd always prided himself on having an awful lot of energy for a kid his age, but the drunkard was proving to be very persistent in his goal of catching him.

Then an idea came to him. Rather than just trying to outrun him, he'd just have to outsmart him. As fast as he could, he slowed, pivoted, and dashed back toward the man. The man, caught completely off guard, attempted in vain to grab the boy as he ran past him, but ended up with nothing and wound up back on the ground.

The boy grinned in triumph as he continued to run toward the end of the block, almost within sight of the orphanage where he could feel relatively safe.

Then he felt one brief instance of excruciating pain shoot through his head before everything went black.

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It released a howl of rage that went unheard by anyone else but itself. It had watched as the boy pulled off his daring plan. It gave him credit, as far as prey went, he had great survival instincts.

But then he had seen the predator. The drunken man had gotten back to his feet, now holding something in his hand. If its voice could have been heard, it would have shouted a warning to his carrier. But knowing that it was useless, it could do nothing but watch as the man reared back and let fly the large chunk of cement that had broken loose from the street. It had to watch it as it sailed through the air and connected solidly with the back of the little boy's head, knocking him unconscious before even hitting the ground.

At this point, it wanted nothing more than to shred the flesh from the bones of the now cocky man as he walked forward and delivered four more solid kicks to the boy's already bloodied head. It didn't care much about the boy, but it absolutely despised being this helpless.

It listened to the posturing of the man telling the boy he'd 'finally gotten what he deserved', before proceeding to spit on the fallen boy. He then walked off, more than likely to brag about his deeds, probably under the impression that he was about to become the village's new hero for ridding it of the 'demon menace', and the boy was left lying motionless, face-down in a growing crimson pool.

With one last growl of frustration, it settled itself down next to the bars of its prison, shooting a fiery glare up at the tiny slip of paper that barred it from its freedom. The mere sight of the thing made it want to slaughter something even more than usual.

This was not the way things were supposed to be. It was supposed to be the one spreading fear through the hearts of these pathetic mortals, not the boy that it was 'hiding in'. They walked around everywhere, living with a false fear of the eight year old boy who, on his own, was as harmless as any domesticated house pet.

It swept a single tail against a wall, causing it to shake with a weak rattle. The humans in this village didn't know how well off they were. Oh, how it longed for the opportunity to give them all a real reason to fear it, to watch them scatter like insects before it as they had so long ago, before it began to leisurely hunt them all down one by one...laughing at their pitiful screams...

...Something was wrong.

Lifting its head, it tried to determine where the sense of sudden unease was coming from. The first thing it noticed was that the already dim light shining from outside of its prison was slowly growing dimmer. Curiously, it tipped its head to the side and rested his ear to the floor of the cell.

After several seconds, it frowned. The heartbeat of its container appeared to be weakening; growing fainter and further between with each beat. A sudden and unfamiliar panic washed through it. The container's body was shutting down. That's why everything was growing dimmer! The damage that the boy had sustained to his head wasn't healing!

The boy was dying. And that meant that IT was dying as well!

Rational thought vanished, and in a flash it was up, throwing its entire body against the rusted bars of the cell, struggling for all it was worth to escape. It was NOT going to die in such a pitiful way! Not now, not EVER!

But it was only ten seconds before its vision began to blur. Everything around it continued to go out of focus, which only made it increase its efforts. Why wasn't the boy healing!? It never took this long to heal his body before! The drunk couldn't have inflicted that much damage to him could he?

Five more seconds and it felt its legs start to go weak, but still it resisted the urge to lie down and close its eyes. The combined effort it was exerting along with the mass amount of chakra it was bleeding out to try to speed up the boy's healing was weakening it much faster than it should be.

It finally stopped upon realizing how short of breath it had quickly become. Completely exhausted, it could no longer help falling back onto it haunches. It gazed up wearily at the tiny seal. It was disgusting how a fucking slip of paper could mock it so.

The boy's heart had almost stopped. It wouldn't be much longer now...

"To hell with that," it mentally growled as it rose back to its feet. Nothing, least of all a tattered piece of magic paper, was going to be the end of it. Was it not the Kyubi no Kitsune, the most powerful of all the nine biju?

It began to gather the remnants of its chakra. It had already lost much, but there was still more at its disposal than any human could hope to contain. Its nine tails began to flail around wildly as all of its chakra was focused into its right paw.

With a mighty howl, the Kyuubi lunged and slashed the cell with its chakra-enhanced claws. The resulting backlash of pure red energy was enough to send the giant fox spiraling into darkness along with its container.

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His eyes fluttered open. He groaned in discomfort, not even aware of how long he had been laying on the ground like this. He slowly pushed himself up, shaking his head and trying to gather his thoughts.

"What the hell happened?" he wondered, absently rubbing his eyes. "How did I-? What's wrong with my voice?"

Opening his eyes again, he got another surprise. The streets of Konoha were dimly lit by streetlights, telling him he'd been out for only a few minutes, but the perspective was different from before.

An inkling of understanding began to dawn on him, but suspicions forced it back down. Getting to his feet, he moved to a nearby shop and stared at the window.

A pair of sparkling blue eyes stared back from a familiar human face. That spiky blond hair, the white tee shirt and ridiculous orange pants, those distinct whisker-like marks on the cheeks...

He couldn't bring himself to look away. Had he somehow...But he was still in...? How? Impossible!

Cautiously, he raised a shaking hand and placed it flat on the windowpane. With no effort at all, he applied a light pressure onto the glass.

It shattered as though a giant stone had been thrown through it.

Withdrawing the cut and bloodied hand, he stared in stunned exuberance as the wounds healed right before his eyes. Then a smile spread across his face, and he began to laugh, light and low at first, but steadily growing in pitch. It was a laugh filled with triumphant glee, but anyone else that might have heard it would describe it as cold and sinister.

Still laughing, he dropped down on all fours, pleased that this body seemed to adapt well to the new movement. With no further speculation, he took off into the night.

So it was still stuck in the body of a human, things could have been much worse. He sniffed the air, catching the scent of its prey everywhere. And a wonderful smell it was indeed.

It had been eight long years since the Kyubi last hunted. Now the only question was: Where to start?

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Within the personal chambers of his room, the Third Hokage sat up in his bed. He had been in the process of dozing off for the night when he'd suddenly felt a sense of intense unease in the pit of his stomach. He sat alone in silence for several seconds, trying to determine what the problem might be, but couldn't come up with anything.

It was an unusual thing. He hadn't felt this ill at ease in years. Not since discovering the forbidden human experiments that Orochimaru had been performing to help master his Immortality Jutsu.

The Sandaime glanced over at his crystal ball, debating whether or not he should do a bit of scrying for his anxiety. Unfortunately, it wouldn't help any if he didn't know what it was he was looking for.

Climbing to his feet, the old man shuffled over to the window. Staring out into the night always went quite a ways in calming his nerves. Everything looked peaceful, which meant the people were safe. And as long as his people were safe, then he could rest easy.

For the briefest of instances, he thought he saw a flash of red light streak across the rooftops out of the corner of his eye. But when he turned his head for a better look, he saw that there was nothing there.

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Being a demon on inconceivable wickedness, the Kyubi had never really known true happiness before. It got plenty of thrills out of slaughter and plunder, but nothing that really made him 'happy'.

But right now, nothing else could properly describe what he was feeling. Running through the now desolate streets of Konoha, feeling the warm night air blow through his hair was an absolute joy after being stuck in that grimy cell for so many years. Granted, it was a little strange to only have hair on the top of his head rather than fur all over his body, but small sacrifices were a part of life, after all.

Adding a little spring to its animalistic dash, it leapt to the top of a nearby building. It continued to effortlessly vault from one rooftop to the next, gaining altitude little by little, barely more than a faint reddish-orange streak in the night.

Before long, he found himself at the top of the Hokage mountain monument, a place that the boy himself had often come to when he didn't feel like being around people. He grinned a feral grin. It was nice to see that the human body that now belonged to him didn't seem to hinder his speed or movements too much, and the little bit of lag that he did feel he would chalk up to laying dormant for so long. He didn't have anywhere near the limitless chakra he possessed in his own body, but he was certain that it would be returning to him in due time. Even his regenerative powers were in full effect, he noted after running a hand over his head to discover not so much as a scar from the earlier bloody gash.

Life had gone from miserable to almost perfect in a matter of minutes. The demon couldn't help but smile gleefully. Now, he just had to figure out a way to get out of this puny body and back to his regal beast form.

...Or did he?

Now that he thought about it, the body of this human would be a nice cover for the time being. At least this way he could remain inconspicuous. He knew for a fact that the Sandaime also knew that detestable sealing spell that had been his downfall the first time. The last thing he needed was to cause another all-out war with the entire village and end up sealed away a second time.

So it was decided then. For now, all he had to do was bide his time, wait to regain his full power and keep a low profile while he looked for a way to defend himself from the old man whose head he was currently sitting on.

He snorted in disgust. Low profile meant no genocide of Konoha within the span of a single night. It would be a pain in the ass, but if he controlled himself, maybe he could limit his activities a little better.

While sitting atop the mountain, a thought came to him. What must have happened to the boy? Since he was now in control of the child's body, he found that he was not able to feel the presence of his container any longer.

He was left with nothing else to believe than the boy had died from his head wound, and in his own attempt to escape his prison, the Kyubi had somehow freed himself from his bonds but was still unable to break the seal completely.

Out of the cell, but not out of the prison, in a sense.

It was surprising, but the fox demon actually felt a speck of remorse at the death of his container. Sure, he had been loud and obnoxious and possessed an unhealthy passion for ramen, but as far as worthless human shit went, he hadn't been so bad.

"Well brat," he spoke in a voice identical to that of his former host's. "Since we've known each other for so long, I suppose the least I can do to honor your memory is take revenge on everyone that made both of our lives hell, don't you think?" His melancholy grin turned sly as he looked up to the night sky. "It'll be a dirty job, but I'll do it for you, brat. So rest in peace, everything's in good hands now!"

Howling with laughter, Kyubi leapt from the monument, already knowing who his first victim was going to be.

End Prologue

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Being my first real forage into the dark-fic area, I've no idea how this will turn out. But I was in a darkened mood when I first wrote it, and I'm in another one now, so what the hell, right? Let me know what you think, and maybe I'll continue it alongside my other two major works.

LL