AN/ In the interest of not uploading a giant 20k chapter this is part one of They All Fall Down.

Naruto Wandering Demon

Chapter 12: They All Fall Down

When Sakura woke up the next morning the first thing she did, after allowing herself to revel in the feeling of Naruto's arms around her for almost fifteen minutes, was remove Naruto's hand from her chest before sitting up to stretch.

When she spotted the two rocks beneath the windowsill her brows furrowed in confusion.

"What the heck is that?" She asked no one in particular seeing as Naruto was still sleeping and Shadow wasn't around. Deciding to get up and investigate the first thing Sakura deduced was that it was possibly more than just a couple of rocks.

They looked like swords but not any swords she'd ever seen. Kind of like a mix between a pirate swashbuckler and a scimitar. Reaching forward to lift one up she was surprised by how heavy it was. It took all her strength and then some to even lift it up a few centimeters and her face was scrunched up from the effort it took.

Carefully lowering it back down Sakura turned her attention to the still sleeping blond Fox Demon. "Naruto," she called out, "what the hell is this?"

Naruto opened one bleary blue eye to look over his shoulder at what Sakura was referring to before closing it again. "Junk."

"Junk?" Sakura repeated, flabbergasted. "Why is there junk in our room?"

"Apparently it's fancy junk." When that didn't seem to appease his Mate Naruto decided to elaborate. "Shadow said it's some sort of Fox Demon relic or something. Very," he yawned, "important."

"Where did it come from?"

"We stole it from a museum in Higashīko."

"You did what?" Sakura screeched, waking not only Naruto but also everyone else in the house. When Naruto shifted to lay on his back, having been woken up completely, she asked, "Why would you do such a thing?"

"Do you remember the Demon I told you about last night?"

"Sort of..." Sakura struggled to remember the two minutes she'd been woken up. "I thought that might have been a dream."

Naruto shook his head. "That Demon was going to steal these so we stole them first."

"Why would anyone want them?" Sakura asked as she cast the two stones a disparaging look.

"According to Shadow they're immensely powerful." At Sakura's look of disbelief Naruto nodded his concurrence.

"Let's say they are what Shadow says, what are we going to do with them?"

"Whaddya mean?"

"They're ridiculously heavy!" Sakura exclaimed. "Are we just going to leave a pair of 'immensely powerful' Fox Demon relics in Tazuna's house forever?"

"They're not that heavy once you get used to them."

"There is no way anyone could get used to that weight."

"How do you think I got them here, Sakura-chan?" That stopped Sakura cold.

"Prove it."

Naruto sighed before sitting up and crawling over to where Sakura was. Placing a single hand on one of the stones he made an exaggerated showing of lifting it effortlessly, even going so far as to twirl it around a bit.

"Let me see that." Sakura stuck her hand out in a 'gimme' fashion. Naruto reached out to hand her the rock but as soon as his hand broke contact with the relic Sakura sunk to the floor as the stone sword splintered the wood. "See!"

"That's weird." Sitting cross legged opposite the rosette, Naruto brought a hand up to his chin. "Maybe only a Demon can pick it up?"

"Whatever the case we're probably going to have to take them with us when we leave. How are we going to explain a couple of stone swords?"

"I found a couple of cool looking rocks?" Naruto suggested with a shrug of his shoulders. "Too bad they're not regular swords, huh? But then we wouldn't be able to use my cool rock plan." Naruto stopped when he realized Sakura wasn't paying attention to him but to the pristine looking sword on the floor. "What in the world?"

"It... it just morphed." Sakura tried to explain what she'd seen. Morph wasn't even the right word, though. One second it was stone, the next it was metal. The transition had been instant. She'd been staring at it and she hadn't seen it happen. Crouching down to inspect it, Sakura confirmed it was still just as heavy but it was now definitely made of metal. "Did you do that?"

"I don't think so." Naruto replied, unsure.

"Stone." Sakura tried to command it. Nothing happened. "You try," she ordered before adding, "but don't use stone. We need to make sure it isn't a delayed reaction."

"Okay." he uttered slowly. "Glass?" The next second the sword was made of a translucent glass. "Huh. Well whaddya know?" he shifted his attention towards Sakura, "I guess I did do that," only to be a bit taken aback by the sheer excitement on Sakura's face.

"Do you think it can change shapes? Into other weapons?" Before Naruto could even open his mouth Sakura was already speaking again. "Tell it to change into something!"

"Like what?"

"Anything!" When Naruto flinched from her volume Sakura realized she had to reign in her excitement. "Sorry. Try a kunai."

Almost as soon as she'd said it a clatter was heard as a kunai fell to the ground from where the large ugly sword had been.

"Did I do that?" Sakura just barely managed to contain a scream over the possibility that she'd gotten whatever this was to change shapes before her logical mind took over. "Or did it change from you thinking about it becoming a kunai?

"Try thinking about it becoming something else."

Slightly overwhelmed by Sakura's sudden obsessive behavior; nevertheless Naruto did as he was asked. Besides, watching her face change between excitement, curiosity, confusion and the like as she thought was adorable to him. Closing his eyes in thought, he wondered about what to make the kunai change into next.

Sakura withheld her disappointment as she watched the Demon weapon—because that's what it must be—change into a succession of weapons as the blond across from her thought.






'Kunai again.' Sakura named each weapon in her head as it changed.

"I got it." Naruto suddenly spoke before leaning over to stare at the kunai on the floor.

"Seriously?" Sakura asked incredulously as she stared at the heavy hunting slingshot on the ground. Naruto reached down to pick it up, inspecting it.

"You ever been hit by one of these?" Naruto asked as he pulled back the strap. "Hurts like hell." The blond was too busy fiddling with the slingshot to notice his Mate roll her eyes. "Too bad I don't have any—" the sound of something small clattering on the ground preluded a small white pellet rolling between them. "Awesome."

"Can you be serious, Naruto? These things aren't a toy." Sakura reprimanded. Naruto was silent for a few seconds before a smile lit up his face.

"Close your eyes, Sakura-chan?" He requested. Sakura narrowed her eyes at him, wondering what he was up to though she obliged all the same.

"What are you going to do?" All she received in response to her question was the sound of cloth rustling. "Naruto?"

"Alright. Open your eyes."

When Sakura did her eyes widened.

"How do I look?"

Naruto... was wearing a Konohagakure headband.

It was, of course, a simple thing that she had seen countless times before, and she knew he had a few from other villages in his pack, but Sakura had yet to see her Mate wearing a headband before and thus had been woefully ill prepared for how devastatingly handsome he looked with his hair out of his face and her village's symbol on his forehead.

'Oh. My. God.' Inner Sakura was practically drooling. 'Fuck him. Fuck him right now.'

In all honesty Sakura found herself struggling not to do exactly as her inner persona demanded.

After a full minute of silence Naruto was beginning to grow worried that perhaps he had upset Sakura by changing the two artifacts into a cloth and metal plate inscribed with her villages symbol. He'd done it to see if the artifacts could even change into something other than weapons and hoped she might like the gesture but perhaps he had overstepped.

Just as he was about to open his mouth, to either apologize or ask if she didn't like it, he wasn't sure, Sakura abruptly stood before walking out of the room.

'I knew it. I did upset her.' Naruto lamented, throwing himself onto his back as he brought his hands up to cover his face. "Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Of course she'd be upset if you wore a headband she can't even wear any—"

The door opening drew Naruto's attention. One blue eye peaked between his fingers, spotting his Mate returning with a small plastic cup filled with what smelled like water.

"Here." She handed him the cup before crossing the room and digging through his backpack. Sitting up, Naruto stared at the cup of what was definitely water before he flinched when Sakura threw something at him. Looking at his lap he found his toothbrush. Lifting his gaze towards Sakura he found her squeezing a bit of toothpaste onto her own toothbrush before she chucked the tube of toothpaste at him as well.


"You have two minutes to brush your teeth before I come back." She ordered as she moved towards the door, presumably to wash her own teeth at the sink if the fact that she was already at work brushing was any indication. "Ahn leaf da hea'ban' ohn."

Naruto blinked a few times before realization dawned on him and he set to washing his mouth as quickly as he could. He had just finished rinsing his mouth with the water Sakura had brought him, spitting it out the window, when the rosette returned.

The click of the door locking seemed to echo throughout the room before Sakura launched her toothbrush in the direction of his pack and rushed towards him. Naruto barely had time to place his own toothbrush down before Sakura grabbed his face to pull him down into the most desperate kiss they'd ever shared.

From the very beginning he knew this was going to be different than all their past kisses. His knees buckled before giving out beneath him and he fell back a bit against the windowsill. He had to brace his hand on the windowsill to keep them upright.

Almost immediately after their lips connected he met her tongue with his, knowing that was how his Mate most enjoyed kissing. It was a good thing she had thought to have them brush their teeth, morning breath wasn't really much of a concern for quick pecks but would have certainly put a damper on the almost hungry make out session they were currently engaged in.

Usually the blond was the one in control of steering the direction and intensity of their kisses; tongue typically didn't come into play unless he took the initiative and added it to the mix. Very rarely—in fact it had only happened twice, once the morning after he'd marked her and again after his fight with Zabuza—did Sakura take the initiative.

Her left hand moved to the back of his neck, fingers playing with the hairs on the nape of his neck, while her right slid to the front of his bare chest, her touch electrifying every millimeter of skin along the way causing his nipples to harden as well as his arousal to truly begin to stir in his pants. His grip on the windowsill tightened.

Sakura hummed her approval of his physique into Naruto's mouth as her hand stopped its descent down his front to linger over his abs, palm and fingers splaying out to trace his muscles—('He's so fucking sexy.')—before she curled her fingers and resumed her downward journey, her nails scraping along his skin eliciting a gasp from the Demon.

It wasn't until her hand had reached his pants, her fingers slipping into his waistband, that Naruto offered any resistance, breaking their lip lock to protest.

"W-wait, Sakura-chan." His breathless voice broke the relative silence that had dominated the room, reaching out to snatch her hand with his left only for the rosette to bat him away.

"No, Naruto." Sakura put her foot down, just as out of breath as her Mate. "You owe me for the other day."

"I don't think me refusing to kiss you when you were all sweaty is fair compensation for this." Naruto joked in an attempt to diffuse the sexual tension. Clearly it didn't work because Sakura used the arm that was still draped around his shoulders to pull him down into a tender kiss.

"We don't have to go... all the way." She murmured against his lips. "There are plenty of stops... between kissing... and fucking," Sakura gripped Naruto's erection through his pants and between that and the vulgarity of her words she managed to elicit a groan from the blond, "aren't there?"

"I guess." Naruto replied through gritted teeth.

Thus far Sakura had yet to see Naruto's penis. Of course she'd felt it against her core through their clothes on numerous occasions during their steamier make out sessions and she's once woken up with her hand in his pants but for the most part she hadn't had much of a chance to study his anatomy. All she remembered from the one time she'd found herself holding it was that it was hard, it was hot and it was thick; her fingers hadn't been touching!

Sakura had often heard older, more experienced women say that bigger was better when it came to male genitalia and while she had no real idea of how big Naruto might actually be she imagined he wasn't exactly small, based solely off what she'd felt against her nether region from time to time. The rosette found herself hoping he wasn't monstrously huge.

'That certainly feels big enough.' Sakura thought as she rubbed her inexperienced hand against him in what she hoped was a pleasurable manner. Since he was angled down his left pant leg she had to maintain her hand at an awkward angle to keep her palm on his bulge. Naruto moaned into the kiss as Sakura released her grip to step closer, pressing their bodies flush against each other, allowing him to feel her feminine softness.

Because of the way his dick was positioned in his pants, when Sakura pressed up against him Naruto felt the slightest hint of pain on top of the pleasure. A fully erect penis stuck out, after all.

Lifting her arms to run her hands through Naruto's blond hair, Sakura was careful not to dislodge the headband from his head. Naruto's hands suddenly found her waist before sliding to aggressively palm her ass through her modest nightwear. Outside of the skin tight spandex shorts that usually hugged her butt his fingers sank into her flesh as he squeezed her cheeks obscenely.

A gasp escaped her mouth only to be swallowed by Naruto's as the force of his kneading of her ass caused the lips of her pussy to spread slightly before being pressed together again with every squeeze of his hands. In an attempt to increase the pressure Sakura tried to squeeze her thighs together only for Naruto to slip his left leg between her thighs. Behind her closed eyelids green eyes began to roll up and needy moans began to emanate from her throat.

Thanks to the mounting pleasure between her thighs Sakura lost control of the kiss and Naruto took over. Using his grip on her ass he pulled them closer still, somehow, and Sakura had to pull back as her back arched from the shock that raced up her spine when her core slid along his erection, made better by the fact that she had to stand on the tips of her toes due to the difference in height between them.

"Nn~Nyaruto!" Sakura mewled when Naruto used his grip on her ass to slid her back and forth on himself. The friction created by the creases on his pants and the bunched up cloth of her shorts sent waves of pleasure through her body and her right leg wrapped around his left, discarding all pretense of trying to stand on her toes. Her weight almost fully on her crotch Sakura threw her head back as she released a long, low moan.

Taking advantage of her exposed neck Naruto leaned down to clamp his mouth around the skin beneath her right ear. The suction he applied there sent tingles down her front and her nipples stiffened underneath her shirt. So focused was the young Demon on giving his Mate a hickey that his hands on her butt stilled, leaving Sakura squirming on his thigh in an effort to keep the mounting pleasure rising or at the very least prevent it from diminishing.

It had been quite a while since the last time she'd achieved release.

While Sakura had never been one to indulge in the act of self pleasure too often she wouldn't deny that between the dangers of her profession, the work she put into her portrayal of the perfect good little girl in her attempts to get her former crush to notice her and, if she was honest, being the only girl in a squad full of handsome young men a good orgasm every now and then had been crucial in keeping her stress at a manageable level while she'd been a member of Team Seven.

Unlike before, however, she now had someone constantly working her up only to pull back whenever things were getting too heated. Naruto repeatedly leaving her hanging had her craving relief like an Akamichi craved food but she had already vowed to herself that she wouldn't give in and masturbate when she had a perfectly good soon-to-be lover.

"My next orgasm will be given to me by that baka if it's the last thing he does." She'd sworn to herself one day as she'd been bathing and caught herself enjoying lathering her chest a little too much.

Now, as her world slowly devolved into nothing but her needy pussy quickly grinding back and forth on her Mate's thick cock through their clothes and basking under the sensation of his hot mouth on her skin, Sakura could definitely declare that it had been entirely worth it. She hadn't even peaked yet and already she was experiencing more pleasure than she ever had from her own ministrations.

An orgasm achieved by masturbation had always felt like a coil winding tighter and tighter in her stomach until it finally washed over her body like water overflowing across her skin. What she was experiencing now was completely different. Pleasure slowly ebbed throughout her body in waves like a tumultuous tide reaching further and further with every pass of her mound over the hard pillar of flesh beneath her.

Finally, when he had deemed the abuse he had subjected Sakura's neck to satisfactory enough, Naruto pulled back to admire his handiwork, the angry red welt stood out like neon against Sakura's ivory skin. His attention no longer completely focused on her neck Naruto lifted his gaze towards his mate's face and experienced what could only be described as sensory overload.

The first thing he picked up on was the moisture running down his his leg, seemingly originating from his cock. Cool around the sides of his leg but so warm on top, above his cock.


The moisture wasn't his.

It was coming from Sakura. From the juncture between her legs.

The slick substance was coming from Sakura's nether regions! Hot and soft; even through their clothes he could feel every contour of Sakura's sex rubbing along his shaft thanks to her arousal having soaked them through.

Seemingly endless, a stream of high pitched rasps assaulted his ears, sending a violent tremor racing down his spine. His heart, already beating quickly, sped up and seemed to thunder in his ears as it pumped what felt like liquid fire through his veins and straight to his dick, which had literally become painfully hard.

The thing that drove him over the edge, however, wasn't the sound of Sakura's sensual moans or the luscious feel of her womanhood moving against him. It was the vision of her beautiful face, contorted in pleasure as she moved against him. Sweat was beginning to form on her brow, pink hair matting to her face, her eyes closed but her eyelids fluttering with every pass of her sex, tears of frustration pooled in the corners of her eyes; the skin from her ears down flushed from her exertions and her mouth, hanging open as she panted, allowing her delicious moans to escape, with a thin line of drool hanging from her chin.

Sliding his right hand down her thigh to lift her left leg so it wrapped around his waist Naruto pushed himself off the windowsill. So enraptured with the pleasure she was receiving Sakura would not have noticed if not for the fact that without her leg on the floor, and with the sudden change in balance, she almost fell. She snapped out of her lustful haze long enough to wrap her arms and legs around Naruto properly as he maneuvered them to the futon where he proceeded to drop to his knees before leaning forward so Sakura was on her back beneath him.

Back on solid ground Sakura took the opening Naruto provided when he leaned back so she could slip her shirt up over her head before tossing it to the side somewhere.

For the first time since Tanzaku town Sakura was completely topless before Naruto's eyes. Free from the confinement of the stifling shirt pencil eraser sized dusty pink nipples capped a coin sized areola. On her back as she was Sakura's breasts, never considered more than a nice swell at best, looked smaller than usual. If she hadn't felt like she'd been stuck on the precipice of her orgasm before Naruto had decided to change their position she might have felt embarrassed about her small chest.

Instead, her attention was glued to Naruto's penis, suddenly half exposed after the blond had adjusted himself so his erection was tucked into the waistband of his pants. The top seven centimeters of his dick were exposed to Sakura's eyes and she drank in every detail. The skin of his shaft was the same color as the rest of him but the head of his penis was an angry dark red.

The two teens stared at each other for a few seconds, at the other's newly exposed flesh before Naruto leaned forward to rest flat against his Mate's chest, his dick settling perfectly over the heat of her core, and captured Sakura's lips in a kiss. An experimental roll of his hips later he broke the kiss to release a guttural hiss of pleasure onto her neck.

Sakura let out a high pitched mewl as her head fell back, her eyes rolling up as every muscle along her spine clenched when Naruto's cock slid along her vagina, the pressure from the contact so much better due to the new angle of his cock. Whereas before she'd been essentially just sawing her pussy rapidly back and forth on his lap, Naruto's thrusts dragged over her opening and pressed down on the little nub of her clitoris and his chest moving against her sensitive nipples was an added bonus.

The pleasure was so great that Sakura could do nothing more than wrap her legs around Naruto's waist and hold on for the ride.

"F...fuck, Sakura-chan." Naruto rasped out as he pressed his pelvis harder against Sakura's hot core, unable to get enough of the pleasure he received from the way his dick was sandwiched between the two of them. His slow thrusts began picking up speed, ripping mewls from the rosette in time with his thrusts as again she was brought to the edge only to be left dangling there, unable to reach the orgasm she knew was right there.

"Gah. Nyah! Ah! Na—ruto!" the blond above her pulled back just enough to look at her face. "Please," Sakura squeaked, "I... I ne—eed! To cum... but... but I~ I can't!" she sobbed out. "Go—oh! Go faster! Harder!"

Placing his hand on the futon beside her waist Naruto lifted himself up so his weight was settled more on her crotch. Once again, although the physical sensation felt incredible it was the visual aspect— Sakura's face scrunched up in equal parts pleasure and frustration, her back arched off the futon and her breasts jiggling from his thrusts were what sent Naruto racing towards his release. The muscles of his neck tensed and his knees began locking up.

Leaning forward again Naruto buried his face in the crook of Sakura neck and shoulder as his hips began thrusting erratically, pre-ejaculate beginning to leak from his tip, smearing over Sakura's stomach with every pass. "Sakura-chan... I-I can't... I'm gonna..."

"No, Naruto, please." The rosette beneath him pleaded.

"Sakura-chan." Naruto groaned, his scrotum tightening as his orgasm hit. As sperm rushed up his shaft Naruto turned and sunk his teeth into the base of Sakura's neck, right over where her mark resided.

Almost immediately Sakura's eyes flew open as her own orgasm finally crashed over her violently; her toes curled and her whole body tensed a split second before her world went white. When her vision cleared it was to find her Mate's spiky blond hair in the side of her view.

For a little while they both just lay catching their breath. It wasn't until Naruto went to release his hold on her neck that Sakura realized he'd still had his teeth imbedded into her neck.


"Sorry." Naruto apologized as he pulled back to look at her face and Sakura noted that his blue eyes were slit with just the slightest hint of red around the rim. "And sorry for cumming without you like that."

Sakura reached a hand up to cup his cheek before rising up to kiss him. "I came." She revealed when she lay back down.

"Really?" his eyes searched her face for any signs of untruth.

"Best orgasm I've ever had."

"Same here." Naruto pulled back to sit up on his knees, his right arm going to his messy abdomen. "As you can see."

Sakura stared at the semen sticking to his abs before glancing down at her own stomach where a similar sight awaited her. "We should probably get cleaned up."

"Here," Naruto moved to grab his dirty shirt from nearby, "use this to clean... uh, that."

"I meant a shower."

"I know." he replied as he pulled out a scroll. "I just figured you might want to wipe that off before you leave the room." With a puff of smoke a set of clothes for both of them was out. He went to hand Sakura her set before averting his eyes. "Here. You go first. And maybe put on your shirt."

"Naruto," Sakura tried to get him to look at her as she sat up, "you can look at my chest. I don't mind."

"No, I don't think I should." he glanced at her out of the corner of his eye but made sure to keep his gaze high. When Sakura's face fell and she went to cover up her chest he hurried to add. "You're too sexy, Sakura-chan. I... um, I'm getting hard again."

"Oh." Sakura blushed in embarrassment even as she felt her self-esteem soar. "I guess I'll just go shower then."

Naruto nodded, still facing away from her until she put on her shirt and left. When he was alone Naruto exhaled a calming breath before reaching up to remove the headband on his head.

"All that because of this?" even as he said that he couldn't help the stupid grin that made its way onto his face as he thought about what they'd just done.

They were splitting up for the day.

Naruto was stuck on house duty with Shino while Sakura accompanied the rest to the bridge site.

Apparently Kurenai was originally going to leave them both on house duty but after what had transpired earlier in the morning she had decided against leaving them together.

As it turned out, Tazuna's house wasn't exactly sound proof. Despite them refuting having actual full on intercourse, the young couple had been teased all throughout breakfast. Hinata couldn't look at either of them without erupting into a blush.

After everyone left most of the morning was spent on the couch for the blond Fox Demon, playing with the Demon artifacts in his pocket, currently in the shape of two metal balls. Shino wasn't the most talkative person and Naruto didn't like interacting with the young Half Demon if he didn't have to.

He'd been burned too many times by other half demons in the past for him to want to give Inari a chance.

Of course, he was civil towards Tsunami. The woman had a welcoming personality and on occasion, particularly when she let Tazuna or Inari have a piece of her mind, reminded him of his mother. Perhaps that occasional feistiness was what had attracted Inari's father to Tsunami.

'Are demons attracted to strong willed humans?' Naruto wondered idly as he thought of his own Mate.

"Naruto-kun." Tsunami called to gain his attention. Beside her stood her son. "Do you mind going with Inari to the market?"

Naruto nodded even if inside he wanted to groan. If there was one thing Naruto didn't appreciate about the woman it was that Tsunami seemed to think that he and Inari should spend time together because they were both Demons.

But while they were both beast types, they weren't both Demons.

Naruto was a Fox Demon. Inari was a Half Demon Mutt.

After handing them a slip of paper with her ingredients list the two were out the door. Neither said a word for the first leg of their journey. It wasn't until they were about halfway to the next village that Inari spoke up.

"What's sex like?" Inari asked, staring at his blond companion. Naruto remained quiet. "It has to feel better than jerking off, right? Like, so much better. Not that I'll ever know. No girl will ever want a Half Demon like me."

As Inari spoke Naruto just barely resisted rolling his eyes. 'Typical Half Demon gimmick. Play the sympathy card to get others to lower their guard and then take advantage of the moment.'

Sakura had already relayed to him Inari's sob story about why he believed even Demons couldn't defy Gatō.

Apparently, when he was younger, Inari had befriended another Half Demon named Kaiza.

Inari quickly came to view Kaiza as a father figure and after striking up a relationship with Tsunami the three had been happy for a while. Until Gatō had arrived on the island and brought his mercenaries.

The demon had helped Tazuna begin construction of the bridge. When Gatō's men tried to harass them Kaiza tried to fight back only to be apprehended and, on Zhao's orders, publicly executed for 'bewitching' Tazuna's family.

After hearing his story Sakura had hugged Inari to convey her sympathy.

Inari had groped her butt.

The Half Demon had walked away from that with a black eye and a burnt hand, curtesy of Sakura's Mark.

The only reason Naruto hadn't gone to tear off Inari's offending hand after finding out was because Sakura had held him still by pulling on his ear until he promised not to do anything.

"But you... you've got a Mate. Is it true what they say? That a demon can control a marked Human?"

Naruto stayed silent.

"That must be nice." Inari smiled before his face fell. "Not that any girl would ever want to be my Mate. No one even wants to be my friend."

If Naruto was still as naive as he used to be he might have taken the bait; asked if Inari had tried traveling to the other side of the island where perhaps not all the kids knew he was a Half Demon. But Naruto wasn't naive. He knew Inari wasn't looking for friendship.

"Hey. Do you think... I mean, we're both Demons, right? Would you be willing to share your Ma—"

Inari's voice died in his throat and his knees gave out when Naruto sent a wave of Chakra at him. On his knees Inari's breathing became labored as Naruto held him under his influence.

"Let me say this in a way you will understand, Mutt." Naruto spoke as he moved to crouch in front of the young Half Demon.

"You do not want to test me—no self respecting Demon would ever willingly share their Mate with anyone—and your antics regarding Sakura-chan are beginning to do just that." His normally bright blue eyes burned with a cold intensity, looking to Inari like the flame on a stove. "I don't know why you act the way you do... your mother treats you well and is very patient with your behavior yet you walk around with this attitude and it's going to get you killed.

"I have met lots of Half Demons before and while they have all turned out to be scumbags they were at least able to hide it better. You aren't even trying to hide it. Never before have I been so worried over a Half Demon; worried that you are going to hurt an innocent because you somehow think you're owed more than what you have and because you're more than Human you can just take it."

When Inari dropped his gaze Naruto reached out to grab the top of his head, pushing it back, forcing the younger male to look at him again.

"Every rational part of me is screaming at me to just kill you now before you ever get the chance to hurt someone but if I did, I'd be betraying your mother's kindness and Sakura-chan's expectations. So I will give you some advice and a 'd better listen to both of them, Mutt."

As he spoke Naruto was unaware of the metal bracer that had appeared on his forearm. Inari didn't have that luxury seeing as a concealed blade was slowly extending towards him.

"Get over this false sense of superiority you have and treat others the way you'd want to be—no, the way you'd want your mother to be treated and maybe, just maybe people won't care that you're a Half Demon. Be someone your mother will be proud of." the blade was now close enough to be touching the skin between Inari's eyebrows. "You have the ability to Project your Chakra onto others and while not exactly rare it isn't exactly too common either. Don't even think of using it to force yourself on someone.

"Don't make me regret giving you a chance, Inari. If I ever hear that you raped someone or took an innocent life I will hunt you down like the dog you are. Do I make myself clear?"

His piece said, and after receiving a nod from the half demon, Naruto let go of Inari's head before standing up and pulling back his Chakra. As Inari heaved large mouthfuls of air Naruto had already gone back to playing with the two metal orbs in his pocket.

"Doesn't sound like it'll be easy." Inari spoke as he stood up.

"Would you rather hear how easy it'll be for a Demon to kill you?" Naruto replied without missing a beat. "Or a mob of angry Humans? Because I doubt either would have too much trouble with you."

Naruto was again lazing on the couch when everyone returned.

"Anything to report?" Kurenai asked Shino as she entered the living room. The teen shook his head.

"Another quiet day." was all Shino said as he shared a look with his squad leader.

They'd all had the same thought for a while now. Everything was going too smoothly. In their line of work quiet like they were experiencing while there was a known threat out there was worse than having to fight off multiple attacks. It usually meant that the enemy was planning something. Having to constantly be on alert was beginning to wear on everyone.

"Oof!" the sound Naruto released as Sakura collapsed on him drew Kurenai's attention to the young couple. The way the blond's hands immediately moved to massage the sore muscles of the girl on top of him made Kurenai miss Konoha. Miss...

With a slight shake of her head Kurenai forced the thought from her mind. 'This is why involved Shinobi aren't sent on missions together. They're not only a distraction to each other but their teammates as well.'

"Quick showers, people." Kurenai barked before her own wards settled into their seats. "Let's not stink up the dinner table."

"Ladies first." Kiba offered as en excuse in favor of slumping into an open recliner. From her position on top of Naruto Sakura mumbled something that nobody else was able to catch.

"She said, 'you go first, Hinata-san'. She's 'too comfy'." Naruto clarified, his hands never once pausing their massage.

The young Hyūga nodded before heading upstairs to retrieve a change of clothes. Team eight had a few extra sets of clothes that Tsunami washed for them.

"Tazuna-dono," Edward called the older man sat across from him at the table, "is there any way to send a message off the island? Mail or morse code or something?"

"Unfortunately any mail off the island is usually opened before it goes out so that the people stranded here can't send for help from their homelands." Tazuna revealed with a heavy sigh. He was slouched over on the table. "Same with telegraphs. Your best bet to get a message out unfiltered would be radio but it costs a small fortune. Not that the other two options are free but compared to renting the radio..."

"I just want to send Winry an update." Edward settled back in his seat. "I sent her a letter before I boarded the ferry across the ocean but I promised to try to keep in touch."

Tazuna nodded.

"Depending on how fast you want the message to get to her I'd suggest either mail or telegraph but you'll have to make it sound as innocent as possible."

In the background Hinata descended the stairs and entered the bathroom.

"So no mentioning that the island is worse off than we thought? No offense." The foreigner added quickly.

"No offense taken, Elric-san." Tazuna waved off the comment. "It's true, though hopefully not for too much longer."

"How much does it cost to send a message, then?"

Tazuna opened his mouth to reply before pausing. "Did they change the prices while I was away, Tsunami?"

"I don't believe so."

"It costs a thousand Ryō for a letter and ten thousand to send a telegraph."

"Geez." Amber eyes widened as blond eyebrows rose high in surprise. "Guess I'm sending a letter. Out of curiosity... how much does renting the radio cost?"

"Fifty thousand." Edward almost fell back in shock. "To rent it for ten minutes."

"Do people actually pay that much?"

"Kami-sama I hope not." was Tazuna's response.

"Only regular pedestrians have to pay that much. VIPs can use it for free." Tsunami interjected. "And members of Zhao's Fire Nationalists army get a steep discount." When Tazuna raised an eyebrow at her she added; "He tried to offer me his unlimited access so I could 'keep in contact'," she performed air quotes, "with my 'beloved father' in exchange for agreeing to date him. Too bad I had no idea where my 'beloved father' was."

"Alright, what is with 'beloved father' being in air quotes?" Tazuna asked, feigning hurt. "Twice no less?"

Tsunami giggled and winked at her father.

"Well, I'm definitely not about to spend that much money for access to a radio for ten minutes."

"I'll pay." Naruto offered.

"Thank you, Naruto, but that is far too much." Edward replied. "Besides, even knowing the frequency for the military base in my home town, it'd probably take longer than ten minutes just for the soldiers to bring Winry to the radio."

"Then in your message make sure to set a date to talk." the younger blond suggested. "I'll pay for the appointment."

"I'm really not comfortable accepting your generosity." Edward tried to refuse. "Not when it's so much money."

"I can cover that much pretty easily."


"Please accept it, Elric-san." Sakura rasped, interrupting Edward. Her voice was low, somewhat sensuous from her relaxed state. "Otherwise he won't stop. Trust me."

"I just thought... it's been almost a month since your child was born, you'd probably like to know how she's doing." Naruto added.

The house went silent as Edward ruminated on the offer. No one else spoke, figuring it wasn't their place. Edward's hesitance was understandable, what Naruto was offering wasn't a fortune but for a ten minute conversation... Naruto wasn't trying to flaunt his money, either. It was a heartfelt offer.

"Alright." Edward relented. "But you have to let me pay you back."

Naruto was about to protest when he felt Sakura pinch his side. Glancing down at her he saw her shake her head. "Okay." Although Naruto agreed, he had no intention of accepting the money. Once the bridge was done and the mission completed he planned to leave.

"With interest."


"So where is the closest transmission station?" Edward asked the elder architect.

"Only port cities are allowed to send or receive messages off the island." Tazuna answered. "So, Higashīko."

"Of course."

"We could go now, if you want." Tazuna offered with a shrug before suddenly sitting up straight. "Why don't we all go and get something to eat?"

"But I already made dinner." Tsunami argued, waving a hand in the direction of the vegetable stew and rice she had prepared. Tazuna, having caught a glimpse of what his daughter had prepared before he'd sat down, grimaced.

"We can eat that tomorrow." Tsunami did not look convinced. "We've made amazing progress on the bridge, Tsunami. I think everyone deserves a night on the town."

"That is really not neces—"

Tsunami cut Kurenai off by heaving a defeated sigh. "Fine." Tazuna pumped his fist in triumph. Tsunami began walking towards the stairs, passing the bathroom just as Hinata was exiting. "Lemme just go tell Inari to dress well for the outing."

Hinata, unaware of what was going on, blinked a few times. "Hm?"

Their first stop had been the transmission station. Edward sent a simple message:

Winry, I'm doing fine. I'll radio you on the fifth. Love, Ed.

As they were reserving an appointment for the fifth of the upcoming month they were alerted that a message had come in.

Okay. Al sends his love. But I love you more. Winry.

Edward showed off the message before carefully folding and pocketing the slip of paper and explaining who Al was, even though he had already told them about his brother. So engrossed was he that he didn't notice that Naruto had a few extra words with the receptionist before producing more money from a seal he pulled out of his pockets.

Once that was out of the way they went to eat.

After the disaster from the previous time they'd eaten in Higashīko Tazuna decided to skip a fancy overpriced restaurant and instead led everyone to a diner that appeared catered to serving the working class instead. It was certainly a more enjoyable experience.

'This is more my style.' Tazuna thought to himself as he saw the check. 'Five thousand Ryō for all the food we ate?' Compared to the thirteen thousand they'd been charged for the four bowls of ramen he was more than pleased to pay the check.

"Man, that was good eating." Edward said as they walked out, adjusting the waistband of his suddenly snug pants. "Not that your cooking isn't good eating or anything, Tsunami-san."

"It's fine, Elric-san." Tsunami spoke as she wrapped her arms around her son's shoulders, mindful of his hat. Inari had been oddly compliant throughout the outing and the raven haired mother was reveling in the contact. "I'll admit this was a great idea, Tō-san."

"I've been known to have my moments." Tazuna preened. "I hope you all enjoyed it." he directed towards his Shinobi escorts.

"It was great." Kurenai answered for her whole team, the teens nodding their agreement behind her.

While Team Eight was limited in their attire, And Edward's clothes was mostly hidden by his long coat, Naruto and Sakura had access to their entire wardrobe. After Naruto had tried to dress in a criminally hideous orange getup Sakura had wound up picking their outfits.

A compromise was reached that allowed Naruto to wear his faded orange sweater, his least bright piece of orange clothing, as long as he wore it with a pair of tan shorts. Sakura chose an outfit reminiscent of what she used to wear when she was a Genin consisting of a red qípáo dress that reached her mid thigh before it parted; underneath she still wore a pair of shorts but shorter, allowing the illusion of not wearing them.

Naruto had certainly enjoyed the extra bit of leg she'd been displaying throughout the evening.

"What's that?" Naruto drew everyone's attention towards a small crowd gathered on the far side of the street. The sound of wooden sandals seemed to emanate from somewhere in the crowd. He walked a few steps towards the crowd, pulling Sakura, who was holding his hand, with him.

"Probably a street performer. There's always a few around his time of night." came a voice that made everyone turn. "Evening, Tsunami. Fancy seeing you here."

"Zhao." Tsunami greeted curtly, her arms tightening around her son as she felt him tense. As always, Zhao was accompanied by a few guards. "Fancy running into you, like every other time I've stepped foot into this city."

"I keep telling you it must be fate."

'More like you have your guards notify you every time they see me.' Tsunami thought, barely managing not to roll her eyes. "Well, fate must have a sense of humor. We were just leaving."

"So soon?" Zhao's eyes scanned the group, his eyes settling on the blond foreigner for a second before moving on. He took note of how attractive all the women were. "Why don't you visit some of the stalls down by the pier? The Tai festival isn't for another couple of days but I'm sure your... son would enjoy the regular stalls. After all, didn't he used to love going around with... what was his name? Kaiba?"

Inari opened his mouth to correct Zhao but Tsunami clamped her hand over his mouth. The preteen struggled in his mother's arms but she held firm onto him.


Everyone's eyes turned towards Sakura, standing off to the side. Zhao's eye furrowed.

"Excuse me?"

"Ahahahahaha!" a loud boisterous laugh came from the gathered crowd.

"I believe the man you are talking about," Sakura spoke firmly, "is called Kaiza."

'I know that god damn laugh.' Naruto thought as he tried to crane his neck to no avail. Foreigners were tall.

Zhao smirked. "Trust me, he was no man."

"From what I heard he was more of a man than you." Sakura's words wiped the smirk clean off Zhao's face.

"Why you little bi—"

Despite being busy with his own endeavor Naruto had been paying attention to the conversation. Right as he was about to send a wave of Chakra at the man with thick sideburns his attention was drawn by the figure that suddenly leapt over him.

"I don't know what's going on here," his wooden sandals clacked noisily as he danced, "but you," he pointed at Zhao, "must learn that rejection is a part of any man's life. If you can't accept and move past rejection, or at least use it as writing material—you're not a real man."

"Who the fuck are you?" Zhao yelled, not pleased with the man's choice of words in his random ramblings.

"Jiraiya-sama?" disbelief laced Kurenai voice.

"I knew it!" Naruto exclaimed.

"The lady said it but if you need me to repeat it..." as he spoke he took three hops to the right before stopping, grabbing his long white bangs that hung on the sides of his face and throwing his head around so his even longer ponytail swung around in a circle, "I am the man who has no enemies in the north, south, east and west..." he suddenly threw the large scroll on his back up into the air, "not even in the heavens!

"I am one of the Sannin..." A large poof of smoke went off and when it cleared the old man was suddenly standing on a giant orange frog, "white haired toad sage... even a crying infant would stare in awe... the great Jiraiya-sama!"

The noise in the street died down to the point that one could hear the wind blowing. Everyone simply stood staring at the man still standing on the giant toad. Kurenai's face flushed in embarrassment.

'I know he's a Kage level Shinobi but does he have to be so lame?' Unknown to the Jōnin the Chūnin were thinking along the same lines.

"Jiraiya of the Sannin." Zhao felt his blood run cold. Samurai were employed by the Daimyos because they were the only counters to Ninja, and thus the perfect way for the Daimyo to maintain power, but even still certain Shinobi had reputations.

The ninja handbook was published by the Daimyos' armies. Beside the Kage, the Sannin were regarded as the most deadly Shinobi currently in existence.

Zhao still remembered the reason his entire platoon of a hundred Samurai had been dishonored almost two decades ago. A single woman, the lone woman from the Sannin, had decimated them all with one tap of her heel on the ground that created a giant fissure.

Zhao had been one of only a handful of survivors.

"I apologize for my rudeness and thank you humbly for the words of wisdom." Seeing their leader bow prompted the rest of the guards to follow suit. "Tsunami." and with that Zhao departed.

Tsunami and Inari watched Zhao all but run away before turning their attention to the strange old man.

"Who is that?" Tsunami whispered to Kiba, the closest one to her but the brown haired teen appeared dumbstruck.

"Normally I hate repeating myself but for a pretty lady I'd be more than happy to perform all night if I have to." Jiraiya winked at Tsunami. "I am—"

"Ero-sennin!" Naruto yelled, causing a tick to appear on the man's forehead. Amazing since he was wearing a large forehead protector with the kanji for 'Oil' drawn on it. With another puff of smoke the orange toad disappeared

"I told you to stop calling me that, Gaki!" Jiraiya turned and swung at Naruto only for the blond to dodge.

'Naruto's Ero-sennin friend is Jiraiya of the Sannin?' Sakura had no idea how to handle the new information.

'How did we not realize it before,' Inner Sakura slapped her forehead, 'he sent a fucking Toad summon!'

"And I told you I'll stop calling you that when you stop being a pervert!"

"How dare you?!" Jiraiya gasped as though he'd been struck. "I am not a pervert... I'm a super pervert!"

Just as everyone was getting over their earlier stunned silence they were again left gawking at the white haired Sannin. He'd spoken the declaration with such... pride.

"Jiraiya-sama, what are you doing here?" Kurenai asked, trying to steer the conversation back into some semblance of, if not normalcy than at least dignity. Jiraiya glanced in her direction quickly and did a double take, air coming out of his nostrils like steam.

"Yūhi Kurenai?" At her nod the self proclaimed super pervert turned to face her fully. "The last time I saw you... you were just a little girl. Now look at you! You're stunning!"

Despite herself Kurenai blushed at the praise. He might be one of the biggest weirdos on the planet, and she might be in a semi-serious relationship but receiving such a compliment from such a world renowned man was flattering, to say the least.

"To answer your question... I often wonder that myself." Kurenai wasn't the only one who raised an eyebrow at his response. "What am I doing here? What are any of us doing here? What is the purpose of our existence?"

"I'm pretty sure she meant why are you here?" Naruto disrupted the old man's philosophical ramblings.

"Oh. Well, I mean, I would assume someone as beautiful as you, Kurenai, would know how people are created but if you need me to explain." Jiraiya paused to take a deep breath, "When a man and a woman—"

"Why can't you ever give a straight answer?"

"People ask vague questions!"

"What brings you to Higashīko, Jiraiya-sama?" Kurenai clarified, breaking the Sannin out of the glaring contest he was involved in with the blond Suna Jōnin.

"The same thing that brings me anywhere; research!"

"You mean peeping?" Naruto accused, his face set in an impassive stare. "Or brothels?"


Everyone simply continued to stare.

"What are you doing here?"

Though the question had been directed at the Konoha group as a whole, Naruto knew the question was really meant for him. Kurenai gave Jiraiya a quick explanation of their mission and Naruto's involvement.

"Ah, yes." Jiraiya's black eyes hovered between Naruto and Sakura. "I'd heard about your... relationship."

Sakura felt a slight sinking feeling in her stomach. "You have?"

"I met your Jōnin squad leader, Hatake Kakashi, in Tanzaku town."

Sakura tried to keep calm even as her heart hammered in her chest.

"He seemed pretty down that his favorite student was growing up so fast but that, if this was what she truly wanted, he would accept it."

Though he had most definitely still reported her defection to the Hokage, the notion that Kakashi accepted her decision was comforting. The man was almost like a second father to Sakura.

"I do have to ask, though." Jiraiya sidled up beside Naruto before proceeding to wrap the blond in a headlock. "What do you see in this knucklehead?"

Watching her Mate struggle against one of the most powerful and revered Shinobi her village had ever produced, knowing they were on such good terms, Sakura couldn't help the gentle smile that developed on her face.

"Who knows."

A terrifying, otherworldly wail filled the air of the otherwise calm night, sounding like an ancient whale dying a slow, painful death, sending shivers down everyone's spines.

As soon as the sound rang out Ryuk sat up, brushing what remained of the half eaten arm of his plaything off of his chest. The sound of large stones scraping together accompanied a hole in the very fabric of space opening in the exact same spot that the Kyūbi had created a Demon Door almost two weeks ago.

'Very precise.' He thought as the Door expanded until the red haired man strolled out. He had changed clothing, obviously, now garbed in a simple black pea coat with light reddish brown fur around the collar and black pants, and his hair stuck out in its cleaned state.

The lion fur on the Kyūbi's coat brought forth a memory of the previous Demon Lord, or more specifically his luscious mane, to Ryuk's mind.

Minato really could be a heartless bastard when he wanted to.

Red eyes settled on Ryuk's form almost immediately before a small smirk pulled at the corner of the Kyūbi's lips. Ryuk knew that smirk.

He hated that smirk.


Ryuk caught the small pouch that was tossed at him. Looking inside there were three black senzu.

"Where's your brother?"

"What happened to the barrier?"

"It's gone."

"And the Kinsei Blades? I hope you didn't just wait here just to tell me someone stole them."

"They're in the city. We just have to walk in and take them." it wasn't a lie. He'd seen the blond from last night enter with a large group. "Where's Ōjō?

"Mother wouldn't let him cross Realms again so soon."


They fell into silence as blood red eyes stared out over the port city.

"How durable are the Kinsei Blades?"

Ryuk arched an eyebrow at the question. "Why?"

"Would they survive if I just destroyed the city from here?"

"Hard to say." Ryuk scratched his chin. Although he had memories of the swords they had never actually let him wield them. "Depends on how strong a blast you can create."

Placing his hands, fingers half curled, in front of his chest the Kyūbi allowed his Chakra free of its usual restraint. Behind him nine translucent red Chakra tails appeared, seeming to glow in the dead of night. The tails all curved forward until they almost touched, hovering over his hands.

Ryuk's eyes widened as he felt the amount of Chakra the Kyūbi was concentrating into the dark red orb of pure destruction he was creating.

'A Bijūdama.' Ryuk marveled. 'Only the tailed beasts are capable of summoning so much energy.'

Another thing the silver haired Demon had memories of but was unable to do. Just from the memories, however, he could tell that the young Kyūbi's energy was greater than his predecessor's.

"I'm pretty sure nothing could survive that much energy, Kyūbi-sama." As Ryuk spoke the orb grew even more powerful still.

'This is still nothing to him.' Kurama knew he was strong but the Demon Lord was almost a literal God.

The denizens of the Demon Realm had never outright worshipped any other Demon Lord like they did his father. If he were honest with himself Kurama could see the allure of his father, quite possibly the strongest Demon to ever live.

The man hadn't even been one of the Bijū contestants for the throne! He'd just killed the former Demon Lord and any of the Bijū who had challenged his right to the throne.

The thought of the difference in power between him and his father annoyed the Fox Demon causing his concentration to slip. In a split second decision Kurama decided against launching the ball, he did want the Kinsei Blades, after all.

Reabsorbing the energy, probably eighty percent of his full power, he turned to Ryuk.

"There you are." A gruff voice spoke from a several meters away.

The red haired Fox Demon turned to regard the midnight black fox that had spoken. With what must be a careless disregard for its life it approached them.

Beside him Ryuk tensed.

Once the young Demon was close enough Kurama's eyes zeroed in on the dim blue spark that was well hidden behind the black of it's Demon Chakra.

'A Half Demon.' If it wasn't for the fact that the Chakra was clearly the same as the barrier that had caused him to return to the Demon Realm Kurama would have simply ignored the new arrival. "Who are you?"

"Me? I'm nobody." the midnight black Fox came to a stop a couple of meters away. "I'm just a shadow. You, however, if I'm not mistaken, are the new Kyūbi no Yōko."

Kurama raised an eyebrow at the Half Demon's referral of him being 'new'. He'd been the Kyūbi for twenty eight years; almost fifty in Human Realm years.

A bark of a laugh escaped the Fox Half Demon's mouth as he noticed Kurama's confusion.

"Sorry, I suppose you aren't exactly new." he paused. "It's just... I happen to be the old Kyūbi."

The revelation resulted in Kurama shifting his gaze up towards the Half Demons eyes. The last thing Kurama saw was a pair of glowing blood red eyes, tomoe spinning so fast they appeared a black blur.

"Or at least, a remnant forced to survive in one of my descendants." Shadow turned his sharingan eyes on the second demon. "Now, Ryuk." Shadow flared his Chakra. "Give. Me. Back. My. Body."

"Come and get it." Even as he spoke Ryuk took a step back, though he had his guard up. "If you can."

Shadow snorted. "You really think you can beat me in a fight?" He asked as he advanced on the bodysnatcher. "Come now, Ryuk."

"Definitely not as you were." Ryuk admitted. "But you are little more than a shadow of what you used to be."

"Have it your way."

Shadow jumped at Ryuk only for the both of them to be pushed back by the explosion of Chakra as the red haired Kyūbi broke free from Shadow's Genjutsu. Because of all the dirt kicked up by the rush of Chakra Shadow barely had time to dodge the burst of flame the Kyūbi shot in his direction.

"I'm not... here... to fight... you." Shadow shouted as he continued to zip around the redhead.

With a flex of his Chakra the current Kyūbi set the surrounding area on fire. A wall of blue, almost white fire five meters tall formed a ring around the three Fox Demons, trapping them inside as thick smoke rose into the sky. Shadow, being relatively low to the ground was unaffected by the smoke but the heat was unbearable.

'Fuck that's hot!'

Unable to hear anything over the roar of the flames surrounding them Shadow's head snapped back and forth as he searched the area for signs of the two human formed Demons. A flash of silver in his peripheral vision allowed Shadow to react just in time to dodge the snap of Ryuk's powerful set of jaws, having shifted to his Fox form to escape the smoke as well.

Ears bent to the side and teeth bared the two foxes snarled at each other, Ryuk's larger form towering over Shadow as the black Fox crouched low to the ground. Lunging to dodge another stream of fire Shadow sunk his teeth into the side of Ryuk's neck before, with the force of his weight coming down, pulling back and shaking his head, trying to rip and tear the flesh off.

Ryuk turned to bite Shadow in the scruff of his neck before using all his might to throw the smaller Fox away. Shadow never loosened his grip and took a chunk of flesh with him. Blood gushed from the hole in Ryuk's throat for the few seconds before he healed.

'If nothing else, the fucker's regenerative abilities are second to none.' Shadow thought as he spat out the contents of his mouth and rushed towards Ryuk again. He bowled into the silver fox, sending them both spiraling back in a locked ball of teeth and claws before Ryuk managed to throw him off and right himself.

Then they were at each other again.

The whistle of a blade cutting the air was all the warning Shadow got as he jumped up to avoid the Kyūbi's sword slash, the swing of the sword leaving behind a swatch of superheated ground that quickly turned into molten magma.

In the air Shadow was unable to dodge the kick that sent him skidding across the ground, though he did manage to stop before he rolled into the surrounding fire. He got up and glared at his adversaries, trying to make sure Ryuk, but more importantly his body, hadn't been destroyed.

Standing inside the lava, healing as fast as he was burning, was Ryuk, yellow eyes glowing against his darkened flaming silhouette. Confirming that Ryuk would be fine Shadow turned his attention to the redhead as he straightened himself, his Chakra tails barely visible with the fire burning behind him.

"The way you swing that sword around... your father didn't teach you, did he? Not how to use that sword—not how to fight, period." Shadow brought his Chakra to the surface. "Of course he wouldn't. He wouldn't want you to be a threat." The Kyūbi merely stood there, observing him, even as Ryuk crawled out of the lava.

"I could teach you, you know." Shadow offered. "Just as I did your father. I can tell you're powerful. Help me reclaim my body from this parasite and I can teach you to fight with more than just Chakra."

The fact that the Kyūbi remained silent made Ryuk turn towards him. Slit red eyes met yellow.

"Perhaps if you hadn't tried to break my mind." The refusal earned a shrug from Shadow.

"I knew you could handle it. Besides, I kind of had to." Shadow's Chakra enveloped him when he released it, obscuring him from the two Fox Demons' eyes. "I owe your brother a lot and you tried to kill him."

When his Chakra dissipated Shadow had shifted to his Humanoid form. A tallish man of average build and fair skin, somewhere in his early twenties. Long spiky black hair that reached past the middle of his back completely covered a pair of Fox ears on his head and a tail twitched behind him. He wore a simple black yukata and a pair of sandals.

"From the look on your face, I take it you must have another brother so I guess I should clarify." Shadow's voice wasn't as coarse as it was in his Fox form. "Your half brother, Naru—" the red head swung his sword, sending an arc of fire racing towards Shadow, who responded by shooting black fire from his eyes, "to."

The two flames met and Shadow's black flames quickly won out.

"You really shouldn't interrupt someone while they're speaking." Even as he condescended the redhead, trails of blood streamed from Shadow's eyes. 'This body can't handle my abilities.'

"I killed him a long time ago."

"Ah, well... silly me. I guess if you killed him, you killed him. Who am I to say otherwise? Oh, wait;" Shadow slapped his forehead in jest, "I'm the one who's been traveling with him for seven years now."

A quick pulse of Chakra rushed past Shadow causing his eyes to widen.

'He's a sensor type?' His internal question was answered when the red haired Kyūbi turned in the direction of Higashīko and began channeling Chakra for a Bijūdama. Moving forward to intercept the attack Shadow didn't notice a human form Ryuk until a giant fist slammed into him, sending him flying through the flames, towards the city.

"End it, Kyūbi-sama." Ryuk shouted.

Kurama was about to release the orb at thirty percent power, more than enough to destroy the city and the abomination inside, when the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end.

"That crazy son of a bitch!" Ryuk's exclamation drew Kurama's attention upwards and upon seeing the giant meteorite descending from the heavens straight towards them Kurama did the only thing he could.

He swiveled around until his Bijūdama was raised upward, above his head, and forced all his power into it as fast as possible. Because of his haste in powering the orb he couldn't contain it in a smaller vessel and it began to swell after he launched it.

Given the circumstances that was probably what saved them all.

To be continued...

AN/ I apologize for the delay. The app I use to write glitched out on me and I thought I lost everything I had written down. This includes the chapters for this story as well as a few one shots for No Matter Where Or When and the chapters for Beautiful Blessing. I was pissed. Luckily, in what I can only call a Christmas miracle, today when I got on it they were all back.

This chapter was cut in half because I want to keep the updates to around 10k so I'm sorry for leaving you on a cliffhanger like this.

Can anyone guess who Shadow really is?