SUMMARY: Duty, honour and love clash with a thirst for vengeance when a decade old lie is finally revealed. How far would YOU go for love? NaruIta, one-sided SasuNaru, YAOI!

Naruto Fanfiction

Naruto © Masashi Kishimoto Studio Pierrot TV Tokyo GAINAX Aniplex SME Visual Works Cartoon Network YTV (Canada) Viz Communications ShoPro Entertainment STUDIOPOLIS, Inc. Game One Kana Video Made In Europe Cartoon Network L.A. Xystus Artsound Mexico ABS-CBN Hero Mediaset Panini Video Italia Panini Video Cartoon Network L.A. (Brasil) Dublarte Shonen Jump (Japan) Shonen Jump (USA) Shueisha Glènat España Carlsen Comics Banzai! Japonica Polonica Fantastica (JPF) " Shonen Jump (Sweden)

All Fanfics created by Sandlewood (me) were written for the sole purpose of shared entertainment and not intended for publication or sale.

CHAPTER SUMMARY: In which Kyuubi and Naruto spend quality time together.

Sacrifice

By: Sandlewood996

Chapter 1

The steady drip, drip, drip penetrated the darkness with steady insistence, slowly driving him mad with the monotonous repetition. He pressed his flushed cheek against the cool, rough stone of the floor beneath him, seeking respite from the unbearable heat flooding his aching body. Slowly, with more difficulty than he ever thought possible, he forced his eyes to open. Just as the last time he'd attempted to view his surroundings, all that he could see was inky blackness with a blurred line of dim light outlining the bottom and one side of a door on the other side of the room...no, cell...that he was being kept in. Feeling the beginning throb of yet another headache, he allowed his eyes to fall closed again, willing the pain away as best he could. Carefully shifting his weight, he bit back a pained groan as his body protested even the slightest of movement with agonizing clarity.

Distantly he became aware of the steady footfalls approaching from the other side of the door, echoing dully through his head and raising gooseflesh on his exposed skin as dread filled him. A shudder coursed through his body as the footsteps halted and he cracked his eyes open once again to see a blurred shadow beneath the crack at the bottom of the door. Biting his lips, he fought to suppress a whimper as he tried to curl in on himself in a vain attempt to fend off the inevitable. He didn't know how long he'd been in the dark cold, but he'd been there long enough to know what the appearance of those shadowy feet meant. Pain. Excruciating pain. He squeezed his eyes shut tight and silently pleaded with a deity he no longer believed in to spare him just this one time.

The jangling of the keys echoed in his ears as he tried to curl himself into an even smaller ball, ignoring the protesting pain of his aching shoulders as the movement put even more strain on his awkwardly bound arms and his knees scraped painfully against the rough stone of the floor beneath him. The whining screech of the lock's mechanism shifting and turning, followed by the booming click of the tumbler falling into place sounded loud in his ears as his pulse sped up to a breakneck pace and his breathing became laboured. The blood pounded in his ears as he bit his lips to hold back any sound of fear or pain as the door began to open with a grating shriek of unoiled hinges and protesting metal upon metal. Dimly he was aware that he was beginning to hyper-ventilate as, against his will, his eyes opened to gaze upon the blurry form standing outlined by the too-bright light glaring in from the corridor.

He knew from painful past experience what was to come next. Try as he might, though, he could never quite prepare himself for the daily ordeal. As a shinobi he was no stranger to pain, but even he had his limits to what he could endure. Squeezing his eyes shut tight, he tried to block out the steadily approaching footsteps as they drew closer to where he lay huddled on the floor of his cell. Clenching his jaw to hold back the pained sounds clawing their way up his throat, he braced himself against the agony assailing his already battered body. Dimly, he was aware of his tormentor speaking, but he was now beyond recognizing the words being directed at him. All he knew was pain. He flinched as he both heard and felt one his bones cracking under the relentless assault. He knew the injuries incurred during these sessions would be predominantly healed before the next time, but that didn't lessen the immediate pain he felt.

He retreated even further into his own mind, blocking out the scent of blood...his own blood...and the sound of more of his bones cracking beneath the onslaught. Seemingly from a great distance he could hear a rough voice shouting, but the meaning behind the words were lost as he drifted along a crimson sea of blackened leaves and swirling colours. Red hot tendrils of soothing comfort surrounded him as he felt more than heard a deep, terrible voice calling to him, drawing him further into himself. He stood before the bars of an enormous cage, the scent of blood and death hanging heavily in the air, the heavy aura of immeasurable power pressing down upon him as gleaming white teeth flashed in the darkness. Hot breath washed over him as the bars of the cage rattled beneath the onslaught of monstrous size and weight. A glimpse of red fur and furiously swishing tails, red eyes gleaming with madness and rage, and wickedly sharp claws the length of his arm etching deep grooves into the floor of the creature's prison. Fear swept through him at the overwhelming power washing over him as he stood before a monster, a creature of myth and legend...himself.

"Release me!" The enraged roar swept over him, nearly throwing him to the floor as the monstrous fox demon threw itself against the bars again. "Unleash my power!" Rising beyond the hulking form of red fur nine tails swished angrily. "Tear them apart! Bathe in their blood!" He shivered and slowly picked himself up, cautiously approaching the raging beast, careful to remain a safe distance from the wicked claws and gleaming teeth towering above him. "Puny humans! Thinking they can dominate me?!"

Completely ignoring the immediate danger, he slowly drew closer to the colossal cage. "Let me in." He whispered, pressing his hands against the surprisingly hot bars.

There was a long pause as the demon regarded him almost quizzically. "No! You let me out!" It roared, baring its teeth as red eyes narrowed suspiciously as he pressed even closer to the bars.

He shook his head, wrapping his fingers tightly around the strangely glowing bars of the prison. "No, no, no!" He shook his head repeatedly, eyes squeezing shut as tremors wracked his body. "Let me in!" He cried, a sob catching in his throat, making it difficult to breathe. "It's safe in there!"

The creature drew back and sat on its haunches, ears laid back as the glowing red eyes narrowed further. "What are you going on about, Kit?" The previously enraged bellows were now reduced to an almost gentle rumble as the demon slowly lowered its large head to rest on its forepaws.

"Out there..." He gestured one-handed in the general direction behind him. "There are bad things..." He slowly sank to his knees before the enormous fox demon beyond the bars of its cage. "Terrible things..." He shuddered and bowed his head as he drew in a shaky breath. "Painful things." His hands tightened to a white knuckled grip on the large metal bars as he pressed the top of his head against them. "Terrifying things!"

Kyuubi snorted. "You're describing me, brat." It slowly inched its way closer to where he was kneeling. "Why don't you let me out of here and we'll teach those puny humans a lesson." Lips drew back in a grotesque parody of a smile. He shook his head emphatically, ignoring the painful thumping his forehead made against the cage as he did so. With his head still bowed, he missed the cunning look entering the fox's narrowed eyes. "Why should you be made to suffer? Why do you allow those frail and weak creatures to torment you?" Hot breath washed over him as he felt the large nose brush against his hands.

He slowly lifted his head and regarded the creature warily. Close up he could see the details of each whisker adorning its snout, the flecks of gold glinting around the dark pupils reflecting his own image. "Weak..." He whispered hoarsely as he reached through the bars to place his hand against the warm muzzle too close to him. "I'm too weak." Red eyes narrowed as the lips drew back to reveal glistening fangs, a low rumbling growl emitting an unmistakable warning. "I lost too much blood." He was rather surprised at how soft the fur beneath his fingers actually was as he continued to pet the monster before him. "And I think my ribs are broken."

"Let me out. I'll take care of it." Lips pulled back into a feral grin as the nine-tailed fox demon inched even closer to him even as its eyes squinted shut in delight as he continued to caress the red and black fur covering its large snout. Kyuubi would never admit to it, at least not aloud, but it was rather enjoying the attention it was currently receiving. In all the long years of its existence, this was definitely a first. He couldn't think of a single human who would dare to get this close to it, never mind touch it. It was ironic that the only human in history brave enough...or perhaps foolish enough...to do so was also its human jailer.

His eyes slid closed as he slumped heavily against the bars, his hand slowly falling to his side as darkness began to engulf him. It was becoming increasingly difficult to breathe and the cloying scent of blood was beginning to suffuse his senses. "Don't wanna..." He muttered as his body began to slide to the side. He was distantly aware of Kyuubi surging to its feet and ramming against the bars of the cage furiously, its rage returning with frightening speed. "Don't wanna go back..." He could taste blood and it was making his stomach rebel violently. It took every ounce of his rapidly waning strength to lift his hand towards the enormous fox. "Please..." He whispered hoarsely, vision blurring until only indistinct shapes of varying shades remained. "Don't make me go back!"

TBC...

Approx. 1, 642 words

A/N Reviews, much like Pocky, make the world go round.