Once Upon A Midnight Moon – A Naruto Fan Fiction

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto and all its related materials. I do own this plot and any OC created in the future. I do not generate any revenue from this work of literature, it is written for the sole purpose of entertainment.

AN: Here's the all new version. Enjoy.

Prelude: Second Chances

"You are late." The cold harsh voice of the leader sounded above the chaos of battle. A single cloaked figure stood amidst the raging conflagrations that flared up around him, seeking to consume an untouchable prey. The figure's face was hidden even from the blinding flames, and all that was visible from the depth of shadows were a pair of eyes as crimsons as the blood staining his unsheathed blade. It was the eyes of a Mangekyo wielder – a Sharingan user whose mastery of the doujutsu has reached a level attainable only in legends and fables.

Only four wielders has ever managed so incredible a feat in recent history – the first was Itachi Uchiha, once thought of as the greatest prodigy the ancient clan produced in the last few centuries, shortly before he turned upon his own family and slaughtered them all, leaving but a single sibling behind. The second was friend to an Uchiha, who managed to receive a Sharingan as the result of a surgical transplant. The fourth held the secret of the Sharingans for as long as he could remember. The last, however, was not even an Uchiha to begin with, and had acquired the bloodline limit in a manner most foul.

His name was Uzumaki Naruto, once the pariah of the village hidden among tree leaves, and now the single most feared entity in his world. It seemed almost funny, that the boy who had once been an outcast, a so called 'dead-last', would rise above the prejudice and hatred of those around him, and become a being of unparalleled abilities.

"Forgive my tardiness, Naruto-sama. I was unfortunately detained." A second figure arrived behind the now grown pariah, bowing low in a sigh of respect. He wore similar garbs to the blond youth, though his face was not hidden as the formers had been. Kabuto Yakushi swallowed nervously as he felt his master close in, every inch of his skin tingling as the awesome presence of the man washed over him.

He had forgotten how exalted an aura Naruto had cloaked himself with. It was enough to send a weaker man to his knees. The medic turned spy had never felt such stately magnificence in any other shinobi – not Orochimaru, not his lap dog Uchiha Sasuke, and not even in the Kages of the hidden villages. It was this, the traitor supposed, that had missing-nins flock under the blue eyed demon's command; it was this, that allowed Naruto to take the reign of legions.

It was this that allowed the once hated and detested child to assume the role of the leader of the organization Akatsuki, an organization slowly taking over the entire world. For Uzumaki Naruto was a ruler born to the mandate of Heavens, and no forces of earthly origin could bulk him of that fate. Kabuto was one of the few to discern this, one of the few outlaws who read past the blind fervor Naruto inspired. And it was because of this insight; the former servant of the Otokage chooses to align himself utterly to the flaxen haired ninja's cause.

"How goes your excursion?" The voice was calm, betraying no hidden agenda. Naruto was an actor born, and not even one as perceptive as the medic could discover his true inclination, unless he willed it thusly. It was easier to keep his men in place, when they followed a leader whose motivations are beyond their comprehension. Besides, Naruto simply found it easier than to explain the same simple strategy over and over again. "I trust you are fruitful in your venture."

"Hai." Kabuto nodded. "Orochimaru has grown suspicious of me as of late, but not enough to exempt me from the meeting. He has not yet made any firm plan in regards to our legions, though the desperation seemed plain to even the most blinded fools."

"I see." The Uzumaki turned to face in another direction, where one of the Nine – shinobi generals who acted under Naruto's direct command – massacred another squad of Jonins who refused to submit themselves before the Fire Cloud's will. A pity, they seemed rather talented too. "And what of my dear teammate?"

It was common knowledge that of all the people Naruto had come to despise in his past, only a single person had been left alive. A man who went by the name of Sasuke Uchiha, brother to the infamous Itachi Uchiha, the author of the Uchiha Massacre. Once, long before Sasuke's defection and Naruto's subsequent self-imposed exile, the two of them had been… if not friends, then certainly good acquaintances. After all, there were much in common between the two – both orphans, and both isolated as a result of their legacy.

Although one of them was raised upon a pedestal and fed with golden spoons, and the other left to rot, condemned to hell before he even understood the concept of sin.

And it was because of this that Naruto hated Sasuke with a passion. Not because of his birth – that was something the raven haired avenger could not help, just as Naruto himself could not change his own lineage. It was the fact that despite how good Sasuke had it, especially compared to his own deplorable situation, the bastard had the gull of throwing it all away, just to chase after some fictitious dream he would never complete in a thousand millenniums – Particularly now that the blond lead Itachi, and could appreciate the deserter's talent better than anyone but Itachi himself.

It was a slap to his face, that the trice damnable Uchiha would cast aside everything Naruto dreamt of, even calling them useless burdens that he had been glad to be rid of. It was from that day the seed of dark abhorrence fully flowered, and the bond between brothers shattered beyond a hope of re-forge.

It was only on that day the wish to recapture Sasuke turned to an obsession – not because, as Sakura had wrongly surmised, that he wanted to redeem what little light was left in his former best friend; no, he wanted the arrogant boy back in his life for a very simple reason – so he could tear the haughty Uchiha limb from limb, before plucking out those precious eyeballs of his.

The dream stayed with him, even after he had assumed the mantle of the leader of an army of missing-nins, though with a single key difference. Now, he actually had the means and the lack of resistance to carry out his abominable desire. And when he does, he planned to savor every moment.

"Sasuke-kun is… disturbed." Kabuto sought of an adjective that would properly describe the traitor's current mental state. He found the task rather difficult, much to his chagrin. "He has had very little sleep as of late, and his obsession with his goal has turned to near fanaticism. In my personal opinion, Naruto-sama, the child would crack under the strain any day now."

In the dark shadows, Naruto allowed himself a satisfied grin. So, the precious Uchiha prodigy was finally going over the deep end, was he? How very fortuitous of him. Perhaps this was even better than his original master plan, in a way. After all, what greater pleasure could he derive from Sasuke's misfortune, than to watch the genius destroy himself by the non-existent ghost of his past?

Uzumaki Naruto knew perfectly who was to be blame for Sasuke's condition, of course. Who else but the man that left his ex-friend mentally scarred beyond repair, the man who had once been the pride of the entire Uchiha clan – Itachi? In a time when Akatsuki has taken war to the open, the infamy of the Akatsuki Nine had evolved from the pages in some rarely shared bingo book, to house hold names that were the rough equivalent of the boogie man. And Itachi, as one of Naruto's foremost vanguards, had been one of the more whispered names, even earning himself the title of 'the Raven' – a bird long believed to be an omen of death.

For the survivor of the massacre, to hear the man he so despised walking in the open, to witness the power his nemesis wielded, and to possess the knowledge of the distance still between the two of them, was like a slow acting poison, slowly destroying him from the inside out.

As for the man who had orchestrated the event, well, the blond found it terribly amusing, to say the least.

"Naruto-sama, there is one more thing." Kabuto all but whispered, afraid to disturb his lord from his reveries. Crimson eyes reverted back to blue, Naruto turned to face his servant. Though Kabuto could not see his master's face, he knew his own life was not in any immediate danger. "It would seem both Suna and Konoha are meeting in secret – no doubt in regards to the Akatsuki Nine, as well as their leader. I am not privy to the specifics, but…"

"So… My old friends are finally on the move, eh?" Naruto mused as he begin to walk, accompanied by Kabuto. The silver haired shinobi couldn't help but shiver as he took in the carnage all around him. Over a hundred Jonin, all of them dispatched by a single entity. But more frighten still was the fact that each of them had been killed off in the same manner – a thin, nearly invisible wound over the trachea. These men died before they had chance to even retaliate.

It reminded the glass wearing healer just how power his lord was. Not even Itachi, with the use of his Sharingan, could have emerged from such odds completely unscathed, and Naruto had but employed a fraction of his strength.

"Well…" Again came the chilling chuckle as the fires parted as though with a will of its own. Master and servant stepped through the flames, which rushed back into place once more, a funeral pyre that claimed the bodies of the fallen. "I think it may be time to have a little reunion at last…"

Since the day he first took leadership, Naruto's identity has remained secret from all but the Nine, and Kabuto. No one, not even his own men, knew who it was that lead them into battle, who it was that controlled the mightiest army in the elemental countries. There have been theories, speculations at best, each one more far fetched than the last. But Naruto supposed that as friends… former friends and back stabbers, granted, the few peoples of Konoha did deserve to know who it was that would crush their feeble resistance like an insect.


"My… the Hokage and her entourage… I am honored." Naruto drawled as he stepped into the clearing, accompanied by both Itachi and Kisame. The two Akatsuki members stayed a little ways behind the leader, who approached the gathered group of Konohan defenders seemingly without caution. The golden haired youth stopped several steps away, where he surveyed the contingent calmly with his blood red Sharingan.

"Spare me the theatrics…" Tsunade fought back the urge to deck the man and break all the bones in his body. She was not a match for the leader of Akatsuki, an organization whose top members are at least Kage leveled ninja, to say nothing of the man who could command such host. Brashness has no place here.

"So to what do I owe this lovely gathering?" Almost rhetorically, Naruto posed the question at the welcoming committee, none of whom seemed particularly friendly to the infamous warrior. "Surely a Kage did not this much protection, I am hurt you think so little of me that I might harm a fellow delegate."

It was not Tsunade, but Neji who spoke. The Konoha twelve – excuse me, I mean, Ten – had all accompanied the Hokage, along with several clan head, several elite Jonin, the Suna delegates, and the Toad Hermit. One simply does not take what is probably the most powerful man in the world lightly, especially in a confrontation that may well end up in blood shed.

When the white eyed prodigy spoke, it was with utter disdain. Naruto noted that in his absence, Neji seemed more confident, to say nothing of his growing strength. A strength that would do well not directed against himself, or it would most certainly be forfeit. The former member of the Konoha Twelve prayed the stoic Hyuuga would not be so foolish as to squander his talent so pointlessly.

"Stop dancing around the subject." The young man fairly growled at the insulting words. He seemed livid at such a suggestion, the veins around his eyes all the more pronounced as he fixed Naruto with a trademarked death stare. Unlike the times he used such method to discourage Lee from one of the thick brow's harebrained schemes, this time, Neji had laced it with full killer intent, which all but flew over Naruto. "Just what do you want with us?"

My god, Naruto shook his head in disbelief. He had no idea Konoha could be this idiotic, or this arrogant, for that matter. Did they really believe that they are in a position to demand anything of him? Surely they must have realized that the only reason they were not crushed underfoot was by his good grace alone? Of course, as always, he seemed to have overestimated the humility and clairvoyance of Konohagakure no sato.

"What I wish of you is simple, and it's practically effortless on your part." Naruto loved to draw out the suspense. "All you must do, my dearest Hokage, is to simply swear an oath of loyalty to me, and submit this village under my jurisdiction. And in exchange, I let your citizens live. Of course, the same extends to the Kazekage as well."

There was an immediate protest and outburst, though none came as louder as a certain thick browed fighter, who fairly screamed above the din. "EVIL DOER! YOU SHALL NOT TAINT THE YOUTHFUL FLAMES OF KONOHA WITH YOUR UNYOUTHFUL WAYS! FEEL THE WRATH OF KONOHA'S GREEN BEAST!"

Before anyone could even react, Rock Lee of the Leaves appeared next to the still unresponsive leader, and delivered a bone crushing flying kick to the man's head. Judging by his appearance, it would be safe to say he had removed the immense weight he always wore, rendering his attack more devastating by far. At the age of twenty eight, Rock Lee is the best martial art master in the village. Period. His blows are of such force that even the Hokage herself, known for her monstrous strength, had some trouble blocking.

Even fewer battlers could react to his speed after the training weight was cast off.

Among them included an Uzumaki Naruto. Faster even than Lee, Naruto casually reached up with a single hand, and caught Lee's leg as though blocking a child's feeble attempt. The blue eyed commander didn't move even a muscle as he absorbed the full blunt of the attack. "This is the best you can do? Pathetic." He muttered scornfully.

Then, with a cruel smile, the former Konoha-nin. tightened his grip. There was a sickening crack as Lee fell to the ground, screaming in agony and clutch his injured leg, where Naruto had broken his bone. With a cry of dismay, an older version of Lee appeared next to the incapacitated combatant, and helped him back to the ranks, which seemed far more subdued.

They had severely underestimated the strength of their enemies, if Lee – one of their strongest – could be defeated with such ease. Before they could formulate another plan, Naruto spoke again. "I am disappointed, if that is how the village of Hidden Leaf greets an old friend. I assume something like that would not occur again."

"Old friend?" Sakura piped up in surprise, one of the few present to pick up the soft passage. "What are you talking about?"

"Aw, did Sakura-chan forget about poor little me?" Naruto mocked in a childish voice, satisfied to see nearly everyone flinch at the sound. It was not because they feared the speaker, but rather that voice had renewed the scars they tried so hard to heal. It was a voice they knew all too well, the voice of a ghost.

Incidentally, Haruno Sakura looked just as pale as she stumbled back, caught by an equally white Hinata. Her lips quivered as though to speak, but no words would come to her, and only managed a chocking sob as she pointed a shaking finger at the still unknown figure. "No… stop it! STOP IT! He's dead… Stop defiling his memories!"

Naruto made something akin to a derisive snort. With a soft whisper, he dismissed the permanent shadow illusion over his features, and gazed back at the assembled and horrified crowd with the same shade of startling blue they had all grown so used to. He looked older – as to be expected given the time passed – and handsomer, but he was still far too familiar to the little boy that once proclaimed his dream of being a Hokage.

The whiskered cheeks, the foxy, confident grin, and the mop of sun kissed hair – everything just screamed Uzumaki. And yet… how could it be? How could it be that Naruto is standing before them, leading their very enemies, when the boy died over a decade ago?

"Now isn't this amusing?" Naruto asked, his grin still plastered to his face, though the good humored smile did not reach his eyes. "What, finally figured I was worthy of a little respect, Haruno? So do tell me this – and this goes for all of you, where is the god damned respect ten years ago?"

"I…" It was all Sakura could manage. Her mind was still reeling from the fact Naruto was still alive. In some recess of her mind, she always believed the bright and cheery boy she had known would one day return, and then things would settle back to the way they always have been. Maybe not with Sasuke, but Sakura had found herself not caring anymore. Sasuke had been a childhood crush, a romantic fantasy that would end in nothing but tragedy. As an adult, the pink haired medic-in-training recognized this.

The boy did return, stronger than ever. But he returned not as a hero, not even as an ally. Uzumaki Naruto has come back as Konoha's number one enemy, and their eventual conqueror.

It was here that the ever sensible Nara Shikamaru decided to intervene on Sakura's behalf. Hoping to convert Naruto from his temporary bout of madness with logic and reason. The ANBU – having only recently been promoted due to how 'troublesome' the job was – could not have picked a worse time to comment. "Be reasonable, Naruto. You would have lost the nomination no matter what. The council was prejudiced against you from the beginning, and since they control the majority's vote, even with the support of the Tsunade-sama you would have not been elected as the Hokage heir-apparent."

"Oh I know." Naruto nodded seriously, as though at last seeing the irrationalities behind his seemingly childish and vengeful actions. "It might surprise you, but I was not nearly as stupid as you seemed to make out. I was aware I'd loose from the very start. I mean, can you imagine those stubborn old geezers lend support to the idea of the demon spawn lording over the very village? The very notion is ludicrous."

"But then why such meaningless attempt at vengeance?" Neji hesitated before raising the question. Unlike many of his relations, the proud Hyuuga had held a grudging respect for the vessel ever since the day the condemned youth knocked some sense into the white eyed prodigy. "Naruto…"

Naruto looked at Neji in an almost friendly way. Almost, but not quite. "Yes, I did realize my effort would be doomed, hell, I even realize I would not make a good Hokage – I was too brash, too headstrong, and too passionate for that. But I did expect my friends to at least stand by me… After almost seven years, I thought… I dared even so moronically believe that I at least earned that much loyalty. I imagined that no matter how much the village might rally against me, I could at least count on the votes of a few friends, if for nothing else than to reassure myself that I could still change the perception of some of the population."

He glared at each of them in turn.

"And you let me down."

"Naruto…" Kiba sighed as he tried to console his 'friend', but stopped dead at a murderous glare from the said target. "We were only acting as decreed by our clan… Our own opinion isn't worth a damn… And we didn't think you would be hurt this much… I… look… I feel like lower than crud after what I did, but what other choice do I have?"

Naruto watched the dog user as if he had sprouted a third arm somewhere one wouldn't expect a third arm to grow from. "Not much? And please enlighten me, how ever did you reach this conclusion. After all, I had only shouted my dream on every available occasion – perhaps that was not enough to convey a clear message?"

Kiba was at a lost for words.

Naruto turned away from him, his stoic expression returning again. Facing the assembly, he continued in an impassioned speech. "Well, at any rate, you might be surprised to hear this, but I didn't run away and fake my death because of that. It might have influenced my decision, but it's not the straw that broke the camel's back. I been through hell my entire life, did you really think that one event would break me so easily? I did come to the realization that if it had not been your clan interest – something clearly above me in importance – you would have at least given me support. That I think can be assured of."

"I don't understand, then." Gaara gave voice to the thought on everyone's mind. "Why would you have defected from Konoha if you speak the truth?"

"Power. What else would I run away for? It certainly wasn't because of a marathon." The look of consternation and shock made Naruto's day. If only he had a camera to capture the moment. The sight of it was too priceless for words. He would have made a fortune selling the photos alone. "You see, I've always thought that the reason I failed – whether it be the Chunin Exam, Sasuke retrieval, or the election – was because I wasn't stubborn or adamant enough, that I didn't try as hard as I could. Then it dawned on me. I was failing not because of my lack of dogged determination. I was failing because I lacked power."

When no one made any sound, Naruto continued.

"If I had enough power, none of my mistakes would have happened. If I had enough power, I wouldn't have failed to persuade Sasuke into coming back – I'd have beaten him into a bloody pulp and dragged his half-corpse to the village gate. If I had enough power, I didn't need to implore so earnestly that the village see past the demon in me when they're about to cast their vote – I could intimidate them into doing the same in much shorter a time." He enjoyed the gasp and murmur of horror that accompanied his words. "So in the end, power is what it came down to. When reason fails, might make right."

"So you are just like that filthy Uchiha and Orochimaru, then." Jiraiya all but snarled. He couldn't believe that one of his own students would turn out this horrible. It made him feel sick to the stomach at the thought. "You traitor."

"Like them? I'm anything but like them." Naruto shook his head. "They were – and still is, in my opinion – complete and utter morons. Well, Orochimaru I could understand, survival being one of our chief instincts. But Sasuke? There's not a bigger idiot in the world. Konoha would have helped him realize his dream much better than any where else on the planet. He would have surpassed Orochimaru, even surpassed his brother, if he had but stayed. And yet like the dumb little shit I always thought he was, he gave all that up to pursue a second rate promise. Laughable."

Ino looked confused. She wasn't the only one. "But wouldn't that make you dumber than Sasuke?"

Naruto wagged a finger, as one would at a misbehaving child. "I'm not Sasuke, Ino-chan, and that makes all the difference in the world. You see, our dear little former-comrade had everything handed to him on a silver platter. What ever he want he would have gotten sooner or later. Hell, the villagers practically kissed the ground he walked on. If he had wanted to grow stronger, I'm sure the Leaf would have backed him up with everything it got. After all, what village doesn't what a stronger Sharingan user as a weapon? Me? The village would rather see me completely mundane and helpless. I'm sure seventy percent of the population would like nothing more than to have me incapable of wielding even a spork."

His laughter was cold and callous, devoid of humor.

"Sasuke talked about how the village was holding him back. But then, even with Sharingan, he was as blind as a bat. The village would only push him to ever soaring places. On the other hand, the village was trying to hold me back with everything in it's power. How could I attain power, how could I reach my full potential, when I dwell in a place that wanted my head on a platter? Konoha possesses the resource for me to succeed and grow, no doubt, just not the motivation or desire. Remember how I told Neji that one must not give in to destiny? Well, it seems there are destinies that could not be changed – mine being one of them. So I went for the next best thing. I re-forged another."

Then the youth shrugged.

"It's nothing personal, really, but you have about five minutes to reach a decision in regards to my proposal. And I promise I won't allow my personal feelings to interfere with my ruling the village."


"Itachi!" A scream rend the air, causing both party to look up in surprise. Over to their right (or left, as relative to their position), stood none other than a furious looking Sasuke, dressed in garbs similar to the ones Sound-nins wore. Behind him stood his elite body guards – formerly known as Sound Four. "I found you at last, brother."

"Oh wonderful." Naruto rolled his eyes and muttered sarcastically. "Now the drama queen's here too. Well this day is getting better already. I do hope dinner could make up for all this excitement."

"I'm sure it will, Leader-sama." Kisame replied, licking his chops. He had a hand over the handle of his massive cleaver, though he seemed not particularly interested in using it. You wouldn't believe how long it take to wrap the thing in bandage. And beside, the blade was only reserved for worthy foes. "Tobi has a penchant for food, it seems."

"Ah, finally, some good news" The blond traitor brightened immensely at this. "I always did say that boy could have been a chef if he quit the outlawed life."

Sasuke, on the other hand, did not seem so pleased at being ignored. "What the hell are you doing with Itachi, dobe?" The raven haired Uchiha survivor hissed angrily, his eyes narrowing into slits.

"My patience with you is wearing dangerously thin. You must learn your place." In an equally dangerous tone, the fox boy turned to his once teammate, his eyes shifting from his usual blue to a shade of dark crimson. The color of blood, the color of the Mangekyo. "Tsukuyomi."

Sasuke screamed as he was pulled into the realm of illusions, and subjected to a world of pain. At first nothing happened, then slowly, gash begin to appear all over his exposed skin, blood seeping across his body, pooling at his feet.

All of the Suna and Konoha delegates wore looks of incredulity on their faces. They had no idea… never in their wildest imagination did they thought even for a minute that the dead last would come to possess the prized Sharingan, and to achieve its ultimate form as well. It seemed so absurd, so bizarre, and so farfetched.

Kakashi's surprise was more pronounced than any of them. As one of the holders of the Mangekyo, he knew better than anyone its limitations. While in this stage, the Sharingan can be used to produce extremely powerful Genjutsus – even the dreaded Tsukuyomi, as Naruto had so effortlessly demonstrated – no hallucinations could actually inflict physical harm upon a person. They can be used to kill, certainly – by convince the victim they are suffocating, for instance – but to actually draw blood was quite another story.

"Impressive, isn't it?" Naruto's voice sounded in the cyclops's ears, mocking and malicious. "It's a much more powerful form of Tsukuyomi, produced with the Chakra of a demon. The enchantment is so powerful that I could actually convince the cells to die, the heart to burst, the liver to fail… and the brain to shut down all together. I could, in other words, bend reality itself."

The illusion lifted without warning, leaving a severely injured Sasuke on the ground, white as a sheet from pain and blood loss. The almighty Uchiha had been reduced to a blood stained mess by a single glance.

"Now that the interruption is over, allow us to move unto the heart of the matter – the matter of your immediate surrender."


Sakura looked uneasy as the two factions stood near their agreed meeting place, with not a word passing between them. How did things fall out so badly? She didn't know. Or perhaps she did, but simply didn't want to remember. The rift between her… no… between the village and Naruto would not be mended. He was dead to them now. Now and forever more. She bit her lips to keep tear from filling her eyes.

They were all going to die.

None of them are aware of it yet, but this whole meeting had been nothing more than trap, a trap to lure the Akatsuki leader to his inevitable doom. And every single one of them – the Hokage, the Kazekage, and their followers, are bait. Sakura was one of the two people privies to this secret. The other being the Hokage herself, who had arranged for this almost kamikaze like maneuver.

She recalled walking into the subterranean chambers where 'it' was stored, an enormous monument to the ingenuity and malevolence of humanity. Centuries, even millenniums of accumulated dust did nothing to ward off the aura of unspeakable evil hidden within its metallic shells. Tsunade was already standing beside the death contraption when the pink haired kunoichi had arrived at her side. There was a grim, almost forlorn look on the healer's enchanted visages as she gazed up at the crystallization of men's intelligence, distilled in absolute heresy.

"This is the only way." The aging Hokage had murmured as she felt her apprentice resting a comforting hand on her shoulders. "The only way to stop the madness. There is no other choice."

"But what is it?" The girl dared venture fearfully, almost as though her voice could offset the dangerous item.

"The physical manifestation of the ultimate horror." Her sensei had answered cryptically. "The sins of the world made material."


Once the contraption is activated, Tsunade had informed her charge, there would be a ten minute count down before the mechanism can be triggered. Ten minute – all her own men had to do was to stall this mysterious leader for but ten short minute, and it would finally end. But the prowess of their enemy was legendary – he had taken down entire legions without a scratch, or so it was claimed.

Even the Hokage, being one of the Sannin, was uncertain if her forces could even detain him for such duration. But she'd be damned if she tired nothing to save her village from so vile a tyranny.

"You don't have to come, you know." Tsunade had smile fondly when she finished laying out her plan. "You could always stay with the villagers…"

Sakura had shaken her head resolutely. "I am a Jonin of Konohagakure no Sato. It is my honor and duty to die serving and protecting the Hidden village I so loved."

"I understand." The woman who had been almost like a mother to her had spoken no more on the subject.

Though as the two of them had left the chamber, the dimly light torchlight flared up for a single second as a ill omen wind blew through the underground maze, illuminating fading words imprinted upon the sphere like object resting upon what looked to be an altar of sorts.



"Pitiful." Naruto looked down at the fallen form of his friends in disdain. Though he had killed none of them, his blow had enough force behind it to render the brave Konoha-nins' hapless for a good long while. Each hit had shattered at least one bone, if not more, and laced with his own sinister brand of Chakra, the strikes had effectively rendered the opposing party unable to utilize defense measures of any sort. "I had expected more resistance from you."

Tsunade made a valiant effort to reply, only to cough up blood. She had been one of the first to fall, having been slammed against the ground with the full force of a herd of raging bulls. It was something of a feat in it self that she could even stay conscious after the blow had landed.

"I should finish you here and now for your betrayal." Naruto muttered as he lifted an arm. Black flames coated the length of his hand, elongating into a sword of pure Chakra. Yet there was something wrong about the energy that pulsed around the blonde's outstretched fingers. It felt tainted and hateful, cruel and malicious beyond imagining. "Now, Hokage-sama, any last words?" He taunted as the same colorless sword was summoned to his hand.

"Just one." The dying Hokage grinned as she spat out through clenched teeth. "Boom."

Somewhere below them, a red ticking number reached zero.


Somewhere, several alternate universes away, a blue eyed blond child awoke with a start. Staring up at the white ceiling with curious eyes, the child than proceeded to do something no new born ever did in history.

"Well, that's just peachy." The boy muttered in his babyish accent as he let out a long sigh. "Shinigami, I'm taking your balls the next time we meet."

AN: Well, that's the newest version of Once Upon A Midnight Moon. What are your thoughts? Like it, hate it, tell me.



"I can give you your heart's desire, Itachi-kun. I shall give you the key to your cage, I shall give you talons to strike back against those who so imprisoned you, and I shall give you wings with which to soar beneath an endless sky. I alone hold your freedom, and in exchange, you have but to serve me." – Uzumaki Naruto