AN: I hope I remember correctly what happened in Possession. Um... Sasuke died, Gaara is still around, Itachi and Kisame died, Orochimaru died, Inoichi is/was freakin' out, Ino is weird now, um, ok? And without further ado, here is Repossession.
...But at the last moment, the being found a way. With a tremendous amount of energy, he held the pieces in stasis, somehow holding off the seemingly inevitable. Out of the darkness, energy swirled, slowly gathering the tiny pieces together. The being began to use whatever little energy it was not sparing to keep the whole in stasis, to begin to rebuild and repair the whole. It was a slow and difficult process, and even the being, who had existed for generations, found it slow work. The being who sat in darkness, the darkness that preceded annihilation, began its work.
Jiraiya, of course, attended the funeral of the Third, as did most of the surviving ninja. Although Konoha had been nearly destroyed, between the Sound invasion and the brief reappearance of Kyuubi, things were rapidly returning to normal. Ninjas were fast builders. Jiraiya had high hopes that the next Hokage would be installed in a village that was nearly back to before.
As he watched the recovery efforts, Jiraiya grieved inside for all the ninja that had been lost. Although he was aware that every ninja faces death, destruction in such proportions should not have been possible. And so Jiraiya grieved, even for the one whose death had been celebrated throughout much of the village. Jiraiya
And speaking of the next Hokage, as soon as the funeral was over, Jiraiya left town to look for the one person who he knew would be willing and able to lead the Hidden Leaf.
"No way. Never. Only fools would want to become Hokage."
Jiraiya sighed. It had taken weeks to find Tsunade, and now he had spent DAYS trying to convince here to return. Unsuccessfully, he might add.
"Tsunade, if you don't come back, they'll make ME be the Hokage. Surely you don't want that!"
"It's not my village, I don't care."
"But we need someone-"
"NO!!! I won't do it!"
"I will do it."
"Then, I present to the village of Konoha, the Fifth Hokage!" The assembled crowd burst into applause, cheering for the new sannin-turned-Hokage.
Tsunade whispered under her breath, "You owe me, Jiraiya."
Jiraiya smiled and whispered back. "Don't worry, I'll find some way to smuggle you sake in the office."
The being slowly reformed the working parts of the whole, taking great care that each part was in perfect condition. Although the being's power was vast, the majority of its energy was tied up in keeping the whole from the hands of another, even more powerful being, a being who never gave things back.
Slowly, the whole began to resemble the appearance it had worn before its unfortunate disassembly. But there was still much work to be done, lest the greater being claim the whole, and the lesser being, as his own.
The lesser being also took care that he did not lose the third being, smaller yet, a being which clung to the lesser as its lifeline. For the third being knew how to operate the whole, though only the second could recreate it.
Unknown to the two lesser beings, the first, and stronger being, saw them, and laughed.
Tsunade watched over the reconstruction of many houses and buildings. Her presence gave her a good image with the people, and Shizune was taking care fo the paperwork. After a while, she noticed that there was a long strip where there was no construction. When she asked about it, she was told that the area was tainted.
Curious, Tsunade went to investigate, but as she reached the area, she realized what they were talking about. Even after months, she could detect the faint trace of demon chakra permeating the area, seemingly concentrated in the area where, she was told, the container had perished. Not even the bodies of leaf ninja had been removed from the area, for fear of the lingering presence of corruption.
Her curiosity sated, Tsunade jogged back to where the new construction was taking place. They would take care of that area last.
Tsunade looked over the latest report. According to what she was reading, the group of renegade ninja, Akatsuki, had disbanded. The report did not know why, and Jiraiya's excellent spy network could only say that something had happened to prevent them from doing whatever they had formed to do.
Tsunade was sure that whatever the group's goals had been, they had been somehow related to the appearance of Itachi and Kisame at the invasion. From what she had heard by ninja who had happened to be near the area, the two had confronted the demon container, talked for a while, and then fought.
Based of the fact that she had herself seen the two Akatsuki cloaks, apparently indestructible, laying in the 'tainted' area, Tsunade guessed that they had underestimated the demon.
The second being was pleased. After such a long time, his work was finished. He placed the third being within the whole, and then took its place alongside it. After checking its work one last time, the second being activated the whole, which immediately resumed where it had left off.
Thump thump. Thump thump. Thump thump.
The third being saw this, and laughed. It could have easily taken the demon and brat, but then again, it was more beneficial to let them go. Shinigami wanted as many souls as he could get, and why take these two when they would undoubtedly bring him so many more...
Naruto slowly opened his bright red eyes. The bright light from the sun caused his irises to contract, a natural reaction to too much light, and so his pupils narrowed into slits.
After a moment or two, the boy say up and took in his surroundings, and found that he was lying naked in a huge pile of rubble. Feeling slightly awkward, Naruto picked up the smaller cloak the was nearby, and wrapped it around himself. He had no shoes, but at least he was covered now. He pulled up the collars to keep the cool morning air at bay, and began to walk in a random direction.
Naruto walked past the broken piles of scorched rock, piles that at one time had been buildings. He felt oddly unconcerned about this strange area, even though he could see bleached bones strewn randomly throughout the debris.
Slowly, Naruto remembered what had happened. He was a genin. Of the leaf. Kakashi, Sakura, Sasuke. Chuunin exams, attack...
Don't forget me. I was there the whole time.
Naruto flinched at the sudden voice in his head, before he recalled the moments of his... death?
We didn't die, quite. It was a very close thing, though. I managed to rebuild our body. This is where we fought the leaf nin that blonde ninja brought, and so this is where most of our ashes were, and thus, the easiest place to return to.
Naruto felt himself returning to normal. At least, what passed for normal as him.
Hmm, since we're alive, we should get some food.
...Is food all you think about? We can catch some deer or something in the woods. I don't think we'll be welcome in the village.
Oh, well. It's not like we were ever really welcome there, anyway.
The cloaked boy ran to the edge of the village and leapt over the wall, paying no attention, or perhaps not noticing, the people who stood on the wall.
Tsunade jerked herself upright. No need to be caught sleeping on the job. "Come in."
A nervous chuunin walked into the office. "Hokage-sama, you said to notify you if we saw anyone in a black cloak with red clouds on it, right?"
Tsunade was wide awake. "Yes, so what did you see?"
"I just saw one of them jump over the wall and out of the village."
"What did he look like, where was he headed, did you see anything else unusual?"
"He was barefooted, and had whitish hair. Maybe it used to be blonde, but it looked like his hair had turned white. I couldn't see his face, because his collar was turned up. And he was running towards Sand. The only unusual thing was that he came out of the tainted sector."
Tsunade thought for a moment, before sending a team of ANBU to investigate the tainted area for any signs of what the Akatsuki could have wanted there.
Naruto finished eating, and went to find water to wash off the blood. Hearing some moving water, he ran toward the sound, to find a small, slow stream with clear water. Naruto leaned over the water, but stopped in surprise.
His hair was almost all white. It had a barely visible yellow tint, but it was mostly white. And his eyes were a violent red, with fox-like slitted pupils. His cheeks were, as normal, adorned with whisker-marks.
One of the effects of being revived by my chakra. I couldn't do anything about the hair, and the eyes are red because I made them.
It's fine. I don't think we have much of a chance of hiding you anymore, especially after what we did at the end of the fight.
Naruto washed up and continued wandering toward the desert.
Tsunade was supervising the final bit of construction, the buildings in the tainted section. It was a good thing the demon chakra had left when it did, or else the people would never have moved back in.
Tsunade was a bit worried that the taint had left right after the Akatsuki had visited, but there was nothing she could do about it now. Every tracking dog whimpered when it was asked to follow the scent, and only Kakashi, who was on a mission, had the summon for talking nin-dogs.
So until he returned, Tsunade decided that she wouldn't worry about it.
Tsunade turned to the speaker. "Yes... Kakashi? Oh, good, you're here."
"I just got back from the mission, and I heard you were looking for me."
"Yes, did you find out anything?"
"After a lot of searching, I found the corpses all buried in a training field. They looked like they had been attacked by some sort of animal. They had long gashes everywhere. But, I don't think that any... normal... animal could burn them like they had been burned. And Pakkun said her could smell the stench of a demon."
"The more we find out, the longer he seems to have been influenced by the demon. But anyway, I wanted you here because we have a trail of an Akatsuki member that needs to be followed, and you have the summons for talking dogs. The trail starts right over there," Tsunade gestured over to the base of a tree just outside the walls. "The other dogs refused to follow it, so I was hoping that you would have better luck, or that we can at least find out why no one will follow it."
Kakashi nodded and summoned Pakkun. "Pakkun, a trail starts here. We need you to take us to the Akatsuki member who went this way."
Pakkun walked over to the tree and sniffed, before barking loudly and jumping back. "I'd follow an Akatsuki member for you, but a demon is more than I really care to get involved with."
Tsunade's eyes widened in understanding. "A demon? So there was a demon container here? Can you tell which it was, Pakkun?"
"I don't know the different smells, but this is exactly the same as the scent we found back with those dead villagers."
Tsunade looked confused. "But several people saw him die. They said he scattered into ashes. Besides, that was months ago. There's no way he could have-"
"I didn't saw it was him, but it smells exactly the same. That's all I'm saying." With that, Pakkun poofed into smoke.
Kakashi watched as the Hokage's face contorted into a frown. "Kakashi, I want you to assemble a team and follow this... thing as far as you can with your own tracking skills. Take whomever you would like. I'll take care of the paperwork."
Kakashi nodded, and leapt away.
Naruto reached the edge of the forest and walked into the desert, not really sure why he was going this way.
Hey, we never finished with that other demon, Shukaku. We could... pay him a visit?
Naruto thought for a moment, trying to come up with a good reason not to. He failed.
Sure, why not, I guess...
That's the spirit.
Kakashi hurried along the trail. Whoever or whatever was making it was not at all concerned about stealth. Bent branches, footprints, and other easy clues littered the trail. Right behind him, Shikamaru, now a chuunin, kept pace, his hands in his pockets. And behind Shikamaru came Ino. Kakashi wasn't sure about her, but Shikamaru seemed confident that her Mind-Body Switch could make for an easy capture, if they could get her a clear shot.
As they followed the path into the desert, Kakashi began to feel uneasy. They were a long way from help.
Naruto was walking toward Suna.
Hey, while we're out in the middle of nowhere, we can test out this body. It's supposed to be the same, but I'm not, after all, Kami, so we should probably make sure I got it right.
...I feel so confident in your abilities now...
Shut up, kit.
Naruto went through some basic taijutsu, while he kept moving in the general direction of Suna. He followed up with clones and ninjutsu. This, in turn, would have been followed by genjutsu, but Naruto didn't know any, so he decided to quit.
Make sure we test the body with my chakra.
Naruto drew chakra from the Kyuubi, and more, and more. The air shimmered around him and the sand at his feet turned to glass, but the chakra was not yet hurting his body. Kyuubi reached out with a hand of chakra and slashed the sand, then shot spheres of demonic energy from the hand into nearby sand dunes.
They used more and more chakra, but still they didn't feel the pain that usually accompanied so much demon chakra. Maybe we can take more now since the body was made by me?
They drew the chakra into the nearly-impenetrable armor they had used before, and then they felt it. That internal tearing and strain, though less than ever before, was still more than enough to eventually kill them if they kept it up for too long.
It looks like we are just a bit more resistant to using it, and not so much to staying in contact with it.
You sound way too smart. There's no way you're Naruto.
Kami, just because I acted stupid a long time ago everyone thinks I'm dumber than dirt.
But you used the word contact.
Never mind. Let's go, I wanna kill Shukaku. And some sand ninja. And maybe some villagers. And...
Naruto tuned him out and started walking again.
Kakashi looked at the dunes around him. Or, to be more accurate, to the large glass hills around him.
Shikamaru droned, "Looks like they were playing with fire. Or if it really is a demon, maybe they were playing with that evil chakra."
Kakashi grimaced underneath his mask. It didn't look like there had been a fight here, since there was no blood or bodies. But if there had been this much heat...
"We need to keep moving if we're gonna catch up to it anytime soon," Shikamaru droned.
Kakashi nodded, and resumed tracking the blundering path left by whatever they were following. Shikamaru and Ino followed close behind.
Naruto and Kyuubi arrived at the gates of Suna. A chuunin guard got up and walked over from where he had been seated. "Hey, normal stuff. Who are you, what's yer business, and all that."
Is it really so important to kill these people?
I want to, and besides, if we want to eventually live normally, we need to get rid of the people who know about me. That means Gaara.
So are we just gonna kill him?
Well, since we're here... and besides, Suna ninja were at the chuunin exams too, remember?
If you want to sit it out, I can take care of it.
I'll never get better if I let you do all the work. If this really needs to be done, then we might as well get started.
The chuuunin stared at the barefoot guy in the weird cloak. And the weird eyes. He cleared his throat to get the guy's attention.
Suddenly Naruto ripped out the chuunin's throat with the claws that had formed on his hands, and then rushed into the village.
The chuunin fell over, blood gushing out onto the sand from the hideous hole in his throat.
Kakashi stopped when he saw the village of Suna in the distance. Something was... off.
Shikamaru and Ino walked up beside him. "What's going on, Kakashi-san?" Ino asked.
"Something isn't right, but... we need to keep going."
The jogged toward the village, and as they approached, Kakashi realized what was wrong. Barely reaching them on the wings of the wind, were screams of agony and death. Kakashi saw a tall red flame leap into the air from somewhere in the village.
And then he felt it. The unmistakable presence of the kyuubi.
"Shikamaru, Ino. This mission just got a lot harder."
AN: I was gonna write more for the first chapter, but then I knew you guys were waiting for this, soooo... yeah. I hope you like it.
Just so everyone knows, I will not be updating this weekly like I did with Possession. That is really hard and leads to the sort of stuff I was not quite as proud of, especially in the last chapter. It got kinda... rushed. So I plan to update this maybe every month or something. Or maybe more often, but don't hold your breath.
If you liked it, disliked it, have a comment or suggestion, or just want to let me know you read it, that's what the review button is for. See you guys next time!