Naruto: Between Light and Darkness
Prelude: First Step Toward Darkness

- A/N -

"Sample" Human talking
'Sample' Human thinking
"Sample" Somone puting extra meaning in a word
"Sample" Demon or demoninc jinchūriki speaking
'Sample' Demon talking in a jinchūriki's head

I do not own Naruto and a never will. Enjoy the story, but if you review try to be nice, although I don't mind flamers I won't usually listen to what flamers have to say either. If you want to get a point across use polite criticism or email me. Also, I would like to warn everybody that doesn't like evil styled Naruto fics that this is going to be a little on the evil side, though not strictly evil. Further more, this story will probably have a few minor spoilers, names and stuff like that, if you haven't been reading the manga (for instance you might not know the Fourth Hokages real name, which isn't Arashi btw, a lot of fanfics use that name for him and I have no idea why seeing as it's really the name for the leader of the Fuma ninja clan that Orichimaru commands... see spoilers...) and if you have only been watching the English version of the show, which I hear is wwaayyy behind the Japanese version, it will probably have a lot of spoilers. And last but not least, this first chapter is a test to see what kind of response I get. If enough people like it I will continue the story if not it will most likely be deleted. So if you like it TELL ME, even you don't have an account you still can review (at least on my stories you can)! If you don't like then you can tell me why or you can just scowl at the screen, whatever you want. Again enjoy the story and REVIEW, cannot stress that enough. Have a great day.That is all...

- Valley of the End -

Naruto stood on the head of the great statue on the right side of the massive waterfall. On the statue across from him, his back turned, stood Sasuke. This valley marked the end of Konoha's sphere of influence. This was it, Naruto had to stop Sasuke here or it would be too late.

"Sasuke!!" He screamed, the word echoing off into the distance.

Sasuke didn't even glance at him, just began to walking away.

"Are you going to run away from me?" Naruto shouted at him.

Sasuke froze mid stride. For a moment neither moved or said anything. Then slowly Sasuke began to turn around. Naruto's eyes widened in shock. Half of his friends face was marked by his curse seal and his right eye was black and yellow instead of its normal white and black.

"Yo... dobe..." Sasuke called back just loud enough for Naruto to hear him.

For a long time they just stared at each other. Then Sasuke scowled.

"This time it's you?" He asked coldly.

The memory of Sakura crying, begging him to bring Sasuke back, flashed through Naruto's mind and his face hardened into a scowl of his own.

"I told Sakura this too," Sasuke continued, "stop concerning yourself with me."

Naruto's scowl deepened causing Sasuke to start laughing and put his hands on his hips.

"Whats with that look?" He asked mockingly, laughing some more.

Naruto stared at him. He couldn't believe this was his friend. Memories of the times they had together began springing up in his mind. It only added fuel to the fire making Naruto clenched his fists.

"Why?" He asked quietly. "Why? Sasuke!"

His friend's arrogant demeanor dropped into a surprised expression.

"Why have you become like this?!" Naruto shouted at him.

Again the words echoed away. After a moment of the two glaring at each other again Sasuke answered.

"Whatever becomes of me," He said, "how does it have anything to do with you? I have my own path. No matter who it is, I'm not obligated to take orders from anyone."

Naruto scowled at him even more. Just as he was about to say something back, Sasuke continued.

"Let me make it clear to you." He spoke a little louder. "My childish games with you and Konoha are over. Go home."

That hit Naruto like a brick. It... hurt. It felt like he just had a kunai shoved into his stomach. But hurt was quickly replaced by anger. All the sacrifices they had made to get here. Chouji, Neji, Kiba and Akamaru, Shikamaru, and Lee. They had all fought just so he could get here. He was not going to let them down.

"Everyone..." Naruto growled. "Everyone risked their lives to catch up to you!"

Sasuke just shrugged. "How nice of them." He turned and began walking away.

Naruto scowled and jumped across the river behind the retreating Uchiha. Sasuke spun around just in time to see Naruto come flying down out of the air at him.

"What do you think your comrades in Konoha are?!" Naruto yelled down at him just as they collided.

They skidded for several feet before finally stopping and Naruto drew his fist back ready to beat some sense into his friend. Sasuke's arrogant grin was all the encouragement he needed. He smashed the Uchiha across the face.

Sasuke just stared at him for a moment before spitting blood on his cheek. Naruto snarled and grabbed Sasuke by the shirt pulling him up to eye level.

"Comrades?" Sasuke asked coldly. "Have I become stronger while staying with those comrades?"

Naruto recoiled at the words. He couldn't be serous...

"I am going to where Orochimaru is." He said with finality.

Naruto grabbed onto his shirt collar tighter and pulled him up farther. Naruto's face was nearly panicked as he stared yelling at Sasuke.

"Orochimaru is the one who killed the Third and tried to destroy Konoha!" Naruto shouted in the Uchiha's face. "You really think he'll give you power for free?! He just wants your body as a container! You might never come back! You might die!! There's no way I could let you go to a place like that!!"

Sasuke stared up at him for a long moment. Naruto really was his best friend after all. In the back of his mind he heard his brother's voice start speaking to him. 'To unlock the power of the Mangekyou Sharingan you must full fill... a special condition. Your best friend... you must kill him... only then will you be able to kill me...'

Sasuke grabbed his head and growled causing Naruto to draw back slightly.

'I will not gain power like you did!' He snarled at his brother's voice. 'I will not be like you!'

He shook his head trying to silence it. But the voice wouldn't stop. It told him over and over to kill his best friend if he wanted the power to avenge his clan. It whispered in his head, the voice of the man he hated most in the world. Naruto jumped off Sasuke as he began thrashing around on the ground.

"I refuse..." Sasuke growled seemingly to himself, "to become like you! I will not... follow... in your foot steps!"

"Sasuke?"

"AAHHH!!! Get out... of my... head!!" He screamed.

"Sasuke?! What is it?!" Naruto leaned down next to him, trying to still the thrashing Uchiha.

"GAAGHH!!! Shut up!! SHUT UP!!!" He roared. It was obvious that Sasuke wasn't talking to him. It was like he was arguing with himself.

Naruto did the only thing he could think of. He pulled back a fist and decked Sasuke on the other side of his face. The young man went still for a moment as he recollected his thoughts, then slowly sat up. Sasuke glared at him then looked away.

"Thanks... dobe..." He said grudgingly.

Naruto stared at him. Then smiled nervously again. "Sasuke, please, lets just go home... Sakura-chan is waiting for us and everything..."

"I am going to Orochimaru." He said again and once more Naruto's grin faded. "He can give me the power I need to kill that man."

"Sasuke... I can't let you go..." Naruto started to draw back into a combat stance. "If... if you won't come back peacefully I'll just have to..."

Sasuke smirked at him. "What? Beat me into submission? Do you really think that will change anything?" He asked and laughed.

Naruto frowned. "I can't let you go and get killed, Sasuke..."

Sasuke turned away. "Then why don't you come with me and make sure I don't get killed?"

Naruto stared at him. "Sasuke... why are you doing this?"

"I need power," the Uchiha said and raised his hand making it into a fist, "I need enough power to kill him... I can't get that power in Konoha. The only other way I have of getting enough power to defeat that man is... unacceptable..."

Naruto scowled. "So you just want the quick and easy path is that it?! You selfish little..."

Sasuke spun around and scowled at him. "This is the hard way, you moron!"

"Oh really and what is the other way? Is it harder then running off like a dog with your tail between your legs?!" Naruto shouted back.

Sasuke grabbed him by the shirt collar. "Yes, it is actually!" He growled. "I would just have to kill you and unlock the full power of my Sharingan." Sasuke's face instantly went from angry to surprised by what he had just said, he hadn't meant to say that.

Naruto stared at him. "What?"

Sasuke released Naruto's collar and looked away again. "In order to unlock the Sharingan's full power you have to... kill your best friend. That was how he got strong enough to wipe out our entire clan. He drowned his best friend in a river and unlocked it's full power." Sasuke glared at Naruto's stunned look. "I refuse to be like him. I refuse to follow in his foot steps. I will find another way to kill my dear older brother. Even if I have to sacrifice my life to do it."

Naruto stared at him for a full ten seconds before he doubled over laughing. Sasuke growled and grabbed him by the collar again.

"What the hell is so funny, dobe?!" Killing Naruto was actually starting to look like a good idea...

"To think that... the great and powerful... Sasuke Uchiha..." Naruto gasped out between laughs, "would sacrifice his life to save me... again! Oh man..."

Sasuke smirked and dropped Naruto in a laughing heap.

"Ouch..." Naruto said rubbing his head which he had hit upon landing.

"Whatever, dobe." Sasuke said and started walking away again.

Naruto instantly turned serious again. "Sasuke, I still can't let you go."

"How many times are you going to tell me that?" The raven haired boy said in mock disgust. "I told you already, I am going."

"But..."

"If you really want to make sure I get back one day you are going to have to come with me," He barked, "and sense I do not see that happening any time..."

"How do we get there then?" Naruto asked cutting Sasuke off.

For once the blond had truly stunned him. The Uchiha prodigy just stared at Naruto. He wasn't kidding when he said that the only way he was ever going back to Konoha alive and as himself was if Naruto came with him, but he hadn't expected the blond moron to actually do it!

"You can't be serious, Naruto." He said.

"If you won't come back," The blond said with his classic fox grin, "then I am just going to have to make sure you don't do something stupid and end up dead. I made a promise to Sakura-chan to bring you back in one piece and I keep my promises. If you won't come now I'll just have to stick around until you decide to listen to me for once." He walked up to Sasuke and crossed his arms.

Sasuke smiled. "Thanks... Naruto-kun..."

- Several Minutes Later -

A storm was boiling in the sky as Kakashi Hatake landed on the top of the left stone statue. He glanced around once and noted a small blood splatter on the rock. It wasn't big enough to be from a serous injury, more likely just from a hard punch or perhaps a cut. Pakkun was already sniffing around trying to catch the sent of the two boys again.

'Sasuke... Naruto... where the hell are you?' Kakashi thought as he looked out over the valley. He sighed and turned to Pakkun.

"Anything?" He asked.

"I lose them both right here." The ninken said right at the edge of the statue that faced the valley lake. "I guess they must have jumped on top of the water and went that way."

Kakashi nodded and looked out over the water searching for any signs of the two boys. Suddenly a flash of metal caught both of their attention. In the fading light of the approaching storm the small glint could barely be seen.

"There!" Pakkun said and sped off toward it with Kakashi right behind him.

They ran across the water at full speed and came to a stop in front of a tree at the border between Konoha and the next country. Stuck on it with kunai were a pair of leaf headbands. Kakashi stared at them for a long time before he finally reached out and pulled them both from the tree. He handed them down to Pakkun to confirm what he was hoping with all his heart wasn't true.

The ninken sniffed each once and his entire body seemed to slump.

"Sasuke-san." Pakkun said quietly and nudged the one in Kakashi's left hand gently, "Naruto-kun." He said when he touched the other.

Kakashi straighted for a moment and stared down at the headbands of his two students. Finally it sank in and he slumped against the tree in defeat.

"Why?" He asked quietly. Pakkun looked up at his master with a sorrowful expression, as sorrowful as dogs can look anyway.

"I fail everyone that counts on me, don't I Pakkun?" Kakashi asked sadly. "Obito, Rin, Minato-sensie, Sarutobi-sama," He bashed his fist, still clutching Naruto's headband, into the tree he was slumped against. "and now I even failed Naruto and Sasuke."

He looked as his loyal ninken with a lost expression. When the dog didn't respond he opened his hands and looked back at the two headbands he was holding. Rain started to fall from the sky. Kakashi turned and looked into the forest ahead. They were both long gone by now, he knew that. He couldn't follow further anyways, it was beyond his village's borders. He clutched the headbands hard for another moment then turned away putting both in his vest.

He took one last look over his shoulder in the direction his two students had gone. Kakashi felt completely and utterly lost. He hadn't felt like this sense Obito had died. He had been wrong it seemed. He hadn't lost everyone that was close to him, at least not until now. He turned away and headed back toward Konoha. He had to report to the Hokage and he needed to tell Sakura what had happened. He wouldn't let anyone else do that, it was his responsibility.

'I am sorry... Naruto... Sasuke... I am sorry I was too late...' He thought dejectedly as he made his way back toward his village...

- A/N -

There it is. Again tell me what you think. REVIEW PEOPLE REVIEW!!! And before anyone asks, yes the first half of this chapter IS an near exact copy of the anime episode (as close as I could get it at least). If you don't beleive me go back and watch ep 128-129 again on youtube. That is all...