Finally! I've been waiting to upload this! Stupid two day limit! kicks Okay kay, like the author note says, this fanfic is based on a suggestion he had for a fan art. Well, this idea has always lingered in my mind as well (the Forest of Death is one of my favorite SasuSaku scenes and I'm dying for a NaruHina equivalent!), but I never really had what I needed to write a fic on it. So he gave me the right situation where I could write it. I really hope you enjoy it.
Title: A Power Greater than a Demon
Genre: AU, Drama
Timeline: Part 2, During the Team 8/7 Search for Sasuke
Summary: Pein and Konan have come for Naruto, but Hinata is hurt in the process. Can Naruto control himself and not let himself go Kyuubi?
Pairings: NaruHina, slight SasuSaku at the end
Disclaimer: Naruto does not belong to me. He belongs to Kishimoto. I am just a lowly fan wanting to torture his characters. evil laugh
Author's Notes: Idea borrowed from kyuubi425's FanArt Suggestion List. You can find him at NarutoFan forum's Naruto/Hinata Fan Club. Check his signature.
I can't draw, but I can write so here we go! Forgive me if I put a slight Sasuke angle in this since, I'm assuming, they are still on their Sasuke hunt. It's AU anyway, if they aren't by the time Pein finds Naruto. :p
"HINATA!!" screamed Naruto as he helplessly watched the orange haired Akatsuki named Pein kick her through the air. She struck a rock, breaking it into pieces and landing in the rubble. She lay motionlessly. Naruto, despite the beating he had received from Pein, ran over to her.
"Hrmph. Troublesome girl," commented Pein. He looked back at Konan, who struggled to get back on her feet after being defeated by Hinata.
"Forgive me, Pein," she said, her voice semi-steady and void of emotion. "I did not expect her to deviate from the known practices of the Hyuuga." She lowered her head. "I'm afraid I won't be of much use with my chakra cut off."
"It doesn't matter," responded Pein. "The girl is no match for me and even if she could stand up to me in a fight, she's exhausted from battling you. She's just in the way. The boy is of no concern, either." He glared over to where Naruto was checking Hinata's injuries. "He may have improved, but his luck has finally run out."
Hinata groaned, her eyes closed and Byakugan deactivated. She had a lot of cuts from the paper Konan had thrown at her, but the damage from the rock was a lot worse. Blood formed under her head, contrasting against the dark blue of her hair with its red tint. She shook when Naruto took her hand.
Tears formed in Naruto's eyes. These Akatsuki wanted him, wanted the Kyuubi inside of him. Hinata fought against one of them, arguably against all odds due to the Akatsuki consisting of S-Class criminals. And she did it to protect him. Now she was hurt, all because Pein viewed her to be 'in his way.'
She had fought hard against Konan, the blue haired Akatsuki. She had gotten so much stronger since her match with her cousin Neji. In between punches and jutsu with his battle with Pein, he had been in awe at how much she had improved. She seemed less like the shy wallflower pushing herself to change and more like the confident person she vowed to become.
And now she was hurt, hurt after protecting him against mad men bent on obtaining the Kyuubi inside of him. He could not stop the tears from falling down his whiskered cheeks.
She had not been the only one. Sasuke had gotten hurt when Itachi first came for Naruto, three years ago. Put in a coma for an entire month. All because his brother viewed him to be in the way.
They were hurt because 'they were in the way.'
The Akatsuki were to blame for this. Everything. When would he be strong enough to protect the people he cared about from harm?
Red chakra bubbled around Naruto's feet, unnoticed by him in his tortured memories of wounded friends. His whiskered marks stretched out, darkening, and his eyes turning red with black slits. His teeth grew longer and his fingernails claws.
"Hinata…" he rasped out, his voice deeper and more animalistic. He put her hand down and rose up, intent on beating the man who hurt her just because she was in his way. The red chakra rose up, encasing him like an armor, forming a tail in behind and ears on his head.
"You…" he growled, glaring murderously at Pein. "You will pay."
So this is the power Deidara spoke of… thought Pein as he watched the Junchuuriki become drunk on the power of the bijuu sealed inside of him. The reports said Naruto would become unstable the more emotional he became and this was often triggered by the condition of the people around him. Perhaps taking out the Hyuuga girl was a mistake? "Konan…"
"Right." She already knew what he was going to ask. "I'm in no condition to fight him." Konan started to leave, but Naruto ran at her, faster than before, and knocked her away with his chakra tail. Konan cried out as she flew through the air and landed in the forest, out of sight.
Pein watched her fly, eyes widening. What power… His speed has increased. He turned back to his target, knowing he was next. He jumped out of the way as Naruto roared and threw a chakra encased fist at him. It missed. Instead, it hit the ground, causing a small crater to appear where Pein once stood.
Pein danced around the area, avoiding Naruto's angry blows, trying to come up with a plan to immobilize the boy without killing himself in the process. After all, the Kyuubi's chakra was rumored to be poisonous and Pein was not about to test the theory first hand. Not yet anyway.
However, his evading merely increased Naruto's rage. He could feel the killing intent become more and more intense. Finally, after Pein dodged his chakra tail once more, he stopped, his rage apparently reaching a new level. "I'm…going to make…you pay for hurting her!!"
A second tail formed behind him with a third one trying to get out and Pein suddenly realized maybe for the first time, he would have to forfeit this battle if he wanted to escape with his life.
Hinata woke up with a headache that felt like her head had been split open. She reached behind automatically and felt something warm. Drawing back her hand, she saw blood. That's right… she thought as the events from moments ago came back to her, That man…he kicked me.
She tried to get up, but fell back to the ground. Pain shot through her other arm. It must have broken when she smashed into the rock. Despite her injuries, she could not help but smile. At the very least, I stood up to that woman who wanted Naruto-kun. I beat her. But is Naruto-kun safe now? The man was still around and Naruto had not being doing well against him. Their friends were close by, but even through she had defeated the woman, it had been mere luck and perfect timing that won her the battle. Would Kakashi-sensei be able to take on the orange haired man?
Suddenly, she realized there was a huge rush of chakra nearby. The intensity of it made her shiver. It was so full of anger, rage, killing intent she had never felt before. Naruto-kun!
Thinking he was in danger, she tried to get on her feet, ignoring the pain, however, she nearly dropped back down at the sight that greeted her.
It was not Pein that the murderous chakra had come from, but Naruto. Covered in red bubbling chakra, with three tails waving behind him, stood Naruto, crouching on all fours like an animal and clawing at Pein while he tried to avoid the blows. She could not believe the strength behind that chakra.
What kind of chakra was that?
"Am I Uzumaki Naruto…or am I the Nine-Tails…I'm sure you asked yourself such in the past, the victim of the heartless gazes of people surrounding you." The words of Kabuto, the white-haired medic ninja allied with Orochimaru, echoed through her head. She had only been told of the Kyuubi being sealed inside of Naruto before this mission began. Kakashi-sensei told them so they would know of the danger that would befall them should Naruto be attacked.
It had surprised her, but yet everything had fallen into place. It had explained why Naruto had been alone for all his life, why the people called him a monster and showed him nothing more than contempt for his mere existence and it explained the mysterious chakra Neji had told her about during his match with Naruto in the Chuunin exam.
At the same time, it was still shocking to see this before her very eyes. Naruto was fighting like a totally different person. Not at all like the Naruto she had grown to love and admire. Was this the Nine-Tails' influence? Did this chakra have something to do with this drastic change?
Was this what Kabuto meant? Is Naruto-kun struggling with the demon inside of him? Her body shook with fear, not out of horror of the Nine-Tailed Fox, but out of apprehension for how this was affecting Naruto.
The Kyuubi and Naruto, two different beings residing in the same body. Now she understood completely what Kabuto meant and what Naruto must have felt since he learned of his unfortunate burden.
As she thought this, something began to bubble up next to the three tails already on Naruto. Pein's eyes widened and he jumped toward the forest. Hinata watched, frozen in place as a fourth tail formed on Naruto. A terrible picture set in motion, more horrible than the murderous chakra.
Naruto screamed, a bloodthirsty scream chilling her very soul, as the chakra seemingly exploded and became solid, dark blood red, and encasing Naruto inside it's shell. His face became nothing more than a flat mask with no way to see Naruto's eyes, nose, mouth or even the darkened whiskers on his cheeks. He looked nothing like Naruto. Nothing at all.
Na – Na – Naruto-kun? Hinata could barely keep steady; her entire body trembled in terror. A small part of her, the old part of her she had for so long tried to squash, wanted to run. Run. Run away. Find Kakashi-sensei and beg him to help Naruto.
But she could not leave Naruto alone. Not anymore.
Ignoring the pain she felt, she started to run. She collected her chakra and let it surround her, almost like a Kaiten, and activated her Byakugan. She could see him underneath that red shell. The red chakra had completely overtaken his own chakra, filling through the chakra network, overloading, bursting.
Maybe…what if I increase his own chakra? Will that cause the red chakra to go down? She frowned. Yamato-taichou had told her to stay away from Naruto if his chakra covered him to the point where he could not be seen. He had also said, when she had asked if Naruto would be hurt in such a state, that his chakra was strong enough to withstand the Kyuubi's to a point. So maybe…if she increased his chakra, Naruto would go back to normal.
"Naruto-kun!" She flung herself at him, but immediately jumped away as soon as she made contact with the shell. She fell backwards to the ground and stared at her hand, her wounded hand she just tried to swing around Naruto's neck, stained with blood.
Staring up at him, concern and shock eating away at her, as she realized the horrible truth: That's…not chakra…that's blood! Her hand burned, like she had touched a fire. This was far worse than she had first thought.
However, her actions had caused him to turn his attention to her. Raising her head nervously, Hinata looked into the cold, blank white eyes. "Naruto-kun?" she asked, uncertainly. "Can you hear me?"
Naruto roared and brought his blood-soaked claw up to strike. Apparently, he did not. Without thinking, without a single conscious thought, Hinata launched herself at him. Throwing her wounded arm around his neck and ignoring the pain from her injuries and Naruto's blood sinking into her, burning her skin, she screamed, "NARUTO-KUN!! STOP!!"
He tried to shake her off, but she refused to let go of his neck. Taking all the chakra she had left, she spun it around her, hoping it would protect her somewhat from the burning blood. She drew back her unharmed hand and, with only two fingers out, punched Naruto in the stomach. He roared in response.
"Naruto-kun…" she gritted out with some difficultly, "please stop… You're not alone anymore. You have friends…Neji-nii-san, Tenten-san, Lee-kun…"
She jabbed him again, directly in the stomach, as she struggled to hold on to him through his efforts to throw her off. Her face and arm felt as if they were on fire despite the make-shift Kaiten.
"Shikamaru-kun, Ino-chan, Chouji-kun…we're all here for you…"
Again. Another jab. Naruto roared again, still trying to throw her off of him. She was feeling her chakra slip away. The pain from the blood growing to excruciating levels, too much for any normal human to take.
"Kiba-kun, Shino-kun. Sakura-chan…and…" Her pitch grew as she grew weaker, she had to say this, and she had to do this. She had to finish and help Naruto. "And…and you'll save Sasuke-kun and bring him back to Konoha and I know he'll be there for you, too, Naruto-kun. You'll not alone!"
Another jab. She felt her hold on Naruto's neck slipping. The mini Kaiten began to disappear and more blood poured onto her, burning her face and arms. Naruto's struggle started to subside.
"And…and…I'm here for you…I've always been watching you, admiring your strength and how you always got back up." She felt tears slide down her face, mixing in with the blood shell. "I'll never let you be alone again, Naruto-kun. Never again! We'll never let you be alone…so…please…"
She stabbed him once more, but this time it was a bit weaker. The Kaiten disappeared entirely. She fell to the ground again, no longer able to hold on to him.
The burns she acquired made her feel she was on fire. Hinata felt herself loose consciousness, but before her vision went black, she thought for sure she saw red eyes tinted with blue instead of those horrible blank eyes.
Pein watched everything from a tree branch in the forest. He had to admit the girl's courage was remarkable, however, she was foolish if she thought simply hugging him would release him from his bloodlust state.
Konan jumped up to where he stood. "Now what, Pein?"
He looked over to her, glancing to her face down to her feet. "Are you all right, Konan? You're not hurt from what that boy did, are you?"
She shook her head. "No. Other than a very large headache from hitting a bunch of trees and my chakra still closed off from the Hyuuga girl's attacks, I'm fine."
Pein nodded. "It seems the Kyuubi's poisonous chakra doesn't appear until the Junchuuriki reaches the fourth tail." He turned away from the scene. "Let's go. There's no more we can do here at the moment."
He jumped to the next tree, Konan following him closely. "But this means you've lost a battle."
Pein shrugged. "True, however a battle is only truly lost if you learn nothing from it. Now we know if we go after the boy's friends, we will provoke his anger and trigger the tailed states." He landed on other branch and jumped again. "Now we know how to get him: lure him away his friends and make sure he knows nothing about the state of his friends."
Konan nodded. "Very well."
It was like waking from a dream. He could not remember anything, through, just a dreamless sleep. Drifting along an endless black sky, not feeling, not thinking, not knowing.
Then a voice came. A voice that told him he was not alone. He had friends. Friends that would be there for him. The voice started out strong at first, but grew weaker, however, he could make out ever single word. He just wished he knew how he could stop like the voice had asked him.
Then he opened his eyes, his vision blurry and obstructed by a mix of blue and red chakra. He felt light-headed and he could not remember what he had been doing, but then his vision cleared and he saw the busted rock and remembered. Two members of Akatsuki had found him and he and Hinata had been forced to fight them after they took out Yamato-taichou. And Hinata had been…
"Hinata!" He looked around, but he could not see her. She was not at the rock anymore, she was not anywhere. Fear and anger filled him; fear of whereabouts and anger at the possibility of the Akatsuki taking her as bait.
He stepped forward and his foot hit something soft. He looked down and gasped, falling to his knees to Hinata's still form. She was sprawled out, one arm twisted unnaturally, the other laying on her stomach. One leg was halfway bent and the other straight. Her clothes and cloak appeared burned. He caught the burn marks, marks he had only seen once before, on her face, her arms and legs…and realized at once what had happened.
I lost control again. I lost control and this time, Hinata… I hurt Hinata! Tears fell and landed on her jacket. "Hinata…" he moaned. "I'm sorry…I should have been protecting you…not you protecting me…"
He reached out and pulled her into his arms, tears still falling. How many times would he fail to protect people? Just how many times would he? How could he save Sasuke or even become Hokage if he failed to protect the people close to him?
He took a deep breath and that was when he realized the blue and red chakra still remained. He also realized the wounds he acquired from his battle with Pein were gone. He was healed.
"The fox…that's right…I heal when I use the Fox's chakra. What if…" He did not want to, but he did not see any choice. If Sakura could not fully heal her wounds when he had hit her, then maybe something else could…
He closed his eyes, clutching Hinata tightly, and dived into the deepest parts of his mind.
He heard growling and knew it had worked. Opening his eyes, he glared directly at the creature behind the bars, the Nine-Tailed Fox.
The Kitsune laughed. "So…brat. You've come back here? What do you want now? And with that pathetic girl in your arms?"
Naruto's eyes narrowed. He was still holding onto Hinata, even in the seal. "I've got a question," he answered, his tone making it clear he was not going to tolerate the fox's manipulations. "Will your chakra heal Hinata?"
Laughter resonated throughout the cell. "You want to heal the girl? And the pitiful power of humans cannot undo the damage so you run to me? Hahahaha!"
Naruto waited, still glaring, but boiling on the inside. Yet he kept his calm. He could not afford to lose control again. So he waited. And glared. This chakra might be the only chance he had to save Hinata's life.
"And what exactly will you do if I refuse?" challenged Kyuubi, grinning malevolently and sounded as if he enjoyed the situation. "What will you do, little brat?"
"I didn't ask for your power," responded Naruto, calmly, but anger bubbling underneath his voice. "I asked if your chakra will heal her. I won't allow you to take control of me anymore. If your chakra is going to be used, it'll be when I'm in control." He tightened his grip on Hinata, hoping against hope he would not be too late. "NOW TELL ME IF IT'LL HEAL HER, YOU STUPID FOX!!"
This time, Kyuubi's eyes narrowed, scrutinizing him. He did not say anything more, just waited for a response, one he prayed would come soon. He had no idea how long Hinata had.
"Very well. I'll give you my answer."
Placing her back on the ground, Naruto put his hands over Hinata, the red and blue chakra still flowing around him. He tried to keep an equal mix of both chakra out, hoping his chakra would prevent the Kyuubi's from hurting her. He was not sure how this worked, either. He was no medic nin, that was Sakura's area. However, all the Kyuubi said was to allow the chakra to envelop her and that was it.
"Also, since the girl has not had your exposure to my chakra, she cannot be absolutely healed nor can always be healed by it. Remember that next time you try to hurt one of your friends!"
The biting remark still brought back resentment, but again, he pushed it back. He needed to focus on Hinata.
The burn marks on her began to recede as the two chakras swirled around her body. Naruto felt joy swell up inside him, tears, happy ones this time, threatened to fall again. She was going to be okay.
Naruto felt his body become tired. He tried to keep himself up until he knew for sure she would no longer be in danger. He just kept watching the burns slink away until finally, he no longer saw them.
"I'm sorry, Hinata." He allowed the two chakras surrounding him to dissipate. "I shouldn't have allowed this to happen." He wiped away his tears. "Next time, I promise you, I'll be protecting you, like I should be. You're right." He allowed himself to smile, a small, very tired, sad smile. "I'm not alone now, am I?"
Then he allowed his body to give way, falling right on top Hinata and the darkness claiming him one more time.
Naruto woke up and at once sat up, which earned him a smack across the head. "Ow!"
"Well, you don't need to be sitting up," said Sakura's voice. He turned toward her, she was putting away her medic supplies. They were in a clearing in the woods, him and Sakura underneath a large tree. "I don't care how much healing you get from Kyuubi, staying down is what's best at the moment, got it?"
Naruto nodded and, much to Sakura's shock, lay back down on the ground. "Sakura-chan, how's everyone else?"
She did not answer at first (still in shock over Naruto complying without complaint), but then she continued packing up. "Everyone else is fine. We found Yamato-taichou. He suffered from a lot of injuries, but otherwise he'll make it. Other than that, the rest of us are just fine."
"And Hinata? How's she?" Dread piled up in his chest close to his heart. He almost did not want to hear the answer.
"She's okay, but she had a couple of wounds I couldn't heal. However, she'll recover from them so she's in no real danger." She glared down at him, suspicion in her eyes. "Naruto…you didn't use the RasenShuriken, did you?"
Naruto turned his head and spied Hinata over in the corner, still unconscious. "No. Say, Sakura-chan? Is it all right if I go and sit by Hinata? I promise to stay still," he added at her sour face at the prospect of him moving around.
"Fine. Just no moving about, got it?"
Without answering, Naruto got up slowly and walked over to Hinata. Sakura watched him lean against the rock behind her and slide down to the ground. It surprised him a lot when she opened her eyes right away. "Naaruto-kun?," she said, upon seeing his face. "You're okay…"
He nodded, his eyes on the bandages wrapped around her head (likely from her head injury), her arms (one arm in a sling) and legs. Her face had some bandages as well, but it was not a lot. A fresh wave of guilt threatened to overtake him. "Yeah. A little."
She smiled, stirring about the shame Naruto felt for his actions. "Good. I'm glad."
"Hinata…" She raised her head a bit. "I'm sorry for what happened back there."
"What do you mean?" she asked, confusion swimming in her white eyes. "It – it wasn't like you wanted that to happen."
Naruto shook his head. The image of her on the ground with burns taunted him in his head. "But I should have better control over my emotions. I can't lose control every time I see a friend hurt."
Hinata's face turned red slightly. "You – you did that – because…I was hurt?"
Naruto nodded solemnly. "Yeah."
She straightened up, sitting right next to him. "Naruto-kun, I know you're upset, but…you shouldn't beat yourself over it."
A confused expression, still riddled with traces of guilt, fell over his face. "Why?" he asked.
"Because," she said, a slight smile on her face as if she remembered a fond memory, "you'll pick yourself right up again. You always do. I know you'll find some way to keep yourself from losing control again."
Hinata's words surprised him. He thought back to how he used both the Kyuubi's chakra to heal her and his chakra to combat the poison of Kyuubi's. It had been a spur of the moment thought. If his chakra was special and able to oppose Kyuubi's, then perhaps if he used it in conjunction with Kyuubi's the damage would lessen.
"Maybe I have," he whispered. Hinata appeared surprised, but happy all the same. "But…what if I run out of chakra? My own chakra, I mean?"
"I'm sure you'll find something, Naruto-kun." Her face colored again and she looked away, shifting in the grass. "And if I'm around, I'll…I'll help you…get that chakra."
Despite not having an final answer for his dilemma, Naruto felt his heart grow lighter. He smiled and took Hinata's hand. She stiffened, but then relaxed and smiled. She was right, of course. He'll find something to keep the Kyuubi's chakra at bay. And they would finish this mission and find Sasuke and bring him back home.
"Thank you, Hinata."
In all of likelihood, it was wrong for Sakura to listen in on Naruto and Hinata's conversation, but as a medic ninja (or so she kept telling herself), she had to know the cause of Hinata's injuries. It appeared as if her very cells had been damaged, however, the destruction had not been widespread or very severe and she suspected Hinata's body would repair any remaining damage on it's own.
She only knew of two things that would cause Hinata's wounds and both had to do with Naruto: the newly created RasenShuriken and the fourth tail state Naruto went in, which allowed Kyuubi to take over.
And now, through it was not directly stated, she knew which one had been the culprit. Naruto must have been pretty angry to lose control. At least, Hinata found a way to stop him. I doubt Yamato-taichou would have been much help injured as he was.
Unbidden, another instance of someone losing control and being stopped by an outside force rose to her mind. In the Forest of Death, the Cursed Seal had taken control of Sasuke, rendering him totally different from how he normally acted. He had even hurt another Shinobi because he had hurt her. And yet, somehow, she had managed to get the Cursed Seal to recede and snap Sasuke out of his daze.
Sakura tightened her fists and walked away, leaving Naruto and Hinata be. She was not sure what power of hers brought Sasuke to his senses back then, but now she was certain she could handle him the next time they met. Even if it was not the same power as from before.
With this power of mine, I'll bring him back home. Smiling, she looked back toward Naruto and Hinata. Both had fallen asleep, leaning against the rock, Hinata's head on Naruto's shoulder while Naruto's head lay on top of Hinata's.
Maybe someday, she and Sasuke would have a moment like that.
Well? Review please!
Now, one last thing before I go. The Naruto healing Hinata with Kyuubi chakra is a personal theory/wishful thinking of mine. I have no idea if that will even be possible in the manga and I doubt it will. I just needed something to heal Hinata since she was burned pretty bad by the Kyuubi chakra. As of right now, the only two people capable of creating new cells are Naruto (due to Kyuubi) and Kabuto and since trying to bring Kabuto in the fic might be pretty lame (seriously, how convenient would that be?), I opted for the Kyuubi chakra.
Thank you for reading! - NessaMoon