Oh boy! How long has it been since this fic has seen the light of day? Months? -sighs- I really need to let readers know when I'm having writers' block!! That and I've been ignoring this for a while, so all readers seeing this message may now commence with flames or a boot to the head...

-gets hit in the head with a boot- OW!!

... Anyway, I'm so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so SOOOOO SORRY THAT THIS IS SERIOUSLY LATE!!! DX DX DX DX

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.


Chapter 4

The Demon Within

"How the hell did I get talked into this?" Naruto asked no one in particular as he stood outside of a small clothes store. Ojirou had the day off from work today which was a Saturday to be precise and had enough money to buy clothes for Hinata and the blonde. Hinata was reading a scroll on ninja weaponry and Naruto was looking out the window when the Sand nin had announced that. Ojirou promised them that he would get them something 'special', which now led to the threesome in front of a clothes store.

Hinata was with Ojirou so that she could pick out some clothes, too, and Naruto was outside of the store, sulking. They were both cloaked in case anyone happened to be looking for either of them. Naruto looked around, watching all of the people walk by doing their daily things.

"This habit of mine will get boring eventually." he said to himself. The blonde then looked through a window, seeing that Ojirou and Hinata were having a good time finding clothes.

'That guy, Ojirou. I don't trust him, I mean he might be our bodyguard, but… he could be pretending to be nice to us. And the fact that he has a body like a girls'… well maybe the curves of his body are what annoy me.' he thought. He was about to complain out loud about waiting, when someone tapped his shoulder. Naruto immediately turned around and came face to face with a woman that had the same eyes as Hinata.

"I'm sorry to startle you little boy, but-"

'Little boy? Who's she… oh yeah, me.'

"I need your help with something." The woman reached into a small pouch and pulled out a scroll, unraveling it to reveal a description of Hinata Hyuuga.

It read:

Missing: Hinata Hyuuga

Age: 4

Has short black hair and white eyes. She's also timid and shy with people and the heir to the Hyuuga clan.

Whoever finds her will be rewarded.

There was no signature on the parchment, but the blonde couldn't care less who wrote it anyway. The woman rolled up the scroll and stared at Naruto with pleading eyes. "Do you know where she is?"

Remembering what Ojirou had told him and Hinata about keeping a low profile, the blonde silently shook his head. The woman sighed miserably.

"Well, let me know when you find her, okay?" she said and with that, she left to join a search party that was nearby. Naruto sighed in relief.

"Good. We're safe for now." he whispered to himself. Naruto didn't want to risk being asked by another search party member at any moment, so he went inside the store, regretting that he did soon after.


"Aren't you two sooooo CUTE!" exclaimed Ojirou in a cute girly tone. He was referring to Naruto and Hinata, wearing their new clothes. Hinata was wearing a light blue tank top with a navy blue skirt that had a Konoha symbol patch near the hem. She had a lavender scarf securely fastened around her neck and a pair of flip flops on her feet.

Naruto, on the other hand, was wearing an orange jumpsuit and wooden sandals. He wasn't a bit happy about it either.

'I look like an idiot.' He thought as he was thinking of many ways to kill the Sand ninja. Hinata was perfectly fine with what she was wearing and wasn't really complaining at all… but she did find it a bit too much.

"Whatever." mumbled Naruto. Hinata just nodded slightly, not sure how to respond. Ojirou's smile brightened a WHOLE lot.

"GREAT!! I knew you'd love 'em!" he exclaimed. Both Naruto and Hinata sweat dropped anime style.

'He's not listening…' thought Naruto. Ojirou then started talking about how he spent hours looking for the right clothing for them and stuff that the innkeeper told him. It was pretty boring for the loud blonde and shy Hyuuga. The Sand nin then finally ended his long conversation by telling the four-year-olds that they'll leave town next week.

Both kids sighed in relief, both on which were for leaving and for the conversation ending.

"Get plenty of rest you two! As for me…" Ojirou somehow got his maid outfit on in a few seconds. "It's back to work!" And he flashed a goofy thumbs up sign along with a lopsided smirk to match. Naruto slapped his forehead and Hinata just groaned.

When Ojirou left, Naruto crawled under the bed and found the scroll that the innkeeper gave to him three days ago. He unrolled it and stared at the Kyuubi painting. Something about it seemed familiar to the young blonde, but he didn't know why, though.

The thought that he could be the container for the demon kept on reeling through his mind. What if he was? He then remembered what the innkeeper said: 'Everyone had feared Kyuubi so much that they feared its container.'

Naruto also remembered what happened on the day that he and Hinata were attacked after leaving Konoha.

"There's no other explanation," he said, sadly and quietly. "I'm Kyuubi's container."

The blonde sighed and rolled up the scroll, putting it back in its hiding place under the bed. Hinata then crawled under the bed at that moment.

"Naruto-kun. Is something wrong?" she asked. Naruto shook his head.

"It's nothing. C'mon, let's get some lunch Hina-chan." And with that, he crawled out from under the bed, grabbed his cloak, then walked over to and waited by the door for Hinata. Hinata came out and got her cloak, then went to Naruto. They put their hoods up and left to get lunch.

Unfortunately, both 4-year-olds got bored of eating in the inn all the time, so they left the inn and started heading towards a restaurant. Hinata didn't like the idea, but Naruto convinced her to go with him. That and the fact that she couldn't resist the loud obnoxious blonde.

"And… we're here!" exclaimed Naruto when he and Hinata got there. It looked like any other restaurant… except all it served was ramen.

Hinata became instantly worried as all eyes of several people in the ramen place fell upon the twosome. "Naruto…" she whispered to him, hiding behind him. "Let's go back…"

All the blonde did was give her a confident smile as if he knew nothing bad would happen.

How wrong he was.

As soon as they managed to get on the stools, the chef- a burly and unpleasant fellow- stared at them in suspicion. "You kids planning on eatin' here?" he asked, raising an eyebrow at them.

Naruto just nodded while Hinata responded with a 'Hai.'

"Got any parents to pay for you two?"

At this, Naruto didn't respond. He had forgotten to swipe Ojirou's money this morning, like he did every day they've been in town just so he could buy a bowl of ramen every chance he got. He would end up getting caught in the end, but as long as he got ramen, he was happy.

Unfortunately, he had completely forgotten to get the money this time.

"Um… uhhh…" Naruto started, but before he could say anything, a familiar voice answered for him.

"They don't have parents with them, but I'm responsible for these two children." Naruto and Hinata slowly turned their heads to the side; standing right next to them was Ojirou!

'Oh crap!' Naruto thought.

"Take-kun!" gasped Hinata.

The red headed teen stared at the two, giving them a 'I'll-deal-with-you-later' look before turning back to the chef. "I just got paid and am willing to spend it for the kids."

The chef looked between Ojirou and the 4-year-olds, then shrugged a bit as if he could care less. "What do you want then?" he asked.

"Two bowls of miso ramen for the children and today's special for me please." Ojirou politely replied.

"Can do." With that, the large man went to the kitchen to prepare the order

After several minutes of waiting, the chef came back with the order.

"Okay, two bowls of miso for the young ones," he said as he put the bowls in front of Naruto and Hinata. "And the special for you." He set down a large bowl of what looked like beef ramen, then set down a smaller bowl filled with rice in front of Ojirou. "Enjoy." The chef then left to get someone else's order.

Before the children could break their chopsticks, they felt Ojirou's cold stare penetrating through them, so they turned to him with nervous expressions.

The red head stared at them for a good minute, then said, "What were you two thinking?"

Hinata would've responded, but was interrupted.

"Did you two forget what I told you before getting here? You can't run off to do whatever you want! What if someone recognizes you two??" Ojirou continued.

"G-Gomenasai… T-T-Take-kun…" Hinata apologized in a quiet tone.

Naruto, however, just shrugged and reached for the chopsticks. As soon as he touched them, Ojirou slapped his own chopsticks on the blonde's outstretched hand, making said blonde recoil his hand. Naruto tenderly rubbed it for it was now sore.

"You especially Naru-chan!" said Ojirou in a displeased tone. "I'm having a hard time trying to get you to follow my terms as it is! Don't make this even harder for me!"

Naruto glared at the Sand ninja.

"Don't look at me that way!" said Ojirou. "I can't believe that your ungrateful behavior is how you repay me for looking after you these past several days!" With that, he broke his chopsticks and began to eat.

What he said really struck Naruto hard… like a flurry of kunai were stabbing at him from the inside out. Ungrateful? When was he ungrateful to Ojirou?

… Okay, so it was a stupid question to ask himself. Then again, he really hadn't been following some of Ojirou's rules since they got here, but what did that red head know? He had been bored out of his mind with just being around the inn, so he should have the right to go outside every once in a while!

Naruto just sat there for a while, staring at his bowl of ramen before he broke his chopsticks and began to eat. Unlike the times he enjoyed his ramen, it just didn't taste good to him at the moment. He set his chopsticks down.

"I'm not hungry…" the blonde murmured as he hopped off the stool and made his way outside. This concerned Hinata very much.

"Um, Take-kun?" Hinata said to Ojirou. "I'm going to check on Naruto-kun for a bit."

Not a smart thing to say.

All went quiet as all eyes focused on the Hyuuga and Sand ninja; their eyes had a menacing look to them. Just then, one of the people in the ramen bar, a kunoichi, stood up and walked over to Hinata, then said, "Did you just say 'Naruto'? As in 'Naruto Uzumaki'?"

Upon hearing that, Ojirou nearly choked on his food in surprise. "Umm…" he started. "No, she didn't! You must be confusing the name with someone else…"

"She wasn't asking you!" shouted a non-shinobi from a nearby table.

Hinata didn't know what to say or do. Obviously, Naruto didn't have a good reputation, but unfortunately, the 4-year-old Hyuuga girl didn't know why.

"U-Um… well…" she stuttered. "H..Hai…?"

An outburst of claims and protests against Naruto rang out throughout the bar before they were silenced by the kunoichi. "I thought so!" she said. "Will you two step outside for a second?"

Ojirou sighed, then stood up. "Leave her out of this!" he said. "I'll step outside if it's not too much trouble."

The kunoichi smirked. "Not at all." She said before leading the red headed ninja outside.

Hinata gulped. This wasn't going to end well…

------------------

No sooner had they stepped out of the ramen bar when Ojirou was suddenly kicked to the ground by the kunoichi. He groaned, then rolled out of the way of her kunai as she attempted to stab him.

"I don't understand!" Ojirou exclaimed as he parried her kunai with his. "Why are you attacking me??"

The kunoichi chuckled, then leaned in close to the Sand nin's ear and whispered, "You're harboring the demon, aren't you? If so, then you're an enemy to 'us' as well."

She then forced the kunai down with Ojirou doing his best his hold her back. "What are you… talking about?" he asked.

"You don't get it?" said the kunoichi before flinging his weapon away and pressing the blade to his throat. "The Uzumaki boy is a monster in disguise! Have you heard the legend of the Nine Tailed Fox? Or have you heard how it attacked Konoha?? How about when the Fourth Hokage sealed the demon into a baby boy? Any of those ring any bells?!"

Ojirou growled a little. "I honestly don't know anything!" he shouted. "I'm from Sunagakure! How am I supposed to know?!"

All of the shouting was attracting too much attention from several passerby who were wondering what was going on.

The kunoichi pressed on. "Hand the boy over to us and you'll be spared. A monster…. no, a demon like him… doesn't deserve to live!" she said with a sinister smirk. At that moment, Ojirou kneed the woman in the stomach then wrenched the kunai out of her hands. Now he was the one who pinned her to the ground, kunai pressed against the throat.

"I don't know what the hell you're talking about," he said through gritted teeth. He was angry, that's for sure! "But the only 'demon', the only 'monster' that I see…" He then raised the kunai and plunged it to the ground, mere inches from the kunoichi's head. "Is you and whoever hates Naruto!"

People from within the crowd gasped at what he said, whispering amongst themselves as the red head continued.

"I admit, he may be a pain in the rear from time to time, he may screw up, he may be foolish, and he may seem selfish! But he's not the monster you claim him to be! He's Naruto Uzumaki of Konohagakure, a ninja-in-training and soon to be greater than scum like you!!" Ojirou finished it with a smirk, then slowly stood up.

The stunned kunoichi only watched in silence for a while…. then smirked.

Before anyone could tell what was going to happen, a second kunoichi appeared from behind the Sand ninja and stabbed him in the back (literally!). Ojirou yelled out in pain, then did a spin kick to the female ninja, which disappeared as soon as his foot made contact with it. Confused, he removed the kunai from his back and looked around, not seeing the kunoichi anywhere!

The next thing that came to him were several kicks to the sides and numerous pressure points being pressed all over his body before he collapsed, paralyzed.

'I… I can't move!' he thought.

"Ahahahahaha Ha!" the kunoichi laughed as she reappeared next to Ojirou. "How do you like my technique? It's a special genjutsu. I placed one on you before we started fighting… I also used one of my clones to add to the effect, but no hard feelings, right?"

All that she got from the immobile ninja was an angered groan and an icy glare. This made the kunoichi chuckle in amusement. She then pressed the blade of her kunai against his throat. "Let's see now," she said. "Shall I give you a slow and painful death… or a quick and painless one? Decisions, decisions."

The ninja stared at the wound in Ojirou's back. "Or maybe I can torture you a little and deepen that wound on your back…" She pretended to think for a while before coming up with something. "We'll just go with a quick and painless death." As she raised the kunai, several shuriken zoomed past the crowd, aimed at her hand.

One had hit her hand while the other shuriken hit the ground. The kunoichi yelped in pain and dropped her kunai knife, then she yanked out the shuriken. Her hand was bleeding profusely for it had hit her wrist. She looked towards where the shuriken came from and shouted, "Who dares interfere?!"

The crowd then parted and revealed a young 4-year-old in a black cloak with the hood up. At first the child didn't say anything…. then…

"So…. it is true…" The child lowered the hood of the cloak revealing his face. "The Kyuubi… a demon… rests within me."

"You?!" the kunoichi shouted in disbelief.

'Naruto!' Ojirou thought as he recognized the boy's voice.

Naruto's head was lowered as he spoke the next words. "Now I know why people have always ignored me or gave me a cold stare… I don't care if you hurt me, but if you hurt my friends or my sensei," He raised his head at this point, revealing a glare that would freeze over Hell and tearstains on his cheeks.

"I'll KILL YOU!!"


Hee! XD ... To those who don't recognize the reference at the end, please read Volume 1 of the Naruto manga or watch the first episode of the anime. It's kinda like that only the characters (excluding Naruto), the time frame, and the situation are different.

I just got started on the fifth chapter, but I'm not sure what should happen... I'm open to suggestions on the next chapter, but just so you fellow readers will be aware, there won't be much action in the beginning of the 5th chapter.

Until then! ^^