Disclaimer: I don't Naruto obviously. I couldn't resist this idea though, the voices in my head told me so...yeah.
Hey everyone...yeah, I know, another Naruto fic by me. This idea came probably because Halloween season is upon us. This story just would NOT leave me alone, so I decided I'm going to manhandle the idea an put into words. I hope you enjoy, and I'm sure there will be more later.
Chapter One: Run
The atmosphere over Konohagakure had been unusual for the past couple of months. ANBU had made reports of bodies being found in alleys with bite marks in various places, usually over major ateries. Tsunade, the Godaime Hokage of the shinobi village, put the shinobi forces on alert, and informed all high ranking shinobi on patrol duty to report any suspicious activities. After the first month following the incidents with the bodies, it stopped for awhile. However, this didn't bring comfort to any of the ninja...
Rumors from travelers told of similar cases occuring in the surrounding shinobi nations. Three months after the bodies were discovered in Konoha, Sunagakure sent reports of mutilated bodies in it's own country as well. The cases seemed to be getting more gruesome.
Over the past couple of weeks though, the cases were becoming from dissmisive. Missing limbs, long gashes across the chest, and worse predicaments. However, what was most unusual were the cases where areas that looked to be scenes of such cases had lots of blood but no body. Blood would be smeared against walls, but there was no evidence of a body to have contained it.
Then the real trouble occured.
Naruto sprinted through the unlit streets of Konoha, sweat dripping in bullet-sized amounts as he ran to his apartment. The screams were getting louder, but he knew he couldn't stop to look. That's how they hunted; scare you stiff, then pounce when you've lost ability to tell where they were. He looked behind quickly while running to see flames from the Hokage Tower, and fought back the tears. No, he refused to cry right now, not when Baa-chan and Ero-sannin had given their lives to let Naruto escape. He would wait until he was safely out of the village until he shed any tears.
Kakashi had given Naruto specific directions as to where to meet him should this happen. Kakashi also mentioned that he should be ready to kill the masked Jonin if for some reason the silver haired man also became 'infected'. Naruto applied chakra to his feet, and quickly sped up as he heard windows breaking behind him, screams from civilians and shinobi alike who weren't as lucky as him.
Another thought raced through the sixteen year old's mind at the thought of his friend and former sensei. He began to worry about his female teammate and close friend, Sakura Haruno. He had not seen or heard from her in the last two days, and that couldn't help but shake the blonde's core. If she had been...no, he couldn't think like that. Sakura was strong, and wouldn't be taken as easily as others.
Sai was another thing. Naruto felt a small pang in his chest, having personally saw the calm boy no more than two hours ago. The boy was not himself, but he still was 'aware'. The shinobi used the term aware to describe those who had become infected, but were trying to fight the influence it had. The 'infected', which were also called hunters or even vampires by some, were still alive and had their reason, but they had an undeniable thirst for blood.
Sai had been sitting in a room in Root Headquarters, a chain strengthened by chakra around his ankles that was in turn wrapped around a pillar, most likely done by the boy himself to keep him from going out and causing harm. Naruto had run to the place to see if he could reach the boy and see if he had been attacked or not. Sai was drooling, and had a wild, yet desperate look in his eyes. Naruto knew right away that Sai would be better off dead, and the black haired boy begged Naruto to end his suffering.
"N-Naruto...they got me..." the boy choked, and he supressed the urge to strike the blonde in front of him. He coughed up a little blood, and felt his body already changing a bit. Soon he would have the same bloodlust like those who had decided to add him to their ranks.
"Sai, I tried to get here as soon as I-"
The older boy raised a hand, signaling for the blonde to stop, "I know, I know...just...do me a favor...please." He pointed to the sword that was on a wall, and gave Naruto a silent plea.
Naruto sighed, "I-I can't..."
"Please, I don't want this, Naruto!! I won't let this hunger consume me as well!" the boy continued to struggle against his restraints, and felt the metal loosening. The blonde ninja in front of him was looking more and more like prey than friend.
Naruto saw the look in Sai's eyes, and gave him a sad smile, "Sai, I'm sorry...I'm glad you became my friend."
Sai gave the boy a rare smile, "Same...here. I can only hope that you survive this, Naruto. Thanks for your friendship."
Naruto kept the smile on his face, and felt tears prick his eyes. He picked the sword off the wall, and gripped it tightly.
"Goodbye...Sai." Naruto whispered.
Naruto swung the ninjato, and felt the metal briefly meet resistance as it decapitated his friend. Naruto dropped the blade, and fought the urge to vomit from the surge of emotions he just felt. First Ayame-chan and Teuchi-san, then Neji, and now Sai. Who was next?
The blonde decided to go to the Hokage Tower, in hopes that he could find Tsunade-baachan, and maybe find a way to save his friends.
Naruto shook his head. No time to think about the past now, since he had to worry about himself first if he planned on helping the others. It didn't help that he could hear his very own name being screeched out into the night air by his pursuers, demanding his blood.
Naruto quickly made six Shadow clones, and dispersed them into different directions. He hoped that his hunters would think that he was trying to make an escape as the real one quickly made it for an alley way that was next to his apartment. He was actually thankful for once that his apartment wasn't really populated, since this decreased the chances of others possibly being infected in the area.
He stuck to the shadows as he leapt up a fire escape ladder, quietly approaching his room window. He paused as he felt two of his clones dissapear, and the distant screams of anger helped confirm his hunch. They were trying to block the main gate now, and he was aware that the longer he took, the less of a chance he had at getting out of the village without being infected. Another clone was destroyed, and Naruto was now aware that Ino and Chouji were among the predators of the dying village. He shook his head, and lifted his window to quietly enter his apartment via bathroom window.
Naruto quickly gathered a few things in a bag he had been carrying as he rummaged through the bathroom cabinet. Some medical supplies, bandages, and a towel. He then silently ran into his kitchen, and took out a scroll. He sealed the last of his ramen he had, and took some cooking supplies as well. After containing it into his scroll, he turned to run to his bedroom, but stopped. He turned to see that the light over his stove top had been on the whole time since he arrived. Naruto never remembered turning on a single thing as he entered. He was certain that he turned off all the lights in his house before he had left his apartment earlier today...
Naruto tensed up. Someone had been here. He pulled out a kunai from his pouch, ready to strike at a moment's notice. He applied chakra to his ears, and listened for any sounds. After a moment of listening, he found it.
Breathing. Short, raspy breaths. Sounded as if someone was crying. It was coming from his bedroom...
The blonde walked silently as he crept through the darkness. He kept the light on in the kitchen so the possible attackers wouldn't know he was aware of their presence. He reached for the knob of his bedroom door, and cautiously opened it, kunai kept close to the hand opening the door. He looked through the dark of his room, and felt the presence of someone else in the room.
There, across the room by his bedroom window!
Naruto flung the door open and jumped at the unknown intruder. The person turned to face Naruto, and when their eyes meet, Naruto nearly dropped his weapon.
There, sitting in the pale moonlight of his bedroom was the pink-haired kunoichi known as Sakura. Naruto immediately stopped his lunge, and looked at her with a bewieldered expression.
"Sakura??" the blonde gasped, not expecting her at all.
Sakura's eyes were puffy and moist. She had been crying, and still seemed to be. She hugged herself, and backed away from her teammate. She seemed afraid to see him all of the sudden, "Naruto...oh, Naruto...I..."
Naruto suddenly noticed in the glow provided that there was a purple mark on her neck, just below her left jawline.
No...not her too.
Naruto suddenly backed away. She was one of them! He couldn't bring himself to kill her too!
"Bitten...yeah." she finished, feeling tears run down her cheeks.
Naruto was suddenly aware of some things he should have noticed sooner. Her eyes weren't bloodshot, or dilated like the rest. Her canines seemed to be pointed, that was evident, but her nails weren't enlongated as well.
"You seem different though..." Naruto managed to say as he remained a safe distance.
She nodded, "I managed to kill the attacker before they fully infected me. It's hard...but I'm fighting the bloodthirst. I had no where else to go, my mother was slaughtered, and Tsunade-sama was dead along with Jiraya-sama in the Hokage Tower. I couldn't find Kakashi-sensei, and Ino's already infected..." she began to cry again, "Please, help me Naruto...I have no one left to turn to...and you've always been my closest friend."
Though his heart screamed to comfort the woman he loved, his shinobi instincts were screaming out 'what does she mean by help her?'. He began to back away, and her eyes trembled with renewed tears. She stood up and began to approach him, still crying.
"S-Sakura-chan...I don't...I..." he was afraid to hurt her feelings, but his mind was telling him to grab his things and run.
"I can't fight it, Naruto! It's too much for me!" she sobbed, but luckily she still kept her volume down enough that attention wouldn't be brought from those outside, if there was anyone for that matter.
Naruto was shaking now. Sakura was one of them now too. He was to avoid her at all costs, unless he killed her. Still, she wasn't completely overcome by the infection. He shed a few silent tears, "Why did it have to be you, Sakura-chan? Why not me instead?"
Sakura suddenly without warning lunged at Naruto. With surprising strength, she pinned him to the wall, and let out a ragged breath, "Naruto...I can't fight it..."
The pounding of his heart and vessels. It drove her nuts, and she had lost the will to fight the craving. She gave Naruto a sad look as she remained firm in her grasp on him, "Naruto...I'm sorry."
She sunk her fangs into his neck, and he let out a whimper as her teeth pierced his flesh. She felt the metallic fluid flow, and used her chakra to prevent the blood from flowing out too fast. The interesting thing about the infected was that they retained their intelligence and ability to use chakra, but lost their ability to harness it as well as they could have. Sakura was an exception to this, seeing as her chakra coils remained perfectly intact and not mutated by the infection. Her thirst for blood was there, but she wasn't eager to try and satisfy it, unlike the others.
Naruto was trying to break free as he felt his teammate's fangs sink deeper, and he let out a pained yell as he tried to futily escape. She pushed him against the wall, and tried to comfort him as she lapped up the fluid from her teammate. She refused to take more than needed. It wasn't like she didn't have blood of her own. The infected weren't dead, unlike what many believed.
After a few seconds, Naruto gave up, and was ready to feel the side effects of the bite kick in. First he would probably feel immense pain, and then his vision would blur for awhile. Tsunade and the medics had managed to record the side effects and symptoms before the attack on the village, so Naruto was well aware that he had little time left. He wondered if he would become as bloodthirsty as the others, or if he was going to be like Sakura was, reluctant, but unable to fight the hunger.
Five minutes passed, and Naruto soon realized something. He felt no rise in temperature, or blur of vision. He felt the tight embrace of his teammate, and noticed she had stopped her feeding. She now was slowly licking his wound while sobbing out apologies. She did admit, the taste of blood wasn't all that bad, but she refused to find any comfort or enjoyment in such things. The only comfort she had now was that at least Naruto was alive, and not mauled like others had been. He would hopefully remain with her, and they could live the rest of their cursed lives together.
Five minutes turned to ten minutes. Naruto still felt no change, and was wondering why. The effects were usually almost immediate, since the infection spread quickly throughout the body. Perhaps he had some immunity to it? How though?
Naruto looked at the pink-haired girl, and brushed away a tear. He wasn't really upset, despite the fact that she had attacked him. He could have killed her, though the thought alone disgusted him. He lifted her chin, and smiled. She still looked beautiful, despite her sligthly animal-like irises, and her vampiric fangs. If Naruto weren't so distraught at the moment, he would have said she was actually cute in such an appearance. However, the fact that he remained unaffected by the bite was still bothering him.
Sakura began to notice this too. She gave the blonde a curious, yet worried look. He wasn't on the ground clutching his head or stomach, he wasn't salivating or lashing out randomly. He was simply smiling at her, and she felt horrible. How could he be smiling after what she had done.
"You're...okay??" she asked, stating more suprise than concern. His smile turned to a grin.
"I guess so...but I don't know why. Maybe I'm immune or something. The bite hurts, but Kyuubi will heal it in..." Naruto paused, and felt as though someone slammed him in the back of the head with the answer he was looking for, "...that's it. Kyuubi is responsible for my immunity."
Sakura's eyes widened, and she nodded, "The fox spirit's chakra heals you when you get injured...so I guess it must be fighting off the infection as well." Sakura felt some unknown weight lift off her shoulders. She was one of the lucky ones, she had been able to heal herself quickly after she killed the random Chunin that bit her, and removed part of the virus inside of her, and lessened the effects by chakra purging. Naruto, however, needed no such talents; he had the Nine-tailed Fox. Naruto was still free of infection.
"Sakura...I have to leave Konoha. Kakashi-sensei and a few other survivors are going to meet some couple miles away from here...we can't stay here. I know that you're...not the same anymore, but I also see that your still the same girl I always knew. I can tell that you don't want to feed on others. So...if you want, you can come with me. If anyone attacks you, I'll protect you." Naruto said with a small smile.
Sakura couldn't help but smile as well. He still was her friend, and still cared about her. Still, the fact remained that she had the hunger, "What if I get the urge to...feed?"
Naruto grabbed her hand, and put it against his healing bitemark. She gasped as he held her, "Then I will be the one to supply you with what you need. Kyuubi will keep me healthy, so I'll keep you from your thirst. We'll stay together."
She let a few more tears fall, "Naruto...I could never ask that of you."
"You didn't. I offered myself to you. Besides, you can still digest regular food as well. The blood is just...a new need for you. I'll give you that blood."
Sakura couldn't help but smile, and wrapped her arms around Naruto's neck as she buried her face into the crook of his neck, "Naruto..."
Naruto held her for another minute before they broke their embrace, "We have to hurry. Kakashi-sensei said that once the attacks would start, he wouldn't wait more than fifty-six hours for me to meet him and any survivors. Do you have you need at your house?"
Sakura however only surprised Naruto more when she nodded to a backpack in the corner of the bedroom, "I planned on staying here...my other house was completely raided and I couldn't stand the smell. I have enough supplies for a good week's worth of travel if needed."
Naruto nodded, "Sounds good. Two of my clones are still alive out there, but from what I gathered, the main gate is heavily guarded by the hunters. We could try and leave from the eastern or southern exit, but it's still a risk. I'm willing to do anything to get us out of here alive though."
Sakura gave the blonde a nod, and after the two had all their belongings ready, they leapt out of the window and stayed to the shadows. The inhuman cries filled the air, yet the two felt safer than ever with each other as they headed for their escape.
Several minutes later, the two managed to escape the walls of the village. How they did, they weren't quite sure. They didn't move for a few minutes, just to make sure they weren't being followed. After they believed they were safe, they darted out to the forest, the only sound being the bugs filling the air as they ran through the canopy. Naruto turned breifly to stare at the Hokage Monuments, wondering if he would ever see them again. After a heavy sigh, they continued onward. They only stopped once, and that was so Naruto could help Sakura with her 'hunger'. Eventually, they would have to camp for the night, but they wouln't build a fire. The light risked being spotted.
As Naruto lay with the pink-haired girl with in a sleeping bag with a thick blanket draped over them, he looked up to the stars. He always loved stargazing. It helped him forget his problems for a little while. The serene atmosphere along with the warmth of Sakura's sleeping form were enough to get Naruto to sleep.
'I only hope we're not the only ones who escaped...' Naruto thought as his body gave into exhaustion, sending him into a peaceful slumber.
end of Chapter One: Yeah, this is different from my other works by a long shot. Still, the idea wouldn't stop bugging me, so here it is. Reviews are appreciated, and I'm sure I'll have more to add soon. This is kind of developing along the way, but just so you know, I have no idea how long it will be. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it so far!