I should get up.
But Kaka-sensei's going to be late anyways. Why bother?
What do you think, Kyuubi?
To Naruto's surprise, there was no answer. The fox loved to yell at him about things like that.
Eh, it's probably asleep. he thought, rolling over. Something felt wrong.
And by something, everything.
This concerned him. Usually, lying in his nice soft bed was the one time of day that everything seemed right. For something to feel physically wrong meant that his day wouldn't improve after he got up. He was probably sick, but he didn't feel bad.
Maybe I just slept funny. he thought, sitting up. He opened his eyes and let them adjust to the light. Everything seemed really in focus. And he could see red bubbles.
Dammit. That means it's the fox. First, pee. Second, ramen. Third, figure out what's wrong.
Naruto reached up to pull off his walrus nightcap but stopped as something black moved in front of his face. It looked like his arm, but it was jet black and had claws. In dawning comprehension he turned and looked at the mirror.
Most of the adults in Kohona crapped their pants in unison as what sounded like the Kyuubi's roar rang out in the morning air.
Tsunade wasn't one of them.
But she was in a meeting with the village elders, who didn't share her intestinal fortitude.
" The demon!" said one, standing up, the situation in his trousers forgotten. " It's escaped!"
" I don't think so." said Tsunade, leaping to her feet. " Sound the alert, but nobody is to go near anything fox-shaped. Got it?"
The council elders nodded fearfully.
The pit of her stomach feeling cold, Tsunade raced out of the building and began to run towards Naruto's apartment. Truthfully, she wasn't sure if the demon had gotten out, but she wasn't taking any chances with Naruto being attacked. Along the way Kakashi caught up to her.
" What's the situation?" asked the Copy Ninja lazily.
" No clue." Tsunade replied. " But, either the Kyuubi broke out or Naruto had a dream that the ramen stand went out of business. Either way, it's bad."
" Hn." They turned to find Sasuke and Sakura racing along sides them.
" You two!" yelled Tsunade, dodging past a fleeing villager as she ran down the street.
" What's this about the Kyuubi and Naruto?" asked Sakura, her brow furrowed.
" You two should go." said Kakashi, looking annoyed. " This is a situation that someone of your level will die in."
" Naruto's in trouble, right?" asked Sakura. Kakashi nodded. " Then we want to help.
" This isn't something you can help with." said Tsunade with a sigh. " Naruto is the container for the nine tailed fox."
Sakura gasped as Sasuke blinked in surprise. They always knew something was different about him, but it was hard to expect something like that.
" If the Kyuubi's escaped, a lot of people are going to die. You should run as far away as you can." Tsunade continued, giving them a stern look.
" No." said Sasuke emotionlessly. " There are two things that make me doubt that is the case."
" What?" snapped Tsunade angrily.
" First, no Kyuubi." said Sasuke, pointing to the demon-less skyline. Tsunade nearly fell out of the air from shock. She felt rather embarrassed to not have noticed that, but none of the villagers had either, so she shook it off.
" Second, from what I know of Jinchuuriki," said Sasuke, continuing. Of course the Uchiha genius knows about them. Tsunade thought, rather impressed. " Unless they break the seal, there's no way for the demon to get out. Do you imagine Naruto doing something so complicated and evil?"
Tsunade had to shake her head no. The boy was as innocent as he was stupid.
" We'll know for sure in a moment." said Kakashi as they landed in front of Naruto's door. Not bothering with knocking, Tsunade punched through the door and they barged in. She didn't have enough time to send the genin away, so she decided to make use of them.
" Kakashi, check the kitchen with Sasuke! Sakura, with me!" she commanded. The ninja obeyed without question and the pink haired girl followed her as she raced into the bedroom, chakra prepared for a powerful punch. Naruto was nowhere in sight in the small, messy room, but she could hear movement in the bathroom. She leapt into the doorway, knowing she had found Naruto.
Despite herself, Tsunade snorted at the sight of a chibi Kyuubi peeing.
" Is he…" said Sakura, screeching to a halt. In the bathroom, urinating, was a roughly Naruto sized creature with four glowing red tails and a strange face. It's mouth was a jagged line that looked like a rough drawing of fangs and it had glowing white eyes. ( The Four Tails State)
Becoming aware of them, it turned and looked at them, continuing to pee.
Nothing was said for several seconds.
" ROOOOOOOAAAARRRRR!" it roared, pointing at them in Naruto's trademark 'pervert!" pose. The air blasted against them like a hurricane, throwing Sakura backwards. Fortunately, she hit the bed, so she was fine. Naruto immediately covered his mouth, looking concerned….at leas as concerned as he could look with a demonic face. An instant later Kakashi and Sasuke were behind the transfixed Hokage.
Naruto, not knowing what to do, flushed the toilet.
" Kakashi, take your genin." said Tsunade, sighing. " And bring back sake." Kakashi nodded to his genin and they left. " Naruto, if you can understand me, raise your right hand."
Naruto looked to his arms, not raising either, though he seemed like he wanted to.
He doesn't know right and leff? thought Tsunade, pouting.
" That one." she said, pointing to the correct limb. The fanged mouth turned to a smile and he raised it. " Good. Follow me. I don't want to deal with this in your bathroom."
Naruto, who had been standing normally, fell to all fours and followed her into the kitchen. He had a little trouble with the four long prehensile tails following him, but with some effort he began to avoid banging them into things. Tsunade took a seat at his table, knocking a pile of dirty dished off it and leaning against it with one arm.
" So….I bet your freaked out." said Tsunade, giving him a sympathetic smile. Naruto nodded, afraid to try talking again. " Well, your right to be. This is awkward, but this was something we thought could happen."
Naruto cocked his head in confusion.
" Voice changing. Funny changes on your body. Mood swings." said Tsunade, letting a smile crawl onto her face. " Welcome to puberty."
Tsunade had done many things in her life. Truly amazing, legendary things.
Making an adolescent demon blush was going to be added to the top of the list.
" Rawr?" Naruto growled at a more normal level.
" I can't understand you." sighed Tsunade. She took out a pen and piece of paper. " Here, write it." she said, passing them to Naruto.
To Naruto's utter amazement, he reached out with a tail to grab the pen. With a natural ease he wrote his question.
" Are you drunk Granny Tsunade?" Tsunade read, giving out a small snort of a laugh. " Probably. But I'm serious. There was a report of something like this happening to another Jinchuuriki. Apparently, sometimes, the host completely merges with the demon, transforming into a permanent half and half state."
" Rawr." said Naruto, ears sinking. Tsunade almost laughed at how pitiful and sad he looked. He seemed even more expressive than usual.
" Tsuna…de…" said a ANBU captain, rushing in with a platoon of ninja. They all came to a halt when they saw Naruto, however.
" It's okay, it's okay." said Tsunade, waving them off. " Naruto's in control."
" Rawr." said Naruto, waving with one of the tails.
Ten ANBU promptly fainted.
" I bet your hungry, right?" asked Tsunade. Naruto nodded eagerly. " Make him some ramen." said Tsunade, indicating the kitchen. The ANBU eagerly left, glad to be out of the demons presence, even if they were sent on a rather degrading mission.
" Back." said Kakashi, strolling in and handing Tsunade several bottles of sake. Tsunade uncorked one and chugged it down in one setting, much to the amazement of the Copy Ninja and the remaining ANBU.
" Guh." Tsunade said as she slammed the bottle down. She immediately reached for a another, but Naruto had grabbed it with a tail the second before she got to it. He popped the cork and took a short drink. His eyes seemed to fall out of focus as he hiccupped, set the bottle down, and fell to the floor.
" Lucky bastard." said Tsunade, taking the bottle and finishing it. " I miss getting smashed that easy."
" I guess demon's can't hold their liquor." said Kakashi, taking a seat and poking the miniature Kyuubi.
Mmm…this is a hangover? thought Naruto, stretching as he woke. He didn't feel bad. Of course, maybe sake didn't affect him the way it affected humans.
That's a horrible realization. he mused, sitting up and smacking his lips. But I'm not human any more, so I have to start thinking like that. I guess I don't have to wear underwear anymore. Yay.
He opened his eyes and found a slightly drunk Tsunade staring at him from his table, his team sitting on his couch, and a group of ANBU in his kitchen, making a large pot of ramen. Someone had put his head under a pillow and put a blanket over him.
" Naruto!" cried Sakura wearily. " Are you okay?"
" It was a honest question!" yelled Sakura, immediately going to angry mode. " You don't need to be snippy!"
" You understood him?" asked Tsunade, blinking.
" Well, no." replied Sakura, calming down. " I just know Naruto."
" Rawr!" said Naruto, smiling happily.
" So, nice your up." said Tsunade, drawing Naruto's attention. " We need to discuss your situation."
" The villagers and most people are in a panic. The rumor that you've turned into the Kyuubi is spreading quickly." Tsunade explained. Naruto's ears drooped again, indicating he felt bad. " But I've got the situation under control. You don't have to worry about someone busting down the door and coming to kill you."
" You already busted the door." said Kakashi, pointing to the debris.
" RAWR!" growled Naruto, leaping to his feet and running to examine the destroyed portal. He began to whimper and whine as he looked over the damage.
" He's concerned because the landlords going to make him pay for that." Sakura explained.
" Riiight." said Sasuke with a laugh. " Can you imagine him coming up here?"
Everyone had to admit, it was a unlikely situation.
While Naruto looked at the door, one of his tails suddenly extended out and moved though the apartment towards his bedroom. Everyone stayed clear of it as it snaked around, finally withdrawing with Naruto's frog wallet coiled in it. It drifted towards Sasuke and dropped it on his lap.
" There's no way I'm going to go pay for you." said Sasuke.
"Rawr." said Naruto, drooping.
" Fine!" said Sasuke, taking it and storming out. " But never again!"
Everyone blinked in surprise while Naruto sat and looked proud.
" The ramen is done." said one ANBU, hauling in a large pot. Naruto's tails began to wag happily as it was set down in front of him. All manners forgotten, he simply stuck his head into the pot and began to eat in a style no sloppier than his typical mess.
He finished seven seconds later.
" That was….forty packages of ramen." said the ANBU, backing away. Naruto let out a contented burp, then curled up and fell asleep instantly.
" And it looks like it was appreciated." said Tsunade with a smile. " Send word to the ramen stand. We'll need their services soon." The ANBU nodded and raced off to give Teuchi the news.
Not a instant later, Iruka arrived on the scene.
" I was grading papers." he panted, leaning against the door. " I just heard. Where is he?"
" There." said Tsunade, pointing to Naruto's fairly obvious form.
Iruka gave a squeak and fainted.
Okay…this is odd. thought Naruto, looking around the water filled corridor that was his mind. He was seated in front of the Kyuubi's cage. He was still in the fox-like form, much to his disappointment.
" Greetings kit." snarled a deep voice.
" Bastard fox!" shouted Naruto, his words fully understandable to him. " What is going on?"
" I gave up." rumbled the voice. " As long as I kept fighting against you, I should have had a chance to get out like Shukaku. But no, you had to have a iron will and a diet so vile I'd rather die than smell ramen again."
" Hey! Don't insult ramen!" Naruto growled.
" Kit, shut up. I'll be dead in a minute."
" Oh." said Naruto, blinking and fully understanding.
" That's right. I'm dying. But it's because I have no interest living in you any longer. I thought I'd leave you with a parting gift and some advice."
" This is a gift?" snarled Naruto angrily.
" No, your change is a side effect." snapped the Kyuubi. " Just for that, no gift."
" So what's the advice?"
" When your getting it on with a vixen, make sure you start with foreplay. They love that shit."
" Bye, Kyuubi."
" Bye kit."
Naruto woke up, sat up, yawned, and laid back down. He still felt sleepy.
" Naruto, can you hear me?"
" Want some chips?"
The last one got Naruto's eyes open. He found himself lying in his living room again, the other genin teams standing there and looking concerned.
" Barbeque flavored." said Choji, holding out the bag. With a grateful nod Naruto grabbed the bad with a tail and began to much on the chips, looking around at all his assembled friends.
" That's all he can say? This is too troublesome." said Shikamaru, who had ironically seated himself in the lazy-boy recliner.
" Shikamaru everything's too troublesome for you." screeched Ino. " Why do you bother waking up?"
Shikamaru blinked twice, leaned back in the chair, and passed out. The mini-Kyuubi chuckled a little, giving off the most insidious giggles ever heard within Kohona.
" Man." said Kiba, squatting down and looking Naruto in the eyes. " I thought you were ugly before."
" At least you smell better." said Kiba, sniffing the air. Naruto proceeded to give him the finger with his middle claw. " Well, at least your still Naruto mentally." Kiba said, laughing and standing up. He reached and scratched behind Naruto's ear, causing Naruto to instantly wobble and begin to thump his leg until Kiba stopped. Naruto whimpered, blushing as everyone laughed. He had been quiet embarrassed by that, though it felt good.
" So, here's the deal, brat." said Tsunade, giving him an apologetic smile. " So the villagers don't throw a hissy-fit, we're going to have you live outside of town."
" Where?" asked Sakura, sounding concerned.
" Well, the Forest of Death is where I was planning. We have a barracks there where the people that are…different…stay. It's close enough everyone can visit but far enough people won't be afraid."
" Yes, Anko is there."
" Rawr." whimpered Naruto as he curled into a ball, shielding himself with his tails. Though it was funny, nobody laughed. Anko was scary enough they knew they would have done the same thing.
" Want to hit the ramen stand before you head off?" Tsunade offered, hoping to cheer Naruto up.
" RAWR!" roared Naruto, hopping onto his feet.
It was kinda weird to be outside without pants.
Walking down a street casually.
Escorted by all your friends, a platoon of ANBU, and a drunken Tsunade.
And having four prehensile tails appendages coming from your butt.
But, that said, Naruto could still think of weirder things that could happen, so he wasn't too phased. He caught the occasional glimpse of a terrified villager, a gawking child, or a ninja waddling homewards in their soiled pants, but not many people dared come out. He was glad that his friends had came to see him, even if it was only because they thought he was too harmless to hurt anybody.
Smiling as the ramen stand came into view, he forgot his situation and picked up the pace. He bounded past everyone and landed nimbly onto one of the stools, wrapping one tail around the base to steady himself.
" Hello Naruto!" said Teuchi, smiling and immediately setting to making a bowl or noodles.
" How are you holding up?" asked Ayame, giving him a sympathetic smile.
" Rawr." replied Naruto, smiling.
" Hold it!!" cried Kakashi, catching up. " This is Naruto. Don't be afraid." he said the ramen makers.
" Of course it is." said Ayame, giving him a odd look. " Why do you say that?"
" Um…well….I thought you might know him in his present state." said Kakashi, sweat dropping.
" How could that be anyone but Naruto?" said Ayame flatly, pointing to where the demon had begun to devour a bowl of ramen, holding his chopsticks with his tails. Kakashi sweat dropped again, as she had a point.
" I'll pick up his…hic…tab." said Tsunade, walking up with the help of several ANBU. She handed her wallet to Ayame. " Got any sake?"
" I think you've had enough." said Shizune, appearing by her side.
" Nonshense." slurred Tsunade. " Naruto, have I had enough?"
" Yeash, well who ashed you." Tsunade snapped back, swaying in her seat.
" Rawr." said Naruto, pointing to her with a tail.
" Don't get snippy with me!" yelled Tsunade, standing in a rough combat pose. " I'm a ninja. I know kung fu." she said, making karate-chop like motions with her hands. To everyone's relief, she fell down and passed out.
" I'll take her back." sighed Shizune, picking the Hokage up and carrying her towards the tower.
Ninety-eight bowls of ramen later, Tsunade's money ran out. Naruto felt full enough, but still a little hungry. However, given the situation, when Kakashi urged him it was time to go, he followed the Copy Ninja.
At least until he felt like taking a nap.
A bunch of naps.
Naps just felt…right.
When he woke up for the ninth time, he found himself in a cart being pulled by a team of dogs towards a ominous looking forest he remembered from the chunnin exam. Kakashi was riding on the side, but everyone else was gone.
" We're almost there, Naruto." said Kakashi, smiling as he looked up from his book. " I sent everyone else away. I'd rather not have them traumatized."
" Rawr?" Naruto asked, cocking his head in confusion.
" Hey." said a rough female voice by his ear, making him jump. He knew that voice.
It was Anko, who was perched on the side of the cart.
" I figured you'd be joining us out here someday." she said in a sickly sweet tone that worried Naruto as she leaned against him, speaking into his ear. " You seemed the type. First rule you need to remember, I'm the queen crazy. Don't mess with me."
" Rawr?" asked Naruto, drops of sweat-like chakra rolling down his face nervously.
" The people like in the forest barracks are called crazies." explained Kakashi. " Anko's the most famous one. You remember Ibiki and Guy too, right?"
Naruto suddenly froze at the thought of living in the same building as Guy.
" There's a bunch of others too. They are the ninja who are too eccentric to stay in the village." said Kakashi, giving Naruto a pat on the head. " Most people figured you'd have to live out here too."
" Rawr." Naruto whined as his ears drooped.
" That is so cute!" squealing Anko, gripping him like he was a teddy bear and choking him. " That settles it! We're roommates!"
" Rawr?" asked Naruto, confused and gasping for breath.
" And don't forget rule number two." said Kakashi as the cart pulled alongside a battered, ancient looking barracks building decorated in a number of clashing styles. Kakashi leaned over and gave him a serious look.
" Don't ever bend over to reach for the soap."