Just A Bad Day Getting Worse
I don't own Naruto.
Warning: This chapter's got lots of cussing.
AN: I've been getting some questions, flack and even a flame about how Naruto seems to be following after Gaara like some mindless lacky. My answer: This is going to be a long fic, and Naruto's attitude was completely on purpose on my part. Its a plot point. Chill. Allow a little room for character development and degeneration, would ya? Sheesh.
Also, since I generally hate reading something in a chapter, and have no idea what it is until I'm done reading and find notes at the end of the document, I'll be kind and let you all know that a tetsubo is a Japanese, practically mythical iron club/mace type weapon. If there are any Bleach fans here, the thing that Jinta Hanakari (the redhead that works for Urahara) swings around something that kind of looks like one.
Naruto Uzumaki hated futons.
They were flat, hard, collected more dust than a neglected house, and were very nearly impossible to get comfortable on. A lump of whatever the shit that stuffed the traditional bed found pleasure in forming a rock-hard mass just under every single pressure point imaginable, and positively refused to let him sleep for more than a half an hour at a time. Whats worse, was that the friggin' monstrosity somehow managed to generate an unholy reek of rotten laundry detergent. He didn't know if soap could rot, but if it did, Naruto was pretty sure it would smell like his futon.
And so, Naruto's ceiling bore the brunt of the blond's wrathful, half-asleep glare at the unjustifiable hour in the morning.
He closed his eyes, evened his breathing, and tried to calm down by listening to the gentle sound of the clock ticking on the other side of the room. He tossed and turned for a few moments, trying to find a comfortable way to lay on the damned futon. No wonder everyone only kept them for guests, they sucked to sleep on. Give him a regular bed any time.
But, he had to admit, it was his mind that wouldn't let him sleep, not the narrow, hard futon. It wasn't an uncommon occurrence since he had come to the past. Seemed like since he'd arrived, he'd been worried about everyone back in his own time. Worried about the future Konoha, worried about the Akatsuki, worried about Sasuke, and even worried about Gaara's siblings.
Were they okay?
Were they dead?
Did they even exist anymore, or had that world ended when he was brought to this one?
His nerves had been in a state of chaos and confusion since Sasuke and Akatsuki had attacked, and the blond knew that he hadn't been right since. Nobody would notice right off hand, or maybe they did. Naruto himself didn't really know the full extent of what was wrong with him, so he couldn't be sure.
Maybe it was Gaara's constant company.
Maybe it was seeing The Third Hokage as a real bare-knuckle, cunning shinobi and not a smiling old man from his memories.
Maybe it was being presented with a chance to change the future.
Maybe it was the fact that he had made a pact with the demons.
Maybe it was that he was suddenly almost totally alone again.
Maybe it was his not knowing how his friends were in the future.
Maybe it was a lot of things.
Naruto clutched his pillow a bit harder.
Thinking about all of it made him unable to sleep.
Him being awake made him think about it.
Thinking about it put him in a really bad mood.
With a huff, the blond rolled over and glared up at his roof, tongue clicking in comical annoyance. "Now what?!" He grumbled to himself, easily ignoring the aches and pains his body suffered from sleeping on such an uncomfortable mattress. Instead, he focused his attention on his roof, where he could feel Kakashi's chakra faintly emanating above.
The bastard was just over him, slightly to the left.
Naruto, having just been woken up for the umpteenth time, and therefor not in the greatest of moods-- or having the best common sense at the moment, actually entertained the thought of throwing a kunai through the wood, plaster and shingle barrier, and straight through the stomping foot of his teenage-future-sensei.
No, what was he thinking? He couldn't do that to Kakashi.
Laying on the floor and still in zombie-mode as he was, he wouldn't be able to create enough thrust to make the little iron weapon blast cleanly through the thick and heavy wood and tiles fast enough to hit Kakashi's foot. Knowing his luck, Kakashi would assume he were being ambushed, attack the still half-asleep blond, and then proceed to run to the Hokage and spew some sort of paranoid nonsense about one Naruto "Arashi" Uzumaki being a liar and a traitor, and that was only if Naruto was left alive. He'd never understand that he was being kindly told to get the hell off his roof.
Not that Kakashi would kill him.
Gaara would do that himself, and make a bloody show of it. Literally. If his redheaded friend came to discover that Naruto had done something so stupid just to amuse his own curiosity after only just managing to have the Hokage release them, not even Naruto thought he'd survive the shit-storm that would come soon after.
Naruto's scowl deepened as he heard the almost silent, yet equally deafening 'skifs' of his to-be-sensei's shoes hitting his roof again.
The blond tilted his head to the side, pondering.
...If he used sage chakra, then he'd probably be able to get through the reinforced roof and the kunai'd get Kakashi for sure. All without having to get up, no less.
...On the other hand, the kunai'd probably cut the future-perv in half, too.
Naruto scowled, veins bulged and eyes twitched. What the hell was Kakashi doing? Even if he were half-dead and missing a limb or two, Kakashi wouldn't ever be that loud. Naruto didn't think Kakashi could be that loud, even if he tried. Hell, his chakra leaking out for Naruto to feel it at all was testament enough that something wasn't right.
The blond tilted his head to the other side, pondering some more.
...Maybe the perv was caught peeking on some girls, kunoichi even, and they threw a kunai through his foot.
Naruto snorted at the thought.
Another 'Tak!' and his annoyance grew again.
What was that idiot doing? Tap-dancing?
Naruto rose an eyebrow at the mental images that came to mind and suppressed the urge to laugh.
The tired teen wondering if perhaps since this Kakashi was around his age, was therefore younger and stupider, he would actually do something that pea-brained, and actually be dumb enough to get a kunai between the toes for his perverted efforts.
Kakashi nearly getting his foot lopped off because he was idiot enough to peep on girls and get caught...?
Naruto huffed again.
He'd pay to see that.
As he returned more and more into the world of the awake, the reluctant-time-traveler remembered that he was, in fact, supposed to get Kakashi to believe that he were his Hokage in order for another one of Gaara's stupid, yet annoyingly good, plans to work.
Naruto yawned, stopping his more unsound thoughts. When finally managing to resolve himself to wake up completely before he decided to let Kakashi know he was aware of his presence, he sighed and sat up. One hand supported his weight, the other scratched his mess of hair while he blinked away the last of his drowsiness. "I'm awake now, thanks to you and your lead feet!" He called out, throwing his pillow easily up at the roof where he knew Kakashi to be.
A moment later, the teen turned his head towards the window. His face, marred with the marks of his pillowcase's folds, and unusually large bags under his not-too-happy eyes, added onto the effect of letting any moron know he wasn't in any mood to be awake at the ungodly hour of five-thirteen in the morning.
Kakashi's head popped into view through the glass, single eye looking curiously at the blond from it's upside down position. "Light sleeper?" He asked, feet firmly latched to the small overhang of the apartment's roof.
Naruto's face fell deadpan. "What the hell? You wake me up and don't even say 'Good morning'?" He asked, wiggling the stiffness out of his fingers and toes. "Why are you here anyways?"
Kakashi tilted his head to the side, his single eye looking a bit more serious. "I've only got an hour to talk with you and your friend. Where is he?"
Naruto snorted loudly. "If you would've knocked on the door, he would've answered!" He gripped, pulling the blanket off of himself and moving to stand up. " Now get out of my window! I don't need you to peep on me while I dress!"
Of what little bit of Kakashi's face was visible, one could easily tell that he was thoroughly disgusted by the blond's words just before he vanished.
Not five minutes later, Naruto's face was twisted into an even more powerful expression of repulsion.
Gaara sat at the small table, not bothering to look at his suspiciously silent roommate, or the interestingly distant Kakashi, who had gone through the effort to sit as far as possible in the living room while still able to speak at a comfortable volume.
Naruto stared at the plate of food Gaara had been preparing while he had been busy mulling over whether or not to put a hole in his roof. The corner of his mouth twitched, eyes furrowed in complete mysticism. He reached out with his fork, poking the... thing that took up space on his plate, and gulped.
Was that... a tongue?
Yes it was.
Naruto dared to wonder why it looked fried, seasoned, and placed between two slices of toast next to his now, not-so-appetizing eggs and fruit.
It was almost as if Gaara expected him to eat it or something.
"Where..." Naruto trailed off, swallowing down the urge to retch. Why did his own tongue suddenly feel half-paralyzed, as though it were scared that it were going to be on the menu in a few minutes? "Where did you... get that?" He finished, face turning green as his eyes fell on the bulging taste buds of the seared... was it even called meat? He most certainly did not buy that last night.
"It is from a foreign foods market down the street." Gaara explained airily. "I wanted gizzards, unfortunately, this is all they had." He finished, biting into his own tongue sandwich.
Naruto's body jerked in a dry-heave, and a hand quickly reached to cover his mouth.
"While this is an interesting insight to Suna's breakfast menu," Kakashi said, clearing his throat as he, too, tried to keep his own morning meal down albeit more discretely than Naruto. "...I believe we have business to discuss."
Naruto almost wanted to cry in gratitude for Kakashi's ability to get him out of having to choke down Gaara's utterly foul idea of a breakfast--
"Eat, Naruto. You will need your strength today."
The blond let out an anguished sob.
"I don't know... They might be able to pick up the chakra signatures."
Naruto rolled his eyes. "Its better than the other option!"
"I agree, Kakashi-san."
"Thank you, Gaara!" Naruto grouched, turning towards Kakashi impatient expectancy.
The Hatake shook his head. "The Sharingan would know that it's not normal."
"You wont have to get around a Sharingan if it's never activated! What's so suspicious about a perfectly normal animal for this region to sneak into a house?! There's a canal not even half a mile from here, It's perfectly believable!"
"Yes, but Gaara's eye jutsu is silent and malleable. A toad croaking this early in the morning would draw attention." Kakashi explained.
Naruto rolled his eyes. "Are you insulting me on purpose?! My toads aren't like regular toads! If I tell 'em to be quiet, they will! They speak! They understand my words, damnit! It's not hard to get!" The blond ranted.
"Fine." Kakashi sighed in irritation, washing his hands of the argument. "We'll go with the toad, but if anything goes wrong, we'll switch to Gaa--"
Naruto didn't even give his future sensei enough time to finish his sentence before he bit his thumb, licking the side of his mouth to clean a small smudge of wayward blood. His hands flew through the familiar hand signs as he leaned over, his fingers just finishing the intricate dance of the summoning jutsu just before they slammed down on the earth. A plum of chakra borne smoke erupted from where his palms rested, and Naruto stood with a proud grin as the outline of a small, normal sized toad emerged.
The smirk shattered quickly when he saw the familiar blue and orange patterns that identified the amphibian as none-other than Gamakichi.
The small, baby frog turned slowly, looking about the woodland area with fear. "W-Where am I?" It asked itself, jumping away in fear when it noticed the three tall, looming figures around him.
Gaara turned towards Naruto, face contorted into something resembling confusion. "What happened?" He asked, his frown deepening when Naruto shook his head.
Kakashi remained carefully silent, observing the scene and summoning with his Sharingan.
Naruto shot them both a glare, and squatted down to look better at the tiny toad, putting on a pleasant smile. "Hello, Gamakichi, right?"
The toad took an awkward hop back. "My daddy told me not to talk to strangers!" It cried like a bratty three-year-old.
Naruto's eyebrow twitched. "I summoned you, so I'm not a stranger, right? I signed the contract."
Gamakichi didn't look convinced.
"Liar!" He croaked loudly. "Whenever there's a new contract, Grams and Gramps tells everyone! You're a stranger! I'm telling my Pa on you!"
"Why you little--!" Naruto growled, reaching out to snatch the small toad, only to miss when the anuran dismissed itself, leaving only a small wisp of smoke in its wake. "Damnit!" He cursed, returning to his feet and putting his hands on his hips to think.
Kakashi frowned. "Can't say I wasn't expecting that. You haven't signed any contracts in this time-line yet, so they don't know you."
"Oh, shut up! At least I found out about this now instead of in the middle of a fight when it could've killed me! Grah! Great! Now I have to go to Myoboku mountain and explain this shit all over again to the elder toads..." Naruto trailed off, grumbling about his newfound issues with one of his major jutsu.
The unmasked ANBU captain shook his head, leaping up into one of the higher tree branches, gaining a clear view of the Uchiha Estates just beyond the tree line. "It's not like we were depending completely on it. Even if Gaara's justu fails, I have a few that will work. We're not in trouble yet." He explained, watching as Naruto silently landed just next to him on another branch, attention tuned to him as any other student would their teacher.
Kakashi had to admit, the attention was a little weird.
Beneath them, now resting against the trunk, sat Gaara. One hand occupied with forming a seal, the other's fingers covering his closed left eye. The skin between where his eyebrows would have been was furrowed in concentration, and after a long moment, he spoke.
"The mother is in the shower."
A blush spread across Naruto's face. He quickly willed it away, ignoring the images that came to mind. "What about Sasuke's dad?" Naruto asked, mentally checking off the Uchiha matriarch's location.
"He is in the shower with her." Gaara replied dryly. "Need I elaborate?"
The Uzumaki reached a hand up, covering his face. "No." He didn't even want to picture what the Pervy-Sage would say or do if he were here with him. "Can you find Sasuke and Itachi?"
Gaara shifted his hand slightly, watching his third eye's travel down the neat and clean wooden halls of the Uchiha Clan's main house. Dissolving, sliding under doors and reforming over and over again through the many rooms of the home was no strain on his chakra, though it did take time. Finally, after ten long minutes, his efforts reached fruitation.
"I have found Sasuke." He informed, voice a bit more serious, if possible. "He is asleep."
Kakashi frowned at the sand shinobi's skill. In another time, place and under different circumstances, he would probably be incredibly intrigued. As it were now, however, he had yet to come to peace with them not being labeled as intruders, and could only see such an ability as a problem should it be used against him or the Hokage instead of a valuable tool. His thoughts didn't leak into his voice of false impression. "Itachi should be somewhere close by." He offered, leaning his weight to one hip. He was getting short on time, and honestly didn't want to exert the effort or chakra needed to send a shadow clone out ahead of him to watch the visiting Suna medics.
Naruto crossed his arms, falling into a sitting position on his branch. "You've already gone through almost all the rooms in the whole house-- maybe he's off training somewhere?" He wondered aloud, turning towards Kakashi.
The ever aloof teen shrugged. "All I know is that he's not on assignment right now."
"Guys." Gaara called from below. "He is in the kitchen. He appears to be getting ready to leave." The redhead commented, releasing his jutsu.
Naruto huffed, slipping from his branch and falling to stand just next to his friend. A moment later, Kakashi was at their side, staring ahead towards the Uchiha Complex. "Now that we've got his location confirmed, I'll leave you two with this," He said, handing Naruto a slip of paper.
Naruto glanced over the scribbled words, face showing genuine shock. "You got this already?" He asked, both shocked and sickened. "The Hokage gave us a whole week to find him! How'd you do it in a single day?"
Kakashi shrugged. "I've got connections." He said aloofly. "This is where I leave you to make the preparations. I'll see you by the eastern canal pass in four hours." He said finally, vanishing in an instant.
When Gaara turned to Naruto, the blond teen sighed in annoyance. "Yeah, yeah, I'm going." He muttered, slipping the paper in his pocket and vanishing in much the same way as Kakashi.
When he next appeared, the blond was a good half kilometer west of where he and the other members of his team had just been. He landed on the random rooftop with practiced accuracy, instantly recognizing his location and leaping off again further west. His eyes turned towards the Hokage Monument, a small grin coming to his lips as the sunlight hit the faces, marking it as time for the rest of the village to wake up.
Another leap and landing later, Naruto found himself on one of the less popular market streets.
To his left, a not-entirely charming young lady sent him a lustful look, making sure to give him a good view of her legs while blowing him a kiss. The blond frowned, not at all impressed as he made his way over to her. The young brunette, almost five years his senior, grinned as he approached.
Her fingers traced the too-low hem of her blouse, lips pursed in a show of skilled seduction practice. "Whats a painfully good-lookin' guy like you doin' in a place like this so early in the morning?" She cooed, stepping away from her perch against an alley wall. "Have a wild dream and want it to come true?" She asked, eyes trailing over his body shamelessly. It wasn't every day that she, or any other girl in her profession got the chance to have a little fun with a shinobi that wasn't missing an arm or a leg, or covered head-to-toe in hideous scars, after all.
Naruto scowled at her, feeling throughly violated by her eyes even though he remained fully dressed. "No." He said, firm and flat voice instantly telling the girl that he was there for business and not pleasure.
The young woman frowned, leaning back and returning to her spot against the wall. "Then get out of the way, you're costing me money."
Pulling out his still-stuffed frog wallet, the teen sighed. "I need information." He said, shaking the comical frog and letting the jingle of the coins seduce the young woman into a grin.
"If the price is right," The young woman said, reaching out to trace her fingers against his chest. Naruto's scowl deepened, and the working girl's grin widened. "...I'll tell you anything you want me too." She said, slipping what would have been an enticing moan into her little declaration.
Naruto handed her the slip of paper Kakashi had handed to him. "I need this."
The woman's jaw went slack as she glanced at the parchment's contents. "Y-Yeah, this way." She said, leading him down the alley.
Naruto grunted as he landed, dropping his heavy burden. The blond turned to glare poison at Gaara, a blush on his face he didn't think he was going to lose for a solid week. "You try bartering with prostitutes! Do you have any idea how dirty I feel right now?! Half of them wouldn't even accept my money!"
That caught Gaara's attention. "They recognized you as the host of--?"
Naruto cut him off by practically tearing away his jacket, shrugging the heavy orange costume off almost desperately. "I wish, damnit!" He snarled, hastily stripping himself of his pants. "They wanted favors!" He continued, reaching into his bundle and pulling out a black and white striped outfit.
Gaara rolled his eyes as Naruto dressed himself. "Whores offer themselves free of charge and you turn them down like a gentleman." He said blandly, glancing around the woodland area. "Such chivalry would bring your sensei to tears, I'm sure."
Naruto grit his teeth as he buttoned up the convict uniform, bending over to reach into his package, pulling out a red and brown ogre mask, adorned with a wild mane of black hair long enough to hide his own blond spikes. "Keep it up and I'll go back and make sure that all the drag-queens in fire country know where to find you!" He warned, pushing the mask high on his head and freeing his face.
Gaara kept curiously quiet on the subject after that. Instead, he turned to face the large wrapped bag at the blond's feet, pulling one of it's folds aside and glancing at it's remaining contents. "...It looks fresh enough." He finally said before reaching out to the cadaver's bare torso and stabbing his hand into it's stomach.
Naruto screwed his face into one of disgust. "He better fucking be, I had to watch him get ripped off his screw and have his neck snapped. Poor bastard didn't even get to finish." He said, scowl deepening at the man's still erect member pushing up the thick black body bag that housed him. His eyes traveled up again, watching as the body's flesh moved in unnatural ways as the redhead's hand groped around on the inside. "What the hell are you doing?" He finally asked.
He watched as Gaara pulled his hand out, wiping the excess blood onto the body's bare chest. "He is an escaped convict, it is not unheard of for men in his situation to have surprises inside their person." He said, tossing the blond a small rubber ball.
Naruto caught it with ease, rolling the small bundle through his fingers carefully. "What is this, drugs?" He asked, blinking in surprise.
Gaara nodded, stepping over to a small puddle of water and using it to clean his hand of the mess. The sand on his hand and forearm jumped away like a burnt cat, floating impatiently as it waited for him to finish. "One of the more powerful hallucinogenics that Konoha is known for, I assume. If it had gotten mixed with my sand, and then made contact with me, I do not wish to imagine the problems that would come after." He explained, drying his hand against the lush grass at his feet before returning to his feet once again.
Naruto, for the second time that day, felt like was going to throw up.
It was bad enough he had to have someone killed, but hearing that Gaara intended to puree the unlucky bastard on top of it, made him begin to really hate this damn idea. "You're sick, you know?" He huffed, tossing the bloody rubber ball back to Gaara.
"But of course."
By the time Itachi Uchiha realized that he was being followed, he was already halfway to the large, secluded training grounds he had reserved for the day. His posture, expression, or air of calmness didn't change when he noticed, nor did he stop on his journey to his destination. The teen didn't bother to look around, as he had already pinpointed where his stalker was.
The brown and black kitten gave a loud meow of greeting, quickly following his easy pace.
Itachi sighed, his grip on his packed lunch tightening. "You follow me every morning, and I never give you my food." He mumbled to himself, turning to glance at the kitten rushing up to his side. "Shoo." He ordered lamely.
The kitten meowed again, ears perking up in interest.
"Itachi!" Said teen lifted his head quickly, glancing back down the road to see Sasuke rushing to catch him. The little boy managed to catch up after a moment, his breathing labored. "M-mom..." He trailed off, gasping for air.
Itachi turned to face his brother, patiently waiting for the boy to catch his breath. "Mom?" He asked again after a minute.
Sasuke quickly stood back up, nodding. "Mom told me to tell you that she's going to the market, and I can't go."
Itachi blinked. "Why not?" He asked, suddenly regretting the question.
Sasuke shrugged. "She said something about soap."
The older of the brothers shuddered internally, wishing that he were as naïve as the other at that particular moment in time. Instead, he nodded his head to signal for Sasuke to follow him. "Shisui is waiting for me, so let's not be late." He smiled, quickly shoving any thoughts of his parents to the darkest recesses of his mind.
Sasuke nodded in excitement, clicking his tongue at the kitten next to him and rushing ahead to race with it.
The older of the brothers sighed, knowing that it was going to be a long day.
"Where is he?!"
A half-naked young woman was thrown against the hard wooden wall of her room. Her face was covered in thick scratches and her body started to show the angry red and purple bruises given by her latest 'guest'. "I-I don't know!" She cried, screaming when the large man came up and grabbed her hair. "Some ninja guy came in this morning and said he needed to know where he could find him! He was looking for him by name!" She screamed hurriedly, desperately trying to get him to release her.
The man paused in his fury, but quickly resumed his quest for answers and shook her, ignoring the woman's crying. "So you gave him up?!" He demanded, shaking her again.
She screamed in pain, feeling her hair and scalp being pulled away from her skull. "T-The ninja guy paid good money, and your bastard of a friend killed thirteen of our girls! We were happy to see that freak go--!" The woman's moment of bravery was short lived when the man crouched next to her, the thick scent of dirt and sweat nearly making her retch. She flinched away, closing her eyes tightly when the man reached up, grabbing the side of her face.
"What was the ninja's name?" He asked slowly, the grip on her jaw tightening.
"We're prostitutes," She sobbed. "We don't don't ask for names--!"
"If you ever plan on seeing tomorrow, you'd better tell me something I want to hear." The man warned, his hand slipping down to clutch her neck. With little effort, he lifted her from her heap on the floor, and pressed her against the wall, a good two feet from the floor. The woman shook, her attention focused completely on his index finger hovering just above her eye
She desperately clawed at his hand, gasping for air. "H-He was young! Maybe seventeen or eighteen!" She choked out. A sharp slam against the wall and the woman coughed, trying to remember details. "H-He had blond hair and tattoos on his face that looked like whiskers! He had blue eyes and a tan! He wore orange!"
The man huffed, pulling her forward, still dangling her in the air. "Which way did he go?"
She lifted a shaky, pain riddled arm and pointed east.
Kakashi landed expertly next to Naruto and Gaara, his attention immediately on the noticeably dead body dressed in the same getup as who he guessed was Naruto. He raised an eyebrow at the mask, slightly curious how the teen would be able to see out of it, as it didn't appear to have any holes for eyes. "I see that you two are right on schedule." He said airily, turning his attention to Gaara, who was once again sitting, his hands in the position that indicated that he were using the third eye jutsu.
The redhead's face twisted into one of disdain. "There is a major problem."
Naruto cursed, his hands resting on his hips impatiently. "Sasuke showed up." He supplied. "And Itachi's not alone. There's another Uchiha with them. We can't hold this shit off until tomorrow-- after a few hours this asshole will be useless!" Naruto growled, kicking the stiffening body.
Kakashi sighed. "I'd hate to see you get dressed up for nothing. What's with the mask?" He asked, honestly curious.
Naruto snorted, knocking against the reinforced metal. "Heat resistant." He answered simply.
Kakashi nodded. "Clever move, though if you're planning on being hit by fire jutsu, you should've gotten a lot more 'fire resistant' armor, or clothes." He said, eyeing the tattered black and white convict uniform.
If the blond's body language were anything to go by, Kakashi guessed he were being mentally strangled.
The teen ANBU captain frowned, walking up towards the corpse and lifting the mask. "At least you got the right guy." He offered lazily, huffing in mild amusement at the smudge of lipstick on the man's face.
Naruto rolled his eyes. "Of course. Who do you think my sensei was?" The teen grouched, crossing his arms.
It was true. Though Jiraiya's means to gather information were unorthodox, and more often than not immoral, hardly any piece of fact or rumor could be kept from the man. Naruto had spent years with him, and had seen most all of the Sannin's techniques first hand. If there were one thing Naruto learned rather fast with Jiraiya, it was that woman were not to be underestimated. Particularly the one's who sold themselves. They were, more often than not, the first goal of a man who had spent time away from the world. He also knew that those same women, when given even more money, would sing the secrets of any man who had been naïve enough to tell her.
Finding a man who had escaped from Konoha's high security prisons, had been a pervert, and rumored to return to the village, was the kind of bastard that wouldn't be hard to find.
Gaara stood up, releasing his jutsu. "We will simply have to revert to plan 'B'." He said.
Kakashi glanced between the two, his eyebrow raised in curiosity. "What's plan 'B'?"
Three Uchiha heads spun towards the South, two of which on high alert. "What--" Itachi started, cutting himself short before having to dodge out of the way of a lunatic man in an ogre's mask. A single blink of the eye and the Sharingan spun behind his long eyelashes.
"Sasuke!" Itachi shouted, summoning two shadow clones and ordering them to attack the stranger while he appeared behind his brother. The younger of the two let out a yelp, scared and unable to fully process what was going on. For lack of anything else to do in the mess, he clutched onto the back of Itachi's shirt with a white-knuckle grip, and shuddered when he heard the stranger cackle insanely.
The masked prisoner-looking man began to spin on his feet and sent two shadow clones of his own out towards the brothers.
Itachi frowned, unable to tell the original from the clones because of the rapid movement.
The third Uchiha, Shisui, quickly appeared at his side and was blocking and countering the melee attacks before Sasuke even saw the loud stranger approach.
On his brother's back, the six-year-old shook in fear.
"Who are you?!" Shisui demanded, catching the leg of one of the clones with one arm just as he blocked an oncoming kunai attack towards the back of his head. The fourteen-year-old Uchiha flicked his fingers, sending the kunai aimed perfectly towards the neck of the clone behind him. It ducked, backing off long enough for him to angrily lift his leg and shoot his foot out, slamming it into the captive clone's knee and effectively severing the limb. Cartilage, bone and blood exploded from behind, and just as the screaming clone released, the Uchiha spun, his shoulders leaning down and his blood covered foot reaching up to slam it's heel into the remaining clone's neck.
"Shisui! Get down!" Itachi screamed from out of nowhere, and just as the long braided teen's chest hit the ground, a powerful gust of wind flew over him, followed by the sound of blood spatter and dispelling clones.
The eldest of the three Uchiha flew back up to his feet, rounding on his cousins. "You're still here?! Get Sasuke somewhere safe--!" The teen cut himself off by jumping as quickly as he could in front of his cousins, grabbing them and covering themselves from the blast of a grenade.
"Fucking Uchiha! I'll get you for that!" cried a chorus of ten Masked Marauders from behind various trees, jumbling the Uchiha's idea of where he might be.
Almost to add further insult to injury, Itachi felt his jaw set, hearing the poorly disguised voice of his enemy. "Identify yourself!" Itachi demanded from behind his tree, hiding Sasuke and keeping the boy silent with a hand over his mouth.
Sasuke's eyes turned towards his long-haired cousin, his eyes watching as the teen brought a hand to his lips, indicating for him to be silent. The boy nodded his head, nervous sweat trailing down his temple as he watched Shisui sink into the ground and disappear.
Naruto grunted quietly in pain, the earlier clone's memories of pain making the limb dully ache. He ignored it. He had a job to do. It wasn't real, the pain would go away in a few seconds. He beat the back of his head into the trunk of the tree he hid behind. He didn't have enough time to sit around and bark back and forth with the Uchiha!
The disguised blond was quickly given a reason to move, catching sight of a small, unnatural shift in the wind just to his left. He jerked his body over, his right arm and leg being the only thing that left him latched by chakra to the thick branch. The long black mane of hair attached to his mask lost a few strands as a kunai adorned with an exploding tag landed mere inches from his face. Naruto grunted loudly, bringing himself closer to the branch just enough to give him proper leverage to push away.
The tree exploded, sending sharp, jagged chunks of splintered wood in all directions. Naruto coughed, gasping in pain and annoyance as he pulled a thin shard from his forearm. "Who the fuck are you?!" Naruto growled, landing roughly on the ground and ignoring the wind as three of his clones flew past him, attacking the Uchiha in the higher branches.
Naruto didn't bother sticking around long enough for an answer, and turned on his heel, another clone dropping beside him and transforming into a tetsubo. The sudden massive weight of the spiked, iron club didn't slow him down much, and when one of the last hidden clones dispensed, Naruto grinned, feeling small amounts of sage chakra flow into him. The added strength made the massive weapon feel like a feather in his grip.
Itachi and Sasuke had barely a moment to dodge before the masked Naruto blasted through the tree. The disguised blond could feel the almost tickling sensation of chakra crawling over his skin in a thin layer. "Oh, no you don't!" He growled, twisting his body in the air and swinging the heavy weapon again. Itachi cursed loudly, nearly loosing his grip on Sasuke.
This monster could tell when he was being placed under a Sharingan genjutsu?!
"Stay still!" Naruto shouted, landing with a crashing 'Boom!' on the ground and wasting no time before he swung the iron mallet again. This time, he drug it against the ground, throwing up a tall and thick cloud of dirt and debris that shrouded the Uchiha brothers.
They were blind!
Itachi coughed, shoving the scared and sobbing younger boy away from him. "Run!" He ordered, creating three more shadow clones and ordering them to get Sasuke the hell out of here and somewhere safe. "Shisui!"
Naruto uncaringly registered that as the unknown Uchiha's name as he watched the little Uchiha make an attempt to flee. "Where do you think you're going?!" He snarled, taking a step to race after him, stopping as he saw an impressive amount of Shisuis bleed out from the ground and surrounding trees. He set his feet, resting the intimidating tetsubo over his shoulder.
"His destination is none of your concern." They chorused, half lifting enough kunai and shuriken to turn him into swiss cheese and the rest forming seals for various fire jutsu. "Identify yourself! Why are you attacking us?!" He demanded again.
Naruto huffed. "You're such a pain in the ass...." He grumbled, quickly lowering his stance and letting his hands fly through a short series of seals.
The ten clones preparing the fire jutsu let them fly, hardly leaving a singe on the masses of chakra reinforced black hair hurtling towards them, cocooning them and squeezing the weak clones out of existence before heading straight towards the original.
Shisui cursed, barely able to make it back into the cover of the earth in time to dodge.
Once again, Naruto skipped over him and made his way towards Sasuke.
"You're not finished here!" Itachi yelled, surprising Naruto from above and catching the masked teen with a hell storm of a Phoenix Flower Justu. The Uchiha heir pushed himself off of his tree, tackling the smoking and cursing Naruto to the ground before he could escape. With a sharp pulse of chakra in his legs and feet, Itachi let out a loud screaming grunt of effort to kick away the insanely heavy tetsubo.
Itachi grabbed the convict's striped jacket, ignoring the residual heat and stink of burnt flesh and hair, and sat up, lifting the larger body of the masked madman and twisted, slamming the heavy freak into the side of a nearby tree. Itachi didn't give him a moment to catch his breath before he let loose with a barrage of powerful taijutsu combos, cracking the thick trunk of the tree more and more with every blow before blasting him through it completely.
Naruto hissed, skidding painfully along the littered earth of the forest floor before he managed to shake off the dizzying stars and sparkles spinning around his head. He grunted, tucking into himself to shield his head as he fell into an almost too-fast-roll on the ground. Once he managed to regain his sense of balance, he hopped, landing on all fours to glare ahead at the pissed Uchiha. "Fuck..." He muttered, wincing as he felt the sting of his ribs pressing against his lungs. He stood up, taking a deep breath and ignoring the sharp pains that came with the internal 'pops' as the bones realigned themselves and knit back together.
He grinned, sighing in a teasing tune as he released the breath of air. "Aren't you a tough one?" He taunted, twisting his head in a curious angle.
Itachi frowned, his feet skiffing the ground as he slid into a proper fighting stance once again. "I'll rip that mask from your face and reveal you for who you really are. You deserve only death if you think you can target the Uchiha and live."
"Curious about whats under the mask, huh?" Naruto murmured curiously, an idea forming in his head as he reflected back on a particular mission he, Sakura and Sasuke shared against Kakashi back in the day. "Why didn't you ask sooner?" He giggled madly, lifting his hands up, fingers wiggling teasingly as they clasped around the forehead of the iron disguise.
Itachi set his jaw, Sharingan slowly spinning.
The fingers paused.
"On second thought," Naruto chirped all too happily, laughing as he shifted his wrists and let his fingers come together in a familiar seal. "That'd just be boring!" He cried, erupting into a thin cloud of smoke.
A feminine voice let out a sultry giggle as the smoke cleared, and soft, smooth, bare flesh made itself known to the world, bouncing and rubbing in not at all any form of a decent manner. "Don't you think so, Uchiha-kuuun?" The raven tressed beauty moaned teasingly.
Itachi actually stopped for an entire second as his eyes recorded, in perfect detail, a very developed female version of himself.
That one second almost proved to be his demise.
"Get your brain back on your shoulders, damnit! He's attacking!" Shisui cried, appearing just behind the false beauty and slashing with his kunai, aiming for her Achilles tendons. He growled as he missed again and watched as the woman shifted back into the masquerading convict, laughing while he made his way up into the trees and out of the way of the three tetsubo wielding clones running around on a whack-a-mole mission against the older Uchiha.
Itachi grew a furious blush over his face and spun on his heel, dug his hands into his weapons pouch, and released with a poison gas bomb with a smoke effect just at the eye level of the enemy. A cloud of deep blue death released, the trees and leaves seeming to rot as it came in contact with it.
As soon as Itachi's hands let loose of the bomb, he pulled them back, hands flying through a series of seals. "Fuuton: Wind Prison Justu!"
Naruto hacked, blood spattering the inside of his mask when he tried to escape its clutches, only to have as damnable funnel of wind keeping him stuck in place and cutting small lacerations into his skin, further allowing the poison to wreak its havoc on his system.
Itachi watched his mysterious enemy cough as he fell to his knees on the branch, staggering slightly in his attempts to not fall. He had finally gotten the upper hand in the battle, and as such, felt as though it were time to ask some questions. "Why are you attacking--?" He trailed off, frowning as he noticed the man suddenly pause, head turning off towards the side for a moment. The Uchiha watched him stand, dispelling the wind jutsu with a bored wave of the arm as... as though it were nothing! The madman even rolled his shoulder, giving of the impression that he were yawning!
Itachi had never felt so insulted in his life!
"Not that this hasn't been fun," Naruto drawled lazily, utterly enjoin the bewildered face of the monstrous Uchiha heir beneath him. "But I gotta go." He laughed, flashing a peace sign as two of his shadow clones blasted through the foliage, a struggling and tied up Sasuke thrown over one's shoulder and the three Itachi clones that were assigned to protect him hogtied and gagged together, grunting as they tried to escape.
Shisui ran up from beneath the earth, appearing at Itachi's side and rushing towards the original masked shinobi. It was at this point that Itachi decided to forgo all procedure to capture the criminal and heading after his brother.
The Uchiha cousins didn't even manage to get three feet away from one another before the two were sent flying in opposite directions with the original body of the 'criminal' in their center, arms and legs poised in the aftermath of the attacks that cleared them out of his way. "You're too late!" Naruto shouted towards the surrounding forest. "I've got him now!" The maniac screamed, catching the thoroughly freaked out Sasuke thrown by his clones as though he were a ball. He wasted no time before he pulled out a kunai, spinning it in a flashy show before resting it over the child's throat before Itachi and Shisui could shake themselves of their daze and try to save him.
Gaara blasted through the brush, his clothes changed to the standard Konoha uniform. "Release the child." He ordered.
Sasuke screamed, quickly being silenced by the kunai pressing further to his neck. "Na-a-ah! You be quiet, my little hostage." Naruto warned in his disguised voice. He turned his masked head towards Gaara again, his posture giving the indication that he would move soon.
Itachi scrambled to his feet, face twisted into shock and worry. "Who are you?!" He demanded, stepping forward, ready to help his brother and blast the new arrival away if he gave any inclination as to being on the insane convict's side.
Naruto spun around quickly, shifting between looking at him and his 'partner in crime'. "Name's aren't important, are they? If you weren't so busy asking about mine, you probably woulda had me dead by now, huh?" He laughed, stepping back. "This kid's is, though. Little Prince U-chi-ha!" He sang.
Gaara shifted slightly. "Do not act rashly." He began, regaining the attention of the two Uchiha. "If you hurt that child, you will be given no chance to--"
Naruto cut the redhead off with a swear, barely managing to jump away as the second Uchiha flew up from the ground just where the masquerading blond had been standing. "Back off already!" He cried, landing steadily against the trunk of a tree.
Beneath his mask, Naruto's grit his teeth. He was really getting tired of that Uchiha bastards jutsu. The blond growled to himself, spinning his kunai expertly as he put it away. The teen held a single hand up, summoning a clone and jumping off of it. "Nice try, but not enough!" He laughed, vanishing in the air.
Itachi stormed over to Gaara, not recognizing him. "What is the meaning of this?!" He demanded, ignoring Shisui as he landed just next to him. "Who are you?!"
Kakashi landed next to Gaara, breathing heavily. "Shit, we're too late." He cursed, resting his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath. He turned to Gaara, one eye narrowed. "What happened?" He demanded sharply.
Gaara wiped a bit of sweat from his face, making sure to not touch the faux leaf headband on his forehead. "The target has taken a hostage, Sasuke Uchiha, if I am not mistaken." He informed, turning towards the enraged remaining two Uchiha. "The man who has just taken your kin is a wanted criminal with a vendetta against your clan."
Itachi immediately vanished, no doubt taking off after his brother. Kakashi turned towards the remaining Uchiha, pointing towards the nearby Uchiha complex. "Inform Fugaku! Hurry!" He ordered sternly.
The teen spit at Kakashi's feet. "Like we have time for that, Kakashi! I'm going ahead, you send whoever that is to tell the old man!" He snapped, throwing his arm to point at Gaara and running off without giving the young ANBU captain a chance to retaliate.
Hot tears erupted from Naruto's eyes beneath his mask as Sasuke, for the tenth time in two minutes, bit down with all of his strength onto his captor's hand. Honestly, Naruto was worried that the little brat would take out a chunk of flesh before long. The teen grunted, jerking the younger self of his teammate into a more stable position while he ran along the tree branches. "Stop it!" He demanded, still keeping his voice disguised.
Sasuke thrashed in his hold. "Let me go! My big brother will kill you for this! My daddy will arrest you!" He screamed, trying like hell to get his short legs to reach high enough to kick his captor. "Let me go!" He screamed again, forgoing his efforts to kick the crazy masked man and returning to biting him.
Naruto grit his teeth as he tried to endure the pain. "I said knock it off you little shit!" He screamed, almost losing it and knocking the little brat out cold. "You bite me again and I'll knock every tooth you have out, you hear me?!"
Sasuke's only response was to bite down twice as hard.
"Why you little--!" Naruto screeched, having had enough and raising his fist.
He paused, the sleeve of his convict uniform being suddenly pinned to the trunk of the tree he stood on. Naruto had just enough time to rip his arm lose and leap away before that unknown Uchiha from earlier landed heavily against the side of the trunk, right where Naruto's head had been not a second before.
The two faced off against one another, Naruto remaining perfectly still as he observed the newest pain in his ass. The Uchiha wore traditional fighting robes, not unlike Neji, and had some kind of Uchiha armor over his torso and left shoulder, the Uchiha emblem painted onto it neatly. The guy had half squinted eyes, making him look tired, and a long braid of hair that reached just about to his knees.
He didn't like fighting Uchiha, especially one's he didn't know anything about.
The disguised teen once again adjusted the squirming Sasuke under his arm and let his train of thought revert to his earlier encounter. He couldn't put his finger on it, but something about this guy rubbed the blond the wrong way. That jutsu he used was familiar somehow, and it only irked him further when he found himself unable to recall where he had seen it before. Something about that Uchiha's whole presence seemed...off. Naruto usually had a pretty good intuition, and although it almost always led towards believing in the good in the most evil of enemies... he just couldn't get over the bad vibe this Uchiha let off.
"Shisui!" Sasuke suddenly screamed, half sobbing. "Save me!" He cried, his struggle for freedom returning with new vigor.
Naruto, having finally reached the last of his patience, gave Sasuke another hard jerk. The frightened boy's head shot up, crashing down sharply with against the reinforced metal of the ogre mask. Naruto shifted his weight, happy that Sasuke finally went limp.
His hand was especially grateful.
"Shisui, huh?" He asked, tilting his head to the side oddly to reinforce his image of a less than sane individual. "I haven't heard of you before." He sang menacingly.
"I like it that way." Shisui replied, standing on the trunk of the tree, his body parallel to the ground.
Naruto scoffed, leaning forward. "That's a nifty jutsu you use! What's it's name?" Naruto asked, voice playful.
"Wouldn't you like to know?" The Uchiha smirked, releasing the chakra at his feet and falling into the branch just under him.
When Naruto didn't see him fall back out, he decided that he didn't want to know where 'Shisui' would pop up again. "Che" He growled, exploding off of the branch he rested on and flew ahead once again, this time watching his surroundings more carefully.
Itachi, Gaara and Kakashi raced through the trees in hot pursuit of Naruto and Sasuke. Itachi pulled ahead, determined to reclaim his brother and severely maim that crazy bastard that took off with him. He was grateful that it was his cousin who had followed after first, knowing that Shisui was the fastest among them.
His eyes glanced back, falling onto the redhead once again. He didn't know the new shinobi at all, and had never even so much as seen him around town before. The Uchiha could tell that whoever he was, physical activity at high speed wasn't his area of expertise. In fact, Itachi decided as he noticed the sweat developing over the older teen's face, the redhead was incredibly out of shape.
"Who are you?" He finally asked, his voice clear and leaving no doubt that he wanted answers.
Kakashi answered for Gaara, who hadn't even spared Itachi a glance. "That's classified information by order of the Hokage." He said, grunting as he landed roughly on the thin branch of one of the many trees.
Itachi's eyes narrowed. "Who kidnapped my brother?"
This time, Gaara did answer. "Kujomaru. He escaped from a level three high security prison just outside of Konoha three days ago. His whereabouts were unknown until this morning, and we have been in pursuit of him since." He said, reciting the information Kakashi had given him just moments before their ruse began. "He had been captured by your father, Fugaku Uchiha, last year and has been adamant on revenge."
Itachi's heart raced as he recognized the name. "He was arrested for acts of terrorism against the police force-- it took half of the entire military police force to capture him!"
At this, Gaara and Kakashi shared an equally confused look. Naruto had acquired him with no trouble this morning, and a single year of incarceration was hardly enough time for a shinobi that strong to lose so much strength by inactivity. "I think you may have confused your facts, Itachi." Kakashi said, leaping ahead to be next to the thirteen-year-old. "We have had--"
Itachi turned towards Kakashi, and his eyes had such an obvious presence of complete fear that the silver-haired teen couldn't help but think that he had completely, utterly, irreversibly fucked up somewhere when deciding to use Kujomaru as the foundation for this mission. "You're the ones with the backwards information-- I'm not worried about Kujomaru!" He rushed, pumping chakra into his feet and exploding ahead.
Itachi set his jaw, praying that he would get to his brother in time.
Gaara panted, catching up to Kakashi. The teen sent the Konoha native a dark look, already irritated with the mess that the day had dissolved into. "What did you miss?" He demanded. "Itachi is not the type to act this rashly. Whatever went wrong is serious."
Kakashi wracked his brain, unable to figure out his mistake. "I don't know, Itachi implied that it wasn't Kujomaru himself that was the problem."
As soon as the words left the Hatake's mouth, he found himself flying towards the ground at an alarming speed, the wind knocked out of him by Itachi's impact. "Wh--!"
Itachi twisted against Kakashi, coughing blood into the air as the ANBU captain managed to catch the two of them and land in a long, unsteady skid against the forest floor. "Fuck--" Itachi grabbed Kakashi's vest, roughly twisting them both out of the way as a spear landed.
Kakashi watched with wide eyes as more than a few strands of his hair fell.
Gaara almost lost his footing as he made an impromptu landing against a thick tree branch, his head twisting almost too quickly towards the direction the spear came from. He strove to catch his breath, the sand against his skin shifting and lifting, revealing his true clothes and dissolving the appearance of the Konoha uniform he sported just moments before.
The sand floated around him eerily, not exactly knowing which direction it needed to protect him from. "Identify yourself!" He called out, glancing with his peripheral vision to make sure that his comrades were not hurt.
The redhead's eyes widened, his vision suddenly distorted and seeing everything as though he were underwater. The future Kazekage leaned forward, his hand clutching onto the tree's bark in desperate attempt to make sure he didn't fall. "What is this...?" He hissed, his grip fluctuating between strong and weak without his control. A distorted cackle emerged from the large, open view of trees and branches and Gaara immediately recognized it as not being Naruto.
He swore, wincing as his eyes grew over sensitive to the midday light.
"Well, well, well... If it isn't the heir to the amazing Uchiha clan, in the flesh." The voice called, sounding closer this time. "Well, I take that back."
Itachi cried out, suddenly having an impossibly heavy weight slammed into his back and pinning him against the already short winded Kakashi. The man, abnormally tall and incredibly large in both fat and muscle, leaned over a bit, grinding his foot into the young teen's spine. "In the flesh, before I peel it off, that is." He laughed.
"W-Who are you?" Kakashi gasped out, feeling the pressure on his ribs growing.
The man lifted his head, frowning as he turned to the side and lazily reached to retrieve his weapon. "Like that's any of your fuckin' business." He said, spinning the long weapon in his fingers with ease. It stopped short, the blade a mere inch from Kakashi's throat. "You have three seconds to tell me where I can find a blond ninja with whisker tattoos and wears orange, or you'll be breathing from a tube for the rest of your life."
Gaara's heart stopped for a moment, instantly realizing that this new enemy was looking for Naruto.
At that moment, the reason Itachi's worry became obviously clear to the redhead. He hadn't been worried about Kujomaru, he had been worried about his partner.
"We don't know who you mean!" The future Kazekage called, feeling his equilibrium slowly returning. "Identify yourself!" He ordered again, reappearing on the flat earth before he ended up in a position where he would fall.
The sand floated above him, blocking the sun as best it could. He had recalled Itachi saying that it took half of the entire police force-- composed entirely of Jonin level shinobi-- having trouble capturing this man. He treaded lightly, his mind racing as he tried to figure out a way to release Itachi and Kakashi from his hold unhurt.
The man sent him a dark look, his foot not lifting any of it's weight from the struggling Uchiha's back, or moving his spear the slightest millimeter from it's dangerous position. "What's wrong with you assholes? It's rude to answer a question with another question, you know." He huffed, earning a loud scream from his two captives as he pressed more weight on them.
He smirked at the loud 'snaps' of their ribs giving away. "Now, I'll ask you again: Where can I find a blond ninja with whisker tattoos that wears orange? He took off with my partner, and you've been in contact." He repeated, any signs of joviality leaving his expression.
Gaara's slightly shifting fingers went unnoticed, his chakra swimming beneath the earth. "I've already stated that I don't know anyone by that description." He said calmly, his breath finally returning to him.
Just a little more...
The burly man didn't look impressed. "Quit fuckin' lying. I can smell him on you." He said, eyes falling to the teen's one visible hand.
Gaara scowled slightly, remembering that to be the hand that he had used to pull the drugs out of the corpse. This new enemy could smell blood so faint, so far away? After he had washed the appendage, and even exposed it to other elements? What kind of nose did this monster have?
"Excuse me for saying this, but you don't seem the type to keep many friends." Gaara said, his hidden hand making a slow curving motion.
"What is your interest in the man ? Is he kin? Perhaps a slave of some sort?" Gaara continued.
The man growled, his grip on his spear tightening. "Look here, asshole, I've got the hostages, so you aren't in any place to question me. Tell me what I wanna know or I'll make sure your buddy here chokes on his own blood!"
Gaara's face relaxed significantly, almost fooling the man into thinking the teen had cracked a minuscule grin for a moment. The redheads arm swooped forward, sending a tidal wave of earth towards his enemy. The man cursed, nearly falling over when his weight was thrown off. His eyes glanced back towards his hostages long enough for him to see the earth suddenly collapse under them, swallowing them whole as if it had a life of it's own.
He gripped his spear, swinging it in a wide arc and dispersing the sand that threatened to envelope him long enough for the convict to escape. "Ha!" He shouted, landing up in one of the lowest surrounding tree branches.
Gaara's face remained lax, expanding the bubble of air twenty feet below the ground's surface, shielding his injured comrades and allowing them more time to regain themselves. "You have no chance of escaping my sand." He stated calmly, eyes relaxing as the glare of the light around him began to return to normal.
The convict sneered. "Oh, I doubt that." He sang, standing and holding his spear just ahead of him. With a grace that could only be gained from years of practice, he began to spin it. "I am Akuratsu the Blinding, the man who challenged the Uchiha!" He shouted, releasing a pulse of chakra.
Gaara's sand reacted, shielding the redhead from the barrage of wind that came his way. The earthen guard slithered away, allowing the slightly remaining breeze to shift it's master's hair. Gaara stared ahead unflinchingly, his eyes dark, showing that he was falling into a mood for bloodshed. "I am Gaara of the Desert." He said evenly, raising one arm. "You..."
Gaara abruptly shut his eyes, hissing as the sudden light sensitivity returned with a vengeance. "Damnit." He growled, the sand around him reacting as though it were confused. "What is this?" He demanded, unable to even squint.
The convict laughed, pulling up the bladed end of his spear and blowing the remains of a nearly invisible powder away. He reached into the folds of his cloths, pulling out a small, thin ball of the strange mixture and pressing it against the blade, sliding it down the pole, spreading it excessively. "This is a perfected poison dust that my clan has used for centuries. Does everything seem bright to you? Do you feel seasick suddenly?" He laughed, holding his hand out and blowing the remains of the powder towards Gaara tauntingly. "I'll admit that your little sand trick is tough, and obviously useful, but it's worthless against me!"
Gaara let out a grunt of frustration, mentally calling the sand back to him and forming a hardened shield around himself. As the last traces of light vanished, the teen opened his eyes, quickly noticing his ability to see better in the dark.
He fell into a sitting position, his hands quickly working into a series of seals he had done numerous times today. "Persistent..." He muttered, closing his eyes and bring two fingers over the right.
The convict smirked, seeing the large sphere appear around the brat. "Dumbass, you'll need to breathe sometime..." He chuckled, blinking when he noticed a floating ball of some sort starting to form just above the hiding kid.
He raised an eyebrow, seeing it take on the form of an eye, turning in random directions before falling onto him.
The man grinned widely. "Heh... brat's more resourceful than I thought." He muttered, crouching a bit more in his excitement. "This oughta be interestin'!"
Naruto swore as he scrambled out of the way of another insanely fast Grand Fireball. The chakra enhanced embers brushed the still unconscious Sasuke's hair slightly, the hot air making the black strands float. The masked teen growled to himself, finally having had enough of this duck-and-dodge game that this Shisui bastard loved to play so much.
He brought his fingers together, not at all impeded by Sasuke's mass, and poured out enough chakra to create a thousand clones. "Try and catch us now, Uchiha bastard!" They cackled, all tearing off into different directions.
Shisui remained silent, bleeding out of a broken tree. He watched the clones take off, and turned his activated Sharingan towards the North, where the real body was heading. He remained still, silently rethinking his next course of action.
He could easily tell the clones from the original, just as he could easily tell that those massive amount of clones were shadow clones. No human, Kage included, should be able to conjure that amazing amount of solid bodies without tapping themselves dry and invoking their own death by complete exhaustion.
The amount that he had summoned in their fight before he captured Sasuke had been amazing, but this...
This was insane.
The fourteen-year-old scowled, not glancing from the direction of the escaping madman as one of his own clones shimmered into life, attention equally tuned towards the North.
"Find Itachi and relay this information. I don't think I'll be able to handle this guy on my own."
The clone gave a single nod, rushing back in the direction they came.
For whatever it was worth, Gaara was immensely grateful that while using his Third Eye Jutsu, he was not blinded by the sensitivity his own natural eyes were prone to. He watched his enemy readying himself where he sat on his branch, waiting patiently for him to make a move. The redhead wasn't stupid, he knew Akuratsu was waiting for him to make a move, hoping that he would make an opening to either attack or breathe.
Gaara simply reinforced the sand shell, preventing any further influx of oxygen. The teen expanded his sphere slightly, straining his chakra resources to pull Kakashi and Itachi's large pocket of air from underground up under him. As his foundation crumbled, he landed safely on the ground next to them, pushing the hard minerals that was their shell into his surface sphere.
Itachi held his chest tentatively, wincing a bit as he made room for Gaara in the small space. "I don't know who you are, but you saved our lives." He said, coughing quietly. "Thank you."
Gaara didn't answer him. Instead, he moved his available arm, using his chakra to push and pull the minerals in the surrounding earth. "Please remain silent, it strains my concentration." He said simply, frowning as he realized that Konoha's soil wasn't dry enough for him to use enough sand to create a false desert.
Kakashi swore, falling against the dirt wall, the sweat on his face pouring through his mask. "What happened to that guy?" He asked, not exactly sure where the jinchuuriki was in the pitch black bubble.
Gaara frowned. "He used some sort of eye irritant on me, making me motion sick and incredibly sensitive to light. He seems to use wind currents to make it airborne. I have little doubt that even trace amounts of it causes a potent effect, and that the best course of action is to simply not allow myself to be susceptible to his dust." He supplied, grunting as he balled his fist and pulled his arm back. "He is five meters away, just to my left, off of the ground. He is waiting on me to attack, but growing impatient. He should attack soon."
Itachi watched as best he could in the dark as Gaara moved his arm, grunting ever so often in his efforts to prepare whatever jutsu it was he was working on. "Is this some kind of earth jutsu?" He asked, knocking his fingers against the compressed minerals.
Gaara remained silent for a moment, jerking his arm back. The walls of their shell suddenly opened up, allowing a small burst of fresh air. "...No. It is an ability that I was born with. I believe your country calls is a Kekkeigenkai. Now please, be silent." He said again, ignoring the sweat falling down his face.
Itachi remained silent, watching the redhead with renewed interest. Country...? Was this guy not from Konoha? He had been wearing a leaf on his forehead earlier, but if the shift of the working teen's clothes were anything to go buy, he would deduce that his clothes had somehow changed from the Konoha standard. Who was this guy? A foreign agent working for the Hokage? An intruder? Perhaps someone who had been raised under a foreigner?
Was he in league with that maniac who had kidnapped his brother?
No... Kakashi seemed to know him, and said that his identity was confidential, by the Hokage's order. Whoever he was, if the Hokage knew about him and had him working with Kakashi of all people, then he couldn't be in with a couple escaped convicts. Kakashi was loyal to the Hokage, and thus Konoha and it's people. He wouldn't side with criminals, and he wouldn't let someone who was working with said criminals on the loose.
Itachi shifted his weight painfully, taking a deep breath and readying himself before he stood. He definitely had a broken rib, maybe two. He winced as he took a breath, feeling a rib sharply pressing against his lung. "We need to come up with a plan. Kakashi and I need medical treatment as soon as possible." He gasped, feeling the ribs move unnaturally under his skin.
Gaara remained calm, his arm lifting towards their roof fluidly. Itachi was pushed back to his feet, crying out in pain as their shelter of sorts shifted. "It will be over soon." He said vaguely.
Kakashi coughed, feeling as though he were being lifted. "What's going on?" He asked, worried.
"I am going to kill him." The redhead supplied simply, shifting to a sitting position. Kakashi and Itachi felt the sand on the walls and floor suddenly growing around them, not giving them an inch of room to move from. Gaara watched the convict with unwavering attention, the sand forming a pillar down the middle, securing him.
He opened his eyes once more, the seafoam green irises tinting golden as he called on the chakra of the Shukaku.
On his branch, Akuratsu scowled. His head tilted up to watch the floating mass of sand and stone ten meters above ground. It was large, easily twice as big as it had been before. "What the...?" He wondered aloud, seeing the mass start to shrink, as though compacting itself.
Spikes erupted from it, and Akuratsu's eyes flew open, recognizing the monster above him for what it was. "Shit!" He yelled, nearly loosing his legs as the mass of sand came hurdling down at him at frightening speed.
It rolled against the ground, coming to a complete stop after demolishing a couple dozen trees. The floating eye shifted, falling back onto the convict after a moment. It hovered, twitching every once and a while like a lizard's.
Akuratsu scowled, tightening his grip on his spear. He watched the thing sit still for a long moment, and his scowl lightened to a smirk. That thing was nothing but show! It had speed and destructive power, but if it took so long to ready itself for another attack... "Fuckin' kids these days..." He huffed, reaching into his robes and pulling out a grenade.
The eye fixated on it immediately, shooting up into the sky and out of the way as the huge mass of sand started to spin, rushing up to it's target with alarming speed.
Inside the wrecking ball, Kakashi and Itachi felt sick, completely disorientated and swore to themselves that if they had ever managed to get out of this monstrosity, they would kick the redhead square in the teeth. "S-Stop... I t-think I'm going to..." Itachi gulped, unable to even cover his mouth, his arms being held by the sand.
Kakashi let out a strangled moan.
"Come on out of that thing and face me yourself, fucker!" The convict shouted, narrowly escaping the massive ball again. Instead of being slowed down by the trees it demolished, it simply bounced off of the ground, returning to the air as easily as a seasoned shinobi walked up a wall.
Akuratsu turned in midair, throwing the grenade at the floating eye and letting out a shout of victory as it made a direct hit, releasing a thick, blinding cloud of smoke. He twisted again, landing roughly on the ground and skidding to a halt, his hand spinning his spear confidently. "You little punks are fucked, I've got you figured out now!" He shouted.
Inside the wreaking ball, Gaara allowed himself a small smirk. "Desert Avalanche."
Akuratsu's eyes narrowed, nearly dropping his spear in his shock as the earth beneath him began to roar and shake violently. He leaped up, sweating as he narrowly escaped the hands of sand reaching up and grabbing where he had been mere moments before. He turned his head, suddenly noticing that he didn't have a solid surface to land on. The convict paled, eyes scanning over the solid acre of haunted, shifting sand.
The smoke cleared around the eye of sand, it locking onto him in mere seconds once the obscuring veil lifted.
Akuratsu scowled as he started to make his decent, realizing at that moment how royally fucked he was.
Far off in the distance, a white haired man watched the chaotic events as they unfolded, his presence well hided by the surrounding branches and from all parties involved in the fights. He shifted, his eyes following the massive movement of the trees as an army of clones swept through them.
"So thats him, huh?"
A scowl formed on his face, deepened by the lines that came with his age.
"What the hell is going on?"
Itachi was totally owned by Naruto's Sexy-Jutsu.
...And Naruto totally did it for the lulz.
This chapter took a while to come out with because I'm not really confidant with my ability to write fights, and the fact that I ended up merging what I had of chapter five with it. Thats also partly why its kind of long for my usual length.