They painted up your secrets,
With the lies they told to you,
And the least they ever gave you,
Was the most you ever knew.-Acoustic #3-Goo Goo Dolls
Umino Iruka had done many things in his life he wasn't proud of. He'd cheated on some tests in school. He'd gotten Kou-chan blamed for punching Ayame. He'd killed an innocent on a mission(accidentally). He'd taken far too much pleasure in almost ripping someone apart with a nasty jutsu. He'd killed a child, and there were so many more things he wished he wished he had never done.
He was about to add another thing to that list.
He looked back at the ANBU behind him and received several nods. He walked forward, his senses heightened to new levels of awareness by his own adrenaline and that of the people around him. His footsteps were loud on the ground. All the trees were dead and showering the ground with leaves. Iruka's fingers twitched towards the kunai and shuriken he carried, but he didn't draw any. He walked forward five more steps and stopped.
For an instant there was a terrible silence, and then Iruka heard it. It was a noise that rumbled up from the very ground itself. Iruka felt chakra rush against his skin, and he felt like he was burning. He took a breath, and the air tasted metallic. The rumble slowly died, but the metallic taste lingered. Iruka closed his eyes for a second, and then licked his lips. They tasted like blood.
The word was loud. It made Iruka flinch even as he formed more words to say. "Na-naruto, are you there?"
He received a flash of burning chakra as his answer, and he waited. His muscles knotted, and something in him screamed he should run. The chakra gathering around him was filled with malice and blood-lust. Dead leaves suddenly showered down from one tree, each bursting into flame before it hit the ground. Iruka's hands tightened into fists as he waited for the entire forest to burst into flame.
It didn't, and Iruka waited. His breath was coming fast, and sweat was pouring down his face. He knew he should run. Chakra was building around him like a thunder storm. He could almost see it as it swirled through the air. Each breath burned in his lungs.
"Sssssenseeeei," a voice hissed. Iruka's entire body shivered. His skin crawled, and it was all he could do to stand still. He wanted to close his eyes, but he couldn't. He watched as something slid around the trees and stopped.
Iruka wet his lips again and tried twice before he managed to speak. "Naruto, come here," He whispered hoarsely. The chakra was now accompanied with a scent that made Iruka gag. It was a heavy, clinging, musky odor that Iruka could taste.
Leaves crackled and broke all around Iruka. He could now tell where the smell and chakra were coming from. He watched in fascinated horror as the creature moved forward. Once it had been a boy, a small, golden-haired boy with big blue eyes and a smile like no other. Once it had been a promising shinobi with a love for his comrades and village. Once it had been Uzumaki Naruto.
Now it was something else. The limbs were too long, and the ears had lengthened obscenely. It possessed claws and mouthful of fangs. It moved with in a way that made searching eyes slide over it, except when it wanted to be seen. If it wanted to be seen then it caught someone with its eyes. Those eyes were a terrifying bloody red, and one look drained the courage from any shinobi.
Iruka stood his ground, and watched the creature slide closer. The leaves it touched were burned up instantly. Chakra glowed around it. Blood stained what was left of its clothes and its sharp claws. It advanced on Iruka, eyes glued to him.
Iruka stood. His heart hammered in his chest, and his mind went to the ANBU behind him. He remembered the hawk ANBU's plan for the disposal of the creature. He remembered the trigger point for the trap, which was only three yards in front of him, and what would happen when the creature triggered the trap. For a moment he almost shouted for the creature to run, and then he saw the blood stained claws. He kept his gaze low and began to speak again.
"Where've you been Naruto?" he asked. He licked his lips again, and his voice cracked. " 'S'been a while, huh?"
The creature growled low in its throat and continued its sliding advance. Iruka struggled to keep his eyes on it. It finally stopped, and regarded him. Iruka felt a stab of regret, but he remembered what he'd been told. There was no Naruto left in the beast. Naruto had been devoured by the Kyuubi...
Iruka's heart suddenly clenched. If Naruto was gone, why was he calling for the boy? Why was the Kyuubi coming closer to a man that was calling for Naruto? Why did they need him, Iruka, to call out the Kyuubi? Why did they need the first person Naruto had ever learned to trust? Unless...
Iruka looked up. He met the eyes of the creature, which neither moved towards him nor away. It looked at him, and the eyes were red. Around the pupil the eyes were an obscenely bright red, but the color faded as it traveled out, and on the very edges of the iris there was a ring of dull purple.
"Sssssenssseeeei?" the creature almost purred as it again began moving forward. Iruka' eyes widened, and he stepped back. The creature advanced more, its lips spread wide enough to reveal all its teeth. In seconds it would be close enough for to trigger the trap. In a few more steps...
Iruka's mouth opened and was instantly filled with a musky, bloody taste. This was a creature that had been terrorizing Konoha for months now. This was the Kyuubi who'd killed Iruka's parents. This was a mindless killing beast that needed to be killed itself.
So why did it answer to Naruto's name?
There was a crackle of chakra. The creature that 'was not' Naruto took a step forward. Iruka drew a deep breath and shouted: "Naruto! Move!"
The creature was instantly in action, leaping up and away. There was an explosion of chakra that sent Iruka flying backwards. He had a sensation of white everywhere for a few jarring seconds. Iruka hit the ground and slid through the crackling leaves. He heard a deafening noise, almost like a roar and almost like a scream. His clutched his head in his hands, and felt wet flow between his fingers.
The noise stopped suddenly, taking with it the overwhelming chakra and smell. For a moment Iruka was disoriented. He staggered to his feet and looked. The ground was covered in a fine ash, and Iruka could see the ANBU looking towards him. They were talking, but Iruka couldn't hear them. He just knew they were talking, and they were talking about him. He had just completely thrown the mission. He'd just allowed the Kyuubi to escape. Only...
It hadn't been just the Kyuubi. They'd lied to him. They'd said Naruto was gone, devoured by the Kyuubi's demonic presence. They'd said it would be a service to Naruto to stop the Kyuubi from using his body. They'd said Naruto was gone. They'd liedto him! They'd tried to make him kill Naruto!
The ANBU moved, but Iruka's hands were already falling into signs. He pulled chakra, and slammed all his anger into a jutsu he hadn't used in almost ten years. He'd purposely failed a mission and put fellow shinobi in danger. He was now attacking his fellow shinobi, but he didn't care. He didn't care!
They'd tried to make him kill Naruto. They'd lied to him.
Water washed violently through the clearing, tearing down trees and sweeping away everything in its path. The ANBU that dodged clung to the top branches of tree grimly, and waited for the water to subside. It did, but there was nothing to see but damp dead grass swept clean.
A/N: Are you wondering what the heck's going on? Yeah, I was too after I wrote this. I'd intended to write a short, messy, bloody death fic 'cause I was upset, but Iruka and Naruto ran away with it...
Anyway, hope you enjoyed it, and please review!