Kamikaze no Naruto

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Six year old Naruto Uzumaki huddled further into the hole in the wall he'd found concealed behind a refuse pile in the poor district of Konoha where the blonde bundle of energy lived. Shivering against the unseasonable cold, Naruto pulled his orange jacket tighter around himself to keep the warmth in. People constantly made fun of his clothes, but to him they were the nicest things he'd ever owned and he'd bought them with money that he'd worked hard to save. They were thick and sturdy and, above all, orange which was the most glorious color in the world. It was eye catching and vibrant, just like Naruto always strove to be.

Today was not a good day for Naruto to stand out, though, and the small boy cursed himself for forgetting the yearly festivities that accompanied his birthday. Every year on October 10th the village celebrated the defeat of the monstrous Kyuubi no Kitsune by the late Yondaime Hokage. There were parties and bonfires and game booths for the children and lots of drinking for the adults. Later, after the children of the village had drowsed off, some of the inebriated adults would indulge in one of their favorite pastimes: Naruto hunting.

The blonde had no idea why so many adults took such great pleasure in searching him out in their drunken stupor and beating him until someone showed up to stop them. It had always been the same ones who came to help, the people in the white animal masks. They made the drunks stop and took Naruto back to the orphanage or more recently to his apartment. Nothing was ever said and the bruising and pain were gone the next day, but this one day had always stood out in his memory. So why had he forgotten it now?

"Where'd the demon brat go," a drunken voice slurred from the street nearby, causing Naruto to hold his breath and hope they went away.

"Don't know," another voice replied as the sound of a stream of water indicated the man was relieving himself against one of the nearby walls. "The little bastard gets better at hiding every year."

"Damn Demon," the first drunk rambled. "Should've killed it right away. Can't understand why the Hokage let it live."

"Who knows," the other commented with a grunt as the stream of water slowed to a stop. "Still, who'd have believed that the great Kyuubi no Kitsune could be turned into a little kid like that blond brat?"

"Shh," hissed the first drunk. "You're risking your life talking about that. You know the penalty if one of the demon lovers hears you talking about the big secret."

"Yeah, you're right. We should catch up to the others. Maybe they've caught him already and I don't want to miss out…" The men's voices drifted off as they moved on down the street, leaving a wide eyed Naruto shaking as he sat inside his hidey hole.

I'm a demon, he asked himself, one hand reaching up to touch the raised whisker marks on his cheek. I guess it all makes sense. The way they treated me at the orphanage, the way the teachers at the Academy treat me, the way the shopkeepers won't let me in or charge three times the listed price for everything, the way the villagers glare and even spit at me all makes sense no. I'm the demon that nearly destroyed the village six years ago.

Wait a minute, he thought as his mind spiraled around the new revelation. If I'm the demon, why am I so weak and why does jiji play with me? He wouldn't play with me if I was a demon, so maybe these guys have it wrong. Maybe the demon's trapped inside me like it's in a prison. Then the old man would play with me cause I'm a jailor not a demon. Proud of his logic, Naruto gave an emphatic nod as he realized that all the villagers and most of the ninja still hated him nonetheless. Well, who cares what they think! I've got jiji, Ayame-neechan and Teuchi-ojiisan who like me and I don't need anyone else. I'll become strong enough to protect them and to hell with the rest of the village!

"He's over there," a voice cried out nearby, jerking Naruto from his thoughts. "His chakra just spiked from over behind the garbage pile!" Naruto scrabbled as deep into the hole as he could, but light bloomed behind him and the blonde could feel hands reaching in to grab his ankle. He kicked out at the encroaching hands, but it was a futile effort as someone got a firm grip and pulled the boy out of the hole in one swift motion.

As Naruto was thrown to the street, a strange sensation began to build inside as he curled into a ball to protect his face and stomach from the oncoming blows. Kicks and strikes with blunt objects rained down while Naruto began to feel a strange tingling sensation and noticed a breeze playing back and forth across his body. It wasn't until he heard the sound of a blade being drawn that he began to panic, though, and the wind began to pick up as if in response to his fear.

"We should just finish the demon off right now," a hard, bitter voice stated with a cold contempt. "It's been allowed to live long enough and now that senile fool of a Hokage has let him into the Academy where he endangers our children." Naruto felt the sensation grow even stronger as his anger built. How dare they insult jiji, he railed silently.

"Now we'll finish the job Yondaime started six years ago and kill the monster once and for all," a slurred voice said. Pain blossomed in Naruto's side as a blade of some kind stabbed in deeply. The strange energy that had been building inside of him seemed to explode outwards as Naruto screamed in pain from the wound. The breeze that had been playing across him swirled into an intense gale of wind around the doomed boy. He could vaguely hear shouting and screams of pain over the howls of wind, but strangely enough the gale did no worse than blow gently across him as the darkness claimed Naruto's consciousness.

Sarutobi watched over the still form on the bed with a worried crease marring his already wrinkled brow. He loved Naruto like he was his own, but had been unable to take the boy in due to the circumstances of his position. It had been a cruel choice the Sandaime had been faced with six years prior when the Yondaime had dies in his effort to seal away the demon that was attacking the village. He had the choice to take the boy in and allow the Council to select their own Godaime, which would most likely have been Danzou or someone of like mind, or he could resume the title of Hokage and put what protections he could around the boy while watching from a distance. Obviously he'd chosen to resume his position, since he couldn't abandon the village to suffer under someone like Danzou.

That decision meant that Naruto had to be sent to the orphanage which was already filled to the brim with other orphans of the Kyuubi's attack. Sarutobi had hoped that this would allow Naruto some anonymity, but had underestimated how quickly word had spread about the boy's seal and whereabouts. The ANBU team he'd assigned to keep an eye on him had barely been able to stop the first wave of grief-stricken and vengeance obsessed ninja and civilians. That had forced his hand and he'd put a law in place to prevent people from talking about the demon or attacking Naruto by making it a capital offence and therefore punishable by death.

That didn't fully stop the attacks, especially around the festival celebrating the defeat of the Kyuubi but it had kept them to manageable levels which had slowly petered out over the years. Naruto had learned to avoid situations that would be dangerous for him, even though his pranks tended to piss off various civilians they were generally only done in places where there was a low chance of retaliation. Things had been a great deal better since the boy had moved out of the orphanage, as the ANBU watching the boy didn't have to worry so much about innocent bystanders.

Strangely enough, Naruto had managed to develop a level of stealth and ability to sense the presence of others that allowed him to elude his watchdogs on numerous occasions. This, of course, frustrated the ANBU a great deal and had amused the Sandaime more than anything since Jiraiya had left the village. It was unusual to say the least to have a six year old with stealth and sensory abilities most chuunin would kill to possess, although it had not helped Naruto the precious evening.

"Jiji, is that you," the boy asked softly, drawing Sarutobi out of his musings.

"Yes it is, Naruto," he replied fondly as the blonde groaned and rolled over in the bed to face him. "How are you feeling?"

"Sore…and tired and hungry," Naruto said, his face flushing in embarrassment as his stomach growled loudly. "I don't remember ever being this tired or hungry before,"

"Do you remember what happened last night?" Naruto nodded and buried his face in the pillow to hide his expression. "Naruto, I need you to tell me what happened. Something drained your chakra to the dregs and there was a large amount of damage to the areas around where you were found." Better not tell him about the bodies, Sarutobi thought. Even though there was no indication of the boy tapping the Kyuubi's chakra, whatever he did cut those people into dozens of pieces and I'd rather he not have to deal with that at such a young age.

"I dunno, jiji," Naruto replied, rolling his face back into sight with his eyes scrunched shut in concentration. "I remember running cause I got caught out after the festival by a bunch of drunks and I'd managed to find a good hiding place. Somehow they found me and pulled me out into the street where they started hitting me. I don't remember too much else except that it got really windy and someone stabbed me and I blacked out."

Sarutobi nodded while fighting internally not to frown. A vague notion tickled at the back of his mind for attention and his eyes widened as he realized what had occurred to him. Reaching into one of the pockets sewn into the sleeves of his robe, the Sandaime pulled out a small slip of paper and handed it to Naruto. "I want you to try and channel a little bit of chakra into this paper. Don't push too much or I'll have the doctors screaming at me for letting a patient exert themselves."

"Feh, as if the doctors have ever given a damn about me," Naruto grumbled as he took the paper from the old man. The blonde scrunched his face as he concentrated on channeling his chakra into the paper, only to frown when nothing happened.

"Don't fret, Naruto," Saurtobi said reassuringly at the boy's crestfallen expression. "You academy class is only starting to learn how to channel your chakra, so it shouldn't…" The old Hokage's voice trailed off as the paper suddenly fell apart into dozens of small pieces with clean cuts.

"Wow, that's really cool, jiji," Naruto exclaimed loudly and the fragments of paper were suddenly caught in a gust of wind and seemed to dance around the room while the blonde cheered.

"Well, I think I have and idea what happened, Naruto," Sarutobi said slowly once he managed to pull his jaw off the floor. "Now if I could only figure out how…"