DISCLAIMER: If I owned Naruto, Itachi would've killed Sasuke, Jiraiya would still be alive, and Naruto wouldn't be so ridiculously underpowered. None of these are the case, so I guess Kishimoto still owns it.
Thoughts / Speaking to inner demon
Sealed demon speaking
The story starts the night after Naruto and Sasuke's battle in the Valley of the End. Most of what happened before this point is canon, any differences will be denoted by A/N.
Chapter 1: Enough is enough
Midnight in Konohagakure was usually quiet and peaceful. The tranquility was broken tonight by the harsh glow of fire and the excited shouts of the village's residents. Today was a great day, for today the demon boy was going to die. The palpable stench of bloodlust filled the air as citizens ran by carrying whatever weapons they could find, and certain of the ninja rushed about almost too fast to spot.
There! The demon brat, the Kyuubi's spawn, the devil child. Clad all in orange, the boy fled from the crowd, and the chase was on.
Naruto's chest was burning. It felt like he had been running for hours, and yet the mob behind him showed no signs of tiring. It was worse than usual. This time it wasn't just the citizens; there were ninja in that crowd. The Third had managed to keep the ninja mostly under control, but with him dead…there was very little stopping them from expressing their rage and hatred. Tsunade spent too much of her time drunk to deal with any problems. He was also tired and injured, with a sizeable hole in his 12-year-old body from Sasuke, and that didn't help his escape effort much either. It wouldn't be long before he would have to start calling on the fox's chakra. He was starting to burn out, and he wasn't near any of his little hidey-holes where he would normally wait out the hordes that hunted him.
As the boy raced through the streets, though, he noticed that the area seemed familiar. Not having time to dwell on this, though, he kept running. At the first intersection he came to, Naruto took a right. Hey, isn't that Sakura's house? It is! I can hide there! She might be violent sometimes, and way too obsessed over Sasuke-teme, but we're teammates after all. Her mother hates me, but she's not there much so I should be safe.
His mind decided, the boy raced towards the home of his 'crush'. Stopping abruptly at the front door, he knocked frantically. Soon enough, Sakura opened the door.
"Naruto! What the hell are you doing here? It's so late!"
Ok, now act infatuated. He grinned impishly and scratched the back of his head. "Uh, hi Sakura-chan. I was kinda wondering if you could – ." He never got any further, as she cut him off impatiently.
"You went after Sasuke, right? Where is he?"
He hung his head. "…Sakura-chan…I tried, I really did…Sasuke…he – he left. To go to Orochimaru."
Silence. He began to raise his head, and was greeted with a fist to the stomach. Already weakened from his fight earlier that day, he was unable to keep his balance and fell to his knees.
Another blow to his chest knocked him to the ground. Sakura started screaming at him.
"Dammit Naruto, why the hell didn't you get him back? You promised me! You promised you'd bring back Sasuke-kun! What is it that you always say? 'I never break a promise cause that's my nindo, my ninja way?' You failed me, Naruto."
This was punctuated by a blow to the head. It hurt. Naruto felt dizzy; there seemed to be three Sakura-chans standing over him. The three began to speak again.
"You ruined everything. You always do. Sasuke-kun…Sasuke-kun was Team 7. Without him, we're nothing…I'm nothing…"
Gradually the 3 girls merged back into one. She was sobbing hysterically.
"I'm sick of you always failing Naruto. I hate you. I just wish you would go and die."
With that, she turned on her heel and walked back into her house, locking the door behind her. Naruto didn't move from his position sprawled out in the dirt in front of the porch. Sakura…why? We're teammates dammit! I tried my hardest; what more can you ask for? if I used any more of Kyuubi's chakra he would've died…I tried, Sakura, which is one hell of a lot more than you can say. 'Oh Naruto, please get Sasuke-kun back for me!' You didn't do anything, and yet you think you can treat me like this? Ugh, why did I ever choose you for my pretend crush? Sure, to keep the mask it had to be someone, but...
He gradually drifted into unconsciousness.
Naruto woke up slowly, and found himself in a strange situation. It was very dark, and he was leaning against a tree with his arms outstretched. When he went to move his right arm, the pain almost knocked him out again; he was pinned to the tree by kunai through his wrists. Somehow he avoided any pain-induced spasms, and remained completely still. Once the pain subsided slightly, he began to examine his surroundings.
The area was familiar. He was just outside the village walls, near one of his favoured training spots. Usually it was an empty, peaceful area…the 6 ninja sitting nearby surprised him.
Naruto attempted to call for help, but all that came out was a croak. His throat was too dry for speech. They heard him nonetheless. Three of them stood up; a man in his mid thirties with coarse brown hair and black eyes covered in a brown cloak, a woman in her early twenties with black hair and green eyes, dressed in a blue-green kimono altered for easy of movement, and a boy of perhaps 15, dressed entirely in black, wearing a customized chuunin vest filled with explosive tags, kunai and senbon needles, with a tanto strapped to his right side.
His mute distress noises were easily interpreted. Please, help me down. It hurts. Instead of helping, though, the youth withdrew a kunai and spun it around his finger.
"So, the demon wants help, does it? Sure thing." And with that, the boy threw the blade into Naruto's thigh. Naruto tried to scream with pain, but still was incapable of producing a sound.
The man spoke. "That's good, Hansuke. Now if you'll just let me –"
The boy's eyes narrowed in anger. "I outrank you, Kazuaki. You can watch."
Naruto, watching this, finally understanding just how much the villagers hated him. The civilians had always shown this kind of hatred, but now that the shinobi were joining in as well… It hurt, this knowledge, far more than the physical pain did. He was an optimist by nature, and always tried to see the best in people, but for the village to hate him still, after all he had done, all he had sacrificed for it… No more. Everyone has a breaking point, and Naruto had just reached his. He watched Hansuke attached an explosive tag to another of his kunai, and realized that there was only one way out of this. His chakra was gone; he had used it all up in the fight against Sasuke and he hadn't been able to eat and rest.
Naruto closed his eyes.
Well it's about time, kit. I thought you were just going to let them kill you.
Not today. Not ever, if I can help it. Look you dammed fox, I need your power to get out of this.
As much as you can give me.
Kyuubi chuckled. I thought you'd never ask.
Later it would occur to Naruto that his "guest" was acting strangely; no insults, no death threats, and really cooperative; it almost seemed like the demon was being nice. For now, though, he focused entirely on those standing in front of him.
The woman was the first to notice Naruto's changing features. "Kazuaki, Hansuke – his eyes! The demon is struggling! Kill him now, before he gets loose!"
With a scream of rage, Hansuke threw the kunai at Naruto.
He ripped his arm away from the tree, and the hole in his wrist healed almost instantly. He grabbed the improvised explosive just before it hit him in the face, and threw it back at its owner. The boy was hit in the stomach, and had just enough time to scream before it exploded.
When the smoke cleared, Naruto had already run forward and punched Kazuaki in the chest. He fell backwards into the circle of the other three ninjas, who were just becoming aware of the problem. Naruto spun, ducked under a high kick thrown by the woman, and punched his left fist through her chest. He pulled back his arm, but she refused to fall off. The two stared each other face to face, tear-filled green eyes meeting enraged red slitted ones. With his other hand he pushed her off and she fell to the dirt and began to convulse.
By this point, the remaining ten shinobi had reached him. Not waiting for them to strike first, Naruto shot forward at the closest one and kicked him in the head, knocking him back into a tree. He reached out to his left and ripped the weapons pouch off of another of his assailants, then flipped over them towards the man he had just flattened while pulling out several shuriken in mid-air. The first was launched into the fallen man's throat. As the nine live ninja rushed him, he threw 4 more with demon-enhanced speed, and fatally injured another of the attackers. By that point, the rest had reached him. Naruto made the ram sign. "Kage Bunshin no jutsu!"
Fifteen red-eyed Naruto clones appeared, and immediately set to work; punching, kicking, stabbing and otherwise maiming the rogue shinobi. After the brutality ceased, Naruto was left standing surrounded by bodies and four shadow clones that had survived.
The young genin sat down and tried to think of what to do next. This proved to be a mistake; the second he relaxed, Kyuubi's chakra left him. It had been the only thing giving him energy. Naruto fell face first into the dirt, and was dimly aware of his clones poof-ing out of existence before darkness took him.
The first rays of the sun peered down onto the gradually awakening genin. Naruto hadn't expected to survive the night. I killed shinobi. Oh Kami, what am I going to do now? Sure they would've killed me, but for the 'demon brat' even self-defence isn't allowed.
He looked down at himself; sure enough, while his clothes were ripped and slashed almost beyond recognition, and it looked like he had bathed in blood, the injuries were all but gone. The only good thing that damned fox has ever done for me. …Why me? What kind of twisted fuck would seal the leader of the tailed demons into a baby?!
He didn't have time to dwell on this though. Day was swiftly approaching, and it was becoming clear to him that staying in Konoha was not an option. Sure, I have "friends" here. Even if they missed me at all, their lives would be better off without me around. With his mind now made up, the only thing to do was pack. He couldn't say goodbye. Firstly, it would be too painful, and secondly, someone might try to stop him. He had to leave, for the good of his friends, as well as the good of the village.
He realized during the last attack that he was never going to be Hokage. Even supposing he was the most qualified ninja for the job, the overwhelming hatred for him possessed by most of the populace would prevent it. No matter what he did, no matter how hard he tried, no matter what miracles he pulled off, nothing was ever good enough. Always he was the deadlast, the idiot, the demon brat… The list went on. Even the most determined of ninja had their limits. Now, his only goal was to prove to Konoha just how wrong they had been about him.
He stood up, doing his best to ignore the sharp pain in his chest where Sakura slugged him the night before. Fucking fox can't even make a decent job of it. Now somewhat steady on his feet, he began the walk to his apartment. No one was on the streets; it was too early for that, for which he was grateful. It meant he didn't have to deal with the glares, and the pointing, and the occasional rock. You have to wonder what they were thinking. If I really was the Kyuubi incarnate, wouldn't I just kill them for treating me like this? Heck, wouldn't I kill them for no reason at all? And yet, here I am, always working my ass off without a sliver of thanks…it makes me sick.
He realized that he'd wandered slightly off the road. Directly in front of him was a large, well-maintained compound, complete with guards at the entrances. Hmm. So that's where Neji and Hinata live. He continued on, ignoring the looks the guards gave him. The pair of white eyes peering at him from a second floor window, eyes that widened when they saw the horrid state he was in, escaped his notice altogether.
Upon arriving home, he ripped off the remnants of his garments and tossed them on the floor. After taking a quick shower to clean the evidence of the battle off of himself, he dressed in another identical orange jumpsuit. He absolutely loathed the things, but shops charged him such outrageous prices that the suits were all he could afford. First village I get to, I'm getting some real clothes!
Time to pack up. He pulled out a series of storage scrolls. One of his interests was Fuuinjutsu, and he had "borrowed" several books on the subject from the library.
He opened the first of his scrolls and carefully sealed three jumpsuits into it. He had more, but didn't feel like packing things he would never use. Weapons and tools went into the second scroll, food went into the third, his instant ramen stash filled the fourth, and any miscellaneous items filled the fifth. One last scroll was pulled out, and he filled it with books; over the years, he had stolen a large number of books and scrolls on various types of jutsus, the history and cultures of the elemental nations, and various other subjects that he thought might be useful. He then sealed the six larger scrolls within one smaller one and tucked it into his weapon pouch.
Naruto sighed. He wished he could just go to the front counter and check out books like a normal person, but aside from the fact that none of the librarians acknowledged his existence, it was hard to explain an interest in "Fuuinjutsu for the Beginning Seal Master" or "Kenjutsu Katas: Dance of the Hummingbird" while keeping up his "dobe" façade. He knew that the only thing that had kept him alive this long was that the village didn't view him as a threat.
With all his possessions packed, the boy left his former home behind, not even bothering to lock the door.
As Naruto walked down the dirt road towards the main village gate, he began to feel uneasy, like someone was watching him. He looked over his shoulder and out of the corner of his eye saw someone duck behind a house.
He continued on his way, acting like nothing was up. When he was about a block from the gate, he turned down an alleyway. As soon as he was out of sight, he sprinted forwards and dropped behind some garbage cans.
It didn't take long for his pursuer to catch up. Quick footsteps approached his impromptu hiding place. Naruto remained completely still and stared at the metal can in front of him. He readied a kunai.
The footsteps passed him, and he sprang out, grabbed the person by the hair, and placed the blade at their neck. It was at this point that he realized who he was holding.
"H-Hinata! What are you doing here?" Suspicion filled him. "Are you trying to kill me too?"
The girl squeaked. "N-N-Na-Naru-t-to-k-kun…I-I…w-would n-never…" She trailed off.
He let her go, but kept the business end of his blade pointed at her as she turned around.
"Why are you following me?"
Hinata stared at the ground. "I-I saw y-you wal-walking h-home and… y-you we-were all b-bloo-bloody a-and h-hurt and I-I… I w-want-ed to kn-know if y-you w-were ok…"
Now that's a surprise…she actually cares about me? Me, the demon brat? And apparently she isn't pissed with me because I hurt that bastard Sasuke…
She wasn't going to attack him, so he put the kunai away.
"N-Naruto-k-kun w-why a-are you l-leaving so e-early?"
He looked at her for a moment before realizing what she meant. She thinks I'm just going to train…well, technically I am, but I'm not coming back from this training session.
"Hinata… Some people tried to kill me again last night. I'm leaving the village."
Her head shot up and she finally looked him in the eyes; he was surprised to see her crying. "N-no N-Naruto-k-kun p-p-please d-don't leave…"
He laughed bitterly. "I have to. This isn't the first time. Eventually more, stronger ninja are going to come after me. I don't have a choice."
Her eyes were turned down towards the ground and her hair obscured her face. "W-why d-do th-they hate N-Naruto-kun so m-much?"
He hesitated, then sighed. "I might as well tell you. You'll probably hate me too, afterwards."
Her head shot up. "I would never hate Naruto-kun!"
Wow…she didn't even stutter. How come she likes me so much?
"Remember in school when they taught us about the Yondaime and how he killed the Kyuubi no Kitsune?"
"It was a lie."
She gasped. "H-huh?"
"Demons are immortal. They can't die. There was no way for the Fourth to kill the Kyuubi. So instead, he did the next best thing. He sealed it away."
"Yeah. He had to seal it somewhere, and lucky me, I got picked. I am the container for the most powerful of the tailed beasts." He heard a voice in the back of his head. Damn right, and don't you forget the honour of holding me. Shut the fuck up. Touchy today, are we? I said shut up.
"So, now you know. I'm a demon," he commented bitterly.
"N-no! Y-you-you're not a d-demon! Y-you're j-just the j-jai-jailor!"
He looked at her. "You really think so?"
He took the two steps needed to reach Hinata and hugged her. "Thank you, Hinata-chan."
If his eyes had been open, he might've noticed the brilliant shade of red her face turned, and the fact that she was mouthing the phrase don't faint don't faint don't faint don't faint over and over again. He would've wondered why he had such an effect on her. Instead, though, the boy just held her for a few seconds, then let go.
"Thank you, Hinata-chan, but I can't stay. I'm sorry. I'm going to leave, and get stronger until I can prove to everyone here that they were wrong about me. When I can do that, then I promise I will come back."
She nodded, and began to tear up again.
"Goodbye, Hinata-chan. I'll be back."
He began to walk towards the gate.
"W-w-wait! H-how long u-until y-you c-come back?"
"I don't know, Hinata-chan. I don't know."
The orange-clad boy reached the gates; the two guards were sleeping. He waved to her. "Ok, when I come back, you'll be stronger too, right?"
She nodded. Naruto-kun wants me to train to get strong like him!
He winked at her. "See ya later then, Hinata-chan."
He strode out of the village and didn't look back.
And that's chapter one!
A/N: Despite how this may look, this isn't going to be Dark Naruto (as much as I like Dark Naruto). This is going to be genius, Kyuubi-enhanced Naruto with a bone to pick and something to prove, but he isn't going to lay waste to Konoha or anything.
As far as jutsus go...it's probably going to be done in English (Fire Style: Great Fireball Jutsu!) as opposed to the Japanese (Katon: Goukakyu no Jutsu) mostly because I want to keep it the same all the way through, and I don't want to spend ages looking up something just to stay true to the Japanese. Also, it makes my life a lot easier if I decide to create my own techniques.
For those of you thinking this is a NaruHina fic just because I listed them as the main characters...well, you might be right. It's either going to be NarutoXHinata or NarutoXTemari, and I'm accepting votes on it. You can either vote via my profile page (preferred) or by reviewing (Also nice. Everyone likes reviews!)
Remember, every time you read and don't review, Orochimaru conducts horrible experiments on a kitten. Please, save a kitten from a fate worse than death!