Authors Notes: Hey guys, I just want to clear something up. First, I'm really sorry that once again I haven't updated for a long time. I've just been really busy with rl. The second thing is I have finally been able to organize the different wordings in this story, and I want you readers to know what they'll be for this chapter and so on. So, here you all go:

"Hello boy."- Demon or summon speech.

"Hey."- Regular speech.

'What could he be thinking?'- Regular thought.

She tried to escape from his grasp, really she did. But...- Flashback or dream.

Naruto would kill Sakura, once and for all!- Placing emphasis on a word, in this case the word being, 'kill.' (Hehe, just wanted to tease my fellow Sakura haters ;) ))

And, I think that's it! Also, I would like to dedicate this chapter and the next few to all my fellow NaruxfemHaku fans! We are few but proud! :D However, besides the fluff, these chapters will also give more needed background information on the story. But, do not fret fellow lovers of evil or dark Naruto! Y'all will get your dose of chaos and mayhem soon enough. It's not as if the whole story will always be this way. Far from it actually. Oh, I almost forgot! There's a challenge on my profile. Yes, my very first one. Go check it out! :) And one more thing...I still need a beta reader -.-.


Battousai's Apprentice: Chapter 16

"Demon!"

"Just stay down and die fox brat!"

"Let's finish what the Yondaime started!"

Those were just a fraction of the outrageous yells behind a four-year old Naruto as he ran for dear life in Konohagakure, a bloodthirsty mob of adults right on his heels. By now, his white t-shirt and blue shorts were smeared with blood and dirt. The same held true for his short and spiky blond hair, his eyes holding a mixture of sorrow and terror.

'What did I ever do to them?' Naruto thought frantically. 'Why does everyone hate me? Why?'

Today was October 10th, the day that the Kyuubi no Kitsune was 'defeated' by Konoha's Yondaime, their greatest hero and leader. He was arguably known as the most powerful ninja that the village ever produced. And, it was a day that Konoha lost him, along with thousands of ninjas that served the Leaf. Thus, it was also the most terrifying and painful day in the year for one Uzumaki Naruto.

His own birthday no less.

For on this day, the hatred of the village's populace for Naruto increased greatly, the mobs during this night of celebration being much bigger than usual and more vicious. Even in the middle of this day, there would at least be small groups of civilians and ninja that would beat on him if he ever even set foot in broad daylight.

Turning a corner, Naruto ran across one of the alleys that he knew, from the experience of running from people before, didn't have a dead end. He hoped to lose those that were pursuing him. However, just as he was about to reach the exit of the alley, a thrown kunai pierced his right leg, making him stumble and fall flat on his face.

Apparently, there were ninjas in this mob too.

"We got the little filthy thing now!"

Just as Naruto lifted his head up, a foot smashed into his face with so much force that he was flipped onto his back. And then that is how the torture started, the mob beating him within an inch of his life. Pipes, bats, fists, feet, and sticks, all of that was smashed into his small body, as the poor boy curled up in a ball, his teeth gritting in pain and tears flowing down his cheeks. And then sharp objects, like kitchen knives, kunai, and swords were used to stab and cut him all over. Sometimes a blade would even be twisted in his flesh as it pierced skin, causing him even more agony.

And during all this, the little blond didn't even make a sound. It never mattered before how much Naruto begged and pleaded with the villagers and ninjas when they did this. It didn't even matter how loud he screamed. All that did was just make the villagers more satisfied, if the glee in their eyes and sick twisted smiles were any indication. And then, they would only torture him with renewed vigor.

Suddenly, a deathly whisper echoed in the air.

"Die..."

The whisper, it was so frigid, so full of malice...that it reached the ears and hearts of everyone in the alley. Instantly, the villagers and ninja stopped what they were doing, frozen in place by the enormous pressure of killer intent, their eyes wide and wavering as they stared upon a short and young thin man, probably in his late teens, with long red hair that reached halfway down his back and was tied in a ponytail. The terrifying being wore a simple dark blue kimono and white hakama pants. And his eyes…they were dead and cold with a color of amber.

"W-what?" a Chuunin intellectually asked. "A-are you here to help us kill the d-demon?" His fear was understandable at this point, his body filling up with even more terror when the pressure of the killer intent rolling off the red-haired man greatly increased.

In response, the stranger slowly, ever so slowly, removed his sword from the sheath attached to the left side of his waist, the slicing sound of it moving being ominous to anyone within hearing range.

Naruto's eyes closed as he laid still on the dirty ground of the alley, his little heart starting to beat slower. The last thing he heard were screams of terror and pain as he finally succumbed to the comfortable embrace of darkness, his final thoughts only revolving around those cold orbs of amber.

Like a lightning bolt, Naruto sat straight up in his bed, panting hard as cold sweat glistened off his toned body in waves. Noticing that some of his long hair was sticking to his face, he brushed it off his skin, moving his legs to the side of the bed until his feet touched the ground. Bending down, he placed his face in his hands, still panting hard as his eyes remained widened in shock and fear.

'I haven't dreamed of that moment in a very long time...'

After a little while, Naruto stood up from his bed, trying to get readjusted to his surroundings. He was in a small guest room. At the start of the mission, Kakashi had decided Naruto would have a bedroom all to himself, most likely because of some stupid shit like, 'not wanting the demon's presence to further taint the last Uchiha and a council woman's daughter.' The Jounin didn't seem to even want Tazuna and any of the man's family sleeping in the same room with the blond-haired samurai. However, Naruto couldn't help but wonder why Kakashi didn't just attempt to order him to sleep outside?

Oh well, who ever thought there would be advantages to having a bigoted and idiotic so-called sensei?

The bed Naruto slept on was in the center of the room, up against the left wall from the doorway, while a small desk and chair was in a corner of the room near the left side of the bed. On the center of the wall adjacent to the left side of the bed, a window, at the very least big enough for a person to slip through, was left open, exposing the sights and sounds of midnight as a cool breeze soothed Naruto's skin, his only clothes at the moment being a black pair of boxers.

After stretching his limbs for a few seconds, Naruto noticed his journal laying down on the small desk. It was one of the many things he had put in a sealing scroll and brought with him. Deciding that he didn't have anything better to do, and the fact he didn't think he could fall back asleep, he went over to the desk and sat down on the chair behind it. Lighting an old candle beside the little book, with a box of matches he found laying by it, he opened the journal, took a writing utensil, and began writing about his day, as well as the many thoughts swirling around his mind. This was an activity that his real sensei got him into, ever since the beginning of his training as a Japanese samurai.

After about twenty minutes of writing in his journal, Naruto felt a pair of slender arms wrap around his neck, and hot breath tickling his ear with a whisper...

"Naruto-kun…"

The blond samurai stopped writing and closed his eyes, leaning his head back until it laid against a soft shoulder. He couldn't help but shiver at the feeling of her touch and breath upon his ear, a pleasurable tingle spreading throughout his body as his heartbeat increased drastically by just being near her. He had sensed this girl long before she had even got into his room, but he knew, as if by instinct, that she would never try anything against him. She was the only person left in the whole world that he trusted with his life, even despite the different sides they were currently on.

Naruto released a slow sigh. "You shouldn't be here, Haku-chan."

Haku didn't respond, instead choosing to lay butterfly kisses across Naruto's exposed neck. After a minute of this, much to their enjoyment, Haku again moved her mouth near Naruto's ear. "I really missed you, my love," she whispered. "I felt tortured without you beside me."

A soft smile graced Naruto's lips, making Haku smile in return, her heart fluttering with joy. She absolutely loved it when he smiled, especially when it was her that caused it. However, she guessed that he would only smile around her, given what he told her so far of his experience being back in Konoha and his so-called team. For the past month, her and Naruto had met each other every morning at the same spot where their hearts became one, that being in a forest under a canopy. After that, they would usually get the chance to spend almost the whole day together, given the fact Kakashi didn't care what Naruto did as long as he didn't jeopardize the mission. As for Haku, Zabuza allowed her to spend most of her time with Naruto, since he wanted the girl to eventually recruit the powerful Genin to his side.

Little did both of the Jounin level shinobi know though that their weapons were more interested in getting lost in each other.

Walking to the left of Naruto's side, Haku sat down on his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck and laying her head upon his shoulder. The only sign that she noticed his lack of clothing was the slight blush on her cheeks, though Naruto polietly didn't comment on it. Her eyes than focused on the journal laying on the desk. "I see you still write in that old thing."

Naruto's eyes briefly scanned over Haku's appearance, which consisted of her hunter-nin outfit, except she had her mask attached to her waist, her hair kept in a bun as two thick strands of it fell down at the sides of her face. Snapping his eyes back to her's, he chuckled, his laugh soft like wind chimes. "Of course I do." His smile then became sad, his eyes refocusing on the journal. "It's one of the few things I bought for myself during my life in Japan. It reminds me of home."

Haku smiled sadly in return, tightening her embrace around him. "I understand, Naruto-kun."

Naruto looked back at Haku's face, his expression slowly becoming serious as his eyes conveyed the amount of love he held for her. Slowly, he leaned in and brushed his lips upon the top of her head, wrapping his arms tightly around her waist. "I'm more happy for having you though, Haku-chan."

Haku smiled softly in reply, a gentle and quiet giggle escaping her lips, causing a pleasant sensation to spread from Naruto's abdomen to the rest of his body. "I should hope that I'm more important to you than an old rusty book, Naruto-kun." Her eyes then locked with his, gazing lovingly.

Naruto couldn't help but smile back, something she always seemed able to make him do. "How could you not be?" he replied, before he leaned his forehead against her's, his voice becoming just a whisper. "When my whole world surrounds you."

Frozen by his words, Haku blinked in surprise, taking a deep shuddering breath. "Do...do you really mean that?"

All traces of emotion suddenly left Naruto's face, the young blond becoming fully still and serious once again. "Yes," he answered, his crystal blue orbs burning with a fierce passion. "With every fiber of my being."

For a full minute, Naruto and Haku just stared at each other, their forms completely silent and unmoving in the dimly lit room, before Haku's shoulders began to tremble, her hold upon him tightening even more as tears welled up in her eyes and slowly trickled down her cheek. Even after all this time, the concept of someone caring for her so much was foreign to her. She was more used to being thought of as a weapon. As something nothing more than to be used in battle and then thrown away when broken. So hearing Naruto's words, sounding so loving and truthful, it made her feel a torrent of emotions that were still new to her, feelings of sweet relief and being truly wanted, no, needed. But mostly...

She felt pure and undiluted happiness, her love and devotion towards Naruto filling her as those same feelings given off by Naruto were returned. And then she pulled his head down and kissed him, with all her heart and soul, pouring in every bit of her passion and might upon the connection of their lips. Closing her eyes, she raised a hand to his cheek, gently caressing it before momentarily biting his bottom lip, granting her more access as a soft gasp escaped his mouth.

Naruto's eyes widened slightly, taken back by Haku's sudden move, his surprise only lasting a few seconds before his eyes closed and he kissed her back, deeply and tenderly. After a few minutes of this, they finally separated from their kiss, still holding each other closely while their eyes were half-lidded, their heavy breathing being the only sound they heard as they couldn't focus on anything but each other.

When she was finally able to get her breath back under control and heart to stop pounding, Haku snuggled into Naruto's shoulder, closing her eyes. "Thank you so much, Naruto-koi," she finally said, smiling warmly. Her next words then rocked his world. "You're my everything..."

Naruto felt a major rush of heat reach his face at his lover's words, a rare feeling of security and warmth bursting from his chest so suddenly that his vision started to spin a little, before he smiled. Sliding the chair back, he stood up, carrying Haku bridal style, and walked back to his bed. Laying her down gently on one of side of the small mattress, her petite body leaving plenty of room, he laid down on the other side, looking at her as their faces were inches apart.

For an hour, they just laid there, very content with each others presence and the peaceful sounds of the night wildlife coming from the open window, hypnotized by each others gaze as their bodies remained entangled. Finally, Naruto leaned forward and placed a light kiss upon Haku's nose, receiving an soft giggle in return, before she snuggled closer to him.

"You're at Kage level," Naruto suddeny whispered, breaking the long lasting silence.

It wasn't a question.

"I knew you were already aware of it, ever since our first meeting after your last fight with Zabuza-sama." Haku replied, not missing a beat. "I still remember that Japanese samurai are able to determine the skill of others by sensing their ki levels, so I didn't even bother to mention it." Tilting her head a little, she once again smiled. "And I'm at the same level you are, barely low Kage level, so I'm no longer the weakest of our old team."

Naruto nodded in response. "It's not surprising. I always expected you would soon reach my level or rise above it, since you always were the most talented kunoichi I've ever met. One who knew the meaning of hard work."

Haku leaned in and gave his mouth a small peck. "You tend to underestimate yourself, Naruto-kun." Seeing he was about to speak, she placed a finger upon his lips, copying what he did to her a month ago. "Don't forget that I'm older and you still match me in skill and power, not to mention I was nowhere near your level when I was your age."

Naruto kissed her finger, receiving a giggle in response as Haku withdrew it. "I had real teammates, an amazing sensei, and a loving sister" he said. "Without you all, I would have been nothing."

Snuggling into his chest, Haku closed her eyes, taking a moment to enjoy breathing in his scent. "The same goes for me, Naruto-koi. Without any of you and Zabuza-sama, I don't know what would have eventually become of me."

Naruto looked down at Haku for a few seconds, before he sighed and rested his chin on top of her head. "But here we are, my angel, in each others arms." Smiling, he nuzzled her hair a little. "Just as it should be."

A smile graced Haku's face at Naruto's words. "Yes, as it should be, my love." For a few minutes, the room was empty of any voices, before it was Haku this time that broke the silence. "Zabuza-sama isn't aware that I'm at Kage level."

Naruto's eyes narrowed slightly. "Is it because of how prideful he is?"

Haku's eyes snapped wide open, surprised at how accurate his guess was. "Well..." she started, trying to find a better word for it, before finally she just gave up. "Yes, it is. It is true that Zabuza-sama expects me to eventually surpass him when I become much older, but I don't know how he would handle the fact that I'm already at a higher level than him at my current age." Her eyes then saddened. "I'm too scared to tell him."

Suddenly, Naruto's body became tense, his eyes narrowing and morphing into a menacing color of amber, unseen by Haku as her face still remained buried in his chest.. "Does...he ever hurt you?" he asked, his voice chilling.

Haku couldn't help the shiver of fear that went down her spine at the sound of his voice. It was so cold. So very cruel.

It wasn't him at all.

The raven-haired kunoichi knew his kekkei genkai must have activated. She needed to calm him down immediately, as the temperature in the room was drastically dropping. Snuggling into him even more, she spoke to him as calmly as she could. "No, Naruto-kun. Zabuza-sama has never hurt me and never will, just like I've told you before." Lifting her head to look at his expression, she caught a flash of amber orbs before they returned to crystal blue, but she still decided to continue. "I wasn't saying he would try to hurt me if he ever found out I was more powerful than him. I just meant I was afraid he would become really disappointed in himself, wallowing in an overwhelming feeling of failure."

The current Battousai took a deep breath before slowly exhaling, his body returning to its previous relaxed state. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "My kekkei genkai doesn't usually activate that easily."

Haku snuggled back into Naruto's chest, hiding the worried expression on her face. "How long has it been this unstable?" she asked, feeling his body stiffen. "I remember you telling me you could never control it, not even Kenshin-sama. That it only activates during situations where you feel an extreme amount of hatred or you're in a life and death situation."

For a moment, Naruto was really quiet before finally answering. "Ever since my arrival in Konoha."

At her lover's words, Haku couldn't hold back her deep sigh. She was afraid of what his answer would be to her next question. "Has it caused any problems yet?"

Naruto shifted uncomfortably on the bed, his next pause of silence deafening. "No," he finally answered. "No problems at all."

Haku wasn't satisfied with how he replied, but she decided not to push that issue...for now. There was a more important one to be dealt with. "But hatred has been taking over inside you, hasn't it?"

Naruto felt his heart clench at his angel's words, so full of dread and sorrow. He could do nothing more but close his eyes, not wanting to see the utter disappointment and horror on Haku's face. "I'm sorry."

Lifting her head again, Haku locked her gaze with Naruto's closed eyes, their faces only inches apart once more. "Look at me," she said firmly, but her voice remained as calm as ever. Slowly, Naruto's blue orbs appeared in her vision, projecting for the world to see that he was in fact expecting rejection. Haku was surprised by this. Did he really think she would reject him so easily? After how long they've known each other and everything they've gone through? How ridiculous! Well, she would fix that right now. "It's ok, Naruto-kun." she whispered, her hot breath washing over his face and causing his heartbeat to increase dramatically. "We'll work through this together. As a team, like we've always done."

Stunned and washed with relief, Naruto could only stare at Haku with widened eyes. "I...I don't know what to say..." he breathed.

"You don't have to say anything, Naruto-koi," Haku interrupted, smiling slightly as she lifted her hand and stroked his cheek. "You don't have to say anything at all. You're my beloved. My treasure. And as I said before, my everything." Haku's face then took on a serious expression, her voice becoming as hard as stone. "I will never abandon you, despite what Zabuza-sama thinks!"

Nartuo's eyes widened even more, his mind trying to comprehend the fact Haku had just admitted she would even go against Zabuza, someone who held her complete loyalty and devotion, just for him. Sure, deep in his heart he knew before that she would despite how much it would pain her to do so, but it was another thing to actually hear her say it. "Thank you," he whispered, feeling truly honored, but most of all...he felt completely loved. "Thank you for everything, my angel."

Haku smiled at her lover's cute name for her. Oh, how she loved it when he called her that. "You are very welcome, Naruto-koi." Leaning forward, she kissed his cheek. "Now, why don't you get some sleep? I'll lay down here until you awaken at your usual time."

Smiling, Naruto nodded his head and relaxed, fully content with the world at the moment, his eyes slowly closing. And before he knew it, he drifted off to sleep.

For the rest of the early morning, Haku just laid there and watched as Naruto slept, listening to his steady breathing and watching the rise and fall of his chest. She couldn't help but enjoy the utter look of peace on his handsome face, like he had no worries at all and everything was right with the world. Perhaps...perhaps things could be like that in reality someday. But for right now, she could only lay here and hope, settling for watching his peaceful slumber.

By the time Naruto awoke again, he was alone in his room, the only sign of Haku even being there were the wrinkles left on the bed where she used to lay.