Author's Note: Hello! I'm still working on Guardian's Guardian, I've just had this on my computer for a while and decided to post it. Hope you enjoy it! Naruto beongs to Masashi Kishimoto.
Chapter 1 Destruction
A bead of sweat, achingly slow, slid down her cheek. Chin-length crimson hair stuck to her cheeks, matted down by sweat, mud, and blood. Green eyes stared ahead of her in determination, though they drooped from time to time. Exhaustion rolled off her in waves. Chakra levels near depletion, stomach empty of any nutrition for the longest time, and body threatening to give up on her and shut down, the only thing keeping her going was the will and drive to protect her home and its people.
The girl's body sent a jolt of pain to her brain as she landed on the next branch, telling her to quit now before she got herself killed. Her brain however had given up on trying to reason with her and had started to cut off the signals her body was so desperately giving. She couldn't agree more with its decision. Cuts, ranging from minor scratches that didn't even break the skin to gashes that gushed blood down her limbs, and bruises peppered every inch of visible skin. The once bright orange tank-top was now turning a vile rust color and was shredded beyond imagining. The charcoal-grey pants were ripped and torn and had, somewhere along the line, become shorts. The headband she had worked so hard to get several years ago had been dropped during an ambush a long time ago, left to rust some where in the vast forest.
Her muddy hand flew to her mouth as coughs racked her body. The redhead landed and kneeled on a branch, waiting for the coughs to subside. Smoke from the many fires dotting the area made her eyes water and irritated her lungs. Mentally cursing herself for getting careless, she ripped a relatively clean swatch of the top to cover her mouth. She took a deep breath and almost gagged at the pungent smell of dried mud, sweat, and blood.
The branch hitched slightly as someone landed beside her. A kunai was instantly in her hand and directed toward the person. "Calm down Kushina. It's me." Through the smoke she could see the black braided hair of her sensei. Pale blue eyes blinked back at her as they focused on the weapon in the girl's hand.
"Sorry Sensei. This smoke is a pain to see through." Her voice was slightly muffled by the cloth but she was sure the man could hear her. An explosion rocked the ground and heat blasted through the trees. Her sensei turned from her and stared ahead of them as if seeing past all the smoke and trees to where the main sections of the armies clashed. His blue eyes flashed as they turned back to her, scrutinizing her bloodied state.
"You should go back to the village. Get some rest and medical attention. You've been out here for three days. You're at your limit. The reinforcements from Konoha should be here soon anyway. You're not helping us by working yourself to death. " The redhead fiercely shook her head and scowled. "That's an order Kushina."
"Forget it sensei. I'm not leaving until this is finished! We don't have enough shinobi as it is. No way in hell am I going to run! Giving up is for cowards and I'll kill anyone who dares call me a coward." Before her sensei could retaliate, she had leapt off the branch and stretched her weary senses for signs of fighting. Her sensei's presence joined her and he directed her toward the battleground.
"You always were too headstrong for your own good." Black hair flew as he shook his head. "Stay close to me. Watch out for any hidden traps. We've lost to many to them already." She nodded but the worried expression on the man's face didn't disappear. "Just be careful okay?"They finished the journey to the fight in comfortable silence which was soon disrupted by the sounds of struggle.
The sounds of battle were nothing new to the teen. Actually, during the last three days of the onslaught, they had become increasingly familiar. Screams of pain, surprise, and anguish drowned out the decreasing shouted orders. Explosions destroyed the ground as exploding tags flew through the air, taking allies and foes with it. The distinct sound of shuriken and kunai hitting wood and flesh dotted the noise. Trees creaked as they fell and pounded on the upturned earth. Blood pooled in the grass and turned it a dark shade. Bodies lay strewn across the forest floor, dead or dying.
As soon as they approached the battlefield, the teacher and student could tell that the battle was swaying to the enemy's advantage. With a quick calculation, Kushina guessed there were six enemy nin to every Whirlpool shinobi. The odds didn't look good. Hopefully the reinforcements would arrive soon, or Whirlpool wasn't going to survive this attack. One of the attacking shinobi detected them as they landed and instantly intercepted them.
Another joined him and moved to attack her sensei. Kunai whooshed past her cheek as she dodged. She was surprised at the man's speed. From the looks of him, you wouldn't guess he was a shinobi. He was tall and ragged with a potbelly. His hair was grey and stringy and fell in front of his face in mats. Yellow eyes stared at her as a lecherous smile pulled at his thin lips and revealed crooked teeth. "My, my. What do we have here?" His voice grated against her ears even over the background noise. "A little girly?" He laughed at some unknown joke and licked his lips. "You're lucky little girl. I think I might let you live and then have some fun with you after we take over your pitiful village."
Anger flared inside her and shuriken found their way to her hand. She released them and rushed toward the heavy man. He easily dodged the weapons and returned the favor with a few of his own. She twirled around them and extended her fist, connecting with the ugly man's face. He flew back a few feet, blood trickling from a bit lip. Her thin and calloused hands quickly formed the needed signs for the Shadow Clone Jutsu. In a burst of smoke, two copies flanked her as she closed the distance between herself and the other shinobi.
A grin crossed the opponent's face as he ducked under the punches and stabbed two kunai into the clones attacking him. He crouched and swung his leg behind her calf. Landing on her hands, the redhead flipped and kicked out with her foot. He caught the limb and brought his elbow down onto her joint. Her body cried out in protest at the abuse, and her knee cracked under the pressure. Biting down on her lip, to keep from screaming in pain, she twisted her leg out of his grasp and fell to the ground.
Pain shot through her leg as she moved. It was no use. She couldn't move it. Her opponent seemed to realize this as the same perverted smile spread over his face. "Looks like this is the end girly. There's noone left to save you." He reached down toward her chest and she tried to wriggle out of his reach.
A shuriken flew through the air and ripped trough the lecher's extended arm. He roared in pain and glared across the area. Her sensei stood there arm, extended from his throw. A smile began to pull at her lips. Movement caught her eye from the trees behind the black-haired man. "Sensei behind you!"The warning came to late though as a windmill shuriken sliced into his stomach. The smile disappeared and was replaced by shock. The weapon protruded from the man's stomach and blood gushed from the wound. Unsatisfied, the shinobi hidden in the trees jumped down and cleanly dragged a knife through her sensei's neck. The decapitated head fell to the floor and the body stood standing for a moment more before it collapsed on the ground.
Tears threatened to spill out of her green eyes as she gazed in horror at the scene. No. Not her sensei. Not the man who was more of a father to her than her biological father was. Not the man who had taken her under his wing after her mother died and taught her everything he knew. The world seemed to stop as she watched the blood pool around the corpse. Whirlpool was losing. They were down to maybe ten shinobi while the enemy was boasting at least five times that number now. They had lost. Unless some miracle happened, the village would fall.
A hand broke her from her reverie. Gritting her teeth as the huge hand wrapped around her throat, she glared at the ugly man. Even if the village was going to fall, she was going to die fighting. She had to avenge her sensei's death. His death would not be in vain. The world would remember the Whirlpool village as a strong town that didn't give up even when the odds where against them if she had anything to say about it.
"Back off dickhead before I kill you." The man chuckled and slammed her back against one of the few trees that had survived the battle. Her back creaked at the movement and her head connected with a sharp knock.
"I like them feisty! Always makes it so much fun." He closed the distance and moved his mouth over hers. Her eyes widened and she struggled against his grip. Biting her lip hard enough to draw blood, she moved her good leg to kick out at him. He quickly stopped it by pressing his thigh against it, and as much as she hated to admit it, men were naturally stronger than women, which made her escape near impossible. His free hand found its way to her waist and slid under her ruined shirt. She shivered at the feel of his clammy hands against her skin.
Unable to do anything else, she opened her mouth and bit down on his lip, hard. He pulled away in surprise and she took the chance to place a well-aimed kick. The man howled and bent over. "You little bitch! I'll kill you." His hand tightened considerably around her windpipe, cutting her off from any oxygen. This was it. She was going to die here, at the hands of her would-be rapist. Her hands clawed at his hand, but he didn't seem affected by her short nails. A sadistic grin replaced the lecherous one and it scared her. He was enjoying this! Watching her struggle for air and wriggling pathetically against him. "Well I guess this is goodbye girly. One last parting gift though." he leaned forward and dragged his slimy tongue across her cheek to her ear. "To bad. You're a fine bitch."
The last of her oxygen was running out and her face was probably turning some interesting colors now. Her mouth gapped like a fish out of water as she tried to get air into her deflated lungs. Darkness swam at the edges of her vison and made it blurry. Her eyes closed as her heart finally slowed.
The hand was wrenched from her neck in an instant and she dropped to the ground like a rag-doll. Air rushed back to her lungs as she inhaled. Coughs racked her body so hard, she couldn't support her weight. She lay there on the mud and blood covered grass, gasping oxygen back into her system. Spots flickered in her vision and the shapes and colors blended together. Her stomach heaved and she winced at the taste of acid, the only thing left in her stomach. Lifting her head, she blinked to adjust her vision and see what had happened to her attacker.
Bodies lay thrown across the ground. Fifteen shinobi stood, albeit shakily and wearily in the center. She recognized five of them as jounins from her village. The other ten wore different headbands and were helping the five out of the clearing. One of the foreign nin turned to six of the others and motioned toward the area. "Check for survivors. When Namikaze is done ridding the surrounding area of the Stone nin tell him to help out here." The man left with the surviving Whirlpool shinobi.
The six remaining shinobi began to shuffle through the bodies, checking for signs of life. One called out as they found someone and they reported the find over their radios. She tried to move or call out, but her body had given up on her and refused to cooperate. Exhaustion hit her full stride and she felt her eyelids begin to droop. "Are you alright?"
Her eyes shot open, her survival instincts driving adrenaline into her veins. She lifted her head as her body went tense.
She couldn't help but gape. She really couldn't. Leaning down in front of her in the standard Konoha jounin garb was the infamous Yellow Flash, blood splattered over his face and clothes. Fear gripped her heart and she fought to keep it off her face. She could tell she had failed though- she had never been very good at concealing her emotions, preferring to blurt what she was thinking or feeling- from the confused look on her face. He held up his hands as if to show he had no weapons. Not that it mattered. This was Konoha's Yellow Flash. Everyone had been given the order to flee on sight, whether ally or foe. His ferocity and skill in battle was legendary. This man didn't need weapons to kill her, especially as weak as she was now.
"Don't worry I won't hurt you," he chuckled and smiled sheepishly. "I'm one of the good guys."
"Those Stone nin thought they were the good guys too and they went and attacked our village." If she could she would have smacked herself. She had just mouthed off the Yellow Flash. She was so dead. He didn't seem to mind though as he shrugged.
"True. I'm here to take you to our camp for medical attention though. I have no desire to invade your village." He looked over to the group of Konoha shinobi and motioned for one to help him. He turned back to face her, concerned blue eyes scrutinizing her. "Are you alright? He didn't hurt you did he? Can you walk?" The redhead went back to gapping. So this was the man that had saved her. Processing his question she shook her head. Blond brows furrowed as he leaned over and lightly touched her shoulder.
"Here. I'll help you up and then we can have our medics look at you." With his assistance, she managed to sit up, the weight off of her broken knee. The man in front of her smiled encouragingly down at her. She knew she must look a wreak with her shirt torn and messed up, her pants near to gone, hair in disarray, and blood and mud covering most of her body. Her vision swam again as a sense of vertigo overtook her senses. Her face must have given her away because the man reached out and steadied her with his arm around her waist.
The shinobi the blond man had called over reached them and laughed. "Stay focused Namikaze. You can flirt with the girls when we get back to Konoha." The redhead's face warmed at the remark as did the man's. Namikaze swiped at his companion and began to remove the vest he was wearing. Handing it too her he smiled sheepishly again.
"Here put this on until we can get something else." She gratefully accepted it and quickly slipped it over her ruined shirt. It was big on her and felt uncomfortable with parts of her torn shirt pressed against her skin in clumps, but it was better than nothing. The Yellow Flash had stood and was offering her a hand. Not willing to appear weak in front of her savior, she ignored the hand and pushed herself to her feet. Her body however decided that standing was too much and it would rest with or without her consent. She felt herself fall into warm arms as darkness overtook her.