A/N: Um. Hi xD This is a oneshot that was spawned during my T'ai Chi class and the tao saying "Know you know nothing." Explanations for my absence will be given at the bottom, if any of you readers haven't closed the window by then.

So, this is my sad attempt to play with a darker Naruto 'cause I was feeling a little tired of regular, perky canon Naruto as well as my beacon to my readers to let them know I'm still alive.

Naruto couldn't stand to hear another accusatory word leave the brat's mouth. He stood up roughly, not caring that he knocked his chair over as he reached over the table and snagged the impudent child's high collar with one hand. He almost dragged the boy over the table but settled for bringing their faces close together, enough for the boy to see his blue eyes sparking crimson and the growing whisker marks and canines.

"Know you know nothing, you little crybaby brat!" Naruto snarled easily, his voice slipping down toward the more demonic octaves. A small part of him relished the fear that was pouring off the boy in waves as he suddenly released the boy with a shove before standing straight and stalking to the door. "I'll be out in the forest," he said in slightly less harsh tones. "I can't stand dead meat tonight!"

Without even bothering to take his shoes, the blonde opened the door and launched himself towards the forest, leaving the dining room in a stunned silence except for Inari's terrified tears and hiccupping as the boy scrambled for his room. Sasuke and Sakura silently looked at their teacher as if he would provide a viable excuse for Naruto's actions. The Jounin slumped back in his seat, visible eye closed as he let out a sigh.

"Please excuse Naruto's actions…he's lived a harder life than most and is sensitive of the fact." The single eye opened briefly and flickered over to spot a full moon rising. "He's also prone to…wild behavior during full moons."

Tazuna snorted as he stood and stooped to upright Naruto's fallen chair. "What is he, a werewolf?" He returned to his side of the table but glanced out the window. Tsunami stood as well and started collecting the dishes before retiring to the kitchen. Sakura absently went with her and Tazuna left, pausing only to grab a sake bottle; leaving Sasuke and Kakashi alone.

The jounin maneuvered himself up out of his seat, grabbing the set of crutches that Tsunami had rummaged up for his usage. "I'm going to have to get going if I want to track down Naruto….alone….at night….in a hazard filled for-" He was rudely interrupted by Sasuke's snort.

"I get the point….I'll grab Sakura and get the dobe." Sasuke grumbled as he stuck his head in the kitchen to grab his pink haired teammate. She quickly dried her hands and muttered a quick good bye to Tsunami before slipping into her sandals. Surprisingly she didn't squeal or cling to him once they were outside the small house and looking at the darkened forest.

Sasuke squinted at the ground before pulling out a small flashlight from his hip pouch and flicked it on before scanning the ground once more. Sakura quickly did the same and was the first to find a blurred print. "Sasuke-kun," she called out, crouching next to the print. The Uchiha came quickly and studied it briefly before flicking his flashlight out in the direction that print faced.

"Found it," the fire-user grunted, barely waiting for Sakura to catch before striding into the shadow ridden trees.

Kakashi watched them leave from the balcony, absently worrying his lip as he felt a spike of malevolent chakra from deep within the forest. Naruto's going to kill me tomorrow….but his teammates will need to know about his furry troubles if they are going to survive. With that thought, the jounin circled around the corner to find a shivering Inari staring blankly at the sea.

Naruto darted easily through the forest, only to freeze abruptly as the wind shifted and the scent of various small and fuzzy animals drifted through the air. Latching onto a particular scent, the genin crept forward on silent hands and feet until he came upon a moonlit clearing where his neurotic prey nibbled nervously on a wilted weed. Large triangular ears, rising from a mess of rusty blonde spike flicked in a dozen directions as the kitsune focused on his soon-to-be dinner.

The blonde quietly shifted his weight to his legs, easily splaying claw-tipped toes for better traction, readying for a leap as his tails helped him balance. Muscles locked into place and now it was merely a matter of waiting. A trio of whitened tails tips curved gentle swathes through the air; belying their owner's feral state of mind.




Now! Naruto lunged suddenly from his hiding place; prey freezing for a moment before bursting into a powerful fear fueled dash for escape. Naruto bounded after the small animal, eyes moving in easy rhythm of the prey's leaps. Unconsciously timing, Naruto put an extra push in his next leap and was rewarded with the feeling of smooth fur in his claw tipped hands. He skidded to a halt, moving as if to snap the thrashing rabbit's neck but growled when a powerful hind foot lashed out and whapped him soundly in the throat, causing his ears to flatten briefly.

Naruto's growl sounded rougher than normal but it returned to normal as he quickly sank his canines into the rabbit's neck and tightened his bite until he felt the rabbit's heart stop. Grinning bloodily, the blonde set to eating; hunching over his kill to protect it, tails pantomiming his pleasure.

Sasuke stared at the limp remains of what had once been a rabbit; vaguely noticing that Sakura was behind a nearby bush, her stomach violently rejecting the food she had eaten earlier in the night. The blunette took the opportunity to circle the clearing, taking in the changes he'd noticed in his teammate's tracks.

When Naruto had first left the house, he'd left behind his shoes. Normally this would slow someone down but Naruto's full-footed tracks showed no discomfort. Then, shortly after delving into the forest the blonde had started walking on the balls of his feet, the toes splaying easily in the dirt for more balance. And finally, not too long ago, near this clearing, the idiot had gone onto all-fours; a most puzzling move. And through out the changes, the tracks revealed that their owner was in no discomfort.

Sasuke was distracted from his thoughts as Sakura reemerged into the clearing proper, wiping her mouth and looking pale. Both sets of eyes trailed again to the ravaged animal carcass and a single phrase rang through their minds

I can't stand dead meat tonight!

Naruto let out a high pitched yip that dissolved into a whining yowl as he felt the wolf's jaws clench around his collarbone and shoulder blade; the fangs piercing a little too close to the jugular for comfort. More indistinct noises issued from the fox's throat as the large predator jerked his head to the side as if the blonde were an over grown chew toy. Limbs flailing frantically, Naruto's clawed feet finally gored a gash into the wolf's stomach as his fangs latched on to the canine's right ear. The wolf released him with a yelp of it's own as Naruto's teeth shredded the edge of the ear.

Both opponents backed off warily, blood spattering the forest floor with their movements. Golden eyes glared fiercely back at the molten crimson orbs before dropping to the side. Naruto's bloodstained teeth and lips worked together for a moment to form a smirk before the fox straightened with some difficulty as the wolf gracelessly fell to one side and bared its bleeding belly to him, tail tucked between its legs. Letting out a content rumbling growl; Naruto left the clearing, a small part of him noticing that the shredded remains of his jacket and shirt decorated the surrounding flora.

He barely gave notice to the three sleek bodies that trailed alongside him, eyes bright with some unnamed emotion as he staggered away to tend his wounds.

Sakura was beginning to doubt that the always smiling blonde that was constantly pestering her for dates was Naruto's real personality. The way he had acted at the table, looking ready to kill Inari for the boy's accusations; his voice deepening into a harsh growl as he left the house for the moonlit forest. His strange statement, of not being able to stand "dead meat."

She had a sickening suspicion of what Naruto had meant when he talked of dead meat…the sight of the rabbit's remains were enough to make her become violently ill behind a bush while Sasuke simply studied the implications of Naruto's tracks and the blood splashed ground. He had explained the changes in Naruto tracks as they left the clearing following the trail of bloody handprints that soon faded back into dusty earth.

They had paused, searching for Naruto's tracks with their small flashlights when they heard the strange yowl echo from a nearby location. Both genin stopped before meeting each other's eyes. "I…don't think that was an a-animal." Sakura said halting while Sasuke nodded grimly.

"At least we know he's nearby." The Uchiha stated firmly. Sakura nodded, starting to wonder if her blonde teammate was….she firmly steered her thoughts away from that track. Maybe Naruto was related to the Inuzuka clan- Kiba had displayed some feral traits from time to time only to be firmly reprimanded by Iruka-sensei. But Kiba never devoured a rabbit whole in class…Inner Sakura murmured in the back of her head.

Naruto finally stopped in another clearing; flopping gracelessly onto the grass and finally acknowledging his vulpine companions with a whine and soft yipping yowl. His clawed hands and tails wandered from fox to fox as the three happily settled around him, thoughts drifting back to when he had met them, ears flattening slightly in discomfort.

The villagers used to have a tradition during the Kyuubi Festival, one that had threatened the village's fox population. Or rather, what was left of the fox population given the massive fox-hunt that had occurred initially after the Kyuubi attack…

Some fools had decided in all their drunken authority that finding a young fox and setting it to run down Konoha's main street while a small crowd chased it; intent on spilling kitsune blood. It had become known as the Running of the Fox in the short nine years that it had been happening.

It had been pure coincidence, that fateful first year. Naruto had just been meandering past the village gates when a terrified fox crashed, muzzle-first into his nine-year-old legs. The force had been enough to knock Naruto down and he was in the process of getting back up when the following mob had come round the corner to see Naruto kneeling next to the shivering fox as it cowered behind him.

Naruto's memories were at best, woolly. He remembered the crowd roaring and the first few blows as he hunched over the hapless fox's quaking form. He had awoken to find a worried Sandaime observing him from a chair in the corner of the small hospital room. The aged Hokage had gone on to explain the sadistic tradition that had quickly raised Naruto's ire.

Anger soon dissolved into worry as the small nine-year-old wondered what had become of the fox only to find the vulpine in question calmly curled up on his bed when he had finally returned to his apartment.

The next two years, Naruto had once again found himself not-so-accidently by the village gates while saving two more foxes from the clutches of the annual mobs with the help of his first fox friend, Hiro. The fox had distracted the mob one year while Naruto got the fox out of the under sized cage the villagers had stuffed the poor thing into, only to be bitten by the feisty fox. Hiro had taken the fox back to Naruto's apartment while the blond went to the hospital for stitches.

Last year hadn't gone smoothly with a villager wandering back to discover Naruto still picking the lock. His outraged cry had alerted the other villagers and it would've nearly been a repeat of the first year if Matsuda, his second furred friend hadn't bolted, running to inform Hiro of the plan's failure and they both had come back to help defend Naruto and drag the trembling fox from its cage and to Naruto's apartment when ANBU had shown up to disperse the mob and take Naruto to the hospital.

Naruto found himself distracted from his thoughts as he felt a sandpapery tongue lick at one of the cuts and slashes he'd received in his fight with the wolf. He glanced down at his chest to see Hiro repositioning himself so that he had easier access to Naruto's shoulder wound.

The blonde growled lightly for a moment before shifting into a wheeze that ended in a yip. /Wound will mend by next moonrise, you know that./

Snort, soft yowl followed by a whining yip. /Know that. Blood makes human coat messy and attracts others./ Hiro stopped his lapping for a moment to growl softly in the other foxes direction. /Stop being lazy and help!/

Reluctantly the other two foxes rose from their position on either side of Naruto started cleaning two of the other wounds Naruto had acquired. Kaede chose to work on a gash on Naruto left forearm while Matsuda slunk around Naruto's waist to take care of the other half of the wolf bite.

Sakura stared at the clearing with its partially congealed blood spatters and the fluttering strips of cloth that were strewn about on the ground and in the foliage; feeling her stomach shift rebelliously. Sasuke appeared unmoved by the disturbing scene but the pinkette though she saw a shudder shake his shoulders. Black eyes, made even darker by the dimly lit forest narrowed.

"He's not dead," he said flatly. "There's not enough blood for that."

Sakura let out an indignant squeak. "Not enough blood? But it's all spread out! He couldn't possibly-" She was cut off by her crush's snort.

"Not all of it is the dobe's. There are animal tracks here as well as Naruto's. Wolf, I think."

Sakura's jaw worked silently for a moment as she thought of her apparently feral teammate fighting a wolf. Trying not to think of the consequences, Sakura risked a second closer look at the clearing. It wasn't as bad as she had thought initially, with only two medium sized patches of blood on opposite sides of the field. Sasuke moved to crouch by the puddle nearest to them, studying the tracks. He grunted in satisfaction before rising to follow the tracks a few feet into the bushes.

Sakura drifted somewhat reluctantly to the other pool of blood and repressed the urge to throw up what little remained in her stomach as she spotted Naruto's unique ball-of-foot tracks leading away with smaller spatterings of the red liquid accompanying. Again, trying not to think of the possibilities, Sakura distracter herself by looking around and taking a closer glance at the ripped strips and patches of cloth strewn about the area. Absently the girl picked up the pieces of cloth noticing that both his obnoxious orange jacket and the black t-shirt he apparently had worn underneath it were hopelessly beyond repair.

What had the blonde been thinking when he had engaged in a fight with a wolf? Had he been thinking at all? Sakura could vaguely remember Iruka using Kiba's instincts against him on occasion and watching slightly stupefied as the brash boy unthinkingly had responded. Sakura frowned at the pile of fabric in her hands, wondering what to do with it. Burn it, Inner Sakura hissed. Burn it so that he can never wear that atrocious color ever again.

Luckily Sakura was distracted from what could've been a difficult decision by Sasuke waving his hand in front of her face and startling her into dropping the cloth. She was about to ask what he wanted when a small stream of fire set the scraps on fire. Sakura looked up to see Sasuke end the jutsu and tuck his hands easily into his pockets with a slight smirk.

"Let's go find the idiot before he dies of blood loss."

All four sets of vulpine ears pricked up and swiveled in the same direction as Naruto his companions heard the sounds of the something approaching their area. Matsuda stopped trying to catch one of Naruto's tails and edged closer to the clearing; crouching close to the ground.

/Check?/ He yipped hopefully. /Check and see?/ His belly was practically on the forest floor as his limbs trembled with excitement. Sighing as he continued petting Kaede Naruto let out a wordless growl of assent. Matsuda barked happily before shooting off into the darkened undergrowth; eager to see what was impinging on their temporary "territory."

Hiro watched Matsuda bolt away before idly settling himself opposite Kaede's position and nudging Naruto's free hand. Naruto rolled his eyes but obligingly started petting the oldest of his furred friends. He had been petting both foxes for all of ten minutes when Matsuda came flying back into the clearing, skidding to a rough halt.

/Ningen!/ He wheezed out, in between pants. /Ningen are coming!/

Naruto cocked his head the side, ears pointed back in the direction where the humans were crashing through the forest. Hiro raised his muzzle from his paws to regard Naruto.

/Ningen packmates?/ He wheezed out only to see Naruto shake his head.

/It could be leader. He not stupid to send packmates, knowing it's the great moon./ Naruto explained in a series of barks, wheezes and coughs.

Matsuda whined, ears drooping. /Saw two, following tracks./

Naruto stilled suddenly as he felt the wind shift directions as the humans finally stopped moving. He could identify both scents without a second thought. Strawberry shampoo and a slight overuse of perfume heralded his female teammate's approach while the other's scent was more subtle. Smoke, mixed with the greasy smell of kunai oil and a hint of sweat announced the advancement of the self-proclaimed avenger.

/Never mind. Leader apparently idiot unless he hiding downwind. Probably is./ Naruto growled while trying to decide what to do- hide in the trees, sit here and let them find him or slip into fox form and hide in plain sight? A darker, sleepy rumble suggested killing them and returning back to the house to kill all but Naruto easily ignored the current holder of the title Kyuubi.

The blonde kitsune finally decided to do nothing, his rage slightly soothed by the rabbit he'd eaten and the brawl he'd enjoyed with the wolf. His ears flickered slightly as he estimated how much longer he had before his teammates arrived. Three minutes. His three fox friends sat, watching him, awaiting his plan. The rusty blonde let out a sigh, tails swishing through the air in lazy arcs before explaining his plan. /Let ningen approach- they packmates and if leader and me agree on one thing, packs need trust./

All three foxes whined in protest, ears flattening as they thought of being in the open with ningen. Naruto let out a sympathetic wheezing whine. All four froze as they heard a twig snapped and Naruto suppressed a flash of annoyance- were his teammates trying to alert every living animal in the forest to their presence?

Sasuke silently contemplated on whether or not he could convince Naruto to help him in killing Kakashi as he continued following the blonde's tracks. The jounin probably knew whatever was wrong with the dobe and could've tracked down the missing idiot in less than thirty minutes, crutches or no crutches. A small, traitorous voice had started murmuring whispers of uncertainty, wondering if the last Uchiha would be able to handle his genin teammate if the boy was hostile. He took on a wolf, the voice spoke in a slightly seductive undertone. He took on a wolf and came out on top- would you be able to boast the same?

Sasuke shook himself mentally, reminding himself that his teammate was the dead last student of their class, and as such have a minimal skill set. He probably used his shadow clones to overpower the wolf, Sasuke reasoned silently, noticing that the tracks were leading to a clearing and that the small animals that had started trailing Naruto had migrated so that they must've been brushing up against his legs as he walked. Another mystery…He was pulled from his thoughts roughly as Sakura gasped and clutched as his arm, staring into the clearing they had reached. Glancing up from the tracks, the bloodline user felt his own eyes widen as his mind numbly registered that his missing teammate had three bushy fox tails extending from his spine, and a pair of sharply pointed fox ears buried within a mound of rusty blonde spikes.

Sakura swayed on her feet and Sasuke reluctantly braced her as he watched Naruto's ears swivel in their direction and heard him speak.

"Took you long enough."

Naruto smirked easily as he petted Hiro, listening to Sasuke's increased heart rate and smelling the fear rolling off of Sakura. Part of him regretted letting Hiro and the others clean off the blood that had dried from his hunting and from his small battle. Stretching languidly, the kitsune finally rose to his feet, easily balancing his weight forward on the front of his feet. His tails moved seemingly of their own accord, wafting through the air, briefly stopping to give reassuring caresses to his silent foxes. Finally he stopped delaying the inevitable and turned to face his stunned companions.

Sakura let out a slight whimper as she watched Naruto stand and turn to face them. She was so busy in watching her obviously, inhuman teammate, that she barely registered the fact that Sasuke had braced her, keeping an arm wrapped tightly around her shoulders.

She was too busy observing Naruto's crimson colored eyes, noticing their slanted appearance and the slit pupils. The thin birthmarks on his cheeks had thickened and stretched so that they touched the edge of his jaw line, wrinkling as Naruto gave them both a predatory grin; revealing his sharpened canines. His entire face seemed leaner and sharper, framed by spikes that were now a rusty shade of reddish blonde; easily hiding the bases of two triangular ears that shifted and moved of their own accord, much like the tails silently shifting the air behind him.

"So silent, packmates?" His voice had roughened, dropping an octave or so, almost as he had been in a fire and breathed into too much smoke. Sasuke shifted, loosening his grip on her shoulders.

"Sorry if we're silent while we come to terms with the fact that idiot dead-last at the Academy is not what he appeared to be." Sasuke's voice held a scathing edge, though it trembled a little. Naruto's eyes narrowed and he opened his mouth but was distracted by one of the three foxes behind him yowled softly before whining as all three moved to swarm around his feet. Naruto's face softened slightly and he reassured them with a series of yips, soft wheezes and gentle growls.

This was the last straw for Sakura and she felt her legs give out completely as her eyes rolled to the back of her head as she collapsed to the forest floor to the slight surprise of Sasuke and the disgusted amusement of Naruto who moved from his position in the middle of the clearing to a few feet away as he gazed at his unconscious packmate.

"Weak….I wasn't even projecting any sakki." Naruto muttered under his breath.

Sasuke snorted softly, taking the chance to observe Naruto as the blonde stared at Sakura, his nose twitching slightly. He had noticed the obvious changes to his teammate's body but his eye's narrowed as he noticed the mostly healed wounds that marked Naruto's torso and arms and the faded scars scattered mostly across the teen's back.

He moved as if to place his hand on one scar only to find a tail locked around his wrist and Naruto glaring at him, ears flattened as a menacing growl rumbled in his chest. "Don't. Now where's 'Kashi?"

Sasuke quirked an eyebrow at the bastardization of their teacher's name before shrugging as he crouched to check on Sakura. "Probably back at the house, doing damage control on your little outburst."

The blunette stopped as he felt a clawed hand on his shoulder, fingers tightening as Naruto brought the wary Uchiha back to a standing position before grabbing a handful of Sasuke's shirt. "…Are you telling me that that worthless domesticated mutt of a jounin decided to send two genin after an irritable fox demon during a full moon?!" Naruto released Sasuke and stalked back to the center of the clearing before taking a deep breath and flinging back his head in sakki-laced yowl that had Sasuke shuddering and the foxes on their bellies trembling.


Kakashi paused in his "damage control" explanation of Naruto's life to Inari when a yowl ripped through the night air. Inari instinctively curled up tighter as Kakashi calmly ignored the killing intent surrounding his name that accompanied the yowl. Ah, looks like they found Naruto. The jounin thought with an inward smile.

Naruto prowled ahead of his small group restlessly, moving from side to side. Hiro and the others were out; probably scrounging their own dinner from the land's depleted wildlife. Sasuke was behind him, reluctantly carrying their unconscious team/packmate. Naruto let out a slight snort of disgust at the thought of Sakura. If he was able to knock her deeper into unconsciousness just from a flare of sakki, how would she deal with the more advanced and dangerous shinobi that roamed the Hidden Continents?

As the restive kitsune ranged away from his human companions, his nose twitched as he picked up the scent of another rabbit. He stopped for a few minutes, settling back on his haunches as he debated whether or not he should hunt. The blonde had all but decided when a sarcastic voice spoke, breaking him from his thoughts.

"What's the hold up? I thought you wanted to get back and rip Kakashi a new one as soon as possible." Naruto absently glanced over his shoulder before starting to growl a response.

/Ningen don't like blood in the-/ Naruto cursed silently before speaking in a language Sasuke could understand. "Food nearby….Probably will hunt so that meeting won't become a leader-fight."

Sasuke quirked an eyebrow but set Sakura at the base of a nearby tree before reaching towards his kunai pouch only for an angry snarl to stop. Sasuke's breath hitched slightly as black eyes met hot carmine eyes that bored into his, speaking silently- Don't you dare, try and I'll kill you, killkillkillpreyminemineMINE! The kunai dropped from nerveless fingers as Sasuke stopped, eyes unfocused as his mind drifted; briefly caught up in the memories of that night.

Naruto eased up on the sakki, letting out a pleased rumble as he backed up a few steps before whirling around and dropping into a wary crouch as he moved into the undergrowth in search of his second meal.

Sasuke grumbled slightly as he found himself tracking his foxy teammate for the second time in one night. The moon lit Naruto's tracks as the blonde moved easily through the undergrowth of the forest, tracking whatever he was hunting. A flicker of movement caught his attention and the Uchiha wheeled around to his right to catch a flash of multiple tails waving as Naruto launched himself at a supposedly random bush, a flash of brown and white of fur streaking ahead of the blonde.

Watched slightly stupefied as Naruto paused before lunging forward to capture a hind leg in one clawed hand; jerking the frantically flailing rabbit towards him, the other hand latching on the small head, yanking back to expose the soft throat. Feeling slightly sickened as he watched sharpened teeth biting into the fur, driven by powerful jaw muscles only to twist and wrench away in a wild spray of blood. Eyes twitching to catch the blissful look on Naruto's face as he swallowed a large lump of fur, skin, and muscle meat before his head darted back down to tear a fresh mouthful; this time from the stomach.

Sasuke's brain finally seemed to reboot and he unthinkingly took a step backward- only to have the misfortune to step on a small patch of dead leaves. Naruto's head snapped up with an almost audible crack and feral eyes narrowed and bloodstained lips and fangs were bared in a predatory growl. The rabbit was dropped in the dirt as Naruto shifted to a combative crouch, blood covered claws dug into the dirt as the fox hunched over his kill protectively.

Sasuke froze for what seemed the millionth time as Naruto took a step forward, a menacing growl still echoing through the still air. Different thoughts seemed to start, racing through his mind only to die a moment later; except for one. An aged sounding voice, probably from some old documentary he had watched one time, about wolves. It mentioned something…..alpha wolf, submissive motions, betas and omegas…

It finally clicked and Sasuke started to growl vocally but stopped as he saw Naruto's dark eyes brightened and the blonde inched forward as if eager for a fight. Dropping his eyes to the ground, Sasuke moved to his knees, eyes darting to look at Naruto's hands and feet. Still tensed, still ready to pounce on him if he so much as breathed aggressively. Sasuke groaned mentally but slowly fell to one side and shifted so that he was on his back; stomach and neck exposed to the air. He kept his eyes closed and tried to loosen tense muscles but they seemed locked into place as he heard the growl stop and padding footsteps approached him. Jumped in surprised as a nose snuffled about his ear and jaw line, leaving traces of something warm and sticky before pulling away with a content grunt.

After a few seconds, Sasuke heard Naruto resume eating and risked cracking an eye open. The blonde was intent on finishing his meal and apparently ignoring Sasuke. The Uchiha stood up cautiously and backed away from the gory scene, returning to find Sakura stirring faintly as the foxes who followed Naruto watched her intently.

Naruto returned soon enough to Sasuke and Sakura, slightly pleased that the pinkette had woken up. She flinched slightly as his eyes glanced over her before flicking over to Sasuke. The Uchiha's chin jerked upward as Naruto's partially closed eyes slid a little further shut as the blonde's head tilted to one side, jaw line sharply defined in the moonlight; tails lazily moving as the blonde spoke. "You did a good job of baring your throat for a cursed blood….but you've had practice with your brother at least."

Naruto's words earned a low growl from Sasuke throat only for the blonde to send him a withering look before padding away into the darkness; tails waving and his foxes trotting faithfully by his raised heels. Sakura stayed wisely silent, unsure of what had happened between the two while she had been unconscious. Finally the two followed their kitsune teammate through the forest; arriving back at Tazuna's house within fifteen minutes.

Sasuke watched as Naruto's stance changed as the blonde stared up at the second story of the small home. Naruto leaned forward, feet subtly sliding into an offensive stance with his hands loosely curled; eyes narrowed. Finally the blonde bared his fanged teeth, a single bark issuing forth, wreathed in a hint of killing intent. /Kashi./

Sasuke and Sakura were the only one surprised when their jounin teacher appeared on the second story balcony. Both genin felt their eyes widening as Kakashi cocked his head to the side and, instead of his customary "Yo", simply made an inquisitive whine. /You barked?/

Naruto's tails merely lashed and his ears flattened against his skull. "Don't give me that "you barked" bullshit routine you /worthless tamed/ half breed mutt of a bastard/ wolf bitch/ jounin! You sent ningen team/pack/mates after /knowing it great moon/ and I /heir to Kyuubi no Youko title/ was prowling on blood/lust/!"

Sasuke and Sakura watched as Naruto paced restlessly, guessing that his yelped, barked, yowled and whined comments were not polite ones as Kakashi jerked from his lazy slouch to an attentive position before leaping down to stand before the raging kitsune as he ranted, half normally and half in fox tongue. The kitsune paused for breath and that's when Kakashi broke in, thankfully in normal speech.

"Maa, Naruto. Think of it as a team bonding exercise. Better for your teammates to find out about your furry issues here then if your genjutsu dropped during a battle due to cha-"

"If you say chakra exhaustion I will /kill you/." Naruto hissed through his teeth, slipping back into fox tongue. "/It like sending kits to defend pack or hunt for food when not out of den! Thought you would take care, with your packtalk and leader-mind but just as bad as omega! Even Kyuubi better lea-/"

Kakashi closed his eyes before barking a single command that surprisingly stopped the ranting fox. "/That is enough Naruto/!" He was rewarded with the brief sight of a stunned Naruto before a malevolent glitter entered Naruto's eyes, only to vanish as Kakashi roughly pinned him to the side of Tazuna's house. "Do not turn this into a leader-fight." Kakashi growled under his breath as Naruto thrashed against the jounin's hold.

After a few minutes the blonde stilled and genin and jounin locked eyes. Both immediately stilled and Sasuke twitched as he felt sakki leak into the air as Sakura knees wavered alarmingly. Finally Kakashi broke and glanced away first as Naruto let out a satisfied snarl. "Smart choice 'Kashi-inu. Even if you had me pinned, Hiro and Kaede would've ripped your Achilles tendon. Can't fight if you can't move."

Kakashi froze as he suddenly became aware of the hot breath being blown against the back of his heels. He turned his head slightly and saw two of the three foxes accompanying Naruto; poised to bite through his tendons as threatened. Why do we even have backless shoes? The silver haired nin wondered briefly as he spotted the third fox in Naruto coterie keeping his apparently stunned genin at bay. Realizing that he had been well and truly outmaneuvered- and by a green genin no less- Kakashi slowly let up the smirking fox.

Turning his head, Naruto issued a sharp yowl and the foxes responded silently, backing away till they stood with Naruto. In turn the boy merely gave the quiet group a vulpine smile and sauntering inside. An unsettled Sasuke absently noticed that the fox had cast a simple genjutsu over his tails and ears before turning to send an incredulous look at his defeated-looking teacher.

Naruto settled softly onto the roof and stretched lazily; basking in the waning moonlight. Matsuda, Kaede and Hiro informed them of their content with simple rumbling growls that sound closer to a purr then a growl. Naruto echoed their noises, folding his legs beneath him and resting his muzzle on his forepaws with a soft sigh; nostrils flaring slightly.

He had shifted from human to fox form shortly after stepping onto the balcony and passing the insolent brat's room. A part of him was pleased at the whimper of terror his footsteps elicited or the scent of terror that wafted to his nose. Jumping from balcony to roof had been a simple matter for a three-tailed kitsune and the others had used the balcony railing to reach the rooftop.

Now he shifted slightly, an ear twitching as it picked up a soft snore from within the house- Tazuna probably. He could also hear Sasuke and Sakura moving about the bedrooms they were using and Kakashi murmuring something to the both of them. The fox huffed slightly as he picked up on the conversation; Kakashi was reassuring them both that he was safe enough to be around, and yes Sakura, the Hokage knew of Naruto's…abnormalities.

Lazy carmine eyes drifted to a half-closed state and Naruto felt his thought process slowing down; shifting more of a fox's way of thinking than a humans. He stayed like that for a while, vaguely aware that the ningen inside the house below had gone to bed and that only Kakashi was the only one awake, prowling through the shadows. More time passed and finally Naruto succumbed to the insistent call of sleep.

Kakashi glanced upwards at the roof of the house as he circled the area around the small dwelling. Naruto's chaotic chakra had finally settled soothed into the rhythm of sleep a few hours ago but the jounin had yet to check on his less-human student. Sasuke had been silent and broody; his chakra flickering dangerously as the Uchiha listened to Kakashi soothe a near-hysterical Sakura.

The jounin shook his head, quietly leaping from tree to balcony to rooftop. He steadied his balance for a moment before silently padding over to where he felt Naruto's unique chakra source. Surprisingly the boy had positioned himself over the section of roof that covered the rooms where his teammates were resting. Combining this with his impassioned rant earlier, Kakashi could feel his spirits rise a little; maybe this hodgepodge of a team wasn't doomed to failure like its predecessors. Maybe this generation would prove strong enough to accept each other and keep each other safe.

Kakashi was pulled from his contemplations by a strange sound. He glanced down at the limp form at his feet; lips twitching slightly. At some point, Naruto had shifted from his warmly furred fox form to his more vulnerable human state. The blonde was on his side, limbs curled close to him in an attempt to keep warm; tails included. But his teeth betrayed him, chattering in the chill night air. All three of his foxes were sprawled beside him, but their warmth wasn't enough to keep the genin warm.

The jounin shrugged before turning to leaping lightly back to the balcony and entering the house, heading for the first floor.

Naruto stirred slightly, a clawed hand sleepily rising to bat at the source of light that was insistently rousing the slumbering genin. When his hand failed to encounter anything but air; Naruto risked cracking an eye open to glimpse his surroundings- nothing but blue sky and an annoyingly brilliant orb of light that made the genin hiss and retreat into the warm security of his blanke-wait.

The blonde shifted to a more upright position abruptly. He stared down at the simple blanket that covered most of his body and his three companions who had, at some point in the night, migrated under the covering. He hadn't grabbed a blanket before retreating to the roof…A brief sniff of the fabric revealed his Good Samaritan- it reeked faintly of 'Kashi's scent. Naruto wrinkled his nose briefly before pulling the blanket off of him and his foxes and folding it.

Carefully lifting his body onto all fours, so as not to disturb his sleeping friends, Naruto sauntered to the roof's edge and dropped to the balcony with a purposely loud thud before inside the house; hiding his tails and ears as he did so. Maybe this pack won't be so bad after all….even if beta is a tail chase reading lover stuck in the past…

A/N: Ok, so feel free to shoot me. I know I said I would be off my hiatus by mid-June and I obviously wasn't. Blame falls squarely on my shoulders, with only a meager defense of college to protect me from your wrath. And, I hate to break it to you but Wandering is going to go under some surgery before a new chapter is posted- and that hasn't started yet. I need to settle Naruto's personality and change a few things. An example of such is that he's going to lose the half-fox form.

I've posted more editing details on my LiveJournal which can be reached by the homepage link on my profile- it'll also give you a better idea of why I abruptly fell off the face of the internet unless you were family, friend or beta.

Another reason, other than real life and good ol' Writer's Block, is the old fashioned plot bunnies. Two specific ones, three if you count this fic. Obito-sensei is mentioned on my profile and will be posted at some point in the next...year or so. I think. The other attacked my half asleep brain as I roused from my zombie like sleep to notice that there was a tunderstorm going on. It spawned and burrowed deep into my brain and sat there smugly, waiting for me to give in and write. Thunder now has nine paragraphs written. Dammit. There's more but it's 4:43 and I have AP homework to tackle.

So, hope you enjoyed KYKN and I will probably see you all (if you haven't deserted me) when Thunder gets posted.