The Will of Fire

All ninja of Konoha have the Will of Fire. But for Naruto, it has a different meaning. For Naruto, it is the ability to resist the Kyuubi and his own dark urges, to protect his friends and do the right thing. One-shot.

Written in response to a suggestion by hakuse-kun.

He was so very angry. But even in his anger, he did not forget to be human. He did not forget to pull his punches as Mizuki grew weaker and weaker.

When the traitorous chuunin slumped to the ground, unconscious, Naruto stopped immediately. Even though he was angry, and even though he still felt the energy and aggression from the adrenaline flowing through his veins, he would not harm a helpless opponent.

Despite the darker urgings, and the rumbling suggestions from the voice that Naruto now knew as the demon, Kyuubi, that Mizuki had told him about, Naruto refused to do anything more to hurt the chuunin.

Naruto had defeated the man, and that was enough. It was by his own will that he resisted the pull to more violence, to the man who had lied to him, and betrayed Iruka-sensei.

And because he had resisted, Naruto was able to fell properly happy when Iruka bestowed his hitai-ate upon him.

In the battle on the bridge, Naruto regained control after only a second or two. Soon enough to keep from doing any more than breaking the mirrors and punching that guy, Haku.

Naruto was glad. Even now, as he regained control of his body, he could sense the Valkyrie's call to war and violence, and the demon's call to something... darker.

But Naruto refused to do anything more. By his own will, he resisted the pounding, throbbing desire to kill and maim, even when that pig Gato showed up with his men. Naruto still roughed them up, because he had to, but once they gave up, Naruto stopped.

And none of Kyuubi's muttered threats and curses could get him to do a single thing more.

But Naruto could not always keep it away. In the Forest of Death, the criminal ninja Orochimaru appeared, threatening the lives of Naruto and his two teammates.

Surprised and angry, the blonde could not hold back the sudden rage of the demon within, combined with his own, dark desire to massacre this pale-faced freak of nature.

But he tried, and he tried hard. Watching helplessly from his own eyes, he pushed back the chakra with all his might, risking even his own life, as his efforts caused his body to tremble and twitch while it fought. Naruto was determined to live his life his own way. The way of peace. Of honor. Of kindess, and cheerfulness, and happiness. He didn't want to be a monster.

And so Naruto was secretly glad when Orochimaru caught his body with a quick blow to the stomach, knocking him unconscious.

When Naruto fought Gaara, it was so much harder. Kyuubi was hungry, hungry to do battle with the other demon. It was only by a miracle of willpower that Naruto was able to not only defeat the jinkuurichi of Suna, but also to do so while, the whole time, resisting the pull of Kyuubi's power, which the demon impatiently shoved through the seal.

Only Naruto's iron determination kept the red haze from bubbling to the surface, and the rage from overtaking his self-control. Naruto knew that even a second's slip would be enough to lose himself for hours, in the frenzy that Kyuubi was in now.

And so with an effort that surpassed all his other actions at any previous time, Naruto pushed the demon's chakra back, and kept it back, for the entirety of the fight.

Incidentally, he also managed to defeat Gaara.

Fighting against Sasuke, there was no holding back the demon's chakra. In such a situation, he needed all the help he could get.

But that did not mean that he gave up on his ideals. On the contrary, Naruto clung to them with a fiercer tenacity than usual, careful that he did not lose himself to the beast within, even as he fought with all his might to convince his only brother to return home.

More and more of the demon's power seeped out of the seal, keeping him on par with the level two cursed seal, but Naruto's Will of Fire prevented any outrageous action on his own part.

And when the time came, when he saw the opening in Saskuke's defense, as they flew towards each other, rasengan and chidori outstretched, Naruto resisted the demon's whispered suggestions, and the dark urges from his sense of betrayal, and his hatred.

Instead, Naruto made his point, begun at the beginning of the fight, and drew a thin line across Sasuke's hitai-ate.

Maybe it was just Orochimaru. Because when Naruto found him again, this time when he was with Sakura and Yamoto, he lost it.

Only for a few minutes, but it was enough.

As he was coming out of it, the horror sank in. No. He'd let the demon take over. He'd let his own dark desires cloud his judgment for just a second too long, and then the fox was in control, raging against the pale-faced freak once again.

And Sakura-chan... If he lived a thousand years, Naruto would never forgive himself for hurting Sakura-chan like that. His teammate from so long ago, back when Sasuke was with them. And he'd hurt her.

Despite her conforting words, he saw the way she winced in pain at every touch near her shoulder, and the way she never leaned on it or laid on that side.

And it tore him apart inside. Using his festering guilt and feelings of inadequacy, Naruto steeled himself anew, vowing that he would never again let himself lose control.

With a will of more than steel, he promised this to himself. Never again.

It seemed so odd, but the happiest time of his life was learning the next level of the rasengan. Even though it took so much effort, and so much time, he enjoyed every minute of it.

Because he didn't have to worry about his self-control. Yamoto was there to assist him should he ever show the demon's taint. So Naruto was, for possibly the first time in his life, totally free from his worries. Without a care in the world, he was able to quickly progress through the most difficult technique he had ever learned.

It was pure joy for him.

Naruto smiled as he watched over the village of Konoha. His village of Konoha. As the Hokage, it was sort of his, though perhaps not in the most technical sense of the term.

With the Akatsuki defeated, and the village of Sound nothing more than a memory, Naruto had no enemies worth consideration. And thus, to his great happiness, no enemies who might arouse his anger, and tempt him to irrational violence.

Even now, so long after his last time losing control, back when he hurt Sakura-chan, Naruto kept a careful guard on his mind, never failing to make certain that the demon remained far from the surface of his mind.

It was with supreme happiness that Naruto looked out over the village of Konoha, proud to know that he would never be a danger to his friends, ever again.

He had the Will of Fire.

Kind of cheesy, but yeah... Let me know what you think, yeah?