Sasuke sat on the branch and looked at them. "I'm not impressed."

"Shit head, we aren't here to impress you," the red head told him. "We are here to kill you."

To which Sasuke yawned. "I doubt you can." They jumped at him and Sasuke rolled back, came back up, and did a round house kick to the back of the fat one. That one was thrown to the ground. Next came the one with six arms. His Sharigan activated, he twisted left and right, avoiding the attacks. When he saw the opening, he took it. His kicked out, connecting with his chest. There was a crack and he slammed into the building they had jumped from. Looking down, he saw smoke rising from the explosive tag Sasuke put there. It exploded while the one with two heads attacked now. Sasuke blocked a punch and lashed out one of his own. But an arm grew out and caught his wrist.

The girl took advantage of this and kicked him in the chest, before grunting in discomfort. It felt like she kicked a wall. Sasuke slammed his elbow down on the arm holding his, breaking it. Followed by an upper cut to his jaw, throwing him away as well. He turned to the red head. "What the hell are you," she asked.

"An Uchiha. Tell me who sent you, so I can kill him."

She growled at him before what looked like lightning bolt tattoos covered her flesh. "Go to hell!"

"...Ah, the seal. So that snake sent you? Good, I have a message for him. And you will deliver it for me." He ducked as the others came at him, all with their seals activated. "Tell Orochimaru I don't want nor need his power."

"Then you die," Kidomaru told him.

Sasuke grinned before he began to change. His chest expanded as he grew taller. Before them stood a giant humanoid raven. "You can try. You'll fail but you can try."Before long, Sasuke stood over their battered bodies. They had many tears in their flesh from his talons as well as burns from his jutsus, and bruises from his punches. He currently held the girl at eye level, two feet above the branch he stood on. Slowly, he changed back until he was human again. "You'll deliver my message, I trust?"

"Y-Yes," she told him.

He looked her up and down. "Maybe I should just have one of the others tell him and keep you to myself. After all, I literally hold your life in the palm of my hand right now."

"Fuck you," she struggled to say, making him chuckle.

"Nah, your not my type. I like strong women." He threw her a top the others. "Get out of my sight." He looked from them to Konoha. "I don't need anything else from here. No one here could possible help me get stronger now." He changed again and jumped into the air. He climbed higher and higher into the air, not caring if anyone saw him.

—oo000oo—

"The ears," Hinata about purred. "How I've missed them."

Naruto tried to protest but she had found this one spot on his right ear than made him whimper a little. "Get off of him," Shion said for him. "Naruto can barely handle having his ears rubbed like that, considering it is a sexual advance as well." Hinata took a moment to process this, her face turned red, and she moved a leg a little to feel if...she felt it hardening. She passed out and Shion lifted her off Naruto and set her against the wall. Naruto got up and shook his fur back out. "Who is this," Shion asked with a glare.

"Hyuuga Hinata, heir of the Hyuuga clan of Konoha. That is the second time she glomped this Naruto for his ears."

"Only the second?"

"This Naruto hasn't had them long." He shook his head, removing the feeling from them so he could return to 'normal'. "What are the coincidence though, that it would be Konoha that came and they would send her team. Of all of them why hers?"

"What is it they do?"

"They track and find missing or hidden things. Hinata has the Byakugan, an eye that sees through things and for great distances. Her teammates are Kiba and Shino. Kiba is dog like, including their sense of smell. And Shino is an Aburame. He controls insects." Naruto looked around for the others and didn't see, nor smell them. "For the moment, this Naruto is hidden. But not for long."

"Do you want to run?"

Naruto thought about it deeply. "No. This Naruto doesn't know fully what was said. The Council room has seals on it that prevent people from listening in on them. That he could hear them, even a little, speaks of how good his ears are. But no one knows that this Naruto is a demon. What can he say?"

"Let's wake her then."

Naruto took his tail in hand and brushed the tip of it against her nose. She moaned and wiped her nose. Naruto pulled back and did it again until she opened her eyes. "Naruto!" She hugged him. "I can't believe it, you're really here! How did you get here?"

"By running, Hyuuga-san. How have you been?"

"I...am no longer a Hyuuga, Naruto. Both me and Neji left it to start a better clan. We are Akatsuki now."

"Red dawn?"

"...To get free of the Hyuuga is a bloody ritual. While we also view leaving as the dawn on our new lives."

"That is good, this Naruto thinks, getting a new life... He imagines he has some explaining to do."

"No. I don't doubt my father and the council drove you away, Naruto-kun. But I am glad to know you are alright."

"...How is the Old Man?"

"He is... I would describe it as tired. He misses you, Naruto-kun."

Naruto was quiet for a moment. "Oh, Hinata, this is Shion-chan, this Naruto's best friend. He has been living with her and her mother, Melfena-sama."

"...Why are you talking like that?"

"Like what?"

"You said 'This Naruto'."

"This Naruto didn't," he said with a straight face.

"You just did."

"He did?" He turned to Shion. "Shion-chan, does this Naruto speak odd?"

She was quiet for a moment. "What about you is normal, Naruto?"

"...This Naruto will take that as a complement." He turned back to Hinata. "See? He doesn't."

"...Are you teasing me?"

"No more than the rest of the world." He stopped smiling. "Kiba and Shino are with you, yes? They always could see more than others. No doubt they will know this Naruto is here soon enough if not already. And from them, everyone else."

"I guess... Naruto-kun, it is safe back home, you can come back."

"Safe...for this Naruto maybe. But he will not return, not to stay."

"Why not? Everyone there wants you back?"

"No, they want this Naruto's healing back. He has realized something being here, Hinata-san. What will happen if the ability they want so bad spreads. There will be nothing stopping Konoha or whatever village gets it. From the weakest genin to the strongest jonin and even Kage, all of them just heal after a little time except for the most destructive of attacks. How long until greed sets in? What damage will be done by it?"

"B-But, I want my hero back home," Hinata whispered.

"Your hero," Shion asked.

"...When I was little, I saw how hard Naruto tried even though everyone pushed him down. I wanted to be strong like that."

Naruto tilted his head, suddenly noticing something. "What happened to your eyes, they were pale blue. And you have pupils now."

"...Naruto-kun...I was as strong as you are. I faced my father and the Hyuuga clan elders. And I was exiled for it." She suddenly smiled at them. "The best decision I ever made, even if my Byakugan is gone."

"They...took your eyes," Shion asked.

"No. The Hyuuga had a cursed seal that they put on the members of the branch family. Though I was born part of the main family, I was given the curse on my forehead and then the Byakugan was sealed from me and my children."

"What did you do?"

"I told them they were wrong, that the Hyuuga needed to change to survive. They did not approve. If they had known what they had created though, they might have considered it."

"What did they create," Naruto questioned.

Hinata smiled at him, "The Akatsuki Clan. There is no more Main and Branch family, there is only Hyuuga and Akatsuki. We chose exile over servitude. Because I stood up for them, they chose me." She shook her head. "Naruto-kun, Shion-chan, can you head back please? I still have a lot of work to do, we can talk later." She shooed them away and went on to checking the food. "Naruto-kun...I have missed you and it is good to see you again. Ears and all."

He nodded in return. "And you, Hinata-san. This Naruto will see you later then, correct?"

"You bet," she said with a smile.

—oo000oo—

Sasuke landed miles away from the village. He caught a scent that interested him. It smelled of old blood from one and something familiar from the other. "Where the hell could the gaki be," a person in a black cloak groaned. On his back was a bandaged wrapped sword.

"Stop complaining," his partner told him. "No matter where he went, we will find him."

Sasuke growled, he knew that voice. "ITACHI!" He ran forward and tried to stab his brother with a kunai. Itachi side stepped it and grabbed his arm.

"Well, well, little brother..." He snapped the bone in his arm. "Coming at me like that...you are still to weak. At least you have completed your Sharigan. But still no Mangekyu, what is holding you back?"

Sasuke laughed, "That is what you think." Itachi took a look of surprise when he felt the bones mend back together. "I am going to kill you, brother. And then I am going to spread your entrails across the country." The two of them looked at him as he grew taller than them in moments.

"What in the name of Kami," Kisame asked, looking up at the wereraven.

"...For a moment, I thought it was Orochimaru's curse seal but this is far different," Itachi stated. He jumped out of the way when his brother snapped his beak at him.

"Die Itachi!" He jumped into the air and started raining fireballs down on them.

"What the fuck did you do," Kisame demanded.

"...I killed my family and tortured him with my Sharigan."

"You fucking idiot!" He did several handsigns and water came shooting from his mouth. He jumped inside it to protect himself from the fires.

If Sasuke had a mouth now, he would smile. He knew how to kill him for sure. He just needed to drive him into the water. "Not going to run like your friend," he taunted.

"Against you, no. I don't fear weaklings." Sasuke growled and dived down. He tore a gash in the ground with his talons when he missed. He kicked again, catching only his cloak. He was beginning to move to fast for Itachi's Sharigan to help him. "Where did you get this strength?"

"I'm not about to tell you!" He punched and Itachi blocked it. There was a crack from his bones from how strong it was.

"You are strong, Sasuke," he said, taking another step back. "But you swing it around wildly, hoping it will work. You are nothing more than the wild animal you look like."

"Even wild animals can kill ninja!" Itachi stepped back and hit the water. "Chidori!" Itachi was forced back farther into it. The chidori hit the water and coursed through the whole thing. Sasuke changed back as he saw Itachi just floating there, not moving.

—oo000oo—

"Come on, Naruto," Shion said, dragging him into the village a couple of hours later. "I want to go shopping."

"Women and their need to shop," he whined. "When will you learn, 'he who knows enough is enough will always have enough'." He just sighed when Shion poked her tongue out at him.

"And I don't have enough," she told him with a smile. "There! I heard a new store that sells platinum jewelry just around the corner!"

"Okay, okay," he replied. He let her pull him some more, rounded the corner, and...

"SURPRISE," the whole village shouted at him. Banners were hung from building to building, reading, 'Thank you, Melfena! Thank you, Naruto!'

Naruto looked at it all, amazed. "No...did you know about this, Shion-chan?"

She smiled shamelessly, "I did. The whole village wanted to thank you for saving us. You and mother."

"This Naruto can't, he couldn't... He could!" He started laughing as they dragged him in.

Off to the side, Kurenia stared in amazement. Naruto was actually enjoying himself in this small village. Being a master of hiding what was beneath the surface herself, she knew that Naruto had hurt in Konoha. But here, among people that had only known him for a short amount of time, he was as happy as a child should be. It made her feel...guilty that he was happier with strangers. "Damn lucky fox," Kiba growled.

"What," Shino asked.

"Her," he said, pointing to Shion. "It never fails, since he got those ears and tail, women have loved him."

Hinata blushed, "And there is that."

"Don't remind us," Shino said, almost groaning. He glanced at Kurenai and saw she was blushing a little as well.

They looked back to Naruto to see him eating enough for ten. He grabbed a passing pitcher of tea, drained it, and continued eating. Then someone called out for a speech. "This Naruto? Okay...he has one. This Naruto was literally trained, born, and bred for combat. He couldn't have ever imagined his life without it before he came here. In a way, he has to thank the Hokage and Council for scaring him into running away. Because, if they did not, he would be in Konoha, fighting men and women that he has nothing against. But here, in this place, he now dreams simple dreams. Growing old, raising a family, having friends that truly care. Not being around people that brood all the time, that favor one over another because he seems better, and are entralled over someone's prestige and blood."

"His team," Hinata muttered.

"He is happy here and he never wants to leave. This Naruto knows that he doesn't know some of you half as well he should. And others, he likes all too much it seems. But with the welcome he found here, there is nothing this Naruto would not put on the line to protect it and everyone here!" People started clapping and patting him on the back. "But let us not forget the real hero of this village. Priestess Melfena. This Naruto may have slain a demon, but she saved this Naruto." He picked up a glass and stood. "To Priestess Melfena." His toast was repeated by everyone there, raising their glass as well and looking at the priestess. "Now... Aren't we supposed to be having a fiesta!?" Everyone laughed and the music started playing.

"...Kurenai-sensei, what are we supposed to do," Hinata asked. "He is happy here but we were ordered that if we find him, we were to return him to Konoha."

She watched Naruto for a minute. "We'll ask him to come peacefully," she replied. "After that...we will be forced to take him." She noticed Naruto's ears twitched and he glanced over to them. But only for a heartbeat. He looked past them and waved as several people came behind them to the party, letting Kurenai swallow her heart.

"Well, could we force him," Kiba asked. "If what they said is true, he did kill a powerful demon." He turned back to look at him to find Naruto crouching down on the table in front of him, smiling. "WHOA!"

"HAHAH! Nervous? Come on, Kiba, there are several girls over there eying you and Shino." He pulled them to their feet and pulled them along.

Hinata watched him walk away. "Would it be right to take him away from here? He is happy here."

"...Our orders are absolute. We have to take him back." She watched him pushed the two over to a bunch of girls and slap them on the back. "...I want to find out about his life here. And that woman that brought him to the party." Before she could move though, she saw Naruto stop, rub his chin, and turn to Shino.

"This Naruto apologizes for what he must do." Faster than they could react, he moved. His hands came up and...lowered the lip of Shino's coat and raised his sunglasses for all the world to see for an instant. Hinata, Kurenai, and Kiba tensed as no one had ever actually had the nerve to do it. "Gomennasai, but this Naruto had to make sure."

Shino straightened his glasses and coat lip. "You could have asked."

"True," Naruto said, nodding and his arms crossed. "But you would have told this Naruto no. And besides, not only are these this Naruto's friends, he was curious."

"About what?"

"A rumor he heard once, that you had bug eyes. Nope, two normal human eyes. Though they are unusually pale." He continued to drag them over.

Hinata stood up and walked over to Shion. "Hello again."

"Hey Hinata," she said, turning to her. "Enjoying yourself?"

"I am," she replied. She sat down next to her. "...How has Naruto-kun been here?"

"He has been fine. Everyone loves him and he helps out whenever he can."

"What does he do?"

"What do you mean? As an occupation or in general?"

"Both."

"He does whatever he wants. As for an occupation, he is one of the guards at the temple. My personal protector in fact."

"...He is going to have to return. The Hokage wants him back."

"And if he doesn't want to go back?"

Hinata was quiet for a moment. "We have our orders. We are to bring Naruto back."

"You ninja, never leaving well enough alone. Well, let me tell you something. Naruto has hurt far too much there."

Hinata lowered her head. "I know."

"No you don't! You were the heir of the Hyuuga clan! You had to go to another country to find someone that didn't know your name! You couldn't possibly know how he was starved."

"I do," she replied, head still lowered.

"NO! You always had it provided for you! You never had beatings or..."

"I KNOW," Hinata cried, tears in her eyes. Everyone was looking at them. "I know, damn it! I saw how much he hurt! I hurt so much, wanting to help him but I wasn't even strong enough to help myself! You think I want him to go back there!? I tears me apart that I must ask him to go back! At the same time, knowing that the person that made me so strong will be there heals my heart! Don't accuse me of not knowing what it was like for Naruto-kun there! I may not have lived his life but I watched it! You only know what he told you, I saw it! I hurt as he hurt!" She lowered her voice and head again. "I wanted to help him, tell him at least one person in Konoha cared for him. Was concerned for him. But I was always afraid he would hate me like my clan did. And I lost my chance. I'm just a slightly talented, average genin now, I have nothing I could offer him except my...my..." She knelt down, shaking as she sobbed.

A hand rested on her shoulder. She looked up to see it was Naruto. "This Naruto will return, Hinata-chan, if only for a while. You don't need to cry. Besides, this Naruto has something he wants to talk to the old man about." A determined look entered his face and Hinata swore she saw the Fourth for an instant.

—oo000oo—

Sasuke stopped smirking when Itachi moved for a moment. Then he popped. "Kage Bunshin!" Itachi grabbed his arm and threw him into a tree.

"And you never noticed," Itachi replied. "You have grown more powerful, that is sure. But it is not enough for these eyes." Sasuke snarled as he changed back. "A rabid animal, nothing more."

"You will DIE!" Sasuke kicked at him, his taijutsu made all the more dangerous by the talons. Itachi moved back and Sasuke with him. As long as he stayed to just using final form Sharigan, he knew he would win. And Itachi began to worried that Sasuke might actually be a challenged unless he stepped it up. His sharigan turned into the three point shuriken Sasuke still had nightmares about.

"...I think it will be better if I just take your arm. You might stop my plans at this rate. Sorry, brother." He hesitated for an instant before the black fire shot from his eye to Sasuke's arm. He roared in pain while he tried to put it out. When Itachi released them, both of Sasuke's arms were ruined, features and muscle charred. But they began to rebuild. Soon, his wings were usable again

"Do you have a plan B," Sasuke asked. "Like this, I can't die. I know, I tested my limits." He pulled one of his kunai out and stabbed himself in the heart. The blade was just pushed out by the healing flesh. He laughed while Itachi stared at him, disbelieving his eyes. But stopped when Samehada came down on his arm and leg, cutting them off. Sasuke fell, glaring while the limbs changed back and new ones began to grow.

"Just what the hell is he," Kisame demanded.

"I have no idea," Itachi replied. "Leave him though. All he has is his inability to die. He lacks the strength to actually beat us." He turned and walked away. "We still need to find Naruto."

"WHAT," Sasuke roared.

"Yes, we are after Naruto," Itachi told him. "You didn't think we came for you, did you?"

"What is so special about Naruto!?"

"He's the legacy of the Fourth."

"What?"

"He has the Kyuubi sealed inside of him." To their surprise, he began to laugh. "What's so funny?"

"Just...you... Thinking Naruto holds something like that. HAHA! What's your proof, that he has whiskers?"

"Actually, yes," Itachi replied. "All jinchuuriki has features of their demon on their face."

That made Sasuke laugh harder. "That's rich! Naruto is a werefox! He not only has whiskers, he has a fox tail and ears on his head. And he turns into a eight foot tall, humanoid fox and a four foot tall giant fox! Bright yellow, too. Oh yeah, real monster there." The bones in his leg finished and he tried to stand up again. "Poor little Itachi, went looking for a bijuu and only found a demon." His arm wasn't done yet and neither were the muscles on his leg. "Ironic, when you die, it will be by a giant raven. You still use that jutsu to vanish into ravens, right?"

Itachi watched a moment. "Where is Naruto?"

"Gone. Been gone for months."

"Let's go, Kisame, being here does us no good." Sasuke glared as they left. Knowing already that he would find no trace of them. But, in the back of his mind, he had to wonder. Were they telling the truth?

—oo000oo—

Naruto released Shion from the hug and stepped back a bit. "This Naruto won't be away long, Shion-chan. Konoha can't keep him there."

"I'm still worried," she said to him. "You are so dense at times. And they hurt you so much there. Even thought you are his son."

"That this Naruto is his son doesn't matter. He was named Uzumaki, meaning he was denied his birthright. Let them have it. This is where he belongs now." He hugged her again before he turned around and headed to the gate. "This Naruto will make sure to get you a gift while there," he called back to her. He reached team eight and looked at them. "Lets get this over with. This Naruto cannot leave them unprotected for long."

"They have their militia," Kurenai told him. "As a ninja, you owe them no allegiance either."

"As a civilian, this Naruto owes Konoha no allegiance either," Naruto replied. "He is doing this so Hinata-chan won't hurt and to get this out of the way."

"You are a ninja, Naruto," Kurenai told him.

"This Naruto is a simple guard in a simple temple. Ninjas wear headbands marking their village, he does not." He crouched before jumping into the trees. "Let's hurry, it is a long ways away."

—oo000oo—

Many people stared at the regal looking person that walked into Konoha, flanked by team eight. His clothes were that of a noble and his stride was one that said he would walk through a wall if it got in his way. On the center of his forehead was a tattoo of the crescent moon His robes were white with red symbols. While he also wore black armor. At his side was a long straight sword. His hair was long, smooth, and blond. And so was his tail and fox ears. Few recognized him as Naruto, he looked far different from the boy that ran a few months ago. All that did also noticed he no longer even had his headband.

Naruto enter the top floor of the Hokage Tower. "This Naruto needs to see the Hokage." The secretary looked up at him in shock. "He'll just go on in then." He strode up to the door and pushed it open. "Honorable Hokage, this Naruto needs to have a word with you."

Sarutobi looked at him in surprise, how could he not. He had expected to see the same boy when he finally returned. But this Naruto was far from him. He was calm and polite. And lacked the warmth he had before. "Naruto...I hardly recognized you."

"Happens when you are fed," Naruto replied. "Namikaze Minato," he stated coldly.

Sarutobi swallowed, "What about the Fourth? We actually need to talk about..."

"About this Naruto really being his son. Instead of it just being a lie to the council," Naruto interrupted. "And this time, Honorable Hokage, no lies."

"...Naruto, you have to understand, it was for the good of the village."

"This Naruto has seen how things that are for the good of the village really work! One for all, all for one, and the heavens be blessed! The village works for the one, the one works for the village, and both prosper! What did this Naruto get aside from pain!?"

"Naruto, calm down, you don't understand."

"Then make me understand," Naruto shouted, dropping his normal speech. "Explain to me why a child had to starve! Explain to me why a child had to go through life alone, thinking his parents didn't want him! Explain to me why it wasn't safe on his birthday!" Naruto put his hand on the desk and pushed it out of the way, throwing it out of the window. "Explain to me why people were talking about throwing him in prison when he had the chance to leave! Then explain why he should stay."

Sarutobi swallowed, looking at not only the ANBU but also civilians and ninja that came in to find out what was going on. "It is not that simple, Naruto."

"How is it not simple? How was this Naruto's treatment growing up not simple? How is it that this Naruto is not only the only son of the Fourth Hokage, he is this village's personal martyr, having to give everything he has and more to it for nothing? How is it that this Naruto wasn't even told he had parents in this world at one time!? Instead of being lied to saying you don't know! You chose him! You chose him as your successor! You would damn well know who he is!"

"Naruto, the Fourth had enemies both inside and outside the village," Sarutobi tried to explain.

"And this Naruto had more inside the village! The only reason he is even wanted back here right now is because of his healing!"

"Naruto, you're wrong," Sarutobi told him.

"How!? The council was more ready to believe this Naruto was some nobody orphan than the son of the fucking Fourth!"

Now, Sarutobi was getting angry. "You will speak of him with respect, son or not! He gave his life for this village!"

"That's another thing! You always speak of giving everything you have for the village so why was it when the choice came, you were not the one to seal the Kyuubi!?"

"I begged your father to let me! That he was needed more than me! But he said it was his duty to do it, and would let no one else do it!"

"So he left this Naruto alone in the world!? That reminds this Naruto, what happened to his mother!?"

He swallowed again. "Naruto please..."

"WHAT HAPPENED!?"

"...No one knows for sure, we couldn't find her in the aftermath."

Naruto glared at him. "So this Naruto was to what? Survive by himself?"

"No, the village was supposed to see you as a hero."

"And we see how well that worked out," Naruto snapped. "Originally, he wondered just what was it you said before opening that door. Now it doesn't matter."

"Naruto, I told them I wouldn't let them throw you in prison! Please!"

"No, no more chances, no more lies. Your teams have found this Naruto. He has returned. And he is giving his decision. He is leaving Konoha and never coming back."

"That choice was for a boy of the Kitsune Clan, you are the son of the Fourth!"

"This Naruto doesn't see the son of the Fourth here. It sounds like you are talking about him but of course you couldn't be. After all, Uzumaki Naruto is a clanless bastard, one no one cares for. One nobody wants around. You can't stop this Naruto from leaving." He turned to leave.

"Naruto, please give the village another chance!"

Naruto stopped. "This Naruto noticed you didn't say a second chance. After all, that was years ago." He turned back to him. "Why should he? Why should this Naruto give you the chance to hurt him again?"

Sarutobi was quiet a moment. "Then your father's sacrifice would be for nothing."

"Not good enough. This Naruto already sees it as for nothing. Two more tries, Honorable Hokage."

"...What about the people that care for you?"

"Like who, this Naruto's team? Let's look at that. His sensei doesn't care for him, his teammates would rather not have him. Iruka-sensei? Yes, he cares for this Naruto; though only just recently. As such, he will want him to be happy. The Ichruka family are the only ones that have ever cared for him unbiased. And this Naruto will miss them a great deal. More than even their ramen. Last try."

Sarutobi swallowed, there was one thing Naruto would never do, let people hurt. "Because it is the humane thing to do. Let them make up for what they did to you and take away the pain they feel for it."

Naruto just stared at him for a moment before he began to smirk. Followed by mirthless chuckles. Soon, he was giving a full blown laugh. As he did, he changed into his hybrid form. "I'm not human," he said simply. "That was your third chance. All have failed. Goodbye and good riddance." Naruto turned to the window, grabbed the lip, and swung up on the roof. He was about to leave when several mask men appeared. "Now comes the part where you try to make this Naruto to stay, correct?"

"They are not ANBU," a man said, walking up onto the roof.

"Danzou," Naruto acknowledged.

"Namikaze Naruto," he replied with a nod. When Naruto made no acknowledgment, Danzou corrected himself. "Uzumaki Naruto." Now Naruto nodded.

"What do you want, human?"

"I want to simply understand how such a change happened."

Naruto looked him up and down. He could hear his heartbeat in his ears, not a good sign. Naruto was so mad, he was more predator than himself. He growled and turned away. "What would you do with it if this Naruto told you?"

"Increase the strength of the village, of course."

"Then it is something I will not tell you. Nor any other village. All you ninja's can go to hell, I have had enough."

"How about in exchange for other information."

"What could you possible know that would interest me?"

"Well, the true meaning of Jinchuuriki is one. The possible location of your mother is another. Uzumaki Kushina."

Naruto turned to him. "You have this Naruto's attention, human."

"I thought I would. First, the very thought of a jinchuuriki was created by the First Hokage. They were to be the weapons of the village. This wasn't done for you because it wasn't meant to happen. The Kyuubi somehow escaped our control."

"How were they meant to be a weapon?"

"You see, the First had the ability to control the Bijuu thanks to his bloodline. And he gave two Bijuu to the other great five. But as they didn't have his bloodline, they couldn't control them so he came up with sealing them in humans so that human can control them, thus the village controls them." Naruto nodded, urging him to continue. "It must be a child because the sudden influx of chakra is enough to kill most adults. But a child can grow to it. Thus, my personal belief why you have so much chakra on your own, to better prepare yourself for the Kyuubi's."

Naruto nodded again and faced him. "This is no doubt an S class secret. You could lose your life for speaking of it to someone outside the village. Is the gain that worth it?"

"With what I saw you survive, yes." After a moment, Naruto motioned for him to continue. "When the jinchuuriki grows old, the bijuu is taken from within him and sealed inside an object until the next sealing into a jinchuuriki."

"...What about missions? What about them dying while away from the village?"

"For the most part, the seals are not good enough to actually kill the demon with the host. When they die, the demon is released, to be recaptured at a later time. This has happened recently with the Kiri jinchuuriki. She has died and they are unable to capture Sanbi Isonade. This is the most common way they lose their demons. Though it only barely beats them driving away the jinchuuriki like we have."

"Was I supposed to be a weapon?"

"No. You were completely unplanned. The Kyuubi escaped from the object he was sealed in and headed to Konoha to destroy it. There was supposed to be no one that could stop in with the First dead. But Namikaze Minato wasn't willing to let it win. He knew he could seal it, even at the cost of his own life. Now, I have held up half of my end of the bargain. How did this happen to you?"

Naruto ran a claw over his whiskers, trying to decide if that was satisfactory. "You have. This Naruto is like this because he was given a disease inside the Forest of Death. One the Kyuubi's chakra fought against. This Naruto is constantly healed by his chakra. And it came to the point that this Naruto couldn't be healed while he was still human. So he was changed into a fox demon."

"That's it?"

"That's it. The Kyuubi actually likes it this was better. If he is going to be stuck inside something, it might as well be another demon."

Danzou watched him a moment, trying to find out if he was lying. "You're lying."

Naruto smirked, "This Naruto is. In part. The Kyuubi did play a part in becoming what he is. You want to know the second part, tell him where his mother is."

Danzou nodded, "She left. A few days after it happen, she left for her home. The Land of Whirlpools."

"Why did she leave me? Was it because of the Council?"

"I have no doubt they played a part in it," Danzou told him. "But if you want the full answer, you will need to ask her. Now, what was the first part?"

"A demon bit me, infecting me with primitive lycanthopesy. After I killed the beast, Kyuui took my curse and evolved it into what you see before you. Completely unreproducible."

Danzou sighed, "That is too bad. Though, maybe in time we will. Peace upon you, Uzumaki Naruto." He box to him.

Naruto bowed back after a moment. "And you, Danzou." Naruto jumped off, changing into a human along the way down. He sniffed around and found Hinata's scent. He would at least give her a proper goodbye. She deserved that.

Before he found her though, he was found by his former team. "Naruto," Sakura asked from behind him. Sighing, he turned around and faced them. "It is you!" She ran over to him before going to punch him. "Where have you been, baka!" She swung her fist and Naruto caught it.

Growling, he squeezed a little. "This Naruto has been gone, what more do you need to know?"

"Stop, you're hurting me," she yelled at him.

Naruto let go and stepped back. "Naruto, why did you do that," Kakashi asked him.

"Because this Naruto was defending himself. Now, this Naruto has something important to do." He turned to walk away again.

"Dobe," Sasuke growled. "Get back here."

Naruto gripped his fist tightly. "What do you want, Sasuke?"

"I heard that rumor, that you killed a demon. How?"

"How doesn't matter. I'm leaving."

"What's wrong Naruto," Kakashi asked him. "You're finally back, things can return to normal."

"Because this Naruto doesn't want them the way they were," he replied. "This Naruto doesn't even want to stay in this village. This Naruto wants to go to his home and never come back. Why should he want to be beaten, ignored, and insulted? When he can be respected, honored, and loved. This Naruto made his choice, he has resigned as a ninja, is leaving Konoha, and is never returning." He turned and left.

Sakura just gaped at his back. "He's joking... He's joking right, sensei? Naruto won't just leave."

Kakashi stared after him, "I think Sakura...he saw something out there, something that changed his entire perspective."

"What was it?"

"Kindness, acceptance. Everything he was looking for in Konoha."

—oo000oo—

"Dobe, I'm not done with you," Sasuke shouted.

Naruto stopped and faced him. "Sasuke, shut up and leave this Naruto alone before he decides to kill you."

"How did you do it," Sasuke growled. "And I know about you being a werefox and I know that it didn't give you the strength to do it."

Naruto growled at him. "Shut up! This Naruto should kill you! He had his future told, Sasuke. What to know what it said? It was that years in the future, you would kill him!"

They glared at each other a moment. "Tell me how."

"Not everyone gives you what you want," Naruto growled.

"Then I will beat it out of you." He ran forward and punched Naruto. Unlike the punch months before where he only hurt his hand, he threw Naruto back into a training ground.

"Okay, wasn't expecting that." Naruto stood at his full height. "How this Naruto did it doesn't matter, he did it." When Sasuke came at him again, Naruto punched him in the jaw, not holding back. Sasuke flew into a tree, making a sickening crack.

"That hurt," he growled, blood coming from his broken jaw. He began to grow larger, the bones mending while he did. "You aren't the only special one here, Naruto," the wereraven told him.

Naruto raised an eyebrow. "Well, thats interesting." He shook his head then. "This Naruto understands now. You are strong like this but not always, right? You want to know what the difference is. Its simple, this Naruto is stuck between transforming and being human, his powers are constant. You change fully back into human, raven-chan." He turned to leave, "Fly off and bug someone that'll kiss your ass and tell you it don't stink."

Sasuke roared in rage and went to strike him. It was quickly followed by another roar, one far deeper, far more powerful. Something ten feet tall and five feet wide slammed into him. "You will not hurt him," it shouted.

Naruto spun around and looked at a bear wearing ripped clothes. "Hinata!?"

"WHAT!?" Sasuke looked at the bear as it growled at him.

Hinata stood on two legs, claws held to tear Sasuke apart. "I said you won't hurt him."

Naruto looked at her as he never before did. He knew that the weak, timid Hinata was gone but he didn't she had literally been filled with the will and strength of a bear. "Hinata, what happened to you?"

"This is the mark of the Akatsuki clan," she told him. "This is our contribution to Konoha now, secret though it is."

He seemed to drop his jaw. "You're a werebear! No, a true werebear! How!?"

"True werebear," Sasuke snapped at him. "What is the difference!?"

Naruto looked at him and changed himself. "The difference is the power, little raven. We are not human. Hinata is a werebear, a half human, half bear that changes into full human or bear. I am half human, half fox, that changes into human or fox. You, on the other hand, are a human cursed with lycanthopecy. You change into a raven or half raven. We will always heal, you only when you change or start to. Though how you change at will is beyond me."

Sasuke glared at them a moment before returning to normal. "We shall meet again, demon."

Naruto watched him a moment before doing the same. "This Naruto should kill him, everyone part of him, even his animal part, screams for it."

Hinata changed back as well, unsealing a long coat and putting it on for decency. "I never knew..."

Naruto sighed and turned to her. "So, werebear?"

She blushed at being the center of his attention. "My great-great aunt is a true werebear. When I was cursed with the seal and it took my byakugan, it made my curse true as well."

Naruto nodded, "Same as the rest of your clan?"

"Yes."

He sighed, "Hinata, you must be careful, this is very dangerous. It can very easily spread and cause disaster."

"I know, that's why I ordered it a secret from the village as well."

Naruto glanced where Sasuke had been. "There's something else, this Naruto believes Sasuke will try to kill him in the future. Shion-hime saw it in one of her foretelling. Whether or not it is because this Naruto is no longer human, he doesn't know. But be careful around him." He began to whisper so only ones with animal hearing like him and her could understand. "Silver is the only means beyond destroying our head to kill us. If we're stabbed by it, it won't heal until it is removed."

She nodded, "We'll be careful, Naruto-kun." She suddenly drew up her courage. "Do you like me this way, Naruto-kun?"

He swallowed, his instincts telling him to run, "Like? Of course this Naruto likes you, Hinata-chan." He started to take a step back.

She followed him, "I'm glad but do you like me like me this way?" She grabbed his arm and he found that her strength far outmatched his. Her face was emotionless, "If you did like me, why do you back away? You hate me like this, don't you? I knew it," she said, letting go and crouching. "I can't do anything right, you probably find me disgusting."

He crouched down beside her, "No, Hinata-chan, never. This Naruto... I was just uncomfortable with the conversation. I do like you, Hinata-chan, and this makes you even more exotic in my eyes. But I don't like you that way."

"Why not," she asked, beginning to cry. "I worked so hard to be with you, I changed so much so you would approve of me."

Naruto frowned, "Hinata, you shouldn't change for my approval, you should've changed for your own. Look at yourself over who you used to be, do you like it better or worst?"

She was quiet a moment. "Hyuuga Hinata was weak, Akatsuki Hinata is far stronger. I wouldn't change back for nothing."

Naruto smiled, "Then it was worth. As for why...I don't know. You're scent drives me near wild, you are very beautiful, you just...don't cause my heart to pound, my stomach to get butterflies." He gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Maybe in time that will change but not right now."

Hinata stopped crying and sighed, "It's Shion, isn't it? I should've recognized how you looked at her." Naruto slowly nodded. "And she is why, more than how you were treated, you aren't staying, isn't she?" Naruto looked away, giving her her answer. She gave him a kiss on the cheek as well. "Fine, that is how it is. She better take good care of you, Naruto-kun, because if she doesn't, I will take you for myself."

"Deal," Naruto replied. "Thank you for understanding, Hinata-chan."

She stood up, "Now, you are staying the night, with my clan, in the house that should have been your's. And if you don't, I will have Akatsuki hunting you down before sunset." She poked him in the chest. "You will be dragged back, tied up and gagged if need be." Naruto swallowed and nodded. "Good. Now I think I held myself back as long as I could. KUWAI!" She glomped him and started playing with his ears.

—oo000oo—

The now Akatsuki clan estate was located in a forested area of Konoha. Inside the walls, Naruto saw at least fifty members. He could tell by their scents that all of them, even the children, were werebears. He watched as a couple a kids were playing, changing into bear cups. "This is incredible, Hinata-chan."

"It is a very lovely home."

"Forget the home, its just wood and slate, its the people that matters."

"Well said, young man," an old woman said to him. "Allow me to introduce myself, I am Kuma, Hinata-sama's great great aunt."

"This Naruto is honored to meet you, ma'am," he said, bowing.

Kuma walked around him, "My, look at you. Last I saw you, you looked like a street urchin. Now look at you, dress and as well behaved as any noble."

"Thank you for your compliments, ma'am," Naruto replied. "And also thank you for what you did for this Naruto's friend."

She waved it off, "Hinata-sama did it all her own, I merely gave her a push. You were actually just as much an influence. Now come, young man, I believe there are somethings here that belong to you." She started inside and he followed. The main house where she took him was filled with people at the moment. She lead him to a room used for storage. "Here it is," she said, pulling out a drawer in a desk. She held up a scroll, "I, Namikaze Minato, in sound body and health, leave all my worldly possessions to my wife, Uzumaki Kushina, and son, Namikaze Naruto. This land and everything from it is your's. What do you wish done with it?"

Naruto looked around him, "It's just an empty house to this Naruto, he doesn't want it. It belongs to the Akatsuki clan anyway."

"Is there anything you do want?"

Naruto looked around the room at the personal things of his parents. He picked up a picture of them holding one another and took it out of the frame. "Are there any jutsu scrolls?"

"Many."

"This Naruto would like the originals."

She nodded and poked her head outside, "Gather all the scrolls that were in this house."

"Make sure to have copies made," Naruto told her. "They are your's now as well." She smiled and nodded. After ordering that, she looked back at him to see him looking at the picture.

"You look very much so like your father."

"This Naruto...wants to hate him. So much so. When he first found out about the Kyuubi, for a moment, he did. Again when he found out he was his son. But, for some damn reason, he can't."

Hinata, standing at the door now, said, "Because he is also your hero, remember? Your anger made you hate him those times but if he hadn't done what he did, none of us would be here to discuss this."

Naruto touched the image of his mother. "Why did she leave this Naruto? Did she hate him as well? Kuma-san, you've live here a long time, did you know Uzumaki Kushina, did she hate this Naruto for what happened?"

"I did meet her once, child," Kuma told him. "I do not believe she would hate you for something your father did."

"Then why?"

"I don't know. You must ask her."

Naruto carefully folded it up and put it in his pocket. He found one of his father alone and kept that as well, just in case he found himself destroying the first one. He looked around and was about to leave when he felt a coat put on his shoulders. "What's this..." It was a white long coat with flames at the bottom.

"I believe it suits you, Naruto-kun," Hinata told him.

He nodded his thanks, "What room can this Naruto use, Hinata-chan?"

"This way." She took him upstairs and stopped at one. "This isn't it, I just wanted to show you it." It was a baby's room. "When I have my own child, this is the room I'm going to use, Naruto-kun, your's."

Naruto lifted up a little stuffed frog. He looked around before turning back to Hinata. "Hinata-chan, I'd rather not think about what I lost."

"I'm sorry, Naruto-kun, I just thought..."

"It's alright, it is. Can we just continue?"

"Yes." She took him to a room for adults, "This will be your room whenever you come by, Naruto-kun."

"Thank you, Hinata-chan, but this Naruto doesn't really plan on coming back to Konoha."

"Still, you never know what the future holds. This room will remain open for you. Lunch will be soon." She back out, letting him be alone with his thoughts.

—oo000oo—

"Get him!"

"AH! There's too many," Naruto shouted as a bunch of kids pulled him to the ground. "No, help! AGH!" He twitched and fell limp.

The kids all looked at his face, "He's dead," one said.

"If Hinata-sama finds out, we're dead," another told them in fear.

The leader of the group thought hard, "...Ah, right, throw into the woods." The three of them pumped their fist. "Right!" They each grabbed a leg or his tail and began to pulled. Naruto watched them tug and smiled. Grinning, he did a simple henge to make himself look like a zombie. Then he moaned and slowly began to sit up.

They all looked at him in fear and he did the final number, "Brains..." He reached for them and they screamed before running off, shouting, "ZOMBIE!"

Naruto dropped the henge and began to laugh. "Having fun," Neji asked.

"Very much so," he stated, jumping to his feet. "Not everyday this Naruto get to mess with kids like this."

Neji nodded. "Lady Hinata will miss you."

Naruto sighed, "This Naruto knows that. And didn't you hate her?"

Neji nodded, "I did. Wrongly, I know, but it made me feel better about my father's death. If only we did this long ago, he'd still be alive."

Naruto sighed and said, "Hind sight is twenty twenty."

"Too true." He looked up, grinned, and stepped out from in front of Naruto. Just before those three tackled him to the ground with from behind with six others.

"Bears are always in family groups," the leader yelled in triumph. "Kill the zombie!"

"Neji, help!"

"I think I hear Lady Hinata summoning me," he said walking away.

Naruto growled before his tail wrapped around the leg of one of the boys and swung him around as fast as he could. "AH! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna throw up and then I'm gonna die," the boy shouted.

Naruto pushed himself to his feet, the kids still holding on. "Off, you little rug rats!"

"We're bears, not rats," a girl scolded

Naruto looked at them all clinging to him before shaking, trying to throw them off. Didn't work. "Rodents," he mock insulted. A flash of inspiration and he made a clone. He ran off and came back with some honey. "I swear, get off or I'll eat it all myself."

"No fair," they all complained.

"At least it wasn't a picnic basket," Naruto told them.

One girl glared at him, "That means war!" She bit him.

"OW! Get her off, get her off!" The clone grabbed her and began tickling her until she let go from laughing. Seeing it worked with one, Naruto made a clone to do the same for each. When finally he was free, he let them down.

"Huddle," the cubs said before going into a planning circle. They talked for a moment before they clapped their hands at once. "Break." They got in a line against the clones. "Blue forty two, blue forty two." They changed into bears. "Hut, hut, hike!" The ran forward, hoping to tackle them but instead were only picked up by the scruffs of their necks. "Aha! AH!" The leader swiped his clones with his claws, dispelling him, meaning he was dropped from four feet in the air. "Ow," he said, rubbing his butt.

Naruto laughed at them before jumping up into the trees. "Kids," he muttered.

"You handle them very well," Hinata called from the ground.

"Thank you," Naruto replied before jumped down by her. "Alright you cubs, go play else where." This was met with groans and moans. "Go on." The ran off and Naruto turned back to Hinata. "Yes?"

"The Hokage sent a message saying he would like to speak with you."

"No."

"Naruto..."

"No, Hinata-chan! He made his choices, this Naruto made his own and they don't coincide! He chose the village over this Naruto, making this Naruto realize no one else will watch out for him!"

"I will," she told him.

"That's not what this Naruto meant, Hinata-chan."

"But you still said it. I won't force you to go see him, Naruto-kun, but if he comes here, you tell him yourself. I think you should though. It'll eat you up if you don't."

"No," he replied, "it won't." He headed to his room, pulled off his armor and robes, and laid down to sleep. He woke up later in the evening to hear a bell being rung. Looking out the window, he saw those in this animal and hybrid forms change back into humans and fix their clothing. He heard the bell ringer calling out, "Visitor! Visitor!"

Naruto sighed and waited. "He is inside, Lord Hokage," he heard Hinata say out in the hall.

When there was a knock on the door, Naruto said, "Enter."

The Hokage opened the door and said, "Naruto I..." He trailed off seeing Naruto's state of dress. He was still standing in front of the window wearing just his boxers. Clearly showing all the scars on his back.

"This Naruto didn't have anything to cover them up when he left," he said without looking at him. "Amazed that there are so many?" He grabbed his clothes and put them on. "When this Naruto was here, he wore his jump suit to hide them. When he had to go without a shirt, he wore a genjutsu to cover them." He finally looked at the Hokage, over his nose down across his left cheek was another scar. "This is what you want this Naruto to return to." The Hokage couldn't say anything, how could he. He didn't even know how bad Naruto had it while here. There were scars on his back from whips, knives, glass, rocks, and anything else that could be used as a weapon, even what looked like boards with nails in them. "You know why this Naruto didn't complain? Because he never thought it would be any different outside the village to inside it. He actually thought his treatment here was normal. Do you understand now? Put yourself in this Naruto's shoes and say any different."

Sarutobi just looked at him, still seeing the scars that riddled his body. He slowly turned around and left, having finally given up. Naruto returned to looking out the window, he won. No yelling, no shouting, but he wish it hadn't taken that. He hated revealing his scars. Pulling his shirt off again, he made a clone and had him rub an anointment Dr. Yatou gave him to help those fade away. He said with a few years, they might go away. Might. Once it was in, Naruto redid the genjutsu to hide them and sat down. He still remembered the pain of each one. Right down to the glass bottle that did the one on his face. He wore a bandage over it for months until he learned the henge to cover them up. He saw a mirror and looked at his face. That was supposed to be his mirror, his real face. Even for Hinata, he didn't think he could come back here again.

"Hokage-sama," Hinata said when she saw him walk out less than thirty seconds after going in. "Didn't you come to talk to him," she asked.

"I don't have the right to," he told her. "I saw what he was hiding from me all these years." Hinata was about to go in. "Don't, its better if you don't see. I think he would prefer if no one ever again saw those." He walked away, leaving Hinata to wonder what it was he saw.

—oo000oo—

"Well, Hinata-chan, it was fun but this Naruto wants to return home," Naruto told Hinata the next day as she was seeing him off.

"Good bye, Naruto-kun, I hope I get to see you again."

"Always a good chance of that," he told her. He turned around and began walking away, heading in the direction of the Land of Whirlpools. Once out of sight of Konoha, he changed into his hybrid and began running as fast as he could. It took him a day to get to his destination. Once there, he went to the first of the rebuilt villages and began to ask around. He knew it was likely that she would hear of him before he met her. Wasn't often a person dressed like a noble with fox ears and a tail shows up looking for someone.

"You the one looking for Uzumaki," a man said, coming up to him.

"This Naruto is," he replied.

"I can tell you where she is, for a price." His grin was wiped off when Naruto grabbed him by the throat and held him in the air.

"This Naruto isn't in the mood to deal with crooks right now. Either tell him or get out of the way," he said in an icy cold voice.

The man gasped for breath, trying to pull his grip off. "Out...side of town... Small house, fifteen minute walk south." Naruto dropped him and began walking, ignoring the sputtering coughs he gave. He found the house easily. His nose told him two women lived there, one in her thirties, the other in her early teens. He looked around the yard a moment before going up to the door and knocking. He didn't know what to think when the door opened and there stood the woman he came to see.

Kushina looked at him a moment before saying, "Hello Naruto, have you come to kill me?"

Naruto looked her over, "That depends on how you answer a very simple question. Why did you leave this Naruto?"

She stared at his face before heading inside and going into the kitchen. "Would you like some tea?"

"Will it be poisoned?"

"I'll take that as a no." She got a cup for herself and sat down on the couch. "The fox ears and tails are new since last I saw you."

"Allot of things are new since last you saw this Naruto," he replied, remaining standing.

Kushina took a drink of her tea. "I suppose I deserve those."

"No, what you deserve is to get every single scar this Naruto has. You don't know what they did to him."

"And I'm sorry those things happen to you. It appears Sarutobi had too much faith in himself."

"And what faith did you have in this Naruto to just abandon him?"

Kushina took another sip from her tea. "None," she said truthfully. "I expected you to be dead. At the time, I expected myself to be as well."

"And that justifies it?"

"No. Naruto...I had just lost my husband and allot of blood. And there you were, with the whiskers of the very thing that hurt so many. Hell, you look like it even more so now. Minato was gone, I had no reason to stay, and the council refused to let you leave, for fear of you returning one day as the weapon of another village. So, I made a choice and..."

"Mom, I'm home." A blond girl walked into the living room. She had wild blond hair, bright blue eyes, and looked just like Kushina only thirteen. "Oh, hello sir." She curtsied to him, thinking he was a noble. "It is a pleasure to meet you. I'm Karei."

He looked at her a moment, "Naruto, the guardian of the High Priestess of the Land of Demons and her family." Kushina looked at him, shocked. "You were wrong, this Naruto is not a ninja as you thought.

"So you're from the temple, that is very cool."

Naruto looked back and smiled. "It is, its very peaceful there. Tell this Naruto, how old are you, Karei?"

"I'll be fourteen October tenth."

"What a coincidence, that's this Naruto's birthday as well." He looked back to Kushina. "So, she doesn't know about this Naruto?"

"I never mentioned you," Kushina replied.

"Rather let the demon brat be forgotten, right," Naruto asked.

"What is going on," Karei asked. "What business do you have with my mother?"

Naruto kept his eyes on her, she showed no emotion seeing him. "The kind a lost son has in finding his mother, Namikaze Karei, daughter of Namikaze Minato." He looked at her, "This Naruto is your brother, the one our mother left in Konohagakure."

"What? Mother, why is he lying like that?"

Kushina took another drink. "He isn't, he is your brother, and I did leave him. And right now, he is trying to decide if I should live or not." Naruto nodded before slowly drawing Shuria. "And he has decided."

"No!" Karei went up to them, grabbing Naruto's sword arm. "You can't! I won't let...you." Naruto looked at her and she froze seeing the look in his eyes. She let go and stepped back. Free of her, Naruto turned back to Kushina.

'Do it, make me pay for what I did,' Kushina prayed, her eyes closed. She heard footsteps before being pulled into a hug. Her eyes snapped open to see the sword leaning against the far wall and Naruto kneeling beside her, hugging her. "What?"

"This Naruto can see it, you hurt leaving him behind, that you lost hope. So, he has decided forgiveness."

"No... You aren't supposed to forgive me," she cried. "A mother can't lose hope and I did... You're supposed to hate me."

"This Naruto doesn't," he told her. "He just wants his mother."

Kushina was freely crying now, "No... I don't deserve to be. Why can't you hate me?"

Karei hugged both of them. "Kaa-san, isn't it enough that he misses us? Can't, can't we be a family now?"

Kushina touched Naruto's face and felt a blemish where she saw none. With a whisper of "Kai," she revealed the scar on his face. "My poor baby...what did they do to you?" She finally began to hug him back. "I don't deserve to be forgiven, Naruto, not for leaving you there. I'm so sorry."

"Mother," Naruto muttered before pulling her close.

—oo000oo—

Naruto pushed the plate away, "This Naruto can't eat anymore, kaa-san, or he'll explode."

"Only took fifteen plates," Karei said, looking at the stack.

"This Naruto has a very active life and a very active metabolism," he defended himself.

"Are you sure you're not hungry," Kushina asked him. "I'll gladly make more."

Naruto waved his hands in front of her, looking a little green at eating more. "No, this Naruto can't."

"Okay," she said, about to take the dirty dishes in.

"This Naruto will do that," he told her politely. He made several clones and they all cleared the table. They began filling the sink with water and cleared them.

"You must take after you father," Kushina stated. "No way did you get this from me."

"What do you mean, kaa-san," Naruto asked.

"Mom always says she was a tom boy, always running around, causing pranks, being chased by the village ANBU," Karei told him. "You act like a well bred noble."

Naruto began to grin at how his mother was described. "This Naruto doesn't know about that. He can clearly remember running around, causing pranks, being chased by ANBU, Jonin, Chunin, Genin, and the Hokage a few times. Never could figure out how out of all of them, only Iruka-sensei always caught him." He began to laugh, "Maybe this Naruto shouldn't have put that glue in the council chair's." He giggled, "Or the scorpians...ooh, there was that time this Naruto stuck kick me notes on their backs."

"My brother is a delinquent," Karei muttered.

Naruto was about to deny it, closed his mouth for a moment, and said, "Yes, this Naruto was. It got worst once he got his tail and ears."

Kushina looked at them, "How did you get those?"

All the Naruto's froze a moment. "He came across a lesser demon that cursed him. Kyuubi decided that he'd use it to his advantage." He began playing with his glass. "This Naruto became a kitsunethrope and the Kyuubi decided that he wanted people to know what he is. Didn't exactly work how he thought. This Naruto has been glomped by girls wanting to rub them." His ears twitched and he noticed both looked at his ears and followed them with their eyes. He moved them on purpose and smiled as they continued watching. "This Naruto isn't human any more. He is now completely a lesser demon."

"That is..." Karei started to say but trailed off. "Kinda cool. Do you have any special abilities?"

"This Naruto has animal senses, fox ears and tail and that isn't enough?"

She looked away, "I'm sorry, I probably made you feel like you were on a lab table or something."

Naruto chuckled, "Not really. This Naruto changes into a half human, half fox as well as a full fox."

Kushina smiled at him, glad that in his hard life, he still had the desire to have simple fun. "So, how did you come to be the guardian of a high priestess?"

Naruto gave a humorless grin. "This Naruto misheard the Hokage say something and ran away. He collapsed days later in the Land of Demons. He was taken in by High Priestess Melfena. Then one day, a demon attacked and this Naruto killed it, assuming that role." He finished his glass of milk. "So that is this Naruto's story. What about kaa-san and aneki? Or is it imouto?"

"You are older by an hour," Kushina told him.

Naruto smirked at Karei, "This Naruto is going to hold that over you."

She went over and bopped him over the head. "Don't you dare," she told him.

Kushina looked down at her own glass. "Already said it but you two are twins. After your father...died, I tried to do the best I could. No one knew who your father was besides Sarutobi, Jiriaya, and Tsunade. Most don't even know of you, Karei. Naruto, I tried to take you with me but..."

"The Council wanted their weapon," Naruto finished.

Kushina nodded, "And Sarutobi wanted the son of his successor there in his village. He promised me that he would protect you. That you would be cared for."

Naruto's glass broke in his hand. "This Naruto is sorry," he said, throwing the pieces away. "Looks like Sarutobi was a liar even then."

"Let me see," Kushina said, taking a wet cloth and wiping away the blood. "My lord..." There was no cuts.

"A benefit to not being human," Naruto muttered.

"Brother, how did you...you know, the scar?"

"A drunk broke a bottle over this Naruto's face when he found out he was accepted into the ninja academy. He covered it for months until he learned the henge."

"Are there others?" He didn't say anything. "I hope that means no."

"It doesn't," Kushina stated. "I moved here because I couldn't stand it in Konoha. I wasn't allowed to keep my home, or even my son. I honestly thought I would die of blood lost or someone from the council deciding to kill me. I just wanted to die at home, where I knew my daughter would be cared for by someone I trust."

"But you survived," Naruto stated.

"Yes," Kushina said, not exactly sounding happy about it. "I constantly wondered if one day you or someone from Konoha would come and kill me. Wondered and prayed you did."

"What about Karei," Naruto asked. "Were you trained as a ninja?"

"No, mother never showed me how."

"I left that life behind," Kushina stated.

"But it didn't leave you," Naruto stated. "Danzou was the one that point this Naruto here."

"Danzou," Kushina growled. "He is still after the Hiroshin."

Naruto was silent a moment as he closed his eyes. "This Naruto must do something." He picked up his sword, sheathed it, and walked outside into the night. The saw, just for a moment, him grow taller, his hands changing into claws, his nose and jaw extending, before he jumped.

It was silent a moment before a howl ripped the air. Then came the screaming. "No, no, no, NOOOO!"

"Stop, please stop!"

"AAAGH!"

"DIE! URGH!" That scream ended in a gurgle as he drowned in his own blood.

Karei held her hands in front of her mouth, terrified at hearing people dying. Kushina only felt sorrow that it was her son doing it.

Naruto tour the right arm off the last one. "Who sent you!?"

"D-D-Danzou," he choked out.

"Why!?"

"C-Can't tell you!" Naruto dug his claws into his side. "AAGH! I swear! A seal, a seal!" He stuck out his tongue and Naruto saw a seal on it. He grabbed it, pulling it out farther, to see it, getting screams from the man. Naruto then glanced to his eyes and let it go.

"Are there others?"

"No!"

"Did you report where she is?"

"NO!"

"How did Danzou even know she was here?"

"He lied! He knew she was from here but no one has ever seen her!"

"Does he know she's here now?"

"No!"

"Good." He held him by the head with both hands and crushed him between them. Howling, he grabbed the bodies and began to pile them. He then found tinder and oil and set them to burn. He went to a stream and jumped in, washing most of the blood off. Not long later, he walked back inside his mother's home. "You are safe, kaa-san, no one knows you're here."

"Are you alright," Karei asked. His clothes were torn by knife wounds.

"This Naruto is fine." He ran a hand over his scar, replacing the genjutsu.

"Naruto, you didn't have to do that," Kushina told him.

"This Naruto finally found his mother, he isn't going to let anything happen to her. He hugged her and reaffirmed it. "Never."

She finally smiled a little, "Clingy much?"

"Nope," he replied, holding her tighter. "The Namikaze name isn't safe, don't use it."

"We know," Karei told him. "This close to the Land of Earth, it wasn't anyway. Adding Konoha to the list isn't much of a change."

Naruto was quiet a moment as he thought. "This Naruto would feel better if you left here. But if you came with him, you would still be in danger."

"Someplace close to you, baby," Kushina suggested.

"...This Naruto lives in the temple, a village isn't far away. People would find you if they were looking but..."

"But no one knows Uzumaki Kushina or Uzumaki Karei," she told him. "We'll come with you."

"Thanks mom." He hugged her again.

"Yes, we're finally a family," Karei cheered, joining in on the hug. "I can't wait to see our new home!"

Naruto pulled back, "Kaa-san, this Naruto's duties to come first though. He can't leave Melfena-san's side for long."

"I know, Naruto. You are so much like your father on that."

Naruto wasn't happy with the comparison but said nothing. She knew the man and if she thought it a compliment, then he would take it.

—oo000oo—

Kushina looked at the temple, "Its very nice, Naruto," she told him.

"Home, sweet home," Naruto replied. He strode up to the gates and opened them for them. "This Naruto is sure you can stay for a few days to find a home in the village. Allow him to introduce you to Melfena-sama and Shion-chan." He turned and went in.

"Who is 'Shion-chan'," Karei asked.

Kushina smiled down at her daughter. "Maybe he has a girlfriend."

"AH! NARUTO!" They looked in the direction of the delighted scream followed by a thump of something being glomped.

Karei giggled, "Naruto and Shion, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G."

—oo000oo—

"Hello, Naruto," Melfena said, smiling at him. "You look well."

"This Naruto feels well, all things considered," he told them. "Konoha didn't exactly go as well as this Naruto first hoped but that was his own fault. But this Naruto did finally find his mother and why she left him. She is outside with his twin sister," he told her, hugging Shion back.

"Oh? I must meet her then. I wonder what kind of person this werefox is?"

"Actually, this Naruto needs to tell you something."

—oo000oo—

Naruto walked out ahead of Melfena and Shion. "Melfena-sama, Shion-chan, this is this Naruto's mother and twin sister, Kushina and Karei."

The two curtsied to the priestess, "It is an honor to meet you," Kushina told her.

"Yes it is," Karei agreed. "Naruto-kun couldn't stop talking about it."

"The honor is mine," Melfena told them, bowing her head to them. "Naruto is a very wonderful boy, you must be proud of him."

"I am," Kushina replied. "For everything that has happened to him and him coming out how he is, the is not end of my pride, nor shame that I left him to it."

"This Naruto told you, you don't have to apologize." He turned back to Melfena, "This Naruto couldn't leave them, Konoha might have hurt them."

"I understand, I'm sure there is a place in the village for them."

"Thank you, Melfena-sama," Naruto said, bowing.

Karei walked over to Shion and smiled, "Hello. So, you're Naruto-kun's girlfriend?"

Both Naruto and Shion blushed deep red. "N-No," Shion denied. "Naruto, how could you e spreading rumors like that!?" 'Though I wouldn't mind.'

"Th-This Naruto didn't! He never said that!"

"Oh, I'm sorry," Karei said, grinning mischievously. "I only though you were, what with Naruto always describing how beautiful you are, and how wonderful you are, and how your scent smells like heaven." Naruto was fully red now, not just his face. Shion was in a similar state. Karei's smile was full blown, 'Too easy.'

"Your daughter has a wicked streak," Melfena stated.

"They both remind me too much of me when I was their age. So, my son and your daughter?"

"He has already begun courting her," Melfena informed the other woman. "Had you not been found, I would have had the wedding planned by the end of the year," she whispered.

"Did you plan this?"

"I would never force my daughter to love anyone other than she choses. I just happen to approve of her choice."

"The daughter of a priestess and a demon..." She shook her head at it. "Naruto."

He walked over, "Yes, kaa-san?"

"I'm really tired, baby, I'm going to go rest." She gave him a kiss on the forehead and whispered, "Shion-chan is as lovely as you described. I'm sure you'll both make each other happy." She straightened while Naruto just smiled, "Karei-chan, stop tormenting your brother and come with me. We both could use a rest."

"Yes mother," she called, following her. "Bye Shion, Naruto, Melfena-sama."

Melfena smiled as they left. "You have a very lovely family, Naruto. I see where you get your well behavior."

Naruto just grinned and rubbed the back of his head, 'If only she knew.'

—oo000oo—

Author's Notes, this one was a long time in coming no?Had part of it worked out but never finished it until now. Don't know why. With Kushina, I wanted her to feel like she did something unforgivable with Naruto. Something she wanted to be punished for. I know my mother would have never forgiven herself if she could protect me when I was a child.