Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Premise: In the manga/anime it is said that if Naruto dies, then the demon inside him dies. To me this makes no sense. However, the kitsune certainly acts like this is the case, so there must be some reason it cooperates. What other reason could there be?
Spoilers though anime Shippuden Gaara arch, manga 420 or so. (heh) Although, caught up to 442 and it's consistent. This story is, however, sort of AU. And it very definitely involves time travel.
This fic started as a 50k writing binge over 3 weeks. It has since become a monster that has taken over my life. (Yay!) Updates are every 3 weeks, sometimes sooner.
Chapter 1: Who Needs Humans?
The tiny humans scattered when she stomped a paw down on their pathetic formation and roared. Her tails swatted them off her back and she let out a yip of excitement. The pitiful humans were no match for her now that she was free! Even the small one sitting on top of the samurai toad would fall before… wait a minute.
The kyuubi paused, one foot raised above a quivering band of shinobi. This situation seemed strangely familiar. She took a step forward over the fleeing ninja, bringing her face closer to the little yellow headed figure on top of the orange amphibian. She stopped just shy of the brandished blade- it was large enough that it had to potential to hurt her- especially if she was fool enough to run her face right into it.
The human was waving its arms about in a manner that made the kyuubi feel fear in the pit of her stomach- an emotion that she shouldn't have felt ever, much less recently, but it seemed almost like an old friend. Or perhaps more accurately, like a smell that couldn't quite get purged from the den, no matter how many human corpses one found stuck in odd crevices and threw out.
As a great rush of water swept over her, followed by an agonizing burst of electricity, she contemplated why she felt relieved giant arms weren't reaching for her.
Though, why was she killing all these humans, anyway? She was finally free and she attacked random mites? Sure, it was cathartic, but something was nagging at her… Something that seemed quite important…
She peered at the human again. His hair felt like it was the right color, but it was too long, and he wasn't cursing her at the top of his lungs. Somehow this was the last straw. Something was very wrong.
She turned delicately on her paws, putting her nose to the mysterious force that was trying to push her forward. There was danger in that little yellow headed human, she could feel it in her bones, and it was trouble that she didn't want to deal with again. Again? When had she seen that human before? Since when could she recognize humans at all?
No matter. Someone had dared to call her to this world, and try to bind her to their will. She could sense them in her mind, could feel the way that the world had turned to black, red and white and the need to do the other's bidding. She felt her anger rising, images of humans with red eyes- a color which she normally approved- lashing across her vision and making her snarl. She had to bring them back… back where? No, she had to kill them all! Yes… though maybe they were all gone?
At least one remained, however. Only they knew how to control her majestic self. But the days where she would put up with such nonsense were long over. This demon had never let herself be subject to the whims of gods, much less some puny humans. She was going to live by her own will. Believe it!
Minato had just had the fright of his life. The Konoha police had been tasked with keeping the gigantic demon fox distracted, but for some reason the beast had suddenly started to ignore them and came right at the Hokage and his summons. He had had to break off the long and complicated set of seals of the modified Shiki Fuujin in order to prepare a counter-attack.
But the beast had just looked at him, the elemental jutsu having no visible effect. Its tails no longer lashing except for the occasional, almost confused looking flick. The nose as long as the Hokage tower was tall scrunched up a bit and Minato was pretty sure it wasn't because of the fifty foot blade in its face. The demon seemed as completely unconcerned about the boss toad's weapons as t had about the S-rank jutsus to the face. The demon seemed distracted by something only it could sense.
And then the damn thing had just run off.
"Hokage-sama… you saved us!" The cheer went up from the shinobi as Minato looked in disbelief at the retreating tails of the fox demon. As he released the energy for the sealing technique, a disturbing sigh of disappointment shuddered though his soul as white fingers released his heart.
"Er…" Minato wasn't quite sure what to say. It had been a very different encounter than the one that he had been imagining. Namely: he was still alive. He was definitely not sure how he felt about that. It was almost certainly a good thing, but he felt incongruously annoyed to have built up all that angst and have it end so anti-climatically. He shook his head and barked to the nearest jounin "Follow the beast at a safe distance, if you can keep up with it. Make sure it isn't doubling back."
"Yes, sir!" came the reply before the ANBU squad streaked off to follow the beast.
"The rest of you, bring the wounded to the hospital."
As the ninja of his village scurried about in a much more cheerful way then they had been a few minutes ago, Minato sank to his knees on top of Gamabunta's head. "Was that normal demon behavior?" He asked his summons, bemused.
"No." Came the gruff voice of the toad boss. "Not at all."
"I'm not hallucinating in the belly of the Death God, right? The nine-tailed demon fox, who can crush mountains or cause tsunamis by simply existing, stopped mid-havoc, gave me a sniff, and ran off?"
"That is what happened." Gamabunta confirmed.
Minato pulled his shirt away from his chest and smelled himself experimentally. He didn't smell marvelous, considering he had been sweating at the idea of voluntarily sending himself to hell, but he didn't smell that bad. He turned when he felt a familiar chakra signal land next to him.
"You're still alive!" Sarutobi said in ecstatic disbelief. "Did the Death God not require…"
" I didn't seal the kyuubi." Minato cut him off.
"What?" Sarutobi asked, his brow furrowing in confusion. "But…" He looked around at the battered villagers and the wounded they were carrying. The scenery was distinctly demon free.
Minato stood up and brushed off his robes. "I didn't say it made any sense." He replieed, somewhat put out, but just starting to feel the first glimmers of exhilaration. Until he realized that now that he was going to live, he was going to have to do all that paperwork he had been neglecting as he researched the seal that was supposed to kill him.
The kitsune could feel the pressure building. It was pressing all the colors out of the world except for tones of red. She snarled and skidded to a halt. The pressure was coming from below, so she dug furiously at the earth until a tiny mite burst from the wreckage.
The kyuubi spun to track the flash of human with a snarl, trying to smash it under her paws, but it was too quick. Suddenly the human's eyes seemed to expand, seemed to take over the entirety of what she could see. Spinning black pinwheels sucked her in.
No! This she remembered, this was how she had been trapped so long ago. Or, for so long? Or… didn't it not work on her anymore? She was so confused that she was almost fully caught in the technique before she came back to herself.
Not again, never again! What was the trick?
Possession! That's right, she had been behind a seal, and the sewers, somehow… But she wasn't possessing anyone anymore. Had she possessed someone? She must have.
But the only person available now was the little gnat trying to subdue her. Fine. Two could play these mind games. She would show the pitiful speck the danger of messing with a fucking force of nature.
Instead of pulling back from the technique, she rushed forward, pouring herself into the human though his navel as he broke the gaze lock between them in horror.
The kitsune yipped excitedly as she flew into the human body, compressing her chakra in a way that felt somewhat restrictive, but right and familiar at the same time. The familiar paths were before her, but she knew that she had to twist them. Yes… there were the doors, but this time she would be on the outside and the fool human could stay and rot. She felt the seal settle with a distinct thunk and she gazed happily at the human gaping at her from behind massive barred doors.
"What… what have you done?" The human asked, his eyes whirling almost too fast to separate the black from the red, but it no longer had any effect on her at all. The human could not even suppress her chakra from inside the seal.
"Ah, the human doesn't understand. What an unusual situation." She said sarcastically. She spun on a paw and skipped happily up out of the dungeons, ignoring the human's cries.
She opened her eyes and saw white puffy clouds sailing across a blue sky. One looked a bit like a rabbit. Mmm… rabbit. Her stomach growled appreciatively.
The kitsune sat up and saw the trunk of a tree. The trunk? Say what? She followed the trunk up to the canopy and saw the light filtering through the branches. Rather pretty, but shouldn't she be seeing the canopy from above?
She rolled over onto all fours and felt distinctly awkward.
Ah. She had forgotten the less enjoyable reality of possession. True- no more being controlled by red spinning-eyed human annoyances, a problem she felt had some terms associated with it…. Anyway, no slavery, but it meant you had to be a human. Bipedal. With a grimace the kyuubi stood on two legs, shakily finding her balance and looking down at her clothes. Blech. Another annoying human necessity.
Still, some clothes were more tolerable than others. The red armor was ok, but this blue? Absolutely unacceptable. And there were so many layers!
She pulled all the constricting fabric off and set about examining her body. It was alright, she supposed. It seemed more toned and fit than she was used to. Though what she was comparing it to, she wasn't entirely sure. But there was this dangly thing that seemed completely impractical, and she felt it had some sort of significance…
Oh hells no! She wasn't going to get stuck in a male body again. Again? Well, ever. The kitsune no kyuubi had enough problems with the other demons thinking she was male due to her booming, deep voice. Could she help that her chest was the size of a small mountain? No. You'd think they would know to use their noses, not their eyes, but sometimes demons could be as thick as humans. She'd had to crack more than a few of their skulls open so the concept could get past the thick bone.
Well, this simply wouldn't do. Fortunately, it seemed pretty easy to shift the bits around as she saw fit. For some reason her chakra flowed familiarly along the body, molding it to be that of a human female. It almost felt like she was healing a hole ripped in her chest, though the male condition wasn't painful or an injury, per se, the switch had the same degree of satisfaction.
The kitsune looked down at her chest. She now had two impractical dangling things. Honestly, had humans so lost touch with nature that they couldn't even manage to lactate properly?
With a put-upon sigh, the kitsune tore off a strip of the offensive blue material and tied the mammary tissue into place. As annoying as clothing was, she supposed humans didn't really have a choice in the matter, considering their unfortunate biology. She pulled the lower half of the blue garment back on, wincing at the color and vowing to get something red, or possibly black… or maybe orange! Hmm, orange would be nice. Yes, she vowed to steal something more suitable at the first opportunity.
The red armor seemed to be all in once piece, and she didn't have the faintest idea of how to modify it. Considering it was the only thing reasonably acceptable, she pulled it on, even though now it fit very strangely due to her changed figure. She tried walking and felt like her steps were strangely dulled. She tore off the hard things strapped to her feet and flexed her toes in the dirt appreciatively. Much better.
This would have to do for now. The kitsune shrugged and leapt off over the trees. It was pleasing to be above them again; even if she ended up crashing back through the boughs before she got the hang of landing on the branches instead of shattering through them.
Back at the dug up crater that used to be a secret underground base, the ANBU team was bent over, holding their knees and panting heavily.
"I don't know where the kyuubi went from here, but the trail of destruction pretty much ends at this spot." The one with the tiger mask said when he was finally recovered enough to speak. The whole team had had to run full out for the better part of four hours, and still had arrived what looked like over three hours after the kyuubi. The damn demon was fast!
"Whoever was here, they certainly got an unpleasant surprise." Muttered the crane, kicking over a piece of metal that might have once been a door.
"Maybe it went back to er… the demon realm, after it tore something up." The puma shrugged.
"Don't be ridiculous." The crane scoffed.
"Well, stranger things have happened, like it showing up in the first place." The puma retorted.
"From the looks of this, though, someone might have been summoning it." The tiger said, making a sweeping arm gesture to encompass the scene of destruction. As he was finishing the motion, something fluttering caught his eye. In a flash, fatigue (mostly) forgotten, he was over to the scrap of cloth, lifting it up. It was a navy blue yukata, with a symbol on the back… the ANBU dropped it as if it had burned him.
"Was that… the Uchiha clan symbol?" The crane asked uneasily.
"We'd better report this to the Hokage." The tiger replied grimly, picking up the cloth and bundling it up under his grey armor.