Hard to Forgive
Summary: Banished from Konoha after an accident with Kyuubi, Naruto swears to come back too powerful to be brought down. Years pass with no sign. Until they hear a Hidden Village has risen, and its' residents are demons and outcasts. Will they find Naruto there?
Warnings: Strong!Naruto, Demon!Naruto, some people-bashing, blood, violence… maybe some more, I don't know.
Disclaimers: Does it look like I own Naruto? I didn't think so either…
Naruto wanted to cry. He wanted to cry real badly. His eyes stung and his mind spun around. He was not sure the tears, if they would come, would be of sorrow or anger.
They had betrayed him. All of them. Konoha had betrayed him, they had sided against him. All of them. Even Iruka. Hell, even Tsunade! Just because he lost control once; once! It was not like he had hurt anyone; no, he had saved them! He had killed the Akatsuki leader, successfully destroying one of the strongest organisations consisting of missing-nins.
And what was the thank you? A one-way ticket of Konoha with the warning to never return. Simple as that. Looks of hatred, eyes filled with fear. People talking. Whispering their glee as he walked out through the gates. At the last second he had turned around, facing all of them. Tsunade stood in the front; her eyes were hard. Maybe she did not want him to go… but she was scared of him. Scared of what he could do; scared of what he might, possible do. They were not going to let him stay just to find out. Better be safe than sorry. Her eyes told Naruto that.
He got angry then. He tore off the necklace she had given him, it felt so long ago, but it had only been a few years ago and he had been happy then, so happy, threw it on the ground in front of him and stomped on it. Tsunade heard a sound she never thought she would hear when it came to that necklace. Naruto lifted his foot. The necklace had cracked underneath his sandal, now laying broken just like his trust to them, to Konoha. He looked up with angry eyes at the shocked Hokage and screamed:
"I'll make you regret this! I will come back one day, too strong to be stopped by you, too powerful to be brought down! I will seek out the people who will appreciate me, people who don't give a shit of what I am!"
He then vanished, leaving behind a broken necklace, a broken promise.
Now, a bit later, he was only sad. His heart was hurting with each beat it took. He had nowhere to go, because he knew no one. Maybe except for Inari and the guys at Water, but he did not want to go there. They were happy with their new life; he was not sure he would ever be able to be happy again.
The fifteen-year old threw away the orange and black jacket; he could not stand the colour now. He stopped liking orange in that quantity a few months ago. Sure, a few threads of orange in some clothing was fine, but even the new one Jiraiya had given him held too much orange. He was glad he had packed the other clothes Jiraiya had given him. He hoped he would reach a place where he could throw the pants away and dress in his new clothes. For now, he wore the orange pants and his black T-shirt.
Right now he was just running ahead, having no idea what to do. He was under a Henge, making him look a bit older and with brownish hair and green eyes. He was just being careful; who knew what people thought about him now.
The teen stopped for a minute and rested. He was going to show them. He was going to show them what they missed. He was no longer the immature brat they had known. He had changed years ago. They just did not see it.
He closed his eyes for a moment before moving on. He had to get as far away from Konoha as he could before he changed his mind and went to kill everyone. Kyuubi was rumbling inside of him, his host's anger making even the great demon nervous. Maybe it was because Naruto had never felt such anger before.
'Killing them now won't solve anything,' Kyuubi said, hoping to calm the teen down.
'I know but they piss me off,' Naruto replied as he made another stop, looking around. He had moved far enough for today. He climbed higher up to where the leaves would shield him from others. He settled down onto a branch and closed his eyes.
'Kit, we need to talk.'
'Talk on. I'm listening.'
'With me still in you, people will always chase you,' the demon spoke.
'Yes, I thought we established that some years ago,' Naruto could not help but say.
'Don't talk back to me, brat. I'm serious. If you are to grow strong, you can't have two different chakras in your body.'
'It's not like we can just pull you out,' Naruto muttered out. The teen opened his eyes and looked up at the demon. He was in his mindscape, the demon looking down at him. Kyuubi sighed and with a swirl of red chakra he changed into human form behind the bars. Naruto walked through the bars and sat down. Kyuubi followed. He had fierce red hair, red eyes, tanned skin and dressed in red armour. He had tried, without success, to get rid of all the red a few years ago, causing some humour for his host.
"There is a way," the demon said and looked away. "A painful way."
"Tell me," Naruto said.
"You do a ritual of sorts," Kyuubi said and looked at him briefly. "Everyone says removing your demon from you will kill you, but that's only if you go the normal way."
"The normal way?"
"Yes, the one Akatsuki has done on Gaara for an example. But that is forced removal; they never considered the host and the demon to be… on friendly terms, like us. That gives us another possibility to release me from you."
"That ritual?" Naruto asked eagerly.
"It's painful for you," the demon said, "not for me. You undo the seal while doing the ritual; the demon helps their host by beginning to push out. You need a human sacrifice, because the only way you can bring me out is if I have this human form."
"Will you have it forever? Or will you be a normal human?"
"I will have my human form forever," Kyuubi said. "There is no way avoiding that. I will not be a human though; the sacrifice is merely to give me blood and flesh instead the way I am now, spirit."
"If we succeed?"
"Your own chakra will begin to grow, to expand, adjust to being alone," Kyuubi said and scratched his cheek with a claw-like nail. "It will be hard the first few months, but I know you have enormous chakra reserves even without mine. Everyone tried to teach to you rely on my chakra, and that made your own retreat pretty much."
Naruto looked down for a few moments, his arms crossed. Kyuubi watched him quietly, letting his host decide the next actions all on his own. Then Naruto looked up again and said:
"What kind of sacrifice do you want? Man, woman or child?"
Three days later
'Are you really sure about this, Naruto?'
'Yes, now go on with it.'
The demon sighed and then took Naruto through the ritual once before the teen would do it. Naruto had drawn the circle with his blood as the demon had requested and was now kneeling down in the middle. Before him lay a man whose throat had been slit. The man had no name in Naruto's mind, as he never bothered to ask it. He did not know if the man had any family, and had not cared. He just was at the wrong place at the wrong time. At least his death had been swift and painless.
Once Kyuubi had explained Naruto put his palms on the man's chest. The demon inside of the teen took a deep breath; there was always the slim chance some of his chakra remained in Naruto and that would mean Naruto had to merge with the chakra, making him more of a demon. Naruto knew this risk, and did not care. He said it was fine. Lately, many things had been fine with the teen.
The ritual began. Kyuubi began to push himself out from Naruto, out from the mind, and from the body. It was somewhat strange doing it, but Kyuubi had been involved in a lot of strange situations and feelings during the years he had been alive. He hoped no one would come, attracted to the screaming Naruto did. The teen himself was not aware he had begun to scream; the demon so far succeeded to soothe the pain away.
As Kyuubi's arm left Naruto's body, Naruto could start feeling the pain. He threw his head back, his eyes rolling back and his scream began anew. The demon's arm found the sacrifice and held onto the body as he began to drag himself out. It was a really, really strange situation but Kyuubi was not about to complain.
After several painful minutes, Kyuubi with a last yank pulled his foot out and went into the sacrifice which immediately began to change into the demon's form.
Naruto fell to the ground, writhing in pain. The body was now formed and ready but Kyuubi was rather stiff; he had not moved around in a real body for a very long time. He managed to turn his head towards Naruto and groaned in misery at the sight. Some of his chakra was still within the teen, just as he feared. He moved slowly, finally arriving at the writhing body.
"Naruto," he said, holding the shaking body as still as he could with his stiff arms. The teen gave no indication that he had heard the demon; his body continued to twitch and his eyes were still rolled back. "Naruto! Wake up! Some of my chakra is still left within you."
Naruto finally regained some sorts of senses and looked at Kyuubi.
"Some of your chakra?" he got out.
"Yes, that is why you still are in pain. Merge with it. Embrace it, and make it to your own."
"I don't know how," Naruto gritted out, his body twitching in the demon's arms.
"Go to your mindscape. In my cage the chakra will be. Embrace it with your arms, and it will merge with you," Kyuubi said. "Go now."
Naruto did as Kyuubi told him.
Two years later
A boy no older than seven years old was running for his life. His thin legs carried him faster than normal, but not fast enough to shake loose of his followers. Men and women, older than him, stronger than him, wiser than him. Their screaming made the tears fall faster.
Why? Why do they chase me? What have I done to them? Why are they trying to kill me? Why am I the only different one?
"You should never have been born!"
"Stop you stupid brat! We'll put you out of your misery!"
The boy cried harder and tried to run faster. He slipped and with a crash was sent to the ground. He skidded to a halt and tried to get up. His leg protested, having been hurt in the fall. His wide eyes, filled with tears and pain, turned to look at the group of people who now stood in a half-circle around him.
"You're fast for being such a small brat," one man said with a grin. He was holding an axe. "But this is the end. There is nowhere you can run."
The boy scooted backwards, wailing and calling for help. Suddenly he bumped into something… something warm but hard. He looked up.
A person. Another one? Had he taken a different route than the others to make sure the boy would have nowhere to escape? Tears welled up faster in the boy's eyes.
"Who are you?" the man with the axe asked. "You from the village? Sorry, the light isn't so good. You want to have a go with him first?"
"Get out of my sight," the person growled, his voice deep and ominous but soothing for the boy.
"What did you say, you bastard?" someone screamed.
"I don't like repeating myself, low-lives," the man snarled. "Get out of my sight before I slay you all."
They retreated a bit before a woman shouted:
"He's only one and we are twenty! Plus he has to protect the brat!"
"You're right!" the man with the axe shouted. "Get ready to die, stranger!"
The person crouched down next to the boy and said:
"Close your eyes, child."
Two fingers gently helped him. The person rose up and the boy curled up. He did not want to see the nice man get killed. He heard their shouts as they charged. He whimpered and bit his lip. The nice man was going to die because of him. And then they were going to kill him. They were going to kill the nice man and him for nothing. They were just scared of the unknown, and killed what they were scared off.
Suddenly screams erupted from a woman, followed shortly by a man. The boy heard something splatter onto the ground but squeezed his eyes shut even harder and put his hands over his ears. After a few minutes, everything was silent again. The boy realized no one was attacking him, removed his hands and opened his eyes. Only to stare at the scene before him in shock.
Twenty corpses lay on the forest floor. The nice man cleaned off a katana from blood, its steel shining in the moonlight with each swift swipe with the cloth. A gentle wind began to blow and the moon shone onto the man's face. The boy's eyes widened in wonder.
The man looked young, had purple eyes and tattoos underneath them. His skin was almost white, making the eyes and tattoos appear much darker than what they probably were. But that was not what interested the boy.
The man had sharp teeth, and pointed ears sticking out from the wild and long black-red hair. The man was dressed in a long, black trench-coat and underneath a pair of baggy black pants, a belt to which several scrolls were attached and the now sheathed katana hanging on his left hip. He wore nothing on his torso or on his feet. The finger- and toenails were sharp and looking a bit like claws.
The man now turned to the boy and walked over to him. He crouched down and with gentle movements cleaned away the salty liquid from the boy's cheeks. The claw-like nails scratched his skin a bit but the boy did not get scared. The movements were gentle, not meant to harm him.
"Who are you?" the boy asked in awe.
"I bear no name," the man replied, "for it would be a disgrace to my parents if I continued to use it. A friend of mine calls me Sora, for when I was young my eyes matched the colour of a bright sky."
"Oh… so you're… Sora-san?" the boy said.
"Yes, I am. And who might you be?" Sora asked.
"I don't have a name," the boy said and looked away. "They always say monster to me."
"Because I guess I am one."
"Never call yourself a monster, child," the man said angrily. "It will only pain you."
"How do you know?"
"For the people I lived with before, in my former village, I was a monster," Sora said quietly, making the boy whip his head up to stare at the man. "They barely knew my name, so used were they to call me monster. It took me a long time to understand why they did what they did, and once I had found out… I was already too deep down in the line of hatred."
The boy began to cry again.
"No, not crying," Sora said. "I was hoping it would cheer you up to know you are not alone."
"But they were mean to Sora-san!" the boy cried. "They shouldn't have been mean to Sora-san, because he's a very kind person!"
Sora's eyes softened a bit and he said:
"People do not see us that way."
"We two are not alone," Sora said. "I am travelling village to village in search of my own people. You are so far the youngest I have found."
"Me?" the boy asked, eyes wide. "I am… one of your people?"
"Cast away like rags," Sora said bitterly. "Thrown out without a care. Led to a life full of hatred and wishes of revenge. I was like that, until a year ago. I had spent one year by then away from the village I bore such hatred to, and felt very alone. My friend asked me, if I was so alone, why not build myself a village so I can protect my people."
"You are building a village?" the boy asked, excited.
"My friend are helping the ones I have promised a better life to build it while I travel, trying to save those who are in need. Would you like to follow me?"
The boy's eyes widened even more, if that was possible.
"I can go with Sora-san?" he asked in shock.
"Yes, you can go with me."
"But-! But I'm nothing! I'm just a child, I can't do anything! I don't even have a name and-!"
"That will be your name, so I can remember where I met you. Where the wind of the night brought us together."
The boy looked at Sora, his lower lip trembling.
"But…" he tried again.
"I will tell you something, a deep secret," Sora said. "Something only my friend knows of so far. I will share this secret with you to make you understand my trust in you, Yokaze."
He liked the name. How easily it was given to him. By this man. By his saviour.
"Okay," newly-named Yokaze said.
Sora smiled and leaned closer. His black and red bangs brushed Yokaze's cheek. The man smelled faintly of blood and sakura blossoms, a scent Yokaze loved as soon as he felt it. The smell of his saviour, the smell of Sora-san.
"I will tell you my real name, the name my father gave me before he died," Sora whispered. Yokaze nodded fervently, showing he was ready. "I was born as Uzumaki Naruto in the Hidden Village of Leaf, Konoha."
"Naruto-san," Yokaze whispered.
Sora looked at the boy and said:
"That name is but a mere memory now. I shall not disgrace my mother or my father by calling myself that. They died to save a village I have no love for. They died for people I rather want to see dead. I am going against that village, although not wishing for war, and therefore must bury my old name. Just as everyone else in my village, your village, has."
"They cast away who they were, and became a new person," the man said with a smile. "Just as I did. Just as you have done."
Yokaze stared at the man before him. Someone who understood. Someone who called him something else than monster. Someone who gave him a name to call his own.
Someone who accepted him.
(1) Night Wind
New story that has been in my mind for a long time now, probably ever since I started see Naruto and got into the anime and manga. It was just recently I finally thought it could be actually written down.
Chapter two: Years and years have passed when suddenly a missing-nin a Konoha team is chasing gets caught by another team. A team from the Hidden Village of Blood, where the demons and outcasts lives. Only one thing; Konoha has never heard of the village before…