Antagonist

by Kalashnikov2092

Disclaimer: Lovin' is what I got. Ownership of Naruto and Bleach ain't.

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"I have to fight like hell and fighting like hell has made me what I am." - John Arbuthnot Fisher

"There is no good and evil, there is only power...and those too weak to see it." - Joanne Kathleen Rowling

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XXII: Märchenland

A fist plowed into Naruto's face before he even realized it had made contact. He went tumbling backwards, blood dribbling from his nose. However, Naruto took it in stride, rolling to his feet soon after taking the blow.

He smirked and wiped his bloody nose, saying, "Jeez, you don't waste time Itachi-san."

The shinobi only stared at him blankly in response. Then Itachi's arm moved, flicking a kunai straight at the blond. Naruto dodged the knife, but ran straight into an intercepting Itachi. Itachi threw a crisp right hook that spun Naruto around.

Naruto went with the spin, coming back around to attempt a kick. Itachi's Sharingan eyes easily read his opponent's movements, so he caught the kick and returned with another punch. Naruto's head rocked back, before Itachi took a tighter hold on his leg and threw him full force. The blond went soaring through the air to crash into the large throne in the center of the temple.

As soon as his body made contact with the throne, it exploded into pieces from the force. Not taking any chances, Itachi's hands went into a flurry of seals.

"Katon: Karyuu Endan," called Itachi. He took in a breath, then exhaled. From the shinobi's mouth emerged a long stream of flame. As it drew closer to the remnants of the throne, the stream of flame began to take the shape of a roaring dragon. A second later the fire dragon crashed into Naruto's location, exploding in ball of white hot flame.

Itachi stood silently, watching the flames rage. He had no doubts that Naruto was still alive. The boy was skilled, even when he was mortal.

His notion was correct, for a few seconds after the the dragon had hit his position, Naruto flew from the flames. Drawing his hands into the ram seal, the blond shinobi created two clones on each side of him. They all drew a single exploding kunai, while the real Naruto seemed to run through more seals.

Before the real Naruto was finished casting his jutsu, the clones all threw their exploding kunai. However, they did not target Itachi. Instead, the kunai all landed three yards in front of the Uchiha. He instinctively jumped backwards, and the kunais' explosions missed him completely.

Then, behind the wall of flames, Naruto voice called out: "Futon: Daitoppa."

Suddenly, the wall of flame caused by the exploding kunai became a fast moving wave of fire. Itachi's eyes widened at the combination of attacks, before he cursed himself and activated his Mangekyo.

He cast Susanoo without a second thought. The red silhouette of his Susanoo blocked Naruto's attack completely, and as soon as the wave of fire passed him, Itachi dropped the Mangekyo's greatest ability.

The prodigy soon found Naruto right in front of him, the blond's fist cocked back to deliver a powerful hay maker. Unfortunately for the boy, Itachi's Sharingan was still victorious. He read Naruto's attack like a book, dodging the swing with incredible ease. He then returned with a punch of his own, an uppercut that clicked Naruto's teeth together with jarring force.

As the blond stumbled backwards, Itachi threw a snap kick to Naruto's ribs. He could hear the air forcefully eject from his younger opponent's lungs, and smirked in return. Naruto had become foolishly conceited. He had created a scenario where they were only as strong as they were when they were ninja; in this scenario Itachi had a great advantage. Naruto was strong in ninjutsu, but Itachi's speed, taijutsu, and Sharingan easily trounced Naruto's skill.

Then, a shadow appeared above Itachi's head. He instinctively looked up to find the four Naruto clones flying down at him. He rolled backwards to evade the clones' aerial attack. The four copies immediately followed Itachi, trying with all their might to land a blow on their opponent. Still, Itachi expertly bobbed and weaved between the flurry of punches and kicks. His Sharingan eyes would not fail against mere Kage Bunshin.

Growing bored of his four attackers, Itachi ducked under one punch. His hand blurred downward to draw a kunai. Immediately after his hand touched its hilt, he had it drawn and thrust into one clone's stomach. It exploded into smoke, and he spun on his left heel to smash his right heel into another clone's throat. The blow crushed its windpipe, thus ending its existence.

Itachi then rolled under a roundhouse kick, rolling to his feet. He now stood directly in front of another clone, and he used the closeness to deliver a backwards headbutt. The blow only dazed the Kage Bunshin, but Itachi used the opening to draw the kunai across its neck. As the third clone disappeared, Itachi blurred forward to ram his kunai into the last clone's back.

It gasped before cursing. "Damn...you really were a dangerous shinobi, eh Itachi-san?" the clone questioned with a pained grimace.

"It was foolish to create these rules, Uzumaki. As a shinobi, you do not come even close to my skill," replied Itachi, his eyes spinning as he looked at the clone.

"Oh really? Well then, I guess I gotta step things up a bit..."

Itachi was suddenly aware of a presence behind him. He spun around, kunai slashing at the person. However, the assailant caught his wrist in a powerful grip. Itachi looked at Uzumaki Naruto, but there was something different about him. His eyes were yellow, and very frog-like.

Upon seeing Itachi's gaze, Naruto said, "That's right. You died before I ever learned how to use Sage Chakra."

Then a fist crashed straight into Itachi's face with immense speed and power. His body began to move backwards from the force of the blow, but Naruto's vice grip kept his opponent from going anywhere. Itachi gave a cough as blood from his newly attained broken nose began to spill down his throat.

His vision was blurred from the punch, so Itachi's Sharingan eyes did nothing to stop a rising knee to his chest. His eyes shot open and a gasp escaped his blood filled throat as the pain from such a blow registered. Itachi tried to wrench his arm free, but Naruto's multiplied strength from the Sage Chakra would not relent. Instead, Naruto twisted his opponent's wrist, earning a grimace from the prodigal Uchiha.

Laughing lightly, Naruto spoke, "The tables have turned on you Itachi-san. Now I have the upper hand."

Itachi did not respond. Instead, he opted to pull an unexpected move. His free hand latched onto Naruto's forearm, and his feet left the ground. In a blur of sudden triumph, Itachi caught Naruto in a perfect arm bar.

The blond let out a surprised cry as his arm was suddenly being forced out of its socket. He quickly tried to pull his arm free, but Itachi took on the role of not relinquishing hold. However, the Sage Chakra's perks began to allow Naruto to overpower Itachi.

So, Itachi quickly drew a kunai and cut the muscles in Naruto's arm.

This effectively rendered the limb immovable while also ending all resistence to Itachi's arm bar. With a sickening pop, the blond's shoulder was wrenched out of its socket. Naruto gave a roar and fell to his knees. Itachi ended the submission, landing on his feet directly behind Naruto.

"An impressive skill Uzumaki, but I still have skills you couldn't imagine," the former ANBU commander spoke. Naruto looked over his shoulder gave his foe a heated glare. The glare was wiped from his face when a kick from Itachi smashed into it. The blond was sent skidding across the stone floor in a heap.

However, the kick didn't even seem to faze the son of Namikaze Minato. He had a thoughtful look as he dragged himself to his feet, something that Itachi wasn't pleased with.

Looking over at his adversary, Naruto said, "Damn that hurt a lot. You are one crafty bastard Itachi-san, I have to give you that. However, thinking that an arm bar would come anywhere close to finishing me doesn't suit a man of your intelligence. As a former member of Akatsuki you should know that the Kyuubi always healed minor injuries like this. Hell, I can pop my shoulder back into its socket without the fox's help." For emphasis, Naruto grabbed a hold of his dead arm and jerked it upwards. There was another pop and Naruto grimaced, but he was able to roll his shoulder now.

"Perhaps I've been going around the wrong way with this...Sage Chakra isn't helping me too much. I guess I'll have to use my other alternative chakra source," stated the blond, and his frog-like yellow eyes faded away.

However, Itachi took no window of opportunity for granted. As soon as Naruto was normal once more, Itachi blurred at his smaller opponent. The blond cursed as he was forced to block a flurry of super-fast punches. As he was stepping backwards, a leg sweep knocked his legs out from under him. A second later Itachi was above him, a stomp crashing into his face.

Naruto gave a cough as some of his teeth were knocked out, but he still retained consciousness. He quickly rolled away from the former ANBU commander and leaped to his feet. He brushed some blood off his chin and gave the Uchiha a glare.

As Itachi watched, Naruto's glaring eyes began to turn red. Upon seeing Itachi's alarm at such a sight, Naruto said, "Another thing you never got to see was something I'm quite proud of. You see, that big scary fox in me, well, let's say he's quite obedient to me now."

Itachi cursed as red chakra began to bubble on Naruto's skin. He became even more alarmed, however, when the red chakra became incredibly dark. He watched as not one, not two, not three, but four tails of blood red chakra formed out of Naruto's tail bone. The red chakra became almost black, and it covered Naruto's entire being. Now Naruto no longer looked human. Instead he looked like a man-sized fox with four tails.

Surprisingly, Naruto then spoke to Itachi, saying, "This is just my Four Tailed State. I have five more levels after this. You should make it easy on yourself so you don't have to see the rest."

Then Naruto's arm shot forward, extending at Itachi. The prodigal Uchiha was forced to jump away, but he soon found his demonic opponent directly behind him. It took a swipe at him with its claws, and Itachi cursed when he found that his Sharingan couldn't read its movements. Since Naruto was covered in a shell of chakra, Itachi's Sharingan was unable to predict its attacks.

So, he was forced to move forward slightly so he was struck by the fox's forearm instead of its claws. Still, the force behind the blow was tremendous. As soon as he was hit, Itachi was sent flying into one of the temple walls. His body left a deep imprint in the stone structure, and the former ANBU commander let out a cry of pain. A second later Naruto's chakra hands grasped hold of him, pulling him towards the fox. Once Itachi was right in front of him, Naruto's Four Tailed State seemed to grow legs out of its midsection. These legs then planted their feet into Itachi's stomach.

Itachi gave a silent cry at the force behind Naruto's attack, the wind knocked right out of his lungs. Itachi barely registered the feeling of something grasping his hair, for the disorientation of such powerful attacks in succession had taken hold. Then he found himself flying through the air.

He gained his senses quickly, but nowhere fast enough to prevent himself from crashing into the forest below the temple. The trees did little to stop Itachi's flying body, and the prodigal Uchiha found himself crashing through the woods. He soon made contact with the ground, halting his crash. Itachi barely found the strength to stand. His body was a wreck, coved in cuts, bruises and splinters on the outside. On the inside Itachi found he had some broken ribs and a few bruised organs. That was clearly not good.

There was a zipping sound, and Itachi turned just in time to see Naruto right next to him, claw aimed back to smash into the Mangekyo wielder. Just as Naruto was about follow up on the slash, Itachi willed his body to throw a kick. His shin met Naruto's chakra-encased face, stumbling the Kyuubi jinchuuriki enough to stop its attack. However, Itachi was still injured. The shin he had used for the kick was badly burned from the Kyuubi's volatile chakra. Now that leg was weakened, slowing the Uchiha significantly.

Naruto capitalized on this new weakness, using his tails as springs to launch himself head first into Itachi's stomach. The two of them shot like a bullet through the forest, uprooting any trees in their way. Naruto halted himself by digging into the ground with his claws, disengaging himself from Itachi's body. The Uchiha continued soaring for quite a bit, Naruto losing sight of him in the process. The jinchuuriki moved to rectify the situation, sprinting off to follow the Uchiha rag doll.

However, as he began moving, there was a whisper somewhere in the forest.

"Amaterasu."

The forest seemed to darken, and then suddenly everything was turning into ash around Naruto. The boy turned around to come face-to-face with a jet stream of obsidian flames. He roared as the black inferno made contact with his chakra shell, burning right through. The pain was excruciating, but Naruto had faced it both against Madara and Sasuke (though ironically, Itachi had given Naruto a gift that had rendered Sasuke's Amaterasu harmless all those years ago).

Naruto once again used his tails as springs to jump away from the majority of the blaze. Some of the flame still stuck to his shoulder, but Naruto quickly pulled off a trick the Kyuubi had discovered after his run ins with Mangekyo-wielding Uchiha. Naruto had used it in a key moment in his battle with Madara all those years ago.

The counter was quite simple. He moved all of his chakra shell towards the flame. His chakra then seemed to wrap around the Amaterasu. It seemed that even though Amaterasu was by all means an irregular sort of flame, it still needed oxygen to burn. So, Naruto encased the flame in a constant ball of the Kyuubi's chakra and waited for the Amaterasu to eat all the oxygen inside. When he felt that the flame had dissipated, he spread the fox's chakra over himself once again.

Granted, using this method used up a great deal of chakra since he had to constantly replace the chakra Amaterasu burned away. However, if Itachi was starting to use such high-level techniques, Naruto was allowed to step up his game and use even more of the Kyuubi's gifts. He dug more of the fox's chakra out, adding two more tails to his already four-tailed state. Now with six tails, Naruto's Kyuubi cloak began to add more to its defense, creating a large fox skeleton over Naruto's form.

A grin spreading across the facade of his chakra shell, Naruto's tails curled forward, their tips creating a ring around his mouth. Opening his jaws, Naruto began to draw in the natural chakras from his surroundings. Specs of white and black energy flowed into his mouth, and the boy happily ingested them. His stomach seemed to swell to almost cartoonish proportions, but before it seemed that he would burst, the Kyuubi container slammed his arm into his bulging gut.

This forcefully ejected the amassed energies in the form of a hyper-lethal demonic chakra blast.

The beam simply caused all in front it to cease to exist. An entire patch of forest disappeared in the blink of an eye. Naruto made his chakra shell grin at this highly destructive act, but he knew that the battle wasn't over quite yet. He saw before that Itachi had used that damned Susanoo technique to escape his exploding note offensive, and he probably had pulled it out again to survive his latest attack.

However, he knew from his battle with Sasuke that that technique ate the user's chakra like crazy. However, Sasuke had possessed a perfect Mangekyo when he and Naruto had fought, making the taxing move easier to use. Sasuke had bragged that he was far superior to his older brother, for he was able to use Amaterasu, Tsukiyomi, and Susanoo without it being a threat to his life/health.

So, right now Naruto was guessing that using Susanoo on top of Amaterasu with his normal Mangekyo eyes was probably doing a number on Itachi. A large number, in fact.

Which worked perfect for Naruto. All he had to do was push the pace and make Itachi practically kill himself with his own techniques.

As soon at the smoke cleared to reveal Itachi with his fully formed Susanoo shimmering over his body, Naruto pounced. Using his heightened speed and strength, the jinchuuriki soared across the distance between his opponent and himself in a split second. He crashed full force into Itachi's technique, latching tight onto it with his now extended chakra arms. Itachi watched, huffing from mild chakra exhaustion, as Naruto pressed his faux face against Susanoo's protective barrier like it was a pane of glass.

"Hey hey hey Itachi-san. You don't look so good. You're probably wishin' you had chakra reserves like me, ain't ya?Well sorry, but I like you just the way you are now." Naruto's six-tailed state grumbled. Then its mouth opened, and a downright chilling roar of laughter exploded deep from within its throat. Itachi narrowed his bleeding Mangekyo eyes at his malevolent foe. Naruto obviously could see how badly his eyes were hurting him. However, Itachi doubted that the boy knew he had some very powerful trump cards he used in tandem with Susanoo.

Not wanting to give himself away, Itachi showed no emotion as Susanoo's arm came down to its waist, and laid hand on a gourd attached to its belt. Suddenly, the gourd opened, and spilling from it was long stream of flames. Susanoo grasped the flame like a sword, because it was a sword. Only, this sword was very special; the Sword of Totsuka to be exact. This mighty weapon had unequaled destructive power, as well as a very useful secondary sealing attack. I he could just piecrce his wily opponent, Itachi could seal Naruto with a very powerful unending genjutsu, thus ending this battle before his Mangekyo killed him.

However, if he was going to attack the jinchuuriki, he'd have to pry him off of Susanoo. So, before Naruto realized what was happening, Itachi activated his second trump card: the Yata Mirror. It was his ultimate defense along side his ultimate offense. It rejected anything close to Susanoo with extreme prejiduce. All Naruto knew was that one second, he was latched onto Susanoo, the next, flying away from it quite forcefully.

Naruto righted himself while soaring through the air, landing in a skid on all fours. He looked over to Itachi, and found the already fierce Susanoo now wielding a blade of flowing red flames. Naruto didn't know what the hell this was, but he was smart enough to know that he should not let Itachi get anywhere near him with that thing, let alone let himself get slashed by such an impressive looking tool.

However, he wasn't going to let himself be vulnerable if Itachi was able to get close to him. So, Naruto exhaled a long breath, and began to do something he had never dared to use when he had finished Akatsuki in Konoha shortly before he died. He hadn't used his biggest trump card because while he wanted to save the village, he still wanted there to be a village left afterwards. You see, this impressive ability was also something that he had grasped in his long and painful training with Kumo's infamous master of rhyme. It was a bitch to pull off, but he knew he'd had to accomplish it eventually.

Hell, if Killer Bee could release all eight tails of the Hachibi's chakra, Naruto naturally trained with him to use all nine tails of the Kyuubi's.

END

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Well, I got to reading EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY REVIEWS EVER over the past couple of days, and decided to pump out this chapter in a single night. Your guys support had pumped me up, and so I give this chapter to yins as a present. I will try my best to get back into writing this as well as Disappear With the Wind. This one should be easier to do because the whole Aizen arc is over. Though, I have to say this new storyline in Bleach just has me bored. So, I've been finding some new manga loves, like Monster, Ichi the Killer, and Berserk. Check all three out, because in terms of quality, they are the top three I've ever read. Also, while not technically a manga, I've pretty much fell in love with Brian Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series. Go and buy it, hipsters.