Summary: Naruto meets Killerbee under the direst of circumstances. Can Naruto persuade Killerbee to return to Kumogakure when it is under attack? Spoilers for Chapter 447.

Beta: Angel Wings-008

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. I'm not making any money from this fan fiction.

A/N: Okay, I know Naruto meeting Killerbee will result in some hilarity, but this serious plot bunny wouldn't leave me alone. Also, I'm not really into the anime, so I will be ignoring anything said about Killerbee in the anime.

This is my first foray into the Naruto fandom. I've been reading Naruto fan fiction for months but I never got around to writing one. All thoughts are welcome.

Persuading a Deserter

Naruto Uzumaki was leaping from tree to tree in the forest surrounding Konoha, searching frantically for one particular shinobi. The dense green foliage would've presented a calming view for him – but not today, what with so much death and destruction already, and the important task at hand.

He had returned to his ravaged homeland of Konoha after sparing Pein's life, to find mixed news awaiting him. Kakashi Hatake was not dead, but was fighting for his life; Sakura was trying her level-best to get him out of danger. But Naruto couldn't go and see his sensei, for grim news had come from Kumo: the Cloud Village was under attack by the masked Akatsuki member.

"I don't know if we can help your village," said Tsunade, who looked her true age now; wrinkles clearly visible. She had no chakra to heal the scores of wounded, so all she could do was supervise, and listen to the Kumo Jonin, who'd come with grim tidings.

"Killerbee is rumoured to be in Konoha's vicinity," he said after a while.

Tsunade's eyes widened, leaving her looking stunned. "The Eight-Tailed beast's Jinchuuriki! I thought he was dead! How is he a Missing-nin now?"

Naruto was paying closer attention to the Jonin now.

"He escaped the attempt on his life. We don't know why he didn't return … He's not been declared officially as a Missing-nin yet."

"Who is this Killerbee guy anyway?" Naruto piped up, in a throwback to his thirteen-year-old self. The Kumo Jonin looked at Naruto with an unreadable expression, and then at Tsunade, who nodded.

"I trust him."

Keeping his tone neutral, the Jonin told Naruto about Killerbee's power, his eccentricity, and quite a few other things, along with showing him a photo. Naruto realised that Killerbee sounded quite a lot like himself.

"I'll try to find him," he piped up at once, when the Jonin had finished. "I'll see you soon, Granny Tsunade." He gave a wave and was off.

When he set off, he hadn't cared that it was none of his business. But, after a few hours of searching amidst the seemingly endless foliage, he thought he shouldn't have set off so rashly. His own people were in need of help …

Hachibi … He's nearby … came a growl from within his consciousness, from none other than an agitated Kyuubi. Naruto though his chakra seemed to spike for a moment.

The chakra he felt for a moment was enough to alert Bee. He climbed onto a sturdy tree not caring if he was exposing himself. He was tired of hiding underground – literally, until a few seconds ago.

That's one helluva huge, huge chakra, he thought.

You ought to get serious, Hachibi admonished. I recognise that chakra; it's Kyuubi's!

Just as Hachibi had finished his warning, an unfamiliar young boy had landed on the tree next to him and was staring right at him, relief, surprise and recognition etched on his face. The boy came to Killerbee's tree branch in an instant.

The blond boy was in his mid-teens. Some of his spiky blond hair framed the symbol of Konoha on his headband. He wore a now-dusty and leafy orange-and-black jacket, orange pants and regular ninja sandals. Bee took notice of the whiskers on the boy's face.

"Are you Killerbee?" The question was formal, more of a confirmation.

"Yeah. And I'd rather be called Mr Jinchuuriki."

The boy's mouth twitched momentarily into a smile. He extended his hand.

"I'm Naruto Uzumaki!" he said with a flourish. "The container of the Nine-tailed Fox."

Hachibi was right. As always.

"Who sent you? Your Hokage?"

"Well … No one did. I'm here to talk to you."

Naruto was apprehensive. Could he convince his fellow Jinchuuriki of his duty as a shinobi?

"I heard you've left your shinobi village," Naruto began. "Why?"

He expected to hear something like, "It's none of your business," or a reminder to use his favourite honorific. Instead came the reply, "I was bored."

Naruto looked at the sword-carrying, sunglass-wearing Kumo ninja incredulously, noting that he hadn't struck his village's symbol from his headband – yet. "You ran away because you were bored?"

"My brother – the Raikage - and the village don't need me to guard them. I'm tired of being a guardian."

"That's any honourable shinobi's duty," said Naruto coldly. Here was this reckless shinobi, just running away from his village when it needed him the most. Then he asked him something else.

"Were you mistreated because of the Bijuu?"

"Not so much."

"No way." Naruto was pretty sure that hating and fearing Jinchuuriki was the norm across the world until very recently. "You should've gone back."

"You dunno what you're talking about, kid. I would've put my village in danger."

Naruto knew the logic behind Killerbee's statement, but he didn't care. "You're a coward, deserting your village like that."

Killerbee gripped the handle of one of his swords in a wordless warning.

"Oh, and by the way, Kumo's under attack." Naruto normally never spoke with such contempt. Then again, he'd never seen a shinobi who'd desert his village because they were bored.

"What the – you're talking bullshit!" he exclaimed.

"No, I'm not." Naruto stood his ground, staring the other Jinchuuriki eye to eye.

Killerbee had to admit, there was no trace of lies in the boy's eyes.

"I hope you know your brother's in danger," said Naruto Uzumaki finally.

"I guess I've gotta help … as always." Killerbee might be a carefree rapping ninja (who'd begun to take Hachibi's advice about sucky rap and reduced it a little), but not a completely heartless one.

The boy grinned broadly. "Follow me, then. There's a Jonin from your village who was looking for you."

"Probably on my brother's orders," muttered Killerbee, as he made to follow the boy, who was leaping towards Konoha, still smiling.


A/N: Yes, I know there wasn't any Killerbee rap. And I'm afraid I couldn't write his style of speaking at all. I do hope I've not screwed up his characterisation too much for a serious story.

Lastly, I'd like to thank Vesper for his encouragement, Pirate for his inputs and Paige for being a great beta.