First of all, I couldn't have written this at all if it wasn't for SaphireWhiteWolf; she generously donated not only this plot bunny, but another. I've decided to keep the titles and summaries she made. Go check out her fic Music of Emotions if you want humor, lemons, Akatsuki, and ItaNaru.

Note: Nezumi means rat

Disclaimer: Obviously I don't own Naruto (yet!). The original idea was Saph's, but any variations I make are mine.

Chapter 1: Run like hell, Idiot.

Knock. Knock.

The sound reverberated around the room. And it was a simple room indeed, wooden floorboards that had seen many years, but were solid, clean and hard covered the floor. Two white futon lay empty on the far side of the room, near a large window. The blinds were closed, blocking the bright sunlight.

Naruto heard the echo and scowled. First that lazy sage had gone to the sleaziest part of town, the red light district; all the strippers, prostitutes, or "entertainers" and "exotic dancers" as others called them in polite conversation, made their dirty work there. The blond's eyebrow twitched at the thought. Jerk! Why the hell would he ditch me for some strippers?! That did not sit well with him. At all. In fact, it kind of pissed him off.

"Ero-sennin" as the twelve year old had dubbed him stole his frog wallet "gama-chan" and emptied its contents quickly. All his money in the world was gone; he could never trust anyone else to hold his money. And all for some alcohol and a good time. "I thought "sannin" were supposed to be rich." he muttered, kicking the older man's futon spitefully. Naruto said Jiraiya's title as if it were a curse. Or something dirty.

But with Jiraiya, renowned for his perverseness, was there really any difference?

Then he had the nerve to leave him in the early morning, while the blond was still recovering from his training. Rasengan was pretty damn hard. The genin had to complete only the final and most vexing step. His frustration was mounting.

Needless to say, Uzumaki Naruto was not happy.

"Alright, I'm coming, I'm coming." The stressed ninja grumbled. The genin got up and rubbed his eyes, still not quite awake. He yawned and stretched before reluctantly trudging over to the door, still in his sleep wear. Minus his goofy cap. It lay on the floor.

Naruto fumbled with the latch and slid the wooden door open. His remark of "Hey, you aren't Ero-sennin!" died in his throat.

A stone hit him, or something. He wasn't quite sure how to explain it, but his stomach dropped.

He looked up to a very intimidating presence. It was like Sasuke...but dark. An older version of his Uchiha teammate gone very nightmarish. He just exuded this presence...an aura of eerie calm and scary power. He was covered in a black cloak patterned with red clouds. All that was visible were his hands, sandal-ed feet, and his blank face.

But that didn't matter. It was those eyes. They unnerved him. Naruto desperately wanted to look away, but they were like a black hole sucking him in. An unending abyss from which he could never escape.

Though he didn't know it, those inky orbs had already captured his soul. And it wasn't about to be returned.

It made him shiver, none-the-less. It was like someone had walked over his grave.

Still frozen, azure eyes swimming with uncertainty, confusion, and fear, he barely registered the look-a-like's words. "Hello Naruto-kun... It would be better if you come peacefully." He said it softly, almost with a mocking kindness. Arrogance lay there.

But it was well justified. Even after only staring at them for five seconds, he knew he was miles out of their league.

"Heh, can't we just cut his legs off, it would be a lot easier, Itachi." Came a rough male voice.

Naruto had been so captivated by the familiar stranger he hadn't noticed his taller hulking partner behind him. His grin revealed a mouth of shark's teeth and his skin was a curious shade of light blue. The handle of a sword stuck out over his back. He would have been more unnerved if some part of him wasn't crawling with horror at Sasuke's look-a-like. After that, though freaky, the shark-man wasn't as impressive.

Then comprehension dawned. This must be Sasuke's older brother without a doubt; the man his best friend had sworn to kill. And the duo were trying a kidnap him for unknown reasons, and if he were to judge by the taller man's words, were prepared to use force and didn't seem to care much if he arrived perfectly fine, healthy and uninjured, or unconscious and crippled. If Sasuke wanted to kill his brother, than he couldn't be a good person; Sasuke was broody and a jerk, but not crazy.

That was even more of a reason not to go.

D… D-Dammit. Naruto didn't know why he cussed. It wasn't like it could help him. But it made him feel better, and abated his fear for a moment.

But despite that, he continued to gape, acting like a statue. He made the mistake of glancing up again; those eyes were staring at him! His fear returned ten-fold. Resist, run, anything! I can't just stand here like a helpless rabbit! The boy's limbs betrayed him though, refusing to move. It was as if his brain had disconnected from the rest of his body.

"Heh, this is too easy Itachi-san. The gaki is like a rat cornered by a snake!" the Shark-man chuckled.

"I'm sure we are rather intimidating to a simple genin, Kisame."

Kisame rolled his eyes. "Whatever, I'm just disappointed we didn't get a little more action. I was expecting to have a little more fun when we went after the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki."

They know what I am?

The shock of it stirred a little more life into his dead limbs. Concentrating fiercely, he assessed the situation at lightning speed. Obviously escape was the only option. Charging through the door wasn't a viable choice; he was blocked off by the two of them. All he had was the window. But would he have enough time? He shoved away the doubt in his mind. I have to do something! Gathering what was left of his smashed nerve, he attempted to leap back and crash through the window.

But Itachi was just quicker. Before he had even sprung back, his wrist was in a vice grip. Panicking, Naruto's natural reaction was to look up. His head jerked straight up, and he met crimson eyes; pools of blood, with hypnotic black swirls whirling.

The genin's breath hitched, and then he was aware of nothing. Blackness... a terrible emptiness encroached on his senses.

---

Fire crackled. It was rather ominous. Shadows cast by the light flickered in and out of existence. He could hear it; feel the heat it gave off. But the warmth gave Naruto little comfort. His eyes remained tightly shut. He couldn't remember anything. It was like a giant block existed that cut him off from his memories.

What? Why was he here? What was going on?

As the cliché went it all came rushing back into his mind like a strong swift river.

Or not.

He was groggy, didn't know where he was, and felt like he was waking up in a hospital after being clubbed on the head.

Naruto bit back a groan of pain, instinctively knowing this was neither the time nor place. His stomach ached from anger. How long had it been since he last ate? Morning? Slowly he retraced his steps. Traveling with Jiraiya...learning the Rasengan…Passing out in exhaustion...collapsing into a soft futon in the cheap hotel room...the smell of salt and ash...

Itachi and Kisame! Those two had said they were gonna capture him, and I was knocked out.

If it wouldn't have given him away, the genin would have kicked himself at the realization. How could I have been so stupid?! All angry thoughts directed at Jiraiya were swept away at his self disgust.

Now knowing the full extent of his situation, the blond thanked his sixth sense for warning him. If he had revealed himself by moving, they would know he was awake. That would have spelled all kinds of trouble. Naruto racked his brains. What was the first priority when captured by enemy ninja? I can't spill any secrets, duh! And I have to escape, he mentally shuddered at what they might want from him; images of bloody knives and iron hot pokers blossomed in his mind, and what they might do to get it, but how? Those guys are nuts!

It was rare he respected an opponent in battle. For to do that, Naruto had to admit he was weaker.

This surpassed mere respect. This was fear.

It was scary to think of how small he was; insignificant and even pathetic compared to the duo.

He recalled how Itachi had easily thwarted his pathetic excuse of an escape. What a sorry excuse for a genin I am. The genin knew he needed a much better plan. But enough with self pity. It never got him anywhere.

So Naruto concentrated fiercely, and started to think. His thoughts were mulish and hard to work with, perhaps a product of hunger and excitement? Eventually his brain warmed up, and though the shock remained, it dulled to the point where it didn't obstruct his thinking.

First, I gotta find out how they have me secured. And just where the heck am I?

Cautiously, for he could hear what might have been breathing extremely close to his position, he tried to see if he could move his legs or arms.

Immediately, a stinging sensation erupted on his bare forearms. It took all his self-control to keep his mouth shut. He wanted to give a shout! The painful restraints completely took him off guard. His arms were bound to his side, and whatever it was hurt like a bitch if he struggled against it. He felt like barb wire was digging into him, tightening painfully. When he tried to move his legs, it was to no avail, but thankfully it seemed to be normal rope, not the strange metallic cord that was sharply biting his skin. Damn! Even if he was near friendly territory, he couldn't make a noise, because that would alert his captors. It was impossible for him to do so anyway, a gag was around his mouth.

"Looks like our little guest is awake." He jerked. "Hey, did you hear that, nezumi?" Kisame taunted.

It was the shark man! He cursed himself for giving away the game. What had the blond done that was so obvious?

As if reading his mind, Itachi, the one the scared him more, answered. "Your breathing pattern changes once you are awake."

Damn. So his body had given him away.

If he could, he would have fled. Naruto had pride, ego, and courage. It might have seemed sudden... But he also had the will to live. The blond was not foolish enough to think he would escape this alive. Not when they could tell he was awake merely by his breathing patterns! Naruto was severely outclassed. The enormity of his predicament was obvious, even to him. So he tried to buy some time. He had lots of questions he wanted to have answers to anyway. And there were lots of things he never wanted to know.

Unfortunately, the gag was a bit of a downer for conversation.

These were criminals, he knew that much. Naruto had seen the slash through Itachi's hiate. It was a symbol of loyalty to one's village, and to desecrate the headband in such away...Itachi was a rouge shinobi, holding loyalty to no one. He was a criminal, and responsible for the slaughter of the Uchiha clan. To kill so many people… Naruto didn't understand what a baby could have done to offend him in such a manner. The blond, not well liked for obvious reasons, had been skulking around and not only heard the rumors flying on the wind, but seen the bodies. Naruto had suffered nightmares for weeks; visions of torn corpses, twisted bodies…It was hard for a young mind to handle. He could not understand such twisted logic. Only his younger brother was spared from death. But why?

The genin knew nothing personally about Kisame except for his intimidating leer, but if he was associating with a traitor and mass murderer, he couldn't be running a charity.

So if he was a bit surprised when they set a bowl of soup in front of him and undid his restraints partially, it was understandable.

Naruto shook his arms, feeling slowly coming as blood flowed to the clumsy limbs. The gag was gone as well for obvious reasons. Did they want him to eat the soup? Was it drugged? The two partners in crime clearly weren't letting him go as his legs were still tied together. No chance of me running away, anyway, he thought bitterly looking at his surroundings, there's nowhere to go.

The smokeless fire still burned. No comforting trees were visible to him. Only wildly reaching black arms overhead, blocking out the sky, stars and moon. The forest here was grim, not light and protective as Konoha's sturdy trees grew. The creatures here had hard bark colored onyx, stained by white sap oozing from violent gashes. Something or someone had tried to tear the eerie trees apart. They hadn't completely succeeded, but the damage, testament to their efforts, remained. Some spots had dried over, like freshly healed wounds. The feel was oppressive and the looks of prisoners, not guardians.

Outside the small cage of trees lay a plain. An endless sea of grass for miles and miles. He couldn't see the end of it. It was dizzying how large it was-and he was merely on the edge of it.

Itachi and Kisame just sat there, casual as can be, watching him. He didn't like their eyes on him. Both were sharp and calculating. Did they want him to jump through hoops or something?

"Eat; we don't want you to be starved." Came Itachi's quiet detached voice.

Of course. We just kidnapped you and are taking you hundreds of miles away just to fuck with your head. Not like actual torture was gonna be involved. Just a mean, kind of cruel, joke, ya know?

Naruto glared suspiciously at the soup. The order given was one he didn't want to follow. For clearly, it wasn't a request. Nothing was in a situation like this.

Sighing, acting as if Naruto was just a stubborn child refusing to take his medicine, Sasuke's brother took a spoon and swallowed a bit of soup himself. The shark man chuckled at the spectacle. "What's wrong, little rat? It's not poisoned you know." The reprimand annoyed him.

Resignedly he stared at the steaming bowl. Oh well, it's not like he had anything else to do. What am I gonna do? Hope some crazy lady with big knockers and super strength comes barreling in to save me?

---

Word count:2,039 -not counting this bottom part

Time:Two days on and off, probably..three to four hours total?

Yay! This story will not be a typical 'Naruto instantly joins Akatsuki, and instantly remembers being beat to death so he hates Konoha and wants to destroy her in half a chapter'. I don't have a set update, but will try not to take longer than a week. Summer is almost here! It's the first thing I've posted, but I think I did pretty decent with it.

You don't have to review, but I would appreciate feedback. I enjoyed writing the last line, and him waking up. Sorry if the page break fails to appear.

Once again: A big thanks to SaphireWhiteWolf, she gave me the summary, idea, and title! Go check out her story Music of Emotions if you are a ItaNaru fan, or just enjoy a good laugh.

Story I am currently promoting: Namida no Tenshi 93's Shadow Tenshi Acadamy. The title maybe changing sometime in the near future.

And: Holy shit!!!! Have you read Naruto 449?! SPOILER! Everyone has been revived!! All the Kakashi's death deniers should be pleased

Edit: Took out the thought/speech key. I added in more details, mainly what Naruto was thinking or expanding upon certain lines of thought. Fixed a few grammar and spelling errors and awkward sentences. Fixed the page breaks. Added note Word count is now 2,445. Happy New Year!12/31/09