I don't own Naruto.
"THERE'S THE DEMON!"
The small, malnourished blonde, no older than five, turned bright blue eyes, filled with unadulterated terror to the mob, wielding torches, bats, kitchen knives, and other weapons. Most of them were civilians, but a few shinobi dotted the crowd, with the normally gentle giant Akamichi Chouza being the easiest to recognize due to the fact he stood over a head taller than most of the mob, his staff in hands.
Taking a few steps back, tears began filling blue eyes as he whimpered and asked "Wh-what did I do to you?"
A few of the braver and more drunken of the mob stepped closer, brandishing their weapons as the man in front snarled "You know what you did, monster! And now you have the audacity to look like the man who defeated you, mocking us with his likeness!"
"What?!" Naruto cried, tears flowing down his dirt-stained cheeks and dripping onto his torn, dirty t-shirt.
"BEAST!" a woman cried and swung her stick, catching the blonde on the temple. Blood splattered onto the ground as the wounded child collapsed to the ground, blood flowingfrom the gash. Dizzied, the blonde began trying to push himself up onto his feet, only to catch a boot to the side, a loud crack echoing into the night sky as the blonde fell to his uninjured side, clutching his broken ribs and sobbing pitifully, snot trailing down his upper lip.
His sobbing seemed to only infuriate the crowd, and an agonized scream ripped from the child's throat as a makeshift club slammed into the child's kneecap, shattering the joint and causing the limb to bend sideways. Another strike, and the flesh over it tore, bones sticking out.
More screams fell on deaf ears as the crowd circled him, baying like starved wolves, fighting amongst themselves to get a shot at the bleeding child. A particularly bloodsick man carrying a woodcutting ax managed to make his way to the front of the crowd. Lifting the blade high in the air, he swung down, the blade of the axe cutting the child's foot off at the ankle, blood pouring out of the wound.
Fortunately for the child, he was already unconscious by the time the blade removed his foot. But the crowd didn't notice, too caught up in getting what they believed to be their pound of flesh from what they believed to be the Kyuubi to see what they were doing to an innocent child.
And high above the bloodthirsty crowd, an ANBU operative with gravity-defying gray hair and a dog mask stood, watching the bloody carnage below with sick fascination. His one visible eye shone with vindication, knowing he had done the right thing, that his sensei would be proud of him for helping to finish off the Kyuubi.
Sarutobi Hiruzen sighed as he set down his pen, filing away the last piece of paperwork for the day. He hadn't had any reports concerning Naruto today, and the hospital hadn't complained about having to give the child medical care, so it was a good day for him. A peaceful day.
But a sick feeling was growing in the pit of his stomach, much as it did the day the Kyuubi was first reported to be heading for Konoha. But he pushed it down, knowing that the monster was safely sealed with the young blonde, and would remain so until the child died. Taking up his pipe, he had to bite back a sigh, weary eyes closed as his thoughts were turned to the young boy.
"Minato, they refuse to see him as a hero. They despise him, fear him, even brutally attack him. I've even been forced to give him an ANBU guard, your former student Kakashi. I know that he will protect him." Sarutobi said, lighting his pipe. He felt a pair of eyes on him, glaring at him, and spun in his chair to look at the photo of Minato on the wall.
Even though he was smiling in the photo, Sarutobi felt as if the bright blue eyes, so much like young Naruto's, were glaring at him. Blaming him. Accusing him. And he couldn't find it in himself to deny his deceased predecessor's unspoken condemnation.
Mostly because it was true.
"I know, Minato-kun, I know. There's so very much more I could have, and still can, do for him. I could let Jiraiya adopt the boy like you, he, and even Kushina wanted. I could tell him the truth, stop hiding behind flimsy lies and guilting him into taking one long-term, faraway mission after another. I could make harming the boy a capital offense, like I did telling of his heritage and his status as a jinchuuriki. I could have kept the truth of what you did from the older generation, kept it between you, me, and Jiraiya."
"But... I'm an old man. I'm not cut out to be Hokage. I'm supposed to be retired now, goddammit! Kyuubi wasn't supposed to attack! You weren't supposed to die! You were supposed to have a small herd of kids with Kushina, grow old, and pass the position of Hokage onto a worthy successor and spend the rest of your life with Kushina and surrounded by fat, crying grandbabies!" Saruto said, withering in his chair, covering his eyes as tears flowed down his cheeks.
However, he was broken out of his sadness when the door burst open, a panting Chuunin standing before his desk.
"Ho-Hokage-sama!" the girl gasped, taking great gulps of air. Composing himself as he spun in his chair, Sarutobi raised an eyebrow as he asked "What's the matter?"
"The-there's a crowd in the market district, attacking a child!" she said as she stood upright. Hearing that, Sarutobi's chest felt as though someone had lodged a shard of ice straight through his heart, and he felt like he was going to be sick.
"Why hasn't ANBU stopped this?" Sarutobi asked, and the young girl shrugged slightly, answering "I-I don't know, Hokage-sama! I didn't see any ANBU when I was coming here, and the only shinobi in the area seemed to be in the crowd, including an Akamichi."
Sarutobi was on his feet in an instant, his coat falling the ground to reveal the battle suit he still wore under it. Turning his eyes on the Chuunin, he said "Kurenai, I need you to go to Ibiki and tell him to gather as many of his men as he can trust and to HURRY!" She nodded and exited the office, Sarutobi exiting the window, fear filling his chest.
Naruto coughed as he pushed himself out of the ankle-deep water, his hair clinging soggily to his head. Turning his head, he blinked as his eyes adjusted to the dim light provided only by torches lining stone walls on either side of him. Standing slowly, he looked around, only able to see a yard or so in either direction of the dark, stone corridor.
"Wh-where am I?" he wondered, wrapping his arms around himself to try and keep himself warm. It wasn't from being wet or the corridor itself. In fact, the corridor was quite warm compared to his apartment. But something was causing a chill to cut through him and into his bones, making him shiver. It felt unnatural, as if a human shouldn't be this cold.
"He-Hello?! Anyone here?!" Naruto called, turning left and right, hoping someone would come and get him. Rescue him from the unnatural cold tearing and gnawing at his insides, and bring him to a warm, safe bed. If only for a night.
Slowly, he began walking down the corridor, hoping to find an exit. His feet softly splashed in the water as he walked, and the lit torches seemed to follow him, for no matter how far he walked, the light only shone on him. He couldn't leave its light, and darkness stood awaiting him on either side.
After what felt like hours, he found a doorway which opened into a large room, the wall opposite him holding only a wrought-iron gate which reached up into the darkness above him, with seemingly no end in sight. Sighing, he walked into the room, towards the large cell door. As he got closer, he noticed that a thin slip of paper with 'SEAL' written on it was the only thing holding the doors closed. The small blonde tilted his head to the side as he stared at the giant gate, wondering what could possibly require such protection.
As he turned to leave, a voice echoed from the darkness, old as the mountains and deeper than the ocean depths. It seemed to radiate pure malice and unrelenting hatred, letting the owner's intent of destruction hang in the air like a great blade awaiting to fall. Even the very tone, though sounding casual, was so laced with undiluted evil that it caused the small blonde's inhuman chill to become stronger, his entire body shivering from it. Turning slowly, his eyes widened at the sight of a massive eye, blood-shot and slitted, staring down on him from above.
"SO, MY JAILOR FINALLY VISITS. HOW... GENEROUS OF YOU."
Naruto began backing away, the urge to run and hid flooding his very core, urged by the primal instinct of prey when cornered by a hungry predator, an instinct that was long thought forgotten in humans.
"DO NOT FRET, SMALL ONE. I AM NOT HERE TO HARM YOU, NOR CAN I."
"Wha-what do you mean?" Naruto asked, stopping his movement but keeping a wary eye on the massive eye. It was soon joined by its twin, and the two orbs hung high above the child, inspecting him, evaluating him.
"I, WELP, AM A BEING OF GREAT AND IMMEASURABLE POWER, AND I WISH TO GIVE YOU HELP. HELP ONLY SOMEONE OF MY POWER CAN GIVE."
"Why would you help me?" Naruto questioned, and the giant eyes were joined by a massive mouth, one twisted into a sick grin, revealing a set of sharp teeth, each fang easily towering over the blonde. Drool dripped from the mouth, splattering against the ground beneath it, the teeth glistening even in the dim light of the room.
"BECAUSE WE BOTH WANT THE SAME THING, CHILD. WE BOTH WANT THE 'BAD PEOPLE' TO GO AWAY. AND I CAN MAKE THOSE BAD PEOPLE GO AWAY."
Small blue eyes widened as an never-before-seen emotion appeared in them: hope. Hope that whatever stood behind the door could indeed make the bad people go away. Hope that he would be able to find the happiness and comfort all children deserved, but he was denied. Hope that the people of Konoha would never hit, kick, or cut him again.
The hope shone clearly in the azure orbs as the blonde asked "Y-you can ma-make the bad people g-go away?"
"OF COURSE CHILD! MAKING THE BAD PEOPLE GO AWAY WILL BE EASY FOR ME! ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS REMOVE THE PIECE OF PAPER, AND THEY WON'T HARM YOU AGAIN!"
At that, the small boy charged across the massive room and grabbed the slip of paper with both hands. But as he prepared to yank it off, a hand gripped his shoulder. Yelping, the small blonde turned scared blue eyes, which met a matching pair resting in a face framed by golden locks so much like his own. The face was giving him a soft smile, and the man squeezed his shoulder.
"What're you doing, Naruto-kun?" the man asked, and the small boy gulped, asking "Ho-how do you kn-know my name?"
"I know much about you, Naruto-kun." the man replied, turning to the massive gate rising above them and said "You mustn't remove that paper, Naruto-kun. You can't let him out."
"Bu-but he promised he'd make the bad people go away if I did!" Naruto replied, and the man frowned as he asked "What bad people?"
"FOOLISH MORTAL! YOU CLAIM TO KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE WELP, BUT KNOW NOTHING OF HIS SUFFERING! THE SUFFERING YOU BROUGHT UPON HIM!"
Turning to the massive eyes with a glare, the man asked "What do you mean, demon?"
"WHY, IF YOU WISH TO KNOW, JUST TAKE THE BOY'S HAND AND RELISH IN HIS PAIN AND MISERY! THE MISERY YOU HEAPED UPON HIM!"
Scowling, the man took one of Naruto's hands, squeezed it, and closed his eyes. What he saw and felt made him want to be violently ill. To rip through time and space to seek bloody vengeance on the people of Konohagakure. But most of all, it made him want cry, to scream, to take a rusty tanto and spill his guts upon the floor, all in an attempt to alleviate an ounce of the guilt that filled him.
Releasing the boy's hand, he stumbled back, holding his head as he collapsed to his knees, tears dripping from his eyes, adding themselves to the pool beneath them. Naruto stared in shock as the man knelt on the ground in obvious suffering.
"WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? REMOVE THE SEAL AND THE BAD PEOPLE WILL BE GONE!"
Naruto took hold of the seal again, and the man found he could only watch. Every time he tried to stop the child, he was flooded by memories of acts deemed unthinkable being carried out on a small child whose only crime was to protect ungrateful beasts from annihilation.
As he held his head, he closed his eyes and whispered "I'm sorry, Kushina-chan... I'm sorry, Jiraiya-sensei... but most of all, I'm sorry Naruto-kun."
Gripping the paper Naruto pulled it off, and was engulfed in a flood of crimson chakra, the voice laughing flooding his ears as the chakra assaulted his body.
The first pulse of chakra caused the crowd to back away from the mutilated... thing, that had once been a child. The second pulse of crimson chakra filled them with a sense of dread not felt for five long, peaceful years. Akamichi Chouza charged, hoping to end the boy's life before the demon could be truly released. But as he got close, a tendril of bubbling chakra erupted from the child's body, hitting the man's chest and exploding out his back, showering a portion of the mob with blood, entrails, and shards of bone.
A second tendril shot forth, removing a screaming woman's head in a rain of hair, skull, and gray matter. More and more bubbling crimson tendrils followed, tearing into the crowd, eviscerating anything that was caught by them. Looking at the blonde source, one would see flesh and bone knitting together. From the stump of a leg, bones began growing in splintery sections, muscles, veins, and flesh following the regrowing bones. Soon, the foot was regrown completely, and the boy looked as if he had never been struck.
Around him massive bones began growing, his form cradled inside a massive, lean ribcage. Rising into the sky was a massive skeleton resembling that of a fox. It stood without muscles or tendons, much like one would see within musuem. Lifting its head, an inhuman roar filled the air as a third pulse of chakra washed outward over Konoha, causing men and women to scream, children to cry, and one elderly Hokage to stop, eyes wide at the sight that met his eyes.
"By the Gods..." he muttered as muscles wrapped around the massive skeletal system, shielding the small blonde form from sight as tendons reconnected and allowed the skeleton true movement once more, and nine, furless whip-like tails waved behind it. Over the toned muscles grew skin, and empty sockets once more held slitted, bloodshot eyes, which surveyed its hunting grounds with glee as two tall, proud ears rose proudly above its head.
Sharp black claws tore into the streets as fire-orange fur sprouted from its massive frame, a long tongue dripping with drool hung from massive jaws as the mighty Kyuubi no Kitsune stretched, decimating city blocks with this simple movement. Nine great tails waved behind it, each movement crushing building or flattening trees, its eyes locked on the elderly Hokage, who could only stare at the force of nature that had been reborn within the walls of Konoha.
"Naruto, what have you done?" Sarutobi asked as he met the beast's eyes, hoping for any sign of the boy he had promised two men he would care for. Would protect. Two men he had betrayed on so many levels that the truth of it would be forever out of his reach.
"What... have I done?" Sarutobi questioned, and could only watch as the massive beast's head bore down on him, mouth filled with dripping fangs. Just as the massive teeth bit him cleanly in half, the man had only one thought: 'Please forgive me, Naruto.'
Swallowing his morsel, Kyuubi roared again, the sound shaking the Heavens and the Earth, causing three Elders to drop dead from heart attacks, their lives extinguished before their bodies hit the carpeted floor.
The shinobi of Konohagakure attacked and fought against the massive beast, dying by the thousands in vain attempts to stop the massive beast. Unfortunately for them, there would be no last-minute save by a man like Namikaze Minato, and no time to rescue the civilians. Men, women, and even children were slaughtered like ants beneath the tails, claws, and teeth of the mightiest of all Bijuu, buildings treated as toys for the great monster to entertain himself with as brought total annihilation upon the once mighty village.
By sunrise the next day, Konoha was no more, left as smoking ruins littered by corpses big and small, great trees broken like toothpicks and even the Hokage tower left as rubble.
In the midst of the destruction of Konohagakure laid a small form, huddled on the ground, his malnourished form clad only in tattered clothes. His head was topped by a mass of blonde hair, and faint whisker-like scars adorned each cheek. Slowly, he moved, pushing himself up into a seated position, rubbing at an eye as his form was wracked by a yawn.
Blinking bright blue eyes, he looked around himself at the destruction and death surrounding him, searching for anyone who might hurt him, or one of the few who would help him.
Pushing himself to his dirty, bare feet, he began padding down the street, searching for anyone left alive in the hellish landscape.
Jiraiya stood where the mighty gates of Konoha had once been, rising to the sky above to protect the village from harm. But all that was left was pieces of shattered wood that could be found miles away. The large walls were also destroyed, the biggest pieces left being barely larger than his head. But they were meaningless when compared to what had once been the strongest of ninja villages.
His home had been hit by a miniature apocolypse, leaving only destruction and death in its wake. Nothing was left standing after the force of nature's rampage, with long, deep gouges scarring the earth where the mighty Bijuu had dug for hidden pockets or wanted to make sure he'd utterly destroyed a building.
Slowly, he began walking through the streets in a daze, eyes taking in every inch of the horror that surrounded him. As he did so, memories of happier times, with his teammates, with his family, with his students and his apprentice, flooded his mind. But each memory was marred with images of the ruin and bodies laying around him, fires still burning in some areas.
Much of the village could be considered 'scorched earth' at best, and 'tainted by evil' at worst. For the ground was blackened, the stones themselves melted and reshaped by the heat that had touched it.
But even in his disoriented state, his senses were still honed as ever, and he turned as he heard the crunching of burnt grass beneath feet. Spinning, he prepared to fight a looter, but was caught with the sight of a tiny blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy walking toward him nervously.
"Hello..." the boy said softly, fear and apprehension that never should have been in the eyes of one so young shining from the azure orbs as he asked "A-are you one of the bad people?"
"Bad people?" Jiraiya asked, his throat tightening as he easily recognized the only son of his beloved student.
"Th-the people who hurt me..." the boy replied, flinching as if awaiting to be hit. That reaction made Jiraiya want to be sick, and he had to swallow the bile rising in his throat as he asked "Ho-how many ba-bad people are there?"
"Th-there were lots." the boy answered, and Jiraiya asked "What happened to them?"
"The big puppy made them go away. He made them leave me alone." Naruto said, and Jiraiya nodded, stunned by that. For a split second, he felt anger towards the boy. But then he remembered the failsafe put in by Minato and himself to stop such a thing.
"Di-did you see a blonde ma-man with the bi-bi-big pu-puppy?" Jiraiya asked, and Naruto gave a nod in reply.
"Wha-what happened to the blonde man?" Jiraiya asked, and Naruto answered "We-well, the blo-blonde man told m-me not too. But then the puppy told him to do something, and the blonde man fell down and held his head like this." Naruto mimiced the pose he last saw the blonde man take, and Jiraiya felt his heart clench. Whatever Minato had seen to cause such a reaction from a former Hokage was immense.
"Th-then what?" Jiraiya asked, and Naruto replied "I removed a piece of paper, and red stuff came out. I... I fell alseep when it did." Jiraiya nodded, but inside he couldn't help but wonder how Naruto survived releasing such a mighty beast.
As Naruto collapsed, the man looked to the rapidly escaping Kyuubi and said "KYUUBI NO KITSUNE! PLEASE LET MY SON LIVE!" Slitted pupils turned to the fallen shadow man, a curious frown upon the massive mouth.
"WHY SHOULD I? I HAVE NO FURTHER NEED FOR THE BOY!"
"Be-because, he de-deserves to live. De-deserves a chance at a better life, which I denied him. Please." Minato said, head bowed. After a few moments, the mouth turned into a smile, eyes shining with mirth.
"VERY WELL, NAMIKAZE MINATO! BECAUSE I RESPECT YOUR STRENGTH, I SHALL ALLOW YOUR SPAWN TO LIVE!"
"Th-thank you, Ky-Kyuubi-sama..." Minato said, bowing low to the great beast. With that, he vanished in a wisp of smoke, Kyuubi laughing aloud as he turned his eyes to the unconscious form of his former jail.
"COUNT YOURSELF LUCKY CHILD, FOR YOUR FATHER HAS SAVED YOUR LIFE!"
Staring proudly at the smoking ruins around him that had once been Konoha, Kyuubi frowned. He still had a promise he was bound to keep. Closing his eyes, he lowered his head, opened his mouth, and allowed his tongue to touch the ground. Sliding down it was a saliva-covered form, which was deposited on the ground in a pool of drool.
Raising his head, Kyuubi smacked his 'lips' and looked upon the blonde-haired form he'd just released.
"THIS IS THE ONLY TIME I WILL LET YOU LIVE, BRAT. SHALL WE MEET AGAIN, YOU WILL PERISH!"
Turning, the Kyuubi slowly made his away away from the site of devistation. Shivering slightly, the spit-coated form of Naruto curled in on himself, still fast asleep.
Sighing, Jiraiya ran a hand over his hair before looking to his godson, who'd somehow survived the impossible. After a few moments, he made a decision, and walked over to the boy. Picking him up into his arms, Jiraiya said "Come on gaki, you're coming with me."
"Why?" Naruto asked, and Jiraiya answered "Because I'm going to be taking care of you from now on." The look of fear with a hint of cautious happiness on Naruto's face at hearing those simple words almost made Jiraiya wish he could have been here to help the massive fox destroy Konoha.
"Re-really?" Naruto questioned, tears welling in his eyes. And at Jiraiya's nod, he latched himself onto Jiraiya's neck, tears of joy flowing down his face as he sobbed into the Sage's strange coat.
Sighing, Jiraiya, with Naruto in arm, left the remains of Konohagakure for the final time, a village that would be known as one destroyed by a self-fullfilling prophecy.
A/N: Don't know if this has been done before, sorry if it has. This is a simple one-shot about what would happen if Konoha was really as horrible to Naruto as most fanfic authors make them out to be.