Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
"You finally got here" Sasuke said with a semi-smile "can you take it from here?"
"Yup" he said as he stood up from his attack "I have a score to settle" looking at Suigetsu.
"I never got your name" Suigetsu said as he rested his sword on his back.
"Kinzoku Hifa" he replied "Uchiha;" looking back to Sasuke "get moving, Naruto might need your help."
"You sure you can handle him?" Sasuke asked as he stood up.
"I'm still alive from my last fight aren't I?" with a smile "and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
With hearing that Sasuke took off across the water with such speed that the water was thrown backwards onto Kinzoku and Suigetsu. Kinzoku shook the water out of his hair and let it fall into his face; he noticed Suigetsu didn't seem to get wet at all.
"I'm curious" Suigetsu asked as Sasuke ran past the door "how did you survive our last fight? With how much force I was swinging my sword with you should've been killed after a few hits."
"I haven't told anyone about my ability," looking at the water with eyes that looked lost "I haven't even told the person that has allowed me to be a shinobi about it" his eyes started to fill with fire and an urge to fight "but because I'm gonna insure that you won't live through our next fight" his body started to turn into some sort of metal "I have a kekkei genkai that allows me to turn any body tissue into an organic metal. I only turned my muscles into metal because I don't want the life style that the leaf village will force onto me."
"Why wouldn't you want to have that life style?" in a surprised tone as he set his sword across his shoulders "you'd have the ability to get laid every day, a three-some, hell" he laughed with a perverted tone now "even a four-some."
"I just don't" as he prepped himself for an attack "now let's cut the chit-chat."
"I like the way you think" as he pulled his sword back out and got ready for a fight "let's hope we both live through this; you so you can go back to that pathetic village you call home, and me so I can get back to my old life style."
"I've told you about my kekkei genkai; I'm not gonna let you live through this fight."
"We'll see" as he vanished and reappeared in front of Kinzoku, his sword in mid swing and hit his chest; as he pulled his sword across to make the cut only sparks appeared. "You weren't kidding" he laughed "metal for skin, that's amazing."
"And it'll give me the advantage so I can kill you" grabbing the sword through the hole near the point as he said this and then threw Suigetsu across the room. "Water style" he said as he flashed hand signs as fast as he could "Water tornado jutsu". A pillar of water spun from the surface of the pool and slammed into Suigetsu and forced him up into the ceiling.
"You can't beat me with my element" he heard behind him "you should've stuck with Taijutsu" he heard Suigetsu's sword being swung through the air towards his neck; he quickly turned and blocked with his forearms. The sound of metal striking metal rang through the room.
Suigetsu quickly recovered from his attack and kicked Kinzoku in the chest as hard as he could. Kinzoku grabbed Suigetsu's leg with his arm and smashed his elbow into Suigetsu's cheek bone. As the hit landed Suigetsu turned to water and splashed onto the ground. "Water clone" Kinzoku said with no surprise "how many more are in the water?"
"My power and strength are limitless here" he heard Suigetsu laugh "you can't win."
Kinzoku smiled and made five quick hand signs, put his hand on the water's surface and said "Lighting style: Lighting pulse jutsu." Suigetsu quickly jumped from the water into the air only to see a wave of electricity surge through the water. "My element is Lighting," he said as Suigetsu placed his feet on the ceiling and stood there "so… let's quit fucking around."
In Guren's room; "When will you learn" Naruto said as he dodged a few crystals that Guren threw at him "you can't beat me."
"Gozu now!" Guren shouted and the next thing Naruto saw was a shadow behind him. Gozu wrapped his massive arms around Naruto and squeezed with great force so Naruto couldn't escape. "When will you learn to mind your surroundings?" as she approached Naruto, put her hand on his chest and crystal started to form on him. Gozu let go of Naruto as the crystal expanded.
"You've gotta be kidding me" they heard from the door "where is that snake-teme's chamber?"
"So I was right" Guren said with a smile "there are two of you; well were."
"Naruto" Sasuke said as he saw Naruto get incased in crystal.
"He'll remain as my prisoner until I chose to release him" she laughed.
'Kit-kun,' Naruto heard in his mindscape 'how the hell did you let yourself leave an opening like that?'
'Shut up' he snapped at her 'I thought I knocked that big guy out.'
'Why didn't you summon me to help you? Or at least one of those toads?'
'Can you help me out here or are you just going to lecture me?'
Sasuke jumped up into the air to dodge Guren's crystals. Gozu punched Sasuke in the gut only to have him puff into smoke and leave five paper bombs on his fist. They began to smoke and then exploded, leaving Gozu screaming in agony from having most of his arm blown off. Gozu's blood pulsed from the wound onto the floor.
'If you want I can free you' Kyuubi said to Naruto 'but keep in mind it will hurt.'
'Do it' he said back to her.
'Very well' as red charka swirled around her hand 'but it will hurt a lot' placing her hand on Naruto's chest.
Pain shot through Naruto as the demonic charka forced its way into his system. Burning was the only way he could think to describe the eminence pain. He felt his human charka being forced out of his system to make room for the new charka that Kyuubi was giving him. Each moment that it took for the demon charka to force its way into his body made the burning worse.
Guren heard crystals cracking as she threw two of her crystal kunai at Sasuke. When she looked back at the crystal prison she had incased Naruto in, her eyes widened with fear. The crystal prison was cracking and the prisoner seemed to glow a bright red; even though he was in a pinkish color crystal.
Sasuke watched the crystal with a confused look. Even he didn't have as much charka as Naruto seemed to be showing as the crystal continued to chip and crack. After mere seconds, the crystal prison exploded and Naruto stood where he was before he was incased with seven tails swaying behind him.
The crystal shards flew across the large room and impaled many electric lines. The lights flickered out and only Naruto's demonic red eyes could be seen in the darkness. The red charka slowly continued to engulf him, and the demon cloak become visible. Never in a thousand years would Sasuke have thought Naruto would be able to show such a display of raw power. After training with Itachi for the past six years, Naruto now looked like he could put even the most elite of ANBU on the ground. Everyone in the room had the same thought running through their minds; 'just how strong is this kid?'.
The seven tails slowly swayed into synchronism as Naruto glared at the one that imprisoned him. A sense of bloodlust was noticeable in the air as the Jinchuuriki stepped towards the woman. Every step closer made the woman slowly back away in fear.
The demonic charka slowly burned Naruto's skin away relieving only a dark red, compressed charka in its place. His footsteps compressed the ground where he stepped so tightly that it could be mistaken for solid rock. His tails swayed through the air and smashed into the ground leaving only burn marks and smoke where they had hit.
Sasuke could see that Naruto was no longer in control, only the primitive drive to kill or be killed existed in his, now turning white, eyes. He knew he had to try to remind Naruto why they had come here; what he had been trying to prove to everyone since his return. His Sharingan couldn't predict the movements of the tails; let alone what the Jinchuuriki was going to do next.
"Naruto" he shouted at the red demon "remember what you've done for the village so far" the figure looked at him with rage and power in its eyes "you've fought against Gaara to keep him from destroying the village" the demonic boy started to walk towards him "you went to get Lady Tsunade so she could be Hokage and heal me after what my brother did."
Naruto showed no sign of snapping out of whatever he was in. Only his demon tails swayed faster with each slow step he took. The Jinchuuriki looked to be blinded with its own power; as if nothing else mattered to it.
"You turned the Akatsuki into simple bounty hunters and body guards to protect the other Jinchuuriki" the figure paused when it heard this "everything you've done was to protect someone from something. Even when the village looked down on you, you kept fighting to prove they were wrong. That even the one they called 'Demon-Brat' could be someone great" the miniature Kyuubi turned towards the door and walked out "do you remember who you are?" as the figure got to the door.
When it did, it looked back at Sasuke and a smile seemed to form on the demonic face. For a brief second, he could've sworn he saw the usual knuckle head smile Naruto once wore all the time. The smile that would bring hope to a hopeless fight.
Outside the base:
Karin froze in place as she felt an extremely powerful charka; charka that could rival any kage's. As she looked down the dark tunnel she could see it was moving away from them and closer to where Orochimaru was at. Someone had not only the desire, but the power to kill her former lord.
She could make out swaying of tails, but she couldn't count the number of them. Never before had she seen any charka like this; the killing intent noticeable from even so far away. The fear that she felt just looking at the demonic charka from such a 'safe' distance made her stomach turn.
"We need to hurry" Hanabi said "Naruto-kun isn't himself, and Kinzoku-kun just released his third shackle."
"That charka is Uzumaki-san's?" looking at Hanabi.
In Suigetsu's chamber:
If someone were to watch the two opponents fighting each other, they'd swear it looked like some sort of dance. Suigetsu would swing his sword and Kinzoku would dodge it with ease. When Kinzoku would try to land a hit, Suigetsu would manage to step around it. On the rare occasions that one did manage to hit the other, either Suigetsu's sword would slide off of Kinzoku's metallic skin or Kinzoku would land a devastating blow with Gentle Fist backed with an electric jolt.
Suigetsu's curse mark had started to consume him as his opponent showed no signs of fatigue or willing to back down. Each time he would think he finally had the edge against him, his opponent would release another shackle and keep fighting. He still had the upper hand though as long as he had his pool to pull unlimited amounts of water from.
"Water Clone Jutsu" Suigetsu said as he quickly flashed hand signs and several water clones lifted from the water.
Kinzoku dodged the swinging of multiple swords that came at him. Barely getting grazed by one, but it sliced a small layer of his metal skin off and he started to bleed. He cursed himself for not being fast enough and still not being able to control how much chakra he used when he used his kekkei genkai; he was reaching his limit.
"So" the Suigetsus laughed as he saw Kinzoku hold his arm where he got cut "that metal skin of yours isn't impenetrable. It's a bitch ain't it, having such a great ability and not be able to use it properly."
Kinzoku didn't say anything as he hit key points on the clones and made them break apart.
'Shoulder, five centimeters in and down four' he thought as he hit one clone with dead on precision 'Sternum, dead center' hitting a second clone 'just below the Diaphragm and under the Sternum. One millimeter to the right of the Liver, two to the left bottom side of the stomach.'
Each hit made clone after clone burst back into water as if they never were. Suigetsu laughed as he made more appear with each fallen clone. The curse mark beginning to work its way up its owner's face.
'Speed' he thought 'I get that part' as he continued to drop clone after clone 'but I don't have enough of it. I might be fast, but I'm not anywhere near as fast as Naoya-san or Hanabi-chan. Focus, I do that when I use my kekkei genkai.'
He mentally smacked himself for not understanding it sooner.
"Damn Kakashi-sensei for writing in code" he chuckled as he did a Rotation and decimated all the water clones at once.
He sprinted towards his opponent and aimed for his chakra points to get him to be slow enough, and weak enough to be able to hit without worrying about a water clone appearing and taking the hit instead.
Orochimaru sat patiently in his chair; Kabuto on one side, Sai on the other. An evil smile on Orochimaru's face grew as he felt a demonic chakra get closer and closer. He knew who it was; he had felt this kind of chakra before, but barely escaped the last time.
"Kabuto-kun" Orochimaru said "take the young boy into a different room and make sure he doesn't leave."
"Hai" Kabuto said as he walked over to a small bed and picked up Joey.
"Sai-kun" Orochimaru said "why don't you go greet our guests that just entered the hideout uninvited."
"Hai" Sai said as he walked through a door behind the chair Orochimaru was sitting in.
Orochimaru remained in his chair as the air became thick with chakra. He could tell something was different about Naruto, but he wasn't sure what. But it didn't matter to him, as long as he won his prize at the end of the game.
Not even five minutes passed, and the miniature Kyuubi walked through, blasted off, the front door to the chamber. As the smoke cleared, Orochimaru could see the shinobi that had rudely entered his chamber. The seven tails whipped wildly through the air as the small Kyuubi eyed the snake that was just sitting in his chair.
"My, my Naruto" Orochimaru laughed "that's a newer trick. Plus you now have seven tails of the Kyuubi's power. I must admit, I am very impressed; so young but so in control of that kind of power."
Anger and rage filled Naruto as he looked at the one that killed Hinata's father. He let out a roar of anger as his tails slashed into the ground and demolished the ground around the impact areas.
"My, my" he laughed "no unnecessary words of anger, or blind swings to start the fight. I must say, returning to that sad little village did cause you to grow up a little more. Even our last encounter only" he put his hand on his head to try to remember "what was it; ten months ago; you started the fight by planting an accursed Rasengan in my left shoulder. A rather artful stroke, I'd admit; just unnecessarily pointless."
'Cut off the tail' Naruto heard the Kyuubi tell him 'and the snake lives; but cut off the head…'
'and it will die' Naruto completed the saying.
Naruto vanished and appeared beside Orochimaru, a red Rasengan already made in his hand and ready to deal a killing blow. He wanted to end the fight quickly, not have some long drawn out fight that could bring the foundation of the hideout down on top of them.
"That's more like it" Orochimaru laughed as the Rasengan hit him in the head.
When the Rasengan hit him, he turned into mud and fell to the ground. There was no point in him risking a one hit ko against him when he could sit back and watch from a safe distance. His laughter could be heard throughout the chamber as Naruto looked around and tried to locate the snake in the darkness.
"Shadow Snake Jutsu" he heard as several snakes came at him from the darkness.
Naruto threw a punch in the direction the snakes came from. Right when his arm was fully extended, it continued to go in the direction of the punch. The snakes burst into fire as they wrapped around Naruto's arm. The darkness began to dimly light up as his fist got closer and closer to Orochimaru and then landed square in his jaw; the popping from the hit dislocating it could be heard.
Naruto grabbed his snake opponent by his hair and pulled him towards him. As Orochimaru got into striking distance, Naruto used his other hand to cut him in half at the waist. Orochimaru's eyes widened as he felt the stinging from the injury Naruto had inflected on him.
Naruto smiled as he threw the top half of Orochimaru away. Each time he had done this before Orochimaru did the same thing and stayed alive, a jutsu Orochimaru called 'Gathering of the Snakes'. However, each time Naruto cut Orochimaru in half it brought the same feeling to him; the feeling of being alive and stronger. Surely enough, several snakes came out of either half of Orochimaru's body and brought the halves together again.
"Now Naruto" he snickered "how many times must you do that? You know it's not very comfortable putting myself back together."
With Karin, Sakura, and Hanabi:
They cautiously walked through the hall that would soon lead them to Suigetsu's chamber. Karin took point with Hanabi right behind her with her Byakugan activated and looking for traps. Sakura was keeping her eyes and ears open for anything that could signal an enemy ambushing them.
When they got to the large room before Suigetsu's chamber, Karin stopped and looked around. Something was wrong, and it wasn't all the kunai marks all over the place. She could sense a third chakra coming from behind her, from behind Sakura.
Hanabi could see that every place that there was a kunai mark, there used to be an active trap. Now though, the traps were deactivated. Something didn't set right with how she saw Kinzoku fighting; he was fighting far more viciously than normal. With the intent to kill.
His charka was focused at his finger tips just like any Hyuga would do when fighting. If that wasn't worrying enough, he was using his chakra faster than normal too. The stress on his chakra system was visible to the Byakugan.
"We're not alone" Karin said as she turned around and looked pass Sakura "it's the informant."
"Hello Sakura" Sai said as he stepped out of the darkness "I really hope this doesn't put a damper on…"
He was greeted with a solid punch in the face from Sakura. Even though she knew it was him, she still had to get it out of her system. It felt rather good to her.
"Now you can explain why the hell you were going to betray the village" as she cracked her knuckles and stood over him.
"I had no intention to give Orochimaru any information" as he picked himself up "I might be a ROOT and given when I first met you I would've followed that order without question, but I have been around you, Sasuke, and Kakashi-sensei long enough to know a traitorous order when I hear it."
The room rumbled as a crash was heard from the chamber next to it. A wave of water pushed through the barely opened door and got everyone wet. Something major had just happened.
"He's been holding his own for the past hour or so now" Sai said as he looked at the door "it upset Orochimaru that he couldn't watch that fight, but he enjoyed watching Guren's fight. I should've used those moments to kill him."
Slight chirping could be heard, a familiar sound that had only two owners.
Kinzoku looked at his now fully possessed opponent. The curse mark had turned Suigetsu into a fish, almost literally. His face looked like a shark's head with a snout that jutted out and a mouth that had many rows of teeth. The skin of a shark was visible on his arms, and legs.
Suigetsu looked at the metal man in front of him, knowing that he was at his limit. Understanding that if he wished to, he could release another set of shackles and keep going. The metallic look to his opponent began to fade as he began to charge up a new Jutsu.
"One last attack, huh?" Suigetsu laughed "fine by me" as he used what water was left to make his arms bigger.
"I'm afraid" Kinzoku said as he finished charging his Jutsu "neither of us will walk away from this."
Meanwhile in Orochimaru's chamber:
Naruto grabbed Orochimaru by his throat and slammed him into the ground. Orochimaru could feel his skin burning because of the condensed chakra Naruto had. Burning that could easily burn his wind pipe shut.
Orochimaru shot his snake tongue at Naruto and managed to get free of Naruto's grip. It was too late though, the damage from the burn had been done and he was struggling to breathe properly. Unsure of how much longer he had till he died; he had to blind his opponent with anger and rage.
"Do you know how easy it was to kill that annoying Hyuga?" he laughed "too easy. And I was hoping for more of a challenge from the head of a powerful clan."
Naruto roared in anger and he grabbed Orochimaru's tongue and slammed him against a column. The tongue boiled and popped as the demonic chakra began to increase. The smell of burning meat filled Orochimaru's nose as the smoke made its way to him.
"Why would you waste you power, your effort on a village that shunned you" he asked as he fought the pain of his tongue being burned "hated you, for something that you had no choice in? They look at you as the Kyuubi, they hate you; nothing you can do will ever prove to them that you're a good person, NOTHING."
Naruto wrapped the tongue in his fist and jerked Orochimaru towards him, nearly tearing off his tongue with the force he used. He landed one powerful punch to Orochimaru's face as soon as it came within striking distance. The hit set Orochimaru flying towards another column and broke his cheek bone, but before he hit the column he was jerked back towards the one that sent him flying. He felt Naruto grab his shirt and slam him on the ground next to him.
"They look at you as if you are nothing more than a future Kyuubi" he laughed "just another THING that can try to destroy them again. You left the only ones that truly treated you as an equal, and for what? To be attacked because you have the Kyuubi inside you. Thanks to that teme father of yours;" Naruto grabbed Orochimaru and slammed him against a wall "gah."
"Kit-kun" Kyuubi cried to him "Kit-kun!"
Naruto didn't respond; he was too blinded by rage.
"Kit-kun, you need to calm down. Kit, Kit… NARUTO."
One of Naruto's tails grew larger and started to split in half.
Sasuke grabbed his neck; pain began to flow from the curse mark. It tried to consume him, even spreading up his neck and trying to force its power into him.
Naruto looked down and spat up a sword. It was larger than Orochimaru had hoped; the blade was a foot and a half in width, five feet in length, and had a crescent moon like hand guard at the hilt.
"I can't be killed so easily boy" Orochimaru laughed "it'll take far more than you cutting my head off to kill me."
Naruto grabbed the hilt and placed the tip of the sword at Orochimaru's throat.
"It can't be" he cried out "how did you find it? How did you find the Totsuka Sword?"
Naruto didn't say anything as he pushed the sword through Orochimaru's throat and killed him.
"Is that what I think it is?" Suigetsu laughed as he rested his sword on his shoulder.
"Yes" as he looked at his fish opponent "the original jutsu of the Copy-Cat Nin; Chidori, one thousand birds. I guess three weeks of studying that damned scroll of Kakashi-sensei's worked."
"One chance" Suigetsu said as he readied himself to attack "hit or miss…"
"Kill or be killed" as he placed his feet so he could do an all out sprint.
The two sprinted towards each other as fast as they could. Neither one taking their eyes off the other. Kinzoku with the Chidori trailing right next to him; Suigetsu with his sword in his hands ready to make a killing stroke.
The doors to the chamber swung open; Sakura, Hanabi, Sai and Karin stood watching the final attack. Nothing any of them could do to help.
"Sas…" Sakura started to say but then saw the scar on the Chidori wielder's back "how?" then it dawned on her "the scroll he had."
The two opponents got within striking distance of each other and swung. The two vanished before the swings landed on their targets. Suigetsu appeared in front of Karin, with an evil shark smile on his face; Kinzoku at the other end of the chamber, Chidori barely going.
Blood dripped onto the floor from Suigetsu's sword as they watched Kinzoku fall forward onto the ground and the Chidori in his hand dissipated. Blood pooled around him as he bled out, even with his kekkei genkai activated it wasn't enough to take only a graze. The wound had cut into his ribs.
"He missed" Hanabi said as Suigetsu's eyes remained focused on Karin.
"No" with a sad smile "he didn't" as his mid section exploded and what was left of his torso fell to the ground.
Sai just looked at what was left of Suigetsu; no emotions on his face, as usual. Even though his face didn't show it, he was curious about how Kinzoku managed to kill someone with a curse mark and look like he didn't take many injuries. His mind was riddled with thoughts that he knew he shouldn't have, and a few years ago he would've made an immediate assumption.
'Should I tell Danzo-sama?' he asked himself 'No,' as he shook his head 'not with what he was trying to get me to do. But I can't tell anyone that it was he that gave me the order, not with what will happen afterwards.'
His thoughts came to when the curse seal was put on his tongue. His thoughts were cut short when he realized he was standing alone and the others were rushing to Kinzoku. Without being able to provide any sort of medical assistance, he walked over; but not before taking one last look at what the boy had managed to do.
"I can heal him" Sakura said with a smile and a sigh "he'll still have a nasty scar though."
"Your way will take too long" Karin lectured "besides look, Suigetsu cut into the ribs. Healing bones might be Chunin level, but cartilage is a little tricky; even for Jonin. I can heal him and he won't have as bad of a scar either."
"When did you get to have an opinion in the team's decisions?" Sakura asked with an angry tone.
A roar could be heard as a surge of chakra pulsed through the hideout. Hanabi reactivated her Byakugan and located the source of the chakra. Her body began to shake as she saw an eight tailed figure standing over a dead body.
"Naruto-kun" she said with fear.
"That was Uzumaki-san?" Sai asked as he looked through the door way.
"What make you think you can heal someone better than me" Sakura asked Karin. They were now at each other's throats "I was trained by Lady Tsunade."
"She is very talented, yes" as she rolled up her sleeve "but there are very few things that are better than a kekkei genkai."
"How do I know you're not trying to kill him?" Sakura asked.
"Why would I kill someone that saved my life?" as a tick mark became visible.
She suddenly felt a second powerful chakra coming from the same direction as Naruto. This one had a familiar look to it though. One that reminded her of Jugo.
"Uchiha-san is starting to become over powered by the curse mark" as she looked towards Sasuke's general direction.
"I'll go see if I can get him back in control" Sai said as he walked through the door.
"Nar…uto" Kinzoku managed to say as he tried to get up.
"Don't move Kinzoku-kun" Hanabi said as she tried to get him to stay still "you've used up too much chakra and you're badly hurt."
"Naruto's the reason…" he gasped as he continued to get up "I became a shinobi… the reason I'm not sitting on some chair… unable to see… I owe him…" he managed to get to his feet "he's not a demon… I know he's not…" as he tried to take a step but fell to the ground.
"Take a bite" Karin said to him as she rolled him over and put her forearm to his mouth "and suck out some chakra."
"Don't" Sakura said as she tried to stop him "she works for Orochimaru. She could be trying to gain our trust so she can infiltrate the village."
"He's dead" she said looking at her "Uzumaki-san killed him."
Kinzoku bit into Karin's forearm and sucked out some chakra. As he did, the gash across his torso began to heal. Several weeks' worth of natural healing visible in mere seconds. The wound sealed up and became a scar reaching from his left bottom rib to his right shoulder. The layer of skin on his shoulder that got sliced off grew back, and with only faint scaring.
"His chakra is still too low for him to move by himself" Hanabi said.
Kinzoku struggled to sit up and looked at the corpse of his opponent. His mind remembering what the water user had said. 'He is the Kyuubi no kitsune' Suigetsu's laughing voice rang in his head 'the demon that tried to destroy your 'precious' village.'
"He's not a demon" as he tried to get back up.
"You don't have enough chakra to try to even think about stopping Naruto" Sakura snapped at him as he fought to get up "let alone fight him. He has seven tails of the Kyuubi's power, you'll get killed."
"Then give me some damned soldier pills" as he stood up "I might be weak to some, but I can take a hit. I have abilities I haven't told anyone about; my chakra shackles being one of them."
"He's right" Hanabi agreed "there's so much condensed chakra around Naruto-kun that I can't see his normal chakra system. I don't like the idea, but he'd the only one that might be able to take a hit from that chakra."
"He's not in good enough condition to fight" Sakura and Karin said.
"Then don't help" Kinzoku said "I still have one more shackle. I'll release it to save Naruto."
"But you've said" Hanabi started.
"I don't care" as he made it to the door "he's proven no one can become someone; if I can, I won't let that get shot to hell."
Sai cautiously walked into the dark chamber and looked around for Sasuke. Even with the emergency lights on, it was still hard to see the entire room. Luckily, he had been trained in low visibility combat; even with that though, he feared Sasuke would still have the advantage with his Sharingan.
He slowly drew his sword, trying to make as little noise as possible; only a faint metallic sheik was heard to his ears. Each step drew him farther into the dark chamber and the unknown it held. As he took another step he felt that the landing foot was becoming off balance and stopped his step.
'What kind of jutsu could cause this kind of indentation in the floor?' he asked himself as he kneeled down to analyze the small crater.
Still aware of his surroundings, he heard the sound of crystals breaking against something. He continued to move forward, still just as cautious, into the darkness. The sound slowly grew louder as visibility was drastically reduced to almost non-existent.
He pulled a scroll out of his pack pocket and looked around for the Uchiha. His orders told him one thing, but the conscience he had developed told him to do the opposite. Either way, someone was going to be furious with him.
He looked at the scroll in his hand; he had remembered what he was ordered to do with it all too well. Could he bring himself to betray those that he now considered what he once thought could only cause weakness; friends. Even while continuing his ROOT training while he was a part of cell seven, he had let himself become weak in Danzo's eye.
'Kill the young Uchiha" he remembered Danzo ordering him 'and bring me his head back to me in this scroll, with his Sharingan still active.'
His grip tightened on his sword so much that his pale knuckles busted the glove he wore on it. Too many conflicting thoughts were running through his head to begin to make sense of any of it. Only one thought could escape his mouth;
"Why am I going to do this?" as remorse began to become visible on his face.
He tossed the scroll into the air and sliced it in half as it came down.
"At least this way I can say it got destroyed in battle before I could complete the assignment" as he watched the halves fall to the ground "Uchiha-san" he whispered as he looked into the darkness again "Uchiha-san" he flipped his sword around and held it in a defensive posture "where are you?"
His heart began to pound as he pushed so far into the darkness visibility was nothing. While he didn't need his eyes to fight, blind man's bluff was always his worst game. The one thing he could never truly get right and lost almost every time in.
"Uchiha-san" as he heard his foot splash in something.
His eyes widened as he realized he had just given his position away. The sound of air bending around an incoming object could be heard. He flipped his sword around and quickly blocked the projectiles; as he did he felt small shards spray against his face.
"Crystals?" he whispered to himself 'Must be Guren; I can do Lady Hokage a favor if I bring her in. I can still tell Danzo-sama the mission wasn't a complete failure.'
He quickly moved from whatever he stepped in and towards where the crystals were thrown from. To his dismay, no one was there. The game of cat and mouse had begun, and he still needed to find Sasuke.
'I need to find Uchiha-san' he thought 'he's better at this kind of combat than I.'
Sasuke felt like he was going to break his teeth with how hard he was quenching his jaws to keep from letting out a painful scream. The curse mark was festering worse than any swore could ever hope to. It took every ounce of discipline to keep from exposing his hiding spot.
'Damn this curse mark' he thought 'why is it acting up now, NOW of all times. What's going on?'
The mark continued to glow its erry purple as it tried to consume him. In his mind he could hear taunting; 'you will never be strong enough, you lost to the Dead-Last of your class; twice. You have brought shame to your clan; you have no power, no strength, nothing that can allow you to rebuild the 'honorable Uchiha-clan'.'
He could've sworn he finally broke a tooth as he quenched his jaws together even harder to keep from screaming in pain. The mark moved up his neck and towards his face. Every time he so much as thought of using any jutsu, the mark would push up his neck.
'I'm on my own for this one' he finally admitted to himself 'but I really don't need to use Sharingan for fighting in the dark; it's just a waste of chakra.'
He grabbed a kunai from his leg holster and listened with his eyes closed. Listening for anything that could give him a hint to where his opponent was. For a brief second, he could've sworn he heard Guren throwing her crystals at something.
'She's not that far from me' with concern 'that's good and bad. Need to see if I can find her before she finds me, or even before this damned curse mark consumes me' as he held his neck.
How the Evil Sealing Method had held for seven years was a mystery to him. When Kakashi put it on him he had gotten the impression that it would only last for, maybe, three years. He wasn't complaining though, right now it was probably the only thing keeping the curse mark from consuming him.
He heard footsteps that could only be made when moving at high speeds. Someone was using Taijutsu to try to find someone else. One set of footsteps went right past him, but before he could move they had become faint and distant.
'Blind man's bluff' with a smile on his face 'the one game Kakashi-sensei never let us use chakra for. This will work to my advantage. Just need to get her to move again and I can hit her.'
He grabbed a second and third kunai from his holster and got ready. His mind was flooded of memories from when he was trying to hit ten hidden targets that took pin-point precision to hit. This game wasn't too much different than Itachi's trick. It only took timing, precision, and knowing where the target was; on paper it sounded easy, but he knew in practice it was an entirely different story.
He threw one kunai randomly into the darkness and listened to the sound of the air warping around the blade. The sound of it striking the wall could be heard clearly through the chamber and not even one second after his kunai hit the wall, he heard several more thrown towards it.
'There's someone where she was before' as he listened and threw one of his kunai towards his original opponent 'so then she must be there…' he heard movement again and aimed well ahead of his target and let his kunai fly 'I hope that hits. I only have three more.'
He heard someone appear behind him. He didn't know what was worse; the fact that he couldn't use jutsu to save himself or the fact that he put himself in the position to make him regret thinking that.
"Uchiha-san" he heard.
"Sai?" with a confused tone "I never thought I'd say this, but am I glad to see you; so to speak."
"You hit her" Sai said as he ducked down beside Sasuke "I heard the kunai cut into her skin. I would summon a few ink beasts, but I can't see well enough to paint them."
"Don't you have some pre-drawn on a scroll or something?"
"Never thought I'd be in a position to where I'd need to have one" as he pulled out two kunai and handed them to Sasuke.
"And I thought Naruto didn't think things through" he sighed as he took the kunai "I guess we're both just about useless right now. I can't use any chakra" he no more mentioned chakra and the curse mark tried to push across his face. He quenched his jaw and waited for the pain to stop. "And you need to see to draw those creatures you summon."
"If I draw her out" Sai asked quietly "can you take her down without killing her? Lady Hokage would like someone that can give us some sort of information about the Akatsuki; right?"
"Yeah" with a smile "I can do it. When I tell you to, I want you to go out and get her attention. If worse comes to worse, get out of here and don't come back."
"Kakashi-sensei said 'those that abandon their comrades are scum, but those that abandon their friends are worse than scum'" in a whisper "I won't abandon a friend. Even if worse comes to worse."
"Move" as he listened for Guren's crystals or footsteps.
Sai bolted out from their cover and dragged the edge of his sword on the ground. Sparks flew up from the ground, showing exactly where he was. It took every bit of strength for him to keep from picking up his sword and vanishing to become hidden again.
He heard something coming at him. He picked up his sword and blocked five incoming crystal kunai. The shards splintered as he struck each one and continued to listen for the sound of Sasuke dropping their opponent.
Sasuke heard where the crystals had come from and threw the two kunai Sai had given him in the same direction. Once they left his hand, he could only hope that they hit their mark. Each millisecond felt like an eternity as he waited for the intended target to let out some sort of acknowledgement of pain and drop to the ground.
Then he heard it, Guren let out a sharp cry of pain and dropped to the ground. Sasuke stood up from his hiding spot and walked over to his fallen opponent. She had taken the kunai he had thrown at her first in her thigh, and the other two in each of her shoulders.
"Can't believe that worked" Sasuke said.
"Nor can I" Sai admitted "I was thinking it would take two or three times before we'd get her."
Sasuke could see a purple glow coming from Guren. Her curse mark was trying to consume her as well. That was something that would have to be dealt with before they headed towards the village.
In Naruto's mindscape:
None of Kyuubi's words would reach her kit. Nothing she said seemed to be heard in Naruto's ears. It was as if he was completely lost in her power. She curled up in the prison she had been put in and began to cry. Not only had she been captured by the 'Damned Uchiha', attacked a village she used to be on fair terms with, and ruined a young boy's life; but now she had destroyed that boy's life with her own power.
While Naruto was like this she couldn't escape his mindscape and try to talk him down. There were very few that could take Naruto when he got like this; Itachi being one of them, but he wasn't here. Every other time it had been someone that had some sort of resemblance to someone he cared for.
With as powerful as she once was, she was now powerless. The only thing she could do was cry, plead that he stop, and pray that he could hear her. Never once did any of those work though.
"I'm sorry my Kit" she cried into her arms "I'm so sorry; Naruto."
Naruto was smashing through the columns looking for a new opponent. Being displeased with his last one, he was furious and looking for one that wouldn't burn when he merely touched them. It seemed that Orochimaru had indeed had the last laugh and victory even in death.
Kabuto held his kunai and waited; unsure if Naruto would find him and the boy he was protecting. If Naruto did, there was nothing he could truly do to the miniature Kyuubi. If he didn't, he had to wait for someone to calm him down enough for him to show his face without resparking the rage.
He felt Joey cling on to the side of his shirt and try to hide his face. The normal child response to the fear that they both had. Now, his mission was to protect the Jinchuuriki of the Three-tailed Turtle; at any cost.
Kinzoku quickly took the pills from Sakura and swallowed them. He didn't even wait for them to begin to kick in before he headed towards Naruto. Struggling to keep his feet moving, he had no choice but to endure the pain that moving had brought him.
"I owe you, Naruto" he said as he supported himself on the wall as he walked "I owe you almost everything."
He felt a sudden surge of chakra enter his system; the soldier pills had finally kicked in enough for him to notice. Now he had the strength to support himself on his own and keep moving towards Naruto. Not caring what it would take to get Naruto under control, he would resort to fighting if he had to; but only if talking wouldn't work. The last thing he needed to do was start by fighting someone that was far stronger than himself.
He remembered when he pressured Tsunade into giving him the surgery that would allow him to see. At first she resisted because it was much too dangerous even for her to perform. It took him nearly two weeks of constantly arguing with her for him to finally convince her to do it. Deep down though, he believes she only broke because of what he said he wanted to do. Get strong enough to find and bring back Naruto, even if it meant resorting to fighting.
'You are the reason I became a shinobi' as he approached the destroyed door that led to Orochimaru's chamber 'and I will do as I told Lady Tsunade I would.'
He walked through the door and saw what could only be described as a miniature Kyuubi. Eight tails swaying wildly as it smashed through anything in sight as if it were looking for something. The red chakra that seemed to make up its skin looked so compressed that not even a full powered Chidori could break through it.
"Naruto" he said as he took a step closer to the creature that looked to be made of nothing but chakra.
Naruto looked at the source of the noise it had heard; not recognizing his name. All he saw was a new opponent, not a friend or ally. A demonic smile grew across his face as it took a step towards his new challenger.
"This isn't you" Kinzoku said as his skin became metallic "this isn't who you are. You've done great things, things that no one else would've been able to do."
The words had no effect on Naruto. This became obvious when Naruto sent four of his tails towards his opponent. Joy could be seen on his face as he watched his tails quickly get closer to Kinzoku; who wasn't even trying to dodge them. A wide smile grew on Naruto's face when the tails hit Kinzoku, but they didn't harm him; they only got redirected.
"Don't do this" he pleaded "you've fought to prove that the village was wrong about you. You proved that a no one like us can become someone when they're willing to work hard, even when everyone says to give up. I know how it feels to be told to stop, give up, you'll never make it, or you're a fool but I kept pushing to prove them wrong; just as you did. You've fought against stronger opponents, in front of everyone, and showed them that you won't back down because they think you won't win. You beat Neji," Naruto seemed to begin hearing his words "you beat an Uchiha twice. There are people that don't care if you have the Kyuubi in you" rage seemed to grip Naruto again.
Naruto lunged at his opponent that wouldn't keep his mouth shut. The sole intent of the lung was to knock his opponent down and rip out his tongue. However, his opponent seemed to be just fast enough to dodge the attack.
"You're not a demon" he shouted "you've tamed this power so you could become Hokage, to fulfill your dream. Don't be like an Uchiha; power hungry, blinded with arrogance and ignorance. You're better than that; you promised you wouldn't be like that" Naruto stopped his next attack when he heard that "we both did. We promised each other that when, not if, we became shinobi we wouldn't get blinded with power. I've kept my promise" looking at the miniature Kyuubi "what about you?"
Naruto took a step back; the words from that day rang in his head. 'We'll never let ourselves become blinded with power' he heard himself say 'it's a promise' both said at the same time. Those words didn't just play in his head once or twice, but they kept repeating themselves over and over. The words seemed to drive Naruto crazy. He swiped at Kinzoku and knocked him across the room. Kinzoku got up from the hit and started to tear up.
"Then I guess Lady Hinata was wrong about you" as he looked angrily at Naruto "she fought every time there was a meeting about your disappearance for you. Begging the council to give you more time to return, to keep the bounty off your head and not put you in the Bingo Book. She kept saying you were a good person; that you would return and fight for the village rather than to destroy it. Will you let everything she's said be looked at as lies?"
Naruto looked down at the ground with even more blank eyes than he already had. The mere mention of Hinata brought back memories of happiness. Memories of going to the waterfall with her, of kissing her, of just being with her. Those memories were followed by the memories he made with his team and friends; his family in bonds.
"She never stopped fighting for you" as he took a step closer to Naruto "there were a few times where Lady Tsunade had to ask her to leave because she wouldn't stop fighting for you. Jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi or not" looking at Naruto with eyes filled with happiness "you are a good friend."
Naruto walked over to Kinzoku, who was cautious but didn't move away. His tails swayed slowly with each step, a hint of rage still visible in his eyes. He watched as Kinzoku intentionally deactivated his kekkei genkai and his skin became normal flesh again.
When Kinzoku's skin was normal flesh again, he only waited for what would happen next. Unsure if his words had truly reached Naruto; but it was a gamble he had to take. Each step the miniature Kyuubi took closer to him caused his heart to pound faster as he fought the urge to back up.
Naruto stood only a foot away from Kinzoku; still encased in condensed chakra. He walked around Kinzoku and back to where he stood before. A few memories of them while they were at the orphanage entered his mind; happy memories.
"We'll never let ourselves become blinded with power" as he held out his hand for Naruto to shake.
"I…It's a… prom… promise" Naruto managed to say as he shook his friend's hand.