Author's Note: I'd just like to take a moment and remind everyone that my NaruDisney version of "The Lion King" is meant to be a JINCHUURIKI TRIBUTE. Therefore, some of the relationships between characters will be off. It just so happened that the kunoichi I chose to play Nala is from the Cloud Village, so PLEASE do NOT give me grief about the rest of the Cloud Village members not appearing. This was fleshed out long before they became important characters!! (sigh) Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way...
Walt Disney and GothicDancer proudly present:
Yugito as Nala or Kishimoto's The Jinchuuriki King
The sun rose as a great ball of fire in the early dawn, waking all the living beings of the earth. Its warmth spread out over the land, and, slowly, all the creatures came to life and began gathering at a single point. With the morning's sunrise had come a message, one that was carried throughout all five of the nations.
Recently, a great war had been fought between those five nations. With the fall of a recent tyrant had come hostile reactions, but the riots ended with the rise of five distinct powers called the Kage.
On this day, the clansmen from all the nations had come together at Kumogakure, the northernmost land. All of the most elite, most respected of ninjas had come to witness the reveal of something new, something that would soon lead Kumogakure.
The ninja clans watched as a man in blue robes walked through the crowds and up to the highest platform, where another man was waiting. The man in blue bowed respectfully to the man, earning him a smile and a nod of appreciation. His job of sending the message was complete.
Following him was another man dress in gray with a long, metal rod adorned with a large, green flower. The ninjas bowed to him as he made his way up the highest point, and he hugged the man atop warmly.
The man grinned and turned to young woman. She was holding a tiny bundle in her arms, and she tickled its stomach to wake it. The man with the rod smiled down upon the small child and shook the flowers over his head. He then cracked open a fruit and smeared the juices on the child's forehead. After blessing him, he took him in his arms and carried him to the end of the peak. There, he lifted the child into the air, and the ninjas below cheered.
He was the heir to the Raikage of Kumogakure and the next piece in the Circle of Life.
A tiny mouse emerged from a hole in the ground, sniffing the air. As soon as it deemed the area safe, it scurried out, only to hand a hand smack down upon it. The man brought the little animal to his face and sighed.
"Life's...not fair, is it?" he asked. "I...shall never become a Kage, and you...shall never again see the light of day!" He grinned and brought the mouse to his mouth.
"Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with your food?" asked the man in the blue robe.
The other man groaned. "What do you want?"
"I'm here to tell you that the Raikage is on his way, so you'd better have a good excuse as to why you weren't at the ceremony today."
The other man sighed as the mouse scurried off. "Look what you've done, Utakata; you've made me lose my lunch."
"You'll lose a lot more than that when the Raikage gets through with you," the man laughed. He suddenly screamed though when the other man snatched a loose thread of his robe, the fabric starting to fall from his body.
"SASUKE," came a large, powerful voice, "LET IT GO."
The man let go of the thread and allowed Utakata to redress himself. His six tails shook with fury and embarrassment. "Impeccable timing, Your Highness."
The Raikage glared at Sasuke. "Fuu and I didn't see you at the ceremony for Killer Bee today."
Sasuke pouted innocently. "Oh, that was today? Oh dear, it must have slipped my mind."
Utakata snorted. "As the representative of Konohagakure, you should have been one of the first in line!"
"I WAS the first in line," Sasuke corrected, "until that little cow was born."
The Raikage frowned. "Sasuke, you were only sent to Kumogakure to rule in case an heir was not born. In this case, it was a Jinchuuriki! He's got an animal spirit inside him, just like Yagura, Fuu, and Utakata, meaning he's more than worthy enough to rule what with all that power. That little cow is my son, and he will be the Raikage one day."
"I shall practice my curtsy."
"Don't turn your back on me, Sasuke!"
"Oh no, Raikage-sama, perhaps you shouldn't turn your back on me."
The Raikage grabbed the young man, furious. "IS THAT A CHALLENGE?!"
"Temper, temper," Sasuke sighed. "I wouldn't dream of challenging the all-powerful Raikage. I may be smart, but I'm nowhere near strong enough." He grinned one last time and walked off to the savannah.
The six-tailed man groaned. "There's one in every country, Sir."
The Raikage sighed. "What am I going to do with him?"
"He'd make a cute plush toy."
"And, just think, if he ever gets dirty, you can smack him around a bit!"
In the dark of night, Yagura, the man who had blessed the child earlier that day sat in his tree house and scribbled pictures onto the bark. He rubbed the colors until they made a picture of a child. Smiling, he rubbed the juices of a nearby fruit onto the picture's head.
As the seasons came and went, Killer Bee grew into a happy, healthy boy who was always eager for a little excitement. One morning, he was up along with the sun, and he raced back into the living quarters shouting, "Dad! Dad! Come on, Dad! It's time to get up!"
Fuu smiled slightly, her seven tails twitching as she nudged the Raikage. "Your son wants you."
"Before sunrise," the man yawned, "he's your son."
"Dad! Dad!" Killer Bee continued as he tried to pull his father to his feet. "Dad, let's go! You promised!"
The Raikage's eyes opened sleepily, and he nodded. "Alright, I'm up," he replied, stretching and standing. Killer Bee cheered as his parents walked outside to the highest peak, a point called Pride Rock, of Kumogakure. "Look out here, Killer Bee," the Raikage began, "everything the light touches is part of Kumogakure. For all of the Five Great Nations, a Kage's time is like the rising and setting of the sun. One day, Killer Bee, the sun will set on my time and rise on yours."
"Wow," the boy replied in awe, "and it'll all be mine?"
"What about that shadowy place over there?"
The Raikage frowned. "That's beyond our kingdom. You must never go there."
Killer Bee looked up curiously as the two walked out to the savannah. "But I though a Kage could do whatever he wanted."
"There's more to being a Kage than getting your way all the time."
"We all exist in a great balance. As a Kage, you must respect all the creatures."
"But I thought we eat some of those animals."
"Yes, we do. However, when we die, our bodies give nutrients to the grass, and the animals eat the grass." The Raikage smiled. "And so, we are all connected in the great Circle of Life."
Suddenly, Utakata came rushing forwards. "Good morning, Sire!"
"Good morning, Six-Tailed Utakata! I'm checking in with the morning report."
Utakata nodded and started listing off the current stats of all Kumogakure's citizens. The Raikage half-listened as he watched Killer Bee try to pounce on an insect. "Utakata? Would you mind turning around? We have a pouncing lesson."
"Ah, yes, pouncing. POUNCING?! Your Majesty, I--!" Utakata swallowed audibly and turned. "Oh Bijuu, this is embarrassing. This is worse than the time I was stripped down, and...! Raikage-sama? Killer Bee?"
Suddenly, the boy jumped out of nowhere and pounced on top of Utakata, knocking him to the ground. Raikage laughed heartily and commented Killer Bee on a job well done while the fallen Jinchuuriki struggled to regain his composure. Once he was upright, he glanced out on the savannah and gasped. "Raikage-sama! Team Hebi! It's in the Pride Lands of Kumogakure!"
The Raikage growled and ran out to the savannah, ordering Utakata to bring Killer Bee home. The little boy frowned in disappointment. "I never get to go anywhere cool..."
"Oh, don't worry," Utakata replied as he walked with his fellow Jinchuuriki, "Killer Bee, you'll get to chase those slobbery, idiotic, social outcasts one day."
"Hey, Sasuke-san!" Killer Bee called as he climbed the side of a shaded ridge. "Guess what? I'm gonna be the Raikage someday!"
The man from Konoha rolled his eyes. "Oh, goodie..."
"My dad just showed me the entire kingdom, and I'm gonna rule it all!"
"Hmm...yes. Well, forgive me for not leaping for joy. Bad back, you know."
Killer Bee narrowed his eyes curiously. "Hey, Sasuke-san, when I'm the Raikage, what'll that make you?"
"A monkey's uncle."
"Ha ha! You're so weird."
"You have no idea." The man stretched and sat down on the edge of the cliff. "So your father showed you all of Kumogakure, huh? I bet he didn't show you what's beyond the sunlight."
The little boy shook his head. "No, he said I can't go there."
"And he's absolutely right! It's far too dangerous. Only the bravest of people go there."
"Well, I'm brave. What's out there?"
"No, no, I can't say."
"Killer Bee, I'm only looking out for the well-being of my favorite Raikage heir."
"Yeah, right, I'm the ONLY Raikage heir!"
"All the more reason to protect you. The Akatsuki Graveyard is far too dangerous for a Jinchuuriki. OOPS." Sasuke slapped a hand over his mouth in false shock at what he had said, but a smile tug on the end of his mouth when Killer Bee's eyes grew wide with excitement.
"The Akatsuki Graveyard?! Wow, I wondered what happened to all those bad guys. They were the ones who took out the Jinchuuriki of the past, right? I heard only a few of them survived, which is why guys like me are so rare, right?" The little boy shook his eight tails happily, and his animal-like ears twitched in excitement.
"Oh, Killer Bee," Sasuke sighed, "please promise me you'll never visit that dreadful place."
The boy smirked. "No problem."
"That's a good Jinchuuriki. Now run along and play. And remember...it's our little secret."
Killer Bee ran down to the large resting area for the Kumogakure citizens and the Jinchuuriki of the Five Great Nations. "Hi, Roushi-san!" he called to the one with four tails. He turned to the one with five tails and said, "Hi, Han-san!" The two Jinchuuriki waves back as the boy continued to run until he met up with some familiar faces. "Hi, Yugito-chan."
"Hi, Killer Bee-kun," the little blonde girl replied. Her two tails wagged in delight at seeing her best friend and fellow Jinchuuriki.
The little boy smirked. "Come on, I just heard about this great place."
Yugito glanced at the boy skeptically. "It's almost time for my bath."
"As it is yours," Fuu laughed as she took her son in her arms. Killer Bee wiggled his way out of his mother's grasp and fell forward.
"Mom, I don't need a bath. I'm clean, really!"
Yugito rolled her eyes. "What's this great place, huh?"
"...Uh, the water hole!"
"The water hole?! What's so great about that?!"
"I'll show you when we get there." Killer Bee turned to his mother with pleading eyes.
Fuu smiled. "It's alright with me. What do you think, Samui?"
"It's alright with me, too," Yugito's mother agreed, "as long as Utakata goes with them."
"Step lightly!" Utakata told the children. "The sooner we get to the water hole, the sooner we can leave." He walked with a certain arrogant air about him, and the children were not impressed.
"Where are we really going?" Yugito asked.
Killer Bee grinned. "The Akatsuki Graveyard."
"Whoa! No way! But how are we going to lose the stick-in-the-mud slug?"
"Don't worry. I've got a plan."
Utakata suddenly turned and smiled. "I can't believe my eyes," he laughed. "The two of you are getting along so well at such a young age, and I can see romance blossoming between you both."
"Romance?" Killer Bee repeated. "Yuck! What are you talking about?"
Utakata shook his six tails in happiness and excitement. "You two are betrothed!"
"I can't marry her!" the eight-tailed Jinchuuriki shot back. "She's my best friend!"
"Yeah," Yugito agreed, her cat-like ears twitching in annoyance, "it would be way too weird."
"Ha," Utakata mocked, "you have no choice."
Killer Bee smirked. "When I'm the Raikage, I'll change that. You're fired."
"You're not the Raikage yet!"
"Well," Yugito began, "he's the future Raikage."
"Yeah!" Killer Bee agreed. "That means you have to do what I say anyway."
"No, I don't," Utakata fought back. "And if this is any indication of the future, I'd say you're shaping up to be a lousy Raikage."
The two children laughed and ran in separate directions to confuse their guide. They gathered the other clansmen together so Utakata couldn't find them in the crowd. They talked amongst themselves and sent the Jinchuuriki out in the wrong direction.
"I just can't wait to be the Raikage!" Killer Bee called out as he and Yugito ran from the group. Once they were out of sight, they celebrated their victory. "Yes, we lost him! And it was all thanks to me!"
Yugito eyed the boy. "Excuse me? I helped."
"Yeah, I guess, but I'm the stronger one here."
At that, Yugito grabbed the boy and threw him to the ground. She forced all of her weight into her arms and secured him against the earth. "If you're so strong," she sighed amusedly, "why was I able to pin you?"
Killer Bee jumped up to attack Yugito, and the two of them rolled down a long hill until they hit the solid, flat ground. Yugito pushed her friend back down and said, "Pinned you again."
At that moment, a small air pocket exploded, and steam rose into the air. Killer Bee and Yugito were finally away of their surroundings; they were in the Akatsuki Graveyard. Everywhere they looked, they saw the skeletons of past Akatsuki members along with headbands and rings. Shivers ran up their spines as they remembered how this organization had once targeted Jinchuuriki. They were even lucky to be alive.
"This is really creepy," Yugito whispered. "We could get in really big trouble."
"Isn't it awesome?" her friend laughed. "Let's check out the really big skeleton over there."
"HOLD IT!!" Utakata came running in front of the children, blocking their paths. "The only checking out you two will do is checking out of here. We're way beyond the border of Kumogakure. We're all in danger!"
"Danger?" Killer Bee repeated. "Ha, I laugh in the face of danger. Ha ha!"
At that moment, wild, crazed laughter could be heard from a large pile of skeletons. Slowly, three people stepped out into the light, revealing themselves to be members of Team Hebi, the neo-Akatsuki group. They stepped towards the trio carefully, eyeing them like pieces of meat.
"Well, well," the woman with red hair began, "what do you have here, Suigetsu?"
"I don't know, Karin," the man with white hair replied. "What do you think, Juugo?"
The third man laughed crazily as black spots started to cover his face. The three of them circled the trio as Suigetsu spoke again. "Trespassers!"
"By accident!" Utakata tried to defend. "I assure you!"
"Oh, I know you," Karin realized. "You're the Raikage's little stooge..."
"I'm the future Raikage!" Killer Bee announced. "You can't do anything to me! Utakata said you were just a bunch of slobbery, idiotic, social outcasts."
Utakata started to sweat. He pulled on the collar of his robes and tried to back away from the group, but Karin stopped him. "What's your hurry?" she asked. "We'd love you to stay for dinner."
The neo-Akatsuki members laughed among themselves until Juugo started pointing in a direction. When the other two followed his fingers, Suigetsu's eyebrows rose. He turned to Karin and said, "Did we order this meal to go?"
"BECAUSE THERE IT GOES!!"
Killer Bee and Yugito ran all across the graveyard, trying to escape the clutching of Team Hebi. Once they were far enough away, they realized that Utakata was missing.
"Some salt for the slug?" Suigetsu asked as he shoved the six-tailed Jinchuuriki into one of the steam spouts. The trio laughed hysterically when the man shot out.
"Hey!" Killer Bee called. "Why don't you pick on somebody your own size?"
Karin smirked. "Like...you?"
Team Hebi chased the two children all across the graveyard. They slid down several piles of bones and tried climbing up another. Killer Bee smacked the Hebi members aside to help Yugito, but the two were eventually caught, Utakata thrown into the corner with them. When Killer Bee tried to roar to scare the trio away, they just laughed.
"That was it?" Karin asked. "Ha! Do it again!"
This time, there was a large, powerful roar, and the Raikage himself jumped down to attack Team Hebi. When he had them cornered, he said in his most threatening voice, "If you ever come near my son again..."
"This is your son?!" Karin sputtered. "Ha! I didn't know that!"
"Me neither!" Suigetsu laughed nervously. "Juugo?"
The last man nodded stupidly, and the trio ran off when the Raikage went to attack them again. Once they were gone, the Raikage glared at Utakata, then at the children.
"Dad," Killer Bee began, "I'm so sorry."
"You deliberately disobeyed me," the Raikage replied. "Let's go home."
Yugtio stared at her friend sadly as they began walking. "I thought you were very brave."
No one knew that Sasuke had been watching them the whole time.
Night was beginning to fall over Kumogakure as the group walked forward. They stayed silent until the Raikage ordered for Utakata to take Yugito home. "I've got to teach my son a lesson," he explained.
Utakata nodded and took the little Yugito by the hand, both of their tails shaking in fear. "Good luck, Killer Bee," Utakata whispered as he and the girl disappeared into the night.
Knowing he had to face his father, Killer Bee started to walk forwards. He stopped when he saw a print his father's foot had made, and he realized how different in size his foot was when compared. Defeated, he sat down next to the Raikage and said, "Dad, I'm sorry."
"I'm very disappointed in you," the Raikage replied. "You could have been killed! You disobeyed me and even put Yugito in danger!"
"I...I was," Killer Bee sobbed, "I was just trying to be brave like you."
"I'm only brave when I have to be," the Raikage explained, his voice softening a bit. "Being brave doesn't mean you go looking for trouble."
"But I thought a Kage wasn't scared of anything."
"I was today. I thought I might lose you."
"Oh...I guess even a Kage gets a little scared sometimes, huh?" A smile tug on the end of Killer Bee's mouth. "But you know what?"
The Raikage grinned a bit, too. "What?"
"I bet those Team Hebi jerks were even more scared."
"That's because no one messes with the Raikage!!"
The two burst out laughing happily and tackling each other in the grass of the Kumogakure savannah. The tension was completely gone, and Killer Bee had learned his lesson. He smiled and said, "Dad, we'll always be together, right?"
The Raikage smiled sadly and placed his son on his shoulders. "Let me tell you something my father told me," he began. "The great Kages of the past look down upon us from the stars in the night sky. If at any point you feel lost, just look at the stars, because the Kages will always be there to guide you, as will I."
"Stupid Raikage," Suigetsu muttered as he stared at the cuts on his side. "I'm not gonna be able to sit for a week." He groaned when his friend's laughter erupted throughout the Akatsuki Graveyard. "It's not funny, Juugo."
"Would you two shut up?!" Karin hissed. "Look at you idiots! It's no wonder we're dangling on the end of the food chain..."
"I hate dangling," Suigetsu huffed. "I hate Jinchuuriki, too, but I hate people from clans even more."
"Aw," came Sasuke's voice, "surely we clansmen aren't all that bad?" He watched the trio from above, shaking his head at their antics.
"Oh, Sasu, it's just you," Suigetsu laughed.
"We thought it was someone important like the Raikage," Karin explained. "THAT'S power. I just hear that title, and I shudder."
"Raikage," the white-haired man whispered.
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "I'm surrounded by idiots."
"Not you, Sasu! You're one of us!"
"By the way, did you bring us anything to eat?"
"I don't know if you deserve this," Sasuke sighed as he threw a piece of meat to the ground. "I practically gift-wrapped those Jinchuuriki for you, and you couldn't even dispose of them."
"Well, it's not like they were alone," Karin explained as she swallowed a large piece of meat.
"Yeah, what do you expect us to do?" Suigetsu asked as he tore a piece off for himself. "Kill the Raikage?"
Sasuke grinned. "Exactly."
That got Team Hebi's attention. Sasuke jumped down from the ledge and approached his henchmen slowly. "Listen, I know you guys aren't exactly the smartest in the Five Nations, but that's okay. I've got the plan of the century here, and even you can understand it. Get ready. You'll have to be prepared!"
"Be prepared for what?" Suigetsu asked, somewhat nervous at the menacing glint in Sasuke's eyes.
"For the death of the Raikage!"
"Is he sick?"
"No, Fool, we're going to kill him. Killer Bee, too."
"I like it!" Karin cheered. "No Raikage!"
"IDIOTS!!" Sasuke shouted. "I'll be the Raikage! If you stick with me, you'll never go hungry again!"
Team Hebi exchanged excited smiles and cheered for the man who would lead them to victory. They turned to a large section of the graveyard, and there were hundreds of former Akatsuki prisoners there, all hanging on Sasuke's word.
"Yes, I'll be the leader," Sasuke said to himself as he climbed the highest peak in the graveyard. "I can do it. I don't care WHAT I have to do! Anything to be the Raikage. It's taken a while, but my ambition is out there. BE PREPARED!!"
The next day, Sasuke took Killer Bee out to a barren gorge. "Stay here and wait for your father, okay?" he insisted. "I've got a surprise set up for you two."
"Really?" the little Jinchuuriki asked as he sat on a nearby rock. "What is it?"
Sasuke grinned. "If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise."
"If you tell me, I'll still act surprise."
"Oh, you naughty little boy! But, seriously, this is just for the two of you. A sort of father...son...thing."
"Oh," Killer Bee replied, sitting up straight. "I got you."
The dark-haired man's grin grew a bit. "Besides," he continued, "you wouldn't want to end up in another mess...like you did with Team Hebi."
Killer Bee gasped guiltily. "You...know about that?"
"Everyone knows about it. Lucky Daddy was there to save you."
Sasuke turned and began walking up the side of the gorge. After a moment, he turned back and said, "By the way, you may want to work on that little roar of yours."
Killer Bee nodded. obediently. "Sasuke-san, will I like this surprise?"
"Killer Bee, it's to die for." And Sasuke continued up the side of the gorge back to the center of Kumogakure.
Up on the other side of the gorge was a field where the Nara clan was grazing. Team Hebi watched from the shadows, eager to start chasing the hundreds of deer. Karin kept her gaze up on a high rock and smiled when Sasuke appeared there. "Let's go."
Down at the bottom of the gorge, Killer Bee tried to roar at a lizard that happened to cross his path, but the little animal walked away unfazed. When a slightly louder roar erupted from Killer Bee's throat, he smiled until he heard a low rumble coming from behind. He turned and saw the Nara clan and the deer racing down the side of the gorge in a huge stampede. Killer Bee gasped and tried to run while Sasuke ran back for Kumogakure.
"Raikage-sama!" he cried, feigning panic, "you have to help! There's a stampede down in that gorge, and Killer Bee is there!"
The Raikage and Utakata shared shocked glances and followed Sasuke down to the gorge. Utakata ran ahead and spotted the child hanging from a tree branch. "Over there!" he called, pointing down into the gorge. The Raikage ran into the stampede while his advisor started back to Kumogakure for help. Sasuke punched him in the back of the head before he could, knocking him out. He continued to watch the scene from the shadows.
The Raikage was eventually able to grab Killer Bee and bring him to a ledge where he'd be safe. When he tried to climb up, a deer knocked him back and sent him flying into the stampede. Killer Bee watched in horror as his father grabbed onto the side of the gorge and tried to climb up. Once he was near the top, he couldn't see him anymore.
He also couldn't see Sasuke. "Sasuke!" the Raikage shouted. "Please, as a representation of Konohagakure, help me!"
Sasuke smiled and grabbed onto the Raikage's wrists. Slowly, he pulled himself forward so they were face-to-face and said, in his most evil voice, "Long...live...the Kage." With those words, he threw the Raikage to the ground, Killer Bee screaming as his father fell.
When the stampede was over, Killer Bee ran into the bottom of the gorge and called for his father. Eventually, he found his father's body, but it was cold, and the man wasn't breathing. Killer Bee felt tears slip down his cheeks as he cried out for help, but no one came. He turned to his father and tried to cuddle up next to him, hoping he would come back.
"Killer Bee," Sasuke gasped as he walked toward him, "what have you done?"
"I didn't mean for it to happen," the child sobbed. "It was an accident! I didn't mean it!"
"Of course you didn't," Sasuke replied, patting the child on the head. "No one means for these things to happen, but the Raikage is dead, and if it weren't for you, we'd still be alive. Oh my...What will your mother Fuu think about this? ...What would Yugito think?"
Killer Bee gasped. "What do I do?"
"Run away, Killer Bee." The child's eyes grew wide with fear at Sasuke's response. "Run away," the man continued, "and never return..." A smile tug on the corner of his mouth as he watch the Jinchuuriki run towards the edge of the gorge. "Kill him."
Suigetsu, Karin, and Juugo chased Killer Bee all the way to the end of the gorge and down a cliffside until they met with a large patch of thorn bushes. When Karin and Juugo slid down, they pushed Suigetsu into the spikes. The man cried out in pain as he watched Killer Bee sneak through them, for he was small enough to get by without getting stung. Juugo laughed hysterically while Karin pointed out to the savannah. "Look, there he goes!"
"So go get him!" Suigetsu shouted as he climbed back up to the cliff.
"There's no way I'm going down there!" Karin snapped amusedly. "What? You want me to end up like you? Cactus Butt! Besides, he's as good as dead out there anyway, and if he ever comes back, we'll kill him."
That night, Sasuke brought the Jinchuuriki and Kumogakure citizens together to make the announcement of the Raikage's passing. "And to lose Killer Bee, who had barely begun to live," he explained, "is a great personal loss. It is with a heavy heart that I assume the throne."
Fuu burst into tears and clung to Utakata, who did his best to comfort the woman. Yugito hid behind Samui and cried while Han and Roushi looked on in pity.
"However," Sasuke suddenly said, "out of the ashes of this tragedy, we shall rise into a new era, in which the Five Great Nations will join forces with Team Hebi to rebuild." He smiled as Suigetsu, Karin, Juugo, and the hundreds of other former prisoners jumped up to Pride Rock, laughing hysterically while they did so.
From his tree house, Yagura watched the scene with a crushed expression. He turned back to the picture of Killer Bee he had drawn and wiped it away as the tears flowed.
The days quickly passed, and Killer Bee fell to the ground in the hot sun. A pack of vultures circled around him and tried to peck at him until a loud shout scared them away. Two young boys about Killer Bee's age laughed as the birds flew off. "I love bowling for buzzards in the morning, dattebayo!" the blond one squealed.
The other boy stared at the child on the ground. "Hey, Naruto?" he began. "You better come take a look. I think it's still alive."
Naruto's face scrunched up in disgust, but he took a moment to observe Killer Bee anyway. After a moment, he jumped back. "It's someone from Kumogakure! Let's get out of here, dattebayo!"
"Aw, but he's so cute," Naruto's friend insisted. "Can we keep him?"
"No way! Kumo people don't like Konoha or Suna people!
"Maybe he could be on our side."
"Ha! That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, dattebayo. But...hey! I've got it!" Naruto grinned. "What if he was on our side? Having someone from Kumo might not be so bad."
His friend smiled. "So we're keeping him?"
"Of course! Who's the brains here?"
"My point exactly. Come on, pick up the kid and let's go find some shade."
The two strangers splashed some water from a nearby oasis onto Killer Bee's face. Now cool and hydrated, the little Jinchuuriki woke up and blinked sleepily at Naruto and his friend. "Are you okay?" the red-haired one, Naruto's friend, asked.
"Yeah, I guess so," Killer Bee replied glumly. "Thanks for your help." He slowly stood and started to walk off towards the savannah.
"Where are you going?" Naruto asked.
"Nowhere," Killer Bee replied.
"Wow, that's depression." Naruto stopped the boy in his tracks. "Where are you from, dattebayo?"
"It doesn't matter. I can't go back."
"So you're an outcast? Great! Gaara and I are, too!"
"We're also Jinchuuriki," Gaara explained, shaking his single tail. "See? I'm the One-Tailed Tanuki. Naruto is the Nine-Tailed Fox."
Naruto shook his tails happily, and his orange ears twitched. "So what did you do to get exiled?" he asked.
Killer Bee frowned. "Something terrible. I don't want to talk about it."
"Okay, we don't want to hear about it!"
"In times like these," Gaara began, "you have to do what Naruto says. You gotta put your behind in your past."
"No, no!" the blond Jinchuuriki sighed. "You gotta put your past behind you. Listen, Kid, sometimes bad things happen, and there's nothing you can do about it. But...ha! That's what they want you to think. When the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world, dattebayo."
Killer Bee shook his head. "That's not what I was taught."
"Then you need a new lesson!" Naruto grinned and cleared his throat. "Repeat after me. Hakuna Matata."
"Hakuna Matata!" Gaara repeated. "It means, 'No worries'!"
"It's a wonderful phrase," Naruto explained. "You'll have no worries for the rest of your days, dattebayo. And no worries means no problems! You could take Gaara for example. He was a mess before I came along."
The red-haired Jinchuuriki nodded and smiled. "Yup. Where I came from, everyone hated me, but I found Naruto, and he told me about this philosophy. Now I've got nothing to worry about, and we've been hanging together ever since."
Naruto took Killer Bee over to a nearby log. There, he stuck his hand inside one of the dead holes and pulled out a bug, plenty of which followed. "They're slimy yet satisfying," he commented. "Try one!"
Killer Bee nervously took the bug in his hands and stared at it for a moment. Nervously, he said, "Oh well, Hakuna Matata!" With that, he stuck the bug into his mouth and swallowed. "Uh...slimy yet satisfying."
From then on out, Naruto, Gaara, and Killer Bee were an inseparable trio of Jinchuuriki. They did everything together, sleeping, eating, playing, and relaxing. As the time passed, all three of them grew up. Naruto and Gaara were mid-sized while Killer Bee grew to be rather tall and very built. All three were equally handsome. Still together, they all sang, "Hakuna Matata!"
Back at Kumogakure, Utakata slumped over in a prison cell and sang a dreary song. Ever since Sasuke had taken over, that was his duty. "Lighten up," the man, who had also grown older, sighed. "Utakata, sing something with a little more bounce to it."
Utakata grinned. "It's a small world after all!"
"OH HOLY SNAKE SWORD, NO, ANYTHING BUT THAT."
"...I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts...Oh, Bijuu, I never had to do this for the former Raikage."
"WHAT?! What did you say?"
"I said nothing! I'm sorry, Your Majesty!"
"Hey, Sasuke!" Suigetsu called as the trio of Team Hebi members entered the cave. "We've got a bone to pick with you."
"There's no food and no water," Karin explained.
Sasuke groaned. "It's the Jinchuuikis' job to do the hunting."
"But they won't hunt!"
"WHAT?!" the Jinchuuriki shrieked.
Suigetsu rolled his eyes. "I'm starting to think things were better under the former Raikage."
Sasuke's eyes grew wide, and he turned to the trio in rage. "What did you say?"
"Uh...I said...some time, eh?"
"Good. Now get out."
"But we're still hungry."
Back out in the oasis, night had fallen. Killer Bee, Naruto, and Gaara sighed as they laid out together on the soft grass and stared up at the sky. "Hey, Naruto?" the red-haired Jinchuuriki asked. "What do you think those bright spots are up there?"
"They're fireflies, dattebayo," Naruto replied. "They got caught up there."
"Oh," Gaara murmured, "I always thought they were big balls of gas burning billions of miles away. Anyway, Killer Bee, what do you think they are?"
"Well," the last Jinchuuriki sighed, "someone once told me that the great Kages of the past are watching over us all the time."
Naruto was quiet for a moment. "So a bunch of royal dead guys are watching us?" He glanced at Gaara, and the two started to laugh hysterically. "That's so silly, dattebayo!"
Killer Bee smiled nervously and stood. When he was out of sight, he frowned and flopped down onto the edge of a cliff to think. Flower petals swept off the cliff, and a wind caught them, bringing them all the way back to Kumogakure.
Yagura grabbed onto a handful of the flower petals and sniffed them. When he saw they were suspicious, he placed them into a bowl and tossed them around while his three tails twitched in anticipation. Suddenly, he gasped. "Killer Bee? He's alive?" He watched the petals and nodded excitedly. "Oh my...he's alive!!"
Yagura stood and cheered, laughing hysterically as he painted a new picture on the bark of his tree. This time, it was a picture of Killer Bee as a man, fully grown and ready to lead. Satisfied, Yagura nodded and said, "It is time!"
"In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight, dattebayo!" Naruto sang as he and Gaara hiked through their oasis. Naruto kept singing even while Gaara's voice suddenly disappeared, and he didn't realize it until his friend was long-gone. "Gaara-kun?"
Gaara was preoccupied with a tasty-looking bug to notice that someone was watching him. After trying to grab the bug, he heard a strange rustle from behind. When he turned, a cat-like woman jumped out of the grass and chased him all throughout the oasis. He tried to run back to Naruto but got caught under a raised tree root. "SHE'S GONNA EAT ME!!" he screamed when Naruto came into view.
Naruto stared in horror as the cat woman came closer, and he tried to push Gaara out from underneath the root. "What do I always have to save your...AHHHHH!"
The woman was just about to attack when Killer Bee jumped out from the other side of the tree and tackled her to the ground. The two wrestled it out, and the woman was able to keep up despite the fact that she had far less muscle on her compared to Killer Bee. She was even able to pin him to the ground.
Killer Bee gasped and looked at the woman's two tails swishing in anger. "...Yugito?"
The woman gasped and crawled away from Killer Bee in shock. "Who are you?"
"It's me! Killer Bee!"
"Killer Bee? ...Oh, my gosh!! What are you doing here?!"
"What am I doing here? What are you doing here?!"
Naruto's jaw dropped. "Hey, wait! What's going on here, dattebayo?"
Killer Bee grinned. "Naruto, this is Yugito. She's my best friend. Hey, Gaara, come over here!"
The red-haired Jinchuuriki released himself from the root and walked over to greet the newcomer. "It's nice to meet you, Miss."
Naruto shook his head. "Don't you want to eat us?"
Yugito smiled gently. "No, I'm not going to eat you." She turned back to her friend. "Wait until everyone finds out you're here. ...What would Fuu think?"
Killer Bee frowned. "She doesn't need to know."
"Of course she does! Everyone thinks you're dead!"
"Sasuke told us about the stampede."
"He did? What else did he say?"
"What else matters? You're alive and that means that you're the Raikage!"
"One of the Kages?" Gaara gasped. "It works like that? ...My father was once a Kage, too."
"Mine, too, now that I think about it," Naruto added. "But there's now way Killer Bee could be a Kage! Right, dattebayo?"
"He's right, Yugito, I'm not the Raikage. Maybe I once was but not anymore."
The woman stared at him, perplexed, and then grinned at Naruto and Gaara. "Could you two leave us alone for a moment?"
Killer Bee nodded. "Please?"
Naruto rolled his eyes. "You think you know a guy." His nine tails shuddered with rejection, and he lead Gaara away from the old friends.
Killer Bee smiled until he saw tears slip from Yugito's eyes. "What's the matter?"
"It's like you're back from the dead," the woman sobbed. "You have no idea what this means to me. Killer Bee, I missed you so much!" She threw her arms around him and cried, never so happy in her entire life.
"I missed you, too, Yugito."
Naruto and Gaara watched as the two walked off towards the center of the oasis. Naruto frowned. "This is terrible," he sighed. "Think about it, Gaara. Him. Her. Alone, dattebayo."
Gaara scratched his head. "What's so bad about that?"
"Don't you get it? They're gonna fall in love, and our trio will be back down to two."
Naruto was right. Killer Bee and Yugito sat by the water together and watched the sun go down. Killer Bee glanced at his friend uncomfortably and thought, 'I have so many things to tell her, but if she finds out about my past, she'll reject me.'
Yugito was thinking, too. 'I don't get why he won't come back and be the Raikage. I know he can do it!'
Deciding to lighten the mood, Killer Bee jumped into the water and pulled Yugito in. The woman gasped and her cat instincts surfaced. She hissed bitterly but grinned nevertheless and tackled her friend back into the water.
Once they were both out and dry, they ran across the fields of the grasslands and tumbled down a small hill. Killer Bee grinned when he managed to pin Yugito down, but the two-tailed Jinchuuriki kissed his cheek in response. Smiling, she threw her arms around him again and held him close. "Can you feel the love tonight?" she whispered in his ear, fully knowing the answer. After another moment, she spoke again. "So you've been here all this time? Why didn't you come back to Kumogakure?"
Killer Bee looked up and sighed. "I can't go back. No one needs me."
"Yes, we do!" Yugito insisted, sitting up. "You're the true Raikage, not Sasuke! Killer Bee, he let Team Hebi take over Kumogakure, and they're starting to take over the other Great Nations, too! The threat of Akatsuki has rekindled, and if you don't do something, the world will be plunged into another horrible war!"
Killer Bee shook his head. "Sorry, I can't come back."
"You wouldn't understand."
"I could try if you would just tell me what's going on!"
"Forget it! And besides, if home needs me, why aren't you there?"
Yugito's jaw dropped "I left to find help!" she shouted, highly offended. "And, instead, I found you. You're not the Killer Bee I once knew. I'm so disappointed."
Killer Bee sneered and walked off. "You're starting to sound like my father."
"Good!" Yugito cried as she stomped off. "At least one of us does!"
Killer Bee ran out to an open field and looked up at the night sky. "You said you'd always be there for me!" he shouted. "But you're not! LIAR!! It's all my fault..."
Suddenly, there was a strange chanting sound coming from one of the trees. Killer Bee looked up to see a young man with three tails staring down at him and smiling. "Great," he huffed, "another crazy Jinchuuriki. Leave me alone."
"Asante sana squashed banana," the three-tailed man laughed. "I know who you are. You're the Three-Tailed Turtle Jinchuuriki, and I'm not."
One of Killer Bee's eyebrows rose. "Uh...I think you're a little confused."
"I'm not the one who's confused; you are! You're the former Raikage's son, aren't you? Hee, bye-bye!" And with that, the Jinchuuriki ran off. Killer Bee chased him across the field until he was in sight again.
"You knew my father?"
"Correction. I know your father."
"I hate to tell you this, but he died a long time ago."
"NOPE!! He's alive! I'll show him to you! Follow Yagura, he knows the way." Yagura jumped down into the fields and lead Killer Bee through a thicket of bushes down to a pool of water. When Killer Bee looked at the water, he frowned.
"That's just my reflection," he said sadly.
Yagura shook his head. "Nope, Yagura was once a Kage, so he knows. He sees himself in his daughter, the current Mizukage. You have to look harder." He pointed back down to the water, Killer Bee gasped. "You see?" he asked. "He lives in you. And your friends? The past Hokage and Kazekage live in them. We all have a piece of the past Kages inside us."
Suddenly, a harsh breeze came by, and the sky began to glow bright orange. Killer Bee looked up and saw the image of his father looking down upon him. "Killer Bee," the former Raikage said, "you have forgotten me."
"No, I would never!" Killer Bee fought back.
"You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. You are far more than what you have become. You are my son and the one true Raikage."
"I can't go back!"
"Remember who you are. You must take your place in the Circle of Life."
Killer Bee gasped when the image started to disappear. "No, wait!" he begged. "Father!" But it was too late. He was gone.
Yagura suddenly laughed aloud. "What in the name of Samehada was that?! Odd weather we've been having lately."
Killer Bee nodded. "I think the winds are changing."
"Change is good."
"I know what I have to do, but I'm not sure how to do it. I'll have to face the past..."
Yagure suddenly smacked his stick down on Killer Bee's head. When the man cried out in pain, Yagura just laughed. "That doesn't matter. It's in the past!"
Killer Bee frowned. "But it still hurts."
"Ah, yes, the past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it!" Yagura swung his stick down again, but Killer Bee was able to dodge it. "HA!! You see? So what are you going to do?"
Killer Bee grinned. "First, I'm gonna take your stick." He did so and threw it into the grass.
Yagura's eyes popped. "NOT THE STICK!! Hey, where are you going?!"
"I'm going back!"
"Good, get out of here! WOOOOOOO!!"
Later that night, Yugito woke Naruto and Gaara from their slumber. "Have you guys seen Killer Bee?" she asked.
"I thought he was with you, dattebayo," Naruto replied, rubbing his eyes.
Yugito shook her head. "He was but now I can't find him."
"HA!" Yagura suddenly cried. "You won't find him here! The Raikage has returned."
Yugito's eyes grew wide with hope. "I can't believe it. He's gone back! He's gone back to challenge Sasuke!"
Gaara blinked. "Who's an uke?"
"No, it's current Raikage."
"They can do that?!"
"NO!!" Yugito threw her arms up in frustration. "Killer Bee has gone back to challenge Sasuke, the current Raikage, to become the real Raikage!"
Killer Bee ran across the savannah for many days and nights, Yugito and the others not far behind. All five Jinchuuriki eventually made it back to Kumogakure, and Killer Bee hated what he saw. The land was barren, there was no water, and skeletons littered the ground.
"It's awful, isn't it?" Yugito murmured.
Killer Bee let out a shaky breath. "I didn't want to believe you, but this is my home, so I'm going to fight for it!"
"We're gonna fight some jerk for this, dattebayo?" Naruto asked, cringing a bit. "Well, okay, if it means that much to you, we'll help."
"After all," Gaara added, "we're friends, right? Plus, we're all Jinchuuriki, and Naruto and I have the blood of Kages in us, just like you."
Killer Bee smiled. "It'll be dangerous."
"Danger?" Yugito repeated. "I laugh in the face of danger. Ha!"
The group slowly crawled down to the end of Pride Rock, where hundreds of prisoners from Team Hebi slept. Naruto gulped audibly and asked for the plan.
"Live bait," Killer Bee replied.
Naruto shook his head. "No way! I'm not creating a diversion, dattebayo! What do you want me to do? Dress in drag and do the hula?"
So it happened. Naruto and Gaara jumped down to the group of prisoners and put on a Hawaiian-style performance to get their attention. Once it was over, the ran for their lives, as the prisoners were hungry.
Killer Bee commanded Yugito to find his mother and the other Jinchuuriki and Kumogakure citizens. As soon as she was gone, Killer Bee heard a familiar voice.
"FUU!!" Sasuke shouted, ordering the seven-tailed Jinchuuriki up to his platform.
"Yes, Sasuke?" she asked, trying to keep her cool.
The man growled at her. "Where is your hunting party? They're not doing their job."
"Sasuke," she sighed, "there is no food. Even Roushi and Han, two of our best hunters, cannot find anything, and I haven't seen Yugito for days. It's over, Sasuke. We have only one choice. We must leave Kumogakure."
"We're not going anywhere," the dark-haired man hissed back.
Fuu's eyes popped. "Then you have sentenced us to death!"
"So be it!" Sasuke snapped. "I'm a Kage now, so I can do whatever I want!"
"If you were even half the Kage our former Raikage was--!"
"I'M TEN TIMES THE KAGE THE FORMER RAIKAGE WAS!!"
Sasuke slapped Fuu across the face and sent her to the ground. Killer Bee watched in horror and jumped down to the platform as lightning struck behind him. He glared at Sasuke with pure rage in his eyes, and Sasuke was terrified.
Fuu slowly opened her eyes at the sound of Killer Bee jumping down, and she gasped. "The...Raikage?"
"Killer Bee?" Sasuke repeated. "Oh, wow, I'm so surprised to see you...alive." He sent a glare in the direction of Suigetsu, Karin, and Juugo.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't tear you apart," Killer Bee snarled.
"Oh, must this all end in violence?" Sasuke asked innocently. "You know I'd love to hand over the pressures of ruling a kingdom, but these Team Hebi members think I'm the Raikage. You don't want to fight me. Plus, I'd hate to be responsible for the death of someone who's like family to me."
"That's not going to work, Sasuke," Killer Bee asserted. "I've put it behind me."
"But have your subjects put it behind them?"
Yugito's eyes grew as she helped Fuu stand and gathered the other Jinchuuriki. "What is he talking about?"
"So you haven't told them!" Sasuke gasped. "Oh, this is perfect. Tell them who was responsible for the former Raikage's death!"
Killer Bee sadly looked at the crowd before him. "Me..."
Fuu gasped. "It's not true!"
"You see?!" Sasuke shouted. "He admits it! He's a murderer!"
"No, I'm not! It was an accident!
"If it weren't for you, the former Raikage would still be alive! Do you deny it?"
"THEN YOU'RE GUILTY!"
Sasuke pushed Killer Bee back, and he fell over the side of Pride Rock. He watched in horror as lightning struck the barren ground below, causing a huge fire. Sasuke grinned and grabbed the man's wrists. "This looks so familiar," he whispered. "It's exactly the way your father looked before he died. Want to know a secret? I killed the former Raikage."
"NO!!" Killer Bee roared. "MURDERER!!" He jumped up and pushed Sasuke back to the ground, snarling in his face. "Tell them the truth!"
"I...killed the former Raikage."
"So they can hear you."
"I KILLED THE FORMER RAIKAGE!!"
With that statement, the Jinchuuriki attacked the Team Hebi prisoners along with the other Kumogakure citizens. Yugito, Fuu, Roushi, and Han fought off the ones below Pride Rock while Yagura appeared to fight the ones in Killer Bee's way. Terrified, Naruto ran into the throne room and slipped inside the prison holding Utakata. "Don't eat me, dattebayo!"
"DROP HIM!!" Gaara suddenly shouted.
Suigetsu looked over. "Who's the raccoon?"
"Did you just call me a raccoon?"
"Oh boy, now you're in for it, dattebayo."
"IT'S 'TANUKI-SAMA' TO YOU!!" Gaara shouted, rushing forwards. He and the other two Jinchuuriki fought the trio off and emerged from the cave victoriously. Now all the Jinchuuriki were free and fighting.
Killer Bee ran up the side of the cliff to find Sasuke trying to make an escape. "Murderer..."
"Killer Bee, please!" Sasuke begged. "Don't do this. I'm like family to you, right? It was Team Hebi! It was all their fault!" He didn't hear the trio snarl behind him.
The Jinchuuriki walked forward. "You don't deserve to live."
"What are you going to do? You wouldn't kill me, right?"
"No, Sasuke, I'm not like you."
"Oh, thank you so much! I swear I'll make it up to you. What can I do to prove myself?"
Killer Bee's eyes narrowed. "Run. Run away and never return."
Sasuke gasped quietly and slowly started to walk around the Jinchuuriki, fearing what he might do. "Yes," he said shakily, "of course, anything you wish..." He spotted a burning branch nearby. "YOUR MAJESTY!!" He threw the branch into Killer Bee's eyes and went to attack while the man couldn't see. When Killer Bee opened his eyes, Sasuke was just about to attack, so he kicked him over the edge of the cliff. He watched as Sasuke hit the ground with a hard thunk.
When the dark-haired man came to, he saw Suigetsu, Karin, and Juugo gathered around him. "Ah, my friends..."
"Friends?" Karin repeated. "I thought he said we were the enemy."
"Yeah," Suigetsu agreed. "That's what I heard. Juugo?"
The orange-haired man started to laugh maniacally, and black spots appeared all over his body. Other prisoners gathered around, and they all stared Sasuke down. The dark-haired man tried to reason with them, but it was too late. They jumped forward and attacked him mercilessly until nothing of him remained.
Rain started to fall over Kumogakure, and Team Hebi ran off back to the Akatsuki Graveyard, never to be seen again. The Jinchuuriki emerged from the fight, unbelieving that they had won. When Killer Bee ran down from the top of the cliff, he met up with his friends, bowing to all of them. He gave both his mother and Yugito a hug and turned towards Pride Rock, where Yagura was waiting. The three-tailed Jinchuuriki motioned for the man to climb, but Killer Bee hugged him instead. Yagura smiled and whispered, "It is time."
Slowly, Killer Bee started climbing up Pride Rock, all his subjects watching in awe. When he reached the end, he heard a voice in his head saying, "Remember who you are." He smiled and let out a huge roar, announcing himself to be the new Raikage of Kumogakure. The other Jinchuuriki responded with their own roars, accepting him.
Not too long after that, Kumogakure flourished. The plants grew back, and the clans returned for a new ceremony. Utakata held crowd control while Roushi and Han stood on each side of the rock. Naruto and Gaara had front-row seats, as they, too, had decided to go back to their countries and take their places as the respective Kages. Fuu watched from behind as Killer Bee and Yugito stood out on the edge of the rock and shared a kiss. Yagura stepped forward with a little bundle in his arms. It was their baby! All of the clans and Kumogakure citizens sang out together:
"'Till we find our place on the path unwinding, in the Circle, the Circle of Life. THE CIRCLE OF LIFE!!"
Yagura held up the child for all to see.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Next: Deidara as the Blue Fairy