Disclaimer: I do not now nor have I ever owned Naruto or any characters therein. This disclaimer covers this and any future chapters, as I do not feel like repeating myself.
A/N: Hello, Ronin504 here to welcome you to my first fanfic. I've been reading the fics on this site for a few months now and I've finally decided to try my hand. I'd appreciate any constructive criticism you may offer. Please keep in mind that I am not a professional and that this is my first attempt at writing. That being said on to the story.
Naruto: Sealed Fate
On a bridge in Wave country, a battle that would forever change the fate of a young boy was quickly drawing to a close.
"I don't understand! Is serving Zabuza the only reason you have to live?" yelled the blond. "Something other than being his tool. You could be acknowledged by someone else."
The feminine boy shook his head. "The day I met you in the forest, I knew you were like me. You should be able to understand." He said in a soft tone. "I'm sorry that you will have to stain your hands."
"Is this really the only way?" Naruto asked.
"Yes!" was Haku's emphatic response. "Please fulfill your own dreams."
Naruto stared at the young man. Drawing a kunai, he strengthened his resolve. Looking back at the prone form of his teammate, he replied "He… Sasuke also had a dream." Turning to face Haku again, he continued, "If we met someplace else we might've become friends."
"Thank you." Haku said. "You will become strong." he thought.
As Naruto rushed forward with his kunai raised to end the boys life, the sound of a thousand birds chirping echoed across the bridge. A look of shocked realization flashed across Haku's face. Reacting with a speed born of training and honed by desperation, he deftly brought his left hand down and grabbed Naruto by the wrist. "Huh?" Naruto gasped.
"Sorry Naruto-kun!" Haku exclaimed while rapidly forming one-handed seals. "I can't die yet!" And just like that, he vanished into an ice mirror leaving Naruto behind.
"What?!" Naruto yelled. Naruto's rage began to build as his mind raced. "After all that he just left. Was it a trick? Was he just stalling? That bastard!" he thought. Red chakra bursting from his small form, Naruto took off. Moving faster than he had ever moved in his life he rocketed toward the scene of his sensei's battle against Zabuza.
Kakashi dashed toward Zabuza, His Chidori engulfing his hand with electrical energy. Just as he moved to strike, an ice mirror formed in his path. From it emerged Haku looking to shield his master with his life. In the instant before the blow connected, a red blur slammed into Haku. Blood flew through the air and lightning was discharged as a scream of torment rang out across the bridge. Kakashi could only look on in horror as his student writhed in agony, his hand buried to the wrist in Naruto's gut.
"Naruto no!" Kakashi yelled.
Finally, in a flash of red light, the screaming stopped. For a minute the only sound heard was the ragged breathing of the combatants. Haku looked down at the smoking form of the boy. Shaking his head in denial, he muttered "No I… This wasn't… I didn't mean," Jerking his head around he stared pleadingly at Kakashi. "He was not supposed to imterfere! Why did he do that? It should have been me!" he exclaimed.
"My future is death?" Zabuza smirked. "Heh. You're wrong again Kakashi."
Sakura peered into the mist, her senses alert for any indication of an incoming attack. Tazuna the bridge builder stood behind her trying to see what might be coming. Both were on edge, not knowing what was happening to the other members of Team 7 grating at their nerves. As they looked on the view began to clear until they could see figures moving in the mist. To their surprise, the mist dissipated just in time for them to see Kakashi with his hand wrist deep in Naruto's stomach. "Kami no" cried Sakura. As they looked on with Naruto screaming in agony, the strange red chakra that enveloped Naruto started to pulse. The pulsing grew in strength until there was a flash of red light. When their vision cleared, they saw Naruto lying in a smoking heap at Kakashi's feet.
"What the hell was that?" exclaimed Tazuna. It shook him to the core to see the boy who until then seemed to burn with barely contained energy lying so still.
Sakura was also in shock. Her teammate who she had finally started to warm up to and maybe even respect was lying so still. The sight chilled her to the bone. "How could this happen? This can't be real. No. No!" she thought. Her heart and mind raced until the stress became too much. She finally gave in and screamed, "NARUTO!"
Kakashi quickly put his grief aside and assessed the situation. To his left stood a seemingly shell shocked Haku while an injured, but still combat capable, Zabuza stood a few feet in front of him. Weighing his options and deciding Haku was the bigger threat, Kakashi made his move. He turned and rushed Haku while launching a kunai at Zabuza. As Zabuza dodged the deadly missile, Kakashi's shoulder slammed the stunned boy in the gut, launching him over the rail of the bridge.
"I sure picked something useful but the boy never could kill that soft heart." laughed Zabuza. "Now Copycat lets finish this." Zabuza cocked his great blade over his shoulder as he ran at his enemies exposed back. Hearing Zabuza approach Kakashi narrowed his focus to his opponent. He leaped onto the bridge railing and back-flipped over the zanbato. The great blade tore through the rail like paper. The precious seconds it took the nuke-nin to recover cost him dearly. After grabbing two kunai in midair, Kakashi sliced the muscles and tendons in both of Zabuza's shoulders as he came down. Kubakiri Honcho slammed into the ground just as the one-eyed nin put a kunai to Zabuza's throat.
"Sakura take Tazuna and go check on Sasuke."
"H… Hai!" came her choked response. Sakura took-off towards the scene of Sasuke's battle with Tazuna in tow. Sakura reached Sasuke only to find his seemingly lifeless body. Multiple senbon needles could be seen sticking out from his still form. "He's cold. This isn't an illusion." Sakura whispered. "I thought I was so smart but in the end I couldn't do anything."
Tazuna saw the pain in the young kunoichi's eyes and could only turn away in sympathy. "Don't mind me. It's best to just let it out and cry." he said.
Sakura knelt by her crushes side with tears flowing down her face. "You know in school we learn the Shinobi Code. Rule 25 states that you must make the mission the top priority and you must possess a heart that never shows tears. No matter what the situation a shinobi must keep emotions on the inside." she explained. Sakura folded her arms over Sasuke's chest and proceeded to cry out her pain. Tazuna could only look on in bemusement and wonder at the harsh life of a ninja.
Meanwhile, Kakashi could only wonder at the fate of his students. As he prepared to end Zabuza's life, he heard clapping from behind him. "Ooh your getting your ass kicked, how disappointing. So much for the Bloody Demon of the Mist. You're more like a baby devil." laughed Gatou.
"Gatou", yelled Zabuza. "What the hell are you doing here and what's with all these men?" Zabuza and Kakashi look at the small army of thugs blocking the bridge.
"Well you see the plan has changed," replied Gatou. "Actually I guess I planned to do this from the start. You see you nuke-nin are good but you are to expensive. So I came up with a way to cut cost. I had hoped you would have killed the others but I guess that was to much to ask. Now I'll just have to have you all killed. Where is that little apprentice of yours? I owe that bastard for what he did to my arm. Don't tell me he died already? I had hoped to kill him myself, after a proper beating of course." The evil little man smirked.
"Kakashi" whispered Zabuza, "Our fight is over. The little shit double-crossed me so I don't owe him anything. Why don't you lend me a kunai and sit back while I settle up with the midget." Kakashi gave Zabuza a hard stare before he released him and tossed him his kunai. Zabuza caught the kunai in his mouth and ran towards Gatou. No one notices Haku climbing over the edge of the bridge. Just as Zabuza reached the bandits on the bridge, Gatou pulled out a crossbow and let lose at his former employee. Zabuza, unable to dodge due to his injuries and the press of bodies around him, took the bolt through his chest. Zabuza fell to the ground coughing up blood but still fighting to reach Gatou.
Haku looked on in shock. He had heard everything on his climb up the bridge. All of their work, all of Zabuza-sama's sacrifices and it was for nothing. Haku looked at Gatou with murder in his eyes. He would not let that little troll win. Oh, no Gatou would lose it all this day. Haku quickly formed an ice mirror and transported behind Gatou. Pulling out a senbon he leaned over and whispered in the ear of the oblivious dwarf, "You will pay for harming Zabuza-sama you little worm. Your life is now forfeit. See you in hell." With those parting words, Haku stabbed Gatou in the base of his skull killing him instantly. "This death was to swift for the likes of you but I have more important matters to attend to." Haku then formed several hand seals and whispered "Thousand Flying Water Needles of Death." Water gathered in the air forming a thousand needles that flew through the air impaling the thugs around his master. Everyone turned at the attack to stare at the furious shinobi.
The mercenaries saw the body of their former boss and shouted in rage. One thug spoke up, taking charge. "Hey. That bastard killed our meal ticket. Get that fucker. After we kill him and the rest of these damned ninja, I say we rape, pillage and slaughter our way through this miserable village till we've had our fill." The rest of the bandits yell out their agreement and split up. Twenty of them rush towards Haku while the rest head towards Kakashi and his students
Before the mercenaries get more than a few steps, a crossbow bolt whistled through the air striking the bridge between them. Everyone on the bridge turned to see Inari flanked by all the men from the village. "If you touch anyone here or come any further onto our island the citizens of this country will stop you with everything we've got!" Inari shouted. He was further backed up by a roar of agreement from the gathered men, all of them wielding various tools, spears and axes.
The mercenaries turned around having felt the temperature drop. There stood Haku surrounded by a multitude of wickedly sharp ice daggers. Realizing their severe disadvantage, the unofficial leader of the group said what they had all been thinking. "RETREAT!" With this, all the bandits broke out of their stupor and fled leaving a trail of dust in their wake. The villagers saw this and cheered.
"It looks like it's over." Kakashi turned back to see a smiling Sakura helping an injured, exhausted and very much alive Sasuke over to him. Tazuna stood by Inari beaming proudly down at his grandson. Kakashi felt his relief quickly dissipate as he turned and looked at his third student. "Naruto", gasped Kakashi. He quickly shifted to a businesslike manner as he turned to Sakura. "Bring me the medical supplies now." He turned to Tazuna asking, "Is there a doctor or someone with medical training nearby?"
Before Tazuna could respond one of the villagers forced his way to the front of the crowd. "Let me see him. My name is Yunpei and I have medical training." Yunpei swiftly got to work checking Naruto over doing his best to halt the flow of blood and stabilize his patient. After a few minutes, he sighed and shook his head. Turning to Kakashi and the two nervously watching genin Yunpei could only reply, "It's not good. I did what I could but we do not have the facilities or the supplies to handle this kind of injury. Not only that but he has a high fever and I don't know the cause."
"Maybe I can help." Said a teary-eyed Haku as he made his way to the front of the crowd. "I have medic training. Please let me help him." After receiving a hard look and a terse nod from Kakashi the young nin quickly went to work. Kakashi watched him like a hawk as Haku channeled green medical chakra around his hands. Moving briskly and with assurance the boy ran his hands over Naruto's belly. Having completed his diagnostic he spoke while he worked. "Naruto has lost a lot of blood. He has electrical burns on his intestines and a lacerated liver. I can fix this but I'll need some blood pills for him and a soldier pill to replenish my chakra." Kakashi nodded and handed over the medical bag. Haku continued, "The major problem is that he's suffering from a dangerously high fever that seems to be caused by some type of chakra poisoning. If he is kept cool, I can keep his temperature stable but the rest is beyond what I can heal. To fix the poisoning he needs access to a real medical facility and someone more knowledgeable about this sort of illness than I am." Haku quickly completed his treatment of Naruto and turn to Team 7. "I want you to know that I never meant for this to happen. You have my most heartfelt apology. My only wish was to serve Zabuza-sama but in the end, I could not save him. Before he died, he told me that he always thought of me as a son. He told me to find a reason to live. I wish to atone for our actions here. That is why, with the permission of the villagers, I wish to stay here and make amends." Saying this he turned and bowed to Tazuna. "I would like to stay and serve as a medic and if necessary protect this village with my life in penance for the crimes we have committed against you. I can only hope that Naruto-kun would approve and maybe we can be forgiven ."
Everyone gather looked to Tazuna for his response. After staring grimly at the young man for a moment, he spoke. "I suppose that is possible. But understand it may be a while until we trust you."
Haku smiled. "I understand. All I ask is for the chance to make things right."
Team 7, Haku, Tazuna and his family returned to Tazuna's home. Haku tended to Kakashi's and Sasuke's injuries. Kakashi then asked for a report of the events of their earlier battle. After listening to details from both of the young nin he dismissed Sasuke to get some rest. Kakashi and Haku then went to check on Naruto. "So Haku what is Naruto's status?" questioned Kakashi.
"I was able to heal most of his injuries and bring his temperature down. When he wakes he should still rest for a few days before getting up and nothing strenuous for at least another week after that. There is however something that concerns me. During our fight, Naruto drew on this strange red chakra. While working on him I noticed a seal on his stomach. The seal has taken damage, most likely from your lightning attack." Kakashi started at this information. Haku looked worriedly at the one-eyed nin before continuing. "The red chakra appears to be the cause of his chakra poisoning and the seal seems to be source."
"Thank you for telling me Haku." At this Kakashi leaned over Haku and stared him in the eyes. "Now I must ask that you avoid mentioning the red chakra again. This is an internal matter that will be dealt with by Konoha." Having said this he backed off and nodded at Haku. "I appreciate your help in taking care of my student." Both nin turned as Sakura opened the door to call everyone to dinner.
Dinner that evening was subdued. Kakashi had filled everyone in on Naruto's condition. Team 7 made plans to leave as soon as the bridge was completed, as they wanted to get Naruto to Konoha as soon as possible. Tazuna promised to have construction finished in a few days. After dinner, while everyone retired to their beds, Kakashi stayed behind to compose a report to the Sandiame informing him of resent events. Having completed his task, he summoned his fastest ninken with instructions to take the letter directly to the Hokage as fast as possible. As he looked up at the moon, Kakashi sighed hoping that the Hokage would be able to set things right and that his sensei could forgive him for nearly losing his son.
Hours before dawn the following morning, the Third Hokage awoke to scratching at his window. Getting to his feet, he headed to the window surprised as he recognized one of Kakashi's ninken summons. Having received the report he thanked the dog and dismissed him. Knowing it must be important he swiftly read the report. Shaking in fear and barely contained anger Sarutobi quickly strode to his office and pulled a scroll from a hidden compartment in his desk. Swiping blood across the seal and channeling a bit of chakra, a small toad appeared in a puff of smoke. Forestalling any questions Sarutobi hurriedly exclaimed, "Find Jiraiya and have him to return to Konoha immediately. Tell him I said that if he wastes time we may very well lose Minato's Legacy." As the toad summons dispersed, Sarutobi could only think to himself that their troubles were only beginning.
A/N: Well that wraps up the first chapter. I hope that you liked the story enough to give it a chance. I would appreciate any feedback, as I am trying to hone my writing skills. I don't know how regular updates will be as things never go as I plan, but I'm shooting for monthly updates.