Disclaimer: No, I don't own Naruto. Can I go now?


He was running, rotting leaves squelching underfoot as he swiftly moved through the forest outside of Konoha. The darkness, a shroud he'd always used as a cover, armor and a tool for his bloody line of business had turned into hostile territory. The wind rustling in leaves and branches created movement in the periphery of his vision, hinting at menacing shapes keeping up with him, doggedly and gleefully converging on him in his mind. His brain was working overtime, fighting to keep panic and an adrenalin fueled desire to survive from blocking his sense of reason.

As he leapt a fallen tree, the hole in his right thigh almost made him grunt in pain, clenched teeth barely suppressing the instinctive reaction to his wound. He had spent precious seconds to apply one of his clans minor secrets, a chemical compound, to the then bleeding wound, which in conjuncture with certain body control techniques stopped the flow of blood and dulled the pain. So far he had been able to keep up a decent pace, but he knew that he would soon start bleeding again, and those in pursuit would home in on the scent like sharks on a careless pearl diver caught away from the safety of land.

A glimmer of white drew his attention for a fraction of a second, almost doubling his heart rate and drastically increasing the flow of sweat on his brow. Fear almost had him now. He knew what that white shape, barely seen in the gloom of an almost moonless night, meant. If his pride would have accepted it, he would have surrendered there and then, but he had fought too hard for his self esteem to give up.

Praying for a miracle, the shinobi of the hidden bamboo village deposited his last few caltrops. With an almost obscene amount of luck, his pursuers might just get careless.

Neither gods nor luck were present however.

Suddenly Suwa Osamu realized that the sound of his steps had echoes. Swiftly he pulled his favorite melee weapon from his waist, the sai spinning in his hand. The partner weapon followed immediately after, and with a fatalistic mental shrug the infiltrator pushed of and up, landing on a branch overhead.

Of course the painkiller stopped working at that point, and the shinobi almost returned to the ground he had just left as pain flooded his senses for an instant.

Osamu barely had time to recover before three ominous shapes had him boxed in against the trunk.

"Why stop now?" One of them said, superiority in numbers and skill making the ANBU relax enough to satisfy her curiosity at the odd behavior.

"Any more running and I wouldn't even have been able to raise my weapons. I'd like to die with my wounds to the fore." Osamu responded, emotions voided as he resigned to do what honor demanded.

"Ohh, a genuine honorable shinobi!" Another one of the ANBU chipped in, the cynicism at odds with the youthful girlish voice. "Think we'll just let you up and run because you're noble?

"Just do it!" Osamu replied, an ever so slight hint of resignation apparent in his voice. "What the fuck, have I lost it so completely?" He thought realizing the slipup.

His mental balance lost for just a short time, the ANBU immediately moved in. One drew two rather bland short swords, slamming them forth. Osamu moved without thought, catching a blade in each sai, but was surprised and dismayed when his opponent used his instinctive defense to cross the blades and capture his zai, which also meant hands and arms, lifting them and leaving an almost indecent opening for the ANBU's comrades.

Osamu felt kunai barely scratching his skin on either side of his torso, but even before he wondered why they hadn't just moved for his exposed vital points, the burning in the wounds told him what was going to happen.

"Not again!" Was all he managed to think, before the poisons lowered darkness over his eyes.

"There's light. Slowly… moving? Yes, a lamp swinging". Osamu thought as his vision slowly returned and focused. He was almost naked, a loincloth covering his crotch. He was seated, hands, fingers and arms secured to the chair he was seated in. He was almost certain that it would be a simple wooden chair, old and grey. It had always been before.

Something was different though, the light was… off. When his head stabilized, he realized that it wasn't a lamp, but a large panoramic window. Slowly blurry shapes resolved into less blurry shapes.

"Oh, I am in it earlobe deep." The unusually tall man thought to himself. His conclusion of just how deep in the shit hole he was came as the blurry shapes turned into recognizable human- shaped shapes. There were several, but the woman sitting behind the desk made him stare, blonde pigtails and over-developed chest quickly answering just who he should focus his attention on.

That her eyes were hidden in shadow didn't make the feeling of a drill working on his forehead go away.

"Awake, are you? You'll regret that soon enough." The not-quite-cool-enough voice made Osamu shiver. The current Hokage was known for her affection of his target, and he had gotten close enough to warrant an answer to what he was doing near Konoha's infamous jinchuriki.

Osamu cursed the fates, gods and demons, knowing that he'd soon be talking to Ibiki, the resident torture master. Had he been anybody else, he'd had spilled his guts right away, he was only on a simple info gathering mission after all. If he hadn't been, well, him. But those that had ordered him to attempt to spy on the container of the kyuubi no yoko had known the cost of capture. Most likely he had been ordered to go on his mission for the explicit purpose of dying under torture.

No surprise there.

"My apologies, Hokage-sama, but I am prohibited to tell you anything concerning my mission, village or clan." He said, hoping that she would pick up on his emphasis on the word clan.

"Not for long." Was the unsurprising reply, a slowly but steadily rising amount of killing intent leaking from the incensed village leader.

"Please! Let me tell you a story. It might help you to understand what I mean."

"Keep it short, it's getting late."

Osamu swallowed, the killing intent was getting rather strong now. Wasting no time, he started talking.

"A scorpion once wanted to cross a river, but was unable to do so, afraid of drowning. Spying a turtle about to make a crossing, the scorpion asked to be carried across. When the turtle refused, on account of not wanting to be stung, the scorpion pointed out that it would drown as well, were it to sting the turtle out on the river. Conceding the logic of this, the turtle agreed."

"Yeah, yeah. I've heard it, the turtle gets stung anyway during the crossing, because the scorpion has to follow its nature and they both drown. Your point?"

"I am a reversed scorpion. I can't tell you more."

"Hokage-sama, let's just turn him over to Ibiki and be done with it." One of the ANBU said, Osamu recognizing the voice from his failed escape earlier.

"No, I think I understand. He can't say anything due to a seal or jutsu, so it would be pointless to interrogate him." Tsunade frowned at the unexpected problem. The nin was almost certainly telling the truth, especially considering the amount of scaring his body was carrying. Only a prolonged exposure to a number of torture tools would leave marks like that, the wounds had been non-lethal but extremely painful.

"I cannot verify that the seal, placed inside my mouth, on my lower lip has that effect" Osamu commented, knowing that he was walking a very thin line at the poorly concealed admission.

"Don't listen Hokage-sama!" Yet another voice from earlier, this from the possibly young woman. "He must be lying, or it's supposed to make us trust him! The Suwa are-"

"Saki!" The name was shouted by a third voice, yet again female, interrupting the outburst. This one belonged to the ANBU that had rendered his zai useless.

"How do they know my name, was I betrayed that blatantly?" Osamu thought bewildered.

"What about the Suwa?" Tsunade asked quietly, the drill of her eyes suddenly switching target.

Osamu couldn't help but stare, wide-eyed and slack yawed, as he realized that the Hokage hadn't known his name before. He suddenly remembered that the amount of female ninjas in his village was unique, not normal, and that his pursuers should have been at least mostly men.

Maybe Ibiki wouldn't be his new worst-experience-ever after all.

A/N: Hiya, first new story in going on four years, go figure. It's just a start though, more will be forthcoming.