AN: Hey guys, SoS here!

I'm sorry for not updating for so long, so you get this nice juicy story while I try to bribe you with other things!

Anyway, this is the first chapter of yet another of my new stories, called Naruto no Hen'itai. Basically, it's Naruto but with X-Men influences. Originally, I had planned to at least have Wolverine in on it, but I don't know Marvel canon that well anyway and plus he'd be a flat character at best anyway.

So, anyway, I'd like to apologize again for my laziness. In apology, I'm going to put this up tonight, chapter 1 of Naruto of the Five Elements up tomorrow or Thursday and chapter 1 of The Curse of Immortality up hopefully by the weekend. In addition, I'm thinking of a trilogy of sorts, each story reflecting a different kind of chakra. There will be three stories: Naruto: Kami's Messenger, Naruto: Shingami's Warrior., and Naruto: Nature's Call. So review and tell me what you think, as well as which one you want me to start on first. I'll be leaving up a poll later, so don't forget to respond! Finally, I unfortunately have to put my first story, A Memory Long Lost, on hold. I had great plans for it, but between all my other ideas and my total lack of an idea of where to go next with it, I've decided to put it aside for now, at least until I can get back on track.

Now, as you have so patiently listened to my rants, enjoy! For here is my prologue/chapter 1 of my new, original story, Naruto no Hen'itai!

o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Prologue

Naruto trudged home as the last rays of the setting sun brushed the rooftops. His eyes dimmed as he remembered what had just happened, not two hours ago.

Mizuki had betrayed him.

Naruto stifled a sob. To be so hated, so despised by almost everyone in the whole village for so long and then to suddenly find out why you were hated? And then to find out that it wasn't even your fault? It was goddamn hard, to say the least. As his thoughts turned toward that particular secret, he remembered Iruka, and how understanding he had been with him, even though he housed the Kyuubi. Yup, Iruka had always been there for him, whenever he needed it. He smiled; the old man had always been there for him too- once Naruto had seen how the villagers treated the Hokage with respect and awe, he'd immediately known that's what he wanted. To be acknowledged. And now, thanks to Iruka-sensei and Hokage-jiji, he actually had been.

He took another right and continued down towards his apartment.

Even Ayame and old man Teuchi had stuck by him, always ready with a bowl- or ten- of ramen. They had been two of his first friends in the village, people who had accepted him for who he was, not what he carried. And now, with his new view of Iruka, Naruto actually started to believe that he might have a chance to make better friends with his classmates. Sure, he'd skipped out with Kiba, Chouji, and Shikamaru, but they were only passing friends at most, nothing special or particularly close. He sighed; at least he'd understand now if their parents kept him away from their children.

As the steps up to his building came into view, Naruto took one last glance at the slowly emptying streets as well as the glaring citizens who obviously wanted him gone. His heart sank, but at least he could feel their pain. Heck, his parents had probably been killed in the attack! He probably had been living with his parents' murderer in his gut and hadn't even realized it.

Sometimes he'd wanted to scream. At other times, he'd wanted to rage and sob, asking why, why, he deserved this. And yet, at heart, he knew he couldn't. This was the village that ojii-san loved, after all, and he'd do anything to protect it, even put up with the glares and beatings of the villagers.

Naruto was a great deal deeper than many of his classmates thought.

Flopping down on his bed after unlocking his door, he tossed his goggles haphazardly onto his dresser and fidgeted with his new headband. He knew he should feel somewhat happier than this, but there was just so much to deal with now. Oh well, at least he'd officially be a genin tomorrow. That cheered him up. After all, now he'd be a super awesome ninja, fighting armies, leading villages, saving princesses-

Ahem. Maybe he was getting a bit ahead of himself there.

But still. It meant that he'd at least been given the chance. And for that, he'd gladly hug the old man and do anything he wanted (besides give up on orange of course. That was surely the color of the gods!). Besides, maybe he'd be good friends with some of his teammates.

As his eyes slowly closed, a breeze blew through the window and brushed his nose, tickling it. Naruto twitched it unconsciously and soon began to fall into the welcome abyss of sleep. As the moon rose, a shadow danced across his face.

He may not have known it, but that night was the night his- and Konoha's- destinies were changed forever.

o-o-o-o-o-o

An eerie crimson light danced across the waters of a sewer, bathing the walls in a scarlet glow. The muddy water flowed towards one central source yet seemed to remain still, untroubled by the turbulence within. At the end of the hall, huge bars rose from the bank, rising straight to the ceiling, gold-colored and thick as trees. A single paper, adorned with the word Fuuin (Seal), was stuck to the middle of the cage, while two blood-red eyes slowly opened from within.

"Well, it's certainly been a long time since I've seen anything like this. Ah, but this seems to be promising- I can't be having a weak container, after all. I think I'll just take a backseat and enjoy the show, for now."

Raucous laughter echoed throughout the halls as the two gigantic eyes closed again and retreated back into the darkness.

o

o

o

o

Mutation

It is the key to our evolution.

It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet.

This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years.

But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward.

o

o

o

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Chapter 1

Naruto stirred in his bed as a few beams of sunlight hit his eyes. He groaned; couldn't someone turn off the sun? Turning over, he slowly opened his eyes.

Huh. He didn't remember putting his sheets on the floor. He didn't remember sweating like that all over the bed either.

Fidgeting, he eventually managed to goad himself into getting up. So, he sat up, moved over to the side of the bed and- fell flat on his face. Ow, that hurt his nose. Reaching his hand up to rub it, he actually took in his surroundings. How did everything get so tall? As the only- seemingly- logical explanation hit him, he screamed.

"DAMMIT! I SHRUNK!"

Looking back down at his hand he froze. Was that… red? And was that… fur?

Yup. He was definitely staring at his hand, which, coincidentally, was also a paw.

He yelped again loudly for good measure.

Bounding over to the only floor mirror in the room, he closed his eyes in nervous trepidation until he just- couldn't- take- it.

Staring back at him, right in the eye, was a small, bright red fox.

"Oh shit…"

It was a good thing that the window was open.

o-o-o-o-o-o

Dashing through the streets frantically, headband in his admittedly small mouth, Naruto ran towards the Academy with all his strength. Ignoring the heated looks thrown at him by the villagers, he quickly made his way towards the school. Huh? What was that?

Ah! Foot at three o'clock.

Bag at seven o'clock.

Several sharp. Pointy. Objects. At. Heh- maybe he should just go around the nice kunai.

Several minutes later, Naruto found himself staring up at the door to his classroom, room 302. As he stared upwards, a certain suspicious thought made its way through his admittedly thick skull.

How, exactly, was he going to be able to get inside?

The normal morning chatter of students was interrupted by the loud noise of several rather hard knocks on the door, while a certain fox lay outside, whimpering and telling himself to never hit his head that many times in frustration again.

The chibi-toads floating around his head at the moment didn't help either.

o-o-o-o-o-o

Iruka sighed and rubbed his eyes. Class had started ten minutes ago and he would've given anything to bet that Naruto would be the first to arrive, twitching in his seat in excitement. Could it be that the multitude of events last night had unnerved him? No, he wouldn't have given up that easily. Unbeknownst to him, a vein twitched near the top of Iruka's forehead as he waited for the hyperactive blond.

The Academy teacher was normally a calm and collected man. Aside from his dealings with Naruto, he was a model shinobi and teacher, taking most things in stride. Of course, that was before he opened the classroom door and found a slightly dazed fox slumped outside, apparently the cause of the previously heard banging. On closer inspection, it proved to have something in its mouth.

It looked to be a headband.

Staring as the small, red animal sauntered into the room, jumped onto a desk after stumbling quite a few times, and curling up in a ball, Iruka was further shocked when said fox yawned, lazily raised a paw as if in greeting, and spoke.

"Hey, Iruka-sensei."

No, seriously.

If most of the class hadn't been distracted about the whole "talking fox" situation at the moment, they would no doubt have noticed that the animal's voice and speech did indeed sound very similar to that of the blond they had been waiting for. Iruka was not exempt.

A small, trickling suspicion began to work its way into the chuunin's mind. No- it couldn't be. But, he had to admit, it would indeed make some form of (twisted) sense well befitting both the hysterical events of the night before as well as the Uzumaki's general… eccentric, disposition. It seemed so wrong, though, somehow, for something so strange to occur after the boy's whole world had been all but shattered the night before.

It was all terribly ironic.

Ignoring the small sinking feeling in his stomach, Iruka proceeded to mentally dare himself to respond to this occurrence. Of course, it wouldn't have mattered, as it appeared that the poor teacher's brain was currently experiencing technical difficulties and would so be out of order for a short bit. All while he tried to make the connection between this small, red, 'foxy' Uzumaki Naruto and the Naruto who had, just last night, discovered of his own connection to a certain demonic fox. Perfect, just perfect. (Un)fortunately, it appeared that a seemingly suicidal fox had gone up to a certain pink haired kunoichi and, with his best kit-face eyes, pleaded for her to let him lie on her lap.

It didn't work.

"WHAT THE HELL? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, BAKA-KITSUNE?!" Several students passed out from shock as many others flinched back as the majority of their auditory organs were now somewhere in the vicinity of the afterlife. All remaining conscious students shied back as they watched the holy terror in front of them unfold. After all, a pissed-off Sakura is not a happy Sakura. And an unhappy Sakura is… well, we'll just say that not just a few were fingering their manhood protectively at this point. After running away from the enraged pinkette for yet another minute, the small fox appeared to work up the courage to scream out,

"Sakura-chan! It's me, Naruto!"

Those who were still capable of sight and/or hearing watched soundlessly as the girl redoubled her efforts to catch the small fox, which apparently was the class dobe. Somewhere in Heaven, Kami was laughing her ass off. But that's beside the point.

As Sakura finally caught Naruto, one thought ran through their classmates minds- Do not piss of Sakura. It didn't help that, after hurling him into a wall and leaving him to slide down onto his nose muttering strange phrases about butterflies and toads, Sakura stormed off back to her own seat, daring anyone to even glance at her as she stewed in her righteous fury. At this point, the fox's eyes appeared to be rather large swirls and he appeared to have moved on to the subject of "pretty mushrooms with polka-dots," a haphazard and sickly grin on its face.

Still refusing to completely accept what had just happened, the class stared blankly as the fox lay on the ground and proceeded to groan, rub its eyes with a paw, and flop back down onto the ground. It was at this point that something actually registered with Naruto's classmates- well, the feminine population at least.

There was a small animal on the floor.

It was a fox.

It was red.

It was obviously injured.

It looked to have soft fur.

"KAWAII!"

Jumping up in a futile attempt to escape, Naruto was left twitching as he was tackled and cuddled by a rather large group of prepubescent girls. Most of the male population of the room were, at present, possessing either a rather large drop of sweat on the back of their heads, a twitching vein on the top of their foreheads bulging in anger and envy, or both. As the fox struggled for breath, something caught Iruka's eye. He could only hold his breath as the small animal- which his mind had somewhat accepted as being the hyperactive blond at this point, how in the hell it happened, he didn't know- pointed its head at the ceiling and yelped, its brick-red fur starting to take on a slight crimson shine. Suddenly, the animal's fur rippled… and changed.

Sprouting from where the fox had previously been cuddled by a large number of girls, was left a mass of liquid-like substance, which quickly reformed itself into a shocked, confused, and somewhat relieved Uzumaki Naruto, complete with pajamas and nightcap. He sighed in relief, at least he was himself again. It was then that he noticed his current situation.

His position?

In the middle of several very angry teenage girls upset over having their "foxy-kun" taken away from them.

A few (pain-filled) minutes later, a broken and bleeding Naruto was left lying on the floor in the front of the room as the multitude of females returned to their seats. Most boys were either struggling to keep their hysteria and laughter in while the rest were staring in pure fear. It should have been physically impossible to stick that in there! Not to mention that most were sure that those parts most certainly were not supposed to bend that way-

Ahem.

"W-well," began a certain shell-shocked Iruka, chuckling nervously as he tried to get back on track. "As I was saying, a ninja must…"

Approximately ten minutes after, Naruto gave one last shuddering groan and dragged himself up to his seat before flopping down in his chair, head hitting his desk.

Nearby students flinched at the sound.

o-o-o-o-o-o

As Sasuke waited for the day to end, his thoughts wandered. Turning his eyes towards Sakura, he noticed that the girl's eyes were glazed over and occasionally would let out a small giggle. The Uchiha flinched; whichever fangirl fantasy she may be having, he did NOT want to know what she was thinking of. Next, his thoughts turned to the kid who'd done all that strange stuff this morning: Uzumaki Naruto, dobe extraordinaire.

Sasuke frowned; he still hadn't been able to figure out if that thing from this morning was prank, genjutsu, or… whatever. Although it was nice to see his fangirls torturing someone else, for all of the fifteen seconds that it last. But still, it really had seemed that, for all intents and purposes, the idiot was a fox, at least until the fatal glomping. He shuddered.

Besides, he'd seen lots of ninja dispel techniques, and he'd never seen anything that looked remotely like the change that the Uzumaki went through. Going from a fox to pajamas… it was kind of strange. His eyes narrowed. If the dobe had some kind of weird powers, he would have to have it.

A few seats away, Naruto stirred and groaned. He was no longer sore from the beating itself, thanks to Kyuubi, but the memory itself was just something he didn't want to remember anytime soon. He flinched; anything that painful should be illegal. Suddenly, he remembered what had happened that morning and his eyes widened. Fox, dammit, I'm a fox! Raising his hands to feel the shape of face he stared at the slightly pink skin- not red fur- and sagged in relief. At least he wouldn't have to worry about that problem. Something tugged at the corner of his mind. He couldn't help but feel as if he had forgotten something. He looked down. Oh. Heh.

"NARUTO-BAKA! PUT ON SOME CLOTHES!"

Yeah. He was still in his pajamas. Naruto groaned, fingers scraping against the sides of his face as he slumped lower into the chair. Oh, this was just great, really. If only he actually had his clothes on and not these stupid-

Feeling something move against his skin, he looked down- and froze. There, on his body, were his boxers and t-shirt. However, something was different about them- they were changing, flowing into a new shape. Faster than you could say "bad fashion sense," the blond was once again wearing his blindingly orange jumpsuit. He tugged it. It pulled up a little. He poked it. The zipper deflated a bit. Turning around, he noticed Sakura staring at him, her eyes wide as saucers. Still confused, he turned the other way and saw Sasuke looking at him out of the corner of his eye with barely concealed interest.

"Naruto," Iruka began. "What… exactly… did you just do?" He finished his question slowly, putting a spin on it that made Naruto sure that he'd want to answer the question.

"W-well, Iruka-sensei, I dunno. One minute I was sitting here in my boxers, and then thought about how I wanted to be dressed and, well, there I was. Ta-da!" He grinned and closed his eyes, spreading his arms and displaying his jumpsuit, hoping to get the teacher off his case. Unfortunately, it didn't work. In fact, it looked like his eye was twitching. Naruto groaned, his head was beginning to hurt a bit.

"I-I'm serious. I really have no idea how. It's just like this morning; I woke up as a fox, and, well, you know what happened from there." As he finished, the bell rang, giving the signal for all the ninja-wannabees to rush out of the classroom with Iruka shouting after them.

"Naruto," the chuunin began sternly as he saw Naruto begin to rush out of the classroom. "I don't know what's been going on, but we're going to have to do something about it. We can't have you suddenly turning into a fox in the middle of the street." Naruto steeled himself.

"We're going to see the Hokage about this."

Naruto's face brightened.

o-o-o-o-o-o

Sarutobi sighed as someone knocked on his door. He glared at the desk. Infernal paperwork! Why couldn't it just disappear! Putting his head in his hands, he let out a long breath and called out, "Enter."

The door opened and there stood his secretary, Kichigai Shuji. Being responsible for bringing his work for the day up to Hokage's office, she tended to see a bit more of his… irritated… side than most others. At the moment, though, she was panting heavily, her face set in a scowl.

"Hokage-sama. Chuunin Umino Iruka is here to see you. And he's with the dem- I mean, the brat." Her mouth twisted into a disgusted expression, no doubt in thought of the blond Kyuubi container and the Sandaime groaned internally. He could make all the laws he wanted, but he couldn't change the way people thought. He brought his head up to bear and looked straight into his secretary's eyes.

"Send them in," he said flatly, his speech coming out tiredly. Shuji flinched back , mouth still twisted in distaste, no doubt hoping for the "demon child" to be kicked out. Bowing hurriedly, she left, leaving the door ajar. Sarutobi's eye twitched; that woman would be the death of him yet.

Hearing footsteps clunk up the long staircase to the office, the Hokage's thoughts turned towards the blond Uzumaki. Surely he should have been rocketing up the steps now, with Iruka chasing him not close behind? His heart sank as he realized the possible implications. If Naruto had been affected negatively by the events of last night, he would have to everything possible to help.

As he turned his eyes back to the door, his worries were lifted as he smiled softly. There was Naruto, entering the office, tired yet somehow happy, hands behind his head. Following immediately behind him was Iruka; the scarred chuunin's face worried and protective, though his eyes were somewhat proud if clouded.

"Sit down," the Hokage said kindly, gesturing towards the two chairs sitting before his rather large- and paperwork-covered- desk. The two sat down, obviously grateful.

"Now, what seems to be the problem?"

o-o-o-o-o-o

Naruto fidgeted in his seat, feeling the gaze of the two older men before him.

"Do you mean to tell me," the Hokage began, "that you somehow physically… transformed… into a fox?" His voice was serious as his stare bore into Naruto, the boy shifting in his seat.

The genin looked up at the old man, feeling uncomfortable. His head was still hurting; in fact, the ache had grown to a dull throbbing behind his eyes. To make things worse, he felt a little warm as well. Tugging at the collar of his orange jumpsuit, Naruto let out a deep breath and answered shakily, "Y-yeah. I woke up this morning, and, well, there I was: a fox."

"And," the Hokage continued, "You, in some way, managed to change your sleeping wear into the jumpsuit that you are wearing now." His voice remained quiet, but a small twinkling had appeared in his eyes as Naruto continued to squirm in his chair.

"Yeah," replied Naruto quietly. "I just thought about how embarrassing it was to just be sitting there, just wearing my boxers,"- he cut off, blushing a bit before resuming- "and I wished that I was wearing my normal clothes." He shrugged before looking up at the Sandaime, unflinching, as if awaiting an answer.

"Do you think that you could perform this at will? Say, right now?"

Naruto nodded silently and closed his eyes in concentration.

Picturing a fox in his mind, Naruto focused on the image, imagining his body changing into that of the small animal. This time, the change was easier to feel as his very skin seemed to fold in on itself into a smaller frame. Opening his eyes, he looked up and immediately saw that everything seemed taller. Naruto flicked his tail and twitched his ears. The ache hadn't gone away; in fact, it had gotten worse.

Sarutobi stared at the fox in front of him, its tail swaying back and forth. "Very well, Naruto, you may change back," he said, his tone betraying his excitement. He'd sensed no chakra being used during the transformation, none at all! The possibilities with this ability were truly endless, especially if he could change into different forms, as he had with his clothes. Turning towards Iruka, the Sandaime's musing was interrupted by a loud noise to his left. Moving quickly, he immediately focused on Naruto.

Or rather, where Naruto had been. His chair now lay on the ground, cast aside and upside down.

And Uzumaki Naruto was lying on the ground, writhing in agony.

Painpainpainpainpain! He rolled around, head exploding over and over again. Bright lights flashed in front of his eyes as his limbs flailed against the floor. His head felt like it was on fire, as though a hammer had been pounding on his skull. His arms shrank, changing into the fuzzy forelegs and paws of a fox before changing back and filling out again. Thrashing about on the floor, spittle came flying from Naruto's mouth as his eyes rolled up into the back of his head.

And then he was still.

"Hokage-sama!" exclaimed Shuji, bursting into the room. "I heard-" She stopped abruptly as her vision took in the unconscious form of Naruto. He still twitched slightly as she stared with a perverse form of fascination. Her lip curled upwards slightly as she let out a small chuckle.

"ENOUGH!" The fear and fury of the Hokage were practically boiling off in waves, melting through the defenses of all those in the room. Even Iruka looked scared. "Your actions and attitude disgust me. Leave, Kichigai Shuji!" The mentioned woman looked up suddenly, terror and confusion in her eyes. She tried to protest, but the only sound that resulted was a frantic gasp as she tried to register how quickly the situation had changed.

"Iruka, take her out of here. I have no desire to have this woman in my office any longer." The terrified chuunin nodded sharply at his Hokage as he stared at the mess on the floor, true comprehension of Naruto's pain still absent in his shock.

"Come, Naruto," the Third said softly, picking up the boy and jumping out of the window, speeding toward the hospital as fast as he could. He had made a promise to the boy's father and he intended to keep. He had assured Minato that he would not let any harm come to his son.

Approaching the doors to the medical building, Sarutobi took a deep breath and prayed he wasn't too late.

o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Sarutobi stared worriedly at the boy that was currently lying on a bed in front of him. Soft lights illuminated the room while pieces of machinery twinkled and beeped, nurses and doctors rushing by outside in the halls. His anxiety turned to smoldering fury as he thought of how numerous doctors had refused to care for the "fox brat," as they had called him. No matter, there were more important things to be dealt with.

"H-hokage-sama!" gasped out the head medic-nin as he burst into the room, holding a large folder full of paper in his hand. "It appears that Uzumaki has fully stabilized and we can expect full recovery." The doctor's sweating ceased as he saw the Hokage's features come to be at peace once more as he learned that his unofficial grandson would be all right.

"However," he began again, "There were certain…anomalies in his data from his blood tests." At this, Sarutobi's face snapped up, frantic.

"Tell me, what are these "anomalies?"" The old man's eyes were glinting in the dim light, his concern for the blond child showing through.

"Sandaime-sama," continued the doctor, bowing hurriedly. "When we took samples, we viewed something very surprising. In fact, if I hadn't seen it myself, I frankly wouldn't have believed it." He let out a nervous laugh as the Third's face grew tighter. "It would appear that something has happened to alter his genetic material." The Hokage's eyes widened.

"Explain."

"Well, sir, it would appear that, very recently, his DNA has undergone quite a few changes. It appears to be much more malleable, able to change into other shapes quite easily. This would seem to be the cause for the strange… transformations that you informed me of." Sarutobi nodded calmly.

"However, as you thought, it should indeed be possible for the child to form into other shapes at will; it should take some time and practice though." The Third nodded again; hopefully, this new ability should prove useful to Naruto in his shinobi career.

"Unfortunately," the doctor began somewhat shakily, "It appears that this power is not without its price. As cost for this new form of DNA, I'm afraid that Naruto 's body has indeed… changed. Sarutobi's mouth went dry- No! It can't be!- as a horrible thought came to his mind.

"No, Hokage-sama, he is not a demon." The Third let out a sigh of relief, before remembering that all was not resolved yet.

"Well? "

"I am afraid that the introduction of a new gene changes things dramatically. Though he appears to be a person like us, his DNA holds the possibilities of so much more." The doctor pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose.

"Uzumaki Naruto… is most likely no longer completely human."

o-o-o-o-o-o-o

AN: HA!

Well, of course you were all expecting that to happen. As for why I gave Naruto this power, kitsunes are traditionally shapeshifters, so it only seemed fair.

Anyway, review and tell me what you want the powers of the others of the Rookie 12 to be! I may listen, I may not, but I'd love to hear your ideas.

Finally, don't forget to respond to my poll about which one of my "Chakra" stories you'd like me to get started on first. Poll comes down a week from today.

R&R Please!

SoS, out!