Disclaimer: I do not own either Naruto or the Darkness nor their prospective characters. Both stories lie with their prospective copyright.


Prologue: A Glimpse

It was raining yet there was not a cloud in the sky. It was coming from a far distance, the raindrops carried by the wind. Naruto was normally not an appreciator of nature yet he found himself strangely alert to his surroundings. This was probably the brains' method to prevent him from dying.

I read about this, he thought, the brain tries to stay conscious so it goes into overkill and all the senses temporarily become hypersensitive. This was a prime example, he could sense everything; he could see the cool rain drops, taste them, he can smell the moist air, he could hear the sound of trickling water and he could feel the pain of having a huge hole through his chest.

It was a big hole, bigger than a fist, and it went right through his heart. Naruto could not help but feel his knees buckle and knelt down as if push forward, his knees making a sickening thud on the dull stone earth.

Ow, Naruto thought. He would have spoken but all that came out was a gurgle, blood was already filling up his lungs. He saw a figure appear before him, his eyes were growing dim, but his hearing was still there.

"There was no other way..." the figure said, it was obviously glaring at Naruto, "...you're sacrifice will not been in vain Uzumaki Naruto. I promise."

You got any ideas? Naruto indicated his question not to the figure but rather to himself...well, to be more precise Naruto's darker half. The Darkness, Naruto's closest companion and considering his situation, probably his only companion, was strangely silent. It loved to throw in its two cents, ridicule Naruto for being weak, wanting to kill people and eat them, it became more of a nuisance rather than an ally, but still it was always there in a pinch.

"Now Naruto, it is time we depart-" The figure closed in on Naruto, its hand raised to grab him. Why you son of a-

"This is not going...to go...the way you think." The hand froze and withdrew back into the grim looking shadow. Naruto's mouth was slowly spewing forth blood like a demonic fountain, groaning.

I am not going out like this. A surge of anger festered within him, he could feel The Darkness using it twisting, and he could feel some strength return; not much but enough to get up. Naruto could feel the legs burn, and he could feel the open chest wound bleed that much more. The figure stepped back in surprise and caution.

Dammit, I thought I would be able to see better. As a shadow grew in his mind, the ambient noise dwindled away.

Don't slap a helping hand away you useless twat. Naruto breathed in a sigh of relief, but felt an undeniable pain in his lungs. It hurt enough to draw out sweat and tears.

Where have-

I have presented you an opportunity and opening. Do not waste it. The shadow vanished before it would explain itself.

Cryptic as ever.

"Impossible. How could you be standing?" The figure took a step back, then another.

"Don't you see...the odds are against you." Naruto said, a grin spread across bloody lips and his eyes gazed beyond the figure into the sky, where a stormy cloud was slowly approaching slowly blotting out the sun. The figure, the shadow looked behind him and gasped in horror. The figure got into a fighting stance, if Naruto was to be defeated it had to be now or the figure was a goner.

"You are...without hope." Naruto mumbled, he could feel himself getting stronger still. The figure was unnerved and angry but its legs gave away the real desire; to regroup and retreat, but it knew it was foolhardy and had no choice but to go forward. The figure lunged with all its might.

"Don't underestimate me!"