Ok, this is my latest fic. It was a REALLY long chapter, because I am REALLY into this one, so I think it deserves all the reviews it can get. Hint Hint. ;)
'Italics' - Naruto(/someone else) thinking/talking to Kyuubi.
'Bold' - Kyuubi talking back.
"Naruto. I swear to god if you ever do that again, this whole village is going to murder you. I do NOT want you going out on solo missions. Ok?" Tsunade said sternly from behind her Hokage desk.
Naruto rolled his eyes and winced as it pulled at a cut on his cheek.
"It was just a-"
"NARUTO!" Came a screech. Naruto visibly cringed as the door swung open with a bang and was slammed shut.
"S-S-Sakura-Chan." Naruto stuttered slightly.
Sakura walked right up to him and punched him in the face. Naruto keeled over and smashed into the wall.
"O…w…" Naruto groaned. Sakura took him by the shoulders and shook him, turning whatever was left of his brain, into scrambled egg.
"WHY NARUTO. WHY. YOU DO NOT GO LOOKING FOR THE AKATSUKI WHEN THEY ARE LOOKING FOR YOU!"
"I found information Sakura-Chan! And I'm alive! See?"
Suddenly there was a tremendous crash.
"You won't be for much longer." Tsunade muttered. Sakura's eyes also widened and she went to stand behind Tsunade.
"NARUTO. UZUMAKI." Came a roar.
"Oh crap." He whispered fearfully, wondering if he could make a break for it before- too late.
The door was broken off of its hinges with a forceful punch.
"WHERE IS HE!" Kakashi roared from the doorway. Then his eyes settled on the fidgeting blonde.
There was a flash of silver and Naruto screamed.
Having finished being beaten to a messy pulp by the white haired Jounin Sensei, Naruto clambered painfully out of the newly made crater in the wall.
Kakashi took one last deep breath and sighed.
"Basically Naruto…Everyone was concerned…" Tsunade said gravely.
"And sure as hell if you EVER do it again, you'll be in hospital for a MONTH after I've finished with you." Kakashi growled. Naruto gulped visibly.
"That's where this is going to come in…Naruto. I want you to follow me. We have something to show you." Tsunade said standing up and making her way to the entrance to her office.
She went to put her hand out to open the door and frowned. There wasn't a door.
"Hatake." Tsunade muttered angrily.
"I…uh…Sorry about that." Kakashi grinned apologetically, rubbing his neck in embarrassment.
With an irritated sigh Tsunade walked over the threshold and started to walk the Hokage building's corridor.
Team Kakashi falling into step behind her.
Kakashi walked alongside Tsunade quickly.
"Has he finished it yet?" Tsunade asked him quietly. Kakashi stared at the looming staircase ahead of them as he answered.
Sakura was talking, or rather arguing to Naruto in the background, so they had no worries of being overheard at this level of voice.
"Yes. He finished about two hours ago and promptly passed out. He woke up when I rushed out to come and…ahem…collect…Naruto."
"This is supposed to be strong. Right?" Tsunade asked again.
"Yes. He started it as soon as he heard that Naruto had left a week ago. He heard about it the next day, the same as I did. I knew you would want something done, so I requested it immediately. He has progressed on it everyday. Seals have been etched in to every part of it. As I said, it was finished not two hours ago." Kakashi confirmed, noticing how it set her at ease slightly as they all descended the stairs.
"Good. We may need both of your help to get him in there." Tsunade said shortly.
"Yes my lady." Kakashi nodded, giving her a slight incline of his head.
Naruto, however, was feeling more than slightly uneasy. He hurt all over and his conversation with Sakura had died out slowly but surely as the corridor got slightly longer and narrower.
His uneasiness grew into a tight knot as he saw one lone door at the end of the never-ending hallway. He gulped inaudibly and for some reason he started to sweat slightly.
As they reached the door, he suddenly felt a slight clawing from within him. Kyuubi was trying to tell him something.
He ignored it, as it probably wasn't important. It was most likely Kyuubi getting annoyed at Naruto's fear. As usual.
Tsunade glanced at Kakashi and he put his hand on the handle. Wasting no time he opened the door and let it swing open to reveal and incredibly large room.
Which was very dimly lit.
And right in the centre, with Captain Yamato standing next to it wearily, was a wooden cage.
Naruto gasped slightly as he took it in. It was huge. It was big enough to fit three of the nine-tails in it and still be able to hold together.
As he took a closer look at it, he noticed it could too. There were seals embedded in the wood at every point.
"Hey! Woah! What's that?"
"That, Naruto, is generally known in the world as a cage."
"I know that. I mean, what's it for…As in, what is it doing here?"
Kakashi, Sakura and Yamato all avoided his gaze. Naruto frowned as he didn't receive an answer.
Tsunade stepped forward slightly.
"Naruto. None of us want to lose you, and this is the best way we could think of. We can no longer take chances." She said firmly.
Then the realisation of what was happening dawned on Naruto.
He slowly started to shake his head, as if he couldn't quite believe it, and deep inside, he felt the nine-tails' anger start to boil in it's chakra system which ran throughout his own body.
"No…N-No…You wouldn't…" He stuttered, shaking his head slightly faster now as he backed away one step.
"Captain Yamato…?" He said, looking at the worn out wood specialist who avoided his stare in shame.
"…Obaa-Chan…?" Naruto turned to look at her, and she stared back sadly.
"…Kakashi Sensei…?" He said, tears starting to fill his eyes. Kakashi's jaw locked to prevent him from saying anything.
"S-S-Sak…Sakura-Chan…?" He choked out, turning to look at the pinkette wildly. She nodded, tears starting to fill her own eyes too.
"No…No…NO!" Naruto screamed. This time, he could hear the nine-tails communicating with him as clear as day.
'Why didn't you listen to me, you ignorant brat!'
'It's not my fault I trust my friends!'
'You idiot, I DO believe you just used the present tense. I think you meant to use the past version of the verb, as in TRUSTED.'
'SHUT UP YOU DAMN FOX.'
Distressed and panicked, Naruto spun on his heel and took off for the exit as fast as he could.
But Kakashi was faster. He appeared in front of Naruto and put a hand on his chest and slamming him heavily to the floor. Sakura gasped and put a hand to her mouth in worry.
Naruto struggled, but Kakashi held him, pinning him firmly to the floor.
"Yamato. The gate." Kakashi shouted. Yamato nodded and hurriedly performed some seals to open a section of the cage. It did so with a colossal crash of wood.
Then, Kakashi picked Naruto up bodily, and they both struggled against each other as Kakashi moved towards the cage.
Naruto kicked and punched uselessly. But then he managed to get in one good punch to Kakashi's left side of his face, making him lose his vision for a second.
Naruto was dropped to the floor and he stood up hastily, but before he could even move, something happened which no one had expected.
Sakura had moved in a blinding blur of pink, and within seconds she was kissing Naruto. Tears streaming down her face as she cupped his face with one hand, and ran her other through his tousled blonde hair.
Then it was over, leaving a startled Naruto with his eyes closed as he trembled with broken sobs.
"Do it." Tsunade said as she grabbed Sakura to get her out of harms way.
Kakashi nodded and grabbed Naruto's shoulders, quickly running with him and putting him into the open cage.
Naruto opened his eyes in shock as he realised what had happened.
Sakura had tricked him.
"NO!" He yelled desperately, starting to run after them as Kakashi ducked out of the cage.
The cage slammed closed as Naruto hit the bars. He tried pulling them apart with brute strength. He tried to do Rasengan but the seals sucked the chakra away from him as soon as it formed.
Taijutsu, Ninjutsu, Genjutsu.
He tried it all as the four of them watched him attack the cage in every way he could.
But true to Kakashi's word, Yamato's cage held.
Defeated, Naruto slid to the floor and punched it repeatedly, screaming in frustration.
Sakura couldn't take it anymore. Her tears were flowing thick and fast as she watched her last remaining team-mate nearly pull himself to pieces.
"N-N-Na-Nar-Naruto…I-I-I'm…S-So sorry…" Sakura cried, running out of the room, her running footsteps and crying echoing down the corridor.
Tsunade looked at Kakashi and Yamato.
"You two, Sakura, Iruka, Gai and Asuma and I will be the only ones who know about this. From now on this is an S-class secret. Understood? I will send Iruka and Asuma to take over as a night shift." Tsunade said in a hard voice.
They nodded to show they had heard. But their main attention was on Naruto as he leaked a different chakra.
The nine-tails chakra.
Tsunade glanced at it and hmm'd, walking out of them room and closing the door to go and find her student and to calm her down.
Iruka Umino looked up from his paperwork as a bright pink figure burst into the empty classroom.
"IRUKA-SENSEI, THEY ARE SUCH BASTARDS! AND I'M ONE OF THEM!" Sakura cried desperately, tears still streaking down her face.
To say that Iruka was astonished was an understatement.
"SAKURA HARUNO!" Came the Hokage's voice.
"Fuck. Hide me!" Sakura hissed, fear entering her eyes.
Wordlessly, Iruka nodded to the cupboard at the back of the classroom. Wasting no time, Sakura darted up the stairs and into the cupboard, closing the door softly behind her as she quickly and quietly clambered inside it.
Iruka performed a quick seal and thrust his hand at the window, opening it wide with a bang. He picked up his pen again and put a stupefied expression on his face.
Seconds later, the door burst open again to reveal Tsunade in a glorious fury. Iruka stood up and bowed to her respectively.
"Hokage-Sama." He said looking up at her worriedly.
"Where is Haruno?" She asked, her eyes blazing with anger.
"She ran through here and escaped out the window. Although I don't know as to why. But she seemed rather upset…Is everything alright?" He asked in concern.
"…I wish I could say it was Iruka. I intended to let you know, in the furthest section of the S-basement, I'm sure you know of door sixty six?"
Iruka felt his eyes widen in surprise.
"Well…Yes…I was only there once…When Naruto was born and the Kyuubi sealed inside of him…"
"Good. At seven o'clock this evening, you and Asuma Sarutobi are to take over the night shift there until seven in the morning tomorrow. Kakashi Hatake and Captain Yamato are down there and will brief you on what to do when you arrive."
"Oh…Uh…Yes my lady." Iruka stammered hastily.
"Good." Tsunade said shortly, turning on her heel and leaving.
Iruka waited until he heard her footsteps fade before sitting down. He picked up his pen and started to work again, filling in papers at his desk.
The cupboard door opened slightly with a creak. He didn't look up from his work.
Sakura gulped. That wasn't good.
She tip-toed out and went to stand in front of his desk, her hands behind her back and looking at the floor as though she was an academy student who had misbehaved.
Iruka took a deep breath as he wrote.
"Sakura Haruno." Iruka stated.
"…Yes Iruka Sensei?" Sakura asked quietly, biting the inside of her lip.
"A few things." He said, finally looking up at her. She raised her eyes to meet his disapproving gaze to allow him to continue.
"Firstly. I do not want to hear that indecent language from you in my presence ever again. Understood?"
"Yes sir." Sakura said quietly and respectfully.
"Secondly, I don't know why I covered you, but I want a full explanation as to why Lady Hokage was in such a temper with you. And lastly, if you ever do that to me again, I will put you in an academy detention whether you are a shinobi or not. Do I make myself clear?" He said sternly.
"Perfectly Iruka Sensei." Sakura whispered meekly.
"Good. Glad you get that, because you are a very good Kunoichi and I hear great things about you. I hear great things about you AND Naruto as a matter of fact." Iruka said warmly, his earlier coldness gone. Banished away.
A tear drop hit the wooden floor.
"Sakura…?" Iruka asked worriedly, getting up and kneeling beside her where she suddenly slumped to the floor.
"Sakura what is it?" Iruka asked, his voice rising with panic.
"T-T-They've got N-Naruto…I-I-In room s-s-sixty six.…those…those…they s-s-sealed him in a-a-a c-cage…" Sakura gasped out as she cried again.
Iruka stared at her.
"T-They did what?" Iruka asked, dumbfounded beyond belief.
"That's what you are taking over as a night shift. H-H-He left on a solo mission to hunt down the Akatsuki. ANBU brought him back, and now…he's the S-class secret because he's been put in a cage…It was the only option left…But I just c-c-can't…I don't want t-t-to l-l-leave him…" Sakura explained haltingly as she burst into renewed tears.
She flung herself around Iruka and he jerked in surprise before returning the hug and rubbing her back comfortingly.
But at the same time, he was still trying to comprehend it himself.
Naruto had been…caged?
Back in room sixty six, Kakashi was staring wide eyed at the event which was happening before his eyes.
Whatever Master Jiraiya had seen when the nine-tails' cloak had reached four tails, they could now claim to have seen the furthest stage so far.
Naruto had completely transformed. He'd been screaming in pain at first, his hands getting splintered as he had clutched at the bars in agony. Those hands had become paws of bone with dangerous ebony claws sticking out of them, and his screams had become roars of primal fury.
He was a skeletal version of the Kyuubi he contained.
Or rather, was trying to contain him at that exact moment.
'You can damn well hand over the controls to ME now. Pitiful creature'
'Says you, you stinking fox. This HURTS I tell you! It hurts! Let me go and heal me! I can get out of this myself!'
'It's evident that you can't, brat. Shut up and let me handle this. Once this is done, I'll consider letting you have the controls back and healing you.'
'I HATE YOU DAMN IT.'
'Shut up with your whining, brat. This is how I feel every day when I'm trapped inside you.'
Yamato tugged at Kakashi's sleeve.
"You seeing what I'm seeing?"
"Yeah, unfortunately. He had the necklace right?"
"That won't work."
"Damn it. I'll try Chidori'ing him." Kakashi said grimly
Suddenly the door burst open.
"YOU'LL DO NO SUCH THING!" Iruka hollered, Sakura right behind him.
"Iruka!" Yamato gasped.
"Sakura!" Kakashi said in a mixture of horror and disapproval, causing her to shrink back behind Iruka.
"You cannot do this to Naruto. Especially thinking of harming him! Kakashi. You once told me, 'look beyond the monster'. You can damn well do so now and take your own advice!" Iruka yelled as he ran up to the cage.
"What the hell does he think he's doing?" Yamato asked nobody in particular.
"NARUTO UZUMAKI! I KNOW YOU'RE IN THERE AND YOU CAN DAMN WELL LISTEN TO ME!" Iruka shouted as loud as his lungs would let him.
'Who does this pesky bastard think he is? He'll be the first one to go.' The nine-tails growled.
'NO! IF YOU DARE, I WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE HELL YOU SON OF A BITCH! LISTEN TO HIM. STOP TRYING TO GET OUT FOR A SECOND AND LISTEN TO HIM…Fluffy.' Naruto yelled at the demon.
'Oh no you didn't.' The Kyuubi said dangerously.
'Yes I damn well did. So LISTEN you no good piece of stuck up fluff ball.'
'Fine. You baka of a brat.'
'I'll take that as a compliment.'
Iruka waited for a few seconds. The skeletal Kyuubi stopped gradually and sat on its haunches.
By the evil glare it seemed to be giving him, Iruka decided that it hadn't been done willingly.
"At the moment, I'm guessing you want out of here."
The Kyuubi growled in affirmation. Iruka bit his lip. At least he seemed to be getting somewhere with it.
"Well…You can't right now." Iruka said nervously.
The Kyuubi roared at him in anger.
'YOU THINK WE DON'T KNOW THAT! PUNY HUMAN!'
'SHUT UP, HE'S TALKING AGAIN!'
"Naruto, I know you're in there. And if you don't stop this RIGHT NOW, I am going to give you SUCH a hiding…" Iruka warned, putting his teacher voice on.
Suddenly he smirked.
"I might make it even worse than the lecture I gave you the day you skipped class to bring back a piece of 'battle treasure'." Iruka said sternly, trying not to laugh.
'What the hell?' The Kyuubi thought disdainfully, anger and confusion radiating from him.
'LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! LET. ME. OUT!' Naruto screamed, panicking big time. At least he understood.
'NO! Why on earth should I do that?'
'Remember that day at the academy when you warned me not to go out to that recently abandoned battlefield?'
'No. Wait…vaguely…Ohhh…Wait a minute…yeah…'
'Remember what happened when the man in front of you, my teacher, caught up with us?'
'That's what I'm thinking. NOW LET ME THE HELL OUT!'
'Fine. I've had enough. Whatever. But do NOT die you BRAT. And don't go expecting my help and saying 'give me your chakra'. Got it?'
'FINE. FINE. FINE. NOW LET ME OUT!'
Kakashi and Yamato stood there in confusion as they watched Iruka fold his arms and start tapping his foot as the Kyuubi growled at him and then yip in confusion.
Sakura couldn't help herself, she started laughing. Slowly at first and then into full out laughter.
Kakashi and Yamato turned to look at her, but even that didn't stop her insane giggles.
"Sakura, what is he on about?" Yamato questioned.
"Do you know something here Sakura?" Kakashi asked her, raising an eyebrow.
"Wh-Why yes I do. I don't think there's anyone in the academy who wouldn't remember this little story of Naruto's past." Sakura snorted.
"Oh…?" Yamato glanced at Kakashi.
"One of the guys in the class, Kiba, I think…Had heard about a ninja fight having taken place only an hour before class had started, and he dared Naruto to bring back something from the battle scene such as a kunai." Sakura explained.
"Damn Inuzuka's." Yamato groaned, remembering many a bet he had lost with Hana Inuzuka, Kiba's much older sister.
"I know right? Anyway, Naruto accepted the challenge because he wanted to prove that he could be anyone he wanted to be. He went out before Iruka Sensei had arrived, and when he did arrive, Sasuke told on him. Hah, we'll never know what actually happened out there…"
Kakashi gulped slightly.
He'd saved them both from three ninja who'd come after the skirmish and had tried to take a precious item back.
He remembered it all too well, although he didn't voice this.
"But when they got back, Naruto got SUCH a telling off, AND detention for a month! It was pretty extreme…but he did kind of deserve it. I think Naruto respected Iruka Sensei out of fear mostly back then because of that. I know I would have had it been me…" Sakura said, dissolving into helpless giggles again as she glanced over at Iruka.
Yamato grinned slightly at the tale. He could quite imagine it. Iruka got very…protective…over his students.
They all glanced back over to the cage.
To all of their surprise, much less Iruka's.
The Kyuubi's form was disappearing. Rapidly, as though it was trying to hurry.
Within seconds of it starting, it was finished, and Naruto lay curled up in the corner, moaning in pain.
The Kyuubi was already healing him quickly, they could see that even from a distance, as blood was running up his face and receding back into his skin.
"NARUTO!" Iruka yelled disapprovingly.
"Oh…shit. Not again." Naruto groaned.
"Get over here!" Iruka said sternly.
With a foreboding sigh, Naruto pretty much dragged himself over to Iruka's side of the cage.
"Hey Sensei." Naruto yawned slightly.
"IS THAT ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?" Iruka hollered at him furiously, nearly bowling Naruto over backwards with the force of it.
Naruto shrank slightly to almost half his size.
"N-N-NO! I didn't mean to! I swear Iruka Sensei! I didn't think that-"
"DAMN IT NARUTO. YOU NEVER THINK! THINK BEFORE YOU ACT! HOW MANY TIMES MUST I TELL YOU!"
"I'm sorry Iruka Sensei! I won't do it again! I swear!" Naruto cried, shielding himself from Iruka's wrath.
Sakura started laughing again.
"He is so lucky that Iruka Sensei is on the other side of that cage…" She laughed.
"Actually, I should rather think that he is content to stay inside it." Kakashi smiled innocently.
The three of them tried to hold back their grins as Naruto continued to hastily apologise to Iruka who threatened and lectured him.
Suddenly the door opened, and everyone but Naruto and Iruka turned to look.
"…Uhh…Is this a bad time?" Asuma asked from the doorway, raising his eyebrow at them all.
Ok, this is only chapter one, but I've got the next chapter coming in soon.
Please review! =D
Kaitaru Seras Viktoria Hatake.