Ermm... Hey... *Looks around at murderous faces*

... *shuffles into a corner*

I have the next chapter...

...Okay I was trying to make this chapter about 4000 words, and it was taking too long. Sixth Form has started a month ago and I probably wouldn't be able to update as much as I could of have *shifts from one foot to other*

So, with great pleasure, I present the next chapter of The Illness.


Naruto stared out the window, the moving scenery being the only thing he wanted to keep his eyes on. The doctor had said that he was fine to leave, so the same doctor was giving him a lift back to Konoha, seeing as he needed to get back for an operation in a couple of days.

He glanced at the white haired man. He knew. He thought about his 'father'. He knew. He thought about the helpful officer. He knew. The people who tried to kill him. They knew. They did too, his…

His head thumped on the window. What was going on? Why did… this… happen? The building, the forest, the hospital. His reflection glared back at him. He hit his head. He knew, but he wished he didn't.

He wanted to forget it all again. Go back to being the ignorant idiot who tried too hard. The oblivious, ignorant, clumsy, good for nothing-

The car stopped. Kakashi turned around in his seat, smiling under the mask.

"If you keep hitting your head, you might forget again" Naruto gave him a dead look.

"What if I want to?" Kakashi closed his eye, head slightly downcast, and turned to get out the car. Naruto got out too, the outside flooding him with the overpowering smell of burning petrol from the car's surrounding him. He almost felt sick. The sound of the motorway was like hundreds of knives slicing through the air –dull knives, but knives none the less- despite the barricade of tree's separating the road from the station. He pulled the hood over his head, not that it did much.

Kakashi pulled himself in the direction of the road-side McDonalds, the big 'M' demanding the arrival of starved drivers and mind nulled passengers. Naruto followed, the smell of oil fried chips and sizzling burgers activating the salivary glands in his mouth and the acids in his stomach. Damn he was hungry. He would happily eat anything right now- except that large plastic cow. He glared, that cow seemed to be challenging him, but it was plastic… does that mean it was here to challenge passers-by to eat there. His sky blue eyes narrowed some more. It stared back at him. He raised an eyebrow. Challenge accepted. He wouldn't let some plastic, wanna-be farm animal win. He wouldn't.

"Naruto"

He wouldn't.

"Naruto?"

He wouldn't.

"Naruto, I'm not waiting for you"

Blink

"Damn Kakashi, I was about to kick it's plastic butt. Couldn't you see what I was trying to do" Kakashi blinked his eye, and tapped his chin thoughtfully.

"Hmm, well, you were looking rather insightfully at the cow, which you then decided to glare at," He rubbed his chin "So I guess you were having a staring competition with a plastic cow" The single eye arched happily.

'You didn't have to take the mick out of it. Bloody asswipe' The blond fox shuffled behind the doctor, grumbling profanities about paint-stripped sadists with exposure problems.

The restaurant was surprisingly empty. A trucker and a noisy group of five were the only others enjoying the pleasure of warm food and no rushing. One of the staff was sweeping the floor, while the cashiers were chatting and laughing with the few tossing burgers and ridding oil from nuggets and chips. Their order was brief; Cheeseburger and Big Mac meal with coke. They claimed a two seat table, taking a side each. Kakashi peeled the wrapping off his cheeseburger and bit off a measured amount, chewing slowly before swallowing, Naruto ripping off his wrapping and a large section of his Big Mac, hunger increasing in the heat of internal battle.

As much as hospital food was filling, it deffinatly didn't give off this kind of satisfaction.


Hayate put down another file into the larger of the two piles. Jaraiya had given an order to go through Orochimaru's study, and report anything interesting to do with the case. Sadly 'interesting' only consisted of a couple of letters from a person labled 'K', guessing them to be an accomplice of some sort. He'll have to check in the archive for any possiblities. But truthfully, he had expected more.

He opened the first draw in the desk, sitting under the only window. Shifting a hand through the collection of glue sticks, post it notes, and other stationary, he pulled out a memory stick. He instantly opened it and pushed the USB into the laptop placed on the floor as to not lose it underneath the mass of papers. The files were all named as jumbled letters and numbers. He clicked the first and began reading.

"Oh shit" He fumbled for his radio, hiding amongst the mess.


"Jaraiya? Jaraiya! Damn it Jaraiya, you have to look at this" Jaraiya sat up, wiping the drool from his face. His radio echoed the sound of Hayate's calling. He pressed the button on the side.

"Hayate, we're working, watch your mouth. Now, what's up?" He listened to the officers babbling, looking through the email Hayate had just sent him. Scraping his chair out from underneath him, he shouted to the officers tapping away at their computers.

"Kotetsu, Izumo, Vey! I want you to take a team, get to the site of the explosion, see if anything's out of place or odd. Be thorough, and be careful, Orochimaru might be there! Kurenai and Asuma, print off the file Hayate's sending. I want you to go to the kids place and stay there; it might be an idea to tell them about this. I need to call Kakashi" Everyone shot out of the room with a "Yes Sir" and Jaraiya picked up the phone on his desk, typing a number and pressed 'dial'. He paced as the phone ringed.

"Kakashi? It's Jaraiya, where's Naruto?" Jaraiya's face broke into a smile of relief.

"Nono, it's fine, just keep him in your sight. We think Orochimaru will make a move to get Naruto again. There's some disturbing evidence… Might be best if you look at it too… okay, bring Naruto with you, it might be best he stays at the station until this has been sorted out" Jaraiya nodded his head.

"That's great Kakashi. Okay, thanks" He placed the phone down on his desk, and replayed the information in his mind. It made sense how something like that could cause Orochimaru to want more. Naruto's smiling face appeared in his mind. He rubbed his forehead with his hand.

"This is so messed up"


'Ding Dong'

"I'M COMING" Ino rushed to the door, drying wrinkled hands from washing dishes on a tea towel. She shoved a corner of the tea towel into the jean pocket as she almost yanked the door off its hinges. She smiled at the two familiar uniforms.

"Hello Asuma-san, Kurenai-san, it's nice to see you again, how can I help you?" She gave a quick gasp.

"Is this about Naruto? Is he okay? That Bastard hasn't got him again? He better not, or I'm going to kill that worthless piece of-" One of the officers held up his hand.

"Don't worry, he's with Kakashi-san at the moment, but the boss wants us to stay here, just until Naruto-kun gets back safely" The blond cocked her head in confusion.

"Why's that? Is something wrong?" Asuma scratched his head.

"Well…"

"We should go inside before we discuss this," The red eyed woman pointed out "We might attract the wrong attention" She nodded towards a woman who was glaring at Ino, her hand holding a younger child's hand, and walking towards them.

Ino quickly opened the door wider for the officers, closing it to a murmur of 'Abominations, the lot of them'

She led them to the kitchen, "Tea? Coffee?" She grabbed a couple of mugs, holding them in question towards the police. She pulled out the tea bags at the call, and placed them in their respective mugs. Asuma leant against the side while Kurenai took an empty chair at the table. The kettle boiled the water, getting too loud to leave room for conversation. They waited patiently. Ino poured in the water, leaving it to brew. The red eyed officer peered around the room.

"Where's everyone else?" Ino glanced at the open room.

"Park. Shikamaru felt cooped up. Surprising I know. Everyone took it as some kind of sign from above." She pulled out the tea bags and poured in some milk, handing the mugs over to the officers. She took one of the other chairs.

"So, what's this about?" Asuma sighed and sat down too. He glanced at his partner.

"Can you tell them to come back ASAP? It's probably better to tell you all together" Ino nodded, and pulled out her phone, pressing the first number on speed dial. Choji was the most likely to have his phone on him.

"Hey Ino" Tweets and the shouts of children revealed him to be near the kids park, which conveniently, was only five or so meters from the forest.

"Choji! Are you all together?" He 'Nu-uh'ed. "You guys need to get back here soon. Asuma-san and Kurenai-san are here" She heard something being scrumpled up.

"Ah, okay. We'll come back now," A call of 'Choji' echoed in the receiver. "Looks like they were finished anyway. Man Ino, you should have come. Shikamaru was so eager, he almost ran here. See you in a few"

"Bye" Ino placed her phone on the table.

"They're coming back now" The officers nodded, and they lapsed into silence.

She looked at the officers.

"Sooo, is this about Naruto? Or the whole incident?" Kurenai nodded.

"Both. Hayate found something. It isn't good" Ino frowned. She didn't press anymore. She would hear it soon enough, despite how much she wanted to know now.


Jaraiya clicked through the document. He couldn't see how this would work, but then again, he didn't go beyond GCSE Science.

'The aim of the experiment is to be able to create a human that can, on will, convert their cells into specific animal cells depending on the genes that will be inserted into the cells chromosome. I have several embryos waiting; ten would have been a better number, however getting the equipment here has caused too much trouble, and getting two more tanks in is too risky. Eight will do.
Getting help may need a bit of persuasion; luckily Kabuto has his hand deep in the science society. I already have some names; Uchiha and Hyuuga are both 'obvious' options. Inuzuka and Nara would be divine additions to my team with their knowledge on animals and their biology. Also Kabuto has mentioned a botanist with great manipulative skills of genetic material (The research materials have proven that greatly). I must get more information on this one.
Sadly, DNA for the experiment is proving to be almost fruitless – DNA samples of the scientists show for them to be respectable candidates for the fusion, with no genetic diseases, but I wish for diversity in the subject group. I shall be adding Kushina Namikaze to my list of subjects, despite her... personality, that woman is a surprise in itself. It won't just be her eggs that I will be using. There is so much that I must... repay her for.'

Jaraiya scrolled down. This was all information he already knew, and information he didn't want to read again. The hostility between the snake and the fiery woman became clear after her post mortem report came back.

Rolling the little wheel on his mouse brought up Orochimaru's more recent observations.

'Naruto's body has subdued its urge to transform thanks to the drug. However Naruto's behaviour has become more negative. He has been using profanities and is disrespectful, distant and unwilling towards a majority of society. It is possible that certain herbs in the substance has increased the chemical effect of his hormones, as Naruto's strong mood swings show. There is a strong possibility that he will develop multiple personalities if he continues to take the pill at the current rate. I shall decrease the dosage to one whenever he feels the side effects of the previous dosage'

The next entry was dated for two weeks before the two were reported to have moved in to Konoha.

'Naruto's behaviour has been better. He is less distant, and he has calmed down a lot, as well as being more suggestible. There is a 79% chance we can activate stage three now and be a success. However there's still a 55% chance he will not be able to suppress his animalistic instincts and lose his humanity. We only have one chance at this and I don't want to take unnecessary risks. A minimum of one week will give the drugs more time to increase the chance of him being able to revert back to his human self after stage three.'

And the next,

'I cannot wait any longer. I'm so close. Ten days must be enough. 27% he will lose control. I just need the right push to kick start the transformation. I cannot wait. No longer. I'm too close. But I mustn't be too needy, he'll be suspicious. Maybe a trip, with those friends of his'

He checked the date of the entry.

"Damn" He ran his fingers through his hair. The entry was dated five days before Naruto and Sakura were caught in the falling building. Did that mean the falling building was used to force Naruto to change? Made sense, heightened emotions always seemed to work in the films. The kids didn't seem to have changed that way. They seemed to already know how to change, remembering his turn to watch over them. They had all gathered in Hinata's room, in a huge, furry, feathery lump in the middle of the night. It's possible though. He'd have to check.

He sent a text to Asuma with his question.

He clicked on another file, this one being the first file Hayate had read.

'Human-animal hybrids are something wanted, not just by rich, perverted men, but gangs as spies and soldiers.
Imagine a security officer ,watching the cameras through out the mayors mansion, the quietness of the night perfect for a nice read of Playboy or whatever sick magazines they have to remove the thoughts of the dead fish of a gold digger they call a 'wife', their attention pulled away for three measured seconds because of something they thought they saw on the monitor, before looking back at the brunette with the firm titties and slender limbs. The night watch will go smoothly and he will go back home and expect to sleep for ten hours straight while the fish is at work. Instead he makes it three steps out the door to be dragged back in to a dark room with the theatrically swinging bulb to be shouted about why the Mayor died on his watch.
So beautiful. To have my own secret army of pet hybrids. Then could modify some for the sick bastards, make them harmless enough, unless needed..."

"Fuck's sake- TELL KAKASHI TO GET NARUTO HERE A.S.A.P," Jaraiya jerked on the jacket "I've got to speak to Tsunade"


There you go! I need to hurry off now!

Vey: Cliché-

Shut up! The readers might not think so...

Oyasumi!