Along Came a Symbiote
Chapter 13: Conspiracy
Little light illuminated the hospital room thanks to the cloud filled sky. Yet Naruto could see the woman he shared his bed with perfectly. He carefully moved a stray hair away from her face, doing his best not to wake her. It had been three days since he'd awakened from his coma and told Anko all he could. He shifted in his bed, trying to press her closer to him. His body was nearly bandage free aside from a few places on his chest. Though his healing was going smoothly, scars littered his body in parallel quad sets, Carnage clearly leaving an everlasting impression on him. His body still needed to repair the skeletal damage, something that took far longer than his flesh.
'Not like it matters.'
His abysmal thought was in remembrance to the fact that he had the next two weeks free. After retelling the story he fed Anko to the Hokage, he was reprimanded for his careless actions that had put his fellow leaf nins in danger. As punishment, he was given a two week suspension.
Carnage, Hidan covered with his symbiote's spawn. Naruto couldn't help but wonder where the madman was. Guilt tightened around his neck, as he thought of all those who died by Carnage's hand. He thought of how he was responsible for Carnage's creation, and how there would be a two week period where he couldn't hunt him down. Two weeks for Carnage to kill. Naruto quickly shook the thought from his mind.
Naruto returned his attention to Anko. Sleep called to him, to join her in a content slumber. And yet he fought it. Something didn't feel right. He felt eyes on him, on them, yet he couldn't find anything. His current condition prevented him from inspecting his surroundings aside from observing. He tried to put them out of his mind, especially with his eyes growing heavy from fatigue.
The next day
It was that time of year again as Genins came from all over the elemental nations in hope of rising in rank. They were all gathered before the tall, ominous fenced area known as training ground 44. Anko was stuck once again explaining the rules for the second exam.
"I'm going to need you to sign these waver forms before you enter my lovable forest, cause it ain't our fault if you die!"
Her voice was loud, but it lacked its usual exuberance.
Naruto was different. She didn't know if it was the recent events or something else, but something was bothering him. He wasn't sleeping well, something she knew for a fact, and he seemed hesitant towards her.
'What's bothering him?'
The group of Genin began walking towards her, papers in hand.
Anko gathered the various legal papers and double checked that each was signed.
"Alright now your teams will each receive a scroll-"she explained the next steps.
Once the second part of the exams began, Anko began making her way towards the hospital. Her thoughts went back to Naruto as she pondered what could be going through his head.
'Is it regret, could he be regretting our relationship. No, its not that, at least I don't want to think that, besides he's been more affectionate lately. Scared. I don't think he's capable of feeling fear.' Anko chuckled. 'What is it? What has him so-'
Her thoughts stopped as the hospital came into view. Various Anbu were stationed around, and in plain view no less. She immediately walked up towards one.
"What is going on here?"
The Anbu standing at the entrance turned towards her, his lion panted mask hiding his features aside from his brown bushy hair.
"A patient was kidnapped, his room was destroyed and only one of the assailants have been apprehended."
Anko had only heard part of what was said as she pushed by the man and immediately ran towards Naruto's room. An uneasy pit formed in her stomach. And then it exploded. The door to Naruto's room had been torn from its hinges and said door had been broken in half. What she could see of the inside was a mess.
"Hey don't go in there!"
Anko entered despite the protest. The broken windows with blood spots around the remaining edges and the knocked over furniture and equipment were the first things she noticed.
'No.. nonono. I just got him back!' her mind was on the edge of despair.
Her eyes took a closer look at her surrounding. 'Blood on the windows is still wet, not much, whoever's it belongs to is injured at best. Room has minor damage, struggle didn't last long. Naruto's hospital gown, torn and thrown to the corner of the room.' She couldn't think further with her mind torn between Naruto and accessing the situation. 'Thank god there isn't a body here.'
She turned to the exit of the room and her eyes fell upon the restrained individual. The male was dressed in clothes identical to Konoha's Anbu aside from his white mask, which was painted in pattern-less lines and sweeps across an animal face.
Anko walked up to the real Anbu standing guard over the man. "This the assailant?" she asked, her voice devoid of emotion.
The Anbu nodded. "Just one of them, witnesses' state that there were multiple culprits, all dressed similarly."
Anko leveled an icy glare on the faux Anbu. "Bring him to MY interrogation room."
The purple haired interrogator walked off without another word. She bottled up her emotions, sealing them off to prevent her muddled feelings from spilling out.
The Anbu hesitated a mere second before picking up the captured criminal and following after Anko.
The room was painted in a dull grey. Walls were evenly spaced to form a perfect square. All four corners contained a stand that held a large speaker on top. In the middle of the room a chain hung from the ceiling, and on that chain hung Naruto. He hung from his bounded hands. His clothes, or the symbiote that formed his hunter gear, was missing several spots and appeared to be torn.
Despite the cool air, sweat could be seen on his exposed skin. His faced was unmasked and full of pain though there was no physical explanation.
Suddenly the speakers switched on, each releasing a high pitch squeal. Naruto howled, thrashing his body while his symbiote twitched and convulsed. Bits of the symbiote fell off, the flesh dying off from the prolonged exposure to the sound.
The speakers shut off. It had become a systematic process of his symbiote recovering and the speakers kicking on, destroying any progress the symbiote made.
Naruto imagined that there was a camera inside the room and that someone was activating the speakers. The attacks hadn't come in specific minutes nor when he moved.
They new his weakness and how to exploit it. Naruto recalled the metallic devices that each of his assailants had equipped onto their arms. It had been nearly four years since he had felt the sting of melody arm during the Chunin exams. He would have linked his kidnappers to Oto if not for how little they traveled.
'We're not even outside the village.'
Again the speakers hummed to life, sending a new wave of pain through both Naruto and the symbiote. His body went limp and the sound ended his torment.
A loud clicked sounded off the only door to the room unlocking, and soon after an elder man entered the room followed by two of his assailants. The faux Anbu stood protectively on the sides of the apparent leader.
Naruto looked up and met the bandaged face of Danzo. Silence filled the room as neither Naruto or the man before him seemed to be in a hurry to speak, for Naruto there were many more things he preferred to do at the moment.
Naruto looked towards the body guards. "So the Third Hokage was correct in assuming you hadn't disbanded your vigilante gang." recalling the diary Hiruzen left him.
Danzo's face remained stiff. "Root is the very structure that supports this village. One that fights the battles that must be fought."
"It also works outside of the Hokage's orders and for your interests." Naruto added.
"The current Hokage and Hiruzen before her were and are still unable to make the decisions needed for this village."
"And you are?" Naruto chuckled. "We know all about you. You're manipulative, obsessive, but mostly a coward."
Danzo's voice remained passive but grew in volume. "Hit him again."
Naruto grunted as the speakers resumed their job. The other three occupants never moved once while Naruto shook the chains with his tremors.
Danzo began speaking once the speakers switched off. "I know all about you…. and your other. I must confess that when your odd behavior began I initially assumed that you were merely bonding with the Nine tailed fox inside you. But then the Chunin exams came. As usual I had Root spread out amongst Training ground 44, adding intelligence on the skills of the new Genins from other villages. Then one of them spotted you and your fight with the sound nin. After witnessing your abilities and the unusual transformation of your clothes, you were followed. I was unsure of what I had been told, or what could possibly be attached to you. I ordered Root to further investigate you, and to figure what exactly your abilities were, but there wasn't much they could do, until after you left for your training trip."
Danzo smiled. "It was then that they were able to search your home without alerting you. They found the container and were able to find small traces of what was inside. It wasn't enough to add up the pieces. The fragments left behind were nearly dust. We had to rehydrate them, only to find out that it matched no element found on this planet. Still it wasn't enough for me to figure out. I spent weeks trying to figure out what your weapon was and where it came from. A closer look at the container revealed scorch marks, I couldn't understand why the container would have been burnt, but then I remembered about the meteor that destroyed your apartment all those years ago. Then everything came together."
"What do you want with us?" Naruto finally asked.
Danzo gave the question some thought. "I want to know more about your alien partner. How it works, and how I can reproduce it. I wouldn't have thought to create more, but…. Carnage proved that this alien is capable of reproduction. You on the other hand, I have no use for."
A smile spread on Naruto's face. "You won't get what you want from us. We're not so feeble as to bend to your will. Besides, we're a package deal. You won't get one of us without the other."
"I'm confident that's not the truth. I already know your alien's weakness. Whether it unbinds itself from you out of its need for survival or because you die is beside the point."
Danzo gave a sharp command and the speakers were switched back on. Again Naruto was wracked with pain, both of his own and the symbiotes. This time the machines were not turned off after a mere few minutes. As time continued, the symbiote convulsed more wild, falling off in larger globs and exposing more of Naruto's skin. The pain of the two detaching became too painful for the blonde, causing him to scream.
The entire time this happened, Danzo and his two guards watched motionless. It wasn't until Naruto was nude that Danzo nodded and the guard on his left approached Naruto, only to bend down and focus on the black pool beneath him. He retrieved a glass container and began scooping handfuls of the symbiote into it. The symbiote was incapable of even gripping onto the man in its weakened state and was left with little option than to limply flow into the clear prison.
The man sealed the container off once he'd obtained the majority of the alien life form and stood up.
The speakers shut off and the man looked back towards Naruto, who had passed out. "Shall we kill him now?"
"No." Danzo stated. "We will extract the Nine tailed fox first, then kill him. For now we will focus on our new project and worry about the jinchuriki after a suitable host has been selected."
With that sentence finished, the three made their way towards the door and left the room behind. Naruto hung limp, and for the first time in twelve years, without his symbiote.
A room similar to the one Naruto was currently in held another bond man, except instead of suspended from a chain; this man was bound to a chair. His Root Anbu gear had been removed along with most of his cloths. One other occupant paced around in the room. The purple haired interrogator walked back and forth, her trench coat flapping as she turned around to repeat the process.
"Where did your accomplices take Naruto Uzumaki?"
Her question was met with silence.
"Why did you target him?"
Silence was his only answer.
"Answer me!" she screamed.
It had been a pattern that Anko Mitarashi had repeated for the last hour followed by an intense beating. She had picked up the chair and its occupant several times now and had given the man several seconds of rest before restarting his torture. But now she was done playing around, her patience had come to an end.
She pulled a kunai from one of his pockets and in a flash she had slammed it into the man's right shoulder. The kunai had been aimed to land onto bone with only enough force to pierce flesh. The faux Anbu screamed in response to the invasion of his shoulder. Anko wasn't finished with a mere laceration and began twisting the still embedded knife, scraping the bone. The feel of his bone being scrape was agonizingly slow, eliciting more pain filled grunts and groans.
"Talk!" Anko commanded, no longer bothering with repeating her questions.
Several seconds went by as she continued digging the kunai around inside of him. Without warning she abandoned her weapon and made her way to a table near by. The interrogator browsed the several tools and equipments on the table. Her hands skimmed over the deadly and pristine tools. Finally her hand stopped and picked up a pair of pliers. She brought it to her face and flexed the tool before returning to her prisoner.
"I'm going to give you one last chance… before I permanently remove something." her voice cold and without remorse for what she was prepared to do.
He stared at her for several seconds, yet despite her promise he remained silent.
"Have it your way."
She grabbed his face and squeezed down in an attempt to pry his mouth open. He fought feverishly to keep his mouth clamp shut, not at all ignorant of what she planned to do. Anko struggled with him, bringing the tool inches to his face as she managed to inch his mouth apart. A frustrated sigh escaped her mouth when his mouth tightened back up. Angered by her failure, Anko slapped the pliers across her prisoners face.
Her eyes looked down to the hands that were bound to the chair and then to the nails that were connected to its fingers. The prisoner's eyes widened when he noticed what had her focus. The pliers dragged across the panicking mans hands, Anko's only warning.
When the expected silence continued Anko adjusted the tool in her hand and gripped the nail with its teeth. She pulled ever slowly, never taking her eyes off the man's face as he gritted his teeth and even leaked a few tears. Flesh gave loose as the man pitifully cried and Anko no longer felt tension on the tool in her hands.
"Talk!" She demanded
Her anger rose to new heights when the man merely panted in response. She abandoned the tool to the ground and gripped the throat of the prisoner before her.
"Talk dammit! Talk. I can continue torturing you all day, but eventually I WILL KILL YOU!" She began screaming in his face as she started choking the life out of him.
The door to the room burst open and Ibiki rushed through, wrestling Anko away from their prisoner. It was only after she'd been thrown into the adjacent room where the others watched the torture did she come to her senses and calm down.
Ibiki slammed the door behind him and turned to the other occupants. "Get out, I need this room to myself."
They all nodded and made their way towards the other exit. Anko began weakly picking herself up and made to follow them, but she found a firm hand on her shoulder.
"It's only because I know what you're going through that I don't tear you a new asshole. At the same time I'm removing you from this case."
He felt her shoulders shudder as she took in deep breathes.
"I'll send someone to you when we find out where they're keeping Naruto. Go home and get some rest."
Anko didn't bother to turn around and face the man. "How will you get anything out of him? Inoichi couldn't access his mind and I just spent the last hour in that room trying to break him."
"He'll break." Ibiki spoke confidently. "Get some rest."
Anko slipped from beneath his fingers and exited the room. With that taken care of, Ibiki reentered the interrogation. He picked up the pliers off the ground and returned them to the table.
"You're tough, that much is for sure. But I'm experienced in these kind of things. No matter who you work for, your loyalty will falter…. or I'll leave you as a crippled mess, forever disfigured and unable to even properly operate without someone's help."
The prisoner of the room began hyperventilating as the scar riddled interrogator eyed a bone saw, bringing it up and inspecting it.
"I don't plan to kill you…. no, your luck on that ran out the second I got that woman away from you. She'd have killed you, but me…. I know how to truly make your life hell."
Imprisoned. The fact that it was once more detained sent waves of frustration through its liquid form. The man carrying it had split off from the others, passing several pairs of doors. While the symbiote waited for what laid next in the scheme of life, it couldn't help but reminisce about the past twelve years. From the beginning of its bonding, to the humorous antics its host played on the village, as well as the unkind recent events.
Finally its carrier balanced it in one hand while opening a door. Inside the new room were various assortments of equipments from simple microscopes to computer screens with complex information littering their lit surface. Its container was placed on a nearby table and the man went about grabbing items and organizing his work area in preparation.
The symbiote examined its surroundings from its prison before a shout of excitement echoed through it. The fool of a man had placed it near the edge, and with the frailty of its entrapment, a mere fall from the height of the table would at least crack it if not altogether shatter.
A quick judgment of the empty space within the container informed it that there was just enough room to move with enough force to tip the jar, but now its concern returned to the man within the room. Still busy preparing whatever his plans were. It knew that if it were to attempt escape that it would have but one chance. If it failed, then the container would most likely be secured more safely, then again it was highly unlikely that another chance as the one before it would occur especially if the man realized his own stupidity.
The cons of waiting stacked up far too much for the symbiote and it began swaying back and forth. Each movement was with as much inertia it could carry with the limited space. The prison began to pivot, but not quiet to the extent it wanted. A change of tactics had it running across the sides of it container, spinning itself into a whirlpool. The container began twirling on the edge of its bottom.
The sound of the bottom scrapping the table caught the attention of the other occupant in the room. Eyes widening as he watched the container tip over the table. His reflexes kicked into overdrive and he dived to catch it.
The sound of glass shattering erupted in the room and it sprung into action. Its black tendrils quickly ensnared the man. Its body quickly covered him and within a few second it had found its way into his brain.
It had been banished for its decision to become a symbiote , ironic how it was about to revert to old ways.
The man stilled, his brain lobotomized by the being invading his body and now taking control.
"Success!" the symbiote spoke through the man's voice.
Immediately the symbiote scanned through the memories of its new host, searching for anything that pertained to its current location. It discovered that they were in an underground base located under a portion of the village. It burned to memory the layout of the base, especially the surveillance room that monitored the various halls and rooms. The symbiote counted itself lucky that the room it was currently in held no cameras, though this was to reduce the evidence of what occurred in the room.
A plan formulated in its mind as it slid the foot of its host in order to sweep the broken fragments of its previous container under the table.
The chains digging into his wrists grew ever more uncomfortable. The cool temperature began to sink into his naked flesh as a shiver snaked through his body. Though uncomfortable, Naruto kept his mind sharp and his body limp.
The Root nin was unaware of the fact that Naruto was conscious as he inspected said teen's seal. Naruto considered snatching the man the instant he was within reach, but with his hands bound and his strength recovering, it just wasn't an opportune time. He still had his feet and legs, but until the Root nin was no longer paying attention he doubted he'd be able to effectively kill the man.
The Root nin continued his inspection.
'My head feels so empty.' Naruto noted. 'I'd forgotten how it felt to be alone. I need to get my other back, to be complete. But first I need to destroy these devices. Where did they take it?"
His thoughts ended abruptly when the man inspecting his seal tensed.
"It's not here."
That one statement sealed his fate. As soon as the Root nin turned around to leave, he found a pair of legs gripped around his neck and crushing his wind pipe. He struggled against the appendages, reaching into his pouch and retrieving a kunai.
Naruto felt the knive enter his side, yet he only tightened his grip. The Root nin struggled for air, a strangled cry escaping his throat before he went limp. Naruto released the man then swung his legs up, gripping the chains and pulled his body till he was hanging upside down. Using his feet to hold himself up, he used the slack created from the act to begin undoing the chains that nearly melded into his skin.
He dropped to the ground on all four limbs. A quick jerk removed the bloodied kunai from his side. Naruto inspected his wound and was satisfied to find none of his organs harmed. The naked man rose to his feet and made his way over to the Root nin.
'Time to get my bearings.' He thought as he performed a set of hand signs and reached for the deceased man's head.
He remained knelt over the man's body for several seconds before rising to his feet and cursing.
"Dammit!" he said while looking around the room.
'He has a block on his mind. Can't access his memories and I don't have the time to try and break through.'
Naruto looked at the man beneath him, more specifically, his clothes. 'He's a size too small.'
He weighed the options in his head for several seconds before getting up and walking towards the exit.
'Clothes will restrict my movement. Besides I have no reservations about fighting in the nude.'
It turned out to be a wise decision to head towards the monitoring room first. The symbiote had quickly ended the life of the man in charge of said room and preceded to search for its host. It stared at the several tv monitors that covered the wall before it and lit the dark room.
Images of patrols making their rounds appeared and disappeared across the screens. The black and white image of a naked man snuck through one of the screens only to disappear into another.
The symbiote watched in humor as its nude host snatched one of the patrols into the shadows, only to exit seconds later as the victor. It dug into its current host's memories in order to pin point where his previous host was. Frustration arose as it couldn't find any information of importance and the monitor didn't reveal anything thanks to the halls holding no significant details or noticeable differences.
"Shouldn't have killed him." the symbiote stated through the man's lips, eying the dead man mere inches away.
Indeed his information would have been helpful in deciphering the cameras and the location they viewed. But there wasn't anything that could be done about it now. The symbiote continued to stare at the many monitors, trying to find how the man in charge was meant to figure out the lay out of the area. He had to know what camera connected to each location in order to warn against intrusion or other hazards.
Again Naruto incapacitated another Root nin before disappearing. He reappeared into monitor, but stilled. A few seconds went by before he ducked into a room. His reasons became known the instant a patrolling Root nin appeared in the camera.
The symbiote quickly scanned all the monitors, analyzing just how many had doors within sight. Done with its observations, it left the room and began its hunt.
It reeked within the room. There wasn't an ounce of light aside from the small slit at the bottom of the door. The light at the bottom parted for a mere second as one of the patrols passed by.
Naruto held his breath, remaining still in the hopes that whoever was on the other side would not detect him. He waited a full two minutes before moving to leave, only to halt as he found no door knob.
"What the hell!" he said, forgetting all about stealth as he stared at the flat surface of the door.
He applied his hand to the surface and used chakra to stick himself to it. "Dammit." he cursed as he realized that without pulling the bar back in the door it was useless.
Checking the edges revealed them to be small and the only tool he had was the kunai, which was too thick to fit.
'I can't believe I just got myself locked in!' he nearly screamed in his mind.
Several minutes passed by as he tried to calm himself.
The groan caught Naruto's attention to the original occupant of the room. A thin man bound to a bed seemed to be the owner of the voice. He had long black hair, pale skin that nearly glowed in the dark room, and he was barely covered around the waist by a thin sheet.
As Naruto's eyes adjusted to the darkness, he noticed a needle stuck into the man's arm that was connected to an IV drip next to his bed. 'Whoever this is, Danzo wants him to live.'
The man looked over to Naruto's location. His face went from puzzled to disgust.
"I thought the point of this was for you to get my genes, this… is just sick." his voice came out hoarse.
Naruto returned the puzzled face while thinking over what could cause the man to say such a thing. He looked over himself, remembering he was naked and connected the sentence.
"Well don't worry buddy, you're not my type." was Naruto's smartass response.
"Then what are you doing here, more importantly, why are you nude?"
Naruto turned back to the door leading out. He didn't sense anyone on the other side, but that didn't mean he needed to be careless. Moving closer to the bed caused the man tied to it to inch away.
The nude blonde began whispering. "Look I don't know for certain what your situation is, but I'd assume that you, like me have been taken captive. I broke free and jumped in here to hide."
"That was a mistake." the bound man whispered back.
"Yeah." Naruto admitted.
The man posed a new question. "So how long have they held you?"
Naruto considered the time he was conscious. "Possibly a day or more, couldn't be more than two though."
"And already broke out of you're room, that's better than my record, though you can see they've taken certain measures to prevent that. Out of curiosity, who am I talking to?"
The man went quiet. Naruto assumed he was merely done talking, though he considered it odd to simply end the conversation at his name.
Naruto turned and faced the man. "Do I know you?"
"You don't recognize me? I guess it has been a long time and my time in here hasn't been the kindest."
The blonde began paying close attention to the man. His voice wasn't familiar though that could have been from his dried mouth, and the darkness made it hard to see key features. A feminine hint with the long hair and facial outline was the best he could gather.
"It's me, Haku."
A smile spread across his face as a sense of irony arose. "Well… long time no see. Where the heck did you go?"
"Here. During the Chunin exams I was attacked by leaf Anbu… then brought here. Danzo wanted to recruit me into his forces, when I rejected him, he tried to break me." A mirth smile crossed his face. "Zabuza had subjected me to worse; Danzo wasn't pleased when I didn't bend to his will. So he had me tied up, put an IV in my arm for nutrients, and made sure that I was too weak to attempt any escapes yet strong enough to live. Then he sent his female agents in here to collect my seed."
Naruto chuckled. "Well at least you had company."
Haku didn't share in his humor. "I was raped! I don't care what anyone else says, rape is rape. What makes this worse is that I know full well what Danzo has planned for my children! He'll raise them to be his slaves, deprive them a human life, to be nothing more than drones. As many times as I've been visited…. There has to be at least a few successful pregnancies."
Naruto's mood turned dark. "He won't get that chance."
"What do you plan to do? you're stuck-"
Both occupants of the room tensed as the light under the door parted. Naruto turned just in time for the door to open and darted towards the opening just in time to grab the Root nin by his vest and pull him into the room. He reared the kunai in his other hand back and slammed it into the nins skull.
'What the… he didn't even resist.'
Suddenly a black fluid leapt from the man's body and covered Naruto. It took a mere few seconds before it took new shape. A mask formed on his face with two torn tear like lens for eyes, Black, slick jacket with the zipper on the far right side and matching pants covered the rest of his body, boots formed over his feet and part of his pants while gloves appeared over his hands. Leather padding grew on his shoulders, elbows, and knees. And the final change was a white spider emblem bleeding to life on his chest and back.
Naruto eagerly slammed a fist into an open palm, a loud boom sounding off in the room. 'Complete once more.'
The symbiote began relating all information it had gained while using the Root nin as a temporary host.
Haku was nearly blinded by the rush of light that flooded the room, but he saw what had transpired, and yet he wasn't sure what to make of it. He remained silent, what he considered his best course of action due to not truly knowing what happened to Naruto.
Suddenly he was acknowledged by Naruto. "We'll be back after we pay Danzo a visit."
'We? I know he referred to himself as we when we first met, but just a moment ago he was referring to himself as I.' Haku remained puzzled.
Naruto exited the room and closed the door behind him.
His symbiote shifted into a uniform matching that of the Root Anbu he had encountered along the way. He picked one matching his physique and made his way to Danzo's office. Naruto encountered another Root nin. The unsuspecting nin gave Naruto a brief glance before walking pass him.
Naruto's arm whipped and connected with the man's skull. An echoing snap bounced through the halls followed by the sound of a body crashing against a stone wall.
He didn't need to see the blood pooling around the nins head to know he was dead. Naruto kept walking forward as the sound of foot steps grew closer. Naruto turned around as if preparing to inspect the dead body.
Another Root nin came up behind him. "What happened here?"
His query was met with a powerful blow to the solar plexus. The Root nin's body was bent over Naruto's outstretched arm , making it easy for Naruto to reach up and snap his neck.
Again he began his march towards Danzo's office, preparing himself for the next unfortunate soul to cross his path.
Danzo was seated, reading one of the many recent reports littering the desk in front of him. The Hokages' activities, The Hidden Mist's civil war conclusion, and Kumo's attempts at replicating the Hyuga's Byakugan were just some of the topics within the reports.
A series of knocks sounded off his door. "Come in." he firmly demanded.
The door opened and in walked one of his men. A man that reached up to five eleven with a bulky physique approached his desk.
Danzo's demand went unanswered, and the bandaged elder was unaware of the heated glare being pointed at him.
Oddly enough, he had been patient with the response, waiting almost a few minute.
Pain erupted in his left hand, the cause blatantly obvious as he stared at the offending kunai nailing his hand. His attention shifted up to his supposed operative, Naruto's enraged face meeting his gaze.
"You! How.." Danzo gritted his teeth.
Naruto kept his eyes locked. "You should have killed us when you had the chance. You coward."
Danzo's bandaged hand whipped up to the gauze wrapping on his face. Naruto noticed the action and in one fluid movement, gripped the arm with a death-like grip and wrench it away from the bandaged man's face. He produced another kunai, this time nailing the hand to the man's chair.
"You're not as crippled as you act. So why all the bandages? What are you hiding?"
Naruto's curiosity almost got the better of him as he reached to remove the steadily red dying bandages.
'We can check it afterwards.'
"You've got much to answer for. Traitor. And we plan to make you pay for every deed before we kill you."
Fear began to creep its way onto Danzo's face, though he tried to remain defiant. "I am no traitor. All I've done have been for the good of my village. How would someone like you understand? You've lied to your leader, your comrades, and everyone that knows you."
A balled fist across Danzo's face was his reward for his defiance.
Naruto's response came in a near growl. "We have never sabotaged our leader or our comrades. We've never done anything to jeopardize the village just so we could get ahead. Unlike you, we are truly loyal to Konoha and not ourselves."
Several more blows to the face came as Naruto vented his rage.
Danzo's bruised face grimaced. "What do you understand about loyalty. About doing right by your village. You don't understand what sacrifices I've made. How I've worked behind the scenes to insure my village's safety was assured. Your alien counterpart could have been an asset to the village, but you selfishly kept it to yourself-"
The sentence was cut off there thanks to the hand gripping the old war hawk's throat.
"What sacrifices have you made? You hold a seat on the council you have no right to. You brainwash people into being your slaves, going so far as to kill themselves should they fail. Your injuries-"
Naruto realized something. "No. We've wasted too much time."
He slammed his arm down on Danzo's arm that was pinned to the desk. Several sharp cracks reverberated from the apendage. Naruto retrieved the kunai from the limb, its purpose no longer necessary due to the broken bones. The kunai found a new home in the bandage covered man's abdomen. He intently aimed for the liver, a deadly blow, but one that wouldn't kill him till Naruto was thoroughly done with the torment.
Haku was tempted to fall back to sleep with how long it was taking Naruto to get back. Almost ready to assume that he had either been killed trying to get to Danzo or had simply left him behind in order to escape.
The door to his prison creaked open. The man standing in the door way was obviously a Root nin with his dress apparel, but Haku couldn't recognize him thanks to the light flowing in, shadowing his features. The figure took a few more steps in, the shadows leaving his face.
"So… you didn't abandon me."
Naruto smiled at the statement. "We're hurt. Do you really think we'd do such a thing?"
The blonde began undoing the binds imprisoning Haku to the bed, removing the IV as well as wrapping the blankets around his form to keep his modesty. The ice nin noticed the blood staining his fingers, as well as the splatters that riddled his clothing. Despite the clues to the torment that Naruto had inflicted on Danzo and his followers, this was not enough to distract him from his earlier thoughts. The black fluid that had grafted itself to Naruto and his change from me to we still remained solid.
Naruto had just finished undoing the bindings. "Can you walk?"
Haku shook his head. "Not without a lot of help. I've been restrained to this bed for nearly two years. I've only been able to prevent my muscles from atrophying by sending pulses of lightning chakra through my body."
"Never would have thought of that." Naruto admitted, helping Haku up and slinging the limp man's arm over his shoulder.
He stood up, dragging the long haired man up with him. They began the slow trip out of the base, taking random turns through the base. Naruto didn't bother worrying about any random patrols finding them, he had already taken care of such a nuisance.
"You know the way out?" Haku suddenly asked.
"Yeah, we do."
'We…' "So what's with your interesting speech?"
A confused look crossed Naruto's face, as confused as he could possibly fake. They stopped at a intersection. Naruto looked around, searching his mind for the correct path.
"What do you mean about our speech?"
Haku didn't even humor his question. "I might have just woken up, but I know what you were saying before that… this" He pointed out the clothes covering Naruto. "Covered you. What is this?"
Naruto huffed. Seeing that he wouldn't be able to bluff his way out. "Our other." Naruto stated "Is not of this world."
Haku gave him a skeptical look. "You mean that it's…. from another planet. It's sentient."
"In a manner of speaking. It's also why Danzo captured us. He wanted to use our other as a weapon for his army."
"The black stuff you used to fight and bind me-"
"Webbing created from my other."
Haku stayed silent, processing what he was hearing.
"I assume that's not all it can do."
Naruto shook his head. "It can alter its appearance to whatever clothing we may need as well as blend in with the surroundings, making us slightly invisible. It increases my strength and speed, makes me aggressive, but that I admit was a good thing. You'll keep this a secret….. my other will be kept a secret.." Naruto's tone turned dark towards the end.
Haku understood the message behind the statement. 'He'll kill me if I tell anyone.'
"I won't say anything. I don't owe Konoha anything, you I owe at least this for freeing me from Danzo….. Thank you for sharing this with me."
Naruto didn't respond. He was upset enough that he had to tell Haku anything at all.
They arrived at the end of another hall, a door present before them. Naruto reached forward, grasping the knob and turning. Opening the door revealed a staircase leading up. After climbing up the steps, the two found themselves into what appeared to be the basement of a house. Further exploration showed that the assumption was correct as they found an inviting living room complete with furniture decorating the area and curtains filtering light in.
'Just how long were we in there?' Naruto wondered.
Haku raised the hand, not slung over Naruto's shoulder, in front of his face, a vain attempt to keep the light from blinding his dark tolerant eyes.
A dry chuckle emanated from him. "You'd think I'd be happy to see actual light after so long."
"Better get used to it. Don't know how far the Hokage's office is from here."
Haku didn't protest, either seeing truth in what he said or merely too tired to argue. He looked towards Naruto uniform and became curious.
"Why are you still dressed as a Root nin?"
"When we were taken. We were wearing only a hospital gown, which we lost in the fight, and some bandages. So unless we plan to go naked, we need to seem as if we found an extra pair of clothing unless we want suspicion to be aimed at us."
Haku nodded in understanding.
The blonde opened the door to exit the building and came to face the busy streets of the market area. Shoppers and venders alike took notice of the odd pair exiting the building, but went on with their business.
One or two people inquired to if they needed help, but Naruto ignored them as he easily found the large Hokage tower and began his slow walk towards it.
Upon arriving at their destination, Naruto had to climb up the side of the building, not an easy task while supporting Haku on his shoulders.
'That bitch at the front desk made this such a hassle!' he thought while crawling up the wall with only one hand.
"I never realized how impressive your chakra control is." Haku idly noticed.
Naruto crawled up a few more feet. "Oh yeah. Normally it's enjoyable when We're not doing it one handed and carrying approximately…. eighty-six pounds."
"Welllll, you should thank Danzo. I'd weigh more if it weren't for my starved state." Haku sarcastically replied.
The blonde kept climbing up. He was just at the window when a shadow appeared above him.
"We normally can't sense you climbing up, then again you seem to have baggage today." an Anbu of Konoha stated, standing on the wall with chakra and looming over Naruto and Haku. "Where have you been for the past two days?"
Naruto regarded the Anbu, the real Anbu, with lazy eyes. "We'll tell the Hokage all about it. But it's a long story, one We rather not repeat.
The Anbu nodded as he stepped out of Naruto's way, an odd act considering what he was standing on.
Naruto proceeded past the elite nin and made no attempt to be quiet as he banged onto the window.
Tsunade jerked, twisting in her chair to see the creator of the ruckus hanging next to the window. Team Guy were also present, each sporting either shocked or curious looks on their face.
With muted permission, Lee made his way over to the window and opened it.
"Ah, where have you been Naruto? We've all tried our best to insure you're youthful return!"
Lee's jubilant voice brought a smile to Naruto's face.
"Where have you been and who is that on your shoulders?" And Tsunade's stern voice reminded Naruto of why he was here.
"We were kidnapped. So was he, only his captured occurred during the Chunin exams before you were Hokage." Naruto explained pulling himself into the room and placing Haku on a nearby couch.
"The Chunin exams?" Tsunade wondered. "Was this Orochimaru's doing?"
"Hah!" Naruto's exclaimed. "You wish it was that particular monster of Konoha. No this one was still hiding here."
Concerned looks crossed across everyone's face who were ignorant of Naruto's and Haku's whereabouts.
Tenten found her voice. "Monster within Konoha? What are you talking about?"
A small chuckle crept from Naruto's mouth. "Danzo Shimura."
"So those were Root nins." Tsunade murmured.
Naruto merely nodded his head.
The blonde woman turned to Team Guy. "As you can see, Naruto is no longer missing. So I won't need you and Team eight to look for him. You are dismissed, and please inform Team eight of Naruto's status."
The team quickly left, though Lee seemed slightly reluctant, leaving only Naruto, Haku, and Tsunade in the room.
"Your name is?" Tsunade addressed Haku.
"I am Haku. Danzo had me kidnapped back during the Chunin exams nearly…." Haku turned to Naruto. "I don't know how long ago, there wasn't any way to tell time where I was held."
"It's nearly been four years since We brought you to Konoha." Naruto stated.
A look of wonder crossed Haku's face. "I had only spent nearly two months at the hospital when I went to watch your fight in the Chunin exams. Has it really been that long ago?"
"Do either of you know why Danzo had you captured?"
Haku spoke first. "He wanted me to swear allegiance to Konoha, more specifically, to become a Root nin."
"You must have been talented if he sent his nins to get you."
Haku shook his head at Tsunade's statement. "Though I am talented, it was my blood line he was after, hence why I have not been killed yet."
Tsunade's senses went on alert, foreboding what would be said next. "What do you mean?"
"I have the ability to combine water and wind elemental chakra in order to make ice ninjutsu. When I refused to be a ninja for him, he had me locked away…. and….. raped.. in the hope that my children would carry my bloodline and…. serve him in my place."
'Damn you Danzo.' Tsunade cursed the old war hawk.
The blonde Hokage took in a deep, slow breathe of air, exhaling in the hopes of alleviating the stress building up. "I'm sorry for all that has happened to you Haku. What Danzo has done to you is both inhumane and unforgivable. I will immediately send out a warrant for his arrest."
"Too late for that." Naruto mirthfully commented.
A headache began building in Tsunade's head. "What… do you mean by that?"
Naruto smiled. "When We discovered everything that Danzo had done, We decided to become his judge, jury, and executioner."
"Dammit Naruto!" Tsunade yelled. "What Danzo has done would have demanded death, but he was still a council member and should have been brought in first! Do you have any idea how much trouble this is going to cause?"
She sat back in her chair and began messaging her temples. 'An investigation on Naruto will be demanded, on top of the investigation onto Danzo. Oh the paperwork!'
"We don't see what the problem is. Danzo was ordered by the third to disband Root, on top of that he has kidnapped a resident and a currently enlisted nin of Konoha. These actions are traitorous and deserve death."
"Yes! But not under your judgment alone!" Tsunade stated.
"There's plenty of evidence in Danzo's base of operations to support Our judgment. Just send out someone you trust to investigate." Naruto uncaringly responded.
Still messaging her temples, Tsunade released a sigh. "Fine. Where is his base of operations?"
Naruto walked up to her desk and retrieved a pen and pad of paper. He quickly scribbled the address done and handed it to her.
"The house of this address has a basement that leads to his underground base. We made no attempt to close it up, so it should be obvious when they get there."
Tsunade nodded. "Shizune!"
Said women entered the room almost immediately. "Yes- oh it's good to see you safe Naruto. Where have you been?"
"Later." Tsunade interrupted. "I want you and a team of Anbu to investigate this address and the base beneath it.
Shizune immediately left, understanding her mentor's mood.
Once more the three were left alone. "Alright, I'm sure you both are tired from your ordeal, and both of you need to be checked into the hospital, or rechecked back in." she pointed towards Naruto.
"We're ok enough to sleep in our own beds." Naruto stated. "But what's do you plan to do about Haku?"
"Well obviously I plan to check him into the hospital and bring him back to good health."
"That's not what We're talking about." Naruto interrupted. "We mean, how do you plan to make up for the injustice done to him."
"You've already killed Danzo. I can't bring the man to justice."
Naruto shook his head. "Konoha owes him more than just justice."
"And what exactly can we give you?" Tsunade honestly asked Haku. "I can easily arrange for a home to be set up and a small fund until you can get on your feet.
Several seconds went by as the long haired man remained silent.
"I want my children found."
A chill climbed up Tsunade's spine from the low voiced demand. "I can't make any promises on that. For one there is no assured way to know is there were any successful pregnancies. I doubt that if there were, that Danzo would have the birth take place in one an official hospitals, so there wouldn't be a record of them either. But I will try."
"On the matter of family." Naruto interjected. "We believe the troubles that have befallen poor Haku would deserve something to make his life easier in Konoha. Something like….. clan status to protect both him and his children."
Haku looked in shock at Naruto as Tsunade thought over the idea.
Naruto continued speaking. "There is… technically a free space now. And now that We think of it, Danzo owes Haku more than Konoha does, so why not simply give the old man's money and possessions over to Haku as well."
Tsunade remained in thought. 'Everything Danzo owned would have simply been taken and liquidated regardless. Naruto's right about the space on the council being free, the council will look to fill it in, but Haku's foreign status and his age are the only two factors that worry me.'
"It can be done." Tsunade finally spoke. "But it will take time and I'll need to talk to the council about this."
Naruto smiled in response. "Good. Well… We have a bed and one mostly likely worried-"
His sentence was interrupted by a series of shouts and yells.
"You can't go in there!"
The double doors to the office burst open, in stumbled Anko, her appearance disheveled and restless. She paused in the room as her eyes fell upon the occupants and remained latched onto Naruto. The three were unprepared when Anko suddenly barreled forward and tackled the blonde spider nin.
Naruto who had been unprepared for the move, stumbled backwards and fell out the window. A quick shot of webbing ended their fall, allowing Naruto to embrace Anko with the arm that wasn't supporting them from the line of webbing.
"You really were worried." Naruto commented while Anko merely pressed herself tighter to him, remaining uncharacteristicly quiet.
Author's Note: I want to apologize for how long it has taken for me to get this chapter out. My laptop broke down in the middle of me working on this and I have been hard pressed to find a way to finish the chapter. I hate to admit that I don't know when I'll get another one or when I'll even be able to get the next chapter done. Hopefully things will look up and It will be soon, but until then I hope you all enjoy this chapter.