Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
A much younger Naruto walked within the group of eight, the two squads which had been assigned to travel a member of royalty to the capital of the Land of Fire. The mission had gone off without a single problem, despite there always being the possibility of an attack there had been no sign of danger throughout the entire trip. Considering for some of them this had been their longest trip away from Konoha they had decided to not worry about the pace they were going instead of rushing back to be handed their next assignment. They would pick up the pace tomorrow just so that they were only a couple of days late rather than a week.
"C'mon man, cheer up," said Jeizu, rubbing the top of Naruto's hair as he walked by the blonde's side.
"How many times have I told you not to do that!" grumbled Naruto as he swatted the hand away.
"Well when you manage to grow an extra couple of feet and actually match me in height I won't have a reason to," said Jeizu with a smile. "What's got you so down anyways?"
"It's the Jonin exams, they're coming up soon," said Naruto as he focused upon the path in front of him.
"What, upset that I'm not going to be entering to beat you in the final round again?" asked Jeizu feigning to have had his feelings crushed.
"Pfft, you know that that was a fluke," said Naruto, lightly bumping his friend with his elbow.
"Yea well unlike you I'm not some prodigy, I'll happily take my victory over you whatever way I can," he said chuckling. "Anyways, why you so bummed out about the exam, it's not even for another two months."
"Everyone expects me to graduate without any hassle, that's a lot of pressure to be put on me," said Naruto.
"Buuuuuuuuttttt..." said Jeizu, dragging the word out for emphasis.
"I just wonder if I'll get my own Genin team, would they respect me?" pondered Naruto. "Would they even pay attention to their Jonin sensei who isn't just younger than them but a good foot shorter?"
"You'd probably be a much better teacher to fresh Genin than I would," said Jeizu.
"What makes you say that?" asked Naruto, looking up at his friend.
"You'd be able to relate to them, pull out the best in all of them. Heck I wouldn't mind having been taught by you."
"You mean it?"
"Well it kind of wouldn't be fair to being taught by someone who defeated you in a fight."
"I swear how many times are you going to bring that up!"
"As many times as I want because..."
"Stop!" stated the group commander and at the sound of his voice everything else came to a halt. What had been joyful chatter suddenly died down into utter silence as people tensed as to why they had been commanded to come to a standstill. The Chūnin who had been selected to lead the assignment was from the Inuzuka clan but had felt a bit lost the entire trip without his canine companion. The reason for such a cruel thing to occur was that the royalty they had been escorting was allergic to dogs and hence the loyal ally had been left behind for this assignment.
Naruto watched as he lifted his nose into the air, sniffing out to try and locate whatever it was that had infiltrated his sinuses. Lifting his head however turned out to be his undoing as a kunai rocketed forth and caught him directly in the throat.
The less experienced Chūnin froze at the horrendous sight; it barely took more than a few seconds before his last ragged breath ran forth before his life came to an abrupt end. For those few who had been Chūnin for several years they had already pulled out their own weapons to defend themselves against any other stray attacks. No more kunai flashed forwards however but two men appeared on the road before them, walking slowly yet purposefully towards them. While the black cloak with red clouds wasn't symbolic for many of the members of the Konoha troupe, Naruto however couldn't help but freeze in his place.
Jeizu looked at Naruto momentarily and saw the frightened look in the blonde's eye and in turn he couldn't but become afraid. This was clearly a dangerous threat if the strongest one between them was shaking in his boots. While their heads were covered by straw hats with white strips the shielded the view of their faces, the only other notable thing they could see were nearly identical rings, both of them having a single one which held a different kanji, but from this distance it was nearly impossible to see just what the symbol was.
"Declare who you are and what your purpose is!" shouted one of the other Chūnin, finding a bit of bravado in the situation despite the death of their squad captain.
"Kukuku, isn't that cute, someone thinks they could possibly stand up to us," chuckled one of the men. "Perhaps we should show them what true ninja of Konoha are capable of."
"Wait, these guys are from Konoha?" questioned one of the two female Chūnin who had been a part of the team.
"Were," stated Naruto as he clasped his hand tightly, his nails digging into his palm.
"Wait, these guys are missing-nin," said Jeizu as he clicked on to what Naruto had said. Suddenly he understood why Naruto was so worried, there were only a handful of ninja who had ever left the Konoha forces and being labelled missing-nin, and none of them were to be trifled with without support. The fact that two of them were confident enough to tackle seven Chūnin meant that this was going to be a dangerous battle.
"Not just any missing-nin, these are possibly two of the strongest ninja to ever have come out of Konoha," said Naruto as he clenched his teeth.
"Well, Jiraiya has been keeping good tabs on us," said Orochimaru as he revealed himself. If the rest of the Chūnin hadn't been scared by the fact they were facing missing-nin, they now were. It was even worse however as the other member of the duo revealed himself, the smell of urine excreting from one of the Chūnin but everybody tried to ignore it as best as they could. It was at this moment when everybody quickly realised how much trouble they truly were in, not only were they facing a single member of the Sannin, but also the Uchiha who had famously executed his entire family save for his younger brother in a single night. Silently, they all forgave whoever had pissed themselves as it was an understandable situation.
"Guys, run," said Naruto as he felt the Kyuubi's chakra start to leak into his system. The only way he was possibly going to win this fight was if he brought his A-game from the start. But even he wasn't foolish enough to believe he could walk away from this fight, all he wanted to do was buy enough time to allow his teammates to get away. The problem was he didn't know how much of the Kyuubi's chakra he could filter into his system without losing control, and that was one of the most dangerous situations of all. He had never pushed past the first tail, but if there ever was a situation he would need to, this was it.
"No, we're in this together," said Jeizu as he slipped into a fighting stance alongside Naruto. Naruto watched as all of the other Chūnin around him slipped into a stance, some more confidently than others as they looked down at their opponents. "All of us are in this."
"NO!" shouted Naruto, as his rage began to consume him, the Kyuubi's chakra slowly starting to have an effect over him. All of his teammates seemed to freeze at the outburst, never once having seen him lose his cool or try to order them around. "All of you have to run; I'll hold them off as long as you can."
"Are you kidding, you'll get slaughtered!"
"And if you stay here, you will to!" exclaimed Naruto.
"Kukuku, sorry, but we can't allow any of you to go anywhere," chuckled Orochimaru as he struck. For those who had been unprepared for the speed the Sannin possessed they were mercilessly slaughtered, their blood splashing over the path to be absorbed by the dirt. Jeizu watched in horror as a snake flew out of Orochimaru's sleeve and caught Naruto in the throat, the blonde gagging momentarily before exploding in a puff of smoke, revealing itself to be a shadow clone. Hoping this little opening gave him the element of surprise he charged forward, kicking at Orochimaru's head only for his attack to get caught with minimal effort. It was at this moment that Jeizu swore he saw his life flash before his eyes but his death would not come at that moment as Naruto charged past at incredible speeds, punching Orochimaru across the side of the head.
While the attack managed to give Jeizu his freedom, it hardly gave him confidence as Orochimaru took the blow without even a single indication that he had been injured before lashing out at Naruto but before he could strike the blonde Naruto vanished and retaliated by appearing behind Orochimaru and kicking his head clean off. Jeizu sighed in relief but his reprieve was short lived as the form of Orochimaru before him dissolved into a pile of mud.
Naruto's eyes quickly scanned the battlefield, of the eight of them who had started this fight only four of them remained and at this rate the other three would die without even a warning. It was humiliating almost, the second member of the duo hadn't even begun fighting yet and he was possibly the more dangerous of the two. His teammate seemed to have located Orochimaru and swiftly tossed a kunai at the missing-nin, only for the member of the Sannin to grab it between two fingers before tossing it back twice as fast, the weapon imbedding itself into the Chūnin's throat.
Naruto growled predatorily as he allowed the Kyuubi's chakra to consume him, he could feel the first tail forming into place behind him. Thankfully with Kakashi having monitored his training of the venomous chakra alongside Jiraiya, he had full mastery over the first tail to the point where not a single one of his judgements were clouded. In a flash he stood before his two remaining allies, shielding them from the enemy as his hands flashed through several seals in a single second. "Doton: Doryuudan!" shouted Naruto as he pumped massive amounts of chakra into the attack. Next to him, a dragon's head emerged from the ground before opening it up and shooting chunks of Earth towards Orochimaru at a rapid rate. The only central drawback with this attack however was that it was designed to be targeted against a platoon rather than a single enemy, the attack being more widespread destruction as opposed to being a precision attack. Naruto had kept this in mind however, as even though the attacks were more spaced out the further away from the origin of the bullets of Earth were, it also meant that it prevented enemies from getting too close as it was much more powerful at close range with the odds of multiple projectiles hitting the target was much more likely.
Jeizu watched on in disbelief as Naruto's attack rocketed forward, every attack that went wayward not only hit a nearby tree but utterly destroyed it. Undoubtedly if this attack continued on for several minutes what was once a lush forest would quickly turn into a desolate wasteland. Naruto's attack however would be forced to come to a quick closure however as Orochimaru sized up the number of attacks rocketing forward, weaving between the projectiles with relative ease before he pulled out a single kunai and tossed it forwards. The weapon pierced through the attack without pause, avoiding all of the clumps of mud as it raced towards Naruto's face. The blonde could do nothing but leap to the side as he avoided the attack but it has still managed to get him, a light cut having formed on his cheek were a slight trickle of blood glided down his skin. It didn't take long for the small wound to patch itself up, but only the two members of Akatsuki noticed, the other two Konoha Chūnin were much too worried for their lives at this moment to notice the small details.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" shouted Naruto as twenty copies of himself burst into existence. Without hesitation, they all charged forward determined to at least give their leader enough time to figure out a plan to escape from this monstrous scenario. Naruto figured that he had twenty seconds at the most to come up with some sort of plan but he was no Nara, whatever he decided to do would be flawed regardless in some way, shape or form. Kakashi had recently taught him Chidori but considering that his opponent was much faster than him the assassination jutsu would be of no help to him in this situation. His only real chance was to use brute strength, sadly that also meant that he would be giving up a part of himself to the Kyuubi. "Fox, I know you don't like me and I don't like you," muttered Naruto under his breath, "but if either of us want to live to see tomorrow you better flood me with a shit tonne more chakra!"
His prayer would not go unanswered as he felt the Kyuubi's chakra envelop him, the fox more than willing to lend it's chakra in a fight against a member of the Uchiha clan. Moments passed before the second tail formed behind Naruto who flexed his grip several times as if to ensure everything was still functioning correctly. Without waiting another moment he charged forward at breakneck speeds and drove his fist towards Orochimaru who swatted the attack away before trying to counteract. Naruto however was able to block the attack in kind as he pulled out his katana and tried to separate Orochimaru's head from his shoulders. The snake Sannin however ducked beneath the blow before uppercutting Naruto, knocking the blonde straight up into the air before kicking his chest and knocking the child several metres back. Barely a moment passed between when Naruto's feet touched the floor and he leapt forward on the offensive once more. With every swing he took, he could feel his motions becoming more feral, his attacks more relentless. He no longer cared what he attacked so long as it died by his hand.
Naruto's nose became busted as Orochimaru punched him directly in the face, blood clouding the blonde's vision as he was sent reeling. Before he could compose himself several kunai became embedded in different limbs, causing him to roar out in pain. "It is time we finished this," stated Itachi as he stepped forward, joining the member of the Sannin in the middle of the battleground.
"Yes Itachi-kun," replied Orochimaru as he watched the member of the Uchiha clan walk past him towards Naruto. The blonde however could do nothing, his body exhausted from the battle and the potent chakra was having its toll upon his body, his chakra system was nowhere near prepared for such an influx of power from the fox. When he felt a hand place itself upon his shoulder he reacted out of pure instinct and attacked the person who had touched him. His eyes went wide however as he realised that he had just struck out against Jeizu; yet it was much worse than that as Naruto realised that his hand had gone straight through the Chūnin's chest and had pierced through the other side. Several seconds passed and with each moment Naruto prayed that this was a genjutsu of some kind but it was not to be.
As he removed his hand from his best friend's chest the Kyuubi's chakra seemed to evaporate in an instant as realisation began to sink in, Jeizu's blood clinging to his arm like a rash. "Na...ruto..." whispered Jeizu before blood leaked from his mouth, his body faltering as he fell forward into the blonde.
"It...it was an accident!" shouted Naruto but his words fell upon a dead man's ears, Jeizu having passed away in Naruto's arms before the blonde could apologise.
"Naruto, we have to leave now," said the last remaining Chūnin apart from the blonde. Looking over his shoulder with tear filled eyes, Naruto saw why his companion had so much urgency in her voice. For whatever reason, Orochimaru had turned his assault upon Itachi and the Uchiha was countering with a genjutsu of sorts that had the snake Sannin paralysed. Even though he didn't want to leave the body of his friend lying in the dirt in the middle of nowhere, he knew this was his only chance to escape and hoped that the two of them would be able to get as far away from the scene as possible.
Wiping the tears from his eyes, he placed Jeizu's body on the ground before he and his ally leapt away, running as fast as their legs could take them just to get as much distance from their enemy as they possibly could. Hours could have passed before they finally came to a stop, their lungs burning and their muscles aching from exhaustion. Minutes passed before Naruto felt like they were safe enough that he sat down next to a tree, his face buried in his palms. "I killed him," he said softly.
"You were in a frenzied state, you can't blame yourself," said the other Chūnin as she caught her breath.
"But what if it happens again, what if I kill another Konoha shinobi," said Naruto as he looked at his ally. Sadly though, she had no answer to give him.
"We're going to have to tell the Hokage about this," she said.
"No, please don't say anything about this," begged Naruto. "I don't want the village to label me as a friend slayer."
"What if he asks me questions, how am I meant to respond?" she asked.
"Just say that the memory was too traumatic and you refuse to relive that moment or something like that, we'll figure it out when we get closer to Konoha," said Naruto in frustration.
"What about you then, what are you going to say?"
"I don't know but please, I beg of you, do not tell the Sandaime anything," said Naruto, the tone of his voice full of regret and sorrow. A minute passed as the Chūnin weighed up her options before she ran her fingers through her hair.
"Alright, I'll do this for you Naruto," she said in defeat.
"Thank you, I'm in your debt Uzuki Yūgao," said Naruto formally as he bowed his head. The purple haired Chūnin said nothing in response as the two of them rested up, determined to make it back to Konoha as quickly as they could.
Sarutobi struggled to believe what he had just heard but he undoubtedly believed every word that had come out of Naruto's mouth. "Ah, that moment seems like yesterday," said Orochimaru who had enjoyed the amount of detail that Naruto had delved in to.
"It's because of you deciding to attack Itachi that I'm alive," said Naruto as he looked at the Sannin with relentless fury in his eyes. "Yet because of you my best friend died that day! Even if it costs me my own life, I swear that you will not live to see tomorrow! Jiji, I would gladly fight alongside you but before you even get a chance I'm going to kill this bastard myself!" shouted Naruto as he leapt towards Orochimaru with his fist pulled back. Three years he had waited for this moment and he would not rest until he got his revenge.
Hope you enjoyed.
Hanabi's Biggest Fan: I'd say that the odds on them doing something sexual is still a possibility, though I think Kin would want to be the one in charge after having been trapped for so long. The desire is still there on her part which will make things interesting down the road.
On another note, I will be participating in a Q&A session over the next couple of days for anybody who wants to ask me a question. It doesn't matter what topic it is on but I will do my best to answer it. To find this, look at the Team Dragon Star forum page and scroll down until you find the Q&A with Raz section. I look forward to seeing what you have to ask