Last time, guys. It's been fun, it really has. But you know what they say, all good things come to an end.

rmc01: ... she's not dead, or that wouldn't make a very good ending that can have a sequel, could it?

Yuti-chan: Not dead~!

silversnowflake: thanks love. it's been fun, but like I said, the possibility of a sequel is pretty high up there. But it may be a month or so before I get it up and running.

Glamy: Yep. Joining the weirdo club, official. Like a boss. XD

Raixan: Why does everyone think she's dead? Seriously. Little fox girl alive for over a hundred years. Hell-ohh? Haha just kidding! Anyway, thanks for all of your support throughout this entire ordeal. This story's progression has been based soley on my reviewers.:)

I LOVE YOU ALL!


With a groan, I opened my eyes. There was nothing but black. But there were plenty of sounds. Clashing, metal on metal, the familiar thunk of knives hitting trees and shuriken hitting flesh...

I jumped up, whining at the sudden pain in my chest. Still can't see anything, what the hell is going on?

The whiz of a kunai flying through the air made my head instinctively duck down, letting it flit through the air above my head. My face felt as though someone had stuck an icy-hot mint on it and let it sit there. I was freezing on the inside, yet my outside was burning up. I couldn't tell what was wrong with me, but whatever it was, I suddenly had the strong urge to vomit.

"Ahh..." my feet swayed. I heard voices, but the blood roaring in my ears blurred everything. Sound, touch, taste, smell. I couldn't see anyway, even though I know from what little I can feel that I was blinking.

Of course, the pain under my sternum made even that difficult to comprehend.

"Kitsune, Kitsune!" My name, I understand that. The voice is familiar, but from where? I don't know. I don't know anything anymore...

How had I gotten like this?

How did this happen?

Breath,

Okay, so new voice in the darkness.

Your name, what's your name?

Kitsune Mitarashi.

Aged?

Ninety six.

Physically?

Sixteen.

What is your purpose here?

Suddenly, the clarity the voice and the questions gave was muddled up again. What is my purpose? Why am I here?

Without thinking, I answered, "To keep him safe." To keep who safe? "To save him from himself. From his own selfish desires."

Who?

Who? Who?

Suddenly it sounded like an owl had started calling out through the nightly recesses of my mind. Who, who, who, who...?

"Ahh!" I gripped my head, the pain spreading to all over my body. I closed my eyes, focusing chakra there.

Open your eyes, and see.

I opened my eyes.

I saw.

"Madara!" I shrieked, running forward. My legs protested every movement. The clanging and clashing of katana and kunai met my ears with a new kind of clarity. He turned slightly, sharingan ablaze.

The Kyuubi... I realized, looking at the little fox boy he was fighting.

"No!"

Was that my voice? It sounded so desperate. I don't feel like myself anymore. "Don't! Please! You're making a mistake!" My words didn't register as important in his mind. Madara gave me one cold-hearted glare, a glare that chilled me to the bone, and turned back to Kyuubi.

The ripping in my chest only got worse.

You see him. The voice seemed to insist. "Kitsune!" New voice, also familiar. Why can't I place these voices now? They all seem so foreign, so different, yet at the same time... there is a hint of recognition. I think my chest is bleeding now.

"Kitsune, get back!" urged the voice. I turned. Coal black hair, red eyes, laugh lines...

"Itachi..." I whispered, vision blurring again. Then the sight changed. Everything was up, down, all around. Not Itachi. Sasuke.

"No, you need to get back! You're in no shape to go fight!" He hissed, trying to pull on my arm. The scares from his Amaterasu still laced up and down, making intricately grotesque patterns across pale flesh. I almost smiled at the uniqueness of it all.

Protect the Kyuubi child. The Voice, That is what I shall call you. God, why does my fucking chest hurt so much?

Why should I protect the kid? He is nothing special to me. Not like Madara is.

Yet the Voice was insistent.

I don't know what compelled me to do it, but when Madara used his fireball jutsu, one so big I could swear it would swallow the world, I jumped in front of it, arms out.

Embrace his fire, as he has embraced the ice,

I think I see now.

The impact of flames hit me full force, and you'd think they wouldn't stop and would just plow right through me. But they didn't.

They stopped, centering in on my markings. With a groan, I fell to my knees, feeling my chest rip apart. It was agony, but it relieved to my core. The ice was no more, I was heated, no, I was the fire. My skin lit, the flames licking and dancing across my skin in a flurry of beauty unlike the cold expanse of frost and frigidness I was used to.

It set a fire in my belly, and suddenly, I was sure of myself again. There was no mixed up feelings, no remorse, no regret. You don't know what will happen, my thoughts assured me, if you die, you die. If you live, you live knowing you did something good with your life.

Something good. Something I never accomplished.

Gingitsune, my aneki, are you looking on me with pride now?

My body absorbed the rest of the flames, and the silverish marks on my chest and neck glowed with a feverish light. The skin around them ripped open, letting my white and black chakra leak out onto the ground and pool like blood.

"Kitsune!" Ah. You notice me now, Maddy-kun? That's good. I guess it takes me ruining your plans of world domination to make you see you're being an inconsiderate ass. Good to know for future references...

The chakra swirled slightly, and my attention was immediately riveted to the scene. I groaned, feeling the life leaving my limbs as the flames finally stopped coming and the pain dulled to a little throb.

The chakra solidified into a lone fox, his bright blue eyes contrasting greatly with his white fur streaked with black highlighting. "Byakko..." I murmured, eyes clouding as the fangs I should've gotten long ago, on my thirteenth birthday, came in and poked lightly at my lower lip. Upon touching them, I realized that they were smooth and creamy in color.

Small fox ears replaced my own ears high on my head. I smiled as I felt the bushy tickle of a tail against the back of my thighs and calves. They were the exact same shade and texture of Byakko's.

"My release form..." I murmured, awed by the sudden sight of Byakko. I'd imagined before that he would be pretty and soft looking, like a spirit fox should look. Yet this...

This was beauty embodied. He was elegant and lithe, muscles lean and strong. I ran tentative fingers across his head, feeling the excess fur that line around his neck like a mane. My purr of excitement was unable to be repressed.

Bound by ice, set free by fire,

Cursed to burn, blessed by the frost.

Byakko...

I understand.

I understand it all now.

"I love you, Madara," I whispered, falling to my knees lightly.

He chuckled, watching the Kyuubi kid get whisked away by the other Konoha nin. Madara seemed to be thinking about whether to kill me or not. Finally, a sigh wrenched from his throat and he walked over to me, pulling on my arm to bring to his level. He kissed my lips quietly, and for once, I kissed him back.

"Let it burn," I murmured, my eyes glowing dimly in the dark night sky.

"What?"

"The world. Don't try to fix it anymore, you'll only get hurt, and we'll be separated..." it felt weird to voice these things, it felt weird to even think them.

He chuckled again, nuzzling the edge of my cheek with his nose. "For you, but after that, we create a new world among the wreckage."

"Sounds great, Madara-kun,"


Forever with love,

Painted Rainbows, Kayla Shy