A/N: It would be great if you leave some reviews, or just let me know that you've stuck to the end of the chapter. Negative reviews tend to depress me and lack of reviews un-motivate me, but allowing me to know that someone out there is reading this encourages me.
So please, keep the bunny happy. ^_^
Note: I'm never going to be arrogant enough to assume that my story is more than decent. So sorry.
Sarutobi looked fixedly at the body of his student's lineage. This was Naruto Uzumaki, son of Minato Namikaze, and the boy's health and strength were ebbing. He had noticed it since the beginning of the death god's seal, the abnormal respiration cycles in his body. It was like a cross between a stroke and asthma, except far more profound. Sarutobi feared that this day would be the last day Naruto would live, and that the fox would be released again.
The fox…Sarutobi had done much research the past few years. Usually, when a host died, a tailed beast would be released to gather chakra from its surroundings to take on new shape. Sometimes this process took ten years. Sometimes this process took a hundred years. But Kanoha couldn't afford that process to happen, a hundred or ten years from now.
Jinchuuriki… was another dilemma that Sarutobi had researched in to great depths. How much control a host could have over its beast greatly depended on the nature of their chakra coils, and the body's natural affiliation for youki. The Uzumaki had always had a lineage of incredible chakra coils, courtesy of indirect relations with the Senju clan, but now, Sarutobi feared it wasn't enough.
He let out a shuddering sigh. It wasn't enough after all. Naruto was only five years old, but he was over a hundred. His heart was weary, his body was anemic, and it was inevitable that he would step down from the Hokage position sooner or later. He had wished to groom the only surviving heir of the Namikaze and Uzumaki clans, but that plan had gone horribly awry. He could only stare outside to watch the birds chirp, but they did nothing to alleviate his mood.
"Sarutobi-sama," the medic-nin hesitantly spoke. "There is not much we can do."
"Is this what we have come to?" Sarutobi asked one of his most trusted jounins.
"Yes," he said sadly. "You have work to do."
He shook his head morosely.
"Leave me alone with the boy for a few moments."
The jounin nodded and left. Soon after, Sarutobi left as well, intent on arranging a funeral.
Inside, Naruto, for the first five years of his life, battered an eyelid open.
The fox could only note in mute horror as the boy's organs suddenly revived themselves. His youki was being drained from him, and the boy's chakra by which was on the breaking point, suddenly counter-attacked and started to absorb the youki.
Five years. Five long years of work pushing heaps of youki through the hole in the seal as much as he could. He anticipated success during those five years as he slowly corrupted the boy's chakra coils and reduced the boy to a cripple.
But now the boy was changing the very nature of his chakra, essentially instead of marking the fox's youki as an antigen, marked it as its own. Impossible.
He roared. Every movement of his body brushed against the cage. It was claustrophobic to him, claustrophobic for the last three generations. He remembered the first host he had been sealed into, and how much he panicked when he could not break free. It was comparable to being stuffed between two mattresses, and being unable to get out. Except that his time, it was a cold, wet, hard mattress. It wasn't comfortable in the least.
He struggled to keep calm. Perhaps there would be another tactic to break free. Then he saw the boy.
He screamed, trashed against the cage, rattling the boy's inner-mindscape. But the boy gazed at him with limited understanding, head cocked to the side. Again and again, he roared at the boy, emitting shockwaves of air that buffeted his clothes and hair. No use. It would never be. Even death would be preferable to this dirty, filthy hole.
That doesn't look very comfortable.
The fox's eyes narrowed. It was official; he was going insane from the sensory isolation. He glared daggers at the boy, as if challenging him to speak again. The boy merely gave him a look of confusion.
Why are you so mad?
Are you here to gloat! He roared, not caring that the boy had been somehow speaking the unified patois. He was beyond caring.
You're not very friendly.
I can make it more comfortable for you, you know.
That gave the fox pause.
You know, you've been saying that for the past five minutes, he pointed out.
The cage suddenly expanded, dropping the fox on the wet floor. The boy's eyes glittered with humor.
See, told you.
The fox stared at him in wonder.
Told you told you told you told you told you told you-
The boy simply pouted while the fox furiously tried to process this information.
What do you want in return? He asked suddenly. If you get rid of this wet floor?
The boy grinned and the wet floor was replaced with a spongy dry surface.
Just get me out of here.
Naruto awoke in a dark…thing. There was something wooden on top of him. He tried to command his arm to push him up, but he could only exert a mild force.
Anyone out there?
Anyone out there?
Anyone out there?
He tried again, louder this time, but no one seemed to hear him, despite the fact that he could hear a parade of murmurings outside. He cocked an eyebrow, feeling a bit annoyed.
Man, they are just like, right there! He fumed.
He turned to only other solution.
Again, he exercised his arm and his abdominal muscles, to no avail.
Heh, I guess I can give you a little help.
Naruto was suddenly pumped out and shot out of the wooden irritating thing, right out the ceiling. Pain erupted throughout his entire body. But instead of caring, he was distracted by an impossible expanse of blue above him.
And he crashed down again.
Why am I in here again? Naruto fumed.
You're having another near-death experience.
Why are you such an asshole? I help you out and you shoot me out the room? What the heck is wrong with you? Are you retarded? Are you brain-damaged? Are you compensating for something? Or are you just lonely? You must be since you're trapped in here and maybe that would explain why you're such a-
Stop whining. You're getting out sooner or later, the fox growled, letting his irritation get the better of him. He somehow felt like gloating about the boy's species and talking down to him, but he was far too embarrassed by the fact that a human had freed him out of a dilemma he had tried for decades to break free from.
The fox frowned. He could still exert control of the boy's body to some extent and somehow kill him, but the boy might just drain his youki to heal himself, like the boy was doing this instant. The room was pretty comfy now anyway, and the fox forced down his pride at the thought that he was under the mercy of this human. He ignored the presence of the boy and curled himself in to a ball, the floor squeaking in protest.
The boy continued to sulk until he faded away from the room.