A/N: Well, I seem to be on a Fairy Tail binge as of late, don't I? I don't think anyone has tried this idea yet, so I decided to give it a go for the hell of it. One of the rare fics with Naruto as the Jyuubi host, complete with all its powers! Take that, Uchiha Madara!
Power is all that matters.
It came as less a surprise, more a relief, when he finally awoke.
At first, anyway.
His first clue that he had returned from the land of nightmares came when darkness truly fell. The visions evaporated, and the voices went with them. For a very welcome period, there was nothing to see or hear, or even think. He could just rest, and be.
Then new noises began to intrude on the peaceful silence: the whirring of rustling cloth, low-pitched whispers and murmurrs from someone, a fizzing, spitting noise that could have been running water, and other sounds that had no place in his serenity. His heart rose at the sound of a voice rising above the others. The faint sticking point between each breath was horribly familair.
"Where the hell am I?"
He raged against invisible bonds to move limbs he couldn't feel. The babble of noises faded for a moment, then returned, this time with light and sensation accompanying it. A pair of glinting red eyes swelled before his vision, encompassing his entire existence in a single instant. Then the rest of the world swam dizzyingly into focus. He was strapped prone to a medical table in the middle of an operating theater. Multicolored tubes and wires ran from several places in his body to dark machines stationed around him, and stretching up to the high ceiling above, the strange aparatus forcing his heart to beat and his lungs to draw breath.
"Looks like you made it after all."
He tried to turn his head and failed, failed as the voice of Uchiha Madara-the man they'd all thought to be Madara-stepped into view, smug in his every step. He couldn't see the face that lurked behind the mask, but he was certain that the madman was smiling. The eyes of the Sharingan and the Rinnegan, both of the Uchiha, stared down at him with cold amusement as he struggled against his bonds. He felt his anger growing, and was well aware of the Kyuubi snarling somewhere deep in his subconscious. Apparently the fox was just as terrified as he, if not more.
"Madara!" He rasped out, finally giving voice to the terror that had crept over him since awakening. "What the hell is this!"
Madara looked away from the teen for a second, up towards the sky. He shrugged as he looked back down.
"What does it look like?"
"It looks like he's going on a rant." Kyuubi muttered blackly. Naruto grimaced. Ever since he'd first mastered the fox's power, it had done nothing but rant and rave at him day and night. Granted, it had stopped trying to devour him whenever he'd approached its cage; now it just talked his ear off whenever it hace the chance.
"Resistance is futile." Madara-he didn't know what else to call him-began. "As I'm sure you've realized." Abruptly he giggled into his hand. "Oh, you have no idea how long I've been wanting to say those words!" Then he stopped laughing and placed both his hands into a seal, to which the boy stiffened. "Well, it's been fun, Uzumaki Naruto. Now, you will have to excuse me. I have a world to conquer."
Strange kanji appeared upon the fingernails of the statuette hands. Numbering nine altogether, a horde of dragon-like effigies poured from the statue's mouth, surrounding the captured host. Naruto watched them circle, circle, always circling, walling off any chance of escape he might've had. Suddenly with a terrible and terrifying intensity, they reared back. There was no rush and no haste. They struck, and cold fury burned the world white.
"Fūinjutsu: Genryū Kyū Fūjin!" (Sealing Technique: Illusionary Dragon Nine Consuming Seals!)
Paper thin, his defenses shattered upon contact with the draconic spirits. To Naruto's dismay, he began to blubber and bawl all over again. Writhing, gagging and choking, a liquidic and pale substance drained out of his mouth and into the statue, leaking from his mouth, nose, and even his eyes. Naruto wanted to retch, but his stomach crumpled on itself and left his throat barren.
His eyes bulged and his body convulsed. Liquid fire coursed through his veins, scouring him clean. He tried to resist, tried to contain the chakra but the forces pulling upon him were simply too much to bear. It felt as if he were being slowly torn in two; as if his still-beating heart were being wrenched from his chest. He did everything he could to fight it, to fight the forces drawing out his chakra and his life-force, and succeeded only in prolonging his own suffering. And so, in the end, Uzumaki Naruto screamed.
He screamed; a strange, wordless scream.
Overshadowing that soft whistle, came a sound. It was strange, this sound, a reedy thin cry, that echoed on into the distance, as though it were the dying gasp of an ancicent creature. It hung in the air, reverberating around them for what seemed like an eternity, before finally losing its tune and fading sadly into the night. However, another chorus immediately overlapped its final note, filling the void that had been left to it by its short lived predecessor.
The antithesis to its parent, this melody contained the voice of a young woman's. Soft and despairing, vibrant and brimming with boundless desire, emanating boundless grief and sorrow within this, its final melody. Unlike its bretheren, it was easily recognizeable, and distinctly human in origin. 'Twas many things, yet all were one and the same. It was the voice of a young woman, whispering softly to her lover. It was the laughter of a little girl, innocent and kind. It was the cry of an insatiable demon, raw with fury and battle lust. It was the sound of many, of nine, and the voice of one. It was joy and sadness, anger and weakness, mistakes made, and yet to be made.
And it was coming from inside of him.
"At long last." Abruptly, the screaming ended, replaced by a voice like velvet. It spoke to him, resonating from deep within his mind. "Completion. I had forgotten what it felt like after all these centuries." Scarce had it spoken, than his blue irises began to flicker. Tomoe formed where there had been none. White sclera blazed into a fury of scarlet, pulasating with power. Power, raw, incredible power, welled up inside of him, restoring the sensation of feeling, of motion, to his limbs. Strange. Wasn't the jutsu supposed to separate the biijuu chakra from him? If so, then why wasn't it? Why was the statue beginning to crumble above him?
An ear shattering laugh crashed down across his ears.
"I am Kyuubi no longer."
"Impossible!" Madara's voice cried out somewhere beyond his vision. "This cannot be possible! This wasn't supposed to happen! This was never supposed to happen!" He saw stars-whole planets-exploded before his vision, and then the world shrank to a pinpoint of brilliance, leaving him hanging there in the darkness. He tried to move, tried to find some semblance of order in the chaos, and found naught but travesty.
He glanced down at his broken body, at the ruined stump of his right arm, severed neatly at the elbow. Without it, he'd never be able to form handseals again. Which meant it was as good as over for him as a shinobi. Not that it mattered, anyway. He seriously doubted that he'd live to see tomorrow; to see the ruination created by their defeat in the Fourth Shinobi War. With all of his friends dead and his former best friend a living testament to all that he hated, there really wasn't anything left for him to do but wait for his end to come and pray that it would be a swift one.
Except that end never came.
A hand laid itself upon his shoulder. Something was pulling him aside, away. He felt twisted, and slowly a mountain came into focus- not the mountain, for the mountain itself remained indistinct, it seemed full of people intensely curious to greet him but he couldn't make them out. All that was truly in focus as the scene changed, focused, narrowed, was himself. Uzumaki Naruto, sixteen years old, still in his prime, standing above a behomoth come straight from his nightmares.
Naruto felt something hot and stinging lance through his chest and again the scene changed. He was standing before the beast now, looking on with awe and amazement and abject atrophy as it descended to the earth to face him, to strike him down. It was massive, this creature, and blacker than hell itself. It loomed over him, ten tails of perverse and distorted chakra swaying behind its mighty frame and haunches, leering down at him with a massive eye that looked like a cross between the Sharingan and the Rinnegan and it narrowed, narrowed as it saw the insignificant human standing before its greatness.
Great, leathery wings spread out across its back, folding themselves across a scaly hide. It looked like a giant lizard, easily ten times the size of the Great Stone Faces, and far far mor intimidating. Belatedly, the former host of the Kyuubi realized what he was staring at. Not just the Jyuubi, the true from of the nine tailed beasts but something nearly as ancient as time itself, an entity that demanded-no, commanded respect with its very prescence.
He was staring at a dragon.
"Boy," The beast rumbled darkly, the shadows swelling and swirling about its form as it spoke. "I owe you many thanks for restoring me to my original form. Long has it been since I last breathed the air of the mortal realm." It inclined its massive head a fraction of an inch, bringing its scaly visage to bear upon the boy that'd brought it-inadvertantly-back to life. "But now that fool of an Uchiha, that impudent whelp who has already ruined this realm, seeks to wield me for his own personal gain. I would rather he did not." It held its gaze over him and paused, allowing the weight of its words to sink in for the half-dead shinobi.
Eventually, they did.
"What does this have to do with me?" The blond scratched the back of his head. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I hate the bastard as much as you do, but I'm not exactly in a position to do much about any thing at the moment." He gestured at the stump of his arm for emphasis. "See? I can't even form seals anymore. I'd like to help, but I can't if I don't have both arms. Besides, I really don't see what this business of yours has to do with me, like I said."
"It has much to do with you." The Jyuubi answered cryptically, its lone eye looming before him. "The nine halves that comprise myself have been separated for far too long now, and as such, I can no longer survive in this world without a host. But I require a suitable vessel to sustain myself. Therefore, I have decided to make you my next host." Was that a hint of smugness in its tone just now? "By making you my vessel, you may survive, and your wounds may heal, but I cannot predict what changes my prescence might inflict upon you and your form."
"Excuse me?" Naruto blinked, eyes bulging. "You want me to be your host? Now wait a second!"
"Would you rather I let both of us perish, little one?" The dragon snapped back. "I'd much rather seek out a different host, but my patience wears thin and my time grows short. Either merge with me now or allow that pompous fool to triumph and destroy what little remains of your world!"
An eerie, icy calm washed over Uzumaki Naruto, taking the terror away with it. This was the Jyuubi, he realized. A being even stronger-and possibly more malevolent-than the Kyuubi itself. He had absolutely no hope of defeating this creature, should it attack him. Plus, he was dying. He could feel it, the life leaching from his frame ebbing away even as he stood before the Jyuubi and weighed the weight of its words. He could either die and let Madara win, or he could-once again-take a tailed beast into his soul and prevent the end of the world, thereby ruining Madara's Moon's Eye Plan in the process.
Really, what did he have to lose?
...I'll do it." he sighed. "Just don't screw up my body!"
"Excellent." The ten-tailed dragon shifted, shrugging its massive shoulders and stretching its wingspan; arching its back; rearing up on its hind legs to the full towering height for which its race was known. Its form shimmered and bent and shook, becoming ethereal and transparent as the void between them stretched to a pinpoint of brilliance once more. So bright was the light, that Naruto had to fling his remaining arm up against it. The Jyyubi extended all ten of its many ridged tails toward the boy, touching the round seal that had once bound the Kyuubi no Kitsune. Pain lanced through his gut, and Naruto jerked backward as if he'd been burned, but still, he held his ground.
"So what happens now?" Naruto asked.
"Now, we will unite, and then we will return."
"Return? Return where?"
The dragon gave him a rather ferocious looking grin.
"To Fiorre, my homeland, and that of my kin. Once there, you will learn how to come into the power that is now mine and yours. The power of the Void and of Chaos itself. Now, close your eyes and prepare yourself. This is going to hurt...
Then several things happened at once.
With every fiber of his being, Naruto pushed himself against the light. With a wordless and inhuman cry, the tendrils of awareness severed from his conciousness. Too much. It was too cruel, to give a man hope and then wrest it away, even if it had been unintended. But the damage was done. The seed he had planted, the seed that'd blossomed into a mighty oak, began to decay. Roots crumbled and fruit became rotten as bark turned to ash, leaving only hopeless depravity in its wake...
It was almost two before there was a chance for lunch. Until then his desk was snow-banked with demanding papers, the telephone rang constantly and an amry of insistent visitors attacked his walls with requests for work. By twelve, his nerves were pulled like violin strings knobbed to their tightest. By one, the strings drew close to shearing; by one-thirty they began to snap. He had to get away now; immediately; flee to some shadowy restaurant booth, have a cocktail and a leisurely meal; listen to somnolent music.
He had to.
For his sake, if not that of Fairy Tail's.
Makarov had just finished reading yet another of the Magic Council's many complaints when he felt the first tremor. He looked up just in time to bear witness as the roof caved in and someone came plummeting to the ground in the center of his guild, spraying dust, dirt, and debris everywhere. By the time the smoke had cleared there was a massive crater where the bar had once been, and, lying unconcious in the center of said crater, lay a young blond who looked as though he'd just gotten into a fight with a dragon and lost, quite badly, judging from the tattered state of his attire.
And yet, not so much as a single scratch to be see upon him. Indeed, it looked as though his clothes had been torn
"What in blazes?"
So much for lunch.
(An unspecified amount of time later)
Naruto awoke in a haze of pain. His eyes felt like they were on fire; every blink was like shards of glass through his retina. His chest ached so much that it took an act of will just to inhale. The air he inhaled was redolent of medicinal smells. He almost choked on the cloying odors, but just imagining how much coughing would hurt made his throat relax.
Whatever obscure scene he had found himself in, it had passed. He closed his eyes and let out a small sob of relief, but refused to lower his guard all the same. The darkness had still yet to lift from his vision; because his eyes remained painfully scrunched shut. Whether it was a refusal on his part or simply his that his body coping with the trauma, he simply could not bring himself to see a thing.
An unspecified amount of time later left his throat dry and his body reeling. Slowly, he came around, the sights and sounds of the world as he knew it proving too much for his slumber once more. He cracked open sleep-gummed eyes to see, to finally see a hand resting lightly on the blanket over his sternum. Attached to the hand was a wrist, to the wrist, an arm and, as his gaze traced the length of said appendage he found himself staring at an armored, wide-eyed, redhead, who looked just as surprised to see him as he was her; because the first words out of his mouth weren't entirely his own.
"Where the hell am I?"
A/N: Well, there you go! Naruto is now officially the host of the Jyuubi! Yes, I know it may or may not be an actual dragon, but no one is to say that it is not, no? The pairing is up in the air for now; it could be NarutoxCana NarutoxMira NarutoxLucy NarutoxErza, or even the tried and true NarutoxHarem. Honestly, I don't know! Suffice it to say, however, that Naruto won't be joining Fairy Tail right off the bat. Can't be too predictable now, can we? Also, this story is Pre-Canon Fairy Tail, leading up to the main events of Canon and such.