Oh, and I'm going to leave you to draw your own conclusions on this chapter.

Chapter 12: The Hunter

Naruto yawned lazily and rolled over onto his back, stretching his legs as far as they would go as the sun warmed his fur.

It had been about a month since he discovered what he was but really nothing had changed since then. There was some popular celebrity that had come by about a week ago. Naruto had taken one look at him and declared him a nut job and taken off to go search for Karin's secret stash of snacks.

Now he was lying on Ichigo's bed, basking in the midday sunlight. Usually he would be wandering around the house at this time but that crazy celebrity had brought in so many people that he could barely even move around without getting a paw trampled on or a tail tugged. Even now, a week after the guy left, it was still more crowded then usual. And people kept calling Animal Control on him! He was practically on first name basis with those idiots from all those times they chased after him. Though he had to admit that it could usually entertain him for a whole afternoon running from them. And it was a usual occurrence now to see the orange fox running from the officers. It happened so much that he had heard people call him Outlaw when he passed by. It was either that or, "Princess" from all of the little girls that he always ran into when they were returning from the elementary school.

Naruto growled irritated to himself and rolled back over so he could rest his head on his front paws with his tail swishing angrily behind him. I'm bored! There's nothing to do in here that I haven't already done and Ichigo and Rukia won't be getting back for at least another hour if they're not distracted by a Hollow!

His natural ability to attract trouble like Kon to pretty girls just didn't seem to be working today. Any other day he would have already had to lose the police three times by now, manage to take an unplanned bath in the river, and be mobbed by little children who wanted, "the cute orange puppy to give them a ride." At least he sometimes got food from them even if it did mean handfuls of fur being yanked out and having to escape before they tried to take him home with them. (What a disaster that had been. It took forever to get all of the bows out of his fur.) Instead, all he had done today was sleep, eat all of the cereal that Ichigo likes and dump that nasty dog food in the box, look for where Ichigo had hid the ramen cups from him this time, find them and eat some more ramen, and sleep some more! He didn't even have Kon to chase around because Ichigo had taken him with him to school so he didn't always need Rukia to whack him in the face to be able to hunt Hollows.

He stared at the ceiling which was a bland and calming off-white. A minute passed by slowly and it seemed like all that Naruto could see now was that blank expanse of not-white. It's like white but it's not. And it's not gray either. Why didn't they just paint it white? Or did they paint it white and it got dust all over it? But would the dust turn it gray? Can dust even stay on ceilings? How would it do that? Maybe the dust has some weird power like Ichigo and can ignore the laws of gravity? But wouldn't the dust have to be dead then? But then the dust would have to be alive first. Maybe it's dustbunny ghosts? It would explain how the dust just seems to breed and pop up all over the place when you turn away for a second. So could dust bunny ghosts turn into Hollows? But then there would have to be dust bunny Shinigami to keep the dust bunny Hollows from eating all of the dust bunny ghosts.

An image of a gray bunny Ichigo in his Shinigami appeared in his mind. The dust bunny Ichigo was fighting against a bunny frog shark Hollow and Naruto frowned when a thought occurred to him. And wouldn't there have to be a dust bunny kitsune to start the whole cycle?

The image of a bunny kitsune Naruto floated in his mind and shocked him out of his off-white caused daydreams.

"What the hell just happened?" Naruto muttered to himself. He looked at the clock on Ichigo's desk and found it half an hour later then when he last checked. "When did that happen?!" He exclaimed, and with wide eyes he looked back up at the ceiling which now looked much more ominous then before.

He shivered and added off-white ceilings to his mental list of things to avoid, right next to Urahara, Urahara's drugs, Soul Society, and that crazy cat lady down the street that kept calling him Sweetie Pie and tried to capture him to drag back to her cat asylum of a house.

"Okay, I definitely need to get out of the house." Naruto said, talking to himself absentmindedly in the empty room. "And find some more ramen since I ate the last three. And I should probably stop talking to myself too. Yeah, sounds good."

Nodding to himself, he rose and wandered downstairs to exit through the broken window.


"Yuck, really, who throws out rotting fish like that? I'm going to have to go swimming in the fountain in the park again... It was bad enough last time, I mean, really don't those people have something better to do then stare at a fox that's just trying to not look and smell like a seafood stand? It's called common curtesy, people. Learn it. And I'm still talking to myself. This day is just getting better by the minute..." He growled as he jumped out of the trash can which he had landed in, spilling it in the process and shook off the pieces of decomposing fish bits. The orange fox stalked out of the alley between the two houses, muttering under his breath as he did so and ignoring the Kurosakis' neighbor, a wrinkled old lady that squawked at him everyday and was probably the one who called the animal control everyday from her rocking chair on the porch which he had never seen her move from. Which was quite creepy really and he just tried not to think of the implications of it whenever his sensitive nose burnt from her smell, a mixture of too strong flowery perfume and stuffy old person.

I should come out at night sometime and see if she actually leaves that chair. I wouldn't be surprised if all she does is sit there and yell at everyone that passes-

He felt it before he heard it.

A gut-wrenching howl tore through the air and a chill went down his spine, leaving him feeling like he'd taken a dip in ice cold water. His head jerked up to look at the sky which seemed much darker then it had been a few seconds ago. His eyes immediately went to the steadily widening crack in the middle of the sky from which a stream of black and white creatures were pouring out from.

He looked around franticly and didn't like what he saw. It was rush hour right now and almost everyone was out of their homes and in the open. Shit! How am I going to get everyone out of here! I need to get everyone somewhere that I can protect from the Hollows. But I won't be able to fend off all of them! I need to find Ichigo, we'll have to work together to fight off the Hollows but they'll still overwhelm us eventually so what do we- Naruto stopped, his panicked thoughts halting abruptly. What was he thinking? He didn't have any way to defend the humans! They could probably defend themselves even better then he could if they were able to see the Hollows. Compared to Ichigo, what did Naruto have? What could he do? Bite them?

Yes, bite them, and tear them. Rip out their throats with your fangs and slash at their eyes with your claws. Let them kneel before you, begging for mercy right before you deliver the killing blow and devour their bodies, tearing through their ugly, naked skin right down to the bone- Naruto blinked, feeling slightly dazed and looked around at the clueless, ignorant humans- No. Naruto thought, breaking off his own thought suddenly. Something was wrong, he didn't think like, that he wasn't that evil-hunter in the shadows, blood soaked fur, a hunger aching throughout his entire being, playing with his prey, seeing the terror in their eyes right before it leaks out like that crimson blood everywhere- NO!

His breath started to come short and fast and his eyes were wide taking in the prey, full of life for the taking- People! They're people! Not prey, people! Humans who can think and feel! Humans who can talk and love and hate! Humans just like-

Like what? Like you? You're nothing like them! You're a beast, a demon, the monster that comes to devour humans in the night! You're a kitsune! Killer of a million pathetic humans, devourer of a billion souls! You live only for yourself. The only thing you can do is hurt others and grow. Grow in strength, grow in hunger, grow in the shadows of your prey's hearts! Make them live in fear! Make them bow before you! Make them worship you! Let them assume their rightful place of groveling in the dirt!

Naruto stood frozen in fear as he listened to that voice-his voice- speak to him of all his doubts and insecurities. He wasn't human. He wasn't even a fox. He was a demon. And really, what good could a demon do? He was born to eat souls and kill. Kill, hunt, make their blood fly and their flesh fill the empty void in your stomach even though you know it can never be filled no matter how hard you try-

"AHHH!" A scream ripped him violently from his thoughts. He forced himself to move in the direction of the scream and saw a Hollow looming over the body of a middle-aged man. The woman who had screamed was running towards it because to her the man had probably just seemed to suddenly fall over for no reason. All around Naruto, other people were also starting to move towards the body, some calling an ambulance on their phones, not knowing that the man was already dead, even as the blood leaked out of him. Not knowing, they were running to the body and right to the killer. It was hard to tell exactly but the look on the black and white bird-like face of the Hollow was definitely one of sick glee. Flapping its stubby and semi-useless wings, it hopped off the body and prepared itself to feast, beak wide open revealing rows of pointed teeth stretching into darkness. It leered at the woman who had first screamed and was closest and lunged forward clamping it's mouth around her torso and spraying the blood through the air.

The sharp metallic scent hit Naruto like a physical blow. He stumbled, and his eyes widened as his mouth parted slightly, letting the light hit his glistening canines. Something connected in his mind(as something else broke with a desolate cry) and then he flew and lunged and killed.

The bird Hollow's body three times his size hung limply from his jaws which were clamped around it's neck. It stayed there for a moment, motionless and without any resemblance of life before it dissolved away into spirit particles which shined and absorbed into Naruto's body.

A rush electrocuted his body, a sense of euphoria and power that filled every cell of his body. If Naruto had been conscious at that moment he might have described it as if he had just had a lick of water after not having anything to drink for weeks.

But by that time there was not even a scrap of Naruto's consciousness left in his mind. The one thing moving his body was the sheer power of hunger.

Hunger for blood. Hunger for souls. Hunger for power.



His mouth opened wide and the kitsune roared to the skies.



Every Hollow in the sky froze as a deep and furious roar rose above all other noises. Ichigo looked at Ishida, but the teen looked just as confused as him.

"What is that?" He asked but the other teen wasn't given a chance to answer as all of the Hollows around them started to chatter excitedly and continue attacking the Shinigami and the Quincy with even stronger force.

"It's the Hunter!" They cried. "The Hunter has come! The Hunter has returned!"



That day a fox could be seen racing through Karakura. Orange fur turned crimson from blood dripped from the fox's body but none of it was the creatures. From one Hollow to the next it attacked. It tore out throats, ripped apart bodies with it's claws, and became a red blur, not even giving it's victims a chance to react. Cold blue eyes tore it's victims apart just looking at them and a feeling of death hung around the beast, scaring off any humans near enough to feel the oppressive aura.

No one noticed when the single black tipped tail split into two.

Least of all the fox.