A/N: This a little one shot I cooked up when I was bored (I usually write when I'm bored and can't find anything else to do). It might be more than that later, but only when I manage to complete my other multi-chapter fics and if I don't kick off another idea (I have tons. I have to write them down to keep track off them; currently the count is at. . . 17 in all. LEAVE ME ALONE, you cursed bunnies! I'll be swamped in them one day. How will I ever write them all? D:).
Hope you enjoy. :D
Warning: Rated T for Brief Use of Language, Blood, and Mentions of Abuse.
Rewritten/revised as of: 7/6/13
A young blond child sobbed on the forest floor, curled up in a ball with his face hidden by his knees. The tiny body trembled with each heaving breath. The clothes adorning his body, torn and dirty, seemed too large for his frame. One of the sleeves slipped down his shoulders as they shook. The trees circled, almost as if they were crowding around him in the way the villagers once did. Their branches trembled within a breeze, leaves whispering wordlessly as they shook ("Monster. . ."). They were shrouded by the curtains of night (the faceless men and women jeered at him, sneering and mocking and hating), a silence only broken by the soft cries of the boy.
"Why don't you just disappear?"
He sniffled, raising his head, revealing whisker-like markings lining his cheeks. Normally bright blue eyes were dull, red and puffy from crying. He hiccups slightly before raising himself up.
"No one needs you."
Where am I? he asks himself. He does not speak aloud, knowing that even if someone else were there they would not answer his question. They did not want him, did not like it when he walked passed freely in the streets. They would not bring him back of their own free will, of that he was certain.
"No one wants you."
He fled to the forests on the outskirts of the village to avoid a vendor who once again falsely accused him of doing something he obviously did not and ended up lost, unable to find his way back or see the gates of Konoha because of the towering trees that blocked most of his view of the sky. He gulped and shivered as bushes rustled and sticks snapped, trying to ignore the gnawing fear growing in the pit of his stomach and the unease creeping along the edges of his mind.
Why do they hate me? What did I do to them? Why do they call me that!? He inwardly pleaded, desperate for answers that he knew wouldn't be answered. I don't need them! I don't need anybody! I'll get strong on my own! So strong that they'll beg for forgiveness and beg for me to become the Hokage!
"Is that really what you want?" Dark and rumbling, the voice echoed in the confines of his skull. It blocked out the memories, the other words and faces that haunted him everyday. Perhaps Naruto should have been thankful, but perhaps not. The question resonated with a wicked malevolence. It reminded him of the time another boy tricked him into thinking they were friends, then luring him to get beat up by some kids older than him (he managed to fool them; he even knocked out a few teeth from one before he got away!) .
"Who's there!" Naruto called out, startled. He fearfully twisted himself in a rapid circle, trying in vain to locate the speaker as his eyes scanned the surrounding environment. Nothing. There was nothing there, nothing he could see. Briefly, Naruto questioned if its origins were invisible, or if it even existed at all! But surely, he wasn't simply hearing things? Imagining it?
Laughter thundered within his mind reminiscent of an angry bellow—only more amused. "You can't see me, flesh bag, for I am within you." The answer was inflected with mocking, just like them. Naruto bristled, hairs on the back of his neck not just rising out of his anger.
"Within... me?" Naruto's eyebrows then furrowed in confusion, letting the taunting tone go ignored. "Am I going insane?" He most certainly thought so. Even he knew that hearing voices from nowhere was not a good sign. Maybe he finally cracked from all the villager's emotion and mental abuse (the very rare and light physical abuse could easily be put out of mind; all they ever did was push him in the streets or grab him roughly).
"You are not going insane. I am contained within you through the seal on your stomach."
Naruto's brow arched, lifting up his shirt to see if it spoke the truth. "There isn't any seal." he accused with an aimless glare. Another lie. What did he expect? It seemed even his own self deceived him.
"Channel your chakra and it will appear." Naruto was thoroughly confused. And annoyed.
"Catra? What's that?"
A large, bodiless growl seemed to float around him, causing the blond to involuntarily shiver. "CHA-KRA. Do you truly not know of the energy you humans use to cast your techniques?" Apparently the being was not amused by his lack of education, but hey! Naruto wasn't either and it wasn't his fault no one bothered to teach him. Probably.
Naruto's eyes widened. "You mean shinobi use this chakra thingy to use jutsus?" He got an irritated grunt of affirmation. "How do I use it?" Naruto asked in excitement, literally bouncing on his heels as his hand balled into fists and shook in childish excitement.
"You have to focus, feel for the energy flowing through your chakra paths. Yes, that's it, now concentrate on moulding it." A seal appeared on Naruto's stomach and caused the blond to jump in suprise and lose focus, the seal vanishing with it. He tentatively poked at the spot where the seal had revealed itself. "Do you believe me now, brat?"
Naruto nodded dazedly, before realizing something, "How come you've never spoken to me before?" he demanded. "Has the seal always been on me?"
The disembodied voice answered bluntly, "I was asleep and yes, the seal has been on you since your birth."
Again, the blond was once more confused. "Asleep? What's that suppose ta mean?"
A exsaperated sigh filled his ears, giving Naruto the impression that the being contained within him was shaking its head in vexation. "Just what it sounds like. The seal forced me into a deep slumber since the moment I was sealed and I just woke up now. Anyways, I suggest you start thinking your answers rather than speaking out loud, if anyone heard you they would think you were insane, and before you ask, no. No one can hear me but you, seeing as I'm sealed within your mind."
What did you mean earlier, when you asked, "Is that really what you want"?
Silence filled his mind for a moment before the voice answered, "Do you really want to lead these people? Protect them?" Naruto was baffled at these words and before he could respond vehemently in favor of the village the sealed being began a litany, "They've wrongfully scorned you, accused you of acts you have not comitted. They deny your existence as one of them, starved you of what you deserved, isolated you from your own kind. If it were me, I would want revenge." A dark chuckle, sounding dangerous, poisonous, echoed in his mind.
Naruto pondered for a moment. Did he realy want to protect these people? Become their leader, the Hokage, and be forced to sit in an office doing nothing but filling out useless paperwork like the old man, just for their respect and so they would finally acknowledge him? They called for his banishment every day and made his life terrible. Why should he protect foolish people blinded by anger and hatred for things he did not do? The thought of making them pay appealed to him greatly, for he had hidden his hurt and anger and hatred deep inside of him, hoping that the old man spoke the truth when he said they would one day see their mistakes.
"I could help you become stronger, strong enough to make your tormenters pay for their wrong doings. To make the streets run red with their blood, like they had done you. Your strength will make any Kage bend to your words or your blows. Your name will go down in history as the greatest shinobi. I can make you Kage of the entire Elemental Nations."
Naruto's eyes were large at the promises the being spoke of. Part of him wondered if it was telling the truth, the other wondering if it was instead lying. Though the thought of power was enticing. . . could he really kill them? Destroy the village? They've never actually hurt him that badly, besides last year during the festival commemorating the Hokage's victory of the Kyuubi and some bastards got drunk. They were currently rotting in jail, fortunately.
But they still hurt him. It happened before, and it could happen again. Alcohol only weakens a person's inhibitions—if not outright removing them—it doesn't make them do things they've never thought about doing, didn't it? So if they hate them that much, if they want to hurt him that much, why couldn't he?
The being saw that the blond still remained uncertain.
Naruto's eyes darkened and grew wide as the next words were said. "Even your old man betrayed you." The words were laced with genuine sympathy, sounding as if the being actually cared. Naruto's heart stopped for a moment, skipping more than a few beats.
What do you... mean?
"He knows. He knows who your parents are. He knew why you were hated. He's a liar."
A snarl ripped from Naruto's throat. "No! You're the liar!" Naruto's thoughts frantically recalled every time he asked Grandpa Hokage, how his eyes averted themselves from his own blue orbs as if guilty.
He. . . has to be. . .
Naruto realized the being was telling the truth. Horror and a sick feeling of defeat seemed to settle on him, weighing down his soul as he realized his grandfather figure, one of the few he thought actually cared for him, betrayed him willingly.
His once bright blue eyes darkened, bordering on purple, and he snarled. Rage consumed him as his canines lengthened and jutted out from his upper lip. He screamed, falling to the ground and unconciously chanelling chakra into his fists as he brought them on them down on the ground as if it had wronged him. Spiderweb cracks decorated the ground and small crater formed, the process of his fists impacting with the earth viciously making it larger and larger with each blow. His pupils sharpened into blade-like slits in his fury and made his once innocent, if not mischievous visage look like a devil possessing a child. Despite how small he was, his rage would incite fear from any who dared to draw his wrath.
The sealed being observed this in great joy. Its decision to help the child grow stronger, rather than persuade him to release the seal which would result in the boy's death, had been a carefully thought out decision. The demon knew that upon the child's death it would be released, it was inevitable; for who could kill an eternal being besides the Shinigami himself? The death god was not the one to conjure up this blasted seal. No, this damned contraption had been crafted by human hands, and, despite the Shinigami's aid in sealing him, it did not have the power to drag him to the otherworld.
This time, instead of causing its container great hardship, it decided to corrupt him. Decided to ruin the Fourth Hokage's legacy (oh, and how enjoyable it would be) and mold its own in the process. Naruto would never be known at the Fourth Hokage's son if the beast had any say. Never. So instead the mighty demon decided that its container would instead be known as just that, the great jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi.
"Damnit! Even he lied to me, even him! I trusted him!" Naruto continued channeling his hatred into the ground, repeating his actions again and again until blood seeped out from his split knuckles, bruised and bloody even as they began to heal. He greedily inhaled large gulps of cool air, soothing his burning lungs as his arms slumped to his sides, his hands releasing themselves from clenched fists.
"I am not lying. Now that you are done with your childish tantrum, I will ask for a request, that if granted, will bear fruit to great rewards." the demon claimed. This sparked his container's attention, despite his little breakdown.
Naruto listened intently, wondering what kind of rewards there would be.
"I will tell you who they are, your parents, as long as you accept my request. . . to destroy Konoha and the traitorous Uchiha clan. I can help you become strong enough to make Konoha tremble in fear and beg for mercy and forgiveness, only, you won't give either to them. All you have to do, is accept."
Naruto pondered the pros and cons. On one hand he would basically be proving the villagers right, when he would relish in proving them wrong, and he would never become Hokage. On the other hand he would become so great that he would never have to beg for food or be helpless at someone else's feet. The bastards and liars would all realize that they were the one to sow their own destruction and his rise to glory.
Then his thoughts spiraled into an inky abyss of anger. Of hatred.
"He's not like us; stay away from him."
His old man lied to him, and the villagers. . . they wouldn't accept him as a human being, would they? Realization fell down on him like a pendulum. No, they would never accept him as one of them, no matter what he did.
"Is he someone bad, Mommy?"
"Yes, honey. Don't go near him—he'll hurt you."
But they would accept him as a monster. As a demon.
So maybe. . . maybe he should become one. The one thing he had been known as throughout all his life.
"I. . . I—" He hesitated, wondering just what, exactly, he was doing and getting himself into. Then something that went overlooked hit him with the force of a train. "What's your name?" He suddenly realized he never knew the being's name.
The demon was flabbergasted into silence, making Naruto wonder naïvely if it was still there, when it was in fact suprised that its container would ask for a name, its name. Perhaps it was because Naruto didn't really know what it was, but it felt... nice, for someone to want to know its name.
"...Kurama, my name is Kurama."
"Alright then, Kurama. I accept your request."