A/N- This is a AU challenge fic from estrella skies. Full Challenge details are on her profile, under the title Legacy Challenge.
*Beta'd by estrella skies, thanks to her, this garbage is now readable, thank you!
Chapter one; Into bowels of darkness…
Naruko was quite a happy baby; she was bubbly and she especially loved attention. One person that she loved in particular was an old man; was he her daddy? She didn't really think on the question for too long because it didn't matter, at least not to her, since she was happy being here, wherever here was.
Naruko was a cute one year old. She had a tuft of shockingly bright blond hair and when her eyes were open you could see the bight sapphire blue eyes she held. Unbeknownst too little Naruko, she looked like a female version of her father. She would never know of this fact until a very long time. Naruko also had the strangest marks on her cheeks that resembled three whiskers stripped across her cheeks. They made her look strangely cat-like, or... like a fox.
Today was a very special day for Naruko since it was her birthday. Today she was officially one. She didn't know of this but the very few people present for this occasion knew it.
The old man smiled at the young baby and Naruko cooed in return. Reaching over, the older man pulled something out from a place that Naruko couldn't see and she wondered what he was doing.
The old man pulled out a brand new teddy bear wearing an orange t-shirt. He offered the bear to Naruko. Naruko clapped her hands happily and made a gurgling noise at him as she reached for the bear. He had gotten her something?
The teddy was soft and Naruko immediately loved it. She also loved the bright orange of the teddy's top, it stood out and in her one year old mind. Naruko liked this characteristic about her bear. He stood out or at least his shirt did. And Naruko loved bright colours; they drew her eyes in and gave her something to focus on.
Naruko smiled up at the old man in her childish way. Which as a matter of fact was an extremely cute sight to see.
"Happy birthday, Naruko," The aged man whispered to the young girl in the crib.
Naruko laughed at him, not understanding what he was saying but happy nevertheless. The Third Hokage just smiled at the Fourth's daughter softly. He had been tasked to take care of the girl by her father, but no one else knew of this.
Hell, no one even knew that Naruko existed except his three students. None of Naruko's family had survived the attack on the village. Her father, the Fourth Hokage, had died in the battle as had her mother Uzumaki Kushina. Because her father, Namikaze Minato, was an orphan, she didn't have any relatives on his side. And her mother, Kushina's, family had been massacred during the Third Great Shinobi war. As a result, this left Naruko alone in the world.
Minato's students had all died except for one, Hatake Kakashi. Hatake Kakashi was his only student to survive the dreaded attack. But the Sandaime did not want to tell him of Naruko's existence. His reason for this was that the boy was headstrong. Sure, he was calm in battle and a very good leader but he would rush to take care of Naruko above anything else. Normally, this would be a good thing but the boy was eleven, and no eleven year old boy could look after a one year old baby.
The Third Hokage wanted to believe that this was his biggest reason for keeping Kakashi away from his late sensei's daughter, but that wasn't the case. In reality, Kakashi held the most potential he had seen in an eleven year old since Orochimaru. His student was a genius and would have made an excellent Hokage, if he hadn't been so bitter and resentful towards the village. Kakashi was a genius and an ANBU at eleven years of age, this was amazing. Kakashi would be an incredible part of Konoha's defence force; he might, if he tried hard enough, even become the next Hokage.
The old man sighed as he glanced down at Naruko. Was he wrong to keep Kakashi away? The young girl's last remaining link to her dad? He was being kept away for purely selfish reasons, but they were in the interests of the village and as much as he loved Naruko, the village had to come first.
The nursery was deadly silent and considering it was the dead of night, it wasn't really that suspicious. Naruko was sleeping soundly in her baby crib. Nothing was going to wake the young girl from her slumber since she was exhausted from her day.
Naruko was sleeping with her new teddy bear with the orange shirt. The bear was securely tucked under one of her chubby arms as she was practically on top of the poor thing. It was a peaceful and adorable sight, showing all of the innocence that Naruko could have while being such a small child.
Everything up to this point for Naruko was perfect. She was well taken care of, and she had people who loved her. Many of the citizens didn't know about her, per say. But they all knew about her extra gift.
The peace was not to last forever though, it was on this night that her world would get shattered into a million pieces, when to the unsuspecting little baby's world would change forever.
A dark figure slipped into the still dark room, not making a single sound. The figure paused in the room to observe his surroundings, and the figure turned his head around rapidly, as if it was searching for something. Or in this case, someone.
The figure stopped looking finding his prey. Quietly he made his way towards the baby crib in the far corner of the room. The figure loomed over Naruko, and he stayed there for a moment or two almost as if he was trying to decide if this is what he came for. After his slight deliberation, he seemed to figure it out.
Slowly, the figure grabbed the sleeping baby leaving her teddy bear in the crib. Naruko didn't wake up though and was still fast asleep. The figure pulled her up to his face to question her worth. He seemed to be debating in his mind, if it was her that he wanted.
He obviously saw something that he liked, as he clutched the sleeping baby to his chest and without much further ado he stole out of the room taking the sleeping blond girl with him.
The figure stopped in front of the window and whispered into to the silent room "She's mine now... Sensei!"
Seven Years Later...
Naruko hated her life. She had just turned eight years old. Normally, this would be a time of joy and a time of comfort for many young children, but not for Naruko. Many eight year olds would be starting at the academy to train and become ninja and fight for their village.
Naruko had never wanted to follow in this path. Yes, she was young but she had seen way too much in all of her short years. She had been pushed and prodded, and she had been tested on and experimented with.
Her life was a living hell. She was always in constant pain and she just didn't care enough about anything anymore. Her life so far was one agonizing blur. There had been times when she had been taken aside from the constant pain that she had to endure on a daily basis. It was during those times that she would be trained by another person.
She was to be a soldier for the man she hated most. The man, who experimented on her, tried to make her into some super warrior to do his bidding, in order to protect his village. Naruko would not care if his village burned to the ground, hell she would probably throw a party. Naruko hated the man and she dreamed daily of killing him and then herself. She was a morbid eight year old, but she just wanted everything to end and be over and done with.
She had enough of the constant and never ending pain. She hated the training, and she hated the reason why she had to do it all . She had been told in great detail of his plans and only how she fit into them. She was a super warrior, and she was going to be one of his finest.
Many children would love to become ninja and protect their home villages but Naruko would just love to see her's burn, for she hated the small village with a burning passion. If she would protect a village, then the village would have to be peace loving, and one that wanted to protect and not destroy. It was a pretty far-fetched dream. She knew that all ninja villages were all about constant war and hate, but she could dream all the same.
Naruko often caught herself day-dreaming about living in a village, a peaceful village, and not being a ninja. She would never choose that life if she could help it, maybe she would have a garden and some friends that didn't want to kill her. Yes, she was a little messed up.
Naruko sighed slightly as she opened her eyes to see the roof of her small room that reminded her of a cage. It was tiny, barely fitting for her small single bed and small dresser filled with dull clothing that she hated. Naruko never liked the clothing that was provided to her, they were all dark and well – the only colour there was black, Naruko hated the colour black. She wished for brighter coloured clothing, maybe they would be able to pull her from her little bouts of depression.
Her bed had the worst covers on them: they were all grey. Considering the entire village was consumed with gray colouring, it was safe to say that Naruko hated the colour gray as well. It was amusing how much a different colour could change her mood. Once she had caught glimpses of different colours, the greens of trees, the blue of the sky, the yellow sun... And they all seemed to put her in a better mood. She loved it when she was allowed outside just so she could gaze at the colours.
Naruko might have just sat there gazing at colours all her life if she could, but she had training and not to mention... the... experimentation.
What the young girl really wanted was a way out. She only found freedom most of the time in the solace of her dreams. Where she would dream about life where it was easy and... Strangely enough, she dreamed about a teddy bear with an orange shirt. She wanted to get a bear like that one day. She liked the colour of the shirt, and she sometimes wished for a shirt with that colour.
And she would get clothing in that colour one day, when her leader lets her do missions and stopped experimenting on her. She could buy things from different towns; she could buy lots of orange things and purple things. Naruko loved the colour orange the best but she also liked the tones of purple. That is, if she ever got out of here.
Naruko gazed steadily at her black stone roof. One day she will get out, and one day she will live peacefully away from all of the pain. She was eight, and all she wanted was a nice life, with a garden, with orange things, with friends and no ninjas.
A loud pounding at Naruko's bedroom door brought the young blonde out of her musings. She wondered slightly what they wanted of her had wanted a day off with just her thoughts for company, and she found she liked keeping to her thoughts; it was less mundane and boring for the young girl.
"Come in," she called out at the person knocking. She didn't care who it was. It was either the bastard wanting to experiment on her more, or training to be a super ninja. She honestly didn't know what she hated more. She hated the pain almost as much as she hated the thought of serving the bastard.
The door flung open and in the door way stood one of the bastard's lackeys. She never bothered to learn the names of them anyway, since none of them mattered. They all left as quickly as they came. She didn't know what happened to them but she honestly couldn't bring herself to care. They didn't matter to her, not really.
"Yes?" Naruko asked the man in the doorway not even bothering to look at him but choosing to continue to stare up at the roof in contemplation instead.
The man was visibly annoyed at the young girl not looking at him or paying him the slightest bit of her attention. His lip curled into a snarl at the short blond. Who did she think she was?
"I am your new trainer," He responded trying to remain calm, even though he was thoroughly annoyed by the young child's behaviour.
Naruko on the other hand was slightly disappointed with didn't want to be pricked and prodded that day, but that didn't mean she wanted to train with anyone. She definitely didn't want to train with the new kid.
Naruko sighed but this only seemed to aggravate her new 'trainer' even more. Naruko didn't mind because she loved annoying people, and it was the only way to have fun in the monotony of drab colours and pain of her day to day life.
Naruko slid off her bed with ease and looked up at her new teacher with her bright blue eyes; he was annoyed for sure.
"Follow me," He said briskly at the girl, all tones of annoyance wiped clean from his features, as he motioned for the girl to follow him as he swept out of the room and started to make his way down the hall.
Naruko sighed before following him. She didn't want to have to face the wrath of her leader if she didn't follow the man. She idly wondered what she was going to be taught. She hoped to the high gods that it would be interesting.
Naruko followed the man though a series of halls. He seemed lost to her but she kept silent. She didn't want to train for the snake anyway. She would prefer to just mindlessly keep walking the hallways with her new teacher, who had no idea where he was going. This was fine with her.
Eventually the man led her to an open field, outside. Naruko was blinded by all of the colours that she loved so much: the green, the blue, the white, yellows, browns... evidently she got very distracted with the world around her, everything was just so... different.
There was a reason that many of her 'teachers' didn't take Naruko outside much, and this was because she always got distracted by the bright colours but she couldn't help herself. They were just so... pretty.
Her new teacher allowed her to do what she pleased taking in the colours his previously annoyed mood slowly disappearing as he watched the young girl's obvious delight in taking in the colours of the world.
It took Naruko about five minutes to pull her senses in enough to realize that she was meant to be training with her new teacher. She didn't want to be punished for not doing what she was told. She was put through enough pain daily as it was, and she didn't need any more.
Seeing that his new student had finally started paying attention, the unknown man began to talk, "I am here to teach you what I can. I'm going to be honest with you, child. I am new to the village and this is my first task. I will not let the leader down. I expect excellence from you and I don't care your age, gender or height. All that matters is that you pay attention and learn from me, is this acceptable?"
Naruko sighed slightly, she had another newbie teacher. They all wanted the same thing, to climb the ranks here. Almost every new ninja in the village had to teach her at one point as a result, she was pretty kick ass... She wished she was not a genius and it did take awhile for her to grasp the most basic of concepts. She was no idiot by any means but it took her an entire three weeks to learn tree-walking. It might have been because she was young, or because she didn't care enough to put any effort in.
But none of that mattered to her; the new guy as much as he wanted to use her to climb the ladder right now, would eventually die. He didn't care for her, and he never will and he would eventually get killed trying to prove his worth to the creepy man that kept her captive. They all did, he didn't care one little bit about any of his men, something that Naruko hated about him.
Naruko nodded her head at the man in a lazy fashion, none of it mattered. Not really, he would be gone soon and she would go back to her meaningless life of pain and wishing she would have the courage to kill herself and she would be dead. Easy as that.
"Good, I've read about all of your skills so far, you seem very advance for your age."
Naruko barely acknowledged the man beyond another lazy nod of her head. She wasn't listening very much. She figured he was trying to praise her, but it didn't matter. She wasn't going to be much help to the older man.
"I've noticed that you don't have very much in terms of Jutsu or weaponry skills though, any reason?"
There was plenty of reasons for that: the old bastard had made sure she did not learn any real skill from any of her teachers. They had taught her about chakra control, they had made her strong and fit, and she was a fast child. She had knowledge which relied heavily on traps and poisons, but this was the extent of her knowledge. However, she actually could read and write mostly, this had taken many years and she wasn't a master of that aspect yet. She had no knowledge of any Jutsu or any weaponry training, and she was sure that the creepy snake wanted it that way.
She had figured that he wanted to keep it this way until she showed more signs of loyalty and not absolute hatred of the man. While she remained here, she was sure that he didn't want her to be able to escape or to protect herself from him completely. She was to be his ninja but he wouldn't train her properly, until she did something to prove her loyalty to him.
With her silence, Naruko figured the man easily assumed that either she didn't know why or that she didn't want to tell him. Either way, Naruko was slightly relieved when the man continued talking.
"Well, Naruko I think we should change that, first let's start with some weaponry training, yes?"
Naruko froze and looked up at the man and started to take him in for the first time since she had seen him. He was tall and easily six feet tall. He had messy short black hair and dark coloured eyes and seemed very normal.
Almost too normal and he wanted to train her with things that she had never been trusted with before?
"Leader-Sama, agreed to this?" Naruko asked the man wishing slightly that she knew his name so she could stop calling him 'the man' in her head.
The man looked at her for a moment, considering his answer. "I was told to teach you as I saw fit."
So, no. The leader didn't know about this training or this wouldn't have been allowed at all. She wasn't complaining though, she wasn't going to tell the leader about any of her training any time soon and if he wanted to teach her these things, she wasn't going to complain.
Naruko didn't want to be a ninja, but she did want out of this village.
Coming to an understanding about her new teacher, Naruko nodded her head at him with a slight smile. Was she finally getting training for a way out? She wasn't going to be a ninja, never in her life. She didn't want to kill the leader or maybe she did but she was never going to be able to but she was going to get out of this place.
Yes, this was her new goal in life: to get out of the Kami-damned village and start again anew. She never went back on her word.
Naruko barely suppressed another scream; the pain was blinding and horrid. She wished it would all end, but no. The leader would never allow her misery to end. She was cursed forever by the leader to live a life of pain with little to no salvation.
There was one thing for Naruko though, through the pain and the hate she held for the man that kept her, he had done something right. One month ago, she would be screaming and thrashing around yelling about killing him, and plotting his demise in her dimly lit room. She was a bundle of hate with only small flickers of light in her life that was few and far between.
But one month ago things changed for the young girl, she got a new teacher. She got a new one every two-three months and they were all the same. Mind-less drones that did what the leader wanted them to do, what the leader wanted her to learn, they cared nothing for her.
But her newest teacher was different. He seemed to disregard the Leaders words slightly, not completely that would have been idiotic of him and completely ruined his chances in the village. He disregarded his words though when it counted. He trained her in areas that he hadn't wanted her trained. He let her gaze in amazement at the colours of the outside world, and he let her gaze at the clouds as they went on their way. He let her take breaks when she got tired, and he put bandages on her even though they both knew that she didn't need them. He listened to her when she talked, and he didn't relay anything to the Leader.
Her new teacher Satō Kaito was light a small light in her life, dragging her away from all the negative thoughts that she possessed, and she adored her Sensei, mainly because he cared and hadn't given up on her. The only problem she had with her teacher was a few strange quirks of his. Some things she guessed he couldn't quite help but the major issue that Naruko had with the man was he was too common and he had no defining qualities, for the love of Kami, even his name was common.
Naruko let go a small scream as a new liquid entered her system courtesy of an overly large needle from a syringe. Black dots danced around her eyes, and she was starting to feel sleepy.
The darkness was starting to consume her, was she just fainting? Or had the Leader finally gone too far in his attempts to turn her into some sort of super human. Was she dying? That last morbid thought appealed to her more than it should have since she was eight and she didn't care if she died. Her only regret was not saying goodbye to Kaito-Sensei, the only one in this entire place who seemed to care for her. She would miss him in the afterlife.
Naruko's lips tugged up in a sort of half smile just before the darkness took over and her eyes fluttered closed. 'Sorry, Sensei' She thought before she completely passed out.
Naruko kept her eyes glued shut for a minute before opening her eyes again realizing that she could. So she hadn't died, the thought of her not dying upset the young girl more than it should have. She had issues.
When she opened her eyes, she expected to see many things: the room with the Leader holding a large needle and wearing a huge smirk or at least her dimly lit room with all of the dark depressing colours, but not this.
She was in a sewer of some kind where water was dripping from the ceiling leading to a very wet floor and it was dark and depressing. What was most unique about the place was the massive cage or jail cell taking up most of the space. In the middle of the jail cell where a keyhole should reside hung a giant paper with a word printed that Naruko couldn't quite make out.
It was a jail, she was in a jail. But the question was, why was she here? And where exactly was she?
Naruko tried to glance into the massive cell in an attempt to determine what was in the cell. She couldn't see anything but she could feel a presence one full of hatred and greed.
Naruko shivered slightly. The aura of the being inside the cell was in short scary. But Naruko wouldn't let herself be scared by it, well only a little bit scared but no more. It couldn't be worse than anything else he had put her through in her past.
"So I meet my Jailer, as she dies?" A dark voice filled with malice said from the direction of the cage.
Naruko's gaze fixed towards the direction of the voice, what did he mean jailer? And did she actually die or was she dying? Was she finally getting what she wished for her entire life? Now that it was being placed in front of her, Naruko realized one thing. She didn't want to die, not yet anyway.
"Who are you?" Naruko demanded with a confidence that she didn't know she had.
The voice responded with a dark laugh that sent shivers up Naruko's spine. Naruko wasn't going to get intimidated though by a simply scary voice.
"Who are you, and where am I!?" Naruko demanded slowly gaining the confidence she had built up with her Sensei.
Her new Sensei had been a life changer for the young girl. Before he had come along, she hadn't been meek or anything but she had let everyone walk over her. Sure she mostly appeared lazy and uninterested with all of them but when it came down to it, she let them do what they wanted without questioning them.
Her new Sensei was teaching her otherwise. He was teaching her that it was okay to question what was happening concerning her. He told her she was allowed to be interested with other things and tell people about it. He told her that she should be able to have what she liked and told her not to be afraid. Naruko cared for her Sensei and he seemed to genuinely care about her well being.
"Who am I? You're an idiot, child."
Naruko blinked at the direction the voice was coming from, why was she an idiot because she didn't know who he was? Naruko was sure that she had never been here in her life and never talked to the voice, so she was sure that it was okay for her not to know the voice.
"Fine, I am the mighty, nine-tailed demon fox and this is my prison - your mind."
Naruko was in shock. She hadn't expected the voice to answer her at all and instead she got an answer like that. She knew what the fox was since she had been taught all about the tailed demons and their hosts. What she found it hard to believe though was the fact that she was a host. Although it made some sort of sense in a sick twisted way.
"Why am I here?" Naruko asked her eyes glued to the cage trying to see the demon fox in its form, but she couldn't see him. He was too far back in his cage so she could not see him. And Naruko wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing just yet.
"You're dying, brat."
Naruko thought this through, one month ago this would have been great news for her, and she would have relished for an end to her continued existence. But now it was different, she had someone who cared about her and cared if she died. Naruko hadn't realized in the many years previous that all she had wanted was for someone to care about her, but now it was so blindly obvious.
Naruko didn't know how to respond to that, she was dying? And he was just sitting here doing nothing? Naruko guessed that the fox didn't really care about what happens to her, since he would be free if she died. At least somebody would be happy with her death.
"I will save you idiot, but if you do something for me."
Naruko paused for a minute, why would he save her when her death would be a free ticket out of here, what could it possibly be that he wanted her to do?
"Why?" Naruko asked the fox her emotions on the subject were evident in her voice and facial expression
Naruko could feel the fox's gaze on her, assessing her.
"You really are incompetent. Do you want to die or not brat?"
Naruko thought this through for a moment, she really didn't want to die. There was absolutely no question about that. But as much as the fox seemed to think she was an idiot, she wasn't. The fox could only want something major in return for sparing the girl's life, he could be free right?
"No, I don't want to die," Naruko said slowly, considering her words carefully.
The fox seemed to chuckle darkly from the confines of his cell. Naruko didn't see the humour in the situation.
"But, what do you want?" Naruko asked the Kitsune.
"Get out of this village."
Naruko looked at the seemingly empty cage in shock, he wanted her out of the village. She had wanted out of the village at points, but why would the Kyūbi want her to get out of the village?
"Why?" Naruko questioned the fox, rather bravely.
"Because idiot, I can't keep healing you!" The Kyūbi snarled at her obviously very annoyed.
Naruko blinked, the fox had been healing her? Since when? She wondered why the fox would have any intention of keeping her from harm. Why wouldn't he just kill her instead? It would have been a whole lot easier; it would have been what she would have done.
"Why heal me?" Naruko demanded of the fox, this conversation was getting no-where.
The fox huffed in irritation, "Listen brat, we don't have time! Do you agree or not?"
Naruko thought about this for a few minutes. On the one hand she didn't want to die; however, she didn't want to agree without knowing why the fox wanted her to only promise him to get herself out of the village. Sure Naruko had wanted to get out of the village, but she didn't want to leave Kaito-Sensei behind. What the fox proposed was that she had to trust him, and this sort of blind trust could easily get her killed. But it was a risk she would have to take.
A/N- So as I said this is the start of a challenge, go to estella skies profile to look at the full challenge and while you're at it, go read her story. It's awesome I assure you. It called The Fourth's Legacy; it's brilliant really.
Anyway, tell me what you think in a review! Thanks, oh and Btw, this is a eventual FEMNARUTO(NARUKO)/ KAKASHI. Just so you know, but she will be pared with someone else until, I find her a satisfactory age to be with him, so if you have any ideas, they'd we welcomed!