I do not own Naruto or anything linked with it. If I did, Sasuke would not have hair that looks like a duck's arse.
This story was inspired by and borrows quite a bit from the story "Oops!" by Smylingsnake. I have added said story to my favourites list, but since Smylingsnake (at the time of writing) has not updated it in well over a year, I thought I would follow in his tracks somewhat(minus the lack-of-updating thing... no disrespect intended, Smylingsnake).
Rather than just follow the path Smylingsnake blazed, though, I'm setting my story earlier in the timeline.
And it will have one heck of an effect...
Oops! id /s/4595834/1/Oops
Chapter One – The Mistake
The stone came out of nowhere.
To be fair, even if he had realised it was incoming, Naruto would have had maybe a fifty/fifty chance of dodging it. Normally it would have been higher, but the portion of his mind that would normally notice such things was otherwise engaged with obsessing over the fact that the universe seemed to be naturally unfair.
He had been thrown out of the orphanage.
At the age of five.
Ironically, the stone that hit him had not been cast by one of the many ignorant villagers that hated him for reasons that he did not understand and had never been told. It simply fell from the top of the crumbling wall that he was curled up against, destabilised by the combination of aged mortar and the gentle, yet variable breeze.
Normally, it would have simply left a bruise. Had he been asleep, he would never have noticed since his healing would have fixed it by the morning, leaving maybe a bit of drying blood. If he had been awake, it would have led to some muttered cursing, a rubbing of the head and stomping off to find a less collapse-prone place to rest.
But he had been at the border between wakefullness and sleep, at the exact point between the two where awareness exists, but the will to move is absent.
And the impact sent him spiralling into his own mind.
"Owww. What hit me?"
Naruto sat up and looked around, his irritation slowly vanishing to be replaced with an odd mixture of curiosity and unease.
Pulling himself to his feet, he looked round at the walls and ceiling of the tunnel that he had found himself in, then he looked down and blinked.
"What the... is that water?"
The thin layer of liquid flowed over the stone flagstones and, having no reason to do otherwise, Naruto followed the flow to see where it went. After a journey that could have been as little as ten minutes or as long as ten hours, Naruto turned a corner and halted at the sight before him.
The tunnel was blocked by a set of massive gates, their hinges set deep into the walls. Where the gates met was a piece of paper marked only with the kanji for 'seal'.
But it was what was behind the gates that caught Naruto's attention. A giant, shifting, red-furred shape that was unfolding and standing up. Nine tails extended from one end and at the other, a head containing glowing red eyes and sharp teeth almost as long as Naruto was high turned to look at him.
"Ah, so my new container has come to visit me."
Naruto blinked and scratched his head.
"Container? Where am I? Who are you?"
The giant beast snorted.
"It is considered polite to introduce yourself before asking the name of another."
Naruto nodded, remembering many of the conversations he had overheard since very few people wanted to speak to him for some reason. Thinking back to how someone had talked to his favourite person, the old man he called Jiji and others called Hokage, Naruto bowed to the odd being.
"My name is Uzumaki Naruto of Konohagakure. Might I know your name?"
A burst of laughter echoed through the tunnel.
"How polite! I think I'm going to like you. I am known to many as the Kitsune no Kyuubi. My true name I shall reveal to you if you prove yourself worthy. As for your other questions, we are inside your... mind, shall we say. It is far more complicated than that, but for now, that description will do. And as for what I meant by container, it is simple. When you were born, I was sealed inside you."
Naruto frowned in thought as he worked his way through the explanation.
"I... think I get it. But... isn't it boring here?"
For a moment, the Kyuubi stared at him, then a sigh emerged.
"It is less unpleasant than being in my last container, but I was complete back then. Half my power was taken from me when I was ripped from her and a red-eyed man made me attack Konoha. At least this time, I have something to look at, although I would give much to see the world once more."
"Does that paper stop you getting out?" Naruto asked and Kyuubi nodded. Naruto stared at it for a moment, then walked over and tried to reach it.
"What... what are you doing?"
"Letting you out." Naruto said, stretching to reach the paper just tantalisingly beyond his reach. A second later, the tip of a tail slammed into him, sending him tumbling.
"Oww! What was that for? I was trying to free you!"
"And in doing so, you would have died, as I probably would as well." came the response. "Plus, you never asked if I wanted to get out."
Naruto stared at him, his bruises forgotten as he tried to understand.
"I... I don't understand. Why don't you want to get out?"
"Because," the giant creature sighed, "Out there is a man who can turn me into his mindless slave, and I cannot defend myself against him. By remaining here, even though it is boring, I am not a slave. I may not be free, but I am not a slave."
"That's not fair." Naruto pouted. "No-one should make you a slave, I'll find him and hurt him so bad, he won't do it again and you can go free."
For several moments, the two stared at each other.
"I... I do believe you mean that. You will need to grow strong and study, that you may defeat him and free me without dying, but... if that is what you want to do, I will help you as best I can."
Naruto grinned and picked himself off the wet floor. Walking back to the gate, he smiled at the giant being.
"No, thank you. Now please, let me consider things for a moment... ah. I give you my word that I will not do anything to harm you if you will let me use my abilities to help you. I sense you are malnourished and lacking in physical capabilities... and have several seals placed upon you that should not be there. Will you accept my aid?"
As Naruto said it, the Kyuubi extended his tail through the bars and gently wrapped it around Naruto's waist, lifting him to the seal.
"First, you must change the seal so that I can aid you. Just tear off a small bit of each corner, no bigger than your fingernail... yes, just like that. Excellent. Now, look round."
Naruto staggered slightly as the tail placed him back down and he glanced round as sparkles of red shimmered across the walls. In several places, the sparkles seemed to stick and outline odd shapes.
"What are those?"
"Those, kit, are the seals that should not be there, placed by those who hated you for what you carry. Take this dagger and stab those seals. I will tell you what each one was for."
Naruto blinked as the Kyuubi spat a tooth out. It skittered across the floor and came to rest against his foot. Picking it up, he grinned as it shifted slightly, becoming a pale silver dagger with an amber handle and a small red-leather loop on the end.
"That is the Kitsune's Fang. Only you can use it and when you wake up, it will be by your side so you know that this was not a dream. Only you can use it, no-one else will be able to touch it. Now, try it on that first seal to your right. That one was placed to slow your memory, making it harder to learn... One of the Yamanaka clan placed it there three years ago."
Naruto plunged the tip of his new dagger into the invisible seal and a second later it faded into view, already starting to disintegrate as if it were on fire.
"Excellent. Now the one on the wall behind you is set to kill you should you leave the village without permission. That one was placed by a Shinobi wearing a blank mask..."
The last seal evaporated into a plume of smoke and Naruto grinned.
"Excellent, kit. Excellent. Now I can work to help you as I promised. How does extra speed, strength and health sound? I will make you the fastest and strongest shinobi in the village if you wish."
"That would be wonderful, Kyuubi-sama! Thank you!"
The Kyuubi chuckled at the display of childish gratitude.
"Very well kit. I shall make you five times as strong as you would be without my aid, and twice as fast. And since I like you so much, I shall boost your senses and set a link that we may speak to each other when you are awake. Does that sound good?"
"It sounds awesome, Kyuubi-sama! Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
The Kyuubi grinned and started to send his power into the walls of the tunnels, illuminating the pipes that were running acroos the sides and ceiling.
"Alright, first, your eyes and ears. A small tweak and you'll be able to see perfectly at night and hear things far away. Eyes first..."
Naruto listed to the Kyuubi muttering to itself as he looked round, then he frowned at a slight glow in the water. Walking over to it, he looked down and saw another outlined shape indicating a seal.
"...that's interesting, there seems to be some resistance to the strength boost..."
Ignoring the odd comments, Naruto tensed and thrust the Fang into the invisible seal, grinning as it flashed into visibility.
The seal almost exploded, knocking Naruto backwards and he landed with a thud against the rapidly drying floor. For a few moments, his ears rang and his eyes defocused, then he sat up and felt the Kyuubi looking at him.
"There was one more seal... I kind of missed it before..."
The Kyuubi stared at him, then down at the scorch mark that showed where the seal had been.
"Oh dear... That's not good..."