Chapter one. The original had Naruto ungaurded after a mob beating. Decided to remove that cliche.

I do not own Naruto

Kneeling down, the masked figure inspected the mangled corpse laying before him. It wasn't the first time either. Bodies had been turning up across the village for the past week. Always disfigured beyond recognition. Always drained of their blood. The killings always happened at night and in areas where few people frequented. The masked man stood, running his hands through his gravity-defying silver hair. As a member of the Anbu, the knowledge of such a serial killer running free in the village was a bit unnerving.

"Kakashi." The Anbu turned to find one of his nin-dogs looking up at him.

"Anything?" he asked, and for the first time in a week, his summons did not disappoint.

"He was only just here," replied the summon-hound. "He's heading south-east and moving fast. Really fast. We gotta move if we wanna catch him." Kakashi nodded, before the two disappeared in a swirl of wind and leaves.

Even from such a distance ahead, the lone figure could still vividly hear the hounds chasing him and snarled. The Anbu patrols had been upped lately, and as such he wasn't able to savor the night's kill. To say he was aggravated was a great understatement. Sure he was still keeping sustained, but there was something less satisfying about rushing the feeding. The man wasn't large by any means, standing at 5' 10" with a slender, lean-muscled build. He had a messy crop of gray hair, that went down to his shoulders. His eyes glinted in the moonlight, as did his teeth, in particular the large fangs.

Wearing combat boots, shinobi pants with a weapons pouch, a black t-shirt and a leather trench coat that flowed behind him as he leapt from rooftop to rooftop, giving his silhouette the appearance of having large wings. Sniffing the air, he smiled and his eyes which were an icy blue color, faded to red as he reached into a pouch on his belt. Flipping mid-leap, he tossed several smoke bombs, designed for situations like these. As they erupted all around, each released a different scent into the air, which would effectively mask his own scent trail. That done, he took off for the delicious meal which awaited him. The scent of a child's blood was enough to entice any vampire on the hunt.

The young blonde sat on the roof of his apartment building, letting his feet swing freely over the edge. The five-year-old looked up at the stars, his bright-blue eyes watching a shooting star with the wonder only a child could. The young chuunin ninja behind him just smiled at the boy with sad eyes. He never understood just how the civilians could persecute him so. They called him demon, refused to meet his gaze. He was just a bright-eyed child, who would never hurt a fly.

Normally, it would be the Anbu's job to watch the child, but with talk of a serial killer on the loose, the Anbu had to put their forces on that. The Uchiha Police force couldn't handle the case on their own, and the Hokage wanted the murders put to an end. Thus, the Anbu forces were sent to handle the murders, while Chuunin and regular Jonin were being assigned to guard Naruto. And he himself had come to like the five-year-old. He reminded him a bit of himself as a child. The blonde had an aura around him that was so...pure, you would never guess he was the container of a demon.

"Whoa, did you see that one, Yakei?" exclaimed Naruto as another shooting star flew by. The chuunin smiled.

"Yes, Naruto," he replied. "The sky is beautiful tonight, isn't it?"

"Yeah, it is," said Naruto. "I wish the sky were always this cool!" Yakei just laughed.

"Now Naruto," he said between chuckles. "You wouldn't want it to be night all the time. Without the sun, nothing could grow. It would be so cold all the time. It would be the end of ramen noodles as we know it." The comical reaction from the blonde was exactly as Yakei thought it would be, as Naruto fell backwards onto the roof and began flailing around, crying for his precious ramen. The sight was hilarious.

"Alright," he said. "I think it's time we got you to bed." His eyes widened as he suddenly felt a presence beside him.

"Oh no," said the grey-haired man that had just appeared. A quick chop to the neck had Yakei out like a light and the assailant sent a roundhouse kick to his chest so powerful it through the chuunin back several meters, causing him to crash through the roof access door, letting him fall down the stairs in a heap. "By all means, stay a while."

By this time, Naruto was cowering, stuck between the frightening man and a long drop below. The man crouched down to eye-level with Naruto and smiled. It wasn't a kind smile, but a twisted, dark smile. "It's ok, Kiddo," he said, his ice-blue eyes glinting with a hint of dark-intent. "I only bite a little bit." The silence of the night was broken by the screams of a young boy.

Not far away, another Anbu heard the shouting and used the shunshin to cover ground faster.

The dark man was much more satisfied with his meal of Naruto's blood. Especially because of the absolute fear he felt radiating from the young boy. The youthful blood itself was already a delicacy in and of itself, but taking it in slowly, the fear almost leaking into it, was what really caused the man's insides to burn in pleasure. Very few vampires would deny it was the emotions of their victims that gave their blood such splendid taste. It wasn't just blood anymore. It was their essence, their soul. The vampire wasn't merely feeding on blood. He was feeding on life itself.

As he could feel the lights begin to dim for his dessert, he was struck from behind and tackled, actually causing him and his attacker to roll away from his meal, who covered the spot where his fangs had been previously. The dark one cursed his foolishness, loosing track of his surroundings. It was one of the cardinal rules of feeding, yet the one overlooked so easily. Both he and the boy's savior rose slowly, each in a guarded stance. The vampire snarled. An Anbu. Albeit a very young looking Anbu, but an Anbu none the less. This was not good. Trying to keep a calm demeanor, he spoke.

"Ooooh, an Anbu, I'm so scared," he said, eyes searching for the best escape route. If he could get a decent running start, he could easily build distance between them, but as it stands, by the time he picked a direction, the Anbu could cut him open. Normally not an issue, but a sword through the heart could work just as effectively as a stake. Said sword glinted and caught his attention as the Anbu drew it. "What are you supposed to be anyway? A ferret?"

"Weasel, actually," replied the Anbu, his voice an almost dead monotone that made the vampire wonder if perhaps he was facing another of his kind. While the vampire couldn't see behind the mask, he knew the Anbu was gazing through him, sizing him up. When the masked man's gaze drifted towards the now unconscious boy, the vampire made his move. Transforming into a large, demonic-looking creature, he charged at the Weasel Masked Anbu, who never even brought his face back up to look at the grotesque creature. The large brute swung his now-clawed hand down, but hit nothing but air as the Anbu moved so fast it was as though his image stayed in place for a moment after he moved.

Now behind the creature, Weasel whipped some blood from his blade, before the great beat turned back to a human form and turned around, blood leaking from his mouth...and his neck. Slumping forward, the head rolled clean off his neck. He then proceeded to burst into blue-flame, burning within a span of three seconds into nothing but ash. The Anbu was noticeably shocked, but his attention quickly turned to the young boy still bleeding all over the rooftop. Rushing over, he lightly tapped his face, rousing the boy a bit. He seemed frightened still, so the Anbu removed his mask.

"Naruto, it's me. The other man is gone, you're safe now, he can't hurt you," he said, picking the boy up, preparing to rush to the hospital.

"Ugh, Itachi?" said Naruto, still a little out of it. "Yakei...He got knocked through the door..." Itachi quickly created a shadow clone and sent it to check, finding the Chuunin knocked out and banged up a bit, but otherwise unharmed. With the clone taking care of Yakei, Itachi once more decided that time was of the essence and shunshined to the hospital.

Kakashi burst into the hospital room to find both Itachi and the Sandaime Hokage. Seeing the young blonde boy laying in the hospital bed, out like a light, Kakashi instantly turned to the others.

"I came as soon as I found out," he said, a hint of panic in his voice. "Is Naruto alright? We never should have removed the Anbu guard."

"I agree," said Itachi. "While we had no way of knowing Naruto would become a target of our serial killer, we never should have tempted fate."

"Lord Hokage, I request a mission to be Naruto's official guard. He needs to be protected until he is able to protect himself," continued Kakashi.

"Kakashi is right, Lord Hokage," said Itachi. "While this may be the only attack on Naruto's life in almost 3 years, we need to face the facts that the villagers dislike him. He needs someone to watch him at all times. He's too vulnerable." Sarutobi hadn't said a word, merely gazing at the young blonde intently, looking on him with sad eyes, which really showed the signs of aging in the man.

"You both are right," he replied, looking on at the pale form of the youth in the hospital bed. He would have elaborated further on his musings, but Naruto began to wake, his eyes gone from a bright blue to an almost electric color. Sarutobi wasn't sure whether to be thankful that the boy had was coming around, or be thankful. Naruto groaned and held his head.

"Ahhh," he grunted. "Old man, please make them stop," he said almost pleadingly, looking to the aging Kage, who moved swiftly to the bedside.

"Make what stop?" he asked. "Naruto, you're safe now, calm down." But the boy kept looking frightened, his eyes darting to all over, only making a sparing glance or two to the Hokage.

"The pictures...In my head..." he said between breaths. Sarutobi's eyes narrowed, and he pulled back the bed sheets to examine the seal on Naruto's stomach. If the Fox was trying to influence Naruto, the seal would indicate it. But there was nothing. The seal acted as it always did, holding back the great beast.

"Kakashi," said Sarutobi, and before he could even finish the sentence, Kakashi had dashed out of the room. He already knew exactly what his Hokage's request was. And so he dashed across the village as fast as his legs could carry him, stopping just outside his house. The Yamanaka house. There were no lights on, but Kakashi still beat at the door with force, knowing that as a shinobi, Inoichi Yamanaka would have trained himself to be a light sleeper in case something required his attention immediately. Seeing the lights flip on, Kakashi took a step away from the door as it swung open inward to reveal the head of the Yamanaka clan.

"What is it Kakashi?" he asked. "A mission?" Kakashi shook his head.

"The Hokage requires your immediate assistance." Inoichi cocked an eyebrow, but nodded and quickly turned away to switch out of his night-wear.

At the Hospital, things with Naruto were not improving, the boy whimpering and holding his head, all the while speaking of the pictures and that they wouldn't go away. Itachi had tried to keep Naruto occupied by playing a few word games, but it wasn't working as well as he had hoped. Suddenly, the door opened and Kakashi re-entered, with Inoichi in toe.

"Kakashi filled me in on the way here," he said, his voice all serious and a glint of something like curiosity in his eyes. "You sure this isn't just the after-effects of the attack and nightmares while he was unconscious?"

"I don't think so," replied Sarutobi. "I've never seen anyone, child or no, react this way to a nightmare. It may have something to do with the attack on him however, so if you would please..." Inoichi nodded. Leaning down, he got Naruto's attention.

"Hello there Naruto," he said with a smile. "I hear you have some pictures floating around in that head of yours." Naruto nodded, and Inoichi continued. "I'm gonna make those pictures go away. But first I need to see what they are about. I'm going to go into your mind to find out, ok?" Naruto wimpered a bit.

"Will it hurt?" he asked, a little frightened, not understanding the concept of mind-walking, which the Yamanaka clan were famous for. Inoichi just shook his head, continuing to smile brightly to Naruto.

"It won't hurt a bit, I promise," he said and ruffled the blonde's hair. "In fact, I think it'll make you feel better." Naruto seemed to think about it for a minute, but then he nodded. Inoichi looked to Sarutobi for final confirmation, and the Hokage nodded the affirmative. Forming a seal with his hands, Inoichi linked his own mind to that of Naruto, and was assaulted by a barrage of not only images, but what looked to be fully formed memories. The only problem, they weren't Naruto's. In fact, if the description Inoichi got was accurate, they were probably Naruto's attackers. Severing the connection, he breathed deeply, attempting to gather his own thoughts.

"What is it?" asked Sarutobi. "What is going on with him, Inoichi?" The Yamanaka head just sighed.

"Memories," he said, and upon seeing the confusion on the faces of those in the room, he continued. "Somehow, after this man, this thing bit Naruto, he transferred memories to the boy. But they're a jumbled mess. Nothing is ordered. The only way I can describe it is that it's like he's being hit with every hallucinogenic drug at once. It's all a complete disaster in there."

"Is there anything we can do?" asked Kakashi, concerned for the young blonde. Inoichi nodded.

"I can assist Naruto and teach him how to order the thoughts and memories in his head into something coherent, but it will take time," he said. Sarutobi nodded.

"Do what you must, Inoichi," he said. "I want a full report of anything you may learn about his attacker from the memories."

"Understood," said Inoichi, already having formed the necessary hand-seal. With a burst of released chakra, he plunged himself into the boy's mind.

It was already morning by the time they were finished. Both were panting heavily, having experience a great ordeal. There were a lot of memories to sort through, but they managed. And they had both managed to learn just what had happened, and what Naruto now was. A vampire. They both chuckled a bit, Naruto relaxing in the hospital bed, Inoichi in one of the chairs in the small room. They barely noticed the nurse come in, but Naruto definitely noticed when she opened the curtains to let in the morning sunshine. Letting out an inhuman shriek at the painful burning sensation, Naruto ducked under his bed-sheet as Inoichi leapt up to close the curtain. Turning back to the quivering mass beneath the sheets, the mind-walker sighed. It was going to be a very long and difficult road ahead. Not just for Naruto, but for everyone.

Chapter End

Peace to all my fans

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