Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto but i do own this story alongside a good friend.
To my readers before my account went KO, it's not my fault, my account was hacked and thanks to my beta,Daelyn Paolini, i was able to retake it and bring back this story.
The charcoal sky rumbled above, threatening to drench the land below. Everything, the living and inanimate alike, seemed to cower in hiding from the icy clutches of the rain. The first drops landed on the leaves of the darkened, verdant forest. The earth was choking on the water, unable to take in anymore. Thunder rumbled and lightning cracked the sky open, throwing the trees and their leaves into shocking relief.
In the green canopy above the flooded ground, a shadow leapt from branch to branch making its way through the forest. The figure's normally colorful attire was now accessorized with his own blood. His pain seemed to seep through his skin, infecting the forest around him, shrouding his very steps.
Naruto had just left his home and accepted his fate. Everything was over. There was no reason to stay alive when not a single soul in this depressed land wanted him, waited for him, loved him. His dream of universal acknowledgement and appreciation of himself was now just that- a fading dream, not a facet of reality. And just when he'd finally done it, too: when he brought back one his oldest friends, Uchiha Sasuke, to the village he belonged in. Under the arrogant Uchiha's own terms, of course.
Oblivious to his old friend's hidden agenda, he'd brought him to Konoha and now Naruto was paying the price. Paying the price of having friends, of actually being stupid enough to think he was safe in his dream world, a sick pseudoreality he had been concocting his whole life.
Naruto quickened his pace. He fought back the blame, the self-hatred, and the agonizing pain as the memories hit him.
Uzumaki Naruto, the blonde, whisker-marked-cheek teen of Konoha was, for the very first time in two weeks, sitting calmly on top of the monument commemorating the past Hokage. Half of the sky around him was bright and shining with life. The other half was blemished with countless discolored clouds, threatening to release its liquid spite on the unknowing village.
Naruto was proud of himself. After a two month long mission, he'd finally done it. He'd finally brought back his best friend, the only brother figure in his life. He smiled when flashes of exuberant memories of a time long past quickly flashed against the orange, half-sunlit scene of Konoha before him. He sighed as he tried closing his eyes to drown out the world around him, and rest. Finally rest. Everything seemed perfect with the sun setting in the distant horizon.
He yawned as sleep began to usher him into oblivion…into peace. His mind came to a heart-broken, screeching halt when some sensation in the air around him caught his attention. He opened his eyes to see three Anbu standing around him. Slowly, Naruto drew himself to his feet, practically tasting the tension in the air. Something was definitely wrong. His usually happy face narrowed in to one of anxiety when the Anbu remained silent. They simply stood there and looked at him, seeming to be prepared for anything.
"Is something wrong?" he thought it took him a moment too long to find his voice.
"Uzumaki Naruto, you're wanted before the Council."
Naruto turned to look behind him for the origin of the voice. He gazed upon the figure of Yamato, which only elicited more feelings of anxiety and fear from Naruto. A frown painted the perfect picture of disbelief on Naruto's face. For the first few seconds, he didn't know what to do but just stare in confusion at the angry and disappointed expression on his sensei's face. He looked again at the Anbu and wondered whether he was in some kind of trouble. But something inside him began to unravel the tense scene around him, piecing together bits and pieces of a puzzle Naruto didn't know even existed to begin with. He could feel the tension, the fear, the thirst for blood, the killer intent- and it was emanating from everyone here. With a strange sense of fear, the blonde shinobi turned to his sensei.
"Yamato-sensei, what's wrong?" Naruto asked with all the innocence he could muster. He only received a scowl from his sensei. The expression was the same as those the villagers threw at him when he was the hated and rejected child of Konoha.
"The Council will brief you on everything once you're before them." Yamato didn't bother to take the angry emotions off his face. Naruto frowned as he noticed this. He stood his ground, unwilling to obey when he, an innocent man, was being treated like a criminal.
"And what if I refuse?" he spoke boldly, sending a similar glare to Yamato, who simply returned the gesture in kind.
"Yes, I beg you to defy the Council, demon," an Anbu behind him hissed. Naruto was fed up with everyone's idiocy. He turned, ready to punch the life out of him when, when he was struck still by darkness.
"Wood Release: Four-Pillar Prison Technique!" Wood erupted around him and within a second, he was locked in the prison perfected by Yamato, trapped in pitch black darkness.
"WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?" Naruto yelled as the walls began to shrink until they were just his size and movable. There was no response from the outside world.
The only thing he felt was an odd sensation of blind, uncontrolled movement. He struck at the walls and found they were too hard to break down. Yamato's Wood Release jutsu was undefeatable. Giving up, Naruto finally sunk down to his haunches. Soon enough, he felt himself stop. A gap in the roof of the prison opened up to send a few slivers of grey light onto Naruto's face.
Clambering from the wooden cage, he stepped out and saw where he was. There was the Hokage Tower, right in front of him. Everyone was here, his friends and every other shinobi of Konoha. He paused when he noticed their faces. Anger, fear, shock, and betrayal colored their faces red or white. Everyone looked at Naruto in a way that made his insides seer with anxiety. If he was a different person, he might have cowered in fear from the death glares thrown his way. But then his eyes flashed to Sakura, quickly understanding the anger boiling her blood. He took a step in her direction, but everyone stepped back from him at once.
"Sakura-chan, what's wrong with-"
Sakura spat in his face, ending Naruto's sentence dead in its track With shock and pain, his eyes fell on Kakashi, who looked away from the boy. The disappointment and shame in Naruto was obvious on Kakashi's hidden face. That was when Naruto shifted his gaze to Hinata. He wasn't entirely surprised that she refused to meet his gaze. But this time was different. She looked at the ground, face twisted in pain, tears threatening to glide down her cheeks. He could see her shaking from the strain of holding in her emotions from here. Numbly, he rubbed away the saliva with his sleeve, turning to face the entrance to the Hokage Tower, which the Council members stood in. Everyone citizen of Konoha was there…except Sasuke.
Naruto frowned as his eyes fell upon Danzo. The one eyed council member seemed to look at the Jinchuriki with his usual indifferent gaze. But the venom and ice-cold hatred in his eyes was pain-stakingly obvious to Naruto.
"Uzumaki Naruto, you are hereby charged with conspiracy and murder," Danzo said blankly. Naruto gasped in shock. What was happening…murder? He wasn't even sure what to say, and where was Baa-chan? She should've been there to back Naruto on his innocence. "You are charged with the murder of the Hokage of Konoha in a planned assassination with Uchiha Sasuke in an attempt to seize power of Konoha."
Naruto's jaw almost dropped when Danzo finished his statement. His mouth was dry and his tongue lacked the words of dissent he so desperately wanted to scream. He had no idea how to process what was going on. He shook his head in pained denial.
"WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!" A kunai struck the ground in front of him, silencing him. It felt like the kunai had struck his heart instead. He glanced at the blade, the reflection of his gaping face prominent in the weapon. He looked back up at Danzo when the old man began to speak.
"Your judgment has already been decided. You are given the chance to survive the direct punishment for your crimes against the village of Konoga. Thus, this kunai is going to be your last chance for a quick death. Use it wisely." Danzo's tone was cold, and barely void of any emotion. However, Naruto could hear something on the edge of his voice. Conceit?
Naruto glanced around at the mortified and enraged faces around him. Were they honestly agreeing with the Council's unfair ruling? They knew how he felt about Tsunade. She was like the mother he never had. How could they think he could do something like what Danzo claimed? Was Sasuke part of this? What was happening? He couldn't believe everything he had been working for the last several years of his life lead to this one humiliating moment.
Naruto fell to his knees and looked at the kunai. He knew there was no point trying to clear the whole situation up. These people were already in Danzo's hands, his little sheep. They were far from being able to believe the truth. He drew his hand slowly and took the kunai from the place the blade gouged. He looked at its sharpness, the sun's rays blinking at him as he rotated the knife in his hand. Slowly, the sun finally set and darkness crept into every corner of the field they were standing in.
The village was quiet for the first time, and it was when death was threatening him. He brought the kunai close to his throat as he searched for an idea, anything that could get him out of this situation. Hell, he just needed to distract them. Without warning, he struck three smoke bombs around him with ear-popping cracks and flew through the swarming mob of shinobi being given orders to capture the traitor. By any means necessary, they kept emphasizing.
He ran as fast as he could, moving his feet, thrusting his legs, pumping his arms, trying to create as huge a gap as he could between him and the rest of the shinobi. He leapt into the air. Getting to the roof would nearly assure his survival through this ghastly dusk. He landed, hopeful, but clumsily stumbled when he heard a terrifying voice behind him.
Naruto was too slow to avoid the sparkling, buzzing, blinding lightning attack Kakashi unleashed. The jutsu hit him dead on his chest, hitting its creator's mark spot on. A great exhale and sudden explosion of opaque smoke engulfed Kakashi.
Naruto frowned when the memories of his clone flooded his mind. Even Kakashi didn't have a shred of hope that he was innocent. Naruto looked at the gates. He brought the kunai close to his chest and slashed his body open. The pain bit into him, burning his insides and blinding him with stinging tears.
He made an oath. He would never return here again, never again call Konoha his home…and he would bring Uchiha Saskue to justice. Yes, Sasuke would pay the price for taking Naruto's life and shattering it into a million pieces.
Shoving the memories out of his mind, Naruto quickened his pace. He was far from safe. If he wanted to survive, he'd have to concentrate on outrunning the Anbu, not reminiscing on such pleasant memories. Not just Konoha's Anbu squad was after him, but so were any other shinobi that Konoha could hire.
He let his kunai slip through his finger tips and drop to the ground as he sped through the dark forest. Lightning struck out at the sky above him, and peals of thunder rolled through the clouds. He could hear the rain hitting the ground far below him like a heard of thousands of horses.
Gone was Uzumaki Naruto of Konoha who held on to that dream of achieving the impossible. Gone was his ideology of friendship and happiness. This new person was different. And there was only one thing on his mind…revenge.