AN: The votes are in and the people have spoken, it's time this story was awoken. I give no guarantees that you will enjoy it, so please just sit back and laugh at my attempts at rhyming and shit.
Disclaimer: I own no rights to DC or Naruto, this is something you should already know.
Tome One: Recover.
~Outskirts of Gotham City, October 10th, 1992, 11:57 PM~
A man stood on the outskirts of a large and detailed circle in a wide-open field. The circle was fifteen feet in diameter and had runes filling it to the center. The man grinned insanely, raising his arms and incanting in an ancient tongue. Around him, blue flames flickered to life atop several arcane candlesticks. The incanting man's eyes shone blue as he got into a trance, his age flickering between his various age to a skeleton.
While this was going on, a man around the same age as the incanting man silently stepped into the field. He was dressed in a light brown suit and his russet hair had been slicked back, along with a lone white strand in the center. In his hand was a cane with a red gem that was glowing.
As he stepped into the field, the newcomer frowned as the circle began to glow. The incanting man began to laugh, "Finally! The world will be mine! Mine! MINE!"
"I think not," the newcomer murmured to himself before he tossed his cane away. The man closed his eyes, "Gone, gone the form of man; Release the demon Etrigan!"
With the words spoken and the situation in mind, the man burst into flames before he shrunk, attracting the other man's attention. A pasty yellow creature with blood red eyes stood where he once was. His head had two small horns, finned ears, and protruding fangs from his lower jaw. The creature wore a sleeveless, red armor and a matching pair of briefs. A fishnet-like sleeve similar to chainmail protected his arms and legs, and a belt made of leather with a gold buckle that had a pentagram engraved on it circled his waist. A royal blue cape fell to his back with a silver buckle engraved with a pentagram. Dark black spaulders covered his shoulders and clawed feet protruded from red fabric that covered two equally black greaves that matched the arm guards he wore from his wrist to mid forearm. (New 52's Demon Knights #1 cover).
This was the son of Belial; The Demon also known as Etrigan.
"Faust you fiend, your horrors will be stopped this night!" Etrigan declared as he stalked forward, still rhyming due to his recent transformation, "You will return to your chains, placed there by my demonic might!"
"The Demon! I should've known this was too easy," Faust growled before smirking, "You're too late, Etrigan! I've already finished the incantation! Soon the world will be mine and it will all be thanks to the legendary Kyuubi no Kitsune!"
"You are a fool to believe the demon of lore would obey you," Etrigan growled out as he braced himself to attack, "Twice so if you think you'd have a chance against my hellish flames!"
The demon then shot a ball of fire from his mouth. Faust raised his hand and a blue mystical energy formed a shield around him, stopping the fireball before it could connect. Faust grinned and formed his own fireball, sending it at Etrigan in order to stop him. The demon merely opened his mouth and ate the fireball, licking his lips afterwards.
"Crispy," he commented with a sly grin. Faust sent a bolt of lightning instead, sending Etrigan rolling back from the blow with a grunt.
"That's more like it," Faust mused with a smirk before he looked at the crackling circle, "Ah...and now my first step to world domination commences."
"No!" Etrigan growled as he pushed himself to his feet.
The two watched, one in growing horror while the other was shaking with excitement. The runes glowed brightly, turning a blinding white, causing the two to shield their eyes. When the light died down, their faces fell into different emotions. Etrigan's horror became a wide smile of amusement while Faust's sadistic excitement became trembling anger.
For sitting in the center of Faust's summoning circle was a baby, a newborn that was wailing from the cold. On each of the infant's cheeks were three whisker-like markings and a small patch of golden hair covered the babe's head. It was the artwork on his stomach that gathered most attention, however, as it slightly resembled Faust's runes.
"W-What...WHAT IS THIS?" Faust exclaimed with rage. In his fury he aimed a growing ball of magic at the baby, "The demon mocks me? I think not! I am Felix Faust! Immortal and soon to be ruler of the world!"
Etrigan performed an impressive leap before landing in front of the infant, shielding him from the attack. The Demon roared as it took the blow but stood strong in front of the child. Narrowing his two blood red eyes as his body smoked, Etrigan growled, "To kill a child, a crime I've learned to detest. I believe it's time you and I finish our fight!"
Etrigan held a clawed hand out to Faust and began speaking in growls and snarls, the ancient demon tongue. Faust's eyes widened and he turned to run, only for his body to be encased in glowing red chains. Terrified, Faust turned to look at the scowling Etrigan as he stalked forward, a sadistic grin on his face.
"Let us see just how immortal you are, Felix Faust," The Demon said lowly.
Faust's skin turned white and for the first time in a good while, he felt true fear.
~Fifteen Minutes Later~
"And that takes care of that," Etrigan grumbled as he stalked away from the charred and recovering body of Felix Faust. The child had cried himself to sleep while The Demon had his fun, Etrigan discovered as he returned to the circle. Personally, he didn't care if the child lived or died, but Blood would. In fact, were it not for their binding, Etrigan would have acted on his instincts to kill the child for his power. That not being the case, Etrigan growled lowly as he wrapped his cape around the infant.
"If Blood wants to keep the infant on this plane, he gets to take it home," The Demon grumbled before he rhymed, "Gone, Gone Etrigan! Resume once more the form of man!"
In a burst of hellish fire, Etrigan once more became Jason Blood. The former Knight of Arthur's Court knelt down and picked the baby up, smiling at the sleeping baby as he did so.
"Hello little one," Jason said softly as he cradled the naked babe covered by Etrigan's cape. A glint of silver caught Jason's eye and found a silver necklace with a spiral etched in one side. Flipping it over, he found Japanese kanji, which he assumed was a name. Reading it, he chuckled.
"Ah, a dual meaning," Jason mused to himself, "Though I suppose your mother or father meant for you to be the 'Maelstrom' rather than the 'Fishcake', eh Naruto? I suppose I should leave you at an orphanage...but, there was a reason Faust summoned you. For your safety and theirs, I will take you in. Welcome to the Blood family, Naruto."
~Eighteen Years Later: Mount Justice, July 25th, 2010~
Inside the hidden base of Mount Justice, five teenagers waited patiently for a briefing. The five teens consisted of one female and four males, each wearing different attire.
The first we come across was the sidekick to the famous Batman, Robin the Boy Wonder, who was the youngest of the group at age thirteen. He was the Team's tech specialist, but often failed to hang back when the situation called for it. The Boy Wonder wore a costume consisting of red and black tights similar to a gymnast's underneath a black and yellow cape. A domino mask hid his eyes and his raven hair was a short mess, as though he ruffled it with his hands.
The next, the elected leader, was Aqualad, known also as Kaldur'ahm, or simply Kaldur, a sixteen-year-old Atlantian representative. He was voted by the Team to be their leader during their last mission due to his levelheadedness and his maturity. His hair was light blonde, contrasting his dark skin tone, and his eyes were a very light blue. A skintight red shirt and dark blue tights was his choice of attire and strapped to his back was his Water-Bearers, the most recent development in Atlantian warfare tech.
The tallest of the five was Superboy, who had yet to take up a civilian name, a clone of the powerful Kryptonian Superman and he was physically sixteen. He was tense and seemed ready to snap, partially due to his still confused state of mind. Raven hair cut short adorned the top of his head and equally dark blue irises surrounded his pupils. He declined wearing tights, preferring to wear a black shirt with his donor's emblem, navy cargos and brown combat boots.
Standing to the side and eyeing the 'Boy of Steel' was J'onn J'onzz' niece M'Gann M'orzz, or Megan Morse aka Miss Martian, the only girl part of The Team. The Martian girl was technically 48, making her the oldest of the group, but it was the equivalent to being 16 on Earth so she never brought it forward. She had light green skin and shoulder-length orange hair. A white shirt covered her modest bust and torso and had a red X on it, similar to her uncle's attire, and a blue skirt that ended mid-thigh matched her cape and boots.
The last member of the group was playing around with an orange. This was Kid Flash, Wally West, the nephew of The Flash who had recreated his uncle's chemical to become the sidekick of his favorite hero. He wore a reversed coloration of his uncle's outfit, but with red pants, gloves and goggles. The speedster and self-proclaimed 'ladies man' of the Team was utterly bored and sick of waiting.
It had only been five minutes.
Their latest mission in Santa Prisca was labeled a success and their 'babysitter' Red Tornado, a defunct android created to be evil, had called them for a briefing.
"Team, I have a mission for you," Batman said as his face flickered on the large screen. His image was shrunk to half the screen as old footage of a madly laughing teen with a bowl cut and two pointed horns on his head while holding a cat came to life next to him, "What you're seeing is footage from 2007, the last known footage of Klarion the Witch Boy. Several incidents with him have occurred, but this is the most accurate footage we have. For this mission, I have assigned a specialist to help you."
"Oh, I hope the specialist is a hot she," Kid Flash said excitedly to himself.
Robin smirked and asked, "Why, so you can make a bigger idiot of yourself than usual?"
"Dude! Uncool..." pouted the speedster. The rest of the team snickered or smiled at Kid Flash's expense, making the fifteen year old's pout increase.
"Recognized: B23; Vulp," The Teleporter's voice echoed in the cave.
The Team eyed the newcomer with interest, and elation on Robin's part. Standing on the teleporter was a calm blonde with hair that could match the sun in it's brightness and shaved at the sides, though the top was spiked. He stood at the same height of Aqualad and had a swimmer's build. He wore black jeans torn at the knees and sandals that were duct taped together. A white wife-beater covered his defined torso underneath a blood red jacket and a silver pendant dangled from his neck. He raised a hand and smiled, revealing slightly pointed teeth while his two blue eyes sparkled.
"Bird boy! What's up, buddy?" the blonde asked as he walked in. He looked up at the screen, "I'll take it from here, Bru-Er, Bats."
The screen shut off and the blonde shrugged before greeting the Boy Wonder with a fist pound, "How you doin' dude?"
"I'm fine, Naruto, how's life?" Robin asked as he returned the fist.
"Meh, could be better if Klarion the Bitch Boy wasn't acting out," the newly named Naruto said with a shrug, "But hey, that's life."
Curious about the teen before them, Aqualad asked, "Who are you?"
"Name's Nicholas J. Blood, officially, but everyone calls me Naruto. When we're on the job, you can call me Vulp," Naruto replied as he leaned against a table, "As to why I'm here, well...My father's been kidnapped by Klarion the Bitch Boy."
"Isn't that a, what'cha call it, conflict of interest?" Kid Flash asked with a frown.
Naruto's eyes rolled, "Yeah, but him hurting my dad isn't my concern. It's him using Etrigan that I'm worried about."
"Etrigan?" The Team repeated in confusion save Robin. The Boy Wonder felt his eyes widen and his skin pale.
Naruto nodded and placed a parchment on the table. He unrolled it and placed a hand on it before he continued, "Yeah, let me show you. Flat image becomes full, show the world what you fold!"
A light emitted from the paper and the group gasped as the image of Etrigan on the paper burst into life behind him. Naruto looked at the image with a small smile, "My father's closest ally and worst enemy all in one. Etrigan, the son of Belial, brother to Merlin and known amongst the League as The Demon."
"How did you do that? Was that magic?" Miss Martian asked with wide eyes. Both Superboy and Aqualad looked intrigued while Kid Flash looked skeptical, but was inching away from Etrigan's image all the same. Robin was snickering at the girl's awe and his friend's slightly unnerved state.
"You're a clever little Martian, aren't you?" Naruto teased, making the girl turn invisible from embarrassment, before he nodded, "Yes, it's a spell I learned from my father."
"Who is your father?" Aqualad asked, very curious since Atlantians use both magic and science and it was obvious that the newcomer was trained in the former. The blonde chuckled.
"Isn't it obvious?" Naruto asked as he gestured to the image, "Gone, Gone Etrigan! Resume once more the form of man!"
The image burst into fire before it changed into a tall man wearing a business suit, smiling kindly without a hint of malice. Naruto smiled and looked at the image, "This is my father; Sir Jason Blood. Once a knight that was part of King Arthur's Court and today he is the world's most renowned expert in demonology. Even Doctor Fate asks him for help when it comes to the occult sometimes."
"Y-Your father is Jason Blood?" Aqualad asked in awe. His teacher in Atlantis had praised the man for his knowledge on the occult and his skills in the mystical arts.
"Yep!" Naruto replied cheerfully. He stared at the picture with a sad smile before rolling the parchment up. With a heavy sigh, the blonde continued, "But now the power of The Demon is at the hands of a very immature Lord of Chaos. Normally, I'd leave it to Doctor Fate, but this is my father we're talking about. So I'm not gonna sit around with my thumb up my ass."
Inwardly, Naruto thought, Not to mention Doctor Fate's been MIA for a while now.
He was shaken from his thoughts as an alert came on-screen and his fears became reality. Etrigan was being used to cause untold amounts of chaos in Kansas City, Missouri. Naruto growled and clenched his fist, before looking to Aqualad.
"I made a deal with Batman to follow your lead so that we could handle Etrigan," he informed his fellow blonde, "Don't let me down."
"Right," Aqualad said with a nod before looking at The Team, "Let's move!"
~Kansas City, 10 minutes later~
Naruto stumbled out of Miss Martian's bio-ship with a hand over his mouth. He rushed to the nearest trashcan and retched, before righting himself and announcing, "I really hate flying."
"Ha! Well, hopefully you can just teleport yourself next time," Kid Flash chimed in. He was struck by the blonde's jacket in response, "Hey!"
"Hold that for me, smartass," Naruto replied with a smirk. Robin grinned and looked at the other members of The Team for their reactions. He closed his eyes and clenched his fists before he spoke, "Gimme a second to suit up."
"Don't take too long," Superboy grunted as he crossed his arms.
Naruto took a deep breath before opening his now glowing eyes and spoke in a demonic voice, "Farewell to the comfort of skin and bone, now I bathe myself in an unholy cone. Embrace the evil, lose the storm; it's time for this mortal to change his form! Allow me to help tails of the nine, time for this human to become vulpine!"
The Team gasped as Naruto's body combusted and became engulfed in an evil red light. As the light faded away, it revealed a bipedal red-furred were-fox –the only word that the teens could define the new form as– that stood a head taller than Superboy. Naruto's shirt had been shredded, and the remains were across his now furry chest from the left shoulder to the right hip and around his waist. His pants had been burnt away from the mid-calf down. Dangling from his neck, however, was a much tighter pendant; it was still loose enough to dangle around his neck, it just wasn't at the center of his pectorals anymore.
Cracking his neck, the vulpine head growled out, "Ahh...Man that always feels so good."
The Team was staring at him in a mixture of shock and horror before Robin started to laugh at their faces, snapping them from their daze. It was Superboy that spoke first, "So...Magic?"
"Sorta," the vulpine hero replied with a shrug, "More like an incantation to switch on and off my demonic blood. Wish I could keep my clothes intact, but hey, what're ya gonna do?"
"You still haven't fixed that?" Robin asked his friend as his left eye seemed to get larger with his brow rising. The aptly named Vulp gave a grin in response.
"And risk never getting another reaction from girls like Kara?" he cheekily asked.
"You, my friend, are a masochist," Robin accused. Vulp's grin became larger.
"No argument here," the demonic teen replied before looking at the rest of The Team, "We going to find Etrigan or what?"
"Rah!" Etrigan roared as he stopped an ice cream truck with his hands, a glowing red mark between his eyes. Nearby watching with a smile, Klarion stroked his familiar Teekl and laughed in excitement while his free hand held a branding rod made of iron.
"Yes, ice cream: 'tis a most delicious treat in this realm, especially the wonderful taste of strawberry," the Lord of Chaos chortled out in anticipation, "Now, my slave, you know what to do."
"Yes...My Master," The Demon growled out as he punched a hole in the side of the truck while the driver ran off. Etrigan tore the hole open and hopped in before ripping out the container of treats. Dropping the container outside of the hole, Etrigan made another exit through the roof.
Klarion hummed as he searched the container, Teekl seated on his shoulders, but scowled as he failed to find what he wanted. With an annoyed voice, Klarion whined, "Push Pops, Character bars, even that dreadful chocolate taco but no strawberry? What a waste! Slave, rid me of this garbage!"
"Yes, my Master," Etrigan growled before taking a deep breath and exhaling fire to melt the treats. Klarion scowled and pointed at the truck with the rod.
"Destroy the lying machine as well!" he ordered his 'pet' demon.
Etrigan turned his head to do so, but his fire was extinguished when a blast of water hit him in the face. Comically, he spewed out water before growling. He and Klarion turned to face The Team.
"No fair!" whined the Lord of Chaos, "You can't stop my fun!"
"Playtime's over, Bowl-Cut," Kid Flash chimed in as he ran towards the boy. He was stopped by Etrigan's arm being stuck out and clotheslining the teen. Kid Flash flipped several times before skidding to the sidewalk on his back, groaning as he fell unconscious.
"Robin, Superboy, with me!" Aqualad ordered, "Miss M, get Kid Flash out of here."
"I think not!" Klarion exclaimed with a pout and pointing at the group, "Meddlers in my way, in your places you will stay! You are unlikable to my folk, so I turn you into an oak!"
The Team gasped as their bodies from the waist down were suddenly changed into trees. Even Kid Flash's body was morphed, despite his unconscious state. Superboy scowled and looked at the Witch Boy, "You are so getting it once I get out of this."
"I'm shaking in my socks!" Klarion mocked as he did a dance of feigned fear, "Look how much I fear the mighty...Who are you anyway?"
"They are Heroes, my Master," Etrigan chimed in 'helpfully'.
"I knew that, you buffoon!" The Lord of Chaos shot back with a scowl, "I don't recognize any of them."
"Do you remember me?" a voice asked from above before a body landed on the pavement. Vulp stood at his full height and looked at the predicament The Team was in, "Wow...You guys having a good time or what?"
Klarion scowled and pointed at Vulp, "You again! I thought I was through with you after that spell!"
"Turns out there's a lot of girls out there willing to kiss a little fox on the lips," Vulp replied as he faced the 'teen' with a grin, "How's about you and me go mano y mano, Bitch Boy?"
"I think not, Little Fox!" Klarion sneered as he held his arm out, "Thy body strong and able, turn the beast into a table!"
"Oh forget that noise!" Vulp snarled as he countered with his own hand up, "Go back from whence you came, never more to be the same."
The spell rebounded off his hand and flew at Klarion, who gasped and forged a mystical shield, absorbing the blast. The Lord of Chaos sneered at him, "So you cracked a book open since the last time we met, eh Little Fox?"
"Yeah, but I also managed to get in between your mother's legs. The line was pretty long though," Vulp replied. Klarion, while not always seeing eye to eye with his mother, did not approve of the jab.
"Oh snap," Robin whispered in response, as the team had yet to be released from their spell. They watched with wide eyes as anger leaked off of Klarion's form.
"I'll do worse than kill you, Vulp! I'll make your father do it for me!" Klarion snarled before glaring at The Demon, "Etrigan! I want his pelt!"
"Bring it ya crispy old bastard!" Vulp growled in anticipation as Etrigan leapt into action. The older medieval demon snarled as he lunged at the younger oriental demon. Vulp braced himself before jumping to his back and pressing his arched feet into the airborne demon's gut, using Etrigan's momentum to send The Demon flying through a nearby antique shop.
"Ta-da!" Vulp cried as he kipped back up to his feet and then bowed, "Thank you! Thank you! I'll be here all day!"
"The show isn't over yet!" Klarion snarled through his rage and raised the iron brand.
"Oh I know, but every magician loves to show off!" Vulp replied with a grin before turning to face the leaping demon, "For my next trick...I'll make a flaming asshole disappear!"
"You're an annoyance!" Etrigan growled as he swung fists at his pupil, "You're a nuisance! You're a whelp!"
"And I'm also cute! I'm fluffy!" Vulp joked as he dodged The Demon's blows, "Nice tattoo, Etrigan. How come I can't get one again?"
"Quick joking around and take this seriously!" Aqualad cried out, "Get us free, we can help you!"
"I've got this, Water Boy!" Vulp replied nonchalantly before he was sent rolling with a powerful uppercut, "Or...maybe I should get you out...Ow."
He holds back more than I thought in our spars, the bipedal fox mused as he realigned his jaw, Guess it's time to stop goofing off.
Getting to his feet, Vulp raised both of his clawed hands in front of him, his thumbs, index and middle fingers extended, before he folded his left hand down and his right hand up. A box was formed and intricate runes appeared along the limbs, two small circles revealing themselves on the back of his hands.
"The time for games is said and done, time to release tail number one!" Vulp growled as mystical energy built up around him. A ripping sound was heard and soon enough a tail sprouted from his backside. It was nearly two feet long and the same red hue that his fur was.
Vulp growled as his eyes gained a light black lining around them, "Ow...Okay, gotta make some modifications to my pants. Pushing the tail through hurts."
"Etrigan!" Klarion barked as he waved around an iron rod, "KILL HIM!"
"Yes...My Master," Etrigan replied with a snarl before speaking calmly, "Through the fiery depths of Hell I claim, prepare to taste the Demon's Flame! Your body will fall today, and so ends our little play!"
Taking in a deep breath, Etrigan then exhaled stream of bright red flames. Vulp watched the approaching flames with a frown on his face before he grinned. A golden energy engulfed his body and he crossed his arms over his face. The fire met Vulp's energy shield, being stopped in its place but the force still making the vulpine hero struggle to stay in place. Slowly, Vulp began to take steps forward, using his arms to cover his face from the heat. The end of his fur was singeing off and his magical aura could only take so much.
"Burn! Burn! Burn! Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" Klarion cheered as insanity glistened in his eyes, reflecting the sight before him.
Maybe another day, Vulp thought with a scowl as he trudged forward, holding one hand up and cocking the other back. The were-fox put his extended hand over Etrigan's mouth before sending his other fist forward.
Etrigan was sent flying and his head collided with a streetlight, denting the steel pole on impact. As The Demon fell unconscious from the rattling head injury, Vulp rounded on Klarion, lunging at the teen.
"Ah! Teekl, protect me!" Klarion cried out as he realized the magic battle would become physical. The cat on his shoulder jumped off and grew into a sabertooth tiger. Vulp and Teekl collided mid-air, with Vulp driving his shoulder into the giant cat's gut. Teekl was sent flying into a brick wall, and Vulp landed on his feet in a position ready to pounce.
"Y-You can't do this! It's not fair!" Klarion said as he felt Teekl's impact and was staving off his dissipation back to his realm.
Vulp merely stood straight and glared down at the teen, "I'll do as I damn please. Give me the iron!"
"Never!" Klarion defied vehemently. Vulp grinned.
"I was hoping you'd say that," he replied with a sadistic grin on his face as he stalked forward. Klarion, acting quickly, raised the iron and prepared to brand Vulp, only for the were-fox to catch his wrist. The grip tightened and Klarion let out a pained cry, forcing a release of the branding iron.
"Thanks," Vulp growled as he caught the tool in his other hand, "But I think it's time someone gave you a swift paddling."
Klarion's eyes widened and he sneered, "I'd like to see you try!"
"I never said I would do it," Vulp replied as he grinned widely. Klarion's eyes widened considerably before he said something in a different language. Before the eyes of the conscious members of The Team, the Witch Boy fled by melting away into nothingness. A glance around and they would see that Teekl, the sabertooth, had vanished.
Vulp scowled, "Sneaky little bitch."
The fox-like human looked at the brand in his grasp and grabbed it with both hands. He started to utter an incantation under his breath before twisting the iron. The Team watched the impressive feat of strength before the stick was torn in half. A large explosion of mystical aura escaped the brand, washing over the team and the center of town. Within seconds, the aura had dissipated and The Team was back to normal. Etrigan groaned as he sat up.
"Ugh, my head...Vulp! What am I doing here? What happened to Klarion? Who are they and why are there tree branches everywhere?" The Demon demanded of his taller protégé. The fox-like teen rubbed the back of his neck.
He hated the mind altering after-effects of some spells.
AN: And there's the first chapter of my alt. DC fic. Hope you enjoy Vulp, whose name was inspired by the words 'whelp' and 'vulpine'. Unsurprisingly, Etrigan is the one that coined Naruto's identity. More backstory later, for now, I ask only one thing.
Next time; Tome Two: Wonder.