Disclaimer : I do not own Naruto, neither do I Bleach

Hello Everyone; This is a plot bunny that struck me while reading another fanfiction about Naruto obtaning Shinigami Powers some months ago... There maybe another inspiration but I cannot seem to remember it. Anyway this particular story is one I wanted to write for a long time and now here it is ! I hope you will like it !

When they had finally taken their first mission as full-fledged ninja, or at least full-fledged genin, they had had different reactions. Even though it was only a C-Rank, they were doing it outside the village ! Thus, it was a true ninja mission, of course instead of a Princess like Sakura would have wanted, it was an old bridge builder... Who smelled alcohol in a fifty miles radius !

Yeah, not much in the princess department.

Naruto, ever the knucklehead ninja had expected something that would be out of an S ranked mission or at least an A-Ranked mission, with enemies ninja everywhere attacking him. Then, he would defeat them with kick ass Justus that he did not even have, using fire techniques. And they would be more impressive than Sasuke's. Because Sasuke was nowhere as awesome as him !

Sasuke was hiding his own thrill quite well, he was more realistic than his blonde haired teammate, but he could not stop shaking in excitement, a first mission outside the village was the first step on the true path of a ninja, the one that Itachi walked before him and that could give him the power to kill that man. He would have his revenge !

Sakura... Well, she was beyond scared that someone would come and kill her, after all if their client needed protecting... It meant that people would come and attack him, and most likely they would kill anyone defending him right ? Then she would have to defend him ! And how would she even go about doing that ?! She only had to hope that her sensei,

Hatake Kakashi or Sasuke-Kun would defend her would they not ? They surely had more chance at repelling an attacker than her... She became a shinobi, first and foremost because she thought that the academy would teach her everything she needed to know about ninjas, how to fight them.

How wrong had she been, a classroom no matter what kind of teachers they had had would never be enough to truly prepare someone to real life, especially a ninja's life. Textbooks could not teach you reflexes; being able to calculate a Kunai's trajectory would not make you touch your opponent in mid fight.

The only thing you could rely on was your own experience and instinct.

For all the theoretical knowledge you could potentially have; it would not help you when fighting for your life... But she thought that she would have the time to train and improve to make sure she would not meet a gruesome end.

How wrong had she been...

She thought that her sensei was going to train her, the man did the opposite since he was much more of a believer in «asking for training instead of giving it outright». You had to work to get whatever you wanted with the man... And she did not have the same drive as Naruto to train by herself, nor did she have Sasuke's genius.

So, she was understandably scared out of her wits the first time she was attacked, on a C-rank mission by two C-Ranked missing-nin from Kiri barely out of konoha, but that fear easily subsided when Sasuke proved himself more than a match for those nukenin and it was revealed that their sensei was not dead.

What could she say ? After this, everything went to hell anyway ! Sasuke and Naruto wanted to keep going, so what could she have said ? She did not want to hold them back ! So she did not have any way out, Kakashi-Sensei even approved reflecting that letting this stupid drunk die would reflect bad on Konoha as a whole which mean in turn that she was condemned to try and survive this ordeal ! How could she say anything else ?

After this, everything did go to hell... It was no more a simple Chunin missing-nin which attacked them, but a fucking Jounin from the Bloody Mist; as if it was not enough he was one of the Seven Swordsmen, one Momochi Zabuza. You could say that a Missing-nin was bad in its own but when it is a ninja which killed his whole graduating class upon graduation getting one of the highest killing count of the bloody mist itself after said graduation... That did speak for itself in terms of «Do not engage him» does it not ? especially if you are fresh out of the academy twelve years old genin !

After that... Kakashi took care of the Nuke-nin using his Sharingan in a fight that she would not even have imagined was possible which was bot enough because if Naruto and Sasuke had not worked together surprisingly to get Kakashi-Sensei out of his water prison he would never have been able to win this.

This is it. Naruto and Sasuke had done way more than her to help... They even were able to work together, something that she would have never even imagined in her time at the academy...It was as if they had moved by leap and bounds forward, leaving her in the dust. She thought that her position as top kunoichi in the class would transcend itself in the field... How wrong had she been.

She put those concerns on the side when it was apparent that Zabuza had died killed by a Hunter-nin, only to learn that he/she was his accomplice; that she only put him in a death-like state by skillfully paralyzing him. Skillfully which meant that the hunter was no slouch either.

Then, Kakashi-Sensei had decided to train them in basic chakra manipulation & control with the tree climbing exercise; she felt such a confidence boost when she effortlessly was the very first to get it down and mastered ! Of course her sensei had to go on about how it was because she had far less chakra capabilities than her teammates but, still, it was an achievement !

Of course, as intelligent as she was she quickly thought about the fact that their opponents had most likely known that too for a very long time before she even thought of doing it... So she sunk back into despair and the fear of death which was becoming more real for each second that passed by...

Which led to this situation. Herself protecting her client with her body through a deadly mist, with her two teammates fighting an experienced Hunter-nin separated from their sensei who was fighting Zabuza.

She frowned. She swallowed. The sheer thickness of the mist stopped her from seeing at more than two feet, and that was stretching it, as if it was not enough she could easily feel moist in the air. Which meant that the chakra sustaining it was very potent. That was only Zabuza, Kakashi-Sensei had taken care of him the last time so she was confident in his abilities to do it again... What was really worrying her however was the missing nin who was fighting Naruto and Sasuke... She had the worrying feeling that he was even stronger than Zabuza ! It would make a lot of horrifying sense after all : One handed seals ? Hyoton release ? Manipulating Ice ? It could only be an advanced bloodline limit, extensively trained, with as much of a brutal taskmaster as Zabuza.

They needed help, they would never be able to survive against him for a lengthy period of time ! Even if Naruto helped Sasuke somewhat ! But what could she do ? What could she do ? Even if she went in there she would only be a burden ! She could not even see the fight, so she had no idea of what was going on ! She could not see the deadly ice mirrors from there !

Besides her, Tazuna the bridge builder tensed too, it seemed that he was able to somehow feel her distress.

Pathetic, wasn't she supposed to be a ninja ? When you are protected by a strong ninja you are not supposed to feel distress, you are supposed to feel safe ! Knowing that, she did the best she could go to regain her composure, smiling to the client a strained smile, she did not trust herself to speak right now.

-Inside of the mirrors-

The situation was bad, very bad. Screw that, it was almost beyond hopeless. The Hunter Nin was in his element, going back and forth from each of the mirrors at impossible speed. Even to the last of the Uchiha best efforts in an attempted Katon : Goukakyuu No Jutsu the Uchiha's prized signature technique the mirrors were nigh unbreakable... Furthermore any attempts to somehow melt them resulted in a failure !

Anyway, there was too much moist in the air on that bridge for any Katon ninjutsu to work at full proficiency; this coupled with the great mastery over ice of the Kiri hunter nin was enough to defeat any flame, short of the legendary Amaterasu flame.

Sasuke had not even awakened his Sharingan yet... Or did he ? The movement of the Hunter-nin were getting easier to see by the second, he could almost track him... At least the needles would not be hitting him anymore, nor would they hit Naruto if he could help it. It was not out of any care for his teammate's fate of course, it was only just because fighting the Hunter-nin without any backup was worse than pairing up with his fellow Blonde genin. But only slightly. He refused to even think of him as a friend !

Speaking of Naruto, he was doing his best to avoid the needles, or more precisely the senbon or at least to keep them from hitting. Even if somehow they would never hurt him too much before the wound healed up in a freakish display of regeneration that should not be possible for any human closed up ! The idea that the senbons could be poisoned, especially considering he was fighting a Hunter-Nin did not even cross his mind of course. More needles, more deflecting and hitting, it seemed that they had finally gotten into a pattern that was unfortunately getting tiresome for the fake hunter.

It could be said anything about his skills, but those were only a great asset in straight out assasination of disablement. It was even truer considering that it was Momochi Zabuza who instructed Haku from her first steps as a Shinobi. But what did it mean for the fight at hand then ?

This jutsu had been created with assasination in mind, it was not intended to be kept going for any long period of time, she was running out of said time even more so considering that she had to keep reforming the Mirror while keeping on the move added to fact that she had to keep them from falling apart. If those genin had any more tricks up their sleeves, of if their sensei was to come and help them... Or if they had backup she would be toast and she knew it... This is why this pattern was especially bad from her point of view. She had to keep it from becoming a stalemate by at least taking one out, and fast ! She just hoped she would not have to kill them but they were so irritating ! Especially the blond one who did not seem even fazed by her senbons even when she coated them in her most powerful paralytic !

Her focus on the blonde one, despite the fact that he was only a monster of stamina stopped her from noticing the worst threat skill-wise... So her heart skipped a beat when she noticed the same eyes in the black-haired one that she saw in her sensei and master would be-killer; one Hatake Kakashi.

Anyone who was targeting Konoha shinobi and who had any knowledge of advanced bloodline would have recognized those eyes for what they were... What they meant ! Blood red eyes, with two commas in one eyes contrasting with the other one which only had one.

There was no mistaking it, even it if was not fully evolved yet, it was the famed cursed bloodline... Sharingan.

But how this kid could have the Sharingan ? Kakashi had it because of a transplant that much was famous... This kid had two ! Did Konoha try to give the bloodline to innocent children to make up for the heavy loss that the slaughter of the Uchiha clan represented...?! No it was not that, transplanted Sharingan were always active, as were any transplanted Dojutsu, so much that the constant chakra drain would kill any child besides those who already had had Jounin level chakra reserve like one Hatake Kakashi at the time.

Her mind filled once again with dread, this kid seemed to be a natural with the Sharingan, which meant that the Uchiha clan symbol on his back was not a fashion statement. It was well-known that kids with any resemblance of kin with a major clan, especially an extinct one would wear on their own, or would be given a clan symbol to wear as an intimidation factor and a way of giving misinformation to any outsider specifically targeting clan heirs... That coupled with counter-intelligence strategies explained why clan heirs were even allowed to go into missions as genin... Because what could stop some Anbu to be given an order to abduct a Hyuga Child for example while partaking in a mission outside village's bounds ? Nothing.

But that kid... There was no denying it, he was a true Uchiha. Thus, his eyesight would only get a clearer reading of her movements as the fight went on while she was almost at her limit ! She needed to do something but what ?...

This is it, this kid was still a kid from Konoha, her master always went on about «Stupid Konoha shinobi who would take a killing blow for their comrades»; something she found admirable even if she would never said it out loud.

That was her break, the Naruto kid would survive it anyway she would target him and put the Uchiha out of the game, then Naruto would only be a formality that she could blow away with a strong water jutsu...

...Her grip on her senbons lessened somewhat as she remembered herself on a clearing with him, without any kind of mask.

«I will become my village strongest Hokage; and then I will be able to protect anyone !»

This was what he had said, or at least most of it this day... Ideals not unlike her own, becoming strong for someone else's sake because they made you feel wanted for once in your life. Because they saved you from the pain of knowing that just nobody out there cares about what would become of you... Because he understood this so much that theirs roles could have been reversed... Could she do that ? Could she take an obvious friend from him ? Making him feel that he was not able to protect his friend while it his only purpose much like her own ?

For one minute, she just wanted to let them be and get away from there, but she could not ! They were Zabuza-Sama enemies, if she let them go or beat her they would go aid their sensei which had already once proved almost deadly for him ! She too would suffer if she failed to protect him !

It was down to that, her pain for the idea that someone so much like her would go through the pain of knowing that they could not have protected their precious person, or herself going through the same thing.

She did the only thing possible, it was so wrong that she was crying but she had to do this...

«Forgive me...» she said in a pained whisper

She threw the senbons, almost all of them in a medical precision at Naruto... Not letting any way to deflect them, to make sure that the Uchiha would have to protect him with his body.

Her aim struck true.

Naruto could not understand what was happening ! The bastard was deflecting the senbons on his side at one time, then a senbon rain that were sure to kill him came pouring down on him so he tried his best to protect himself from it, knowing he would certainly die from it... He closed his eyes in a normal human reaction... But it never came !

He tentatively opened an eye... And what he saw plunged a spear through him.

There was his teammate, the bastard that he shared a brotherly type of relation with... The annoying cooler brother which got most of the attention, who was intelligent, and much more skilled, who attracted love and attention when he himself was in the background. The one who you love as a brother even though you hate him for it all... The one that you cannot stop caring for, a rival, the one to surpass someday. The one who was a foe, but a foe that you could trust never to stab you in the back, the kind of foe which you would fight alongside with no matter what. Even when knowing that once the fight against the outside attackers would be ended you would go back to your fight against him.

An annoying older brother.

But that brother just did not look so high and mighty now, and it was wrong, so much wrong, it was the brother that you imagined defeat someday but could not really picture it because you never truly believed that he could be defeated ! So seeing him with those senbons sticking out of every tender part of his body, so much that even looking at him made you feel like a pincushion... It not possible.

It had to be a dream.

It had to be a nightmare.

«Sa...Sasuke ?!» He said, bewildered, no bastard or anything, just his name coming out in a shocked gasp. He was unable to muster any other words, already this one took every bit of rational grip that he still had in order to get out !

«Are you... Alright ?...» He answered in pants, his breath ragged, his clothes torn apart, with surprisingly almost no blood which to a skilled medic would tell of the grievousness of the wounds sustained.

«Why... WHY DID YOU DO THAT ?!» he yelled in anguish «I NEVER ASKED YOU TO SAVE ME !» He never did, he would have rather die himself than seeing his friend die... It was his purpose in life to protect his loved ones ! Not the other way arround ! Never ! Never ! Why did he do that ? Why could he not just stay as he was, he would have won ! It would not be an issue now !

«I... Did not save you... My body... Moved on his own...!» He said, it was a lie he knew... He wanted to protect Naruto, they both were aware that they were closer than they wanted to admit, that they were brothers in all but blood, a relationship cemented by the pain of loss, or the pain of being alone was it ?... It was unimportant now, it made Sasuke think of his own brother, of the man he never dared to think as a brother, that monster who killed their loving mother and family and their stern but caring father in cold blood ! Who made him watch it !

He never noticed when he spoke his innermost thoughts though «I swore to myself... I would never die before killing that man...» Sasuke said in anguish, with regrets, an emotion so foreign in the self assured bastard that Naruto know, that much more than anything added finality to his words, they both knew it was the end... Naruto wanted to stop him from talking, from exhausting himself furthermore but he found that he could not, he could not sotp him, he could not stop it all ! He could not ! In some sort of morbid fascination, the words compelled him to listen, somehow.

«That man... He is my older brother... He... He...He killed..; He killed them all ! It is because of him... Everything... E-everything is because of him !...» Then, Sasuke stopped talking, seemingly forever to Naruto who felt the cold brush of death on his skin... It was the most unpleasant sensation he ever felt, because that coldness somehow burnt, because he wanted to say so much more things but he would never be able to.

Something started cracking inside of him... A malicious fire intent of destroying everything, a well of hatred he was not aware he possessed...

«I'm sorry for what happened...» The Hunter-nin Naruto though «Until the end, he was a true Shinobi» Shut up, just shut the fuck up he wanted to say ! SHUT THE HELL UP ! «But I needed to protect Zabuza-Sama»...

That was it; Naruto thought with horrifying understanding... His friend died because both the Hunter-Nin and himself fought for someone else, Naruto fought to protect something they held dear; and Sasuke then died because in this clash of wills, of ninjas who had nothing to lose besides what they fought for : Their way of life; because it was Naruto which was the weaker one. Because it was Naruto who lost. Because he did not have enough power. Because he needed more power.

Power not to protect but power to bring death on anyone who dared threaten his beloved ones.

He stopped holding back the dam of hatred. This hatred which was closely to an ancient being of unadulterated power inside of him. Power which we all know started manifesting itself in the shape of a malicious giant fox... Shrouding him like a cloak, sharpening his fangs, turning his nails into claws...

Turning him into a beast which would fight like a beast because he lost a conflict of men. Of warriors.

They all had felt, or seen the deadly chakra arround Naruto, so much more so that they did not believe it was Naruto's for some. For others they knew what it was for what it was... Thinking about it was unpleasant to say the least.


The Hunter-nin was a dead ninja, that much was clear now to Kakashi who was wondering what could have happened to allow the chakra to flow... Who understood that something had to have happened to his squad, who feared the worst.

It was time to bring out the big guns on Zabuza.

It is when the deadly hurricane stopped for almost no reason to the bewilderment of a certain Hunter-Nin who was wondering what was happening... The Chakra had disappeared.

Naruto did not understand what was happening. One second before he was readying himself to jump at the bastard's neck, tearing it apart in a gruesome way to avenge Sasuke... He wanted nothing more than to obey the urges inside of him which felt foreign... But he did not care, he only cared for the burning feeling of hatred and loss, the burning tears on his face crying out for justice.

Which stopped him from feeling guilt at his own weakness.

He did not understand why he was suddenly in a Sewer. Neither did he understand why the feeling of Hatred disappeared, or at least dulled, he wanted to feel it, it did not seem right not to... It would be like betraying Sasuke. He would avenge him, he swore it.

He could see a Red mist coming from further down the alleyways, so he started following them... The more he got closer to the source of it, the most the burning hatred returned, and he embraced it. All of it.

A part of his mind knew where he was going like this... He knew it had to be the Kyuubi. He was far from dumb enough not to know, but he did not care which was a shocking fact, he was running towards it.

'Don't do this...' The same, burning voice that made the comparison, which told him that becoming a beast would be a betrayal to a man who fought like a man.

Naruto first impulse was to ignore it, to keep running towards the Kyuubi... Only to notice that he was compelled to hear the voice out.

'I said that doing this would not be of any help !' The same voice again, which felt like fire on his skull, which swallowed away the burnt of hatred, the coldness he felt... It felt good... 'You are only running away ! This is unbecoming of a man such as you !'

Alright, was he becoming crazy ? It reminded him of this old man who lived almost next to him who heard voices in his head... He was crazy, that was what the Hokage had said before getting him removed and yelling at Naruto's landlord for allowing an unstable person to live near him.

Suddenly he froze; How could he think of something like this... So trivial when Sasuke...!

'You are not becoming crazy and I'm asking you to stop for some seconds...' He did not have the time to listen how could that voice...! 'You are in your mind, idiot... Time does not flow here, outside not even two seconds have passed since you started yelling outside !' The voice said.

He only thought of saying one thing «WHO ARE YOU ?! ARE YOU THE KYUUBI ? !» He got in a fighting stance, which would never have been of any help if it was the Fox who was speaking to him, not that it would have stopped him from trying ! Of course, he was in his mind the voice said; the only other entity in his mind was the Kyuubi !

'If I was the Kyuubi, I would not be telling you to stop reaching out to your hatred !' The voice bit back in a fiery tone which almost seemed to burn him ! 'I'm definitely not the Kyuubi even though I suppose that I would also be saying this if I were him to trick you...' The voice seemed to be musing...

'Anyway... We have much to talk about... And not so much time to do it !' He was suddenly yanked back, from where he came, and even further, farther... He could not discern anymore things until he was finally on the ground again, neither was he outside, neither was he in a sewer.

If he had to describe what he was seeing... He would have a hard time to do it. The fist thing he noticed was that the place reeked of ramen of every flavours which somehow felt...Damp, like the smell was being reduced by the rain which was falling from the dark sky. He could discern the Hokage monument like in Konoha. Only... the place did not look like Konoha at all, and the faces were all wrong... When had his face been added to the monument alongside the Yondaime's ? And why had it been added with paint ?! He never did that ! The rain would anyway erase the drawing of his face so he would not face any consequences from anybody at least...

Much more important though.

There was the monument, the smell, the forest.

Something was amiss.

«WHERE IS KONOHA ?!» In place of the village, there was only scorched earth, from the mountain you could see smoke, as if there had been a strong fire there which had been... Reduced, tamed. Then, he could see the entrance of the sewer he had been in, with Red Chakra leaking from it, mingling with the river of blue chakra which was pouring down the Hokage's mountain.

He thought he was dreaming, until he remembered the pain of Sasuke dying, what was the point of being here at all...

He suddenly turned, he had felt a presence and as much lacking in proper ninja skills: The essence of his training was at the basest of the basics to be able to know when you were watched.

If he expected an attacker... The person before him certainly did not look like the part.

There, Standing on a tree branch was a woman with fiery red hair, which almost seemed to be moving on their own, like a flame, powerful and untamable yet fascinating to watch. She also had deep blue iris surrounded by an orange pupil. Not a dull orange but a fiery orange, the kind of eyes that you would never see in real life. She was wearing a long robe which seemed designed for battle, and battle only... It was a long white robe which stopped just a bit below her knee. The robe had openings on her sides which allowed for movement without restraint, separating the fabric from her knee up to waist in a thin line fashion. Down the white robe were Yellow-Orange flames which seemed... Alive, almost as if a true fire was eating away her white robe at each of its extremities... Her robe without burning away seemed to be reduced to ashes which were blown in the wind behind her. This battle-dress seemed rather traditional; it did not outrageously reveal her flesh but id did nothing to hide her figure either. Her bare arms were covered by black dragon-like ornaments; circling her arm from her wrist where the dragon-tail rested before going upwards towards her shoulder in a spiralling fashion. Those ornaments seemed to be designed for battle, allowing her to parry strikes which she could not block otherwise.

She had a terrifying presence, which would be even stronger if she was not hiding from the rain at the moment.

«Konoha does still exist, just not in your mind... Why would Konoha be in your mind ? If anything, Konoha should be in your heart ?» She seemed to be laughing. But not mocking him. People laughing arround him usually were laughing at his expanse, not with him in a light-hearted way.

It was a nice change.

«You are that voice ! Why did you bring me here !? I was about to...» He was cut mid-sentence when he felt as if he was hit by killing intent... That woman... She was powerful and dangerous. That was for sure and that was the only thing stopping him from attacking her outright.

«Always the brightest flame in the oven aren't you ?» He looking indignant at her remark on his intelligence «But, yes, you were about to throw yourself at the Kyuubi's mercy for some power... Don't you know that any kind of worthwhile power always come with a cost ? You of all people should know»... «After all, you are the one who suffered all of these years because of what was sealed inside you, were you not ?» Her tone was not accusatory at all; she was... Just stating facts

«Sasuke is dead ! I do not care about this ! I don't even want to be here ! I only want to beat the crap outta the bastard who killed him !» Naruto yelled enraged by the woman's nerve; what did she know of what he lived for ? It is his life's ambition to protect those who he loves ! And he...He...Failed.

Naruto Uzumaki had felt a lot of things in his life, anguish, anger, sadness, loneliness... But he had never felt hollow, devoid of purpose, devoid of anything really... It scared him, he wanted to be filled by something, anything... Hatred and anger, revenge would be something to start with, anything not to feel this hollow feeling !

Somehow, it looked like the rain had intensified, it was a downpour now...A storm with lightning bolts and thunder.

The woman then started to try madly to get cover from the rain. She really seemed to hate rain for all it was worth ! She then started speaking as if it did not matter, looking at him with a stern, but powerful gaze...Not like the teachers in the academy who looked at him like he was the plague. It was also unlike Iruka-Sensei who looked at him with a stern stare laced with uneasiness at first, then with recognition.

She looked at him as if she truly respected him but at the same time was disapproving.

It compelled him to listen when she started speaking.

«When you feel sad, rain starts falling... When you feel lonely it starts to get cold... When you feel sorrow, guilt, pain then it starts those lands are flooded by a heavy rain which quench any fire. But no matter what happened to you in the past, it was never like that... This storm, which threaten to destroy your very mindscape for this is what it is. Where are we ? We are in your mind ! Thus this storm threaten to destroy who you truly are ! It threatens to kill you, leaving you a broken shell for the Kyuubi to rebuild at his own leisure ! However, when you feel happy...The sun shines brightly...The rain is nowhere to be seen !» She smiled as if remembering something «But I much prefer it when you feel a burning resolve, when your will burn at his brightest, when you are like an onslaught of fiery power which could never be extinguished ! Then this pathetic smoke in the middle of your mindscape does not exist, for the only thing you will find is the most powerful of any fire !» She yelled then, pointing at the point where the earth was scorched.

«You, Uzumaki Naruto are never stronger than when you feel resolute, it is your strongest point and rightly so ! The essence of your very power !» She said softly, holding a hand out to interrupt him «However... When you feel hatred... This emotion is what connect you to the sewer over there, do you know why it ts so ?»

Normally, Naruto would have trouble following what was being said... But right now he felt as if his head had never been clearer, as if he instinctively knew the answer

«This is my mind thingy right ?» He said, he did not catch the whole «mindscape thing» but she quickly corrected him «Then the sewer is where Kyubi lives ? The seal ?!» He felt quite proud of himself this time for having figured it out.

When she smiled in acknowledgement, he almost smiled before remembering Sasuke.

«This is exact, you see, whenever you feel anger; when you feel the maddening need for retribution in its rawest form which in turn leads to hatred, or even only feel hatred rightly so, you open a gate... A gate to the sewers, a gate from which the Kyuubi can reach you... No matter the seal's strength.» She paused «We are running out of time however... I need to tell you why you are here in the first place before sending you back in the real world»

At this, he remembered the bastard, the Hunter-nin who killed Sasuke... What if he had done more than that ? What if he had had the time while he was here to go and kill Sakura and Kakashi-Sensei ?! He glared hatefully at the woman before accusing her «YOU SAID THAT NOTHING WOULD HAPPEN OUTSIDE !» That was not exactly what she had said anyway, she only said something about time that he could not be bothered to remember, Sasuke was... He was dead ! And the others could die too ! And...

«Stop» She simply said and just like that he was back in the conversation.

«Nothing is currently happening outside, for any minutes that you spend here, it is not even a second which goes outside, you are after all in your mind, thoughts go faster than you would believe. Especially for ninjas». She paused «But what I'm worried about is the Kyuubi, after all we need to get you to be aware of what is happening within your soul before telling you anything else !»

Seeing that she had his attention, even if he looked to be... Distrustful ? It would do.

«Twelve years ago, when your Yondaime Hokage sacrificed himself to seal the Kyuubi, he made a pact with the Shinigami, the very Death God, for only a God could have enough power to enforce the sealing of a soul as powerful as the Kyuubi's... By doing so he saved Konoha not unlike how your friend sacrificed himself to save you... Not unlike I would sacrifice myself to save you» She added as an afterthought

If Naruto had looked to be ready to burst in anger at hearing his friend's name... And maybe shame he looked shocked at hearing the last part.

«To save...me ?!» The thought felt good, to imagine that anyone would sacrifice herself or himself to save you when nobody gave a shit about you for as much as you could remember...

Just like Sasuke.

The feeling of joy was replaced by fear, he did not want to lost anyone ! «I don't want anybody to save me ! I want to save myself, I want to save them ! I want...-» She interrupted him «You want ?» She looked at him expectantly

«I want... I want more power, I want to be a better ninja, to have enough power to protect them all, to achieve anything...» He said softly, so unlike Naruto for anybody who had known him for any lenght of time «I want the power to protect them !» He said more assuredly now «No matter the cost to myself !»

She smiled, genuinely so

«Then let me tell you what happened after this...» she trailed off «After that, the Kyuubi was sealed within you, but only the first empowering of the seal could be maintained with the first touch of the Shinigami... To make sure the seal would never crack, he left a part of his power to empower the seal, which was paid by the soul sacrifice of your Hokage. What your Hokage could never know, because this is much beyond the understanding of any mortal, still living at any rate is that the energy that the Shinigami left within you is not what you would call «Chakra», only people who are still living can have that» She paused «Do you still follow ?» At his nod she took a breath before closing her eyes

She tried to picture how the follow-up of this conversation would go... But there was no more turning back.

«What not anyone could have imagined was that the seal was designed to let your circulatory system touch it to siphon the Kyuubi power, to make sure someday you would be able to use it or at least I think it was intentional... I do not know much about seals you see ? But by doing so, the Shinigami power had to flow through you to make sure the Chakra would not rip your coils from the inside out, to control the amount of Chakra flowing through you... If the Shinigami had not allowed it, it would never have happened I think. But at any rate, it allowed you contact with a form of power foreign to living spirits, a power which is called Reishi, not Chakra»

Naruto did not know what that meant, but he got the gist of it at least «So you mean I have more power than just Chakra?!» It meant that he could eventually have more power than he did right now ! He could get stronger !

«Not... Really in fact it just allows you to be able to eventually get a feel of your reishi and finally use it which is then called Reaitsu... although no power comes without price you see...»

«You said the same thing for Kyuubi, you know what ? I'm willing to pay any price for more power as long as it does not harm my friends !» Hokage-Jiji had made it clear, if the Kyuubi's Power ever got free everyone would die, even his friends, he did not want that !

«... I see, then listen carefully. The Shinigami who was summoned by your Hokage was not the only one, but he was the «True» Shinigami if you may. The very entity who legends refer to... A God. What most mortals do not know however is that there are others who call themselves Shinigami, they are what you would call «Balencers» Souls of the dead who become able to use reishi to fight. They fight monsters who feeds on souls, while guiding those same innocent souls to heaven»

The blonde haired ninja was lost, quite rightfully so now but he understood something.




«AM I DEAD ?!» He yelled, she said she had reishi then she said that dead souls had reishi, did it means that he was in heaven ? Then where was Sasuke ? Where was everyone ? Why did he not get to meet everyone again like he was supposed to ? Why...

«You are not dead, but you do have reishi though, that's why you are special.»

He paused, She kept going, a frown marring her face, her white face which made her hair stands out so much more; So much more so.

«I do not know how it came to be... But the reishi of the Shinigami over time inside you meant that your body got used to this kind of power, which constitute half of what Chakra normally is. Your body as it grew then increased your reserves of reishi, like a limb which would grow with your body... You arm for example is bigger than the one you had at three years old ! This caused an imbalance in your body between spiritual and physical power which in turns would have made your Chakra even more difficult to control had the Kyuubi's chakra not been converted into your Chakra. Into Physical power to counterbalence your Spiritual one ! However, Reishi does not manifest like chakra does through handsigns you see ?» She paused, searching for a way to explain this as simply as she could do it «Essentially what you are using is a combinaison of your own Reishi and the Kyuubi's distilled Chakra into Physical power; Thus creating your own reserves of Chakra !»

The rain was still going strong, powerfully strong. The sky looked like as if someone had dropped an ink pot in top of his mind which gave you a feeling of dread even by looking at it. This was even worse considering that the Red ominous chakra of the fox in his gut was leaking from the sewer, trailing in the background, standing out against the sky.

Quite surprisingly, through her use of sign when talking he understood what was being said so he nodded, normally he would have been begging to skip the boring stuff and get to the increase in power but the lecture gave him something else to concentrate on than... What happened. Earlier he could not forget what had happened... Sasuke's death at the Hunter-nin's hands when protecting him from certain death hit him again like a hammer; each time the pain seemed to lessen somewhat...But strangely being there in his mind speaking with the woman in front of him seemed to take his mind out of what happened; filling him with question, making his brain work out for answers.

It distracted him from the pain.

«Each Shinigami will have to train their abilities, the high concentration in spiritual power that they can boast to have compared to others souls will then give birth to another soul, linked in every way to the one in training, since a normal soul has considerably less spiritual power than a Shinigami's even a rookie one ! Since a soul in essence has considerably less spiritual essence than a Shinigami's Soul it allow for some of the Shinigami essence to create essentially another soul from the first one; which will then grow» She paused «This soul will take the form of a Katana in most cases, which will grant them abilities. When they get more experienced, they will learn the name of the other soul and by doing so they will learn Shikai, the first liberation of their power ! Essentially a Zampakuto, this is what the sword is called is the essence, the focus of a Shinigami power» She finished, proud to have it done with which could be seen on her face... What ? She had every right to feel relieved ! She hated lectures and she had to be the one giving it ! She was not in his soul for nothing... Hell she was even born from his soul, from his power; even if she was an entity of her own.

He at least looked as if he understood most of it, he had his eyes closed, reflecting his thought process.

«So you are a Shinigami ? Then what are you doing in my soul ?!» She fought the urge to facepalm ! She thought he had gotten it ! She desperately did not want to explain this once again

«I'm not a Shinigami you idiot !» She yelled «I'm *********** ! Your Zampakuto ! The essence of your spiritual powers ! Not a Shinigami !» She yelled before pausing.

Well the cat was out of the bag.

He did not understand her name... But she was his Zampakuto then ? So he was a Shinigami ?

«Am I a Shinigami then ? If so... Can I bring Sasuke back ? Can I bring my parents back ?» He told her, admitting his innermost desire, she could see the hopes building in his eyes and she hated herself for having to crush them. If he was a Shinigami, essentially a Death God; could he not just bring back whoever he wanted ?

«Yes you are a Shinigami... Or you will be if you accept what I told you. But.. No Shinigami can bring back the dead, Naruto it is impossible. Once you pass on, you are dead forever this is all..» She was going to add that they could maybe have become Shinigami, but she did not want to say that, it did not matter, for all of his selflessness, he was human... He wanted them alongside him, not somewhere else unreachable... There was no telling what he could do if he thought there was the slightest possibility to see those he had lost or never known again.

It was not his time yet. But how could she ask him to trust her when she was hiding things from him ?... Well, A mortal blessed with Shinigami powers would maybe not be taken as a good omen for the others, stronger Shinigami.

She needed to do that in order to protect him until he was strong enough. To protect him.

He almost started crying, he would have every reason to, but he decided against it... If he was a Shinigami, he would show the Hunter-nin and anyone what it meant to face a Shinigami !

«Then... How do I become a Shinigami ?» he trailed off «How can I get strong enough ?» He said, looking at her with such resolve that she too felt empowered

«No power comes without cost... If you decide to become a Shinigami for all intent of purpose your body will be recreated from Spiritual Particles, no more Physical power... No more Chakra. Only Reishi will remain, forever until your death» She stated, it was the final decision, the one which would decide if they became partners, or if she would fall in the background until he finally died... She wanted so much her wielder to wield her, to use her to protect people, to rain destruction on anyone daring to defy justice... She craved for battle, she craved to be able to give her wielder confort, the confort to always have someone having your back.

She tried to not let it show

For Naruto, it meant he would no more be able to use jutsu, no more ninjutsu, no more Kage Bunshin, only reishi... No more ninja techniques, no more ninja...

But it did mean that he would get his own power, a power that he could use to defeat anyone.

«What do I need to do then ? What do I need ?» He said, he was resolute, he would not go back, only forward ! He would not give up !

The woman seemed to be appreciating him, before speaking.

«Are you ready to cast off your doubts, are you ready to stop looking behind, letting go of your regrets, only moving towards your chosen path ?!» She said, loudly !

He nodded, resolutely

«Are you ready to never let anything slow you down ? Are you ready to meet any opponent on the battlefield ?!» She approached him slowly

in his mind, in his heart, he could feel the burning, the deep shame of his action, of his lack of strength, of his friend dying...

But then, he felt even worse, this emotion was like hatred diriged on yourself... Sasuke sacrificed himself to make sure that he would live ! So he would live, he would not surrender his life, he would defeat anyone ! No matter who !

«I will fight and defeat my opponents, I will never go back on my word ! I will become strong enough !... Strong enough to protect anyone ! Strong enough to fight Sasuke's Brother and avenge him ! I will become strong enough to become the strongest of the Hokages !»

«...I hate rain, I hate storms, I love warmth and hotness, I hate when it is a downpour such as how it is. When you are happy, it does not rain... When you are resolute, a fire burns brightly ! Are you ready never to let your resolve falters ?!» She said dreading the answer but hoping he would pull through

What she saw in his eyes was shocking. Mirroring this new expression, the rain stopped completely. Kyuubi's chakra even started to recede as a thunderbolt struck the earth besides him where a gigantic fire started to burn in a deafening roar. The fire seemed to burn everything in range under a giant glowing sun which shone proudly in the skies. His face painted on the Hokage's monument became then carved out of stone.

There was only resolve in his gaze.

«I will never back down, I will never give up ! I will live my life my own way ! I'll reach my dream ! Because I'm Uzumaki Naruto and this is my nindo ! I will make Sasuke proud to have sacrificed his life for me, because whan I will die of old age he will kick my ass if I do any less !» He said strongly this time, no hesitation in his words, only pride and resolve

'Wait for me, Sasuke, I will show you how strong I will become !'

She smiled warmly at him, and took his hand, taking him back on the Battlefield against Haku...

She stood behind him, in an ethereal form, her hand on his gripping it tightly, his resolve got even stronger when he saw Sasuke's body instead of breaking down like he would have done before... He would show him, he would show him how he would avenge Sasuke's clan and his own death ! How he would carve a path of his own to make everyone respect him, how he would live !

Behind him; the unidentified Zampakuto started speaking...

'I'm the fire which burns brightly between two lovers...! The fire which in anyone's body which comfort them in times of distress, which give them hope !'

Naruto got in a crouching position; both of his hand joined at his waist; seemingly gripping something's handle to the Hunter-nin puzzlement

'I'm in turns the fire of destruction which can scorch any battlefield to ashes ! I'm the fire of destruction that men's have feared since the dawn of times ! I'm the fire of destruction which will burn down our opponents !'

A fiery aura started glowing arround Naruto, going into wisps of powerful fire arround the bridge, reaching through the mist.

'I'm the fire of anger which scorch my foes and those who oppose justice, that burn down wronged souls and cleanse them ! I'm the fire within you which will lit brightly when on the battlefield !'

The fiery aura intensified, chasing away most of the moist in the atmosphere; giving a feeling of dread to anyone on the bridge...

'I'm the fire of willpower, the fire of resolve, the fire that burns in anyone, the fire of a person's innermost dreams ! I'm resolve, I'm fire, There is nothing that can burn brighter than your own resolve, I'm the embodiment of your resolve, the strongest it is, the hottest I burn !'

The blonde ninja started a pulling motion, skyward as if he was holding a blade... His eyes were shining red, fiery red, not blood red like the fox's...

'I'm finally the fire of protection, the one which protected man from beast, the one who will protect you against anything ! Scream my name ! Because if I have to then I will...'

«Reduce all creation to ashes ! Ryujin Jakka !»

And there it is ! For those of you wondering if giving this particular Zampakuto to Naruto is not kind of... Overkill I disgress : You will see why it is so in the following chapters :p

I await your opinions on this first chapter with impatience ^^ !