AN: This, and another story I recently began, will be the only new stories I upload for a while. Some stories will go a lot slower than others. Usually, I would wait for a while before uploading another story but this one and another have been bugging me for a while.

Especially this one which was inspired because of other crossovers I've read, but at the same time is different. This story will be an Itachi/Fem!Naruto just to let everyone know.

On another unrelated note. I will be updating Eternal Spiral, Uzu no Musume, Child of Balance, and Ultranumb sometime in during this week.

I don't know when exactly or in what order but be on the lookout for that. For those who don't know I have a things linked on my profile for my stories, like a website which I created to have more details on all my stories.

Anyways, enjoy the chapter!


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Hollowed By Thy Life.

Prologue: From Fox to Shark.

Her blue eyes widened as she felt the sword of Kusanagi slide through her body.

She felt her knee shake as she struggled to keep her balance, and the sword was slowly retracted from her body by the 'woman' who had blind sided them.

Naruto had just returned from nearly being digested by a giant snake when she was cut off from Kyuubi's chakra by some seal the woman – who turned out to be a man in disguise - had used on her.

She'd nearly lost consciousness, but she had heard Sakura yell her name and saw through blurry eyes as Sakura and Sasuke tried to defend her and themselves from the man, Orochimaru.

Naruto knew, however that the man was just playing with them, they were way, way off his level. When she'd finally righted herself it was to see the man had tired of Sakura interfering with whatever it was he wanted from Sasuke – or maybe it was another test, seeing as the sword was aimed at both Sakura and Sasuke.

She couldn't be sure it would stop at just Sakura – if Sasuke even let Sakura take the hit. They were an unwilling team at first, and no matter how much they didn't act it, the wave mission had brought them all closer.

She'd seen the sword extend, the man never moving and the fear in both Sakura and Sasuke's eyes (the latter less apparent as he hid it well), and she knew she couldn't let it happen.

She had grown up alone. Other than the Hokage, who had tried to help her, especially after she was kicked out of the orphanage, and the Ichiraku's who didn't mind selling her food, where as other places would only sell her the oldest and least appealing.

They'd stopped selling her rotten food once it came to the Hokage's attention they were, but that didn't stop them from selling her products that were close to expiring and charging her more than other people.

Much later in life she had Iruka-sensei, and she was on friendly terms with Shikamaru, Chōji and Kiba... but she wasn't sure if they could be called friends. They weren't close friends, they had only eaten lunch together a few times during the academy.

No, Team Seven was the closest thing to family she'd ever had, and she couldn't let them die or get hurt.

'I believe that one becomes strongest when they are protecting that which is precious to them, don't you agree Kunoichi-san?' a familiar voice echoed in her thoughts as she used every ounce of speed she possessed to intercept the sword.

'I do, Haku-kun,' she thought as she appeared in front of Sasuke and Sakura – Sasuke had pulled Sakura behind him, intending to take the harshest of blow.

Seconds later, as Sasuke's eyes widened in realization of what Naruto had done, she felt the blade slide through her, and she grabbed the blade short of touching Sasuke's chest. She was no fool, the man had probably stopped the sword from extending further, or it was at it's max length.

Blood leaked from the blade, and her hands, cut from her trying to stop the blade by her own strength. Then the blade was pulled free of her body, and she could feel the damage done. There wasn't only a bleeding wound, there was poison on that blade.

Worse of all, her healing wasn't as it was when she had access to Kyuubi's chakra, whatever that seal was had repressed a great deal of her regeneration which came with Kyuubi, probably because the fox couldn't let her die or die himself.

"Nar..Naru-chan," Sakura's shacking voice whispered, green eyes wide and tearful.

"I..I couldn't let you two die..." she trailed off, smiling hesitantly.

"Hmm, how unexpected," Orochimaru cooed in a creepy manner only he could pull off. "But better than I expected, with the jinchūriki out of my way..."

Naruto could see Sasuke's fit clinched at his side, eyes hard, and shaking. She smiled slightly to herself... whatever Orochimaru had planned for Sasuke he'd screwed it up.

Falling forward, Naruto leaned her face into Sasuke's shoulder, sighing when she felt the boy catch her, his arms wrapping around her middle.

He was her best friend... she was happy knowing he and Sakura were alright. She could only hope they could get away from that snake-man without her.

"Hold on, we'll get you help.." Sasuke said, his sentence trailing off as he choked on his own voice. "Naru...don't..."

Unable to move to look at him, she settled on turning her head closer to his ear so he would hear her. She knew Sakura who was on her other side, trying to stop the bleeding from the wound in her middle, could hear as well.

"Run...don't you two...die," she choked out, and she heard Sakura choke on a sob.

"Why? Why did you do that?" Sasuke demanded, arms tightening around her and she thought she felt a tear hit her shoulder, but shook that away. She had never once seen Sasuke cry... not that she remembered.

"Your my best friend...you, Sakura and Kakashi-sensei are my family," she muttered, her heart screaming with pain as she began to see darkness.

"How touching," Orochimaru said, chuckling. "Now, Sasuke-kun... for my gift..."

She heard Sasuke snarl like a wounded animal, and Sakura sob.

"You...I'LL KILL YOU!"

The feeling of falling was the last thing she felt or heard before blackness, pain and nothingness.


...

"What..what are we going to do?" Sakura asked, tears still streaming down her face.

Sasuke himself wasn't looking to much better, though he'd composed himself and stopped the tears long ago. His eyes were hard, cold, and looked almost as if he was seeing nothing as he carried the limp, cold body of his friend.

His eyes were not the usual onyx black, the Sharingan was blazing in them, having not been deactivated yet, but unlike the usual Sharingan these looked as if an atom (three intersecting ellipses that resemble an atom model) was inside his eyes in design and were not red and black, but black and red.

Inside his head he was cursing himself. He'd let her die, he'd let another person he cared for die... and it hurt so much more than the first time he'd come home to find everyone he loved massacred. He'd been weak, he'd been unable to save her, he'd as good as killed her himself.

He laughed hauntingly to himself as he thought this, it would explain how his eyes had matured to the mangekyō Sharingan. Before she'd died he'd only had two tomoe...now they were the same eyes his brother had.

'In order to gain these eyes you must kill...your best friend. The one closest to your heart.' Itachi's words came back to him and shook as he closed his eyes to shake those thoughts away.

He may not have killed her by his own hand, but he'd not saved her either. It was his fault, that man had been after him. He'd been unable to avenge her too, Orochimaru had gotten away after his eyes had mutated and he'd cast black flames at him.

He hoped the man came back in the future, it would save him the trouble of finding him. Itachi could wait, something he never thought he'd ever think, but right now what mattered was making sure Naruto's sacrifice wasn't in vain.

What mattered was that he killed Orochimaru for what he'd done, even if it was years down the road. He would get stronger, he wouldn't let Orochimaru get away with it. Looking back at Sakura, the only one left, besides Kakashi-sensei he shook his head.

"I...I don't...we need to get a scroll. Even just one...then we open it, tower or no tower."

Sakura blinked.

"But they told us not too..."

"Or we'd be disqualified, but it doesn't matter Naru...she's gone we're already disqualified. It's over, but maybe it'll let someone know to help us out or something," Sasuke said.

Sakura shook, trying not to look too long at the body of her other teammate that Sasuke carried in an almost tender fashion.

She could tell this had hit him the hardest, the fact Orochimaru had gotten away hadn't helped. Then there had been this moment when they thought Naruto's body would disappear. Orochimaru had just ran when she'd screamed, alerting Sasuke who had turned.

They both watched as flaming red chakra broke out over Naruto's body, but the only thing that happened was the wound stopped bleeding completely. But for a moment it looked as if the body would be burned or simply disappear.

Sakura hadn't mentioned it but she thought she'd heard the sound of a chain breaking... but it had to be her imagination. There was no chains anywhere to break.

"Alright," Sakura said. "We should try to find a team then... I want out of this forest. I'm sure...I'm sure she would too."

'Ehh, we have to go in there? Creepy, but it won't get the best of me...dattebane!'

Naruto's words before they'd entered the forest came back to them and Sasuke nodded.

"Yeah, I know." He began moving on, and Sakura stuck beside him, her eyes grief stricken but no longer leaking tears.

Sakura couldn't help but go over what had happened in her mind, cursing herself for not being able to save her friend. She may have had a short temper at times with Naruto, especially in the beginning but Naruto was her close friend, and like Naruto had said before she died. Team Seven was family.

'Naruto...I'm sorry.' she thought as she continued to walk.


...

She knew she was dead, she'd known when she had seen the chain coming from her chest.

She wasn't sure why she had a chain coming from her chest but she never got an answer since soon she felt as if something was compressing her through a tube or into a black hole as she felt the Kyuubi chakra pulsing around her.

She saw blackness again, and she was pretty sure she wasn't simply moving on. It was different, and in her gut she knew she wasn't where she was supposed to be. Hell, she'd known that when she saw the chain...and worse of all she felt her heart trying to break out of her chest.

All the regret, sadness, rage and every other emotion she'd bottled up over the years towards the villagers and those who hurt her emotionally and physically breaking free.

She was dead. She'd died sacrificing her life for two of the few people she cared about, even loved, but it didn't stop those darkest emotions from coming back to her now.

Was it wrong for her to hate the fact she'd died without fulfilling her dream, was it terrible that she blamed the village for never seeing beyond the Kyuubi?

As she landed, feeling sand under her, she screamed, eyes wide as the pain became over whelming. It felt like her heart was being ripped out and twisted and her body changed with it. It was more painful than anything she'd ever felt, other than the pain of being alone. Of the darkness of her early childhood.

Soon it stopped to a dull ache and an enormous hunger, yet she felt different. It became even more apparent when she spotted the hole in her body, how it had changed and felt the mask that felt like bone to her over her face.

"I'm so...hungry!"