Tales of Two Ninjas
Fox Demon AU
Summary: In a universe where demon hosts were hated and hunted by humans, where people lived in fear, one child found another. Where looks and names, stereotypes and threats didn't matter. All that did was their growing love for one another, in times of stress and happiness.
Pairing: Naruto & Hinata
She was five when she met him.
They met in the late hours of the night, while the living slept like the dead. It wasn't a lovely first meeting as one would hope in a love story. Their faces were not lit up by the moonlight, eyes staring in wonder at one another. The wind did not gently caress their skin, chilled by the cool night air. They did not have the chance to curiously observe the other before she whispered fierce words, peppered with fright, not for her safety, but his. He had scoffed at the thought. His safety? Please. Who could hurt him?
It was sad, if you think about it. The little boy thought, who could hurt him, not who would. Indeed, he did not think would because he already knows of the evil in hidden in humans. The world thought he was the evil. He didn't know why people were so frightened of him, why they treated him so terribly. They treated him worse than the animals they domesticated to slaughter. They looked at him with fear and hatred in his eyes.
He couldn't help being born as he was. He couldn't help who he was born as.
A demon fox child.
Whiskers marked his cheeks, a fluffy tail protruded from behind, and twitching, triangular, fuzzy ears sat atop his head of golden hair. In all other aspects he resembled a normal, human child. Bright blue eyes, still shining, not yet put out by the horrors the world could hold.
And in this night of quickened heartbeats due to trauma and distress, a quick thought passed her mind. What was the fuss about this boy that lived in the forest? Why would everyone tell tall tales to the children of Konoha in order to make them avoid traveling deep into the woods? Why was fear of this demon fox instilled in all of their minds at such a young age? Why did all the adults wrap their fingers tighter across their children's hands when having to walk near the border of the village and the woods where the infamous demon resided? He looked like a regular boy to her, his expression slightly mischievous and she would be lying if she didn't say he made her just a tad bit nervous. But this boy saved her life.
No, their first meeting wasn't bright like the sunshine. They weren't laughing. They were crouched on the ground, quietly staring at one another with furrowed brows. She wasn't dressed in her prettiest clothing; she was in her pajamas, slightly trembling from the combination of cold and concern. Or was it fear? Not fear of him, he did save her life after all.
Instead, she was covered in dirt, slightly bruised, and very scared. He was splattered with blood. Not his own, and fortunately not hers either. His tail flicked erratically. She never knew anyone with a tail.
It was kind of cute.
To think, just hours ago (or was it minutes? She couldn't tell anymore) she was asleep in her bed, in the safety of the Hyuga compound. Then she was jostled awake and whisked away into the woods. How that man got past all the guards armed with Byakugans she doesn't know, all she knows was the debilitating fear she felt as the Kumogakure head ninja scrambled across the yard, her tiny body tucked under his arm as sleep slowly left her. She saw the trees getting closer and closer and the surprise she felt at being taken from her bed was quickly replaced with the sense of dread that was drilled into her head.
The woods. He was taking her into the woods.
Was he insane?
Kidnapping Hinata Hyuga, daughter of Hiashi Hyuga, and heiress of the clan was ridiculous enough, but entering the forest, home of the demon fox in the middle of the night was on a whole other level. If he treads too deep…if he disturbs the forest enough to bring attention to the demon…
Hinata felt the panic that was growing, creep up and clench her heart.
She screamed and beat her tiny fists futilely, the man just held her tighter.
The Byakugan, she later learned. The Byakugan was why she was so rudely taken from her home.
As the trees grew closer together and the moonlight failed to penetrate the densely packed leaves above, Hinata's attempts of escape grew weaker. She became silent as her kidnapper ran swiftly through the dark. She closed her eyes, squeezing them tight. She knew her father must be on her way to save her.
The ninja froze and Hinata's eyes snapped open. The man looked around for the source of the sound and Hinata felt her heartbeat quicken. The bushes rustled and the sounds of twigs snapping underfoot echoed through the silence. The ninja dropped Hinata roughly onto the ground and quickly armed himself with a kunai.
Hinata hissed out in pain when her body made contact with the cold ground, some stones embedding themselves into her skin. She looked up at the man towering before her and then at the surrounding darkness, biting her lip. What was she to do? What could she do? Stay with him to go who knows where and face who knows what, or take a chance and run into the dark forest? Curling her dainty hands into a fist, dirt worked its way under her fingernails. She shakily got onto her knees; the kidnapper was staring at one spot in the distance. He was distracted.
Without thinking Hinata scrambled to her feet and attempted to get away. She didn't know what direction she was going in, or where she was heading, but she knew she had to get away from this man that wanted nothing but her eyes. She hardly made it a few feet when she felt a tug at her short hair. Crying out in pain she found herself on the ground once more.
"Don't try to run away," the man said angrily. "I worked hard to get you out of that damn compound. Getting past your family with those white eyes is no easy feat, Hyuga."
He nudged her with his foot, pushing her into a sitting position. Hinata bit her lip, feeling hot tears pricking at the corner of her eyes. She looked up into the darkness, not wanting to make eye contact with the horrid man beside her.
Instead of black shadows she saw saw pinpricks of blue.
She blinked quickly and they were gone.
The forest was oddly quiet now. No sound of insects buzzing, nothing disturbing the leaves.
Hinata felt her hair stand on end. She whipped her head to her left and saw blue. The two blue dots she saw before, but much closer. Close enough that all she saw was blue. She could almost hear his breathing, he was that close.
"What the fu-" the man started in surprise before pulling her away roughly by the hair once more. How could this little boy get into the clearing so quickly? And how could he not notice? And where did he go? "Move!" he yelled at her. She felt splinters and rocks scratching against her skin.
"Stop it!" she finally said.
"Stop it," a voice repeated.
Both the kidnapper and the kidnapped turned their heads to the sound of the new voice. A boy, no older than Hinata stood some distance away from them. His blonde hair glinted in the rays of moonlight that managed to stream through the canopy. His blue eyes shined but his eyebrows were creased and his mouth turned down to a frown.
"Mind your own business, kid," the ninja said with a dark laugh. Hinata continued to stare at the boy in awe. She immediately figured what it was. She grimaced at herself. Who it was. Her eyes followed his tail like a metronome. But the ninja seemed to not realize the danger he was in.
"I don't think she wants to be here," the boy said.
"Do I look like I care what you think?" the kidnapper asked, bending over to grab Hinata again.
"No!" she tried to push him away. She didn't want to be tucked under his arm anymore. She wondered again how far her father could be. How much farther was this ninja planning to run? "Stop!" This time she bit his hand as hard as she could. The man yelped and brought a fist down on her head. She immediately relinquished her hold on him.
He was about to grab for her again when there was a flash of orange and the ninja was pushed far from her, into the shadows. There was a flurry of movement, slashes, claws, sounds of pain and whooshes of a tail, glints of metal, but eventually…silence.
All the while Hinata sat on the ground, the sound of her blood pumping thundering in her ears as she watched the scene before her, white eyes wide and skin pale. Soon the boy came sauntering back to her.
"Are you okay?" he said, crouching down beside her. She nodded mutely, staring at the blood speckled across his clothes. Of all the thoughts that should have crossed her mind in a situation like this she just wondered where a demon fox child could acquire clothing. She did remember hearing some villages complaining about a thief in the night. "Hey, are you-"
"Your arms," she spoke quietly, almost a whisper. His ears twitched. His ears…she noticed were situated on his head. She swallowed, her eyes diverting back to his fingers (whose nails were slightly sharpened, she noticed). "You have some scratches. He hurt you with his weapons."
The boy grinned cheekily. "Eh, no worries. I heal quickly," he said, beating a fist on his chest proudly. "And anyway, he won't hurt you anymore."
She blushed. "Thank you. Thank you very much for helping me."
The boy said nothing, just continued to observe her quietly. Why was she not running? Was she not scared of him? All the others were. Why was she not trying to hurt him? She was a strange creature and he fond himself undoubtedly intrigued by the specimen before him. She shared similar interest as they observed each other silently.
"Are you hurt?" she asked after some time.
He looked surprised. She was worried about him?
She nodded, tearing her gaze away.
Suddenly he sat up straighter, tail erect, almost like a sensor. She turned to look at him curiously again as his ears turned one way and then the other.
"People are coming," he said aloud.
"My father!" Hinata exclaimed. It had to be. Her absence couldn't have gone unnoticed for too long, especially since she tried calling for some help as she was whisked from the grounds of the Hyuga compound.
Suddenly she remembered all the stories and tales and warnings she was told of the demon fox living in the forest.
But she found herself, surprisingly, not afraid of the boy before her. Was this really the demon fox everyone feared? She remembered mentions of a woman, described as red like fire or like blood. She had no time to ponder on that thought right now though. If this was indeed the demon fox, the people coming to her aid would surely not hesitate to attack the boy.
"You have to go," she whispered urgently.
The boy looked confused. "Why?"
"They will hurt you," she explained, placing her hands on his shoulders to gently guide him away. "Go!"
The boy wanted to laugh. Instead he stared at the hands that rest upon him. He couldn't remember the last time he had human contact that wasn't filled with disgust, hatred, or blood.
Hinata pushed with all her might but he wouldn't budge. She let out a frustrated sigh. "You have to go before they come," she said.
"They can't hurt me."
She bit her lip. Perhaps that was true. She saw his strength. His speed. And at what she could only assume was a young age. "Maybe so," she said aloud. "But…" Would he hurt them? She didn't quite know. He didn't hurt her. She didn't know of any recent causalities in the village caused by the demon. But what did she know? She was only five years old. She was only a child, and who told a kid anything anyway? She pouted. "Please."
He pursed his lips but relented. "Okay."
Then he was gone.
She didn't even see him leave. She didn't get to say good-bye or ask for his name. Did he even have a name?
All thoughts vanished when she saw familiar faces enter the clearing. She was eventually gathered up and taken away from the clearing where the dead ninja lay just meters away from her. She had heard the Hyuga mumbling to one another. What could have happened to kill the man in such a way? They stared at the dark haired girl sitting alone, a little bit bruised and dirty, but basically unscathed. Whatever killed the man had no intention of hurting her.
Everyone was confused.
But everyone knew what killed the man. They had no doubt that it was the infamous demon fox all of Konoha feared. But why would the demon save a life instead of taking one? That is where their confusion lay. No matter, fear for the fox still rang deep in Konoha.
All of Konoha accept one little girl with curious white eyes.
Like the moon, a blue-eyed boy thought, hidden amidst the leaves as he watched her get taken away safely.
It wasn't too long after that she met him again. She was pulled into the woods by a group of young boys, mocking and taunting the color of her eyes. They forced her to her knees, putting her down for being born a Hyuga, those pretentious pricks. She wasn't like that, she insisted but to no resolve. Pushing her head down, they demanded she apologize. She did, over and over as tears dripped down from her eyes.
She hated this.
These boys insulted her and degraded her and she couldn't do anything about it.
She was weak.
The boys looked back into the woods in confusion and Hinata's eyes widened at the sound of the familiar voice.
There he was again.
He stood before them, tail whipping angrily behind him. "Stop picking on the girl! I'm the demon fox," he seemed to boast. "Fight me if you dare."
The boys seemed to hesitate but they didn't risk engaging the kid before them. They scuttled out of the woods, leaving Hinata on her own.
"Thanks," she said, standing up on trembling feet. That's all she seemed to be doing lately. "Once again, thanks."
He grinned and turned to leave. That was it? "My name's Naruto Uzumaki!" he declared. "Seeya!"
And he was gone once again.
Hinata stared at the spot he was once in and became inspired by his determination and strength. So he did have a name. How come no one told her? She concluded that no one knew. She bent down and picked up a strand of what she could only assume was his fur. It looked a bit red and shined orange in the sun. She smiled. Naruto. It was then that she decided to do her best to become as strong as she could.
The warnings to stay away from him given by the elders faded from an echo to mere whispers in her mind.
They didn't meet face to face again until many years later. This was not the year.
The little fox boy, curious as always, would often lurk along the border of the village and his home, observing the villagers going about their daily lives. He'd grown fond of a group of kids who were brave enough to play at the outskirts. There was this game they enjoyed. Whoever ventured the deepest inside of the woods won. Simple, but he enjoyed spectating.
Naruto giggled at their antics. He was crouched high in some trees, hidden from their view. He saw a little girl with pink hair, probably around his age of ten years shuffle carefully through the grass. She barely made it five feet in before she stopped.
A boy with red tattoos on his cheeks taunted her playfully before dashing past her, past a round boy eating potato chips, and past a hooded kid that Naruto didn't think talked much.
"Beat that!" the boy said cheekily, hands on his hips.
"I'll pass," said a boy at the edge of the woods. He leaned his spikey head against the trunk of a tree and gazed up at the sky. Another boy with similar dark hair sat down beside him.
The pink haired girl laughed. "C'mon, Sasuke-kun!" The dark haired boy just shook his head and the fox frowned at the put out expression on the strange colored hair girls face. "Ino, you get in here!"
A child with hair lighter than his own stood in the clearing next to a girl with dark hair. The demon fox child shifted in his seat, pushing some leaves out of his way. He caught site of pearly white eyes and he watched her carefully to see how far she would go. Because, indeed, she had to have gone deeper in the forest than any of the children below him, some five years or so ago.
"You first, Hinata!" the blonde girl said.
Hinata, the boy thought. So that was her name.
Hinata blinked a few times, before swallowing tightly. She clenched her little fists and glanced back behind her as if looking out for someone. Then with courage that none of her friends thought she possessed, the Hyuga marched past Sakura, past Choji, past Shino, and past Kiba. She marched on and on, as her friends scrambled to watch her, eyes wide. Her heart was beating fast and Naruto watching her curiously. How far would she go? She almost reached the area he was hidden in when all her friends, all at once, started calling out to her to stop.
Stop she did, right under his tree.
"Okay, fine! Hinata you win, come back!" Kiba shouted nervously, looking around warily.
Naruto watched the friends leave the forest together and venture to a training ground assembled near the woods, situated next to the river. They stayed there for a few more hours before their respective family members came by to fetch them. As the last child left the clearing, the boy sighed, and turned back to venture into the darkness of the trees, his only company the woodland creatures that ran about and the occasional misfit ninja he didn't mind fighting.
She was twelve when he came before her again. Only this time she didn't need help. Well he didn't know that.
The demon fox was running around the edge of the forest, enjoying the feel of the wind running through his hair and tail. He closed his eyes as he jumped from branch to branch. This. This feeling of freedom was one thing he enjoyed from being so isolated from the rest of the world.
He was just arriving to the training grounds that those kids liked to play when he realized it wasn't abandoned. He came here often to watch those children train. They no longer played with sticks, pretending them to be swords, but were armed with real metal weapons. He watched them spar, his tail flicking eagerly. He wanted to join them. One time the pink haired girl was throwing shuriken at a dummy and he decided to take the chance and greet her.
It didn't go so well.
She had screamed and threw some of the weapons at him, the shurikens flew past him harmlessly, no where near close to hitting him. He just wanted to talk. To play. But she ran back to the village and he disappeared before anyone could come see him.
That didn't stop him to continue trying though. He never really attempted at any more contact but he lingered closer than he normally would. He didn't think any of the kids noticed his presence except those two dark haired boys. And maybe that brown haired kid with the tattoos. He had sniffed the air and looked in the general direction of where he was hiding.
But today he saw one of the rare people that didn't run screaming from him. But she was on the ground, bruised, with blood dripping from her mouth and hands. A brown haired kid, looking slightly older than the both of them towered above her, his palm facing out towards her.
Naruto inhaled sharply and dashed into the field, not caring about the repercussions. He shielded her with his body, a snarl on his face, the fur on his tail sticking up sharply.
The other boy jolted and jumped back, eyebrows creased.
"Get away from Hinata-sama," he demanded, the veins around his eyes pulsing threateningly.
Naruto almost let his confusion show. Him get away fromHinata? He was the one beating her to a pulp.
"Nar-" Hinata started, before stopping herself. He felt a hand grip his arm and he turned to look at her. "Don't hurt him," she pleaded.
"Hinata-sama, what is this?" Neji asked with malice in his voice. "Get away from the Kyubi."
Naruto growled, taking a threatening step closer to the other Hyuga. He hated when people called him names.
"N-no, stop!" Hinata got to her feet and stood between the two. "Neji-niisan, please don't get angry. Don't tell the others," the girl said desperately. "He won't hurt you." She turned and looked at Naruto. "He won't," she said firmly, looking him in the eyes.
"Don't hurt her again," Naruto directed at Neji. The brunet looked surprised as he lowered his hand.
"We were training," Hinata insisted. "I'm okay."
"I'm trying to help her," Neji said cautiously. "And what about you? What do you want with her?"
Naruto looked surprised. What was he doing? "You're strong," he addressed Hinata. "You can do it." He glowered at Neji before he disappeared.
"Neji-niisan!" Hinata said, slightly frustrated. "You scared him away."
Naruto laughed in the woods at her words.
"I scared him?" the boy named Neji exclaimed.
Naruto smirked, weaving his way around the branches, heading home with a smile on his face.
It wasn't too long later when Hinata heard rumors going around the village that there was a party of people getting ready to hunt the dreaded Kyubi of the forest. Jinchuriki. She sometimes heard that term thrown around in reference to the "beast." But never Naruto. Never that.
Apparently someone saw him in the dead of night taking little things, like clothes and some food. They saw a hint of an orange tail before the blur of color escaped into the forest.
"Is it true?" she asked her cousin one night. "Are they going to go attack-"
"Hinata-sama, you must stay out of it," Neji said, his eyes drilling into hers. "It is my duty to protect you-"
"He has protected me many times before!" she insisted. "I cannot let them hunt for him without giving him any warning."
"He is strong, from what I saw and what I heard."
"How would you go about warning him?" Hinata bit her lip. Neji sighed and looked at her sadly. "Good night, Hinata-sama."
Later she still lay in bed, unable to sleep. When was this hunting party going to go out? Was it tonight? Tomorrow? Next week? She didn't know but she was scared. Scared for the boy that danced his way into her dreams. That found his way into her thoughts. She sat up. She had to go warn him.
Activating her Byakugan she did her best to sneak out of the compound. She did so successfully; the only person that detected her leaving was Neji, and only because he had an inkling of what she was going to do. But he allowed her to go. The forest was a dangerous place, and not just because of the fox demon. But he believed she could handle this. This was something she had to do.
Hinata was deep in the woods when she realized she had no idea where she was going.
What was she thinking?
Obviously this was done on a whim. She thought she could figure her way back but she was already in deep. Where could Naruto be? The forest was a large place but she was hoping she would be able to sense him. She had her Byakugan activated and easily saw the birds resting in trees, owls flying about, little creatures scurrying to their nests but she couldn't find the one person she was looking for.
She didn't know how long she was looking. Maybe an hour? Two? She shivered in her beige coat and was just about to sit down to rest when she thought she saw something move far away. She concentrated her sight there but whoever it was was moving quickly. She saw orange looking chakra coils blurring through the forest. He was fast. She felt a little relieved.
He appeared before her.
"Hinata?" he asked, stopping almost nose to nose with her. He was hanging upside down from a tree branch above her.
She felt her entire face go red and she let out a yelp, instinctively slamming her head into his. He fell back and rubbed his forehead gingerly.
"Ow, what was that for?" he groaned.
She apologized profusely. "S-sorry, you surprised me."
"You surprised me!" he said.
"Why didn't you dodge?"
"I didn't think you of all people would try and hurt me."
Hinata gasped. "I didn't mean to," she said softly.
"What are you doing in the forest this late at night?" he asked roughly, standing up and wiping some dirt off his clothes. "Don't you know it's dangerous?"
"I-I didn't think you would hurt me…"
He frowned at her. "Well, of course I wouldn't hurt you," he scoffed. "Anyone else, maybe…" he got quiet, and she could have sworn she saw his eyes flash red for half a second. "Anyway, there are rogue ninja hiding in these woods, and wild animals among other things. What were you thinking?"
She swallowed. "I came to warn you," she whispered. "Some villagers might be coming…I don't know when but they want to hurt you."
Naruto's expression softened. "That's nothing new," he said bitterly. "People try to hurt me all the time."
"It's not right…" she said quietly.
He was silent as he watched her stare at the ground, her fingers pressed together. "Sometimes…" his voice cracked and he trailed off looking sullen.
"You'll be able to beat them, Naruto-kun," she spoke up.
He looked a tad bit surprised at her words but gave a forced laugh. "Yeah! I'm really strong!"
They fell silent before Hinata spoke up again. "When you supported me…I felt like I had become stronger and I started liking myself a little more. It was thanks to you, Naruto-kun…"
Naruto grinned at her. "Yeah, I'm very influential!" his laugh trailed off before he fell silent again. "I may appear strong to you but…that's because I act all tough because I'm so frustrated from always failing…" he thought back at all the times he tried to make contact with the villagers and all the times people screamed and ran away from him or tried to attack him…kill him.
"That's not true…even when you always fail…in my eyes…" Hinata smiled at him. "You're a proud failure!" Naruto stared at her in bewilderment, his ears twitching at her words, his tail slowing. "When I look at you I get an intense feeling in my heart," she was blushing and poking her fingers together again. "Because you're not perfect…because you fail…you have the strength to get back up…because that's what true strength is…you're an incredibly strong person, Naruto-kun."
Naruto felt his cheeks redden. You're an incredibly strong person, Naruto-kun. Person. Naruto-kun. Not Kyubi. Not Jinchuriki. Not demon fox. Demon child. He grinned. "Thanks, Hinata." His tail started moving excitedly again. "You know, about you, Hinata, I thought you were weird. You didn't run away from me or act all scared. You do get really red sometimes but…a person like you... I really like!"
Hinata's eyes opened wide and she felt the heat emanating from her cheeks.
"Thanks for the warning," he said, smiling gently. "But don't put yourself in danger like this again."
Later Hinata found herself at the outskirts of the village, led by Naruto. She snuck back into the compound and found herself still struggling to sleep. She was too happy. So happy.
Naruto had ran back to a little house situated in the deepest parts of the woods. His late mother left the house to him, a beautiful red haired woman, also host to a fox demon. He lived alone now. Both his parents passed away and he didn't get to know much about them at all except from the pictures that hung on the wall and letters that were crammed in a desk.
He plopped down on his bed and stared up at the ceiling, a large grin on his face.
Two to three years had passed and there was no hint of the fox demon that haunted the woods outside of Konoha. It seemed that after the hunting party went out (and never returned. Their bodies were discovered some time later, ripped apart and scattered throughout the trees) the demon fox child had left. Rumor had it he grew tiresome of stalking the lands outside their village and moved on to trespass on others.
Hinata sighed as she sat on the ground beside her teammates, tired from training. Kiba had fallen asleep curled up against Akamaru's large, furry body. She flipped her long hair over her shoulder and leaned against the wooden post scarred from shuriken, kunai, and blows from peoples fists. Shino rested on his back, arms tucked under his head. She stared off into the forest, missing the sight of blue she'd occasionally see the past years. She closed her eyes. Where could he have gone?
Suddenly she sensed a strong chakra moving in their direction. Her eyes snapped open and she activated her Kekkei Genkai. There it was again. That familiar orange chakra.
Her team was on their feet. Unlike her they weren't happy about the approaching entity. Akamaru let out a growl deep from his throat, his fur standing on end. Shino's bugs were loud and buzzing eerily around him. She got up to her feet, her back pressed against the post when he appeared before her, seeming to not understand the concept of personal space. He ignored her team and grinned at her.
"Don't say a word and come with me," he said, his fangs glinting dangerously.
Hinata felt her heart beating rapidly, her face tomato red, and her teammates had just realized the fox boy had infiltrated their circle.
She couldn't help it.
It was so sudden.
And he looked so much older. His whiskered face was leaner, the baby fat almost completely gone. His hair was messy as usual and his shoulders were so broad, his smile captivating.
When she awoke her teammates surrounded her, looking slightly worried and very confused. Naruto was gone.
She sat up. "Where'd he go?"
"Hinata, what the hell was that about?" Kiba asked, a tad bit pissed off. "That was that fox demon guy!"
"He has a name," she said a bit stiffly. "Did you guys hurt him?"
"Hurt him?" Shino spoke. "No. Why? Because, as strange as it may seem, it didn't look as though he had any intention of harming you. Or us."
"Shino-kun, Kiba-kun, what happened?"
"You fainted, we went in to help you and he was already far from our grasp," Kiba explained. Her fanged friend (she blushed slightly once more, realizing Kiba wasn't her only fanged friend and for some odd reason she found Naruto's fangs a bit…endearing) seemed to hesitate. "He said 'ten o'clock.'" Kiba and Shino both stared at her intensely. "Hinata, what are you not telling us?"
"We're a team Hinata," Shino said. "Why should you tell us? Because we care for you and your wellbeing. I would hope you trusted us."
"I do trust you guys!" she exclaimed, looking at them pleadingly. "Trust…Trust me when I say that Naruto-kun isn't as bad as everyone says he is."
"Naruto?" Shino asked.
"Naruto-kun?" Kiba asked.
Hinata blushed. "The fox…demon…"
Kiba groaned. "Oh my god, you've got the hots for the most hated, dangerous, creature that walks the grounds."
Hinata flushed. "I do not!"
Kiba laughed. "Sure, sure," he teased. "You still owe us an explanation."
She sighed, but she did trust them. So she told them the story of how she met the infamous fox demon.
Ten o'clock rolled by and Hinata once again snuck out of the compound. But this time Neji Hyuga did come to stop her.
"Hinata-sama, are you going to visit the Jinchuriki-"
"Naruto," she said gently. "His name is Naruto." She had one hand on the bark of a tree, her back facing him.
"I trust you know what you are doing," he continued. "But I'm not so sure I trust…Naruto."
"He won't harm me."
"Maybe so, but know he has done terrible things. He is a fox demon no matter how much he charms you," Neji explained methodically. "He has taken lives-"
"And I haven't?" Hinata asked. "You haven't? As ninja, it comes with the job."
"The deaths we caused have a purpose-"
"Neji-niisan, please don't try to glorify death."
"That is not my purpose, Hinata-sama. I'm just trying to warn you…He has taken lives not because a mission called for it or his life was in danger if he didn't-"
"But sometimes it is that reason exactly, that he takes the lives of our villagers…" she said hesitantly.
"And sometimes it is not," Neji said. "He may be nice to you, but he does have instincts I'm sure he succumbs to occasionally. I don't know, I can't explain the workings of a fox demon."
He heard her tut.
He sighed. "I do not want you to get your heart broken. Remember the tragedy that happened years ago? The fox demon massacred so many of our people. Konoha's history is riddled with attacks caused by the demon-"
Hinata clenched the bark tightly. "He was too young to be the root cause behind that," she whispered.
"Maybe so, Hinata-sama," Neji said. "I won't stop you, but I urge you to be wary."
She paused. "Thank you."
And with that Hinata continued her trek into the woods.
She wasn't too far in when she sensed him. Moonlight still filtered through the trees, illuminating her long midnight hair, contrasting with her pale lavender coat. This time he appeared behind her.
"Follow me," he said, his tail just barely rubbing her red cheek. "And try to remember this path. Burn it into your memory and don't share it with anyone else." He hesitated. "Please."
She nodded and quietly followed.
It was a quiet journey, and felt like quite a long one. She was surprised with herself. Since when had she grown so bold? She could easily be walking in to a trap…walking to her death. But she felt oddly at ease.
Soon they came to a small clearing and she saw a quaint little house nestled in the trees.
"Is-Is that your home?" she asked as they got closer.
"Yep," he said, pushing open the door.
He chuckled. "Did you think I slept in a bush?"
She blushed. "Maybe something like that."
"I'm not completely a monster, ya know?"
She placed a hand on her shoulder. "You're not a monster at all."
He smiled at her tenderly and shook his head. "But I am, Hinata. I've done some terrible things."
He led her into his home giving her a brief tour.
"Why are you showing me this?" she asked, as they came to his bedroom. She had noticed that there were instant ramen packs littered around the house that she could only assume he had stolen from the village.
He shrugged. He honestly didn't know why. "Now you know where to find me."
She sat down daintily on the edge of his bed. "You said…you said you've done some terrible things."
His face darkened. "Hinata, I am a fox demon. It's in my nature."
She didn't know if she should ask her not. Or if she really wanted to know, but she spoke anyway. "What did you do?"
He scowled. "I'm not sharing that with you."
"Are you afraid you'll frighten me?"
He laughed and dropped onto his back, sprawled on his bed. "You weren't scared when I mauled your kidnapper back when you were five, I don't think you'd be scared with all the things I've done."
"I'm not exactly proud, Hinata."
"Well that's good!" she insisted.
He sat up and frowned at her. "Hinata, I don't know who I am."
She looked at him in confusion.
He groaned. "I'm a demon. I have animal instincts. Killing? I enjoy it. The feel of the warm blood running between my fingers? The sound of flesh tearing?" Hinata shivered. "But I am also human. And I know everything I do isn't always right. I do feel…regret."
"Where did you go these past two and a half years?" she asked, staring down at her hands.
"I was training," he said. "To control my impulses and expand my abilities." She looked up at him, she could feel his gaze boring holes into her. "I don't want to hurt anyone I care about and I want to be able to protect them as well."
She stayed there for a while, simply talking to him about one topic and another before he led her back to the Hyuga compound.
"Naruto-kun?" she asked at the edge of the woods.
"Can I come by again with some friends?" She noticed him visibly hesitate. "They're nice people," she said softly. "They just have to get to know you. I know they'd like you."
He looked at her earnest face and nodded.
For the next few months Hinata visisted Naruto regularly a few times a week. She took her friends one at a time or in pairs to ease Naruto in. Fortunately most of them got along. Occasionally Sasuke and Sakura would clash a little with the blonde but it always turned out fine. Kiba liked to tease them relentlessly and whenever he was around the red never left her cheeks. Neji seemed to grow open to the idea of Naruto being more than just a violent fox demon and she was glad Naruto made some friends.
None of the villagers could know.
Naruto had taken many lives and the family members of his victims still held grudges. Occasionally their senseis happened to walk by the training field at times where Naruto would join them. They would sense an odd chakra but by the time they got there it was gone and the friends would say nothing about it.
Deaths and ruckus caused by the infamous fox demon tapered off.
When there were deaths they weren't because of him, he remembered confessing to her. They really weren't. She believed him. They were caused by the missing ninja, the rogue villagers, and bandits. There were animals that mauled lost hikers (poor souls that decided to go about romping through the dangerous woods. Just because he had controlled his devilish impulses, doesn't make the woods any safer).
The majority of the villagers still believed he was a monster though.
He remembered the chants.
He'd burn in hell, they'd say. Kill himself, save them the trouble.
It hurt him.
God, he was supposed to be a fucking fox demon for goodness sake. He rolled over on his bed onto his tail. He hissed and yanked it out from under him.
There was a giggle in the room.
He turned and looked at her smiling at him from the doorframe.
Oh yeah, he forgot she was here. She was so quiet sometimes. Silent but comforting, like a gentle breeze.
He smiled, feeling his heart beat faster.
Everyone in the village always took him for an outsider. He didn't care. (Too much). The only thing that mattered was her. No, no one is born evil.
What was this he was feeling?
Demons don't love.
But he did feel a sort of attraction towards her. An affection. A fear that if she would get hurt, he wouldn't be able to control himself.
But sometimes when you go through hell the only escape is to walk deeper into the fire.
They were sixteen.
A battle had broken out in Konoha. He woke up with a start. There were sounds of explosions and screaming.
He was over to the village in seconds.
It was hell.
Things were burning, there were craters scattered throughout the village. Amidst the screams he heard some laughter.
He narrowed his eyes.
More demons. People like him. There weren't many in the world
How dare they come to his village.
And so the battle ensued.
The battle seemed to last forever. The ninjas of Konoha fought in various sectors. They saw the flashes of orange running amongst them, helping them when death seemed absolute and inevitable. Many of the villagers he tried to save tried to attack him but he just scoffed, leaving them be. Lives were lost but he'd be damned if he let anyone in Konoha be killed by other demons.
Naruto was strong and he got rid of most of his fellow creatures except their leader.
"AH!" he yelled out in pain when the orange haired man before him impaled him with another rod.
"Why are you trying to save these pathetic humans?" the enemy asked, curiosity dripping from his deep voice. "Why are you helping them slaughter your brethren?"
"Brethren?" Naruto snarled. "You are no comrade of mine!"
"And are they?" he mocked. "Those who leave you on your own. Isolate you. Hunt you. Try to kill you. Those that murdered your mother? A demoness."
"My mother died long ago-"
"Killed by humans that hunt our kind."
Naruto frowned through his pain. "She died loved by a human."
"The only things humans are good for are as play things. Hunt them, fuck them, kill them," he said maliciously. "Weak little things that they are…perhaps you should join them," he said, producing another rod. "I still don't understand why you fight for them. Not with them because they surely don't care for you. Just because you are host to the nine-tailed fox, one of the strongest demons of us all, doesn't make you above us," he continued. "You are supposed to be one of the strongest of us all," he laughed. "But you are as weak as the humans you seem to care for. You will die with them." He was just going to stab the young man on the ground, who struggled his best to get out of the rods that seemed to inhibit his abilities.
"NO!" his heart froze. It was her. "Leave. Him. Alone!" He was too slow. He couldn't move.
No. No. NO. NO.
He felt his breath catch in his throat as he saw her jump through the air, palms blazing, ready to take on a demon host much too strong for her.
It all happened so quickly.
She lay before him, still. Blood running from the cuts that littered her body. He had screamed his throat raw but she still kept trying.
She kept getting up. She kept getting up.
Because she loved him, she had said.
He closed his eyes.
She kept getting up.
He heard the sound of metal against metal and looked up. His eyes met the other man's purple ones as he held his weapon dangerously above Hinata's immobile one. And then it came down and all Naruto saw was blood.
"Out of love, sacrifice is born," the man said but all Naruto heard the was the sound of the rod impaling Hinata's soft flesh over and over, echoing in his mind. All he saw was her blood soaking the ground. "Hate is born and we are able to know pain."
Sometimes when you go through hell the only escape is to walk deeper into the fire.
A few years had passed since the dreaded attack against Konoha and the villagers became more tolerant of their savior. He was still given scared looks and people avoided him in waves but it was tolerable. They even allowed him access to the village. (He would normally go anyway, but now he wouldn't have to sneak around in the shadows). They were going against everything they they knew and learned from their ancestors. Decades of fighting against these demon hosts, haunted by the Kyubi centuries ago, and here was the exception.
They were sitting under a canopy of trees, listening to the sounds of nature.
"I'm going to be married," she said one day out of the blue.
He looked at her, his face full of shock. "What?" He felt really cold all of a sudden.
She nodded, playing with her hands, not meeting his eyes. "Well, not yet," she said. "But I've been getting marriage requests, according to my father."
He narrowed his eyes, staring at the ground. "You have suitors?"
It was his suffering that made him so human. He learned humility, compassion, and…how to cherish the love he was given.
He tore apart some trees in anger.
Why? Why didn't he respond to her confession those years ago?
How could she love him? He was a demon. He was a no good, shadow crawling, killer. Damn it, he didn't even know if he was capable of loving her. Of giving her what she deserved.
But it hurt and it made him upset all at the same time, thinking of the men that begged for her hand in marriage.
She had grown up into a beautiful young woman (and many would say he was as attractive as any normal human, let alone a host of a demon). He laughed at himself. It was a pathetic, irritated laugh. Some of Konoha's female villagers would follow him around, laughing and giggling. They'd try to cop a feel of his fluffy tail and they'd compliment his fuzzy ears. He had always just accepted their words with confusion. Why were they acting so strangely?
Well, he figured it out when he saw Hinata walking through the village in her new gear, her skin looking as soft and appealing as always. Oh how he had wanted to sink his fangs into her pale-
He shook his head.
Her suitors had been giving her compliments as his (what he figured were suitors as well) did.
His tail flicked angrily behind him.
He froze, shoulders stiff at the sound of the voice behind him.
"What are you doing?" she asked, coming closer.
"Training," he said gruffly. He felt his fur standing on end. Someone else was with her.
"Naruto-kun," she repeated since he didn't turn around. He continued to tear apart another tree. Well, whoever was with her better be scared. "This is Toneri."
He bristled, and turned mechanically. Slowly.
That white-haired, pretentious prick.
He had seen this man before. He had almost attacked him, actually. He had seen him conversing with Hinata a few days ago and it took all his resistance to not claw him to bits. He had grown past that behavior years ago. But he mostly didn't do it because he was sure it would make Hinata upset. He didn't like to see her cry. Especially not when he was the cause.
"Hello," Toneri said, holding out a gloved hand. "It's nice to meet you. Hinata's said so many positive things about you."
"Did she tell you the time I slaughtered hundreds of shinobi?"
"Naruto-kun!" she gasped angrily. "Why are you-"
"That's alright, Hinata," Toneri said politely. He smiled amiably at her but her face was trained on Naruto's who was just looking at the man with agitation. He turned his head to look at him and gave him a smirk. Naruto glowered at Toneri, who placed his arm around Hinata and brought her close to his body. "No worries, I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to get to know each other once Hinata and I are married, right Naruto?"
Naruto yelled and made to attack him but Hinata quickly intervened.
"Toneri, go!" she said, pushing him. "Go!"
The white haired man trembled slightly, but glared at Naruto before he left.
Naruto was breathing heavily.
"You can't marry him," Naruto said after a few minutes of silence. He stared at her unblinkingly. His tail came around and tenderly caressed her face.
She leaned into the warmth, briefly closing her eyes. "And why not, Naruto-kun?"
Naruto clenched his teeth. She opened her eyes and looked into his blue ones. Those blue eyes that saved her so long ago.
"I love you," he said.
Her pale eyes widened.
"Hinata," he swallowed, taking a step closer, his tail brushing her face again. "I'm in love with you."
She looked like she was about to cry and Naruto felt his heart clench.
"I have to go," she whispered.
"I'm sorry, Naruto-kun," she said, gently pushing him away before running back to the village.
Naruto felt himself break.
She returned the next day only to find his house empty.
She came day after day after day, but to no avail.
Naruto was gone.
A week or two passed before Naruto had the courage to return back to Konoha. It was actually Hinata's friends, their friends who came looking for him. They encouraged him to come back. They didn't give him the details about what was going on, they insisted he had to come home to figure that out.
And so he did.
And the first place he went to was the Hyuga Compound in search of Hinata.
She was nowhere to be found. (And neither was Toneri, he was relieved to see).
So he returned to his home, slightly downtrodden until he sensed her chakra. It was like medicine. It washed over him, soothing his aching bones and heavy heart. He entered his home and the feeling was stronger.
Naruto pushed open the door to his bedroom gently, his ears moving quickly, listening for her breathing. It was deep and heavy. She must have been sleeping. He quietly walked in and saw her snuggled on his bed, her hair fanned out on his pillow.
He smiled. She looked beautiful.
He didn't want to wake her but he wanted to be near her. He sat down beside her, at the edge of his bed. She shifted and her eyes fluttered open.
"Hi," he said, bringing his fingers to her face. He hesitated before touching her but she smiled at him, leaning on her right arm. With her left she took hold of his hand in hers and put his fingers to her face. He was careful not to scratch her with his sharp nails.
"You left me…" she whispered, her eyes sad and full of pain.
Naruto's heart clenched. "I'm sorry."
"Why? Why did you go?"
He bit his lip, rubbing his thumb against her cheeks. "You know why." She didn't say anything; instead she just closed her eyes to feel his touch. "I couldn't stay and watch you spend your life with another man."
Hinata blushed and turned to boldly (for her) kiss his palm. He inhaled sharply, his instincts urging him to move to her lips.
"Why did you come back then?" she asked, her cheeks red.
"I couldn't let you spend your life with another man."
"Let me?" she asked teasingly.
He grinned toothily, his tail swishing behind him, wrapping around to hover protectively near her head.
"Where is he then?" he asked, the mood changing suddenly.
"Where is who?" she asked, taking hold of his tail and running her fingers gently through it.
He suppressed a groan. That felt so nice. "Toneri," he spit out.
"Gone," she said. "Went back to where he came from."
"Oh?" he asked, seeming to cheer up instantly. She nodded. "When did he leave?" he asked, his eyes following her fingers combing through his fur.
"The same day you did…" she said softly, stopping her ministrations.
"What did you say to him?" he asked, placing a finger to her chin to make her meet his gaze.
"Does it matter?"
He chuckled. "I guess not," he glanced out the window; the full moon was shining brightly, illuminating the room. "What are you doing here this late at night?"
She turned red again. "I-I come here…" she took a deep breath. "Not everyone agrees with our relationship…whatever that may be…"
He frowned. "Who's been giving you grief?" he seemed angry.
"No, don't worry," she said, sitting up and placing her hands on his shoulders. It reminded him of the time they first met. "It doesn't matter what others think-"
"I love you," he interrupted, needing to say it. "I meant what I said."
She smiled. "And I love you," she said. "I have for a long time."
"I'm a demon, Hinata," he said. "I've done terrible things-"
"I know what you've done," she said, "I know what you're capable of."
"And yet, nothing," she said. "Your father, he was a human. Your mother-"
"Same as me."
"What's stopping us?" she asked earnestly.
"I could hurt you," he said, sounding scared.
She laughed kindly. "You've had over a decade to hurt me."
He stared into her twinkling eyes, wanting nothing more but to hold her. His fingers twitched and his tail moved to her back.
"You can, you know," she said gently, with a bite of her lip.
"I want to spend the rest of my life with you," he said, his voice deep.
She breathed deeply; her eyes filling with unshed tears of joy. "Naruto-kun…"
Then he leaned over and kissed her.
It was just one kiss of many that night.
He pressed her to the bed, his legs on either side of her as he peppered kisses down the length of her throat, her fingers entangled in his hair, brushing his pointed ears. She arched her body up against him and he groaned, his tail waving wildly.
"I love you," he whispered between his kisses. "Thank you. Thank you."
She felt his hands trailing along her body and she inhaled sharply.
Immediately his blue eyes were above her pale ones, looking at her with worry.
"Did I hurt you?" he asked frantically. "Did I scratch you? Oh god, did I break something?" He didn't know his own strength, but he knew he could easily snap her in half with his dark abilities.
She giggled. "No, Naruto-kun. You didn't hurt me," she blushed. "B-but do you mind…if we stop for tonight?"
Naruto stared at her blankly before laughing. He rolled over to his side, running a finger down her cheek. "Sorry, I got excited. I think I wanted to do that forever."
"What, kiss someone?"
She laughed softly and gave him another peck on the cheek before snuggling into his chest.
It took them less than a year to get officially married.
Not everyone took the union of the Jinchuriki and the Hyuga princess well. She received many death threats and insulting remarks regarding her character, fidelity, and even state of mind. She had to restrain Naruto many times from reverting back to his violent and more instinct prone, animalistic self.
That's all right, they had the blessings of their close family and friends and that's really all that mattered to them. Plus, a large amount of the villagers actually started to accept the changes that started to happen.
In fact, they (the people they trusted) had rebuilt their (Naruto and Hinata's) new home.
"What do you say we go break in the bedroom?" Naruto asked boldly, his tail brushing her side.
She blushed but didn't argue.
Soon she found herself straddled by a half naked Naruto placing soft kisses on her exposed breasts. She ran her fingers alone his bare back, humming in satisfaction before gently pulling his face up to hers so she could give him a deep kiss. He bit her lip playfully, running a fang along the sensitive skin. Hinata gently pressed her lips against the whiskers on his cheeks, knowing full well how sensitive he was there. Naruto groaned in appreciation, burrowing his head into the crook of her shoulder and neck, sucking on the skin he loved so much. His hands ran up and down her arms. He had a strange fascination with her arms.
He pressed down on her body, chest to chest, pelvic to pelvic and she blushed at his touch. She moved her hips against his and was rewarded with a growl coming deep from his throat.
"Hinata…" he groaned, bringing his gaze into hers. His eyes were dark with lust, his whiskers looking ragged, and his tail was surprisingly still. Her breath caught in her throat, his lustful stare paralyzing her to the bed. She tingled pleasantly everywhere. He kissed her roughly, tongue pushing into her mouth, which she willingly accepted. She pulled at his pants, trying to relieve his strain. He tore at the rest of the clothes she had on, he'd apologize for it later.
Suddenly Hinata found herself naked, with Naruto hovering above her equally so.
"I love you," she whispered with a quivering voice.
He leaned down and kissed the offending mark under her breast where she almost died to protect him. "I love you," he said, trailing his tongue down the length of his body until his head rest near her thighs.
Hinata gripped the covers, her back arching up as Naruto lapped between her legs. The sounds he procured from her mouth almost drove him insane. She gasped, and moaned, and whispered his name. He held her thighs apart as he felt her tremble and writhe beneath him. Damn, this is what he wanted all the time. To taste her. To make her feel good. To make her feel him.
Soon she let out a cry, her body lifting from the bed, her legs clenching around him in a vice grip. A few seconds later he kissed his way back up, pulling her body down near his own. She felt his hardness against her heat and she moaned as her body moved up to touch him on its own.
Sometimes he feared hurting her. She was so soft, so fragile looking, like porcelain. He'd be damned if he did something, anything, to hurt her. But she proved time and time again that she was strong. That she could fight just as well as any ninja out there. That she could handle what he threw at her.
With one swift movement he buried himself inside of her, his sounds of pleasure mixing with hers. He started off slow, watching her face, her eyes shut tightly, her lips plump and slightly bruised from his kisses, her chest heaving. Her voice rang in his ears, her wishes, her pleading. Faster, she said.
He pushed into her, her body squeezing him and he moaned into her neck. He was pressed against her body, his mouth near her ear. He bit down on her shoulder, leaving a mark. His mark. Her body was his, and his was hers. It was a claim.
"Mine," he whispered roughly.
She gasped as the feeling of him moving inside of her, her fingers clawing at her back.
While he did his best to not hurt her with his elongated fingernails, fangs, and strength, she knew her touches would do anything but harm him. He hissed in pleasure when he felt her nails digging into his skin as his thrusts became erratic.
"Mine," he declared.
"Naruto-kun," she huffed, moving with him. She forced his mouth to hers, suppressing their sounds of lovemaking.
They stared at each others glazed eyes, lips touching occasionally, whispering each others names through the heat and bliss.
"Mine," he whispered, his love for her overwhelming him.
She kissed away the tears gathering at the corner of his eyes.
People laughed at them. How could a demon love? How could a demon feel? It was in their blood to fight, torture, hurt, and murder. How could she love someone like him? What did she see in him? How could he love her?
Oh, if only they knew.
Sometimes he was more human than the rest of them.
It was just another love story, another tale of the beauty and the beast.
He wasn't going to lose her. He'd do everything in his power to protect her, to love her.
And she'd do the same.
Later they lay side by side. She ran a finger down his cheek and giggled at his satisfied smirk.
When I first went about writing this I had a darker story in mind but it just didn't come out that way. Maybe I'll try again some other time, throw in some angst and violence. But I'm satisfied with this one. I hope you are too.
Who knows, maybe this could grow into something more. But I can always write more one-shots.
Please leave a review and let me know what you think.