Chapter 1: Rattling the cage
Naruto cursed under his breath as the mysterious Kusa-nin slammed her palm onto his stomach, crushing his breath out of him. His body convulsed lightly as he fell towards the floor of the Forest of Death, unable to move. His fall was cut short as a Kunai stuck him to the tree next to him. His body finally relaxing as darkness overtook him.
He suddenly woke up, looking around he saw that he was in some kind of sewer. The weird thing is that despite being foot deep in the water he did not feel wet at all. The Blonde Jinchuuriki stood up while looking around for any sighs of his team and the Shinobi from Kusa.
"Naruto…" A voice spoke from behind the young Uzumaki, prompting him to jump and turn around to face whoever had called him, only to find nothing but the empty hallway that led into a darker part of the sewer. His mind was probably playing tricks on him. He made to walk towards the lighter path when the same voice echoed through the tunnel again, sending shivers down his spine.
"Naruto…Come here…" The voice, deep and powerful, told him. Naruto for some reason felt compelled to follow the unknown voice and walked down the dark path.
He had lost account of how much time he spent walking down the sewer, could have been 10 minutes or 10 hours and Naruto was starting to get tired of it. Just as he was about to give up on it he saw a red glow on the end of the tunnel. It was faint at first, but as he ran towards it with renewed vigor it became to grow brighter until the blonde was before a set of stone doors that were littered with cracks from which the orange light was leaking through. Naruto pushed the doors, hoping to see the source of the light, only to be surprised yet again as the doors fell apart, blasting Naruto with the potent light before it died down.
Disoriented, Naruto held his head as he walked into the, now dark, room. He felt the water lowering in depth, barely covering his feet.
"Hi, is anybody here?" Questioned the blond as he squinted his eyes to see in the darkened room, much to his surprise he now could see things clearer, but he still could not see anyone. This time however, the voice spoke back.
"Yes child, I am here." It said. Suddenly the water at Naruto's feet started shifting violently as the thunderous sound of steps echoed through the room. The blonde Jinchuuriki looked around, yet again hoping to see the mysterious person.
"Over here." The voice called out. The orange light that had being guiding Naruto to this point returned, this time enveloping the walls and revealing a large cage within the room. Inside a pair of red slit eyes watched the boy, who had finally taken notice of it and stepped back in fright.
"Who are you? Where am I? How did I get here?" The whiskered blond asked in rapid succession, making the mysterious voice wonder how big were his lungs.
"Calm down, Kit. I will answer all your questions and more, just be patient." The figure finally walked into the light, showing itself to the Genin. It was none other than the infamous Kyuubi no Kitsune, the Bijuu that had attacked Konoha 12 years ago, and was currently sealed within the cerulean-eyed Uzumaki. Just like the stories described him, the Kyuubi was a fox of gargantuan size with blood-red eyes and orange fur. The only thing off was that there was no killing intent, no roars of fury and vows of destruction and bloodshed. Instead, the huge creature was just watching him with curiosity.
"K-Kyuubi?!" Naruto managed to stutter out, his body rooted to the floor. He knew that the fox was sealed inside him, but he had never expected to actually meet it. His day was getting worse by the second.
"I`ve being watching you for a long time now, Kit." started the fox, causing the boy to stiffen, the Bijuu was unsure of how to speak with the boy, he might have known him for 12 years, but he was never one to socialize, even amongst his own brethren let alone with humans.
"Watching me? What do you want with me?" the blond questioned fearfully as he managed to take a step back. This was the Kyuubi he was dealing with, one wrong move and he was as good as dead or at least that is what his instincts told him.
"At first, freedom. I wanted out of this prison the Yondaime placed me into. I wanted revenge on this accursed village that has kept me imprisoned for the best part of a century. I took advantage of this seal and made it weaken you…" Before the Kyuubi could continue, Naruto found enough courage to cut into his explanation.
"Weaken me? You were planning to get me killed?!" demanded the blond, somehow forgetting about whom he was talking with.
"Let me finish!" roared the fox. It had being unbearable difficult to pull the boy's mind into the seal and the boy's impatience was grinding his nerves. Seeing that the boy was paralyzed with fear he took a deep breath and continued.
"No, I was not planning to kill you. My intention was to make you too weak on your own so that you would resort to my power in order to stay alive. What you experienced during that battle at the Land of Waves is a prime example. "Explained the fox in a matter-of-fact tone. The incident at the bridge was the first time Naruto had tapped into his power. It was the first step of his plan.
"But I don`t feel weak at all. If you were supposed to be weakening me, why do I feel as strong as ever?" questioned Naruto as he scratched the back of his head with a look of confusion.
"I see you are not as much of a knucklehead after all. Or perhaps you are seizing to be one now that my plan went down the drain." Commented Kyuubi as he gave Naruto a fanged smile.
"Huh?" Was the intelligent reply of the sun-haired Uzumaki, causing the fox's smile to widen by a fraction.
"That`s how I planned to weaken you. Back then when you were little I used the seal in conjunction with my powers to separate your Yin from your Yang. I took away your 'dark side' so to speak. "Lectured the Bijuu, but it seemed that his vessel had not caught up with his genius plan yet if the vague look on his face was anything to go by.
"And how does that weaken me? From what I`ve been told Darkness is Evil and Light is good. By taking away my darkness wouldn`t you be doing me a favor?" Spoke the Jinchuuriki, now questioning Kyuubi's intelligence on the matter.
"WRONG!" growled the fox with delight as he had been waiting for the boy to ask him that question so that he could finally make the knucklehead understand.
"Darkness and Light are neither good nor bad. They are both important parts of a person's psych and personality. By taking away your darkness I was undermining your ability to learn and think, making you incapable of feeling distrust, paranoia, hate, without them you are nothing but a moron. That`s why it took you 3 tries to pass the Genin Exam. That is why you are inferior to your peers, because different from them you have a one track mind, if you can`t think properly you are more prompt to put your life at risk and will inevitably resort to my power. That was my plan." Kyuubi enjoyed the shocked look that adorned Naruto's face. It seemed that the message had finally sunk in.
"Why are you telling me this now? Wouldn't that make your plan harder?" asked Naruto with frown. It did not make sense that the Kyuubi would tell him about that unless something had changed.
"What changed your plans?" the blond voiced his thoughts.
Now THAT what Kyuubi was waiting for, this whole conversation depended on this single question. "Precisely, something happened that shot my plan to hell. That ninja from Kusa tried to place a seal over the keeping me imprisoned. A Gogyo Fuin if I am correct. It was supposed to cut off my power from you and tamper with your Chakra Control. However, the Hakke Fuin Shiki had a failsafe in case someone attempted to tamper with it. Long story short, now more of my chakra is being leaked into your body, resulting on a kind of link between you and me. That link prevents me from handicapping any longer. "Now that the Fox pointed it out, Naruto did feel different. He knew that there was more to the fox now that his plan was ruined, that there was another reason than this chat that he had called him to the Seal. Thinking ahead on details like this was very unlike him.
"So…You have finally noticed it, haven`t you?" A new voice chimed in before Naruto could question the fox again. Naruto`s eyes widened at the new presence. As far as he knew only he and the Kyuubi could be inside the seal.
"Who is there? Show yourself!" demanded the boy angry. He had being surprised too many times and his patience had long since ended.
"Is that how you greet your other half? You have such poor manners." The voice mocked him before whom it belonged to came to light. Standing beside the Kyuubi was a reflection of Naruto, the only changes being that his eyes were blood-red and his whisker marks were darker.
"You must be my 'Dark Side`." Stated Naruto with a calm he did not know he had.
"Correct, I see the fox has already told you about Me."confirmed the Dark Naruto with a vicious smirk."In part, he told me he had separated me from my darkness, but never once he mentioned that my dark side was a different person inside my mind." Naruto corrected his doppelganger.
"You are mistaken. I am not someone else, I am you. You and I are one and the same, two parts of the same puzzle. Yin and Yang separated at birth. I am your darkness, born from your hatred of the Villagers who threated you as dirt, but just like you I am incomplete, fated to be consumed by the anger that fuels me, in the exact same way that you will eventually be blind by your light." Spoke the dark half of Naruto on a monologue. This was the first time they met ever since they were separated, so he might as well explain their situation.
"I see…" trailed off the young Jinchuuriki with a faraway look on his eyes.
"As amusing as seeing you two interacting is. We have business to attend to. The Kusa-nin has just left after placing a juinjutsu on that Uchiha Teammate of yours" Both halves scowled at the mention of their arrogant comrade. Dark Naruto, for all his paranoia and anger theorized many times that Kakashi, the man supposed to be teaching his team, was only paying attention to the duck-haired boy. He noticed that there were similarities between Sasuke's fighting style and Kakashi's. Naruto, however, simply did not like the last Uchiha because of his attitude. They both grew up alone, but Naruto at least respected others to a degree and did not expect things to be handed over to him.
"That teme..."Both said at the same time, looking at each other with curiosity before nodding with a smirk, causing Kyuubi to sweat drop at their antics. The Bijuu`s eyes widened as he felt his chakra seeping back into the seal. They were almost out of time.
"I cannot keep you here anymore Kit. With the seal stabilizing it will take a day or two for you to be able to return." Spoke the gigantic fox with seriousness, hoping that the boy would understand what it meant.
"We are knocked out, meaning that our body is still at the Forest of Death. Our encounter with the Kusa-nin was just the beginning. We still have a whole exam to complete. " continued Dark Naruto with his face scrunched up in thought.
Now Naruto was lost. Weren`t these 2 supposed to hate him? "Guys, you two sound like you actually want me to survive the exams…" He was interrupted by a fist bopping him on the skull.
"BAKA! Of course I want you to survive these exams! I am you. If you die I die too!" shouted Dark Naruto exasperatedly. It seemed that his Light Side had not caught on to that fact yet.
"The same goes for me. I need you to live long enough for me to find a way out of this seal. I can`t do that if you are dead. And since we can`t trust you not to die, we are going to have to lend you a hand." The Nine Tailed Fox stated bored, however he was far from it actually. This marked the first time he was actively supporting his Jinchuuriki, something he thought would never happen.
If Naruto had been surprised before, now he was positively floored, the two entities inside him were willing to help him survive and become strong, how awesome was that?! He gave them his trademark fox-like smile, making Dark Naruto smirk darkly, no pun intended, and Kyuubi to answer with a fanged grin.
"I will see you two later then." said the blond as he turned around and ran towards the exit, vanishing into the shady passageway. Dark Naruto chuckled at his other side's exuberance.
"It will be sooner than you think…" stated the doppelganger as he walked behind his light half. He turned around and gave the fox a mock salute before walking into the shady exit. Meanwhile Kyuubi smirked to himself as he thought about how things were about to change between him, the blond Jinchuuriki and the Village.
"This is just the beginning."