AN: "When Naruto was framed and imprisoned for an assassination attempt on the Raikage, Konan learns about it and comes to break him out" - I saw this prompt about a year ago and it's been on my mind ever since. Since Konan is one of my favourite characters and since there's a serious lack of fics with her, I had to turn this prompt into a story one day.

Tags: mature themes, violence, major character deaths. Naruto's personality is canon at first but, as the title of the fic implies, he will become OOC. Inspired by "Naruto the movie: Blood Prison". Timeline-wise, this fic starts after Pain's attack on Konoha but before the Five Kage Summit arc. Canon divergent fic. Darker Naruto. Please take the tags seriously.

Pairing: Naruto x Konan.

Disclaimer: The cover pic belongs to Sciamano240 on artstation/deviantart.

Chapter 1 - Imprisoned

"It wasn't me!" Naruto said, almost shouting from indignation. Turning to look at Kakashi behind him, his voice took on a pleading note: "Kakashi-sensei, please believe me! Yesterday, I was eating ramen at Ichiraku, and then I played Shogi with Shikamaru the whole night!"

But Kakashi merely kept his silence while Tsunade said:

"Until the truth is revealed, we'll be sending you to Hozuki castle."

"W-What's this Hozuki Castle?" Naruto asked.

"It's a shinobi prison delegated to Hidden Grass by the other villages," Kakashi finally replied.

"Anyone can enter there but not everyone can leave," Yamato also added, his arms crossed in front of his chest. "It's a place where they restrain problematic shinobi sent to them by the other various villages."

Hearing that, Naruto couldn't keep his calm anymore.

"But I didn't do anything!" he yelled, gesticulating wildly with his arms. "You can ask Ayame-chan and you can ask Shikamaru too! I was with them the entire evening and night! Anyone could've used a Henge to look like me! Besides, Kumogakure is like super far away, I'd need like a week or more just to get there and come back, wouldn't I? It doesn't make any sense! Someone must be trying to get me away from the village!"

"Don't be absurd, Naruto!" Tsunade yelled back at him and slapped her desk with her palms as she stood up. "Kumo wouldn't risk triggering a war on mere suspicions when a foe as dangerous as the Akatsuki is looming over all of us like that! Also, everyone knows your speciality in Shadow Clones and how much chakra you have!"

"How am I absurd?! Kumo also tried to kidnap Hinata-chan when she was little and then blamed us for their shinobi getting killed!"

"I don't want to hear it. Take him away!" Tsunade said.

Seeing that they wouldn't listen to him, Naruto's hands instinctively went to form the seal for the Shadow Clone technique but, as if he had been waiting for that moment the whole time, Yamato suddenly clasped his hands together like in a prayer and shouted:

"Mokuton: Four Pillars Prison!"

Four wooden pillars burst from the floor coiled around Naruto's neck and forearms like snakes, completely immobilizing him, before finally taking the shape of a cubic cage.

"W-Wait a second!" Naruto said desperately as Tsunade stripped his shinobi headband signifying his allegiance to Konoha. "It wasn't me! I'm being framed!"

On his knees, with his hands bound behind his back, a wooden vine wrapped around his neck, and imprisoned in a cage, Naruto pleaded again:

"It wasn't me! Kakashi-sensei! Sakura-chan! Baa-chan! You know me! I would never do something like that! It wasn't me! I haven't done anything!"

"Hey! So what did you do?" A skinny middle-aged man with bluish-grey hair and metallic cuffs on his wrists tried to start a conversation while all the new prisoners were waiting in queue for the mandatory body check.

Angry from the fire seal that had been placed on him only minutes before by the leader of the prison and already on the point of exploding with anger from the injustice of having been imprisoned despite being innocent, Naruto shouted at him right away:

"I already said I haven't done anything, damn it!"

"Chill out, man," the middle-aged prisoner said and leaned back to put some distance between him and the temperamental blond. Shrugging his shoulders and looking up, he continued casually: "As for me, I made a mistake during a mission."

Seeing that Naruto began to pay attention to what he was saying, the blue-haired man continued with a small sigh: "I was supposed to wipe out a village of civilians, but my conscience struck and I let a kid get away. Then, my village found out..."

"What's wrong with that?" Naruto asked, genuinely confused and inwardly disturbed by his confession.

The middle-aged man threw him a strange look.

"Which village are you from?"

"Konohagakure," Naruto replied

"Hehe. Looks like Konoha is a pretty soft village, huh?" the older prisoner said mockingly.

"What did you say?" Naruto shot back in annoyance.

The older man looked at him as if he was a dumb and naive kid as he explained:

"To a shinobi, the village's command is absolute. Shinobi are tools. We kill who we are told to kill and we steal what we are told to steal. But it looks like that's not how it rolls in your Hidden Village, huh?"

In spite of the situation he was in - the Hokage had sent him to prison despite being innocent - Naruto's loyalty to Konoha was still strong.

"Don't you dare talk bad about the Hidden Leaf when you don't know anything about it!" he yelled and grabbed him by the collar of his top. "Just you wait and see! I'll get out of here soon and give the guys who framed me a lesson they'll never forget!"

Before things could escalate any further, a fellow prisoner wearing a bandana intervened from the side:

"That's enough. That man is right. This Hozuki Castle is a gathering spot for people who no longer have the pretext where villages cover for them for what they've done. A thief is a thief. A murderer is a murderer. We can't say things like 'it was for the sake of my village'. We have no excuse anymore. We're all just getting what we deserve, reaping what we sowed."

The more he was talking to others, the more Naruto was getting pissed off. Nobody wanted to believe that he was innocent!

"I'm not making any excuses! I've never done any of these things!" he shouted incensed.

At that moment one of the wardens called out from beyond the prison door:

"Bandana! It's your turn!"

Before answering the warden's call, the bandana-wearing prisoner told Naruto one last thing:

"You should've realized by now that you've fallen into a deep pit. You shouldn't try to make it even deeper.

Naruto being his usual stubborn self, however, had not even considered listening to their advice. That very night, he tried to break out of prison by substituting himself with a Shadow Clone. But the side effect of using chakra while the fire seal was active on him was too great. Unable to use his ninjutsu or his physical capabilities to their fullest, and not even water and tree walking, he was swiftly captured and thrown into a solitary confinement cell.

⁂ Three days later ⁂

"Just defeat Mui, and the seal on your chest will disappear."

At an unknown voice's instigation when he had been in solitary confinement, after coming out of the hole, before even getting the chance to have lunch, Naruto jumped at Mui, the leader of the prison.

"I heard that the Tenrou seal will disappear if I defeat you. I don't wanna attack someone unprovoked but if that's the only way, I have no other choice."

His face the epitome of indifference, Mui said blandly:

"Forget it. You cannot defeat me in your current state."

"Won't know it till I try it!" Naruto retorted undaunted and lunged at him, swinging his punch widely.

But Mui easily side-stepped his punch and smashed his foot into his stomach. Using the same bland tone from before, as if he had not just kicked someone's air out of their lungs, Mui asked:

"What is your village to you?"

When Naruto got up and lunged at him with another wild swing of his punch, Mui kicked him in the stomach once more, sending him flying.

"Have you ever killed someone whom you had no resentment for, just to protect your village?"

Struggling to catch his breath from the painful kicks, Naruto said:

"Are you saying we can't protect our villages without doing that?"

"That's right."

"Don't fuck with me!" Naruto screamed and tried to lunge at him again but a fiery heat suddenly pulsed in his torso and he collapsed on his hands and his knees before he could reach his enemy.

"Even if you didn't do it personally, someone else had to do it. If you've never stained your hands with the blood of innocents, you've lived a fortunate life. But your fortunate life is the result of other people dying and other shinobi from your village taking care of the dirty work instead of you."

Not receiving an answer from the boy who was curled up and coughing on the ground, Mui said:

"It hurts to even breathe, doesn't it? You must be thinking, this can't be happening! That you couldn't have been hurt that badly by a move like that. But when you fight, you will unconsciously draw on your chakra to enhance your strength and speed. And if your chakra as much as twitches, the Tenrou seal gets triggered and starts burning up your body."

As Naruto was sweating up a puddle from the pain of having his skin and his innards burned by the fire seal, Mui continued:

"Let me tell you something: no matter how much you've had to bear because of your village, they don't care at all. No matter how great you used to be, it amounts to nothing once you are no longer needed. Your struggle is pointless. You cannot escape from this prison. From the day it was founded, nobody has ever broken out of Hozuki Castle. Furthermore, even if you were to break out somehow, you no longer have a place in Konoha."

As the other prison guards grabbed Naruto from his arms and started dragging him away, Mui told him a few last words:

"You would do well to remember that it was your Hokage that had sent you here. You were discarded just like a broken tool that is no longer needed. You had been cast out."

The punishment for breaking the rules of the prison again in such a short time was a longer sentence in the hole - this time, Naruto was sentenced to five days in solitary confinement instead of three. Dull grey walls, a cold concrete floor and a square window even more narrow than his head were the only things in the cell.

'How could they do something like this to me!' Naruto thought and punched the wall with his fist in despair. 'After everything I did for the village! After how many times I risked my life for them! After how many times I saved them!'

It was less than a month ago that the god-like leader of the Akatsuki had attacked Konoha and literally erased it off the face of the earth, turning the strongest Hidden Village in the world into a massive crater. Nearly 80% of Konoha's civilians and more than half of the village's shinobi force had been massacred by Pain. However, not only that Naruto had put his life on the line to fight against such a fearsome enemy, but he had somehow even convinced Nagato Uzumaki to bring everyone back to life.

Never in Konohagakure no Sato's history had anyone done something as incredible as that for the village. Naruto had become the Hero of the Leaf. Everyone had finally acknowledged his hard work, strength, and character...

...Yet, there he was now, only a few weeks after being hailed as a hero, framed for a crime that he had never committed and thrown into a prison famous for holding the worst shinobi criminals on the continent. The injustice of it all made him boil with anger.

Not for the first time during this second stay in the hole, Mui's words resounded in his ears:

"Let me tell you something: no matter how much you've had to bear because of your village, they don't care at all."

"You were discarded just like a broken tool that is no longer needed."

He closed his eyes tightly and clenched his fists. Of all the people, Tsunade had been the last he had ever expected to do something like that to him. He had looked up at her as if she was family. Naruto calling her "baa-chan" was not simply to annoy her; to him, Tsunade had been almost like an auntie, or like a grandmother.

Laying down on the cold concrete floor, he turned on his other side and let out a shuddering breath. Five days in complete isolation and loneliness was not a short time for someone like him. Ever since he had become a shinobi, Naruto had hardly ever been completely alone. Even when he was not with his teammates or other friends from Konoha 11, in the worst-case scenario, he still had his shadow clones to keep him company. On some lonely days, as lame as it sounded, he would play card games with his clones or even football.

But now, he was completely alone. There were no teammates. No missions. No friends. No Ichiraku. Not even his shadow clones. There was nothing to distract him from his darker thoughts, nothing to take his mind away from his loneliness. There was nothing to stop him from thinking about the injustice he had been dealt at the hands of the village for which he had shed his blood and sweat numerous times.

"Even I can tell that hatred is spreading. I wanted to do something about it... ...but I don't know what. But I have faith that there will come a time when people can truly understand one another."

But as his deceased mentor's words came to the front of his mind, Naruto couldn't hold in his anger anymore.

"What understanding each other?! Understanding my ass! They threw me in prison without letting me defend myself! I didn't even have a trial! After all I've done for the village, they didn't even want to hear my side! After all that I've sacrificed for them! After all-" he trailed off and broke into a sob.

He couldn't remember when was the last time that he had cried.

"Damn it! Damn it all!" he shouted and punched the floor repeatedly with the side of his fist.

It was while he was crying that an explosion boomed from outside and the entire castle was rocked from its foundations. Greatly startled, Naruto jumped up to his feet and rushed to the tiny window in the back of his prison cell, trying to get a glimpse of what was going on.

The gloomy skies above Hozuki Castle were covered by an endless swarm of white butterflies and in the midst of it all, an angel-winged woman floated calmly, her black and red Akatsuki robe swaying softly in the wind. She was not shouting when she spoke but her calm voice was heard in every corner of the castle prison:

"I do not wish to cause unnecessary bloodshed. Give me Uzumaki Naruto and you will be spared. This is your final warning."

AN: I'm not an English native speaker and I don't work with beta readers either. I'm trying to write as cleanly as I can but there might be typos and/or weird expressions from a native's perspective. Hope you liked the chapter. Let me know if you're eager to read more. Until next time.