Sorry this came out after so long, but now that it has, rejoice! Or not. I have a reason though…which involves several long 350,000+ word fics that will remain unmentioned, and the magnificent new The Killers album. My favorite? SPACEMAN! If you're into alternative and that crap, this album's for you. Also, I have been held up by the scary depressing work of Leonard Cohen, namely Bird on the Wire. HEAVY shit. Anyway, I also rewrote this chap a total of FOUR times, due to dissatisfaction in my own writing. Well, here you go. Starts with a flashback to flesh out details.
There were no clouds on the Night of Blood, no formations of mobile cotton in the sky. A howl that shook the world shattered the calm, and pierced the stratosphere with its intensity. A loud shrill screech rent the air, and a miniature sun blotted out the horizon, while time and space slowed to a stand still.
Eyes melted from their sockets like obscene liquid candy from glimpsing the thing. It stood the color of diluted blood, a contemptuous zit upon the landscape. It was the Kyuubi no Kitsune.
The Yondaime stood atop his summon, a gargantuan toad, Gamabunta, and knew terror. He…would seal…that...into his son? His son, caul just removed, umbilical chord freshly cut, lay in his arms, a farm tool compared to the weapons around him. Not for-
(He came home that night utterly exhausted, his seemingly endless toils to develop a way to stop the beast [It's now ten miles away," The Sandaime's voice was grave, and his face was carved of wood. "I hope you know what that means. I, in my old age, am incapable. Find a way."] that was days away. He was greeted by the sight of a weeping Kushina.
"Look, I don't have a choice! The village is in danger. This is no time to be selfish!" A frustrated grief-saturated…weak cry tore itself from his throat.
"Do we still have some of that sake from your parent's house?" His voice was ever so small. Much too small for him. For Minato.
A slow nod and, "I'll go get it."
He was too tired t protest that she shouldn't be moving around much while pregnant. She emerged a minute later with her own cup and disappeared into the bedroom.
Quiet sobs could be heard, if one listened enough. Minato stood there for another ten minutes, and when the sobs had subsided into steady breathing, eased himself off of the couch. He went into the kitchen, and discovered his cup empty, never having been filled. 'Cute, real cute.' He thought dourly, but crumpled moments later. He didn't mean that.
He filled the cup to the brim, popped five aspirin into his mouth, and drank it down. 'Christ, I'm a terrible person.' He nearly broke down, but caught himself.
In the delivery room, his son had emerged. He had the baby in hand, and turned to leave, bile rising in his throat. He felt a wide-eyed stare on his back, and turned to see what truly began the Night of Blood.
Kushina stumbled towards him, blood flowing from her hospital gown, and splashing upon the floor in a sick display. "Why?" She began, the wide-eye stare remaining. "Why do this to our baby?" Her eyes grew bloodshot, and a terrified "WHY?!" rent the relative calm of the hospital like a hot knife through butter.
Frantic nurses rushed into the room, and Minato lost sight of his wife, his son's mother, and the woman who dared ask 'why?' in this crisis. She never saw the hot angry tears streaming down his face, never saw his sorrow, his grief, and mistook it as intent to harm her child. A mother can never disobey her instincts, and must protect her child, sometimes even from the father.
Minato strode out of the hospital, his wife's blood coating his cape, and sorrow covering his visage-)
Not for long.
Minato wiped the tears from his face harshly. Time to act. It was time to save his village and doom his son.
The Kyuubi was only a quarter mile off, easily visible, and unable to counterattack.
As Minato drew the seals upon his child's skin, eliciting giggles from the baby, he was struck by the beauty of his child. How serene; how innocent; how unsuspecting of anything that would wish it harm; utterly guileless; such a stark contrast from the large terror that personified the evils and misdeeds in the world his child was.
The beast was now a few hundred yards off, flashes and brilliant explosions danced across his visions like waking phantoms.
He began the hand-seals, the God of Death materializing behind him. A void of nothing wrapped its oily tentacles around him, making him real, and imprisoning him.
From the corner of his eye, Minato caught movement originating from the baby in his arms. The child, Naruto, had extended his hand, almost enough to reach the ends of the Death God's robe…And he touched it. Nothing happened. Minato sighed in relief, but saw that Naruto's hand had pulled away a chunk of black semi-matter that danced around his palm, mesmerizing the infant.
Minato felt the void again, this time in full force. He looked down, and saw the Death God's hand emerging from his chest, but felt no pain, only nothingness. A deep abyss where light was absorbed, and matter was meaningless.
The emergent arm stretched impossibly, where it found refuge in the Fox's chest. A tremendous pull was felt, and the beast's soul was ripped from its refuge of living energy.
The seals already inked on, Minato only needed to seal it in his son, the Shiki Fuujin working in conjunction with the Hakke no Fuuin Shiki, and the Shisou Fuuin.
But, something went wrong, terribly so. It started with a soft red glow emanating from the infant's stomach, rapidly spreading to envelop his whole body.
As the Yondaime slumped, using the last bit of his strength, he placed Naruto down, while he fell full down onto the toad's head.
He could only watch from his peripheral vision, as the red cloud grew, now over six feet tall. It dissipated slowly as if a wall of flowers blown away, revealing a hunched man.
Who is this?
With growing terror, the Yondaime realized he'd just given the beast his son.
Not for long.
The phrase echoed in his head, a nightmarish lullaby that would haunt his dreams forevermore.
The man whom Minato was recognizing in his mounting horror stood fully, a solid six feet, lean, broad shouldered, but completely nude. The Adonis looked back into his father's eyes, peering questioningly into his psyche, thoughts brushed away and laid bare. A look of comprehension dawned on the blonde's visage, and he stared regretfully upon his form. He had no childhood. He was born a man, a true Jinchuriki, the power of the human sacrifice.
Naruto wept as his eyes swept over his own body. He shot an accusatory glance filled with so much hurt and pain Minato couldn't help but flinch, mouthing,
How could you?
Minato couldn't stop himself from asking the same thing. He couldn't listen to his wife, never considered the consequences of his heroism. Now that he had, it was much too late. What was done was done, as evidenced by the drooling apparition behind him.
Naruto waved an angry hand at the God of Death, the black, mesmerizing energy from before coating his hand.
The Shinigami gazed intensely at the former child before it, and released the floodgates. The energy tore through everything in place, with the exception of Minato (rapidly fading) Naruto, and Gamabunta. Trees turned white, rocks into sand, and animals into their original elements. Naruto barely stood, the only reason being that he couldn't look weak in front of a God.
The apparition behind the Fourth reined in its dark energy and turned away, the petrified forest and wildlife remaining.
Naruto involuntarily shivered and looked upon Minato's pathetic form.
Glimpsing Naruto's expectant stare from his rapidly fading vision, Minato was struck flat-footed. He was not ready for this.
Don't even have a parting gift? Your own son?
The message was clear. Minato gestured for him to come closer, which Naruto obeyed, a questioning hurt look in his eyes.
Minato debated doing this, but decided that the pain was well worth it if it would help his son survive. Self-preservation ended at parent-hood.
Naruto wasn't close enough, and Minato gestured for him to come even closer. He did this, albeit reluctantly, as if fearing something else, not from his father, but the shadows surrounding them. He shouldn't have underestimated his father's strength, especially with him on the level he was.
The gloved hand came up fast, much faster then Naruto could react; augmented by the last of his chakra, the jutsu shiki was applied forcefully in the form of a hard slap. Minato's chakra burned through the Hiraishin seal paper, bonding it to skin and flesh in a most painful fashion.
Naruto yelped, and lashed out instinctively, his clawed; adult hands slashed through his father's throat.
Not for long.
Realizing through the blinding pain that he had done the unthinkable, Naruto screamed out an unspeakable howl filled with utter loathing and hate further fueled by the demon within him, making Naruto a beacon for the ever watchful Sandaime.
Naruto never noticed the Shinigami leaving with his father's soul. The first and only to reach him was the Sandaime, noticing the body of the Fourth with a regretful gaze and in turn noticing Naruto, initially puzzled by this nude man's strange appearance.
Naruto turned to face Sarutobi, exposing the seal to him for the briefest instant before it vanished. The Third's eyes widened impossibly, putting the pieces together in seconds. "Oh, Naruto."
"Stop," A sharp glare from Naruto silenced his thoughts and fueled his regret.
"I understand now. I am to be a weapon." A reproachful stare to Sarutobi informed the retired Kage where his train of thought was heading. "I am to revel in slaughter, curse my enemies, and protect my associates. I will have no friends, only contemporaries and passing acquaintances."
Naruto fully faced Sarutobi, showing the Kage something he wished to never see again. The whole left side of the blonde's face was dominated by a hiraishin seal, apparently melted onto the flesh. Sarutobi knew from a glance that if he were to cut off Naruto's face, upon regeneration, the seal pattern would remain.
Not for long.
Sarutobi, if but for his present company, would have wept. This man here had been a child five minutes prior; would have had at least some sense of childlike wonder; would have had innocence had it not been for his father.
His fucking father.
Not for long.
The Sandaime hardly noticed as the beleaguered summon disappeared beneath them and Naruto disappeared at an unreal speed.
The Sandaime truly cried that day on the Night of Blood, and resolved to make Naruto's life the best he could make it.
Naruto stood suddenly, shattering his reverie, the reason being a growing accumulation of…paper...in the air. Oh yes, it was Konan. He remembered. He wasn't allowed to forget.
The paper enveloped him, and caught fire an instant later. 'She's gotten better.'
After a few seconds, the sole female member of Akatsuki let the stream of fire die out, revealing a pile of gray sand, and the metal of Naruto's hitai-ate left.
Konan's head turned to the left, and she fixated on a rock to the exclusion of all else.
A soundless pop, and an instant later, Konan's reverie was broken by a round house kick to the temple, followed by a tornado kick which delivered seven hundred pounds of force to her jaw, making it a butterfly kick.
Konan stumbled away, stunned. The strike was akin to getting smacked with a sledgehammer. With Konan's jaw broken, and her dignity in shambles, Naruto did not pursue a final blow.
"What does he want?" There was an edge of steel in his voice.
Her jaw creaked painfully as she said, "What he always has."
"World domination? Psshht. Get real. I'm closer to it then he ever will be." His voice deepened, and his eyes bled into red. "Leave now."
Konan's body disassembled itself into tiny individual sheets of paper, which took the form of butterflies, and blew away.
Her voice carried on the wind. "He has found another way."
Naruto's face contorted into a scowl, trying to puzzle out the cryptic statement. 'Found another way?'
What she said could only be applied to Pain's world-domination obsession, which meant that somehow Pain had circumvented a way around not having all of the bijuu in his possession. He never would have the kyuubi; it was dead or at least not living anymore.
It were these thoughts that plagued Naruto the rest of the way home.
A/N: if you want to know what a tornado kick is...be resourceful and look it up on youtube.