The night was cold, still and eerie. Fitting really, there was nothing typical about this night.
The demon would get its due.
Many had already tried and failed. The fools.
What did they really expect? That the handpicked ANBU guards, even the ones who had lost loved one during the attack, would deign to disobey the Sandaime Hokage of Konoha.
She held no pity for those who got themselves caught and then executed.
She would succeed where they had failed, she would rid Konoha of its demon.
Haniza Shijiro was a usually docile woman; very kind, very charming and soft spoken. She had moved to Konoha with her grandfather after their lands had been ravaged in a conflict between Iwa and Suna.
She had become a ninja; trained by her grandfather she could proudly say she was one of the better ones.
One night, the Kyuubi no Yoko had attacked. It was the worst experience of her life. The sheer malevolence exuded by the creature brought many to tears, some even drowning in their own despair.
Its power was unfathomable. Her grandfather had said that there was no hope and she believed him, she had prepared herself for death.
Then the Yondaime came. He saved the day. He did the unthinkable, he had defeated the undefeatable. She had cried. First tears of joy, then tears of sadness as news spread that the Yondaime had sacrificed his own life.
He was a hero.
Then even worse news came.
The Sandaime made an announcement. The Kyuubi was still alive. Her hero's life had been taken in vain. It was heart breaking.
She had listened as the Sandaime explained the nature of the Yondaime's sacrifice, he would never see heaven nor hell, he would be forever trapped in death's stomach.
Truly, he was the greatest Hokage Konoha had ever had.
Haniza listened as the Sandaime spoke of the Yondaime's wish, that the vessel of the Kyuubi be seen as a hero. How could she deny her hero such a wish, after all, they could hardly blame the child for being chosen for such a task.
The majority of people did not feel the same way. The specifics of the Yondaime's sacrifice was hidden from the general populous, but it did nothing to curb the overwhelming outcry at the newly identified Uzumaki Naruto.
"How could you grandfather!? How could you say such a thing…?"
Unfortunately her grandfather would be one of those who wished to see the child dead before ill fortune found them again.
''What do you know of such things…'' his reply a deadly whisper. His entire countenance as he became angry reminding her that he was the one who thought her some of her deadlier skills.
He was adamant that the Kyuubi was just lying in wait.
Tricksters he said.
Kyuubi was no regular fox, it was a kitsune. All kitsune were tricksters.
Some had even claimed the baby had whiskers. Those rumours strengthened her grandfather's conviction. The boy had to be the demon in disguise. No doubt weakened by what the Yondaime had done. Now was the time to strike!
She pitied him.
There was nothing she could do. The stubborn old man would never change his mind about anything.
At least he was better than those who actually thought the boy just a prison, yet still wanted him dead. Those that would make a boy pay for the sins of the fox.
In the eyes of her grandfather there was no boy.
Haniza Shijiro was angry. She was angry at her grandfather for his incessant ranting about the demon mocking him and angry at Uzumaki Naruto for his incessant pranks and generally making a nuisance of himself.
The Sandaime had stressed that the boy was acting out for attention. He was regarded harshly by the majority of Konoha and respected by very few. It was partially his own fault as well; it was easier to respect someone less annoying after all.
Her grandfather though insisted it was just the true nature of the demon fox coming out, its love of mischief to be precise. It no longer had its powers to cause massive destruction so it was venting its hatred of Konoha in a different way.
The old man was incorrigible. He would often speak of things, treasonous things with his friends. He was one of the few that still felt strongly enough to actively try to kill the boy.
What could she do? She could never betray her grandfather, the man who gave her everything. So would she allow the Yondaime's faith to be misplaced? Could she allow Uzumaki Naruto to be killed?
She honestly didn't know.
One thing she was thankful for was that her grandfather wouldn't dear do any of this himself. He was a master manipulator; he'd get someone else to do it.
At least he wouldn't be the one being cut down by the ANBU.
As far as she was concerned anyone else stupid enough to try something against Uzumaki despite the number of times it failed deserved what they got.
Haniza Shijiro was disgusted.
Her grandfather had only gotten worse in his conviction that the 'Uzumaki demon' was a disaster waiting to happen.
He always got into shouting matches with the boy and chased him away from his stall.
Haniza found it cute. Her grandfather had been disgusted when she said that.
Kitsune were tricksters he said, actors of the best kind.
They would pretend to be human for long periods of time just to play cruel tricks on the unsuspecting. Only in this case, the Kyuubi was actually trapped in a human form.
He would recite folklore and drone on constantly about Uzumaki's whiskers and 'signs'.
Since her grandfather had been especially abusive to Uzumaki, his latest string of pranks was mostly aimed at their shop. It was becoming annoying. She could only live so long with the stench that now covered the house and the old man hollering about 'demon's revenge' and 'kill that fucking demon'.
What really, truly disgusted Haniza though was days later when her grandfather poisoned Uzumaki.
He had coated a small nail in poison and attached it to his cane. As Uzumaki came by to once more torment the 'crazy old man' as he called him, he struck him. Uzumaki had left with the same stupid smile on his face, used to much worse than being smacked with a cane, barely even feeling the small cut on his little arms.
Her grandfather then had the nerve to boast. Boast to her about what he'd done. She had never been so disgusted in her life. She had been half tempted to report him.
She only hoped that having a demon sealed inside of him would keep the poor boy alive. There was nothing she could do, she couldn't exactly tell him he'd been poisoned and she'd never turn her grandfather in. Never.
Haniza Shijiro wept.
She stood at the grave of her grandfather and wept.
The fool…. The poor old fool.
She had missed him, oh how she missed him.
She never doubted her loyalty to the leaf the way she did now. She longed to remove this now seemingly oppressive band from her head and just run, run and never come back.
How could they do this?
Her grandfather was a good man.
He had been misguided, perhaps a bit senile, but he didn't deserve to die.
Why did he do it? Why did this have to happen?
He lost his restraint a few weeks ago and wailed on that disrespectful little cretin…Uzumaki.
How she hated the boy… no… the demon. That demon.
The ANBU had come in and 'made an example' of her grandfather. How was that fair?
The little bastard just laughed and stuck his tongue out as her grandfather was carted off to wherever the ANBU deign to take thier prisoners.
Turned out to be interrogation.
He didn't need to be tortured. He made his feelings on the demon known. For his words he was deemed 'A danger to the interests of the leaf' and summarily executed.
The tears flowed heavier.
Executed. For that demon.
The boy didn't even look sorry.
Pretending he didn't know what happened.
Pretending he didn't know what he had caused. Like he hadn't taken her only family away from her.
Still running about playing pranks.
The little bastard.
Still laughing and smiling and playing… while her grandfather, the man who had given her everything…
They…they killed him. Gods above they actually killed him.
Uzumaki Naruto…no… The Kyuubi, would pay for this.
She touched down on the roof of his complex. The demon would die this night.
She had been planning this meticulously. The ANBU who guarded the boy on Wednesdays were the weakest.
They were a new team. It seemed as though with things heating up in Kumo the more experienced members could no longer be justifiably spared for 'demon guard duty'.
These guards were easily detected.
Being something of an expert in tracking, few could escape her notice. These, however, were a particularly bad bunch... A newbie squad to be sure.
While it meant little how well they hid in the grand scheme of things, it was a good indicator of ability to her.
It singled them out as a weak link, something a good ninja was only too glad to exploit given the opportunity.
She snuck past them as easily as she thought she'd be able to. She was sweating now, nervous.
She would have her revenge. But would it be worth it?
Doubts started to flood her mind. She was reminded of the Yondaime and his sacrifice. But then she remembered her grandfather, how unjustly he'd been killed under orders from the Sandaime - a man she could no longer respect nor follow.
She would die tonight.
She was sure she'd be killed, but she was fine with that. As long as the Demon dies first.
As long as the Demon dies first.
There lay the demon. Pretending to be asleep…
Pretending to be human.
It disgusted her. Up close and in his sleep he truly looked innocent.
The demon had a great disguise; Blonde locks, warm bright blue eyes and a broad smile.
In that moment she remembered why she found it so difficult to hate him.
He looked so innocent…so peaceful.
The Yondaime gave his life and asked that the boy be treated as a hero for his sacrifice.
She...She was about to undo his work.
Her grandfather had insisted that there was no boy, just a demon. The cleverest of demons.
No! She wouldn't be tricked.
She steeled herself and said a small Shinto pray. One for warding off evil.
She held her blade steady….
She was numb.
All her mind could register was horror. There was red, just red.
She couldn't move at the sight.
His eyes were supposed to be blue….not red...
Her fear paralysed her as the great beast gazed upon her.
His look completely out on place on the face of a young boy.
It spoke, she didn't know what to do. All of the rage she kept bottled up was completely eclipsed by fear.
The murder in those eyes…
The hatred that made hers look petulant in comparison.
''You are kin of that fool….The old man….'' It was not a question.
He was right…
Grandfather was right…
God help us all.
A/N: Boredom strikes again. One-shot.
As in really, truly a one-shot.
I haven't got the time to make a story of this.