It began with a slight lul in the constant sounds of battle that had permeated the clearing for the last hour. There was a feeling in the moment, a touch of destiny. For a second, the future was poised on the edge of a blade, and then two powers collided. The result was a horrifying screeching wail, a cold chilling tone that seemed to etch into the very fabric of creation as the Rasengan and Chidori collided. The power unleashed by the two meeting was enough to cause the river that Naruto and Sasuke were standing on spin, whirling ever faster, much as though they were the center of a vortex in the water. Both knew that this was their first true fight. neither held back any longer as they could both feel that for one of them at least, it would be their last. Although he would never admit it, Naruto was afraid of the cursed seal placed on Sasuke. He had seen what the curse could allow a human to do. Kyuubi had wanted to challenge its power, angry that anyone would try to match the power previously wielded by only the Bijju themselves. Sasuke hadn't cared either way, pulling forth the power of the first level without thought. He could feel his body tiring however, and with an effort began the transformation into the second level of his cursed state.
Naruto, tired and sore from his earlier fights could to feel the power of the Chidori increase, slowly pushing him back as he tried to call upon more of his flagging chakra reserves. Within his mind the Kyuubi raged, trying to force his chakra into the boy's system. Naruto was firm however, this was to be his fight, and he had sworn to himself that he wouldn't touch the Bijju's power unless he had no other choice. Sadly it was approaching that time. Although he had tried to halt the backward trend, Naruto had simply reached his limit. It wasn't long before he was completely overwhelmed, as struggle as he might, he could feel his Rasengan weakening. Its outer shell of chakra crackling, as it came closer and closer to falling apart. When it finally broke, the explosion sent both combatants flying toward opposing canyon walls. Naruto's impact was swift and brutal and after a few seconds he fell forward leaving of a six inch imprint and a long series of cracks spiderwebbed across the canyon wall.
Sasuke on the other hand, was standing on the water watching his friend struggle, seemingly unharmed. As Naruto's vision began to darken, he realized that without help he was going to die. With a deep sigh of regret, he closed his eyes and focused inward. When he opened them again, he was in a tunnel. He recognized it as the one leading the seal that held the kyuubi. Walking down the eerily silent corridor he came upon a sight he would never forget.
The Kyuubi Snarled, chains led from the surrounding cage, ending in brightly shining Manacles that held it fast. Even as Naruto watched another detached it's self and formed a collar for the great beast. As naruto sucked in a surprised breath the Kyuubi's massive muzzle swung around, and dark evil eyes seemed to bore into Naruto's soul.
"Come at last have you? To late you insignificant Ant! I've already done what I intended to. If I must die then I will die in a manner befitting one of the greater Youma! I shall die fighting! Not caged like a drowning rat. Remember this Uzumaki, Stare deeply, Etch this memory into your puny and pathetic mind, for THIS is the death of GODLING!"
Naruto's eyes widened in shock as the Kyuubi began glowing with an unholy Brackish Red light. The chains that had bound him went taught for a moment before glowing with the same malevolent light and then melting to slag. Freed the Kyuubi walked toward the bars that separated him from his Warden. Glaring balefully at a now terrified Naruto he stepped up to them and then, Passed straight through them, burning the seal to ash in the process. Naruto, though shocked, prepared to defend himself, and the Kyuubi laughed as the young human fell into a rather sloppy version of basic TaiJutsu.
Closing his massive eyes to half lidded, Kyuubi considered the amount of power flowing though him and how long he had left.
Just enough time.
With a cruel smirk The Kyuubi's massive body morphed down, taking the form of a human similar in build to Naruto.
"Step aside worm, lest I leave you for the crows."
Snarling Naruto spat out a single word
With that Naruto charged, coming in with all the speed he could muster he attempted a kick to the Kyuubi's head. The fox however dodged, and Naruto followed it up with a leg sweep. Contemptuously Kyuubi took half a step back. Undeterred Naruto came at him with fists, knees, and elbows. Kyuubi dodged or blocked everything Naruto threw at him with growing impatience and obvious boredom. Panting Naruto fell back, and lazily Kyuubi raised an eyebrow.
"Is that it?"
The taunting snapped something in Naruto's mind, without thinking about the consequences, without considering his fatigue, Naruto flashed though hand symbols and screamed
"Katon: GRAND FIREBALL"
Kyuubi's eyes widened dramatically and he stumbled half a step back as the fireball enveloped him. Naruto's satisfaction was nearly palpable as he listened to the great beasts cries of pain and screams for mercy from the center of the inferno. Said satisfaction was rather short lived however, because as the flames cleared Naruto could see the Kyuubi reclining on the floor, completely unharmed. Locking eyes with him The Kyuubi taunted
"Oh no! Not fire! It burns! Oh how it burns... Oh wait. That's right. It involves chakra, something I have an unlimited supply of and can use to heal myself. Oh deary me, whatever shall I do."
Naruto glowered as the Kyuubi stood up and dusted himself off.
"If you're quite done."
Yelling his defiance Naruto charged yet again. The Kyuubi however was fed up with him, and as Naruto closed in to attack, the Demon reached out and with casual ease grabbed the boy around the throat and lifted him into the air.
"Pathetic. It always amazes me that your race manages to walk and breathe at the same time. Sadly for you however, My time is growing short. So, let's you and I take a quick Jaunt to the outside world shall we."
There was a moment of wavering, nauseating, distortion, and then Naruto found himself looking out of his own eyes. Watching as Sasuke walked across the surface of the lake toward him, effortlessly charging a Chidori as he did so.
"This is the end then Naruto. Over the past few months I have allowed you to grow close. Closer in fact than I had really intended to, but I suppose that it's unavoidable. You see, to unlock the full potential of these eyes I need to kill my best friend, and as the only acquaintance that I can stand for more than 10 minutes at a time, you have the dubious honor of filling that requirement. Do I regret what I'm about to do? Somewhat. Is it going to stop me?"
Naruto widened his eyes in horror at the cruel smirk that crossed Sasuke's lips a moment before he answered himself.
"No chance in hell."
Naruto could only watch in horror as the shining point of energy descended toward him, closing his eyes, he finally despaired. He knew what was coming, and at last he gave up. Sadly for him, this was just what the Kyuubi had been waiting for. The fox could of course have stepped in at any time, but he wanted to feel Naruto's emotions, To savor the boy's feeling of complete helplessness as his best friend killed him, to taste the sweet pain of the human's last moments.
Distantly the Kyuubi felt the attack enter the boy's body. Felt it burning through vital organs, spreading it's damage though the whole body. Felt the boy's spirit fading. Then he made a vital error. He didn't wait for it to disappear completely before he took control of the body. Smirking, the Kyuubi wrapped his new body in his own malevolent chakra, unintentionally accelerating the rate of healing to thousands of times what it should have been capable of.
Opening eyes that were now stained blood red the Kyuubi took Sasuke's hand, the one that was currently sticking out the back of Naruto's chest, and calmly snapped it like a twig before pulling out.
"What the hell! It's like during your fight with Neji! What is this chakra! How did you get so much power?" Sasuke shouted at Naruto.
The Kyuubi smirked, twisting Naruto's face into a dark mockery of it's self.
"It's simple fool. He was a Jinchikurri. When he found himself in a battle he couldn't win I'd simply push a little of my own greatness into this pathetically weak body and let him do what he wanted with it."
Sasuke's eye's widened in shock at the deep voice suddenly echoing out of naruto's mouth. Trembling he took a step backward, and promptly fell on his ass into the stream. Coughing and sputtering he scrambled back to the surface, a wave of his own corrupted chakra snapping his arm back into place and roughly healing it.
"Wh... Who are you!"
Kyuubi smirked again, not answering as he advanced on the now terrified Uchiha. The next few minutes were a cacophony of yelled techniques and pained screams as the Kyuubi proceeded to shred the human, subconsciously altering the boy he was inhabiting to better suit his own needs. When he was done, Naruto's body was hosting nine tails, so dark a red as to be nearly black, the red eyes were now slit, and the body had grown a second set of ears on top as the kyuubi had decided it was easier to grow new one's than it was to fix the old. Sasuke too looked substantially different, of course that could have been the complete lack of limbs, or the fact that one of his eyes had been torn out, and his face badly mauled by the claws that now tipped Naruto's hands.
Kyuubi smirked, much as his host body, the Uchiha's screams had been music to it's ears. Straightening the human's back, the Kyuubi allowed a smile to play across it's stolen face. Behind him the Uchiha's breathing was growing more and more labored, turning the Kyuubi sauntered over to whisper in Sasuke's remaining usable ear.
"Tell the Death God that the Kyuubi sends his regards"
Sasuke's remaining eye widened, and a shudder passed through his body as he spent his last breath. Pleased Kyuubi nodded to himself and began to straighten again when he heard a Dark voice behind him.
"Why Don't you tell me yourself."
Trying to Dodge, Kyuubi knew it was a futile attempt, he could already feel the power being drained out of him. Turning to face his end, Kyuubi was shocked at what he saw. Instead of the death God being the one draining his power, it was an echo of Naruto, a steadily solidifying spirit Pulling on his power even as the angry young man stalked forward. Shocked, Kyuubi didn't move even as the specter stood directly in front of him.
With that Naruto Reared back and punched his body in the face, knocking what remained of the Kyuubi's spirit out the back of his head. Kyuubi, shocked, shifted to a fully fox body in midair and landed roughly on the ground, not noticing that the body he had been inhabiting had completed the transformation with him. Naruto on the other had was having problems. When he had punched the Kyuubi, his hand had entered his old physical flesh, and now he couldn't seem to remove it.
The death god, looking vaguely amused at the boy trying to tug himself free decided that in the long run it would only cause problems to try and fix this. With a shrug, he reached forward and shoved Naruto's specter in the back, Hard. He had just enough time to register shock in the boy's eyes before the spirit was pulled completely into the body. Smirking to himself the death god turned to where he had left Kyuubi laying stunned on the ground, only to find that in his moment of distraction the fox had decided to slip away. Growling to it's self the death god gave chase, leaving an unconscious Naruto trapped in the body of a two tailed fox.
Naruto watched apathetically as his body died, The Kyuubi had ejected him a moment ago, and the rather glum spirit was now watching as the fox possessed it, and with slight surprise as the wounds began to heal. He watched in annoyance as the fox began altering it to suit his own needs, and with vindication as his former body literally eviscerated his former friend. Cocking his head to one side he wondered what he was supposed to do now.
Now? Now we finish the job.
Naruto calmly turned around, he had been more than half expecting the being behind him, and so didn't start in the slightest at the black visage of death.
And what do you want me to do?
What Minato intended. Steal his chakra, and then move on.
Unsure exactly how to go about doing so Naruto walked over to where his body was admiring the rapidly expiring Uchiha. Cocking his head to one side he did the first thing that came to mind, he grabbed a tail and pulled. He was more than a little shocked at how easily the chakra started flowing, and so he grabbed another tail, and then a third. At this point he could feel his spirit solidifying. He was contemplating grabbing another tail when he was startled by the death god reaching past him to collect the soul of a glowering Sasuke.
"Bastard" He said on reflex
Sasuke smiled, a very sad smile, but a smile none-the-less
Sasuke was nearly to the death god when he spoke again.
"Give him hell for me... Naruto"
Naruto smiled and nodded. Turning back to the stunned Kyuubi, who could apparently see both himself and the deity beside him, he began to stalk forward till he was face to face with his old nemisis. Still feeling the power he was pulling from the old demon, he stared deep into shocked eyes for a second.
"Good Bye Kyuubi"
With that he reared back and letting go with a straight arm punch to the nose. He smiled in satisfaction at the yelp the Kyuubi emitted as he was forcefully ejected from the body. The smile turned to a confused frown as his hand refused to break contact with said body, the body it's self had morphed further, and was now fully fox, but even as the puzzled Naruto looked, he could see a faint outline of the form kyuubi had used during his slaughter of Sasuke, as well as a completely human outline just behind that. Naruto was just turning to ask the death God what to do now when he felt a strong push to his back. He had just enough time to turn stunned eyes to the Death god before he was pulled completely into the fox's Body, and then, everything went black
In Konoha, Sakura sat at the western gate, staring out in the direction she had last seen Naruto and Sasuke-kun Head. She worried about what was happening, as it was now late afternoon. They had left in the morning. That was when she sensed an immense chakra. She was taken aback for a moment before she recalled the last time she had felt chakra emitted on such a large scale
But there was so much chakra, To much really, and it felt oddly heavy.
"Oh my god, he must have done what lee did during his fight with Gaara. He must have opened the celestial gates."
stunned, her mouth dropped open for a moment before she grumbled. Leaning back she stared at the obvious glow with narrowed eyes.
He had better not have hurt my Sasuke-kun
- Chapter Break-
As the final Battle commenced, and Sakura sat staring ever westward, every adult in Konoha had begun to quietly Panic. The Chakra was far to intense, too malovant, and they knew what it meant... the seal was broken, the power of the kyuubi had been unleashed yet again. Moving quickly they began to gather belongings and pack bags. They wern't fleeing just yet, but when the Order came, they fully intended to be ready to run
Studying the glow on the horizon, Tsunade could feel a migraine coming on.
I swear to god if that that thrice cursed necklace has claimed another of my precious people I'm going to grind it into powder, heirloom or not.
None of this showed on her face however as she turned to the assembled ANBU, Jounin, and Family Heads.
"Obviously something has gone wrong with the retrieval. Kakashi, Do you know what's been going on?"
Kakashi bowed his head in shame.
"Yes Tsunade-Sama. I failed and Sasuke turned traitor. I presume that that others were sent to retrieve him as some form of test to be evaluated later for their admittance to chuunin?"
Tsunade's eyes were cold, but she nodded anyway.
"Correct. You understand then why you will NOT be joining the retrieval party."
Kakashi's head sunk lower.
"Good. Anko, Take a half dozen ANBU and go scout what just occurred. Collect anything that has survived if at all possible. If you encounter... 'IT'... Send back warning as quickly as possible."
Anko nodded and began to rise, only to be stopped by the Hokage's firm grip on her upper arm.
"Be certain of your targets before you engage, if 'IT' is loose but not headed our way you let it go, do I make myself clear."
Swallowing heavily Anko nodded. With a quick glance at the ANBU squad, she turned and raced westward. Praying as she did so that she wouldn't encounter anything but comrades.
Shikamaru, Kiba, Lee, and the sand trio stood on the canyon wall looking down at the devastation below. The two great monoliths that had once that had once decorated the opposing canyon walls were now nothing but rubble blocking the flow of the river that had run though the canyon. The canyon walls were littered with cracks and craters, and down below, they could make out two shapes. Gently a stoic Gaara lowered them down into the canyon on his sand. The first thing the six of them saw was Sasuke's mutilated body. The bled out wounds and trails of blood immediately catching their eye. The Konoha gennin gagged, but the Sand sibilings, long used to Gaara's carnage simply ignored it. They were more focused on the other body.
A fox with two tails lay exhausted and battered a mere thirty feet from the Uchiha's remains. Temari was the first to react, walking over she prodded it with the toe of her shoe earning a whimper from the beast. Turning back to her siblings she raised an eyebrow. Kankuro shrugged at the unasked question in her eyes. Gaara was silent as usual. After a moment She also shrugged. Turning back she drew a Kunai and prepared to end it's life only to find her arm encased in sand a moment later. Freezing she turned to her youngest brother, terrified that he was about to crush her. Gaara however ignored her, moving instead to the fox to study it with curious eyes.
His study was interrupted however by one of the loudmouth Konoha gennin.
"What is that? And where is Naruto?" Kiba asked.
Gaara frowned, but before he could reply Shikamaru spoke up. "What ever it is, it apparently had enough power do a lot of this damage. As for Naruto... I honestly don't know. His body could have been vaporized by that explosion of chakra. He could be wounded and headed back to Konoha, He could be buried under any amount of rubble... There's nothing we can do right now. Kiba, Lee..."
He paused for a moment to choke back a little bile before continuing
"Help me collect Sasukes' body. Gaara, would you kindly carry both the remains and that things body back to Konoha for us?"
Gaara, ever impassive, didn't wait for the other gennin, and instead scooped up the various body parts as well as a very familiar feeling fox and began the long walk back to Konoha.