Warning: Eventually, this will be a yaoi. There might be some violence, but everything is descriptive so that hardly matters.

Disclaimer: Digimon and Naruto do not belong to me. It's routine, I've said it, time to move on.

Polly: That was kinda short. Who did the Disclaimer this time?

Layla: Sorry, Polly. But I can't use you all the time. It just…wouldn't be right.

Polly: [sniffling] But I want you to use me.

Layla: Polly, I just can't!

Polly: But why?

Jenna: [holding up a camera] This is going to sound so dirty when I show the gang.

"Keh" – normal

Keh – thoughts or emphasis on something

Keh – premonitions

Keh – Akamaru talking


Chapter Seven: On The Move

Kouji had no idea where Aiko was right now. He'd left her behind when he came into the deepest part of the woods. It wasn't safe to leave a girl so young by herself but he had no choice. All the Labors so far had been him trying to stop some horrible creature. For all he knew, this deer was skewering people with its antlers.

Was that even possible? Kouji thought about it. It doesn't matter. I still gotta find it.

"Just a little farther," he promised himself. He walked until he came upon what appeared to be a cave. Since when did deer live in caves? He went in. "It is not a man-eating deer. Deer eat trees."

He could almost hear Kouichi telling him now. "That never stopped man-eating things before." Kouji smiled at the memory of his brother's pessimism. Normally, Zoey was the optimistic one.

A sound to his right grabbed Kouji's attention. Something golden glinted in the shadows. Kouji approached it cautiously. Putting his hand behind his back, he willed a dagger to form in his hand. He bent down to the golden thing and put the hilt of the knife out. It collided with something just as hard. The thing moved, stirring, and an eye opened. The eye was a glowing golden jewel, like the rest of its body. It was the deer. The deer–the hind, he corrected–bumped his hand with its nose. Kouji lowered his knife and put it on his belt.

"Well, aren't you pretty," Kouji murmured. He petted the hind's nose. "Why would I need to capture you? You're not hurting anyone, are you?"

He coaxed her mouth open and stuck two fingers in, rimming her teeth. They were dull. If this deer ate meat, it must have a hard ass time chewing it. He smiled.

"Not a carnivore, huh?" he mused. "Come with Kouji. We're taking you back to the village." The hind stood up and stepped forward. "Whoa." It was as tall as a house. "You're big." She chuffed as if agreeing. He led her away, patting her lightly and whispering to her.

When he was long gone, just a figure walking in the distance, he spoke.

"Is it alright to just let him walk off with your stag, sister?" the man asked. Golden blonde hair fell over his eye as he watched them leave and he turned to look at a face identical to his. Artemis smiled gently, her blue eyes seeming large underneath her dark hair.

"Let him go, Apollo," she said. "We must be going. I don't think Father knows about his latest offspring yet."


Finally, after leading him all over the bloody town, the little brat went home. Kouzo glared at the kid. He'd been tricked. Yeah, this Shinya kid probably knew Takuya but he wasn't going anywhere near him today. As soon as the wind had stopped, Shinya had hung up and hadn't said a word about Takuya since. It was like the little brat knew he was standing there waiting for it.

He's working against me. I know it, Kouzo thought bitterly.

"I'm home!" Shinya called as he kicked the door shut behind him. Kouzo wanted to kill the kid. He'd strangle him but that would mean touching him and he hated touching people.

"Welcome back," the woman he assumed was the brat's mother said. "Go wash up for dinner."

"Is Takuya back yet?" Shinya asked.

"Yeah. Go get him on your way down," his mom said and went back in the kitchen. Wait, what? Shinya ran upstairs, leaving Kouzo standing in front of the door. Kouzo followed him on silent feet. He couldn't stay hidden for too long. He could use illusions, almost like mirrors, bending the area around him to make it look like he wasn't standing there but it was draining.

Shinya pounded on a door. "Mom says dinner's ready!" Shinya ran down the hall to the bathroom just as the door swung open. Takuya came out, goggles and all. The bathroom door slammed shut.

"Brat," Takuya muttered. Kouzo dropped the illusion. "AAHH!"

"Sshh!" Kouzo hissed. He shoved him back into his room, glanced around and then followed him in. He kicked the door shut behind him.

"What are those boys doing up there?" their mom murmured downstairs.

"What are you doing here?" Takuya asked.

"Looking for you," Kouzo said. He collapsed on the bed. He'd been trailing Shinya all day and now his feet hurt. "Now I've been thinking."

"About what? Why you're in my house?" Takuya asked.

"No. About how to find my brothers," Kouzo rolled his eyes. "Are you gonna use that goggle head of yours or do I need to slow down?"

Takuya should have ignored the insult. "I don't have a goggle head!"

"Right, you just have goggles permanently attached to your head," Kouzo interjected.

"Do not!"

"Do, too." Kouzo pointed at him. "If you don't then take them off."

"Fine, as long as you take off your headband," Takuya argued.

"What? Why? I don't have to," Kouzo said defensively.

"Why do you need it? You're not a basketball player."

"Well, why do you wear goggles? You don't swim."

"How do you know I don't swim?" Takuya accused.

"How do you know I don't play basketball in the US or something?" Kouzo challenged. Takuya crossed his arms over his chest and Kouzo put his hands on his hips and glared. "Fine. I will if you will."

"I don't trust you. I'll take 'em off," Takuya said. Kouzo froze for a second. Takuya acted. He reached forward and pulled the headband over his head just as the boy flinched. Takuya was about to ask why when something caught his eye. He rubbed his thumb on Kouzo's forehead. Curiosity. Calm. "What's this?"

Kouzo's forehead was marked. A green trident, almost translucent on the golden hue of his skin, was in the middle of it. Not a trident, a symbol, a…

"It's a birthmark," Kouzo whispered. He stepped back.

"It looks like a tattoo," Takuya said.

"On my forehead?" Kouzo said with a raised eyebrow. Takuya shrugged. "You are an idiot."

"Hey!" Takuya said. He reached up and pulled his goggles off. "There, see! It can come off." Kouzo clapped mockingly.

"We're all very proud. Now, I came here for a reason, if you don't mind," Kouzo said. "And I want my headband back." He snatched it.

"Jeez. You didn't have to snatch," Takuya said. "What's it mean, anyway?"

Kouzo was silent for several moments. "It's a brand," he finally answered, eyes lowered. "The brand of Poseidon, god of the sea." He fisted the thing in his hand.

"I get it. You're in a cult," Takuya sighed. "Damn. It's okay, though. Honest. I don't mind."

"I'm not a part of a cult, you idiot. Poseidon is my father," Kouzo snapped. "Gods, are you really a moron or do you just act like one?"

"Nah, I just act like one," Takuya said. "Right. Son of Poseidon." It was obvious he didn't believe him. "So what's your plan for Kouji and Kouichi?"

Kouzo narrowed his eyes. He looked to the ceiling just as the first pure white snowflake fell to his hand. He let it lay there as Takuya's room began to fill with snow quicker than ever. Kouzo stood calmly, cradling the one snowflake and watching Takuya.

"Shit!" Takuya lunged for the blanket on his bed. Kouzo continued to sit on it. "What did you do?"

Kouzo reached up and brushed his fingertips to Takuya's face. "You're panicking."

"Ya think?"

Kouzo retracted his fingers and scoffed. "Calm down. It isn't real. It's an illusion." Takuya glanced around. The snow slowed to a stop. One minute the snow was up to his knees. "You don't feel cold, do?"

"No," he admitted. He blinked and the snow disappeared completely. He frowned and reached down to touch where he thought it had been. His hand met warm, dry air.

"Here's the plan," Kouzo said. "I have the power to find my brothers, you don't. You know my brothers, I don't. I want to work together." Takuya looked amazed for a second before nodding.

"Sure. I mean…" He let the sentence drop.

"Great. So, you and me are going to break into Olympus and then we're going to steal my brothers' threads and find out where they are," Kouzo said. "It isn't that hard. If I can touch them, I can read them. Then, we get out and then go find them." He paused. "They might be dead you know."

"They aren't dead," Takuya said confidently.

"They might be," Kouzo insisted. "Just be prepared for that." He stood up. "Your family is downstairs at the dinner table. They think you've been down there eating the whole time and you just went to the bathroom. I'd hurry down if I were you."

"Wait–"

Kouzo flashed out, appearing in his room in Thantos' shrine on Olympus. He wrapped his arms around him and shivered, his fingers reaching up to his forehead where Takuya had touched him. He rubbed at it. He could still feel Takuya's fingers. The touch had been so much different than he had expected.

The only touch he remembered were Yoru's motherly touch and Thantos' cruel touch, the touch that inflicted pain and unwanted pleasure. Takuya's was different.

"Kouzo, are you okay in there?" Yoru asked from outside the door. "I sensed you flash in."

Taking a deep breath, he put his headband back on. "I'm fine," he answered.


"This is it," Kiba said. "This is where Sasuke killed Itachi."

"This is where the Akatsuki said Sasuke killed Itachi Uchiha," Neji corrected.

"Whatever," Kiba muttered. His eyes tracked Neji as he walked through the debris that used to be a valley. He watched the wind play with Neji's unbound hair. His fingers twitched.

"It sure looks like a battle happened here," Neji commented. Kiba wasn't listening. His eyes has finished capturing every detail of his companion's porcelain face and his gaze went lower.

Akamaru barked. Focus! Kiba's gaze snapped to the dog at his side.

"Can you understand him when he barks?" Neji asked all of a sudden.

"Uh, yeah. I can–I can–yeah," Kiba finished lamely. He sighed. His brain was so scrambled right now. Constantly, he found himself watching the Hyuuga. Learning his every curve and detail. He even decided that Neji's eyes were not pale white or even tinted lavender, but tinted heliotrope–a shade of purple it had taken him a long time to remember the name of. He felt obsessed. He was obsessed.

I smell something. That way. Akamaru barked.

"He smells something. This way," Kiba translated. The two ninja followed Akamaru to entrance of a small cave. Kiba's nose twitched. "This place reeks of blood."

"Where? In the cave?" Neji asked.

"No. Out here. Someone definitely fought here," he said. He swallowed. "Someone died here."

"Can you tell for certain that Itachi Uchiha died out here?" Neji asked quietly. Kiba reluctantly shook his head. "Then, we go in." Without a second thought, Neji slipped into the cave and started down into the darkness. Kiba went after him immediately. He wouldn't let Neji get hurt. Ever. Akamaru followed last.

"That night, it is true that he slaughtered the entire Uchiha Clan and fled the village," Neji heard. They paused in the shadows, just shy of being seen by the people they eavesdropped on. He wasn't sure who this man was by his voice, but if he leaned over enough he could see them both.

"Then…" Sasuke's voice began.

"But he was ordered to do so by Konoha," the man continued. Neji froze.

What? Even Kiba, in the haze of his mind, understood what he said and was properly confused.

"And that is just the beginning of the truth about Itachi." The man watched Sasuke through slanted eyes. Neji leaned over to see Sasuke better, and frowned when he realized the Rogue Nin was tied up in the corner of the room.

Sasuke found his voice a moment later. "A mission….you said?"

Neji leaned over too far and held his breath when he felt himself far. Kiba's arm latched around his waist and yanked him backwards. Neji found himself pressed up against Kiba's body. They both stayed still in case they were heard.

Relieved he wasn't caught, Neji tried to move but Kiba didn't budge. He had taken hold of Neji with both hands and the Hyuuga's silent struggles were ignored. Neji craned his head to look at Kiba but the ninja had his head on Neji's shoulder, hiding his face.

So, Neji listened to the treacherous history of the Uchiha Clan while pressed up against the body of a ninja that didn't seem to be able to stop himself from nipping his neck.

"…All for his most beloved little brother," Madara continued. Neji now knew his name to be Madara Uchiha. "Because he had to fight you, and die in front of you."

The tiniest hint of teeth scraped Neji's neck. Neji elbowed Kiba in the ribs.

Akamaru growled softly, a warning that Kiba also ignored. Neji elbowed him again, trying to get his attention. He tried to pull away again and Kiba growled this time, tightening his hold on Neji almost painfully. He was sure he would bruise.

"Byakugan!" Neji jabbed two fingers at chakra points in Kiba's arms until the appendages fell useless at Kiba's side. When he whirled around, the dog ninja's eyes were glowing amber.

Uh-oh. Neji, run! Akamaru barked, but Neji couldn't understand him.

"Damn it. Akamaru, go back to the village," Neji whispered frantically. "Find an Inuzuka and tell them what happened. We'll catch up."

Are you sure? Akamaru whined softly. Neji banished him with a flick of his hand. Akamaru ran off the way they came. Neji turned to Kiba. Now how was he going to get this idiot out?

"Good thing that mutt is gone now," Madara said conversationally. Neji whirled around. Sasuke was gone. Madara stood at the bottom of the steps. Kiba's growled. Neji tried to reactivate Kiba's chakra points but he couldn't move. He could only stare into Madara's Mangekyou Sharingan. "You didn't actually think I would let you go, did you?"


Polly: That's a wrap!

Madara: I've only been here for two minutes.

Layla: No. I kinda skimmed through your conversation. If you're behind in Naruto and you wanna know what Madara said to Sasuke, go to the manga (chapter 398–chapter 402).

Jenna: Or you can go to Naruto Shippuden episodes 139–141.

Layla: I based it off the manga though.

Polly: YOSHU! Can I–[notices no one listening to her] Hey…

Jenna: [ignores her] Don't worry, Madara. You can be in the opening act next time.

Layla: Please read & review! I'm on a roll here. I'm already ahead on the next chapter.

Polly: Hey…you're ignoring me…

Takuya: Does anybody notice that guy keeps leaving before he tells me his name? [birds tweet] Anybody? Hello?