I am alive and doing fine, things could be better. I just had the urge to finish this chapter, it has been a bit of a slog to write and I am sorry if this comes across in my writing too. I am also about halfway through the next chapter which will be a lot shorter than this one.

Thank you for reading this monstrosity and bearing with me through all my extended breaks. Not long left until the end.

PS Sorry for the story getting dark, just preparing you guys. Remember no one is safe.

Thank you for the all the follow, favourites, alerts, and reviews.

Naruto = flash back

'Naruto' is thoughts/thinking

"Naruto" signing/sign language

"Naruto" speaking.

"Naruto" Demon

"Naruto" is demon enhanced.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto just some DVDs and games.

Chapter 53 – Which one is the monster?

Sasuke turned, smirk evident on his face, the curse mark spreading over the left side of his face, his eye turning dark with a yellow pupil.

"Your turn?" he tilted his head with a crazed look in his eye.

Naruto remembered the scars he had inflicted on Sakura. He realised that this Sasuke stood before him was unhinged, he was not the same version that had joined team seven, this was the version of Sasuke that had let the bitterness and thirst for power twist his mind. He had helped shape this person, helped to create this thirst for power, if he had not held back, if he had told someone about how he was being handicapped would this still have happened? If he had made more of an effort with team seven rather than transferring to his team, would this have happened?

"I hoped it would be you they sent after me. You know I left a message for Kakashi. He lied to me. He told me that everyone he ever cared for was already dead. But you still live." Sasuke's eyes narrowed.

Naruto's eyes widened. Kakashi was not really a part of Naruto's life, they had been making progress yes, but Sasuke was Kakashi's favourite, why else would he have taught him the Chidori?

"We came to bring you back, Choji, Neji, Kiba, Shikamaru, Lee. They have risked their lives for you, to bring you back to the leaf, but you have no intension of going, back do you? You generally think that killing me will give you answers, give you the power that you seek? Orochimaru is using you for your body. That mark on your shoulder, it is just a way for him to control you. You're a member of the leaf or does that mean nothing to you?" Naruto shouted.

"No," Sasuke snarled as he launched himself at Naruto, his fist outstretched into a punch.

Naruto felt the punch against his cheek as it sent him flying into the river. He spun in the air turning his falling body into a crouch as he landed on the water.

"Kukuku," Sasuke laughed. "Our fight was interrupted. This time I'll prove to Kakashi that I'm the better one."

"That fight never should have happened." Naruto spat blood from his mouth.

"Look at this power," Sasuke ignored him. "So, this is the power Orochimaru was talking about, the power is synchronizing with my body."

Naruto looked at the boy stood before him, that seal had granted Sasuke more strength and speed, that was always Naruto's problem he was not fast enough. He looked at Sasuke as he laughed in the same creepy manner as Orochimaru, it sent a shiver down his spine.

"Let's finish our fight!" he laughed running towards Naruto.

Naruto managed to dodge the fist this time but was struck with a knee that hit him in the stomach, he was winded and tried to move away from the spinning kick that knocked him over the waterfall. He fell backwards, his eyes turned to steel blue. He grabbed a kunai, jamming it into the side of the statue slowing his descent. He spun around the kunai and used the momentum to launch back up, he kicked out at Sasuke his foot connecting hard with the side of his face. He landed on the two fingers of Hashimara watching as Sasuke made a dent in the face of Mandara.

"Finally going to start fighting back!" Sasuke laughed a trail of blood spilling from his mouth.

Naruto shifted his stance, as Sasuke pushed himself up and ran at him. In order to dodge the incoming punch Naruto would have to throw himself off the statue and allow gravity to take him.

"This isn't what Itachi would have wanted," Naruto spoke as he pushed back dodging the fist.

"What would you know of what he wanted?" Sasuke raged, the curse mark climbing back up across his face.

"I know Itachi was the reason you push yourself so hard. That he said something to you that night." He dodged another blow. "That you've taken what he said out of context. You can't gain power alone. It will destroy you." Naruto grabbed Sasuke's arm and spun throwing Sasuke hurtling towards the water. "Don't let that darkness win."

Naruto landed on the water as Sasuke plunged below the surface. He danced back as Sasuke surged upwards his sharigan wheeling. Naruto continued to push and dodge backwards, he ducked low, spun on his knees and kicked Sasuke away, he darted after the boy appearing where he was about to land and punched him sending him back in the opposite direction. He darted after him again as Sasuke landed and pushed up onto his hands, springing forwards and landing a hard hit to Naruto's chin. Naruto felt the impact, and found himself flying backwards, he rolled across the water sending a spray flying as he landed. He felt the blood dripping from his mouth as he gazed back at Sasuke.

"Nothing you say will stop me from killing you." Sasuke snarled. "Itachi and Kakashi both preferred you over me. Soon you won't exist and they will know what it is I feel." He smirked suddenly the curse mark receding. "Do you think that idiot you call a brother will mourn you, will he seek revenge? Do you think he'd cry, begging me to kill him?" Sasuke chuckled in a laugh echoing Orochimaru's.

"You leave Konohamaru out of this!" Naruto growled.

He pushed himself forwards, as Sasuke shot forwards, they met, each catching the other's fist. Naruto's clone appeared out from his back and punched Sasuke away. Sasuke snarled pushing back off the cliffside and twisting his body kicking out at both the clone and Naruto. He watched Naruto land with cat like grace. "There's nobody to save you now." He smirked hands running through seals.

Naruto felt the air get denser around Sasuke as well as the crackling sound and the eerie blue glow as lightening was gathered into his hand. Naruto pulled his hand back pushing and pulling his chakra into a swirling mass, his hand glowing blue. He pushed chakra into his feet and shot forwards like a bullet, as Sasuke ran down the cliffside the chirping sound got louder as they approached each other.

The explosion as the two techniques met sent a tidal wave of water across the lake, both boys were hurled backwards. Sasuke was sent towards the waterfall; five smaller ripples springing out from the large ripple that was where their attacks met. Naruto was six ripples away, sinking below the surface. Both drifted back up Sasuke emerging first. He stared in anger at the distance where Naruto floated up lying on his back, a sad look on his face.

Naruto pushed himself to his feet using his hand to help him up. His body tingled slightly. He jumped up into the air using chakra to give him extra height as he arched over the fire jutsu Sasuke sent his way. He turned his head unable to change his momentum as Sasuke with sharigan spinning and curse mark spreading appeared next to him. He was kicked aside like trash, he dived into the water softening the blow. As he resurfaced a shadow fell down towards him, Sasuke was aiming an overhead kick at his head. He rolled forwards landing on his feet, and turned into the enhanced punch aiming for his stomach. He tried not to stagger and was met with another enhanced punch to his head.

He felt the world shake and start to spin. He felt like he'd been hit over the head with the desk Lady Tsunade liked to throw at people. Slowly he was lifted off his feet as he tried to get his bearings back. He heard the tell tale chirping and felt the air get denser around them. He felt sluggish. And hot suddenly. He felt the ripple of chakra running beneath his veins. His teeth elongating, his cheeks suddenly feeling tight and stretched. His eye sight brightened and became wider. His senses expanded. Finally, the chakra enveloped him like a cloak. Even as the sound of birds became deafening, he felt the rage and guilt pouring into his mind.

(Line – the Hokage's office)

Tsunade sat behind her desk, her face resting in her hands as she stared out the window. She turned her head back in the direction of the door as Kakashi entered. He paused mid step, her ANBU guards weren't in the room. He sauntered over pausing in front of her desk.

"There's a rumor going around." Kakashi started.

"Sit down Kakashi." Tsunade cut him off. "I'm meant to be giving you this mission but somethings happened while you were gone." She pointed to the mission slip sat on her desk.

"Doesn't have anything to do with this rumor does it?" Kakashi forced a laugh.

His eyes travelled to Nami the cat curled in the window, tail hanging down and flicking slightly.

"Kakashi, Sasuke Uchiha left the village, he attacked several civilian children and Sakura when she attempted to stop him. I sent a team of five, I sent, Shikamaru, Neji, Kiba, Choji and Naruto after him. He left this message for you. She opened the draw and pulled out a small Narutomaki with a torn piece of scroll, "one left", he wanted me to send Naruto after him, something about a score to settle." Kakashi reached out his hand shaking slightly as he took the small charm.

"I had no choice in the matter, there was no one else I could have sent." She turned looking out the window. "Bring him back Kakashi. Bring Naruto home." She didn't have to turn round to know he had gone.

Kakashi jumped across rooftops racing to get out of the village, he landed just outside of the gates and bit his thumb, racing through hand signs he slammed his hands down summoning his hounds.

"First go off in all directions until you get Naruto's scent. When you get the scent, call out. Then keep going. Right Scatter!" He sighed, this was all his fault.

A howl sounded and he jumped after the sound. He had to find them. He had to find Naruto.

(Line – the valley at the end.)

Naruto felt the pain searing as he tried to breathe. He had managed to move at the last second meaning that Sasuke's Chidori had pierced his right lung rather than his heart. He let out a small cry as Sasuke ripped his arm back out of the hole in his body.

"You cannot use your right arm now. I can hear how difficult it is for you to breath. You cannot make seals or use that jutsu."

He felt himself get lifted higher. The pain was immense, but the red chakra had taken over. His left hand came up and gripped Sasuke's wrist, he squeezed and felt the bones cracking underneath his fingers. He smelt the singe of burning skin as Sasuke wrenched his hand free, falling back a few steps away. Naruto felt the pain receding as the feeling of rage and despair overwhelmed him and he felt the red chakra taking over. He felt the sear of his skin healing over the wound, internal damage was always slower to heal. He felt the guttural growl in his throat.

"You're coming back to the village to face the consequences of your actions."

He could sense the fear, coming from Sasuke, before he could only make out a deep seated hatred, that had steadily been building, but now in this moment, as he shot forwards his nails like claws swinging forwards to claw at Sasuke all he could sense was fear.

He swung forwards, pivoting he landed a kick to the dark haired boy who dared to call him a monster. He wasn't a monster. He landed another blow on Sasuke. He grabbed him by the collar and hit him again, and again before slamming him down on the ground. He didn't feel the heat as Sasuke unleashed a great fireball technique on him. He felt his skin peel off and regrow under the stress of the intense flames. He crashed down on Sasuke pushing all the air from his lungs and continued to rain hits against him using one arm.

He spun them around as they sunk down in the water. He didn't give Sasuke a chance to attempt to draw a breath. Instead he threw Sasuke out of the water where he landed in a crater in the cliffside, which deepened when Naruto landed on top of him, his arm pressing against Sasuke's windpipe cutting off more circulation.

"Kukuku," Sasuke laughed. "So, this is the monster Orochimaru mentioned. Is this your true form?" Naruto reeled back. Allowing Sasuke to take in a gup of air.

"They felt sorry you. Someone like you without family or siblings, you couldn't understand what it is to lose everything, because you had nothing to begin with!" Sasuke kicked Naruto away. "We suffer because of our bonds. You don't know how it feels to lose them. They didn't really love you!" he breathed, watching the uncertainty in Naruto's eyes.

"You're wrong. My clan was wiped out in the war, my parents were killed. My dad died for the village, my mum... illness took her from us. I lost my first family, but I gained a second one, and we're little and broken now. Konohamaru, Uncle Asuma and I. But, we're together. Not to mention Turtle and Iruka sensei too. Family isn't just about blood, it's who we choose, and that's the thing with being a member of the leaf. We fight for each other and our families. Being hokage means looking after the village not because you're the strongest but because the village is your family. We are the choices we make, I choose to see you as a member of the leaf village, someone who is an equal, someone worth fighting for. That's why I'm here. That's why I'm wearing this headband, why I continue to wear this headband even after all the tragedies, to show the world I am stronger." Naruto felt the fox's cloak weakening as he spoke with more conviction.

Sasuke tilted his head, pulling out the leaf head band from his pocket and using a kunai to score through the leaf symbol. His eyes swirled a little faster as the final tomoe of his sharigan sprung to life. His smile twisted as he threw his headband aside.

"Let's see just how strong you are then."

(line – dashing through the trees)

Kakashi was following his hounds jumping from branch to branch when a glint on the forest floor caught his eye. He turned mid leap and bounced down to the floor. It was Naruto's tonto, the blue gleam reflecting off the sun. He reached for it seeing the Narutomaki hanging from the handle his hand clenched tightly as he pulled it from the ground and stowed it into his pouch. He glanced back at the trees seeing the webbing glistening in the sun. He had the odd feeling that Naruto had dropped this deliberately, but why? He jumped back up into the trees and continued running.

(Line -Valley at the end.)

Something was wrong, suddenly Sasuke seemed that much faster, like he could read his movements. Naruto's eyes connected with Sasuke's; the third tomoe had appeared in his eyes at last. This meant that Sasuke was reading Naruto's movements as though he was telegraphing all his moves. And with Sasuke's enhanced strength from the curse mark, the hits were beginning to hurt especially when they hit the right side of his body.

Naruto blinked. When did everything go black? No, he could hear it, the voice at the back of his mind. Kurama.

"It's not your fault." Kurama's voice rumbled. "You can't save everyone."

"I need to try!" Naruto huffed.

Narutos eyes snapped open. Irises red, pupils in slits, red chakra draped over him in the shape of a one tailed fox, bubbling and boiling around him. His teeth elongated along with his nails. His senses heightened. He dropped to all fours, his chakra tail swishing behind him. Naruto again felt the overwhelming anger and despair. It was all-consuming.

Naruto lunged forwards, dodging behind Sasuke, causing a surprised look to appear on his face. Naruto swiped a clawed hand towards Sasuke, who managed to dodge but the chakra followed him like it had a mind of its own. Sasuke jumped back creating as much space as he could. He flipped backwards, running through hand signs, and taking a deep breath sending another giant fireball at Naruto, who hunkered down and took the hit. The smoke cleared to show Naruto staring angrily at Sasuke, he raised his good arm up above him and slammed it forwards as though he was reaching for Sasuke. The chakra shot out towards Sasuke, like a giant claw of chakra. It slammed him backwards into the cliffside.

The curse mark started to spread across Sasuke's body, as a chakra arm sprung forwards and grabbed him. He no longer felt his skin burning every time the red chakra touched him. He was yanked back towards Naruto. He saw the fist coming towards him and there was nothing he could do about it. He flew back again from the impact. But there was no pain. He began to laugh, emulating Orochimaru. He felt nothing but power. He stood, the curse mark spreading over his body. His hair began to change colour, turning light grey. His skin turned a darker grey with a four-pronged star shape spreading out from the centre of his nose. The bottom point ended at the tip of his nose while the topmost point reached all the way up past where his head band would have sat. The two side points ran underneath his eyes. He smirked this is what real power felt like.

"Using your monster to give you strength is the cowards way out." Sasuke smirked, he knew his words could rile Naruto up. "Do you really think anyone would love you after seeing you like this? You are nothing but an unlovable monster! You are weak. There is not a scratch on me. That foolish old man made a mistake. You will never amount to anything, that village will never let you. You are not good enough to wear that vest. Not that it's done you much good." He smirked seeing the hole in the vest. "In the end, you are nothing but a burden to that village!" he watched the words start to sink in. The anger in Naruto's demeanour shifting to dismay. "That idiot that calls you brother is better off without you. He does not need someone like you around him. He blames you for the death of the third. Kakashi blames you for the death of his precious sensei. If it were not for you, he would be alive. My clan would still be here. It is all your fault! All because of you. Monster!" he spat.

"Keep your mouth shut!" Naruto growled. "You don't know what you're talking about." He launched himself forwards clawed arm extended.

He did not expect to meet an enormous webbed hand like wing which had wrapped around Sasuke to stop the attack. The wing unfurled and sent Naruto back as it swung back to its position behind Sasuke. He watched as a second wing bulged out from Sasuke's shoulder blade, the same webbed hand like wing bursting through his shirt to extend behind Sasuke.

Naruto's eyes widened. 'And he called me a monster,' was a brief flickering thought that swirled in his mind. Sasuke's words had started to swirl and mix with his own self-doubts. He bit his lip drawing blood from his elongated fangs.

"How ironic that we fight here." Sasuke rose to his feet. "The same place where my ancestor fought the hokage. Only one of them walked away from that battle." He smirked. "You won't be walking away from here." He laughed. "Do you think anyone in that village will mourn your death?"

He smiled cruelly as he gathered chakra into his hand, the lightening crackling in black rather than blue. He flew towards Naruto.

It took Naruto a moment to clear the swirling voices from his mind to see Sasuke flying quite literally towards him. He paused his right arm was not as capable as his left and even that felt heavy. He pushed chakra into his left hand, the rasengan spun together like worms before forming into a sphere. It felt heavy in his hand. He flew forwards, the screeching of birds getting louder drowning out the humming of his rasengan. He saw Sasuke push the Chidori forwards. The noise was getting louder so much so that it was a constant shrill sound.

There was an almighty explosion as the two techniques clashed. An enormous black sphere surrounded the two figures, as each of their chakras swirled around them clashing and meshing. The opaque sphere grew darker. The silhouettes of the two individuals were getting swallowed up by the darkening of the sphere, until it was a solid mass pushing back against the onslaught of the waterfall. The waterfall crashed down on the sphere exuding tremendous force. There was a loud cracking sound that could just be heard above the rush of the waterfall. Then the sphere shattered outwards. The valley was lit up by an encompassing white light.


Kakashi felt the tremendous amount of chakra even from his distance away from the fight. Such potency of hatred, anger, and despair. It was terrifying. He pushed on, racing after Pakkun; he had put on an extra burst of speed.


Naruto felt himself lying in water. He could make out the cage that contained Kurama as he tilted his head back.

"Hey Kurama. I am sorry. I am sorry I was not a better host to you. I am sorry you were stuck inside me. I wish I could do something about all this hate. I hope you won't attack the village." He moved slowly and unsteadily to his feet.

"What are you talking about brat? Wait, what are you doing? You are dying! You fool without me you'll die!" Kurama snapped.

"But you'll be free. You won't die with me." Naruto coughed, the blood leaking from his mouth. "I should have done better. This is my fault. If I had been better, we would not be in this situation. The least I can do is allow you to live. You should not have to feel so much hatred. I know what it's like to feel all this anger," He reached up for the paper that read seal. "I can give you freedom now, we're far enough away from people that it won't matter if you're released. You can't hurt anyone out here." he pulled the paper back.


Sasuke stood staring down at Naruto, his headband was on the floor next to him, where he had thrown it earlier in the battle. Sasuke could smell the copper tang of blood in the air. He shifted his feet noticing a dark liquid pooling at his toes. Blood spilled from Naruto's mouth. Suddenly an excruciating pain erupted in Sasuke's head. He felt his eyes bleed. He raised a hand to his left eye, felt the fresh blood dripping from two deep wounds. A small slightly horizontal cut running over his cheek bone which intersected with a longer vertical cut that started at his cheek, level with his nose. His fingers trailed up the scar running up into his eye and past his eyebrow to where his head band should have sat. He began to laugh as the vision in his left eye began to fade.

Naruto that bastard had destroyed his eye. He threw his head back and laughed maniacally. A splash of water landed on his upturned head. Followed by another and then another. It had started to rain. He continued to laugh maniacally in the rain. He fell to his knees as he continued to laugh. He could not stand, and his arm was practically useless right now. His one remaining eye travelled to the cavities on either side of Naruto's torso.

His one good eye bled. His tomoe twisting and spinning and bleeding into the iris to form a new shape. The usual sharigan colours inverted, boasting a red design and black iris. His eyes bled into a straight tomoe before exploding out into a six petaled flower with the pupil in the centre and a six-pointed star surrounding that which had six petals in between each point.

He twisted his head as a figure landed in the valley.

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