Disclaimer: *sarcasm* Yeah … I really own Naruto.

A/N: I have no idea where this came from. AR.

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He's lost track of how long they had been attacking him … Hours … Days … He had no idea.

He was finding it hard to breath. Pain coursed through his body. He coughed, tasting copper.

"Heh! Die demon! Just die!"

A flash of steel … Pressure on his stomach, right over the seal …

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Water lapped around him … Voices … More voices.

Shouting, "Heal him you damn Fox!"

"I have been healing him you blond idiot! I've used so much chakra already!"

"Then why aren't you healing him NOW?

Growling, "The seal's damaged. Already my body is being drawn out of the boy. I CANNOT heal him anymore."

"NO! I won't allow it!"

A sigh, "Foolish mortal human, it can't be stopped."

He couldn't move, but he understood what they were saying … He was dying … NO! I-I can't die! Not now! I've only just become a Genin! I haven't reached my dream yet! NO!

Sadness, "Naruto … I'm sorry … So very sorry for the burden I gave you … For trusting too much … My son, I love you."

Everything faded again, veiled in red.

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Silence … Pain … Someone leaning over him.

"Hmmm. Still alive even now? … You really are an Uzumaki … Stubborn till death."

Slowly he forced his eyes open, only to be met with gold flecked crimson eyes, framed by black markings.

"Really stubborn." The stranger sighed.

Naruto's eyes flickered over the stranger taking in the long crimson hair separated into nine pieces by rose gold bands. Red bangs framing a pale aristocratic face. Three black stripes adorned his cheeks. A hand lifted, one finger tapping black lips … Naruto slowly focused on the black claw before his eyes moved to the red/black sleave of the haori the stranger was wearing, the colours starting to blur together as his eyes started failing.

"You're not much longer for the living world." The stranger murmured, more to himself then the boy on the ground at his feet.

Naruto tried opening his mouth to speak, but all he got was a mouthful of blood.

"Don't try to speak. You're not dying in this village." The stranger said, frowning. "My name is Kurama and I'm taking you away from this place that has done nothing but harm you."

Naruto felt himself be picked up by the stranger … No … Kurama.

Steady steps lulled him as Kurama carried him out of the village and into the surrounding forest ... His life blood dripping steadily onto the ground behind them.

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A small clearing in the forest ... Quiet ... Secluded ... Free.

Kurama looked around, taking in the flora that filled the clearing. A stream flowed through the far end. Perfect.

He set his fading burden onto the ground, brushing the boy's bloodstained blond hair from his face. Dull blue eyes opened again, attempting and failing to focus.

He moved over to the stream, pulling a cloth from the inside of his haori. Kneeling by the stream, he dunked the square piece of fabric into the cool water. Standing as he squeezed most of the water out, he returned to the dying child's side using the wet cloth to clean the blood from his body, returning to the stream several times to rinse the cloth out.

Keeling for a final time beside the boy, he laid the red, fur pelt that had been over his left shoulder over the child, he could see the question in Naruto's eyes. 'Why?'

He sighed, "Because, that village doesn't deserve to have you anymore. You have been protecting them since the day you were born yet they treat you worse than anything I have ever seen." Kurama ran his hand gently through Naruto's hair, "Here you will be able to sleep in peace."

Emotions flickered in the young Jinchuriki's eyes before another question rose. 'Who?'

"I told you. My name is Kurama." He answered with a slight smile, "But, I guess you would know me more by my title, Kyuubi no Kitsune."

Naruto's eyes widened slightly, shock evident in the fading dull blue depths.

"The seal was damaged in the attack, setting me free. As your life leaves you, so does my chakra." Sadness filled the Kitsune's voice, "You had so much potential, and the path that had been ahead of you … Fate is such a cruel creature."

Throughout all this, life had slowly drained from the former Jinchuriki's eyes, his heart barely beating … Breathing near non-existent.

"Sleep Naruto." Kurama softly told the dying child, gently stroking his hair, "Sleep little Kit. Sleep and find peace."

Like a small candle flame snuffed by the wind, the remaining life in Naruto's eye's vanished as the boy finally let go of life.

With a sigh Kurama stopped petting Naruto's hair and gently closed his eyes. Standing he draped the pelt back over his shoulder. Looking sadly at the body of Konoha's true Hero one last time, he raised his hand and the earth answered his silent command, shifting to cover the boy. Rocks rose to form a cairn over the burial site, plant's finding places in the cracks to grow and bloom. Before leaving the Kitsune Lord performed one last act of Kitsune Magic. Running his hand over one of the larger rocks, words were left in the wake of his touch.

Here lies Namakaze Uzumaki Naruto

Murdered by the ones he protected from the day of his birth

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