Steal-yo-Lunch's A/N: Hey guys, I'd like to share my thanks for the support on the prologue. I apologize for the delay in updating the chapter. I've had a lot of work lately so it's been hard getting some typing done. For those who guessed on who writ which part of the prologue, the answer is... A MYSTERY, and will remain that way. Yep, deal with it. I'm adamant on getting at least 8,000 words into this chapter(note that this will more than likely not be accomplished.)

This has nothing to do with this story, but for those of you who remembered my Naruto/HOTD crossover; I'm working on a new one, just as promised! I'm going to get a few chapters done before I post the first. Anyway, let's get on with it.

GaleSynch's A/N: I would kindly request you guys to check out my stories if you're interested in Fem!Sasu - there will also be FemIta. Sorry for how long this took, but it's so not my fault. lol Special thanks to my beta who's been a big help. Yeah, this chap is just twice the length than the prologue but this seems suitable for the ending - future chaps might be longer though...

Also, if you're curious as to how FemSasu and FemIta looks like, check out my website!

R&R please! =D

Disclaimer: Neither of us own Naruto and this applies to every chapter from now on.

Warning: Will contain genderbending, violence, blood and gore.

Drop a review, let us know how we're doing. Let's get started, yo!

Oh, and the ages: (do note that Naruto is older than in canon here, after all, this is AU and he's paired with FemItachi)

Kimimaro - 8 years old

Naruto - 5 years old

Izumi - 7 years old

Sasuki - 3 years old

Haku - 7 years old

Mangetsu - 12 years old

Suigetsu - 5 years old


Bone Deep

written by Steal-yo-Lunch and GaleSynch

beta'ed by He-Who-Shall-Live

CHAPTER 1:


Unfortunately for the Kaguya brothers, they weren't going to be running into the happily ever after. They cringed as the sun shone down - it had been a while since they'd been outside, after all. Naruto more so than Kimimaro. Battle cries resonated as elemental Ninjutsu lit up the area. Hand-in-hand, they made way for a shrubbery.

The soft patter of their feet drew the attention of a Kiri-nin. He wasn't anything special - dark hair, dark eyes - a face that was easy to forget. With a flick of his hands, he sent a horde of kunai upon the boys. Kimimaro internally cursed as he looked over towards his brother.

"Focus on your vertebrae, Naruto! Envision it in your mind and focus! Pan it out - hard and thick!" he ordered.

As expected, the kunai bounced off the backs of both boys. They picked up their paces as the Kiri-nin turned to another.

"After those two - the white-haired ones! They have the Kekkei Genkai!"

Three of the ninja made way for the white-haired brothers. It wasn't until they reached passed the shrubbery that they halted their sprinting. Naruto turned around, going back-to-back with Kimimaro.

"Shit!" Naruto's words were a hiss. His eyes scanned their surrounding as Kimimaro nodded in agreement.

It seemed that the Mizukage wanted no survivors if the platoon of Kiri Chunin had anything to say about it. There was at least fifteen of them - each one of them expressing their disgust with sneers on their face. All of them drew their specific weapon of choice as another stepped forward. He was noticeably larger than the rest, towering an easy Six foot Three inches. He grinned at the boys, his malicious glare conveying nothing but hunger -hunger for battle. The five foot long Zanbatō he palmed did nothing to ease the boys' wariness.

"Gahaha! Picked the right time to invade you bastards, didn't we?! To think we did this for two fuckin' brats! Let's get this over with; there might still be a Kaguya babe to vent on!" He hefted the blade with relative ease as he charged forward, his Chunin underlings offering cheers of support. He advanced upon the boys in surprisingly agile speed for his stature, the blade coming down in a wide, swinging arc.

Both boys leapt aside, and immediately regretted it, having fallen for the trap. The Zanbatō wielding ninja grinned as he motioned to the platoon of ninja, "Go for the lil' one, I've got the pretty boy!" Naruto was immediately on the defensive, quickly becoming barraged by the combined, overwhelming force. He flipped upside down as he spun on his palms, his legs becoming a relentless barrage of clubs. He managed to clip the chin of an unlucky ninja. Flicking his wrist around, he summoned a bone katana - god it hurt when he did so! - and leapt high into the air, descending upon the down shinobi. The force of his fall, combined with the lethal edge of the bone weapon proved an easy foe out of the man's sternum. Naruto tossed a worried glance over to his brother before sprinting towards his share of enemies.

Kimimaro immediately leapt into action, his body crouching for only a second before he sprung forward in a trail of fury.

"Yanagi no Mai!"

The elder Kaguya brother became a blur as he spun relentlessly, the multiple calcium-based blades becoming a pseudo-buzzsaws. The large ninja grinned as turned on the defensive - back-pedalling as he brought the blade down in slow, crushing strikes, "Ghahah! That's it, faster, faster! Show your true colours, let the Kaguya blood flow true!"

Kmimaro grunted as the gigantic blade nicked his arm. The ability to thicken his bones or not; being hit by that bar of sharpened metal was bound to leave a mark. He could only wish a victory for both he and his brother.

'Fight hard, Naruto!'

-Bone Deep-

Izumi Uchiha graced herself a beautiful smile as she fingered the headband upon her forehead. She started into the reflective mirror of her bedroom before closing her eyes and snapping them open, two tomoe's spinning wildly within their sockets. A knock at her door rid her of the momentary happiness, her Sharingan red eyes bleeding back into impassive onyx as she turned, "Yes?"

"Your Mother's prepared dinner, be down soon." Came the gruff reply. She remained silent as she listened to the soft thuds of retreating feet ceased.

She walked towards the window as she surveyed the star-filled night sky. Was this really what she wanted? The life of a shinobi? She knew, deep down in her heart, that the answer was no. The results of the Third Shinobi World War having made her into a somewhat pacifist. But, as the Uchiha Clan heir, the option of her career was out of her choice. Trained from an early age, filled with knowledge of politics, village-workings, secret Ninja techniques. She'd reach Jonin, take control of the clan and then be shoved off into a loveless marriage to further strengthen the Uchiha bloodline. That was the life of a clan heir - her destiny, one that she refused to abide by.

The ninja world was filled with nothing but violence, no matter how much one tried to convince themselves otherwise. It was kill or be killed - The weak are meat, the strong eat. She one day hoped for change, for peace, for the endless bloodshed to come to a stop. She knew a world where love triumphed all would never truly exist. Within peace only festered hate. As minuscule it may be, it was always there.

With a small frown marring her visage, Izumi Uchiha made her way to the dinner table.

-Bone Deep-

Naruto fell flat on his backside as he stared high into the morning sky. His breathing was labored and ragged as he tried with all his might to turn his head. He was welcomed with the sight of his elder brother leaning against a bone katana - a bone katana that impaled the large man beneath it. Be that as it may, he'd never been so happy to see his white-haired kin. The fight had gone well into the night, stretching out into the early hours of the morning. The Kaguya brothers soon teamed up and began to rely on guerrilla tactics. With the trees and thick mist, the two boys proved a dangerous duo. Taking advantage of their advanced bodies, they'd fought for hours on end, taking out one ninja after another.

The behemoth wielding the Zanbatō proved the most trouble, though. Naruto winced at the rapidly healing slice across his chest. That lump of lard didn't go down easy! He cocked himself up on his elbows as he looked towards his approaching brother. The boy, much like himself, looked just about ready to drop. He made to speak to the white-haired boy, until the sound of another approaching caught his attention.

Naruto's breath caught in his throat as a long, black-haired man strode forward, his serpentine eyes flickering themselves over his frame. He rasped out to his brother for warning. Before Kimimaro could reply, the snake-like man had already cupped his chin. He offered the boy a warm smile as he stared into his eyes, "What would two children be doing out on the battlefield, I wonder?"

"Two children, the last of their clan, with nobody but each other. It's a sad story, is it not? The pain of loneliness..." He smiled again, his yellow eyes almost glowing, "Do you have to be alone? Of course not. You could come with me - serve me, and I will offer you solace. Serve me, and I will defeat your lonel-!"

The snake-eyed man turned his head to the side as a barrage of white, calcium-based bullets zoomed past his head. He raced a dark, elegant eyebrow at a downed, snarling Naruto. The boys teeth ground against each other as he glared at the man with all of his might, "Stay away from my brother, you fuckin' freak! I won't let you anywhere near him!"

"Nyaaaaaaargh!" Naruto forced himself to his feet, his very form trembling as he did so. The repercussions of the earlier battle almost proved too much for the white-haired boy. His steps started off shaky at best, before they became more refined. The stumble turned into a walk, the walk changed into a jog, and the jog morphed into a full-out spring, "Narrrgh!"

He reared his fist back in a telegraphed punch. The tall man merely stepped aside, leaving Naruto to fall on his own momentum. He came crashing down, this time not getting back up. The man cackled as he looked down upon Naruto, "It's useless, you see. My name's Orochimaru, and I've taken an interest to you, my dear children. Running on sheer willpower alone, even after such an arduous battle. Amazing!"

The serpentine man raised his mouth into the air as a hilt sprung free. With a flick of his wrist, he sailed towards Naruto, Kusanagi poised to strike.

CLANK!

Orochimaru raised an eyebrow at the twit who dared block his sword. This time, he wasn't able to hold his manic chuckle, "Hozuki Mangetsu! My, my, what a surprise, kukuku... An aspiring apprentice of the Seven Swordsmen siding with the rebels?"

Mangetsu's purple orbs swiveled towards Orochimaru, his impassive face developing a small snarl, "Save the dialogue, Orochimaru, We, the rebels, are quite aware of your poaching on those possessing Kekkei Genkai. You're a sick individual. We're letting you off with a warning. Should this happen again, you will not receive such a generous offer."

The tall, dark haired man chuckled hoarsely, "But of course. Even I, Orochimaru of the Sannin know when I've bitten off too much to chew." He took a few breaths before giving a malicious smile, "But before I leave..."

Mangetsu's eyes widened as Orochimaru grabbed the elder Kaguya brother by the scruff of the collar and dashed off into the shrubbery.

"Kimimaro- aniki!" Naruto's eyes widened in alarm, attempting to get back on his feet. With a swift chop to the neck, he was placed into a state of unconsciousness. Twisting his head, Mangetsu began barking out orders, "Chase after him; don't let him get away!"

Two bloodline rebels dashed out of the mist, on course for Orochimaru. Mangetsu offered the unconscious Kaguya a bitter smile. He knew of the bond between brothers - hell, he even had a kid brother himself.

"Sorry, kid."

-Bone Deep-

Naruto woke to a pounding headache, and it only intensified when bright lights blinded him the moment he opened them. He squeezed his eyes shut instantly, trying to ease the ache behind his eyes by turning away, burrowing deeper into the soft mattress and snuggling under the warmth of the cocoon of blankets provided.

Naruto's eyes widened in alarm. Since when did he have a bed?

Someone's hand found its place on Naruto's forehead and he yelped, jerking into a sitting position, and slapping the hand away in the process.

He squinted, making out the outlines of a figure about as small as him.

He blinked, finding a young boy about his age pouting at him. He had snowy hair with light blue tints - or maybe it was a trick of light - and purple eyes, but even more disconcerting, he had pointy shark teeth.

Naruto leaned further back when the boy grinned, like he was contemplating Naruto as dinner.

"Who're you?" the young Kaguya demanded before a more pressing matter demanded to be asked. "Where's my brother?"

"I dunno where your brother is," the other boy said, unusually cheerful. "But I know where mine is!" he announced happily and Naruto felt unbridled anger grew in him; just because this boy knew his older brother was secure and safe while Naruto didn't... he growled, but he didn't think the other boy noticed as he'd already turned his back on him, hollering for his brother.

"Oi! Mangetsu-nii! The boy you brought in woke up!"

"Aa - coming!" Someone cursed from the other room, as he stumbled into the room, meeting Naruto's glare head-on. He offered a placating smile, seeing Naruto's guarded manner. He edged towards his baby brother, should the Kaguya try anything, he could easily protect the small and obtuse boy.

"So, how're you feeling?" he asked kindly; contradicting the bloody reputation he had earned at the young age of twelve. "Are you hungry?"

"Where's my brother?"

"Uh..." Mangetsu shuffled his feet nervously, unable to meet the boy's eyes. "Sorry, brat, we couldn't get Orochimaru."

"No..." Naruto whimpered, curling in on himself. His breath hitched and as he kept his head down, Mangetsu couldn't see his facial expression but his eyes softened when he saw the wetness gathering on the blanket. "You're lying! He would never leave me!"

Suigetsu beamed. "He just did," he said very insensitively - very adorably, Mangetsu thought but he didn't think it was the right time or place for Suigetsu's insensitively cute moments.

Mangetsu elbowed his younger brother into silence. "Shut up," he hissed before he turned to Naruto who let out a strangled sob. Cautiously, in case the boy's bones tried to get him, he approached the smaller boy and patted his shoulder awkwardly. "Look, he didn't leave you of his own accord. Remember the Orochimaru bastard? He was the one who took your older brother away from you."

"And you stopped me from getting to him!" Naruto screamed, head whipping up as he glared at Mangetsu, his little fists balled as he tackled the older boy to the ground, beating him relentlessly, tears streaming down his face. "You made me lose him! He's the only family I have!"

Mangetsu grunted; for a little guy, the Kaguya brat packed a punch - he'd be a great ninja someday, the Hozuki was sure.

Before the older boy could so much as open his mouth to defend himself or push the brat off, his own brat tackled the Kaguya brat.

"Hey!" Suigetsu hollered, his grin having slid off his face the moment his brother's back connected with the hard floor. "Don't touch my brother! He's done nothing to you!"

"He did!"

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"No!"

"YES!"

"NO!"

"Enough! Mangetsu roared, his voice twice the volume of the brats, as he cuffed them and bashed their thick skull together. His brother suffered the most - Naruto had the thickest skull on earth, being a Kaguya and all and it didn't hurt, he sneered.

Suigetsu moaned in pain, he'd seen it coming but he still hadn't perfected his clan's techniques, which meant no dodging attacks by turning into liquid for a while. He mock sniffled, turning to his brother with wide eyes.

"I was trying to help you," he protested, rubbing the welt on his forehead and when Mangetsu reached out to rub it in, he yelled in pain.

Naruto swallowed the bitterness lodged in his throat when he saw the two brothers, laughing and yelling. He turned away, rubbing the wetness gathering in his eyes.

"I want Kimi-nii..." he sobbed.

Instantly, Suigetsu stopped struggling in Mangetsu's grasp. He had never bothered empathizing with anyone but Mangetsu was his older brother, his most precious person, the only one in his world. He could never imagine a life without his brother and he figured that it was the same with Naruto.

For the first time in his life, Suigetsu felt sorry for someone other than himself.

Mangetsu's eyes softened as he released his brother and approached Naruto, Suigetsu trotted after him obediently, peering at Naruto intently, a grin on his face - as if the fight between them had never happened.

"Hey, if ya want to, we can be ya new family." Mangetsu blinked at his younger brother - he didn't think his brother could be so comforting or caring; who was this impostor? "That is, if you want to."

"I want my brother."

Suigetsu rolled his eyes. "We can be one big family once we find him, now stop crying. You're giving my brother a headache and he's bitchy when he's pissy and you look like a pansy when you cry."

"Hey!"

Suigetsu grinned, skipping out of the room when the mentioned boys yelled out at the insult directed at them.

Did he mention how much fun it was to annoy others?

-Bone Deep-

On the ground, curled into a ball, trembling from the immense pain emanating from his neck where the serpentine man had bitten him, Kimimaro wretched.

His body twisted and arched, desperately trying to find solace from the pain; painpainpain—it blinded and conquered his world and the older Kaguya was sure, he would do anything by that point to stop the pain.

Another scream was pulled from Kimimaro's already abused throat and he was left on the ground, trembling and trying to stifle the sobs of pain.

"Hey," Kimimaro jerked at the feel of a foreign touch. He blinked rapidly, feeling the pain ebb a little as he turned to look into soft tawny eyes. "It doesn't hurt anymore, does it?" The Kaguya hesitated before nodding, biting his lip and wondering how the bigger boy knew.

The boy smiled softly, looking very out of place in Orochimaru's cold and cruel lair.

"That's good, my kekkei genkai can help with that," he gestured awkwardly to the seal, pushing his thin hospital shift out of the way to expose the seal on his shoulder. "The seal's based on nature energy, and I can absorb them so I can also minimize the pain. I'm just glad to help," he added in a murmur, distancing himself instantly when he saw Kimimaro's eyes narrow.

With great difficulty, Kimimaro pushed himself up into a sitting position, eyes wary and guarded.

"What's your name? Where am I?"

"I'm Juugo," the boy answered obediently, ducking his head. "I think we're in the Southern Hideout. I can hear the sounds of the waves."

Kimimaro felt his cheeks heat up; was he that disoriented? To not be able to catch that fact... ugh, what an embarrassment. But wait, waves meant...

"Are we still in the Land of Waves?"

Juugo blinked slowly before nodding with the same snail speed.

Kimimaro sprang to his feet, pacing as he examined every inch of the cell he was held in. Juugo studied him curiously, fiddling with the end of his shirt, nervously before he asked, very shyly, "What are you doing?"

The Kaguya shot the other boy an odd look which only made the blush on the bigger boy's face deepen.

"Looking for a way out," his voice carried a heavy undertone of 'duh' which served nothing to make Juugo feel better. "I'm going back to my little brother. He must be worrying out of his mind."

Juugo shot Kimimaro a sad look, a sympathetic smile on his face.

"You can't."

"Why not?" The Kaguya challenged, eyes flashing as he pressed the rocks of the cell, trying to find a loose place so that he'd be able to elbow his way out.

Juugo shrugged.

"This is Orochimaru-sama we're talking about," he said, as if that explained everything. Kimimaro knitted his brows in confusion. "When he takes an interest in something or someone, he'd never let it go until he gets bored. We're his newest test subjects by the way. They'll take us out on days, to train, to be poked and prodded—"

"And you just let them do whatever they want?" Kimimaro could hardly believe his ears.

Juugo met his eyes, a calm and sad look of acceptance within his amber eyes.

"You'll see why I stopped fighting."

-Bone Deep-

When Naruto woke, finding himself to be sleeping on a soft yet sturdy material, which would rise and fall, with a fist lodged into his right cheek, he was baffled and horrible confused.

He blinked blearily, wiping away the drool on his chin - he could just hear Kimimaro-nii's voice admonishing him for drooling on him in his sleep - and the events of yesterday came crashing down.

He made a sad sound at the back of his throat - unwilling to call it a whimper.

To his surprise, his sound made his 'bed' shift. Naruto blinked owlishly before he glanced up; sleepy amethyst eyes gazed down at him. Mangetsu, Naruto's mind supplied the name of his savior eagerly. Then that would mean the person trying to punch him in his sleep was Suigetsu.

He glared at the other boy and on impulse, pushed the boy.

Suigetsu's violet eyes flew open as he tumbled down, shrieking as he failed to find a handhold. "I'm falling - I'm gonna die - Heeellp-"

"Suigetsu, shut up," Mangetsu glowered. "This bed isn't even high, how can you die? Don't be ridiculous. And Naruto, off."

The small Kaguya did as ordered, smirking victoriously at Suigetsu who glared at him over the edge of the bed, the silent I will get you back for this in his eyes. Naruto sneered, sticking his tongue out and Suigetsu reciprocated, both young boys careful to not let the oldest boy see lest he lose it.

Before going to bed, Mangetsu had made it clear to not cause any commotion if they wanted to sleep with him, because he was no morning person and he admitted that he wouldn't be responsible for the injury to come if they disobeyed him.

However, despite their best efforts, Mangetsu saw anyway.

He all but snarled at them to get their asses in gear and to wait for him outside the house.

Naruto shifted nervously in his new clothes. He wore the same attire as Suigetsu and his older brother: sleeveless and tight dark blue shirt, camouflage pants and sandals. It was immensely different from the yukata he and Kimimaro wore. He wondered how he was going to fight if he dressed like this, how would he be drawing the bones from his back?

When Mangetsu shuffled out, rubbing his eyes and looked like he was struggling to figure out how to drink coffee, Naruto tackled him with his questions about his attire.

"Mangetsu!" he yelled, ignoring Suigetsu's squeak of horror he's so dead! and how he hid his eyes behind his hands. "Why do I have to wear this?"

Mangetsu scowled, proving his statement to be true about not being a morning person. "Do you plan on going about naked?" he demanded incredulously.

"No, just..." Naruto shifted, turning his back and pointing at the bones that had peaked out, close to tearing the cloth with sheer force. "How am I going to use my bones if I wear constricted clothing all the time?"

Mangetsu cussed, face-palming. "Right, brat, sorry, I forgot you're a bone-user. Let me go get some more appropriate attire."

Suigetsu sidled up to Naruto's side, eyes bright with mirth. "Not bad. You survived Mangetsu's transformation."

Naruto blinked.

"What transformation?"

"You see, nii-san's a zombie in the morning, sloth in the afternoon, and vampire at night."

"How so?" Naruto asked curiously, leaning forward to hear more.

"Ya see how he stumble around like a dumbass?" Suigetsu sniggered. "That's what zombies do. Then he's always lazing about in the afternoon and at night, he's always eating and moving about, then he blames us for his lack of sleep—"

"Suigetsu?"

"Hm?"

"You might, um, y'know, want to run."

"Huh?"

Naruto blanched even whiter, finger trembling as he pointed behind Suigetsu. The smaller Hozuki didn't even need to turn, the look in Naruto's face was more than enough of an answer. He whimpered, trying to wriggle his way out of this one.

"I, uh, need to run a few laps for warm-up, haha, bye!" Naruto sped off, and Suigetsu was left gaping at the boy's back.

How could he abandon him?

Jaw firmly attached to the ground, he turned around to face his livid older brother. "Whatever it was, it wasn't me," he mumbled weakly.

"I'm going to give you to the count of three to run, you slimy, little ungrateful imp of a runt—"

Suigetsu fled even before his brother started counting.

Naruto glanced back to see Suigetsu running like hell, Mangetsu hollering threats before he eventually gave chase. He paled when he caught his own name being yelled and threatened and when Suigetsu caught up, he glared at the water boy.

"Why am I involved in this?" he demanded angrily. "I said nothing!"

Suigetsu shrugged.

"Aniki's unreasonable like this."

"I heard that, you brats!"

As Naruto pushed himself harder, he couldn't help but let his mind wander in a vain attempt to stave off the fear and panic as Mangetsu easily gain on them.

A soft laughter pulled itself from his throat though when he saw Mangetsu tackle Suigetsu and gave him a noogie. Naruto laughed out loud, momentarily slowing down and Mangetsu snagged him as well.

Even if Kimimaro-nii's not here... maybe it wouldn't be too bad. But I swear, someday, Aniki, we'll be together again!

-Bone Deep-


QUESTION: What is your ideal situation for FemIta and Naruto to meet?

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