Chapter One: Team 7
Three newly instated Genin, all battered and bruised, leaned against the three posts of the training ground contemplating their new sensei, who was currently gazing at a stone with many names inscribed on it. He had shaggy blonde hair that spiked in some places, azure blue slitted eyes with a tinge of purple around the slitted iris, a tight black sleeveless shirt, and black baggy pants. Over his shirt, he wore a black jacket with an orange stripe on each shoulder and three stripes on either side of his torso, with three orange rings around each wrist. He also wore fingerless gloves on his hands, though three holes could be seen at his knuckles and sported heavy combat boots instead of the more common sandals usually found on most ninja. He also looked as if he hadn't shaved in many days and was smoking on a cancer stick that would make their academy instructor, Shikamaru-sensei, gag as it wasn't the typical cigarette, but a cigar.
"Tell me," the blonde Jounin said, "What two things do all these people named on this stone have in common?"
Each of his new students gave him blank looks.
"First they are all heroes of this village," he said.
"Awesome!" shouted one of the students, "I'm going to get my name on that stone one day!"
"They are also all dead."
That silenced his student and put grim expressions on all three of their faces.
"The names inscribed on this stone are put there as a memorial to Konohagakure no Sato's (Village of the Hidden Leaf's) greatest heroes, those who died a glorious shinobi death," he added, "They were each killed in action serving the village in one way or another. Hatake Sakumo, Uchiha Obito, Hyuuga Hizashi, Namikaze Minato, Sarutobi Hiruzen... Each died a warrior's death, one thing you MUST understand if you wish to succeed out there when everything seems to fall apart and you're all alone out there with no one to help you and nothing to rely on except your own wits and your last kunai."
The Genins were hanging on his every word. After all, their new sensei was a legend. One of the best and most skilled oni-nins to ever don the mask. He was the Jinchuuriki (Human Sacrifice) of the Kyuubi no Yokou (Nine Tailed Demon Fox), son of the Yondaime Hokage, and the most volatile and dangerous of all of Orochimaru's experiments. He was Uzumaki Naruto, Weapon X.
In his quest for immortality, Orochimaru experimented on dozens and perhaps even hundreds of people in order to acquire the perfect vessel. Many times he attempted to recreate the Mokuton (Wood Release) and Shikotsumyaku (Dead Bone Pulse) kekkei genkais (Bloodline Inheritance Limits) as well as many others. He even went as far as to even try and create unique ones. However, many of these experimentations ended in failure, usually resulting in the death of the test subject. Only one test subject seemed to be resilient enough to handle the strain of experiment after experiment, unfortunately (or fortunately), he couldn't be used as a host for Orochimaru's soul as his body was already housing two.
Orochimaru decided that he needed strong subordinates. So failed experiments that survived or experiments and other subordinates that could or would not be used by Orochimaru as a host would be turned into weapons designed to cause chaos and mass destruction at the Hebi-Sannin's command. Two prime examples of this weapon program were Kaguya Kimimaro and Uzumaki Naruto. They were the elite of his subordinates, his "super soldiers".
Kimimaro could not be used as a vessel for Orochimaru due to a terminal illness. Many years of being locked up in a cell deep underground took its toll on the Kaguya prodigy as he contracted Tuberculosis. He became Weapon I, and eventually the leader of Orochimaru's personal guard the Otogo (Sound Five). His body had been enhanced to great proportions- reflexes, speed, and strength especially- in attempts to strengthen his body and rid it of the terminal illness. However, all the enhancements in the world could not suppress the illness and the Kaguya prodigy eventually succumbed to it.
Naruto, though he had been one of the first Orochimaru had collected, he been inducted into the Weapon Program after Orochimaru gave up on trying to find a way to either suppress the Kyuubi or eradicate it completely. He had been thus dubbed 'Weapon X'. Naruto was one of the few 'Weapons' to actually turn against his master, and rebel against his conditioned programing. The ones that did so all had a profound hatred for the Sannin, while the others who did not, exhibited a zealous devotion to their master.
Despite their conflicting views of their master, Kaguya Kimimaro and Uzumaki Naruto were the best of friends and greatest of rivals and were the only ones who were able to calm the volatile Jugo without sustaining permanent injury.
Naruto shook himself from his memories. Things were far different than they had been. But even still, his days as a lab rat still haunted him in his nightmares. Not that his students knew any of this, most Jounin didn't either and only he himself and very few others knew the entire story, beginning to end. The only facts that were known to the general public was that he was the same boy they had beaten and spat upon many years ago, the boy they had driven to Orochimaru to be tortured in ways that there were no words for, the boy who saved their village despite it all, and one of the absolute best and most powerful Jounin in Konohagakure no Sato, whose skills matched, if not surpassed the likes of Hatake Kakashi and Maito Gai.
"What separates Konoha shinobi, from others within the Elemental Countries?" he asked his students.
Again, they looked at him blankly.
"Teamwork. Faith in not only our own, but in our comrades abilities," Naruto said. "Konoha shinobi are stubbornly adamant about not abandoning our comrades. Even if we don't like them, we do not abandon them. As a friend of mine put it, 'Those who break the rules are trash, but those who abandon their comrades, are worse than trash'. It's a code the both of us live by, a code that goes directly against the shinobi code, to which the other countries cling to as a life line. Remember this if you remember anything that I teach you at all... The Shinobi Code is not a bunch of rules set in stone to build the perfect shinobi, but a guide line for something more."
One of his Genin got a weird look on his face contemplating something. "I don't understand, sensei... Are you saying that the code is useless or should only be followed in certain situations?"
"The Shinobi Code is far from useless. Many Shinobi who have become great in the course of history have closely followed it to the letter. The Kiri no Shinobigatana Nananin Shu (Seven Shinobi Swordsmen of the Mist) are an example of this," Naruto told them, "As are Akasuna no Sasori (Sasori of the Red Sand), Sabaku no Gaara (Gaara of the Desert), Uchiha Itachi, Nii Yugito, Mitokado Homura, Utatane Koharu and many, many others."
"Some of those are nuke-nins," observed one of the Genin, the female member of the group.
"Just because they turned on their village, or are all around assholes, doesn't mean they weren't great shinobi, though many would try to tell you otherwise," said Naruto sagely, "Sasori was the greatest puppeteer to have ever lived. Even now, one considered a prodigy in the puppeteer arts like Sabaku no Kankuro can not match up to the natural innovation and skill that Sasori possessed. Uchiha Itachi was probablly one of the best shinobi ever produced here in Konoha, far surpassing nearly every shinobi in the village except perhaps Jiraiya the Gama Sennin, and the Yondaime Hokage."
"What about you Naruto-sensei?" asked the Genin who had wanted to be on the stone.
"I have an advantage in both Chakra capacity and stamina, plus my body can regenerate from nearly any injury and my bones are virtually indestructible," said Naruto, "But Itachi had the Mangekyo Sharingan, was every bit as fast as I am, and was far ahead of me in all areas except maybe taijutsu. He was trained to cause as much damage as possible, while I was made to take as much as possible. The only way I could possibly match up against him was to out last him. Back to my original point, the Shinobi code is not something to be thrown away, but it isn't something that should be strictly followed to the letter. It can help you become a better shinobi, but remember, you are not only shinobi of the village but human too. And while the Shinobi Code is perfect for shinobi, humans can often suffer under it's strict constraints."
"If so many shinobi follow the code so strictly, how come you don't?" asked the kunoichi of the group.
"Because, like many others, I suffered under the constraints of the code, because it was against everything I wanted to be," he answered.
"What do you mean sensei?" she asked.
"It's going to take some explaining, but I ask you all two things. First, don't interrupt me until I'm done and second try not to think too lowly of the adults here, especially your parents and those of your friends, because many of them didn't know any better."
They each agreed and Naruto began to tell them something that changed both their lives and their perceptions of everything around them...
Twenty Five Years Ago...
A small boy with various bruises covering his body ran down an alleyway. He had a swollen eye, and a split lip. The villagers were often cruel, as were his caretakers in the orphanage, but rarely had things gotten so horribly bad. Yes, he'd been hit before, beaten for something he had no control over. What, he did not know, but only once had it been so bad. And all for trying to attend the festival on his birthday, the four year anniversary of the day the Yondaime Hokage had slain the Kyuubi.
The Kyuubi no Youko was the very same beast that was said to create tsunamis, level mountains and kill hundreds with a flick of it's tails. It had come to destroy Konohagakure no Sato for an unknown reason intent on ravaging the land and causing mass destruction. It had too, but was ultimately defeated by Konoha no Kiroi Senko (Yellow Flash of Konoha), the only man ever listed in any village's bingo book with a 'flee on sight' order.
Yondaime had been the little boy's hero for as long as he could remember. The boy knew every last detail that could be found about the Yondaime, a boy with no family and no bloodline became the greatest shinobi to ever live, who gave his life to protect his village and his precious people, the man who created two powerful techniques, one a high A-Rank and the other a high S-Rank, being the Rasengan (Spiraling Sphere) and the Hiraishin no Jutsu (Flying Thunder God Technique) respectively.
The little boy wanted so desperately to be just like his hero, loved and respected, going out to do battle with 'the bad guys' to protect everything he held dear. He even vowed to himself to become Hokage and surpass all of the Hokage's that came before him, including the Yondaime. Many people laughed at this, in fact everyone did, except Hokage-ojii-san, whom the boy always reminded to keep his seat warm and the paperwork caught up for when he took over. The boy often imagined in his dreams what it would be like to wear the hat that so often adorned the Sandaime's head.
This night, however, was not one of those nights.
He had made a new friend, a cute white eyed girl, who turned red a lot and didn't speak much. The boy thought her weird, but nice too. Too bad the other white eyed people weren't like her. They harshly sent him away, despite the girl's weak and timid protests. The boy's heart broke when he saw the devastated look on her face when her caretakers had rudely sent him away.
He didn't blame her, she was nice to him, almost as much as Ojii-san was. Almost on the account that she really didn't talk much.
He sighed. He still couldn't figure out why all the adults seem to loathe or just barely tolerate his presence. If the ANBU hadn't shown up when they did, he might not have gotten away from the drunks at the festival. Though he was young, he didn't delude himself that once the ANBU realized who they saved that they wouldn't let those men continue with the beating or join in their fun. It had happened once before, the boy had never seen Sarutobi-jiji so angry before.
He tried to make friends with another, a cute pink haired angel with a red ribbon in her hair and sparkling green eyes. Though the boy was often brash and loud, he often became timid and shy in the presence of his crush, affectionately dubbed 'Sakura-chan'. He had finally plucked up the courage to actually talk to her, but her parents sent him away as well, with some more than harsh words.
That wasn't so bad, or it wouldn't have been if she hadn't joined in. Both she and her friend, a blonde girl with dazzling blue eyes, both were rather cruel and were praised by Sakura-chan's parents. He felt worse though when the blonde haired girl's father got angry with Sakura-chan's parents and told the blonde girl, Ino-chan, if he remembered correctly, that what they did was wrong. The blonde girl's dad had only just arrived to see the boy run away with a devastated and defeated look on his face. Not only did Sakura-chan's parents not like him and encouraged the two girls to hate him, but the other girl's parents, or her Tou-san (father) at least, seemed to like him and admonished the girl for doing what she did.
He was certain neither girl would want anything to do with him ever, cursed to be alone always and forever. Little did he know his luck was about to change, though perhaps not for the better...
Still recovering from his bruises, the boy came upon two people. The shorter one had her hair done up in a ponytail. She wore a black t-shirt, khaki shorts, fishnet leggings and a locket around her neck. She seemed bothered by something, but tried not to let it show. The second was a pale man, with yellow eyes that strangely reminded the boy of a snake. He had long black hair and wore a typical jounin outfit.
"Well, Anko-chan... It seems we've found who we came to see," said the man.
"Wh-who are you...?" the boy asked nervously, ready to bolt at a moments notice.
"My name is Orochimaru, Naruto-kun," he said kindly.
"H-How do you know my name?" asked Naruto taking a step back.
"How could I not know your name, Sarutobi-sensei thinks very highly of you, Naruto-kun," Orochimaru answered.
"You were one of Ojii-san's students?" asked Naruto excitedly, Orochimaru nodded.
"Tell me, what do you want more than anything?" he asked.
"I want..." Naruto began hesitantly, hoping not to be the laughed at. "I want to become Hokage so that everyone will respect me! Then I am going to become stronger than even Yondaime-sama so I can protect my precious people! Believe it!" He had a determined glint in his eyes that Orochimaru had little doubt that the boy would be ready to do almost anything to achieve his dream.
Orochimaru smiled. "A very admirable goal, Naruto-kun, one I had nearly achieved myself."
"Y-You did!" Naruto asked excitedly.
"Yes, but Sarutobi-sensei chose Minato-kun to be Yondaime over me," he said truthfully, "However, it would be an honor to guide one such as yourself to become Hokage and surpass my old rival."
"R-Really!? You'd help me?" asked Naruto who was practically bouncing with energy. Anko even managed a kind smile to the boy.
"Yes, but we must leave the village," said Orochimaru.
"W-Why?" Naruto asked, clearly devastated at the thought of leaving the village.
"Because it is currently not safe for you here," said Orochimaru, "Sarutobi-sensei is concerned about your safety and sent word for me to collect you and train you so that you may become a fine Hokage."
The energy that had not been present just seconds prior was now back ten fold. "Alright, when do we leave?"
"Immediately," said Orochimaru.
"Will I get to say bye to Ojii-san?" Naruto asked hopefully. Orochimaru looked at the boy sadly.
"I'm afraid not, Naruto-kun, but you will be able to see him soon enough," said Orochimaru, "I promise."
Anko got a sinking feeling in her gut. She knew Orochimaru didn't plan to keep any of those promises, and she hated lying to the kid, especially one as spirited as she had once been before entering into the service of Orochimaru. Not long after, Orochimaru, Mitarashi Anko and their new charge, Uzumaki Naruto would leave Konoha, none of them would be seen for another two years...
Two Years Later...
Mitarashi Anko, was still weary of everything around her. She still wasn't altogether sure of her surroundings. She was cold and alone and didn't know what to think. She sat in the Hokage's office hugging her knees tightly against herself.
She had apparently been a nuke-nin for the last four years, yet she could barely remember anything that had happened. She was devoutly loyal to Orochimaru, though she had begun to have her doubts, as little as they were, about the things he did. However, she had been the top kunoichi in her class. While not a "genius" she was still a prodigy, always working hard to achieve her goals, to be the best no matter what it took. Though she was never a serious girl, she took her career as a kunoichi very seriously. It was the sole reason Orochimaru took her on as an apprentice, instead of sidling her with a team. She strove to be the best and the best she had been. He even taught her many of his own personal jutsus and his own taijutsu style, one that could even counter the Uchiha Sharingan. Skilled as she was, he had even allowed her to sign the Hebi Summoning Contract. So, what had happened in the two and a half years she could not remember? Why had she been forsaken by Orochimaru? Why had her own sensei abandoned her?
She continued to ask herself these things, but none were sympathetic to her, not that she could blame them. After all, it wasn't like her sensei hadn't betrayed the village and she hadn't followed devoutly after him. She couldn't bare the cold stares everyone gave her. The looks of hatred or in some cases pity. She began to become bitter at everyone and everything around her.
But none did she hate more than Orochimaru. She had been is student, she followed him after he abandoned the village and would have continued to follow him to the ends of the earth, through hell if she had to. So what had happened? Why had he cast off his most loyal follower, his apprentice, the one who would have given everything she had to offer to him.
After a few sessions with Ibiki and a strictly enforced probation sentence cast upon her, Anko was re-instated as a Konoha shinobi as a Chuunin, which she had achieved not long before she and Orochimaru had left the village.
Still, even after her loyalty had been proven, many still distrusted her. And the looks. Those horrid looks that they gave her. They had no idea what she had been through, no idea of what they were putting her through. Never before had she felt so alone as she received the looks pity and glares often reserved for the Kyuubi gaki.
For reasons unknown, she sought him out, to find out how he coped with it all. To comfort him and protect him from the villagers wrath and perhaps reaffirm that she wasn't alone. To her astonishment and disappointment he had vanished from the village two years prior, just after Anko's memories were no more than a series of incoherent flashed of light and sounds. She wasn't convinced it was a mere coincidence and said as much to Ibiki, but there was no proof of any kind that Orochimaru had a hand in the child's disappearance.
She hoped that Naruto, wherever he was, was all right and was safe and happy wherever he was.
Six Years Later...
It had been a simple C-Rank mission.
One that a team of Genin could handle. However, the client had lied about the mission parameters. He and his village weren't being attacked by simple bandits, but by ninja. Two Chuunin level nuke-nins by the name of Gozu and Meizu, also known as the Onikyodai (Demon Brothers), from Kirigakure no Sato (Village of the Hidden Mist) had already been encountered and defeated by Hatake Kakashi's Team 7. They were currently under the employ of the Gatou Corporation to kill the bridge builder Tazuna and any opposition that got in their way. This bumped up the rank of the mission to, at minimum, a B-rank. Though should any Jounin level shinobi be encountered the mission would more than likely be slated as an A-Rank.
Thus, when Kakashi had sent for reinforcements and the Sandaime immediately complied. Her mission was simple. Rendevous with Team 7, and then seek and destroy. She was a Tokubetsu Jounin, one of the best. Though she constantly worked with Morino Ibiki in the Torture and Interrogation Department, her true calling and specialty was Assassination. Her name? Mitarashi Anko.
It didn't take long for Anko to catch up with Kakashi and his team, after all, they still had the civilian with them. Not long after she did, they encountered Momochi Zabuza, the Kirigakure no Kijin (Demon of the Hidden Mist).
The Genin stood by protecting the bridge builder, while Anko stood off to the side in position to either help the Genin or Kakashi while he was battling Zabuza. Everything went to hell soon after the fight started when a Kirigakure oni-nin was unceremoniously thrown into the fray.
Zabuza and Kakashi both stopped their battle.
"Haku!" shouted Zabuza in surprise. Before he could move to his partner another figure jumped into the fray, next to the fallen nuke-nun. This one looked vaguely familiar to Kakashi and members of his Genin team, but Anko felt a flash of familiarity from the boy. It wasn't until he looked up that they truly recognized the boy.
He was no older than the Genin, but had an aura of danger about him. His canine's were slightly elongated, much like Kiba's only a bit sharper. The boy's eyes were slitted and azure in color, though around the pupil they seemed to take on a purplish hue. His clothes were in tatters, and the kunoichi could see the tone definition of his muscles. He wore a white t-shirt, ragged jeans and black shoes and tan trenchcoat that seemed to be almost beyond repair. It was the whisker-like birth marks on his face, however, that were the defining mark. No matter how much he had changed, how feral he had become, there was no way the young girl could forget the boy who was her inspiration.
"Momochi Zabuza... Kirigakure no Kijin... take your subordinate and go. My fight is not with you..." ordered the boy with a low growl, "Sharingan Kakashi... Keep out of my way if you wish to live."
"N-Naruto-kun..." whispered the kunoichi with a wide-eyed expression on her face. Shock and fear permeated through her body. Much to her surprise, the boy in question looked over at the girl, who flinched back in fear. Despite her terror, she could not tear her gaze away from his piercing stare.
"You know me," it was a statement, not a question. The other two Genin looked at her in curiosity.
Zabuza used the momentary distraction to use the Kiri Shunshin no Jutsu (Mist Body Flicker Technique) to disappear in a swirl of mist only to rematerialize next to the fallen nuke-nin disguised as an oni-nin, named Haku. After grabbing onto Haku's arm, Zabuza disappeared again, deciding it was better to retreat at the current point in time. After all, the boy, whoever he was, was able to defeat Haku seemingly with no injuries, something the Kirigakure no Kijin knew he could not accomplish.
If the boy fought with the Konoha-nin, win or lose, he'd weaken them, making it easier for him and the now injured Haku to complete their mission for Gatou.
Definitely wiser to retreat for the time being.
Anko stood rooted in place. The boy was familiar, but she couldn't place why. She couldn't think of a single place she'd ever seen the boy, yet the glare he sent her way seemed to indicate that he was familiar with her in some way. And it hurt. Hurt more than she'd ever thought possible. The suppressed rage, the loathing, and the betrayal in his eyes were almost too much for her to bear.
"Uzumaki Naruto..." said Kakashi in his typical lazy tone, but to anyone who knew him, knew that at that moment he was anything but. He was waiting for the boy to make his move, completely on edge, his implanted Sharingan spinning in anticipation. "What has happened to you? Where have you been all this time..."
"Put that away... Even with the eye you're no match for me, it strains your body too much and you're too injured from your fight with Zabuza," said Naruto, "Besides, I'm here on a mission, one that does not involve either you or your team. Nor do I have any interest in your charge, the bridge builder is of no concern to me."
"Then what is your purpose here?" asked Kakashi who still hadn't covered his Sharingan.
"Assassination," said Naruto, as he became a blur of motion heading straight towards Anko. He slipped a kunai into his hand from his sleeve preparing to strike.
She was surprised, as she had been mulling over who the boy was and why he was so familiar. Even though Kakashi and one of his gaki's seemed to know who he was, she could not place the identity of the boy or why his name sounded so familiar. She was saved by Kakashi when he stepped into Naruto's way.
Kakashi was surprised by the boy's strength, his arm shaking slightly under the strain.
"Move," the boy growled. "Or I'll kill you."
"No," said Kakashi narrowing his eyes. "I shall not allow you to harm any of my comrades."
"Even if they are traitors?" asked Naruto glaring at Kakashi, "Move or I will show no mercy. I will not hesitate to rip you limb from limb." The purple seemed to bleed into the blue of Naruto's iris'. His eyes were now mostly purple with an outer ring of blue and an inner ring of red around the pupil.
Kakashi pushed Naruto back and the boy charged the seasoned Jounin head on. The genin were shocked as Kakashi took him on seriously, not covering his Sharingan or pulling out his book.
Much to Kakashi's surprise, he was having trouble reading the blonde's movements. It was only through greater speed and experience that he was able to keep up with the blonde. He was able to disarm the blonde and went to disable him when something very unexpected happened. Three blade-like claws popped out of his left hand and sliced through Kakashi's arm. Kakashi jerked back his arm when Naruto charged, three more claws popping out of his right hand. With a strong uppercut three slash marks appear on Kakashi's vest. Naruto then followed up with a spinning kick knocking him towards the bridge builder and his team.
During the exchange of blows, Anko snapped out of her surprise. She moved into fight the blonde but he surprised them all again. Retracting his claws, he flung his hands forward, shouting, "Sen'eijashu (Hidden Shadow Snake Hand)!"
A total of six snakes shot out of Naruto's sleeves and wrapped themselves around Anko's neck and wrists. With a great show of strength, he then pulled his arms back and flung Anko into a nearby tree.
The snakes then retreated back into the blonde's sleeves and the claws popped back out of his right hand. Anko tried to clear her head, but she was disoriented from the impact. "It's been a long time, hasn't it... Nee-Chan?"
Shock reverberated through them all. Anko shot him a look of surprised shock. "Wh-what are you taking about?"
"Cut the shit Anko-nee-chan. You were supposed to save me. Get me away from that bastard and his experiments. But you abandoned me. Left me to the Hebi-teme's torture," growled Naruto. "I've come for my revenge. But I'm not stopping at you. I'm going to kill them all, even Isaribi-chan and Kimmimaro-kun, if they stand in my way. So by all means, resist. Fight back. It will make this so much more fun for me. After all, you helped train me to become what I am. I'm the best at what I do, even if what I do isn't very nice. Believe it."
Anko stiffened. Her eyes widening. She had a look of fear before, knowing her end was nigh, however Naruto watched as recognition and realization filled her eyes.
"Alright Naruto, Orochimaru-sensei has asked me to oversee your training for the time being," said Anko who was proud to be given a task from her sensei. Despite her lingering doubts, she was still very loyal to him.
"Really!" the boys eyes lit up, "I'm going to be awesome if you're teaching me Anko-nee-chan!"
'Nee-chan?' she thought to herself, "Yes, really. I'm going to train you to become the best at what we do, even if what we do isn't very nice a lot of the time. Now, just because you think I'm nice doesn't mean I will go easy on you got it?"
"Of course Nee-chan, when do we start?" Naruto was bouncing with excitement.
"How about right now otouto?" she suggested ruffling his hair.
Naruto looked up at her with a surprised smile, one of the few genuine ones she had ever seen and it warmed her heart to know she caused such a warm reaction from the boy. He nodded and then ran towards the training ground.
"Anko-nee-chan, are you alright?" a small blonde boy asked, his voice filled with concern.
"I... I'm alright..." she said, trying to sound reassuredly. The look on the blonde's face told her he knew she was lying. She sighed, "I... I've just seen some things I'd rather not discuss Naruto-kun..."
Her voice was uncharacteristically troubled and subdued. She was shocked when the small boy wrapped his arms around her. "Don't worry Nee-chan, no matter what I'm here for you. That's a promise of a lifetime."
Anko gave the boy a small, weak smile as guilt struck her to her very core. What she had seen was only a small taste of what she was sure he was about to go through. Returning his hug, she sighed again. "I know otouto, I know... Arigato..."
Screams pierced the air and Anko could not keep from feeling dirty and sickened. Each agonizing scream tearing into her soul, sheering and slicing away, eviscerating it as if they were rapid dogs after a raw piece of meat.
"How fairs his progress, Amachi?" asked the hissing voice of Orochimaru in anticipation.
"Better than anticipated Orochimaru-sama," said the scientist, "We've managed to accelerate his healing factor to unprecedented levels." He said this with pride, "He should be able to handle some of the other treatments that have proven to be fatal for other subjects."
Anko felt sick to her stomach. Each of Naruto's screams of absolute pain ebbing away at her heart, mind and soul as the two psychotic men continued to discuss various procedures to be preformed on the young boy.
"Anko-nee-chan..." rasped the boy, "It hurts... It hurts so bad..."
He was barely consciousness due to the pain, but the teenage girl did her best to comfort him.
"I know Naru-chan, but you have to remain strong," she soothed him, "Orochimaru-sensei says you are progressing faster than anticipated. He says your training is going well, as are the enhancements to your body."
"I know Nee-chan... B-but it... It hurts..." said Naruto weakly, "W-w-without you... I couldn't h-have lasted th-this long..."
"What about your little lavender-eyed angel, Naru-chan?" teased Anko, changing the subject in an attempt to assuage her own guilt. As always, catharsis evaded her.
To his credit, the boy blushed. "Nee-chan..." he croaked out a small whine.
"What is it Amachi... It had better not be bad news," hissed Orochimaru.
"Gomensai, Orochimaru-sama..." he said hesitantly, "It appears that our tampering with the Jinchuuriki's seal as had some... unforseen consequences... While it mostly rids the prospective vessels difficulties with controlling the Youki, we seem to have partially merged the boy and the bijuu... the suppressing seals we had been using on the beast before are no longer as effective as they had been. If they are even working at all..."
Orochimaru scowled. "That is unfortunate... With his accelerated healing factor he would have been the ultimate host. Especially with the other modifications done to the Jinchuuriki's body. It is of no consequence. Amachi, the boy is now just a simple tool. A simple pawn for my revenge against Konohagakure. As of now, Naruto-kun is no more. He shall now be labeled Weapon-X."
Anko's heart broke to see her otouto cast aside like a simple rag. "Hai, Orochimaru-sama... His re-programming will start immediately."
Naruto sat alone in his dank cell. The mental and physical damage from his training had been severe and put his advance healing factor to the limit. It hurt Anko to see him broken as he was. The last time she had seen Naruto like this was when Orochimaru-sensei had told him of the Kyuubi no Youko being sealed inside of him by his father, the late Yondaime Hokage, Namikaze Minato. It was especially hard for Naruto to hear of both Orochimaru and Anko's betrayal, not only to Konohagakure no Sato, but to him. It had taken Anko several agonizing days to earn Naruto's trust back after hearing the callous way of which he was informed of his status as a Jinchuuriki.
The more and more Anko thought about what they were putting her Naru-chan through the more and more angry she got. She began to emit a small amount of Killing Intent. Naruto's head jerked up.
"H-hey... Nee-chan..." he greeted weakly.
"Naru-chan..." she said, her heartbreaking. "Gomensai..."
"Don't worry... I'll become strong and make everything better. Just you wait..." Naruto said confidently.
No matter how strong he was, Anko knew it was only a matter of time before he broke, just a matter of time before Orochimaru-sensei's manipulations and Amachi's 'Weapon Programming' took affect and broke the poor boy's psyche. From that moment on, she made a choice. She would get her otouto away from those bastards.
"I'll get you out of here otouto, just you wait..." said Anko, "And then we can look after each other, always, all right Naru-chan? I promise you'll be safe and never have to go through all this again."
Anko was packing in a rush. She knew if she was going to do this she had to do it quickly- both for her nerves and for her's and Naruto's sakes.
It was time. This was going to be the night they'd escape, get away from Orochimaru, Amachi and their bloody experiments. She shuddered to think of what would happen if Orochimaru put one of those experimental curse marks on Naru-chan. She had no doubt he'd survive, the kid had an unbreakable will a drive to succeed and reach his goals not seen since the Yondaime Hokage himself.
She still had no idea where they'd go. Konohagakure was out of the question. They were both hated enough as it was in that village and now her otouto had been partially fused with the damn Kyuubi. She had no idea how they'd react to that, but she didn't want to know either. Suna might be a good choice, but it was too far away. Likewise the Land of Waves was too close and lacked a shinobi hidden village. Kiri would have been ideal except they may take Naruto's fusion with the bijuu as a kekkei genkai and she shuddered to think what they'd do to him. They'd be better off going to Konoha where at least the Sandaime Hokage could provide them, or at least Naruto with moderate protection.
That was all that mattered now, Naruto's safety. However, in her haste she had unknowingly skimmed over a few details as she was confronted as she made her way to his holding cell.
"Going somewhere Anko-chan?" asked the snake-like voice of Orochimaru.
Anko whipped around, instantly drawing a kunai, but her hand was caught by the Sannin.
"Bastard..." she said through gritted teeth.
"Tsk, tsk, Anko-chan... For your insolence both you AND the boy shall be thoroughly punished... To bad you won't remember why," he chuckled and rapidly formed thirty-one, one handed, seals. "Nagori Yokusei no Jutsu (Memory Suppression Technique)." He touched two fingers to Anko's forehead and she slumped into unconsciousness.
Her last thoughts as she slipped into darkness, 'Gomensai... Naru-chan..."
"Any last words, Nee-chan?" asked Naruto in a threatening manner, his right and raised to deliver the final strike with his razor sharp claws.
"N-N-Naru-chan..." she whispered, as the realization fully hit her, "Gomensai..." Her eyes glazed over as the last of the mental barriers shattered and she slumped into unconsciousness.
Naruto's enhanced hearing picked up on her barely uttered words, his nose picking up on the various signals her body was sending out. He retracted his claws, before falling to his knees.
"Kuso..." it was clear that he was frustrated, but none could place why. "That bastard... That damn bastard... He took everything from me... Even my revenge..." His eyes turned completely blood red for a brief moment as he let out a deafening roar, before they changed back to their sapphire blue.
Kakashi had recovered by this time and was slowly approaching Naruto, not once letting down his guard. His Sharingan had been covered, knowing it was near useless against Naruto, for very much the same reason it was useless against both Orochimaru and Anko- the Hebiken (Snake Fist), Orochimaru's own personal fighting style. It was all to clear now why the boy had attacked Anko, and had referred to her as his sister. The reason he stopped fighting, however, was a bit confusing.
"You can drop your guard Ichigan (One eye)," said Naruto solemnly, "I'm no longer going to attack..."
Kakashi did not drop his guard, but continued to approach the boy. "What's happened to you?"
"That Hebi-teme, Orochimaru," said Naruto, "The man I've sworn to kill."
"Why?" asked Kakashi.
"Because that is my purpose. It's what I am... A weapon... The finest one ever produced," said Naruto, "But I refuse to be a pawn, a simple tool for a sick man's schemes." He picked Anko up holding her bridle style. "I'll explain later when we aren't so exposed, but for now, I need to make sure Onee-chan is safe."
"Very well, you can accompany us to Tazuna-san's house," said Kakashi as he and the ragged looking boy carrying Anko made their way to his team and their client, when suddenly Naruto came to an abrupt stop.
He looked over Kakashi's team, taking in their appearances when he noticed the lavender eyes of the young girl with short purplish, black hair. "Tenshi-hime..." he gasped out. The girl in question looked away from him blushingly, and the boy looked surprised and a bit puzzeled by her reaction.
"We still have some distance to cover so we really should hurry," said Kakashi interrupting the brief moment. With that, three nervous Genin, a suspicious Jounin, an unconscious Tokubetsu Jounin, a mysterious boy and a scarred old man made their way to the bridge builder's house.