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Golden Haired Akuma

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The blond girl panted crouching down with her hands on her knees. She huffed trying to get the hair out of her eyes as it got in the way of the stare she was directing at her opponent.

They’d been at it for quite some time, and they were both getting tired and unnerved.

Sasuke, try as he might ignore it, was getting affected by her presence. The mere fact that she was standing before him and he could actually see her not just dream or hallucinate about her was messing with his mind. His goals were set, his mind was made, his choices were irreparable… yet… here he was, acting unaffected while little slithers of doubt warmed their way into his mind.

They had both paused for a second from their deadly fight. They stood on opposite sides of the clearing as they tried to regain their breaths. Sasuke’s traitorous eyes ran over her figure and he couldn’t help but be reminded of just how much she had changed over the past five years. Her hair was extremely long and silky and instead of the pigtails she’d had when she was younger it was up in a high ponytail with bangs falling over her sky blue eyes since her forehead protector was instead tied loosely around her neck. Her body was lean and lithe, elegant and deadly, and she had definitely grown out in all the right places. In short she looked pretty much like the figure of her sexy no jutsu except with a sharper face with less baby fat and a different hairdo. She had on a black and orange half open jacket that almost completely covered her short black shorts. A black bra with a fishnet over it could be seen from underneath and a long sleeveless black cape with a hood and red flames eating at the hem was thrown over her attire. Long black socks that reached mid-thigh were covering her long legs and scrolls and pouches were strapped around her waist. She was so very changed from her tomboyish days back in Konoha, where life was not so complicated and they were still innocent. Where they would goof around… well, she would goof around and he’d simply be annoyed, or fondly annoyed if there is even such a thing… Where there was still a possibility of something happening between them. Where they could’ve– he could’ve– No… He was not going there… He had enough of his mind going there every single fuckin time he saw her!!

She, on the other hand, was hesitating to take the next step of her plan. “Kyuu-chan... Are you sure this is a good idea...? He is going to be so mad when he finds out…” She thought to the demon worriedly.

“That was the deal, Kit!! Don’t go back on your word!!” Kurama snapped back still a bit irritated at what she’d made him promise to do.

*Flashback*

Naru was sitting under a tree hugging her knees to her chest as she gazed up at the sky and tried to keep her tears at bay to no avail.

Everyone was dying and there was nothing she could do about it. She’d never had a family in the first place and now the friends she had gained after years and years of solitude were quickly perishing one by one. It was horrible. The times were horrible. Her godfather was dead. Her friends were dying. And the one man she had ever loved was lost never to return… yes, she had finally come to that conclusion even as she refused to give up and succumb to the inevitable.

Silent tears streamed down her cheeks on their own accord and against her will as her heart drowned in grief over everything she had lost, everything she was yet to lose, and everything she never even had so she could lose.

Her thought were filled with Sasuke then and a fresh stab of pain pierced her already beyond broken heart at the thought of him. Her best friend. The one man who would forever own said broken heart. She never loved another and never will. He never accepted her offer of friendship so who was to say he’ll ever accept any pathetic romantic feelings she might have developed. And yet... she couldn't bear to hold anyone else even close to the high regard she held him in. No one compared and no one even got close. She had also grown beyond feeling guilty over having fallen for her other best friend’s romantic interest. First of all, the idea of anything more coming out of her one sided feelings and affections was highly doubtful nay impossible. Secondly, in the impossible scenario of him actually wanting her back she did not think she had the heart or the strength to give him up after having been forever alone and unwanted. All she could do in that case was to pray that her medic friend was able to get out of it alive and as undamaged as possible. Of course, these thoughts rarely even crossed her mind nowadays. She had thought about that when she started to realize that the pain and desperate feeling in her heart to get him back was beyond the feelings of a mere friend or sister. It had been a constant source of motivation to her while she had been training to get him back in her three years of traveling. In a time where she had been clueless and naive enough to ever think that there might be a minuscule possibility of him and her ever having a future. To believe he might someday come to care for her even half as much as she cared for him.

She looked down at herself and sighed. Sure, she looked desirable and knew how to use her status as a kunoichi to her advantage courtesy of Akemi-sensei who was a beautiful kunoichi she had met on her travels and had taken a liking to her. The woman was one of the flirtiest she had ever met yet whenever the Ero-Sennin tried to get closer to her she would fake being pleased till she got him where she wanted and beat him up into the next week. Akemi had decided that the brash and tomboyish attitude on a body like hers was beyond a waste so she had taught her everything she needed to be a perfect lady with a flirty disposition and an iron fist. But then again, Sasuke was not the type of man to fall for that. He was an avenger, the importance of his goals was absolute and something like seduction could never sway him from them.

“Kit...” The Kyuubi called out to her.

She startled a bit as his voice snapped her out of her thoughts and harshly brushed at her tears with the back of her sleeve.

“Not now, kyuu-chan. I don't feel so good...” She mumbled back at him.

“I have a plan, kit. I can fix this…” He said to her.

“Fix what?” She asked back confused.

“What’s bringing you grief…”

She frowned, “No one can fix that…”

“I can…”

She couldn’t help the little hope that bubbled up inside her.

“You can bring ero-sennin and the others back?!” She tested.

“No…”

“You can stop the war?!”

“No…”

“You can make Sasuke come back?!”

“No…”

She gave a frustrated and angry huff.

“Then what can you fix?!!!!” She yelled.

“I can take you back to a time where things could change…”

“Huh..?” She said sounding clueless and confused.

*End of Flashback*

It had taken Kurama some time to explain to her everything and needless to say the fox had gotten out of that conversation with a major headache. Naru was smart, yes. A lot smarter than what she had been in the past at least since a lot of that dumbness of hers had come from her constant need for attention and her principle of ‘I learn with my fist’. But that did not mean that her brain wouldn’t get fried as Kurama tried to explain the minor details of the concept of time travel to her.

“It’s time. I’m ready.” Kurama informed her.

She swallowed and steeled herself for what she had to do.

Naruko grabbed one of the scrolls tied to her waist and with quick movements unwrapped it on the floor and pressed the palm of her hand in the middle of the seal.

The seal on her abdomen tickled as the other seal absorbed huge amounts of chakra from her. There was a poof of smoke and a fox the size of a horse with four tails appeared.

Sasuke startled at the sight of the fox and prepared to summon Susanoo if necessary.

“Waaaaa……” The fox said happily as it crouched down on its forelegs and stretched its back. “Ooooooh... It feels so good to be free...”

After snapping his joints to satisfaction and stomping on the floor the four tailed Kurama went back to regard the raven haired man before him with critically.

‘Does this boy really deserve the faith my kit is putting in him…? No matter, I will insure he’s worthy.” Kurama thought to himself.

“Hmmm…” The fox hummed thoughtfully as he regarded the Uchiha with calculating eyes. “So this is the man who’s ruined you for any other, huh, Naru? Well… I can’t fault your taste at least…”

Naru sucked in a breath at what the kyuubi had just bluntly declared.

Sasuke crushed the emotions that bubbled inside of him at what the demon had just implied and let his eyes flicker towards her for less than a second. The jinchuukiri’s face burned when she saw his eyes rest on her and she growled dangerously at the unaffected fox.

“Shut up, fur ball!!” She hissed at him.

Kurama simply ignored her, “Shall we?” He asked with a cock of his head.

She snapped back to attention at his words and crouched down preparing to attack.

“Hai!!” She cried and the kyuubi ran at full speed towards the Uchiha.

Sasuke let lightning coat his sword as he prepared for the attack and activated Susanoo as it covered his body.

The kyuubi however kept on forwards losing his solid form in the middle of his run and turning into a ghost like orange flame with the head of a fox as it charged towards the Uchiha.

Sasuke tried to dodge while slashing at the demon only for his sword to pass right through him and for the ghost like fox to swerve sharply as it continued to follow him. He strengthened his Susanoo and tried to outrun the persistent mass of chakra to no avail until the fox ended up crashing right into him and being absorbed by his body. Every single cell of Sasuke’s body burned when the fox penetrated his very skin. The pain was unbearable. It was even worse than the pain he got while using Susanoo and that was saying something.

He clutched at his chest which was the point of impact and panted as the feeling started there and spread towards the rest of his body. Removing his hand he stared at the seal that now painted his skin enraged as his mind tried to figure out what that jutsu was supposed to do to him.

His head snapped up and glared at the still crouching girl who was looking resigned and determined.

“WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME!!?” He yelled with mad eyes as Susanoo grew and floated above him.

She didn’t say a word simply charged at him with a flurry of blows and kicks which he deflected easily. He countered her attacks in a rage as he was royally pissed off for not knowing what it was that she had done to him with that jutsu. He did not think she would use anything fatal against him, but then again it had been a long time since he could truthfully say he knew her and for all he knew she might have drastically changed during the time he had not been around.

They kept at it for a while, exchanging blows and blocking each other’s until there was a moment where their faces were too close to each other’s and their eyes met for a fraction of a second. Anguished azure stared into enraged onyx and she let her guard down. It was only for a millisecond, but alas, it was enough. His lightning laced katana penetrated her stomach and went out her back. Her blood painted the blade and gingerly crawled down to stain his hands and sully his white shirt. And he stood there frozen as the lightning dissipated and her eyes dimmed.

He waited… and then waited a little more… but the ‘poof’ he was waiting for never came…

His eyes widened when her warm blood caressed his fingers and blinked when she gave a violent cough and blood spattered on his cheek.

No… this was too easy… she wasn’t supposed to be defeated by something so simple… she always gave him a run for his money… she couldn’t just fall this way... he just had to wait a little while more and she’d pop in a cloud of smoke and the real her would come at him from a different angle… she’d give him a cheeky smile and tell him she got him cause this was a joke… yes… this was a joke… the warm wet blood on his hands was a joke… her dimming blue eyes were also a joke… and the pain in his chest was most certainly a joke!!!

Trembling hands grabbed at his shoulders and bloody lips touched his frozen ones filling his mouth with a coppery taste that jolted him into awareness.

Naru then leaned back and stared at his face that finally showed some kind of emotion other that anger and rage after all this time. Shock, disbelief, worry, and desperation were clearly visible in his endless pools of black. She gave a weak blood smeared smile at him letting her eyes fill with every unsaid emotion she had ever forced back.

“I forgive you… My love…” She whispered brokenly as the strength left her till all that was keeping her upright was the sword imbedded in her that he still clutched and the arm that he had unconsciously wrapped around her waist.

He let out a stammering breath and with each blink of his eyes the world shifted around him till her dim haunting pools of blue disappeared and he was left standing in a dark room with his feet in the water and without her warm body in his arms.

------------------

He did not know where he was and he seriously couldn’t care less in that moment. He’d been sitting in what looked like the sewers for minutes maybe hours he didn’t care to count. He didn’t care that his clothes were getting wet, freezing him to the bone. He didn’t care that he might be trapped in some kind of genjutsu. He didn’t care that the place he was sitting in was vaguely familiar. He didn’t care that he might be currently targeted and whoever had produced this possible genjutsu might be trying to kill him. Actually, if that was the case, he might actually let them kill him. He didn’t even care that his eyes were killing him from excruciating pain, so excruciating in fact that had he bothered to give it a thought he would suspect them to have turned blind if he opened them. All he cared about was that her sky blue eyes that were usually so full of life looked glassy and dim the last time he saw them. That her smiling lips that had kissed his were smeared with blood. That her warm blood had coated his hands and seeped into his clothes. That his hands which now covered his face were still painted red and their smell was making him nauseous. That his mouth tasted like blood. That his clothes smelled like blood. That his skin was covered in blood. Her blood… All he cared about was that she was dead. Dead and gone because he had taken her life away. The one person left on this earth that even bothered to care for him was dead and gone. And she hadn’t just cared, she had loved–loved him. And she was dead and gone because of him. She was dead and gone. Simply dead and gone… and there was nothing he could do about it since he was the one that had forced this situation upon himself. Seek revenge? Wasn’t that the thing he was best at? He sought revenge for his clan, he sought revenge for his brother… and now what? He’ll seek revenge for her? How will he seek revenge for her since he was the one he would be seeking revenge from? Could one seek revenge from himself? Should he simply kill himself and be done with it? But he’d always hated people who did that! He was born to die fighting not offing himself by his own hands!

“Uchiha Sasuke…” An evil husky echo followed by a dark growl finally broke the silence.

Sasuke only removed his hands from his face once he felt a presence right before him and he opened his eyes to find himself staring at the fox that had attacked him previously. He was mildly surprised at the fact that his eyes, despite the excruciating pain they were in, were actually not blind after all.

“You. Killed. My. Kit!!” The fox growled out saying each word like a full sentence as his face contorted in rage.

Sasuke merely stared blankly back at the horse sized enraged fox with a blood smeared face and a tortured soul.

“What have you to say for yourself?!” The kyuubi yelled as he stalked towards him with his hair standing up in rage until his face was almost touching the Uchiha’s.

He did not get any visible reaction from the seated man as he stared at the demon with dead eyes.

“…Why haven’t you killed me yet…?” He asked impassively in a mumble.

The Kyuubi lifted an eyebrow at him.

“Kill you?! You think killing you will be enough for me?! Why take you out of your misery?? No, suffer it will do you good?!” Kurama exclaimed in rage. “Tell me, are you satisfied yet?! Has killing her satisfied your thirst for revenge?!”

There was an agonizing silence then as Sasuke stared at him with tortured eyes.

“…No…” He finally muttered in a hoarse voice.

“Then why did you?!” The demon exploded at him. “Did you think it would make you happy to see her dying at your hands?! The one person left who actually cared was sacrificed to snap you out of your madness?! Was it necessary?! Was her blood necessary?!”

The raven had his eyes squeezed shut as his face contorted in agony more and more with every word the demon threw at him.

“What do you want?!” he finally snapped. “Kill me?! Do it! Torture me?! I’d take it, gladly!!”

“What do I want, huh?” The demon said with a mad chuckle. “I want to crush you, you brat!! I want to torture that cockiness out of you!! That’s what I’d like to say but she wouldn’t have wanted that, would she? No she sent me here to you as she prepared to die so that I can grant you a final wish!! She wants you to finally be free from this road bound by revenge you make yourself walk!!”

Sasuke frowned at the demon in morbid confusion and curiosity, and then only because he mentioned her in his words.

“…A wish…?” He repeated quietly.

The fox looked like he would rather die than grant him what he had to after what he had done but was forcing himself to not kill him and be done with it as it was his kit’s final wish after all.

“I can take you back in time to fix one thing of your choosing…” He forced out through gritted teeth and let the boy ponder on the meaning of what he was saying.

Take him back in time? Was that even possible…? He’d lived with Orochimnaru for a long time and he was pretty sure that if there was something of that kind the old snake would have already put his slimy hands on it.

“…What…?” He said in disbelief yet with mild surprise.

The fox grumbled distastefully, “Yes, I can take you back to prevent your blasted clan from perishing, ya damn brat…”

Sasuke swallowed and his mind reeled as full meaning of the fox’s words dawned on him yet didn’t let his guard down yet.

“…What’s the catch?” He asked distrustfully.

The Kyuubi smirked devilishly, “It seems Naru had not been exaggerating when she praised your intelligence, huh?”

Sasuke almost invisibly flinched at the sound of her name yet Kurama caught it and it only made his smirk turn wider.

“The catch, ya damn brat, is that you’ll have to choose… you have two options in both you win and you lose… In both choices, however, you’ll have to pay dearly… I can bring you Naru back…” The kyuubi trailed off purposely to get the Uchiha's hopes up before crushing him, and as expected the raven perked up at the demon’s words.

“And I can bring your clan back…” Kurama continued further grabbing the other’s attention, “But… I can’t bring both. Either you save your clan or you save her. Either you choose to stop your clan’s massacre and condemn Konoha to live through their rebellion while letting her body rot, or… you choose to prevent all the wrongs you’ve done her from happening and give yourself a second chance at happiness after the tragedy of your childhood… your choice, Uchiha!”

Sasuke stared at him with narrowed eyes.

“That was her final wish? For you to give me an impossible choice? For some reason I can’t see her coming up with such an elaborated and cruel plan like this.” He said skeptically.

Kurama chuckled evilly, “Of course not! She simply wished for the revival of your clan if you so choose but then again what are we demons if not the masters of loop holes and manipulation…? So I’m giving you a choice, the life of the woman you love through whom you can revive your precious clan against the lives of a rebellious clan that would ultimately cause a civil war and bring forth multiple deaths…”

Sasuke gave a bitter smirk at his words.

“The woman I love, huh? I hadn’t realized I was that transparent…” He said a bit lightly since he had already made his choice and he was feeling slightly better already.

The kyuubi smirked as he too could see that the raven’s decision was made. “If you weren’t, your choice would have been different. And if it makes you feel better, she never knew.”

“It makes me feel worse, so thank you and I haven’t made my choice yet.”

“That was the plan, so you’re welcome and I can see it clearly in your eyes.” Kurama smirked; he might be slightly, very very very slightly, starting to like the brat after all.

“You’re a master manipulator, alright…” Sasuke said bitterly, “Her life, of course…”

“Not your clan’s? Your mother’s, your father’s, your family’s?” The demon taunted.

“It’s my clan’s curse…” The Uchiha muttered, his bitter smirk never leaving his lips, “Our love is our downfall, and that girl is mine…”

“Is that your final choice? You may not change your mind afterward, you know?” Kurama said in an evil voice filled with amusement as his grin turned monstrous.

“It is.” He confirmed.

“You…” the fox started with a murderous expression before breaking out in a grin, “Pass…”

The demon laughed madly as the lights dimmed further then everything exploded in a blinding flash of light and Sasuke was left with a weird sense of deja-vu as he remembered his old days on team seven.

“Just know that I’m doing this for my kit’s own good not yours.” Was the last thing he heard before finding himself in a completely different place.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Naru coughed and choked on her own blood as she lay on her back in the sewers of her unconsciousness.

 

A fox, identical to the one that had attacked Sasuke except with five tails, came up behind her and propped her up so she was leaning on its body while it laid its head on her lap and curled itself around her.

 

Kurama sighed after he tore at her jacket with his teeth and inspected the bleeding gaping wound he had uncovered.

 

"You could have let your guard down on a less fatal blow, you know, or at least protected yourself against it a bit… his katana was laced with lightning, you have some pretty serious internal damage…" He told her disapprovingly.

 

The girl shrugged weakly as she tried not to think about the fact that Sasuke hadn't even hesitated as he killed her. The only thing that kept her tears and sorrow at bay was the haunted look he had sported after seeing what he had done.

 

Kurama huffed in frustration, "You know I barely have enough excess chakra to heal this. I won't be able to completely get rid of the scarring of the skin, especially since you insisted I take him back with you."

 

"I don't mind…" She said in a small voice snuggling her face into his soft fur and trying to take comfort from the heat of his body.

 

"Ano, Kyuu-chan…" She started weakly after a moment of silence as Kurama worked on healing her wounds. "Don't you think it's a bit too cruel to let him think he actually killed me…?"

 

The demon's eyes flashed murderous at her words.

 

"Serves him right!" He growled, "It's the least he deserves for what he did to you! Let him suffer it's not like he won't know you're alive soon enough… too soon even if I have a say in the matter…"

 

She smiled fondly at him and scratched behind one of his long ears as she watched him patch her up while using as little chakra as possible.

 

"It's a flesh wound only now." He told her once he was finished, "It will take some time to completely heal since it'll be on normal human healing speed, rather your Uzumaki freakish healing seed, but it'll heal slower than normal and shouldn't even hurt much anymore."

 

She looked down at her abdomen and sure enough the wound was still there though it was in its final stages of healing with the skin slightly red and the blood crusted.

 

She shook her head with a grateful smile, "It's fine, thank you…"

 

He waved her off with a jerk of his head.

 

There was a moment of silence where the fox's ears twitched then moved up a bit as his face showed a myriad of expressions.

 

"So…" She looked at him inquiringly, correctly assuming that he had gotten information from his other body who must now be with Sasuke.

 

He sighed and rolled his eyes.

 

"Ok so he might not be totally worthless…" He mumbled yet a smirk still painted his lips.

 

She smiled brightly at him. "Really?! He wants to go back to fix things?!"

 

"Yeah… but I had to manipulate him into it… although to be fair, had he been totally worthless even my manipulation wouldn't have worked."

 

"What did you do?" She asked curiously with a frown.

 

He sighed yet again knowing that she wasn't going to like his answer, "I made him choose between having you alive and his clan, as in fixing things with you or fixing things with his clan…"

 

There was a moment of silence then she deadpanned, "And he chose me…"

 

He shrugged.

 

Her reaction then was comical; she turned angry and grieved, then happy but embarrassed, then guilty and grieved again.

 

"But Kyuu-chan…" She started guiltily, "He gave up the chance to save his clan for me and I don't even need any actual saving…"

 

He shook his head.

 

"Remember what I told you when you asked if we could go back to save your parents?" He asked seriously.

 

She nodded a bit sadly, "You said them not dying would change too many things; if they hadn't died you might have stayed under that fucking Tobi's command, you might have destroyed Konoha and might not have been sealed in me in the first place which would result in a paradox since it's you being sealed in me that's actually giving me the opportunity to go back and there will be a huuuuuge mumbo-jumbo something something…" Needless to say it had taken him an awfully long and arduous time to get her to understand that and she had obviously not gotten everything he was saying. Her use of 'mumbo-jumbo', I believe, could be considered proof enough of that.

 

He rolled his eyes at the lovely finishing of her explanation but at least she had been half listening to him when they'd been discussing the matter. "Close enough… Now imagine what could have happened had the whole of the Uchiha clan stayed alive. It's true that some of them were innocent and good but… remember the reason for why the council elders ordered their annihilation?"

 

Her eyes widened a bit in realization, "They would have gone against the Hokage…"

 

He nodded, "And there would have been many people who would stand with the Hokage too. The village would have split in half and a full blown civil war would have started in the middle of Konoha…"

 

"Many would have died…" She mumbled in shock.

 

"Yes. Even if we wanted to go back in time in a point where you could try to change their minds and make peace before they rebelled, our chance of success is very slim at best and this is truly something too risky for us to mess with."

 

"So… you're saying their death was a good thing…?" She said in an anguished voice.

 

The Kyuubi would have said yes but he knew that would make her feel even worse so he checked his words.

 

"I wouldn't say a good thing. Inevitable would be a better word." He said.

 

She frowned in thought for a moment then looked at him disapprovingly.

 

"If you couldn't save his clan anyway why offer to… that was cruel, Kyuu-chan…" She berated him.

 

He rolled his eyes at her; sometimes his kit was too soft for her own good.

 

"I needed to make sure his heart was in the right place!"

 

"Did it have anything to do with your dream?" She asked softly referring to the actual reason for why he suggested they go back to the past to fix things and knew how to go about doing it in the first place. The kyuubi had had a dream of an alternate future were things had turned out differently and what he saw there was so good that had him determined to make it reality in this world too no matter what.

 

"It wasn't a dream! Bijuu don't dream! We have visions!" He snapped at her in indignation.

 

She giggled, "Ok, ok, your almighty vision then."

 

He huffed at her then nodded, "In the vision the Uchiha massacre still happened but I saw an Uchiha Sasuke that had never left and was considered as one of Konoha's and the Hokage's most loyal and powerful protectors. I had to make sure he was on the right path to becoming the man he was supposed to be. Though he might now be thinking that he gave up the chance to save his clan, truth is what he chose was the exact opposite. He chose to revive his clan and restore it to its former glory, if not make it more glorious than it ever was, saving us all in the process. He chose the path that would lead to the birth of a powerful clan, and the breaking of an ancient curse turning it, as he does so, into a blessing."

 

She stared at him in concentration before deflating and giving a big sigh.

 

"I don't get what you're sayiiiiiiiing…" She whined.

 

A vein popped on the fox's forehead.

 

"I DON'T KNOW WHY I BOTHER TRYING TO EXPLAIN STUFF TO AN IDIOT LIKE YOU!" He yelled at her.

 

"Muuuu, Kyuu-chaaaan… That was mean…" She pouted at him crossing her arms over her chest.

 

He growled at her.

 

"But still, Kyuu-chan," She said sobering up a bit, "I bet he's hurting right now…"

 

"Like I said, serves him right for killing you!" He snapped back.

 

"But he didn't… not really…" She countered.

 

"If it weren't for me he would have! What did he think you were?! Immortal? He needed a wakeup call and nothing would have worked better than thinking he killed the woman he loved." He told her still pissed at the boy.

 

Her cheeks turned crimson at his words.

 

"Kurama! Don't stay stuff like that! He doesn't l-l-l-love me, ttebayo!" She stammered out in embarrassment.

 

The fox rolled his eyes.

 

"If he didn't my manipulation wouldn't be working." He stated easily.

 

"No, no… that's because… because he thought he killed a good friend of his!" She argued though her heart couldn't help but speed up at the thought that he might really care for her like Kurama said he did.

 

"Huh… keep telling yourself that." Kurama said unimpressed.

 

"A-a-anyway!" She said trying to change the subject, "What now? Where are you taking him?"

 

The kyuubi shrugged lazily.

 

"Don't wanna tell you." He said easily.

 

"What?! Why?! Urghhh… whatever…" She mumbled deciding to bug him about it later since she had other stuff she wanted to ask him about. "Ermm… how many trips can you make?"

 

"Depends on the time you spend in each place until we land permanently… this me has a bit more chakra than the one with him though. What do you have in mind?" He asked curiously as he prepared himself to use up almost all of his chakra; the amount of chakra this jutsu needed was crazy which was why he had been saving up chakra for a while and couldn't afford to use up much in healing her.

 

As previously stated the amount of chakra needed for the jutsu was immense and the way to use it was so intricate that one of its essential steps was a complicated memory erasing jutsu that the user had to cast on himself so he wouldn't even remember how to perform the jutsu again. Whoever had given him that vision and the information needed for the jutsu was going through drastic measures to ensure it never be used again. He could understand why since the existence of such a jutsu was sure to cause chaos but what he couldn't figure out was who exactly was this powerful being that cared so much and why they even cared in the first place.

 

"Where do you think is the best place to land for real?" She asked thoughtfully.

 

"I'd say on your first day as a Genin. That's where your bond starts to develop and it gives us enough time to persuade him against leaving the village. I also think we should pay him a few visits as he grows up so that you can be a good influence on him, and maybe even soften him up a bit…" He told her.

 

She nodded, "Yeah, that's what I thought too… so the day of our graduation from the Academy…?"

 

"That's what I said, yes." He said with a nerve popping for having to repeat himself.

 

"Then how about… How about you land him there and land me a bit later so that he could have a bit of time to… adjust…?" She suggested innocently.

 

He looked at her suspiciously with narrowed eyes, "You mean so he could have a bit of time to cool off so he won't kill you for real for making him think he killed you."

 

She rubbed the back of her neck sheepishly and laughed, "Yeah… that too… but you know if he kills me it's your fault; this was your plan, dattebayo!"

 

He rolled his eyes yet again. "Fine. As for the brief stops? I know you've been giving this some serious thought since I told you about it so spill, what did you decide?"

 

She bit at her bottom lip and looked down so that her bangs covered her eyes, "I want to be there for him at the times where he most needed someone but was all alone… all I can think of is the day of the massacre but other than that I have no clue; it's not like Sasuke went around telling us stories about his past, but I'm sure it wasn't easy, ttebayo…"

 

The kyuubi gave her a somewhat soft look at that. His kit really did care for that boy, huh? He promised himself he'd make sure that little brat was worthy of her if it killed him!

 

"I can look through his memories if you like…" He suggested slowly.

 

Her head snapped up at that and she looked at him with a shit eating grin.

 

"You can do that?! Yes, please pleeeease!" She exclaimed happily.

 

The kyuubi sighed but closed his eyes and concentrated nonetheless. He frowned after a while at what he found. Yikes, that boy's head was filled with cobwebs, no wonder he turned out the way he did.

 

"Man, the brat's got a childhood almost as bad as yours, Naruko… Had you been less exuberant and good, and more cunning and smart we would've had two Sasuke's running around except your target would have been Konoha…" He shook his head in near wonder, "You sought the title of Hokage while he sought revenge… The same yet polar opposites… Together you two would make a force to be reckoned with, nothing could stand in your way… look at us now, doing the impossible so that your future could come to be…"

 

She smiled a bit sadly at him and bit her lip, "Let's hope it works, Kyuu-chan…"

 

He nodded with steely resolve as he jumped up on his feet and went to rest his forehead on hers.

 

"First stop, Kit, get ready. This is before the massacre…" He said and she nodded.

 

The kyuubi's fur seemed to glow for a bit then a blinding light engulfed them both and Naruko found herself sitting on a grass covered ground surrounded by trees.

 


 

Naruko stood up with a smile and stretched before wincing a bit as it irritated her wound. She looked down and, to her confusion, noticed that her bloody and ruined clothing was back as new.

 

'Hood up, kit…' Kurama reminded her as they had decided she should attract as little attention to herself as possible.

 

'Hai, hai…' She thought back and did as she was told.

 

Kurama must have done something to her clothes, she figured.

 

She placed her hands on her hips and was looking around trying to decide how to go about finding the little Sasuke of this time when she heard quite sniffling somewhere to her right.

 

With a concerned look she walked slowly towards the noise so as not to startle whoever was crying and froze at what she saw behind the trees.

 

A mini-Sasuke that looked to be about four years old was sitting on the ground trying to hold in his tears and hiccups by pressing his little balled up fists to his eyes.

 

A warm feeling crawled itself into her heart at the sight of the little crying boy and she couldn't help but have this intense desire to hold him close and take whatever pain he was feeling away.

 

"Hey there…" She said softly as she carefully crouched down before him so as not to startle him.

 

The mini-Sasuke gave a little gasp as he hurried to clumsily get up on his feet and almost fell in his attempt had she not caught him at the last second.

 

He looked at her fearfully yet wore what resembled a scrawl as he tried to keep his tears at bay and get free from her grasp.

 

"Hey, Hey! Hush now, I won't hurt you…" She said gently while keeping her hold on him.

 

He frowned at her even as his little chin trembled and his bright eyes blinked away the tears.

 

"Let me go! Awe you a bad kunoichi? Let me go!" He said stubbornly while still trying to get out of her arms.

 

She chuckled a bit at how cute this little flushed and crying Sasuke was.

 

"I promise I'm not bad. See," She looked down at the forehead protector wrapped around her neck. She vaguely remembered having heard that Itachi had graduated the Academy at a very young age so she tried to use that to her advantage. "Your brother has one just like this, no? That means we're on the same side."

 

The chibi Sasuke looked down at where she was indicating and quitted down a bit though his little scrawl didn't go away.

 

"You know nii-san…?" He asked a bit uncertainly.

 

"Yep!" she said with a bright disarming smile, "Now tell me little man, what's your name?'

 

"U-Uchiha Sasuke…" He said as he rubbed at one of his eyes with a little fist.

 

She carefully removed his hand and dried at his tears herself with a gentle caress of her long fingers.

 

"Alright, Sasu-chan, tell me why you're crying, baby…" She said as she brushed the hair away from his face. She couldn't help but call this little baby Sasuke the way she had, especially since she knew very well that the older him would gift her with an almighty Uchiha glare if she ever dared use it on him.

 

The little boy blinked up at the pretty onee-chan that looked kind and caring like his mother then looked down in embarrassment.

 

"I-I got lost…" He finally confessed in a small voice.

 

Her eyes softened at the little flushed face that was shadowed by dark bangs.

 

"It's ok, baby, I'll help you…" She reassured him as she placed an orange manicured finger under his chin and directed his little face up, "Stay here, I'll be right back."

 

And with that she disappeared in a yellow and orange flash as she jumped up branches till she was on top of one of the trees so she could figure out their exact location.

 

Seconds later, she was back down and standing in front of a gawking mini-Sasuke.

 

She grinned hugely down at the boy when he let a little 'wow' escape his gapping lips and lifted him up easily into her arms.

 

"That was so cool, Nee-chan!" The little boy said with a smile and huge familiar black eyes as he held on to her open for support.

 

"Hehe…" She giggled stupidly at the giddy feeling that was coming over her with this chibi-Sasuke in her arms and at having gotten him, Uchiha Sasuke, even if a mini Uchiha Sasuke, to call her cool, "It was cool, neeee? Very cool, wasn't it?"

 

The little boy nodded eagerly along with her grinning.

 

"You wewe wight hewe then shwiiiiwwww..." He made some motions with his hands, "And you wewe up thewe then hewe again!" He blabbered on with a beaming smile and exited demeanor.

 

Naru harshly bit down on her lip at just how cute his little errors in pronunciation were. Who would have thought… Uchiha Sasuke all smiley, giggly, and having trouble pronouncing his Rs.

 

"Yes well, I'm the best kunoichi out there after all, ttebayo, I have to be cool don't you think?"

 

His little eyes got comically wide at her declaration.

 

"You'we the best kunoichi?!" He exclaimed in awe.

 

She giggled at his innocence.

 

"Ya betcha!" She exclaimed not being able to help herself as she placed a loud kiss on his chubby little cheek making his little face scrunch up then flush a little in embarrassment.

 

It seemed that even as a child Sasuke wasn't too used to receiving gestures of affection and that was just sad, even if her case was even worse than his it still made her sad. She had promised herself that if she ever even thought about having children she would shower them with all the affection she had never been given.

 

'And since those children would be the little brat in your arms' too you have your workload doubled, Kit.' The kyuubi whispered to her in amusement making her cheeks flame bright red.

 

The little boy in her arms cocked his head to the side in concern.

 

'Pedophile…' She muttered back to the demon.

 

'Hardly…' Kurama scoffed then completely ignored her accusation.

 

"You alwight, onee-chan?" Sasuke asked, cutely touching one of her warm cheeks with a chubby little hand.

 

She startled a bit and blinked down at him. It seemed he wasn't the only one not used to physical displays of affection, not even little innocent ones.

 

Making an effort to ignore the thoughts that damn Kurama's words had provoked she hugged the little boy tighter to her and shook her head fondly down at him indicating she was alright.

 

He gave her a cute little smile that made the inner her turn into a squealing fangirling mess.

 

That got him another series of loud kisses to his cheeks which he flushed and protested against.

 

"Hey, hey, Sasu-chan…" She said after having calmed down while looking down at him with worry.

 

'Go around the village towards the Uchiha compound directly, the less people that see you the better…' The kyuubi commented interrupting and she changed direction as instructed.

 

The little boy looked up at her with another cute little cock of his head.

 

'Kawaiiiiiiii!' Inner her squealed to the roll of the kyuubi's eyes as she continued, "What were you doing so deep in the forest all alone?"

 

Sadness briefly flashed in the little boy's eyes as he looked away and snuggled closer to her burying his face into the crook of her neck.

 

"Onii-san didn't want to play with me…" He mumbled sadly and his little tone completely shattered whatever was left of her heart.

 

It seemed her heart was destined to forever be broken by the boy in her arms whether it may be intentional or not and no matter how old he was.

 

"Why didn't he want to play with you?" She asked softly.

 

"He said he was busy!" Sasuke head snapped up to looked at her with a trembling chin, "He's aaaaalways busy! He doesn't love me anymowe… He says latew but when it's latew he says he's busy again! So I… I went to see him twain… he always comes to the fowest to twain but… I got lost and couldn't find him… and then I couldn't go back home… Nii-san doesn't love me anymowe…" He trailed off and he looked like he was about to burst out crying again.

 

"Ne, Sasu-chan… your nii-san is a shinobi now, you know… he has to train and go on missions, he really is busy. He'll always love you, though, don't worry, you'll always be his precious little otouto…" even when he becomes the person you hate the most and you kill him with your own hands… She said as she felt sorrow once again for the harsh fate that had been thrust upon Uchiha Itachi.

 

She wasn't able to elaborate more on the matter however, since she could feel five presences watching them from the shadows.

 

'Kurama…' She called in her head as her senses went on high alert.

 

'I know. I can feel them…' He said back.

 

'Why exactly did you bring me here, Kura-chan? What happened to Sasuke that you thought it a good idea to bring me here?' She asked suspiciously as she followed the hidden shinobi's movements with her mind's eye.

 

Kurama sighed then proceeded to inform her of what he'd seen in the older Sasuke's head.

 

'When your brat was four he got lost in the woods, a group of disguised shinobi, I believe to be of Konoha's under the fucker Danzo's command, were about to kidnap the younger son of the Uchiha head when Uchiha Itachi came upon them and saved his little brother while activating his Sharingan for the first time. It wasn't pretty though, and both Uchiha were injured quite badly…'

 

'Damn it, Kurama! Give a girl a warning will you!' She snapped back at the demon a bit irritated.

 

'I just did.' He countered unaffectedly.

 

'Yeah, right as the shit is about to hit the fan!' She said angrily as she held on tightly to the boy and jumped out of the way of several thrown kunai.

 

The mini-Sasuke blinked a bit looking disoriented before he peeked from over Naru's shoulder at the three masked shinobi that appeared before them. They didn't have any plates to indicate their hidden village of origin and their faces and bodies were covered by black masks and hooded capes.

 

Sasuke tightened his hold on the girl fearfully and looked up at her to be faced with a scary sight. Red silted eyes flashed and burned in the shadows of her hood, harsh whisker marks scratched at her cheeks, and sharp fangs peeked through her frowning red lips.

 

He sucked in a startled breath and couldn't help but think that the previously kind looking onee-chan now looked very scary as well. His reaction caught her attention and broke the fearsome glare she had been directing at the three men.

 

She looked down at him and seeing the awed yet fearful look he was giving her she broke out in a disarming fang filled grin yet it looked so silly on such a fearsome looking person that it made him smile a little.

 

She put him down and led him to stand behind her. He let her move him around then clutched at her leg and peeked out from behind it at their assailants.

 

"Why don't you hand him to us quietly, sweetheart and that pretty little face of yours won't need to get all beaten up." One of the men said in a chuckle.

 

"Urusai, old man! I think you should be more worried about your face, or maybe not since it must be pretty ugly for you to have to cover it with a mask." She said with a devilish smirk on her face.

 

"Why, you little brat!" The man cried angrily and threw another kunai at her which she was easily able to catch and started spinning it around her finger mockingly.

 

"That the best you can do?" She mocked with a flash of red eyes and sharp teeth.

 

The man growled and charged at her. She gave a pat to the boy's head indicating to let go of her leg and once he did she disappeared in a yellow flash. She was standing in front of the man before he could blink and when he directed a punch at her she grabbed his fist and crushed his hand with sheer force. He gave an anguished cry of pain as he stared at his now weirdly shaped fingers with horror and before he could even think about running away, she had him in an unconscious heap on the ground.

 

Her hood had fallen off when she dashed forward and long strands of blond hair cascaded down her back as she turned towards the other two.

 

She smirked up at the remaining two men, who were now in full alert knowing that they didn't stand a chance before this girl, and crouched down in a predatory stance.

 

"You want to join in on the fun, Itachi-kun?" She called out and a black haired boy jumped down beside her.

 

"Sure." He said quietly as he gave the two men a fearsome glare.

 

She chuckled as she looked at the cute boy beside her, granted she had also though the older him was handsome and could see how he was the brother of the guy she considered the most handsome she had ever met, but seriously these younger Uchiha were so cute it was ridiculous. Of course she knew full well they might kill her if she ever called them that to their face, Itachi maybe not but Sasuke there was no doubt about it.

 

"Lovely to be able to fight by your side Uchiha Itachi... It really is..." She told the boy who was to grow into the man that would sacrifice everything for the wellbeing of the man she loved.

 

He frowned at her as if trying to figure out who she might be but decided to worry about her later since his otouto was still in danger.

 

Both men charged at them then and they each dealt with one on their own. Naru was fast and vicious and could have disposed of both easily but she wanted to see the older Uchiha fight since everyone was always going on about how he was a prodigy since he was a child and all. She toyed with her opponent and kept an eye on both boys. These shinobi Danzo had sent were pretty weak.

 

'Their mission must have only been to kidnap a little four year old boy when alone and unprotected. They look no higher than Chūnin level. Not long ago you would have had much more trouble with them though, so I'd say it's just you that became ridiculously strong... But be careful; this body of yours is only as strong as a Kage Bunshin.' Kurama warned in the back of her mind.

 

She frowned at the kyuubi for only telling her this now then panicked a bit when she noticed a man approaching the little Sasuke. She knocked her opponent out and was about to use the flying thunder god technique she had learned from some scrolls left by her father when Kurama yelled in her mind for her not to move.

 

'Watch.' He told her quietly.

 

She froze but prepared to use the technique on the jutsu-shiki she had left on the back of the little Sasuke's shirt at a moment's notice.

 

She watched silently gritting her teeth as Itachi noticed a forth man getting closer to his brother.

 

The older boy's eyes widened in panic as the man reached for Sasuke grabbing him and covering his mouth with a hand to muffle the little boy's screams.

 

Naru almost lost her cool and was about to send the guy to the deepest depths of hell when Kurama probed at her mind again reminding her to stand still. She gritted her teeth and was about to disregard Kurama's warning anyway when she found her body unable to move. Damn that fuckin sneaky fox! He had removed her ability to control the Kage Bunshin she was using!

 

The man started dragging a kicking and screaming Sasuke away and in that moment all Itachi could see was red, all he could feel was a burning sensation in his eyes, and all he knew is that he had to destroy those men and save his brother.

 

In less than a second's notice he had the man he was fighting unconscious and was about to chase after the other when he saw the blond woman, who had been by now freed from the fox's restraints, crouching other the bloodied unconscious figure of the man that had previously been trying to kidnap his brother.

 

She looked vicious and feral and the amount of chakra leaking out of her was frighteningly intimidating. Was it even possible for a human to possess such immense chakra? She had his brother clutched to her chest with an arm as her other clawed hand squeezed at the man's throat. She looked like a monster. Like an Akuma. Like a wild animal protecting its offspring.

 

She stood up slowly, placing Sasuke on his feet to give his brother a chance to look him over, and just like that the intimidating freighting killer intent and chakra that had surounded them dissipated and a warm shiny one replaced it.

 

Naru gave a sigh of relief smiling at the two brothers as they ran towards each other and the older crouched down before the younger.

 

"Are you ok?" Itachi asked worriedly and Sasuke nodded jerkily as he looked up at his brothers with wide eyes.

 

"Nii-san! Youw eyes!" Sasuke exclaimed pointing up at them in amazement.

 

Itachi frowned a bit and looked up towards the woman.

 

"Am I right in assuming I have the Sharingan activated?" He asked her.

 

She nodded with a grin.

 

"Yep! Is this your first time? Then I think congratulations are in order!" She said cheerfully as she approached them.

 

"Hmm... Thanks, I guess..." He said uncertainly as he looked at her suspiciously. "Who are you?"

 

"Hehe..." She giggled wickedly with an orange manicured finger on her lips, "That's a secret~..."

 

She then turned away from the frowning Itachi to look down at the little Sasuke with her hand on her hips.

 

"You want me to carry you, Sasu-chan?" She asked the little boy cheekily.

 

He beamed up at her and held his little arms up.

 

She picked him up and tickled him then laughed along with his little giggles.

 

Itachi was still suspicious and slightly surprised at her familiarity with his brother but followed her nonetheless, not deactivating his Sharingan just in case, as she continued walking the way she had been before being interrupter.

 

"Oh! Almost forgot!" She exclaimed stopping mid-stride and making a cross seal with her arms still around Sasuke. She produced a Kage Bunshin that put her hood back on, pinched the little wide eyed Sasuke's cheek with a giddy smile, then walked back towards the unconscious men.

 

"She'll take care of them." She told Itachi as they went on walking.

 

"Ne, Onee-chan?" Sasuke said looking up at her.

 

She hummed in question smiling down at him.

 

"Was that you?" He asked her in confusion.

 

She grinned at him, "That was a Kage Bunshin, a shadow clone. A technique shinobi use to make a clone of ourselves if we need help doing something." She explained to the little boy.

 

"Eehhh..." The mini-Sasuke said in wonder.

 

"That's not just any technique." Itachi said looking up at her through squinted eyed. "That's a forbidden technique and not just anyone has the capacity and chakra needed to do it. Who are you? You aren't just any kunoichi running around and I've never heard of you. Or is that plate fake and you aren't from Konoha?"

 

"Eeehhh! So you awe stwong nee-chan!" The little Sasuke exclaimed.

 

Naru grinned as she ruffled the little boy's head then turned back to his brother.

 

"I am from Konoha. But I can't tell you who I am I'm sorry, all I can say is that I have Sasuke's interest foremost in my mind though I can't tell you why. I will you one day, though, don't worry."

 

Itachi simply narrowed his eyes at her.

 

"Where are we going then? The front gate isn't this way." He asked her suspiciously.

 

"We're going directly to the Uchiha compound." She told him.

 

"We can't enter from there." He informed her.

 

"We're shinobi of course we can." She countered.

 

"Nee-chan!" Sasuke called again kind of frustrated that he had to get back her attention.

 

'The brat's fallen in love with you already, Kit, look at that hasn't even met you for more than half an hour and already doesn't want to share you with anyone else, not even his dear onii-san...' Kurama roared in laughter in her mind.

 

"Yeah?" She turned back to him blushing a bit yet biting her lip in amusement at the kyuubi's words.

 

"Do you have a Shewi-... Shawi-..." Sasuke grumbled with his little face scrunching up when he couldn't pronounce the word.

 

Naru gave a tinkering laugh at the look on is little chubby face and placed a little kiss on his forehead. It was almost like she was trying to compensate for all the times she wished to kiss the older him and couldn't.

 

"Sha-rin-gan." She said slowly.

 

"Shawin-gan!" He repeated triumphantly and she giggled.

 

"No, love, I don't have a Sharingan. Only powerful Uchihas like your brother have the Sharingan." She informed him as he swelled up with pride at her praise for his brother. Damn that Uchiha pride, it made her all warm inside. "When you're older and if you train hard enough you'll be able to get it too."

 

He nodded at her with determination, "I will. Then I'll pwotect you and nii-chan and won't need you to pwotect me!"

 

She smiled down at him fondly, "Well I'm pretty sure me and your brother will always want to protect you so we'll protect each other then!"

 

Itachi frowned further at her words. Just who was this woman that looked beyond fearsome one moment yet a moment latter acted this familiar and caring towards his brother.

 

Sasuke nodded at her before asking, "Then what eyes do you have, Nee-chan?"

 

"My eyes are normal, love, I don't have any special eyes." She told him a bit confused.

 

"But I saw!" He protested, "They wewe wed!"

 

"Oh!" She said in realization, "Oh! Yes yes, those eyes... Erm..." She frowned not knowing how to explain that. "That's just a... a little trick I can do..." She said lamely scratching at the back of her head.

 

"Can I see?" He said eagerly and she didn't have the heart to not give in to his every little whim.

 

'You're a complete sucker, Kit. What are you gonna do once you get yourself a little Uchiha of your own if you can't even handle the miniature of the father...' The kyuubi chuckled in amusement.

 

'Shut it, fur ball!' She snapped back trying to prevent her face from going crimson yet again.

 

She drew a bit of Kurama's chakra and opened her eyes showing them to him.

 

The little boy startled a bit and Itachi's eyes grew wide.

 

She chuckled at Sasuke's reaction.

 

"Am I that scary, Sasu-chan?" She asked him in amusement.

 

He quickly shook his head.

 

"No! You just look scawy but youw not! You saved me fwom the bad guys!" He told her firmly as if anyone who did something like that could never be scary.

 

She grinned at how endearing he was being.

 

"Is that a Dōjutsu? A kekkei genkai? Or are you like the Inuzuka clan? I've never heard of something like it though." Itachi said as he regarded her.

 

"It isn't no, and I'm not from the Inuzuka clan." She shook her head. "It only appears when Imold a special kind of chakra, I can't tell you more than that, though."

 

There was a gentle tugging at her hair that made an involuntary shiver run down her spine and she looked down at the boy in her arms in curiosity.

 

"Sasu-chan, what are you doing?" She asked and the little boy jumped and hastily let go of the strands of blond hair he had been playing with.

 

"N-nothing..." He said looking away.

 

She smiled softly at him, "It's ok, baby, I'm not scolding you, just wanted to know what you were doing."

 

He looked up at her and bit at his lip with a blush, "You have pwetty haiw..."

 

She giggled and kissed his pink chubby cheek, "Thank you, you're the first man ever to compliment my hair so you can play with it if you want; I don't mind."

 

He smiled at her and went to take back some strand of silky blond hair in his little hands.

 

They walked in silence for a while as pleasant shivers ran down Naru's spine from little Sasuke's gentle tugging at her hair. Who would've guessed, she liked having her hair played with. But then again how could she have known; no one other than her had ever touched it before.

 

They reached a little clearing in the woods and were flooded with rays of sunlight.

 

Sasuke looked down in amazement as the strands of hair in his hands seemed to flicker and shine under the light.

 

"So pweeetty!" He exclaimed not being able to tear his eyes away.

 

"Nee-chan, you'we hair is like gold!" He told her in amazement.

 

She could help bit burst out laughing at his comment. Uchiha Sasuke obsessed with her hair. This had to be a dream; it was too good to be true.

 

"Ok, here we are." She said after a while when they reached the outer walls of the village.

 

She put Sasuke back on his feet and crouched down before him so she could easily stare into his eyes.

 

"This is where we part, Sasu-chan. Be careful, train hard, and never go into the forest alone and without anyone knowing where you are. You saw those bad guys today and your brother and I saved you but you might not be so lucky next time." She told him seriously.

 

He nodded at her and frowned a little sadly at her.

 

"Awe you going away, Nee-chan?" He asked her.

 

She nodded with a sad smile knowing that for him it will be a long time before he sees her again.

 

"I have to go. I can't stay; I have missions to accomplish and things to take care of, being the best kunoichi out there isn't easy, ttebayo?" She said cheekily with a wide grin.

 

He looked sadly up at her. "Won't you come back? Won't you take me to play in the fowest?" He asked her quietly.

 

She bit her lip.

 

"One day, I'll come back." She finally said. "It won't be soon though. It might be a long time from now, you might have forgotten about me by then, but I promise I will."

 

"Pwomise to play with me in the fowest?" He asked.

 

She smiled, "I promise I'll take you to play in the forest one day. Promise you won't forget me?"

 

He nodded jerkily at that and stuck his little pinky towards her. "Pinky pwomise?"

 

Her smile turned into a full-fledged grin as she linked her bigger pinky with his tiny one and the delighted smile she got out of him, she thought, was totally worth the whole effort she was putting in going back in time to change things.

 

"Here," She said as she got an idea. She took out a kunai from her pouch and cut a piece of her hair. She then proceeded to braid it and tie it up with the orange piece of ribbon that she had been using to keep her hair tied up.

 

"Take this, keep it safe, and don't forget me, ok?" She said as she places the small braid in his hand.

 

He nodded at her and ran into her arms when she opened them up for him.

 

She hugged him tightly and basked in the feel of his little body as he buried his face in her orange scented hair.

 

Loosening her hold of him a bit she held a hand up to Itachi and after a moment of hesitation he took it.

 

She tugged him closer till she was hugging them both and jumped up in a flash. Next think they knew, they were on top of the wall then down again and they were standing in a backyard that was part of the Uchiha compound.

 

She let go of the boys, kissed their cheeks, ruffled their hair to one's giggling and the other's frowning, and then was over the wall and in the woods once again not to be seen by either boy for a few more years to come.

 

Sasuke kept staring at the place where she had disappeared for a while before looking down at the blond braid clutched in his little hand and hoping he would see the pretty onee-chan again and she would take him to the woods to play like she promised.

 

Itachi looked down at his brother in concern though he couldn't be anything but grateful to that stranger that had saved his otouto.

 

"She's stwong, neh Onii-chan?" Sasuke said. "I wanna be like you and hew. I'm gonna be a stwong shinobi."

 

Itachi smiled though he couldn't stop thinking about what he saw.

 

"She's strong, yes, but she's not normal..." He said almost to himself. "She fought like..." He remembered the impression he got from her overwhelming killing intent… A grinning long-eared being floating above her, "Like an Akuma..." He trailed of thoughtfully then walked away.

 

'Akuma...?' Sasuke thought. She was a good Akuma though... That golden haired Akuma that had protected him.

 

In some other place in Konoha, a bandaged man opened the door of his office to the sight of the four men he had sent to kidnap that Uchiha brat tied together, beaten up, bloody, and with mustaches and other weird drawings painted to their faces.

 

He gritted his teeth then snatched the folded piece of paper attached to their unconscious bodies.

 

'Don't play with fire; you'll get burned. Don't need that added to your ugly face, do we? -Your worst nightmare.' It read.

 

He scrunched up the paper in his hand and threw it away stomping down the corridor not bothering with the unconscious men that had failed him.