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Cage of the Silver Fang

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Waking up, I stood.  My apartment was silent.  Of course, I knew it would be.  I lived alone, no pets, so I would be more shocked if there was noise.  Sighing, I went to take a shower.  I had to be at the Hokage’s Office at nine.  Looking at the clock, I saw that it was 8:45.  I was right on time.  Stripping down, I let the warm water wash over my body.  Holding my stomach, I still hurt.  Stepping out after a few minutes, I put on my ANBU uniform, slipping my wolf mask in my belt, my black mask covering my face, my Hitai-ate covering my eye.  Pulling on my gloves, I headed to the Hokage’s office, doing a little detour, stopping at the Memorial Stone.  Bowing my head, I updated Rin and Obito on what had happened since last I was able to come.

“Well, sorry it’s been a bit.  Minato-sensei had a baby…his name is Naruto.  They named him after the character in Master Jiraiya’s book.  The nine tails came and ravaged the village…we are still trying to rebuild from that.  Minato-sensei and Kushina died sealing the tailed beast.  They wanted to seal the beast in Naruto.”  Sighing, I could still see that night…even though it had been a week ago.  “But I couldn’t let them.  It would ruin the kid’s life.  He’d be feared and hated, seen as a monster.  So…I figured why not let them seal it in a real monster, so I volunteered.  Kurama is in me, and he is pissed.  However, he’s sealed, and I only hurt a little bit.  Naruto is saved…so it’s a win-win.”

I frowned.  There was more, but…I couldn’t tell them…not yet.  “Well, I better get going.  It’s already nine oh five.”  Standing, I headed towards the Hokage’s Office, taking another detour.

“Hey, Kakashi…how are you?”  The white haired man looked at me, bags under his eyes as he opened the door to my knocking.  He smiled, ushering me into his home.

I smiled, even though he couldn’t see it under my mask.  “Fine.  How is he?” I asked.  Jiraiya smiled.

“Sleeping.  Come on in.”  Leading me to the crib, the blonde was asleep, a little line of drool from his mouth.  He was adorable. 

“Heh.  He looks like Minato-sensei.”  I whispered.  Blue eyes opening, the infant smiled at me and cooed.  I had seen him once before, the night Minato and Kushina had given their lives for the village.  That was the night I got the élan vital mark.  I had not told anyone.  I was frustrated…I had to tell someone, so I decided I had to tell Jiraiya.  He’d be the only one to understand and help.  Looking at Jiraiya, I raised an eyebrow.  “Could I speak to you privately?”

Jiraiya frowned, but nodded.  Leading me to the kitchen, he ushered me to sit down.  “What’s on your mind that you couldn’t say in front of an infant, Kakashi?”

Letting out a deep breath, I pulled my gloves off, showing him my wrist…the name Naruto was neatly imprinted on it in small, black letters.  Eyes opening wide, he let out a low whistle.  “When did you get that?” he asked.

“The night Minato-sensei died.”  I said.

Jiraiya nodded.  “The first time you saw Naruto.” He observed.  I nodded.  “That’s why you volunteered?” He asked, although his tone already said that he knew the answer before I nodded yes.

“You don’t think it’s weird or gross?” I asked him, looking for any signs in Jiraiya’s face.

“No.  I knew someone who was twenty when her she got her mark…of course, she called it a soul mark, but soul mark, élan vital mark…it’s the same thing, really.  She told me that until he became about seventeen or so, it was just a paternal, protective love that she had for him…she just wanted to be around him, but never once did she think of him sexually.  Now, after he got old enough and reciprocated her feelings, things heated up.”  Jiraiya patted my hand.

I kept looking at my hands.  “Master Jiraiya, I came to you to talk to you about a couple things.  First, I am staying in the ANBU, even though I was given the option to leave.  Second, you can never, never tell Naruto what his parents were going to do…or what I did instead.  The only people who know what the plan originally was is dead or in this room.  Naruto needs to believe that it was always their intention to put the beast in me.”  I looked up as Jiraiya stared at me curiously. 

“Why, Kakashi?  Why the deception?”  Jiraiya asked.

“Because…Naruto’s suffered enough.  I don’t know if he’d get mad at his parents or not, but they don’t deserve that.  They did what they thought best to protect everyone.  In addition, if he ends up being at all like Minato or Kushina, the guilt of what I did for him will tear him apart.  I don’t want that for him.  Besides, I’m used to being vilified.  So the taunts, the threats, the names…they mean nothing to me.  I’m used to them.  I am the Friend-Killer, after all.” 

“What will happen when he becomes of age and sees your name somewhere on his body?”  Jiraiya asked.

“Well, that was the third thing I wanted to talk to you about.  I’m fourteen years older than he is.  That’s way too old to be with someone.  Naruto needs a life, to be happy with someone, be a great shinobi, and have a family.  I’ll never be able to give him that, not with my history, reputation, and physical state of being a kyuubi container.  So, I want you to use a jutsu to cover my name when it appears.”  I looked up appealingly at him.

Jiraiya shook his head, a frown on his face.  “No…that’s not my choice to make.  He has to have a choice in his future.”

“He still will!” I demanded.  “He will still have all opportunities open to him.  Just because one side road is closed, doesn’t mean all the others, nor the main road is closed to him.  Promise me Jiraiya…promise me these two things.  I asked for nothing upon accepting the seal…but I am asking this of you now.  I think I deserve this, for giving up my life for Naruto’s.”  I know I was using guilt, but I didn’t care.  This was too important.  Naruto was too important.  I couldn’t let my soulmate’s life be destroyed because mine already had been.

Frowning, Jiraiya sighed.  “Fine.  But I don’t like it.”  He crossed his arms.  Standing, I patted Jiraiya’s shoulder.

“You don’t have to.  But it’s what’s best for Naruto…and that is what is important.”  Relieved, I headed out of the door, going to the Hokage’s office, slipping on my wolf mask before entering to see what my next mission would be.

 

 

Chapter Text

My missions were always sporadic, no set time between nor set length of the mission.  Sometimes I went months between missions that took me out of the village.  Sometimes it was mere days.  Some missions had me gone for days; others I may be gone for months.  The only constant was the predictableness of being an ANBU. 

Walking to the Memorial Stone, I knelt down.  “Hello Rin…Obito.  I hope you have been doing well.”  After telling them about the missions, I stopped.  Looking down, I swallowed.  “I…I got my élan vital mark.  It is Naruto...Minato’s son.  Just my luck, huh?”  I chuckled humorlessly as I let my eyes close.  Rubbing my stomach with the sudden pang, I sighed.  Suddenly I felt a tug.  Looking to my right, I saw…him.  Huge blue eyes looked at me from underneath a mop of blonde hair.

“K…Kashi?” Naruto asked, sticking his finger in his mouth.

I smiled in spite of myself.  “Yes, Naruto, I’m Kakashi.  What are you doing here?”  I looked around for Jiraiya.  He was nowhere in sight.

“Tag!  You it!”  He giggled, tottering off.  Thinking back, I realized Naruto had to be about two years old.  Confused at why Jiraiya was nowhere in sight, I figured it wouldn’t harm Naruto for me to humor him and spend some time with him.  Grinning, I “chased” after him, very slowly, but finally caught him.  Sticking out his bottom lip, he grinned.  “Hide seek!”  He closed his eyes and started to count.  Smirking, I scaled the tree right above him, watching him from the branches.  This would be good…I could watch him while I entertained him. 

Smirking, I watched him totter around, trying to find me.  Suddenly, I saw Kurenai approach.  “Naruto!  Not nice!  That wasn’t very nice to run away from me.  You shouldn’t be alone.”  I heard the relief in her voice.  Grabbing his hand, she smiled.

“B…but I wasn’t.  Kashi hewe.”  Naruto looked around, still not seeing me.

Dropping from the branch, I approached.  “Slippery, huh?”  I grinned, waving at him.

Kurenai smiled.  “Kakashi.  You’re back.  Jiraiya left me in charge of Naruto while he was out on a mission.  I don’t think he realized what he was doing…I’m not a very good mom.” 

I smiled back at her.  “I think you will be an excellent mother...when the time is right.  It’s always a bit different when you babysit.”

Naruto grinned and hugged me.  Kurenai smiled.  “Time to eat, Naruto!” she said.  His eyes perked up.

“Wamen?” he asked, hopefully.

“Alright.”  She laughed.  Looking at me, “Would you like to join us?”

I smiled.  “I have some things to do, so I can’t.  But thank you.”  Looking to Naruto, I saw him pout.  Kneeling down, I smiled.  “I’ll see you later Naruto.  Go enjoy lunch, okay?”  He launched himself at me, hugging me.  Hugging him back, I let go, standing up.  “See you both later.”  As they walked off, I felt more alone than I had before.

My stomach gave a lurch and I rubbed it.  Damn, I need some herbs I guess…stupid stomach

Well, you piss me off when you get agitated. A deep voice I had never heard said.

Stopping, my eye got huge.  “W…what?  Who was that?”  I looked around but couldn’t find anyone.

Idiot, it’s me, Kurama…I’m the beast sealed inside of you.  I had been asleep…but you getting agitated, especially being around that brat, is waking me up.

Frowning, I went back to my apartment quickly.  This was not good…not good at all.

()()()

“Hey, Wolf…c’mon.”  Cat said to me as I flash stepped from tree to tree.  We were heading home from our mission.  I had to admit, it felt good to be heading home.  Hurrying up a bit, I smiled beneath my mask.  Slipping into the Hokage’s office, I bowed, as did Cat and Eagle.

“Ah, good to see you three back.  I take it the mission was a success?”  Hokage Sarutobi asked.

“Hai.”  Cat said.  Sarutobi frowned, but then looked to Cat.  “Debrief me.”

Cat went about the debriefing.  Sarutobi kept glancing at me, but said nothing.  Afterwards, he dismissed us all.  “Wolf…a moment.”  Eagle and Cat looked to me, and then left. 

Stopping, I turned around.  “Yes, Hokage-sama?”  I asked.

Sighing, he looked at me.  “Why was Cat in charge of this mission?”  He stared hard at me.

I shrugged, putting my hands in my pockets.  “Cat was in the best position to lead this mission.”  I answered simply.

“Obito wasn’t your fault.”  Hokage said kindly.  Feeling the lump in my throat, I said nothing, staring at him dispassionately.

“The leader of the mission is responsible for their squad.” I reminded Hokage.  Sarutobi frowned, but said nothing.  I’m glad I could remind him of my shortcomings.  Nodding, he dismissed me.  Leaving the Hokage’s office, I walked back to my apartment.  Damnit, my stomach is hurting again.

We’ve been through this before, Idiot.  The voice said as I scowled.

Shut up.

Slipping inside, I sighed.  Sitting down on my couch, I slipped off my mask.  A bath…a bath would be awesome.  Stepping into the bathroom, I filled the tub, stripping and sliding into the hot water.  Leaning my head back, I finally relaxed as the hot water worked on my tired muscles.  Rubbing my wrist, I looked down at it.  I traced the letters of Naruto’s name, still as fresh as it was five years ago when it first appeared.  Sighing, I frowned as I heard knocking on the door.

“A minute.”  I called, slipping out of the water.  Drying off, I slipped on some pants and a shirt, putting my mask firmly in place.  Opening the door, I saw Jiraiya.  “Master Jiraiya, to what do I owe the pleasure?”  I asked, stepping aside so he could walk in.

“Well, it’s been awhile.  When we heard you were back in town, well…I couldn’t …” he was interrupted by a very loud blonde who rushed in past him.  Smiling up at me from my knee, he hugged me.

“Kakashi!  It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen you!”  Naruto said, blue eyes shining as he looked up at me.  Slipping off my Hitai-ate, I wrapped it around my wrist.  Smiling, I crouched down.  Ruffling his hair, I grinned.  Kami, I missed this kid. 

“So it has, Naruto…what…about three years or so?”  I asked, looking up to Jiraiya.

“Yep!  Tomorrow is my birthday…I’m gonna be five, and I get to start the Academy soon!  I’m gonna become a great shinobi one day, and then become a great Hokage, like my dad!  Right Jii?”  Naruto looked up as Jiraiya smiled.

“You betcha, kiddo…as long as you try hard, you’ll be fine.”  Jiraiya smiled.  Looking at me, he raised an eyebrow.  “And how are you doing?”  Jiraiya asked pointedly.

Ignoring the stomachache that was developing, I replied.  “Fine.  And you?” 

“Good.  Just been working on my writings, and missions.  Had a writing error I had to correct, but I developed a jutsu to help hide that when I see it.”  He said.  I sighed in relief.

“Good.”  Suddenly, Naruto was tugging at my pants leg.  “We are taking you to dinner.  No buts!”  He grabbed my hand.  As I looked at Jiraiya, he shrugged.

“The kid has more willpower than three adults, and he’s only five.”  Jiraiya noted.

“I’ll be five tomorrow!”  Naruto chirped, pulling me along with Jiraiya toward Ichiraku’s.  Smiling, I was tugged along for a very loud and messy dinner that I enjoyed thoroughly, even though I couldn’t eat much with my stomach being upset.

()()()

The birthday party was twice as loud…and twice as messy.  I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Naruto play and behave as a normal boy.  There were many people there…Sasuke, Sakura, Ino, Shikamaru, Choji, and Hinata.  I stood near the shadows, enjoying Naruto’s party.  There were whispers and dirty looks, but I ignored them.  Whether it was about the fox, or Rin, I didn’t know.  However, I didn’t want to ruin Naruto’s party.  Laying his gift on the table, I slipped out, smiling as I heard Naruto’s laughter on the air.  My stomach still hurt, but I was starting to get used to it.

()()()

“I see.  This is troubling news, indeed.”  Sarutobi’s eyes shifted to me at the end of Bear’s briefing.  “We must keep the identity of the jinchurriki hidden at all costs.  If the Akatsuki is already making plans…and while it may be early stages…still, we need to get all the information we can about this.  Cat, Bear, Eagle, Wolf…that is your mission.  Wolf…you will lead this mission.  Dismissed.  ” Sarutobi’s tone brooked no argument.  Sighing, I nodded.

I have to go where the mission leads me.  Even if part of the mission is for me to lead.

()()()

I was glad that my apartment was part of the ninja compound…I do not know that a normal landlord would allow me to go years without paying rent.  Heading back to the Leaf, I refused to relax until we were inside the walls.  Cat, Bear, and Eagle were following me.  My team was intact…for now.  As we passed the walls, I felt my muscles lose their tenseness.  Stopping on the roof, I looked out over the village.

“Good to be home, huh?” Cat asked me softly.  I nodded.  “This was the longest mission we had, but I think we got a great deal of Intel that the Hokage needed.”

Bear came up about then.  “Yea…I mean…who ever heard of a six year mission?”  Shrugging, I led them to the Hokage’s tower.  We had sent back pigeons with messages encrypted, so Cipher would have to decode them for the Hokage…but it seemed as if every time we were ready to end a trail of information, a new one showed up.  Going to the Tower, we materialized in his office.

“Ah, Team Wolf, it’s nice to see you home.  I take it your mission was a success?”  Sarutobi said.  Looking up, I frowned.  He had aged considerably…he looked much older than the six years we had been gone.  I nodded.

“I have the messages from Cypher.  However, I’d like you to try to succinctly put the picture together for me.”  He looked at me.

“Well, we have confirmed that the Akatsuki is searching for the tailed beasts.  So far, they are only aware of the Sand Village’s jinchurriki.  They have not been able to discern the identities of the others.  However, they are placing more and more spies everywhere.  We have been able to determine that the membership of the Akatsuki is: Deidara, Sasori, Hidan, Kakuzu, Pain, Kisame, Konan, Black Zetsu and White Zetsu, and, of course, Itachi.  We don’t know who their true leader is.  For a long time, they were dormant, simply doing some side jobs to survive, but they have picked up their activities as of late.  And…Orochimaru has defected from the Akatsuki.”

Sarutobi simply looked at me.  “Orochimaru is still searching for immortality.  It seems he tried to take over Itachi’s body…and when Itachi almost killed him, Orochimaru left.  It is believed that Orochimaru wants Itachi for the Uchiha Sharingan to have the perfect vessel.  Since Itachi bested Orochimaru, it is believed Orochimaru will try to overtake Sasuke next.”

“Do we have a timeline?”  Sarutobi asked.

“Two to three years, our best guess.”  I responded.

Sarutobi pinched his nose.  “I see.  Dismissed.”

Stretching, I headed home.  Walking in the door, I definitely needed to air the place out.  Opening the windows, I started cleaning up.  I know it’s silly, but…bringing forth two shadow clones, I had them start cleaning.  I was tired.  Crawling into bed, I went to sleep.

()()()

The next morning, I got up, stretching.  Going and taking a shower, I got dressed and decided to do a little shopping.  I hope that I’d get at least a week of R&R.  After grabbing a bag of groceries, I headed back to my apartment.  Taking a shortcut along the back street, I noticed a figure balled up.  Going over, I knelt down.  “Naruto?”  I asked.

Jerking his head up, Naruto looked at me.  It was those same blue eyes…they were gorgeous.  But they were also sad.  Seeing me, he smiled big.  “Hey, Kakashi-senpai!  When did you get back?”

“Last night.  What’s wrong?  Why are you hiding in the alley?”  Looking him over, I didn’t see any injuries.

“Oh, that…yea, well, don’ worry about it Kakashi-sama.” He said, quietly.

“Come on, Naruto…depression doesn’t suit you.  Come on back to my place and I’ll make you some lunch.”  Sighing, Naruto looked up, and nodded.  Following me, he was silent.  Getting back to my apartment, I unlocked it, letting him in.  Closing the door behind me, I saw that my clones had did a great job.  Unpacking the bag, I set up making double batch of stir-fry.

“So…what’s the problem, Naruto?” I asked.

He was silent for a few moments while my stomach rumbled.  Growling for Kurama to simmer down, I kept cooking, patiently waiting.  Finally, “It’s just…everybody else already has their names on their body, but I don’t.  I think something’s wrong with me.”  Naruto grumbled.

Stiffening, I kept stirring the stir-fry.  “No, Naruto…you’re only eleven…I don’t think you need to be worrying about romance already…and besides…I’m sure not everybody else has names on their body.  Maybe you just haven’t met yours yet?”  Thinking frantically, I remembered something Jiraiya had said.  “In fact, there was once one woman who didn’t get her élan vital until she was twenty or something like that.”

Naruto pouted.  Crossing his arms, he stared at the table balefully.  “When did you get yours?” He asked.

I raised a brow.  “Who says I did?” I asked.  Naruto frowned.  As he opened his mouth, I kept talking so I wouldn’t have to lie to him.  “Besides, who do you know who has the élan vital?”

Naruto thought for a moment.  “Well, Shikamaru has one on his knee that says Temari.  And Sakura has Sasuke’s name on her right shoulder, although I think she just drew that on there with a black sharpie.”  Naruto said, pursing his lips together.  As I plated the stir-fry and sat a plate down in front of him, he pushed the food around.

As I sat down, I rubbed my stomach.  “That’s not what is upsetting me the most, though.”  Naruto said.  Looking up, I raised a brow again.  Naruto stared at me, those blue eyes just so clear and impossibly blue.  “Why didn’t you tell me that you were a jinchurriki?”  My stomach lurched as I heard that bastard inside me have the audacity to laugh.

Chapter Text

I laughed.  It was the hysterical laughter of a lunatic, I’m sure.  Nevertheless, I laughed.  Naruto looked upset.  “Don’t laugh at me!”  He growled.

I stopped the smirk still on my lips.  “Sorry, Naruto…but I just…I can’t believe what an imagination you have.”  Denial was the best option now.  Overcoming my shock in a split second, thanks ANBU, I was able to keep my game face on.  There is no way Naruto could know.  I mean, after reflecting on it, I am sure the Hokage knew, as well as the Council members.  However, my status wouldn’t be common knowledge.

Naruto glared at me.  “It’s not imagination.  You’re the nine tails jinchurriki!”  He crossed his arms, his fork forgotten.  “I…I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t tell me!  I mean, I thought we were friends…we have this connection, you know?”  Ah kid…I know…more than you ever will.

“Naruto…I’ve met you four times.  Once when you were a baby, once when you were two, once when you were five, and now today.  I don’t know that would qualify us as friends.”  As soon as I spoke it, I wanted to take it back.  The hurt I saw in those blue orbs…it cut me to my soul.  My stomach did a violent flop.  I didn’t even react…I had trained in the ANBU to hide pain and my reactions to it.  Continuing as if I hadn’t stopped, I stared at him with my uncovered eye.  “Besides, there was nothing to tell.  I can’t tell you I’m a jinchurriki if I’m not.  Unless you want me to lie to you.”  I have definitely mastered the fine art of stretching the truth until it was unrecognizable.

Naruto stared at me.  I saw him fighting within himself.  Finally, he laughed, a self-deprecating laugh I wanted to shake out of him and scream for him to never do to himself again.  But I sat there…and laughed with him.

We ate, making small talk, him telling me that he hoped to graduate from the Academy in a few months, along with his friends.  Friends.  That warmed my heart.  That’s what I wanted for him…to have friends, a family…a future.  After a bit more time, I sent him on his way.  My stomach hurt so bad, I felt like I was going to throw up.  After locking the door, I slid to my knees, darkness enveloping me…

{I am…weightless.  Floating.  ‘Where am I?’

I tried to look around…it looked like a … like I was in the heart of some sort of metal room…with some sort of liquid making me buoyant.  Turning my head to the side, I saw bars…a cell.  I have never been here before, but this place seemed familiar.  Where am I?

Idiot.  I recognized that voice.  It was Kurama.  However, that still didn’t answer the question of where I was?

My soul prison, you dolt. 

I frowned.  ‘Well now, Kurama, there is no reason to be rude.’  I reasoned.  A hearty growl is all I got in return.

Paying full attention to my limbs, I was able to push myself into a sitting position.  It was then that I was face to face with the largest cell imaginable…iron bars going up into blackness.  I saw the paper seal on the bars, and the face of the very large, and very angry, red fox behind it.  His eyes glowed red.

‘So, now that I know where I am, I guess the next logical question would be to ask…why am I here?’  I looked at the fox.

Because your emotional pain triggered your escape.  Why the hell you would want to escape to me is beyond even my infinite reasoning.

I raised an eyebrow.  Crossing my arms, I looked at the fox.  Frowning, I balled my hands into fists.  ‘You’re not as big as I remember.’ I said suspiciously.

You were fourteen at the time, now you are twenty-five.  You’re bigger than I remember.   The fox said, his lips twitching.

‘No, that’s not it…the flow of chakra from you…while impressive…isn’t as much as it was that ni…’  I let out a sigh.  That was it.  Minato-sensei didn’t seal the entire beast inside me.  The fox looked to be about half as big as I remembered…so perhaps he sealed half of the beast in me…perhaps the yin half, or maybe the yang half.  But if that were true…then where is the other half?

It is not in the boy, if that is what you are worried about.   Kurama answered.

‘Quit reading my mind.’ I argued irritably.

I am fully in you, while not being fully in you.   Kurama smirked.

‘What do you mean?  Stop talking in riddles.’ I demanded.

Release me, and I’ll show you what I’m talking about. The viciousness in his voice was  ...chilling.

‘No.’ I crossed my arms.

Then we have nothing more to say to one another right now. }

Jerking, I looked around.  I was on my floor…when did I get there?  Looking around, I saw the dishes on the table.  Naruto…that’s right, I just had dinner with Naruto.  Standing, I went about cleaning the dishes.  I was going to have to find out more about the sealing that was done to me…and where the other half of Kurama was.

()()()

My eyes slid closed.  I was too late.  Cat lay at my feet, coughing up blood.  I snapped my eyes open as I felt something slipped in my hand.  Looking to Cat, Cat frowned.  I could see the frown because Cat’s mask was shattered, the left side of her face showing.  “Take it…back to the Hokage.  It needs to be locked up. The Akatsuki wanted it…so it…is…”  Valuable?  Dangerous?  Probably both.  Gripping the amulet in my hand, I closed my fist around it.  Casting the jutsu, Cat’s body disintegrated in grey smoke.  As my stomach lurched, I growled.  I wouldn’t allow him to come out...and I wouldn’t visit him…I hadn’t been there in three years.  Getting Bear, we left, heading back, saying not a word. 

 

After delivering the pendant and debriefing the Hokage, I went back to my apartment.  Just a little bit farther, and then I could succumb.  Sliding into my room, darkness surrounded me.

{There it was…that liquid again.  I really think it may be liquid chakra diluted by water.  Rolling my head over, I saw the bastard’s face again.

Rethinking your choice, copycat?   He chuckled, as I wanted to knock the smirk off his face.

‘Never.  This discomfort times a thousand is but a small price to pay for Naruto’s happiness.’  I glared at him with my eye.

It is your fault Cat died.

‘Thank you for pointing out my imperfections.  I needed help.’  I responded dryly.

Had you been faster, you could have saved her.   The demon red eyes glared at me.

‘Yes, probably.  My Sharingan worked, but not enough.’  I admitted, defeat seeping through my bones.  I had been on many missions with Cat…she was a friend.  Yet she died, just as Rin and Obito did.  Death surrounded me.  It was good Naruto wasn’t too close.

Oh, he will be closer before he’s farther.   I really hated the riddles this asshole said.  Suddenly, I saw the fox look over his shoulder, an evil grin coming to his face.  As he chuckled, I felt shivers go up my spine.  Suddenly, I was being jerked against my will…shaken like a rag doll…What the hell?}

“Kakashi…please…Kakashi, wake up?  Are you okay?”  I heard the voice…familiar…coming from a tunnel.  Opening my eye, I saw…blonde hair?  What the hell?

“N…Naruto…is that you?”  I asked.  Blue eyes looked up at me.  Oh, how he had grown.  He had a great deal more maturity about him now.  I couldn’t help but feel a swell of pride at how well he seemed to be doing.

“Hey, Kakashi!  Whew,…you scared me for a second there.  I heard you were in town and came to see you, to tell you the news…and then when I come in here, you’re out cold.”  Chuckling, I stood.

“Sorry.  Guess I just got lost on my time and thought day and night were reversed.”  I joked.

Naruto crossed his arms, giving me that sideways look that said he did not believe me.  Getting out some water and tea bags, I started brewing some tea.  “So, tell me, Naruto…how has training been?”

Naruto grinned.  “Great!  I’m a chunin now, and taking a few missions.  Actually, that’s what I came to tell you…I’m going out on training with Jii, so I won’t be here for a couple years.  I gotta get stronger to find Sasuke and bring him back.”  He looked down as I put a cup of tea in front of him.  Setting out some sugar and honey, I sat down, my tea plain.  Taking a sip, Naruto frowned.

I had been here the day Sasuke left.  Iruka had been in charge of Team Seven…that was supposed to be my job, but with my track record I flat refused…I wasn’t going to be a teacher and I especially was not going to teach Naruto.  We all tried to find him…that damn curse mark…hearing an angry growl, I looked up.  Naruto was angry.

“Stupid shadow clones!”  He barked out.

“What is it Naruto?  Don’t tell me you are still upset about Mizuki?”  I had heard about how Naruto was tricked into stealing the forbidden scroll and learned that forbidden jutsu.  I thanked my lucky stars Iruka was there to help him.

Naruto’s cheeks dusted a light pink.  “Naw…well, I mean, I still feel stupid I got tricked so easily, but no.  I just…maybe if I had used more shadow clones I could have found him before it was too late?!”  I shook my head.  I don’t understand the determination…but Jiraiya did say Naruto had more willpower than anyone else did.  Judging from what I was hearing around the village, I believed it.  Seems like he was developing quite the reputation for never giving up.  “…I still don’t have it, Kakashi!”  His yell pulled me out of my reverie.

Not this again.  Didn’t the kid think of anything else?  Wait, he’s a fourteen year-old boy…all they do is think about is sex.  Sighing, I put my cheek in my hand.  “Are you still on this, Naruto?”  I asked.

“Well, yea!  I mean, Temari and Shikamaru have met.  At least they aren’t all gushy gushy and stuff…I mean, she kinda scares me, for real.  And Sasuke and Sakura are supposed to be, but he’s all gone off on his stupid defection…and I don’t wanna be alone all my life.  How do you do it?  Do you not have a mark, or…what gives, Kakashi?”

I really need to be thankful of my ANBU training.  The pain I felt would have landed most people on the ground.  Giving Naruto a very unimpressed look, I sighed.  “Perhaps some people are just supposed to be alone, eh Naruto?  I do not think I would be a very good catch for anyone.  Besides, even if you don’t have your soulmate, that doesn’t mean you have to be alone.  People die all the time…perhaps you can be with someone who has experienced the loss of their soulmate?  Just because you aren’t with your soulmate, doesn’t mean you are destined to be unhappy…” I reminded him.

Naruto scrunched up his nose.  “I guess.”  He sat there quietly for about five minutes.  Finally, he looked at me, some expression on his face I couldn’t read.  Finishing his tea, he stood.  “Well, thanks, Kakashi.  I had better get on my way; Jiraiya said he wanted to leave by five.  I don’t want to get lost on some path of life.  OH!”  Pulling out a package, he handed it to me.  “I’ve missed your past 14 birthdays, so here; I got you something to try to make up for it.  Open it.”  Looking down at the package, I carefully unwrapped it.  Swallowing hard, I was staring at an original copy of Icha Icha Paradise, handwritten by Jiraiya, as well as signed by the Pervy Sage himself.  I didn’t know Naruto knew that much about my life and activities.  Looking up, Naruto was already gone.

My room is always here, if you want to talk, break the seal, you know…anything…

I swear, I hated that fox.

Chapter Text

I have to admit, it was a bit boring without Naruto around…the “couple” year training mission stretched into three years...currently.  I was still gone on missions a great deal.  When I wasn’t, I was usually training or reading Icha Icha…whichever book I could get my hands on.  I didn’t tend to socialize much, since I still got the dirty looks and whispered insults.  Luckily, I rarely had to deal with hurled objects, since I was a shinobi.  Oh, occasionally, I would have to fend off a drunk, but it wasn’t too bad.

Sitting in the tree, resting, I enjoyed the sun on my face from the dappled leaves.  Pulling my glove off, I looked down.  The letters were as fresh as always.  I really missed that kid.  Running my finger over the letters, I sighed.  Noticing the position of the sun, I slipped the glove back on and hopped down.  I needed to go check in.

Strolling in, I nodded at Lady Hokage.  It was still painful to think back on Sarutobi-sama’s demise.  Especially from that scum Orochimaru.  I was angrier that I was gone on a mission when everything went down.  Maybe if Cat, Bear and I had been here, we could have helped…maybe we could have changed things…it was unknown, but an interesting concept.  It is unlikely that we could have, but it would have assuaged our guilt somewhat to be able to try.

“Lady Tsunade, I was summoned here?”  I asked.

Glaring at me, she nodded.  “Yes, fifteen minutes ago…” she stared at me as I stared back, disinterested.  Keeping a straight face, I kept her eye contact.  Sighing, she flipped up a hand.  “I’m sending you out on a new mission.  Your team will have a new ANBU member...and by new, I mean this is the first mission for this member.  I’m sending you, Bear, and Frog.  They should be here shortly.  We have information that Sasuke Uchiha has destroyed Orochimaru…Orochimaru was not able to take over Sasuke’s body.  However, since he has defeated Orochimaru, we believe he will now head for Itachi.  Your goal is to bring Itachi back for interrogation.”  I nodded.  I didn’t want to be in charge, but again, I didn’t get an option.  Lady Tsunade “explained” to me soon after her ascension, that the only way I would be able to not be a sensei was to be leader on the missions.  Neither was a good position to be in, but I’d rather lead adults who knowingly signed up for ANBU than kids who were still learning and expecting to be out on D ranked missions finding someone’s lost cat.

About then, Bear appeared.  Nodding at Bear I turned to Tsunade…speaking of Cat…”Is this Frog auditioning for Cat’s role?” I asked.  Lady Tsunade nodded in the affirmative.  Cat, Bear, and I were usually a squad.  While some ANBU changed squads per missions, we three had always been sent out together.  Sometimes another member was added, like Eagle, or even Hippo, but it was always us three at the core.  Suddenly, the door opened and a lean, muscular figure I didn’t recognize wearing a mask that resembled a frog sauntered in.

“Frog, this is your squad…Bear and Wolf.  Wolf is your leader.”  Tsunade nodded at us as she named us.

“Nice to meet you Bear.  You too Captain Wolf.”  I knew from the voice, but the blue eyes shining from the mask confirmed it.  Fuck.  My.  Life.

That happened when you willingly took me in and became a vessel.  

‘Fuck off.’ I said to the beast inside me.  ‘And quit laughing, damn you!’  To the Hokage, I nodded.  “Frog, Bear, go get supplies.  I’ll meet you at the roof in ten minutes.”  Nodding, both men disappeared as I turned to Tsunade.  “You have got to be fucking kidding me.”  I said, for once passionate about something.

“No, I’m not.”  She glared at me.

“Lady Tsunade, I know that Jiraiya told you about the agreement…so why would you put him on.  My.  Team.?”  I growled.

“I have my reasons.  You are not to question them.  Now, go on your mission.”  She turned her back to me as my fist clenched.  Turning on my heel, I disappeared.

()()()

The two men showed up on time.  Handing me my rations, I nodded my thanks to Bear.

“Oh...s…sorry, I didn’t know I was supposed to get rations for you, too.”  Frog said.

“How would you know?” I asked calmly, having regained my composure.  “Now, the missions is to detain Itachi and bring him back here for the Interrogation Division.  Sasuke Uchiha has defeated Orochimaru, and our information is that Sasuke is after Itachi in earnest now.  We need Itachi back here to get the knowledge that he has acquired for the Leaf.”

Frog gasped.  Nodding, if I wouldn’t have known it before, I know it now who he is.  “Let’s go!”  Frog said, jumping down.  Sighing, I shook my head.  This mission was going to kill me.

()()()

Slipping into the cave, I pulled my cloak down.  Bear and Frog followed suit.  The small, pug-like dog with brown fur and a dark brown snout and ears sat down.  He was wearing the outfit of my ninken, which consist of the blue vest with the heno-heno-moheii seal and on the top of his head he wore the Leaf’s hitai-ate.  He had a bandage on his right front leg…why, I didn’t know as he wasn’t hurt.  He had been following Itachi’s trail we had picked up a few hours ago.  Sitting down and shaking off the excess water, his deep voice echoed off the walls.  “Well, this rain isn’t going to help us.”  Pakkun grumbled.

“I know.”  I said, patting his head gently.  “Let’s get a good night’s sleep, and then we can start out tomorrow.  The rain doesn’t seem to be that bad.”  Bear went, starting a small fire, as Frog took off his cloak, sitting down.  Pakkun just looked at me knowingly as I stared hard at him.  Wisely, he kept his mouth shut.

Turning to the fire, I took off my cloak.  I was hungry, but I was delaying the inevitable.  Finally, I knew he’d ask…”So, uh…do we get to take off our mask when we are eating and sleeping?”

Bear chuckled.  “Yea, kid…We can take off our masks when it’s just us.”

“Awesome!”  Pulling off his mask, I looked down.  I knew it, but I didn’t want it confirmed.  “Man, I’m starving!”  Pulling out some rations, he started eating.  Suddenly, he stopped, his mouth hanging open.  Bear took off his cloak, taking off his mask as well.  “C…captain Yamato?  You’re in the ANBU?”

Yamato chuckled, looking at Naruto.  “Yes…unless you think I have a twin…” his eyes got big as he tried that “scary as fuck” stare that did not faze me.  It seemed to phase Naruto though…he gulped audibly as he backed up, his hands in the air.  Looking at me, I still had my mask on.  Naruto’s eyes lit up on my tattoo.  “When do I get that?” he asked.

“You gotta complete a mission successfully and be granted full access into the ANBU first.”  Yamato said, rubbing a hand over his tattoo that he’d had for years.  Shaking my head, I had delayed the inevitable long enough.  Pulling off my wolf mask, I grabbed some rations.

“K…Kakashi?  Y…you’re Wolf?”  Naruto sat eyes wide.

“You’re very observant.”  I noted dryly.  Yamato chuckled.  Naruto pouted.

“Why didn’t you tell me, Kakashi?”  Naruto asked.

“You never noticed my mask in my belt?  You never wondered where I would go for months or years at a time?”  I retorted calmly.

“You’re a great shinobi…I figured you just got some really cool missions.”  Naruto mumbled, looking down.  Slipping my hand under my cloth mask, I ate some of my rations as Yamato looked at the interaction between the two of us.

“I wouldn’t agree with great shinobi…but I do agree I got some really cool mission.”  I responded, sighing slightly.

The night wore on.  Finally, Yamato went to rest as I agreed to take first watch.  “So…why did Granny Tsunade put me with you two?  Does she really not trust my abilities that much?”  Naruto asked.

“Why aren’t you asleep?  ANBU need their rest.”  I countered with, not answering his questions.

Naruto got up and sat next to me.  “Kakashi, I’m seventeen.  I’m an adult.  Stop treating me like a child.  Answer my questions.” He demanded.  Looking at him from the side of my eye, I gulped as I felt a twitch in my stomach that wasn’t painful.  He had grown.  His face had filled out, showing some maturity.  He still had the fox whisker marks…but they were like faded scars…the fox had scratched at the boy when they were trying to contain him.  His body was muscular, but not overly so.  He was…gorgeous.  Shit…this is what Master Jiraiya was talking about with that lady. 

“It’s probably not so much that she doesn’t trust your abilities, as she is just concerned because you have never been on an ANBU mission.  These missions are S+ ranked.”  I stated.

“S+?  I thought S was the highest ranked mission.”  Naruto said, scratching his nose.

“Everybody does.”  Thoughtful, I turned to look at Naruto.  “Now, I answered your questions, so it’s my turn.  Why the ANBU?” I asked.

“Because, I can still look for Sasuke between missions, and I may even find him on a mission…like this one! Besides…” his eyes turned dark and hard…something I hadn’t seen before.  “I want to meet the demon that killed my parents…and kill it, even if it means killing the container it’s in.”

 

Chapter Text

“I want to meet the demon that killed my parents…and kill it, even if it means killing the container it’s in.”

The sentence was burned in my memory.  As was the malice in his voice.  All I could see were those blue eyes, filled with hatred.  Hatred directed at me…even if he did not know it was directed at me right now.  My eyes were staring ahead, but I wasn’t seeing.  Realizing I hadn’t been paying attention, I got up, waking Bear up.  “Your turn.”  I whispered.  Nodding, he got up, stretching, and took the watch position.  Laying on my side, I closed my eyes, searching for sleep.

Opening my eyes, I knew by the grainy feel that sleep had eluded me.  Looking around, I saw that Frog was up, getting ready.  Sighing, I sat up as well.

“Hey, Kak…uh, Wolf…uh…what do I call you?”  Frog asked me.

Chuckling, I stood.  “Better to keep it at Wolf while we are on missions…so you don’t slip up.”

Nodding, Frog slipped on his mask. Turning to Pakkun, I bent down.  “It’s stopped raining.  Pakkun, do you have any trace?”

Sniffing, Pakkun growled.  “Nope.”

“Damnit!”  Naruto cursed.  “What now?”

“Well, there are only two towns near here…so we’ll go to the closest one, see if we can pick up his scent…if not, we’ll try the other one.  This close to a town, it’s likely he could have went to one for supplies.”  Nodding, the two ANBU with me headed off.

()()()

I held up my fist.  The two behind me stopped.  Looking back, I pointed at Bear and held my fingers in a vee shape, pointing from my eyes to the left.  Nodding, Bear headed to the left.  Looking at Frog, I did the same thing, but pointed to the right.  Frog headed to the right.  Facing center, I watched.  Pakkun had noticed Itachi’s smell at the second town.  Following it, we headed to this…hovel…for lack of a better word.  I did not like it…not at all,…it seemed…off somehow.  In any event, we had to check it out.

Making our way in a three-point formation, we came upon the hovel.  Looking to Pakkun, he shook his head no.  Frowning, I motioned for them to go in so we could search.  Sneaking in, the place was empty.  Looking around, I saw it…small white clay spiders crawling towards us.  “Akatsuki!” I yelled.  “Explosives!” As the spiders tried to attach themselves to us, I saw Bear and Frog vault out of the way as I felt one explode on my arm.  Hissing in pain, I cursed under my breath.  As smoke billowed around us, I noticed it…up in the corner…a nest of them, crawling out.  “Out, now!”  Hearing the two scamper out, I cast my lightning blade on a kunai, throwing it at the nest as I leapt out the window.  The building exploded, throwing me backwards, landing hard on my back.  Opening my eye, I coughed as the smoke filled my lungs.

“Wolf!”  I heard Frog yell as he came over.  I stopped him with an outstretched hand.  Pointing at the ground, he saw a long clay white snake slithering toward me.

“Wood Release, Four Pillar Prison Jutsu!”  I heard Bear yell, as a wooden cage encased the snake.  Snapping at me, it barely missed.  Jumping up, I grunted as a kunai embedded in my arm.

“Shadow Clone, jutsu!”  I heard Frog yell and saw fifteen Frogs go running to the direction the kunai came from.  Spinning around, I saw the blonde Akatsuki standing, watching us.  His hair was up in a high ponytail, his bangs covering his left eye.  Suddenly, I looked left and right.  “They come in pairs…where is the other one?”  I saw Bear flash step away.  Suddenly, my vision started getting cloudy as I remembered that the blonde’s partner was Sasori of the Red Sand, Master Puppeteer who dabbled in poisons.  In addition, judging by the trajectory in that kunai…it could not have been Deidara who threw it.  “Poison.”  I said as I saw red tracks heading to my wrist and elbow from the kunai wound, and then the world went dark.

()()()

{What am I going to do with you? He growled.  Lolling my head to the side, I saw two of the demon fox.

‘Well, you won’t kill me, because then you will die.  But I might die on my own’ I reasoned, my head splitting as the poison was filling my system.

The boy is going nuts out there, you know. He murmured, red eyes glowing with glee.

‘How could you tell?’ I asked, genuinely curious.

Because, I still have senses outside of your body, since you are not dead yet.  Oh,…this is going to be interesting…

I didn’t like the maniacal glee in that last statement…not at all.}

()()()

Opening my eye, I first saw a stone ceiling.  I could hear rain again.  I could feel some warmth to my right.  Turning my head towards it, I winced.  My body felt stiff, as if I had laid in the same position for several hours…or perhaps days.  It was then that I noticed that I was a cave.  Bear’s back was to me…I guess he was on watch.  Well, I guess I did not die.  Where was Frog?  Rolling my head to the other side, I saw him sitting by me, staring at me unblinkingly.  His mask was off, and his face looked…hurt…and angry.  I could feel my wolf mask was off, but my cloth mask was still in place.

“Frog?” I rasped out.  I heard Bear scoot farther away.  That should probably signify that something is going to happen, but my brain hurt too much for me to deduce the conclusion that was just eluding me.

“Kakashi.”  Naruto growled.

“What happened?” I asked, too much in pain to give much thought as to why he was angry.

“Deidara and Sasori set up an ambush.  Sasori threw the poisoned kunai that embedded in you, and you passed out.  I was able to get you away after Bear and I caused some damage…Sasori saying something about “analysis”.  I know a little bit of medical jutsu…they showed me how since I heal so fast…so I was able to stop it…but I still had to suck some of it out.”  He was trembling with rage.

“Okay.  Thank you, Naruto.”  I can honestly say I was NOT expecting the punch to my jaw that he threw.

“Why, you bastard?  Why?”  His eyes were glassy, his hands clenched into fists.  Coughing, I felt a bit of blood on the corner of my mouth, under my mask.

I looked at him, confused.  “Why what?” I asked.  Now my jaw was throbbing along with arm.

He grabbed my wrist, holding it up.  Panicking, I saw that my glove was off…and his name seemed to glow on my skin.  Looking at me, he held up his wrist…my name in a neat script on his skin.

 

 

Chapter Text

“This fucking appeared when I pulled off your glove and saw my name…Bear and I were knocked backwards because some jutsu was released, knocking us off of our feet.  Why did you hide this from me?  Why did you hide your name on my body?”  The anger radiated off him.  Closing my eyes, I let out a deep breath of air.

“You wouldn’t understand, Naruto.”  I whispered. 

“Try me, Kakashi...you owe me that, for making me think I was insane and something was wrong with me for not having my mark!  You…you even lied to me about your mark!”  He accused, his voice getting hard.

“That is not true…I never told you that I didn’t have a mark…I just, well, perhaps answered your question with some misleading rhetorical questions of my own.”  I could not look at him.  I noticed Bear had left the entire cave.  Coward.

“Why?!” he screamed so loud I jerked, looking at him.

“Because, Naruto, you need a life, a family, and a future.  I cannot give you that…all that surrounds me is death.  I am the Friend Killer after all…and it’s true…I killed Rin, and I killed Obito.  Maybe not Obito with my own hand like I did Rin, but I failed to save him and I was leader of the squad when he died.  The leader of the squad is responsible for everything that happens to their squad.”  I stared at him, my eyes hard.  “Yes, you are my soulmate…but sometimes love is putting the other person’s needs in front of your own.   Moreover, I…I love you too much to put you in Death’s crosshairs.  That’s why I didn’t want you to know.”

“It’s my decision, Kakashi!  Mine!  How dare you take my decision from me?”  His face was red.

I could hear laughter in my head as I pushed that damn fox back from my thoughts.  Sitting up, the pain was immense, but I’ve had worse.  I gritted through it.  Glaring at Naruto, I balled my hands into fists.  “You forget it is mine as well.  It takes two to make a relationship.  And if I never intend to have a relationship with you, then why raise your hopes?  You have as much heart as your father, and as much spirit as your mother…and I don’t see you wanting to give up when you believe in something as foolish and illogical as soulmates.”  I forced myself to be insensitive and seem as I didn’t believe in soulmates…that is farthest from the truth.  I believe in them fully…otherwise…

“Bullshit, Kakashi…you believe in soulmates, otherwise you wouldn’t try so hard to make me think I didn’t have one!  Otherwise you would have just explained it to me from a young age like there is nothing special about soulmates.”  Naruto crossed his arms, glaring at me.

Standing, my muscles screaming in protest, I started grabbing my items and putting them on.  “There is nothing more to discuss.  We are not in a relationship and we are not going to be in a relationship.  What we are going to do is to continue on with the mission.”  Wincing, I grabbed my mask putting it on.  Naruto grabbed my wrist.

“We aren’t done here.  You aren’t in any shape to travel.  We can take a break.”  The world lurched as Naruto grabbed me.  This poison…I wish we had been able to get a sample…it is potent.

“I’m ANBU…I am prepared to travel at a moment’s notice.  I can control pain and my body.  I can push myself past normal limits.”  Grabbing my cloak, I slipped it on as Bear came back in.

“But…” Naruto protested.

“Frog!  You will listen to your leader.  He is in charge.”  Bear said, slipping his mask back on.  “You don’t like that, we can take you back to the Hokage and get you discharged.”

Naruto glared, pouting.  Slipping on his mask, he stormed past me.  Looking at Bear, I saw the reproof in his eyes.  Ignoring it, I headed out.

()()()

“We’ll stop here for the night.”  Seeing the canopy of branches, I led them under the tree.  “Frog, you can start watch.”  Nodding, Frog turned from me and went on position.             Sighing, I sat down.  My muscles still screamed in protest, two days later.  Frog had said the bare minimum to me, being careful to not touch me or be near me.  He did, however, follow orders.  For that, he was to be commended.

You know that worries you.  Kurama pointed out.

Shut up.  The fox was an annoyance, who liked to make stupid comments.

When has Naruto ever followed the rules?  Why is he following them now?

I don’t know.  Maybe he is growing up?  I mused as I pulled off my wolf mask and shoes, stretching as I covered up with my cloak.  As I drifted off to sleep, I tried to ignore Kurama’s annoying observations.

()()()

We got the news two days later from Kiba.  As the brunette rode up on Akamaru, I stopped the squad.

“Wolf, the Hokage sent me to track you down.  You are to return to the village immediately.  Itachi Uchiha has been killed.”  Swallowing, my eye widened.

“By whom?”  I asked quietly, already knowing the answer.

“Sasuke.”

Dropping my head, I nodded.  I had failed yet another mission.  Itachi was dead now, as well.  Looking to the squad, I ordered our retreat.

()()()

After the debriefing, I went home.  I just wanted to be alone, take a bath, and read.  I hadn’t been able to read in quite some time, and I missed it.  It was always nice to escape to some other world.  Going into my apartment, I stripped down, sliding in the bathwater I had just prepared.  Closing my eyes, I leaned my head back.

{You know he has not given up.

Looking up from my seated position, I saw the fox behind the cage.  Frowning, I stood.

‘Why am I always coming to this room?’ I asked.

Because you can control your anger better than most.  For example, if I had been in the kid…I would have been released by now with what you have went through with Cat.  However, your control is superb.

I didn’t trust this praise…something was up, I was sure of it.  ‘Interesting that you would praise me for having the ability to keep you in check…especially since you want out so badly.’  I noted.

Do not mistake the truth for praise.  I will break your control…and I will relish in grinding your bones to dust.   The fox’s voice was chillingly cold.

‘I will do everything in my power to prevent that…for if you are released, I have no doubt that Naruto would be one of the first to die.  He will have a long and happy life.  Everything I have done, am doing, and will do is to guarantee that goal.’  I felt my anger bubbling slightly at his inadvertent threat to Naruto.  He chuckled.

Heh, he, he…everyone has a weak spot…and I know your blue eyed one. }

Gasping, I jerked my head up, eyes flying open.  I felt chilled from the veiled threat he had just given about Naruto.  I felt it through every fiber of my being.  Getting out of the tub, I quickly dried off and redressed, putting my mask on to cover my face, heading out into the night.  Flash stepping to the tree outside Naruto’s window, I saw the room was dark.  Blinking frantically, I crawled in through the open window, fearful he was gone.  In my haste, I rushed into his room silently.  After entering the room, I realized I should have probably looked in first, or maybe went and knocked to see if anyone answered.  Because what I found was probably worse than Naruto being gone.

Naruto lay on his bed, on top of the sheets.  He was naked; his nubile body had a light sheen of sweat on it.  I could see his eyes were closed.  He was stroking his erect cock as his breath was picking up.  His blonde hair was stuck to his forehead, his hips bucking in beat to his hand strokes.  As the moonlight hit his skin, I could see his cock glistening with cum and lube.  I need to leave.  I have to leave.  Somehow, my feet were not listening to my brain as I stood there, breath shallow, licking my incredibly dry lips.

“Kakashi…oh yea…right there. Oh, fuuuck…oh that feels good.”  Naruto mumbled.  Stiffening in surprise at being caught, I looked at his face…his eyes were closed.  He was talking to himself.  I have to leave.  As I took a step towards the window, I froze.  “Uh…oh, you’re so…fucking tight…damn, ‘Kashi…”  I swallowed, not trusting myself to turn around.  I was so hard I ached.  Taking another step, I froze again.  “Kashi…please…fuck me…fuck me now…fuck me hard.”  His voice was husky, lust filled, and pleading.  All I wanted to do was turn around and do as he asked.  Sliding my eyes closed, breathing in through my nose, I reminded myself he was unaware of my presence.  Control, Wolf…control…get the fuck out of here and you can finish yourself off with your own hand in your own apartment by yourself.  Opening my eyes, I got to the window.  One.  More.  Step.

“Kakashi…please…I…I’m so close…”  I could smell the sex, the heady, musky, erotic scent of Naruto’s sex.  It was driving me wild.  I had to leave.  Glancing back one last time, I saw Naruto’s face as cum spurted from his cock.  Diving out the window, I barely had enough time to land on my feet.  Breathing heavily, I went back to my room, locking the door as if hell itself was on my heels.

 

Chapter Text

Gasping, my eyes flew open.  I felt the pain in my side.  Hissing, I grabbed my side.  Looking down…there was nothing there.  Frowning, I sat up as the early morning sun shone in my window.  There was knocking on my door.  Slipping on a shirt, I slipped up my mask.  Opening the door, I dropped my hand down from my side.  Naruto was standing there.  He had a paper bag in his arm.  I raised an eyebrow.

“So, I figured I needed to apologize.”  Naruto said as he walked in, uninvited, and past me.  Frowning, I shut the door.  Following the blonde, I crossed my arms.  That allowed me to rub my side again.  Could this be an after effect of the poison?

“Yea, so I figured I owed you some breakfast.  I know you don’t like real sweet stuff, so I bought some eggs, some peppers, and some ham.  I figured we could have omelets?”  He looked up at me for approval.  Shrugging I nodded as another pain pierced my other side.  Steeling myself, I hid my pain.  “Great!” he chirped.  Setting the items out, along with some cheese, he then plopped down.  I stood there, staring at him.  He blushed.  “Well, uh…” he scratched the back of his neck, “I don’t know how to cook…I just said I owed you breakfast…not that I could cook it.”  Raising my eyebrow, I sighed, a small smile playing on my lips.  Nodding, I went over and started preparing the omelets.

“So, uh…Kakashi…I was thinking.  I don’t like what you did and don’t agree with it, but I know you have your reasons and what you did you did to protect me.  And, it seems that you don’t want me out of your life, or you wouldn’t have been around me when I was younger.  So, I guess you’re okay with us being friends…So, I understand what you did and forgive you.  I can’t imagine you not being in my life, so if friends is all I can have, I guess I have to take it.”  I heard Naruto state from behind me.  Turning to look over my shoulder, I smiled at him.  As long as he wasn’t trying to become my lover, he was pleasant enough to be around.  I couldn’t fool myself…I craved Naruto’s presence…just the way some may crave the opiates.  I just could not be with him…we could be friends, but any more than that was off limits.  It seems that Naruto has figured it out.  I was pleased.  I didn’t want him to be out of my life, but I wanted him to understand why being with me was a poor choice.  And it seems it got through.

“Good.  And yes, Naruto, I want you in my life, but we just cannot be intimate.  I’m glad you understand and forgave me.  Everything I do is for your safety.”  Adding the ingredients to the omelet, I heard Naruto ask the question I had been waiting for him to ask me. 

“Um…are you ever going to tell me why you wear that mask, or let me see what you look like without it?”

I chuckled, taking in a sharp breath as another sharp pain lanced my stomach.  Playing it off, “Ooohhhh, well…secrecy and anonymity are imperative in ANBU.  I have been in the ANBU for several years.  I guess, over time, it just became habit.  However, it helps that people don’t know what I look like when I go on undercover missions…all I have to do is take off my mask, put a wig and some contacts on, and voila!”  Giving an eye smirk, I turned to him, plating the eggs.  “I’ve been in front of you without my mask before.”

Naruto’s eyes got huge.  “When?  Huh?  NO way!”

()()()

Naruto was sitting in the Academy, looking bored.  Iruka-sensei was teaching the same boring lecture about the same boring jutsu.  All of a sudden, there was a knock on the door.  Iruka looked up.  “Enter.”  His face showed mild annoyance at being interrupted.

In walked a tall, thin man with shaggy brown hair greased to his head.  He had black markings similar to Kiba.  Naruto looked at his comrade.  “Your cousin?” he asked curiosity in his voice.

Kiba shook his head.  “I haven’t seen him before.  He smells weird, too.” 

The man could hear all this but said nothing.

Naruto frowned.  The man leaned over and whispered something in Iruka-sensei’s ear.  Nodding, Iruka smiled.

“Class, today you will learn the fine art of taijutsu from Master Woshana.”  As the man bowed to the class, they just stared at him.

“Class, Master Woshana will call each up in turn, showing you some base moves, and then he will simulate an attack against you, that you will have to defend.  There is always the chance in battle that your chakra will be depleted and you will have to rely on brute strength.  Master Woshana, please.”  Iruka sat behind the desk.

Students went up in turn.  Some, like Sasuke, mastered it fairly well, although none like Rock Lee, who paid rapt attention, imitating everything to perfection.  Suddenly, it was Naruto’s turn.  Standing, he went up to the dark haired male, facing him.  Blue eyes stared at green eyes.  The man came over and showed Naruto the stances that he had seen the others imitate.  Imitating them as well, Naruto practiced what the man said.  After about two minutes, he seemed bored.  “C’mon…let’s get going already!”  He growled, throwing a punch since he knew how to do this.

That is when it happened.  That’s when it seemed that he realized that the “power of youth” that Guy-sensei spoke of was not always most powerful, since he was easily tossed on his butt, staring up from the ground at the much older Master Woshana, who hadn’t moved anything more than one arm.  As the class laughed at Naruto’s flailing, Naruto stood, laughing as well, a flash of aggravation crossing his face.

Eventually Master Woshana left.  After reaching home, I took off my contacts, the disguise marks on my face, and washed off the temporary dye from my hair.  My mission was a success.  I infiltrated a room with people who knew me, and none of them recognized me…even Iruka, whom I had grown up with and went to Academy with and Naruto, my soulmate.

()()()

“Yes, way.  But I’m not telling you when.”  I grinned, sitting the plate down.  Naruto scrunched up his nose.  I could tell he was thinking.  “Don’t worry; you probably didn’t even know it was me.”  Shrugging, I went ahead and slid my mask down.  Naruto could see my face…I wouldn’t be able to hide it from him forever, anyways.   Yamato had seen my face, as had Lady Tsunade and Guy.  However, honestly, that was the only living people who had seen it.  As I grabbed my plate and turned to set it down, I noticed that Naruto had not started eating.  Looking confused, I was worried that perhaps he didn’t like my eggs.  He was staring at me.  “Naruto…are you alright?”

“Kakashi…” he whispered, standing and closing the distance between us.  I didn’t like this…not at all,…it was the way he said my name the same as the way he said it last night.  My throat got tight, as did my pants.

“What’s wrong?” I asked him, throat impossibly dry.

He lifted his hand to my face, running his fingers gently over my cheek.  “You are absolutely gorgeous.”  The trail from his fingers was like fire on my skin.  I sucked in air as he stared at me, his blue eyes becoming darker.  “Kakashi…” he whispered, closing the not-that-great distance between us.  How can he say my name like that?

“Yes?” I asked, hating the break I heard in my strained voice.

“Why do you hide this?” he whispered, running his finger over my bottom lip.

“I…I’ve already told you why.” I whispered, eyes drawn to Naruto who was now face to face with me.

“You shouldn’t.” he chastised me, never breaking eye contact with me, running his finger over my bottom lip again. 

“Why?” I rasped out.  I didn’t like where this was going.  I needed to move.

“Because…”  Running his fingers down my cheek again, he traced imaginary lines on my cheek, down over my neck.  Shivering, I was unable to look away.  “Absolutely gorgeous.”  His eyes were drinking in my face.

“No…I’m a monster.”  I reached up to grab his wrist.  I had to stop this.  Naruto never took his eyes off me as he pulled my hand to his mouth, kissing the back of my hand.  As he trailed little kisses up my hand, I took in a shaky breath.  “Naruto…we can’t …”

“Kakashi…” those dark blue eyes held me, his voice sending shivers down my spine.  Leaning up, he put his lips against mine.  The traitorous whimper escaped my throat as my eyes slid closed, the…exquisite…feeling of Naruto’s lips on mine.  Kissing me again, I felt my resolve about to slip away.  “Please…let me love you.” He whispered as my grip on his wrist loosened.

“No…you deserve a fa…” Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain pierce my sternum.  Gasping, I grabbed my chest, slamming into the counter as I gasped again, knees buckling.  Naruto came over to me, an arm under my shoulder.  “Kakashi!....Kakashi!”  I could hear him faintly, as darkness nibbled at my consciousness until it ebbed away.

{This is not good…

Standing from my crouched position, I rubbed my chest.  I didn’t hurt anymore, but I didn’t understand what was going on or what he was saying.  Rubbing my chest again, I looked at him.  ‘What is going on?’

I do not know…but the pain you feel…it is bits of my chakra being torn apart.

My eye widened as I looked at him.  ‘Torn apart?’

I’m not losing my chakra, but it’s being…unraveled.  Separated from my body.  If too much becomes separated…I do not know your body will be able to handle it.

I frowned.  ‘Are you doing this?  I won’t allow you to be able to break free.’  I growled.

No, I am not.  You are of more value to me right now alive than dead, Idiot.

‘Then what is going on?’ I asked.

I fear the answer lies with the Akatsuki.  And I fear they will be coming for you, soon… }

 

Chapter Text

Eyes opening, the room was very…very…white.  Rubbing my chest, I realized I wasn’t in my apartment.  I was in a hospital.  Quickly, I reached up, letting out a small sigh of relief at the feel of my mask covering my face.  Looking around, I saw Naruto sitting there, as well as Lady Tsunade standing over me.  “What happened?”  I asked, hating the weak sound of my voice.  Clearing my throat, I continued.  “I was in my home…and now I’m here.”  I was relieved my voice sounded stronger then…and I didn’t think they needed to know about the soul prison.

“You passed out, Kakashi!  You grabbed your chest and fainted.  I thought you were having a heart attack!”  Naruto said worriedly.  Lady Tsunade crossed her arms, staring hard at me.

“Your chakra is unbalanced.  Something is attacking your chakra from the inside.  We haven’t figured out what yet.”  Her hard hazel eyes glared at me.  “I bet you have an idea though, don’t you?”  I shrugged dismissively, eyes sliding to look at the floor.  “You haven’t told him.  Have you?”  I winced.  She knew I had not told him.  “Fine.”  I heard her sigh.  Eye frantic, I looked up at her.

“Naruto, sit and listen…listen well.  Moreover, by listen, I mean just that.  You aren’t to move until I’m done talking.”  Lady Tsunade said.

“M’lady…” I interrupted, her hazel eyes snapping to mine.  “This isn’t for you to tell.”  I demanded.

“I am the Hokage of this village.  This village’s safety is my utmost priority.  Everything that happens in this village is my business.  Since you refuse to tell, I will.”  Her eyes blazed with anger.

“But…”

“Silence!”  She raged.  Turning to Naruto…”You need to know the full story of how your parents died…and why.  I think you are old enough now.”  Naruto’s eyes were trained on Lady Tsunade.  His mouth formed a thin line and he nodded, listening intently.

“Your father was the Fourth Hokage…Lord Fourth he was sometimes called, as well as the Yellow Flash due to how fast he was.  He was a wonderful man, and a great leader.  Your mother was so very spirited, and loved your father very much.  No one was surprised when their names appeared on each other’s bodies when they saw each other that first day of the Academy, and no one was surprised when they married years later.”  Tsunade’s eyes grew fond at the memories dredged from the shadows.  Looking at Naruto, she smiled.

“When they found out that Kushina was pregnant…they were overjoyed.  Never had I seen two people more excited to be parents.  They named you after Jiraiya’s hero in his first novel…did you know that?”  Naruto nodded his head, smiling.  Chuckling, Tsunade continued.  “I figured Jiraiya would tell you that.  Kushina’s pregnancy was uneventful…until your birth.”  Eyes sobering, Tsunade blinked, looking down.  “And then…the nine tails attacked.”

I looked over at Naruto.  He was glaring, his blue eyes hard.  Sighing, I laid down.  I may not want him to be my lover, but I didn’t want him to hate me, either.  I didn’t see a way out of the second option, now.  My stomach lurched, and I knew it had nothing to do with chakra.

I just closed my eyes as Tsunade went on.  “Your mother was the jinchurriki…and when she gave birth, the seal was weakened enough that the nine tails was able to escape.  One of the Uchiha clan tricked the nine tails into attacking the village.  Many shinobi and ANBU fought and died on that night.”  Tsunade’s voice was still strained.

Squeezing my eyes shut, I fought against the memories…my sensei’s body broken and bleeding, Kushina in pain, dying…Naruto laying there, waiting to be sacrificed.  “You see, Naruto…your parents were going to seal the nine tails in you…make you a jinchurriki.  You were from the Uzumaki bloodline, so you were a perfect choice.  However, someone else stepped up.  Knowing that the village was going to regard the jinchurriki as a monster because of the attack, he knew that if it were sealed in you…you would be that villain, no matter the reason.  He convinced Minato and Kushina to seal the jinchurriki in him.  Due to your mother’s weakened state, and your father having to use the Reaper Death Seal, both of them perished…but the sealing was effective.  The nine tails was contained.”

“Why?  Why would someone do that?”  I heard Naruto’s voice...it was confused…but still angry.  “Why would my parents want to do that to anyone?  Didn’t they love me?  Didn’t they care about anyone?”  I heard Naruto’s voice, thick with tears.  Gripping the sheets, I succumbed to cowardice and refused to open my eyes.

“Naruto!  It’s because they loved you so much that they did this…both things.”  Scowling, I heard Jiraiya’s voice.  Great.  “They didn’t want to seal the jinchurriki in you…Kushina wanted to keep it in her…but the seal broke and havoc ensued.  It was because they loved you so much that they agreed to seal the jinchurriki in Kakashi.”

“K…Kakashi?”  Naruto said, confused.

“Yea…Kakashi…I figured you knew by now, if Tsunade was telling you this in front of our jinchurriki, after all.”  Jiraiya said, sounding just as confused.

There was silence for quite a while.  Finally, “Leave us alone.”  Naruto ground out.  I opened my eyes then to see Tsunade and Jiraiya look at each other, unspoken conversations happening between the two, nodding at each other before turning and leaving.  Pushing myself into a sitting position, I looked down at my lap.  Naruto was silent.  Finally, he spoke, voice cold.  “You couldn’t tell the truth if you tried, could you?” he asked.  Cold blue eyes looked up at me.  I slid my eyes away, back to my lap.  “It doesn’t matter what I ask…I’ll never know if it’s the truth or a carefully constructed lie you’ve arranged.  What gives you the right to mess with my life?”  Still looking at my lap, I said nothing.  He would never understand.

“Answer me, damnit!” he barked as I winced. 

Looking up Naruto, I shrugged.  “What do you want me to say?  You’ve already stated that you wouldn’t believe a word I’ve said, so why should I try to answer you?”  I kept my voice neutral.

“Because I deserve the truth!”  Sitting for a few minutes in silence, Naruto finally spoke, very quietly.  “I want you to take some truth serum and answer my questions.  You took my parents from me…I believe you owe me that.”  Naruto crossed his arms, glaring at me.  I flinched at his statement, but looked up, eye wide open.  Naruto stared grimly at me.  “Yea, I specialized in that.  I can administer it, so no one else will be able to hear what you say.  In addition, I will know if you are fighting it.  So, are you going to do that?  Will you take some truth serum?”  Looking down, I saw no way out.  The Leaf had finally perfected the truth serum.  No one had been able to lie under it…I definitely hadn’t perfected how to fake out a truth serum, so I knew it would work.  The only option the ANBU had was that we each had a cyanide pill we could take, killing us before the truth came out.  Nodding miserably, my stomach hurt.  Nothing like being completely exposed to someone.  Everyone is entitled to secrets…I don’t know why I can’t be as well.

()()()

Naruto decided that he should do his experiment after I was home and rested.  Whatever that meant.  After being released, I went home.  I cleaned a bit and prepared, as I never knew when the next mission would take me out of the apartment.  After doing some basic scouting for the Leaf, I walked into my apartment, taking off my shoes about a week after the hospital visit.  I was hoping Naruto forgot about it or was just so angry he didn’t want to see me.  I hadn’t seen him since that day.  Stretching, I frowned when I heard the knock on my door.  Going over, I opened it with a sense of dread.  Naruto stood there, a small black bag over his shoulder.  He looked at me and walked in.  Sitting his bag on my coffee table, he turned to me.  “Lock the door, and then come over here and sit down and get comfortable.”  Naruto said, eyes still as hard as they were the last time I saw them.  Nodding mutely, I did so, sighing heavily before sitting down.  Rolling up my sleeve, I exposed my left arm to him.  Oh, what I would not give for that red pill right now…

I didn’t even flinch as Naruto injected the needle into my arm.  As I watched the amber liquid enter my body, I suddenly felt very warm, and very lightheaded.  Suddenly, Naruto’s face was right in front of me.

“Kakashi.  What is your name?”  Naruto asked.

“Hatake Kakashi.”  I responded immediately.

Naruto nodded.  “What do you do for the Leaf?”

“I’m ANBU; I protect it at all costs.”  This was easy.

“Have you ever killed anyone?”

I swallowed, but nodded.  “Many people.”

“Why did my father, Minato Namikaze, die?”

“From sealing the nine tailed beast inside me using the Reaper Death Seal.”

“Why did my mother, Kushina Uzumaki, die?”

“Helping Mina seal the beast inside of me.”

“Why did they seal the beast inside of you?”  Naruto’s voice sounded angry.

“I asked them to.”

“Who were they going to seal it inside of before you?”

“You, their son, Naruto.”

“Why?”  Naruto’s voice sounded farther away.

“Because you are an Uzumaki and a Namikaze…you heal exceptionally quickly, and you have an iron will.  They believed you would be able to control the beast.”

“If they believed that, why did they seal it in you instead?”

“Because, I used guilt on them, reminding them that you would be vilified and have a horrible life.  They loved you very much and didn’t want to put that on you, along with being an orphan.  They knew they would die sealing away the beast.  I already had a horrible life after killing Rin and Obito and losing my father, so it wouldn’t be a difference to me.”

“Why did you volunteer yourself?”

“Because I love you and didn’t want you to suffer.”

“Is there a way to separate you from the beast without you dying?”

“No.”

“Why didn’t you say something when I said I wanted to kill the beast, even if I had to kill the container?”  Naruto sounded genuinely puzzled now…if still a bit angry.

“Because, you’re entitled to feel that way.  If that’s what you needed to do to get closure, you would need to do that.”

“You’d let me kill you?”

“If you could destroy the beast as well?  Yes.  If it would release the beast…no.”

“Why?”  He was confused.

“If it would give you peace, I would happily give my life.  If the beast is released, I fear it will go on a killing spree.”

“You care that much about the Leaf?”  Naruto asked quietly.

“No.  I care that much about you.  If the beast was released, it would kill you.”

Nothing was said for several minutes.  I felt myself slipping.  Finally…

“Are you my soulmate?”  Naruto asked softly.

“Yes.”

“Will we ever be together?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because you deserve better than me.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Opening my eyes, my head ached.  And by ached, I meant, it felt like it was being ripped off my shoulders.  My hangovers had never been this bad.  Looking up, I was laying in my bed.  Raising my arm, I saw the cotton ball with the bandage on it.  Frowning, I remembered, hazily, the truth serum Naruto had injected into me.

“Oh, right…that.”  I said aloud.  Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.  Getting up, I held my head, the world swimming slightly.  Opening the door, I saw Yamato standing there.  “Yamato?” I asked, confused.

Yamato’s face was not happy.  “We are being summoned.  They have found out where the leader of the Akatsuki is.”

()()()

I actually got dressed in record time, considering the fact that I felt like I was in a boat in a sea storm.  Slipping on my mask, I walked into the Hokage’s Tower.  Frog was actually already there as Bear and I came in.  Looking to the Hokage, Frog didn’t acknowledge my presence.  Awesome. 

“Gentlemen.  Our intelligence has informed us that the leader of the Akatsuki is a man named Pain.  He has short red hair, and has some kind of facial piercings at the nose and mouth, as well as piercings in each ear.  He is located in Amegakure.  It is impossible to penetrate…but I feel you three will be able to do so.  We have been given some help from Jiraiya…before he went missing.  Your mission is to infiltrate Amegakure, defeat Pain, and find Master Jiraiya, bringing him home.”

I crossed my arms.  “This was a beautiful plan; except for one thing…no one had been able to penetrate Amegakure.  How do you propose we do that?”

“Well, Wolf…since you are squad leader, you’ll figure it out.”  She glared.  Guess she hasn’t forgiven me for not spilling my guts to Naruto.  Oh well.

I could spill your guts…

Shut the fuck up, fox.

“What is the help Master Jiraiya gave?” I asked.

Handing over a scroll, Tsunade looked at me.  “This will turn you all into toads for three minutes…hopefully, that will give you enough time to get in.”  Taking the scroll, I nodded.  Three minutes.  Great…nodding, I looked to Frog and Bear. 

“Go get supplies, meet me at the Tower in twenty…this mission will be longer than the others.”  Nodding, both men left.  Looking at Tsunade, I frowned as the anger bubbled inside of me.  “I can’t do this…not with those two.  This is a suicide mission and you know it.  Let me go alone.  Do not make me take them with me.  You know I won’t be coming back.”

Tsunade’s eyes were hard.  “That’s always a possibility.  However, if that is how you truly feel, then you need to leave now, before they get back with supplies.”  Her eyes went to a bag.  Nodding, I grabbed it, heading out, stuffing the scroll in it as I went.

()()()

I pushed myself…making sure to put as much distance as I could between the Leaf and me.  My stomach was churning, the effects of the truth serum not quite having worked its way out of my system.  By nightfall I had went a considerable distance, but I feared that Frog and Bear would be on my heels.  I pushed myself through the night.  I had trained myself to stretch my limits, including my limits to act on a lack of sleep.  Struggling on, I traveled through the night.

()()()

I finally had to sleep at the end of my second day.  I would be close to Amegakure and would reach it by the next day.  I couldn’t expect to do what was requested of me if I was exhausted.  Scaling a tree, tying myself into it, I slept.

()()()

I woke the next morning, not very well rested.  I had a horrible feeling of foreboding, and the damn fox would not quit chuckling.  Finally, I closed my eyes, willing myself to calm down.  Opening my eye, I climbed down and set about my pace.  Getting to the lake, I pulled out the scroll.  Looking back over my shoulder, I knew they would come eventually.  Taking off my Hitai-ate, I sat down, scribbling a quick note.  Summoning Pakkun, I looked at him.  “Take this. Distract them.  When you finally cannot distract them any longer, give this note to Naruto.  However, do not, under any circumstances, let him enter Amegakure.  Understand?”

“Okay, Boss, but I think you’re making a big mistake.”  Pakkun said.  Frowning, I looked at him.

“Doesn’t matter.  Protect Naruto, okay?” 

Pakkun shook his head.  “Yea, yea…”  Changing clothes quickly, I then cast the scroll, feeling my body become small and rather…wet.  As my vision changed, I started running…only to find I was hopping.  As I jumped into the water, I swam as fast as I could.  Finding a small opening in the watery-gated fence of the water, I slipped through.  As I swam to the top, I looked around, finding some shadows.  Hopping up there, I felt my body changing again, growing, my legs forming back into arms and hands.  Sighing, I leaned back.  Looking around, I tried to determine the best place to start.  Pulling my disguise out of my bag, I changed my hair, and slipped in some contacts.  I then started walking around.

The first thing I noticed were all these paper angels everywhere.  I don’t know why they were there, but it seems that this place was fascinated with them.  I tried to eavesdrop to figure out what they were, but never really got a clear answer.  As I “shopped”, I looked around, trying to determine where a good hideout would be, as well as a good prison.  I really wished I had something that would point me in the direction of Pain or Master Jiraiya.  As it was now, I was literally walking in the dark…and rainy dark at that.  Didn’t this place ever get any sun?

As I sat down to eat, I heard some people talking.  They were talking about their savior and how Lord Pain was amazing; keeping the peace as he did compared to Hanzo, who they saw as always leading them (or letting them be used) by war.  Frowning, I tried to hear more.  This sounded like Pain’s propaganda at its finest.  The group moved on, much to my dismay.  Sighing, I finished my food as I heard the voice that was not supposed to be heard.

“Hey, Tenzou, let’s eat here, then we can look for him more.”  Jerking my head up, I saw him.

Heh, heh, heh…he is as stubborn as you are.

I just let out a sigh.  Where the fuck was Pakkun?

Chapter Text

Frowning, I sighed.  Pakkun was loyal, faithful, and had never failed to succeed at his mission…so why did he fail this time?  I sat quietly, eating, head kept low but not conspicuously low, hoping they would move on, not noticing me.

“Tenzou!  Oh my god!  Look!”  I heard Naruto say.  Keeping my eyes down, I kept eating, even though all I wanted to do was look up guiltily.  Suddenly, I felt people standing by me.  “Hey….didn’t think we’d see you here!”  Naruto’s voice said, right above me.  Fuck.  Looking up, I expected to see fury…not…happiness from those cerulean eyes.  Swallowing, my brain was trying to figure out what to say when, “Master Woshana!  It has been forever!  Mind if we sit down?” Naruto said happily.  Ahh, I was wearing the same disguise as in my old mission.  He was in cargo pants and a tee shirt, very unassassin like.  Tenzou was in a cape, black pants, and a long sleeved shirt.  Both masks and hitai-ate were hidden.  Seems they realized we shouldn’t waltz in in Leaf wear.  I noticed that Tenzou was giving me an odd look.

“Master Woshana?”  Tenzou asked, voice tinged with curiosity.

“Yea!  He came and taught us taijutsu at the Academy.”  Naruto supplied.  I realized that Naruto was looking at me.  Ah, I hadn’t responded.  Adjusting my voice, I smiled, nodding.  If I sent them away, it would be more obvious. 

“Of course.”  Realizing that Yamato was going in a code name, I assumed that Naruto might as well.  “I do apologize, but I do not remember your name…”

Naruto smiled.  “Nami.  The name’s Nami.” He said as he sat down, Yamato sitting down next to him.    Smart boy…abbreviating his last name. 

As the waiter came and took their orders, Naruto smiled at me.  “So, how has it been?  Have you had great adventures?”

I smiled.  “Well, I have had adventures, but I don’t know if they have been great.  You?”

Naruto frowned.  “Well, we’ve had adventures, but our companion left us on our last one.”  His face darkened with anger.

“Oh…”  I said, uncomfortable.

“Nami…”  Yamato warned.

Naruto glared up at Yamato.  Suddenly, a light went off in his eyes.  Turning back to me, he opened his eyes, putting big puppy dog eyes in place.  “Master Woshana…you’ve traveled a lot, right?”

“Well, yes, I have.”  I asked, internally wary but not showing it.  I cannot let it be known who I am.

“So…you know lots of people?”  Naruto asked again.  About then, the waiter came, setting down their food.  As Naruto dug in, I weighed how to answer this.

“Of course I do, why?”  I asked, as I finished my food.

“Do you know Hatake Kakashi?” he asked around a mouthful of food.

I weighed best how to answer this.  If I said yes, he may enlist my aid to help find Kakashi…, which would keep me from my mission.  If I said no, it would seem odd, as I know that I am known because of my eye…and my curse.  Sighing, I nodded.  “Hai.  I do.”

Naruto perked up.  “Have you seen him here?”  He looked over at Yamato.  Yamato was eating…knowing him as I do, I knew he was studying me, trying to figure out what was bothering him…which was probably why I seemed so familiar.

I took the appropriate time to “think”, and then shook my head no.  “I am sorry, Nami, but I have not.”

Naruto frowned, but nodded.  As the men continued to eat, I had finished.  After a bit, Yamato got up, leaving Naruto and I alone.  After Yamato was gone, Naruto looked at me.  “Master Woshana?” he asked, quietly.

Looking up, I noticed Naruto seemed deep in thought.  “Yes, Nami?”

“Why would Kakashi leave his teammates?”  Naruto asked, quietly.

“Knowing what I know of Hatake, I am sure he had a good reason.  He values comrades highly.”  I said, carefully walking a fine line.

“Maybe cause he doesn’t trust his mates.” Naruto frowned, looking down at his empty bowl.

“I’m sure that is not it.  Anytime I spoke to him, he was very proud of his teams.”  I said, wanting to comfort him.

“Yea, right.  Well, thanks Master Woshana.”  Seeing Yamato, Naruto stood, laying some money on the table.

“Enjoy your stay here, Nami.”  I said, wanting nothing more than to hold him…, which was the furthest thing from what I could do.

()()()

After finishing up and paying, I left.  As I kept searching for information, I had to keep out of view of Naruto and Yamato.  Finally, twisting through the alleys, I came upon two men carrying a dead body.  Stopping, they sat the body down.  “Hey, you…what are you doing here?”  The brunette man said to me.

I raised my hands innocently.  “I got lost…I was trying to find the Inn I was staying at.”

One of the guys walked over to me suspiciously.  “What Inn?”

I named the first one I had seen upon entering the village... “Sikame’s”.  Studying me for a moment, he then shrugged and went about telling me the directions to the inn.  Nodding, I walked off, sliding into the darkness after I went around the corner.  I assumed another position, where I could watch secretly.  The men walked into the building with the body.  Reading the sign, it said “Entrance C”…whatever that meant.  Storing that away for future knowledge, I saw other people entering and leaving.  Finally, I saw a purple haired woman in Akatsuki robes walk up to the men that were now exiting without that body.

“Did you deliver Tayiata?” she asked.  They nodded.  Speaking to them quietly, she then walked away after a few minutes.  Slinking through the shadows, I followed the woman.  Finally, I had to scale the wall.  Keeping to the outside, I could hear the woman speak.  “He has found a way to breach our walls.  He is here.”

“His father may have been a great leader, but he raised a fool.”  I bristled.  How dare they talk about Minato or Naruto that way…but what do they need with Naruto?

“I do not trust it Nagato…why would the jinchurriki come here…knowing you are here?”  Freezing, I narrowed my eyes.  I could feel the fox bubbling inside of me, feeding on my anger, my lack of sleep, and my frustrations with life in general.

“Because we have Jiraiya…and Kakashi will do anything to make Naruto happy.”

()()()

Making my way back to the Inn for the night, I needed to regroup.  Shit…they know I am here…and they know part of what I want.  Frowning, I unlocked the door and went in.  As I took off my disguise, I stripped, stepping into the shower.  Cleaning myself off after three very smelly days, I let the water warm my body.  As my thoughts wandered, I closed my eyes, thinking.

Blue eyes haunted my thoughts.  Rubbing my eyes, I wished I could just forget him.  It would make things easier.  However, now Naruto was in the forefront of my thoughts because he was on the Akatsuki’s radar.  Damnit…why?  Stepping out of the shower, I was towel drying myself dry.  Shaking my head, I had to figure out a way to get up to this Nagato character…then he could lead me to Pain…I just felt sure of it.  That woman was with the Akatsuki and was in Amegakure…which is where this Pain was.  However, she was not Pain, as she did not have red hair or the piercings. 

Suddenly I realized, too late, that there was someone else in my room

Chapter Text

Looking up, I paled.  I locked the door…I was sure of it.  How did anyone get in here?  Suddenly, five sets of hands had me pinned against the door as I heard the voice, “Master Woshana?!  That’s how you appeared in front of me?  Damnit, I am so lame!”  Sighing, I looked and saw that five Naruto clones had me pinned to the wall.  I also saw that Naruto’s face was beyond angry.  Blowing out a deep breath, I waited for the tirade.  Looking down, I now realized that silence could sometimes be uncomfortable.  Which was unusual, as I normally liked silence.  After a few minutes, there was still no tirade.  The only way I knew that Naruto was still in the room was because I could feel the five sets of hands on me.  Therefore, I waited for the anger…which never came.  Looking up through my lashes, Naruto was just staring at me, a deep sadness in his eyes.  His eyes were glassy.  Clearing his throat, he dissipated his jutsu, the clones poofing away in clouds of smoke.  Shaking his head, he turned, leaving, the door closing with a quiet click.

()()()

The next morning, Naruto and Yamato were downstairs when I came down in my disguise.  “Master Woshana.”  Naruto said sadly, as Yamato stood by Naruto, looking confused.  I nodded to the two.

“Master Woshana, Nami asked that we accompany you while you were here.  He said something about a man of your stature not needing to be alone.  I also suggested we could look for our missing comrade while accompanying you, if you do not mind?”  Yamato said.  Raising an eyebrow, I looked to Naruto, who refused to look at me. 

“Well, thank you…Tenzou.”  I said, recalling that he was going by his original name while here.  Nodding, Yamato adjusted his pack and looked at me.

“So, how long are you staying here?”  Yamato asked conversationally as we walked out of the Inn.

“Just a few days…no more than three more.  I am just enjoying a mini vacation.”  I responded.  Suddenly, I saw the lavender haired woman again.  Grabbing Naruto’s arm, I drug him into a store with a “Let’s look in this one!”  Naruto looked at me, finally, confusion tinted with sadness.  Yamato agreed, following us into the store.  As I tracked her movements in a mirror, I jabbered on about nothing, to look like I was just shopping with friends.  After I lost her, I frowned.  “I think I would like to go back to the Inn for a bit.”  Nodding, Yamato and Naruto followed me.  Once back at the Inn, I looked at the two men.  “Could I speak to Nami for a few minutes?”

Yamato looked at Naruto, who shrugged.  “Sure.  I’ll go onto our room.”  Yamato headed out of sight.

“Yes, Master Woshana…what did you need?”  Naruto asked, carefully blank.

“Please, let’s get some tea and go to my room to speak.”  Ordering some tea, I took it up to the room, opening the door.  Allowing Naruto to enter first, I shut the door behind me, setting the tray with the tea down.  Sighing, I locked the door, putting some jutsu on it to stop anyone else from hearing or entering.  Pulling off my wig, I removed my contacts, putting them in the proper container.  Naruto sat, doctoring his tea, still saying nothing.  Sitting opposite him, I poured some tea.  Looking into the cup, I collected my thoughts.

“Naruto…there is a purple haired woman here with the Akatsuki.  She was talking to a man named Nagato, whom I could not see.  They know we are here, but don’t seem to know who I am with my disguise on.  However, they know who I am and that I am a jinchurriki…but for some reason, you are in their crosshairs as well.  I need you and Yamato to leave, let me deal with this.”  I looked at him, eyes pleading.  No need to mention the suicide mission aspect of this.  I still hoped to escape alive, although I was concerned.

He crossed his arms, looking down at his tea.  “Fine, Kakashi.  I will get Yamato and leave.  Anything else?”  Naruto asked quietly, looking down still.

“No.”  Sighing in relief, I sat down.  “Thank you, Naruto.” 

You know he doesn’t give up easily.

Maybe he’s learning.

“Of course, Kakashi.  Can I ask you something before I leave?” Naruto’s eyes were trained on his teacup.

“Sure, Naruto.”

“Why am I not enough?”  Blue eyes looked up at me and shone with sadness.  Standing, he shrugged.  “Never mind, don’t answer that.”  As he walked out the door, I rubbed my temples, a sudden headache coming on.

()()()

The next day, I went about finding more out about Pain.  However, I couldn’t seem to find out anything more than I already knew…the people thought of him as a hero…and I was getting frustrated.  Turning a corner, I saw a redhead with short, spiky red hair.  Damnit, there were no facial piercings nor ear piercings.  Frowning, I kept walking past him.  Walking on into a shop, I started looking over treats, grabbing a couple bags, acting like a typical shopper.  Finally, I paid for my items and left.

I wanted to summon Pakkun, but I was fearful my chakra signature would lead them to me if I summoned him.  Going back to the Inn, I walked into my room, and froze.  Laying on the bed, bound and gagged, was Naruto…the red head from earlier looking at me with a smirk.  Anger flared up in me, rage boiling as I looked at Naruto’s wrists, which were slightly raw from the chakra binds.  Where the hell was Yamato?

“Look, old man…I’ve seen you with this kid a couple times…and I can tell he means a lot to you.  You’re not from around here, and you look like you can get some money, so let me explain the rules to you.  Lord Pain has some very specific requirements for bodies, and this kid fits them to a tee.  Now, I need some money…so you get me what I want, and nobody gets hurt, see?  Cause if you don’t, I turn him over to Pain and get a reward…so, this is truly a case of the highest bidder.”

There are seals on the room from him…no one can hear what happens in this room…so I do not know if Naruto has been punished or not…

You.  Aren’t.  Helping.  I could feel my body ready to shake with rage.  I stared at the redhead with dispassionate eyes.  He had to have talents to have been able to capture Naruto, for Naruto was fairly powerful…unless…

“What lies did you tell him?”  I asked the red head, realizing Naruto was also very gullible at times.

Smirking, showing razor sharp teeth, the redhead nodded.  “You are a sharp one, aren’t you?”  About then, a brunette male, a bald male, a blonde female, and an obsidian haired woman stepped out of the shadows.  I had to give them credit; their jutsu was very good…either that, or I was too focused on Naruto’s safety.  At the moment, I didn’t have time to figure it out.

I gave him a very disinterested look.  “What I am is a danger to you.  You should release him before you regret it.”  I said quietly, the rage building inside of me.

“Hoohoo…that’s funny, old man.”  Pulling out a kunai, he put the point to Naruto’s throat.  “I’m the one with the power, here.  So, let’s get back to business…” 

“Your last warning.  If one drop of blood is spilled from him, your life will pay the price.”  I stood, ready.

“Heh.  Big words from a traveler.”  As he dug the point into Naruto’s neck, a drop of blood slid out.

Something inside of me snapped.  I really don’t know what it was, but the rage overflowed like lava bursting from a volcano.  As the world tinged red, an unearthly snarl escaped my lips.  Leaping at the man, I felt my skin burning, my nails clawing through flesh, shattering bones.  I heard the screams, the gurgling of the blood, the beating of the heart that stopped under the force of my hands squeezing it.  Hearing the others yell, I snarled, turning on them.  Three of the four were casting hand signs to create jutsus as the bald man was heading for the door.  Snarling, I felt my canines extending. 

Looking over, I saw three reddish tails made of bubbling chakra.  Not caring at the moment, I grabbed the bald man with a tail, smashing him into the wall, snapping his neck in two.  Howling in rage, I advanced on the two women.  As they cast their jutsu, I dodged it easily, a tail wrapping around each one as I pinned the brunette under my foot, which I noticed looked like a red fox foot with enormous claws.  Smiling devilishly, I ground my foot into the brunette’s head, until I heard the skull shatter and felt the squish of brain matter under my boot.

Turning my attention to the two women, I leaned over until I was face to face with them.  My skin was still burning…my voice was gruff and becoming less understandable.  “Were they your bosses?”  I snarled.  The obsidian haired woman shook her head no as the blonde spat on me.  Squeezing the blonde until her bones disintegrated and her chin fell against her chest, I threw her to the side with a sickening thud.  Turning my attention to the obsidian haired woman, I snarled more.  “Who is your boss?”

“K…Kakazu…” she muttered.  Snarling, I nodded, grabbing her and ripping her in half with a satisfyingly sickening pop.  As blood splattered, I tossed each half of the woman aside.  Turning to Naruto, I saw him staring, wide eyed with fear.

Let’s go…let’s go have some fun…

Untie Naruto first…must untie him…

No…he’s safer like this…let’s go…

Yes…he’s safer like this…  Turning to leave, I saw the burns on his wrists.  Can’t let him hurt…  Going over, I grabbed the chakra chains as Naruto winced.  Snapping them, I turned to leave.  Suddenly, I felt arms around me.  Howling, I turned to see who had survived to try to stop me.  Seeing blue eyes, I stopped, snarling, but not attacking Naruto.

“Kakashi…come back to me…please…”  Naruto said.

No, leave him…we need fun…

Right…fun…  Shoving Naruto away, he went sliding, hitting the wall hard.  I should feel bad…but he should not have gotten in the way.  Turning to leave, the last thing I heard was “Sorry.” before the world went black.

 

 

Chapter Text

My arms burned as if they were on fire.  My head was pounding, and I felt like my bones were broken.  Groaning, I opened my eyes, the light burning my retinas.  Closing them again, I let out a breath.  Suddenly, I felt a cool gel like substance on my arms.  Opening my eyes again, I saw Naruto standing by me, rubbing petroleum jelly on my arms, which were cracked.  I felt like they should be burnt to a crisp, but instead they looked dry, deep cracks in them.

 

“You were...frightening.” I heard Naruto say quietly.  What was he talking about?  Rolling my head to the side. I looked at Naruto.  His arms were red, like he had a bad sunburn.  Angrily, I tried to sit up, only to find that I was restrained by Yamato’s wood bindings.

 

“Naruto, what happened to you?  What did they do to your arms?” I demanded.  Naruto looked down, rubbing his wrists gently.  

 

“This is from the chakra binds.” Naruto said quietly as he rubbed his wrists.

 

“I know that...I meant your arms...the burns.” I pointed out.  Naruto looked away, not answering.

 

“They were from you, Kakashi.  He grabbed you while you had the fox’s chakra cloak.  He burnt himself trying to stop you.” Yamato said from somewhere beyond my vision.  Laying my head back down, I realized why I was restrained...I remembered flashes of what happened...how I lost control.  How I destroyed those people, how it felt...good.  How Naruto got hurt.  Swallowing thickly, I turned my head to Naruto.

 

“I am sorry, Naruto.  I never meant to hurt you.”  I whispered, eyes stinging from the tears forming.  I felt the wooden bindings leave.  Not moving at all, I let my eyes close.  The room was silent as I lay there.  The door clicked shut.  I didn't know if either were in here...but it didn't matter.  I just wanted to be alone.  I had done the one thing I had sworn never to do...hurt Naruto.  

 

“You know, Kakashi...it was my choice to hold you.  I felt the pain, but held on.  You need to think about that.” The door clicked again, and the silence was not broken this time before darkness enveloped me.

 

()()()

 

Yamato and Naruto stayed by my side until I healed.  It only took a couple days...the fox’s chakra helped me to heal almost as fast as an Uzumaki...Naruto was healed by the next morning.  Not much was said by anyone, as the rain continued outside of the window.  Sighing as I sat up, I looked around.  My skin seemed back to normal.  Naruto was asleep on a pallet on the floor and looked healthy.  Yamato was sitting against the door, head down, chin resting on his chest. 

 

I felt the bed shift as weight was put on it.  Looking over, I saw Naruto sit down by me.  Looking down, I sighed quietly.  “Kakashi...it wasn't your fault.  You protected me.  You saved me.”  He was trying to comfort me.  That was the kind of person Naruto was.  Always thinking of others.

 

Yes, but I am cursed.  Death follows me, surrounds me, and envelops me.  Cutting my eyes to Naruto's handsome face, I just looked back down again.  I heard the door click.  Looking up, I saw that Yamato was gone.  

 

“Kakashi, you have to stop this.  I am not going to leave you alone.  I cannot.  I love you too much.  I don't care if you refuse to be with me.  I am your soulmate.  Which means you are mine.  I cannot go through this life without you.” I felt the bed shift, and then suddenly Naruto was on his knees in front of me, grabbing my hands.

 

“Kakashi.  You are my other half.”  He kissed my knuckles tenderly.  “You try to push me away, but I am not leaving. Don't you understand?” Cobalt stared up at me with such a sincerity my heart wanted to stop.  “My will is as strong as yours.”  He kissed my knuckles again.  “You tear me apart when you keep me at bay.  I love you, Kakashi.  My soul it…it craves to be with you.” He reached up to put his hands on my face.

 

I leaned back, out of reach.  “You are seventeen.  You don't understand the destruction I leave in my wake.” I answered simply.

 

Naruto sat up on his knees, undeterred.  “And then I will be eighteen, then twenty, then thirty...when will you believe I will be old enough, Kakashi?  Or will you always say I am too young because I am younger than you?”  The blonde hair framed his perfect face, making Naruto look so much older than his seventeen years.

 

Taking his wrists in my hands, I sighed.  I was tired.  Tired of being alone.  Tired of fighting.  Tired of everything I touched turning to shit.  Tired of hurting Naruto no matter what I did.  Raising my eye to him, I reached over, smoothing his hair, running fingers down his cheek.  He was my precious person, and all I did was hurt him.  He shivered, eyes closing as he let out a little sigh, leaning into my touch.

 

“I am old enough to be a shinobi, to be in ANBU, to die for the Leaf...if I am old enough to know what I want to lay my life down for; I am old enough to know what I want to live for.” Opening his eyes, he leaned up, keeping me trapped in his gaze.  “I live for you...my heart beats only for you, Kakashi.” he murmured as his lips brushed mine, those beautiful blue eyes the only thing I saw before mine slid closed.  “Please, Kakashi...stop fighting this.”  He murmured against my lips.

 

I felt his hands snake up my chest, leaving a trail of fire in their wake.  My brain was still working...feebly.  As his arms wrapped around my neck, I put my hands up, grabbing his wrists to stop them.  Naruto whimpered.  “Kakashi, I love you.  No matter what you do, I will always love you.”  Capturing my lips in his, I felt him lean into me.  As I felt his tongue running against my lips, I stubbornly kept them closed.  I couldn't...I couldn't fail him.  I had to keep him safe.  Being with me wasn’t safe.

 

“Kakashi, you took the burden of your father’s suicide.” He kissed my forehead.  “You took the burden of Obito’s death.” He kissed my left eye.  “You took the burden of Rin’s death.”  He kissed my right hand.  “You took the burden of the fox.”  His lips kissed my stomach.  “Let me take your burden of loneliness.  Let me love you.”  Kissing me again, I felt my resolve falter as I opened my mouth, accepting him.

 

As his tongue sought entrance, I felt myself shudder, my hands running down his arms to encircle him.  As one hand went to the back of his neck, I wrapped my other arm around his waist, pulling him to me.  Rubbing circles in his neck gently with my thumb, I felt as if a thousand bees were buzzing in my stomach.  Pulling back, I looked at Naruto.  His eyes were hooded, his lips puffy, his face flushed.  I couldn’t stop this even if I wanted to.  We were destined for each other…our souls searched for each other.  Whenever Naruto wasn’t around, I was irritable, aching, and empty.  With Naruto, I was complete.  I couldn’t survive without Naruto, just as yin cannot survive without yang.  Leaning over, I kissed him again. 

 

I felt the rumble in his chest as he moaned quietly at my kiss.  My breathing picked up as I pulled him closer to me, deepening the kiss.  Pulling back, I saw Naruto's eyes panic slightly.  Chuckling, I leaned down, kissing Naruto’s neck.  “Ah...Kashi…” he whimpered as I felt his fingers entangle in my hair.  His taste was intoxicating as I continued to kiss on that sensitive skin, running the tip of my tongue over his collarbone.  He tasted like salt, sunshine, beaches, and a summer day.  Sucking gently, I heard the higher pitch of his voice as he ground himself against me.  I could feel his excitement as my pants tightened uncomfortably.

 

Pulling away, my lips popped softly as the suction was broken.  Looking at Naruto, he had a feral gleam in his dark eyes.  Leaning over me, he placed a kiss on my chest.  Gasping at the sensations, I lay back, as Naruto's hands guided me to the bed.  Crawling up, Naruto straddled me.  Brushing his fingers over my chest, I felt my skin pebble as my breath left me shakily.  Looking up, I forgot to breathe.

 

Naruto was gorgeous.  His eyes dark, he was eyeing me hungrily.  I felt his fingers circle my nipple and I let out a gasp at the sensation.  Pulling and tugging, I let out a whimper myself.  It had been so long since I had been with anyone sexually.  I had only had three lovers in my life, two women and one man…and none fulfilled me, so I had given up pursuing pleasures with other people, preferring my hand instead.  Yet, none had ever gotten me as excited as Naruto was doing right now with these simple touches.  Shivering, I felt him latch onto my nipple, circling it with my tongue.  As he pulled back, I lifted my head to look at him.  “Do you know how often I’ve thought of this moment?”  Naruto asked huskily.  “How many times I’ve practiced this in my head?”  I felt myself twitch at the drop in the timbre of his voice.  “How many times I’ve touched myself, thinking of you?” he whispered, running his tongue down my chest, down my stomach, past my navel, never breaking eye contact.

 

As he ran hot breath over my cloth-covered erection, I let out a moan, laying back on the bed.  Instinctively, I bucked my hips up to him.  I wanted him…I wanted him so badly.  I felt his hands ghost down my inner thighs.  Panting, I groaned, arching towards him.  I felt his hands over my pants, pulling them down.  I hissed as the cool air hit my aching member, which so hot…so hard…wanted Naruto.  Suddenly, I felt feather light trails along my inner thighs from Naruto’s fingers.  Grabbing the sheets, I knotted them into my fists as I growled lowly.  I could feel the muscles in my arms tensing into knots as Naruto’s hot breath ghosted over my shaft.  I arched my pelvis farther, trying to find his mouth…, which was just out of reach.  Whimpering, I bucked once, twice, three times.  Finally, “Naruto…p…please.”

 

I couldn’t stop the animalistic yell that escaped my throat as I felt Naruto’s hot mouth over me.  I felt his throat constrict around my dick as I felt his nose in my pelvis.  Crying out, I twitched and convulsed on the bed, arching myself almost in half at the exquisite sensations Naruto was bringing out in me.  As he started bobbing his head, sliding his mouth over me, I felt my toes curling involuntarily.  It didn’t take long before I could feel the tingling in my balls, the hot coil of passion in my gut telling me I was about to release.  “N…Nar…uto…I’m…just abou…oh, right there…oh kami…oh….ka...”  I felt myself release, Naruto still working me as he sucked every last drop from me.  I bucked, my head arched back, my back arched, my toes locked into a curl as I shook, sweat covering my body.  When he finally released me, I opened my eye, shaking, breathing heavily, my limbs feeling about twenty pounds apiece.  Holding my head up, I saw Naruto lick his lips and smile.

 

I patted the bed next to me.  Naruto shook his head no.  Frowning in confusion, I looked at him.  Getting up, he grabbed the petroleum jelly he had used on me.  Slathering it on his shaft, his eyes never left me.  “Did you know I would masturbate thinking of you?”  Naruto asked huskily.  Swallowing thickly, I just blinked, mesmerized by this blonde.  “I would touch myself, imagining it was you touching me….imagining that I was entering you…making love to you, watching you get off while I fucked you.”  He whispered.  I felt myself getting hard again.  “Now, here we are…I’m going to enter you…make love to you…and watch you get off while I fuck you.”  My dick was back at attention, weeping for joy at Naruto’s words.  I had no words for this version of Naruto I had never seen before.  He was…erotic and intoxicating.  Suddenly, I felt him slip a finger in.  Hissing in surprise, I tried to relax to get used to that sensation.  As he wiggled it around a bit, I relaxed.  As he slipped a second finger in, I winced.  I had never been a bottom…so this was all new.

 

“Kakashi?”  Naruto asked his voice tender.  Looking up at him, I raised an eyebrow.  “Are…are you okay?”  Naruto asked, doubt showing in his eyes.

 

“Yea, I’m okay, Naruto…this is just…new.”  I admitted.  I saw a spark in Naruto’s eye.

 

“I’m your first?”  Naruto asked.  Oh shit, we are NOT having this conversation now…

 

“I have never been on bottom before, only top.”  I stated, hoping this wasn’t going to end badly.  Grinning triumphantly, Naruto worked his fingers more.  Well, that went well…oh!  I shivered…it felt…good.  Positioning himself at the entrance, I felt him slide his rock hard dick against my entrance.

 

“Kakashi…” he called out quietly.  Lifting my head, I looked at him.  His eyes were serious, dark, his face held no hint of mischievousness.  “I love you.  Always.  Unconditionally.  It’s my choice, and I choose to hold on…no matter what.”

 

I swallowed at the power of the emotions behind those words.  Running my tongue over my lips, I looked at him.  “And I love you, Naruto.  Always.  Unconditionally.” 

 

Giving me a small smile, Naruto slid in slowly, watching me.  Gasping, I felt my eyes roll back in my head.  Never had I felt so full…the feeling was…exquisite.  There was pain, but it was minimal compared to the pleasure that was thrumming through my system.  As Naruto started to move, I felt myself move against him, craving more of the sensations my body was getting.  Naruto started moving faster, shoving and thrusting.  Suddenly, he hit something, and I saw…stars as white-hot pleasure exploded from my gut and out throughout my entire body.  “Oh….right there baby…right there…oh kami, Naruto…”  I felt Naruto slamming into me, repeatedly hitting that bundle of nerves.  I felt his fingers on my hips, bruising, but I didn’t care.  I felt his dick tensed as he pounded me mercilessly.  Screaming, I felt the tears fall at the most exquisite pleasure I had ever felt.  Feeling myself ready to climax, I forced myself to look at Naruto.  His head was back, sweat covering his body, his hair sticking to his face.  Opening his eyes, he looked down at me.  As I felt myself releasing, I felt him release inside of me.  After a few more thrusts, Naruto pulled out shakily.  Pulling the blonde up to me, I pulled the covers over us.  As Naruto snuggled down, his head on my chest, I wrapped my arms around him.  “Naruto…I love you…and…I’m going to try to hold on and not let go.  Be patient with me?”  I asked, holding him lovingly.

I felt him smile in my chest.  “Patience isn’t my virtue, Kashi…but I choose us, and so I’ll hold on no matter what.”  Hugging me tightly, I felt whole for the first time in my life as I drifted off into a contented sleep.

 

Chapter Text

I sat straight up, grabbing my chest.  It felt like a hook was piercing my flesh.  Looking around, I saw that Naruto was rubbing his eyes, looking at me, sitting up beside me.  “What is going on?” he asked. Gasping, I jumped to my feet.

 

“I don't know.”  I said, confused.  I felt my feet walking towards the door against my will.  I tried digging my heels in, but my feet kept walking.

 

“Uum, Kakashi...why are you walking towards the door naked?” Naruto asked, confusion lancing his tone.

 

What the fuck is going on?  The fox was irritable and just as confused as I was.

 

I don’t know...this isn't your doing?  I asked, concern rising up.

 

If it was my fucking doing, would I be asking you what was going on?  Kurama pointed out rather angrily.

 

True.  As my hands hit the door, trying to unlock it, I heard Naruto’s voice, “Shadow Clone Jutsu” right before I felt several hands on me, tackling me to the ground.  “Yamato!” Naruto yelled. Well, there goes our cover.

 

Bursting through the door, Yamato looked confused at the sight of me, naked, under a pile of Narutos, Naruto naked on the bed.  Thankfully, he didn’t think this was some sex game gone bad. “What the hell is going on?” he asked as I was clawing, feeling the burning in me again as I saw my nails elongating.  Snarling, I twisted my body, crawling, and threw the clones off of me.

 

“Wood Prison Jutsu.”  Yamato yelled, wooden slats protruding from the floor, surrounding me.  Snarling, I shattered them...seeing the red of the chakra cloak starting to cover me.  Howling, I felt Kurama shivering with glee as I jumped through the window, escaping into the night.  The rain poured over me, washing my humanity away as I ran towards the pull, Kurama giggling inside of me.

 

{I was face first in the bubbling chakra.  Feeling like I was suffocating, but not drowning, I rolled over.  Looking up, I saw Kurama pacing behind the bars. “Where are we now?”

 

“I don’t know...but Kakazu is behind this.”  Kurama snarled.  

 

“Kakazu?  But we were here for Pain?”  I was confused. Kakazu was a quiet member of the Akatsuki...we hadn’t even confronted him.  “Are you sure? How do you know it’s Kakazu?” My chest was still hurting. Kakazu wasn’t even paired with Sasori or Deidara or Pain.  Kakazu was with Hidan. Sitting up, I rubbed the back of my neck, working out the kink.

 

“Because I can sense his chakra, and he’s by himself.  He may still be with the Akatsuki, but this isn’t from Pain’s doing.”  Kurama snarled.

 

Standing, I walked over to the bars encasing the fox.  “Am I unconscious?” I asked Kurama.

 

“Yes.”   Kurama frowned.  “If you are in my soul prison, your consciousness is gone.  I don’t like you...but I need you right now...so WAKE UP!”  Grabbing my hand through the bars, I felt the jolt as my eyes flew open.}

 

Jerking awake, I sat up, behind bars.  Grimacing in pain, I noticed that my arms were cracked with those same painful cracks from before, blood on my arms.  I must have formed into the fox, or tried to. Looking around, I could tell I was underneath the ground, the musty, dank smell assaulting my nose.  Walking up to the bars, I looked out. Frowning, I couldn’t see anything but darkness past the dim light emitted from the torch.

 

“You’re lucky, you know…”  I heard an odd voice echoing.  Looking towards it, I could make out pale hair and skin.  Rubbing my face, I sighed. No mask.  Great. Of course, everyone knew what I looked like from my hair anyways.

 

“Why is that?”  I asked mildly, trying to place the voice.

 

“Because Kakazu won’t let me sacrifice you to Jashin.”  Moving into the light, I saw Hidan. Crossing his eyes, pouting petulantly, he eyed me warily.  “You’d be an amazing sacrifice...not only the copycat nin, but the jinchuuriki as well! I’d ascend to his second in command.” he said dreamily.  The feral gleam in his eye concerned me...but I knew that Hidan was insane.

 

“So, why am I here?”  I asked mildly. “Ready to take the beast from me for Pain’s plans?”

 

Hidan threw his head back, laughing.  “Of course not. Kakazu and I aren’t part of their idiotic plans for some weapon.  Pain is a fool. Dangerous, but a fool. He thinks he is in charge of the Akatsuki…”  Hidan chuckled, picking at a hangnail. I raised an eyebrow.

 

“I fear it is worse than I imagined…”

 

Well, that makes me feel better.  Yes, it’s true. My inner sarcasm is worse than any eye roll.   Sensing I would get no more information from the Jashinist, I went back and sat on the pallet on the floor.  Looking at my wrist, I rubbed my fingers gently over Naruto’s name. At least he knows I didn’t run from him.

 

That would have been bad...to finally have made the luscious blonde mine after he fought through, clawed, and broke down my walls.  Running from him now would have destroyed him. He played tough well...and he was. But, he has abandonment issues due to his orphanage at such an early state.  To have finally “gotten” me, for me to just run away would have destroyed any vestiges of humanity he had. I wasn’t being egotistical...it’s just the way it is.  Soulmates have a bond that will last until death. Sometimes it’s not enough to keep them together, but it’s enough to know that each member of the pair was alive.  And, knowing I was alive, and chose not to be with him...well, that would have been bad.

 

Letting out a big breath as my mind still wandered, I smiled thinking of Naruto.  It was nice to be able to just...love him. To not have to put up the walls and fight to stay away from him.  As the dark cloud settled over my thoughts again, I frowned. I wasn’t kidding myself. I knew that Naruto and I couldn’t have a happily ever after...not with my baggage.  Even if I survive this and get out, it was likely I would die in battle...as was fitting a shinobi. Only the lucky few got to live to an old age. Even if I survived, Naruto would get tired of my bullshit and leave eventually.  Maybe this was partially selfish on my part...but I had been tired of fighting him. For seventeen years I fought him...maybe not sexually, but I had fought him...fought to stay away from him, fought to keep him safe, and then, within the last year or so, fought to stay away from him romantically.  And as much as I fought, Naruto fought back harder. He had an iron will, I had to give him that.

 

But he would eventually see what I was.  Cursed. Not because of the fox sealed within me.  I was cursed before that ever occurred. Cursed by death, by destruction, and by the utter failure that I was as a human.  Laughing humorlessly to myself, something Naruto said rang through my mind. “Why am I not enough?” He was more than enough.  Always. It had nothing to do with him. It was me. I wasn’t enough...and I never would be. I killed my two best friends. That was bad enough.  But then, I had already killed my mother at birth. That was impressive, to kill someone because you were born. But she didn't know me. Those weren’t the reason I wasn’t enough though.  Those were the reasons I was cursed.

 

I wasn’t enough to keep my father around.  The man that had made me, raised me, known me better than anyone had chose to end his life instead of stay with me.  I wasn’t enough to keep him on this Earth. The White Fang had chose to accept ...nay, embrace...the unknown of death rather than stay with his son.  I hadn’t been enough to keep him. If I couldn’t keep my own father on this earth, how could I hope to be enough to keep Naruto, so young, so full of life and passion, so beautiful?  My own blood didn’t think I was enough...how could Naruto?

Chapter Text

I hurt.  Sitting up, I grabbed my side.  Wincing, I looked around.  “Tenzou.”  I whispered.  The brunette looked up at me.  Whimpering, he reached out towards me.  He had bandages on his side.  Looking up, I saw the amber eyes receding into the darkness.  Tottering over to me, I helped Tenzou up on my bed.  He whimpered, holding his side as I carefully situated him on the bed, my side screaming in pain.  Adjusting him to my non-hurt side, he nuzzled into me, whimpering.

“Kashi?” He mumbled, hugging me as I whimpered, his hands grabbing my injured side.  I was only six, my dad having died over a year ago.  I had graduated from the Academy not too long ago, and then Orochimaru had kidnapped me, Tenzou, and a bunch of others.  I didn’t know what all he was doing, but Orochimaru always kept taking blood from us kids and injecting us with stuff.  At times, he put us in these liquid water chambers as he injected stuff into us.  I didn’t know what he’s doing, but I knew it hurt. 

It hurt Tenzou too.  He was only two, an orphan like me, although his parents died on a mission.  He gravitated towards me from the first night I was there.  Something about my hair,…he always liked it.  Like right now, he had his fingers curled in it as he curled into me.  “Hurt.” He said, looking up at me.

“I know.”  I rubbed his back.  “It’ll get better.  I’ll get us out of here.”  I promised him.  I didn’t know how I would get us out of here, but I would figure out a way.  I was going to be an ANBU, so I could not…I would not…die in here.  As Tenzou held onto me, he started snoring quietly.  Chuckling, I laid him in my bed, laying down beside him and holding him to keep his nightmares at bay.

Jerking awake, I noticed I was still in my cell, Hidan, presumably, on watch.  Rubbing my eyes, I stood, stretching.  I don’t know why I had that dream again.  I hadn’t dreamt of my past in so long.  That dream just brought up long buried feelings.  Frowning, I stretched my stiff limbs, walking around.  I hated Orochimaru for what he did to us kids.  I was thankful that Lord Third saved us by driving Orochimaru out.  While, I didn’t technically get Tenzou out of there, I did raise him after we got out.

It took several years before Tenzou and I figured out what had happened…what Orochimaru had been doing to us.  Lord Third helped.  Seems Orochimaru had been injecting DNA from the first Hokage into about half of the subjects, and DNA from Mito Uzumaki into the other half.  Of the sixty kids Orochimaru had been experimenting on, only Tenzou and I survived.  When Lord Third had driven Orochimaru out, we had been left, presumably to die.  Many of the other kids did…in fact, Tenzou and I were the only ones to be found alive.  We had been on the table, getting our injections when Orochimaru left, so we were forgotten, strapped there.  Tenzou had been injected with Lord First’s DNA, and as such had many of his abilities, specifically the unfettered ability of the Wood Release as well as the ability to control the tailed beasts.  He struggled with controlling the beast, never quite having mastered it…at least not with me.

I had been injected with Mito’s DNA, which had allowed me to become a jinchurriki as well.  I hated Orochimaru for putting that burden on me, as well as not being able to understand why he had did it, until we also figured out what was going on with Tenzou.  At that point, we figured out that Orochimaru had some kind of nefarious plans involving Lord First’s Wood Release and controlling the jinchurriki.

Once Naruto’s name appeared on my wrist, and I found out the plans of Mina and Kushina, I actually was happy that Orochimaru had done what he did…otherwise; I could never have been a jinchurriki.  Naruto would then have been cursed with Kurama in his belly.

And would that have been so bad?  The fox was such a smart ass at times.

You know you could work with me and help me get out of here instead of just being a smartass.  I noted.

Easier said than done.  We are in a chakra prison right now, Idiot.

I sniffed indignantly.  Sitting down, I tried to go back to sleep, as I judged from the tiny slat considered a window that it was the middle of the night.  Tossing and turning on the pallet, I eventually fell back asleep.

“Kakashi…my name’s Yamato now.  Not Tenzou.”  He stood in front of me, a young man.  He was ten, and I was fourteen…it was just days before Naruto’s birth.  “Lord Third said that he thinks Orochimaru was experimenting on us to make you a jinchurriki he could control so he could have the power of the beast…and use me to control you.  But I don’t want to control you…you’re my brother, not my weapon.”  His brown eyes were still so big in his face.

I nodded at him.  “Yamato, I’m not a jinchurriki.  Therefore, you don’t have to worry about that.  Just because I was experimented on doesn’t mean I’m a jinchurriki.  Yes, you were a success, but it doesn’t mean that I was.  I just survived.”  I shrugged.

 Yamato just looked at me.  “I think you’re more than a survivor, but you don’t give yourself enough credit.”  Yamato noted quietly.  Shrugging off the compliment, we went back to training.

()()()

“Why Bear?”  I asked Yamato, looking at his mask.  Yamato shrugged.

“Bears are big, strong, and can’t be strapped down.”  Yamato said, his eyes sliding off to the distance.  He still bore the scars of the kidnapping and experimentation.  I don’t know that they would ever truly go away.  “It’s like you with Wolf.” He pointed out.  I raised an eyebrow.  Sometimes he was too smart for his own good.  Grabbing my mask and slipping it on, we headed off on our first of many missions together.

()()()

He was…perfect.  The most beautiful blue eyes, the most perfect shade of blonde hair, ten gorgeous fingers and ten tiny toes.  I would do anything to protect him.  Feeling the sting, I looked at my wrist.  “N A R U T O” was in such neat writing on my wrist.  I knew it by the way I felt about him.  I didn’t need to look at my wrist.  But I did.  Confirmation, I guess?  I dunno.  Yamato stood by my side.

“The beast…it’s loose!”  I heard Minato’s voice. 

Springing into action, I grabbed Naruto, handing him to Yamato.  “Protect him.  At all costs.”  I ordered.  Yamato nodded, flash stepping away with my soulmate.

The battle raged long into the night.  Comrades fought bravely, and died.  Finally, I saw Yamato, standing by Minato-sensei.  Yamato had Naruto in his arms.  “Yamato!  Get him out of here!!”  I yelled, running towards the two men.

Minato turned, looking at me.  “Kakashi!  Go tend to the Villagers!”  Looking up, I saw the huge fox in golden chains, howling, as Kushina sat, chains from her back glowing as it looked like they attached to the beast.

“What are you doing?”  I screamed, running for the three.

“Kakashi!  I command you to go protect the Leaf.”  Minato said sternly, voice angry.

“No!  You’re going to seal the beast inside of Naruto?”  I asked, horrified, confident I was right.

“It’s the only way.  Because of his heritage, he will be able to be the container, just as his mother was.”  Minato said eyes sad as Yamato handed Naruto to Kushina.  As she smoothed Naruto’s hair, rage filled me.

“The villagers will regard him as a monster based on what has happened this night.”  I pleaded with Minato.  “He will be hated and feared.  Put the beast in me…I have Mito’s DNA in me as well, thanks to Orochimaru.  I can be a jinchurriki.  Yamato can control me.  I’m already hated and feared.”  I pleaded, warning Yamato with a look that he had better not speak.  Wisely, he remained silent.

Minato looked at me.  “We don’t know that it will work…we don’t know that the experiment was a success.  We only have one shot at this.”  Minato said, kind eyes exhausted, filled with pain.

“It was, I know it…I can feel it.”  I begged.  “Minato-sensei…he is my soulmate.”  Flinging out my wrist, I pulled my glove off, showing him the mark.  “Please, let me do this for him.  You know I am right…it’s not the same as when Kushina became the container.  The destruction that has been caused…the villagers won’t be able to forgive that.  Please.” 

Kushina looked at Minato.  “Kakashi is strong willed, and he has the DNA in him…I…think we should.  I…I am being selfish, I know, but I don’t want to burden our son.”  Tears fell like crystals from her eyes.  Turning to Minato, I threw myself at his feet. 

“Please, Sensei...please, do this for me.  Let me be the vessel.”

As the fox glowed a deep crimson, Minato thought.  Finally, he created the Reaper Death Seal.  “I’m sorry, Kakashi.”  He said softly.  Bowing my head, I failed again.  As I felt the shameful tears fill my eyes, I prayed Naruto would forgive me for my failures.  Suddenly I felt Minato grab me and put me on my back on an altar.  “I’m sorry I’m too weak to do this to my son, and am instead choosing the easier path.  Eight Signed Seal.”  Screaming, I passed out as everything went white. 

Waking, I lay on the ground, Yamato sitting by me, my head in his lap.  Mina and Kushina’s corpses were crumpled nearby.  Coughing, my stomach and chest screamed in pain.  Looking up, Yamato’s face was white.  “D…did it work?”  I asked my throat on fire.  Nodding, Yamato grabbed my hand.  Looking over, I saw Naruto asleep in a blanket beside Yamato.  “I…is he okay?” I asked, my body ravaged by pain.  Yamato nodded again.  As I sat up, Yamato grabbed Naruto, laying him gently in my arms.  As the blonde slept, I smiled, knowing I had made the right decision.

()()()

Waking again, I heard the laugh.  Looking up between the bars, I saw Kakazu.  His brown hair was loose, as his headgear was gone.  He was still in his Akatsuki robe.  The pupil less green eyes with the blood red conjunctiva stared at me.  Smirking, he nodded at me.  “Thanks for the information.”  He chuckled.  I raised an eyebrow, confused.  “I was wondering how you became a jinchurriki.  Thanks for opening your memory banks for me.  I needed some of that information to move forward.”  Chuckling, he left as I heard Hidan following him.

“C’mon, Kakazu…please let me sacrifice him?”  Hidan whined as his voice became fainter.

Rubbing my eyes, I frowned.  Sitting on the pallet, I cursed when something hit me on the head.  Looking up, I saw a blue eye in the slat.  Damnit, Naruto…you weren’t supposed to come here.

Chapter Text

Staying seated, I acted as if I had not seen that blue eye in the slat.  I knew who it was.  I would know that blue eye anywhere.  However, I was concerned.  Whatever was happening to me was advanced jutsu.  I wasn’t sure if Yamato and Naruto could take care of this.  The Fox couldn’t defeat this…that was concerning.  However, one thing I did know was that if I got out of this alive, Yamato and I would have to work harder for him to be able to control the beast, and work with this new jutsu.  Of course, we’d have to figure out what this jutsu was to determine what was going on.

 

As I heard pebbles falling down the wall, I stiffened.  Hidan was insane, but he was not a fool.  As the pebbles finished their descent, landing on the stone ground, I saw a figure I did not recognize come and stand in front of the cell.  “Time to go.  Kakazu is ready for you.”  The male was pale...paler than Sasuke, but with dark hair and large, chocolate brown eyes that radiated with kindness…, which I found suspicious but genuine.  I waited...now was going to be my chance.  There was no way this person could have chakra chains on me when the cell cut off the flow of chakra.  I probably had a split second to get out of this.  I stood, very stiff and cold.  Stretching for a moment, I nodded, gauging this new person’s abilities.  I should probably be embarrassed that I’m naked, but I didn’t have the time or luxury of embarrassment right now.  This man wasn’t in Akatsuki robes, but that didn’t mean much.  He could be powerful...I couldn’t underestimate him.  As I walked to the bars he eyed me carefully...like the caged animal I was starting to feel like.

 

“Put your hands just outside the bars to the wrist.” he said quietly, his voice almost melodic.  I nodded, slipping them out.  Damnit.  Something about this cage is not allowing me to create or use any chakra if a part of my body is still inside the cell.  I knew that I had chakra points in my hands I could control, but I wasn’t able to create anything at this point.  Sighing in frustration, I kept my face neutral.  As this mysterious newcomer slipped the chains on my wrists, he then opened the cell door.  As I walked out, I saw him nod.  Suddenly, Naruto was there, silent, pulling me towards a side door as he slipped a cloak over me.  Appreciating the warmth, I looked confused at the male we were leaving.  Looking at Naruto, his whisker scarred face was determined, his blonde hair bushy, bags under his eyes as if he hadn’t slept.  Escaping outside quietly, I noticed it wasn’t raining.  Somehow, I had been transported out of Amegakure.  Traveling a safe distance away, I turned to Naruto.

 

“What just happened?”  I demanded as Yamato appeared, handing me clothing.

 

Naruto launched himself at me, hugging me tightly.  Pulling back finally, he shrugged.  “Zabuza is missing.  I promised Haku if he could get you out, we’d help get Zabuza back...without turning him in.”  Naruto slid his eyes away from me as I stopped, my hands freezing after buttoning up my pants. 

 

Turning to Yamato, I frowned.  “Did you know about this?”  Slipping my turtleneck on and tucking it into my pants, I looked hard at Yamato, who now also found something fascinating in his bag.

 

“It was the most viable option.”  Yamato said, pulling out a pair of my gloves and tossing them at me as I slipped them on, slipping on my jacket, belt and weapons. 

 

I guess this was the best part of being taken naked…my clothes and items weren’t stolen.  Adjusting my mask and hitai-ate, I crossed my arms.  “This is completely against the Leaf ANBU way, Yamato.”  I scolded.  Yamato looked away as Naruto glared at me.  I raised an eyebrow.

 

“You’re fucking welcome.”  Naruto huffed and stomped off, slipping his frog mask back on.  As I slipped my wolf mask on, we all headed off.

 

()()()

 

I had summoned Pakkun not too long after we got out of the area.  Haku had met us in a sheltered grove about a half a day’s travel from the cell.  He had a glove of Zabuza’s, so we had some kind of a scent to chase after.  I hadn’t said much…but we were definitely going to confine Zabuza and turn him in.  I don’t care what bartering was done before I was a part of it.  As leader of this squad, we were not going sully the Leaf’s reputation by finding a known wanted rogue ninja and then letting him go.

 

Haku stayed with us, staying out of the way.  At the end of the first day, when we sat down to rest, I noticed that “Zabuza” was written in all capital letters on Haku’s ankle.  Frowning, I just stared at the fire.  That would make things more difficult. 

 

As night closed in the second day of tracking Zabuza, I found an overhang for us to rest under.  “We’ll stop here for the night.  Tomorrow we will pick up the trail.  But, Naruto, Yamato…a word?”  Pulling the two nin aside, I whispered to them, “When we find Zabuza, we are capturing him and taking him in.  He is a wanted rogue ninja…we have no reason not to turn him in.”  Naruto just stopped, looking at me.  Suddenly, I felt my eyes sting with tears as Naruto slapped me hard across the face, the heat of his hand warming my skin.  Turning my head back slowly, I stayed calm, but stared at Naruto.  His eyes were a deep blue and full of anger.

 

Yamato cleared his throat.  Looking over to the wood nin, Yamato looked between Naruto and me.  “I’m going to, uh…well…Wood Release:  Four Pillar House.”  As the house sprung out of the ground after he completed the hand signs, Yamato just looked uncomfortably between us and went in, motioning for Haku to follow him.  Naruto walked in behind the youth without another word.  Sighing, shaking my head, I followed.  He may be my soulmate, but he was confusing as hell.  Just because we slept together, he was going to forget all the ways of the Leaf shinobi?  If that was the case, I was going to have to release him from ANBU duties or, at the very minimum, switch him to a different squad, see if he could remember the ways, and follow a different squad leader’s order.  Following Naruto to a room, I was stopped from entering by a door slamming in my face.  Sighing, I slumped back.  Turning the knob, I walked in.

 

Naruto was stripping off his shirt, his back to me.  I cleared my throat.  “Naruto…we need to speak.  If you are going to let personal feelings interfere with your mission and your code of honor regarding the way of the Leaf Shinobi, then I will have to relieve you of your ANBU duties or reassign you.  You work with someone aligned with the Akatsuki, allow him to travel with us, and barter with the life of a rogue ninja listed in the bingo book…all for me?  My life isn’t worth trading the honor of yourself or the Leaf.  We will find Zabuza, and we will return him to the Leaf, for Lady Tsunade to determine his fate as she sees fit.” 

 

Naruto turned around, his eyes harder and colder than I had ever seen them.  “You son of a bitch.  You have no clue of what we went through to find you.  You have no clue of the feelings of Yamato or me towards you.  You self-righteous prick!”  He yelled, his hands balled into fists at his side.  Advancing on me, he swung.  I blocked his fist, grabbing it with my hand.  His blue eyes were glassy.  Swinging with his left hand, I caught his left fist in my right hand.  So, effectively, I was holding him by his fists.  Suddenly, he was sobbing.  As his body sagged, wracked by sobs, I pulled him to me.  “I couldn’t feel you anymore…I…I thought you were dead.”  He whispered.  Swallowing hard, I closed my eyes.  I couldn’t imagine that feeling…if I thought Naruto was dead…what would I have done?

 

Naruto pushed away from me, eyes blazing as his nose was running and turning red.  “You …. Fucker!”  Naruto yelled.  “How dare you second guess what I do?  How dare you be so….so….hypocritical!”  He fumed.

 

I raised an eyebrow.  Me?  Hypocritical?  I followed the Leaf code to perfection…

 

“You tell me that we can’t sacrifice ideals and the Leaf for you…but you did.  The.  Exact.  Same.  Thing.  For me!”  His breathing was heavy.  As I opened my mouth to rebut him, he continued.  “You lied to my father, Lord Fourth, and told him that you were a jinchurriki.  But you didn’t know if that was the case…you just wanted to keep me safe!  Well, what the hell do you think I just did?  I traded Zabuza’s life for yours!  Haku was working for Kakazu…but he loves Zabuza so much, he was willing to face death to try to save him!  Did you think Kakazu would let Haku live if he found it out?  Of course Haku came with us…he had no choice.  Had he stayed and you had “escaped” Haku would have been killed…but he was willing to risk his life to save Zabuza’s…no matter the cost.  I could have been setting him up…he didn’t know.  The Akatsuki are masters of spies and intrigue…they could have been using me!”  His shoulders heaved up and down at his anger.

 

“And before you say another damn thing…you didn’t know that you were a jinchurriki, you were hoping you were.  But what if you weren’t?  What if the experiment didn’t work?  Then you would have damned the Leaf to extinction as the Beast would have raged and ravaged the Leaf Village to destruction.  And why?  Because of me.  Because you love me.  Yamato told me everything that happened that night.  You were worried about me.”  Naruto stared at me accusingly.  Traitorous jackass.

 

Letting my shoulders sag, I looked down.  “There is a difference, Naruto.  You will become Hokage, you will do great things, you are…amazing.  I am nothing more than the harbinger of Death.  Old, washed up, and utterly useless in the grand scheme of the Leaf.  Yes, I am a jonin, but there have been others in the past and there will be more in the future.  You, Naruto…you are the most amazing being in existence and destined to be Hokage.  You are destined to bring peace to this shinobi world.”  I looked up as he stared at me.  Rubbing his cheek with my thumb, I leaned down.  Kissing him gently, I felt him shudder against me.  “You must never risk yourself for me.”  I whispered against his lips.  “You are too precious for that.”

 

Naruto kissed me back, just as gently.  “You are so much more than you know, Hatake Kakashi.”  I felt him smooth my hair from my face.  Looking at him, his face held an unreadable mix of emotions.  Staring at me, he whispered, “And I’m not half of who I can be without you…you make me whole.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Stretching, I yawned, opening my eye.  Naruto lay on my chest, snoring.  Looking down at him, I couldn't help but to smile.  He was...adorable.  Suddenly, I heard a quiet knock on the door. Sliding out from underneath Naruto, I got up, Naruto whimpering.  Slipping on my pants, a shirt and my mask, I opened the door quietly.

 

Yamato stood there.  “Kashi, we need to talk.”  Raising my eyebrow, I nodded, stepping out and shutting the door behind me.  As we both walked out of the house, I wondered what could be wrong.

 

“Kakashi, you know I see you as a brother.” Yamato stated.  Nodding, I continued to watch him.  “And so, as your brother, we need to discuss some things.”  Taking me out by the creek, he sat on the grassy bank, looking down into the water.  Sitting down next to him, I waited patiently.

 

Cutting his eyes to me, he frowned.  “You are a sunofabitch, you know that?”

 

Raising an eyebrow, I responded dryly with a “So I’ve been told...recently.”

 

Yamato frowned.  “Kakashi, we went through hell trying to find you.  Do you know how long you’ve been gone?”  I shrugged, shaking my head no.  I assume it had been about two days, from what I could tell from the changing of the light in that tiny slat.

 

“Two months...you were gone two fucking months.  Naruto kept saying he couldn’t feel you.  I know what that means...it happened when Iruka died, before he was brought back.”  Yamato’s voice quietened his eyes in the distance.  Rubbing his shoulder where Iruka’s name was in a neat script, I frowned.  I remembered that time…it was very difficult for Yamato.  I thought he might go insane.  Suddenly, I realized what he was saying, though.  Two months?  I was gone two months...what the hell?

 

“Naruto wouldn’t give up.  He refused to believe you were dead.  He said he would not believe you were dead until he had your corpse in his arms.  Therefore, we searched.  We searched under the guise of following the mission...since answers about you were tied to Pain, we believed.  Naruto was...frightening.  He would go from a scared little boy to a ferocious machine.  He never quit looking.  He was willing to sell his soul to find you.  He gave his word to Haku...you need to let him honor it.”  Sitting quietly at the creek bank, he looked at me.  I was still in shock at the time.  Sighing, finally he stood, turned...and left.

 

Two months?

 

()()()

 

I sat by the creek for quite a while.  Finally, I heard movement and then felt someone sit down beside me.  Looking over, I saw it was Haku.  He looked at me sideways, his face still so peaceful.  “I will make you a deal...I know of your reputation Silver Fang, son of White Fang.  I know you value honor, but you value friends as well.”  His melodious voice rang quietly through the quiet forest.  Staring at the creek, Haku’s eyes got a faraway look.

 

“Zabuza is in the bingo book.  I know this.  I know what this means.  However, I also know what ANBU do, and that your mission is the most important thing.  And, if I tell you that Zabuza can help you with the mystery of Pain and the Akatsuki, but that I will only tell you those answers after he has been safely returned to me, then isn’t rescuing Zabuza and not turning him in in furtherance of the mission you are on?”  Haku’s shrewd eyes had me and he knew it.  Thinking it over for several moments, I finally nodded my acquiescence.  Secretly I was relieved.  I had just been given a great favor, since I didn’t need to make a decision between loyalty to ANBU and loyalty to Naruto.

 

“Fine.  I swear to you that we will rescue Zabuza.  After that, you will tell me what is going on with me, with the mysterious lack of control, I had, with Pain, and why the Akatsuki wants me.  Deal?”  I stared at him.  Smiling serenely, he nodded.  Getting up, he left me to my thoughts.

 

()()()

 

I didn’t realize I was asleep until I woke up with a blonde snoring on top of me, a blanket over us both.  Raising an eyebrow, I could tell I was still by the creek.  Judging from the sun’s position, it had been a couple hours since I had first came out here with Yamato.  I guess Naruto woke up and came out to find me.  Sighing, I lay there, running my fingers through his hair.  He whimpered, hugging me tighter.  “Shhh, shhh...it is okay, I am here.” Wrapping my arms around him, I held him tightly.  Continuing to hold him, he finally settled down.

 

The brat searched for you for two months.  Kurama pointed out.

 

Yes, he did.  I admitted.

 

He drove himself crazy searching for you.  Again, Kurama was stating the obvious.

 

Yes, he did.

 

You would have done the same.  Thinking for a moment, I nodded my head.

 

Yes, I would have.

 

What is that like...that kind of love?

 

I blinked, in shock.  That was not the question I expected.  It also wasn’t full of the emotion I expected...there was...sadness?  Longing?

 

Um...I don’t really know how to answer that.  I mean, you can feel my feelings, can’t you?

 

No, not really.  I am sealed in you, and I am a kyuubi, so I can only really feel your anger.  He almost sounded like a petulant child now.

 

Have you tried to feel anything other than anger?  I was truly curious.  If he could feel my anger, it made sense he could feel any of my feelings.

 

There was a long silence.  Finally,  No.

 

Well then, let me open my emotions to you when I am with Naruto, and let you feel that.  I think that is the only way I can answer your question, as love cannot truly be defined.  Perhaps your attitude on humans may change over time…if you start seeing other emotions besides just anger.

 

Hmph, unlikely.  I swear, I could see the fox sitting on his butt, arms crossed, turning his head to the side and huffing, like a six year old.

 

Shrugging, I opened my eyes.  Naruto was looking at me, his head still laying on my chest.  Wrapping my arms around him, I hugged him tightly.  “I’m sorry.  I thought I was only gone for two days.”

 

“Two months.” Naruto said his eyes incredibly sad.  “I...I refused to believe you were gone.” Sniffling, he rubbed his nose.  Rubbing his back, I leaned over, kissing him gently, wanting to take his pain away.  “I refused to believe Kami was so cruel as to give you to me, only to take you away.”

 

Sitting up, I cupped his face in my hands.  Slipping my mask down, I ran my tongue gently over his lips.  Shuddering, Naruto gripped my back, kissing me back feverishly.  “Kashi…” Naruto looked up at me.

 

“Yes, Love?” I asked, smoothing his hair back.

 

He bit his lip, looking at me through his lashes.  “Make love to me.  I’ve missed you.”  Smiling, I leaned Naruto onto his back in the soft grass.  Ravaging his body with kisses, I abused his nipples with my tongue, his whimpers music to my ears.  Looking down at him, I felt my chest fill with love as I stared at the blonde.  Slipping his clothes off, he worked on mine as well.  Once we were both naked, I went back to work abusing his body with kisses.  Running fingers gently over his inner thighs, he whimpered, and I watched him harden.  

 

“Hmmm, seems I’ve found another spot you like.”  Smirking, I went between his legs, kissing his inner thighs as he whimpered, bucking against me.  Lightly running my tongue over his thighs, he shivered.

 

“K...Kashi...c’mon...please….” he whimpered, arching towards me.  Sliding my tongue down, I ran it gently over his balls, tracing the vein under his shaft.  “D...damn...Kashi...c’mon…” he moaned, arching higher.  Looking down on him, I smirked, swallowing him whole.  His eyes flew open, and then slid closed as he moaned a very guttural “fuuuuck.” as I took him in my mouth.  As I worked on him, I could feel him close.  Popping off with an audible slurp, I lined up to him.

 

“This is going to hurt if it’s your first time on bottom.”  I said gently.  Cobalt looked at me and nodded.  I was hard, and slimy from excitement of watching him.  As I slid my hand over his cock, wetting my fingers, I also slid my cock against his entrance for added lubrication.  I then slid first one, then two, and finally three fingers in to stretch him and help with the pain.  Watching his face to gauge his reactions, I finally slipped in after he was relaxed around my three fingers.  Sliding in slowly, I watched him, his face contorting from pain to pleasure.  I have to say, I have never seen such a beautiful sight as Naruto, naked, sweaty, lying under me, being pleasured senseless.  He was gorgeous, amazing...and mine.  A wave of jealousy welled up in me.  I would not let anyone else have him.  He was mine.  Only mine.  

 

I guess my face must have belied something, as Naruto looked up at me.  “What?” he asked, quietly.

 

“I love you...and I just realized how much.  Naruto, nothing...not even death, will separate me from you.  I will always find a way back to you.” As my chest tightened and threatened to explode with the love inside of it for this blonde boy, I leaned down, kissing him gently.  Suddenly, I felt his thumbs under my eyes, wiping my wet face.  I didn’t realize I had cried, but the depth of my emotions must have triggered it.  He cleared his throat and gave a grin.  Raising an eyebrow, I looked at him.

 

“Told ya I wouldn’t give up.”


Scowling playfully, I slid the rest of the way in him as he slammed his fists into the ground beside him, arching up, eyes closed, cock straining in the air.  As I started to move, I heard him as he moved with me.  “Oh….right there...o...oh yea….fuck Kashi...fuck...fuck yea...damn…”  Suddenly, I hit his prostate and he let out a loud yell as he came right then, bucking and jerking ferociously.  His ass clamped tight around my dick, which caused me to explode as well, rutting into him like a dog in heat.  As I thrust and bucked a few times, the squelching sound of me fucking his tight hole was deliciously naughty in the woods, and I emptied myself.  Pulling out, I lay down, pulling him to me.  He snuggled his face into my chest as I grabbed the blanket and held him again.  As we were both drifting off to sleep, I heard Naruto whisper, “Better than my dreams.”  I blushed slightly, knowing exactly what dream he was speaking of...

Chapter Text

About an hour later, Yamato dispelled the house and our group headed out.  As we continued to have Pakkun track Zabuza, our trail went cold in a small village.  As we started searching the village the old-fashioned way, Naruto and I paired up as Yamato went with Haku.

We searched through at least five houses before knocking on this sixth door.  A frail old man opened the door at the sixth house.  However, he didn’t have old chakra.  Sensing the trap, I stepped in front of Naruto.  “So sorry to bother you, but we were looking for a friend?”  There was a chance that it was just a vain man who had a horrible disfiguring accident…but unlikely.  There was also a chance that he didn’t know about Zabuza, but that was equally unlikely.

I slipped past the kunai that came at me.  Casting a substitution jutsu as Naruto pushed past the man, I rushed in after him, hearing the man attack “me”, the chair taking the kunai as the attack dispelled my jutsu.  “Shadow clone jutsu!”  Naruto yelled and I saw about fifteen Narutos rush past us, back towards the man.  As Naruto and I pushed through, I wasn’t sure what we’d find.  However, the mystery man’s  reaction alerted us to the fact that there was more to this house than what appeared.  As we stopped in the threshold of a bedroom, I heard Naruto vomit.

Inside, there was a man who looked to be in his forties, rotund of stature and thinning hair.  He was naked, having sex with a girl who appeared to be about seven.  The man hadn’t seen us yet; Naruto rushed in and punched him, knocking him down before I could stop him.  As the man turned on Naruto, I couldn’t sense any amount of chakra in him; I left Naruto to deal with the man as I went over to the girl, covering her up as she pulled away from me.  Realizing my state, I pulled down my mask and gave her a smile to try to show I was friendly.  Didn’t show my eye…didn’t think that would help.  Noticing there was blood down her legs, I wrapped her up, holding her gently.  Noticing that Naruto had finished up with that man, I decided I didn’t need to check his health status…it didn’t matter either way.  I noticed that the greeter had fought off Naruto’s clones and had come in and was rushing us.  Naruto stepped up and fought him, using his Rasengan to finish him off.

“Naruto, we need to get her medical help.” I had picked the little girl up, holding her gently.

“No, sir…pwease…I need my sister.” 

I looked down at her.  “Your sister?” I asked.  She nodded as she then slipped her thumb in her mouth after responding.

“Yea…she…she is in da other woom…”  The little girl had brown hair and huge brown eyes and motioned to another room with her head.  I swallowed hard.  She looked so much like Rin…

I looked up at Naruto.  “On it.”  He said, as I headed out.  However, she became hysterical the further I got from the room, so I stopped and turned, going into the room Naruto went into.  Once inside, my stomach turned.  There were about eight girls, ranging in age from eight to seventeen, all in various stages of undress, all chained to the wall.  Scars and welts were on each of them.  As I walked in closer, a couple shied away.  One, about thirteen, with red hair just looked up at me and stood, walking forward.  “Please, sir, take me.  My sister and the others have been through enough.”

I knelt down, looking at her, still holding the little girl.  “What do you mean?”

She started to take off her shirt.  “No…stop.  We don’t want to hurt you, and we do not want to have sex with you.  We want to take you away from here and help you find your parents.  Is she your sister?” I asked, nodding at the brunette girl in my arms.  The red head nodded sadly.  I noticed then that  Naruto was working on the others’ chains.  As the various pairs of shattered eyes looked up at us, Naruto had created more shadow clones and finished unchaining all the children.  Naruto grabbed one that looked weak, putting her on his back.  I summoned my pack, helping some of the girls on a couple of the bigger ones, as I asked Pakkun to go out and find Yamato.  Nodding, the pug headed off tracking the scent.

“Let’s go out, meet up, and then we can come back and finish looking for Zabuza.”  I said to Naruto, who nodded.  As we headed out, Yamato and Haku came up with Pakkun about the time we got to the village edge.  Both sets of eyes widened, but said nothing, rushing with us into the woods.  Finishing our trek to the woods near a river, Yamato created another Four Pillar Wood House.  After we all helped to get the girls somewhat settled and medical attention, I stood, frowning.

“Who did this?”  Yamato demanded.

“They are dead.”  I responded as Naruto nodded in the affirmative.  “We are going out to try to find Zabuza.  We didn’t get to finish.”  I answered.  Yamato and Haku went to tend to the girls, as I asked Pakkun to go back to the Leaf and bring back Sakura and another healer.  Pakkun nodded, rushing off.  I looked back at Naruto.  “Ready?”  A curt nod and we headed out.

We still turned up nothing on our search of the village.  Aggravated at the end of our search, we headed back to the house; the sun was beginning to set.  Suddenly, a kunai was at my throat.  I knew it was coming, and chose not to stop it, as I realized whom it was.  Naruto growled, on edge, seeing the blade against my throat.  “Zabuza…we have been looking for you.”  I responded calmly.

()()()

After fifteen minutes of convincing Zabuza it wasn’t a trap, I had to allow him to bind me and march me back to the house.  Once at the door, Haku opened it.  Seeing Zabuza, Haku smiled beautifully.  Zabuza dutifully untied me and stomped into the house, without a word to Haku.  He waited for Haku to take the lead; Haku led Zabuza to a room, closing the door behind them.

Naruto and I then went to check on the children.  They were doing as well as could be expected.  I was anxious for the healers to get there, I was anxious for Haku to explain to me what was going on…I was just anxious.

You are not helping me stay in check.  Kurama pointed out.

I know.  I do not know why I am so anxious, but I am.

You have a good heart, even though you try to hide it Hatake.

Shrugging off the compliment, I looked at Naruto.  “I’m going to get some fish from the river to help feed the children.”

Naruto nodded.  “I’ve got some basic training, like I said, so I’m going to check in on them.”  Nodding, I went outside.  After about twenty minutes of fishing, I had a decent amount of fish to take in so we could fix some food.  Returning to the house, I cooked some food as Naruto, Yamato, and I then helped the girls to eat.  Once they were settled for the night, Naruto sat at the kitchen table with me.  He poured us each a cup of tea silently.  After sitting back down, he held my hand and said nothing.  Suddenly, I heard a throat clear.  Looking up, I saw Haku standing in the doorway.

“You have fulfilled what you said you would do.  It is now my time to do the same.”  Haku sat down in an unoccupied chair.  Looking away, Haku fiddled with a cup, pouring himself some tea.  “This is all an elaborate plan that was put in motion about the time Naruto was born.”  Haku turned those big eyes up at me.  “It was determined that you actually helped the situation for the Leader of the Akatsuki when you took the beast due to your cool and collected nature.” 

Letting out a sigh, Haku continued.  “Many of the members of the Akatsuki aren’t that … committed…to the leader, but simply to the power and “prestige” in the darker circles of being a member of the Akatsuki…for example, Pain has his own agenda.  Pain wants to extract the beast from you, so he can create the ultimate beast, the Ten Tails, and therefore an ultimate weapon to suppress the world so he can rule over it and stop war.”

“However, Sasori is very devoted to the leader.  Once Sasori found out of the Leader’s plan, he wanted to help.   Therefore, Sasori set up the attack to get your blood so he could work on a jutsu that would bind you to him, so he could control you like a puppet.  As you know, he has succeeded at that.”  Balling my hands into fists, I remembered.  And was not happy.  I simply nodded. 

“Sasori thought that if he could control you, he would be able to control the beast.  He doesn’t want to extract the beast from you…but he does want to control you.  You see, the true leader of the Akatsuki simply wants…you.”  Haku said.  I scrunched my eyebrows in confusion as I felt Naruto squeeze my hand.  “Sasori is infatuated with the leader and is always trying to curry favor with the leader.  Sasori figured if he could control you and make you do what the leader wanted, he would ascend the ranks, so to speak.”

“Who is the leader?  Why does the leader want me?  ” I asked in confusion.

“Nohara Rin.  She wants to play with you, torment you, and finally, use the beast to make you kill Naruto.  All so you can suffer as she did when you killed her soulmate Uchiha Obito.”

Chapter Text

Sakura and Tsunade appeared early the next morning.  Waking, I let them in and directed them to the room with the children. They checked the children, sharing concerned looks, which, of course, concerned Naruto, who had gotten up when I did.  Of course, Naruto had just been told that his boyfriend, who is a demon container and can be controlled by an evil organization, would be trying to kill him…so that also may explain the concern on his face.

Sitting down in the corner, I pulled out my book, awaiting any orders from Lady Hokage.  The little brunette girl came over, crawling in my lap.  I am not good with children.  Crawling in my lap, she looked up at me.  “I’m Geckiki.”  She said around her thumb.

“I’m Kakashi.”  I said, smiling at her, pulling down my mask to keep from frightening her.  Naruto came and sat by me as well.  “This is Naruto.”  She smiled and waved at Naruto. 

“Ima call you Kaka.  You can call me Kiki.”  She announced.  I wanted to point out that Kaka was a rather derogatory nickname, but looking in her little face, something inside of me stirred and I just couldn’t.  Nodding, I agreed.  “Okay, Kiki.”  As I held her, we waited for word from our medics.  Naruto said nothing, just sitting by me, leaning his head on my shoulder.  He hadn’t really said anything all night.  I was trying to process what Haku had told me, so I had not really spoken much either.  As I stared at the page, I kept eyeing Naruto from the corner of my eye.  Kiki got comfortable and then finally fell asleep.  Sighing, I looked up, closing the book and putting it in my pouch.  “Naruto, we need to talk.”

Naruto frowned, crossing his arms.  “I’m not leaving.”

“Damnit, Naruto.”  I sighed in exasperation.  “Don’t you understand?  Rin will not give up.  Revenge is a driving force…she formed an organization to come after me!  She won’t stop until I kill you!”  I stared at Naruto hard. 

About then Sakura and Tsunade came over, interrupting our quarrel.  “We need to get the children back to the Leaf Village as quickly as possible.  The equipment we need is there.”  Nodding, I stood, holding Kiki.  Naruto, Yamato, Sakura, Tsunade, and I carried the weaker children as I summoned the pack to help with the rest.  Kiki refused to go with anyone but me, so I held her.  It took twice as long, but we finally got back to the Village.  Depositing the children in the hospital, I promised I would come back and visit Kiki when she was stronger.  Tsunade turned to me.  “Debriefing at 800 hours.”  Nodding, I walked out.  Naruto and Yamato followed.

“Let’s go get some ramen.”  Naruto suggested.  Too tired to fight, I agreed.  As we walked to Ichiraku’s in silence, my thoughts were racing a mile a minute.  Sitting down at the table with the two of them, I rubbed my eyes.  I was exhausted…but more than that, I was worried.  With what Haku said, I was now a greater threat to Naruto.  I had to find a way to leave.  I know I claimed him, told him he was mine…but…if I was going to kill him; I couldn’t put him in harm’s way.  In addition, him alone with me a great deal…in intimate positions as well…well, that would by putting him in harm’s way.  Sighing, I stirred my ramen until it got cold.

“He’s not leaving, you know.”  Yamato said when Naruto got up to use the bathroom.  Looking up, I frowned.

“What are you talking about?”  I know I sounded grouchy, but I didn’t care.

Yamato just shrugged “You aren’t one to play games Kakashi, so stop asking stupid questions.”  Scowling at my oldest friend, I grabbed some sake and downed the warm beverage to ease my tired brain.  As I downed some more, Naruto came, sitting down and looking at me worriedly.  I can’t explain what was going on or what I was feeling.  Emotions were never my strong suit.  I just knew I was tired and drained.  Yamato eventually left, and it was just Naruto and me.  I looked at him with a bleary eye.  Running a finger over his eyebrow, I let out a shaky breath.  I had to do this.  I had no choice.  “Naruto, we are not seeing each other again.  If you stay with me, I’ll kill you.”

He came over, crawling into my lap, straddling me as he wrapped his arms around my neck.  Nestling his face into my neck, I felt his warm breath in puffs on my skin.  “And don’t you understand?  I am not leaving.  I thought you had figured this out.  We are a family.”  He murmured.

Family?  I didn’t even know what the word “family” meant.  Slipping his arms from around my neck, I stared at him sternly.  I didn’t want to do this, but I had no choice.  I had to save him.  “No, Naruto…we’re not.  What we had was wonderful for the little bit it lasted.  But that’s all I can give.  I can’t…no…I don’t want a family.  I don’t want to be tied down.  I am a bachelor.  That is the life I lead and the life I like.  So…leave me alone.”  Standing I dropped enough money to cover both of our meals and turned, walking out.  Feeling the arm grab my elbow, I stopped.

“Stop it Kakashi!  I know you are just saying this cause of what Haku said.  I know you love me…I know we’re a family.”  Naruto’s voice cracked.  Turning…I knew what I had to do…even though I didn’t want to do it.

“Naruto…you were fun.  Cashing in your V card was great.  Moreover, the sex is good, don’t get me wrong.  But…”  Before I could finish, Naruto had wrapped his body around me, kissing me feverishly.

“No.  You’re not doing this Kakashi.” 

“Yes.  I am.  I’m an adult…and to have a relationship, both adults have to be consenting.  I don’t consent.  We aren’t a couple…we aren’t anything.”  Before he could do anything else, I shunshined away in a pool of smoke…the shattered look on his face burned into my memory.

()()()

I walked a good piece of the night.  I shouldn’t have drank, I shouldn’t have been walking in this dark alley, and I shouldn’t have said what I did to Naruto…but I had to.  I could kill him at my own hands.  I had to get him away from me…although I did feel a piece of my heart die that night.  As I wandered aimlessly, I suddenly cursed as I felt the bottle shatter over my head, darkness eating at my vision.

()()()

Blearily, I woke up.  I was tied to a chair.  Where the hell do they get these chakra binds?  Looking around, I froze.  Naruto was tied to another chair, head hanging limply, blood from his lip.  Hearing the chuckle, I looked around…and froze.  There was the brown haired girl I used to know, but she was much older, and her face was much harder.

“Rin…what are you doing?”  I rasped out.  My throat was unbelievably dry.  I had to look away from Naruto, as I felt anger boiling in me.

“You…you took my Obito from me.  So why do you get to stay with your soulmate, when you took mine from me?” she asked quietly…calmly.  Too calmly.

“I’m not with Naruto.”  I replied dryly.  “That should have been abundantly clear since we do not live together and were not together.”  I noted.

“Oh….really.  Well, that’s good then.”  Rin confided, looking at me.  “Because some people can have two soulmates.  And Naruto…he does.  And you know who the other soulmate is…the one you’ve been jealous of always.”  She said, staring at me.

My stomach rolled.  I knew who I was jealous of…I knew who I thought he had too close of a relationship with.  Still I fought it.  “My name is the only name on his body.”  I pointed out.

“Oh, really?”  Grabbing Naruto’s head, she pushed it to the side as he groaned, waking up a bit.  Moving his hair aside to show his scalp, my chest imploded on itself when I saw the block letters:  UCHIHA, SASUKE.

The brat doesn’t love you.  Kurama stated.

Yes, he does.  He is my soulmate and I am his.  I responded.

Really?  Then why is the Uchiha’s name on his body as well?  Kurama pointed out in an annoyingly pissy way. 

I don’t know…but I know he’s my soulmate…that’s why I have to protect him.

Well, then, this is best, right?  Let Naruto go to Sasuke…then Naruto will be happy with a soulmate, and you will not be able to hurt him.  It is a win-win.  Kurama pointed out.

Snapping my eyes up, I realized that Kurama was right.  Looking to Rin, I sagged, but nodded.  “You’re right.  I need to let the Uchiha have him…Sasuke can give him the life I cannot.  And with his name on the blonde’s body, it goes to show he is a soulmate too.”  Swallowing hard, my eyes burned but I kept it in check.  No need to lose my shit.

“I was hoping you would agree…makes things so much less messy.”  Motioning to someone, I saw Sasuke walk in.  My stomach lurched upon seeing the brunette.  Sasuke just looked at me and walked over, grabbing Naruto’s head gently and kissing him.  Opening those beautiful blue eyes, Naruto just looked confused.

“S…Sasuke?  What’s going on?”  Naruto asked, confused.

“Dobe, I’ve loved you forever.  I’ve came back to claim you.”  Sasuke responded softly, running a hand down those whiskered cheeks.

“But…no…Kakashi is my soulmate.”  Naruto responded, pointing at me as Sasuke released the binds.

“Hmph…”  Sasuke responded, pulling open his shirt to show Naruto’s name on his side.   “People can have two, knucklehead.”  As Naruto gaped, he looked between Sasuke and me.  Sasuke leaned down, kissing Naruto open mouthed.  I heard Naruto moan as he strained against the bindings and into the kiss.  Panting as he broke away, Naruto turned confused eyes on me.

“Naruto, go…be with Sasuke…he’ll make you happier.  He can give you what I can’t.”  I had finally dug my way out of the bindings, blood dripping down my arms at the cuts I had created to get out of the ties.  As I stood, I escaped, my chest hollow.  I didn’t look back…I couldn’t.  Hearing Naruto give another muffled moan broke what was left of my heart.

Let me take over…let me take away your pain…

I was never going to have Naruto.  I should have never engaged in such foolishness.  Memories flashed by…him as a baby, playing hide and seek, our first kiss, or first time making love.  As tears flew down my face, I heard Kurama.

Well?

Yes…take away my pain.  If I cannot be with Naruto…I do not want to be.  It was foolish to try, foolish to taste the forbidden fruit.  Please…save me.  I begged Kurama.  As I felt the hot coil pool in my gut, my skin starting to peel as Kurama took shape, I leapt out the window.

Give yourself to me and you will never hurt again.

Never?  I could feel myself trembling.

Never.

You can have me, Kurama…all of me.  As I ran into the night, running on all fours as my claws dug into the fresh ground, I tried to put more distance between Sasuke, Naruto, and myself.

 

Chapter Text

Freedom.

Running.

Eating.  Deer is good.

Water feels good.

Scratching.  Itching.  Rolling.  Sleep.

I appreciate your feral nature, but I need you to become human. Kurama interrupted my feral haze.

Why?

Because…I feel bad for you, okay.  I felt how you felt about Naruto…and that felt amazing.  I want that feeling again.

Well, we can’t. I snapped.  He is with Sasuke.  They are soulmates, and he is safe.  I felt the anger bubbling up.  I kept remembering him kiss Sasuke…and that moan.  My stomach turned and I felt sick.  I should have known better than to think anything would work out for me.  However, if Naruto was safe, I could live with that.  I could admit to myself that I was sick to my stomach and I hated Sasuke for taking my place.  But, to be honest with myself, Sasuke would keep him safe.  The deer threatened the back of my throat.

No one can keep him as safe as you, Hatake.  Kurama murmured.

What the hell, Kurama?  What the sudden change of heart for?  Why are you encouraging me?

Because…I was wrong.  I can feel your anguish…and I was wrong to keep what Rin did to you from you.

What Rin did to me?

She used the Tsukuyomi on you…an advanced form of it.  It’s called the Tsukuyomi-Kodo.  It makes it to where you don’t even know what’s a dream and what’s not.

If that’s the case, then how do I know this isn’t a dream?

You have to trust your gut.  You weren’t aware of the Kodo before…but now you are…And when in the actual Tsukuyomi, if you trusted your gut, you would know you were in it…but everyone’s fears helped convince them the dream state was an actual world.

I tried to feel my gut.  I…damnit, I knew Kurama was telling the truth.

Why the hell didn’t you tell me then?

Because…I was jealous.  You…seemed to care for me, and the closer you got to Naruto, the further I felt that you were pushing me away.  I…did not want to lose you.  I actually…care about you.  The beast said.

If you would give me a chance, you would know that I don’t desert my comrades.  Those that break the rules are scum, but those that desert their comrades are worse than scum.

Go.  Now.

I didn’t have time to process what just happened right now.  I had to get back to Naruto…and apologize.  Try to explain.  I didn’t want to think of what could have happened to him.  And what I had told him, and then what I had done.

()()()

I got back to the Leaf Village late at night.  I realized that I had no clue how long I had been gone, after my last experience, months could seem like days.  Praying to Kami Naruto would forgive me, I shunshined to his apartment.  Standing outside the window, I looked in.  He was sitting on his bed, his head on his raised knees.  I didn’t see anyone else.  Swallowing thickly, fear pooling in my gut, I knocked on the window.

Naruto’s head lifted up.  Jumping up, he ran over to the window, opening it.  “Kakashi!”  He said, grabbing onto my neck, pulling me into the apartment.  Crawling in, I slipped, falling onto the floor, falling on top of Naruto, who didn’t let go of me.

“I’m sorry, Naruto…I’m sorry.  I fell for the Tsukuyomi-Kodo.  Please…forgive me.”  I was begging, and I knew it, fear coiled in my gut.  I sounded panicked, and I knew that, too.  Naruto was my precious person, and I had fucked this up twice.  Naruto was forgiving, but everyone had their limits.  I closed my eyes, terrified of his answer, holding him for dear life.

“Kakashi…”  I heard him say.  Opening my eyes, I looked at him.  “Yea, I’m pissed…but…you came back.  I…damnit…you can’t keep running!”  He grabbed me, hugging me tight.  So tight.  His arms felt amazing around me.

“Rin…tricked me.  And I fell for it, like a fool, because it attacks my basest fear.”  Sitting up, I pulled Naruto into my lap, nestling my face into his neck, pulling his back to my chest.

“What did she do?” he whispered.

Closing my eyes, making myself go back to that hell, I swallowed.  “I woke up tied to a chair.  You were tied to another chair.  She told me you had another soulmate…and showed me his name on your scalp.”  I swallowed as I held him tighter.  My stomach rolled as I remembered what happened next.  “He...he came out, and he kissed you…and you enjoyed it.”  I could hear that moan.  “She knew exactly who to use…whom I am most jealous of…whom I am scared to lose you to.”  I admitted quietly.

I felt him adjust on my lap, turning around and straddling me, his pajama pants rubbing against my thighs.  I felt his warm, warm hands on my face.  Looking up at his eyes, I could not do anything but blink.  “Who?”  Naruto asked.

“Sasuke.”  I rasped out after a few minutes.

“Sasuke tteyebayo?”  Naruto looked dumbfounded.  “I love him like a brother, you idiot!  You never have to be jealous of him…I only love you…I only want you!”  Grabbing me around the neck again, he pulled me into a kiss.  Feeling his warm lips on mine, I kissed him back tentatively.  Pulling back, he stared at me hard.  “You have to stop this.  You are the only one I want.  I love you…I want you.  We are soulmates.”  He held up his mark, showing me, putting his mark against mine.

I looked up at him.  I don’t know if my eyes were as tortured as I felt.  “Naruto…I’m scared.  You are the only thing on this earth I truly love, and I am terrified to lose you.  Everything…everyone I have loved…they have been taken from me.  They have left.  I’m just waiting for you to leave, too.”

Naruto leaned his forehead against mine.  “I’m not going to leave, roujin.”  I felt him smile as I poked him in the ribs.

“I’m not that old, Naruto.”  A smirk started to form on my lips as I hugged him tightly.

Thank you, Kurama.

“Um, you do know you are naked and filthy, right?”  Naruto asked after a few minutes.  Opening my eye, I looked down.  He was right.  I was completely naked; except I still had my hitai ate on my face, covering my eye for some reason.  Even my mask was gone.  Blood and dirt was caked on my arms…and I stunk.  Chuckling a bit, I disentangled myself from him and stood.

“I better go home and shower.”

Naruto stood and looked at me.  “You can shower here.  I…I kinda brought some of your clothes over, in case you came here.”  The pink blush crossed the bridge of his nose.  Kissing his forehead gently, I went to shower.  As I was heading into the shower, I stopped.

“How long was I gone?”  I asked quietly.

“Five days.” He said just as quietly.  Swallowing thickly, I shook my head and went into the shower.

()()()

I don’t know that I moved that much that night, as I woke in the same position, holding Naruto tightly, my face in his hair.  After stretching and getting up, I decided to make him a good breakfast.  I pulled on some sweatpants and started making pancakes.  Soufflé pancakes to be exact.  Pulling out some honey, I sat it on a tray, making some coffee.  Grabbing a mug, I poured a third cup of milk, a third cup of sugar, and a third cup of coffee and mixed it.  I then poured a cup of black coffee for myself.  Placing pancakes on the plate, I picked the tray up and brought it back into the bedroom.  Naruto was stirring awake, rubbing his eyes.  Smiling at me, his eyes widened.

“Pancakes?” he asked, eyes lightening up.  Smiling, I sat the tray down.  Handing him his coffee, he smiled, taking a sip.  “Mmmm, you make the best coffee.”  I took a sip of coffee, warming internally…though probably more from the compliment than from the coffee.  As we ate breakfast, I looked up.

“How is Kiki?  Are they all still in the Village, or did Lady Hokage move them?”  I asked.

Naruto looked up.  “They are still here.  Kiki has been asking about you.  I told her you were on a mission.” 

Swallowing, I looked up.  “Why did you lie?”

Naruto looked uncomfortable.  “Well…she loves you Kakashi…she’s bonded with you.  She missed you.”  I sat back, eyeing Naruto.  He was holding something back.

“What is it, Naruto?”

Naruto lifted guilty eyes.  “I…I kinda told her she could live with us…her and her sister.  She was so sad; I just wanted to make her happy.”

I raised an eyebrow.  “Us?”

Naruto looked me in the eyes.  “She wasn’t the only one who loves and misses you.  I don’t like being apart from you.”

“Alright.  They can move in with us…after you move in with me.”

Naruto crossed his arms, pouting.  “Why can’t you move in here?”

I poked his stomach.  “Because I have two bedrooms, and my place is neater.  I don’t believe that you have cleaned in six months.”

“Not true!”  Naruto humphed.  I stared at him.  “Well, maybe a little true.”  Changing the subject, he looked at me.  “How did you figure out that you were under the genjutsu?”

“Kurama told me.”  I responded.  Naruto looked dumbfounded.

“K…Kurama?  You’re friends with the fox?” he asked me.

“Yes, I am.”  I responded.

Friends?

Yes, friends.

Chapter Text

“You know this isn’t going to last.”  I told the mop of blonde hair as I stretched in the morning sun.  We had just held each other, falling asleep the night before after I took a shower, cleaning myself off.  And, of course, after Naruto had put some medicine on my cuts, which were completely healed this morning.

“Mmm, I know, but let’s enjoy it while we can…okay?”  Naruto yawned as he rolled over, propping his head up on his hand, his blue eyes drinking me in it seemed.  He was … gorgeous.  Leaning over, I claimed his lips, kissing them gently.  Moaning, he leaned against me.  As I felt the heat of his body rise, there was suddenly knocking on Naruto’s door, which interrupted our morning discussion…and my morning plans.  Damnit.  I frowned as Naruto pulled away to get up and answer the door.

You are a horny old bastard, aren’t you?

Well, you have felt him…wouldn’t you be?

You have a point.  The fox huffed.

Naruto stood and headed to the door.  I heard him talking to whomever was the mysterious visitor.  “Oh, hey, Yamato.”  I frowned; I could hear the guilt in Naruto’s voice.  “Yea, he’s in here…I’m really sorry I didn’t let you know last night.”  Ah, I see.  Getting up, I slipped on some jeans and a white tee shirt.  Padding barefoot out, I looked at Yamato.  He crossed his arms.

“We need to work on your control of the beast.”  He said gruffly.

“I missed you too.”  I stated dryly.  “But I am working on that.  Kurama and I are friends now.”  Yamato’s mouth fell open at my declaration. 

“F…friends?  You and the beast are friends?”  He asked incredulously.  I could feel Kurama getting angry.

“Kurama is his name, and yes, we are friends.”  I stared at Yamato, willing him to shut up.

He seemed to get my point.  Sighing, he stared at me…hard.  Finally, after several moments, he spoke.  “Kakashi…I’ll give you this one shot…but if you run off again, or go crazy, I will contain you and the…Kurama.”  He said eyes hard. 

Nodding in agreement to his terms, I came over, wrapping my arms around Naruto.  “How is Kiki and her sister?” I asked, kissing Naruto’s ear.

Yamato shrugged.  “As good as can be expected, I suppose.  I was going to check on them.  Would you like to come?”  Nodding, I went into the bedroom, slipping on my mask and grabbing my wallet.  Naruto followed, pulling on jeans and one of his mesh shirts.  As we put on our shoes and headed out, Naruto grabbed my hand.  Feeling the warmth in that hand, I felt…at peace.

Walking into the hospital area, I was tackled by Sakura before I could get into the room.  After hugging me, she then yelled at me slightly and forced me into a room for an examination.  All my scars were healed, but still, she had to check me out.  After determining that I was okay and fully lectured, she let me go.  Naruto was waiting outside the door.  “Everything okay?” he asked, grabbing my hand again.

“Of course.” Walking in, I was tackled again.  This time, the tackler was less than four foot tall.  Those big brown eyes looked up at me, smiling.

“Kaka!  I wondered when you be back.”  Crawling up my leg like a monkey, she wrapped her arms around me as I picked her up.  Hugging me tightly, she rested her head on my shoulder.  I hugged her back.  Okay, I can do this.  Just think of her as a little Sakura…I may not know how to handle children, but I know how to handle my students…so that is the same thing, right?

“Do I really get to go live with you and Naruto?”  Kiki asked me, looking up at me with the most vulnerable eyes I had seen in a while.  Nodding, she smiled bigger.  “Why you wear that mask?  It a costume?”

Naruto started laughing.  I frowned at him, but then turned my attention back to Kiki.  “It’s part of my uniform as a shinobi.”  I explained to her.

“You work all da time?” she asked.  “Cause you wear it all da time.”  She stuck her thumb back in her mouth, looking at me, waiting for an answer.

“Well…it seems like I work a lot.”  I responded evasively.

“So I won’t get to see you lots?” she asked, a frown on her face.

“You’ll get to see him bunches…but when we do have to go on missions, you’ll stay with Auntie Sakura, right Sakura?”  Naruto asked, beaming at Sakura.  Smiling, the rosette shook her head.

“Of course!”  Sakura smiled at Kiki, who smiled back and nodded, holding me tighter. 

“I wanna go home, can we go home now?” she asked.

“It will be just another day or two, and then you both can be released.  Gotta make sure you are well, so you don’t have to come back.  Okay?”  Sakura said.  Kiki’s form sagged a bit, but she nodded.

()()()

We stayed for a good part of the day.  After leaving, I looked sideways at Naruto.  “You’re taking me to see her, aren’t you?”  I asked.

Naruto sighed, but nodded.  “Yamato and I had to debrief her.  She sent out ANBU to find you, but refused to let me or Yamato go.  She basically put us on Village Arrest.”  Looking up at the faces of the Hokages carved into the side of that mountain, he stopped.  Looking at me, he wrapped his arms around my neck, leaning his forehead on my chest.  “I wish I could have known them.”  He whispered.

“You’re a great deal like them.  They are both proud of you.”  I kissed his temple.  Looking up at me, Naruto smiled.  Grabbing my hand, we headed into the lioness’s den.

()()()

I was lectured, for about twenty minutes.  I was then ordered to give my own debriefing, which I did.  I was then evaluated by Shizune, and finally allowed to leave with a week of mandatory Village Arrest.  Oh, Lady Hokage called it “R & R”, but both Naruto and I knew what it was…house arrest inside the Village.  We both wanted to find Rin, not sit in the Village twiddling our thumbs. 

Trying to take advantage of the time though, we started moving items from Naruto’s home to mine and cleaning out the second bedroom, which had been Yamato’s until he moved out on his own.  It was exhausting and time consuming.  As we cleaned out that room, we decided to wait until we had the girls to buy clothes, toys, and such, as we wanted their input.  Sakura came by on the third morning, interrupting a very nice kissing session…again.  I hope I would not continue to get cock blocked.  It was getting annoying.  Sakura informed us that she was on her way to the hospital, the girls would be released today, and did we want to join her in going over there?  Nodding, we both headed to the hospital.  Getting Kiki and her sister and filling out a bunch of paperwork, Naruto and I walked the two to our new home. 

()()()

Walking in, I raised an eyebrow at Naruto, who tried to look innocent, although there more were boxes everywhere.  “Naruto…what did you do?”  I asked, sitting Kiki down as her sister sat down on the couch.

“Well, I just thought my clones could continue to help with the move…”  Naruto mumbled sheepishly. 

Shaking my head, I looked at Kiki and her sister.  “Are you both hungry?”  Kiki nodded excitedly, as her sister just sat quietly and looked at her.  “I’ll go make something to eat.  Any requests?”  I asked.

“Ramen!”  Both Naruto and Kiki said.  I sighed, rolling my eyes.  Great, I have ramen twins.  I heard Naruto getting the girls set up in the spare room.  As I worked on assembling and cooking the ramen, I felt strong arms wrap around my waist, a head in my back.  Turning slightly, I looked at the love of my life.  “Hey…you that hungry?”  I asked.  My eye twitched when I noticed the boxes Naruto’s clones had “helped” to move to the hallway.  To be fair, I was already getting hives with the disarray of my apartment.

Naruto chuckled.  “Nah, not really.  We probably need to go shopping tomorrow at the latest.  Sakura gave them some of her old clothes, but there’s not much…she spread out her clothes among all the girls.”

Agreeing, I plated the food and took it to the table.  “Go get them?”  I asked, getting glasses of water for the four of us.  As Kiki and her sister sat down…I…shit, I don’t know Kiki’s sister’s name!…I sat down with Naruto.  Looking at the sister, I took off my mask and smiled.

“So, I don’t think you’ve ever told us your name.” 

“Matatabi.”  The redhead said quietly.

Interesting…it is the name of the two-tailed cat demon, which died at least four hundred years ago.  Kurama thought to me.

Why is that so interesting?  Maybe their mother just liked the name or was infatuated with the cat demon?  My name means scarecrow, after all.

Yes, well, you are about as emotional as a scarecrow and you inspire fear.  It is an accurate name.

Jackass.

“Well, Matatabi, this is now your and Kiki’s home.”  I said, smiling at her.  She darted her eyes to Kiki.  As some unspoken conversation happened between them, I frowned at Naruto, who shrugged.  Finally, Kiki turned to me.

“Kaka, are you weally da nine-tail fox container?” she asked.

Blinking in surprise, I stared at her.  We had visited them each day at the hospital, but I don’t ever remember talking about Kurama in front of them.  How would a seven year old know this?  I looked at Naruto, who had dropped his fork, staring at Kiki.

Be careful…something is not right about this…

She is a seven-year-old girl.  She is not a threat to me.  Her sister may be, but she is not.

“Yes, Kiki…I am.”  I answered carefully, looking between her and her sister.

“And you took da fox by you choice?” she asked, her eyes wide, her sister studying me intently.  I looked at Naruto warily.

“Yes, I did.”

“Why?”  Matatabi interrupted, studying me intently.

“Because, Kurama had destroyed the village due to a cruel, evil man’s trick.  Everyone hated Kurama at the time.  They thought he was just a demon.  And his former host was going to put him in Naruto before she died.  I was scared that the villagers would hate Naruto if he were known as the fox’s container.  So I became Kurama’s container instead.”  I explained, the hairs on the back of my neck standing up.

“But why?”  Matatabi asked again, more insistently this time.

“Because I loved, and love, Naruto, and didn’t want him to be hurt.”  I felt Naruto grab my hand and squeeze it.  He pulled my hand to his mouth and kissed it.

“Do you still hate Kurama?”  Matatabi asked, voice quiet, but eyes fierce.

“I never said I hated Kurama.”  I answered evasively.

“But you did and maybe still do hate Kurama.  You said “everyone”…everyone includes you.”  Matatabi pointed out.  Taking a breath, she stared at me.  “So…do you still hate Kurama?” she asked again.

Thinking for a moment, I leveled her with an even stare.  “No, I don’t.  Kurama and I understand each other better now.  He is my friend.”

Matatabi’s eyes got huge.  “Friend?  The demon is your friend?”

“Yes, we are friends.  Why are you so interested in this, Matatabi?”  I asked, genuinely curious with this line of questioning.

“Because, I didn’t think anyone else would have the same bond with their container that I have with Kiki.”  Matatabi said, as she walked over to Kiki, melting into Kiki in front of my very eyes, two blue tails fanning out from Kiki, Kiki’s eyes forming into amber eyes reminiscent of a cat.  Holy shit, she is wearing a demon’s cloak!

Fuck me running backwards; I thought Matatabi had died a long time ago!

 

Chapter Text

“Wait…you’re a container, like me?”  I asked Kiki, completely shell shocked.

Kiki nodded, sucking her thumb again.  Suddenly, I narrowed my eyes.  “Hold on…if that’s true, then how could you possibly have been held captive as a sex slave?  And how could Matatabi melt into you?”  Kiki shrugged as the redhead reemerged from Kiki, forming her own body again.

“I’m a demon.  I can form my own body, just as Kurama can.  However, the difference between Kurama and me is that he has a seal holding him inside you…I never had that with Kiki.  I inhabited her as a baby because I was drawn to her…I felt her dying.  I couldn’t help myself…I couldn’t let her die for some reason.  Therefore, I possessed her, healed her, and then…hid in her after Kurama attacked the Leaf.  After all the destruction Kurama caused, I was scared that all of us demons would be killed, or worse, caged, due to what he did.  And I wasn’t going to appear as a two-tailed cat, so I had been working on my transmutation and finally perfected it.  I then took on a human form and called myself Kiki’s sister.  Her parents died early, we moved, and no one questioned us.”  Sitting down, Matatabi watched me carefully.

I sat down as well.  “But that doesn’t explain how you were captured and used in sex trafficking or why Kiki looks and acts like she was seven.”  I pointed out.  Matatabi looked at me.  Scowling, her voice had a harsh edge to it.

“That man you killed…the one with the henge…he was working for the Akatsuki.  They liked to make money any way they could…including using us.  We found that out when Kiki was captured by Sasori while we were both asleep.  I had grown too lax in my complacency within Kiki…Sasori and Deidara figured out whom I was, although I do not know how.  They injected me with…something.  I still don’t know what it was…but it made me compliant and it stopped Kiki from aging.  I was trapped in the body I created, and I hated it…I was controlled.”  Matatabi looked down, anger in her eyes.  Blue waves of anger radiated off her.

Were you controlled when I was?  I asked Kurama, thoroughly confused.

Kind of.  I could not stop you from doing what you were doing, and I felt rather tired.  This is…disturbing.  I don’t like where the Akatsuki is heading.  Why did you have to piss off that girl?  He sounded rather grumpy.

Look, we can discuss Rin later.  Right now, I fear the worst.  We need to let Lady Hokage know.

Matatabi will not want to divulge her secret.  I do not know why she has now…The warning was clear in his voice.

Sighing, I braced myself.  Carefully, I started, eyeing her like a dangerous caged animal.  “Matatabi, we need to tell Lady Hokage of what is going on.  For the safety of the village.  But, I give you my word; I won’t let them lay a hand on either of you.”  Can you convince Matatabi of that?

I can try…I don’t know if she believes us or not.  We demons were never good with oaths, friendship, and shit.

Wonderful.

Matatabi looked between Kiki, Naruto, and me.  Finally, she looked at Naruto.  “Do you promise to keep Kiki and me safe?”

I turned to look at Naruto, who was watching the scene volley in front of him.  Blinking in surprise, he looked at me, then back at Matatabi.  “W…well, of course.  You two are part of our family now, so I will not let anything happen to either of you.  But you don’t need my word…if Kakashi gives his word, he keeps it.”  Naruto vowed.

Matatabi just looked at Naruto.  “I do not trust someone who willingly becomes a container…nay, volunteers for it.  But I do trust you.”  She nodded, looking at me.  “Okay, we will tell your Hokage.”

()()()

Lady Tsunade was shocked, to say the least.  Looking at all of us, she looked slyly and nodded at Shizune, who took a step forward.  I held onto Kiki tightly, Naruto holding Matatabi’s hand.  I knew what that look was.  “You cannot touch these children….well, this child and this demon.  I gave my word.  I will not go back on it.”  I stared at her levelly, my voice holding a warning.

“Kakashi…you cannot expect me to sit idly by and let my village be a target!”  She argued, her face getting flush with anger.

Staring levelly back at her, I raised an eyebrow.  “I gave my word.  If you try to break it, I will leave the village and become a rogue nin.  You know I love my Village, but I have to stand by my word.  Realize, I am only speaking for myself.”  I looked at Naruto idly, hoping he understood I was not condemning him to my decision.

Naruto crossed his arms.  “I go where Kakashi goes.”  Tsunade glared at me, her hazel eyes flashing in anger.  A silent war waged between us…she knew me well enough to know I wouldn’t go back on my word.  I loved this village, but my word was my bond, and I would NOT go back on it.  Sighing finally, she rubbed her forehead, pulling out a small bottle of sake.

“What we need to do is figure out how Sasori is doing all of this.  I’m going to send Sai in.”  Nodding to Shizune, the brunette left, returning with a pale, raven-haired male.  I remembered Sai vaguely.  I never understood why he needed to show off his midriff…it was as if he was giving the enemy extra targets.  In any event, he was a good ninja, especially after escaping from The Foundation.  Nodding at him, I looked back at Tsunade.  “I’ll brief him; you all can go…and you all are confined to the Village until further notice Kakashi.”  Her voice brooked no argument.  She was agreeing to my terms…with a price.

I said nothing, nodding.  I was aggravated, but it was to be expected.  Taking everyone home, we settled in for the night.  As I crawled into bed in sweatpants…I did not want to have that conversation with a seven year old, I lay next to Naruto on my back, my mind whirling at all the news.  Suddenly, blue eyes blocked my vision as Naruto leaned above me.  “Kakashi…do you believe Matatabi?”  Naruto asked.  “Or do you think they are spies?”

I looked at Naruto, smoothing his hair from his face.  “It’s unlikely they are spies…why would they be involved in sex trafficking to do that?  In addition, Kurama has not said anything except that he thought Matatabi had died a long time ago.  However, I will try to chat with him later.”  Naruto nodded, leaning down and kissing me.  Sighing into his mouth, I ran my hands up his back, feeling him shiver.  As our kiss got more heated, I finally got the release I had been trying to achieve for days…and realized it was foolish to have put on sweatpants…

()()()

[Opening my eyes, I was laying on my back in the bubbling chakra.  Turning my head, I saw Kurama sitting behind the bars.  Sitting up, I stood, noticing I was naked.  Shrugging, I walked over to the bars.  They did not seem as big as they used to be.

‘Kurama…do you believe Matatabi?’  I had to ask him.

Kurama frowned.  ‘I don’t know.  I thought Matatabi had died many centuries ago.  However, we demons are secretive, and do not collaborate much.  I knew Matatabi a bit more than the others, simply because we lived near each other.  However,…the way this demon was presenting itself was very reminiscent of the Matatabi I knew.  She was one of the first that wanted to befriend humans instead of destroying them.  She was also the first to master transmutation.’

‘But…’ I waited patiently.

‘But I don’t see how she would have gotten caught that easily.  Matatabi is brilliant, and not easily fooled.  That is what worries me the most.’   His red eyes stared at me as I reached through the bars.  ‘What are you doing?’ he asked, looking at me as if I had lost my mind.

‘Petting you.’  I responded, putting a hand on his snout.  As he frowned, but stood still, I started to pet him much as I did Pakkun.  The fur felt very soft, at least in this soul prison.  Twisting his head to the side slightly, his eyes narrowed.

‘Why?’

‘It’s a sign of friendship and acceptance.  It helps in the bonding process.  Plus, it’s just nice.’  I responded.  ‘Doesn’t it feel nice?’

He twisted his head again, as if considering.  Finally, ‘I guess.’

Sighing, I stood there, petting the fox on the nose while I worried over this Matatabi problem.  Looking up at Kurama finally, I sighed.  ‘What if Matatabi is all she says she is and what she says is true?’  I had to voice my concerns.

‘Then we are in deep shit…the Akatsuki is one step closer to controlling us.’

Chapter Text

I kept petting Kurama, long into the night.  Finally, I sighed.  ‘I better get some rest.  Let’s both work on a solution, okay?’

‘I have a solution, but you won’t like it.’

I perked up.  ‘If you have a solution, then let’s hear it.  You can’t assume I won’t like it if you haven’t told me about it.’

Kurama frowned.  ‘Okay, fine…I don’t like it.  Nonetheless, it is a possible solution…I can use my chakra to bend time.  I could loop time on itself and send you back, let you save Obito, so Rin wouldn’t become this psychotic hell beast bent on destroying you.’

‘Besides the obvious dangers of time travel, why don’t you like this idea?’  I asked dryly.  Time travel had been touched on slightly when doing chakra research, but no one I knew had ever been successful with it.  There was potentially an artifact somewhere that could bend time, but no one had found it…or if they had, it was classified information and the ANBU did not even know about it.

‘We demons can bend time, with the proper…motivation.  However, we can only do it once in our existence…and we have to be in a container to do it.  There are several costs, most to the containers.  Of course, the only cost to demons is that it makes us mortal.  You can see why we demons do not resort to this.’

I nodded my head.  Demon becomes mortal, demon will die; even if he would live a longer life than normal mortality, it is still a shorter life than immortality.  Self-preservation is a force to be reckoned with.  ‘I can understand the reluctance.  Of course, I would never ask you to risk your existence on time travel.’

‘You know, you interrupt A LOT.’   His red eyes stared at me as I raised an eyebrow.  I was about to say that I was sorry, but realized that would be interrupting again.  Silent, I simply stared at Kurama.  ‘One of the biggest costs to you is that you would be bound to me, as my container…which means the entire reality you know would change.  In addition, both of our mortalities would be intertwined…yours would be lengthened greatly, mine would be shortened significantly.  So, yes, you would be able to resolve this, but at great personal cost to yourself.  You would be resetting an entire timeline, and billions of lifelines.’

I sat at that, taking in the heavy burden that would be bestowed on me.  Looking up at Kurama, I asked the question that was weighing on me.  ‘I take a chance on losing Naruto, don’t I?’  I felt selfish and horrible, worried about Naruto’s safety over everything else.

Kurama looked down at me with…sadness, in his eyes.  ‘Very likely…as Kushina will have never been the container in this new timeline.’

‘But…on the path we are headed, Naruto is going to be killed, and you controlled for infinity, correct?’

Sad but wise eyes stared down at me.  ‘That is correct.  I will say that I will do this…partially because I do not want to be controlled, but mostly for you.  You have shown me compassion, love, and friendship.  I wish to pay you back…and I do not wish to experience the intense grief you would experience at killing your own soulmate.  However, Kakashi…this is not a decision to take lightly or make rashly, as you did the first time you volunteered to be my container.  This is a decision that will influence an entire civilization.  Think on it, and then choose wisely.’

Nodding, I stepped back, leaving the soul prison.]

Waking up, Naruto had his back to me, his side moving softly in time to his breathing.  My throat constricted.  Could I never see him again?  Could I survive that?  Worse, could I survive seeing him with someone else?  Shamefully, I closed my eyes when I could not immediately state that him alive and with someone else was better than him dead and only with me.

()()()

The next few days were torture as my troubled mind could simply not give up the conundrum Kurama has presented me with.  Luckily, Naruto assumed that my preoccupation was simply me going stir crazy with being under Village arrest.  He assumed since he would be going nuts, I would be as well.  I let him believe what he would.

The Village heightened its security and sent out more teams, as well as keeping more high-level teams nearby.  Scouts were sent to Suna to talk to Gaara.  I tried to act “normal” but I was tense.  Many days I was in meetings and donating blood to try to help find an antidote to this concoction that Sasori had created.  Matatabi was in on these meetings as well, giving as much information as she could from her experiences.  Lady Hokage assured me they were doing everything they could to try to find a solution.  As the days turned into weeks, I was starting to become a bit stir crazy, as was Kurama and Matatabi.  Finally, one night, after making love to Naruto, I held him, feeling his heartbeat.  I loved this man so much.  Suddenly, I knew what I had to do, and I closed my eyes.

[‘Kurama?’  I called out, sitting up and walking to the cage that was about a size that could hold me, now.

‘What?  Don’t you ever sleep?’  The demon groused, coming out of the shadows.

Ignoring his sleepy grouchiness, I looked him in the eyes.  ‘How long does it take to do the time travel?’

Eyeing me warily, he sighed, his ears flattening.  ‘One second, perhaps…it’s near instantaneous…why?  You haven’t even discussed this with Naruto yet…have you already made a decision?’  His voice was laced with curiosity.

‘I will not ever talk about this with Naruto.  But I have decided.  If we are about to be controlled, for good, then I want you to travel back in time so I can save Obito.  I cannot kill Naruto…it is better for him to be alive and with someone else than to be dead and only to have been with me.’

‘You realize, you will be back in your child body…you will not be able to exist in the same timeline as yourself.  So when you go back, this consciousness will be put into your twelve-year-old body.  In addition, in that instant…everything will change…everything about your past and the past you knew will be gone.  I will try to help you with the knowledge.’

‘I understand.’  I said my stomach still unsettled.

‘But…’  Kurama waited patiently.

‘But I don’t understand how all of this will change the past as well.’  I admitted, frustrated with myself that I couldn’t figure that answer out, even after all these weeks. 

‘Because, when you were the age of 12, Kushina should have been my container…and I should be hell bent on destroying humanity.  By going back, as I stated, I am bound to you as my container, and our mortalities are connected.  Yours will be extended, mine will be shortened.  So the past will have to adjust to make you my container…as well as my lack of destructive desire.’

Of course.  I should have thought of that.  Looking at Kurama, I reached through the bars and petted him again.  ‘Thank you, Kurama…for everything.  I hope we do not have to do this and can figure out another way.’

‘Me too.’   Stepping away, I woke up as he retreated in the shadows.]

()()()

Yawning, I stretched as the sun hit me.  Rolling over, I pushed the conversation I just had with Kurama out of my mind.  I would put my faith in Tsunade, and she would find a solution.  I smirked.  Naruto was on his back, drool from his mouth.  To say he was delectable looking was an understatement.  Crawling on top of him, I started kissing his neck, running my hands down his sides.  Shivering, I saw his eyes flutter open.  Looking down at me, his mouth formed into a smirk.  “What are you doing?’ he asked as I felt his excitement through his boxers.

Not bothering to respond, I worked my way down, pushing his boxers down and licking his shaft.  As he shuddered, he closed his eyes, arching into my touch.  As I worked him towards release, I started working his hole, stretching him to seat me.  After preparing him, I entered him, moving gently, watching his face as I moved inside him, stroking him in time to my thrusts.  As I heard him moaning my name, I released inside him, stroking him to completion.  Crawling up next to him, I held him, nuzzling my face into his neck.

“Morning.”  He chuckled.

“Morning.”  I hummed, holding him.  Please, Kami…do not make me have to change this.

()()()

“Kaka, we are hungwy!”  I heard Kiki say right before I felt her poke me in my hip.  Yawning, I woke up, still holding Naruto.  We both had fell asleep it seemed. 

“Okay, okay, Kiki…Pancakes?”  I asked.

“Yaaay!”  Kiki cheered as I heard running feet and then the door shut.  Sighing, I leaned down, kissing Naruto. 

“You spoil them.”  He accused, smiling at me.

“And you.”  I agreed, getting up.  Hearing no rebuttal, I headed out to make pancakes.  As I was making pancakes, I felt arms wrap around my waist, Naruto’s lips kissing my neck.  Chuckling, I poured the batter on the griddle.  “Maa, Naruto…I didn’t satisfy you earlier?” I asked playfully.

“Yea, but I just recover quicker than you, old man.”  He teased, kissing my neck again.  Suddenly, the walls shook as an impact hit the village.

“Matatabi, stay here with Kiki!”  Naruto and I yelled, turning off the griddle and rushing out.  Looking around, there was fighting everywhere as Pakkun raced up. 

“Pain is attacking the Village, Boss.”  Pakkun informed me.  “Multiple Pains, attacking multiple spots.”  Naruto looked at me as a mini Katsuya came up, sliding onto my shoulder, as another got on Naruto. 

“Naruto, Lady Tsunade wants you to go to the gates of the Village with your shadow clones.  Kakashi, you are to return to her, as we are sure they are after you.”

“Scatter.”  I commanded.  Nodding, Naruto grabbed me into a kiss before he headed out in the opposite direction.

“Be careful.”  He commanded as he headed off.

“You too.”  I said as I ran towards the Hokage Tower.  After getting there, I came up behind Tsunade.  “Lady Hokage, you called for me?”  Turning, she nodded. 

“Stay with me.  We all know they want you.”  Nodding, I was on alert, watching for the threat.  As multiple red haired people appeared on the roof in Akatsuki robes, I braced myself for battle.  As they rushed for us, I moved my hitai-ate, prepared to use my Sharingan if required, Chidori chirping in my hand.  Remember what I said…  I reminded Kurama.

‘I know.’

()()()

The battle lasted several hours.  Causalities were on both sides…I was at my limit, even using Kurama’s chakra, covered in his cloak.  Finally, it seemed they had retreated.  There were no more battle sounds.  Katsuya reported in that there was no more fighting; the enemy seemed to be defeated.  Still, we were on guard.  There had been so many surprises in this battle, enemies coming back to life, extreme chakra use that no one knew if it was really over.

Suddenly, I heard Naruto.  “Kakashi!  Hey, are you okay?”  Turning around, I saw him running for me.  He was covered in blood and scratches, but he was alive. 

Walking up to him, I held him in a hug.  “Yea, are you?  Katsuya already told me that Kiki and Matatabi had been relocated to the Cave with the other children.”  Nodding, Naruto hugged me tightly, kissing me gently, his eyes shining with tears. 

“Yea, but so many people are hurt….and dead.”  He whispered.  I felt a buzzing in my veins, but shook it off as exhaustion.  “I just barely escaped once, this crazy bitch tried to kiss me…”  I realized at that moment what had happened.  Shit…  I could feel the fire burning in me as I was losing control, my hands running up to circle Naruto’s neck, my eyesight changing.  Now, Kurama…they poisoned Naruto with her kiss…do it now before it’s too late!

Everything went black…and then, suddenly, I was in a cave, with Obito and Rin.  Knowing what was going to happen, I harnessed Kurama to help.  As a huge fox formed out of the cloak, surrounding me, I held the ceiling up, yelling for the two to run.  Obito stood there, blinking, as Rin grabbed him and ran.  Once they were to safety, I tossed the ceiling to the side…and collapsed to my knees.  What sucks the most about last times is you do not know it is the last time in most instances.  I would have loved him longer this morning, held him longer, kissed Kiki once more…so many things I would have done if I would have known that I’d never have my Naruto with me again.

 

Chapter Text

Walking back to the camp, I saw the eyes of my long dead sensei staring at me.   “Minato-sensei.”  I choked out.  Obito was staring at me in fright as Rin rushed over, checking me over.  Minato cast a troubling gaze at me.  “What is it?”  I asked, looking at my teammates with…both eyes.

Minato came over to me, crouching down and putting a hand on my shoulder.  “Obito told me you used the fox’s chakra to help your teammates.  That is…admirable.  However, you must be careful.  While the fox has not shown any indications of destructive tendencies, we cannot rule out that possibility.  You must not rely too much on the demon in you.  Sakumo entrusted me to watch out for you after he and your mother died.”  He ruffled my hair as I stared up at him from behind my mask.  I nodded, looking down and noticing that my wrist was clean and bare.  Swallowing hard, I pushed Naruto to the back of my mind.

How did my mother and father die here?

It was silent for a few minutes, and then, Well, I guess I was still destructive…instead of Minato and Kushina giving their lives to seal me in Naruto…your parents sacrificed themselves to seal me inside of you.  Your mother had been the container, and her seal weakened upon your birth…your father used the Death Reaper Seal.  Therefore, everyone hates you still and is just waiting for me to take you over and destroy the village.  So…sorry, kid…but you have a real shitty road ahead of you.

()()()

After returning home and debriefing Lord Third, I had Kurama show me the way to my apartment.  I didn’t know how Kurama was able to garner this knowledge, but I welcomed that he could.  As I headed home, villagers hurled bottles and insults at me.  Some of their aim was bad; unfortunately, some was good.  The bottles hurt; the words did not.  I cared not what others thought of me, I, at least, had the knowledge of why they were doing this and the maturity to understand what was going on.  Moreover, knowing Naruto was safe helped me to deal with this.  Getting home, I pulled out my medic kit and sewed up the deep cut over my eyebrow.

()()()

I learned quickly the backroads to my apartment.  I had no desire to have trash and insults hurled at me daily.  I noticed that Obito stayed wary of me, but Rin treated me as a teammate.  Minato did check in on me, making me have dinner with him, and then him and Kushina, weekly.  I appreciated the gesture, but I still felt lonely, even with Kurama inside me.  I do not think I realized how lonely I was until I had Naruto in my life to show me what it was like to have a family.  Many a nights I sat home alone, absently rubbing my bare wrist. 

()()()

Training continued, as did missions.  Being a part of Team Minato and getting to experience the comradery of a team was rewarding.  Eventually, Obito warmed up to me, seeing that I wasn’t going to “fox out” as he called it and rampage the area.  I started to hang out with Rin and Obito in the village when we were not on missions, and it was nice.  It was nice developing the friendships with those two.  And, seeing the script on Rin’s knee that said “Uchiha, Obito” as well as the block script of “Nohara, Rin” on Obito’s neck; knowing that Naruto was now safe, did help to keep me warm in the evening.  I spent a great deal of time in the soul prison when I was by myself.  Usually I just read while Kurama worked on jigsaw puzzles. 

()()()

[Finally, one night, I looked up at him.  ‘Kurama?’  I asked, standing and walking over to the cage.

‘What?’ he looked up from the puzzle he was working on.

I bit my lip and reached up, ripping the seal off the cage.  Opening the door, I stepped back.  Raising an eyebrow, Kurama stood on all fours, looking at me.  ‘What are you doing?’ he asked.

‘We have been through so much; you don’t need to be caged in me anymore.  If you were going to kill me, you would have done it long ago, and you wouldn’t have risked so much, including your immortality.’

Stretching, he gingerly stepped out of the cage, looking around.  He was no taller than me…somehow; he always had seemed bigger behind the cage.  Looking around, he shrugged.  As I sat back down with my book, he came over, curling up next to me, wrapping his tail around the both of us, putting his head on my lap.  I absently petted him as he snored quietly.

()()()

I stood in the crowd, staring in admiration at my sensei as he took the hat and title of Lord Fourth Hokage.  Pride swelled in my heart.  I knew he would be an excellent Hokage, and would lead the Village nobly and with honor and much longer than he had done so previously.  I did feel slightly guilty that I was probably robbing Lady Tsunade of her opportunity, but since she didn’t really want it, perhaps I was doing her a favor.  Absently glancing at my wrist, I let out a heavy sigh.

()()()

My wrist was still bare.  While that hurt me desperately, I knew it was for the best.  Lord Fourth had announced the pregnancy of Kushina, and everyone was so very happy.  Minato and Kushina were wonderful people, and he was a wonderful Hokage.  Standing in front of his desk now, I prayed he would grant my request.

Blue eyes looked up at me.  “It would be a great honor to have you serve in ANBU Kakashi.  Your skills are extraordinary.  You may join.”  Getting up and going to the closet, he ruffled around, pulling out a fox mask.  “Fox, welcome to ANBU.  I have a mission I will send you out on.  The other members are coming.”  Nodding, I grabbed the uniform he handed me as I went into his bathing chambers and changed.  Coming out, I saw a person in a Bear mask as well as a person in a Cat mask. 

Minato cleared his throat.  “Bear, Cat…you will take our new recruit, Fox, on this mission to retrieve the hostage from the Land of Mist.  They refuse to release Lady Tsunade according to any negotiations.  Bring her back…safely.”  Nodding, I followed Bear and Cat.  If someone captured a Sanin, this is definitely a difficult mission.  Why would Lord Fourth send me on this as my first mission?  Wait…is she still a Sanin?

Yes, she is.  Why would he send you?  Because, dipshit, you have over thirty years of skill you are showing in a fourteen year old body.  You are probably the best jounin of your age group; if not one of the best in the Village. 

Shrugging off the praise, I followed my comrades.

()()()

Somethings didn’t change, while some things did.  Bear was still Tenzou, but I had not been experimented on as he had…probably because I had the fox in me this time as a youth.  Our bond wasn’t as strong.  I missed that.  He was nice, but the brotherly feel was gone.  I felt chilled to the core.  It was good to see Genma as Cat…I knew him and his skill.  We would be a good team.

Moreover, as we infiltrated the Land of Mist, we found that Lady Tsunade had not changed.  After infiltrating, they were keeping her because of her gambling debts.  Why they wouldn’t let the Leaf Village pay them was probably because her knowledge and skills were more valuable than any amount of money.  It took quite some doing, and much blood loss on both sides, but we were able to secure Tsunade and return her to the Leaf, our unit intact.  At debriefing, Bear did compliment my skills and poise.  As a celebration, I received the ANBU tattoo.  Kurama informed me that I would have to get it freshened up about every 2-3 months.

The next day, as I was reporting to the Hokage to see about a new mission, I heard the scream.  Rushing after Minato, I ran into the hallway, seeing the puddle of water Kushina was standing in, the bento box she was bringing to Minato for lunch spilled on the floor.  As Minato rushed to her side, they rushed her to the medic ward.  I rushed after the expecting couple.

()()()

Ten painful hours later, we heard the baby cry.  As the medic walked out, she nodded at us.  Sighing, we all slumped, the nervousness releasing our body that we did not know we had in us.  Finally, Minato opened the door, smiling at us, holding a bundle.  “I present Naruto Namikaze Uzumaki.”  As I saw the cherubic face, those blue eyes opened…those beautiful blue eyes.  My eyes widened as I looked down and saw, in block letters, the name “Uzumaki, Naruto” etched in neat block letters on my wrist.

()()()

I waited at my apartment for Lord Fourth to come storming in, angry that his son had a soulmate who was the jinchurriki’s container.  Angry that his son’s soulmate was fourteen years older than he was.  Angry that it was I.  Yet, he never came.  Finally, I could take it no more, and grabbed a gift, heading to Minato’s home.  As I knocked on the door, I steeled myself for Minato’s anger.  Of course, I would stay away, as Minato would require.  I had expected to lose Naruto, so this would not be anything unusual.  I think, being able to be with Naruto would be what would be unusual.

Minato answered bags under his eyes, but the eyes still bright and twinkling.  I bowed.  “Lord Fourth, I brought a present to celebrate the birth.”  I had made sure my gloves were covering the mark.

“Kakashi!  Of course, come in.  How have you been?”  His voice was kind.  I frowned behind my mask.  This was not the reaction I expected.  Stepping in, I slipped my shoes off.

“Well.  And you all?”  I asked politely, handing him the gift he accepted with a smile. 

“Great.  Naruto sleeps…when he wants to.”  Chuckling, Minato nodded behind him.  “Come on, you can see him, Kushina was just changing him.”  Following my sensei, I walked into the nursery that was decorated with frogs.  Kushina smiled at me, holding that precious bundle.  “Kushina, Kakashi came by to say hi and see Naruto.”  Minato announced.  Grinning, Kushina came over, holding out the baby, depositing him in my arms.

Looking down at him, I felt my heart swell as those same blue eyes looked up at me.  My throat closed as I looked at him, my love and protective nature almost overwhelming me.  Blinking away the water threatening my eyes, I stared at him.  How can I live without him?  Swallowing thickly, I smiled, grateful for the mask hiding my emotion that was etched on my face, I’m sure.  Naruto reached up for my mask as I moved away instinctively.  His giggles rang through the room.  As he raised his arms towards my face, grabbing at my mask again, I smiled in spite of myself.  He was….adorable.  I ran a finger down his cheek; forgetting anyone else was in the room.  I will die to protect you Naruto, I swear this to you.

Looking up at Lord Fourth and Kushina, I bowed and handed him back to Kushina.  “Of course, I will protect your heir with my life, Lord Fourth.”  I kept my knee on the floor, my head bowed.  I felt Minato’s hand on my shoulder.

“Kakashi, I thank you for the devotion to our son.  You protecting our son makes me feel at ease.”  I furrowed my brows in confusion…while I meant everything I said, I still expected one of them to put up a fight.  Finally, I shook my head and stood.

“Minato-sensei, can I ask you a question?”  Minato nodded, as there was a knock on the door.  Kushina turned, hitting a table, a vase hitting the floor.  Looking at Minato, he ushered her to the door as he bent down, picking up the shattered pieces of the vase.  Kushina handed Naruto to me as she went to the door.

“Of course, Kakashi…what is on your mind?”  As I adjusted Naruto in my arms, his weight feeling natural in my arms, he reached for my mask again…and I saw his wrists…and understood Minato’s reaction…or rather lack of reaction to me.  Naruto’s bare wrists had no name written on them.

Chapter Text

I didn’t realize how much it would hurt to know that Naruto would be with someone else.  However…there it was, the confirmation on those plump, bare wrists told me everything I needed to know.  Minato cleared his throat.  “Kakashi?”

I looked up.  “Oh, yes, Minato-sensei…I just wanted to know…if you needed me to keep watch outside the house?”  I kept staring at the beautiful blonde in my arms.

“No, that won’t be necessary.”  Minato chuckled.  Kushina came back in, and took Naruto from my arms.  I wanted to protest, keep that boy in my arms, but knew I had no right to do that.  Begrudgingly, I handed over my universe.  Bowing, I excused myself.  I didn’t know how I was going to survive seeing Naruto every day, but I would figure out a way to…I had to keep reminding myself that this was all for Naruto’s best.  It made logical sense, but it hurt like hell.

()()()

“Kaka-ashi!”  I heard the voice and turned.  Naruto was growing so fast.  I saw the balloons, the paper hats, and the people.  I was bloody and stained with mud, having just returned from a three day mission.  I was not going to stay at his third birthday; I just wanted to drop off the present.  Smiling, I crouched down.

“Happy birthday!”  I exclaimed as Naruto smiled, hugging me.  I hugged him back gently.  Pulling back, I dug in my pockets and pulled out the small fox plush doll, handing it to him.  Naruto smiled up at me, hugging me again.

“Tanks!”  He grinned, holding onto the fox.  “I wub foxes!”  Grinning, I loved to see that blonde so happy.

“What’s he doing here?”  I heard the maliciousness in the stranger’s voice.  Sighing, I stood and smiled, patting Naruto’s shoulder.  I needed to leave before a scene occurred.  I didn’t want to ruin Naruto’s day.

“I have to go, but I wanted to tell you happy birthday.”  Blue eyes pouted up at me.  Sighing, I frowned.  “I promise, I’ll be back…but I gotta go.”  Flash stepping away, I heard the little voice tell me bye.

()()()

Frowning, I sat outside the window on the branch, staring at the sleeping five year old.  He was tossing and turning.  Propping my head on my hand, I watched the boy.  He was so restless; I knew he was having some kind of a nightmare.  Silently, I crept into the room, kneeling by the bed and smoothing his hair.  At my touch, he stilled and let loose a little sigh from his lips.

I kept smoothing Naruto’s hair.  Frowning, I felt a bump on his head, near the crown.  Suddenly, I heard Kushina behind me.  “Birthmark.”  She whispered.  Looking up, I nodded as she was standing there, eyeing her son with love.  Standing, I moved to the window, the silvery moonlight bathing the room in its glow.  “Kakashi…” her eyes seemed to glow in the dark as she hesitated.  I looked at her, raising an eyebrow.  “I…thank you for your dedication to our son.  I feel so much safer with you watching over him.”  Swallowing thickly, I simply nodded as I escaped out into the cool night air, not hearing anything else she had to say.

()()()

“The plans are almost set.  We will rise.”  The disembodied voice floated up, disturbing my reading from the tree I was resting in.  Raising an eyebrow, I looked down, seeing a couple of Uchihas congregating.  Upon looking closer, I saw that it was Fugaku and Shisui.  As Shisui bowed and left, I frowned, realizing where we were in the timeline…well, the “original” timeline.  The Uchiha uprising would be happening soon.  The Uchiha’s were going to rise against the Hokage.  Was Shisui on our side or on the Uchihas?  Last time he was on our side…but who knew now?  I didn’t know.  Waiting until Fugaku left, I headed to the Hokage’s office, as I had been summoned there fifteen minutes ago.  I heard him again as I was walking up to the Hokage’s office.  Stopping, I listened at the door.  I knew that voice.  Sighing in relief, I heard Shisui telling his plan to foil the Uchiha uprising.  Shaking my head, I knew that wasn’t going to work.  I knocked on the door.

“Enter.”  Minato stated.  Walking in, I nodded to Shisui who had stopped and looked at me, nodding.

“You summoned me, Lord Hokage?”  I asked, looking between the two.

“Yes.  Shisui, you are excused.  We will discuss this a bit more later.”  Minato said in dismissal.  Shisui nodded, bowed, and left.  “Kakashi, I need to talk to you about your next mission.”  Minato said as the door busted open barely after it had closed and the blond rushed in, barreling over and hugging Minato as he “oofed.”  Ruffling his son’s hair, Minato smiled down fondly.

Turning, Naruto saw me and rushed over, hugging me too.  “Kakashi!”  Hugging me, he tugged on my sleeve.  “You know what?  Sasuke and Itachi always do stuff together, and when I ask Sasuke about it, he says ‘You wouldn’t understand, you don’t have a brother.’ So I’m trying to convince mom and dad to give me a brother!  Don’t you think I should have a brother?”  Blue eyes stared up at me pleadingly, begging for me to jump on Naruto’s side.  I looked over at my former sensei, who had the decency to blush.

“Naruto, go wait down with your mother, and I will be there for lunch.  I just need to finish this business with Kakashi first, alright?”  Hugging the blonde as he had stood and walked over to me, Naruto frowned but nodded and headed out.

“Remember Kakashi, I need a brother!!!”  Naruto winked as he left.

“Now, Kakashi…”  Minato started.  I turned, images of this lifetime…of the last timeline…all buzzing through my head at an exponential rate.  I suddenly knew what I had to do…why I had been sent back in time and why Naruto didn’t have my name on him.

“Lord Fourth…I know about the Uchiha uprising.  Shisui’s plan will not work.  Sending Itachi to massacre the Clan will have far-reaching repercussions that will negatively affect the entire village, and mostly your son.  However, I have a better solution.”

Minato’s face went white.  “How did you know?  How did you know our plan, and my back up plan, when this was only talked about and finalized in the past week?  This was top secret…”

“Minato-sensei, I tell you the truth…I will tell you that Shisui’s plan fails, Itachi massacres the Clan after it is requested of him, but only on the condition that Sasuke be allowed to survive.  Sasuke breeds his hate, and finally goes after Itachi, breaking ties with the Leaf.  When he does that, Naruto makes a promise to Sakura to bring Sasuke back at all costs.  And you know Naruto when he makes up his mind.”  I stared at Minato, who was watching me intently.  “These choices will destroy your son’s life.”

“Kakashi…how do you know this?”  Minato’s eyes were sharp and bright, curiosity brimming from them.

“Lord Fourth, you would not believe me if I told you.  I ask this of you though…do not send Shisui, do not send Itachi.  Let me take out the Uchiha clan…I can do it…you know I am extremely skilled as an assassin.  I will leave, in shame.  I have no family to worry about shaming, as my father was shamed for doing what he believed to be right until he killed himself.  I will join the Akatsuki as a rogue nin…as a spy for the Leaf.”  I stared impassively at Minato.

Minato shook his head no.  “Absolutely not, Kakashi.  Number one, your father didn’t kill himself…and number two, the Akatsuki are looking for tailed beasts…how can I allow you to waltz into their lair with the most powerful beast in your belly?”

I crossed my arms.  “Because, Kurama and I work together…and they will go after the other tailed beasts first.  I can give you the information and we can figure out a way to defeat them.  We know they have Shukaku and they are going after the others.”

Minato frowned, but he looked at me.  “Have you been in contact with Rouran?”  He eyed me skeptically.

I shook my head no.  I felt vaguely uncomfortable, but shook it off.  Sighing, he stared at me.  “Do you understand what you are doing?  What people will think of you?”

I nodded.  “Hnn.  But…you cannot tell anyone about this, except Itachi and Shisui.  They need to know ; and they will be trustworthy.  Tell them while I am doing it, so they don’t try to kill  me when I leave.  But never tell Naruto or Sasuke.  Itachi and Shisui will understand and stop any type of revenge from Sasuke.”

Minato crossed his arms, eyeing me curiously.  “How can you be so sure?”

“Trust me, Minato-sensei.  Don’t I seem older than my years?”

Minato sat still for several minutes, weighing things in his mind.  Finally, hefrowned but nodded.  “Fine, for the safety of the Leaf.  You will be a true hero that will never be known as such.”  Sadness radiated from his eyes as I bowed and took my leave, after finalizing the details of my massacre.

()()()

As the blood dripped from my gloves as the last Uchiha fell, I sat on my heels.  My head hurt terribly, as one of the Uchiha had gotten me in my left eye, slicing it deeply and making it completely useless.  I had just finished bandaging it up.  Again I am blind in one eye, but no Sharingan to replace it.  Sighing, I took off my hitai-ate and scratched the line through the Leaf insignia, my eyes falling.  As I heard footsteps, I looked up and saw Shisui approach.  “I cannot thank you enough for what you have done.”  Shisui said.   Noticing my state, he frowned.  “You have lost your eye in battle…I need to give you something before you leave, in repayment for your kindness and sacrifice.”

I raised an eyebrow.  Before I could say anything, Shisui came over, activating his Sharingan, I saw Itachi come out of the shadows as well.  Shisui nodded at Itachi.  “Give him my eye…it will help him.”  As Itachi nodded, I braced myself for the pain.

()()()

Pulling my hitai-ate over my now Sharingan eye, I left, creeping up to the tree for one last look at the boy who had my heart.  As I peeked in, I saw Naruto holding the fox I gave him four years ago.  Frowning, I burned that memory in my mind as I turned and left the Leaf, forever.

 

Chapter Text

As I trekked through the wilderness, I wasn’t sure how to “join” the Akatsuki.  Luckily, I knew how to survive on my own, so I just started traveling alone.  I figured that I probably should not walk up and just ask to join…that would seem suspicious.  Seeing a tree suitable for my purposes, I started walking up it.

What the fuck do you mean we will help them catch the tailed beasts?  Kurama sounded absolutely livid.

Yawning as I scaled the tree, I tied myself into it to sleep for the night.  Exactly what I said.  We will help catch them and extract them.  Because, we are going to work on Sasori to help contain the beasts, not eliminate them.  Therefore, we are not killing them, just…relocating them.

Huh?  I swear a smile twitched at my lips.  I could imagine the confusion on Kurama’s face.

Do you really think I would kill your family?

Well, I mean, they aren’t technically my family…but yea, I do feel somewhat protective of them.

Exactly.  As I drifted off to sleep, I rubbed my wrist, missing my sunshine.

()()()

“You…yea, you.  Chi Kira.  They sent me to find you.”  I heard the gravelly voice calling up to me as I looked down impassively.  Staring up at me was the assassin known as Kisame.  His black cloak swayed in the breeze of early morning, the clouds of red glowing in the early morning light.

“Oh?  Why?”  I asked mildly.

“You killed the Uchihas…the Akatsuki wants you to join.”  Kisame flexed his hand, forming a fist, as if he expected me to fight.

“Why would I want to do that?” I asked disinterestedly, climbing down the tree.

“You have no home, no one to rely on.  Join us, have a new family, new people to rely on…a new home.”  Kisame said, almost as if he had memorized a script.

“I’ve never had a family, and have no interest in having one.”  I responded as Kurama grunted in surprise.

“Look, I don’t want to deal with the Boss.  Come back, deal with him, tell him no.  I don’t care.  I just have a job to do and I’m going to do it.”  Kisame sounded as bored as I did. 

Shrugging as I stared disinterestedly at Kisame.  “Why do I care if you have to deal with the boss?”

Kisame sighed.  “We can do this the hard way or the easy way.”

Rolling my eyes, I crossed my arms.  “Fine.  I can listen to what they have to offer.”  Making sure that my gloves were in place, I followed Fishface.

()()()

I kept my anger in check staring at Pain.  I knew what he planned to do, how much pain he inflicted, and I wanted to tear him apart.  However, I knew that Kurama and I would stop his plans and save Naruto and the Leaf, allowing Naruto to live happily.  Therefore, I stared expressionless at Pain as he explained the process and the advantages of joining the Akatsuki.  I knew I couldn’t just leap into the agreement…that would seem suspicious.  Pain stopped.  Raising an eyebrow, he waited in silence for my response.  Silently analyzing Pain, I sniffed.  Crossing my arms, I affected a bored look.  “Seems like too much trouble.  So, thanks, but no thanks.”  Turning I walked out.

I hope you know what the fuck you are doing.

Of course I do.  I’ve studied this Akatsuki membership once before, and have studied and researched what I know in this timeline.  One of two people will be coming.  I left, not looking back.

()()()

As I perched in a tree, eating some fruit and reading, I enjoyed the sunshine.  It had been two days since I rejected the Akatsuki.  I was being followed, that much I knew.  I just was not sure who was following me.  As I kept reading, I heard the soft voice.  “You just refused Pain.  You refused the Akatsuki.  Why?”  Looking down over my book, I saw the redhead.  I was hoping it was him.

“You joined the Akatsuki.  Why?”  I asked in response, refusing to answer.

“There is power in numbers.”  Was the reply.  Raising an eyebrow, I eyed him skeptically.  Sighing, Sasori crossed his arms.  “What do you want?  Everyone wants something.”

Leaping down from the tree, I stood in front of Sasori.  “Why do you seem so interested in my association or lack thereof with the Akatsuki?”

Sasori eyed me.  “You annihilated an entire clan.  Pain wants you.  If I return with you, I will assure my place as a favorite of Pain.” He responded simply.

Eyeing him calculatedly, I shrugged.  “I want to learn about poisons.  I have no desire to be a part of the Akatsuki, but if it will allow me to learn from you, then I will.”  I shrugged.

Sasori eyed me, staring at me with unblinking eyes.  Finally, “Fine.”

Nodding, I followed the puppeteer, agreeing to our unspoken contract.

()()()

I was on guard, as was Kurama.  Somehow, Sasori arranged it to where Deidara became Kisame’s partner, and I became his.  As I moved into the room occupied by Sasori and recently vacated by Deidara, arranging my bare possessions in the dresser on the vacant side of the room, I looked at Sasori.  “Do I even want to know what you did to arrange this?”

Sasori looked up at me from beneath his auburn bangs.  “No.”  Returning his attention to his puppets, he didn’t say anything else.  Shrugging, I lay down on the bed, sleep claiming me.

[Sitting up, I went over to Kurama, who was lying in a bed on his back.  Sitting down on the bed…wait…how did he get a bed in here?

You released the seal; I can get things sometimes, Idiot.

Sniffing indignantly, I eyed the fox.  ‘I see you are in a better mood.’

Chuckling, Kurama nuzzled me.  Seriously, how are you going to keep them from taking me?

‘Ah…I have been working on a jutsu.  In fact, let me use it now…’  As I cast the jutsu, Kurama stared at me. 

What is this going to do?   Kurama was eyeing me warily.  I guess it was a testament to our relationship that he didn’t automatically stop me from casting the jutsu.

‘It will allow you to separate from my body if they try to extract you…killing me, but setting you free.’

Yes, but then they can just control me as I am set free, since they are capturing the beasts…well, at least that is what they have with Shukaku...and our fates are intertwined…so I’ll die when you die.   Kurama pointed out.

‘Not with the jutsu I have created.  If they try to control you, you will actually control them.  A little fuck you, just for them.’  As I finished casting the jutsu, Kurama’s eyes widened in surprise.  Giving a deliciously wicked smile, he curled up. 

I like you evil.   He murmured.  Rolling my eyes, I went to sleep.

()()()

Living in the Akatsuki and being a rogue ninja was not much different from living in the Leaf and being an ANBU.  Missions were given to teams, and they were completed.  The only mission I failed was the first mission I was given.  The Akatsuki believed that I could just sniff out the other beasts.  That I could sense them somehow or something.  Of course, that was not the case.  They wouldn’t believe me though.  When I couldn’t just walk up to Matatabi, they took it as a personal affront, especially Pain.  However, Pain didn’t believe I couldn’t just sniff out demons…many hours, much blood, and several years (it felt like) of genjutsu later, I passed the test.  I never failed a mission after that.

()()()

Five years in the Akatsuki passed quickly.  I had been collecting information for the Leaf, but had never had the opportunity to give information in person.  Minato had given me some scrolls with jutsu on them to relay information back to the Leaf before I left, and I had been doing so.  To say that I missed the Leaf was an understatement.  To say that I missed Naruto was a boldfaced lie.  However, I adjusted to my new life and my permanent bachelor status. 

I hoped Naruto was okay.  I never asked, and was not filled in…actually, I had no updates on the Leaf, and that was probably best.  Waking up early one October day, I yawned.  Slipping on my robes, I walked out with Sasori to see if we had a mission.  Pulling the scroll out of our slot, I read it, raising an eyebrow.  Looking to Sasori, I handed the paper to him.  After reading it, he nodded.  “Are you going to put on a disguise?”  He asked as he grabbed some rations.

I sighed heavily.  “I suppose I will have to.  I can’t waltz into the Leaf looking like myself.  Well, not if I want to go unnoticed.”  Pulling out my disguise, I slipped the wig and contacts on as I changed clothes.  Heading off, neither of us spoke.  As we neared the Leaf to meet up with the spy that was there, I grew apprehensive, though I knew not why.  Frowning at the outskirts, Sasori sat down. 

“I’ll wait for you here.  Can’t really waltz in there in these clothes.”  Sasori noted.  Nodding, I headed in.  I smelled the smells of my long lost home.  As I walked down the streets, I took in the sights.  The Village seemed to be thriving.  Looking up at the cliff face, I saw Minato’s stern expression watching over the Leaf, just as the three previous Hokages were.  Moving on, I suddenly stopped.  Shit, today is Naruto’s birthday.  Walking into a shop, I purchased a few items to waste some time, as it was about fifteen minutes until I was supposed to meet the spy in this store.  As I walked to a shelf, I saw the pale teen come up to me.

Shit, what is Sai doing here.  Oh dear Kami, don’t let Sai be the spy…

“Excuse me, could you hand me the rice?” he said, pointing to a bag just out of his reach.

“Of course.”  I nodded, recognizing the phrase.  As I handed him the rice, I felt the paper slipped in my hand.  Slipping it under my glove, I nodded.

“Thank you…”  Taking the bag of rice to the checkout, Sai left.  As I meandered a bit more, picking up a couple of other items, my mind was troubled with what I just learned.  After grabbing a few more things, I turned and headed out.  The sun was low, and I needed to be going.  However, I stopped at a familiar tree.  Scaling it, I peeked in the familiar bedroom.  Seeing it empty, I slipped in, putting the package on the pillow.  Slipping out, I was ready to leave when I could see the party going on in the backyard.

There seemed to be a big party going on.  There were several villagers and teenagers there.  I saw a big “13” as part of the decorations. Itachi, Sasuke, Shisui, Sakura and Hinata, as well as several other teens and preteens were there.  Then, in the middle, I saw that gorgeous boy who was becoming a young man.  I noticed that Naruto was maturing.  Gone was the innocence in those blue eyes.  He was getting taller and more muscular.  Allowing myself a few minutes, I observed the party.  Naruto was laughing, joy sparkling from his eyes.  Mina and Kushina were there, happy as well.  Hinata handed him a present and hugged him.  As he kissed her gently, I felt the bile rising in my throat.  I saw the script on his wrist that spelled out Hyuuga, Hinata. 

Flash stepping out; I left the roll of sushi for the Hokage with the guards as thanks for the Village’s hospitality.  Inside the rice roll was the latest information I had gathered.  Returning to the Akatsuki, I gave them the paper that Sai gave me.

 Retiring for the night, I tossed and turned.  Inwardly, I was upset.  Sai should never be a spy.  Deep down he was a good kid, he just didn’t have a chance with Danzou leading and shaping him.  That thought was soon pushed out of my head, as all I could see was Naruto’s wrist, the heiress’s name on it and him giving her a gentle kiss.

()()()

Rubbing my face, I heard the banging on my door.  “Coming.”  I grumbled, crawling out from underneath Konan’s arm.  As the lavender haired woman mumbled, I threw the covers over her head.  “You were much more of a morning person before we moved in together.”  I teased, slipping my mask on.  No one in the Akatsuki, save Sasori before he died, and now Konan, knew what I looked like without my mask.

“You have another mission.  It seems that you have someone chasing you, you need to stop them.”  Deidara stated, avoiding my state of undress.  Yawning, I ran my fingers through my hair.

“Do we know who is after me and why?”

“Uzumaki, Naruto.  He wants to bring the traitor home, and let justice be done.”  Deidara responded.  “Pain wants you to bring him back here.  He’ll be quite a font of information, and a valuable hostage.”


Chapter Text

Flash stepping from tree to tree; I tried to figure out a way to deal with this situation.  I couldn’t let Naruto capture me, but I couldn’t take Naruto back with me.  My stomach tied itself into a knot at knowing that I was going to be face to face with Naruto soon.  I knew what I had done was for the best.  The first two years were the hardest away from Naruto.  Then, eventually, the wound I had opened at seeing Naruto had healed over.  However, when I went on that mission to the Leaf and saw him again, it had been ripped open again, my soul aching.  Over the past five years, the wound had healed again, especially since I was able to convince myself that I would not see him again.  To help avoid the loneliness, I started dating Konan.  The sex was okay…it was better than my hand. 

You always picture blonde hair and blue eyes.

Shut the fuck up.  Returning my attention to the mission at hand, I again tried to work on a solution.  Luckily, I was able to convince Pain to allow me to go myself.  I told him that with Naruto being so young, it would not be a problem for me and we didn’t need to waste resources.  Pain needed Konan on something else anyways, so I lucked out.  After two days of searching for Uzumaki, my nervousness grew.  I kept feeling his chakra signature draw closer moment by moment.  My mouth was suddenly very, very dry; I came upon Naruto, hiding myself like a chicken in the upper branches of a tree as he camped out for the evening    As I saw the small fire crackling, I looked down on the only person who ever had my heart.  Excruciating pain welled up in me as I swallowed the lump in my throat.  I noticed that he was gorgeous.  He was muscular and lean, his face still with that same innocent yet determined look about it.  Naruto was seventeen now, as it wasn’t October yet.  As he rolled up his sleeves, I saw that hated mark on his wrist with Hinata’s name.  Frowning, I felt my eye twitch.  Suddenly, I noticed that he stopped cooking his meat and was looking up.

“I’m learning chakra signature.  I know you are here.  Show yourself.”  Naruto demanded his voice strong and steady.

“You need to leave.  You are meddling in things you cannot control nor overpower.”  I responded calmly…well, my clone responded calmly from a tree six trees away.  Just like I figured, Naruto looked towards the clone.  It was really quite sad.  He was so talented…why would he allow his guard to drop so?

“Whatever you’ve done Kakashi…it needs to be dealt with.  Justice needs to be served.  You were once one of the best ANBU the Leaf ever had.  I don’t know what happened to make you commit such atrocious and dishonorable acts, but you need to face the repercussions of your actions.”  I noted that he was at least looking around…he was at least suspicious, which was good.

“Go home, Naruto.  The Akatsuki wants you...and I guarantee you do not want them.”  I said as I landed behind Naruto, him whirling around to face me.  I did notice the shadow clones hiding in the shadows, prepared and ready to attack, so I was pleased he was more prepared than he appeared.

“Hatake Kakashi.”  Naruto said.  My name sounded delectable coming off his lips.  “Or should I call you Chi Kira…Blood Assassin?” he asked, his head cocked, his eyes angry and hard.

I looked at him indifferently, even though all I wanted to do was grab him, hold him, and never let him go.  “Whichever you prefer.”  I responded coolly.  Anger flashed through his eyes.

“We can do this the easy way or the hard way.”  He said, cracking his knuckles.

“You cannot possibly expect to beat me by yourself…Chi Kira…Assassin of the Uchiha clan…jinchurriki of the Nine Tails?”  I asked calmly.  That was when I saw his eye twitch.

“I don’t just believe it…I know it.”  Naruto said, the bravado I was so used to hearing in his voice.

Sniffing in boredom, I eyed him.  “Why do you want me so badly that you would risk your soulmate for it?”

That did it.  He stiffened.  “What do you mean?”

I raised an eyebrow and nodded at his bare wrist.  “Her name is on your wrist.  The heiress.  I could go and eradicate her as punishment for your transgression.”

Naruto paled.  “You wouldn’t.”  I could see that his knuckles were white, the anger thrumming through him.

“Why wouldn’t I?” I asked disinterestedly.  “I am the monster everyone makes me out to be…so what would a little Hyuuga blood do for me?  It certainly wouldn’t stain my crimson conscience…it would rather blend right in.”

Kurama, please…stop laughing.  This is not humorous.  It was taking everything in my power to stay away from Naruto.  I was starting to physically ache with the desire to touch him.

I…I am sorry…but that comment was funny.  Rolling my eyes, I ignored the fox.

“I have done nothing to you, and neither has she.  You were the one to kill all those people.  You killed my best friend’s entire clan, save for him, his brother and his brother’s best friend.  It was good they were out of the village when you launched your attack.  You deserve to face the repercussions of his actions.  If you spill one drop of her blood…I.  Will.  Kill.  You.”  Naruto finished, his eyes set with determination.

Sighing quietly, restraining from rolling my eyes, I assumed my stance.  “If you’re not going to listen to reason, I suppose I will just have to kill you.”

Naruto smirked…that cocky smirk I loved so much.  As his clones rushed out, I had Kurama cloak me.  As we started fighting, I knew I wouldn’t kill him…but I had to incapacitate him.

()()()

Naruto had been training well.  His fighting skills were impeccable.  Thirty-three minutes into the fight, we were both still standing, my Sharingan activated as well as my Chidori, still in my fox cloak.  Naruto was bleeding, cuts on his face.  My left arm was broken, but sheer willpower was making it move.  Bringing my lightning blade down at his arm, he moved last second and I basically shaved a part of his hair off, as I pulled back as well, not wanting to decapitate him.  That is when I saw it.

I kept smoothing Naruto’s hair.  Frowning, I felt a bump on his head, near the crown.  Suddenly, I heard Kushina behind me.  “Birthmark.”  She whispered.  Looking up, I nodded as she was standing there, eyeing her son with love.  Standing, I moved to the window, the silvery moonlight bathing the room in its glow.  “Kakashi…” her eyes seemed to glow in the dark as she hesitated.  I looked at her, raising an eyebrow.  “I…thank you for your dedication to our son.  I feel so much safer with you watching over him.”  Swallowing thickly, I simply nodded as I escaped out into the cool night air, not hearing anything else she had to say.

The sword wound that would have caused massive brain injury, but instead only ended up with Naruto having a haircut exposed the birthmark.  The birthmark Kushina was talking about and I ran away from before she could finish explaining.  The birthmark I had felt but didn’t recognize.  The birthmark…I finally saw the birthmark for the first time…slightly raised skin with blackened letters that spelled out Hatake, Kakashi.

Dropping to my knees, my shoulders sagged.  Damnit.  Why?  What have I done to anger the gods so?  After a few moments, “Hatake Kakashi, Chi Kira, I am taking you back to the Leaf Village to pay for your crimes.”  I heard Naruto say from above me.  As he grabbed my wrists to shackle them, I gave no resistance.  I was pretty much done.  Nothing I did kept me away from him.  Somehow, my glove was caught on a shackle; exposing my wrist…I realized that it also exposed his name.  As he froze, I looked up and saw blue eyes staring at me.  “What is this?” he asked his voice grave.

“My élan vital mark.”  I stated flatly.  “It seems you have two soulmates.” 

Naruto looked at me, confusion wrinkling his brow.  “Two?”

“Your birthmark on your head has my name on it.  Then you have the Hyuuga’s on your wrist.”  My eyes were lifeless, if there was any reflection of my inner feeling.  While I may have been upset that I wasn’t Naruto’s soulmate, I knew it was for the best.  Now, knowing I was, it somehow seemed more unfair.  Everything I did was to ensure Naruto’s safety.  Somehow, I always fucked shit up.

Naruto called two shadow clones over to examine his head to determine that I was telling the truth.  As he sat in confusion, his clone finishing shackling me.  As another of his clones put out the fire, the real Naruto started leading me back to the Leaf.

After a while, anger welled up in me.  This is such fucking bullshit.

Why do you say that?  Kurama seemed genuinely concerned.

Everything I do is for Naruto.  And somehow, I just keep getting fucked.  I was okay when Hinata was his soulmate and I wasn’t.  Because, at least I knew that there was no way I could be with him, and I knew he was safe.  But now…  I didn’t know how to finish what I was feeling.  I couldn’t put it into words.

Well, Naruto hates you for killing the Uchihas, so you still can’t have him.  Kurama tried to point out helpfully.  I bit my lip so hard on the inside it started to bleed.  Kurama went on…However; it does seem that Fate hates you.  The farther you run from Naruto, the closer Fate brings you.