Kitsune no Tsuki – Arc 1: Ch 07-09

Title: Kitsune no Tsuki
Author: Silver Dragonfly
Fandom: Naruto x Sailor Moon
Genre: General, Drama, Alternate Universe
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Canon Character Death, Canon Level Violence
Words: 16,791

Summary: During peace talks hosted by Konohagakure between The Golden Kingdom and The Silver Moon Kingdom, Namikaze Minato fell in love. Nine months later his children were born, and due to the politics, logistics, and the secrecy of their relationship, the newborn twins were separated. One each remained with each parent. Twelve years later, the estranged twins are meeting for the first time.

Chapter 7

Moonlight cast long shadows as the moon was just beginning its climb across the night sky over the mostly quiet village. The faint breeze teased blood red hair as it slipped past an open window and its occupant perched on the sill. A small dark form flitted from shadow to shadow, attracting the attention of pale green-blue eyes ringed with dark shadows. The owner or the eyes held still paying the shadow little attention until a brief glint of gold caught his full attention. The red headed boy rose, ignoring the gazes of his teammates, he leapt out of the window without a word and vanished into the shadows. He sensed her watch him go but paid it no mind, she would not stop him. None of them would.

He followed the small dark shadow with the glint of gold, half considering letting his sand take it, but no, this one belonged to the moon’s daughter. He would not do something to upset Her. He followed silently. It was in another shadow of a warehouse building that he saw Her waiting and he slowed slightly not wanting to alarm. Within him the voice both stilled and swelled as its focus on her filled his mind.

“Are you ready?” The golden-haired girl asked, her blue eyes calm but sincere.

He nodded.

“There will be others with us, they are here for both your and my protection. I must ask for your sworn word that you will not harm them tonight.” She stated.

The red head considered, but the voice inside of him urged to trust her… it had never done this for anyone before. “You have my word.”

She smiled and turned to lead him into the building.

He tensed as he spotted the group of people inside. Four other girls, all whom he recognized from the exam, they all smiled but he could sense they were nervous, not scared. Four adults were also present, including the Hokage himself, and he felt a twinge of something dark inside him move, but the sand remained silent in its gourd. He took in the maze of seal work on the open floor space and the walls around them.

“Hey Asshole.” A familiar voice spoke, the other Uzumaki. “You hurt my sister and you’ll regret it.”

The redhead considered his words. Perhaps that explained the odd hate and longing feeling that poured through him in the boy’s presence. The voice within seemed to both scream for this one’s blood and then fear it, but if he did have a relation to Her, and there was something else about the boy… He did not bother to respond however and instead just turned to where She stood waiting in the center of the seal laid out on the floor.

“If it is all right Gaara-san, Jiraiya-san would like to examine your seal before we begin. It is a precaution only.”

The red heads gaze narrowed as one of the other adults stepped forward and he sensed the sand begin to swirl in agitation, the adult waited, and he reined in the sand making it still once more. “Very well,” he answered and seated himself in the center of the seal work. The white-haired man that had been identified as Jiraiya approached and nodded to the boy.

“Can you show me your seal?” Jiraiya asked.

“I do not believe the seal has ever been visible.” Gaara replied after a moment of thought.

“How old were you when the bijuu was sealed in you?” He asked.

Gaara stared, but then spoke as his eyes glanced to the Uzumaki boy and then Her. “Before I left the womb, I am told that I killed the woman who carried me.”

“Well, that explains a few things. The bijuu’s consciousness has likely blended with yours all your life. When Usagi-chan is done I may be able to help with that so you will at least be able to separate your own thoughts from the bijuu’s. However, it will be a temporary seal. It will take more time and preparation then we have right now to make a more permanent seal.” The older shinobi explained, then stepped away heading to the entrance where he began to close several of the unfinished seals marking the floor and walls.

Gaara said nothing, his attention staying focused on Her.

She motioned for her brother to join her as she sat just behind and to his right, and her brother then took a similar position to his back and the left. The three of them formed a triangular circle around the gourd at his back. Gaara noted absently as the other four girls took seats in four cardinal positions around them. And then as two felines also took positions on opposite sides of the circle being formed around him, by this point power had begun to fill the area and he felt a calm settle as it flowed over him.

He blinked in surprise as he found himself standing in a dark cavern. Sand covered the floor and poured from unknown places on the walls. Directly in front of him sat a tanuki, its fur covered with dark blood red markings. Gaara met its gaze, and in its eyes, he felt as if he looked in a mirror.

“Ichibi, once known as Shukaku, I am pleased to meet you.” Her voice spoke as she came to stand beside Gaara. Her brother appeared at his other side and for once remained silent. The raccoon dog only watched, a longing sadness filling its gaze, but it remained sitting and silent, though its tail twitched occasionally. “Naruto-nii, put your hand on my shoulder please. Gaara, if you would take my hand?” She asked and turned to the red headed boy who stood as still as the Ichibi. But then he did as asked, and she offered a handout to the waiting tanuki.

No sooner had its paw touched her fingers than power flowed, and it was as if the silver moon itself was the cavern walls and ceiling. Sand that had been dark brown and nearly black or red with old blood began to lighten until sand so pure it was white poured down into the cavern and slowly spread its purity across the floor.

On Shukaku himself the dark red in his markings began to fade and then brighten into a dark shade of blue, its fur so dark before began to lighten to a tawny brown.

It seemed both forever, and no time at all and the power faded.

She seemed to wilt a little as her brother caught her gently and kept her on her feet. A faint silver glow seems to cling to them both as Gaara took a deep breath and then blinked weariness that he had never quite felt before slipping up on him. The last thing he remembered was her soft smile and voice telling him to rest.

Usagi blinked as she came out of trance and then turned to see Gaara slumped over and in a deep sleep.

She sensed more than saw her senshi and guardians release the barriers they had held and turned to face Jiraiya as he approached. “It went very well. He is safely asleep.”

Jiraiya nodded and then deftly laid the sleeping red head on his back and then adjusted his clothing, so he had access to the boy’s chest a brush and ink soon at hand. Usagi and Naruto both watched as the Toad Sage painted quickly and with precise strokes creating a mark that almost seemed a slightly less detailed miniature of the one that was hidden on Naruto’s stomach. Then he was done and muttered a few words too quickly for them to catch. The ink glowed and then faded into the boy’s skin.

Jiraiya studied his work for a moment more and then nodded. “That should do it until a more permanent seal can be applied.” He then turned to Usagi. “You should wake him; we can’t just deliver him to his teammates like this.”

Usagi frowned for a moment then nodded. She reached a handout to the slumbering boys’ shoulder and called his name adding just a touch of power to her call as she knew normal methods would not wake him.

He blinked slowly and then met her gaze. “You have to walk yourself back home to your team Gaara-san. They wouldn’t take kindly to us carrying you there.”

The red head stared blankly a moment then nodded as he imagined the panic such a thing would cause with his siblings and supposed sensei. He looked surprised as a hand appeared in front of his gaze. He followed it up to the one known as Uzumaki Naruto who smiled. Slowly he took the offered hand and let the blonde help him to his feet. Then he felt it, the connection that bound the bijuu Shukaku to the bijuu Kyubbi, and he felt something more… as if no matter what this boy would understand. He closed his eyes and then stepped away, a bit overwhelmed, but unwilling to show it.

He moved toward the doorway silent, before exiting he paused. “Thank you,” and then vanished into the night.


Sasuke groaned slightly as he settled himself to rest for the night, his eyes immediately landing on the sight of the still nearly fully moon. ‘Not revenge… It is the safety of my people I desire…’  Her voice still echoed in his mind. ‘There is always hope if you wish for it…’ Could he really believe her? Could he hope? After all he had no people, he was no prince of some magical kingdom. He was a shinobi and one of the last Uchiha. His people were all dead. His thoughts were interrupted as his sensei sat down near him.

“You seem to have a lot on your mind these days Sasuke. Whatever it is, it is distracting you from training.” Kakashi stated.

Sasuke frowned. He did not like talking to others about what had happened with his clan. For so long he had kept himself focused on just getting stronger, on seeking revenge on his brother. But his sensei was right, he was distracted.

“Kakashi-sensei… do you have hope?” Sasuke finally asked.

His sensei almost seemed surprised by the question, and then he smiled. “Ah. I do. I have many hopes for you and your teammates as well as Konoha’s future.” The silver haired jounin glanced at his student. “Do you not have any hopes, Sasuke?”

The raven-haired boy frowned. “I don’t know. She said… I mean… He left me with no one to protect…”

Kakashi felt a smile tugging at his lips. “Ne Sasuke, the Uchiha were only a small part of all of Konoha. While most of that clan is gone, you are a shinobi of Konoha. This means that you are in fact part of the entire clan that is all the people of Konoha. While it is true that you were left with no blood kin in the village after that day, you still have a whole village of people.”

Sasuke frowned as he thought of the people of the village, and all the looks of pity. All they seemed to care about was his name, not him.

“Once… I used to hate the idea of teamwork.” Kakashi said softly. “When I was assigned to a genin squad, I was already a chuunin. I thought my teammates would only hold me back. It was one of your late kinsmen who taught me otherwise, though the lesson cost his life. My greatest hope for you Sasuke, is that you will not have to learn that lesson with the same cost I did.” With those final words the Jounin vanished, leaving his student to his own thoughts.

Sasuke stared at the place his sensei had sat before slowly turning his gaze back to the moon. ‘…seek revenge? Or to protect…’ her voice echoed once more. His mind drifted to their mission in wave and the shinobi he had faced there. Naruto had told them later, how he had met the shinobi in the forest before that battle and what he had said to him. ‘Do you have something precious to protect? True strength comes from protecting those who are precious to us…’ 

He had not seen what Naruto had done after he had fallen, but he had heard about it from Sakura. Did Naruto consider him someone precious? He then though of the events during the second exam, and the way Naruto had faced the giant snakes, the strength he had shown that Sasuke had never expected possible of the blonde. Had he truly gained that strength because he was protecting those precious to him?

‘There is always hope…’


Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Sandaime Hokage, a shinobi renowned as ‘The Professor,’ and sensei to the Legendary three Sanin found himself more and more often staring out the windows of his office overlooking the sprawling village of Konoha. His heart clenched as he considered all that had happened in recent years, and what was still likely to come. He had a very bad feeling about the upcoming final matches of the chuunin selection exam. His former pupil’s reappearance and interference with the second chunnin exam had set the stage for potential mayhem and disaster. It was uncanny fortune that Uzumaki Usagi had been present at the tower and able to undo the curse seal on Sasuke before it fully took root. Something that had no doubt vexed his student though Sarutobi had taken great care to make sure that the identity of the healer remained even more hidden than the fact that Sasuke had even received such a mark. Unfortunately, this meant that although the healer in question deserved promotion for what she had accomplished, he would be unable to award that promotion, at least publicly for now. His mind then drifted to the rest of the chuunin hopefuls and the upcoming final evaluations.

He found himself wondering once more just what his former student was planning and hoping that he was able to put enough into countering it ahead of time. He was tired. Tired and old, he could only hope now that his experience would outweigh the weakness of his age. It was not the first time that he found himself lamenting the fact that he had not had the required skill to take the Yondaime’s place in the sealing of the Kyuubi. Being Kage of a village was a job for those of younger years than he had.

Then there was the council. Ever since the Yondaime’s death the civilian council had been trying to slowly give itself more power and he was sad to admit even to himself that they had been in part successful. To ensure Naruto’s safety he had made some bargains, at the time trying to make the whole situation easier for all involved. Those bargains were starting to show fangs. Danzo was still very active in trying to undermine him and gain his own support as well. His old rival… he and Orochimaru were Sarutobi’s greatest shame and regret. At least he had a chance of correcting that mistake with Orochimaru if his student was planning what he thought he was. Sarutobi only hoped that it would be enough. He hoped his other two students would forgive him.


Teal green eyes stared at the starlit sky and its waning moon, it had been only days since he had allowed those of the Leaf to try to heal his spirit and the creature he contained. He had never been so at peace with himself, not even when he had been giving into the crazed voice’s demands and colored the sand red. It was a welcome feeling and one he hoped would become more permanent. He could tell his tenant enjoyed the change as well. However, the edge of the madness was still there but felt like it was buried deep in the sand and very distant.

Movement caught his attention as the only genin from Otogakure to make it past the preliminary matches landed on the roof across from him. Gaara stared at him coldly but did not bother to speak.

The sound genin chuckled, “I will defeat you here, then I will be the one to face the Uchiha.”

Gaara just stared at him, was he really that stupid? It seemed he was, as the genin then charged forward a kunai in hand. He made it 3 steps before the sand swallowed him whole. “You are not worth my time.” Gaara stated and then the sand shifted, and a muffled scream was silenced almost before it began. Red. The sand was turning red. Gaara’s eyes widened, and his hands tightened into fists. RED it was all turning RED!


Naruto’s eyes snapped open as a low rumble coursed through his body vibrating his very bones. His eyes quickly focused and settled on white fangs and glowing ember eyes surrounded by red fur. Energy crackled around the caged fox behind bars as he laid tense in a crouch as if he’d spring at any moment. Naruto’s eyes widened in surprise; he had never seen the fox in such a state. Lashing tails caught his attention and if possible, his eyes widened further. The silver fur was bleeding red, particularly on the eighth tail, the one that had turned about half silver after the session with Gaara. Something had apparently gone wrong, very wrong.

“Kyu! What happened?!” Naruto asked as he climbed to his feet, almost stumbling as the fox let loose another vibrating growl. Naruto frowned; this was definitely not good. Naruto jumped sideways as a claw lashed out between bars before the seal on the bars glowed and the fox howled in pain. His mind frantically tried to remember what it was his sister had done before. Of course, the fox hadn’t been raging when she’d tried to heal it. He dodged another claw and cursed. “Damn it Kyu, I’m trying to help!” he yelled rolling back to his feet.

The fox seemed to laugh harshly. “The only help you can give me boy is to DIE!” The fox howled.

Naruto froze as the fox’s tail that slipped through the bars to lash into his back. The fox yelped as a shimmering silver glimmer appeared between his tail and the blonde-haired boy. Naruto turned slowly; his blue eyes intense as he met the angry red stare of the fox. “You hate life so much you want to die now Kyubbi? Have you truly fallen that low? We have both suffered through hell, and now you suddenly want to call it quits?! Did you forget who I am!?!” Naruto’s voice ended in a shout silvery blue waves of power flowing off him. “I. Will. Never. Give. Up!” He shouted punctuating each word and the silver blue waves of power rushed forward into the cage melting the demonic red energy before it.

The red fox howled as silver fur began to grow in random patches the very strands themselves seeming to struggle against each other. Red to silver, silver to red, back, and forth, back, and forth. The greatest of struggles and shifts however was localized to the location of the first of the nine tails the fox displayed.

Naruto’s focus narrowed in, and the struggle focused there. This is bad, that is the tail that turned mostly silver after the session with Gaara. Does this mean something happened to him and his demon? His mind raced as he struggled with the different energies. Come on Kyu! I won’t let you fall to darkness now!

With a sudden great burst of silvery blue, the red energy faded leaving a large panting fox groaning as it laid unable to move.

Naruto grinned as he studied the now pure silver tail. It was even better now than it had been before. “I won’t give up Kyu, and I won’t let you either.”

One great gold and red flecked eye looked at him wearily.

“So, want to tell just what happened?” Naruto then asked as he settled himself on the ground. That had taken a lot of energy out of him, and he was starting to feel it as well.

The large fox took a slow breath, as much to buy himself time as anything else. After all, breathing was not necessary when you did not have a physical form. “Anger, Pain, Hatred all so overwhelming there was nothing else.”                

Naruto looked down at his lap at the fox’s words. He knew anger and pain, and something of hatred too though more as the recipient of it than the one feeling it. They were dark feelings and more than once when he was younger, he knew he’d been closed to losing himself to those feelings. “Oi Kyu, you’ll always have me. I may not know all your pain, but we’ve suffered through a lot together. The only way you will ever be left alone to face those things again is if they kill us both, and that’s a promise!” Naruto stated, his eyes snapping up to meet the foxes as he issued his promise.

The fox gave a grin in reply and wondered to himself if the boy had any real idea how likely it was that they truly never would be separated. Naruto had more than a fair share of Lunarian blood in him and the Lunarian lifeline… particularly with royal blood? Speaking of which, “Oi Naruto you should practice controlling that silver energy you were using. It is separate from your normal chakra but very similar.”

Naruto frowned slightly as he thought back to the energy that he had been using to help the fox. It had felt so right at the time, but now he could only barely sense that it was there. He would definitely have to work on it though. Before he could say anything further to the fox, he felt himself pulled away as he blinked open his eyes to the sight of the white walls and ceiling of a hospital room.

“Oi Naruto, you like making people worry about you or what?” a familiar voice asked.

Naruto turned his head slightly and blinked in surprise, “Shikamaru?”

His former classmate grinned. “I was visiting Chouji and decided to stop in here for a while as well. You realize that you have been out for 3 days? The finals are tomorrow.”

“Eh!?!” Naruto shouted as he bolted upright.

“So, what happened to you anyways, from what I heard you were found lying unconscious just outside the hospital front doors. Your sister just about flipped.”

Naruto scratched his head as he tried to remember what had happened. Oh yeah… Ero-Sennin had thrown him into that ravine and then there had been that big toad… and then the Kyuubi. Naruto flashed Shikamaru a big grin before answering, “Training.”

The lazy genius sighed and shook his head. He should have expected as much.

Chapter 8

Hino Rei, genin of Konohagakure, student of Mitarashi Anko, this is who most of the shinobi society recognized her as. She was in fact also a princess of the Martian royal line, a member of the Moon Princess’s inner court, which in turn noted her position as sailor senshi of Mars; however even without all of that, she was still something more. A priestess of the sacred flame, and this was no honorary position amongst the Martian religious sect; no, she was a gifted priestess in her own right. What did this mean in terms of her current position? Nothing outwardly, inwardly though, she could sense auras and intent. Now this had almost been a handicap for her when they had first arrived in the village hidden in the leaves, as shinobi threw around killer intent like it was a friendly hug. Yet this killer intent rarely went as deep as the shinobi’s aura, especially within the village. So, it was completely understandable, when you took these things into consideration, that she was incredibly cranky the morning of the Chunnin Final Exams. After all, the sheer amount of aura’s shaded with intent to do violence and cause harm was way out of proportion with what the Martian priestess had thought to expect.

It seemed she had been reading the auras of various leaf shinobi correctly the past few days. Something that had not been originally planned for was now expected. Tensions were high, and even the most seasoned shinobi were hiding nervous tension in their auras. Something that, had she not had her particular skill for sensing, she never would have suspected, and would not have known to prepare for. She did though, and so after she had yelled at Usagi for oversleeping, which lead to yelling at Naruto for also oversleeping, and then at Minako for taking too long in the bathroom, she made a point of passing on the information that something was going to happen before the day was over, something big.

The five other genin had looked at one another, a chord of seriousness struck, and then forgotten as Usagi stole a piece of toast off her plate and more normal morning banter continued. The group had planned to all head to the arena together, with plans to pick up Sakura and Hinata along the way. Once there, the group would end up splitting up, of course, as Naruto and Minako were the only ones competing, Usagi and Ami had been requested to join the on-duty medic teams, and the rest of them would be finding seats in the stands. Rei also hoped to find their sensei before the matches started so she could pass her warnings on to her as well.

When Rei had first explained what it was, she sensed on a daily basis, Anko had been skeptic. Rei had then rattled off several things about her sensei that she had been able to pick up from her aura alone, things that were not obvious parts of her character. Anko had pinned her to a tree with another kunai at her throat after that, but the point had been made for both of them. Anko took her seriously when she told her about something she had detected, and Rei did not go about revealing secrets she had no right knowing. This last part had not really bothered Rei as it was, in fact, something of a moral quandary among the Martian priestess’ to begin with.

In the meantime, though “Whiskers! Mina-chan! Usa-chan! HURRY UP!! You are going to be late!”


Anko sometimes wondered if she should have refused the request to become a jounin sensei. She liked her genin squad, but they seemed to have a particular knack for uncovering complications. The most recent of these complications was a warning, or premonition if you wish, from her raven-haired spit fire, Red. She had learned to give the girl’s intuition some serious consideration and to not ignore what she had to say. So, when Rei had approached her outside the stadium before they went into find seats, she had suspected she wouldn’t like what she was about to hear.

“Enemy nin in the village,” was what her student had said. Anko had frowned at that, after all this was the day of the finals and there was all sorts of foreign traffic, which included shinobi. Her student had anticipated her skepticism though as she had elaborated.

“There are hundreds of auras shadowed with plans of violence, and killer intent. They are not all in the village but are nearby.”

Anko had cursed and then shooed her genin off to join her friends as she then considered her next course of action. Her student had confirmed one of the possible scenarios they had thought her old sensei may be planning, an invasion. Unfortunately, this confirmation came nearly too late to do any real good, but not completely. They had made several contingency plans after all.

Anko snagged a nearby chunnin she recognized, doing a quick genjutsu check in the process. “I need you to deliver a message to the academy immediately.”

The chunnin frowned, “But the matches…”

Anko held a kunai to his neck, “Are more important than a superior’s order?”

The chunnin shook his head quickly.

“Good, find Umino Iruka and give him this message,” Anko stated and then leaned forward to whisper in his ear, “Snakes are in the guarded nest.

The chunnin nodded and then took off. Anko smirked, and then went off to find one of the ANBU hidden amongst the crowd. It was too late to notify the Hokage personally, but she would get word to as much of the rest of the staff as needed. Iruka would see to it the civilian population evacuation plan went into effect when all hell began to break loose.


Hiruzen Sarutobi was not surprised by many things. He was, after all, old for a shinobi, something that was an indicator of his experience and skill. This included expecting the unexpected, or at least not being so surprised when unexpected things happened. For example, the fact that the Kazekage who sat to his left was in fact an imposter didn’t surprise him. Though he did have to admit to the fact that he found the move for his former student to impersonate the Yondaime Kazekage rather bold and perhaps even foolhardy, however, his former student had always been prone to a bit of overconfidence and arrogance. Much like the young Hyuuga boy, who was even now being assisted out of the arena after a very thorough defeat by the hands of one Uzumaki Naruto.

The match off between the Hyuuga prodigy and Konohagakure’s number one most surprising shinobi had been impressive. Both of the young teens had demonstrated extraordinary skill and talent. He had believed that his favorite blonde genin had lost when Neji completed his divination technique. That is when he had been surprised, despite his own experience with the blonde boy. Naruto had in fact re-opened his tenketsu, now this in itself wasn’t as unexpected as it could have been. It was the fact that Sarutobi was sure he had drawn on the Kyuubi’s charka, but it had not felt demonic… it had been pure, warm, calming… everything that he remembered the fox’s chakra was not. It was at that moment he gained a new respect for the orphaned twins and the powers they seemed to share. For he was certain that their unique ancestry and the ritual he had allowed to take place was responsible for this unexpected turn of events.

“That was, most unusual.” The charlatan to his left spoke.

The Third inwardly grimaced, but made no visible reaction, “Ah yes, Uzumaki-san seems to have a knack for the unexpected.”

Before anything more could be said a jounin stepped up next to the Hokage and crouched at his side, “Hokage-sama, Uchiha-san has not arrived yet for his match. Genma-san would like your confirmation to disqualify him.” He spoke softly.

“Uchiha-san is late? A pity, I was greatly looking forward to his match against my son Gaara.” The imposter then spoke.

It was almost enough to make Sarutobi want to grind his teeth. However, he did not want to tip the scales on whatever his former student’s scheme was just yet.

“Well, I suppose we can delay the match to the end of the first round. If Uchiha Sasuke has still not arrived by that time he will have to be disqualified.” Sarutobi answered.

He could literally feel the smirk coming from the false Kazekage at his words.

“Very well Hokage-sama.” The jounin replied before vanishing.

The fourth Kazekage of Sunagakure, the hidden village of the country of wind, was in fact dead. This however was not a widely known fact, as it had been a very private affair with no amount of ceremony afterwards, not even a cremation. The man currently wearing the robes of the Kazekage however was currently seething. From the moment he had taken his seat next to the Sandaime Hokage, things had not gone quite according to his plan. He had not been able to keep all four of his guard as close as he would have liked, each Kage only being allowed two guides within their seating area. Then there was the fact that he had the nagging suspicion that the old Monkey Sarutobi suspected who he really was. And now, Sasuke-kun was late. He blamed that damn Hatake brat.

It was fortunate that the old monkey had agreed to the subtle request to postpone the match, he really wanted to see how Sasuke-kun dealt with the unstable Gaara. He frowned inwardly for a moment, though this could cause further complications if any of the Suna or Oto shinobi that were awaiting his signal blew it before then. He inwardly grimaced as he heard the announcement that Kankuro, one of the late Kazekage’s children forfeited his match without even entering the arena. What was the point in that? Did he think his skills so important to the invasion that he didn’t want to risk the match now that the timetable had been adjusted?

“A pity Kazekage-san, I was looking forward to seeing more of your son’s puppet skills. Skilled users in such arts are so rare after all.” The old monkey said in his oh so courteous tone.

Orochimaru seethed but refused to give the old man any sort of satisfaction in his subtle jibe. “Ah. I am sure he had his reasons.” He answered.

“Of course.” The third responded.

No further commentary was made however as the participants for the next match entered the arena and Orochimaru relaxed a fraction as the Kazekage’s brat daughter entered the arena, he had half feared she would follow her fool of a brother’s lead and forfeit her own match as well. Apparently, she had more brains than her brother after all. He let his mind wander back to Sasuke at this point as he wondered not for the first time just what it was, they had managed to do with the curse seal he had blessed the boy with. He had known the instant that the seal’s influence had been completely blocked before the preliminary matches had even ended. He had seen the seal that the scarecrow Hatake had used and had known that it would not be enough to really interfere. What had the third kept hidden up his sleeve that could deal with his curse seal?

He had seen Sasuke himself at the end of the preliminary matches when the boy had returned with one of the genin med-nin. When had that program started anyways? Kabuto’s information network had some very large holes in it. He’d have to remember to question his own silver haired worm about that later. Such lapses were not acceptable. Sasuke had seemed worn out but there had been no sense of his seal. He had even very subtly reached out to it and seen Anko flinch ever so slightly, but the Uchiha hadn’t even twitched. Now to add insult to injury, the Uchiha was late, and He was beginning to wonder if he would show at all or if his watchdogs would keep him away and guarded. No matter, the Uchiha was not his main concern today after all. No, that honor was reserved for the old monkey.

His attention was brought back to the current match as the Nara boy managed to snag the wind brat in his shadow jutsu. Keh, it figured she would fail here. Gaara was really the only one of any potential out of the entire Sand lot. Well, that was that, and the Uchiha still has not arrived. He supposed he would just have to wait and see if the Uzumaki boy would give Gaara any sort of a real fight or not. Then he saw a brief flurry of leaves in the arena leaving behind two figures and smirked, seems he would get to see the Uchiha face off with Gaara after all.


Gaara’s eyes stared forward with intensity as he arrived on the arena floor. Uchiha or Uzumaki, he didn’t care which, but he wanted blood to paint the arena red. Everything in him screamed for it. He had felt this extreme urge to make everything red ever since that night on the roof. The numerous wildlife and random sound shinobi he had come across in the last few days had done nothing to sate this desire. He felt a twinge of glee as the Uchiha appeared before him. Oh yes, this one would do nicely, then he sensed it… it was there barely… this one had been touched by HER! Oh, he would pay for that.

No sooner had this thought passed through the red headed boys mind than the match began.

Up in the stands violet eyes watched the fight below with avid intensity. Rei’s hands clenched in fists as the first blows were exchanged. This was bad. This was very bad. She had been on edge for at least the last 24 hours with all the dark intention laced auras she had been feeling, so many that there was no hope in blocking them out or ignoring them. But now this was a whole different level. She had sensed Sabaku no Gaara’s aura after his session with Usagi, he had been stable, centered, at peace. Whatever had happened in the last few days had completely undone any good Usagi had managed. The boy was now practically unhinged as anger and hatred completely clouded his aura. “Watch yourself Ducky!” She hissed out after another exchange. She only hoped the raven-haired member of Team Kakashi could sense himself that something was very wrong.

“What is it Rei?” Makoto asked from her right. Rei didn’t take her eyes off the fight below and wished that their group wasn’t so split up. Ami and Usagi were both in the medic wings, their sensei had not reappeared after she had passed her warning earlier. Minako was in the competitor’s box which only left some of the other rookie genin team members seated near them in the stands. Though she absently noted that both Kakashi and Maito Gai were not far from them either, had Kakashi or Gai received news from Anko though? She had no way of knowing.

“Rei?” Makoto asked again.

“The sand boy has become unstable. If anything, he is currently worse than he was before.” Rei answered leaving the before what unspoken knowing Makoto would know what she meant. She sensed the brunette tense beside her. At least the two of them would not be taken by surprise at this point. She hoped Hinata and Sakura would be similarly prepared as they had been present when she gave her message to Anko-sensei.

Both girls flinched as the fight escalated, Sasuke barely breaking away from the sand sphere that he had struck only moments before.

“That arm had demonic chakra!” Rei hissed. No sooner had she spoken than she found herself blinking as white feathers slowly drifted through her field of vision. Genjutsu! Her mind quickly supplied and in moments she had broken free of the sleepy effect and then locked eyes with Makoto who had similarly broken free. A clash of metal caught their attention, and both ducked as a brace of kunai whizzed just over their heads. Additional clangs met their ears as the kunai were deflected before they could intercept with any living targets behind them.

Kakashi and Gai suddenly appeared and various sound and sand shinobi were taken out before harm could befall the other genin.

Rei stiffened as Orochimaru’s name was spoken, and idly wondered just how much worse this would get. Then Kakashi began giving orders. “Sasuke has gone after Gaara and the others. Sakura, wake Naruto and Shikamaru then go after Sasuke and the Sand-genin. This is an A-rank mission. Rei, Makoto, get your teammate and begin assisting the civilians to shelter. Recruit any other able genin you find to help as well.” As he finished those orders, he then summoned a small dog. “Sakura, Pakkun here will go with you.”

Rei and Makoto glanced at each other and then both reached out through the bond that bound them together as senshi and gave a sharp tug on the energy they identified as Minako. The blonde appeared a few moments later. “Shino has gone after Naruto, Shikamaru and Sakura. The Med squads are already in the field waking shinobi caught in the genjutsu and healing as needed. Ami and Usagi are with them.”

Kakashi blinked slightly surprised and then raised a fist to punch a sound shinobi who had been coming at him from behind. “Good. You three aide in civilian evacuation, wake the rest of the rookie genin to assist. Keep your movements minimal and avoid drawing attention to yourselves. There are sounds of battle outside of the stadium in several directions. Now go!”

Minako immediately took charge. “Rei, Makoto start rousing the other genin. I’m going to build us a cover net.” Both girls nodded in response and made their way to the other rookie genin who were nearby.

Kakashi spared a glance at the seating area he and Gai had just vacated and felt a bit of surprise pass through him. He took a second glance with his Sharingan and felt himself impressed. It looked like everyone in that area was still lying around unconscious, no movements at all. Gai landed at his back and chuckled. “They are an impressive lot, aren’t they?”

Kakashi took out another sound nin who had tried to rush him. “Ah.” He answered Gai and then focused on the task at hand. He was certain the rookies would carry out their mission well if not safely.

Beneath Minako’s illusion however, things were anything but still. Nine genin all sat in a crouched huddle as Minako explained the situation and their orders. “Now our biggest challenge is how to evacuate the civilians without drawing enemy nin attention. Leading them through the standard exits is going to leave us very vulnerable but as of right now it seems like the best option. I did learn from the medic teams that there are security bunkers below the stadium so that will be the end goal. Any further insight?” The blonde then asked.

There was a slight metal grating sound and then an additional, though familiar voice chimed in. “How about we use the service tunnels for evacuation. It will be a snug fit for some of the larger adults, but it will draw the least amount of attention. Especially with you keeping an illusion net preventing the invading shinobi from seeing where they are going.”

“Usagi!” Several of the genin exclaimed as they spotted the blonde-haired girls head poking out of an opening that before had been covered by a grate.

“Shhh! The Blonde hissed. “You guys are helping with the civilian evacuation then, right? Then let’s start getting them moving. We have several others already helping guide people down to the bunkers from within the service passages.”

The remaining genin quickly set to work. Those who had the ability to free others from the genjutsu did so, taking care to caution each person to remain silent as they guided them towards the service panel and the waiting tunnels. In surprisingly short order they finished the section they had been sitting in and moved into the service tunnel to move to the next. As with before Minako built a genjutsu illusion of her own over the area they were evacuating. Usagi was soon hard at work giving field first aide to any who had taken injury in the fighting.

When they did find disabled enemy nin, those that were still alive, they secured and bound to await a visit to Konoha’s holding facilities. This continued through two full sections of the stadium before the genin evacuation squad had an enemy stumble across their activities.

“Oh, ho, ho, what is this? A bunch of brats trying to play hero?” A Sound nin asked in amusement.

“Jii-san! Are you injured? Do you need medical attention?!” Usagi quickly exclaimed as she rushed up to the sound-nin’s side and then took his arm to escort him to a seat. “You should sit down. Any open wounds?”

The sound-nin could only stare as the small blonde-haired girl guided him to seat and began performing a diagnostic as she asked questions without even giving him time to answer. He blinked once then slumped unconscious.

“Tenten put him with the others.” Usagi directed as she dusted off her hands and frowned. They would have to be more careful. “Chouji-san, Makoto-chan, you two take guard detail. Keep an eye out for anymore that may drift our way unexpectedly. Hinata-chan, Rei-chan please continue your efforts to rouse the civilians. Ino-san, Kiba-san, Akamaru-kun, help those that need it into the service tunnels. Minako-chan, keep your focus on your illusion. We can’t afford to take extra risks.” She then moved to quickly poke her head in the opening of the service tunnels they were currently using. “Ami-chan, Lee-san, any troubles?”

There was a murmur of voices from within the tunnel that those who were outside couldn’t quite catch but they assumed was a negative response as the blonde med-nin nodded and then went back to work herself. The rest of the genin stared at her. Minako, Makoto, and Rei then smiled and got to work, nudging the others out of their shock as well. Apparently, none of the other genin had expected the petite blonde Uzumaki to be so well, practical.


Iruka sighed to himself as he once again tried to regain order in his classroom. He suspected the day would be a lost cause, however. The entire class was hyper off the excitement that surrounded the Chunnin finals being hosted in their own village. Some students were even absent as their parents had excused them for the day as they were going to watch the exams. Those that had not been excused… well he was having to deal with the fall out. He was greatly considering giving up on his lesson plan and just giving them a free study day, not that most of them would actually study.

It was then he noticed a chunnin just outside the classroom door signaling he had a message to deliver. Iruka excused himself from the class and stepped out.

“Umino-san I have a message for you from Mitarashi.” The chunnin stated once the classroom door was closed behind the academy teacher.

Iruka arched an eyebrow in slight surprise, he did not know Mitarashi Anko well, but had run into her more often as of late with her position of jounin sensei. He was not expecting any sort of message from her, however. “Ah, thank you,” he said to his fellow chunnin, “What is the message?” He then asked his curiosity piqued.

The chunnin glanced around slightly and then said very quietly “Snakes are in the guarded nest.”

Iruka froze, and his gaze caught and held the other chunnin’s, “You are certain that was the exact message?” he asked a bit of steel creeping into his tone. The chunnin seemed surprised by his reaction but nodded.


“Did she give you any other messages to deliver or pass on?” Iruka then asked.

“No sir.” He responded seeming to react to Iruka’s own change in demeanor. Iruka took a deep breath.

“Very well. I request your services here in the academy then. Please visit each of the other academy teachers and give them this message. “May nesting stones guard the future of fire.”

The chunnin sighed and turned to go deliver yet another message. Iruka watched him go for a moment and wondered what the sigh had been about, as it was apparent the chunnin had no idea of the meaning behind the messages he was passing. Ah well, he turned back toward his classroom. Now for the real trick, to convince his class the surprise evacuation drill really was just a drill when it in fact was not. He spared a few seconds to glance off in the direction of the finals stadium and hoped Naruto was safe.


Konshu wished, for not the first time since Naruto had become a genin, that his position as his guardian was not an s-class secret that may never be able to be revealed. He signaled for two of the Auxiliary Corps lieutenants to head out as sounds of battle began to spread across the city. He wished more than anything to be able to be at the blonde boy’s side as his sister and Artemis stayed with their own charges. The fact that neither was likely with Usagi or Minako at the moment didn’t reassure him either. He motioned for the reimaging lieutenants to follow him as they moved into the next district. From there he would then dispatch them to gather up the various Auxiliary Corps members and begin carrying out their rolls in evacuating all the civilians to secured locations while the full-time shinobi corps faced the invading force directly.

A squad of genin sound shinobi landed before them grinning with confidence. “Looks like we found a group of shinobi wanabees. I imagine they will make lovely screams.” The leader of the group purred and licked her lips, a hand resting on her cocked hip.

Konshu frowned. They looked like academy fresh genin. He casually placed two fingers on an ink marking on the inside of his right wrist. In moments a long sword rested in his right hand, and he brought it into a guard position. “I’m sorry sweetie did you lose your nanny? Perhaps we can guide you home?” Konshu offered and smirked as the sound group’s faces all twisted in immediate rage.

There was a brief scuffle and Konshu sighed resting the flat of his blade on his right shoulder as he looked down at the now unconscious sound genin. He hadn’t even had to draw blood. He turned back to the lieutenants who had stood out of his way behind him. “Hitsu bind them and tuck them into the holding alcove in the next alley then head to point Shinkou Gamma. The rest of you let’s keep moving.” Konshu ordered as he focused on the task at hand, doing what he could do to safeguard the village for his charge’s future.


Usagi frowned as she finished up healing a few minor wounds on the last of the civilians in the service corridors before they moved on down to the security bunkers. Something was pulling at her senses, and she couldn’t quite put a name to the feeling. She helped the civilian to his feet and gave him a smile as she motioned for him to follow the others down the corridor. She turned her own gaze the other direction though and bit her lower lip as she considered the situation. Another chord of energy resonated within, and she began moving. This was serious and she could not ignore it. She heard one of the others call after her but ignored them. There was not time to explain.

Shinigami… Saturn, how could someone be drawing on such power here? There is no way Hotaru… no this is not the power of Saturn, but it is definitely linked somehow. I have to hurry I can’t shake the feeling that something horrible is happening. Her mind raced as she dashed through the service halls barely noticing as a violet hued barrier vanished just as she would have run into it. She turned into another service tunnel and then dashed for the service hatch and quickly began undoing the latches that held it closed ignoring the tree roots that had pierced the metal to either side of the hatch.

She peeked out carefully but disregarded caution quickly as she spotted the figure lying motionless on the ground only a short distance away. “Sandaime-sama!” she exclaimed and dashed forward deftly slipping past the grasping hands of an ANBU standing nearby as she collapsed next to the crumpled form of the village’s Hokage. She immediately began a diagnostic to determine the worst of the damage and priority of injuries to be healed.

“Why didn’t you stop her!”

“She’s a med-nin! A very good one, if young from what I’ve heard.”

“But— “

“Hokage-sama needs medical attention now; we can’t wait for anyone else.”

Usagi ignored them. Her attention focused entirely on the very injured man before her. He was in bad shape. His right lung had been punctured clean through by a blade wound starting from his back. This had also sliced into a kidney. There was internal bleeding in various places, and she also found tell-tale signs of heart failure. A very nasty poison had also entered his blood and other organs from every point of the blade wound. She set to work first inducing a stasis like state over his body to prevent anything from getting worse. Then she began dealing with the worst of the damage, but he wasn’t breathing. She reached deeper and what she found scarred her. There was no soul for her to touch, no spirit to help her fight this battle from within.

She fought back a wave of panic. No soul meant no life. Even if the body was healed completely, it would be nothing but an empty shell. Even those in coma still had a soul she could sense even faintly. This is what she sensed earlier, something drawing souls to the Shinigami. She gently rolled the thirds body onto his back and pulled out a brush from her hip back, pricking her finger on the small needle that was on the brushes edge. She then began drawing, ink flowing from the end of the brush despite the absence of an external ink source. She heard another brief discussion behind her as those watching considered what she was doing but she had no time for their concerns or to explain her actions. As a final step she added just a touch of hidden power and activated the seal array with a flood of chakra.

The sealing array glowed blue then silver as the scrolling lines and marks came to life and flowed across not only the skin of the Sandaime Hokage but of the blonde med-genin at his side. The ANBU fidgeted but knew there was nothing more to be done but wait now. Another rushed up only to be stopped by the surrounding ANBU.

“Don’t interrupt her, she’s gone into a trance while trying to heal Sandaime-sama.” The ANBU advised as the others formed a loose circle around their fallen leader.

Usagi opened her eyes to see darkness surrounding her and the unmoving form of the third Hokage. She stood tall with her hands clasped loosely in front of her as she let her gaze travel up to the face of the shinigami standing before her. A glowing silvery blue seal array slowly spun around her feet with her positioned in the center. Also laying on the array was a nearly translucent body of the third Hokage. “Shinigami-sama, I must ask you to return a soul to the living.” She stated politely but with regal tone of command laced through her words.

The Shinigami did not answer at first as he considered the figure now standing before him. “What shall keep me from taking your own soul in payment for this audience child, let alone give you one of the souls in my keeping?”

“You have no command over me at this time Shinigami-sama and if you tried, I would have no choice but to enforce my own will upon you. Take heed of whom you speak with Shinigami-sama. I do not want a feud between us.”

The Shinigami nearly disregarded this slip of a girl but then paused as his own senses seemed to ripple into awareness of her. Her soul was incomparable… such strength and power, but most of all a purity that was unheard of outside of the … at that moment the Shinigami stopped taking this child at face value as he realized just what she was. Not just of the Lunarian race… but royal blood. He wondered for just a moment why she limited herself to this aspect but then reconsidered it as he recalled recent stirrings. He approached her and noted with approval that she did not flinch in the slightest.

“Will you allow me to examine your heart on the matter of this request?” The Shinigami asked knowing she would understand his request. The girl smiled.

“Of course, Shinigami-sama, I would not have expected otherwise.”

The Shinigami bowed slightly to her; she had been trained well. With that he brushed the edges of her spirit and absorbed the knowledge she offered and what brought her before him with such a request. It took only moments, and the Shinigami knew if it had truly been in his power, he would have granted her request. The girl herself did not know the soul known as Hiruzen Sarutobi that well personally, but she felt a close bond with him regardless as if the man was her own grandfather. No, even more than that she knew in her very soul that this man was a grandfather figure for the entire village. A man well loved, respected, and cherished. Despite all the darkness that faced the shinobi, a darkness the Shinigami was well familiar with from this world, the individual known as Sarutobi had kept a kind heart. Much of these feeling he recognized did not come just from the girl, no Lady before him, but from a strong bond to another of the blood who had grown up sheltered by this man despite all hardship. The Shinigami withdrew from his inspection. The soul she asked for meant much to the living children of Selene, but it would not be.

“Forgive me Lady, but I cannot honor this request. Even if I did return the soul of Sarutobi Hiruzen into his bodies keeping, it would not remain there. His body is too worn to contain a soul with such fire in it any longer. The bonds between soul and body were damaged beyond repair of even your power in his recent battle. Not once, but three times the bond was cut as he fought to defend the will of fire he cherished so. I would grant your request if it was within my ability to do so Lady.”

Her eyes shimmered with tears, but she nodded and bowed her head for several moments before raising it to address him again. It was at that moment that the Shinigami sensed a resonance within the souls of his keeping. He spoke before she could once more, “However, there is another soul in my keeping that I may be able to return to the realm of living. I cannot identify this soul for you, and I will have to investigate further before any action, but if I can, I will aide you, Lady.”

The girl smiled warmly, “Thank you for your consideration, Shinigami-sama. Until next we meet.”

And with that the glowing seals faded and Usagi opened her eyes slowly once more tears dripping down her face. She reached forward and closed the eyes of the third gently. “Rest well Sarutobi-sama, thank you.”

She felt a hand rest on her shoulder and turned to find Rin-sensei at her side. “Well done, Usagi-chan. No one could have healed this, but you tried your best.”

Usagi threw her arms around her first teacher and cried as others moved forward, all mourning the passing of the Third Hokage of Konoha.


Sasuke stared in stunned shock as the enormous toad Naruto had summoned, for a brief time vanished and was replaced by an enormous silver fox with multiple tails. The fox lunged forward grappling with the giant tanuki shaped sand demon. The illusion faded leaving the large toad in its place once more with Naruto on his head now only feet away from the slumbering form of Gaara half buried in the sand.

“Now Naruto!” The toad shouted.

Silver energy flared up around Naruto, his jacket flapping open and hiate flying off from the force of it as he focused. His eyes snapped open glowing an intense silver blue. He charged forward breaking each hold Shukaku lashed out to stop him until his own forehead finally collided with Gaara’s.

In a gust of displaced air, the two fell to land atop the trees as the toad boss Gamabunta left the battlefield. One more punch would settle this.

They both lunged forward, and it was Naruto’s fist that met Gaara’s face as they clashed midair. At that moment a connection was made. The two boys found themselves facing each other in a somewhat familiar setting. Behind Gaara the form of a large tanuki stood, behind Naruto sat a fox bearing nine tails. Two tails were pure silver, a strong contrast to the red fur that seemed to cover the rest of the fox’s body.

“The pain of being alone, I understand it well. The hurt… the way you feel. But… I have people that care about me now and that are important to me. To protect those people, I will not back down. I will protect them. I will protect you too Gaara, even from the demon you carry if I must,” Naruto stepped forward, silver energy flowing out from him across to Gaara.

Gaara found himself relaxing and he could feel the tanuki behind him also relaxing. The last remnants of blood, anger, and hate fell away under the silver energy as it flowed around and through him. Was this what it meant to have precious people to protect? Did he have…two faces flashed across his mind’s eye. Yes, he had people to protect. He opened his eyes once more a sense of calm radiating through him.

“Thank you. I will take your words to heart, both of us will.”

Naruto grinned and then blinked as he found himself laying on the ground several feet away from Gaara.

Sasuke landed next to him only a moment later.

“You can stop Naruto, Sakura is safe.”

Naruto smiled and then let out a sigh and fell unconscious.

Gaara stared at the sky as Temari and Kankuro landed next to him. “It’s all right, I quit.” He stated softly for the benefit of his siblings and a bit of warmth spread though him as Kankuro pulled him up and rested his arm across his own shoulders, supporting his weight. He let himself be carried and then closing his eyes. “Temari, Kankuro… I’m sorry.” And then let his exhaustion claim him.


Silver paws padded quickly and without falter as the sleek silver form slipped through underbrush and around trees. Overhead the half globe of blue green surrounded by twinkling stars hung unmoving in the sky. Jade green eyes kept glancing skyward at the orb as her feet followed an invisible path. She was almost there, the gathering place of her people. She had kept away from such gatherings for a long time now, her grief and sorrow too great. She had chosen instead to take guard duty and maintain a silent aloof distance from all kin and outsiders alike. That had changed several days ago, the first time she had sensed that silver energy originating from the green-blue orb above.

She skidded to a stop, her body shifting sideways slightly as she braced against her right side to slow her movement. Silver faces with eyes of varying shades all turned to her direction. She sat primly, curling her five tails neatly around her. She ignored most of those staring at her and met the pale ice blue gaze of the clan matriarch. “Twice today I have sensed the Lost One’s energy, and once more a week past. I had thought I imagined it until I sensed it again today. There is no mistake.”

Whispers erupted all around her, but the clan Matriarch’s gaze never left her own. The whispers silenced as one of the Matriarch’s tail’s twitched and then she spoke. “We will have to act on our own. The Lunarian are too caught up in civil war to be of any use and the royal line is missing if not vanquished. Are you willing to take on this responsibility eldest daughter of my line?”

“It would be my pleasure Mother.” She answered a wave of excitement traveling from the tip of her nose to the tips of all five of her tails. “I shall make the forbidden journey once all preparations are complete.”

The older Kitsune gave her a grin. “May your journey be swift and safe, bring word of our clan heir back to us.”

Chapter 9

Rain dripped down from the eaves into the rivulets that then ran into puddles and other bodies of water. Moisture filled the air, and the sound of rain filled the village of Konohagakure. This Jiraiya felt was only fitting as the memorial for the Sandaime Hokage had been held earlier that day. He sat now in his small home that he kept in the village watching the rain, remembering the past, and considering the future. He had been absent from Konoha for a long time before his most recent return and he found himself recognizing the truth behind why. He had been running from his own ghosts much like his other teammate. The death of the Yondaime had hit him hard as well as the shadows that had surrounded those events. He had run from his godson.

This was a fact Jiraiya had been running from for many years and it was one he had finally found himself coming to terms with. It was something he would regret all his life, but he would not let it hold him back in the future. He had a godson and a goddaughter apparently, if unofficially. It was their future he would aim to protect and make brighter. Heaven knows the past had been dark enough for both of them already.

Then there was their mixed heritage to consider as well. He had been sure that Naruto’s mother was Kushina, the girl had been Minato’s closest friend after all. The boy had even carried her name, though he now knew Kushina had requested it before her death to protect him. Naruto’s appearance with his father’s family name would have been a glaring neon sign for his father’s enemies. That Minato had actually gone and married the Queen of the Moon Kingdom and had children with the fae like woman had come as a complete shock. He was rather upset that his apprentice had kept that from him. Jiraiya was the master of an intricate information network after all! How could he have missed such a thing? He was sure Kushina had known and helped Minato with the deception.

After all, for the Moon Kingdom to have such a public tie to Konoha while not a bad thing, was a risk to both parties. It made Konoha less neutral in the dealings between the Earth Kingdoms and the Silver Millennium Alliance. Neutrality that they had worked very hard to maintain in the last several decades. Though why the monarchs of the Silver Alliance had chosen the elemental nations for such things Jiraiya had never quite understood. However, Jiraiya was also well aware that love, true love that is, was blind and unforgiving in where it fell. His mind returned again to the present and the problems that now laid out before them.

The village council would ask him to take up the hat and become the Godaime Hokage. He knew it without a doubt, and he knew also that he would refuse. He could not accept a position that both his sensei and his apprentice had held, besides his current position was too important and could not be so easily passed onto another. Nor could he train another into the role of Spymaster so easily. It was an unforgiving job and required much travel. He had spent nearly his entire life building his information network. No, he could not take on the role of Hokage, even if he was qualified otherwise.

He would have to go and find the Slug Princess herself. Though he didn’t think finding her would really be the issue. Convincing her to accept the job, that would take some doing. His mind drifted over the history that had driven his old teammate to leave and avoid their home village. The loved ones she had lost, and he found himself chuckling as he realized how similar his newest student was to her younger brother. Then an idea formed, and he smirked. It just might do the trick and taking them with would give him a chance to get to know them both better. He grinned then.

“Well sensei, I think I understand your amusement now in introducing me to the Gaki and girl like you did. I think I’ll let our absent kunoichi have a similar meeting.” Jiraiya said softly into the sound of the rain. A shower of drops pattered off the roof to splash into one of the larger puddles. Jiraiya smiled.


Luna glared at the wooden geta that walked before her. Then she glared at the tail of unruly white hair that dangled aways above them. She considered sinking her claws into the tendons at the back of the heel of the man who strode before her. Her scheming was brought to a halt however as her charge scooped her up and then offered her the perch of her shoulder.

“Luna, must you really plot to maim my godfather who I’ve really only just met?” Usagi whispered to her guardian. Just ahead of her Naruto was mocking the older man himself as he tried to determine just what sort of jutsu the man could teach him. Though it was apparent Naruto was not impressed with the man’s very blatant perverted tendencies.

“I don’t care if he is the king of Earth.” Luna hissed. “Such behavior! And toward you of all people!”

Usagi sighed, but a smile was on her face she studied the man known as Jiraiya, Toad Sannin, a shinobi of legendary skill. To be honest with herself, she wasn’t that impressed with his behavior quirks any more than Luna or her brother. But the man was a shinobi, and if there was one thing she had learned in her time as a medical nin already, it was that all shinobi had their coping mechanisms and character quirks. All people did really, the shinobi just tended to have quirks that were a bit more pronounced. She was willing to forgive the character quirks, provided they were not directed at her. After all, this man had taught her father and she hoped more than anything, to learn something more about her father by getting to know this man as well. Besides, Naruto liked him already, even if he didn’t admit it. Usagi could tell.

A sigh from the white haired sannin drew their attention. “You know,” he began, “You remind me of the Yondaime.”

This stunned Naruto and he fell into silence as he fell behind the older man slightly and into pace with his sister. Usagi smiled knowing how much that small phrase meant to her brother. She hoped she carried a bit of their father in her as well. She took the opportunity however to speak up and ask her own questions. “Jiraiya-sensei— “

“Ero-Sennin.” Naruto interrupted.

“Why did you bring me with as well?” She asked.

The older manned grinned. “Who wouldn’t want such a cute traveling companion!” He exclaimed and then winced as Luna’s growl rose with a menace. “You also did extremely well in your medical evaluations I heard. The woman we are looking for is also a skilled medic, I thought you’d like to meet her.”

Usagi perked up, “Really?”

Jiraiya nodded absently. “She would always pester Sarutobi-sensei to incorporate medic-trained nin in the all the squads. You and your blue-haired friend are the first genin I’ve heard of choosing that path so early on though. You will have to take care to not slack on your other skills as well or you will not be able to continue as an active field medic.”

Usagi withered at that comment. It was true, her medical abilities had grown in leaps and bounds since she arrived in Konoha, but her taijutsu was mediocre at best. Genjutsu and ninjutsu really weren’t much better either.

“Don’t worry, you have plenty of time to gain some balance.” Jiraiya stated noting her fallen expression.

“I’ll help you Usagi-nee!” Naruto exclaimed. Jiraiya snorted.

“You need to work on your control. You still waste too much chakra in most of your techniques.”

Naruto grumbled but took that as a hint to start working on chakra control exercises while they walked.


Rin all but growled under her breath as she stormed into Kakashi’s apartment building. First her charge had been whisked off by that—that that pervert! And now her old teammate apparently got himself injured in some sort of scuffle and has the audacity to summon her from the hospital to his apartment for treatment. The lazy scarecrow! “Kakashi, I swear if this is your idea of…”

Her words died in her throat as she opened the door and spotted Asuma Sarutobi standing next to an unconscious Kakashi laid out on his own bed. Maito Gai and Yuhi Kurenai also present in the room. “What happened?”

She asked all trace of her earlier ire gone as she strode forward and immediately set to work.

“I’m not certain for sure. Itachi did something to him with his Sharingan, he collapsed shortly after with no physical wounds.” Asuma offered in explanation.

Rin’s mind raced as she ran diagnostic jutsu to try and determine the damage. Her mind raced back to her first personal meeting with Kakashi after her return to Konoha.

Rin knocked quietly on the apartment door belonging to the address that had been included on the slip of paper she had found slipped in her pocket. The door opened to reveal Kakashi and moments later she found herself pulled inside and then trapped in his embrace as he held her tightly to him, his face buried in her hair over her shoulder.

“Kakashi I…” She whispered shocked. The man just seemed to hold her tighter, and a tremor seemed to work through his frame.

“I thought I lost you to the fox just like sensei…” her old teammate whispered, a strained edge to his voice. “I kept hoping you would turn up for years afterwards since your body was never found, but there were no records of you being out of the village on a mission.”

Rin was shocked, “But Sensei was going to tell you, he even had a scroll to give you from me…”

Kakashi laughed lowly. “Kyuubi was loose and attacking by the time he returned. I didn’t even get a chance to speak to him that night before he was gone forever.” He stated, a harsh edge on his voice.

Rin fought her own tears as she realized just what Kakashi had gone through that night. She had wondered why he had not had much to do with Naruto until he was placed on his team. Now it made more sense. She knew how much loosing Obito had affected her old crush and teammate, to lose her and sensei then at the same time? She swore to herself right then that she would do everything she could to make sure he was not left alone again.

She hugged him tightly as well, after all she had spent many nights wondering how he and Sensei were doing as well as the baby Naruto. She had never suspected that such tragedy could have befallen them, even with the risks of being shinobi. Their Sensei had been the type of person that you just believed in, no matter the odds. Kakashi, she had thought would probably develop a soft spot and perhaps a big brother relationship with Naruto. She could understand, even if she didn’t like it, how Kakashi had lost himself in grief. Even if he hadn’t specifically blamed Naruto for his pain, he was linked to it so deeply that it was impossible to ignore. Time had been the only buffer. She couldn’t help but smile a little bit though as Kakashi revealed his inner self to her now. Not the elite jounin and sensei, not the ANBU operative or shinobi at all, just Kakashi the man.

Rin pulled herself back to the present as she started to get results from her diagnostic. She let out a relived sigh as she determined that Kakashi was physically stable with no physical injuries or damage done to his chakra network. She shifted her focus to his brain however and felt her heart clench at what she found there. “He is suffering severe mental trauma, the type you would expect to see in a shinobi who has been tortured extensively for a prolonged period of time. You said this was done with the Sharingan?” Rin inquired.

“I didn’t see exactly what happened as I had my eyes closed per Kakashi’s orders at the time. Whatever technique it was that Itachi used, it only took seconds for the effects to hit Kakashi. There were no signs of a physical battle.” Asuma offered in explanation.

“I arrived just after that.” Gai added not able to give any further details.

Rin slowly ended her diagnostic. “It’s a good thing Jiraiya is already going to fetch an expert on these types of injuries. This is beyond my ability; it may heal itself with time but then again…” She said slowly, clenching her fists. “We’ll have to move him to the hospital.”

Rin had no sooner began making the necessary preparations to move the unconscious Kakashi to the hospital when Uchiha Sasuke appeared in the still open doorway.

Sasuke looked to the bed where his sensei lay and frowned. “Why is Kakashi bed-ridden and why are there so many jounin here?”

Before anyone in the room could actually form an answer, another shinobi ran up and stuck his head in the doorway. “Is it true that Itachi was spotted in Konoha and is after Naruto!?”

In a flash Sasuke was gone.

Gai groaned and the new arrival grimaced. “I’m sorry I didn’t know he was here.”

Kurenai sighed. “This is why you get called a gossip.” She stated flatly.


Sasuke’s blood thudded loudly in his ears as he ran almost blindly through the village. His brother had been here. In the village and he’d fought Kakashi leaving his sensei comatose. Sasuke knew what his brother was capable of. Kakashi would not likely wake soon. Then to hear that his brother had not been seeking his younger brother, but Naruto! He didn’t understand it. Why would Itachi want Naruto? Did it have something to do with the strange silver energy Sasuke had seen Naruto use while fighting the sand genin during the invasion? Did Naruto, like his sister have some sort of special energy? What if that was the real reason? What if Itachi knew of the blonde’s parentage? This however seemed highly unlikely in Sasuke’s opinion. Usagi had not been in Konoha that long and there had been no reason to suspect any such thing before.

He set these thoughts aside momentarily as he quickly asked after Naruto at his favorite ramen stand.

The old man smiled at the mention of the blonde. “Ah yes, he and his sister were here this morning, but left soon after with Jiraiya-sama. Seems the two of them are going with him on a trip to a nearby entertainment town. Sounded like they would be leaving today in fact.”

Sasuke took off running again without another word in response. Usagi was with Naruto. A stab of fear ran through him as he considered the possibilities. What if Itachi knew of his bonds with the Uzumaki twins. Itachi had broken every bond Sasuke had once before in his life already. If he knew about Naruto and Usagi, and there was also Kakashi to consider who was already affected. Sasuke was suddenly very glad he’d kept Sakura at arm’s length if what he suspected was true. These actions had kept the pink haired kunoichi safe.

Sasuke’s mind kept racing however, how could Itachi have possibly known about Usagi? His mind suddenly snapped back to a memory of when Usagi had first appeared in his mindscape. She had chased away the shadows with her light and voice, this had included the phantom of his brother. Had those events somehow alerted Itachi? He pushed these thoughts aside again with effort. How didn’t matter now. All that mattered is had he find them first. He had to find Itachi and stop him whatever the cost!


“The nerve of that man!” Luna fumed as she then paced across the hotel room and up the wall without even a pause.

Naruto and Usagi shared a glance with each other, neither really about to argue the lunar guardian’s statement about their current shinobi sensei. They had arrived in the small tourist town that was within an easy day’s travel of Konoha, and the older man had immediately left them in pursuit of a pretty young woman who had winked at him. Jiraiya had then told them to head up to their hotel room after quickly shoving the key into Naruto’s hand and said something about working on chakra manipulation as if they were still academy students. Neither the twins nor the feline guardian had been impressed.

“Well, we might as well work on chakra control then.” Usagi offered. Her own control was rather good, it had to be for her medic nin training. Naruto’s, however, was still very shoddy though it had come a long way compared to when Usagi had first arrived in Konoha.

Naruto sighed, grumbling under his breath about perverted sensei and settled into a comfortable position on one of the beds in the room. Usagi settled in behind him with their backs touching, taking comfort in the presence of her twin. Both closed their eyes and focused inward. In moments a soft blue glow began to spread out over them like a thin sheet.

Their concentration was suddenly interrupted as there was a knock at the door. Usagi shifted and climbed to her feet to answer.

Naruto smirked, “I bet Ero-Sennin got turned down!”

Usagi only smiled and pulled the door open then stilled her eyes opening wide and then glazing over as she froze in place.

“Usa-nee?” Naruto inquired as he moved to get up.

Usagi moved forward in an almost boneless motion and then a blue toned hand suddenly grasped her by the braided loops of her hair. “Do we really need to keep this one Itachi?” the owner of the hand asked. The second figure shrouded in a black cloak with red clouds moved into sight to face the remaining blonde in the room.

“We must ask you to come with us Naruto-kun. Your cooperation will guarantee your sister’s safety.” The cloaked figure identified as Itachi spoke, the Sharingan spinning in his eyes.

Naruto’s eyes widened in shock as he stopped his movement forward to try and retrieve his sister, there was something going on here. She had been caught way to easily, let alone quietly.

“Hey Itachi, we could just take a leg or two to keep him from running around?” The blue skinned man commented using his free hand to reach for the sword hilt over his shoulder.

The raven-haired man made no response to his partner’s statement. “Long time no see… Sasuke.” He said without turning. Behind him at the end of the hall Sasuke stepped into view.

“Uchiha Itachi…” Sasuke stated coldly.

The blue skinned man known as Kisame grinned, “My, my, today truly is an unusual day indeed… to be able to see other Sharingan not just once, but twice. This one looks an awful lot like you. Who is that kid Itachi?”

Itachi didn’t bother to turn, keeping his eyes on Naruto who stood in front of them, but he answered anyways. “He is my younger brother.”

Kisame chuckled, “Funny, cuz the whole Uchiha clan was wiped out the way I heard it… by you!”

Itachi did not bother to respond. At the end of the hall chakra gathered in Sasuke’s hand, blue flashes of lightning sparking into life. “Just as you told me I’ve resented and hated you and lived solely to KILL YOU!” and with those words he charged forward.

The chidori was stopped with ease however as Itachi caught Sasuke’s arm and redirected the blast into the nearby wall creating a large hole. The two brothers glared at each other.

Naruto’s mind raced as he tried to come up with some way of assisting Sasuke and rescuing Usagi. If he made a move though it would be a simple thing for them to hurt Usagi, he mentally cursed. Had Sasuke even seen the position they were in? Did he really only care about his revenge!? Naruto quickly tried to gather chakra, but before he could release it into a summoning it vanished.

Kisame snickered. “None of that, though Samehada thanks you for the snack.”

Naruto glared at him and slipped into a ready stance. Kisame only grinned. “Now, now, you wouldn’t want Samehada to rend into this one here?” the blue skinned man taunted as he lifted the blonde girl by the hair a little higher.

Sasuke caught the movement and his eyes widened. She was captured, she was at risk! His brother was trying to take them away! In a sudden shift of clarity his gaze narrowed, and he attempted to launch an attack into the back of the blue skinned man, but Itachi only threw him backwards into the wall and then paced forward to stand before him as he struggled to breathe where he lay on the floor.

“That was not hatred Sasuke. I told you grow strong in hatred, where is that hate?” Itachi stated coldly as he then lifted his brother by the throat two pairs of different Sharingan locking onto each other.

“Tsukiyomi.” Itachi whispered and the world around the two brothers morphed into a view of the Uchiha district. Overhead the sky was a deep red, the clouds black, the moon also glowing an eerie red. Sasuke looked around in a near panic, as from all around Itachi’s voice rang out. “For the next 24 hours you shall relive this night.”

Sasuke found himself unable to control his own motions as his body followed the path it had that night through empty streets of the Uchiha district. He had arrived home and found his brother once more standing over the dead bodies of his parents. No! This wasn’t right! He couldn’t stop the memory though as his own memory spoke the same words from that night.

“Itachii-nii…  what… why?!”

In a calm and emotionless voice his brother answered. “To test my own skill.” Sasuke took a step back in response. “You are not worth killing little brother.” Itachi stated in response to his movement. Then the whirling sharingan pattern of Itachi’s eyes snagged his own. “Learn to hate. Seek vengeance. When your eyes are like mine, come and find me for your revenge.”

Sasuke screamed and the memory twisted and began again.

Usagi looked around her in surprise, she had been sure she had just been answering the door to the hotel room. This was not the hotel. She had seen this once before… it was then she spotted the running figure of a much younger Sasuke. She quickly followed noticing the uneasy quiet that filled the area around them. The intense hate and anger she had sensed the last time she had seen this was gone, but the whole area still had a very unsettling aura to it.

She glanced upward taking in the red sky, black clouds, and red hued moon. The last time she had seen this, she had been able to take control of the moon and sky, but she had been prepared. If she were to do so now, she’d risk breaking the seal Luna had put on her and worse, revealing herself to enemies they were not prepared to face. She would put all of Konoha at risk to those enemies as well. No, she could not draw on that power now. She refocused her attention once more to Sasuke, almost losing him as he ducked down a short alley and then entered a fenced property.

She followed after him quickly, freezing in place for a moment as she heard Sasuke’s pained voice. And then the nearly emotionless response of the voice that she realized must belong to his brother. She sensed something building and rushed into the house.

“Sasuke!” She shouted and dove into Sasuke covering him with her own body.

Itachi’s eyes widened as Tsukiyomi did not reach his brother’s gaze but seemed to be reflected back as if the girl who had suddenly appeared between them had been a mirror. He took an involuntary step backward as the reflected technique took effect.

Unlike when he had commanded Sasuke to relive his memory, this one did not play out with them taking the place of their past selves. No Itachi’s memory began to play out before the three watchers as if they were shadows along the wall, ignored by the ones playing out the scene before him.

Uchiha Mikoto lay asleep on her futon as the then thirteen-year-old Itachi stepped into the room, his blade already drawn, his footsteps silent. Without a sound his blade struck. The shadow form of Itachi frowned, his eyes whirling, this was not right. The memory shattered.

Once more the shadow forms watched as the young ANBU Itachi entered his parent’s home. Silently the form slipped into his father’s study and without pause ran his sword through his father’s back. Once more the shadow Itachi’s eyes whirled, and the memory shattered.

This time the memory started anew with the young ANBU wearing a weasel styled mask leaving the Uchiha Elder’s council hall. He slipped down the street, unmoving bodies lying in various places in cooling pools of blood. A moving figured rushed the ANBU from a shadowed alley and in moments had joined the collection of bodies. Shadowed Sharingan eyes with a kaleidoscope marking whirled and the memory shattered.

ANBU Weasel bowed to the Elder Danzo who sat behind his desk, his face unreadable.

“This is a Black Ops mission. Nothing further will be gained by delaying in hopes of negotiation. All instigators of this coup plot are to be silenced. None of the council must be allowed to survive. Is that understood?” The older man demanded.

“Yes Danzo-sama.” Weasel responded.

The memory shifted to the Uchiha council building once more, this time as the ANBU infiltrated and began to silently kill each of the council in their various offices. It was here that the first true shift in memory was revealed. Uchiha Fugaku, father of Itachi and Sasuke was indeed killed by his own son, but it was not in his home, but his office in the council building. The young ANBU seemed to stand frozen over the dead form of his father for several minutes before he moved to leave the council building. As before dead bodies littered the streets, but the ANBU Itachi in the memory stilled at this as they had not been there when he had entered the building and he had not been responsible for their deaths.

Movement caught the attention of the young ANBU and of the shadowed watchers. A man in a black cloak stood as another body crumpled at his side. He slowly turned to look at the young ANBU over his should revealing an orange mask with a single hole in it. Everything seemed to freeze at that moment as a Sharingan eye whirled from behind the mask.

Things began to move again as the shadowed watchers saw the masked man vanish and the ANBU form of Itachi returned to the council building and retrieved the body of his father carrying it through the Uchiha compound as he returned to his parent’s home. He walked into his parent’s bedroom where Uchiha Mikoto’s form lay dead, blood spattered from the wound visible on her back. The shadowed eyes watched as the memory Itachi dropped his father’s body to land laying across that of his mothers. It was at that moment a door slid open to reveal an eight-year-old Sasuke.

From there the memory matched what they had seen before, and the screams of the young Sasuke faded with the memory to leave the three previously shadowed figures standing in an

empty field.

The older Itachi stood still staring in the same direction without turning. “I never wanted to hurt Sasuke…” he whispered seeming to forget the others.

Usagi stepped forward toward the older shinobi. “You don’t have to anymore” she said softly.

Itachi frowned and then turned to look at the blonde-haired girl. She was rumored to be the twin sister of Uzumaki Naruto, but she had somehow entered this mindscape he controlled with Tsukiyomi. More, she had interfered and somehow turned the attack on him. Yet, he felt a wave of gratitude flow through him. “Who are you really?” he asked, not sure if he even wanted the answer.

Sasuke returned to his current age, growled, and moved beside her defensively.

Usagi looked between the two brothers nervously. “Oh I’m no one really. Just a fellow leaf genin…”

“Leave her alone!” Sasuke hissed as he moved to stand between his hated brother and the blonde girl.

Itachi raised an eyebrow in surprise. His brother sought to protect this girl? Where was his hate? His desire for revenge that had been so dominant only moments before. He studied the blonde girl without moving. He would have to observe this new development and with that his decision was made.

“I will distract Kisame and make an opening for you to escape when we return to ourselves. Be ready.” Itachi stated and then a flurry of crows filled the air around them.

The first thing Usagi became aware of was a severe tug on her hair. She blinked her eyes owlishly and spotted the man she now she recognized as Itachi gently laying his brother down on the floor. The man then stood and turned stepping toward her.

“Let the girl go.” Itachi then stated flatly.

Usagi blinked in confusion, what girl? She wasn’t holding anyone.

Another voice responded and she felt another sharp tug on her scalp. “Itachi what are you saying?” A voice questioned from over her head.

“We are leaving.” Itachi answered flatly.

There was a pause. “Itachi, you overuse your eyes? We should definitely hang onto the girl. She’s perfect to keep the brat in line.”

At that statement Usagi yelped as she was suddenly yanked off her feet by her hair. Her hands scrabbled to the arm over her head as she began to frantically try and get the man to let go of her hair. How could she be so foolish! Rin-sensei would be furious if she found out she let her hair become a liability like this.

“Let Usagi-nee go!!” Naruto shouted as he formed a hand seal and began gathering chakra.

Kisame snarled, yanking the blonde girl one way, and making a swipe with his sword at the blonde genin. The blow never connected with the boy however as suddenly Itachi was there, and Naruto went tumbling back into the hotel room colliding with Luna in the process.

Kisame frowned as Samehada stopped moving, its many ridges lodged into the form of Itachi.

“What is this Itachi?” Kisame demanded obviously angry.

Itachi gave a small smile. “The hidden ember sparks the forest fire.” Was his cryptic response.

“Well, this is unexpected” Another voice stated as the form of Jiraiya appeared around the corner near Sasuke, an unconscious woman over his shoulder. “I never expected to see Akatsuki more interested in cutting each other up than the capture of their target.” He stated setting the woman down beside the boy.

Kisame cursed. He could not handle the Sannin as well as the suddenly questionable loyalties of his teammate. He’d have to flee, with that decided he then flung the girl whose fingernails had started to rake bloody marks on his arm at the Sannin. With a swift jerk of Samehada he dislodged it from muscle, bone, and other bodily fluids as it pulled away from Itachi. The Uchiha crumpled to the floor and Kisame kicked him aside as he turned, sheathed his sword and a moment later fired off a large water dragon down the hall at the Toad Sage.

A wall of earth intercepted the draconic form of water shielding those behind it. The attack had done its job however as Kisame was already long gone when Jiraiya dismissed his quickly made earth wall.

Jiraiya frowned as took in the situation. “Usagi, can you put him in stasis so we can move him. Some questions need to be answered and this is not the place for it.”

Usagi glanced from Sasuke to Itachi and then nodded. The blonde girl then rushed forward with Jiraiya following behind her. Naruto appeared once more in their hotel room doorway with Luna clinging to his shoulder.

“Is Sasuke all right?” Naruto asked, his concern apparent.

“He’s unconscious, but seems mostly unharmed.” Jiraiya stated as he then stared down at Itachi. “Well, Uchiha Itachi, just what game are you playing. That code you gave was not for Kisame’s benefit.”

Jiraiya’s expression remained both serious and contemplative as he considered the man before him. Itachi was a very well-known missing-nin and he was one of the very few who knew more than the common details from that night. Jiraiya had some serious suspicions about events that had occurred that night and everything he had learned of it from those currently living in Konoha had not altered those suspicions.

“Can he be moved?” Jiraiya asked after a few moments.

“I’ve begun to put him into stasis so he can be moved but some of these wounds must be dealt with immediately if he is to survive. I will be able to stabilize him and begin further healing, but he needs more advanced care than I can provide without proper medical facilities for a full recovery.” The blonde girl responded as she continued to work. “There, he should be stable enough to move now.”

“Dynamic Entry!” A new voice shouted and Jiraiya blinked turning only to have a foot implant itself into his face and send him crashing into the wall behind him.

“Ero-Sennin!” Naruto exclaimed, then looked at his sensei’s attacker. “Gai-sensei? What are…”

Jiraiya growled as he pulled himself out of the wall that now bore his imprint.

“Ah Sorry Jiraiya-sama, I used my hiate to peek around the corner and mistook you for an enemy.” The green clad jounin explained “I came after Sasuke, is he all right…” It was then the jounin seemed to take note of the form laying on the floor with Usagi kneeling at his side. “Is that…”

Jiraiya sighed. “Help me get him inside the room Gai. Naruto, Usagi, get Sasuke.”

Gai did as asked as he and Jiraiya moved Itachi’ still form into the hotel room. Usagi and Naruto followed shortly after with Sasuke carried between them.

Jiraiya quickly set to work securing the room and sealing it as soon as they were all inside. “Usagi, do what you can now to stabilize Itachi. We need answers.”

Usagi barely hesitated a moment. “Naruto, can you bring my pack? I’m going to need bandages and sutures. Luna, can you hold a small sterilizing barrier around Itachi’s wound. We need to protect it from infection until I can get things closed. Thankfully there was no damage to the stomach, and it seems to have missed his right lung just barely. However, there is significant tearing in the large intestine and liver.” Usagi stated and set to work.

Jiraiya raised an eyebrow. He had been told the girl was something of a budding medical prodigy, but this was more than he expected.

Silver Dragonfly

reading ~ writing ~ doodling ~ that's me Working day by day to bring creativity back into my day-to-day life when it's been lost to the monotony of work and bills.

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