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“Are you sure you want to do this? There’s no coming back…once you go through with it.”

“Yes. Everyone I get close to is doomed to a painful demise. I have no reason to live anymore. I only wait until my time comes, and try to make the most of it by caring for those I do cherish. For their sakes, I must protect them from a distance.”

“You still have a heart. But that will soon change.” The figure said with a hidden smile.


Naruto walked down the long hallway, flanked by dark green robed figures with plain black rope belts. He knew what he was getting himself into. He was finally taking that big leap into the abyss. He sighed. It was too bad that he would never get to talk with his friends; to joke around, and have fun.

“We’re here.” The figure on his left deadpanned.

“Then let’s do this.”


“Once you enter our world, you will never be allowed to leave alive” said the dark red robed figure. He was dressed much like the others, save for the color of his robe. “By even being here you are being given a great privilege and honor. Many would give their right arm to be in the presence of so many high ranking persons.”

“Would you really let me leave here alive, if I decided to back down?” the silence was all he needed. “Then why ask me? Let’s get this on with.”

“Very well.” He smiled under his hood.”  Please step into the seal.” The red figure motioned. “There will be no seal placed on you, as normal, mainly due to the fact of the seal on your stomach. We have to idea how they would react with one another. This is mainly for tradition.” Naruto stepped into the center of the seal that looked as if it had been carved into ground centuries ago.

“You have been brought here to enter our brotherhood. As of this moment, including you, only nine know.”

“Huh? But there are ten people in this room…” he said, stumped.

“Observant, as always; but, as of your entry into our group, one in this room is already dead. YOU, must choose whom to fight; to the death.”


Naruto’s eyes opened to the stars. He had fallen asleep on the roof of his new apartment, one leg hanging off of the angled rooftop. He no longer had any nightmares about what he had done. In fact, they had become quite pleasant dreams. Not because of the atrocities he had committed, or what he had learned of the organization, but he saw it as a transformation of what he was destined to be. Not a self-proclaimed “Avenger”, like Sasuke, but an ordained “Protector”. And sometimes, to protect man, he must be protected by himself.

So it was time to read the sealed scroll he had carried with him in his shin guard. Not the decoy scroll on his belt that would either kill the opener or lead them into a clever and elaborate trap.

Sighing once again he bit his thumb and ran a blood streak over the seal on the scroll he pulled out from his shin guard. He hesitated feeling that same feeling he had gotten so many times in the past few days.

He chuckled to himself and put the scroll back; it could wait for another hour or so. “Did you come to stargaze with me? Or did you plan on Naruto-gazing. Whichever one, I didn’t know you were into either, Ino.”

She jumped up onto the roof where he was, smiling sheepishly. “How did you know it was me?”

“You’re just like Hinata. You can hide your body well, but you’re a mess at hiding your chakra signature.” He turned his gaze back towards the heavens, his brow furrowed in thought.

She noticed this and said, “You know, sometimes I wonder what goes on in that head of yours. The last time I saw you, you were this shrimpy little brat of a kid, and now, you seem all grown up. And you’re only sixteen.” She slightly blushed.

“Many people who talk to me seem to think that.” He tapped his head and looked at her “But, you wouldn’t want to be in there. Even I don’t like to delve too deep within my memories, for fear of what I might find there.” He gave her a questioning look “What are you REALLY doing here? You didn’t just come to pry at my thoughts did you? Or do you have Shikamaru hiding around here as well, ready to do a Shadow Bind so you can successfully enter my mind?”

She looked down at the street below. It was only just night, many people were still out.
“No. Look, I know Lee made you upset a few days ago, and you, in turn, made us all upset.” She turned her head to look straight into his eyes. “But please believe me when I say, that I never meant to hurt you. And I don’t think anyone else meant to hurt you either. Though I can’t speak for them,” Good Girl he thought, “I mean to say, that from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. I’m sorry for not listening with all of my being when I knew you were suffering. I’m sorry for not helping you out when you needed me, someone, ANYONE the most. I hope you can forgive me.” She turned to sit on the apex of the rooftop with both legs hanging over the side. She sat with her arms trembling at her side silently crying.

He sat up and twisted himself so he was seated next to her with am arm draped over her shoulders. “Look there’s no need to cry. I’m actually surprised that you had gotten that reaction out of me.” She looked at him with teary eyes. “For so long I had felt nothing. Even anger was a welcome addition to my emotion bank. I’m just glad to be back in Konoha.” He softly smiled at her.

“I…Is that one real?” she sniffled.

“Why don’t you decide?”

She threw herself into his arms sobbing into his shoulder. He could feel the dampness of her tears soaking his black t-shirt. “C’mon,” he said to her scalp. She looked up at him longingly, “I’m hungry.” She smiled up at him. “Is that real?” She nodded. “Good. Then let’s go.”


The two walked down the street, not really heading towards anyplace; both just enjoying the company of someone else. Neither had said a word since they left the rooftop; neither had needed to say a word.

“So, where do you want to eat?” Ino asked.

“I really don’t,” she visibly dropped her shoulders an inch or two. “But, I thought someone was watching us, and now I’ve confirmed it. I don’t know who it is, but I got a look at his mask.


“Worse.” He replied

“Worse than ANBU?”

“Way worse. But he’s of no threat to you. If you want to, meet me at that BBQ place that your team is always at.” He smiled.

“No ramen?”

“How do you think I’ve grown this much? I haven’t sworn it off altogether, but I eat other things too.” He smiled again.

“Who ARE you?” he asked with mock fear.

“Someone who has to leave. Remember that BBQ place in one hour.” He winked and disappeared with a swirl of leaves.

She sighed and slapped herself on the forehead.

Naruto stood side-by-side with the dark-green clad figure atop the roof and watched Ino walk off towards the BBQ restaurant.

“What are you doing here?”

“Keeping an eye on you; Number One wishes for me to tell you that you have two weeks to start the operation. He doesn’t want to have to send anyone else.”

“What operation?”

The figure turned to him, “Haven’t you read the scroll yet?”

“I was about to, but then the woman…” he motioned to Ino’s retreating figure, “…interrupted me; seems she was spying on me.”

“Eliminate her; we can’t have her following you.”

Naruto chuckled “No. Don’t presume to order me around, just because you’re Number Six and I’m Number Nine. Remember I had to kill Number Three.” He could feel the man shudder underneath his robe.

“Very well, but we still can’t have her following you.”

“She won’t be. She just wanted to apologize for something she said a few days ago.”

“Two weeks.” And with that, the man disappeared.

Naruto looked back towards where Ino had turned the corner. “Looks like I’d better read that scroll soon.”


Ino sat in the booth that normally housed her and her three teammates, waiting for their food to arrive, or to be cooked. This time she was waiting for that blonde-haired, black-tipped ninja that had changed so much in so little time. Oh Naruto, you’ve changed so much… she thought as she rested her head on her hands, looking out of the window towards the stars.


Ino jumped and looked at the waitress who had been attending to her for the past twenty minutes. “Yes?”

The waitress looked at her a little piteously. “Are you sure he’s coming?”

“Of course he’s coming. He’s never made a promise that he couldn’t or wouldn’t keep.”

The lady sat down and put her hand on Ino’s arm. “Look I’ve had many boyfriends stand me up too. You just have to learn to let them go.”

“But…but…he’s not my boyfriend!” she said, eyes wide. “But, I wouldn’t mind it if he was…” she stated dreamy-eyed, with a slight blush. The blush increased as she saw Naruto walking towards the restaurant. She could tell something was bothering him.

Following Ino’s eyes the lady saw identified Naruto. “Wow. He IS cute.” She nudged Ino with her elbow “Good job. I’ll be back in a minute.”

Ino watched her leave towards the back, and then Naruto as he walked over to her and sat own across from her. He gave her a slight smile.

“I was beginning to doubt that you’d show up.” Ino sated with a bit of relief.

“I’ve never made a promise that I couldn’t keep. Save one.”

“Oh?” she asked intrigued. “And which one was that?”

“It’s private. I’d really rather not get into that right now.” She cast her look down towards the table. “So! Let’s get some food!” his face brightened considerably.

She laughed quite loudly “You really are unpredictable Naruto.” Naruto started waving frantically in the air for the waitress to come over.

“How can I help you?” she asked cheerfully.

Naruto looked at Ino, “You’re the regular here…”

She looked at the waitress, “We’ll have the regular.”

“For two?” the waitress asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Trust me, we can handle it.” Ino replied.

“Okay…” she rolled her eyes and walked away to give their order to the preparer.

Naruto watched her go then turned to Ino. “So? What now? Do we just spend the time staring into each other’s eyes, whispering ‘I love you more’ to each other?” he said cheekily.

She simply replied, “You know, for someone who has really grown up you can still be childish.”

“One does, what One can.” He shrugged. “So, I told you what I did while I was gone. Now it’s your turn.”

“Wait, you didn’t tell us all of it. You only went up to a year after you had left.”

“Did I? Well, I’m afraid I reallydon’t want to remember that. But, to ease your wonder, I found a sensei that was willing to train me, and make me stronger. And boy have they done that.” He said fisting his hand and looking at it.

Her expression dropped. Oh no, he’s turning out just like Sasuke. I hope that he hasn’t been driven mad my the power.

“…Now I can protect those who can’t protect themselves.” She smiled, There’s the Naruto that I know. “I’ve made a vow to protect My comrades from anything. I’ve had enough of people I care about dying around me, or being corrupted.


He shook his head at the thought and shuddered.

“What’s wrong Naruto?” Ino asked with a concerned look on her face.

He smiled weakly, not connecting their eyes. “No-nothing is wrong.”

“Naruto…” she put her hand on his, felling him jump at the flesh-to-flesh connection. “…I fell like I don’t even know you anymore, but I do know that THAT smile was fake. There’s OBVIOUSLY something wrong with you.” Then it dawned on her. “Did you have to kill that man? Who was he?” he shook his head. “Then what? What’s wrong? How can I help you if you’re not going to let me?”


“I’m sorry. I can’t let you into my heart.” He pulled his hand out from under hers, and looked into her eyes “I can’t let anyone into my heart. I can’t stand to lose another loved one. I’m not strong enough.”


“Naruto… how can you claim to be able to protect someone when you don’t truly love them? How can you claim to even HAVE comrades, if you don’t love them? If you don’t love them then how can they be comrades? I’ve even noticed that you never say the word ‘friends’ anymore. Do you even remember your friends? Do you remember what was like to be loved?”


“I cannot be loved. I’m a walking corpse, a burning Explosive Tag. If you get too close, you go up in flames along with me. I won’t let you, or anyone else have that happen to them. I have been destined to a life of loneliness. A cursed existence put into effect the day I was born, infused with the most savage beast ever to walk this world.”


Her eyes narrowed, “Look, Baka, you have friends. You have people who love you. N matter how much you push us away, we’ll just push right back. We aren’t going to stop caring for you, just because you’re throwing one huge pity party, so you can just stop right there. All of the villagers hate you because you’re a Jinchuuriki. No, they hate you because they are stupid. They haven’t taken the time to get to know you.” Her eyes softened, “Don’t you see? You have this strange effect on people. You give them hope, and make them WANT to believe in something. Tsunade-sama, Neji, and I’m sure if you put your mind to it, you could even turn Sasuke around.”

His face darkened. “So that’s your angle, huh? I guess I should have known better.” He stood.


“I’m sorry, I have to leave now. “

Before she knew it he was out of the door walking away. Naruto what the hell is wrong with you? I’m not gonna let you get away that easily… She ran out of the door after him.

When the finally caught up to him she grabbed his shoulder and spun him around, surprised to see the streaks down his cheeks, and a scroll in his hand. So she did the only thing she could think of…
Yay i really like this chapter. I sure hope it doesn't seem like too much NaruIno, but she's got a crush on him now. And, unlike hinata, Ino is activley pursuing him. But naruto is resisting.

RxR please I hope you like it.

Chapter 7:[link]
Chapter 9:[link]
Add a Comment:
trewill91 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
I would be perfectly fine with it if she kissed him and he killed her for it
socorro333 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014
omg, is she gonna kiss him? oh,maybe a hug? no wait, a slap? wahhh, off to read the next chapter.
FairskyAngel Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Don't she dare kiss him.. :o
markmnmz Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2011
could you draw how naruto looks like right now or show a pic or wat evs
Gosaku Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I don't know why but Naruto as a very dark character is very interesting and this plotline makes me just tingle with excitement for every single letter I read. I'm confused because it seems like Naruto is a part of the Aukastki (I know I spelled it wrong) but there's also a part of me that makes me want to punch you in the face for making him like a bad guy!!!!!
ArmPhonse Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
please tell me that naruto isn't going to turn into some crazed killing machine with problems floating about his head and goes emo (kinda is at the moment though)
minicoopermaverick Featured By Owner May 30, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Catfihgt senses
missmybcmiyuki Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2008  Hobbyist
what has naruto gotten himself into!

and i can't blame ino for falling for him i would too :giggle: but in the end he belongs with hinata >w<

his new attitude is kinda cool and i love how he tease the girls :D

hopefully he'll still keep some of his new attitude when he sees the light and becomes 100% back to being a good guy ^w^
RebelScout Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2008   Writer
Ok I have to voice my guess as to what is happening. I don't know if the use of the phrase "One does what One can" By both Naruto and Mr. Shadow Fox has anything to do with anything but I need to mention it, so if by some miracle my guess is right then I have proof of having guessed it. WHEEWW. Major run on sentence. This fic rules. But I prefer Two Halves.
drakonnelvra Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2008
Ok let's kill Ino 'cause she doesn't deserve Naruto. Who's with me?!
Marshallboy Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2008
The only parts I agree with you on are the killing Ino and the ANIME thing in your sig. The 'Yaoi" thing at the bottom of your sig, however, will make me point my sniper rifle at you. YAOI MUST DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
dalxmir-desu Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2007
...If naruto is supposed to be an akatsuki I really don't like that sorry cause most people can't picture the main character as a evil demon also if he's a Jinchuuriki y would the akatsuki want him as a member since they kill jinchuuriki to get the bijuu's powers...desu

Don't ask about the pauses or the desu I do that at certain times
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007
Okay, fisrt question: No. I am not stupid, nor am i that bad of a writer. At least i hope not. I'm trying to make this as real as possible. There's no possible way that Akatsuki would ever let naruto join. All they want is Kyuubi.

2nd: He's not evil. He just had the closest thing he had to a father die, and he was teetering over the edge of madness. But i'll seriously work on typing ch 12 later today, and hopefully i'll have to posted. The next chapter is pretty much an explanation.

I figured you guys earned it by reading my story.
cutecartoon Featured By Owner May 29, 2007
I've never really read a naruino before, matter of fact i've never even thought of them together *ponders*
I really loved how you did this! it was really cute!
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner May 29, 2007
watch out for post-repeats.
cutecartoon Featured By Owner May 29, 2007
oops, my bad
Sgt-Takashi Featured By Owner May 29, 2007
I think the story is really good so far! I mean its amazing! Really with that twist!!! And Im not the biggest fan but the NaruIno is somewhat sweet....BUT I need NaruHina fluff!!!!!! Like Now's!!!! JK But nice story!
Hinata--Hime Featured By Owner May 31, 2007
Steal my phrase why don't you? xD
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner May 29, 2007
You'll get a hug next chapter, Not much, as the next chapter is just a fight scene pretty much.
Pencilthrower Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
Your story is excellent, i can't wait to see how it continues.

please hurry and give me another fix
Hinata--Hime Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
This is really good, except for the fact that I could barely stomach the NaruIno crack... I need the NaruHina fluff!!! I could die without the NaruHina fluff... *dies*
Celeris Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
huh, now its getting really interesting. I like your idea of the "good" Akatsuki-like group, it sounds very much like Raz Alghoul in the Batman Begins movie, which in turn means that this is going to get very interesting very fast

I like that you're making some of the other girls start to fall for Naruto now, and you're right, it does make it all that much more interesting when you eventually get to the NaruHina parts (but for some reason my mind is screaming NaruHarem right now)

can't wait for what happens next, especially after this cliffhanger you gave us
spudrow2005 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
so it seems that hes joined a "good" version of Akatsuki, and i highly doubt they will be happy about hinata when those two get together. u have me not only entertained by intrested as well
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
yea, a "good" version. I guess their views are a little skewed, but to some they might be good.
SymbolicOne Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
man i'm love your story... but i'm so confused as to what naruto got himself into >_>
k2e Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
good i don't think i can handle naruino that would just be wrong
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
yea, i kinda think she's too shallow for naruto.
k2e Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
that's correct
nara6200 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
isn't this supposed to be a naruhina fic, if so why is everything pointing twards naruino
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
Actually, im flying by the seat of my pants on this. This only went through one revision, that being an editing run.

I dunno why it pointed to Ino, but it just worked out that way. Don't worry it'll end up NaruHina.
nara6200 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hope that there will be naruhina fluff soon
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
I wouldn't count on Fluff soon, that'll come towards the end of this ARC. Think of this as foreplay; it makes it so much sweeter when the Fluff finally comes.
nara6200 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
aww maaan, *lowers head in sadness* so how long will this arc be? I like a long ff, but I like naruhina more.
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
soon, i'm working on a naruto-hinata interaction right now for ch 9. Maybe a little fluff if you really want it.
nara6200 Featured By Owner May 29, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yay!!! *hops up and down in glee*
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
i said she has a crush on Naruto now, and she's activley pursuing him. But, it will eventually be a NaruHina. What good NaruHina wouldn't have some Siren coming to steal our Hero's heart?
nara6200 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
good point
spudrow2005 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
nicely done, but its not as good as mine =P
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
I beg to differ...
spudrow2005 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
lol ouch, i was just kidden =P
UnchosenOne Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
Me too. Yours is better than :iconspudrow2005:'s
napalmjoe88 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
yay someone loves me!!!!
UnchosenOne Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
Your stories are too good not to love you!
narutofan99999 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
1st comment sweeet!
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