Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ Colors of Life and Death ❯ The Beating ( Chapter 12 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Just for reference-

1. Rachi, Kuchiyose no Jutsu Abduction summoning technique

2. Ayauku Koukyo Fuuin No Jutsu Near Death Sealing Technique

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Tsunade sat straight up in bed, eyes burning with anger. "Jiraiya...." she hissed in a whisper. She jumped out of bed, threw on her robe, and opened her bedroom door. "Hatake."

Kakashi dropped his illusion technique. "Hai, Tsunade-sama."
"Send an anbu team to find Jiraiya," Tsunade commanded.

"Hai." Kakashi bowed and vanished.

As soon as she was sure Kakashi was gone Tsunade's mask of calm fell like a dead tree. "When he gets here...I'll kill him," she growled in her mind. She then walked back into her room and shut the door.

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Two days later- October 1st....
Naruto and Sakura arrived at the Hyuuga estate at 9 am. They were picking up Hinata for her and Sakura's first day of training. After waiting about fifteen minutes Naruto became impatient. "I'm gonna knock," he announced. Just as he raised his fist to do so the door opened and a sleepy looking Hinata appeared.

"S...sorry, Naruto-kun," Hinata said with a faint blush on her cheeks.

Naruto smiled. "No problem. Ready to go?"

Hinata smiled and made an affirmative nod. She turned to Sakura. "Good morning, Sakura-san," she said politely.

Sakura shook her head. "Hinata...we're going to be working together. You can just call me Sakura," she said with a smile.

"Okay," Hinata replied as the trio started walking. "Naruto-kun?"

Naruto looked at Hinata over his shoulder. "Yeah?"

"Thank you...for asking Tsunade-sama to train me," Hinata said quietly.

Naruto grinned. "You're welcome." They were silent for a moment then he spoke again. "Hey, are you two busy on the tenth?" he asked.

"I have to train with Neji-nii-san," Hinata said with regret.

"I'm going to a movie...why?" Sakura asked.

Naruto threw on a grin. "Nothin' important," he said before he turned his gaze back to the road.

Hinata and Sakura could have sworn they saw Naruto's eyes cloud over in sadness just before they disappeared from view.

Sakura moved closer to Hinata. "Did you see that?" she whispered.

Hinata nodded.

"We should find out what's wrong," Sakura decided.

Hinata bit her lower lip as she watched Naruto's blonde spikes of hair bounce with his footfalls. "M...maybe after we get off the main road?"

"Okay," Sakura confirmed.

After a few minutes they turned a corner onto the tree lined road that led to Tsunade's estate. Sakura and Hinata quickened their pace till they were in step with Naruto. Sakura grabbed his wrist and turned him around. "Alright," she said firmly, "What's going on?"

"What?" Naruto questioned.

"What's so important about the tenth?" Sakura pushed.

Naruto made a slightly nervous smile. "Just a two for one sale at Ichiraku Ramen," he insisted as he tried to pull his wrist out of Sakura's grasp.

Sakura frowned and bopped Naruto on the head. "You're a lousy liar."

Suddenly, Hinata was in front of Naruto. "Please, Naruto-kun? I...don't like to see your eyes that sad," Hinata pleaded.

Naruto's resolved crumpled under the concerned stare of Hinata's eyes. He suddenly found himself unable to do anything except stare at those eyes. It wasn't until Sakura waved her hand in front of his face that he came back to reality.

"Naruto!" Sakura said loudly.

Naruto shook his head. "Just what the hell is the matter with me?" he thought as he stole one more quick glance at Hinata before answering the frustrated, pink-haired kunoichi to his right. He sighed in defeat. "It's my...birthday."

Sakura visibly brightened. "Why didn't you just say that?"

Naruto thought for a moment. "Well, I've never...celebrated it with anyone before so I felt awkward telling you."

Both girls stiffened and let their mouths fall open. Disbelief was evident on their faces.

"Never..." Hinata began, tears pricking at the corners of her eyes.

"Celebrated," Sakura finished as her face fell into a sad frown. "Naruto..." she said as hugged the boy in front of her. "I'm sorry."
Hinata wasn't sure she knew him well enough to have the right to do so, but she joined in the hug; trying desperately not to pass out from all the blood that was rushing to her cheeks. "I'll reschedule my training," she said with a smile as she pulled back from the hug.

"And I can see that movie any time," Sakura added.

Naruto smiled happily. "Thank you."

"AHHH! I've only got two weeks to plan your party!" Sakura yelled suddenly. "We need cake, streamers, music!" she said as she ticked off the items on her fingers, "Your first birthday party has to be perfect!" Sakura said with her fists balled and flames of determination in her eyes.

Naruto just stared at her. "Um...Sakura-chan. You're kinda scary right now."

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Jiraiya turned around from the peephole he was looking through. "It's been a while, Kakashi." He grinned evilly. "Care to join me?"

Kakashi eh hemmed as he stepped out from behind a tree. "Perhaps another time. Tsunade-sama requests your presence."

"Oh?" Jiraiya said as he cocked an eyebrow.

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"Welcome girls," Tsunade said with a smile.

Sakura and Hinata bowed. "Thank you for agreeing to train us, Sensei," Hinata said respectfully.

"You're welcome, Hinata. Now, follow me. Naruto, we'll see you later," Tsunade said as she began to head into the house.

"I can't go?" Naruto asked.

Tsunade made a wry smile and leaned in close to his ear. "I think you would be a distraction to Hinata," she whispered. A slight pink tinge found it's way to Naruto's cheeks. Tsunade laughed in amusement.

Naruto frowned. "What's so funny?"

Tsunade clapped a hand on Naruto's shoulder. "You'll figure it out someday," she said with a grin.

"Huh?" Naruto said as scratched the side of his nose.

Tsunade just snickered and walked away.

"What's she talking about?" Naruto thought with a frown.

"At least he'd better figure it out. I don't want to have to be the one to get it through that thick head of his," Tsunade thought as she entered the house.

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Orochimaru sat in a chair in front of his fireplace watching the flames as they licked the logs inside. "Kabuto," he called.

"Hai, Orochimaru-sama," Kabuto said as he moved to his master's side.

"Have you found the third source yet?" Orochimaru said with a thoughtfully curled finger supporting his chin.

Kabuto nervously cleared his throat. "No, Orochimaru-sama. Finding someone who can summon the frogs besides Jiraiya and Naruto is proving difficult."

"Hmm. Then you will simply have to pull out one of the frogs by force."

Kabuto's eyes widened slightly. "Is that even possible?"

Orochimaru smiled and simply chuckled cruelly.

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Kabuto moved the chalk fluidly along the stone floor. He finished his work and stood up. "Ready," he announced.

Orochimaru knelt down in front of the summoning circle on the floor and made a long series of seals. "Rachi, Kuchiyose no Jutsu!" he yelled as he slammed his hands down on the circle. When the smoke cleared Gama Kichi lay on the floor in the center of the circle, bound with ropes of glowing chakra.

"What the....?!" Gama Kichi yelled in surprise. He looked up to see his captor. "Orochimaru! How the hell did you call me without the contract?!"

Orochimaru smiled. "Wouldn't you like to know. Kabuto, the scroll," he said, holding out his open hand.

Kabuto handed Orochimaru a green colored scroll that was nearly the length of his forearm.

Orochimaru opened the scroll and placed his right index finger in the center of the scroll's kanji. "Ayauku Koukyo Fuuin No Jutsu!" A green light shot from the scroll into Gama Kichi.

"AHHHHHHH!!" Gama Kichi screamed and then was silent. His body fell limp and his eyes remained open.

Orochimaru calmly rolled up the scroll and handed it to Kabuto. "Place this in my chamber and put him in one of the cages."

"Hai, Orochimaru-sama. Which color is next?"

"Purple...." Orochimaru said with a warning tone.

"That's going to be extremely dangerous. Manda will try to kill you for taking one of his kin," Kabuto said with concern.

Orochimaru gave Kabuto a dangerous look. "Are you implying that I haven't thought to take precautions?"

"Not at all, Orochimaru-sama," Kabuto replied nervously.

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The cloud of smoke cleared, leaving an irritated looking Manda. Seeing there was no battle to be fought he immediately began to complain. "Orochimaru! What is the meaning of this?! I am not in the mood for your games!"

Unflinching, Orochimaru walked up to Manda. "I was wondering if you would let me have one of your less useful kin to play with," he said with a sick smile.

Manda bent down to glare at Orochimaru. "Just what the fuck are you up to now?" he spat.

"Just an experiment," Orochimaru replied casually.

"And why the hell should I do you any favors?!" Manda growled.

"Oh come now, Manda. I know you hate having weaklings among your ranks. Why should you care?"

Manda sighed and twitched his tail in irritation. "Fine. But if you ever call me for something other than battle again I will kill you," he said in a threatening tone before leaving the clearing in a puff of smoke. In his place was a rather skinny and confused looking summon snake.

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Kabuto placed the purple scroll into its designated holder. "Three more to go," he thought with a smile. He left the room and walked off to get their next victim.

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The next day....
Tsunade was sitting at her desk working on some reports when a knock sounded on the door. She looked up. "Yes?"

Shikamaru poked his head in. "Jiraiya-sama has arrived," he said in a bored tone.

"Thank you, Shikamaru," Tsunade said with a smile. "Have him meet me at my training grounds in fifteen minutes."

"Hai, Tsunade-sama," Shikamaru said as he bowed and shut the door.

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Jiraiya leaned up against a tree near the obstacle course. He watched the forest that lead to Tsunade's house with unease. He knew that if she had requested that he meet with her at the training grounds that she wanted a place where she could hit him and not cause a scene. Things were not looking good.

He suddenly noticed a small, dark shape becoming visible through the foliage. Tsunade burst through the trees, landed on the field and kept running at full speed. She had a murderous look in her eyes. "Tsunade?!" he barely managed to get out before he went sailing through the air from a punch to his head.

"TSUNADE, WHAT THE HELL....?!" he yelled as he quickly got to his feet.

"YOU SHUT UP!" Tsunade yelled as she landed a kick to his right shoulder.

Jiraiya shot backwards, gouging a trail in the ground. He got up just in time to block the next kick and the seven that followed. During each kick he found out more of the reason why he was being used as a practice dummy.

"How DARE YOU not tell me!" Tsunade accused as she threw another punch.

"Not tell you WHAT?!" Jiraiya shot back as he dodged her attack.

"You were THERE!" Another punch. "YOU KNEW!" A roundhouse kick. "WHY DID YOU LEAVE HIM ALONE?!!" she screeched as she slugged Jiraiya in the gut. Blood sprayed from his mouth as he doubled over and fell to the ground.

Jiraiya stood up. "WHO?!" he bellowed.

"NARUTO!" Tsunade screamed as she sent Jiraiya into a tree via a side kick.

Jiraiya looked up at his friend in horror. "Shit...she does she know?"

Tsunade stood in front of Jiraiya, sweat dripping down her forehead and breathing heavily through gritted teeth. "Why?" she said, her voice shaking with rage. "Why did you leave him here? And why the HELL didn't you tell ME who he was?!" she yelled.

Tears were leaking from the corners of the Fifth's eyes. "Did you think I was stupid?!! Did you really think once I got the letter from Sandaime that I wouldn't have figured it out?!"

"I...." Jiraiya began.

"You were the one who delivered him! There's no way in HELL you didn't know!" Tsunade yelled, gesturing angrily with her hands.

"Dammit, Tsunade. The Third ordered me not to tell anyone!"

Tsunade walked over to Jiraiya and slapped him, whipping his head to the side. "That didn't mean you had to abandon him!" she spat. Tears now freely spilled over her cheeks. " could have spared him so much pain."

Jiraiya swallowed and looked at Tsunade with weary, regretful eyes. "I couldn't take him with me. I don't know anything about raising a baby."

"Then you should have told me so I could've taken him! Orders or no orders! Arashi was our friend, your STUDENT! You had a DUTY to his SON!!"

"You think I don't KNOW that?!" Jiraiya yelled. He sighed. "I was grieving, Tsunade. I loved Arashi like my own son. Do you think it was easy for me to loose him?!" He ran a hand backwards through his spiky hair. "I...I wanted to tell you Naruto was alive. I planned to, but on the day I went to your house to tell you, you were already gone. Someone told me Dan had died in battle. I knew you weren't coming I left too," he finished with a look of sorrow.

Tsunade dropped to her knees. Her hands covered her eyes as she sobbed heavily.

Jiraiya crawled over to his friend. "Tsunade...." he said as he closed him arms around her. "We can't do anything about the past. All we can do is try to make things right again."

Tsunade, suddenly feeling uncomfortable in Jiraiya's arms, pulled back. "He deserves to know that you knew who he was from the beginning. You have to tell him," she said sternly.

Jiraiya nodded. "Nm. I will. But after I am done with my reconnaissance. Orochimaru is still after Naruto. I need to find out why."

Tsunade seemed satisfied with Jiraiya's answer. "Alright," she said as they stood. "But if you don't, you can expect me to do more than just punch you," she said with conviction.

Jiraiya nodded and walked away. As she watched him go Tsunade felt her strength leave her. She left the field and plodded back to the house.

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The door to Naruto's room opened slowly. As the shaft of light from the hallway fell across the sleeping boy's face a gentle hand reached out and caressed his cheek. "I will never leave you alone again," Tsunade promised as she kissed him on the forehead. She turned around and quietly left the room.