Title: Inheritance of Hatred: Chapter 4
Pairing: Eventual SasuNaru
Summary: As the Fourth Shinobi World War rages on, Naruto has only one goal: Uchiha Sasuke. He’s trained, he’s chased, and he’s hoped through the past few years, all for the sake of his wayward teammate. But it will all end here.
A/N: You might have noticed I generally call jutsus by their Japanese name; usually there will be a note at the end for the English translation. This is because I often dislike what jutsus are called in the English manga or the anime (like, Ino’s mind-body switch is called Art of the Valentine in the Viz manga. Wtf?) Sorry if this confuses anyone.
“Go Choji.” Shikamaru murmured softly into his communicator. He was crouched under the shadow of a overhanging willow tree, keeping an eye on his friend.
Next to him, Ino peeked out nervously. “I hope this works.”
The dark-haired Chuunin didn’t reply, pressing his hands together to form a seal.
Naruto jerked his head to the side, hearing the dry crack of a branch tread upon. Instantly he took long steps back, turning his body around while pulling out a pair of kunai. The knives had scarcely left their holders before an enormous palm swiped the air in front of him, trailing visible chakra. Choji’s attack clipped him on the shoulder, sending Naruto spinning backwards from the blow.
“Sorry about this, Naruto,” the large boy said regretfully. “But it’s for your own good.” Winding back his other hand, Choji funneled chakra to it for another Cho Harite.
Naruto gritted his teeth, pushing himself up off the ground. “Get out of my way, Choji. I don’t want to have to fight-” He gasped, feeling a sudden force hold his body in place. Rolling his eyes to the side, he could just see a long, thin black line trailing from his shadow and back towards the forest.
Shikamaru dug his feet into the loose soil, locking his limbs. “Go Ino. I don’t know how long I can hold him.”
The blonde girl was already pressing her fingers into a seal, taking aim. “Shintenshin no jutsu.” Immediately, her eyes fell closed, and her body slumped over next to her teammate.
For a moment there was the sensation of falling, and then Ino opened her eyes again. She looked down at her hands- Naruto’s hands- still bound by the dark shadow pooling around her feet. Even as she watched, they were receding quickly back towards their caster, freeing her movements. Choji instantly stopped his attack, recognizing the effect of the mind-body transfer. “Hurry Shika,” she called back over her shoulder, in Naruto’s voice. “Before it wears off.”
He readjusted Ino’s limp form, leaving her safely hidden in the bushes. As he ran up to Choji and Naruto’s body, he flicked on his communicator. “Kakashi-sensei, we captured Naruto. About to perform the jutsu.”
“Copy that, Shikamaru. We’re almost to your location.” The tiny speaker buzzed for several seconds before switching off.
Shikamaru quickly leaned down, tracing a rough circle in the dirt around Naruto’s feet. “Keep the effects of the genjutsu within the circle. We only need it to hit Naruto.”
Ino lowered Naruto’s body to the ground, sitting directly in the center of the circle. “Make it fast, I can only hold this for a few more minutes.”
Choji nodded, and the two of them both raised their hands. “Dragon,” they chanted simultaneously. “Bird, Tiger-”
Their voices faded for a split second, and Ino’s eyes widened. She felt the strangest sensation of a rushing wind, blowing hot gusts of fear into her mind. It was almost like the mind-body transfer but who could-
who dares…to trifle with me
Horrified, Ino grimaced as she felt the demonic presence of the Nine Tailed Fox sweep forth, pushing at her consciousness. It seemed to burn and chill at her mind all at the same time, forcing past her technique and breaking down her hold on Naruto’s body. Her chakra flared erratically as she tried to fight it off, tried to scream out a warning to Choji and Shikamaru-
With a flare of searingly painful energy, Ino was forcibly expelled from Naruto’s mind by the Fox-
Oblivious to what had happened, her two teammates completed the final seal, and prepared to cast. “Nehan shoja-”
Back in her own body, her eyes snapped open as she inhaled a shocked breath. Dizziness and nausea surged up strongly after the mental lashing she’d received from the Nine Tails, but Ino forced herself to stand. Wincing, she pushed herself out of the foliage, yelling, “Guys, watch out!”
With a gasp, Naruto opened his eyes. Seeing the two standing before and behind him, the jinchuuriki quickly rolled out of the circle, sweeping his left leg backwards as he did so to knock down Choji and Shikamaru. He cleared the circle just in time, jumping to his feet. Shikamaru cursed, realizing what had happened. He hurriedly started to perform the genjutsu release, forming a seal to focus-
“Shit!” Choji’s falling body slammed into his, knocking him down. By a rather unfortunate twist of fate, his friend had already fallen asleep from the technique, and his considerable girth pinned Shikamaru effectively. Including his hands. He struggled momentarily before their own genjutsu took hold, forcing him into a deep slumber.
Ino groaned as they both fell limply to the earth, completely knocked out. Naruto was already tearing away at a breakneck speed, too far for her to launch any attack. Dazedly, she dropped to her knees, rubbing her temples in pain.
A minute later, Team Seven burst into the clearing. Kakashi sighed frustratedly when he saw no sign of Naruto, but found most of Team Ten incapacitated. “Ino, what happened?”
She sat up, fighting back the nausea still swirling. Sakura gently supported her, helping her to her feet. “Naruto got away. C-Choji and Shikamaru got hit by-” Suddenly, her eyes rolled back, and Ino slumped cold into Sakura’s arms.
“I-Ino?!” Sakura shook her friend urgently. “What happened? Is she hurt?”
Kakashi knelt down, lifting his hitai-ate for a moment to examine the blonde girl with the Sharingan. “She’s not injured, but the chakra flow is irregular around her brain and the nerves there. It looks like it’s causing extreme nausea and preventing proper energy flow.” The Jounin glanced back towards Choji and Shikamaru, who Sai was attempting to awaken. “I’m guessing she tried her Mind-Body Switch on Naruto, while the other two did the sleeping technique. She probably could suppress Naruto’s mind, but the Nine Tailed Fox’s presence was too much for her.” He placed a hand on her forehead, probing with small bursts of chakra. “The fox gave her a pretty rough beating.” Kakashi frowned, but patted Sakura reassuringly on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, I think she’ll be okay.”
The pink-haired girl looked worriedly down at Ino. “Can you heal her?” A physical wound she could handle, but Sakura had no idea how to fix a mental injury.
Kakashi shook his head. “Mental healing is a delicate task, and I’m no specialist in that area. I think we better leave that job to Tsunade-sama.” He got to his feet, calling over to Sai. “They waking up?”
Groggily, Choji and Shikamaru were sitting up, aided by Sai, rubbing identical bruises on their foreheads. Choji looked up first, starting to apologize, but Shikamaru waved off any comment. Looking further ahead of them, Sai squinted into the distance. “Kakashi-senpai, we may still be able to catch Naruto in time if we hurry.”
Considering, the Jounin looked from unconscious Ino to the rest of his squad. He couldn’t leave her here, nor would it be safe to bring her along as they approached the enemy encampment. Which left only one other option. “Choji,” he said finally. “Take Ino and bring her back to headquarters. She needs to be examined by Hokage-sama.”
Choji started, surprised. “We’re splitting up?” His expression clearly indicated his protest to the plan.
Shikamaru shook his head at him, putting a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “No choice, Choji. Ino needs help. We can’t bring her with us like this.”
The larger boy looked between his two closest friends, reluctant to leave the retrieval effort. But he nodded. Their familial ties and friendship were of the utmost importance to him, and he was sure their bossiest teammate would do the same for either of them. As he picked up the blonde girl in his strong arms, Choji smiled halfheartedly at his dark-haired best friend. “Bring Naruto back safely.”
And your strength is my strength now…brother
His hands trembled slightly, very slightly as Sasuke slowly unwound the bandages covering his eyes. Pinpricks of pain shot through his head as light touched on his eyelids, illuminating them for the first time since the surgery. But he ignored this, methodically unwinding and dropping the wrappings one by one until they all lay in a unkempt pile at his feet.
Eyelids fluttered, hesitating, before opening slowly. Searingly bright light flooded his sight, but he forced his eyes open. His vision swam as tears welled up from the burning sensation, wetting his lashes. Madara had told him to rest a while more, but Sasuke felt fresh strength circulating his being, and refused to lie idle any longer. Slowly, gradually, the overwhelming brightness faded to a bearable level, and his vision focused blearily on the mirror in front of him.
Forgive me Sasuke…it ends with this
He reeled back. Fuck! With a sharp crack, his right hand instinctively snapped forward, driving into the mirror’s center and splintering the glass. His breath hitched as his reflection shattered into hundreds of pieces, littering the floor with opalescent shards. Each and every one of them reflected his pale, drawn face. And Itachi’s eyes.
His brother’s eyes had haunted him by day and by night for years since the massacre, and Sasuke had thought he’d never see them lit with life again. But unmistakably, horribly, they stared out from his own sockets. True, he could still see the crimson star-like design that had been his Mangekyo, but it was bisected now by three black arcs. He dropped his gaze, spotting a large piece of glass lying by his feet. For a fleeting moment, the low light and the distorted glass made it seem like it was his brother looking back at Sasuke, rather than himself. Curtly, he crushed the glass under his heel with a grunt. It shouldn’t be like this.
His strength felt augmented, but the effect was ruined by the sight of his dead brother’s gaze, even if it was his own now. It was nauseating to a degree, but Sasuke forced himself to push past it. Tendrils of doubt and regret welled up softly, buoyed by the memories of his brother. He shook his head briskly, refusing to acknowledge them. Madara hadn’t mentioned this sort of after effect, so it was probably all in his head…
All the same, he turned away from the broken mirror. Picking up a long black jacket, he shrugged it on over his clothes. It was rather damp and chilly in Madara’s underground hideout, but the shivers running up his spine had nothing to do with the temperature. He gritted his teeth, frustrated at the weaknesses he found himself experiencing.
I wanted to be just like you, and I kept chasing you, wanting to be just as strong, just as cool
An uncontrolled thought pushed its way through, echoing quietly in his mind. Would you do this to be strong…Naruto. Almost as if bidden, his hand stung, and the dark-haired boy looked down. He was slightly surprised to see blood dripping down his fingers, starkly red against his pale skin.
Deftly, Sasuke seized a strip of white cloth, wrapping it around the wound tightly.
He would heal soon enough.
– Cho Harite: Mega Palm Thrust/Human Jackhammer/Super Slap. Taijutsu move used by Choji.
– Shintenshin no Jutsu: Mind Body Switch Technique/ Art of the Valentine/ Mind Transfer jutsu. Yamanaka clan’s signature technique.
– Nehan Shoja no Jutsu: Temple of Nirvana technique/ Feather Illusion jutsu. A genjutsu that causes everyone in a specific area to fall into a deep sleep. This was the jutsu Orochimaru used during the Chuunin exams to make everyone fall asleep.