Naruto’s mind was a swirl of darkness and light. His eyes struggled to focus, to bring him back to reality. He smelled freshly burnt grass, and shapes moved in front of his eyes that looked like boots. Was it . . .old lady Tsunade? His skin tingled and burned, and he was short on breath.
"Am I . . . saved?" Naruto coughed.
He tried to stand, but only felt pain shoot up his spine. He cried out.
"Where are you going boy?" said a voice from the depths of Naruto’s mind. Darkness flooded over Naruto, pulling him away again. The smells and the sights vanished. Naruto’s throat was parched. It was hard to speak, but Naruto heard his own distant voice say in a cracked and desperate tone,
"No! Leave me alone!"
"Begging won’t get you anywhere, brat." said the menacing baritone. "Its like I told you before. You are only delaying the inevitable."
Naruto found himself in familiar surroundings. Filthy water wet his hands and knees, sending a cold chill up his spine. Naruto didn’t have to turn around to know there would be an enormous iron gate behind him, sealed shut with but the frailest looking of seals. The gate was clanging loudly as an immense force threw itself against its prison bars. The nine tails was determined. It would not settle for a chakra visage of itself this time. This time, it was determined to be free. Naruto knew he had to stop this, knew that everything depended on it, but for the first time, he began to doubt that he could. The young man refused to turn and look at the giant red fox eyes of his tormenter. Instead, he sat in the murky water, and buried his head in his knees.
"This seal is going to break today, child." Said the fox. "There is nothing you can do but let me show you what true power is."
Naruto raised his head, but still did not look at the fox.
"But, why here? Please, not here. My friends will . . ."
"Ha!" sneered the Kyuubi. "What friends? You mean the people outside that wish only to hold you down? To hold you back! You are of no use to them, they know they can’t trust you. Even that pink-haired wench and your so-called Hokage.""How dare you . . ." Naruto began angrily.
"How dare YOU! Brat."Hokage. What a foolish title. Why do you still desire only that, when with my power you could bring the entire WORLD to its knees?"
"I don’t care about any power except that which I can protect my precious friends with. Your power only hurts them. I don’t want it."
"No, you fool. YOU are the one that hurts them."Naruto was silent. He felt like crying. Could he cry tears in this place? The damn fox wasn’t right. It couldn’t be right. Naruto had no argument. He was tired of arguing . . .so very tired of struggling so hard every day. Naruto felt his body go limp. He began to float with a slow current in the dirty yellow brown water.
"Now, boy. Give yourself over to me one more time."
Naruto did not resist as he suddenly found himself in the grip of a giant paw. Its force began cushing him as it pulled him slowly toward the gap between the bars. Naruto didn’t cry out at the pain, but he was certain that tears were rolling down his face