Leaves spiral in the soft eddy as Naruto meets Karin in the Forest of Death. From that moment on, the two bearing the Clan name carried with them the fate of the Uzumaki and would be forever entwined.
Whirlpools Among the Eddies by CRed1988 is a For Want of a Nail Fic, where things diverge after Naruto saves Karin from the bear during the Chunin Exams, rather than Sasuke. Karin learns that he is an Uzumaki and decides that she wants to know him better by staying in Konoha.
This work contains examples of:
- Defecting for Love: Karin ultimately turns to working against Orochimaru because she fell in love with Naruto.
- Easily Forgiven: Naruto largely forgives Karin for originally trying to betray him, mostly because she didn't go through with it and he's that nice. The Hokage and the Village Elders were ultimately left debating on the subject and (at Danzo's recommendation) settled for just leaving her under a probationary period in the village since her talents are useful and playing nice meant Naruto was more likely to remain loyal.Danzo: "If the talk of her being a natural-born chakra sensor is true, we can use her sensory abilities to track down otherwise difficult targets. And as long as she remains in our custody and is seen being treated adequately, the Jinchuuriki will remain within our grasp for showing her mercy and a fading clan can be retained should we be unable to undo the blood-lock on those masks."
- Femme Fatale Spy: Played with. Because Karin was working for Orochimaru, the goal was largely to lure Naruto away from the village and so she pitched this idea to her team from Hidden Grass as an excuse to stay behind after they lost the preliminaries. However, Karin herself could sense when she was being watched due to her Mind's Eye and Kakashi preemptively warned her against trying to get information from Naruto, so she never bothered trying to.
- For Want of a Nail: The story occurs from when Naruto saves Karin during the Chunin Exams, rather than Sasuke.
- In Love with the Mark: Karin was largely supposed to lure Naruto out of the village to be captured by Orochimaru and Kabuto. The month spent getting him ready for the Finals left her falling in love with him, despite knowing the consequences of failure, because she largely had no experience with doing such a thing and hadn't learned how to shut such emotions out.Koharu: "Only because she was inexperienced and young, allowing her emotions reach that point so quickly that it compromised her judgment. Had Orochimaru trained her towards shutting off her heart for the sake of the mission, I have no doubt that she could have left the village with both the young man and the relics retrieved from that forgotten temple. It was a stroke of luck that we can't count on again."
- Make Them Rot: Exposure to the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra cloak, which is composed of corrupted Yang Chakra, results in organic material being corroded and rotting.
- Moral Pragmatist: Danzo's approach to everything so far in the story. He has Karin handled with kid gloves because she was more useful alive than dead, and wanted Orochimaru killed because he was a liability at that point.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Naruto's reaction every time he snaps out of a Nine-Tailed Fox fueled rage, due to the fact that he usually ends up nearly hurting someone by accident. The first time he nearly killed Sakura, and the second he nearly killed Karin.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Kabuto and the Sound Four make it clear that Karin would be subjected to a Fate Worse than Death if she got caught after she betrayed them.
- Schmuck Bait: Karin's thoughts on her teammates plan. To clarify, she's basically playing Damsel in Distress during the Chuunin Exams in the Forest of Death, where everyone was competing to claim a scroll. To that end, her teammates riled up a bear to chase after her. No one with common sense would try to rescue her, otherwise they'd risk losing their scroll. Cue Naruto jumping in with a bunch of clones.
- Took a Level in Idealism: Karin, to an extent. Given the loss of her mother and working as a spy for Orochimaru, she was fairly cynical (though she masked it from others) until Naruto and the treatment she got gradually allowed her to have more hope for the future with him.
- Unexpected Inheritance: The Nine Masked Beast from the Uzumaki Storage Temple.
- Unstoppable Rage: Naruto hits it when he takes on too many tails worth of the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra.