I don't own Naruto.

Itachi's muscles ached for twisted release, his spine fluttered in excitement and his blood boiled in exhilaration. His body was carried by his sick desire, blood clouding his mind.

'The Uchiha need a wake up call.'

Compelled, Itachi gripped the kunai in his hand tighter, his palm sweating. Hundreds of blades were littered across the dark, charred green grass. The soil bled as two warriors clashed mercilessly. From behind him, a set of whirling red eyes glowed desperately.

A silent strike to the neck.

Itachi collapsed, but the figure did not relax. The shadow's crimson eyes darted around, ignoring the body on the ground dispersing into crows.

An almost inaudible snap shot through the shadow's ears like it was a roar, prompting the shadow to vanish and a barrage of kunai to appear where he once stood from all directions.

Itachi, appearing equally as shadowy as the figure he was fighting, vanished in his own shunshin.

A sick squelch.

A warm spray.


The shadow grunted as he stood still, but he knew that it was a killing blow. The careless blaze of a small fire in the distance revealed the shadow's form slowly. His hair was wavy, almost like soft teardrops. His face was delicately handsome, boyish, even. His eyes were demonically red, but gentle troughs resided underneath them.

"Why, Itachi?" The man asked like he hadn't even been stabbed. Like he wasn't even dying. But that could not be further from the truth. He was being killed inside by his most precious friend's betrayal.

"It's simple Shisui. For the power of our clan," Itachi replied simply, his eyes cold and unfeeling as Shisui rested on his shoulder from the force of the stab.

"For the mangekyou?" Shisui had already asked, but he needed confirmation.

'The Uchiha need a wake up call.' Naruto's words played through Itachi's head once more.

Shisui closed his eyes. He wouldn't get an answer. "It doesn't matter. You're my closest friend. I won't… let you fall into our curse," Shisui stated with complete self-belief. His words were getting weaker as his grip on his consciousness weakened. "You're a good person at heart. To me, you're not the prodigy of the Uchiha clan. To me, you're my friend, Uchiha Itachi. A strong shinobi with a strong heart. You feign indifference with a mask of coldness, but you're a thirteen year old boy that has had to bear the burden of a whole clan on his shoulders. You're not dark. You're the hope of the clan. Somebody who can change the ways of old and create a new, brighter future for us," Shisui smiled as Itachi still didn't move. He slowly raised his head and his eyes opened as he looked his friend in the eye, but Itachi noticed that his eyes were different.

The mangekyou sharingan.

"Kotoamatsukami," Shisui stated clearly. "If it means losing my life in the process, then I'll do it if it's to help my friend. To push you back onto the path of light when you stumble, then I can't back down. Take my eyes and let me be your new light."

Tranquil, Shisui closed his eyes as he felt his life slip away from him. He had made his peace and he was happy to die if it meant saving his friend. If it meant protecting his clan. If it meant defending the village.

Self sacrifice. A nameless shinobi that protected peace from within its shadow. That was the true mark of a shinobi and for that reason, he was content to die then.

"You are foolish," Itachi stated from behind him. Shocked with a defibrillator of pure horror, Shisui's eyes shot open helplessly. The Itachi he was leaning on didn't fade, but it was clear that it was a clone. "Hope is a lie and nothing ever changes. As long as we are human, we will always carry a fatal disease. Our humanity. As long as our humanity exists, so will despair. Despair is the truth. We are not free, no matter how free we think we are. Our lives are just a string of lies where one person's 'reality' is different from another's."

Blood was oozing out of Shisui's mouth and the light in his eyes was slowly fading. He was about to die. He should have known that Itachi had duped him, but at this point, he could barely see due to his deteriorating eyesight.

"You… just want to be free," were his final words. Itachi's faux body vanished into nothingness.

Shisui collapsed as he was surrounded by a flock of crows. They cawed a hymn for the fall of a great man, singing him to sleep, blanketing him in a swarm of black and then, finally, fading to nothing.

Itachi masked the troubled expression on his face.

Shinobi do not feel remorse

It was a mantra he repeated in his head over and over again.

If he kept telling himself that he didn't feel guilty, then maybe it would become true.

But the searing pain in his eyes did not lie as his pupil twisted like a tempest and a three spoked pinwheel stabbed the innards of his irises.

He closed his eyes in pain and then slowly opened them to reveal an eyeless, very dead, Shisui right in front of his face, sockets like abysses.



Itachi's eyes shot open, his breathing slightly uneven. He felt a light coating of sweat clinging to his skin. He did not react any more, keeping almost perfect control of himself.

'That dream, again.'

His sight focused and he saw the stars twinkling in the sky, painting a story - fate, one may say.

Fate - what a cruel thing. Itachi had spent hours contemplating the subject, but ultimately, decided he did not care for it. If fate was set in stone, he did not know and he no longer cared…

So why was he thinking about it now?

Fate… was it his fate to massacre his clan? Was it his fate to lose sight of his beliefs? Was it the fate of the Uchiha to perish?

Why? Why? Why did he do anything? What was the purpose of his actions - the meaning of his life? To fight? There was more to life than fighting.

He knew what the meaning of his life was, his purpose before all this started: his home. But what did he have now? He'd taken away his purpose for living all for power; he no longer had reason to use the power he gained.

Everytime he thought about it, Naruto's words played through his head. They were harmless words - an offhanded sentence but they were the words that had changed everything.

Those words had gained him freedom, yet taken away his purpose. He did not know what to feel about them.

The trouble with freedom, was, that once you had it, you had know idea what to do with it. Man desired to be lead. Everybody, even leaders were slaves to society. It was impossible for everybody to be free. The world was interdependent.

He tried to close his eyes, but once again, Shisui's face flashed in his mind, so he opened them once more and prepared himself for another sleepless night.


The room circled with shadowed holograms stood silently. 9 sets of eyes bored through the darkness as they waited for the meeting to start.

"We have collected three Bijuu as it stands," Pein drawled monotonously, getting straight to the point. "The one tail, as of recent, the three tails and the seven tails. We have only sealed the Ichibi as we must seal the beasts in order of their tails. This means that as our next target, we must capture the two tails."

"Hahaha, let me capture em'! They'd make perfect sacrifices to Jashin-sama!"

"Hidan, you fool. You do know we must capture them," It was a statement and not a question.

"I fuckin' know but they might have some friends to sacrifice!" An almost orgasmic glee was in his voice.

"Beasts do not have friends."

"Enough." Pein interrupted. "Hidan. Kakuzu. I'm assigning this job to you."

"Hehehe," Hidan giggled gleefully, sweet dreams of blood and self inflicted pain running through his mind.

"Very well."

A new voice joined in.

"Pein-sama," Itachi's plain voice called. "What are we to do about the current situation?"

Pein knew exactly what Itachi was talking about, "We do not get involved with the petty squabbles of the great nations. We take advantage of the opportunity and seize the beasts when the nations are weakened. We must not let the jinchuuriki die prematurely."

"Yes," Itachi stated. "I meant, how are we going to obtain the tailed beasts?"

"The villages will no longer ignore their weapons. For this reason, we cannot go unnoticed. This is inconsequential. They will use their weapons; they will not protect them. They will undergo missions and be pulled out of isolation. This gives us more opportunities."

"I see," Itachi stated. "Very well, then."

"Are there any more questions?" There was a silence. They could see him nod in the shadows. "Dismissed."

For Itachi, the scene faded and he was once more sitting in a cave, leant against the rock. He stood up and spared a short glance behind him.

"Let's go, Kisame," he said to a blue skinned man with a large sword attached to his back.

'I know you started this war, Naruto. What are your motives?' Itachi walked forward. 'I do not know how you think, but I am determined to find out.'

"Where are we going, Itachi-san?"

"Hn," Itachi grunted dismissively. "You tell me."

Kisame grinned.

"Are all of you Uchiha so cold?" Kisame asked playfully. "If they all act like you, then it's no surprise why you killed a bunch of them."

Itachi ignored him. Kisame could not get under his skin like Naruto could. It was perhaps in the way they said things. With Kisame, you could tell it was a joke and that he was intentionally trying to rile you up, but with Naruto, it was more like an offhanded comment that didn't hold any ill intentions. It was said like small talk. It made Itachi's actions, that he had spent so much time regretting, seem like something small.

It was patronising.

Itachi did not look back. He wanted - no needed - to know just how far Naruto had got underneath his skin without him even knowing because at this moment of time, his only answer to Why? was Naruto…

And that was simply preposterous.


Four wooden walls imprisoned a single chair in the middle of a tiny room. Around the blood stained wooden confines were various crude tools. Rusty saws, hammers and dented buckets. A single, flickering light switch hung like a corpse in the centre of the room and the dust loomed in the air like poisonous smoke. On the chair was a lone man, tied and gagged.

Naruto stood next to him, a bucket in hand.

"Do you wish to talk now?" He asked pleasantly. He bent down in the man's face and smiled serenely. Hooking his finger around the gag, he pulled it up, ignoring the pained grunt and the protest of the man's compressing head, liberating his mouth.

The man spat in his face.

"How vulgar," Naruto hummed. He pulled a handkerchief from his sleeve and gracefully dabbed the spit off his cheek. He brought a kunai to the man's face and traced a delicate line in his cheek.

"I can look past that, though. Your hate feels wonderful. Orgasmic even," Naruto purred. The man shivered. How messed up was this kid? Never had he encountered somebody like this.

"H-how could have Hokage-sama had a child as horrible as you?" The man asked shakily.

"I wonder…" Naruto trailed off. "I'm not quite sure, Kotetsu-san. Life is just one big ball of mystery, is it not?" Naruto ran a smooth finger up his face, brushing over his rough skin like it was a furry animal. He reached up to Kotetsu's eye and slowly applied more pressure. Kotetsu gritted his teeth. "Tell me what I want to know, please," Naruto asked gently.

Cold chills ran through Kotetsu's spine; how could somebody sound so innocent and do something so horrific? Naruto's mere presence was more unsettling than the torture itself. Naruto's finger pressed harder and harder and eventually was like a vice.

Soon the pressure became unbearable and Kotetsu felt like his eye was going to be crushed.

"Stop!" He cried out in pain. "Please just stop!"

Naruto lessened the pressure. "Are you going to talk now?"

"No..." Kotetsu said. He was not the most resistant to torture, but he couldn't just give in.

Naruto's eyes remained the same, expressing nothing.

"Very well, then," Naruto said smoothly. He raised the kunai in his other hand around the back of Kotetsu's head and cut of his blindfold. It revealed the traumatised black eyes of a leaf shinobi. "If you couldn't take that, then I am going to give you worse. That is not a threat. It is a fact. I have all the power here. I am your God."

Kotetsu gritted his teeth and looked at his tormentor through narrowed eyes.

"When I get out of here, I will get the Hokage to put you down."

"What makes you think that you are going to escape?" Naruto asked calmly. He did not sound offended, or aggressive - just mildly curious.

"My comrades will come for me. That's what it means to be a leaf shinobi - to embrace the will of fire."

"How touching - to think that I missed out on that nonsense when I left the village... It really soothes my soul."

Kotetsu glared. "How could you!? How could you betray your father, your mother, your village!? Do you know how much they want you back?"

Kotetsu snapped his mouth shut. He did not mean to reveal that information. Naruto's grin seemed to grow larger.

"How could I? With ease. I don't mean to be rude, but we are getting off topic. So, if you would…" Naruto picked up a calloused hand of Kotetsu's and raised a kunai to it. Kotetsu's eyes widened.

Naruto looked him in the eyes one more time, before lowering his kunai into Kotetsu's fingernail. Sweat dribbled from the man's forehead and Naruto placed the kunai underneath the man's fingernail. Bringing it up slowly, It felt like a nail was slowly being inserted into his skin. His nerves protested and cried as Naruto used the kunai like a lever and slowly tore his nail from his finger.

With a quick movement, Naruto snapped the Kunai up and broke his victim's fingernail halfway making the veins in Kotetsu's neck bulge. The pain - oh… fuck - It hurt so so bad, that Kotetsu could barely withstand it. Naruto brought his free hand to the snapped nail and promptly ripped the rest of it off, sending Kotetsu's senses haywire.

"AHHHHHHHH!" Kotetsu roared. It was as if somebody had broken his finger off, but at the same time it wasn't as a gentle stream of air tormented him, keeping the pain in him alive and consistent. Where his fingernail once was, only torn skin remained and it bled.

Naruto stepped away and picked up something off a shelf. He approached Kotetsu once more, relishing in his hate and despair. He revealed the item: salt and then he stepped up to Kotetsu and tipped it in his wound, making his face contort in a soul shattering pain. It felt as if every nerve in his body was being dissected alive.

It was unbearable.

But this boy's presence was even more unbearable.

Naruto neared his ear, his lips seemingly brushing against the ear and like it was a sweet nothing, he whispered: "Your comrades are dead," in his ear. "There's no hope. Just talk and I'll make all your pain go away."

"I'll talk! I'll talk!" He cried out. "Just stop it! Please."

It wasn't the pain that compelled him. It was the cold shiver in the base of his spine when Naruto haunted his ear with his voice.

"Good boy," Naruto praised, "Now, tell me everything you know about Konoha's current situation. Leave anything out and… well, I daren't say anything else, shall I?" Naruto chirped pleasantly.



Orochimaru stood in a deep crevice of a mountain, a hungered look on his face. Behind him was Kabuto and Kimimaro, blank faced and ready for action. Orochimaru had his arms crossed. "Relax, boys," Orochimaru said soothingly, his voice sending shivers down mother nature's back as the wind stirred.

"But we must assure your safety, Orochimaru-sama," Kimimaro protested gently.

"And you're doing a fine job, but it matters not. No harm will come to me. I know it."

Kimimaro nodded. He was not going to question the greatness of Orochimaru. He had complete faith in him.

They stood in silence for a second, waiting.

Orochimaru's head tilted up and he was greeted by a growing shadow. The sound of crackling built up and without warning, a massive force hit the ground and rubble and dust was brought up from the impact. Another smaller shadow descended down at a slower pace.

It was A, the Raikage, and Oonoki, the Tsuchikage.

"Greetings," Orochimaru welcomed. "You are late," It was a statement, but Orochimaru did not sound annoyed.

"Can't be too safe around former leafies like you," The Raikage shot back in distrust.

Orochimaru smirked. "How flattering," he cooed. A narrowed his eyes. "Why all the mistrust? I just want to help you."

Oonoki crossed his arms. "You can't trust a missing nin. They've betrayed before, and they'll betray again."

"That's rich of you to say. Hm, I seem to remember an incident at Yosuga pass? I seem to remember countless more incidents, too? In the end, we are all ninja. Lies and deceit… that's what we specialise in."

Oonoki gritted his teeth. How dare this brat lecture him and make out his village to be villains?

"But that does not matter. We have a mutual enemy in Konoha and I am going to offer you a proposition."

"Get to the point," A said impatiently.

"Must you skip the build up? It makes things all the more satisfying…" Orochimaru grinned an unsettling grin.

"A-dono does have a point," Oonoki butted in.

"Of course," Orochimaru conceded. "Well, I would like to offer you my assistance. I have my own shinobi forces."

A and Oonoki shared a glance at each other, hunger evident in their eyes.

"And I also, courtesy of a… friend, have Konoha's security plans and a man, Kabuto-kun here, on the inside."

That was all they needed. "Continue," A and Oonoki said at the same time.

Orochimaru licked his lips. "Of course. Shall I go over the specifics of this little agreement?"

A and Oonoki nodded.

"Very well."


Natsuko breathed in the fresh air of the morning through her nostrils. She had her arms crossed and a childish pout on her face.

"Mou… it's too early," She complained, looking up at Kakashi.

"Maa, maa, complaining will get you nowhere," Kakashi drawled, a hand in his pocket. "Just be grateful that I'm on time."

"Grateful?" She repeated incredulously. "As if. You should be glad that you're finally growing up!"

Kakashi raised a single eyebrow. "Do you have any room to be talking about being grown up?" He said with a smile. She could hear the patronising undertone in his voice and she glared.

"Of course I do! I'm a mature young woman now!"

Kakashi hummed nonchalantly. "Your chest says otherwise," he commented offhandedly.

"What was that?" She asked quietly. Kakashi smiled and turned his head back.

"I said your chest says otherwise. I mean, you're flat as a board."

She barely restrained herself from hitting him. Face turning smug, she crossed her arms. "I mean in mind, not in body. I don't think you would understand that you big, disgusting pervert!"

"Is that so?" Kakashi ruffled her hair. "Thank you for enlightening me, Natsuko-hime!" She glared fiercely. That was a low blow… she hated that nickname. "Now let's find your teammates!" He chirped.

"Why did you even pick me up?" She asked in moderate confusion.

"I wanted to show your kaa-chan that I was on time," Kakashi sent a masked smile at the girl. "That's all."

She smiled. "You're just scared of her."

Kakashi didn't deny anything, he just kept on walking.

'She's still so naive… I don't want her to grow up yet. I know that she's not ready for this war mentally.'

He looked up into the sky. 'She's so similar to how Obito used to be… but even he changed for the worst. I don't want it to happen to her, too.'

Kakashi kept on walking down the street. The civilians were upbeat. They didn't know what was going on. They were living in their own bubble of ignorance. It was superficially nice, but as a shinobi, it infuriated him. His comrades were dying, people who he had bonded over blood with and these people were smiling like nothing was going on. They called themselves adults, but he was more grown up at the age of 10.

Maybe in some alternate dimension, the thought of raising child soldiers and stealing their innocence was abhorred and if civilians really thought about it, they would abhor it, too, but it was all he knew. He was born to fight and die; he became a man at 7 years old, a year after becoming a genin when he slit his first throat. He could not understand the average person.

They just wanted to live in peace, but they did nothing about it. Maybe if they experienced a healthy dose of reality, they would realise what a pipe dream it was.

He believed that Minato could create peace when he became the Hokage, but that was unreasonable. To put that burden on one man was cruel. It took a whole world to obtain peace. War makes profit and money makes the world go around; it was safe to say that peace was an impossibility.

But he shook himself out of his darker, more cynical thoughts and put a smile on his face. Maybe if he kept on smiling, he would believe that everything was alright.

Just maybe.

After collecting Sasuke and Sakura, they made their way to the training ground.

Kakashi stood up straight mostly, but his shoulders were slightly slumped.

"Yesterday's performance in the bell test was pathetic," He stated bluntly. He had tested them yesterday, performing the standard bell test. Natsuko and Sasuke made it a competition and Sakura was determined to get on a team with only Sasuke. They soundly failed the first test, but in the second test, they pulled through - barely, when Natsuko reluctantly offered Sakura her lunch.

Sasuke was not willing to let the fangirl get disillusioned and think that he held a shred of affection for her, otherwise, he would have done it, too.

But that was beside the point.

"But we passed, didn't we?" Sakura piped up.

"By a small margin," Kakashi added. "If it was up to me, I would have failed you right away, but apparently, that's 'too harsh', so I was forced to add a second part of the test a few years ago."

Even Sasuke looked a little startled by that.

"Normally, I would have been more lax, but you must understand the reality of the situation now." Kakashi said, giving his genin a solid look in the eye. "This is war. War brings death. Death does not discriminate."

Sasuke's eyes darkened as he thought of That Man. He had been lectured by the reaper himself - he was no stranger to death.

"Hokage's daugher," Kakashi said, giving Natsuko a sharp glance. Natsuko gulped. "Uchiha," Kakashi didn't look at Sasuke - it was unneeded. "Little girl." He bored a hole into Sakura with his gaze. She felt her wrists get weak and a cold feeling caress her back - a dark pit forming in her stomach. "It doesn't matter who you are. You are not above death. You will kill and you may be killed. That is an inevitability in the life of a shinobi. Any illusions of a grandeur that you still hold on to, get rid of them now. Konoha has no time for people who think that this is a game. My job is to make sure that you don't die and the first step to that," He crossed his arms. "Is teamwork."

They were silenced by Kakashi's harsh words. Kakashi inwardly sighed. If it was a time of peace, he would have eased them into the life of a shinobi and let them come to their own realisations, but he couldn't do that right now. Obito's face flashed through his mid,

"No matter how strong you are, you can't shoulder everything yourself. That's when you become arrogant and withdrawn," Sasuke gripped his hands at the familiar words of his brother. "And when you become arrogant is when you die. When you become withdrawn is when you lose sight of the world around you. For this reason. we have comrades. People who we share our burden with - people who keep us grounded. These are the people that save your life."

Kakashi smiled brightly. "So, before we do any physical exercises, I'm assigning you a task."

"W-what is it, Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura asked shakily.

Kakashi withdrew a simple scroll from his breast pocket.

"There's a place in Konoha called 'The forest of death," Kakashi stated. "Using only the things in this scroll, you will survive in there for 24 hours."

They were wide eyed.

"Are you insane? We'll die!" Natsuko protested.

Kakashi didn't flinch. "Maybe so… I advise you to get a good grasp on teamwork rather quickly then."

Kakashi wasn't stupid. He would protect them from the shadows… only if their lives were truly at stake. It was a drastic measure, but he could not let his team die on the field.

He had watched too many comrades fall to do so.


"Is there anything more?" Naruto asked, his eyes by the floor. Kotetsu shook his head negative.

"Are you lying to me?" Naruto questioned, looking up, a small, peaceful smile was on his face. It was the smile of somebody who had breathed in the fresh air of the morning and thought 'today is going to be a good day.'

"N-no," Kotetsu shook his head wildly. "I wouldn't- I couldn't!"

Naruto's smile grew. "Really? Are you asking for another fingernail to be taken away?" Those eyes - eyes that could make a demon shrivel in fear focused on Kotetsu. Frosty eyes in the middle of a fire - they revealed nothing. Kotetsu's body unconsciously started shivering and he felt the urge to run away and let the world know of the monster in front of him. His heart pounded.




He felt it get slower as it was frozen in his veins.

"I'm just joking," Naruto scratched the back of his neck. "Did you not appreciate it?"

Kotetsu gasped.

"Why are you like this?" He asked feebly.

"Why? Maybe for tranquility. Maybe for chaos. Who knows?" Naruto decided to humour him. "As the world turns, so does everything within it. The world runs in cycles. Cycles of money, cycles of war, cycles of hate… I just want to see what happens when you speed up those cycles. Do they fly out of control, or something else?"

Naruto shrugged.

"That's just one reason, though. I suppose it's not my main reason, but I've always been curious."

Kotetsu glared. "You're doing... whatever you've done, out of curiosity?"

Naruto ran a hand through his hair.

"Perhaps," he admitted. "But everything I do is in the name of beauty. Do you want to see my beauty?"

Kotetsu was silent.

"I'll show it to you," Naruto said after a moment of quiet. He grabbed Kotetsu's head with both of his hands almost like it was a baby: gently, lovingly.

Suddenly, his hands twisted and a loud crack was heard.

"My beauty is death."

Naruto stepped away, his face blank. He closed his eyes… and when he opened them again there was a shadow in the corner of the room.

Red eyes gleamed and the reflection of him, with green skin and black hair, took a step out, a vacant expression on his face. Naruto took a step forward, matching his step and then reached out to touch his scaly reflection, but his hand swiped right through it and he couldn't touch it.

'I'm seeing things once more.' Naruto thought. 'That's my humanity? I can't quite grasp it, but I can't get rid of it... When will it be enough?'

He closed his eyes.

'It matters not. Okaa-sama, I'm coming for you...'


Kushina watched the night time sky, hearing the gentle breeze blow over, fluttering the casual robe she wore. The grass tickled her feet and the peace hollowed her ears. A judas tree watched her in the shadows and the dahlias on the ground took in her scent. The moon was barely present, providing just enough light for her to see.

She couldn't sleep. How could she? She had so much on her mind.

Her husband. Her daughter. Her son.

She was mad at Minato, but she understood why he did what he was doing. She didn't want to, but he was simply being a good Hokage. She could hardly fault him for that. After all, it was his job.

But it was her son she was missing. She couldn't just give up on him, could she? And more importantly, Naruto was Natsuko's goal, too. He was the reason she trained so hard. If she gave up on Naruto, it would also be like giving up on Natsuko and she was not willing to do that.

She knew she was being selfish… but this was her family. Not even a God could come between her family and her. If she had to burn in hell for the rest of her life just to keep her family safe, then she would make that sacrifice…

Because to her, there was nothing more precious.

The feeling of holding her children for the first time was a feeling she could never forget. It was euphoric. She had never felt so happy in her life.

For the first time since she was a child, she could call somebody flesh and blood. Her flesh and blood. When she saw her children smile, when she fed them, when they cried, that was a constant reminder of what she had and it helped her get through the toughest times.

The thought of her child suffering, that was unbearable.

She could not let that happen.

Her eyes narrowed as she heard a ruffling sound from the tree. She let a kunai drop from her sleeve into her hand and readied for combat.

"Who's there?"

She turned her head around, and her eyes widened, her kunai dropped from her hand in shock. A figure dropped from the trees, landing right in front of the flowers on nimble feet.

Tears built up in her eyes. This couldn't be happening.

"Naru…" she breathed.

"It's good to see your face again, Okaa-sama," came the smooth, boyish voice of Naruto, his eyes visible in the darkness, benevolent.

So here's the newest chapter. I won't really be focusing on Natsuko for long, but I felt this necessary. If you guys are wondering, why Kakashi is OOC, well I think that in a war, he really wouldn't mess around. He's seen too many comrades die to act like it's times of peace. Also, Minato is alive and he's gotten some closure over Obito, so I think, while not unscarred, he'd be a bit more over his depression.

I try to make each chapter useful to the story or character development without making them drawn out. I try to make everything as concise as possible, but still detailed, if you know what I mean. I'm not quite sure how well I pull that off. If you think that I'm rushing, then please say something about it, Honestly, I thought at this point, I'd be about three quarters of the way through the story, but I'm about halfway, so... that's a surprise.

Feel free to review! It would make my day :)