Chapter 60 The Fall and Rise
Minato never ran as fast in his life with the possible exception being when he went to save his wife Kushina from the kidnappers on the night Naruto was born. Seconds after he saw the flare in the sky over the he had bolted away from his wife and daughter as they ate a dinner in the field. For a moment multiple demon just stood back and watched as this flare exploded over the lake and just hovered there for a moment before slowly descended toward the water. Few of them had any idea what was going on and the handful that did were either too tired to care about it or like him where rushing across the water. He almost tripped multiple times over the floating dead bodies in the water, he took a moment to look back over his shoulder he could see Kushina no more than a 100 yards back and behind her mixed in with the rush of at least two dozen demons was Meiko. He was concerned for a moment but beside his daughter was Kakashi, if this was a trap of some kind he would protect her.
His feet hit the small pebbled beach of the center island, as he ran up a paved road toward the hot spring/spa building. The glowing flare was now low over the building and beginning to fade, as the light began to fade it gave a haunting red light to the buildings around him. He had been there with Kushina on their secret honeymoon, it had been a beautiful place and worth every penny toward the cost. It was still beautiful with all the hard wood and titled work but now cast in red light and shadow it gave a creepy deadly feel. Still he pushed forward the main door and pushed it open into the lobby. It was almost pitch black and he could just make out the darkened outline of the welcoming desk. He had remembered a young woman sitting behind that desk welcoming Kushina and him to their appointed spa day. Even with his pay as an ANBU front line commander and war hero he could only pay for a single day in the most expensive high-end spa in the world.
He and Kushina had spent a few hours here in the hot springs and after some arm twisting his new wife had convinced him to try a mud bath and a full body massage. He moved down the darkened hallway unsure of where he would have to go in this building to find his son but if he had to he would search every room in the complex from the attic to the crawlspaces he would rip this place apart if he had to. He hadn't even have to walk past the welcome desk before a voice called out from the darkness.
"We are down here!" yelled a female voice, the voice sound like Fuu's but it wasn't a perfect match but that could just be because of the radio. He moved down the hall making sure it wasn't some kind of trap until he reached a door. He pushed it open to find Fuu sitting on a chair with her head lowered in shame, in front of her was his son stripped down to his boxers and Sakura stripped down to only a sports bra and shorts. Both of them seamed passed out, judging from the black and blue bruises just starting to form on Sakura's and Naruto's faces both of them had taken a beating of some kind recently.
"Well your finally here." stated Fuu in a distant voice as she stood up and Minato noticed for the first time that she was a demon, her insect like wings where folded behind her. "Both of them are knocked out, I did it myself. Their stuff is over there, I didn't reseal them but I am sure they will want them, you can handle that."
"Ok." Said Minato as he looked at the younger woman, she had a look of pure defeat. It was the look he had seen many times during the war, it was a look of pure defeat when someone realized that they had been beaten. Once he saw that look he began to relax, while still slightly worried of traps he wasn't expecting it anymore. He knelt down and looked at his son and Sakura, he ran his hand through a few hand signs before placing one hand on either of them. He smiled when nothing happened, this was Naruto and Sakura not some clones of some kind. The seal he had just finished would have caused any clone technical to break but it didn't, it was his son not a fake. "I'll take care of it."
"I figured you would." stated Fuu "I hated doing it but in the end it may be for the best. We were beaten we lost this battle, according to Sakura Naruto will be out of the fight for months."
"He got hurt from the justu he pulled off." stated Minato his eyes never leaving his son and Sakura. He didn't even have to turn around to know when Kushina had entered the room, he knew her scent well enough to pick it up with ease. Kushina almost slid across the floor as she went to her knees beside her son and Sakura. Sakura was out of the water but not by much and her head rested on Naruto's chest right above the collar bone.
"Naruto?" said Kushina as she brought a hand to her son's cheek, however Naruto was out like a light he did move slightly into his mother's hand which brought a smile and more tears to her face but he didn't open his eyes.
"In case you're wondering Sakura used the mineral water to help heal his wounds, that is why he is stripped." stated Fuu "As for her, well standing in the water as long as she had to keep him alive and heal him she took the time to take it off."
"Thank you." thanked Kushina with tears in her eyes as she looked up at Fuu with a huge smile. "Thank you for bringing back our son."
"I didn't do it for you!" snapped Fuu with a sudden spark of pure anger in her voice. Then it dropped and the defeated look came back and she looked at Naruto and Sakura. "I did it for them, there was no point in going on and having either Naruto die from lack of treatment or in a now pointless fight. Besides they wouldn't surrender neither one of them would do that, this way they have someone to blame beside themselves or you all. Kind of hard to have a family reunion when each side hates the other, so let them hate me. I don't care."
"I think I understand your reasons." admitted Minato
"I don't care about her reasons, I am just happy to have our son back." responded Kushina as Fuu moved forward Naruto, she bent down and grabbed the necklace of the 1st Hokage which hung around his neck. With a gentle pull the necklace became tight and then with a yank the back snapped and it left Naruto's neck. For a second nothing happened then Naruto's image shimmered a bit as his chakra attempted to keep up the illusion but it failed and the illusion dropped.
For the first time Kushina and Minato saw what their son's new demon form, he did look like his father however he didn't have blonde fur like they expected. Like Kushina he had been a container of the kyuubi and it had affected her change, it made her fur a darker shade of red then her own natural human hair. Her daughter had the same hair color before the turn but when they became demons her shade was darker. Naruto's fur shade had turned from a blonde color like his father to take on a more orange tone similar to what the Kyuubi had himself it still had shades of blonde but not fully. He didn't have the black fur around his eyes but his whisker marks remained only in black fur. Like his father white fur ran down the front of his neck and his chest before disappearing under his shorts. About half way between his wrist and his elbow the fur changed from orange to white, just like it did with his father's. A similar thing happened on his legs only between the ankle and the knee.
"So this is what was hiding under the justu." said Mieko as she and other demons entered the room. Kakashi in the front and about a half dozen or so demons behind him in the hallway. He was holding them back somewhat letting the Namikaze family have a moment together. True Sakura was there but that wouldn't matter much in the end. Fuu was there as well but as she walked away she dropped the snapped necklace of the first Hokage on Naruto's chest. Mieko had moved to her brother's side across from her father and beside Sakura. "So what now?"
"We get them back to the hospital area, then we need to make sure Naruto doesn't make a run for it until we can talk to him." Said Minato
"If you have Sakura, you have him." advised Fuu "He loves her and she loves him, as long as they are together you should be able to talk to them. Fuck they will blame me for losing then they will blame you or themselves."
"Fuu, this could have only gone one way all you did was save them pain." countered Meiko as Fuu chuckled to herself.
"No I didn't, I just gave them someone to hate other then themselves and their family." countered Fuu with a shrug. "Well I am out of here, maybe I will pull what you pure demons plan to do. Change my name, move to a city where 80% of the population died and blend in with everyone. Find me a man or a woman for that matter, I'm not picky whatever makes me happy to be with and forget all this."
With that she turned and walked toward the door stopping for a moment in front of Kakashi who looked down at her. For a moment Kakashi just looked down at the younger fairy like woman, for her part she looked up with eyes that told him to get out of her way and that she was too tired to deal with him.
"Let her go." Ordered Minato as Kakashi moved to the side followed by the other demons behind him followed suit, with that Fuu disappeared into the crowd of demons.
"We need to get the two of them across the lake and back to camp." ordered Minato as he went through the options, Naruto was clearly weak and it wouldn't be totally safe to move him without the proper equipment. He wasn't about to risk his son's life now that he had him back.
"Kakashi we need two stretchers." ordered Minato and within moments two stretchers where brought forward. With all the care possible Naruto and Sakura where lifted up onto their own stretchers and taken out of the room. Kushina never left her son's side, only occasionally looking toward Sakura who was being carried first behind Naruto until they got outside then side by side.
"Naruto don't worry everything will be fine, we will all sit down and talk this out." said Kushina as she held her son's hand, Naruto for his part was still out cold and didn't respond in any way. That was fine to his mother after so many years apart, even holding his hand was enough to bring tears to her eyes.
They had reached the shore line before Sakura's parents rushed up to them, pushing their way through the crowed they came to their daughter who like Naruto was passed out but breathing normally.
"Sakura, dear." Said her mother as she kissed her forehead moving her hair out of the way with her clawed tipped hand. Like Naruto, Sakura didn't respond to her mother's touch.
"What happened, why is undressed?" inquired her father as he looked toward Minato.
"From what we know, your daughter was using the minerals in the hot springs to heal our son." explained Minato as Mr. Haruno nodded his bull like head before looking back down at his little girl who wasn't little anymore. "Sounds like something she would do, now I guess we turn her and end this."
"This is just the beginning, first we have to turn your daughter and the Yamanaka girl, then we get them load up upon to carts to take them back to the Leaf." explained Minato as he looked down at his son and then at Sakura. If what he heard was true, this young woman had captured his son's heart and she had given her heart to his son. In his mind's eye he wondered what she would look like as a kitsune like he and the rest of his family was, however she could become any demon type. In fact she was more likely to become either type of demon that her parent's where. That was an easy fix if it should happen. He shook his head a bit as he refocused on the issues at hand. "Then comes the hard part, talking to them and then rebuilding the Leaf village and the world as a whole."
"But this is the first and most important step, besides your son is already a demon why didn't you change our daughter as well?" inquired Mr. Haruno
"Our son wasn't changed the normal way, the demon chakra within him turned him without the plant." explained Minato "That is going to be a problem, he will want to keep fighting even though it is over."
"I am not so sure dad." countered Mieko as she looked at her brother and Sakura before looking at her parents. "He will be angry but all he ever wanted was a family and he has that now and of course his girlfriend. As long as he has that he may accept it faster then anyone expected."
"How long until they start sending people back to the Leaf?" inquired Kushina
"They are leaving now." answered Minato "However only the very wounded first, these two and his friends physically are fine. They will not be able to leave until morning at the earliest."
"Where are the rest of their friends?" inquired Mr. Haruno
"Over there." answered Minato as he pointed toward a half-destroyed building. As he did, Shizune walked out followed by two other demons. The medical ninja stopped for a moment and just looked at the small gathering around Sakura and Naruto. She quickly moved over to the group, stopping just within the ring of people who surrounded Naruto and Sakura still knocked out on their own stretchers.
"Finally." said Shizune breathing a big sigh of relief, "The hunt is over and the rebuilding can finally begin."
"Let's hope." confirmed Kushina "Sakura used the mineral water to help heal the wounds form Naruto's justu, can we do the same?"
Shizune paused for a moment, thinking about it.
"Fuck how come I didn't think of that, the minerals will help stabilize a person and make the transfer of chakra easier." stated Shizune as she gave Sakura a smile. Sakura didn't respond to the Shizune smile but her eyes did flutter open for a moment, her green eyes where unfocused and it was clear she couldn't see details.
"Naruto-kun?" inquired Sakura as looked up at Minato, for his part Minato smiled before pointing over toward where his son lied on his own stretcher.
"He is right over there, your safe now." said Minato as Sakura moved her head a bit and saw Naruto still knocked out, a mixture of the Fuu's hit and his already weakened state keeping him out longer.
"Naruto-kun." Said Sakura with a smile until her eyes adjusted some more and she saw all the demons around her.
"Fuck…" cursed Sakura
"Language dear." scolded her mother as Sakura made a move for her weapon pouch but in her weakened state, the move was sluggish and easily stopped. Her mother didn't even have to grab her hand, instead she reached down and undid the three straps holding it to her leg. "No…that time has passed."
Sakura didn't respond with her words only reaching out once again for her weapons to someone get to them, to somehow get back on her feet and to somehow save Naruto-kun and herself. She only got one of them, as suddenly her father wrapped her up and brought her to her feet holding her up on her unsteady legs. Another demon moved to help him hold her up.
"Come on dear, the sooner we get this done with the sooner we can go home." Said her father as Sakura looked at him.
"Why rush it?" advised Meiko "She's caught, why force it on her now give her some time to process?"
"Better to get it done with, that way she is safe even if she somehow does escape." Explained Mrs. Haruno
"Dad…let…me…go…." She cried weakly as she knew where she was being pulled to. It wasn't far, in fact it was less then a dozen feet away from where she had been, before her was one of those damn plants its mouth opening up as she came closer. The mouth which on the outside looked like giant peddled on any normal enough plant opened to show row after row of needle like teeth.
"Sorry, angel but this has to be done and it's for your own good." Said her father, it was in a tone of voice Sakura had heard parents use multiple times both growing up and as a doctor. In her work life she heard it mostly from parents talking to little children who didn't want to get a shot or take some medicine. But this wasn't some shot this was taking away her humanity, she struggled as best she could but she knew it wasn't enough.
"Naruto-kun!" yelled Sakura as she looked over her shoulder toward Naruto. Maybe it was his body finally getting over the blows that would have killed anyone else, or maybe it was hearing the woman he loves call out his name. It was at that moment, that Naruto's eyes opened and began to blink rapidly as they adjusted to the darkness around him.
"Naruto." said Kushina as she noticed her son waking up and moved toward him, likewise Minato and Meiko also turned toward him when they heard his name. Naruto's silted eyes looked past them toward Sakura who was being dragged away from him. Maybe it was animal instincts or the fear of losing the woman he loved, but with all his might Naruto forced himself up and shoving his mother away with such force it sent her stumbling backward to the ground. His father got a punch in the face as he attempted to stop his son however Naruto stepped over his father as he headed toward Sakura. Shizune moved forward and grabbed his arm causing him to spin around and face her.
"Naruto…you are in no condition too." Started Shizune only to see the look in the young kitsune's eyes, he didn't even see her when she was within arm's reach of him. His eyes where locked on one thing and one thing only, his goal of saving Sakura. Sakura for her part was struggling as best she could getting in a few blows against her father and the other demon helping him but it was like a child slapping a full grown adult's chest. It stung but it didn't stop the action.
Using all his limited strength Naruto moved forward toward Sakura holding onto his side as he moved, the broken and fractured ribs still healing. In fact one of them snapped while he was moving, even so he forced himself forward through the pain toward Sakura.
"Naruto stop there is no point…" started his father as he got back on his feet but Naruto couldn't hear him, he only heard Sakura calling for him, calling for his help.
"I am coming Sakura-chan!" said Naruto as he stretched out his hand…but it was too late. He had gotten a couple feet away from her and her captures, he was so focused on her he didn't even know it was her own father taking her to be turned when the captures let her go. She stood on her own for a few seconds and attempted to move away but her muscles where tired, her chakra reserved depleted. She never stood a chance as the open mouth of the demon plant came down on her.
It didn't hurt, that was what stood out to Sakura, it was unconformable, but it didn't hurt. The needle like teeth where so sharp and covered with liquid that it pierced through her skin as if it wasn't there. What did hurt was the compression as the massive muscles on this unworldly plant pressed her arms to her side and her feet together to make it easier to shallow her. She used what little strength she had to look down, the needles pieced every part of her body aside from her head, it came within inches of that but the teeth didn't reach. She was looking down when suddenly she felt herself leave the ground, she knew what was coming and still didn't look forward to it. The plants long neck was moving straight up to make her go down easier. Her fears where concerned as she began to move down the plants neck.
"NARUTO-KUN!" yelled Sakura at the top of her lungs as she looked down the neck the muscle forcing her downwards. It was strange the teeth seamed to retract a bit with each muscle movement before shooting out piecing into her body in another point. As she went down more she felt pull all over her body, being a medical ninja she knew what the pull was. Her chakra was being pulled out of body by this thing was sealing her human chakra. If her theory was true it was currently being transformed into a type of demon chakra which would be pumped back into her body to begin turning her into that demon. As she felt her chakra leaving her body something odd began to happen, she felt chakra growing within her but it didn't feel the same as her own chakra. At first she was confused about where this chakra came from but then she placed where she had felt this chakra before, it was Naruto's demon chakra. Her brain was still trying to wrap her mind around that when she felt some chakra coming back into her body and her head popped out into the "stomach" area of the plant.
With one last push she was forced into the liquid filled stomach, it smelled horrible and their was actually floating pieces of clothing from those who where turned before her and she swearer she saw a human scalp, hair and all. She spun around in the liquid, so her head was above the foul liquid, it stuck to everything and it burned a bit. That is when she noticed that all the holes punched into her cloths by the teeth of this thing had destroyed them to such a point that they where falling off her add to the slight acid in the stomach meant she wouldn't have cloths for much longer.
"SAKURA-CHAN!" yelled Naruto's voice from the outside, it was mumbled by the separation between the two and the now beginning to spin around her like a washing machine starting up.
"NARUTO-KUN!" yelled Sakura at the top of her lungs as the liquid began to spin around her, becoming a tidal force. She lost her feet as she began to spin around like a piece of clothing in a washing machine. She tried to hold her breath, but the liquid began to enter her lungs, she tried to keep awake but it was so hard. As her mind began to fade and she started to black out for the second time in less then an hour, she felt her body begin to change. She felt organs moving within her body and her bones moving within her. She felt a burst of pain coming from her tail bone area and she knew she now had a tale of some kind. She opened her eyes underwater, the liquid burning her eyes but through the spinning swirl she found herself in she could make out her new tale and that her feet had changed shaped.
"God, if this has to happen let me be with Naruto-kun the man I love." Prayed Sakura as she lost all thought as her body became limp. When her body relaxed, and she stopped fighting the change it speed up the change. Her facial structure changed and small amount of her blood as her skin was ripped apart by the change. The last thing that changed as the spinning began to die down was her skin as her once smooth skin became covered with fur.
Outside Naruto had pushed Mr. Haruno and the demon who had helped him carry his daughter to be changed aside and moved up toward the plant. He was stumbling toward the plant his eyes locked on the semi-clear membrane which was in the front of the plant. He could see Sakura spinning around inside, he had to get her out. He had to save her, he focused charka around his claws as he moved forward with the goal to rip Sakura out of the plant. Before he could get to the plant the spinning stop, he stopped in his tracks and tried to focus on the liquid. He could see a dark outline of a figure in the liquid. He tried to figure out what Sakura had become when the liquid began to move forcing Sakura up and out the same path which had taken her down. The long neck of the plant moved forward and spat out a figure only a few feet away from Naruto.
Naruto rushed forward dropping to his knees at her side, her back was to him and she was curled up into a fetal position. His eyes looked down at her, as he reached out and touched her. Her once smooth skin was replaced with pink fur, coming out of her tailbone was a fur covered tale which like her entire body was covered with this horrible smelling liquid. Her tail while padded down because of the liquid was bushy and tipped with white fur. He ran his hand over her side and rolled her over so that she was on her back. As he did she let out a cough spitting out liquid from her lungs which came out of her new muzzled face. His eyes looked at his love and what she had become, part of him wanted to scream for joy, his love was a kitsune like him the other part wanted to scream in rage for the change being forced on her.
"Sakura-chan." Said Naruto as he placed a hand on the side of her face. Her eyes opened a bit showing the same deep green shade however the iris had become slitted like his blue eyes where.
"Naruto-kun…." Said Sakura as she lifted her hand up to his face only to stop when she saw the black fur on her arms. Her finger nails had turned black as well and slightly pointed into short claws however they where not retracted like a cat would have been.
"It's alright Sakura-chan…your a kitsune." Answered Naruto as Sakura nodded her head weakly.
"How do I look?" inquired Sakura
"Your always beautiful to me Sakura-chan." Answered Naruto his eyes never leaving her eyes.
She chuckled weakly, before she spoke up again.
"Please look and tell me." ordered Sakura as Naruto turned his gaze away from her face and looked at Sakura's new body. White fur covered the front of her body, running from under her new muzzle down the front of her neck, spreading out over her chest before narrowing again coming to a point at her belly button. Starting at her knees and her elbows the pink fur turned to black and covered her limbs. He looked back up and saw that the fur around her head was long like his was giving it a semi hair style and out of the top of her head two pointed fox ears poked out. She was as beautiful to as a vixen as she had been as a human. "So how do I look?"
His answer came as he bent his head down and kissed her, she returned the kiss. When they separated he placed his hand on her now fur covered cheek.
"I am so sorry." Apologized Naruto
"For what?" inquired Sakura
"I didn't think we would lose." Admitted Naruto as their family members which had stayed slightly back began to move forward.
"Neither did I, Naruto-kun neither did I." answered Sakura with a tired sigh. "But at least we are still together."
"Sakura dear." Said her mother as Sakura finally looked past Naruto up toward her mother and father.
"Mom…Dad." Said Sakura "Forgive me but after having you shove me into that thing to be turned, I have no interest in talking to you for a while, so shove off."
"We did what we had to, it is for the best." Defended Mr. Haruno
"So you say." Said Sakura turning her attention away from her parents and back to Naruto. "However right now, I just want to get some sleep."
"Lets get you somewhere else and in some cloths first." advised Kushina as Sakura nodded her head. "Then we can get you all back to the Leaf."
The warm summer sun beat down on her as she sat outside the restaurant, as she sat there under the sun she tried not to look at the crowds of people filling the street before the newly opened restaurant which had in her option the best fish in the Leaf. It was strange she was never a huge fan of fish but ever since she turned she found she loved it.
"Must be the change." cursed Sakura Haruno under her breath as she looked back to the streets, where once it was full of humans it was now full of demons. The bulk of them maybe even everyone she could currently see had been human only 18 months ago, but she knew there had to be pure demons in the village. Part of her wanted to scream at the people in the street who were moving around on their daily tasks. She wanted to scream at the top of her lungs why did they go along with this? Why did they accept demon hood with such ease? Why did they act like everything was normal when it clearly was not. Instead with a sigh, she lowered her own eyes back to the medical file before her. She knew the answer, she hated the answer but she knew it.
It was because they where safe, safe from the nightmare of the red flu, safe from reliving the waking nightmare of watching people riot in the street. Safe from the pain of watching loved ones struggle for breath with fear in their eyes and from the pain of watching their last breath before they are thrown into the mass funeral piles. They where safe from all that nightmare, all that pain and all it costed them was their humanity. It was a trade they were more than willing to make.
There where of course some like her, she knew a lot of them who would voice their displeasure in private but there was seemly nothing anyone could do. Most people where more focused on remaking their lives as demons and rebuilding the world. The village was still a shell of it's former self, with only about half the population and that was after the survivors from multiple smaller villages across the land of fire had all resettled here. The sound of construction was none stop as new buildings went up replacing those who once held humans. The sound of lightly flapping wings almost directly behind her caused her to close the medical file.
"Piggy?" inquired Sakura as her best friend Ino moved around her to sit across from her. Like her and all their friends, Ino had been changed. Her skin tone had taken on a greenish tone, not a sickly tone but a noticeable one. She actually had live flowers growing out of her skin and in her still blonde hair. Around her neck Sakura could see where her friend's skin had hardened to a bark like structure, she knew the bark lined her friend's rib change and around her new four insect like wings.
"Not really a piggy anymore forehead." countered Ino as she sat down across from her, moments later a man walked up or rather slithered up.
"How can I help you?" inquired the snake man
"Yes, I'll take a garden salad and some ice water." answered Ino as the waiter nodded his head, his long forked tongue coming out a bit before he turned and slithered away. "I should feel somewhat guilty I am part plant now, since I changed but I eat plants so is that murder?"
"Whatever." said Sakura as she looked up into the sky, demon filled the sky as people flew back and forth like ninjas used to when they jumped from roof top to roof top.
"Still grumpy Sakura." countered Ino "Naruto and you aren't still having fun in the bedroom."
Sakura rolled her head back to her friend and glared at her for a moment with her demon silted eyes.
"Our love life isn't your concern just like yours and Sai's love life isn't mine." Said Sakura "I am already dealing with the fall out of Kiba and Karui I don't want to deal with yours."
"The two of them aren't trusting any doctor besides you still?" inquired Ino as she rolled her eyes. "Since Shizune ran off with Iruka and disappeared somewhere all the other doctors are turned humans just like you are. There is no reason why they shouldn't trust them just as much as they trust you."
"Your asking me that? ask Kiba and Karui not me." advised Sakura as she put her finger on the file. "Doesn't help that Karui isn't the most calm person when it comes to being pregnant and I don't specialize in babies. That is Rin not me, I am a combat medic."
"Well it will likely get some of her work shifted to you in a two months once she goes on maternity leave so you better get used to it." advised Ino as Sakura signed again, her tail flicking a bit in annoyance of the fact but happy her sensei had found love and would soon have a son or daughter, even if the pregnancy was extremely risky. The main benefit was that Rin had been adopted by the hospital staff and had taken over the same loved position Shizune once had before the flu, a whole hospital worth of Doctors and nurses where ready to help make sure her and her child was safe. "A lot of people are getting pregnant now, the birth announcements in the paper took up almost 3 whole pages in the paper last week."
"Baby boom, happens after every war and while not a war, this plague is close enough." Added Sakura "Hell the only thing happening more then babies being born is weddings. Shikamaru and Temari wedding is next week, you ready for that."
"In a way but my plans has changed a bit but I would actually go the other way, most people aren't waiting to be married at the moment to start a family." Said Ino with a grin as Sakura looked at her friend. It took a second but then a smile crossed her own face.
"I see." Said Sakura with a smile
"I don't think I will be drinking at the wedding like I planned." Confirmed Ino with a cocky grin.
"Congrulations, have you told Sia or your dad yet?" inquired Sakura
"Of course, I told Sai and we are going to tell my dad tonight so can you hold off on telling anyone else." Said Ino
"Besides Naruto who will I tell?" inquired Sakura "I am not talking with my parents and outside of work Naruto isn't talking with his family either."
"You have to let that go, Sakura both you and Naruto have to move on there is nothing that can be done about it now." advised Ino
"Well we are talking with Meiko but she is on a mission right now so I will not tell her." Said Sakura "So my lips are sealed."
"Good." said Ino before lowering her head a bit. "Sakura is it wrong for me to hope that it's a girl to name it after mom?"
"No, of course not." Answered Sakura as the waiter brought their food, salad for Ino fish for her. "I just wish I was in better speaking terms with my parents and I know Naruto-kun wishes the same for his but it…"
"It's hard to forgive them for turning us, I know but I have moved on." admitted Ino "At least you no longer have to worry about Hinata trying to go after you."
"Until she breaks out of the physic ward again."said Sakura "Part of me thinks maybe we shouldn't had saved her life but we didn't know that turning someone so close to death is so risky to someone mental health. We did what was right at the time, still she is a pain Naruto-kun and I wish we didn't have to deal with."
"Well my Aunt says she is making progress maybe in time she can be come back into society." said Ino as she took a bite of her salad and Sakura went to have a bite of her fish, as the street kept filling up as more and people began to take their lunch break.
It was next morning as Sakura sat on the couch with her feet up on the couch as she looked at the book in her claw covered hands without actually reading the book. It predated the turn, it still had a human on the cover and talked in those terms. Her mind was still focused on the question which had bothered her all day, it was a question she found herself debating almost everyday. It had been almost two years since the virus, since the fall of humanity as she thought of it. It amazed her how some people where just able to pick their lives back up and adapt to being demons as if it didn't matter. It mattered to her, she looked at her pink fur covered arm and her clawed feet which where currently sitting on the coffee table in the center of the living room.
Then she realized that she was guilty of that to some extent, she had become used to seeing herself as a Kitsune, she het gotten used to wearing cloths with cuts in them for her tail. She had gotten used to making love with Naruto as a kitsune. She had gotten used to life as a kitsune even so she wished that she could look in a mirror and see her human self. Then she thought about all the memories she had since returning to the leaf, she was the head of the medical core and was rebuilding the hospital in a way she hoped Lady Tsunade would have liked. Once something similar to a council had been reformed they had put Minato back in the Hokage chair and Naruto-kun had recovered from his injuries. Kakashi and him had started reforming the ANBU core and it looked to most that once again Naruto was back on the fast route to being the next Hokage.
It was also a new village beside the people, so many records where either lost or destroyed that it was next to impossible to put things in order that they were before. The backbone of power of the main clans like the Hyuuga, Nara and others had been the land and businesses they owned. With the records gone there was no way to know for sure who owned what land or the land owners where dead. It opened the door to new comers to rise but at the cost of those who had been members of the great clans. Shikamaru and Temari had attempted to put some the records back together to make sure people who had worked hard to buy a home or build a business would get it back. But it was an uphill climb for sure. So many things had changed yet she knew that the greatest changes where still ahead of them.
The sound of a key going into the front door caused her to look up as Naruto walked through the door. He was dressed in his normal ninja gear and placed his bag on the ground beside the door and taking off his shoes he moved toward her his padded kitsune feet moving across the hardwood floor. She had gotten so used to seeing him as a Kitsune, just like she had gotten used to so much.
"Enjoy the night shift Naruto-kun?" inquired Sakura as Naruto sat down beside her.
"I enjoyed it as much as you enjoy a double shift Sakura-chan." Countered Naruto as Sakura rested her head on his shoulder. He moved his arm to wrap her up and pull her close. "When does your shift start?"
"I took the swing shift today; a lot of doctors are out on maternity leave and I am covering for them." explained Sakura as Naruto nodded his head.
"A lot of babies being born, I thought it would have slowed down after so much time." stated Naruto, officially he wasn't suppose to know the numbers but unofficially he did.
"In the middle of a baby boom for sure." confirmed Sakura as she took a breath, then went for it. "And…we are going to add to it."
For a moment she could feel Naruto tense up a bit before he turned and looked at her.
"What?" inquired Naruto
"I am pregnant Naruto-kun. We are going to parents." stated Sakura with a smile as a smile crossed his lips. She gave a small yip in surprise as Naruto picked her up and brought her down into his lap. Before another word could be said he was kissing her and she was kissing him. Her hands wrapped around his neck as she pulled herself closer as he placed his hands on her side pulling her closer. Finally, they broke apart, the need for air was too great and for a long moment the two of them just looked into each other's silted demon eyes.
"I love you so much." Said Naruto as he pressed his forehead against hers holding her close even as one of his hands moved toward her stomach. "Hello there little one, can't wait to meet you."
"Me either." added Sakura her mind was racing a little about everything they would have to do to get ready for the little one. Some stuff was simple, converting the spare bedroom which both of them used as offices for paperwork to a nursery and everything that required. Others where more complex, she and Naruto weren't married technically but so where a lot of people having kids in the Leaf, should they get married before the baby or after. Her mind was asking all that as another idea came to mind, she didn't have to get to work until 2pm and Naruto had the night shift starting at 11 pm so they had a few hours.
"Do it." said her inner self as Sakura agreed as she kissed Naruto again, this time forcing him back a bit toward their bedroom. As she forced him back she began to work on taking off his shirt. Naruto quickly got what was going on and his lovers plans quickly began backing up a bit until with one move he grabbed her by her ass lifting her up into the air. They never stopped kissing as they headed toward the door, Sakura reaching back behind her to grab the handle to open it. They had just entered the bedroom when the knocking sound came from the front door.
"Ignore it." ordered Sakura as they kept heading toward the bed. Only to have the knocking grow ever loader. Finally it became to fast and so hard of a knock that both of them broke off the kiss and looked toward the door.
"I'll get it." answered Naruto with a resigned sigh. "I'll be right back."
"You better." Purred Sakura as Naruto turned and headed back toward the front door making sure his shirt was on and his pants fly was zipped.
"If this is some dumb sales person I will kill them." complained Inner Sakura
"Agreed." confirmed Sakura as she heard the sound of the front door unlocking and the door opening.
There was an pause before the sound of slamming from the hallway sent Sakura running from the bedroom, she stopped in the hallway to find Naruto had a figure by the neck against the wall leading into their apartment. He was holding the woman by the figure up by the neck above the floor so that her feet couldn't touch the ground.
"WHAT THE HELL NARUTO-KUN!" yelled Sakura as she ran forward just as chakra began to wrap around Naruto's body and blood began to drip down the woman's neck. She grabbed his arm and finally looked at who Naruto had by the throat, in that moment she understood the rage the blood lust because she had it now as well.
"Fuu!" growled Sakura as she moved forward claws at the ready to join Naruto in ending the traitor's life.
"Stop." Pleaded Fuu
"Why should we?" growled Sakura as she bared her fangs as her tail whipped back and forth in anger. This was the woman who had betrayed them, betrayed humanity they where going to make her pay slowly. She did have the idea to close the front door with her foot so no one walking by could see this.
"Front right pocket, please for the love of God look at it." gasped Fuu as the air began to cut off as Naruto's began to slowly choke her out. Sakura reached and pulled a scroll from Fuu's pocket, she studied it for a moment before unsealing it. When she did she found multiple viles all full of blood samples if the labels where correct. Multiple different demon species and even the subspecies, both males and female samples and then she spotted viles of human blood, samples from the transformation liquid and parts from the plant itself. Some of the viles even had labels of the time the sample was taken after they where turned. Some of the samples where only minutes after they where turned it was all anyone could have wanted to do a detail medical study.
"What is this?" inquired Sakura as she looked at the viles and the got to the paperwork, there where notes from doctors from around the world about the virus, she even found some of her own work from the Leaf which amazed her.
"I spent every moment since that day on the island searching the world for those." Gasped Fuu as her eyes began to roll back. "I am still fighting for humanity, aren't you?"
"Naruto-kun, let her breath." ordered Sakura as Naruto loosed his grip but still held her by the throat.
"Talk." Ordered Naruto as Fuu gasped for breaths for a few moments.
"I told your father that the battle was lost, I never said that the war was lost." explained Fuu "I knew we couldn't escape, but if we surrender humanity still had a chance."
"Surrender is defeat." countered Naruto
"Or a chance." countered Fuu "Keep looking at it Sakura."
Sakura flipped through the pages looking at the dates, she stopped dead in her tracks when she spotted a date months in advance of the first outbreak. She looked at some of the paperwork, it talked about test results and percentage of expected survivors and the rate of spread of the virus.
"This is paperwork from when they where first making the red flu." Stated Sakura in amazement. "How did you get this?"
"I slept with a pure demon who told me where their home village used to be, found it and started looking for anything I could find." Explained Fuu as Sakura kept flipping through the pages, a lot of it was burned and smelled of smoke. She found one that talked about a formula on the next page however the next page had the very start of a formula but the rest was burned. "Spent two months digging through the ash and rubble to find what records I could. The rest had been destroyed when the Wave ninjas attacked the village or during the demon pull out. Took just as long in some places to gather the rest of those documents and samples. By becoming demons, we gained time, we are off the clock and we can work on bring back humanity."
"We lost." Stated Sakura "or haven't you noticed all the demons in the streets?"
"The demons lost a long time ago to humanity and came back with the red flu, so humanity can return the favor." Stated Fuu as Naruto began to lower her a bit. He let her go but his hands where ready to grab her again. "There are still humans in the very remote places in the world I have seen them, there is still a chance that we can fix this."
"How?" inquired Naruto "What do we need to do?"
"I have done everything I can." admitted Fuu "I have dug up every sample I could, I searched everyplace I could think of however I have done all that I could. Now it is in your hands."
"What?" inquired Sakura as Fuu rubbed her neck, the wounds from Naruto's claws where still there and blood still flowed down her neck.
"I am not a doctor, I did all I could." Stated Fuu before looking right into Sakura's eyes. "However the head of the medical core of the Leaf village has unlimited access to state of the art medical equipment and supplies."
Then she moved her gaze toward Naruto.
"And the son of the current Hokage and next in line to be Hokage would have resources to get her whatever she needed to do her research and to carry out what needed to be done to bring back humanity." explained Fuu "I surrender, I betrayed you all to buy time and to get us the resources we needed. Now it is up to you all."
"Go before I decide not to let you live." growled Naruto as Fuu moved out of the apartment, Naruto closing the door behind her before turning and looking at Sakura. His anger had disappeared but not totally, she knew that just below the surface part of him wanted to go after Fuu, she had the same feelings. "Sakura-chan, do you think…."
"Do I think with this information, the samples and the equipment we have in the hospital I can make a cure for the red flu?" inquired Sakura as Naruto held his breath waiting for an answer. "Given enough time for the flu…likely but that isn't the problem anymore. The problem is finding a way to turn people back into humans, that is a lot harder may even be impossible but with this we have…humanity have a chance."
"Then hope remains." stated Naruto as he moved forward and took Sakura back into his arms, kissing her on the forehead. "A small spark of hope but it is a hope."
Well this is it, the final chapter of what is likely going to be my last Naruto story for at least a while maybe forever currently don't have any ideas I really like but who knows. Now for those who disliked this story, some of whom have been very vocal all I have to say is this "if you don't like a story don't read it". Now for those who have stayed until the end, I hope you enjoyed the ride and Thank you. Wilkins75.