Two Years Later

Heavy breathing and the sounds of flesh meeting a training post could be heard on the training grounds within the Uchiha Clan district. It was similar sounds heard every morning as the youngest, acknowledged, Uchiha came before sunrise to push himself. The last two years had not been kind to Sasuke. He achieved Chunin and was making a push for Special Jounin soon but that wasn't enough. Everyday he came to this training ground and everyday a hard truth screamed out to him; he'd never be as strong as he could have been. The injuries sustained by Naruto along with the punishment doled out by Tsunade had left him with lingering aches and pains. He couldn't push off like he used to, he was certainly faster than he'd ever been but there was always this feeling there was another level or levels that would remain out of reach. His reflexes lagged behind what he felt he should be able to do as well and for an Uchiha, speed and reflexes were paramount to their bloodline. Sasuke was an acknowledged genius but truthfully he'd relied on his superior conditioning and inborn talent to defeat foes; during his short time with Team 7 it was Naruto that had demonstrated moments of true cunning and while Sasuke had adapted to his limitations, somewhat, it always felt wrong. His mind was constantly at war with his body, his inability to run through opposition not sitting well with his previous self-regard.

The bitterest pill was having to acknowledge Naruto was stronger than him, better than him. After the invasion of Oto, he came cloaked in glory and soon after was sporting bingo book entries from Kumo and Iwa. It was all but certain, the former idiot would be Hokage one day and that stoked the fire of rage and resentment in Sasuke. To his mind, Naruto betrayed him. He was leaving to avenge his family and instead of killing his best friend for more power, he traded his soul to the devil instead. People accuse him of taking the easy way out but he knew that wasn't the truth, the easiest way would have been to kill Naruto before he even realized what was happening and sometimes he wished he had. His ire was not contained to Naruto; he felt a special hatred for Sakura. If not for her, Naruto would have never been there to stop him, the Senju bitch would have never been able to cripple him and he would have killed Itachi. Less and less Sasuke had been able to see Itachi as a sacrifice and more a willing, submissive pawn to the Senju.

Sasuke had spent more time reading his clan's history, even back to the Warring Clan era and he realized the Senju always wanted to subjugate the Uchiha. Even if there was no Senju around to order his clan's genocide, it had been products from the Senju line. Itachi, the strongest Uchiha since Madara, as far as Sasuke knew, should have rebelled and resisted it; he should have broken the Senju stranglehold. He could do it, he was cured and had his full eyesight back, he could make a strong case for the Hokage's chair and given what he'd been ordered to sacrifice it was owed to him, owed to the both of them. But his foolish brother doesn't make a play for the chair, he bows before it and before the Senju way. Sasuke has seen how Itachi acts around Naruto, a mentor and aide to his inevitable ascension. Sasuke could hardly believe it, they should be rivals at the very most but Itachi would rather prepare the class idiot for the highest authority in the village. He is often forced to think about Itachi's final words to him the night of the massacre, the order to cling to his pathetic existence. Itachi started him on a dark path but he does the exact opposite for Naruto; he bathes him in light. It is almost effortless, how Naruto gets people to support and believe in him. Itachi treats Naruto as an unquestioned equal but treats Sasuke as the screw up little brother in constant need of correcting.

Sasuke let out a groan as he finished striking the posts, his knees reminding him of what his life had become after his failed defection. Briefly, Sasuke activated his sharingan and lamented that Naruto may have even outshone him in his usage of their bloodline. How could a false Uchiha have a more powerful, more refined sharingan than him? It was infuriating to think about, ignoring Sasuke had no idea if it were actually true or not. It felt true, it felt like one more thing Naruto took from him, lorded over him all in a bid to make Sasuke inferior, to diminish his talent and potential like the Senju have done since the start of this village. Sasuke desperately wanted to break the Senju line and knew he'd have to find a way to force Itachi to become a Hokage candidate while possibly calling Tsunade's objectivity into question, which shouldn't be hard as people often suspect women of being less objective, Sasuke reasoned. He'd need allies, he'd need a plan but it'd be worth it, in the end.

A clang could be heard as ninjato met tanto, neither wielder giving an inch. The sword user tried to unbalance his opponent, only for said young man to disengage and take up a defensive position.

"You seem stressed, Dickless."

"Shut up."

The two reengaged, high speed blade work being exchanged between the two without pause, so focused on each other a third combatant assumed he had a perfect opening for an ambush and unleashed a fast raiton jutsu to capitalize. It hit true, only to reveal the two he surprised were a shadow and ink clone respectively. His position compromised he tried to flee his location but had to block a high kick, the impact numbing his arm. He dipped low to gain better leverage and threw his attacker, only for it to dissolve in ink once more. He felt the familiar effects of a shunshin nearby and dodged the punch combination thrown by the blond.

"You used to be cuter."

"I also used to be a ramen obsessed idiot, things change."

"Mah, mah, you're still obsessed with ramen." Kakashi said as the two traded punches and kicks, neither getting the better of the other.

"Not an idiot anymore."

"That remains to be seen, Naru-chan." Kakashi said with an eye smile, causing Naruto to flip backward and perform a Wind Style: Great Breakthrough powerful enough to launch Kakashi into the surrounding trees.

"Bastard sensei. I am not an idiot."

"It might be argued engaging in a full on spar the day you plan to purpose is idiotic, Dickless-kun."

"Not you too!"

"Just saying."

"Well, if I had a better way to handle my nervousness I'd have done it but I don't."

"What do you have to be nervous about, she's loved you for forever." Kakashi said, having just returned. "Also, fuuton jutsu are all just a series of dick moves."

"I agree. Especially when the walking chakra battery overloads all of them." Sai adds, helpfully.

"I didn't overload it, it isn't my fault you both have chakra capacities comparable to school girls." Naruto said, making both men attack him, Kakashi being sensitive about his chakra capacity. The three continued their spar for another hour before two teens arrived at the training ground. One was tall, challenging Jiraiya in height with orange hair. The other shorter, about 5'5'' with red hair and eyes to match. The members of team 7 stopped fighting when they arrived, knowing the two were here for Naruto. Naruto waved at Sai and Kakashi, walking over to Juugo and Karin.

"Hey Juugo, hey Red!" he called out, causing his fellow Uzumaki blush. He'd met both during the Oto invasion. Juugo, he had every intention of killing for what he did to Hinata. And the multiple Wind Style: Rasengans were a testament to that but when he beat the berserker into submission and the boy thanked him, Naruto knew something was off so he suppressed his chakra and detained him. Karin, he met while infiltrating Orochimaru's base and admittedly, he was in a heightened emotional state after seeing Haku brought back via Edo Tensei. Seeing as she didn't present herself as a combatant he gave her the choice of surrendering to Konoha. He presented the choice softly, his voice soothing and if you could ignore he had his hand on her neck, prepared to snap it if he sensed any deception one could call it kind. She did surrender and after the invasion they came to realize both were Uzumaki. She worked at the hospital as she had medical skills, but only did so part time. The rest, she acted as a personal assistant to Naruto. She insisted, he protested but Hinata urged him to let her.

The same thing occurred with Juugo. Hinata, of course, forgave him when she discovered he had abilities he couldn't control and in thanks for Naruto being able to restrain him, he's acted as something of a retainer ever since. Both stay in the same complex Naruto resides in, as he bought it soon after the Oto invasion and renovated it. Sai stays there too and you'd never know it until Ino and he start having really loud sex. Naruto sees it for the challenge it is but he won't take the bait.

But back to his two, newest, friends. "All is well, Naruto-sama." Juugo says and Naruto doesn't even try to correct the boy anymore.

"Hai, everything is ready for you and Hinata-san. Reservations have been set. The ring is sealed up in your apartment. Kiba has been warned off for the day and the Hyuuga have all be told not to make demands on her time, as order by Hiashi-sama. The only thing left to do is ask the question." Karin finished.

"Thanks, Red. Well, I need to get ready, I'll see you guys around."

Sakura greeted the morning with a cup a tea as she stared out her window. She knew what today was, Naruto had excitedly told the entire team what he was planning to do. She smiled, a part of her genuinely happy for her teammate and another part heartbroken it wasn't her. Since she's returned from her punishment, the two have slowly improved their relationship and were really good friends. There were even times she saw a hint of the old affection he once had for her but it would leave as fast as it came. She knew she shouldn't have held on to those glimpses, he may have had lingering feelings but Hinata truly owned his heart and now she was going to be his wife. It felt unfair, to have such a long lasting consequence bore out of a child's mistake but that's the life she chose. She could have made a play for Naruto, used her seduction skills to lure him in but even if worked it'd have been cheap and felt artificial. Also, Sai may have killed her. Another consideration was that Hinata and her mended fences as it were and while she couldn't say they were friends, they were on good terms and respected their dynamic in relation to Naruto.

She'd taken leave for the day, having planned some pampering and self-care with Ino. It may seem ridiculous, she'd lost Naruto half a decade ago, but the finality of it along with the regrets she's carried all this time meant she needed a day with her best friend. A day to do something frivolous, shop too long, spend too much and cry a little without judgment but heaps of support. Ino would do that for her and she couldn't be more thankful for her best friend. She looked at the time and realized she needed to start getting ready. There was no point in moping around, it'd defeat the purpose of the distractions.

She'd been having a wonderful day. He'd taken her to some of her favorite places, like the restaurant they went to on their first date. She remembered how nervous he was, it was endearing to see the generally confident boy shy and a little unsure, wanting to make a good impression. Not that he needed to, he'd had her heart but it was touching he'd still try. He'd always try. They'd even gone to karaoke, which he doesn't mind going to but he even sang a duet; something he never does. It'd been a good day and felt like they were highlighting much of their relationship with the destinations chosen. That impression was cemented as virtual fact when he brought her to Team 7's training grounds. Hinata was looking at the wood training post, the one she attempted to hide behind while Naruto stood at her back.

Unbeknownst to either pair, they were not alone as an office full of wellwishers were spying on them through a crystal ball.

"Why would he bring her there? Every other place has had significance but why a training ground? The gaki is going to blow it." Tsunade said.

"Now, now, Tsunade. He's done well thus far, have some faith." Jiraiya said but the office seemed split. Team 8 and Team 7, minus Sakura, Neji, Hiashi and Hanabi were there with the Sannin, and Shizune . All watching intently to see what Naruto would do.

"You know," Naruto started, "when I came here before the Chunin Exam Finals I was more unsure of myself than I'd ever been previously. I didn't even mean to come here, my feet just carried me without my realizing it. Of course, I was surprised to find you here." he said.

"I remember, I nearly jumped out of my skin." she said with a small smile.

"Yea, I was worried I scared you. I really didn't think I could win. I'd talked big but Neji was considered a genius and I was the loser. I just knew I was going to embarrass myself in front of the entire village. Until…"

"I called you a proud failure."

"Yep! I never knew someone saw me like that, that didn't focus on my falling down but that I always got up. It made me believe I could win even if I didn't know how I just had to keep getting up."

Back in the Hokage's office the watchers were all stunned, none knew of this story or that Naruto had been so lacking in confidence before his fight. Kakashi and Jiraiya both felt pangs of guilt, one for not preparing him at all, the other for not preparing him better for the trial ahead and both for not being there to offer support before the biggest challenge of his life.

"I felt so much better after we spoke and was so thankful for you words."

"I remember you calling me dark, shy and weird." Hinata responded, causing her watches to sweatdrop.

"Yea, I was a little idiot then but even at the peak of my idiocy I recall saying I like people like you. I've been thinking about moment for awhile now. About how clueless I was, about how close I was to something I'd always wanted if I could only see it. And how wrong I was." he said, which caused Hinata to pause but she didn't turn to face him, not sure where this was going but fearing the worst. "I don't like people like you. I love you because you're you and if you'd do me the honor, I'd like to spend the rest of my life with you."

Hinata finally turned around to see Naruto on one knee, holding a ring box. She was speechless, overwhelmed. She'd wanted this for a long time so it almost felt unreal but she knew it wasn't. She nodded her head first, unsure of her voice but it was enough, he saw it. "Is that a yes?" he asked and she could only nod again before she was swept up into a hug being spun around. His nearly six foot frame dwarfing her completely but she wouldn't have it any other way. After a few spins he put her down and kissed her deeply, Hinata still unable to form words. He slide the ring on her finger, a Princess cut amethyst stone surrounded by sapphires in a platinum setting and she could only stare at it. A promise from him to her, to be together for forever; a promise of a lifetime.

Tsunade cut the feed to the crystal ball after he put the ring on her finger. The two deserved their privacy and she remembers what she and Dan did after he proposed. It'd be a shame for Hiashi to try to kill his future son in law because he saw that. She couldn't be happier for her gaki, he turned into a fine young man and was going to be married soon. Which meant grandbabies, oh she couldn't wait. All in attendance were visibly happy as well and hoped it would last.

It did not take long for news to spread of the pending nuptials of the Yondaime's Legacy and the Hyuuga Princess. The village practically buzzing with gossip about the wedding. It couldn't be avoided and it drove Sasuke mad. Once again, he was subjected to Naruto winning. His entire life has just been blessed since he stopped Sasuke's defection. The Senju way would now infest the Hyuuga, Sasuke thought. Just another way to subjugate the Uchiha. He was livid. Naruto used to have nothing, almost no one respected him and now he is considered one of the top Jounin of the village. Some say he's even stronger than Itachi. It was absurd, it was offensive. He wanted to bring the blonde down a peg or twelve. To remind him things don't always work out and as high as you may fly, you'll eventually return to the ground. He didn't even care about large political moves, truthfully he didn't have the patience or mindset for that anyway. He preferred direct action, striking where his enemy was the weakest. He knew Naruto's soft spot was Hinata. Sasuke wished he could take her from him, simply out of spite. He could have, potentially, put together an attractive enough offer but the Hyuuga would never consider it. As she was to be the clan head and both contained dojutsu, there would be concern she wouldn't have a child with the byakugan as the two bloodlines could cancel each other out…

Sasuke's face lite up when he had that thought. He knew what to do and it'd be perfectly legal and above board. He'd just send a simple congratulations, that's all. For the first time in a long time, Sasuke felt excited.

It was three days later and Tsunade sat in her office, frustrated. Standing before her were some of her best shinobi. She hoped this would be an unnecessary precaution but better safe than sorry. None of those assembled knew why but they could tell the Hokage was not happy and that was never good. Jiraiya, Kakashi, Itachi, Asuma and Gai all awaited Tsunade's instructions.

"One hour ago, Hiashi Hyuuga entered my office to discuss the pending nuptials of his eldest and Naruto Uzumaki. Apparently, it had been brought to his attention that Naruto has a naturally occurring sharingan and as such Hinata and he cannot be wed, as she is the clan heiress. After assuring Hiashi that no one was hiding this from him for that reason, he left having scheduled a talk with Naruto. That discussion is happening now and during it, not only will Hiashi be breaking off the engagement he will reveal who informed him of Naruto's Uchiha bloodline."

"Sasuke did it, didn't he?" asked Itachi.

"Yes, yes he did. He sent a congratulations message as one of his clansmen was due to marry the Hyuuga heiress. We all know it was done out of spite and it doesn't take a Nara to predict what Naruto will do once he leaves the Hyuuga compound. I want you to deter him. Do whatever you have to but as Sasuke did nothing illegal, and being a little shit isn't, Naruto can't just attack an subordinate. Also, keep an eye out for Juugo. He hasn't had an episode since he's been in the village but if he sees Naruto fighting he'll get involved."

"We also need to find Sai." said Kakashi.

"You think it'll be necessary?" asked Tsunade.

"If something is going on with Naruto assume Sai knows. And if Sai knows, Sasuke is at risk."

"I'll go to Sasuke, if Sai-kun makes a move I'll stop him" said Itachi before disappearing via shunshin.

"The rest of you need to get to the Hyuuga Compound." A round of 'hai' was heard and the elite ninja departed. Tsunade only hoped it'd be enough.

He couldn't believe it. Sasuke, a name he hadn't thought about in months just ended his engagement. Why? Why would he do this? Revenge? For what, not being listed as a traitor, in being prevented from killing the brother that loved you? What was the point of this? It just didn't make sense to Naruto. They'd long since severed their bond and he was happy to let Sasuke live his life, they could peacefully coexist. Well, they can't anymore. As he made his way out of the Hyuuga compound he thought more about the petulant, soon to be dead, asshole that involved himself in the affairs of others. He never believed in fate, at least not one that could be understood by humans. You make your choices for whatever reason and you deal with the consequences. It wasn't a perfectly worldview but it made sense to him. So many different choices could have led to different outcomes; so much of his life felt fragile. What if Sakura would have said yes? What if Hinata had moved on, deeming him hopeless? What if Sasuke never tried to leave. He had very little control or influence on those choices and yet their consequences left such an impact on his life. And now, his once best friend and rival has torn his most precious bond asunder just to be spiteful.

Once he reached the exit he saw Jiraiya, Kakashi, Asuma and Gai standing there. "They must know, either Sasuke or Hiashi informed Baachan", he reasoned as the Konoha Jounin stood in the rain, the sky reflecting Naruto's turmoil. Soon Juugo appeared beside them, the gentle giant sensing something was off. Even in his state, Naruto knew getting Juugo involved would be bad beyond words.

"Juugo, go to Hinata." Naruto said, his voice lacking the warmth it normally held. That made Juugo hesitate for a moment, almost asking if Naruto was sure. The head nod before he got the question out let him know he was. The senior Jounin didn't relax when Juugo left but by being sent away they knew Naruto wasn't in a blind rage, he was still thinking. Whether that was a good thing, remained to be seen.

"Naruto, why don't you come with us for a bit? I know this good little spot, tucked away. We can be alone with no interruptions or distractions." Jiraiya said.

"I think I need to take a walk, Pervy Sage. Maybe I could meet you there, later."

"This walk wouldn't take you near the Uchiha district, would it?" asked Asuma.

"It very well may, Asuma-san. Apparently, I have all the rights in the world to be there."

"I don't think you going there would be a good idea." said Kakashi.

"It feels like it'd be a great idea. It almost feels like it's the only idea worth considering and if you're wondering, I'm pretty fucking intractable on my position. I'm going there, I will see him and he will be held accountable."

"To what end? You may get stripped of your rank if you do this." Jiraiya said.

"It'd be worth it."

"That's your anger talking, Naruto."

"Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I suspect you're all here under orders so I won't try to talk you out of this. I'll be at Training Ground 7." Naruto said, then left via shunshin.

"What do you think this means, Kakashi?" asked Gai.

"That was either the last shred of his restraint hoping we can stop him-"

"Or he wants to show it doesn't matter who Tsunade sends after him the Uchiha isn't safe." Jiraiya finished. The other men nodded grimly and followed after Naruto.

Kakashi was right to setup a contingency for Sai. He had an ink mouse spying on Naruto's meeting. He didn't trust the Hyuuga. Sai felt that anyone that could be mean to Hinata was some percentage of true evil so if they were ever conspiring against her or Naruto he'd swiftly remove them. The ink creation relayed the information gathered. Naruto's dojutsu, which even he forgets his friend has sometimes given how little he uses it, was the problem. It reduced the chances Hinata would pass on the byakugan and for a clan head, that was necessary. There was some who felt Hinata was trying to circumvent their laws and should have the Cage Bird Seal put on her in response. Hiashi reassured Naruto that wasn't going to happen, thereby saving the lives of those stupid enough to try. When Sai read over the entire meeting he knew what needed to be done. He's never had opinions on the Uchiha one way or the other. He's a traitor but that didn't anger Sai. He'd hunt him to the ends of the earth if ordered to but he wouldn't feel anything about it.

But now? Now he's hurt his first two friends. Sai doesn't care why Sasuke did it, motive matters not. He did what he did and he'll have to pay for it. Sai wasted no time getting to the Uchiha district, it was better if he did this anyway. He kept his approach silent as he neared the back door of the Uchiha residence. He felt him behind him and sent an elbow that was easily blocked, receiving a jab in the kidneys for his trouble. Undeterred he spun, sending a kick to create some space, which it did. Immediately he attempted to sweep Itachi's legs but the Uchiha jumped over the attempt, retaliating with a flying knee that caught Sai in the chin flushly. Itachi was not surprised when "Sai" dissolved into ink, merely catching the kick aimed for his right temple and tossing the attacker aside.

The former Root ANBU charged at Itachi sending combinations of punches and kicks, only to have them deftly blocked by the Uchiha prodigy until Itachi decided to attack, pressing Sai back. Falling for a feint, Sai lowers his guard to stop a kick but instead was caught with a right cross that sent him back. He got back to his feet, not discouraged in the slightest. He unsheathed his tanto, Itachi pulled out a kunai in response and the two blurred to each other, neither every speaking a word.

All four men arrived at the designated training ground and see Naruto waiting patiently. Kakashi and Jiraiya know the significance of this location and are worried it has only fueled Naruto's heightened emotional state. Jiraiya decided to try to talk his godson down one last time.

"Naruto, we don't have to do this. I know you're hurting, trust me I know but attacking Sasuke won't solve anything. It will only make things worse." he pleaded but saw Naruto shrug in indifference. All understood it to mean he wouldn't be talked down but Gai was the first to act, appearing right in front of Naruto. The Green Beast was surprised when his punch was caught, and was even more so that Naruto had managed to throw a simultaneous counter but Gai caught his elbow strike and the two were in a standoff. That is, until Naruto broke Gai's grip on his elbow while releasing Gai's fist, Naruto's hands going toward the back of Gai's neck. As soon as contact was made Naruto was pulling Gai down and his knee up, landing a solid strike to Gai's stomach which caused the Jounin to bend over from the force of the blow. He had to admit Naruto had some good power behind his attack but Gai was too experience to allow that to hamper him.

Using the momentum of Naruto's knee, Gai changed levels and executed a takedown. He quickly improved his position and assumed a full mount on Naruto, leaving the blond vulnerable to Gai's punches from on top. Gai was merciless and while Naruto had some decent defense he couldn't stop all the strikes and a few were getting through and landing cleanly. Instead of block, Naruto decided to change tactics and performed two hand signs while moving to the side. Gai's last punch hit the ground and sank in the mud pit Naruto's jutsu created. In a momentary lapse in judgment, Gai looked into Naruto's eyes. He instantly realized his mistake but it was too late as he found himself in Naruto's genjutsu. It wouldn't hold Gai long but it didn't need to as Naruto spun out of Gai's mount and chopped him on the back of the neck rendering the Jounin unconscious for a bit.

Naruto didn't have time to admire his work as he swiftly dove out of the way of a lightning beast, only to fall into a path of Asuma's right hook to the body. The Sarutobi heir didn't let up as he continued to throw punching combinations but none landed as cleanly as the first blow. Kakashi soon arrived and the two began attacking in tandem. Naruto's superior speed and sharingan made it difficult for the two to be as effective as they'd like and before they knew it, Naruto began to attack. First, he rammed his shoulder into Kakashi, sending the man back far enough he couldn't immediately come to Asuma's aid. He quickly sent a leg kick, landing above Asuma's knee. When he reacted to the kick, Naruto performed a high kick on the same side, catching Asuma in the temple. It stunned the veteran but he wasn't out as he threw a short uppercut, hoping to back Naruto off. It didn't, Naruto swatted the punch to the side, much of its power gone do to bad positioning and landed a spin kick to Asuma's sternum. The exchange lasted under three seconds.

Naruto then blurred through hand signs and aimed a Wind Style: Pressure Damage at Kakashi but he intercepted it with an Earth Style: Stone Wall but had to overload the jutsu a fair bit to get it to stand up against the fuuton jutsu. Naruto performed a sealless replacement jutsu as Gai tried to attack him from behind. He shunshin'd back to where his would be attack was, attempting to now attack him from behind but Gai was prepared for it and mule kicked Naruto away. The three Jounin regrouped, not liking how things had gone thus far.

"Naruto-kun is most youthful, my rival."

"To quote Shikamaru, this is a drag."

"Oh, yes, you both get to experience the joys of fighting a sharingan wielder who prides himself on not needing his sharingan. This is my life so I don't feel much sympathy for either of you."

"Kid kicks like an angry mule. What's our plan and why isn't Jiraiya fighting?" asked Asuma.

"As soon as Jiraiya gets involved, any hint of Naruto holding back goes out the window and both of them know it."

"He's been content to stick to mostly taijutsu. If we keep it to that, all three attacking we'll have the advantage, Sharingan or not he can't see everywhere." Gai said and the other two nodded. All three prepared themselves for the second round and then charged towards Naruto. As they attacked, the trio found they had more success, Naruto's defense becoming more porous as they laid on the abuse. Jiraiya seemed to be the only one to realize Naruto was letting them do this, as if he were punishing himself. A straight left from Gai sent the blond to the ground and the three Jounin let up.

"Have you calmed down now, Naruto?" Kakashi asked. Only to hear an empty chuckle.

"You guys are pulling your punches way too much to be protecting a comrade. Maybe you don't have enough motivation." Naruto said before spinning back up to his feet, catching Kakashi with a kick before following it up with two short uppercuts to Asuma's chin and finishing it off with a low powered Rasengan to Gai. He then materialized a seal and copious amounts of water emerged from. It. Naruto wasted no time completing the seals for the Water Style: Water Fang Bullet aimed at both Kakashi and Gai, each managing to dodge. Naruto didn't let up, sending his Water Style: Exploding Piranha Jutsu at Gai, halting his momentum and giving him something to dodge. Naruto was going to continue his assault but dodged a high kick. Finally, Jiraiya had entered the fray.

"Enough, Naruto. We aren't doing this any longer."

"You'll do it for as long as I have movement. You stop, I go find Sasuke and I will kill him."

"And what does us staying here and beating each other bloody accomplish?"

"Sometimes you just need to fight for the bloody fuck of it all."

"And sometimes you want to punish yourself. Maybe for showing mercy when you shouldn't have? Breaking Hinata's heart due to your heritage?"

"I had two opportunities to kill him and I didn't. It might have been right in the moment to spare him but clearly it wasn't in the long term. After we're finished here I'll correct my mistake. There's nothing left to say you either stop me or you don't." Naruto said.

Jiraiya took out a scroll, quickly drawing a seal and once completed activated it to seal the water away. A necessary technique when fighting Naruto. Asuma had steadied himself, Kakashi and Gai were ready as well. All could see the boy planned to fight as long as it took. Before either side could make a move Juugo appeared.

"Naruto-sama, I was unable to locate Hinata-sama." Juugo said and Naruto grew instantly worried. Not bothering with sage mode as he didn't have the five seconds to spare, in his mind, he called upon Kurama's chakra intent on locating her. He found her in the last place he thought he would and knew he needed to leave immediately. Kakashi, Gai, and Asuma tensed as they'd never seen this form but could feel the power rolling off Naruto in waves. Jiraiya tensed as he knew the power of this form and it meant Naruto was going to end it. He tried to warn them but before he got a syllable out he felt a fist buried in his gut and his eyesight darkening. Gai, Kakashi and Asuma were amazed at the speed, none of them could follow it but didn't have long to contemplate it as Naruto provided them a similar treatment, knocking each of them out.

"Juugo, she's at Itachi's. Arrive as soon as you can." Naruto commanded and disappeared in a burst of speed. It took him no time at all to arrive at his destination and he saw Sai tied up and the obvious signs of a fight between Itachi and him Itachi was surprised by Naruto's appearing before him cloaked in golden fire but prepared himself. His brother did a hateful thing but he wouldn't allow Naruto to kill him.

"You're worried about me but Hinata is already in the house, I'm here for her not your bastard of a brother." Itachi's eyes widened and he went into his house, Naruto following close behind informing Itachi of Hinata's location. When they arrived to Sasuke's bedroom they saw a barrier seal in place. They could see into the room and hear what occurred but could not immediately enter. Sasuke was tied to a chair, in nothing but his boxers and gagged. Obvious signs he'd been hit with Gentle Fist strikes across his body could be seen. Hinata had her back to the doorway and hadn't acknowledged either male had arrived.

"Hinata, sweety, you don't have to do this." Naruto said.

"I believe I do, Naruto-kun. This is a vile, evil boy. He gained nothing from this. He only did it to hurt you. I know you know that."

"Hai, I know. He did it to spite me. I don't know why."

"Because he could. People like him, they hurt others because they can. They'll dress it up, have justification on top of justification but ultimately, they do it because they can. It made him feel good. You should have seen how he bragged when I first arrived. So smug, so pleased with himself. Weren't you, Sasuke-san?" Sasuke only glared in return, earning a smack as a result. "I told you not to look at me with those hateful eyes, Sasuke-san. Maybe you'd listen better if I took them from you."

Everyone tensed when she said that, this was decidedly not how Hinata spoke.

"Hinata, you haven't done anything that you can't take back. Just, drop the barrier and come with me, we'll figure something out."

"How? If I give up my claim as heiress? I've worked too hard for it and it wasn't an issue until he made it one. This spiteful, hateful traitor undeserving of anything good in his life." Sasuke began to mutter into his gag with some vehemence. He did so long enough Hinata removed his gag.

"I'm not the traitor. Those two are. They betrayed me and I owed them for it."

"How did Naruto-kun betray you?"

"Tell them, Itachi. Tell them what you told me! The only way to get eyes like yours was to kill my best friend. But I didn't, I chose to get power another way but you just couldn't let me go. Why? Because you heard that pink haired little bimbo confess to me? Because you were jealous? Whatever your reason, I lost everything. My body doesn't respond how it should, I'll never be as strong as I should be but you? You get everything handed to you. Even my clan's bloodline. You shouldn't have that, you don't deserve it and Itachi should have ripped them out of your head, not trained you on how to use them. He likes you so much but he doesn't even acknowledge me.

You were a loser. It took me years of dedication to achieve the skills I had and you closed the gap in a matter of months. You became the hero, the shining light of our generation while I was treated like scum. That cow-titted bitch of a Hokage favored you with secret training and missions just to raise your profile. The princess of the village falls over herself to be with you."

"Why do you care, you never wanted any of that." Naruto yelled.

"Just because I didn't want it doesn't mean I want you to have it. So, I took it from you. And I'll find a way to take the Hokage position from you. I'll keep taking things from you until you have nothing, until you are nothing. Then, we will be even."

"Then, it's clear. I have to kill you. Goodbye, Sasuke-san." Hinata said, lifting her kunai to his heart.

"HINATA, WAIT!" Naruto screamed. "Don't let him do this to us, don't let him make you a murderer. We will find a way to be together, I promise so don't do this."

"Weren't you coming here to do this? What's the difference?"

"Konoha isn't going to kill a fully realized jinchuuriki. I might lose all my freedom and any assets to my name but they won't kill me. They may kill you and if they kill you I'll have to kill them. It'd be a never ending cycle and Sasuke's taint will live past him. We don't need that."

"But he deserves it, Naruto-kun. He tried to kill us and you didn't fight back."

"Because he's weak, too weak to do what's necessary."

"He's trying to manipulate you, Hinata. Please, just drop the barrier."

"Hinata-san, I give you my word I will undo what my foolish brother has done. His actions are partially my fault and Naruto is right, his vile taint cannot be allowed to continue but you shouldn't pay. Please just leave it to me."

"This is his last chance, Itachi-san. I won't let him hurt me with impunity again." Hinata said, releasing the barrier. Naruto had since dropped the Kurama cloak but was still beside her in an instant, wrapping her in a hug. They left without a word, headed back to Naruto's apartment. Juugo had long since collected Sai and taken him home.

"Foolish, little brother. Your actions are going to cost you more than you realize."

"I don't care, there is nothing you can do to change things. I won, I beat him and this is only the beginning."

"No, brother, it isn't. Now, look into my eyes." Itachi said and Sasuke did, expecting a scolding but he was instead greeted to Itachi's Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan. "Kotoamatsukami".