[[ A/N ]] This is it, people!! The end of the end...the epilogue. I've had a bunch of fun writing this (and a bunch of stress), but this is the grand finale...which may be a bit of a letdown. Don't you hate those stories that make you think of your own ending? Well...this is one of 'em. The goal was accomplished. Or whatever. :] Also. This is a short chapter. It's the epilogue, after all.

[[ Disclaimer ]] Naruto belongs to the ultimate creative thinker, which was, unfortunately, not me.

Epilogue: Business Partners

She had dropped his empty body at the Hyuuga's doorstep. It would be early morning when they found it. The birds would be beginning their morning chirpings, dusting the air with their cheerful noises, the air itself would be shedding its frigidness and warming with the glory of the sun, and the sun itself would be climbing over the hills with all of its strength.

Strangely, she felt no thirst after all of those tears. She needed naught anything but revenge. Hell could claim anyone who tried to hold her back. Tenten snapped a few twigs as she walked in the street, the pleasant noise of their flesh being torn apart loud and crisp.

Tenten reflected--had she forgotten anything? Not that it really mattered. Her mother, her bed---everything but her weapons, scrolls, a few clothes, and water---were sitting peacefully elsewhere. No time for goodbyes, the Uchiha had already gotten a large enough advantage. Her mother would find no note---nothing. It would be worse, she knew, but it would take to long to scribble something that might soothe frazzled nerves and a broken heart. Hell, she would never be able to fix her mother's broken heart...so why try?

A grimace fell on her visage; a shadow crossed her path. Pink hair shocked the normally green and brown landscape. Sakura's bag was packed, her lips shaking with every breath that passed through them. Two people passed by. They stood at the gate, gaping in their minds but somehow keeping an unperturbed air.

"Off, then...?"


"What's with your bag?"

"What's with yours?"

"Ah." The implications were obvious. "So..."

"Sasuke-kun made my...made me...he's gone too far...Ino-pig...she's...heard about Chouji and Shikamaru's...he hasn't been found..."

Tenten shoved her head up and down briskly. Her attempt to hold the conversation in a safe place was slipping. The puzzle pieces that made up words were falling to the dusty ground with a thud and smacking unsuspecting ants.

"And...Kiba hasn't been found...Naruto hasn't been found either..."

There was a pause, and Tenten hastily scrabbled for the lost pieces. But she failed. Both girls possessed the same bitter gleam in their eyes, the exact expression of unfulfilled dreams. They had separate ways to go, but were ignoring what was needed.

"Lee...Lee's missing."

"But he had the operation---"

They were silent. Quiet nestled between them.

"So you're coming?" Tenten's inquiry whistled over Sakura's head and into the dirt.


Suddenly, "Your mom know?"


Two peas in a pod, two people yearning desperately for things that were too different---but too intertwined. Would one truly die trying to achieve something...demolishing everything and everyone in the way, sacrificing love and friendship so that they could feel that their journey was at rest at last?

'Sasuke did.'

They smiled at each other, then shook hands.

Their wishes had gone unnoticed by all others...but everyone would see the results of her--their--pain.

They'd see.

--- --- --- ----- ----- ----

Yes, short epilogue. This is the last time I will ask (for this fic!) for reviews. It'll make me feel that I did this all for people's pleasure and mine, not just to sate my muses. :3 Going to miss you all. Unless we brush by in the fandom world.

[[ Review Answers ]]

Lady Light: Yeah...I know...-pats- These are the last review answers I'll give...

Carollipop: Thank you so much! Your compliments make my ego big. :D Anyways. I did the Kuromizuzaki thing at the last minute; it looked like I was setting it up until the finish...Anyways, you're a faithful reviewer that I'll certainly miss. A lot.

Uzumaki Pryde: Thanks! Um, how can you be happy after that horribly angsty and evil chapter?! ... –blinks-

TenTen Hyuga: Sorry I didn't update "soon!" If he didn't really die, yay, and everything, but I'm not going to change the fic with all its angsty goodness. ;] You are also a very faithful reviewer, and I am utterly grateful!

kitsune lilith: I'm sorry...but I really thought he died!! (Well, maybe not) Sorry again for your unhappiness. :]

Blue Savage: Thank you! I appreciate your review—in all its short, but "nice" glory! :]

simplexity: I go through writing review answers every time because I've had people tell me it makes them read and review more. And it helps me return the favor that they gave to me for reading. So I'll continue doing it, although I know they take up a lot of room.