Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
Author's Note: Last chapter of Book 2!! I'll begin on Book 3 in a few days. I hope you enjoy this chappy! By the way, I owe a lot to Hattuteline, who helped creating Yukio Fetaru, the Takabashi Siblings and Kinokomaru Kutake, the Spore Guy. Hattuteline also came up with the move Shinken!
Review Reply Corner:
Misu no Yami: Thank you for thinking it's awesome! And for what it's worth, I think you reply is fast enough as it is! Thnx for reviewing!
Gopu: Heh, thank you! Thnks for the review!
BigAznDaddy: Yep, I have a lot of free time, which is real nice… Oh well, thanks for reviewing!
En Satsu Koku Ryuu Ha: Heh, so it actually worsens the eyes? I didn't know that. Now I know why my eyes are that bad… Oh well, hope you enjoy this chappy and thanks for reviewing!
Monaki-cheung: Cliffhangers galore and encore! Heh, sorry. Well, here's the next and last chapter of this book. Hope you enjoy!
Stoictimer: No prob! I'm glad you liked it. Here's an update, thnx for the review!
Sally: Yeeaahhh… What IS going to happen? Who knows? They'll probably all die… eventually, I mean. Thanks for reviewing!
Shade89: Heh, isn't it great? I think it is anyway… Oh well, here's the next chapter! Thanks for reviewing!
Maya Amano: Heh, for me it's just that I'm a night person, while I almost always sleep the entire day, mostly on school. I'm kinda known to be someone who falls asleep easy during the day. Originally, I actually wanted Naruto to be Kyuubi and destroy Yukio easily and then attack everyone else, but that was… I don't really remember why I didn't do that… And everyone should love Naruto! Well, not really, of course. I couldn't find that music you were listening to, though… Heh, many, many thanks you like my story!! Thanks for the long review!
FlareOfDragon: Well, Naruto is about age 19, Neji is 20, Sasuke is 19 and Gaara is 19 as well. Five years ago they got kidnapped by Itachi and co./Orochimaru. That was when that second Chuunin Exam was, and Naruto and the gang were around 14/15… The Naruto in the real Show now is about 13/14. So with all Genin Rookies from 13 years ago, I was indeed, completely wrong… It was supposed to be all Genin Rookies from 6 years ago. Such a terrible mistake, thank you for notifying it. But I still think most people knew who I meant with the Genin Rookies.
Moonlight's Shadow: Yep, yep. But then again, Naruto and Gaara have beaten their demons and gotten their everything in return. So it's only logical. It's the same for Yukio, who got her power from a demon in her as well. Oh well, Gaara will faint, that's for sure ;) Hope you enjoy the chappy and thnx for reviewing!
Trickmaster: Heh, thanks!! I'm glad you like the fight scenes! Well, I hope you enjoy what's going to happen here! Thanks for reviewing!
Sirus183: Heh, no worries. I needed someone that could mean a true challenge to Naruto and Gaara, so… But here's the next chapter! I hope you enjoy it!
EfrainMan: Heh, Thanks a lot! I'm glad you like the battles! Naruto and Gaara rock all! Right? Ja, here's the next chappy! Hope you enjoy!
Dark Phoenix: heh, indeed. I hoped it would be surprising actually… Heh, many thanks for reviewing!
Magicalfoci: Whoa, thanks, man!! It was really difficult to write the Kyuubi-Naruto/Gaara-Shukaku fight, because I'm afraid I'll do it all wrong! Oooh, I really hope you like what I did in this chapter! Thanks for reviewing!
:D: Heh, yeah, I think Shinken is cool too! and yeah, sorry about the cliffhanger… I thank you for reviewing!
RuByMoOn17: Thank you! I'm glad you think so. Thnx for reviewing!
Irony: It is weird, cause I also think it is defense, but the damn 'Spelling and Grammar' Check indicates it should be defence. It's really weird… Oh well, thanks for the help and the review!
123: Heh, thanks! I'm glad you like it! Here's the next chappy for ya! Thnx for reviewing!
SilverKnight7: Heh, everyone dies… eventually. Why wait for it if you can make it come to you? Oh well, thanks for reviewing! I hope you like the chappy!
Youshi: Heh, I'm glad for that. Here's the next chapter! Hope you enjoy!
TyRooNe: Sasuke will take it slowly from now on, after having realised that he indeed has been surpassed by Naruto. I'm glad you like the way I write battles!! About Hinata, she'll have a bigger role in Book 3. Heh, cool! You have your own shop! Newayz, Thanks for reviewing!!
Lemmings12: Yes, they have to get used to their new power a bit, but all it really does is give them a whole lot more Chakra, power and speed, and also a few ancient techniques… Which will make their appearances in Book 3… Thanks for the review!
The fluid motion of the hand seals came to his eyes as he saw which technique Gaara was going to perform. While it was a last resort when more allies were with you, in a situation like this it could mean something totally different. Yukio had already jumped through the massive amount of sand Gaara had dumped on her. Naruto looked sideways at Gaara in despair. Despite yelling at Gaara not to do it, he could do nothing as he watched as Gaara already finished the seals and stated.
There Where When is Now
Naruto's breathing stopped for a little while, until he saw Gaara drop to the ground. 'Damn, even though he has a lot more Chakra now, that Jutsu still has the same after-effect… I'm really on my own now…'
Naruto turned to look at Yukio, who seemed to be twitching all over her body. Naruto's eyes widened. "It… It seems it's working! Though she can still move a little bit…"
"You fucking imbecile!! What did you do to my body!!" Yukio growled, anger clearly showing.
Naruto chuckled shortly. 'She can't move, but she can still see and talk it seems… It's good thing it wasn't the other way around… But I have no time to waste…' Naruto walked towards Yukio while gathering his Chakra. 'Maybe I need to use all of my Chakra against her…'
Yukio's eyes widened as she saw what Naruto was going to do, seeing Rasengans all over his body. "Boy… Don't do this!! That technique won't work on me anyway!! I'll spare your life if you let me go now!"
Naruto snorted. "Heh, shut up." Naruto closed his eyes, before fully opening them and yelling "Rasengan Funka!!"
Yukio screamed her lungs out, literally, as Naruto performed the most devastating Rasengan unleashing he had ever performed. Naruto was gritting his teeth as he felt his Chakra reduce in a fast rate. 'I'm putting all my Chakra in this one…'
The scene was too much for the Genins, as they saw Naruto literally burn Yukio's entire body. Yukio's arms were as thin as they could be and black as well. Blood was pouring everywhere and Naruto had a lot of Yukio's blood on him as well.
Jiraiya looked wide-eyed at the Rasengan showdown. 'An attack like that takes a huge amount of Chakra… Not to mention perfect Chakra-control… He's shooting Rasengans from every Chakra hole on his body!'
The night grew darker again, seeing that Naruto ran out of Chakra and stopped lighting up the skies with his Rasengans. Naruto dropped to his knees. 'I'm out… I hope we did it…' He took one last glance at the unconscious Gaara before he blacked out...
Kakashi sighed in relief and walked towards the two fallen Shinobis and the fallen Yukio… 'There's now way any Shinobi could have survived that… What a horrible technique you possess, Naruto… I bet you've beaten the Kyuubi with the same one…'
Jiraiya was also entering the battlefield and nodded to Kakashi once, before coming to a stop at Naruto's and Gaara's bodies. "Heh, they're alive…" Jiraiya turned around to look at Tsunade. "Oy, Tsunade! You better take a look at these two!"
And then purple Chakra suddenly filled the area again. Jiraiya and Kakashi both looked shocked and surprised to see Yukio, heal herself with Chakra again. "Don't think… you've won…" She panted.
Kakashi noticed her Chakra didn't manage to heal her completely, but jumped back nonetheless, as did Jiraiya. "You… You don't have enough Chakra left to be able to continue the fight. Right now, we stand a chance of beating you."
Yukio growled as she tried to stand up, but failed. 'Damn it… That brat really did me in… Ugh…' Blood poured down from her mouth as she started coughing and closed her eyes to bear with the pain in her throat as she coughed..
And then, as she opened her eyes, she saw Jiraiya with two Rasengans in his hands and Kakashi with a Chidori. Yukio still panted as she looked at the two of them, before Sasuke appeared next to Kakashi with his Chidori and she found herself even more unable to move. Shikamaru had a Shadow Bind on her.
"Heh, you don't have enough Chakra left now… not enough to get out of my Shadow Bind, anyway…" Shikamaru said.
Soon enough, Tsunade was picking up Naruto and Gaara and was standing next to Jiraiya.
"You've caused us all great grief, woman… You destroyed our entire Village and took lives while doing so…" Tsunade said, before she nodded her head towards Jiraiya, Sasuke and Kakashi, who all released their techniques on the woman… ultimately destroying everything that was her…
There was no darkness, even with his eyes closed there wasn't. Usually when he woke up, it was dark all around him. But now, a bright light was above him, managing to shine through his closed eyes. As Naruto opened his eyes he found himself in a bed with white sheets, white pillow… white everything. He yawned for about ten seconds before he scanned his surroundings. 'A hospital room…' He sighed in relief. 'This can only mean we've beaten her.' Naruto smiled as he felt that most of his Chakra was back again. All of his Chakra. No longer was there such a thing as Kyuubi's Chakra… now it was just… his. It was an odd feeling, not having a demon inside of you anymore. A feeling not many people could sympathize with. Naruto chuckled freely as he flexed the muscles in his arms, feeling the power that they held.
Naruto looked sideways at Gaara, who was still asleep. 'At least he's breathing. I can't believe the Shinken worked on that woman, that demon. She could have easily sidestepped the Chakra Gaara shot at her. It was pure luck that we won… but we won, and that's what matters, I guess…'
In another bed on his other side, was Lee. Judging from the way he was all bandaged up, he probably had broken a few bones. In a bed further ahead, he spotted Asuma Sarutobi, who was lying differently than Gaara, Lee and him, as he was lying on his stomach. 'He must have a severe wound on his back.'
Naruto decided to get back to sleep, but a sudden sound of a door opening stopped him. Naruto cracked his eyes open again to see Gai and Ten-Ten walk in. He watched as they walked up to Lee.
"Heh, finally came to visit, ey, Gai?" A voice suddenly came. Naruto was surprised it was Asuma's. 'He was awake? Damn, I'm still not fully healed, otherwise I would have noticed he was awake…' Naruto thought and groaned slightly as his head still hurt a bit.
"Asuma! So you're awake already?" Gai replied.
Asuma grunted. "I've been awake the entire time! I can't get to sleep lying in this position. I always sleep on my back or on my side. Never on my stomach. Besides, it's only a little burn."
Gai laughed. "She did hit you hard with her Technique, Asuma-san… You might want to check that wound in the mirror. It isn't pretty to watch. Hokage-sama managed to heal most of it, but it still looks awful."
Asuma simply snorted. "Heh, I just want to get out of this awkward position. Care to release me, Gai?"
Gai shook his head. "No! Hokage-sama told me you should stay that way for at least another day!" He said as Ten-Ten shook her head.
Asuma groaned in his pillow. "Another day?!"
Gai and Ten-Ten both turned to look at Naruto, who had called Gai's name. Naruto sluggishly went from a lying position to a seated one. "Care to fill me in on what happened since I blacked out?"
Gai smiled and nodded. "Of course, Naruto-kun. I don't know what technique Gaara used, but apparently it stopped that woman's movements. And then you performed that Rasengan rain on her, completely ripped her apart and burning her. It is such a devastating attack, Naruto-kun. But it wasn't enough to stop her, though."
Naruto's eyes widened. 'It wasn't?! So if we hadn't gone for Gaara's strategy, using the Shinken, we could have lost?'
Gai continued. "But it was enough to force her to use all of her Chakra to heal herself. However, as she finished, she didn't have enough Chakra left to be able to face all of us… I think you can guess what happened…"
Naruto chuckled in relief. "Heh, so she's dead now?"
Gai nodded. "Yes, we have managed to survive this big war. Thanks to you, thanks to Gaara, thanks to everyone…"
Naruto let himself fall on his bed again. "I'm glad."
"…So, we tried everything we could to even try and hit her… But she just hit us right back, harder and faster!" Lee was explaining to Naruto how the battle went before he arrived.
Naruto understood that the Shinobis who were fighting Yukio had all given her their best. Akimichi Chouji had used all of his pills, gaining a lot of power and speed, but was still beaten. Sasuke had gone to Curse Seal level 2 and got defeated as well. Lee, Gai and Mokito, the woman whose name Lee didn't know but Naruto did, had opened all of their Gates and they were still not enough.
Lee stopped talking as he noticed the door was opening. Naruto smiled as Tsunade and Jiraiya walked in.
"Glad to see you three are awake." Tsunade said cheerily, before walking towards the still unconscious Gaara.
"Hehe, Naruto! You got your ass kicked!" Jiraiya said with a big grin. "How are you doing now?"
Naruto narrowed his eyes at Jiraiya. "As I have heard, you got YOUR ass kicked as well, Ero-Sennin. And I'm fine, I'm ready to leave this place, baa-chan!" He said, aiming the last part of the sentence of Tsunade. Jiraiya was glaring at Naruto.
"Same here!" Another voice came. "Hokage-sama! Could you just release me?"
Tsunade smiled as she her hand was on Gaara's stomach, blue Chakra glowing around it. "Yeah, yeah, Asuma, Naruto. You both are free to go. You're not, Lee. Though these injuries aren't as bad as before, as now you've broken a lot less bones than all those years ago…"
"When will Gaara wake up, Baa-chan?" Naruto asked.
"Probably tomorrow. He used the Death Shield, didn't he? The Shinken." Tsunade asked.
Naruto nodded. "Yeah…"
Tsunade nodded back. "I thought so… I am a medic specialist and I can almost heal everything. But the state Gaara is in… Usually the Shinken makes the user unconscious for three days at least… But from what I sense as I put my hand on him, he should be ok tomorrow already. It's probably because the both of you have so much Chakra inside of you now… You too, should have recovered at the earliest tomorrow night. And yet you already woke up this morning…"
Naruto grinned. "I've always been a fast healer."
As Tsunade removed all the bandages around Asuma, Naruto turned to leave. As he opened the door, he stood face to face with Neji.
"Naruto, we need to talk."
Naruto sadly looked in front of him as he and Neji were eating Ramen. "So, they've left already?"
Neji nodded. "Yes. They… We… were never ones to say goodbye, remember? Besides, there is now way they can stay in this Village, you know?" Neji looked around him, and to be sure activated his Byakugan, before he started mentioning names. "Dareda and Itachi, the both of them have killed many people in this Village. Sinobi Raidou has been killed. Kisame is also one of the most wanted missing-nins and Mokito… Well, you know her relationship to Konoha…"
Naruto sadly nodded. "I know, I know."
"So, are you going to stay in Leaf Village, or are you going to run after them?"
Naruto considered it over and looked at Neji. "It was always fun with them, wasn't it? But I guess our little Mercenary Group is no more… What will you do, Neji?"
Neji smiled. "I will stay in Leaf Village. I want to stay here."
Staring at the ceiling always allowed her to think about the things that had happened in her own life. From when she had become a Genin to where she was now. How Naruto and Sasuke both left Leaf Village, leaving her to be the only remaining member of Team 7 with Kakashi as the Instructor, who didn't have time for her as he tried to get his own students back all the next years after the two left.
She thought of how Tsunade and Kurenai had trained her. Kurenai had been the teacher of her and Hinata and that's how she came in contact with Hinata, as they both fought for being the best in Genjutsu. After having mastered Genjutsu as best as she could, she asked Lee and Gai to help her in TaiJutsu. But both of them didn't really have a lot of time for her, not even Lee. Luckily, one day she encountered Anko. Such a coincidence Ino was also taking lessons from her.
Taking the Chuunin Exam again, she watched as Lee, Ten-Ten and Shino easily passed it. The Chuunin Exam after that she finally passed it, as did Kiba, Ino, Chouji and Hinata. The year after that, still being trained by Anko and Tsunade, she watched Lee, Shikamaru and Ten-Ten went to take the Jounin Exams. There were two options to become Jounin, she had learned from talking to Kakashi once. One was to just take the difficult Jounin Exam, which many people called the easy way and the other way was too have a lot of A-ranked missions, and a lot was a lot.
And after having two years of training and becoming a team with Ino, Chouji, Kiba and Hinata, who was to be the leader, she encountered Uchiha Sasuke in the middle of nowhere. He being a missing-nin meant for them to try and take him back. Even though all of them had grown a lot stronger, someone like Sasuke could only have grown a lot more. The gap between them and him was big so many years ago, but now it was probably a lot bigger. So they just stood there, watching him in awe. Hinata had been the one who started talking, making Sasuke talk right back and tell them they'd die if they would take him on. No question there, really, but when two others appeared, it became life-threatening. Until Sasuke said they weren't worth it and the three of them left.
Weeks passed and then Gaara attacked, right before they managed to reach Gates of the Leaf Village. Gaara was so much stronger and simply toyed with them before leaving. And then the news came of the Akatsuki causing a massive war against all other Villages. Jounins were sent out to try and find traces of the Akatsuki.
Weeks later, Uchiha Sasuke suddenly reached the Gates of Konoha, asking to enter the Village. They let him in. She and Ino had talked to him the day after, telling him they were over him, while in fact, they probably weren't. Sakura shook her head as she was still staring at the ceiling. And then, a Genjutsu was performed on her, a Genjutsu she didn't know! There was no way she would learn it either. It forced her to fall asleep and re-live the last five minutes of her live in her sleep. Very useful, when it comes to attacking an entire Village. It appeared the entire Village had been under that spell. And then, the next day, Naruto was back all of a sudden. And the strength and Chakra that radiated off of him was terrifying.
She had watched the battle of him and Sasuke with wide open eyes. It was such an amazing battle. But the Curse Seal made Sasuke a lot uglier but a lot more powerul, she thought. Naruto had beaten Sasuke. Sasuke had given Naruto his all, while Naruto didn't give Sasuke his all… It was true after all, all those words Naruto had yelled so many years ago… Naruto had truly become the strongest…
And then the Akatsuki arrived and this proved it more; Naruto had gotten terribly powerful. Where they all had failed even hitting the Akatsuki Leader in a weaker State, Naruto and Gaara had beaten her in her most powerful state. Even the Fifth Hokage, Tsunade failed against her, even Jiraiya, who she considered to be the strongest Shinobi, was defeated. Orochimaru was present as well and he got beaten too! This meant Naruto and Gaara were stronger than them!
It was true that the woman had not been completely beaten, but she could no longer continue the fight thanks to Naruto and Gaara, making it a whole lot easier for the others to finish her off. Sakura sighed. Her Genjutsu didn't work at all and her Summon was easily defeated.
'I wonder… what will everyone do now? The war is over… Will Sasuke-kun leave again? Will Naruto leave as well?'
Now the secret of Naruto has been revealed to everyone. The entire village owed Naruto the greatest apology ever… Even after hating him so, he still saved the Village… She definitely would not forget apologizing to him…
Pulling the sheets off of her body, Ino yawned as long as she could, before taking a look in the mirror. She then moved her gaze towards the sword Sasuke-kun had left behind. After the war was over, one of them vanished and another remained. Ino simply kept the sword, since it was really a difficult one to handle and not just because it was heavy as hell. She didn't even know what this sword was called…
The war really destroyed most of the Village, she was really happy the Yamanaka flower shop was still in one piece. She could imagine the look on Shikamaru's face… his house had been totally wasted away… The Hokage Tower simply was no more, which was mostly Naruto's fault, she added, since he was the one who hit the thing with his lava breath… Really dangerous…
Now was a totally horrible time too, since most of her missions were probably going to be "rebuilding the Village" missions. Most missions for Chuunins were crappy like that. But perhaps Hinata might arrange something so they could do missions outside the Village. But the chances of that happening were slim. Ino picked up her clothes, which were on the ground as she wanted to go to bed real badly the day before.
Walking down the stairs and opening the door to leave the house she could not help thinking how close most Shinobis in the Leaf Village were. Sure, it was only logical every Shinobi jumped down to kill the Akatsuki Leader after Naruto and Gaara presented them the opportunity. But the sense of a good atmosphere, where you're among friends was also there, she noticed. And to be honest it made her feel really good.
Still, in the beginning, all of them were nothing against her as she washed away everyone with one little cloud of Chakra, so to say. Even her Shintenshin had been forced out easily. Her sword skills never reached her as she easily disappeared with that high speed. Even Sakura's summon couldn't make a difference. It was when the Demon Fox appeared and turned into Naruto where everything changed.
Naruto. The boy who she now knew probably had the worst past. Being hated and not knowing why he was hated has to suck. And on top of that, having a demon sealed within you didn't help one bit. Where before she did not even pay the slightest attention to the boy, now she had great respect for him.
But Sasuke-kun. He looked so brave when he shot his Chidori at the Akatsuki Leader, together with all the others who didn't seem to shine as brightly as him. Except for Shikamaru, who bothered to get off his lazy ass and actually secure the victory with his Shadow Bind. Funny how a war changes the most stubborn people…
Hinata was smiling as she watched her little sister train by herself. She was so much stronger than she was her age. She was glad her father changed a little bit these last days. He is supposed to be harsh, being the Leader of the Main Family of the Hyuga. Hanabi didn't have it easy either, though easier nonetheless.
The Hyuga estate had survived the war mostly, but some areas here and there were slightly… burned. Hyuga Hiashi had done everything he could together with most other Hyuga to defend it. Hyuga Hanabi had been here during the war as well. It was a surprise really, when Hinata's father didn't really mind that Hinata wanted to join the others in battle away from the Hyuga estate. A pleasant surprise, indicating a change in her father.
The defeat of the Akatsuki Leader was really strange… She never knew Naruto had a demon inside of him, even though she had watched him thoroughly all those years ago. Of course she had noticed the depressive boy behind the mask of joy. It was only natural putting up facades, especially for someone who had experienced almost nothing but pain throughout his life. And Hyugas were very perceptive, so it was easy for her to see the real person behind the façade.
But she never expected something terrible like a demon trapped within him. But now she understood what that red Chakra of his really was. It was the Kyuubi's. From what she had learned, it seems Naruto has beaten the Kyuubi, the Nine-tailed Demon. And now Naruto is more than twice as strong as before. Comparing everything that happened yesterday, Naruto and Gaara were probably the strongest Shinobis present. She didn't really think there was another who was just as strong…
She really hoped Naruto would not leave Leaf Village again. And surely, he Villagers won't hate him anymore… she hoped. He's a real threat to all Villages, being so strong. But Naruto controls himself completely. She also hoped Neji would stay in Leaf Village. She really enjoyed it when Neji taught her how to activate the Senshin-Byakugan. It was a lot of work and it was purely instinct, as it could only be activated for the first time during a hard battle.
Naruto was happy, really happy. He had felt sadness for a little while because he would probably not be seeing Itachi and the others anymore. But he understood their decisions. But he was happy because no longer was the demon Kyuubi inside him. No longer would there be the possibility of Kyuubi breaking out. He was totally free… Now what would he do? Would he leave Leaf Village? Would he stay here and try to live his old life again? Would he become like Jiraiya and just wander around the world? Everything was possible now…
Naruto looked up at the familiar face of Uchiha Sasuke. Naruto just looked at him, not grinning, frowning or looking mad at him. "Good morning, Sasuke!" Naruto half yelled and half greeted as he waved his right hand once.
Sasuke didn't smile or look mad either. "Tcheh… I never did really understand you, idiot. But now, I understand a little better… To think all these years you had a demon in you… Honestly, I can't say I'm not impressed. I thought I had it bad…"
Naruto smiled. "Oh, you did have it bad… All those girls running after you while you were only focused on getting stronger… You had to be annoyed, really…"
Sasuke frowned. "Hm. I just wanted to ask you one thing. You know you're a missing-nin, right? Like me. Neji and Gaara are also missing-nins. But, now that this war is over… What are you going to do?"
Naruto sighed. "I don't know. I feel at home here, but at the same time out of place… Neji is going to stay. I don't know about Gaara, since he's still unconscious."
Sasuke nodded. "I see. That move he performed yesterday…"
"The Shinken, it immediately forces the user to go unconscious and the victim to lose all his senses and, like the Kage Mane, to stand still. It was really dangerous, because we weren't sure whether it would have worked. We were lucky." Naruto chuckled.
Sasuke narrowed his eyes at Naruto. "I'm staying in Leaf Village too, Naruto. It's the only place where I can grow stronger. Where I can learn not to use the Curse Seal…"
A day later, Gaara woke up to see Baki, Temari and Kankurou by his bed. It was odd, really, being in a bed and having people watch you. It never really occurred to Gaara and he frowned at the situation.
"Has she been killed?" Was his first question.
Baki smiled. "Yes. You've succeeded, Gaara-sama."
Gaara frowned, not liking being called Gaara-sama. "How long have I been in this state?"
"Two days." Temari answered, making Gaara look at her. She had grown a lot, wore her hair in one big bun while many hairs were in front of her eyes.
Gaara frowned again. 'Two days only? The Shinken effect should have been longer on me…'
"But not two full days. It's safe to say a day and a half, actually." Kankurou added. "The Fifth Hokage helped out with that."
Gaara nodded. 'Even then, a day and a half is not much. On top of that, Itachi told me a medic-nin wouldn't really make a difference. Is this really possible? So this is what it means to have the powers of a demon… on top of your own…'
"Gaara, we're going back to Sand Village in a few days…" Temari started.
Gaara knew what she meant. She wanted him to go with them. And right now… that didn't seem too awful… 'No longer will I be seen as Shukaku. But they will remember. Perhaps this is another chance for me to grasp, to have a life of a Shinobi again… and not that of a missing-nin… Perhaps…'
"Heh, odd to see you here…"
Neji didn't have to force the smile on his face as he sat next to Shikamaru, who sat next to Chouji. "Hm."
"So how are Naruto and Gaara doing?" Shikamaru asked, ignoring the noise Chouji made with his eating. Shikamaru didn't really want to be quiet in situations where Chouji starts eating, since it would make him hear Chouji more clearly.
"Naruto is already released from the hospital. Gaara is supposed to wake up today." Neji said, after having ordered a few Ramen cups.
"Damn… you're hungry, aren't you?" Shikamaru asked as a lot of bowls were put in front of Neji, on the counter. It was about equal to what Chouji was eating.
Neji smiled. "Oh, it's not only for me… Naruto should be here in a short while…" Neji sighed. "Byakugan!!"
Shikamaru smiled. 'Heh, he's probably lazy too… Activating his Byakugan to see where Naruto is now…'
Neji deactivated his Byakugan and stared at his own cup of Ramen. "It seems Sasuke is joining us as well… We're going to visit Gaara after having eaten here. Care to join us?"
Shikamaru sighed. "Neh, the hospital is pretty far away from here and I'm still tired from the war… Besides, it'll take a long while before Chouji's done eating. He used his Akimichi pills, and he's trying to regain weight again…"
Neji smiled. "Of course."
Just then, Naruto and Sasuke walked in. They went to sit next to Neji. Naruto gave a few bowls of Ramen to Sasuke and began on his own, not even bothering to greet the others as he was more focused on his food. Sasuke shook his head and began eating as well.
"Hiya, Shikamaru! Chouji!" Naruto yelled, after having finished two bowls…
"I have decided. I am going back with my siblings." Gaara said as he was surprised to have more visitors in the form of Naruto, Neji and Sasuke.
A small smile formed on Naruto's face. 'So everyone's returning to their homes. Even Sasuke wants to stay in Leaf Village.'
"So how's your body doing?" Neji asked.
Gaara took a look at his own chest. "My muscles are still tired. I won't be able to move fully yet for another three hours at least. I consider myself to be the weakest Shinobi right now…"
Naruto laughed. "Ha! You did activate your Shield, right?"
Gaara smiled. "Of course. That one doesn't require any hand seals…"
"I'm staying in Leaf Village. I have no real goal anymore, except to serve and protect Konoha." Neji spoke. "Perhaps we'll meet each other in the future, Gaara. If I have any mission in Sand Village, I'll be sure to look you up."
'To have missions… To become a Jounin, ANBU or… Hokage…' Naruto thought. 'Perhaps I can reach the very first goal I had…'
"Ha! I'm staying in Leaf Village too! And I'll become Hokage!"
Sasuke shook his head. "Tcheh, like someone like you will become Hokage. It isn't all about strength. According to me, you lack intelligence."
Naruto narrowed his eyes at Sasuke. "Heh! And you're what, smart?"
"No, he's already released from the hospital." Sakura said as Ino, who was walking next to her as they were walking towards the Hyuga estate to report to their leader, asked her if they should visit Naruto in the hospital.
"Heh, so what do you think about all that Kyuubi-Naruto business?"
Sakura sighed before answering. "I don't know, Ino. I treated him like dirt most of the time as well."
"Well, you're not the only one. The entire Village did, remember?"
Sakura nodded. "Yes, but will he be able to forgive us for that? He has the full right to kill us all, if you ask me… For what we caused him…"
Ino shuddered. "Better not tell him that. Judging from his newfound power, he just might be able to do just that."
Sakura shuddered in return. "Yeah… So… what kind of mission do you think we'll have today?"
Ino shrugged. "Beats me. Although I'd suspect something along the lines of repairing buildings and stuff."
"Hiya!! Ino!! Sakura!!"
Sakura and Ino looked up to see Kiba and Akamaru descend towards them. They both had no idea where Kiba jumped off of, since there were no standing buildings around where they were walking, but Kiba was known to be able to jump unbelievably high. "Ohayo, Kiba!" They both greeted back.
"Ok, how much do we bet today on Chouji being late again?" He began.
"Oh, today he'll be late for sure!" Ino responded. "He used the Akimichi pills two days ago, remember? He'll eat as much and as often as he can for about a week, otherwise he won't be able to get his old body back, which I wouldn't want in a million years, by the way!"
Kiba cracked a smile while Akamaru barked a laugh. "Heh! Yeah, that's true! But you gotta appreciate him; he's one strong guy when he does use the pills."
Naruto was walking homewards with a grin on his face. 'I'm going to become Hokage, I'm going to become Hokage, I'm going to become Hokage, I'm going to become Hokage…'
Naruto smiled as he suddenly stopped walking and simply disappeared…
Kakashi wasn't really surprised as Naruto appeared behind him, while he was standing on a roof. "Hmm, you've improved so much, Naruto. I wonder what the Hokage will say about it."
Naruto frowned. 'Oh shit, of course! Maybe the old lady won't even allow me to stay in this Village!'
Kakashi continued. "Anyway, she ordered me to tell you should report to her tomorrow."
Naruto nodded. "I understand!"
Kakashi smiled underneath his mask. "I wanted to say thank you too, Naruto. For helping out in the Akatsuki war."
"Aah, don't sweat it! We had a blast!" Naruto replied. "Well, we almost died… but… that doesn't really matter, does it?"
Kakashi shrugged. "Every day we have a chance of dieing… Why care about it, really?"
Naruto shook his head and smiled . "Ne, ne… Do you have to be Jounin to be able to become Hokage?"
Kakashi laughed shortly. "Yes. So, you're staying in Leaf Village?"
Naruto nodded. "Yes, I will become Hokage!"
"Ooh? So after being a missing-nin for five years, you'll just become Hokage?"
Naruto's eyes widened. "What!? What? Can't I become Hokage because I was a Missing-nin?"
"It's pretty difficult not to be a missing-nin anymore…"
Tsunade, who had called for Baki, Temari, Kankurou, Gaara, Naruto, Sasuke and Neji, was gazing at them with an expressionless face, though she had to hold back the grin badly. Of course, she was proud of Naruto and Gaara. Neji and Sasuke also meant a lot in the battle and it was nice to have a few Sand allies helping around. Though against the leader that wouldn't make a difference at all. Without Naruto and Gaara they'd have lost everything. Itachi was about the only Shinobi she saw who could actually come close to really hurting the woman.
She was glad Itachi, Dareda and the others left, because otherwise it would've been even worse, another fight after the war. The one where Sasuke spots Itachi… But that didn't happen. Orochimaru had disappeared without a trace too. She was glad for that as well, since Sasuke also had issues with him and of course, vice versa. To quote the one who whined the most in Leaf Village: It was really troublesome.
"Ok, I hope you all can guess why I called for you… here." Tsunade stated as she looked around at the debris that was once the Hokage Tower.
Naruto sheepishly scratched the back of his head, remembering that it was actually him that really destroyed the Tower.
Tsunade continued. "As you all should know, you're missing-nins." Tsunade paused. "Except for you three, of course." She said, looking at Temari, Kankurou and Baki.
Naruto, Neji, Sasuke and Gaara nodded, motioning for Tsunade to continue.
"Because you helped save the Leaf Village and helped secure the defeat of the Akatsuki, I am offering you the chance to reinstate yourselves as Shinobis of your Villages." She looked at Gaara. "For you it's different, since you'll have to arrange all this with the Kazekage."
Baki coughed once, before talking. "Well, we don't have a Kazekage for the time being… The Akatsuki murdered the Kazekage a few months ago… Since then the Council of Sand Village has arranged all. Although I don't think it'll be a problem to let Gaara back in Sand Village. He no longer has the Shukaku inside of him."
Tsunade nodded. "Anyway, be that as it may, if the Council does not allow you back, you are welcome here, Gaara." Tsunade paused. "Now, then. What do you four choose to do from now on?"
"I will offer Leaf Village my best. I wish to return." Neji said, bowing to the Hokage.
Naruto simply smiled. "I'm going to stay too, baa-chan!" He said, not bowing, which made Tsunade shake her head but also a smile.
"I will stay, too." Sasuke let out, not bowing either.
"I will return to the Sand Village." Gaara spoke.
Tsunade smiled. "That's all I needed to know. But you four are STILL Chuunins. If you want to become Jounin, you'll have to take the Jounin Exam like everyone else, or do a lot of missions. Now, all of you are dismissed."
All of them nodded and walked away from the debris.
End Book 2
Author's Note: Well? I hope you liked it! I really do! I'll start on Book 3 tomorrow night, I think. Book 3 will have pairing, btw. Oh, just one question about something or rather, someone, that really troubles me…
Gaara: Should the Council of the Sand refuse Gaara to return to Sand Village and force him to become a Konoha Shinobi? Or should he just be accepted as a Sand Shinobi and build his Shinobi career there?
Book 3 will have small Time-Jump… Small, I think a few months, actually. Oh, I remember something! There's a Fanfiction Elimination going on! It's on http : www . geocities . com / bikifriend / main (without all the spaces… FFN won't allow any Html-codes and all that) and you should also check out the Bakakage Forums, which can be found, naturally at Bakakage.com. Errr… that was it!
I really hope you liked it! Next Book will be more Humor, or a pitiful attempt at it anyway. I'm not good at Humor writing… It's the same for Romance, but you have to have tried everything once, right? Well, almost everything…
Anyway, many thanks for reading this Book!! I hope you liked it! Please R&R!