Author: Wow...I've been a really bad author about this haven't I? Heh heh, I'm pretty sure all of you are trying to figure out what happened at the end of Look to the Future...and well, the answer is that it ended on a really messed up cliffhanger meant to leave you sleepless for many...many nights until I got over my Shika-mitis and started writing again.
I would like to remind you though to...
READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CHAPTERS
I said quite a few times that there would be a sequel and you bad readers out there didn't have faith in me [sob], well this is your punishment as I am now out of witness protection...and happy that none of you tried to kill me...unlike my Inuyasha fic readers who think that death threats are really funny...even though they seem to be working.
The reason this took so long is well...I got a PS2 and .hackInfection...O.o that is so addictive, but I finished it today and am not sure when I'm gonna get Mutation...I'm sure you'll know...lol.
Other than that...here is the first chapter to the sequel of Look to the Future, Enjoy!
"Evening", Soundtrack 1, Track 14
"Glued State", Soundtrack 1, Track 15
"Morning", Soundtrack 1, Track 4
"Nine Tail Demon Fox", Soundtrack 1, Track 3
"Loneliness", Soundtrack 1, Track 9
Naruto sat alone in the white lobby that was being used temporarily as a waiting room, shivering in anxiety as the events of what he was sure was the past 15 minutes or so, replayed through his mind. His arms and body shook more from the shock of seeing an unconscious and barely breathing Tsunade, than from the strain of carrying her here in the first place. His wide, anxious eyes, absorbed the blaring light the white walls and floor reflected as his worry continued to deepen.
Another minute passed and there was still no news on her condition. At first the nurses were skeptical when he said the elderly woman he brought in was none other than the Hokage, but seeing when a passing doctor noticed the seal on her forehead as the one of none other than Tsunade, she was immediately given the best of care. Even though he hadn't seen any, Naruto was sure there were countless ANBU somewhere in the vicinity of the injured Hokage trying desperately to figure out what was going on.
He wanted to go see her but they kept telling him that she was in emergency care for the moment to see what had happened, and was unable to be bothered. Naruto cursed silently, bringing his heightened agitation to a slightly lower level and fidgeted around with his hands to calm his nerves.
He noticed the sound of crumpling paper, then looked down to see the balled up remains of an otherwise neatly folded piece of paper, white with red rims.
'The piece of paper she was holding on to...'
Curiosity triumphed over shock and the young, disheveled boy began to straighten out the paper. He nearly dropped it when he saw the word "Naruto" written on the outside, in bold black ink, looking slightly hasted.
He gulped a bit before unfolding the crumpled note to read the message, seemingly scratched on in the same haste as the title.
I'm not sure what exactly you're going through right now, and I'm not sure if there is much I could do if I even know. If you're reading this, then that is some good news. I'm watching you go through whatever your gong through right now even though you can't sense my presence, just remember that I'm here for you. From my travels, I've seen that sometimes...people need to see what they can lose the hard way before they realize all they have...I don't want you to lose everything and never get another chance at it, that's why I'm about to do this for you.
What you have seen is a glimpse into what could have been the future Naruto-kun, and I'm not sure if what you saw has comforted you or not, but I hope that it has. I don't think I have much time before I do this, so, tell Shizune that she is active Hokage for now, and tell her that I used the Timeless Eye...she'll tell you about it then...
I'm sorry Naruto-kun...I hope things get better for you...you have too much to lose, rather you realize it or not.
Naruto blinked a few times out of initial confusion before skimming over the letter a few more times, trying desperately to piece together everything that had happened to him, and fit it along with what the letter said.
"I'm sorry Shizune-san, but she is in emergency treatment right now and she is in no condition to receive visitors, I'm going to have to ask you to sit in the lobby until everything is under control."
Naruto looked up, pulled out of his thoughts before seeing a very distraught Shizune standing over a very tired looking receptionist.
Recalling Tsunade's request to talk to the woman, Naruto rose his hand in the air, not quite able to find his voice yet.
It wasn't until Shizune looked to the direction of the lobby the receptionist was now pointing at, that she saw the tired boy donned in none other than a rather dirty orange jumpsuit.
She heaved a sigh before walking over to the young boy who looked, quite possibly, more mentally tired than her.
She managed to get the words out when she reached the lobby trying to keep her cool even though her best friend and mentor was now in the hospital in critical condition with no explanation as to why.
Naruto wasn't smiling...but then again neither was Shizune...or the receptionist...or anyone else within visible range. Shizune learned why when she tried to force a grin and only found it to be severely unfitting to the fragile atmosphere.
She was about to speak again to the silent boy when he pushed a crumpled piece or paper towards her with a bit of force, turning away and biting on the inside of his cheek to stifle his sobs.
She gasped at the suddenness before pulling the piece of paper out of the blondes hand and unraveled it, truly noticing the silence as it was broken by the abused sheet. Naruto kept his eyes focused on the ground as Shizune's eyes skimmed over the page. It was with a slight gasp that Naruto realized she had reached the critical point of the message, he prepared himself mentally to speak while she finished up the last of the letter.
(cue "Glued State")
"...the Timeless Eye..."
Shizune interrupted in a nearly dead tone, stopping to sigh and drawing the younger nin's gaze.
"It's a kinjutsu that very few people know and have the capability of performing."
Naruto wanted to speak, but found himself still speechless, allowing her to continue.
"She told me about it once...something she picked up on her travels, I never pressed her on how she got to learn it though. She told me that it uses one's chakra to mold itself over time itself, copy it, alter it in any way, then show it to another as a vision. Basically it's a really advanced genjutsu that not even Orochimaru knows about."
She took the puzzled look on the abnormally mute blonde's face as a request to explain deeper.
"What she did was show you what could have happened in the future, if you would have done whatever it was you would have done. Its the reason that she's in the condition she is in now, its also the reason very few know the technique..."
Naruto finally found his voice, but both were far too absorbed to notice.
"It causes the user to fall into a coma because the human consciousness is not built to comprehend time itself...it's a wonder that such a jutsu was able to be developed in the first place."
"S-she'll wake up right?"
Naruto was beginning to sound a bit frantic, Shizune couldn't blame him for she felt the same way...but she had a job to do now.
Naruto looked down to the ground before all but collapsing onto the chair behind him as he replayed everything over again.
He didn't hear Shizune the first time she called, it wasn't until the third time that his name passed her lips that he recognized that she was demanding his attention. He looked up, a bit startled by her forceful tone.
The forceful tone in her voice was matched by a forceful look on her face.
"Naruto-kun...for the safety of Konohakagure...I have to ask you what you saw in the vision she showed you."
"I-I am acting Hokage for the time being Naruto-kun...I need to know if there was any kind of threat that I need to be aware of. Was there anything you saw in your vision that I need to be aware of?"
Her voice shook a little when she initially stuttered, but she forced it away as she continued. Standing suddenly professionally, she looked down over the boy, doing what she was sure her best friend would want.
"...No...there was nothing you need to worry about...at least nothing I saw. I only saw tomorrow and something years down the road..."
He looked up to see her a bit confused, her mouth forming to pose a question.
"...Everything looked fine 18 year from now..."
She sighed in relief before sitting down next to him.
(end "Glued State")
"Do you need to talk about what you saw?"
He looked up at her, noticing the genuine concern that flowed through her voice, replacing the stern voice necessary to lead a village. Genuine concern directed at him...for him...trying to comfort him. It was nice, he had to admit, to see such a thing come from her, he wasn't sure if she had ever been this nice to him or if he had just taken it for granted in the past.
He smiled, not a forced grin, or even a fake ear-to-ear smile, but a true smile that was really only a slight curling of his lips. But that was all it took.
"No, I'm fine...but...thank you. It means a lot to me..."
Shizune smiled back at the boy before getting back up.
"When are you going home tonight?"
"Well...I was gonna stay here the whole time, in case she wakes up tonight."
"I'm going to have to ask you not to do that..."
"Huh?!" Naruto jumped to his feet, fatigue forgotten, as his voice started to border along the lines of an uncomfortable volume.
Shizune remained facing away from him as she spoke.
"You have to meet with your team tomorrow morning right?"
"Well...yeah...but she's much more important that going to go pick weeds in some ladies garden. I thought you would understand that."
"I know how you feel Naruto...but we all have our duties...and we must make sure that we attend to them...that's what she would want."
Naruto was about to say something, before he realized that he didn't know what to say in response. Instead, he crossed his arms over his chest and gave a pouting sigh.
"I'm not going. I'll stay here until she wakes up...I owe her that."
He didn't respond.
"...do you still want to become Hokage?"
Naruto's attention was immediately brought back to the woman before him.
"Then go home and make sure you report to your sensei at the appointed time."
Her reward was another pout.
"She always tells me that she wants to see you succeed at becoming Hokage Naruto-kun...she wants to see you reach your dream while she's still here. She wants to be the one who awards you the title...but Naruto-kun...skipping missions and forgetting your duties is not going to get you there."
"Naruto-kun...you were right...I do understand that you want to be here when she wakes up...so do I...but she left me with a job to do, and I have to do it. Just as you have a job to do that you can't ignore...do you understand?"
Naruto dropped his arms sighing in defeat, mumbling the word "yes" so that Shizune could hardly hear it.
"Good then, if you don't have anyone else to visit here...then please go home and get some rest. She shouldn't wake up until tomorrow anyway...stop by then. Okay?"
"Good. Are you going to go home right now?"
Naruto was about to answer when he remembered that there was one more person in the hospital here that he knew.
"Not yet...I have...a friend that I need to visit."
At first, Shizune was about to call him a liar and send him out the door, but she noticed the way his face tensed up as he mentioned the part about a friend, and decided to leave it be.
"Alright then, but make sure to get home at a reasonable hour...its already 8:30 okay?"
"Don't worry! I won't take..."
"...back my words, right? Thought so." Shizune laughed a bit as the boy in front of her started to get a bit aggravated. The mood of the room suddenly brightened as the blonde broke into a smile before walking towards the receptionist's desk.
"You know, you should share your sense of humor with the old hag, a bit of more humor might do her some good."
Shizune's eyes widened a bit at the fact that Naruto was still acting the same old Naruto.
Then they relaxed as she realized that he was still acting the same old Naruto. She quirked a smile before heading out the door, she had business to attend to now.
Naruto heard the front doors slide open and closed as Shizune left, just as he reached the front desk.
"...Um, can you look up the room number for an Inuzuka Kiba?"
The receptionist didn't even look up, she merely turned to a book on her desk, flipping a few pages before speaking.
She went back to work without so much as looking up, leaving Naruto in a state of déjà vu.
He stuttered for a moment before intelligent words came form his mouth.
"I-is the elevator working?"
Just then the phone rang, the bored receptionist turned in her chair, picked up the phone before muttering some formal greetings. She listened a bit the person on the other side before setting the phone back down.
"Actually...its broken now. Sorry."
Naruto let out a nervous laugh as he turned to the stairs, forgetting to thank the woman...even though she didn't care.
He walked in silence towards the door to the stairs. It wasn't until he passed through, reaching the first step, that he felt a familiar, yet not so familiar presence in his mind.
(cue "Nine Tail Demon Fox")
[Well, that was amusing]
Naruto purposefully ignored the voice in his head as he started up the steps.
[Just finished skimming through the memories of your blackout kid...]
Naruto shoved his hands in his pockets. The voice was calm, collected, and obviously near the point of laughing.
[...And I gotta say, that was some interesting stuff]
The fox chuckled in the back of his head. A thought floated aimlessly through the boy's mind for a moment, before he could retract it, he heard the voice comment on it.
[Yeah, we are a bit closer than before]
Naruto twitched visibly around his eye for a bit, angry at the entity in his mind and fully bent on ignoring it.
[I think that kid we fought earlier had something to do with it...when he pulled me out...I think the seal got weaker]
Naruto cringed a bit, trying to ignore the fox but wondering why the voice was so much louder than normal...the more he realized it, it was this loud back at the apartment too...
[Yes kid, you can't block me out of your thoughts as much anymore]
Naruto heaved a sigh before turning to see that he was still only half way to floor 7.
'What do you want you damn animal?'
[What's wrong kid...you seem angry]
Kyubi grinned in Naruto's mind.
'If you don't have a reason to bother me, then leave me the hell alone.'
[You nearly got us killed back there you miserable runt]
'That's what you get for playing with my memories, your lucky that Tsunade stepped in.'
[Yes...I think I'll thank her personally when she wakes up...]
Naruto stopped, midway between floors 5 and 6.
'You know something...what is it?'
[What makes you think that runt?]
'What do you know you overgrown fur ball?'
Kyubi sighed a bit as the playful grin eased away from the vision of his face that he sent to Naruto.
[I think that I can actually control this body now that the seal is weakened for short amounts of time...]
Naruto tensed a bit.
[I want out kid...I want out now...]
Kyubi was close to growling as Naruto gulped a bit. He unconsciously stepped back before firmly grounding himself in mind and body.
'No...I will never let you out.'
[Kid...I'm not joking with you...I want out, I mean it]
'Why? I'm not going to let you make another pass at Konoha again, you tried to use me before, I won't let it happen again.'
Kyubi's voice boomed through Naruto's skull, causing what promised to be a headache to start forming.
[It's not like those people care about you! I don't understand why you don't slay them all yourself.]
Naruto started speaking audibly without noticing it.
"That's not true you damn monster, there are people who care about me here, I just didn't realize it before...I won't let you deceive me again."
[So you think that some lie that some woman fabricated means that people care about you? I didn't see them jumping out to help you back there...]
Naruto's voice dropped in volume.
"...but everyone makes mistakes...all that matters to me is that I know they really care..."
Kyubi's voice quieted a bit, but the fox's fury was still evident.
[You don't understand do you...]
"No, no I don't...nor do I care..."
[That's not what I'm talking about anymore...You don't understand what its like to be trapped in essence form for 13 years kid...you don't understand how much I miss actually breathing, feeling air go in and out of my lungs...This damn village doesn't matter to me anymore...I want out because I can't stand to be in here for so long now that I remember how good it feels to be out...]
'I still don't care...'
Naruto went back to thinking towards the fox, and then slowly continued his trek back to floor 7, his mood now dampened.
[And you say I'm a monster...]
'You deserve every bit of this bastard...I don't need to care about you. I only need to hold you until we both die.'
(end "Nine Tail Demon Fox")
There was silence in Naruto's mind as he finally reached the door to the rooms on floor 7. He shook off the last of his anger towards Kyubi before walking into the hallway.
He stepped into the hallway, then made a short journey until he found himself near room 715, he was no more than 5 feet away when the door opened and a man stepped out.
Naruto's heart nearly skipped a beat as he recognized the man before him.
...I have good and bad news Inuzuka-san...
"Oh...hello, can I help you young man?"
His voice was exactly the same as Naruto remembered it.
He suppressed his shock and put on a wide smile.
"Oh, I was just coming by to see a friend of mine."
"Oh, okay then."
...Most of the wounds are already healing due to the help of a medic-nin that examined your son. The only serious wound he received was in his stomach...
The doctor began to walk right by Naruto before the boy managed to speak.
He pushed up his glasses with his index knuckle, turning his attention to the boy.
...We have done all we can for it but it is completely ruined...
"The boy in there...Inuzuka Kiba..."
...And with our current technology...we can't repair it...
"Yes...what about him?"
"I-is he alright?"
...about 90% of the chakra he tries to mold will become wasted...
"Well, its really early to tell completely..."
"Are you sure?"
...there is a chance that he'll never be able to become an adequate shinobi...
"Well, the only thing that seems anything to worry about is his stomach. We don't have any details...but we do know that it was worse than any of the other wounds he received. It may not be too bad...but then again its too early to be certain."
Naruto's eyes fell to the ground as a wave of guilt hit him, Kyubi's smile conjured itself in his mind.
"Ok...thank you sir..."
Naruto just turned around, placing his hands in his pockets as he made his way back to the stairs. He needed to go rest now, badly.
Sakura glanced over at the photo of team 7 that they all had a copy of. She absorbed the image into her mind as she shut her lights off to lay down on the soft pillow at the head of her bed.
She rolled over onto her side as the events of the day played in her head a few times over.
"Who would have thought that behind that smile...behind the klutz...behind the obnoxious attitude...was the carrier of the most feared thing mentioned in Konoha for the past 50 years."
She rolled over again, lifting her head as she did so to make sure she didn't tug at her hair.
"How did you go on day to day knowing that you were holding on to such a thing...how did you deal with all the ridicule you didn't deserve?"
Her voice started to muffle as she began to get closer to sleep.
"You...you really didn't deserve everything that you were forced to deal with...I guess that you really aren't all that bad...I suppose you never were."
Memories of the time spent as team 7 started playing in her mind, drawing her closer and closer to unconsciousness.
"Maybe we shouldn't have been so mean...maybe we...I shouldn't have pushed you away like I did..."
She yawned and blinked her eyes heavily.
"I'm sorry Naruto...but I swear that I will be a better friend for you...you deserve at least that..."
With that, the Haruno girl fell into a comfortable sleep on her bed. Sleeping peacefully even after everything she had witnessed throughout the day.
Author: OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's finally done!!!!! Hoorah, I finally got the first chapter of the sequel done.
Man, this is annoying though, I want the soundtracks for the later seasons...I'm not sure that ALL of the moods I need are in the first two [sob].
Anyway, til next time.