Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

Puppet in Pink

26. Far From Finished

And if death does take me, send the hammered

Mail of my armor to Higlac, return

The inheritance I had from Hrethel, and he

From Wayland. Fate will unwind as it must!


Sasuke cradled his head in his hands, whimpering softly. Green swept his vision in aggressive waves, scrubbing his last fragments of sanity into a cheerful froth. He'd thought the merciless tides would wash away the voices as well; pleaded in plaintive tones for them to release their miserly hold on his soul.

As would be expected, they refused to heed him, clamoring in harsh tones, swarming unchecked into his open mind. Sasuke screamed, searching for the one among the millions that he knew would save him. He knew it would listen, sympathize, help him find a way out of the suffocating crowd. Somehow, it would bring him back.

Because the voice was his voice.

His friend.

The Uchiha felt himself slipping farther, and clawed desperately for the one lifeline that remained. Just over the horizon, just out of reach. He could make it, yes he could.

Kakashi tore his eyes away from the raven-haired figure that convulsed weakly on the hospital bed. "The Chuunin Exam is in three weeks," he reminded the robed figure to his left. "What do you think we should do, Hokage-sama?"

The elderly man gave a pitying glance at the ninja genius flopping pathetically among the twisted white bed-sheets. He'd consulted the crystal about this several times; had stayed up all night gazing into the clouded orb. But he had found nothing, not the slightest clue as to what had happened to the boy in the forest before the Haruno child found him. He gave a heavy sigh.

"The doctors say he's on the way towards some sort of recovery, though they have no idea as to what is wrong," the Hokage said at last. Kakashi looked relieved. "We'll just have to wait until the Exams, and see what he wants to do." Without waiting to see the silver-haired teacher's response, he shuffled down the tiled hall.

The blonde-haired boy couldn't bring himself to look at his rival. He stared at his feet. "I...I hope he gets better soon," he spoke at last, with uncomfortable solemnity.

The pink-haired girl standing next to him gave a fleeting half-smile that vanished before it could be seen.

"So do I, Naruto. So do I."


As the title of this chapter suggests, this story is far from over, but I'm going to continue the next part of it (the Chuunin Exam arc!) in a sequel, which should begin within this week. I'm going to have to scramble for the information on the original Chuunin Exam, seeing as my computer is still unable to download anything, but I repeat: This is not the end of the story!

The chapter after this is where all you reviewers are listed...in other words, you don't really have to read it. Review or email with any ideas you have for the Exams, or what comes after them!

And, lastly, Happy Thanksgiving Day/Columbus Day to all of you in Canada and the U.S.!

Puppet in Pink

27. Credits

Here's to all my reviewers!

(in no particular order)

deity of death1-sama... is drawing a fan-art for this fic...plus I'm in her profile!

Maya Amano-sama.................reviewed almost every chapter (I think)


Rosz-chan (Angel-Rosz-san..long and informative reviews; helped in the crucial formation of the new Sakura

xx-Tsumi-chan-xx..................I have to admit...I don't really know how to write romance...I'd need help...

Hyourin Kage-sama................has me in her profile

dobyuk princess-sama

Shiroi Hikari-sama


Chiisuchine-sama...................was my first reviewer

pocky no miko-sama




Monkey Shoes-sama

xia xue-sama






Whisperin9 Shad0s-sama

Blind Kunoichi-sama




dreaming star-sama

Solita (Alone-sama

rogue solus-sama

Jewel Song-sama




Search and Seek and Destroy-sama..also helped in the formation of the new Sakura




Chibi Malkavian-sama

Eternal stars-sama









x Lindsay x-sama

The Sadist-sama




The Winged Messenger-sama

Wicked Fantasies-sama

Genma: The Destroyer-sama





Ayce Shade-sama

Sonoda Aki-sama

Silent Angel-sama

Sakura FAN-sama

Thanks to all of you, even the small number who were 'flamers'—you've helped to make this fanfic what it is today. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is anyone's guess, though. Anyways, you can expect a sequel to begin within the next week, so do not despair!