WARNING: This chapter is not beta checked, and none of the future ones will be, for my writing has become to erratic and I don't have the time to beta and to write as much as I can, its getting very difficult to write even thou ideas aren't coming up short as I said I already have the story from start to finish just cant find myself to write, school, and social life get in the way, so sorry for the grammar errors you are going to find and if any one wants you can beta and ill re-upload this chapter.
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Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine. It's his creators' property (Kishimoto Masashi). The only things that are mine are my own made up characters.
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Hello Kyuubi's thoughts
(Hello) Inner Sakura
-o-o-o- Scene change
Chapter 24: Clouded sky
"Why can't we just tell them everything? It would make things much easier Tsunade-sama" Shizune asked, but her question seemed to fall on deaf ears, Tsunade simply took a deep breath and continued to fill out paper work, no one could understand the difficult that it is to hide some one from and organization as powerful and influential as the Akatsuki, as a well traveled ninja she knew that to fool one's enemy, one has to be able to fool ones closest friend, the main objective of this move was as simple as any mission could be and was to let Naruto move freely around the world training with out the constant thread of the Akatsuki over them. And with no one in the village knowing that there was no risk of any information leaking out, but with the genins finding out about the info, now its known that Naruto is out of the village unprotected for all they know, this makes him a target and by ninja law now has to be cataloged as a missing ninja and hunted down by the village forces, ruining Tsunades plan of making Naruto vanish from the village.
"We can't tell them that the main objective is to make Naruto's where about unknown, if we tell them I'm sure the will tell their family, and with so many people informed it would make it easier for the information to fall into the wrong hands, this incident isn't a total loss, with Naruto classified as a missing-nin we have a reason to send out ninjas into other countries, if we do that we can look for Orochimaru and keep tabs on the Akatsuki movements"
Shizune looked down onto the small pig she carried in her arms, knowing well the perils Naruto would be in from now on, not only the ones brought by the evil organization, but the paroles brought know by his friend concern and misunderstanding of the situation. Every one in the room was concern, Shizune showed true concern, her faithful pet realest a few oinks trying its best to get her spirits up, Tsunades face didn't seemed as concern as Shizunes, but underneath that expression she was as if not more worried for the blond, for he was to an extent as important to her as her deceased brother. And so they stayed there silently accompanied each other, but alas that wasn't the case outside the office.
A group of children jumped from tree branch to tree Branch, thou they did their best to gather as many as possible to help in their search, the only ones who actually where capable of going after the blond where, the green beast of Konoha, who's face showed a serious expression, but his mind was filled with doubts trying to find the reason why things had ended up like this. Along side him moving at and impressive speed where, Inuzuka Kiba and Akamaru, who where leading the search, the skillful nin-dog had picked up the scent and was guiding them toward the orange clad boy, behind him, Shikamaru followed, working hard on all the possible outcome of the mission behind him Chouji followed his friend and on the rear, with a mind filled with anger and a face to back it up, the pale skin genius was using his eyes trying to find the missing friend. They all moved as quickly as they could, but even that didn't seemed to work, it was if they weren't moving at all, Neji's eyes even thou can see more than 50 feet a head of them still didn't see the blond, and Akamarus and Kiba's; noses could just barely pick up his scent, and another one mixed with his.
Far in front of them the pervert and the hermit move quickly, but Jiraiya was getting a little inpatient. Some one is following us. He thought to himself, for he was a skilled ninja he was, and the fact that he would be follow by the most dangerous men in the world, he left a few frogs watching the trail behind them, and the chorus had reached his ears. "Hey Naruto, you go on ahead, something just came up" He said, stopping, Naruto, stopped as well, confused, surprised, "What? Why? If you are going back to Konoha I'm coming too!" He said back, but Jiraiya's face was serious, the hermit just shook his head, Naruto was about to talked back but a strenuous "I SAID NO!" by Jiraiya cut off Naruto before he could even mumble a single word. With that Jiraiya jumped and headed back to the village, while a reluctant Nauto moved forward toward the sand.
The genin teamed moved quickly. Some one is coming at an incredible speed!! Every one watch out!! Neji screamed as a flame came toward them. What's that!! They all thought or yelled as they did their best to evade the fire. "Ho! Why are so many tadpoles doing all the way out here?" Said the attacker, as he dropped from the shadows into a tree branch directly in front of the genis, they all took defensive positions, as the fames heat vanished leaving a scorched forest, they all saw confused as the one in front of them was the frog hermit. "What's the big idea?!" Kiba yelled, backed up by his dog, "Sorry little pup, but I thought you where enemies, no one should be this far away from the village" Jiraiya said, in a serious tone. Kiba just snarled at the hermits words, and appeared to be ready to pounce at him, but a hand on his shoulder stopped him, it was Shikamaru. "I'm sorry we startled you Jiraiya-sama, but we are on a very important mission" Shikamaru stated, getting an analyzing look from the hermit, they both looked carefully at each other, none new what the other was doing or plainimg. "Important mission? Maybe I can help you, what mission where you assigned?" He asked, getting suspicions up form every one. Shikamaru carefully thought his options and came to a conclusion. "We have been ordered by Tsunade-sama to bring Naruto back to the village" Just as Jiraiya suspected when he saw the one sfolloing him where the genins, some how the soup has been spilled, and know what could he do, what can make this children turn away. "Is this true?" The hermit asked the genin, getting a nod from Shikamaru, "then I have no choice" He responded as he started making hand seals. "Kuchiyose no Jutsu" A cloud forms and from it a large toad appeared, Jiraiya jumped on top of the toad, a large one, carrying with him a scroll, and necklace, it was his common riding toad, but its summoning confused the children, Shikamaru wasn't surprised, but still kept quiet. "I'll go after Naruto, go back and tell Tsunade I will personally go after him" He said trying to get the children to go back, but still they didn't moved, none really wanted to go back, they all for their own reasons wanted to get the blond. "What? You got to be kidding me old man, I wont forgive NAruto for leaving like that, after all that happened, ill bring him back even if I have to break his arms and legs!!" Kiba yelled. With his words Lee smiled, remembering only the blond as the other that cold make such scandal, Neji;s eyes where scanning the area, same as Shikamarus both with the same purpose, they where feeling aggressiveness from the sannin. "Sorry kid, but he is my disciple, so its my own responsibility to make sure he is ok" Jiraiya said in a sad tone, one that didn't show aggressiveness, but affection, Neji and Shiakamaru picked up this, but the other two didn't. "Then ill make you let us go!!" Kiba responded to Jiraiyas concerned filled words, as he quickly slipped Akamarua soldier pill turning him red, "Jyuujin Bunshin no jutsu" The beast master and the nin-dog where covered in smoke, as it cleared, two best like Kiba's appeared, snarling at the Sannin. "GATSUUGA!!" And the two began to spin toward the hermit. "Stupid kid" Jiraiya expressed, as he jumped of from the toad. We have him. Kiba though as he and Akamaru adjusted their direction and where about to hit him. Jiraiya smiled out of the innocence of the kid. "HA!!" They yelled as they where slammed toward a tree by the Toads tongue, they had been so focus on Jiraiya that they didn't thought the toad was something other than a transport for him. "Kiba-kun" Lee yelled as he moved to catch a falling Kiba and untransformed Akamaru. As Lee moved to catch him, a blur gets him and Kiba. "You are good friends, but right now you would be just a burden on him" Jiraiya whispered, making Lee's eyes to open, but that wasn't because of his words, Jiraiya had made a quick palm thrust, at such an incredible speed, Lee could bock it, this sent the green boy flying toward, Neji, who caught him easily. "Head back" Said the hermit as he carried Kiba and Akamaru. "Fine" Answered Shikamaru. "What?" Neji yelled, after his words, Jiraiya slowly put down Kiba and Akamaru who where out cold, He exchanged looks with him; they both stared at each other calmly.
"Then ill leave these two to you, make sure they get to the village" Said Jiraiya to the toad, as he ran back toward the path toward the sand village.
"Theres more here than what they are telling us" Neji stated, as he saw Jiraiya disaper in the the forest, a lot was going thru his head, but not as much as whats going thru Shikamaru, he was indeed a bit confuse, but still had a mayor grasp on the situation, Jiraiya was a lot of things but subtle was not one of the. This is going to be very troublesome. He thought as he gasped and simply watched the frog in front of him, blocking the path. A calm hand in his shoulder broke his focus. "Shikamaru, lets get back, we can still catch the 2x1 pork special" Chouji who had disappeared, after the first attack said to his friend, trying to get his friend to calm down, he knew he had to calm him down.
"You are right Chouji, we should be getting back" He said back as he helped Chouji pick up Kiba and Akamaru.
Naruto jumped from tree to tree, at a slower pace than they one he was with Jiraiya, he still wondered, what had happen, he moved slower, waiting for his sensei to catch up, but still nothing, time passed quickly, thousand things passes by his mind, as he moved he saw a silhouette at the horizon, he quickly recognized the person.
"Naruto" Made the blond stop, he stood next to this person, surprised to have seen him this far away from the village, "Sasuke…"
"So it's true, you are leaving" The two looked at each other, Naruto's eyes where open widely, he felt he was doing something unforgivable, that he was betraying all he knew, every one that had been with him, he simply looked away from Sasuke, toughing his fist and looking at the blue sky, and how the birds flew from the village into the horizon, he knew that was his goal as well disappear from the carefully eye of the village, disappears from everyone, from her. In front of the blond boy Sasuke glared at him, but it wasn't one of hatred, his heart was filled with so much confusion, so much pain, not so different from Narutos, He smirked a bit, letting out a small sound, Naruto heard him and turn toward him, they looked at each other. "You've gotten stronger, you are stronger then me…" SAsuke admitted, not wavering one second as he said it, Naruto was completely surprise, there the two stayed quiet for a few seconds, as the wind blew causing an echo throughout the branches. "But that wont last, I will find out what happened to you, I will surpass you and my brother nothing ahs changed, I'll still leaves this place but for now I will stay and refine my abilities…so you better do the same out there"
"But Sasuke...I…" "Shut up!! I really don't know you are leaving, and I could care less, after everything that happened I've seen my limits and I don't like it, I will kill my brother I'll become stronger on my own"
A challenged had been thrown out, they both felt different about it, Sasuke closed his eyes and let out a small smile, the blond on the other hand, simply closed his jacket with our a smile, with out a word, he just nodded and jumped away from the tree, rustling the laves around him, passing on Sasukes right side, Sasuke simple opened his eyes, his smiled disappeared as Naruto passed by, Both remembering all the events that had come to pass, all they had suffered, endured and surpass.
Sasuke's mind was flooded with his recent failures, causing the Uchiha fire to burn with more intensity then ever before, Thinking off all that had been taken by the blond, thinking of what lies he has been told, the truths he had found out, and a pink hair girl he has neglected, so far he was on the path of self-destruction, thou he had gladly taken it if that would have meant getting his revenge, but now his new path doesn't seem as self-destructive but that does not meant its not.
NAruto's thoughts where equally disturbed, but they weren't anything new, he blamed his situation on the fox, he just cursed it for this day and everything that had happened, his life finally had began to show a silver light and the fox's curse had blocked it once again, right now he didn't care a bout beating Sasuke, about the Akatsuki, about becoming stronger, all he cared was that lone tomboyish girl he had left behind, that had left broken hearted and only wished with all his heart to be forgiven and given another chance.
AS the Sun sets, Naruto stops, jumping of his tree branch, he gasps lightly, and walks toward the edge of a nearby cliff, he steers at the horizon managing to see the begging of the end, he is able to see the border, the edge of the fire country and the entry into the land of the eternal winds, he places his hand on a nearby tree, he simply starts, he simply thinks, the urge of turning back quickly builds up, as his tutor was no where to bee seen, but in the bottom of his heart he also knew that staying would bring nothing but sorrow t his home to his love, he simply stayed there, until a hand on his shoulder made him react, He turns and sees a concerned face Jiraiya, He didn't spoke a single word, neither did Naruto bothered to ask, he simply nodded after which Naruto responded in the same matter, Jiraiya removed his hand from Naruto's shoulder, He turns away from him and continued on their way, Naruto took a step forward, but stopped, he turns around and looks at the forest, tries his hard to see the village but that was in vain, as the village was beyond eye sigh, after his futile intent he again continue son his way, simply thinking one thing over and over again. I'll come back…,Ten-Ten
Days had passed in the village, and more or not life had been the same if not a bit calmer, men walked by the streets, in civilian and shinobi cloths, the same as every day, women chit chat with one another, shopped at the local markets, the children ran to the academy trying their best not to be late and getting scolded by Iruka and the other sensei's, the village was calm, but the surface wasn't always the truth, ANBU moved thru out it, in the shadows looking and waiting, one on particular moved from roof top to rooftop, it was a standard Konoha ANBU, he carried a small pouch on the right side of his waist, he moved for several minutes searching for his target, until the point where he finally manages to hunt down his target, it was a Shinobi, he was sitting outside a second floor apartment, relaxing on the rooftop, next to the window, he had a book over his head, as the ANBU arrived, the shinobi didn't react, "Excuse me" He said, but didn't get a reaction from the ninja, "Excuse ME!!" He repeated increasing the volume of his voice, the shinobi moved a bit, and let out a small growl, the ANBU reached for the apparently sleeping shinobi but his hand was stopped by the ninja, "Hu?" the ANBU gasp as he was surprise by his speed. "Sorry I fell sleep here…I just couldn't stop reading this" He claimed as he stood up, letting go of the ANBU's arm and removing the book that covered his face, revealing silver colour hair, as well as a half sleep eye and a masked that covered his mouth, it was Kakashi, he had fallen a sleep outside his apartment, the Icha paradise he had been reading made him lose track of time, but this wasn't the first time he had lost track of time and surely wouldn't be the last. The ANBU was a young one he knew the fame of the copy ninja, but never has been a witness of his skills until now where his speed easily surpassed his, he simply accepted his apologies and reached for his pouch, a brown leather pouch not very important looking, but containing something few outside of Konoha where bless with.
He took out a small book, handed it to Kakashi and as quickly as he could he disappeared from sight, leaving Kakashi thinking and staring at the book, it was a BINGO book, the newest one published by the Hokage office, he quickly browses thru it, looking for the info on some one in particular, and he finally found him. Uzumaki Naruto; Missing-nin Claas D, a lower level missing-nin, this was perfect, for he wasn't hunted as a missing Juuchiruki, but a simple missing genin, this would keep the powerful bounty hunters at bay and any low class bounty hunter or hunter nin would easily be taken care of Jiraiya.
So this is the result of all the planning, he ended up as a missing nin, hopefully things wont get worse. He said to himself as he looks at the picture of the genin, he had heard Naruto had taken a Kabuki style photo, but the Hokage made him change it, the one on the bingo book was a Naruto with a wide grin on his face.
A woman was slip over a desk, her hair tied in two pony tales, her clothes wrinkled as if she had slept in them, he hand where stretched out over the desk, on her left hand she hold a cracked sake bottle, on right hand and empty cup, she seemed sleep but wasn't, she couldn't she was too deep in thought. Her cheeks blushed by the Sake's effect, her eyes showed her worries. It was so simple…so simple…just back…but no…I had to gable…and lose….I was planning on telling his team mates about….this…but that…letter…rui…n…eve…th…ing… She thought as she finally gave in to the liquor and fell a sleep, letting free a tear. Her plan was ruined thou its seemed perfect at the time, she could have predicted what had happened and how things went wrong, she was happy Naruto had so many people who cared form him, and all that had happened could affect his relationships, cause him to be alone again and that is what hurt her the most.
A group of genins assembled at Shikamaru's house, the group was all the male members of the Genis, Neji, Lee, Chouji, Kiba, Shino and Shikamaru. "Again we are sorry we didn't call you to this mission" Kiba expressed to Shino as he again was left behind on the mission, and expressed his ideas to Kiba. All the genins seemed nervous, not sure what had happened and what to do next, some as Kiba an dNeji were furios at Naruto for his acts, although not angry for the same reason, each had his own agenda, Lee couldn't believe what had happened he knew something was just wrong, he considered Naruto one of his rivals and as one of his rivals, becoming a missing ninjas was just not plausible. Chouji opened a bag of chips, while Shino and Kiba shared a few words, Shikamaru sighted as they where all so troublesome and with reason as the only Chuunin he was the leader, the one in charge of the mission one which he still considered going on, for he sensed something was wrong on the way Naruto's escape was treated.
"I know we all have mixed feelings about Naruto, but I'm sure we all want the same thing…an explanation, everything just seems wrong for some reason, and we have to get to the bottom of this" Shikamaru said out loud, getting everyone's attention.
Shino sat on a couch, so did Kiba and Chouji, Lee stood beside them, and Neji simply lean on the wall behind them, they all felt the same way something despite their feeling of anger, they knew something just wasn't right.
"What do you think is happening?" Shino calmly stated, he was the least informed about the incident, thou he knew Naruto would just abandon the village.
Shikamaru scratched the right side of his head. "It all seems like a huge cover up involving Naruto, looks like we where suppose to be kept in the dark, but looks like the letter Neji found, made everything fall apart." "If it's a cover up why didn't they told us? And why covering up Naruto?" Lee asked confused very confused on the situation.
"There's something about Naruto, I don't know what it is, but for him to be trained by a sannin, and for being involved in something like this, its important" Shikamaru stated. "What are we going to do now then?" Lee asked again.
"We have to get I on the plan, I suggest we go too Tsunade, make a stand and make the offer to help her in the cover up if we are informed about all that involves Naruto"
Every one became quiet, it seems as a good plan by the shadow binder, but so many questions about the blond, what reason could make him do such a thing, so many questions, and some ask more than just the reasons for leaving, other wonder how could they leave some one.
"What ever is the reason, we cant hold it against Naruto, he might have a really good reason for his deception and leaving the village…" "Screw that!!" Kiba interrupted. "That idiot should have told us what ever the reason is, we are suppose to be his friends right? After all we have been thru together!! I just can't forgive him like you guys" "I agree with Kiba" Neji added. "He has chosen his own path, and he should take responsibility for them" Every one in the room, had their opinion's their thoughts about the blond, but at the end of their meeting they just wanted an answered to their uniform question. Why Naruto.
"AW THAT IDIOT!!" A girl screams as she opened a soda can and tried to drink it all in one gulp. The girl was wearing a light blue pyjama, and had her blond hair tied in a short pony tail. "Calm down Ino" Calm down how am I suppose to calm down, why are you so calm? TELL ME!!" Sakura who was sitting on her bed, wearing a white top and pink pyjama pants. She simply left out a weak smile. "I just have this feeling, I have spent a lot of time with… we spent nights and days together, I just feel this is something Naruto wouldn't do" "Nights?" Ino asked. "Aw shut up you know what I meant" "Of course…" Ino quickly answered with her tongue sticking out of her moth that had formed a devilish smile.
The girls stayed quiet, thinking of everything that had happened, Sakura recalled all her memories, the conflicts she had had with Hinata, the words they exchanged. She felt something for the blond, something she didn't felt with Sasuke. It was different, just too different. "A penny for your thought…" Ino asked as she saw her friend in deep in thoughts. "It's different" "What's different?" Ino asked raising an eye brow.
"This feelings" Ino just raises her eye brow higher, she didn't comprehend what she was saying, She new that she started feeling something for the blond, and since they found out from the guys that he had left, things just had gotten way to complicated. "I can't explain it…when Sasuke left. I felt…I felt that he was leaving for ever and felt helpless…but even thou Naruto already left…I feel…no….I know he will come back some day…He will come back…." Ino simply let herself drop onto the pillows on Sakura's bed, se was confused, but a little happy, her friend felt the same way, even thou she didn't know if it was faith in the blond or just self delusion.
"What about Sasuke?" Ino asked "Well….Sasuke is Sasuke I guess….I wont deny I felt something for him….and that I pushed Naruto away for him….but we all have rights to make mistakes…and I hope it didn't cost me Narutos affection" "Mmmm…." Was all Ino could master to say, she hadn't seen Sakura so emotional, she didn't knew what to say to her, what to do. "Are you happy that I won't compete with you for Sasuke's affection?" Sakura asked.
"Well it was never a competition, you didn't stand a chance" Ino smiled getting a sarcastic smile from Sakura. "But Sasuke isn't that big deal for me any more…" "Really? Then maybe some one else?" "Maybe" She answered smiling a bit "But he is kind of weird so I don't really know it will even grow from just mare interest" Ino added still smiled, the girls continued their talk, Sakura was happy or at least appearing Happy, for she some how, believed in the blond. Still wondering what al wondered. Why he had left in the first place.
Hinata looked out the window, night has come to the village, her Heart ached, but it wasn't pain of betrayal, it was pain of failure, pain of a broken heart, she felt like a loser, and as a terrible person, after all that had happened, her confrontations with Sakura, all that, all that she had endured against the pink hair girl, all that….just to be beaten by Ten-Ten. She knew about her, she had the miss fortune to find that dreaded letter, but angered consumed her in that moment, when she read that letter, she didn't felt sad, she felt angered, so much that she actually tampered with it. She looked at the moon. I did something terrible…why did I do it? I'm a terrible person. She thought feeling terrible for her action, but at the bottom of her heart a bit of happiness, because if her actions caused them to become separated, she didn't care if Naruto had left, she knew more than the rest, she even knew where Naruto was this very moment. She knew he was coming back, she knew it wasn't his wishes to leave. She knew he was coming back in 3 years.
Hinata walked away from the window, she stopped in front of her mirror, she saw herself, and she saw her pale skin, her wide white eyes, her lose hair, she wondered why she could catch Naruto's eye, she wondered it was the plainest of hair hair, the colour of her skin, the shape of her eyes. Naruto-kun will be back in a few years I have to become stronger, be a real ninja, that way I can beat Sakura and Ten-Ten. She thought motivating herself, already forgetting the letter, just concentrating on the fact that he would be back and she had to be ready, she was the only girl not thinking why he had left, she only asked when he would be back.
Ten-Ten sat on the floor next to her bed, still wearing her ninja clothes, her pink to and black pants, her hair still on her two buns, She sat there in the darkness of her room, holding her legs with her hands, she cried. She had been crying since Naruto had left, not showing weakness during the day or on training she only wept here, when every one else slept and she was like always in the end alone. Her heart had been broken, and she felt abandoned, alone. She dreamed of the Blond blue eyed boy, she said his name in her sleep, her mother knew this very well, but se didn't know the boy or what had happened she just knew the name she had her daughter whisper in her sleep.
She stood up, walked quietly toward the only window that adorned her room; she raised her head and with her teary red eyes watched at the moon, wondered where on earth the blond had gone, and why he had abandoned her, why he had left her.
It was a cold night in the sand, the cold wind blew strongly, as a cloaked figured stayed and watched the desert, for any sigh of any one coming from the direction of the leaf, but the day came and the night was good as gone and no one ever came from that direction, the lone figures still didn't removed his sight from there, still waiting, still hoping, the scorching sun didn't made him move from that spot and the freezing wind of the desert didn't either. The cloaked figure lowered the hood of his cloaked, but still a single tear drop was still visible as it reflected the moon light. She didn't come. He thought as a passing cloud darkened the land leaving him alones, in the shadows with his pain.