Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Never have, never will. (sob)
A/N: Spoilers to chapter 235 of the manga. A little AUish with my take on what would happen had Naruto died fighting Sasuke. Hints of Naruto Hinata and lots of crying. Bring out your tissues people, because I can't guarantee you won't cry.
Kakashi slowly approached the gates leading into the village. There, Tsunade and a team of medic nins were waiting. Pakkun and the rest of the nin dogs had arrived earlier to inform her of the mission failure. Despite this, Tsunade was glad that everyone else was alright.
Even before Kakashi had step foot onto Konoha grounds, Tsunade was already running up to meet him. She could see that bright sunshine hair resting on his shoulder; it could only belong to one person, 'Naruto… Thank Kami you're safe.' She thought.
But as she grew closer, a chill ran up her spine as she noticed the way Kakashi was walking, the look in his eye. It was almost as if he had given up, as if he was reluctant to reach her. "Oh no..." She whispered as she covered her mouth.
Kakashi looked down, despondent, unwilling to meet the Hokage's eyes. Silently, he reached behind him and gently lay Naruto down on the ground. "I'm sorry..." He whispered, the wind carrying the quiet apology away.
Tears welled up in her eyes as Tsunade collapsed onto her knees next to the body. "No, it can't be." She shook her head angrily as she quickly unzipped his jacket, her gaze on the giant hole in his right shoulder. Impatient, she drew out a kunai from Naruto's kunai holder and slit his black shirt. Gathering chakra into her hands, she proceeded to heal him.
"Hokage-sama, it's too late." Kakashi whispered his voice devoid of all emotion but regret and sadness.
Tsunade's head snapped up sharply as she glared at Kakashi, "Urusai!"
Kakashi looked down sadly, 'Sumimasen Obito, Yondaime-sensei. I have failed in my teachings; I put one student above the other and taught the other a jutsu that he used against a comrade. Forgive me…'
'Don't die! You can't die!'
Her train of thought disappeared as the sun crept out from behind the clouds. Its ray caught onto the single piece of jewelry that lay around his neck and glinted, catching Tsunade's eyes. It was almost as if the cursed object was mocking her. Hysterical, she released her healing jutsu as she grabbed Naruto's shoulders.
"Naruto! Wake up! You cannot die! You promised that you wouldn't die until you became Hokage! What of your dream now?" She screamed as she shook the lifeless body. Kakashi looked on sadly; the only trace of sadness was the one single tear that fell from his uncovered eye.
Shizune ran forward and stilled Tsunade's arms. "Tsunade-sama!"
Tsunade looked up at her friend, tears welling up in her eyes, unwilling to fall. "Shizune, he's dead…"
Shizune looked down, not trusting herself to answer. She blinked back tears as she took Tsunade gently by her shoulders and led her away. "Daijoubu Tsunade-sama, take it easy."
"HOW CAN IT BE ALRIGHT? NARUTO IS DEAD!" Tsunade screamed, Shizune flinched and looked away. "Gomen nasai Tsunade-sama." She whispered.
By now, villagers and shinobi alike had gathered at the gate to see the commotion. Everyone had heard of the disappearance of the Uchiha genius but none of them knew the true story behind it. It was classified information that Uchiha Sasuke had abandoned his village.
"It's the Kyuubi brat."
"Where's Uchiha Sasuke?"
"I don't know but the demon is dead."
"Honto? That's wonderful!"
News of Naruto's death spread through the crowd like wild fire and soon a cheer reverberated throughout the village. Tsunade looked up sharply and stood up, Shizune stepping back suddenly afraid of what was to come.
"HOW DARE YOU! HOW DARE YOU SPEAK OF NARUTO LIKE THAT!"
The crowd flinched as they watched an angry Hokage approach them. Villagers cowered back but the shinobis stood up to her. "He is a demon! He deserves to die!"
All attention from Tsunade was suddenly turned onto that one shinobi, "Say that again, I dare you." She replied in a menacing tone. The shinobi straightened his back as he faced up to his leader, "He is a monster that should have never been…!"
He never finished as Tsunade's arm whipped out and delivered an uppercut to his jaw. The shinobi fell back from the punch unconscious. The blond woman whirled around and glared at everyone with killing intent, "If anyone of you dares to say anything else about my little brother, I will personally cut off your tongue before killing you with my bare hands. Now get lost before I lose my temper!"
Kakashi and Shizune looked on sadly at their fellow comrades, disgusted by their behavior as they dispersed. They joined Tsunade who was now kneeling beside Naruto, gently untying his hitae-ate. She leaned in and placed a light kiss on his forehead. "Naruto… I'm so sorry." She whispered as she cupped a whiskered cheek lightly and ruffled his hair. Tsunade brushed away a tear as she folded his hitae-ate before placing it neatly on his chest.
Ino, Hinata and Sakura finally reached the gates panting, out of breath from running straight from the hospital. They had been watching over their teammates, Sakura desperately waiting for news of Sasuke and Naruto when it finally reached them, Kakashi was back.
Sakura pushed past the last few villagers leaving, Sasuke's name on her lips. "Sasuke-k…"
The words that tumbled out now trailed off as she became tongue tied. Sakura stood stock still. Hinata and Ino finally managed to weave their way through the dispersing crowd only to fall silent as they saw what Sakura saw.
Hinata gasped as tears welled up in her white eyes, "No… Naruto-kun!" She covered her mouth in disbelief, unable to believe that Tsunade was now placing a white sheet over Naruto's face. Bit by bit, the whiskered face and sunny hair that stole her heart from the start was disappearing from view. "Iie, it can't be true!" She cried out as she lunged forward.
She grabbed the sheet and ripped it from Tsunade's grip. Startled, Tsunade stepped back quickly before kneeling down and patting Hinata over the head. "I'm sorry; I'll let you have some time with him alone."
Glistening droplets fell freely from Hinata's eyes, landing on the face below hers. 'Even in death you look so angelic Naruto-kun…' She thought as she cupped his cheek lightly in the palm of her hand, her fingers brushing slightly against the peaceful smile on his face.
She reached down and picked up a lifeless hand, it was still warm. "Naruto-kun," she whispered as held his hand in her two smaller ones, almost as if she could bring him back to life by doing so.
"Arigatou Naruto-kun… You… You were the sunshine in my life; you gave me the courage to stand up to Neji-niisan. You helped me to change for the better. Your nindo, it inspired me… Do you remember when I battled Neji-niisan? Shino-kun told me, he told me that on my blood, you swore to take revenge on him. Naruto-kun, why did you have to go?"
Hinata sobbed openly as she brought the still warm hand up to her cheek and cupped it. Holding it there, she continued, "I never had the courage to tell you, but now that you're gone, it's no use saying it. Demo, I love you so much Naruto-kun…"
Tsunade, who had been nearby listening, looked down sadly, "Naruto… you have no idea how much you have changed the people around you…" She whispered sadly.
"From now on Naruto-kun, I promise that I will no longer cry, I will be strong and never take back my words. I will make you proud; this will be my new nindo." At that, Hinata leaned down and kissed Naruto lightly on the lips, thus swearing her nindo on her first bittersweet kiss.
Ino stood next to Sakura, unable to hold her tears back. "Hinata…" She couldn't believe that Naruto was dead. Her impression of him was always the dead last, a stupid prankster who did nothing but stir up trouble. But ever since the Chuunin exams, her perspective on him had turned 180 degrees. Not only had he shown a sliver of intelligence and beat Kiba, he had shown so much determination and courage when facing Neji. She had been stunned when the examiner proclaimed Naruto the winner of the match against the Hyuuga genius.
She had run into Hyuuga Neji before in the survival test, those eyes had scared the wits out of her and her teammate, the very person had reduced Hinata to a quivering, terrified girl with just a few chosen words, but Naruto. Naruto faced down those eyes and spiteful words to emerge the winner.
Then and there she realized that there was more to Naruto than just his smile.
Ino looked up sharply as the spat out words reached her ears. Shifting her gaze from Hinata and Naruto to her pink haired friend, she was stunned to see Sakura glaring angrily at the two in front of them.
Sakura clenched her teeth and fists in anger, 'How dare he, how dare he do something like this!'
She stormed up to Hinata who was just standing up to thank the Hokage and kicked Naruto in the side. Hinata, Shizune and Tsunade gasped, outraged and horrified that the girl would do something like that. Kakashi ran forward about to stop Sakura from doing anymore when suddenly, Sakura was grabbed from behind and spun around.
Before she could even summon a protest, a loud smack resounded through the air. Sakura gasped in disbelief, looking back slowly up to face Ino, blue eyes glittering with anger.
"How dare you Sakura! How could you do something like that?" Ino screamed into her friend's face and shook her by the shoulders.
Sakura flung her arms up, shaking off Ino's arms and pointed down at Naruto, "How could HE! He broke his promise to me and didn't bring Sasuke-kun back!"
Before Sakura and Ino could say another word, the pink haired girl was already being spun around. Hinata stood in front of her, head bowed. Sakura sneered, "What do you want, angry that I hurt your Naruto-kun! He's nothing but a useless dobe who's all talk and no…!"
The last thing Sakura saw before flying back a few feet was Hinata's angry glare. Sakura stood up shakily, clutching her stomach coughing.
"Sakura-san, all this time Naruto-kun only had eyes for you." The dark haired girl whispered quietly, though there was a darker edge to it, Ino noticed as she shivered. "He died, trying to keep his promise to you, a promise that he would bring your beloved back."
Sakura's eyes widened slightly as she took in these words before narrowing them again, "Nobody asked him to promise."
"But you went to look for him!" Hinata yelled out before running forward, fists clenched ready for a fight.
Sakura smirked and drew out her kunai, "You are nothing."
As Hinata approached quickly, Sakura swung her arm, hoping to slash the younger girl with it. But Hinata ducked, only to land another punch on Sakura's stomach. She stumbled back, only to have her legs swiped out from under her. Sakura fell onto her back, before she could react, Hinata was sitting atop her stomach, pinning her hands under her knees. What frightened her most was the kunai in the shy girl's hand, pointing straight at her throat.
"Naruto-kun loved you; he loved you so much that he was willing to give up his life to ensure your happiness. And this is how you treat him?" Hinata said simply as she stared down at the terrified girl.
Sakura gasped as she realized what she had done, "Oh my god… I'm so sorry!"
Hinata looked down sadly before drawing away her kunai and sitting up. Sakura scrambled to her knees before crawling over to Naruto's body, "Naruto… Naruto please wake up. Please!" She whispered as she shook his arm, "You're only joking aren't you?"
Tears welled up in Ino's eyes as she watched her friend. She stepped forward and knelt down, taking her rival by the shoulders and drew her into a hug, providing the only thing a friend in need needed, comfort.
It was three days later that the funeral was held, many of the village elders dared to oppose the Hokage but after a threat to resign, they backed down reluctantly, saying that a demon did not deserve a funeral. Then and there, Tsunade lost her temper and personally threw them bodily out of her office.
The late afternoon sun shone down on Naruto's coffin. It lay upon a huge table, a picture of Naruto in front. Tsunade looked sadly at the picture that did the once hyperactive ninja no justice. Out of all the pictures she had, none of them were good enough. The one on display now was the best one she had. The blond haired blue eyed boy in the picture was grinning, a fake smile plastered on his face, eyes shut as he did so, almost as if he was shutting out the rest of the world. Inside, the said boy lay in his final resting place, clad in black, his bright sunny hair standing out as usual. The only difference was that his smile was that of peace, almost as if he had died without a care in the world.
Tsunade and Jiraiya stood at the head of the group, accompanied by Gaara and his siblings. Having heard the news about Naruto's death they remained in Konoha to attend his funeral and pay their last respects. The 10 remaining genins stood in a line, flanked by their Jounin senseis. Behind them, Konohamaru and Udon stood bravely accepting the truth, Moegi in the middle, sniffling as she dried her tears. Iruka, Shizune, the waitress and owner of the Ichiraku ramen stand attended as well.
Neji was first. He placed a single white rose down on the table in front of the coffin. Tsunade had told them that she would break tradition by allowing everyone to walk up to the coffin to say their last goodbyes. Neji did so, carrying something else in his hand. "Naruto, Hokage-sama told us about your seal. Forgive me when I said you did not understand the pain of carrying a seal I could not get rid of. You brought me out of the darkness, thank you." With that, Neji gently placed an origami crane in the coffin and left.
The other genins followed after, each and every one of them bearing different mementoes for him. Kiba and Akamaru gave him the carving of a fox, Chouji his favorite bag of chips and a butterfly keychain. Tenten brought with her a brand new kunai, engraving Naruto's name on it herself.
Hinata walked up, after laying down the flower too walked up to the coffin. Her eyes brimmed with tears that never fell. "Naruto-kun, I will never forget you and my heart will forever belong to you." She reached down and gently lifted his right hand to give him her memento. Hinata attached the bracelet to his wrist and lay his hand down. Tracing his whiskered cheek lightly, she leant in and kissed Naruto. "Aishiteru Naruto-kun." As she left, the silver bracelet glinted in the sun, the words, 'Aishiteru Naruto-kun, Hinata.' visible.
After placing her flower, Sakura approached the coffin, guilt pulling at her heart. She gently laid the plush toy of a baby kitsune holding a ramen cup into the coffin. "I'm so sorry Naruto. All this time you were suffering and I, your own teammate, had no idea. Please forgive me for everything." She kissed the blond boy lightly on the cheek before leaving.
Shikamaru stepped forward and placed his own down, "Naruto, although we only worked together once, you were a wonderful teammate; I only wish I could have gotten to know you better."
It was Ino's turn and she allowed herself a tiny smile as she looked down at Shikamaru's present, it was a small plush toy shaped in a cloud. "Naruto, the only thing I knew about you was that you loved ramen. Although you won't be able to use it, I want you to have it." She whispered as she sat a pair of chopsticks, Naruto's name engraved in it, down next to Sakura's memento.
Lee stepped forward bravely, his fists clenched as he bowed down. "Naruto-kun, I will always remember you!" Lee straightened his back and walked forward, placing the flower amongst the rest before approaching the coffin. In his hands he carried two black hand protectors, a spiral marking engraved on both of them. Lee gently picked up Naruto's right hand and put it on and did the same for his left before bowing one last time and stepping off the podium.
The last genin walked up to the podium, a small pane of glass in his hand. Looking carefully, the others realized that it was not mere glass. Trapped inside the glass panel was a spider web. "Naruto, like the spider, it never gives up weaving its web until death. Time again you have stood up against your opponents, never giving up until you won. This spider web reminded me of you and now I present this as my memento to you." With that, Shino stepped off as he allowed the Suna siblings to approach.
With Temari and Kankuro flanking him, Gaara stepped up to the coffin. "Naruto, all my life I thought to fight for myself, that the weak die and only the strongest live. But you helped me see that true strength comes in protecting others and working together." Casting a slight glance back to his siblings, Gaara continued, "Because of you I now see family worth protecting."
Temari and Kankuro, face devoid of makeup in lieu of the solemn occasion, stepped up next to him offering up their gifts to Gaara: a wooden 9-tailed fox puppet with Naruto's name engraved along the side and a long slim fan. In silence, the red haired boy laid the puppet in the coffin before snapping the fan open, revealing neat rows of text.
It was as if even the air suddenly stood still as Gaara began to read his eulogy to Naruto.
"When once the
skies were a realm of stars
And the sun shone brightly in summer skies,
You were there to share the calmness;
But now I stand here in midst of the tall grass
And only the savannah remains."
Closing green eyes, he placed the open fan beside Naruto's head, stepped back to stand in line with his siblings. The trio bowed once before returning back to the group.
Moegi sniffled as she moved forward, Konohamaru and Udon by her side, bravely holding back their tears. "Naruto-niichan…" Moegi climbed up the stairs provided for the children to present her gift to Naruto. She laid a set of green goggles on his chest before bending over and kissing him lightly on the cheek, "I will miss you."
Moegi burst into tears before running off the podium, only to be caught in an embrace by Sakura. As the pink haired girl comforted the youngster, Udon stepped up and laid a sketchbook down and his set of goggles. "Naruto-niichan, I didn't know what to give you so I drew pictures of you and the three of us together."
Konohamaru joined him, "Naruto-niichan. You were the very person to acknowledge me for who I was. I will always remember you for that." He pulled out the last set of the three and set it down in between the other two. Reaching up, he unwound the blue scarf around his neck. Folding it neatly he tucked it in the crook of the older boy's arm. "Arigatou, Oyabun."
Ayame walked up, two flowers in hand. Teuchi followed a porcelain bowl in his. "Naruto-kun," Ayame started, "I will miss you a lot, knowing we will never see you at the Ichiraku again."
Teuchi headed up slowly and joined his waitress next to the coffin. "Naruto-kun, you were my best customer. Ayame and I meant to give this to you when you came back from your mission but I guess now…" Teuchi couldn't finish as he looked away. Ayame brushed away a tear before removing the bowl from the old man's grasp and placing it in for him. The words, 'Uzumaki and ramen' were written on the inside and outside of the bowl.
Hatake Kakashi never thought he would attend another funeral; his student's one no less. But being a shinobi, he had to be prepared. Although, never in his lifetime would he have thought that his prized student would use his own technique to kill his fellow comrade.
"I never let my comrades die." That's what he told Sasuke when they faced off with Zabuza.
Kakashi looked down at his feet, guilty as he stepped forward to lay his flower for Naruto. "Gomen nasai Naruto. I always wanted to be there for you, to guide you as my sensei guided me. But I failed; I was not there to stop your fight with Sasuke. I was too late, please forgive me." The silver haired Jounin stepped up onto the podium and placed a picture frame atop Naruto's chest. Kakashi smiled bitterly, how he remembered that day.
Naruto and Sakura had tried to sneak up on him to pull off his mask and take a picture, but the Jounin had already sensed them. When Naruto had pounced, he turned around and grabbed him in a headlock just as Sakura pressed the button.
Kakashi had kept that photo with him ever since, framing it up and placing it on his bedside table, next to his and Team 7's picture frames.
The other Jounin senseis walked up and lay their flowers for him and paid their respects. But not before nodding at Iruka, acknowledging his loss, knowing how much he loved the boy.
Iruka looked on sadly before heading toward the coffin, hesitant to say goodbye. When he had received news of Naruto's death he had collapsed onto his knees in the middle of the Hokage's office, crying. He had to be sedated and was placed under observation in the hospital, crying non stop for days and nights and going without meals.
"Do you think Naruto would want to see you like this? Do you think you're the only one who misses him huh? Naruto was like a brother to me!" The Hokage had yelled at him, snapping him out of his misery.
"He was like a son I never had…" He whispered to the Hokage.
Iruka jumped slightly as he heard thunder rumbling above him, bringing him back to reality. Looking up he saw that the once bright blue sky was now covered by dark clouds, the beginning signs of a thunderstorm. "Naruto… are you crying?" He asked quietly as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a hitae-ate.
Ever so gently, he raised Naruto's head and tied it to his forehead, tracing the mark of Konoha before lightly brushing the bright hair. "Do you remember the first time you got this Naruto? I was never more proud of you. I will miss all the times you bunked over at my place; I will miss treating you to ramen. Most of all, I will miss having you by my side."
Iruka finished off by un-wrapping that other object lying at his feet. The others present gasped as he did. Iruka set the picture frame down in front of the first and stepped back, letting everyone else get a glimpse of it.
A smile that stretched across his face.
A true smile that reached his eyes.
Blue eyes shining brightly with indescribable happiness. It was almost as if one could lose his or herself in those endless blue orbs.
Iruka allowed himself a wider smile as he remembered when he took the photo. It was a year ago on October 10, Naruto's birthday. Although it was the day of the festival celebrating the defeat of Kyuubi, surprisingly the Ichiraku stayed open the whole night. Inside, Iruka, Ayame and Teuchi stood around Naruto singing "Happy Birthday" as the boy blew out the eleven candles on his birthday cake.
When Ayame presented him with his gift of a set of new kunai, his eyes lit up with happiness as he smiled up at her, eliciting a blush from the girl. Iruka had snapped the picture of him immediately, it going into the box of his most treasured items.
"Naruto… You are the son I never had." He whispered as he turned to leave. The thunder rumbled, a light drizzle falling down, drenching everyone where they stood. Nobody moved as they continued to stand in silence mourning the loss of a fellow shinobi. A shinobi who followed his own nindo: to never take back his words.
Jiraiya stepped forward just as Shizune placed Naruto's orange jumpsuit in the coffin and left. The white haired sennin lay his flower down before placing a water balloon in the palm of Naruto's right hand. He ruffled the messy blonde locks belonging to his student as he sighed.
Tsunade joined him on the podium, her necklace in hand. She bent over and reaching behind, she clasped the necklace around Naruto's neck. She lifted the Konoha hitae-ate slightly and kissed the boy lightly on the forehead, just as she had done before. "Naruto, may you rest in peace."
The blonde woman stood up. Turning to her ex-teammate she nodded. Jiraiya looked at her solemnly before reaching into his clothes and drew out a cloak. Kakashi's visible and non-visible eyes widened, he recognized that piece of clothing anywhere. The other Jounins gasped in shock as they watched Jiraiya fling out the cloak before laying it across Naruto's body. Jiraiya whispered, "As I am, your father would have been proud of you Naruto."
"That… isn't that…?" Kurenai stammered in shock.
Asuma nodded dumbly, cigarette in mouth forgotten. Kakashi closed both his eyes, 'Yondaime was my sensei… How could I have not seen the similarities…?'
Tsunade turned and faced the gathered crowd, "As you all know, thirteen years ago, Yondaime sealed Kyuubi into a baby boy, Naruto. But what you all didn't know was that that baby boy was his son. Today, we mourn the loss of Uzumaki Naruto, the lost Rokudaime."
Almost as if the heavens were agreeing with her, the light drizzle began to pour down in torrents as Jiraiya covered the coffin, sealing Naruto away from the rest of the world.
Ever since then, although no one refused to admit it, everyone knew they had lost Konoha's sunshine on that fateful day.
A/N: Hi everyone, I appreciate it that you all stayed to finish my very first one shot, a very lengthy one at that. I was on angst mode when I was reading the topic Chapter 235 on Kitsune no Hana when I came across the post: "How would Sakura react if Sasuke had killed Naruto? How would everyone?" I then came up with a short story and posted it there and was encouraged to write a one shot.
Therefore I would like to thank XeroGhost for posting that question and further encouraging me to write this fic. Also I would like to thank my fellow KnHers for being such cool people! Heehee! -GLOMP-
Anyway, I know this is all angsty and stuff because Naruto died, review if you liked it, flame me if you wish. I don't really care, I didn't really like the story much either. Bakasuke was getting on my nerves too much and uni has been shit. So please review/comment/flame!
By the way, if you think any of the characters were a little OOC, please remember that Naruto's death can affect a lot of people… I'm referring to the fight scene between Sakura and Hinata. I know it was a little sadistic having Sakura kick Naruto but she does punch him a lot and she could have thought that he might have been pretending. Hinata drawing the kunai on Sakura was a little overboard but Naruto's death affected her lots. So yeah.
Anyway, review ok? Thanks!
Thanks for staying! Ja ne!