Disclaimer : I don't own anything from the series Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto owns it all.

(A/N) I know the summary sucks, so sue me. Anyways, this was a spur of the moment idea I got from watching the 'Retrieve Sasuke' arc again in my spare time. From what I have seen on here, it hasn't been done yet and it's a pretty unusual pairing.


Prologue

Dusk settled early, draping the forest with cosmos of smoldering red galaxies among golden fireworks and plum smeared jades of sunless silhouettes. Timber giants stood silently, stretching tired limbs that were thickly weighed down.

The sun was setting in the distance, hidden shadows drawing out from where they hid at midday. Musky greens were swathed among tired silvers, banishing the illustrious forest browns and blues that had been painted earlier when the wind had swept the chilling fog up and away. High, upon the top reaches of the valley that leapt vertically from the waters below, sat a solitary figure, draped in dusk's fingers, where azure shone dully amid the darkness.

The cool summer breezes nipped at his back, harshly reminding him of what had occurred earlier that day and what had yet been faced. The smoldering red star was extinguished moments later, allowing his twin, a luminous disk of the Heavens manifestation, to slowly begin its course, as flickering splinters of crystalline radiance danced beyond her deadened warmth. How lonely the form appeared, alone at twilight hours, graced only with the condolence of a quarter moon that spoke no words, but could only gleam her celestial knowledge.

He had been sitting there for a good amount of time, contemplating on what had happened, what will happen, and what he was going to do. The boy was so deep in thought, he didn't recognize the familiar chakra signature drawing nearer by the second. Only when it had landed a few feet away at the opening of the forest did he realize it was his former sensei, Hatake Kakashi.


For the second time that day, the Gondaime had sent Kakashi out to retrieve Naruto. Earlier, Nara Shikamaru had informed her that the blonde was missing from his hospital room when he had gone to visit. Kakashi had a slight hunch of where he had gone, but dismissed it considering it was out of Konoha territory. When there had been no word from Iruka or Gai, who Kakashi had asked for help, he decided to take matters into his own hands and check.

No sooner had he exited the vast ocean of timber had he caught sight of the blonde, crouched and looking at what had been called 'The Valley of the End'. The boy had an unreadable expression on his face, obviously reliving the events that had occurred. The silver-haired Jounin held sympathy for the boy; he had lived a rough life being the vessel of the demon beast, Kyuubi, but now he had been hurt in a way that couldn't be mended by time alone. He had been emotionally scarred by this betrayal, as had many others. Even if Sasuke came back, things wouldn't be the same.

The Jounin jumped up and sat in a tree, giving the blonde a few more minutes alone to himself. The entire time, Naruto hadn't shifted an inch from his position. When the moon had finally rose to its peak and enshrouded them with it's celestial light, Kakashi decided it was time to leave. He jumped back down and walked over slowly, giving him time to acknowledge his presence. The Jounin stopped when he was behind the boy and laid a comforting hand on Naruto's shoulder.

" We best be getting back now Naruto, or Gondaime-sama will have my head. I promised to have you back before midnight, so I'm cutting it short."

Naruto stood, still staring at the valley in deep thought. Only when Kakashi shook his shoulder did he realize what he was doing.

" Are you alright, Naruto?"

" Yeah, Kakashi-sensei. I'm fine, just… thinking."


They were already on their way back, going at a leisurely walking pace, when his sensei finally asked what was on his mind.

" What, exactly, were you concentrating on for so long?"

" Earlier…"

He took on a look of understanding and focused back on what laid before them in the blanket of darkness night had draped over the forest.

" Oh… Well, you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to."

For the first time that horrid day, Naruto smiled at him. It wasn't one of his fake smiles that he used as a mask for his emotions, but a genuine smile.

" No, it's alright. I think… I think it'll all turn out okay when it's all over."

This caught Kakashi's attention fast, curiosity of the blonde's logic setting in.

" And what made you come to that conclusion, Naruto?"

" Because… I'm still here aren't I?"

That confused the Jounin for a second, before he understood what the boy was talking about.

" Ahh… so you're saying that because Sasuke didn't kill you, you still have hope that he's in there somewhere?"

He grinned up at his sensei. " Exactly."

Kakashi smiled down at his student and ruffled his blonde hair. " You put a lot of thought into that, didn't you? That's a first…"

" Hey! Just because I rush into a fight doesn't mean I don't think rationally when it comes to life."

" That may be true, Naruto, but you put too much faith in people. Remember that a ninja must keep his emotions in check in battle. Do you understand why?"

The blonde stared at him dumbly for a while, so he just continued with his lecture.

" Because the enemy can use them against you. Jeez Naruto, didn't you pay any attention in the academy?"

He smiled sheepishly at Kakashi before taking an immediate halt. He glanced around in circles for a second before focusing to the East of where they were standing. Kakashi was dumbfounded at his student's actions, not knowing what to make of it.

" Uhh… Naruto? Is everything alright?"

The blonde turned back to him, talking in a casual yet hurried pace.

" Yeah, everything's fine. You mind waiting here for a second? Okay? Good. I'll be right back."

Before Kakashi could even protest, he was already out of sight. He leaned against a nearby tree, looked towards Heaven, and let out a content sigh.

' Why do I even bother with your legacy, Yondaime? He is much more trouble than he's worth. That kid's got five minutes before I hunt him down again.'


' I'm sure I felt that come from around here somewhere, but who could it be?'

Naruto was now dashing through the forest, going towards a faint, and not very stable, chakra presence that was resonating. He had felt it back there with Kakashi. It started out as a tingling in the back of his mind that wouldn't go away but he had no idea what it was until he locked onto it.

' I'm surprised Kakashi-sensei didn't sense it, but then again I barely did myself. It was just a small amount of chakra, not enough to do a jutsu but enough to signal anybody nearby of their presence. But why would somebody be doing such a thing?'

He skidded to a halt and his eyes went wide in open shock at what laid before him. The forest was completely eradicated in the area; trees were bent, cracked, and destroyed, whole ones even pulled up by the roots. Most seemed to have been cut clean in two by a monstrous attack.

As Naruto was surveying the area with disbelieving eyes, the faint pulsation of chakra brought him out of his trance. He rushed towards where the beacon was coming from, jumping over crushed lumber and ducking under the ones inclined. On the opposite side of where he came through the clearing, he found the owner. Only one word came to the minds of both Naruto and the one emanating the chakra signature when they saw each other.

' Shit.'


R&R Please. Constructive criticism welcomed with open arms. So are flames, I need a good laugh.