Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: Ya know, I can honestly say I won't miss this story. At all. It's been a pain to right since Chapter 6. But I'm glad I could add just a little closure to the whole thing. Hope you don't hate me to much—and for the love of God review!


Reflections of a Broken Kunoichi

Epilogue

By Miranda Panda-chan


Twelve years later…

Naruto glared at the gravestones before him. Glared with loathing, hurt, and betrayal. That bastard…after everything that had happened he still wouldn't be satisfied. He'd taken out all of the Akatsuki, managed to kill Itachi after five years of searching, blaming, training, sweating, and grieving, and had taken every S-Ranked mission he could get his hands on that was offered and some that weren't.

Now, look where it had gotten him. He never could bring Sakura-chan back. Not in a thousand years. Naruto supposed that it was alright, because perhaps they were together. He didn't really think the bastard was going to Hell. He'd been through so much and helped so many people later on in his life. He'd saved countless lives by getting rid of the most notorious of villains. He'd hunted down all the missing-nin, slaying some and capturing others to bring back to Ibiki. He'd worked himself so hard for that single moment: the moment where he'd be reunited with Sakura. Because he'd tried so damn hard to redeem himself. Naruto couldn't help but think that he'd finally gotten his wish.

He knew all his hopes and dreams had been shattered once Sakura left this world. Naruto knew so well that any hope of keeping the Uchiha bloodline alive was lost with the death of the pink-haired medic. Maybe if Itachi had killed him, Sakura and the teme would have gone on, married, had kids, lived happily ever after. Maybe.

But playing What If wouldn't help either of them now.

Now both their names were on that damned stone along with Kakashi's and Iruka's and the Sandaime's. Selfish little….

He sighed. Glaring at the tombstones still, but with something other than anger.

"You did what you had to do, right teme?" Silence except for the sound of his own shaky breath and the pitter-patter of rain.

"Yeah, you always were the silent type," Naruto chuckled dryly amused by his own slight madness. He'd done this for awhile, he'd go to the graveyard and to the Memorial Stone on the anniversary of the person's death. He'd go to Sakura's twice a year…once for her birthday, and then once for the day where she'd left them alone. No one else mattered that much, it was just them. His family. He'd go to Kakashi's on his birthday, but he'd never found out his old sensei's birthday from him, and cheating by reading off a tombstone felt sorta blasphemous, so he only went once a year for him. He visited Iruka once in awhile, but didn't make it too much of a habit, once or twice every couple years.

Now he'd add another one to the list, wouldn't he?

Sasuke hadn't wanted anything of the Uchiha to survive after his last hope of having a family died. He'd burned the whole compound down a week after her death and had moved into her old apartment. He'd only changed the color of the bedroom wall out of pride. Pink just didn't suit him as well as it had her. But he kept the rest the exact same. He kept it orderly and in shape, cleaning and dusting just like she would have if she was still here.

Naruto had known it wasn't healthy, but he figured it would be even unhealthier for the both of them if someone else moved in. They had both paid visits to her, talking and chatting animatedly, or well, Naruto had. Sasuke had just stared at the tombstone, fists clenched and mouth set in a thin line.

Sasuke hadn't known Naruto knew about the ring.

He'd placed it on her finger when the body was brought back and Tsunade had made look slightly better before the funeral. He'd been the last one to look on her before they'd locked her in a coffin forevermore. Before they'd taken her away from them permanently. Uchiha symbol, surrounded by small diamonds, almost microscopic, in the middle with emeralds and jade stones surrounding the diamonds on a white gold band, expensive and flattering and perfect…except she was dead.

Her only fault was leaving them behind to face this world alone. She should've known they couldn't make it on their own without her. She was the glue that had kept them together, she'd been the knot to tie them all together. She helped them to be the best they could be—she'd brought out the best in them. No one else could do that. Not Hinata, even if Naruto loved her to death, not Karin who constantly made Sasuke hate her even more the more she tried to make him get over Sakura, not Tsunade who tried to help them both, nor Shizune who tried with Tsunade. No. No one could replace her.

Nor could anyone replace him. Because, Naruto couldn't help but think, every team has its own dynamics. Most of them follow the same pattern, the two males are best friends and rivals all the same, the kunoichi is friends with both, staying in the background because she is the physically weaker sex, and…

And now he was alone. Again. And damn it, he had no hope now.

What about Hinata? A tiny voice in his head asked quietly. He wouldn't deny he loved her, nor would he deny that she loved him. They'd be together forever if he had his way—which he would. But it wouldn't be the same without his family. They'd been the closest people to him, and now they were gone.

Not even Hinata could replace them. No, the only way anyone would truly know the meaning of Team and Family and how they connected and everything they meant and how it tears you inside out and God just please let it all stop because I just can'tcan'tcan't take it anymore! Unless they all go off and lose their entire team to greed, power, love, hate, anger, betrayal, guilt, blame, bitterness, and broken hearts. Unless they lose everyone dear to them.

No, he wouldn't give up, he'd be damned if he became the weakest link after all these years. Sakura had lived, despite her hardest attempts, Sasuke stayed alive, and now he would, too, purely out of spite—just to show them—those high and mighty asses (because that's what they were, thinking they could just leave him like that and not show a damn bit of remorse about it)—just to show them that he could and would. Dattebayo! What then?! What?! THEN?!

He wanted to scream at the eerily cold silence that enveloped the misty and foggy area. If it was anywhere else and he was anyone other than who he was, it might've been creepy. But he is Naruto, and it is the cemetery that holds so much death and hurt and pain and agony and regrets and should haves, would haves, could haves, what ifs, and damn it if only he'd…

He stopped, clenching his fists and gritting his teeth, alone on the cold morning that haunted his every waking moment, because today is only the second day he has visited this stupid place.

"You're a real asshole, ya know? I loved her, too. Maybe not like you did or as much as you did, but I loved her, too, damn it! And how dare you think that—gah! You're just dumb! Did you really think any of that stuff you did would bring her back? Did you think it would impress her? Or maybe you thought you could bribe your way in, you bastard!" he yelled at the inanimate remains…the only thing other than a handful of pictures that gave any indication of the existence of a certain Uchiha Sasuke. He looked down, ignoring the water that hotter than hot falling from his eyes to the ground below without his permission.

"No…I suppose you didn't…you're probably just selfish enough to have done it to speed time up…to try and see her quicker…. I can't blame you for that, teme. I can't blame you for anything anymore, damn it. Tch, I can't even blame her or Kakashi. And I haven't done a damn thing, either." He said quietly. The rain was beginning to raise up, and he could see the beginnings of sun. He looked up, staring at the new light that was being shed upon his own pity party. How ironic, that the heaven's would be happy today of all days.

Or maybe it was a sign, and the more he thought about it—it probably was. To show him, maybe, that he wasn't as alone as he thought. Maybe it was to show him that they were waiting for him. Maybe it was them showing him that they were finally together. Maybe—happiness for finally squirming its way into the long path ahead.

He shook his head, the ghost of a smile crossing his features—hardened, but still holding a youthful glow over the years of torment. He sounded like a mad man, and perhaps he was, but this—this just couldn't be coincidence. He shivered slightly at the cold north wind that blew past him. He'd found it ironic that he'd left on the coldest day of fall. He supposed, maybe, it was a reflection of his personality. He could only chuckle dryly at that.

But then again, that's how it'd all started—with the mere reflections of a girl. With the reflections of a broken kunoichi.

But he couldn't blame her, maybe he could place the blame on Orochimaru, but he'd always been evil—so it's not like it would cause an uproar if it was his fault. It wouldn't be much of a shocker, there. But today wasn't about her. Not really, maybe it connected and spider-webbed back to her, but her day had come earlier, much earlier. Her day had been in the beginning of spring.

No, today was Sasuke's day, the day where he'd completed his last mission only to die from excessive blood loss and exhaustion right outside Konoha's boundaries. He'd lost both his eyes, but from what Tsunade had said, it was a self-inflicted wound lest someone try to duplicate the genetics and recreate the infamous sharingan. The downfall of all Uchiha.

"You better take care of her, teme. I don't care where you are. Just because you're dead doesn't mean you can be a bastard. Got it?" he called to the ray of sunlight. He smiled as it seemed to flicker with the clouds overhead moving to reveal more of the golden illumination.


A/N: Yeah, I know. I said I probably wouldn't write an epilogue, but I just couldn't stop myself. The ending was climatic and I was pretty proud of it…but it irked me too much to just end it like that. So! Not that this makes anything better and, yeah, it's still depressing as all hell, but it's better than just leaving it at complete and utter despair. Right?