I've had this idea stewing for over a year now...I thought it was time to finally get it out!
Torn from life,
You suffer in silence,
Without a sound.
Anyone to see him now would wonder why he fought. Why would he still struggle to survive if there was nothing left to live for? Even as he stabbed the nin coming at him, Uzumaki Naruto, the Rokudaime could not answer the question.
Ever since Sasuke's defection, the war between Leaf and Sound had been steadily escalating. Even Sand, who were Leaf's allies were having a hard time defending from the attacks, especially after Stone, Grass and even Cloud joined Orochimaru's side to get revenge upon Leaf.
Two years ago Tsunade had been killed, and Naruto immediately pulled from his place in the ANBU to replace her, and thrown into the expectations of the entire village to protect them.
Finally, three days ago, things had come to head. Several Oto Kamikaze ninjas had slipped past Konoha's heavy border guard in the dead of night, and set fire to the town. With the aid of several Fuuiton jutsus, the fire was consuming the buildings at an unstoppable rate. The Rokudaime had barely managed to get a third of the villagers and a handful of nin out.
He was forced to watch as the rest of his beloved village burned to the ground. He would never forget the pleas for mercy and the terrified screams of the trapped and dieing. He couldn't.
So even in the midst of battle against over whelming odds, standing all alone, they drove him. The last survivor and the failed protector of Konoha would fight until death.
"YAAAAAAAHHH!" he charged forward and kicked the nin's throat with enough force to send the head sailing away. As the next wave of attacks descended, he went through a few quick hand seals and activated his father's famous technique, Hiraishin no jutsu. The Oto nin couldn't track his movements, and in a yellow flash of light, twelve more ninjas fell. Naruto reappeared, panting and gasping as he waited for more of the enemy to surge forward. He was surprised Orochimaru hadn't shown up yet. But then, the Akatsuki must have been keeping him busy.
'Nee-chan, I need more chakra!' he thought, powering up multiple Rasengan and blowing away a few more ninja.
'I'm trying Kit! But if I feed it to you any faster you'll die! You're reaching your limit!'
Naruto almost smiled as he stabbed a kunoichi through the heart after dodging her water jutsu.
'I'll die anyway nee-chan. At least then you'll be free.' he felt her pause, then exhilaration as a wave of red chakra flowed through his muscles. He leapt into action, parrying several senbon with a kunai.
"Naruto-kun. It's been awhile." the man said viciously.
"Only three days Kabuto. I see that chakra burn still hasn't healed." Naruto smirked.
The other's eyes darkened in anger as he subconsciously rubbed the area on his chest where Naruto had plowed into him with a high-powered Rasengan. Kabuto had been able to heal the external damage, but his chakra coils had been burned beyond repair.
"Orochimaru-sama sent me to take care of you." he growled.
"And I suppose he kept Sasuke by his side, leaving you to wonder if who really is his right hand man." Naruto taunted. He knew that Kabuto was hard to get riled up, but once he was, he became reckless. And in Naruto's exhausted state, that was exactly what he needed.
The older man snarled and charged up his Chakra no Mesu. (Chakra Scalpels) Then he ran forward, aiming straight for his heart. Naruto threw several kunai at him, expecting him to dodge. But he didn't. Instead they hit with an audible THUNK, and a log appeared in his place. 'Kawarimi! But when did he have time to do that?'
'Kit! Behind you!'
But Naruto turned too late, and warm, red blood splattered all over his back.
Even as a hardened ninja of twenty-four years, Sasuke had to struggle against the tears that burned his eyes, threatening to spill.
In the last hour his beliefs, the goal he based his entire life on and strove to complete…had been shattered.
Sasuke smirked in triumph, his Mangekyo Sharingan spinning wildly.
He'd finally done it after all these years. Orochimaru's Cursed Seal had given him a ferocious burst of speed and chakra.
Just enough to drill his Raikiri into his beloved brother's chest.
Itachi smiled at him even as blood gushed from his mouth and the wound. "Oroka na…otouto." Sasuke growled fiercely and buried his hand a little deeper in his brother's torso. "I may be foolish Itachi, but you are dead." he spat. Itachi just wore the humorless smile. His body was weakening so the only thing that kept him upright was his brother's arm.
"It's a pity…you haven't accomplished your goal."
Sasuke snarled and pulled his hand from the oozing mess of blood and gristle, holding the other up by the collar of his cloak. "Don't give me that shit! You're dieing. My ambition is complete!" He cut himself off at the look he got in return. Itachi's face now held sadness, and world weariness that would make anyone tired just looking at him.
"Iie, you don't understand…I killed our father…demo, the one who killed our clan…was the one you call…master. Orochimaru…foolish…little brother…" he breathed. Sasuke stared at him, trembling in shock. His Sharingan eyes desperately searching the dieing ones of his brother for any shred, any scrap, of a lie. There was none. Nothing but pure truth in the now ebony orbs.
"So, all these years-" he choked. But there was no time questions, none for explanations.
Itachi gave a shuddering blood filled cough, before his eyes drifted shut and he fell completely limp in Sasuke's grasp.
He let the corpse crumple to the blood drenched and sunk down beside it. He huddled with himself there, his mind reeling with the implications.
'Itachi killed father. Orochimaru killed them all, then I joined that hebi yarou. And Naruto…Oh kami, what have I done!' Bile surged up his throat. He turned and vomited onto the grass, wiping his mouth on the blood drenched sleeve of his yukata. Rage surged through his veins, distorting and clouding his vision an eerie red.
"Orochimaru, I'm going to kill you!"
Reality returned like the blow of a kunai as soon as he stood up. Multiple deep gashes covered his body, through which he was swiftly losing blood and strength. He had a fractured wrist and his chakra reserves were almost nothing now that the seal had receded. Even in his revenge clouded mind, there was no way he'd be able to beat Orochimaru in this condition. Sasuke's eyes widened.
'And with Konoha fallen, the only use he has for me now is to serve as his next body.' Even a year ago, he might have accepted those terms if it meant he would gain power enough to kill Itachi. But now, he'd be damned before that would happen.
And in his case, that seemed very likely.
He struggled out of the clearing, jumping from tree to tree but barely keeping his footing.
Sasuke had one last option now. One chance to even partially make it up to the person who could-should never forgive him…
'I'm coming Naruto.'
Naruto flinched, waiting for the inevitable pain to come. There was none. But a groan sounded behind him.
He turned, and was met with the sight of a person he'd never expected to see again.
"Sasuke!" he gasped. Something in his heart clenched even as he said it.
Clouded crimson eyes met cerulean blue. "Naruto. I don't…expect your forgiveness…but…gomen nasai…" he fell forward, dead before the Rokudaime overcame his shock in time to catch him.
Behind him stood an astonished Kabuto, who's hand still glowed with the Chakra no Mesu. The power he'd put into the jutsu had been so, that it had forced Sasuke's right lung nearly from his chest.
Kabuto's eyes suddenly narrowed and he smirked. "Once the traitor, always a traitor it seems. After all this time Sasuke-san still couldn't bear to see you die. It's to bad his efforts shall have been in vain." The only answer he received was silence.
"You'll be rejoining him soon in the afterlife Naruto-kun." A hand seal later and he added even more power to the scalpel.
Meanwhile Naruto was suffering his own internal battle.
For so long, even before Sasuke had left, something had been balanced on the precipice of his mind, threatening to tumble. And he suspected it was his sanity.
Now it was gone, pushed over the edge as Sasuke's words and the sight of his eyes played again and again in his head. Rage. Desolation. Hopelessness. Love…
'Kit, what are you doing? You're pulling out more power than your body can handle! Stop it now or you'll be killed!' the kitsune screamed at him.
'It doesn't matter Kyuubi! He just took away the one reason I could have found for living!' My love…
He pulled faster, demonic chakra flooded his coils, and he could feel it demanding to be set free even as he struggled to keep it in check.
Kabuto stared at the blond man as his eyes bled red and his pupils narrowed. Pure red chakra manifested behind him in wide sweeping tails of destruction. Kyuubi, he could handle. The demon was feral when released. However he could see the human intelligence that still gleamed behind those eyes, and didn't pause to tell that this was a power far greater than he had ever felt before. Killing intent crashed down on him like a title wave, and Kabuto struggled just to breathe. With his chakra hampered as it was, he would never make it out alive.
Naruto charged him, claws aimed straight for his throat. He barely dodged, taking the hit to his shoulder.
Blood splattered everywhere, but neither noticed. Kabuto dodged another attack, jumping over the surrounding bodies in an effort to retreat. But Naruto was too fast.
A blur appeared at the edge of his vision and he suddenly found himself lifted into the air by a kick. He crashed into a tree, and the bark splintered with the force of the hit. A crack was heard, signaling his broken arm and ribs. Kabuto sat up as quickly as he could with his body exploding in pain.
Only to see Naruto running through a string of hand seals he had only ever seen from a distance. His eyes widened and panicked fear coursed through him. 'Kuso! I can't move!' he desperately threw some senbon in an attempt to interrupt the seals, but the blond just moved. He stopped on the last seal and looked at the older man with eyes that seemed to burn through him. "This death…is to good for you. Sayonara."
The last thing Kabuto saw before he died was a flash of red and yellow light.
Naruto turned away from the sickening remains of Kabuto's body.
Even with the minimal Medical training he had received from Tsunade, he knew that his life chakra was almost totally exhausted. He had taken more of Kyuubi's chakra than his body could handle, and his life energy had been spent to even it out. The Hiraishin had drained everything he had, and Naruto knew he wouldn't last more than a good two minutes.
'You…You're dying Kit.'
'Is it that hard to believe? All mortals die Nee-chan.'
'You shouldn't have done that! You're dying too soon!'
"Hai Kyuubi-nee. But now…you can live." Silence rang after that. He took a staggering step, than another, wending his way between the corpses of enemies and allies alike. His sights were only set on one.
Naruto finally reached him, and gazed forlornly down at Sasuke's body. Then he bent and hoisted it up, he was already limp and cold in his arms. Weakly and with painstaking slowness, Naruto dragged him over to a charred sakura tree and collapsed against the trunk, Sasuke still in his arms.
The sky was dark with the continuing forest fire, and far in the distance Naruto could still see the trees burning.
He looked back at Sasuke. Even in death, he was perfect. Alabaster skin riddled with scars, but still smooth. Beautiful obsidian eyes that would never open again. He brushed the silky raven hair away from his face.
His heart was slowing down.
Naruto wrapped his arms around him tighter, pulling him close to press a kiss to the icy temple. "If only things could have been different, ne?"
I love you, Sasuke…
"Are youcertain you want to do this?"
'I am sure.'
"It will mean the end of our existence, yours and mine."
'There…is no point in being free now, for the price I had to pay. I know you are tired of this existence. We have both lived far too long…'
"…There will be consequences to this."
'He will gain my memories and powers. They will only help him in the end.'
"And what of the dark one?"
'He loves him with his whole being. Even after he betrayed him…'
"…You wish to send him as well."
"Very well. But know I only want the end. I do not care what becomes of it."
'I understand. And…thank you, Eien-sama.'
"Do not thank me, Kyuubi."
End Chapter One
This is Yaoi!
Yuruginai Shinrai - Unbreakable Bonds. (Emotionally, between two or more people.)
Eien - Eternity
I'm not dead! Just very flighty. And procrastinating. I can't seem to concentrate one story! No, Invictus is still being written. I'm just having a frustrating time with the next chapter when I can't keep my mind on the work.
This is a pet project. I'll update when I feel like it. So a month, probably more in between. I usually crank out the first few chapters pretty fast.
Please review. I'm not going to beg. (Anymore.)