Takara was laying on the sand dune, gasping for breath, blood dripping from the horrible wound in her abdomen. Ren bent over her, his eyes terrified, knowing that she could not recover.

It had all happened too fast.


Ren eyed the two strangers with a suspicious look. "Who are you?"

The man with the frightening eyes smiled. "Looks like we didn't get in unsuspected, eh Kabuto?"


Ren had heard that name before. Takara had spoken of him – a minion of Orochimaru's. That could only mean… "Orochimaru…"

"The boy is quick." Orochimaru's tone was venomous. "Well, it looks like we won't be getting in quietly."

Orochimaru and his sidekick quickly shed their robes and stood facing Ren. Ren had already poised himself in a fighting stance, waiting for an attack. He had to get to the Kazekage. It was the only way to protect everyone else in the village. Takara was stronger than he was…she would be able to fight them.

I have to try…

He didn't stand a chance.

Orochimaru, in one instantaneous motion, produced a sword and went straight for Ren's heart. Ren went crashing backwards.

Blood was everywhere.


The gasp was Ren's, but the reaction was shock…not pain.

Takara had fallen on top of Ren, the sword sticking out of her stomach. She didn't even scream.

Ren was at her side so fast; the two men who had attacked them didn't even do anything. Orochimaru simply stared at the wounded Kazekage. He had just ruined his new vessel…she could never be of any use to him now. Anger burned in the snake's purple-rimmed eyes.

He didn't notice that Takara's hands had been moving. Suddenly, a giant pit opened under him and Kabuto. Sand crashed anywhere, and the two were instantly buried.


Ren continued to stare in horror at Takara and found himself dumb. Unable to speak, he simply gazed at her helplessly.

Takara's hands were moving again. She placed them over her stomach and closed her eyes. Her closed eyes seemed to loose Ren's lips.

"Takara! No…you can't! Get up! Get up now-."

"Calm down, Ren."

Her voice – that beautiful, gorgeous voice – was talking. His eyes went from pure horror to absolute joy. "Takara?"

"Yes, I'm fine. You didn't think after you made this sacrifice," here Takara gestured to the emerald necklace about her throat, "that I would die so easily? I am the daughter of one of the greatest medics in history. A simple stab wound won't take me out. Now then," Takara rose, "to take care of these insolent men."

Just as she said that, there was an explosion and the sand that had buried Kabuto and Orochimaru was blasted into the air and far away. The two ninja stood there, facing the Kazekage and Ren with pure hatred in their eyes. There was, however, a sort of perverse joy in Orochimaru's glance. Takara wasn't ruined after all! He could still use her…

"If you think I'll consent to being your vessel, Orochimaru, you're sadly mistaken."

The two men scoffed and prepared to attack. Then cried out in surprise. "What the devil…?"

"I didn't just bury you two clowns in the sand, you know." Takara smirked, quite satisfied with herself. "There are many things you don't know about me. Like the fact that became fairly competent in all the bloodline limits of the now extinct clans of Konoha. One of those being the precious Hyuuga power to see tenketsus and block with them with powerful blows of chakra. I simply use sand as my medium." Here Takara smiled wickedly again. "This, of course, you'll recognize from none other than Uzumaki Naruto."

Takara formed seal at a dizzying speed. Then, drawing back and gathering the chakra into her hands, a ball of energy appeared. Lightning flashed in the center of it and turned almost black.

"Lightning Ransengan!"

There was a horrific crash.

After the smoke cleared, Ren gaped in astonishment. There were no corpses. She had vaporized them…he turned to look at her.

Takara stood there, triumphant, with her beautiful red hair burnt an ever-brighter red by the setting desert sun. He could almost see two other figures standing next to her in the dusk…one man with short red hair and green eyes and the other a woman with pink hair and emerald eyes. The similar eyes of all three family members gazed victoriously over the location of defeat of their greatest enemy. Takara had won the battle that her parents had lost.

They were proud of her.

Takara turned to look at Ren and grinned cheerfully. "Didn't even have to use all my chakra," she said winking.


Ren and Takara learned that Orochimaru and Kabuto had killed Naruto as they entered Suna, before Ren had stumbled upon them. Ren would have shared the same fate had Takara not rescued him in time. This was the one tragedy that Gaara's foreboding voice spoke of to the Kazekage.

I guess you could say Ren and Takara lived happily ever after, but there really is no such thing as happily ever after. They did end up married with children, each having emerald eyes like their mother and great fore sires. Yet, there were always new enemies to conquer in the shinobi world. The family endured several hardships but also won many victories and from this family came the race that rebuilt the Hidden Village of the Leaf in the Fire Country. This Village became a leader in the healing arts, but was also filled with very powerful warriors with tremendous chakra control and fighting spirit.

The first Hokage of new Konoha would be Takara's daughter Sakura.

Her story and history remains to be seen.

Be comforted, weary reader, in knowing this. In Takara's line, there will always be a blooming Desert Rose to succeed the wilting one.

The End.


Author's Note:

I hope you enjoyed reading "Desert Rose". I am proud to name it my greatest accomplishment in fan fiction writing. Thank you to all those who read my story and supplied their critique from beginning to end. Special thanks to Heart's Door with her very helpful and sincere comments.

Arigatou to you all


(Be sure to check out my newest project, "The Power and Love of the Kazekage")