A/N: I've only mentioned some Akatsuki members. Nagato is not in this story since he came much too late. I will not be going into detail in Itachi and Mirai's fight...it's a bit boring. So very short descriptions for fight scenes will follow ok?

Chapter 15:

There were several explosions as huge snakes and crazy looking creatures that could hardly be called men started appearing around Konoha. Genma stared out at the numerous warriors amassed in front of him. He talked into his radio in a low voice; the situations at all Konoha's gates were the same. The needle chewing Nin sighed. This was going to be one tough battle, he had no idea if all the preparation Hokage-sama had been making before this was enough.

The Otonins seemed so confidant it was like this attack had been extremely well planned. Genma frowned, their trump cards, the Uchihas were missing and Naruto had just had a child. As far as Genma knew, they were the only freaks that could take on freaks of this type. He sighed...at least the commanders would be coming in quickly; Ibiki was to be his leader, so he knew he wouldn't just end up dead somewhere.

Both sides watched each other, waiting for some signal to begin the attacks. When Ibiki appeared right in front on the wall, the invisible signal seemed to have been given. Genma propelled himself off the wall and into the thick of the fighting.

The forest outside the walls of Konoha surged with weapons and bodies. It looked like a churning mass of chaos. Luckily Jiraiya's armed frogs lined the walls to take care of the numerous serpents and other creatures. Tsunade's Katsuyu was working to get the wounded off the battle field.

Iruka was working with Aoba to get all the children and the elderly safely evacuated until the siege ended. He was worried about Naruto, Arashi had sent someone to warn his son, but apparently Naruto wasn't there anymore. There were shinobi searching for the boy everywhere, but Arashi had to pay attention to the imminent siege. He was stuck with all the elders coming up with quick battle plans and strategies, before he could go out and join the fight like the Hokage he was.

In the council room, everyone was getting ready to battle. Arashi looked at his mother, turmoil in his eyes. "Where do you think he is, Kaa-san?"

Tsunade sighed and grabbed her son in a hug. "I don't know...all we can do is pray he's safe. This village comes first, Arashi, that's the burden of being a Hokage!" She steeled herself. She wished she could do more, but she had to head the hospital and the various medical tents all over Konoha. "I will have Katsuyu and Uchiha Sai search; Sai's ink rats should be good for this."

Arashi nodded and geared up for battle. He hoped that Sasuke was with Naruto and had taken him somewhere safe. He hoped even more that Mirai had managed to stop the Akatsuki from advancing.

Mirai clenched her fists, there was only one way to get rid of the Akatsuki and stop them. It meant picking them off one by one. Now that she had Kisame on her side, maybe it would be easier? Luckily they had split into two forces. Deidara, Sasori, Zetsu, Hidan, Kisame and herself. The others would follow later. She decided to attack now and finish off the people here.

She quickly signalled to Itachi and Kisame, attacking when they were a few kilometres away from Konoha. As she sparred with Hidan, she wondered if there was any way to kill her parents for good. Her eyes widened...she knew what she had to do; already fighting three against four was proving to be very difficult.

Beside her Itachi's eyes spun as he performed genjutsu, to make it easier for them to win. Kisame swung his sword around grinning manically as he faced off with Zetsu.

Naruto was feeding Kiyoi, when he felt the battle. He concentrated more and found he could hear the battle. He set the bottle down and gingerly made his way to the window, and found people rushing around the streets in panic. Naruto held Kiyoi closer to him and quickly moved to the bedroom, pulling out clothes that were warm, he wondered where to head. The Hokage tower, would not be a safe place and knowing his dad, the man would all ready have moved into battle. A ninja might be coming for him...

There was a poofing noise and Naruto turned around to see Ran standing a few feet away from him, his face filled with tension and worry. "Naruto! Otogakure is attacking! We have to get out of here."

Naruto nodded, a small frown still adorning his forehead. "Can you take good care of Kiyoi? Take her some place safe? I need to be out there fighting as well."

Ran shook his head. "You are not going out there, if I have anything to say about it! You are coming with me, to a safe place, away from all the fighting. We will wait there, until the battle finishes!"

Naruto clenched his fists in anger. "You have no to say in it! You have no right to! This is my village and I will be protecting it, during a war! Do you understand? If you can't watch Kiyoi then I will find someone who will! I'm the Kyuubi, Ran! I belong to Konoha! I will fight!"

"You'll have to fight me first. I'm not letting you go out there, Naruto." Ran's face turned very very serious. "Defeat me and I'll let you leave, but if you can't, then I'll just take you with me."

"We don't have time for this!" Naruto formed the seals for Rasengan, it was a compact jutsu and Naruto knew how to use it in a way that it wouldn't affect Kiyoi. His eyes narrowed, giving him a slightly dangerous look. "Let me go..."

"Suiton: Shibari Enmu!" (Water Element: Binding Mist!)

Before Naruto could figure out what had happened, the Rasengan abruptly stopped. He couldn't move a muscle and his chakra pathways were blocked, he was stuck. His eyes frantically moved trying to watch Ran as he gathered up a few more bottles for Kiyoi and a blanket as well. He packed with speed and efficiency. Then he back next to Naruto.

He made a few seals and Naruto didn't have time to catch what he was saying, before whatever was holding him moved. It floated next to Ran as the man leaped out the window with the baby.

Ran guided them through the forest, moving fast. It took them about half hour, but Naruto realised as he calculated the distance that they had covered about five kilometres from Konoha. They reached a clearing with a small hut.

Ran walked in; looking around and making sure they were truly alone. The place was tiny, a small bed in one corner, a washbasin, a door leading to a small toilet and bathroom and on the other side an open kitchen and two couches. Ran placed Kiyoi on the bed in the corner. Then he efficiently placed the milk in the refrigerator and the bag on a table. Finally he turned to Naruto...

"I'm wondering if you will behave if I release you." Ran frowned and released a part of the jutsu, which meant the binding remained, but it merely slowed the person down, rather than stopping all movement.

Naruto glared at the beautiful man. "I hate you! Why do you have to go protect me? I'm the fucking Kyuubi and future Hokage, the people will know I didn't fight by their side...I might not get to be Hokage...! It's all thanks to you!"

"What about if Kiyoi lost her parent? If anything happens to you, she'll have no one!" Ran scowled.

"Well, Kiyoi is a shinobi's daughter. She'll have to deal with it every day, her parents being who they are. She'll have Sasuke...and that's good enough."

"Sasuke...Sasuke? He left you and your daughter to go haring off somewhere, what makes you think he'd ever make a good father?" Ran bared his teeth.

Naruto looked at the ground, sad. Then he smiled up at Ran... "She'll have you too. You and Sasuke both watching over her..."

Ran went a sudden white, then red and then turned around stalking to the kitchen. His voice was curt. "Sit down. I'll make something for our breakfast and lunch. I intend to stay here until all of the fighting stops."

"You're holding me prisoner..."

"Yes. It's because I love you."

They sat there in silence.


He ran hard until he reached the dojo behind the house. then he threw open the doors... "Otou-san, Okaa-chan!"

Blood...a river of blood...his parents in a heap...just two more bodies added to the piles around the house...

He forced himself to wake up, his head felt muggy and his whole body ached. He shook his head trying to clear but it only made the pain worse. Where am I? It seemed like a windowless room, lit by a flickering light bulb on top. The walls were stone and the door was really small.

Sasuke rubbed his head trying to dredge up his last memory. His eyes widened and it took him a split second to throw himself at the wall. He threw a Chidori at it, making a considerable dent, but it wasn't enough. Sasuke cried out, he had to make it, he had to save his family. Once Naruto was safe, he'd take whatever the blond wanted to dole out as his punishment. God...he'd been so stupid.

His hands were bleeding before he clawed himself out of there, he couldn't use another chidori if he wanted to fight Ran. He wondered if there was a guard out there and if he would get caught. But the village seemed quite deserted. Without wasting a minute Sasuke sped towards Konoha as fast as he could.

Kiba fought off three more nins, to find himself still surrounded. There were so many of them, not all skilled but it was still exhausting to keep fighting off that many. To his left, quite far away he could see Naruto's grandpa Jiraiya still fighting Orochimaru. The Hokage seemed to be helping him; he tore his eyes away from it to focus on his own battles. He was currently trying to find Naruto. Akamaru could smell him along with another scent that was unfamiliar and the trail seemed to be heading out of the village. But there was always some nin or the other blocking his path.


Kiba groaned, it looked like he'd have to give up the search and help the village. He and Neji had been sent to search, but the invasion seemed to be unstoppable due to sheer numbers and it was time he lent a hand. They would have to deal with Naruto later.

He ripped through another ninja and found himself close to Neji. He could see the other man sparring with lightning speed...but it wasn't enough. It looked like Otogakure was going to win by sheer unskilled numbers and it left a bad taste in his mouth. He sucked it up and continued to fight, contemplating sending Akamaru off to search for Naruto.

Time passed making Kiba frustrated. He and Akamaru were needed here...it looked like they weren't going to be able to break away. Naruto could be anywhere, and that other person with him was making Akamaru restless. Suddenly someone barrelled into Kiba, slicing through his opponent with a kunai. Kiba felt himself shoved against the wall, but Akamaru wasn't helping him, still concentrating on the others.

It was Sasuke.

Kiba suddenly felt a spike of anger...he'd heard that Sasuke had just left the village recently, without a mission and without permission. Tsunade had also told him about the circumstances of Kiyoi's birth. "What the fuck?"

"Where's Naruto?"

Sasuke looked like shit. He was bloody and his hair was mussed up. He looked a little swollen; like he'd been poisoned. But his eyes were what scared Kiba. His eyes looked positively mad with panic and fear. "Why do you want to know?" Kiba never said he'd make it easy for the bastard.

"He's in danger! There's another man with him...he might get killed." Sasuke's expression turned pleading. "Please. Please Kiba tell me where he is..."

They got attacked and separated to quickly cut down their opponents, before Kiba turned to him quickly. "There's this trail. It's leading out of here into the forest. I would send Akamaru with you, but this is overwhelming. Can you make it by yourself?"

Sasuke was about to run off, when a small dog appeared by him. The animal looked up at him and said, "Kakashi sent me to you. I'll help you find Naruto. We smelled you as soon as you entered."

They took off after the trail. Sasuke's heart felt like it was going to rip itself out; he hoped he'd make it, images of his dead family circling in his mind.

Naruto sat imprisoned in the house. He'd tried everything he knew to escape it, but nothing seemed to work. Kiyoi had peacefully fallen asleep and Ran was sitting by the small kitchen watching him. Naruto pondered on Ran's reaction to what he'd said about Sasuke and Ran taking care of Kiyoi. He sighed and looked at the beautiful man sitting opposite.

"Please let me go. It doesn't matter that you love me, this isn't right. I'm a shinobi..."

Ran looked at him seriously. "Naruto, my father left my mother for another woman. I watched my mother suffer and die a slow painful death, unable to do anything. I lived in the same town as the bastard and spent my whole life watching him love his new wife and sons." He stood up and wiggled his fingers, making the jutsu stiffen and lift Naruto into a standing position. "I love you, you've been through something similar to what my mother went through, and you seem to be much stronger. I want you to live and make you happy. I can't let you get killed in some war."

"You're trapping me. I understand your sentiments, but I was born to protect Konoha. What you're doing is pushing me away...let me go."

Ran threaded his fingers through Naruto's hair. He titled the blond's head back and looked deep into those beautiful eyes before he sealed those pretty lips with his own. Naruto didn't kiss back; as much as he liked Ran – loved him to some extent, he wasn't willing to give in at a crucial time like this. But he let Ran kiss him, kept his eyes open looking into those beautiful dark eyes that seemed so familiar sometimes.

"Get your hands off him, Uchitake!"

The scream echoed through the small cottage. An angry Uchiha Sasuke stood at the door, glaring at the man holding his husband. A small dog stood by his feet, looking alert and tense.

Ran looked at Naruto for a moment before stepping away. His voice was smooth, silky and dangerous when he spoke. Nothing Naruto had ever heard from him before.

"Sasuke. I could feel you coming a mile away. You shouldn't let your chakra leak like that, it could be...dangerous."

"I won't let you kill them like you killed everyone else!"

Naruto's eyes widened as he heard his husband's raw voice scream that sentence. "Uchitake? Kill? Ran? Sasuke?"

Sasuke blazed with anger. "This is the man that killed my family, Naruto."

Naruto felt like someone had kicked him in the gut. He exhaled hard, before looking up to meet Ran's eyes. "What does he mean? Explain it to me, NOW!" his voice was sharp with pain and anger.

Ran looked at him calmly. "So now you know. I am Takeshi Ran. My father was Uchiha Fugaku and my mother was his former lover. My father married someone else because of family obligations." He turned to look at Sasuke. "You've always wanted to know why, haven't you?" He proceeded to recount the whole sordid story.

Itachi was a bloody mess, but luckily most of the wounds were shallow. His eyes hurt like someone had shoved senbon into them. The fight had been exhausting, but they'd managed to kill their enemies. Now they had three more left. Mirai's parents and Kakuzu. He looked over at the girl; she seemed to be brooding about something.

She looked up at him and smiled. "I found a way to defeat my parents."

Itachi raised his eyebrow. "How?"

She came over and kissed him lightly. "Secret. Just concentrate on distracting them for me please..."

They felt a light chakra coming from a while away. Kisame looked at them. "Do we wait for them to come to us? Or do we go to them?"

"You two go to them. I'll follow as soon as I set a few things up."

Itachi looked at her a bit worriedly. He hoped she wasn't planning something stupid. He and Kisame leaped out of the clearing. Watching them go, Mirai cut her finger and started the seals for the Kyuketsuki jutsu (Vampire jutsu). If she did it right, all she had to do was touch anyone related to her by blood, the jutsu would use most of her chakra to drain the other person. She hoped she had enough chakra and strength to survive it; the blood had to drain into her since the jutsu connected to the chakra pathways.

"I chose to let you live. I wanted to torture you for everything, for being the boy who was loved; take everything away from you, just like your father took everything away from me." Ran finished his long monologue.

Different kinds of shock painted the couple's faces. Sasuke's shock was an agonized type; all the pieces of the puzzle had fallen into place. While he still felt angry that Uchitake had massacred his family, the thought that his father was also responsible for it was gnawing its way into his mind.

Naruto felt the shock of betrayal and anger. Once the sordid tale came to an end, he found himself coping with too many things. Ran was the sole reason Sasuke had turned out this way. Everything that had happened between him and Sasuke; the agony Sasuke had gone through was at the hands of this man. But Ran's past was horrible in its own way though his method had been completely wrong. What tipped the balance was the sudden thought that flitted into his mind.

"Sasuke, why did you never tell me Ran was Uchitake? How did you find out?"

Sasuke blinked and turned to his husband. "I never met him. You were the only one who met him, Naruto. When I was at Orochimaru's, I found out. Uchitake set me up..."

The blood drained from Naruto's face and rage built up so much that his eyes started to tear a little. His voice was very low, but audible in the small quiet cottage. "Am I to believe, that on top of attacking your little brother who had nothing to do with what happened to you, that you are also the reason Sasuke went to Orochimaru and that you are the reason for this war?"

Ran couldn't help the shiver that ran down his back. Looking into Naruto's eyes, he knew he'd lost him. After everything, Sasuke was the reason he'd lost everything again. "I asked Orochimaru to help me with Sasuke. If he succeeded in garnering Sasuke's attention, then I would help him take Konoha."

Naruto felt something explode. Sasuke was over in an instant, grabbing Kiyoi and shielding her from the rubble flying everywhere. The bonds were off, Naruto was free. Red chakra swirled around him; his eyes were like gimlets boring into the eyes of the man who had ruined his marriage.

"You stayed by me, and pretended to be my friend, pretended to care more for me than Sasuke did, all the while trying to sabotage my marriage..." Naruto's fists clenched convulsively. "You waved the only bait that would draw Sasuke away, in front of him. You watched me agonize over why. You tried to stop me from saving my village!"

Ran leaped aside as Naruto rushed at him. He parried quickly, the leaking red chakra burning him where their skin met. Naruto could feel power surging through him, he'd never used this much power before, but it all seemed instinctual. He levelled two chakra balls at Ran, two tails began to form behind him. He made a grab for Ran's throat and almost reached him, when another explosion occurred. Naruto turned to see Sasuke rolling away with Kiyoi as Orochimaru materialised on his Giant Snake. Naruto jumped as the snake struck at him.

Somewhere in the haze in his mind he realised that if Orochimaru was here, then something must have happened to his family. He looked at where the village was and Orochimaru smiled unpleasantly.

"Looking for your family boy?"

Naruto turned his red-bled eyes onto this slimy opponent. This was the man who'd touched Sasuke...his mate... "What the fuck did you do?"

Orochimaru wriggled a sword out from his throat, before wiping his mouth and sneering at the blond. "Your grandfather's dead...Tsunade seems to be trying to revive him. Your father...well he wasn't much of a challenge..."

Naruto screamed, full of rage. "SHUT UP..."

He concentrated forming two rasengans and ran at the snake man. Forming two clones quickly, he used a technique to confuse the man. Orochimaru threw many shields up to save himself, when Naruto slammed into Manda. The snake cried out in pain, writhing as he poofed out of the battle, leaving Orochimaru to fall some hundred feet to the ground.

Meanwhile Sasuke was battling Ran. Their fighting was fast and furious, Uchiha against Uchiha. Sharingans whirled each trying to catch the other off guard. Training with Orochimaru had actually paid off, unlocking the potential deep with Sasuke. He was able to meet every blow and hit back equally hard.

Ran tried his mist binding jutsu, but Sasuke avoided it. He attacked with Chidori, but Ran was able to dodge. The battle raged fast and Sasuke had no time to think of Naruto's battle. Luckily Iruka had followed Orochimaru here and Kiyoi was safe. As Ran unsheathed his sword, Sasuke began to pray that he would be able to beat this man...after waiting for a lifetime, he knew if he lost to Ran, there would be nothing worth living for...they were all going to die.

Itachi burnt Konan's paper with the Katon Goukyaku. He was distracting her, while Mirai was God knew where with Pein. The adults had separated and Mirai had come in later, drawing her father away with screams for help. Kisame was completely tied up, battling Kakuzu...it was taking an inordinately long time.

Konan finally got him, while he was lost in thought about Mirai. Paper began to cover him, arresting the movement of his hands, Itachi only had his Sharingan to rely on. But before he could put Konan under a jutsu, Mirai staggered out, covered in blood. Two large gashes ran down her sides. Konan looked away and gaped at her daughter. "Mirai, what happened?" She moved towards her daughter, stopping when the girl's hands moved in lightening fast seals. Konan recognised them, but before she could react, Mirai had grabbed her.

Itachi looked on in shock as both women started to scream. Blood began pouring out of Mirai's wounds and Konan seemed to burst into many blood coloured tentacles, which began piercing Mirai. The last thing he saw before a chakra blast hit him was a huge pool of blood beginning to wash the ground red...

Tsunade took deep breaths as she tried to heal Jiraiya's ravaged body. Somehow the chakra wasn't taking to him, which was weird because she'd healed him so many times, this should have been easy. Looking at her husband in tatters made Tsunade come close to panicking.

Then, she felt the life seep out of him, contrary to what she was trying to do. She suddenly realised what it was and felt sick. Orochimaru had used a leeching jutsu; every bit of chakra she used to try and save Jiraiya was being leeched away by Orochimaru. It was a difficult technique, but as long as Orochimaru had a piece of Jiraiya's flesh, it would work. Tsunade's eyes began to over flow with tears. Orochimaru was out there fighting her son and grandson…her healing would not work, if she continued to try, she would be sacrificing them both. She stopped.

Her hands wound around the still body of her husband as she gave into a few painful sobs. Shouts from other parts of the tent alerted her. Biting her lip, she gave her dying husband one last hug and wiped her face. She would trust in Naruto and tend to the others.

Orochimaru felt the sudden bursts of strength he was leeching waver. He blocked a ball of fire and took his attention of Kyuubi for a minute. Bad mistake. Kyuubi slammed him with a chakra coated fist sensing him careening across the forest, breaking many trees in half.

He noticed that now Kyuubi's chakra covered Naruto entirely, two tails flapping dangerously behind him. Orochimaru cursed. He'd already spent a good amount of his chakra in his battles against Naruto's father and grandfather…he'd been banking on Tsunade to keep trying to save Jiraiya. It was what she would have done in the past. He regurgitated the sword buried in his stomach quickly as he saw the Kyuubi's mouth open wide forming a large crackling ball of chakra.

When the said balls flew at him breaking into two shots, Orochimaru used his snakes and his sword to block as much as he could, but that didn't stop his arms from getting completely singed. The two tailed fox suddenly appeared him, forcing him to whirl around to block the attacks that were pelted at him. But Orochimaru was a sannin, he was wily and crafty as well as much much older than the Kyuubi brat. He got his sword into a deadlock with the Kyuubi's sharp claws. Putting up a quick chakra barrier to stave off the crackling tails, he yanked Naruto closer before suddenly letting his sharp tongue shoot out, cutting the blond in his side.

The Kyuubi boy gave a guttural scream before the wound healed super fast. Orochimaru watched the whole process in horror, before his eyes suddenly gleamed with satisfaction. That was it. The healing put way too much wear and tear on the angry blond's body. All Orochimaru had to do was stall as long as he kept hurting the Kyuubi, forcing the boy to wear himself out. He lashed out his with tongue again, this time snaking it between the fox's chakra defences and seriously tearing his arm.

The battle raged for some more time, before Naruto realised what was going. Orochimaru was trying to turn his own power against him. Naruto suddenly had an idea. He smiled secretly to himself. Concentrating he pulled all of Kyuubi's power back within himself. Once the power was safe just under his skin, he let Orochimaru's tongue wrap around him. Two kage bunshin appeared behind him and grabbed him, before giving him a roll. To Orochimaru's surprise, he found the blond wrapping himself up in his tongue. Naruto rolled all the way to the end coming face to face with Orochimaru. Then he smile sweetly, before letting his chakra out in a loud scream. The compressed chakra just burst out of him, crackling with Kyuubi's fury. Orochimaru didn't stand a chance. Within seconds he was burnt to a crisp. Having had no way of knowing what Naruto had been about to do, he hadn't thought up a good enough defensive move. When the dark red flash of chakra subsided, Naruto fell to the ground, alone, tired and drained. He fell to the ground and began to slowly make his way towards where his husband was fighting Ran.

A few clearings away, Uchiha Sasuke was locked in the most difficult battle of his life. Ran was too good with sword, leaving Sasuke with too many bleeding wounds. They both knew that all of this might finally come down to a Genjutsu battle. Sasuke couldn't afford that; his earlier break out from the village had already drained him quite a bit. Now Sasuke could feel the blood slowly draining out of him, but when he looked at Ran he had to smile. His half brother was heavily bleeding from a wound in his right thigh too. He hadn't expected Sasuke's chidori to be that powerful and that was his downfall. Sasuke pondered on the best way to end this fight. He had to use some sort of Genjutsu, but Ran was very strong. He would be able to dispel it in a few seconds. But those few seconds would have to be Sasuke's opening.

Ran leaped at him, engaging him a fast paced sword battle again. Sasuke's wounded body screamed in agony, every time their swords clashed. Sasuke was working through the fight mechanically. Sending him to Orochimaru was something Ran had overlooked. Contrary to Ran's belief Orochimaru had actually trained the younger Uchiha, instead of fobbing him off. He's decided to have Sasuke's body as his own and had speared nothing when it came to teaching him techniques or helping him improve his older ones. Suddenly Naruto's guttural scream of pain split through the clearing. Both the Uchiha men tensed, pausing their battle, identical looks of worry on their faces. Sasuke battled with the need to go to his husband. He had to finish this battle.

They started up almost once. Again Sasuke used the time to think on his feet. Uchitake was trying to wearing him out, to be honest, he was already worn out. He assessed his chakra reserves, he had just enough for two Chidoris and a bit. The plan slowly worked itself out. He had to use the man's intelligence against himself, for which his moves had to be utterly simple. He smiled and kept his head low. As predicted Uchitake locked swords with him again. Sasuke locked eyes with the man instead.


For a few seconds Ran got caught up in the jutsu, he smirked and dispelled it. "Kai!" then he caught Sasuke's arm which was crackling with the Chidori in his bare palm and yanked the younger man forwards onto his sword. Sasuke screamed with pain as the sword sliced right through his hip, he panted harshly. Ran smirked down at him. "So this was your plan? Distract me so you could come at me with your pathetic Chidori? It won't work Sasuke…and now I have you right here, up close, ready to kill…"

Sasuke coughed up a little blood, but his face split into a bloody grin. "No…this was the plan…" he placed his hand against Ran's chest and a chirping noise filled the clearing. Before Ran had any idea what had happened, Sasuke's Chidori Sword sang through him, right through a lung. He hacked up a lot of blood. Shock filled his eyes, as he stumbled backwards, his sword sliding out of Sasuke. The raven grinned. "You know the saying about keeping your enemies close? It's bullshit."

He watched the man hit the ground and stumbled towards him. A quick kunai slit the beautiful man's throat and Sasuke crumpled. He looked towards the place he could sense Naruto as darkness raced over him.

Naruto finally reached the prone forms of Uchitake and his husband. he felt so battered, but he had to make sure, Sasuke was fine…and for Sasuke to be fine, Ran had to be dead. If Ran was allowed to live, he'd never stop going after Sasuke or his family. Naruto reached out and placed a hand against Sasuke's cheek. He still loved the man, after everything that had happened…of course Sasuke had let himself be manipulated and behaved like an ass, but through it all he'd never really stopped having Naruto's heart.

The blond shook Sasuke awake. His husband was no better than him, in complete tatters, but it was more dangerous to let someone in tatters sleep. After a long while of shaking, Sasuke finally stirred. Naruto somehow pulled the man onto his lap. The ebony eyes opened and looked him over.

"You look like shit, dobe…"

Naruto glared at the man. "That is what you want to say to me?"

Sasuke just smiled. "I'm glad you're alive." He shoved his face into Naruto's chest. "I'm sorry, dobe. For everything. When we got married, I made promises that I didn't keep. I'm sorry about Orochimaru, about Konoha…about Uchitake…" Sasuke's voice broke on the name. "I…I didn't know…I put you and Kiyoi in danger…he was my brother…I didn't know. I'm sorry, he was your friend, regardless of everything…I had to kill him…" Sasuke started to shake with held back sobs, unable to stop a tear or two from rolling down his face. A few more apologies tore themselves out his mouth.

Naruto looked at the lifeless form beside his husband. Ran was dead. He felt tears come into his own eyes. Despite everything, the man had been there for him. Naruto hugged Sasuke close and let his own tears fall.

It was close to half hour, before they were found. Iruka was holding Kiyoi safe and discussing things with the two ANBU beside him. He gave the couple status updates. Leaf was safe but in shambles. Jiraiya-sama had passed on; Arashi-sama would live, but take a while to recover. He looked at Sasuke. Itachi and Mirai had both been found and had successfully defeated the Akatsuki along with a traitor Kisame. They were all being taken to the medical tents.

It had been two weeks since the attack. A hectic two weeks for Naruto at that. They'd had Jiraiya's funeral a few days after the attack, combining it with a mass funeral for all the dead nin.

Itachi had surprised everyone by jumping Mirai as soon as she woke up. They had decided that they would get married next month. Then they had updated everyone on their tale of defeating the Akatsuki.

Sasuke had finally updated the family on Uchitake and what had really happened the night his parents had been murdered. Itachi had screamed at him impressively for keeping it a secret and then hugged his brother like he'd never let him go.

Konoha had to be rebuilt; everyone pitched in and worked hard. Luckily, all the working to rebuild the village had helped clear the anger all Naruto's friends felt towards Sasuke.

Now Naruto stood with Kiyoi, over the Hokage Mountain, looking out over the city that he was going to take over in a week's time. His father had finally decided that he wanted to retire, and the Hokage ceremony and voting was going to take place next week.

He heard Sasuke come up behind him and relaxed into his husband's arms as they wrapped around him and their child. Things with Sasuke had been weird for the past two weeks, both feeling guilty and not knowing how to handle things. But slowly the relationship seems to have smoothed out. Finally he could lean into Sasuke's touch and feel peaceful.

"Naruto…" Sasuke laid his head on his mate's shoulder. "What are you thinking dobe?"

Naruto sighed. "I'm just wondering if I can actually protect this sprawling village. So much has happened and we've done so much wrong with just our own family, how can they expect me to take care of this huge place?"

Sasuke smirked ever so slightly. "That's because we weren't working like a team, usuratonkachi. This time, I promise you, I'm not going anywhere. If you want to protect this village, whatever you're protecting it from has to come through me first…"

Naruto didn't know whether to smile or glare. He just turned and kissed his husband. They turned around and walked back down the mountain together, hand in hand. A while later, they were met by their friends who insisted that they all go out for a drink. Poor Kiba was stuck with the duty of babysitting Kiyoi. In the midst of all that fun and laughter, Sasuke, the bad boy of Konoha finally felt peace.

A/N: Ok, so the story has finally ended! Man, I thought it never would, I'd been polishing the chapter for ages and ages, trying to write the fight scene. It all just seems so long ago. But hey, come on, I FINISHED IT! :D

Please please leave me a nice bunch of reviews, even though I've been such a bitch and left you all waiting. I'm not making any excuses but after the most emotionally draining relationship of my life for the past three years, which is why I had no emotion to actually write, I am finally out of it and it's been with all the support you've all given me.

Love you all.