Title: Za Utsurikomi no Wagami - The Reflection of Oneself

Summery: With his death, Naruto leaves behind an unexpected legacy that will affect the world. Twelve years later, a penitent Sasuke finds atonement for his sins by training and protecting young Kyuuzano Nanikato, the innocent creation of a madman's war.

Author's Note: This story is dedicated to Belletiger, whose plot bunny that had brought it to life - you're the best!

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. If there should ever try to claim him as my own, may evil clowns eat me in my sleep! Shudder! And the song 'Darkening of the Light' belongs to Concrete Blonde.

Revised 03/05/08 – Edited by Nymbis!


The Reflection of Oneself

Chapter 1: Requiem


It was so blunt that it seemed to mock him in its simplicity.

Like trying to catch wild butterflies, it always escapes your reach when you are longing for its embrace, and like trying to escape a consuming darkness, it always finds you - ready or not. Death defines the very existence of nature, the never-ending cycle, and taunting all those around it with the vastness of its almighty power. Death has the ability to be both merciful and merciless.

But most of all it was, in itself, emptiness incarnate.

Knowing all this, Sasuke stared down at the still form that lay before him and couldn't help but feel dead inside. He had killed - an act that had been so painfully simple. It had been what he had wanted - what he thought he wanted - the next step in his lifelong goal of having his revenge upon his brother. Because of it, he had attained the fearsome and most coveted form of his clan's kekkai genkai: the Mangekyou Sharingan.

Yet even though he had it, the tri-bladed wheel spun listlessly in his dulled eyes as he began to feel the weight - the guilt - of what he had done setting in. Naruto was dead now because of him. The blond, once so vibrant, so spirited, so annoying… was gone. All that remained of the boy he had once known, the first person he had dared to call his friend, was nothing more then a slowly cooling corpse.

His fault…

The raven-haired youth shivered, rocking back on his heels as he felt the rain beginning to fall. He coiled his fingers into his dampening hair and raised his crimson eyes to the heavens, very much aware that he was forever forsaken as the downpour washed away his tears. The heavens were crying for Naruto - weeping in sorrow because Sasuke had snuffed out the light of one of their brightest stars.


The teen turned his head slowly, looking up as his gaze fell on Kabuto. The gray haired medic only stood a few feet away, looking something like a wraith in the pouring rain. The older boy looked at him quietly, taking note of the newest Sharingan his eyes possessed. He knew exactly what they meant, and he somberly looked away from Sasuke, then down at Naruto.

For a villain and traitor, the medic truly looked regretful. Sasuke wistfully remembered the blond fervently telling him of a fight between the pair - when the younger boy had traveled with the Toad Sannin in their mission to bring Tsunade back as the Godaime Hokage.

Apparently Kabuto had held more respect for his fallen teammate then he had.

"So you've killed Naruto-kun," it was more a statement rather than asking a question, "Such a shame. He had so much power, and if he had been tempered accordingly, he could have made a very formidable weapon."

Power? Was Kabuto talking about that strange power Naruto had called upon during their battle? It would have to be. After all, Naruto had been able to heal that Chidori wound to the chest he had inflicted upon him…

But then Kabuto shook his head. "Unfortunate, yes, but we must go now. Orochimaru-sama sent me to escort you to Oto. Are you able to walk?"

Sasuke looked at him, still shivering. From the second Naruto had breathed his last breath to this very moment, the weight had been setting in. His mind felt heavy, sluggish. After having fought, having lost… he didn't want go anywhere. He just wanted to let the darkness on the edge of his vision to consume him.

Unable to answer, Sasuke tipped forward and crumpled into the mud, his consciousness fading to black.

Kabuto looked down at the boy and sighed. Sloshing through mud to the Uchiha's side, he bent down and performed a quick diagnostics check, "Chakra exhaustion."

He looked back at the lifeless form of the blond next to the now unconscious Sasuke. Such power. It was an absolute shame that Sasuke had killed Naruto. The things that could have been done with the jinchuuriki had he lived…

"Hmm…" he muttered, pondering a sudden thought for a moment. "What if…?"

Reaching into his supply satchel, the young medic rummaged briefly before withdrawing a large syringe. Leaving Sasuke's side, he knelt next to the deceased boy and rolled his head to the side, baring the neck. Inserting the sharp tip deeply into graying flesh, he began to pull the plunger back, watching as the cylinder began to fill itself with the dark reddish blue liquid that was Naruto's blood. Thankfully it was still fresh, as Naruto had only been dead for at the most five minutes.


After performing the pair of seals that went with the jutsu, a pale greenish blue light surrounded the vile, preserving the precious blood within. Once that was done, he returned the syringe to his satchel. Although the turn of events today was most unfortunate, things had definitely made a shift in his favor.

Smirking lightly, Kabuto patted the boy's cold whiskered cheek.

"Even in death, you are still of some use. Rest in peace Naruto-kun, while you can."

Standing, Kabuto walked back to the unconscious Sasuke and picked him up, tossing the limp boy over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. The Uchiha grunted softly, mumbling something about being sorry.

Kabuto shook his head. It wasn't something to dwell on. He had completed his mission and more today, which was really all that mattered. Giving Naruto one last furtive glance, he turned and began his long walk back towards Sound.


Kakashi cursed as the rain began to fall and cursed some more when it began to fall harder. The jounin quickened his pace, Pakkun at his side doing the same. They couldn't lose track of the scent. Without it, they would never have a chance at reaching Naruto and Sasuke on time.

But nonetheless, the trail was growing weaker.

That very fact left the man with a feeling of dread deep within his stomach. Blinking the water out of his eyes, he continued to run and continued to pray that he would reach his two students on time before anything drastic transpired.

"This way!" Pakkun barked, taking a left, "I can still smell their scent, but it's stronger this way."

"Lead on."

Kakashi took a deep breath and grit his teeth.

The pair continued on in silence. Their trek lasted only a few more minutes, ending when they had finally arrived at the border of Fire Country and the edge of the Valley of the End. Sliding down one of the rocky embankments, Kakashi noted with unease that a great battle had recently taken place, the pockmarks from explosions doting the cliff face.

As he arrived at the base of the grand statues that overlooked the valley, he found only one of the two boys he was searching for. He could see Naruto lying upon the ground in the distance, drenched from the rain. On the top of the boy's vivid orange jumpsuit was a fist sized tear, indicating that he had taken a massive blow to the chest, though the skin below remained unmarred.

Pakkun stopped suddenly.

"What is it?" Kakashi asked, looking down at his summon.

The small dog whimpered.

"I… I smell death."

Those words chilled the silver haired jounin to the bone, as though an icicle had pierced his heart. Turning back to gaze at Naruto, it was only then that he noticed the blond wasn't breathing.

Clearing the distance between them in seconds, the older man knelt next to his student and pressed two fingers to the side of his neck. He winced, drawing his hand back sharply. Although he had known Naruto wouldn't have a pulse when he checked, the iciness of the boy's flesh still caused him to shudder.

Naruto was dead.

Standing back, Kakashi was forced to bite down on the back of his gloved hand to keep from crying. Even after all these years of torment and heartbreak, he still wasn't able to hold it back. The blond may have been annoying, but he was his student and someone who had become important in his life this past year, even if he hadn't shown it.

'I've failed again…' he thought miserably, choking on a lump that had begun to form in his throat. 'Obito, Rin, Minato-sensei - but mostly you sensei. I let your son die - I let my student die.'

Swallowing painfully, he knelt back down and took the small body into his arms.

'He was so much like you Obito. He had the same heart, the same determination, the same sense of humor… the same annoying smile.'

Glancing at the sky, Kakashi felt the burning in his eyes slowly subside as he began to walk. As he reached Pakkun's side, the little dog looked up at him mournfully.

"Why do you hold it back?"


"Why do you refuse to cry?"

"You know a ninja does not show emotion."

Pakkun glared at him.

"Showing emotion and showing weakness are two entirely different things - you should know that by now. Naruto was a good kid, he deserves as much."

But Kakashi just shook his head, "No. By the time we return to Konoha, there will be enough people crying for him."

The dog simply sighed.

"If you say so, Kakashi. But remember, when a ninja breaks under the pressure, it's their own fault it happened in the first place."

With that said, Pakkun vanished, leaving the silver haired man to travel back to Konoha alone. However as he left, he didn't even notice the tiny pinprick on the side of Naruto's neck.


Like a ghost - is the curtain

In the white light of the morning -

Dancing in the morning

Are you there - are you there?

And a shadow - like a sadness

Falling across the garden

Dancing in the garden

Are you there - are you there?

Shine on, friend. Goodnight

Why then the darkening of the light

And the leaves at my feet

Whisper sounds so familiar

Whisper so familiar -

Are you there? Are you there?

Shine on, friend. Goodnight

Why then the darkening of the light

Where the clouds pull apart

And the moon changes faces

In the quite secret places

Are you there? Are you there?


Words: 1, 748

Usagi-chan: Hey guys! So what do ya think? I personally think this story has a lot of potential, but it all depends on what you readers think. So yeah, I don't plan to make this fic itself very long, but then again, that too is still debatable. Now that I've stated the obvious, I'd really like to know all of your opinions and suggestions, so please drop a review before you leave!

Translations/Original Jutsu:

Onzon/Preserve - lower B-rank ijutsu. Creates an airtight bubble of chakra around the chosen containment, keeping whatever is it cast upon locked within suspended animation. This technique is used by field-medics to preserve blood and/or tissue samples for testing at a later date - its ranking may rise to mid S-rank should it be used to preserve an entire living body, depending on the size.