Ok I am hoping that people actually read the author notes for this story before you read it otherwise I'm sure I will get some very interesting e-mails and reviews telling me how I ripped of somebody else's work. (god knows I do not always read them when I start a story)
For those of you who have already started reading this story let me just apologize right now for rushing head first without thinking things through carefully. After getting a few good reviews and a few rather bad reviews I have decided to rewrite the first 3 chapters of the story and completely remove any of the text from the other stories I mention below. While I still will be using a lot of the same concepts and perhaps even some of the same ideas I will be writing everything in my own words completely instead of using pieces of theirs along with pieces of mine. In the end I believe the story will be all the better for it as it will be far more unique and it of course the big advantage is I will not have to listen to the odd person whine about how I am taking advantage of other authors. So I hope you all continue to read this story and enjoy it. Understand that while the first several chapters will bare a lot of similarities to their source story that once we get past the genin tests things will start changing a lot more.
Let me start by saying that this story is a compilation of 3 stories that I have read here on I have decided to rewrite these stories, taking the concepts and themes from each along with some of my own ideas and melding them together into a brand new story. Obviously by nature of what I am doing it will bare a lot of similarities in many spots to the 3 source files but I do not think it will be repetitive. Read along and let me know what you think, make suggestions, and we will see what comes of this. So before anybody tells me that I'm trying to pass this work off as being mine and being 100 original please think about what I said here.
So with all that said let me give credit where credit is due. The three stories that I am taking content and inspiration from are "The Hyuuga way" by Edric Loto, "The Person I Admire" by Gadalla Rune, and last but certainly not least "For the Love of My Friends" by Foxie-Sama. I highly suggest checking out the writings of all three of their authors.
So without further pause, I hope you enjoy SECOND CHANCES
Chapter One: Many Regrets
For generations the hidden village of the Leaf had been considered one of the most peaceful and beautiful villages in all the world. The strength of it's ninja's was known by all and nobody ever considered that the day would come when the village fell and certainly not at the hands of one of it's own ninja. A ninja who was once considered to one of Konoha's greatest allies and defenders.
Yet for the past 9 years Konoha has been under constant attack by one such ninja. The once legendary Sannin known as Orochimaru had laid siege to the great city of Konoha in attempt to invade it during the Chuunin exams just over 9 years ago. While the invasion failed the damage was done. Orochimaru succeed in killed the third Hokage Sarutobi and escaped with his life. Seeing that he had successfully weakened the leaf with his assault, Orochimaru continued to raid the village and it's ninjas while on missions for the next several years leading to it's forces being further weakened and making way for the Sound leaders final invasion attempt nearly 4 years to the day of the first.
With it's forces weakened and the city still under repair from the first attack the leaf was unable to repel the second invasion attempt and the Sound gained a powerful foothold in their territory. It has been nearly 5 years since Orochimaru successfully gained a foothold within the leaf and things have never looked worse for the once proud village. Nearly half of Konoha was held by the Orochimaru and his Sound forces. Those parts of the city still held by the leaf were a wasteland from constant bombardments and battles.
Naruto Sat alone overtop of the Hokage monument and looked out over his once beautiful village. There was nothing but death and destruction for as far as the eye could see. Even the parts still occupied by the leaf were in ruins, garbage and debris everywhere. He was finally ready to admit to himself that the leaf was lost. Even so he refused to leave his home, he and his fellow ninja would stay until the very end. They would make the Sound pay for every inch of land they took, and they would pay for it with their blood.
The leafs numbers were dwindling fast. They had evacuated the village civilian population last month, or at least what was left of it. Near four thousand people were evacuated through the escape tunnels in the Hokage monument that Naruto sat upon now. Four thousand out of the once eighteen thousand. Of the near two thousand ninja that the leaf had at the start of the war roughly three hundred remained. Three hundred ninja to stand their ground and bloody the sound as much as they could, to make them rue the day that they set foot in Konoha. Naruto was among those three hundred and he more then anybody else wanted revenge for the lives of his friends. So many of his precious people were gone now including the most important person of them all.
"Oh Hinata, how could you do something so stupid. Why did you have to save me at the cost of your own life." Naruto looked out over the village again as the sun was setting and began to cry. It had been years since he showed any real emotion. He always had a strong mask over his feelings pretending to always be happy and upbeat to try and keep everybody's sprits up. But not now. He had killed Hinata, His recklessness had resulted in the loss of her life and all because he had to rush in head first without thinking like he always did. Naruto continued to cry as he ran through the events of the past week in his mind.
Naruto looked over his strike team once more making sure that everybody was prepared for what they were about to do. Their intelligence was telling them that Kabuto was leading a large strike team of chuunin around their flank to try and break through their lines and seize more of the city for his master Orochimaru. Naruto's team was going to surprise them with an ambush and with a little luck kill Kabuto in the process.
"Ok does everybody understand the missing" Naruto asked. "Hai!, The springtime of youth shall not fail us my friend. We shall have a great victory over our enemies." Said Lee. Tenten and Neji just nodded their agreement while the other Anbu members did the same.
"Alright then lets head out. Its time to kick some Sound ass, and I for one am looking forward to bringing Kabuto's head back on a silver platter." Naruto said while the others shouted their agreement. "No really I am, Look I got the platter right here." Naruto said as he produced a platter out of his pack. The others laughed and then they were on their way.
An hour later they were setup waiting in ambush for Kabuto and his gang. Waiting to get some revenge for the lives of their fallen comrades. Naruto Gritted his team and flexed his hand as he waited for Kabuto to approach. He wanted to badly to be the one who killed Kabuto. It was largely his fault that things had gone the way they had. He had played a large part in capturing Sasuke 9 years ago, and had continued to be instrumental in the war that occurred afterward. Oh sure Konoha had been able to repel the first attack but the sneak attack had results in a lot of damage and a lot of deaths. Konoha was weakened by the attack and that was when Orochimaru decided that he would commit himself fully to bringing down the leaf. Again and again over the years he attacked and influenced others to attack the leaf as well. Each attack left the hidden village weaker. Naruto wanted more then anything to pay them all back for what they had done to his homeland. He would kill Kabuto with his own hands and then leave his body for Orochimaru to find, Minus the head of course which he fully intended to bring back to show everybody their victory.
Neji tapped Naruto on the shoulder to gain his attention. "Their headed this way Naruto, No more then 500 feet in front of us now." Naruto raised his hand and gave the signal to hold, He waited a few more moments for the group of invaders to get into position and then with a single command the strike team fell on Kabuto and his gang and began the attack.
Not to long after the fight began Naruto found his way to Kabuto who looked at him with a wicked smile and said "Ah Naruto-san it is good to see you again. Such a terrible thing what's happening to the Leaf is it not. Perhaps if you could convince the Hokage to surrender things would be much easier on you all." Naruto looked at Kabuto and laughed. "That's so kind of you Kabuto but I think I would just rather kill you and take my chance with that snake bastard boss of yours. I got a few choice words I like to shove in his face before I rip his head off."
Kabuto Smiled at Naruto and then pushed up his glassed and removed a kunai from his pouch. "Very well then why don't the two of us relocate to somewhere more suited for our battle. I would hate for one of your little friends to spoil our fight by interfering. That is of course unless you are afraid to fight me by yourself." Naruto Sneered at Kabuto " Fuck you Kabuto. Your nothing but a low life Trader. I can kick your ass all over Konoha by myself. I don't need my team to do it for me. Let's move if that's what you want. Consider it your final request before I cut your fucking head off and feed you to the sneaks." And with that the two took off from their teams to a more secluded area where they could be alone without the fear of interference. The two arrived at one of the few remaining unoccupied training grounds within minutes.
"Well you were so kind as to offer me a final request I guess I should do the same for you Naruto." Said Kabuto "The only request I have is for you to die as painfully as possible." Yelled Naruto. Naruto Performed some seals and Yelled "kage bushin no jutsu". Instantly 10 clones appeared around Naruto. Each removed a kunai from their pouch and with that they charged at Kabuto. Kabuto smiled and whispered to himself "so predictable. He never thinks, just charges. That will be your downfall Naruto." Kabuto Laughed and charged at the clones who were quickly approaching. Within seconds they were tangled up in the heat of battle. The clones were flipping and sliding at Kabuto from all directions while the Sound nin almost casually removed them one by one. Kabuto turned and dispatched the last of the Clones only to see the real Naruto mere inches away from him. Naruto slammed his fist into Kabuto's face and then followed it up by doing a back flip and catching Kabuto under the chin with his foot. Kabuto went flying backwards head over heals to land on his stomach several feet away. He slowly stood up whipping the blood from his broken lip and laughed. "That's very good Naruto. You have gotten better over the years. And here I was thinking it would be boring fighting you. At least I will get some amusement from this fight." With that Kabuto performed several seals. "Mystical Palm Technique". Instantly Kabuto's hand glowed blue with chakra as he formed his chakra scalpels and charged at Naruto again.
Naruto was all to familiar with Kabuto's favorite Jutsu and was quick to call on some reinforcements. After performing the needed seals and saying the words once again he was flanked by 20 Clones. 10 on either side. The clones wasted know time and got into battle position. They charged at Kabuto and began the attack. One of the clones slid at Kabuto trying to knock him off his feet while another jumped into the air to take him from above. Kabuto Jumped above the first clone and spun in the air tagging both clones and watching as they burst in a puff of smoke. He landed on the ground and immediately parried an attack from another Clone and hitting him on the back of the neck. In less then a minute all the clones were gone and Kabuto laughed at Naruto. "Is this the best you have for me Naruto. I really expected more from an Anbu. I guess the leafs standards have really fallen since the siege started. They'll make anybody an Anbu these days." Naruto cursed and created more clones. He ran at Kabuto. "We'll see whose laughing when this fight is over you bastard." Naruto yelled.
The battle continued like that for nearly an hour. Back and forth they traded blows. Both parties using all their best moves to try and gain the upper hand. It seemed like the battle was going to go on forever.
Naruto charged Kabuto with his clones thinking that he was unaware of his approach from behind. He prepared to use his Naruto Rendan Attack sending out his clones to get Kabuto in the air.
"That's it, charge at me like you always do. You are just to predictable Naruto." Kabuto whispered to himself as he removed a kunai from his pouch and poured a dark liquid over the blade. Kabuto continued to fight with the clones in front of him pretending not to notice the 3 clones coming from behind. He waited for Naruto to approach and quickly dispatched the remaining clones in front of him before being swept off his feet by the first clone from behind. He smiled inwardly and continued to play his little game as Naruto obliviously continued his attack, charging straight to his death. Another clone slid underneath Kabuto and kicked him into the air followed by another attack from yet another clone. "Uzumaki Naruto Rendan" the real Naruto yelled as he slammed his foot into Kabuto and sent him flying towards the ground.
Kabuto smiled just as Naruto was about to kick him back towards the ground. He threw the blade right at Naruto's chest who was taken completely by surprise and unable to do anything but avoid a fatal blow. He slightly deflected the blade lodging it in his right shoulder instead of his chest.
Naruto Cursed as he landed and pulled the blade from his shoulder. He charged at Kabuto again who was staggering to his feet unaware that Naruto was even still alive. He turned in time to see Naruto slam the Rasengan towards him in an almost lazy manner. That combined with Kabuto's quick reflexes allowed him to avoid a direct hit and instead was hit in the side and sent spinning to the left into the dirt.
Kabuto slowly crawled to his feet and smiled despite the blood flowing freely from the wound in his left side. He formed a few seals and instantly his wound began to heal. Next he popped a pill in his mouth to replenish his blood supply. "What's wrong Naruto. Feeling a little tired, maybe that arm of yours is bothering you. It's amazing what a little poison can do. This battle is as good as over now. You'll be dead within an hour. And there is nothing the Kyuubi can do about it. After all he may be able to heal your wounds but he can't remove the poison." Kabuto laughed and began to walk away as Naruto fell to the ground.
"Where the fuck do you think your going" Naruto yelled as he forced himself up. Kabuto turned around just in time to see 3 Naruto Clones Tackle him to the ground. His wound still not completely healed was troubling him and so it took him a moment to rid himself of the clones. This time was all that Naruto Needed to summon the last of his strength and charge one last time at Kabuto. Jumping into the air he summoned the Rasengan and descended from above. Just as he dispatched the last clone Kabuto heard Naruto scream "Rasengan" and looked up to see Naruto bury the swirling ball of energy into his chest. He continued to pump more and more chakra into the Rasengan as Kabuto screamed in pain. Within Seconds Naruto had driven his hand through Kabuto's chest leaving him dead on the ground, his blood spilling out around him.
Naruto stood slowly, His vision blurring as he pulled his hand from Kabuto's chest with a sickening sound. He shook his head to clear his mind of the fog that surrounded his thoughts and stumbled forward dragging Kabuto's body behind him. He was not going to risk Orochimaru finding some way to bring him back. He would take him with them and burn the body. Let everybody know that he was the one that killed the bastard. He continued back towards where he left his team. He cursed as he felt his legs beginning to go numb and feel to the ground. He knew it would not be long now. Death would take him but it didn't seem to matter anymore. "At least I Killed that bastard. Perhaps this will help the leaf survive." Naruto said. And he closed his eyes to await the end.
Tenten ran towards Naruto as he saw him fall. She quickly picked knelt beside him and checked for a pulse. He was alive, barely. "Naruto, Naruto can you hear me. Its Tenten. Open your eyes." Naruto opened his eyes slowly and looked up at the women standing above him. Her image swam in front of him. He had to fight hard to focus the image before realizing who it was. "Tenten, I'm glad to see your alive. Is everybody okay? Did you see me get that bastard? I killed him good." Naruto Smiled and closed his eyes again. It hurt to much to keep them open. Neji and Lee arrived and bent beside Tenten. Tenten smiled faintly "Yes Naruto. The springtime of Youth served you well." Said lee "We all saw you kill him. Just rest." Said Tenten "The mission was a success, No casualties on our side. Were heading back to Head Quarters Now." said Neji as he helped Tenten pick up Naruto while Lee grabbed Kabuto's body. That was the last thing Naruto Remembered until he woke up at Head Quarters. He had blacked out a few seconds later.
Tenten and Neji had brought him back to head quarters near dead. They lied him down on a bed and went to get Tsunade. Instead they found Hinata and Sakura. Tsunade was in another part of the city. They sent somebody for her while Hinata and Sakura went to Naruto's side.
After a short examination Sakura told them that there was nothing they could do. The poison would have to be drawn out to save him but with the time left and the strength of the poison it would probably kill whoever did it. Hinata ignored Sakura and began the procedure. Sakura tried to stop her only to be held back by Neji. "She needs to do this Sakura. You know how she feels for him. She would never forgive herself if she let him die without trying to save him even if the cost was her life." So nobody stopped her. And the procedure was a success. The poison was drawn out of his body and the Kyuubi healed the damage. An hour later Hinata died.
Naruto had woken up a few hours ago and was incredibly surprised. He was alive. He was certain he was going to die and yet here he was alive. The first thought through his mind was Tsunade must have healed him. Only she could pull something like this off. Sleeping at the side of his bed was Sakura. Her head resting on the bed. She had awoken when she felt him move and he smiled brightly at her as he always did. He had asked her where Tsunade was, he wanted to thank her for saving his life yet again. Sakura just looked down at the floor and told him that it was Hinata that saved him. Naruto laughed. That was even better. He was happy to see she had improved so much with her medical jutsu. He asked Sakura to go get her so that he could thank her properly. Sakura began crying and told Naruto that she had died after removing the poison from him as a result of the procedure. That she had been told it would likely kill her to do it but she had done it anyways. Less then 5 minutes later he had stormed into the briefing room where most of his friends were eating lunch.
He had yelled at all of them, thrown a chair at Neji and punched Lee. He had practically turned the lunch area into a war zone before Tsunade and several others could restrain him. He had swore at all of them, asked them how they could let her throw away her life for his. Was he so much more important then her.
He had made his way up to the Hokage Monument after that leaving everybody at Head Quarters to clean up his mess and talk about how much he had lost it while his friends just shook their heads. They knew he felt guilty even though it was not his fault. She had made the choice, it was hers to make and there was nothing to feel guilty about. Even still they knew that would not stop him from feeling that way. Even if he had not admitted it to himself they all knew that he felt strongly about Hinata. They had become close friends and it always seemed like he felt more for her even though he was too dense to realize it. There was certainly no lack of love from Hinata. She had loved Naruto since the first day she saw him back when they started to academy. She had never been able to tell him how she felt.
Naruto Continued to cry into his hands. He felt like his heart had been ripped out of his chest. He could not understand why he felt so lost, so empty inside. It was like he had lost the most perish thing in the world to him, something he would never be able to replace. He just did not understand this feeling he was having. He had other friends die. Shino had been killed years ago in a raid; He had killed Sasuke with his own hands years ago. Or rather Sasuke had killed himself with Naruto's hands. It had always hurt sure, but never like this.
Naruto Startled when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He had not even heard anybody coming up behind him. Not that it was surprising. He was not exactly in the best state of mind right now. the loudest ninja in the world could have walked up behind him and he would not likely have noticed him. He turned to see Neji sitting down beside him. He had a serious look on his face as always but there was sadness in his eyes. It was unusual for Neji to reveal his emotions; it was not something he did often. He was usually able to hide them very well and did so often. Neji looked over at Naruto and began to speak
"Naruto I wanted to explain why I let Hinata try to save you. There are some things I think you should know about her. Things she would have wanted you to know and things that she had never been able to bring herself to tell you. Naruto I was the one that prevented anybody from stopping her. If you wish to hate somebody then hate me. It was my fault but If I had the chance to do it all over again I would do the same thing. I knew it would kill her and so did she. She made the decision and it was hers to make. You have to understand and respect that even if you do not like the outcome."
Naruto looked back over the village. Eyes blank and unseeing. He was right of course. It had been her decision. She would have known the second she looked at him that it was a lost cause. That it would have been a life for a life if she helped him. But she had made that choice. Even though he said he hated everybody for her death the truth was he hated himself more. He would have to learn to accept that it had been his fault that he got poisoned and it had been his fault that she died but he also had to accept the fact that it had been her choice to save him. "I know it was her Choice Neji. That does not make it hurt any less." Neji nodded and continued. "Naruto you have to understand why she did what she did. You see she loved you Naruto. I have a feeling that deep inside you know that is true but you were never able to let yourself see it. You had to be cold and heartless to win this war and so you blocked everything out. But despite that I believe you knew at least subconsciously that she loved you and what's more I think you loved her too." Neji Sighed "She would never have been able to live with herself if she let you die Naruto. She has been watching you and has loved you since the day she first saw you back when you both started at the Academy. She has never seen anybody else but you. At first I could not understand why she liked you so much. You seemed like such a misfit, not worthy of her status but soon I learned otherwise. You have changed my life for the better Naruto and you did the same for her. You supported her and gave her confidence that she never had before. Its because of you that she became the women that she was. I know that she would have wanted you to know that. She would have wanted you to know just how deeply she loved you."
Neji stopped and looked out over the village with Naruto. Just sitting there and waiting for what he knew was to come. He waited for Naruto to yell and scream that he should have stopped her. He waited for him to throw a punch, to drag him bag from the cliff and demand a fight. He waited for the Inevitable. But instead what he got was a thank you. "arigato Neji" Naruto said. He stood up, tears running down his face. "Neji if you do not mind I need to be alone for a while. Thank you for all you've done. I loved her too. I only wish I had been able to tell her." And with that he walked away leaving Neji sitting on the Hokage Monument staring at him in surprise.
Naruto walked out to one of his favorite spots and sat alone again. Neji's words were running through his mind. They hurt so much he could barely keep the tears from coming. How could he have been so blind. There were so many times when it was obvious that she liked him. He had just ignored all the signs and pushed it from his mind and in the end it had gotten her killed.
"So many things have gone wrong" Naruto said to himself. "How could I have let this happen? Me the future Hokage! What am I to be Hokage of now? The leaf is a smoldering mess. The sound occupy the majority of the city, Hinata is dead along with Kakashi, and Jiraiya, and Shino and so many others." He shouted. The tears finally came again as he was unable to stop them. This time he didn't care. He let them come. He needed to let himself feel this pain, feel the loneliness. He had held it all in for so long and it had eaten away at him. So he cried and screamed, and yelled out to the world and then he feel asleep. Tomorrow was another day. He would make them all pay for what they did to Hinata. The leaf was lost to him now but his revenge was at hand. They would learn to fear him like no other. He may not be able to bring her back or any of his friends but he would kill every sound ninja he came across until the day they got him. That was his ninja way.
The next year saw things get even worse then they were before. It seemed that killing Kabuto did nothing to slow the Sound. They continued to advance pushing the leaf ninjas farther and farther into their own village and seizing more of their territory. The numbers continued to dwindle. It was only a matter of time before they crushed the remaining forces of the Leaf and completely took control of Konoha.
It had been nearly a year since Hinata's death and Naruto was still troubled by the sense of loneliness but more then that he was faced with the very real truth that he would likely outlive all of his friends. The Kyuubi would keep him alive during his battles while his remaining friends died around him. In the last year their forces had fallen from three hundred to twenty nine.
The Hokage had ordered them all to retreat three weeks ago saying that she would stay behind and kill as many of their enemy as she could. She would make them pay for the death of all their brothers and sisters. It seemed that the rest of the ninja agreed with her choice of action and decided to stay as well. When she told them it was an order that they leave, their response was that Konoha was no more and thus they had no more orders to follow. The only orders that remained were orders from the heart and their hearts all screamed the same thing. REVENGE. Their was no way they would save Konoha now. Now all they had was revenge. Kill as many as they could before they were crushed.
Naruto approached the last remaining holdfast of the leaf, their current makeshift headquarters. It was a rickety old building that sat against the base of the Hokage monument. It was the last place that anybody would think to find them as it looked about as run down as the rest of the buildings in the leaf but it worked just as well for their needs.
It had been three days since he was last here. He had been out on another mission. The 7th one this month and the month was not even done yet. He had become more and more reckless over the past several months. Both Sakura and Tsunade had tried to get him to be more careful saying that he was constantly coming back with deep cuts, broken bones and severe burns.
Naruto just laughed at them each time telling them that they worried to much. The Kyuubi would keep him alive he told them and in the mean time his recklessness was allowing him to kill lots of sound ninja. That of course was a fact that everybody could tell easily enough. Every time he returned he was covered in blood which was obviously not his. he would walk in, take a shower, grab something to eat and then immediately demand another mission. It was a never ending cycle.
Today of course was no different he told himself as he opened the door and stepped inside. He they were a mere twenty nine now. the sound was getting closer to them. He figured it would only be another month or two before he was the last one standing. He wanted to get as many of them as he could.
Naruto slowly walked down the hall on his way to see Shikamaru, he wanted to report the success of his raid and get another one assigned. He saw Sakura and tried to rush ahead to avoid the lecture that he knew was coming but of course she stopped him. "Damn it Naruto, I told you to take it easy. How many times do I have to tell you to slow down and think things through before you jump. Look at you, you're a mess." Yelled Sakura. Naruto laughed "You just worry to much Sakura, you know I'm not going to die. At least not before the rest of you. The Kyuubi will see to that unfortunately." And with that he continued on his way, leaving Sakura to worry alone about her friend.
Naruto headed down the hall to where Shikamaru would be sitting reviewing maps and data like he always did. It was a wonder that he did not complain more often about how troublesome this war was. He laughed at the thought and opened the door.
"Hey Shika, how's it shaking. I figured I would come and check in. Let you know that I got me 12 sound junnin" said Naruto. The Nara looked at him with lazy eyes "This war is so troublesome." Said Shikamaru. "At least you seem to be winning your battles. Maybe you could give some pointers to the rest of our ninja's because it seems that most of us are just getting our asses kicked." Naruto laughed. "Not everybody can be as good as I am Shika. Got anymore raids for me." Shikamaru shook his head. "yeah I got one but not until you go see the Hokage. She has been bitching at me about letting you go out constantly on these raids. Its just too troublesome to put up with so until you deal with her I'm staying out of it." The Nara said as he turned around to face his wife.
Naruto smiled. Who would have thought that Shikamaru would get married, and to Ino of all people. You would have thought that would have been the most troublesome thing of all. But he seemed to be fine with it. Love, what a strange thing Naruto mussed not for the first time. Naruto got up and headed out the door content to leave the two of them alone to their mushy romance. His heart was not suited for that stuff anymore. Just looking at it reminded him of her. He shook his head and proceeded outside the room to find the Hokage. He needed to get another raid to take his mind of things. It would not due to be thinking about this stuff now. he never wanted to think about any of them again, it just hurt to much.
Naruto Passed by Kiba and Lee on his way to the Hokage's make shift office at the back of the house and laughed at the scene folding out in front of him. Here was Sakura lecturing them just like she lectured him. And Lee of course followed up by begging for forgiveness and flirting endlessly with Sakura as he always did. His old friend has gotten used to the bushy browed ninjas antics over the years and found it sweet as well as funny now instead of embarrassing followed by Kiba yelling at Lee for volunteering his services. At least he still found some things amusing to some extent. The more things change the more they stay the same he said to himself. Kiba was still a hot head and Lee was still obsessed with Sakura. He continued on his way leaving Sakura to deal with the two of them.
Shikamaru stared at his pregnant wife. It was a cruel world he realized. She was a mere 4 months pregnant and every bit of his intuition was telling him that they would not last another 2 months here. He would loose his own life along with the life of his wife and unborn child and their was nothing any of them could do about it. He had tried to send her away when he found out she was with child. But of course she would hear none of that. She was a ninja just like him and she would not run from the people who had killed her family and friends and destroyed her life. The world was going to hell in a hand basket she had said, what does it matter if I die here with you now or along with our child a few years from now.
He could never truly argue with her on that point or any others. she always seemed to win despite his superior reasoning skills. Shikamaru got up and sat behind his wife gently leaning her against his chest like he always did. Ino smiled and relaxed against him. She had not been sleeping well lately and was quite tired, only every able to sleep peacefully when he was there holding her.
Shikamaru looked once again at his wife, his fear rising inside him as he thought about the end. He decided he would beg her one last time to leave, to get away from here now and give their child a chance at life. He sucked in a breath and dived in. "Ino…" Ino looked up at him and smiled. "yes dear". She laughed, he hated it when she called him that. "Ino I want to you leave Konoha. The end is near now and you know it. I want our child to have a chance at life."
Ino's smile instantly turned into a frown and she sat up suddenly not wanting to be leaning against her husband. "I told you I'm not leaving and that's final. There is nothing you can say or do that could possibly make me leave. This is my home as much as it is anybody else's. I want revenge for what they did as much as you." She yelled. Shikamaru breathed heavily. She was so stubborn.
"That's true but you can not even go out on missions anymore. At best you can hope to kill a few of them before they take you when the end comes. And even that's a maybe. You are not exactly in the best shape to fight right now Ino. For once in your life be reasonable." Ino sighed. She knew he was right but she didn't want to leave him. She surrendered herself to her fate, it was time to leave. They had given this child life and now its life had to come first no matter how much it hurt. But perhaps she could convince the Hokage to get Shikamaru to leave with her. She decided she would go see her right away. "Alright Shikamaru but only if you come with me. You own this child your life as much as I do. If I must leave my revenge behind then so must you. We will go together to the Hokage and get her to let us leave."
Shikamaru sighed. It was so troublesome. She had him and he knew it and all the advanced intellect in the world was not going to be able to get him out of this situation. "Very well. Lets go." And with that they stood and headed for the Hokage.
Naruto approached the Hokage's office and brisk pace wanting to get this over with as quick as possible. It always seemed that the old women treated him like a kid still despite his age. He was 22 years old now and she still treated him like he was 12. He supposed she just felt overly protective of him because he reminded her of her little brother and her husband so much but even still it annoyed Naruto to no end.
He entered the office and threw himself into the chair in front of her desk as he always did. "What the hell do you want now Obaa-chan. I'm trying to get another mission here and your stopping me so hurry up and lecture me already so I can get back out their and kill me some more snakes." Yelled Naruto. Tsunade looked at him and shook her head. He was always like this. Not really abusive but loud. He hated that she tried to restrain him a bit and she hated watching him through himself into harms way all the time. They never seemed to see eye to eye on this matter. "I think its time you take a break for a few days Naruto. You have been at it for nearly a month straight. You have been on raid after raid without spending more then a few hours in between here at headquarters relaxing. Your going to get yourself killed and the rest of us do not want to see you gone so soon." Tsunade said in a motherly tone.
Naruto glared at her. Did she really think he was going to just sit on his hands just because she told him too. If she did she had another thing coming. "Like hell old woman. I'm going back out their weather you like it or not. I am going to kill as many of those bastards as I can before I die and that's a promise. Besides there is nothing here for me anyways." And with that he got up from his chair, turned around and immediately froze in place.
In front of him was the one person he did not think he would ever see again. An old friend of whom he had last seen at Hinata's funeral. He had left with his brother and sister the next day to return to the sand and everybody just assumed that he would not be able to make it back through with the war going so badly.
"Gaara… what… how… I mean when did you get here" stammered Naruto. The red head looked at him with dark eyes and the side of his mouth ever so slightly curled up. "It seems you have some sort of a death wish Uzumaki Naruto. I would have thought you had better sense then that." Said Gaara. Naruto smiled. And moved forward. "Yeah well you know me, I'm not exactly the sharpest kunai in the pouch but I get the job done." Naruto grabbed Gaara and pulled him into an embrace. "it's good to see you my friend. I did not think we would see each other again."
Gaara stiffened at the sensation of being hugged. Naruto was the only person he would allow to do such a thing without immediately killing the person afterwards. Even so he had never quite gotten used to the sensation despite it being a normal part of his Naruto's greeting ritual. "The Hokage tells me that you have some time off now. I decided we would … hang out… as you say it while your still alive." Naruto Laughed at the look on the boys face. He doubted that Gaara had ever just hung out in his entire life. This was probably a ploy put in place by Obaa-chan to get him to relax. Even still he supposed it would be good to relax a little if it meant seeing his friend again. "Yeah apparently I do have a few days off so I supp-"
Naruto was cut off by a knock on the door followed by a very determined looking Ino entering the room, and being dragged behind her was Shikamaru who was just radiating a "this is so troublesome" aura. Ino walked right by Naruto and up to the Hokage's Desk.
"Tsunade I want you to let me and Shikamaru leave through the escape tunnels. Shika insists that I leave for the sake of the child and I agree with him but I refuse to let him off the hock so easily. His lazy ass is going to take care of me and this baby if it is the last thing he does so help me god."
Tsunade smiled. She had wondered when Shikamaru would finally convince Ino to leave and she knew that when he did that there was no way she would leave without Shikamaru. She had been waiting for them to come and had even gone so far as to drop subtle hints here and there that she would let them go if they only asked.
"Well its about time the two of you got your priorities straight. I was beginning to think I was going to have to have Naruto drag your asses out of the city and chain you to a bed at some inn far from here so that you stayed away. But at least you finally came to your senses." Said Tsunade.
Ino blinked surprisingly, well that was easier then she thought it was going to be. If she had known it would be this easy she would have dragged his ass in here weeks ago. She would have to blame Shikamaru for that later, after all there's no way it could be her fault. She was too perfect and besides, its always the mans fault. She laughed. "so you mean you will let us leave?" Ino asked.
"I will do better then that. Naruto you wanted a mission well why don't you and Gaara escort the two of them to the escape tunnels and see to it that they get out of here. Then you can sit back and take a break for a few days."
Naruto smiled. He was happy to see that at least two of his precious people would live on. "sounds like a plan. Just let me get cleaned up and we can leave in a few hours if their ready." Ino looked at him with a smile on her face. Their could be nobody better to escort them to safety. "We'll be ready Naruto. And thank you." She turned to Tsunade "thank you for all you have done Tsunade. I'm sure that you will all sur-" that was as far as she got. At that exact second an explosion rang out from the front of the house and the whole place shook violently. Gaara saw the flames coming down the hall and heard the second explosion to sound in the sleeping quarters of to the left. He had just enough time to grab Naruto, pull him close and wrap them in a shield of sand before the flames engulfed the room and another explosion went off right above them.
Naruto shook in the darkness. What the hell had just happened. He had to be dreaming. Why would their being explosions here. They should never have found them here. They had been careful to hide their base of operations and they hade protected it with several powerful genjutsu. It should not have been possible.
He stayed like that for what seemed like hours but in reality was only a few minutes. Held in place by Gaara and then finally he was released and he tried to escape the prison of sand to get to his friends. He through himself against the wall, slowly breaking it down as the outer layer had been turned to solid glass from the intense heat. What he saw when he emerged on the other side of the barrier made him sick.
Ino laid dead on the ground, burned to a crisp with Shikamaru huddled overtop of her trying to protect her from the heat. Tsunade was likewise burned and impaled to the wall by a piece of wood that had flown loose from the explosions. The rooms were still on fire. Naruto quickly pulled himself together and put out the fires with water jutsus. He frantically ran through the house looking for survivors. He had to find somebody, anybody. He needed to find Sakura. She was the only family he had left now, she had to be alive.
He rushed to front of the building where he had last seen her and began ripping pieces of debris from the floor franticly looking for any sign of the pink haired girl. And then he found her. Pinned beneath several pieces of the ceiling. They had protected her from the fire for all the good it did her. She was barely alive, a long piece of metal piping lodged through her chest. She could tell that she had severe internal damages. Their would be nothing he could do for her. "Hang on Sakura, its ok, your going to be fine. I just need to get this piece of pipe out of you and then I will heal you up good as new. You can count on me right. After all im… the fu-future ho-ho-hok" he couldn't get the rest out, he broke down into tears crying over her. She knew as well as he did that it was useless.
"shhh, shh, it's ok Na-Naruto. I'm fine re-really. i just need to re-rest a bit and then I will be good as new". She smiled at him, blood running out the side of her mouth. She coughed, spraying blood from her mouth. She reached her hand up and cupped his face with it. "I'm sorry I won't be here to comfort you this time". a single tear feel from her eye and rolled down her check, she took one last shaky breath as her hand fell from his face and she breathed no more.
Naruto was beside himself. He felt a deep overwhelming sadness like he had never felt before. Everybody he had ever loved was gone. He was the last surviving leaf ninja and he could not even save his best friend. He raised his head to the sky and let loose a blood curdling scream to the heavens to let them know how he felt about their justice. "AHHHHHHHHHH!!!".
There is still a possibility that you could bring them back kit. Said the Kyuubi. Naruto's eyes lit up with anger. Fuck you, you stupid fox. I wish you were out here right now so I could kick your ass just like the Forth did. You just shut the fuck up
The Kyuubi chuckled. Well don't we have quite the temper and such a colorful vocabulary too. you want to see colorful, I will show you colorful and with that Naruto went into a rant throwing every profane word he could think of at the Kyuubi. By the time he was done he was actually physically yelling at the Kyuubi with Gaara standing behind him wondering what the fox could have possibly said to get him this pissed off.
By this time the Kyuubi was fed up with the young boys antics and snapped at him. You dare call yourself the future Hokage. A Hokage is supposed to listen to everything and base his decision off of the information at hand. You are nothing but a scared weak little boy. You are a hypocrite.
What the fuck to you mean a hypocrite you stupid fox. And I am not scared. I am afraid of nothing. I'll kill every fucking sound ninja out there. I will have my revenge.
You are a hypocrite because you said you would do anything to save your friends, anything to have them safe and yet when the time comes to do just that you instead think only of yourself and your revenge. You are nothing but a close minded little boy. You could never be a Hokage. The snake Sannin would make a better Hokage then you, at least he is strong. Barked the Kyuubi knowing the boy would respond to that.
Naruto instantly shut up and paled. How could the fox possibly think that the snake would be a better Hokage. And what did he mean by their being a way to save his friends.
Ok fox tell me your plan. How do I save them. How do I bring back my precious people. Asked Naruto in a defeated tone.
The Kyuubi smirked inwardly. He knew that would work. you don't bring them back.
What? You just sa-
Shut up and let me finish… You don't bring them back… You simply stop them from ever dieing in the first place.
Huh? How the hell do I do that. Stop talking in bloody riddles you damn fox.
Must I spell everything out for you kit. You simply go back and stop the war from ever starting. You stop the snake from invading, stop him from gaining a foothold, simply prevent all the events that led to your downfall. Do that and your friends will live.
Naruto Blinked. What the hell was the fox talking about. Had that explosion jumbled his non-existent brains or something and made him stupider then he already was. And how in the hell am I supposed to go back in time and stop all this from happening Mr. I'm the big bad fox that knows it all.
Did they teach you nothing in this damn village. I suppose it would have been a forbidden jutsu since you humans are all so bloody week but its nothing for a demon like me. And since you're my host you can use it too. Of course your probably to stupid to use it so I will have to walk you through the steps. As for how you prevent all this from happening. Well you will have to figure that out. I mean I know you humans are stupid but I imagine you should be able to figure at least that much out by yourself.
Naruto sneered and ignored the comments about his intelligence made by the Kyuubi. Instead he focused on the possibilities. He had nothing to loose at this point and as much as he hated the Kyuubi when he spoke like this the truth was they had gotten along much better over the years. They had established somewhat of an understanding and had melded with each other further. He had given the fox more freedom and brought him closer to his mind while the Kyuubi freely melded a large portion of his chakra with the boy and gave him easy access to the rest. He knew he could trust what the fox was saying but it was still hard to believe.
Naruto was brought out of his thoughts when Gaara put his hand on his shoulder. "I believe you should take the chance my friend but you should do it quickly. The enemy approaches. I shall give you the team you need" and with that Gaara ran from the wreckage of the building into the open to engage the enemy. Naruto stretched his senses out to keep track of his last remaining friend.
Alright fox. Tell me how to do this. Well your to stupid to remember all the seals by heart so I will have to tell you them one by one while you meld your chakra properly. Be sure to get it right kit. One mistake and you will kill us both.
With that the pair began performing the jutsu. The Kyuubi barking out commands and seals while Naruto melded the chakra as directed and performed the matching seal. He had almost finished when he heard Gaara scream and could feel him no more. A tear came to his eye as he said a silent goodbye to his friend and thanked him for the delay.
Naruto performed that last seal and screamed the jutsu out as a level 3 curse seal ninja jumped at him. The last thing he remembered was seeing the huge fist flying towards him and expecting to go flying across the room. But he felt nothing. Instead the ninja just flew by and everything spun. He felt his entire body going numb as his vision swam in front of him. Just before his vision went black he saw the blood red outline of the Kyuubi floating above him. he saw the fox reach out and grab a hold of him with one of its tail and then took off running.
Ok I have rewritten this chapter completely. I hope that everybody likes it. Let me know what you think.
Well until next time. take care and REVIEW.