Hey there. So this is just a little idea I had that I felt like I should run with. It's just a little blurb of an intro, and I plan to work on it some more. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this and hope you like it.
The Valley of the End is a majestic place, a place of legend. Its waters, like time itself, have flowed gracefully by, bearing silent witness to the actions of the world around it. It is said that the 1st and 2nd Hokages had fought a fierce battle within its towering granite walls, their blood spilling into the hallowed river that courses into the ocean. But eventually, perhaps inevitably, the ocean current leads the water back to the mouth of the river from whence it came, leaving it free to surge through the valley once more.
No one really knows how the valley got its name. For one person, though, it was perfectly named. It had been the ending of a friendship, the ending of a rivalry. The ending of his life as he knew it. In most cases, the end is absolute: unalterable. But this particular person didn't know how to give up, and he couldn't just leave the situation as it was. His name is Uzumaki Naruto, and he would fight against all odds to get his friend back. This wasn't the end for him and Sasuke. He wouldn't let it be the end.
He struggled to his feet, his body bruised and aching. Seeing his friend's, his brother's Konoha headband discarded on the ground next to him only added to the immense feeling of defeat that he was already feeling. His left arm, which went numb during the fight, was now pulsing with pain, and he could barely walk.
"Damnit! I have to…catch up with him…"
It was no use, however. He could only manage to take a few steps before collapsing. He strained his neck, looking up at the two Hokages. He didn't know what it was, but it was a sight that made him feel small and helpless. He didn't want to move anymore. He just stayed there, basking in the enormity of his failure. An image of Sakura's sad face flashed in his mind. He had remembered what he said to her.
"Don't worry, Sakura-chan! Sasuke would never join that bastard. He doesn't have to since he's already really strong! I guarantee it."
He had been wrong. He had guaranteed her that it wouldn't happen, but it did. It was the first time in his life that something he had promised had been broken. Guaranteeing that Sasuke wouldn't leave was the same as giving his word. But he had broken his promise, a promise that he had given the one he loved more than anyone else. He remembered a distraught Sakura pouring out her feelings to him, begging him to get Sasuke back for her. And once again, he promised her that he would. Yet here he was, and Sasuke was gone. The image lingered, Sakura's sad, crying face.
"No way…" he thought. "No way am I going to break my promise to her! I'll get Sasuke back if it's the last thing I do!"
He got to his feet. He had only now just realized that it was raining, his feet beginning to sink in the mud. Cursing, he trudged forward, carrying the burden of a promise on his shoulders.
Kakashi and Pakkun hurried to the Valley of The End.
"You sure they're this way?" Kakashi asked.
"No mistaking it, although the rain has cleaned their scents, this was the last direction I sensed them," said the small ninja dog.
Kakashi blamed himself for this. His words to Sasuke about vengence had obviously gone unheard. The way Naruto and Sasuke had fought on top of the hospital roof, he should have foreseen this.
"Forgive me, Sasuke…Naruto…" he apologized in his thoughts
"God, please, don't let me be too late…"
He could see the clearing up ahead, and he ran towards it. Pakkun right behind him, the two of them emerged from the trees in a dead sprint. Kakashi stopped, in shock.
Pakkun finished his thoughts for him. "Looks like there was one hell of a fight here."
Parts of the valley wall had been completely destroyed, and in some areas the ground seemed scorched, with hot embers still visible mixed within the rocks.
"Sasuke's fire jutsu…"
Kakashi jumped down into the valley, frantically searching for any sign of his students. He found none.
"Where could they have gone?"
With a whistle, all of his faithful dog companions were at his side in an instant.
"Do any of you have their location?" he asked hopefully.
He watched as they all shook their heads.
"Damnit!" he yelled in frustration. He fell to his knees, pounding the soft earth with both fists.
"No, they have to be here!" He got back up and ordered his dogs to search once more. "Leave no stone unturned, search the whole area!"
They did as he asked, but after a half hour of searching the two genin were nowhere to be seen.
"You're not looking hard enough!" he yelled at them, "what a worthless bunch of mutts you are!"
"Kakashi…that's enough. We must accept the fact that they are not here, and return to Konoha to report to Godaime."
Kakashi sighed. "You're right, I'm sorry Pakkun. I just feel like if I stop looking, I'll be leaving them behind…"
With his head drooped low, he turned around and headed back to the village hidden in the leaves.
Sakura waited at the hospital anxiously. The medical team they had sent out to find the group that had went after Sasuke had already returned. With the exception of Shikamaru, all of them were in bad shape. Both Tsunade and Shizune had their hands full trying to recuperate them. Sakura was worried about the others, but mostly she worried about her two teammates. She had seen the way they both fought each other on the roof. That time, they were really beating each other up, and even resorted to using jutsu that could have killed one another. If Kakashi hadn't been there to stop it… she didn't even want to think about what would have happened. Ino, her long time rival and friend, was also quite worried. Her teammate Chouji was in a critical state of health.
"Hey, you two," called a familiar voice from across the room, "don't like so worried. It's as if you're already planning their funeral already."
It was Lee. He had run off to help the group, but had comeback with minor injuries along with the Sand ninja.
"Chouji is being treated by Tsunade-sama herself, the one who defied all odds and was able to make me fight again, even when all other doctors told me it was impossible."
Ino looked a little more cheered up, and Lee turned to Sakura.
"Naruto-kun is an excellent ninja, and won't be beaten so easily. I'm sure he and Sasuke-kun are on their way here now.
At that moment, Kakashi entered through the main doors of the hospital. All three of them rushed to him.
"Did you find them?" Sakura asked desperately.
Kakashi looked down at his student. She was the only one left…team 7 was no more.
"If you want to know, follow me. I'm about to go give my report to Tsunade-sama."
She glanced sideways at Lee and Ino, who urged her to go along with him.
"Tell us everything later," Ino whispered to Sakura as she and Kakashi walked off.
In the emergency room, Tsunade was feeling absolutely exhausted.
"We did it!" said the medical ninja, giving her an update. "Chouji Akimichi is in stable condition!"
"Phew…" was all she could say as she leaned backward into her chair, every inch of her being was drained of energy.
"That's good to hear."
Tsunade turned to see Kakashi and Sakura standing there.
"So what's the news? How are Sasuke and Naruto?"
"The truth is…I don't know."
Sakura's eyes widened as she looked up at her sensei. Tsunade, despite being worn out, leapt from her chair and demanded an explaination.
"Pakkun and I tracked them as far as the Valley of the End. When we got there, there were signs of a massive battle, but neither one was still around. And since the rain covered their tracks…" his voice trailed off.
"Then, we don't know where either of them are, or what happened to them?" The Fifth Hokage looked extremely concerned. Sakura was dreading the answer.
"The only thing we can say for sure," he said, "is that Naruto caught up to Sasuke, and they fought. Who won, what happened after that…we have no idea of knowing. They're simply…gone."
"Sasuke and Naruto. Both of them. Gone?" Sakura couldn't believe what she was hearing. She ran out of the room, tears falling down her face.
Kakashi closed his eyes tightly. He had let them all down. All of them. His three students, who depended on him, he had let them down. Tsunade cursed. She had no idea whether Sasuke had made it to Orochimaru. She had no idea what happened, period. For all she knew, Sasuke was with her old teammate right now, planning the destruction of Konoha. But, above all else, she was worried about the little runt who had put his life on the line for her. He had put his dreams in jeopardy just to prove to her that he was capable of becoming Hokage. The boy had grown on her, and reminded her of both her old love and her brother.
"Naruto…" she thought, "wherever you are, please be okay."
Sakura just kept on running. She ran past Lee and Ino in the lobby, ignoring their calls to her. She just ran. She had no idea where she was going. Usually, when she felt bad, she could turn to Naruto, but he wasn't here. Her one and only love, Sasuke, was wasn't here. She felt like her world was falling apart around her. She was just taking random turns onto various streets, she didn't know where she was anymore. Out of breath, she stopped, but her tears still fell. People just watched her as she fell on her knees, sobbing. Covering her face, she wailed into her hands even louder, screaming out at the world, her soul burning in pain, her heart in a million pieces.