A/N: Hey...been a year. And this is it. The end of Defiled by Her Blood. The final chapter. I'm happy to say that this is how I envisioned it ending.
For those of you that enjoyed this work, thanks for the reviews. I hope you read my other stuff and give me incentive to finish.
Naruto and all related names and locations belong to Masashi Kishimoto
Humans consider themselves to be 'evolved.' This arrogance comes from the many forms of art and warfare they have developed over the centuries. However in the grand scheme of nature humans have actually in many cases 'devolved.'
The average human cannot sense earthquakes until they are under their own feet, smell beyond a set, and sadly small, distance, and have even developed suicidal tendencies, subverting our own drive to survive and live.
But as in many cases, those that no longer think of such distinctions ignore them completely.
As the most powerful punch to come from Konoha careened for her head Ino's body moved forward then back avoiding the blow by instinct alone. The tree she had been knocked against was blown backward, groaning all the while, into the distance between four others, entangling their branches.
Ino gasped. She wriggled out from under her elder and moved to Tsunade's rear.
"I've been wondering," Tsunade said softly as she turned to face Ino, "Why didn't you kill yourself?"
Ino started, but kept her face calm.
"Oh? Won't even give me that. Well how about a trade?" Tsunade asked holding her hand as a show of peace. "Did you know someone was supposed to die that night?"
"What?" Ino asked.
Tsunade laughed, "Well not really. The entire plan was to mortally wound a genin who communicated constantly with her father, a known terrorist and missing-nin. But the stupid little girl couldn't keep herself from having to piss every five minutes in the rain and spotted one of the ANBU team. You know the rest.
"So tell me, why didn't you kill yourself Ino?"
Ino's lips shook, "S-Suicide is a coward's way of dealing with their problems," she finally admitted.
Tsunade snorted, she remembered Asuma once saying something like that to her. "A good answer. So sit still," Tsunade exploded into motion. She leapt over a dozen feet and lifted one leg to crash it down on Ino, who avoided the attack and its subsequent crater only to be kicked in her spine by a secondary attack made just after Tsunade landed, "AND DIE!"
Ino rolled along the ground sputtering and coughing. She finally stopped and pushed herself up to her hands and knees. Blood dribbled down her chin from her mouth and at least two head wounds.
"WHY NOT! WHAT GOOD IS YOUR LIFE NOW!"
Ino clenched her fists, digging into the soil with her fingers. An image of Naruto over her, smiling at her, filled her mind. "I don't want to be without him."
Tsunade bristled, knowing full well who Ino meant.
"I owe it to him to try and make amends."
A rough hand grabbed her ponytail and wrenched her head back so she was forced to look upwards. Tsunade's breath played teasingly against her ear, "Atone with your life."
The powerful kunoichi hefted her victim and threw her at one of the few remaining unscathed trees around the clearing. The younger woman collided with her chest knocking the wind out of her and crunching several ribs. Ino cried out and fell limply to the ground, her arms and legs twitching.
"That may be internal bleeding," Tsunade called as she sauntered quite casually up to Ino, "Not a good thing that."
The older of the two blondes tapped Ino's side with her foot. Ino screamed, as best she could considering her damage, and cringed away from the aging warrioress. Tsunade spat to the side and cracked her knuckles again.
"Come now Ino. This is hardly fitting for a veteran of Konoha. Stand. Fight. If you wish to live so badly then please by all means," Tsunade crouched down and put her hands around Ino's throat, "struggle with all that's left in you.
Ino wriggled, but Tsunade's strength was great. However Ino wondered absently if she would even feel her neck break, or if Tsunade would make her suffer more. Ino closed her eyes, accepting her death.
"Goddamn it. This is my lot in life."
The pessimistic voice came right after the sound of boot meeting bone. Tsunade started, her neck cracked. But her grip remained. "Impressive," the Hokage said as she released on subordinate to stare down another. "Are you prepared for the consequences of this Nyosai?"
The ANBU captain straightened his posture. "Maybe. I never knew you would stoop this low Hokage-sama. No…Tsunade," he paused and smiled behind his mask, "Bachan."
The calm face of a practiced killer broke and revealed how inflamed by rage Tsunade was. The terrible look upon her countenance made Nyosai shudder. In the fractions of a second in which his guard was compromised Tsunade had thrown herself forward. He tried to counter her first attack, but could not hope to stop the second or third.
Each blow was like a sledge hammer against a tire, except Nyosai's ribcage and gut were nowhere near as flexible as a tire.
Snapping in pain from the blows Nyosai groaned loudly, tumbling back and to the side. He resisted the urge to crumble and fall long enough to plunge a well aimed thumb into Tsunade's left eye. She roared, kicked out in response, and struck Nyosai's knee. Ino nearly vomited at the sound of bone breaking coupled with the image of the ninja falling to the ground, crippled and twisting.
Tsunade pulled her hand away from her face and saw blood, felt blood. She could still see, which Ino was amazed by. Slowly, and with purpose Tsunade turned toward her original prey.
"To think a mere year has passed since it happened. And in that time you have wrought so much damage." Tsunade swept her arm outward. "You join the ranks of the ANBU and my apprentice is killed." She did not add by whom, "An up and coming member of the Hyuuga clan's few ANBU members causes a ruckus and loses status inside and outside the clan. A high ranking infiltration expert who has finished more A-rank missions than you've had periods has turned against me.
"And what's more." Tsunade stalked forward, her honey brown eyes distorted by rage and the blood welling in her left, "you've taken something that was never supposed to belong to you!"
Tsunade stood over Ino.
The two looked deep into the other's eyes.
Ino saw a sad old woman, clinging to the few people she loved and loves dearly.
Tsunade saw a pathetic girl who held something precious but had no claim to it.
Tsunade's time was almost up. The special herbal mix that had increased her speed and squeezed the last vestiges or raw power out of her body was already losing effect. Tsunade had made and taken the potion merely to even herself with Ino's score on the ANBU exams, however Tsunade did not know of how rundown Ino was, and that would ultimately by her downfall.
The blow would have pulverized Ino's body. If it hit anywhere but her chest the effect would seem like a bomb had gone off from the inside of her body. Striking the head would have been a mere cascade of blood and atomized bone. It would have been the chest hit, centered between Ino's full breasts that would have made her death so spectacular.
The force from such a strike would have rendered Ino's physical core nothing more than putty, a few scraps of meat and bone and limbs.
But the single flaw in Tsunade's amazing power had always been its method of transference. Compacted chakra, released at impact. Like a static shock it needed something to ground out in to take effect.
So when Naruto grabbed Tsunade's wrist not only did her normal attack lose its force, but the blow's chakra dispersed harmlessly as a breeze that wafted over Ino's face.
Silence radiated from where Uzumaki Naruto stood. He held the wrist of Tsunade so tightly it was if he was holding her up, which as the potion lost its potency, he was. Tears welled in her eyes, more from the shame of this situation than the pain of Naruto's grip.
"Why?" Tsunade asked.
His ANBU mask obscured his features, but it did not hold back the disdain in his words, "Because I promised Sakura I'd protect Ino. And I promised her grave I'd kill her murderer. If you kill her Tsunade, I will fail in both."
He released the Hokage, who tumbled to her knees and seemed to wither before Ino. Naruto looked down at the younger blonde and held out his hand. "Come on. We need to get you and Nyosai to the hospital. Tsunade doesn't have the chakra to heal either of you right now."
As he helped his lover up Tsunade hiccupped and wiped the drying blood from her cheek.
Two weeks passed as Ino healed. The incident was labeled, with affirmations from Ino and Nyosai both, as a training exercise that went wrong. The hospital believed it merely because only Shizune had seen the damage that Tsunade could do, and she did not aid in the treatment of either ANBU.
Tsunade herself grew weak. The potion she had concocted to make killing Ino easier had drained her more than would have been though possible. Shizune and Naruto, who has told the attendant Tsunade was making a new type of soldier pill in secret, deduced it was a combination of the stress she suffered during Pein's attack years ago.
While her body weakened Tsunade's mind grew sharper. However she did not offer Naruto any explanation for her actions or the motives behind them.
"Did you want Sakura to die on that mission?" he asked bluntly on the last day of her treatment after Shizune had left the room.
Tsunade was sitting on an examination table, her hands in her lap, and her face downcast. Naruto had to admit, even at her worse she still kept herself beautiful. It didn't help she had refused to wear a robe her size and instead chose a comfier, and larger, one that didn't close properly.
She was silent for a long time. "Will you hate me if I answer?"
The Jinchuuriki closed his eyes, "I could never hate you Tsunade."
He was being honest.
Tsunade looked at him out of the corner of her eyes, her left had in fact lost some of its sight she would learn within the next week.
Quietly, like a child she answered him.
Naruto closed his eyes, stood and put a hand on his shoulder. Shizune entered as Naruto left the room and all she would tell those who would ask later was that Tsunade cried for a very long time, much like she would when Jiraya's birthday would near.
Yamanaka Ino, who was more physically hurt than spiritually, did not speak to anyone as she recovered beyond the odd 'Thank you,' 'Yes please,' and 'Those aren't mine.' She kept to herself and thought over the last year. She still could not sleep, even the drugs they gave her would only take effect long enough for the specter of her best friend to appear, shocking Ino into a series of screaming spasms.
A specialist checked her and announced she needed a special type of sleeping drug that would totally block out her dreaming state. They helped, marginally.
Naruto, who visited her every day, revealed after being asked that he had left a sensor seal on her house. He mentioned it helped Tsunade wasn't very good with anything besides charging seals. When the seal has to use chakra she always puts in too much. The revelation made Ino take pause. She did not remember when or if Naruto had time to do it. But the combination of her problems from before the fight, compounded by the fight's after effects on her body, made her also sometimes forget she and Naruto had become lovers.
The day she asked "Why did you save me?" was one of the hardest in Ino's life. She wanted, needed, to know. The simple explanation Naruto gave, a mere repeat of what he had said to Tsunade that night, left Ino wanting.
Four years later, Naruto proposed to his lover on the day of his coronation. The whole of Konoha cheered as Ino took the ring and kissed Naruto deeply. Only a certain old woman heard her say: Only if you answer that question.
Naruto himself had pondered the reasoning behind his salvation of the woman who killed his Sakura-chan. Some part of him, mayhap the one that is charmed by a certain power, only thinks of Ino as that much. The murderer of Sakura. But it was the part of Naruto that wanted recognition and affection that chose to save her, despite the obvious feelings he had toward her death.
The time it took the blonde, who had never been one for such detail explanations of his thoughts, took hours. Ino patiently listened, only stopping him once, to eat. He fumbled over his words many times and kept going back to those two old promises.
Ino understood, for the most part. The level of understanding was the same as when Naruto found Ino would bring her ANBU sword to bed with her. After the events with Tsunade four years ago she had cleaned the stained blade, but it never lose its red sheen, much to the chagrin of the murderess, who viewed it as a bad omen.
The night of Naruto's first day as the Hokage is also the night his first child was conceived. The child was a girl, her eyes were a light sea green, which Naruto found out belong to his grandfather.
On the day of the birth Hinata left the hospital crying, she didn't understand why her suggestion for a name had made Ino so angry. The girl really did look like her.
Time passed slowly for the Uzumaki household. Ino aged well, even better than Tsunade, who had taken the blonde under her wing soon after Sakumi-chan had been weaned from her mother's breast. Even as she neared sixty Ino's face barely showed signs of lines or stress.
Her husband, the reigning and benevolent Hokage aged even less. As he reached his final growth spurt Naruto stopped aging visibly. Only a faint whisper of grey in his blond hair gave any clue to his true age.
Many people believed it was this fact, and the rumors both Uzumakis remained quite virile that gave tense relations with their children. In truth Sakumi, now a captain in the ANBU never did get along with her mother. The two would argue constantly and there were times Ino would cling to her old ANBU sword and mutter about how stupid Hinata was.
Needless to say Uzumaki Sakumi was never happier than when her father suggested they help her get her own apartment.
Naruto's twin sons were more estranged towards their father. They, being unnaturally empathetic, felt at times a great vibration between their parents. Even when both seemed happy there was this air of something they could not place. Ino had always been macabre and dark, especially when she was told a fourth Uzumaki child was on the way, but even more so when Naruto would talk of his younger days.
Then there was the one name.
No one said it.
No one wanted to.
Only Uzumaki Shiji made the mistake of uttering it when he told his mother he had found the perfect name for his own daughter. The sounds of yelling echoed through their neighborhood for hours before he stormed out of the house, a look of anger and murder in his deep sea green eyes.
On Ino's sixtieth birthday her children, all four, earned her ire for the final time, a split that would never mend in the Uzumaki family. The twins took their mother's old sword, which was rusted and broken beyond repair, and had it reforged. They left the village to have it done so they did not see Ino's rampage of anger and despair that had the whole of the Uzumaki household in an uproar.
Naruto came home from a diplomatic mission to find all the servants in the house leaving resignations and his home ruined, torn asunder by his wife's unnatural anger. The realization of why calmed what fury had been rising in the patriarch of the family.
Such resignation infuriated Sakumi who yelled at her father for kowtowing to her mother's arrogance and selfishness. She screamed for so long her voice eventually broke. She had been looking for the sword with her husband before Ino had attacked her, screaming for her to leave. Sakumi, who had always taken the brunt of Ino's rage, fought back for the first time and renounced her mother.
Despite this Naruto told Sakumi something that night.
No one, not even her brothers know what their father told her, all they know is that Sakumi swore she would never go back to that house, nor recognize those who built it as her parents.
When the sword, in its new form and sheathe were returned Ino all but disowned the twins demanding they undo their gift and bring her back her sword. Sensing their mother's rage, and how unfathomably deep it was, they left the house and like their sister never returned.
Uzumaki Shiji was killed in a skirmish with the Hidden Mist two years later.
Sakumi and Naruto were present at his funeral, but did not speak to each other, save for this brief interlude.
Forty-two years after the death of Haruno Sakura…
"Hokage-sama," she said curtly.
Naruto winced. So much about Sakumi saddened him. The fact she could not even call him 'father' anymore was what hurt the most. But he knew why. She of all people understood, or at least tried to, why their household was such a cursed place.
He turned from his son's coffin to her. Despite his best attempts his face scrunched in memory. It was not only her eyes, but her face, forehead, and even how she wore her hair reminded him entirely of Sakura. Naruto knew full well that it was impossible. Neji had even suggested Naruto was merely reacting to what Hinata said.
In truth no one else thought the two had any semblance.
"Yes," he answered softly.
"What measures are you taking about this?" Sakumi was next to her daughters. The women both towered over their mother. They almost were as tall as Naruto, who had crested six feet four inches. Both had a sad look on their face. Despite their best attempts Naruto and Ino had given birth to Shiji shortly before Sakumi's own first pregnancy, so his nieces and he had always been close.
Naruto almost didn't understand what she meant, "We are hunting the survivors of the scouting party as we speak."
Sakumi's intense gaze wafted over those assembled. "I see that your wife," she almost spat the word, "Is not here."
Naruto fiddled with his dosu, "She is leading the search party."
Sakumi's prominent brow furrowed. Her moth-Ino had not been active for a decade or more. "That is…"
"She does love you Sakumi-chan. She loves all of you." He made sure to indicate her entire family. One he did not see so often anymore.
Sakumi rubbed her face, a well hidden scar the meaning of the attention. "Yes. I believe she does," Sakumi turned her back to her father, "Otherwise how could she also hate me so intently for something that's your fault?"
Naruto winced again at the jab. But she was right. His genes had somehow given her the appearance that had driven Ino into a rage whenever Sakumi corrected her mother or tried to show how smart she was.
Naruto sighed deeply and turned to the coffin. He put a hand on the lid, next to the picture of his boy. Tears welled in his eyes and he held them a bay by leaning his head back.
"We've found them Hokage-sama," Ino's voice transmitted to him.
The Rokudaime Hokage took his leave of his village, his ceremonial funeral garb shifting fluidly into his shinobi gear. The entire population of Konoha gave Uzumaki Naruto a wide berth. For the Fox of the land Fire was going hunting.
Naruto, Ino, and four ANBU guards sat around a circle detailing the movements of the Mist.
"They will circle toward the canyon to try and find a place to heal. There are only five of them. But they all survived Shiji-sama's assault and have formidable summoning jutsu," Naruto's personal guard, ironically the son of Hyuuga Hasuki.
Naruto rubbed his face. "Very well. Fuyutski and I will move ahead. Ino and Ginjo will swoop around the flanks following us. We'll transmit to you if we come upon the group. Do the same."
All three nodded and dashed off. Naruto motioned for Fuyutski to go ahead before he slowly made several hand seals.
Ino's movements were fluid and wasted no motion. In her long tenure as an ANBU she never thought she would live, or last, to be fighting enemies at her age. Stopping in a low hanging branch Ino touched her face and sighed as she felt the softness and youth in her skin. Even after arguing with herself for the better part of her forties she had resorted to using Tsunade's technique. While her face remained fine it was the rest of her that needed the physical boost.
It didn't help Naruto still ravaged her like he was twenty.
The thought brought back memories.
I can't really say Uzumaki-san other than you are pregnant again.
But…I've…that is impossible! The wound to my stomach-
Nevertheless, it seems the gods of fertility blessed you twice!
Ino scoffed and began to move. As she leapt from branch to branch she clenched her fists and had to shake her head to hold back tears.
"WHY CAN'T I DO IT! You dye your hair!" Sakumi yelled furiously.
"I'm not saying you can't dye your hair. Just not that color! EVER!"
"BECAUSE I AM YOUR MOTHER!"
Sakumi clenched her teeth and her fists, "Why are you only ever my mother when I'm doing something that pisses you off! Are you so hung up on that stupid friend of yours that got killed that-"
The sound of Ino's sword across her daughter's cheek was soft, almost a whisper. But the scream of pain brought every servant in the building.
"My god! Uzumaki-sama! Her face!"
"Ino! INO WHAT DID YOU DO!"
She passed by a clearing and sighed.
What is wrong with that name mother? I think it's beautiful!
I don't care. I hate that name. Don't use it.
I'm not like Sakumi. I won't do something just because you tell me not to. But at least explain to me why!
I CAN'T! AND YOU WOULD NEVER UNDERSTAND! You're just like your father Shiji! You say you want to know and understand when all you'll do is judge me!
I'm not like father! Sakumi isn't like your friend! We're not who you keep saying we're like mother! If you forget that then you might as well forget we truly exist! FINE! If this is how you feel FINE! But I will not have my marriage ruined by your feelings like you did to Sakumi's!
Get out…get out! I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN!
Then so be it! MOM! Enjoy your life alone with my father who never understands!
Ino stopped and held herself, "Shiji…I'm sorry…"
I told Sakumi.
Told her what?
Why you hate her eyes and her hair.
…Why would you do that?...Why, why would you do that to me?
I think the better question is why is this still so deep inside you?
I'm sorry I can't forget what happened as well as you Naruto. I'm sorry that Sakura was more than a fuck toy with me.
This conversation will not end with that Ino. Look at me.
LOOK AT ME DAMN IT!
To hell with it then. I have work to do.
…Why did you tell her?
Because someone had to. And she forgives you, at least she says she does.
"Ino. I've found them. They're fifty meters away from my position."
Ino responded, "I copy. Moving to intercept."
The aged Kunoichi exploded from the canopy and landed softly in front of her targets. They weren't there.
"What?" Ino asked.
She scanned the area intently. Even Naruto's chakra sensing scroll could not find her prey. She snorted. "Damn they must have used something to hide or get away."
He landed so silently behind her that for an instant she didn't notice the light hum of his blade.
The short sword, Dosu if you prefer, was magnificent. It had a slightly curved tip with a wider than average double-edged blade. The hilt of such swords was usually straight so it could be hidden. This one had a guard that was more like a thin ring around the top of the hilt itself. Carved into the blade was the visage of a toad.
"Where are they?" she asked.
He was silent for a moment longer, "Dead. I killed them all four minutes ago. You've gotten slow Ino-chan."
"Why so long? Why for so long?" she whimpered, tears rolling down her cheeks. "I…I ruined our lives. Our children…"
Naruto sighed, "No Ino. You ruined your own. I gave you those children to help. To remind you that I loved you. Sakumi only wanted your approval. She thought you loved Sakura, your best friend, more than her. The twins only wanted to see you smile. And Shiji…"
Ino hiccupped heavily.
"He only wanted us to be a family again. It was my fault as well. I let it go on for too long."
Ino closed her eyes and undid a clasp on her belt. "Use this one," she said as she drew it. Naruto took the blade from her and sheathed his dosu. The reforged blade shimmered dully in the setting sun.
She struck, quickly, efficiently. Her medical ninja kill telling her the exact place to pierce her enemy's back and tear through their lung, and their heard. The blade snagged the bitch's rib and crashed off of it down ward. Ino stood toe-to-heel with her first kill as an ANBU.
"Did I ever tell you, you have a very ironic sense of humor?"
Naruto swung the blade up and prepared the blow.
"I love you Naruto."
Naruto's eyes softened. His grip relaxed just a bit. He closed his eyes, "I love you too Ino."
The sword's blade, sharp and fine as a razor, slipped into Ino's spinal cord like a hand into a glove. Ino died instantly. Naruto retracted the blade from her and watched as she slowly fell to her knees. To Naruto's horror, she did not fall forward.
It almost looked as if she was crouched over someone.
He closed his eyes and sheathed the sword she had given him. Turning from the corpse of the second woman he loved Naruto went to the camp ground of the dead Mist to hide the blade.
Naruto and his children live extremely long lives. As he near his one hundred and thirteenth year he fell deathly ill. As he turned one fifteen he could no long leave his bed. As he began to die, his body no so frail and weak in old age, he was surrounded by his last three children.
Sakumi sat by her father's side. Her eyes closed not in reverie but in blindness. The twins held their father's left hand and slowly talked to him.
Despite the death of his body Naruto's mind had grown sharper. He turned his wizened eyes, still bright, toward Sakumi. In a voice more like a dried wind he said, "Under my bed. The leather one."
Asou, the older of the two twins inspected on his father's command and drew out a small leather diary. "Read it…out loud to me. Please Daisuke."
The younger twin took it and opened to the first page. "June fifth, 10XX. Today I take the ANBU exam. I'm excited, which is in truth I'm actually nervous but Sakura-chan and that idiot Naruto have been bugging me to keep up my training that I'm pretty confident. Father is this mother's diary?"
Naruto nodded, "Read it. Until the end…"
And they did. Fifteen hours. A span of time to look into the life of Yamanaka Ino. Naruto found the diary in a hidden alcove in their first home when he was cleaning up after Sakumi as a child. He realized soon after that Ino had written in it during her black outs when she first killed Sakura. So he hid it again and waited. Day by day by day Ino would write, sometimes under her own power, and sometimes in the trance like state she would fall into on the anniversary of Sakura's death.
Daisuke set the book down and looked his father square in the eyes. "This…is what happened? This is why…?"
Naruto, again but much weaker, nodded.
Sakumi squeezed her father's hand and kissed his forehead. "Father…mother died so long ago-"
Tears rolled down his face. With strength he should not have had he pulled his hands free and covered his face. "Forgive me…please…forgive me."
The twins exchanged a look before gazing at their sister who nodded. As she leaned in it was Daisuke that noticed Naruto's arms sagging under their own weight, it was Asou that saw his chest fall, and not rise.
But even as his body grew still his eyes saw his daughter mouth what she had wanted to say for so long.
"We forgive you father…"
The clearing was bright, really bright. Naruto snorted, startled awake by someone poking him and calling his name. He opened his eyes to see a blinding flash. He lifted his arm to block it, but it seemed to come from everywhere. Two pairs of feet were by his outstretched legs and he tried to make out the two figures standing in front of him.
"It's about time dobe!" the taller one said. She had on a purple slip and wraps around her legs. She, like the other couldn't have been more than twelve.
The second leaned forward and laughed, one filled with life. She wore a red dress and blue shorts. Her long pink hair was held up by a red ribbon. "I swear Naruto if we had to wait much longer we would have gone along without you! This is an important day you know! It's my birthday!"
Naruto smiled, and stood, each girl took one of his hands and began to pull him along. "That's right! Happy birthday Sakura-chan!"
A/N: I argued if I should do this ending. I really did. If anything it was this prospect that kept me from finishing for so long. But for the most part I felt it should end in a way that Naruto continued on a path where he fulfilled his promises. The under tone of this final interlude is he protected Ino all her life afterwards, even from the pain of her own mistakes with their children, and it was only when Ino began to want to repent that Naruto decided to kill her.
In any case this is it. The final part and the end true end. Nothing more. Naruto is dead, so is Ino. Though their kids could have interesting stories, especially Sakumi, little minx.
But, again thank you for reading. Remember this is a work of fiction and is meant to entertain. So if ya weren't entertained then keep ya trap shut!
-MountainWind, blowing away...