Colors of Life and Death series
Truth in Dreams
Rating: 14+ for gore, language and mild sexual references.
This story is a continuation of my "Colors of Life and Death" series. Please do not read this story first. You can find the first fic listed in my profile.
Summary: Naruto is back, but Jiraiya has a secret that will make his homecoming much less than happy.
Always remember, no matter WHAT happens in this fic, that I LOVE happy endings.
There will be NaruHina romance and a bit of SakuLee. There might be SasuTen. I haven't decided yet. If I do make that into a relationship it won't be till much further in the story.
Those of you who were good little minions and read book one know my timetable when it comes to getting chapters done, so I don't feel the need to explain myself a second time.
I'm so sad. I said two months and here I am posting at the one month mark. ((Smacks self)) Hope you guys enjoy it. But I definitely won't be posting chapter 2 (Which is halfway done. ((Sweatdrop)) ) till after January 5th.
Radioplay news and such will be at the end of the chapter.
Please read and review. I love reviews! Thanks!
Hinata sighed as she stared at the picture on her nightstand. It was of her and Naruto in front of his house. It had become a ritual of sorts for her to say 'good morning' and 'good night' to this picture. She missed him terribly. To have waited for him for so long and have him whisked away so soon after becoming a couple had been extremely hard on her. "Please come home soon," she mentally begged the smiling image. She rolled over and fell into a restless sleep.
Hinata nearly jumped out of her skin when Sakura burst through her bedroom door at eight in the morning. She stared at the out of breath girl with wide eyes, having paused in the middle of brushing her hair for the day. "S-S-Sakura-chan! What's wrong?"
Sakura had a grin on her face a mile wide. "He's back!" she said happily.
Hinata instantly knew what Sakura meant and was out the door before Sakura had had time to register that the Hyuuga heiress was no longer in the room.
Sakura laughed loudly once she had gotten over the shock and followed her friend out to the gates.
Hinata stood on her tiptoes as she anxiously watched the horizon line. After about five minutes she spotted the fuzzy outlines of two men through the morning mist, but she frowned. Neither of them was short enough to be Naruto. She sighed. It looked like she still had some waiting to do, but then she noticed one of the 'men' had spiky, yellow hair, and her jaw dropped. As Jiraiya and Naruto came closer and emerged from the mist, she saw that the once short Naruto had grown...by a little over four inches.
As soon as Naruto walked through the gate, he noticed a slack-jawed Hinata staring at him from the front of the crowd. He laughed nervously as he stepped in front of her. "Hey, Hina-chan. I ah—I kinda grew," he said as he scratched the back of his neck.
Hinata dumbly nodded.
Hinata suddenly woke from her daze and threw her arms around his neck. "NARUTO-KUN!" she squealed.
Naruto let out a short breath that sounded like the start of a laugh. "Heh. Hina-chan," he said softly as he held her and closed his eyes in contentment. "I missed you," he whispered.
"I missed you too," Hinata sniffled, "so much..."
"Wooohoooo!" Kiba cat called from the small crowd of welcomers.
Naruto's eye twitched. "Shut up, baka Inu!" he irately yelled. He turned his attention back to Hinata. Even with a group of onlookers, he couldn't resist capturing her mouth in a sweet kiss, ignoring Kiba's increased taunting.
"Eh hem," Tsunade said in an effort to get some of her son's attention.
Naruto laughed. "Sorry, Kaa-san." He gave her a quick hug and stepped back. "I missed all you guys," he said with a wide grin.
Hinata, Sakura, TenTen and Ino couldn't stop their hearts from skipping a beat when he flashed that familiar golden smile which was now enhanced by slightly more manly facial features, not to mention the fact that his body was a lot more sculpted than it had been before he'd left. He didn't look like a body builder by any means, but he was definitely no longer the scrawny boy he'd once been. Lee saw Sakura's expression and gave her a slight nudge in the ribs.
When Sakura saw the slightly hurt expression on her boyfriend's face, she smiled in apology. "No matter how good looking Naruto gets, it's you I love. You got that?"
Lee smiled and nodded, then clasped her hand.
Jiraiya put his fingers in his mouth and made a shrill whistle. "Alright everyone!" Once he knew he had their attention, he continued. "I'm sure you all want to welcome Naruto home, but we need to speak to Tsunade for a while first."
A chorus of muttered agreements was thrown in Jiraiya's direction before the crowd dispersed. Only Hinata remained. "C...can I go?"
Jiraiya looked at her in sympathy. "I'm sorry, Hinata, but this concerns something that Tsunade should hear first."
Hinata sighed. "Alright. I'll see you later, Naruto-kun."
Naruto kissed her forehead. "You got it." After she was gone from sight, his smile fell.
When her son turned to her with such a serious face, Tsunade's chest tightened--something was very wrong. "Let's go to my office. We can talk there."
Naruto and Jiraiya nodded, and the three headed toward the Hokage tower.
Naruto, Jiraiya and Tsunade sat in complete silence for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, Tsunade could take it no longer. "So...anyone going to start?"
The two weary travelers looked at each other. Jiraiya sighed. "It's the niji chakra."
Tsunade closed her eyes. "He couldn't learn to control it."
"No...it's not that. He can control it just fine, but..." Jiraiya looked at Naruto. "It's hurting him."
"What do you mean...hurting him?" Tsunade asked with a concerned glance at her son.
"He gets tired easily and his stamina is in the toilet. I think we need to find a way to remove the extra chakra colors or he'll be like this for the rest of his life."
For the first time since he had arrived home, Tsunade noticed the sallow tone of Naruto's skin and the dark rings under his eyes. "Jiraiya must have been disguising his condition with a genjutsu," she thought. "Alright, I'll see what I can find in my books. For now though, I'd like you to go home and rest."
Naruto smiled weakly. "You don't have to tell me twice." And with that, he disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Tsunade's eyebrows went up. In the entire time she'd known him, he'd never used that jutsu. She noticed a very quiet Jiraiya nervously chewing on his bottom lip. It was a very odd thing to see someone like him do. "There's something else...isn't there?" she asked with trepidation.
Jiraiya closed his eyes and nodded. "I didn't tell the whole truth about Naruto. Even he doesn't know this...I...I haven't had the heart to tell him," he said as the beginnings of tears formed in his eyes.
"Jiraiya...what is it?" Tsunade asked worriedly.
Jiraiya swallowed. "Tsu-chan..." tears made their way slowly down his face. "He's dying, Tsu-chan."
Tsunade's eyes flew open to their full capacity. "What?-!" she asked in a loud, strangled whisper.
"The only way...I can explain it," Jiraiya paused as he put his hand to his forehead to steady himself, ignoring the stunned sobs coming from Tsunade's direction. "It's the niji chakra. It's too much for his chakra circulatory system. It's slowly wearing it away. I...in about a month...I think...it'll completely collapse," he finished in a whisper.
"Liar..." came Tsunade's soft, yet defiant reply.
Jiraiya looked up at her. Her fists were balled at her sides and tears were streaming down her face. "Tsunade?"
"LIAR!" Tsunade screamed. "My son is NOT dying!!"
"Tsu-chan..." Jiraiya began as he reached for her.
Tsunade punched him in the face. "GET OUT! GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!!!"
Jiraiya hit the wall hard, knocking the wind out of him. He lay there for a moment before sighing sadly, ignoring the pain of his quickly swelling cheek. He closed his eyes, staggered to his feet, and left the room.
Now alone, Tsunade watched the door for a moment before collapsing onto her desk in tears.
It had been several hours since Naruto had laid his head on his pillow and he had barely slept. His whole body ached. "I hate this...I hate feeling so damned weak!" he thought angrily. He looked at the clock. "Six-thirty. I should go see Hina-chan. I hope she doesn't mind me being so late." With that, he threw off the covers and began to get dressed.
"I need a favor of you, Hiashi," Tsunade stated with great difficulty.
Hiashi cocked an eyebrow. "This from the woman who called my family traditions 'disgusting'?"
Tsunade sighed heavily. "Although you have a point, you must understand that I am protective of my son. I'm sure you would have gotten just as upset if someone had insulted Hinata."
Hiashi knew how he would have answered that question before the Chuunin exams...a resounding 'no'. However, things had changed drastically since then, so now he gave the only answer he could. "Yes." Silence. "What would you ask of me?"
"I need you to take a look at Naruto's chakra circulatory system and tell me if anything seems...unusual," Tsunade explained, trying to avoid the information of exactly 'what' she wanted him to look for.
"Unusual...in Naruto..." Hiashi cleared his throat. "Isn't that a blanket statement in his case?"
Tsunade allowed herself a small smirk. "I suppose so. I want you to look at the system itself and see if it's...degrading," she finished with a bit of shakiness entering her voice.
"Why would it be doing that?"
"The niji chakra. Jiraiya thinks...thinks that...it may be killing Naruto..." Tsunade said as she squeezed her eyes tight in attempt to stop the tears that were threatening to fall.
Hiashi put a curled index finger to his mouth in thought. He sighed. "Alright. When do you want it done?"
Tsunade wiped her eyes. "In about ten minutes. He said he was meeting Hinata at Ichiraku for dinner."
Hiashi's eyebrow twitched, but he remained calm. "Understood." Hiashi rose from his seat. "I will be back when I have something to report," and with that, he disappeared in a puff of smoke.
After he was gone Tsunade stared out the window. "Please let Jiraiya be wrong."
The clock on the post across the street changed to seven pm and Hiashi saw Naruto walking up the road. "Byakugan!" His enhanced eyes widened at what he saw. "This is impossible." He pushed his vision further. "His chakra veins are twice as wide as they should be. Not only that, but they're falling apart," he thought as he noted the tiny fissures in the veins. Through these fissures, chakra was leaking into places where it shouldn't have been. "He should be bed-ridden with this kind of damage. There must still be some weak auto healing properties from the Kyuubi's chakra that he isn't aware of." Deciding he'd seen enough, he stood and disappeared.
Hinata walked under the flaps at the front of Ichiraku. Naruto noticed and smiled. "Hey, Hina-chan!"
Hinata smiled and sat down. She smiled, that is, until she noticed the paleness of Naruto's complexion and the circles under his eyes. "Naruto-kun, are you okay?"
"Yeah, I just haven't been getting much sleep lately," Naruto said before slurping up some more ramen.
Hinata's face wore an unsure frown. "Is...is it alright if I ask what you and Tsunade-sama talked about?"
Naruto looked down. "The niji-chakra's hurting me. Kaa-san needs to find a way to get rid of it or I'll be weak my whole life."
"Oh, Naruto-kun..." Hinata bit her lower lip. "Is...is there any way I can help?"
Naruto frowned in thought. Suddenly his face lit up with inspiration. "Can you take a look at my chakra system?"
Hinata blushed a bit. "S...sure." She looked at the ramen waiting for her on the counter. Her stomach rumbled. "But...a-after lunch?"
Naruto chuckled. "Sure."
"Well...?" Tsunade asked, her throat tightening so badly that she felt like she couldn't breathe.
Hiashi shook his head. "I'm sorry...Jiraiya-sama was right."
Tsunade's jaw was tightly clenched as she spoke. "I...see."
"In fact...I think the only reason he's still alive is that he has somehow awakened the auto-healing properties of the Kyuubi chakra," Hiashi stated quietly.
"Thank you...Hiashi," Tsunade said with a forced even tone to her voice.
Hiashi nodded and left the room. As soon as he shut the door he could hear screams of rage and sadness and the sounds of things being broken. He frowned, shook his head, and walked away.
"This looks like a good spot," Naruto announced once they had gone into the forest a bit. He spread his arms wide and smiled. "Okay, hit me."
Hinata nodded and blushed a bit. "Hai. Byakugan!" The instant Hinata saw the shape Naruto's chakra system was in she wished he hadn't asked her to look. Her eyes went back to their normal state and she stared at him—her mouth agape and her eyes filling with tears.
Naruto's heart caught in his throat at seeing his girlfriend's look of absolute horror. "H...Hina-chan?"
Hinata suddenly dropped to her knees and began crying loudly.
Naruto fell down next to her. "Hina-chan, what is it?!" he cried desperately.
Hinata could barely speak. "Y...you're...I..." She sucked in a tear-filled breath. "I...I...I...I think..." She buried her face in Naruto's chest and held onto him for dear life. "Y-y-you're dying!" she cried in despair.
Naruto's eyes went wide as dinner plates. He grabbed Hinata's arms and pushed her backward so he could look at her face. "Wh...What do you mean?!" he demanded in a shrill voice.
"Y...you're chakra s...system's d-d-deteriorating!" Hinata barely managed to squeeze out of her already heavily taxed lungs.
At this revelation Naruto slumped forward to lean onto Hinata. As he began to cry, all of his dreams seemed to be crashing down around his ears.
...TO BE CONTINUED
I am so gonna hafta re-enforce the RPR after that chapter. ((Dives inside, locks doors, and turns on security system.))
Radioplay news: Nothing really to report. Lost my Kyuubi actor, found a new one. Hopefully chapter 3 will come out sometime after mid January. On that note, I would really like it if you guys could review the voice actor's preformances on the chapters. Some of them are starting to get discouraged and if that happens they might quite. I really, really don't want to have to cast Sasuke again. And please review the radioplay in the radioplay forums (Link in profile) if you can. Thanks:)
Hope you guys all liked your early Christmas prezzy. :)