Chapter 15

Tsunade watched, astounded, as Kakashi dove into the fight full out, never even bothering to wait for Yondaime and Tsunade. Tsunade broke free of Yondaime and jumped at Orochimaru from the front. Orochimaru saw both attacks coming; he stepped aside, trying to force Kakashi and Tsunade into each other. Kakashi immediately changed directions; it was as if he was locked onto Orochimaru, and that kunai was going to go through the sannin's chest if it was the last thing Kakashi ever did!

Yondaime sighed. "He always did have a one-track mind…but he's no one-trick pony."

Sure enough, Kakashi was using the Body Flicker in quick succession, still hurling kunai and trying to hit a vital point. Swearing harshly, Yondaime began fishing around in his kunai pouch for a coil of trap wire and a kunai. He tied to trap wire to the kunai, hurling it so it stuck firmly in the wall, and held the other end in his teeth.

"Kakashi and Tsunade, clear!"

Tsunade was back at his side in an instant, panting. "Damn, he's fast," she said, drawing long, deep breaths. "I could barely get out of his way!"

"Well, here's a tip to find him-but it only works when he's super mad. Like now."

Tsunade looked up at Yondaime. "Well?"

"Look for the white streak behind him."

Sure enough, Kakashi's infamous White Chakra was emerging, streaking out behind him in a ferocious torrent of power. The Hatake tanto was suddenly in his hands, and Kakashi looked like a raging bull.

"Kakashi!" Yondaime called. "Get out of there for two seconds!"

Kakashi seemed not to hear him, only charging at Orochimaru again and again, tanto flashing.

"White Fang!"

"Oh, no-Kakashi don't you dare-!"

The seal was coming loose.

"Not again!" Tsunade cried. "Never again! Kakashi, you asshole, don't do it!"

Kakashi ignored her, releasing the first layer of the seal. His Sharingan was now spinning wildly, and Tsunade glanced frantically at Yondaime.

"What do we do?!"

Yondaime girt his teeth. "That's it!" He grabbed a second kunai, threaded the trap wire through the top, and threw it again the wall. Kakashi saw it coming; it just looked like he didn't care. Yondaime put the trap wire back in his teeth and drew three more kunai; these had tags on the handles.

"Heads up!"

All three went flying through the air to strike in various places; in a triangle…

"Yondaime-sama!" Tsunade cried. "Why are you using that now?!"

"Because Kakashi isn't listening!"

The tanto took another swing, and this time the white chakra sliced Orochimaru's arm. The sannin swore; Kakashi was getting truly dangerous. One more step…

"Release!"

Orochimaru vaguely thought he was dead.

Yondaime began forming hand signs, and yellow chakra began hissing up from the ground in flame-like bunches underneath the trap wire. Kakashi's tanto flashed again, and Tsunade watched with fascination as the battle escaladed into something on a whole other level. Kage versus Kage…this was worse than Orochimaru versus One, Two, and Three…at least then no one was truly back from the dead. Tsunade brought up her chakra scalpel again and flew at Orochimaru, hoping for one last shot.

It never came. A huge yellow chakra shield sprang up, blocking Tsunade from her final jab at Orochimaru. "Never again!"

Kakashi stopped when he saw the shield, looking very frustrated. "Get him under control," Yondaime said to Tsunade. The kuniochi nodded and released her chakra scalpel, stepping closer to Kakashi.

"You brat."

She put her arms around his shoulders, using her own chakra to bring his back under control. Kakashi's breathing accelerated as Tsunade brought him back down, and she supported him as his own legs gave out under the strain of releasing the Hatake seal.

"Retard," Tsunade murmured, cuddling Kakashi against her chest. Kakashi gave a whine of complaint and pushed her off.

"I'm not your teddy bear."

"So?"

Kakashi sighed. "Fine. But I want to watch this!"

Tsunade set her face next to Kakashi's, resting her chin on his shoulder. "Frankly, so do I."

"Good, so shut up."

Tsunade watched with curiosity; Yondaime was still forming signs; what could he possibly be doing? Couldn't he just blow the whole thing up?

Yondaime halted, hands frozen on Tiger. Orochimaru's eyes widened-he knew this jutsu. There was nothing more he could do. This was it. It was done, over, dead-and he was going to die right here, right now.

"It's an honor to meet my demise at your hands, Yondaime," he said quietly. "I would have it no other ironic way-and I suppose Mai could justify it."

Yondaime nodded and formed the final sign-

Orochimaru vanished in a cloud of black spirit.

OOOOOOOOO

Tsunade breathed a sigh of relief as Shinigami whisked Orochimaru away to the next life. Finally, some peace and quiet…

Crack!

Or not.

Yondaime's barrier was splintering, and he seemed to be as well. Kakashi darted forward, ignoring his own injuries, and caught Yondaime in his arms. Kakashi heard how labored his breathing was; he pressed two fingers to Yondaime's neck, searching for his pulse. His heart was racing.

"Tsunade! Something's wrong!"

Tsunade jumped to Kakashi's side, heading immediately for Yondaime. She knew what that jutsu had taken; she just couldn't fully accept it. Yondaime might have suicided without even calling Shinigami.

"He totally drained himself!" she cried. "Oh, Yondaime, don't you know when to stop?"

"…Find…Naruto…"

Kakashi handed Yondaime to Tsunade with a brief, "Heal him!" and ran off to find Naruto.

As he expected, Naruto was in Ichiraku Ramen, eagerly slurping down a huge bowl of ramen. Kakashi slowed down as he approached, but he knew that "slow" was not a speed when it came to what he was doing.

"Naruto!"

Naruto turned around after setting down his bowl of ramen, seemingly astonished to see Kakashi. "Kakashi-sensei? I thought some weirdo had you confused with someone else…"

"Never mind that," Kakashi said impatiently. "Let's just say that jerk is done for. We took care of him. But come on, you need to meet someone, and they might die-again."

"Again?"

Kakashi took Naruto's hand and pulled him behind him, heading for the Hokage's Tower. "Run now, talk later."

"What do you mean again?!"

"I kind of…never mind. I'll tell you later!"

Naruto sighed, not exactly satisfied with the answer, but he kept running after Kakashi. The jounin was fast; too fast for Naruto. Even so, the genin did his best to keep up. Kakashi never slowed even a bit for Naruto; so far, he was doing remarkably well, and he might not have the precious seconds to waste.

Kakashi charged through the door, Naruto still dragging along slightly behind him. Kakashi slowed down a bit, not wanting to run into anyone. Naruto took the time to catch up to him, and Kakashi pushed open the door to the Council Chamber.

"Go."

Naruto walked in very hesitantly, unsure of what to do. The first thing he saw was Tsunade sitting on the floor, trying to heal a man in her lap. Spiky yellow hair…deep blue eyes…Hokage's robes…this was…!

"But…he died…"

Yondaime sat up, smiling. "Nice to meet you too. But I suppose my son is allowed to say that."

Naruto looked ready to pass out. "So…you're not dead…?"

"Actually, I was for…how old are you? Thirteen? So thirteen years. But then Kakashi and Tsunade figured out how to pull me out of Shinigami's kingdom. And now I'm back."

Naruto still didn't quite get it.

"So wait a second…Kakashi-sensei and Tsunade-baa-chan brought you back from the dead…but before you died you sealed the Kyuubi in me…and that killed you…but then Tsunade-baa-chan and Kakashi-sensei brought you back…and you're actually my dad…which is why you look so much like me…and then I came along…and figured all this out…and Kakashi-sensei says you're dying again…and I have no idea why…help?"

"No, no, you had it," Yondaime said. "I exhausted my chakra supply, so I'm kind of out of life…"

"That sucks."

Tsunade sighed and pulled Yondaime back against her shoulder, green chakra flaming. "Be a little sympathetic, Naruto," she scolded. "He just killed Orochimaru."

"So why is Kakashi-sensei in the Hokage's armor?"

"He's earning his title," Yondaime grunted, straining against Tsunade's hold. "Lemme up, you retard."

"Absolutely not! Do you want to die?!"

Yondaime sighed. "I feel so stupid right now."

"Good! You are, for what you pulled!"

"You didn't die."

"…This is true…"

"So give me a break and let me get up."

"No."

Naruto sighed and crouched down next to Yondaime. "So…what'd you do…?"

"Called Shinigami while shielding the rest of us from him."

"Wow…"

"Yes, and now I'm dying…"

Kakashi knelt down next to Naruto, calling up his own chakra. "Take it," he said, holding it out to Yondaime. Yondaime looked at Kakashi like he had lost it.

"I'll hurt you!"

Kakashi shrugged. "Don't even start with me about pain."

Yondaime still seemed hesitant to take from Kakashi, but Kakashi had no doubts. He placed Yondaime's hand in his own and began forcing the chakra into him. Yondaime began to pull, knowing he couldn't stop Kakashi until Kakashi decided to stop himself. He tried not to take too much from him, but Kakashi was strong, and seemed hell-bent on making Yondaime take the chakra. Hopefully this will bring him back…

Naruto slowly pulled up a bit of his own chakra.

"Too strong."

Naruto looked down at the fistful of chakra he now held. It was spinning ferociously, and Naruto could tell that it was strong. He let tit dissolve until Kakashi nodded, and then he held it out to Yondaime. Yondaime took the handful of chakra, watching Naruto flinch in pain. He wasn't familiar with having someone pull chakra from him…it was an interesting feeling, but a bit like pins and needles. Yondaime shook his head, and Naruto halted his chakra flow. Kakashi did so as well, standing wordlessly and holding out his hand to Yondaime. Yondaime took it, and Kakashi pulled him up. Tsunade stayed behind him, her hands on his shoulders, until Yondaime shrugged her off.

"You're so dead."

"Thanks," Yondaime said dryly.

"No, seriously, you look like you just came back from hell."

"I did…sort of…"

Naruto smiled. "Hey, I have to take you to Ichiraku's!"

"The ramen place? Wow, old man's still there, huh?"

"Yup!" Naruto began running his mouth excitedly, and Kakashi sighed as he watched him. Tsunade came up on his side, a small smile on her lips.

"If he doesn't kill himself, Naruto will."

"Ways of life, Tsunade…" Kakashi mused. "Just the ways of life."

Epilogue

After Yondaime died for real this time, Tsunade re-took her position. She didn't last long, though-she was now an older woman, and she stepped back after only a year as Hokage. Kakashi filled her position eagerly, and immediately began helping Naruto train for Hokage. Naruto became Hokage after Kakashi, who stepped back when he started to slow down. Naruto took over gladly, having matured a lot since he first met Yondaime. Naruto is still Hokage, and he seems to be still moving at the speed of light.

The reign of the Number One Hyperactive, Knucklehead Ninja was going to be a long one; at least, in Kakashi's mis-matched eyes.