Chapter 16: Dawn
Ibara, Ryû and Silk are mine, please do not use!
This is the last chapter.
Thanks to my incredible Beta for her hard work and to She-who-has-no-name for her help.
Thanks to all the people who reviewed, faved, and put me on their alert list or C2. You made the story live; I never thought I would write such a long one (sorry to have to end it sooner than planned).
I had a hard time writing this chapter… I hope you'll like this version.
"Oy! Don't cling to her like that!" exclaimed Kiba, unceremoniously dropping his packages on the floor. Akamaru rushed inside, tail wagging.
Sasuke who had had a moment of maddening hope felt his heart drop and with it all his strength. He was too tired to stay awake anymore, his body needed the rest. Going limp in Silk's arms he distantly heard her say something he didn't catch.
Naruto had diverted Kyuubi's attention just long enough for Sasuke to slip out of his mind unnoticed. Then he simply stopped fighting, it was no use now. Kyuubi froze noticing something was wrong.
"Where is the Uchiha?" he bellowed, his eyes suddenly unfocused as he took over Naruto's body.
Naruto didn't answer; didn't try to stop the Kyuubi either. It was strange to feel how he was being stabbed even though nothing actually happened to him inside his mind. He could feel the chidori charged katana piercing his body and wondered if the faint warmth he felt was Sasuke's body touching his.
Kyuubi howled in a mix of hatred and anger but instead of retaliating as Naruto expected, the fox dashed to his cell. Snarling and fuming he hissed venomously at him, "You won… this time!"
Naruto blinked, not understanding what was going on. He raised his hand to scratch his head and saw the crumpled seals in it. The bastard! He ran to the cell, he had to make it in time! He all but smashed the seal on the door.
A blazing light made him stagger backwards as the seal was completed. It had been a desperate but clever move. Sasuke hadn't stabbed his heart, he had only injured it. If the body died, Kyuubi couldn't survive. By injuring his host so badly, Sasuke had forced Kyuubi to go back in the cage and let himself be sealed to have a chance to save Naruto. With him free, Naruto's body wouldn't have made it.
The first thing Sasuke saw when he regained consciousness was white. Lots of white. His nostrils met the scent of a hospital and his stomach lurched at it. The urge to escape overwhelmed him until he spotted Silk, nuzzled against him, sleeping peacefully, Itachi draped on her shoulders.
"You awake, dude?" asked a familiar voice.
Sasuke turned his head to meet once again red markings on a face and a toothy grin: Kiba. To say he was disappointed was an understatement. He had wished for blue and blond… Had he failed again? He hadn't been able to save his family, he hadn't been able to bring back the Itachi he knew… and now he hadn't been able to save the person he loved.
Oblivious to Sasuke's internal turmoil, Kiba kept on babbling. Sasuke wanted to throttle him, to make him eat his dog if it managed to shut him up. Naruto was dead and the world hadn't stopped moving. But he knew some people for whom time would stop definitively; he would make sure of that.
Silk woke up startled by the killing intent so near her. It was skillfully covered up, but since she was so close she could feel it perfectly. She blinked a few times, clearing her vision to see red Sharingan eyes locked on her, as if pondering. She shivered. Those eyes, the cold edge they had, as if death itself was nested there… it reminded her of the first time she had met Sasuke, when he had swooped down on her team.
"… Naruto is as a lion in a cage, well a fox, and…" continued Kiba before being cut off by a hand hoisting him up by the shirt.
"What?" asked a chilly voice, Sasuke not very stable on his feet but still managing to look incredibly scary and threatening.
Akamaru gave a tiny whimper, ready to jump on his master's assailant but not daring to move. Kiba gulped down, not even reassured by the fact that Sasuke had to lean on the bed's armrest. What was it he had said again? It wasn't his damn fault Naruto was once again locked up in the hospital's restraining room! Maybe it was the fox comment?
"Naruto is alive?" hissed Sasuke, resisting the urge to shake the dork.
Kiba stared. "Huh… yeah," he tried.
Sasuke's hold slackened, his fingers turning back to their normal color as he let go of Kiba's shirt. Had he hit is head or something?
"Why?" added the dog-boy almost immediately regretting it, as hatred filled black eyes settled back on him.
"Why? I should ask you why you didn't tell me sooner!" snapped Sasuke, already stumbling towards the door.
Silk, who had witnessed the whole scene, dumbfounded, hurried to her father's side, helping him out. Sasuke let her, leaning heavily on her small frame. He hadn't walked for God knows how many days and the poison in his veins, even if almost completely healed, had weakened his body even more. She was family, he could accept such aid.
"I thought you knew! You're the one who saved his damn life! And Silk told you when you woke up!" argued Kiba, following and grumbling, not even trying to stop the Uchiha.
He didn't know who between Tsunade (who had ordered he kept Sasuke in bed… as if) or the Uchiha was worse. Right now it was Sasuke, because he was the one he had to deal with at the moment. At least Tsunade's scowling would come later…
Silk threw him an apologetic glance, reddening a little.
"It's my fault. I forgot to tell you Sasuke didn't hear me about Naruto," she whispered, daring a timid look to her father, only receiving a discreet but gentle caress on her head.
The two Anbus guarding the cell never knew what hit them, Sasuke not bothering to give them a warning. Next moment the seals on the door were broken as if they were nothing and one chidori later Sasuke was punching Naruto.
"Remind me to never to get on your father's bad side," requested Kiba as he tied the two Anbus.
"Hey! What was that for? You bastard!" yelped Naruto, nursing a sore cheek.
Naruto had been in between life and death for a long time. As soon as he had been healed, Tsunade had taken chakra from him on a regular basis to cure Sasuke. The latter was the only one, who could be able to confirm Kyuubi was really sealed. Naruto had been waiting for his lover to regain consciousness and all he got was a punch!
"For making me swear I would kill you and making me worry," growled Sasuke, glaring.
"You could have told me the plan, asshole!" retorted Naruto, pointing accusingly.
"You would have messed it up, moron!"
Naruto launched on Sasuke, the latter too tired to dodge. They stumbled on the floor trying to beat the crap out of each other.
"Are they always like that?" wondered Kiba, shaking his head.
"Yes," replied Silk, unfazed. "We better go," she added, leaving to give the good news to everyone. Ryû had to be close by since he was working with Sakura.
"Why?" asked Kiba finally understanding as Silk turned red. He glanced behind him and noticed that indeed, they were tearing each other's clothes off rather than fighting.
Lots of pictures laid across the floor, waiting to be ordered in a new family album or framed and hung on the walls.
There was a family photo: Sasuke, Naruto, Silk, Manda, and an Itachi Bunshin holding Itachi-cat, the rest of the cats scattered around. Underneath this one were all the failures… the same picture but with a patch of blond hair on one corner, Ryû had tried to sneak in the shoot. Another one with a foot poking out of Manda's mouth, Silk tugging on Ryû's foot to help him out of Manda's mouth and Sasuke smirking.
A sign forbidding swearwords and instructions for when the rule was broken were mixed in with the pictures…
Silk had been about to go shopping, leaving Sasuke to his jutsus and Naruto to his tool sharpening and to their usual bickering and well aimed comments at each otherRight before she stepped out Naruto had asked for her support. Silk merely closed the door with a huge smile and a: "I'm going shopping, you dobe!" A yell of: "TEME! Turning my own daughter against me!" had saluted those words, soon followed by a smug: "good girl."
The next morning, Sasuke and Silk had been acquainted to a new rule. Swearwords had been forbidden. For every 5 times the rule was broken there was a punishment. 10 laps around the Uchiha district doing a hand-walk, balancing a glass full of water on the head. If the water spilled, the punishment had to be done twice.
Sasuke had become quite good at making Naruto lose it and swear. It became a rather enjoyable hobbyNeedless to say neither him nor Silk had had to undergo the punishment. Naruto on the other hand…
Another picture showed Naruto in only his shorts, sweating profusely as he did his laps, the glass of water threatening to fall. On the background were Sasuke smirking and Silk hiding her laughter behind her hand.
A few inches apart from that one was one of Team 5 in their new Chuunin vests. Ryû with his arms around Ibara and Silk's shoulders making a victory sign
It had been a whole year since they had become Genins when Sasuke had finally decided to make them try out for the Chuunin exam. They had succeeded after quite a few close calls. Ryû had even disguised their scroll as toilet paper…
One of Sasuke scowling as Suigetsu tied him with water, ruffling his hair, while Juugo and Karin tried to make him smile.
All three of them had been accepted in Konoha after Sasuke had advocated for them. With Juugo still looking for a cure and Sasuke going back to being an anbu, team Hebi had been recreated, while Naruto had taken back team 5.
One showing a bald Ryu posing with a beret-free Ibara.
"Don't be stupid, Ibara. Stop wearing that hat," had asked Ryû one day after coming back from a mission.
"No, I don't want to be made fun of," had dryly replied Ibara to be countered by Ryû pointing out that no one made fun of his scar.
"You're a ninja. It's normal! And it's the proof of what you did. Being bald at my age is just shameful."
"It's the proof of your power, of your blood-line ability. There is nothing shameful about that."
"You don't know what it feels like to be bald. You can't understand."
Angry at Ibara's complex, Ryû had shaved his head, strutting proudly on the streets of Konoha for a whole week before Ibara burned his beret.
A picture of Sakura laughing happily as Lee twirled her around in her beautiful wedding kimono.
She had asked to be a surrogate mother but Sasuke had refused, he didn't want to burden her with such a task. He wanted her to forget him and find someone who would make her happy.
Naruto in the sexy-no jutsu form, hugging Silk and a scowling Sasuke.
"Ok, I'm the mother but just for the picture!" had mumbled Naruto, feeling it was weird that their family didn't have a mother.
"Aren't the clothes included with that jutsu?" had asked Silk.
Another set of pictures arranged in succession portrayed Naruto trying to force Sasuke to do the sexy no jutsu. Part of Sasuke… in the sexy no jutsu form. Sasuke throttling Naruto. Naruto and Sasuke in sexy no jutsu form, Silk between them as the little sister, murder intent evident in Sasuke's eyes while Naruto looked blissfully unaware.
Close by was one of Ibara in his Jounin uniform being crushed by his mother, starting to turn blue. Another one showed Ryû, also in his Jounin uniform, shaking Ibara's father's hand with a still throbbing arm that had just been crushed by a hug. Silk's was next, showing her dressed in her new Jounin vest and Sasuke proudly offering her a beautiful fan with hidden needles. Her cat Gouz rubbed against her leg and Naruto discreetly wiped a tear.
Silk with her eyes closed and red cheeks, Ryû's arms around her waist, leaning close for a kiss looking positively terrified, his bulging eyes glued to something behind her.
It had nearly been their first kiss. But the hissed "stick your tongue in and you're dead" coming from an angry Sasuke in his Anbu uniform and the Sharigan eyes had paralyzed Ryû, almost sending him straight to the hospital of a heart attack.
More pictures were strewn about the table. Ibara as a member of Sasuke's Anbu team. Silk about to pick up a strange orange book on the floor and Sasuke and Naruto running after her, horrified trying to stop her.
The impressive Juugo crying in Ryû's arms. Karin holding the giant in a tender hug, Suigetsu patting Ryû's shoulder appraisingly and Sasuke shaking his hand.
Ryû's medical team had been the one to find a cure for Juugo's problem.
The Uchiha district all cleaned up and restored. A small memorial of the people who had died in that fateful night hung above each door. They would be the guardians of the future Uchihas
They had needed a whole week to return the place to its lost greatness with the help of Team 5, Naruto and Sasuke's friends, and the surrogate mothers Sasuke had chosen so far. Those women and their future children would all live there.
Ibara being named Anbu captain, Sasuke giving him the red scarf.
Naruto holding his daughter, who had just been assigned her own team to teach. She was glaring because Sasuke was ruffling her hair.
Silk and her team.
Sasuke giving an awkward man hug to Ryû. Naruto twirling Silk in his arms, grinning like an idiot at his crying daughter.
Ryû had finally taken his courage in both hands (as well as a first-aid kit) and asked for Silk's hand in marriage. Sasuke had agreed, gracefully pointing out that at least Silk knew what to expect from her mother-in-law
Silk and Ryû, holding each other's hands, announcing their marriage to a less than happy Nami.
Ryû had kept visiting his mother every day. He had tried talking about Silk but every time it triggered a violent reaction. Silk had insisted in seeing her even if Nami still hated her. She had decided to come once in a while to talk to her about her relationship with her son.
Sasuke, Naruto and Silk eating ramen (even the cats had their own bowl) while Itachi-cat bit Naruto.
A picture of Ryû being promoted to Sakura's level, the pink-haired woman on the verge of crying since he had been her student. Ibara and his family looking happy. Sasuke with a hand on the blonde's shoulder and Naruto at his side grinning. Silk holding Ryû's his arm, looking proudly at him. On the background, almost invisible, was a head poking from behind a wall, Ryû's father.
A stack of pictures of the wedding sat on another corner.
Ryû had dropped his surname and became an Uchiha, Silk had refused to leave her name behind. They had their own house within the Uchiha district.
Naruto trying to kiss Sasuke behind Silk's back and the raven hitting him.
A pregnant Silk, Sasuke on his knees head pressed on her belly, emotion clearly visible on his face for those who knew how to look. Naruto fondly trailing his hand in his lover's silky hair. It's Itachi's baby.
Ryû hadn't been surprised to learn that she would be one of the surrogate mothers. He had just asked that the child wouldn't be named Itachi. He didn't want to end up as mashed potatoes.
There were also lots of pictures of pregnant women and babies… all Uchihas but one, blue eyed and blonde. Hanabi, who had requested being a surrogate mother and gave birth to twins, one Sasuke's and one Naruto's.
It had been a surprise from Sasuke. He had thought it was sad that Naruto didn't have any descendants. Naruto had cried and Sasuke had had to cancel a mission the next day and worna turtleneck for days.
Sasuke becoming chief of the police and Anbu, Kakashi-sensei at his side as his second in command.
Naruto grinning madly in a beautiful coat… the one offered to him long ago by Sasuke. Finally Hokage.
So many pictures were scattered on the floor still waiting to be organized, some weren't even visible in the pile, but one really important, the one most recently taken:
Naruto and Sasuke, their family and friends at their side. The whole village behind them. Never again alone.
ooooooooooooo End ooooooooooooo
(They used frogs or snakes to take the pictures where they are all together).
This is goodbye for this story. Thanks for all the support you gave me! Please leave me a review (smile).
I'm afraid it will be a while before you see another story from me since life is a bit too busy lately, but who knows… see you later!