A/N – This will be the final chapter of 'Fury'.
Naruto stood there in dismay, looking at the floor as Tsunde's words sank in. He grimaced as he began to realize that she was right. The damn fox just might be able to use the white chakra enough to allow the damn thing to escape. He let out a rather loud sigh as he looked back up to the Hokages soft brown eyes. There was a silent exchange of understanding between them. Tsunade nodded her head slightly and gave him a sad smile. Hinata reached out tentatively and softly clasped his hand with her own. As he glanced over to her he smiled slightly.
'At least its not a total loss.' He thought to himself.
"Well that's the important thing. I do expect a full written report on both matches though. You know as well as I do that despite your abilities, even working together as well as you both did, you guys should have lost that second fight, in fact you should have lost it relatively quickly. I have my own opinions but I want to see what you two think. Hinata, I'd like to look over that gash in your head."
"As you wish Lady Tsunade-sama." Hinata said as she walked over to the Hokage.
Tsunade gave her a quick once over and applied a minor healing jutsu to the gash in the back of Hinatas head.
"There's a sink hidden in that cabinet that you can use to wash the blood out of your hair."
"T-thank you Lady Tsunade." Hinata said tiredly as Tsunade raised her eyebrow at the small stutter and then looked to Naruto.
"The link is gone." Naruto said sadly as he looked to the floor.
"That's interesting." Tsunade said softly.
"It was the Kyuubi." Hinata said as she finished washing her blood from her hair and started drying it with a towel hanging inside the cabinet.
"Hmm, interesting, I definitely want that in those reports. For now though, get out of here. Go join your friends and all of you should go out to lunch together." Tsunade said as she began pushing them towards the door.
"Hey are you buying?" Naruto asked.
"Not this time kiddo." Tsunade laughed as she followed them out.
Naruto looked around and saw that everyone was there. He had spaced out a bit and had forgotten about Kakashi, Yamato and Jiraiya but they were back and unharmed. The white chakra seemed to have no side effects when it touched people unlike the red Kyuubi chakra. Naruto sighed in relief. Looking down to the arena floor he saw that all of their friends were down there. Sakura was helping the still smiling Lee stay on his feet. The only ones that didn't look like they had been a fight were Shino and of course Sai.
With a shimmer Tsunade disappeared and reappeared next to Lee and started scanning him using several medical jutsu techniques.
"Not bad Lee, not bad at all. You're going to need more work though, a lot more work and I think we should start on a third element for you."
Lee's expression shifted from its previous happy exhaustion to full on wide eyed surprise for a brief moment before a huge smile erupted on his face.
"Thank you Godaime Hokage-sama!" He said with a deep bow.
Hours later after a surprisingly quiet lunch with everyone Naruto and Hinata spent subdued afternoon of the two of them working on the report for Tsunade. Finally finishing as the evening began, exhaustion fell upon them. Naruto and Hinata were once again dozing on the couch at the guest suite while holding hands. Hinata had her head on Narutos shoulder and was fading in and out of consciousness. Kurenai was sitting across from the two of them reading a book. Neither of the young ninja noticed but Kurenai suddenly stopped reading and her eyes turned to the door. A few moments later there was the faintest sound of a key being inserted into the lock before the knob turned and the door opened to reveal Tsunade and Hiashi. Kurenai's eyes darted to Naruto and Hinata as a smile began to form on her face.
'This ought to be funny.' Kurenai thought to herself.
Oddly enough Naruto was the first to look up to see the two enter the suite. At first he didn't react as his gaze slowly shifted from Tsunade to Hiashi. As his eyes locked onto the sight of Hinatas father though his heart quite literally skipped a few beats and he felt as though his blood had started to freeze. Sensing something wrong from Naruto as a spasm passed through his hand Hinata snapped fully awake and she looked to the door. Seeing her father enter the room caused a similar reaction in her that Naruto was going through. Kurenai observing her two temporary room mates chuckled at their obvious discomfort.
Before the two visitors could get very far into the room both of the young ninja leaped to their feet as their faces colored a bright red. Naruto looked at Tsunade and thought she had one of her odd expressions of irritation mixed with confusion. He didn't think there were many other people, other than himself anyway, who could get her to such a state. He immediately became rather uneasy. Hinata focused on her father and she was confused by his look of smug satisfaction. She and Naruto had bested everything the Hyuga representatives could throw at them. Her father in particular had been rather embarrassed when Naruto had quite literally planted him in the ground.
Tsunade's eyes locked onto the scroll sitting in the center of the table surrounded by a scattered mass of notes. It was easy to see that a surprising number of the scraps of paper were written in Narutos handwriting but there looked to be a nearly equal number written in Hinata's neat flowing handwriting.
"I take it that is the report I asked for?" The Hokage spoke breaking the uncomfortable silence.
Hinata stood even straighter at attention somehow as her face took on a slight pink flush and she glanced from Tsunade to her father before going back to Tsunade.
"Hai, Godaime Tsunade-sama." The young woman said as she bowed.
"Relax will you already Hinata. It's after hours so to speak and we're not in my office. Can you please call me Tsunade." The older blond woman said with a sigh.
Tsunade rolled her eyes slightly but was smiling. Her smile faltered slightly as her eyes tracked down to Naruto as he plopped back down on the couch and rubbed his eyes.
"Naruto! I was hoping that all the time you've spent with Hinata would have improved your manners more than this."
"Come on already baa-chan. It's late and we had a rough day." Naruto grumbled.
"You're hopeless, it's not even 8:00 yet. All right then give me a quick summary on your fights then." Tsunade said as she picked up the scroll.
The two teens glanced at each other and Naruto took the lead.
"Well the first fight was easier than it looked because the Hyuga simply weren't effectively working together. Neji really wasn't interested in fighting at all. Hiashi was more interested in seeing what we could do. The elder badly underestimated us and Hanabi was very badly unsettled by both Hinata's change in attitude and the counters I thought up to overcome the Byakugan. Another big factor in our victory over the Hyuga was me defeating Neji, Hiashi and the elder separately the day before. A good nights sleep is all I need most times to completely recover I doubt they can say the same. If they had a week to recover it might have been a different match. Although I think they still would have lost. We figure that the elder was also in some sort of state of denial over losing to me. He was a little too reckless when me and Hinata fought them. Couple those factors with the incredible synergy Hinata and I had between the link and what we estimate to be around four or five years worth of training together using the clone training technique Kakashi-sensei developed and they didn't stand a chance. We go into much deeper detail in our report but that was the basics." Naruto's grin grew a bit as he finished.
"Sounds good, please just tell me that Hinata wrote up the final report. I'd rather not get a headache from reading an extensive report in your handwriting. Now about the second fight." Tsunade chuckled and Narutos smile faltered.
"Well much of our success there has more to do with the half hearted nature some of our opponents displayed coupled with a few mistakes on their part and a good bit of luck for us. Kiba badly underestimated us in the very beginning which seemed to set the pace for the rest of the match even though the others really didn't underestimate us." Hinata started off.
"Also we got very lucky with the mental hammering Ino got from the damn fox. That managed to not only take her out but Chougi as well. If they had coordinated Chougi, Kiba and most especially TenTen from the beginning they might have actually beat us fairly quickly. We also took unfair advantage of Lee's feelings for Sakura which was a serious blow to their offense. The big surprise to me was that Shikamaru wasn't able to get the entire group to work together from the beginning. Like Hinata said before I think that was mostly due to Kiba rushing in at the very beginning. We both think that he may be trying to show he is as good a chuunin as Shikamaru and therefore wouldn't listen to Shika. Oh and Sai seemed to be intentionally useless. We were both very worried about Shino but he seemed content to gather information and defer to Shikamaru. When he finally pulled his trump card of that massive summoning we scored another lucky jackpot when the bugs wouldn't come near me." Naruto said with a smile.
"Well that's a bit rough but I'll stop you both there." Tsunade said as she reached down and plucked the scroll off of the table.
"Thank you Tsunade-sama." Hinata said with a bow.
"Thanks!" Naruto echoed as he grinned.
"I believe that leaves what Hiashi wished to talk to you two about." Tsunade smirked as the two ninja suddenly looked uncomfortable again.
"Thank you Tsunade-sama." Hiashi said as he bowed his head to Tsunade.
The room became quite silent for a moment before Hiashi slowly reached into his jacket and carefully pulled out a white scroll that had a faint silvery design on it. Hinata's eyes widened considerably as she looked at the scroll.
"Is that…" She paused as she stared at her father.
"It's not what it looks like." Hiashi said with a smile as he handed the scroll to his daughter.
Hinata felt her heart rate quicken as her hand shook slightly before she calmed herself and slowly opened the scroll. Despite her fathers words she couldn't look past the fact that it looked very much like a bethroal contract scroll. Her look of shock slowly faded as she began to read the scroll and was quickly replaced by a look of confusion mixed in with a bit of irritation.
"This doesn't really say anything that isn't already true." She finally said as she looked at her father.
"That is not really true. It states that Naruto is considered to be a suitable suitor for you with approval of the Hyuga clan for you two to continue dating."
"Wait…what? I thought we were already dating?" Naruto stated, obviously confused.
"We are." Hinata said softly as she glowered at her father and a hint of steel crept into her voice. "Now we simply have the permission of the Hyuga elders to continue. As if I needed such, some of the elders should be told that times are different and I make my own decisions regarding who is suitable for me."
"Hinata, please do not become upset at this. I had to argue quite hard to get this much. In time things will be much clearer but for now take this a small victory." Hiashi replied softly.
Hinata narrowed her eyes as she studied her father. To be honest she was more confused than angry, his apparent role in all of this was very surprising. Naruto nudged her a bit.
"Hinata, it's really not important to us is it?" Naruto asked.
"No, not really, simply strange and irritating, I think."
"Well I'm sure that things will be clearer in time. Seeing that the odd link between the two of you is no longer present you are expected home tonight. I believe about an hour would be all you need to gather your belongings here and return home." Hiashi said with an odd smile.
"Sorry guys but with the link gone I really can't justify allocating this space for the three of you." Tsunade said softly.
"As you wish, Tsunade-sama." Naruto replied, standing and bowing, completely stunning the Hokage for a moment until she caught sight of his smile as he stood.
With a quick set of goodbyes, both Hiashi and Tsunade left.
Hiashi and Tsunade left the complex together in silence. It didn't take long before Tsunade glanced back to the building they had left, that was now quite a distance away.
"That was a rather interesting action on your part." Tsunade said softly.
"To be honest and fair, they do make a good match. One of the biggest hurdles with the Hyuga elders wasn't his lack of a respectable family, I do not believe that any of them know about his link to the Fourth, but rather his lack of financial assets. Although you will most certainly not be able to ever get any of them to admit to that. I was able to convince them that with the way he uses his shadow clones he will likely become extremely wealthy. They had a hard time believing that he can create and maintain a thousand clones for an entire day. Once I convince them that was true the sharp ones quickly figured out that he could potentially earn three years worth of money in a single day. Although I doubt he'll ever manage to earn that much in a single day he does have incredible potential to secure his financial future. That is not even taking into account who his father is and the potential political advantage that fact could be to whatever family he marries into. Although all of this isn't easy, she is my first daughter after all. Part of me was relieved years ago that she seemed to have no interest in dating."
"You know, if you showed those feelings of yours for her even occasionally things could have been a lot different in your life. It might even be possible that less people would think you were a complete asshole."
Hiashi sighed. "I certainly made a lot of mistakes. After her mother died it was simply too easy to bury myself into the role of clan head. For years it pained me to even look at her. Hanabi may look more like their mother physically but even before their mother died it was so easy to see my wife in Hinata. Her voice, her mannerisms, her quiet grace and most especially her kindness, Hinata is so much like her mother in those ways it pained me to even look at her for many years. I think if I hadn't pushed her away I would have likely taken my own life in grief. After Hizashi died I clung desperately to my wife, only to lose her two years later. After that I simply couldn't bring myself to allow anyone in my heart, not even my own children, Hinata especially.
The two continued on in silence. It was rare that anyone ever caught a glimpse of this part of Hiashi and Tsunade didn't want to spoil the moment.
A little more than an hour later Naruto entered his apartment and frowned. He and Hinata had escorted Kurenai home. The two of them had been very quiet as he walked her home as well and their goodbye had been very subdued, he thought as he stood in his kitchenette. His apartment was oddly quiet in a way that he had never really noticed before. He shuffled around a bit before he found himself in his bedroom getting ready to go to bed. Despite being tired to the point of exhaustion he spent nearly an hour lying in bed staring at the ceiling. He was confused and frustrated feelings of loss and happiness. Despite the sadness he felt over losing the link with Hinata he knew that their relationship, if he could call it that, was actually on much more solid ground. Thanks to Hiashi of all people. He spent nearly another hour lying there with his eyes closed. His mental focus unusually sharp as he felt for the link and continuously failed to sense anything. Just as sleep finally claimed him he thought he smelled the faintest trace of lilacs and almost, just barely felt her calming presence. His very last thought as his consciousness shutdown came from his cynical nature that half convinced himself that he had imagined it but he still fell asleep with a smile.
Across the village in the Hyuga complex Hinata was going through a similar set of mental gyrations in her own bedroom. She found herself pacing slowly back and forth past her bed. It was where she belonged and not where she wanted to be. Her face flushed slightly and her lips descended into a small frown. That was certainly not a proper line of thought she mused to herself as she shut off the light and climbed into bed. Much like Naruto she spent an hour staring up into the darkness as her thoughts of the past few weeks raced around in her head. She frowned again as she closed her eyes and began meditation exercises. Again like Naruto she spent nearly and hour trying to feel the link that was gone. Just before she drifted off to sleep she thought she smelled just a hint of miso ramen and a whisper of his energetic life force. She also fell asleep with a smile.
The next day.
Hinata stood in one of the clan training areas. Sweat poured off of her and she trembled slightly. She had been out there for a few hours now and become more and more frustrated the longer she worked.
"Lady Hinata." Neji's voiced echoed through the enclosed area.
"One moment Neji-kun." Hinata stated.
Neji stood there and waited. Hinata took a deep slow breath and began pushing her chakra. An instant later she was spinning, performing a text book perfect Hakkeshou Kaiten. Neji's eyes widened as Hinata continued to maintain the Kaiten for longer than he had ever seen her do so, other than the times she could tap into Narutos chakra. Neji was rather surprised to see Hinata continue with the Kaiten for a full thirty seconds. She stopped quickly but he could tell from her slight tremors that she had been pushing herself.
"That was rather impressive." Neji stated causing Hinata to frown.
"It was only thirty seconds." She said the frustration obvious in her voice.
"It is impressive. That is more than double the longest you were able to maintain that jutsu before you were linked to Naruto. Your chakra reserves have increased dramatically over the past few weeks."
"That may be true but it feels like I have hardly anything now." She sighed.
"His chakra reserves are incredible aren't they?"
"I don't think anyone really has any idea. Kakashi-san has developed a training technique for him that is dramatically increasing his chakra stores. It's almost like a vast sea of power, even without tapping directly into the fox he has more chakra than anyone I've ever encountered or even heard about."
"Well at least still have him right?" Neji asked with a smile.
"Yes." Hinata said softly with a smile as her cheeks colored slightly.
"The two of you are very good together." Neji replied as he turned and left her to her own thoughts.
Later that day.
Naruto was off in the training area he had been working in the past several weeks. The waterfall Yamato-sensei had created was still flowing. For the first time in all those weeks he was alone, he had spent the past few hours . With a large sigh he decided he might as well continue. He quickly formed a typical Rasengan. He stared at the spinning orb of chakra as it spun in his hand for a few moments. He closed his eyes and felt the swirling energy in his hand and stood there for a moment as he began to concentrate. From this point on this jutsu was his and his alone. Kakashi, Jiraiya not even the Yondaime who created the original Rasengan could match him here.
A thin grayish white razor thin ring formed around the edge of the blue orb. Four triangles slowly grew out of the ring and began to slowly spin around the sphere. The triangles became white as they grew to about 5 centimeters and their tips began to curve slightly. Naruto opened his eyes and smiled as he watched the Fuuton Rasengan while it seemed to almost lazily spin in his hand. He closed his eyes and concentrated further. Four additional blades of wind grew out of the Rasengan as beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. The ends of all eight blades flattened out becoming rectangular instead of triangular curves.
'Damn this doesn't feel quite right but it is close.' He thought to himself as he tried to remember exactly what he did to turn his Rasen-Shuriken into a shield when he fought against Hiashi and the Hyuga elder.
The modified Fuuton Rasengan wavered and Narutos face contorted into a snarl as he fought to keep the swirling energy under control. The blue and white spinning mass settled down and he began to pour more power into it. The blades grew longer and began to spin faster. Naruto began to smile slightly. Suddenly there was a flicker of light that didn't belong and his smile vanished. Before he could react further the entire jutsu destabilized and sort of exploded in his hand. Although basically unhurt as the wind and his chakra washed over him, it had generated enough force to knock him on his ass.
A few hours later he was beat, bruised and extremely frustrated. He had no trouble with the Fuuton Rasengan but somehow he had lost the ease of manipulating it. He couldn't even push it into a full Rasen-Shuriken without the help of a clone or two. He breathed out in a great sigh. At least his shadow clones were still working properly. Everything else though, or rather everything he had developed with Hinata just wasn't working properly. He sighed in frustration as he leaned over tiredly.
"You do realize that after watching you for the past half hour or so I believe I just might be able to beat you on my own." Neji said as he walked into the clearing.
"You wish." Naruto said with a smile as he straightened up.
"It's not the same without her is it?" Neji stated softly.
"Not even close. I've always thought I could bull my way through anything the world threw at me on my own. It might not be easy but I just don't stay down and I refuse to give up. With her at my side though I feel like not only can nothing stop us but I don't think anything can even slow us down."
"Always remember that Naruto." Neji said as he smiled one of his exceedingly rare smiles before turning and leaving.
More than a week later.
The group stood just outside one of the gates of Konoha.
"We sure got stuck with some lousy weather, huh?" Kakashi said.
"Everyone move out!" Naruto suddenly yelled out.
"Actually I think the rain might help our resident hothead cool off." Kiba said with a slight grin as he sat on Akamaru's back.
Silence descended on the group of eight ninja and only the sound of the rain could be heard. Hinata sadly looked to the grim look of determination Naruto wore and she gave a soft sigh. Shino, Kiba and Akamaru were the only ones who heard her but they said nothing. She knew there was only one thing on his mind right now, getting Sasuke back. In a moment the group vanished into the wood.
A/N – The end of Fury.
Well, one more time my apologies for the delays.
Hopefully I didn't mix up anything here and I posted the right chapter. I've been switching over to a new computer and using Open Office instead of Word over the past couple of months. Somewhere along the line I wound up with two versions of this chapter. I'm shot right now and will likely be asleep shortly so I only gave this one a quick once over. I was starting to think if I didn't post this tonight it might have been a few more months before I got back to it. So please excuse any errors that I missed.
I had originally planned on making this last chapter longer but some of the stuff I was thinking about adding started seeming silly. I actually deleted a few thousand words for a scene after the fights that were just wrong. This final chapter is a bit anti-climatic, o.k. more than a bit but I've been sitting on this chapter for literally a few months now and I just can't seem to get anywhere with it.
I had also planned on ending this with that scene at the end of manga 354 since the time I first read it. I do have a few really vague ideas that could be worked into a sequel but to be honest I doubt that will happen any time soon. I would also like to do a 'Fury' spin-off that revolves around Lee before I think about any sort of sequel to 'Fury'.
When I first started this story I was originally going to call it 'The Fifth Tail' and the first appearance of the white chakra was going to have Naruto in a five tailed state. I couldn't really tell why I changed it but I thought some of you might find that interesting. Originally I started the story with what is now chapter four, that is why the first three chapters were rushed. I never really had any sort of overall plot outline for this story and was originally figuring it'd simply be something of a one shot with what became chapter four. Pretty much most of the story has been done 'by the seat of my pants' so to speak. I do have a vague idea or two that could lead to a sequel to this story but to be honest at this time that may not happen. I've got another epic Naruto story in the works that I'm trying to flesh out a little more in my head before trying to turn it into something readable. That one will hopefully be longer than 'Fury' and a bit more planned, well for me anyway. I'm also planning on finishing 'Dark Endings' and '20th' first though.
Anyway thank you everyone for your time in reading this story. My writing is likely to be dropping dramatically over the next few month, major life change type of thing, we'll see how it goes..