Disclaimer- I don't own this story or the characters in it.
Sorry this has been so long coming out...I don't really have an excuse except that I've been preoccupied with other things
Sad to say this, but this is the last chapter of this fanfic! It took me a while to figure out the format of how I wanted this to be done. I hope you like it and I tried to take in to account with what the readers wanted as well as my own ideas for the fate of the Jinchuuriki
Read and enjoy, this fanfic was a blast to write and I am grateful to all of you who reviewed and gave me great feedback on my chapters! Thank you so much!
List of Jinchuuriki
Sabaku no Gaara - 1 tail- Ichibi
Nii Yugito - 2 tail -Nibi
Sohma Kakashi - 4 tail- Yonbi
Koizumi Makoto - 5 tail- Gobi
Nakamura Asuka - 6 tail- Rokubi
Kuroda Fukagawa - 7 tail- Shichibi
Fujiwara Yin & Fujiwara Yang - 8 tail- Hachibi (each twin contains half of it)
Uzumaki Naruto - 9 tail Kyuubi
Blackness surrounded Naruto and her body was numb.
For how long she just floated there, she did not know but as she lay there, the floating in the dark soon turned into laying down on a hard surface.
She could only see black but a light began glimmer in the corner of her eye. Turning her head she saw a fire in the dark surrounded by logs.
Getting up and slowly walking towards the fire, Naruto saw that she wasn't alone. Other people could be seen sitting on the logs and as Naruto joined them she was greeted by the sight of Gaara, Yugito, Kakashi, and Fukagawa.
Sitting down on one of the logs next to Gaara no one spoke and just stared at the fire.
"I was wondering who would be next" said Kakashi breaking the silence.
"You've been here before?" asked Fukagawa.
"You don't live to my age to not know what this place is" replied Kakashi.
"It is the border, between the world of the living and the world of the dead" answered Yugito. "The nibi would tell me about this place every once in a while."
"Does that mean we're dead?" asked Naruto.
"Dead or close to death, who knows" replied Kakashi and the group fell silent once more.
Soon the others drifted in until all nine Jinchuuriki were sitting in front of the fire.
Looking around at everyone present, Asuka asked the question that was on everyone's mind, "What happens now?"
The sealing process was going slowly, but minute by minute more and more of the energy of the tailed beast was being transferred into the stature, leaving the hosts and taking with it their lives.
From the shadows, Madara watched as watched as years of planning came to fruition.
'Soon everything will be under my control...'
The Jinchuuriki sat there, in the infinite dark between the world of the living and the world of the dead, staring at the fire before them.
They didn't talk, they just waited. Waited for what, even they didn't fully know.
For death to take them?
To be rescued?
It seemed like eternity passed without them saying a word, but minute by minute, the fire before them slowly grew dimmer and dimmer as they were enveloped in the shadows.
Looking up from his thoughts, Kakashi watched as the firelight dimed and his fellow Jinchuuriki faded from his vision.
"So, it's time for me to go." he said to himself looking at the dyeing embers of the fire before him.
"Yes, yes it is" came a females voice to his left.
Wiping his head around, Kakashi saw someone he never thought he would see again.
"Y-yoko?" he whispered, tears forming in his eyes.
Sitting next to him a Iwa Jonin uniform with long black hair, not looking a day over 23, his wife Yoko sat next to him.
"Yes darling it's me" said Yoko with a sad smile on her lips as she placed her hand on his.
Tears he promised himself he would never shed again streamed down his face. Yoko, his wife of 36 years and the only person who ever truly loved him was next to him looking the same as she did when he proposed.
"We've been waiting for you" she said standing up holding onto his hand.
"Y-Yoko...I've missed you so much" Kakashi cried holding onto her with both his hands and crying openly.
Enveloping him in a hug and cradling his head Yoko said softly, "I know love, I know."
Lifting him onto his feet she said looking into his eyes, "It's time to go. The children are waiting for us."
The children...his two sons who died when they were just toddlers...he would get to see them again too?
Turning his back to the dead fire and following Yoko, Kakashi found himself standing at the entrance to his old home in Iwagakure and instead of being an old man, he found himself in the body of his 25 year old self.
From inside the house he could hear the laughter of children playing, but as Yoko stepped arose the threshold, he found himself unable to move.
"Can... can I really go with you?" he asked crying. "I've done so many horrible things... killed so many people...can I really go with you" he whispered as he sank to his knees crying.
Once again Yoko wrapped her arms around him in a cradling hug and whispered as tears flowed down her cheeks, "You suffered enough already, my love. You are allowed this too."
Both stayed there, crying for a moment before the sound of the door bursting open sounded and two pairs of feet came running up the path.
"Papa! Papa's here!"
Enveloping his sons in a hug, Kakashi cried, "Yes, I'm here now. Sorry it took me so long to make it, but I'm here now."
Racing across the land, the collation force of ninja made for their destination.
They had successfully located where the Akatsuki ritual was being held and had already had to fight off attacks by the clones of the Akatsuki members.
One thought was on everybody's mind.
'Hang on, where coming for you!'
The remaining eight Jinchuuriki sat around the fading fire. Each was aware of Kakashi's absence, but soon, for each one of them, the fire before them slowly went out and their fellow Jinchuuriki faded into the black. And through it all, Gaara never let go of Naruto's had and vice versa.
The next to go where Yin and Yang. Too young to fully grasp exactly what was going on, they both knew about death, but much of the situation was lost to them.
All they knew was that the fading flames and the encroaching darkness was something that terrified them, and they held onto each other for dear life.
As the last flames died down and their fellow Jinchuuriki faded from their visions, the two were terrified, tears overflowing from their eyes as the hugged onto each other tight, lest they too fade into the black that surrounded them.
Silence, and they waited, shivering and scared.
Out of nowhere a red rolled between their feet. Curiosity overcoming their fear, they both picked up the ball and looked at it intensely.
"Hey, come on you two, you going to look at the ball all day or are you going to pass it?" came a young voice from behind them.
Turning around, they found themselves in a playground that seemed to stretch on forever with green grass, blue skies and trees perfect for climbing on. Swing sets, ball fields, and every other type of activity a child could think of playing in this park could be seen.
Standing in fount of Yin and Yang was a group of children, boys and girls, some younger than them and some older, all looking at them expectantly.
"Well, you going to pass the ball or not?" said the boy from before. "We always need more people to play so come on!"
Smiling the twins nodded their heads before running off to join the other kids playing, leaving the cruelty and the hardship of the world behind. No longer will they be forced to train as weapons. Here, they can play and have fun as long as they wanted.
Yugito watched as the twins faded from her vision and not long after that, everyone else.
Sitting by herself she nudged the embers of the fire with her toe, causing flames to re appear briefly before dying down again. She kicked it again and again, refusing to let the flames die.
She would not fade away into the black, she would persist. She will stay strong, and she WILL survive!
"Do not go gently into that good night, Rage, rage against the dying of the light." (1)
Yugito stopped her kicking and with wide eyes looked at the seat next the her.
There sitting in his new genin uniform and a brand new Kumo headband on was her older brother, looking the same as she last saw him right before he set out on his first C-class mission when she was a little girl...the same mission he lost his life in.
Collapsing to the ground with a muffled cry, she called out, "Onii-san? Is that you?"
"I'm afraid it is Yugito-chan" her bother said with a sad smile.
"NO! I refuse to go! I will not die!" Yugito raged
"I will not die, I will not let myself go!" she continued as her bother walked towards her.
"I won't be like you! I won't let myself die, not like this, not like this..."
As her bother stood over her, no longer sitting there was the proud shinobi known as Nii Yugito, but her four year old self.
"I won't go! I'm not weak like you!"
Looking up at her brother tears streaming down her face, "You left me behind! You said you would be back! You lied-" Yugito raged but was cut off as her brother enveloped her four year old body into a deep hug.
"I'm sorry I couldn't keep my promises Yugito-chan, I am so very sorry."
"Onii-chan" Yugito cried, "I don't want to die!"
"I'm not here to take you away" he said to his crying sister, "I'm here to tell you to live."
Pulling away from her bother, the now older Yugito wiped the tears from her eyes.
"So tell me, Yugito-chan, tell me about what kind of person you became."
From his vantage point, Madara frowned. A couple of days have already passed, but the sealing was still far from complete. The Yonbi and the Hachibi were already fully inside the statue, but the others were taking longer.
'Holding onto their lives, it seems'
An explosion rocked the room as the stone blocking the entrance exploded inward.
'And here they come. We can pause the sealing process here and take care of these pest...maybe even use their chakra to speed this process up.' Madara thought to himself, a slime forming hidden underneath his mask.
Already the collation forces moved to engage the members of Akatsuki.
With a wave of his hand, dozens of other shinobi fell from the roof of the cave, dressed in the Akatsuki cloaks and began fighting the collation forces.
'If they want a war, they can have a war!'
As the fire died down and the people around him faded away into the black nothings, Makoto closed his eyes and prayed.
He didn't pray for his life, for his soul, or even the souls of his fellow Jinchuuriki. He just prayed.
"To everything there is season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time pluck what is planted; A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and time to gather the stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace" came voice from all around Makoto.(2)
Opening his eyes, Makoto was still sitting in front of the low burning fire, but he was no longer alone. Across from him sat a figure, male or female, he could not tell, made up of white light. But even in the darkness, the white light didn't illuminate the world around the figure or even sting Makoto's eyes at all.
"Who are you?" Makoto asked the figure.
"Come now...you were just talking to me a moment ago. Have you forgotten already?"
"In a manner of speaking, yes" said the figure crossing it's legs and resting it's head on its hands. "I am God, but God is also much more than I am."
"Why are you here?"
"Why am I here, you ask? Why wouldn't I be here is the question you should be asking. I am here to impart upon you...am understanding."
"Yes, of life, the universe, yourself. You were in the process of asking me why this all happened to you. Why you had the Gobi sealed inside you, why there are wars, why people suffer...In short, you wanted to know why for everything, so I will tell you why."
"In words that you can understand...why not? I could control everything so there would be no suffering, not disasters, no death. But for what purposes. If it was like that why not just revert everything back to nothing and leave it like that. The rules of nature were set down to give order to the universe order while allowing for changes to occur, adversity to be meet and overcome. In short to allow you to grow."
"And with this growth comes your free will that you seem to take for granted most of the time. With that free will you can choose to see the world around you as ever you please, to react to it in whatever manner you want, and even try to change it with whatever means you can use. The Gobi was sealed inside you because a man chose to seal it inside you. All you could do is accept it, but don't go blaming me for it, instead blame that man. Same with wars and disasters. It's you humans that fight each other or it's the forces of nature that harm you. You don't like it, you can always...quit" Gods aid with a smile.
"So you want me to stop complaining about it then and just accept my lot in life and my death?" Makoto said with a raised voice.
"Heavens no boy, I'm am telling you to do what you feel is right! Didn't you pay attention to what I said first. There is time for everything...but it is up to you to grasp what that time is and take advantage of it. You could let yourself pass on now, but it not your time yet. There is still things for you to do, places to see, and people to meet. Those people will shape you just as much as you shape them. So live my child."
"But what about the other?" asked Makoto desperately as God began to fade away.
"What about them? They have to make their own choices and face the consequences of others that they already made. Remember nothing is for free and every action has a consequence. Remember that."
And with that the white figure of God faded completely away, leaving Makoto alone in front of the fire again.
"One more thing" said God, suddenly appearing next to Makoto and causing him to jump up in surprise.
Walking up to him, God said "If you chose the path of life, remember..." before whispering a secret into his ear and causing Makoto's eyes to go wide with shock
Makoto was just about to ask why when God silenced him my placing a finger on his lips.
"Think of this as a present, and watch out for falling rocks."
And with that God was gone, leaving Makoto alone again in front of the fading fire.
"But how do I make sure I live...by choosing to live!" Makoto said with a smile.
As Asuka sat in front of the fire all by herself, her emotions raging from fear to resentment and anger.
Suddenly the fire flared up and she covered her face with her hands to protect herself from the flames.
When the fire died down and she opened her eyes, she suddenly wished with all her heart to be back in the dark by herself.
She was standing on a bridge floating above a sea of fire and blood spilling into an endless chasm. In front of her a massive, wicked gate loomed and the screams of the damned could be heard from everywhere.
She was in hell.
Shaking, Asuka tried to step away from the gate, but to her shock, found herself in the arms of the person behind her.
Fearful, she tuned to see a figure of complete darkness standing behind her, holding onto her shoulders.
"Ah yes, Nakamura Asuka" the figure hissed out, it's voice bringing with it the screams of the damned souls of hell with it.
"You've been expected."
"N--n-n-n-no, I shouldn't be here!" Asuka said hyperventilating and looking shocked.
"Oh, but you should." the figure leered at her, enjoying her discomfort.
"You see, I am never wrong when it comes to people who come here."
"But what did I do! I was a good Shinobi, I followed my orders, I wasn't cruel or debase! What did I do wrong!"
"True, true, all true" the figure hissed as it forced her to walk towards the gate.
"But there was that one mission. You destroyed an entire village under orders from your leader. Before you say it, yes you followed your orders and yes they were trying to rebel. But you didn't stop with the solders and the leaders of the rebellion. No you took it a step further and killed everyone, every man, woman, child, and even every dog and cat in that village!" the figure raged, grabbing both her shoulders in a painful vice-like grip.
"And don't say it was just following orders. You killed them all, you! And you don't even have your demon to blame either, it was ALL YOU!"
Dragging the sobbing Asuka towards the gate the figure continued, "For your crimes you deserve to suffer, deserve the agony that awaits you."
The gates of hell opened and the figure shoved her into hell for only a minute before pulling her out again.
"But now is not your time to suffer" said the figure flinging the battered, whimpering Asuka to the ground. "Your life is not over yet. Think of this as...a preview of things to come. If you do not repent and make up for your past crimes with what time you have left, then you and I will be seeing each other again" the voice leered before merciful darkness surrounded Asuka and she found herself in front of the fading fire again.
Looking at the fire, she broke down crying. She knew that if she survived, she would repent for her past actions...but how?
From behind her, the voice of God came, "You can start with an apology and work your way from there."
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so very sorry..."
Hidan was dead...well, as dead as he could be, anyways.
Kakuzu didn't really think he could have survived being minced by the Suna fan users and the Kiri swords men, but who knows.
Without breaking his train of thought, Kakuzu plunged his hands and threads into the chest of the Iwa-nin who he was fighting and ripped out his heart, replacing one that he lost. Already he has lost seven hearts, and if it wasn't for his ability to quickly take new ones he would be dead.
Explosions could be seen and felt a little ways away where Deidara fought and Kakuzu was surprised the fool didn't try to blow himself up yet and take out all his enemies with him.
Quickly ducking down, Kakuzu avoided the sword of the Kiri-nin behind him before sending spikes of thread up to get him.
The Kiri-nin avoided the would be fatal blow and landed a few feet away, close to his comrades from the different villages.
"Is that all you've got?" taunted Kakuzu.
But just as he took a step forward, he found himself unable to move.
"Capture, successful" came the voice of Shikamaru behind him.
"Shit!" he cursed as eight shinobi from all the different nations attacked him at once, death it would seems, might have finally caught up to him.
Fukagawa sat alone by the fire, starring at the flames.
He didn't fear death, but he also didn't want to die either.
As the fire faded he could see something appearing out of the darkness that surrounded him.
At first it was a faint gray color, twisting and turning like a snake as far as the eye could see, but as he looked, the line grew more soled and he could see shapes walking upon a white path.
Some were humans, some were animals, but others were thinks he's never seen before. Spirits and monsters from beyond his imagination walked the path with the humans and animal he was so used to seeing.
Part of him wanted to join them in their parade, but another part of him told him to stay by the fire and wait. For what, he did not know.
As the parade passed, no one seemed to notice him sitting by the side of the road and as time passed, the desire to go with them steadily grew.
"If you go with them, you can never return" came a child's voice next to him.
Turning his head, he was meet by a little girl in a sunflower dress, kicking her legs back and forth on the log he sat on.
"But if you stay, you might never know where they are going...what will you do."
"Who are you?" he asked looking at the little girl.
"Me? Don't you recognize me? Oh well, I guess it's a little soon for you to know who I am anyways" said the little girl with a giggle.
"So if I go with them..." Fukagawa said gesturing to the parade.
"You will die" finished the little girl.
"But if you stay here, you might also die. To live you need to return to the place where you are from."
"But how do I do that? I've been captured by the enemy and I'm currently having the Shichibi sucked out of me. When they are done, I will die!"
"True. But you are not alone in the world" said the little girl getting up and plopping herself onto his lap.
"You have a choice to make, stay here and tend the fire's of life, go with the parade of death where they are heading? It's your choice. Each path can bring you happiness or suffering, depending on what you do."
"I think..I thing I will stay here."
As he said this the parade and the little girl began to fade from his sights.
"I knew you would make the right choice. See you in the future...Otosan..."
Naruto and Gaara sat by the fire together.
As the firelight dimed down and dies, they griped each other's hands tighter and tighter, afraid to let the other go.
Suddenly Naruto could no longer feel the warmth of Gaara's hand and looking over to where he sat, she let out a muffled cry as he was nowhere to be found.
Looking around desperately, tears forming in her eyes, Naruto say that no one was to be found. She was alone in front of the embers of the fire they once all shared.
"I was hoping that it would be many years from now that you would come here, Naruto-chan" came a female's voice from Naruto's right.
Whipping her head around, there was Kushina with her long red hair flowing down across her back as she smiled sadly at Naruto.
"Okasan...Is that you, really you? This isn't another trick... is it?" Naruto said tears coming down her cheeks.
"It's me baby, it's me" said Kushina, cradling Naruto in her arms.
"Okasan...he...he used your body to get close to me and.."
"I know, I know" said Kushina resting her head on Naruto's head.
"Where's Gaara-kun, Okasan? Where is everyone else?"
"Everyone is in their own place. Your are dying, honey. Akatsuki is currently extracting the Kyuubi from you and if they are not stopped, you will die."
"But, what can I do? How can I stop them?"
"Unfortunate...nothing. Now it's up to those in the world of the living to save you. If they succeed, you will live. But if they fail, I'm afraid that you will die."
"What will happen to me when I die?"
"That, dear, if for you to decide. The next world is not something that I can explain, you have to see it for yourself. But it is not yet your time" Kushina said firmly, holding onto Naruto's shoulders and looking into her eyes. "You must never give up! No matter what! You have a greater destiny to fulfill and only once that is done," Kushina's face turning into a sad smile, "then, only then can you come back here."
"But enough of this sad talk, Naruto-chan. Tell me about yourself. Tell me about the women you've become. Tell me about your hopes and your dreams...and I'll tell you about myself..."
Madara looked over the scene before him with distant.
His organization had fallen.
Akatsuki was finished.
Deidara, Sasori sori, Hidan, Kakuzu, Kisame, Konan, Zetsu, and even Pain had fallen. Caught inside the sealing chamber, they couldn't use their full power, and the coalition forces took full advantage of this, swarming them and ignoring their casualties, they were wining through a battle of pure attrition.
He was finished. He would never win this on his own. Even if he killed all the shinobi present here, he could never finish the sealing process by himself.
"You've won for now...but this is not the end" he snarled before disappearing in a fold in space and time. When and where he would next show himself, no one knew.
Gaara was alone. In the end, even Naruto disappeared from his vision.
As the fire died down he could see figures emerging from the darkness.
Figures he knew.
Each and every one was a person that he killed in one way or another.
He saw his mother, his uncle, the assassins his fathered hired, the people he killed on missions, and the people he killed on the streets for just looking at him the wrong way when he was little.
"You've been keeping me busy in your short life so fare" came a woman's voice from next to him.
Looking to his left, a women dressed in a black gothic outfit with black hair, snow white skin, and the eye of Horus under her right eye sat there looking at him with a smile. (3)
"Hello, Gaara-kun, it's been a while. You were so cute when you were born, and now look at you," she said standing up and walking around Gaara, "You've only gotten cuter."
"Who are you?" asked Gaara eyeing the woman suspiciously.
"Why, I'm Death! A pleasure to meet you for the second time!"
"So, are you here to talk me away?"
"No, no, my dear Gaara-kun. I'm here just to visit you. Everyone else is being visited by someone else, So I decided to drop in on you and tell you something important."
Gaara's eye's opened wide as Death walked right up to him and whispered into his ear.
With that, she pushed Gaara back, and as he began to fall into the infinite blackness he could he Death smiling and waving at him.
"See ya latter, Gaara-kun..."
With a gasp, Gaara opened his eyes. Everything was blurry and it took him a few minutes for his vision to clear.
"He's awake!" someone called from next to him. "The Kazekage is awake!"
Immediately the faces of his brother and sister filled his vision.
"Gaara can you hear me?" Temari said, looking down at her brother.
Nodding his head, Gaara moved to stand and was immediately helped up by Kankuro and Temari.
Surveying the scene before him, he saw that he was in a ruined chamber, the walls blown out and the sealing having a massive gaping hole in it.
All around him there was battered and bruised shinobi looking over bodies of getting tended to by medic-nins.
"What happened?" he asked.
"When you and the others were captured, the rest of the coalition forces tracked down where Akatsuki was, we fought them and we won! But not without a great many casualties on out part" said Temari solemnly.
Looking over the battle field, Gaara say hundreds of bodies, some wearing the Akatsuki cloaks and some dressed in the normal artier of the shinobi from the different villages across the elemental nations.
"Where is Naruto-chan and the other?" Gaara asked suddenly, wiping his head around towards Temari.
"They are on their way to Konoha, the closest village to our present location. They are alive and still have their demons. We were just about to move you too, when you woke up" said Temari.
"I'm sorry to say this but, Kakashi...he did not survive. His demon was taken and he died. The twins Yin and Yang also died, lost their demon and died but elder Chiyo, she did...something ...that brought them back to life, gave up her own life in the process though..." said Kankuro with his head down.
Nodding his head, Gaara looked out once again at the battle field.
"We need to get the wounded tended to and the bodies made ready for transport back-"
"Gaara-kun, we have it covered" said Temari softly. You are still weak from your ordeal, please let us handle this and go to Konoha with the others."
In Konoha Gaara found himself in the doorway of one of the rooms looking at the patient within. This particular room contained something far more important to him then the shinobi who risked their lives to save him. It contained the women he loved.
Entering the room Gaara found Naruto sitting up in bead, looking outside as the sun began to rise over the village.
"Is it really over, Gaara-kun. Are they really gone?"
"From what we can tell yes...they will not hunt us again."
Looking at Gaara with a sad smiling she asked, "And at what cost were we saved at?"
"Too high of a cost...to high..."
Silence filled the room as Gaara moved to sit on the side of the bead with Naruto, watching the sun rise higher and higher over the village.
Reaching into his pocket, Gaara thumbed a little box he had hidden there before pulling in out and facing Naruto.
"Uzumaki Naruto" he said catching her attending before opening the box towards her.
"Will you marry me?"
Silence filled the room before Naruto, tears of joy coming down her cheeks answered.
(1) From the poem "Do not go gently into that good night" by Dylan Thomas
(2) From the Bible Ecclesiastes 3:1-9
(3) Death from the Sandman series.
And that is it for Deceiving Appearance!
I hoped you enjoyed reading this story and if you liked it, please check out my other stories!