This is a small one-shot I thought up of after reading Shinigami by i-don't-have-a-name. The ending is sad, but to make sure no one gets confused, he dies at the end.

Don't own Naruto.


"What is death?"

The blonde-haired woman looked up from the epitaph to the small child. He was no older than her own son.

She knelt down, her hand brushing against the cold stone of the memorial to the child's cheek. Ino smiled sadly and remembered how it took away the troublesome light in her life. "Death is a tragedy." The boy nodded in understanding and walked away in the rain.

"What is death?"

The schoolteacher looked up surprise at the six-year old. Tapping the papers back into the file in his hand, he patted his knee, to which the boy sat on. Iruka sighed and buried his hand into the silver-haired orphan's hair. "Death is a great sadness." The boy nodded in understanding and walked out of the classroom.

"What is death?"

The Rokudaime looked up from his mountains of paperwork and blinked at the beryl-eyed boy. "I'm sorry?"

"What is death?" the boy asked.

Naruto sighed and looked out the windows of his office, the lights of his village reflecting off the great Hokage monument. He looked back on his life and saw the countless deaths he had seen and rested his chin in his hands. "Death is the great equalizer. No matter who you are, you will have to face it." The boy nodded in understanding and walked out of the office.

"What is death?"

The Hyuuga male looked down from the tree limb he rested on, the rain drenching his back and dripping from his hair. He thought back to his old team and the woman he would never see smile again. "Death is the end for us all." he answered. The boy nodded in understanding and left the training grounds.

"What is death?"

"It's what took my husband away."

"What is death?"

"It's an ugly skeleton."

"What is death?"

"It's a demon god."

"What is death?"

"You are too young."

"What is death?"

The boy sat at where he had begun. He looked around the empty training grounds as fresh raindrops rolled off the dark stone. He reached forward and traced his mother's name like he had done before, but the stone felt strange. There was a lingering sense of warmth and he looked behind him.

"What is death?" he asked.

The man looked at the boy, his dark eye staring at the young man. He looked up, the rain soaking his hair and rolling off the smooth metal of his hitai-ate. He looked down at the boy, studying his features. Silver hair not unlike his own and bright beryl eyes. "Why do you want to know?"

The boy blinked at the man. He mulled over the words and the bland tone the man had spoken with. Why did he want to know? "Because they said my mama died on a mission two days ago. I asked them what death was, but no one would tell me then."

"What about your father?"

He looked down, his fingers tracing over the familiar grooves of his mother's name. "Mama said he died in a war. He said they were trying to get a friend of Mama's back. She said they almost got him back, but then he tried to kill her. She said daddy protected her, but then, daddy died."

He looked back at the man, his eyes wide as a raindrop fell off the tip of his nose. "Mama told me how he looked like once. She couldn't show me how he looked like because she threw his pictures away after he died. She said it hurt too much, but she said he was tall and strong and wore a mask a lot and had silver hair and two different colored eyes. She said he was a 'purvert.' I don't know what it means, but she always laughed when she said that. But then, she would always say that he really loved her and that she really loved him." He stared up at him, his eyes blinking innocently. "You know, mister, you look a lot like how mama said daddy looked."

The man smiled under his mask and reached forward to bury his large hand in his hair. He ruffled it and gently tipped the child's head back. "Oh really?" he asked, slight amusement in his voice. "What about your mother? What did she look like?"

The child's eye grew bright and a smile went across his face. "Mommy was really pretty. She had eyes like mine and pink hair. It was really soft. She was tall, but not as tall as you and she was really nice and she worked as a 'medic'," the boy said sounding out the word. "She was a jounin and she smiled a lot. It made me want to smile a lot too," he said warmly.

The man smiled. "You know, I think I knew your mother."

"Really?!"

The man chuckled at the boy's eager tone. "Yes, a long time ago. She used to be my student. She was really pretty."

"See, see, I told you!" he said eagerly. The man chuckled and ruffled his hair once more. "Hai hai. Anyway, she used to like this boy. He was the friend your mother was trying to get back."

"Mama said that he was really good-looking, but very sad."

"He was. He had a really rough time growing up. He wanted to do something really important to him, but he said he needed power. He left and your mother cried. After that, she got stronger. She was training under the Gondaime."

"I know her! She used to take care of me. Before she died anyway…" The boy's face became shadowed and the man stared at him with his lone eye. "She grew really strong and I was proud of her. We became better friends and then…she fell in love with me."

"What did you do?"

"I tried to tell her it couldn't work, but she wouldn't listen. She just smiled and said that it didn't matter."

"What happened next?"

"After a while, I started to believe her and when she smiled, I found myself doing the same. Then…I fell in love with her."

"Then what happened?"

"Then, we went on a mission together with my other student. He wanted to become Hokage. I think he did. Anyway, we were trying to get something back. Something we all really missed, but it wanted to stay missing."

"And then what?"

The man looked down at the boy. "And then I got hurt. Your mother tried to save me, but we both knew she couldn't. We were both very sad."

"And then what?" he asked tentatively.

"I said I had to go. She nodded and said 'okay', but she told me something before I left."

"What was it?"

"She said we were having a baby. I smiled. She was happy. And then I left. She cried."

"What happened after?"

The man's eye crinkled and he knelt down to face the boy. "You said you wanted to know what death was, right?" He nodded and the man smiled and took his hand. "Come on."

The boy looked up. "Where are we going?"

The man chuckled, flipping open a small orange book. "I already told you. Besides, I want you to meet someone."

"Who?"

The man smiled, his hand clasping the smaller one. "You'll see."

They walked over the grassy hill. The sun was rising. They walked through the filed of flowers to a grassy knoll. The sunlight stretched over the mountains and shot beams from the horizon. A beam appeared in front of them and the man stepped on, the boy doing the same.

They strolled down the path of light, the older man holding his hand. The boy looked up. "Hey mister."

The man looked down. "Hm?"

"Who are you, anyway?"

The lights became brighter and the boy shielded his eyes. The man closed his book and placed it back in the pouch on his hip. A laugh was heard. "Kakashi, where have you been?"

The man scratched the back of his head. "Well, you see, I came upon a old lady and-"

"Stop it." she smiled as she came out past a pink cloud. The boy's eyes widened and tears stung his eyes. "Mama?"

The woman looked away from the man and smiled warmly. "Hi sweetie."

"Mama." He pulled away from the older man's grasp and ran towards his mother. He felt like he was flying.

He wrapped his arms around his mother's neck. "I missed you, mama." His mother smiled. "I missed you too," she said, a tear falling from her eyes.

She pressed a kiss to the top of his head and gathered him in her arms. She stood and rocked him gently before turning towards the silver-haired man. "Sweetie, I want you to meet your father."

The boy looked up at the man. He had only known him for a few minutes and this was a man he was supposed to know for his whole life. Tears stung his eyes. He had so much he wanted to say, so much he wanted to ask, but all that came out was "Papa?"

His father smiled wistfully. "Hey kiddo." He walked over to his son and kissed the mother of his child before holding his child. "So what do you think death is?" he asked.

The boy smiled. So many things could define what he thought. A father. A mother. A warm embrace. A gentle kiss. A warm light. A glowing feeling. What could describe death? He smiled once more. He had his answer.

"It's home."