A/N - And this my friends is indeed the end to 'Blood Stained Lilies'. Enjoy.
Oh and be sure to read the long ass note at the end.
"Without faith a man can do nothing; with it all things are possible."
- Sir William Osler -
The years began to blend and fade together, making him loose track of the centuries that had passed away, never to return again. With the changing times came new memories, along with the loss of others. Friends came, friends left, none lasting more that a blink of an eye to Naruto.
One memory, one person, though had stayed vivid in Naruto's mind, just as if it had happened yesterday. It did not matter that hundreds of year had passed; he could still envision the perfect young man with soft raven locks and dark onyx eyes.
'Sasuke' A name that was now so much more like a prayer. A hope and a promise to meet again, still unanswered.
It was tempting, with the world like it was, to give up and move on. Too much sadness had built up within the blond. He had seen too many wars, so much blood and death. No matter the time that passed, he could always recount the images on the battlefield.
His last lifetime had been the worst. After the collapse of the American empire, Rome who had spread out to cover all of Europe and some of Asia, took up their weapons against Chinese Republic; sending the world into yet another bloody war.
Naruto remembered that war too vividly for his liking. Smoke, dirt, and the bitter taste of his own blood, that was his last memory. Sadly, he never made it to see the end of the war. Shrapnel from a well placed mine was his undoing. Yet at this point, he longed for death, hoping to wake in a better age.
Looking at the clean streets of Florence and the locals laughing without worry, one would think that at last the world was at peace.
Naruto knew better though. He was not one who wished to stay blind to the darker side of the times and knew better than to fall for the peaceful mask that the world liked to hide behind.
A loud and obnoxious auctioneer halted Naruto in his progress. He had classes to attend to at the local University; he did not have time to humor businessmen.
"A boy, you look like the kind of man who would know good merchandise when he saw it..." Naruto just gave him a hardening look.
"Come now boy. How can you say no to a pet as lovely as this?" The man pointed to a young girl no older than twelve tied by the wrist to a stake. Her long dark hair, a mark of a slave, was the only covering she had to hide her body.
This was why Naruto hated these people. Had the human race grown so sick as to enslave there own kind. Not even caring about age, race, nor sex. No, to them if a person was weak, then what other use to the world were they.
Naruto could not help but pity the girl. No doubt, she would be sold to a rich man, who would find pleasure in a young body. The thought alone made Naruto sick. That had been the fate of his mother before her death. His father had raped her, and he had been the result. It was his and his fathers' dirty secret. If anyone were to find out, Naruto would be enslaved and his father fined for keeping an un-registered slave.
If you were born with an ounce of slave blood, the government would stamp you; marking you as filth. Thankfully, Naruto's father had just lost his first-born son and his wife due to complications during childbirth. It was easy enough to pay of the family doctor to stay quiet, and to change Naruto's birth certificate.
Needless to say, he and his father were not very close. In fact, he had found comfort in the parents of his best friend. Naruto had known Kakashi Hitake since he was seven. They had grown up together and faced many changes together.
It was Kakashi's parents they went to when the thirst for blood started to seep within them. Moreover, it was them who comforted Naruto through all the horrid flashbacks of times long passed. Somehow though, having Kakashi around seemed to ease the pain. This had been the first time since Itachi's plan had been put into motion that Naruto had seen Kakashi. It was only slightly odd to actual be the same age as the man he had once called his teacher.
"So what do you think? Want to check it out?" Naruto shook his head, ignoring the man as he continued down the road. He had promised to meet Kakashi near the main street café. They would head to class like always and Kakashi would ask if he had been successful.
The only thing was; Naruto was never successful. No matter how many leads he could track down, Sasuke could never be found. He had looked everywhere; the closest thing he had found was a record that had dated back five hundred years ago to a Sasuke Uchiha, America's last monarch. America's turn to monarchy had been its downfall. Yet Naruto could not help but laugh when thinking about Sasuke being a king.
After this new information had become known, Kakashi had made a point that drowned Naruto's hopes of ever finding Sasuke again.
"This only makes things harder for us. With the way things are, Uchiha will not be a name you will be finding anymore, not with what it is linked back to. If Sasuke is alive now, the chances are high that he took a new surname." Kakashi had said.
Checking the records, Naruto saw that his friend had been right. The name Uchiha had last been used no more than ten years after Sasuke's down fall.
Since then, the name had never been used.
All hope seemed to be lost. Naruto only had fate and chance on his side now. They had gotten them back together once, maybe hoping for a third time wasn't asking too much.
Turning the corner, Naruto saw Kakashi lounging in a plush chair outside the café. In hand was today's paper and in the other a steaming cup of Italian coffee. It was autumn in Florence and the air was already becoming crisp, signaling the coming winter.
"What took you so long blondie? Jacking off to that old picture of Sasuke again?" Naruto blushed, cursing the pervert. How dare he even think that, besides it had only happened once.
"The Kakashi I knew would never say something like that." Ok maybe he would, but not to a students face.
"Yeah, well sorry to break it to you, but I am the Kakashi you know. Same guy, only this time around I don't have to act like your teacher." He winked at Naruto before taking a sip of his coffee.
"Sometimes I wish you would still treat me like your student."
"Aw, but where is the fun in that?" He pouted, and Naruto ignored him.
"So when do we need to get to class today? I know Dr. Klein wanted to go over some things with us before our trip next week." For their senior project, they were writing a documentary about the problems that were facing what was left of the American's. The country was pretty much an industrial pile of filth, where the slave trade ran strong.
"Hmm, sometime within the next hour... So, how's the hunting going?"
"Don't ask. I have not been able to dig up anything in months. Maybe he's just not here, still not reborn." It was hard to go on everyday without him, but at least the dull ache in his chest could be ignored and forgotten now. He had long ago grown used to it.
"Gods Naruto, don't make me give you my motivational 'you can do it' speech again." Kakashi finally put his paper down to look Naruto in the eye. "The Naruto I know would never give up, because I know Sasuke means a lot more to you than that. If you had to fight a tiger you would still run forward, if you had to climb Mount Everest you would go forwarded without a second thought, if you–"
Naruto was quite familiar with this little speech of Kakashi's. It was not as if it was anything new. He would not even be surprised if the man had it written down somewhere.
Drowning him out, he let his blue eyes wander past his friend and in the crowd. Naruto's whole body grew stiff and his eyes widened.
Kakashi, who saw the sudden change in his friend, turned to see what had caught his eye. There within the crowd was a familiar head of raven hair. Kakashi could not see their face, but he only knew of one person who ever wore it in that duck-butt style. The man turned the corner and disappeared from sight.
"Go Naruto; don't let this chance walk away. You'll never know if that was him if you don't get off of the fat ass of yours." He smiled as Naruto rushed past him, heading towards a stranger who they both could only hope held Naruto's future and happiness.
Maybe this time, Kakashi could finally see that brilliant smile on Naruto's face once again.
As I ran, I could not help but feel my heart being tugged. Not in front of me, but from behind me.
Like an invisible string being played with by an unknown puppeteer.
Without my knowing it, I had become a puppet for the one known as fate.
Her boney hands moving me to do her bidding. My nature keeping me pinned to the path I wish to take. The path in front of me, not behind.
'Naruto...' Then why do I hear my name being called. His voice just as I remember it, so soft like it had been drug here from over the great seas.
I still, my feet growing heavy with knowing. The strings pulling persistently.
I have been fighting for so long what I must embrace. A tormenting fate that shall bring me to salvation.
I will play the puppet...
She shall bring me to you.
A/N - Well this is a moment that I never saw coming. Sure when I started this fic I knew that I would someday end it if I was lucky. And now here I am finally saying goodbye to it. Kinda sad.
One thing though I never expected was so meet some good friends through writing this. One of which as stayed with me through it all. Giving me positive remarks that kept me going. He pushed me when I began to fall back, and he believed in me when I began to loose faith. Thanks to you, I finally go to this point. This chapter is dedicated to you. 3 Much love to you YaoiBoi!
But the person who should get the most praise is little Miss Disgruntled Minion. She was really there from start to finish. Listening to me ramble on about a fic that was merely a dream. Putting up with me tossing chapters at her to look through, sitting on the phone for hours as I read her the latest chapters. Telling me that I had written was better than it actually was. (Beta's note: Haha, yeah right, you're the one who sat through all my chapters too. And don't you dare call your stuff junk, or I'll hold your present for ransom) Feeding my over inflated ego. LMAO. Know that I love ya girl. If it weren't for you, this would still be a dream. You're the best friend/sister-ish thing I have ever had and had the honor of knowing and that is why this fic is dedicated you (Aw, how sweet)... haha now I am getting mushy and I know you hate all that. So I give you some pointy objects and an unsuspecting victim to make up for it. Have fun. xD (*Grins* You know me so well)
Last but not least, I have all my readers to thank. Without you, I really would not have finished this. You guys gave me encouragement in the form of reviews and kind words. Thanks so much for reading this and I hope you continue to watch me as I grow as a writer.
Also no there is NOT going to be a MULTI-CHAPTER sequel... but yes you will be seeing some one-shots... so far I have two planned... maybe a third, but don't hold your breath.
My main focus will not be on my own original novel that I plan to write and publish... maybe... as well as finishing 'Affinity' and starting 'The Narcissistic Theory' which I look forward to starting since it is funny, sweet, and short... only five chapters... so I might write it all out first and then post it... who knows.
Well then, I guess this is it. Thanks again so much. I will truly miss you guys.
Hugs & Kisses