Lost in the Green Seas

Summary: Two years have passed since Naruto left for training. Two years since Sasuke left. Naruto's coming back, stronger than ever and ready to bring back Sasuke. Everybody's grown up and changed…including Sakura's feelings for Naruto. NaruxSaku! Rated M!

NOTE: This is rated M for: Action, Violence, Blood, Language, and Death.

I DON'T OWN NARUTO!!! What will I ever do? WAAAAAHHHH!!!!

A/N: Hey guys! This is my NarutoxSakura Fan fiction! Obviously from the summary. But anyway. Please review! I love it when people tell me what they think of my work. This Fiction is based off of the Shippuuden series. Everybody's all growed up! Lol. Okay. So, I hope you guys enjoy. I will be waiting for reviews before posting the next chapter. I want at least two, please! Even if it's from one person, lol.

Here is a 'key' to things you'll be seeing in this story:

"Sakura-chan!": Regular speech

'Stupid Pervy Sage!': Thought

"Kyuubi Speech"

: This Break line means a shift of time

-----------------------------: This Break line indicates a change of Character perspective

-------------: This Break line indicates a change of time and Character

(Flashback/Dream) (End Flashback/Dream): Indicates the beginning and end of a flashback or a dream.

Chapter 1: Konoha's Maverick Ninja Returns!


Sasuke was standing on a large wooden platform that held two other people, and he had a sword at his throat. The person who held the sword to his throat was none other than the S-Rank criminal and Sannin Orochimaru. The pale white skin sent chills up Sakura's spine. His grin was pure evil, and his tongue snaked and he licked his lips. Orochimaru had both hands extended away from his body, both hands holding swords. Sasuke was on Orochimaru's right, frozen with some Ninja Skill. The person on Orochimaru's left, with a blade at his throat as well, was none other than Naruto.

Orochimaru's rasping voice addressed Sakura as she stood below them in front of the 7 foot tall wooden platform. "Choose carefully, Sakura." He hissed, chuckling. Naruto and Sasuke couldn't move, but they could talk.

Sasuke spoke first, calm and sure. He wore his old clothing, but he was clearly more grown up. "Sakura…my purpose is over. I've killed Itachi…so my goal is complete. Save Naruto." He said, but Naruto yelled out to Sakura.

"Sakura-chan! Save Sasuke! I'm not important, don't let Orochimaru have Sasuke again! Please…just choose him." Naruto yelled, and Sakura felt tears welling up in her eyes.

Sasuke looked fondly at her, and he addressed Naruto. "Shut up, loser. You've always been there for her. She wouldn't live a happy life with me. You've always been there to protect her…while I pursued my selfish goals. I used up all my chances, so now it's your turn." He stared into Sakura's eyes. "Choose Naruto. Please. Save him…for me. I can't watch my comrades die…"

Tears flowed down Sakura's face but she still didn't say anything. Naruto yelled at her, his blue eyes flashing in anger. "Don't listen to him. I promised you that Sasuke would come back! I never go back on my word! Don't make me into a liar! Choose Sasuke and go back to Konoha! I can't watch my friends die…you guys are my only family! Sakura-chan, please…take Sasuke and run."

Orochimaru grinned evilly. "Hurry up Sakura, choose who you want to live and I'll let them and you go. But, if you can't choose, I'll kill you all." He hissed, drawing an angry growl from Naruto.

"Sakura, you once told me you would do anything for me. Do this for me. Save Naruto…my goal is completed, but Naruto still has a dream to become Hokage. Do this for me." Sasuke said, softly.

Orochimaru pressed the blades in his hands harder up against Naruto and Sasuke's necks and a thin trickle of blood dripped down each of their necks. Sakura stepped forward, but Orochimaru shook his head. "Choose. Now." He said.

Sakura opened her mouth, tears flowing, and said, "I choose…I choose him." She raised her hand, and slowly pointed it at…

(End Flashback/Dream)

Sakura's green eyes snapped open, and fear immediately flooded her body. She threw back the thin, white cotton sheet that she had been tangled up in, and sat up. She calmed her breathing, and used the bed sheet to wipe sweat away from her face. She ran her hands through her pink hair, and shuddered. She had been having this dream over and over for the past five weeks…every single night. She never got past the point where she raised her hand, so she didn't know who she picked.

She had already talked to Tsunade about her dreams when they began to affect her duties, but Tsunade hadn't been able to find anything wrong. She had suggested that maybe it was because Naruto was coming back soon and she was…conflicted in her feelings.

At first, Sakura angrily brushed off the comment that was obviously a probe to see what her feelings were for Naruto. But, then Sakura began to realize how much she missed Naruto. She missed him being such a knucklehead, how he used to try to ask her out, and she did not really like to admit it… but she actually missed his attention.

Sakura got out of bed, and immediately remembered something. She quickly switched on a lamp that was on a stand next to her bed, and her eyes quickly adjusted to the dim light. She looked the Calendar that was on her wall to the left of the vase, and gasped. Today would mark the exact day that Naruto left for training two years ago.

Sakura felt her fear leave her, and instead she got a strange sense of excitement. The feeling she would get whenever she saw Sasuke-kun…

Sakura shook her head, clearing away her thoughts. She walked to the bathroom, her bathroom, and disrobed. As she started her shower, she remembered the day that she had bought her own apartment and left her parents. She still visited them, of course. However, the day she left her mother and father were both crying all over her, making exclamations of how big their baby was and how much they would miss her. The memories brought a soft smile to Sakura's lips.

She cleaned herself, getting ready for the day. She had to make it to Tsunade's office by 6:30, which left her an hour and a half to: get dressed, brush her hair, eat breakfast, brush her teeth, and then walk to Tsunade's office. She took her time, carefully grooming herself and making sure she was ready for today. As she finished her shower, dried off and started to choose what to wear, every time she looked at an outfit a thought would echo in her head. 'What would Naruto like best?'

She shook her head, trying to clear the ridiculous thought and quickly threw something on. It was a sleeveless tee shirt version of what she used to wear, with dark forest green knee-length skin-tight shorts. She resembled what she used to be like, just more grown up, and still with her short hair. She had decided that she wouldn't let it grow out anymore, and that she would keep it shoulder-length.

She finished getting ready for the day by 6:15, which left her plenty of time to get to Tsunade's office. She smiled softly as her mind began to wander and her body went through the motions of locking the apartment, and walking to the Hokage's Office. Today…today felt special. She knew that somehow, something amazing was going to happen.


Two figures slowly walked through the woods of Konoha, not rushing or racing. One was an older man with long spiky hair that came down to the middle of his back, and the other was a young teenage man with messy and spiky blond hair. Patience was something that the blond-haired boy had learned over the few years.

They didn't hurry, but enjoyed the quiet of the afternoon. They were nearing the Konoha Main Gate, and the white haired man chuckled. "You're getting fidgety already." He said, addressing the boy. He didn't look at the boy, but kept his gaze straight ahead.

"It's been two years. I wonder how everyone is." The boy said, his Cerulean blue eyes watching his sensei's reaction. His teacher glanced at him, a smile on his face.

"Don't you mean you wonder how a certain someone is?" He asked, and his eyes involuntarily strayed for a moment to the three whisker marks on each cheek.

Naruto grinned, and adjusted the big black backpack that was on his new black and orange jumpsuit. He then adjusted his black headband, and grinned. "Yeah, I guess so." He said, causing Jiraiya to nod. Jiraiya and Naruto had grown close over the two years, trusting each other. Although Naruto still called him 'Pervy Sage', a nickname he rightly deserved, they trusted each other with nearly everything.

Jiraiya and Naruto fell into silence, each remembering their past. It was a heavy silence, one that neither of them felt like breaking.


Sakura was walking down the main street of Konoha, running an errand for Tsunade. She was going to go collect the traffic report from the two on duty today, Kotetsu and Izumo. Tsunade was busy with other paperwork, so she had sent Sakura to fetch the traffic report and check if anyone or anything had come through the main gate.

Sakura was lost in a rare moment of thought, since she hardly had time to really think when she was busy with work. All she could think of were a pair of Cerulean blue eyes staring deep into hers, brave and not despairing. They were Naruto's from her dream.

Suddenly, she heard a familiar voice yelling, "Sakura-chan! Sakura-chan!"

She stopped walking down the dirt road and looked back, smiling as she saw three newly promoted Genin. Konohamaru, Udon, and Moegi all ran up to her, bowing slightly.

"Good afternoon, guys!" She said, smiling.

"Good afternoon, Sakura-chan!" They replied.

Konohamaru was more grown up, but he still wore an oversized scarf and he wore the Konoha headband proudly on his forehead. He wore a pair of white pants and a green long-sleeved shirt. He no longer wore his weird hat, but let his spiky brown hair out free. He still had a roguish look.

Moegi wore the same everything, including her hairstyle. The only thing different was her height. She also wore the blue ninja headband on her forehead. Udon was just like Moegi. He was taller but he still had a runny nose, glasses, and the same kind of clothing. The only thing different was his blue ninja headband upon his forehead.

"What are you doing?" Asked Konohamaru, putting his hands clasped behind his head the same way Naruto used to.

"I'm going to pick up the traffic report at the main gates for Lady Tsunade." She said, and Konohamaru asked the question she knew he would. She didn't mind though, she loved their company.

"Can we come?" Konohamaru asked. Sakura nodded and started to walk with the three Genin in tow.

As they walked, Konohamaru and his friends related their latest mission to Sakura who grinned. They had chased Tora, the same cat that Team 7 had chased years ago. Apparently, he still ran away. Sakura giggled, and as they finished she said, "That's so nostalgic. We did that same exact mission years ago. Poor cat, he still can't get away from his owner."

Konohamaru chuckled, and then they drifted off into silence. She knew that her statement had caused them to remember Naruto. "So, Sakura-chan…any news on him? On Naruto-niichan?" Konohamaru asked quietly.

Sakura shook her head. "No. I haven't heard anything yet." She replied. Her reply put a damper on the cheery mood that they had first had, and they continued to walk down the main street towards the gate. They didn't have far to go.


Naruto and Jiraiya saw the giant 100-foot wall, with an open gate. Straight in view of the gate was the guard shack, where two Chunin guards sat and did traffic duty, marking who came in and who left. The two travelers noticed the two Chunin were bored, and knew that this would liven up their day.

Kotetsu, a Chunin with hair similar to a giant brown spiky afro and a facial bandage over his nose, rested his chin on the desk. He wore a black Konoha headband on his forehead. Izumo, his partner, sat back in the chair with a metal senbon needle in his mouth. He wore his blue headband as a bandana, which held his brown hair over his right eye. They both wore green combat vests, but neither looked very active at all.

However, once Naruto and Jiraiya passed into the Village, both Izumo and Kotetsu's eyes widened in shock. Izumo's senbon fell from his mouth and he whispered, "Hey…isn't that…?" He trailed off, and Kotetsu elbowed him.

"It is! It is them! They're back!" Kotetsu said excitedly. Naruto and Jiraiya never even stopped, they just kept walking. They didn't have far to go.


Sakura, Konohamaru, Udon, and Moegi all saw the registration booth sitting in plain site of the gate. Sakura expected the two Chunin to be bored tremendously, but both were grinning and elbowing each other excitedly. Sakura walked up to them and smiled.

"Good afternoon Kotetsu-san. Izumo-san." She said, and Kotetsu grinned widely at her.

"Good afternoon, Sakura." Kotetsu replied.

"I've come for the traffic report for Tsunade-sama." She said, but Izumo acted like he did not even hear.

"You know…you just missed it. But, if you head into town, you'll undoubtedly see something amazing." He said, a strange grin on his face as he chewed on his metal senbon.

Sakura zoned out for a moment, and asked herself, "Could it be?"

Kotetsu's grin confirmed it for her, and she immediately ran towards the village. If she hadn't passed him on the main street, then he would be on one of the streets next to it.

Konohamaru, Moegi and Udon all ran after her, yelling her name. She didn't hear them, though. All she could think of was a certain blond haired, blue-eyed young man whose name tugged at her heart. Naruto.


Naruto Uzumaki dropped his black backpack on the dirt street. Jiraiya gave a small confused grin, unsure of why they had stopped in front of a telephone pole. Naruto immediately ran vertically up the telephone pole, without any second thought or difficulty. Jiraiya laughed and called up to him as Naruto stood on the very tip-top of the pole.

"Hehehe! Getting excited already?" Jiraiya called up, and Naruto grinned back down at him, pure joy shining in his blue eyes.

His black ninja headband's loose cloth fluttered in the wind and his blond messy hair fluttered gently. He took a deep breath, spreading his arms wide as if he was going to fly. Then, he exhaled slowly, breathing in and out the scent of home.

"Watch out, Konoha! Naruto Uzumaki is back! I'm going to be Hokage, do you hear me!" He yelled, grinning crazily as he stared at the mountains with the five Hokage's faces carved into the rock.

He stayed there for a moment, before a breathless figure ran up to Jiraiya and then yelled his name. The voice sounded so familiar it immediately removed him from his reverie. He looked down, a name forming on his lips.

"Sakura-chan?" he called down, and he immediately saw the pink haired girl. He grinned and jumped off the telephone pole, and landed gently in a cat-like stance. He wasn't even slightly jarred.

He grinned as he straightened and saw the pink-haired beauty, and she smiled back at him.

"Naruto!" she exclaimed breathlessly.

"NARUTO-NIICHAN!" Three younger voices yelled in unison.

Naruto looked at the three young Genin running up behind Sakura and he grinned. "Konohamaru! Moegi! Udon!" He yelled back.

Konohamaru stopped right beside Sakura, hands balled into fists. "Naruto-niichan! I have been practicing! I've mastered the move!"

Suddenly, without warning, he disappeared in a puff of smoke and a nude female replaced him. Luckily, the smoke covered most of her, but you still got the idea. She had short brown hair that fluttered in a non-existent wind as she blew a kiss. Then, she disappeared and was replaced by Konohamaru.

Sakura was shocked by the perverted Jutsu that was Naruto's signature move. A vein throbbed in her temple and she was about to hit Konohamaru before Naruto spoke.

"Hehehe! Konohamaru! We are not kids anymore…we are older. I don't use that trick anymore, and you shouldn't either!" He chuckled, smiling gently.

Sakura was so surprised at what she heard she almost fainted. 'It looks like he's actually grown up and matured. Naruto…I wonder how else you've grown?', She thought fondly, smiling at Naruto.

Naruto suddenly clenched his fists and yelled, "No! You see, I have a much better and even more perverted one! I call it: Ultimate Perverted Jutsu!"

Konohamaru yelled, "All right!" and Sakura's vein at her temple throbbed. She clenched her fist and punched Naruto, sending him flying through the air and then he tumbled onto the ground like a rag doll. Sakura stalked over to him, grabbed him by the shoulders and picked him up.

"Don't make me hate you in the first two minutes I've seen you in two years! You idiot! I thought you had grown up! No, you're still just a knucklehead!" She yelled, shaking him fiercely.

Jiraiya watched and chuckled, "You're like a mini-Tsunade!"

Sakura turned her evil glare to him, and he flinched. "I-I'm gonna go do some research!" He stammered, and quickly scuttled away.

Naruto watched his only hope of survival run, and he yelled despairingly, "JIRAIYA-SAN!" He weakly reached out an arm pleadingly to Jiraiya's escaping form, and then his arm fell weakly to his side.

Sakura let go of Naruto, and he collapsed to the ground in front of her. She then fixed her appearance back to normal, straightening her rumpled clothes, and glared at Naruto. "Naruto, why can't you just grow up?" She asked, planting her fists on her hips.

Naruto wearily stood, dusting himself off, and replied gloomily, "But Sakura-chan! That Jutsu is a distraction tactic that's saved me a lot of times from enemies! It always works!"

Sakura shook her head, and moved towards Naruto, Naruto flinched and tried to back up, but Sakura wrapped him up in a hug. Naruto stammered, "S-S-Sakura-chan?"

Sakura whispered into his ear, "Thank you for coming back."

She then stepped back and Naruto smiled softly. "Sakura-chan…once I make a promise, I never go back on it."

Sakura smiled as he said it, but her smile faded as she remembered her dream.


"Sakura-chan! Save Sasuke! I'm not important, don't let Orochimaru have Sasuke again! Please…just choose him." Naruto yelled, and Sakura felt tears welling up in her eyes.

Sasuke looked fondly at her, and he addressed Naruto. "Shut up, loser. You've always been there for her. She wouldn't live a happy life with me. You've always been there to protect her…while I pursued my selfish goals. I used up all my chances, so now it's your turn." He stared into Sakura's eyes. "Choose Naruto. Please. Save him…for me. I can't watch my comrades die…"

Tears flowed down Sakura's face but she still didn't say anything. Naruto yelled at her, his blue eyes flashing in anger. "Don't listen to him. I promised you that Sasuke would come back! I never go back on my word! Don't make me into a liar! Choose Sasuke and go back to Konoha! I can't watch my friends die…you guys are my only family! Sakura-chan, please…take Sasuke and run."

(End Flashback/Dream)

She snapped back to the present, hearing Naruto call her name. His hands were on his shoulders, and his blue eyes were filled with concern. Konohamaru, Moegi and Udon were watching from behind Naruto with concerned looks as well.

"Sakura-chan? Sakura, are you okay?" He asked, and Sakura nodded, forcing a smile.

"Yes. I'm sorry, I just zoned out…" She said, and Naruto nodded. He removed his hands, and Sakura was surprised at herself. She didn't really want him to remove his hands.

She cleared her throat and then smiled. "Um, Naruto…we need to take you to Tsunade. We need to tell her you're back."

Naruto grinned. "Ah! I can't wait to see Granny Tsunade! It's been awhile!"

Sakura shook her head, still smiling. "Naruto…you should really show her more respect." She said, and started to walk towards the Hokage Tower.

Naruto followed her, quickly slinging his backpack onto his back, and they walked in silence. Naruto felt awkward being around Sakura, especially after the hug she had just given him. After traveling with Jiraiya for the past two years, he had learned the 'art' of female and male interactions. He knew more than he would like to know, and he couldn't help but wonder if Sakura liked him. He shook his head, and thought, 'No…Sakura-chan is dedicated to Sasuke. I..I like her a lot, and I'll make her happy by getting Sasuke back. She won't like me…she can't. She's Sasuke's and Sasuke's alone.'

Naruto was lagging behind, lost in thought, and Sakura noticed. His face was set in a determined look, and it had a look of sadness to it as well. She stopped, and said softly, "Naruto?"

He looked up, and immediately smiled. Sakura didn't know how she could tell, but she knew the smile was fake. It hid the sadness from her view, and at first she was going to ask what was wrong. But, then she decided she wouldn't…for his sake. "Yeah, Sakura-chan?" He asked. His fake grin was one that she had seen throughout the years, and she had never realized that it was fake. So he had been hiding pain this whole time? Hiding his sadness?

Sakura put as much warmth, care, and kindness into her voice as she could and said, "It's great to have you back home. We all missed you."

Naruto's grin faded, and he gave her a soft smile. "I missed you guys too." She turned, and she thought she heard him say softly, "I missed you, Sakura-chan."

Her eyes widened, and her heart beat faster within her chest. She knew…she knew now. He hadn't just always done things for himself, like going out and trying to bring Sasuke back. He had done it for her…to make her happy. Regardless of the sacrifice he would have to make, he wanted her happy. Sakura remembered when she had seen Kakashi carry Naruto through the Konoha front gate, and Naruto had a hole through his right shoulder. Naruto's eyes were filled with tears, even though it was hard to tell if was rain just splashing down his face she knew it was, and he looked at her in a dazed way. She had known he had failed, and she was angry at him for failing to bring back her Sasuke. She hadn't cared that Naruto had almost been killed in the process. She had been selfish.

Naruto still loved her, as he always had, and he would do anything to make her happy. Sakura's gaze strayed to Naruto's right shoulder, where Sasuke had pierced him with his Chidori. It had been healed, the flesh regrown and the bone reconstructed, and it didn't seem to trouble Naruto. But still, the wound he had suffered…to make her happy…made tears well up into her eyes. She turned away, not wanting him to see her cry.

"Sakura-chan?" Naruto asked, and walked forward as she started to cry. He put his hand on her right shoulder, as she started to shake from her sobs.

Sakura realized his right hand was on her shoulder, and she gritted her teeth in anger. 'How could I have been so selfish? So…stupid? Why did I put him through that?', She thought, and she honestly hated herself right then. She had always been so caught up on Sasuke, too blinded to see how much Naruto sacrificed for her. How much he loved her.

Naruto gently turned her around, but she tried to pull away. His grip was soft, but strong, and he held her by both shoulders to face him. "Sakura? Are you okay?" He asked, trying to see her face as she hid it in her hands.

She shook her head, and her frame shook with the strength of her sobs. She hated herself, absolutely hated herself for doing that to him. He had always been nice to her, always sacrificed his all for her, and she had always scorned him. She wanted to run, just get away from the boy who had showed her so much kindness…so much love. She tried to break free, but he wouldn't let her.

"Sakura, what's wrong?" He asked, and she finally looked up at him. His blue eyes were filled with concern, and she knew what he was feeling right now. He would do anything to keep her from crying, even if it meant having to be run through by Chidori again.

She hesitantly reached up, placing her left and right hands on the spot where he had been wounded two years ago. His gaze was curious, as she gently ran her hands over the spot. "This is where…I hurt you." She whispered.

Naruto was confused. "You never hurt me here. This is where Sasuke…" He trailed off, and Sakura fought back her sobs.

"No, Naruto. This is where my selfishness caused you harm…where my selfishness almost killed you." She whispered, and Naruto shook his head.

"What Sasuke did was his own decision…you had nothing to do with it." He said. Why was she blaming herself? Why?

"Naruto, if I had just let Sasuke go…you would have been fine. If I hadn't been so caught up in him, you would never have been hurt. We could have been fine…" She said, and Naruto didn't miss the emphasis she put on we. Was she actually saying what he thought she was saying?

Sakura gently took Naruto's left hand from her shoulder, and brought it to her cheek. His hands became wet with tears, but he didn't take away his hand. Both of their breathing became shallower, and she then brought his hand to her mouth and kissed his palm as she whispered, "I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for every pain I've caused, for every wound I've made."

Naruto felt his heart beat stronger than he had ever known it to beat before. "Sakura…I…I…" He tried to say it. He was about to say he loved her, to tell her that he would do anything to keep her safe, to keep her from crying or from feeling sadness or pain. But, a movement caught his eye. Standing in the street, were a large number of villagers…with weapons. Naruto turned to them and quickly shoved Sakura behind him. She gave an exclamation of surprise as he moved her roughly, and she was about to clobber him when she saw why he had moved her. Twenty villagers stood with knives, pitchforks, staffs, spears, or just large wooden objects that could be used as a club. Those twenty were growing in numbers steadily, becoming a horde that started to yell obscenities at Naruto. They called him demon and bastard, but those were just the nicer names.

"Naruto! What's going on?" Sakura asked. The people didn't seem to notice her…just Naruto.

"Sakura-chan…go get Jiraiya and Granny Tsunade. Hurry." He said, and spread his arms wide and crouched a little, to protect her while she ran.

"Naruto? Why-" she started to say, but Naruto yelled at her. It wasn't as if he was trying to be mean, but there was an urgent tone to his voice. "Go!" He yelled, looking over his shoulder at her. His eyes flickered, switching from the deep cerulean blue to a dangerous animal-like red and back to blue again. The sight tugged at a memory in her mind, but it didn't release it. So, she ran.

Naruto watched her run, and he turned to the growing crowd…and he noticed the numbers had doubled. He was going to have to somehow fight off a horde of his own villagers…without killing or hurting any of them. At least Sakura-chan was out of the way…and she wouldn't see his inner demon. She wouldn't have to see his dangerous side. She wouldn't be hurt.

The crowd grew silent, and one man from the crowd stepped forward. He was a scraggly street-urchin looking man with dark black hair and an untrimmed beard. He was wielding a bat with bent nails impaled into the wooden surface, and he swung it threateningly.

"You, Demon Asshole! Who was that whore you were with? We're gonna beat your ass, and then find her and beat her!" He yelled, and the crowd roared with approval. Anyone seen with the demon, deserved his fate.

Naruto remained silent, but straightened. He stared at them, carefully calculating their numbers. They numbered well over fifty or sixty. Naruto cursed under his breath and said, "I'm not a demon! I'm Naruto Uzumaki…and someday…I'll be Hokage!"

The crowd laughed, brandishing their weapons. "No, fool! You'll be dead!" Yelled someone from the crowd. Naruto looked at them, and knew that there was no way he could hurt these people. They hated him, yes, but they were people he would have to serve as Hokage. Most of them still grieved over losses of loved ones who were killed in the attack twelve years ago…killed by the Kyuubi now sealed inside of him. Naruto didn't blame him, which is why he didn't move as the crowd surged forward. He didn't cry out when the first person swung their wooden club. He didn't shed a tear as a knife gouged and cut his arm, or a pitchfork prong buried itself into his leg or back. He took it, and didn't fight back…because he would never hurt the people whose loss he understood so greatly.


Sakura ran as fast as she could, heading straight for the Hokage Tower. She jumped onto the rooftops of buildings, creating an easier route, and targeted the giant wooden structure. She knew where Tsunade was, so she would find Tsunade first…and then find Jiraiya.

Sakura leapt over thirty houses before she came within range of the Hokage Tower, and then she leapt high into the air towards the giant building. She was aiming for a giant glass window that was the Mission Debriefing and Payment room, because Tsunade had a scheduled meeting with Shikimaru Nara there.

She flew through the air, and landed on the thin 4 inch window ledge. She saw Tsunade, Shizune, and Iruka addressing Kakashi, Shikimaru, Temari, and even Jiraiya. Kakashi waved at her, his one eye closed and curved to show he was smiling. Everyone turned and looked at the panting Sakura, and Tsunade quickly ran over to a smaller window to Sakura's right. She opened the window and asked, "Sakura? What's wrong?"

Sakura panted out, "It's Naruto!"

Everyone immediately ran towards the window to hear more. Jiraiya pushed his way to the front and confronted Sakura. "Tell me what's wrong." He demanded, and Sakura nodded.

"Naruto and I were on our way here…talking." She had to think about what they were doing, and she said talking, because it wasn't a lie. They had been talking. Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Kakashi all raised an eyebrow, like they knew what she was really doing. Sakura blushed, but continued. "Suddenly, villagers started to appear with clubs and knives and weapons. Last time I checked, twenty or so people had weapons, but more were coming. Naruto sent me to get you and Tsunade, and here I am."

Tsunade cursed. "You left him?" She asked, and Sakura almost yelled a reply, but Jiraiya held up a hand.

"She couldn't have known about him…and I should have foreseen the villagers reacting like this. We have to go now…everyone, lets go!" Jiraiya yelled, and clambered out the window. Tsunade, Iruka, Shizune Shikimaru, Kakashi, and even Temari followed him out the window. Temari was on a mission of goodwill between the Kazekage, her brother, and Konoha…but she remembered Naruto Uzumaki. Without Naruto, Gaara would never have been saved from his loneliness…and she would never have really gotten to know her brother. She owed Naruto.

"Lead the way Sakura…hurry." Jiraiya urged, and Sakura nodded.

She jumped back the way she came, followed by her friends. She ran fast, knowing that Naruto could be hurt. It took them five minutes to get to where Sakura and Naruto had been, and Sakura guessed that ten minutes total had elapsed for her trip.

They all jumped down to the streets, and found a horde of sixty bloodthirsty villagers beating something on the ground. Tsunade was the first to act, yelling, "STOP! STEP AWAY FROM THE BOY!"

The mob didn't notice, but kept kicking and beating the shape on the ground. Shikimaru quickly took the initiative and activated his signature Jutsu. "Shadow Possession Jutsu!" He yelled, and his Shadow quickly extended forward and attached itself to the entire crowd's shadows. Shikimaru grunted with the effort of restraining sixty villagers, but each villager froze. Shikimaru held them there, straining against the pressure of freezing sixty bodies. Tsunade yelled. "BACK OFF! Go to your homes now, or you'll have be arrested for the assault of a Konoha Ninja!"

One of the men jeered. "Big whoop. The Demon's almost dead anyway!"

Sakura took a step forward, knowing who they meant by 'the Demon', but she didn't know why they were calling him that. Kakashi stopped her, and quickly took out two kunai, and then raised his slanted headband to reveal his red three-comma Sharingan. Temari pulled out her fan, and Jiraiya quickly formed a swirling blue Rasengan in his palm. Kakashi spoke, his voice deep with the threat of death. "If you touch my comrade…I'll kill you." He said. The crowd stayed silent, and Temari unfolded her fan and held it in attack position.

"If you hurt the Kazekage's friend…you hurt my friend." She said, and prepared for the worst.

Jiraiya spoke, anger sounding clear in his voice. "If you slime touch my pupil…you'll face the full fury of the Toad Sage!"

Iruka quickly summoned a giant throwing star using a scroll, and stepped forward. "Get away from Naruto!" He yelled, drawing his shuriken into throwing position.

Shizune simply slipped into a fighting stance and yelled, "Get away!"

Tsunade, the last one, stepped forward and yelled, "If you lay a finger on him…you'll bring all of Konoha's Ninja down on you. I rule this village, and you respect my rule. Go home…or suffer the consequences."

Shikimaru's Shadow Possession wavered, and he withdrew his Shadow. The mob scattered, dropping their weapons and running away from the seven ninja before them. They left all their weapons, and their victim, lying in the dirt.

All the ninja put away their weapons, and Kakashi lowered his headband. Sakura ran forward to the battered and bloody shape of Naruto. His blue eyes were cloudy as he stared up at her, and Sakura immediately burst into tears at the sight of Naruto. Blood poured from countless holes, cuts and gashes, from areas where he had been pounded on by blunt objects, and lastly…from when he coughed. Naruto coughed, sending blood onto the dusty road, and the dirt road soaked up the red substance.

"Oh my God...what did they do to him?" Temari asked in horror, and Sakura knelt next to Naruto. She gently lifted his head onto her lap and cradled it as he stared up at her. "S-s-sakura-chan?" He stuttered, smiling up at her.

Everyone ran forward, and Naruto recognized them. "Shikimaru…you lazy oaf…you look grown up. Kakashi-sensei, Iruka-sensei…I missed you guys. Shizune…Tsunade…how's it going. Temari? Temari…how's Gaara? How is he?" He looked at everyone with eyes that were slowly glazing over, and everyone tried to smile down at him.

"S-S-Sakura-Chan…I…I wanted to tell you something before I was…cough…interrupted." He stammered, and Sakura gently placed her hand on his face. Tsunade and Shizune immediately place Chakra-covered hands on Naruto to try to heal some of the wounds, but left Sakura alone. She would be the only thing to keep Naruto's attention.

"What? What did you want to tell me?" She asked, crying. Tears dripped onto Naruto's face…and his happy smile turned into a sad one.

"If…only you…could stop crying. I would do anything to keep you from feeling sadness…pain…to keep you happy…I would do anything." He said, and it obviously became a struggle to speak. Naruto gagged on blood, and spit it up. Sakura cried gently, and said, "Come on, Naruto! Stay with me…you promised me…you promised you would bring back Sasuke. That way…we can all be a happy family." She cried, and Naruto nodded, serious.

"Yeah…I don't lie. I have to bring back Sasuke…for you, Sakura-chan. To make you happy. I would do anything to make you happy…because I…." Naruto spoke, but trailed off. Shizune and Tsunade were frantically healing wounds, but Naruto was gently slipping away. Kakashi even joined in, focusing his Sharingan on a memory of his old teammate Rin who was a medic Ninja. He focused on her hand-seals, and he mimicked them. His hands glowed green, and he quickly placed them over Naruto's heart. He turned to Sakura and said, "As long as I have Chakra…this will keep his heart beating."

Sakura nodded, and quickly turned back to Naruto. "Naruto…what did you need to say?" She asked, doing her best to keep him with her.

Naruto smiled at her, his deep blue eyes meeting with her pale green ones. "I…I…I love you." He said, and Sakura nodded. She knew…she knew.

"Naruto…I love you too. You've always protected me, sacrificed for me…please. Stay with me, just a bit longer! Talk to me!" She screamed as his eyes started to close. His eyes briefly snapped open, and he saw Sakura crying. His face became disappointed and he said, "I don't want you to cry…Sakura…"He said, and he raised his right hand to her face and wiped away some of the tears.

Shikimaru, Kakashi, Iruka, Temari and Jiraiya were watching silently. They felt awkward, watching and listening to Naruto's profession of love. Iruka had a soft, sad smile as tears ran down his face. Tsunade and Shizune were both aware of the profession of love, and Shizune was gently crying as she healed Naruto's wounds. Tsunade spoke gently. "He's lost a lot of blood…a lot."

It was true, the ground around them was soaked with his blood, and the wounds that they hadn't attended to were bleeding freely. Tsunade turned to Iruka. "Iruka, go get a medical crew. We're going to need more than Me, Kakashi and Shizune. Hurry."

"Hai!" Iruka yelled, and immediately jumped to the rooftops, running in the direction of the hospital.

Kakashi's Sharingan was still revealed, and suddenly it started to spin. "WAIT!" He yelled, and Iruka immediately came back. Jiraiya slipped into a fighting stance, and Sakura looked strangely at Kakashi as he stepped away from Naruto.

"Kakashi-sensei? What's wrong?" She asked, and Kakashi said slowly, "Everyone move away from him…now."

Tsunade and Shizune immediately backed off, and Naruto's eyes finally closed. Sakura felt Iruka pull her away from Naruto, and she noticed Iruka had his giant Shuriken out again. Temari had her fan out, and Shikimaru had his 'Rat' seal prepared for his shadow possession.

Sakura, half-blinded by tears, then noticed why everyone was on guard. An orange Chakra started to pour out of Naruto's wounds, engulfing his body. Tsunade spoke, openly fearful. "He shouldn't be dead…we stopped most of the bleeding, and he shouldn't have bled out in this short of a time. Still, there's no mistaking that Chakra."

Sakura suddenly remembered when she had seen this exact Chakra…it was at the Chunin Exams when Naruto faced Neji. Except, now this Chakra seemed evil. It was tainted, coated…with an ancient and evil anger. The Chakra floated above Naruto's body, and it seemed to create a wind by itself. Everyone's hair and clothing fluttered in the violent wind that suddenly sprung into existence, and they all watched in horror as a grinning evil fox face formed from the Chakra.

And, for the first time in fifteen years…the Kyuubi spoke to others. "Hahaha! Freedom…finally I have a chance! The boy's seal is weakening, now as he stands on the threshold of death! My freedom is eminent, even as we battle our wills for dominance…for I can assure you: My will is stronger. Hehehe! Prepare yourselves…you fools! Your doom is inevita-what!?" The Kyuubi's deep, menacing voice growled out his words with as much killing intent as possible. However, he became surprised and the killing intent that flooded everyone's body lessened. The Kyuubi obviously struggled against something, and Sakura knew what it was.

"Naruto…he's fighting back." Sakura whispered, as she wiped her tears away.

Kakashi nodded, and Sakura stepped towards Naruto, and Iruka tried to hold her back. However, Sakura just looked at him and said, "He needs our support. I'm going to give it to him."

Iruka lessened his grip, and Sakura walked up to Naruto's orange-shrouded form. "Naruto…don't you dare give up on me. You knucklehead, if you love me so much…don't leave me. Don't you dare." She said, and knelt by him. She pressed her lips to his, and the orange Chakra swirled faster and faster while hissing with anger. The Fox looked down on Sakura, and growled in anger.

"Stupid wench! Get away! Stop!" He roared, and it just gave her more courage to continue kissing Naruto. Kakashi stepped forwards with Iruka and encouraged Naruto.

"Naruto! You've made me proud. You're an amazing young man, and everything you've done has made me respect you. Fight back, show the Kyuubi who's really the boss!" Kakashi encouraged, lowering his headband, showing that he knew he wouldn't need the Sharingan. He had faith in Naruto.

"Naruto, you're like a brother to me. You're my family, so don't you leave now! You've shown persistence, and you have an iron will. Use that will! Force back the Kyuubi!" Iruka shouted, and everyone else joined in.

Temari's seemed to have the most effect. "Naruto! Gaara told me how you wanted to be Hokage, and he has faith in you. He's already Kazekage, you know! If you don't stick around, what kind of person would you be to break your promise to him?"

The orange Chakra flickered, losing strength, and Iruka smiled. "The will of Fire. You're at your strongest when you fight for those whom you love. He's winning. The Kyuubi will lose." He said confidently.

Sakura withdrew from Naruto, strong and defiant of the Fox. "Naruto…come back to me!" She said, and with a final flicker, the orange Chakra died.

The wind that accompanied the Chakra vanished, and Tsunade immediately ran up to Naruto's form. All his wounds were healed, and all the blemishes on his skin vanished. His clothing was torn and tattered, but he was alive and fine.

"We have to get him to the hospital, all the same. Quickly, Shizune!" She said, and hefted Naruto over her shoulder. She held a single hand seal, and then disappeared in a puff of smoke. Shizune followed suit, and disappeared, leaving everyone else in the streets…thoughts concentrated on Naruto.

Here's the end! Yaay! Let me know whatcha think! If I should continue the story, if I should stop it, what. Flame if you want, but review please!