Sakura slowly opened her eyes as she felt the blinding light disappearing around her. Her vision came back to normal and she was able to see ahead of her: the sight made her gasp. The red sun, newly made distant crater and two shinobi, standing so close to each other that it was impossible to figure out who got whom. Sasuke? No, it can't be.
For a moment, Madara and Sasuke stayed still, but then…Madara spat out some blood. Susuke's sword was thrust into Madara's left shoulder and blood was spilling heavily from the wound. Great. Now his aorta is cut. He should die in no time. Then again. Sasuke suddenly felt the taste of blood in his own mouth and his gaze went down. He saw Madara's hand inside his left side, where ribs didn't protect the inner organs. Madara's hand was recomposed into sharp kunai-like form, but now it was returning to its original state.
"Damn" Sasuke cursed in a whisper. He pushed Madara away and his body collapsed to the ground as it was already numb. The man chuckled.
"Looks like you did it after all, little Sasuke" Madara said silently. Sasuke was sitting on the ground, his hand on the wound, which now hurt so badly that Sasuke's vision was getting blur.
"Shut up and die in silence" he said "you deserve it"
"Deserve?" Madara spat out more blood, feeling his heart stopping painfully "perhaps…but you…know…our clan…was in the way…of my goals….it was too strong…but now, it's over…"
"Yeah" Sasuke said, forcing a smile out through the pain "you lost. Your clan stopped you"
"But…now" Madara chuckled again, so silently that even Sasuke could hardly hear him "looks like…you're coming…with me" and that was the last words form him. The remaining Uchiha laughed to the sky before he collapsed on his back.
"You're damn right. Meet you in hell"
A dark blue sky, shining with first stars, a small blow of wind and somebody rushing past him was all Sasuke felt before drowning into darkness…
Tsunade slid through the ground, bruises quickly forming on the right side of her ribs. The Hokage felt her lings being out of air, so she coughed to catch some as she stopped herself from sliding. But to her surprise, all she got in hand full of blood and no air. Damn! What did he do to me?! I can't breathe. DAMN! Tsunade hit her belly and with another spat of blood she could finally catch some air. But this wasn't the end of her problems: Kabuto appeared to be still standing without a single scratch on him. Tsunade felt a sudden annoyance of his smirking smile.
"What is so funny?" she growled, slowly standing up.
"You, being so humiliated. To think that the great Tsunade-hime would go down so low" he suddenly looked towards the village and his smile changed: from a smirk into pity "oh well, looks like my own villagers were defeated. How unfortunate"
"And this is all you can say when you speak of your own people?!" Tsunade felt anger boiling inside.
"Well, they were useful until now, but that's pretty much all I can give to them" Kabuto made hand signs and smirked again "until we meet again, Tsunade. Do not consider me a coward. A smart warrior always knows when to retreat from the battle" and he disappeared with a cloud of smoke. Tsunade felt as if exploding. She hit the ground and made a hole there.
"Damn you, Kabuto!!!" she shouted. Suddenly, she felt her arms and legs grow weak and she collapsed to the ground. Shit! My chakra is gone. Guess you were right, Shizune, I shouldn't use it too much. Damn that Kabuto. Where did he go?
Kabuto appeared in a field, where rain was pouring down. It was night already, but the shinobi knew his way and walked straight ahead, right through the rain wall. This time you win, Tsunade-hime. Have that pathetic village of yours. While I'm still alive and I'm here, in the village, Hidden in the Rain, there's no need to worry. Kabuto smirked as he easily walked through large wooden gate and disappeared into the shadows of high houses.
Naruto slowly woke up from peaceful slumber, but all he could see in front of him were thousands of stars. He quickly sat up and looked around. Oh, good, I'm still here. And it doesn't hurt one bit. Hey, but where's Sasuke…and Sakura? Don't tell me. Naruto quickly stood up and ran towards the battlefield, where he and Madara fought before. What he found there greatly freaked him out: Sakura was sitting on the ground, her legs hugged with her arms and her head lying on her knees. Beside the kunoichi, a man was lying motionless.
"Sasuke" Naruto whispered and ran to them. He kneeled to his friend and looked up at Sakura, whose head slowly rose to face him. The full moon illuminated her tired and sad face.
"He's alright" she said in weak voice "at least I hope so. I healed him, his inner organs and the wound, but…I don't know" a tear went down her cheek. Sakura brushed it away and talked on "I don't know how much blood he lost. His heartbeat is still weak…I don't know" Naruto watched her talking and her tears dripping on her legs. Then his gaze returned to Sasuke's pale face. Slowly, but surely, a smile crept into Naruto's lips.
"Don't worry about him, Sakura. He'll be alright" he said and this made the kunoichi gasp slightly "he never gives up, you know it. If he pulled through all those years with Orochimaru, then a fight with his own brother and" he turned to face another body, covered with Akatsuki cloak "the strongest member of his clan. He will sure pull through, you'll see" Sakura smiled gently to him.
TWO MONTHS LATER
Sakura woke up from sudden blow of wind from the window. She sat up in her bed and looked to the source of her early wakening. A smile crept upon her lips, since she was sure to close the window yesterday evening. Again, huh? He never changes. Could've at least stayed for the rest of the night. The kunoichi went to the window and inhaled some cool early autumn air. She then turned to her wardrobe and began dressing up. I still need to treat those poor guys at the hospital, but before that, I gotta go to the library to gather some material about poison. I still haven't figured them out. Oh well, seems like another half of day inside the library again.
Naruto managed to wake up few hours later. He yawned in his bed and sleepily went to the shower. He looked at the mirror above the sink and slapped himself at both cheeks. Nah, this doesn't help at all. I hate mornings. I'd erase them, if I had such a power. It is a thing, invented to torture people. I need Ichiraku's ramen for today, that's for sure. Naruto splashed some chilly water on his face, but his eyes were still half shut. Definitely ramen today.
Sasuke was standing in front of tomb stone of his parents. Fresh while chrysanthemums were slowly moving with the tune of the wind, along with another few on the neighbor grave, where a single name "Karin" was carved. Sasuke slightly smiled when his gaze again turned to the grave of red-haired kunoichi. Well, Suigetsu's gone somewhere, I suppose he still didn't let go of you. Hn, thought that you cared about him more than you showed. Footsteps behind him pulled Sasuke out of his thoughts.
"Two months passed and only now you show up" Sasuke said out loud, knowing exactly who it was. Itachi stopped by his brother's side. He was no longer wearing the Akatsuki cloak, but plain black, matching his eyes.
"Don't make such a fuss about it" he said, his voice emotionless. They stood like that for a while, only slight autumn wind playing with white chrysanthemums and golden leaves.
"So, where are you going now?" Sasuke asked, not even looking to Itachi.
"I don't really have a certain goal"
"Figures" Sasuke sighed and turned away to walk back to the village "I see you, I guess"
"Yeah, probably" Itachi nodded, still looking to his parent's grave "take care"
"Yeah, you two" Sasuke said it with no emotion, but he smiled. Happily.
Naruto was sitting at Ichiraku's, eating ramen.
"Oh yeah, this is the best way to wake up, believe it!" he handed his bowl to the owner "another one, please!"
"Coming up" the man smiled and went on to prepare the meal.
"Thought that you'll be here" a familiar voice said from behind the blonde-haired boy. Sasuke lifted the curtain of the shop and sat by Naruto.
"Hey hey, gooooood morning!" Naruto greeted his friend with wide smile.
"It's noon" Sasuke said, looking to him with expression, saying "you're baka"
"Yeah? So what?" Naruto took another bowl from the owner and dug into it "ramen ish good a' a'y parth o' dayh" Naruto said, still sipping macaroni. Sasuke sighed.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever you say"
"So, what brings you here anyway?" the blonde-haired shinobi asked "I thought you didn't like ramen"
"I don't. It's just Kakashi asked to look for you and say to come by the Third training ground. Said it's something important"
"Oh ok. I'll just have few more ramen and I'll be there"
"Be quick about it" Sasuke said before leaving the shop.
Sakura was sitting by the desk in the library, writing something down on the paper. She suddenly stopped and stood up, remembering she needed another book. The kunoichi went between the shelves, stroking her finger through the books of medical herbs. But when she was about to take the one she needed, another hand stopped hers. Sakura gasped from surprise, but then relaxed when she saw the owner of the hand.
"Sasuke. You scared m-" she couldn't finish, because Sasuke pulled her to himself and kissed her softly. Sakura smiled as they broke off and wrapped her arms around his neck.
"Why didn't you stay tonight? I've only found an open window" Sasuke too smiled.
"Sorry. I had some things to do"
"You always say that" she played a little with Sasuke's raven hair "what's going on?"
"I'll tell you later" he said "now we gotta go. Kakashi wants us to gather at the Third training ground"
"What for?" Sakura asked as they were walking out to the daylight. Both were wearing light cloaks, since it was already cold outside.
"Who knows. He never really said anything but that it was important" the couple walked through the streets, their hands connected. This caused a major anger of Sasuke's fan girls.
"Did you hear anything?" Sasuke asked as they hear some girls squeak of anger.
"Nope, not a sound" Sakura smirked "do you think Kakashi will be late?"
"Probably. You know him"
After another half an hour, Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura were already waiting at the three poles of the training ground. Naruto was sitting on the ground, leaned against the pole, his arms crossed behind his head and his eyes lifted to the slowly moving clouds. Sasuke was standing leaned against the pole, on which Sakura was sitting, her legs and arms crossed. And Kakashi was late.
"This man, honestly" the kunoichi said, her forehead frowned "couldn't he at least for this once change his habits"
"You're expecting the miracle" Sasuke said, but he also was annoyed. Naruto only chuckled.
"Yeah, yeah, as if he'd do that"
"Oh, excuse me, were you talking about me?" a familiar voice came out of nowhere. Naruto suddenly jumped up when he saw Kakashi on the top of the pole he was leaning onto.
"N-n-not at all" Naruto waved his hand rapidly "just some old friend…right, guys?" he looked to Sakura and Sasuke for help.
"Right" Sasuke said as he pushed himself away from the pole "you're late again, Kakashi" he said with obvious annoyed tone.
"Yeah, it's sort of irritating to wait for you like this, Kakashi-sensei" Sakura said as she jumped down from the pole.
"My bad, my bad" Kakashi smiled guiltily "this time I really had to do some arrangements for the thing I called you here for"
"Yeah? And what's that?" Naruto asked with anticipation.
"Well" Kakashi slid his hand into pocket "I have a certain assignment for you there here" he pulled out a thing he wanted and showed it: bells.
"Here are three bells here and I want you to get them" Kakashi smiled. The three watched the bells and couldn't believe their own eyes.
"Are you serious?" Sasuke asked.
"Yeah. If it's three against one, then it's not fair" Sakura said, her face showing that it wasn't the case: for real, she thought that Sasuke, Naruto and herself were already too much for Kakashi to handle.
"Oh, but it's not going to be three on one" Kakashi clicked his fingers and a bunch of people appeared in front of them. It was Teams Gai, Kurenai and Asuma.
"Now I see" Sasuke smirked "the arrangement, huh?"
"Exactly" Kakashi smiled. Neji removed his ANBU mask (he was assigned a month ago).
"You ready, Naruto?" he asked as Kakashi tossed him one of bells.
"No sweat" Naruto smiled with tension. Sakura fixed her gloves and smirked to Ino.
"Ino, are you here as well? Gee , I thought you were too busy attaching flowers to those hair of yours" Ino boiled inside.
"You are so going to get for this one!" Shikamaru smirked as he looked to Sasuke after he caught a bell from Kakashi.
"Well, Uchiha, you caused much fuss. I need to see if it was worth it…although I gotta admit that this is such a pain"
"Right" Sasuke smirked back and pulled out his sword "make your move"
"Alright then" Kakashi said and everyone fell into silence "when I say start, you start, got that?"
"Yes!" everybody said in unison. Naruto smiled to the people around him. Looks like I have a good bunch of friends now. And I also have the best one back. Life's back to normal…and it's sooooo good!
"START!!!" Kakashi shouted and the fun began…
A/N: alright, I know this is unexpected, but I really wanted to finish this one…cause I kinda have another one in mind, lolz. Anyway, thanks for all the reviews and support, I really didn't expect people to like this so much…I'm really happy about it ;)) thanks, guys, you're the best ;)) I'll see you soon enough ;)) now then, Happy New Year everybody ;))