Sorry for the long wait for updates. I'm almost done with the final draft of my novel, and I have some very exciting news. I went to a Writer's Conference and met with an agent. She's interested in my novel and has asked me to send her the first three chapters of my novel! Between working on that, getting my classroom ready for school, taking summer classes, and moving out, it's been a very hectic couple of months.
Sakura02: Lol. I love their little couple name! It's adorable, just like them!
Kiyipi: I've never read Yotsuba before, but I have had a few people mention it to me.
Hans Cugaku: There will be some more Inari/Emiko scenes once the war is over.
Thanks: Saint River 2.0, KiTtYKaT121092, EvilxLittlexNinja, ZabuzasGirl, Aniwolfgirl, Slytherin Studios, MaskedBeauty09, Alphonse Elric is a Cat Lover, katsekala, akatsukibabyfan, tiffany. raganas. 7, MiyukiTanaka-Uchiha, Phoenix, Midnight1993, Lewis, meromerein, Kajiko, Yuki-Tsuki-18, kelly. , madstar95, and emily-chan-of-anime for reviewing.
Over 3,000 reviews! Thank you for your continued support!
"So, the guy we thought was Madara, isn't Madara?" Naruto asked. No one took their eyes off their latest foe. "Emiko, I thought that guy in Akatsuki said he was Madara!"
Emiko opened and closed her mouth a few times. "That's what he said…" Then again, she shouldn't have been very surprised that he'd lied about his identity as well. He'd lied about everything else. Emiko's eyes briefly locked with Madara's, and she couldn't help a shudder that went down her spine. "I think we might be in trouble."
"It doesn't matter who he is." The Tsuchikage declared. "All that matters is that we need to stop him."
As soon as the Tsuchikage finished speaking, Madara leapt down and began his attack. Emiko felt herself paralyzed. She'd never faced down an opponent like this before. She didn't know how much use she'd be against someone like him. Emiko blinked when she felt a hand rest lightly on her head. She looked up into Gaara's reassuring face.
"It's okay, Emiko. I won't let anything happen to you or Naruto." Gaara said quietly.
Emiko immediately straightened up. She pulled Gaara's hand off her head and briefly hugged his arm. "I won't let anything happen to you either."
"Emiko, you ready?" Naruto shouted, surrounded by his doppelgangers. He held a Super Odama Rasengan above his head.
"Yes!" Emiko charged forward along with Naruto. As soon as he hurled his Rasengan at Madara, Emiko began her own attack. "Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu!" Emiko couldn't help beaming proudly as the fire enveloped Naruto's attack and slammed into Madara. She'd worked so hard to learn that attack from Itachi. She wished he could've been there to see her successfully use it. Her happiness was short-lived. "No way! He can use Susanoo too!" She quickly leapt back to where Gaara and most of Naruto's doppelgangers were.
"Naruto, are you ready yet?" Gaara asked, looking down at the Naruto sitting on the ground.
"Not yet!" Naruto grit out. His eyes snapped open. He was in Sage Mode now, and held a Rasen-Shuriken over his head. "Okay! Emiko, ready to try again?"
Emiko nodded. "Let's go!"
Gaara used his sand, which the Tsuchikage had made lighter, and yanked Madara out from the protective shield of his Susanoo. Emiko and Naruto threw their attacks at Madara simultaneously. Emiko landed beside Naruto. "Did we get him?"
Once the smoke cleared, Madara was revealed to be completely unharmed. "Too much energy." He turned his attention to Emiko's shocked face. "How is it that you are able to use one of the Uchiha's techniques?"
Emiko was shocked when she saw Rinnegan eyes staring back at her. She quickly recovered and stuck her tongue out at Madara. "None of your business!"
Madara leapt back to his initial position beside Mu. He summoned his Susanoo back, but no one paid it any attention. Everyone's gaze was focused on the sky above them.
"Naru-chan, what's that?" Emiko instinctively latched onto Naruto's sleeve. Hovering in the air above them was a giant ball of earth. There was no way any of them would be able to dodge it. A hand gently patted her back, finally causing her to tear her eyes away from the meteorite.
Tsuchikage grinned down at her. "It's too early to give up." He suddenly flew up into the air without further explanation.
"Everyone, get out of the way!" Gaara shouted to the remaining group. He grabbed Emiko's arm and dragged her away when she didn't move herself.
Naruto ran along beside them. "What's Tsuchikage-jii planning to do?"
"He's going to try and make the meteor lighter." Gaara explained.
Emiko's eyes widened. "Is he going to be okay?"
Gaara let go of Emiko's arm. He crouched down in front of her and rested his hands on her shoulders. "Believe in him. Stay with Naruto." He rushed back towards where the Tsuchikage was.
"Gaa-chan!" Emiko shouted.
Naruto grabbed her hand and ran a bit more before they were safely out of the way. They watched with bated breath to see if Tsuchikage and Gaara would be able to stop the meteor. When they did, everyone cheered. "They did it!"
Their happiness was short lived. Madara brought a second meteor down onto the first one, and the Tsuchikage was unable to stop it. Emiko squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for her doppelganger to be destroyed. When it wasn't, she slowly opened her eyes. "Gaa-chan!"
Gaara was crouched over her, a sand shield protecting them and Temari. Gaara was panting, but managed a weak smile at Emiko. "Are you okay?"
Emiko nodded numbly. "Why'd you bother saving me? I'm just a doppelganger." She looked around suddenly, alarm on her face. "Where's Naru-chan?"
Gaara was saved from having to answer the first part of her question. He didn't want to tell her how the thought of her disappearing made his heart stop, even if this Emiko was just a doppelganger. It would just be too embarrassing. "He's fine."
"What about Tsuchikage?" Emiko leapt up from the ground, and rushed off in the direction where Tsuchikage had been. She didn't even wait for an answer. Gaara and the others caught up to her after a few seconds. Emiko crouched down beside the wounded Tsuchikage. "Are you okay?"
Tsuchikage sat up with a groan. He waved the others away dismissively. "I'm fine…"
Naruto suddenly collapsed to the ground, clutching his stomach. Emiko was the first to notice. She went to Naruto's side and stroked his hair. "What's wrong, Naru-chan?"
"Kyubi says that Madara is trying to summon him." Naruto gasped out.
Emiko glared over at Madara. Briefly forgetting her fear of the man, she stood up. "Hey, leave Naru-chan and Kyubi alone!" She didn't flinch as Madara used Wood Style to attack them. She brought her hands up, ready to try and stop Madara's attack. She blinked as Naruto suddenly ran past her. "Naru-chan!"
"It's okay, Emiko! Leave this to me!" Naruto shouted. He summoned a large amount of doppelgangers, and sent a large barrage of Odama Rasengan.
Emiko and the others watched in awe as Naruto stopped Madara's attack with his own. As soon as the smoke cleared, Emiko rushed towards Naruto. She helped him sit up, her arms wrapped around his shoulders. "Naru-chan, are you and Kyubi okay?"
Naruto grinned and nodded his head. "Never better."
Emiko glared at Madara as he leapt closer to them. She moved protectively in front of Naruto. "Stay away from Naru-chan!"
Madara stared blankly at the small girl. He didn't even blink as Gaara came and helped Naruto to stand up. He turned his attention to the Tsuchikage. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
"All these years…we shinobi have done nothing but fight each other. Three times this hatred has caused all-out war." The Tsuchikage said clearly, attempting to stand up.
"That's life." Madara said coldly. "You should know that by now from your past wounds."
The Tsuchikage continued on. "It's because of the pain I've experienced in the past, that I can think about what is best for the future!"
Mu spoke up, though it was with Kabuto's voice and not his own. "So, you think a fourth war is what's best for the future?"
"This war is different!" Tsuchikage declared. "We are all fighting together in order to achieve something different than before!" He finally managed to shakily stand up. "Long ago, you forced me to forsake myself. Now, I will reclaim myself!" He groaned and fell to the ground.
Gaara glanced back at the Tsuchikage, still holding Naruto up. "I'll help you."
"Me too!" Emiko declared. She crouched down, ready for the oncoming attack. She smiled gratefully as Naruto and Gaara flanked either side of her. They were all ready to fight, when there was a sudden blinding light. Once Emiko's eyes adjusted, she gasped in surprise. "Tsunade-neechan! Raikage!"
"Looks like we made made it in time." The Mizukage suddenly appeared as well. "Everyone all right?"
"We're okay, but Tsuchikage is hurt real bad." Emiko piped up.
"I'm just fine! Mind your business, brat!" Tsuchikage griped, though he lacked any malice behind his voice. He floated over and joined the others. All five kages stood in front of Emiko and Naruto.
"I'll heal Tsuchikage and Kazekage!" Tsunade declared. "Mizukage, Raikage, buy me some time!"
"They're so cool!" Emiko gushed. "I want to be a kage someday!"
"You can't!" Naruto protested. "I'm going to be Hokage!" He turned his attention back to Tsunade. "Hey, heal me too, Tsunade-basan! I may just be a doppelganger, but I want to help too!"
"Me too!" Emiko piped up.
"No." Tsunade declared flatly.
"This war is no longer being fought just to protect you." Tsuchikage answered. "This is a battle to protect each other! We will take care of this Madara. You two deal with the other one."
The Mizukage smiled over at the two of them. "We give you our word as kages. We will win this fight!"
Naruto and Emiko looked at each other, and nodded. The two doppelgangers disappeared.
Emiko gasped as she received all the memories of her doppelganger. She and Naruto exchanged brief looks with each other. Just ahead, she could see Tobi heading directly towards them. "Let's beat him, Naru-chan, Bee-chan!"
"You got it!" Naruto shouted, head butting Tobi directly in the forehead.