...and it felt so right,
Sleeping all day, staying up all night,
If I could find you now, things would get better,
We could leave this town and run forever,
I know somewhere somehow, we'll be together,
Let your waves crash down on me,
And take me away.-
Ocean Avenue--Yellowcard

Kirigakure no Sato was a true hidden village. Only its ninja knew how to find it. In order for goods to get into it, merchants had to be blindfolded. Usually shinobi just went to the civilian city not far from their hidden village and got what they needed there. Any shops or restaurants in the village were run by retired shinobi, and there were very few of both in Kiriga. It was a lot different from the openness of Konoha.

Despite all the differences, one thing was exactly the same.

"Chiba! Throw that at me and I will remove your hand!"

The eraser was lowered, and the child had the decency to look sheepish. Her class-mates didn't dare giggle at her plight. They could be inches away from calling the teacher's wrath down on their own heads. No one wanted Sensei mad at them. He was, after all, a legendary Kiriga shinobi. His bloody career as a shinobi, though it was short, was bloody, fantastic, and deadly. It made great material for scary stories.

Yes, Umino Iruka had made quiet a name for himself as a shinobi since his arrival in Kiriga almost eight years ago. His rather bloody run as a shinobi had ended just two years ago, after which he'd taken a job teaching the future shinobi of Kiriga. He was also responsible for, with the current Mizukage's help, reforming the teaching methods of Kiriga.

Iruka's students didn't care much about that. They stared at him with anxious eyes, hoping to be released early. There was a light drizzle hitting the school room windows, but what Kiriga child cared about being wet? Many learned to swim around the time they started walking. They were about as amphibious as frogs, and playing a good game of shuriken tag in the rain was what they lived for at this age. Iruka grinned. He was going to make them work for every second of freedom.

The door suddenly opened, and all the kid's heads snapped around to look. Iruka looked, and he smiled. The robed man in the doorway grinned back.

"Sorry, am I interrupting?" he asked.

"Oh, no, not at all Mizukage-sama. We were just about to dismiss." Iruka gave a small bow and listened to the children's cheer. "Okay, my dear oikawa, there will be a test tomorrow on something we learned today! Study hard, and don't forget to pay your respects to the Mizukage on your way out."

There was a collective groan from the class, and the kids began dutifully filing out. Each one mumbled an awed greeting to the Mizukage. Some bowed, and a few saluted. Most of these children came from families that had been shinobi for generations, and the Mizukage was everyone's hero. The Mizukage replied cheerfully to each greeting and saluted each child as they passed. As soon as the children were gone he turned and smiled widely at Iruka, showing far too many sharp teeth.

"That was mean, Iruka-sensei!" the Mizukage protested. He sat down on Iruka's desk and began rearranging the kunai stuck in the desk's surface. The kunai were dulled, and great for throwing at errant students.

Iruka chuckled. "We didn't cover a lot today, and they should all be able to pull out a decent grade. It was actually very nice of me to give them warning. I must be getting soft in my old age, ne, Naruto?"

Naruto laughed. Iruka had never gotten his dandelion boy back, really. Naruto's hair was only blonde at the roots, and his hair faded out to red at the wild tips. His whisker-marks were for more prominent than Iruka remembered them being, and Naruto's blue eyes were now purple with slitted pupils. He was almost too long-limbed, and he had a grace he'd never possessed before the Kyuubi incident.

His appearance had all the village shinobi convinced he was half-demon, and that might be closer to the truth than anyone would ever guess. Sometimes Iruka thought the Kyuubi had left a lasting impression on Naruto's personality, making the boy just a little more bloodthirsty and merciless than he had been. Then again, there was a need for that in Kiriga.

"Now, what can I help you with, O Great Mizukage-sama?" Iruka asked as he stacked up papers and placed them in a water-proof bag.

Naruto cackled and headed for the door. "Well, O wise and venerable sensei, the ambassadors from Konoha have arrived, and I want you to be there when I meet them. It's only fitting, ne?"

Iruka grabbed his bag and followed his former student. "I suppose. How long will this take? I have papers to grade."

Naruto's eyes sparkled as they stepped out into the misting rain. Naruto shook his head and pulled his hat up onto his head. Iruka just opened his umbrella and chakra-walked across the puddles. As they went they received many greetings. Naruto was not only the youngest Mizukage ever, having become Mizukage at the age of twenty, but the best-liked there had ever been. At twenty two he had a long career ahead of him, since few people would even think of challenging him, much less actually do it.

Iruka had never intended to go to Kiriga, but after two years of trying to find some place he had found Kirigakure. Evidently his mother was much-loved as a legendary figure, and a prime example of what every good Kiriga shinobi should be. Now that the family of the politician she had kill had been exposed as traitors to Kiriga, the shinobi were free to exalt her as they saw fit. Iruka had managed to use his mother's name as a hand-hold while he carved his own niche in the hierarchy of shinobi.

Iruka nodded to an old man who hailed him as 'sensei'. It didn't matter who it was, because everyone know called Iruka 'sensei'. He was the Mizukage's teacher, and since the Mizukage called him 'sensei', everyone else did too. Iruka didn't mind. He rather liked it.

Iruka and Naruto waved at the guards as they walked into the Mizukage's complex. Naruto didn't really need guards. He was, without a doubt, the best shinobi Kiriga had. Iruka wasn't close to the boy in skill, but his strange tactics, a mix of Konoha and Kiriga, had advanced him far in the ranks before he'd retired to teaching. Maybe one day he'd retire from teaching and grow old in comfort and boredom. Maybe...

Naruto nodded to a shinobi waiting outside a pair of large doors. She nodded and smiled at Naruto. Naruto was considered very attractive by the kunoichi of Kiriga, and it was only a matter of time before the young Mizukage would find himself married. Iruka didn't think he was opposed to that idea.

The kuniochi stepped through the doors and announced them to the ambassadors: Mizukage Umino Naruto, and his advisor, the honorable Umino Iruka.

Naruto swung the doors open with a dramatic flair he was so fond of. Konoha and Kiriga were still growling at each other while they tried to find terms that made everyone happy. Naruto had leapt on the chance to be allied with the great nation, and a treaty was slowly being hammered out. This group of shinobi was the first group of foreign shinobi to be welcomed into Kiriga in years. Hopefully important steps could be made towards the tentative treaty.

Konoha probably had no idea Iruka and Naruto were still alive. The only news of the two that could have reached them would have been about Kiriga's newest demons, and if anyone in Konoha had decided those new demons were Iruka and Naruto...well, Iruka would eat his grade book without salt.

Four shinobi waited on the other side of the doors. Iruka smiled when he saw them. There were all about Naruto's age. The leader was a spiky-haired man with a sullen expression. His followers were a varied bunch to say the least. A blond woman in purple, with and irritated look on her face stood beside him. A kunoichi with two buns on her head, a smile, and an amazing amount of empty holsters hanging about her person stood directly behind the purple dressed kunoichi. The last was a heavy set man with a bored expression. All stared at Naruto as he gave them his best 'I'm going to eat you' grin.

"Welcome," Naruto began in a loud voice. "to Kirigakure, dear Konohagakure shinobi! May your stay be fruitful and safe."

Shikamaru blinked and smirked. "Oh, I'm certain it will be."

The end, dears, that's the end. (Shikamaru's team was Ino, Tenten, and Chouji!)

A few things you might want to know now that you've finished Burning Deadfall.

You just read 128 pages of fanfiction. That's almost a novel!

This started as a random fic-bit I started when I was upset and grew from that.

This story is labelled 'Grrr' on my computer, and I usually call it that instead of Burning Deadfall.

BD has 99 faves, 113 alerts, and 475+ reviews.(THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH!)

I've had so much fun writing this, and I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Domo arigatou gozaimasu.

Sayonara minna-san!