Devil of the Hidden Leaf
Chapter 24: Kazekage Rescue
AN: Hello all and welcome back. First and foremost thank you to everyone who reviewed and sent me messages regarding the status of this story reminding me that despite the length of time that had passed you wanted to see it continued. Now then as for the wait well I wanted to see how the manga would end and what I could and couldn't adapt into this story. I have also discovered that I now dislike sitting in front of computer screens too long now as I do so all day at work. But I promise from this point I'll try to get updates back on track. That said here is the long awaited new chapter.
Three days, that was the length of time it was supposed to take to cross the distance between Konoha and Suna. However due to the emergency nature of their current mission Team Kakashi had managed to complete the journey with several hours to spare. Also with them as they entered the village gate's was Temari the group having come across her while they were just in the beginning stages of the journey. Temari led them quickly through the village streets until the came upon the hospital with the staff quickly directing Suna's princess in the correct direction. That had been nearly two hours previous and in that time Sakura had basically taken over the hospital and Naruto was actually surprised at how professional and confident the girl was in this setting. Naruto meanwhile was currently looking through a copy of the bingo book Tsunade had given him when he'd first gotten back to the village.
"This is the one Gaara fought." Said the blond catching Kakashi's attention.
"Deidara, Iwagakure's Mad Bomber. If I remember right he stole one of Iwa's most powerful kinjutsu scrolls." Said Kakashi catching a glimpse of the picture.
"Yeah apparently he also tried to off the Tsuchikage, blew up his office building only for the guy to live." Said Naruto with a frown.
"According to the rumor mill the guy is supposed to be Iwa's version of Uchiha Itachi at least when it comes to advancement through the ranks." Said Kakashi
"Says here he was part of the Bakuha Butai (Explosion Corps)." Said Naruto.
"Those guys were a nasty piece of work. They were a subsection of Iwa's ANBU that specialized in demolition warfare. Rumor has it most of those guys possessed the Bakuton Kekki Genkai." Said the Copy Ninja.
"From what I managed to learn from the chuunin I spoke with the guy created some kind of sculptures that he would use to cause explosions, even created big ones which flew him around." Said Naruto.
"So a long range combatant then." Mused Kakashi.
"This is going to suck." Said Naruto with a frown.
"Worried?" questioned the scarecrow a single eye floating over to look at his one time student.
"No, I just hate long range battles, those guys like running away a lot. Honestly what's wrong with looking someone in the eye when you're trying to kill them?" retorted the blond
Kakashi's response would never be known as at just that moment the light over the operating room doors went out just a few seconds before Sakura emerged from behind them.
"It was touch and go for a while but he's stable and will pull through." Stated the pinkette with a tired smile.
Temari didn't spare another moment and rushed through the doors to find her brother, Kankuro lying on the table his breathing steady causing her to breathe a sigh of relief.
Not even an hour later found the members of team seven moving at quick speeds joined not by Temari but one of Suna's elder's by the name of Chiyo who in a twist of fate had been the one to seal the bijuu within Gaara. Before they had left however they had learned that the person who had dropped Kankuro had been a guy by the name of Sasori a nuke-nin of Suna's who had revolutionized their puppeteering division and apparently Chiyo's grandson. As they moved Naruto had to make an actual effort to slow himself down as it had quickly become evident that his level of speed had surpassed theirs. Still Naruto couldn't help it as not only did they seem slow to him but he knew they were in a rush and something told him if they didn't hurry Gaara would most likely be dead by the time they arrived.
Meanwhile back in Konoha a different type of battle was taking place. Tsunade who had been in a meeting with her advisors Hiashi and Shibi when they had been interrupted by the three elders Homura, Koharu and Danzo. The interruption was unwelcome though to be fair in her mind anytime she had to see one of the three was an unpleasant and unwelcome moment. Unfortunately while not as powerful as before the they still had quite a bit of political clout and as such were an inconvenience she had to deal with. Still she would admit that over the last few years Homura and Koharu had mellowed out a small bit, Danzo however was proving to still be the same pain in the ass.
"Hokage-sama we do not wish to take up much of your time so we will get straight to the point." Stated Homura a sentiment Tsunade was silently thankful for.
"Simply put we are here concerning the Namikaze boy. We believe it may be prudent to confine him to the village until such time as he has an heir." Stated Koharu.
"And how exactly is such a thing of any concern to you?" questioned Hiashi his tone perfectly even and his face a mask of calm.
"It is a concern for the entire village. Not only were the Namikaze one of the founders of the village but the boy's bloodline is incredibly powerful." Stated Homura.
"There is also the matter of his ability. We all saw what he did to the Ichibi a few years ago, I would not put it passed the other villages to try and take him out in order to preserve their own bijuu." Stated Koharu.
"While your concerns are valid they are unnecessary. As things are unless the other Kage themselves try something against him there is nothing to worry about." Stated Tsunade.
"Are you saying he is at the level of the Kage?" questioned Homura in slight surprise.
"He lacks experience but he has the power. According to Jiraiya he has already attained S-rank power, and at this point his training isn't even fully complete. He still has one more thing Jiraiya wants him to learn, however considering he's stronger than Kakashi I believe he's good enough to be outside of the village." Stated Tsunade.
This of course was news to the three elders. Had this been said three years ago then they may have had different reactions to this news because it had been a thought among them that the man had stalled in his growth. However over the last few years he seemed to have improved massively to the point that at times they wondered if he had in fact surpassed his father who at one point had been the number one contender for the position of Yondaime.
"While that is all well and good, what of his team. It is my understanding that he has been placed back with your apprentice and Kakashi, however I believe Konoha still maintains four person cells." Stated Danzo causing Tsunade's eyes to focus in on him.
"And your point is?" Questioned the Godaime.
"Without a fourth team member his team would still be confined to the village." Stated the man calmly.
"We've got company." Said Naruto.
They had been traveling for hours towards Kawa no Kuni (River Country) and Chiyo had just given Sakura an impromptu lesson on the bijuu when Naruto spotted him, his eye sight far greater than the rest of the group. As they came to a halt they were greeted to the sight of a figure garbed in a black cloak with red clouds decorating it his appearance gave Sakura pause as the man looked very similar to their former teammate especially if you took in the sight of the fully matured Sharingan eyes.
"Uchiha Itachi, so this is the man who slaughtered his entire clan." Stated Chiyo eyeing the man
"It's been a while Kakashi-san, Naruto-kun." Stated Itachi.
"True eight years is a long time, though I heard you came looking for me a few years back." Stated Naruto surprising Sakura.
"Yes, apparently I had just missed you." Stated Itachi
"So you mind telling me the truth about what happened. I'm not Sasuke you can save the whole 'testing your power' bullshit for somebody else." Said Naruto
Itachi said nothing in response merely shifting however as he did Naruto responded in kind bringing his left hand forward with the sheathed form of Yamato in hand as he flicked the tsuba forward just slightly.
"Impressive, shrugging my genjutsu off so casually. Yet you were never a genjutsu type." Stated Itachi.
"Like I said eight years is a long time. Still to think just a single finger was enough to cast a genjutsu on me." Retorted Naruto shocking the group.
Suddenly Itachi leapt away just barely dodging as what looked to be a pair of streaks of golden energy that had burst out from the ground. despite the dodge however he was not saved as the energy turned and gave chase at least they were stopped by a ninjato that Itachi had pulled from his cloak. As he landed the energy solidified revealing two spike tipped chains that had burst out from the ground.
"So you've even awakened your mother's chakra chains." Said Itachi only for Naruto to smirk before the chains retracted back from whence they came.
"Well it was nice catching up, guess I'll see you when I see you."
Almost as soon as he said this he vanished into a plume of smoke and before anyone could react Itachi's head rolled from his body as another Naruto appeared in the formers position facing away from the headless corpse causing Sakura to gape while both Kakashi and Chiyo went wide-eyed due to the speed.
"When did you create a clone?" questioned Sakura after a moment to regain her composure.
"When we landed I had already created it and simply replaced myself with it." Explained the blond lightly.
"Still to think Uchiha Itachi taken out that simply." Said Sakura in awe.
"Look again." Said the blond giving everyone pause and causing them to look down at the head to see that it was not Itachi but another person completely.
"Yura." Breathed Chiyo in shock.
"I noticed it a while ago. It's most likely some type of puppet technique, this guy is probably the reason Akatsuki knew to even go after Gaara." Said Naruto with a frown.
"So they used him as a diversionary tactic, which means they've already started the process of extracting the Ichibi." Stated Kakashi.
"Yeah, we're still a ways off, I can feel the bijuu chakra from here." Said Naruto his eyes looking out into the distance.
Deeper in Kawa no Kuni a single figure paused as his ring-like eyes looked out elsewhere for a few moments. He ignored the other silhouetted figures and even that of the red headed young man suspended in the air his mouth open in a silent scream of agony as power was leaching out of him and into the body of the statue the other figures stood upon.
"Zetsu, dispose of the two used for the Shouten Jutsu" stated the figure the tone of voice indicating a male.
"Understood" came the voice of one of the others.
"Itachi how many are there and who are they?" questioned the man
"From Konoha, Hatake Kakashi, Haruno Sakura and Uzumaki Naruto. There is also an advisor from Suna named Chiyo making it a four person squad." Said Itachi his form almost transparent.
"The Copy Ninja and the Devil huh. Konoha also sent that green freak taijutsu nut, a Hyuga, a weapons expert and a younger version of that freak." Mused Kisame
"Maito Gai, Hyuga Neji, Tenten and Rock Lee." Said Itachi after a few moments
"Uzumaki may be trouble. We still do not know how he defeated Shukaku three years ago, at this point it may have only been luck that the Ichibi managed to keep most of its power." Stated a new voice this one feminine in nature.
"Perhaps but in the same vein it may be possible that he didn't destroy the Kyuubi as was rumored." Stated another person.
"It's getting a bit noisy outside." Mused another figure as a bang echoed out through the chamber.
"So there's a chance of me snagging another jinchuriki, don't think too badly of me Itachi." Said one figure that was hunched over however appearing far more solid than the others.
Outside of the cave Gai rebounded off of a large boulder and skid across the ground a few feet as his punch was reflected off of it.
"There's a barrier of some kind up." Mused Gai as he walked back to face the boulder
"So what do we do?" questioned Lee clad in his vest looking like a shorter version of Gai more than he had before.
"Well first we have to break the barrier." Stated Gai with a frown.
"And just how do you plan on doing that?" questioned Tenten.
She had changed quite a bit over the years not only had she grown taller and curvier there was a noticeable swell in her bust size as well. While not as busty as say Tsunade the girl had developed quite well. She now wore a deep blue one piece that seemingly molded to her skin though unlike the full suits of Gai and Lee hers cut off at her upper thighs. There was also the fact that hers lacked sleeves instead it was buttoned up around her neck and left her shoulders free of fabric there was also a triangular portion cut out at the upper portion of her chest though her breast were completely covered.
She wore a pair of dark blue fingerless gloves that went up to just past her elbows and finished the outfit off with an orange skirt to cover her legs, though the front was missing just a small section allowing the ending of her one piece to be seen. It had taken Lee and Neji quite a while to get used to the outfit while Gai had been divided on whether he should be proud of her embracing the one piece suit or mortified by what it showed off.
Neji like Gai had changed very little taller and more muscular and with longer hair. He had traded in his gennin outfit for a more traditional Hyuga-like outfit consisting of a white long sleeved shirt with matching pants with a dark apron wrapped around his waist. At the moment he was frowning as his Byakugan showed him that for some reason the activity within the cave had stopped. The team was also accompanied by Kakashi's ninken Pakkun, they had been dispatched by the Godaime to aid team Kakashi however had been met by Pakkun midway to Suna and been directed to Kawa no Kuni.
"That's a Five Seal Barrier." Cut in a new voice catching the groups attention and causing Gai to smirk.
"You're late Kakashi." Said Gai.
"Eh well we ran into a bit of trouble along the way." Came Kakashi's voice
"Sakura-san! Exclaimed Lee in surprise.
"Naruto-kun!" exclaimed Tenten in surprise shocking her teammates with the exception of Gai who remembered what the boy originally looked like.
"Hey Ten-chan" catching the girl who had launched herself at him and allowing her a moment to run a hand through his hair before he placed her on her feet.
"Still for them to use the Five Seal Barrier it almost seems as if they were expecting a large group." Mused Naruto as he turned back to the boulder.
"True enough, while it would stop a small group, with our numbers such a thing would work in trimming the group down, since five people are needed to dispel this particular barrier." Said Kakashi
"Why five?" questioned Sakura with a frown.
"You see the tag on the boulder there." Stated Naruto causing the group to look towards the mentioned tag.
"Consider this as a merging point. There are four more tags in the area giving power to this one thus the name Five Seal Barrier. Of course all you need to do is rip the tags off, however what makes it complicated is that in order for the barrier to fall all five tags need to be removed at once." Explained Naruto frowning.
"Neji." Called Gai to the Hyuga who responded by activating his bloodline.
"Found them." Called the Hyuga genius after a few moments of searching.
"As Naruto-san said there are four more tags. One on top of a rock about 500 meters northeast, another on the trunk of a tree on a riverbank 350 meters southeast. The third is on a wall of rock 650 meters northwest and the last is inside a grove 800 meters southwest." Informed the teen.
"If that's the situation my team will handle it, between the two my team's faster." Stated Gai removing some items from his pouch and tossing them out for Tenten, Neji and Lee to catch.
"Well use these radios so not only can we follow Neji's directions but we can keep in communication. The frequency is 174 wait for our message." Stated Gai his last sentence directed to Kakashi.
As team Gai scattered Naruto suddenly snapped back towards the cave his eyes narrowed before they slowly began to bleed red to go with the red outlined black chakra that began to seem out of him.
"Naruto." Called Kakashi in shock.
"I can't feel Gaara's chakra anymore. When this thing opens whoever is on the other side is dead." Said Naruto summoning Yamato to his hand.
"Team Gai is in place." Called Kakashi after a few silent minutes as he leapt up onto the boulder clinging in place by use of chakra.
"Well break in with a button hook entry alright Sakura." Called Kakashi causing the girl to ready herself.
In the next instant he was back on the ground with the large parchment that had been the tag already on the ground. A moment later and Sakura had slammed her fist into the boulder causing a large spider-web of cracks to run across it before it shattered to pieces. As they darted inside the group of four were greeted to the sight of two people facing them along with the motionless form of Gaara. In the next instant the two found themselves leaping away just barely dodging the ethereal blades of blue chakra that had been launched at them.
It was only as they landed that they noticed one of the group of intruders was missing glancing behind him suddenly the blond bomber known as Deidara found himself going wide eyed just before a blow to the face from Yamato's sheath sent him flying back and away from his partner. When he recovered and looked back up Naruto was already back with his group only now Gaara's body was missing altogther.
Kakashi himself had once again found himself surprised by his former student. Just that one simple exchange had been executed so fast that he himself had nearly missed it completely. The level of speed he had just displayed was something he knew even Gai had trouble attaining. It had been near instantaneous on moment he was beside him and the next the two Akatsuki members had been displaced and Gaara had been recovered.
'Godspeed' thought Kakashi in awe.
It was a term coined during the last war to describe the speed of Namikaze Minato at the time the jounin who was leading them through the war. After the death of the man, that had been his sensei many including Kakashi had thought that they would never see such a thing again. Even the Yondaime Raikage known for his speed was not held up to the same level as his speed was a byproduct of elemental manipulation whereas the man who would become Yondaime Hokage had been just that fast. Even Gai had to take time to build up his speed.
"Chiyo-san, can you handle Sasori?" questioned Naruto not taking his eyes off of Deidara.
"I've got him." said Chiyo eyeing the hunched over form of Sasori.
Almost as soon as this was said Diedara was in motion leaping onto a large bird like creature which quickly took flight shooting out of the cave in an instant.
"Sakura stay with Chiyo, Naruto and I will handle Diedara. Just try not to overdo it until Team Gai gets here." Said Kakashi just as a massive explosion was heard from outside the cave prompting him to quickly duck out.
'I can tell just by looking at him the huge difference in experience and his amount of kills.' Thought Sakura a nervous sweat breaking out on her face as she eyed Sasori.
"Sakura don't be afraid, I'm here. Just stay behind me." Said Chiyo before with a single motion she fired off at least a dozen kunai at Sasori.
Outside of the cave Deidara was beginning to get annoyed though they'd only had a few exchanges so far he had yet to even manage to even get a shot in. From the very onset when his avian construction had been destroyed he'd been on the defensive. Naruto for his part stood calmly atop a tree a bit of travel away from the cave with his arms crossed as he eyed his opponent having been forced to chase him for a small stretch of time.
"I thought you said you didn't like distance fighting." Stated Kakashi as he appeared beside the blond.
"I don't. He's already tried to run away four times thus far I've just been blocking him."
As he spoke Deidara had urged his newest mount, in the shape of a hawk towards the left and in an instant was forced into a series of rolls and dodges as the chakra chains made their appearance aiming at not just his creation but at him as well. As he recovered Deidara swerved off to the left only to hastily leap from his mount which had been struck by several of the blonds summoned swords just before the mount exploded only for him to land on yet another bird.
"I see what you mean, he is a slippery one isn't he." Said Kakashi raising his headband up to reveal his Sharingan eye.
"Um Kakashi-sensei he's a little too far away for that eye to make a difference." Remarked Naruto quickly creating six summoning swords and launching them at Deidara forcing him into a short dive.
"You're not the only one whose been training you know." Retorted Kakashi.
As he said this he focused his chakra more intently into his transplanted eye causing it to undergo a change. AS they eye spun it transformed from just three tomoe markings and into three stretched triangles spaced around the pupil that each curve at the top around the eye to form a circle causing it to resemble a pinwheel. As his eye solidified its new shaping and Kakashi gained a bit more clarity he focused his gaze onto Deidara's heart.
"Kamui" intoned the Copy Nin.
At his command a vortex began to take form around Diedara's chest only for the ground to shake beneath them and for Kakashi's gaze to switch from Deidara's heart to his right arm just in time for his technique to be completed which resulted in Diedara crying out in shock as half of his arm was suddenly torn off from him. Kakashi however grimaced at the missed opportunity while Naruto was actually impressed.
"Nasty, didn't think it was possible for a non-Uchiha to develop the Mangekyo. Hope you've only been using that eye sparingly." Said Naruto.
"Like I said you're not the only one who's been training. Still I was aiming for his heart." Said Kakashi quickly retracting some of the chakra from his eye and covering the Sharingan to save chakra.
Meanwhile Naruto was looking thoughtful and absently using his chains to keep Deidara from running away. He hadn't really been trying anywhere near his hardest to kill the man but Kakashi's use of what had to be one of his more powerful techniques judging from his state afterwards had him wanting to wrap things up quickly. Still he didn't necessarily want to use up a whole lot of chakra and he didn't want to be tricked into thinking he killed the man only for it to turn out untrue.
'Guess I'll just have to use that then.' Thought the blond with a sigh.
"Ne Kakashi-sensei, don't tell anyone about this next bit okay. Bastard just had to be a long range fighter making me go through all this trouble." Said Naruto reaching up and removing his hitai-ate shocking Kakashi with the action while he tucked it into his pocket.
For a moment Kakashi wondered what he was up to at least before a large horizontal slit appeared going across the boys forehead before it let out a burst of chakra. Kakashi could only look on stunned as the slit opened up to reveal a third eye directly in the center of his forehead. The eye itself was violet in color with a black pupil reminding Kakashi absently of Uzumaki Kushina's eyes. Naruto meanwhile had closed his regular eyes and was looking out only through the third eye before creating several summoned swords and launching them up at Deidara.
Though many of them were dodged one of them landed true this one he'd launched after the initial barrage where it embedded in the neck of the clay creation which was all Naruto needed.
"Hiraishin no jutsu" muttered Naruto causing Kakashi's eye to widen in shock just as the teen vanished.
Deidara also went wide eyed at the sight having been watching the two using a scope that covered his left eye; however before he could react in any way whatsoever the entire area he was in went dark and from his position all Kakashi could see were several flashes of light before Naruto appeared crouched on the ground before him with Yamato already fully sheathed and Deidara and his mount frozen in position. For several moments both were still before Naruto smoothly stood to his full height before the avian like construct seemed to fall into multiple pieces before all of them exploded.
"How…when…?" muttered Kakashi not even sure what he wanted to bring up first.
"About a year ago now. I'm still not that good at it, I tend to either under or overshoot the markers and even then can only follow one at this point and I have to be able to see it. As for the eye about three months after I left. You wouldn't believe how much chakra it ate up when it first awoke. Still don't mention either of them to anyone." Explained the blond securing his hitai-ate in place just as Sakura and Chiyo emerged from the cave.
As they approached it became obvious that the two kunoichi had been forced to deal with more trouble than the two of them had, yet considering they were still walking around it went unsaid that Sasori had gotten the worse end of that deal. Still the fact that they had arrived with Sakura supporting Chiyo showed that the elder had passed her physical limit in the process.
"Finally caught up." Said Sakura as the two touched down.
"You found this place well." Said Kakashi recovering quickly as if nothing out of the ordinary had transpired.
"We saw where the enemy was flying before." Explained Sakura.
"Are you still having trouble here?" questioned Chiyo the fatigue she felt obvious as she spoke.
"Naruto just finished him. I'm guessing the two of you have done the same." Said Kakashi.
"Yes, more importantly however what of Gaara?" questioned the Suna elder.
"Rival Kakashi I see you are all finished here." Stated Gai as he and his team all appeared in the next instant.
"Yes, what happened with you guys?" questioned Sakura.
"Those tags were trapped, we ended up fighting clones of ourselves." Explained Neji with a frown.
At just that moment two clones of Naruto appeared to join the group supporting between them the limp form of the Kazekage. At the sight Naruto's eyes flashed a baleful red as he looked upon the motionless form of his friend. Those around him could only watch on sadly as the strange dual colored chakra enveloped his form yet the feeling it produced could only be labeled as sorrowful.
"He and Gaara though they met as enemies I've heard from Hokage-sama that the two had become great friends. Don't think for a second he's doing this for Suna or even for the alliance between our villages. All Naruto cares about is that his friend needs his help." The words of Hatake Kakashi floated through the mind of the elder as she recalled an earlier conversation between the two regarding Naruto's reaction towards the mission.
As they did Chiyo found herself moving forward almost as if another force was doing so as she did so absently. Kneeling down beside the redhead almost on autopilot she found herself bringing her palms forward as a pale blue chakra began to shine from her hands for the second time that day. Suddenly the bladed edge of Yamato was pressed to her neck and everyone present tensed at the action.
"And just what are you trying to do now?" demanded the teen his tone colder than ice.
Sakura however having a clue what was going on approached her teammate and carefully and slowly guided his arm away from the elder. Snapping his gaze over to her Naruto was about to lay into her only to pause at the look upon the pinkett's face.
'There is still something that I must do.' The elders words from several minutes earlier as they were leaving the cave flashed the girl's mind.
'This is what she was talking about, exchanging her own life for Gaara's" thought the pink haired kunoichi sad acceptance flowing through her.
"Naruto, she's going to bring Gaara back." Said the girl at last shocking all but Kakashi and Gai who had already come to similar conclusions.
"A resurrection technique? Such things are rare and even then to bring someone back to life would take a huge sacrifice." Said Tenten her time studying within the Namikaze archives showing through.
"Damn not enough chakra." Said Chiyo as he jutsu faded away.
"Then you can use mine, that's possible right." Said Naruto shocking the older woman.
'Like Gaara-kun, Naruto is a jinchuriki. Because of this he understood Gaara's feelings better than anyone possibly could in Suna.' Kakashi's words once again flashed though the elders mind.
'The treatment that jinchuriki receive is pretty much the same no matter the village. That's why he not only could not ignore Gaara-kun but he spared his life when he decided not to take much of the Ichibi's chakra three years ago. Whether its Konoha or Suna I doubt it even matters to Naruto.' The words floated back causing the woman to relax.
"Place your hands on top of mine." Said the woman after a few moments.
As he did so and she reengaged her jutsu Chiyo was caught completely by surprise by just how much chakra Naruto had even after coming out of battle.
'Naruto's dream had always been to become Hokage, even as a little kid. When he heard that Gaara had adopted that dream himself and had become Kazekage rather than feeling frustrated he was proud for him and rejoiced from the bottom of his heart. Despite everything that's happened he has the amazing gift to befriend anyone no matter the circumstances." As the memory finished playing out the old woman felt a wry smile creep up on her face yet did nothing to stop it.
"Naruto in this world of shinobi made by foolish old people I'm glad someone like yourself has appeared. My past, everything I've done has been one mistake after another. Still I'm thankful that in my very last moments I'll be able to set things right. Suna and Konoha, the future starting now with the two of you guiding them surely things will be different from the times I lived. That unusual gift of yours which Kakashi spoke of will help you direct the future, after you become a Hokage like none before you that is." Stated the woman shocking everyone with her words.
"And you Sakura, next time instead of risking your life for a dying old woman you should protect those most important to you. You are a lot like me; after all a woman with a gallant spirit matching any man's is a rarity in this world. I have no doubt that you will become a kunoichi even greater than your master one day." Said the woman causing Sakura to go wide eyed for a moment.
"Finally Naruto this old woman has a request of you. You were the only one to understand Gaara's suffering and befriend him, Gaara understood your suffering as well please continue to help Gaara for me." Said the woman.
"Gaara, hey Gaara!" a loud voice echoed across the barren wasteland.
'Who is that? Who are they calling?' thought a small boy with brick red hair as he opened his eyes.
'Whose hand is this? Oh it's just my hand, again. Me" thought the boy looking up at his barren surroundings tears beginning to fall down his face.
"Me, who am I? I am…' thought the boy slowly unsure only to stop as he felt something settle onto his shoulder.
Looking towards the object he found himself staring at a hand. Following it upwards he found himself looking up at a young boy who stood behind him with the brightest spiky blond hair he'd ever seen and soulful blue eyes and odd markings resembling whiskers. Slowly the boy seemed to morph before his eyes aging and changing until he was looking upon someone with white hair that hung around his head the bangs of which hid one of his eyes, yet the visible one was that same soulful blue and on his forehead he wore a Konoha hitai-ate. Finally he aged again becoming taller with a thicker build his hair transforming back to spiky blond and the whisker-like markings returning.
"Hey Gaara, I came as soon as I got word." Said the blond while the red head himself also aged and green eyes regarded familiar blue.
"Naruto." Said the redhead in surprise as blue eyes opened up in the real world.
"Take a look around."
As the blond said this Gaara did just that and was shocked to find that they were suddenly surrounded by a sea of people many of them bearing Suna hitai-ate though a few were also wearing Konoha issue hitai-ate. Naruto honestly had no clue how long they had all been there and wondered absently how long he'd been wandering Gaara's mindscape but decided not to worry about it.
"Everyone came for you, you're not alone anymore. You had us worried." Said Naruto smiling down at his friend.
"For sure. You're a little brother I always have to worry about, I'm glad I still can." Said Kankuro as he made his approach
"Hey don't be getting all complacent. Gaara is still the Kazekage, don't act so cheeky." Said Temari as she also made her way over the she dropped all pretenses when she dropped and embraced her little brother from behind, an embrace Gaara found himself leaning into.
"Naruto, thank you." Said Kankuro causing the blond to shake his head in the negative.
"This one goes to Chiyo-san, by time I got here it was already too late. She's the one who brought him back. I'm sure you know the price for such a thing." Said Naruto
"So she used that technique." Mused Kankuro with a sigh.
"What technique?" questioned Temari with a frown not knowing of any revival techniques owned by the village.
"At one point the puppet squad tried to research and develop ways to give life to puppets, Chiyo-sama led the project. She even worked out the theory behind the jutsu however in the process decided that the risk of using it was too high. Before any experimentation it was designated as a kinjutsu and she had it sealed away by the Sandaime Kazekage. I only know of it because I brought up doing such research a year ago and she wouldn't allow it." Informed Kankuro shocking everyone who could hear him.
'Naruto-kun you really are an amazing person, able to change people as you are. First Gaara, and now Chiyo-sama. She was always saying she didn't care about the future of the village and she wasn't the type of person that would do something like this for Gaara" thought Temari holding her brother even closer to her for a moment.
Naruto and Gaara however were unaware of her thoughts and had instead shared a look between each other. No words were spoken and not a single motion was made before both tried standing to their feet. Naruto was the only one who made it and had caught Gaara under his arm before anyone could see him stumble and helped the red head to his feet, pumping a short and untraceable bit of bijuu chakra into his friend that went unnoticed by all but Gaara who suddenly found a bit of newfound strength in his body. As one the two moved over to Sakura who was cradling the elders body while her own brother stood beside her.
"Everyone say a prayer for Chiyo." Said Gaara.
Elsewhere a single figure burst through the ground adorned in a black cloak with red clouds designed into it. The figure was that of a man with what looked like the partly opened mouth of a Venus flytrap surrounding his body.
"To think that both Sasori and Deidara would be defeated." Spoke the figure seemingly to no one.
"Indeed, more surprising Sasori was beaten by his opponents than Deidara." Spoke the same figure only his vocal tone shifting drastically.
"At least we were able to recover the rings while no one was paying attention."
"Barely or did you forget about Uzumaki's clone picking up Deidara's hand. With that and his head he can cash in the bounty on Deidara"
"Oh right old man Onoki still has him in the Bingo Book."
"The Uzumaki brat may be a bigger threat than we thought."
"Doesn't matter. We have to save the Kyuubi for last anyway. If worse comes to worse the leader may just go after the brat himself."
"Right. Let's head back then, I'm getting hungry."
As he said this finishing the conversation with himself he sunk into the ground and vanished without a trace.
"Lady Chiyo of Suna died in the line of duty reviving the Kazekage in the process. Teams Gai and Kakashi have completed their mission successfully and will return in three days." Said Shizune reading off a missive she'd received from Kakashi to Tsunade.
"Why so long?" questioned Tsunade with a frown.
"Gaara-sama invited them to stay in Suna for a few days after their trouble on his behalf." Stated Shizune.
"More likely he just wanted to spend some time catching up with Naruto." Said Tsunade.
Neither would say more than that however, over the years there had been a few too many information leaks and Tsunade had become convinced that the office was bugged. It had really pissed the Godaime off as she'd been planning Naruto welcome home to commence with a christening of the desk. Shizune was equally worried as a few hospital projects had also been affected and while neither would come right out and say it anywhere outside of the Namikaze estate both were sure that Danzo was involved.
"Still was it a good idea to send Naruto-kun there. I know he's been training but they may eventually target him." stated Shizune.
"Would you have tried stopping him from helping Gaara?" questioned Tsunade something Shizune doubted she'd have done.
Three days later in Suna found Tenten panting her form covered in a fine sheen of sweat as her body rocked slowly to a rhythm all in her own head. As a large palm came up to cover her bouncing breast she sighed in pleasure keeping her own hands planted down in front of her on the chest of her lover. She cooed as the hand not currently fondling her other breast took a firm grip of her backside while a pair of lips came up to cover the unoccupied breast with a deft tongue swiping over her perked up nipple. Suddenly there was a knocking at the door however the weapons mistress didn't even falter keeping up with her relaxed pace even as another knock echoed through the room.
"Ignore it." Said the girl not slowing or opening her eyes.
"It may be important." Said Naruto from his position beneath her though also willing to ignore it.
"If neither Suna or Konoha are in the process of being attacked it's not. Whoever it is can wait." As she said this the girl shifted before her speed increased noticeably but not at too fast a pace.
For several minutes they kept it up until Tenten suddenly seized up Naruto having leaned up quickly to catch her cry of pleasure with a kiss that muffled her. Finally she relaxed her body slumping forward as she rested her head in the crook of his neck.
"So what did Temari want last night?" questioned the girl after a few silent minutes shifting so that she could lay beside him.
"Just to catch up." Said Naruto pulling her into his body with his right arm.
"She didn't make another pass at you did she?" questioned Tenten frowning.
"Nope, she's passed that. She's with Shikamaru now, though their trying to keep it low key." Explained the blond.
Before either could speak more there was another knocking on the door which caused Naruto to frown before calling out to whoever it was to hold on. Looking apologetically at Tenten he quickly grabbed a pair of shorts and climbed out of the bed making sure she was sufficiently covered before moving towards the door. Looking out the peek hole he frowned seeing that it was Lee on the other end as he could have sworn he'd already turned down his idea for early morning workouts.
"What's up Lee?" questioned the blond opening the door just enough so the bowl cut wearing teen could see his face.
"Ah Naruto-kun sorry to wake you. Kakashi-sensei asked me to inform you that we'd be heading back in two hours." Explained the taijutsu expert.
"Ah Ok. I'm going to stop by Chiyo's headstone again but then I'll meet up with you guys." Said Naruto getting a solemn nod from Lee
"Oh have you seen Tenten at all since yesterday? I haven't been able to find her." Questioned Lee.
"Oh I've seen quite a bit of her, tell you what I'll let her know about the timetable alright." Said the blond getting a beaming smile from Lee before he raced off.
Closing the door Naruto shook his head at the other teens cluelessness as he turned back to face Tenten who had already removed the sheets that had covered her and held a glowing green hand over her backside.
"You okay?" questioned Naruto.
"I'll be fine I'm just trying to get to it before it starts to hurt. Plus I'm not trying to do anything with a gaping asshole." Said the girl though she spared him a smile so he relaxed.
"So you still haven't told them about us?" questioned the blond.
"They know I'm engaged. I had to tell them something after I turned Neji down. I just didn't tell them who I was engaged to." Said the girl as her hand stopped glowing and she removed it from her rear.
"Did I tell you we settled on a date?" questioned Tenten after a few moments.
"No what did you pick?" retorted the blond tossing her panties at her which she quickly snatched out of the air having been looking for them.
"Hinata's birthday." said Naruto in surprise.
"It's a good gift. So me Haku and Hinata on that day. Anko and Tayuya are going to share a day after that, Shi and Tsu are waiting a while longer and Hanabi on her sixteenth." Explained Tenten.
"You want to grab a quick shower before we head out?" questioned the blond stopping her from getting dressed.
"Fine but I just healed my asshole so you're not fucking me again. And before you ask I'm saving that place for our wedding night." Said Tenten.
Though she had but up a strong front they did end up having sex again while in the shower, on the sink and on the floor. Tenten had discovered that she was weak against his message-like actions while he was washing her and had got so turned on she had jumped him.
Two hours later however found the group of Konoha nin all gathered at the village gates being seen off by the Kazekage and his siblings. Gaara however was sporting a new accessory Fujin the Devil Arm that Naruto had created when he had first beaten Gaara three years ago. Gaara had been shocked however had accepted the gift and vowed to learn how to use it before their next meeting. Naruto had no doubt that he would especially when he discovered the bit of Shukaku's chakra that was present in the weapon as it had accepted him easily having been a part of him already.
"Naruto-kun thank you again for what you did." Said Temari as she and the other blond hugged briefly.
"Hey I told you not to worry about it, I'd have gone after Gaara regardless." Said the teen.
"That too, but thanks again for telling me no three years ago. I was vulnerable and you could have taken advantage but didn't that says a lot." Said Temari.
"Don't get me wrong Temari, your beautiful and any other time I may have said yes. However you deserve someone who can give you their whole attention. You've shared everything your whole life this is something that you can say is just yours." Said the blond giving her a smile before turning and walking out the gates having already said his goodbyes to Gaara and Kankuro already.
Seeing this Tenten gave the other girl a look and a nod before departing as well not seeing the wind mistress go wide-eyed. Following those two the other Konoha nin elected to depart as well with Gai and Lee challenging each other to a race to Konoha.
Meanwhile in Konoha deep underground within a hidden complex Shimura Danzo could be seen standing over the kneeling figure of another.
"I have set things up so that you will be assigned to Team Kakashi. Despite what Tsunade says I believe that you are the strongest person in your age group. With that in mind until your mission has been completed your name is Sai.
AN: That's it chapters done. I know I completely skipped over the Sasori fight but that's because it happened the same as in the manga, so if you want to now what happened either go reread that or watch the anime version. I did keep a lot of stuff from the manga especially in regards to Chiyo because I liked the effect Naruto had on her even though he didn't interact with her much. Also I wanted to show some of what Naruto is now capable of after having been away for three years. That said thanks for reading and please review. Till next time. LATER