Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any Anime for that matter. Oh well.
A/N: If you are a Sasuke or Kiba fan, this chapter might not be for you.... Or this story for that matter, sorry.
Chapter 5 – Secrets Revealed
-Sigh- Naruto was not happy right now. It wasn't that he was particularly upset, he had just wanted to delay letting this little bit of information out if he could. He would have settled for keeping his secret for even a few more days or at least getting to reveal it in his own method. Now though, all the people that he called friends or respected him were sitting around his, no correction (for now), the Hokage's living room waiting to here the big reveal. When his gaze landed on Hiashi he was surprised to see that he was giving him a small, but noticeable, smile of encouragement. Finally looking into Hinata's eyes one could see that, while she was curious to see what he meant by having a bigger secret, she also would support him and love him no matter the news. He just wasn't sure were to start.
Tsunade, sensing that Naruto was uncomfortable and unsure of himself decided to kick off the big reveal. "Thank you everyone for coming here this afternoon. I know some of you probably have other places you'd rather be, but trust me when I say this is important..... Tell me, do any of you (gesturing to the younger ones present) know when Naruto's birthday is? Expect you Hinata, I know you know."
Ino smiled slightly to herself. She knew when his birthday was as she had been helping Hinata plan for his party. She had been surprised to hear that it was on the same day as the Kyuubi attack. Finding out that he had also never had a real party was a little bit of a shock until she thought that he had probably just always gone to the festival. "I know Hokage-sama..." Ino failed to notice Tsunade's slight twitch at the title. She really didn't like being called that while in her own house. "Its in a few days on October 10th. Why?"
Naruto took this as his chance to finally speak up. "Tell me Ino, what happened on that day besides my birth?"
"The Kyuubi attacked the village and the Yondaime Hokage died killing it? Why do you ask?"
Hearing this most everyone is sporting faces that show confusion. A few though are already thinking, trying to figure out where this is leading. Neji is the first to realize the answer. It came to him after he remembered his first Chunin exams and what Naruto had said to him about burdens and marks. 'Naruto..... How?... How could you live with this horrible of a mark?... At least that does answer my long standing question on what that red chakra was.'
Shikamaru was sure he was close to the answer but was lacking some key clue, a piece of the puzzle, that would make it all come together. 'Naruto was born the day of the Kyuubi attack... Yondaime died that day fighting off the demon... Naruto has a secret that must be related to that day... And its related to his fast healing... Then again, today he healed fast even by his standards... Naruto... Kyuubi... Yondaime... Healing... Its all tied together... Wait! The birthmarks! They look like whiskers! Could Naruto be the Kyuubi?... No... That couldn't be it... He's to nice and fun loving to be a demon and the village Shinobi would have killed him already... He must be a container for it like the Kazekage is over in Suna with the Ichibi.'
Naruto was watching them all closely before continuing. He had noticed that Neji had suddenly become saddened and seemed to look at Naruto with a bit of pity. He would have to fix that and nip that problem in the bud. Naruto really didn't like pity, especially from his friends. Shikamaru had figured it out too he guessed. Naruto had noticed a brief look of almost panic before his gaze turned to understanding. Looks like he had at least two people out of those present on his side. The rest still seemed to either be confused or contemplating it all.
The sensei's had been paying attention to everyone from the beginning having already known about Naruto's big secret with the Kyuubi. They had come for two reasons, to see their students reactions and to hear what this new secret was. So far Gai and Asuma were proud of what they were seeing in the faces of their students that had figured it out. Though Asuma was concerned for a brief moment when the look of panic had come to Shikamaru's face, he had relaxed seeing it soon disappear. In short, so far so good and hopefully, if the two were anything to judge by, it would continue to go smoothly the rest of the time.
Tsunade once again saw that Naruto wasn't in any kind of hurry and she took the initiative to start conversation back up. "The Kyuubi wasn't killed by the Yondaime... As no mortal had ever been able to defeat, let alone kill, a Bijuu he did the next best thing.... He sealed it into a new born baby..... Where it remains to this day locked aw-"
"I need to interrupt there Baachan as your information is a little outdated." Seeing Tsunade's confused look as well as everyone else's Naruto wasted no time in clearing it up. "While its true that the Kyuubi WAS sealed away into a newborn child, its not true that it remains there to this day." -Smirk-
Tsunade was now concerned. "...Naruto... What do you mean?... Whats happened to the seal?!"
By now everybody there had figured out what they were talking about and knew that Naruto was the kid. It explained everything really in their minds. Several of them remembered noticing some hateful glares while walking around the village with Naruto before he left. More importantly, who could forget the mob that awaited him after retrieving Sasuke. While they hadn't been there to see it, with the exception of Sakura and Hinata, they had all heard about it and knew what happened. Though most of them had forgiven Sakura by this time for her part in it, a few, including Ino and Hinata, just couldn't forgive and forget so easily even if it had been three years now.
Seeing that Tsunade was worried that the Kyuubi had escaped and was going to seek its revenge, Naruto figured that it might be the appropriate time to reveal everything he knew. "There's no need to worry Granny, the Kyuubi isn't coming back to destroy Konoha. ...Seeing as everyone else seems to have figured it out now, yes, I am the former Jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi no Kitsune." With this being said Naruto gave a small bow of the head and a grandiose wave of the hand like he was bowing on stage after a grand performance.
Now everyone was confused except for Hiashi. He was currently standing in the far back corner of the room with a, for a Hyuuga, large smile adorning his face. Since nobody could see his face he figured that he had no reason to keep his usually stoic look up. Naruto had already informed him of this the other day and imagined his face must of looked something like theirs do now. He couldn't wait to see the looks on their faces whenever Naruto finished revealing the rest.
Hinata was the first to recover and asked the question on nearly everyones minds. "Naruto-kun, what do you mean former?..." She hesitated for a second, not wishing to say the next thing for fear of what it meant. "I didn't think it could be removed without killing you."
Smiling brightly at Hinata and everyone else, Naruto couldn't wait to see their what their faces would look like in a moment. "Your right, it can't be 'removed' without killing me. However, it can be 'used up' as it were." Everyone, upon hearing about 'using up' the Kyuubi let their jaws slacken, if ever so slightly. From Naruto's perspective Neji's expression was probably the best. It just screamed of utter confusion, a look that Naruto had never seen on the prodigy's face before. "Let me first ask a question... Where is the Kyuubi's body?"
Shikamaru quirked an eyebrow at the question. "We would assume it was sealed within you, but since your asking the question we can assume it wasn't... Correct?"
Naruto smiled, leave it to Shikamaru to figure it out. "Right!... Anyone want to try to ask me a question then about it?"
Sakura, from her point near the back spoke up, although it sounded very meek. The entire time she had been feeling out of place and worse about her past treatment of Naruto. "Was it ever sealed in you Naruto?"
Naruto gave her a look for second that said they would talk later before responding. "Nope."
Hinata noticed the quick exchange and decided she would question Naruto about it later. 'Perhaps he is going to forgive her... Maybe its time I did as well.....'
"But... The body of the Kyuubi disappeared that night and has never been seen since. It disappeared at the same time as the flash of light signifying the sealing." asked Iruka was just as confused as everyone else by this point. As he had been dragged away he had seen the light in the distance signifying the sealing of the Kyuubi and then it was gone, no body.
"Actually that flash of light shouldn't have been there since I wasn't present. I was in a chamber in the Hokage tower at the time awaiting the rituals completion... The fact is that that flash was from another sealing taking place. Normally the seal used leaves a body behind and only takes the soul. The body is dead and decayed from the forcible removal of the soul, but still there should be some evidence. Look at the snake faced teme. After his arms were sealed he couldn't hardly move them and they were highly damaged but still present on his body. Not wanting to leave a body for someone like Orochimaru-teme to experiment on Yondaime sealed the Kyuubi's body into himself thus requiring another person for the soul and chakra. Everyone following me so far?"
Those that knew about the Shiki Fuujin (Corpse Spirit Sealing Method) understood that the body of the caster and target always remained. They had all been there when they buried the Sandaime Hokage and a few knew that Orochimaru did still have his arms when he fled the battle. It had never occurred to them though to think about the Kyuubi and the lack of remains in its case. The majority of the rooms occupants weren't alive at the time to have seen it themselves or didn't know enough about the jutsu at the time. Those that had been there immediately started to think about the nights events again. None of them had ever thought about it before but now realized the truth. Naruto was correct. There should have been some for of evidence left behind even if his body had decayed instantly to ash or something else. But there hadn't been anything, not a single hair or jar of ash.
Naruto, seeing that everyone either had a look of understanding or one that said they at least grasped the idea, proceeded with his explanation. "Now, something else everyone should know is that the Kyuubi isn't entirely evil...."
"NANI!!?!?!" Chorused from just about everyone in the room.
-Smile- "Don't get me wrong, he was a bastard kitsune and was pissed about the sealing. It just so happens that he didn't kill needlessly usually. He came to Konoha because of the Uchiha's. Now, before someone says something, they didn't summon him or anything. No, Uchiha Madara was the one that summoned him to this plain of existence years ago to fight the Shodai Hokage for him. He came here for the current Uchiha's because he could sense a great evil building within them. Normally the Kyuubi would have let it go, but since this evil was born of traitorous intent and was highly focused he was drawn to it...... Questions?"
Surprising a few people it was Shikamaru who spoke up first, again. "What do you mean, 'traitorous intent and was highly focused'?" At this Tsunade was slightly nervous. "Also, 'this plain of existence'?"
"The fur-ball (snickers from Hinata and Tsunade) just said that he could feel the evil generated by them and that it was of a traitorous feel. -Shrug- Other wise, I don't know. Now, the second answer is easy! Kyuubi was, and still is, a demon and the leader of the Bijuu. The Bijuu were not just giant masses of chakra that somehow came to life or forces of nature. No they were all from hell originally like any demon would be. They were just summoned to this plain and Kyuubi was the overseer of the 9th circle of hell, the home to betrayers."
"So essentially they were just summons correct?" Shikamaru knew he was leaving something out. After getting a partial nod from Naruto, he continued. "Ok... A summons though only has so much chakra, so why did the Bijuu never return to the summons plain?... Well, I guess in their case Hell."
"That would be true if they were like normal summons. But who ever said they were like your normal summons?" Naruto grinned widely at the look of frustration that appeared on several people's faces. "Ok... They were originally thought to be the 'ultimate' summons. Reason? They would have enormous amounts of chakra because they, unlike say the toads, can regenerate chakra on the battlefield like a human. Also, once summoned they were unable to self dismiss mean they couldn't abandon you in the middle of the fight. The only way for them to return to Hell was to either be defeated and run out of chakra or be dismissed by the original summoner. Obviously the Kyuubi was never dismissed by Madara since the fur-ball attacked us. He, along with the other Bijuu were essentially trapped on this plain."
Shino decided to take a turn and speak up. "Naruto?... You stated that the Kyuubi was, 'used up', and thus gone. If it could regenerate its chakra, then how did you use it up?"
Naruto waited a second to see if anyone would figure it out first. "It couldn't regenerate its chakra.... Could it?" Shikamaru thought he had it figured out finally. After seeing Naruto nod an affirmative, he continued with his theory. "Thats another reason for the sealing of the body. The other container's all have the complete Bijuu sealed inside them, body and all. Thus they are made to be weapons of one sort or another. You though, you didn't have the body sealed inside you because of the type of sealing. Thus, the Kyuubi couldn't regenerate its chakra and would eventually die, right?"
-Smile- "Yep! Dad figured something was up for the Kyuubi to attack and also knew a bit of the history behind the Bijuu. As such he wanted to return it to Hell while also saving the village instead of just sealing it away to be used. He could have saved himself if he was to have used a different sealing method but we all know how that turned out." Naruto, after finishing looked around the room and was confused. Hiashi was shaking his head slightly while smiling. Tsunade hands had flown up and covered her face while shaking her head. Neji, Shikamaru, Gai, Kurenai, Asuma, and Iruka were all staring with wide eyes and mouths hanging open.
Hinata, seeing Naruto's growing confusion, gently turned his head to face her while cupping it with both her hands. "Naruto...... -Sigh- You don't realize what you just let slip do you?" Seeing him even more confused she gently kissed him on the forehead. -Sigh- "At least your my baka...."
"Naruto?" After Hinata released his head, he turned towards Tsunade. "While not everyone here has figured it out, you let slip who was your father."
Naruto paled. That wasn't supposed to happen until later that week during the festival and his birthday. Ino did catch his slip looked to Shikamaru and her sensei for an answer. "Who was his father?"
Asuma was stunned and didn't even register Ino's question for a moment. "Why didn't we see it before?....."
Ino was now a little upset at being ignored. "See what?"
Finally turning to his student Asuma answered. "Remove the whisker marks and who does he look like?"
Hearing this everyone who hadn't caught on did as he said. "Lets see.... Blond, spiky hair with deep blue eyes..... -Giggle- If I didn't know better I would say that he looks a lot like a... miniature... Yondaime?! Your father was the YONDAIME!?!!?!"
Everyone had to cover their ears at Ino's loud proclamation. "I guess the cats out of the bag now. Allow me to introduce myself...." Naruto stood up from his seat facing the group then gave a small bow. "My name is Uzumaki Namikaze Naruto, son of the Yondaime Hokage Namikaze Minato, and his wife Uzumaki Kushina." Naruto loved seeing the awestruck faces of his friends and seated himself. Not before noticing though that Sakura had started to cry silently to herself from her spot. 'I hope that she understood that I wanted to talk to her later. I don't like holding grudges and she needs to be forgiven so she can forgive herself. She must feel awful right now...'
Naruto was right. Sakura had caught the slip immediately and though she was feeling horrible throughout the entire time she was now downright devastated. Not only had she treated Naruto poorly and like most of the village had no real reason, she had done it to a hero and, as it turned out, a hero's son. She had wanted to forgive herself and move on but it hadn't happened yet. She couldn't believe how stupid she had been. Now she knew better, but it was a hard lesson that day...
-Flashback, 3 years ago-
"Sasuke-kun!" Sakura called out to her beloved as she entered his room at the hospital. She had at first feared that the Hokage would put guards up around his room that wouldn't let her in. 'Seems she now understands how important and great Sasuke-kun really is!' Entering the room though she realized her mistake in that thought. Sasuke was tied down to the bed and unable to move. The bindings had some form of seal on them so that she would be unable to loosen them. They didn't trust him or anyone else. They just didn't need any guards to watch him either.
It was as Sakura approached his bed that she started to have a nagging feeling in the back of her head. It was just a slight sensation at first, but the closer she moved to Sasuke's bed the stronger it felt. Suddenly, the bindings on Sasuke disappeared and his battered form was replaced by a body of a dead ANBU. 'Genjutsu!' Before she could scream out a hand wrapped around her mouth from behind and clamped down hard to keep her quiet. "Now now Sakura, we wouldn't want to alert anybody to my escaping quiet yet now would we?"
Hearing that it was her Sasuke behind her she instantly calmed down and, feeling his grip loosen turned to face him. "Oh Sasuke-kun!" Instantly Sakura noticed that, while his clothing was still torn, he was healed and in perfectly fine health. She also quickly noticed the bodies of 2 other ANBU in the room on the floor and several Oto shinobi. "S-s-sasuke.... W-whats going on?..."
-Smirk- "Why Sakura, I'm leaving. It seems that Orochimaru-sama really does value me and thus sent his right hand man, Kabuto, to come and escort me back." Sasuke was loving the feeling he was getting from Sakura right now. The pure fear that was starting to roll off her.
"S-s-sasuke... W-w-w-why would y-you want to g-go wi-with them..." Sakura saw the look of pure satisfaction on Sasuke's face and for the first time ever started to get afraid of him.
Sasuke gave a single hand command and the Oto-nin's quickly grabbed Sakura and gagged her while binding her feet. "Now now Sakura-chan, we can't have you yelling or screaming out for people to try to stop us... Not yet at least." Sasuke moved closer to her and grabbed her shoulders to ensure she wouldn't fall now that her arms were bound and whispered in her ear. "Mmmm.... You really do smell good... To bad you aren't very strong or good looking. I mean, who would want someone that looks like you?" Reaching down he took a hold of one of her budding breast and gave it a none to gentle squeeze. "I mean, you don't even have a chest to look at really..."
Sakura was now in tears. Sasuke had had her bound and then insulted her before roughly grabbing her and squeezing. She was now not only humiliated but also in a small amount of pain.
"Aww... You know, if you promise to cry and stutter like you were a moment ago, I might give you the gift of me having my way with you..... I always did have a thing for the incredible strong... or the incredible weak like Hinata-chan... I wonder what she's hiding under that coat..."
Sakura was now starting to struggle. She might not have been the best of friends with Hinata, but now Sasuke was threatening not only her, but Hinata too. And the way he kept adding 'chan' to their names was downright creepy and making her skin crawl.
It was then that the room door opened and, before anyone could react a nurse stepped in. "Excuse me ABNU-san I need...." Looking up from her chart while standing in the door-way, the nurse finally sees the bodies and Oto-nin. "AHHHHhhh... -Gurggle-" To late an Oto-nin sliced her throat and pulled her into the room.
"Sasuke-san, we should be going now. Someone is bound to have heard that." Spoke Kabuto from his silent spot in the corner.
Sasuke stepped back from Sakura slightly while shaking his head. "Sorry Sakura-chan, I guess we'll have to cut this ever so romantic encounter short." Rearing back his fist Sasuke sucker punched Sakura in the stomach, causing her to double over to the ground in pain. "I hope it was as good for you as it was for me..."
The last thing Sakura would see before losing consciousness was the retreating form of Sasuke stepping over the freshly dead body of a middle aged female nurse who's look of horror and terror would forever be etched on her face, and now forever in Sakura's mind.
After that day Sakura had spent a lot of time reviewing the past and what she had done. The other rookies all treated her like dirt following for quiet some time after hearing about the gate incident. It wasn't until later when, after some long thinking and introspective, Sakura came to the conclusion that she was and always had been in the wrong and needed to apologize. Most of the rookies forgave her after the apology and a few even felt for her after hearing rumors about what happened in the hospital room. The one person whose forgiveness mattered the most though, Naruto, wasn't around to grant it to her or the peace that would have come with it. Now though she was certain that she didn't deserve another chance. If he never forgave her, then she would forever lose not only her Teammate and second closest friend, but her closest...
-Flashback, 1 year ago-
Sakura had been trying her hardest to get forgiveness now from everyone. Choji had forgiven her quickly being a gentle and good person at heart. Tenten, Lee, Neji, Shino, and the sensei's had forgiven her as soon as they could tell she meant it. Iruka had forgiven her after she had apologized from the heart and even talked about the incident in the Hospital room with her. Shikamaru gave in finally saying it was just to troublesome having her always seek his forgiveness and Kiba did after she agreed to a date... That had been a mistake on her part (the date) but at least everyone had forgiven her... Well almost everyone.
Ino and Hinata, who had grown close together for some reason that she didn't know about, had yet to forgive her and had refused to speak to her. Sakura had been greatly saddened by this since she figured Ino, being a former fan-girl and her best friend would have understood at least a little and forgiven her much easier and sooner. Deciding that she was going to get them to at least speak to her, she was now making her way towards Ichiraku Ramen, where Ino and Hinata like to have lunch on Saturdays. This time they would talk to her.
Maybe 10 minutes after she arrived Sakura spotted Ino and Hinata approaching from the direction of the training fields. Steeling her resolve she approached them.
Both of them turned towards the person that interrupted their conversation. Neither one wanted to talk to Sakura at that moment. For that matter, they were both content to not talk to her again for quiet a while more.
Seeing that they were prepared to just walking on past and ignore her like usual Sakura stepped in front of them and continued to block their path. "Please... I'm just asking you to hear me out and speak to me just this once... If for no other reason then eventually we might go on a mission together and we would have to speak to each other then."
Hinata wasn't in a good mood now. Seeing that Sakura wasn't going to leave them be this time she decided to speak. "What do you want banshee?" She hadn't heard from Naruto in over a month and Tsunade hadn't had anything to report either. Ino and her had been training to work off the worry and now they were going to have ramen before she interrupted.
Sakura was still a little surprised and stung by Hinata's name for her. Not long after the 'incident' Hinata's confidence seemed to sky-rocket. She wasn't sure if it was because of Tsunade or the rumor she had heard of her spending a lot of time with a certain blond-haired teen before he left. Then again, it could also be a result of hanging around Ino which had started not long following that.
"Spill it Forehead, we just got done working off some steam and would like to eat sometime today and you're in the way." Ino had crossed her arms and started to tap her foot.
Sakura could feel herself wilting under their combined gaze. "Well.... I was wondering if maybe I could..... Treat you to lunch as.... Well, a sort of peace offering?" Sakura lowered her head to them at the end.
Both girls, deep down, wanted to forgive the young women in front of them... They had both heard the rumors of what had happened in the Hospital over the month following Sasuke's second betrayal and both wanted to be there for her. But neither could, not yet.
"Sakura, if you wish to gain or forgiveness there something you must do first. You have to not only prove that you are truly sorry but you must also seek Naruto-kun's forgiveness. I know that just about everyone else has forgiven you but I can't forgive you until Naruto-kun does." Hinata hated doing it but she couldn't allow herself to forgive her until Naruto had done the same.
"Forehead... I hate to say this, but the same goes for me." Ino hated saying it, but after hearing from Hinata what had happened to Naruto his entire life and how Sakura had treated him she just couldn't forgive him until he had forgiven her first.
"What can I do then? Please?! Tell me! Naruto isn't here right now and I need you Ino to be my friend again." Sakura couldn't take it, she had a few tears running down her cheeks and was desperate. "Hinata, I want to get to know you better! I want to be there with you and have someone to talk with."
"Sakura..." It tore at both of them seeing her like this. Both of them were very kind deep down. While Ino had affected Hinata's confidence, Hinata had made Ino more sensitive to others. They truly had been a good influence on each other. However, they wouldn't forgive her until she proved she was worthy and Naruto forgave her as well. "Sakura... we know that you only want to be forgiven to ease your conscience. If you are really remorseful for your actions then you would change. But you don't."
"We can't believe that you want forgiveness because you still act the same way. I know that the others have forgiven you, but we cannot. As far as we can tell you are still a whiny little girl playing ninja. Even now you come to us begging forgiveness when you should be earning it. You still want to have everything handed to you." Hinata knew it needed to be said. True, Sakura had been changing, but not enough. Once Naruto forgave her and she could see for herself that she was trying... Then it would be time. "We're sorry, but if you would please excuse us our lunch is awaiting."
Sakura had devoted herself after that day to training. She had finally passed the Chunin exams a couple of months prior and knew that she had finally earned Ino and Hinata's respect. How? Simple, while neither one would speak more than a few lines to her they had started to exchange pleasantry's again. That was a far step up from being completely ignored. They had even congratulated her after her promotion. Sakura had finally believed she was ready to talk to Naruto and finally get his forgiveness and in to process gain her two friends back (Naruto and Ino) and hopefully make a new one. Now she wondered just how worth she really was... Sakura finally broke out of her thoughts and realized Naruto was still talking.
"...so everyone, you can't tell anyone about my parentage. At least, not yet. That will be revealed on my birthday in a few days to the entire village." Seeing that everyone, except Sakura, seemed to be nodding in understanding, Naruto proceeded with his tale about the Kyuubi. "Well now, where was I.... I guess I should now explain how the Kyuubi used up all his powers. Throughout my entire life the Kyuubi had been healing me to keep me from dieing using his chakra. During my fight with Sasuke (Sakura flinches) he had to use a lot for to not only keep up, but also to heal me. During out last confrontation Sasuke and I charged once more with our ultimate moves, the Rasengan and Chidori. I.... I pulled back at the last second not wanting to kill Sasuke. He on the other hand didn't care and put another hole in my chest..."
Several of the rookies who hadn't seen Naruto the day of the retrieval and didn't know how he looked when he returned gasped. They all knew it was a long and hard fight, but several of them had never thought that Sasuke would actually do something like put a hole in Naruto's chest.
"The Kyuubi healed me once again... By this time Sasuke was getting exhausted and I was able to, with an incomplete Rasengan, knock him out. It torn his clothes pretty good but didn't do to much actual damage. The Kyuubi though had had it. He was just barely holding on and was severally weakened from saving me so many times that day. After not hearing from him for 2 months I decided to visit the seal to check on him. When I arrived he was on the ground panting hard and looking mangy. Thats when he informed me of everything and how he was going to be gone very soon." Naruto allowed a lone tear to escape his eye after he finished. He hadn't realized it until that day, but the Kyuubi, no matter what he said, had at least always been there for him.
"Now, I'm sure your all curious about my healing, yes?... Well, the Kyuubi left me with a gift. Not only have my chakra reserves been permanently expanded by his being in me, but he trained my chakra over the years to heal me in his place after he was gone. So, in short, as long as I have chakra I can heal myself at an increased rate... That doesn't mean I can heal anything of course or heal them instantly. The cut wasn't as bad as it looked so it healed very rapidly..."
"And you hardly used any chakra kicking Kakashi-san's ass..." Neji suddenly looked a little sheepish realizing what he just said out loud. "Sorry...." This got a small chuckle from everyone there.
-Smile- "As I was saying... If it was something more severe, or I didn't have much chakra, then all I could do is delay my bleeding and hope that help arrives soon. Otherwise, I would either run out of chakra or bleed to death." Naruto was happy. Throughout the entire time he had feared someone would reject him or yell at him. So far nothing of the sort had happened and this pleased him greatly and surprised him in a very good way. "Any other questions?"
Seeing everyone just look at each other for a moment and not coming up with anything else to say or ask currently, Tsunade decided to speak up. "Ok, now that that is settled, everyone I would like to invite you all to stay and hang out for a little while. Naruto, I expect a full written briefing in the morning about your new abilities and what you can handle and cannot. Also, I want all the Senseis to come by my office tomorrow morning at 9 am, we have some things to discuss." Seeing everyone indicate that they understood she motioned for them all to relax and get to talking.
X X X X X X X X X X X X
As soon as Tsunade had finished talking Sakura had, as discreetly as possible, disappeared out of the room slowly making her way out the front. She knew she would have to talk to Naruto eventually, but she just couldn't do it right now. She was afraid of what she might or might not say or do should she talk to him in her current state. Naruto would forgive her, she was fairly sure of that. But did she deserve his forgiveness?
So lost in her thoughts, Sakura hadn't noticed that she had moved off the Hokage's property and was slowly wandering around the edge of the village in the training areas. She was finally pulled from her thoughts when she felt an arm wrap around her shoulders. Instantly she pulled away from who ever had had the gale to put their arm around her shoulder and looked up. It was Kiba.
"Awe, come on now Sakura-chan... Don't be that way. You looked so sad and down I thought that I might cheer you up!" Kiba said all the while looking her up and down like a piece of meat. 'Not bad... Not as good as Hinata-chan, but still worth a good fuck.'
Seeing his lecherous grin and the way he was eyeballing her, Sakura was getting nervous. While it was true she had been training harder over the last year she also knew that she couldn't beat Kiba in a straight out fight. 'Crap... How long was I just walking around and thinking?' "I'm sorry Kiba, but I don't have any time for you right now, I have a lot on my mind and don't want any company."
Kiba, seeing that Sakura was starting to slowly back away towards one of the paths that lead back to the town proper, knew he had to act. Moving swiftly he rushed at Sakura and knocked her down to the ground before he pinning her down. "Now come on Sakura, here I go out of my way to try to cheer you up by offering my company, and you turn me down? Is that any way to treat a friend?"
"Kiba! We haven't been FRIENDS ever since we went on that stupid date! Now get off me RIGHT NOW!" Sakura was now struggling with Kiba but to no success. No matter the training, Kiba was just stronger and faster than her. Worse yet, she was now pinned beneath him.
Right as Kiba was about to respond he stopped short and his eye's bugged out at the feeling of something very sharp poking him down below. "Kiba, it would be wise of you to get up off the young Kunoichi and let her be."
As Kiba slowly rose up, careful to not move to fast for fear of injuring something precious to him, Sakura was able to finally get a glimpse of her savior.... -Gasp-
X X X X X X X X X X X X
-Hokage Mansion, Short while before-
Naruto and his friends had all been talking for a little bit now when he finally decided it was time to talk to Sakura. Hinata saw that Naruto was looking for something and casually strolled up beside him looping their arms. "Hey there handsome, something I can help you find."
Naruto looked down at the young and beautiful Hyuuga who had just came up to him. "Maybe...." Naruto smiled gently at his beloved Hinata. "Hime, you wouldn't happen to know where Sakura is would you?"
Hearing that he was looking for Sakura caused Hinata's face to drop just a little. "Her?" Seeing his nod she sighed. Hinata wasn't looking forward to this. She knew Naruto well enough to know that he would forgive her and would probably be a little upset at them (Ino and her) for not doing the same yet. "Well, I haven't seen her since the conversation dealing with the Kyuubi ended. Maybe Ino saw where she went."
Slowly, arm in arm, the couple made there way over to Ino who was sharing a drink with Tsunade over at a small bar in the corner of the dinning room. "Ino! I hope you haven't gotten to drunk yet with Granny to help me with something yet." Tsunade, to her credit, only threw a glare, and not the whole bar, at Naruto for the Granny comment. His response? "You know you love me Granny Tsunade...."
-Sigh- "What ever gaki..."
Ino and Hinata just smiled at the small exchange. They really did act like family. "No Naruto-kun, I'm not to drunk yet... What do you and Hinata need?"
"I need to find Sakura Ino. I was hoping you would either know where she was or at least when she might have left."
Ino thought for a moment. She knew that Sakura had been there the entire time up until Tsunade beckoned them to relax, after that, she really didn't know. Seeing that Hinata was going with him though, she figured she might want to tag along in finding her too. "Not sure, sorry Naruto-kun... Sakura and I haven't really gotten along in the last couple of years. I'll come along though to find her."
Naruto was confused, weren't they the friends even if they were rivals? "Why Ino? What happened? Why haven't you gotten along with her?"
"Neither of us have Naruto-kun..." Turning he could tell that Hinata was nervous about what she was about to say. "Neither of us have forgiven her completely yet for what happened before you left and how she treated you. It wasn't until this last year that she finally started showing, to us at least, that she really meant it when she said she was sorry by changing. We told her though we couldn't forgive her until you did Naruto-kun....." Hinata looked up into Naruto's face after finishing. She really was worried that he would be upset with her. Seeing his look of concentration worried her more. "You're not upset are you Naruto-kun... I mean, I would understand...."
Hearing that Naruto's head snapped up. "What?... No! No! Of course I'm not upset at you Hinata-hime! I love you and couldn't be mad. I wish you and Ino had forgiven her, but I guess I can understand where you were coming from." He then turned his gaze to the nervous looking Ino. "As for you I guess thats understandable too since you and Hime seem so close now."
Hinata and Ino both looked happier hearing this come from Naruto. Both had expected him to be a little upset, but he wasn't. Looking back at it though they realized Naruto would never be upset with them, well, with Hinata at least. She had his whole heart and it was to full of love for her to hold any room for anger. Ino was just lucky that she had Hinata to hide behind this time.
"We'll both go with you Naruto-kun. I think all 3 of us should probably go and talk to her... Don't you agree Hinata?" Ino smiled at Hinata who was smiling back.
"Yes, lets go and try to find her right now and talk about this. I think its time for everything to be settled."
With that Ino, Hinata, and Naruto all left discreetly as possible from the mansion and started making their way towards Konoha. Naruto and Hinata smiling hand in hand with Ino following slightly behind...
X X X X X X X X X X X X
Sorry guys that this one took so long. I meant to have this out a couple of weeks ago because I now have a time line set up for when I would like the first part of the this story done by. However, a few parts were hard for me to write and caused some hang ups. Hope this answered some questions although you probably have even more now. Please be patient though because most of them will probably be answered. If you want though you can post them in your reviews and you might, MIGHT, get a response like those down below.
Hope you all enjoyed it this chapter though. Please review it.
Response to Reviews:
cratbro: I know about that. I just choose for this story that, while it did still feed it some (why his clothing was still burned along the edges) it could still deflect (in a manner of speaking) it enough to not be a direct hit. Otherwise, thanks for the review.
Nebula1701: Sorry, but for now Kiba is a bastard. Take heart in knowing that I don't hate him as a character or anything, I could just see him going this route (possibly) given past events. Sorry, but thanks for the review.
GraityTheWizard: He'll get his reward soon enough...
Thanks to everyone else who reviewed, it is appreciated and welcomed.
Next time: Who is it that saved Sakura? Was it Naruto and company or someone else?