Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Warnings ahead of time, I suck at fight scenes, so any fight scenes that occur in the fic will be skipped over and implied, or be very short and pathetic attempts at one. So, yea, review all you want and criticize my pansy fight scenes, but I've yet to be able to master the art of written violence. Thank You. That is all.
By Miranda Panda-chan
"A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun for sorrow will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished;
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo…"
(Romeo and Juliet, Act V, scene iii)
I watched with cold eyes as my village burned to the ground. There were screams from the civilian families, yells from the shinobi. Jiraiya was at the front line with Gamabunta, taking out Sound soldiers by the dozen. I didn't bother helping, no one was worth my time. Besides, no one could tell me other wise. Orochimaru was preoccupied fighting with Manda against Gamabunta and Katsuyu with their respective summoners.
I'd already spotted people from my past, faces that I knew—acquaintances from a long time ago lying among the many corpses. I noticed the Hyuuga, my long time rival since before I'd known Naruto. Our clans were rivals by blood, having similar kekkai-genkais. He was staring at me with dead blank eyes as his pool of blood grew in diameter. Neji was dead. TenTen lay slain beside him. I continued walking, there were two people that I wanted to see before the day was done. Even if all I did was glimpse them, it would be enough. I'd never admit it, but those two people were…not important to me, per say, merely less unimportant than the rest of them.
It was then that I spotted them. The fiery kunoichi with the hair and eyes to match her fierce spirit, and the lively idiotic boy that was wiser than his years with impossible goals that had mostly been achieved.
"Teme?" a whisper, barely a sound with all the silence that disrupted the chaos around in that split second that cerulean eyes made contact with my onyx ones. And in that moment, that whisper became an ear-splitting shout as he snapped the Sound-nin's neck to run towards me. I stood stock still, I was no longer in the shadows—Naruto's nose could pick me out a mile away, there was no point to try and hide myself to avoid confrontation. No, I wasn't afraid of them; I merely didn't feel like killing unnecessarily. Why bother killing them when they could wallow in their defeat? In the defeat of the home that they'd tried so hard to be loyal too, to always come home too, the home that had labeled me a traitor, the home that no longer existed.
He stopped about five yards away from me, his pink-headed comrade forgotten a ways away fighting Naruto's five more Sound-nin, all on her own, now.
"What are you doing here, Sasuke-teme?" Naruto growled. Fearing I'd come to gloat, dobe? No, just curious to see how you idiots are getting along, making sure you're not dead, and such. But instead I replied in the usual biting reply that would always be given to such stupid questions.
"Am I not a Sound-nin?" I asked, monotone, always monotone. Because you could never show emotion, even if it was an old…acquaintance.
"This is the back of the ranks, teme, what's a first-rank soldier doing way back here with the dregs of Konoha's soldiers?" Maybe he wasn't so dumb after all.
"Hn, coming to see who's holding us back from total take over. Besides, it doesn't seem the dregs were in the back at all, more at the front. The real soldiers, I suppose, have been kept hidden." I replied, he glared at me and his eyes shown with a hatred that had only been directed at me twice before.
"Whatever, teme…We're still gonna get you back!"
"What for?" I asked casually.
"Everyone misses you, teme, not just us, not just Sakura." Naruto said softly, conviction strengthening his statement.
"Maybe you haven't looked around you, dobe, but everyone we know is dead." And I turned around. Hearing Naruto fall to his knees at the knowledge. I winced, for some reason when I heard the dobe beginning to choke as he denied the knowledge. I wondered what was so hard to believe. Orochimaru could kill Tsunade, no question, Jiraiya as well. Not to mention Manda could take both of their summons.
Konohagakure never had a hope of beating Otogakure.
I looked over to where my pink-haired ex-teammate was still fighting off Sound-nin. I wondered exactly how many she'd brought down in the past five minutes. The last I saw there were nearly twenty attacking her, and without Naruto's help, now there were only around half as much.
I vaguely wondered if Sakura even knew I was here.
I cringed at the offending thought. I shouldn't care…I didn't care. It was ridiculous to even waste time thinking about it. I turned around at the sound of my name.
"Sasuke-teme, they may be dead," he growled, looking at the ground with fierce hatred, tightening his fists and restraining them at his sides to keep his anger under control. If worst came to worst I could always control Kyuubi as I had done countless times before, "But how many of us did you slaughter?" His voice shook. The question surprised me, but none could tell the wiser, not that anyone was around, or paying attention, to see the interaction. He continued, "How many of your friends did you see fall by your hand?" I could tell he desperately wanted a rise out of me, but it was useless. Konohagakure and the people within it meant nothing to me. I'd broken those bonds a long time ago.
"Hn," let him think what he wants, I'm not gonna be the one to tell him that I hadn't participated in this battle, "You'd be surprised." Was all I said before walking away and disappearing behind some debris to make sure he wouldn't come after me. I cringed inwardly when I saw exactly what destroyed building I was standing in the middle of. Children littered the floor. Dead. I vaguely recognized Konohamaru and his gang of morons in the corner, dead eyes staring at me…blaming me. It looked as if he was trying to protect the girl and boy behind his back as he tried to take the most of the blast that reached them. Paper bombs, I assumed, at least that's what the scorched walls and singed bodies suggested.
Of course, I'd step into the academy wall. I smirked at the irony as I nudged, on accident, the arm of my first school teacher, my first sensei that hadn't been my father, Iruka, crushed by the rock as he tried to protect the brats.
Fools, the lot of them.
That was why they were all dead.
I left the ruins of Konohagakure after that, I'd not return there ever again after that day. There was no possible way to rebuild their once mighty village, especially with the Council of Elders dead, the Hokage dead, and two of the three sannins dead. The last would join them soon enough.
I jumped back from the barrage of kunai and senbon coming towards me, using a replacement jutsu and activating my sharingan to see who dared to attack me. I hadn't had hunter-nin after me for three years, not since Konoha's destruction.
ANBU, and so it seemed Konoha had not completely had all of its inhabitants obliterated. Idiot. Didn't he know he was a dying species? The mask he wore was cracked in places, still whole, but looking worse for wear. It wasn't until I looked closer that my assumption on the gender of the shinobi became obsolete. The ANBU was, in fact, female. A female I knew. The stringy pink hair that was blown by the wind past her looked dirty, it didn't look like she'd taken as good of care of it as she had when her home was still standing. Her stance was offensive, not defensive. It suddenly dawned on me as she blanched under my gaze that she couldn't be here to bring me back to the village that no longer existed.
She was here to kill me.
"Uchiha." She growled back. Her voice gravelly, as if it hadn't been used in awhile.
"Here to fight me?" I could hear the amused glint in her dull jade eyes light up.
"No, Sasuke-kun," I bristled unconsciously at the way she said the honorific to my name that had used to sound so annoyingly sweet, childish, and innocent, "I'm here to kill." And she leapt.
The battle between me and her had gone on for nearly three hours. We were cut up, bruised, bleeding, dirty, and panting from chakra exhaustion. She was in the exact place where I'd first saw her when this encounter had begun. As I stared at her with frustration at her persistence to kill me her. Her ANBU mask suddenly crumbled from the force of my kick, and I got a clear look at her used to be sea foam green eyes. They were dull, grayish, a sort of pale jade color. She didn't look at me, but seemed to look past me as if seeing something I didn't.
"You're blind." The realization brought a sharp pain to my chest as what I supposed was my heart cringed and tried to tear itself open with shame. She smirked, and giggled half-heartedly before going on into full hysteria.
"Took you that long to notice, ne, Sasuke-kun? And here I'd thought you'd notice it right off the bat with your all-seeing eyes, you bastard," She spat in what she supposed was my general direction, "It wasn't too long after Naruto saw on the day Konohagakure was destroyed. The Hospital hadn't caught fire till the very end of the battle, so people were still inside, thinking it would be safe—it was our base after all—but when I was getting the last of them out, the flame shot out and would've killed a child, but I stepped in. It burned my eyes, badly. I was only able to heal them three days later, but by then the damage was irreversible." She snickered at her own misfortune with something like glee.
"How did you find me, Sakura?"
"What?" she said, whipping back around, fury bowling in her unseeing eyes, "You think I didn't find you by myself? You think I can't take care of myself now because I'm BLIND?! Is that it, Sasuke-kun?" she yelled in a dangerously low voice. There was no sense in arguing with her. It would cause her fury to escalate.
"Where is Naruto?" I asked, even I didn't know why I asked. It seemed logical though, she was insane, obviously. She'd lost common sense, probably, with the loss of her sight. Understandable, really. But it would only make sense that Naruto was the one taking care of her. She smiled sweetly, the sweet sinister smile that made me want to take a step back.
"Oh he's around somewhere. He's not happy about me running off. He never is. Acts as if I'm three and he's a father. Pssh. Him and Hinata were supposed to be married three days after the village destroyed, you know?" she got a nostalgic look in her eyes, and I wondered if she'd finally been calmed enough to be sensible. I really didn't want to kill my teammate…the girl that I'd always imagined helping me with my goal of reestablishing my clan.
"Sakura, I don't want to kill you." I said slowly, watching her dance slowly on a very un-sturdy looking tree branch. She seemed to teeter on it occasionally, but never did she look as if she was going to fall. She stared at me, her eyes narrowing.
"That's good, Sasuke-kun. Because you couldn't." Damn. She was at it again! I dodged her rapidly approaching form. We'd knocked down half the forest already. She wasn't going to be satisfied until I was dead, unless Naruto somehow managed to calm her—she seemed very intent on doing what she'd come here for. She picked a tree a little ways from me, and kicked it sending sprawling towards the one I was hiding in. She was an excellent ninja, even without sight. I suddenly looked up from where I'd landed, watching the dust begin to settle and searching for Sakura's lithe form that was not where it had been originally. I looked around, searching for some signal. She couldn't be that elusive. No blind person could be that quiet.
"Looking for me, Sasuke-kun?" she asked in a sing song voice from directly behind me. I could feel her breath on my ear as she spoke. I whipped around, already having three kunai in hand before I was at the full one hundred eighty degrees and staring at her. She laughed. "And here I thought you'd have gotten stronger, Sasuke-kun. That's what you left us for, right? I do hope it wasn't for nothing." She said, licking her lips slyly. I growled, that hit a nerve and she knew it.
"SAKURA-CHAN!" we both looked up and her eyes widened considerably.
"N-Naruto-kun?" she whispered, and she looked at me and growled. Trying to find a way to go I suppose. I leapt at her panicking form, one arm around her waist, and the other holding a kunai to her neck. "Lemme go! BASTARD!" she kicked and screeched and tried her hardest to get away by slipping under my grip, but thankfully, my handle on her was firm enough to not allow such movement.
"Let her g-! Sasuke-teme?" he asked, bewildered. I stared at him, thankful for the fidgety fighting girl that was intent on taking my life between us. I had bait if anything happened.
"Naruto," I nodded in greeting, still holding a kunai to the neck of the kunoichi both of us held dear.
"So she found you, eh?" he asked, eyes downcast, and Sakura stopped struggling against my hold at the sudden depression of our friend.
"How long has she been looking for me?" I asked.
"Since Konoha…b-burned." He had trouble saying it, I noticed.
"You're too blame, you bastard!" she yelled, and then she broke free.
I thought desperately on the irony of the current situation. The differences in my teammates, the previous battle in which Sakura had aimed to kill from the beginning, something I hadn't been expecting, while Naruto had aimed to merely incapacitate, and I had tried to avoid it completely.
Ironic, really. The famous, almost infamous, Team 7, falling under these circumstances. Killing one another. All for the sake of being a shinobi.
Naruto, sitting there, dying from a poisoned senbon.
Sakura clutching her stomach wound, created by Kusanagi being rammed into her gut with chidori crackling through the blade, as she bleeds to death, because she doesn't have enough chakra to heal even herself.
And me, lying here slowly settling into death because of some stupid medical jutsu that slowly but surely shuts down all the functions of the body, destroying all major organs except your brain. Humiliating, really.
Sakura had killed Naruto, who had tried to stop her from killing me. I had killed Sakura, who had, again, made another attempt at my life even while Naruto died less than five yards away and she had a gaping hole in her gut. She'd managed. Naruto was still the most innocent…he had been the only one of us who hadn't killed a comrade, a friend…family.
Funny how in the end, the girl that claimed to love me had come to kill me. Had managed. I cringed at the thought. Not even Naruto had tried to kill me, not once, despite my attempts at ending his life. He always aimed to bring me back to the village beaten to a bloody pulp but able to make a full recovery. He'd never managed, but never had his aim been death.
He took the hit, the idiot. He'd taken the hit for me. Oblivious to the fact that technically now he was a traitor, a nukenin—like me. He was dying a traitor to the ruins of Konohagakure, the village he'd tried to gain respect from. Lost in his final act. Not that anyone would be alive to report to what had taken place, not to mention there was no longer anyone or any place to report back too.
And Sakura, the beautiful cherry blossom, that had come to kill me, had killed her own teammate, her friend, instead. Which was treason, by the way. So, with technicalities, now she was a traitor as well. I smirked ruefully at the irony of it all, Team 7, the team that had had so much potential, the team with the training of all three sannin, had killed each other and as their dying acts had all become traitors to their village, even if technically the village no longer existed. Even the two that had tried so hard to become influential, productive additions to society weren't as loyal as they thought they were.
And after the long gruesome battle lasting over six years—because, really, they've been fighting to bring me back since before I took my final steps out of Konoha—it ended in this.
Team 7 would be together, reunited, at last! …Our final reunion…
All of us were separated by at least three feet of ground between us as we all were propped up against the trunks of trees. Sakura clutching her stomach, sweat glistening on her brow as she tried to hold in her cries of pain…the last thing she wanted to do was prove how weak she was before she died. Naruto was to my left, struggling to breathe and keep his eyes open, and fighting to live a little longer…refusing to be the first of us to go. I grimaced…this was, technically, my fault. My final act had been killing, destroying the last things that seemed to have any positive feelings for me. Sakura, the girl who loved me unconditionally—Hell!—the girl I liked more than I should. Naruto, the boy who was my brother in another life, yet my rival all the same. Both were going to die because of me, heck…I was going to die because of me. It all centered around me. No matter how much I wished I could blame Itachi, it couldn't go back that far. So Sakura had been right all along…revenge wouldn't bring me happiness.
I'd rather burn in hell than admit that out loud.
I'd met my end by my ex-teammates who I never thought would amount to anything. Now I'm in the middle of them against my own tree, dying with them.
All of us had our own dreams to achieve. I, to kill my brother and resurrect the Uchiha Clan's name. Naruto, to become Hokage over a village that no longer existed. Sakura, to become stronger, to be noticed as something more than me and Naruto's shadows.
Never had I thought we'd end up like this. Who would've known? Konoha had fallen. Sound had been destroyed. Although Konoha-nin still existed…there were few left, a dying breed, and most had resorted to joining other villages or becoming bounty hunters.
The Fates were having a party somewhere laughing at us. We'd been puppets, and now all Fire Country was in chaos, rogue ninja wreaking havoc everywhere, civilians being murdered on a daily basis. Mindless killing.
And it wouldn't end because of us. We were only human after all.
"I hate you." Sakura whimpered, it was pathetic, but I could see the pain in her eyes and the truth behind the sentence, "I hate the things you've done. To me. To the village. To Naruto. To yourself!" and nothing I could reply could justify myself from my atrocities. I'd hate me, too, if I was her.
"No, you don't, Sakura-chan." Naruto choked out. He had tears in his eyes as he spoke whether from pain or from the fact that life sucked, more so than usual, it seemed, today, "You know you don't. Don't…" die "go on saying things you don't mean." She stared at Naruto, and bit her lip. A muscle in her side twitched under her grip as she fidgeted at the rebuke. She cried out, and both of us cringed at the sound, because there was nothing we could do to help her anymore. She was too far gone, anyways.
"Damn it! I…I…lose. Sorry Sakura-chan. Sasuke-teme…" and he slumped over, his breath stopped, cerulean eyes closed for all eternity. Sakura sobbed to my right, repeating the dobe's name like a mantra as she slowly was driven farther off the deep end.
I wanted to let them know that this wasn't my plan, this was far from it. I hadn't meant for things to go so far awry like this. This was not what I wanted. Sakura's sobs
"Sakura?" I heard a whimper in reply, "I…this—this isn't what I wanted." She cried softly still, "I…" I had to get this out before this ended permanently. It wouldn't be fair for her, for her to leave this world hating me and never knowing the truth. "I love you." And the cries stopped, I suddenly wondered if I had been too late, if she was dead. I moved my head agonizingly slow to stare into jade eyes that seemed to have more sanity behind them since the last time I'd met her gaze.
"Sasuke-kun?" she asked, her voice seemed nostalgic to me, but it was getting farther and farther away as I closed my eyes, but didn't have enough strength to open them again, "I forgive you." And I smirked, embracing oblivion.
I knew what would occur today, we'd found his trail the day before yesterday, and Naruto hadn't wanted to tell her. But she was listening when we thought she was asleep as he told me what he'd found. We just wanted to make sure he was alive, but Sakura was so far gone…
I felt sorry for my students, my broken children—even if I was no one's biological parent. I'd seen these kids go from being ignorant, awkward, downright stupid kids to the amazingly determined and strong shinobi that they were now. Sakura was slumped over Sasuke's body, her head resting on his unmoving chest. She'd reached for Naruto, as well, her arm twisting an odd angle as she held his hand. I vaguely wondered if she'd broken her own arm before she had died just to hold his hand as she left this world.
I wouldn't have put it past her.
I knew that Sakura had come to kill Sasuke, and from the fact that there were no other fatal injuries visible on his body, I would assume that she'd managed. Naruto's wound looked accidental, and Sakura's hand was bloody where there were no wounds, and Kusanagi had been thrown over to the side about ten feet or so away from the bodies, blood slickening the blade, the burnt edges around Sakura's wounds inferred an attack from Sasuke.
So they'd killed each other, huh?
I couldn't help but notice the peace on their faces, as if they'd been waiting for this moment since forever. It didn't look as if the way of the world had shaped them into killer shinobi, it looked as if they'd gone back to being the innocent kids I'd had to become a sensei to.
"Are you gonna tell anybody what really happened here, Kakashi?" Pakkun asked from my side, staring with sad and disappointed eyes at my three best students. I shook my head.
"What really happened here isn't the truth, Pakkun." He grunted in response, deciding not to question my cryptic answer. The wind blew softly through the destroyed forest as I looked up at the setting sun. I couldn't help but notice the sound of tinkling laughter as two male voice hurled insults at one another.
Even if they'd killed each other in the end. They were together now, just as they had been before. Just as they should have been till the end. Just as they were.
A/N: I know the ending sucks. Review anyways to tell me about it, kay? Thanks!
A/N: I know the ending sucks. Review anyways to tell me about it, kay? Thanks!