Walt Disney, Tim Burton, and Gothic Dancer proudly present:

Hinata as Sally or Kishimoto's The Nightmare Before Shippuden

(No, this is not a filler arc.) XD

T'was a long time ago, longer now than it seems, in a place that perhaps you've seen in your dreams. For the story that you are about to be told took place in the holiday worlds of old. Now you've probably wondered where holidays come from. If you haven't, I'd say it's time you've begun!

Tucked away in the shadows, a graveyard was brimming with life. Ghosts emerged from their resting places and flew into the night sky against the full moon, and skeletons dug their way to the surface, emerging among the undead. Several zombies gathered together, merging at a single gate, which opened slowly, creaking as it rose. They were singing a strange tune as they entered a town square, slowly brimming with dead life.

"This is Halloween, this is Halloween," they sang, flashing eerie smiles as a large cart with a scarecrow on top made its way through the crowds. The scarecrow suddenly came to life when it passed a person holding a torch and lit itself on fire, the flames burning brightly and destroying the twigs holding the scarecrow together. After a moment of dancing, the scarecrow leapt from the cart and splashed into the fountain in the center of town. The undead citizens gathered around it and sang cheerily, "In this town we call home, everyone hail to the Pumpkin Song."

A man slowly emerged from the fountain's green water, looking quite handsome and elegant in his pinstripe suit. He opened his eyes and greeted the applauding crowd. "It's over! We did it!" they cried, dancing and cheering.

The man stepped out of the fountain and onto the cobblestone square. "Thank you, everybody!" he called out. "Halloween was a success this year. Wonderful job!"

"No, we should be thanking you, Naruto!" the mayor insisted. "We couldn't have done it without your leadership."

Naruto grinned. "Not at all, Minato! Everyone worked together!"

As the crowd ran to Naruto to thank him and applaud him, a single woman stood in the darkness, looking longingly at the King of Halloween. Her pale eyes and skin shone in the moonlight; she was a beauty despite the harsh scars covering her skin. She was so focused on Naruto though that she didn't notice the gloved hand reaching out for her. It suddenly grabbed her and pulled her away.

"The Deadly Nightshade you slipped into my tea wore off, Hinata," a man in a white coat in a wheelchair hissed, tugging at the girl. Hinata gasped and almost cried out.

"No! Let me go!" she begged. "I can handle all the excitement, I swear! Please, Doctor Neji, please let me go!"

Neji pulled harder on her arm. "You're coming back home with me right now!" he shouted.

Hinata shook her head. "No, I'm not!" she sobbed, pulling the stitches on her arm loose. Her arm snapped off, and the force toppled Neji's wheelchair over. He looked up and growled.

"Come back here!"

But Hinata was long gone, hiding in the shadows, making her escape towards a didn't notice Naruto backing away from the crowds, making his escape the same way.

The mayor came to the man's rescue. "Hold it!" he shouted into his microphone. "We need to give out the prizes, remember?"

Naruto took the opportunity to leave while everyone was distracted. He ran out of the square and exited through the gate, passing a band made up of three zombies, Izumo, Kotetsu, and Genma, along the way. "Nice work, Bone Daddy," Genma offered as he chewed on the end of a needle in his mouth, his fingers getting ready to go back to work on his saxophone.

Naruto nodded. "I guess so," he agreed. "Just like last year...and the year before that...and the year before that..." He slowly made his way into the graveyard, calling for his ghostly dog Pakkun along the way. The little pup followed his master as he entered the cemetery, but Naruto didn't notice Hinata hiding behind the gravestones. Her eyes widened with love when she saw Naruto walk by. "Oh, Naruto..."

"I don't get it, Pakkun," the man in the suit sighed. "I'm so good at what I do. I've frightened so many people, and I put on the best Halloween shows. Everyone knows my name, and I'm feared everywhere. So why is it that I feel so...empty?" Naruto climbed a spiral hill in the center of the cemetery, murmuring to himself as he walked. "I've scared people out of their pants, I'm known as 'Mr. Unlucky' in some places, and I can even take my head off! Want to see?" He frowned when the dog shook its head. "I wish I could give it all up though," he finished. "I want...something new...something exciting." His head dropped and he made his way down the hill, entering a thick forest.

Hinata popped up from behind a grave. "Naruto," she whispered, "I know how you feel." She slowly rose to her feet and gathered a few plants, one of them being Deadly Nightshade. She hurried back to her home and put the plants away before she heard squeaky wheels come down a wooden ramp.

"Hinata," Neji called out, lifting a glowing lamp. He grinned wickedly. "You came back." He lifted the girl's limp arm. "For this?" Hinata went to speak but lost her voice. Instead, she simply nodded and walked towards the doctor. "Shall we?" the man asked, wheeling himself up the ramp.

When the two made it to the doctor's office, Hinata set herself down on an operating table and sighed as Neji began sewing her arm back on her body. She remained quiet until he spoke.

"That's the second time this month you've poisoned my tea and run off," he told her.

Hinata smiled. "It was the third time actually."

"SILENCE!!" Neji shouted, slamming his palm on the operating table. "I MADE YOU, YOU UNGRATEFUL BRAT!! I MADE YOU WITH MY OWN HANDS!!"

"Just make another creation!" Hinata insisted. "I can't help it! My body wants to get out of this place and explore the town!"

Neji shook his head and groaned. "It's just a phase, and it'll pass." He finished the stitching on the girl's arm and cut the thread. "Let's just be patient."

Meanwhile, Naruto had gotten himself quite lost. He had been walking all night, and he was exhausted. But when he came upon a strange-looking set of trees, his eyes widened. "What's this?" he asked, looking around. "Look, Pakkun, it's someplace new!" He stared at the trees set in a circle, each with a different door. They held his interest until he came upon a door with a colorful tree on it. He smiled brightly and turned the knob. He didn't see anything when he looked inside, but a small tornado of white snowflakes dragged him down into the darkness. He cried out but the door slammed shut, leaving Pakkun to bark pathetically at the tree.

Naruto fell deeper and deeper into the darkness until a bright, white light brought new vision to his eyes. He shook his head and looked at the new land before him. Everywhere, people were running around, dancing, singing, and laughing happily. Naruto was so fascinated that he suddenly tripped and rolled down a snowy hill, leading in a pile of white fluffiness. "Whoa!" he cried. "What's this? WHAT'S THIS?!" He crawled his way out of the snow and explored the little town. "There are happy children here, and they're throwing snow! Where are all the heads? And look in here! A tree with colorful lights! Look over there! People are kissing and listening to stories around a fire! Oh, my gosh, what could all this mean?!" He jumped from roof to roof, absorbing all the cheer and love, so excited about his discovery. "I don't feel so empty anymore," he said to himself. "I feel inspired! I have to know what this place is! I want it all so badly! WHAT IS THIS?!"

He was running so quickly he didn't notice the large poles holding up the welcoming sign for the town. He smacked into one of them and fell backwards into the snow, his head throbbing. When he looked up, he saw the town's name.

"Christmas Town?"

Meanwhile, Halloween Town was in a panic. Minato had wanted to talk to Naruto, but, obviously, the man wasn't home, causing the mayor to freak out. "Naruto, please, I'm only an elected official here! I can't make decisions by myself!"

Kiba, the werewolf, glanced at Zetsu, the town Hanging Tree. "When's the next election again?"

Minato climbed on top of his hearse. "I'm sounding the alarms! This has never happened before, and I'm scared!" He signaled for the horns, and the high screeches reached all over town. Hinata even heard them from the laboratory, and she frowned as she stirred Neji's soup.

"Oh, Naruto," she sighed, "where did you go?" She quietly tip-toed to her cabinets and pulled the Deadly Nightshade from the shelf. She added it to the soup along with other ingredients to hide the smell and taste and carried the bowl to where her master was working.

Neji examined a skeleton on the table and flipped his head open from the green, x-shaped hinge on his forehead and squished his brain around, searching for the answer. When he heard Hinata walking up the stairs, he grinned. "Took you long enough to finish making lunch, Hinata," he snickered. "What do we have here?" He looked into the soup and frowned. "This is...suspicious, Hinata."

The girl took a step back. "Um, what do you mean?" she asked. "I thought that you liked soup. Was I wrong?"

Neji's eyes narrowed. "No, I like soup. It's just that..." He suddenly grinned. "...until you try it, I won't eat any of it." He dipped his spoon into the soup and brought it up to Hinata, who swatted it away.

"I'm not hungry," she told him. The spoon dropped to the floor, and she gasped. "Oops...Um, I'll get it." She barely listened as Neji rambled on, complaining about her. Instead, she shoved the spoon underneath the table and pulled one with holes from her pocket. "Okay," she gave in, "if it means that much to you, I'll eat some." She smiled and dipped the spoon into the bowl, letting the liquid drain out before slurping on the spoon. "Wow," she laughed, "I make good soup!"

And with that, Neji brought the bowl to his mouth and drank.

Outside, Minato had collapsed. He was exhausted from looking for Naruto. He sat in the sun on top of his hearse and sighed. The other citizens of Halloween Town sat around him, wondering what to do.

"Is there ANYWHERE we didn't think to look?!" the mayor exploded, taking off his hat and wiping his forehead.

Pein and his brothers, known as the Vampires, groaned. "We checked everywhere," the spiky-haired one sighed.

Suddenly, Sakura and Ino, the two witches, heard faint barking in the distance. "What's that?" Sakura asked, listening closely. She and Ino looked past the gate and saw a little ghost dog.

"It's Pakkun!" Pein's ponytailed brother announced.

The gate rose and Naruto came in on a motorized sled with all sorts of packages and boxes in his cargo. The townspeople cheered when they saw him, and Minato's spirits immediately brightened. "Where have you been?" he asked, excited.

"Call a town meeting!" Naruto commanded. "I'll tell everyone about it!"



That night, the Deadly Nightshade had kicked in, meaning Neji was out like a light. Hinata took the chance to escape and make it to the town meeting. She grinned as she left the lab and made her way to town hall. She quickly took a seat atop one of Zetsu's branches and clapped when Naruto appeared on stage.

"Listen to me!" the man called. "I want to tell all of you about Christmas Town!" The lights dimmed and Minato focused the spotlight on Naruto. The king smiled and told the audience, "You'll never believe what I've seen. I know I can't tell you, so I'll show you." He pulled on a rope, and the curtain behind him opened to reveal a skinny Christmas tree with lights, ornaments, and presents scattered about. The audience blew up with excitement and anticipation. "Look here!" Naruto insisted. "This is a present! Over here is a sock we hang on the wall!"

"Presents?" Ino asked as she and Sakura flew to the stage on their brooms. "They're ugly! What's in them?"

"And what about these socks?" Kakuzu, a stitched man asked as he and his other "hearts" (in the forms of black blobs) crawled up on the stage. "Do they still have foots inside them? I bet they're disgusting!"

Naruto shook his head. "Back to your seats please! I'll explain everything! You don't get it!" He sighed and walked to the middle of the stage as everyone sat back down. Naruto shrugged. "I guess I might as well get straight to the point," he whispered to himself. He looked up at the audience and shouted, "I have saved the best for last! The ruler of this town is some kind of monster, some kind of terrible creature! He's quite the tyrant, bright red with claws for hands and sacks of boxes he uses to slay! And do you know what they call him? They call him...SANDY CLAWS!!"

The audience exploded with applause, everyone except Hinata, who had a worried look on her face. Naruto couldn't notice her though. because he was too busy thanking the audience and heading backstage. He sighed and picked up a snow globe, swishing it around a bit. "They still don't get it," he murmured.

That night, as he sat in bed, Naruto tried to find a way to explain Christmas to the citizens of Halloween Town. It was just so exciting! He wanted to introduce this new idea properly and bring his people something amazing. He was frustrated though. Despite the fact that he had been reading so many Christmas stories, songs, and poems, he still didn't get it.

And that was when he remembered something. He pulled his book entitled "The Scientific Method" out from underneath his bed.

The next day, Neji locked Hinata in her room. He had recently awoken from the poison in his soup, and he had just about had it. He found Hinata wandering Hallowen Town and dragged her back to the lab, careful to pull her from a spot where she wouldn't be able to pull her stitches out. He groaned when the door to the girl's room slammed, and his head began to throb when the front door's bell rang.

"It's open!" he called from upstairs.

The door opened. "Hello?"

"Naruto! Come on up!"

Inside her room, Hinata's face brightened in delight.

"Doctor Neji!" Naruto greeted. "I need to borrow some equipment! I'm conducting a series of experiments!"

Neji laughed. "How wonderful! Curiosity killed the cat, you know."

Naruto smirked when he reached the doctor. "I know. Want to see where it's buried?"

Neji laughed again. "Come to the lab! I'll get you fixed up!"

Inside her room, Hinata cocked her head. "Experiments?"

Back at his house, Naruto set the equipment he had borrowed from Neji out on the table and began examining the different objects he had gathered in Christmas Town. He looked at different holiday fruits, tried to cut a snowflake out of paper, dissected a teddy bear, and crushed up an ornament, only to find it glowed in his liquid base. It was all very interesting, but Naruto was still confused.

Hinata slipped a bottle into a basket and connected it to her sewing machine. Slowly, she lowered the basket to the ground outside the window and looked back at her bedroom door to make sure it was locked. She then looked out her window and saw Naruto's room flashing bright lights. She smiled and jumped out the window.

Izumo, Kotetsu, and Genma, who were nearby at the time, cringed when the girl met with cobblestone. Her body smacked hard against it, her limbs disconnecting from her body. Hinata suddenly woke though and went to work sewing herself back together. Once she was done, she got up, grabbed her basket, and made her way to Naruto's house, the band playing softly.

Once there, Hinata hoisted the basket upwards on a string and threw a rock at the window. Naruto looked up and opened his window, seeing the basket. He took hold of it and smiled down at Sally. Quickly, he opened the bottle to find it was full of a deep, rich wine, but when he looked down to thank the girl, Hinata was gone. Confused, Naruto closed his window.

Hinata breathed a sign of relief as she sat on the cobblestone outside Naruto's house. She smiled lovingly and picked a nearby, proceeding to play the classic "he loves me, he loves me not" game. Once she was about to pick the last petal though, the stem transformed into a Christmas tree. Hinata smiled, knowing Naruto was happy. But then the tree exploded into a ball of fire, burning until it was nothing more than a plain stick. Hinata gasped and stared at what had been her flower. Had that been...a vision?

The next morning, some of the villagers were getting concerned about Naruto. He had spent the last few days barely talking to anyone, constantly experimenting on the trinkets he had recovered from Christmas Town. Hinata woke that morning, still outside her crush's house, and sadly looked up at the flashing window.

Inside, Naruto was frustrated. He trudged around his room, desperately searching for the answer to all his questions. "I don't get it," he muttered, staring at the toys and ornaments scattered about the floor. "It doesn't make any sense. What am I doing wrong, Pakkun? I've read so many of the stories and poems, and I've sang all the songs. I know all these Christmas things by heart!"

Pakkun sighed at his master and grabbed a framed picture into his mouth. Naruto just crashed to the floor, exhausted. "I think I might have to give up," he murmured. But then he saw the picture his dog had, and everything changed. The picture was one of himself against the spiral hill, but when he looked again, he saw himself in the Sandy Claws outfit. "That's it, Pakkun!" he cried. "I've got it!" He suddenly stood and ran to his window, bursting it open. "This year," he shouted, "Christmas will be OURS!!"

Later that day, Naruto had all the citizens of Halloween Town gather outside the town hall to receive their assignments for Christmas. Hinata was among them, and she hid when Neji was called to the front of the line. The doctor searched for the girl for a moment and then rolled his way into the building.

"Doctor Neji!" Naruto called happily. "Thank you for coming, Neji. I have a special assignment for you." He opened up a book and pointed to a picture of reindeer. "We need some of these."

Neji nodded. "Simple enough."

Minato laughed as he wrote Neji's assignment down in a large book. "How horrible out Christmas will be!"

Naruto shook his head. "That's not right, Minato. We want this holiday to be happy!"

Minato was confused but suddenly grew angry when a fury of baseballs, bones, and mud globs flew into his face. He growled and brushed them off, gasping at who was before him. "What are YOU doing here?!"

"Naruto sent for us!"


"By name!"




Minato bit his lip. "Naruto, it's...Orochimaru's kids!"

Naruto nodded, satisfied. "I know. They're Halloween's best trick-or treaters, and I have a top-secret mission for them. Kids, come here." The children did as they were told and listened to Naruto explain their assignment. They nodded in agreement and were just about to set off when Naruto added, "But leave that monster Orochimaru out of this!"

The kids nodded. "Whatever you say, Naruto."

"Of course, Naruto."

"Wouldn't dream of it, Naruto."

No one saw the crossed fingers behind the kids' backs, and the children left, giggling. They ran across town to the outskirts, where their giant treehouse was hidden. They climbed their way up the tree, and once they were inside, they began throwing several different kinds of torture items into their walking bathtub, shouting, "We're off to kidnap Sandy Claws!" When they were done, they jumped into the tub and made their way to Christmas Town.

Back at the town hall, Naruto was still explaining assignments to some of the townsfolk. He had just finished teaching some holiday songs to Izumo, Kotetsu, and Genma, and Hinata was next on line. The man grinned when he saw her. "Hinata, I need your help more than anyone's."

Hinata nodded. "Yes, you do!" she insisted. "Naruto, you have to listen to me! I had a terrible vision about your Christmas. There was smoke and fire!"

Naruto shook his head. "What are you talking about, Hinata? That's not my Christmas! Look here!" He held up the framed picture of himself. "This is my Sandy Claws outfit. I want you to make it! If you just follow the pattern here, you'll be fine." He smiled, handed the picture to the girl, and sent her off. "I have confidence in you." He didn't bother to listen to Hinata's protests, especially not when Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro emerged through the front doors.

"We got him, Naruto!" they cried together. Naruto ran to them but stopped short when he saw who was in the kids' giant bag.

"Uh, that's not Sandy Claws," he muttered, pointing to the Easter Bunny. "Which door did you enter? Sandy Claws is behind the one with the tree on it!"

The children stared at Naruto until Temari smacked Gaara over the side of the head. "I TOLD YOU!!" she screamed, tackling him. Not wanting to be left out, Kankuro joined the wrestling match, but everything fell still when Naruto's eyes turned red and an orange aura surrounded him. He roared at the children, stopping them. The Easter Bunny, also scared, jumped back into the bag and shook.

Naruto slowly returned to normal and turned to the bag. "I'm, uh, very sorry for the inconvenience, Sir," he laughed. But he looked back at the kids and hissed, "Take him home and fetch the real Sandy Claws!"

Throughout the next few days, Halloween Town and Christmas Town were busy preparing for the holiday. Naruto watched in awe and excitement as his dream slowly formed into a reality. Decorations hung everywhere and presents could be seen for miles. Neji was away in his lab, working on skeleton-like reindeer with Lee, his assistant. Minato led the townspeople in their preparations, laughing, "We're making Christmas!"

While the people of Christmas Town were also preparing for their holiday, something else was taking place, something quite unwelcome. Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro rang a doorbell and stuffed the person who answered into their bag.

Halloween Town wasn't facing so much an event, unless one asked Hinata. Even while sewing the red and white costume for Naruto, she was still trying to convince the man to stop their preparations for Christmas and just focus on Halloween. Naruto, of course, either refused or just didn't listen. He totally abandoned Hinata when Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro emerged in town with their catch.

"We really got him this time, Naruto!"

"He sure is big!"

"And heavy!"

They opened the bag to reveal a man in a red suit with white hair. He gasped when he saw the freakish citizens of Halloween Town. "What the...?" he breathed. "Where am I?!"

Naruto grinned. "Surprised, are you, Sandy Claws? I knew you would be!" He looked down and his eyes widened. "You have hands!" he announced. "You don't have claws at all!"

"Of course not!" the man shouted. "And another thing: you must have the wrong guy. My name is Jiraiya!"

Naruto wasn't listening. "Oh!" he realized. "The hat!" He took the red hat from atop Jiraiya's head and nodded. "Thanks. Now then, kids, see that he's comfortable!"

Hinata bit her lip as she watched the episode. "No," she whispered, "this is so much worse than I thought. I have to do something!" She abandoned her sewing machine and snuck back into the lab, running up to her room.

Meanwhile, Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro proceeded back to their tree house with Jiraiya stuffed back inside their bag. They snickered to themselves, because they knew where the most "comfortable" place in town was. When they made it into their home, their bathtub walked over to a long, metal tube, and they stuffed the red man down it, insisting it was okay because he could fit down a chimney.

When Jiraiya made it down to the basement of the tree house, neon lights began to illuminate, casting an eerie glow in the room. Bats, rats, and snakes could be seen moving about, and Jiraiya swore he could hear some sort of rattling. When he looked to his side, he saw two die rolling towards him, landing on Snake Eyes. When he looked back up, he was face-to-face with a terrifying creature dressed in burlap with a snake for a tongue.

"Well now," the monster hissed, "what do we have here? Oh, wait, don't tell me. You're Sandy Claws, aren't you? Oh, my gosh, you must be joking!" He laughed hysterically and hoisted the man up on a rope so he was dangling over a pit full of yellow goo. "Listen here. I'm a gambling kind of guy," the creature continued. "My name is Orochimaru, and you're my prisoner. You're not going anywhere!" His laugh echoed through the basement and reached the children on the upper floor, who laughed along.

Hinata quickly grabbed a jug that read "fog juice" out of her cabinet, nodding at it. She closed the cabinet doors and tip-toed out of the lab, but not before she caught sight of Neji. She frowned. He was creating a new girl. She shook her head sadly and headed outside, where Christmas Eve had finally come. Sneaking around to the fountain, she poured the juice into the liquid just as Naruto emerged on his sleigh. She feigned happiness when Minato began his speech of good luck, knowing that her juice was taking effect.

Soon, no one could see a thing. "The fog is so thick!" Pein and his brothers announced. Kiba, Zetsu, Kakuzu, Sakura, Ino, and the other citizens of Halloween Town chatted in agreement, and Hinata let out a sigh of relief.

Naruto slid down into his sleigh, devastated. "The reindeer can't see, and we can't take off. Oh, there go all my plans, hopes, and dreams." He was close to tears until Pakkun barked. Naruto looked down at his dog and remembered something. "Wait, Pakkun, you have a strong scent of smell, right? You can lead the reindeer even if none of us can see! To the head of the team, Pakkun! We're off!"

Everyone in town cheered and applauded as their leader took off into the night, laughing the entire time. "Wait, Naruto!" Hinata screamed. "Don't go!" But her voice was too weak, and Naruto was long gone. She stood there pathetically, her voice unheard. "Goodbye, Naruto," she whispered. "My dearest Naruto, I hope my premonition is wrong." She looked up at the sky and murmured, "Something bad is coming, I know it. I want to stand with the others and celebrate, but I just can't. And...I know that Naruto and I will never end up together. I may love him, but it doesn't matter. He doesn't care. I'm not the one for him."

Naruto was having the time of his life. He made his way to the Real World and stopped at his first house, effectively waking up the small child there. The little boy gasped happily and ran down the stairs to greet whom he thought was Santa, only to see Naruto stuffing his stocking. The little boy, confused, took a step forward.


Naruto looked down at the child. "Merry Christmas!" he greeted. "I have a special present for you!" He handed the boy a square package. "There you go. Ho ho ho!" And with that, Naruto hoisted himself back up the chimney.

The little boy stared at his present but opened it anyway. When his parents asked him what he had received, he held up the shrunken, shriveled head in the box.

The rest of the world was quickly brought into a panic. Everywhere he went, Naruto brought nothing but scares, frightening children and adults alike. He, however, thought he was doing a great job. He even celebrated when the military began arming themselves.

The news about the military even reached Halloween Town, and Hinata expected the worst. She knew that Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro had disobeyed Naruto's orders, because the children had a history of naughtiness. She ran to their tree house and slipped down into the basement, where Jiraiya was being held hostage.

"Are YOU a gambler, hmm?" Orochimaru asked his prisoner. "Let's play." He was distracted though, because Hinata had pulled her stitches, making her leg look quite sexy as it snuck through the passageway. Orochimaru was interested. "Hmm, what have we here?" he asked suavely, walking over to the leg.

Hinata looked down and undid the stitches on her hands. They immediately went to work untying Jiraiya from the rope, and when the man looked up, he instantly realized what Hinata was doing. He gave her a thankful nod and began climbing up to the window.

What the two of them didn't notice was that Orochimaru had discovered the truth behind what he thought was a sexy visitor. "HOW DARE YOU TRY TO FOOL ME?!" he hollered, pulling Jiraiya and Hinata down. Now both of them were caught.

Naruto would soon get the news. His sleigh flew right over a military base, and it was prepared to shoot him down. "Whoa!" the man called. "Be careful! You almost hit us!" A missile hit his sack of presents, and the message was clear. "Oh, my God, they're TRYING to hit us! Pakkun! Are you okay?!"

The dog whimpered pathetically, and the next shot sent Naruto and his sleigh down. "MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!!" he shouted as he fell, hitting the ground with a loud smack.

Back in Halloween Town, the citizens stared in awe at the image of their leader in the witches' cauldron. Kiba howled sorrowfully. The rest of the town let tears fall.

Minato shook his head. "I knew it was all a bad idea," he sobbed. He entered his hearse and started up the microphone. "Terrible news!" he cried as he drove through the town. "It's the worst tragedy of our times! Naruto has been blown to smithereens!"

The Real World was grieving just as much. The police drove through the towns and announced that even though the Santa impostor had been shot down, they still couldn't find the real Santa. Children sobbed and adults grieved. Where was all the happiness that Christmas always promised?

In a town's local graveyard, Naruto lay upon a gravestone of an angel with a Bible in its hands. He remained motionless for a long time until Pakkun nudged against him. When he finally opened his eyes, he looked upon the wreckage and ruin. His sleigh was destroyed, and his presents had burned in the crash. "What have I done?" he asked himself. "I did everything wrong, and now it's all hopeless. I spoiled it all." He stared at his hands. "I should just die. In a million years, I'll just be a pile of dust."

Quietly, Naruto lifted his head and wiped the tears in his eyes away. He looked at Pakkun. "But, you know, I never expected any of this. I didn't intend it either. And, hey, no one really understood, right? I only wanted to bring them something great!" Pakkun yipped encouragingly and Naruto smiled. "What the heck! I did my best! And, hey, Christmas sure wasn't boring this year, was it?" He jumped down from the statue. "I've got a lot of great ideas for next Halloween! I feel just like my old self, Pakkun! Oh, next year, I swear, I'll give it all my might!"

Pakkun barked happily and celebrated with his master, but Naruto suddenly stopped short. "Wait a second," he realized. "Oh, my God! Sandy!"

"YOU JUST WAIT UNTIL NARUTO HEARS ABOUT THIS!!" Hinata screamed as Orochimaru got ready to plunge her and Jiraiya into his pit of yellow goo. "BY THE TIME HE'S THROUGH WITH YOU, YOU'LL BE LUCKY IF YOU...!"

Minato cut her off through the loudspeaker. "The King of Halloween has been blown to smithereens! Uzumaki Naruto is a pile of dust!"

Hinata gasped. "No...no..."

Orochimaru grinned. "What was that you said about luck, rag doll?"

Hinata began to sweat and flail around, but the tight ropes around her body restricted her movement. "HELP!! HELP!! SOMEBODY, HELP!!" she screamed, almost making Jiraiya go deaf in one ear.

Orochimaru rolled his die. "Seven!" he declared, pumping the metal block holding Jiraiya and Hinata. It moved upwards until the two were on the verge of falling into the pit. "One more roll!" Orochimaru continued, throwing his die. He looked at the number and growled. "SNAKE EYES?!" Angry, he pounded on the table so hard the die rolled over. He smiled in delight. "Eleven! Yes! I've won! Bye-bye, doll face...and sand man." He pumped the lever a few times, and Hinata screamed as she and Jiraiya fell forward.

Orochimaru was expecting the two of them to fall into his pit, but he didn't see anybody falling. Confused, he pulled the metal table back, revealing a very pissed off Naruto. Orochimaru cried out and stepped backwards as the man walked towards him. "Hello, Orochimaru," Naruto spat.

"Naruto!" Orochimaru gasped, stepping onto a large roulette wheel. "No way! They said you were dead!" He took another step back. "YOU MUST BE DOUBLE-DEAD!!" With another step, the roulette wheel sprang to life, spinning and releasing all its deadly traps. Orochimaru moved ahead on the wheel and taunted Naruto to come over. Naruto, being the brave man he was, jumped through the knives and swords slicing the air and made his way towards his enemy. Orochimaru, in a panic, activated a set of guns to fire, but the king just jumped up before they could hit him, walking across the weapons. Orochimaru, in a moment of desperation, set a giant buzz-saw down.

"Naruto!" Hinata screamed. "Look out!"

Naruto noticed the saw and jumped out of the way, grabbing onto one of the strings of Orochimaru's burlap clothing before steadying himself. The snake man jumped up and tried to make his escape by going through the ceiling, up to the main level of the tree house. "So long, Naruto-kun!" he called, laughing hysterically.

Naruto pulled on the string in his hands. "How DARE you treat my friends like this!!" he shouted, wrapping the string around a spinning device over the yellow goo pit. Orochimaru gasped as he started to fall apart.

"NOOOOOOOOO!!" he shouted. "MY SNAKES!! MY SNAKES!!"

Naruto, Hinata, and Jiraiya watched as the snakes fell into the goo and died. Jiraiya himself took care of the last snake, squishing its head with his heavy boots. Naruto frowned apologetically at the man and offered him his hat. "I'm so sorry," he mumbled. "I'm afraid I've made a terrible mess of your holiday, Sir."

Jiraiya snorted. "Listen here. Santa Claus himself put me in charge of Christmas this year. I've got books to deliver!"

Naruto's eyebrows rose. "Books?" he repeated.

Jiraiya nodded. "Children need literature, you know!" With that, he disappeared in a cloud of sparkles, leaving Naruto to contemplate just what kinds of books the man was going to deliver.

Hinata smiled. "He'll fix things, Naruto," she told him. "He knows what to do."

Naruto looked back at the girl. "How did you get down here, Hinata?"

Hinata's face lit up bright red. "Oh!" she gasped. "I, uh, I mean, um, I wanted to...to...erm...what I mean to say is...uh..."

Naruto's face softened. "Hinata, I...I can't believe I never realized that you...!"

A bright light cut him off. "Naruto! Hinata!" Minato cried, waving happily. Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro laughed.

"Here they are!"


"Just like we said!"

With Jiraiya back in business, the sadness disappeared from the Real World, only to be replaced with happiness. He delivered all his books and other gifts to the joyful children all over the world. Everything was right.

The main gate to Halloween Town opened, and the citizens saw their leader on top of the mayor's hearse. Everyone in the town cheered and applauded him, so happy he was alive and well. They sang out their classic tune, announcing, "This is Halloween!"

"It's great to be home!" Naruto declared, waving to the crowd.

Suddenly, snow began to fall. The residents of Halloween Town had never seen such a thing, so they all asked each other, "What's this?" Naruto just smiled.

"Happy Halloween!" Jiraiya shouted from his sleigh.

"Merry Christmas!" Naruto shouted back.

The happiness was short though. Naruto heard the creaking of wheels and saw Neji in his wheelchair, Lee and a new girl behind him. The doctor grinned at his creation. "Careful, my precious Tenten," he sighed, gazing lovingly at the girl. Naruto gasped and looked at the front gate. Hinata was leaving town.

At the spiral hill area, the land was covered with a thick layer of sparkling, white snow, and Hinata sat down at the top of the hill. She had another flower with her, and she plucked at the petals, whispering, "He loves me, he loves me not." She was just about to pluck the last petal when she heard a voice coming from behind her.

"Hinata, my dearest friend," Naruto softly spoke, "I hope you don't mind some company."

Hinata looked down the hill and saw Naruto, the man she had secretly loved for years, walking towards her. She slowly rose and set her flower down. "Um, no, of course not," she managed to squeak, face red with embarrassment.

Naruto saw the girl's flushed face and took her hands in his, bringing the two of them close together. "You know what, Hinata?"

The girl looked up at him, her face still red. "What?"

"I think we're meant to be."

Hinata could have cried out in joy, love, shock, and embarrassment, but she decided to save her party for another time. Instead, she just inched closer to Naruto. The two of them kissed, and Pakkun watched in approval. A star shone brightly above them.

The last petal on Hinata's flower had meant, "He loves me."

And they all lived happily (and a little scarily) ever after.


Next: Sakura as Cinderella