"Here! Here! Clear a space, place him on this table!" Sakura ordered Kiba and Sasuke, directing them towards a secluded corner of the bustling medical tent. Medical attendants rushed up to Sakura as she begins demanding supplies and medicine to help her heal Naruto. The attendants look down in horror upon their fallen Hokage, looking back at Sakura with terror-stricken expression, "MOVE! I need those supplies now!" Sakura raged, turning in a pink swirl back to the men at the table.
"Can you help?" Her piercing emerald eyes strike through Sasuke and Kiba, demanding an answer. Kiba turns an ashen face towards Naruto, he looks as if he's going to be sick.
Kiba shook his head "I don't think…"
"Then get out," Sakura states bluntly, gesturing for Sasuke to follow her she bends over Naruto, "Defend this tent to the death Kiba. We need you." Kiba stood straight and turned sharply, disappearing into the chaos of the tent and the battle outside its walls.
"Sasuke, what happened?" Sasuke related a condensed summary of Naruto's injuries and how they were sustained as Sakura worked at cutting Naruto's clothes off his body. "Why hasn't Kyuubi began healing him? This wound isn't that serious."
"There may be some sort of suppressive poisons in the wound. I felt as if I had been poisoned while I was defending him."
"Drink this" Sakura handed him a thick black drink. Sasuke eyed it doubtfully. Sakura glared at him "Hurry." He downed the horrible antidote.
"What do you need me to do?"
"Take off your shirt," Sasuke raised an eyebrow at her blunt statement, "I'll need your help to maintain my chakra levels, you will need to replenish my stores as well as Naruto's as he needs it. For you to effectively do that you need as much skin to skin contact as possible. We don't want any wasted chakra." Sasuke hastily took off his shirt and lay down next to Naruto, making sure their arms were touching. He then outstretched a hand to Sakura who shook her head. "I don't need you yet. Work on stabilizing him first."
The Sharingan activated as Sasuke began to give chakra to Naruto. "Kyuubi's chakra is gone. There seems to be some sort of impenetrable block. It seems familiar."
"Hang on Naruto!" Sakura placed both hands on Naruto's chest, a green glow was soon flowing steadily between them as Sakura fought to save the Rokudaime's life.
Do you dream?
"…And my dream… is to surpass the Hokage and then… Have the people of this village acknowledge my existence."
Do you care?
An enigma, Naruto loved Konoha, he would willingly give his life for her, and his friends. His precious people. His precious people who cared nothing at all for himself.
He was warm and loved life. His presence alone made Konoha a brighter place, even if that happiness was achieved through his own pain.
All his life Naruto had been called a demon, a monster, a loser, dead-last, and worthless.
On the outside he never gave a sign it affected him,
On the inside he was being torn apart. He was hated, and through no known actions of his own. He became a prankster in an effort to be recognised.
His favourite place had always been Hokage mountain, where he could study the chiselled features of his predecessors.
He would stand on top of the Hokages, radiant with the knowledge that one day he would surpass them all.
As the wind blew through his hair, Naruto would look down on Konoha with a smile on his face. He knew that one day he would die protecting her, as her Hokage.
"Come on Naruto! You've been through worse than this! Remember our first mission? Haku and Zabuza? Hell, I thought both you and Sasuke were going to die that day. But you didn't. You pulled through. Don't do this Naruto. Don't leave me. Don't leave Sasuke. Don't leave us. We need you. We're a team, always have been always will be. We love you Naruto." Sakura gave Naruto a soft, chakra-infused, kiss on the lips. Sasuke grunted, gripping Naruto's hand in a death grip and sitting up to pull Sakura into an embrace.
"Tell me he will be okay Sasuke." Sakura turned tear-filled eyes to her love.
"I can't Sakura. I'm sorry. Without Kyuubi's help…"
"MAKE HIM HELP,SASUKE! He has to obey the Uchihas after all! He should listen to you, summon him, force him, I don't care! Don't let him take Naruto away from us!" Sakura pounded a small fist onto Sasuke's chest as a tear slipped, unnoticed, down his cheek.
"I'm sorry Sakura. There's a block against me. I'm trying to break it but… it's not looking good. I can't survive this Sakura. If he dies," Sasuke trailed off, looking up at Sakura with an expression full of despair, "I can't promise that I won't follow him"
Sakura nodded, "And I'll follow you."
They both looked down on their friend, their team mate, their best friend, their lover. Both felt an overwhelming sense of loss, even as they fought to save him.
Naruto could hear his precious peoples' voices. They were so close, yet so far away. Too far away. There was no way he could reach them. But he had to. He had to let them know that all hope was not lost. He had to let them know that he loved them. He had to let them know that he was glad to have achieved his dreams together with them. He couldn't give up.
He tried desperately to reach Kyuubi. He battered on the walls of the block. If he could find Kyuubi there was hope. The block never weakened, there were no holes.
He cried out to Kyuubi, pleading his case. He reminded Kyuubi that his mates and his family still needed him. That he had to defend them. He appealed to their shared memories. Kyuubi remained silent, unresponsive. There was no reply to his pleas.
He laughed. He was immortal, his block was impenetrable, not even Kyuubi's host could break through it. The Rokudaime would finally die and he would be on his way to revenge against Konoha for what it had done to him in the past. By the time the Rokudaime's Captain realised the truth, it would be too late.
Kyuubi paced his cage, enraged. He listened to his host's pleas and the Uchiha's efforts. He had to help. But he couldn't disobey. Never had Kyuubi felt so helpless, powerless to help those who mattered most. He was imprisoned within his own mind. The block went both ways. I'm sorry. Kyuubi closed his eyes as he lay down on the cold floor of his cage. His ears were pulled flat against his head as he tried to block out the pleas of his host and the Uchiha. Damn that man for keeping him from his people. I'm so, so sorry.
"I wish Tsunade were here. She would know what to do" Sakura looked down on Naruto, he was barely alive. She had tried everything. She had tried to leech the poisons from his blood, she had tried to close his wounds. Nothing worked. It was as if her healing powers were being blocked. It was frustrating. She was sitting here, watching Naruto die, not doing anything. Even Sasuke was doing more than she was. She had tried antidotes, chakra infusions, nothing worked. Why? It was almost a reversed Kyuubi effect Nothing worked. What could she do? She was a horrible medical nin. Her patient was dying, and there was nothing she would do. Tears ran down her face as she let out a sob. "Naruto…"
Lips pressed against her forehead as Sasuke pulled himself up. "Don't say that Sakura. You're here now. You're the medical Sannin. You're doing everything you can." Sasuke looked deep into her eyes, "Don't give up. You can bet that this stupid idiot isn't giving up. If he had, he'd be dead by now. Find a middle ground to meet him at. I have more chakra reserves if you need me to tap into them. Just let me know how I can help." Sakura smiled at him. Cold he may be, but he was always compassionate and knew how to get things done. Frighteningly enough he was the most diplomatic of the three of them. He could play politics with an ease that had always astounded Naruto and herself.
"I'll try again. Maybe leeches can suck out the poisons." She beckoned over an attendant. They had all been keeping their distances after severe reprimands from both her and Sasuke. She ordered her leeches and watched the attendant scurry off. She placed her left hand on his chest and her right in Sasuke's hand for an infusion of chakra. Come on Naruto, hang in there.
Naruto stretched his hand out towards Sakura's soothing voice and healing touch and towards Sasuke's powerful chakra and their love. Wait for me. The ground under him melted to ice. He was being pulled away from them. NO! Wait for me, I'm coming for you. He leapt forward, dragging the darkness behind him. All around him he could hear maniacal laughter, it was almost demonic and incredibly cruel. I won't let you win.
Sasuke, Sakura. Save me.
Naruto had been destined for greatness upon his birth. He was the son of the Yondaime, the unknowing host of Kyuubi, and Jiraiya's apprentice, as well as being an accomplished sage. How could he not succeed in achieving his dreams?
The Yondaime's last request had been for Naruto to be seen as a hero and for him to be treated as such.
Instead he was ostracized.
An outcast, friend to none.
Until he met Sakura, Sasuke, and Kakashi. He became a part of the legendary Team 7. He had a family.
"Place the leeches here, here, and right there." Sakura watched the leeches as they bit Naruto. This better work.
Sakura watched as the leeches sucked the poison. Naruto had lost too much blood, a blade had nicked his lung. She turned to Sasuke, looking at his fingers. He had cauterized them using his Katon. His hand was a black, ugly mess that must have been excruciating. Sakura said nothing, knowing he was doing everything within his power to ignore the pain. They had to focus on Naruto for now.
A cough from Naruto startled the two nin.
"Naruto?" Sasuke held his breath as Sakura leaned over Naruto to check his condition, poking and prodding at his wounds.
Naruto's eyes weakly fluttered open, they were as brilliant as they had ever been. There was silence as the three of them looked at each other, knowing this would probably be the last time they did so. Sasuke frantically began replenishing Naruto's chakra, battering at the block to Kyuubi. Sakura smiled weakly and embraced both men. They returned the embrace.
"Hope. Love. Thank you." Naruto gasped out through wet coughs. His breathing was laboured, he smiled as his eyes closed once more.
Kakashi burst into the tent, age hadn't been unkind to him. "What's happened?" he asked through his mask. Sasuke and Sakura looked up at him sadly. Kakashi shook his head. "Sakura, we need to get his wounds stitched up. What do you need?" he asked calmly.
Sakura straightened, determined. "Sasuke, you'll hold him down. Kakashi, you'll assist me. Let's do this."
Medical attendants raced around the tent. All of the medical tents were in chaos. The Sound and Akatsuki were being driven back at a huge cost to Konoha.
Kiba came back once, watching Team 7 fighting to save Naruto. He wondered at the bonds between them. They were the most diverse team, and the one with the most issues in the past. He would never have expected their team to be ripped apart like this, it was a horrible end.
The man on the hill overlooking the battle smiled. After today nothing would be the same in Konoha. It was his victory.
Kyuubi glared at the bars of his cage. He vowed revenge on the one who had blocked him off from his host. He knew how this day was going to end.
This is to one last day in the shadows,
The defeat when Sasuke left the village, and the triumph when Naruto brought him back.
And to know a brother's love.
Sasuke had been the first to recognize Naruto for who he was, not what he was. Sakura was the next to recognize him during Sasuke's absence.
This is to New York City angels,
All he knew his entire life was death. It was the one constant. He had no regrets.
And the rivers of our blood.
The death had been to protect Konoha and all her citizens held dear. It was the blood-price for freedom.
This is to all of us,
Sasuke, Sakura, Kakashi, Jiraiya, Tsunade, Itachi, Lee, Kiba, Hinata, Neji, Chouji, Shikamaru, Tenten, Gaara, Konohamaru, Old man Sarutobi, Ino, Akamaru, Shino, Kurenai, Ibiki, Iruka, everyone.
They all dedicated themselves to Konoha, and they would all eventually die for Konoha. No regrets.
Naruto's wounds continued to bleed with renewed vigour.
"What happened? Why is he bleeding more?" Sakura looked about frantically for something to staunch the bleeding.
Kakashi watched solemnly, there was nothing more he could do to help. He lay a hand on Sasuke's shoulder. The Sharingan met his eye. "Goodbye Sasuke. Protect them." Kakashi turned and left feeling Sasuke's sorrowful eyes at his back. He knew what the two of them would do when Naruto passed. It was Kakashi's job to hold Konoha together until Konohamaru was judged ready.
The man on the hill looked down triumphantly. The Sharingan flashed as he laughed. They had given up hope.
Naruto could feel his hold on Sasuke and Sakura slipping. It was only a matter of time. At least he had been able to see them one last time…
Sasuke huffed, why was this happening? Just yesterday Konoha had been happy and safe, bustling with innocent activity. With the dawn horror had come. Sasuke shook his head, he watched Sakura fly around the medical tent looking for supplies, potions, antidotes, anything that could staunch Naruto's bleeding. Sasuke looked down at his whole hand. It was covered in blood. Naruto's blood. Naruto's life blood. He realized what his hands now held. They held Naruto's last moments of life, and his death. He couldn't lose hope. Miracles could happen. Right?
Don't wake me cause I'm dreaming,
Naruto felt an overwhelming sense of peace. There was no more pain. All he could see were the faces of his loved ones. He watched as all of his memories, good and bad. He watched his life play itself before his eyes. He laughed at some, cried at others. He watched. No regrets.
Of angels on the moon.
"Sakura." Sakura turned towards Sasuke's choked voice, "He's not breathing." Sakura nodded. She had no more tears left to shed, only an immense sadness as she watched Naruto's still body.
Kyuubi howled. He would get his last revenge on the damned man. He would not be used again. He attached himself to Naruto. He would die along with his host. He would not be used by that man again. Never again.
The medical tent was silent as everyone bowed their heads in tribute to the Rokudaime. He had died for his cause. He had given the ultimate sacrifice to Konoha. The bright light of everyone's lives flickered and died in that moment.
You can tell me all your thoughts,
Sasuke was his best friend. His only friend. Sakura hated him, Kakashi could care less, Sasuke acknowledged his strength and insulted him like he did to no one else. Eventually all would change...
Team 7 had laid there, underneath the sky, staring at the stars. That had always been his favourite memory. Sasuke acting cold and aloof with his back turned to them. Naruto knew Sasuke cared for them all. Sakura staring up at the stars, a hug grin on her face. Naruto knew Sakura was just happy to be alive, happy to be alive and with her Team. Kakashi laying at their heads, spread-eagled on the ground. Naruto knew Kakashi was ready to defend them at a moment's notice. Naruto knew Kakashi was proud of them.
And show me where you run to,
That secluded swing in front of the Academy. Sitting there he would be stared at. But he didn't care. From that swing he could see Hokage mountain, and all he aspired to be...
Seeing Sasuke sitting on the docks. The most popular boy in the Academy. The loneliest, after himself.
But don't tell me where the road ends,
Those moments were why he did what he did. That extremely content feeling he felt when surrounded by his precious people. He lived life to the fullest.
Cause I just don't want to know,
He held Konoha together with his brightness. The day he was made Rokudaime was the best day in Konoha's history. Everyone was happy. Sasuke was pardoned of his crimes and made Naruto's right-hand man, Sakura had hugged them both. Everything was as it was meant to be. Naruto was happy. He vowed to make his reign the greatest. In the future others would aspire to be him.
Those dreaded eyes. The eyes of Madara Uchiha. Curse him.
Don't tell me if I'm dying.
Naruto let go. He couldn't hold on any longer. Sasuke, Sakura. I love you. Konoha…
Sasuke looked down on Naruto's dead body, tears running down his face. He looked over at Sakura and nodded. Without a word he placed a kiss on Sakura and Naruto's lips, turned and walked away. A kunai flashed between his fingers as he stepped back into the battle outside the quiet tent. Fully intending to die.
Sakura touched her lips as dry sobs wracked her petite frame. One dead, the other going to die. She had said she would follow Sasuke in his choice. She reached into her pocket and withdrew the flask she had kept for this moment. She walked up to Naruto's table and pushed him on one half of the cold metal slab as she pulled herself next to him. Sakura lay down and undid the flask. She looked at the pink liquid and tipped the contents down her throat. She felt at peace. As she closed her eyes for the final time she heard a tortured male scream and the sickly sound of blades tearing through flesh.
Goodbye Sasuke. Goodbye Naruto. I hope I'll see you soon.