Disclaimer: Naruto and all elements from the series are copyrights of Masashi Kishimoto.

Naruto - Shattered Dreams

By TwilightLink20xx

Warning – Naruto – Shattered Dreams contains recent plot spoilers. If you have not reached Chapter 449 yet, then either do not read this, or prepare to be spoiled. This Fanfic is aimed that the current audience of Naruto reading Part II, however it is open enough that you can jump in at any time, just know that it gives away crucial points of the story.

Fan Warnings – Ah, fandom, it's why these stories exist. Now, here's a quick warning about parings, living characters that may be killed,and setting. If you care about spoilers, well then, you better stop reading this and go elsewhere. If you are still reading this, you're getting no more warning, this is it.

Naruto: Shattered Dreams was written and plotted out before the conclusion of the Pain arc. As such, it is slightly incoherent to the results of the battle. In this continuity, Tsunade does not enter a coma from her actions, and the Kage Summit is moved three months down the line.

This story features quite a bit of Naruto X Sakura material, but refuses to cross a line that the author wishes not to. This is for both personal convictions and for the sake of keeping them in character.

The time frame is around over 2 months following the conclusion of the Pain Arc. I hope you all enjoy Naruto: Shattered Dreams, it was a lot of fun to write this. Plese, Review, comment, and critique it in any fashion you wish, but keep the foul language to a minimun (preferably kept down to none. If you must curse, please star it out completely) and try to make it constructive, learning from mistakes is what we all should do XD. Without further to do, I present to you Naruto: Shattered Dreams!

*************

A chilling air stirred around the bog, waterfalls surrounded the pool, isolated in the middle of nowhere. There were two solitary figures inside of this gorge, one dressed in orange, surrounded by a red hue, the other in blue, a purple haze enveloping his figure. Both were once friends, but here, they were enemies, destined to fight for what would seem to be an eternity.

"Sasuke!" shouted the one in orange, "I'll drag you back to the village, even if it's the last thing I do, so help me God, I won't give up!"

"Shut up, Naruto.", Sasuke replied, "You'll never get that chance, no, today you die!" His hand near the ground he charged up a ball of silver in his hand, glowing with an alien aura. Naruto responded with a blue sphere of his own, staring him down with his bloodshot red eyes.

They leaped in the air, and glided towards each other, each holding their hand out with their spheres in front of them. Sasuke using Chidori, Naruto his Rasengan. As they attacked the other, each was screaming in a feral tone, as Naruto was taking energy from the monster sealed inside of him less than thirteen years ago. Sasuke, however, had the power of the vile Orochimaru, one of the three legendary Sannin of the Leaf Village, on his side. They clashed in the air, and a brilliant white light flashed in front of their eyes, neither sure of how it would end. That is, until Naruto's world went black.....

*****

Naruto gasped as he awakened from his sleep. The sixteen year old shook his head, trying to shake off the nightmare he just had. "Another dream... Why?" groaned Naruto. He looked to his right, and saw the clock, 7:15 AM. Good timing, it was about when he usually got up anyway. He went to the bathroom, showered, and got dressed, dwelling on the thoughts of the dream.

It's gotta be a coincidence, he thought, We haven't heard anything about him since his fight with Itachi, and that was months ago, a few weeks before Pain had laid waste to the village. It had been two months since then, and reconstruction was going soundly, if not at a slower pace than what would be preferred, but at least work was getting done.

As he walked out the door, he reached for the red and black robe he'd received from the toads when he returned to the village from sage training. Ever since then, he had tried to keep this and the scroll he carried on his back around, just in case someone tried to attack the village. After all, ever since Jiryah, whom he often called the 'pervy sage', died, the village had been left without a sage for miles. Until he took it up, at least. Leaving for his next assignment, he again thought back to the dream. He'd had that one before, but the conversation was different each time, and even more different than the real memory. He felt like he was starting to feel the lasting effects of this insane manhunt of his. He'd promised his friend Sakura long ago that he'd bring Sasuke back to her, promised to Jiryah that he'd go after him no matter what, and promised Itachi that he'd believe in Sasuke, even if it meant ignorance. Above all, though, he promised himself to live with this as his creed: to never give up, and he was hellbent on keeping his word. Besides, it wasn't just some guy, this was his best friend, the one that really gave him the time of day back then, when everyone looked down on him. Boy, do times change. He thought once more.

"Naruto!" a voice shouted from behind him. He turned his back to see a girl, about his age, slightly shorter than him by about two inches or so, though that number seemed to be in constant flux, as Naruto was sprouting up like a bamboo chute. Her hair was a blush pink, bangs brushed to the side, resting to the side of her face, the rest in the back just below her neck. "Wait up!"

"Oh, hey Sakura."Naruto said, slightly confused, "You're usually there by now, what're you doing?"

"Looking for you, Lady Tsunade needs us. Something about a status report about the repairs on the village."

"Oh great, another meeting..... Why do they need me?"

"Same reason they need me, they need to hear what we've been doing."

"Oh, right." Following the attack, Naruto had been put in charge of the reconstruction of the central area, getting the crucial buildings set up, save for the medical facilities, of which Sakura was in charge of. Once in a while, they'd get a mission, but it had been a few weeks since then. Things may have been happening outside of the village, but fixing up the place was the priority. For the most part, the bulk of their clients were being sent to the sand village, their greatest ally. Boy, I'm sure Gaara's getting a little ticked off about all this... Naruto thought to himself. He'd been good friends with the Kazekage for years, and was the reason that Gaara wasn't a homicidal maniac. Tsunade told him that this project would be a good way for him to learn what the Hokage does. If this is what the job really is, then I see why that pervy sage turned it down!

"So," Sakura asked Naruto as they walked to the center of town, "How'd you sleep?"

Naruto chuckled, then replied, "You have no idea..."

"I'm going to go with not so well, then... What happened?"

"Just a bad dream, no big deal."

"Oh, okay then." Sakura replied with a smile. She wasn't going to push it, not now anyway. Naruto had been having these dreams for a while now, but they'd become far more common lately.

She needed to keep an eye on that, he didn't show it to people, but she knew he was very emotional. Naruto had been shunned for the bulk of his life, but he never wanted pity. He never cried in public, never moped around, choosing to keep it all bottled up inside. Did he let it go when he was alone? She didn't know, but she certainly hoped so, otherwise.....

"So, what have you been up to today?" Naruto asked. He'd cared about this girl for years now, had a crush on her since he was twelve, before they'd been put on the same squad. Back then, she had a massive crush on Sasuke, who in his mind was his rival, not his friend. Time went on, Sasuke saw who he was, Sakura would follow suit, but she didn't exactly have the best opinion of him until he was thirteen. That's when he made the promise, the one that he'd kept closest to his heart. After all, that wasn't just for her, he had to bring his friend home, there wasn't any way he'd abandon him.

"Not too much, I woke up, got ready for the day, grabbed a bite to eat, then reported to Tsunade about 20 minutes ago. I tried to look for you at the house, but it seems you got up today."

"Hey, if there's one thing I'm not, it's lazy... Well, at least when it isn't a free day." He laughed, then scratched his head. They were almost there. Hopefully the meeting wouldn't be long. Then, maybe he could get some practice time in. That is, if they didn't need to go look over what was going on. The good thing is that most of the hard work was done, and nearly all the vital parts of the village center were done. Actually, it didn't look too bad at all, they had tried to adopt a more modern look to the buildings. He liked it, though he did kind of miss the old look, it brought back some interesting memories, like when Jiryah first took him on as his apprentice. "So, what are you doing for lunch?"

"As of now, nothing." Sakura let out a small smile "Are you offering me a free meal?"

"Maybe...", replied Naruto, a sly grin on his face. "Only if you're up to it, though."

"Alright, but remember, you're paying!"

Naruto laughed. He remembered back when he asked Sakura out for ramen when he first came back. That didn't turn out to well, he was flat broke! Well, he was finally getting paid a decent cut, that's what happens when you go from genin to sage in a few weeks. Speaking of which, he needed to stop by the store, a new game just came out. He needed to go pick it up, he'd pre-ordered it months ago...

They approached the front gate of the central tower. It was here that they met with Lady Tsunade, the fifth and current Hokage. Naruto had been there with Jiryah when they'd first appointed her as the Hokage. First impressions tend to be wrong, and in the case of Tsunade and Naruto, you couldn't get further from the truth. Tsunade thought Naruto was a brat, while Naruto thought of her as a stuck-up old lady that had no respect for those that came before her. Time went by, and now they've each earned the respect of the other, as they'd learned just who they each really were, though Naruto insisted on calling her "grandma" or the "old lady". Not that Tsunade saw it as offensive, on the contrary, that was just the way Naruto was as a kid, and it just became habit for him.

"Master Naruto, Sakura," the doorguard said, "The Hokage is waiting for you in her office, you best not keep her waiting, she seems to be in a bad mood this morning..."

"Alright, thanks." Naruto said, then they headed for the stairs. Master Naruto... Man, I'm never going to get used to that...

Oh great... Another one of those days. Thought Sakura. As the student of Lady Tsunade, she knew how she could be when she wasn't in a good mood, and it wasn't pretty. "Hey, Naruto, you'd better watch your mouth today."

"Yeah, I know, Grandma'll get all over your case, right?" He laughed.

"It isn't funny, Naruto! You aren't to one who has to deal with her on a daily basis."

"Last I checked, you don't have to either."

"Yeah, but I still see her more often than you, and last time she was like this and you gave her attitude, I was the one she took it out on!"

"Whoa, hold on, I'm sorry! I didn't know about that..." Naruto said, smile gone, a hint of regret in his voice. If there was one thing he wouldn't stand for, it was anyone hurting his friends, especially Sakura. The fact that he'd done it was poison to him. "Don't worry, I won't mouth off, I promise."

"Hey, don't look so glum, it's not that big of a deal!"

"To me it is, it's all in the little things, right?"

"What are you talking about?"

"The things people see about you. You can do all the good in the world, but if you just totally blow off all your friends, then people will see that person instead. I made the old lady mad, and she took it out on you. That's not being a good friend."

Wow, he has changed... thought Sakura. The change was how he pointed out his mistakes. This wasn't the way he was before he'd left to learn Sage mode. He's definitely the same Naruto, but he's grown.... I like it. "Maybe, but don't worry about it, it's in the past, you can't change it. All you can do is prevent it from happening again."

"Which is why I promised that I'd watch it today." replied Naruto as they approached the door of Tsunade's office. "Alright, best behavior, right?" He grinned his typical grin, wide and mischievous. Clearly, some things just don't change...

*****

Darkness, it felt oh so good this morning. Would these idiots just shut the hell up? Why did I have to get morons like this?Simple, it's the only way I'll get my goal. I've made plenty of compromises before, this one I can deal with.

"So, Sasuke, what are you going to do about this? My men are starving!" shouted a man, about five-foot eight, slightly shorter than Sasuke. He was the leader of a small group of freelance Ninja that were under the his employment.

"I don't give a damn, they can rot in hell for all I care." Sasuke replied. As far as he was concerned, it would be ridding the world of one more villain. After all, he was simply using them in order to avenge his brother Itachi. It, after all, was that accursed leaf village's fault that his family was killed. Justice needed to be served, and it would be cold, indeed.

"This wasn't part of the deal, Uchiha!"

Sasuke grabbed the man's neck. "How many times am I going to have to repeat myself, I DON'T GIVE A DAMN!" shouted Sasuke as he slammed the man on the table they were sitting at. "We're going to do things my way, got it?" He threw him into the wall, "Or do I have to convince you with my Sharingan?"

"No, no, no, Sasuke, it's nothing! By all means, we'll try harder next time!"

"You sure as hell had better, or you may just find yourself there...." Sasuke closed his eyes, "Am I clear?"

"Perfectly!" the man said trembling with fear. Sasuke Uchiha had built himself quite a reputation recently as being a notorious employer, but he paid well enough if you succeeded.

"Good... Now, go find that kid, I need to know more about this sage of the leaf's. Find out what he's up to, figure out his weaknesses, learn just how powerful he is. The Akatsuki may be on my side, but they don't know any more than I do. Now, go!" The man ran off in panic, as he went to tell his men their new assignment.

"You know," a voice called from behind Sasuke, "that was a bit harsh, maybe you could have gone a bit softer on him."

"Ah, Madara. Good to see you again. So, you have any news on him?"

"Not recently, but we do know that they still haven't recovered from the... incident..."

"Damn, I was hoping I wouldn't need to rely on those bottom-feeders. Oh well."

"So, when you find him, our deal is still on?"

"Of course. As far as I'm concerned, you can have the bloody Kuubi, all I want is the heads of every person in that village, especially Naruto Uzumaki."

"Why do you hold a grudge against him like that?"

"I have my reasons..."

*****