Hard to Forgive
Summary: Banished from Konoha after an accident with Kyuubi, Naruto swears to come back too powerful to be brought down. Years pass with no sign. Until they hear a Hidden Village has risen, and its' residents are demons and outcasts. Will they find Naruto there?
Warnings: Strong!Naruto, Demon!Naruto, some people-bashing, blood, violence… maybe some more, I don't know.
Disclaimers: Does it look like I own Naruto? I didn't think so either…
Tsunade rubbed her forehead and looked over the map. Gaara watched her carefully.
"Orochimaru's people are here," she said and pointed it out to the redhead. "They are moving directly towards us."
"How many people?" Gaara asked softly.
"I don't know," she answered. "A lot. Most of them with curse seals. Some were promised to be released from the curse if they fought."
"And they fell for it."
"Gaara, they're too crazy to even see the difference between what is good and what is evil."
Sora looked up from his reading to see Yokaze look at him.
"What's wrong?" Sora asked.
"Konchuu got information that Orochimaru is going to attack Konoha. Another piece was that Gaara-sama was already in Konoha, but their forces won't be enough. They have too many civilians to protect."
Sora leaned back in his chair and looked at the young man for a long time.
"What should we do?" Yokaze said. "We're allied to both Konoha and Suna…"
"Yes, what should we do?" Sora said and looked out the window. "I only made the alliance with Konoha so they wouldn't attack us."
"I know that," the younger one said. "Still, Suna is there."
Sora said nothing.
Tsunade looked over the village from the Tower with sad eyes. In a few days, Orochimaru would be here and she had to meet her old team-mate once more. If only Jiraiya had been with her… she would have felt much more confident. As it stood now, she felt old and weak. It was not enough people. Konoha stood no chance.
She closed her eyes to shut away any tears that might fall and suddenly a voice behind her:
"I sent a word to Chigakure."
She turned around and looked at Gaara. He shrugged and continued:
"I don't know if they wish to help… Konoha after the various incidents."
"We'll see," she said. "I would love to have help from one more village, but I have no idea how many people are fighters in Chigakure."
"Trust me," Gaara said as he walked up to her, "they don't need to be many to be strong."
Sora read through the note as he stroke the feathers of the bird sitting on the arm of his chair. Afterwards he looked down on the bird and said:
"It's a war going on. But I'm of mixed opinions. What should I do?"
"You can begin with stop speaking to the bird."
He looked up and Yokaze walked into the room.
"Who was it from?" the younger man asked as he put down a tray with two cups and tea.
"Gaara," Sora said. "I'm really of mixed opinions now."
"I don't want Konoha to be saved by us either," Yokaze said and sat down in front of the desk. Sora watched him and he continued, "I may like some of the people, but the village isn't worth being saved by us."
"I don't mind the village with various people to burn," the demon-like man said. "But I don't want Tsunade-hime and the others to loose."
"Then we go but state quite clearly we aren't fighting for the village," Yokaze said.
"Oh, if it only was that simple," Sora sighed.
It was soon time. Tsunade watched the shinobis closing in on Konoha, closed her eyes for a moment and wished she was somewhere else, preferably dead.
Orochimaru's mocking laughter could be heard, faint echoes and her hands tightened at her sides. She opened her eyes again, jaws clenched. He would not win. She would not lose to him one more time, even if this fight would require her life. She would not give him the pleasure to go back to the Sound village ever again.
Today he would die, even if she had to die with him. She looked at the people around her. Sneering, badmouthing Chigakure, the Onikage, demanding to know why he was not here and fighting with them. Sakura caught the Hokage's eyes and said mockingly:
"The demons didn't come, did they? They didn't even bother answering. Shows us what they truly are."
"Tell me, Sakura, if one distrusts you, you know they talk badly about you behind your back and would love to get rid of you, would you fight with them?"
"Of course not!" she said.
Tsunade raised an eyebrow and said:
"Then it's not wonder why Onikage isn't here. One shouldn't fight against enemies with the help of other enemies."
She could not help but still think about Onikage saying he was the one to kill Orochimaru. Seems like he was not going to do it. She would do it for him. She had to.
"Has he been like that the whole day?" Kageenja asked Mebana. She nodded and looked at Sora. The man was staring out the window but they both knew he was not looking at anything.
Kageenja walked into the room and said:
"You're freaking us all out, Sora. Decide."
"Decide?" Sora said and looked at the man. "There are no easy decisions."
"Yeah, but you have to make one now," Kageenja said. "And that fast."
"I have made my decision," the man said and looked back out the window. "Now I'm just waiting."
"What? Waiting for news about the fall of Konoha and Suna?" Kageenja asked as Konchuu and Hijutsu walked into the room, Hijutsu leading Mekura.
"No," Sora said. "Waiting for him."
"You still have the chance," Tsunade said. "You can call everyone back. No one will find any faults in that."
Gaara looked at her.
"You really are an idiot," he said and she looked up at him. "I won't do that. I don't like Konoha, but I have people here I care for. You are bound to fight for Konoha. Everyone that is a Konoha shinobi is bound to fight for the village."
"This village earns to burn."
"The village perhaps… not you," Gaara said with a mysterious smile before he moved away. Tsunade was left looking after his retreating back.
Gaara looked at the still waiting troops in the village. They would be moving soon outside the village. It was near-empty, the civilians having been evacuated.
Suddenly an eagle landed on his shoulder, startling everyone around him but himself. He took the message, tied to the leg and said:
"That's a good boy."
He folded up the note and read it. And then as requested at the end, he set it on flames and watched it turn to ashes in his hand. He curled his hand around the ash, waited for the wind to then let it go.
Sora looked at himself in the mirror, feeling an unnatural calm settle within him. The same emptiness that had nearly devoured him before he met Yokaze, before he for real began to build up a home for himself and for people like himself.
"You're thinking of the past."
His eyes locked with the speaker's through the mirror. Red eyes narrowed slightly, a hissing voice continuing:
"You don't have to. Let Konoha burn."
"I will," Sora said gently. "The village shall burn but not in the material way. It shall grow in the dark, edging its way onto the streets, worming itself into people's hearts and blacken their minds."
"What about your precious people?"
"If they don't understand my anger and hatred, then the precious people are no more," Sora said shortly and broke eye-contact to grab a scroll. Clawed hands stopped him, forced him upright and now the voice was at his ear:
"You're lying. Don't lie to me."
"I will abandon them… how much it will pain me to be betrayed again, I will still abandon them if they still don't get it."
"I can kill them," the speaker said soothingly. "For you, I can kill them."
"How about killing those I hate?"
"I can do that too."
Sora looked up into Kyuubi's face and the demon grinned.
Enkai looked around the commotion in the office, sitting on the desk while the others ran around. Her father entered and her eyes widened.
Sora was dressed in combat-pants, a black vest and his hair up tightly in a braid, he was also wearing fingerless gloves up to his elbows and had four scrolls resting on his hip. His chakra was pulsing.
Sora walked up to her and said:
"Be a good girl and don't give Kyuubi-ojisan any troubles, okay? We should be back soon."
"Where are you going, daddy?" she asked.
"I'm going to help Gaara-ojisan for a bit," Sora said. "He is in a bit of a trouble."
"Are you gonna fight?"
"Yes. Not with Gaara-ojisan but with those who are mean to him. There are some lessons that need to be taught to some," the man said. "Be good to Kyuubi-ojisan, okay?"
Enkai nodded. Sora turned to the others and Yokaze nodded. They all placed their hands on him and he made a seal. Wind worked through the room, and a moment later they were all gone, leaving Enkai and Kyuubi alone in the room.
"There we go," Kyuubi said and lifted her up. "They're going to be just fine."
"But if they need help…"
"Don't worry," he said and looked at the girl. "Daddy and Kyuubi-ojisan always have a back-up plan. Trust us."
Gaara wiped blood away from his face, irritated with it and met Tsunade, their backs together.
"How are you holding up?" she asked.
"I'm fine, but there are way too many shinobis on Orochimaru's side. Both normal ones and crazy ones."
A blast separated the two and when the dust cleared, Tsunade's eyes grew larger.
Gaara was being held down and Orochimaru was slowly closing in on them.
"Killing one of the leaders will make this all easier," he said and grinned widely. "But I don't want you dead too quickly, Tsunade, that's why Gaara-san is the one who has to go. This technique is specially designed to keep Gaara down until we're finished with him."
Tsunade was thrown away once more and she tried to get up. Kabuto appeared and held her down easily.
"Sasuke!" she screamed but he was too far away to hear her. "Someone!"
"They're all too busy with their own fights to save him," Orochimaru said. "Don't worry, Tsunade, I'll kill him quickly."
He raised the sword he was holding, looked at Gaara who still tried to get loose but the bounds did not move one inch, not even with Shukaku's strength. The demon screamed in Gaara's mind.
The sword fell.
It never hit the Kazekage. All around stared in shock. They could not move.
The sword went right through Sora's torso. Blood dripped from his chin down into Gaara's face and the red-haired man stared up at his friend. Sora gave out a scream full with rage, grabbed onto Orochimaru and threw him away from them both.
He rose up, staggering, with the sword still inside of him and screamed out:
The man appeared from the shadows, was shadow and he wound himself around two Sound shinobis, breaking their necks easily.
Hijutsu kicked away Kabuto and Mebana appeared.
"Mebana, you deal with him!" Hijutsu said, waving at the direction he had kicked away Kabuto. His cloth was gone but Tsunade did not get a look of his eyes. "Konchuu, seems like Sasuke-san requires some help."
Konchuu appeared from nowhere and walked to Sasuke with no great hurry. Hijutsu walked forward and without warning yanked the sword out of Sora.
"What are you doing?" Tsunade shrieked. "He could be severely damaged!"
To their horror Sora just licked his lips and then said:
"Makai and Yasha are with me. Meikon, make sure Mebana is safe."
The man appeared, and the weapon he was carrying made them from Konoha and Suna widen their eyes. The heavy-looking scythe was slung over one shoulder, like it was nothing and he nodded shortly to Sora before walking over to his sister.
Sora took a deep breath, coughed and looked at Orochimaru.
"The demon decided to help the village who hates demons," Orochimaru spat. "How pathetic isn't that?"
"Who the fuck said I'm helping Konoha?" Sora said. "There is a difference between helping those you care for, and a village."
"So if I put Konoha in flames, you won't care?"
"I won't," Sora assured the snake-like man, ignoring all Konoha shinobis around him. However, they did not ignore him.
"I told you!" Sakura shouted at Tsunade. "I told you the demon would never care!"
Orochimaru grinned and looked around a bit. He spotted Yokaze a bit away and screamed to Kabuto:
"Kabuto, proceed with the plan!"
Kabuto tore himself loose from the fight with Mebana and got out something before he dashed away. Sora saw where he was going though and screamed:
The man turned, saw Kabuto and focused. He vanished from sight but Kabuto had memorized where he stood. He managed to grab the invisible man and there was a struggle. Sora was tempted to run over but Orochimaru was still there. Makai and Yasha for all their powers could probably not defeat Orochimaru and Tsunade and Gaara had to rest. Sakura was too busy to be gloating so she was useless… not that she had been of use anytime.
"I would like to try something," Orochimaru said, to get Sora's attention away from what they were doing. "If I do the same technique on you as I did on Gaara, will you also be unable to move?"
Sora said nothing. A sudden yelp alerted him.
Yokaze tore away from Kabuto, bleeding from his arm. Sora's eyes widened. There was no way Yokaze could be injured…
"You look surprised," Orochimaru said in glee. "Kabuto finally came up with something that would make Yokaze… a real human for a few minutes. Try protecting him now."
The man jumped away from Kabuto's advances and landed behind Sora.
"You think he's defenceless once he's mortal?" Sora asked with a snort. "How naïve."
"What?" Orochimaru said, confused. Sora raised an eyebrow; they really thought that. Pathetic. He closed his eyes and said:
The man rose up and held out an arm. The wind began to move around him.
"The first thing I did was to train him to become strong as a mortal," Sora said and opened his eyes again. "Then I taught him to become air, just like he was born to be. He was born to be a wind, the air, but sometimes even the air needs to know how to protect itself."
A spear formed from the wind and soon Yokaze held a solid one in his hand. It was covered with markings of no known language and he held it easily.
"He's not a helpless child," Sora said and coughed. The wound had yet to heal, so it was a bit annoying that it hurt for each time he spoke. He ignored the pain and continued, "Had he been one, wouldn't he be here from the start."
Yokaze looked at them and Sora glanced over at him.
"I'll be fine, Sora-san," he said. "Don't focus on me, focus on yourself."
"I have to focus on you," Sora said with a bright grin that made Tsunade's eyes widen. It looked like one of Naruto's smiles. "Without you, there is almost no reason for me to live."
It was the closest Sora could say 'I love you' without saying the actual words. Yokaze felt his chest and throat constrict but managed to remain calm.
"Go," Sora said, his grin softening to a gentle smile. "Focus on yourself, not me."
Yokaze rolled his eyes and vanished with a swirl of wind, appearing again within a group of Sound shinobis. Screams filled the air a moment later from whatever he did and Sora turned back his attention to Orochimaru. It felt weird to just stand and talk to someone on a battlefield but he was not going to just start fighting without Tsunade and Gaara recovering.
Tsunade looked at Sora and understood he was not going to help Konoha. He did not have to either. She had assigned a lot of people to protect the village. If Sora just wanted to protect some of the people, fine. But she still wondered a bit why he was set of just a few people. Was it because she said basically the whole village was the same, filled with demon-hating people? And his smile… her mind was working overload, a gentle thought at the back of her mind nagging at her.
Whatever it was, this was not the time to be thinking such things.
Sora seriously wondered how long time it would take for them to understand. It seemed like forever. He felt he had dropped too many hints to them but apparently not. They had not become wiser over the years he had been gone.
Oh well, it was not his problem. His problem was the hole in his fucking torso and the pain it gave. It was annoying. It was healing, but it healed slowly. Cuts and grazes he was used to, but a hole right through you was a bit more.
He blinked away his dizziness and focused on Orochimaru. The man was waiting for the moment to strike and he felt the two Kages behind him get ready as well.
The snake-like man suddenly bit his finger, went through seals. He was not going to…?
The scream was lost in the fight but a moment later smoke erupted from the seal and Sora, Tsunade, Gaara, Makai and Yasha jumped back as Manda appeared.
"Fucking hell!" Yasha cried out.
Sora looked up at the huge snake and wondered if he should do his summon as well.
Before he got a chance to dwell much further on it, something huge landed behind them. He whipped around and his eyes widened.
Tsunade stared at Gamabunta. There was only one person she knew would summon him for a fight with Orochimaru.
"Jiraiya!" she screamed.
The man stood on top of Gambunta's head but looked down, seeing them all. With his arms still crossed, he took a leap and fell down towards the ground.
With ease, he landed on his feet, all Konoha shinobis staring at him in shock. Having been gone for fifteen years had not changed his looks. He stood straight up, looked at Sora and said:
"What's up kid?"
A vein ticked on Sora's forehead.
"I've told you a dozen times before, name's Sora… Ero-sennin."
Tsunade thought she would faint. She looked at the demon-like man and said weakly:
"Took you long enough," Sora said and looked at her. "I honestly thought you had it all figured out when you were staring at Kageenja and Shikaku."
"You're Naruto?" Sakura shouted. "Impossible!"
"Shut it, pinkie," Sora said. "And I do prefer being called Sora as that is my name now. Jiraiya, please just let's kill Orochimaru I want to go home."
"Sure thing, kid," Jiraiya said with a grin. A low growl from Sora's throat. "Whoa, easy. Man, you're easy to piss off today."
"Well, you put a hole through your chest, look at Orochimaru and realize just where you're standing and you wouldn't be too happy either!"
"Well, it was your choice to come here," Jiraiya said.
"Please," Sora groaned, and unknowingly to him a bit of blood trickled down his mouth. He felt it a moment later and wiped it away irritably. "Had it not been for some people I would've destroyed Konoha my fucking self."
"Yeah, talk on, talk on," the white-haired man said. "Hijutsu!"
The man turned and a moment later, Hiashi's voice:
"Neji?" both Lee and Tenten exclaimed from their positions and turned briefly to look.
Hijutsu's eyes were one of the Hyuugas, in its Byakugan state.
"How dare you?" Hiashi screamed. "How dare you be in a demon's village, dirtying down the Hyuuga name?"
"Please, in the middle of the battle and all," Kageenja muttered from his spot next to Tsunade.
"You're… Shikamaru I suppose?" she asked. "No, I'm sorry… you were."
"I'll be damn, you're the first one who said it!" Kageenja said. "To be kind, I'll answer. Yes, you're right."
"What is it, Jiraiya-san?" Hijutsu said without caring about the shouts.
"Don't you dare ignore me!" Hiashi screamed.
Hijutsu looked over at the man and said, quite bluntly:
"Will you please shut up? You're annoying, and I can't focus on what Jiraiya-san wants."
"Hijutsu, I need you to do your secret art."
Hijutsu nodded and turned back to the battle. Orochimaru still stood atop Manda and shouted:
"So the great demon leader is no other than the demon brat from Konoha?"
"What, did you expect me to be the bastard son of a Biju?" Sora shouted. Then he realized something and muttered, "In a way, I am."
"Yeah, I'm sure Kyuubi-san would be upset if you say you weren't his son," Kageenja said.
"Well, lucky me he isn't here to hear it then! Let's do this shit and go home! Everyone set and ready?"
Jiraiya leaped up on Gamabunta again and Meikon and Mebana joined them. Meikon held out his scythe in front of him and Mebana spread out her hands, and chakra glowed softly between her fingertips.
Kageenja kneeled and put his hands together, and Hijutsu flexed his hands. Yokaze appeared again behind Sora and held up his spear. Sora threw off his vest and his back muscles rippled before seals appeared on the skin.
"Sora-san?" Yokaze dared to ask.
"Don't start complaining," the demon-like man said. "I can handle it." His hand took on the scrolls and with a flick of his wrist it went up in the air. He slammed his foot into the ground and took a deep breath before releasing a howl.
At hearing the howl Tsunade had goose bumps. It felt like Kyuubi. Sora's strength was so alike Kyuubi's she got frightened. She felt the howl echo in her, with her chakra.
"A war cry," Gaara whispered.
The scroll exploded in light and a moment later they heard Sora catch something. Temari cleared the smoke with a wind and they saw Sora's weapon.
It was a sword, but the hilt looked like a human spine and that the blade had grown out from it, the end of the spine curled around the steel. Sora did not wait any longer but began to run. Moments later, Yokaze, Meikon, Mebana, Yasha, Makai and Hijutsu followed. Gamabunta took a leap at Manda, therefore leading the giant snake and ultimately Orochimaru further away from the village.
Kageenja was the only one to stay.
"Why aren't you helping them?" Sakura shouted. "Are you as lazy as you used to be?"
"Sakura!" Ino protested. She held Chouji's arm. Then both turned to Kageenja and Chouji said, "What are you going to do?"
"Let's see if Sound can fly," Kageenja said and made a seal.
A sea of shadows flew out from his own shadow, rose like waves and went between the Chigakure people.
"Konchuu!" Kageenja shouted to the side. "They can handle it now, let's do our show!"
The man changed directions and ran towards the battle. He leaped up in the air and whirled around, sending out bugs for each turn he took.
"Rain of insects, sea of blackness. Which one do you prefer?" Kageenja whispered.
Tsunade saw a few trying to escape and Hijutsu charged towards them.
"If he uses our family techniques, I'll have him dead," Hiashi sneered.
Hijutsu put his hands together and something they had never witnessed before occurred. A spear of chakra was made and shot out from his hands. He whirled around and sent off two chakra shurikens. He made a jump and began to spin, letting his chakra rest outside, on his skin, making his whole body deadly as he landed with a crash. A moment later there were six dead Sound shinobis and Hijutsu came out like an arrow from the dust he had stirred up, not even looking out of breath.
"Come on, guys and girls, let's do this!" Tsunade called out.
Sora jumped up on Gamabunta and looked at Jiraiya.
"He's one stubborn man," the white-haired one said. He looked at Orochimaru when he said. "He ain't gonna give up easily."
"Let me handle him. I got a few things… I have to settle with this man."
"Your people need you. There are way too many shinobis for them to wipe out."
"Got no other choice then," Sora said and put two fingers on a tattoo he had on his arm.
"What are you now doing, demon-brat?" Orochimaru asked.
"Me?" Sora said with a grin. "Oh, nothing; I'm calling for daddy."
Kyuubi got up and the woman looked at him.
"That's my signal. Take care of the village until we returns, Oba-san."
"Don't you worry, child," the aged woman said. "I'll keep it safe."
Kyuubi nodded and looked at Yuugao who nodded. He turned to Mekura and Ikari.
"You don't have to," he said to them both.
"Shut up and just take us there," Mekura said.
"Wonder how no one knows who you are?" Kyuubi said with a grin. "You're as grumpy as you were back then, during the days you bore the name Uchiha Itachi."
Sora felt a bit weary but it might as well be because he was in the company of people he loved and people he hated. The mixture usually ended with him tense and cranky. He looked at Orochimaru and the snake-like man grinned.
"Calling for daddy?" he laughed.
"Yep!" Sora replied. "The big, snarky, mean Kyuubi is coming to town!"
"Like I'll believe you," Orochimaru said. "He may come, but only to find your dead body!"
He jumped away from Manda and Sora said to Jiraiya:
"You and Gamabunta kill Manda, I'll go for Orochimaru."
The man had already jumped down and followed Orochimaru.
"Shit!" Jiraiya swore and then focused on the snake.
Sora cut down any Sound shinobis that happened to cross his path to Orochimaru and made sure he kept himself close but not too close.
When the snake turned around and begun to run towards Sora, he jumped up in the air and the snakes missed him. He landed and the chakra tore at him, wanting out. The wound pulled, now remembering him he was still wounded and he coughed, holding onto his side.
"Is the little fox injured?" Orochimaru asked with a crazy grin. "I can take away your pain… permanently!"
Sora took a deep breath and made a slow release of his demonic chakra. It began to creep up on his skin, turning the skin darker and Orochimaru took a step back.
"Sorry, snake," Sora hissed. "It's you who will die today!"
"We can't hold them!" Hiashi shouted at Tsunade. "They're too many even with help!"
Kageenja drew back, his left arm bleeding and said:
"Who's coming?" Ino asked.
"Back-up," Kageenja said and ripped off part of his shirt. He wound the cloth around the wound, tied a knot and tightened it with his hand and his mouth. His eyes closed briefly in pain before his body tensed up and dealt with the discomfort. He looked at the enemies again and screamed out, "What the hell's taking you so long time?"
"Shouting isn't good for you," a smooth voice said. "Please relax."
"Shut it and stuff it Mekura-san," Kageenja growled.
Mekura walked between Tsunade and Gaara, his black eyes open and unseeing.
"They sent a blind man?" Tsunade said. "A blind man?"
"Blindness does not mean… weakness," Mekura said. "And I'm not alone… am I, Yuugao-hime?"
The woman walked up slowly and said:
"No… you're not. Ikari-san."
The man landed next to her, holding an axe over his shoulder. As he rose, he towered over her.
"Took you guys long enough," Kageenja said.
"Don't tell me you're having trouble," Mekura said.
"It was fine until they cut off my fucking nerves to my left arm," the shadow-user said. "Still got some tricks left, but the pain's getting to me."
"What about the others?" Mekura asked.
"Meikon and Mebana are holding up well, since you can't really kill Mebana and let's face it, when Meikon is in a battle for real, does he even care if someone slits his throat?"
"He'll probably fight anyway," Mekura agreed.
"Yep," Kageenja said before he spit out some blood. "Anyway… Hijutsu and Konchuu is still going strong, Yasha and Makai are with them. Sora-sama… went to fight Orochimaru alone."
The growling voice made them all turn and Tsunade swallowed.
Kyuubi stepped past them and cracked his knuckles.
"Time for some killing," he said with a grin. "I'll go to Sora, then if you haven't finished by the time we're back I'm gonna kill the rest too."
"Got it, Kyuubi-san!" Kageenja said and mock-saluted.
"You think you can steal some flesh to tear apart from me?" Mekura asked.
"Just don't use the eyes, okay?" Kyuubi said. "You're a mess to fix each time."
"Don't bother," the blinded man said. "I don't need Sharingan to fight anymore." Kyuubi grinned at that and vanished.
"Sharingan?" Sakura yelled so that both Kakashi and Sasuke heard. "You're… you're Uchiha Itachi?"
"No, let me guess," Mekura groaned. "It must be the loud-headed pinkie my dear little brother had on his team. I still pity him and Sora to this day to have to spend time with her."
"Then the demon lied!" Hiashi managed. "About Itachi!"
"No," Tsunade said. "He said… there wasn't anyone in his village with the name Uchiha Itachi. He just happened to not mention there was a man who had been that person."
"Sora is good at manipulating," Mekura said and shrugged. "Let's get this over, I hate to leave some for Kyuubi."
"You and Kyuubi are always on each other's case," Kageenja said with a wince as Yuugao put her hands on his arm.
"Wait a minute…" Kiba came forward, staring at her. "You're… Hinata?"
"Hinata!" Hiashi yelled, instantly coming back. "You're Hinata? You teamed up with the demon-pack? What are you, their new whore?"
The next moment Mekura, Kageenja and Ikari held onto her, her hand inches away from Hiashi's face and it glowing with killing chakra. Her eyes, now the traditional Hyuuga ones, were burning with hatred. Then she stepped back, she had been a moment from killing him and shrugged off their hands. She smiled gently and said:
"You know, if I had to choose… to stay here, with you Hyuugas, or be a demon's whore… I would always choose to become a demon's whore!"
She spit him in the face.
"Hijutsu-niisan was right to leave," she said. "I wish I had had the strength back then to follow."
"I'm your father!"
"No! You're not my father. A father wouldn't throw his daughter away like trash," Yuugao said. "Hinata is dead now. Neji, your nephew, is dead. Shikamaru, Shino, Itachi, Naruto, and the past identities of all people in Chigakure… they're all dead. And in their stead a stronger person rose. Someone who humans fear. Someone… you can't control."
She smiled cruelly at him and strokes his face.
"You just don't get it," she whispered. "Had you been kind… had you been half of what Neji's father had been… this maybe wouldn't have happened. But you don't know how to be kind. You don't know how to praise. Hanabi only survived because she was lucky and got the so called good genes. Had she been like me, you would have hit her too."
She turned around and looked at the Chigakure people. They all nodded and turned towards the Sound. She put her hands over her heart and closed her eyes, a moment later she began to shine.
"Yuugao-hime's ready!" Kageenja said. "Let's finish this!"
Her hair slowly began to float in the air, and her feet lifted from the ground. They all put themselves in position and closed their eyes. Mekura drew forth a katana and readied it. Sasuke made his way to them and Tsunade said:
"Did you hear… Sasuke?"
"About Mekura," Sakura sneered.
"I've known ever since I first met him," Sasuke said. "Hello, Mekura."
"Sasuke," Mekura said. "Would you like to be part of this?"
"Whatever 'this' is," the man said.
"Just close your eyes and let Yuugao-hime guide you," Kageenja said. "We haven't done this a lot of times, but it's cool like hell."
Sora slowly went down on one knee, watching Orochimaru try to get up with one of his legs missing. The demon-like man felt the chakra slowly eat away on one of his lungs and figured he would never really be able to use the demonic chakra without getting in trouble. At least it was not doing it fast, like the first times he had done it.
Blood started to drop from his mouth and he took a shuddering breath before getting up.
"How does it feel to slowly be ripped apart?" he asked.
"You tell me," Orochimaru said and looked up. "We're both ripping apart."
"Got that right," he said. "But you will rip apart for good while I'm not quite at that level yet. Maybe next time."
He grabbed onto the snake and threw him away, making sure to cut off all the nerves in the arm he had held. Sora felt the demonic chakra rise and wanted to release it all out. But that would mean burning his insides and as much as he wanted to give Orochimaru a painful death, he did not want to have a repeat of that experience. So he pushed the chakra back, only letting a minimum of it slip past into his body.
Orochimaru tried to get up but suddenly there was a foot on his back.
"Hello," Kyuubi said. "Now you made me angry."
"W-what?" the Sound leader managed.
"You made me angry," Kyuubi said. "You made Sora so pissed off he used the chakra he wasn't supposed to use, and now he's hurt thanks to you. This means, you made me, his father, very angry."
"What? You couldn't see it was me?" the demon asked in shock. "How rude!"
"I'm gonna kill him," Sora said.
"Do it without the demonic chakra, or you'll feel pain from me," Kyuubi warned and stepped away.
With force, Sora drew the chakra in and the burning of his lung stopped. It left it open though and Kyuubi put a hand on the demon-like man's ribs.
"You're impossible, brat."
Sora swatted his hand away and lifted Orochimaru up, straightening to his full height and holding Orochimaru by the neck.
"Any last farewells?" he asked.
"This isn't over!" Orochimaru hissed.
"For us… no," Sora said. "For you… yes."
He added pressure, and broke Orochimaru's neck.
Tsunade looked over the battlefield, wondering how it all would have turned out without the aid from Chigakure. Probably she would have been one of those corpses. She looked over at Gaara and saw Yuugao tend to his wounds, small as they were.
"Want some water?"
She looked up at the blue-haired man called Ikari and accepted the bottle with a smile. Ikari sat down next to her as she drank deeply.
"You think Sora managed to kill Orochimaru?" she asked.
"Sora-sama can do anything," Ikari said.
"He's a god?"
"No. He's just strong," the man said and looked at her with a shy smile. "He has moved beyond pain and all human stages. I'm nothing like him."
"Everyone has their own strengths that should never be compared to others" Tsunade said. "I'm strong. You're strong. Sora is strong. Even Enkai is strong."
Ikari looked at her.
"I've never met someone who is human and kind to me," he said.
"Yeah, we're a rare bread aren't we?" she said, making him laugh. "Hey, there's Sora right there!"
Ikari shot up like an arrow at the sight of Kyuubi supporting Sora and the Onikage looked a bit on the pale side.
"Don't worry," Kyuubi called out at seeing the worried faces of Chigakure people. "He was just his usual stupid self."
"You know, thanks to you, they'll soon never have any respect for me," Sora groaned.
"Shut up before I drop you."
Konoha's shinobis drew back a bit except for a few. Tsunade stepped forward as Kyuubi lowered Sora to the ground. Team Betrayers and the others joined their leader.
"You alright, Sora?" Hijutsu said as he handed the man a bottle of water.
"Just peachy," Sora grunted. "Give me a week of peace, will ya? Sick of war and all that shit."
"Really? Me too."
Meikon allowed Mekura to sit down while he spoke, the man's leg badly cut and his eyes closed.
"I know you didn't use Sharingan," Sora said warningly.
"… I don't think I did," Mekura said. "Are my eyes bleeding?"
"You know, you gotta open them for that."
Mekura opened his eyes and Sora had a look.
"Bloodshot, you must have used Sharingan for some moments. At least it isn't as bad as last time."
"When was that?" Tsunade asked as she kneeled down before them.
"Two years ago," Sora said. "Blood was running like fucking rivers. And you used Mangekyo Sharingan that time. You still got a brain?"
"Yes, I have," Mekura said, eyebrow twitching.
"Well, then start using it," Sora said absently. "You don't need to heal this. Just don't try it again. Everyone else okay, Meikon?"
"Pretty much," the tall man replied, leaning onto his scythe like it was a walking stick. Its edge was coloured in blood. "When are we going back?"
"What, the mean people are glaring at us?" Sora asked and swayed on the spot. "I need to sleep."
"Who's in charge of the village while you're away?" Tsunade asked.
"And I'm here, so who's next?" Kyuubi asked, putting his hands on the man's shoulder and leaning over so they were face to face… beside the fact Kyuubi's head was upside-down.
"Oba-san," Sora said, "so it's fine. She can kick anyone's ass."
"Even yours?" Tsunade asked.
Sora thought for a while.
"Probably," he finally answered.
"You don't have to leave tonight."
Sora put on the shirt Gaara had ordered him to wear and smiled wearily to Tsunade.
"I was serious about the village," he said. "I hate it. I hate being in it. Hate being close to it."
"But you don't hate me?"
He looked to her and saw something sad in her eyes. He walked closer and took her face in his clawed hands.
"At first I was sad," he told her. "Then I began to hate everything, even myself. Then I found Yokaze and the hate, anger and sorrow gradually was washed away by him."
"He allowed you to live again."
"Yeah, I guess you could say that. I still have my moments, we all have. But he helped me found back on a path that wasn't self-destructive."
"He's your child."
Sora pulled away but she grabbed his hands and held them tightly.
"Don't be embarrassed," she said with a grin. "Tell me."
"He is," Sora said. "He's my son. I feel it in my heart. The age-difference is only ten years, but he… it doesn't matter the age, he's mine."
"That's good. You should love someone who doesn't betray you."
"You didn't betray me," he said. "You acted the way I knew everyone would. Then I heard about you from Gaara… and slowly I came to terms with that… maybe not everyone hated me."
She bent her head and nodded.
"Come visit soon, okay?" he said. "I won't come here anymore. I can't. But… you're welcome to us. You… and those who doesn't hate me."
"I will come as soon as I can," she said and looked him straight in the eyes. "You bet on that. Make sure Jiraiya is there."
"I think I can persuade him for that," Sora said.
"Sora-san, we're ready to leave," Yokaze said as he had poked his head through the door.
"I don't think I'll get used to that," she said as Yokaze fully walked through the solid tree door.
"Don't worry, I haven't quite gotten used to it either," Sora said with a smile. "Okay, let's go then."
Gaara waited outside. He handed Sora a scroll and said:
"Take that to Oba-san."
"Okay, but why?"
"Just do it," he said. "Some techniques I found… that shouldn't be found."
"Ah, I see," the man said and packed the scroll away. "I'm sure she'll be glad over that."
"Who is Oba-san?" Tsunade asked.
"An old woman me and Kyuubi released once," Sora said. "Things she says indicate she's older than Kyuubi himself. Alright, you guys go with Yokaze, and we go with Kyuubi."
"You can do the same as Yokaze, Kyuubi-san?" she asked.
"Nope, mine's a bit different," the demon said as Sora, Yuugao, Meikon, Mebana and Mekura grabbed onto him. "But it works. Alright, ready? On three, Yokaze."
They seemed to already know the routine, and as the two Kages watched the group vanished. After they were gone, both Gaara and Tsunade stood quiet for a little while.
"He doesn't hate me," she said.
"He said I'm welcome to visit him anytime."
"He'd probably appreciate it," Gaara said.
"When… no, how long have you known he's alive?" she asked.
"Around ten years," Gaara said. "Back when he was half-crazy."
"Is he still that?"
"No, not really," the redhead said. "Crazier in a different way I suppose."
"He must protect his villagers to all cost," he said and looked at her.
"That's not crazy. It's just the way of a leader," she replied.
Tsunade looked up at the walls and took a deep breath of the salty air.
The woman caught Enkai and swung her up.
"Hello, Enkai-chan," she said. "Have you been a good girl?"
"Enkai is always a good girl!"
"Ask her father, and he has a different opinion."
Sora met Tsunade with a smile as she handed over the girl to him. Enkai giggled, the tips of her fox-ears in Sora's face. The man leaned away with a sigh and put her over his shoulder as the two walked through the gates.
"The council?" he asked.
"Been quiet lately," Tsunade said. "They're accepting the idea you're not as bad as they thought."
"Yeah, like that'll ever happen," he said with a snort.
"Alright, they realize they can't do shit and try to do the best of the situation."
"What about Danzou… and those two I never bothered to remember their names?"
"Gone," she said and checked her nails. "They didn't stop trying to mess up for me, and creating problems for you so… they're gone."
"I don't think I feel very sad about it," he said thoughtfully.
"Don't be, they weren't any good to begin with."
She looked around the streets as Yasha came running and spoke to Sora, Enkai busy with playing with Sora's pointed ear. Tsunade felt a peace that did not exist in Konoha. In Konoha, you were teased for being different. Here… it did not matter.
She saw a small child run across the street who had a third eye on his forehead and his hair was silvery white. She spotted tattoos on his ankles and wrists before Meikon picked him up by the shirt. The boy smiled sheepishly at the stoic man who simply handed him over to Mebana. The girl was free from the office and had chosen to spend it with Meikon at the orphanage.
"How many comes each day, Sora?" she asked as they continued walking.
"It varies," Sora replied. "Too many children who lost their parents recently. The child Mebana is holding arrived a few weeks ago. He's already attached to Mebana and Meikon."
"And they are?"
"They like him," the man said. "Meikon tries not to show it but I know him."
Sora let Enkai climb on him as they sat down at a small outdoor-restaurant, him ordering some dango and she took some ramen.
"You quit ramen?" she asked.
"Not really," he said. "Still like it, but Mekura is on his way."
"And what does it has to do with anything?"
"Mekura-san is dango-stealer!" Enkai said and giggled.
"Dango-stealer?" Tsunade asked in disbelief.
"Yes, and proud of it."
Mekura took a stick and slid down next to Sora, half of it already eaten. Sora shrugged at her and ordered some more.
"I thought you had eaten today," he said to the blind man.
"Yes, but I got hungry again."
"Is there an end in that stomach of yours?"
"… Shut up."
Tsunade had to smile as she watched the two argue while Enkai had now climbed over in Mekura's lap and munching on some dango. Finally she got attention from the blind man and Tsunade got Sora's attention again.
"Sorry about that," he said.
"No problem. How's everyone?"
"They're fine," Sora said. "Team Betrayers are out on a mission, and Yokaze is probably playing shougi with Makai. It's their day off, so they always go and play shougi. When Kageenja's free, they take him with them too."
"Sounds nice," the woman said.
"Sasuke and Kakashi are handling the village for me when I'm gone. I'm going to retire soon," she replied. "I don't think I'll move from the village… but I'll come here more often. The others, you know which ones, they're fine too. They're all busy with missions."
"With Sound gone, this world feels calmer."
"With Orochimaru gone you mean."
"Ah, Sora-san, Tsunade-hime."
The two turned and saw Yokaze come.
"What, already finished playing?" Sora asked and tilted his head.
"It was boring," he said. "Dango again, Sora-san? When are you going to start eating healthy?"
"He's one of the reasons I can't eat ramen as often," Sora whined.
"Honestly, you can't eat fast food forever!" Yokaze protested.
"Why not?" the man wanted to know.
"I would like to have you here as long as possible."
Sora blinked owlishly up at him.
"And how the hell are vegetables supposed to keep me here longer?" he deadpanned.
"How thick is that skull of yours?" Yokaze moaned.
Tsunade could only smile. She knew Sora would never forgive Konoha's villagers. He hated most of them with passion. She would let him. They treated him like a monster.
Then let them see their monster. One day the village may burn, maybe by Sora himself or by Chigakure. But she knew, when that day came, if she still lived, she would side with the demons.
She had not forgiven the village either, and had a feeling she never really would be able to. She did not mind though.
"Tsunade, help me!"
She grinned at the big eyes Sora gave her; even with his demonic looks he still managed to pull of the hurt puppy face, and Yokaze could not help but laugh at his 'father'.
Hard to forgive. She thought over the phrase as she watched Sora playfully tackle Yokaze to the ground, Makai coming to mock-rescue and in the end the three men wrestling like children while Enkai giggled happily from her spot on Mekura's lap. Hard to forgive. Konoha had a hard time to forgive these people. For their words, their actions. No one from Chigakure had protected the walls. No one from Chigakure had made sure to put out the fires in the buildings.
Hard to forgive. Geez, who were they kidding? Tsunade would personally beat up every person in Chigakure that dared to say Konoha had a reason to hate them.
She left that behind as she joined the mock-fight with a war cry.
There was nothing to forgive.
The end of it! I'm feeling a bit teary-eyed but at the same time relieved; I got too many things, too many stories to write in combination with school (and the school I go to it's meant for us to write all day long on various stuff so I'm pretty much burned out with the whole writing-thingy).
Until another time,