I don't own Naruto.
It all came down to this.
Sasuke stood at the base of the statue of his ancestor, Madara Uchiha, his skin was blacker, his hair longer and paler, he had two hand-like wings protruding from his back, and his Sharingan eyes were spinning madly. In his hand was the Chidori, the evil chakra pumping through him made it look evil and demonic.
Facing him was Naruto, cloaked in the red chakra of the Fox that was sealed into his belly. His canines grew to fangs, his fingernails were now claws, his once blue eyes were now red. A chakra tail flicked behind him. In his hand was the blue spiraling sphere of the Rasengan.
Enemies, facing each other. Rivals. Friends.
It all came down to this.
"Naruto!" Sasuke yelled, his voice altered by the cursed seal on his neck. He jumped into the air, Chidori forward.
"Sasuke!" Naruto called back, his voice changed by the Fox's influence. He jumped forward too, his own attack ahead of him.
Sasuke's wings flapped once, giving him extra momentum. "Chidori!"
Naruto didn't care about momentum; he didn't care about anything, except his friend, and bringing him back. "Rasengan!"
The two attacks met, creating a purple sphere around the combatants, engulfing them together in darkness.
One would win, and one would fail.
It all came down to this.
Kakashi was running through the trees, passing signs of large conflicts, trying to find his two students. He ran onward, following the trail to a place that he had not seen for years. The Valley of the End. The waves of the lake were in chaos, roaring ten-foot waves crashed against the resolute cliffs. The feet of the statues were in ruins. The roaring waterfall crashed against the water, keeping the waves vivid.
Kakashi made a quick scan of the area. He was about to turn and leave when he saw a small figure.
The figure lay motionless at the foot of the waterfall, on a small shelf that stood above the lake, dry. The figure didn't even twitch.
Kakashi's eye widened. "No."
He was in the hospital. He knew that. Somehow. He was asleep. He knew that too. Somehow. He was alive. He knew that also. He was thankful that he was able to see the light of day again, as memories of what happened at the falls echoed through his consciousness. But there was something else he knew. He knew that this would not turn out good for him.
The council was in an uproar, partly because they knew what had happened, and who had won, and who had lost. "We should have never trusted him!" one of the members yelled, he was one of the five civilian members of the council, "He has always been a menace to this village, and it's probably his fault that Sasuke left!" The other four civilians backed him up with a collective yell of approval.
"Don't you dare say that!" Another member yelled, Inuzuka Tsume, a feral-looking woman with wild brown hair and twin red fang marks along her cheeks, "He has done nothing but love this village, he has been nothing but a role model for my son, and he has nothing but a good heart!"
"He's a demon!" another civilian cried.
"Silence!" This time, Chouza of the Akimichi clan spoke, "My son Chouji also sees him a great friend, what demon would even care for a child?"
"He's the Fox! Aren't foxes known for being the slyest creatures on the earth? He is probably poisoning you and your children against the village." A third civilian member called out.
"This is so troublesome." Nara Shikaku mumbled. "Are you too arrogant and ignorant to know the difference between a sealing scroll and the object sealed in it?"
"Oh, shut up you ninja freaks!" A fourth, and less controlled civilian member of the council yelled. "You cannot deny that the Fox has an influence over the boy, it is written on his face, as evidenced by the whisker marks. He may not be the actual Fox, but he's still the body of it."
Aburame Shibi remained silent, but under his cool exterior, his blood was boiling, "Freaks!? Freaks, huh? You want to see a freak just look in the mirror. Any man who won't let a boy have a chance in his own home is worse than dirt!"
Yamanaka Inoichi voiced Shibi's thoughts. "You are an idiot! If Naruto really was the Fox in a human body, he would have destroyed the Village years ago!"
"He's a Fox in a human's clothing!" The fifth member of the civilians said, "He's only selling the deception by acting like he cares!"
Only three members of the council didn't speak, Shibi, who would not speak because of his cool demeanor, Danzou, an old war hawk who was trying to find a way to have this play to his advantage, and Hyuuga Hiashi, who was trying to figure out where he himself stood with the boy. "Hinata loves him, that is simply unacceptable!" he thought, "And yet…there's something about him…He even help Neji…but still, getting close to my daughter is dangerous."
"Order!" Tsunade, the Godaime Hokage yelled over the din of the voices. "I will have order!" The council members began to quiet down. When silence was achieved, Tsunade began. "This petty arguing is not why this meeting was called. We came here to discuss what we are to do about Uchiha Sasuke."
Danzou, that shrewd and sly snake of a man, spoke up. "We should punish the one responsible for his leaving, and send more…'experienced' ninjas after him."
Tsunade instantly went on guard. "What do you mean by the one responsible?"
"I am only agreeing with Teinousha-san (moron), it is probably Naruto's influence that led to Sasuke's leaving."
The clan leaders, excluding Shibi and Hiashi, yelled in anger. "How dare you even suggest that!" Tsume yelled.
The civilian members on the other hand, agreed with Danzou. "Yeah! Let's execute him!"
Tsunade cried for order again. Once the silence returned, she stared down Danzou. "You have no proof of this, I can't and will not accept the idea of punishing him."
"I'm sorry, Hokage-sama, but you honestly have no say in the matter, the law states that if one third of the council agrees to a motion, then it must be taken to a vote, and as you can see, half of the council is agreeing to the motion."
Tsunade cursed under her breath. "Alright, but first of all, we won't kill him, I will never accept a boy with such a good record to be killed under my reign. The worst I'll ever allow you to do is exile him." Tsunade said.
"Fair enough, I suppose we should reward the boy's 'kindness' towards the Village with letting him leave with his life, but if her ever comes within five miles of Konoha we have the authority to treat him as a missing nin."
Tsunade glared at him, however she was confident that this would never happen, she knew that the clan heads would vote for Naruto to stay while the civilians would vote for him to leave, ending in a tie, and as the law stated, in the case of a tie, the Hokage got to give his/her say. "Very well, Danzou. I agree to your terms. All those in favor in exiling Uzumaki Naruto raise your hand."
The civilians raised their hands, and Danzou. Tsunade smiled, and was about to move on, when she saw something that made her blood run cold. Hiashi raised his hand. So the vote was cast, those for exiling, seven, and those against, five.
Naruto would be thrown out of Konoha, never to enter the walls again.
Naruto woke up, dizzy. He was in the hospital, but he knew that days ago. He had failed to retrieve Sasuke, he knew that a while ago too. Tsunade sat next to his bed, a sad look on her face. Alright, so he didn't know that.
"Baa-shan, what are you doing here?" Naruto said smiling, knowing full well that that comment would earn him a super-powered flick to the head.
It didn't come.
Tsunade only looked down at the floor, a frown on her face.
"…Tsunade…?" Naruto said.
She looked up at him, tears in her brown eyes. "You…you have a week to say goodbye to everyone."
Naruto looked confused. "Why? Am I going somewhere?"
Tsunade couldn't even look at him. "The-the council…the council wants you exiled."
Naruto looked at her. Before he laughed. "Oh, ho! Oh that's good! I actually believed you for a second there!" Naruto laughed.
Tsuande stared at him, with tearful eyes.
Naruto stopped laughing, "You're serious…aren't you?"
Tsunade hung her head, before hugging the boy, "I am so sorry, Naruto. I am so, so sorry."
Naruto was released that day, and went to everyone he could think of to tell them the bad news. He could barely take a couple of steps down a street without breaking into tears. It moved the heart of some to sympathy. Others rejoiced at his misfortune. He walked slowly, wandering through the Village, telling everyone who he counted a friend as they walked by. Some of them cried with him, a few gave him gifts, which he accepted, as mementos of his friends.
He had gone to Neji, Chouji, Shikamaru, and Kiba at the hospital, they were all awake, except Neji, who's near fatal injury left him asleep for the week. So Naruto went off to find his teammates, so they could pass on his goodbye. Tenten, upon hearing the news, gave him on of her swords, as a tool to protect himself with, while Lee simply cried, going on about flames of Youth.
Naruto just didn't seem to care though.
Naruto also went to his teammates, and told Kakashi and Sakura. Sakura began to cry because she was losing both Sasuke and Naruto in the same month, while Kakashi gave him a scroll of jutsus, "I probably should have taught you these earlier, but now it's too late, so I want you to take these."
"Thank you, Kakashi-sensei." And so Naruto went, telling all of those who cared for him that he had to leave in six days, and he did so without the slightest hint of emotion.
Finally he came to the Hyuuga compound, and here he stood, at the gates, receiving glares from the guards. He looked up at one. His blue eyes were dead. "May I tell my friend that I am going to leave?"
"You have no friends here, demon." One of them said, before smacking him across the face.
Naruto looked up at them with dead eyes again, "May I tell my friend that I am going to leave?"
The other guard hit him, "We told you 'No', now go away!"
Naruto looked up at them again. Then he turned to leave.
Then a voice came from behind him, "Na-Naruto-k-kun?"
The Orange clad boy turned, and he saw Hyuuga Hinata.
"W-what are you d-doing h-here?"
"I came to say goodbye."
"W-where are y-y-you g-going?"
"I am being exiled from Konoha."
The words seemed to break bones. "W-What?" She asked, making sure she heard right.
"The council decided that I am to be exiled, and I cannot approach within five miles of Konoha." He said again.
"I don't know." He said as he hung his head. "I came to tell you so you could come see me off next week."
Hinata stared at him. He was going to be gone in a week. Gone. Away. Never to be seen again.
The thought scared her, but what scared her more was the thought that she would never be able to talk to him again. That she would never be able to see him again. That he would never be able to know how she felt about him.
It was then, that a small voice in her head, a voice she had kept quiet for years, spoke up. "You can't wait anymore. You have to take the initiative."
"But what if he doesn't like me?"
"Are you kidding? Look at the boy, he needs something, anything. He needs this, so quit stuttering and do something."
It was at this point, pressured by not only the voice in her head, but by the frowning and emotionally dead boy before her and his leaving looming in the near future, that she did something that shocked herself.
She grabbed his hand.
Suddenly, realizing what she was doing, she began to blush. She was mentally screaming to herself "Ah! What do I do? I can't let go, that's awkward. I-I-I have to lead him somewhere! Yes, that's what I'll do! I lead him to Ichiraku's! I'll buy him Ramen! Yes that's it!"
Her body, finally getting orders from her brain, began to pull Naruto in the general direction of Ichiraku's Ramen stand.
"Where are we going?" Naruto asked, surprised by her sudden straightforwardness.
Hinata didn't turn to look at him, afraid that her beat-red face would speak more than her words. "W-we're g-g-g-going t-t-to I-I-Ichiraku's…"
"I-i-i-i-if t-t-t-these a-are g-g-g-going t-t-t-to b-b-b-be y-your l-l-last d-d-days i-i-in K-K-K-Konoha I-I-I'm g-g-going t-to m-m-make s-sure y-you e-enjoy t-them."
And so it came to pass, that Hinata took Naruto to do something every day of his last week in his beloved Village. Two nights before Naruto left, he was smiling again, but if you looked into his eyes, you could tell that he was greatly hurt. But the smile was some progress. Naruto came home that night, to his apartment, which was finally being left alone, and sat on his bed. "Why haven't I ever had this much fun before?" He asked out loud.
"Doesn't take a genius to figure that out, brat." The Fox told him.
"Shut up, Fox, I don't want your opinion."
"When I get out of here, brat, I will remember your insolence, and then I will-."
"Destroy all of Konoha, blah, blah, blah, Eat all of my friends, yap, yap, yap, become the ultimate evil, grouse, grouse, grouse. Just shut up."
Deep in Naruto's consciousness, the Fox laid down on the floor of the cage. "I'm not that predictable, am I?" He thought to himself.
Naruto, dressed in his newest and finest clothes, a black jumpsuit with red and orange trimmings that Hinata had bought him, and headed out for another of his few days.
The day came.
The dreaded and cursed day came. The clouds hung over the sky, ominous and foreboding, creating a dark and dreary day that reflected the mood of those gathered at the gate. Naruto stood, in his old clothes, saying teary goodbyes to all his friends and their senseis. "Lee, you were a great inspiration." Naruto said, as he held the spandex-clad ninja by the shoulder.
"And your Flames of Youth have always been a light to me." Lee said, crying.
"Lee, do me a favor."
"Don't cry, I don't want my last memory of my friends to be filled with tears."
Lee put on a strong face. "I will give you your wish, Naruto, or I will run two thousand laps around Konoha, blindfolded."
"I know you will." Naruto said, before turning to another of his friends, "Shikamaru, It was great knowing you."
"You weren't too troublesome." The Nara mumbled, to which Ino slapped him up back the head.
"Is that all you have to say to him?"
Shikamaru grumbled, before turning back to Naruto, "…Well…If you had the chance, I'm sure you would have made Hokage."
"Thanks." Naruto said.
Ino came up, "Chouji tried to make it, but he couldn't, so he left me a message. 'I glad that I had you as a friend.'"
"Tell him, I was honored to know him."
Ino nodded, before breaking into tears, "You are such a good person!"
Naruto consoled her before turning to Sakura, "Well, I was glad to know, even if you did punch me every time I asked you out."
Talk about a guilt trip. Sakura broke down. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I was such a baka!"
Naruto picked her up, "Hey, don't do that. Smile, you'll get what you wanted, Sasuke will eventually come back, and then you'll get him."
"Naruto…" she said through her tears.
"Hey, I want you to do me a favor." Naruto said.
"Become one of the greatest Kunoichi's the world has ever known."
Then Naruto turned to the last friend that had come to see him off. Hinata. "Hinata…thank you for the wonderful time this last week."
"…You know, it's kind of sad."
"I…I'd really like to get to know you better, but know it's too late. That's irony, huh?"
Hinata began to cry.
"Hey, hey, don't do that." Naruto said as he hugged her.
She wanted to tell him then. She wanted to say it, to yell it, to scream it to the world, but she couldn't. The words were caught in her throat, as if they were caught at a toll booth without cash. They were stuck, and could not move forward.
Naruto broke the embrace, and Hinata stood there, unable to say a thing. She would have blushed if she weren't so angry with herself.
Tsunade came up to him, "Jiraiya is waiting for you at the five mile mark." She told him, before hugging the boy. "I'm so sorry, Naruto."
"I forgive you, Baa-chan." Naruto whispered. When Tsunade broke the embrace, he turned to the forest, "Well, here I go." And so Naruto left, leaving the gate of Konoha behind him. A tear fell with each step.
The hours passed by, and the friends of Naruto began, one-by-one, to leave, tears in their eyes. Eventually, it was only Hinata and Tsunade. Hinata was crying, while Tsunade only stood, watching the road, sorry to see the boy she loved so much go.
The Godaime sighed, and turned, then she whispered,something, barely audiable to the human ear, but Hinata heard it, and it broke her heart, and drove her to anger. "Why did Hiashi have to do that?"
When he got home, Hiashi would have some explaining to do.
Naruto, walking as slowly as he possibly could, finally made to the five mile mark. There Jiraiya greeted him, "Hey, Naruto."
"Hey Jiraiya-sensei." Naruto said, dead to the world.
"Naruto, I know that you loved Konoha with all of your might, but it's time to let go."
"I can never let go." Naruto replied.
Jiraiya sighed and shook his head. "You're just like your dad."
Naruto looked up at him, "You knew my dad?"
Jiraiya nodded, "You're mom too."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because I couldn't until you became a chuunin, it's been a law since you were born. You're dad just had too many enemies, so you were given you're mom's maiden name to protect you, but because of some new events, the law is null and void."
"So who were my parents?"
"Namikaze Minato, the Yondaime Hokage, and Namikaze Uzumaki Kushina, the Last Uzu nin."
"My dad was the forth Hokage?"
"Yes, he was, and he loved you, Naruto. But, please don't take my word for it. Listen to what they told you."
"What are you talking about?" Naruto asked confused.
"I'm talking about this." Jiraiya said, pulling out a black wooden box. "This box holds your inheritance, their most prized possessions, to be given to you."
Naruto took the box, showing emotion for the first time he left Konoha. He looked at the box, the at Jiraiya, then the box, then Jiraiya. Then he smiled. "Thanks, Ero-sennin." He said, before taking the box and his small bag of belongings into the woods.
The clan leader members of the council were in an uproar. The civilian members had had the audacity to suggest this day as a holiday, and the Clan members wanted to smack the civilians upside the head. "How dare you suggest today as a day of celebration! This is a sad day for Konoha, a young boy was thrown out because of biased fear." Tsume yelled, this was accompanied by three other arguments pertain to the same idea.
Tsunade called for order. "Despite what you may believe, I did not call this council meeting to discuss holidays. I called because a much more important issue had come up. Naruto's Heritage."
Immediately the civilian members laughed, "What heritage?"
Danzou stood up, "Hokage-sama, Naruto was an orphan, he has no heritage."
Tsunade smiled, "This only proves to me that Sandaime didn't trust you at all, Danzou, because Naruto does have a heritage, and it is beyond that of anyone here."
"What? Is Naruto an Uchiha?" Danzou asked mockingly, and several laughs erupted from the civilian members.
"What Naruto is puts the Uchihas to shame." A voice said, they all turned to the source of it to see Jiraiya, back from his meeting with Naruto. "In fact, Naruto belongs to a clan so great, that even the last member of the clan was held in the highest honor."
"Who could that be, hm? Jiraiya-san?" Danzou said, sarcasm dripping form the question.
Jiraiya smiled, "Naruto belongs to the Namikaze line, the line of Yondaime Hokage."
There was instant silence.
"Naruto was the son of the greatest ninja in the world, and you have exiled thie heir to the greatest clan in the world."
Hiashi stood up, "Na-Naruto…was M-Minato's…son?" shock was written all over his face.
Jiraiya looked at him. "He was."
Hiashi stood there, stunned. He slowly looked down to his hands, as if they were covered in blood, "Wh-what have I done?" He looked at the council, and then ran down the hallway. All the way he was screaming, "What have I done!?"
Hiashi sat in his office, a thousand pictures of him and the Yondaime hung on the walls. Normally, he would look at the pictures and feel Mianto's eyes smiling down on him, but today those same eyes looked cold, as if saying, "You forced my son into the wild? And I called you my friend." A thousand pair of eyes glared down at him from a thousand pictures. Hiashi couldn't even bring himself to look at them.
"Minato, I am so sorry." He whispered, before downing a cup of sake.
Suddenly, a Hyuuga guard came in, running up to his desk, "Hiashi-sama, Hinata…" The guard began, before hesitating.
"What about her?"
"She's…she's gone into a rampage, sir."
Hiashi swiveled his chair to face the guard, "Are we talking about the same Hinata?"
"She…she seems to be angry about your vote for sending away the demon."
As soon as he said the word demon, Hiashi slapped him, "Never call Naruto that again, do you understand!?"
The guard looked shocked at Hiashi's sudden outburst.
"As far as I am concerned, that vote was the single-most stupidest thing I have ever done in my life! I will not have that boy hurt by the Hyuuga clan further by disrespecting his name! are we clear!?"
The guard nodded.
"Good, spread the word, and bring my daughter to me."
The man nodded then left.
Hiashi sat in the silence, the pictures of Minato accusing him with their cold eyes.
The door opened again, and Hinata walked in, she was slightly afraid, but he anger would not keep her from doing this. "It's your fault!" she cried upon entering. "It's your fault he's gone! You hated him! This whole Village hated him! Sure, he pulled a couple of pranks, but what did he do that was worthy of Exiling him from his home?" She cried, tears began streaming down her face. "He was a good person, and you treated him like dirt! What is wrong with you people!? Why did you have to send him away!? Why did you have to send him away? Don't you know that I loved him? Is that why you did it? Because I loved him?" She broke down right there, weeping her eyes out. She knelt there and cried, sobbing at the memory of the boy she had loved.
Then, a strong hand came on her shoulder, and she looked up into her father's eyes. "Hinata…Hinata I'm sorry. I was a fool. An utter fool. I have no right to ask for forgiveness for my action. I was the one who was weak, because I fell into the trap of lies other had told of him, I was the weakling, not you. You saw the truth, the truth that I was blind to. Hinata, I'm so sorry." He hugged her daughter, and together the wept into the night.
Third story to bein the race of completion.
See you guys soon!