I am not dead! 8D Work is just kicking my ass. I had my annual review last friday so you can imagine I was sweating bullets. My boss is lovely, my Manager, not so much. But he did bring in doughnuts so I can forgive him.

Anyway, my little notebook laptop really isn't the best for story writing but I've been managing alright. I will update soon, I'm just having some inspiration issues with Black Birds, Worlds..... err.... I have the notebook with all my chapter plans somewhere but having just moved, finding things like little notebooks is an absolute bitch. I should have been a bit more organised when I was packing I realise. Emerald Dawn has hit a rut, I'm trying to figure out a way to make the next couple of chapters work without making it seem like a total rip off of 'Long Hard Road'. Its surprisingly difficult because LHR is so freakin fantastic and the temptation is really big. (everyone has the temptation to maybe borrow a really good scene for you story. Don't try to scold me.)

Anyway, I have two stories on their way for you so keep your hair on. Resonance HP/Naruto crossover featuring everyone's favourite Ice Wielding Transvestite and Lightning on the Wave, a challenge from Serpent in the Shadows.

In the mean time, enjoy this little gem. Short but sweet. I may or may not add to it, i'm entirely unsure at this juncture. Depends on whether I get anymore bunnies.


He was going to die today.

But he wasn't afraid.

He knew, on some detached intellectual level that he rarely ever used, that he should have been, that he should have been angry, should have been terrified, should have felt...... betrayed.

But he didn't.

He just felt....... tired.

Tired, along with a kind of detached peace.

Absently, the blonde looked skywards through the bars of his cell, a soft smile tracing the edges of his mouth as he watched a bird soar through the clouds, he could imagine the press of the wind flowing through earth brown feathers, sharp amber eyes looking for the next meal, the fierce pride and exhilaration at such freedom and the scorn it felt over the land and the creatures that scrambled around upon it for their lives. Never to know the glee, the freedom, the exhilaration of flight.

Uzumaki Naruto, aged nineteen, was to be executed at dusk.

The ANBU guards watched him sadly, they had not beaten him, they had given him good food, treated him with respect, even told him stories of their childhood and let him know their names and faces. One last kindness before he met the gallows. They respected him, were grateful to him, for doing what he did, knowing full well that when the new Administration took power, he would be put to death as the first order of business.

He had after all assassinated the Hokage.

You weren't just let off for something like that, no matter who the Kage was, be it the beloved Sandaime, the tolerated Tsunade, the loathed Orochimaru or the reviled Danzou.

You kill a Kage and the Country will bring the full force of the law down upon you as an example.

He didn't mind.

It had been worth it to rip Danzou's heart out and incinerate it in front of him. He died surrounded by the torn apart corpses of his Ne Forces in the Hokage's office, destroyed by the very weapon he sought to control, but hadn't the slightest idea how to wield.

He chuckled ironically in his cell, staring at the sky through the barred windows. He imagined that what remained of the Rookies would be up in arms, starting riots with the Villagers that liked and respected him but Naruto willingly walked into his cell, and he would willingly walk to his death. Secure in the knowledge that Konohagakure no Sato was safe from Danzou, safe from Akatsuki, safe from Kyuubi....... safe from what he considered an appropriate use of paperwork. He doubted the Administrative Chuunin would be happy to find that he'd turned most of his paperwork into origami Shuriken to try and hit his ANBU guards with. Or use it as a pillow. He was suddenly glad he'd never made Hokage, he could hardly stand still to receive mission orders, what on earth was he thinking about wanting to be Hokage? He'd seen the piles of paperwork Sarutobi-jiji had and Tsunade-baachan got loaded with.

He supposed he shouldn't be quite so amused about the whole situation.

But he knew one fundamental difference between himself and all the other poor sods that had been publicly executed by the Konoha Village Council.

He wasn't broken.

You could bend him, you could squeeze him, you could beat him, and in the end, someone would break.

But no one ever said that it would be him.

It was his ultimate prank.

He would walk to his death, a man with nothing to lose, nothing to prove, and be all the better for it.

He was at peace with himself and the world around him. It was nice he decided. All his life he had fought and railed against the universe, now, he merely moved with it, let it work and stopped fighting, he found his peace, he found his answer.

Let the world fight, let it bled, let it cry and hurt. It was just a child. All children begin the same way. It would grow. Sooner or later, it would grow up and things would be better.

He could only trust the future to the children now.

"Uzumaki-san, its time." The cat masked ANBU spoke softly.

Naruto smiled and got to his feet, wordlessly following Yuugao out of his cell and through the corridors of the ANBU headquarters, it would lead directly into the centre of the village where he could see a crowd already gathering, some looked happy, gleeful even, others were crying, some were shouting in anger, more than a few Ninja were waving weapons at the Hokage Tower where the new Administrative Order were stood, watching the proceedings with impassive eyes. Their feelings didn't matter, they were the law, and he'd broken it, there were no exceptions. Exceptions were what caused this mess in the first place.

Naruto looked towards the semi-destroyed face of the Yondaime and smiled as it washed with sunlight from the slowly sinking sun.

"See you soon Dad. Don't let Ero-sennin drink all the booze before I get there." He whispered as he was lead up the wooden steps onto the platform.

"I'm so sorry Naruto." Yuugao whispered as she reached down and wrapped the noose around his neck.

The blonde smiled at her, "Don't cry Yuu-chan. You'll see me again, I'll save you a sake dish and introduce you to my ma. I think you two would get along. Just don't let Ero-sennin perv on you OK?" He told her warmly, "But I want you to live a long and happy life, I want to know all about your grandkids when we finally meet again, and make sure to pull a few pranks when I'm gone. Can't have people letting their guards down y'know?"

Yuugao sniffled and choked as she tightened the noose and nodded, he couldn't see her face because of the mask, but he could smell the tears.

Naruto smiled at her before looking out across the crowd, Konoha looked beautiful in the light of the setting sun, it was appropriate, it was the death of an age after all. No more would there be a knuckle-headed orange ninja shouting to the heavens without the slightest idea of stealth.

Distantly, he could see a familiar shape atop a building not too far away and snorted softly to himself.

Stupid Bastard. Just had to come to gloat didn't you?

And the floor beneath his feet fell away.

Rope snapping taut.

He was so going to haunt the bastard.


Finished. ;D just a little drabble that cropped up into my head that made me smile. Despite it all, I really think Naruto would be one of those who went out trying to comfort other people, always trying to look on the good side of things. I like the idea of him shaking sake with his dad and Jiraiya in the after life.