Disclaimer: The Laughing Phoenix does not own Naruto or any of the Naruto characters. This little gem is the product of her own twisted sense of amusement.
Summary: Danzo dies when a tree falls on him. Accidentally. Slight crack.
Storms were not unusual in the month of July. Any Konoha native could have told you that. In the late summer, thunderstorms blew up in the late afternoon on a fairly regular basis.
This storm, however, was surprisingly fierce. Rain pelted down in sheets, lighting danced across the sky in deadly shimmers, and thunder boomed and snarled alarmingly. The only ones out on the streets were the occasional ANBU, and even they were trying to remain under shelter as much as possible.
Outside the building Danzo lived in, a cat-masked ANBU paused in a tree to catch his breath. Almost idly, he observed the door, hand running gently along the trunk of the large tree. After a few minutes, he leapt away again. As he landed, the tree began to tilt slightly.
The next morning dawned bright and clear, if a little damp. As the sun began to warm the streets, Danzo, leaning heavily on his cane, left the house. As he turned to lock the door behind him, the tree, now tilting crazily at a drunken angle, began to creak alarmingly. Danzo made it three steps from his door before the tree finally fell. Limping and encumbered as he was with his single eye, Danzo didn't have a chance to dodge. He managed to get out from under the tree's trunk, but a number of large branches struck him instead. The once-Hokage fell hard, hitting his head on the stone.
A pair of ROOT members responded almost immediately, extricating him carefully. As they lifted the last of the tree branches off of Danzo, a member of ANBU arrived, and between the three of them they carried Danzo to the hospital.
Had circumstances been different, Danzo would have gotten the best of treatment. As it was, Haruno Sakura was on a mission to Nami no Kuni, Shizune was treating the members of an ANBU team who had been ambushed by a number of Orochimaru's Cursed Seal candidates, and Tsunade was still recovering from Akatsuki's attack. Danzo's treatment was thus left to the two medic-nin assigned to emergencies that day, and while good, they were nothing special.
Danzo was a mess. His shoulder and stomach were covered in lacerations from where the tree branches had landed on him, a number of them deep. His left ankle was badly sprained, if not broken, as was his left wrist. On top of that, he suffered from internal bleeding and a concussion which had probably resulted in hemorrhaging inside his skull. In a younger, stronger man, the injuries, although crippling, would have been survivable. Danzo, on the other hand, had been crippled for years, and the many missions he had done for the village had finally taken their toll on his body.
The medics worked like maniacs to stabilize him, stopping the internal bleeding as well as they could and doing whatever possible to relieve pressure on his brain. It took them over an hour to stabilize him enough for them to take the few moments necessary to get a drink of water and take a soldier pill. Even then, Danzo remained unconscious and hooked to a respirator.
He never woke up again. The trauma to his brain had been too severe, and, when coupled with the blood loss, devastating. Six and a half hours after the tree outside his house landed on him, Danzo stopped breathing, and could not be resuscitated. Fifteen minutes later, he was declared dead.
The ANBU who reported Danzo's death to the council wore a cat mask.
Once again, Konoha found itself in the unenviable position of having to replace a Hokage with his predecessor. Upon Danzo's death, the council voted unanimously to return the hat to Tsunade.
On the morning of her first day back in the Hokage's office, Tsunade received a report from a cat-masked ANBU. In a neutral voice, he detailed the accident that had landed Danzo in the hospital, and described the crippled man's last moments. At the end, Tsunade pushed the file to one side, and perused the ANBU over her laced fingers.
"You can remove the mask, Tenzo," she said. After a moment's hesitation, he complied. "You know," she mused, "this is purely off the record, but how odd that that tree outside his house decided to collapse. It wasn't particularly old, and I can't imagine it was rotten inside…" Keen brown eyes observed Tenzo, who shifted slightly.
"With all due respect, Hokage-sama, sometimes trees decide that enough is enough. And the storm certainly was violent." The words were innocuous enough, but there was the sense that Tenzo was picking his words with care.
"And you observed nothing out of the ordinary on your patrol?"
The two locked eyes for a moment, the slight smile on Tsunade's face hidden by her joined hands.
"Thank you, Tenzo. That will be all."
"Of course, Hokage-sama."
Many thanks to my best friend, pseudo-twin, and beta Singing Unicorn for helping me turn this from a thought (I want Danzo dead) to a workable ficlet. And who knows? Maybe it's not all that farfetched after all...
Reviews are appreciated. Flames are not. This was not meant to be taken seriously.