NOW! Witness, as I unleash the power that is known as a DISCLAIMER!!
I, AceNamikaze, hereby state that I have no legal rights in any type of ownage of Naruto, Shoenen Jump, or Viz Media's. I also state that you can go fack yourself if you expect me to cry about it…
Naruto: Yep, he's crying about it…
Shikamaru: Should've seen that coming.
Ace: Screw you guys! *Sniff*
By the way, this story is not a songfic, but that doesn't mean I can't put music in it! So most events will have a specific Linkin Park song along with it!
Chapter 1: In The End
"Lord Hokage, what are you planning on doing? It will take all of our forces to stop this attack!"
"I know that…but I can not allow him to get away with this! I must stop Orochimaru at any cost."
The third looked at Kakashi, a sad smile telling him that it was almost over.
"Kakashi, you have a team to take care of."
"And you have a village!"
"Yes, so let me take care of my village for one last time. Go, stop the sand and sound! I will do my duty as Hokage, and protect you all from the greatest threat. And also…tell Naruto that I'm sorry."
With that, the Hokage ran from the stadium, leaving Kakashi on his knees. On the verge of breaking down, Kakashi could only stare at the retreating back of his Hokage.
'I've…I've lost them both. First the Fourth, and now the Third…I can't protect anyone!'
The rain that cascaded upon the village joined with the tears of the villagers and shinobi alike, as every person, and animal mourned the loss of the Third Hokage. A dove flew and sat upon the closed casket of the Third. Shaking the water from itself, it once again spread its dexterous wings and took to the sky. Though it showered with grief and pain, the sun shone bright, as if conveying a death of great respect and dignities. All eyes remained on the ground, however, one had the strength to look up at the message the dove was sending.
'Goodbye…old man…' Uzamaki Naruto, the container of the Kyuubi no Kitsune thought with apprehension. To his right his teammates, Haruno Sakura and Uchiha Sasuke, wore the same expressions of sorrowful unwillingness. To his left, his mentor, Hatake Kakashi, showed no emotion, besides his one visible eye seeming more refined than usual. All the shinobi showed their respects to the departed Hokage, whom had given his life in an attempt to protect the village from Orochimaru-Sannin, his Sound ninja, and even the village of the Sand, in which he had killed the Kazekage, and fooled them into attacking Konohagakure.
The funeral now over, Naruto didn't hesitate. He ran away from everyone, even those who found it in their heart to try to comfort him, knowing that he had a special bond the Third Hokage. Even Sakura tried to talk to him, only stopping when Kakashi placed a hand on her shoulder and slowly shook his head. Within a few seconds, he had shushined away from them and appeared at Naruto's apartment before him. A few minutes later, Naruto arrived, and stopped at the sight of his sensei. Tears had covered his whiskers, which even seemed to droop at the blonde ninjas sadness. Giving another sigh, Kakashi put his hands in his pockets, and spoke to Naruto.
"That's not how a shinobi acts." Kakashi spoke in his usual monotone, only a bit more dejectedly.
"Su…suimasen…Kakashi-sensei." Naruto replied, apologizing for his un-shinobi like actions. Kakashi frowned.
"Do you remember what I told you, Sakura, and Sasuke during our first training session Naruto?" Kakashi asked walking towards him. He placed a hand on Naruto's shoulder, making him look up.
"Those who don't obey the rules are trash, but those who abandon their comrades are worse than trash. If you wouldn't have cried for the Hokage, then you would have been worse than trash Naruto. You would have made him think that he wasn't worthy of your forgiveness."
Naruto looked up at Kakashi confused. "What do you mean Kakashi-sensei?"
"He's sorry Naruto. For leaving alone like this. And he wants you to be strong, so that he could rest knowing that you will continue on the path to becoming a great shinobi." Kakashi eye smiled at Naruto, who in return buried his head into Kakashi's stomach.
"I…I miss jiji-sama!" Naruto cried out. Kakashi wrapped one arm around the blondes back.
"We all do Naruto…we all do."
One month later…
The blonde jinchuuriki sported his usual orange and blue jumpsuit as he rushed to meet with his team for the first time in what felt like decades. The smile that he was so used to faking plastered his face as he entered the training ground common to team 7. As he expected, Kakashi wasn't there, Sasuke was being emo, and Sakura was being the fan girl he had come to love…in a sense.
"Hey Sakura-chan, teme." Naruto called, almost instantly losing his smile. Sakura turned to him, about to deliver a punch to his skull until she followed his gaze to the stone on the opposite side of the small lake that sat in the training ground. In front of that stone was none other than their sensei. Forgetting about Naruto's insult to Sasuke, Sakura called to their leader.
"Kakashi-sensei, what are you doing over there?"
The silver haired jonin gave no acknowledgement of hearing the pink haired girl, as he continued staring at the stone with his back towards them. Naruto know what was on the stone, however, seeing as he was the one to carve the kanji onto it. It was like a short poem, that he had written for the Third, but more along the lines of a song.
I've put my trust, in you.
Pushed as far as I can go.
For all this, there's only one thing you should know.
I've tried so hard, and got so far.
But in the end, it doesn't even matter.
I've come too far, too lose it all.
But in the end, it doesn't even matter.
Reading the lines for over the hundredth time that day, Kakashi finally decided to move away, and shushined to his team.
"Kakashi-sensei, what's that?" Sakura asked, glancing back towards the stone. Sasuke had used his sharingon to read it, but failed to see the meaning behind the words.
"It's just a short poem. It was done by a brilliant young shinobi for someone he cared a lot about." Kakashi said, giving a glance to Naruto. Naruto looked down.
"Today our only mission is to help out where needed around the village. When you have helped ten people each, you are dismissed to go home. These are your assigned targets." Kakashi handed them each a list with ten people's names on it.
"That's all Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura asked.
"That's correct. Once you've completed your task, you are dismissed." Kakashi gave one more sad glance at Naruto, seeing that the blonde seemed to be thinking of something other than the mission, and then left in a swirl of leaves. Once Kakashi was gone, Naruto turned to go complete his task.
"Where are you going dobe?" Sasuke called upon instinct.
"Where else? To do the mission…" Nothing else was said as Naruto solemnly walked away.
"Hey Sasuke-kun, I didn't get a chance to tell you this last month, but thank you for saving me from Gaara. I know it had to be you." Sakura said smiling at the raven haired boy. Sasuke held a look of confusion in his eyes before what happened registered in his brain.
"Sakura, I didn't save you from that sand ninja. It was Naruto." He said the last part with a hint of venom. Sakura slanted her head as her smile grew a bit wider.
"Naruto? Oh don't be modest Sasuke-kun. Sure he's gotten a bit stronger, but he couldn't have stood a chance against someone like him."
"I'm not lying. Naruto saved you. Once he saw you in danger, he gave it his all to protect you. He used a power that I've never seen before." The more Sasuke thought about this, the angrier he became. With out waiting for Sakura to respond, he left the training ground, feeling angered by his admittance that he was helpless against the sand shinobi Gaara, but Naruto, the dead last of the Rookie 9, had beaten him.
Sakura watched as Sasuke left. 'Naruto saved me? Sasuke-kun didn't sound like he was lying…Maybe Naruto really did. I guess…I should thank him then.' It was awkward, seeing as she would have never guessed that the person who protected her from certain death was the person she had thought had little value to their team.
Once she had completed her task, she had went around the village searching for the blonde. Surprised that he wasn't at Ichiraku's ramen, she went to his apartment. She found him there, albeit, not in his apartment. Instead, he stood on the roof, looking up towards Hokage mountain. Sakura was about to join him, that is, until she heard him talking. No, not talking, singing.
(Okay, true to my word, this is not a song fic. You can skip this part, and not miss anything about the story. Just look at it as Naruto's new hobby.)
One thing, I don't know why,
It doesn't even matter how hard you try,
Keep that in mind, I designed this rhyme
To explain in due time, all I know.
Time is a valuable thing.
Watch it fly by as pendulum swings.
Watch it countdown to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away, it's so unreal.
Didn't look out below,
Watch the time go, right out the window!
Trying to hold on, to didn't even know
I wasted it all, just to watch, you, go!
I kept everything inside and even though I tried,
It all fell apart!
And what it meant to me, will eventually, be a memory,
Of a time I tried, so, hard!
And got so far!
But in the end, it doesn't even matter!
Sakura gasped as she realized that Naruto was singing the entirety of the song that was engraved upon the stone on their training ground. She looked down, knowing that it was Naruto that had carved the words now.
"Na-Naruto!" She called from the street below. Naruto flinched and looked down.
"S-Sakura-chan? What are you doing here?" He jumped down to her, a blush across his face. She frowned at the look in his eyes. They were almost completely drained of the shining sapphire she was used to. It looked as if he had cried recently.
"Naruto, I just wanted to tell you thank you. You protected me from the sand ninja that time, right?"
"Uh…yeah, but why are you telling me now?" He asked confused.
"Baka, just take the thank you." She hissed. He sweat dropped and told her that she was welcome. They stood awkwardly for a few minutes before Sakura decided to bring up the stone.
"Naruto…I know it was you that carved that poem into the stone. Did you do it…for the third?"
Naruto looked down sadly. "…Yeah, I did. Because no matter what I do, it won't matter in the end. I'll always end up being hurt…" She thought that he was talking to her, but in reality, he spoke to himself.
"That's not true Naruto. You helped me didn't you? If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be able to see Sasuke-kun again." She said with a smile. Naruto felt even more down, seeing that the pink haired kunoichi still refused to show him any type of emotions out side of meager friendship, if that.
"Hey Sakura-chan, do you want to go get some ramen?" He asked hopefully, thinking he could push his luck just a bit.
"Not in your life." She said bluntly and walked away.
"It was worth a try…" As she left his view, he returned to his apartment, unaware that a bluish black haired ninja was watching since the very beginning. The young person turned and ran away, heading to the Hyuga compound.