Well, He IS Really Old

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Note: Recent Manga Spoilers.

Sasuke looked around apprehensively. He hadn't been to Konoha in quite some time and was starting to feel uneasy and – dare he say it – nostalgic. Not that he would ever admit it, of course. He turned back towards Danzo's house. "You're sure he's in there? And he's alone?"

Karin nodded firmly. "Yes, Sasuke-kun, I'm positive. I'm not sure why he's alone but you won't get a better shot than this."

Sasuke sighed tragically. "I almost wish that his little minions were around to see Danzo's mighty fall, but I suppose it's just as well."

"Yeah, but you should probably get in there soon," Karin advised, eyeing the door nervously. "Something's wrong with Danzo's chakra."

Sasuke continued as if he hadn't heard her. "After all, despite what I'm willing to admit to now, I was trying to kill Itachi for quite some time and Kisame's presence was always a hindrance."

"It's flickering," Karin announced. "I think he might be…too late, he's dead."

"That's nice, Karin," Sasuke said absently.

"Why do you even keep me around if you're not going to listen to me?" Karin demanded.

Reluctantly, Sasuke tore his eyes away from the building before him and turned towards his companion. "No, I'm very interested," he lied.

"Then what did I just say?" Karin challenged.

"That you'll tell me all about it after I've gotten my vengeance?" Sasuke suggested hopefully.

"You are so lucky that I want to jump you," Karin huffed.

Sasuke snorted. "Lucky? That's not usually the word I would use. Suigetsu said he saw you rolling around in my dirty clothes." He looked around as if suddenly realizing something. "What ever happened to him? And Jugo, for that matter? It feels like I haven't seen them in awhile."

Karin shot him an incredulous look. "You abandoned them to their fates at the Kage Summit, remember?"

"Not even slightly," Sasuke replied. "But you can refresh my memory later. Right now, I must seek my vengeance. I'm reasonably sure I've got the right target this time and this has been a long time coming."

Sasuke unsheathed his sword and dramatically sliced through the door and charged right in, Karin following closely at his heels. After exploring the house for a bit, the pair encountered Danzo himself, perched on a chair with his eyes closed.

"Well, well," Sasuke said slowly. "We meet again. You had my family massacred and turned my beloved older brother into a disgraced scapegoat!" he accused.

Danzo said nothing.

"Are you even listening to me, you bastard?" Sasuke demanded angrily.

"He's dead, Sasuke," Karin reminded him.

"What?" Sasuke exclaimed. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I tried!" Karin insisted.

"So who got here first?" Sasuke asked. "Or was it suicide?"

Karin moved forward to inspect the body. "I don't see any wounds and there isn't a note…he was probably too paranoid to eat or drink anything untested, too. It actually looks like he just died. Felt like it, too."

"Of what?" Sasuke was bewildered.

"Well…" Karin trailed off. "He is really old. Was really old," she corrected herself.

"The target of my vengeance cannot die of old age," Sasuke told her firmly.

"Why not?" Karin shot back. "He's so old he started replacing his body parts with other peoples', like that one Akatsuki guy."

"I don't think that was why he did it," Sasuke corrected. "He just seemed to have an Uchiha fetish, much like most of the people I've met. And what am I supposed to do now? This is just pathetic!"

There was a knock on the door before a vaguely familiar voice called out, "Danzo-sama? You wanted to see me?"

"He'd better hurry up," Naruto grumbled. "You promised to buy me ramen. And what happened to his door? I mean, it just – Sasuke?!?!" He froze as he spotted the Uchiha. "What are you doing here?"

Before Sasuke could answer, Sai did so for him, "It would appear that he killed Danzo-sama."

Naruto looked surprised. "I'm torn," he confessed. "On the one hand, I don't approve of revenge and killing someone as influential and powerful as Danzo can't be good for my campaign to make you come home. On the other hand…it is Danzo."

"You don't like him, I take it?" Sasuke asked casually.

"He eats puppies!" Naruto cried.

"Ate, really," Karin spoke up. Everyone stared at her. "What? He's dead so it's past tense."

"I didn't kill him," Sasuke announced.

'You can't honestly expect us to believe that," Sai said flatly. "You were willing to attack all five Kages just to get to one during the week Danzo-sama was Hokage."

"Sai!" Naruto hissed. "I thought we agreed to pretend that never happened. Danzo didn't DESERVE that title."

"My mistake," Sai said politely.

"You can't just pretend that never happened, you know," Karin pointed out.

"I can too!" Naruto said stubbornly. "And Kakashi agreed with me and issued a decree and everything!"

"That he did," Sai agreed. "But what about what I was trying to say? About how Sasuke very publicaly wanted Danzo dead?"

"If Sasuke said he didn't do it, then he didn't do it," Naruto said with no hesitation.

"You trust his word?" Sai couldn't believe it. "He's tried to kill you at least twice."

"And I was very open and honest about that," Sasuke couldn't resist adding.

"He also joined a group whose main goal involved killing you," Sai continued.

That was a little harder to counter. "I did leave after thinking I had captured the eight-tails," Sasuke said a little defensively. "It's not my fault Madara won't stop following me."

"Please tell me you're not buying this," Sai implored, turning to Naruto.

Naruto shrugged. "I don't really know but it doesn't matter."

"You don't think it matters if Sasuke-kun killed Danzo?" Karin asked skeptically.

"No, it would matter," Naruto corrected her, "but I know he didn't."

"How?" Sai inquired.

"Because Sasuke wanted vengeance on him and unless he just found out that Danzo was trying to get Sasuke to kill him and did everything to protect Sasuke as he was the most important person to him à la Itachi, Sasuke would probably be proudly proclaiming his triumph and maybe sticking Danzo's head on a stake," Naruto explained.

Sasuke's eye twitched. "So basically…you believe me because you think I'm vengeance-obsessed?"

Naruto sighed. "Sasuke, you know you're my best friend and I love you in a completely platonic manner no matter what some of your old fangirls and Kiba might think but name the last time you made a rational decision and then ask me that again."

"Sasuke-kun's plenty rational!" Karin predictably jumped to Sasuke's defense. "I…can't actually think of anything off the top of my head at the moment, but there's got to be something!"

Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Not helping, Karin."

Karin shrugged. "Well, I tried."

"Say that I believe you," Sai proposed. "What happened to Danzo-sama then?"

"Karin thinks she died of old age," Sasuke offered.

"He was at a meeting only two hours ago and he was fine," Sai objected.

"So he died of old age like two minutes before you showed up?" Naruto burst out laughing. "Oh, that is so great!"

"I'm glad all this amuses you," Sasuke said coldly.

"All of this can be proved or disproved easily enough with a simple medical examination. Maybe we can have Sakura could do it," Sai suggested. "If you are innocent of this, Sasuke, what will you do?"

"I'm not entirely sure yet," Sasuke confessed. "I might actually be running out of people I need to kill."

"I'm going wherever Sasuke-kun is!" Karin informed them, to no one's surprise.

"Didn't you want to kill those other two elders?" Naruto said, then immediately looked like he'd wished he'd kept his mouth shut.

Sasuke made a face. "I did but…Koharu and Homura are just as old as Danzo and killing someone old enough to die of old age is just pathetic."

"Not to mention we don't want a repeat of this," Karin added helpfully.

"I should probably go kill Madara at some point," Sasuke thought aloud. "He did say that he killed half of my clan for the hell of it."

Naruto brightened. "Really?"

"Naruto, I could be wrong but I do not think it is appropriate to sound so happy when discussing a massacre," Sai told him. "Especially one involving your best friend's family."

"I'm not happy about that!" Naruto exclaimed. "I just… I need to kill Madara, too. He wants to kill me and take over the world, you know."

Sasuke shook his head. "You don't need to worry about him because I'm going to kill him."

"Not if I kill him first!" Naruto countered.

The boys looked to their companions for support.

"Sasuke-kun will totally kill him first!" Karin said loyally.

"This isn't a competition," Sai reminded them. "Naruto, you had a point, I presume?"

"Oh yeah," Naruto said sheepishly. "You can help us kill Madara and then come back to Konoha! Isn't that great?"

"Except I don't want to come back to Konoha," Sasuke pointed out. "I HATE it."

"Don't be silly; how can you possibly hate Konoha?" Naruto asked rhetorically. "It's the greatest place on Earth!"

"Didn't it hate and neglect you for something that wasn't your fault and without letting you know what it was until Orochimaru invaded?" Sasuke felt compelled to ask.

"And?" Naruto shot back. "They worshiped you!"

"But it hated, oppressed, and eventually destroyed my family," Sasuke growled.

"To be fair, they were planning a coup," Naruto said tactfully.

Sasuke shrugged unperturbed. "So it was a mutual hatred."

"Oh come on, what else do you have to do?" Naruto demanded.

"NOT stay in Konoha?" Sasuke suggested. "Because let me just tell you that that's an option that's looking more appealing by the second."

"I say we take this up with Kakashi," Sai proposed. "If nothing else, working with us gives you a better chance to find and kill him as he's after both you and Naruto."

"If you don't, I'll call Sakura over to cry on you and then kick your ass," Naruto threatened, relying on both Sasuke's discomfort with people crying and the fact that Sakura had some very violent tendencies.

"…Fine, whatever," Sasuke agreed grudgingly. "But when we're done killing Madara, I'm not staying," he warned.

"Yeah, yeah…" Naruto said, clearly not believing him.

"What about you?" Sai asked Karin.

"Where Sasuke-kun goes, I go," she answered simply.

"Got another fangirl?" Naruto asked quietly.

"I don't know how that keeps happening," Sasuke admitted, "I just stand around hating the world and they flock to me."

Never one to be outdone, Naruto exclaimed, "Well, I finally got a fangirl, too!"

"Let me guess..." Sasuke said sarcastically. "Hinata?"

Naruto's eyes widened. "How did you know that?"

Sasuke groaned. "Is it too late to change my mind?"

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