A/N: ...THANK YOU SO MUCH! I cannot begin to explain how touched I am! The Fifth Element: On Tour has reached 1000 reviews! Two years of labour, two years of reading, two years of blood, sweat and tears and we're at the final chapter...with 1000 reviews T^T I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am of all of you...Thank you, thank you so much!
Chapter 60: Finale
It had been several months since The Fifth Element came back from their tour. Itachi had recovered as best as he could, but he vowed never to pull stupid stunts again. He'd had far too many NDE's in his lifetime, and he felt as if his guardian angels needed to have a break.
Tenten wore a glittering engagement ring on her finger. She'd gotten used to wearing it, and whenever it caught the light it made her heart race. Hinata had one too. She'd never seen the shy girl so happy in her life.
Today, they were organizing a charity barbecue and concert in the park. They had been advertising it over their website and KMTV, so they expected a huge turnout. Renji offered to transport his motor boat to the lake so they could go tubing. Neji and Tenten of course would do the cooking.
The band and company jumped into their cars and headed to the beach at the crack of dawn. Apparently many people would be showing up today, and sure enough, there was already a crowd there ready to greet them. The band was met with loud cheers and whooping from happy fans. Itachi waved and high fived any that held their hands out. Most of the band stopped to sign autographs for people holding out notebooks and stuff.
A small stage had been set up for a mini concert, and the band already had their instruments loaded on the wooden platform. Neji stepped up onto the stage and stood in front of the microphone.
"Testing, testing." He murmured into the microphone, knowing that tapping on the microphone could break the diaphragm inside the device. The sound echoed and Neji smiled.
"Hey everyone! Thanks so much for coming!"
The crowd cheered.
"I hope you'll all have a good time here today!"
And so, the barbecue began.
The second they were released to do their thing, Naruto headed for the lake, immediately diving into the water from the dock. There was a diving platform off the shore where people had gathered. As Naruto's blonde hair poked out of the water, it was clear that was where he was going.
Itachi sat in a lawn chair, not really worried about what was going on. He had vowed to live a risk free life from now on. No more J-walking, safety always first. He just wondered how long that would last before he decided snowboarding was safe again.
"Hi." Itachi smiled at the group of girls. "How are you today?"
"Good." One of them said with a smile.
"Good to hear."
"How are you doing?"
"I'm as well as I'll ever be."
"So you're not going to die?" Another girl asked curiously.
Itachi laughed, feeling a twinge in his chest from the movement of his lungs. "Nope. I'm here now, right? My lifespan probably got cut by about twenty years, but for now, I'll live."
"Gosh, you're so depressing, Itachi." Sasuke rolled his eyes, stepping towards his brother with two plates. "Hungry?"
"Starving." Itachi took the plate with the hamburger and took a giant bite. "Mmmm, Neji has done it again."
Sasuke laughed. "Yeah, he always seems to be able to make frozen food taste good."
"That takes talent." Itachi nodded.
The girls scampered off to try Neji's burgers, leaving the two brothers alone.
"So, forgiven me yet?" Itachi grinned.
"I will never forgive you for making Azimora my sister-in-law."
"Well, I'm asking you to be the best man. Forgive me now?"
"Now I hate you."
Itachi laughed. "Do you accept?"
"Are you kidding? Do you know what Azimora could do to me in front of everyone?"
"Aside from throwing cake in your face?"
Sasuke laughed. "Okay, that's true."
"I'll have to think about it."
"Fair enough." Itachi took another bite of the burger. He could swear he was eating a Krabby Patty. It was that good.
Neji looked up, wondering why the voice was familiar, yet not. He looked towards the voice to see a boy with messy blonde hair and ice blue eyes. For a moment he stared at him curiously. Then he recognized his face.
The boy nodded once. "Hi."
Neji looked at Tenten. "Can you cover for a bit?"
Tenten nodded. "Yeah! Of course!" She grabbed the spatula and began flipping burgers. Sakura continued scribbling down orders for people and taking the money.
Neji slipped out from behind the barbecue. "Hi. How are you doing?"
"Is your sister here?"
"Of course. I wouldn't be here if she wasn't. She told me to get food while she looked for the band."
"Well, Naruto hasn't gotten out of the water since he got here. Heck if I know where Shikamaru is, but Itachi and Sasuke are over there." He pointed to where the two brothers sat in lawn chairs, mowing down on hamburgers.
For a moment, the two were silent as they stared across the lake. They watched as Naruto screamed to the sky as he leapt off the diving tower. Observers cheered at him as he emerged laughing from the lake.
"So," Neji stated when they were out of earshot of everyone. "How are you really?"
"What do you mean?" Kyle asked.
Neji pointed to his wrists.
"Oh." Then his eyes glinted slightly. "See for yourself." He pulled the bandage off one of his wrists, showing pale scars. It didn't look like anything sharp had touched his skin in months.
"You kicked the habit?" Neji asked.
Kyle shrugged, but nodded. "Yeah."
"So what did it?"
Kyle retied the bandage, pulling it taught with his teeth. "I got into music."
He nodded. "I started listening to the drum patterns to songs on my iPod. I asked my mom if I could take drum lessons and I learned to play drums."
"Neji! Kyle! There you are!"
Kyle didn't get a look of annoyance on his face at the appearance of his sister, but he did immediately clam up.
The blonde hair of Lynn bounced as she stopped in front of them.
"Lynn was it?"
Lynn looked stunned. "You remembered my name?!"
Neji shrugged. "How could I forget you two? It's just not possible for me." He turned towards Kyle. "So you can play drums?"
Kyle nodded, but Lynn grinned.
"Yeah! He sings too! He's so good!"
Kyle's cheeks flushed slightly and he ran a hand through his hair.
"Oh yeah? Come on." Neji trotted away, heading towards the beach.
Kyle and Lynn followed him, wondering what he was up to.
"OI! NARUTO! GET OVER HERE!" Neji called.
Naruto leapt off the diving tower and swam back over. "What's up?" He asked.
"Can a friend of mine use your drum set?"
"Sure!" Naruto laughed. He grabbed his towel and dried his hair as best as he could. He followed Neji to where Kyle and Lynn waited.
"Naruto, meet Kyle, an aspiring drummer." Neji stated.
"Wow, cool!" Naruto cooed. "Shall we see what you've got?"
Kyle scratched the back of his head. He didn't say anything, but he did look like he kind of wanted to give it a shot.
Naruto grabbed Kyle by the arm and dragged him towards the stage. Kyle protested several times and yanked his arm from Naruto's grip. He followed him up to the stage where Naruto handed him the drumsticks and Kyle sat down in the chair.
People began to crowd around, watching as Kyle twirled the drumsticks self-consciously several times before starting to tap away on the drums. The rhythm was simple at first, but then as grin crossed his features, he got more and more into it. Next thing everyone knew his arms were blurs and he was just rocking out on the drum set.
Itachi leapt up on stage and plugged in his guitar, playing along with what Kyle was playing. The crowd cheered and applauded. Neji caught sight of the grin on Kyle's face as he continued playing.
"WOW!" Someone cried. "I want you in my band!"
Neji turned and did a double take. "Light?"
The white haired Kuchiki turned and grinned. "The one and only!"
Neji laughed and held out his fist. Light smacked his knuckles against his with a laugh.
"Sora and Dark here too?" He asked.
"Yup!" Light grinned. "And Rukia, and Byakuya. Mom and Dad too."
"Awesome. So you're making a band?"
"Sort of. I don't think it's going very well. We need a vocalist and a drummer. Dark and I have been trying to get Sora to sing for us, she's pretty good, but she doesn't want to." Light said with a shrug. "She'd rather play guitar or flute or something."
"Well, if she's not confident, don't force her."
Light nodded. "Yeah."
Neji yelped as a pair of arms wrapped around him from behind. "Why, Sora?"
"Because it's fun!" Sora laughed, letting go and earning her several thousand death glares.
Dark caught up, gasping for breath. "Damn it... Sora... You will... Be the... Death of me..."
Dark shook his head, laughing breathily.
Kyle finally finished his drum solo by slamming the drumsticks on the symbols. Itachi continued to play, as if the drums were still going. Then he looked up in surprise.
"Oh, it's over?" He said in confusion. Then he played a quick chord and whistled innocently, putting the guitar back down. Everyone laughed and the crowd cheered like mad.
Kyle stood up and held the drumsticks back out to Naruto. The blonde shook his head. "Keep them. I have more."
"I have a lot too you know." Kyle stated.
"Yeah, but when's the next time you're going to get a pair of Naruto Uzumaki signed drumsticks?"
"Exactly. Pin them up on your wall or something." Naruto grinned then turned and started running back towards the water.
"Hi Shikamaru!" A few voices chorused.
Shikamaru opened his eyes and looked up at three girls holding several papers. He'd been enjoying a nice nap but now he guessed that he wasn't going to finish it.
"What's up?" Shikamaru asked.
"We're stuck." One of the girls said.
The three girls looked at each other then back at Shikamaru.
"Homework." The chorused.
"But it's summer." Shikamaru said in confusion.
"Summer school." The three of them sighed.
"And the teacher is awful!" Another groaned.
"We don't understand anything!"
"Well, what are you trying to do?"
The three girls held out their papers, revealing line after line of calculus equations.
"Oh, wow." Shikamaru stared at the garbled lines for a few seconds. It had been so long since he'd done calculus. He was worried he didn't know what he was doing. But after staring at the numbers and symbols, he remembered just how to do it.
"All right, I'll help." Shikamaru stated with a grin.
The girls smiled. "Thank you!"
And thus, the study circle was formed as Shikamaru patently began describing the mechanics of calculus to the three girls.
"I AM POSEIDON!" Naruto screamed as he leapt off the diving tower once again, splashing into the lake like the fish he was. Several of the people around laughed at him. He emerged from the water and flipped the hair out of his face. "Hinata! You gotta try that!" Naruto laughed. "It's fun!"
Hinata giggled timidly and stood up, leaping into the water with a squeal. She swam slowly over to the diving tower with Naruto right beside her. She felt bad because she wasn't that great of a swimmer while Naruto was. She pulled herself out of the water and slowly climbed the diving tower. She was so high up!
Hinata took a few tentative steps towards the edge of the diving board.
"Come on, Hinata! You can do it!" Naruto called out.
Hinata bit her lip, closed her eyes and ran forward, plugging her nose as she stepped off the edge and went into free fall. She squealed for a moment then she hit the water, splashing deep down. For a moment, she panicked, but she swam upwards and broke the surface once more. People were cheering at her, Naruto the loudest.
Naruto whooped as he dove off the diving board and popped up right beside her.
"Yay, Hinata!" Naruto cooed, pulling her into a hug.
Hinata giggled and hugged him back. "That was fun."
"Want to do it again?"
"No!" Hinata cried.
Naruto laughed and kissed the top of her head. "Well, I'm going again. And again and again and again!" He added with a laugh.
Hinata grinned. "Have fun then."
"I will." Naruto flipped sideways and swam back to the tower. Hinata made her way back to the dock and climbed out, glancing down at her hand to make sure the ring was still there. Thankfully, it was. She had a feeling she wouldn't be getting it off anytime soon anyway. Rings tended to cling to her fingers like fur on black clothing. Once on, it was tough to get off. Not that she ever wanted to take it off.
Hinata sat down in the lawn chair on the dock and watched Naruto leap off again. She smiled. She was going to be married to the biggest child she'd ever known. And she loved every second of that thought.
Tubing came next.
Yamato and Kakashi showed up suddenly and inexplicably with a massive, three person inner tube called the Super Mable. At the sight of it, Sora screamed "MABLE!" at the top of her lungs and charged at the inflatable tube and leapt on top of it and gave it a hug. Light stood back, laughing and clapping as if this was the best thing he's ever seen.
Neji raised his eyebrow at Dark.
Dark laughed. "My parents have an inner tube just like that one up at our cottage. Sora nicknamed it 'Mable'."
"I see." Neji shook his head. "All right, Sora. Off the Mable!"
Sora stood up again and grinned. "Can I have first ride?"
"We'll see." Neji stated.
"Oh sweet! The tube thingey is here!" Naruto bounded over.
"No thanks." Itachi suddenly turned on his heel and pretended to walk away.
"Aw, you're so boring, Itachi!" Azimora laughed.
"I don't want to die, thank you very much." Itachi grinned. "So I think I'll just watch you guys die instead."
"Gee, thanks bro. I love you too." Sasuke rolled his eyes, a smirk on his face.
"Okay!" Renji clapped his hands. "So, we need three people to ride first. Now, we're probably charging money for this thing."
"You guys get to ride free because you're friends." Renji stated, gesturing to Dark, Light and Sora.
"HELL YES!" Light cried, leaping into the air and fist pumping.
"First ride?" Sora asked, a grin on her face.
"Fine, fine." Renji laughed.
"DIBBS ON MIDDLE!" Dark cried, raising his hand.
"The middle's boring." Light grinned. "It's all yours."
"What's so great about the middle?" Neji asked.
"The thing is," Light said dramatically. "Nobody ever falls off the middle. It's seen as a record if someone does."
"Okay come on guys." Renji grabbed the rope and started dragging the Mable towards the water where his boat waited by the dock. To everyone's surprise, there was someone already in the boat. It was a woman with purplish coloured hair.
"Konan?" Itachi questioned.
Renji nodded. "Yes, she's been staying with me while she's looking for a job. She's been accepted into a university already, so I'll expect I'll be seeing a lot of her."
"That's great." Neji smiled. "I'm glad she's found her way."
"Believe me, so do I."
When the group arrived at the dock, people had already flocked there, sensing that tubing was about to start. However, when they found out that most of them had to pay to ride, half of the crowd left, disappointed. That didn't seem to matter to Renji, however. He threw life vest at Dark, Light and Sora.
"Put these on. And if anyone's riding in the boat, put one on as well." Renji said as he put his own on.
"I'll ride." Neji volunteered, grabbing a life vest.
Neji froze and turned around. Just in time to see an eight year old tackle hug him from behind.
"WHOA!" Neji nearly fell over. "Kiba! It's good to see you!"
Kiba grinned up at him. "Can I go in the boat too?"
"Ha ha, of course." Neji grabbed him a life vest and helped him put it on.
"Hey, hey nii-san! I found something cooler than Star Wars!"
"What? But how?" Neji looked shocked. "What's cooler than Star Wars, Kiba?"
Kiba grinned. "Avatar!"
"Avatar?" Neji frowned for a moment, then he remembered something from his teenage years. "Wait, you don't mean Avatar: The Last Airbender, do you?"
Kiba grinned. "Yeah! It's so amazing! Aang is cooler than Anakin!"
"Well, you'll have to tell me all about it, won't you?" Neji grinned. "Come on, in the boat."
"It's cool, you know? There are Waterbenders like Katara, but there are also Earthbenders, and Aang is the last Airbender! Did you know that? And he's also the Avatar!"
"And what about Fire?" Neji asked, climbing into the boat. "Are there Firebenders too?"
"Yeah," Kiba said a little sadly. "But I don't really like Zuko, you know? He's always trying to catch Aang."
"Well, you keep watching that show. You might be surprised."
"You've seen it?"
"Twice." Neji grinned.
"Cool! Does Aang ever learn Waterbending? What about Firebending and Earthbending?"
"As I said, you'll have to watch the show to find out." Neji messed his hair up.
"ALL ABOARD!" Renji called, glancing back at Sora, Dark and Light lying on the Mable.
"READY POSITION!" Light cried, holding his hands up as if he were on a roller coaster.
Sora laughed. "READY POSITION!" She copied, grinning.
Dark shook his head and held his hands up in the same way.
Renji began towing the Mable away. Neji pulled out his video camera to film the event, grinning from ear to ear. Renji hit the gas, and the three Mable riders held on for dear life. Dark looked completely calm, sitting on the middle. Spray was hitting him in the face, plastering his messy black hair to his face.
Renji took a corner, making Light get most of the forces to knock him off the thing. Somehow, he managed to stay on.
"Come on, Renji. You can knock them off!" Konan encouraged.
"Yeah but I don't want to hurt them." Renji laughed.
Konan smiled. "They'll live."
Renji shook his head and hit the breaks on the boat, creating a ripple effect and hit the gas again.
On the Mable, Sora saw the ripples coming and her eyes widened. "Oh no..."
Light screamed and held on tight as the Mable began to bounce violently across the water because of the ripples. Sora lost her grip on the Mable after a particularly large bump and she was sent flying up and over the Mable. She landed in the water hard.
"Oh no!" Dark laughed. "Sora! Are you okay?!"
Sora emerged from the water. "AUGH! That sucked!" She laughed.
Renji brought the Mable around so Sora could climb back on. Dark and Light helped pull her up and once Sora had a grip on the Mable again, they took off.
Kiba stood in the boat, making wave motions with his hands.
"What are you doing, Kiba?" Neji asked.
"Waterbending!" Kiba cooed. "I'm the Avatar!"
"Okay little Avatar, don't tip the boat now."
"I won't tip the boat! I'm the Avatar! I control water!"
Neji smiled at him. He was a good kid. Neji looked back towards Light, Dark and Sora. He laughed as he realized Light was half off and had a look of horror on his face. Renji turned the corner, and Light fell off, spinning through the water violently.
Dark laughed and Sora violently shoved him, trying to knock him off. It didn't work.
When Light crawled back on, Renji spun the boat around and they headed back towards land. There, several people were standing on the docks. They looked strangely familiar to Neji, although he couldn't place them.
"Oh no..." Renji sighed, running a hand down his face. "It's Anko."
"Celestial Envoy?" Neji grinned.
"Looks like it."
Renji pulled the boat in, hearing groans of sadness from Light and Sora. Sure enough, the people on the dock were Celestial Envoy.
"Hey guys!" Neji greeted. "How are you doing?"
Ryuu smiled. "Pretty good."
"Shame you couldn't finish your tour though." Kankuro said sheepishly.
"Nah. Don't worry about it." Neji shrugged, climbing out of the boat and helping Kiba out.
Sora, Light and Dark climbed off the Mable and removed their life jackets.
"Hey! Hey nii-san? Will you play Avatar with me?" Kiba asked after he pulled his life jacket off.
"How so?" Neji asked.
Kiba ran towards shore, nearly knocking a few people over. Neji shook his head in amusement and followed Kiba up onto the grass of the park. Kiba had a long stick in his hand and was holding it like a staff.
"I'll be Aang, you be Zuko!" Kiba said with a grin.
"Oh, so I'm the Firebender?" Neji asked.
"Yep!" Kiba grinned. "Oh wait, we need a Katara! And a Sokka!"
"Well, I'll let you find Katara and Sokka."
Kiba took off into the crowd of people, looking for someone to be Katara. Neji followed, occasionally glancing back at the lake where the tubing was still going on. By the looks of it, Naruto was on the side, Hinata was in the middle, and Sasuke was on the other side. At that moment, Naruto went flying into the air, arms flailing madly. Neji chuckled to himself and continued after Kiba.
Now that lunch was finished, Tenten and Sakura had closed down the shop. Tenten wasn't sure what to do now. Neji had disappeared somewhere, and she wasn't sure what had happened to him. Perhaps he forgot to come back after asking her to hold down fort. That meant he had met people while wandering around. Oh well. It didn't matter. She could cook just fine alone.
"Either I'm hallucinating, or that right there, is my little sister."
Tenten whipped around and grinned. "KENTA!" She cried, running over and hugging him.
Kenta messed up her hair. "How are you doing, little sister?"
"Good!" Tenten grinned, taking a step back. Then she grinned and held up her hand with the sparkling ring. "Look!"
Kenta's jaw dropped. He looked like he was trying to say something, but then he gave up and hugged his sister again.
"When is it? I'll have to come for sure." Kenta grinned.
"We haven't decided that yet." Tenten pushed him away. "We're still trying to figure it out. But I think we're going to have a mass wedding. Hinata and Naruto and Itachi and Azimora are getting married too."
"That would be fun." Kenta smiled.
Tenten turned to see Neji emerge from the crowd, tailed by Kiba.
"Hey!" Tenten put her hands on her hips. "Where did you go?"
"Oh shoot, I'm so sorry!" Neji slapped a hand to his face. "I completely forgot!"
Tenten laughed. "It's okay."
"Katara!" Kiba cried, pointing at Tenten.
"Katara!" Kiba said again. "You're Katara!"
Tenten raised an eyebrow at Neji.
"He wants to play Avatar." Neji stated. "He's Aang, I'm Zuko, and apparently he's looking for a Katara."
"I have no idea what that is, but okay. I'll be your Katara." Tenten shrugged.
"Oh, I know exactly what you're talking about." Kenta laughed. "Can I be Appa? Please?" He grinned.
"APPA!" Kiba cried, jumping at Kenta.
Kenta laughed and hoisted him onto his back. "Ready for takeoff!"
"YIP YIP!" Kiba cried.
Kenta laughed and began running around with Kiba on his back.
"Care to explain?" Tenten asked Neji as they followed Kenta and Kiba.
"Okay basically, Kiba's Aang. Aang is basically an Airbender, so he controls the wind. He's also the Avatar which means he can control water, fire and earth as well. I'm Zuko, and that means I'm a Firebender. You're Katara. She's a Waterbender. And Kenta's a flying bison."
"What the hell?!" Tenten began laughing.
"I know. It's crazy." Neji grinned. He glanced back over at the tubing going on. One thing he knew was that he had to get on it before the day ended. "Want to go tubing with me later?"
Tenten laughed. "Sure. Kenta can come with."
"I'll take the middle." Neji said with a grin.
Itachi sat in the boat beside Renji, watching Ryuu, Gaara and Kankuro holding on for dear life. Ryuu's long silver hair whipped out behind him like a wave, even if it was wet from the spray. Gaara sat in the middle, not really caring. Kankuro had fallen of twice already and he looked like he was going to break that record again.
"WHOA!" Kankuro cried and flew through the air, landing in the water with a violent splash. Ryuu was laughing as they pulled the Mable around to pick Kankuro back up.
"Knock Ryuu off next." Itachi said to Renji.
"I'll knock them all off if I can." Renji said with a grin. He hit the gas once Kankuro was back on, determined to knock at least one of them off.
"Having fun, Ryuu?" Kankuro asked from the Mable.
"NO!" Ryuu cried, a grin on his face.
Kankuro laughed just as the Mable hit a bump in the water. Ryuu yelped and flew through the air, screaming like a banshee before he hit the water.
"Is he okay?" Gaara asked.
"OW!" Ryuu's voice cried out, clear from across the water.
"Guess not." Kankuro laughed.
Regardless of whether he was hurt or not, Ryuu climbed back onto the Mable. Somehow, by some miracle, his trademark feather was still stuck in his hair just behind his ear. His hair however, didn't flow like it used to.
From the docks, Neji, Tenten and Kenta watched the madness unfold out on the lake. The Mable went airborne once more, and at the height of the flight, Ryuu was launched up and into the air. His arms flailed around just before he hit the water.
"Oooooh!" The people watching groaned.
Tenten cringed. "That looked painful...
When Ryuu came back however, he looked like he was on top of the world.
"I felt like a bird." He said proudly. "Just for a moment."
"Okay Bird Boy," Kankuro climbed off the Mable. "Glad you're proud of yourself."
Ryuu flipped his wet hair out of his face and pulled off his life jacket, sitting down on the dock to watch Tenten, Neji and Kenta step on board.
"Hey, can we go for a ride in your car again?" Tenten asked.
Kenta laughed. "Why not?"
"I expect people are taking pictures of it." Neji stated.
Kenta shrugged. "Nah. I put a cover over it. Nobody will know it's there."
"Smart." Neji grinned.
The three riders settled themselves on the Mable and shot Renji a thumbs up. The boat took off, dragging the giant tube behind them.
From shore, it was easy to see why tubing was fun. Yet at the same time, painful.
While out on the water, for a moment, the tube went airborne and flipped over, dumping all three passengers into the water.
"FELL OFF THE MIDDLE!" Light cried, raising his hands above his head. Sora and Dark just laughed as the three tubers climbed back on once more. Kenta's spiky hair was plastered to his face, while Neji's was so messy, he looked like a swamp monster emerging from the lake.
As the tube zoomed off once more, Tenten thought that this was what life should be like. Enjoying every second, always smiling no matter what happens. The Fifth Element was a prime example of five boys living their life the way they knew how: by having fun.
And, well... That was pretty amazing too.
A/N: I was going to have this chapter be longer, but I realized I wouldn't be writing it often. So I figured I would just finish it up and give you guys an update, because it's kind of been awhile. I feel bad for it, but the way I see it, if I hadn't done this, this story wouldn't have gotten finished anytime soon... So better an update than no update, right? *sigh*
I know I promised a bonus chapter if we got to 1000 reviews, but don't get your hopes up XD I probably won't write it...
Thanks so much for sticking with me all this time :) The rest of the story... well I'll leave that up to your imagination :)
Thanks again for reading The Fifth Element!
So long, and farewell!