Time of Dying


AN: just a one-shot i came up with while writing the wave arc of storm in the night. i was listening to "time of dying" by three days grace, and wrote this just after watching the matrix trilogy on tv. there are references to both in here. i dont think this is any good, really, but i decided to post it, though im still not sure why...

anyway... this is set far into the future of storm in the night, around 4-6 years after the mission to wave. oh, and the ending sucks. just to let you know.

Naruto sat in the crater, head hung low. He tried to get up, but he could feel the Kyuubi' power fading from him, courtesy of the gogyou fuuin that had just been slapped onto his gut. He could also feel the pain shooting through him, protesting his every attempt to move.

He saw some of his memories flash through his vision, of the times he had spent with his fellow combatants. Meeting Tenten in the orphanage, Anko-sensei telling them about Orochimaru, and Kokuei-sensei teaching him archery and old school tracking flashed by him. Before more memories could flash by, he returned his thoughts to the battle at hand.

He continued to try and force his body to move, but it was proving difficult, until a noise stopped him cold. His enemy, who still hadn't given his name, stood over Kokuei, and grabbed him by the neck, hoisting him up into the air. A surge of chakra went through Naruto, enabling him to regain his feet, and stumble out of the crater.

"You bastard, put him down," Naruto growled out as forcefully as he could, "Your fight is with me."

"I don't really think you're in much of a position to dictate who I fight at the moment," the man sneered back, "Besides, this man is just in the way." His grip tightened on Kokuei's neck, and Naruto could hear bones crack.

Before either Naruto or the enemy nin could speak further, several kunai buried themselves into the enemy nin's arm, sinking up to the handle in his flesh. The nin just looked over Naruto's shoulder at the battered form of Tenten, who had thrown the kunai.

Tenten was leaning heavily on a tree, panting severely. Her left arm hung limp at her side, it having been broken in several places early on in the fight. Her right hand was back to keeping pressure on a wound to her side, while her face was glaring instant death at the man.

The nin's response shocked Naruto and Tenten. He chuckled a little, and calmly pulled the six kunai out of his arm, without flinching in the slightest. Once he finished that, he wiped the blood off his hand, and ran it through his hair. "I grow tired of this," the nin spoke, "I'm ending it. Now."

The nin's left hand, which was still holding Kokuei, despite having just been impaled several times, suddenly closed, and both Naruto and Tenten heard the bones in Kokuei's neck shatter into dust.

Tenten didn't get much time to react, since the nin threw Kokuei's body at the two leaf nin as hard as he could. Naruto managed to avoid the flying body, but Tenten wasn't so lucky. It caught her full on, sending her crashing to the ground.

Naruto didn't get much reaction time either. As soon as he had dodged his sensei's body, the enemy nin had stabbed him in the chest with a katana, pinning him against a tree.

"Well, I guess jinchuuriki aren't all their cracked up to be. How you managed to defeat the Akatsuki with this level of skill is beyond me. But, I suppose it doesn't really matter. You somehow managed to defeat them, but you clearly can't defeat me. I hope you enjoy bleeding to death while stuck to that tree. The gogyou fuuin will keep that damned fox from healing you, and the blade is stuck far enough into that tree to prevent anyone else from healing you as well. Good day."

The nin turned to leave, and Naruto could feel himself beginning to black out from blood loss. As his life slipped through his fingers, more memories flashed through his vision. Meeting Tsunade, going out for ramen with Jii-chan, passing his second chunin exam, forming Konoha's Rangers, the first time he beat Anko-sensei in a spar; all these and more passed him by.

'Did I do too much? Did I not do enough? I can't really tell anymore. I'm sorry, everyone, especially to you, Ten-chan. I really don't think I can pull through this nightmare of a fight, if it can even be called that. I'm sorry; I guess I won't be coming home after this one…'

Slowly, though, he began to notice another voice in his head. It took awhile, but he realized it was his own voice, but distorted slightly.

"….not die…will survive….not die….survive…."

'Huh? What's that?'

"What you're hearing is all the times you swore to come back to something."

'But why am I hearing it?'

"Because your resolve has broken. You have abandoned your promises to Tenten, Anko, and Kokuei. You promised all of them you would return, and you never break your promises."

'Yeah…but I'm stuck to this tree, and I can't access your chakra. There's…nothing I can do…'

"Tenten hasn't given up. Even now, she is crawling towards your body. She obviously still believes in you. What do you think Anko would say if she saw you like this? What would Kokuei say? What would Tenten say? Hell, what would Sarutobi say, or Iruka, or any of your other precious people say if they saw you like this?"

'…I don't know…'

He slowly began to hear the voices of his precious people echo throughout his mind, "Make sure you come back to me, brat. You and buns are the only people I got left….." "Stay safe, Naruto, many people are depending on you." "I know you aren't ready to say it back to me, Naruto-kun, but I love you, and I don't think I could go on without you." "Be safe, Naruto, I would very much enjoy passing this hat on to you one day…." "Be safe, Naruto, we'll go for ramen when you get back, and you can tell me all about your mission…"

"They all believe in you….. I believe in you. You can overcome this, just like you have overcome everything else in your life."

The life seemed to stop draining from Naruto's eyes, but he still didn't move.

"You know how bad they will be hurt of you die here," the voice of Kyuubi told him. "Iruka and Anko will be devastated, as will the spirits of Kokuei, Sarutobi, and your parents. Tenten will be completely shattered by your death, and will probably take her own life over remaining without you."

'But I don't want that. I don't want to cause them anymore pain.'

"Then you must live."

'Must live?' he thought, the blood loss beginning to affect his mind.

"Yes, you must live. You must not die; you must live, survive this battle to fight again."


"That's right. You will not die. You will survive."

'I will not…die…I will…survive…'

Naruto's eyes fluttered open, and he realized that he had been sitting against the tree when he was stabbed. Tenten had also crawled over to him, and had grabbed his hand. He realized that Tenten's hand was really warm, which probably meant his was really cold.

"Hey…" he whispered out, a little blood trickling down his chin.

Tenten gasped, and quickly looked up at his face. "Naruto!"

"Hey," cough, "I'm not dead yet. I'm" cough "just getting warmed up."

He closed his eyes again, and Tenten began to fear that he had just died, but when his hand suddenly became warm again, she looked up, and was astounded. Naruto had pulled the katana out of his chest, and was using his own chakra to stop his chest from bleeding. He tossed it aside, and began to stand up.

Of course, the enemy nin heard him toss the katana, and immediately turned back to the battle field.

"Oh? I haven't killed you enough yet?" he asked, in the same tone one would generally ask about the weather in. Naruto mumbled something in response that the man didn't catch. "What was that?"

"I said, I will not die. I will survive."

The man just chuckled, before pulling out a kunai, and whipping it at the two leaf nins. Naruto managed to avoid it, but the sound of it striking flesh, along with a gasp of pain brought his around fast enough to blur his vision.

The reason Naruto was able to avoid the kunai was that it wasn't aimed at him. It was aimed at Tenten, and she hadn't been able to avoid it. It was now buried up to the ring in her right lung.

Naruto quickly began to reach out to help her, but she knocked his hand away. He looked at her confused, and she said, "You won't die here, and I won't either," she coughed up some blood before continuing, "So get up and go kick his ass."

Naruto just stared at her for a second, and then quickly bent down and kissed her as good as their positions allowed. "I will not die, I'll wait here for you," he told her. "I feel alive when you're beside me. I will not die, I'll wait here for you, in my time of dying."

Tenten looked at him confused, not able to make sense of his statement.

"I've made too many promises to come back to die out here," he told her, as he struggled to a standing position. "You just stay there, and I'll go kick his ass."

Tenten just smiled up weakly at him, even as she could see the black creeping into her vision. "I love you, Naruto-kun," she gasped out.

"I love you too, Ten-chan."

He then turned away from her, just before her head fell, as she was no longer able to stay conscious. He didn't see it, but he knew she was passed out, and didn't have much time.

"Hey bastard," he called after the nin, who had turned to leave again, "I'm not done with you yet." He stumbled away from the tree, and began to advance toward the man.

"Well, you certainly got guts kid. Too bad I have to kill you, as you could've been a superb ninja someday."

Naruto just glared at him, and the man began to build his chakra for a final shot at the blond nin. Both of them knew Naruto would get hit by it; he just didn't have enough energy to dodge. The man flashed through his signs, and sent a massive fire dragon at Naruto, who just stood there and took it.

The nin once again began to walk away, but as the smoke cleared, he felt the urge to turn around, and what he saw shocked him speechless.

Naruto was standing in the same spot he was when the fire dragon hit, with his hands clenched near his sides. His feet were shoulder-width apart, and was leaning forward slightly, with his head hung low, facing the ground. That wasn't the surprising part though. The surprising part was that he was surrounded by a one-tailed fox cloak, except it wasn't running on Kyuubi's chakra.

No, Naruto had successfully formed the fox cloak out of his own chakra. A long translucent tail swung behind him, and two chakra ears had formed on his head. His body was covered by the cloak as well, and it was all made of purely his own sky-blue chakra.

The chakra was pretty still at first, but as the seconds ticked by, it became more and more active, and before long it looked as if Naruto was standing in front of a hurricane, forcing his hair and trench coat to flap wildly.

Naruto's head came up, and he leveled a glare so strong at the enemy nin that it would have stopped the shinigami, had it seen it. Though the man was too far away to see it, Naruto's eyes had gained the slit pupil, but held their normal color.

Before the man could react, Naruto spawned a rasengan in each hand, and then vanished from the nin's senses, only to re-appear right in front of him, with each rasengan buried in his chest. The nin let out an agonized scream, and then promptly died from having his chest shredded.

Naruto quickly ran over to Tenten, who was just barely clinging to life. He knelt down next to her, his own wounds having closed up from the massive amount of chakra coursing through them. He tugged his left glove off with his teeth, revealing a swirling mass of slightly darker chakra; all that remained of his left hand. He had lost it in the first fight with Zabuza, and had gained a chakra hand during the battle on the bridge.

Anyway, he shook the memory from his head, turning it back to the task at hand. He gently placed his left hand on Tenten's chest, before pushing his hand into her chest. It was an ability he had discovered by accident after returning from wave. He was walking through the woods and tripped, and when hr threw his arm out at a tree to catch himself, his hand actually sank into the tree a little.

All he had to do was match the speed of the chakra in his hand to the speed of the chakra of the object, and his left hand could pass through it, and even interact with things below the surface, like he was doing with Tenten's lung.

He could feel that it had gone almost all the way through her lung, the back of her ribs being the only thing stopping it. He grabbed the ring of the kunai with his right hand, and slowly began to pull it out, closing up the wound with his chakra as he went, using it to stimulate new cell growth, as well as do a bunch of other stuff that he didn't really understand.

Once he got the kunai free, which took him almost fifteen minutes, he realized that she had no pulse, and wasn't breathing. He quickly stuck his hand back into her chest, trying to ignore how weird it felt to have his hand passing through her lung, not to mention the top part of her left breast. He gently grabbed her heart, and gently squeezed it a few times while sending his chakra into it in short bursts, hoping it would function as a defibrillator of sorts.

After a few squeezes, he breathed into her still body a couple times, and returned to gently squeezing her heart. He repeated this process a few times, and just as he was about to give up, Tenten gasped a huge lungful of air, the suddenness of which shocked Naruto so much he fell backwards.

Tenten sat up, swung her head around a few times, and quickly grabbed Naruto in a hug. Their sensei may have passed on, but they had both lived through their time of dying.