The Death of Naruto

It was nearing the end, and all of Konoha knew it. Iwa and Ame had both attacked Konoha, right after Orochimaru and Sasuke attacked at the head of a Sound army. Konoha had been able to defeat the traitorous snakes, as well as their army, but they were not prepared to fight off another army.

The remaining members of the Hidden Leaf prepared their final defense. The wall around the village was their last line of defense. All the Konoha nins knew, if the enemy managed to get inside the village, it was over.

Near the gates, two nin stood, in the midst of a heated argument.

"I'm telling you, it's the only way!" shouted one.

"NO! There has to be another way!" the other shouted back.

The first figure hung their head, now speaking in a much quieter tone, "If there was another way, I'd take it in a heartbeat. We won't survive another attack, and you know it. I really don't want to do this either, but I don't really have a choice. When I became a genin, I swore to protect my precious people, and I don't plan on stopping now."

"You're sure then, that there isn't any other way?" the second almost whispered back, voice quivering as if they were on the verge of tears, as they turned away from the first figure.

"There isn't any other way, Ten-chan," the first figure said back.

Tears welled up in Tenten's eyes, knowing what Naruto was about to do, wishing that he didn't have to do it.

The first figure quickly wrapped his arms around her from behind, catching her in a hug before she could collapse in sorrow. "Hey, don't cry. I hate it when you cry."

"I'm sorry, Naruto, I'm just afraid I'll lose you again…."

Naruto just sighed, "I've never failed to come back to you, and I don't plan on starting to now," he whispered in her ear.

She then spun in his arms, grabbing him in a death-grip hug, before latching her lips to his in a soul-searing kiss. She held him like that for seemingly an eternity, but at the same time it was over almost instantly. While they were embracing, she felt his hands lift away from her for a brief moment, and then they settled around her neck.

He pulled back slowly, gave a quick "I love you," and then leapt over the wall. Tenten clasped her hands in front of her chest, trying to hold back her tears, when she felt something resting between her hands and her shirt. As she looked down at it, the fragile remains of her heart shattered completely.

There, dangling from her neck, was Tsunade's old necklace.

She clutched at the green gem, collapsing to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably. She didn't want to believe it, but she knew deep down that he wasn't coming back. He never took that necklace off. Never. He would've sooner quit being a ninja than take it off.

Xxxxxxxxxx

After the battle, Tenten sat in Tsunade's office, waiting to hear the dreaded news. It hadn't been confirmed yet, but she knew Naruto was dead. When the office door opened and Tenten didn't hear Tsunade say anything, it just confirmed what she already knew.

"Did he do it?" Tenten asked quietly.

"Hai, he did. What's left of the enemy is in full retreat," the last Sannin replied.

"Can you take me to him?"

"I wish I could. We haven't been able to find his body yet. So far all we have found is this," Tsunade said somberly, while pressing a black-clothed headband into Tenten's grip. "We've decided to hold a service for him. It's in three days. Do you know…if he had any relevant requests?"

Tenten just shook her head, "Not that I know of…"

The two nins then discussed arrangements and other preparations, until Tenten asked, "Where…..are you…..going to …..b-bury him, if you find him?"

"Well, normally he would be cremated and his remains put in the memorial stone, but I think he should be with his family, don't you?"

This surprised Tenten. What Tsunade was implying was to put Naruto's body, if they ever found it, in with the other Hokages. He hadn't spread it around much, but he had known who his parents were for a while.

"I think he'd like that, but won't the villagers dislike that?"

"Well, if they don't like it they can all go jump off a cliff. All the ninja here respect him for what he has done; to the point that I think it just about rivals their respect for me."

Tenten just gaped at her, tears still running down her cheeks.

"Besides, after what I'm going to do is done, the villagers won't have a choice."

"W-what are you planning?"

Tsunade just grabbed some papers off her desk and handed them to Tenten.

Tenten took the papers with shaking hands, and began to glance over them. At first all she noticed was that the papers were for some kind of official appointment for him.

"So you're giving him an office here?"

"Keep reading, and pay attention to which office he's going to get."

Tenten looked back down at the form, noticing the title, and what it said after that.

Application for Rokudaime Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato

Applicant Name: Uzumaki Naruto

Date of Birth: October 10

Once she read that, the paper slid from her fingers, falling silently to the floor. Tears once again welled in her eyes, "I think he'd love that…"

"It gets better. Look at the bottom," Tsunade told her, once again handing her the paper.

Tenten's eyes widened. At the bottom were the signatures of Tsunade, the advisors, and the entire council.

Tsunade then pulled a large scroll out of a drawer, rolling it open so Tenten could see then end of it. It was a copy of the same form, except it had more signatures on it. In addition to the council, the advisors, and Tsunade, it had the signatures of all the jounin, most of the chunin, and even a few genin on it.

"The last time any decision in the village had this strong of support was when my grandfather Senjuu Hashirama was selected to be the first Hokage."

Tenten lost it at that moment, and latched onto Tsunade, crying into her shoulder. Had anyone else been in the room, they would've seen Tsunade crying as well.

Xxxxxxxxxx

The funeral was a somber affair. All able off duty ninja were in attendance, as well as Teuchi and Ayame. All of Naruto's graduating class spoke of their times together, as did Tsunade, Iruka, Anko, and Konohamaru. Tenten was barely able to finish her piece, the sobs just becoming too much to hold in.

When the service was over, the sixteen chunin that Naruto and Tenten had personally trained in the use of bows, arrows, and old-school stealth carried a small memorial into the vault that held the perfectly preserved bodies of the previous Hokages.

It was a slightly unorthodox procession, since the 'kage-nins,' as Naruto's unit had come to be known, were dressed in full battle gear, and were the only openly armed nins in attendance. In addition, their uniforms stood out in the sea of black that everyone else was wearing.

Their gear consisted of a black long sleeved hooded trench coat, which had all the same pockets as a chunin vest, green shirts, black pants, and black clothed headbands. On their backs they all carried a bow and quiver of arrows, and they all had some manner of close-quarters weapon on them. Some carried katanas, others had staffs, and a few carried the same kind of twin long knives that Naruto himself had favored. They also all wore animal masks similar to ANBU, except that they were black, green, and brown instead of white.

As they walked, it began to rain, seemingly as though even nature was sad at his passing. Strangely, though, none of the rain landed on any of the mourners.

They laid the memorial to rest, and left the room as quietly as they had entered. Tenten had been trying to hold onto the remains of her composure, but when she heard the massive stone fall back into place, sealing the resting place of the Hokage's, she lost that control, and fell to her knees, sobbing uncontrollably.

AN: this is set in my storm in the night verse, and is an ending i thought up one night. i dont plan on ending storm this way, but the thought wouldnt leave me until i wrote it. its been floating around my hard drive for a while, and i just thought id post it.