I do not own Naruto. I didn't earn money to write this story. Masashi Kishimoto created Naruto. This story focuses on Sasuke dealing with his grief.

Death of a Hokage…

Chapter 5:Naruto What Should I Do?

"I wish you were here…Naruto, what should I do?"

Sasuke found himself home. He removed his headband and looked at it, hung it up and went into his bedroom. His heart was weary. He picked up a faded picture from his nightstand. He brushed his thumb over the picture. This had been Naruto's copy. He had given it to Sasuke who had not cared enough to save his own copy. Naruto had looked angry, in the picture. He had good reason; Sasuke wasn't exactly nice to him that day…or many days. A sob rose in Sasuke's throat. He laid the photo down almost reverently. He put his hand over his eyes and his body shook.

"Naruto," Sasuke dropped to his futon and cried. He only ever allowed him the luxury to cry in the privacy of his apartment. He wanted Naruto back so bad. "Naruto," Sasuke called out again in a broken voice. He lay on his side and wept…

He was running. He had to make it. It still wasn't too late. He had to stop the idiot who offered himself as a sacrifice. Sasuke could see him standing there arms open. He ran harder pumping his chakra into his legs. Naruto was grinning as the man approached him and drew his katana Naruto's smile never faded he spoke and looked back over his shoulders. Briefly fear flashed in those beautiful blue eyes, and then they hardened telling Sasuke to stay back.

The blade sliced cleanly; Naruto's head fell to the floor with a thunk. Naruto's eyelids fluttered before settling half-mast. The once brilliant irises dulled. Sasuke stopped midstride. He screamed. Someone grabbed him from behind. Whoever it was they were very strong. Sasuke felt a sting in his neck and his muscles slacked. His vision faded but he strained to see Naruto's mutilated form. He had to save Naruto…

Sasuke sat up quickly. He gasped and wiped at his eyes. Someone was pounding on his door.

He ran his fingers through his hair and looked at himself in his mirror. He looked…Honestly he looked like shit, but he could hardly care less. He went to the foyer of his apartment and opened the door.

"Sasuke?" There stood his former teammate.

"Sakura," He said in a flat voice.

"Um are you well?" She looked concerned.

"Hn," He flatly replied. She looked hurt by his cold response. Sasuke really didn't want to hurt her but he was careful to keep her at an arm's distance lest she get the idea in her head that he would ever want her as anything more than a comrade. If he could feel comfortable with her not becoming overly attached he could afford to be nicer to her.

Inwardly he sighed and nodded to her, "What did you need?" Sakura was frowning and looking at him…looking through him.

"Oh," She shook herself and smiled, "Right…" She seemed lost for a second then knocked her head and laughed, "Right, Lady Tsunade needed to see us…she has a mission…Out of the village."

"Hn," He nodded noncommittally. He stepped back into his apartment and shut the door in her face. He looked at himself. He was still wearing his clothes from the previous day.

A knocking came from the door. He sighed quietly to himself, and turned around. He opened the door and of course Sakura stood there. She opened her mouth to say something but Sasuke stopped her, "I will be there in fifteen minutes."

"Oh…Ok," She sort of bowed to him and then left. Sasuke shut his door and headed to his bathroom…

…Fifteen minutes later he was standing outside the Hokage's office his hair slightly damp, his clothes were fresh. Sakura saw him coming and ran over.

"Hi Sasuke," She smiled, "I'm glad you're here."

"Hn," He nodded toward the door.

"Right," She said as she blushed. Sakura turned and knocked on the door.

The door opened and Shizune peeked out. She gave a watered down smile and invited them inside, "Come in, Lady Tsunade has been expecting you." She opened the door then left them there with the woman, who for once looked to be working. Tsunade didn't look up for some time she was reading some kind of documentation. Her mouth pulled into a severe frown.

"Lady?" Sakura started. Tsunade was glaring at her desk she crumpled the letter. It was then that they realized she had been crying.

"Monsters," She hissed and looked up at them. The woman sighed sadly and looked up (a few tears still clinging to her cheeks and nose).

She slammed the letter down and her desk shattered. Her honey brown eyes seemed to glow in fury.

"Lady Hokage?" Sakura spoke cautiously.

"Those bastards!" She growled; still seeming not to take notice of her subordinates standing, "We have been tricked…but how? I examined his body. It was him I know it! It cant be!"

"Ma'am?" Sakura whispered her voice wavered seeing her strong mentor shaking with fury, and sorrow.

"Naruto…He's…Naruto is still in Iwagakure," She choked out her words.

"His…his body?" Sasuke hissed in disbelief. He tensed, feeling of both dread and heart aching excitement welled up in his being. It had been half a year since that day. The day Naruto prevented a war and saved his life by giving his own in exchange.

"I-I do not know. I do know that Naruto's remains are missing and there are rumors…The Tsuchikage is keeping a young person with blond hair and blue eyes. He has been glimpsed by spies through windows, but he is never allowed out of the Kage's personal quarters. We cannot be certain of anything. I want you two to infiltrate and confirm or disconfirm. Do not act, only send a message. There is no way you could rescue him on your own. We will siege Iwa. If he lied then he will get the war he threatened us with!" Tsunade's voice was soft but deadly. Angrily tears poured over her face. All of those present felt both dread and hope steeling into their hearts. Tsunade continued, "You leave at midnight. I do not want anyone else to know." She looked pointedly at them, "Not even Kakashi or anyone formerly involved with Team 7."

They nodded and bowed. Not one of them had even thought to mention the class of the mission it was obviously an S ranked mission.

"Dismissed," The woman ordered them out with a look. As they left Sasuke could hear her weeping. He respected the woman enough to not look. Sakura (he could tell) was fighting the urge to go comfort the woman. They separated. Sasuke could not say no to this mission but he needed to set some things in order first…

…Once again Sasuke easily found Kakashi in his favored spot by the monument. Even though his face was covered and he was turned away from view Sasuke knew he was talking. He approached slowly not hiding his presence from the man.

"Hey…How are you today Sasuke?" Kakashi spoke leaning against the slab of stone that was decorated with names…One name in particular, Sasuke hoped could be stricken from that cold stone face. He would not get his hopes up.

"I need another favor," Sasuke asked. Kakashi turned his interest was piqued the last Uchiha rarely asked for help and here he was asking Kakashi twice in two days.

"Depends," Kakashi's voice held a teasing note but underneath was concern.

"Theres this kid…I'm concerned for his welfare. I do not want him to know I have someone looking out for him, but I have to leave the village for a mission.

"Why would you..?" Kakashi paused and glanced at him.

"He reminds me of Naruto. A lot…and he is in a bad situation," Sasuke said. This was as close to all out pleading he would ever get. Kakashi appreciated this.

"I'll keep an eye on things here then," Kakashi promised.

Sasuke sat and they discussed the situation. Inside his head was warring between two people whom he cared for and both needed him. Naruto needed him more at the moment, but he would not just forget the boy who was in such dire straits…

…Midnight found he and Sakura leaving secretly. Sasuke's thoughts kept turning between an enthusiastic cadet and a vibrant happy wanna-be turned Hokage.

"Naruto…I'll wait and see," He whispered so quiet that Sakura didn't seem to notice as they jumped from branch to branch in the great forest…