One Light In The Darkness: Dusk
I dont own Naurto. (sigh) Masashi Kishimoto does. for the moment...
The thunder of water crashing to the bottom of the valley was deafening. Though the scene under normal circumstance would have been beautiful, the statues of Madara and Hashirama , the two founders, overlooking the great waterfall. Today, however, was a different story Two young men squared off against one another. One hoping to bring the other back from the brink of darkness, the other looking for nothing more to cut all bonds. And let darkness consume him.
"Sasuke!" the blonde boy yelled. " What the hell are you doing? Come back with me to the village."
"This is where we part company, Naruto. I have nothing but my ambitions left to me. Leave now. There is nothing left to talk about. I have made my choice. I choose darkness." The raven haired boy known as Sasuke replied.
A deep-throated growl escaped from Naruto's throat. He jumped the chasm between them, and landed on his teammate. " You would leave all your friends behind for you ambition!" said Naruto as he lifted his friend up by his collar. "You would leave behind the love of the villagers, the bonds you've made... you would even leave behind the love of Sakura-chan and Ino?" whispered Naruto.
Sasuke grinned. " Those mean nothing to me. Bonds are only a weakness that must be purged." Sasuke scowled as he thought more on what Naruto had just said. "There is no room for love with ambition. Only through power can achieve what I want, and I can't get that power in Konoha" Sasuke started to raise himself with Naruto still on him. He grabbed Naruto's arm, and squeezed, making the blonde grimace at the grip.
"I wasn't going to fight you, Naruto, but now I think about it, you would be a good bench mark for how much stronger I've already become." Sasuke said with a wicked grin on his face.
Naruto struggled against the grip, but couldn't break it. Sasuke cocked his arm back and delivered a devastating open palm strike to Naruto's chest. Naruto coughed up blood as he shot back over the edge of the statue they were both on, and down into the depths below the waterfall. Naruto resurfaced a few feet down the river. Sasuke jumped off the statue as Naruto dragged himself out of the rapids.
"Sasuke I don't want to do this, just come back, there's no need for us to fight like this," Naruto tried to reason. It fell on deaf ears. He threw a brace of kunai at Sasuke in hopes of dissuading him from fighting. Sasuke easily dodged the kunai and ran through hand signs as he continued to run at Naruto. Naruto summoned a shadow clone, and started his response, a rasengan. The two teens ran at each other, their jutsus clashing. Battling for dominance, neither gave an inch. Finally the two moves negated each other, blowing the users back on the river. Sasuke was the first to recover from the backlash. Pulling himself out of the river, Naruto looked at the person he once considered his brother in all but blood. 'Is this what you want Sasuke? Is your ambition so powerful, so overwhelming that you would kill your own teammate as if he was nothing too you but a stepping stone?' thought Naruto as he pulled himself to the water top.
"Come, Dobe, prove to me the worth of your words." said Sasuke, his red Sharingan spinning. Naruto sighed to himself. "Looks like I have no choice." The two friends charged into battle again.
Back in kanaho
A mop of pink hair could be seen heading to the eastern gate. The young girl with cherry hair shifted her loaded pack. Her eyes searching from side to side looking for any that might impede her from doing her part. She was moments from leaving out the gate when someone called her name.
"Sakura?" a blonde haired girl asked. "What are you doing here?"
"What do you want Ino-pig? Can't you see that I'm busy!" the rosette spat.
"Wow, easy, forehead. Don't want you to blow a gasket." replied Ino. "I was just walking by when I saw you. I was just wondering why you had your backpack, and why you weren't at the north gate waiting for the retrieval team to return. I was just heading there myself to wait."
Sakura's smiled faded to a frown. Last night's conversation with Sasuke replayed through her mind.
Sakura came across Sasuke after her "date" with Naruto. The thought that she had to stoop so low as to go out with the loud mouth to explain things to him was nauseating.
"Sasuke-kun!" shrieked the rosette. "What are you doing out here this late? You should be home resting. You just got out of the hospital."
"Saskue-kun... why do you have your back pack?" she asked, concerned.
"What do you want, Sakura?" the raven haired boy asked in a monotone.
"Y-you're L-leaving aren't you?" Sakura stuttered.
"Go home, Sakura. Forget what you've seen. Live a happy life." was his only reply.
"How can I just walk away from you now? How can I turn my back on my heart, and pretend to live? I love you, Sasuke. If you're going to leave, take me with you. I couldn't live without you in my life.." Sakura began to weep openly. " I love you so much, I'll do whatever I can to help you with your ambition... your goals."
Sasuke disappeared from Sakura's vision, and appeared behind her. Sasuke made to knock her out when he stopped. A memory of something his brother said to him played through his mind. He grinned. " You know what Sakura, you're right. I could use you. This is what you're going to do, and if you pull it off I'll take you with me."
Sakura's breath caught in her throat. She couldn't believe it. Her Sasuke-kun needed her help. She would carry out his task, and anyone who gets in her way be damned.
Sasuke leaned in closer to her. His breath tickled the hairs on the back of her neck. "Okay, Sakura, this is what I want you to do..."
Sakura glared at her friend . "I have to go now, Ino. "
Ino looked at her rival for a moment. " You've been acting strange. Sakura what are you up to? You aren't thinking of trying to bring Sasuke-kun back, are you? Wait for the retrieval team to br.."
Ino never got to finish. A vortex of cherry blossoms started to encircle her. "You were always quick to catch on to things, Ino." came the disembodied voice of Sakura. "You're right. Of course I am going after Sasuke-kun, but not to bring him back. I'm leaving with him. He said he'd take me with him. All I have to do is help him unlock more power." That was the last thing that Ino heard as her world turned black. Sakura laid her long time friend on the ground and started to the gate again. Sakura, breathing hard, turned one more time to her friend. "That genjutsu took a lot out of me. I hope I make it in time. Goodbye Ino... I won our little rivalry." With that Sakura disappeared into the forest.
The eternal chuunins Izumo and Kotetsu, returning from their break, noticed someone lying in the middle of the road. Racing up to the person, they noticed it was the young Yamanaka heiress. Izumo reached into his hip pouch. He pulled out a small vial of smelling salts. Wafting it under Ino's nose received an immediate response.
"SAKURA!" bellowed Ino. Immediately taking in her surroundings, she realized that her pink-haired friend was nowhere in sight. The two in charge of gate security asked her why she was lying in the middle of the road. Retelling what she could remember from the past few minutes, the two chunins looked at each other and uttered one word in unison.
"I told you taking a break without relief was a bad idea," Izumo complained.
"This isn't the time for this. Our asses are grass, and Tsunade is the lawn mower. We need to track her down before she gets too far. Ino-san, I need you to report this to the Hokage while me and numb nuts track down Sakura-san." was Kotetsu's reply.
"Hai" was the blondes reply before disappearing to report that her best friend and rival had gone A.W.O.L.
Arriving at the Hokage tower, Ino rushed to the Hokage's office. Knocking on the door, she waited for a reply. She did not have to wait long
"Damn it, Shizune, I told you I didn't want to be disturbed until the recover team returns." came the curt answer to her knock.
Mustering her courage, Ino opened the door into the office. "No, Hokage-sama, I'm not Shizune. I come to inform you that Sakura as left the village, and gone after Sasuke-kun." A few moments ticked by. Ino counted backwards from 5 ending at 1 when all hell broke loose.
"That goddamn fool of a girl!" bellowed the blonde leader. "Going after a traitor like that. Smartest girl in her class my ass!" After several minutes of the Hokage raging, she calmed down enough to issue orders.
"Genin Ino I have orders for you!" said Tsunade, going into full Hokage mode. Ino snapped to attention. "You are ordered to retrieve our wayward kunoichi Sakura." Tsunade paused briefly. " You are to find Hinata Hyuga, and proceed with your mission. You are authorized to use anything you deem necessary short of lethal force in this retrieval. Do you understand these orders?"
"Hai! Hokage -sama."
" Good. You are dismissed!"
With her orders in hand, Ino left to find Hinata. Tsunade turned to look out the window overlooking her village. 'Just what the hell are you thinking, Sakura.' Reaching down she picked up her sake cup, and was about to take a sip when the cup suddenly chipped. 'Nothing good can come from this. Whether they bring him back or not, something is going to give... I just hope it's not Naruto'
"SHIZUNE!" bellowed the Hokage. Moments later her apprentice stumbled into the room.
"Yes Tsunade-sama?" was her winded reply.
"Get me mobile medical teams 1, 3, and 5. I have work for them to do," was her response, not once taking her gaze from the village.
"At once, Hokage-sama."
The ringing in Naruto's ears was deafening, his senses disoriented. He wanted to vomit, lay down, and let the feeling pass, but he couldn't. He had his 'brother' to pull back from the edge. He couldn't rest from his labors yet. Still much to do. Naruto suddenly found it very hard to breathe. Opening his eyes he found himself face to face with Sasuske, with the curse mark active. Two fully matured Sharingan eyes. Naruto had just enough time to jerk his left arm out and deflect a chidori. Naruto screamed in pain and the move struck home. His breath was only coming in short ragged breaths. His 'brothers' arm struck clean through him.
"Hmmm, seems you manage to save yourself from a fatal blow. Little matter, you'll soon be dead anyways." Sasuke smirked. "Guess I didn't need her help after all."
That statement got Naruto's attention for a brief moment. Sasuke withdrew his arm causing Naruto to scream out again. ' Damn it why am I so weak? Is the end of my resolve? Am I nothing but talk ? NO! It can't end like this! I won't let him have you! I just need more power. Enough to make him see reason. Enough to keep my promise.'
"I refuse to end like this. I will not be done in with a boy with a hickey." roared the Kyuubi, forcing his chakra through the seal.
Naruto screamed as the vile red chakra formed a cloak over him. Naurto lashed out at Sasuke, smashing his face in, and sending him bouncing over the lake. Naruto took on the shape of a fox, crouching down on all fours before speeding off after the young Uchiha.
Tree speed by the two kunichis as they pursued there wayward friend. The event that lead up to this chase were replaying in the Blonde girls head. 'what's up with forehead? she was acting strange. almost like she was hiding something.' Ino was pulled out of her thoughts as Hinata pulled her to a stop. Her fellow heiress Kekkei Genkai flared.
"What is it Hinata?" Ino asked
"Traps" came the reply. "There Konaho in make from what I can see."
"Why would the retrieval team lay traps? that doesn't make sense." Ino replied thinking about it more. They wouldn't. there's no reason for it. Would Sakura?... no why would she."
"T..there pattern a maneuver" stuttered Hinata.
Ino's eyes widen. The pieces of the puzzle finally falling into place. Sakura was trying to help Sasuke leave. And she planned to go with him. 'Damn it forehead. what do you think you'll get by helping him. This path only leads to your end. your career as a ninja or your life.
" We need to hurry Hinata. Find us the fastest Path through the traps."
"Hai " was all that was said as they once again took to the trees
They came upon a clearing in the woods shortly after clearing the traps left to delay them. slowly entering the clearing there senses on full alert noticed a huge battle had take place there. " Do you see anything Hinata?" Ino whispered.
"N..no. Nnothing... wait! over near that tree. its Choji!" said Hinata already heading to the tree.
"Choji! what the hell happened here? where's everyone else?" Ino asked frantic.
Choji slowly opened his eyes. Blinking he tried to focus on who was in front of him. I.. is that you? what are yo...u doing here.. first Sakura now you?" came his weak response.
"Choji are you all right? You saw Sakura which way did she go?" asked Ino.
"Ano Choji-san chara coils are s..shutting down. what did you do?" Hinata asked her Byakugan active
"Never mind that. you have to continue on. I'll catch up when I can. " Said choji as he once again passed out.
Choji? CHOJI! wake up or I'll beat you myself." cried Ino shaking her large team mate.
"Ano. Ino-san we have to continue or we'll lose her trail" Said Hinata meekly. "we'll set of flares for all those who will come later. But we dare not tarry her to much longer."
Ino spun around to face the girl fire burning in her eyes. " You would have me just leave him her alone? to Die alone? what the hell kinds of teammate do you think I am Hinata."
"A good one Ino-san. But Choji-san made the choice to stay behind so that the others could proceed. Do not let his choice nor sacrifice be in vain. We must continue, and stop those two from leaving the village." spoke Hinata threw veiled eyes.
Taking in her companions' word Ino visible relaxed." I guess your right Hinata we have a mission to complete, and there isn't much we can do her for him. Let's set off the emergency flares."
The girls made Choji as comfortable as possible, set of the green flare to single any passing medical ninjas to the area they once again set off in pursuit of their classmate.
A shadow figure sat in a chair just out of flame light staring at nothing. awaiting his new vassal to arrive. But something was wrong. Too much time had passed. They should have returned by now with his next body. His mind working a mile a min The figure came up with several outcomes of what could have happened. none of which please him. Pressing an nearly visible button on his throne, he summoned to him his most trusted servant.
" How may I add you Orochimaru-sama?" the servant spoke
" They have been too long. something must have delayed them. Take a few of our men, and go retrieve my package Kabuto." the figure known as Orochimaru said.
"At once Orochimaru-sama" kabuto said disappearing.
Hinata was able to pick up the residue chakra from Sakura heading away from the path the others took. There guess was after she meet Choji she wanted to go wide, and avoid all the others if possible. Soon the sound of water was hear in the distance the humidity in the air went up, and over the roaring sound of water . The sounds of battle could be heard. Picking up there already fast past the two kunochi's arrived at the precipice of a valley. Beside them was a river that flowed into the valley filling the lake there, before continuing its way out of fire county. In front of them was the stone monolith of the First Hokage Hashirama, to the left right was the statue of the Madara Uchiha the other founder of Leaf village. Standing on said statue was none other than Sakura Hanuno. The girl they had been searching for. They were about to approach the young Kunochi when the ground below them shook causing them to almost lose their balance. peering over the edge there breath caught at the sight they saw.
"N.. " came a faint whisper from Hinata. So low Ino almost didn't hear it.
Below them was Sasuke Uchiha, and Naruto Uzumaki. The two teammates locked with each other's eye. Seemed like Sesuke was saying something, but the noise of the falls was to loud to hear. Naruto had a strange red chakra around him, it felt tainted to Ino. Before their eyes they watch as Sasuke went through some type of transformation. The grotesque figure in front of them made Ino's stomach flip. Gone was the handsome boy she loved, and in its place was a disfigured dark monster with what seemed like hands for wings. Ino's heart sank, this boy had fallen far too far, this was not the boy she loved. She noticed Naruto standing resolved against his teammate, the dobe of their class showing more courage then she could even imagine. His left arm seemed to her to hang useless to his side. She heard a growl from her side, and turn to look at Hinata as the girl glared with hate, something she thought the heiress was unable to bring herself to do, hate. A motion from below alerted her to the continuation of the drama below. She turned to see Sasuke running through hand signs. Gripping his wrist the sound of chirping birds was heard over the roar of the water fall. Both girls gasped. That was Chidori, Kakashi's assassination jutsu. They had seen this move before in the finals of the Chuunin exams, they were aware of just how much damage this attack could do, and he was going to use it on a fallow leaf ninja? his teammate? Looking To her fellow Blonde to see if he was going to retreat, she was yet again shocked when the dobe of their class held out his right hand palm up, and Formed the forth Hokage's prized move. The Rasengan sat spinning in his hands, the maelstrom of chakra waiting to be released.
The two former teammates launched themselves at each other. Hinata's breath hitched, and she latched onto Ino's arm. Time seemed to slow down as the two closed in on each other. each poised to deliver the knockout blow that would end this fight.
"NARUTO!" rang threw out the valley pulling everyone attention from the fight below. All eyes turned to the Pinked head girl on the statue. All eyes but sasuke's, who use the distraction to strike home with his move.
First story I've written in a few years. By few I mean like 10... I'm not going to beat you to death with canon material. It's been beaten enough just let it die already. I'll try to brief over anything that is close to canon in the future releases. This story is a shift in the timeline from canon. In that Naruto Loses what's left of his innocents. and becomes harder. Seeing that this is a time shift it means thing won't be the same yet some will. Tune in next time for the latest chapter of One Light In The Darkness