A/N: When I was listening to Linkin Parks new CD, I came across a song or speech rather by Martin Luther King Jr. This really spoke to me, so I am going to do story focused on this speech, naruto style! Listen to it, very powerful message.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or the speech.
Without further ado….
Wisdom, Justice, And Love
The war all but grounded to a screeching halt when Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke met on the battlefield. The day was unusually sunny with storms brewing on the horizon. The normally cheery son of Minato and Kushina Uzumaki wore an expression of solemn determination. There was no smiles, grins, or words spoken from the hero. His opponent, the antagonist, stood across the clearing; arrogant and confident as he was of the prestigious Uchiha clan. He bear no smile towards an old friend, only an intense glare and a thirst for the blonde's blood on his blade. A heightened sense of primal instinct took over, a sort of frenzy. The Uchiha's own blood started to sing in excitement, the prospect of killing Naruto would topple the Shinobi Alliance in one fell swoop. The messily assembled and oddly stacked house of cards would fall, silently but surely. After that, leveling what was left of Konoha and killing every last infant would finally lay his clan to rest for all time.
A psychotic smile was returned with a frown.
"Sasuke, here is where we end this hatred," Naruto's words floated across the clearing to trickle unto deaf ears.
The smile turned into something malicious then.
"I can taste your blood already, Naruto!" With that, the Uchiha charged boldly and without hesitation.
Naruto braced himself while forming a giant shuriken above his head. The battle had began.
"How can I help you?" The young man flipped through his issue of a pornographic Kunoichi magazine without looking up at the person standing at the gate.
"I'm here to see prisoner #187," The soft melodic voice filtered through the chilly air.
"I'm sorry, but prisoner #187 isn't allowed to receive guests-Oh! Sakura-sama, please forgive me." The man all but fell over himself when he glanced up.
"If you took your nose out of that trashy magazine and do your job-," She hissed angrily, muttering to herself as she brushed passed the gawking man.
She knew where he was kept and quickly but gracefully descended the steps down into the darkness. Grabbing a torch, she continued to walk forward, the flickering flame her only light. The journey was far into the bowels of hell, but she made it everyday; it became a ritual. The scuffling of her boots and quiet breathing was the only thing that broke the deadly silence. For a prison, it was quiet, almost too quiet. The noisy prisoners were usually kept drugged and behind heavy doors to give others some peace from the racket.
Further and further, her steps did not falter.
She quelled the excitement that bubbled up at the pit of her stomach.
Pausing for a moment, Sakura placed the torch on a wall nearby and turned toward cell #187.
Green eyes adjusting to the dim light, she saw him then. Chained to a wall with chakra bonds laced all through his confinements and over the expanse of his flesh. He wore a blindfold and a bit in his mouth. He did not acknowledge her presence, though she had been used to it since she was eight. Nothing would ever change, that much she knew. A comfortable silence followed, she rested her head on the cold steel bars that held the Uchiha prisoner. It was as close as she was going to get, so she had to tell herself to be satisfied. She should hate him with every fiber of her being, but she didn't. What exactly had transpired on the battlefield? Kakashi's team found the two after the battle, Naruto already lost to them forever. Flashes of frantic hands over torn and bleeding flesh, a green healing light, and the sound of the male beneath her struggling for breath. Counting to one hundred she calmed herself and focused on the task at hand, unwilling to accept her best friend was lying a few feet away... face down in the dirt. Not moving. Not breathing. The last tale of Naruto Uzumaki would be a tragic one. Sasuke had been right in one aspect, Naruto did die while he won the battle. After the return of the leaf ninjas to Konoha, the civilians and shinobi alike refused to believe their hero was dead. Sakura had no words, only dried tears; bloody dirty shaking hands, and being mentally exhausted.
Sasuke received rough treatment, every shinobi taking turns on beating him down. Sakura stood by and allowed it to happen, so numb and hollow was she then, she had lost her ability to care. None of the rookie nine stepped in to stop it either, nor Kakashi. After the sound thrashing, the Uchiha sustained life threatening wounds. Sakura was ordered to heal most of it, but the minor injuries stayed. They could heal on their own. He was drug down to the cellars into the deepest darkest part of hell; chained, gagged, and sealed there. No one was allowed to enter save for the Hokage or an official who had permission.
I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight,
Because my conscience leaves me no other choice.
Sakura's eyes roved over his form, noting his fingers bent at odd angles. They healed that way. Dried blood coated his body in some spots, he hadn't been bathed. The smell coming from him would make anyone gag, except for Sakura, who had smelled worse things: death, decay, guts, blood, shit, and vomit all mixed together. She continued to watch Sasuke, his steady breathing the way his grimy dark blue locks framed his face, the twitching of his muscles every now and then. Even caged and in this horrible condition, he still was the most beautiful thing Sakura had ever seen. She wished none of this had ever happened, wanting to be back in the past when she was twelve and Team 7 was still together. Laughing happily, going on missions, being with her comrades who she labeled her other family. The sound of heels clicking off the walls broke Sakura's thoughts.
A flash of long blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes gave her away.
The girl's pink haired friend said nothing, nor did she turn her head and acknowledge the new presence. Sakura had eyes for only one thing in the room.
Crossing her arms, she glanced at the boy she once had a crush on and looked back at Sakura.
"It's a waste of time you know," Blue eyes expressing slight concern.
"What is?" The troll of Sakura's monotone answered. Since the war, Sakura had changed into a person who didn't cry or get upset. All that was left was numbing pain.
"Standing here for hours on end," Ino paused when Sakura's expression didn't change, "It's not what Naruto would have wanted."
"No, he would have wanted Sasuke pardoned and become the next Hokage," Sakura's reply this time was sharp and cutting.
"We are all worried about you!" 'we' meaning the rest of her classmates.
Instead of answering her, Sakura finally flicked a glance to the side, "How did you get past the guard anyway?"
Ino's lips broke into a smile, "I just showed him my goodies." Jiggling her breasts for added expense.
"You are disgusting," Sakura answered playfully, the slight smile not quite reaching her mellow emerald pools.
Ignoring her friend's insult, she gently took hold of Sakura's arm.
"It's getting late, everyone is meeting at Hotaku Restaurant."
"How long have I been standing here?" Knowing her friend would have counted the hours.
"At least five, don't your feet ache?" Ino started to direct her away from cell #187.
Had it been that long? Grabbing the dimly lit torch she came down with Sakura allowed Ino to lead her away.
I'll see you again soon.
No noise came from the cell. All was quiet.
A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war:
This way of settling differences is not just.
Sakura awoke screaming.
Shaking, she blindly grabbed for the bottle of pills on her night stand. Opening the container and popping a pill in, she took a deep calming breath.
The war had left many scars, some could not be seen or heard. These are the most deadly kind. Hiding her face in her hands, she rocked back and forth, trying to force back unwanted memories down. Flashes of blinding explosions, limbs flying off, putrid and infected wounds, flies buzzing, glazed eyes of those already dead, blood everywhere. War is hell, but the aftermath leaves the most damage. Tossing the covers off her legs, she stumbled into the bathroom. Turning on the facet, she splashed her face with cool refreshing water and gazed at herself in the mirror. Small scars lined her face, one above her brow another located on her chin. None were disfiguring, but left emotional traces. Gripping the sink, she blinked back tears. The dream she had started out pleasant, Team 7 working together happily before a dark shadow descended upon them and ripped Sasuke away from her and then disemboweled Naruto. Kakashi was there, but he did nothing to stop the dark shadow, the looming menace she called Madara. The dream turned chaotic with the pink haired girl running for her life as skeleton hands reached out for that swan-like throat and closed around the fragile neck like a vice grip. She couldn't breath or move, paralyzed by fear. Foolish dreams, Madara was dead. Like a snake, Kabuto had turned on his partner and then tried to capture the last Uchiha. Sasuke defeated him easily and went on to meet Naruto in battle. This had been confirmed later on by the Shinobi Alliance intel group.
Later on, after forcefully cornering the last two elders, Sakura got the truth out of them. As they told her the story, she sat numbly. Itachi was used by the elders because of the Uchiha planning a coup de tat, and then Madara being the true mastermind behind it all was hard to comprehend. Sasuke had no chance at a normal life, and before Naruto could set Sasuke back on the right path, Madara poisoned his mind permanently.
Opening her eyes, she looked back at her reflection. Giving a determined sniff and a quick swipe of her finger under her eyes, she readied herself for the day.
Walking into the hospital she was greeted by the smells of antiseptic, the feel of cold rooms, and the sound of monitors beeping. Gathering patient files, she set off to work. First visiting a man who lost a leg in the war and for all his hardships he was still a happy man. His five year old son sat on his lap as Sakura asked him questions. She smiled softly as the child grinned toothily at her, before resuming the sucking of his thumb. The man went on to talk about his wife and the things going on at home. Sakura accepted the fact that most people found her a good listener and would go to her to either solve problems or just chat. She didn't mind, though her thoughts kept wandering to the man in cell #187. The next patient was an old lady with arthritis, whom she knew very well. Mrs. Fuji lived next door to Sakura when she was little and always gave her candies. Writing a re-fill prescription to the old woman and a hearty 'take care of yourself' she went down to the next medical wing.
The children's ward. Sakura paused and placed her fingers to the glass, peering at the sleeping infants. How she longed for a baby of her own. A young mother was feeding her baby in a rocking chair beside one of the open cribs. She looked tired and worn out, probably just had given birth to her daughter only hours earlier. Sakura nodded to the woman and kept going. Entering a pink kiddy room, she grinned.
"Satsuki!" She grabbed the child up and spun her around. The sound of a child's laughter made Sakura's heart soar.
The child's mother sat calmly by and watched with a serene smile.
"How are you doing today Hinata?" Sakura placed Satsuki down and ruffled the blonde hair. Satsuki looked so much like her father, but had the eyes of her mother.
"I'm fine Sakura-san, and yourself?" Lavender eyes looking at her with kindness.
"I'm doing alright." Sakura answered while pulling out a chart from the pile.
"Looks like Satsuki is getting her final vaccines today."
At the mention of vaccine, registering as 'shot' in her mind, she shrunk back against her mother.
Sakura readied the vaccine and turned to see Satsuki trying to make herself as small as possible.
"You are just like your father, he hated shots too." Sakura plucked a red lollipop from the desk and waved it in front of the small child.
"If you are good, you will get this cherry lollipop."
Satsuki stubbornly shook her head and looked away.
Sakura sighed, playing along, "Well I guess I won't be taking my favorite niece out for ramen later..."
At the mention of ramen, the blonde haired girl perked up and reluctantly sat on the exam table.
Sakura smiled while wiping off Satsuki's arm with alcohol. A tiny prick.
"All done." The pink haired kunoichi announced while placing a shuriken and kunai band-aid on the small puncture wound.
"Can I have the lollipop too?" Satsuki asked hopefully.
Sakura leaned down, "Only if Aunt Sakura gets a kiss." She tapped her cheek.
Satsuki kissed her aunt happily and received the small candy.
"You spoil her," Hinata said affectionately as the child unwrapped the sweet candy and placed it in her mouth.
"She's all we have left," of Naruto.
As she bade farewell to Naruto's wife and only child, she arrived at her last patient. A burn victim.
This business of burning human beings with napalm,
Filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows
"Hello Sai, how are you doing today?" She asked kindly, though knowing he wouldn't answer.
Drugged and heavily sedated, the only sound filling the room was the beeping of the monitors. Sakura's eyes landed on the fresh flowers in a vase next to his bedside: Star of Bethlehem. A flower meaning hope. Ino must have visited. Returning to her professional medic mode, she peeled back the bandages, the skin and pores oozed blood and serum. The smell of charred flesh left a few months ago, but his wounds were stubborn to heal. He was gradually getting better, but he would have lasting physical scars. He got caught in the crossfire when Madara used a flame jutsu to level half the battlefield in one blow. Sai and only a few others survived.
As she re-dressed his bandages, she thought of Hinata and Satsuki. The Hyuga heiress was not the only widow, but thousands of women lost their husbands during the war. Not only in Konoha, but in every nation under the Shinobi Alliance. Orphanages were overflowing with children who's parents died, whether they had been innocent civilians, friendly fire, or causalities of war. Hospitals were starting to house more orphans as the Orphanages could not keep up with the mouths to feed, nor beds to sleep in or clothes on the children's backs. How many Naruto's would arise from this war? How many Sasuke's? Swallowing, she shook free of those thoughts and finished wrapping the last bandage. The male groaned in discomfort and shifted slightly, Sakura leaned over and adjusted his pain medication drip. In any case, Satsuki was a very lucky child, loved not only by her mother and Sakura, but by the whole village. They saw her as a beacon of future hope and dreams, for she housed the nine tails. Because of her father paving the way to greatness and changing the mindset of the people, they did not care about the power the girl possessed, that if spun out of control could level the entire village. After Naruto had died, the nine tails broke free and tried to flee the scene. The Shinobi Alliance caught the demon and sealed it into an urn. Upon returning to the leaf, the counsel convened and decided to implant the demon into Naruto's child to continue the legacy. In the end, it was the right choice. Satsuki would face hardships down the road, but with her father's spirit and the village backing her every step, she'd do fine.
"Sakura-san, if you don't mind, we have a psych evaluation on a patient." A nurse poked her head into the room.
Not all scars were physical.
"Alright," She followed the nurse down to the basement where they handled the unruly patients.
Coming across a padded cell, she gazed through the glass. A bloodied hand slammed up against it.
Jumping slightly, she took a step back. An eye followed the hand, it's brown orb darting here and there, but never really focusing on anything.
"Name?" She held her hand out for the file.
The nurse handed it over, Sakura flipped it open.
"Kato Kiyoshi, age thirty-five, killed his wife and children last night... was released earlier this month due to passing the psych evaluation." A few more pages flipped.
"The one who did his evaluation said he had subliminal post war syndromes."
Shit. Anger stole over the Kunoichi, if this man was showing small signs, why did he pass? Some sort of trigger must have happened for the man in the padded cell to snap and go on a rampage. Meaning he was dangerous to the public.
"It took five shinobi to stop him," The nurse supplied as Sakura angrily snapped the file shut.
"Admit him right away, if he doesn't cooperate, sedate him."
"Yes, ma'm." The girl bowed respectfully and motioned the two bodyguards beside the door to help her.
As Sakura walked away, she could hear the man's pleas, "no no no no!" scuffling and a thump followed.
She didn't look back.
Of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane.
She was standing on the bridge where Team 7 used to meet. Winter had fallen on Konoha, the big snow flakes falling from grey skies; the big river below her feet flowed sluggishly. Sakura shivered and pressed her cold lips and nose into her scarf more, there was a chill in the air today. A small poof alluded her to a new visitor. One lazy black eye roved to where the woman was standing, and then back to his pornographic book. Sakura mused, why read it? He probably memorized each and every line. A short silence followed as warm memories floated into her consciousness; smiles, joking, laughter. It was all but a distant memory now.
"Yo." He finally spoke.
Sakura smiled, "Kakashi-sensei... still reading those trashy novels."
The pages of his book was dog eared and worn, the binder had many lines and cracks in it. She was surprised it still held up.
"I hear you still visit Sasuke." Of course, the blonde blabber mouth would get her old teacher to talk some sense into her.
Sakura averted her eyes to the river.
"All he knows is violence and pain, he will never be one of us again." A page turned. Small birds took flight from a nearby tree.
"Naruto wouldn't give up on him," Sakura whispered.
"And it killed him." Kakashi replied, not sugar coating words. He had grown out of babying her when the war started.
Sakura's brow furrowed as she frowned.
"The counsel is convening soon to decide his fate."
Pink brows shot up as wide green eyes sparkled up at her teacher.
"You are to be in this meeting, summoned by the Hokages."
"Why?" Sakura gripped the old bridge's faded red railing, the wood splintering slightly under her hold.
"You'll find out," Kakashi turned and started to walk away.
Stopping, he turned. "Coming?"
Letting out a huff, the breath seen in the cold air before it's owner followed the copy ninja.
Of sending men home from the dark and bloody battlefields
physically handicapped and psychologically deranged
"Uchiha Sasuke," the old man lifted up a piece of paper, reading off of it, "mass murderer, including being responsible for the death of Naruto Uzumaki, missing nin, and international wanted criminal. Evaluation revealed him to be psychologically deranged."
Murmurs arose from the Hokage's and the assistants. Sakura fidgeted in her seat.
"As a group we have all decided the only course of action, a frontal lobotomy."
Sakura gasped, "No!"
All eyes turned towards the pink haired woman.
"It is not your turn to speak," Raikage snapped at her.
Ignoring the him, she stood, "Lobotomies are sick, cruel, and twisted! The complications are too great-"
"It would make him controllable. As of now, no one can touch him." Mei said calmly.
"You all make me sick," Sakura spat angrily.
"Careful Kunoichi," the old man spoke up, "or you'll find yourself sharing a cell next to the Uchiha."
"Threats don't work on me," Sakura glared.
"Sakura!" Tsunade finally spoke up and silenced her student.
"I agree with Sakura, lobotomy should be our last resort."
"What do you suggest?"
Sakura spoke up, "What about inducing coma and erasing his memories up until his fight with Itachi?"
"How would you go about erasing his memories?"
"Mr. Yamanaka, Ino's father, is good at getting into people's memories." Sakura was clearly grasping at straws.
"Fine, you have two weeks to do this Ms. Haruno. Make no mistake, once two weeks are up and there is no satisfactory change, he will have the procedure done."
She let out a sigh of relief.
"And you will be the one to do the procedure."