Okay for real though, this is going to be the last chapter. I'm not gunna fake you guys out like last time. I've had enough time to stew over the ending and I'm pretty much sure right now how I want things to go. And that's how its gunna be. No ifs, ands, or buts, about it. UNLESS: Everyone hates the ending so much that I will add an alternate. But that's only if I get a large, ridiculous amount of criticism and angry 'I'ma find you Hitoko-sama' reviews. But until that comes, I hope you enjoy the end. Regular PV
"It's ready now!" Obito's mouth was crooked with satisfaction. "I have the final piece!"
Sasuke tried to silence the screaming child in his arms but he could not make him stop. Hikari already knew about the sheer power and devastation that was going to be unleashed. Sasuke swallowed, getting into a solid position. "Hold him Sakura, I'm getting Naruto and we're getting out of here."
"But Sasuke what about the gen-jutsu? Now that he has the Kyuubi, it's all over for us."
Sasuke's mouth was stilled as he handed the still crying child to Sakura. "I'll be back."
"SASUKE!" Sakura's cries mixed in with the baby's and she couldn't help but feel the imminent weakness that she and the child shared. She had to do something…
Sasuke walked up to Naruto, who was on his back, eyes blank, fully opened. He was gaping up at Sasuke and the Uchiha knelt down to pick up his love and carry him away, but the blond's hand shot up and gripped Sasuke's arm. He pulled Sasuke down. "Don't let him take Hikari." Naruto feebly tried to stand but he ended up on his own knees, throwing up from the sheer amount of strain his body had been forced to endure.
The Kyuubi barely had to move to set the whole process into motion. In a matter of moments, chakra and debris started to whip around as a huge statue broke apart the solid ground, The Demonic Statue of the Outer Path. Naruto knew that statue because it was the thing that separated demon from their host. The only reason it hadn't been used on him was because of the weakened seal.
The statue was of some unearthly creature with a blindfold. The Kyuubi approached it, completely staggered and unwilling. It was obvious the Kyuubi was trying to keep its freedom. Not even monsters wanted to die. But the fight was futile. The ceiling imploded as the Kyuubi's body seemed to dissolve in the air, leaving a string of chakra that flowed into the statue. Obito stood near, his eyes wild with a semblance of eerie joy.
The ten-tails was huge. Bigger than Sasuke could have ever picture in his head. He stared upwards as chucks of plaster and rock fell around him. Naruto also was dumbstruck by what was happening before his own eyes. A creature with one giant Rinnegan eye stared up at the moon, screeching and thrashing about. Obito was laughing and laughing, finally being able to calm himself enough to leap onto the beast's mighty back. He opened his eyes smirking down at Sasuke and Naruto, who were slightly huddled together to protect themselves from incoming debris and rubble.
Sasuke's vision blurred for a moment as everything seemed to progressively get worse and worse. Obito was in control of the beast and it seemed calm at the moment as its body started to morph and change. Obviously the creature was not fully complete.
"It only takes an essence to create this monster." Obito said. "I didn't need to take the whole Kyuubi from Naruto and I didn't. A little bit of a family secret, Naruto, is that when your father died he took half of the Kyuubi's chakra to his grave. But still, I have succeeded. I have resurrected the Juubi!"
Sasuke's chakra was crackling into Chidori, eyes set and body solid. He was intent on taking Obito out now. He wouldn't allow Obito to continue this madness. Sasuke leapt, body moving so quickly that he blurred with the suddenness of motion. Sasuke's fist was flying, the crackling of Chidori crisping the air as he brought it down into Obito's chest. But Sasuke's eyes widened with shock when his arm slipped through Obito, causing no damage to the man what so ever. How could one ninja be so fast to react? Sasuke had been sure he was distracted by the Juubi.
Obito grabbed onto Sasuke's arm, swinging behind the younger Uchiha, taking out his knees and dropping him face first into the hard skin of the Juubi. The demon howled, not seeming to mind the brief pressure. Sasuke was struggling and trying to shake himself free when Obito smashed Sasuke's head down with his foot.
"You're not getting away now, kid. I have plans for you and your baby. You see Sasuke; I wasn't the only one in the market for a new body. It is true that I had to use Kabuto for his technique but the modifications I made to it will ensure your body lives a nice, full life. You just won't be in there to enjoy it."
"You promised my body to Kabuto? After all he's done to betray you? Are you mad?"
"You misunderstand. I killed Kabuto, the worthless brat is dead." Obito seemed unhappy to be reminded of Kabuto and his betray. The ultimate betrayal. "Madara needs it. Since your beloved killed our method of revival for Madara we need a new method. Your body is perfect. You're still young and powerful. Madara will be very pleased."
"Is that why you kept me alive?"
Obito increased the pressure of his grip, pulling Sasuke up so he could be faced off the back of the beast. "Soon, little Uchiha, everything will fall into place. I will have my body and everyone will be released from their tedium and torture of life. We'll be so happy in the jutsu Sasuke, I promise." Sasuke's eyes were wide with shock. He didn't know what he could do, how he could stop this. "Madara's coming."
Obito threw Sasuke down when he felt a sudden rush of malevolent chakra, an annoying little rat. Sasuke rolled off the side of the Juubi, causing Obito to frown as he grabbed for an incoming fist full of chakra. "Well, well, seems that the little snake made it through the wheat thresher."
"My, my, what a mess you've created for yourself." Kabuto's skin was cracked with hard, white scales. Horns protruded from his skull and a snake whipped around his waist, lashing and striking. "The snake sheds his skin and wishes to fly, through the evolution he becomes the ultimate beast, the dragon! No longer the weak sniveling serpent."
"Sage technique…Impressive." Obito commented as he blinked at the man before him. "But not enough to stop me."
Kabuto started laughing, laughing so hard that even Obito's brow gained a bit of sweat. "Someone forgot something important."
Obito felt chakra surrounding what was left of the building and the walls started to come down. The Edo Tensei, the undead army was still in play. Oh how bothersome this was going to be. Obito noticed instantly that the Akatsuki resurrections were the first to make their way inside the compound. Itachi and Nagato glanced upward, their faces vacant of emotion. Nagato was in a fully restored body, much like the one before he embraced the full power of the Rinnegan. Deidara was uncharacteristically silent as he and Sasori marched in together, eyes cast upwards. Obito noticed a few were missing but that didn't matter much, Kabuto was sending in heavy hitters like Itachi and Nagato in the first round. He was dead serious about killing him. The four of them moved all at once but Itachi made a sudden movement no one was suspecting and threw a scroll at the ground where Deidara was about to step. His foot landed on top and the scroll wrapped around him. The other members didn't even seem to notice what had just happened but still went to turn against the born again Uchiha. They didn't even get to finish moving before they were struck with the Totsuka. Their bodies vanished as Itachi turned, his full Susanoo looking down at Kabuto with coldness.
"The fly has escaped the spider web." Obito commented as he glanced towards the Uchiha.
"Don't think for a moment that I do anything for your benefit." Itachi's eyes were full of fire. "I'm making my job a lot easier."
"Oh, I don't think this is fair Itachi." Obito eyes took in the Uchiha form but also made sure Kabuto did wiggle out of his sights for long. "Everyone is against me."
"You brought a knife to a fist fight." Itachi muttered as he made brief eye contact with Obito. "Time to even the odds."
"And maybe you shouldn't have cut off your allies." Kabuto added as the snake around his waist receded into his stomach and a larger snake, with an almost Orochimaru-like resemblance popped out. "The tides are turning."
Obito's face reflected annoyance. The Juubi was in an incomplete form and he couldn't unleash its power right now due to the baby not being within his possession. If he accidentally killed the child, the plan could still work but it ran into a few forgotten details. Obito knew he had the current mental capacity to be the Jinchuuriki but a fresh, new child was far more preferable. The soul could easily take instant control of the power since the Juubi was a neutral creation to begin with. And with all that control over the beast, and Obito in control of the child, it was a match made in heaven.
"The Ninja Alliance is on their way as well. The fight is coming to you, Obito. As soon as Kabuto's taking his dirt nap, the alliance will be here to stop you."
"Busy, busy little bee…"
Sasuke grabbed Naruto and head back to where Sakura was hiding with the baby. She was obviously debating her chances of walking out of here with a baby in toe. Her face was pensive as she bit into her bottom lip. Sasuke set Naruto down next to the pink haired girl and looked back out to the large beast, noting his brother had finally decided to show himself. He had a far greater chance of surviving if Itachi was around.
Sasuke kissed Naruto on the forehead, noting the blond's deplorably quiet "Sakura we need to get out of here now. Take Naruto and Hikari with you, I'll catch up."
"No! Sasuke, we can't just leave you." Sakura whined as she grabbed onto Sasuke's sleeves.
Naruto opened his eyes suddenly and they were ringed red and the iris color changed. It was like staring into the eyes of a toad. "Don't be so quick to count me out, Sasuke. I still have quite a few tricks up my sleeve."
"Naruto take Sakura and go then. I can handle this without you."
Naruto laughed. "Shut up, I'm not letting you handle this alone. I have as much at stake in this as you do. I'm your life partner now and I'm not going to let you die that easily." The blond turned towards Sakura, he was still a little shaky on his feet but still looked confident. "Hide with Hikari Sakura. Don't let Obito get his hands on him without a fight."
Sakura nodded and begrudgingly headed for an exit. Obito broke eye contact with the enemies on top of the Juubi with him and scowled, noting that the pink haired brat was escaping with his new body. The Juubi's body started to shake and break apart causing Kabuto and Itachi to uneasily regain their footing as smaller bodies from the Juubi fell free and scattered across the debris ridden floor. They were all screaming heading for the able-bodied trio. Sakura turned; chakra was flooding into her body as she whipped her free fist into the ground, sending the creatures flying back.
Sasuke and Naruto were counting on her to keep Hikari safe and if she couldn't even do that, Sasuke might as well have killed her. She wished there was a better place to keep Hikari but since there wasn't anything around she cradled the infant closer and kept attacking as best as she could.
"Amaterasu!" Black fire surrounded Sakura and when the monster squirmed into it they burned slowly to ash. "Sakura, don't leave the circle of fire. It will keep you safe from harm as long as you don't touch it or leave!" Sakura nodded obediently. Sasuke was protecting her the best way he knew how and that was pretty much by quarantine. Sure, Sakura was pretty much trapped, but at least nothing could attack her or the child in her arms.
Sasuke and Naruto rushed through the creatures, clearing paths with the sheer force of their attacks. Naruto's Rasengan cutting and crushing them as Sasuke's Sharingan burned their bodies to ash and beat them into the floor. They leapt up onto the Juubi, joining Itachi's side just as Obito's scowl grew wider and deeper into his features.
"The scales tip again." Kabuto muttered.
"My, my the lovebirds have gathered enough strength to fight like the men they claim to be." Obito commented as Naruto lashed out. His attack made no difference in any regard as it went through Obito and almost caused him to fall off the Juubi entirely. Obito swung himself around and gripped onto the back of Naruto's head, pulling him back and flinging him back at Sasuke. The Uchiha couldn't resist but to catch him. They toppled over with the force of the move and Obito took the opportunity to pounce. His Rinnegan eye was blaring at the couple.
Kabuto smirked as he licked his lips, seeming very satisfied. A snake burst out of Kabuto's stomach. Orochimaru's DNA allowed him to replicate the snake form his master took when he was about to switch bodies. The snake's mouth opened, trapping Obito inside and swallowing him whole. Both Naruto and Sasuke's mouth's hung open as Kabuto laughed. "I'll digest him like this and take his powers! The Rinnegan and Sharingan, I'll not only surpass Orochimaru but his dream as well!"
The snake's eyes started to change gaining the Sharingan look to them and Sasuke's body shook. With something like that in play, Kabuto could be unstoppable. Itachi's Sharingan activated as he approached Kabuto. As much as he hated to think it, Itachi knew he needed to get Obito out of there before Kabuto could fully absorb him. Obito had been controlling the Juubi and progressively Itachi could feel the Juubi getting more and more powerful which meant more and more out of control. For now, until he could think of a way to keep the Juubi in check, Itachi had to save Obito.
Before Itachi could even reach Kabuto, before his Susanoo could even fully form, Kabuto's head was severed from his body. Itachi's eye widened. It was like seeing a legend play out before your eyes; he was looking into the eyes of his ancestor, the one and only Uchiha Madara. Kabuto's body fell to its knees and falling backwards, stomach up. Madara blinked as he cut into the snake, freeing Obito. He coughed and rolled to the side. He was covered in slime and fluid and he shook himself free of some of it but it stuck to him like glue.
"Sticky situation?" Madara questioned and Obito just glared.
"Cut the shit and help me keep these brats down. I need a little time to prepare the vessel to become the Jinchuuriki."
"And I assume that young Uchiha boy will be housing me?" Madara asked, even bothering to give Sasuke a chilling look before returning his gaze to Obito. The other Uchiha nodded. "Good choice."
Itachi's teeth grit down together before he looked at his little brother, who was seething with anxiety. Things were obviously picking up too quickly for his liking. As much as Itachi hated to admit it, he liked the odds better when Kabuto was alive. It was everyone versus Obito then.
The snake must have sent for Madara while they were beginning to fight so he could kill Obito with his own sensei. Not the best move on Kabuto's part. He should have known by now that Uchihas were not easily controlled. But that wasn't all of it. He had promised Kakashi he would stop the Edo Tensei so he could free up the alliance and bring them into this battle. Kabuto was dead now; the Edo Tensei was now in permanent effect. The only upside Itachi could see to this was that he couldn't be killed by Madara or Obito.
"Let us begin, Obito." Part of Madara's body sunk into the Juubi and the creature howled. Obito leapt off the Juubi and landed on the debris ridden floor. Naruto and Sasuke instantly gasped knowing exactly where he was heading. Obito was going for Hikari. Naruto couldn't contain his anger and adrenaline as he followed after Obito, determined to keep the Uchiha away from his child. He couldn't allow this man to hurt or touch him.
"Shit." Sasuke swore under his breath and looked between his lover and his brother. "Itachi, what should I do?"
Itachi swallowed. They couldn't do much against Madara but if they managed to incapacitate Obito or at least slow him down, it would cause them to take a step back and reformulate a plan. Itachi grabbed onto Sasuke's sleeve and guided his brother as they hunted Obito down. Itachi had a sealing scroll in his pocket but he didn't know if it would be able to work against Obito or Madara. Hell, it might not even work on him. Itachi's face set as he decided. The Totsuka could be used against both of the Uchihas. However, nothing would ruin Obito and Madara's plan more than the soul being ripped out of the Juubi. Its body was worthless without the chakra of the other nine Jinchuuriki. The Totsuka would assure something that had a semblance of victory.
The Uchiha paused, leaving Obito to his brother and Naruto. He had a much larger fish to fry. Madara and Itachi locked eyes and the older smirked. Itachi's Susanoo surrounded him in an instant and the older seemed to appreciate the skills of the younger. As much as he despised the younger generation of his clan for betraying him, he couldn't help but appreciate that they hadn't let themselves become weak.
Madara knew something was up as soon as they Uchiha stopped chasing after Obito. He was a resurrection and a very powerful one at that. He didn't know what this Uchiha was capable of but he assumed he would find out soon. Itachi's Susanoo pulled out its sword and Madara made the Juubi move. It actually backed away from Itachi. Madara felt a very strange power coming from this Uchiha and this power could very well end their plan before the Juubi even matured fully. The younger Uchiha frowned. Madara was as crafty as all the rumors lead him to believe. He didn't think, however, that Madara could catch on so quickly to the powers of his Susanoo.
Sasuke knew he couldn't touch Obito if the Uchiha was aware of what was going around him. Obito was quick and he was highly skilled. His Sharingan allowed him to break the barriers between space and time and there seemed to be no way to even begin to break down that connection. The only way Sasuke could even think about doing something like that was to remove his eye; that however required getting close enough to Obito to be able to cut it out.
There had to be a way of attacking Obito so that he couldn't just phase through it. Sasuke couldn't think of anything that had the power potential of doing that. He didn't know anything like the Flying Thunder God Technique. Sasuke knew he and Naruto were at the disadvantage against Obito. And Itachi abandoned his side so he could deal with Madara and the Juubi. Sasuke bit down on his lip. None of this mattered however; he would do everything in his power to make sure his son would be protected. He would die so that Hikari could be guaranteed a future.
Naruto wanted to just jump onto Obito's back and ride him into Sasuke's Amaterasu flames but he knew that would only land him with some very serious injuries. He didn't know what he could do to stop Obito. Nothing seemed to work. Taking Obito by surprise seemed impossible and they didn't know any technique that could counteract his ability to phase through space. Naruto grit his teeth as he watched as the Uchiha approached Sakura, who was angrily staring him down.
The circle of fire was large enough for Sakura to safely move around in but small enough to make it difficult to land in. Obito, however, didn't have a problem moving through the protective ring of fire. Sakura's brow was trickling with sweat, not from all the activity she was doing, but because of how badly her heart was racing. Obito could easily kill her without having to worry about taking a blow. She backed-up as much as she possibly could hugging the crying child tighter to her chest.
Sakura knew there was a way to end this all now, to gain some sort of upper hand. She could drop Hikari into the black flames. However, Sakura wasn't exactly sure about the importance of this child. Could Obito and Madara make their plan work without him? She didn't know. But there was always a way to find out. A tear ran down her cheek as she held the baby right above the fire. "Don't come any closer or I'll drop him."
Obito stopped in his tracks, allowing Naruto and Sasuke to get a good look at what Sakura was attempting to do with their child. "SAKURA!" Naruto's voice was hoarse with anger and rage started to bubble up in his blood. She was about to betray them and kill any hope for a happy family. How could she do something like that?
Sasuke's eyes grew icy as blood started to trickle from his eye. He had to release the Amaterasu so that Sakura couldn't kill Hikari. Even though Sasuke was pained to see it, he understood why Sakura was doing it. Hikari was what Obito was after and destroying that little life line was enough to get under his skin and cause him to be open and vulnerable. It could actually give Sasuke and Naruto the perfect opening to kill Obito but Sasuke could not physically make himself okay with sacrificing his only child so that he could maybe get a shot at Obito. Even with the shot, it may not have been enough to kill Obito. All in all, Sakura's rash thinking was too risky.
"Naruto, go help Itachi, I'll deal with this. You'll only make this more complicated than it needs to be." The flames were already starting to die and Naruto looked over at Sasuke, blood trickling down his cheek.
"I'll handle this." Naruto was taken back a little by the dire seriousness of Sasuke's tone. He couldn't do anything but nod. The blond turned around, taking one last passing glance at Sasuke and their son before he ran to help Itachi.
Sasuke knew he only had seconds to react before Sakura actually dropped Hikari. The flames were dying and she actually let the baby out of her arms. Hikari was screaming and crying as he was tossed from the warmth into the air. Obito was rushing, his body moving so fast that Sasuke only saw a blur. He had his arms open to grab onto the child, shoving Sakura out of his way as he did so. She was screaming as Amaterasu bit into her flesh, burning and blistering it. Sasuke wasn't able to put out the flames in time but he was satisfied since he was just going to kill Sakura anyway. The Uchiha felt a unique satisfaction watching Sakura burn. A move like that couldn't be forgiven. A flash of electricity caught Obito in the chest and the baby fell into open and waiting arms. Sasuke knew that technique, he knew that crackling. He couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the one and only Copy Ninja, Hatake Kakashi.
"Sorry I was late; I got lost on the path of life." Sasuke couldn't help but resist rolling his eyes. Leave it to Kakashi to make light of the most serious situation they had ever been in. Hikari had stopped crying as he was coddled into Kakashi's chest and Obito looked up from the arm that had been shoved through his chest, blinking.
"Kakashi." Obito's voice was cold and solid. Sasuke rushed over to his sensei's side and took Hikari from his arms so that Kakashi could put even more strength into his Chidori. The Uchiha coughed a little as he looked his former teammate in the face. "Never thought I'd see you again."
"I think that's my line, Obito." Kakashi muttered. "Sasuke, get that kid out of here. I'll finish Obito."
Sasuke frowned. He didn't know what he was going to do with this child. He needed to help his brother and Naruto fight off the Juubi, not to mention finish Obito off. Even though Kakashi did manage some kind of blow, there was no way to tell if it was lethal.
Obito started to laugh, blood splattering up onto his lip. "You don't think it's going to be this easy, do you? You've given me nothing but an open opportunity. Madara knows what to do from here."
Sasuke's eyes widened as Obito moved through Kakashi, his flesh seeming to come alive as it approached him. Sasuke tried to run but noticed that his feet were glued in place by a pair of Zetsus. How could he have not seen this coming? How could he not sense their chakra? Sasuke started to struggle as the mob of flesh formed into a being that reminded him of Orochimaru's snake form. The form his former master assumed to take bodies with. Obito had learned the technique from Kabuto no doubt, the similarities were astonishing. The flesh overwhelmed Sasuke taking him into a wall of meat flesh. Sasuke couldn't breathe, he couldn't move, he couldn't even scream when silence engulfed his child.
The wall retreated and fell into mess piles around him. The soul had left the body, Obito had shed his skin into Hikari. Obito was Hikari. He looked down at the eerily silent infant in his arms and held back a cry of anguish. He had failed. He let Obito take Hikari. Kakashi was shocked into silence as he glanced at the face of his former student. There was a broken hatred in Sasuke's eyes that he knew all too well. Obito had really taken everything from them. He had ruined something that could have been the epitome of beauty.
"Save your words." Sasuke managed to say, tears bursting through his eyes and down his cheeks. "I don't need your pity words. We need to focus on the Juubi."
Naruto looked at a very frustrated Itachi and the Uchiha continuously tried to strike the Juubi with a sword made from the essence of his Sharingan. Naruto was amazed. Itachi was truly one of the most skilled ninjas he had ever seen. It was a honor to fight with him.
"What can I do to help you?" Naruto questioned, trying to observe everything that was going on. Itachi looked over at the blond. Itachi knew that Uzumakis like Naruto were well known for their abilities to control the beasts and Itachi wondered if Naruto could. It was obvious Madara was using his Sharingan and physical connection to the beast to control it but he wondered if Naruto could at the very least keep him from moving around.
"Naruto, can you hold the Juubi down with your chakra?"
Naruto was blindsided by the question. He didn't exactly know what Itachi meant or if he even really could stop the beast from moving. When he had been training before he had been captured Killer B and he had been practicing how to keep a tailed beast down long enough to take its chakra. Could that work here? The blond didn't see much more of an option. Naruto focused his chakra and he could feel the natural energy pulling and whipping up around him, forming a link of chains. Naruto closed his eyes as the chains of chakra burst from his body and wrapped themselves around the Juubi. The beast howled and Madara rocked on top of the Juubi as it tried to free itself. He hadn't been counting on this. He didn't think the younger Uchiha could out maneuver him so quickly. He needed to severe these chains of chakra. Madara removed himself from the beast and jumped down, planning on attacking the blond haired nuisance directly.
Itachi couldn't help but think this was perfect. Madara was quick though and Itachi didn't waste a single moment from the second Madara left the Juubi to sink that Totsuka into the Juubi. The beast let out a blood curdling scream as its soul and essence started to pull up and away from the demon.
But that's when Itachi noticed something wasn't going right. Instead of being sucked into the holster of the Totsuka, the Juubi was being flowed down Naruto's chakra chains. The blond's eyes were wide open as the Juubi's influence started to fill his body. He hadn't counted on this. He was just trying to hold the Juubi down but it was too late to stop now, he couldn't stop the monster's influence from consuming his body and soul. Naruto knew that this meant he was going to become something no one had seen in a very long time…If he even survived. His entire body felt like it was being ripped apart as his chakra tried desperately to seal and lock away the Juubi.
The blond fell to his knees as a seal appeared on his stomach and the beast's physical body started to turn hard, reverting back to nothing more than the stone statue it once was. Naruto's head was pounding as his life started to flash before his eyes. He could feel the Juubi trying to take over, trying to infest his mind so he would just become the beast but Naruto kept his mind focused through the black haze. He had to live. He had to keep control. Hikari needed him. Sasuke needed him. It was like a gate slammed shut in Naruto's mind because he couldn't feel the Juubi anymore.
Naruto's eyes were bloody red as he gasped for air, landing face first onto the ground, the consciousness stripped from his being. Itachi looked down at Naruto, rushing to his side and pulling the blond into his lap. He hadn't meant for this to happen. He wouldn't be able to forgive himself if he hurt Naruto. Itachi knew the blond was alive, at the very least, but he didn't know what could come from this. Naruto could very easily be overcome by the Juubi.
"YOU BRAT!" Itachi turned towards a very angry looking Madara. He was stomping over to the two of them and Itachi swallowed hard. He was furious and he didn't know how to stop this raging Uchiha. Itachi dropped Naruto as his body started to burn, Amaterasu covering him. "I'll end you! I'll destroy you! YOU KILLED MY DREAM!" Itachi felt himself fall to ash and then rebuild, blinking as it happened. Madara couldn't kill him like this and he knew it. He couldn't feel pain so he didn't understand why Madara was attempting to torture him like this. Madara's arm reached out, gripping Itachi by the throat. "You disgusting worm!" Madara threw him to the ground like a rag doll and Itachi reached for the scroll in his pocket. He needed to end this, setbacks aside.
Madara lanced Itachi's hand free with a blade and the younger Uchiha's face froze. The old Uchiha was marching up to him, eyes burning for the kill when a blade embedded itself into Madara's back. The Uchiha didn't even flinch as he turned; blade still buried in his flesh, and grabbed Sasuke. He flung him into Itachi and the Uchiha brother's both huffed as the air was knocked from their lungs. The oldest Uchiha moved quickly and scooped up Sasuke before Itachi could grab him.
"This is your brother, right? I'll take great pleasure inhabiting this body and killing you with it!" Madara voice was filled with an angry desperation. The Uchiha gripped onto Sasuke's face, squeezing it as he looked into Sasuke's eyes, his Sharingan swimming so that Sasuke would be still as his body was taken over. His soul started to detach from the body Kabuto had stuffed it into and it started to file itself into Sasuke's mouth. Itachi watched in horror and started to formulate how to separate his brother from the evil Uchiha who had him in his grasp. He had already fucked up with Naruto; he couldn't allow Sasuke to be scathed as well.
"Grim Reaper Death Seal!" Itachi's eyes widened as he saw Kakashi appear in front of him, the reaper behind him, smiling wickedly. Madara's soul was stuck with the reaper's sword and it was being pulled out slowly. But Kakashi noticed that not just Madara's soul was coming up, Sasuke's was as well. Madara had managed to combine their essences together. He swore under his breath. "Itachi, forgive me for what I'm about to do."
Itachi wanted to cry and scream for Kakashi to spare his brother but the words lay unspoken in his dead throat. Kakashi's soul, guided by the reaper, ran up to where the Uchiha's were tangled and grabbed onto Madara's soul pulling as much as he could inside of himself before the reaper sliced Kakashi's soul in half. It seemed as though Sasuke's soul was strong enough then to absorb everything. Sasuke's left eye was open and everything was seemingly pulled inside. The pupil and iris scarred over, white as pure snow. Sasuke started screaming as pain rocked through his body. He was crying and holding the left side of his face. Kakashi's body fell to the ground and Madara's started to crumble, turning into dust and floating away in the wind. Itachi rushed over to his brother and Sasuke writhed in his arms.
This was not how Itachi thought this was going to go. He had no idea what all of this really took to stop. His brother had a demonic Uchiha sealed inside his eye. Naruto had a demon attached to his soul. And he didn't even know what had happened to Obito. Itachi looked over to where he last knew the baby was and saw a pile of flesh that he could have once called Obito. The bastard had done it, he had taken the baby. Itachi softly pushed Sasuke off of him and stood up. The baby was lying down on a makeshift cradle, no doubt Sasuke's quick handy work. He grabbed a kunai from his pocket and held it close to the baby's throat. It was time to end it. He would not allow this to happen again.
Itachi was taken aback when his arm was grabbed from behind and he was spun around. Naruto was looking at him, blood was soaking his white robes where the seal of the Juubi lay burned into his skin. "Touch my child, Itachi, do it. I'll kill you."
"Naruto, I need to finish this."
"I will let this monster out Itachi, don't touch him."
"He's right Itachi." Sasuke voice chimed in. The younger Uchiha was clutching his eye as he approached his brother. "The seal is still weak. I can feel Madara's presence already trying to knock its way through. The emotional upset could potentially ruin everything we worked for."
"But this is Obito!" Itachi felt as though he was arguing with a wall. He knew it was pointless but he couldn't help but be frustrated. Everything that could have gone wrong did. The Edo Tensei was still in effect, Sasuke was blind in one eye, Naruto was the host of a hideous monster, and the life of an innocent child was taken before it could even begin. "Do you think I want to kill him? This is my family too!"
"Then don't kill him." Naruto muttered. He placed a hand on Hikari's forehead and the child purred at the touch. "I can feel Obito inside of him but it isn't the strongest presence inside him. His soul is winning."
The three of them stood around in silence as the baby gurgled happily at them. It knew the worst was over now but didn't know what possibly could happen next. Itachi looked between Sasuke and Naruto and scooped the baby up in his arms. It was the first time he was able to hold his nephew and it warmed his heart to see something so absolutely beautiful. Of course that beauty was marred by Obito's presence. He could feel it. He could feel Obito.
"If this child starts showing signs of being Obito and taking on his personality, I will kill him." Itachi stated, his tone flat.
Naruto looked at the child in Itachi's arms. "Yes. For now the monster sleeps but if he ever developed into Obito he could easily finish what he started. And now that I house the Juubi, I'll be the most vulnerable. He's my child…"
"I'll never let Obito have you again." Sasuke said as he placed a hand on Naruto's shoulder. "I'll kill Hikari before Obito can use him."
Tears filled Naruto's eyes as he shook his head. "We can't return to the village like this."
Itachi nodded. "They'll kill Hikari without hearing us first. And they might even kill you Naruto, you're the Juubi vessel…"
Sasuke looked around and glanced back to his brother. "Then we should vanish without a trace, don't you think?"
The four of them left the compound, staring down at it as Itachi allowed his Amaterasu to cover the building and envelop any evidence of them. They wouldn't allow the alliance to find them now. They would run and hide for the rest of their lives if they had to. Sasuke reached out and grabbed onto Naruto's hand but the blond shook him off so he could better cradle the child into his chest.
Naruto sat down, his eyes were blood red, and the thick dark circles of insomnia were burning purple, hallowed craters into his flesh, marring his once full and beautiful face. He held the baby in his arms. Hikari was silent now. Completely silent. But his eyes were open, staring up and out at the moon. It seemed to have him entranced. It also seemed as though Hikari's body was still holding onto its original personality. Naruto wondered how long though. Obito's presence lingered in his frame. Naruto could feel it. The Juubi had been sealed into him and the mark on his stomach still burned, as though it knew that its master was lingering in the host's arms. The baby seemed to only cry in the arms of its father, Sasuke, as though Obito was warning its host that its own father may be the one who would, one day, if the correct signs came, kill him. Naruto prayed, as he held his baby, rocked it slowly, that Sasuke would never have to bring Hikari to an end.
Itachi was leaning out the window, his expression blank. When Kabuto died, which was completely out of his control, the Edo Tensei was set in stone. His dead body now cursed to walk this earth unless sealed and trapped, which he vowed, never would happen. If there was even a fraction of a chance Obito could come back, he would follow that child to the depths of Hell and back to stop him. Sasuke was standing near him and his eye was hardened, the left one covered with a makeshift patch. Another thing, Itachi mused, that had been out of his control. The flames of Amaterasu withered and silenced by the seal that now and hopefully forever would encase Madara.
"Naruto, how long is it now that you've been awake waiting on the child?" Sasuke asked as he stepped away from the window. The pale moon light encasing half of his face in shadows, showing his full and complete side, Sasuke seemed to be smiling. Naruto, however, knew that this was nothing more than a mere façade. He had been living with the two Uchiha brothers for months now, knowing only the older was harmless towards him and his infant. "Allow me to watch him tonight; you deserve a good rest, love."
"A child needs to be with his mother." Naruto replied softly, eyeing Sasuke with weariness. As much as he would love to hand Hikari over to Sasuke, as much as he would enjoy getting a good night's sleep, and deep down, as much as he would enjoy all of their suffrage to be over, he still couldn't allow Sasuke to spend time alone with the Hikari. "Besides, you know how he cries when he's been with you for too long."
"The evil inside sleeps." Itachi said as he looked towards Naruto. "We know that. If, Naruto, you continue to ostracize Sasuke from his child then it may blossom. And we all know that there is a possibility that the seal on Sasuke's eye may break as well and he might become the new evil we fear. So for now, we should all play the happy family we crave…"
Naruto slowly stood, his legs feeling weak from the chakra reinforcement to the seal. At night, he was the most feeble and vulnerable. But the surviving villages didn't know that yet. He handed the child to Sasuke and the younger Uchiha seemed warmed to have his child goo and purr at him. Itachi's gaze tilted back out the window. "We have a visitor. It's the Kazekage." Naruto came to the window and blinked at the red head stepping through the brush.
"He's alone. I'll speak with him. If you think the situation is about to go south Itachi feel free to step in." Naruto muttered as he went for the door, closing it softly as he did so. He walked around the other side of the house and stood in direct sight of the window. Itachi seemed hidden in the shadows as he did that. Gaara wouldn't reveal himself in Itachi's presence anyway. "Come out Gaara."
The red head moved silently, coming to meet the blond. He stood in front of Naruto, green eyes piercing into the blue. There was a sheen of worry coating them but Naruto chose to keep his face hard and ignored the concern that glazed in his former's friends eyes.
"Where have you two been? After you escaped after the war, we've all been searching for you and Sasuke!"
"Because you've abandoned everything. You both abandoned your village, you abandoned your friends, and you've even abandoned your ambitions. What about all your talk of becoming the Hokage?"
"The village doesn't need me, Gaara. There isn't much left of it, don't you think? In fact, I do believe that there isn't much left of the Sand village either. So, this trip must really be on borrowed time. Just tell me why you're really here."
Gaara was silent, his eyes moving away from concern and gaining hardness to them; an almost calloused and seemingly protective look. "We know of the child."
"It was only a matter of time…" Naruto whispered. "And what do you plan to do about my child? Do you think I would hand him over to you?"
Gaara shook his head. "You shouldn't protect it. It's a monster."
Naruto started to laugh, slowly and almost soundlessly at first before the laughter burst from his mouth, giving his exhausted body an almost creepily emaciated yet lethal glow. "Hikari, the monster? I believe you need to start looking away from the baby and starting looking at the man before you!" Naruto ripped open the loose robe he had been wearing to show an intricate sealing laid, seemingly burned into his flesh. "I am the Juubi container; I took the demon's chakra and encased him in my tomb of flesh and bone. I am the monster. The child is nothing."
Gaara was stunned, even if just for a moment. "The Juubi is not the monster we seek, and you know it." His voice was soft in pleading as he looked at Naruto. His hands reaching out to grab Naruto's weakened body. "We can help you. The nations have fallen apart, yes, but we are different than before. We've become one large people. Tsunade eagerly awaits yours and Sasuke's return."
Naruto slapped the hand off of him. "No. This began with Sasuke and I, and that's how it will end. We will not return anywhere that doesn't guarantee a safe welcome for us or our child. Our first born son. He's everything we have now and I will not let the villages tear him apart in an attempt to free Obito and condemn his spirit. Besides, the child shows no knowing or ill effects of the spirit inside, I've seen to that personally. And if, not when, the child becomes consumed by Obito…We will be the ones to end him. Not you."
"Can you really kill your own child, Naruto? Do you have the will to do it?" Gaara snapped back, anger boiling up in his body.
"They may not be able to, but I can." Itachi stepped from the darkness and stood next to the blond. "I am immortal now and I will be the child's ever watchful guardian. He cannot destroy me and at the first sign of everything going to shit, I will be there. I will end him before everything can get too out of hand."
Gaara stood silently as he bit his bottom lip. "There will be no convincing you…I really wished for a different ending to this. I will not…No, I cannot accept your resignation like this Naruto."
Naruto let out an exasperated sigh and nodded to Itachi. "It can't be helped. I laid my life down for Hikari the moment I brought him into this world and I will lay down my life again to take him out. This is no longer your fight or anyone else's. Leave this to be a squabble between family. Itachi, you know what to do."
Itachi was in front of Gaara within mere moments, his eyes flashing bloody red as Sharingan swirled to life. "You will forget how you got here and destroy any record of this place. Allow no one else to come to this place. This place holds nothing for you; it is merely a dead end, a disappointment. Tell the people to search for Naruto, Sasuke, and the child in the far end of Iwagakure."
Gaara's eyes were glassy but he did as he was told, turned on his heel, and walked out into the darkness. No one would be able to figure out that Itachi warped his mind with illusions until after they had picked up and moved on.
Bathed in pale moon light Itachi could see all of Naruto's new and painful looking surface flaws. Where there once was much beauty linger exhaustion; a sadness so deep that it seemed to pull the blond down, down to where the monsters slept. Naruto turned and sighed.
"Let's head in."
Naruto muttered. Sasuke was sitting in a rocking chair, holding his son so gently and calmly that Hikari had actually fallen asleep. It was the first time Hikari had slept in Sasuke's arms, and it was beautiful. The silence that finally engulfed them at night was thick and brought a sense of calm. Naruto leaned over Sasuke and kissed him softly.
"We're going to have to relocate soon. Maybe within a week or two. There's no telling how long the jutsu will last or if someone will notice." Sasuke nodded as his brother spoke.
There was an eerie calm rolling over them, like right before the storm. But all of them prayed that if or when there was a storm, that they could weather it. Hikari had been an uphill battle from the start and they wouldn't be coming down off the hill anytime soon.
And this concludes the Solution. Please don't murder my face.
Me: AND UNTIL NEXT TIM-
Sasuke: Oh, no. No. You're not allowed to do that.
Me: Actually, I am. The original ending I had in mind was like twenty times worse than this. It was bad. And I was like I can't do that, it's wayyy too extreme.
Okay I know it isn't the best ending in the world but I like it. Artistic differences! I didn't want everything to be perfect! D: anyway, I really hope you guys KINDA enjoyed it. At least a little! Like I said, I'll write something else if you guys REALLY hate it that much. But until then, this was Hitoko-sama. Thanks for reading :D