8

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Sasuke felt his heart stop as he saw Haku fall completely behind. No matter how much he begged of the clone, it wouldn't go back. Every step the clone took, made Sasuke scream and cry louder, uncaring about his Uchiha pride. Haku needed him and this clone of their savior wasn't listening.
"Please! Go back!" He begged again, tears rolling down his face as he struggled to break free of the strong grip. "You can't leave him! He needs us!"

Instead the clone continued to ignore him, his face unchanging as he flew over the ground, pushing off of trees in the process. In his other arm, Naruto layed unmoving. His arms dangling over the clone's shoulder, his head bouncing with each step. No expression passed the little boy's face. His color was paler, almost deathly. And to Sasuke's growing horror, blood slowly moved ever so slowly out of his nose and mouth, down onto the clone's shoulder.

"Naruto..." Was all Sasuke had time time to whisper before the clone popped with a gasp, dropping both to the ground hard. In a daze, Sasuke sat up and looked around, coughing hard as he did so. His arms hurt and his ankle was twisted in a weird angle. "Naruto?" Sasuke whispered, dragging himself to his friend. "Naruto?" he said again, sobbing the other's name as fear for what happened to Haku and what would happen to them enveloped him. Pulling Naruto into his lap, Sasuke held him tightly, his blurry gaze seeing the bad one walked toward them, the giant snake behind him. "Why?" he cried, his lips wobbling. "Why are you doing this?" he went on as the snake circled around them.

In answer, the bad one chuckled, crouching down beside them. Without a word, he tore Sasuke's arms away from Naruto, pushing the little raven to the ground. Without a care, he lifted Naruto as if he weighed nothing, holding him in a way that would have hurt him had he been awake.

"Let him go!" Sasuke shouted, trying to stand but falling to his knees. "Don't hurt him anymore!"

"Oh his suffering is over." the bad one said, a smile on his face. "My master has decided to spare him the pain. From this second forth, he won't feel it anymore." With that, the bad one pulled a scalpel from behind him, raising it slowly toward Naruto's back.

"NO!"

S H

"Neji?" Kiba whimpered, moving toward the other boy. "Where did he go?" he asked, as Neji helped him to his feet, his eyes scanning the area for the clone. "Where did Second Haku go?"

"I... I don't know." Neji said softly, fear and pain overcoming him. Did Haku... Did the snake man get Haku? Did he get Sasuke and Naruto to? Was he coming for them?

"Neji, we're not gonna go home, are we?" Kiba cried, wiping at his eyes with his arm. The thought of never seeing his mom or his sister again hurting more then anything. Of never playing with the clan puppies or running around with his best friend, hitting hard. He would never grow up and prove himself a good shinobi. He would never see his village. He-

"Don't say that!" Neji snapped at him, his little hands curling around Kiba's shoulders. "We're going to go home. Haku said we'll go home. He promised us! He promised not to let anything happen to us! He said we'll see our family again!"

"They killed him!" Kiba shouted back. "They killed him, that's why Second Haku is gone! Haku is gone because he tried to save us!" he sobbed, crying into his fist. They killed Haku. "He's dead just like the others! Just like Kimimaro! Hinata! Ino! Everybody! We're not going home because we're-omph!" he cried as Neji shoved his hand over his mouth.

"I promise I won't let them kill you. I promise you'll get home." Neji said quickly. With voice filled with tears, he whispered. "I won't let you die. I'm a shinobi. Like my father and my uncle. I'm... I'm not going to die without a fight. I'm brave like them. I'm strong like them." Neji went on, wishing his heart would stop pounding in fear and that Haku was here with them. Wishing that Sasuke and Naruto were also safe beside them. "Kiba, you're brave and strong too. You're an Inuzuka."

"I don't have my fangs anymore." Kiba answered, touching his cheeks. "They're gone."

"No, they're not. They just became... more better. You're the toughest Inuzuka out there because... because your fangs are deeper and, and they're bolder. Stronger then the ink on your family's faces." Neji said watching as the tears stopped falling from Kiba. "See, I lost my eye, but now I'm a better Hyuuga because now I'll fight twice as hard and see just as much."

"Okay." Kiba nodded, taking a deep breath after a long while. "What do we do now?"

"We-" Neji started only to stop when three thuds, landed beside them. On a gasp both he and Kiba turned, their bodies moving automatically as they moved to evade the reaching limps coming toward them. "NO!" Neji screamed when arms came around him, kicking his little legs to try and break the strong hold. "Let go!"

"Shhhh, I have you." someone said into his ear as they fell to their knees, hugging him from behind tightly. "Neji, it's me. It's Itachi."

"HANA!" Kiba shouted at the same time Neji turned his head to look at the oldest Uchiha brother.

In stunned silence, he slowly lifted his hand to run along Itachi's jaw, half afraid that Sasuke's brother wasn't real. With his bottom lip wobbling, he turned around and wrapped his body tightly around Itachi's, crying for all that he was worth. Finally they were going home.

S H

Orochimaru cursed as he dodged another combined attack by Fugaku and Tsume. Both were ruthless in their efforst to strike him. No matter what he threw at them, both Clan heads always countered. They evaded his attack but they didn't fall back. Everything they did pushed him further and further into a corner.

And when Hiashi joined the battle, Orochimaru knew his time was coming to an end. Calling a summons, he let the snake attack the three as he moved to run off only to go flying back when another struck from above. With a grunt, he hit the ground hard, the snake disappearing from a fire attack.

"It's over," someone growled, from above as mutliple footsteps moved toward him. Stunned Orochimaru could only gasp at the amount of people before him, the parents of every child he had taken stood around him. The only one missing was Minato.

"You made a grave error in taking our children." Hiashi said, standing in front of him. Like the others, his eyes were filled with death and a promise of pain.

"Our childrens blood is on your hands." the Tsume snarled. "Allow me to bring this full circle. Your blood for my son's."

"When next you open your eyes, you'll find your hell waiting for you." Fugaku said as his Sharingan came out full. "Until then, suffer in your nightmare."

With a scream, Orochimaru fell to the ground in a heap, his body convulsing with the efforts to fight the demons in his mind.

A/N: Not the epic battle I was looking for but I didn't feel like looking up jutsus and describing a whole fighting scene. Anyway I just barely finished the third scene of this chapter minutes ago.