Eyes

Disclaimer: I own Naruto. Did I forget to mention that it's Opposite Day?

Warnings: Not really much warnings, just some swear words here and there.

Summary: Sasuke and Naruto are face to face once more in the Valley of the End, and Naruto is more determined than ever to bring Sasuke back.

Naruto stood on the stone head of Hashirama Senju facing the dark eyes that he had seen many times before. But no matter how much he'd dreamed in the last four years, he never expected to see them again. At least, not like this. They were cold. They were experienced. They had a menacing evil lying just below the surface. They weren't the eyes Naruto remembered.

The rest of Sasuke seemed to be just as different. He had grown taller, and he was obviously more physically fit. But that wasn't all Naruto saw. He also saw the scars – signs of Sasuke's battles with the most impressive of rivals. Naruto reminded himself that since he last saw Sasuke, the Uchiha had fought Orochimaru, Itachi, Killer Bee, the Raikage, the Mizukage, and Danzo. Defeating any one of these opponents would be a worthy accomplishment, but killing three and defeating the others was amazing.

But there was something else going through Naruto's mind. Here he was – he was finally going to battle Sasuke. Sure, they had seen each other at Orochimaru's hideout, and Naruto's clone caught a glimpse of him in the woods one day, but Naruto never had a chance to actually study Sasuke. He wasn't able to take the time to notice what had happened to his best friend since he deserted the village.

"You're not Kabuto," Sasuke said in a monotone. "I guess I have to give you some credit. You seem to have gotten a little less brash and a little cleverer. I would never have expected you to trick me like that."

"I'm not letting you get away this time, Sasuke," Naruto said. "I'm going to bring you back to Konoha, either willingly or by force."

Naruto waited for Sasuke to respond, but was instead shocked as the air around Sasuke began to visibly crack. It swirled and morphed, revealing who Naruto knew to be Madara Uchiha.

"I'm going to fight him," Sasuke said to the older Uchiha. "I'm done running from this. Obviously this loser will keep following me unless I take care of him now."

"Don't waste too much energy, Sasuke," Madara ordered. "We have to go to the Land of Sound soon."

"Don't worry," Sasuke said, cracking his neck to the side and glaring at the blond who stood across the water. "This won't take long."

Sasuke closed his eyes and reopened them, revealing his Mangekyo Sharingan. He dashed towards Naruto, running on the water. Naruto crouched into a fighting stance, waiting for Sasuke's attack, as a blue and white blade of cackling electricity extended from the Uchiha's arm. Naruto focused and jumped as Sasuke tried to hit him with his Chidori blade.

Naruto landed on his feet and had to swiftly dodge more attacks by Sasuke's signature attack. He briefly remembered the advice Kakashi gave him before Naruto left the village. Sasuke's strong. Don't aim to hurt, aim to kill. Naruto knew his teacher's words were true – a shinobi of Sasuke's skill and strength would need to be taken down by Naruto's full effort.

As Naruto avoided Sasuke's attacks, he knew he had to start to bring out the big guns now if he was to ever defeat him. He jumped in the air to dodge another slash of the Chidori blade and dove head first by the waterfall into the lake at the bottom of the valley.

Sasuke, not willing to let Naruto escape, jumped down the thousand foot drop to attack when the blond resurfaced. In less than a minute, Sasuke was rewarded as Naruto jumped out of the water to stand on the surface. When Naruto reached the maximum height of his jump, Sasuke threw three shuriken at him, which Naruto easily deflected.

Sasuke was shocked as he looked upon Naruto once more. The normally cerulean eyes were no longer the same he had known. In their place was a yellow-orange circle with a rectangular iris in the center. The tops and sides of Naruto's eyes looked as if he was wearing orange eye shadow, and Naruto's normally goofy expression was replaced by one of somber contemplation.

I wonder what the dumbass has taught himself in the last few years, Sasuke thought to himself. He decided to make short work of Naruto before he could possibly get stronger, and so he placed the blond under a genjutsu.

Naruto watched Sasuke and decided to make the first move. He rushed towards Sasuke and threw a kunai at him. Sasuke dodged the attack and performed a hand sign.

"Fire Style: Phoenix Flower Jutsu," Sasuke said, as he blew small balls of fire at the blond. Naruto, to counter, made two shadow clones, who surrounded Sasuke while dodging the flames. One Naruto clone attacked Sasuke, providing the distraction for Naruto to gather chakra with his other clone. When Sasuke used his chidori to destroy the clone, Naruto had a rasengan in his hand.

He and Sasuke stood, each holding his own signature jutsu in his hand, and looked into each other's eyes. Sasuke saw the raw determination Naruto had to bring Sasuke back to Konoha, and Naruto saw the hatred Sasuke had for his whole past in the village.

The brief moment ended and he and Sasuke both clashed with their jutsu, fighting it out as they did back in their first fight in the Valley of the End. Suddenly, Naruto felt a disturbance in his chakra and realized that he was under a genjutsu.

When Sasuke's genjutsu failed, he decided he'd have to do something else to destroy Naruto quickly. The blond shinobi could already feel his Sage Mode state coming to an end and decided he had to fight Sasuke now, before he was placed in another genjutsu.

With incredible speed that rivaled even Rock Lee's, Naruto seemed to teleport to Sasuke's sides, landing a kick in the Uchiha's ribcage. Sasuke was stunned by the speed and power Naruto had exhibited, but didn't have a chance to retaliate or recover as Naruto swiftly landed another blow to his abdomen. Sasuke fell through the surface of the liquid and Naruto sighed, hoping that was all it would take to defeat Sasuke.

Sasuke disappointed Naruto by resurfacing with even more drive to defeat his school rival. Naruto watched in amazement as a purple shroud fell over Sasuke and a ribcage formed. As Naruto watched, the purple ribcage evolved into a muscular form, and finally into what seemed like a purple humanoid surrounding Sasuke.

"You'll have to do much better to break through Susanoo," Sasuke said.

"Believe me, I will," Naruto said. His Sage Jutsu was finally spent, and Naruto's eyes reverted to normal. Luckily for Naruto, he had three clones back in Konoha that stored Sage Jutsu, and as the first disappeared, Naruto was once again endowed with his excellent power.

First, Naruto ran at Susanoo and tried to kick it, resulting in a hurt foot. Sasuke, to entertain himself, decided to let Naruto go at him with minimal resistance. Naruto pulled out a kunai and infused it with wind chakra. He threw it at Susanoo right in between where the ribcages were, piercing the skin of the purple humanoid, but not harming it too much. Sasuke smirked at Naruto's attempt, thinking it was his best.

Naruto decided to try his Rasengan next. He created two clones, and had one help him in creating the Rasengan. He ran at the Susanoo hoping the Rasengan would be enough to destroy Susanoo. He hit the same spot his kick and his kunai hit, but barely made more than a dent. Sasuke was growing cockier, and more confident of victory.

What Naruto noticed, however, was that with each attack in the same spot, Susanoo was weakening.

Sasuke watched as Naruto's clones both began to mold chakra in the palm of the original's hand. Having not witnessed Naruto's Rasen-shuriken, Sasuke was sure that Naruto's next attempt would have the same result as his last, and decided that he would attack Naruto as he came at him this time. Looking at Madara through the corner of his eye, Sasuke knew that his mentor was getting impatient. Susanoo created an arrow with its arm and waited for Naruto to begin to approach.

Naruto knew that Sasuke was getting over-confident about his abilities, and he had the perfect plan. Even if his Rasen-shuriken didn't break through, he made sure one of his clones would use another Rasengan to do what little damage would be required to destroy Susanoo the rest of the way.

Sasuke did not expect what occurred next – Naruto threw the Rasen-shuriken at Sasuke, nullifying Sasuke's plan to attack Naruto as he approached with it. Hidden in the shadow of the Rasen-shuriken was the clone of Naruto that held the Rasengan.

When the Rasen-shuriken made contact with Susanoo, a large gust blew out, the impact acting as the center. The water rippled, and Susanoo's skin began to melt away. Sasuke was shocked at Naruto's attack, and decided to throw the arrow while Susanoo was still functioning. Naruto dived under the water to avoid the attack, and came up as the clone destroyed the rest of Sasunoo's perfect shield.

Sasuke jumped back as Sasunoo was destroyed, exhausted from the use of his greatest defense. Naruto's two clones dispersed, and Naruto was left standing face-to-face with Sasuke once more.

Naruto once again got lost in Sasuke's eyes. How could the eyes that so long ago aspired to be the best in the village have turned into eyes whose sole purpose was to watch the destruction of the village? These were the same eyes that Naruto watched the life fade out of back in the Land of Waves when Haku nearly killed him. These were the same eyes that Naruto sparred against dozens of times in training. These were the same eyes that paralyzed Naruto when he saw Sasuke at Orochimaru's hideout.

As Naruto watched Sasuke's eyes for a glimpse of the boy he grew up with, he saw a trickle of blood run down from Sasuke's left eye. Naruto remembered when Kakashi had used his own Mangekyo Sharingan against Deidara in the Land of Wind, his eye bled before the use. Naruto counted the techniques Sasuke used already – Susanoo to protect himself and Tsukuyomi to place Naruto under genjutsu – and realized the only technique left was Amaterasu.

The flames were aimed at Naruto's face, hoping to destroy Naruto quickly. But due to Naruto's quick maneuvering, the only thing that caught ablaze was Naruto's Konoha headband. Naruto quickly pulled the headband off and threw it into the water.

As he watched the headband sink, he remembered Sasuke's headband after the battle in the Valley of the End. He remembered Sasuke refusing to wear his headband at first, thinking he was automatically superior to Naruto. But as Naruto showed off more of his skill, Sasuke decided to treat Naruto as an equal and put the headband back on. Finally, after Sasuke defeated Naruto, he left his headband behind, and Naruto kept it ever since.

Naruto felt for the headband under the leg of his orange jumpsuit and pulled it out. Not even Sasuke knew that Naruto had kept his headband at all times, just in case. Naruto wanted to be able to give it back to Sasuke when he finally convinced him to return to Konoha. Naruto closed his eyes for a second, letting himself revisit the past before tying Sasuke's old headband across his forehead.

The significance of wearing the headband was not lost on Sasuke. He knew Naruto was making a statement. He was not only fighting for himself or Konoha or Team 7. He was fighting for the old Sasuke – the one who began to die as he watched Naruto gain in power, the old Sasuke that died when he faced Naruto for the last time at the Valley of the End. They had come full circle, and Naruto expected Sasuke to don the headband after this battle as well.

"The old me is gone, Naruto," Sasuke said. "He died a long time ago when Danzo and the elders forced my brother to annihilate our family."

"You're a bad liar, Sasuke," Naruto said. "The old you was still alive before you deserted the village. It's still alive today, just suppressed by Madara's manipulations."

"You don't know anything," Sasuke said. "You're the same naïve Naruto who fought me here four years ago."

"You're wrong," Naruto said. "You told me I couldn't understand how you felt because I never had the connections to loved ones that I lost. Even though we were both alone, you were hurt more because you had connections. But now, I understand. When Pain killed Jiraya, Kakashi and Hinata, I finally felt what you had felt."

"Kakashi and Hinata are alive," Sasuke said.

"Only because Nagato revived them," Naruto said. "But at a point, they were as dead as your family. And so were so many others that I knew. I felt all alone, and I wanted revenge. I went to Pain with the intention of killing him for what he'd done to me.

"When I got there, I saw that Nagato was frail and sickly, but it didn't matter. I wanted him to suffer. He was defenseless, and I couldn't care less. I was ready to let the Nine-Tailed Fox out to rip him to shreds."

"I don't care," Sasuke said. "Pain was weak; he chose to give up on his plans just because you beat him."

"No," Naruto said. "He chose me to carry out his plans." Naruto noticed Sasuke's eyes widen a margin in shock. "Nagato joined Akatsuki to create peace. With Akatsuki having a monopoly on Bijuus, they would be able to force the other nations into peace under threat of attack.

"But I knew that wasn't right," Naruto continued. "Violence for the sake of peace is wrong, and I was able to convince Nagato of it."

"I don't want peace!" Sasuke shouted. "I want revenge. I was to watch as everyone who benefitted from the peace my brother and my family sacrificed themselves for suffers. I want to see the life drain from each and every single one of their eyes."

"You still don't get it," Naruto said. "You always accused me of being the idiot, but you're really dense. This isn't about peace, it's about revenge. I wanted to destroy Nagato for what he did to the village, to my friends. But I chose not to, so that the cycle of hate could end. And in the end, Nagato sacrificed himself to bring back everyone he killed."

"He can't bring back my family," Sasuke said.

"But you don't know what might happen if you forgive instead of avenge," Naruto insisted. "In the end, I chose not to kill Nagato, and it worked out. Killing him wouldn't have filled the void that was left after everyone died. But by letting him live, the void was filled."

"No one can bring my family back," Sasuke said. "The least I can do is make sure they're proud. Make sure they're avenged."

"If your family loved you, they would want you to stop," Naruto pleaded. He felt his second bout of Sage Jutsu leave him, but he didn't care – he wanted this last shot to convince Sasuke to return of his own free will. "You're dead inside, and they wouldn't want that. They'd want you to live your life."

"Don't pretend to know what my family would want," Sasuke ordered. "You never knew them!"

"No, but I know you, Sasuke," Naruto said. "And do you really think they'd rather you live a stunted life because of the past?"

"This isn't about what they want," Sasuke said. "This is about what I want. I am an avenger, and I will have my revenge."

Naruto closed his eyes, realizing he wasn't going to win with words. He had his second clone from Konoha disappear, giving him another bout of Sage Jutsu. He made two other clones and began making a second Rasen-shuriken. As the mass of wind nature and rotational chakra swirled in his hands, he started to feel fatigued.

Sasuke re-activated his Mangekyo and sent another Amaterasu at Naruto, hoping to prevent him from using his Rasen-suriken. Naruto threw the Rasen-shuriken straight up in the air and got out of Sasuke's line of vision. He jumped in the air and kicked the massive ball of chakra in Sasuke's direction, using his advanced power from the Sage Mode to propel the Rasen-shuriken faster.

Sasuke couldn't dodge this, so he tried to summon Susanoo again. The bone structure started to form slowly still recovering from before, but it wasn't enough to fully protect Sasuke. Sasuke was stuck in the ball of chakra as his skin was slowly peeled. He was on fire, and the pain was agonizing. He couldn't help but let out a scream that shook Naruto to the core. As the ball lifted Sasuke in the air, Madara and Naruto both watched in amazement. Soon, the ball began to fade away and Sasuke's limp body fell towards the water.

Naruto rushed to catch Sasuke's falling body, and Madara transported himself closer so he could fight Naruto for Sasuke's body back. After that fight, he didn't expect Sasuke to be in condition to fight much more. Naruto looked down at Sasuke's face, hoping to see some of the gentleness from his youth reflected back at him. Sasuke, aware of the situation, opened his eyes, sending a close range Amaterasu straight at Naruto's face.

Naruto dropped Sasuke as he clutched his face, which was now engulfed by the never-ending black flames. Sasuke got back on his feet, stumbling slightly. Madara sighed in relief as Sasuke stood, happy that he wouldn't have to find someone to heal him. Sasuke smirked as Naruto writhed trying to extinguish the black flames.

Sasuke's smirk turned into a frown as Naruto disappeared in a cloud of smoke, indicating that the Naruto that stood before him was a shadow clone. Not giving Sasuke a chance to discover his location, Naruto jumped out of the water right below Sasuke, kicking the Uchiha into the air.

While in midair, Naruto delivered a series of high speed punches and kicks with the intensified power of his Sage Mode. Madara stood watching as Naruto flashed from one side of Sasuke to the other, landing more and more blows on him. Finally, Naruto delivered the final kick of his Uzumaki Barrage, kicking Sasuke with amazing force back down into the water.

Sasuke's lifeless body continued to sink after it hit the water, fewer bubbles escaping his nose by the second. Naruto landed back on the water and watched intently with Madara to see how Sasuke would survive.

After over ten minutes of Sasuke being in the water, Naruto realized that he had done what he had hoped he couldn't do – kill Sasuke. His Sage Jutsu was over, and he faced towards Madara.

"You have killed Sasuke," Madara stated. "I hope you're happy with the outcome."

"I didn't mean for him to die," Naruto said. "I wanted to defeat him so that I could bring him back to Konoha without resistance."

"Don't worry, Naruto Uzumaki," Madara stated as he began to teleport away with his Sharingan. "I will be back to capture you and steal the Nine-Tailed Fox. But first, I will destroy Konoha and everyone you loved for Sasuke. He deserves that much." Just like that, Madara was gone and Naruto looked at the still water that Sasuke had fallen through.

Suddenly, Naruto was shocked hearing the sound of birds chirping from right behind him. "Don't underestimate an Uchiha," Sasuke growled as he hit Naruto square in the back with his Chidori, sending the blond across the lake.

Naruto got up and looked at Sasuke, into his eyes once more. But the most shocking thing was that his right eye was closed. His left eye still had the Mangekyo in it, but his right seemed to be sealed shut.

"How did you survive?" Naruto asked.

"I had to sacrifice my Sharingan," Sasuke said. "It's a technique called Izanagi. It gives me a second chance, and this time, I won't underestimate your Sage Mode."

"We don't have to do this," Naruto pleaded. "Just come home."

"I don't have a home anymore," Sasuke said. "There's nothing left for me back in Konoha. All my friends have decided to eliminate me; all my family was killed by the government."

"You have me," Naruto said. "I promise, I'll vouch for you. You won't go to prison, and you won't be killed."

"You can't promise me that," Sasuke said. "It's too late for me. I've killed people."

"You can make it right," Naruto said.

"That ship sailed a long time ago," Sasuke replied. "Now, are we going to finish the battle, or what?"

Naruto dispersed his last Konoha clone, granting him his last few minutes of Sage Mode. Sasuke smirked, knowing it was his chance to test his new power. Luckily for him, he only needed one eye for it. He focused and activated his Kamui, causing a trickle of blood to go down Sasuke's cheek.

Naruto widened his eyes, realizing another attack was coming and got out of the way. Sasuke turned his head and followed Naruto, finally managing to catch sight of Naruto's left arm. He activated the power of Kamui and sent Naruto's hand and arm up to the elbow to a different dimension.

Naruto let out a blood curdling scream as he felt his arm disappear. He recognized the technique as the same one Kakashi had used against Deidara. In that moment, Naruto realized that while he was fighting to subdue Sasuke, Sasuke was fighting to actually kill him.

Naruto, in a rage, felt some of the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra leaving its cage and penetrating his Sage Mode. A black slit was added to the rectangular iris of his eyes as his Demonic Sage Mode began. Sasuke was surprised, having never felt this power. Naruto slowly began to be surrounded by a cloak of one, two, three tails.

Sasuke was not surprised that the Nine-Tailed Fox was beginning to be released and he smirked – with the Mangekyo Sharingan, he could control it. And at least now, things would get interesting. Sasuke used Kamui again to send one of the tails to an alternate dimension, causing such anger in the Fox that two more tails sprouted. With the two that were already out and the one that he could not see, the Fox was in its Five Tail stage.

The Fox began to charge up its Bijuu Ball and released it at Sasuke. Sasuke, surprised at the power, dodged and decided to use Amaterasu against him. Another tail was engulfed by the flames, causing another two tails to sprout out. Sasuke noted Naruto in his Seventh-Tailed Jinchuriki State.

The Fox began charging up another Bijuu Ball and Sasuke smirked. The Nine-Tailed Fox was in enough control of Naruto that he could control it with the Sharingan. Activating the power, Sasuke was transported to the jail cell where he stood next to Naruto.

A silent exchange occurred where Naruto and Sasuke fought for dominance over the Fox, and in the end, Naruto gained the upper hand.

"You can't win, Sasuke," Naruto said. "You gave up half of your power."

Sasuke made one last effort to take over the Nine-Tailed Fox before he was expelled from the jail cell by Naruto. Slowly, the Fox began to lose power and Naruto started to take more control.

As the cloak slowly faded away, Sasuke noticed Naruto was coated in blood. The one part of Naruto that was not red was his eyes. No longer were they in Sage Mode or in the Initial Jinchuriki Mode, but they were back to being the cerulean orbs Sasuke remembered.

By this point, both boys were physically and mentally exhausted. Sasuke had no energy left to use his Sharingan, and his eyes returned to the onyx orbs they were before.

Blue started into black.

Black stared into blue.

"Sasuke," Naruto whispered. "It's not too late."

"Yes it is," Sasuke said. "I am past the point of no return. You'll either have to kill me now, or I'll kill you."

"Kill me," Naruto said softly, shocking Sasuke.

"What?" Sasuke asked.

"I don't want to kill you, Sasuke," Naruto said. "So if one of us has to die today, you might want to get a move on. I prefer quick and painless if it's possible."

"Fight me," Sasuke commanded.

"I have no reason to fight," Naruto said. "If you want to kill me so badly, just get it over with."

"I want to beat you fair and square," Sasuke said. "I left the village because you were surpassing me, and that meant I wasn't good enough to fight Itachi."

"Well, Itachi's dead, so it doesn't matter anymore," Naruto stated.

"I want to be able to kill you because I was stronger than you, not because you gave up!" Sasuke yelled. "You're such a coward!"

"I'm not the one who's running away," Naruto said. "All your life, you've been running. First you ran from your feelings of inferiority as I grew stronger, and now you're running away from the future you know your family would want you to have."

"We've been through this already," Sasuke said. "I am restoring their honor by avenging them."

"Maybe they'd consider it more of an honor if you were to live for them," Naruto said.

"You still don't get it," Sasuke said.

"Your family loved Konoha," Naruto said. "The whole point of the coup de tat was to be able to lead Konoha to a better future. Besides, isn't a better revenge being able to live your life and show Danzo and the elders that they could keep you down?"

"Stop talking," Sasuke ordered.

"You know I'm right," Naruto said. "Just admit it and come home with me."

"They'll never accept me again," Sasuke said.

"If they don't, then I promise we'll leave," Naruto said.

"'We'?" Sasuke asked.

"I'll stand by you," Naruto promised. "We can create our own village. If they can't accept you, then it's their loss."

"Why would you do that?" Sasuke asked. "Your whole life's goal has been to become Hokage. You'd actually leave your friends and home for nothing?"

"I'm sure it won't come to that," Naruto said.

"And if it does?" Sasuke asked. "Your father was the Fourth Hokage. You could actually leave Konoha for good?"

"He'll understand," Naruto said. "Just come back, Sasuke. Sakura misses you. She only wanted to eliminate you because she knew you were becoming too much of a threat to the world, and she'd rather take care of you in honor than leave you to the dogs. You have more friends than you realize."

"I doubt that," Sasuke muttered.

"How about this – we finish the fight. If you win, I'll leave you alone. If I win, you'll come back to Konoha with me, and if it doesn't work out, we'll find somewhere else to go."

"Fine," Sasuke said. "But I'm only agreeing because I know that I'm going to win."

Naruto glared at Sasuke and stuck his tongue out childishly. His signature move – Rasengan – was hard enough with two hands, and with one, it would be nearly impossible. Not to mention the Sage Mode and Nine-Tailed Fox had exhausted Naruto. But he was so close to bringing Sasuke home. He couldn't just let Sasuke slip away after so much hard work.

"Fire Style: Dragon Fire Jutsu!" Sasuke yelled, a large flame shooting up towards the sky. Naruto watched in confusion as Sasuke began to run away towards the waterfall and the statues of Madara and Hashirama. Sasuke ran up Hashirama and did another hand sign. "Fire Style: Great Fireball Jutsu!" He created a large orb of flames and shot it up in the sky again.

Naruto, who was pursuing Sasuke, was extremely confused by Sasuke's attacking the sky. Why was he doing it?

"It's time for you to see my strongest technique," Sasuke said. "Stronger than Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, Kamui, and Sasunoo." Thunder clouds began to form where Sasuke had heated up the atmosphere. Naruto watched in awe as Sasuke performed a hand sign. "Meet…Kirin."

Thunder rolled and a large dragon of electricity emerged from the clouds, racing towards Naruto. Naruto tried to avoid it, but it was futile. Kirin hit Naruto full force, and the blond was thrown down the waterfall into the depths of the water. He was still alive, but severely hurt. Sasuke was impressed. After all, it took Susanoo to protect Itachi from it, and even then he was badly hurt.

Sasuke jumped back down to where Naruto was floating in the water. Naruto's chakra was near limitless thanks to the Nine-Tailed Fox, but he was starting to feel the strain of fatigue. He got back up slowly, and Sasuke was surprised he could still fight. It was amazing he was still alive at all!

Naruto decided it was time to fight it out using taijutsu to preserve his chakra. He pulled out a kunai from his pouch and ran towards Sasuke. Sasuke pulled out his Sword of Kusanagi and rushed towards Naruto to meet in the middle. The metal of the kunai and of the sword clanged time and time again as Naruto and Sasuke tried to strike each other.

Realizing that he wasn't going to get anywhere fighting him with a sword, Naruto backed off and put his kunai away before making another hand sign. "Multi-Shadow Clone Jutsu!"

Nearly depleting the rest of his chakra stores, Naruto made a thousand clones that surrounded Sasuke. Each one pulled out a kunai and ran at the Uchiha. At first, Sasuke was able to repel many of the clones, but the sheer number soon started to overwhelm him. Finally, a clone was able to get in a good hit and kick Sasuke up into the air. More clones jumped to use the Uzumaki Barrage, but Sasuke saw ahead.

When the clones started to close in to start the beatdown, Sasuke activated his Chidori current, destroying all the clones that were near him. He landed back on the water and faced even more of Naruto's clones who were still attacking. Sasuke next activated his Chidori blade and cut down hundreds more clones.

Naruto, realizing he was done when his clones were gone, realized he had to do something, and he had to do it quick. He and one clone ran around Sasuke and the fighting clones until they were behind the Uchiha. Then, the clone began to shape the chakra in Naruto's hand, making a Rasengan. He was too tired to use anything more.

Sasuke was also reaching his limits. He knew he had little chakra left, and so he ended his chidori to conserve chakra. He finished off the remaining clones in front of him with some well thrown kunai and shuriken.

Sasuke tried to catch his breath after exerting so much energy, and then he realized that the real Naruto wasn't in front of him. Hearing the sound of the Rasengan, Sasuke turned in time to see Naruto dispel his last remaining clone and rush at him with the Rasengan. Using up the last of his chakra stores, Sasuke made one last Chidori and ran at Naruto.

As they did years ago in the exact same spot, their signature attacks collided. In a moment of understanding before the explosion, Sasuke looked into Naruto's eyes and Naruto into Sasuke's. In that moment, Sasuke knew that Naruto had defeated him, even if it was just barely.

The impact of the two attacks sent both of them flying back to opposite ends of the lake. Naruto skidded along the surface, but eventually caught his balance and stopped himself from falling into the water. He stood on the surface, clutching his arm and wincing at the pain as he saw Sasuke's body fall lifelessly into the water.

Naruto, afraid he'd killed Sasuke, ran towards where Sasuke had started to sink and dove into the water after him. By the time he got there, though, Sasuke had already sunken a fair amount, and had most likely stopped breathing altogether. Using his one good arm, Naruto flung Sasuke's arms over his shoulders and started to swim to the surface.

When he got above the water, Naruto placed Sasuke's limp body down on his back and checked for breathing. He started to panic once he realized Sasuke was, in fact, not breathing, and wondered what to do.

He briefly thought back to a class in the academy on emergency battlefield procedures – standard things that an ordinary shinobi could do while waiting for a med nin to arrive. He thought back to the case of someone who wasn't breathing and remembered Iruka telling them they had to use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Naruto gagged at the thought, but put his pride behind him to save Sasuke.

He titled Sasuke's head back and squeezed his nostrils shut, as was procedure. He then made sure Sasuke's mouth was open and covered the raven's mouth with his own. He breathed twice into the mouth and then pulled back to provide CPR. Finally, Sasuke spit out the water that was in his lungs and started to violently cough.

"I win," Naruto said with a huge grin. "I guess this means you're coming back to Konoha with me, huh?"

"Shut up, loser," Sasuke said, standing up. He was still extremely weak and tired, and he fell against Naruto.

"Don't worry, Sasuke," Naruto said. "We'll get to Konoha quickly and get you checked out."

"We're at the Valley of the End, you idiot," Sasuke said. "We're at least half a day away from the village."

"On foot," Naruto clarified. "But we won't be walking back." Sasuke shot the blond a confused look. Naruto smiled and bit Sasuke's thumb.

"You dumbass!" Sasuke yelled, gripping his thumb. "What'd you do that for?"

"Heh, you call me dumb," Naruto said, taking Sasuke's thumb and swiping blood off it. "Summoning Jutsu!" Using Sasuke's blood, instead of a frog being summoned, a hawk was summoned. It lowered its head, allowing Sasuke and Naruto to get on its back. "Next stop: Konoha!"

Author's Note: Okay, a few things. One, I'm sorry I haven't updated NJAFBS in a while. I'm working on the next few chapters, I promise, but I want them to be perfect before I add them. Two, I'm not sure if I'll continue this. I might just want to keep it a one-shot to avoid getting in over my head. I'm barely keeping up with my one fic as it is. But I really liked doing this because I went back to doing a Narutoverse fic. Anyway, if I get enough positive reviews for this, I might just decide to continue it and turn it into a real story after I'm done with NJAFBS. But I don't see that being finished for a while, so I wouldn't hold my breath. Anyway, thanks for reading, and remember to review!