Hey guys! This is pain17ification loading the next chapter "Bond of the Uzumaki". The final chapter of this story is here.
Please note: pain17ification doesn't own Naruto or Avatar: Last Airbender! (Why, damn it? I've been a good boy like Tobi…)
'Biju thought/mental speech'
'Benitsuki's thoughts/mental speech'
Scene or Time change/Chapter name
Chpt 19: Plans and Departure
The smells of anesthetics and the sounds of someone coming and going were what made Naruto wake up from his unconscious state. The first thing he saw was the white ceiling and walls of a hospital room. He also noticed that he was bandaged up from head-to-toe and that he had a tube pumping him with nutrients to keep him healthy.
'I guess the mission was a success…' he thought.
The door suddenly opened and Hinata walked in with a yellow flower. She noticed that her boyfriend was awake and stuck her head out the door, calling out, "Fuu-chan, Naruto-kun is awake!" She then rushed over and hugged Naruto as Fuu came in and did the same. Naruto smiled at how much they cared about him and hugged them back.
Fuu was the first to let go and asked, "How are you feeling?"
Naruto shrugged and answered, "Not too bad. A little sore, but I'll pull through." He then asked, "So, how'd the mission go?"
At that question, the girls narrowed their eyes and Hinata responded, "It was a failure. Sasuke was able to escape."
"What? I knocked him out, I'm sure of it! How the hell did he…?"
"Kakashi-san said that his nin-dog smelled the scent of snakes in the area after your fight and that the scent left with Sasuke's. He thinks that Sasuke was taken by someone while you were unconscious, "Fuu answered.
Naruto clenched his bed sheets and growled out, "Damn it…"
A new voice called out, "Don't go beating yourself over this, Naruto. Missions are like games; you win some, you lose some." The three looked up and saw Koda standing in the doorway with Tayuya at his side. They both walked in and Koda asked, "You gonna be okay, man?"
Naruto nodded and replied, "Yeah, I'll pull through. I'm just irritated that all that work I put in to bring back their precious Uchiha was for nothing. The bastard didn't even want to be brought back!"
"Calm down, Naruto. If what our old reports told us were right, the Uchiha was bound to leave sometime for more power, "Tayuya stated. "Plus, the Curse Mark was exactly the power that he wanted. So, even if he was brought back, he would've left anyway."
Naruto sighed and said, "Yeah, you're right. Thanks for explaining that to me, Tayuya."
After that, Naruto, Hinata, and Fuu all gave details on their fights with the new Oto 4 and Tayuya was surprised that Guren of all people took her spot. They kept talking about the mission until Koda and Tayuya had to leave. Koda said he had a request for the Hokage and he had to ask her soon.
After they both left, Naruto asked about the condition of the others. Hinata told him that they all were okay, but Choji and Kiba were worse off than the others; especially Choji since it was unhealthy of him to lose that much weight so quickly. What was surprising to them all was that Ino was at his bedside for long periods of time. Naruto figured that it was just a concerned teammate watching over another, but the girls thought otherwise.
Kiba had a deep stab wound and Akamaru had some broken bones, but they would pull through. Fuu told Naruto that Shika was taking the failure the hardest since he almost lost his best friend, but was surprisingly brought out of his slump by Temari. This time, Naruto figured that the Wind Mistress had a little thing for the Shadow User and the girls agreed.
Tsunade soon walked in, followed by Sakura and Shizune. She saw that Naruto was awake and noticeably much better, so she said, "I guess I shouldn't be so surprised that you're already up and about. I still want you to stay overnight, just in case. Got it, gaki?" She gave Naruto a look that told him not to argue, so he wisely agreed. "Now, as I'm sure you know, the mission to retrieve Sasuke Uchiha was a failure?" Naruto nodded. "Alright, you should also know that the Civilian side of the Council is furious about that and are calling for your immediate banishment, but I stopped them immediately after they suggested it."
Naruto gave her a grateful look and said, "Thanks, Tsunade." This surprised the blonde Kage and Naruto noticed it. "What? I can't make cracks at your age all the time, y'know?"
Everyone but Sakura laughed at that. She couldn't laugh since the one she felt she loved was gone and never coming back. Naruto noticed this and asked for the others to leave for a second while he talked to the pinkette. After they left, Sakura asked, "Why, Naruto? Why did Sasuke-kun just up and leave us like that?"
Naruto sighed and said, "The reason can be explained in one word: Revenge."
"What do mean?"
"You know that Sasuke wanted power to avenge his clan, right?" At her nod, he continued, "Well, Sasuke felt that he would never get the power needed to do that here in Konoha. So, he gave into the temptation of the CurseMark and left the village to get power from Orochimaru."
"That's so stupid! He could have gotten the power he needed here! He could have got people to help him also!" she yelled at him.
"I know that Sakura, but open your eyes damn it!" he yelled back, shocking her. "He never cared for us! Hell, he didn't even like being associated with us! All he saw you for was an annoyance and me as a damned stepping stone! He tried to kill me Sakura; multiple times! I don't know about you, but I think that says 'I don't give a fuck about you' more than anything he's ever said or done to me!"
Sakura was staring at the blonde with wide and teary eyes. Naruto never yelled at her and yet, the one time he does is to try and make her see the Uchiha's true colors. She couldn't take it and ran out of the room. Naruto merely sighed and lied back down on his bed. He just hoped that Sakura would finally see that the world didn't revolve around the Uchiha.
Koda was in the middle of making a request to Tsunade with Tayuya and the blonde Kage was in thinking it over.
"So, you want to go and search through the ruins of Uzushiogakure with Tayuya and Anko to look for anything related to your clan. Am I right so far?" she asked the Uzumaki.
Koda nodded and replied, "Yes, I want to go back to my roots and see if anything from the clan could be found and recovered. I also want to use my role as Konoha/Mizu Diplomat to stay in Mizu and train for a couple years. According to the section on diplomats in the Shinobi Charter, 'All diplomats are allowed up to two escorts during their travels'."
"While that may be true, I thought that Anko was your stand-in for the Council Meetings while you were away on mission or another issue had come up? How is the Uzumaki Clan supposed to be represented if both you and Anko are away?"
Koda was one step ahead of her and answered, "Anko's friend, Kurenai offered to take her spot as my stand-in so that Anko could come with me."
Tsunade thought it over and couldn't find anything wrong with his plan, so she said, "Alright, I'll allow the three of you to leave the same day Naruto does."
This confused the two Uzumaki. "What do you mean?" asked Tayuya.
"Jiraiya plans on having Naruto become his apprentice and wants to take the gaki on a 3-year training trip. He plans on leaving next week, so you three will just leave at the same time." the two had looks of understanding and they nodded. "Alright, let Anko know and get ready to leave for next week."
The two Uzumaki thanked the blonde, bowed to her, and left the office. Tsunade turned her chair around to observe the village with a smile.
'Those boys will go far, 'she thought to herself.
Naruto was resting in his bed before a loud boom was heard followed by the Hospital shaking. He opened his window to see Jiraiya on top of a very large toad.
"What the…? Ero-sennin?" he asked in shock.
"Hey there, Naruto, "Jiraiya greeted the blonde. He then got off the toad to sit on the windowsill. "Listen up kid, I've decided to go ahead and name you my apprentice. So, as my apprentice, I'm going to take you out of the village on a trip for about three years."
"That long? But what about the village and missions? I can't just shirk off my duties as a shinobi."
"I know that, which is why this trip is labeled as a long term S-Rank Mission. I'm going to be taking you to see many different places while training you in the Gama Arts and preparing you for the Akatsuki. I just received a report from my spy network, and they reported that the Akatsuki won't start going after the Jinchuriki again until about three years. So, this is the perfect opportunity to train you to be strong enough to stand on equal ground with them. So, what do you say, Naruto?"
Naruto went over the pros and cons of the Sage's offer before he looked to him with a confident smirk. "I'm in, Jiraiya-sensei," he responded, making the man smirk back.
"Alright then, we leave next week, so you better be prepared." He then jumped back onto his summon and said, "See ya then."
Naruto responded with a salute, "You got it!"
Day of Departure (Village Gates)
Naruto, Hinata, and Fuu were waiting for the others to show up at the village gates. Naruto had asked the girls to come with him, but they had already made preparations to be trained under Tsunade and Shizune. Fuu was already her student, so her decision was obvious, but Hinata's choice to be trained by the Slug Sannin was a surprise. Nonetheless, Naruto was happy for the both of them and wished them luck in their training. The girls responded by giving him two heated kisses and wishing the same for him.
Soon Koda, Tayuya, and Anko came up to the gates, each with a travelling pack of their own. This surprised Naruto before Koda explained the plan he made with Tsunade. Naruto wished his cousin luck and Koda returned the gesture. Anko and Tayuya also wished the blonde good luck while giving a hug goodbye while Hinata and Fuu did the same to Koda.
Tsunade and Jiraiya, along with Kakashi and Iruka, came up to the gates not long after that, and everyone who was leaving was wished a safe trip and good luck. Tsunade, Kakashi, and Iruka also had parting gifts for the boys.
Tsunade gave them scrolls on Uzumaki Fuinjutsu so that the Uzumaki's legacy could survive. Kakashi gave Naruto a scroll on some Fuuton Jutsu and apologized for not being there for his student as much as he should have been. Naruto said that he forgave Kakashi and told him to just make sure that Sakura would be looked after by him. Kakashi agreed to that and gave Koda a scroll on Suiton Jutsu along with his thanks for being there for Naruto in the recent months. Koda thanked the man and asked to have a spar with him on his return, which Kakashi agreed to. Iruka gave the boys books on advanced chakra control and told them to come back as respectable shinobi. The boys thanked the man and promised not to let him down.
Suddenly, a stream of sand flew past them and dropped notes in both of the boys' hands. The note only had a simple sentence:
"Make sure you don't die, my friends."
The boys smiled at that and made mental promises to do so.
After everyone said goodbye, the group of five left the village and stayed together for a couple miles before saying goodbye one last time and going their separate ways; Naruto and Jiraiya heading for Kumo while Koda's group headed for Uzu.
They wouldn't see each other for another three years, and when they did, it would lead to more challenges and trials for the Uzumaki boys. But they knew that, no matter the hardships, their bond would stay strong.
Their "Bond of the Uzumaki".
And that's that. The story is done… Or is it? Check the next chapter to see, and don't forget to R&R!
This is pain17ification, see ya guys later!