Hello, peoples! I bet you thought I was dead, didn't you? Do not despair, for I, MisteryMaiden, have indeed yet to die! No matter how hard I try to hack up a lung!
Lol, seriously, I'm sorry for how long this chapter took. There really isn't anything I can say to explain other than: Life. It gets in the way of writing and other fun activities, and I hate to admit it, but I really haven't had much time for this chapter lately. Or at all. I'm sick, like in curl up in bed and hide under the covers ill. I just spike a fever of 102 today. Good, why viruses! Why must you plague me with your germs?!
Anywho, on to the story!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, if I did people who died would stay that way and Sasuke wouldn't decide to become Hokage. Ever. And neither would Sakura. At all. Why, author-san (who doesn't deserve to be referred to by name or sensei anymore)? WHY?!
*Note, not all information I use referring to the Uchiha Massacre is Cannon
"The matches of the next exam will as the following:
1. Nara Shikamaru vs. Sabaku no Temari
2. Uchiha Sasuke vs. Hyuuga Neji
3. Rock Lee vs. Haruno Sakura
4. Uzumaki Naruto vs. Sabaku no Gaara." Hayate held up the match list. "Nara Shikamaru and Sabaku no Temari please remain on the field."
Naruto grimaced as he followed both Sasuke and Sakura up to the balcony that the contestants were required to wait together on. Gaara stood next to him, and Naruto could just feel the confusion at his grimace. Sasuke and Sakura made sure to keep a safe distance away from them, but Naruto knew that they were still staying in sight so that he could make sure to appear to be following them. Sometimes Naruto knew being blind was more of a inconvenience than anything that he'd ever had to deal with. That was really saying something, considering he was the jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi no Kitsune. Said fox was laughing at him in his mind, more amused than Naruto thought that damned kitsune should be.
'Shut up, Kurama!' Naruto growled at the demon.
"But kit!" Kurama whined, "It's just so amusing!"
'I'm not even sure what you're laughing at in the first place?' Naruto groaned.
"And you won't ever know, so stop guessing!" Kurama was disturbingly happy, something that sent warning bells off in his host's mind. Naruto felt the urge to scowl become that much greater, but resisted, as anyone looking at him would think he was frowning at nothing.
'Baka Kitsune,' Naruto muttered unhappily to the fox. He was so caught up in his conversation that he nearly ran into Gaara, who had stopped in front of a seat in the competitors box.
"The fox is getting annoying," Gaara's voice was quiet as he spoke. It was not a question, but a statement. Naruto assumed that this meant Shikaku was also becoming bothersome to his host. The sand demon had been much more manageable since Jiraiya had fixed the seal that contained the bijuu. It seemed that the seal was what was causing the monstrous behavior in sand demon. Shukaku was by no means a gentle demon, but he wasn't usually downright insane either.
"Yup," Naruto grimaced. "It's almost frightening, but at least I know that it's not just Kurama. Makes me glad that I can get him to shut up if I really want him to."
"Ah," Gaara nodded. "The green things do come in handy for that."
Naruto snickered and nodded. 'The green things' were Gai and Lee. Gaara refused to acknowledge the two spandex clad ninja as humans, but the bijuu insisted that they weren't youkai, so Gaara only referred to them as 'things'. The fact that they managed to generate a genjutsu that even Naruto could see was scary, not to mention that Lee couldn't use chakra and Gai's own chakra was weak from lack of use. It was the fact that Gai refused to use jutsu, but declared a jutsu specialist as his rival which caused great confusion amongst the populace of Konoha.
"You two," Shikamaru's voice hissed at them. "You're drawing attention to yourselves!"
Naruto jumped, sending a wave of chakra at the arena, only to find Neji and Sasuke down there fighting. "Done already?"
"The point was not to use up too much chakra," Shikamaru hissed to the blond. "I forfeited the match a few minutes in."
"Which he will be paying for a different time," Temari was practically steaming in anger. "As he well knows!"
"Feh," Shikamaru muttered. "Troublesome."
"You're all idiots!" Sakura did not sound happy. "Naruto! Pay more attention! We need you to tell us if anyone makes a suspicious move!"
Naruto grimaced, "Sorry, Sakura. Don't worry, no one's molding any chakra other than Neji and Sasuke. We're fine at the moment."
"Still don't know how you can tell," Temari did not sound happy.
"And you're not going to find out either," Naruto shot back. It was bad enough that Shukaku had spilled the beans to Gaara. It was only luck that Naruto had managed to clue the other host into the fact that no one else knew before he accidently said anything to anyone who was out of the know.
"Remember, Naruto. No seals inside the match and you're going to have to draw the fight out until Oto make their move." Sakura reminded her sometimes forgetful teammate.
"I know, Sakura," the blond grumbled. He knew the plan just as well as she did, not matter how carefree he managed to come off as. The point was to draw attention to himself conversing with Gaara, he wanted to see if anyone noticed and signaled the invasion to start earlier. Admit-ably, not always the best plan, but he had Zabuza and Haku on the look out for out of place people in the crowd.
The plan was simple: they knew Orochimaru wanted the Hokage to himself, so they weren't going to let that happen. Sarutobi was leading the Anbu in finding the hiding place of the waiting Oto forces while Jiraiya was the one that was actually sitting in the Kage box, disguised as Sarutobi using a simple latex mask instead of jutsu. Orochimaru would be able to tell if chakra was being used, but latex and a small voice changing seal guaranteed that the man stayed in the dark to their plans. Jounin, disguised as citizens, were littered throughout the crowd, all positioned by people you were visiting from outside the village.
The Oto nin were completely surrounded, but even with that knowledge, Naruto felt that something was off. There was something else about to go down, something that had nothing to do with Orochimaru himself. He wasn't sure what it was, and not knowing was doing murder on his nerves, but Kurama's behavior just led to the feeling that something big was about to happen.
Then the screaming started. Naruto hated being right. The blond haired boy sent out a wave of chakra while directing his sightless eyes upwards. Kurama howled in anger as he used his host's useless sense to see black robes and red cloud. For Naruto, it was the chakra that gave it away, Akatsuki. Jiraiya had explained all he had gathered about them and Naruto had done some research on his own for as much good as it had done him.
Luckily, or unluckily, he didn't need research to know who he was looking at right now. Uchiha Itachi and Hoshigaki Kisame both missing nin and both the ninja assigned to capturing him from the leaf. Jiraiya had actual thought that they would make an appearance in the aftermath of the invasion but it seemed that they had arrived early and used the distraction of detaining the Oto-nin instead. This was going to be bad, very bad if the now attacking Oto-nin had anything to do with. The rest of the plan seemed to be going right at least.
"Not a big comfort kit!" Kurama snarled angrily. "We need to get out of here now!"
"Well, if it isn't two little jinchuuriki, ripe for the taking!" Kisame gave them an insane grin. Naruto sent out another wave of chakra and nearly died of relief when he felt Zabuza's chakra accompanied with Haku's heading his way. Kurama seemed to feel a bit relieved as well.
"Who ever said that we were for the taking?" Naruto drawled sarcastically. "Right Eyebrow-less Freak?!"
"Oi!" Zabuza snarled as he landed in front of him with Haku. "And here I was coming to the rescue! You're mean, gaki."
"And you have no eyebrows," Naruto deadpanned. "Don't look his partner in the eyes! He's an Uchiha."
Speaking of Uchiha, where was Sasuke? Usually having his brother in the area would send the only other survivor of the clan into a complete hate filled rage that no one would be able to break him out of. The lack of screaming and death threats was actually concerning. Frowning, Naruto searched out for his friend and felt the familiar chakra right next to him. What?
Sasuke noticed the questioning look he was getting from everyone there. "What? Did I miss something?" He blinked, looking away from Kakashi's fight with some Oto-nin or another. It was rather interesting and he had been observing while things still seemed calm where they were at. The other's present sweatdropped. Sasuke looked at the blond teammate before Naruto pointed. Following the finger to find his elder brother, Sasuke gave the other a once over, decided that he really didn't care at the moment and shrugged. "Why is he here?"
"To kidnap the gaki and the insane red haired kid, take the bijuu, killing them in the process." Zabuza explained slowly. "Have you been around that lazy ass sensei too long?! I told Kakashi that he was going to rub off!"
He earned three innocent looks. Sasuke frowned at his brother, narrowing his eyes. Well if he thought he was taking his teammate without a fight then he was going to have another thing coming wasn't he? "Plan Alpha B?"
"Plan Alpha B!" Sakura and Naruto agreed. The three disappeared in a blur.
"While those three take on your poor partner, you and I have unfinished business Kisame." Zabuza heaved his sword onto his shoulder. "This is Haku. Let's see how well that Kekkei Genkai of your's works with him around, ne Haku?"
"Yes, Zabuza-sama!" The fight began in a clash of swords.
Itachi was having far greater trouble that he should have been even if he wasn't actually trying to capture the jinchuuriki or kill his brother's teammates. The boy was far more skilled than he had been all those years ago, and he had learned as well, fighting him with his eyes closed. The girl had taken the same route but the boy's eyes were wide open and none of his genjutsu was working. It was frustrating as he easily blocked an attack that should not have even been made in the first place! What had Kakashi been teaching his brother and why hadn't he been informed? He was supposed to be kept aware of everything that was happening with Sasuke and his training. He knew nothing of these new skills and the way the teaming was forming together like a single entity. The last he had heard there had been kinks and the team was still learning how to work together properly. This was beyond what he knew and had heard.
A flash of light blinded him and fought not to yell out in pain. Gritting his teeth he reminded himself that this was his brother and his team of genin and he was an S-rank ninja. He should have no trouble dealing with them! Yet it seemed that he was having nothing but trouble as they backed him into corners that he hadn't been backed into since he'd begun as a ninja when he was small. They were breaking his stance apart.
'One genin against a Jounin is useless,' Itachi reminded himself as he dodged and parried a kunai. 'Three genin against a Jounin that work as a solid unit? That's dangerous and that's what Konoha is known for. But they aren't genin.'
"You are no longer a genin," Itachi kept his voice emotionless. He needed to confirm his suspicion. Three genin could beat a Jounin. If he was fighting three Chuunin, everything would be explained and he would have to up his ante.
"Nope!" Naruto sing-songed.
"We were promoted after the second exam," Sakura nodded happily. "Jiraiya-ero-sensei trained us after that."
"Hnnn," Sasuke grunted.
"What he said!" The other two chorused. Itachi blinked, it seemed that Sasuke had inherited the Uchiha habit to talk in grunt after all. He had hoped that his brother would have been too young for the trait to keep but it seemed that it wasn't much of a problem with these two. They knew exactly what he was saying and how he was thinking. It was unlikely that they were going to be split up any time soon, making them one of the few genin teams to remain together after the exams.
"I see." He left it at that, not wanting to give anything away by speaking too much. He was a ninja but that didn't make him the best actor in the world and he was fighting his little brother. He had never wanted to fight his brother or kill his family but the choice between the two didn't even have to be thought about. To the clan he had been the perfect heir that would marry who they said and would one day become Hokage, making the prestige of the Uchiha clan even greater than it already was. They hadn't cared for Itachi's dreams and when asked would answer that he wanted to be Hokage. Sasuke, when asked, would say that he wanted to become the head of Anbu and retire with three children and a wife who loved him. He wasn't even sure how his brother had even found that out but that was the truth. So when the coupe that the clan was planning entailed endangering his brother's life and the peace of the village that he adored he wouldn't hear of it.
Now that little brother hated him and wanted to see him dead. That little brother thought that he wanted to kill him and that he was going to take his best friend and teammate back to his organization to be killed for the demon sealed inside his stomach. The reality of the situation was that he was spying on the Akatsuki for Konoha and planned to die in the fight that his brother would wage with him for his life. There was no other alternative with Danzou still alive and in control of the shadows of Konoha.
It was odd though, usually when he was anywhere near Konoha Danzo would have Ne Anbu tailing him. Now he felt no sign of their blank chakra or saw no flash or blank white masks. It was eerie, almost as if they were just...gone.
"Who are you looking for?!" Naruto had finally had enough of the searching chakra their opponent was sending out. "There's no one there! I thought it was for an ally at first but your chakra feels cautious so that's out. I can only think you're looking for Root and they've been disb...anded...Oh."
Itachi froze and parried the next few kunai swipes. "What?"
"Danzou was executed for treason and Root was disbanded." Naruto repeated, lowly. "But why would you worry about Danzou showing up? What is going on here?"
Disbanded. Executed. Sasuke felt the overwhelming urge to open his eyes and stared at what he saw. Relief. Itachi was relieved at the news. Sakura also opened her eyes, gasping as she finally saw the family resemblance (having closed them after Naruto had looked up and she had saw Kisame and knew who was likely to be with him). Naruto 'saw' Itachi's chakra grow lighter, as if there was a weight being lifted off of them.
"We need to talk," Naruto decided. "You're hiding something and it has to do with exactly why you did what you did seven years ago. So you're going to explain and you've got no choice because I've just sent clones around and sealed off the area. No one gets in or out until I remove them. They're keyed to me, so don't get any ideas either. Speak."
Itachi closed his eyes before locking eyes with Sasuke. It was time.
Sarutobi was having the time of his life as he took down summon after summon. Jiraiya was fighting Orochimaru in the sealed off area, having successfully neutralized the Edo Tensei with a few well place seals of his own. With Root out of the way and no traitors in Konoha plus Suna on their side, Oto was being wiped out.
The Sand Siblings weren't even being touched as they took out enemy ninja after ninja, some of them even Jounin. They were definitely getting promoted, the Hokage decided. Suna would need all the ninja they could get for money with the death of their Kazekage and those three were rather skilled. He was going to have Naruto work on using a seal for suppress Gaara's sand so that the young jinchuuriki could train his taijutsu as well. Oto nin after Oto nin was falling dead to the ground, civilians safe in the hidden boxes in the Konoha Monument.
It was a spike of chakra that alerted him to the other problem that had wormed its way into his village but the fact that half the problem was missing is what concerned him. Zabuza and Haku (best decision he'd made, inviting those two into Konoha) were fighting off Hoshigaki Kisame. The former Seven Swordsmen of the Mist were evenly matched but Haku was the turning point in Zabuza's favor. It was the absence of Itachi that was worrying. He ha d come across documents in the Root base that were very enlightening concerning the Massacre and the reason behind it. The reason why Itachi was forced to become a missing Nin was also there and Sarutobi hadn't been able to feel any regret for executing his former friend any longer. He wondered if Itachi was yet aware he was free to come home yet.
There was a spike of chakra, it felt like Naruto's and Sasuke's. There was a mix of Sakura's as well. It seemed that he did now, and that Team Seven was regretting a missed chance at Danzou.
Sarutobi chuckled as he and Enma took out another summon. The Monkey King decided not to ask what was so humorous and continued with the battle.
I originally planned for the chapter to be longer but I wanted to get it posted. A little look into Akatsuki and how I'm planning on including them into thing because really, I don't want to even attempt the chaos that is Shippuden. Really though *Spoilers for those who haven't read latest chapters* what is up with Cannon Sasuke? He's so bipolar! First he wants to kill his brother, fine, I can understand that. But joining a psychotic pedophile that wants to steal his body is not the way to do it! And the so called wimpy village that wouldn't be able to give him the power is the one that TRAINED SAID PSYCHOPATH HE WENT TO! What the fuck, Sasuke?!
It just gets worse! He finds out that Itachi was ordered to kill the clan because they were planning a coupe (those who don't know this, you should read the mange or watch the anime before reading anymore of my story) and instead of being angry at the elders who ordered it over the council's and Hokage's head, he's pissed at the entire village that had nothing to do with it and wants to destroy it? Umm, what? Where did your head go, Sasuke?
So, Itachi is brought back to life with Kabuto's jutsu but gains his own free will thanks to the crow with the Sharigan eye he put in Naruto's belly, they fight and defeat Kabuto only for Itachi to die and Sasuke to BRING BACK OROCHIMARU WHO DECIDE'S TO FOLLOW SASUKE'S LEAD? WHAAAAATTTT?!
So not only do they bring back the four Hokage's using three white Zetsu clones and a UZUMAKI ARTIFACT THAT SUMMONS THE SHINIGAMI AND RELEASES THE SOULS FROM HIS STOMACH (where was this earlier, damnit, and why isn't Naruto in possession of it as IT'S HIS CLAN?!) where they force the Shodaime to tell the story of himself and Madara, where we learn that their friendship is oddly reminiscent to Sasuke and Naruto, Orochimaru and Jiraiya, Kakashi and Obito (CAN I GET A DIFFERENT PLOT HERE PLEASE?) and that Madara was angsty over that fact he didn't get chosen as Hokage because people liked the Shodame better. Wow, so you vow to destroy the village you helped create and your whole clan? What a great plan and clan leader! (NOT)
Now Sasuke, knowing all this and how much his brother looovvved Konoha decides that sure he went rogue and nearly killed his best friend and teammate. Sure he decided to destroy an innocent villages for wrongs that his clan was going to commit against them and were killed for without their knowledge of anything, but he's going to become HOKAGE! What. What? WHAT?! RAGE!
So he goes and help Naruto and the other's fight the Juubi or the Shinju or whatever you want to call the giant monster wreaking havoke with the dead Hokages (what is up with the lack of reaction to dead people showing up anymore?) while Sakura reacts to Sasuke's declare to be Hokage with one of her own. Naruto seems to be the only one who is questioning why people are suddenly stealing his dream as they continue the battle. That's where I quit. No, just no. I give up. SAKURA AND SASUKE SHOULD NOT WANT TO BE HOKAGE! And why is it that the Hokage's are alive, Orochimaru is alive, and there is no Jiraiya? Give me Jiraiya back! He would be very useful at the moment, with, you know, SEALS! And where the fuck are Tsunade and the other Kage's! I get she was cut it half but dead people are coming back to life quicker than she sewing herself back together and healing the other Kage! What the hell, Kage's?!
So after that very long rant that you probably didn't bother finishing but made me feel better, I'll try to update soon. No promises. I hope you enjoyed the chapter and please Review! We've already made it passed 200~!