Blasterdog: Thanks for the compliments, really boast my drive to keep writing.
Vero Assassin For Shinigami: Woah taking it to far? But I understand!
PoeticFire: I hope this chapter will satisfy you!
Blackstriker94: Ugh I know I should, but honestly I have no drive to write it.
Rider831: Sorry no, the Harem has already been decided, I don't want to add to many girls. Because it gets hard to manage, like even right now I have a hard time managing all of them. However if I did add another girl it would have been Mei, Wink wink.
Dragon Man 180: Aww man, sorry I probably should have put a couple of warning signs before the last chapter. I hope this one makes it up to, possibly as there is some sadness in this one but definitely nothing like the last.
That Random Jerk: I don't know how to answer that, especially with that account name.
Tobinizer: Pony tail… eh I think he will look cooler if he just had something like Minato's hair lol or just keep his current hair style. LOl and a spin off with Anko having a baby would be awesome, maybe I will write it one day!
Theoneawesomeguy: Thanks for loving that chapter, not many people did THANK YOU!
Sascha no Shugo: Yeah I really liked Naruko, I regret not doing more with her. But don't worry one day I will make it up to her!
Sceonn: That is exactly what dark Naruto is in this story, he represents all of Naruto's hatred and such. And my Naruto will probably never go to giant turtle anyway.
Shadowbloodedge9396: Sorry dude, I hope you stick around as the next few chapters will probably be a bit more cheerful to make it up to Naruko.
Gameipedia: I guess it's because I hate them in the actually manga, Sasuke always getting redeemed and coming out with random power ups, and Sakura I just don't see the appeal to her at all she's just a huge jerk.
Hollow Soul 101: I'm glad for that!
Star Iron: Wow Naruko has a huge fanbase among my readers, I promise I will make it up to her by the end of the story!
Stone Shield: AMAZING SHOW!
Sorry I didn't respond to a lot of comments this time, some of them weren't really questions and others if I answer would be spoiling too much. However if you really want to talk about the story you can drop me a PM and I will try to answer it the best I can or just leave another review THANKS GUYS!
NSU Chapter 49: Into The Great Yonder.
Previously on NSU: Any last bit of resistance Naruto could have put up was squashed when Naruto.D stepped on the side of his head. "It's just too bad I can't kill you."
Letting this feeling savor for a moment Naruto.D turned and began walking out of the cage as he had much to do, "Well I guess you were right when you told Hinata, good bye…"
Kurama had to pat himself on the back as he had been successful in defeating both members of the zombie combo, well he easily killed Kakuzu destroying his final 3 hearts, Hidan on the other hand well he wouldn't be causing any more trouble any time soon. Seeing as he truly was immortal just having a tiny spec of him around meant he was still alive so Kurama just burnt his body to a crisp, and kept his head in his claw throwing it up and down because it amused him.
"YOU BASTARD! JASHIN-SAMA WILL SMITE YOU DOWN FOR THIS!"
Kurama just chuckled, "Yeah, yeah, yeah…"
Suddenly Kurama blinked and he was back within the grassy field of Naruto's mindscape, he heard walking behind him then somebody said, "I have to thank you Kurama for killing those members of Akatsuki for me…"
Kurama noticed the different in pitch of the person's voice and quickly turned around and saw it wasn't the Naruto he was accustomed to, Hashirama commented as he moved into a fighting stance, "Kurama this isn't Naruto!"
"Who are you, what did you do with the real Naruto." Kurama said with a growl.
Naruto.D walked slowly up to Kurama's tails and touched one of them with his hands, wood sprung up from around Kurama and Hashirama painfully binding the proud fox and the former Hokage to the ground. "I am the real Naruto, you both should do well to remember that."
Kurama struggled against the wooden bindings but it was to no avail as Mokuton was known to sap a Bijuus strength. And Hashirama felt as if all the chakra in his body was gone, which was particularly odd seeing as he himself was greatly attuned with wood.
"So valiantly you struggle, however ever since I defeated the weaker portion of myself. I control this mindscape and all those that reside within it including you two. So just get comfy because from this point on all I want from either of you is your power and your chakra, I hope you two don't mind being living batteries until I drain all the power I need than don't worry you can go inside the cage with that loser for the rest of eternity."
With a laugh he flicked his wrist and a rip opened up in the mindscape, they watched as this Naruto entered the rift and beyond it they saw Kurama's old cage within the cage laying in the murky water was Naruto unmoving.
Kurama yelled out, "NARUTO YOU BASTARD GET UP! DON'T LET HIM WIN!"
Naruto had heard Kurama's cry for him to fight again, but he no longer could do anything aside from lifting his head upwards and whispering, "I'm sorry Kurama, I'm sorry everybody."
Naruto.D stood at the giant golden gates smirking at Naruto before shaking his head, "You see not even your precious Kurama or Shodaime can save you this time."
With a flick of his wrist the cage doors began to swung closed, slamming together with a clang. Then the familiar sound of the locking swirling back into place began. What Naruto.D never expected was the sound of chains suddenly burst from the darkness deep inside the cage, the chains slammed into the gates which had not yet knocked fully so they were thrown wide open.
Naruto.D didn't even have time to react as the chains wrapped around him in an ironic twist of events he was now forced to sit in the chair that Naruko sat in before tied up unable to move. Naruto.D yelled out into the darkness, "LET ME GO THIS IS MY MINDSCAPE NOW!"
"I think you've hurt my son long enough now…" a female voice responded as a beautiful red haired woman in her twenties stepped out of the shadows.
"Mother!" Naruto.D said as his lips quivered slightly, "If it's really you than you should know what I'm doing is right!"
"HUSH you've done enough damage!" Kushina said scolding him like a child, and very much like a boy being scolded by his mother Naruto.D's tough exterior cracked and he shied away trying to make himself as small as possible. Neither Naruto nor Naruto.D had ever met their mother before so he didn't know what was it about this woman that scared him, maybe it was the memories about how scary Hitomi could become.
She walked over to the fallen body of her son and knelt beside him stroking tenderly at his unconscious face, "Oh my poor, poor boy."
Naruto awoke not in the murky waters of Kurama's former prison but somewhere warm and comforting, opening his eyes he was in a room completely enshrouded in a yellow color. It wasn't too eye blindingly bright instead it offered a sense of serenity and peace to Naruto. His head was lying on the lap of somebody with a green dress. He didn't want to move, nor did he want to intrude on whoever this was. So slowly he lifted his head and he shook fiercely when he saw the face of said person whom he had been lying on.
"Mom…" he stuttered as a tear fell from his eyes.
She merely smiled at him and that was all the acknowledgment he needed before he dived at his mom hugging her and crying into her shoulder.
"Mom!" Naruto cried and poured onto his mother's shoulder. The love and warmth he felt from her was indescribable, no other female had ever made his heart feel this way, not Tsunade, not Hitomi, not Shima, not even Hinata or any of his girls.
He grasped firmly and the back of her dress, never wanting to let her go. Kushina chuckled and gently patted her son on the head. "Now, Now Naruto-kun. Calm down before you hurt somebody." It all felt so natural to her, even if this part of her had been sealed away for all these years.
And while her son was thirteen years old and had seen enough to match those thrice his age, she still saw him as her precious little Naru-chan. The same precious little adorable baby she had died to protect.
When he finally let her go, she couldn't help but laugh at his glistening eyes wet with tears. Little did she know her eyes were just as wet, she took her hands and framed his face using her thumbs to wipe away the tears. "I see Hitomi-chan has done a great job in taking care of my sweet boy all these years, too bad I can't thank her personally for being a great mother in my stead."
Naruto closed his eyes and relished in her touch, Hitomi-sama had been very motherly with him growing up. But Kushina was his real mother of blood and family nothing could be compared to her.
Slowly he allowed himself to slip from her grasp and back down onto her lap where he laid contentedly, Kushina absent mindedly stroked her sons hair and had to pout at the fact that Naruto looked almost entirely like Minato. Life was so unfair sometimes, she pouted and said, "I'm so jealous of your father."
Naruto tensed slightly hearing that, but responded as he wanted nothing more in his whole life than to have a normal conversation with his mother. "Why is that mom?"
She happily giggled she would never get tired of him calling her, mom. It made her heart warm, "Well you look so much like your father my dear, I wish there was a little more of me in that handsome face of yours!"
"I wish I had your hair, it's so beautiful. I used to look at it all the time in photos but it's nothing compared to seeing it for real." Naruto said as he sat up.
Kushina blushed a bit from the compliment and imagined what Naruto would look like in red silky hair and she had to admit he would look every bit as handsome maybe even more so. "Oh charming very charming, much like your father." She sighed again, "I see you have his personality too, however you do have my stubbornness and in strides too!"
"Do I?" Naruto asked as he scratched the side of his face his expression of a child being caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Kushina gave him a slight glare and said, "Oh like maybe your deep rooted dislike of your father the man I love with all my heart?"
"You know about that huh?" Naruto stated as he ducked his head in shame.
"Oh I'm sure most of the people close to you know that you dislike your father very much, you once referred to him merely as being a sperm donor for your beloved mother. I'm ashamed of your Naruto Uzumaki." And while Kushina's tone of voice was not of one that was of scolding or demeaning. Naruto thought that her words hurt more than having a kunai driven into your heart.
The hurt of having your mother being disappointed in you was incomparable to any sort of torture neither a physical one nor a mental one.
"I just don't get it though, I know that you know I played a part in sealing Kurama inside of you yet you place all the blame solely on your father's shoulders." Kushina asked sternly.
"I…I guess I chose favorites…" Naruto answered quietly, his mother had heard him and her smile came back onto her face well it was more of a grin as she suddenly punched the air in front of her, "TAKE THAT MINATO!"
Naruto attempted to laugh along with his mother but that was a stupid idea as suddenly her fist descended on his head. It wasn't hard or anything but it was enough to nudge his head downwards.
"As flattered as I am for being your favorite, I do not want you bad mouthing or disrespecting my husband or your father anymore do you understand that young man?" Kushina demanded as she finished with a glare, then with a light smile she added on, "He is the reason why we are able to meet today even if it's only for a fleeting moment."
Naruto hung his head and answered, "I will try mother."
Kushina leaned forward an gave him a soft kiss on the forehead, "And that's all I ask my love."
Naruto hated seeing his mother sad, angry or in distress. He didn't know how but he loved this woman more than any other person in his life even though he had only been talking to her for maybe 10 minutes. It felt as she was with him all his life, and maybe that was the reason seeing that this part of her was here all this time.
A big grin appeared on her face and then she asked spontaneously, "So Naru-chan, from what I noticed you are quite the lady killer aren't you?"
Naruto blushed, mothers just had this way of embarrassing their kids Hitomi was proof of this and judging by Kushina's grin she was definitely not an exception.
Naruto rubbed the back of his head and said, "Yeah I guess I am, and I bet… Dad was one too." Willing himself to say the word dad to appease his mother.
Kushina narrowed her eyes then smashed her fist in her palm, as if the Shinigami were incarnate she growled, "If any woman aside from me touched my husband I would have killed them!
"Heh, Heh, Heh" Naruto chuckled nervously as he watched his mother's red hair whip around behind her dangerously.
"But I'm not saying I disapprove of your actions." She then said with a sudden change of emotions to one of a placid housewife. Naruto suddenly realized that his multiple personality disorder might have been hereditary and also understood why Hitomi and her were best friends. They were both border line insane!
"I was merely voicing my own opinions on polygamy when it concerns my husband, though from what I noticed this Hinata girl does not mind sharing well at least not too much." Kushina finished with a sly grin.
"Yeah she's perfect!" Naruto said proudly. "She's kind caring and strong just like you mom!"
Kushina smiled and answered, "Yes she is like me, we both act the way we are because of the men we love."
"What does that mean mother?" Naruto questioned to which Kushina laughed at, "The more I talk to you the more I liken you to your father."
"Now what does that mean?" Naruto asked again with a pout. Kushina ruffled Naruto's head and stated, "You're both idiots…"
Naruto was taken aback by that statement, it wasn't said in a malicious tone so he wasn't offended but it confused him to no end.
Yet Kushina continued to giggle as she watched her sons face morph into various stages of confusion so she decided to stop toying with her son, "Well maybe you'll figure out what I mean one day."
Putting her hands on her hips she then asked, "Now tell me about the others. I want to hear all about my daughter-in-laws and how they all captured my son's heart."
It started off cumbersomely but slowly Naruto felt a little more relaxed in talking about his relationships, and if her laughter was to go by anything she found certain parts of be extremely entertaining especially those regarding Anko. She liked Hana and Ino seeing that they had a similar determined personality to her, she was somewhat impartial though more on the side of angry toward Kurotsuchi and she deeply felt sorry for Hanabi.
Well not regarding the fact that she was in a way forced to marry her son, but all the pain done upon her at such a young age. From his relationships they moved on to discussing Naruto's entire life and Kushina listened, she was somewhat disappointed in his decision to leave Konoha but she understood why he ultimately choose to do it.
She so desperately wished she was there for the times when he most needed her to give him her motherly advice but alas maybe in another life time she could have.
They had been talking for who knows how but suddenly Kushina felt a pang in her chest she then let out a sad sigh, "Naru-chan, I have to go soon. My time here is running out…"
Naruto shook his head violently lunging at his mother holding her tightly once more not wanting to let her go.
"No please, I'll give anything for you to stay mom, ANYTHING!" Letting out the last part a bit forcefully, she smiled sadly and returned his embrace.
"There's nothing you can do that will prolong my existence much longer, it's how this part of me was designed. I was merely left here to aid you in the time of your greatest need." Kushina commented to which Naruto sobbed, "It's not fair, it's not fair!"
"Life isn't fair and you know it." Kushina said with a slight wince as Naruto had tightened his grip on her petite frame still denying the fact that she would be gone soon.
Naruto choked back as he eventually let go of his mother, "Will I ever see you again?"
Kushina chuckled and shook her head, "What kind of parent would I be, to say I would ever see you again. I'm dead Naru-chan, we both know what has to happen for us to see each other again."
Naruto shook a little as his tears continued to fell into his lap.
Kushina leaned forward and gave a lingering kiss onto the top of his head, "You're an Uzumaki, if we do ever see each other again, I hope it's not for a long, long, long time I would much prefer if we never saw each other again though."
Even Naruto had to chortle slightly at that, Kushina was pleased to see his son brighten up even if it was minimal.
Sadly Naruto asked, "So what's going to happen to me after you're gone?"
"I've subdued your dark side; I will need to use your remaining power and chakra to change and reinforce the seal, all you have to do afterwards is ensure he never has anyway to get out again. Aside from that when you wake up you're going to feel weak and it's going to hurt but sometimes that's how life is my love." Kushina answered.
Naruto nodded as Kushina suddenly reached forward and caressed his face "Always remember, Mommy loves you so much Naru-chan." Naruto sniffled and gave her his most endearing smile before Kushina shot a jolt of chakra into him rendering him unconscious. She smiled and the room around them began to crumble away revealing the field Kurama and Hashirama created in Naruto's mindscape.
Kurama who had been struggling this whole time to break free of the bindings suddenly froze when he saw Kushina sitting beside her sons unconscious body.
Kushina gracefully stood up and walked over toward Kurama and reached toward the wooden bindings to dispel them, she stopped for a moment just before touching the wooden bindings and said to Kurama, "I hope you won't attack me the moment I free you Kurama, I know there was some bad blood between us but for Naruto's sake I hope we can bury that hatchet."
With all the movement the bindings allowed he nodded. And with that Kushina freed him then preceded over to Hashirama. He was on his knees bound from head down to toe in wood, Kushina tilted her head to the side examining the Shodai Hokage, she had never met him before. But from Naruto's memories to her he was a rather odd character. He wasn't somebody that she would have expected to have been a Hokage. Shaking her head she narrowed her eyes at him and out of nowhere she sent her fist right into the top of his head.
"Hokage or not maybe you should act more like a great, great grandpa sometimes to my son!"
Hashirama sweat nervously at the red hair women and couldn't help but notice the similarities between her and his wife Mito, they were from the same clan after all.
Somewhere in the background Kurama couldn't help but silently laugh at watching the mighty Hashirama Senju get a scolding.
"He doesn't need a Sensei 24/7, what happened here today proves sometimes he needs a family to advise and help him UNDERSTAND!" Kushina finished as her red hair danced dangerously behind her.
Hashirama quickly nodded and said, "Yes ma'am" this was good enough for Kushina as she then also released Hashirama from his bindings.
Kushina let out a content sigh as she felt she had done her best to ensure her son's future happiness and safety. Kurama and Hashirama watched as she herself began to disintegrate from the bottom upwards, leering one last time at the time she said, "I swear to Kami if you two don't watch out for my son, when you two get down to where I am I will make you both suffer."
The two nodded intensely and only when the last speck of Kushina disappear did Hashirama fall back onto the grass, "That woman is just like my wife when she was angry!"
Kurama just grumbled, "She's an Uzumaki what you expect…"
Deep down in Kurama's cell of Naruto's mindscape, Naruto.D roared out in anger as the doors of the cell closed and locked the seal swirling back into place. "YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME, YOU CAN'T I WON! I WON!"
In the outside world, Neji, Kurotsuchi and Kitsuchi landed at the giant entrance Naruto had created when he busted his way in.
They were witness to an entire cave covered in blood and the remains of the two Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu. In the middle of the cave sitting unmoving was the monstrous look of Naruto in his six tailed, version two beast form.
The crater under his feet and the black and orange chakra shell formed around his body was a frightening sight for the three Shinobi to see.
They were completely stumped as too why he was completely still, did the Akatsuki actually get him in the end?
A faint whisper of concern slipped from Kurotsuchi's lips, "Naruto?"
"YOU FUCKERS!" a sudden yell alerted them to the decapitated head of Hidan on the floor.
Kurotsuchi angrily stomped over the best she could with her injuries and punted Hidan's head with a ferocious kick so it splatted and cratered into the wall.
She gingerly walked over to the frozen Naruto, the closer she got the hotter the area got around her due to the ambient chakra leaking off of Naruto. She reached out to touch his face but a sudden shudder over took Naruto's body and the chakra receded back within him leaving his unconscious body to fall forward right onto Kurotsuchi. She hastily caught him with Neji immediately by her side to help her.
"We have to get him back to Iwa so Shizune-san can ensure he's not in any immediate danger." Neji said with utmost haste in his voice. "Hinata-sama will have my head if anything bad happens to him."
2 days later
Naruto had remained in his coma this whole time, Shizune had gave him a thorough check up and proclaimed him to be suffering from severe chakra depletion. It worried Kurotsuchi to no end seeing as Naruto had still not woken up and was starting to look rather grim.
It was about midday when Kurotsuchi suddenly felt a slight twinge from Naruto's hand which she had been clutching fervently.
"Naruto-kun! Naruto-Kun!" she whispered to him as he saw his eyes flutter.
"SHIZUNE-SAN! SHIZUNE-SAN COME NARUTO-KUN IS WAKING UP!"
There was a flurry of noise outside as Shizune dropped what she had been previously doing and dashed into Naruto's room. She checked the readings on the machine and the medical charts at the end of his bed.
She shook her head in concern; his chakra levels had hardly recovered which was strange for a Jinchuriki like him. She was no expert on seals but could see most of the chakra that regenerated was pooling into the area around his seal.
Kurotsuchi stepped out of the way for Shizune to run some more tests on Naruto, "Can you hear me Naruto-kun?"
His hoarse voice lowly came out, "Shizune where am I?"
"You're in the hospital, how are you feeling?" Shizune asked with concern.
Naruto tiredly tilted his head to the side, "I just want to go home…" as he drifted back and forth from consciousness and unconsciousness
"Don't worry Naruto-kun, we're going home." Shizune reassuringly promised.
"You can't move him!" Kurotsuchi said angry as she tried to move between Shizune and Naruto, "You were among the doctors that said it would be dangerous to subject his body too anything strenuous. Wouldn't moving him fall under that category?"
"Yes it does, but I no longer have any choice. His condition hasn't improved at all, I need to get him to somebody that can help him!" Shizune said as she began the preparations to move Naruto.
"And this is where the best doctors in all of the Land of Earth are!" Kurotsuchi cried, Shizune firmly stood her ground against the girl and replied, "I don't doubt that, but find me one doctor in here that will admit they are better than Tsunade-sama and find me a seal master in all of the elemental nations that will admit they are more versed then Jiraiya-sama…"
Too this Kurotsuchi had no reply.
"I know you love him very much and wish to spend more time with him, but I will not risk his safety by not seeking the best possible treatment for him!"
Kurotsuchi begrudgingly conceded as Shizune then asked, "Please signal Team Gai we are leaving tonight…"
"Tonight!?" Kurotsuchi asked in disbelief.
Shizune looked her in the eye to show how serious she was, "Tonight."
Middle of Night
By grace of the Tsuchikage they had been given a not too conspicuous carriage complete with horses and curtains for the carriage that offered the riders complete privacy.
The only Iwa Shinobi that knew they were leaving in the dead of night was Kurotsuchi, Kitsuchi and the Tsuchikage.
Naruto being in such a weakened state made him a prime target for any of his enemies, so Kitsuchi was asked to station disguised rock clones inside Naruto's room in the hospital to make it seem like he was still there.
It would take them minimum of 3 days traveling at this speed, but this was the speed they had to deal with in order to ensure Naruto's safety. They had sent a letter ahead to inform Tsunade-sama, and the response Shizune got back showed that Tsunade was less then pleased with how everything turned out.
Shizune could tell that Tsunade was on the verge of overreacting and sending a squad of Anbu to Iwa to pick him up. But only stilled her hand because it would look too much like a potential invasion, especially with the state of Iwagakure at the moment.
However that didn't stop her from sending that same battalion to the border with Taki to escort them back the moment they crossed the border.
"So much for remaining incognito." Shizune thought to herself.
They finally reached Konoha on the third day around noon, under executive orders from the Hokage. The Anbu escorted them directly to the Hospital where a private room had already been set up. It didn't take long for both Tsunade and Jirayia to show up, immediately Tsunade was dotting over her grandson. And like Shizune they found Naruto's seal to be draining a majority of Naruto's chakra.
Carefully inspecting the seal Jiraiya was shocked to discover that Naruto's seal had been heavily modified its intention was to still lock something away but something not as massive as the Kyubi but something just as powerful if the amount of chakra necessary to reinforce the seal was to go by anything. Yet none of the failsafe's had been triggered, which proved to him this was the work of an expert seal master. Jiraiya highly doubted that even Naruto could pull off something of this caliber on himself.
"What the seal is doing is not life threatening however it is severely weakening him, as for when it will be done doing this to him, I don't know." Jiraiya commented as he finished examining the seal.
Before Tsunade could ask any more, there came knocking on the door. A nurse slid open the door and said urgently to Tsunade, "Hokage-sama, Lady Senju is here and coming up now she demands to see her husband."
Tsunade cursed herself under her breath, she knew she should have kept Neji from returning home. Most likely Hinata had interrogated him the moment he crossed through the Hyuga gates.
Tsunade thought about ordering her to wait till she was done, but Tsunade doubt somebody like Hinata would stand idly by while her husband was in such a condition.
Suddenly the door slid open with a bang and a alarmed Hinata walked through the door Byakugan flaring tears flowing as she focused on nothing other than Naruto laying on the hospital bed. She clutched her area over her heart with her hand as she wept shuffling over to the barely moving body of the man she loved more than anything in the world.
She collapsed down upon his chest and asked painfully, "What have they done too you!" Her husband always had looked strong and courageous even when he was sleeping, now he looked like he had aged significantly his hair had lost a considerable amount of its beautiful golden shine and his usually assuring heartbeat that for so long was her sweet lullaby sounded so weak now, threatening to fade away forever.
Hinata's clenched the front of Naruto's shirt in anger and said angrily in a whisper but everybody in the room heard her, "Who did this to him!" she swore she would exact painful vengeance on whoever did this! She would bring the entire fury, of the Hyuga clan down upon them if she had to!
Tsunade shifted somewhat uncomfortably because they in honest didn't know what had happened to Naruto, according to Shizune they had found him in this weakened state all they knew was that Naruto had briefly went up to six tails and in that time he defeated two members of Akatsuki other than that they were drawing blanks.
"We don't know?" she answered almost pitifully
"Tsunade, I want to take him away from here, from all of this." Jiraiya sorrowfully said as he could hardly bear to see Naruto like this and the burden the Shinobi life was having upon him. "I'm going to help him recover, but it can't be in Konoha or Iwagakure."
"No…" it wasn't Tsunade who answered but the voice of a darkened Hinata.
"Hinata be reasonable." The Toad Sage argued. "Obviously…."
Jiraiya was interrupted suddenly with a clatter of a chair hitting the floor; in a fit of rage Hinata had hit the chair next to Naruto's bed sending it to the floor. Her glare bore into Jiraiya's very soul and her body trembled as she alleged angrily, "I might respect you Jiraiya of the Sannin, BUT THIS TIME I WLL NOT LET YOU OR ANYBODY TAKE MY HUSBAND AWAY FROM ME!"
She then said in an almost ghostly whisper to herself with a somewhat far off look, as she turned back to the sight of her husband, whose condition had slightly destabilized her mentally, "I'm tired of being kind, I'm tired of being selfless, what about my feelings haven't they been ignored for too long?"
She laid back down upon Naruto and tenderly smoothed his shirt, "I don't want to think of all the times I almost lost you Naruto-kun… let's leave, we don't have to be Shinobi anymore, we can go anywhere, we can be anything." A smile cracked on her face, "We can build a little house, I'll knit and you can grow crops. We don't need money or fancy clothing, just each other and we can live our life in peace… together. You will listen to me right Naruto-kun?"
"She's? Completely lost it?" Jiraiya said as he stumbled slightly backwards. He was definitely not going to take the blame for driving the Hyuga heiress insane.
Tsunade wanted to approach the young Hyuga, she wasn't a psychologist but she knew a thing or two about consoling family members of patients. However Hitomi who had been following her daughter beat her to the punch. She wrapped her arms around her daughter, Tsunade watched as she whispered something into her ear. Too which Hinata responded with more tears and fervent shaking of her head, clutching with all her might onto the front of Naruto's shirt.
It took alot of reassuring but she was finally able to pry Hinata from Naruto and calm her down. Tsunade knew they might be labeled as adults and they took on the hardships that many adults never would have to face, but at the end of the day they were still children. "What Jiraiya wants to do is for the best, you understand?"
It was the smallest of nods, but Tsunade could tell by the red puffy eyes and tear streaks that she wanted to scream, kick and shout NO!
That night Hinata had refused to leave her husband's side, Hitomi could no more to convince her daughter otherwise, for she was so desperate to hear his voice to see his beautiful ocean blue eyes. Not even Anko, Hana, Ino or Hanabi could convince Hinata to return home for some rest. Naruto's stubbornness had definitely rubbed off onto her. She swore that as long as Naruto remained here, so would she!
It had been two long harrowing days; it pained Hitomi to see her daughter waste away she cried at the sight of the two children she had raised. And when Naruto finally showed signs of life on the third day, Hitomi saw it as a blessing from Kami.
Hinata had not spoken much these past 3 days, so her voice was a raspy and dry. But even then it did nothing to dilute the love the two had for each other as they exchanged their first words since he had left for Iwagakure.
"Hime… you're here." He said with a dry cough, Hinata was quick to give him her glass of water. When that was done she grasped his hand and placed his palm upon her cheek leaning in she pressed as much as her body upon his without causing him discomfort.
"Yes, I am Naruto-kun."
They weren't allowed to be together for long, as Tsunade had quickly entered the room to do a full inspection of Naruto. She smiled and delivered the good news that his chakra levels were finally starting to replenish themselves if not rather slowly.
"Thank you Kami," Hinata repeated while she dabbed away tears from her eyes. She sat patiently on the chair next to Naruto's bed waiting for the moment Tsunade would be finished. However before that could happen Hitomi, placed a hand on her daughter's shoulder, "Why don't you go freshen up a bit first, and get something to eat."
Hinata turned back to Naruto in concern to which Hitomi said, "He will still be here when you come back, don't worry I will watch him so he doesn't run away." Finishing with a giggle, Hinata slowly nodded and stood up, "Ko, please go with her." Hitomi added on as she wanted some private time with Naruto, and had to ensure her daughters safety. Especially because she still wasn't all in one piece mentally.
After the room had emptied Naruto said to Hitomi without looking at her with a twinge of disappointment in his voice, "This always happens… I hate worrying everybody."
Hitomi smiled as she switched seats and moved to sit on the side of Naruto's bed, she gently patted the boys hand and replied, "You're definitely your mother's son, always worrying about others and not yourself."
"I saw her." Naruto said suddenly, which caught Hitomi by complete surprise. She blinked and tried to find the right words to say.
"When I was fighting Akatsuki, a great evil from within overtook me. I couldn't contain it and almost lost my way. It was my mother who saved me, a small part of her existed within my seal. That part only activating when I needed her most."
Hitomi allowed all of this to sink in; it was so much for her to take. She was definitely, not used to being the one that was speechless. Eventually she did say, "How did it go?"
It was lame and she knew it, but it did get Naruto to smile happily and look at her. "She was great, she was exactly the way you described her."
"Beautiful? Kind? Stubborn?" Hitomi questioned with a giggle.
Naruto chuckled and simply replied, "Yep" He then grasped the Hyuga matriarchs hand firmly but not too tight and said, "She also wanted me to thank you in her place."
Hitomi tilted her head slightly, "For what?"
"For being my mother…" Naruto answered in a serious tone.
Hitomi leaned down and give a gentle kiss to his forehead, much like the one Kushina gave him and like the one his mother gave him it made him feel warm and loved inside. "Well, I'm kind of upset you never called me mom!" Hitomi said with a fake pout.
Naruto laughed as he shook his head, "Because I always knew who my real mom was?"
The two settled down laughing into a comfortable silence, until Naruto commented. "You want me to do something… that's why you sent Hinata away."
Hitomi nodded and said with a kind smile, "Observant as ever, even in your… condition."
Naruto gave her a mock annoyed look as Hitomi continued, "You see how she is, she's withering away. You know she gets it from you right?"
"So all I'm asking is that you ask her to go home and get some proper rest, she won't listen to anybody else." Hitomi stated with full concern in her voice for her eldest daughter.
Naruto didn't even need time to think about it and instantly stated, "I will do my best."
By the time Hinata had returned, Naruto understood why Hitomi gave him such a mission. While still looking regal, she looked like a mess compared to her usual state.
Somehow her normal pale skin was even paler, and she was skinny with heavy bags under her eyes. She retook her place draped across Naruto's chest. They stayed that way for hours in silence, words were never enough to express their feelings for one another.
As it got darker Naruto tensed as he knew he had to complete his mission, he had gone through hundreds of methods, hundreds of scenarios. Someway that Hinata would understand and go complacently.
"Hina…" he whispered to her.
A tired and weak, "Hmm." Came from her, it tore at Naruto's heart hearing her like this.
"Hina… I want you to go home tonight." Naruto flinched as he felt Hinata suddenly dug her nails a little too harshly into his shirt scraping his chest lightly with her nails.
Naruto calmed her down by kissing the top of her head and running his fingers through her hair, which had lost some of its luster. "It hurts so much seeing you like this, I don't want to see you suffering anymore. Seeing you like this, I won't be able to focus on getting better as I constantly worry about you. Please Hinata do it for me."
Hinata didn't move for a while, then slowly and suddenly she nodded, allowing herself to slip from his grasp. Naruto gave her a reassuring smile, yet the look of depression never left her face. She dragged her feet toward the entrance of the room, and looked back a final time with longing toward her husband who was still smiling at her.
Finally she rounded the corner of the doorway and disappeared from view; Hitomi quietly thanked Naruto then kissed him on the forehead once again. Immediately taking off after her daughter, ensuring she made it home without breaking down again.
Back at the Hyuga compound, Hitomi was quick to steer her daughter to the dining hall hoping she would eat something. While Hinata started off slowly, she would quickly start wolfing down food in the most lady like manner wolfing down food allowed. Justifiably she was starving she really didn't eat much at the hospital. Just taking a couple of bites or down right refusing to eat, anything brought to her.
Afterwards, they soaked for a bit in the Hyuga hot springs. She could see her daughter both physically and mentally settling, it was a good sign. She just hoped Hinata would have a good night of sleep and not toss and turn all night worrying about Naruto.
The next day came quickly and Hinata was becoming increasingly frustrated, as her mom continued to refuse to let her visit Naruto in the hospital even after breakfast.
Instead they sat in a garden quietly and slowly drinking tea, Hinata shifted uncomfortably. To which Hitomi easily noticed, "You want to go visit him?"
Hinata placed her cup in a vice like grip, and turned to her mother. "What do you think!" in a tone that was probably a tad too disrespectful.
Hitomi clearly understood how she was feeling, "You miss him don't you? You want to be with him? You feel incomplete without him at your side?"
Hinata nodded to all of these questions.
"He has spoiled you far too much." Hitomi then said with a sigh, "Love should not be frantic devotion Hinata, but instead you admire each other and balance each other out. Develop an understanding of each other and establish an unbreakable connection that far exceeds a physical one. That my dear is true love."
"You're saying all of this, merely so I will let Naruto leave with Jiraiya." Hinata stated sadly, as she slowly came to terms, understanding how childish she was acting. But what was a young girl in love supposed to do? Let alone when her beloved husband was in such a state.
Hitomi then said as she rubbed the back of her daughters head, "You know, they do say absence makes the heart grow fonder right? So how about it, shall we go visit Naruto-kun he doesn't have long before he has to leave again?"
The remaining month passed relatively quick and without incident. Though Naruto seemed quieter than usual, he trained extensively to make up for the time he spent in the hospital. In addition he sent a letter back to the Tsuchikage, informing him that he was going to be on sabbatical. Meaning once again the Iwagakure embassy in Konoha was going to be vacant, Naruto highly doubt a replacement would be even sent.
He had talked individually to Anko, Hana, Hanabi and Ino. But oddly enough he couldn't sum up the courage to talk to Hinata about it. The others were openly angry and mad at him, so he couldn't even begin to sum up how angry Hinata would be.
So here they sat, just the two of them in Hinata's favorite garden at the Hyuga compound. Side by side they drank tea, in a comfortable silence.
She laid her head upon his shoulder with her eyes closed as she always did, her kimono sleeves flapped gently in the soft Konoha spring breeze.
"Wouldn't it be nice if we could do this forever?" she asked with a hum.
To this Naruto had no answer, so many emotions ran through him. Sadness, self-doubt and the one that ate at him the most shame.
Eventually he did compel enough courage to say, "Hina…"
However before he could even finish what he wanted to say, Hinata took her head off of his shoulder, "I understand you wish to leave with Jiraiya to train right?"
Naruto nodded and asked, "You don't want me to go do you?"
Hinata smiled as she looked up toward the cloudless blue sky, "I don't think you will ever find a loving wife, in all of the elemental nations that will want their husband to leave for any amount of time."
Naruto placed his hand on-top of hers, and turned toward her with a smile "And you are the most loving wife in the entirety of the elemental nations you know that?"
Hinata returned the smile, but her answer was something Naruto did not expect, "Fight me."
"Wait, what!" Naruto said as his face contorted he was greatly perplexed.
"I said fight me… for the right to leave. If you can beat me in Taijutsu, I will give you my blessings to leave." Hinata said the smile still adorning her face. And it was at this point Naruto understood the rumors, he had heard from Kiba and Shino. Apparently on more than one occasion, during missions Hinata had been called a Shinigami in a Goddesses disguise.
Nobody else could have such a look of compassion on their face, while still making a threat. Well maybe Hitomi, but Hinata did it on a whole other level.
"Hina.. I don't want to fight you…" Naruto said as he put his hands up trying to wave her off.
Hinata stood up in a huff and said, sounding rather offended. "Let me guess, because you're scared you will hurt me? Because you are so sure you will win and so you wish to spare my feelings?
"I… I… Yes." Naruto said as there was honestly no point lying to her, not that he could if he tried anyway.
"Then fight me, defeat me and win my blessing!" Hinata replied with the same conviction and sternness in her voice.
Naruto slowly stood up and got into a mock battle stance, this lack of effort greatly infuriated Hinata but she didn't show it.
Usually when they spared Naruto, had no issue taking the initiative but he was hesitant and unwilling right now. So Hinata dashed toward him feinting a direct palm strike, instead opting for a high kick which Naruto easily caught. By raising his arms to catch her shin, instantaneously Hinata grabbed onto his forearms. And in a completely unexpected move, she head butted him. As hardheaded as Naruto was, his nose was no match for Hinata's forehead.
Naruto released Hinata's leg in shock, allowing her to stomp down onto his foot with it, in one fluid motion she got under Naruto's desperate jab. Placing an upward uppercut right into the area of his arm right next to his armpit, Hinata had most likely dislocated his arm from his shoulder with that strike. She then followed up by fliping him over her shoulder onto the ground with a thud. She followed through immediately with a knife motion to his neck, stopping just mere inches from his skin. Proving to Naruto if Hinata wished, she could have killed him if she wanted to at this very moment.
No sound was heard aside from their panting, Naruto laid shocked in defeat. He had never been beaten so soundly by Hinata before, had his skills really deteriorated so far he found it a little hard to believe.
The bigger issue now, was how he was going to explain this to Jiraiya. They had all but agreed on going on that training trip, but now this was going to be a problem.
Hinata stood back up and extended her hand out to Naruto, grasping it he allowed himself to be helped up. Then after he was up Hinata suddenly twisted his arm downward and towards her in one quick movement. Naruto let out a slight pained yelp as he wasn't expecting it, but didn't criticize her actions as she was merely putting his arm back in its socket.
"So I guess this means I don't get to…" Naruto started to say, but Hinata suddenly interrupted him.
"Do you know why you lost Naruto-kun?" Naruto bit his lip as he thought deeply, analyzing each movement and each attack. He pinpointed multiple reasons to his loss.
"It's because you didn't have a true reason to win this fight." Hinata stated bringing him out of his trance. "I did, and that was to ensure my husband's safety. That is why you would not have been able to beat me, regardless of how hard you tried."
She reached up and gently ran her thumb down one of his whisker marks, "You have forgotten why you fight my love. It's not just to follow orders is it?"
Naruto grasped the hand that was on his face gently and shook his head.
"You always fought and trained so hard to become stronger, it was all to protect me and the others wasn't it?" Hinata's declaration rang true through his mind, had he really forgotten?
Hinata then tip toed up and gave him a compassionate kiss on his lips, "Promise me you won't forget that on your journey."
"You? You're letting me go?" Naruto asked in surprise.
"As if I could've stopped you?" was all Hinata said before heading back inside the compound.
It was finally the morning when Naruto was scheduled to leave, he stood in front of the Senju compound going down line. Hugging and giving a quick kiss to each of the girls who meant so much to him, first Anko, than Hana, Ino, and Hanabi who received a peck on the top of her head instead.
Hinata had offered to walk him out to the main gates, as the rest admitted it was a good idea seeing that most of them couldn't bear to let me go.
They slowly walked toward the gates hand-in-hand, both unsure when he would be back. While the trip had been scheduled for minimum two and a half years, nobody could know what would happen in the foreseeable future.
Reaching the gate, Hinata mentally pouted as this walk here was too fast for her liking. Jiraiya was already there waiting, too bad it wasn't Kakashi because he would have at least been there a few hours late. Jiraiya on the other hand, more often than not was punctual especially when it was an important matter.
She promised she wouldn't cry, and she didn't. But that didn't mean she didn't want too. For she knew if she had shed tears, than it would have made it that much harder for the two to part.
With a final kiss and loving hug, their fingers slowly unlaced and he was gone. Walking down the long wooded road, leading them to wherever their journey took them.
Hinata just stood and stared out, until finally she could see them no longer as they had gone up and over and hill in the distance. She could have activated her Byakugan to continue watching, but what was the point.
"Maybe I can become a nun." Hinata said softly to herself, wondering how she would stay sane for so long without his touch.
"How about you become my apprentice instead?" a voice next to her said.
Hinata turned to see Tsunade standing there next to her; apparently she had been standing there just as long as Hinata was. Hinata just so happened to miss the blond slug Sannin standing next to her.
"That brat, I know we had dinner last night but he could have at least come to say good bye." Tsunade just shook her head, than turning toward Hinata she asked again, "So how about it?"
Hinata stared back out one last time. Than nodded, Tsunade happily wrapped her arm around the young Hyuga's shoulder and said as she steered her back toward the Hokage tower. "Do you like sake?"
Later that Night
Itachi slowly crept along a tree, fully dressed in his Anbu gear. He had hidden his Akatsuki robe and ring in a tree stump just outside of Konoha. He had come originally to check up on Naruto, especially once news broke out that Naruto had defeated both Kakuzu and Hidan. But had to be stolen away back to Konoha for medical attention.
He was happy to see that Naruto received no lasting injuries and was actually leaving with Jiraiya to go train. He would have left to report to Akatsuki by now, but he couldn't help but go see one more person.
The smell of ramen wafting up to him was almost irresistible, how long has it been since he has had a bowl. He stopped all movements as he tried to meld as much into the tree as possible as he heard a noise come from underneath him. From the tiny ramen stand, he watched as the young ramen waitress dragged a black bag full of garbage out the back.
She dragged it right toward the tree where Itachi was hidden and stopped when she was directly under him. She wiped her brow than said in an audible voice, "You know if you want to eat, you can at least come out and help."
Itachi tensed than after a moment he dropped out of his hiding spot, Ayame blushed upon seeing him. "Somehow she always knew." Itachi thought as he quickly dragged the bag of garbage toward the designated pick up area for the cleaning crews, than followed Ayame into the stand. Where she quickly pulled down the rolling gate to the front of the store and locked it giving them some privacy.
Sorry about late chapter, busy busy busy. So many papers and so many tests ugh.
ItachiXAyame… I'd ship that.