A/N's will be at the bottom

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of it's characters

Chapter 1:

Two figures trudged slowly on their way to the gates of Konoha. The figures were none other than Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha. Anyone could see the blood that drenched both of the boys. Yet still they continued forward.

Sasuke Uchiha missing-nin of Konoha hung loosely on the back of Naruto. The raven haired boy floated in and out of consciousness yet the few times where he was awake he never failed to curse the blonde. The blonde on the other hand never loss the tired smile that played on his lips.

'I finally did it' Naruto thought happily. He couldn't wait to see the surprise and shock of all his friends when he dragged Sasuke's sorry ass through Konoha. Thinking of their battle Naruto knew it had been nothing short of epic, yet he came through in the end for everybody.

With one final Rasen-Shuriken and Chidori Naruto had pulled through. The only thing the boy could think about was how he finally kept his promise to Sakura and even though Sasuke cursed him Naruto wanted to believe that the boy he thought of as a brother was happy to be home to.

It had been two weeks ago exactly that Naruto had snuck out of Konoha silently through the night. The reason was because two days prior the village had gotten the first Intel in months of Sasuke Uchiha's current location.

Naruto had jumped at the chance, yet Tsunade instead wanted to ignore it. Her better judgment reasoned that it was most likely a trap.

"We aren't strong enough yet. You aren't strong enough yet Naruto" She had told him dismissively. Naruto though had kept fighting tooth and nail for her to let him go. In the end she still told him no.

Naruto then finally took matters into his own hands. Leaving a short note saying he would back as soon as he could the blonde went to retrieve his wayward friend. He couldn't let a chance like this slip through their fingers.

Finally after two weeks of his disappearance Naruto saw the gates of his village coming into view. He could feel the smile grow on his face. Everything was going to get better. After years and years of training he had finally accomplished his goal.

"Soon I'll be taking that hat from you next granny" He chuckled out to himself. With Sasuke captured he could focus on his dream of becoming Hokage. His journey had already started when Tsunade all but demanded that Naruto would be her successor. It had been one of the happiest moments of Naruto's life.

For the past couple months he had apprenticed himself to Tsunade dedicating his time and work to learning the ins and outs of being a Kage. Naruto started to laugh, but it came out instead in a fit of bloody coughs. Vaguely he felt blood run from the corners of his mouth.

Naruto's legs shook uneasily beneath him. The weight of his own body coupled with the dead weight of the Uchiha's was proving to be more of a challenge than he thought. He cursed loudly at his own frustration.

"Damn it!" He was right there. He didn't have much farther and all he had to do was push through. What Naruto continued to ignore though was the damage the gaping hole in his right shoulder was doing to his body.

Even with Kyuubi it had hurt like a bitch and Naruto had found he couldn't stop the bleeding. He wasn't exactly a medic-nin and the only thing he could do was patch it up best he could with torn cloth from his jumpsuit. In the end he decided to pay it no mind. There was nothing he could so he had to move forward. He could have Grandma Tsunade patch it up when he got home anyway.

As he continued to walk forward he kept himself busy by going over the battle he had just fought with Sasuke. He couldn't help but compare it to the one they had 4 years ago when they were thirteen in the Valley of End.

'This time though, I didn't hold anything back' The thought had crossed his mind that if he really wanted to bring Sasuke home he couldn't afford to pull any punches. In the end Naruto had done what he needed to, but at the same time Naruto thought he hadn't hut the teme to badly. He figured that in his heart he knew he couldn't hurt someone he held so close to his heart.

Naruto looked up. Only fifty feet stood between him and the gates and blue eyes finally saw the familiar forms of chunin guards Izumo and Kotetsu. He watched as eventually the pair advanced towards them with increasing pace.

It was unfortunate that at that moment Naruto's coughing fits started to reoccur. His free hand came to cover his mouth as he struggled to continue to walk forward. Removing the hand he saw it covered in his own blood. It was then he was pretty sure that more blood was coming up then supposed to. Despite the situation the boy silently laughed to himself.

'I guess I overdid it again huh?' He thought to himself, 'Then again you always did push me to my limits Sasuke…' Glancing over his shoulder he stared at the raven. He had long ago passed out again and while Naruto wouldn't it admit it aloud he was grateful for the silence.

He realized that even the Kyuubi had left him alone since after their fight. Which was rare as the Kyuubi always had an insult aimed at the blonde. The guards were coming closer now and he saw that they had broken into a run.

The chunin had finally realized exactly who was making their way towards Konoha. Naruto saw their hands wave in the air in greeting and he even thought he saw smiles on their faces. Naruto smiled again in return. They were happy to see him. That in turn made him pretty happy to.

From the past few days' events Naruto finally began to feel everything catch up to him all at once. He realized immediately that he had been running purely on his adrenaline to get this far. Between the gaping hole in his chest, Sasuke's dead weight on his back, and the long tedious walk home he was tired. Naruto Uzumaki was tired. Attempting to keep his eyes forward he saw the images of Kotetsu and Izumo fading.

'Maybe…' He thought, 'It wouldn't be so bad if I let Kotetsu and Izumo carry us the rest of the way.'

The pair of chunin were almost to Naruto now. With the setting sun in the sky Naruto thought he could almost touch them. Letting out one last weak chuckle he put his hand out to reach them. He hoped to catch on to something as he felt his body sway. Naruto's hand only grabbed air as began his descent to the ground.

"Naruto!" The chunins called out his name. They sounded worried about the young genin.

'They don't need to worry' Naruto thought reminiscently. 'No matter what hardships I may face, no matter what pain may come on to me, I will always get back up again. For my village, for my friends, for everyone who ever doubted me I will always rise to the challenge because I am Naruto Uzumaki!" With a final thought of determination Naruto shut his eyes. When his body hit the ground he was already dead to the world.

"Shit!" Izumo cursed loudly watching Naruto fall lifelessly to the ground. Reaching the boy's side he began to check his vitals. He sighed in relief. Thankfully he felt a weak pulse yet looking at Naruto at this moment he didn't have much confidence. The boy wasn't out of the woods yet.

"Kotetsu!" He shouted looking at his best friend run up to them. "I need you to go tell Hokage-sama of this. I'm going to get them to the hospital as fast as I can!"

Many people – shinobi and civilian alike – underestimated the two chunin, but they hadn't been given the ranks just for kicks. Izumo picking Naruto up tried to sling him across his shoulder as gently as possible. He immediately felt blood soak his shoulder and uniform. Kotetsu on the other hand stood frozen as his friend worked.

"Is that—?" Pointing at the unconscious body of Sasuke Uchiha the chunin couldn't process the information fast enough. Naruto had done it? It was unbelievable. He the mere genin really brought the last Uchiha back to Konoha?

"Yes it's the Uchiha brat!" Izumo grinded out through his teeth. Naruto was heavier than he thought.

"Does it need to be any clearer to you? Both of them need medical attention now! Or can't you see that? Get the hell going and do as I ask!" Izumo snapped out.

Kotetsu was his best friend. That was a fact and everyone in the village knew it, but these were lives on the stake. Not so much that he cared about the Uchiha, but this was Naruto. The two chunin had known the brat since he was a little genin—skipping over the fact that at sixteen he still was a genin—but he would be damned if something were to happen to the kid on his watch.

Finally snapping out of it Kotetsu nodded curtly with a grim face. It seemed he finally grasped the situation in its full severity. He then used the shunshin no jutsu to what Izumo hoped would go to the Hokage Tower. Time was of the essence.

With Naruto already on his shoulders he grabbed on to the Uchiha as roughly as he could. Izumo had no respect for the raven whatsoever. In his mind if you abandoned the village you shouldn't even have a home to return to. Yet somehow he knew that wouldn't apply to Sasuke.

Focusing on the task at hand he couldn't possibly carry them both so he would have to drag the Uchiha and hold onto the blonde. Izumo knew there was no way to get to the hospital fast enough by himself with both of them still breathing. It was amazing they got this far still breathing.

He would have to hope once he got inside the gates another ninja would see him and help out. Not wasting anytime he began his trek. Tugging the Uchiha along he knew there were to be stares when he entered the village. This was going to cause uproar. He had a bad feeling that this wouldn't play out so hot with the council either.

Still he could not help but smile though. Glancing at the mop of messy blonde hair on his shoulder he honestly couldn't believe it himself. The hard headed stubborn kid had done it. He had finally brought the Uchiha back.

He would be the first to admit that when the boy first said he would bring the sharingan wielder back he didn't believe the kid could do it, but the boy really was unpredictable as hell. He remembered when the boy was younger.

Fresh out the academy and as green as the grass, Naruto would come round the gates shouting he would be the greatest Hokage of all. It seemed so long ago now that they were all older.

"I'm going to surpass all the other Hokages…" Izumo said silently to himself. That's what Naruto had told them, had told anyone who would listen and even those who didn't. Izumo hadn't believed him when he first said that either, but maybe though if he had a little faith the kid could actually do it.

Izumo laughed at himself. Kami already knew that the young boy was stronger than he was by tenfold. After all maybe having an Orange Hokage did have a certain ring to it. Smiling he could see the faces of the other nations already.

"This kid…this kid is going to do great things. I just know it, so Naruto Uzumaki I believe in you."

A/N - So what did ya think? It's a little rough around the edges I know, but it'll get better I promise. The chapters will also get longer this was just to start setting the scene for the story in the long run. Any reviews are welcome and I do expect to get criticized but it'll only help me be a better writer in the end.

As to this story it takes place not long after the Pain invasion, but the major difference is Jiraiya will be alive. Sorry if you don't like it, but I kind of need him later in the story plus I hated the fact that he died in the series. Regarding pairings I haven't decided yet, but I have an idea, but as the story continues if you have an idea by all means let me know I'm going to try and be open to everything.


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