Warning:some minor reference to suicide.


They had told him. It was the only thing Gaara complained about, the main reason Baa-san wanted to retire and the excuse Jiji always used to explain why he could not spend more time with him as a child. He even had a taste of it as the Hokage Candidate, but simply dismissed it as a small downside to the job.

He was an idiot.

Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto, Rokudaime Hokage of Konoha was currently engaged in a war of attrition. His enemy was the bane of all kages; Paperwork.

He had been at it for the past 10 hours, forgoing sleep and eating ration bars for sustenance. Each time he thought he had finally crushed his opponent, it came back in even greater numbers. His shadow clones were a huge help, but he wasn't willing to summon too many of them. The headaches and the exhaustion had been worth it when it came to bringing back Sasuke to Konoha, but he wasn't willing to suffer those pains in this case.

So there he was, at his desk in the office he had always dreamed to occupy, and the only thing he wanted was to leave it. Go see his friends, train for a few hours or eat a bowl of ramen at Ichiraku. An administrative chuunin bringing in a new stack of forms for him to complete was the last straw. His enemy had even taken over his floor!

Quickly sunshining out of the room, and he really needed to figure out his father's Hiraishin; it would make a great way to escape, Naruto searched for the isolated dango shop he had recently found.

He was just about to enter it, when his instincts warned him of an approaching danger and he crouched down in a ready state. Good thing he did because the kunai currently embed in the shop's door had definitely been aimed at his head.

"The End of the world will be your fault, you fool! Pay for your crimes!" screamed the old shinobi, disguised as a civilian passerby who had thrown the kunai at him. He threw another, but Naruto didn't have to do anything this time. The weapon was intercepted by one of his ANBU guards who then stood protectively in front his Hokage. The rest swiftly neutralized the attacker.

"Apologies Hokage-sama," said Usagi, the one who had stopped the kunai, "protocol dictates that we take him alive for Ibiki-sama to work on, but the others were a little too enthusiast. It's the first attempt on your life after all."

"I…," began Naruto shakily before getting a grip on his emotions. "No matter, good job. Should I be expecting this situation to happen often?"

"I don't think so, sir. Maybe a few fanatics like this one, but the world is presently at peace. You'll certainly be the target of less assassinations than Yondaime-sama," reflected his father's former bodyguard.

The blond Namikaze was about to ask for more details on that subject when he sensed many powerful chakra signatures quickly coming in their direction. He tensed and went for his weapon pouch, but his ANBU guard stopped him.

"No need to get alarmed, sir. This is only the cavalry drawn by the commotion," the elite shinobi tone was as professional as ever, but a small hint of amusement shone through.

Concentrating, Naruto indeed sensed that the chakra signatures where familiars. Sakura's, Kakashi's and Sasuke's amongst them. He relaxed his stance and prepared himself to be fussed over. That wasn't what he really had in mind when he wished for a distraction from the Paperwork.

Naruto was walking home after another day of hard work as the Hokage. Due to the very late hour, few people were out on the streets and thus he could stroll through Konoha unbothered, a very rare occurrence these days.

His ever aware and dedicated shadow was as always guarding his back which was a good thing because right now he would be hard pressed to evade an attack by a genin. Sasuke would assuredly scold him for it later, but his mind was stuck on the meeting with Sakura earlier that day.

"… We don't know what is causing it yet, but the declining birth rate of the civilians is approaching 35% with signs of it increasing even further. So far, it is not cause for worldwide panic, some countries haven't realized it yet, but it definitely will be in the future if we don't do something."

As the Rokudaime, he was prepared to fend off an invasion, deal with infiltrators, sabotage and assassination attempts, he could struggle with the Paperwork and the boring meetings while History had proven that, with help, he could even tackle a monster that made the bijuus look tame. However, he was not prepared to face the end of humanity by way of infertility.

"Brat…" a dearly missed voice said, surprising him so much he almost face planted on the ground. "What has you so worried? My last distinct memory is definitely the Juubi exploding, the rest is a hazy blur. We won, you should be celebrating," his friend complained voice tired but clear.

"Kurama!" the blond exclaimed with relief and happiness. "Welcome back partner."

"What's with the tone? I haven't been gone for years," the Kyuubi grumbled.

"Hum… Kurama? It's been a little bit more than six years since the Juubi's defeat. You've been asleep since then. I tried waking you up, but nothing worked."

"… What!?" his furry friend shouted in panic.

"Kurama?" asked Naruto beginning to worry.

Only silence answered him, the Kyuubi was probably still processing the news of his long sleep. Knowing he would only learn what was troubling his friend so much when the other was ready to tell him, the Rokudaime started to make his way home again. Since the conversation had been mostly mental, his guard had not been privy to it and Sasuke was hovering worriedly behind him. Probably worried about his Hokage just standing unmoving in the street like an idiot.

His keys were almost in the door when Kurama spoke again, "Was I really asleep for six years?"

The jinchuuriki opened his door and made a beeline for his kitchen. He needed coffee to stay awake and this discussion would probably be a serious one. "Yes you were," he answered firmly.

"Brat…" Kurama began hesitantly, "We should both be dead."

"Okay," calmly conceded the Rokudaime, long used to toying with Death. "Why?"

"I have been known to fall asleep for a year, two at most, when I exhausted most of my chakra. The last time was after the fight with Hashirama, when Mito became my jinchuuriki. I have never slept for longer than that at once," the fox explained unnerved. "I'm made entirely of chakra, I don't really have a physical body. Yes, I'll sleep for a while if I get really low on chakra, but if I go past that limit I'm not supposed to sleep longer, I die and eventually reform. It happened a few times during my thousands years of existence."

"And since a jinchuuriki can't live without its bijuu, I should be dead too," completed the Namikaze still serene. "Huh… well we're still alive so let's not worry over what could have happened. Also, let's keep this a secret from everyone else shall we? Especially Sakura and Sasuke, my friends are already overprotective enough as it is."

"…right." Kurama agreed dumbfounded. "I was actually expecting you to flip out. What happened these past six years to change you so?"

"Oh Kami," sighed the blond, "Where should I begin?"

. We've recently stopped by Sunagakure where I had long talks with their medic nins. Sorry brat, but they also have no idea what is going on with the problem of the birth rates. I've copied the few notes they had. Give them to Sakura, hopefully they'll be able to help her in her own research though I doubt it. The Kazekage is planning to host a summit of the kages soon about the problem. You've probably already received his message.

We plan to head to the Land of-

A knock on his door mercifully interrupted his reading of Baa-san's latest report. None of it was good news, and Naruto needed a distraction.

"Come in!"

"You asked to see me Hokage-sama?" his first precious person asked as they came through the door of his office.

The blond didn't even sight at the address. He had tried really hard to convince his friends and mentors to stop speaking to him with such formality, but it had been in vain. They insisted to call him with his proper title at least when they we're dealing with work related matters. He had had no other choice but to get used to it.

"I did, Iruka-sensei. I want to put you in charge of the whole Academy. I realize it will mean an end to your teaching duties, but the job is too important to trust it to someone else," the Rokudaime said calmly.

The other man blinked a few times, his only outwards sign of surprise.

Naruto dearly missed the wide eyes and slack jaws that he used to cause by dropping unexpected information on his shinobis. Now, they barely even flinched no matter what he threw at them. It looked like he wouldn't get his fun with Iruka-sensei today either.

"I must point out that Takada-sensei or Furui-sensei would be much more apt to handle such a position, sir." the Academy instructor objected in a bland tone.

"You're a better ninja than those two combined. Everyone knows you could have been a jounin for years if you had wanted to. What's more you're an expert on traps, both for security and sabotage."

"That may be so," Iruka reluctantly admitted, ever the modest one, "but I don't see how being stronger makes me better qualified for that post in particular. No enemy has even come close to the Academy in recent years."

"That may be the case now, but my advisers and I agree that children will probably be at risk in the near future," informed the Hokage, tone grim.

"What! Who would cause them harm!?" exclaimed the teacher instantly alarmed on the children's behalf.

"Not harm, kidnap," clarified the blond who seemed to have the weight of the world dropped on his shoulders. "Who or why is currently classified, but are you ready to defend your future students should the need come?"

"I will do my best Hokage-sama," the chuunin saluted, but stayed even if the conversation was clearly finished.

"Is there a problem, Iruka-sensei?"

"I… I realize that asking this is clearly unprofessional of me, but…" his eyes softened and his shinobi mask disappeared. "Is everything alright Naruto?"

And because this was his first precious person, the one who all these years ago had given him the itai-ite he still cherished and the mentor that had never stopped believing in him since then, Naruto allowed is desperation to show. In a small and scared voice he admitted, "No, no Iruka-sensei, nothing is alright. The decrease in births is bigger than ever, we don't know what is causing it or how to fix it. It's even started to affect shinobis."

He stared at the man with eyes full of anguish and told the truth he didn't even want to admit to himself, "The best medic-nins and researchers in the world agree that in three years, there probably won't be any children born at all."

The situation wasn't getting better. In fact, it had gotten worse, much worse.

Before, the declining birth rate had been the only issue. Granted, it was a terrible one that threatened their world's future and was the cause of many lost hours of sleep for the leaders, medics, researchers, and parent hopefuls. It had been a terrifying problem, still was, but it had not affected the day to day operations of the world too much.

This new crisis however, was. Once again, the civilians were the most affected, though very old shinobis and samurais had also succumbed to the unknown disease.

Naruto was in his office, reading reports after reports about people suddenly falling into coma only to die a few days later, never to wake up again. There were no warning symptoms, and the only clue they had was that the shinobis seemed to be spared from this calamity.

With more and more names added to the list of the fallen, the Rokudaime had to work harder and harder to contain his tears of grief and hopelessness. His people needed a strong leader or else fear and panic would bring Konoha into chaos. He could break later, in the privacy of his home, like he had done almost every night for the past few weeks.

He was writing another brief letter of condolences, this time to the Mizukage who had just lost her civilian husband, when his pink haired teammate stormed into his office.

If there was one person in Konoha that was under more pressure than its Hokage, it was assuredly Haruno Sakura. With Tsunade still traveling and Shizune-san heading the Alliance's research efforts in the Land of Iron, the young kunoichi was in charge of all the village medical related matters. Meaning, that if people looked at the blond for strength, then they looked at the young woman for answers.

For the past month, Sakura's appearance could only be described as awful, but now, out of breath and standing shakily in front of his desk, she looked worse. The shadows under her eyes were a constant feature, but the tears that flowed out of her eyes without sign of stopping or the trembling in her usually steady hands were new and alarming.

"Hokage-sama, I have something to report," she began in a voice that was firm and unbroken despite being full of grief and… self-loathing? "I know what is causing the deaths and the declining birth rate."

"The two matters are related after all?" inquired Naruto knowing that only once her entire report was done and the subsequent orders given, would she allow herself to break down and he to comfort her.

"Yes sir, they both are due to a shortage of chakra."

The Namikaze's eyes widened in surprise. It was rare but not unknown for shinobis to die of chakra exhaustion, but never civilians.

"Please give me some time to write an official report with the technical details. I also need to test if we, humans, are the only things affected in the world," she asked voice still firm and professional.

"Of course, but give me a brief summary."

"Yes sir," Sakura paused searching for the right words. "Something, we don't know what yet, is slowly draining people's chakra. The reason why shinobis are less affected is because we have significantly more of it so the effects take a longer time to happen. As you are aware, we recently discovered that a large amount of chakra is needed to conceive, and the mother must produce even more during the pregnancy as she supplies not only herself but her unborn child as well."

"I see… it makes sense," Naruto said. "And the deaths?"

"Civilians don't use chakra, so they are not used to detect its level. My guess is that they simply didn't notice until it was too late and their body had so little left that it forced itself into coma." Tsunade's apprentice hesitated a little and frowned before continuing, "I don't know yet why no shinobi detected the drop in chakra however."

"And when do you think you will be able to give me a complete report?" The Hokage inquired, mind already going over the consequences of this report and what needed to be done.

"With only Konoha's resources? Two to three months. A few weeks if I have access to those of the Alliance and the different countries," his chief medic-nin stated.

"Don't worry, you'll be given everything you need to work on this," the blond swore firmly.

"Thank you, Hokage-sama. I also have something else to report. It is related." As she said that, Sakura's body shook more violently and she hung her head, not being able to look him in the eyes anymore.

"Go on," urged the blond member of Team 7, desperately wanting to be done with his Hokage's duties and be allowed to hug her.

"This morning, Jounin Rock Lee was admitted into the hospital having fallen in coma during the night," once again, her voice didn't waver but she was clearly on the verge of breaking. "He was the first shinobi victim and as such I used medical techniques that can't be used on civilians. One of them is to force the patient's own chakra to repair the damage. Civilians don't have enough of it for the technique unlike shinobis, but Lee - "

"- may be a shinobi, but has the chakra level of a civilian," completed Naruto, closing his eyes in an attempt to mask his emotions.

"… I forgot," Sakura admitted. "He was dead almost instantly."

The Rokudaime took a deep breath to center himself. A few more minutes, a few more orders to give and they could both break down. "Hachi," he ordered summoning one of his ANBU.

His female guard instantly appeared in the usual pose, kneeling on one knee with a fist on the ground and the other over her heart in front of the Rokudaime who commanded, "Send words to the Godaime that she needs to come back and a hawk missive to the other kages about an emergency meeting. Also tell Kakashi that I'm putting a ban on all ninjutsus until further notice and that as the jounin commander it's his job to enforce it." Having given the essential orders, his tone softened and he allowed a measure of sympathy and grief to enter his voice. "Once you're done, go and find Karasu and inform him that he's on duty for the next 24 hours. Take a break to mourn your loss and please ask Usagi to make sure Gai is okay."

"Yes sir," one of the last two survivors of Team Gai replied before leaving with a sunshin to execute his orders.

Once only Naruto and Sakura were left in the office, the kunoichi finally raised her head and met his eyes. "It's my fault, I killed him Naruto."

"He was the reason you found the cause of the deaths right?" the blond asked then stood up and went to put a hand on his friend's shoulder.

"Yeah… but still I..."

"Then I'm sure he's not too mad at you, not if what you found could save Tenten and everyone else's life."

The pink haired young woman sniffled a couple of time and requested in a small voice, "Do you think I'll be allowed to name this disease after him? So that he's never forgotten."

"No," Naruto refused decisively, "No, we'll name the cure after him."

The news literally brought their world to its knees.

Following Sakura's discovery an emergency Kages' summit had been held then almost immediately after followed a bigger one with all the smaller villages where each leader was tasked to inform their respective daimyos of the dire situation and to stressed the importance of its secrecy. They had been able to contain the information about what had been named the Chakra Black Hole for a few months, but it was inevitable that the secret would leak eventually.

Their world was dying. Every living things needed chakra to survive and it was being drained away. The humans were the most dependant on that energy and so would be the first to go extinct. It would take a few more years but the animals then the insects and finally vegetation would follow until their world was nothing more than a desolate and barren land.

Naruto wasn't too clear on the theory, but somehow the explosion of the overloaded Juubi had created a sort of hole that drained chakra faster than living beings were able to generate it. Their few years of grace had been thanks to Kurama's siblings whose chakra had been loose in the world pending their reformation. The drain had locked on that chakra first and so had left the human's alone for a while. No need to mention that the lost bijuus would never reform, Kurama and Gyuuki were the only two left.

No need to mention either that the population had taken the news of their imminent demise hard. Outside of the hidden villages whom had stopped accepting missions, rare were the places where the authorities still had control. Riots were a constant occurrence as people let despair overcome them. And Naruto couldn't do anything to help. He was finally learning that he couldn't save everyone, that he had to prioritize and it hurt.

They had discovered that there were five persons not affected by the drain. Tired of listing them all, a young genin had started calling them the Immunes and it had quickly caught on to the rest of the shinobis. Naruto was one of the five alongside B, Gaara, Tsunade and Sasuke. The Senjus and Uchihas were directly descended from the Sage of the six paths who had a complicated history with the Juubi while the bijuus were a part of the monster itself and those facts were believed to be the cause of their immunity. Some clans, like the Hyuugas, that were also distantly related to the Sage or descendants of previous jinchuurikis were less affected by the Chakra Black Hole but unfortunately not enough to be able to share their chakra.

And that was the whole point of the Immunes existence now. The plan was to shield the villages with seals that Naruto was currently working on who would, hopefully, block at least part of the drain. It would be the Immunes job to keep them powered since ambient chakra wouldn't be enough anymore, and to give transfusions to those that needed them. Any and all ninjutsus was now completely forbidden and the ban would soon extent to every ninja arts that used chakra, so pretty much everything.

Since there were five Immunes, it had been decided that they would be evenly sent to each of the major hidden villages. Refugees would be accepted and the smaller villages, as well as the samurais, incorporated into the bigger ones. Despite those facts, the major hidden villages were essentially playing turtles, retreating into themselves and letting the world burn. Naruto, B and Gaara would remain in their native village while Tsunade and Sasuke would be sent to Kiri and Iwa respectively.

Now if only he could convince the stubborn Uchiha of the necessity of that action when he himself abhorred it...

When Naruto was upset with life he usually found himself at the top of his father's head where, sitting amongst the spikes of his hair, he could gaze at his beloved village. There he reminded himself of what needed to be protected and the sacrifices he was willing to make to do it. Sasuke meanwhile sough the banks of the Naka River whenever he was in that state of mind. The Kyuubi jinchuuriki never asked, but he suspected it was related to the memory Shisui, the very first casualty of the Massacre.

As expected, when the Rokudaime found the raven he was on the banks of the Naka River, almost one with the long shadows casted by the evening light and unnoticeable by anyone safe the few who knew exactly where to look for him. He stood rigidly and glared at the water as if it had personally offended him.

"Sasuke…" the blond began hesitantly, knowing how difficult the inevitable confrontation would be.

His best friend didn't answer or turn around to face him, the only sign that he was even aware of Naruto's presence was the further tensing of his shoulders.

"*sigh*, please don't make me repeat the whole argument about how your presence is essential to the continued survival of thousands of Iwa's citizens or how your refusal to go will almost certainly lead to a war that no one can afford."


"Come on Sasuke," the man who was lauded as the strongest one alive whined, "Don't give me the silent treatment. It's not like I want to send you to Iwa or hide away in Konoha while the rest of the world descend into chaos. I wish…" he sighed again and looked at the sky that was clear and beautiful as if happiness had not become the rarest feeling in the world. He closed his eyes and whispered softly to himself, "This is hopeless."

"Exactly!" the raven suddenly turned to glare at the blond instead of the water. Any other human would have flinched away at the sight of the mangekyou that spun madly in his eyes. "It's hopeless," he intensely repeated his Hokage's words back to him. So at least let me face the end by your side.

"Ah…" Naruto said slowly, finally understanding the reasons for his brother's objections. "I thought you were convinced that I could not take care of myself if you were not by my side. Or that you didn't want to be in Iwa's kage presence without me there since the loyalty seal afford her a small level of control over you."

"The seal doesn't limit me as much as you think," countered the Uchiha, voice now completely emotionless and eyes determinately trained on the water. He was definitely sulking.

The Rokudaime smiled slightly to himself. He had designed the seal to be without flaws and to respect the others kages' demands, yet he wasn't surprised that Sasuke had somehow found a way around it. He wouldn't comment or ask however. Plausible deniability was another lesson he had learned before taking the Hat. "You didn't deny the first part of my statement, the one about my incapability to care for myself."

His ANBU guard briefly interrupted his contemplation of the water to send him a one eyebrow raised glare. No silent words were conveyed, only intense feelings of disbelief and exasperation. The answer was clear.

"You know, I managed to stay alive for a long time before I brought you back," weakly protested Naruto, content to continue light-bantering with his best friend while avoiding the real issue.

"Sakura and Shikamaru did a good job," stated the Uchiha still not looking at his Hokage, "but you need a fulltime babysitter." That their two friends didn't have that sort of free time didn't need to be said. They were so busy they barely managed to find time to eat and sleep.

"I have other ANBU guards beside you," he tried.

"They're not good enough."

While slightly offensive, Sasuke's words were true. At times he needed to be forcefully stopped and reminded that he had to eat, sleep or was allowed to ask others for help. The raven was the only who could manage that easily while a few of his friends knew how to manipulate him to achieve that result. "There's always Kakashi-sen-" Naruto started but silenced himself before completely voicing that idea. As amazing as their sensei was, he wasn't the type to take care of another person at all.

Both shinobi fell silent after that, each lost in their thoughts until it was completely dark and the Rokudaime admitted reluctantly to himself that he really needed to go back to work.

"I could order you to go," he whispered tiredly.

"And I would obey," the raven agreed with the same tone. He took a deep breath and finally looked at his Hokage. His eyes were back to their normal black but they still shone with anger and hopelessness. "I don't want to go. I really don't want to leave you, yet I'll go to Iwa since it's your wish."

"Thank you." Finally having obtained Sasuke's agreement, Naruto whole body sagged with equal part relief and loss. It would be a long separation and in their current world it was not a guarantee that they would ever be reunited again.

However, his shadow was not done. "But if the end comes, I'm coming back. I will not be away while you're dying in Konoha."

"Even if there's nothing you can do to help me? Even if you're dying too?" asked the man who would probably be Konoha's last Hokage.


"… Fine," Naruto conceded after a short losing war with himself, "if the situation looks like it is truly hopeless, like the end is actually near, you have my permission to abandon your post and seek me out at any cost. I too, would prefer to leave this world with you be my side."

The Drunken Tree was one of the few bars sill open in Konoha. With over 70% of the civilian population dead and close to 25% for the shinobis, the survivors had migrated towards the Hokage tower, abandoning the rest of the village. Only the Nara still maintained a presence in their compound, clinging to their duties to the sacred forest of the deers.

No more laughs and children's shouts resounded in the streets of Konoha, no more vendors promoting their products and no more explosion from shinobis training in ninjutsu; the city had gone silent. Everyone eyes was filled with pain and grief, even more than what was the norm for shinobis.

Not tonight however. Tonight, the remaining bars in Konoha were drowned in cheers and songs. All of the remaining citizens not presently on duty were mourning the death of a hero. They were honoring him the only he would have wanted.

Tonight, Konoha was paying homage to Killer B's sacrifice.

Usually, it would have fallen to Naruto, as the Hokage, to preside over the official celebration that took place at the Drunken Tree, but he had delegated the role to Karui, Chôji's wife and friend of the late jinchuuriki. The former Kumo nin stood up to once again to give her eulogy for the benefice of the newly arrived shinobis done with their work shift.

"B was a great man," she began with a slight slur in her voice due to the numerous drinks already consumed. "He was Kumogakure's hero and his popularity was more than earned. He always had a kind rap or two for his fans, he was an ideal most of us aspired to." The woman paused for a short while and when she started again her voice broke, the strong kunoichi finally overcame by her emotions. "B… B died the way he always wanted to, protecting his fellow Kumo shinobis. The village was attacked by a great number of the outlaws that have started to appear since the situation took a turn for the worst. They were after our resources and they were repelled, but not without immense efforts on the Kumo shinobis' part. As a jinchuuriki and one of the five Immunes, B had a massive amount of chakra. He commandeered the help of a medic-nins' team and went about sharing it the ones that needed it. More than half of Kumo's forces own him their life. The only who could have stopped him going over his limit was A, but… but he was one of the worst injured. Rumor has it that B-san supplied chakra for a whole team of medical shinobis who worked on Raikage-sama for many hours without break. Only when he was certain that his brother would survive did he stop, and fell on the floor… dead of chakra exhaustion."

It was too much for the former Kumo kunoichi and she finally let the tears that had built up since the news reached her fall. Her husband, Chôji, took her in his arms, but before allowing herself to be comforted, she had one more thing to add. "Let's… Let's not forget Gyuuki-san's sacrifice. The Eight-Tails knew he would die at the same time as his jinchuuriki, yet he… he kept providing his partner with more and more chakra until… it was the end of both of them."

"To B and Gyuuki!" Naruto raised his drink for a toast, taking over seamlessly.

"To B and Gyuuki!" chorused the crowd.

"You said this was important?"

"Yes Hokage-sama, this could probably save countless lives." Yamato-taicho responded more seriously than usual. "As you're one of the only four people left that are immune to the Chakra Black Hole, you've been donating as much of your spiritual energy as possible to others."

"Yes I'm aware," said Naruto somewhat dryly. "Sasuke, Tsunade and Gaara are doing so as well."

"What he is trying to say kid is that you could do more. You're wasting a lot of your chakra because of your lack of control over it," Genma explained bluntly.

"I thought it was common knowledge that I have so much that it's hard to control?"

"Yeah, we know Naruto, but in the current circumstances that's not an excuse," his former sensei reproached gently. Gone was the lazy shinobi, since the situation had taken a turn for the worse, Hatake Kakashi the war veteran and jounin-commander was always present.

The young Hokage sighed tiredly and looked over his village. They were on top of the Hokage monument and from there Konoha had the airs of a ghost town. It would officially become one in a month time once the preparations for evacuation were complete. As the country furthest from the Land Lightning were the Juubi had died, the Land of Lakes was the place where the effects of the Chakra Black Hole were less noticeable if only by a small margin. The remnants of the Shinobi Alliance had agreed to relocate there to make their last stand.

"Hokage-sama?" asked the mokuton user.

"You can call me Naruto, Yamato-taicho," said the blond for the umpteenth time. "I was just trying to commit the village to memory. I agree that I should work on my chakra control, but I really don't know where to start."

"That's why we're here kid. Well I'm more here for security reasons, but I'll throw some tips in if I can," reassured Genma.

"Thanks," he smiled with only an echo of his former beaming one then turned away from the sight of the village to look at the three older nins. He squared his shoulders and said, "If a better control over my chakra can save even one more life, than it's something I must achieve. Any ideas on how to manage it to the extent of making Sakura-chan envious?"

"Hmm," Kakashi-sensei started, "what are your thoughts on air walking?"

Needing a moment alone, Naruto had ditched his persistent guards and found an isolated spot some distance away from where their new home was currently under construction. Like for his shinobis, the purpose of establishing a fortified base where they would make their last stand against the Chakra Back Hole was a wonderful distraction. But sometimes the grief, hopelessness and anger at the situation got too much and he needed to exclude himself.

He was lauded as a hero by the others, one of the few Immunes that made their survival possible. It wouldn't do to let them see his moments of weakness.

"Brat, I won't lie and say things will be alright, but if someone can overcomes the current odds it's definitely you," tried to reassure his furry friend.

"Thanks Kurama. I won't give up no matter what, but…"

"The future has never seem as bleak as it is now," completed the bijuu.

"Yeah…" sighed the blond and raised his eyes to the sky, the only thing that remained unchanged in their slowly dying world. Some found comfort in that fact. Naruto didn't, it only made him feel even smaller. "You should try to sleep to conserve chakra. I'll have to use a lot of it to power up the seals around The Last Bastion in about a week. I'll need your help for that."

"Sure Kit, I never say no to a good nap. The Last Bastion though?"

"I know," the jinchuuriki said with a wince, "some chuunin from Suna started to call the base that and it stuck."

"Well, not very original, but I've heard worse names," Kurama concluded with a touch of amusement. "Goodnight partner. Don't let yourself get lost too much in your dark feelings, it helps no one."

"Goodnight partner," echoed the Namikaze who found himself once again alone with his thoughts.

It was close to an hour later that his day suddenly seemed brighter.

Naruto closed his eyes in contentment, for the first time in two years he felt safe and whole. The absence at his side of the person whom chakra signature he could sense coming in his direction had been harder than he thought possible. Worse than when he had left to join Orochimaru. Maybe because they had finally acknowledged that they were family, brothers in all but blood. Or maybe because their relationship was now one of encouragement instead of rivalry. Sakura-chan had probably been close to the truth when she called the two of them codependents.

He drank the sight of the Uchiha that had appeared besides him and let his lips curved into a small smile when he realized that the raven too was alone. "You ditched your guards I see."

"Hn," the other snorted derisively. Amateurs.

"Next to you maybe, you're the best after all," Naruto conceded still smiling.

"I should have been guarding you."

"I would have preferred to have you at my side too, but Iwa needed your chakra. They wouldn't have lasted a year without your presence," the blond stated, a repeat of the argument they had had multiple times two years ago.

"Hn," Sasuke frowned clearly upset. I know, but I don't like it.

"Me too," concurred the blond kage. "Speaking of Iwa, if you are here, does that mean they have completed the evacuation of their survivors?"

"Yes," his friend replied, "Or what's left of them anyhow."

"What!?" Naruto asked alarmed. Sasuke had used the grim tone that meant bad news. "Last I heard Iwa still had around 5000 people."

"Yeah," the raven explained with that tone, "and half of those refused to abandon their village and remained in the Land of Earth. The Yondaime Tsuchikage included."


The Uchiha gave his Hokage pointed glare. "They're stubborn." Worse than you and I.

"I know that, but…" he mumbled. For Naruto, while leaving Konoha had been really hard, he knew that it was the people who were the village. In a way, he had brought Konoha with him to the Land of Lakes. That's why he couldn't understand Kurotsuchi's decision. He could however accept it and move on. "So there's about 2500 survivors that have come?"

In response to the question Sasuke's face reflected an emotion that the Namikaze was unfortunately too used to see on it; anger. "A little less than 2000, we were attacked on our way."

"Rogues?" Naruto asked with a sight. His best friend's presence had done much to lift his spirits, but the nature of the news he brought with him were dampening them again.

"I don't know. They all had a piece of black cloth tied on their left arm?" The blond nodded and the Uchiha continued his report with barely concealed fury. "Rogues then. We managed to beat them down only after losing around a fifth of our numbers. There were former Konoha nins amongst them."

That certainly explained the raven's anger. Since coming back, Sasuke always reacted with extreme prejudice to anyone who somehow betrayed his Hokage. It was quite hypocrite of him, but at least his shadow was aware of that fact. Not that it did much to change his feelings on the matter. In the eyes of The Last Uchiha, any who betrayed the man he considered his aniue deserved to die. Naruto, long used to his friend's ways of thinking, quickly changed the subject. Because at one point the raven had betrayed the blond and Sasuke didn't exclude even himself from the list.

"We should go back, our guards are probably frantic by now."

"Hn," the Uchiha grunted in agreement and took his usual position two steps behind and slightly to the left of the Namikaze.

Their future might be dark, but Naruto revealed in the feeling of completeness the other's presence brought him. He was ready to face the world again.

"No! Let me go, it can't be real! I refuse…..no. NO! NO! NO!" screamed the voice of a broken man.

Naruto would like to say that cries filled with so much despair were something he had not gotten used to, but he had never been a liar. Since the effects of the Chakra Black Hole had become apparent such occurrences kept happening over and over again as people lost loved ones to it. The remnants of the Shinobi Alliance had somewhat managed to stall its advance for a couple of years with the seals he had designed and chakra transfusions by the few Immunes, but their efforts were being undone.

Recently, they lost a survivor almost daily.


Realizing the familiarity of the voice, Naruto hurried in its direction. His destination was a no descriptive, one in about a thousand in the fortress, where, restrained by four shinobis, Akimichi Chôji desperately wailed at the sight of his daughter. The 4 years old child was not yet cold with death but there was no mistaking the fact that she was the newest victim of the calamity that plagued their world.

Chôchô, their youngest survivor, had been a source of hope since her conception. As the last child born in Konoha, she had been a symbol of better times as well of perseverance for the grieving people. Their move to their current home had changed nothing except that even more people found her existence to be a source of joy and comfort.

Naruto himself was enamored with the little girl and she was one of the few people that could still bring an honest smile to his lips

Her survival had unanimously been made a priority. Always one of the first to receive a chakra transfusion, the Rokudaime had lost count of how any times he had personally made sure that she had enough chakra to survive another week. He knew that at times when things where their most hectic, when none of the immunes had at the opportunity to help, a few shinobis had given her the last of their chakra knowing full well that it would cause their deaths.

And yet it had been in vain. Her next transfusion was not due for another three days damn it!

Naruto allowed himself to be overcome by grief a couple of seconds before he snapped on his Hokage mask. He forced his eyes away from Chôchô body and unto his broken shinobi. "Chôji I'm so sorry, there's nothing that can make this situation brighter, but you need to gain back control. People need you and-" He might as well have stayed silent because his words had no effect on the man. The Rokudaime sighed and tried again using a tone that he knew none of the soldiers that served under him could ignore. "Shinobi, look at me!" he ordered.

With instincts born from a lifetime in a military society, the Akimichi spine straightened and his eyes found his Hokage's.

"She's gone," the blond stated mercilessly, but with kindness. "She's gone, but there are others that need your strength. You have to pull yourself together for them. Shikamaru needs you, I need you."

"Yes Hokage-sama," his shinobi dutifully replied, but the monotone tone and his vacant glaze sent off alarms bells into Naruto's head.

"I've been in this situation too many times to not know what you're thinking, but Chôji it's not worth it. She wouldn't want you to do this, not for her. You'll join her eventually… probably sooner than later," he added quietly.

"Yes, Hokage-sama," his friend said again this time in resignation. Whether he agreed with what the blond had told him or he was simply obeying the implied order of his Hokage, Naruto didn't care. He was too relieved that he wouldn't lose another close friend. Chôchô's demise was devastating enough, no need to add her father's.

"Bring him to Nara Shikamaru, and ask Haruno Sakura to come here," he commanded the other shinobis present.

"Yes sir!" they answered before they left to follow his orders.

Alone, Naruto let himself lean on the wall and slid down to the ground. His grief was too great, he had barely possessed enough strength to help Chôji. There was none left for himself.

'Be strong for others in public and break down in private', it had almost become his mantra in recent years.

They, he, couldn't go on like this.

"We're screwed," stated A as blunt as usual.

All of the highest ranked members of the survivors were in the room. They decided in an assembly the future of the inhabitants of The Last Bastion even though the shinobis still tended to follow the remaining kages almost blindly.

"The Chakra Black Hole is gaining on us. No relocation, blocking seals or chakra transfusions will stop or delay the calamity this time. Some of us might be able to survive for another two years, but that's a generous estimation," elaborated Ao, the unofficial leader of the remaining Kiri shinobis since he Mizukage's death.

"Can't we do something? Maybe some kind of seals to stop the drain of chakra?" one of the jounin from Taki asked looking imploringly at Naruto.

"I tried," the last Hokage of Konoha said with feelings, "the seals around our island are the best I can do after years of working on the problem."

"It's a rather crude and simplistic image, but imagine a bath filled with water to represent our world and the chakra it contains. What we're fighting against is like a hole at the bottom from where the water is flowing out," Tsunade Baa-san explained emotionlessly. The woman had been numb for years now, and Naruto barely recognized his mentor. "We, Immunes, are like buckets that try to fill the bath again. Unfortunately, we are not 'big' enough to manage it."

"But the seals…" the jounin tried again.

"To keep with the bath metaphor, my seals are an attempt to plug the hole. But since it grows larger and larger they're not efficient enough."

"So make better ones," argued the man who didn't know when to quit.

"Troublesome," interjected Shikamaru, tired of the pointless argument. "Any seals more efficient would demand too much chakra to activate and maintain them. Which would bring us back to the present situation; despite our best efforts, chakra will completely run out in two years. What do we do?"

"Just to be sure, there is absolutely no way to stop the constant drain of chakra?" inquired the only samurai amongst them. His hair was mostly grey, numerous scars were visible on his skin and his left arm ended at the elbow yet he exuded more dignity than most of the shinobis present.

"No," various voices replied with finality.

"Then our only course of action left is to choose how we will die," the warrior concluded.

Silence followed his words. Shinobis were creatures that never stopped fighting for survival, yet none could deny the truthfulness of the man's statement. Naruto himself, who had so often sworn to never give up had nothing left to argue with.

"Damn it!" screamed one of the Iwa jounin breaking the gloomy mood. "All of this because of the Juubi! If only…"

"If only we could stop the drain of chakra. If only there were more Immunes. If only so many of our forces had not lost hope and joined the Rogues. If only we had not so utterly failed the jinchuurikis that they were left without protection against the Akatsuki. If only Madara hadn't summoned the Juubi. If only we could turn back time and stop it. If only none of these events had happened," Gaara recited, voice dead. "There are so many 'if only' and between all of us we probably thought of them all. Unfortunately, our reality is what we must work with, not some-"

"Naruto?" interrupted Sasuke with concern.

The Namikaze was completely still, mind stuck on something Gaara had said. For someone as energetic and full of life as he, this unmoving state was rare. It raised major alarms bells in the heads' of those who knew him well. "Shika, how did I become a seal master?" he finally asked.

The Nara frowned in confusion, not following the blond's train of thoughts, but replied nonetheless, "You started by pestering Kakashi-sensei for the basics, then you spend many months in the ruins of Uzushio examining some complex seals and finally it took years of self-study before achieving your mastery."

"And what kind of seals did I find in Uzushio?"

"4 seals, all had been forbidden by your ancestors. You once told me that one of the seal was capable of mass destruction on the same scale as the Juubi. The others…" Shikamaru fell silent, his eyes widening as he finally understood what his Hokage was thinking. "You found a time travel seal," he whispered in wonder.

Chaos erupted from those words. The people began to shout at each other, some disbelieving others demanding more details. One or two even screamed accusingly at Naruto for not bringing it up sooner.

"ENOUGH!" boomed A to restore order. Once he had everyone's attention, he look into the Rokudaime's eyes with all the seriousness he possessed. "I've been Raikage too long to still believe in miracle solutions. What's the catch?"

The eyes of the Kyuubi's jinchuuriki were equally serious when he answered. "The one who activates the seal must have an insane amount of Chakra, the kind of amount that will deplete the majority of Kurama and I's reserves. Furthermore, one can only go backward in time and no more than double the age of the user."

"You're not going alone," stated Sasuke, always the overprotective one when Naruto was concerned.

Said blond resisted the urge to roll his eyes in exasperation. "Don't worry Sasuke you can come too IF we actually decide to use the seal."

"We don't have any other option," stated A, "but I'd still liked to hear why it was considered a forbidden seal and how it works since we're more than desperate enough to consider anything at this point."

"Like I said, it's impossible to go backwards more than double the age of the user, and as I'm the only one with enough chakra to activate the seal that means about 58 years in the past is our maximum timeframe. Unfortunately Madara was already in hiding by that time, but it's highly likely we wouldn't have been able to go back that far anyway."

"Why?" asked Gaara, "While it's regrettable that Madara would be inaccessible, with so much time on our hands we go be thorough fully prepared for when he did came out of his hole."

"True," agreed Naruto, "but like with everything these days the problem is a lack of chakra. The user, me, needs to spend a fixed amount of it to activate the seal. Then, the user and all of those going with him to the past needs to each spend an amount of chakra that is proportional to the number of years going backwards. By that time, Kurama and I probably would have only enough for a 40 years jump and that's a generous estimate."

"Sir…." a relatively young Taki jounin began while hope and longing tentatively appeared in her eyes, "It was implied in your previous answer to Uchiha-sama, but can you really bring back others people with you?"

From his place at the head of the room, everyone still persisted in treating the former kages with deference even though every shinobi here was technically equal in power, Naruto made a point to look at each face with a solemn expression. There were a little less than 60 people in the room, most of them jounins with a few chuunins whose talents made them leader in their field of expertise. "If we were talking about a two years jump then everyone in this room could come. That number would dwindle as we increase the quantity of years. Past ten years, only the Immunes have enough chakra. And since the Juubi exploded a little more than 13 years ago…"

"We can't come," concluded the same woman that had asked the question. "Okay," she said once softly to herself then again with more determination. "Okay. What do you need us to do Hokage-sama?"

"For now, nothing except help planning this operation," intercepted Gaara before the blond could once again convince others to charge recklessly into a situation alongside him.

"Yeah…" agreed said blond with a wry smile at his red haired friend. Even after he had gained the poker face and countenance of a kage, Gaara could still read him like an open book. He had just been about to ask for volunteers to go back to the ruins of Uzushio with him. "We need to decide when and where we're going back, create the seal which is going to take months of research on my part and another few of actually drawing it, find a way for the Immunes to start conserving chakra in a way that doesn't end with most of us dead, tighten our security as we won't be able to afford a Rogue's attack… did I forget something?"

"Find a way around the chakra drain for Sakura to take my place," stated Tsunade in a way that suffered no arguments.

"Baa-chan…" Naruto started.

"I'm not going back, I can't do this again," the last sannin said irrevocably. "Sakura and I have been working on a way to transfer my Immune condition and most of my chakra to her." Left unsaid, but known by everyone, was that she wanted to die but wouldn't allow it of herself while she was one of the few that kept them all alive.

"Okay, we can add that to list of things to discuss," interjected A before Naruto could replied and thus before the conversation could go too far off track. "Anything else we need to know before really going into things," he questioned the blond.

The Rokudaime nodded and then grimaced, "This is a do or die technique. There's only one timeline so by using this seal to go into the past we are essentially erasing the future, our current time, and everyone in it."

"So it's a move that will sacrifice most of us so that a few can go on and hopefully make a better world," resumed the samurai whose comment had sparked the whole idea. "That's a really good way to die," he nodded contently.

When Naruto came back to The Last Bastion after having left to salvage the materials he needed to finally complete the time travel seal, he stepped on a battlefield. Everywhere were wounded and bodies, fortunately few of those wore the Alliance's itai-ite. The damages were considerable, the kind not seen since they had forbidden ninjutsu, which gave a good idea of the scales of the fight that had happened.

Spotting one of their jounin, formerly of Iwa, he hurried over to the man. "What happened here?" he inquired calmly. Inside he was terrified but living at the End of the World tended to numb those feelings.

"Namikaze-sama," the man saluted, "the Rogues somehow learned about the Seal and mounted an assault trying to conquer the Last Bastion and by extension the way to go back in time. According to Nara-sama, it was probably their last desperate act. All of their forces participated in the battle."

"Since our flag is still floating over the main hall I presume we won?" at the jounin nod he continued, "What are our casualties?"

"Fortunately few, sir." the older man simply reported, but when the blond lifted an inquisitive eyebrow urging him for more details, his shoulders sagged and the brave front he was putting on fell. "I'm not the best person to give this report sir. We lost… If it wasn't for…"

"Who?" Naruto asked, bracing himself for the news.

The former Iwa nin shook his head and met the blond's eyes. "I shouldn't be the one to say this. Uchiha-sama is still standing guard over the Seal, but Haruno-sama is her room, you should really go see her sir."

The Rokudaime Hokage glared intimidatingly at the other but when it became clear that he wouldn't get his answers he nodded and ran in direction of Sakura's room.

His female teammate was curled on her bed, face hidden in her knees and her body shook with silent sobs. It had been a while since he had seen her this broken, they had all learned how to live with the constant grief.

"Sakura?" he questioned softly, going to sit next to her on the bed.

She didn't respond verbally, but threw herself at him, her face against his chest, her arms squeezing him almost painfully and her sobs tripling in intensity. He placed a hand on her head and just let her cry for a few minutes. When she had gone mostly silent, he gently urged her, "They won't tell me what happened, can you?"

"I don't regret it," she sniffled, "I had to do it. I couldn't let them die."

"Of course."

"They were truly desperate, Naruto, like suicidal desperate. They used ninjutsu without care of how much chakra it consumed. We had no choice but to respond in kind or else we would have lost. Gaara took on most of them and for a time it seemed enough. You know how strong he is…was."

No, Naruto thought, not him, please.

But the pink haired kunoichi had started and didn't seem to be able to stop, despite her friend's anguish. "We had greatly underestimated their numbers and in the end, between defending the Seal, our greenhouses and us, it was just too much. His death made most of our forces snap, and it wasn't long after that there were no enemies left alive. But so many of the Alliance shinobis were fatally wounded and even more only had a few hours of chakra left. I know I shouldn't have… We swore…"

"Sakura-chan?" the blond asked dread settling in his heart.

"I don't regret it. I couldn't just let them die when I was able to save all of our friends' lives. I'm sorry Naruto, I'm so, so sorry," and she lifted her head so he could see that only one diamond remained on her brow. The technique that Tsunade baa-san and Sakura had created to transfer most of the older woman chakra to the younger had necessitate the creation of four diamond storage seals. She needed all four of them to use the Seal.

It was only Sasuke and he left who would be able to go to the past.

He would have preferred a quiet send-off, only their closest friends there to see them embark on their life's most important mission. They…. Well he had spent this last week saying his farewells to everyone. Sasuke was still an asocial bastard, but even he had exchanged goodbyes with a few others. The pressure the Rokudaime and his shadow were on was crushing enough without adding the weight of all their comrades' expectations. Should the Seal malfunction….

So yes, Naruto would have definitely preferred a quiet and private send-off. But today wasn't about Sasuke and him, it was about all the people present and all those that should have been as well.

All of the shinobi able to stand on their feet we're forming a guard of honor on the way to the Seal with even more surrounding it. As the two future time-travelers passed them, they saluted in the manner of their former village. Shikamaru and Choji, with a fist over their heart and a missing space where Ino should be. Omoï, from Kumo with his eyes clear of any anxiety and a fist extended toward them. Ao, aged prematurely since Mei's death but still standing proud with his right hand raised to his forehead. Temari, broken by her last little brother's sacrifice, her whole body shaking except for her left hand raised in a mirror to Ao's. Samui, Hanabi, Chôjuro, C, Matsuri, Gai, Akatsuchi and so many more.

While the able shinobi saluted them, the injured and those too weak to stand due to lack of chakra kept throwing the flowers that had been so painstakingly grown on their path while sitting on chairs or laying down on stretchers. Silence reigned, it was a traditional send-off to war made to honour the soldiers' sacrifice. It made it even more solemn by the fact that only Naruto and Sasuke would be leaving to fight and the ones whose life was about to end were the ones staying home.

Once at the Seal, A, who had been elected spokesperson for all the survivors, stepped forward. "We are past speeches of farewells and good wishes, I'll be brief. We know that by going to the past you will change things and that many of us standing here may die early. We are alright with that. Your priority is to stop Madara from summoning the Juubi. We accept the sacrifices that will need to be made. Save our world, Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke, save our homes."

Both blond and dark haired shinobi nodded solemnly and went to stand in the middle of the Seal. However, before they could activate it, their pink haired teammate broke decorum and rushed to its edge with silent tears running down her face.

"I'm sorry I can't come with both of you. Please be safe, I won't be there to heal you or stop you from being idiots," said Sakura whose voice remained strong and determined despite the tears. She turned serious eyes toward the Uchiha. "Please take care of him Sasuke, you know how reckless he can be."

"Always," swore the taciturn man, his features softening with rarely seen fondness.

"Don't worry Sakura-chan, everything will be fine," said Naruto and he gave her his first beaming smile in years before he activated the Seal and that current reality ceased to exist.

(Dreams end)

Hope from the Shadows – A Shadow's Nightmares

Haru woke with a start. His heart was beating wildly and he closed his eyes with force in an attempt to stop the flow of tears. It took a while to calm himself, but by now nightmares went hand in hand with sleep so he was more than used to them.

He knew that laying down again was useless so he stood up and made his way to the kitchen to prepare two cups of hot chocolate.

Sasuke was on their balcony, he joined his friend and gave him his cup, the blue one while he kept the orange for himself.

"Can't sleep?" he asked the Uchiha.

The raven haired man winced and briefly closed his eyes. Nightmares

"Yeah, I know. They had almost stopped while we were traveling, but now that we're here in Konoha they're back with vengeance."

His friend only raised an eyebrow. Dreams or memories?

"Memories. I think I would prefer horrors conjured by my imagination. I would at least be able to convince myself they're not real… probably." The blond sighed and changed the subject. "Ready for tomorrow?"

The glare Sasuke sent him was truly scathing. What do you think?

"I think the sooner it's over, the best it is. At least you'll stop getting distressed about it. Besides, I'm actually curious to see what your parents are like," Haru said with a wink.

"You'll love my mother, my father… not so much," declared the Uchiha. "On the bright side, tomorrow is also the last day of training."

"Real missions!" cheerfully approved the young Namikaze. "Jiji will probably keep us in village but we will have something to do that's not suffering under that bastard's exercises. A few more days and we'll even be given missions as jounins."

Sasuke sighed and leaned back on the railing. "Missions reports."

"Do. Not. Mention Paperwork." Haru scolded seriously. "I have enough nightmares as it is."

The other smirked, but obliged. "Who's next?"

"Hosting us for diner? No one yet. Only Itachi has been able to corner us so far."

Sasuke smirked grew into a soft smile. My brother is awesome.

"Yeah, yeah, I know, Itachi is the best," said Haru with sarcasm. "That's another thing I look forward to finding out tomorrow, if little Sasuke has as much of a brother complex as you do."

The Uchiha snort was bordering on a small laugh. Worse. Much worse.

The conversation died out after that, both time travelers content to spend the last remaining hour of the night in silence until dawn broke over their beloved village.

"We'll protect it this time," declared Haru, steely determination in his voice.

"Hnn." No matter what.

Hope from the Shadows – A Shadow's Nightmares


Urgggg, sorry for the delay but I've lost count of how many times I've rewritten this chapter or at least parts of it. At one time I completely scrapped it and started it again. I'm still not satisfied: the flashbacks/dreams don't flow together, I hate how I portrayed Sakura and we definitely can't feel their emotions as much as I wanted. However, I've realized that I'll probably never be satisfied with it (It's so much better in my head!) and I should just put this chapter online and concentrate on the rest of the story.

QUESTION: Before I post the next chapter, I plan to edit the previous ones. Nothing big, only adding some foreshadowing, correcting the mistakes that you guys pointed out in the comments and hopefully adding enough details to avert a few impending plot holes. While I'm doing that, do you want me to change the ANBU names to English or do you prefer that I leave them in Japanese?

I've also realized I never gave the translations for the ANBU masks.

Kitsune (Haru): Fox

Karasu (Sasuke): Raven

Inu (Kakashi): Dog

Usagi (Genma): Rabbit

Tanuki (Raidou): Racoon

Neko (Tenzô): Cat

Hakuuchou (Hayate): Swan

Hachi (Tenten): Bee

The next chapter is more than halfway done, 5000 words already written, but I won't give you an estimated time of release. History has proven that I'm not very good at respecting those. Hopefully it will be soon.

That is the last flashback about the time travelers' old timeline, at one point I'll write one with Minato and the Kyuubi, but that's not for a while yet. If you have questions about their past feel free to PM me and I'll be happy to answer.



Hope you enjoyed this chapter. Until next time. ^_^