The Things We Left Unsaid
Naruto hadn’t slept since the kids went missing. He sat at his desk with piles of paperwork growing with each passing day, but the thought of continuing his work as if nothing happened made him sick. It was the middle of the night. The kids had been gone for over a week with no sign of them or the maker of the mysterious metal Sharingan. Naruto’s hand shook with both exhaustion and the adrenaline that was making him more and more stressed as the days wore on.
On the outside, the villagers hadn’t really realized there was something wrong. Naruto had been able to keep up appearances during the day, but at night, he was a wreck. Sakura had visited ever day she wasn’t out on a mission to search for them. Hinata was as much of a wreck as Naruto was, and would often find solace in her family when she wasn’t finding solace in Naruto.
For the first time since he had been married, Naruto felt the bitter sting of being alone. Hinata wasn’t exactly leaving him to grieve alone, but he knew that when he couldn’t be around, she had a family to go to. Sakura had one as well, but Naruto didn’t have a family to find comfort in. Hinata understood his loneliness, but Naruto couldn’t expect her to fully be able to understand the depth of that loneliness…
And it was that loneliness that kept him up at night. Hinata was on a mission with Sakura, Kiba and Shino to try and find more information. Naruto couldn’t leave due to the fact that this wasn’t a national security issue; it was private and personal and he couldn’t abandon the village in order to go and try to find his children. The house was quiet… and not that comforting silence that came after the shouting children had left and he was finally alone to work on the paperwork. This silence was uncomfortable and sad, like the silence in the house he had lived in his whole life.
Naruto stared out the window at the city lights beneath his office. He bit his lip, tears clouding his eyes. He felt utterly useless. They hadn’t been able to get a hold of Sasuke and a hawk had been sent a few days ago, letting him know that his daughter was missing. The only clue they had was the metal Sharingan that meant nothing without context.
“Naruto!” an angry voice shouted as the doors to his office swung open. Naruto turned around to see a familiar, yet very angry, face staring back at him. He quickly wiped his eyes.
“Good evening, Sasuke,” the man muttered. Sasuke clenched his fists.
“How could you let this happen?!” Sasuke shouted
Naruto flinched at the accusing tone in his friend’s voice. “My kids are gone too,” he snapped weakly.
“Exactly!” Sasuke growled. “What happened?”
“I don’t know,” Naruto answered truthfully as he stood from his desk. He hadn’t expected Sasuke to come rushing home so quickly, but he figured it wasn’t a stretch. Despite being away from the village so much, Sasuke loved his family; probably more than Naruto did at times.
“Well, what was the last thing that happened between you and your kids?” Sasuke asked, trying to keep his anger in check.
Naruto looked down at the picture of him and Boruto he kept on his desk and sighed. Their final moments were ones he wished he could do again. He had been furious at Boruto; but not only angry, terrified for the child as well. Boruto was in more trouble than the child realized and Naruto had been unable to properly convey the severity of the situation when Boruto had confessed to doing it not because he was trying to be mean, but because he wanted his dad to look at him.
“We fought,” was all Naruto said about the incident.
“Of course,” Sasuke groaned.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Naruto snapped.
“You should have saw this coming, but you were always unable to see something that was right in front you! Where did you lose the chakra trail? We’ll start from there!”
“There is none,” Naruto grumbled as he leaned against his desk.
“There is no chakra trail,” Naruto repeated through clenched teeth. “They’re gone, Sasuke.”
“Gone?!” Naruto nodded. “What do you mean by that? You can’t sense what direction they went?”
“No,” Naruto said simply as he tried to swallow the lump in his throat. “They’re gone… without a trace.”
“That’s impossible!” Sasuke snapped.
“Their chakra vanishes about two kilometers outside the village gates.”
“So they were running away,” Sasuke observed.
“Yeah! This is all my fault!” Naruto screamed. “Don’t you think I know that?! I don’t need you to come in here and tell me what I already know!”
Sasuke narrowed his eyes. “What have you found?”
Naruto stood and motioned Sasuke to follow him. They walked through the silent streets. It was that time of night where it was late enough for the drunks to have already stumbled home, but it was too early for even the earliest of risers to start their day. Naruto led Sasuke into the ANBU compound where he had left Shikamaru to deal with the metal Sharingan. He opened the door to the science division and smiled at the Nara.
“Good morning, Naruto-sama,” Shikamaru greeted, “and… Sasuke?” Sasuke nodded his greeting, which was met with a shrug from Shikamaru.
“Show him what we found.”
Shikamaru walked to Sasuke and handed him the metal object. Sasuke picked it up and looked it over. “It’s a Sharingan replica. What of it?”
“That’s what we are trying to figure out,” Shikamaru answered as he took the object from Sasuke. “See, here, it reacts to chakra.” Shikamaru pushed chakra into his hand and through the object. The eye’s pupil dilated in response.
Sasuke blinked. “Does it work?” he asked.
“We’re not sure,” Naruto answered. “But it was the only thing we found where their chakra disappeared. Using the eye leaves an unnatural chakra trail, like the one I felt when I was there. I had originally thought it was older because it was more faded, but this chakra fades faster than natural chakra.”
“Then that must be it,” Sasuke said. “And if we can get it to work again, then maybe we can get it to take us where it took the kids.”
“That’s what we’re hoping,” Shikamaru agreed. “It’s a machine, you see, so it has set functions. It can only do what it’s been built for, so if we could activate it again, then we might be able to use it to either bring them back here or go to where they are.”
“We just can’t figure out how to activate,” Naruto muttered.
“Yes, that is the most prominent issue at the moment.”
“Then find the craftsman,” Sasuke suggested.
“That is the second most prominent issue,” Shikamaru said with a sigh. “Whoever handled this before us left no trace of himself on it.”
“Maybe it needs an Uchiha,” Sasuke suggested, holding out his hand.
“I doubt that would make a difference, but here you go…” He handed it over to Sasuke again.
Boruto felt like the world around him was falling apart. How could one Clan cause so many problems and destruction? Sarada was working viciously on his wounds and he already felt his breathing getting easier, but as the time wore on, he felt her hands trembling. Like him, she had grown up with a relatively soft life and her battle training was extensive, but her experience was none.
Boruto reached up and grabbed her arm. “Stop. I can’t carry you,” he said quietly. “I’ll be fine.” He sat up to prove his point. Sarada looked at him and frowned slightly. “It’s okay…”
She relented and helped him shakily to his feet. He didn’t tell her about the torn tendons in his ankle. That injury seemed less pressing than his lung that had been filling with blood. He stood unsteadily on his single foot, barely placing the other on the ground.
“We need to get you to a hospital,” Sarada muttered.
“I agree,” Boruto nodded. They made their way slowly through the village. They could hear fighting around them, but their own little pocket of the village was quiet.
“Hey! You kids!” They froze in the spot. A man jumped in front of them. Boruto looked up at the dark-haired male with deep red eyes. He quickly looked away from the Sharingan. The man wore what looked like a dark gray jounin vest with black underneath. Instead of the Uzumaki symbol, however, it bore an Uchiha Clan symbol. The man knelt beside the children and looked at Boruto. “You poor thing,” the man whispered. He turned to Sarada. “May I take your friend?” he asked gently. “He needs to get to a hospital.”
Sarada nodded and the man lifted Boruto in his arms as gently as possible. “Name’s Boruto, and that’s Sarada,” Boruto introduced. “Thanks for the help.”
“It is my pleasure,” the man said quietly. “My name is Uchiha Itachi.” Sarada stopped walking. Boruto and Itachi turned to the youngest Uchiha. “Is something wrong, child?”
“N-no…” Sarada muttered. “It’s just nice to meet you, is all.” She smiled slightly and followed Itachi.
Itachi led them through the battle field that had once been Konoha. Boruto felt sick. This is what dad is so afraid of, Boruto thought as they passed a dead body in the street. “Don’t worry,” Itachi said to the children. “This will all be quelled soon. The Police Force and the ANBU will make sure the Hyuuga are reminded that we are not their enemy. They will realize that it is not Konoha that should be fought. We are a village after all.” He offered them a warm smile.
His smile faded as a rather large explosion happened not far from them and result of it was a blonde-haired man landing right in front of them. Minato stood shakily. Blood gushed from a gash on his head. He was gone a flash, but it wasn’t long before he was back with a Hyuuga male running behind him. Itachi looked at Boruto and Sarada. “Your wounds will hold. This must be stopped before it goes on longer!”
He placed Boruto where the child would be safe and turned to Sarada. “Stay here with him.” He smiled at her and patted her head. “I’ll be back, I promise.”
Boruto turned as Itachi ran into the field where Minto was fighting. He jumped behind Minato, standing back to back with him. “How many are there?” he asked.
“Itachi…” Minato sighed with a half-smile. “Not enough to be a problem, but Obito wouldn’t want us killing our own villagers.”
“If mercy is what you want, we’re playing the wrong game,” Itachi pointed out, but he didn’t reach for a weapon. He coughed.
“Yeah, well, Obito’s the Hokage, and not as blood thirsty as the rest of you Uchiha.”
“No thanks to you,” Itachi said with a shrug, taking the teasing a mere smile.
“Right. Sorry for ruining him,” Minato said with a wide smile. “Let’s do this, then, shall we?”
Itachi nodded and the two stood for a moment. Itachi whispered something that Boruto couldn’t hear and Minato nodded just slightly. “There’s about ten of them,” Sarada whispered to Boruto. Her own Sharingan was activated at this point. “I think Itachi-san is telling Minato where they are.”
“This’ll be over in a second,” Boruto whispered. Sarada nodded in agreement. Even without blind spots, the Hyuuga had to be fast enough to react to Minato’s speed and they weren’t.
Minato took off. He threw a kunai and appeared behind one of the men to grab it. The man spun, but not nearly fast enough. Minato kicked him forwards and Itachi jumped forward to grab the victim. Before the Hyuuga had a second to comprehend what was happening, he was staring into the Uchiha’s eyes. After a scream, the man went limp. “I told you to be gentle!” Minato teased.
“You just do your job.” Itachi called back. He threw one of Minato’s kunai in another direction and Minato caught it, hurling it back at Itachi as he dispatched another Hyuuga before Itachi even caught the weapon. Itachi hurled it again, this time to kill a third. Minato caught it mere centimeters from stabbing the young fighter in the head. The young boy took off running in terror.
“This is almost too easy.” Minato said as he landed beside Itachi.
“Indeed. You would think that the Hyuuga would put up more of a fight… or would have sent better fighters to deal with the former Hokage.” The both moved as another Hyuuga, a woman, aimed a water attack at them, flooding the area. Boruto narrowed his eyes. This wasn’t right. They should have prepared better for this fight.
Boruto gasped at the same time the realization hit Minato. “Itachi!” Minato shouted. He spun around and kicked Itachi into the alley way seconds before a lighting user lit up the water. Minato jumped into the air to avoid the attack, but they were expecting that. A Hyuuga was above him and slammed an open palm onto Minato’s chest. The man gasped and fell into the water, screaming as electricity coursed through his body.
Itachi ran towards the former Hokage, but as he did, a barrier was created. The Uchiha stopped and narrowed his eyes, searching for the ones creating it. Minato screamed again, but they couldn’t hear anything. “Sound…” Itachi gasped. “The Sound ninja are helping the Hyuuga!” He cursed angrily and attacked the barrier.
“It was a trap,” Boruto growled. “They were distracting them while they set up the barrier!”
“Itachi…!” Minato gasped once the sound attack died down. “Got the children out of here!”
“”Minato-san, that is not advisable!”
“Get them out of here!” Minato screamed.
Itachi cursed. Boruto knew they were outnumbered. Itachi could most likely handle it without problem, but he had two children to deal with on the battle field, and most likely couldn’t handle the threat, help Minato and make sure the kids made it out alive. The man stared into the barrier for a moment as Minto stood to face the Hyuuga in with him. Boruto turned away. He didn’t want to watch both his grandfathers kill each other. Itachi turned away from the fight. Minato was on his own.
He ran back to where he had hid Boruto and Sarada, gasping slightly when Sarada turned to him. “You… You’re an Uchiha?” he asked. Sarada turned away. “Impossible. There are no Uchiha out of the village.”
“Can we do this later?” Boruto gasped. He was shaking violently. The fight within the barrier wasn’t going well. The attack on Minato’s chest had drastically hindered his chakra flow, leaving Minato only able to use taijutsu.
‘I’m Sasuke’s daughter,” Sarada said as Boruto was lifted. Itachi turned to her sharply.
“Sasuke’s alive?!” He shook his head. “No matter!” He started running. The Leader of the Uchiha Clan would be a prize for the Hyuuga and Itachi wasn’t about to let them win it.
Boruto watched as Hiashi and Minato fought within the barrier for as long as he could. Tears filled his eyes and he gripped Itachi’s arm. The man smiled at the blonde in his arms. “There is nothing to worry about, child,” he assured Boruto. “Minato is strong. He will meet up with us soon, I’m sure.”
Boruto nodded slowly, but his eyes never left the fight. Tears clouded his vision and one of the blurry figures in the fight fell to the ground.
Naruto ran through the village. His shoulder was bleeding, but he was relatively unharmed. He held Himawari in his arms tightly. As he looked down at the girl for fleeting moments, he saw the resemblance. These can’t be my children, Naruto continued to think, but he felt that connection to them. Holding her in his arms felt almost natural to him. He had nearly torn apart the Hyuuga that had her in order to keep her safe. He couldn’t deny that he wanted them to be safe. But I want everyone to be safe, he concluded.
He stopped running and kissed the girl on the forehead. Mine or not, no child should be treated like the Hyuuga want to treat them. Naruto nodded and continued through the village. Not long ago, the Sound ninja who had been camping outside the village had come in. Naruto wasn’t sure when the Hyuuga achieved a treaty with their smaller neighbors, but it had happened. Naruto was just cautiously waiting for Orochimaru himself to show up.
“Itachi-san!” Naruto called as he spotted the man. His smile faded when he noticed the extent of Boruto’s injuries. He darted to the Uchiha.
Boruto gasped when he saw that Naruto had his sister. “You got Hima-chan!”
“I assume you know these kids.” Naruto nodded. “Let the girl have the one you have. Your father is fighting Lord Hiashi.” Naruto’s eyes widened. Sarada took Himawari from Naruto and the man tore off in the direction Itachi had come. He clenched his fists and ran faster.
Upon returning to the made-shift arena, he found it to be empty. The fight had already ended. Naruto spun around and looked. There was no one left and nothing to give any indication of who had come out alive. The fact that there was no body in the area gave Naruto hope. Dad’s stronger than Hiashi anyway, Naruto thought with a nod. He decided that the kids were safe with Itachi and he took off again, this time towards the Hokage mansion.
In a coup the main target is always the leader. Naruto hoped that Sakura had taken Tai to the Academy where the evacuations were taking place. I’ll find them later.
He jumped onto a roof top and stared out at his village. Buildings were burning and bodies were thrown around like dolls. “All of this… for what?” he asked. “So much for preventing a coup with the Hyuuga, dad.” Naruto spotted a red creature running through the village, tearing apart anything that got in his way. Naruto narrowed his eyes. “Ansei…” he whispered. The Hyuuga would pay for this and everything they had done up until this point. He clenched his fists and turned, heading towards the Hokage mansion.
“I should be out there!” Obito screamed as he stared out the window and onto his burning village.
“Hokage-sama, that is unadvisable!” Yamato pleaded. “This is a coup! The leader is what they want! We have moved your wife and daughter to a safe location, and you are safe here! You cannot go out there! If we lose you, we lose everything!”
“So you want me to stand here and watch my village burn to the ground and drown in its own blood?!” Obito snapped at his advisor.
“Yes,” Kakashi muttered. “That is exactly what we want you to do. There’s no reason for you to risk your life. The situation is being handled.”
“This doesn’t look like it’s being handled! I am the Hokage!”
“And if you want it to stay that way, you need to let us to do our job!” Kakashi growled back.
“What about my job, as leader and protector of this village?!” Obito shouted back.
Kakashi sighed deeply, his hands shaking. “I don’t like it either! Our kids are fighting this while we’re in here, waiting it out! It’s not fair, but that’s how it works!”
“We need to move you to a more secure location. The enemy will be approaching the mansion soon,” Yamato advised. “The Sound have joined forces with the Hyuuga. This seems to have been their plan all along.”
Obito bowed his head. They had obviously been planning this for years. The Sound had been trying for years to beg Konoha for help, then suddenly they withdrew from their attempts. The Hyuuga must have promised them something. Not only that, but they had begged for the Kyuubi and had forced the Hokage to cover up everything Ansei did wrong, including not one, but three separate murders. The boy was crying for help, Obito thought sadly as Yamato and Kakashi discussed behind him. He’s been trying to warn us for years… but we ignored him. We were too afriad of this happening… and we just let it happen anyway.
Obito closed his eyes and turned as the door swung open. “Naruto?” Kakashi gasped. “Your shoulder! Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Naruto snapped. He turned to Obito. “The fox is out!”
Obito closed his eyes. That was their plan, wasn’t it? To have the fox in their ranks. Minato-sensei and I were fools, Obito thought. The door opened again, and this time it was Hiashi. Everyone in the room grabbed their weapons.
“Calm down,” the man snapped. “I’m here to negotiate.”
Obito narrowed his eyes and went to his desk. Kakashi showed the Hyuuga elder to his seat. He sat graciously. “You aren’t exactly in a posotion to negotiate,” Obito said once everyone had settled. “Even with the Sound, you’re outnumbered.”
“There is a second wave waiting outside the village. They are equipped to hold a seige on this village for weeks if we have to.”
Obito clenched his fists. “I still wouldn’t call that putting us in a corner,” he continued. “We’re a self sustaining village, after all… we don’t need the outside world for a while.”
“We’ll unleash the fox on the village.”
“That would kill your men as well as mine. You aren’t in the position to make any demands, Hiashi, so why don’t we end this mess before it gets any more out of hand. If you surrender now, then I will forgive your clan for the actions of their elders.”
“You aren’t even the head fo the clan anymore!” Naruto snapped, only to be silenced by Kakashi.
“Hanabi elected me to handle the negotiations,” Hiashi muttered. “Now, Obito-sama, you and I both don’t want to drag this out.”
Obito leaned forward, putting his mouth on his interlacing fingers. “Because you and I both know that you don’t have the manpower to drag this out,” he said with a shrug. Hyuuga and Uchiha glared at each other. “You don’t have us in any compromising position. And threateing to leave the village won’t work anymore, Hiashi.”
“We’ll kill everyone, then.”
Obito snickered, but mentally he got a little worried. “Is that truly your best threat? You are a single clan with an army from a village that is not even a third of our size. Even with a Jinchuuriki, you don’t have the manpower to kill everyone in this village.”
“Do you really want call my bluff, Obito-sama?” Hiashi asked.
“You have nothing to back up your threats.
“Do we?” The door opened again and this time Neji walked in, dragging Minato’s limp form behind him.
“Dad!” Naruto shouted. “Neji! What are you doing?”
Neji bowed his head in shame. Obito glared at Hiashi. “What is this proving? That you can beat the former Hokage? Release him!”
“I won’t surrender the village to save one man,” Obito growled through clenched teeth. Naruto glared at him, but Obito knew the man understood.
“Oh, I know you won’t do that. I don’t take you for a fool Obito, however, I do have a single weapon that you might be interested in.”
A third and final person entered the room. Kakashi narrowed his eyes, but Yamato gasped slightly. This one was a small child. He wore a symbol on his shirt. Obito didn’t recognize it, though he was sure he had seen it before once or twice… On a mission, I think… he thought.
The child turned to Hiashi, who nodded. The boy exploded into a puff of dark red smoke. “He’s part of the Iburi Clan!” Yamato gasped. “Cover your mouth and nose!” They did, but no one moved to help Minato. The smoke moved and vanished into Minato’s mouth. The man’s eyes snapped open and he began screaming and convulsing in pain.
“Stop it!” Naruto shouted. Minato writhed in pain on the ground.
“They can’t control that ability!” Yamato snapped. “They can’t even be outside!
“Under Orochimaru, they learned how to stablize it. They can now hold together, even under severe winds,” Hiashi said with a shrug. “And in return, they are loyal to the Sound… and loyal to us now.”
Obito wasn’t listening. He watched his sensei scream and convulse in pain. Blood seeped from his nose, mouth and eyes as the human turned smoke turned him inside out. If they had any number of soldiers with this ability, then they had the manpower to back up their threats… and, at the same time, they could decide who to kill and who to spare.
“Enough!” Obito shouted. The red mist flew out of Minato’s body and rematerialized as the child beside Hiashi. Obito sighed as Minato’s screams turned to whimpers. Naruto knelt beside his father, trying to comfort him, but Obito wasn’t sure what could be done to save him at this point. He didn’t even know what the child had done to the man.
“So?” Hiashi asked.
Obito sighed deeply. He could kill Hiashi and Neji right now; but Hiashi wasn’t the leader of the Hyuuga, and killing him would not stop the attack, it would only anger them more. “What are your demands…?”