The Juubi's Decision
Italics: Speaking in someones mind
Bold Italics: Naruto and Kurama speaking telepathically
"I thought you weren't going to let me kill a single one of your comrades, Naruto." Said Obito from atop the Juubi's head.
Naruto stared at him sternly. Holding the lifeless body of Neji Huga in his arms. He had given his life to protect Naruto from an incoming barrage of the piercing wood jutsu. Tears threatened to spill from Naruto's eyes. While next to him, Hinata started to cry. Naruto spoke to Hinata but did not turn to face her.
"Hinata. Take Neji away from here. I'll handle this."
Hinata turned to him shocked. "B-but Naruto…you can't do this alone." She said to him.
"I have to. I'm grateful for you trying to protect me, but…I will not allow any more of my friends to die." He said in a determined voice.
His gaze did not shift from Obito. Who stared at him with his eye combination of the Sharingan and Rinnegan. Kakashi was watching Naruto and smiled beneath his mask.
"Ha. And I thought I was the copycat." He said whispering to himself, as he remembered saying something very similar while on their first real mission after confronting Zabuza.
Naruto spoke to Hinata once again. "Hinata, please. Take him and go. I'm going to go ahead with the plan." He said to her.
Hinata suddenly remembered what they were supposed to be doing. She hesitated still for a few seconds, but finally spoke.
"Ok, Naruto. But, please. Be careful." She told him, while taking Neji and fleeing towards the back of the fight.
Naruto slowly stood. He looked from Obito, to Madara, to the Juubi. "Alright. Time to put the plan into action." He said.
Meanwhile, Hinata had successfully brought Neji to the back lines. She located Sakura right away and brought Neji to her.
"Sakura…is there anything that can be done for him? Hinata asked, her voice cracking from the sadness.
Fresh tears had started falling down her face. Sakura looked him over and scanned him with her chakra. Her face turned downcast and she withdrew her hand and placed it at her side. The green chakra dissipating as she did so.
"I'm so sorry, Hinta. It's too late. There's nothing that can be done. The attack hit too many vital organs." She said in a sorrowful voice.
This caused Hinata to break down. She put her hands to her face and started to sob. Sakura put her hand on her shoulders to console the girl. She looked at her. She felt so sorry for her. But she couldn't lie. It's true. There was nothing she could do for him. He was already gone. She looked up at Naruto who was preparing his strategy against the Juubi, and its handlers.
"Naruto…please be careful." She said in her mind.
Naruto prepared to start the plan. "Hey Kurama? You there?" Naruto asked telepathically.
"Yes, Naruto. What is it? I can't lend you more chakra yet. I haven't regained enough." Kurama replied
"That's alright. That's not what I need right now. I need you to transport me into the Juubi's mind. Like you did with Son, the four tails." Naruto stated.
"Are you mad?! You'll get yourself killed! The Juubi isn't like one of us Naruto! It has no feelings or emotions of its own! Its sole purpose is to destroy! Kurama said, rejecting his idea.
"I have to try. The fate of the world rests on this one last plan. It was concocted by Shikaku, Shikamaru's dad. If he had confidence in this plan, then so do I!" Naruto retorted.
Kurama stayed silent. He understood what Naruto was saying. But he didn't know if they should risk it. Naruto spoke to him again.
"Please Kurama…This was his final plan. His final wish for us to save the world. I can't abandon it. Or else it would be like spitting on his good name." Naruto begged.
Kurama still didn't reply to Naruto. But Naruto tried again.
"Kurama…You know I'm the only one who can do this. And so did Shikaku. Somehow, I was able to create a bond with all the other Biju. I got them to trust me. That's why this plan is entirely up to me. That's why I'm the only one capable of pulling this off. If I don't try, it's saying goodbye to all our hopes of winning this war and saving the world." Naruto said, trying to convince the Kyuubi.
Kurama stayed silent once more. Until, "…Alright Naruto. I'll do it. But if it gets too dangerous, I'm pulling you out of there. Understood?" He commanded.
"You got it!" He agreed. "And thank you."
"Heh…no problem. Don't die on me in there."
"You can bet I won't." He said reassuring his partner.
"Ok. Get ready! I'm sending you in now!" Kurama said.
Naruto closed his eyes. He heard nothing after a few seconds. No noise or anything. He knew at that point that Kurama had successfully transported him into the Juubi's mind. He slowly opened his eyes. He was stunned at what he saw. There was no ground. He was floating in midair. The surrounding space was nothing but a bunch of dark colors. A dark red, black, purple, grey, all swirling around him in random patterns. The colors were melded together and it created a dark atmosphere. Naruto opened the telepathic link with the Kyuubi again.
"Hey Kurama? Are you still there?" Naruto questioned.
There was no response.
"Kurama?" Naruto asked, trying to reach him again.
There was silence again at first, but then Kurama responded to him.
"Yes Naruto. I'm here. It seems we were successful in getting in." Kurama pointed out.
"Yeah…but what's with this place." He asked.
"I told you before. The Juubi is a being of no emotion and destruction. No physical object matters to him. His world is a free space of nothingness." Kurama explained.
"That's…sad." Naruto said. His expression falling to a saddened one.
"Who are you? How did you get in here?" A dark and menacing voice sounded from behind Naruto. Although it did not seem to possess any feeling behind its words.
Naruto recovered from his daze and spun around. A dark shadow was towering above him. A bolt of lightning flashed across the void revealing the form of the Juubi staring down at Naruto with its eye. The combined eye of the Rinnegan and the Sharingan. Naruto was shocked by its appearance and floated back a little in surprise. But he quickly regained his composure. He stared back up at the Juubi with determination in his eyes. The Juubi then spoke to him again.
"I'll ask you again. Who are you?" The Juubi repeated himself.
Naruto continued to stare at the Juubi, and then spoke. "My name is Naruto Uzumaki. I am the Jinchuriki of the Nine Tailed Fox, Kurama. He set up a link between your mind and my mind so that I could speak with you." Naruto answered.
"And what is it that you want to speak to me about? Be warned. If I do not like your answer, I will kill you." The Juubi threatened. Although it did not hold feeling behind its threat either.
"I want to ask you why you are causing so much destruction. Why you're letting Obito and Madara Uchiha control you." Naruto said bluntly.
"Why am I causing so much destruction?" The Juubi laughed. "Because it is in my nature. As for being controlled, I'm only toying with those two. I could break free at any time now. They may have the power of the Senju, but it isn't enough to contain me. The only reason I don't break free, is because I'm enjoying myself crushing the ones who stand against me outside of this world." The Juubi responded, also bluntly.
Naruto narrowed his eyes and stared at the Juubi. He didn't speak. Only stared. The Juubi got impatient waiting for him to say something.
"Why do you not speak, Naruto Uzumaki?" The Juubi asked.
"You're lying." Naruto stated.
"What was that?" The Juubi questioned.
"I know they are able to control you. If you were able to break free so easily, you would have already done it and attacked them as well by now." Naruto said.
The Juubi was silent. He eyed Naruto. He then spoke. "…Very perceptive. You're smarter than I gave you credit for." The Juubi complimented. "Yes. It is true. They are able to control me. For the moment. As time goes on, I grow stronger and their control weakens. But what is your point. Speak, Naruto Uzumaki!" The Juubi commanded.
"My point is, you shouldn't let them control you. I want to help you. But I also want you to stop attacking all those people. " Naruto stated, getting straight to the point.
"HAHAHA! YOU want to help ME?! Don't make me laugh! Oh wait…too late! HAHAHA!" Juubi roared in laughter at Naruto's comment. "Why in the hell would you want to help me? So you can just attempt to control me as well? I ANSWER TO NO HUMAN! I am a being whose sole purpose is to cause destruction! I am only doing what I was meant to do!" The Juubi retorted.
Naruto was shocked at the Juubi's sudden change in personality. The Juubi noticed this.
"Oh come now. Did you honestly think I held no feeling or emotion? I am a being of destruction! I take great pleasure is causing mayhem! Last I checked, Taking pleasure in something counted as feeling." The Juubi explained himself.
Naruto was still stunned. Kurama had been wrong. The Juubi did have emotion. This surprised Kurama more even than it did Naruto. Still, Naruto regained his composure and answered the Juubi's previous question.
"I don't want to control you at all. I feel like none of the Biju should be controlled. You are your own being. It's not right for you to be held captive by another. As for your purpose. I wonder about that."
The Juubi stared at Naruto. He seemed confused by his words. "And just what do you mean by, you wonder about that?"
"I mean, is that really why you are on this Earth?" Naruto asked.
The Juubi seemed to be confused even more now. "Get to the point boy. You try my patience." The Juubi commanded.
"You were sealed away by the Sage of Six Paths and then you were split into the nine tailed beasts. Correct?"
The Juubi seemed to be angered by the mention of the Sage. "Don't remind me. I have always hated him for that." The Juubi spat.
"But that's just the thing. You may have been separated into nine different forms, but they were still a part of you. They were created from you. Yet, they all were friends with the Sage. He treated them like they were their own being. With their own feelings and ideals. He didn't view them as monsters. He only did what he did to you because you were causing so much pain. But I'm sure he saw you as your own being too. The only reason he sealed you away was because he knew you wouldn't listen to reason. I'm sure he didn't want to do that to you. It must have hurt him, a man who only wanted to spread peace throughout the world, to have to go to such lengths to take away your freedom. The nine tailed beasts he created understood that. So deep down, you had to have felt it too." Naruto said, trying to reason with the Juubi.
"Naruto speaks the truth." Came Kurama's voice.
Naruto was surprised to hear Kurama speak, and to see him appear next to him.
"The Sage of Six Paths, my creator, did not want things to be this way. He spoke to the nine of us after we were created and told us that we were not monsters. But we were brothers. And that even if we were separated, we would still be connected. We knew no hate and saw no ulterior motives in his words. It was I…who created hate between us…after he died…I used to think I was the strongest because I had the most tails. I tried to forcefully make myself the leader of our group. The others didn't take well to my reasoning, and I alone caused the shift in our relationship. They sought to prove their worth and power because I belittled them. It was not because it was in our nature. But because I MADE it a part of our nature. I see now what I fool I was. I am no more powerful than they are. We are all equals. That is what our creator taught us before his passing. And I turned a blind eye to those teachings. I regret what I have done, and that is why I will do whatever it takes to make up for my past mistakes."
"Kurama…" Naruto said to himself.
Naruto smiled at Kurama's words. He really had changed since Naruto first knew him. Hearing what his partner said made Naruto even more confident in his words.
"…Very well. I'll humor you for the moment. Say all of this is true. Then what is my true purpose on this planet?" The Juubi asked.
"Think about it, Juubi. If the world was created to be inhabited by humans and other creatures a like, then why would one creature, you, be created to destroy it? I feel as though you were created to protect this world. With all the power you possess, you could easily stand up to anything. Including a threat to the planet. I think the Sage of Six Paths thought that too. That's why, when he split you into the nine tailed beasts, he preached to them to stay together and stay strong. Not just to protect one another, but to protect the world around them as well. Yes, you chose the path of destruction, but that's because you had that choice in the first place. Although, I think it was the opposite choice of what was intended of you. You had the freedom to choose your path. You are your own being. You are not weighed down by others to do their bidding. You can stop all this and fight to protect this world instead of destroying it. Right now, Obito and Madara are trying to seal you inside one of them to control your power. So they can control the world. But that isn't something they should get to decide. You can fight with us to protect this world from them. Please Juubi. You have to believe me! This is the right thing to do!" Naruto pleaded.
Kurama was proud of Naruto. He really had grown up. He had become wiser and he believed that he really could change the Juubi's views.
"…I've heard enough." The Juubi spoke.
"Huh?" Naruto questioned.
Suddenly, a black fog appeared and it started to engulf Naruto and the Nine Tails.
"SHIT! NARUTO! IT DIDN'T WORK! HE'S TRYING TO KILL US! WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW!" Kurama yelled to Naruto.
"NO! I WON'T LEAVE!" Naruto shouted back.
This took Kurama by surprise. "WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? NARUTO THIS IS NO TIME TO BE FOOLISH! DO YOU WANT TO DIE?"
"NO! I STILL BELIEVE IN THE JUUBI! I WON'T TURN BACK NOW!
Kurama wasn't able to finish. The black fog had already almost completely engulfed him. He could no longer see Naruto anymore.
"Damnit…" Kurama cursed, before everything turned black.
(Back in the outside world)
All the action had ceased. The Juubi was still and not attacking. Madara and Obito were confused and didn't know why the Juubi wasn't responding to their commands anymore. The rest of the Allied Shinobi Forces had stopped making moves as well. They knew that Naruto had put the plan into action, and as per Shikaku's final orders, remained patient to see the outcome of his last strategy.
"What's going on? Did we finally lose control of the Juubi?" Obito asked Madara.
"No. If that were the case it would have run rampant by now. No…something else is going on here…but what? Madara questioned. "What's more concerning is, why have the other shinobi not taken this opportunity to attack. They know something we don't." Madara stated, assessing the situation to the best of his knowledge.
"Do you think it's possible they found a way to stop the Juubi's movements?" Obitio questioned.
"I don't think so. If the two of us combined could not control it for long, there's no way these weaklings could." Madara responded.
Suddenly, Naruto coughed up blood. Everyone was shocked at the sudden change. Naruto began to fall backwards and collapsed to the ground. There was silence for a moment. Then Sakura was the one to break it.
"NARUTO!" She screamed.
"No…did he fail? Kakashi said to no one in particular.
Sakura ran towards Naruto, while Shikamaru, Kakashi, the rest of the rookie nine, and all the other shinobi in the Allied Forces watched on in horror. Sakura came to a sliding halt as she reached where Naruto had fallen. She checked his pulse and a look of terror plagued her face.
"No….this can't be…" She said weakly. "NOOO! NARUTO! YOU CAN'T BE DEAD!"
The rest of the shinobi gasped. They all couldn't believe it. Their last shot at winning this war was gone. Naruto was dead.
"No…Naruto…you…this can't be happening…" Hinata said in disbelief. She started to cry
"…Is it really true? Is he really gone? Kakashi whispered to himself, ready to break down.
"This is…impossible…Naruto can't die…we need him." Kiba said.
"Naruto…I'm so sorry." Shikamaru said sorrowfully.
The rest remained speechless. They couldn't find the words to express what they were thinking. Meanwhile, Sakura was bent over, her face buried in Naruto's chest sobbing.
"Hmm…well it seems we didn't have to lift a finger to kill him. He died on his own." Madara stated uncaring.
"It would seem so." Obito said. He stared at Naruto's lifeless body. "This just proves my point. There is truly…no hope, in this world." He stated in an indifferent voice.
Sakura was still crying on Naruto's chest. "Naruto! Please! You can't die now! We need you!...I…I need you." She whispered the last part.
Flashbacks played through Sakura's mind. She remembered the times when they were Genin on Team 7. She remembered all the times she rejected each of Naruto's date requests. How horrible she treated him for trying to interfere with her love for Sasuke. How he was always there when she needed somebody. When she needed protecting. Even after Sasuke had left the village, he had put aside his feelings for her and promised to bring him back to the village. All so she could be happy. She then remembered all the recent times they had together. Going on missions with the new Team 7, with Sai and Captain Yamato. How she was scarred for Naruto after she saw him turn into a miniature version of the Kyuubi, to take on Orochimaru. How desperately she wanted to be able to help him control himself after that. How scarred she was when Sasuke almost killed him when they found him in Orochimaru's lair. She then focused on the recent memories. When Sai told her about how Naruto couldn't tell her how he really felt because he couldn't keep his promise, to when she found him in the Land of Snow. How she lied about her feelings for him so she could take on the burden for him of killing Sasuke. And when she couldn't do it, and Sasuke was about to cut her down, he came to her rescue again. That's when she realized. All the things he had done for her, he had done out of love. And she found that when looking back on it, when she confessed to him in the Land of Snow, she wasn't lying. It had been true. It took her all this time to realize it, but she did love him. All this time, Naruto did so much for her, and it finally got through to her that Naruto was the one she wanted. Not Sasuke. It was Naruto. This caused her to cry even more now. She would never get to tell him now that she truly did love him. She would never get to go on dates with him, she would never get to kiss him, and she would never get to be with him.
"Oh Naruto…I'm so sorry. I was so blind. It took me all this time…but, I love you. I love you so much! And now you're gone. And I'll never get to be with you." She said in between sobs.
She collapsed her head into his chest again and cried even harder than before. Suddenly she felt an pulse of energy come from him. Her head shot up and she looked at him. Another pulse of energy shot out from him.
"Is it…is it possible?" She asked herself.
She quickly checked his pulse. It was there, and his heart was beating. She suddenly felt an enormous amount of chakra inside him.
"Wha-what is this chakra!?" She said surprised. "He…HE'S ALIVE! NARUTO'S ALIVE!" She shouted.
Everyone, including Madara and Obito, were taken by surprise at Sakura's statement.
"Impossible!" Obito spat. "She just said he was dead! He had no pulse!"
"Calm yourself Obito. Even if he is alive, it doesn't matter. He is still just as weak as the rest of them." Madara stated.
Obito calmed himself. "Yes. You're right."
Suddenly, the Juubi came to life once more. It roared and started to shake violently. Obito and Madara were hanging on for dear life. The only thing keeping them attached being the Senju cells they had implanted in the Juubi's head.
"What the hell is going on!?" Obito asked, shock in his voice.
"I don't know! I think we've lost control!" Madara stated back.
"Impossible! We still had plenty of control over it before!
They both looked down to where Naruto was to see him standing and staring at them. His eyes showing that he was in sage mode. Sakura was on her knees next to him, looking up at him in disbelief.
"Naruto Uzumaki…I have chosen to believe in your words." The Juubi spoke in Naruto's mind.
"Thank you, Juubi. I promise I won't betray your trust." Naruto said in his head, thanking the Juubi.
"You did well, kit. I should have believed in you more." Kurama said, praising Naruto.
"It's ok. You don't need to apologize. I can understand why you panicked."Naruto said to the Kyuubi.
"Naruto, take my power and use it well. Protect this world and everyone in it." The Juubi said to him
Suddenly, The Juubi began to glow in a white light that covered all its features except its silhouette. Madara and Obito panicked and jumped off the Juubi, afraid of what might happen if they stayed. Then, it split into the seven Biju it had absorbed to become whole once again. They all floated in midair.
"WHAT!? WHAT IS THiS!? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE JUUBI!?" Obito yelled.
"What happened was, he was tired of being controlled by you two, and decided to use his power to help put a stop to you." Naruto said, responding to Obito.
"WHAT? IMPOSSIBLE! HOW DO YOU KN-" Obito stopped and realization struck him.
"You…You were able to communicate with the Juubi in its own world. That's why you, the Juubi, and the rest of the Allied Forces ceased your attacks." Madara deduced.
Naruto simply nodded.
"And you were somehow able to convince it to change sides and ally itself with you." Obito finished.
"Correct." Naruto said.
"Damn you…DAMN YOU! YOU'VE RUINED EVERYTHING! THE MOON'S EYE PLAN CAN'T TAKE PLACE WITHOUT THE JUUBI! Obito shouted losing control of himself.
"I know. And that's as it should be. There was no way I was going to let you get away with your sick and twisted ambition" Naruto said coldly.
Obito growled at him. Madara kept his composure and wore his usual unimpressed expression. Sakura continued to stare at Naruto. He looked down at her and smiled softly.
"Thank you, Sakura. I heard everything you said." Naruto told her.
He knelt down and wrapped her in a tight hug. She was taken by surprise, but hugged him back. Not wanting to let go.
"I love you." She said to him in a whisper.
"I love you too." He said back to her. "Now go back with everyone else. It's going to get dangerous now, and I don't want you getting hurt." He told her.
She wanted to object, but she knew she would only get in the way at this point. She nodded and he released her from the hug. She went back to the rest of the group as he instructed and looked back at him. He had his back turned to her now. She smiled a little at him.
"Go get em', Naruto!" She cheered for him inside her thoughts.
Naruto stood silently, staring the two in front of him down. Obito looked like he was about to lose it and go berserk, while Madara was the same as ever.
"Naruto!" Came a familiar voice from above him.
He looked up and saw that the Four Tails, Son Goku was speaking to him.
"You've done well. Now let us help you. It's time we put an end to all this fighting." Son said to him.
Naruto smiled at him and nodded. "Alright, let's do it!" Naruto said.
The Biju started to glow and a ray of light shot up from each of them, one at a time. They all converged in air and shot down towards Naruto. It hit him dead on and created a gust of wind that caused everyone around to brace themselves. Even Madara couldn't withstand the pressure. When the light disappeared, Naruto was still standing. He looked unchanged. After the light disappeared, all the Biju turned into a ray of light, and shot in different directions.
"It's time we finished this. Your plans are shot and you have no hope of winning now." Naruto said.
"Screw you! Even without the Juubi, the two of us are still far more powerful than you and the rest of those shinobi combined." Obito spat.
"That may be true. But, how much of a chance do you think you'll stand against all nine Jinchuriki? Said a familiar gravelly voice.
"What?" Obito asked confused.
Just then, seven forms appeared from all different directions. Garra stood at the front, while the remaining six Jinchuriki stood behind him. They had all been revived. Bee joined them and stood next to Garra. He was smiling and looked confident.
"No…this isn't possible! HOW ARE YOU ALL ALIVE!?" Obito shouted, panicking.
"The Biju returned to our bodies and brought those of us who were dead, back to life." Garra spoke, explaining the situation.
"IMPOSSIBLE!" Obito yelled.
"Nothing is impossible when there is still hope in this world." Naruto spoke.
Obito shot his head towards Naruto. Naruto had his eyes closed now.
"And that hope…" Naruto's closed eyes were all that could be seen now. He opened them to reveal the Triagan. A combination of the Rinnegan, Sharingan, and Byakugan. "Is what is going to put a stop to you, once and for all."
It zoomed out to reveal him, and the other Biju standing not too far behind him, ready for battle.
To be continued