TWO DAYS AGO.
"Lord Orochimaru. You need calm down. You've just gotten in to your new body."
"My Sharingan. GONE! DAMN IT ALL! Months of planning, of preparation all DESTROYED." Orochimaru cried from his new body.
"SILENCE KABUTO! You are supposed to be my right hand. And yet you let the Kyubi brat destroy my chance of getting the Sharingan!"
"By the time I got there, there was nothing I could do. The forest was swarming with Leaf Ninjas and Sasuke was dead."
"The EYES! You could have taken the eyes at the very least! It would have at least given me something!"
"Sir. I couldn't do it."
"My lord….Zetsu was there." Kabuto stated nervously.
Orochimaru went silent almost immediately at hearing his former colleague's name. "Was it still wearing…."
"Yes sir, it was still wearing the Akatsuki uniform. Black with red Clouds."
"Did Zetsu follow the Kyubi brat?"
"Yes sir. It followed Naruto into the forest."
"….Prepare for evacuation."
"NOW! If he was in the Valley of the End then he may have seen you which compromises the base here. And if he captured the Nine tails….We have to go."
"Where to sir? Another hideout?"
"No. If Zetsu was there watching the battle then he must have known that Sasuke was coming here. Which means he knows that I had to change bodies. When he reports back to the others, he'll let them know I'm weakened. When that happens I want to be safely in my Village."
"Understood. I'll begin preparations."
"Be sure to make it quick." Orochimaru ordered.
"Obito…Rin….Minato sensei…..Lady Kushina…..I'm sorry. I've failed again."
Kakashi had been at the Memorial Stone ever since he took Sakura and Naruto back to their homes. Watching his students grieve like that only made his own grief grow exponentially.
"You know, When I heard how Sakura and Naruto were at their homes and you weren't, I was worried that you were going to do something drastic." The voice of a white haired pervert chimed in.
"…..The idea did cross my mind believe me. Espescially after hearing Naruto and Sakura…..You're here about him I take it." Kakashi replied not turning back to face him.
"Yes….He was part of the reason I went looking for you….But I want to help you as well."
At hearing this Kakashi very disturbingly laughed. "Help me with what exactly? Help me not to fail and get somebody else I cared about killed? You're a little late."
"Kakashi what happened with Sasukei wasn't….."
"It was COMPLETELY MY FAULT ! I was the one trained him. I was the one who taught him an Assassination technique he wasn't ready for. I failed to completely seal up the curse mark Orochimaru gave him. And when he tried to kill my sensei's son and my other student, all I did was give him a LECTURE!" Kakashi cried back to Jiraiya but still not turning to face him.
Jiraiya just remained silent and let Kakashi continue.
"When I was talking to the Council, I told them I didn't have an explanation as to why I showed favoritism to Sasuke. …..That isn't true.…I knew from the beginning Sasuke was on a darker path than Sakura and Naruto were. I also knew that if I let him stay on that path, he would end up going to someone like Orochimaru for the power to kill his brother…..I…I hoped that by teaching him powerful techniques he would become less and less focused on revenge and more focused on protecting his comrades, and the Village...But no…..I failed to take into account just how much hatred lied in Sasuke's heart…..And now he's dead and my other two students who I've spent little to no time with are devastated by it. This entire situation occurred because of me. Because I failed to be a decent teacher." Kakashi said his voice starting to weaken.
"Sakura and Naruto….those two deserve better teachers than me…Now they will be able to get it."
"….You're training Naruto, Sakura will likely become trained by Tsunade….. Both of you will be far better teachers than I ever was. Which leaves me one option."
"Kakashi, the last time you joined that place it almost destroyed you! If you go back….."
"It doesn't matter to me anymore….I've failed everybody I've ever known. This way I'll still be of some use." Kakashi said finally turning to face Jiraiya.
Seeing the look of sadness on Kakashi's face instantly reminded him of Naruto's.
"If you've made your decision, I won't stop you. But tell me something. What do you think Naruto and Sakura are going to do when they figure out that not only their teammate is gone, but their teacher has left them to grieve on their own?"
Kakashi's eyes widened hearing this.
"Kakashi…I understand what you are feeling right now. Believe me. But you can't let this situation destroy you. Whether you like it or not, you have people who need you. How do you think Guy would take it if you joined back with the Anbu, How would Naruto and Sakura react when they find out? These people care about you Kakashi even if you don't care about yourself.
Kakashi remained quiet allowing Jiraiya to continue.
"Let me tell you something. Remember Sarutobi sensei?"
Kakashi nodded remembering the Third.
"When the experiments that Orochimaru conducted were discovered and he failed to stop him from escaping….he took it hard… His prized student, the one he put the most focus on, had turned against the very Village that he had called home. He sealed himself off from the rest of us for a long time. Me, Tsunade, Minato, Biwako, everybody. He even talked about retiring and giving the job to me." Jiraiya stated with difficulty.
"…..How….. did he recover?" Kakashi asked weakly.
"The same way you recovered from Obito's death, Rin's death, and…Minato's. He realized that there are people who look up to him, and need him to be strong. If they saw him weakened and feeling sorry for himself, how would the people who look to him react? People needed him to stay strong Kakashi…..You and I needed him to be strong." Jiraiya stated remembering his fallen teacher.
" I'm glad you did have a reason for giving much of your time to Sasuke. Tsunade was ready to pound you into the next century. At least now I think she'll understand a bit…..She's still going to be pissed as hell though."
Kakashi actually cracked a smile at this. "Yeah. She probably will be."
When Naruto awoke he was expecting to find himself on the training field where he had met Sakura and Kakashi. Not in his apartment.
"The Hell? I could have sworn I was with….Kakashi and Sakura."
Naruto immediately became saddened about what he told them.
"The look on their faces. On Sakura's…. She probably hates me now."
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
A knock on the door broke him away from his thoughts.
He got out of his bed and went over to answer it. He was greeted with a not so pleasant surprise.
"Mr. Uzumaki, the Hokage would like to speak to you." An Anbu agent said emotionlessly.
Naruto just nodded his head and followed him to the Mansion.
As he was on his way to Tsunade's office he passed a friend of his.
"Shikamaru? What are you doing here?'
Hearing Naruto Shikamaru looked towards him."Just got done giving my report to the Hokage. It was a pain in the ass and boring but it had to be done. I'm glad to see you're up and about."
"Thanks. How are the others?" Naruto asked still worried.
"They all made it. Chouji, Neji, Kiba, Lee, they're all going to be fine. They were sent home today." Shikamaru replied relief evident in his voice.
Naruto breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness for that. How is Grandma by the way?"
"Pissed off more than usual. Why?"
"I'm supposed to meet her."
"Oh…Well you'll be fine."
"Thanks for the encouragement." Naruto thought to himself
" I'd like to talk more but dad wants me to get home, says he 's got something urgent to tell me, or something. See ya later." Shikamaru sighed as he walked past Naruto.
Naruto just waved and then headed into Tsunade's office if a bit worried.
Tsunade looked up to see Naruto and smiled. "I told you not to call me that brat."
"Well stop being old."
Tsunade couldn't help but smile at Naruto's antics.
"How are you holding up? And don't say your fine."
"I…I…I think I'm okay. It's just hard not to think about…..him." Naruto said with difficulty.
"I understand this is hard Naruto and I wish I could give you more time to grieve, but we need to discuss how to tell the Village about…Sasuke."
Naruto nodded. "Do you…..think they will ask for my…..death?" Naruto asked rightfully worried.
"No. I discussed that with the Village Council earlier. Some do not like what you've done but I've made it clear no one is to harm you. In fact almost everyone there was on your side.
"…..Really?" Naruto asked astonished.
"Yes. Most of the Clans agree that you were don't deserve to be punished for what happened."
Naruto once again breathed a sigh of relief. One of his biggest fears about coming back had been put to rest.
" Naruto, I am planning on telling the remainder of the Village in a few days. I'm not sure how they will react. I want you to be out of harm's way if things go badly."
"What do you mean?"
"When I give the announcement, I don't want you there."
"What?! I can't not be there when you tell them about it. I need to be there."
"Naruto, I'm sorry but I don't want you to get hurt if they take it the wrong way. You are not going to be…"
'THAT'S THE WHOLE REASON I DECIDED TO COME BACK!"Naruto suddenly screamed at Tsunade silencing her.
"Grandma…..After….After I …did what I did, I debated with myself for a really long time about leaving. I wasn't sure if you guys would kill me on sight for returning when you found out…I decided that, even though I was scared, I was a ninja of this Village, and I would face the consequences of what I did. No matter how negative they are."
Tsunade sat quietly listening to Naruto.
"If I'm not there when you make the announcement, I….I wouldn't be able to live with myself." Naruto finished. His head facing down toward the ground.
Tsunade continued to sit silently, her face unreadable. Before getting up and hugging Naruto.
"Naruto….. You're one brave brat." Tsunade said.
"….Will you let me stay?"
" I will. But I want to keep an eye on you for the next few days. That is not a discussion."
"Deal." Naruto said smiling.
"I also think it would be in your best interest if you talked to your friends about…the event before I tell the Village."
"But…Grandma…I'm not sure…."
" Naruto when this news goes public there will be a few who will look upon you vengefully, when that happens I want you to be protected by your true friends. Telling them will decide if they are or not. Its your choice though. I just figured I'd offer the advice." Tsunade replied.
"I'll…think about it" Naruto said looking slightly nervous.
"Good. Now that the….subject is out of the way, We need to talk about the Akatsuki."
"We." Another voice repeated from the window.
"Pervy Sage. I thought you would have left by now. You said you don't stick around here long." Naruto said semi surprised but happy to see his part time teacher.
"Well I need to head back out pretty soon, but we need to discuss what we're going to do about them."
"What do you mean? I thought you said they weren't going to start acting up for a few years."
"That's what I thought. However after one of them nearly captured you, I'm not so sure. That's twice now you've nearly been captured, which makes me think they're starting to move already."
"Wait a sec? The Akatsuki, they're goal is to get all of the Tailed Beasts right?" Naruto asked to make sure.
"So why don't we bring Gaara in on this?" Naruto asked. "He has the One Tailed Beast."
Jiraiya and Tsunade looked at each other before turning back to Naruto. "We were planning on doing that before he leaves for the Sand. Though now that you bring it up. We might as well bring him here now." Tsunade said summoning an Anbu.
"Find Gaara of the Sand and bring him here."
"Yes. Lord Hokage." The Anbu replied disappearing.
"Good. Now back to the matter at hand. Jiraiya was planning on taking you out into the world for training for a few years."
"Wait, I can't leave the Village. Not after….. that. I need to stay here."
"Let me finish brat." Tsunade said a tick mark appearing on her head. " However with this latest development, We're not so sure it's a good idea." Tsunade finished.
Naruto sighed in relief.
"If we keep you in the Village however, we run the risk of tempting the Akatsuki to launch a full assault on the Village. If that happens, a lot of our citizens will get killed."
Naruto's relief was cut short when he heard that fact. " Wait. If my staying here makes things harder for the Village, then…."
" Oh so now leaving is a good idea." Tsunade said annoyed.
"Look. I don't want to leave if I don't have to. But….. I don't want anyone to die over me. If it makes the Villagers safer…..I'll leave." Naruto said disheartened.
"Well the point is we don't know what we're going to do anymore." Jiraiya said. "However for the time being I think it would be better to stay here. At least until I figure out why the Akatsuki have moved on you twice now."
"I guess that will work." Naruto said content with the answer.
"I think that covers it…. Just take my advice into consideration." Tsunade said putting her hand on his shoulder.
Naruto slowly nodded. A few seconds later Gaara appeared in a swirl of sand.
"Lord Hokage, The Anbu said you wished to talk to me about something."
"Yes. Gaara, how much do you know about the group known as the Akatsuki?"
After bringing briefing Gaara on the organization, he and Naruto left leaving Jiraiya and Tsunade alone.
"Did he tell his team?"
"Yeah. I talked to Kakashi about it. It was hard for all of them." Jiraiya said sadly.
"Kakashi…..Did he tell you why?"
"He was trying to make Sasuke stay in the Village. He thought if he could teach Sasuke powerful attacks, he would gradually get over his need for vengeance and stay away from Orochimaru. Look. I don't think the guy needs a Tsunade style lecture. No offence." Jiraiya quickly added on. "The guy knows he screwed up, royally. But he had the village's best intentions in mind."
"You don't think Sarutobi sensei did when he favorited Orochimaru over us? That doesn't excuse what he did Jiraiya."
"I know but….. I don't want what happened to Sarutobi to happen to him. Everyone turning on him and telling him he screwed up. When he knows he did already. It's not fun to witness…or experience."
Tsunade sat quietly for a moment before sighing. "Seeing Hiashi again bring back some painful memories?"
"Look….. I can't let Kakashi off the hook, even if I wanted to. If it were just between the three of us then maybe, but since Danzo told the Council, they'll want him punished. A teacher is not supposed to show favoritism in a squad. You know this better than anyone."
"Yeah… I did the exact same thing Sensei did. And Kakashi did the same thing we did. You'd think we would have learned by now. It's the next generation's job not to make the same mistakes as the previous ones and yet we still do." Jiraiya said sadly.
"…Let's face it. This whole thing is Orochimaru's fault. If he didn't want the Sharingan none of this would have happened." Tsunade said opening one of the drawers in her desk.
"And like always, we have to clean up the messes he makes. This one might be too big for us to fix."
Tsunade tossed a bottle of her private stash to Jiraiya. "Well then just be glad I'm here to help you deal with it."
"So you killed him…." Gaara stated a bit surprised from atop the Hokage Mountain, remembering Sasuke from the Chunin Exams.
"Do you feel like you had any other choice?"
"…I knew I did. But…. I couldn't stop myself." Naruto said gesturing to his stomach.
"… All this time, I thought you had control of your demon."
"….So did I." Naruto said saddened.
"Why are you telling me this Naruto?" Gaara asked confused why Naruto decided to tell him before some of the others.
"I told you because, you know what it's like to have a demon urging you to destory… I'm not sure how the others will take it. Sasuke was there friend too, when I tell them about….what happened. I'll have to tell them about the Kyubi too. With those two facts together…. I could lose them." Naruto said worried.
"Gaara… I thought I could save him. I knew I could but…. It didn't happen."
"…..Sometimes things don't play out how we think they should, and we end up losing the people we care about." Gaara said remembering. "I had to kill my uncle as a child to stay alive. He was the father that I didn't have."
Naruto looked over to his friend surprised. "Does it go away? The pain of killing someone you care about?" Naruto asked.
"…No. It weakens over time, but it never goes away."
Naruto looked down saddened again.
"You definitely handled it better than I did though. Killing my uncle was the catalyst for turning me into the monster you saw during the Chunin Exams. You're far stronger than I was. " Gaara said looking over to him.
"All I wanted to do was bring him back home." Naruto said looking over the Village. "If I couldn't save him… How can I ever be Hokage?"
"… A Kage is not perfect Naruto. They are human beings. They can't save everyone." Gaara told him standing up.
"…I thought I could." Naruto said also standing up. "Thanks for listening."
"You're welcome. You said you wanted me to drop you off at the Hyuga Compound?" Gaara said re-making a sand cloud.
"Yeah. I need to drop by and thank Hinata and see Neji."
Gaara nodded and motioned for Naruto to step on to the cloud.
Shino closed the door behind him which lead into the Inuzuka Compound and began to make his way to the Hyuga compound remembering his conversation with his teammate.
"So you and Akamaru are okay?"
"Yeah, we were banged up but we're okay. Right buddy?"
"Arf! Arf!" Akamaru barked in agreement.
"So what's up? Where's Hinata?"
Shino's silence comfirmed his fears.
"Oh for… You guys are the ones who went out after Naruto didn't you?"
"What would you have had me do? I wasn't going to leave a friend out there."
"Shino I didn't mean it like that. If it was me I would have gone after the idiot too. But Hinata….She was already in enough trouble with her family as it was since the Chunin Exams. With this on top of it…I don't want anything bad to happen to her." Kiba said worried.
"I agree. I'm going over to her Compound later."
"Well let's go then…..Argh!" Kiba said trying to get out of bed before clutching his side in pain.
"Kiba your wounds aren't fully healed yet. You need to stay here."
"No, I have to…"
"You have to rest. I don't want to carry you to the hospital again." Shino said firmly.
"….Just make sure she's all right." Kiba said.
"I intend to." Shino responded. "Trust me. But I have to check on some things first"
"…..I guess we didn't get Sasuke back did we." Kiba saddened.
"I am sorry Kiba." Shino said with a hint of sadness evident in his voice.
"Well…. I hope Naruto isn't beating himself up over it."
Shino only nodded in response.
As Shino made his way to the Compound, he began thinking on the creature they met in the forest.
He had searched more than half of the Aburame Clan Archives and came across nothing. No picture, no name, nothing, Even though he was certain he had heard the name before.
"Not a single mention, I'll probably have to ask the Hokage later, if the Library doesn't work out.." He decided coming upon the compound.
However in front of him he noticed two people….getting off a sand cloud.
"You're sure you don't want to visit her?"
"I don't want to frighten her. The last time we came into contact with each other was in the forest of Death."
"Oh…..Well see ya later than." Naruto said.
Gaara nodded before flying back to where ever he was staying at.
Before Naruto knocked on the door he noticed Shino.
"Shino? I thought you had to stay at home."
"I needed to stay at home for one day so my insects could get used to my body. As long as I don't do any fighting, its okay for me to roam the Village."
"Ah…..So why are you here?"
"I'm on my way to the Village library. I'm trying to gather more information on the Zetsu creature we met in the forest." Shino said simply.
" Oh, I'm just stopping by to visit Hinata." Naruto said simply.
"Hmm, I see. Let me give you some advice Naruto. Keep yourself under control, the Hyuga take respect very seriously." Shino said in his usual tone of voice.
Naruto gave a confused look, but nodded."No problem. "
Shino waved before continuing on his way to the Library and then to the Hokage.
When Shino was out of sight, Naruto took a deep breath and knocked on the door. He was greeted almost immediately.
"Can I help you, Mr. Uzumaki?" A young man in his late twenties asked opening the door.
" Yeah I would like to talk to Hinata, if that's okay?" Naruto said.
"…I did not know Lady Hinata was expecting company. I will see if she can see you. Wait a moment." The Hyuga said closing the door.
After a few minutes he returned. "Lady Hinata would like to speak to you. Please come in."
Now Naruto knew the building was going to be huge the moment he saw it from the outside. However, when he saw the inside of the compound, it took his breath away. The place was at least twice the size of the Aburame Compound.
"This way please…" The Hyuga man said leading him down a hallway.
"Your clan's house is huge."
"This is only the Main family's house. There is another compound for the Branch Familes directly behind this one." The man stated emotionlessly.
"Oh…..right." Naruto said remembering the division between the two houses. "So…..what's your name?"
" I am Ko. Lady Hinata's body guard." Ko said simply not turning to look at him.
"Yes, as heir to the Hyuga clan, she was under constant danger as a child. I protected her and still do when needed."
"Wow…." Naruto said once again amazed.
"Please wait here Mr. Uzumaki." Ko said gesturing to a door they stopped in front of.
Naruto nodded and Ko disappeared further down the hallway. After a few minutes passed Naruto was starting to get annoyed.
"What's taking him so long? All I wanted was to talk to Hinata and Neji." Naruto said to himself.
A few more minutes passed until Naruto saw someone open a door further down the hall and began walking his way. He expected it to be Ko but as the Hyuga got closer Naruto realized it was a different Hyuga. Naruto being the impatient person he is decided to find them himself.
"Excuse me, can you tell me where Hinata and Neji are?" Naruto asked the child Hyuga.
Up until this point the kid Hyuga had kept his face to the ground not looking at Naruto. However as soon as he was talked to directly he looked up to Naruto.
Naruto nearly jumped back at the sight of the child who couldn't have been more than seven. His forehead had a huge burn mark across it, that no child should have, and at the the center of it was the same seal he saw on Neji.
"I'm sorry sir, I….don't know where they are." The kid said in a scared tone as if Naruto would hit him if he told him."
"No no. It's okay." Naruto said in a comforting tone. "What…..What happened to you?"
"I just got my seal." The kid said still in pain and pointing to his head. "I need to go back to my room and rest."
"But…..you can't be older than seven."
"That's when we get our seals. On our seventh birthday." The kid said simply. "I need to get home, nice to meet you." He finished before walking past him putting his hand over his head.
Naruto went stone faced for a minute and looked directly at the door the kid came out of.
"That's where they…..give seals." Naruto thought to himself.
Without knowing it his body began moving to the door.
"Sakura? Sakura are you okay?"
"Sakura come on, you've been in your room ever since Kakashi brought you home. You can tell us what's wrong."
"Sakura honey,please…..just tell us something."
Sakura just remained quiet as her parents kept speaking worriedly outside her door.
"Sasuke is dead."
That thought had haunted her mind since she woke up. For the better half of her life she had cared for Sasuke like she hadn't for anyone else in her life and now he was gone, and it was her fault.
"I killed him… I killed him. If I hadn't begged Naruto to go…he would still be alive." Sakura said blaming herself.
Suddenly her previously locked door was opened though she didn't seem to care.
"Sakura…... do you mind if I come in?" Tsunade said putting the previously attached door knob on Sakura's clothes drawer.
Sakura didn't respond and just continued sitting quietly on her bed.
"Uh….Sorry about the knob, I was just worried." Tsunade said trying to lighten the mood.
Sakura continued to be quiet.
Tsunade sighed before continuing. "Sakura….I know what you're thinking right now."
"You're thinking that you caused all of this. That Sasuke is gone because of you, that all of this could have been avoided if you hadn't asked Naruto to go after him."
"Sakura that's not true…"
"Yes it is." Sakura interrupted simply.
"No it's not Sakura. What happened was…."
"all my fault." Sakura finished.
"Sakura you can't…"
"I'M NOT GOING TO DENY IT OR TRY AND BLAME ON NARUTO! I KILLED SASUKE!" Sakura yelled getting up.
While caught off guard, the outburst was expected and Tsunade let her continue.
"I…..I WAS A WEAKLING! I COULD N'T MAKE HIM STAY MYSELF AND I BEGGED SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT FOR ME! Sakura said building up chakra into her fist. "I STOOD BEHIND AND CRIED LIKE A COWARD WHILE MY FRIENDS AND NARUTO WENT OUT AND NEARLY DIED OVER SOMETHING THAT WAS MY FAULT! IF I…..I COULD HAVE KNOCKED HIM OUT WHEN HE WAS STILL HERE OR I COULD HAVE JUST….DONE SOMETHING!" Sakura finished slamming her fist into her wall creating a crater and leaving a massive crack all across it.
"…..I didn't know you figured out my secret."
"…..I was planning on surprising everyone when they brought back Sasuke…" Sakura said calming down.
Tsunade nodded her head before moving over to Sakura. When she was closer she put her hand on her shoulder.
"Sakura….I may know better than anybody else what it feels like to lose someone you loved and thinking you could have done something to save them."
"Your husband Dan?" Sakura asked remembering Tsunade mentioning him a couple of times.
"Yes…I lost him after he was wounded in a battle. I, the so called best medic in the entire world, wasn't able to save my husband." Tsunade said her eyes beginning to tear up at the memory. "For the longest time I spent my life thinking I could have saved him if I had done one thing different."
"But….you tried to save him. I….."
"You went out with Shino and Hinata to find him and Naruto didn't you? You tried to save him too." Tsunade reminded her.
"Sakura, we can't change what's already occurred. We don't have that power. What's important to us is that we don't stay on those things. We have to move on with our lives." Tsunade said removing her hand from Sakura's shoulder.
While Sakura still looked depressed, Tsunade came up with another idea. "So to help you move past this. I think I'll move our training exercise up a bit." Tsunade said with an evil smile.
Sakura just looked at her with a response that said Now?
"Don't give me that look. The sun is shining and you look like you need to hit some more things. Let's go." Tsunade said walking out of her room.
Sakura, who should have been distressed by the idea, followed clenching her fist.
"Another excellent procedure I think. Young Seiji was able to leave the room and there was minimal complaining."
"I still think this was a bad idea. You know Hiashi likes to attend these when they happen." A noticeably younger Hyuga in green robes that couldn't have been older than thirty asked.
"His presence is not needed. Besides Osamu, do you want to be the one to remove him from watching his daughters train?" The elder Hyuga replied.
"Exactly. We are simply dealing with a matter that Lord Hiashi doesn't need to waste his time with."
"Quite right Ryota." An older Hyuga in brown robes replied. "Hiashi need not waste his time with these matters. Now how are we going to deal with Mr. Uzumaki?"
"Lord Yuu?" Ryota asked wondering what he was talking about.
"We have a guest standing just outside the door. Yuu said louder so that the intruder could here him.
Ryota and Osamu turned towards the door that Seiji exited through. The door then opened.
"I was wondering how you guys knew it was me. But then I remembered the Byakugan."
Naruto said coming in.
"What are you doing here Uzumaki? This is the Hyuga compound." Ryota said venom in his voice.
"I was just here to visit some friends. When I saw a kid come out of this room with his forehead having a serious burn and a seal." Naruto said venom in his own voice evident. "So you're the assholes who do it."
"Watch what you say Uzumaki. You are speaking to the elders of the Hyuga clan." Ryota replied standing up. "And you will show respect to the most powerful clan in the Village."
Naruto laughed at this. "The most powerful?! You guys separate your own family! You're supposed to look out for each other, not put seals on kids to limit them!"
"The business of the Hyuga clan is none of yours Uzumaki." Ryota replied.
"It is since I'm going to be the Hokage." Naruto said moving a step closer to them.
Lord Yuu who had stayed silent at that point saw an opening. "The Hokage? After what you did to the Uchiha? You're dreams really are boundless aren't they."
The temperature in the room changed drastically as soon as Lord Yuu said it.
" Don't you talk about Sasuke."
"Why? You're the one who killed him." Lord Yuu continued with little emotion.
"Listen you old asshole. What happened with Sasuke is….."
"None of my business? You are correct." Yuu said standing up. "And just like that the Uchiha isn't my business, the Hyuga clan isn't yours. So it would be wise for you to exit this room and go back to where you came from."
Naruto stared at Yuu rage building up in his mind.
"That's it. Rip them to shreds!" a delighted voice from his mind urged him
"What's going on here?" A voice asked coming into the room.
All four of the inhabitants turned to the voice in question and saw that it belonged to the head of the Hyuga clan.
"Lord Hiashi, I thought you were…." Osamu started.
"Preoccupied? That's no excuse. When you perform the sealing you ALWAYS come and find me." Hiashi said his killer intent rising.
"Our deepest apologies Lord Hyuga." Yuu stated bowing along with Ryota and Osamu.
"Yuu…If this happens again…."
"I assure you my lord it won't." Yuu finished standing up. He gave Naruto one last look before exiting the room with Ryota and Osamu.
With them gone Hiashi turned to Naruto. " Mr. Uzumaki, what are you doing in this room?"
"Look, all I wanted to do was talk to Hinata and Neji. I didn't intend on barging into different rooms, but….."
"Then don't barge in. keep your emotions in check, and you wouldn't have that problem." Hiashi told him." It would take away one of your many flaws."
" Oh you want to talk about flaws." Naruto said taking a step toward Hiashi his anger boiling again. "I can think of a few myself for the way you guys treat your family."
As the two stared at each other, another person came into the room.
"N-Naruto?" A shy voice asked recognizing him.
Naruto turned toward the person recognizing her immediately. "Hinata?"
MANY MILES OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE.
"Itachi you do realize they'll be expecting us since we were already here." A blue skinned man pointed out.
"And that matters to you, Kisame?" Itachi asked emotionlessly.
"No. If anything that makes things interesting." Kisame said smiling revealing shark like teeth. "I'm just saying that because you're usually a more stealthy kind of guy. This out in the open type of stuff isn't like you. Besides our orders were to track down Orochimaru's hideout, not to get the Nine Tails."
" Do you honestly want to waste your time looking for a hideout that Zetsu will find in no time? I don't. So we might as well try to get the Nine Tails. We tried to go in secretly before and it failed. This time we do it your way. " Itachi finished.
"Well now, you must be really pissed at the Nine Tails for killing you brother before you could." Kisame said chuckling.
"All right. I'm with you. Let's go catch a fox." Kisame said smiling grasping Sharkskin's handle on his back.
Itachi just remained silent as the pair made their way closer to the Village.
MEANWHILE MANY MILES FURTHER AWAY.
"Not a single person left." White Zetsu said as he roamed the hallways of Orochimaru's now abandoned hideout.
"You're surprised? Orochimaru is difficult to track for a reason. He doesn't leave witnesses. Or clues."
"He doesn't but my spy does." Sasori said as he made his way to Zetsu.
"You found something?" White Zetsu asked.
Sasori then whipped his metal tail toward the ground showing Zetsu an impailed Sound headband.
"This narrows it down but gives us a problem. He's gone back to the Sound." Sasori said disappointed.
"Well better get back to Leader. He'll want to know about this." Black Zetsu said warping himself and Sasori underground.
"Hide behind your village all you like. Soon Orochimaru….. Soon you will pay for betraying us." Sasori thought to himself as he disappeared.