Naruto and Sakura walked slowly to the training grounds with Azumi between them. They were only a few days away from having to leave her behind and maybe never see her again. They both needed to train but they wanted to keep her by their side until the very last moment they could. Azumi started to run ahead as they reached the training grounds where they saw several of their friends sitting.
"yo!" they heard as they stopped beside their friends. "You gonna train?" Kiba asked.
"Yeah, gotta get a bit in before we go out." Naruto told him. "What's everyone doing here?"
"We all want to train to make sure we're all up to our best when we need to be." Tenten said.
"Let's all train together." Lee shouted. "Combine the power of youth and we will get out training accomplished!" he took off running around the village.
"What a weird-o." they heard and found Obito walking up with the others. "What's up with him?"
"Lee? That's nothing. Wait till he doesn't complete what he set for himself." Tenten said with a smile. "Guy-sensei and he are just alike."
"You can say that again." Neji commented.
"yo Naruto, you wanta duel?" Kiba asked making Naruto grin but before he could open his mouth they heard Obito again.
"How bout we duel? I want to see what you're made of anyway."
"sure." He smirked as he pulled the large scrolls he was carrying over his shoulder and moved them to sit along his back.
"Naruto, don't overdo it. You're just getting your chakra back." Sakura warned Naruto only grinned at her. "Azumi, come over here." She called and waited for the little girl to run over. The friends backed up to find a place to watch safely.
"Actually, I think I want to see how far they've come since the last time." Kakashi smiled as he dug in his pocket while Naruto and Sakura looked at each other.
"Guess that trick won't fool you again huh?" Naruto laughed as Kakashi pulled the bells from his pocket. "But, you really should know what you're getting into."
"I'm well aware of what I've heard." Kakashi smiled as Naruto and Sakura glanced at each other before shrugging. "How bout we make this one an hour?" the two looked at each other not knowing if they would be able to pull it off.
"You two scared or something?" Obito taunted.
"Come at me with-"
"The intent to kill." Naruto and Sakura said at the same time. Sakura sighed as she pulled her gloves on.
"You're only doing this because we're still low on chakra." Kakashi smiled as everyone else settled down to shrugged as he quickly created shadow clones and charged being caught like every time they had done the test.
"Again, Naruto?" suddenly the Naruto he was holding was gone in a poof of smoke. Kakashi slid his forehead protector up to reveal his sharingon that he had gotten from Obito. They all sat looking around trying to find the until Sakura came from one side and Naruto from another side he jumped out of the way last minute and watched as the two were on the path of collision when suddenly Naruto grabbed Sakura's arm and threw her towards Kakashi. The others watched amazed at how well the two moved together and knew everything the other would do. They had never seen anyone else so precise. It took no time at all for them to grab the bells triumphantly as the two children stopped running around to stand by the adults.
"You seem good as a team, but how good are you separately?" Obito asked as he came forward. "One of you wanta go?" Sakura rolled her eyes as Naruto smirked.
"Play nice boys." She said as she walked over to get a hug from Azumi. "Take it easy Naruto." She called to him. He nodded as he set up ready to grab his kunai. As Obito activated his sharingon and threw his kunai Naruto disappeared making Obito's eyes go wide. He looked around watching for any sign of Naruto when suddenly there was a large red toad in front of him. He jumped back and almost lost his balance as he fell into a large yellow one. He turned back ready to fight as he heard Sakura call to him.
"You're not going to get anywhere when Naruto's playing games."
"Daddy will win!" Azumi giggled as she sat in Sakura's lap. "Daddy can beat anyone." Sakura smiled and gave her daughter a small hug as several of the others chuckled.
"Your father can do anything huh?" she watched the little girl nod happily. "That's what he thinks too."
"My daddy's better!" Sakumo called from the other side of the group making them look back and forth between the two children who continued to argue to Kakashi who stood next to Sakura as the two adults shook their head. The two children went silent when they heard a loud crash causing dust to come flying from where Obito was standing. Once the dust cleared they saw Naruto and Obito holding steady with their kunai crossed. Suddenly Naruto disappeared and came from another side looking slightly different. Naruto came at him faster and with stronger strikes, that's when the others saw the change of his clear blue eyes to that of a toad. Tsunade walked up quietly only a few noticed until she spoke.
"He playing games."
"That's Naruto for you. He can never be completely serious." Sakura told her.
"Daddy gonna win, right granny?" Azumi asked from her seat in her mother's lap.
"Your father will win if he wants to." She smiled at her as Minato, Kushina and Rin watched the fight. "Although I think he should stop playing around and wasting chakra when he needs to save it for the upcoming events."
"What's this about wasting chakra?" Naruto said as he popped next to them.
"Naruto, that's cheating." Sakura scolded him as he sat down next to her and Azumi climbed into his lap.
"It's only cheating if I'm actually sitting out." He laughed as the others looked at him. "I wanted to see it from the outside, it looks like I'm missing something but I just can't-" Sakura pulled Azumi off his knee and pushed her chakra into the clone making it pop.
"It's still cheating." She smiled as she saw him glance at her with a smirk. After a few more minutes an ANBU showed up next to Tsunade. And handed her a note.
"Naruto!" just as he was about to hit Obito he jumped to the side and shadow jumped over to Tsunade. "Looks like you'll need to head out early. We just received information that Sasuke is at the border of sound and swamp. Hurry up before the others arrive and you have to have an all out battle." Naruto and Sakura nodded as the other gathered around. "Take who you think is going to be needed."
"No don't go!" Azumi cried as Naruto bent down and picked her up. "no." she cried into his shoulder holding on tight as Tsunade addressed the others.
"Azumi, we'll be back before you know it. It's just like all the other times." Sakura explained. "You get to stay with Granny and grandma who give you everything you want."
"We'll bring you back something extra special. How's that sound?" Naruto tried and gave a small smile when she gave a small nod. "Once we get back and get everything figured out, I'm sure Granny will let us stay home with you for a while." He smiled and looked at Tsunade who glanced at him from the corner of her eye. "ain't that right Granny?" she looked at the crying girl that made her want to end it all herself so that the girl didn't have to go another moment without her parent constantly beside her.
"As soon as this mess is all cleared up." Ino walked over and took her from Naruto's arms as she cried harder.
"Would you like to stay with me for a little while?" Ino asked the girl who only cried and reached for Naruto and Sakura.
"We'll be the only ones going." Naruto told Tsunade. "We should be alright."
"At least take two people with you. The reports say he is with three others."
"We'll go." Kushina offered for herself and Minato who gave a nod.
"Then get going. We don't have time to waist." She ordered as Sakura kissed Azumi goodbye and Naruto spoke to her quietly to calm her down before he kissed her goodbye and turned to walk with the others.
"What did he say to make her stop crying?" asked Tenten.
"Remind me to hit the brat when he gets back." Tsunade said as she turned and started off mumbling about the stupid brat trying to make trouble for her.
"He told her to mess with Tsunade and piss her off like all the stories Sakura tells her about him." Ino laughed as Azumi giggled him her arms.
"He's getting her started even earlier." Kakashi sighed.
"What a drag." Shikamaru said as he, Choji and Neji went to gather who they could from the sand village that were in the village. Kakashi, Rin and Obito started off towards earth to find help, Kiba, Hinata, Shino and Tenten started toward the river country to find whatever ninja that were left to help.
"You realize Tsunade's going to kill you when we get back." Sakura warned Naruto who chuckled as they all ran along towards where Sasuke had been sighted. Minato and Kushina watched wondering exactly what had gone on. "It's not funny; you know how she can get."
"What went on?" Kushina asked. "What are you two talking about?"
"Naruto told Azumi to do what he used to." She gave him a stern look as he laughed. "If the ANBU come looking for her I'm giving them you. You can deal with Tsunade too." This made him laugh harder as his parents looked at him confused
"When Naruto was younger he was the trouble maker in the village. He skipped class, was always in trouble with everyone, had the ANBU chasing him, was dead last in school because he never went. He even painted all over the Hokage Monument. That's not even starting on the things he taught Konohamaru." She said as Naruto almost fell but caught himself on another tree branch. Both his parents looked at him as if expecting an explanation.
"It was funny and you know it." He smiled at her as she shook her head. "You have to admit that the ANBU were pretty bad. Never did catch me." He chuckled.
"ANBU chasing you?" Minato spoke up wanting to know what the story was behind this.
"Yeah. The third had the ANBU out to get me and several jonin." He pauses and thought for a few moments. "ya know. Iruka-sensei was the only one that was able to ever get a hold of me."
"Yeah, and he had to tie you up to keep you there." Sakura giggled remembering every time Iruka had been late to class just so he could drag the complaining, tied up Naruto behind him.
"I really hope you didn't just tell your daughter to do that stuff." Kushina said with a sigh. She and Minato both knew exactly how bad Tsunade's temper could get, and they knew that if the girl did the wrong thing at the wrong time…. Anything could happen.
"Eh. Granny won't do anything to her." Naruto told them making Sakura giggle again.
"No she'll wait till we get home and make sure Naruto never does anything stupid again."
"Then I'll just have to do something that will make her forget." He smirked and glanced at the frowning Sakura.
"Don't you dare do it. I will leave you there and you know it."
"What are you planning Naruto?" Kushina asked as she and Minato came up to run beside them.
"He was thinking of pulling the sympathy card." Sakura said giving him a small glare as he chuckled and shook his head. "He does something where he is stupid and gets hurt and she'll forget about anything that happened before." His parents looked over at him as he gave her a small smile.
"Don't worry Sakura-can. I'll be too busy kicking Sas-gay's ass to have time to do anything like that." He told her as she relaxed a bit knowing that he wouldn't be completely reckless. She gave him a small smile at the name he had used for Sasuke all those years before. The four continued to run as fast as they could to get the Sasuke so that they might finally end the promise that Naruto had made to Sakura so many years ago.
Finally after traveling for a week and a half to get to where the rumors really started to pick up about Sasuke. Naruto and Sakura started finding their sources and talking to those they knew to get any information they could while Minato and Kushina stayed back and started planning out the battle.
"They just left a few minutes ago. If we get going now we should meet up with them in no time and we can end this once and for all." Naruto said as the two walked up to them. The four shot off following Naruto as he led the way. Sakura stayed beside him as they both tried to get past the thought that if something went wrong they may never see Azumi again. Minato and Kushina traveled behind them not truly realizing what this battle really meant. Sakura gave a nod to Minato and Kushina who fell back as Naruto and she went faster and finally stopped right behind Sasuke.
"Sasuke." Sakura called as they landed and made the group turn and look at them.
"You two finally caught up with me." Sasuke said with an evil smirk. "Thought you never would."
"Sasuke, this is the very last time we'll ask." Sakura watched Sasuke laugh as Naruto clenched his fists.
"Guess that means we pick up where we left off. Eh, dobe?" his dark gray eyes burrowed into Naruto's bright blue ones. The two know this had to be the last time they fought. One of them had to win. Naruto pulled his sage chakra and watched as Sasuke moved faster than a human eye could see as he pulled several kunai and threw them at Sakura. She blinked and found Naruto in front of her blocking the kunai form hitting her.
"This fight is between you and me Sasuke. Let's finish this now." He yelled as Sasuke smirked.
"I see you still have a soft spot for little, weak, Sakura." He mocked as Sakura walked out from behind Naruto and pulled her gloves on. "Oh, the little girl wants to fight?"
"Sakura, this one's between us. If things start going wrong get out of here. No sense in loosing both of us." He told her under his breath as she glanced at him knowing he was talking about Azumi.
"We went into all of this together and we'll get out of it together." She smirked as Karin took a step forward ready to fight.
"Karin, take Sakura. Suigetsu, Jugo. Make sure there's nothing left." He smirked as he continued to stare at Naruto as he began to get angrier. "Let's go dobe." He suddenly disappeared and showed up behind him. The two began jumping and clashing kunai and sword every which way as Sakura began fighting Karin, Suigetsu and Jugo. It didn't take long for them to finally catch her. Suigetsu came down with his giant sword for a killing blow before Sakura could move and was surprised when it was stopped. He looked up to see Minato standing over Sakura blocking the sword with his kunai while Kushina helped Sakura get out of the way.
"I can handle Jugo. Can you take Karin?" Sakura asked as she caught her breath.
"Are you sure?" Sakura nodded as Kushina sighed and got ready to fight the young woman. Sakura closed her eyes and took a deep breath before she got up to start on Jugo. She ran as fast as she could at him ready to punch.
"Looks like your precious Sakura is going to die." Sasuke taunted as Naruto gritted his teeth and attacked with more rage.
"You have no idea what Sakura's capable of. You don't know anything anymore and if you keep going the way you are, I…. Will…KILL YOU!" he screamed as he rammed into Sasuke as he gathered lightning clouds above him. The other stopped for a split second to see what happened and saw Naruto ram Sasuke as Lighting shot out of the sky down to hit both of them. Sakura gasped as Naruto hit the ground not far from where Sasuke landed and they both didn't move. Just as Sakura was about to run to him Jugo attacked. The others continued to fight to finish off the others while Naruto and Sasuke were out. Suddenly everyone felt an irry shiver run down their spines before they looked up and found Naruto slowly getting up with a red tint all around him. Sakura tried to work her way over but Jugo just wouldn't let her anywhere near the two as Sasuke began to get up laughing.
"So the true Naruto comes out." Naruto stood up and shifted his blood red eyes over everyone fighting to stop on Sasuke. "What's the matter?"He asked as Naruto crouched and growled as four bubbles of chakra formed and grew into tails at the base of his back. Naruto charged time after time nearly killing Sasuke several times. Naruto continued to fight through the minor and major wounds as if nothing had happened, this fight was beginning to wear on Sasuke and the final hit was one Naruto and Sasuke never saw as they both used the jutsu they were taught by their senseis. Naruto pulled his fox chakra and created the Four-Tailed Fox Menacing Ball while Sasuke pulled all of his remaining chakra and created the chidor senbon. The attacks both landed a direct hit to both throwing them in separate directions hard. Sakura took the chance to pull a sneak move she had learned while traveling and hit Jugo in the back of the head as hard as she could making him fall with a dull thud before she saw Naruto and Sasuke both stand back up as blood flowed from both of them heavily. Minato and Kushina both finished their fights and watched as Naruto began to transform even farther.
"Naruto! No!" Sakura screamed at the top of her lungs, afraid that if he continued kyuubi would be let out and he would be lost forever. Sasuke and Naruto were only two yards away from each other when Sakura hit the ground creating a wall between the two and knocking them back hard. She thought she timed it right but when she looked up the two fell back from their last attacks. Naruto had been turned back to himself only moments before she hit the ground and he stumbled and fell back as Sakura ran to him. "Naruto." She whispered.
"Sakura-chan." He whispered in a horse voice making him wince. "He had no mercy." He tried to chuckle but was stopped by a coughing spurt as blood began to fill his mouth. "He should still be alive…. That attack….only to knock him out." He gasped as Sakura laid him on the ground and began to help heal as the Kyuubi tried to do his part.
"Naruto, stop. Save your strength. Let Kyuubi and I heal." Tears began to slide down her cheeks as Minato dropped Sasuke down beside them. Sakura glanced over to see him still conscious.
"Good fight dobe."
"Told you I would beat you." Naruto gasped as Kushina knelt on the other side of him. "Take him back to the village. Tsunade will know what to do with him."
"Naruto, don't you dare talk like that." Sakura cried. "You can drag his sorry ass all the way back." She watched his eyes start to close. "You promised it would be you to bring him back. Naruto." She said as his eyes fully closed. "Naruto! I refuse to have to go home and explain to Azumi where her father is. You've pulled your ass through worse, now pull everything together and get through this." She demanded as she began to hear him gurgle.
"Azumi? The dobe has a kid?" she heard Sasuke whisper.
"Yes, he does. She idolizes him and I refuse to have to tell her that her father was killed by some jack ass who went after revenge instead of asking for a little help!" she yelled as she turned back to Naruto as he cracked his eyes and gave her a small smile. Kushina looked up and Minato as he stood over Sasuke watching as Naruto slipped away. Sakura pulled a tiny dagger from her boot and pored her chakra into it before slamming it into his gut making him wince and go limp. Just as Kushina and Minato were going to start yelling and demanding answers his eyes snapped open, as red as could be.
"You used it?" the demonic voice said. "You're lucky I want to stay alive. He grumbled as he closed his eyes and the wounds began to smoke as they healed. He opened them again and watched as Sakura cried her eyes out on Minato's shoulder. "Ah, yes. I've been watching you. You are lucky I like the kit or I would tear you to pieces." He gave a small growl before Sakura turned to look at him. "The kit will be fine. You know what to do. I'm going back to sleep." He said as he closed his deep blood red eyes and they watched Naruto stop breathing for a second before he took a shallow breath. Sakura looked at Sasuke and found him unconscious.
"Shouldn't you start on him? Naruto should be fine right?" Kushina asked Sakura as she turned back around and began healing Naruto.
"He will be fine. Kyuubi healed all of the major wounds I'm cleaning up after him and making sure they stay closed before we start moving him. That one can wait." She sniffled as she glanced at Sasuke as she saw his chest rise and fall rigidly. She looked down at Naruto before she sighed and turned to work on Sasuke. "It's what Naruto wants." She smiled as she continued to work until she was too exhausted and passed out.
"Let's get them back to Tsunade." Minato said as he looked down at the two young men in bad shape and the exhausted young woman.
"I don't like how that just happened." Kushina whispered as she looked down at her son. "That was too close."
"They knew what they were doing and getting into, Kushina. All three of them knew that this could have been the end."
"Sasuke didn't know anything." They heard a weak voice from behind them. They looked to see Suigetsu as he started to get up. "You two seem to be pretty good at what you do. There is no use hiding anything." He looked around and saw Karin unconscious and Jugo sat up and looked at Sasuke before he moved over to his side.
"We told you not to follow that guy Sasuke." Jugo mumbles.
"What?" Minato asked only catching a word here and there.
"We told him not to follow Madara. That guy just took Sasuke and when he came back he was different. Sasuke didn't really know what was going on."
"Well we need to get them all back to the village." Kushina said as she watched Jugo walk into the forest off to the far right. Suigetsu walked over and grabbed Karin laying her down next to Sasuke. The group waited ten minutes before Jugo walked back out with several wild horses behind him.
"We can put them on the backs and head back. It will take a very long time but it will get them there."
"Or we could use another method." Minato said as he reached for the scrolls Naruto had been carrying on his back and took one and unrolled it. "I should be able to get everyone back to the village using one of these scrolls." He heard a soft moan and saw Naruto's head start to move.
"You have no idea how to use them." He mumbled before he opened his eyes slightly and grabbed a small scroll from his jacket pocket and smirked at his father. "You gotta know the scroll." Before anyone could stop him he unrolled it and poured his chakra into it as the color around them seemed to fade out then back in to reveal them by the front gate. They looked to see Naruto as he collapsed breathing heavy as several of his wounds reopened. Jugo grabbed Sasuke and Karin while Suigetsu carried Sakura and Minato held Naruto as they made their way to the hospital as fast as they could.