Death is Naruto's Best Friend
A certain blonde rubbed a tired hand across his face, further rubbing in the smudges of dirt, grime, and sweat into his face. After a few moments of silence, the woman beside him collapsed in bitter sobs, and he gave someone he had once called a friend one final glance before zipping the black bag over his pale face.
He didn't pause to comfort the crying woman on the floor for more than one reason, but the main one was that he was to show no weakness, no emotions, nothing. And he was good at it. The sobs of the forlorn woman echoed out and down the hallway, following the blonde out of the makeshift morgue that used to be a basement of one of the larger buildings where the old Uchiha compound used to be.
In another building, small and inconspicuous amid the ruins of old manors and houses, a small girl with her dark hair pulled from her face with a white ribbon ran out from a door that teetered on the edge of falling off, and rocketed herself into the blonde's legs. He smiled, his eyes warming up for this person and this person only. The girl unfurled her fists from his dirty pants and grinned toothily up at him. Her two front teeth were missing and her dress was in tatters.
"Papa! Welcome home!" Naruto flashed a foxy grin at his daughter, hefting her up and swinging her around once or twice before embracing her. The girl squealed with laughter and tangled her fingers in her father's hair. This was their 'Naruto's done his work for the day' ritual that they had kept up everyday that he was able to come home for the night.
Placing his daughter down, he glanced up at the woman watching them. He put his goofy smile on and pushed her in the woman's direction.
"Hinata-chan, go inside and play with the other children, me and Sakura-chan have grownup things to discus." Hinata pouted, her lavender eyes flashed in the sunset's light, and for a brief second, he saw a different Hinata. Pain lanced through his chest and a burning feeling scratched the back of his mostly blue eyes. He gave the little girl another push, hard enough to unbalance her this time, and Hinata squealed and laughed as Naruto made motions of chasing her. She disappeared in through the shoddy door and joined more sets of childish laughter.
Sakura watched her go, and after a second called after her,
"Hina, dinner's at 8!" Naruto vaguely heard her respond, through the wood and aluminium that made the siding to the houses. Sakura smiled softly, not just at the girl's actions, but that she had made Naruto smile a true smile. That was a notable feat these days. Even getting him to fake a smile was hard since that fateful day.
Pink hair flashing in the dying sunlight, Sakura moved forward, embracing the blonde. Naruto, although he wouldn't admit it, was a little shocked. Sakura's hugs were far and few between. Something bad must have happened. He wanted to embrace the warm feelings that arose for the now quiet woman, but he quickly pushed them down, hoping they would disappear quickly. Although he loved Sakura with all of his heart, the love was just little more than he would love a sister. A few feelings and a few dreams here and there was the only difference. Or at least he thought, anyway. He never had any siblings other than the ones he had adopted over the years.
He could feel Sakura's gentle but firm fingers trace up his back in slow soothing circles. She buried her face in his neck staring fixedly at his dull green pendant he had received from her mentor, and the closest thing he had to a mother many years prior. Her heart panged painfully in her chest for the man in front of her. On one side of the complicated plate that was Haruno Sakura's life she still, after all of these years, her heart pined for Sasuke. She knew it was stupid, fruitless, and futile to even dwell on such thoughts, but what girl could ever forget their first love? And what a love it was. Stealing away from missions to sneak a kiss here and there, and when Sasuke finally died, her heart had been utterly broken. Maybe had he died from a different set of hands it would have been different, but no one could even relate to Sakura as she shakily told the leader of her team how Sasuke had wiped her tears with a bloody hand after she had slid her blade into his heart.
Moving her torso so her chest pressed against Naruto's flak vest she stared straight into his broken and cold eyes. They usually reminded her of icicles, unforgiving and dead, but as she stared at them from such a close distance, picking out the flecks and streaks of red, they almost seemed to warm for her. She closed the distance between them and pressed her lips against his, gently at first, but again with increasing hunger. She vaguely felt one of his hands gently make it's way through her long hair, and his other hand pressing the small of her back closer to him.
Naruto's initial surprise was quickly forgotten as the feelings he had tried to bury arose in his chest with a passion as strong as ever. The feel of her lips, cracked and chapped against his was foreign and alien almost. The feeling of her heart racing so hard he could feel it down her spine through his fingertips only served to excite his own heart into beating faster and faster, causing a small rumble at the back of his mind, vaguely reminding Naruto that he was disturbing Kyuubi no Yoko's precious beauty sleep.
He ran his fingers through her long silky hair, memorizing the way it was sliding over and through his fingers, and how it left the scent of strawberries and peaches behind. Pushing the small ball of resentment, denial, and nervousness down into oblivion, Naruto and Sakura found themselves stumbling through a worn and poorly lit hall into an equally worn and poorly lit room. The room was small and dingy, peeling paint and a weathered wood floor that showed every knot and spit. A picture frame with no glass, as it had long been broken, and a small candle decorated the only table, which was actually just an overturned box, in the room. Sakura gave Naruto a small grin that revealed nothing about her, but promised everything.
Naruto pinned her against the wall, making the wood groan in protest as he tugged down the zipper of Sakura's red top as she practically ripped his vest off. Lucky for her today was a hot day and after hastily throwing his vest away she was graced with the sight of his, surprisingly, scarred chest, well toned and gleaming with sweat. His bad luck necklace was gleaming dully in the flickering candlelight of Sakura's humble abode.
Placing kiss after kiss down Sakura's neck and collar bone, Sakura groaned partly from pleasure and partly from frustration. She grabbed Naruto's hair and practically threw him over, causing him to tumble over onto her futon, knocked the candle over off the box-table as well. The candle snuffed out as soon as it landed, surrounding the pair in darkness and Sakura gave a grin so wide Naruto swore he could hear it. A cool shiver ran down his spine and the blonde grinned just as wide as the pink haired beauty descended on top of him.
Years and years prior when Akatsuki still roamed the lands striking terror in men and woman across the world Naruto had been a happier person. Not that he was one to be defeated by depression. Not even when Jiraiya had died had he backed down. No, he got right back up, trained harder than he had ever in his life, and stood back and watched the fruits of his labour as he took out the Paths of Pein one by one with relative ease, compared to other shinobi anyway.
Coming back to Konoha when it had been completely destroyed had been a huge blow to his self. Konoha was his home, and although there were times when he didn't feel all that welcome in it, it was his and it was staying like that. In that battle he had lost a few people dear to his heart despite Tsunade's best attempts to save the villagers.
But he wasn't completely disheartened. Sure, Konoha had been destroyed, but it was just a collection of houses and things. His friends were alive and that was the most important thing. They could build another village any day. All they had to do was defeat Pein and start picking their lives up. If only it were that easy.
The last path of Pein, a fellow student of Jiraiya, as he had found out proved to be extremely difficult to defeat, and when he finally did, another friend and precious person had been claimed by the tyrant's wake of death. It was sad for a while, but he picked his life up, trained even harder. He knew, from reading Jiraiya's notes about the Paths of Pein, that the original, the puppet master himself, was not dead. He was probably not even in the vicinity. So he made sure to destroy the chakra receptors to delay him. To give him enough to time to train even harder. He wouldn't know it until someone had pointed it out to him later, but at the tender age of 18, after two years of training for the final battle with whomever was behind the Peins, he had far surpassed Jiraiya in skill and power. He could defeat Rock Lee with his hands tied behind his back in a battle of taijutsu, he could utterly wipe Kiba with Ninjutsu, but Kurenai and Sakura both could still make Naruto think his head was on fire. He'd have to hope that the final Pein wouldn't resort to genjutsu.
In the two years before his final confrontation, Konoha had been partly rebuilt, civilians cramped themselves together on one side of the Hokage monument, which thankfully suffered little to no damage, and the Shinobi had taken residence near, in, and around the old Uchiha residence, which was relative untouched. Most casually thanked the Uchiha's for being snobs and building the compound as far as possible from the village gates. The last remaining Uchiha had not been too pleased at this recent development. He was angry about Konoha being destroyed before he could get there to destroy it himself, but he was even angrier that everyone had taken residence in his old home. He grit it his teeth as watched ninja bustling in and out of the buildings, stepping on his sacred grounds, and in a way, invading his personal space.
His revenge on Konoha, although not carried out by his person, was complete, and with that, he dropped everything and left, popping by occasionally to clash with Konoha bounty hunters, hunter nin, and Naruto. Although he took his main reason for ever even being in the vicinity in the first place to the grave with him.
The final raging battle between the puppet master, who turned out to be a weak and frail man by the name of Yahiko seemed like a joke. In the beginning at least. When he unleased a jutsu that had the effect of a bomb, similar to the one that one of the Pein's had let go on Konoha 2 years prior, and brought the population from a thriving ten thousand people to a meagre 200, Naruto went beserk. That was the first and last time Naruto had ever reached a fifth tail. After that battle most of the new Konoha was nothing but rubble, and every single person in the village looked at him with nothing but fear in their eyes for a very long time. All but one person.
It was odd, in a sense, that the death of nearly everyone in the village had been the spark to bring Naruto and the ever shy, but strong and capable kunoichi together. She had lost her entire family save Neji, and a distant cousin whose name she couldn't even recall at the time. Lee had died in that attack, along with Chouji, Kurenai and her son, Kiba and his entire family, Konohamaru and his two friends, the Ichiraku chefs, and Sai and Ino, whose bodies were found under a collapsed building, still clutching hands tight in death's merciless grasp.
Hinata, at first, had avoided him, but not out of fear, she had felt that showing the weakness the loss of everyone dear to her save a few were only to be shown to Shino, whose shoulder she cried on frequently. But eventually, Naruto found that when he looked at her, she didn't flinch, and she held no hate and no fear in her eyes when he caught himself gazing into them. It intrigued him and one thing led to another. Akatsuki was gone, Orochimaru and Kabuto were both long dead, and Sasuke didn't even pose a threat anymore. His frequent drop by's were becoming more and more like teasing, a "nah nah you can't catch me" kind of thing.
Hinata and Naruto never really made anything official, but the look on Naruto's face when Hinata announced that she was with child was the happiest Sakura had seen Naruto in a long, long time. Oddly enough, it was also the most scared she had ever seen him. The pink haired medic nin, now revered as a goddess among people for her skills in the medic area, the only one left who could heal anyway, wasn't even sure if the couple knew she was in the room at the time. Ever since she had put a blade through Sasuke's heart, through her own heart, she had become a wall flower. Shutting herself away, locking her heart up and throwing the key away. Few were concerned. As long as she wasn't self mutilating and still healing, rebuilding the pathetically small village came first.
Civilian families with relatives outside of Konoha left, reducing the population more. Only Shinobi, still loyal to the ever weakening Tsunade, who had barely survived the last attack that left her chakra system so weak she was useless to heal and fight, had stayed. Some civilian families with no where to go had stayed, and had been trained to fight, with only the elderly spared the rigorous training. Soon, the small population of Konoha slowly grew, from just over a hundred to just over two hundred, with any person over the age of 5 able to fight with at least the capabilities of a fresh out of academy genin. Things were good. At least, until the first winter in nearly 30 years that had actually produced snow. It was a cold and snowy December day that Naruto felt his life slip out of control for the umpteenth time in his life.
Sakura woke alone. She rolled over and saw her clothes had been neatly folded and placed on her table-box. Her picture, an old worn one of Team 7 when it had first been formed all those years ago had been laid face down, and her candle had been re-lit and perched neatly on top of the box. Sakura sighed. She wondered if Naruto felt guilty enough not to even have the decency to stay with her until she woke, or at least woken her up when he had to say something to her. Anything would have sufficed.
Tilting the picture of Team 7 back up, she gazed longingly at it. Kakashi had been the first to die, fighting valiantly against Pein, but ultimately losing to a nail being driven through his forehead. Sasuke's face, so young and not quite as hateful as it would have been, didn't sent waves of pain through her heart as much anymore. It was almost a relief that she was able to move on. The pain of not being able to function, breath even, whenever she saw a flash of raven hair in the distance, someone starting a word with "sa", and the sound of his sword when he let it slide out of his sheath, tantalizing her kunoichi instincts to fight. It was all too much.
She looked at herself, her young, naive self. Had she known what would have happened in the future, she would have trained harder and obsessed less about being the next Mrs. Uchiha. Next to her stood a very grumpy looking Naruto. She almost smiled. Looking at this picture she saw the secret warmth that secreted through his old mask. Years of watching his face, memorizing every detail had led her to read him like a book, even in photographs. The only one who could do it better than her was Hinata. Those were the good ole' days. The days when all she had to worry about was whether or not they could catch the Fire Lord's wife's cat before lunch.
Dressing quickly, she tied her hair back in a loose braid that fell to her mid thigh before exiting her shabby little house. It was dark, she had probably missed dinner, and little Hinata was probably angry at her for not helping her with her homework like she had promised.
Naruto paced his bedroom. Although Konoha technically wasn't a village anymore, and therefore could not have a Hokage, the villagers still addressed him as that or Uzumaki-sama in the least. He had long stopped trying to get them to stop, partly because it was futile, but mostly because he stopped caring. His room was probably the biggest in the entire village. And it was only roughly three times the size of Sakura's dingy little closet she called a bedroom. Attached to his room was the main office where he worked and accepted the few missions that die-hard loyal citizens from other small towns and cities still trickled in sometimes.
When he had woken up in Sakura's bed guilt stricken, he had quickly and quietly tidied up and left a quietly snoring Sakura in her futon. Why had he done that? Sakura was his closest friend, his only real friend, nowadays. Shino was a close second, but he didn't talk much.
Behind him, as he paced back and forth in front of the window that overlooked the Uchiha compound which held nearly the entire village, Hinata moaned and stirred in her sleep, no doubt having dreams of jumping through trees. According to her teacher at school her class had just mastered that technique. He himself remembered the amazing feeling after he had mastered it and how wonderful the dreams were. Halting his pacing he leaned over his daughter and tucked her in tighter. The girl smiled in her sleep and Naruto's heart melted just a little more. Her dark hair was spread out in a tangle around her, and the white ribbon that Sakura had no doubt dug up for her was hanging down on her forehead. He brushed the hair and ribbon out of her face and sat down on the bed looking at the stack of paperwork he would have to fill out for the death of the wise Hyuuga he had called his friend and brother in arms. Naruto could feel the plague of nightmares just threatening to surface when he lay his head down for the night. Shaking his head and ridding his mind of such thoughts, he inwardly conversed with Kyuubi for a few seconds before closing off his mind and sitting down at his desk. His only light was a small white candle that smelled of roses. He took his pen in hand and sighed tiredly. He would get no sleep tonight.
Prying one eye open, Naruto saw Sakura ushering Hinata to quietly leave the room. When the little girl was out of the room, he uttered a low groan and Sakura turned her head. The look she gave him was one full of a painful love. She knew he probably felt guilty about the previous night, but these things happen between mature adults, and well, Naruto was just going to have to work it through with her, preferably on the floor. Sakura smiled a little wider, intriguing and scaring Naruto all at once. Naruto lifted his head, clear and refreshed from a, surprisingly, nightmareless night sleeping atop his desk. Imprints from pencils and papers and the occasional paperclip decorated his face, and Sakura almost laughed. Naruto's face was a lot more serious in comparison. He scratched the back of his head tentatively.
"Listen, Sakura-chan… About last night…I didn't-" Sakura raised a very strong finger and pointed at the ceiling. She shook her head and gave Naruto a stern but loving smile. One a mother would give her son who picked the wrong answer in life, and she was now guiding him towards the path of right.
"There is nothing to be 'listening' about. What we did was in the past. It can either be forgotten as a release of tension between two adults who have suffered, or it can be the start of something beautiful. I know that you will always love Hinata, and I will always love Sasuke, but I'm sure that Hinata just wants you to be happy. There is nothing to be guilty of." Naruto made a face and Sakura started talking again. "Don't make that face. Guilt was written all over your face from the moment you woke up." She moved closer, leaning down, teasing his imagination with her shiny little zipper clasp that hung so alluringly on the blue shirt she wore. Naruto nearly shook his head. Zippers were turning him on, something must be wrong. Sakura leaned so that her lips were brushing his ear.
"Besides, judging by last night's performance, I would love an encore." Naruto flushed red and gaped like a fish out of water. Sakura stood back and laughed; her voice a mixture of sweet wind chimes and a screeching banshee, if one can imagine such a combination. She turned and gave him a sexy little strut out of his office slash bedroom that screamed her intentions louder than he could ever shout, and he used to be Konoha's number one loudest ninja. A flash of her pink braid, and Sakura was gone from the room, intent on escorting little Hinata to school like she did every morning. Hinata was practically her daughter in every right but birth and name and by the gods she wasn't about to lose her to an evil scraped knee or skinned elbow.
Hinata skipped merrily along the street, waving at the villagers in the small and extremely tight community. Everyone knew each other, and yet, with most being shinobi, secrets were kept easily and gossip was minimal. The few people who had seen their chief (and pretty much only) medic nin and sort-of Hokage frantically trying to eat each other's faces as they blindly stumbled to Sakura's little shack kept it to themselves and either mumbled "troublesome kids" or regarded it as an SS-Class top secret mission that was to be kept classified until something official was announced. Then, they could gossip.
Today was a treat at the academy, Sakura and a few of her underlings in the medic world, were going to assess the chakra manipulation skills and control of all of the academy students from year 2 and up, with the intent to recruit. Now a days, if you had the skills to become a medic nin, you were considered god. It was what every academy student trained for, honing and perfecting their control and stamina, a few of the older students even delving into jutsu's themselves to impress Sakura when she came every 6 months. Needless to say, the school was buzzing with excitement.
Walking into the rundown building that used to be some kind of dojo area in the Uchiha compound, Sakura mused at how Iruka sensei, one of the few people that had survived everything up until now was still teaching and had decorated the dojo to look like a large classroom very similar to her own all of those years ago. Shino, the only other member of the Rookie Nine that had survived was also a teacher, along with a third woman whom Sakura had gotten to know very well over the years. When the makeshift little bell rung, all of the students filed frantically into the dojo. Today was the day they might become heroes of the village! They had been training and training for even a slice of praise from Sakura. Being told that with a few more years and honing, medical jutsu were possible, was only a step down from being recruited. It meant that she would be back, and it meant that they weren't part of the disappointed crowd.
Sakura smiled when the children all cheered at the sound of her name. She secretly loved the attention (not actually so secretly, but don't tell her this, she'd rip your arm off and then sew it back on just to rip it off again. She could do that.). After giving her brief lectures on all the responsibilities and duties and expectations that being a medic nin held, it only served to heighten the excitement, something the spring haired woman was extremely proud of. If only Tsunade were well enough to see this now. Smiling at her own memories, she called the first name on the list, all alphabetical thanks to the meticulous Shino, and saw that a shy little girl with light green hair and a large forehead hidden by bangs approach her. As soon as she put her fingers together Sakura had her first recruit. Akino Kikuna shyly twiddled her way back to the cheering crowd. Sakura couldn't help but grin. This girl who resembled her greatly at her age even had the same kind of name. Autumn of Chrysanthemums, which grew all over the forest edges in fall in the ruined village of Konoha only furthered her liking for this child. Maybe one day she would be the next Tsunade… Or even the next Sakura. Sakura shuddered. She hoped not. Not with all the horror she had seen.
"Zarahi Kinko-san." Sakura called. So far from the 60 or so students, she had recruited 14 and had seen potential in a further 23; a good crop this year. Kinko stood up to Sakura, she was one of the older students, and a tall one at that. She almost reached Sakura's eyes. She confidently put her hands together and formed chakra. Sakura opened her mouth to congratulate her when a large chakra burst suddenly appeared from somewhere south of her position. Immediately worried that the Kyuubi had tried to escape again, she turned her body around to face the grating feeling of whomever's chakra this was. The ground started to shake.
Naruto had fallen asleep again when all he heard was growling and had the odd feeling like someone was scraping a cheese grater across his back and arms. Fully awake and looking around, he already knew that the growling was from Kyuubi, but when he looked out of the large window that looked over the compound and the badly damaged Hokage monument, he saw a person wrapped in a ball of blue chakra. He watched almost in slow motion as the person formed a large ball of pure, cheese grating chakra and threw the ball, now the size of himself, at the compound. He reached a desperate hand out, hoping that it would help, but was quickly thrown back into the wall of his room as pretty much all of the compound was destroyed, including where he was.
Coughing and picking himself out of the rubble of the building that had once been his home, he could vaguely hear the sounds of people crying and screaming, but everything was being blocked out of his hearing. There was only one thing that was important enough to do this, and that was quite obviously, the safety of his daughter. She was the last remaining Hyuuga, the only thing left of Hinata, and the only person left who held any part of his ever dying heart. Pushing people out of the way to cross the three or four kilometres it took to get to the school was the longest 26 seconds of his life. When he saw the state of the school his mind went blank and he just stared. The building had been blown apart, being quite close to the epicentre of the attack. After another moment of hesitation, he practically dove into the pile of rubble and started digging like his life depended on it – which it did in a way – all the while, his life, 6 long years ago kept flashing in front of his eyes.
It had snowed then. The first snow Konoha had seen in over 30 years, due to the naturally warm climate of the volcano rich country. The children were excited, building men and ninja out of snow (some using them as target practice), but the adults were not so enthusiastic. This meant that the winter crops would die, and probably a few elderly along with it. The one thing they didn't expect was that the buildings, never having been built to hold the weight of anything but themselves and a few ninja jumping on them started collapsing. The first was one a surprise, and due to the actual building itself being shabbier than the norm, no one batted an eye. No one was hurt, and the neighbours moved over a tad to make room for the family who had lost a home.
The second one was more serious. A whole party had been going on and it took the medical team and others an entire day to find and collect the injured and the dead from the rubble. Despite the fact that Hinata was nearly due, she was a valued medic and was needed. She and Sakura and about 6 other medics were crowding around the injured healing, soothing, and in Hinata's case, mostly bandaging. Naruto had been on his way to the make shift hospital to give Hinata her day-early birthday present when the horrible crunching sound that would haunt his sleep for years to come sounded from around the corner. It sounded exactly like tons and tons of shingles, wood, and aluminium would sound like as is collapsed in on itself and landed on crunchy December snow.
He didn't really remember anything after that. It was all a little fuzzy. Sakura had filled him in. The building collapsed from the snow on the roof and that in turn caused the second story to collapse on the first, which was where Hinata was. Sakura, being on the second story at the time escaped most of the weight where as Sakura, who had regained consciousness after only a few moments, had been mortified to see Hinata's mangled body. Her entire upper body had been buried in the supports of the building, and her long blue hair shone hauntingly in the crisp daylight. Sakura watched a snowflake fall onto the once shimmering locks before she could even muster enough will to move. Checking the vitals of the mangled body, she soon confirmed it to be a corpse. Through all luck, Hinata's belly was untouched, and the baby, already almost due, was moving around, dying with each second that she didn't get her mother's life giving blood. Sakura made quick work.
Naruto does remember something about that horrible night, he just doesn't want to go back there and revisit it. He remembers the horrible feeling of seeing Sakura, his best friend and adopted older sister, push herself out of the rubble with only minor injuries, carrying a small, and surprising quiet little baby girl with fringes of blue hair and white eyes that could gaze into one's very soul. He remembered the look on Sakura's face when he asked about Hinata, and then he remembered the crushing feeling in his chest when Sakura shook her head and handed him the baby.
The old feelings, the old memories, the old fears were all resurfacing with years of vengeance behind them. Naruto kept digging and digging. Why couldn't anyone just leave Konoha alone? They weren't big enough to do anyone harm, they were peaceful, and they weren't even classified as a shinobi village anymore. Why did everyone always want to ruin his life? He touched a hand and stopped cold. The hand was slender and the fingers were long, but the palm was calloused with years of use on kunai and various other sharp and pointy objects. Frantically pushing the last beam off the buried arm, he met the sight of a pair of warm green eyes. He almost sighed a breath of relief when he realized that the eyes were quickly fading, becoming cold on such a warm day. He searched the woman's face, looking for signs of life, but among that tangled pink hair and the bloodstained face, he found none.
To say that Naruto was numb was an understatement. That is what people would say for years to come, mainly because when he pulled the last beam trapping her body, or the upper half of her body anyway, he died. That's what they say. He up and died.
Naruto stared. He dropped the beam, and he stared. He stared as hard as he could, but it wouldn't move, no matter how hard he willed it. Picking it up carefully, like one would a glass figurine, Naruto could feel the life slipping from his body. Everything became cold, colder than he had ever been in his entire life, colder than the dull and dead eyes of his daughter, whose face was flickering between that and her mother's.
Not only did he die, they would say, he turned into a monster. 9 long tails made of pure fire and chakra sprouted from very being and he was Naruto no longer. They were wrong, of course, he was still very much Naruto, just not a conscious Naruto. He stood in front of the gates of the Kyuubi, rusted and broken, but still able to hold the monstrous beast, and cried. Kyuubi felt sorry for him. A human emotion brought on by sorrow so powerful that it imposed it self onto a demon. Onto the very spirit of a demon. When he had stopped which was surprising quick, it almost hurt Kyuubi to see the look in the man's eyes. He may have been an unforgiving demon, but he had lived through the hardships Naruto had suffered since the day the insufferable Yondaime had put his soul into the belly of a baby. Naruto looked up and stared the demon right in the eyes. He reached out and stroked the seal, sending a wave of shivers up the Kyuubi's spine.
"Kill me." He said, and before anything could be done, he ripped the seal off, causing the broken and rusted gates to swing wide open. Naruto was assaulted by the red chakra and stood about as much chance against it as one would against a tidal wave. He was thrown against the back of the black cellar, but when death did not come, he saw that the Kyuubi was still standing, tall and proud, in his cage, his stare flickering between Naruto and a new figure standing where the seal had been previously. His hand was held up the fox and he turned to look at Naruto, his blue eyes sad, and his blonde hair messy. There was blood on his mostly white robe, as well as piece of paper he held in his hand. When he spoke, his voice was quiet, yet the loudest he had ever heard.
"No. The seal has been broken, whether by force or by will, but I will not let my death be in vain. Counter measure plan b has been activated. Prevent this, if forced, and if willed, shame on you." The man said. Naruto gaped, and Kyuubi looked about as much of a fish as a gigantic fox demon could. The man, the Yondaime as Naruto had quickly deduced from photographs he vaguely remembered seeing as a child started to glow brighter and brighter. He saw the cage rebuild itself and he let tears slip down his cheek. All he wanted to do was die, and no one could even let him do that. Before the light was so white it was burning his retinas, he heard the fox scream with rage before pumping chakra at the white so hard it started to melt the skin off of Naruto, which was quite a feat considering that they were in his subconscious. The white light stayed persistent, however, and when his vision had been permanently burned for good, the pain, the pressure, everything just stopped. The roar of the chakra enforced wind stopped as suddenly as it had become, and when Naruto opened his eyes, he saw a pick pocked ceiling. Corkboard tiles painted a horrendous white colour.
He heard the steady beeping of a heart monitor and sighed inwardly. Pulling the clip off of his finger, rather painfully, although no part of the blonde showed it, he tried to swing his legs over the edge of the bed. Actually, it was a rather nice bed. He must not be in Konoha. A quick glance at the window showed a tree, a nice big maple tree. Somewhere in the fire country, for sure then. Naruto nodded stiffly as the pain of the cold tile under his feet made his legs spasm in pain. He felt Kyuubi tugging at him, trying to pull him down into his soul, but he ignored it. When a teenager, barely 17, rushed into the room followed by a pair of men in long white coats, doctors, Naruto reminded himself, he was forcefully lifted back into bed and strapped down.
"Stop! You'll hurt yourself more! Now just sit back, you've had a rough day. Here, I found you, so Hokage-sama says I have to watch you until you are good enough to talk to him." The teen offered his hand, despite the fact that Naruto had just been strapped down, and Naruto just stared at. Hokage? He was the Hokage! What the hell was going on? Looking up at the teen, he say himself looking at a young man who looked similar to how he did, with the blue eyes, blonde hair, and warm smile, but was decidedly more feminine looking, at least, that was the only word that came to Naruto's mind at the moment.
The needle that one of the doctors had stuck in him before they had left him strapped to a rather nice hospital bed was starting to work it's wonders. He found Kyuubi's call irresistible and let his eyes flutter shut with little resistance. Maybe if he closed his eyes, he'd never wake up again. It was a comforting thought. The last thing he saw before black overwhelmed his sight was the worried face of the blonde teen whom apparently was in charge of him.