People Lie and People Die
There was the barest hint of smoke as Kushina shushin'ed back to the hidden area where all of her stuff was stashed. She gently placed the body she was carrying over her shoulder down onto his side. The silence that she had been forcing herself to make broke and she gave a torn scream.
Kneeling down beside the boy, she tore off the hood of her outfit and pulled at the long red strands as they fell down her back like a waterfall of blood. Kneeling down beside Naruto she placed her head near his chest and almost started crying in relief when she heard a heartbeat and felt a short wet-sounding breath against her cheek. Sitting back up she wiped a single tear off of her cheek and set her mouth in a look of grim determination.
It was sudden, and he blamed himself. Naruto had just about reached the desk that Taika sat at when he felt the tiniest burst of familiar chakra. A small hand burst through Taika's chest in a mess of blood, smoke, and electricity. Taika's hands flung out and his mouth gaped. One of his hands smashed into the glass bowl of various office related items knocking it to the ground.
By now Naruto was imitating a gold fish, but before he could even react a blade sliced through Taika's neck like butter and the appendage was lifted back and subsequently almost dropped.
"Naruto!" The words slipped from the figures lips so quietly, Naruto almost didn't hear it. Only the figures eyes were visible, and the intense violet of them gave her identity away, not that there was anyone else who knew his name in this village. Before he could respond, the door opened with a bang that made the blonde jump.
The guards both stood at the door, their faces just as white as Naruto's. It was the second guard who acted first, pushing the first out of the way. The second guard somehow managed to get his spear hoisted up and into the doorway and fumbling he threw it as hard as he could at the figure holding his boss's head. The ramen boy had barely time to raise his hand and shout when a long spear made of bamboo and cold steel slammed hard into his chest. He almost didn't hear the guard who threw the spear say "Oh shit!"
The spear pushed him back into the desk before he bounced back and onto the floor. He could barely move, much less breathe. His entire chest was numb save for a small point of pain just below his shoulder blade. When he reached around to find out why, his fingers met steel and he pulled them back as if burned. Unable to make a hissing noise he slowly prodded back with his fingers and was able to make out a good 7 or 8 inches of steel poking out. Naruto let his hand drop and tried to groan, although all that came out was a gurgle and a dribble of what Naruto assumed was blood.
He vaguely heard a sharp crackling noise in the din of the background, but his vision was hazy and the only thing he could see was the long stretch of bamboo pole that stretched out in front of him. He closed his eyes, intending on blinking the haziness out of them, but his lids felt as if they were made of lead and he found he couldn't open them again. He felt hands touch him gingerly but his consciousness slipped away before he could feel anything else.
As soon as Kushina heard the horrible noise of steel breaking bone and ripping through flesh and organ she dropped the head and sprung into action. She heard the blonde fall and resisted the urge to shout a battle cry. Her hand lit up in a flash of lightning and she rendered the first guard who had rushed forward down from face to navel. He fell without a sound and with barely a drop of blood. The second guard yelled and tried to pick up his fallen comrade's spear, but Kushina was too fast and she slashed at him with the sword in her other hand, severing an arm and cutting into his torso. He too fell and she quickly decided that he would bleed out before anyone would find them and gathered Naruto as gently as possible before grabbing the head and shushin-ing out of there.
"Oh dammit why didn't I learn some fucking medic jutsu?" Kushina almost shouted as she examined the spear with a closer eye. It had only been a few minutes since he was hit, but she could hear his wet sounding breaths getting weaker. The spear had punctured his right lung near the bottom of his ribcage and had poked most of the tip through his back. She glanced around her and gritted her teeth. This place wasn't safe enough it was only out of the way, not hidden. She wouldn't be able to move him with the spear still in him, but she was sure the motion would finish the job that the spear was trying to do if she moved him.
However, Kushina wasn't in ANBU for nothing and thinking quickly she used a quick and rough looking chakra knife to slice through the bamboo a few inches from his chest. The spear would be a sort of plug, as he wasn't bleeding externally too much, and would at least ensure he had a better chance of surviving the next ten minutes. She quickly sealed the head away, slipped her pack on before gently picking the blonde up. He didn't even grunt and worry blossomed in her chest. She felt like crying again, she should have acted faster! This whole mission was one big 'lose the people you care about due to your carelessness' festival.
Kushina set off quietly and quickly. At least she wouldn't have to worry about Naruto making any unnecessary noises. Sneaking out of the village was going to be ten times more difficult with Naruto on her back but she'd do it. She had to.
Jiraiya ran over the details in his head a million times before he reached Beni's house. Something didn't sit well with him about the situation. He snapped out of his thoughts when he found himself standing at the door with his hand on the handle for who knows how long. When he finally opened the door a pacing Minato looked up and gave a small smile. When Minato noticed that Jiraiya was alone, the smile fell of his face.
"Where is Naruto?" He asked quietly, worry and fear filling his sky blue eyes. Jiraiya looked him right in the eyes, something he felt his student should get at least, and said, "He ended up delivering to the target and was caught in the crossfire. They told me he was dead but-" Jiraiya was cut off as Minato keeled over, making a dull thud on the carpeted floor. Jiraiya couldn't help but roll his eyes. He had been about to finish with his suspicions, but he'd have to wait. The blonde had been taking his role in this act a little more seriously than any of the others and he was probably running on fumes.
Deciding that since they were going to be formally informed tomorrow, he packed their bags back up in Minato's room, and laid the blonde out on his bed. He however, could not even think about sleep, so he sat on the couch and pulled a bottle of sake out from the cupboard. He figured that Naruto had been injured enough to have been knocked out, but he had seen that kid take a stab wound and barely flinch! There was no way he was actually dead, not with Kushina around. Still, doubt lingered in his mind and even the soothing burning of the sake as it made its way down his throat didn't make it go away. He glanced at the clock and saw that it read 3:43 before putting his face in his hands and groaning.
The position of the moon told Kushina that it was shortly past midnight. It had taken her nearly an hour to get out of the village through the way that Beni had shown her earlier. That was 45 minutes longer than she had rehearsed, and she hoped that she wouldn't run into any patrols.
Thankfully lady luck hadn't given her a shitty roll of her dice as she had been doing all night, and after another hour of swift travelling Kushina and a still quiet Naruto made it to the rocky outcrop that led into a small underground room. It was there that she lit the multitude of candles set up and ever so gently put Naruto down. When she accidently knocked the steel part of the bamboo Naruto gave a small wet sounding grunt which startled her, but gave a small flutter of hope.
She quickly took his pulse and after determining that although it was weak, it was fairly stable and he wasn't likely to just up and die on her. This kid was tough. Fingering the exit wound she saw that it was smaller than the entrance wound and she bit her lip. She needed to get the pole out or Naruto was going to start drowning on his blood more so than he already was. If she pushed it through she'd be opening the exit wound wider, but if she pulled it back the way it came she'd probably end up slicing even more of his lung. Grabbing some clothing from her bag she bit her lip and pushed the pole out through the exit wound, grabbing the steel tip and smoothly pulling the whole thing out.
Naruto's eyes flung open and he screamed. Kushina almost faltered but the amount of blood that started to pour through both sides was something that needed her attention as she pressed clothing down on either side. She could feel that ribs on both the front and the back were broken where the spear had crushed through them and this was probably twice as agonizing. Naruto however finally stopped screaming when his short supply of breath ran out and he spit up blood instead. Kushina tried to make calming noises, but both of her hands were occupied. Slowly lifting one of her hands she was met with a gush of blood and quickly covered it back up again.
"Oh shit oh shit oh shit..." She said quickly. She knew how to treat basic wounds, but this was ridiculous. She tried channelling pure chakra directly into his coils and his wounds in the hope that maybe his own slightly faster healing than normal would at least clot them shut.
Naruto gurgled and spit out another mouthful of blood. "Shhh..." Kushina said, figuring he was trying to talk to her. "It's ok, just be still, I'll get this fixed, I promise..." She choked on the last word and without her hands to free to wipe her eyes tears fell freely down her face. She channelled more chakra into the wounds, visualizing the skin knitting together, and was surprised to see that it looked like it may have actually sort of worked on the exit wound. A clot was forming and it was barely bleeding anymore. Determination surged in her and she channelled as much chakra as she dared directly into the coil around his lung. She didn't notice the single tiny little flare of red chakra creep through her seal and make its way down to her hands.
Naruto's eyes opened with a snap. He sat up quickly and felt his chest and back. There was nothing there! Had it been a dream? He looked around and saw that he was in a plain white cement room. He was sitting on the middle of the floor. Standing up he almost had a bout of vertigo when his head went much higher up than he expected. Looking down at himself he realized that he was wearing the clothes he had been wearing when little Hinata died and he lost control. Feeling his chest under his shirt he felt the swirl of the scar that Sasuke's chidori left and almost sighed.
"What the hell was all of that? A really long fucking dream?" He said out loud, almost jumping at the deepness of his voice. Looking at the door to the room, he tested it and was surprised to find it open. He had suspected he was in a cell or something. He did rip off the seal and unleash the Kyuubi on everyone after all.
Outside of the door was a hallway that was brightly lit, and like the room he was in, was immaculately white and made of what seemed to be cement. Naruto followed the hallway for what seemed like hours, encountering only a few locked doors along the way before he suddenly stepped out into a brightly lit room, even brighter than the hallway. Naruto lifted his arm up, only avoiding smacking himself in the face by reflex, to cover his eyes, but as soon as he saw what was in front of him his arm just dropped down.
It was similar to how he remembered his being, with the tall bars that were impossibly tall, save that due to the excellent lighting in this area he could see the ceiling. Behind these bars and behind a seal that looked incredibly different from the one he was used to seeing, lay a giant sleeping demon fox. Naruto almost smiled. He ran forward stopping at the large seal that was a combination of paper and rope that spanned over several of the large bars and shouted.
"Kyuubi! Kyuubi! Wake up I need to talk to you!" The giant fox opened a single eye that stood almost as tall as Naruto. The fox didn't say anything at first and Naruto feared that whoever tampered with his seal possibly cut off any way of communication with the demon.
"Can you hear me?" He asked, almost quietly, fearing the fox's reaction. He was almost blown over by the power of the fox's answer, however.
"Yes." The answer was simple and yet Naruto heard was sounded to be fatigue in his massive voice. "Are you ok?" He asked as the fox lowered its lid halfway.
"Yes." It snorted softly, still causing a wind that nearly blew the blonde off of his feet. Naruto was started to get concerned, usually the fox was chewing him out by now or something similar, but this conversation was feeling forced on the fox's end.
"Did I just wake up from a dream? Did I end up letting you out after all? Did someone seal you back in me? This seal doesn't look familiar..." Naruto said, rushing the questions out as fast as he could while still being understandable. The Kyuubi sighed and said, "No. No. No."
Naruto frowned. "Am I... Are we dead then?" He asked; his emotions were a mix of fear, hesitation, happiness at seeing the fox, and confusion. "No." Now Naruto was really confused.
"Where am I?" The fox moved its giant muzzle onto its paws, an action that took a worrying amount of effort for a being that was supposedly made of pure chakra. The fox leaked out a glob of red chakra. Naruto let it run into his chest without a fight and relished the warm feeling that he hadn't realized he had been missing.
He closed his eyes momentarily, and when he opened them, he saw a tall wave of the red chakra coming at him. The chakra engulfed him and he suddenly found it hard to breath. His chest was a mass of pain and when he pulled his hands away they were covered in blood.
"Kushina." That single word blew through the chakra and made Naruto gape before coughing up blood. His vision started to fade and saw a look that almost reminded him of sympathy pass over the fox's face. He heard one last word before blackness claimed him. "Survive."
Jiraiya was disappointed in the lack of faith that Minato held in his brother. He had only known the kid for two months and he was already sure that the kid was a survivor. They had been visited at about noon about the incident, and the sage looked very much the part of a father that had stayed up all night nursing a bottle of sake despairing about his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild all tragically taken from him in a single night.
The man at the door had been very kind and he put up with Minato's game of five thousand questions until they had wrung all the answers possible. He had told Jiraiya that 'Kaori' and her baby were already being cremated as requested, as Beni had been so kind to see to that for him, and that they would both, along with 'Naoki' get a memorial stone in the civilian cemetery. Naoki was being awarded a bravery award and a commemoration on his stone about how he lost his life in the line of duty, despite not being a ninja. Jiraiya would have felt touched if he hadn't had the firm belief that Naruto was still hanging on somewhere.
"When can we leave?" Jiraiya asked with a hoarse voice. The man looked up at him and said, politely, "Pardon?" Jiraiya pursed his lips. "I'm sure you can see why this place, a place we had sought refuge from fighting and war and that has taken three of my precious family members away from me, is not a place that I wish to remain. I'm still a newcomer so I'm sure emigrating won't be very hard. What do I have to sign?" The man looked at Jiraiya with pity written all over his face. Minato's face was buried in his hands.
"I... I understand. Assuming you wish to be present for the placement of your children's stones, which will take place tomorrow morning at about 9 am. That gives you all day today to fill in the forms at the immigrations office. You are still a new citizen so it will be a lot quicker to emigrate as you are less of a security risk. I'd say it would take a day or two maximum. Maybe less if you explain why. You will have to bring your son as well." He motioned Minato who was still sitting with his face in his hands. He held out a yellow envelope that was thick with papers. "You'll have to sign these before tomorrow morning. If you intend on going to the immigrations office you can hand them in there, or to the address on the envelope." The man tipped his stood up and tipped his hat. "Again, I am truly sorry for the misfortune that has come upon your family." He closed the door and left.
Minato sat back and wiped his puffy red eyes. Jiraiya looked at him and said, "You know when I tell Naruto that you cried over him he's never going to let you live it down." Minato glared at him with angry blue eyes. "I really want to believe like you do sensei. I really do. But he got caught in a fight with an assassin and two well trained guards. The man even said that the surviving guard claimed that Kushina stabbed him with her sword."
"You don't believe that, do you?" Jiraiya said. He was starting to get a tad angry with the boy. Minato shook his head. "No, it was more likely that the guard is lying to cover up something he did himself. Why would he lie unless he actually killed him? Oh god sensei... He's my brother and I've only had him for two years." Jiraiya shook his head. There was no talking sense into the blonde. They would meet Kushina at the rendezvous point tomorrow and Minato would see! Naruto would probably just have bump on his head where he tripped or something. Jiraiya nodded, trying to convince himself more than anything.
End Chapter 12
:O After re-reading this I realize that there were a lot of swear words!