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Old 01-13-2009, 02:19 PM   #16
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Re: Naruto Shippuden

Sakura screamed as every window in the hallway shattered, sending glass though the air like shrapnel. The shockwave threw both her and the ANBU carrying her into the far wall. Sakura was stunned. Her master had sealed the chakra. She had seen it. What was going on?

Sakura stood on shaky legs and peered through an empty window frame. Her Master lay sprawled on the ground at least twenty yards from Naruto, and was struggling to get up. Yamato’s jutsu still held fast to Naruto, and it looked almost complete. The wooden pillars rose high in the air, almost reaching up to the open roof of the three-story building. Naruto bucked and clawed at the ground like a rabid junkyard dog who’s territory had just been trespassed on. He snarled, and Sakura watched as the tails rapidly reformed.

One . . . two . . three. If the fourth tail formed . . .

Sakura shut her eyes tight, willing this to be a bad dream. This just couldn’t happen here.

Sakura felt strong arms grab her around the abdomen from behind and try to haul her off again.

"Wait!" she yelled.

"No time!" hissed the mysterious ninja. "We have to get out of here now!"

Sakura ignored the one holding her, and called to her Master, who had managed to stand, though she was bleeding from a cut on her head and was cradling an arm.

"Tsunade-sama! What happened? What made him so angry?"

Tsunade spared Sakura a glance, as Naruto was only growling at the moment, his eyes shifting wildly as he considered how to best break free of the sealing jutsu. Yamato looked as though he would reach his limit soon. He was bent over at the waist and breathing heavily.

"His anger isn’t the problem!" Tsunade croaked as she began to heal her broken arm, blue-green chakra lighting her features. "Naruto is . . ." Tsunade grimaced against her own pain before finishing her thought. "Naruto is in despair."

Tsunade gave Sakura a sad, sympathetic smile.

"Now get out of here," her master said. "There’s nothing more you can do."

Sakura felt as if someone had stabbed her through the heart with an icicle. She was no stranger to despair. Images of Sasuke leapt through her mind. She remembered yet again how she had begged, and how he had only said thank you as he knocked her unconscious.

Then there were more images, this time of someone Sakura had known only briefly, but had come to love in the heat of battle as if she were her own grandmother. Sakura remembered the feel of the cold stone of Chiyo’s grave as she touched it lightly in a final farewell gesture to a woman who had taught her so much. Somehow, Sakura had always come through despair a stronger, wiser person.

But Naruto . . . Naruto never despaired.

He didn’t despair when he was just a lonely kid with goofy goggles striving for attention. He didn’t give up when she and Sasuke were at Gaara’s mercy. He’d been hopelessly outmatched by a number of opponents, and he had somehow managed to survive or triumph in every encounter. Even when he failed to bring back Sasuke he . . .

"No!" Sakura said confidently. "I won’t run away when a friend is in need." She smiled as she echoed Naruto’s own words. "That’s my way of the Ninja!"

The ANBU holding her was quick, and Sakura could feel his muscles tense as he prepared to carry out the Hokage’s orders despite Sakura’s determination. But he was no match for Sakura’s shear strength. She planted her feet and leapt through the window, shrugging the elite ninja off of her like he was an old coat. Sakura wasn’t sure what she was planning, but if she could just land one blow, if she could just knock Naruto out . . .

Even rooted to the ground as he was, it was no easy route to approach Naruto in this state. Naruto snarled and swiped a claw-filled hand at Sakura as she rapidly closed the distance between them. Understanding that blocking was useless, Sakura back flipped away from the hand strike, then side-stepped a downward crushing blow from the right-most tail. Each of Naruto’s attacks gashed the ground, sending bricks and debris flying, and it was all Sakura could do to keep one step ahead of her Kyuubi-enraged friend.

One, two, and three tails pierced the ground where Sakura had been standing only an instant before. Saukra twisted, rolled and flipped to safety. She launched herself at Naruto, fist first, but Naruto ducked under her at the last moment, razing her back and tearing her scarlet kimono as she went by. Sakura cried out in pain, but landed in a fighting stance. The wound stung, but it wasn’t too deep, and thankfully Naruto hadn’t hit her while surrounded with that horrible chakra she had encountered that fateful day they had found Ochimaru, and Sasuke. But the fourth tail had almost formed, and at this rate, there would be no stopping him.

Sakura tilted her head as she studied her opponent. Naruto stared back. He was calm now, but growling softly to himself as he watched her. The fourth tail still bubbled, slowly taking form. He was daring her to come at him again, but Sakura also saw something else in those red-orange eyes of rage. She saw sadness, loneliness, and longing. Sakura understood then what it was she had to do.

"Sakura!" yelled Captain Yamato. "Its all right. The Hokage and I can handle this. Back up is on the way. Please, help these two make sure everyone gets to safety!"

Sakura was only now aware that the two ANBU and Tsunade had been watching her breathlessly. She looked at her master defiantly. Tsunade’s cold battle stare softened, and she nodded to Sakura.

"Don’t worry, Captain." Sakura said. "I’ll take it from here."

With that, Sakura charged one last time.
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The frog in the well drifts into the great ocean.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:20 PM   #17
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Re: Naruto Shippuden

Naruto was surrounded by crushing pressure. He was being drawn, as if in slow motion, ever closer to the gate that he knew, once he passed through this time, that he would probably not return. Dimly, the sounds of a battle reached his ears. The sounds came as if echoing down a dark cave or drainage pipe. He heard screams, warnings, desperation. He even heard confidence and hope.

Naruto was in short supply of hope at the moment. Was it really going to end like this?

Just as Naruto was passing through the bars of the great iron gate, Naruto heard a distant voice. The voice came clearly and crisply as it echoed down the maze of dark cavern’s of his soul which lead to this horrible place. It was Sakura.

"Naruto!" she called. Her voice waivered, as if she was in pain. "Naruto! I know you can hear me! Naruto! Arrrrrgh! Stop struggling and listen. Please!"

Naruto reached out a hand and grabbed one of the bars to the gate. His motion into the darkness halted. His armed strained, the tendons felt as if the would snap in two.

"Oh?" said the voice of the demon fox. It sounded louder and more deadly than ever. "I thought we had agreed to stop playing these foolish games!"

"If I fall here," Naruto grunted. "We will hurt Sakura-chan. I won’t allow that."

"The wench was a fool to get in our way." sneered the fox. "I won’t lie, we will kill her. Her and everyone else who used you and held you back."

"No!" snarled Naruto as he got his other hand free and clutched at the bar with both hands. It didn’t help much. His fingers were already slipping. "Sakura-chan! Please, run!"

Sakura responded as if she had heard him.

"I won’t run Naruto. I’ll always be by your side. Stop trying to carry that burden inside you by yourself. I will carry it with you for as long as I live! I know I can do this because I . . . because I . . . I love you!

Naruto heard a heartbeat. It was his heartbeat. It beat loudly through the cavernous darkness. From that heartbeat a connection began to form. Chakra. His own chakra was flooding into the darkness, riding on currents of . . . joy?

"Do you hear me Naruto Uzumaki!" Sakura cried, her voice now sharp and clear as if she were yelling it in his ear. "I love you! I love you! I love you!"

"No!" snarled the great demon fox, who was pulling ferociously on him now, trying to shake his grip on the bar.. "It is too late!"But Naruto knew it wasn’t. With his own Chakra flowing over him, Naruto felt strength flow through him. A whirlpool formed in the murky-brown water, and as the pool spun the water began to change color. Eventually the water became the purest, clearest blue. Strong enough to hold onto the bar with one hand, Naruto struck the demon fox on the wrist with the other. The Kyuubi let out a great angry roar, but Naruto was free.

"You brat!" called the fox. "You’ll pay for making me wait again!"Naruto ignored the threat easily as the horrible demonic voice faded away and Naruto opened his real eyes. He had returned to the light.

But something was still crushing him, making blood rush to his head and making it nearly impossible to breathe. Despite this pain, Naruto’s head was pressed against something soft. He felt silk on his cheek, and warm skin on his nose. Sunburned skin. Sakura’s skin.

"Sakura . . .chan?" Naruto asked weakly.

Sakura’s sleeper hold loosened and became a warm embrace. He was seated on a mound of up-turned earth. She was on her knees beside him as she held him close. She was crying softly. The front of her Kimono had burned through where she had held his head to her bosom. A faint, green glow still surrounded her. Had she used precise healing and chakra control to protect herself from being burned too badly as she administered her hold on him?

"Naruto." Sakura tearfully whispered in his ear. "You are safe now. You are safe now."

Naruto pushed away from her just enough to look into her eyes, and blushed when he realized how much cleavage was now showing. Not knowing where to look, he looked down. Only to feel the tears well up again in his own eyes.

"He’s gone . . . Sakura-chan." Naruto said with a cracked voice. "He’s gone and I didn’t even get to say goodbye."

"Wh-Who’s gone" Sakura sniffed. "What do you mean?"

"Master Jiraiya." Naruto said. He barely got the words out before the deep sobs came. Sakura clutched him close to her bosom again, rubbing the back of his head. Together, they cried for the loss of a legend. Together, Sakura and Naruto had found each other.
__________________

Failures must be seen as amusements,they are trials which hone your skills.
The frog in the well drifts into the great ocean.
Feel pain,conteplate pain,accept pain and know pain.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:22 PM   #18
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Re: Naruto Shippuden

Tsunade sat at her desk in the office of the Hokage, pretending to study some documents in front of her. No one was with her, so she knew she was not trying to fool anyone but herself, but it was hard to concentrate on mission requests and training results at the moment. She sighed and opened a cabinet on the lower left portion of her desk.

Tsunade frowned. What she was looking for wasn’t there. She opened a drawer. It was full of lottery tickets, quills, some scroll sealing wax, and a stamp with the Konoha seal on it. What she sought wasn’t there either. Tsunade grumbled low in her throat. She really had to stop destroying desks. Every time she got a new one, she had no idea where anything was.

She methodically searched every drawer, finally finding what she was looking for on the bottom right. Tsunade pulled the cork and poured herself a tall glass of sake. It had been a long day. It had also been a close call.

With Yamato struggling against the Kyuubi’s chakra, Tsunade had sent the elder frog Naruto had summoned to request backup from members of the Nara clan. Shikamaru had been the first to arrive, followed by his father. Tsunade was glad it turned out they hadn’t needed their shadow-binding skills. She wasn’t sure if even they would be able to hold Naruto once he reached his four-tailed state. Sakura had managed to save the day in the end.

"Sakura." Tsunade said the name out loud, thoughtfully.

The Fifth downed her glass in one gulp, and then poured herself another. The young kunoichi from team Kakashi had single handedly done what no one else could. Tsunade smiled with pride for her young apprentice. She really did love Naruto, that was easy to see. Tsunade wanted to be happy for Sakura, but she also understood her student was walking a thin line. First, there were rules against fraternization between members of the same team. Tsunade knew first hand how unhealthy that could be. Especially if . . .

Her memories drifted back to that horrible day. Dan lay on that forest floor covered in blood. His standard Konoha forest green and black ninja uniform and vest were soaked in it. His long white hair was wet from the rain but was somehow unstained. No matter what she tried, there was nothing she could do. Nothing but watch him die.

And now Jiraiya was also . . .

Tsunade felt the tears welling in her eyes, and downed another glass of the rice-brewed beverage. She welcomed the warm sensation it brought. It welled up from inside her chest and made her cheeks flush. She didn’t want to see Sakura have to go through that. Plus, there was that other matter. She’d been avoiding it up until now, but sooner or later this had to be done.

Tsunade took out a scroll, spread it on her desk, and began writing. The Konoha government was a crude one. The Hokage was elected by a council of elders. Once elected, the Hokage would retain complete control over all ninja activities, while the council spoke for the people of the village and were also the liaisons between the village and the Fire nation itself. Danzo wasn’t even on the council, but he wielded extraordinary influence. Tsunade knew she had to move cautiously.

Baby sitting Naruto with his own people and keeping him tucked away somewhere didn’t seem to fit his interests. It was almost too . . . conservative. Just what was the old fool playing at?

Tsunade had been suspicious of Danzo even before he had taken it upon himself to make sure Sasuke Uchiha was assassinated. Though that act had not been traitorous, it was extremely insubordinate. It had been just like Danzo to try and find away to take the aggressive action, and just eliminate the threat. He did so knowing full well Tsunade still considered the Uchiha boy a leaf ninja and had ordered Yamato to bring him back alive at any cost. Tsunade had not been able to do anything but issue an official reprimand, which amounted to nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Just the thought of the injustice made Tsunade want to break another desk, but she refrained.

Furthermore, it wasn’t likely the bastard had ever really wanted an alliance with Ochimaru, and Danzo had no desire to be Hokage. Of these things at least, Tsunade was sure. However, the man had his own agenda. That much was obvious, and dangerous.

Why did he warn the council of the still classified information of Jiraiya’s demise? She could only think of a few reasons. One would be to divide and weaken Konoha’s leadership by spreading doubt in the Hokage. The other to manipulate the council into acting aggressively to solve Konoha’s problems. Tsunade surmised that it all came back to the boy, Naruto. Lately, it seemed everything always did.

Right now the council was meeting to discuss what should be done about the boy, and Tsunade did worry a little about what it would mean if Danzo was given charge over the boy. Danzo would not be welcome at that meeting, which gave Tsunade time to act. The trick was not to act just as Danzo wanted. Tsunade finished writing on the scroll, signed it, and stamped it with her official seal. She looked at the glass of Sake, shrugged, and after downing it drained the rest of the bottle before putting it away. Her head began to swim with that pleasant, warm feeling that her favorite drink always brought.

"Shizzimo, shizoneeho . . ." Tsunade slurred loudly. "Ah hell. Hey, pig-carrying assistant! Com’ere!"

Shizune opened the door and walked purposefully in. Her wiry frame kept a perfect posture that didn’t even ruffle her black Kimono as she walked. She took one look at her Hokage and put a cross look on her face.

"Don" Tsunade hiccuped. "Don you look at me lii thaa."

"Tsunade-sama." Shizune scolded. "Now’s not the time to be getting drunk. You should be on your best behavior after . . ."

"I’m not wa-worried bout tha, Shizpony." Tsunade said with a smile. "Jus’ take this to the council. Tell- tell’em its a "compromise."

Shizone looked worried. "Tsunade-sama. You’re not going to . . ."

"Don’t be, woah," Tsunade balanced her head in her hands as the world spun for her. "Don’t be silly, Shizuuune. I’m not handing Naruto over to Danzo." Tsunade began to laugh as if what she had said was funny, and when Shizune looked even more horrified, it made her laugh even harder. Shaking her head, Shizune took the scroll and left the room. Watching her leave, Tsunade lay her head down on her desk and passed out.
__________________

Failures must be seen as amusements,they are trials which hone your skills.
The frog in the well drifts into the great ocean.
Feel pain,conteplate pain,accept pain and know pain.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:25 PM   #19
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Re: Naruto Shippuden

Tsunade was awakened a few hours later by a knock on the office doors. The room was getting dark as dusk was setting in over Konoha, and it took a moment for her eyes to adjust. The knock on the door came again. The knocking sounded like it was coming from inside her head. Tsunade rubbed her temples, trying to massage her headache away.

"Come in!" Tsunade groaned.

The door opened, and a shadowed silhouette entered the room. Female, young, with a scarlet Kimono and distinctive pink hair.

"Oh, its you, Sakura." Tsunade said softly as she continued to rub her temples. This might not go well. Did she know already the compromise she had decided to make? "What can I do for you?"

"Master." Sakura bowed deeply, giving the appropriate greeting. "I have questions, Master. Please, if you have time . . . I know its late."

"You want to know about Naruto, right?"

Sakura nodded. The girl looked so serious. She was angry. Tsunade had gotten fairly adept at reading her students emotions. But respect was also important to Sakura.

Tsunade sighed. "Where should I begin?"

Sakura answered the question for her. Whatever restraints Sakura had placed upon herself quickly came off. "Why did you wait so long to tell Naruto about master Jiraiya? Why did no one tell him who his parents were all these years? And why . . . why didn’t you trust me to be there when you told him these things!"

Sakura got progressively louder with each question. She advanced slowly on the Hokage’s desk, step by step, until she slammed her palms down on the desk and could look Tsunade straight in the eye by the time the third question was finished. Fire burned within

Sakura’s pale green eyes, despite the fact that they were misty with tears. It reminded Tsunade of Naruto when she had first met him, when he had lectured her not to disgrace the title of Hokage.

Tsunade stood up, and calmly reached for her green robe. Sliding it on, she looked at her student, who was still waiting expectantly for an answer.

"Sakura, take a walk with me. This place is stuffy and I need to clear my head."

Sakura looked taken aback, clearly expecting to at least be chastised for speaking so impolitely. The younger woman nodded dumbly and followed Tsunade out the door.

Tsunade lead Sakura out into the parks surrounding the Hokage mansion. The lights of the town had already begun to come on. They walked in silence the whole time, and Tsunade could feel the young woman’s curious stare on her. Soon they were leaving the town behind as they reached the trail that would take them up the mountainside to the Hokage faces. Up they went, the lights of Konoha becoming smaller and more distant, until they at last reached a viewing platform halfway up the mountain. It was one of Tsunade’s favorite spots. It provided a breathtaking view of Konoha, its red-orange rooftops a glow with the last rays of the setting sun. One also had a good view of the side profile of the Fourth Hokage from here.

"Tsunade-sama" Sakura began carefully.

"I waited to tell Naruto for exactly the reason you saw. I was afraid in his injured condition he wouldn’t be able to repress the Kyuubi if it saw an opening in his emotional state. I would have waited longer, but the council got wind of it. They would have shut me down. He needed to know. I took a risk. I’m sorry."

Sakura’s eyes darted from side to side as she listened.

"How . .. How long have you known, about . . ."

"One of Jiraiya’s summons made it back before your mission to find Sasuke was complete.

"And, his parents?"

Tsunade studied Sakura. "Naruto didn’t tell you?"

"He-" Sakura struggled for the words. "He said his father wished it . . . but still."

"You think we should have told him sooner anyway."

"Of course!" said Sakura.

"Perhaps you are right, Sakura." Tsunade admitted. She indicated the bust of the Fourth on the mountainside with a nod of her head. "But the Fourth Hokage had a reason for everything he did. We tried to respect those reasons as long as we could."

"I see," said Sakura.

"But I am sorry for not having you be there Sakura," Tsunade said warmly. "Its not that I didn’t trust you. I just didn’t want to put any more people in danger than necessary. Do you understand?"

Sakura hesitated, then nodded reluctantly. Tsunade considered her student for a long moment, watching her struggle with her emotions.

"Beware of your feelings for him, Sakura."

Sakura looked up, both surprised and defiant.

"I won’t deny them any longer, Master," she said.

"All I’m saying, Sakura, is that love for a Kunoichi is risky. You know the rules between teammates, especially for young ninja like you and Naruto. If you can not keep your emotions for him in check, you will have to be on different teams.

Sakura looked horrified. "Master, we . . . we would always be, professional."

"But how would you react now if he was seriously injured, or killed? Would you be able to fight on? Complete your mission. A long time ago, I nearly wasn’t able to."

"Master, you were . . .?"

Tsunade laughed. "Is it so hard to believe I was in love once?"

"Well, no" Sakura said sheepishly. "Its just that . . . you mean to say you lost someone? Who was he?"

"Someone very special." Tsunade said, feeling her own eyes grow misty. "He believed in me. Supported my ideas about medical ninja being part of a squad when no one else would. Just like Naruto believes in you."

Sakura blinked. "But all I can ever do for him is . . ."

"Naruto doesn’t see it that way. He’s always respected you. It was easy for me to see. And you saved him today. Don’t forget that. If it weren’t for you I . . . I don’t know what would have happened."

Sakura was silent for a long time. Tsunade followed her eyes. She was staring thoughtfully at the visage of the Fourth Hokage. The wind whipped past, blowing both their hair backward.

"Tsunade-sama." Sakura said at last. "I know what I feel for Naruto is risky. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take. I won’t let anything happen to him. For the Fourth’s dream, for your grandfather’s dream, for Naruto’s dream, I will protect him with everything I am. If that is not enough, then I will carry on his dream, and become Hokage myself . . . just as you did."
__________________

Failures must be seen as amusements,they are trials which hone your skills.
The frog in the well drifts into the great ocean.
Feel pain,conteplate pain,accept pain and know pain.
Proud member of The Three Legandary Sannin Fanclub.
Proud member of the Jiraiya Fanclub.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:26 PM   #20
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Re: Naruto Shippuden

Tsunade’s eyes shot open wide and her breath caught in her chest at these stirring words. Slowly, a smile formed on her lips. But there was still something Sakura needed to know. The Fifth had been dreading telling the girl, but now she felt like the young woman would understand.

"Sakura, Naruto needs a mentor, and Jiraiya can no longer help him." Tsunade said.

Sakura tilted her head curiously. Perhaps she was wondering why Tsunade was bringing that up again.

"There is little more Kakashi can teach him, so I’m sending him away."

Sakura eyes went wide as she began to panic.

"B-but why? Tsunade-sama there are so many here who could train him."

"Its not that simple Sakura." Tsunade said sadly. "The council will soon demand that we keep him under lock and key. I’ve promised them that I can send him to a safe place. A place where Akatsuki can not touch him while he trains. In the meantime, we will use information that Jiraiya managed to get to us before he died to hunt down the remaining Akatsuki members."

Sakura’s eyes began to well with tears. She searched for an argument. Any argument. It tore Tsunade up to see her like this. She had just seen the girl profess her love for the Fourth’s son with all her heart. Sakura had finally admitted her feelings to herself, she and Naruto had finally found one another, and now Tsunade was going to force them to be apart again.

"Let me go with him then!" Sakura begged. "I can help with his training, keep him healed if he goes too far. What if he injures himself with something more destructive than the rasenshiruken?"

"We need you here, Sakura." Tsunade said with finality, shaking her head slowly. "Where he is going you can not follow. He will be training with the same ones that the Third had train Jiraiya, The Frog Sages."

"The Frog Sages?" Sakura repeated dumbly.

"Meanwhile, the council will be pacified."

"H-how long will the training take." Sakura asked.

"That’s entirely up to him." Tsunade said. "I suspect that it will be especially tough the first year or so."

"Y-year or so . . ." Sakura said, looking even sadder.

"I have training for you too, Sakura."

Now Sakura really looked startled.

"First, I’m going to teach you your own summon." Tsunade said proudly. "That should give Kurunai time to recover from giving birth to the baby she is about to have. Then you will start training with her as soon as she is ready."

"I-I’m going to train with Kurunai-sensei?" Sakura asked. "But why?"

"To develop your genjutsu skills of course!" Tsunade said.

Sakura looked both scared and excited. Her mouth hung open in amazement at all that she had heard. It made Tsunade laugh. She put a hand on Sakura’s shoulder.

"You are going to surpass even me one day, Sakura." Tsunade said. "You are already more capable than I ever was at your age. You’ll be a master of both the body and the mind, and our enemies will fear you far and wide. I’m so very proud of you."

Sakura beamed, but Tsunade saw instantly that all the praise in the world was not enough to mend the heartache that was building within the girl.

"When does Naruto leave?" Sakura asked timidly.

Tsunade hesitated, hating to look into her student’s pained eyes. "He leaves in the morning. Shizune will have already delivered the orders by now."

Sakura nodded, and though she looked like she wanted to cry, she did not.

"Does Naruto know?" Sakura asked.

"Before he almost lost control of the Kyuubi, before you arrived, I had him summon one of the frog sages. That one will explain to Naruto what must be done. It’s the one that brought back the Nara clan members. Do you remember?"

Sakura nodded, indicating she did.

"Then, I will go see him now." said Sakura. "Although . . ."

"Although?" Tsunade promted.

"I know there are others who would want to see him too," Sakura said thoughtfully.

Tsunade smiled. Perhaps Sakura really could keep this professional.

"I'm sure something can be arranged." Tsunade said. "But its after hours already, so don’t stay too late. I expect to see you in the morning at dawn. Come ready to train on training ground five."

"Yes mam!" Sakura said smartly.

Tsunade watched the young ninja launch herself from the platform and head back into town at full speed. Then she looked up at the Hokage faces on the mountain, which now included a bust of herself. We’re going to need another mountain, Tsunade thought as she considered the next generation.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:28 PM   #21
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Re: Naruto Shippuden

Naruto smiled brightly as another familiar face entered the hospital’s small cafeteria. There were so many friends gathered here now that not a table was left empty. He waved his right arm to the newcomers. The tendons still felt tight and the arm was sore, but it was definitely healed. A healed arm was good news, but it felt like a cursed arm to Naruto at the moment. It served as a constant reminder of what had almost happened just a few hours before. It felt a little wrong to Naruto that, despite almost destroying this hospital, and despite how close he came to likely destroying Konoha itself, that he was now sitting at what had effectively become his going away party.

Naruto was glad to see Konohamaru and his inseparable team, the snot nosed Udon, and the rosy-cheeked Moegi. Even that closet pervert of a teacher of theirs was with them. The genin still made Naruto laugh just as they had when they were kids. But they weren’t Sakura, and she was the one person he most wanted to see right now.

It was Sakura, apparently, that Naruto had to thank for all this. Word was she had been going around making sure everyone knew that Naruto would be leaving the next day for a special training assignment. She had even gotten some of the hospital staff to agree to stay late and support this little event. Where could she be? Naruto wondered.

Only Shikamaru, Kakashi, and Yamato seemed to know the real reason why Naruto was leaving. Thus, the party had a festive and congratulatory atmosphere. People kept coming up to him, patting him on the back and telling him job well done. It was understood in the ninja world that to train at the heart of one’s summoning contract was a huge honor. Naruto might as well have been just been promoted to Jonin, because that was the required rank to even be considered for such training. It was like skipping a rank entirely, and all Granny Tsunade would have to do would be to conduct a small ceremony to make it official.

But Naruto didn’t care about rank right now. There were other things on his mind, like his heritage, Sasuke, the Kyuubi, or Jiraiya-sama and the message he had left. The funny little elder frog with the bushy eyebrows had explained the first goal they would work on after they left in the morning would be to re-seal the Kyuubi’s chakra using some sort of "combination." "Grandpa frog," as Naruto called him, had then decided to return to wherever it was that summons went when they disappeared. As Naruto thought of this, he marveled at how little he actually knew about how summoning worked. It was a wonder he could do it at all, but Jiraiya had always taught him what he thought was necessary.

So, Naruto laughed and joked and tried to have a pleasant moment among friends. He was unsuccessful at cutting off Konohamaru’s latest perverted jutsu, which involved the likenesses of two female ninja in Naruto’s age group. Naruto looked for a place to hide as the jutsu drew scowl from Ino, who couldn’t help but recognize herself and Ten-ten through the fog of the transformation effect.

Konohamaru had done the jutsu without taking his surroundings into account, and when he realized who else had been watching, he panicked.

"Naruto-ni-chan!" He cried. "Save me! She’s going to melt my brain!"

"I’ll do more than melt your brain when I’m through with you, you little twerp!" cried a red-faced Ino as she chased Konohamaru out of the cafeteria.

Elsewhere, Neji was making a desperate leap to stop Rock Lee from drinking some of the punch that had been provided for the event. What had he seen in the punch with his Byakugan, Naruto wondered. Choji busied himself with the snacks that had been provided by the cafeteria, and Ten-ten was watching helplessly as Gai Sensei worked diligently at setting up a piñata. His challenge to Kakashi that he would be the first to break the double cast iron turtle-shaped piñata was apparently going unnoticed however, as Kakashi was more interested in that dumb book of his again.

Shikamaru was teaching Sai how to play Shogi, but Naruto’s emotionally-challenged teammate kept asking questions, and Naruto could see Shikamaru beginning to wonder what he had gotten himself into. Through it all, Naruto kept one eye glued on the entrance, hoping to see the lean form of the pink haired Kunoichi who had saved him only a few hours earlier. Naruto also had the nagging feeling he was forgetting something.

Piñata . . . Piñata. Something about Piñata’s? No!
Naruto slapped his own forehead as he remembered.

"Hinata!" He said out loud.

Fuzzy-brows heard him and looked up from where he was still wrestling with Neji over the ladle from the punch bowl.

"That’s right, Naruto-kun!" said Lee. "Lets go see her."

"Good idea," said Neji. "Now Lee, just hand me the ladle. Very slowly . . ."
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:30 PM   #22
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Re: Naruto Shippuden

Naruto smiled brightly as another familiar face entered the hospital’s small cafeteria. There were so many friends gathered here now that not a table was left empty. He waved his right arm to the newcomers. The tendons still felt tight and the arm was sore, but it was definitely healed. A healed arm was good news, but it felt like a cursed arm to Naruto at the moment. It served as a constant reminder of what had almost happened just a few hours before. It felt a little wrong to Naruto that, despite almost destroying this hospital, and despite how close he came to likely destroying Konoha itself, that he was now sitting at what had effectively become his going away party.

Naruto was glad to see Konohamaru and his inseparable team, the snot nosed Udon, and the rosy-cheeked Moegi. Even that closet pervert of a teacher of theirs was with them. The genin still made Naruto laugh just as they had when they were kids. But they weren’t Sakura, and she was the one person he most wanted to see right now.

It was Sakura, apparently, that Naruto had to thank for all this. Word was she had been going around making sure everyone knew that Naruto would be leaving the next day for a special training assignment. She had even gotten some of the hospital staff to agree to stay late and support this little event. Where could she be? Naruto wondered.

Only Shikamaru, Kakashi, and Yamato seemed to know the real reason why Naruto was leaving. Thus, the party had a festive and congratulatory atmosphere. People kept coming up to him, patting him on the back and telling him job well done. It was understood in the ninja world that to train at the heart of one’s summoning contract was a huge honor. Naruto might as well have been just been promoted to Jonin, because that was the required rank to even be considered for such training. It was like skipping a rank entirely, and all Granny Tsunade would have to do would be to conduct a small ceremony to make it official.

But Naruto didn’t care about rank right now. There were other things on his mind, like his heritage, Sasuke, the Kyuubi, or Jiraiya-sama and the message he had left. The funny little elder frog with the bushy eyebrows had explained the first goal they would work on after they left in the morning would be to re-seal the Kyuubi’s chakra using some sort of "combination." "Grandpa frog," as Naruto called him, had then decided to return to wherever it was that summons went when they disappeared. As Naruto thought of this, he marveled at how little he actually knew about how summoning worked. It was a wonder he could do it at all, but Jiraiya had always taught him what he thought was necessary.

So, Naruto laughed and joked and tried to have a pleasant moment among friends. He was unsuccessful at cutting off Konohamaru’s latest perverted jutsu, which involved the likenesses of two female ninja in Naruto’s age group. Naruto looked for a place to hide as the jutsu drew scowl from Ino, who couldn’t help but recognize herself and Ten-ten through the fog of the transformation effect.

Konohamaru had done the jutsu without taking his surroundings into account, and when he realized who else had been watching, he panicked.

"Naruto-ni-chan!" He cried. "Save me! She’s going to melt my brain!"

"I’ll do more than melt your brain when I’m through with you, you little twerp!" cried a red-faced Ino as she chased Konohamaru out of the cafeteria.

Elsewhere, Neji was making a desperate leap to stop Rock Lee from drinking some of the punch that had been provided for the event. What had he seen in the punch with his Byakugan, Naruto wondered. Choji busied himself with the snacks that had been provided by the cafeteria, and Ten-ten was watching helplessly as Gai Sensei worked diligently at setting up a piñata. His challenge to Kakashi that he would be the first to break the double cast iron turtle-shaped piñata was apparently going unnoticed however, as Kakashi was more interested in that dumb book of his again.

Shikamaru was teaching Sai how to play Shogi, but Naruto’s emotionally-challenged teammate kept asking questions, and Naruto could see Shikamaru beginning to wonder what he had gotten himself into. Through it all, Naruto kept one eye glued on the entrance, hoping to see the lean form of the pink haired Kunoichi who had saved him only a few hours earlier. Naruto also had the nagging feeling he was forgetting something.

Piñata . . . Piñata. Something about Piñata’s? No!
Naruto slapped his own forehead as he remembered.

"Hinata!" He said out loud.

Fuzzy-brows heard him and looked up from where he was still wrestling with Neji over the ladle from the punch bowl.

"That’s right, Naruto-kun!" said Lee. "Lets go see her."

"Good idea," said Neji. "Now Lee, just hand me the ladle. Very slowly . . ."
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Failures must be seen as amusements,they are trials which hone your skills.
The frog in the well drifts into the great ocean.
Feel pain,conteplate pain,accept pain and know pain.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:35 PM   #23
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Re: Naruto Shippuden

Hinata was very tired, but in good spirits as Naruto, Lee, Neji, and Ten-Ten entered Hinata’s recovery room. Hinata blushed and tried to hide under her bed sheets when she saw Naruto, even though her teammates Kiba and Shino were already visiting her. A very round-bellied Kurani looked on with amusement as Kiba admonished Hinata for being rude to Naruto by hiding like that.

After some polite conversation and well wishing to Hinata, and to Naruto’s chagrin, even more congratulations, Naruto asked for a moment alone with Hinata. Kiba looked as though he would protest, but stopped himself when he saw Naruto’s solemn expression. Kurani gave a knowing smile to Hinata, who looked mortified. Hinata’s team leader and teacher struggled to stand as Shino helped her.

"Don’t be too long, Naruto." Kuranai said. "Hinata needs her rest."

"I understand," said Naruto.

"What’s going on?" demanded Lee. "Why is Naruto-kun so serious?"

Ten-ten flicked Lee on top of his head with a forefinger.

"You’re so dense, Lee." she said, grabbing him by the arm. "Lets go. I’ll explain it to you outside."

Naruto could hear Lee’s protests all the way down the hall even after the door was closed. He laughed nervously and scratched the back of his head, trying to break the ice with Hinata, who was trembling but had a determined edge to her deep white eyes.

"Fuzzy-brows is even louder than me, isn’t he?" Naruto joked.

Hinata tried to get to the elephant in the room quickly.

"Naruto-kun, what I said in the last battle . . .I . . . I really do . . . but . . ."

"Hinata," Naruto said as he took a seat next to her bedside. "It means a lot to me. It really does." Naruto said it without breaking eye contact, so that she would know he was serious.

Hinata looked like she had forgotten to breathe, but she did something Naruto did not expect. She placed her hand on top of his right hand, which was resting on the armrest of the chair. The hair on the back of Naruto’s neck bristled at her touch, and Naruto felt slightly embarrassed at the revealing nature of Hinata’s hospital gown, especially with the size of her . . .

"I’ve always believed in you, Naruto." Hinata said, drawing his attention back to her face. "I always knew you were really strong, and I hated the way people looked down on you. I . . . that is, I felt like . . . you were just like me."

Now it was Naruto’s turn to be breathless.

"Hinata . . ." was all he managed as he searched for words.

Hinata gripped his hand tighter and rolled her body closer.

"I can see how you feel about Sakura-san, though." Hinata said sadly with a slight quiver in her voice. "Maybe if I just hadn’t be so scared I would be the one . . ."

"Never doubt yourself, Hinata-chan." Naruto interrupted. "I never doubted you either. So please don’t be sad, because I can’t stand to see you that way."

"I’m not sad, Naruto." Hinata said seriously. "Just being here with you is . . ." Hinata stammered, and then the tears did begin to flow. "But you are leaving tomorrow aren’t you?"

"Yeah, I’m not crazy about it either." Naruto admitted.

This seemed to surprise Hinata somewhat. "B-but Naruto-kun, doesn’t it mean you are promoted to . . ."

"I guess," said Naruto. "But you were here. Didn’t you hear all the noise when . . ."

But Hinata didn’t know the details of what had happened. Naruto could see that. Had they evacuated her? Had she been unconscious or asleep? There may be no telling.

"Anyway," said Naruto in smooth transition. "There is still the really strong Akatsuki that nearly took you out, and he had the Sharingan, and that’s a big deal, and we also need to find the leader, and find the other Jinchuriki before they do. Plus, Sakura-chan and I . . ." Naruto caught himself, but not in time for Hinata to miss the meaning.

Hinata just smiled, much to Naruto’s relief.

"If you are happy, Naruto-kun. I think I will be happy." She gave his hand a small squeeze. "But as I told Sakura-san. I’m not giving up just yet!"

This made Naruto laugh out loud. How could he expect anything less?

"Take care, Naruto." Hinata said.

"Yeah," Naruto said with a smile. "You too."

He leaned over and gently kissed her forehead. This made Hinata blush fiercely and pass out. Love was a strange game, Naruto reflected. He ached for Sakura more than ever as he left Hinata to her dreams.
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The frog in the well drifts into the great ocean.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:45 PM   #24
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Re: Naruto Shippuden

After an hour and half or so, the hospital late shift began to usher everyone out. Naruto felt heartbroken, even a little betrayed as the last person left and he made his way back to his recovery room for one more night’s stay in the village he loved so much. Sakura-chan had not shown up. He began to wonder if she were in any danger. He thought about sneaking out of the hospital to find her. But Shizune was in charge of security, and knowing the state of alert the village was in over him, Naruto knew he couldn’t risk it. As Naruto gingerly changed into his pajamas without turning on the light. He still had to be careful not to disrupt the bandages on his legs, he considered sending a shadow clone. He had almost gotten around to putting his night cap on when a voice from the corner of his room made Naruto instantly fall into a defensive fighting stance.

"I’m sorry if I worried you, Naruto-kun," said a voice that sounded sweeter than honey to Naruto. It was Sakura’s voice. His heart skipped a beat.

"Sakura-chan!" Naruto sighed in relief.

They rushed to hold each other. Sakura’s embrace caused Naruto to breathe deeply, and he relished in the scent of her hair. She smelled of fresh spring flowers after a hard rain, and the warmth that radiated from her body blanketed him in comfort like the softest of quilts.

"I’m so sorry!" Sakura continued with a slight crack to her voice. "I wanted everyone to know. I needed you to be sent off, not thrown out."

"Sakura-chan, you didn’t have to . . ."

"But I couldn’t bear to come myself. I was so afraid. I was afraid everyone would be able to see right through me; see how much I’ve fallen for you! I needed you all to myself."

"Sakura-chan . . ." Naruto said as he cupped his hand along her jaw line. Then he kissed her, and the touch of her lips to his seemed to set the whole inside of his body aflame. This time their kiss was gentile and controlled. They waited for each other, tasted each other. Sakura inhaled deeply, taking all of Naruto’s breath with it. She leaned on him gently as she threw her arms around his neck, and together they toppled onto the bed. Naruto relished the feeling of her weight pressing into him. She was real. This was no dream. Or was it a dream come true?

Sakura broke the kiss and stood up, her chest heaving as she tried to catch her breath. Slowly, she walked over to the window and peered out, facing away from Naruto. Her hands gripped the window sill tightly, and in the light of a moon that was nearly full, Naruto realized her cheeks were glistening with teardrops.

"Hey, Sakura-chan," Naruto said, sitting up. "What’s . . ."

"Its not fair!" Sakura blurted with a cracked voice. "Why? Why now? Now, when I finally understand my feelings for you . . .when this time . . .this time I can love someone who would love me the way I need to be loved. If only it hadn’t taken me so long . . ."

Naruto sat up and reached for Sakura’s hand. Slowly, he pulled her into his lap, and she threw her arms around his neck and buried her face in his chest. He rocked her gently, and rubbed her back as she cried. She was wearing a new Kimono, but he could feel the bandages on her back where he had scratched her while under control of the Kyuubi. She had already warned him not to apologize, but still . . .

"I mean," Sakura sniffed, "we didn’t even get to go on a real date!"

Naruto almost laughed. After all they had been through, she was worried about that?

"Sakura . . ."

"Now I’m going to be left with nothing but my memories again."

Naruto cupped her face in his hands, gently brushing away the tears with his thumbs.

"Then lets make it a good memory," said Naruto. And then he kissed her. Naruto reflected upon how easy and comfortable it felt to kiss Sakura now, even though this time the salty taste of her tears made for a slightly new experience.

Sakura broke the kiss and placed her forehead on Naruto’s. She began to laugh in between sobs as she slowly composed herself.

"You are right, Naruto." she said with a soft chuckle.

Naruto tried to hide his confusion, but knew he was doing a poor job.

"I do always cry too easily." Sakura explained. "I’m sorry."

Naruto shifted uncomfortably as he tried to figure out what he should say. His burns still hurt in some areas, especially on his legs.

Sakura shot to her feet.

"Oh! I wasn’t hurting you, was I?" she asked worriedly.

"Its nothing," said Naruto. "It felt good to have you close."

Sakura smiled. In the moonlight he could see her cheeks flush the same color of her hair.

"Naruto," she said. "I do want to leave you with a good memory."

Even in the low light of the room Naruto could see a glint in her emerald eyes as she pulled the window curtains closed, then began to undo fasteners at her neck and along one side of her scarlet Kunoichi uniform. With a mischievous smirk on her face, she let the garment slide off of her to pool at her feet. This left Sakura standing in form-fitting black sports-apparel. As Sakura crossed her arms and began to lift off the top, Naruto croaked a half-hearted protest.

"Sakura-chan! You . . . we can’t . . . not here!"

Sakura did not stop undressing. "This whole wing is still evacuated until you leave, Naruto. We won’t be bothered." Sakura seemed to be enjoying the irony of how the precautions helped her in this situation. Naruto wasn’t sure he was quite as amused.

In a moment Sakura stood before Naruto in a simple but practical set of black bra-and panties. The moonlight coming through the window highlighted her muscular form and flat belly. Naruto swallowed as she crept gracefully up to him, and playfully pushed him over, climbed on top of him, and kissed him softly.

Sakura was positively intoxicating. Naruto had absolutely no defense against her as she took control of all of his senses. His eyes were closed, so he could not see. He felt her warm breath on his ear as she broke the kiss, and he could not hear. Without her lips on his, his mouth went dry, so he could not taste. As she worked the buttons of his pajama-top loose he could not breathe, so he could not smell. As she kissed his neck, and then his chest, the shivers that worked their way down his spine made him go numb, so he could not feel. Somehow, he did feel her hand work its way south of his belly button, and Naruto snapped out of her spell.

"Sakura-chan, wait!" Naruto gasped. "Just how far do you intend to go? Don’t you think we are moving too fast?"

Sakura locked her gaze on his. Her eyes were aflame with a hunger he had never known existed within his team mate. Then she gave him her answer breathlessly, one word at a time, between a barrage of wet kisses, while her hands caressed his spiky hair.

"Naruto . . . mmmm . . .I . . . need . . . this. Ah! . . . I . . . need . . .you. Please!"

Naruto wasn’t satisfied. This wasn’t like Sakura, he thought. How would you know? Another part of him wondered. Conflicted, he gently pushed Sakura away from him.

She moaned in protest, but seeing he was serious, some of the hunger in her eyes was replaced with warmth and gratitude.

"Sakura-chan," Naruto said. "We don’t have to rush this. If this is going where I think it is, its not a choice you can take back."

"Thank you, Naruto." Sakura said, sitting up. She sat on the side of the bed, and Naruto could no longer see her face. But as she spoke, Naruto could hear her worry, sadness, and heartache in every word. "I really do love you."

Naruto smiled. He was about to say, "I love you too." When Sakura continued.

"We are ninja. Our lives are full of hard choices. I want so badly to let everyone know how I feel about you, but I’m forced to act casual, because its professional. I never considered what it would be like to live like that, even when I . . ." Sakura stopped. She looked embarrassed.

Naruto thought he understood what she was going to say, but it didn’t matter. Sasuke was Sasuke, and Naruto understood he would always be a part of who Sakura was. Naruto was more concerned about the bandages that he could now see on her back from this angle. It was that reminder that he had hurt her again that hurt him more than anything. He took her hand in his.

Sakura turned and lay on him again, looking him directly in the eyes. She was close enough that her hair hung down and tickled his nose and forehead.

"Don’t you see, Naruto?" Sakura said in a low voice. "There is never a guarantee we will make it through the next battle, or even the next day. Our enemies are strong, and they won’t stop until they are defeated. Even training can be dangerous. We . . . we don’t have the luxury of time. We don’t even have the luxury of love."

With this last point, Sakura brushed two fingers lightly against his lips, tracing them before she kissed him softly.. Naruto felt hypnotized. At that moment, any resistance he still had was scattered to the winds.
arms.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:46 PM   #25
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Re: Naruto Shippuden


"Make love to me, Naruto." Sakura pleaded. She leaned in close to his ear, and the warmth of her breath made his skin crawl. She purred her next words. "And don’t hold back. You know I won’t. That’s our way of the ninja."

It would be a night to remember. Naruto found himself following Sakura’s lead. Throughout that blessed night, Naruto would have a hard time determining where he began and where Sakura ended. It was like learning a new dance, and in some ways like learning to even walk. They explored each other, figured out how to touch each other, and in the end understood how to love each other. There was a moment of pain and fear that was erased by understanding and patience. There were sensations of fire and ice, violence and peace. As the night wore on their inhibitions and awkwardness melted away, and they danced their way toward heaven.

Naruto gained confidence quickly, and found he was more creative then he thought. The ninja arts and their combined chakra only added to the experience. Sakura was full of surprises, and even as pleasures he had never imagined racked his body, Naruto enjoyed most of all watching Sakura respond in ecstacy to the things he was doing to her. He called out to her repeatedly and she to him. Naruto didn’t want it to ever end. Eventually, they reached one last peak together, and Naruto fell asleep, with Sakura where he felt she should always be; curled up snug in his arms
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:50 PM   #26
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Re: Naruto Shippuden

he next morning, Sakura awoke at dawn to the chirping of birds. She rolled over, reaching for Naruto, but found nothing but a soft pillow. The realization that he was gone left her feeling empty and hollow. Groggily, she felt like she had forgotten something important.

"Shit!" Sakura rarely swore, but if she knew her master, she was dead meat!

Overwhelmed by fear of what she faced, Sakura temporarily forgot about Naruto as she threw the covers and sheets off her, hurriedly dressed, and made her way fast as she could over the rooftops of Konoha toward the training grounds.

Training ground five was deserted. Had her master already come and gone? Or was she thankfully late too? Maybe this was a test. Sakura extended her awareness, searching for any hint of movement, any sense of chakra. Her eyes darted from left to right as she surveyed the tree stumps, practice targets, and wooden dummies.

The ground was still damp from the morning dew, and she felt the droplets of water cling to her boots. Somewhere a grasshopper hopped away through the grass. A squirrel chattered away on a nut for breakfast. The wind blew though the trees, lifting her hair and scattering the autumn leaves. Then she heard a footstep. She turned and threw a kunai toward the forest. There was a sharp clang as a second kunai met hers in mid-air and sent it spinning harmlessly off course. Naruto stepped out from the shadows of the trees.

"Naruto!" Sakura exclaimed. "What are you doing here? If the council finds out you didn’t leave . . ."

"Don’t worry, Sakura-chan." said Naruto as he closed te distance and embraced her. "I did leave. I’m one of his Kage-bunshin."

"That’s still a big risk, Naruto. I mean Naruto’s clone. Er . . . whatever."

The Kage-bunshin laughed.

"I am Naruto in a sense, Sakura. You should know even better than me by now how this jutsu works; how it stores memories."

Sakura considered this, trying to remember her studies. Satisfied, she nodded.

"Anyway, I didn’t like leaving before you woke up like that, but I didn’t want to get you into trouble."

Trouble! Sakura remembered her training session again. Her master . . . Wait. How had Naruto known to send his clone here?

"Naruto, I guess you spoke to Tsunade-sama."

Naruto’s doppleganger nodded. "She made me her personal responsibility, so it was her that directed me where to go before dawn this morning."

"Then, she told you about our training session?"

"I asked her for this favor." the bunshin said with a nod. "She’ll be by in a little while, but I don’t have much time. I can only hold this bunshin out to a certain distance, and my Anbu escort won’t let me slow down or stop."

Sakura felt warm tears begin to pool in her eyes.

"Naruto!"

"I love you, Sakura. Become stronger, so when I get back we can finally put an end to all our troubles."

Sakura hugged the clone tightly. He felt like Naruto. He had Naruto’s heartbeat. He even had Naruto’s scent. The clone would even fool Kiba.. And to hold the bunshin at who knows how great a distance. Naruto was becoming so strong!

"I love you so much, Naruto. Come back to me as quickly as you can."

The clone kissed her. No, Naruto kissed her. It was as potent and as warm as ever. She felt eternally connected to Naruto even as the distance between them increased. The leaves swirled around them as they danced along the swirling wind. It was as if the power of the kiss had called upon the elements themselves. The kiss lasted until the bunshin finally dispersed in a puff of white spoke. When Sakura opened her eyes again, she was left with the distinct impression she had just been kissing the wind.
__________________

Failures must be seen as amusements,they are trials which hone your skills.
The frog in the well drifts into the great ocean.
Feel pain,conteplate pain,accept pain and know pain.
Proud member of The Three Legandary Sannin Fanclub.
Proud member of the Jiraiya Fanclub.
proud to be a member of uzumaki narutu.
proud to be member of the yondaime fc.
proud to be a kage member fc.
proud to be a sage naruto member.




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