A/N: Here it is everyone. The final chapter. It's been an awesome ride, and thank you to everyone who joined in. I won't stop writing Naruto fanfiction, but I will probably be focusing on my two RWBY crossovers. Although, it is time to say goodbye to the 'Warborn' universe, at least for now.
It's a fun place to be, but the original story is craving attention.
As always, please review or message me your thoughts, especially as the story draws to a close. Thanks again to my readers. You are all wonderful people.
16,000 views. Holy crap. Stay awesome, people.
Epilogue: As the Nightmare Fades
My husband is an idiot. Don't get me wrong, I love and cherish him more than life itself, but let it never be said he was a brilliant man.
Well, I suppose that's unfair. He was a brilliant leader. He brought me back alive after twenty years of war, and he's raised our three beautiful children to the best of his ability. I hear you thinking, 'then, why do you call him an idiot?'
Because, reader, whoever you might be, he thought he could start writing this story of his without me noticing.
It started out small at first. On his birthday a few months back, he rolled out of bed and started typing something onto his computer. I don't know what it was, and I didn't care. I was exhausted, so I pulled the covers over my head and went to sleep.
But he didn't stop. He kept at it, day after day, his fingers flying faster and faster over the keyboard as the days went on. I could tell he was focused, so I gave him his coffee and a kiss on his whiskered cheeks, a whispered 'come to bed soon'.
He'd smile that smile of his, the one I fell in love with, the one I will never stop loving. But it was tinged with sadness, like his grins in those five years after Unification ended.
Those years were a dark time.
I'd often wake up in a cold sweat, tearing my pillow to shreds with my hands. Sometimes I saw the friends I lost, sometimes I saw Konoha on fire. Naruto said I'd been crying in my sleep, so he'd hold me, wrapping me in his arms. It stopped the nightmares, or at least beat them back into the recesses of my mind.
He had it worse though. He screamed. Suffering from regular sleep paralysis, he'd moan a horrible sound through closed lips as he tried to free himself from the visions. No matter how much I shook him, he wouldn't wake until the nightmares let him. The worst night was during a vicious thunderstorm, when the peals of thunder woke me from my sleep to find him huddled in the kitchen, taking cover behind the counter.
Working furiously, his hands tried to jam imaginary rounds into the toaster, while he whispered, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
We found help after that. It took a few years of effort, but after months of therapy and drugs aplenty, we felt like the masks that had consumed us over all those years had finally melted away. Life was bright again, even though we never forgot our grief.
But it was hard to do so when the reminders were literally part of our bodies. We received new arms and legs after our service ended, soft, warm flesh replacing the metal we had grown accustomed to over the years. The limbs were pink, bright pink, having experienced none of the battery the rest of our bodies suffered.
Old friends and comrades came around every so often, to drink and reminisce. We made a trip to Earth a couple years after we got married. Sakura was there to greet us, crushing us with her huge arms into a powerful embrace. Next to her was a tiny, scholarly man, who we later learned was her fiancé.
Naruto, that tactless, perfect moron, laughed like a maniac when he found out. The concept of Sakura marrying someone who was not even half her size amused him to no end. The man, a professor at Oxford, laughed it off. He was a kind, soft-spoken, genial man, whose passing a few years ago saddened Sakura greatly. They had a single son, the famed investigative reporter and historian Dr. Naota Haruno.
In our seventh year of marriage, six years after the Peace Accord, I gave birth to Haruko, a beautiful baby girl. She had her father's deep blue eyes and my hair, thick and dark. A bubbly, pure child, one not subjected to the same modifications her parents were. When I held her in my arms, I wept in pure happiness for the first time in my life.
Our next two children came at once a year later. Twins, Boruto and Himawari. They were carbon copies of their older sister. For the next five years, the Uzumaki household was one of constant chaos and disorder.
We loved it.
After living the structured, rigid military life for decades, the sleepless nights and stained carpets were relief beyond measure.
We learned shortly into their lives they are all synesthetes, born with the ability to see color in the sounds that surrounded them. Imagine my shock when little Haruko tugged on my shirt one day, asking me why my voice is green. The twins did the same thing, asking similar questions. Naruto told them it was a super-power, and they ran away shrieking in delight. We both knew it was a rare side effect from his second kekkai genkai. Just more reasons why they were precious to us. But there were other issues that stemmed from their parents being warborn.
The children grew and grew, the years flying by. And each year, Naruto and I looked over all the pictures, realizing neither of us were aging. We looked as we did when we were thirty. I'm a hundred years old now, and I don't look a day over forty. We don't know why. We had our suspicions of course, but they weren't more than unfounded guesses about the gamut of modifications and enhancements we received.
One might think this is a blessing, if one did not have to watch one's children age. Haruko asked me about it recently. She's fifty-three years old, with a family and career of her own, and grey hairs starting to eat at her scalp. I didn't know what to tell her. Naruto was speechless as well, something I've not seen in decades. In our household, emotions were rarely kept in check, our petty fights and spats explosive but brief. An open, sharing household. A loving one.
But the thought of having to bury our children tortures us more than the nightmares.
We pushed that thought away, as we did with everything else that pained us. Two weeks after her visit, Naruto's birthday arrived, and the writing began.
And it appears as though I've gone way off track. I'm not the writer, Naruto is, even though he stopped suddenly a few weeks ago.
When I asked him if he was done with his project on the computer, his face went ashen. I decided not to press the issue. Like I said before, it was hard not to notice, and he's an idiot about these sorts of things.
So I sent him out for groceries and copied his hard drive wholesale. I was a curious wife. Sue me. I found this story, and all the files Kakashi-sensei had given him (which we had discussed long ago). I'm amazed by his recollection. For someone who struggles with simple calculus, his memory is exceptionally vivid. I remember all of his accounts, to the letter. Especially that night I'd never forget, where we kissed under the gaze of a blue moon. I still remember his adorable slack-jawed expression when I surprised him.
That picture of us by Station 135 sits on my nightstand to this day. Erebus may have been a place of sorrow and grief, but it is still my most favorite picture. We're filthy and armor-clad. Naruto's arm is in the shot, just on the right edge. I have one hand on his chest, the other around his waist. It was a quick, sloppy thing, that picture. But we have the brightest eyes, the biggest smiles. Bright, young love that has long since grown old and even more treasured.
I don't know if you'll ever return to this file, Naruto-kun, but if you do, I'm sorry for prying. I know our time on Erebus still haunts us, so remember, we're still in this together, like we always were, like we always will be. When I feel your arms around me each night, I know that I'd do it all over again.
Because I love you, Naruto-kun, and I know we're going to be alright.
A/N: They finally saw peace.