Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Warning:Last chapter!

Is that a warning?


The Hush Of Mist Above Crimson

Final chapter


Nyoko, Nikko and Doichi walked into the Mizukage's office to report back to their master. Yukio stood from his chair upon their arrival.

"What's going on? Neither of the door guards have returned and I heard quite the commotion coming from downstairs," he inquired.

There were no windows in this room and it was quite odd why since this was the highest floor and was sure to have the most spectacular view of the city. Two lamps, standing tall on each side of the grand oak desk, lit the center of the room while all the walls were hidden, black with the surrounding darkness.

The Kage's had agreed to give the three until sundown to get proof of Yukio's plans. How would they know when their time was up with no glimpse of the outdoors?

More importantly, how could they obtain the information they needed without giving themselves away?

"It was the three from the Leaf again. It seems the girl had survived." Nikko said easily.

"Hmm." Yukio sat back down. "that explains Akina not returning. She must have been killed. You were right Nyoko, we did have a rat among us."

Nyoko smirked, flicking her purple hair back with a, "Heh."

"What of the rain then? Are we not under attack from Suna?"

"Iie, Mizukage-sama," Doichi rumbled, "the one impersonating Akina was from Sand. It appears that they were working with the brats."

"I see..." he said, straightening his large hat, "and I trust you took care of the ninja? There was quite the ruckus downstairs. Wind and water- who would have thought anyone could push you that far."

"They were tougher to deal with than we expected." Nyoko added reluctantly, standing along with Doichi and her brother.

"Well now that it's over with we have some damage control to take care of. Killing everyone who catches us seems to just not do the trick anymore. Too many we eliminate have friends." Yukio chuckled. It was not a pretty sound.

"May I ask you something my lord?" Naruto went for it as they took their places behind him as they had seen the real Jounin do.

"Go ahead Doichi."

"Did you enjoy killing your brother?"

They watched Yukio's back as it stiffened.

This again, "How many times must I tell you people? Of course I enjoyed it. But only for a brief moment. I guess it was just too easy since he made no effort to stop me. Less satisfying than I thought it would be. Actually," he paused, not noticing the looks on the twins' faces.

They had him.

"I think I would enjoy killing you three more."

Fear shot through Sakura as she backed up away from the desk alongside Sasuke and Naruto. It spread through her gut to her chest in a cool wave.

Yukio turned his head around slowly, "You killed my best ninja...sadly, you won't be getting past me." He sighed, pushing his chair back and stood.

They felt themselves shrink before him, the sound of wood scraping the floor seeming all too loud in the room.

This was no ordinary ninja.

This was one of the five shadow. The water shadow at that, perhaps the strongest.

They had no chance of defeating this one.

Naruto and Sakura followed suite when Sasuke took down his disguise. Maybe, just maybe they would come. Was it sunset yet?

"Tell me..." Sakura's trembling voice bounced off the dark walls, "why did you do it? How could you kill your own brother?"

'Good,' Sasuke thought, knowing all too well how easy it was to kill family, 'she's buying us time.'

"Well since you're about to die, I'll just humor you." Yukio's gaze was light, almost giddy giving Naruto great unease. Maybe they would die here.

"For power of course. I don't know why that idiot was the Mizukage anyways. He was weak. I'm older than him-I was next in line. But my father..." he scoffed, "he didn't think I was ready. All I did after the fool died was prove that I am strong enough to rule this country. I amone of the ultimate commanders of tens of thousands of shinobi throughout the world. Did you really believe you could catch me for murder?"

The amusement in his voice was disgusting.

Naruto's throat was dry and his palms felt clammy as the water shadow stepped closer. They mirrored his movements with a step back towards the darkened corner.

Sakura was trying to look strong, but was failing fast as she felt the strong chakra forming on his fingertips. Even Sasuke was losing hope, cursing quietly, clenching and unclenching his fists.

"It was foolish of you to come here." Yukio raised his hand and delighted in the terrified gasp and two grunts of the three before him, "Now die."

"Do not move Yukio. You are surrounded,"

came a familiar voice from the shadows. Tsunade stepped out from the blackness of the corner behind them, then the Earth shadow, Wind shadow and Lightening shadow came from the other three corners of the room.

"we have heard quite enough."


"Nice work you three." Tsunade said earnestly as she watched two shadow carry Yukio from the courtroom.

His trial had seemed terribly pathetic.

Trying to lessen his sentencing he had told them everything- about starting with waterfall, then grass and then working his way towards the major cities until he eventually owned them all. It was bad enough he admitted to conspiring with Orochimaru but he also plead guilty to Azamaki's murder and made no attempt to escape after becoming surrounded back in his old office.

Fighting off one Kage would be a challenge but attempting to evade four of them was an impossible feat, even for a member of the Komotaro clan.

Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura respectfully bowed their heads at her compliment before Tsunade followed after the traitor. Perhaps in Konoha pity would have led the council of elders to rule in his favor but in the village hidden in the Mist, the penalty for such crimes was death.

Tabenomaru hurried up after Gaara, briefly smiling their way.

"Well I have to admit, working together again was pretty fun." Naruto shared as they turned the bustling street corner after stepping into the morning sun.

"Agreed." Sasuke added, mildly surprising the two.

"Same here," Sakura reflected,"even though we almost died."

"Almost," Naruto repeated.

"Yeah..."

They stopped when they arrived at the small sake house Kakashi wanted to meet them at. Sure enough he was standing outside waiting for them.

"Glad to see everyone is all right."His lazy eye closed and the creases in his mask showed signs of a grin. "Before we head home is there any chance I could borrow Naruto for a moment?"

"Go right ahead," Sakura offered.

"Thanks, we'll only be a couple of minutes."

"What's this about Kakashi-san?"were the last thing Sakura and Sasuke heard before they disappeared inside.

It was quiet for a moment until Sasuke turned to face her. "Sakura, look...I-"

"Don't," she cut him off.

He looked at her, confused by her coldness.

"I'm tired of talking,"she said, grabbing his hand and puling him close to her in a disorienting kiss. His other hand found its way to her back while she greedily ran her fingers through the silk of his hair. They ignored the stares coming from the people passing by, completely lost in the moment, the passion, each other.

When they broke apart, panting lightly, they stayed close. Sasuke resting his forehead on hers. He closed his eyes, taking in her scent.

Maybe she would regret that?

His doubts vanished when she wrapped her fingers tighter around his hand and pulled away to look into his face. She saw something confused, scared and bitter just like before. But something else played in the coal of his eyes this morning. Something she knew was just for her.

They stepped away from each other, it finally sinking in what they had just done, in a very public place after the rowdy howl of a young citizen walking past. Sasuke laughed lightly at her blush. She smiled as the beautiful sound washed over her. It's been so long since she's heard him laugh...

"Isn't that rich." Naruto commented, leaning up against the doorway, Kakashi behind him.

They whipped around to face him.

"Hey! It's not-"

"How long have you both-?"

"Ahehehehe!" They both shook their heads at their reactions. Kakashi picked up his pack, "Let's just go home."


"I spy with my sharingan eye, something that is blue?"

"Everything is blue Kakashi-san, we're on a boat in the ocean." Sakura reminded him.

"Can't you guys play another game? I don't know if I can handle another twenty minutes of 'I spy'."

Naruto smiled at his teammates and looked out over their small wooden boat. The sun shone brightly on the clear water and the wind tousled his spiky blond hair.

When they returned to Konoha everything would go back to normal-Sakura to her medical training, Sasuke out on S-class missions, Kakashi doing his thing with Kurenia and Asuma and maybe Naruto would take up that offer for a spot on the ANBU like he had suggested earlier.

He missed this.

The laughing, the fighting, the innocent messing around.

'But I guess everyone has to grow up sometime...'

He watched as Kakashi pulled the latest volume of Icha Icha paradise from his pack.

Naruto looked away with an odd expression,

'Maybe that's not so true.'


THE END


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