Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. This is just for fun.

Summary: Sequel to Dream Big. Naruto prepares his village and his family for Orochimaru. Future Fic NaruSaku

Dreams Live On

The soft sobbing of Uzumaki Sakura and the clanking of chains were the only sounds that accompanied thirteen somber ninjas and one giant dog as they were led to a tent designed to contain shinobi.

Seals had been meticulously sewn into the dark red fabric of the portable prison that would harden the material while disperse any chakra used on it. The ground was also affected by these seals, making it impossible to dig through to freedom.

The victory that had just been won only a few minutes before now seemed hollow to the imprisoned ninja. Rock Lee looked at his beautiful wife as she comforted her sorrowing best friend. The usually loud taijutsu specialist felt his flames of life dim at the loss of his dear friend and leader. The first person after Gai-sensei to truly understand him had been taken.

The beautiful green beast of Konoha thought back to the last great loss of his life, the death of his beloved Gai-sensei. An attack by three Akatsuki members forced the first green beast to keep his chakra gates open longer than his body could handle. All the Akatsuki members had died, but Lee still lost the man he idolized and emulated.

It was when Ino made a shrine to her husband's dead sensei that Lee felt able to truly move on. A bronze statue in the family dojo was the centerpiece to the departed Jounin, dressed in a replica of his standard outfit (which Lee washed regularly). It was later that he found out that Naruto was the one to foot the bill for the statue.

Lee let out a loud sigh at the renewed grief at Naruto's death. He wished he could do something to ease Sakura's pain, but words were never his strongpoint. Only Naruto and Ino had the ability to properly translate his enthusiastic shouts.

Ino rubbed her best friend's back as they were led to their prison. The guards, a couple of dirty samurai wannabes, smirked lecherously at the group, their focus on the kunoichis. Ino saw her other half about to attack with one of his furious "shouts of youthful exuberance" to the leering guards when Kabuto opened the flaps for the prison and silently ordered everyone to quietly enter. A shiver went up the blond kunoichi's spine at the killer intent coming off of the traitorous medic ninja as he gestured for them to enter.

After everyone was led in, Ino tensed when Kabuto followed, since he just needed to activate the seals from the outside to prevent their escape. 'Was he already going to begin his abominable experiments on them?' The mind bending woman held her grieving friend closer as that terrifying thought swept her own mind.

As the grey-haired former Konoha Ninja activated one seal on the walls of the tent Sakura pushed away from her friend and made what Ino thought was a short dash at the accomplice to the killer of the Chief Medic's husband. Due to the chains they were all wearing, the dash was barely above a quick walk. Lee moved to his wife's side, ready and waiting to defend Sakura from whatever insane experiments Kabuto might perform.

When Kabuto caught their friend's wrist, Lee started moving to protect his friend, concerned only with her safety. Concern quickly turned to shock as they saw him unlock Sakura's chains. Jaws hit the floor when he enveloped her in a hug. Their eyes bugged out when she reciprocated. Confusion and disbelief was apparent on everyone's faces. Hey, it's not everyday that your dear friend hugged one of your Village's most despised traitors.

Ino felt betrayed at seeing her friend taking comfort from a crazed maniac. She saw that Kabuto was saying something to Sakura, but she couldn't make out what he was saying.


"I am so sorry you had to go through that, Sakura-hime. If there had been another way, we would have done it," Kabuto's voice held great concern and care for the woman in his arms.

Sakura, still hugging him tightly, whispered in a shaky voice, "Can you change back now? I need to see the real you." Tears were flowing freely down her already tear-stained face. She felt him nod and took a step back.

When Kabuto's skin subtly tanned and he grew an extra inch the group felt slightly shocked. That freaked out feeling jumped to full out confusion and shock as "Kabuto's" silver hair melted into a bright gold, complimented with deep blue eyes and six faded whisker-like marks on his cheeks.

"What the #$ & $& is going on?! We just saw you die.!" Kiba's voice would have carried to the whole camp if the silencing seal wasn't already activated.

Naruto had the grace to look sheepish as he removed Kabuto's glasses from his face. Everyone was somewhere between relief, fury, and indifference (from Shikamaru) at seeing Konoha's number one most surprising ninja alive and well after they had just seen his lose his head. The whiskered blond gave them a sorrowful smile.

"I needed a way to get Orochimaru to let his guard down long enough for me take him out. Having him kill me and seeing my dead body was the only way for that to happen. No offence but most of you aren't good enough actors to fool Orochimaru," many people were nodding in understanding at this.

Some were not so forgiving, "But what about Sakura or Hinata? They nearly lost it when you 'died'," Ino made quotation marks with her fingers as she interrogated her Hokage. "It wasn't fair to make them think you were dead."

Naruto smile became more relaxed as he looked at the two women he was closest to. Starting with his fellow loudmouth blond, Naruto began unlocking everyone's chains as he talked. "You're right, it wouldn't be fair. That's why both of them were in on my plan. I'm not the fool I used to be, Ino. Sakura's known from the start about this, and she informed Hinata before the attack started this morning."

Takashi looked puzzled, "When did she do that? I never left Hinata-chan's side and I didn't hear anything about this."

Hinata looked at him and blushed slightly, "There are still some things about the Uzumaki clan that you haven't learned yet, Takashi-kun. I'll tell you after we're married. Please don't be mad."

"I'm more confused than mad Hinata-chan. I'm still trying to figure out how Naruto-sama survived having his head chopped off," the samurai still wasn't completely used to the finer points of shinobi tactics. His experience with ninja was largely combat related where his instincts and sword skills were able to handle most threats.

Naruto looked at his future brother-in-law and then at the rest, most of whom had already put most of the pieces together. "Simple Takashi-san, I used a bushin."

His statement was met with silence. They had never heard of any kind of bushin that could be decapitated and not dissolve into its original materials.

"Okay, you gotta explain what kind of bushin that was Naruto. What kinda bushin stays intact after its head's been cut off?" Kankuro asked the question on almost everybody's mind.

Naruto answered readily, knowing his precious friends needed something, "One of my personal creations, the Gogyou Bushin, the Five Elements Clone. It is a mixture of the rock clone, the sand clone, the water clone, the mud clone, and the shadow clone. Sakura and I were able to combine our two specialties to make the ultimate clone. By layering the first four clone elements we gave the clone structure and a chakra system from kage bushin created an artificial body that could hold up to half of my chakra. That's why he was able to do all my jutsus.

"The stone became the skeleton, sand formed the muscles and organs, water was mixed with a little blood to accurately copy that part of my body, and the mud made a good skin. Sakura monitored the body systems and made corrections when needed. As my personal medic and my wife, she knows my body better than anyone."

Sakura blushed at the impish looks several people shot her way. Naruto spoke to turn their attention back him and off of his embarrassed love.

"The advantages are obvious; a working replica of myself that can fight at a level most Jounin couldn't match. I also can learn everything it has experienced anytime by having it send the knowledge to me like when my kage bushins are dispelled, though the Gogyou Bushin doesn't need to be dispelled to do it.

"The disadvantages are that I can only do it with Sakura, since she's the only one who could make sure everything is working perfectly. It took a lot of practice to get this right. The time required to put all this together is huge compared to any other bushin. We needed almost an entire day to get it made right.

"On top of the massive chakra requirements just to form it, I need to charge the Gogyou Bushin with chakra so it can do anything. Once its body runs out of chakra it will go back to the original stuff I used to make it. That's why it didn't dissolve on front of you guys; it still had some chakra in it, even after the battle."

Shikamaru looked at his most troublesome friend and was thinking about when Naruto must have made the switch. During or after the battle was out of the question, since Naruto wouldn't have been able to take over Kabuto's identity in that time to fool Orochimaru. It would have to have been before the battle, and given that Naruto's plan was based off the fact that his new clone wouldn't dispel with its stored chakra, Naruto would have to have switched right after the meeting that morning.

The lazy shadow user looked at what Naruto was wearing and realized that he was still in Kabuto's clothes. Shikamaru guessed that however Naruto made himself look like Kabuto only affected his body, but where did the clothes come from? "Naruto, what happened to the real Kabuto? If you've captured him, we can use the information he has."

"Yeah and why do you smell like him? Even Henge doesn't change your scent. Akamaru and I both smelled just Kabuto's scent on you," Kiba's loud question was accompanied by his large hound's barks.

Naruto's eyes hardened at the mention of the man he had impersonated, "I'll explain that later, when I've got Orochimaru where I want him. This isn't over yet." Bearing a big foxy grin, the Rokudaime pulled out two scrolls from his belt, "Now, who'd like some weapons?"

After the confiscated weapons had been returned to their proper owners, Naruto pulled out a bag of soldier pills and gave one to everyone to replenish their chakra supplies. He also activated the other scroll he brought out, revealing fifteen egg-shaped crystals that had a bluish tint to them with flecks of silver scattered inside.

Shino looked at the blue crystal egg thing in his hand skeptically, 'What is this? My residents can feel the chakra in it, but they don't want to even try and devour it. Naruto must have made these with his unique chakra.' Shino was pulled from his thoughts as he heard Naruto call the group together.

"I placed a seal inside of Orochimaru's tent this morning. We can use Hiraishin to get there before the snake can escape. When we appear, everyone fan out into a circle and face outwards channeling chakra into the crystals. I'll handle the rest," Naruto gave these last minute instructions hastily, showing his impatience and eagerness for the conflict ahead.

"Hiraishin no Jutsu!"

After calling out his father's famous technique, Naruto vanished with all his friends in tow.


Orochimaru felt downtight giddy at the moment: he'd killed the biggest thorn in his side, had kidnapped said thorn's children with plans of using them as his personal tools, and he had Uchiha Sasuke back in his possession. The cursed mark had been removed, but it was a simple matter to reapply the seal, making Sasuke's body more prepared for the Fushi Tensei (Living Corpse Reincarnation).

With the strength the Uchiha possessed, Orochimaru was sure that he would be able to enjoy the Sharingan's ability to copy jutsus for many years. A sinister smirk showed the pale excuse for a human being's perverse joy at having Uzumaki's son as a substitute host should the need ever arise. With the extreme stamina inherited from his father coupled with the medic ninja training from his mother, young Arashi would make an excellent bodyguard and eventual new host body.

Thinking of the one who would eventually complete that medical training, Orochimaru's lips twisted into a frown. 'Kabuto should have returned by now. He knows that he can have all the fun he wants dissecting the prisoners after we destroy Konoha. Kakashi is still loose, along with my geriatric teammates, and they have plenty of ninjas who can handle this squabble I managed to collect.'

A flare of chakra was all the warning the feminine male ninja had before his spacious tent was filled with his "prisoners" along with the Hokage he had beheaded not ten minutes ago. Fear filled his eyes as Orochimaru saw the dangerous glint in the blond man's piercing blue eyes.

The cornered Snake tried to make a run for it, but a bluish cocoon had already surrounded him, trapping him with over a dozen people who wanted him dead. Leaping to attack the person closest to him, the Daimyo's nephew if he wasn't mistaken, Orochimaru's golden eyes widened in shock. He couldn't move his body! Having experienced Nara family's trapping technique; Orochimaru knew his immobility wasn't because of Shikamaru. 'Then why can't I move?'


Naruto looked at the frozen ninja with grim satisfaction. This cocoon was a ninjutsu based off of Tsukuyomi, except this world was very real. They were all now inside a pocket dimension that functioned like his mindscape. A thought was all that was needed to end this now, but Naruto had made prior arrangements. Orochimaru's captured body moved like one of Kankuro's puppets until it was in front of Naruto.

"We are now in my world, Hebi-chan. In here, my thoughts are reality," Naruto's sing-song tone was betrayed by the deadly look in his eyes. "Before we get to the part where you meet the Shinigami (Death God), I want you to see what really has been going on for the last day of your life." Naruto looked at his astonished friends, "This will be as much to let everyone in on what happened as well as to taunt the crazy snake. You can put the crystals down; I've got it from here."

After everyone put down their crystals, they noticed that the cocoon had vanished, replaced by a large grassy plain. Flowers began blooming rapidly around their feet, a rainbow's worth of colors decorating the ground. Ino in particular was interested in the types popping up, noting that some of these flowers wouldn't grow in a field like this. She wondered idly if she could take some home for her family's shop.

"Now, why doesn't everyone take a seat," Naruto's words were met with some confusion until chairs seemed to sprout like the colorful flowers, and in a variety of colors themselves.

Ino looked at a pair of chairs and then at her grinning husband, then turning to Naruto asked, "Hey Naruto, can you make us a love seat over here? And make it rose colored, would you." Being a master of the mind gave Ino an idea of what Naruto could do here, and she figured if she could cuddle with her husband while Naruto spilled the proverbial beans, well that was bonus.

Naruto looked at his mindscape teacher and complied with her "request." It really was easy to create what she wanted, but Naruto wished she would have asked with a little more respect (he was still Hokage after all). Then remembering how he treated his superiors when he was a kid, Naruto guessed that would be a little hypocritical.

Once everyone was settled, Naruto encased Orochimaru in a column of black stone. That would make it easier to talk and have a little fun before his "friend" arrived. The now imprisoned enemy of Konoha took stock of his situation and decided to wait and watch for an opening (not like he had much choice with only his head visible over his stony confinement).

Naruto stretched and looked over at Sasuke and the kids, and a thought was all he needed to make their chains disappear. Once that was done, he started his little speech, "First off, you should all know that those three over there are not my kids. I would never put my children in any danger if I could help it." A dramatic wave of his hand and the Haruka, Arashi, and Kora standing there melted into Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Anko. "I thought they deserved to be present when Orochimaru got his due, so they were the first I asked to act as decoys to lure the Hebi over there to where we could get him."

Anko snorted, "More like we were bait for a deranged hermaphrodite."

Jiraiya bit back a laugh at the name Anko had called her former sensei. He glanced at Tsunade and whispered quietly, "I always thought he was defined as 'androgynous'."

Sasuke kept his usual stoic face because it would not be dignified to burst out laughing in the middle of an execution. Even if the comments made were accurate. He didn't want to spoil his image after all.

Tsunade just shook her head in exasperation. 'I know that for the last few days we were acting like kids, but they act like this all the time. Though . . . I would say he's more androgynous than hermaphroditic.' The retired Godaime felt twitch in her lips thinking of the feared Orochimaru as an asexual entity.

"AHEM!" Naruto had been waiting for this moment for years, and they were on the clock. Now that the cocoon was up, his "friend" would be on his way, and Naruto really wanted to rub his victory in Orochimaru's face. A bit childish, yes, but Naruto felt he'd earned the right to gloat a bit.

"Now back to my gloat- er, explanation of what just happened. I switched with the advanced clone this morning right before Sakura and I left the Hokage Office. I then used Sasuke's chakra signature to teleport near Orochimaru's camp. I transformed into a missing ninja and infiltrated the camp . . ."

Orochimaru indignantly interrupted, "Impossible! I would have sensed you even through the most advanced Henge technique!" His pale face showing his disbelief and fury at the thought that Naruto could sneak into his camp undetected. His colossal chakra signature alone should have given away his presence.

"I've grown in many ways, thanks to my friends. Finding a way to sneak into a camp full of missing ninja and secretly replace your second-in-command wasn't as hard as sneaking food off of Neji's or Sasuke's plates at dinner," Naruto shrugged at the angry expressions his friends with doujutsu were shooting him.

It was actually great stealth and speed training to snatch food from guys that had special eyes. Naruto had worked his way up from Kiba (who was very easy to distract) to Shino (bottle of insect pheromones was all it took) all the way to his most uptight and cautious friends (ventriloquism was a handy skill for a ninja).

Naruto continued with his explanation of events, "I changed my appearance using a seal that can physically alter the body, just like I did to make those three look like my kids. I also had to put another seal on their clothes so they didn't rip them off when they went back to their older selves"

Some grumbling was heard from all three of the decoys. Naruto just leveled a glare in their direction to stop their belly aching.

As he was about to up talking again, Naruto sensed a presence getting very close. 'Dang, I hoped to have at least another minute to do this. Oh well, can't be helped.' Naruto looked over towards a certain patch of the field, confusing everyone present, except for Sakura, who suddenly found it hard to breathe.

They all noticed the air begin to get heavy and cold. Naruto sighed and Orochimaru (the closest person to him) heard him mumble under his breath about a "showoff". Orochimaru wondered who could be worse of a showoff than Naruto, the original class clown. Orochimaru hoped to use the appearance of this mystery guest as a distraction to summon his sword, Kusanagi.

This plan however was doomed to failure when he noticed the ghostly form taking shape two feet behind Naurto. If there had been any color in his face, it would be gone now. The demonic appearance of this phantom was easily recognizable to the Snake Sannin. He had, after all, seen it once before in Konoha while fighting his own sensei.

If the Shinigami was here then his chances of escape just went from microscopic to absolute zero. Apparently the Uzumaki brat had made a deal with Death, and Orochimaru knew he wouldn't get off as easily as when Sarutobi-sensei used the Shiki Fuujin (Dead Demon Consuming Seal).

Naruto turned and nodded at his "friend." This would be the third time that Naruto had met the Shinigami; the first being when the Shinigami sealed Kyuubi inside of him on his birthday and the second being the first time Naruto created the cocoon. During that second meeting a deal was struck between them, and now the Shinigami was going to fulfill his part.

"I am here Uzumaki Naruto. Where are the ones you want me to get rid of for you?" the Shinigami's voice was impressive and pressed down on the minds of everyone who listened, though Naruto gave no sign of it.

Naruto looked at his guest and then at his friends, and he noted that none of them had yet to shake the Shinigami's deathly aura. He sighed, "Would you like to get out of your uniform, Shinigami-san?"

The massive purple face looked at the first person to negotiate a reasonable deal with him in all his years on the job. "That would be great; it gets awfully stuffy in here. And I thought I told you to call me Ed."

Several of the Konoha ninja fell out of their seats at the casual sounding tone and wording of the fearsome Death God.

Sakura was still having trouble breathing. When her husband told her he'd made a deal with the Shinigami, all she could think about was the Yondaime. When he had used the Shinigami's aid in sealing the Kyuubi inside Naruto, the Fourth, with the best of intentions, left his son alone. Would her children lose their father like Naruto lost his? Could she go on without the man who completed her?

They all looked on as a ten foot tall coat rack grew from the field. Naruto was understandably amused by everyone's shocked expression as the Shinigami grabbed the sides of his head and removed the purple faced, white haired mask that covered his rather normal human face. It clearly stunned all present except Naruto, who had seen the Shinigami without his "uniform."

The Shinigami, a.k.a. Ed, was a tall man with black hair and looked like the Sumo wrestlers seen in larger villages. Though instead of fat, thick muscles covered most of his body, giving him a very strong look. He was dressed in a simple white shirt and light green shorts. The part that disturbed the ninjas the most was the happy expression he wore.

"Ah much better. Feels good to just relax every now and then, ya know? Man, it's all work when you're in charge of the afterlife," Ed stretched his arms over his head and let out a grunt of release. While still large, the feared Shinigami was now much more normal in his looks and speech.

Orochimaru seemed as flabbergasted as the group from Konoha. This guy was the one who helped seal the mighty Nine Tailed Fox and took his arms? His pale face showed the confusion at the new information being presented to him.

The Shinigami saw the column of stone holding Orochimaru in place. His eyes narrowed, "So you're the one who's been giving me such a headache the past few decades. That immortality technique of yours has more than doubled my paperwork! And when you summoned not one but two dead souls to fight in the living world, well, that just threw everything off. I am going to expose you to levels of Hell mortals don't even know exist."

After his little rant the Shinigami looked back at Naruto, "Wasn't there something else you asked me to get off your hands, boy?"

Naruto felt an eyebrow twitch and took a deep calming breath. Staring Death straight in the eye, the proud Rokudaime simply said, "Yeah." He looked at the ground between himself and Ed and a cage about waist high and about twice as long melted out on the ground. A small red fox stalked back and forth inside the iron cage.

Ed looked surprised. "Is that the Kyuubi?"

Naruto nodded.

"I remember him being . . . bigger."

The fox growled at the blond man, "So you finally decided to bring me out. Do you want to gloat, or some other nonesense?"

Naruto crouched in front of the cage, "No fuzzball, I am finally getting rid of you. The Shinigami here is going to send you to wherever demons like you live, and I think we'll both be glad to see your 'residency' here come to an end."

The fox looked at Ed and could feel the aura of the being who helped the Yondaime seal him inside his disgustingly happy host. The temperamental demon just gave a nod and the cage evaporated around it. Before he could do anything, a collar and leash formed around his neck, with Ed at the other end.

The column with Orochimaru inside just lifted off the ground and settled next to the burly Shinigami. With a sigh Ed looked at Naruto, "Well, guess I ought to get these two where they need to be." His jovial face quickly changed to serious and Naruto could feel Ed's powerful aura pressing down on him. "Remember your promise Uzumaki. I've kept my part of this bargain; I'll be waiting."

Then the Shinigami, Orochimaru, the Kyuubi, and the Shinigami's discarded clothes shimmered out of sight.

After they were gone, Naruto took off his hitai-ate and removed a smooth blue stone stuck to his forehead. "Shikamaru, here's the info you wanted from Kabuto, all his memories." Flipping the flat stone like a coin, Shikamaru barely had time to catch it. "I don't advise you to put it on right now, the initial surge would make things difficult once we go and take care of the group outside."

Several looked embarrassed for some reason having forgotten about the army that was outside the tent, and everyone stood up and took a moment to prepare for another fight. Once everyone looked ready, the field they were standing on faded back to Orochimaru's tent. Naruto took a deep breath and the others could see the focus in his eyes sharpen.

"Let's go."


They were battle hardened ninja ready to take out a few hundred of the worst scum the Elemental Countries could create. They were armed to the teeth with weapons and techniques that were all designed to annihilate their opponents.

The battle was already over.

Hatake Kakashi, Copy Ninja of Konoha, approached his former students. "Sorry about not waiting for you, but you know how kids are these days: no patience. When they saw that there were only low level missing ninja, thugs, and bandits, they got anxious to prove themselves."

Seeing Naruto wearing a shocked expression, Kakashi asked, "What's wrong Naruto? Surprised that I can be early for something?"

Naruto shook himself and grinned, "Nope, but I'm sure that's the first you ever gave me an excuse for being early. Usually you don't say anything."

Kakashi's visible eye showed his version of a smile, "I thought it would be a nice change of pace. Anyway after the initial barrage of kunai, we used smoke bombs, taijustu and a couple of Katon (Fire Release) jutsus to get the rest to surrender. The interrogation squad will have some new people to work on. We suffered no casualties."

Naruto started to laugh. It began as a nervous chuckle to let go of the tension of the past week. It quickly grew into a full belly laugh, happy to have all his people alive and well. The laughter was contagious, causing the rest of the Konoha Twelve, a couple of retired Sannin, and one sadistic Jounin to join their Hokage.

"Oh, that felt good," Naruto let out a happy sigh, and then looked at his friends and family. "We need to go have a party to celebrate. Orochimaru and the Kyuubi are both gone for good, and I think everybody could use a party after today. I'll pay."

Cheering was the response he got from everyone except Sakura. Sakura just hugged her husband and he reciprocated. This battle was over, and they would sleep much better tonight knowing that a certain Snake was gone. They heard the cheers and shouts around them, but that didn't stop them from enjoying their moment.

The blue eyed Hokage looked at the green orbs of his wife and tenderly whispered, "Let's go get the kids and go home." Nothing sounded better to the emotionally drained woman.


Author's Note: Whew! Finally done. I have been working on this chapter for weeks, trying to get it the way I wanted. There is still one more chapter, a bit of an epilogue. Thanks for reading and please review and tell me what you think.