Chapter 2 Summary: Kakashi finishes his race back to Konoha with a seriously injured Naruto in his arms. A new race begins for Tsunade as she frantically attempts to save Naruto and the others injured in the battles to retrieve Sasuke. Meanwhile, several of the other characters are about to learn the Leaf Villages most guarded and costly secret.
Naruto vs. Sasuke The AftermathChapter 2 "Secret Revealed"
The Shinobi guards at the main gate of Konoha felt a chakra pressure approaching before they actually saw what was coming. Such an immense force coming closer by the second immediately put them on high alert and they stood ready for battle if necessary. Out of the distant forest they saw a multi colored blur exit and head straight for them at an indescribable speed. It would be at the gate in a matter of seconds. Immediately they raised their hands to activate their jutsu's to halt whatever was approaching. Kakashi upon seeing this grumbled to himself.
"I have no time for this," as he withdrew several kunai and launched them at the guards.
Before the guards could complete their hand signs for jutsu activation, they suddenly found their hands pierced by kunai's pinning them to the Konoha walls supporting the gate. A scant few seconds later, Kakashi crashed through the heavily fortified gate as if it were paper. Still running at amazing speed, Kakashi sped down the main street the power he was generating causing carts and people to tumble over from the tailwind that followed him. Further up the street Yamanaka Ino was dragging along a very nervous Hyuga Hinata another of the "Rookie Nine" to the local clothing store. She had surmised along with several others Hinata's long-standing crush on Naruto, and convinced her some new clothes might get Naruto's attention when he got back from his latest mission. She and Hinata both heard a strange commotion coming down the street towards them. They both moved to the side and suddenly Kakashi appeared at the main intersection, pausing, as he looked left and right. Ino and Hinata saw he was carrying something in his arms, something orange and red with blonde hair? As Kakakshi turned to head towards the Konoha hospital, they caught a brief glimpse of the blood stained face and body Kakashi was holding. A second later Kakashi had sped off again, leaving the two kunoichi in a state of astonishment.
"Was that Naruto?" A bewildered Ino asks, Hinata couldn't answer. Her throat had suddenly become very dry and tears were beginning to well up in her eyes. Naruto-kun was all she could think before her legs gave out from under her and she fell to the ground.
Upon seeing her friends' reaction to what they had just seen, Ino knew the answer to her question. Reaching down to help her friend back to her feet, Ino looked up to see where the blur of Kakashi was heading. She knew immediately where he was going and said.
"Come on Hinata, we have to get to the hospital right now!"
At the hospital, Tsunade the legendary Medic Sannin and 5th Hokage exits a room where she has been overseeing the operation to save Neji Hyuga's life after his battle with the Sound ninja Kidomaru from the Sasuke mission. Before that, it was a touch and go situation with Chouji and his injuries from the battle with the Sound ninja Jiroubu. Chouji had given everything he had in the fight including digesting an Akimichi Red Food pill that gave him incredible chakra strength but with a price, quite possibly his life. Tsunade had managed to save both Neji and Chouji, but was exhausted from the ordeal. She begins to let Shikamaru and Kiba, both with minor injuries from the mission the status of their comrades and that they should go home and rest. Shizune, the elite Medic Nin and right hand of Tsunade was about to suggest that the 5th Hokage also get some rest when Kakashi burst through the doors with Naruto in his arms. A look of shock and horror appears on everyone's face when they see the condition Naruto is in.
Tsunade screams, "What happened to my Naruto-kun, never mind give him to me and get the ICU ready right now!"
Kakashi and Tsunade place Naruto on a gurney and he is immediately rushed into the next room leaving a stunned group of Chunin and one somber Jounin in its wake. A few moments later two more Jounin, Yuuhi Kurenai and Sarutobi Asuma appear in the waiting room outside ICU. They had come when they felt an unknown chakra heading towards the hospital where their injured students were. They both turn towards Kakashi, as they feel the power emanating from him. Kakashi is about to explain what has happened when Ino and Hinata arrive, out of breath but otherwise fine. A few moments later Jounin Gai Maito makes his usual grand entrance ready to do battle with whatever this chakra was he was feeling is coming from. Rock Lee his student whom he visits at the hospital everyday followed him closely. All three of the Jounin looked nervously at Kakashi as they could sense the power from him. Kakashi realizing that Kyuubi was still channeling some of his chakra to him asks him to stop as they have succeeded in their joint endeavor.
Kyuubi quietly growls to Kakashi, "As you wish copy ninja."
Kakashi immediately collapses to the floor, his legs on fire in pain unable to support him. Kurenai, Gai, and Asuma, immediately rush to him to lift him into a chair. Kakashi weakly thanks them as he is also having difficulty catching his breath at the moment. In the meantime, Tenten and Shino Aburame arrive after hearing that their teammates had been injured on the Sasuke retrieval mission. The overriding question on everyone's mind was 'what was going on?' They all turned to Kakashi for an answer who was beginning to regain some of his strength. As Kakashi was about to begin with an explanation, he spied the 3 Sand ninja's Temari, Gaara, and Kankuro in the background. Tsunade had requested their help a few days ago when no progress reports came back to her about the mission. Their help was needed and appreciated by Kakashi, but he wasn't ready to share the information he had with these former enemies recently turned allies. Temari sensed this and she her brothers quietly left the hospital. She and Shikamaru exchanged a longing look towards one another as she left. It would take time to earn the Leaf villages trust and vice versa as far as she was concerned. Gaara and Kankuro could care less, they both just wanted to go home.
As Kakashi watched the Sand ninja leave, he scanned the room and saw that most of the people close to Naruto were here. He did note that a certain pink haired kunoichi had failed to arrive, bringing a moment of ire to Kakashi. Gai's booming voice brought him out of his train of thought and Kakashi said.
"Well, I see the gang's virtually all here. Which is good because I don't want to explain what has happened more than once," his voice sounding very tired and irritable. As he was about to begin, Tsunade barges into the room and yells for the Medic Nin's who had helped save Neji to get in the other room and help her with Naruto. Shizune followed closely behind and informed her that those Nin had used up their chakra on Neji and were of no use at the moment. Tsunade seething with anger said.
"Shizune, you and I have depleted our own chakra to such an extent that the two of us are no longer strong enough right now to save Naruto. We need at least one other person with strong chakra control, where is Sakura?"
"Billow board brow isn't here," quipped Ino.
"Damn it, of all the times for her to disappear," Tsunade angrily spats.
Kurenai speaks offering her services to help. Being the Genjutsu Mistress of Konoha, everyone knew of her superb chakra control. Tsunade appreciates the offer but tells her no, as she has also depleted her chakra considerably from earlier that day in helping to heal Shikamaru and Kiba. Kurenai then proposes that she knows of another who has both strength and chakra control to help Tsunade and Shizune in saving Naruto.
"Who?" demands Tsunade!
"Hinata," Kurenai says.
"Me." Hinata softly speaks; her hand immediately begins twirling one of her bangs in nervous apprehension.
Kurenai kneels down in front of her anxious student and says.
"Hinata, you can do this. You've become much stronger since the Chunin exams and I've been teaching you medical jutsu's for several months now. You have learned it very quickly and seem to be a natural Medic Nin waiting to be born."
"I don't know Sensei, what if my knowledge and strength fail?" Hinata nervously asks.
"Then Naruto will die," Kurenai says in a stern voice.
Like a slap to the face, Hinata realizes that Naruto needs her now more than ever. She will not let him die before he knows how she feels about him. In a voice filled with a new confidence and determination she turns to Tsunade and Shizune and says.
"Let's go save Naruto," and she turns and marches into the ICU room with Shizune following behind.
Tsunade chuckles a little bit and says to Kurenai.
"A brave girl, but this operation may also put her life at risk if she isn't strong enough."
"I know Lady Tsunade, she is strong enough I guarantee it." Kurenai says with confidence.
Tsunade turns to Kakashi and the rest of the group and says.
"This operation will take awhile, you all had better make yourself comfortable. By the way, Naruto's injury was caused by the Chidori technique, whose technique is that?"
"That's Kakashi's technique," Gai says innocently before realizing his mistake in an instant as the right hand of Tsunade comes flying towards Kakashi's head.
"You filthy bastard." Tsunade screams as her fist connects with Kakashi jaw sending him flying across the room into the far wall. Fortunately, Kakashi had managed to partially block the punch at the last instant. Had he not, he was quite sure that the blow would have severed his head from his body. As it was, his jaw had been broken and he was currently spitting out some of his teeth in a bloody mess. Tsuande glared angrily at the coughing Jounin across the room and was about to strive forth and finish the job when Shizune yelled from the other room.
"Lady Tsunade, we need you in here right now!"
"I'll deal with you later Kakashi, and you'd better pray my Naruto-kun lives!" Tsunade angrily says and marches into the other room where Naruto is.
Gai, Kurenai, and Asuma once again help Kakashi to a chair, Kurenai approaches and is about to attempt to heal Kakashi's jaw with a bone mending jutsu she knows, but Kakashi catches her hand in his and feebly says "no" grimacing in pain. However, even through the pain of speaking, Kakashi can't help but notice how soft Kurenai's hand feels in his or how beautiful her face is staring into his. Kurenai too is feeling a bit disheveled as she marvels at the man sitting in front of her. Even under his mask she can see discern a strong masculine face and his eyes or in particular his Sharigan eye very closely resembles her own crimson orbs, before he slides his Hiate down to cover it again. Both of them snapping out of their thoughts at the same time, Kakashi painfully says.
"You heard Tsunade, you've already used a lot of chakra today in healing others don't waste anymore on me."
"Shut up Kakashi," Kurenai playfully scolds him.
"I'll use my chakra as I see fit, and besides if I don't heal this jaw, how are we ever going to find out about what in the hell is going on?"
Kakashi was about to argue further but he reluctantly realized the lovely Jounin in front of him wouldn't back down.
"You have a point, please do what you can but don't over exert yourself," Kakashi mumbles.
Kurenai smiles and places her palm on Kakashi's broken jaw and begins to channel some chakra to start mending the broken bones. As she is doing this, she muses over the fact that Kakashi is more worried about Kurenai depleting more of her chakra then getting himself healed. It was a typical macho male act in itself, but she also found it kind of sweet in a way. Kurenai could sense the bones in his jaw realigning into its proper shape, this wouldn't take much longer she thought. Kakashi could feel the pain in his jaw lessen with each passing second. He looked at Kurenai and marveled at her abilities and once again began to lose himself in her beauty. Suddenly, her voice snaps him back into reality.
"There that should take care of it," Kurenai says as she begins to rise.
However, her legs begin to give way and she begins to fall.
'I guess I hadn't replenished enough chakra yet,' she thought, as she was about to hit the floor. Suddenly, two arms shot forth and caught her with a strength that they shouldn't possess at the moment, lifting her up.
"I told you not to over exert yourself," Kakashi growled with annoyance and a small hint of concern for her.
"No need to be concerned for little old me Kakashi, my condition isn't life threatening. You can put me down anytime." Kurenai innocently said. Kakashi quickly set her down turning his head away from her. Kurenai noticed this and began to wonder if Kakashi was blushing underneath his mask, she wanted to believe he was.
"Alright my old rival, now that you can talk in a coherent voice again, would you mind telling all of us what's been going on?" Gai bellowed in his usual high volume voice.
"Yes of course, everyone gather round I'm only going to tell this once and no questions while I'm talking. I'll answer any questions afterwards if I can." Kakashi solemnly says.
Meanwhile, across town while Kakashi begins his tale, Sakura is in her room trying on different dresses trying to decide which one Sasuke would like best? She had heard that Shikamaru and the others had returned from their mission to bring Sasuke back. She wanted to look her absolute best for Sasuke, since she was sure that Ino pig was probably fawning all over him already. She had felt a strong chakra pressure earlier towards the hospital, and she was sure that had to be her beloved Sasuke. She finally decided upon a black flower printed kimono dress, and combed her long pink hair out past her shoulders. She had spent months regrowing her hair since the Chunin exams and her battle with the Sound ninja. She had heard once that Sasuke liked girls with long hair. She took a quick look at the clock and yelped.
"I can't believe I took this long to get ready," as she threw her shoes on and sprinted out the door heading towards the hospital.
"I found Naruto in the Valley of the End, Sasuke was nowhere to be found. I saw how grave Naruto's wound was and brought him back here. And that pretty much brings you all up to speed of what happened, any questions?" Kakashi asks.
"I have a question," Gai says.
"Of course you do," Kakashi groans and rolls his eyes.
"The Valley of the End is far from Konoha, even with my miraculous speed it would take half a day for me to traverse back to here. How were you able to do it in less than an hour?" Gai inquires.
Kakashi took a deep breath and said.
"I received some additional chakra from the Kyuubi demon imprisoned within Naruto. That was the intense chakra pressure you all felt as I entered Konoha. Without it, I could not have made it back in time to save Naruto. If I even did?" Kakashi repentantly says.
"The Nine-Tailed Fox," Ino gasps.
"I thought the 4th Hokage killed that demon?" Shikamaru says.
"No," A loud voice echo's in the room as a large white haired man appears in a cloud of smoke astride a very large toad. Jiraiya one of the legendary Sannin had arrived.
"What do you mean no old man," Kiba says.
"Quiet you young whelp, you address the fabulous and most legendary Sannin and Sensei of the 4th Hokage himself, Jiraiya the Toad Sage Master Extraordinaire!"
"Oh give me a break," Shikamaru sarcastically says.
"Shut up Shikamaru." Asuma angrily says glaring at his student.
One look into his Sensei's eyes made Shikamaru realize that this old man was exactly who he said he was. He immediately decided his best course of action was to keep quiet and listen for the time being. Ino on the other hand wasn't as smart and immediately shot her mouth off.
"Whatever, back to the original question, what do you mean the Nine-Tailed Fox wasn't killed by 4th Hokage Yondaime?"
Jiraiya was a bit annoyed at the tone of her question but let it slide as she was a fairly pretty kunoichi and would probably fill out quite nicely as she got a little bit older. He was about to explain when Kakashi interrupted him.
"Master Jiraiya, is this the time would should reveal this?"
"Yes Kakashi, this secret needs to be revealed if for nothing else to relieve some of the pain and heartache Naruto has been put through. It was bad decision on the 3rd Hokages part to try and keep this buried."
"I agree," Kakashi says.
"Now as for the rest you be quiet and listen and I'll explain." Jiraiya speaks.
"As powerful as the 4th Hokage was, and I should know I trained him. Even he was not able to destroy the Kyuubi demon that attacked the Leaf village 14 years ago. However, he knew of one jutsu that could contain or trap the demon but at a severe cost. This forbidden jutsu is known as the "Demonic Soul Seal" jutsu. At the cost of his own life Yondaime was forced to sacrifice himself using the Demonic Soul Seal technique, and he then sealed the Kyuubi's soul into Naruto."
A silence hung over the room as everyone who didn't know about this attempted to come to grips with what had just been said. Finally a voice spoke up and asked the question everyone wanted too.
"But why Naruto?" Rock Lee asked.
Jiraiya walked over to Rock Lee and put his hand on his shoulder and said.
"Because Lee, Yondaime was a noble man and he wouldn't imprison the demon in another family's child. He chose to seal Kyuubi away into his one and only child."
An audible gasp was echoed by the majority of people in the room.
"Yes its true, Naruto is Yondaime the 4th Hokages only son. In a way, this village owes its past and current existence to both Yondaime and Naruto," Jiraiya says proudly.