Uzumaki Hikaru sighed as he laid in his bed, the ever-faithful Genmaki by his right side and his oldest daughter on the other. He turned to his daughter and let out a groan of pain. His time was growing short.

"Kaname, be a dear and fetch the others. I don't think I have long left in this world."

Kaname nodded sadly and left to gather those who had come. Hikaru turned his head back to Genmaki and smiled sadly.

"It seems our time together is growing short my old friend. I only wish that I could have more time."

Don't say such things Hikaru. We've been together for over eighty years.

"I know. But it all seems a blur now. My only consolation is that I can see my dear Kaoru again."

Silence reigned in that room as Genmaki observed his aged charge. Out of all the foxes, he was the only one left of the originals. Gin and Shin had gone back when Juugo and Karin had died. Penni had been at Tsunade's side as she passed away and had actually cried. She'd become quite attached to the old woman. Megumi had tried to nurse Sakura when she fell ill, but she couldn't fix whatever was wrong with her. It was with great sadness that she went back to the fox realm. She begged Naruto to let her go back and he swore that when a suitable child was found for her, she could go immediately. Poor Megumi had become the most attached of all of them to humans. Having no kits of her own, she had substituted Naruto's family as her own.

He turned his thoughts inward and remembered the old days. He had watched with pride as Hikaru had grown. Achieving the chuunin status at twelve and jounin at fifteen. He had stood by proudly at his wedding to Sabaku no Kaoru and had been ecstatic when the girl had accepted one of his kits as her familiar. He had seen Hikaru's children born and had never been more happy as his wife became the familiar for one of the children when they came of age.

His family had flourished because of Lord Naruto and he was forever grateful. His only regret in this lifetime he had spent with Hikaru would be saying goodbye. He bowed his head in an attempt to hide his sadness.

Hikaru was lost in his own thoughts. He was going over his life, a sure sign that his life was nearly over. He remembered the first time he met Genmaki and GamaKichi. He thought back to the first time he met his wife and chuckled softly when he thought of how he had said that girls were yucky. Genmaki heard him laugh and asked what was funny.

"Just thinking of the past. Hey, remember when Juugo became Hokage and was livid because I was passed up?"

Yes, I do. He said it should have been yours by birth and you told him that he was a better leader. I still don't understand your logic there.

"Juugo was the better leader. I was a better big brother. I wasn't meant to lead a country. I'm not my father; I don't have the constitution to order people around. I was put here to give advice and raise a family that my father couldn't. I just hope he's proud of me."

I know he is.

Hikaru nodded and immersed himself in thought again. He closed his eyes and remembered the sad jounin Hatake Kakashi. He couldn't think of why he thought of the man but he did. His death had been a mystery. Labeled MIA by Konoha, no one knew what had become of him, but Hikaru did. Naruto had been willing to let the man live in misery, but Ino was not so forgiving. She'd come home one night with her claws covered in blood and Hikaru just knew it was Kakashi's. He just knew.

Thinking of Kakashi made him think of the Daimyo who had sold them out. His father had personally took care of the fat little man and he had brought the children with him to witness his judgment.


After Team Ino had fled to Konoha, the Daimyo had ran to one of his safehouses and stayed hidden for months. Once he deemed it safe to return to the capitol, his caravan moved out. Exactly one mile outside the gates, they'd been stopped by a tall blonde man with blood red ears and nine tails waving behind him. He stood with his head down, his hands at his side. One of the samurai on detail had walked forward and told him to move himself by order of the Daimyo. Naruto never looked up and kept his voice low.

"If you value your life, you will leave and head to the capitol. My business is with the Daimyo. He shall not leave this place this day, for this road is his grave, that tree yonder his tombstone. It is more than he deserves."

"I order you to move. If you don't…"

"Leave. Now. This is your final warning."

The samurai, honorbound to serve with their lives, leapt forward with their swords drawn. Before they ever reached him their blood was spilled upon the ground and Naruto stood as if he'd never moved.

"The rest of you leave now. I will pass my judgment upon this man. Go to the capitol and send for the undertaker."

The servants and attendants scrambled to get away from the scene, heading as fast as they could for the capitol. The Daimyo tried to run but found himself facing a demon. Naruto's eyes had gone blood red and his fangs had lengthened.

You tried to have my family murdered for your own ambitions. Because you helped a murderer, your punishment is death by my hand. Prepare to meet the Shinigami.

The Daimyo tried to plead. He fell to his knees and begged and cried. Naruto gave him an ignoble death by slitting his throat with a claw and watching as the man bled to death. He turned back to the children and spoke in a soft voice to them.

"What I did was cruel and I do not expect any of you to mimic me. He threatened my family and I did what I felt was best. Always take care of your family, no matter what."

Hikaru never forgot that lesson.


He thought back to when he had made chuunin. This led to him thinking of when he had made jounin and three years later he had proposed to Kaoru. A single tear ran down his face and he whispered to the wind.

"I want to see Kaoru again. I want to kiss her. I want to see my family again. I miss them all."

Genmaki heard him whisper and nudged his hand with his nose.

You'll see them soon. I promise it.

"Thank you."

Hikaru tried to hold back the tears by thinking of other things. He had ascended and taken the Fox Yonnin title from his mother. His brother had ascended to Hokage and Hikaru had taken on an advisory role with his sister Karin. After he had taken the title from his mother, she and Naruto had taken Mikomi and gone to live in the fox realm fulltime.

He had begged them to stay, but they merely smiled and hugged him and Kaoru.

"Our time in this world is past Hikaru. It is time to leave it to your generation. You will lead Konoha into the peace that we could not."

And they had. There hadn't been a war in all of his eighty-five years. Thinking of the past was becoming depressing more than cheering him up though. All the people that had gone on before him… All he had left were his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He opened his eyes when he heard the doorlatch click and saw his family enter. He smiled and tried to raise himself up, only to be pushed back by Genmaki's tail.

Don't. Save your strength.

"For what old friend? I have no more battles to fight."

Instead of holding him down, Genmaki used his tails to help Hikaru prop himself up. He breathed heavily until he was used to his new position and sank back into the pillows propped behind him. He smiled wearily at his family.

"I'm so happy you're all here. I only wish Kaoru was here to see you all. I'm so proud of all of you."

Sniffles and sobs were heard even while they put on a brave face. This was Uzumaki Hikaru; one of the strongest Konoha had ever produced. Ninja were supposed to die in battle, but here he was, being defeated by old age, a rare occurrence for a ninja. He looked around at all of them and closed his eyes. When he finally opened them again, he turned to Genmaki and patted his friend on the head.

"I want to see father and mother and Mikomi one last time. I want to say goodbye to them the way father never got to say goodbye to his parents. Can you fetch them for me?"

Of course Hikaru.

As Genmaki vanished, Hikaru's oldest son stepped forward.

"Father, forgive me, but you can't see grandfather again. He's not amongst the living anymore. He'd have to be at least a hundred years old."

Hikaru smirked and laid back against the pillows.

"You'll see. My father is a great man. You'll see where you came from."

The family stood confused and were startled when Genmaki poofed back into existence. He rushed to Hikaru's bedside and sat on his haunches rubbing his nose affectionately on the man's arm.

My Lord and Lady come soon. He just has to get your sister away from her suitors.

Hikaru chuckled and nearly had a heart attack from laughing when three eruptions of flame made his family scream and jump. Their eyes widened when Naruto, Ino, and Mikomi stood before them. Naruto and Ino had not aged a day. Ino had gained three more tails and Mikomi had grown into a beautiful demoness with two tails. She immediately rushed to her brother's side and latched onto his neck, sobbing into it. Hikaru wrapped his arms around her and cried into her shoulder. They hadn't seen one another in thirty years.

"Why brother? Why didn't you call us sooner? Why not when you're dying?"

"Because I wanted you here with me so I could say goodbye."

Mikomi continued to hug him as the family eyed the three demons suspiciously. One of the grandchildren suddenly leapt out of his seat and ran to another room. He came back with a weathered photo taken nearly fifty years ago. He looked from the photo to the three and his voice caught in his throat.

"It is true. You're our grandfather."

Naruto chuckled and ruffled the young man's hair.

"Your great grandfather actually. I am Naruto, Hikaru's father."

"But…but you're a demon…"

"Hai, I am. But Hikaru was born before I became a demon. I'm not going to tell you the story as its common knowledge. Just check the library."

A soft voice came from the bed.

"Father, come. I wish to speak with you one last time."

Naruto knelt at the side of the bed and Ino and Mikomi detached themselves from Hikaru. Ino sadly took in her son's visage. Gone were the bright eyes and blonde and pink hair. Instead of her beautiful boy, was an old man with white hair and wrinkles that looked like canyons. She held his hand and listened as the two men spoke.

"I'm here son."

"I just want you all to know, that I love you and I'm sorry that we didn't see each other over the years. I was simply too busy watching over my family to call you and we all suffered for it. I just have one last request father."


Hikaru let a soft smile cover his face and he put his hands together as if in prayer.

"Play a song for me one last time. Your guitar is still in its case in the vault. Makoto, go fetch it please."

The little redhead known as Makoto soon came back with the ancient instrument and Naruto handled it as if it were a newborn babe. He tuned it and checked the strings. Everything still worked as if it never left his hands. Hikaru sighed happily and laid back into the pillows.

"I kept it tuned all these years. Never did learn how to play it like you wanted me to, but I kept it in tune and the strings in working order, in case you ever visited. Play me a song."

Naruto smiled. This was way too nostalgic.

"Any requests son?"

"Just play me a song old man."

"Says the pot to the kettle. Allright then, I'll play When the Children Cry."

Little child dry your crying eyes
How can I explain the fear you feel inside
Cause you were born into this evil world
Where man is killing man and no one knows just why
What have we become just look what we have done
All that we destroyed you must build again

Hikaru felt his eyes growing heavy and it was getting harder to breathe. He thought he saw a shimmering light, but it had to be his imagination.

When the children cry

Let them know we tried
Cause when the children sing then the new world begins

Little child you must show the way
To a better day for all the young
Cause you were born for all the world to see
That we all can live with love and peace
No more presidents and all the wars will end
One united world under God

Hikaru opened his eyes wide when he saw a white light and a blonde man and red haired woman stepped out of the light. Behind them was a beautiful young woman that he recognized immediately. It was Kaoru. He smiled and the man motioned for him to close his eyes. A tear rolled down his cheek as he complied.

What have we become

Just look what we have done
All that we destroyed you must build again
No more presidents and all the wars will end
One united world under God

Naruto had been watching the whole time as the three figures appeared, but he kept singing. His child wanted one last song and he wouldn't deprive him of that. He was happy that his mother and father had come to escort Hikaru to the hereafter and even his beloved Kaoru had come. He smiled and moved into the last chorus.

When the children cry

Let them know we tried
When the children fight

Let them know it ain't right
When the children pray

Let them know the way
Cause when the children sing then the new world begins

Naruto ended the song and turned to see the happy smile on Hikaru's face. He leant over and kissed his son on the forehead before standing and walking over to a corner, letting everyone else pay their respects. He felt a presence next to him and turned to see his father and mother, with a Hikaru who was in his prime with his arm around the beautiful Kaoru. He smiled and bowed his head to his father and mother.

"Thank you for taking him home. I hope you've all found peace."

"We have son. Everyone has. We just wanted to say that we all love you and this is goodbye."

Tears cascaded down Naruto's cheeks and he closed his eyes.

"Thank you all. I love you. Goodbye mother, father…Hikaru…"

He felt the ghostly lips of his mother on his forehead and when he opened his eyes they were gone. Ino touched him on the shoulder and he turned to see her small smile that always brought him joy.

"I'm so happy you got to see them one last time. You finally got to say goodbye."


Mikomi walked up, her eyes brimming with tears and curiosity.

"Daddy, who were those people standing over there with Hikaru?"

Naruto smiled and put his arm around his daughter's shoulders.

"That's a story I'll be happy to tell you baby. See it all started over a hundred years ago…"

And with a flash of flame, the demons were gone, Genmaki following them home.


Uzumaki Hikaru's funeral was a grand affair. All of Konoha came to pay respects to a man who had given his life to his family and the village. Here was the fox sage that had helped bring peace to the land. As the latest Hokage gave his eulogy and the people began to walk forward with their white roses, Hikaru's favorite flower, they heard the strum of a guitar and all eyes turned to see a man with nine tails and red ears on top of his head standing before the casket.

They all listened in rapture as he began his slow, sad melody.

Thanks for all you've done
I've missed you for so long
I can't believe you're gone and

You still live in me
I feel you in the wind
You guide me constantly

I never knew what it was to be alone...no
'Cause you were always there for me
You were always home waiting

But now I come home and I miss your face so
Smiling down on me
I close my eyes to see

And I know you're a part of me
And it's your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can't hold on

I sing tonight 'cause it comforts me
I carry the things that remind me of you
In loving memory of the one that was so true

You were as kind as you could be
And even though you're gone
You still mean the world to me

I never knew what is was to be alone...no
'Cause you were always there for me
You were always home waiting

But now I come home and it's not the same no
It feels empty and alone
I just can't believe you're gone

And I know you're a part of me
And it's your song that sets me fee
I sing it while I feel I can't hold on

I sing tonight 'cause it comforts me
I'm glad he set you free from sorrow
But I'll still love you more tomorrow

And you'll be here with me still
All you did you did with feeling
And you always found a meaning

And you always will
And you always will
And you always will

And I know you're a part of me
And it's your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can't hold on

I sing tonight 'cause it comforts me

Once the final note had been played, he turned to the crowd and they all stared in wonder at the tears running down his face as he vanished in a plume of flame. They heard his whisper as it drifted on the wind

"One last song for you son...because I always loved to play for you..."

Because even demons weep for their own.


And now it's truly over. I hope you enjoyed the full story. This being my first fic, I'm sad to see it truly end. But I hope you've enjoyed the ride as much as I have. This is the pudgypudge, signing off BHSD for the final time.

When The Children Cry by White Lion

In Loving Memory by Alter Bridge