Disclaimer. I do not own Naruto or the book which I took the basis of the mission from (I will reveal what book it is after the story).

Many thanks to RubyNury for getting me to post this. Without her encouragement I would not have been able to do this.

It is only a short piece, and quite angsty.

Rated T

A mission that costs to much.

The mission had gone snafu from the start. He had not expected it to be easy when he got the briefing but this was not just a hard mission it was downright impossible.

From the beginning they had encountered enemy ninja in places where there should be none and it was clear that they had been placed there to counter his group. Somewhere there had been a leak.

All of it leads to here and now. Only two members of the five where without wounds, and he himself only because he had his regeneration. The worst of was the kunoichi he stood beside now, Hyuuga Hinata. She had gotten her leg snapped in a trap in the very beginning of the mission and it had become infected. Despite their efforts and the sulfa they had used the gangrene had spread frightingly fast. The cold whether with snow and wind did not help matters.

The escape route lay behind him, a few hours run to get to neutral territory where they could get away. In front of him lay a mountain range with only one pass through it and that pass is where they stood now. The mountains where covered in ice making it impossible for even shinobi to climb them and to get around them would take to much time for the enemy. Unfortunately their supply of exploding tags where low and would not be enough to block the pass. He turned to Hinata.

"I need to think about this for a while."

"Is there really much to think about Naruto? You will have to leave someone here to guard the pass while the others make their escape."

He scowled, not at her informal address of him, they where close enough that they dropped any honorifics when alone. No he scowled at the idea of leaving any one behind. It may be something that should be done but that didn't mean he ever would make that choice lightly dammit.

Before he could protest she started speaking again.

"The gangrene in my leg has spread past my knee hasn't it?

He winced. So she had been awake when they had talked about the gangrene. He had hoped to keep that a secret form her.

"Therefore it makes sense if it is me staying as I would probably not make it to someone skilled enough to treat it."

"But."

"No Naruto, you know I am right and that we will do it that way sooner or later."

He looked her in the eyes and for a few seconds they where silent. He saw how serious she was and knew that she had a point. If they had to carry her it would take longer time to reach safe territory and they where already slowed down by what they had picked up from the mission.

In those few moments something else passed between them, something they had not acknowledged in the open yet. In the end he just nodded at her, gave her his last soldier-pills and left to find the others and get them moving.

As Hinata turned to the pass and popped a pill into her mouth she mused over how free she felt. For the first time in her life she felt no fear. The fear that had been her constant companion almost all her life had finally fled her. She smiled and fired of a fire jutsu to keep the enemies away and then she took out and started rigging her explosive tags. This would be her last stand.

As the group ran for safety they could here jutsu being fired. Then they heard a large explosion and when they turned quickly they saw a ball of fire going up from the pass. As Naruto had taken point none of the others saw the tears slowly leaking down his cheeks.

The seventh Hokage stood looking over the slowly ding hustle and bustle of Konoha. After the last war the village had prospered and was now regarded as the strongest of ninja-villages. Placing the robes of office on their stand he performed a sunshin to complete the day as he did most of them. Soon he stood at the memorial stone, staring at the names. Not that he needed to look hard to find the one he was there for; he would be able to find it in his sleep. There, carved deeper into the stone then the rest because he had worn it down two times already, was the simple words "Hyuuga Hinata, Chuunin."

As the sun vanished behind the forest he stood there, thinking about the past and of the future.

The cross-over is Alistair McLains "The Guns of Navarone". Anyone who has read it will see what parts I have used.

Thanks for reading this. And more thanks to RubyNury.