The Place We Can Call Home
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of its characters, they are owned by Masashi Kishimoto.
Chapter 9: Red Assault, the end of the battle.
"Guy isn't that…?" asked Asuma taking out his trench Knifes instantly covering them with chakra
"He is…" affirmed the surprised green beast watching the figure that had come out of the red-haired kid
"How can he, I thought he was dead" Continued Asuma perplexed at the sight
"What's wrong what are you two talking about?" asked Neji without taking his gaze from the Akatsuki member
Shikamaru, Tenten and Sakura listened attentively.
Naruto kept thinking about his next move watching closely the sand surrounding the cloaked enemy, it looked very similar to gaara's but he knew there was something special about it
Choji had his weapons prepared in case the criminal attacked
"That man behind the kid is the Third Kazekage" Said Asuma startling the young genin
"What?" Neji asked shocked at the information
"He was famous around the world, as the strongest ninja that ever came from the sand village, his jutsu were feared throughout the five great nations" Said Guy this time attracting the attention of the teens "But after the war he somehow went missing, and no one has ever seen him since then, until now of course, the sand ninja eventually chose a new Kazekage to take his place but it had been a great loss to the sand" he finished studying his opponent
"That is correct, although he didn't exactly go missing, he was strong but I was ultimately able to capture him, and then added to my collection" Sasori said with a grim smile
The others looked at him terrified
"This guy is more dangerous than I first thought, Shikamaru, you and the others stay out of this fight, Guy and I will take him on" said once more Asuma, extending his weapons to the sides.
"What are you crazy? You think I'm gonna let you fight that guy on your own? If what you told us is true, even if you are jounin you might not be able to defeat him" snarled the blond Uzumaki looking straight at them
"For once, Naruto is right, even if we are not nearly as powerful as you guys are, there are still ways for us to help" said Shikamaru without moving his gaze from his opponent "I'm sure you already know this, but every single attack he has launched contained a fair amount of poison, now I don't know much about them but I can tell this is no ordinary poison, and not knowing it's effects is even more dangerous for us, so far we've done a good job evading his techniques but if that kid is as strong as you say he is, he'll eventually hit you and you will be rendered useless, the best option for now is to utilize our strength in numbers"
"Very good boy, you are not bad at all, however you are mistaken in me being a kid, I'm 33 years old you know, and my name is Sasori, known better as Sasori of the red sand" Sasori said followed by a sinister laugh
"That can't be !" Said a shocked Asuma
"Stop joking around, Sasori of the red sand should be long dead by now" said an equally surprised Guy
"What's so special about him, is he famous or something?" said Sakura prepared for anything the rogue ninja might throw at them
"Wait did he say 33 years old? He certainly doesn't look like it" said a suspicious Tenten
"Impossible" exclaimed Neji looking directly at the red haired criminal
"What is it Neji?" asked worried Guy
"The man, the third Kazekage, I can see his chakra network" he said astonished
"WHAT?" the others exclaimed in unison
"I can see his chakra network, but he is still connected through chakra threads to Sasori, how can this be, he is a puppet he shouldn't have any chakra" said a frustrated Neji "and Sasori's own body is very strange, what kind of shinobi is he ?"
The same sinister laugh could be heard from the criminal "The ultimate puppet master, that's who I am"
"The ultimate puppet master?" said a shocked Choji
"Sasori of the red sand, he is a veteran from the third shinobi war like us, though he was vastly known for his expertise in puppetry Ninjutsu, he was nicknamed like that because, he spilled the blood of his opponents all over the sand turning it red, he killed countless and countless of shinobi, he was hailed as a genius but he was said to be dead after a quarrel with his own village" Said Asuma holding his grip on the trench knifes tighter
The others looked perplexed at the revelation
"Well, I'm getting Impatient, enough talk" said Sasori, the sand around the third Kazekage started dancing around him and his master rapidly "Iron sand: scattered shower"
The sand around the puppet master stopped dancing as hundreds of small masses of sand started flying like projectiles towards the leaf shinobi
Sakura quickly created another wall of earth to protect herself and Naruto, though they both lied face down in the earth evading the shots of sand that went through the wall
Tenten summoned a giant shield that protected her and Neji, the sand projectiles crashing against it, but weren't able to pierce through the shield
Guy and Asuma took Choji and Shikamaru and dodged the attack with an amazing speed
"That sand is incredibly fast" said Asuma as they landed in a safe place
"it it is like gaara's you're going to have to attack him with the fastest attack you've got, diversions will not be enough, and if we get touched by that we're dead" Said Shikamaru analyzing the enemies technique
Hundreds of blonds came out of the earth wall the pink kunoichi had created, as they ran towards him, the iron sand from his puppet stabbed them, erasing them with a poof; Sasori was once more amused at the struggle of the little bugs trying so hard to defeat the scorpion.
Might Guy ran full speed towards the marionette intending to finish it instantly, however he was soon repelled by the iron sand, with fluent movements he avoided being stabbed by it but he was unable to get close to the rogue ninja
Tenten left Neji's side quickly jumping high in the air; with a swift movement she took out two scrolls; while opening the scrolls with grace and fluidity she chanted "Twin rising dragons", they instantly started spiraling around Tenten and she summoned all classes of weapons throwing them at the Akatsuki.
A rain of kunai knifes, shuriken, and swords made themselves to the red haired ninja, however as they approached their target, the black sand moved at dazing speeds deflecting every weapon, but it didn't stop there soon after clearing the air of weapons the sand moved forward against Tenten; she was in midair and the sand was so fast she didn't think she'd be able to dodge, but before the sand was able to catch her she felt herself moved by a monstrous strength and numbing speed, when she landed she found herself in the arms of Might Guy who was looking straight at the rogue shinobi.
Neji let himself sigh in relieve, when he saw the sand going towards her, he froze completely, knowing that he wouldn't be able to get to her before the sand, but as soon as he saw Guy sensei taking her in his arms, his body recovered the ability to move, he turned his gaze to the criminal, intending to stop that sand of his.
"Tenten are you okay?" asked a concerned Guy as he took a quick glance at her
"Yeah I'm fine, I'm sorry I was careless" Tenten replied looking analytically at her opponent
Shikamaru made his way quickly towards Naruto and Sakura, he had been observing the events and had devised a plan that would probably be able to render the sand useless but, if made incorrectly would have catastrophic consequences.
"Hey Naruto listen to me, I have a plan but you have to do what I say to the letter alright? I think I know how to beat him once and for all" said the Nara looking confident to his adversary.
"Fun's over time to die" continued Sasori looking at the leaf ninja he would eliminate the weak links first, distracting the faster ones so he could get them off guard, and then finally take the nine-tails vessel without interruptions
The black sand moved at incredible speed towards Sakura, Naruto and Shikamaru, however before it connected with its targets, the blond boy let out a stream of water through his mouth pushing against the sand and slowing it slightly; Sasori observed as dozens of clones made their way from the blond, flanked him and surrounded him, immediately they copied their originals actions, sending a stream of water towards the puppet master. The black sand protected him intercepting the water coming his way.
"Fire Style: burning ash" Shouted Asuma expulsing a giant cloud of ash that as it collided with the sand turned to fire, creating steam as it touched the water.
'Trying to rust the sand are you?' thought Sasori as he opened small holes within the sand which he used as a screen to cover his attacks, soon several kunai flew towards the leaf ninja, they evaded efficiently, however as they collided with the ground they exploded stunning them temporarily, time he used to use his sand against them, now that the clones had disappeared thanks to the explosions, the black sand rushed the pink haired kunoichi, but was intercepted by the pale-eyed Hyuga who used his palm rotation to deflect the sand, and was able to take the girl and get some distance.
"Do you really think you will escape? You have no chance of beating me" Sasori said moving his fingers that controlled his puppet "Iron sand World order" he continued as the third Kazekage stretched his arms; immediately the sand retracted and compacted into a ball that moved high in the air before extending into countless spikes that branched themselves into smaller ones intending on piercing their opponents flesh until there was nothing left.
Sasori observed delighted as the black spikes approached his enemies, he could already feel his blood burning with excitement at the prospect of killing these pitiful bugs, his excitement turned to confusion when he suddenly felt paralyzed, he turned his gaze at the floor recognizing the familiar shadow connected to his.
"Shadow possession jutsu success" said a smirking Shikamaru with his hands intertwined in a seal, turning rapidly from his opponent he yelled "Naruto now!"
Suddenly currents of wind went through the limbs of the puppet master cutting the link between Sasori and the third Kazekage "Wind style: wind demon barrage" yelled a crouching Naruto controlling the wind with his chakra.
The black sand immediately fell to the ground harmlessly, not a moment after, the place where the Akatsuki shinobi was standing became engulfed by flames as they crashed in the ground, "Fire style: blazing wind" said Asuma igniting the air around the criminal into torrent of fire.
The other shinobi observed nervously trying to find any signs of life from the powerful foe they were facing.
Naruto wasn't taking his eyes from the place where the flames were dancing, according to Shikamaru this plan should be successful, but somehow he was having a bad feeling in his stomach, his senses heighted as his eyes turned crimson and his body took a more bestial appearance, he narrowed his eyes in concentration and waited for anything that might go wrong.
Sakura turned to look at Naruto, she felt disappointed in herself; when the red haired criminal defeated the clones she was caught by the explosion in her left leg, and she had to be saved by Neji, she knew she was in currently no position to fight and she was scared to be a burden for the others, the only thing she could do now was to rely on her earth style ninjutsu, she turned once more to where the fire was, now was the time for her to protect Naruto, she wasn't going to let him get hurt like so many times in the past.
The others waited expectantly for any other surprises of the puppeteer holding up their guard.
The flames quickly dispersed revealing an empty crater, and no signs of the rogue ninja, at once everyone went into alert, looking frantically for him in their surroundings.
A high pitched noise got the shinobi's attention; they turned only to find Naruto with several senbon pierced through his body, and an arm without body strangling him.
"Naruto!" they all yelled in unison
Asuma tried to get to him but was intercepted by an extremity made of wood he recognized as a leg with the end made steel covered by poison, he dodged and attempted another try but was pushed back by a wave of flames that separated him from the nine tails vessel.
They all watched horrified as Naruto fell on his knees and to the ground unconscious
"Damn" said Shikamaru trying to come up with a strategy to rescue the blond shinobi
"Naruto" said a tearful Sakura creating several layers of earth to protect her from the fire as she made her way to him, however her legs soon gave up and she crashed in the ground looking desperately to help her teammate.
Choji was paralyzed with fear after seeing Naruto collapse, in his mind the blond was one of the strongest shinobi he had ever met, and yet he was taken down so easily by a single arm
Tenten rushed to the blond and pink haired ninja to lend a hand but several senbon made her way to her and she had to get some distance.
Guy observed every hole from where the limbs of Sasori had rose; he narrowed his eyes and turned to look at Naruto, Sasori was famous for the poison embedded in his weapons, the chances of the blond dying were high; he clenched his fists in fury, he had let his rival's student, his own student get compromised in this battle, it would be his fault for not taking the necessary precautions and let the children get involved.
Suddenly the fire stopped and the flying limbs reunited in other side of the battlefield opposite to the leaf ninja.
"the vessel has been neutralized, now I only have to dispose of you" said a deadly cold voice they recognized as Sasori's. the limbs that had been previously detached from his body reconnected to his body and he appeared to have no major injuries.
The Jounin captains looked troubled at the criminal, the battle had went downhill, and they had to take action now, before they were all killed.
The genin were all terrified, Sakura had managed to drag herself to Naruto and she was checking his vital signs; she had let him down, she wasn't able to protect him and now the poison was going through his veins.
She hugged him closer as tears starting running down her eyes and cheeks, she couldn't lose him, there was no way she'd be able to handle it.
"interesting you managed to close all the chakra points of the third Kazekage while I was being attacked by the flames, now I can't use the iron sand even if I control the puppet; you would've been a worthy opponent had you had more training and experience, though it doesn't matter now, it's time, please enjoy the last act." Said Sasori opening an enormous scroll and weaving hand signs; he slammed his hand in the scroll summoning several corpses wrapped around red cloaks "Secret red technique: Performance of a hundred puppets" he yelled as his chest opened revealing a compartment emitting countless chakra threads that attached themselves the bodies, soon they started rising and taking battle stances.
"What the hell?" said a nervous Shikamaru thinking of a counter strategy to take care of apparently one hundred enemies.
"What are we going to do? This guy isn't human" said a frightened Tenten
"We're going to have to fight our way to the one controlling them, if we defeat Sasori the others will probably go down too" said Neji studying the new threat
Choji gulped in anticipation and anxiety, he doubted his skills were good enough, the akatsuki guy just seemed too strong for them.
Asuma drew once more his trench knives injecting them with chakra to increase the range and power of his attacks.
"Let's begin" Sasori said chuckling evilly
The human puppets moved rapidly towards their opponents, forty of them went directly towards Guy, while forty were attacking Asuma, the other twenty rushed in the genin's direction.
The artificial enemies possessed an outstanding capacity of speed and power, the genin were barely able to dodge the attacks and avoid the poison.
Guy threw a punch forward while dodging being stabbed from the left, he quickly spun and back-kicked the attacker, he jumped backwards and repelled three enemies in midair; he moved quickly to left and right avoiding kunai and senbon before they pierced through him, if he got hit by one of them I'd be over.
Asuma wasn't having it better than his fellow captain, the powerful beings were dodging and blocking all of his attacks, and he was struggling to escape the deadly weapons enhanced with poison, he blocked an incoming slash with his left knife and jabbed with his other in the opposite direction, he moved backwards after the attack failed and crouched avoiding certain death, he increased the chakra he was pouring into his weapons and prepared to engage once more.
Neji and Tenten were fighting back to back, with Neji's byakugan he was able to repel the attacks that were directed towards him and his companion, but he had spent a fair amount of chakra already, he needed to defeat them and quickly or he wouldn't be able to protect Tenten anymore.
"Tenten I need you to give me a weapon something to keep from exhausting my chakra" said Neji without taking his gaze from the numerous puppets that were currently battling with.
The weapon's master looked at him from the corner of her eye as she intercepted a blade with her staff successfully pushing back the attacker "alright but I'll need you to cover me" she said finally grabbing a scroll from her pouch.
The inanimate corpses drew back and unleashed a barrage of senbon and kunai directed towards them, the young Hyuga quickly concentrated his chakra around his body and rotated creating a field to protect them temporarily, the puppets wasted no time and rushed in their direction; the dome of chakra resided leaving a panting Hyuga and a determined Tenten looking straight at them.
"Here" said team guy's kunoichi throwing the pale eyed ninja a dual-blade spear while getting in her battle stance.
Neji quickly grabbed the weapon his partner gave him and positioned himself in the offensive.
The puppets soon reached them and the battle resumed, Neji parried two blades with one edge of his spear and countered immediately with the other, he was able to pierce through the chest of one and repelled an attack coming towards Tenten, the enemy still had the advantage but at least this way he'd conserve more chakra.
Choji and Shikamaru were running for their lives, the enemies were simply too fast and strong for them, the Nara genius didn't have time to make hand signs and he couldn't risk Choji getting pierced by one of those poisonous weapons, so the only thing he could do for now was avoid getting hit and hopefully find a way to get time to use his Jutsu, he took a second to think of a strategy while being chased by the controlled beings, the best chance of survival was to take on the creatures in a group where they could be protected by their comrades, but to reach them he had to distract the corpses, an idea came rushing through his mind and he prepared the set of actions that would lead to the success of his plan, he had to time it perfectly and so he kept dodging and taking note of his enemies' positions not only the puppets' but Sasori's too.
Sakura was with Naruto inside a dome of earth she had created after the distractions from the red haired criminal, she had opted for staying out of the fight for now, she'd only be a liability if they had to fight while keeping an eye on her, plus she wanted to be sure Naruto would be alright, his face showed clear sighns of pain, which that the poison was taking effect, but she had to try to do something for her teammate.
She scanned to the best of her abilities the body of the Uzumaki with her extremely limited medical ninjutsu that she had learned from Kurenai, at times like these she wished she had asked for more tips and lessons in the healing arts.
She studied her blond friend as she roamed through his body, she was astonished to say the least when she found no open wounds or scars where the senbon had pierced his body, it was like it had never had happened with the exception of the poison of course, now she wouldn't be able to extract the venom and making an antidote would prove incredibly difficult.
she was starting to panic, she didn't know how long it would take the poison to completely shut off the systems in the blonde's body and they were in the middle of a fight, even if they won there was no guarantee he would make it, the revelation had paralyzed her completely, her mind blank, the fight and the rest forgotten, she was only thinking of how she would lose Naruto, the person who always came to her rescue, the person who confessed his love openly for her and only for her, the boy who didn't give up no matter the odds, one of the few left she cherished in this world, she would never see his smile again, his eyes filled with determination and care; she would never hear his cheery voice when they went on missions, she would never see the one who always came through for her.
She realized she was crying when she felt the familiar warmth in her cheeks, it had been too soon since the death of her parents and now she was going to lose Naruto too? The tears increased and she took the head of the Uzumaki and put it on her lap, as she caressed his scalp gently playing with his hair, memories of their past missions together came to her mind and she couldn't help but place a bittersweet smile on her face, since their first day as genin she was able to enjoy herself with his company when they pranked their sensei for being late, in the first missions he was trying to prove himself to her, to gain her affection, her heart clenched in regret, he didn't deserve how she treated him in the past, and she wasn't able to apologize for that.
"Forgive me Naruto, I didn't know how stupid I was, I took for granted one of the best things that's happened to me, I judged you based on what I heard from the others, and didn't give you a chance to know the real you, I'm sorry, so please, please stay with me you can't leave me please, I need you, you are what's holding me together right now, I…I don't know what I'd do without you Naruto please…don't…leave me" she said trying to wipe the tears off her face
"Don't…cry…Sakura…chan" said a soft voice underneath her
She looked startled at the blond shinobi who had his eyes open, he didn't look healed but at least he was awake now, he raised his left hand and cupped her cheek wiping the tears away "I'm not going to leave, not even for all the ramen in the world, believe it" he said with a weak smile
She hugged him tightly and chuckled at his attempt of a joke "idiot, I was worried sick, don't ever do that to me again you hear" she finished as more tears left her eyes
"I promise, and I never go back on my word because that is mi nindo, mi ninja way" he concluded holding Sakura closer to himself.
'Listen to me brat, I cleared out the poison in your body but it has already taken effect weakening you, try to stay away from if you get stuck with more of that disgusting poison you won't be able to walk for a while'
Naruto stiffened after hearing that voice; it had been a while since they had last talked.
"Is something wrong Naruto?" Sakura asked now more calmed than before
"Yeah just give me a sec" he said turning to his inner companion 'you are helping me? Why?'
'don't be so surprised brat, if you die I die, and I rather be alive even if it means helping you from time to time, don't waste the chance I gave you'
Naruto was momentarily shocked by the words of the nine tails, at least he was an ally in these kind of situations, that was for the better 'Thanks, but don't worry you'll see I'll kick this guy's ass in no time'
"Alright time to take care of this" said Naruto trying to stand with difficulty
"Be careful Naruto, you aren't fully healed yet, I don't even know how long will take for the poison to reach your any of your central systems, and the more you move the more it'll spread, you should just lay down, and wait for the others" said Sakura concerned
"Don't worry sakura-chan, the poison is gone from my body, I'll explain later how it happened but now I've gotta help them, I can't just leave them to fight for themselves" said the blond preparing himself for the fight
"Wait if you're going to go we need a plan first, the situation is delicate as it is, that guy Sasori summoned one hundred puppets to fight us" she explained
"ONE HUNDRED?" exclaimed the blonde shocked
"Yes and they are very strong and fast, but if we can take the pressure of the others we can join them and launch a cooperative attack, I've got an idea Naruto but I need you to listen alright?" said sakura
"Sure what are we going to do?" the Uzumaki replied
In the other side of the battlefield Sasori observed calmly as his puppets were pushing against the defense of the leaf, he had already separated the vessel now he could kill all of them, without holding back. He found his next target in the two genin running from the artificial creatures, with one swift movement he extended his arms pointing them directly towards the two members of team ten; however, his attack was delayed by an unexpected interruption from the nine tails vessel, numerous clones rushed in his direction intending to defeat him with the strange orb of chakra he had called rasengan.
Irritation flowed through him as compartments in his arms opened revealing a set of blades spiraling at alarming speeds much like a windmill, dissipating the clones that were closer to him with a poof.
Shikamaru seized his opportunity throwing kunai attached to smoke bombs that collided with the rogue ninja blinding him temporarily "Choji take care of these two now, we are going to reinforce Neji and Tenten if we fight all of us together we might have a chance" he said turning to his best friend, the brown haired ninja nodded and they ran to their friends' aid
"It seems Naruto is alright I wonder why I was worrying in the first place" said Neji as he cut through the middle of one of the puppets in front of him and deflected an attack directed at Tenten.
The weapon mistress drew eight kunai with paper bombs and threw them in different directions "Thank god, I was scared to death, but seriously how does he do it" she said summoning a staff and pushing back an attacker in her left.
Guy looked relieved when the clones clashed with the Akatsuki ninja; that meant Naruto was alright for now he had to take finish this once and for all "Leaf great whirlwind" he said pushing back five enemies at once he took some distance from them while avoiding throwing weapons "Six gate, gate of joy open" he continued releasing a huge amount of chakra pushing back his artificial enemies.
Asuma took his chance with shikamaru's distraction to wipe out ten of them at once
Shikamaru and Choji finally reached their comrades greeting them with a nod and taking a battle stance "alright so here's how it's going to go out" said Shikamaru pulling out a series of kunai and strings from his pouch "Neji I need you to cover me while I paralyze them with my shadow possession Jutsu at once all of you will attack, I'll blow up the ones you cannot reach, Neji if possible I want you to warn us from incoming attacks" he finished preparing his weapons
"Alright I'll-" Neji fell to the ground screaming in pain when a stream of water with enormous pressure and small diameter pierced through his body like a blade leaving him bleeding out.
"NEJI!" yelled Tenten kneeling down to look at his injury
Shikamaru and Choji turned in the direction where the water had come from; the Nara genius was only able to recognize a hand with what it seemed to be a pressurized tube before a similar stream of water connected with his right leg piercing right through it
"Aaarrrgh" yelled Shikamaru falling to the ground clutching his leg in pain.
"SHIKAMARU!" Said the Akimichi heir turning to his best friend with a concerned look in his face.
Asuma was distracted from his battle when screaming sounds filled his ears, he turned in that direction to find his student and the Hyuga prodigy lying on the floor, a kick connected to his chin sending him flying backwards he collided with a tree sending a jolt of pain through him but he was too distracted to pay any mind he tried to go to their aid, but was intercepted by another puppet, he tried to fend him off but others came to reinforce him, he was once again being pushed back watching as the young ninjas struggled to stay conscious.
Guy destroyed three enemies simultaneously when the Neji's voice came to his ears, he observed as his student lied in the ground with Tenten at his side ready to be executed by the inanimate foes, He focused an enormous amount of chakra sprinting in their direction, but was stopped midway, when steel ropes connected to his body tying him down, and impeding him to help the kids, he turned furious to see the puppets that were attacking him, as more ropes surrounded him; he struggled to get out of the hold, but they were thirty, plus ten from Asuma, which struck him as odd for now they seemed to be stronger and faster than when they were a hundred, he watched desperetly as the puppets fighting the young ninjas released a huge amount of poisoned weapons to finish them instantly, from senbon and kunais to arrows and daggers "TENTEN ! CHOJI LOOK OUT!" he shouted struggling with the ropes destroying a few in the process
Everything then seemed to be in slow motion the two uninjured genin turned to look at the wall of weapons coming their way at impossible speeds, their faces betrayed the fear they were feeling, this would be the end, that was the simple truth.
Naruto turned to where the screams were coming from, complete shock took hold of him, as he realized that his friends were going to die, they were too far from him, and the weapons were seconds from destroying them, two streams of water followed down his cheeks as he stumbled forward trying to run in their direction, his clones long forgotten as he charged that way
Sakura saw dying inside the looks in her friend's faces, fear plain and simple fear, fear of dying, fear of leaving this world, fear of losing chances and opportunities, fear to lose loved ones , he was astonished to say the least when in a rapid movement Tenten stood her back facing her with her arms extended with her last try to protect her teammate. She cried for her because she knew that fear, because she didn't want her to end like that, because it wasn't fair, she cried for her friend Tenten.
The weapon mistress turned to Choji and Shikamaru with an apologetic look, she had no time to summon shields, she had no way of protecting them, but she couldn't live with the knowledge that Neji Hyuga, the prodigy, the genius, her friend and teammate had died; she looked at him sweetly, at least he'd be able to survive that was all that mattered right now, if she had one regret it would be that she didn't have the courage to confess her feelings for him before.
She smiled as the tears came, she remembered her times together with him and her team, the jokes, the battles, the nights, the adventures, it was something she treasured deeply, the people she considered a family, the people she loved, how she wished she had had a little more time with them, she closed her eyes in expectation, this was the end and she welcomed it as long as Neji Hyuga survived.
And then everything happened in a blur, a shadow stepped behind Tenten as the wall of weapons pierced through him, the others observed wide-eyed as the gentle Choji with the Size of a small house protected them all.
Shikamaru observed horrified at his friend, his mind processing nothing, and the tears wouldn't stop flowing
Naruto stopped abruptly, as a pain in his chest rose like roaring flames, and the smile of the gentle giant flashed through his mind.
Guy and Asuma Saw as Choji smiled gently at his injured friends, tears threatening to fall down his cheeks, and the guilt suddenly ate away their bodies.
Tenten Turned when the impact didn't come and saw Choji smiling down at her, she was at a loss of words, she knew that attack meant certain death, her face contracted in a pained expression for her friend.
"It's alright Tenten, this was the only way" said Choji as the tears finally started streaming down his eyes "you still have much to live with him, I'm glad I was able to protect you" he finished with a caring smile as he turned to his best friend
Tenten's tears increased tenfold at the words of the Akimichi, guilt, gratitude, sadness, relieve, all of those emotions filled the young kunoichi as she fell to her knees next to the unconscious Hyuga, murmuring apologies as she checked on her teammate
"I'm really sorry Shikamaru, I hope you'll forgive me someday, but I couldn't let you go like this, you are far more valuable to this group that I could ever be" he said his smile not faltering
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT CHOJI, you promised me we'd go back home together, why the hell choji?" replied Shikamaru crying for his friend
"Do you remember the day the third Hokage talked to us about the will of fire? At first I didn't understand how could someone face danger like that without being scared, without facing back, I always thought myself a coward, because I wasn't like Naruto, or Kiba or Sasuke, those guys that were fearless, while I hid behind you and Ino until I was Sure the enemy wouldn't be able to touch me, but I think I understand now; I'm scared, I'm so terribly scared of dying Shikamaru, but when I thought about you and everything we've gone through I wasn't able to stay still" continued choji letting the tears flow down his face "you are my best friend Shikamaru, promise me you'll go back home someday, for the both of us" he finished slowly closing his eyes.
His body returned to his normal size and the weapons dropped to the ground harmlessly
Shikamaru rushed desperately to his friends side trying to find any sign of life "Choji…Choji…Choji…CHOJI!" he yelled holding him closer to him, images of their past went through his mind, and his body lost the ability to move he was only able to cry and so he cried and cried over his friends' lifeless body.
Guy broke through the ropes and attacked with all his might clashing against the numerous puppets breaking them with kicks and punches.
Asuma was unconscious under rubble after being attacked repeatedly while he had been observing everything else.
"BASTARD !" shouted Naruto With all his might "I'LL KILL YOU" he continued, as a red aura covered his body, the aura soon turned into some kind of armor and three tails grew out of him, his eyes turned crimson, and his body took a bestial appearance.
He dashed rapidly towards the red haired criminal but was intercepted by two puppets which he destroyed with one of his chakra claws more puppets came to him leaving the other genin to look at the injured.
Sasori observed grimly as Guy and Naruto handled his puppets, the Jounin was blasting them away with his super powered attacks, and the vessel slashed through them with the chakra extensions from his body; he immediately charged towards the older Ninja, he was the biggest threat after all.
Might guy unleashed his Asa kujaku igniting the air blasts by the speed and friction of his attacks and taking down twenty of Sasori's puppets, he suddenly noticed the enormous chakra coming his way and avoided a stream of water that perforated the ground, he ran around trying to escape the water and fighting the enemies in his way, he changed strategy quickly and approached rapidly the red haired criminal, he jumped high in the air, above a ball of fire thrown by the rogue ninja and chopped down with his leg creating an explosion of debris when It collided with the floor.
He quickly took notice of what it seemed to be a cable attached to his enemy's abdomen that allowed him to move freely while manipulating the battlefield, with the vast arsenal the puppeteer possessed a prolonged battle would mean a great disadvantage to him, he had to finish this once and for all before his body succumbed to the side-effects using the gates;
Naruto kept fighting the enemies that had previously been fighting his friends, he had taken ten of them already thanks to his chakra cloak, however between attacking and dodging he had been stabbed by several senbon, slowing him little by little as the poison ran through his veins, the nine tails had been eliminating it from his system but the immediate effects where unavoidable he would soon collapse and stay unconscious, so he had little time at his disposal; he glanced quickly at his opponents in the high speed battle and prepared for one last attack, hopefully he'd be able to help Guy sensei, the others were down for the count which meant that he and the green beast were the last hope for the group.
Jumping high in the air Naruto weaved hand signs at incredible speeds accumulating a ton of chakra in his chest, with the help of the nine tails he enhanced his Jutsu with ten times more power "Wind style: Demon wind vortex" he thought releasing an enormous gust of wind that covered all the bodies underneath shredding them to pieces, the wind even reached some of Guy's opponents that suffered the same fate.
The leaf ninja all felt the wind's pressure pushing them back and they had to take some distance from the battle.
Sasori turned his gaze to the blond irritated by the disposal of his tools, now he'd have much more work to replace the ones that are gone. His brief distraction caused him to be too late to dodge a kick from Guy that shattered his right arm and sent him flying backwards; he recovered quickly and shooting numerous senbon in his opponent's direction, he commanded his puppets to finish this eyesore at once.
Guy ran full speed towards the red haired criminal dodging and blocking attack after attack, in a tremendous demonstration of speed he vanished from sight only to appear right in front of him; with a super powered punch he destroyed his body in a million pieces apparently having defeated the mighty foe.
Sasori rose from the ground looking grimly at the green beast, luckily for him the leaf Jounin didn't know about his core, therefore he was able to take control of one of his puppets.
Anger soon overcame him and he along with the rest of his puppets now attached to threads in his new body dashed in Might Guy's direction, with one last try to eliminate him, he roared a war cry ready to take him down.
The Jounin captain was able to perceive the attack before it had collided with him, with the last of his strength he once again performed the Asa kujaku, destroying everything in its path.
The red haired Akatsuki watched shocked the incoming attack, knowing that there was nothing he could do to save himself, he knew then he had been defeated, and then everything turned black.
Might Guy now in his normal from collapsed from exhaustion not before glancing in the direction of his comrades, he was grateful lee wasn't here to see him like this, to witness what a failure he felt himself to be right now.
Sakura approached Naruto silently, he was unconscious once again, but at least the battle was over, they could rest a little before joining with the others, as much as she didn't want to she knew they'd have to tell the others that they failed; she caressed the blondes cheek and turned to look at the rest, a familiar ache in her heart returned along with the blurry vision and warmth on her cheeks, yeah they failed horribly.
A lone figure far, far away from where the battles took place observed the damaged caused to the forest it was pure and utter destruction, fires and wreckage were visible from where he stood, he walked calmly down the hill as he said "I finally found you"
A/N: Hello there everyone, I'm sorry I've been gone for such a long time, I've been busy with work and haven't had time to write lately, but that doesn't mean I'll let go of this story I'm having too much fun writing it. I only hope you guys will like it as much as I do, the Sasuhina moments are getting closer but first I want to establish other main points that will probably blow your mind, I appreciate all your support and I thank you for taking the time to read this fanfiction, I hope it will continue to entertain you.