BY : Demonized
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Itachi/Naruto
Dragon prints: 422
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor do I make any money off of this work.

It's dark by the time Naruto comes to, a full moon overhead and bathing him in its silvery light. Everything hurts. His head. His body. His heart. Naruto hadn't wanted to fight Sasuke but there had been no other choice with Sasuke's declaration of his intention to execute the Gokage and the Bijū while they were still within the Infinite Tsukuyomi. It had also meant that Naruto was to be executed as well now that he had become the Jinchūriki for all of the Bijū, out of necessity as Sasuke had put it, and that alone hurts more than anything.

A shadow falls across Naruto and his gaze immediately goes to the figure looming over him, Sasuke himself looking completely unscathed by their battle and with his chokutō tightly grasped in his left hand. "It took you long enough," Sasuke comments almost offhandedly as he regards Naruto with a dark and sharp gaze.

Naruto tries to swallow past the lump that's suddenly lodged itself in his throat as he notices that there is blood dripping from the chokutō, blood that definitely doesn't belong to Naruto, but the feeling doesn't go away. "Wh-what did you do?" The question comes out in a harsh, stilted whisper while a pit of dread forms in Naruto's gut as Sasuke's expression becomes sinister.

"What I said I would do, dobe." Sasuke drops down into a crouch beside Naruto and holds the chokutō horizontally over him, his gaze going to the blood coated blade. "Now all that's left for me is to kill you to rid this world of the Bijūs' chakra."

Naruto doesn't respond, instead he closes his eyes as he is overcome by sorrow, not for himself but for those he has failed to protect and for Sasuke. Especially for Sasuke, his best friend who is like a brother to him. Naruto desperately wishes that there is something he can do but it's too late. For their friends. For the Gokage. For the Bijū. For Sasuke.

"Pathetic," Sasuke bites out and Naruto snaps his eyes open to meet Sasuke's gaze, uncaring of the hot tears that blur his vision and streak into his hair. For a brief instant Sasuke looks taken aback but then he hardens his expression and the signature twittering of the Chidori fills the air while it forms around his right hand.

"You're still my-" Naruto doesn't get a chance to finish his sentence, the realization of what he is going to say enough to make Sasuke plunge the Chidori straight through Naruto's sternum. The pain of it doesn't quite register but Naruto's vision immediately goes black and he has to wonder if this is what death is like.

It's particularly underwhelming, for one, and nothing like Naruto is expecting.

"It would seem that I was just in time, Uzumaki Naruto," comes the grave voice of Ōtsutsuki Hagoromo and just like that Naruto's vision clears and he finds himself back in his mindscape. Hagoromo stands before Naruto looking grim and worn, maybe even a little faded, and Naruto finds himself frowning.

"In time for what?" Naruto asks, knowing that he should rightfully be dead. That he isn't right now is nothing short of a miracle and Naruto is certain that he has Hagoromo to thank for that.

"Make no mistake, Uzumaki Naruto, you will die once I cease communicating with you. It is taking all that I have left to keep you here." Just as Naruto suspected, Hagoromo still has a trick or two up his sleeve and maybe, just maybe, something that can help. As if sensing Naruto's thoughts Hagoromo gives Naruto a wan smile and a slight dip of his head. "It would seem that I have no need to ask if you would like a second chance, Uzumaki Naruto."

"A second chance?" Naruto echoes, not quite sure what Hagoromo means by that.

"Yes. A do over for you and just one other of your choosing," Hagoromo explains as his form flickers briefly. "You both will retain your memories and with your memories the knowledge of everything you have learned."

Naruto's frown softens and he nods in understanding, his thoughts racing on who would be the best person to choose for this do over that Hagoromo is offering. While a multitude of his friends come to mind there is really only one other person who stands out. Someone who loves Konoha and her people as much as, if not more than, Naruto does.

"Have you made your choice, Uzumaki Naruto?" Hagoromo asks after a few beats of silence.

"Yeah," Naruto responds with a faint smile. "Uchiha Itachi."

Surprise briefly flickers across Hagoromo's face followed by understanding and a hint of amusement. "It shall be so, Uzumaki Naruto. Good luck to you both." With that Hagoromo winks out and Naruto is swallowed up by darkness.

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