Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto > The End-Shift Ultamatum

section four: the aftermath

by sanguineus 0 reviews

The nobility of placing blame.

Category: Naruto - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst - Characters: Naruto, Sasuke - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006-07-21 - Updated: 2006-07-21 - 314 words

After he has been Hokage for years, he is able to answer the question about what qualities one is required to take on the job.

If anyone had asked him when he was young, he'd say something cocky or disrespectful or egotistical and irritating.

No, he rarely smiles like he used to; because he knows. The Hokage title carries with it a profound knowledge of loss, even against everything. To be Hokage is to try, and to give all that you have, and to still lose what is most precious to you.

After that, giving your life to save a village is nothing. To love faceless people, to love a place, this is easy because the one person that matters is dead.

The great struggle of life has ended already. This is retirement, this is waiting.

But he is old, now. And he is tired, and before he falls asleep it is a wish, a rueful one, that Sasuke will come looking for him this time.

Even if there is nothing after death, it is a nice thought, and eases his conscience for awhile.

Because it take a certain kind of self-loathing, as well, to willingly die at all, even to save something; and Naruto has plenty of that now.

The only thing he thinks about, in these later hours, is the vague irony that Sasuke never was able to avenge his brother, and maybe that was escape, too; of course Orochimaru would never take on Itachi. Of course.

And he thinks that Sasuke had to have known this.

Just like Naruto had to have known he would eventually kill Sasuke.

But it is far easier to self-delude than it is to accept the conjectures of truth full-on; they were both running, anyway, and Naruto doesn't quite blame Sasuke for leaving anymore, though he has every right to.

He blames himself for allowing it.
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