The war was won. Naruto and Sasuke have broken everyone out of the Infinite Tsukuyomi. There were joyful reunions and cheers made for the heroes of the war. The Sage of the Six Paths's voice boomed over the now calm battlefield:
"Uzumaki Naruto, for your heroic efforts in saving all the world, one wish will granted to you. Whatever it is you desire shall be yours. There are no boundaries to what you can ask for. You need only to speak it and your dream will be fulfilled."
"Anything, huh?" Naruto said. "Hmm..."
A large crowd amassed behind Naruto and the members of Squad 7. As everyone was surely guessing as to what the blonde jinchuriki would wish for, Sasuke was sitting down away from the commotion. He was glad to not be the center of attention for once. If he was being honest with himself though, which he never enjoyed, he was a tad jealous. The dobe was about to receive his heart's desire. If Sasuke were to be given such an opportunity, he could wish for the restoration of his clan. Actual justice for the massacre. Perhaps even...
No. Sasuke stopped being a child long ago, he wouldn't waste time thinking on childish, impossible desires.
"Okay, I know what I want to wish for!" Naruto exclaimed with a big, stupid grin on his tanned whisker-marked face.
A great hush washed over the observing crowd, as Naruto, who became uncharacteristically coy about voicing his wish, approached the legendary sage and whispered his wish. Sasuke couldn't understand the fuss. The wish had to be becoming Hokage. What else would he ask for? An infinite supply of ramen? And why be so discreet about it? The knucklehead had changed, matured some sure, but not so much as to change what he's always strived for from the beginning. This was his chance to achieve his lifelong dream. Sasuke felt a twinge of regret, knowing all the goals he set out to reach had all ended in failure, save the objectives of murder. Funny how life was. Now the last Uchiha was the loser and Naruto was the great Uzumaki, soon to be Hokage.
Deafening hums washed over the masses as the morning sky grew brighter. All the light from the heavens thinned out to one narrow line that traveled down to the battlefield and reshaped itself into what became a simple door. For a few moments, all was still until the door began to open with a creak so loud, all heard it. However, nothing could be seen within the door as darkness concealed whatever could be hiding inside. One thought entered everyone's minds at that moment, including Sasuke. What could he have wished for?
Footsteps were heard as someone made their way out of the door. And then Sasuke's heart stopped. He slowly felt himself rise to his feet, as his eyes widen to point of his pupils popping out of his face. The raven-haired ninja forgot to breathe as he daren't believe what he was witnessing. The form that was revealed to the crowd as a stranger to most, but well recognized by the Uchiha. She still had that long dark hair, with a fair face that retained some youth. Her dark eyes were normally kind like in memory but were searching for someone among the people present.
"Sasuke?" she cried. Her voice was the same. Exactly the same. It shattered Sasuke to his core. He inhaled deeply as his eyes watered at the sight of someone he'd given up hope of ever seeing again. He never believed he would hear her soothing voice or be in her calming presence. The woman he loved more than any other. The one he missed more than any other.
"Kaa-san?" Sasuke saying the word as if he had never uttered it before in his life. But it was not loud enough to reach Mikoto Uchiha's ears.
"Sasuke?" again she cried out, more desperately. The hope was crumbling in her voice.
He wanted to run to her. He wanted to hold her more than anything, to assure that this was real. That this was happening. His mother returned to him from beyond. But not as an undead ninja as with Itachi. Restored as she was before the massacre, down to the apron she wore around the house. He began to giggle, forgetting the people around him. They were no longer present to him. No one was but her. His mom.
Everyone turned to look at Sasuke Uchiha. Gone was the cool, stoic demeanor of the feared rogue ninja. Who stood now was the child that missed his mother and had been without her for so long. His expression of disbelief was stained with fresh tears running down his face. His eyes were filled with love and sorrow and confusion and joy. Suddenly he grew afraid and the warmth that burst inside him went cold. What if she wasn't here? What if this wasn't happening? Perhaps this was the Tsukuyomi and all as truly lost.
But then why was everyone here? The Five Kage, Orochimaru, the Konoha ninja from his time at the Academy and the others? He wouldn't want them there in his dream world. In his dream world, he'd be home with his parents and his brother. The massacre would have never happened. Aunty and Uncle who ran the little cake shop would be around too, and maybe a pesky blonde child would be around as well...
"Sasuke," This time Mikoto Uchiha began to cry with tears of joy. For the first time in eight years, mother and son were at a short distance from one another. Sasuke ran, as did Mikoto and before long their arms were wrapped around each other. Sasuke began to weep uncontrollably and his mother began to stroke his hair, which was so similar in color to her own. "Oh Sasuke," she said, cradling her head against his. She felt warm against him as if she had never died. It made him cry even harder and his grip stronger.
"Let me get a look at you," she touched his face with both hands and pulled him away to get a look at him. She wiped his tears from his face as she took him in. "My God." Her face was torn between joy and pain. "You're a man now," she remarked sadly. She felt around his face and found some stubble on his jaw. She cast her eyes down, ashamed.
"Sasuke, I'm so sorry," her voice broke. "I wasn't there to protect you. You were left all alone. I can never forgive myself. I should have tried harder, for you. My baby boy. My sweet boy. I can see the suffering deep in your soul. The suffering I helped cause. Oh Sasuke!" She wailed.
"Kaa-san," Sasuke said. "Please, don't cry. We're finally together despite all odds." He gingerly placed his hands upon her face and wiped her tears away. "I can't bear to see you so sad. So please kaa-san, smile. You have your son in your arms."
"I would like to apologize as well." The deep voice sent chills to his spine. Another voice he thought he'd never hear again. The voice of his father.
Sasuke turned and saw Fugaku Uchiha fall to his knees, eyes brimming with great shame. The former Lord Uchiha bowed before his son, his body shaking terribly. The sounds the man was making were akin to one of a man sobbing. Sasuke was frozen in shock at what he was seeing. His strict father, reduced to tears on his knees before his youngest child and the shinobi world with his head bowed in shame.
"Father..." Sasuke remarked quietly.
"Son, I beg your forgiveness, knowing I do not and will not ever deserve it. I failed you more than anyone and I failed our clan. You were denied your childhood and your dreams. Your world was ruined and it was all my fault. I destroyed you, my child."
"No, father. Mother." The young Uchiha grabbed both parents by their hand. "There was nothing more you could do at that point."
"We could have fought for you," Mikoto replied.
"Then all four of us would have been slaughtered that night." Sasuke countered.
"If anyone should apologize, it should be me." All three were shocked as they turned to see Itachi Uchiha. Once more human rather than an undead pawn of war. His eyes were solemn as he was facing his parents for the first time since that hellish night of the massacre. "I should have never joined ANBU in the first place. I should have sought another way to find peace among the people of our village. Forgive me, mother, father, brother."
But there was nothing left to say. Each member of the family was forgiven by each other out of the love that lived in their hearts.
The Sage of the Six Paths approached the Uchiha, with Naruto at his side. Sasuke looked between the two, a realization coming to mind.
"You?" he asked. "You did this?"
"It was the wish of Naruto Uzumaki to resurrect your parents and brother to say farewell and to bring you peace in your troubled heart, Sasuke Uchiha. You are blessed, young Uchiha, to have a selfless friend such as he. Savor your time with your kin, as they depart from this world once more by dusk." The Sage began to glow as brightly as the sun, as he floated towards the above. His voice started to have a more ethereal effect.
"Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, I bid you farewell. I am content knowing you have resolved the conflict between yourselves that originated with my own two sons. May their souls find peace as yours have done. Hopefully, we shall never have to meet again. Farewell."
Then he was gone.
"Naruto," Sasuke started, "You wished this for me?" He looked at Naruto, expecting an explanation.
"Sasuke, when my parents died, they thought ahead and left ways for me to hear from them after they were gone. I got to hear from them about why they died and knowing that they had to but didn't want to leave me, it gave me peace. It definitely made me feel better." he said, rubbing the back of his head coyly. "I thought maybe if you got the chance, you could say goodbye and find just a little bit of peace in your heart."
"You could have wished for anything in the world and it would have been yours," Sasuke said, "and you wish for me to see my family again..." Unable to finish his sentence, Sasuke was overcome with emotion. He shut his eyes to stop more tears from falling. Naruto tried not to pay him any mind as he responded, "Sure I could have wished to become Hokage or get rich or whatever, but the more I thought about it, the better an idea it seemed. Besides I can become Hokage on my own, it's better that way."
When I see you going on like that and burdened with so much, I just hurt. It just hurts so much, I can't ignore it!
"Usurutonkachi." Sasuke's voice broke as he hugged his best friend so tightly. Naruto froze at the shocking action, but then relaxed and returned the embrace with a gentle smile on his face.
The blonde shrugged off his friend and said, "Hey now, what are you doing hugging me for? You got your family waiting on you over there! They're not gonna be here long ya know!"
Sasuke sniffled and regained some composure. The raven smiled a rare smile at Naruto and replied. "Right." The last Uchiha turned to his family, who were looking on and Sasuke gestured for them to come closer. "Everyone, I'd like you to meet Naruto Uzumaki. He is my friend. My closest friend. He's the one who made this reunion possible."
Mikoto Uchiha's expression turned to shock as she heard the name, and thought of Kushina. "Naruto-san," She smiled "Thank you."
Fugaku Uchiha bore an expression of gratitude upon his face as he took his wife by the hand, "Thank you, young man."
"Naruto," Itachi began, "Once again I must thank you for being a friend to Sasuke, rescuing him from himself and the darkness of this world. The Uchiha are forever in your debt."
"Oh no," Naruto insisted. "If anything I owed you a debt. Sasuke saved me from darkness long ago. I felt this was the least I could do."
"Then consider your debt repaid," Itachi replied. "A thousand times over."
Naruto turned to Sasuke and said, "Go, be with your family. I'll hang back."
Sasuke grabbed him by the shoulder and looked at him for a long moment.
"You really are the most unpredictable ninja."
At dusk, the Uchiha sat together after having watched the sunset. They conversed over their happy times, birthdays, holidays and festivals. Silly moments that were now more precious than diamonds. The four of them rose, looking at each other for what would be the last time. The three eldest turned to look at Sasuke, the last surviving member of the clan.
"Sasuke," Fugaku said, "We're running out of time, so I can only be quick with what I need to say. I was always hard on you, comparing to your brother. I wanted to say that that wasn't fair to you. Because you were a child and you are your own person. A worthy Uchiha in your own right. You are the last Uchiha, and despite all odds and everything that has been thrown at you in this life, you survived. Alive and so strong."
Sasuke was heartbroken at his father's words, for he disagreed with them. He could no longer look at his father's face. "I've felt broken for so long."
Fugaku put his hand on his son's chin and lifted his face to meet his eyes. "Yes, you've made mistakes. And yes, you have strayed from your path. But I do not see a broken child. I see a man I am proud to call my son. You have remorse in your heart and I know you will redeem yourself for your sins."
"We have faith in you little brother," Itachi added. "Remember what I said last time." No matter what I will love you always.
"I'll never forget," Sasuke said firmly.
"Sasuke," Mikoto said, "I know you know this, but we love you and we miss you and-"
"I know," he finished quietly.
A loud hum came over their heads and Mikoto, Fugaku and Itachi began to glow. They became transparent like spirits, and they began to float towards the dark sky above. "We'll be waiting for you on the other side. Don't you dare come until you're an old man who's lived well." Mikoto mentioned with a teary-eyed smile.
"Naruto," Itachi spoke up, "I hate to ask this of you once more, but take care of Sasuke." The blonde appeared behind Sasuke, acknowledging Itachi's request with a nod and a beaming smile of confidence. "You got it!"
"Until we see each other again my son," Fugaku said, "Farewell."
They vanished to parts unknown, where Sasuke could not follow. Long after they disappeared, the last Uchiha continued to look up where he last saw his family. Naruto stood behind, not wanting to interrupt but concerned for his friend.
"Sasuke? Are you okay?"
Sasuke slowly lowered his head. He breathed slowly and turned back to Naruto, with the most sincere smile the jinchuriki had ever seen.
"Thank you, Naruto."