A Reason To Live
Rated T to M in the future.
Sorry if some of you guest reviewers haven't seen your reviews. I'm new at this and didn't know I had to moderate guest reviews so they can show up. And here I thought I was a terrible writer because lack of reviews. Now I know. Plus I appreciate all reviews, flames and all. I'm not a douche who would delete reviews because I don't like them. We all have things we like and don't like. I like reviews.
Six months ago...
"Uzumaki Naruto! You get your ass up this instance or I swear, I'll tell Ayame never to serve you ramen again!"
"I'm up! I'm up! Shit, Asami! Can't a guy get his normal twelve hours of sleep every night without some redhead shouting bloody murder at him? Seriously? Threatening my ramen?"
Naruto groaned as he walked slowly to his door with his bathrobe hanging off his body with only a pair of boxers and a undershirt underneath. The pounding of the door grew louder as Naruto finally unlocked and swung open the door, revealing a tall, red haired, tanned girl standing in his doorway. She wore her hair in a short bob and had thick black eyeliner beautifully designed underneath her eyes. Her outfit consisted of a short, black skirt, long, black boots and a black fishnet top that was covered only by a dark red, sleeveless shirt with no collar that stopped just under her supple breasts.
Asami. Her name was Tanaka Asami and she was the most beautiful thing Naruto had ever seen. The best part of all, he got see her every single day since they became a part of Team Seven.
"Asami-chan, you look stunning toda...ARGGHH!" Naruto flew back as a black boot kicked him square in the face.
"You're late! Again!" Asami growled, walking into the blonde's apartment and curled her nose at the mess of empty ramen cups littered around the room. "Don't you ever clean?"
"Eh, why clean the place when it'll just get dirty again." Naruto answered from behind his hand as he rubbed his nose from the impact of the redhead's black heel. "Shit, Asami. Can't you take it easier on your boyfriend?"
Asami's angry face disappeared as a grin grew across her lips and knelt down in front of the blonde. She pulled his hand away from his face gently before leaning in for a chaste kiss on the lips.
"Nope. Gotta keep reminding you who wears the pants in this relationship, fox boy." her tongue stuck out playfully before helping her boyfriend up to his feet. "Now, then. Get dressed and let's get going. Hiro and Tatsuki-sensei are waiting for us at the bridge."
Naruto chuckled lightly at Asami's ever changing personality before pulling her close into his arms and drew her face close to his.
"Oh, I think they can wait a few more minutes." Asami giggled at Naruto's antics as he flicked his hand and shut the door with a burst of wind. "Just a few."
"Oh, man. You two finally did it, didn't you? I knew it was going to happen eventually! God, you two are barely into your teens and Asami! You're two years older than Naruto! Cradle robber!"
Asami and Naruto blushed as the third member of their team, Hiro shouted perverted nonsense at the top of his lungs. His wavy, black hair tossed around as he jumped on top one of the bridge's rails and pointed drastically at the two blushing teens.
"Premarriage SEEEEEXXXX!" Hiro accused before a black heeled boot side kicked him off the rail and landed flat on his back.
"You perv! We didn't do no such thing! Why do you always say that, Kurosaki Hiro! Just because you read that orange trash, doesn't mean that's how relationships work!" Asami scolded the boy as he rolled around the bridge, holding his face in pain.
"Hey, what's wrong with orange?" Naruto pouted, looking down at his sleeveless orange hoodie with the black hood. Like Asami, he also wore a black fish net shirt underneath and finished the outfit with a pair of baggy, orange shorts that stopped a few inches below his knees.
"Oh, nothing sweetie. It's the book I don't like, not the color. You look great in orange." Asami reassured the blonde as they watched Hiro pick himself off the wooden floor of the bridge. He dusted his clothes off, a dark green, high collared shirt with short sleeves and black pants before throwing Asami a dirty look.
"Oh, nothing sweetie. Good grief, you two turn my stomach." Hiro mocked, scratching his chin through the black mask covered the lower half of his face. "Having teenage sex all the time and the PDA."
"I told you, we didn't have sex! We're waiting until we're older, okay?" Asami fumed with a big head as Naruto sweatdropped, laughing nervously at the two frienemies arguing over nothing.
"I'm glad to hear that, Asami-chan. I wouldn't want to have to kill you for taking my Naruto-kun's virtue so young." a voice interrupted the arguing Genin as they all turned around to see the final member and the leader of Team Seven, Sado Tatsuki.
The female Jounin smiled evilly toward her surrogate son's girlfriend, much to her fear as the team watched her approach them on the bridge. She wore a typical Jounin outfit except instead of pants, she wore a blue skirt that was split on both sides that revealed bandages wrapped around her thighs. Her long, dark blue hair hung in two bangs over her Hitai-ate and the rest was tied in a bun behind her head.
"Team Seven, are you ready for today?" Tatsuki-sensei stated with a big smile as Naruto moaned knowingly. Hiro and Asami laughed as they both patted the blonde on the back.
"Every year. Do we have to do this, Tatsuki-sensei?" Naruto groaned, knowing what was coming.
"Yes we do! Asami! Hiro! Let's do it!" Tatsuki shouted playfully, fist pumping into the air as Asami and Hiro cheered loudly and circled the reluctant blonde. All three of them pulled out scrolls and tossed them into the air before performing a set of hand seals that activated the seals inside the parchments. The scrolls glowed in bright, various colors before loud fireworks went off in random directions and confetti fell down everywhere.
Asami, Hiro, and Tatsuki-sensei cheered and danced around the embarrassed blonde as confetti rained down over them. Despite the embarrassment, Naruto couldn't help but smile at his team/family making a big deal about his birthday. He never had a birthday party or anyone to even celebrate the day with him. Only ever receiving a present from the Hokage and free ramen from the Ichiraku family. In fact, most people seemed to be sad or upset on his birthday and that was the one time a year that no one ever yelled at him.
He was simply ignored more than usual. As if he didn't exist to them or the world.
But when he graduated after taking down Mizuki-teme, he had not only gotten a team. He got a family that wanted to celebrate him. To celebrate his birthday and remind him that he did exist.
In the most embarrassing way possible, of course.
"You're twelve now. Naruto-kun! Congrats! You too, Asami-chan! Now you're not a cradle robber anymore, just a cougar." Tatsuki stated evilly as Asami blushed immensely.
"I just turned fourteen! Not forty! I'm only two years older than Naruto!" Asami slammed her forehead against her sensei's forehead as sparks flew between their eyes.
"Two years and three weeks, to be exact." Hiro pointed out with a raised finger before Naruto slapped him on the back of his head.
"Don't feed the fire, Kurosaki!"
"Hey, it's not my mother and girlfriend fighting over me." Hiro shrugged.
"You keep poking the bears, Hiro. You make it worse. Stop poking the bears." Naruto sighed before shoving himself between his arguing sensei and teammate. "Ladies, please. It's my birthday. I know I don't usually play this card, but I like for this day to be calm and fun."
Both females huffed and crossed their arms before turning away from each other. But they both let out a sigh of their own and turned back to their favorite blonde.
"Right, of course! Time for presents!" Tatsuki smiled as she motioned for her other two students to give their presents. Hiro was first as he pulled out a small bag and handed it to Naruto.
"Here you go, bro. Happy birthday." Hiro grinned as Naruto opened the bag and revealed a pair of black gloves that were missing the first two fingers. "Cool looking, huh? Plus, they repair themselves! They're made from plants fed by chakra. Just focus a little on the cloth and they fix themselves. No seamstress necessary."
"Really weird you know that, but they are super cool. Thanks, Hiro!" Naruto grinned back as he slipped on the gloves. Asami quickly shoved Hiro aside and presented her gift to her boyfriend with a wink.
"Here, fox boy. Unwrap me, I mean, my gift." Asami teased much to Tatsuki's annoyance. She gave Naruto a wrapped box to which he opened with gusto and pulled out a brand new black hoodie with long sleeves.
"I knew it. You do hate the orange." Naruto fake pouted as everyone laughed at Asami slapping her boyfriend playfully on his shoulders. "I mean, black gloves and a black jacket? You're all in it together!"
"Okay, okay. No more. My sides are going to split!" Tatsuki-sensei managed to say between loud laughs. "It's my turn. Happy birthday, Naruto-kun."
She handed him a small box that rattled loudly in Naruto's ear as he shook it. The blonde unwrapped the bow and opened the top to reveal a set of keys much to his confusion. "Keys? You bought me a house?"
"No, Naruto-kun." Tatsuki-sensei giggled into her hand before a light blush of embarrassment appeared on her cheeks. "They're keys...to my house."
The realization hit both Asami and Hiro as big smiles appeared on their face while Naruto was still confused.
"What? Do I have to water your insane amount of plants and feed Yuki? I hate cats, you know that and..." then it just hit him. The box of keys shook in his hands as his eyes slowly rose from the gift to Tatsuki-sensei's smiling face.
"Does this mean...what I think it means?"
Tatsuki smiled nervously and nodded as she held out her hands and bit her lower lip. She didn't know that more than two years ago, she would fall in love with this boy like a mother meeting her child for the first time. She knew of him and knew exactly whose child he really was, but it wasn't until she became his teacher that she would come to love the boy as a son.
In a way, he was supposed to be if it weren't for his father falling for Kushina. At one point, she was madly in love with her blonde teammate and would do anything for him to notice her. But his heart always belonged to Naruto's future mother and left her behind. Tatsuki's eyes softened as tears slowly fell from Naruto's cheeks before he rushed to hug her.
"You want me to live with you?" he managed to mutter as they held each other tight. She nodded as tears threaten to fall from her own eyes.
"Yes, it's about damn time. I've been building up the guts to ask you. I didn't know if...if you wanted to. If you wanted for me to be your adopted mother of sorts." Tatsuki-sensei confessed emotionally.
Naruto just nodded, unable to say anything as Asami and Hiro watched on in silent happiness for their teammate and sensei. It was a perfect moment for their knucklehead, blonde, nakama and their equally crazy sensei. At first, they were both worried about being teamed up with the youngest member in their class and how wild he acted. But he had a habit of proving people wrong and that included the both of them. He and Hiro were best friends, almost like brothers and for Asami...
Well, she found the love of her life.
"Okay, okay. Congrats, it's a boy! No more of this emotional stuff, I'm getting the willies. Tatsuki-sensei, you had something to tell us." Hiro butted in as Tatsuki-sensei wiped her eyes and nodded in agreement.
"Right, Hiro. Of course." Tatsuki laughed as she and Naruto grinned at each other before her smile shrunk. "I'm sorry to say, but we have a mission today. I tried my best, but Hokage-sama asked for us in particular on this job."
"On Naruto-kun's birthday? Really?" Asami whined as Hiro nodded.
"That's cold, sensei."
"Guys, drop it. It's a mission and we're still shinobi, even on my birthday. I'm assuming because you're upset about it, Tatsuki-sensei that's a C rank?" Naruto asked.
"Yes, a simple escort mission. One day to escort the client to his caravan, stay the night and leave the next day. We'll be back by tomorrow night and then we can celebrate, okay! All the ramen you can eat!" Tatsuki regretted her statement as soon as she said it. The devious smile on her surrogate son's face said it all as Asami and Hiro shook their heads in pity.
"There goes the mission pay." Hiro sighed.
"It's fine...it's just money." the female Jounin's voice cracked a little. "So, go pack and meet me at the gate in two hours. But, remember. Just because it's a simple mission..."
"Always be prepared." all three Genin finished. They knew their sensei's teachings inside and out in addition to the rules of being a shinobi. Tatsuki smiled, knowing she taught her team well as she dismissed them from the meeting. Hiro waved goodbye as Asami kissed Naruto on the lips before leaving herself, but not before sticking her tongue out at the Jounin. Reminding her that she was the main woman in Naruto's life.
Naruto sighed as he watched his sensei stick her tongue back at his girlfriend before giving her a nervous look. "Are you sure you want me to live with you?"
"Naruto-kun, never question my choice again. Of course I do. After we get back and have your birthday dinner, we'll get started on moving your stuff to my place." Tatsuki stated as she ran her hand through Naruto's shaggy hair.
"And we'll get you a hair cut too. Seriously, how long do you want that hair to be?"
Naruto laughed as they walked off the bridge together, mother and son for the first time...
...and the last.
It was a fucking trap.
There was blood and fire everywhere as Naruto struggled to get to his feet, pushing himself off the ground. His vision was blurry as he saw numerous trailers and caravans on fire from the massive explosions everywhere. They revealed the dead bodies of the missing travelers inside the burning, wooden vehicles that set up the trap to begin with.
"Asami! Hiro!" Naruto's voice hoarsely shouted as he managed to get to his knees and looked down at his bloody hands. The ground was bloody and covered in craters with multiple kunai spread out and stabbed everywhere. Fires roared through out the trees surrounded the rocky trail and the smell of burning bodies nearly made the blonde throw up in his mouth.
"Tatsuki-sensei!" Naruto shouted once more before looking ahead in the distance, seeing his teacher and girlfriend in a three on two fight with a trio of shinobi. They were both covered in blood splatters and burns as Naruto watched the two women in his life fight off all three of them with his teacher's weapons out. He knew this was serious if she was using both of her sais. Tatsuki-sensei never used both weapons unless she was fighting for her life or let one of her students fight along side her.
He needed to help them
Naruto managed to stand up before pulling out a kunai that was stuck in his shoulder in a splash of blood. He cried out in pain and looked around for Hiro so they could help Asami and Tatsuki-sensei. But he just saw the client laying a few feet away with numerous kunai stabbed all over him and burned halfway across his body. Naruto suddenly remembered what had happened now, before the explosions. They had arrived to the meeting spot of the client's where he was supposed to join his caravan and leave him to them.
But when they had arrived, something was off. The caravan was there, but the people were not.
None of the travelers or their traveling guards were outside the wooden trailers and all the Ox were just standing there, waiting for someone to unhitch them so they could move.
Something was definitely off. Their client looked around in worry and obviously nervous before he turned around and began to run away. Naruto remembered Tatsuki-sensei shouting after him, telling him not to leave the group before the caravans ahead of them blew up in huge, multiple explosions. Kunai shot out of the fire as all of them tried to defend themselves after being knocked off their feet by the shock waves.
Only for the ground below them to start blowing up in random spots as Hiro shouted something about landmines. He remembered hearing Asami screaming and a hand pulling him away from an explosion off to his side. After that, he had been thrown to the ground and was nearly unconscious as sounds of fighting rang in the air.
"HIRO!" Naruto shouted again over the loud noises and suddenly was stunned at the sight of a burning body behind him. The familiar green shirt stood out to him as he stumbled towards the body with tears in his eyes. "HIRO!"
There was almost nothing left of his friend. Pieces of Hiro were missing as one of his arms were gone along with a leg. His chest was blown away and so was half of his face from the explosions as Naruto stared at the smoking remains of his best friend. His gloved hands gripped the green shirt tightly before tear drops fell on the burning body in a sizzling sound.
Rage started to boil inside of Naruto as the death of Hiro made his anger grow to the point where it began to push down his pain. The sounds of metal clinking against each other drew his attention as he whipped his head around at the battle between the attacking shinobi and what was left of his team. He was not going to lose any more family members.
In a blur of orange, Naruto rushed to the fighting shinobi and performed his signature Jutsu. "Shadow Clone Jutsu!"
Multiple clones of Naruto jumped into the melee as two broke off to pull the obviosuly injured Tatsuki-sensei and Asami out of then fight. The others pulled out kunai and started to push back the trio of shinobi that had killed the client and Hiro.
"Naruto!" Asami called out as she watched the group of Naruto clones get cut down quick by the white haired leader of the group. The man grinned as he spun around with his large sword and sliced through the shadow clones.
"Oh, it's three on three now, huh? Look at that, Wabisuke. Another one survived your traps. You're getting lazy with your Jutsu."
The man known as Wabisuke stood back and watched his leader cut down the blonde's clone through his sunglasses before scoffing. "It was luck, Ryuusuke and besides, I managed to get the target plus one of the shinobi. The boy's burnt to a crisp."
"Yeah, burnt! Burnt! Everything is burning!" a mad rant came from the last member as he spun around his kusari-gama. "I love it!"
"Calm down, Daisuke. Let's finished this. Wabisuke, use your Jutsu." Ryuusuke ordered as the man with the sunglasses nodded and disappeared into the ground with an Earth type Justu. "Daisuke, make them dance."
"Dance! Dance!" Dadsuke screamed madly as he jumped after the two female members of Team Seven and their Naruto's. He swung the spiked ball of his kusari-gama and smashed the weapon right down between them.
"Naruto, get Asami out of here! I can handle these three now! Go!" Tatsuki-sensei spun her sais in her hands before using one of them to pin the kusari-gama's chain to the ground. She used the other to attack Daisuke as the mad shinobi blocked the weapon with the blade part of his kusari-gama.
"We can't leave her!" Naruto growled.
"She ordered us to, Naruto! We need to go!" Asami retorted, trying to pull her clone with her with her one good arm.
"No, it's not safe. The third one is still underground and he seemed to be the cause of the explosions. We need to prepare to counter his attacks." the real Naruto stated as he watched his sensei fight Daisuke who was dancing around with light feet and wondered why the leader wasn't attacking.
"Something's wrong. Why isn't the leader attacking too? Also, what's up with the crazy guy's moves? It's like he's...shit! Take Asami out of here now! Go straight behind us and don't stop!" Naruto ordered his clone as it grabbed Asami and using a burst of wind, ran out of the battle zone, but was blocked by some kind of barrier. The real Naruto ran after Tatsuki-sensei unaware of what happened and tried to warn his sensei of the danger.
"Too late." Ryuusuke grinned darkly, his hands up in a seal and focused on a Jutsu that held all of them in a bubble of chakra.
The crazy shinobi quickly jumped back next to his leader and got out of the immediate area. Before Tatsuki could follow and attack the two with her most powerful Jutsu, the spots all over the ground started to glow red as they had earlier when they arrived.
Tatsuki's eyes widened in realization and knew she was in the middle of a massive mine field and surrounded by a barrier. She was better than this. She was a student of the great Jiraiya, the Toad Sage. Her teammate was the Fourth Hokage and his son was her student and soon to be adopted son. She was a top Jounin and yet, she fell for one stupid trap after another as she let her injuries distract her from releasing her true fighting abilities. Tatsuki felt her heart shatter, knowing she let Hiro died to save Naruto and now, her own life was forfeit because of her error in judgement.
She was better than this.
"Tatsuki-sensei!" Tatsuki heard the voice of her favorite person in world as she turned and watched in fear as Naruto ran into the mine field to save her. She couldn't let him die too. Not him. Nor her Naruto-kun. Tatsuki gritted her teeth as she quickly made a series of hand seals and turned around completely towards her son with her hands raised.
She knew she could have gotten out of the field. She could have used what few precious seconds she had left to save her life. But his life, Naruto's life was more important to her than the world as she used Wind Release: Wind Gale Palm to push Naruto out of the field before tossing her sais out after him. She smiled as she watched her student fly back, a look of shock on his face and mouthed some words to him.
I love you, Naruto.
A circle of massive fire erupted from the ground and consumed Tatsuki as Naruto watched in horror at his surrogate mother being erased from existence. The moments after were in slow motion and next thing Naruto knew, a huge shock wave followed and knocked him straight into the ground. Blood spat out of his mouth as his vision began to blur again from the immense pain. The last he could remember before falling unconscious was his clone being dispelled by the shock wave as it covered Asami from the blast of force. He could feel his heart break one last time at the sight of an unmoving Asami on the ground with blood dripping down from her forehead.
All he could think about before he fell unconscious was his family as he felt a large blade stabbed right through his body and into the ground.