"Mommy?" said the voice.
"K-Kushina!..But how?" replied Sakura, whipping the tears away as she watch Kushina come into view as the environment around them turned into the living room of the house that Sakura and Naruto lived in when they started dating.
Kushina was wearing the orange pajamas that she wore when she died.
Still in shock, Sakura sat down in the couch that was behind her.
'You're in a genjutsu, she's not real no matter how much we want her to be.' said Inner.
Before Sakura could reply she was interrupted by Kushina.
"Mommy!" cried Kushina as she ran toward Sakura and hugging her leg.
Tears once again poured out of Sakura's eyes as she bent down picked her daughter up and onto the couch with her and hugged her , forgetting what Inner told her, all that mattered to her at the moment was holding her daughter in her arms.
"Sasuke." said Naruto as he stared at what Sasuke looked like before he left to join Orochimaru.
'Nice try Kakashi-sensei, but this won't work on me.' thought Naruto before bringing his hands into a seal to gather chakra and yelled out, "KAI!" Soon after he said that, the image of Sasuke disappeared.
'Well this is very strange, the genjutsu I put those two under made them see the person they want to see most. I believed that the both of them would want to see Sasuke. It worked for Naruto, but for some reason it did not work for Sakura, who I thought would want to see Sasuke the most. However, instead of Sasuke, it is a little girl that appears to be three to four years old and has really shaken Sakura up. I wonder who this little girl is? It seems that Naruto managed to free himself from the genjutsu, however Sakura has yet to free herself. It seems this little girl has shocked her to the point of her not realizing she's in a genjutsu.' thought Kakashi as he observed his students from his hiding spot.
After Naruto managed to free himself from the genjutsu, he looked towards Sakura, and noriced that she had yet to free herself from the genjutsu.
'Sakura-chan hasn't released herself from the genjutsu yet? That is unlike her, she usually frees herself from genjutsus easily. She must really miss Sasuke if she doesn't want to break out of a simple genjutsu.' thought Naruto as he sighed before walking towards Sakura.
Once he was next to Sakura, he noticed that she was crying, and that hurt him inside knowing that she won't love him, since her heart belongs to Sasuke. Naruto figured it would be best to break Sakura out of the genjutsu by placing his hand on her shoulder and pumped chakra into her to free her from the genjutsu, however instead of that happening, he was sucked into the genjutsu Sakura was under somehow.
'Well this is definitely interesting, instead of freeing Sakura from the genjutsu, Naruto somehow managed to get sucked into the genjutsu Sakura is under, that should not have happened. When Naruto poured his chakra into Sakura to free her from the genjutsu, she should have been freed, but for some reason or another Naruto got sucked into the genjutsu instead. Something is not right, and it has to do with that little girl I just know it.' thought Kakashi still observing his students from his hiding spot.
[With Naruto and Sakura inside the genjutsu]
'What happened? Where am I?' thought Naruto as he looked around confused as he was no longer in the forest but was in a living room of someone's home until he spotted someone a few feet from him sitting on a couch.
'Sakura-chan! But…who is that little girl with her?'
"Sakura-chan!" said Naruto as he walked toward Sakura and Kushina, sitting beside them on the couch.
"Naruto?!" said a shocked Sakura, surprised to see him.
"Daddy!" said a happy Kushina as she let go of Sakura before hugging Naruto looking up at him with a Naruto-like smile on her face.
"Daddy?" said a very confused Naruto as he looked down at Kushina before looking at Sakura hoping that she had the answer as to why this little girl called him daddy.
'Well this is definitely not the way I planned on telling Naruto the truth about me being from the future, but I guess I better explain Kushina to him, after all he is her father, well will be.' thought Sakura.
'You wouldn't be in this situation if you freed yourself from the genjutsu right after I told you to, but you ignored me and now you're in a sticky situation and you're not getting any help from me.' said Inner.
'Gee thanks.' replied a sarcastic Sakura as she looked at Naruto and explain who Kushina was.
"Her name is Kushina, and she is our daughter." Naruto just gave her a shocked and confused look.
'Smooth' said Inner.
'Oh shut up, like you could do better.' replied Sakura.
'I can. However, I cannot communicate with him until after we become his mate and gain the mark so that we will be able to talk to each other by telepathy and use Kurama's chakra, I could tell him, but I cannot.' said Inner.
'Excuses, excuses.' replied Sakura.
"Um Sakura-chan, don't' take this the wrong way but, how can,,,uh…Kushina…be our daughter? It doesn't make any sense since we haven't seen each other in three years." said Naruto, snapping Sakura out of her conversation with Inner.
"Naruto this is going to take a while to explain." said Sakura as she went on to explaining to Naruto everything from her being from the future, what happened in her timeline, and why she went back in time in the first place. While that was going on, Kushina fell asleep in her father's arms smiling in her sleep.
Naruto looked at Sakura shocked at what she told him as he processed the information.
'Sakura-chan is from the future and was married to me?! Even more so had a daughter who happens to be this little girl who fell asleep holding me in a hug. I know this is impossible to believe, but when I looked in Sakura-chan's eyes while she explained everything to me, I saw that she was telling the truth.' thought Naruto as he looked down at Kushina with a small smile on his face.
"I understand if you don't believe me Naruto, but what I told you was the truth." said Sakura worried that Naruto didn't believe her snapping him out of his thoughts.
"Don't worry Sakura-chan, this is a lot to take in and kind of hard to believe." started Naruto.
'He doesn't believe me.' thought Sakura as she looked down in sadness.
"But I do believe you Sakura-chan." finished Naruto with his trade mark fox like smile getting Sakura to look up at him in surprise.
"Really?! Why?" asked a still surprised Sakura hoping that she wasn't hearing things.
"Your eyes Sakura-chan, I could tell from looking at your eyes. Now let's get out of this genjutsu okay?" replied Naruto.
"Thank you for believing me Naruto, let's go." said Sakura as she looked one last time at Kushina with tears pouring out her eyes before the both of them channeled chakra and broke out of the genjutsu.
'Hmm….it appears that Naruto was able to release Sakura from the genjutsu. However, the genjutsu seems to have to effected Sakura greatly, I wonder how that will affect her ability to get a bell from me.' thought Kakashi as he watched his students.
[With Naruto and Sakura]
Naruto blinked his eyes and noticed he was no longer in the genjutsu and was back in the forest. Looked towards Sakura and noticed that she was looking towards him with a somber expression on her face.
"Are yo-" Naruto was interrupted when Sakura crushed him in a bone crushing hug, burying her face into his chest crying her heart out. Returning the hug, Naruto buried his face into her hair and whispered "everything will be okay" over and over again. He unconsciously rubbed her back in small circles, as he felt his shirt drench a massive area on his chest. Finally, her wails softened to sobs, and sobs faded to sniffles until all that you heard was the sound of the forest around them.
"Do you feel better now, Sakura-chan?" asked Naruto as he looked down at the pinkette in his arms.
"A little bit, thank you Naruto-kun, sorry I broke down like that." replied Sakura as she looked up at the blonde with a small apologetic smile on her face.
"Why don't we continue with getting the bells from Kakashi-sensei and then afterwards, you and I can talk privately about what you told me in the genjutsu, because I have a few questions that need to be answered." said Naruto as he brought his hands to Sakura's face to wipe away the tears marks on her face with his thumbs before bringing his hands to the pinkette's shoulders.
"Yes, you're right we need to get those bells from Kakashi-sensei and I will gladly answer any questions you have later." replied Sakura as she broke the hug from Naruto and went about looking for their sensei with Naruto following close behind her.
'Well it appears that it is time to move on to part 3 Taijutsu. I just hope I don't get hit by Sakura's punches or kicks.' thought Kakashi as he went towards his students to engage them in Taijutsu.
[With Naruto and Sakura]
"You remember the plan right?" asked Sakura as she looked towards her blond team mate.
"Yeah, I remember the plan Sakura-chan don't worry." replied Naruto.
"I hope so, for your sake, because unless you get the bells from me, you're both in trouble." A voice behind them replied.
Hearing their sensei's voice directly behind them caused them to turn around and barely dodge one of his punches jumping out of the way. After they had landed both Naruto and Sakura jumped back to a safe distance from Kakashi.
"Part three, Taijutsu." stated Kakashi before charging towards them with one thought in mind, 'I Can't let them get an opportunity to initiate that plan of theirs.'
"Ready to initiate the plan Naruto?" asked Sakura with a smile on her face as she kept one eye on Kakashi and the other looking at Naruto.
"Ready when you are Sakura-chan." answered Naruto as once again the both of them jumped into the air to dodge their sensei's attack.
"DO IT NOW NARUTO!" yelled Sakura as she noticed Kakashi heading towards Naruto.
"HEY KAKASHI-SENSEI!" yelled Naruto.
"Hm?" replied Kakashi as he still charged toward Naruto.
"I know the ending to 'Icha Icha Tactics'." said Naruto with a huge grin in his face, while Sakura waited for the opportune time to snatch the bells.
"What?!" replied a shock Kakashi as his eyes widened in surprise, causing him to stop his charge toward the blonde.
"At the end of the book, the hero really is.." started Naruto before he was interrupted by his sensei.
"NO! Don't ruin it." said Kakashi a panicked as he covered his ears with his hands preventing him from hearing Naruto spoil the ending of the book.
'Crap! Thanks to the Sharingan, I can read what his lips are saying.' thought Kakashi before he closed his eyes to prevent him from reading the blonde's lips.
'Now's my chance!' thought Sakura as she quickly snatched the bells from Kakashi and headed towards Naruto before handing one of the bells.
Not soon after she gave Naruto the bell, Kakashi recovered from his panic attack and opened his eyes and uncovered his ears and stared and Naruto and Sakura, who in turn , held up a bell in the hand and rang it once.
"We win this time, Kakashi-sensei." said Naruto with a fox like smile on his face.
"It appears so, congratulations, the both of you." replied Kakashi, before he lowered his headband to cover his Sharingan eye.
"He is right, the two of you have shown just how far you have come in the last three years." came a voice the right of them revealing it to be Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Shizune hold Tonton.
"Thanks." replied Naruto and Sakura with smiles on their faces.
"Why don't the two of you head home and get some sleep, because as of tomorrow, Team 7 will be going on missions once again." said Tsunade, the Godaime Hokage.
It was only after she said that, did the members of Team 7 noticed that it was almost dark outside.
"Hai." said Naruto and Sakura, as they bowed to their Hokage before saying goodbye and heading home.
"Well, Kakashi? How much do you believe that they have improved?" Tsunade sighed.
Kakashi sighed. He really would rather be reading the new Icha Icha Tactics book that Naruto gave him - he hadn't had a chance to read it since the boy had given it to him. Since it was a rare Advanced Readers Copy of a title not yet for sale, he knew he was one of the first people to have a chance to read it... and this whole meeting was cutting into his reading time. Still, he supposed he should do his duty and give the report.
"Well, Naruto's rather impressive," Kakashi finally answered. "He's better than me, that's for sure. I think he's better than Jiraiya, when he takes his time and thinks about what he's doing. Sakura, however... well, she's really much better than she was during the first bell test, skills-wise. Also, her chakra level has greatly increased. You gave her good taijutsu, and her medi-nin capabilities are your equal and in that alone, shows how much she has improved. Not to mention the fact that both of their teamwork was by far better than it ever was, given that act that they haven't seen each other in three years hasn't affected their teamwork at all."
"Thank you Kakashi, you are dismissed." said Tsunade.
"Hai, Lady Hokage-sama." replied Kakashi before disappearing with a shunshin.
"So, what do you think Jiraiya? Do you believe that Naruto is ready to handle himself against the Akatsuki?" asked Tsunade.
"Better than me. Virtually unlimited chakra combined with all of the techniques I know and then some," Jiraiya huffed. "He could go one-on-one with any of the known Akatsuki, including Itachi... as long as no-one uses genjutsu against him. He never really caught the trick to countering genjutsu."
"Yet you're still worried," Tsunade pointed out.
"His temper is too quick," Jiraiya explained. "He loses control, on occasion, and it gets him into trouble. His techniques are the best he can manage, but he's going up against people with bloodline limits which put anything Kyuubi's aid has done for him to shame. I said he could beat Itachi one-on-one... but I don't necessarily think he would. I have a few techniques which would allow me to force a retreat from Itachi, myself, but I don't think Naruto realistically could do better than me in that regard."
"Sakura's not ready, either," Tsunade sighed, taking her eyes off him. "She's finally improved, caught up to the rest of her genin class's level, but it isn't enough to go up against someone like Orochimaru or an Uchiha. She might be a match for Kabuto, one-on-one, but I doubt it - Kabuto is Kakashi's equal, and I don't think she can beat Kakashi after having heard his report on their 'second bell test.'"
"Well, if that is all that you need from me Hime, than I am off for more research." said Jiraiya with a perverted grin on his face.
"PERVERT!" Tsunade roared as she straight punched the perverted Sannin into the sky.
"Come along Shizune, we have to do." said Tsunade before heading off towards the Hokage Tower with Shizune holding Tonton, right behind her.
[With Naruto and Sakura]
Naruto looked towards Sakura, wondering what to say to her on their walk home. The silence was broken by Sakura.
"Naruto, is it alright if I stay with you tonight?"
"Umm….sure Sakura-chan. Why?" asked a confused Naruto.
"I just would feel better if I am with you, I don't think I would get any sleep otherwise." answered Sakura.
"Well, it is fine with me Sakura-chan." said Naruto before remembering about her parents. "But what about your parents? Wouldn't they wonder where you are at?"
"Don't worry about my parents Naruto, I will explain where I was tomorrow morning." replied Sakura.
"Are you sure Sakura-chan?" asked Naruto.
"Yes I am sure Naruto. Let's head to your apartment and fix us up something to eat before going to bed okay?" replied Sakura.
"Alright Sakura-chan." answered Naruto.
The rest of the walk to Naruto's apartment was kept in silence, both unsure what to say. It wasn't before too long that they arrived at Naruto's apartment and as Naruto opened the door to his apartment, he turned to Sakura and said, "Sorry, if the place is a little messy Sakura-chan."
However, as they stepped into the apartment, Naruto noticed the whole place was spot clean.
'But, how? I haven't even been in my apartment since I got back today so who would clean my apartment? Usually my apartment gets trashed by the villagers, so who?' thought a confused Naruto.
Noticing Naruto's confused look, Sakura explained why the apartment was clean.
"I hope you don't mind Naruto, but I cleaned your apartment for you."
"What? Why?" asked Naruto as he looked at Sakura with a quizzical look on his face.
"Well, I cleaned it so that you would have a nice clean apartment to come home to when you got back from your training trip with Jiraiya. I would clean the apartment, once a week, I would sometimes crash here for the night after a hard day of training with Tsunade-shisou." replied Sakura.
Sakura was responded by a hug by the blonde which she returned without hesitance. After they broke off the hug a while later to the sound of their stomachs growling, the two of them set off to the kitchen to fix themselves something to eat. After they had something to eat, the two set of to get ready for bed.
"Hey Sakura-chan, I have a spare clothes you can wear to bed tonight, is that alright with you?" asked Naruto.
"Yes Naruto, that is fine with me, thank you." replied Sakura
After hearing that, Naruto went through his drawers in his bedroom before pulling out the necessary clothes and walking back towards Sakura.
"Here you go Sakura-chan." Naruto said as he handed her one of his t-shirts and giving her a pair of his clean boxers to wear to bed.
"Thank you Naruto, now let me change." Sakura made a 'shoo shoo' motion.
Now it was Naruto's turn to blush. "Aye aye captain!" And in a split second he was shutting the door to the bedroom.
'That boy…' Sakura mused with a smile shaking her a head a little at his antics before changing into the clothes Naruto gave her.
Sakura changed into a black shirt, with the Uzumaki clan symbol in orange, and a pair of orange boxers. When she was done, she told Naruto he could come in which he did soon after.
"Why don't you take the bed Sakura-chan and I'll take the couch." offered Naruto.
"No, Naruto I'm not kicking you out of your bed. How about we share the bed instead." replied Sakura with a small smile on her face as she sat done on one side of Naruto's bed.
"Wha.." was all the response of a very shocked and confused Naruto.
"Please Naruto, I don't think I will be able to get to sleep tonight without you next to me." said a pleading Sakura.
"Is it because about what happened to Kushina and me in your timeline Sakura-chan?" asked Naruto.
Sakura nodded her head yes as tears started to pool in her eyes. Seeing this, Naruto took his jacket off before sliding into the bed next to her. He smiled and opened his arms. "Come here." He said, softly.
She didn't even blink as she scooted into his embrace. She needed him more than anything at that very moment.
"Everything will be okay Sakura-chan." He said, planting a soft kiss on the top of her forehead. She was shocked, but also she felt comforted. "I'll help you prevent what happened to our daughter and me in your timeline in this one." He said.
Sakura grabbed a handful of his t-shirt as she snuggled into his chest. "Thank you Naruto, for everything." She said, as her eyes closed slowly. She fell asleep there, as they laid together. Her grip finally loosening on his shirt.
Her final words before sleep fully took her was, "I love you, Naruto-kun."
In a dark cave somewhere, 8 figures gathered together.
"It is time to make our presence known." said the leader of the group.
"Deidara, Sasori I want you two to go to the sand village and get the Ichibi." said the leader of the group.
"Yes sir." said two figures before they disappeared.
"Soon the world will know pain." said the leader.
Sorry for the long wait, but I have been really busy lately getting everything settled for when college starts in a few weeks. It will most likely be a while until I update again. Until then, read and review, and also, throw any ideas you want to see in this story, I am always open to ideas.