V: Welcome back to Naruto: Only Way Out. Hope you all enjoy this chapter. I own nothing of Naruto, as he and the characters belong to Kishimoto. I think this is going to be the final chapter. Long enough to satisfy, and hopefully to tie up any loose ends. Enjoy.
"This is ridiculous!" Sakura groaned out, resting her head on her arms, complaining to Ino. Her hair was disheveled and slightly unkept, strung out every which way. She raised her head to reveal bags underneath her eyes, like she hadn't slept properly in a few days. Ino had a look of concern on her face, while mentally laughing at her ex-best friend's predicament. As long as Ino could make Naruto happy for all the years of suffering, she didn't care who got hurt along the way. Mainly because most of the village hurt Naruto in some way or fashion, including herself. "I mean, why is Tsunade expecting me to respond to every call that a patient issues? I have a life too."
"Be that as it may, you took an oath when you joined the hospital, Sakura, same as me." Ino chirped, sipping on her coffee. She finished it and tossed it in the trash, making her way to the exit. "By the way, try not to kill anyone, ne? Try to get some rest." With that, Ino exited the room with a grin on her face, rushing off towards Naruto.
The two had been dating steadily for the past year, Tsunade's plan to punish the Uchiha's still in motion. However, it was drawing to a close as she announced her successor as one Naruto Uzumaki. The council threw a bitch fit, but was overruled by the main clan heads, including Sasuke himself. Everyone who knew Sasuke figured something was up, but it seemed the Uchiha wanted to atone for his past actions towards the blonde and to the village.
She opened the door into their apartment and took off her sandals, eyes shining with delight as she caught sight of her boyfriend waiting for her with open arms. She readily jumped into them, giggling as he spun her around. "What's got you so happy?" She asked with a smile, resting her forehead against his.
"That's quite simple, flower. Know what today is?" He whispered, grinning.
"Our anniversary." She replied, raising an eyebrow. "So what?"
"Well..." He dropped her as he rubbed the back of his head nervously, a blush across his face. He chuckled at her crossed arms and waiting expression, before he swallowed the lump in his throat. "You've been there for me for a year, and even though it's only been 365 days, I felt like we've been together for a lifetime." Ino's breathed hitched in her throat, her heart beating faster as he got down on one knee and produced a small box from his pocket. "You see, Ino Yamanaka, I wish for you to be my wife, so I won't have to be alone ever again, so I can wake up to your smiling face everyday like I have been, and so we can start a family of our own. I..I understand if you say no or something.." He was cut off by being pushed down, Ino planting her lips firmly against his. She quickly wrenched the box from his hand and opened it to reveal a simple silver band. Ino's expression fell short as she glared at him.
"What the hell is this, Uzumaki?" She growled out lowly.
"Now flower, I can explain. Every time I see someone get engaged, it's the opposite. They get this huge bright diamond for an engagement ring, and then a simple band for the wedding ring. I'm doing it opposite." He replied with his infamous foxy grin, causing her heart to beat faster, the anger fading away like an icecube on a hot summer day.
"You idiot." She said lovingly, pressing her lips against his before groaning in disappointment as someone knocked on their door. "Who could that be?" She grumbled, getting up and dragging Naruto up with her. He chuckled at her as he opened the door to reveal Sasuke. Instantly a growl erupted from her throat, staring frostily at Sasuke.
"Hello there, Naruto, Ino." Sasuke inclined his head slightly as he stood at the door. "May I come in?"
"It's probably best if you stay right there. What's up, Sasuke?" Naruto said warily. He had quit giving Sasuke the cold shoulder, but still regarded him with indifference.
"I'm merely wishing to talk. I just got back from cleaning the Inuzuka's kennel, and being a human punching bag for the Hyuuga kids that are learning the Gentle Fist." He made a face, scrunching up his nose. "Lady Tsunade's been running me ragged, and apparently Sakura as well. I was just wondering if you know the reason as to of why she is doing so."
Naruto rose an eyebrow, "And why would you think I'd have anything to do with this? This could be a punishment for all the actions you've caused against the village."
Sasuke scowled, crossing his arms, "Because you and Lady Tsunade are so close and if you were hurt in any way, she'd be willing to make whomever did it suffer."
Naruto tensed up, bowing up to the Uchiha. He bared his teeth, growling slightly. "Are you accusing me and the Hokage of making you do these punishments?"
"No, Naruto. But Sakura's had her suspicions and has blamed you. So if you see her, be careful. My wife has super strength you know." With that, the Uchiha turned around and walked away from the Uzumaki apartment.
"That guy is such an asshole." Ino growled out, clenching her fists together.
"Yes, but that punishment has been going on for a year now, Ino. It's probably got to stop sometime, ne?" Naruto grabbed his coat, as he put on his sandals.
"Where are you going? You surely aren't going to Tsunade's office to call off the punishment?" Ino asked, eyes wide.
"I am. I mean after all, it's been a year. I've moved on, the suicidal thoughts are gone, and I have you." Naruto smiled, "So, why not?" He turned and left with a shunshin, Ino smiling at where he once stood.
"You lovable idiot. Always forgiving anyone, even your ex enemy and ex crush." She mused, before looking down at her 'ring'. She frowned, "It better be bright and big enough to knock someone out with, Uzumaki." She grumbled, retiring to their bedroom.
"You've got to be kidding me, gaki. After all this time and NOW you want to stop?" Tsunade whined, jutting her lip out at her surrogate grandson.
"Yeah, no reason to let it continue. They've suffered enough." Naruto said with a shrug, smiling at her. "I've forgiven them about a few months ago." He turned around and put his hands around his head in a relaxed manner. "I'll see you later, granny." He dodged the thrown sake bottle, while the current Hokage smiled at the area he once stood at.
"You've really grown, haven't you, gaki?" She smiled contently, returning to her paperwork.
Naruto strolled through the streets of Konoha, smiling or waving at the villagers who greeted him. While he wasn't used to it, he was finally getting the recognition he had strove for all of these years and he returned it with a warm smile, a handshake or a hug. Continuing towards his house, the male was dragged into the local bar and promptly sat down by Shikamaru and Choji, the two glaring at him. "Is it true, Naruto?" Choji asked, eyes narrowed into slits.
"Yeah, it is. I've asked her to marry me." Naruto replied calmly, looking up at his long time friends.
"Treat her right, or you'll have to deal with my shadow strangle jutsu." Shikamaru warned.
"As if I would hurt a hair on her head." Naruto scoffed. "Look guys, I know you care about her, but it's me, Naruto Uzumaki. I don't like to cause people pain. Hell, the only reason I hurt those two, is because Tsunade and Ino pretty much forced my hand."
"Just warning you." Shikamaru said, his lips curving up into his lazy grin. Naruto was pulled up into a bear hug by Choji, before being sat down. "So...how about a drink?"
"Can't guys. Ino's cooking tonight and she'll be wondering where I am. I'll catch you later!" Naruto ran off, waving to his friends.
"Think they'll last?" Shikamaru asked.
Choji grinned and nodded. "Hell yes. The two most loud-mouthed blondes in the village? Sure they'll last." Realization of what he just said dawned on his face, paling rapidly. "Oh god. The two most loud mouthed blondes in the village...Imagine their kids." Almost collectively, everyone in the village shuddered at the thought of mini-Naruto's minus Ino and Naruto themselves.
Naruto opened the door to his apartment, calling out, "Ino, I'm home!"
"In here, Naru-chan." Naruto frowned, instantly on guard. She never called him 'Naru-chan', unless she was in danger. The two decided it would be their secret word if something happened. He quickly drew his kunai, silently creating clones to circle around the kitchen and prepare Resangans. The damage to the house could be fixed, but if anything happened to Ino, he would die. He approached to the kitchen, eyes hardening as he gazed upon the sight of Sakura holding a kunai to Ino's throat.
"The hell is this?" He growled out, eyes immediately turning red. Kurama was snarling within his cage, the bond between jailer and warden stronger than ever. His fingernails turned into claws, his whiskers darkening. He crouched down lowly, tensing when she pressed the blade against Ino's throat, a thin drop of red appearing.
"Why Naruto, this is revenge for all the shit Tsunade's put me and Sasuke through. I know it was you that ordered all of this to happen. It had to have been. I mean, who else besides the stupidest moron in the village to sink so low as to make me work doubles and assign Sasuke to the worst D rank missions all because Sasuke took me as his?" Sakura hissed out, an odd glint in her eyes. "You made us suffer through hell, so I'm going to make you suffer through hell for the rest of your miserable life!" With that said, Sakura dug the kunai into Ino's throat and pulled, watching in disbelief as mud poured out instead of blood. "What the hell?" She whirled around, only to be punched in the face by none other than Sasuke Uchiha. "S-Sasuke?" She whimpered out, eyes wide with fear. He had never struck her, not unless they were sparring.
"This has to stop. You nearly killed your best friend." Sasuke said coldly, Sharingan blazing wildly.
"Ex best friend." Ino griped out, rubbing her throat from where the kunai had been. She stood next to Naruto, rubbing his back soothingly, trying to calm the beast from within. "How did you know to look for us?" She questioned.
"When I realized Sakura wasn't at home, nor at the hospital. She had made offhand remarks about wanting to pay you a visit. I didn't know it would be like this kind of visit." He said with disgust. He leaned down, knocking Sakura out with a slight genjutsu. "Don't worry. I'll take her to the Hokage and we'll see what happens. If she happens to go to jail for her actions, then so be it. I am sorry for all that has happened. After I divorce her, I'll be leaving Konoha to travel to Cloud. The Raikage has requested my assistance in calming down an uprising. Kind of ironic." He smirked before it fell. He picked up Sakura and nodded, shunshining away.
"Well...that was different." Ino sighed out, holding onto Naruto tightly. He merely held on, keeping silent in fear of allowing his rage to take over. What Sakura did was unforgivable, punishable by death.
5 months later
"You nervous?" Kakashi asked, watching as Naruto fidgeted with his tie. He eye-smiled, watching as Naruto promptly gave up.
"A little, yeah. I mean, we've been planning this for months now. What if she doesn't like the decor or whatever?" He whined, before looking at Kakashi. His long time friend and sensei merely ruffled his hair before fixing his tie.
"You'll be fine Naruto. You've made Hokage, surely a wedding won't scare you." He teased.
"You're right." Naruto said in a determined voice, as the two made their way to the alter. Most of Konoha was there, including the Sand Siblings. The Sand Siblings, along with the Konoha 11 sat in their own section away from the villagers, Tsunade directing the ceremony. Shikamaru was his best man, while Kakashi and Choji stood next to them. Temari, Hinata, and Tenten were the bridesmaids, much to their delight.
"So kid, you ready?" Tsunade asked, looking down at her surrogate grandson.
"You bet." Naruto said with a grin, watching as everyone turned to stand. There she was, in all her glory. Platinum blonde locks cascading down her back, a veil over her face. Yet, nothing could mask the happiness and love shining within her light blue eyes, directed at him. She was carrying a bouquet of purple flowers and carnations, their favorite flowers. As she made her way up to the alter with her father, Naruto briefly caught a glimpse of the last remaining Uchiha in the back. Naruto nodded, Sasuke nodding back before disappearing in a shunshin. 'So, it seems he heard about it from B. Glad he could make it, even if it was for a second.' Naruto thought, before turning to face the female in front of him.
"Hey." She whispered.
"Hey." He whispered back, the smiles on both of their faces brightening the room.
"We are gathered here today to celebrate the union between one Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze and Ino Yamanaka." Seeing everyone's eyes widen at the last name, except Naruto's, Tsunade smirked. "That's right. Naruto is indeed the son of our Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze. Now, may I carry on with the ceremony?" The crowd nodded dumbly, as she cleared her throat. "Is there anyone that would object to this harmony? Anyone at all?" Crickets chirped, silence falling unto the room. "Very well. The rings, please?" Shikamaru stepped forward, producing Ino's ring first: An emerald diamond stood in the middle of the flower like ring, the vines intertwining around itself. Ino gasped and her eyes widened at it, before Naruto slipped it on her finger. Naruto's ring was orange and surrounded by black flames, akin to his jacket he currently wore. She slipped it on his finger, Naruto smiling. "Do you, Naruto Uzumaki take Ino Yamanaka to be your wife? In sickness and in health? In good times and bad, until death do you part?"
"I do." Naruto said, his grin widening even further.
"And do you, Ino Yamanaka, take Naruto Uzumaki to be your husband? In sickness and in health? In good times and bad, until death do you part?" Tsunade shifted, glancing at Ino.
"I do." Ino answered, tears streaming down her face.
"Then I now announce you, man and wife. You may now kiss the bride." Tsunade smiled, watching as her 'grandson' removed Ino's veil, the two pressing their lips together in a passionate embrace. Everyone stood and cheered, clapping for the new couple.
5 years later
"C'mon mommy, c'mon! Let's go see uncy Kakashi!" A boy said cheerfully, tugging on his mothers arm.
"Yeah, and auntie Anko too!" A girl squealed with joy, trying to keep up with her brother.
"Alright kids, alright. Jeez, you guys get your father's stamina and knack for ramen!" Ino said exasperated, a grin on her face.
"Did someone call for me?" Naruto asked, appearing in front of them with a grin. He crouched down, scooping his kids up and carrying them on his shoulders. "You two ready for Uncle Kakashi and Auntie Anko?"
"Yes!" The two chorused, grinning from ear to ear. The two had blonde hair, blue eyes and their names were Ryu and Kito Uzumaki Namikaze. They were the offspring of Naruto and Ino Uzumaki Namikaze, and with them, the ninja world would be led into a new brighter future, just as it was when Naruto and Ino were growing up.
Well, I hope you all enjoyed the final chapter. This has been such an honor to write, and I hope you all don't think poorly of me for ending it on this high note. Uhm. Never Stop Smiling and Konoha's Most Unpredictable Conduit are still going on. So whoo!