Hello, my name is thesaiyanjedi, and this is my very first attempt at writing fanfiction. Like many of you I found myself disappointed at the ending to the Naruto manga. However, I am very pleased that there are still plenty of devoted NaruSaku fans out there who are continuing to write excellent fan works of this terrific couple in spite of what happened in the final two chapters and in "The Last: Naruto the Movie."

Let me be clear that I mean no disrespect to the NaruHina and SasuSaku communities, I am happy for you that you got the ending that you wanted, even if I do not agree with it. This is just my own personal idea for what could have happened after the main story ended in a universe where Naruto and Sakura had gotten together. There is a character created by the NaruSaku community named Shinachiku Uzumaki, the son of Naruto and Sakura, who even has his own tumblr and Facebook pages, and I thought it would be an interesting and different approach to a NaruSaku story to try and develop a first adventure for him, while at the same time tying it into a new adventure that his parent's will be facing.

I should also say that as this story goes along there will be inspiration taken from other sources, such as other writer's work that I enjoy or from films that I love. Feel free to comment on where those references come in, in case I do not point them out. For instance, there is one scene in this first chapter that is borrowed from JTZ29's story "Take Good Care of Her."

As for the chapter itself, the title says it all. This is only the exposition needed to get the story going, which I pretty much figured out as I wrote it. As such, I think it's pretty rambling and amateurish, but hopefully readers will enjoy it anyway.

With all of that said, lets get to reading!

Chapter 1: Exposition

Deep within the Land of Fire there lives a village, a mighty village, a village hidden in the leaves. It's name…Konohagakure. Founded by the great shinobi Hashirama Senju and Madara Uchiha, this mighty village, the most powerful and most highly regarded shinobi village of them all, now enjoys a well-earned time of peace and prosperity. Skyscrapers tower above the iconic Hokage Monument, technology had made advancements and been integrated in ways never seen before, and in the wake of a terrible war has come a new era of love and peace.

And it is all thanks to one man. One young ninja who rose from tragedy and rejection, from being labeled a monster by the very village he loves, to now become known throughout the ninja world not only as it's newest Hokage, but as the greatest hero of his generation.

His name…Naruto Uzumaki, son of Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki, apprentice of Kakashi Hatake and Lord Jiraiya, jinchūriki of Kurama, the nine-tailed fox spirit, hero of the Fourth Shinobi World War, and now the Seventh Hogake of the Konogakure. This young man has been a symbol of courage, perseverance and peace years before his reign ever began. It seemed as though everyone he encountered has been touched by his influence, and always for the better.

One of these individuals is Sakura Haruno, daughter of Kizashi and Mebuki Haruno, apprentice of Kakashi Hatake and Lady Tsunade, heroine of the Fourth Shinobi World War, renowned as the greatest medical ninja in the world...and now the loving wife of Naruto Uzumaki. Yes, despite years of chasing after the former traitor Sasuke Uchiha, this woman would eventually open her eyes to the truth, that her affections were for the wrong man this whole time and that her true destiny lay with another. The young man who stood by her through all of her darkest turmoil, her worst moments, this lovable, stupid blonde knucklehead of a ninja was always there and would not hesitate to give his life for her if need be. In another life, she might have missed her chance to be by his side and who knows where she would have been then.

After the war, where Naruto at last fulfilled his promise to bring Sasuke back home to her, the last Uchiha would find himself leaving the village once again, this time to make amends for his many sins since he first betrayed his team, no, his family, to seek power from the snake Sannin Orochimaru. In all due respect Sasuke should have spent the rest of him life in prison for his many war crimes, the only things that spared him were the role he played in the war and the fact that Naruto vouched for him. Sakura had asked to join Sasuke on his quest, but he refused her. He told her that she needed to find her own path, to look into her heart and find what it was she really wanted, as if telling her up front that her heart never really belonged to him. He had promised her, with a tap to her broad forehead, by now adorned with the Strength of a Hundred Seal, that he would return to her, but he did not say when. Sasuke would also part ways with his other teammate, the only brother he had left, Naruto, who returned his old Leaf Village headband as a reminder of their friendship, which Sasuke agreed to keep until they could one day "settle things" between the two of them. But he also gave his brother one more bit of advice, "Take good care of her." Naruto was shocked, maybe even a little embarrassed, but still no other words needed to be said. The Uchiha had given the blonde his blessing; he had stepped aside for both of them to find the happiness they both deserved. Sure, in another life maybe things could have gone another way, but at that Sasuke merely brushed it off. 'No,' he thought to himself, 'This is for the best. This is how it is meant to be.'

The next few months were an awkward time for the two teen heroes. Sure, the peace that was achieved was wonderful, their sensei Kakashi was selected as Lady Tsunade's successor as the Sixth Hokage (to which everyone was surprised at how maturely Naruto had accepted it). The Allied Shinobi Forces remained in tact and thrived, and as a result, recovery from the devastation of the last war healed much more rapidly and equal opportunity was given to all villages and any need for future conflict was eliminated. But that wasn't the end of it, many of their friends, even those among the fabled 'Konoha 11,' were finding themselves falling in love.

Ino Yamanaka, Sakura's oldest and closest friend, had confided in her that she was starting to form a crush of one of Naruto and Sakura's former teammates, the pale-faced Anbu and former Root member Sai. Sakura was dumbstruck to say the least, but ever the optimist, and likely as an apology for their years wasted on a rivalry of chasing after Sasuke, she decided to play matchmaker and set them both up on a blind date. Turns out, the date went very well; thank goodness Sai had gained a better understanding of human emotion by then. Now the purple-clad, platinum blonde florist, the confident girl that would flirt with every other guy that crossed her path, found herself in a happy and staple relationship, and it was all thanks to her best friend Sakura.

Shikamaru Nara, the first of the Konoha 11 to reach Chūnin status and easily the most brilliant strategist of their generation (even if he did have the laziness of a sloth), found himself dating Temari, the fan-wielding sister of one of Naruto's closest friends, Gaara, the former jinchūriki of the Shukaku, the one-tailed beast spirit, and currently the Fifth Kazekage of Sunagakure. When the two of them announced that they were dating, absolutely no one was surprised. It had been pretty obvious from the start that there was an attraction between them and that it was only a matter of time before something finally happened. Gaara and his brother Kankurō might have been concerned at first that their sister had taken an interest in a boy from another village, but since Shikamaru was such a close friend of Naruto's the Kazekage had no issue with it…Shikamaru always supposed that he owed Naruto a thank you for that, but thanking him in words would have been…troublesome.

But while Shikamaru's love life may not have surprised anyone, Chōji Akimichi, Ino and Shikamaru's former teammate, certainly did when he announced that he was seeing Karui, a kunoichi from Kumogakure, the village hidden in the Land of Lightning. None of their friends had any idea how that happened, but apparently they had met in the aftermath of the war and, after talking, really hit it off. It was an unexpected romance to say the least, but they do say that love surprises you.

In speaking of surprises, Rock Lee, the ever-energetic taijutsu master and obsessively devoted pupil of Might Guy, had learned to move on from his longstanding crush on Sakura. He never did say what his reason was, but as devoted and youthful as Lee was, he likely saw her relationship's with both of her teammates and recognized that he just didn't have a chance. Besides, after the tragic death of his teammate, former rival and dearest friend Neji Hyūga, Lee found himself becoming a source of strength for his other grieving teammate, Tenten. She had hidden unreciprocated feelings for the Hyūga, so when he gave his life to save both Naruto and his cousin Hinata, she was devastated. Lee was there to help her out however, and while nothing was made official yet, Tenten's friends had all started to notice her smiling in Lee's direction a lot more often lately…

But that brings us to Neji's beloved cousin, heir to the prestigious Hyūga clan, the kind and beautiful Lady Hinata. Every single person in the village was aware of her long, long-standing crush on the blonde-haired Hokage-to-be, except, naturally, for the blonde knucklehead himself. She had found the courage to confess her feelings to him during Pain's invasion of Konoha, but Naruto would not reciprocate those feelings for a while longer. After the war, after Neji died, Naruto had gotten to a point where he was becoming uncomfortable around Sakura; not because he stopped liking her, he just felt that, after finally bringing Sasuke back home, that he should try to move on and let her have what she wanted. So, he did indeed ask Hinata out for one date, which she quickly accepted. Their night was fun, but there was an unmistakable absence of joy at the heart of it. Hinata was a lot of things, but she has never been stupid; she was always aware of how Naruto felt about Sakura and how Sakura, even if she couldn't see it, felt about him. So when Hinata closed the night talking to Naruto about his feelings and Naruto said that he wanted to break his bonds with her, to move on and let Sakura live her life even if it was without him, Hinata did the unthinkable…she slapped him…HARD. This was not the Naruto she had fallen in love with. This was not the boy who never gave up on his dreams. This was not the boy who held an unbridled sense of optimism and joy and courage no matter how bleak the world got. This…this just wasn't Naruto. And if spending the rest of her life with him meant her having to see him live that lie for the rest of his life, then damn it, she'd much rather just let him go. Sure enough, that was just the motivation that Naruto needed, so after a very energetic hug of friendship to the Hyūga heiress, he recommitted himself to at least speaking with Sakura again; and ironically, when the two of them did eventually get together, Hinata herself was one of their happiest supporters…but she also had the support of her fellow teammate Kiba to thank for that…and Shino too, but for some reason people often tended to overlook him…

So Naruto had recommitted himself to getting the girl of his dreams, but what he had no idea about was that Sakura herself was having very similar issues. She constantly thought back to her days at the academy, her days with Team 7, the war, and everything in between. And the more she thought about it, the more she realized something, something important, something critical, something so terribly and ashamedly obvious that only an immature fan girl completely blinded by infatuation could fail to see it…Sasuke did not love her. He didn't love anyone. He was too blinded by revenge for too long for there to be room in his heart for such a thing as love. For goodness sake, the young man had actively tried to kill her at least three times in the past! What sane, self-respecting woman could love a man after that?!

But that wasn't all; she was also constantly thinking about her other teammate. The blonde idiot who always smiled at her and, in turn, would get her to smile as well. The boy who would stand by her side no matter what she said or did to him, all of which made her cringe with guilt now. The boy who she believed would never amount to anything in his ninja career, especially compared to the raven-haired Uchiha…She had never been so wrong about anything in her life! Naruto Uzumaki was the bravest, strongest, most selfless ninja, no, person, she had ever known. They'd both been through so much, shared so many emotions, had far more in common than she'd ever realized before…It was funny, back when they were kids she despised the hyperactive boy, and now she couldn't even imagine her life without him in it; well, scratch that, yes she could, but any time she imagined her life without Naruto it seemed really, really sad.

Inner conflicts were had, epiphanies made, and truths accepted. And the next time they crossed paths, something happened that changed both of their lives forever. There was no denying it any longer, from either of them. Sakura Haruno was in love with Naruto Uzumaki, and he with her…

…But that is a story for another time…

Their love was the purest, most passionate and beautiful that their friends and loved ones had ever seen. Once their feelings were out in the open, the two were virtually insuperable. Tsunade and Kakashi were both immensely proud of their students, knowing deep down that they were always meant to be. Sakura's parents were on cloud nine, especially her mother. She had never told her daughter this before, but Kushina had been one of Megumi's closest friends, and she knew that she would have been proud of the two of them finally coming together. Their friends were no less happy for them, even Hinata, but it was Kiba's rude response to their announcement that summed everything up, "Well it's about time you two!" Laughter and heavy blushing followed.

For about five years the two lovers stayed together, until, after a brief but successful five-year reign, Kakashi chose to step down from the Hokage position and, at last, chose Naruto, his greatest student, as his successor. The day of Naruto's inauguration saw the streets of Konoha packed to the brim with every shinobi and civilian in the village, as well as his closest friends from allied nations, all to see the ninja world's greatest hero fulfill his destiny. Naruto accepted their praise with pride, but not without some sense of irony given how ostracized was only a decade or so prior. The orange-clad Hokage gave the village a speech, one voicing his iconic enthusiasm, but also the extreme gratitude, dignity and authority of a true leader.

But that wasn't even the highlight of the evening. After he had been christened into his new job, Naruto made a brief speech to the village about his beloved Sakura, who was standing right next to him on the balcony. He thanked her for everything they had shared and called his year's with her the best of his entire life…And then, in front of a crowd of thousands, he got on one knee and took her hand. Then he pulled a small box out from his pocket and opened it, revealing a diamond ring that sparkled in the sunlight. Sakura, her hands clasped over her mouth and her eyes already in tears, could only stand there as the crowd gasped and Naruto asked the most important question of his life:

"Sakura Haruno, will you marry me?"

No words were spoken, none were needed, for instead her answer was to clam his lips with her own in the most passionate kiss of either of their lives. The entire village, friends, family, everyone, burst into applause at the newly engaged couple, the Seventh Hokage and the pink-haired medical-nin, the love of his life.

There was a party at their house that night, for by this time the two lovers had moved in together into an unused mansion that Naruto's parents had built. The home wasn't massive, but it was surely amazing. Three floors (not including the basement level), massive rooms and entryways, large dining room, fully-stocked pantry (and no, NOT entirely with ramen, Sakura made sure of that), a large library, entertainment room, an indoor dojo, spacious outdoor garden, large swimming pool, a hot tub, a bar, even a private hot spring; in other words, the ideal place to invite guests and to host parties for friends. All of the happy couple's friends were invited and everyone had the time of their lives, eating delicious food, getting drunk (except for Lee, Tenten made damn sure of that), swimming in the pool (Ino couldn't pass up any chance to show off her bikini body, even with Sai there and Naruto now engaged) and congratulating the happy couple. There was even a karaoke machine that night, where Naruto got up and sang a song to his fiancé. Now, until that night, the idea of Naruto singing would have sent shivers of horror down the spines of everybody there. But to everyone's shock, the blonde man wasn't gifted, but he was far, far better than they had all feared. But as good as his singing was, it was nothing compared to his dancing. Naruto performed a break dancing routine to his song that night that completely floored everybody, pulling off movements that even taijutsu masters like Lee and Guy would envy, including this one move that looked as if he was gliding backwards across the stage, as if gravity wasn't even influencing him, as if he were on the moon.

Sakura was overcome with emotion after Naruto's performance. They both disappeared from the party after it was over, retreating back to the master bedroom. They didn't come out again for the rest of the night…

Nine months later, the happiest day of their lives had come. Sakura, who had herself helped deliver countless babies into the world for other mothers, had at last given birth to her own first-born child, a son. His name: Shinachiku Uzumaki.

And this, at last, is where we begin our story…

There you have it, my first chapter. This was my very first story so I hope you didn't think too badly of it; again, it is just an exposition piece. You probably noticed a lot of quick, not terribly detailed ideas here, especially in Naruto and Sakura's romance. Don't worry, I am planning on expanding upon the backstory in future chapters.

Feel free to comment and recommend ideas on where you think this story should go, I am open to any feedback I can get.

Once again, thank you all for reading, and I hope see you again in the next chapter!