Author Notes: Hello everyone and Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful papas out there!
I'm taking part in the Show Me the Love Summer One Shot challenge organised by fellow writer fanofthisfiction. Please hop over to her profile to read more about it and check out the other participating writers. I only ask that if you do read their stories, to please leave a review as a mark of appreciation.
Appreciation: Thank you to fanofthisfiction for inviting me to her Summer challenge!
Warnings: Spoilers for Shippuden, Boruto and fluff.
Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.
- Story Start -
Naruto put down his pen and yawned, hand barely in time to cover his mouth. The words swam in front of his eyes, inked characters morphing to incomprehensible squiggles. He blinked rapidly and they sharpened into characters once more, but only for a second before blurring again.
Giving another huge yawn, Naruto stretched his arms high above his head and swung around in his chair, needing a change of view, a tiny break for both his mind and eyes. The one outside his windows was one of the best. Konoha looked beautiful in the daytime, but from eight to ten at night when it was fully dark and all the shops and streets were lit up - ahh, the view was sublime!
Naruto's tired eyes took in the magnificent sight, roving from the nearby shops just below the Hokage Tower to the Hokage Rock in the far off distance. As always, this view served a twofold purpose.
Refreshing him in mind, body and spirit.
Reminding him of why he stayed up late on countless nights to make sure everything was running as smoothly as it should.
The peace they had enjoyed for the past fifteen or so years was a hard won one, made possible only with the sheer determination and will shown by the shinobi of the Five Great Nations and the smaller countries in between. Made possible only with the lives sacrificed by so many.
Naruto needed that reminder every once in a while, because he wasn't just the Hokage, but also a husband and a father. It wasn't easy staying away from home especially when he had a home and a family now; a beautiful, amazing wife and two wonderful children. Even if, Naruto's mouth twisted, one of the latter seemed to be permanently annoyed with him.
He couldn't blame Boruto for that. He couldn't blame anyone for realising his dearest dream of becoming Hokage and the sacrifices that came with the job. Yes, they were at a peaceful age, his life wasn't on the line, the other Kage were his good friends... but there were sacrifices all the same.
He had missed so many home cooked dinners and that was a right shame when Hinata was such a good cook. Why was he still eating cup noodles four nights out of seven like a bachelor?
He had missed birthdays and anniversaries and each belated apology felt fake and stupid to his own ears, each accompanying gift so unworthy of their disappointment.
It was just that... this was a huge responsibility. The term Hokage meant something to Naruto; something more than respect, more than seeing his likeness carved in stone or receiving obeisance from others. After everything he had learned about the past Hokages' sacrifices, including his own father's - surely the noblest of all - how could he not keep up his end?
Granny Tsunade and Kakashi-sensei were still alive and enjoying their retirement, but both had been willing to fight to the death if they had to. Naruto would never forget the sight of Granny Tsunade - with barely any chakra left in her to maintain her youthful appearance - confronting Pein among the ruins of their village, and how proud and furious it had made him feel. He would never forget how Kakashi-sensei's chakra had vanished so completely in that same attack and how scared and alone it had made him feel then.
With so many outstanding Hokage before him, how could Naruto give anything less than his very best, than all he had, every single day?
Even though today was Father's Day?
Even though Sakura-chan, bless her heart, had sent him a message from the hospital this morning, telling him to go home or else.
She wasn't the only one. Shikamaru and Sai had both told him to go home as well.
Right on cue, a knock sounded on the door. Naruto swung around to see Shikamaru striding in and frowning at him.
"I thought I told you to go home two hours ago, Naruto."
Naruto tried a conciliatory smile.
"But the message from the Sand will arrive tonight. Gaara promised to send Takamaru."
"I will be here to wait for it."
"I should be here as it's addressed to the Hokage."
"And I have full authority to open such letters in your absence, authority that you gave to me."
They stared at each other. Then another figure strode in and stood beside Shikamaru.
"Go home, loser."
"Sasuke! Hey, you're back!"
"Is that any way to greet your best friend?"
Sasuke raised an eyebrow at him.
"Fine," Naruto mumbled. "I'll send a clone home."
Sasuke rolled his visible eye.
"A clone? It's Father's Day. Go. Home."
When Naruto stuck out his lower lip again, Shikamaru gave a long suffering sigh.
"Have you forgotten what happened to Himawari-chan's birthday cake when your clone carried it that time?"
"Splat," Sasuke added in a deadpan voice, enunciating the word clearly in case Naruto had forgotten.
"Fine," Naruto mumbled with a remembered wince. "Oh, I'll leave a clone here then, y'know!"
"You will do no such thing," Shikamaru said at once. "It's Father's Day and you're exhausted enough."
"Do you want to splat face down into the cake Hinata's sure to have baked for you?" Sasuke was merciless.
The two of them glared at Naruto, which made for a rather frightening sight even if he would never admit it. He gulped. Then someone else cleared their throat.
"Thank you, Shikamaru and Sasuke, but I will make sure that doesn't happen."
That sentence was uttered in a gentle voice by one of the sweetest souls in Konoha, but all three males - two of whom were Konoha's most powerful shinobi - froze at once. Then Naruto jumped to his feet, chair slamming into the wall behind it, while Sasuke and Shikamaru moved to the side and turned as though making way for royalty.
Hinata stood there holding two bags. Behind her was a glowering Boruto holding a similar bag and a smiling Himawari carrying a cake box.
"We've decided to bring Father's Day dinner to you, Naruto-kun," Hinata announced with a smile.
"Happy Father's Day, tou-chan!" Himawari sang out.
"Yeah, ditto," Boruto muttered.
Naruto's eyes went from his wife to his children and back to her. He opened his mouth and closed it again. His throat tightened to the point where he could barely breathe, let alone talk. He gulped and made a valiant effort all the same.
"Hinata, you... you didn't have to."
She walked up to him, her pale eyes luminous in the light coming from the windows, her smile radiant.
"But I did," she said before looking around, ignoring the towering stacks of paper here and there. "Do you have a small table where we can eat?"
Naruto stared at her, wondering for the umpteenth time why she had consented to marry him, and if he would ever be worthy of her. He didn't pay any attention as Shikamaru and Sasuke carried in a small round table and four chairs from the meeting room next door, and arranged them in a corner.
"I love you, Hinata," Naruto said, voice gruff with emotion. "After dinner, we're going to go home and I'm going to make love to you the whole night long."
Hinata blinked twice, twin spots of pink blooming in her cheeks.
"Eww! Don't tell us your perverted plans, old man!" Boruto looked both scandalised and disgusted. He was holding a confused Himawari's head to his side, his free hand cupped over her exposed ear.
The muffled snorts coming from the corner made Naruto and Hinata's faces redder than Sasuke's favourite fruit.
"Yeah, don't tell us your plans," Sasuke muttered. He took the bag from Boruto and placed it on the table. Shikamaru did the same for Hinata and Himawari.
"Enjoy your dinner," Sasuke said gravely to Hinata.
"Thank you and Happy Father's Day to you," Hinata replied, bowing to him and then to Shikamaru. "And to you too."
Shikamaru nodded and went to the door that Sasuke was holding open. He raised an eyebrow at Naruto.
"We'll be back in an hour to remind you to leave," he said.
"And to kick you out if we have to," Sasuke agreed.
They closed the door. Boruto smirked at a scowling Naruto and threw an arm around Himawari's shoulder, guiding her to the small table.
"Let's eat, I'm starving!" he declared.
"Yes, let's all eat," Hinata agreed with a smile. "Boruto, please take out the bowls. Himawari, please pour out the fruit juice."
Naruto rounded his desk to hug her.
"I don't deserve you," he said and kissed her soundly.
"Yes, you do. But I should've thought of this much earlier," Hinata confessed. "Bringing dinner and family to you."
"Because I should go home so you don't have to," Naruto said and kissed her again. "And I will do so more often, I promise."
"That's all I want," Hinata said and smiled.
Naruto kissed her a third time, ignoring the gagging noises and giggles from Boruto and Himawari. Despite his exhaustion and the delicious smells wafting over to him, he wanted nothing more than to make love to his beautiful wife right now.
"Could you please do that later?" Boruto's aggrieved voice sounded. "Or better yet, not at all?"
Himawari giggled again.
Naruto grinned and placed an arm around Hinata's waist as they went to join their children.
- o -
When Shikamaru and Sasuke returned to the Hokage's office an hour later, it was empty. Sasuke wasn't surprised, he had sensed all four Uzumaki chakra leaving the place a few minutes earlier. There was only the cake box left on the small table holding two large slices of chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, two disposable forks and a Thank You note printed in Hinata's neat script.
- o -
Hinata ushered Naruto upstairs to have a hot shower before washing up and straightening her kitchen. Then she went upstairs as well to tuck Himawari in bed and to remind Boruto not to stay up too late.
When she returned to the master bedroom, it was to see Naruto lying in bed on his stomach, naked and snoring away, head pillowed on one arm and hair still damp.
Hinata just shook her head and smiled. Having dinner with her whole family and seeing Naruto tucking into her home cooked meal like he hadn't eaten for days was enough for her. Of course it would have been better if they had eaten at home and if he was still awake now... but she had grown used to it. She had known what it meant for her husband to be Hokage.
Still, it was a shame. She had decided on a one pot chicken and vegetable stew so she could spend a fun couple of hours at the onsen and spa with Sakura, Ino and Temari this afternoon. They were all looking forward to spending time with their respective husbands tonight. Temari, who knew Shikamaru planned to stay at the office just so Naruto could go home, had enjoyed an early dinner with her husband while Shikadai played with Inojin.
Hinata sighed a bit. Oh well, dinner with her husband was still better than previous years, right?
She went into the bathroom to brush her teeth and change into the pale pink chiffon nightdress Sakura had gotten for her last birthday. It was thigh length, ruffled at the neck and hem, half translucent and guaranteed to wake up a dead man, Sakura had joked.
But not an exhausted Hokage, thought Hinata with a wistful smile. She came out of the bathroom only to stop when she saw two round blue eyes gazing at her from the bed.
"Oh! Y-you're awake, N-Naruto-kun." Hinata's slight stammer appeared when she was startled, like now.
"And getting more and more wide awake by the second," Naruto assured her, sitting up to show that he was, indeed, very much awake.
Hinata's cheeks bloomed a deeper version of her nightdress. Despite being married for many years, that predatory light in Naruto's blue eyes coupled with his innocent grin still made her blush. She inhaled deeply, body warming with anticipation.
"That catnap will have to do for now," Naruto's voice was almost a throaty growl. "I have a much better way to spend the night with my beautiful wife."
Glowing with happiness, Hinata placed one hand on her hip and tossed her hair back. That was all she had time for before Naruto appeared before her, swinging her up in his arms. Off balance, she squealed and threw her arms around his neck.
"You look gorgeous and you smell great," he said, burying his face at the side of her neck.
Hinata shivered, a giggle escaping her as he sniffed at her neck.
"Thank you. Happy Father's Day, Naruto-kun."
He raised his head to smile at her.
"It sure is. And you, Boruto and Himawari are the reasons for it."
He carried her to their bed and sat down with her perched on his lap. Then his smile faded, leaving him solemn once more.
"I will make an effort to spend more time at home, Hinata. I can't promise to be home every night, but-"
Hinata pressed gentle fingers against his lips.
"Then don't," she said. "Because when you can't, I will bring dinner and family to you."
Naruto swallowed and touched his forehead to hers, his eyes growing moist.
"Have I told you that I love you today?"
"I don't believe you have."
"Well then," Naruto's hands swept down her back and up again, "I love you, Hinata."
"And I love you, Naruto-kun."
Naruto kissed her, slow and deep, sending tingles of anticipation through her until her toes curled in delight.
"Let's make the most of it then," he said, "before I fall asleep again."
He muffled her laughter with another kiss and bent her backwards, laying her on the bed with utmost gentleness before following her down.
- Story End -
A/N: Thank you for reading! As this is my contribution to fanofthisfiction's challenge, I've decided to leave it 'T' rated. Please leave a review if you enjoyed it :)