Worth- Epilogue

Tsunade stared at the scroll in front of her blankly, her brush hovering an inch above the table.

You're sure

She raised an eyebrow, and dipped her brush, still waiting for an answer. Naruto shifted a little- sheepish, and opened his mouth to speak.

Tsunade sniffed and tapped her finger impatiently against the desk.

Oh yeah I'm sure- it's just...

He pursed his lips and looked shiftily at the photographs along the wall behind her desk.

Spit it out, I don't have all day.
She snapped. Naruto scratched his nose.

I don't have to wear that stupid hat all the time do I

Tsunade blinked. She glanced out of the window at the calm roofs of Konoha, glittering in the sun. And among the buildings, going about their daily lives, each ninja and seperate townsperson. She pitied every single one of them.

This' Tsunade thought wearilyIs your new leader.'

She signed the form anyway.


Outside the sun was dazzlingly bright, and Naruto almost stumbled into Sasuke and Sakura; waiting for him on the steps of the tower.

All done.

He said cheerfully, depositing a kiss on Sakura's neck, and giving Sasuke's backside a not-so-subtle squeeze. The other man tutted, but he looked like he was holding back a smile.

Are you going to teach
Sakura asked, batting him away with a chuckle.

Mm? Yes. I'm taking them catching fish today.

Sasuke snorted at that, and waved a hand at the little crowd of children already gathered in the courtyard.

Looks like they're eager.

Sakura shifted to lean against Sasuke. She was standing on a higher step from him, and so could easily reast her elbow across his head, making his serious expression look utterly ridiculous. After a moment though he rolled his eyes and slid an arm around her waist.

You'll be back later
Sakura asked. Naruto looked at Sasuke's strong, pale hands resting on her hip and her stomach and smiled a slow, sweet smile.

You bet

He leaned forwards and placed an indiscriminate kiss on whatever spot of skin, on whoever he could reach first, then jogged off, already crying out a greeting to his class.

Sakura glanced down at Sasuke and caught him sporting a wistful smile, his dark eyes foll wing the figure of the other man, bouncing and racing across the courtyard. She was filled with a sudden burst of grateful warmth at the thought of how things might have been.

Lucky, aren't we.
Somehow, Sasuke had read her mind, and spoken aloud what she couldn't put words too.

She sighed as he shifted his head against her side.
He's going to cost you a fortune in ramen.

Sasuke didn't have to say anything- they both knew it was worth it.