A/N: This is the second Epilogue, I really didn't want to re-post the rest of the final chapter, so just pretend that the final encounter with the other gennin was posted in Italics between these Parentheses (Italicized, Re-posted, Repitative filler)
Naruto stood, silently staring down at the stone in front of him. Reaching down he traced the name.
A small smile played across his face at the thought of her. It had been ten years since his mask had slipped. Ten years to the day since his fellow Shinobe and Kounichi had discovered his secret… It had also been four years, three months, and twenty-two days Since the name of Hyuuga Hinata had been carved into the monument of the fallen after the final push against the combined forces of the Akatsuki and Hidden sound. Although it was hard, Naruto had refused to accept Hinata's death, Naruto had adamantly refused to re-join the ranks of his fellow ninja after the battle, and had swept the battlefield and surrounding area for days after the last battle, and still every morning he came here. Here to this memorial.
You did well Hinata-Chan. Thirty-two… they cut off you and your party, and yet you managed to get thirty-two of the bastards by yourself before you fell. Who would have imagined that quiet little Hinata had such a strong heart?
Smiling Naruto turned around and surveyed the three students chattering animatedly in front of the terminally late Hatake Kakashi. Imono Kienno, Hyuuga Juishi, and Nara Hinata.
Kienno was about to speak again when Hinata spoke up behind him.
"Why are you staring at that rock sensei?"
"Because Nara-san on this rock is inscribed the names of Hero's from our village."
"YOSH! I want my name on that stone to!"
"I as well."
Again Naruto couldn't help but smile as he stared down at the young Hyuuga sitting across from him.
He's so different from you Hinata-chan. Who would have guessed that you sister Hanabi would raise such a spirited child
Speaking up and making himself known, the Sixth leader of hidden leaf, Hokage Uzumaki Naruto beat Kakashi to the response.
"Be careful what you wish for Hyuuga-san. This is a stone to commemorate our fallen. The lost heroes of Hidden leaf."
An immediate pall seemed to hang over the group silencing their shouts as they realized what they had just said, as well as who had responded to it.
"This stone was first erected a memorial for the dead in the aftermath of the Kyuubi attack… you children know about that right?"
"Of course Hokage-sama"
Naruto winked at the young Imono. His parents were fairly recent additions to the village.
"And you know about sealed child?"
"But of course, sensei told us this. It's basic history. Everyone knows about the Hero."
Naruto smiled at Kakashi's Nara student. Shikamaru's Daughter Hinata had been named for the women who had saved His wife's team. Naruto's own history had changed after the fight with the Akatsuki. He was now spoken of as 'the hero' although at his request his actual name was kept hidden. Opening his mouth to speak, Naruto was cut short when the Hyuuga student turned and spoke to Kakashi.
"Anno sensei, did you know that rumors claim he's still in the village?"
Kakashi smiled over his newest book
"Is that so Hyuuga-san?"
The young Hyuuga nodded importantly
"In fact." And here the boy dropped his voice to a conspiratorial whisper "They claim that he teaches gennin teams on and off. Do you know who he is sensei? I Bet its Uchiha-sama!"
Shaking his head Naruto smiled as he also lowered his voice to a conspiratorial level bringing the focus of the kids back to himself.
"Fraid he's not kid, but do you want to know a secret?"
Immediately all three of the students turned and leaned forward to hear better.
With that Naruto sat back up. The look on the student's faces was priceless. Especially considering that none of them believed him.
"Don't believe me huh? How about now?"
So saying he opened his robe and lifted his shirt a little, then he channeled just enough chakra to make his seal visible. Looking at the students he couldn't help but give a smug smirk at the looks of astonishment visible on their faces.
"Did you know that I wasn't always considered a hero?"
All three shook their heads in mute disbelief.
"Then let me tell you a story about a young woman by the name of Hyuuga Hinata."
At this point he was interrupted again.
"Onno Hokage-sama, but Her name is on that stone! Aren't you married to her Hokage–sama?"
Naruto smiled again at the young Imono
"Indeed it is, and yes I am. In fact, she is the only living person to have her name carved on this rock, ever.
"How did it get there?"
Naruto paused and looked over the group, his face growing stern.
"The story I'm about to tell the three of you is classified alright? You are not allowed to discuss it with anyone below chuuin level, and you are not allowed to speak of it, even in code when someone below that level is present. This is a national secret until the people that it is about are both declared dead, are we clear?"
All three of the students swallowed hard, but all three of them nodded. Naruto gave them another stern look before nodding and starting his tale
---Flashback, Day of the final battle---
Naruto stood, blood dripping from his numerous wounds, even as the Kyuubi fought to heal them. Looking around he could still see the last of the sound troops. They had surprisingly fought on even after Sasuke had defeated Orochimaru. Naruto himself had been willing to fight the snake, and it was a shock when Sasuke had stepped in and all but ordered Naruto to go after Itachi. For a moment Naruto had thought that it was some elaborate trick played by Kabuto to distract him. that was of course until he had seen the scars from where the curse seal had been removed. For a moment Naruto had hesitated, but Sasuke, seeing it had called out
"He's fused himself with the six-tailed cat, I'm no match for him."
It had been the pain in Sasuke's eyes as he admitted his own inability to kill his brother that had finally driven Naruto away from Orochimaru and into the battle with Itachi.
Naruto stood eyes sweeping over the field, looking to see where he was most needed. Luckily the battles were all winding down, and everywhere the forces of Konoha were victorious. Thankful Naruto sat down. Truth be told he was too exhausted to fight much more anyway, and Kyuubi couldn't spare any energy as it was all going toward healing the gash Naruto had gotten in his lung when he had killed Itachi.
What a Fight, I think I'm going to sleep for a week… actually, scratch that. First I'm going to get a HUGE bowl of ramen with Hinata-chan, THEN I'm going to take a nice hot Bath, and then I will sleep for a week… Wait… where is Hinata?
Standing Naruto began scanning the battlefield. He and Hinata had only been dating for a couple of months now, but Naruto had developed a strong attachment to her in that short amount of time, Already he was considering 'popping the question' but he had wanted to be certain he would survive the final battle first. Throughout the fight he had been keeping a fairly close watch on her as she went around healing the fallen, but now he didn't see her anywhere. Striding quickly over to Tsunade he bent down.
"Nee-chan? Where is Hinata?"
Tsunade, who was busy treating a stabbing victim at the time had just waved a hand in the general direction of the main body of the battlefield and muttered
"Went to treat Shikamaru's Team"
Before turning back to her work. Naruto frowned as Shikamaru's team had been in the hottest part of the fighting. Striding over to the cluster of tree's that had been grown by one of Ino's Jutsu's Naruto began scanning the groups of wounded until he saw a familiar pink haired Kunoichi.
He and Sakura had been on thin Ice for several months after her reaction to finding out about the Kyuubi, but thankfully they had patched things up after a long talk. Sakura, who had been resting from exhaustion, had cracked a single eye to show that she was listening.
"Do you know where Hinata-chan is?"
Sakura smiled. It had been something of a relief at first when Naruto had started avoiding her, but after a month she had found herself missing his incessant chatter, and the cool way he had spoken to her had only worsened the condition. It hadn't been until after she realized that she did in fact love him… as a brother, that they had patched things up. And the more he grew, the happier she was that he had forgiven her, she did NOT want to be on his bad side.
" Over on the far side of the bramble patch last I saw… that was during combat though."
Naruto thanked her, and then began walking toward the brambles that had been summoned in an attempt to keep enemy nins from finishing off the wounded. Naruto had just started to cut his way though when a hand reached out and grabbed him, pulling him to the ground where he landed face to face with Shikamaru himself. Shikamaru, obviously in a great deal of pain had held a kunai to his face and snarled
"You won't get them! Not while I still live!"
Rolling quickly away from the obviously delusional Shikamaru Naruto had immediately called for the healers, and as they cleared the brambles away Shikamaru's team was found hidden beneath them, most gravely injured. Naruto, who had been searching for Hinata during the entire time found the last person, Ino. Outside of a broken leg, she was nearly un-injured, and in a near panic Naruto had asked.
"Ino? Have you seen Hinata?"
Ino paled dramatically
"You mean she didn't send you? But she led that group away almost two hours ago!"
Naruto, exhausted, as he was suddenly seemed to radiate nervous energy.
"Which way did she go?"
Ino had scarcely had time to point before Naruto was gone, following the multitude of footprints that led away from the battlefield; it had only taken five minutes before he had come upon the first body. It was a sound nin, and he had apparently died from a chakra spike to the head. Naruto could recognize the look of it from the numerous times he had witnessed the result after one of Neji's attacks.
At least I know she went this way!
Naruto had followed, reading the trail when he could, and guessing when he had no choice, even with Kyuubi's enhanced senses it had taken him nearly two days of following a trail of dead sound nin's to find where Hinata had made her final stand, and there, laying in a depression, and surrounded by dead bodies he had found Hinata. Even two days after the battle some of her wounds oozed blood, and several of them showed signs of infection. Hinata herself had been lucky to survive as long as she had, the fact that she was still alive when Naruto found her was a miracle in it's self, scooping her up, Carefully so as not to re-open the wounds Naruto had immediately started running back the way he had come.
At least I can go faster now that I don't have to stop and hunt for tracks
Even moving as fast as he could Naruto had been lucky to get her back in time. In fact the moment he had gotten back he had collapsed from exhaustion and chakra fatigue. Hinata had been rushed to the operating room, and Naruto sent straight to a bed.
Naruto leaned back, satisfied at the look of wonder on the faces of the young shinobe.
"But Hokage-sama… how did her name get on the rock?"
Naruto leaned foreword again gazing intently at Hanabi's child.
"Didn't I tell you? Huh… well, Tsunade knew that I was alive, but when nobody could find Hinata they assumed that she was taken captive and tortured to death. Her name was carved in the stone about an hour before I returned with her. It was a very near thing.
"But Hokage-sama… why her?"
Naruto frowned and looked at the young Imono.
"What do you mean Kienno-san?"
"Out of all the women in the village, why did you pick her?"
Naruto smiled again. He wasn't known as 'the storyteller' for nothing, and most of the children in the village genuinely liked the stories he told.
"Well, it started when she managed to help change my image from that of a demon to that of a Hero."
Seeing their puzzled looks Naruto elaborated, and even Kakashi became interested in the story as Naruto began…
"You see it all started ten years ago on this very day…"
As Naruto told the gennin team the tale of how Hinata had managed to look past his smiling exterior, his mind couldn't help but drift back to a girl with dark blue hair and soft white eyes who hid when he looked at her, and then drift foreword to the same cheerful young women he had kissed on his way out the door this morning…
Thank you Hinata-Chan… Thank you for everything.
Although I didn't mention it specifically, Naruto proposed shortly after Hinata's recovery, and with her encouragement he became Hokage at the record age of 25 beating his own father by almost two years. They live happily in the Hokage's palace with their pet fox and three children
Kyuubi was released from his seal after entering into an agreement to be a summon-able guardian for Konoha, his clause was that he was allowed to eat anyone who had less than pure intensions, Naruto agreed.
Shikamaru and Ino married about a year after the last battle, and their first child was named after Hinata who had save Ino's team by leading away and then single-handedly killing thirty-two enemy nin's before succumbing to her own wounds.
After years of nagging, Sasuke finally married Sakura, and they live together for five happy years before Sakura's tragic assassination. Sasuke is currently spending all his time raising their three children.
Neji and ten-ten had a rather torrid love affair that was quite a scandal when it finally culminated with the two of them eloping to sand. Naruto refused to declare either of them missing-nin's.
Lee actually found a civilian girl who was a perfect match for him, and on occasion the two of them are seen practicing basic self-defense in the early mornings.
Chouji and Kiba are both currently bachelors, but lately Chouji has been seen flirting with one of the younger cooks at his favorite B-B-Q Stand.
Shino's name currently resides on the stone of the fallen; He was killed in combat when he took out one of the Akatsuki who had forced a merge with a toad.
The Two remaining Sannin Are still happily bickering, and are frequently seen drinking and reminiscing