Oh man, almost a year?? Now I feel horrible!! But, I decided to post an epilogue, since I received such a nice review! Seriously, got me wanting to type, even though I'm actually very sick right now, and I have two quizzes tomorrow.
On with it, then!! Thanks and I'm sorry to everyone who waited so long!! More deaths, more school, etc… Moving on!
Epilogue Chibi Beginnings
"It's so great to be back!"
Two years had passed, and now both Naruto and Gaara stood at the base of the Hokage's tower, looking up. Gaara was very reluctant to bring the blond back, but he knew if he didn't then it would mean denying Naruto his dream. So he watched the fox container as he made his way up the stairs and greeted Shizune. Immediately she was up and running, Tonton on her heels as she burst into Tsunade's room. As usual, the current Hokage sat up instantly with an announcement of "I'm working!"
Not having seen such a thing in so long, Naruto ended up laughing, which caused him to receive a lump on his head before being caught in a bone-crushing hug.
"Baa-chan!! I can't breathe!!" It wasn't true, of course, since he was laughing the entire time. "I'm glad to be home!"
Soon enough, the group was sitting down while Shizune contacted everyone she knew who would want to know. So it wasn't a surprise when, less than an hour later, people began pouring into the office. Iruka and Kakashi were among the first, followed by so many of the others that Naruto soon found himself unable to move. He didn't mind, though, since it was a reminder that people knew what he was and still liked him. In Suna, it was much the same, except there were still quite a few people who either didn't know, or didn't believe that he was really the fox-container. But here, amongst his friends, who knew everyone knew all about him, and accepted him, he felt at home. So Gaara merely stood back and watched, next to Sasuke.
Itachi hadn't really returned to the village. No one really knew why, but Sasuke suspected it might have been by choice. The man had been missing for so long, and everyone knew what he had done. No matter what the explanation was, he had slaughtered his entire family. He wasn't about to apologize for it, and there was no way the village could just accept the missing nin back. Sasuke had been somewhat accepted back, but there was always a wide berth given to him. Itachi, though, was completely deadly, and with his long absence, there would be no guarantee he was safe. But he seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth, except for a few untold-of visits to the Uchiha compound for scrolls or equipment occasionally. Sasuke couldn't make himself like his older brother, but he found it hard to hate the man, so he merely ignored him most of the time. Itachi could be living in the place for all he knew.
Sasuke looked over to Gaara, noticing how the Kazekage seemed to be pretty solemn. No doubt because once Naruto was Hokage, they wouldn't be spending as much time together anymore. Over the past two years, the blond had rarely left Gaara's side, learning about all of the things he needed to know as a village leader. Many of the elders of the village had taken to their newcomer, and had asked the young man to consider staying. But he remained firm in his decision, and even reminded them that with him as Hokage, he could help both villages thrive. Of course, they couldn't argue with reason, and eventually had to accept it. Reluctantly, of course.
Both Gaara and Naruto still had the outfits they wore to the festival, and Naruto was rarely seen without a long coat much like his father's, except with "Sixth Hokage" on the back, and a fox underneath it. The newer outfit had actually been sewn up by an older woman in Suna, who had liked the yukata, and copied it for the young man who had been so kind as to help her out when some children had accidentally knocked her shopping bag out of her hand while they were playing.
Once the welcome was finished, Iruka insisted on treating his favorite former student to ramen. A few people returned to their own duties, but Ichiraku's still had the largest group at their stand in a long time. Maybe ever. They were busy, but were more than happy for the business, and to have one of their favorite customers back. Soon enough, bowls were stacked up and people were laughing as Naruto moaned over the fact that no one in Suna could make his beloved dish quite like Ichiraku's.
It was a week later that Naruto was officially declared Hokage, and Tsunade happily stepped down. Sakura assigned herself his personal medic-nin and secretary, since she figured he would be much like her teacher had been, preferring to be out doing something rather than sitting still signing papers and listening to village elders complain about things. Tsunade simply laughed at that comment, and pointed out his father, Minato, was just the same.
Of course, Tsunade and Shizune stayed in order to make sure they could help if Naruto needed it. And there were plenty of times in the next years where suddenly Sakura would appear, saying that she had to take over for a few days. Eventually Tsunade learned not to ask. The answer was always the same. Naruto had taken off with his usual guards, Neji and Sasuke, in the direction of Suna. He would be back in about a week. Usually Naruto visited Gaara when the paperwork started to get too thick, which made Tsunade yell when he returned. Then they both ended up working until the paperwork became acceptable, then she was gone again.
Every now and then, though, the Kazekage would visit Naruto for a change, leaving Temari in charge of the village. He would usually simply show up with no warning, so they didn't know if he was escaping the paperwork as well, or not. And anyone who asked would usually get a blank look that made them decide to disappear for a while. Except for Neji and Sasuke, this was why they were his 'guards' on his trip to the desert. If Itachi helped out once or twice, no one knew it. Or if they did, they wisely kept their mouths shut.
Naruto couldn't be happier, though. He was finally Hokage, he was surrounded by friends who cared about him, and he had Gaara, who was the current Kazekage. Though apparently Sakura and the girls were expecting more 'cute' stuff between them, that word just wasn't in their vocabulary, and even then, neither believed it would fit them. Especially not Gaara. Also, the 'L' word was never passed between the two. Again, the word just couldn't really be used, simply because of who they were. They knew the other cared, but neither needed the words. So some of the girls would get disappointed when they wouldn't say it, act cute, or even kiss or hug in front of them. Anything they did, was behind closed doors.
"Why am I here again?" Tsunade was standing in front of Naruto, hand on her hip. Sheepishly, the young Hokage scratched the back of his head.
"Well, I left with Gaara five years ago next week, and I was hoping to go visit." It was odd to think it had been so long since then. "Sakura said you would always be mad when she went to tell you, so I thought I'd at least ask nicely. Would you mind taking over for me for about two weeks?"
"Two? Usually you're only gone for one." Now Naruto made a big show of signing paperwork again.
"Well, it's just that it's been five years, you know? This way we can go on vacation or something." Tsunade stared blankly.
"Vacation?! Where was my vacation?!" Naruto fought not to laugh.
"Well, Jii-chan would've done it, but since there was no other Hokage…" He suddenly turned big, watery blue eyes on the woman. "Please? I promise, only two weeks!"
When she sighed, he was gone in a 'poof' of smoke before she could answer, a faint, "Thanks Baa-chan!" heard as he ran off, no doubt his guards right behind him.
There was a celebration going on in Suna. It was the five-year anniversary of when the blond had come to stay with them, and made their Kazekage happy. He didn't smile, really, but his glare was lessened, and you didn't feel like he was about to kill you.
A cheer went up through the town as the blond Rokudaime entered the village, and Kankuro looked out the window, curious. "What's going on out there?" Surely they hadn't already begun the celebration, Gaara hadn't gone out yet. Behind him, Temari smiled from her spot at the desk, knowing they'd be out there in a minute, but not in time to beat her little brother. After all, no one missed the blond more than the redhead.
Okay!! I'm sorry, but my brain's dead, so I'm calling it there. Thank you to everyone who stayed with me! I'm sorry I made you wait so long!! I hope you like the ending! Goodbye for now!