Fan Fiction Name: The Trials of a Would-be Jounin

Chapter Name: Final Thoughts (Epilogue)

Info: After a visit to the Memorial Stone and a talk with his most memorable student, Umino iruka decides to go for the jounin rank. Will he choke or will he get assistance from the most unlikely of places? Naruto II spoilers here!

Disclaimers: Well, I do not own any of Naruto, nor do I own the many characters of these fan fictions, save my own creations. It's sad, but all too true. How I wish I owned them….waaaaaahhhhh!!!!!

Tales of a Would-Be Jounin

Chapter 24

The last few days had been a whirlwind of congratulations, parties and (for some odd reasons) proposals ranging from dates to marriage. To think that in days before, when he had been a normal chuunin and a teacher at the academy, he had only scant attention from the opposite sex. However, every time he was propositioned, they were met with one extremely uncomfortable laugh from Iruka and the mad ranting of one snake woman. The proposals, luckily, ended after the first day, when one of the "propositions" (a date) came from a fellow kunoichi. He had planned to meet Anko and was trying to make the woman leave when Anko had jumped up behind her and…well, lets just say the woman would have a fear of snakes for quite some time.

But today, exactly one week from the end of the exam and four days after the ceremony, he was where he was when he made the decision to become a jounin. He was at the Memorial Stone.

This time, in addition to Naruto, Keiichi and Anko were there as well. And all gazed at a name rather high up on the name list. One written in about five years prior, but now truly realized. It was Jubeis name, originally inscribed when he had disappeared.

"Well, this is too familiar then I had hoped for it to be," Keiichi said from his position, his face expressionless. But Iruka knew all too well what was going through Keiichis mind. It was the same when their teacher, Kouta-sensei, had been killed just before their second attempt at chuunin, and by a random ninja attack, of all things.

Iruka only sighed in agreement. He had lost many people he had cared for. His mother and father. Kouta-sensei. Jubei.

But the reassuring squeeze on his hand reminded Iruka of who he still had. He had Anko, now. He had Midori and Shion. He had what amounted to his son, the blond whirlwind of chaos known as Uzumaki Naruto. And right now, his "son" was overlooking the names himself. If Iruka knew Naruto, he would be searching for some name, some clue as to his own past, his own unknown family that had to be somewhere out there. After a few seconds, Naruto turned and walked away.

"Uh…Naruto, where are you going?" Iruka asked curiously, following the blondes back as he began walking away from the clearing. Naruto turned around and smiled back at Iruka.

"Oh, I'm just going to see Hinata-chan," Naruto responded. Iruka and Anko exchanged knowing glances.

"Going on a date?" Anko said suddenly. Iruka shook his head at Ankos forwardness. But then again, that what made her so endearing to him. Certainly the reaction that Anko got out of Naruto, one of squawking and loud, almost random noises coming from the blond.

"N-no! This isn't a date!" Naruto practically yelled as he flailed his hands about. Iruka simply smiled. Anko was Anko, and Naruto was Naruto. Anko just smirked.

"Well, I thought there might be something, seeing as you figured she…you know…" Anko smirked again, allowing the rest to be unsaid.

Now Naruto looked confused.

"Know what?"

Anko gave him a weird look.

"Wait, didn't you figure out that the Hyuuga gal liked ya?"

Naruto began turning red.

"Wait, what do you mean?"

Naruto got the same disbelieving look from all three adults at the stone. Now thoroughly confused, Naruto turned and quickly turned away and made a hasty retreat. Once the orange clad ninja was gone, Iruka and Anko exchanged confused looks.

"He was…kidding, right?" Anko asked as her eyes trailed back to where Naruto had been standing. Iruka just shrugged, as he followed her gaze to the empty space where Naruto stood.

"Lemme guess, some girl has a crush on him and he doesn't know," Keiichi said bemusedly. Iruka began laughing softly at the comment and received a glare from Anko.

"Geez, if Blondie thinks of you as his dad, I really gotta question your parenting skills," Anko muttered before she sauntered up and wrapped her arms around Iruka, a smile on her face. Iruka could only smile back. Even when she insulted him, she would always do something that would make him smile and ignore it. Well, it was time for them to go, so they could avoid the daily Hatake silent treatment at the stone. As Iruka grasped Ankos hand, the smile they shared made Iruka happy and hopeful for the future.

Something that looked brighter than anything at that moment.

- - - - -

"It's been a long time, hasn't it, Kakashi-sensei," came the slow drawl from behind Kakashi as Kakashi stared straight towards the stone, looking at the deeply faded names of his own sensei and team members.

"Yes, it has, Shikamaru-kun. What are you doing here?"

Shikamaru sighed. Yep, its a pain in the ass.

"I'm guessing Iruka-sensei and Anko are gone. Man, this is troublesome...," Shikamaru said with an annoyed grunt. Man, he was late, and now all that was here was just a damn statue-obsessed masked jounin.

"Oh well, it really wasn't our story to be a part of. After all we have our own things to do," Shikamaru said wistfully as he walked away form the stone.

"Speaking of which," Kakashi started as he turned away from the Memorial Stone. "...Whats this I heard about you joining Niju Shotai?"

END

I realize that the chapter was a bit short but it's more of an epilogue than anything else. Now, as of this writing, these are the stats for "Tales of a Would-Be Jounin"

Hits: 15,242

Reviews: 106

C2s: 4

Favorites: 25

Alerts: 36

Wow. This was a bigger response then I had ever dreamed for! To think this was just me experimenting with the Iruka/Anko pairing. I had read one that was really good ("He Cares" by Mistress DragonFlame) and was hopelessly hooked on the coupling. But somehow this story got the amount of following it did, and man am I shocked! Even makes me think I may be a good writer…sniff.

Okay…I'm forgetting something here…oh yeah! The preview to the next story. I have some ideas for a direct sequel to this, but my next story isn't…well, not a direct one anyway. I had some ideas for it before, but with the Iruka/Anko pairing and this story now done, it could be seen that way.

Anywho, to the preview: Requiem for the Rokudaime

It was sunny today. To think it would be so damn sunny on a day that doesn't have any right to be. I want to just start yelling at the top of my lungs, try to send the Kyuubi-teme in my gut skyward in hopes the bastard would make the sun stop shining, at least for the hour and a half to get this damn funeral over with. It was times like this I would have someone to kill, to try and take revenge for your death.

Yes, even I got mad at your death. No amount of pervertedness, laziness, and all out unreliablility would make me hate you now.

Hell, it was you who killed the snake bastard. It was your skill and abilities that sent the snake bastard skidding. It was what your teacher and my own ero-sanin taught you that allowed you to become more than just what the Mist feared. It made you legend, like the legendary sanin and the Fourth Hokage before you.

Heh. And to think they'll have to carve your ugly mug into the monument now.