Disclaimer: Naruto is the property of Masashi Kishimoto.
Author Notes: This chapter is special in many ways, it is the final chapter of this fic as well as the only chapter with a normal disclaimer. Anyways, i give you the concluding chapter of my first Naruto fic.
"Jutsu/Summon" Bold means Jutsu name or Summon speaking
"Inner Sakura/Inner Ryu" Bold Italic means Inner Sakura or Inner Ryu speaking
"Inner Thoughts/Flashback" Italic means Inner Thoughts of a person or a Flashback when stated
Chapter 36: Realisation Of A Dream
A wave of heat travelled through Konoha with the blazing sun clearly visible in the sky, showering the wondrous village with light. Its rays shone on the Hokage tower where Tsunade tapped her foot impatiently. The busty gambler sighed, before looking at the men who were removing the furniture, "Don't forget the lamp, I want that taken out."
A squeaking sound could be heard as the legendary sucker's assistant tightened her hold on the pig in her arms, "Tsunade-sama, you shouldn't take the things that were here to begin with."
Tsunade waved her hand, ignoring the medic-nin, "Eh, consider them some souvenirs Shizune, I like that lamp."
The medic-nin moved out of the way of the men who were holding the furniture haphazardly and regained her composure, "It just seems like something you shouldn't be doing."
Tsunade laughed as she made her way to the exit of the room and down the corridor while Shizune followed. The medic stopped in front of a large set of doors before walking inside, "There was something here that I needed."
Shizune had an overwhelmed expression, "You're going to take the books out of the library?"
Tsunade looked back at the kunoichi, "You're acting so uptight, relax."
Shizune shook her head, "There's no time, we've yet to complete the preparations and it's already noon."
Tsunade straightened herself before taking a contemplative stance, "Hm, what's that brat doing?"
The blonde tightened his grip, as the fresh smell entered his nasal passage dazzling him, "Sakura-chan…" A grin was across his mature visage, showing his happiness.
Sakura stared at the grown man whose eyes were closed and arms were tightly wrapped around a pillow. She sighed before walking up to the bed and bending over his whiskered countenance and whispering, "Naruto…"
The shinobi's eyes remained close as he replied in a dreamy manner, "Hm?"
Bringing her fist down, it contacted against his head, "Wake up, baka!"
"ITAI!" Naruto sat straight up whilst rubbing his head. He turned his attention to the pink haired woman to his side, who now had a sweet smile across her face, "You could have been gentler."
Sakura folded her arms, "You've slept through half the day."
Naruto flipped onto his feet with the blankets still wrapped around him, "Nani?" The blonde didn't land accordingly before finding himself falling off the bed and onto the unsuspecting kunoichi.
Sakura let out a little scream as she saw the body of the shinobi fall on her before a small thud was heard. Naruto looked up from his position at the pink haired medic, "I had a dream like this…" He had a foxy smile across his face as he moved his mouth towards the kunoichi's neck and began to kiss it.
Sakura gave a pleasant moan but moved her hand towards his face and brought it towards her own, "5 years of marriage and you still can't get enough…we don't have time." Naruto gave a despondent groan before Sakura moved him off herself and stood up, "Hurry up and get ready."
Naruto rubbed his eyes as he rose to his feet, "What about something to eat?"
Sakura walked towards the door, "You're going to have to eat at once with everyone else. I have to go to help with the preparations. We're running late already."
Naruto gave an awkward laugh, "Oh, that's kind of my fault right? I was too excited to sleep at night."
Sakura turned to face him with a raised eyebrow, "I know; you kept me awake a lot of the time."
Naruto coughed, making his way to the bathroom, "I'll get ready."
Sakura shook her head, "So dense." The kunoichi left her husband as he went into the bathroom to freshen up. Naruto got ready and began to put on some clothes as he heard a patter of footsteps closing in on him.
He put on his shirt before facing the entrance to his bedroom as a young boy stood looking at him, his emerald eyes showing tedium, "Touchan…"
Naruto observed his gloomy demeanour and began to laugh, "You got caught again eh?"
The young boy walked up to his father, "Kaachan won't let me eat ramen for a week."
Naruto sighed before bending down onto one knee, "Well, I'm going to get some now. You want to come with?"
Ryu had a contemplative look on his face as he put his hands in his pockets, "Won't kaachan get mad at you?"
Naruto ruffled his blonde hair, "What makes you think I'm afraid of her?" An awkward silence passed between the two before Naruto spoke again, "Nevermind."
Ryu jumped onto his father's shoulders as Naruto supported him by holding his legs and walked out of the house. He stopped momentarily as he saw a few people approach him.
"Naruto-sama, what items do you want moved?" The leader of the group of men had a sincere tone as he spoke.
Naruto tilted his head slightly, "Just take everything." The men nodded as they made their way into the house. Naruto had brought the cosy abode after he had gotten married and Ryu was born because his apartment wasn't suitable to stay in.
He moved his eyes upwards so he could see his 5 year old son, "Hold on tight."
The young boy nodded as he tightened his hold of his father's hair. Naruto jumped onto the nearest rooftop before speeding through Konoha and eventually stopping near one of the busy streets. He landed on the ground below and began to walk with the citizens of the village.
He grinned before addressing the young boy on his shoulders, "Did you enjoy the ride?"
Ryu smiled before nodding enthusiastically, "Hai."
Naruto began to whistle as he walked through the streets, acknowledging the smiles and friendly gestures the villagers made in his direction. Ryu leaned forwards resting on his father's head, "Touchan…"
Naruto began to walk towards a shop window as something caught his eye, "Hm?"
Ryu had a curious tone, "Why does everyone treat you like that?"
Naruto laughed, "You'll learn once you're older but the villagers are nicer to certain people more than others. But that doesn't mean they're not nice in general."
Naruto stopped in front of the shop window, watching the display. His demeanour changed instantly as he became a lot calmer and focused. He stared at the thick books for a few moments, a sense of empathy flowing through him.
Naruto smiled, "Ero-sennin…"
Ryu overheard his father, "That's why they're nice to you?"
The shinobi realised what he had said, "No, no, that's not what I meant."
Ryu had a confused expression, "Kaachan said I was in trouble because I helped that pervert but you…"
Naruto interrupted his son from finishing, "Ryu, don't listen to me."
The younger Uzumaki nodded uncomfortably as his father continued walking before ending up outside of the ramen stand he had been visiting since he was a child. He entered through the curtains gaining everyone's attention.
"Oi, it's about time you arrived. We've been waiting for you for like about…half an hour." Kiba quieted down as he finished speaking.
Shino pushed his glasses upwards, "It would've been best to remain quiet."
Naruto grinned at his friends, "Sorry I took so long. I woke up late."
Ryu jumped off his father's head onto one of the empty stools, "Neechan, a bowl of miso ramen." Teuchi chuckled as Ayame began to make the desired dish of the blonde.
Chouji put away his empty bowl and pulled forward another one, "You must have been excited…"
Ino leaned back on her stool, "Or you were probably doing something else…"
Naruto scratched his head, "What are you trying to say?"
Shikamaru sighed as he tapped the counter with his hand, "Something tells me, you're going to be asked a lot of questions after a few days have passed. And throw in a few crying men with that."
Naruto turned his vision to where Shikamaru was facing to gain a better understanding of what he could be talking about. His eyes landed on Kakashi who was sitting on a stool reading a book. Naruto pointed at his former teacher, "Kakashi…you're reading a normal book?"
Kakashi nodded as he was engrossed in the latest reading material before Naruto saw something falling on either side of his shoulder. He moved his eyes to the two shinobi standing behind Kakashi who were evidently crying.
Gai sniffled as he turned to Naruto, "This boy, such a tragic life."
Lee nodded in agreement, "If only I had the opportunity to face such an honourable ninja. I would've been proud to be his opponent. Haku…I will never forget that name."
Naruto raised an eyebrow as he read the title of the book Kakashi was reading, "How did you get that? It only came out today."
Kakashi turned a page, "Jiraiya-sama…"
Naruto was speechless at the quick and blunt answer as he walked next to his son who was engaged in an eating contest with Chouji, both of whom were rapidly devouring their extra large bowls of ramen. He grinned before taking a seat and ordering a bowl of miso ramen for himself, "Where's Neji and Sasuke?"
Shikamaru whistled lazily, "Neji is going through some clan meeting since Hiashi wanted him to be there. Sasuke…I don't know where he is."
"I'm here." Naruto turned after hearing the voice of his best friend. Sasuke straightened his hair before taking a seat next to Shikamaru.
Naruto moved his hands out of the way as a bowl of steaming ramen was placed in front of him, "You know…you're late often. I wonder what's going on."
Sasuke knew exactly what the blonde might be talking about but didn't want anything to be said in the company of the Nara, "I was busy with refurbishing."
Naruto laughed as he ate the rest of his ramen, "Yeah, I bet you were."
Sasuke had a disapproving look on his face as he ignored the Uzumaki and ordered himself something to eat. Ino sighed exasperatedly, "Naruto, what did you need me for? I have to get back to the others to help."
The Uzumaki wiped his mouth after having finished eating. Having lived with Sakura for so long, he was taught some manners though he was far from perfect, "Can I stay a bit longer? I just got here."
Ino knew how the former demon container felt, "I really need to get back to the others. We're running late and everyone needs to help out…" She paused after seeing the shinobi in the ramen stand, "…except for these useless guys."
Naruto stood up from his stool and waited for Ino to walk ahead, "Shall we?"
Ino left the ramen stand as Naruto directed his attention towards his son who was now staring directly into Sasuke's eyes. Naruto raised an eyebrow as Ryu was sweating and Sasuke had a bored look across his face.
Ryu clenched his fists, 'Shannaro! Show me the eyes!'
Naruto slapped his head, "Ryu, stop that. The sharingan isn't a toy for your amusement." Ryu let his shoulders slump as Sasuke smirked at the young boy, "I'll leave him here with you guys. I'll come back and pick him up later."
Tsunade sat down at her desk with a bored look across her face, "Shizune, tell them to hurry up."
Shizune stood patiently as the men moved the furniture out of the other rooms, "They're doing it as fast as they can. I don't want to pressure them."
Sakura walked into the room looking around her at the various people who had items in their hands, "Where's Hinata?"
Tsunade twirled the cup of sake she had just poured, "In some meeting with her clan…" The legendary sucker recognised the absence of a certain someone from her former protégé, "A better question would be where Ryu-kun is?"
Sakura moved her hair behind her ear, "He's with Naruto."
Tsunade gave a disappointed sigh, "Eh? You should've brought him with you."
Sakura raised an eyebrow, "I think he's better off there."
Tsunade drank some sake, "What did I do?"
Sakura shook her head as she picked up some papers to see what they had left to do for the ceremony, "You used him to help you gamble."
Shizune's mouth fell open upon the revelation as Tsunade had a defensive voice, "That was only once."
Sakura placed the papers down, "Jiraiya said that about the incident with the women in the hot springs but I caught him at it again today."
Tsunade shook her head, "Don't compare me to that pervert…wait, he used Ryu-kun to do what?"
Sakura began to think of the most effective way to prepare everything as she answered the gambling addict, "Don't worry about that. I've already sorted everything out."
Shizune nodded in agreement, "There's still a few tasks left to do. But after that, we'll be ready for the ceremony."
Tsunade smiled, "It's been so long, I can't believe it's going to happen."
She looked near Sakura as a shinobi appeared holding a scroll. "A message from the Kazekage for Naruto-sama." The shinobi placed the scroll on the desk before disappearing.
Naruto placed the flowers he had gotten from Ino at the two large graves which were side by side. They were dedicated to the Sandaime and his great grandfather, Yasuo. He closed his eyes as memories of the two flushed his mind, the ambience was very peaceful and he went undisturbed.
The two graves had flowers growing around them, giving an elegant look as the blonde opened his eyes. The bright sun shone on his face radiating warmth throughout his body, "The time has finally come…I hope I make you proud."
The wind gave a whistling sound as it blew, "You will."
Naruto turned his head to face the bearer of the voice, "…what makes you so sure?"
Jiraiya folded his arms, "Because you let your heart guide you…"
Naruto smirked, "I saw the book…how long have you been planning on that?"
The frog hermit sighed, "The first time I read it…I took out any parts which weren't meant for any other eyes except your child's."
Naruto sat down on the soft grass below him, "You got him in trouble…" He looked at the pervert's face which was visibly bruised, "But I can see Sakura-chan has already talked to you about it." The Uzumaki laughed as he finished.
Jiraiya shook his head, "It's not funny; that woman's turned out like her both physically and mentally."
Naruto realised that he was talking about Tsunade, "You shouldn't have used Ryu like that. A crying child garners the attention of many women regardless of how they're dressed."
Jiraiya pouted, "It helped that he was your son." The frog hermit adopted a more serious demeanour, "You should get going."
Naruto rose to his feet, "Yeah…"
The Uzumaki took off, disappearing in the distance, leaving Jiraiya staring after him, 'Live your dream.'
Tsunade looked outside as the streets were filled with the citizens of Konoha. The large crowd was gathered in front of the Hokage tower as she directed her attention to her assistant, "Where is he? He should've been here by now."
Shizune remained quiet as Sakura was about to speak however the kunoichi stopped as the door opened and Naruto walked inside along with Ryu. The younger and more energetic Uzumaki ran up to Tsunade, "Baachan!"
Tsunade gave the young boy a kiss on the forehead as Naruto walked forwards, "Tsunade-baachan!" He saw a flash of yellow before a fist contacted against his head causing him to cry out in pain, "What was that for?"
Tsunade pointed at the 21 year old man, "I told you not to call me that."
Naruto's eyes were wide with confusion as he pointed towards Ryu, "But he just…"
Sakura walked up to her husband, hugging him from behind, "Drop it…"
Tsunade coughed before handing Naruto the scroll she had received a while back, "It's from the Kazekage."
Naruto opened the scroll and began to read as Sakura observed Ryu and the stain near his mouth, "Heh, he's returning the favour."
Tsunade walked to the window, "Naruto…it's time."
The blonde nodded as he walked towards the legendary sannin who handed him the hat of the Hokage. Tsunade opened the doors to the balcony as everyone present became quiet.
Koharu and Homura nodded at the Uzumaki, a smile across their faces as they stepped aside, letting him continue to the edge. Shizune and Sakura stood near the advisors of the Hokage as Ryu held his father's leg and looked at the massive crowd. Tsunade stepped back as Naruto remained silent, overlooking the whole of Konoha which had gathered.
The Uzumaki looked at the hat in his hand, "There have been many before me who have worn this in pride…" The crowd listened intently, "…they have passed on their teachings to the generations that followed…this village has been through a lot over the years…sacrifices were made, friends and families were lost…" Naruto remembered everything that had happened, "As long as I am alive, I will make sure the fire within the heart of this village always burns bright." Placing the hat on his head, he spoke for a final time, "I am the Rokudaime, Uzumaki Naruto!"
The crowd broke out into an ovation as they stared at the newly appointed Hokage. Naruto held his hand on the hat, making sure it wasn't blown away as he saw the appreciation everyone was showing him. He looked into the crowd below and spotted his friends who were all smiling at him whilst clapping.
The sky was a bright blue with no clouds in sight, letting the sun shine down on the streets of Konoha gloriously as the birds flew through the sky giving a beautiful sound.
Naruto closed his eyes as he had finally realised his dream, the words of the Sandaime fresh in his mind.
"I believe in you Naruto…become a Hokage like there has never been before."
Jiraiya looked back at the gates of Konoha as he could hear the cheers resonating throughout the wondrous village all the way to the lush forest surrounding it. He turned around with a smile across his face as he began to walk. Closing his eyes, he remembered the opening passage from the book Naruto had written.
"Memories, bonds, dreams…all these things are worth making sacrifices for. We are each given our own burdens to bear…a test to see whether we are strong enough to persevere. I spent my life searching for acceptance…but somewhere down the line, my dream changed from that of one to gain acknowledgment to maintaining the bonds I had created and bringing back the memories I cherished. These were lessons learnt through sacrifices. I've felt desperate, broken, happy and peaceful…this is my story...one of destiny."