Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. This is just for fun.

Summary: Sequel to Dream Big. Naruto prepares his village and his family for Orochimaru. Future Fic NaruSaku

Dreams Live On

There are few things that make Uzumaki Naruto really upset. One is lack of hot ramen, especially miso flavored. Another is the Snake Sannin, Orochimaru, who had caused a lot of grief in Naruto's life. The last one would be unnecessary paperwork that keeps him away from his friends and family.

The last reason was why the blond Hokage could be seen in his office glaring spitefully at several large stacks of paperwork given to him by the village council. Even though he was Hokage and had saved their ungrateful behinds more than once, they still did all in their meager power to cause him grief. War meant lots of paperwork, and the Hokage needed to take care of it, even if he had many other things he would rather be doing.

Fortunately for the young ninja, he had changed from the bullheaded yet brave boy of his youth to a collected, cunning, and resourceful adult. After glancing around and checking for surveillance of any sort, Naruto smiled and performed a series of hand-seals ending with his favorite cross-shaped seal.

"Kage bushin no jutsu, Clerk Style!" Naruto whispered to keep his special modification to himself. If anyone found out about it, they would give him even more useless paperwork to fill out. Four of his special clones appeared and a moment later five regular shadow clones 'poofed' into existence.

The only visible difference between the regular kage bushins and the clerk style ones were the large, nerdy glasses that each wore. This was an example of Naruto's strange sense of humor about himself, which even his wife had a hard time understanding.

The clerk style kage bushins were Naruto's primary weapon against paperwork. The regular kage bushins could read and write like Naruto could, and then send the information to the original after the fact. The clerk style kage bushins had an active link with the original which allows for greater accuracy in discerning the papers he should and shouldn't sign, also giving the kage bushins greater intuitive ability.

As usual, the village council had slipped in retirement papers for the Rokudaime. Naruto accidentally signed one before he had perfected the clerk style kage bushins. He then used a wind enhanced rasengan to shred the treacherous parchment (Sakura had made him read some books to improve his vocabulary).

There was no need for words as they began to attack the paperwork with the regular kage bushins acting as aids, holding and removing paper that had been signed or dismissed. Nothing was missed in this process, and the time needed to finish the enormous pile was a tenth of the usual hours of tedious drudgery.

With his duties fulfilled, Naruto got up and admired his village through the windows in his high office. It was an excellent view that allowed him to see and observe most of the daily activities of his home. Times had been rough on Konoha, but there were many improvements to counteract the hardships.

First, the medical facilities of the Village Hidden in the Leaves were the best in all the Elemental nations. Tsunade had changed things during her tenure as Hokage to fulfill her ambitions regarding ninja medical training. This had increased the health of the average citizen as well as the ninja population. Books on health were available to everyone, and the young girls were encouraged to see the sections on proper dieting, seeing what happened with the Uchiha fan girls.

Second, Konoha had almost no crime within its walls. Every ninja, from genin to jonin, had a responsibility to help maintain law and order within the city. That makes for a lot of deputies wondering around keeping an eye on things.

The third improvement hit close to home with Naruto. Orphans, widows/widowers, and the homeless had means to better themselves that the blond would have loved to have had as an orphaned child. Naruto didn't believe in handouts to people; he had seen that it just makes people lazy. Children became apprentices to civilians during their early years to prepare them for later in life. This also increased the number of children being adopted, since more people had the opportunity to get to know them.

A fourth improvement would have to be the dismantling of the ROOT organization. Danzo's treacherous plans were bested by the loyal Konoha ninja, but many losses came from the conflict. Naruto's teammate Sai was one who died, along with several other ninja. It had taken much to restore the faith of the people in their protectors after that event, but they had restored it.

The last thing that really helped the village was the alliance with Suna. An exchange program had been set up and many ninjas had gone between the two villages. It helped increase skill levels on all ranks of both Suna and Konoha. It also added the mission requests for all and that really helped to keep the peace. There were also relationships starting between ninjas of the two villages, though it had still not reached the marriage stage.

However, Naruto knew that Konoha was far from perfect. His childhood was a perfect example of that imperfection, and he didn't want anyone to feel pain like that if he could do anything about it. Overall, things were looking up for the Village Hidden in the Leaves.

Naruto sighed contentedly as he appreciated the view, and didn't even look at the door when his secretary knocked and after no initial response, peeked inside. Seeing her boss finished with paperwork, she calmly addressed the content man.

"Sir, Tsunade-sama is here to see you," Naruto nodded, still without looking at her. The young lady sighed and opened the door to let the former Hokage to enter.

"Hey brat, you got any sake? Jiraiya got back today and he is already up to his old tricks," the loud voice of the Godaime didn't faze the Rokudaime.

"Right bottom drawer, focus some chakra into the top right corner and say 'breaktime'," his calm response was both soothing and irritating to the older woman as she followed his instructions.

"So that's how you do it. I never could figure out how to open that drawer," the retired medic kunoichi looked quite pleased at this new discovery of the desk that she had sat in for about six years. Naruto wasn't about to mention what had been in the drawer before he put in sake for her visits (it kept her from being punch-happy). The Sandaime had kept his personal collection of books given to him by his student Jiraiya.

"How are the kids doing?" there was an undeniable smirk at this question. The former Hokage was still close to Naruto and his family, and had grown to adore the three rugrats that he and her former pupil had made together. Now, Tsunade found that she didn't mind the title of Tsunade-obaachan quite so much.

"They're doing well. You know it's been awhile since you visited, and Arashi in particular misses you," the boy in fact had asked repeatedly when his obaa-chan was going to visit. He mentally shrugged thinking that's what happens when you spoil a kid rotten with misplaced maternal instincts.

"Things have been busy making sure the Academy teachers don't mess up the medical training I got started there. If Hinata were still able to teach, I would be able to enjoy my retirement." The older women paused a moment and looked at her successor," How is she doing? I haven't talked to her since she told me of her engagement two months ago."

Naruto's face seemed to want to cry and smile happily at the same time. "She's fine. She barely had time to come to the meeting yesterday; planning for a wedding is harder than planning for a battle."

"Does she still have a grudge against the Hyuuga clan?" Tsunade knew this was a sensitive subject with Naruto and didn't want to upset him too much.

"As a whole, yes, though she still regards her father, sister Hanabi, and cousin Neji as family. Even if she is no longer a member of the Hyuuga clan, the rest don't really respect her the way they should." One of his promises that had yet to be completed was the reformation of the Hyuuga clan. Even if he had the help from its Head, Heiress, and prodigy, there were too many fools clinging to the past to change everything at the present moment. The caged bird seal had been removed from any Branch Hyuuga who became ninja; Naruto said the Hokage shouldn't allow such a weakness in his ninja. That still left many non-ninja Branch members with the foul seal (no pun intended).

"Her father? I thought they didn't get along at all," Tsunade hadn't liked Hyuuga Hiashi much when she heard how he treated his eldest daughter. Kurenai had relayed the conversation she had with Hiashi when Hinata entered the Academy.

"Hiashi didn't know how to raise a daughter after he lost his wife, but he tried the best he could. I still don't agree with his methods, but . . . I know he loves both his daughters very much. That's why he asked me to marry Hinata."

Tsunade spit out the sake she had been drinking, and after coughing a little, glared at the grinning young man seated across from her. "You never told me about that. You got some explaining to do brat."

"Right after I broke things off with Hinata, Hiashi came to my house in the middle of the night to talk about her. He seemed angry at me and more than a little scared," Naruto felt the need for ramen at this point and pulled out his stasis scroll with his blessed snack. After savoring the scent of his ramen, Naruto began to eat while continuing with his story.

"Well, after explaining to him that while I did care deeply for Hinata and loved her as a friend, I didn't feel the love a man should feel for his wife. That's when he told me that Hinata was going to get the caged bird seal if she didn't get married soon. I got mad, and demanded that he do something.

"I swear I almost saw him cry right there. He said he had tried, but the Hyuuga council had stood firm on the issue. They saw her as a weak Hyuuga and should be made a Branch member as soon as possible. He practically begged me to marry her, to save her from the sealing. I cared about Hinata, yes, but I couldn't in good conscious marry a person who I didn't love in that way.

"Hiashi started to shout that I was condemning her to a life of slavery under individuals who openly hated her. He asked me if my convictions were worth her suffering. I asked if his honor was worth her living with a man who thought of her more like a sister than a lover.

"We didn't come to an agreement that night, but I did think about what he said and I couldn't leave a person as precious as Hinata in a situation like that. So the next night I snuck into the Hyuuga compound and met Hiashi and said there was a way that both of our consciences could be clear."

"That's when you decided to adopt Hinata into the Uzumaki clan," Tsunade stated this more than asked it.

Naruto nodded," We talked with Hinata, and she agreed it was for the best. She knew how I felt about her and she also saw that her father did care for her, giving her a chance at freedom from the clan. He and I still talk when we have the time. Only he, Hanabi, and Neji will be representing the Hyuuga clan at the wedding. Since Hinata is legally an Uzumaki under my protection, the Hyuuga council has no say on the matter. Even if Hinata is going to marry the Fire Daimyo's nephew, only the invited can attend." Naruto's satisfied smile spoke volumes as to how he felt about that.

"I still can't believe that shy Hinata caught the attention of such a rebel. I understand he hasn't married yet, because 'no woman could hold his interest for long.' I guess having us as family changed her for the better, eh?" Tsunade smirked at her 'little brother' as he just laughed.

"He's a good match for her, and she'll keep him from becoming a nuisance to us later on. I am glad that of her 'brothers' I was the one who got to test him," Naruto's smile was wide as he said this.

The aforementioned young man was an elite samurai who knew how to use his sword in ways that most ninja could never hope to achieve. He even lasted longer than Naruto originally thought he would in a spar, even if Naruto took it easy on him. Takashi was his name and he and Hinata had met at a state function at the capital when Hinata was acting as liaison with the Fire Daimyo's court.

Through their conversations, it was discovered that they had much in common:

They were both from famous families that didn't agree with their respective hobbies, medicine for Hinata and mercenary work for Takashi.

They were outside of the mold of their families.

And the most shocking thing they had found in common was that they both had kidnapping attempts made on them.

Without the confining rules of the Hyuuga, Hinata began to see Takashi on a regular basis. Their wedding was going to happen in a few months, time enough for the women of both families to prepare everything. Tsunade and Sakura were always arguing about going traditional or making a new ceremony. Hinata was truly swamped with people trying to "help." Naruto just gave her a place she could go for some peace and quiet.

Hinata was currently with her fiancé, who was in Konoha on an errand for his uncle. Takashi had asked to be part of the first assault group alongside Hinata. Naruto had allowed it on his word to get the job done with no showboating during battle. In truth, his aid was welcome, as he would be a great help against the swordsman of the Mist Orochimaru had in his troops.

Tsunade took a long sip of sake from her cup and admired the pride Naruto had in his adopted sister. They and the rest of the Konoha twelve had worked to get her to realize her full potential. Hinata was one of the best apothecary medics Tsunade had ever met, and the younger women could make powerful medicines that had helped save many lives in the Leaf Village.

That line of thought brought the Slug Sannin back to her original purpose for visiting the current Hokage. "You know Orochimaru will be tough to take out. He's a survivor."

Naruto sighed as his smile slipped away and threw his empty ramen container into the garbage. His eyes told Tsunade that he indeed knew and didn't like it. "That Snake knows how to sacrifice everyone around him to save his own skin, and most of his followers in the past did it so willingly that we've suffered many casualties trying to take him out."

"You ready for the attack then? It's not going to be easy for us you know." Tsunade looked at the man who she considered a little brother and could see the weight his position put on him.

The weight of office seemed to fall from his shoulders and it seemed the semi-innocent little prankster she had first met was grinning widely at her. It amazed her how he seemed to mature so much, yet keep enough of his boyish nature to charm people.

"Why Tsunade, I have just the plan to get Orochimaru. After all, the Fox is more cunning than the Snake. The Snake just slithers away before the Fox can get his claws into him. The Fox just needs to trap the Snake to finish it," the glint in his eyes seemed playful and vengeful at the same time.

Naruto called to his secretary and asked her to have Sakura, Anko, and Jiraiya come to his office as soon as they could. There was more planning that needed to be done to get the trap ready.

The secretary of the Kazekage was much like the secretary of the Hokage in that they have learned to deal with their respective bosses' eccentric behavior. However, they haven't gotten used to their bosses' friends appearing out of thin air asking to see him. Such was the case when Naruto stopped by Suna for a quick visit to his friend Gaara.

"Is Gaara in?" Naruto's prankster nature could still be witnessed at moments like these. Unfortunately, their was no one to appreciate this little prank on his friend's secretary, as she had passed out from the appearance of a smiling Hokage who somehow appeared in her room where no other ninja could was able to teleport into. She apparently didn't know that Naruto had a special long distance teleportation seal (similar to the seal used in Hiraishin) hidden in this room.

When the woman didn't look like she would wake up soon, Naruto just knocked on the door himself. After a faint invitation to enter could be heard, Naruto opened the door and walked casually in the Kazekage's office. Gaara seemed to be fighting his own battle against a much smaller pile of paperwork than Naruto had faced that morning.

The former vessel of Shukaku looked at his friend and sighed," Will my secretary be able to work the rest of the day?" Naruto's somewhat sheepish grin was explanation enough. "So, why did you come in person? My brother and his girlfriend already gave me the report on what's going on."

Naruto's smile faded a moment before he took three near identical scrolls from his jonin vest. "The contents of these scrolls could decide the outcome of the battle with Orochimaru. I need you to safeguard them till this is over. If there is the slightest hint of danger to this, burn the scrolls. I have a way to find them afterwards."

Gaara's face showed little emotion as he asked a rather obvious question," If you don't need the scrolls, than why have them in the first place?"

"Convenience. It takes time for the other way to work, so the scrolls are much faster," Naruto answered his fellow Kage.

Gaara took the scrolls and a tendril of sand came out of his gourd, enveloped the scrolls and went back into the gourd. Naruto let out a sigh of relief. That was one more thing taken care of.

"Please tell Tenten and Kankuro to get back soon, we'll need all the help we can get when things get dicey," Naruto asked his friend.

"Okay, they'll be back in Konoha by tomorrow. I'm going to send some stuff with them to give to Temari and her boyfriend. Hopefully the current one won't break her heart like the last one," Gaara had the look many brothers had when thinking about their sisters' beaus, which wasn't much different than the look he used to get when his demon got the better of him. Naruto made a mental note to keep Shikamaru away from Suna for the rest of his life.

"Thanks, I'll be back when this is all over. Hey, you want to come visit after we lay ol' Snakeskin out to dry?" Naruto's cheer was becoming infectious as Gaara felt a small smile to grace his battle-hardened face. The Kazekage just nodded and turned back to his work. Naruto left with a shake of his head.

Before leaving the desert of the Wind Country, Naruto stopped on a dune and took out a large empty glass bottle from yet another scroll on his person. After filling the bottle with sand, Naruto looked towards Konoha with a blank expression on his face. If anyone had been around to witness the event, they would have noticed the glowing determination in his sapphire eyes.