Here it is folks. The long awaited epilogue and I must say. It's been one heck of a ride. All those long chapters and different ideas clashing. It has been a blast. I was surprise to see this story reach and go beyond the 400 review mark and I'm extremely happy. I like to thank all the people that stuck with me from chapter one to now. It has been a pleasure writing for you guys.
Also like to thank Shadow of the Sun for beta reading this chapter. Much cheers.
A cooling breeze swept through the woodland area. It was yet another boring day in Konaha. The sun shining brightly while everyone was continuing with their routine lives. A pair of chunnin guards yawned lazily as they did their job. Nothing ever exciting ever happens during their shift. Ever since the invasion, less and less people have been visiting, a sign of quiet times.
Just off the distance, there were three figures approaching the front gates and the guards instantly sprung into action.
"Halt! Who goes there?" The chunnin's loud voice echoed outward.
The eldest of the group stared at the man as if he had grown three heads. His hands merely cupped themselves into a fist while his body was shaking from shock.
"How… How could you not remember me!? I am the man who has no enemies in the North, South, East and West… Not even in the heavens! I am one of the Sannin… White-hair frog tamer… Even a crying baby would stare in awe… The great Jira-"
Before the man could even finish his introduction properly, the taller of his traveling companions shoved the man, causing him to trip over his own feet and landing face first on the ground.
The taller companion had blond hair with distinct whisker markers on each of his checks but it was his piercing blue eyes that made him stand out the most. "We heard that introduction way too many times Ero-sennin."
The other companion, a young woman, stood there slightly giggling. She was wearing a light white and pink kimono with lilies on it. From the near distance, it would look like someone created that particular kimono for her.
As the guards watched the interaction between the two men, they couldn't help but smile. It was a familiar sight to witness. "Jiraiya-sama. Naruto-sama." They called out.
The two men stopped their bickering and turned around. "YO!" Jiraiya greeted while Naruto just nodded.
"What brings you guys back to Konoha?" The chunnin with bandages on his face asked.
"Pleasure / Business." Jiraiya and Naruto answered before glaring at each other again. Before another verbal conflict could begin, the last of their companions stepped forward and put her arms around Naruto's waist. "Mou… I'm sure Hokage-sama would be glad to hear about the things that the both of you did over the past months…" She discreetly said.
Jiraiya and Naruto instantly stiffened and began to sweat. At the same time, they both released a loud laugh and had their arms around each other with a fake smile on their face. "Let's go see the Hokage!" They both shouted.
The girl giggled some more as she watched them run straight for the Hokage. As she turned her head, she noticed that the guards were staring at her other two companions strangely. "Don't mind them. They're always like this." With a wave goodbye, she hurried along to catch up with her companions.
As the group made their way to the Hokage Tower, Naruto couldn't help but notice the Hokage Monument. A small smile crossed his face as his gaze slowly wandered. His eyes slowly went from the first to the second to the third and fourth before resting on the newest addition there. The fifth Hokage.
"Looks like the old hag finally got her face on it huh Ero-sennin?" Naruto couldn't help but smirk.
Jiraiya looked up from his notebook before giggling. "Wait until you see the rest of her!" He continued to giggle as memories came flooding back.
Naruto then began to picture it but he instantly stopped his daydream when the female companion began to glare at them. Naruto quickly poked Jiraiya on the ribs, clueing him in about the imminent danger.
"She has the world's biggest -" That was the last thing the perverted man managed to say before he was elbowed in the face. The girl began to stomp on him, swearing curses at the perverted sannin.
"Hikaru-chan! I think Ero-sennin had enough." Naruto tried to reason with her and Jiraiya released a small groan to show that he agreed with Naruto.
Hikaru paid no attention as she picked up a large piece of wood from the ground. "He's still alive isn't he?" She lifted up the log with a dangerous glint in her eyes. "He survived before so he'll definitely survive this."
Naruto couldn't bear to watch what was going to happen so he did the only thing he could. He ran away, saving himself from the terror that was about to unfold on his poor sensei.
Even though Naruto ran away at a fast pace, the screams of agony from greatest pervert to ever walk the earth still reached his ears. Naruto couldn't help but wince at the man's pain. "May you have a speedy recovery Ero-sennin." The blonde performed a small prayer as he left the scene.
- - -
It was several minutes since Naruto left Jiraiya to let him suffer at the hands of Hikaru. As he walked through the hallways of the Hokage Tower, he could hear ninjas talking among themselves, discussing the latest gossips or just talking about training in general. When he finally reached the door he was looking for, he forcefully pushed it open, revealing a surprised team and a stunned Hokage. He smirked as he made his way in.
The team was taken by surprise when this person rudely entered the room. It wasn't just any team. It was a team that Naruto was very familiar with but at the same time, surprised at how much they changed. In fact, he knew it very well. It was his old team and by the looks of it, they didn't recognize him.
As Sakura noticed the young man enter the room, drool began to seep from her mouth. She couldn't help but notice his tone, lean body. It wasn't ripe to the point where it was disgusting. It was just perfect. She could see every muscle on his arms and chest. There was also the fact that this young man's face was something to stare at. His eyes told her everything that she needed to know, the experiences and the wisdom were hidden between those blue eyes. She let out a quiet sigh.
Sasuke, on the other hand, noticed Sakura's odd behavior. He immediately felt an urge to protect his interests. Sakura was part of his fan club and it was his duty to let this newcomer know whose boss.
"I'm sorry but the newly instated genin meeting isn't until next week. This meeting is only for people who achieved a rank of chunnin or higher."
Naruto listened and nodded his head. "I see. So I guess you guys better scram. Genin should be out there training instead of wasting time in here."
Before Sasuke could reply, Naruto walked past the team and glared at the Hokage. "Yo you old hag!" He greeted. Everyone in the room gasped. They couldn't believe what that young man just said. Kakashi literally stopped reading as he also was surprised at this brave young man's introduction.
- - -
Tsunade was never a person for work. If she had it her way, she would be out there gambling and drinking sake instead of here listening to some brats demanding a better mission. Seeing as how her day couldn't get much worse, she sat there listening to their demands, once in a while nodding her head. All this changed however when an unexpected visitor came into her office.
"Yo you old hag!"
She heard his somewhat loud and arrogant voice. Tsunade blinked a couple of times before registering those words. Her eyes started to focus themselves on this pipsqueak. No one gets away with calling her old. Nobody. The Hokage immediately got up from her desk and threw a punch, but Naruto saw it coming. He took a step back and retaliated. Punch for punch.
The result sent Naruto crashing into the wall behind him with Tsunade doing the same thing. The onlookers were shocked to say the least. Their Hokage, the legendary Tsunade of the sannin was known for her remarkable strength. There was no one in history that could mirror her punch and here was a boy who managed to throw a punch with the same amount of force to knock them both back, ending it in a stalemate.
The explosion could be heard from around her office. The noise attracted the attention of several ninjas to instantly make haste for the tower, fearing for the worst.
Hikaru heard the loud impact and instantly stopped beating on Jiraiya. She turned towards the direction of the noise and stared at it. "What's going on?"
Before she knew it, Jiraiya was already on his feet and grabbed his binoculars from inside his vest. As he focused on the Hokage Tower, he rubbed his chin with his free hand. "If I had to take a guess, I think Naruto and Tsunade-hime went at it again."
Hikaru released a small groan before walking away. Jiraiya sighed and followed as well, knowing that his apprentice probably did something stupid again.
- - -
Back Inside the Tower
Kakashi and Sasuke were already on Naruto, their weapons drawn while Sakura was by her Hokage's side, checking for any critical wounds.
"I suggest for you to not get up. I hate to get blood on this kunai. I just polished it." Kakashi coldly stated. His attention was focused on this guy, wondering what he was thinking when he came in here. Was it for assassination? Suicide mission? There was also the feeling of familiarity with this young man but he couldn't place his finger on it.
Tsunade shook her head, slowly getting up. She narrowed her eyes at the sight before her. "Get your hands off him." She commanded.
Naruto held his breath as he waited for them to remove their weapons but when they didn't, his eyes flickering dangerously. "I believe she said to get your hands off me." He emitted a low growl, showing his displeasure.
When they still didn't move, Naruto closed his eyes and began to tense up his muscles. In a mere second, the moment he opened his eyes, "Chakra Barrier!"
A barrier made from pure chakra erupted from his body and pushed everyone away from him. Kakashi and Sasuke were shocked to see a powerful barrier form in an instant. This kid didn't even use any hand seals and they were blasted away by just pure chakra. It was absurd. If the kid could do this and not get tired, he must have an insane amount of reserves.
Naruto slowly got to his feet and made his way over to Tsunade. Ninjas instantly rushed to Tsunade's side and stood guard in front of her, their weapons drawn and ready to kill. Naruto stood there with a small smirk on his lips. "Are you that afraid of just one ninja?"
Everyone in the room tensed up. They were afraid of what was going to happen but before anyone could realize it, Tsunade was on her feet and pushed everyone out of the way before grabbing the boy and hugging him.
At that exact moment, Jiraiya and Hikaru managed to squeeze their way into the office and were greeted by a heart-warming sight. Hikaru smiled while Jiraiya on the other hand, had a lecherous grin on his face with his trusty notepad out.
"It's been a while… Naruto." When Tsunade dropped the name, everyone's eyes dropped. They couldn't believe that this young man was Naruto. The short blond ninja that disappeared 3 years ago after the funeral. The dead last of the academy.
Naruto only smirked. "It's good to see you too. You haven't aged at all."
Tsunade smiled. "Where's Hikaru and that pervert?"
Just hearing her name, Hikaru shy stepped into the open. "Tsunade-sama." The girl bowed. Tsunade grabbed her and gave her a bone-crushing hug as well. "Can't breathe Tsunade-sama." Hikaru managed to get out.
Naruto took this moment to turn and face the team that he left behind. "I really didn't appreciate you holding that kunai to my throat Kakashi-sensei."
Kakashi sheepishly grinned back. "Maa Naruto. My eye isn't what it use to be." His lame excuse falling on deaf ears. "So how do you know our Hokage?"
Knowing Naruto's habit of exaggerating the story, Tsunade stepped in quickly and answered for him. "Family knows family." The Hokage affectionately answered.
The news of Naruto being family to their Hokage was rather shocking. Kakashi instantly paled a little bit, knowing that he willingly held a weapon to the Godaime's son's throat. It was an act of treason and he could be killed for that. Putting on a façade, he joined in with everyone, having a shocked expression on their face.
Tsunade ignored everyone's shocked looks and turned to Naruto. "What are you doing here brat?"
Naruto had an amusing smirk on his face before biting his thumb. Tsunade noticed the amusing gleam in Naruto's eyes. "What are you doing?"
Naruto quickly went through a series of hand seals before lightly tapping the table with his palm. "Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
Smoke erupted and everyone waited in anticipation. As soon as the smoke cleared, Gamakichi appeared on top of Naruto's head. "Yo Aniki." The toad greeted. "Hello Hikaru-neechan. Ero-sennin."
Jiraiya slightly dropped at his unexpected greeting but nevertheless, the man went on mumbling about ungrateful brats and lack of respect.
"What's going on Aniki?" The small orange toad inquired.
"Can I have those items now Gamakichi?"
The toad shuffled around, searching his jacket for those items. It took the small toad a few seconds before locating it. "Here you go." The toad dropped it onto Naruto's hands before sitting still, wanting to be here for this.
"Thanks." Naruto then presented the two rings to Tsunade. "I come bearing with gifts that I'm sure you'll like."
"Sake?" Tsunade guessed.
"Even better." Naruto opened his palms, revealing two Akatsuki rings. Everyone in the room gasped once more. They had more surprises in this one day than they had in a typical month. It was completely unbelievable.
While everyone had their eyes widened to the size of a sake saucer, Tsunade, on the other hand, looked like a fish by the way her mouth opened and closed. She just didn't believe it.
"Unbelievable…" The Hokage reached out and touched the rings, making sure she wasn't dreaming. "These… actually… are the rings. Whose were they?"
"Orochimaru and Sasori of the Red Sand." Naruto nonchalantly replied.
If it was possible for a mere human to be even more surprise, it was time for them to show it. Everyone stared at Naruto with mind-boggling eyes, each wondering how in the world he managed to pull this off.
"The… How the hell did you do this?" Sakura shouted out.
Naruto closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Se-cr-et." Naruto answered in a teasing voice. "Baa-chan. I'm outta here." With that said, Naruto walked over to Hikaru and disappeared, leaving everyone in the room with a lot of questions and a poor Jiraiya to answer them all.
- - -
"Ramen!" Naruto happily shouted. He tugged on Hikaru's arm, indicating that he wanted to eat ramen.
Hikaru easily gave in, seeing as how ramen was the second most important thing to Naruto. As she watched his happy expression, she began to wonder if she was number one anymore.
"Naruto-kun… What's the most important thing in your life?"
"Rah-" Naruto stopped himself before saying. His eyes widened as he realized what he was going to say. "Rah… Rah…" He felt Hikaru glaring at him and that made him even more nervous. 'How am I suppose to make a Hikaru out of a 'Rah'.' Naruto mentally cried to himself. Pictures of Ero-sennin getting beat by Hikaru came flashing through his mind and he knew he was next to die.
"Salutations Uzumaki-sama." An eerie but cheerful voice spoke up from behind Naruto. The man stood at a good 6 feet and 2 inches and with an ANBU mask on. "Tsunade-sama requires your presence immediately."
Naruto looked sheepishly at Hikaru before smiling. "Sorry but duty calls." He gave her a quick peck on the cheeks before disappearing.
Hikaru smiled slightly as she touched her cheeks before realizing what just happened. "Ooooh Naruto-kun." She cracked her knuckles. "Your luck is about to run out."
- - -
A few hours later, Naruto and Hikaru found themselves alone on top of the Hokage Monument, just sitting there and enjoying the view. It was a spectacular sight to behold. The village was still busy because of a festival. Just seeing how the village lights up was remarkable. Naruto sighed contently as he sat there. There was nothing more perfect than the view and the girl he was currently holding.
"Hey… Naruto-kun?" Hikaru spoke up, her soft voice gaining his full attention.
"What did Tsunade-sama speak to you about earlier?"
Naruto hesitated. "She wanted me to come back." He could feel Hikaru shifting in his arms and he knew her answer for that. She shifted again so that she could have a good view of his face.
"And what did you say?"
Naruto knew this moment was going to come. When he disappeared from her company earlier today, he knew he would have to explain it to her. "I told her no…"
Hikaru stared at her boyfriend. She stared into his eyes, the very eyes that captivated her each time she stared into it. "Why?" She felt a lump on her throat. She knew the reason but she wanted to hear it from his mouth.
"Because I couldn't leave you."
Those five simple words. Who knew they would have a big effect on her. Hikaru started to tear up and hugged Naruto, burying her head into his chest. "Stupid Naruto-kun…" She quietly answered. "What did you really say?"
Naruto sighed as he held on to the girl tighter. "I told her yes." He closed his eyes and breathed in her scent. She smelled like lilies for some reason but it didn't matter. Lilies always calmed him down. "But with certain conditions."
Hikaru titled her head up, wondering what those conditions were. "What did you ask for?"
"You." Naruto replied.
Hikaru put her arms around Naruto's neck and pulled him down for a passionate kiss. It was a good minute before she broke away, slightly panting for air. "You're a romantic sap you know that?"
Naruto only smirked. "It's the truth. She wanted me to move back here and take on a team. I, of course rejected the offer but when she glared at me, I knew I wasn't going to win the battle so I compromised with her. The only way she'll get me to come here is if you moved here with me."
Hikaru couldn't help but look awe. She didn't believe what Naruto was asking. "Are-Are you sure?" This was a major step up in their relationship.
Naruto only nodded. "It wouldn't be home if you didn't have the people you love with you."
Hikaru soon had tears forming in her eyes. She never once heard Naruto speak this way. "Oh… Naruto-kun…" It made her feel special the way he treated her and that was why she loved him with all her heart.
"Hikaru-chan, the old man once asked me what my dreams were." Naruto stood up and held his hand out for Hikaru. "I told him it was to become Hokage because it sounded like a cool job before." He let out a small chuckle and pulled Hikaru into his embrace. "But now… I want to become Hokage so I can protect you and everyone else that I care for."
The couple stood there together, watching the village from the distance, marveled by the beautiful sight. "No matter where I am, I'll always be here for you Hikaru-chan, protecting and loving you for all eternity."
They stayed there all night long but, unknown to them, a new journey had just begun. There will be many obstacles and challenges awaiting each one but the main thing is to cherish and trust the friends you have because sooner or later, everything will come to an end.
The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same.
Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.
- Don Williams Jr
Authors Note: Well what did you think? Room for a sequel? Yes? No? I can see room for a sequel since I wrote this chapter thinking way ahead. Leave me a review with your thoughts guys and Thanks for sticking with me this far. Much appreicated.