Four years later...
"Oi, Hokage-sama, where does this go?"
"Are you sure, brat? I think it would look better against that wall."
Naruto sent his predecessor an irritated look.
"Baa-chan, I've been planning this out for the last fifteen years, I think I know where I want my shit to go."
Hagane Kotetsu snorted behind the potted fern he was carrying before ducking down as the last living Sannin glared in his direction. He carefully lowered the plant by the five pictures of the previous Hokage's and scurried out of the room to get the next item to be ferried. The new Hokage insisted on bringing all his plants into his office to improve the feng shui of the otherwise bland room.
Naruto took a deep and satisfied lungful of air as he surveyed his new domain. He had done it; he was the Rokudaime Hokage of Konohagakure at twenty-one years of age—younger than even his father. The public had all but demanded that he take over once Tsunade announced her retirement, and remarkably enough the council backed his nomination nearly one hundred percent. There was a time when this scenario would have been thought laughable, but after the destruction of the Akatsuki Naruto's popularity skyrocketed.
Now he stood tall at six feet even, wearing his long white and red robes and surveying the general activity around him; Kotetsu and Izumo were moving some of his personal things into the office, Shizune was trying to get him on a head start with the paperwork, and Tsunade was just plain antagonizing him (or as she would call it, "guidance").
"You look good," the buxom blonde promised him when she saw him picking at the sleeves of his gown. She was right; those robes were made for him.
"Thanks," he smiled, directing a soft look at the triangular hat he held in his hands. It was almost surreal to be holding it, knowing it belonged to him now. For so long he had waited for this; he boasted about it even when there were times when deep down he questioned his own ability to pull through.
"I hope you've got your acceptance speech ready," Tsunade continued, giving him an appraising look, though she already knew his answer.
Sure enough, after a nonchalant shrug he replied with confidence, "I can wing it."
"Come on, baa-chan! With my charm and charisma? I don't need to prepare a speech," Naruto grinned, waggling his eyebrows at her much in the same way Jiraiya used to. She rolled her eyes, unable to keep the smile from creeping up on her face
"Or lack thereof."
Naruto spotted Sai standing in the open doorway, a mission report in his hand regarding the solo A-rank he just returned from.
"I suppose I should just go to bed early rather than suffer through your stuttering, dickless," Sai smirked, though it was at least sincere. Fortunately, his old teammate had long since stopped reacting so violently to the jibe.
"You wouldn't like it anyway," Naruto assured him, "It has nothing to do with penises."
The artist sauntered up to the desk and dropped the neatly organized folder on his desk, "Your first report. Enjoy it."
Laughing, Naruto flipped him off as he left the office and fell back into his chair, relaxing into the firm padding. He could still remember glaring at the piece of furniture in envy every time he saw the Sandaime perched in it, knowing it was meant to be his seat.
"How does it feel?" his predecessor asked, enjoying the sight of her adoptive little brother finally achieving his dream. That necklace finally pulled through for someone.
"Natural," was his one word answer. It certainly did feel as though he was meant to be sitting behind the glossy maple-wood desk—miraculously void of dents—looking out from the other side.
"Hey, Baa-chan..." Naruto started. Tsunade took her eye off of Izumo and Kotetsu who were juggling a fragile looking Pothos and turned to her successor. Naruto had his hands splayed across the fine, gloss of the desk top, "Is this desk the original since the First?"
"It is," the woman answered, impressed that he had noticed something like that, "the First created it using his Mokuton and that's why it's practically indestructible."
"That must be why it never breaks no matter how many times you threw it out the window, Lady Tsunade," Kotetsu declared cheerfully. This time he jumped behind Izumo as Tsunade sent him the stink-eye.
"I see..." Naruto mumbled, rubbing his chin in contemplation. Had a certain volatile, green-eyed wizard been present he would have immediately recognized the look as one associated with Inuyasha and a harebrained scheme.
"Why do you ask Hokage-sama?" Shizune asked. She had now moved to arranging the informational scrolls on a shelf wall so that Naruto might have an easier time finding anything particular.
"Shizune, you can still call me Naruto," he said, shooting an absent smile in her direction, "Anyway, I only asked because I was just wondering if every Hokage we've had so far has had sex on it."
"WHAT?" both Shizune and Tsunade screamed simultaneously. Izumo choked on some spit and Kotetsu was flat out laughing. The young Hokage paid no attention to their reactions.
"Yeah, I mean, it makes complete sense," Naruto continued sagely with his eyes closed, not noticing the huge tick on the right side of Tsunade's temple or Shizune clutching her chest in scandal, "This desk has probably seen it all if it's been here since the very first Hokage."
Naruto opened one eye and glanced at Tsunade, aside from her pissed off look there was also a red hue splashed across her nose.
"IT'S TRUE!" he yelled accusingly, jumping up from his chair and pointing his finger inches from her nose, "It must be! I can see it on your face, woman!"
He paused thoughtfully, looked at Tsunade again, and shuddered. Blushing further, the accused woman jumped at him with a raised hand, fully intending on smacking the idiot through the window. But Naruto had other plans and ducked under the bludgeoning appendage, now absolutely sure of his theory by her reaction. He had suspected it for years—anyone with half a mind would have sex in their own office at least once—but knowing that it was the original desk for all five hokages was even better. Admittedly disturbing, but still pretty cool.
At this point, Kotetsu and Izumo were beside themselves with laughter. Unfortunately for one particular school teacher of Konoha, Iruka chose that moment to give the new Hokage and his former student a congratulatory visit.
"Iruka!" Naruto yelled the second the brunette walked in the room; he was on a roll from Tsunade's silent confirmation, completely wound up. Iruka stared right back at him as the picturesque deer-in-the-headlight, "I demand that you put it in your lesson plans!"
"Put what in my lesson plans?" he asked, looking to Shizune for an answer, but the woman only looked away from his questioning stare and down at her feet, still blush red at the topic. He also found it strange that Kotetsu and Izumo were having difficulty breathing and Tsunade seemed beside herself with embarrassment and resentment.
"This desk," Naruto explained, "Every Hokage to ever run this village has had sex on it!"
There was a pregnant pause and then...
"NO WAY!" Iruka yelled back at him, now unable to take his eyes away from the piece of furniture in question. On that desk...had every Hokage really...?
He quickly shook his head to clear such ludicrous thoughts, "I'm not teaching children that! How could you even suggest something so perverted? You're supposed to be setting an example, Naruto!"
"It's a piece of history," the blonde argued, "As Hokage, I order you to do it!"
Izumo had to hold onto Kotetsu's shoulder for fear of falling over in his mirth.
"You're not Hokage yet brat," Tsunade growled, still slightly pink in the cheeks, "Don't make me call Sakura away from the hospital just to get you to behave. We're dropping this subject now."
Naruto wasn't even listening to her as more ideas began popping into his head the longer he thought about his latest discovery.
"Oh my god!" he cried dramatically, "I was probably conceived on this desk!"
"Will someone get my damn apprentice up here?!" Tsunade snapped to no one in particular.
Kotetsu wiped a tear from his eye and shared a look with his best friend.
There was no doubt about it; life under Uzumaki Naruto's reign would be anything but boring.
Naruto swallowed down a bubble of apprehension that rose in his throat, now wishing he had written something down. He tugged a bit at his collar as he stared down at the sea of smiling faces from the balcony of the Hokage administration building. Behind him stood his predecessor Tsunade, her assistant Shizune, his teammates Sakura, Sasuke and Sai, their old sensei Kakashi, and the last two elders Mitokado Homura and Utatane Koharu.
The excited and animated chatter fizzing around the gathered village slowly began to die down as more and more people noticed Naruto step up to the railing. The Rokudaime took a deep break to calm his nerves and began speaking in a loud, clear voice that carried over the hushed precinct.
"You know," he began, "I had this all planned out when I was ten: I was going to work hard, rise through the ranks, gain respect, become Hokage, and then spend a good ten minutes laughing in your faces for ever doubting me."
Laughter erupted throughout the crowd in a ripple and the warming sound gave Naruto a bit more confidence.
"My dream to become Hokage was started for the wrong reasons," he continued, once the noise level calmed down, "I only wanted respect; I wanted people to acknowledge my existence because they had to. It wasn't until I gained my own precious people did I learn that respect should not only be earned, it should be deserved. Great accomplishments will only mean so much in the long run, what really matters is the reason you fight."
He paused for a moment, thinking about how he wanted to continue.
"As you know, the shinobi world is experiencing a time of piece—the first one since the five great nations were established."
More cheers from the crowd interrupted his speech because the majority of them knew he was largely responsible for the aforementioned 'peace'. Naruto waited patiently for the noise to drop again before he carried on.
"But like all good things, this time of peace will eventually come to an end; it may be in ten years, or it may be in a hundred, but eventually the time to fight will resurface," he spoke these words with a grim face and a somber voice. The mass listened silently; not a single person could be found even whispering to his or her neighbor.
"However, if there's one thing I've learned from growing up in this village, it's that we can never be destroyed," a soft smile was expressed through his eyes as he acknowledged the rapt attention he held from his supporters.
"Even if tomorrow the walls are torn down and the buildings crumble, Konoha will still exist as long as the will of fire burns within the people. This village is not defined by its structure or who leads it—it's you, the people, who are the power behind the symbol of the leaf we carry, you are the inspiration and motivation for what we fight for. And as long as I'm Hokage I will protect and represent everything its citizens stand for, both ninja and civilian."
The end of his speech was met with an explosive tide of whistles, cheers and clapping. The ground below him was an animated sea of approval; had he been a lesser man he would have cried tears of joy. Instead, he smiled and waved down to his charges as Sakura pulled up at his side and slipped her hand in his, squeezing it to express her own excitement. Tsunade walked to his other side and began to assess the spectacle.
"Representing the people huh?" Tsunade mumbled wryly out of the corner of her mouth, making sure the keep a sincere enough smile on her face for the villagers.
Naruto could understand her dubiousness; ever since the very first ninja village was established the government has always been a borderline dictatorship. Like all beginnings, the leader of a society was determined by the strongest; as time progressed and the ninja economy flourished, communities grew into villages and that type of government stayed somewhat true to this day, having the strongest ninja prevail over the rest. Though eventually there was the addition of a council of elders, they're purpose was more for more consult than action.
Naruto knew the council wasn't congress but, with a little tweaking, maybe he could get the villagers more involved with decisions of Konohagakure's government. He could possibly have them decide who was on the council through a voting system, or limit the terms of council positions to keep certain clans from prevailing over others. Okay, so maybe it would take a little more than tweaking to change the basis of a century-old government system, but hey, he was immortal. He had some time to kill.
Naruto continued waving and grinning when he replied with a question.
"You know what I liked best about America?"
"What?" Tsunade asked, deciding to humor him.
"BALLS! KAGOME HOW THE HELL DID YOU EVER DO THIS TWICE?!"
The pain-filled howls of a twenty-eight year old woman in labor with her first child thundered throughout waiting room of Mass General Hospital, causing its occupants to cringe.
"Is Alaina okay, dad?" Caleb asked the man in the chair next to him with genuine concern. He knew his half-sister was having a baby, but he didn't think it would be this noisy. His mommy and Gavin, Alaina's husband, had gone in the room a long time ago and said that he wasn't allowed. Since then he had been bored out of his mind with only his sister's swearing to keep him entertained.
"She's fine," Inuyasha answered. He gently put his youngest child, who he was holding on his lap a moment earlier, to the ground. Fishing around in his pockets for a minute, he pulled out some loose change and handed it to his son.
"Cal, why don't you take Maddie to the vending machine down the hall and get yourselves something to eat."
"Okay!" Caleb exclaimed, wasting no time in snatching the money from the outstretched clawed hand, "Come on Maddie."
Madeline "Maddie" Nagasaki clutched her big brother's hand dutifully and followed after him. She at curly black hair, human ears and her father's amber eyes; she looked a lot like Bridget in many ways but her face was already resembling that of her mother's. At four years old she would follow her older sibling everywhere, and Caleb took his responsibilities as a big brother very seriously, often times becoming a little too over protective.
Now it was just Inuyasha, Harry and Bridget who were waiting outside the room for the newest arrival of their family. It was last summer that the raven-haired pair were married and officially mated, and Naruto was summoned to be a part of the wedding. Though time and worlds had kept the good friends separated, they still made an effort to summon one another from time to time for special events and get-togethers. Despite the prolonged periods of disconnection, their relationships stayed much the same; Kagome still made a show of mothering Naruto, Naruto still annoyed Harry, Harry still picked on Naruto, and Inuyasha still corrected Naruto's grammar and messed up his hair.
"AHHH! GAVIN I'M GOING TO KILL YOU WHEN THIS IS OVER!"
Bridget turned to her mate and said in all seriousness: "We are never having children."
Harry was about to make an argument to that when another horrific scream sounded from behind the closed doors. He shut his mouth and sat back quietly. Inuyasha quirked his eyebrow at the obedience and smiled.
"You sister is dramatic," he comforted Bridget, "I have never had a wife who has screamed as much as she has giving birth."
"She was always loud," Harry nodded wisely with his arms crossed.
"Your mom's loud."
"THE NEXT TIME I SEE YOUR DICK I'M GUNNA BLOW IT OFF WITH A KILLING CURSE!"
Sakura squealed as her stomach jumped into her throat after a taking particularly sharp plunge. Pink tresses were steadily ripped out of the clip holding her hair up and whipped around her face and neck. Flying with Naruto was unlike any other experience. It didn't take much for her to convince her lover to take her for a ride in the sky; just a hip-shake here and a whisker stroke there and she'd be piggybacking him two hundred feet in the air in no time.
Their velocity slowed as her joyride began to end, but the drop still had her squeezing her eyes shut against the tickling sensations in her stomach. The wind around her stopped and she was jolted out of the airborne feeling when they landed—only then did Sakura trust herself to open her eyes. His arms loosened around her thighs and she slid off his back, looking around their surroundings.
"Why did we stop here?" she asked, still panting from all the screaming she did. They had taken off from the balcony in front of the Hokage office window, but she now found herself on top of the Hokage Mountain—the fourth's head to be more precise.
"Because," he answered, grabbing one of her wrists and pulling her by the waist close to his body with his other arm as if he were about to dance with her, "this is where I first kissed you."
Sakura looked around once more and clearly remembered that rainy day after Asuma's funeral.
"You mean as a boy?" she asked, her eyes glittering in mirth. She snaked a hand up and brushed her thumb along his whiskers, "How could I forget? It was when I first discovered these."
Naruto released a small moan between slightly parted lips and nuzzled into her hand.
"Stop abusing them."
He suddenly grabbed the hand touching his face, lifted it up and twirled her around. She laughed with carefree abandon as she was spun and then dipped. She loosely wrapped her arms around his neck to help hold her weight as she relaxed her neck back into the horizontal pose. Slowly, she pulled her head up to look into Naruto's smiling, mischievous eyes. They were so beautiful, so blue that they sparkled when compared to the open sky in the background. And the sky, it was just a beautiful, perfect day—
Sakura gasped out loud and almost let go of the man holding her.
There, behind his head, high above in the cerulean troposphere was a string of clouds in the unmistakable form of words.
Her eyes sought Naruto's, her face a mixture of elation and shock.
"Will you?" he asked softly, knowing what she had seen. She vacantly realized he had yet to pull her back up from the playful dip she was still held in but perhaps it was because time was now standing still for her. She felt weightless, like she was floating through life, just a spectator to the perfect events that by. The question she had been waiting for was written out in the heavens for all to see.
"Is—is that a serious question?" she whispered, finally finding her voice.
"Is that your answer?"
She laughed and threw herself up at him, pulling his neck into her grip; caught somewhat unawares Naruto tumbled forwards, just barely catching himself before his superior weight crushed her against ground. Sakura wasn't concerned in the least that she was now laying in the dirt with the back of her clothes sure to be stained.
"Yes!" she cried, keeping her death grip on her new fiancé's neck so he would stay on top of her. A hard kiss met his lips before she pulled back and yelled again, "Yes you big dork!"
Another kiss soon followed, this time her tongue snaked forwards for some action of its own, but before he could properly respond she pulled back again.
"What took you so long?"
"Hey, the question mark was hard," he pouted, "I had to practice."
Sakura giggled and rubbed her nose against his in an Eskimo kiss. The wide smile wouldn't leave his face; she was just too adorable for him sometimes. He pecked her quickly and rolled off of her so that they could lay on the ground side by side, their bare arms brushing against each other; even after all these years a simple contact between the two could send tingles down their spines. The wind was starting to pick up, and the overjoyed couple watched as the billowy proposal was gradually wiped away. It didn't matter; it had served its purpose.
At that moment Naruto felt that his life couldn't get any better. He was Hokage, he not only had the respect of the village, but of the world, and he was marrying the very same girl he swore he would when he was just nine years old. How many people can do that in their life?
Wondering at her future husband's silence, Sakura turned and propped herself up on her elbow so that she could face him. She studied the strong profile that was gazing pensively up at the sky, knowing she couldn't have asked for a better man to marry.
And for them, it was hardly the beginning. With that thought in mind she began to idly trace her finger through the dirt.
"Hmmm, Uzumaki Sakura...I like how that sounds," she hummed to herself. Naruto mirrored Sakura's position, rolling on his side and using his elbow to prop himself up so that he was facing her as well.
He had meant to say something racy relevant to other ways her name could sound given the right situation, but the scribbles in the dirt made by her finger caught his words before they could leave his throat.
His tell-tale foxy grin was set wide across his jaw and the enchanting sparkle in his eyes magnified.
"Tonight?" he asked and Sakura nodded enthusiastically.
He stared at her a moment longer—the demon in him rearing up at the prospect of attaining a mate—before he tackled her back to the ground. She squealed and laughed as he nearly ravished her on the spot—right there on top of his father's "head".
"I said tonight! Not now!" she cried pitifully, but her words were as weak as her efforts to stop his hand from creeping up her shirt.
Naruto planned to rule as Konoha's Rokudaime Hokage for several decades, raising a family with his mate and watching his children grow up and move on with their own lives. He would appreciate the changes of time as his and Sakura's love was preserved through the eternal bond of immortality.
When their friends had grown old and departed, and Konoha had passed so many generations that their story became one molded from history into legend, they would go to Harry and Inuyasha's world and spend a couple centuries with old friends and family who weren't limited to a mortal's fate. By that time Inuyasha would have developed his gate-keeping abilities to the point where he was allowed to take another along with him without almost killing them. Harry still had quite a ways to go.
Wars would come and go throughout ever changing eras, and even if they didn't age that wouldn't stop them from growing. Naruto was a bringer of peace, as were Inuyasha and Harry; it was their destiny to keep evil at bay without extinguishing it, the precarious duty of keeping the balance, and they accepted it with grace. And behind each of their legendary power was the strength of a woman.
But even during those times of peace, the parallel souls were never meant to be idle. There was always the possibility of being thrown back into an apocalyptic war or a battle against the evil of another universe. After all, the Scroll of Heroes was purposely dropped between worlds by Inuyasha; it was known to be lost in translation with the possibility of falling into any corresponding world of Earth. Perhaps one day it would accept someone worthy of their summons.
To whom it would befall, only time would tell.
Well, that was it! It's done—finished—over. I almost can't believe it.
Wow, I don't know where to start. When I first started Demon Hunter I had no idea I would write a sequel, let alone a trilogy. I can't believe it's come this far; it's been like, what? Three years working on this series? Looking back, I feel like I've come a long way as an amateur writer.
I know the end sounds like I'm making a fourth installment, but I'm not. I've gotten a lot of good suggestions for continuations, but I feel if I drag things out any longer I could just end up ruining it. Of course I have a bunch of ideas of what could happen in their futures (one person even suggested I have a new story focusing on Caleb—he is pretty B.A. for a toddler) but I also have other things on my mind.
Actually, I think many of you will be happy to know that I am already working on my next chapter fic. It is purely Naruto, and has nothing to do with crossovers or any of my other stories (though I may take a few ideas out of them, just little things—like Naruto's whisker details—that I like). It will be called Medicinal Lullaby, so keep your eyes open for that in the next couple months or so!
A special thanks goes to strider714 for improving the quality of my grammar halfway through this. Seriously, you have to be some kind of man to put up with my irrationality.
Most of all, thank you all so much for reading, especially those who have been with me the whole way through. It's been a lot of fun and I've gotten some great feedback from a lot of you!