Hello again, all you fans of Naruto and Hinata! I return to you with a sequel to The Return of the Uzumaki. For those who are too lazy to read it here is a synopsis. Naruto comes back after five years. Naruto and Hinata get together. Chunin Exams. Itachi Uchiha dies. Orochimaru dies. Kyuubi dies. Naruto undergoes changes. Hinata and Naruto are pledged to get married. Coincidently, that is where I chose to begin this story. I will alter the story format slightly to be more understandable, no more huge blocks of text followed by evenly spaced lines of dialog. I will split stuff into nice sizes of text. Oh! And before I forget, this story is going to put some more focus on the bad guys, last time I didn't even give a real enemy to you until chapter 10ish! Meet the ultimate bad guy! A kitty cat! No… not really. Akatsuki time, folks. Naruto swore to hunt them down… but who is going to hunt who? A fox is a natural predator, but it is also prey…
Loving the Fox
Chapter 1: Happy Days
It wasn't every day that the people of Konoha had a chance to celebrate. The town had endured much more than most. An attack by a demon, an invasion of ninjas and giant snakes. Assassinations. Death. Loved ones lost and hearts broken. The sun rose and set on the town the same as any other day, but today… today was truly the beginning of something new. Bakers rose early in the morning the same as always, but with smiling eyes and love of life in their actions. Today they prepared for something special. Children rose early and could sense the excitement in the air. Smiles graced the faces of even the most serious people. The ninjas woke up knowing today they would be on a different kind of mission, one they would enjoy. Even Kakashi managed to wake to the sunrise this morning, with a smile hidden under his mask. The Hokage had refrained from drinking sake the night before just to be sure she would be fully awake for the day. Rock Lee, the great green beast of Konoha, had just finished his lap around the city on his hands and smiled at the sun. It was going to be a good day. He decided to just walk to his appointment, even the hardest working ninja could take a break on a day like today. Ten-ten threw her last shurikin into her target. As she looked at the rising sun she also smiled for a second before her face turned pale and she sprinted off. Shino sat in a tree, thinking to himself as the sun rose over the tree tops. He knew he would be needed soon for the day's events but the feeling of nature surrounding him was… peaceful. Choji and Shikamaru lay on their backs watching the few clouds dance in the deep blue of the sky right before the sun had fully risen. Shikamaru sighed. Times like this were certainly not troublesome at all… except when you needed to be somewhere. The entire town was waking to the sounds of cheerful birds. It was a day you couldn't help but smile about. Today was a day to be happy about. After all, it wasn't every day that the future Hokage of Konoha and the head of one of the most powerful clans in the town were to married. Even the branch members of the Hyuga household rose and smiled. After more years then many could count they had finally been freed. When Neji Hyuga stared into his mirror he touched his forehead. A forehead that until the past day had been sealed by a curse that was now as clear as that of anyone else's. Tears slid down his cheeks and he gave silent thanks to his cousin. Today he would tie his headband so that his forehead would show. For the first time in a long while a true, happy, smile appeared on his face. Every other member of the Hyuga branch family rose and did the same. The head of the clan, on the other hand, was still sleeping.
"Hinata? Hello, Hinata? Are you awake in there? If you aren't we are coming in right now!" The door to the clan head's room burst open and three girls flew in. Sakura ran over to the sleeping Hyuga and tried to wake her as Ino and Temari started getting stuff ready. "Hinata! Wake up or you are going to be LATE!" Hinata immediately sat up in her bed to see her friends around her. "What? What is it? What happened? I didn't do it. Huh? Oh…" Hinata then fell back onto her bed and began to sleep again. Sakura, Ino and Temari just stared at the girl, confused at the outburst. Ten-ten chose that time to run in almost breathless.
"Sorry I'm late! What should I do?" The three girls just pointed to the sleeping girl on her bed. "Oh, I guess I'm not late…" Ten-ten walked over and put her mouth next to Hinata's ear. "Hinata… wake up… Naruto is here…" Hinata sat up again, this time awake. "Naruto? Where is he?" The four girls giggled at Hinata as she stared at them in an attempt to figure out what was going on. "Oh… so he isn't here… wait… I am going to be late!" Hinata jumped out of bed and was instantly grabbed by the four girls who threw her into the waiting shower. "Sakura, do you think she is ready for this?"
"Temari is, and if Lee asked me I know I would probably say yes… I think anyone can be ready as long as they are really in love."
"Yeah…" Ino remembered the one she had thought she loved. Sasuke is gone now and he really didn't love anyone. I kinda like Choji… but he is not like Sasuke. Ten-ten had her own man in her mind. Maybe I will get a chance to dance with Neji today… "Now, let's get her ready for this and then get ourselves ready."
Naruto was nervous. Not that he thought he would get up there and forget to say I do. Not that he thought she would say no. He was nervous about the fact that it was taking a lot out of his focus to think about Hinata. He had already let his genjutsu slip twice now. Lukily no one had been around when that had happened, but if it happened in the ceremony he was sure he would regret it. To a person passing by it would look like a yellow haired kid in Hokage robes suddenly sprouted nine tails and then suddenly he would look normal again. Damn… Hinata loves me for who I am and my friends would probably be ok with it too, but the average townsperson would probably see a very stark reminder of the Kyuubi. Funny, how that is exactly what I am now anyway… Naruto sighed as he watched his best friends arrive in their own suits. Gaara, his best man and friend, stood by his side with his arms crossed as usual. His mouth, though, was not in its perpetual frown. Gaara had a smile that was as rare as a diet by Choji on his face. Lee, one of Naruto's former rivals for Sakura and one of his greatest friends, had just arrived and was beaming about the springtime of youth. Naruto mentally noted to keep him away from the sake. Shikamaru was lying against the wall of the room and staring into space. He was having his own trouble concentration on anything but his betrothed, but he didn't need to hold up a complicated genjutsu. Neji finally entered bearing another smile Naruto had never seen before. Everyone here is so happy. Just hold enough concentration to keep this on and you will be good. Tsunade had told him that it would eventually become like breathing or his heart beat, he had enough chakra for it. His chakra replenished faster then he used it up. Right now, though, multitasking was out of the question. Think of only two things, ok. Think of three and the illusion goes down. Naruto gave another sigh. You would think that marrying the girl of my dreams would be easier…
"Your orders stand, take it out. Collateral damage is fine."
"It will be done."
Hinata was ready. Well, she was ready in body if not in mind. This is it! What am I going to do, what if I forget what to say, what happens if I accidentally step on his tails, what if I pass out, what if I trip on my outrageously long gown, what if…" Sakura reached over and grabbed her hand, which had been getting gnawed on. "Hinata, stop that! Everything is going to be fine. You will be fine, don't worry about it. You two were made for each other and you will do absolutely fine! Hey, and even if you don't, how much do you think Naruto will care? He loves you more then life itself, he even told me so." "Thank you, Sakura. I needed that."
Naruto swished his invisible tails in anticipation. He was ready and in place, along with his best men. The seats in the massive courtyard of his clan's complex were almost completely filled. Literally everyone in the city was there. His friends stood next to him or sat in the front row of the seats. Choji had even left his trademark bag of chips and was sitting patiently for the reception afterwards. Shino, though not usually one for large group situations, had taken a seat next to Choji. Naruto suddenly saw exactly what he had been waiting for at the back of the seats. Everyone stood as the music began to play. It was all Naruto could do to not walk back and carry his bride up to the front himself. He knew Hiashi wouldn't like that, though. Sakura walked up first, followed by Ino, Ten-ten, and Temari. It wasn't until Temari stood across from Shikamaru that Hinata appeared with her father on her arm. Naruto smiled brightly as she walked up the aisle. She wore a dress that was oddly the same color of her eyes. It wasn't exactly white, though one wouldn't be able to truly call it lilac, either. It seemed to glimmer in the sun almost as much as her smile as she walked. Hinata finally arrived next to Naruto and her father passed her arm to him. Naruto led her up to the Hokage and they both stood in silence. Naruto managed to glance down towards his bride as she was glancing up. He had an urge to bend down and kiss her then, but held off, knowing that he would get his chance later. "Friends, citizens and shinobi of Konoha, I would like to personally thank you all for coming. We are gathered together..." The service went on, Hinata at one time nearly breaking out in laughter as Naruto tickled her under her chin with a tail no one could see. Naruto couldn't help but smile when he heard her laugh. It was nearly at the end of the ceremony when his smile suddenly broke. His face grew suddenly serious, which worried Hinata for a moment until Naruto gave her a reassuring smile. When those long awaited words came they were both ready. But Naruto was ready for something different then Hinata was. "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the briwhat the HELL!" Tsunade yelled the last part as Naruto suddenly began charging up a ball of chakra in his hand. "Naruto, what are you doing?" Hinata was worried, her husband was just staring into space. He suddenly disappeared. No one had any idea what was going on. The jonin scattered around the area suddenly also perked up as they sensed a massive chakra signature. Suddenly a body flew into the ceremony area out of the ground and was closely followed by Naruto. Naruto grabbed the man by his robe marking him as an Akatsuki.
"What the hell are you doing here, demon hunter!"
"Killing you!" The man performed a hand sign. Naruto instantly knew what had been going on. "Bastard!" Naruto performed his own hand sign as the man kicked the ground. A large explosion from several miles away was suddenly seen. The Akatsuki was suddenly gaping at the now singed Naruto holding him by the throat. "Won't you idiots get it through your damn heads that I am not easy to kill! You are no Itachi and he didn't even stand a chance against me!" Naruto suddenly slammed the man's head into the ground, knocking him unconscious. "Tsunade, can someone take this guy away. I don't like it when people try to kill my friends. Now, I think I had something to do before we were so rudely interrupted." Naruto appeared next to his smiling wife and pulled her into his kiss and embrace. The members of the audience that knew of Naruto's strength and had already seen it in action applauded and cheered. Some of the people there couldn't even comprehend what had just happened. Tsunade grabbed the Akatsuki member by the back of his robe and turned to face the joined populace of Konoha. "Everyone who wants can go to the reception. Anko, you want to take this fool to his new place of residence?"
"Alright, now all of you enjoy the day!" Naruto still hadn't broken away from his kiss with Hinata. It wasn't until the voice of Konohamaru came over the noise of people heading towards the reception that they finally broke away. "Hey, Naruto! Aren't you going to let her breathe?" Naruto stopped and looked into the bright eyes of Hinata. "Nah, I live and breathe Naruto anyway…" Hinata grabbed the back of his head and pulled him down into another kiss. Gaara couldn't help but stare. Well Naruto. If this is what friendship leads to I guess I could get a few more friends… Lee escorted Sakura down the aisle and out the front gate of the Uzimaku complex, followed by Shikamaru and Temari and Ino, who was running after a very enthusiastic Choji. Gaara decided he should leave when the bride and groom still didn't move from their spot. Neji and Ten-ten were the only ones left with the couple.
"Neji… I heard you were able to have the caged bird seal removed… congratulations… um…"
"Thank you, Ten-ten. I have never felt as good as I have felt today." Neji smiled at her, causing her to blush.
"Neji… I… am happy for you… you... are you going to the reception?" Neji stared at her like she had asked him if he was a man.
"Yes, why wouldn't I go?"
"I… I didn't mean it like that. Um… if it was ok with you I kinda wanted to know if you would like to… dance with me?" Ten-ten prepared herself for eminent rejection.
"Why not?" Ten-ten's eyes lit up. "Really?" "Yes, I am in a dancing mood." Ten-ten smiled at him and they walked off towards the reception. Only a few seconds after they left Hinata and Naruto broke apart. Naruto released his genjutsu and curled a tail around his bride. "You know, I wanted to kiss you before getting that guy, but I couldn't risk that kiss being our last."
"Naruto, I understand. Now, if you had left during the vows I would have probably been a little mad…"
"My Hinata? Mad? I have yet to see it!"
"You just chose to not see my flaws."
"Flaws? What are you talking about?"
"Naruto, I think I love you."
"Well I should hope so! I blew a ton of cash getting the food for the reception." They started laughing before Naruto picked her up. "Come on, they are probably waiting for us. Can't be missing the guest of honor!"
"Don't you mean guests?"
"No. You and I are inseparable now. That whole thing about till death do us part? We are one now."
"Well, I guess things could be worse…"
"Things couldn't get better…" Hinata smiled up at his face with her arms around his neck. She leaned up and planted a kiss on his lips.
"Naruto, this is the happiest day of my life."
"Really? Mine too! Bet ya mine is happier then yours!"
"Nope…" Hinata kissed him again. "Now let's get to this party so I can introduce you to my extended family…"
"Ouch, I guess you would win that bet."