What Really Matters.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
The soft patter of rain struck the ground on the path through the forest, a small spring sprinkle giving out its small share of water to the lush colors of the forest along the path. Small puddles littered the ground from where the path wasn't completely even and small dips made their appearance. The spring day was still pleasant though to those who walked in the rain as they could still see the sun out. It was more a way to cool off some than it was an annoyance.
Neji's eyes glanced down to his legs where a small amount of water from a puddle had just sprayed out and soaked most of the right side of his robe as the carriage they were escorting ran through it. The small carriage rolled along unperturbed through the wilderness, the only sounds in the forest coming from the patter of feet, rolling of the carriage, and of the weeping woman inside of it. The guilt he felt as he walked along next to it didn't show in his face, but stung his heart deeply.
Inside the carriage sat the sobbing form of his cousin Hinata. He walked outside the locked carriage with five other body guards, two branch and three main house members. A main house member present for every branch guard, but only Neji knew the way to open the carriage, it was his responsibility. Still, it was the main house members that were there to ensure the success of this mission.
How things had come to this he had no idea. He knew that there were vast differences right now between what he wanted to do, and what his duty was making him do. If it were up to him he would never be out here, she would not be out here, and for god sake this kind of thing would never even be considered.
He paused as he felt out the moment and feeling. He could feel it, he wasn't sure how, but he knew he could. The moment was coming and he was ready for it. He glanced around to the other Hyuuga to see if they could sense it also. The other two branch members cast him a glance letting him understand that they were ready too and prepared for what was to come.
He cast a glance at the main house members, each staring straight ahead down the path with a small look of disdain on their face for being out here. It was obvious that they didn't know what was to come. Main house members…experienced in technique…not in battles far away from home.
He twitched his arm a fraction of an inch and released the hidden kunai hidden far up the sleeve of his robe for it to fall into the palm of his hand, still hidden by his long sleeves. He held it ready waiting for the right moment. He glanced to the other two branch members and without words told them to get ready. Then it began as he flung the kunai.
Two Weeks Prior
Today. How could he describe today in one word? Today was…wonderful. How could he have gotten so lucky? How could someone's life go from so bad to just….amazing over the course of a few years his dreams were coming true. The blonde haired youth held the smile of the century on his face as we walked with his arms interlocked with the love of his life.
It had been seven years now since his return with Jiraiya in his training. Six years since he learned the name of the parents that sacrificed their lives for his village. Five years since his triumphant return to Konoha caring the unconscious body of Uchiha Sasuke. Three years since he defeated the last remnants of the Akatsuki Organization. And Three years since he first admitted his love to a shy Hyuuga girl named Hinata. And five days since it was announced the Fifth was stepping down and choosing a Rokudaime.
Today was a special day for them to spend together. Three years ago standing in a training field adorned by three logs the two admitted their love for each other. Today on their anniversary is was them and only them, no one else in the world mattered. They walked along the streets of Konoha receiving smiles and waves as they walked by.
Life had been on the up for Naruto. Slowly the respect he had been looking for had come to him. He wasn't sure exactly when it began, but he knew he loved every minute of it. Of course some people still held grudges against him, but it felt good for him to walk by a shop and receive and friendly wave or even be greeted on the street.
He had earned his nicknames just like his father had earned them. Among the most popular were Yellow Flash and Demon of Konoha. But there was only one nickname that he was starting to be called around Konoha that really made his chest swell with pride. "Rokudaime" they would say as they greeted him. He tried to deny the nick name at first, after having grown some maturity over the years, but they still kept saying it. "Good afternoon Rokudaime-sama." or even going as far as to say "How have you been Rokudaime-sama?" Who was he to deny them what they saw coming.
Hinata leaned in next to him and he leaned into her, both not wanting to be separated for the world until they reached the spot they were heading too. In his arm he carried a basket with a blanket set up for a picnic. He wasn't exactly sure how it became their tradition to do, but he knew that he never hated it. When he was planning where to take her for their first anniversary he decided to take her back to the spot that was most important to them and since then they had all ways done it. The both had a content smile as those same training logs came into view.
He walked her over to the training log and did what he always did. He made her sit down against it, while he prepared everything for them to eat. She complained that she could help, while he refused saying that she cooked it so he could at least make the rest easier on her. Then he would slip in "plus I should do everything I can to please my beautiful angel." To which she would blush and look at the ground, a habit she still hadn't completely gotten over.
He laughed as she blushed some and finally waved her over to join him on the large blanket. It wasn't everyday that they came out to do these kinds of things. It was truly only their once a year ritual to come here to picnic. Among the food were all different types of things fish, onigiri, tea,…and ramen…had to have ramen.
She smiled as she sat down next to him. It was as eventful as it always was for them, both retelling stories that they heard a million times from each other, but would always find funny. He would feed her some food with his chopsticks then she would feed him something healthy. She could always laugh at his face when he ate a vegetable. The sun was getting lower and lower in the sky, but they knew it wasn't time to leave yet, but Naruto was starting to get more and more antsy, why she couldn't exactly tell.
She leaned her head against his shoulder as she watched the sun sink lower and lower in the sky. This was the moment she always loved the most, the sun just about to set, the light grazing over the field showering it with brilliant colors, and Naruto sitting right there next to her.
"Yes Naruto-kun?" She spoke softly never changing her view and still looking into the sunset.
"I…I've been thinking about this a lot lately…Me and you I mean…" Finally she sat up off her comfortable position and looked at him curiously wondering where he was going with this. "They last three years of my life with…they have been incredible. I have you to thank for so many things." She smiled at him as he spoke, agreeing whole heartedly with how the past three years had been. "It's just…I find myself wanting more."
She froze. What could he mean? Was…was she not good enough anymore? Was…someone out there better now? Now that people had finally seen just how great of a person he was…did someone come and snatch him away from her. He face showed her sadness as tears started to well up in her eyes and her throat constricted. Naruto paid no attention though as he stared at the blanket biting his lip.
"That's why I want you to marry me." He spoke as he looked up directly into her eyes. A look of fear of rejection plainly obvious in his face. She would be able to read even more into his obvious nervousness had her mind not completely just frozen. He…he did it. 'He asked me to marry him…' She pinched her arm 'awake…'
"YES!!" She shouted and launched out at him. Wrapping her arms around his body and driving him into the basket containing their leftovers. Spilling them all over themselves but laughing the whole time as they looked into each other's eyes.
Two Days Later.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO!?"
The whole of the grounds shook with tremendous force and she could feel the tears starting to well up in her eyes. How could his mind have been changed, what was happening now that made this happen?
"You told me three years ago after I tried for weeks to get your approval that I was allowed to court Hinata-chan. And NOW after three years you tell me that I CAN'T marry her? What they hell!?" Naruto was shouting in a rage.
In front of them sat the whole of the Hyuuga council. Hyuuga Hiashi sat in the exact center, to his right and left sat the elders on the council. All around the room different branch house and main house guards stood ready in case things got out of hand. Some of the less experienced members of the council and guards alike suffocating from the massive pressure Naruto was putting out.
"Simply because you can't Uzumaki." Hiashi replied.
"What the hell do you mean I can't? There is no reason in hell that I shouldn't be allowed." Naruto hotly replied.
"Tch what about that demon in your stomach for instance?" an elder sneered at Naruto.
"Is that what this crap is about? After all these years you Hyuuga. You with the all seeing eyes still can't see. THAT I AM NOT THE KYUUBI!"
"We will not allow a demon's blood into the Hyuuga clan!" the same elder shouted back. Fury showing behind his eyes at the insult he took.
Naruto was about to reply when Hiashi calmly raised his hand, silencing both the elder and him in the process. The tension in the room was easily readable, but now everyone was simply waiting to hear what Hiashi had to say. "The reason you cannot marry my daughter is quite simple Uzumaki. As of three months ago she no longer had that option."
"What do you mean?" Naruto's scowl deepened and Hinata eyes grew fearful of where this was leading too.
"She, as of three months ago, is now betrothed to the current Daimyo of the land of fire."
Hinata's world shattered. How…how could he do this too her. How could her father be so cruel as to do this…after all the happiness she had experienced in the past three years, now she was…was…was being stripped of all of it.
"HOW COULD YOU!" Naruto yelled out in his fury. "That man is over sixty years old! Old enough to be her grandfather! An you are making her marry him? Without even asking her?!"
"We had no need to ask her." The elder from before sneered at him. "Doing this will bring greater power to the Hyuuga clan. She should be honored to take on the task as Daimyo's wife."
"Honored? Honored!? How the hell should she feel honored for this to happen?"
"Silence your tongue Uzumaki!" Hiashi raised his voice. "You are speaking up against an arrangement made by both the Hyuuga clan and that of the Daimyo that you serve. You would do wise to remember that."
"So what?! You expect me to just sit here and let you take-"
"If you wish to become Hokage that is exactly what you will do." Hiashi cut him off.
"W-what did you say to me?" Naruto replied barely believing what was being said to him.
"Do you really think that you will be able to become Hokage without our support? Of course not. It would be foolish of the council to elect someone to the position of Hokage if that person is hated by the most powerful clan in that village. Not only that, but hated by the very Daimyo that controls the land the village resides in." Hiashi spoke out calculating me.
"Are you threatening me?" The guards all around tensed as Naruto started to stand up from his seat leaving Hinata sitting there. "Are you threatening my dream to make agree to this bullshit? Saying that I will not become Hokage unless I let Hinata go? And that if I do, I will become the Hokage?"
"Well I have only one thing to say to that." Naruto spoke as he walked towards the door. Smirks sat on all their faces and look of complete devastation rested on that of Hinata. "You can go to hell with your deal." Naruto snarled. "I will become Hokage and I will not let this happen. I don't care what I have to do. I will go to every single person I can, I will not let you do this to her."
Naruto gave Hinata a look that showed his lover for her before nodding his head and leaving the room. She wasn't able to follow him, due to the situation, but she still left the room also and left for her room.
He sat there behind that desk with a strange expression on his face. One of deep thought and conflict raged within his mind. Outside he could hear them. Thousands of people gathering for this moment, the moment he had waited years for was here, but he could not think of that right now. He felt a hand come down on his shoulders and he gazed into the eyes of the woman he considered a mother to him.
"Come on kid." She whispered kindly to him, a look of understanding deep in her features. "It's time."
"Yeah." He whispered back, just as dazed and thoughtful looking as he was before as he got up and started following her up to the roof tops. His thoughts were elsewhere though. He tried so hard. So hard to change things. Pleas for help to everyone he could think of. He met with Tsunade, he met with other kages to gain their support on this matter, and he even met with the very Daimyo himself. He travelled all the way to the capital city of the land of fire, just to be rejected by the Daimyo as the man had a perverted sneer on his face.
What had he come up with? Nothing useful. He had both the support of the Hokage and a number of Kage's from other villages about the actions of the Hyuuga clan. But that's all it was, support. Nothing that could physically change anything.
So he looked in the records. For days he looked though law upon law. He had his clones read practically everything in Konoha's library to catch even a brief glimpse at something that could find some sort of loop hole. Again he was rewarded with nothing for his work.
He fought tooth and nail with Hiashi and the Hyuuga council and it resulted in nothing. He had failed to stop anything from occurring. Now he was going to become Hokage, but with Hinata in the arms of a grubby old man. His decision had been made now on what to do. He walked up to the final steps to the roof where the village council and highest ranking shinobi stood waiting to hear his speech.
He walked slowly up to the front where a podium with a microphone was set up. He was already dressed in his garb. The symbol for fire resting on his tri corner hat as stood gazing out at the crowd. Easily he could recognize friends and their families. Clans stood together it seemed. He could see the trench coats of the Aburame, the large Akimichi's, the hounds of the Inzuka clan, and standing right in the middle of it all way a large area covered only in the white robes of the Hyuuga clan. His lip nearly curled up in a sneer as he observed them.
"Citizens of Konoha. My name is Uzumaki Naruto, Your new Rokudaime Hokage." Cheers erupted throughout the crowd. People jumping up and down shouting "Rokudaime! Rokudaime!" He was quite pleased to see how well the news was accepted.
"All my life I have waited for this moment. Everyone hear can remember the days I ran around as a small child shouting how I was going to be Hokage one day. Back then I was just a child with a dream." He chuckled at the memory of himself. "I remember when I first learned of what I held inside of me. And I finally understood why. Why I was hated by the very village I strove to protect and earn its respect."
The crowd was growing silent listening to his story as he continued on.
"But it didn't stop me. It only helped me. It helped me in that I knew I would just have to work harder. I would work harder and prove to everyone that I was not the demon. And so my dream changed. My dream evolved from just being about becoming the Hokage, to becoming the Hokage and proving to everyone that I am me. That I am just a person like anyone else."
Naruto took in a deep breath at this point and closed his eyes to settle the conflict of emotion within himself. "Two weeks ago was the greatest day of my entire life. I proposed to the love of my life Hyuuga Hinata." Among the crowd smiles broke out and cheers of congratulations rang out. None came from the Hyuuga's however.
"You may notice though that she is not here today." Once again the crowd silenced. "That is because at this moment in time she is being escorted to the Daimyo of Fire. The man that she has been arranged to marry for three months now by the Hyuuga clan. A man three times her age and a man that does not love her." The crowd gasped and their eyes grew wide. Shocked looks and scowls were directed from all over towards the Hyuuga clan.
"I realized something the other day after I heard this news." He paused once again to take in another breath. "My dreams have all really been a part of something bigger. In truth I don't think I ever wanted to become Hokage to earn peoples respect or even do it to protect this village." The people looked up at him confused now. "I wanted to become Hokage, because I felt that if I did that I would finally become accepted and loved by the people."
"But I realized something…" The crowd hung on every word as they watched the now smiling blond man. "I had that. I didn't have to become Hokage to be accepted and loved. I have always been accepted and loved by one person. The person in that cart right now, being escorted to a future she doesn't deserve." He could feel it. He knew it was coming and it was time.
The crowd gasped suddenly as Naruto jumped up on top of the railing. He grabbed his robes and in one quick motion threw them all off his body and let them fly in the wind. Now he stood in front of the crowd. His father's cloak rippling in the wind as he stood in his basic Jounin uniform. "That's why I have made this decision. I am truly sorry to all of you. And I know how much this will hurt you, but those people right there." At this Naruto pointed at the Hyuuga clan. "The elders in that clan have hurt me and her more than I can ever allow and I can say that I won't allow this to happen. Know that I will never leave Konoha defenseless and at least I can say I was Hokage for five minutes!"
With that he was gone in a yellow flash. No man on earth able to match or for that matter even track his speed as he left the village. Tsunade smirked as she thought about a few more years as Hokage and how proud she was of her adopted son. The crowd stood in awe and disbelief of what happened in front of their very eyes. Glares were being shot from all over towards the Hyuuga clan who were starting to sweat as the people seemed very upset with them.
The tri-pronged kunai struck right in front of the feet of the main house member in the center. His eyes shocked with surprise as a yellow flash appeared from nowhere and before he knew what was happening a fist was uppercut into his jaw sending him flying into the air and into a tree unconscious. The other two members turned on their heels in shock and prepared to activate their Byakugans, but were down before they could even make a hand signal as small blasts of chakra were sent into their brain, rendering them unconscious, by the two other branch members present.
Naruto smirked as he looked at Neji and rushed over to him. Neji had his eye brow raised in question at what was going on, but before he could ask he was suddenly up in the air in a hug. The Hyuuga looked quite embarrassed, but simply pat his friend on the shoulder until he finally let him go. Neji gave a small smile to Naruto and gestured over to the small cart that held his goal.
Slowly Naruto walked over to the door and quickly disabled the seal holding it. He could hear quite sobs coming from inside that wrenched at his heart. Carefully and silently he opened the door to see Hinata curled in a ball in the corner of her seat crying. He crawled in slowly and got down on his knees in front of her before carefully touching her leg.
She gasped and looked up in surprise. When she saw who it was her eyes widened and she latched onto him for dear life. Hoping with all her life that this was real. That he had saved her at the last possible moment from her fate.
They held each other there for a few minutes. Just reveling in each other warmth till she spoke up. "H-how…how did you do this."
"I realized something very important." He spoke to her softly as he pulled away to look her in the eyes. "I realized that my dream wasn't really my dream without you being there in my life. I realized that it didn't matter if I was Hokage if you weren't at my side." At this point she was crying even harder as she looked into his eyes. "I realized that what my dream truly was was to be with you. I realized that you are what really matters in my life."
She looked at him with disbelief over what he had just admit. He had given up everything. Everything just to be with her. She could truly die happy right now.
"Run away with me. I will marry you and build you a palace in the forest. We will have a family together and we will grow old together." He held in front of her a small case. Inside rested the wedding band that she had always dreamed about. He should already know the answer.
Two days later back in Konoha
Neji walked through the halls of the Hyuuga manor with a fairly quick pace. His goal was to reach Hiashi's office and give his report on what exactly had happened. He knew from the others that the main house members had no idea what happened until the finally woke up to see all six unconscious. So he had no repercussions to worry about from the council. In their opinion the yellow flash of Konoha had just appeared and knocked out all guards before they knew what hit them. A terrible blow to their honor.
He paused only a moment to knock on the door before hearing the expected "Enter" before he walked into the room. Inside Hiashi sat on his mat facing outwards towards the small guardian that he had view of. He was drinking tea and sat in a meditative position. Neji took up the spot next to him.
"So I take it that the mission was a success then?" Hiashi asked.
Neji smirked. "Hai Hiashi-sama. Your plan went perfectly."
"Good. You trust in him enough for me to believe he will be good to her." Hiashi responded with a small smile before sipping his tea.
Well its been a long time since I wrote a one shot and I have had about 500 words of this down for a long time. So I felt like getting this one out before I did my next few chapters. I plan on putting in a few personal notes in on the next chapter of Guardian and I hope to have the next Kitsune Memories out in a couple days. Oh and to people asking me for Demon Shinobi…plz give it a rest. I told you that its just a prologue until I complete Guardian or Kitsune Memories.
Also…I am officially single now… So well hopefully I will have more time to write now I guess.