Title: Hatsukoi (First love)
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Warnings: Female Naruto, Sasu/Naru. Mild AU. Oneshot.
Summary: He had fulfilled his ambition. His clan is finally avenged. Now it is time to return home and claim his hatsukoi.
Hatsukoi: First love
Domo arigato gozaimasu: Thank you very much
Sou ka: Is that so?
Temee: You (A very rude way of referring to someone)
Onegai-shimasu: I beg of you!
Shimatta: Damn it
Wasurenai: Forget not
Nakanaide kudasai: Please don't cry.
Kanai: Wife (A humble way of referring to one's wife)
Ohayou: Good morning
Aa: Yes (Masculine, informal)
Inu no Baka: Stupid dog
Anata: You (An affectionate way, in which a wife addresses her husband, can also be considered as 'dearest')
Aisai: Beloved wife
Kimi wo aishiteru: I love you
Impassive eyes stared down at a mutilated body that lay on the blood soaked ground. A long katana was dripping with blood.
A tall, elegant figure snorted in disdain, handsome features expressionless but his sensual lips were scowling. The deadly Sharingan swirled lazily as he stared down at the snake-like features of his former mentor.
He snorted again and sheathed his sword. The man was delusional if he thought he could take over his body. Crimson eyes turned to liquid ebony as Sasuke lifted his face and looked at the sky. The day was clear, a perfect summer sky with few white clouds and the
golden sun glowing cheerfully.
A slow, possessive smirk formed on his lips, ebony eyes darkening in remembrance of his hatsukoi. Hair like spun gold and turquoise eyes that always glittered with emotions. He remembered when her coral lips would form a special little smile just for him.
He had killed Itachi and then gained the Mangekyou Sharingan… It was ironic that even after all these years, after such deep hatred, he still adored his brother. With the help of that cursed Sharingan, he had killed Orochimaru and now… his mission was complete.
It was time to go claim what was his.
Tsunade gazed intently at the handsome young man standing before her. A man she had not seen in six years.
She had always questioned Sandaime's wisdom in sending the Uchiha brat off to a SS-class mission. He had known that Orochimaru was after Sasuke and it was Sasuke's ambition of kill Uchiha Itachi. Sarutobi did not want to lose an Uchiha and a potentially powerful Shinobi so instead of letting Sasuke decide for himself to become a nuke-nin. Sandaime had given him the mission of staying with Orochimaru and learning his weaknesses and if possible to assassinate him.
The former Hokage had then given Sasuke his full permission to leave the village and kill Itachi when he was ready.
Looks like the Uchiha achieved his goal and now had returned.
She looked down at the scroll he had given her and sighed, "Very well Uchiha." She muttered and tossed a new forehead protector at him. "Welcome back. Sakura and Naruto already know of the truth about your situation. Sakura knows because she is my apprentice and Naruto… well Naruto just knows."
Sasuke raised a brow at the comment but did not say anything.
"I suggest you go visit Naruto now because he has just returned from an S-class solo and is injured. He is less likely to be in a violent mood now and that will spare me from tending to your wounds after you visit him." She grumbled and tossed a paper at him, "That is his current address. Do not upset him too much."
Sasuke nodded and started walking away.
"Oh, one more thing Uchiha…" He paused, "Good work." She complimented grudgingly.
A slow smirk formed on his pale lips, "Domo arigato gozaimasu, Hokage-sama."
Sasuke sped across Konoha, his eyes narrowed in anticipation. He would finally see him. His dobe. He wondered if Naruto would forgive him for what he had done. All these years, the pain and loneliness he had caused… would Naruto be able to forgive him.
It seemed almost too long until he finally reached Naruto's home. His hands blurred in seals and he vanished, reappearing in the dobe's bedroom only to find Sakura sitting by the bed while Naruto was unconscious.
He watched, slightly amused as she jumped and turned around to face him with wide emerald eyes. "Sasuke-kun…" her voice trembled as tears gathered at the corner of her eyes. She seemed to be resisting the urge to hug him. "You are finally back."
He raised a brow as his eyes trailed over her. She had certainly grown up to be a beautiful woman and Sasuke was man enough to admit it. However, beauty meant nothing to him.
He nodded to her in greeting before his impassive eyes trailed over to the figure resting on the bed. There was his treasure. He let his eyes scan Naruto, carefully cataloguing all the injuries. He concluded that they were not too serious. Knowing Naruto, he would bounce back.
"I see that he is alright." He whispered almost to himself.
Sakura quickly composed herself, "His injuries are primarily superficial, but we are certain that they were more serious. His fast healing makes it difficult for us to access just how much he endured during the mission." She shook her head, "Besides that, he used a little too much chakra… he will be alright by tomorrow morning." She looked at Sasuke intently and smiled, "He missed you very much, Sasuke-kun… even more than any of us did."
Sasuke kept gazing at Naruto's still form, "Sou ka…"
Sakura hesitated a moment, observing the man closely. If Sasuke was handsome all those years ago, he was stunning now. His hair was the same silky black and his eyes pure obsidian. Tall and lean, he was an imposing figure.
So masculine and powerful.
Slowly, she wrapped her arms around the still figure and whispered, "Welcome back, Sasuke-kun." Sasuke did not respond to her embrace. He looked at her with a scowl, saying clearly how much he disliked her touch.
"Temee…" a soft voice disrupted their conversation and Sasuke turned his attention towards Naruto. "You decided to come back, did you?" Naruto was finally awake.
Pure turquoise eyes looked at him and Sasuke smirked. "Screwed up on your mission, usuratonkachi."
Sakura smiled at the familiar word while Naruto winced in pain as he sat up, "Really Sasuke… after all these years…" he whispered tiredly, "Welcome home." Those exquisite eyes looked at him with sincere affection.
Sakura smiled again, finally feeling that her life was now complete. She leaned down and kissed Naruto's forehead, "Take care of yourself, Naruto." She turned to Sasuke, "Make sure he gets rest."
Sasuke nodded curtly but his eyes were still on Naruto. The blonde smiled and waved at her as she walked out of the room leaving the two alone.
Sasuke scoffed lightly before slipping into the bed beside Naruto, smirking when the blonde blushed. "Six years Sasuke." The Uchiha just grunted and looked at the ceiling of Naruto's bedroom. "I am glad that you are back home safe."
Obsidian eyes observed Naruto silently, "So, how do you feel? How do you feel now that you have completed your goal?"
Sasuke closed his eyes. He should have known that Naruto would go right to the significant part. "Disappointed, tired, empty… many things."
Naruto sighed and sat against the headboard. Pulling Sasuke's head onto his lap, his ran his fingers through fine ebony hair, trying to put Sasuke at ease. His soothing motions caused the Uchiha to close his eyes in bliss. "When I finally killed him, I felt nothing. No satisfaction, no triumph or sadness, I just felt numb." Naruto's eyes clouded in concern as Sasuke continued, "It was such a waste. Revenge was the only driving force I had in my life. Vengeance was the only thing I lived for and then, suddenly, it was useless. I felt that I had spent my entire life pursuing a hollow goal."
Naruto leaned down, pressing his forehead against Sasuke's, "He was a criminal and death was his punishment. I think we should leave it at that, Sasuke."
The Uchiha chuckled softly, chilling eyes looked up at the blonde, "You are right of course. I think it is time to move onto my second goal."
Naruto raised a brow and smiled down at him, his eyes twinkling in humor, "What is this I hear… is the Great Uchiha Sasuke finally going to pay attention to his poor, ignored fangirls?"
Sasuke scoffed, reaching up, he fisted his fingers in Naruto's hair and pulled him down, "Fangirls are not to my taste. I want a real woman." He purred softly, inwardly smirking at the pretty blush on Naruto's features, "And I think I know just the person."
Naruto's eyes widened when Sasuke's fingers slipped under his shirt to his lower back, tracing a seal that no one should know about. The seal gave birth to Naruto and hid Noriko from prying eyes.
Sasuke knew his secret.
"How?" he whispered, looking down at those emotionless eyes in fear and anxiety.
Sasuke answered him seriously, "I have seen the seal." He admitted, "I saw it once but it was enough because I had my Sharingan active. I got curious… wondering why you would need a seal to begin with. So, I let my curiosity guide me and researched on the seal." The Uchiha smirked, "Imagine my surprise when I found out that it was a seal that would hide ones gender and overlap it with traits of the opposite sex. I concluded that you were a girl."
Naruto's eyes widened and panic rushed through his veins. "I concluded that there must be a reason why you had it on you. Therefore, I did not say anything. I was about to finish my research when I found this interesting scroll. The very first test subject of the seal was Kazama Noriko; the sealing had taken place on October 10, the year Kyuubi attacked." The blonde started in surprise, "Kazama Noriko is the daughter of Kazama Arashi, the Yondaime Hokage of Konohagakure."
He sighed and closed his eyes, "So you know…"
Sasuke nodded, "I do. I know that you are her… you are Kazama Noriko. Although, not for long."
Naruto frowned and looked at him, "What do you mean by 'not for long'?"
The Uchiha smirked at him. Slowly, under his breath he started to chant something and pushed chakra into the seal on his lower back.
"Matte! Sasuke! No!" he cried, trying to move away from him but Sasuke quickly countered him and wrapped a powerful arm around his slender form while he worked on cracking the seal. "Onegai-shimasu! Please Sasuke, don't do this!"
He finished the chant with a whispered 'kai' and released Naruto, allowing the blonde to scramble away from him, off the bed to the corner of the room.
Naruto glared at him with rage in his eyes but it was quickly replaced by pain as he gasped and wrapped his arms around himself. The change was visible. Short spiky blonde hair lengthened and flowed down the slender back. Whisker-like marks, that were another marking attributed to the seal, vanished and the face became softer, so beautifully feminine.
Sasuke smirked as the lean, masculine figure Naruto had melted away. The seal dissolved completely to reveal a slender, yet tall, hourglass figure with long, toned legs.
She was Kazama Noriko once again.
His amusement melted away when he saw desperation in her eyes and blood seeping through the bandages that where fortunately wrapped around her breasts. His stunt had aggravated her wounds. She was practically naked with only boxer shorts and the bandages around her breasts as clothing.
He grabbed a robe and quickly walked over to her. Ignoring her enraged glare, he dressed her and carried her back to the bed. "I have done nothing wrong." He whispered softly against her ear. Placing her gently on the bed, he caressed her cheek, "I will not apologize for something that I think is necessary."
"Damn it…" Noriko growled, her eyes glowing in anger, "Don't forget, Sasuke… I have yet to forgive your past transgressions. Don't test my patience."
The Uchiha did not react to her provocation, "Be that may," he drawled silkily, "I do not care the least. What I wish to know is if you enjoy being a man?"
The way he said it, the sardonic tilt of his brow told her that he disliked her disguise. "I did what I had to do to survive my childhood!" She snapped, trying to control the intense anger she felt towards him.
"You are no longer a child." He replied; his voice had a hint of danger in it. "You are a grown woman and to carry out this lie reflects badly on your character, no matter what your reason is."
Sasuke scowled as her head bowed and her hands fisted on the sheets. She was so pale. He did not know whether it was her natural skin tone or whether it was because of her injuries.
Hard ebony eyes softened with slight regret as a small tear rolled down her cheek. He reached out and cupped her cheek, making her meet his eyes, "Nakanaide kudasai," he whispered, "It will be difficult. I will not lie to you. However, you have to let go."
She turned her head away and stayed stubbornly silent. Sasuke frowned and let her go. Sitting back, he observed his little dobe with impassive eyes, taking in the details of her face and body. She was more beautiful than he imagined her to be. It would not have mattered to him if she were not pretty. Such things were only superficial in his opinion but seeing her now, he couldn't help but appreciate the sight.
"You have been living a lie, Noriko. It is past time for you to admit it. Tell me why did your father and Sandaime disguise you as a boy? You must know the reasons."
Noriko sighed, "I know." Looking down at the hands, she continued, "The Kazama clan has had many enemies in and outside this village. Much like the Uchiha and the Hyuuga clans, our clan was both feared and respected." She closed her eyes, "The entire clan was there supporting father at the frontlines during the Kyuubi attack… not a single one survived."
Sasuke frowned and nodded. He already knew about that of course. When he had found out of Noriko's heritage, he had investigated the Kazama clan.
"I was a jinchuuriki, I already had many enemies. To tell them that I was the Kazama heiress and the last of the clan would be dangerous so father asked his sensei to put the seal on me just before he died and he named me Uzumaki Naruto." She ran her fingers through her hair, "The seal was to be removed when the Hokage deemed that I was ready."
"And Hokage-sama does not know of this so the question of releasing the seal never arose." Sasuke finished for her. "Noriko, you are old enough to protect yourself from such dangers. You are a seasoned ninja who has had a successful career so far. Revealing your true identity now will be of little consequence."
She stayed silent for a long while, not looking at him but not arguing with him either. Sasuke frowned, she was stubborn but even she should be able to see the reason behind his insistence to reveal her identity.
"Doushite?" She whispered, "Why are you doing this to me… you have just returned."
Sasuke withheld a sigh and looked into her eyes. He should have known that it would come to this. "We have been away from each other for six years. That is a long time to reflect on certain things, Noriko." He knelt before her, absentmindedly brushing her hair off her eyes, "I could not forget you. I could disregard everyone else but I could not erase the memories of times I spent with you. You are my anchor, my connection to sanity."
Noriko closed her eyes at his touch, wondering how he could be so hard and unforgiving one moment and so caring the other. "It would seem that separation does make a heart grow fonder." He whispered, much to her confusion.
"What are you trying to say, Sasuke?" She asked as she opened her eyes to look at him.
The Uchiha smirked, leaning forward; he brushed his lips against her brow. "Go to sleep, onna. You will know in time."
Noriko's eyes narrowed at him in anger even though her cheeks were glowing pink at the slight kiss. She turned away from him in a huff and snuggled into the sheets with a slight yawn.
Sasuke chuckled as he watched her fall asleep within a matter of minutes. Slowly, he lifted her left hand, slipped a sparkling engagement ring onto her ring finger, and smirked. Brushing his lips against her delicate fingers, he looked at the ring.
A slow smile formed on his handsome features, "Uchiha Noriko." He whispered, his eyes glittering possessively, "Wife of Uchiha Sasuke." His gaze traveled to her beautiful face and his eyes softened, "If I am lucky, you would agree to be my kanai, saiai."
It was for the first time in her life that she woke up with another heartbeat under her ear. Her comfortable pillow was rising and falling and was so pleasantly warm yet hard. Her sleep-clouded mind deemed that the situation was too comfortable to need further investigation and she gave into the temptation and cuddled the warm pillow.
A strong arm pulled her closer to the warmth and she sighed in content. Skilled fingers were caressing…
Her eyes snapped open and went wide when she heard a husky chuckle. Sasuke's comfortable aura, that was so familiar and yet so different, wrapped around her like a blanket as she lifted her face to look into those mesmerizing ebony eyes.
The Uchiha smirked as he brought one hand up to caress her cheek, "Aa," his eyes glittered in amusement at the sight of her sleep-ruffled features. "Ohayou, Noriko."
The young woman started in surprise at the use of her real name and looked at him with wide eyes. Everything came rushing to her and she remembered what he had done. She growled and moved to sit up but he held her where she was with a firm arm around her. "Let me go." She snapped, glaring at him.
Kami-sama, she was exquisite when angry.
His lips quirked at the corner as he tightened his grip, letting her know that he was not going to release her.
Turquoise eyes flashed in rage as she fisted her fingers and moved to hit him.
Sasuke smirked and grabbed her oncoming fist, "You bastard! How dare you!"
"I see that your strength has partially returned." He commented casually, very amused at her anger, "I have to decide whether that is a good or a bad thing." He leaned closer and purred, "You were so docile and amiable yesterday."
She tried to pull her hand back but he was far too strong for her and she was still very weak. Frustration and panic nearly overwhelmed her. She was back in her female form. The seal on her back was not replaceable and he had not disabled it but had gone right ahead and removed it from her body.
Sasuke had given her no choice. He hadn't asked her how she felt about the removal of the seal.
She knew he was right, she needed to let go of the disguise, but did he have to be so unsympathetic about it? Didn't he know how vulnerable and afraid she felt now? How was she to explain this to her friends?
No one knew of her identity excluding Jiraiya, her ANBU comrades and now Sasuke. He was forcing her to do something she was not ready to do. "Why are you being so mean!"
Sasuke tsked, getting annoyed with her behavior. "Noriko…"
"Don't Noriko me!" She growled, "You walked away six years ago… you did not tell me anything about the mission but I understood the need for secrecy. I understood and so when I finally knew the truth, I was relieved. I did not feel so angry and betrayed." Her breath hitched as she clutched his shirt in a death grip, "You left me all alone, you bloody stabbed me with the Chidori for the sake of the mission."
Sasuke winced in remembrance. The dark power of the cursed seal had overwhelmed him. When he had driven his hand through her chest, he was barely able to recognize his own actions.
"I thought that I didn't even like you!" She cried, "I thought that I hated you and then you left. I could hardly understand what those emotions that were killing me inside were." Sasuke tightened his arms around her, burying his face in her silky hair as he listened to her. "The promise I made to Sakura was a convenient excuse for my near obsessive need to bring you back. Trying to understand why it hurt so much to be away from you."
"Saiai…" he whispered and she sobbed.
"I was only 12. Do you know how it feels to fall in love with a supposed traitor at such a young age?" She whispered, her voice wavering. "Kami-sama, it hurt so much. All those sleepless nights wondering whether you were safe, whether you were alive, wondering whether you would ever come back. For six years… six years that love did not diminish. It still gnawed at my heart and soul; it still grew and developed into a love that only a woman would feel for the man she was destined for. You selfish bastard! How can I ever forgive you?"
Noriko trembled with force of pain she felt, "And you knew. You knew how I felt. I could see it in your eyes when we came to Sound to retrieve you, when you said that you didn't kill me on a whim! I could feel it when you wrapped your arm around my shoulder in that possessive grip of yours. I could see it in when you confronted Kyuubi with jealous rage in your eyes. You baka, only you could be jealous of that monster because he resided in me." Her hollow laughter was muffled against his chest, trying to control herself. "And now, you come back after all these years, lording over my life as though you never left. You have some nerve."
Sasuke snorted, trying to come up with a way to explain himself, "My Noriko was never a coward." He whispered against her ear, rubbing her back soothingly, "She never shied away from the problems life threw at her. I expect you to face this as you have faced everything in your life…" He lifted her chin to look into her eyes, "Head on, without hesitation. I want my Noriko, the same Noriko who can bring me to my knees with a single glance from those glorious eyes, the Noriko I could never stop loving."
Her breath hitched as she looked at him in disbelief. "You are right. I knew of your feelings. I had seen it in your eyes when you followed me to bring me back when I was trying to leave Konoha. However, that was not the time to act on it. We were twelve, I had an important mission to complete and I knew that we would be separated for years." He caressed her cheek as he looked deep into her eyes, "The temptation to tell you about the mission had been so strong, anything, I wanted to do anything I could to erase the pain from your eyes."
Noriko sat frozen in his arms, looking at him with wide eyes, trying to comprehend what he was saying. "I had to do many unpleasant things for the sake of the mission, to keep Orochimaru from suspecting me. However, I forced myself to persevere because I wanted to come back to you knowing that there will be one less enemy trying to harm you and your precious village."
"Sasuke…" she whispered, searching his eyes, unsure if she even wanted to know of the horrors he suffered under Orochimaru's tutelage.
He shook his head, making it obvious that he was not going to tell her anything about it. "I had my reasons to leave this village at that moment of time. One of them was to gain power to defeat Itachi and avenge my clan. Even then, I was keen on wiping the slate clean before I could establish any sort of relationship with you. I had one more motive to kill Itachi then. He was after you."
Noriko sighed, closing her eyes and settling against him as he continued, "But I could not explain anything to you. Kabuto was spying on us as we fought. Moreover, admit it Noriko, you were stubborn and naïve then. Would you have let me go on such a dangerous mission alone?"
She laughed softly and shook her head, "Iie."
Sasuke smirked, "When I was on my way here, I was certain that I would see Noriko, not Naruto. You are eighteen years old; I know that it is not healthy for you to retain that seal anymore."
She stiffened, her anger returning to her. However, before she could say anything to him, he narrowed his eyes in warning. "I dare to take such liberties Noriko because you need someone to think of your health and safety because you are very apt in disregarding both of them." He looked down at her with a stern frown, "That seal should not be used for more than twenty years and that is only in case of emergencies. After eighteen years of use, the seal was about start to cause damage to your body. The consequences are quite dangerous. The least that could happen is that you would lose your ability to bear children. Is that what you want?"
She gasped, her hand quickly flying to her stomach.
He covered her hand with his and sighed, "You are just concerned how others will react and I can assure you that if they are your true friends they will understand when you explain to them. You have to do this at some point of time, why not now?"
"You are right." She whispered, closing her eyes in realization, "Gomen Sasuke, I didn't realize… sorry."
He chuckled and buried his nose in her hair, inhaling her scent, "Kami-sama, I have waited so long to hold you like this." He whispered before tipping her head to the side and trailing soft kisses along the column of her neck.
Noriko smiled softly, a pretty blush staining her cheeks as she brought her hand up and ran her fingers through his hair. "Hmm… I can imagine." He smirked against her skin, tightening his arms around her, "I do hope you have not transferred your affections onto another man." She gasped as he nipped at her ear, "I will kill him if you have."
The blonde laughed and turned in his embrace. She brought her hand up to cup his face only to freeze in mid-motion. Sasuke raised a brow as her eyes widened and smirked when he saw what she was looking at.
Noriko could not believe what she was seeing. On her ring finger was the most exquisite engagement ring she had ever seen. An aquamarine set in several diamonds, the ring was a beauty. The color of that light blue stone enchanted her so much that she couldn't help but stare for a few long moments.
"Sasuke…" She whispered, her voice trembling as she forced herself to look away from the ring and direct her gaze towards the bewildering man in front of her.
Those onyx eyes flashed in a silent question and she knew immediately what he was asking. She looked at him with wide eyes, searching for something before a beautifully shy smile lit her face. She leaned forward, burying her face in his chest and nodded hesitantly.
Sasuke chuckled softly, embracing her tightly, his eyes lighting in relief.
She had said yes.
Tsunade looked at Naruto questioningly as they waited for Jiraiya, Kakashi and Sakura to arrive. Out of the corner of her eyes, she could see the Uchiha leaning casually against the wall, his hooded gaze focused solely on Naruto.
There was something important going on here. Naruto looked nervous even though his eyes were alit with determination. His fingers were constantly playing with the yukata he wore. That in itself was odd… for Naruto to wear such traditional clothing was uncharacteristic.
Nevertheless, she stayed silent knowing that whatever Naruto was so nervous about saying will come out soon.
There was a quiet knock on the door and Tsunade knew the three people they were expecting had arrived. Jiraiya walked in first, with an irritated frown on his face, followed by Kakashi who was reading his book and then Sakura.
"It seems Naruto has something to tell us." Tsunade said bluntly, as she gestured them to sit.
Naruto looked at Jiraiya in the eyes before taking a deep breath, "Jiraiya-sensei…" he bit his lip as Jiraiya narrowed his eyes. The fact that he had referred to the man with respect was enough to prove that he was very serious, "It is time for Noriko to return."
Jiraiya's eyes widened for a moment before he smiled, "I was wondering when this moment would arrive, brat. You want me to explain to them?"
Jiraiya turned to Tsunade and sighed when he noticed her narrowed eyes. "Tsunade, do you remember when I you asked me why there were no records regarding Naruto's birth and parentage?"
Tsunade nodded, "You told that because of the panic and confusion cause by Kyuubi, there would have been no record and as Yondaime took an orphan… they didn't know his identity."
Jiraiya smirked, "His birth name was not Uzumaki Naruto." He paused for dramatic effect, "His real name is Kazama."
"Kazama!" Kakashi exclaimed in shock as Tsunade and Sakura's eyes widened.
"Yondaime sealed the Kyuubi in his son?" Tsunade questioned in shock, her voice had a faint tremble in it.
Jiraiya shook his head, "No. This is where things get interesting. You see, there are records of the birth of the Hokage's child. There are detailed medical records because the child was born a month early and its mother died at birth." Amusement glittered in his eyes as he continued, "Now, under normal circumstances, that would not have been a problem but as a jinchuuriki, Naruto's life was already in danger and along with that, if people found out that he was Yondaime's child…"
"His life would be forfeit." Kakashi whispered, trying to cope with the knowledge he had just received. His sensei's child was alive, "Hold on!" He interrupted, "I know for a fact that sensei had a daughter, not a son!"
Naruto squirmed in his seat; this was the decisive moment.
Tsunade groaned when she finally realized what Jiraiya was trying to say. "That blasted seal… the one Arashi made to suppress a person's real gender."
"That's right!" Jiraiya grinned, "Uzumaki Naruto is actually Kazama Noriko, the one and only daughter of Kazama Arashi and Sarutobi Himiko."
"Naruto is a girl!" Sakura exclaimed in shock. She turned her gaze towards her teammate who smiled sheepishly.
Jiraiya stood, "Come, I will remove the seal."
Naruto shook his head, "The seal had already been removed." He whispered before forming quick seals and dispelling the GenJutsu he had established for the occasion.
Noriko sighed before running her fingers through her waist-long blonde hair and tried to smile at them, "Well, I am now Kazama Noriko."
Tsunade narrowed her eyes, "It is obvious that Jiraiya knows, Sandaime must have known too… who else?"
She nodded in Sasuke's direction, "He knew, he found out when we were twelve. He had seen the seal with his Sharingan and because of his damned curiosity; he went ahead and investigated it."
Jiraiya raised a brow at the young man's direction but Sasuke was silent and still as ever. He had no spoken a single word throughout the discussion. "So, you removed the seal from her body, did you?"
Sasuke nodded, "It was necessary." That was his only reply.
The Sannin turned his questioning gaze to Noriko who sighed and threw an annoyed glare at Sasuke, "It would seem that the seal has some unwanted repercussions if used for a very long time. Had it been there longer, it would have harmed me."
Tsunade narrowed her eyes, "Trying an untested jutsu on a child. Seriously, how foolish can you be? Naru… Noriko, I will give you a full check up to see that there is no damage."
"There shouldn't be." Sasuke said smoothly, "I removed it on time, besides; she has higher resilience than most because of the Kyuubi."
The Godaime Hokage nodded, "Nevertheless, I would feel more comfortable if I know for sure."
Sakura frowned at Noriko and sighed, "I cannot fault you for this, Na… Noriko." She corrected sheepishly, "This is going to take some getting used to."
Sasuke smirked before moving towards the door, "I have a meeting to attend. Noriko, I will meet you in the evening at the reunion." He met her gaze, "I assume that you will be done telling everyone else by that time."
Noriko nodded before smiling, "Good luck, temee. ANBU exam is no child's play." Sasuke scoffed as he continued walking. "Don't land up in my team, bastard, I don't like watching over stuck up people." The Uchiha chuckled under his breath and dismissed what she said with a wave as he walked out of the office.
She turned back to the others and sighed, "We need to explain this to every one of my friends."
Kakashi and Sakura nodded in understanding, "We will go get everyone."
One hour later, Noriko sat back, observing all her friends with keen eyes. She had told them everything with the help of Jiraiya and some support from Tsunade and Kakashi.
In front of her, the entire rookie nine and the former Gai team were present. Neji and Hinata, Shino had taken things calmly, accepting the fact that it was necessary and leaving it at that. Lee, who had matured over the years but not too much, had gone off sprouting about flames of youth.
Shikamaru had observed her keenly for a while, making her feel as though he had already known about it before smirking at her and muttering 'troublesome'. Chouji looked entirely unconcerned, shrugging it off before returning to the bag of chips in his grasp.
Sai had just smiled that blank smile but his eyes understood. He, more than others, know all about masks.
Tenten had been indignant, angry that she had hidden her gender when she should have been proud to be such a powerful and successful woman.
Growing up as a male had enabled Noriko to she both sides of the coin so she was not particularly feminist but she just nodded to Tenten showing that she felt sorry.
Ino's reaction was something that that daunted her. She had gotten this gleam in her eye as she suggested shopping trips and sleepovers. It that moment, Sakura had given an almighty squeal and the two started making plans.
Kiba's reaction was the most amusing one. He gaped at her in disbelief for a long time before he broke into a large grin, "Damn, Naruto, you are hot!"
The dog-boy was very lucky that her possessive fiancé was nowhere near to overhear his comment.
Noriko breathed a sigh of relief, grateful that her friends had understood her situation and accepted things. Now, if only they could get used to using her name.
"So, I heard the Uchiha is back." Neji questioned, looking at her for confirmation. All of them were in higher positions of the system. Shikamaru, Chouji and Kiba were Elite Jounin. Lee was a Special Jounin while Tenten, Neji and Ino were ANBU like her. Shino was a Hunter-nin while Hinata and Sakura were healers of Jounin status. Therefore, they were well aware of Sasuke mission.
That did not mean that the young men liked him though.
"The bastard is finally back huh?" Kiba asked rudely, crossing his arms with a scoff, "Took him long enough."
"It was a tough mission, Kiba." Shikamaru drawled lazily, "I am surprised he made it back alive."
Ino smiled, "Sasuke-kun has always been strong enough to overcome odds." Hinata nodded in agreement, "We should be grateful that he is back safe and sound."
"You will meet him at tonight's reunion." Noriko said with a small smile, "You can interrogate him then."
"Judging from the smile on your face, I take it that everything went well." A smooth voice whispered against her ear and Noriko jumped in surprise.
"Sasuke!" she gasped before turning around and spying on his arm. She gave a delighted smile when she saw the ANBU tattoo on it, "You made it."
He scoffed, "Was there any doubt?" He murmured before leaning in and brushing her lips against hers, "It seems that your wish came true, my sweet. I am not on your team."
Noriko smiled at him as she raised her hand to brush a silky lock of hair off his enchanting eyes.
"I am glad you are here." She said in relief, "They are your friends too, I don't like it when you disregard them."
Sasuke scowled at her, ebony eyes flashing in irritation, "I severed those ties when I left this village."
Noriko leaned forward, a finger easing the frown between his brows, "You will need friends now more than ever, Sasuke." She smiled, "You have completed your primary goal… it is time to start your life anew."
She chuckled before cupping his face and tenderly kissing him. A soft blush lit her face when she realized how bold her actions were.
Suddenly, she was slammed against a tree, his arm holding her in place. He returned her innocent kiss with burning passion that was by no means innocent.
Noriko gasped, strange feelings overwhelming her as he moved against her, "Sas'ke…" He murmured something against her lips before plunging back in, tilting his head to the side as he slipped his tongue into her delicious mouth.
A soft moan escaped scarlet lips and she arched into him, her body molding perfectly into his. Noriko fisted her fingers in his hair, tilting her head back to make up for the difference in their heights.
His powerful hands traveled down her sides before he roughly pulled her closer, bringing their hips in intimate contact. "Noriko," he groaned, pulling away from the seduction of her luscious lips and planting frantic kisses down her neck. "Don't…" he sucked on the tender skin of her throat, "Don't tempt me, saiai."
Turquoise eyes fluttered close as the pleasure of his kisses rendered her helpless.
"Maa," a lazy voice interrupted, "As much as I would love to see you continue, Sasuke, I think Noriko-chan needs time to compose herself before your friends arrive." Kakashi smiled from underneath his mask as he observed the young couple with a single eye.
They had not jumped and pulled apart, blushing and stammering excuses as most would. In fact, Noriko just groaned and buried her flushed face in Sasuke's shoulder while he wrapped his arm possessively around her while glaring at him.
Kakashi smiled again, raising his hands in mock surrender as he spied the sparkling ring on Noriko's finger. "My, Sasuke, you sure do move fast. You have been away for six years and the moment you return, you get an exquisite woman to agree to marry you. The men of Konoha would be so disappointed."
Sasuke returned his smile with a dangerous smirk, "She was mine six years ago and she is mine now. The men of Konoha never had a chance."
Noriko punched his shoulder lightly, "I can refuse the proposal, you know."
Sasuke tsked with a smirk, "That is no longer an option darling, you are stuck with me."
Noriko turned to Kakashi with a grave look on her face, "Kakashi-sensei, something happened to my Sasuke, this bastard is a Bunshin."
Kakashi chuckled, his eyes curving into a smile, "Gomen, Noriko-chan, but I am afraid he is the real Sasuke. However, who knows how living with a charming man as Orochimaru can do a young man's mind."
Sasuke scoffed, "You can be just as charming as Orochimaru, Kakashi." The Jounin just smiled, unaffected by the implied insult.
The Jounin then eyed Sasuke seriously, "You have made me proud, Sasuke… all of you have. It is not everyday that a Jounin gets boost that his students have become few of the most powerful and influential ninjas of our world."
He looked pointedly at the arm that was embracing Noriko so protectively and smirked under his mask, "Now, you may not be the ideal man that I am sure Arashi-sensei wanted for his daughter but since she chose you and I have little right to judge your relationship, I will say this on behalf of my sensei." A single grey eyes glittered dangerously, "Be loving, loyal and faithful or die. The choice is yours."
He turned to Noriko and gave her an eye-smile, "I am your godfather. I just thought that you would like to know."
Sasuke snorted and raised a brow, "So that's what that fatherly speech was all about?"
"Sasuke." Noriko warned before turning to Kakashi with a slight smile, "Arigato, Kakashi-sensei."
The Jounin chuckled and patted her head before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
Greatly puzzled by Kakashi's odd behavior, she turned to look questioningly at Sasuke who just smirked at her before pressing a firm kiss on her brow, "It's a man's thing."
She glared at him, much to his amusement but did not say anything.
The scene they came upon was… odd. Noriko was leaning against a tree, while Sasuke was standing in front of her, one arm resting against the tree, by her head, while other was behind his back. They were speaking softly to each other, both looking relaxed and strangely intimate.
The former rookie nine stared, baffled for a while before Kiba broke the silence, "Oi, Noriko-chaaaan!"
Everyone winced as Sasuke's icy glare was directed at them. The boy that Sasuke had been was cool, brooding and skilled. The man that Sasuke had become was dark, sexy and dangerous.
Noriko laughed and shook her head, "He got used to my being a female quickly."
"That can be attributed to your beauty, Noriko-san." Neji stated politely with a slight, teasing smirk. Sasuke smirked too, his eyes glittering as they landed on her.
As they settled under the shade of the enormous tree, Ino and Kiba stood up and cleared their throats. "We have gathered here today," Ino began in a mock serious voice, "To welcome Sasuke-kun back to Konoha."
"And," Kiba continued, sending her a mild glare, "To share some of the latest news of Konoha!"
They looked at the two in confusion while Sasuke leaned back against the tree, disinterestedly.
"Today we received the most shocking news!" Kiba exclaimed, "We found out that our best pal, ingenious prankster and delightfully ukeish Naruto is actually a girl!"
Noriko glared at Kiba while a blushed stained her cheeks. Sasuke chuckled softly besides her causing her glare to turn to him.
Ino nodded, "We now welcome into our fold, Kazama Noriko, a super cool and powerful woman Anbu captain and in a few years, our Rokudaime Hokage!"
Everyone cheered; even Shino seemed to be amused.
"Not to mention, super hot." Kiba grinned while Sasuke scowled, his obsidian eyes narrowing at the Inuzuka.
"News is that Hinata and Gaara-sama finally got together after months of shy smiles and covert glances." Ino declared with a mischievous smile as Hinata blushed seeming as though she wanted to run away from the attention she was getting.
Ino nodded, her eyes lighting in determination. "Seeing this, we have decided to put everyone out of their misery and pair them up with the people they obviously like!"
She was greeted with silent, incredulous stares. "Right!" she clapped her hands together with a smile. "Here is how we go about it. I am going to list down all the single girls present and Kiba is going to each of them to kiss a particular person. If none of the boys or girls interrupts the girl before she kisses the guy, then the couple who recently kissed gets to go on a free date!"
Several men tensed while woman looked nervous.
Ino grinned. She knew that most men present where quite unwilling to see the women they liked kissing another. They would act before anything happened. "Alright, first up is Haruno Sakura! Apprentice of Godaime Hokage with monster-strength and a sweet smile. Kiba, who is she supposed to kiss?"
Kiba smirked, he knew exactly who wanted her kiss and he was not going to name that person. "Haruno Sakura will kiss," he paused for dramatic effect, "Aburame Shino!"
Sakura nearly choked as she glared at Ino and Kiba. Of all people, it had to be Shino. She didn't even know the guy. She bowed her head and sighed before getting up and walking over to kiss Shino.
Before she even got there, Neji grasped her hand and pulled her to his side with a short command of "Stay.". Sakura blushed and threw an apologetic smile at Shino but she did not protest to Neji as he wrapped an arm around her and glared at Kiba and Ino, daring them to voice any protests.
Kiba chuckled while Ino grinned triumphantly. "Next up, our dear Ino-chan." He declared, looking at the tall blonde. "You get to kiss your teammate and friend Akamichi Chouji." Ino watched the panicked expression on Chouji's face with a smile. He already had a girl friend, surprisingly enough. She was a waitress at a restaurant that Chouji frequented.
"Troublesome." A lazy voice drawled, "Don't be so difficult woman." Shikamaru stated but his eyes were glowing with slight anger and a whole lot of possessiveness as he beckoned her lazily, "Drop the innocent act and sit down."
Ino smirked sexily as she walked towards him with a special sway in her hips. "Why, Shika-kun… why do you sound so concerned?"
He snorted before grabbing her hand and pulling her down. She fell with a yelp but soon found herself in a dizzying kiss that sent her senses reeling. "That's quite enough mischief from you, Ino." He murmured against her lips.
Kiba cleared his throat, breaking the stunned silence nervously. "Alllriiight… our next single woman is… Tenten-chan!"
"NO!" Lee shouted as he appeared before Tenten and took her hands in his, "My sweet moon goddess who lights the darkness of my world, please grace this unworthy one with a smile and a kiss for without you I shall surely die and horrible death and seeing you with another would break my heart and steal my will to live!"
Tenten smiled softly at the man on his knees in front of her before leaning in and giving him a chaste kiss.
Ino smiled while Kiba whooped. So far, everything was all right. "Now it is time for the newest woman in town, Noriko-chan! And the person who she shall kiss is of course me!" Kiba declared and turned to where Noriko was sitting only to stop and stare.
Everyone went silent as they observed the scene before them.
Sasuke had his eyes closed and his head was on Noriko's lap, he had an arm draped on his head while the other was resting on his chest, holding Noriko's small hand under his. The blonde woman was smiling in amusement as she spoke softly to him and ran her fingers through his hair.
"Noriko-chaaan!" Kiba whined, unable to believe that the Uchiha had already snagged the lovely blonde before anyone of them had a chance.
Noriko started and looked at Kiba with slightly wide eyes, wondering how she could have forgotten the little game they were playing while talking to Sasuke.
Looking down at her beloved's amused features she couldn't deny that even though she loved her friends, she dearly wanted to spend some time with Sasuke. They had so much to talk about, so many experiences to share.
"Shut it, Inuzuka." Sasuke warned with a scowl, he turned his head and buried his face in her stomach, wrapping his arm around her waist. Noriko chuckled before looking at her friends, "Excuse him. He is tired and that makes him even more grump- ouch, Sasuke!" She blushed as she looked down at him. He had bloody bitten her!
Even though his face was hidden, she knew he was smirking. Even through the material of her dress, she had felt his teeth.
Kiba pouted, inwardly surprised to see that the stuck-up Uchiha had finally opened up to someone. Then again, Naruto had always been close to Sasuke. More so than anyone else. "This is just not fair! It has hardly been a day since you came back. How the hell did you work so quickly?"
Sasuke smirked as he turned to look at the Inuzuka. He knew the moment he met him that Kiba was a flirtatious person but no one looked at his woman with less than chaste intentions. "I already knew Naruto was Noriko before I left, inu no baka." Kiba twitched at the insult, "Even if she was been a boy, it would have made no difference… Noriko was always mine."
Sakura and Ino really squealed. Sasuke and Noriko did make a handsome couple with the Uchiha's dark and chilling personality and Noriko's warmth and kindness. They were like the different phases of the moon. Noriko was the full moon that dominated the darkness and lit the sky with her silvery brilliance why Sasuke was the crescent, half hidden in shadows of mystery while possessing majestic allure.
Hinata smiled softly as she saw cerulean eyes that she had once treasured and now respected shine with affection and deep love as Noriko gazed down at Sasuke. There was a strange tenderness on Noriko's usually determined features and that coupled with a soft blush made her look angelic.
Sasuke was different with Noriko. Hinata wondered were the Uchiha learned to be such a charmer as she observed Sasuke look deep into Noriko's eyes as he lifted her hand and kissed her fingers, his lips brushing against a sparkling ring.
Everyone jumped in surprise and turned to Hinata with wide eyes. The Hyuuga heiress's eyes were glowing in excitement, her hands clasped tightly together as she looked at Noriko's engagement ring.
Noriko blushed as she noticed the cause of Hinata sudden uncharacteristic behavior. She glared at her soon-to-be husband as he smirked. He had done it on purpose.
"Kyaaaaa!" Sakura and Ino joined Hinata and they snatched Noriko's hand from Sasuke's grasp to look at the ring.
Sakura's eyes shined, "Oh my! This ring is so beautiful… ooohhh, Noriko-chan, the aquamarine matches you eyes perfectly!"
Ino nodded vigorously, "Ohhh! This ring is soo perfect."
Noriko sighed and let them inspect the ring while trying to come up with ways to kill Sasuke. He was still resting on his lap but the smirk on his face indicated that his sole purpose was to torment her.
She lowered her head so that their noses were almost touching, "Just you wait, temee. Once this gathering is over, we are going to spar and I am going to teach you a lesson."
Sasuke opened his eyes and looked at the glorious blue orbs that had haunted his dreams for years. "No."
Those blue eyes blinked in surprise before looking at him questioningly. "You and I shall never spar, fight… never, we shall never be opponents."
Noriko frowned; Sasuke was serious. Of course, Sasuke always seemed serious but Noriko knew how to differentiate. "What are you saying, Sasuke?"
The Uchiha's face was blank, "I am saying Noriko that I will never lift a hand against you. I will not touch you with an intention to harm; I will not allow myself to bruise your lovely skin. It does not matter that you are Anbu and therefore strong enough to handle anything I throw at you. Between us there will be nothing but love."
Noriko's eyes widened when she understood what he was trying to say. He wanted to end their rivalry, the competitiveness between them. She was not sure she wanted that but looking into his eyes, she saw something akin to pain and regret in those eyes and immediately understood.
She sighed but did not say anything to him.
"It's sooo cute that the both of you can forget that we are here and get lost in your own world." Ino commented teasingly but her eyes were gentle at the sight.
Shikamaru snorted in amusement while Kiba looked as though he was stifling a laugh. Neji look unaffected save for the slight dismay in his eyes when Sakura glared accusingly at him.
It would seem that Sasuke had set a standard that all men were expected to follow.
Rest of the evening passed in laughter and jokes. Everyone was trying to have a normal, peaceful evening before returning to his or her duties. The day had been an interesting and pleasant distraction.
Sasuke was inwardly surprised to see how easily he had mingled with the group. Of course, he had not spoken much with the others but they seemed to be content in letting him live with his silence although it was obvious he was welcome and his presence appreciated.
It was as though he had never left, as though a part of him had always existed here in Konoha, with Noriko and his comrades.
He leaned back and closed his eyes as he listened to the goodbyes exchanged between Noriko and the others. For the first time in a long while, he felt truly content. Everything was right in his world. He was back in Konoha. He was now an Anbu, Itachi was dead, Orochimaru was dead and Noriko was finally his to claim.
Everything was perfect.
May be he had spoken too soon.
As soon as the news reached Iruka and Tsunade, he was in trouble. The enraged Chunin had dragged him from his comfortable bed in the morning and taken him to the Godaime Hokage.
He did not know who was worse, a mother hen Iruka or the scarily protective Sannin.
He stood there, in the Hokage's office, listening in disbelief as Tsunade and Iruka made several death threats and set several rules. Rules like no making out, no sleeping together, no sex until marriage, the list continued until Sasuke got annoyed.
He silenced both of them with a formidable glare from Sharingan eyes, "What happens between Noriko and me is none of your business."
Before either of them could object, Sasuke turned on his heal and started to walk out of the office. He paused by the door, not even looking back at them as he whispered, "We are orphans and you are not our parents. Noriko is old enough to understand what a marriage is and so am I. If you think for one moment that we are not serious then let me tell you something. I killed Orochimaru for Noriko, so that her beloved village would have one less enemy. I killed Itachi for Noriko so that there would be one less person after the Kyuubi. I returned for Noriko, I live for Noriko and I will die for Noriko."
"Everything is for Noriko." Sasuke said and turned to face them, obsidian eyes sharp and chilling, "She trained for me, she came after me because she cared for me, she continued to search for me because she loved me, she waited for me choosing not to allow anyone into her heart, saving herself just for me. She cried for me, smiled for me, and spent sleepless nights in concern and agony for me. Everything for me."
He smirked, that annoying, arrogant, possessive smirk, "Six years of separation, what makes you think I will tolerate being away from her any longer?"