Author's Note: This brings the story to an end. I hope everyone (or almost everyone) will be happy with it. I want to thank all of you who have enjoyed my story and especially those of you who have taken the time to leave reviews.
I also have a question for all of you. I think it is no secret at this point that I love to write or that I would like to be a writer. However saying you want to be a writer is rather the same as saying you want to be an actor of musician. It's great work if you can get it but most people can't make a living at it.
I am just curious to find out how many of you would be interested in buying a book if I were to have one independently published? It would be at least 200 pages and would be a fantasy story with NO characters from Naruto or any other manga in it, a completely original work. Would any of you buy a book like that for $10?
Right now no such book or story exists. I am just curious to find out how much interest there would be.
Notice: Well, it took a few years but I have written an original novel that is for sale on Amazon. It is called, The (sort of) Dark Mage and is available as a paperback and as an ebook. You can find a direct link by visiting my website , or you can go to Amazon and search the title.
A weary and exhausted Naruto looked up just in time to see Hinata land in front of him. The next thing he knew he was on his back and she was lying on top of him kissing him like there was no tomorrow.
They were in full view of all the ninja up on the wall. A cascade of whistles, applause, and cheering fell upon them. Hinata did not seem to notice.
Naruto did, but at the moment his arms were dead and he was totally at Hinata's mercy. When she stopped for a moment he saw her pale eyes shining and a look of absolute bliss ion her face. "Naruto-kun you were amazing! I'm so proud of you! I knew you would save us!"
His face a deep red he smiled up at her, still aware of the rising volume coming off the wall. "Thanks Hinata-chan I'm really happy to hear that, but uh, maybe this isn't the time or place for this."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I can't move my arms, I'm covered in blood, we're surrounded by corpses, and everyone is watching."
The once shy girl continued to smile. "Don't care!" And promptly assaulted his lips again.
Naruto really liked the way she was kissing him and the feel of her supple body pressing down into his. Had he been able to use his arms and had they been in private he would have called this heaven. However he could help but notice that people were jumping down to join them.
Giggling Jiraiya already had a notebook out and was scribbling like mad.
Coughing politely Sarutobi spoke up ruining the charming scene. "I am very sorry Hinata, but do you think we could have a word with him?"
Finally noticing their presence Hinata got off of him. "So… sorry Hokage-sama." She helped Naruto to his feet. His arms hung listlessly at his side. She performed a quick medical jutsu. "Your arms will be all right Naruto-kun; you'll just need some rest to recover."
"Thanks Hinata-chan," he said with relief. He then leaned close and whispered in her ear. "Later." That made her blush.
"Naruto, what you did was simply amazing." Sarutobi said.
Every head nodded in agreement. The entire Council was present along with most of Konoha's top ninja.
"Amazing kid," Jiraiya said as he continued writing furiously. "Minato couldn't have done it any better."
Tsunade approached and gave him something. "I think this belongs to you now." She removed the Shodai's necklace and placed it around his neck. "You did good brat." She placed a kiss on his cheek.
Hyuuga Hiashi stepped forward. Without ceremony he knelt down in front of Naruto and lowered his head until it touched the ground. "You are the savior of Konoha and the Yellow Flash reborn. Uzumaki Naruto I formally ask your forgiveness for my previous words and thoughts concerning you. You have proven yourself more than worthy of my daughter's hand. I eagerly welcome you into my family."
"Thank you Hiashi-sama!" Though it looked a bit weird with his arms flopping about he gave Hiashi a deep bow. "I promise I will take good care of Hinata-chan and always love her!"
Hinata wrapper her arms around him and squeezed him tight. "Oh Naruto-kun," she said happily. "I'll always love you as well!"
Looking about the Hokage decided this was too good an opportunity to let slip by. "Since the Council is assembled I think we should grant Naruto the official title of, 'Savior of Konoha.' All those who agree please raise your hands." Every hand rose instantly. It was exceedingly rare for the Council to ever vote unanimously on anything, and Sarutobi wasn't done yet.
"I think all of you will agree that Naruto has proven himself the strongest ninja in the village. As such I can think of no one else better suited to succeed me in my position as Hokage. I formally nominate Naruto to be my successor. Is there any need for a discussion?"
If he had said those words just a few weeks ago he'd have had half the council up in arms, especially Danzo. But after the demonstration of his power there was not a word of opposition. Even the diehard conservatives; Danzo, Koharu, and Homura accepted it.
"May I see a show of hands?" Again every Council member raised their hand. With great satisfaction he turned to Naruto. Sarutobi had made it sound as though his decision to name Naruto had been made at that moment. None of the Council members suspected the devious Hokage had been working towards this for years. "Uzumaki Naruto, it is my will and the will of the Council of Fire that you be my successor and be installed as the Godaime Hokage. Will you accept and take on this burden?"
Naruto blinked. After so many years of struggle all his dreams were being handed to him. "I… I accept. Thank you."
Sarutobi nodded in satisfaction. "Good, and since the war has been successfully ended I am announcing my retirement, effective in one month's time."
"WHAT?!" Naruto screeched.
From the nearby tree line Uchiha Madara watched from a safe distance. He had intended to watch Konoha's destruction as he swooped in to rescue the last Uchiha. Sasuke's death had badly shaken him. He'd known Itachi inside and out and had been sure that the man would never kill his precious little outoto. He'd expected Sasuke to achieve his revenge and become his willing follower. All his plans had been based on that.
Though immortal Madara could no longer father children. That meant to fulfill his dream of a new and more powerful Uchiha clan he needed the help of others. Now with the deaths of Sasuke and Itachi there was only one Uchiha left in the world who could father a new generation. (Obviously he was unaware that Mina was pregnant.) That child was the key to everything.
But after what he had just seen he did not dare try to claim that key. At least not yet. Pein, Akatsuki, and the great army of Rain had been destroyed by this new Yellow Flash. It would be insane to challenge him.
He unbuttoned his black robe with red clouds and let it fall to the ground. He removed the orange swirl mask and tossed it away. He had created Akatsuki and now it was dead. He would need to try something else. "I am immortal, I can wait. A lifetime if I must." He leapt away and soon left Konoha far behind.
"A month?!" Naruto cried. "Have you gone nuts old man?"
Sarutobi smiled. He, Naruto, Jiraiya, and Tsunade were having a private meeting in his office. "What's wrong Naruto I thought you would be ecstatic to have your dream so close to fruition."
"Well… yeah, it's great and all but I don't know how to be Hokage yet!" Naruto said desperately. "You can't just retire!"
"I retired once before, fifteen years ago Naruto," Sarutobi told him. "Had your father not been killed I would have remained retired all this time."
"Well sure but… wait, what was that last part? You know who my father was?"
"Is this the time for this old man?" Jiraiya asked.
"Yes, well past time in fact," Sarutobi said. "Naruto, your father was Namikaze Minato, the Yondaime Hokage of Konoha. You are his son and heir. Your real name is Namikaze Naruto, as the last surviving member of your clan the entire Namikaze estate and fortune are yours."
"The last time I checked they were worth about twenty billion ryu," Jiraiya mentioned.
Tsunade smiled at him warmly. "Hey brat think you could spot me a loan?"
The three elite ninja looked at his unconscious form.
Jiraiya laughed. "He takes on an army single handed without blinking but this makes him pass out." He took out his notebook and started scribbling. "This will make such a great comedic scene."
One Week Later
Iruka, Ayame, Naruto, and Hinata were all enjoying Teuchi's extra special ramen. Both women had engagement rings on and were discussing details about their upcoming weddings. Naruto was busy talking to Iruka about how things had changed.
"So the Hokage has me with him in his office all day helping him do paperwork! Iruka-sensei you would not believe how many papers the Hokage has to take care of. And he says I'm not allowed to use kage bunshins either!" Naruto wailed. "It's almost enough to make me reconsider!"
Iruka smiled patiently and patted his shoulder. He had worked some administrative duties over the summers at the Tower so he had some small idea of what Naruto was going on about. "Don't talk like that Naruto, this has been your dream for as long as I've known you. You're not going to give it up because of a little paperwork are you?"
"No," he muttered sourly. "And it's a lot of paperwork."
A couple customers entered Ichiraku's. When they saw Naruto there they cried out and eagerly bowed to him. They didn't seem to know whether to call him Hokage-sama, Namikaze-sama, or simply Savior of Konoha.
Iruka noted how Naruto blushed as he acknowledged them and thanked them for their kindness. Iruka was sure Naruto would never ever take the praise and recognition of others for granted. Men like Hiashi who had been born into exalted status might ignore such things. But Naruto would never forget the struggle to gain this respect from the village.
He would always appreciate it.
"Hey Iruka-sensei, you remember the night before the final exam when you treated me to ramen?"
"Yes," Iruka said amused. "Who could forget you defacing the Hokage monument in broad daylight?"
"Heh, yeah, good times," Naruto laughed as he rubbed the back of his head. "But you remember how I told you I was going to be Hokage while you were treating me to ramen?"
"When I told you that way back then. Did you think I would ever do it?"
"No," Iruka said flatly. "I thought it would be a miracle if you just became a decent ninja."
Iruka hid his grin as he saw Naruto's shoulders slump and his face fall in exaggerated depression.
"But," he continued. "The next night when you saved my life and stopped Mizuki I was sure you had the potential to be a great Hokage one day."
"Really?" Naruto said happily and puffed up again. "Thanks Iruka-sensei."
In the Uchiha compound a small memorial service was held for Itachi. Only Mina, Sarutobi, Jiraiya, Tsunade, Naruto and Hinata were in attendance. No one but Sarutobi knew the circumstances of his death, and the third had decided that no one would ever know. Naruto would never learn that his friend and former teammate had become a traitor and had killed one of his teachers. He knew the knowledge would deeply hurt Naruto and did not see anything that would be gained by telling him.
Sarutobi had told him the truth behind the Uchiha Massacre. He felt that when his time as Hokage came it would be his right to do what he thought best with the information.
Following the small ceremony Mina approached Naruto for a private conversation.
"Naruto, if… if it's not too presumptuous of me to ask this, would you be my second child's godfather as well?"
"Sure I would! I would be deeply honored." He bowed to her.
"Thank you Naruto, that is a huge relief off my mind."
"Mina, I'll protect you and your children," he promised. "I won't let them suffer because of a lie. When I become Hokage I will reveal the whole truth about the Uchiha Massacre and clear Itachi-sensei's name! He was a good man and I won't let his memory be destroyed."
She looked at him nervously. "Naruto, if you do that you will make some powerful enemies."
Naruto nodded. Sarutobi had explained the situation. Danzo and the other advisors who would be implicated for their part in supporting the massacre would be furious. "Don't worry; I wasn't afraid of Pein so I'm not afraid of some Council members. I will always do what think is right no matter what people think."
Hearing this she felt safe for the first time since losing Itachi. "Thank you Naruto-kun." She placed a kiss on his cheek.
Down below in the plaza most of the village and crowded in to witness the dawn of a new era.
Standing at the top of the Tower Naruto was dressed in his own custom made version of the Hokage robes. They were similar to the Third's but had bright orange flames all along the hem. He was not alone atop the Tower. Hinata was at his side holding his arm lovingly and filled to bursting with pride. Iruka, Ayame, Teuschi, the old man, the pervert, grandma, Kakashi, Sakura and her girlfriend Tayuya, Mina, Hiashi, and so many others were there to share this moment.
Looking down at the crowd he saw all their eyes looking back up at him. They acknowledged him. He was no longer the brat, the one people hated or ignored. He glanced at Hinata. He was no longer alone.
In his loudest voice he shouted down the words that would complete the ceremony and seal his pledge to these people. "From this day forward I will guide and protect the village and people of Konoha! For I am the Fifth Hokage!" He placed the orange and white hat on his head to a raucous cheer.
Hinata let go of his arm and took a couple steps back.
Naruto looked at her curiously.
"That day at the preliminaries," she told him. "I said that when you became Hokage I would be the first to bow to you." She bowed low. "Hokage-sama."
"Hokage-sama," Sarutobi said as he bowed.
"Hokage-sama," Iruka bowed.
"Hokage-sama," Ayame bowed.
"Hokage-sama," Mina bowed.
"Hokage-sama," Hiashi bowed.
"Hokage-sama," Kakashi bowed.
"Hokage-sama," Sakura and Tayuya bowed together.
"Hokage-sama," Tsunade bowed.
Jiraiya grinned. "Don't get used to this," he bowed low and formally. "Hokage-sama,"
One by one all the people there bowed to him and acknowledged him their Hokage.
It was the sixteenth birthday of Hyuuga Hinata, the first day she was considered old enough to be married.
Outside there was more than a foot of snow on the ground and the weather was bitterly cold. But inside the Namikaze mansion the wedding party and all the guests were warm and comfortable. As a general rule weddings were never held in Winter. Most brides preferring to marry in Spring or Summer. But both the bride and groom had insisted that they wanted to marry today. Neither of them wanted to wait even one day longer than they had to.
Dressed in his Hokage robes Naruto looked far more nervous than he had facing death. His best man smiled and leaned over to whisper to him.
"Relax Naruto," Iruka spoke. "There's nothing to be worried about."
Naruto nodded and whispered back. "I know, but I can't help it."
The wedding march began to play.
All eyes turned to the top of the aisle. There was the bride. Hinata was dressed in a formal wedding kimono. Pure silk, it was white with depictions of roses and lilies (symbols of love and faithfulness) across it. With her father at her side she walked slowly down the aisle, her hand held in her father's. As she walked her eyes never left Naruto's for even a second.
When they came before the altar Hiashi slowly and deliberately placed his daughter's hand into Naruto's. Together the couple turned to face the priest standing before them in his white blouse and billowing red pants. Smiling the priest took out a small cup and carefully filled it with ceremonial sake.
"Share in this drink as the two of you will share in all of life's joys and hardships." The priest intoned.
He handed the cup to Naruto who took a small sip. He then passed it to Hinata who also sipped from it.
"Have you come here to devote yourselves to one another of your own free will?" The priest questioned.
"Yes," Naruto answered solemnly.
"Hai," Hinata said.
The priest looked out sternly upon the assembled guests. "Can any here give just cause why these two should not be joined in sacred marriage?"
No one spoke; the priest returned his attention to the two of them. "Do you understand that the vows you make this day are spoken before Kami and before all those who have come here to bear witness?"
"Yes," Naruto said.
"Yes," Hinata said.
"Then speak the vows, and speak only the truth."
Smiling Iruka handed Naruto the smaller of the two gold rings. He then carefully slid it onto Hinata's left hand as he spoke.
"My wife, in sickness and in health I promise that I will love you, respect you, console you, be faithful to you, and protect you. From this day on until the day of my death, this I do swear."
With her hands trembling slightly Hinata took the other wedding band and placed it on Naruto's left hand.
"My husband, in sickness and in health I promise that I will love you, respect you, console you, be faithful to you, and protect you. From this day on until the day of my death, this I do swear."
The priest held his hand up. "May Kami grant you the blessings of health, happiness, and children. May your union be long and lasting. I declare that you are now husband and wife." He smiled and nodded to Naruto. "You may kiss your bride."
Naruto was only too happy to do so.
"May I present to you," the priest called out. "Namikaze Naruto and his bride, Namikaze Hinata."
As the people began to applaud and cheer the young couple broke their kiss and looked into each other's eyes.
"I love you." Naruto whispered to her.
"And I love you." Hinata answered.
They kissed once more as all around them people celebrated.
Sakura looked at Tayuya and they both smiled happily as they held hands.
"That was so beautiful!" Tenten said.
"I suppose," Neji admitted grudgingly.
"Do you think our wedding will be as beautiful?"
Neji nodded and smiled at her. "Since you'll be the bride it will be even more beautiful."
She sighed. "And of course you won't be dressed in a pink kimono. Honestly I wish Hinata would forgive you and stop humiliating you like this."
Neji looked very embarrassed. "Actually…"
Tenten looked at him curiously. "What?"
"Hinata-sama didn't make me wear this."
Tsunade sighed as the beautiful ceremony ended. "I wish I could have had a wedding day." She said wistfully.
"It's not too late you know," Jiraiya said to her. "I know someone who would love to marry you."
Tsunade looked at him and felt her face blush a little. It had been a long time since he'd come out and admitted to the feelings they both knew were there. "Is that so?" She asked carefully.
Jiraiya nodded. "His name is Jibo, he's ninety and almost blind. To him you might actually be a good catch."
She gawked at him for a second. Then…
WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! "I'll kill you!"
Naruto and Sarutobi were forced to intervene to keep Jiraiya among the living.
Following the wedding a gala reception was held, also in the Namikaze mansion. And as was traditional the first dance went to the bride and groom.
Hinata slid happily into his arms, she seemed to fit perfectly.
"We're married," Naruto said. He sounded as though he could hardly believe it.
"Yes, we are married Naruto-kun, and we will always be together from now on."
He squeezed her close as they moved in time with the music. "Always," he said in a solemn promise. "I love you Hinata-chan."
"And I love you Naruto-kun."
Just a few happy words conveyed everything that needed to be said.