Update: I was told I had the wrong names for the characters and after looking it up I found out they were right so I changed the names of the two council members to be correct.
Chapter 2: Wedding News
-Konoha front gate-
"Finally we're back!" Naruto shouted out happily. It had taken time but he and the old pervert of a teacher finally found Tsunade. Of course it hadn't been easy, they got into a fight when the old women (although he still didn't get why she hide her true age under the illusion of someone that looked to be in their mid twenties) started to bad mouth the Hokages. To Naruto that was unforgivable, especially since the death of the Third still hurt him deeply, the old man had been like a grandfather to him and his death hit him hard. Well the fight had been pretty much one sided until he tried the rasengan. It hadn't been complete but it was enough to get her to make a bet with him that he couldn't master it in a week.
Well after all the training he finally got it and just in time, since Orochimaru had found her to fix his arms and he found out that Kabuto, a fellow Leaf ninja he met in the chunin exams had been a spy for Orochimaru all along. While Jiraiya fought Orochimaru he fought to save Tsunade from Kabuto and used a finished rasengan for the first time. Although he blacked out from something Kabuto had done when he woke up he had her necklace and was told they beat back Orochimaru. So then they started on home, and there he was with Jiraiya, Tsunade and her apprentice Shizune holding Tsunade's pet pig Tonton.
"Come on, you promised to heal Sasuke and Kakashi-sensei!" Naruto told her dragging her through the gates.
"Alright just hold your horses," She told him as the blond buxom women walked through the gates. She never thought she would be back here, let along take on the leadership role of the village but the kid opened her eyes. She smiled looking down at the blond haired boy, he reminded her so much of her little brother and his love of the village was like how her lover Dan had loved the village.
Looking over the village she had to admit, nothing much had changed on the surface. But in a strange way it actually felt a bit nice coming back, it was nicer than she had thought it would feel. She looked up at the mountain with the faces of her grandfather, granduncle, and her sensei up there with the Fourth's face too. She smiled looking at the familiar faces and strangely enough she actually felt like she was coming home. For so long her own bitterness at the losses of two important people in her life had obscured her view of the village and now with it gone she could see the reasons why they had loved this village.
"Oh come on, Ero-sennin can't you get Baachan to move it?" Naruto asked.
"Naruto she has to take up the job of Hokage first, and at least let her settling in for a bit. Why don't you drop all your stuff at your place and meet us at the Hokage's tower when you're done?" Jiraiya said and then thought about it and gave him a little money back. "Here get some ramen while you're here too."
Naruto's face lightened up immediately, "Thanks Ero-sennin!"
"Stop calling me that brat!" He shouted at him.
"How about Pervy Sage then?"
"That's basically the same thing!"
Naruto gave him that fox like grin as he ran off to get ramen and then drop his stuff off at his place. Jiraiya muttered about the lack of respect in the youth of today. Tsunade smirked as she watched the two of them, they were quite the pair and she could tell that he really liked the boy. She remembered when he swore he never wanted to take on another student after the Minato had died against the Kyuubi, but it seemed that Naruto had won him over.
"Jiraiya there's something I've been meaning to ask about Naruto, his last name is Uzumaki right? Is he related to Kushina?" She asked him as they all walked on.
Jiraiya nodded his head, "Yes, he's their son."
Tsunade nodded her head in understanding but Shizune looked confused.
"Excuse me but what are you two talking about? Do you know who Naruto-kun's parents are?" she asked her mentor.
"Sorry but that's a triple S secret," Jiraiya said. "He can't know who his family is until he's old enough to defend himself. All I can say is that his father has made a lot of enemies and they would love nothing more than to kill his son since the man himself it dead. His mother died in childbirth so as far as I know he has no other family."
"So...he doesn't know at all?" she asked sadly.
He nodded solemnly, "I don't like it either. But the boy must be protected and besides the kid would blab it to the mountains if he found out. He needs to mature a bit more but I will say this, he would have made his parents proud. I mean damn, he did the rasengan in a month. The kid's got loads of untapped talent that should be brought out."
Tsunade smirked as they walked up to the main building with the kanji of 'fire' on it. She ignored the gasps and points of surprise at her return. She and the others climbed the stairs as they found themselves in the Hokage's office or her office now. She never thought that she would be the one to take up the job and she wished it was at least under better circumstances. The death of their sensei wasn't something you took easily, on the outside it would appear that she and Jiraiya were strong but on the inside she knew that both of them were hurting. The old pervert was like a father figure to them and it was their 'team mate' Orochimaru who had killed him. It was yet another betrayal in a long list of betrayals that man had done to them and the village.
As they entered the office she had memories of her sensei sitting behind that desk in his robes smoking doing the usual paperwork. She gave a small smile as she walked towards it and ran a hand over the surface of the desk, it had been made by her grandfather when he became Hokage and she found it odd how a piece of furniture had so much history tied to it. She thought she could still faintly smell a bit of the smoke in the room from his pipe. She felt a hand on her shoulder and knew it was Jiraiya, he remained silent just letting her know that he knew what she was thinking and feeling.
It always amazed her at the times that he could actually act his age.
The moment was shattered however when there was a knock on the door and two people walked in. Tsunade and Jiraiya knew them as the Third's old team mates Homura and Koharu, who were also at least two members who sat on the council. Apparently word got around fast as the two members came in to meet her.
"I'm glad that we were able to find you so soon, Tsunade-sama." Homura said.
"Yes, we are all glad that Jiraiya was able to find you and bring you back home." Koharu stated.
Tsunade sighed as she sat behind the desk, "Yes well it seems I'll have my work cut out for me, have to rebuild the village, familiarize myself with the current shinobi roster and such."
"Actually there is one pressing detail that I think you should know about that happened while you were traveling," Homura said as he handed her a piece of paper. It was the official agreement with Suna for the arranged marriage between Naruto and Temari of Suna. Tsunade however didn't know that before she took the document and started to read it and when her expression went from bored to a look of anger both Shizune and Jiraiya were wondering what was going on.
Tsunade looked at the agreement in her hands, "What the hell is this!"
"Tsunade-sama," Homura said calmly, "it's obvious what it is. It's an arrange married between one of our genin and one of theirs to seal the bonds of the newly restored alliance we have with Suna."
"The council has agreed to this!?" She couldn't believe that they had gone and done this. Sure it happened now and then but so soon and between two people so young. She never was a fan of this old custom and she had hoped that she had seen the last of this damn thing.
"Yes it has," Koharu told her plainly. "Since we had no Hokage at the moment we felt we needed to agree to this. After all given the tense feelings on both sides from the losses of loved ones can you blame us for trying to assure the new peace lasts?"
Tsunade could feel her temper rising, she knew that they set this up in a way that she couldn't step in. If she did it could be a political disaster and the last thing she needed was for her first moment in office was to cause political strife with Suna so soon after repairing their alliance. She looked to Jiraiya for help.
Jiraiya had remained silent through this as he had looked through the agreement before passing it off to Shizune. With one of his rare serious expressions on his face he had been thinking about what had happened while he was gone. He never liked it when people were used as pawns for the games of politicians, at least when it was for the survival of the village or for the land of fire it was a shinobi's duty to protect them but this just didn't sit well with him either. He also had been thinking hard on the matter and is just seemed that there was no way to get Naruto out of this. If they did it would be a slap in the face of Suna, but if he couldn't get him out of it then the least he could do is to at least improve the deal.
"I think since the deal is already made we can't do anything..."
Tsunade shot him a glare feeling like he had let her down.
"However," Jiraiya said, "I think that if Naruto is going to marry against his will to someone he hardly knows and at such a young age the village in the spirit of political matters should ensure that Suna isn't insulted after the wedding."
"What do you mean?" Koharu asked wondering like everyone else what he was up to.
"I've been to Naruto's place, as an orphan he has little and with a wife and I'm guessing eventually children at one point there is no way the two of them could live properly given Temari's station in Suna. She's an influential political figure you think when she tells her brothers that she's living in a cramp apartment that the Suna council will think we just took their prize genin and shoved her into a closet? That would piss me off that's for sure."
Tsunade got a smirk on her face as she caught on to what he was doing. She looked to see the two old people hadn't thought about that. It was true that Temari being the daughter of the late Kage and she was deserving of a decent place and way of life. She walked to her desk and sat down in the chair as she folded her hands and looked hard at the two members of the council.
"You know that's right, I don't think Suna would take kindly to her treatment by allies," she said to them.
"Then what do you suggest?" Homura asked the blond woman.
"Well given this is for a political alliance and everything that goes with it...both Naruto and Temari will need to be given a slightly higher pay grade than normal at least until they reach chunin and can handle things on their own. After all the Third helped Naruto out but this is something much different and so they both need the help of the village or you know what could happen."
"Anything else," the old woman asked a little tense.
"Jiraiya?" Tsunade asked almost off handedly .
"I think a new place to live would be another way to go," he said as if he was thinking hard on the subject. "After all she could be a permanent representative for Suna here even if I suspect she'll be made into a Leaf ninja. I'm not saying give them a palace but with all the ruined buildings I'm sure the council can divert some funds to fixing up a house for them to use. Maybe even hiring some of the genin to help and of course a few things to go with it but in comparison for keeping the peace it's really a small price."
Tsunade grinned at the two members of the council, "He has a point, if we want this alliance to work we better make sure that as I'm sure the council will want to ensure that things go well with Suna. After all I would hate for them to find out early just what kind of living conditions will be giving the young lady when she arrives."
The two elders knew the hidden threat in her words, if they didn't do this she would basically inform the Suna council and they would not be pleased. They could in fact call off the entire thing and that would cause a political nightmare. Tsunade grinned as she could see them thinking it over, she really gave them no real choice in the matter and everyone knew it. She might not be able to get Naruto out of this but she could at least make his life better for it.
"Very well, we will ensure that the council approves of this action," The old man said, "It is in the best interests of the alliance after all."
Sakura Haruno was walking to Sasuke's room again, she checked on him and Kakashi daily hoping that they would get better. With Naruto gone off she was left along and thankfully Ino kept her company whenever she could. She smiled at how they were slowly repairing their friendship after their match in the Chunin Exams. It was one of the few good things that came out of it. But she missed her team, she hated being alone as it only reminded her of how things had been for her as a young child. Without Ino there she might have ended up as just this lonely girl that people picked on with no confidence at all.
She winced at the memory of how her relationship with Ino had broken up over their mutual feelings for Sasuke. Although she still wanted Sasuke at least now her friendship with Ino was back on track. Now if only the boy would wake up. She sighed as she came to Sasuke's room but she was hearing voices behind the door, one was the loud voice of Naruto and she actually smiled a bit hearing it. Mainly because it meant one member of her team was finally back but the other voices she never heard before.
She opened the door and there stood Naruto but with him were two people she had never seen before. One was a woman in a grey dress with short brown hair that had an earthly beauty about her. The other was a woman that looked not much older (although she was in fact 50 years old) with blonde hair in pigtails, a green shirt.
Naruto looked at her and smiled brightly, "Hey, Sakura-chan guess who finally woke his emo-ass up?"
Sakura blinked a few times and took a few steps through the door as she saw around the women and there was Sasuke finally awake from his coma.
"Sasuke-kun!" The pink haired girl ran right over to the dark haired boy and hugged him.
Tsunade had to smile at the scene this was why she got into medicine seeing someone recovered and the reactions. Although it seemed not all the reactions were what she had hoped for. Naruto looked a little downcast, he was glad that the boy was okay but she could tell by looking on his face that he would have liked the girl to have hugged him like that. And the boy in the bed didn't even seem to notice the young girl was even there let alone hugging him.
'Too bad Naruto, looks like she has her eyes on someone else but you better get over it fast because I'm sorry to say you have no choice but to,' Tsunade thought to herself seeing the scene.
She let out a cough getting everyone's attention, "There's a meeting in my office tomorrow, I want you all to be there with the others at nine sharp."
"Okay baa-chan," Naruto smiled up at her.
She could feel the twitch in her eye at being called 'granny' again. She really wish the brat would stop calling her that.
As she and Shizune left, it was Sakura that looked to Naruto. "Naruto, who was that?"
"That's our new Hokage." Naruto smiled proudly at her.
"She's our new what?" Sakura asked shocked.
Tsunade had gathered up Naruto and all of his friends as well as their teammates, maybe doing it in private would have been better but this way she could deal with all of their reactions and they would have to be told anyway. She noticed that Sasuke looked better although Kakashi was sitting down still resting up. Everyone had been told that she was the new Hokage and there were various reactions, although a girl in a pink shirt and with her hair in two buns was looking at her with stars in her eyes for some reason. She glanced down at the profiles on her desk and saw the girl's name was Tenten from Gai's team. She wasn't sure how to start things off, how do you tell someone that they're to be used as a political tool and have to change their entire life?
She sighed as she had the official documents before her of everyone here as well as the marriage alliance.
"Everyone I have some important news that will be made public when I take up the mantel of Hokage officially tomorrow." Tsunade hated ceremonies and she wasn't looking forward to tomorrow, she couldn't even drink all that much because Shizune kept telling her that having the Hokage hung over on her own appointment ceremony wouldn't look good.
"What is it Tsunade-sama?" Kakashi was the one to ask in that usual lazy tone.
"There is going to be a political marriage agreement with Suna," Tsunade told them. "The Suna council and the Konoha council both agreed to this apparently before I was here. They seem to want to forge a stronger bond between the villages and two people have been assigned to be the ones to marry. One young lady from Suna is coming here to become a part of our village and to marry the one that the Suna council picked out."
"They're seriously going along with that old act?" Kurenai the genjustu master of the village asked.
Tsunade nodded her head, "Yes I never liked it either."
"So why are we here baa-chan?" Naruto asked with arms behind his head looking bored.
"Naruto show some respect, don't call her that!" Sakura said hitting him on the head. The boy face planted into the floor as Sakura apologized. Tsunade had to admit the girl could at least try to keep the boy controlled although she wished that Naruto would at least show some respect towards her.
"Anyways," Tsunade said ignoring it, "The reason why you are all here is because you all have certain missions for this upcoming event. A home was picked out for the couple that will need to be fixed up so you all will help out with this. Normally we would use professionals but they're too busy rebuilding the village."
"So we get stuck building a home?" Sasuke said not liking the idea. If they really wanted something that badly he could just buy one for them, he needed to train and not build some home for some political marriage.
"Well most of you," Tsunade said dreading this point, "You see Naruto and Kakashi won't be doing this."
"Huh? Why's that?" Naruto said rubbing the spot on his head that Sakura hit. Kakashi sat up straighter as many of the other jonins seemed to be catching on.
"Because Naruto...you're the one that Suna wanted to be married so you'll have to have Kakashi teach you certain protocols while the others are busy." Tsunade said.
The silence in the room was deafening, everyone looked at Naruto who looked like he was frozen in place. He blinked several times as thought he didn't believe what she had just said and no one could really fault him for it. Tsunade was waiting for the explosion that would erupt pretty soon. She didn't have to wait long.
The yelled was heard all over the building and a bit outside of it too, everyone's ears were also ringing slightly from the loud ninja's voice.
"What do you mean I'm the one getting married!? I can't get married, I'm not old enough, I don't even know her, and...and well..." He cast a glace to Sakura his long time crush. Although he kept asking her out and she kept saying no to him, he had hoped that one day she would accept it. She hadn't been as mean as she used to after the whole chunin exams, she had even started to be nicer to him. But now he was being told that he was going to be married to some stranger?
"Naruto, when you became a ninja you officially became an adult in the eyes of the village," Tsunade told him simply. "Unlike normal civilians when you become a genin you are officially no longer a child under the law. As for the young woman you actually do know her I believe. She's Temari, the one that was on the Suna team that was at the exams."
Naruto thought about it, "You mean that blond girl with the big fan? Gaara's sister and the one that beat Tenten?"
At that mention Tenten's head hung down as she felt really depressed. Why did everyone have to bring up her match against Temari? Okay sure she hadn't even touched the older girl but it was just bad luck that she had been paired up against someone she had no skills against. She was a weapons user and the other girl had been a wind user and had blown all her weapons away. She also really didn't want her idol, Tsunade to hear about her embarrassing defeat.
"Well then...I won't do it!" he said crossing his arms.
Tsunade looked at him for a moment, "Everyone can you leave the two of us alone?"
As everyone filed out she got out from behind her desk and stood in front of Naruto, he was looking down at the ground and she felt sorry for the kid. But he had to grow up sometime and he had to realise that being a ninja meant sacrifices.
"Naruto I know this isn't fair but this is an important thing that you have to do for the village."
"But...I hardly know her, and what about Sakura-chan?" He asked her in a soft voice that didn't seem to fit him.
She sighed, "Naruto a ninja's life is about sacrifice and doing the greater good. You want to become Hokage one day right? Well when you're Hokage you have to realise that you'll have to make tough choices, you'll decide on who goes on missions and sometimes you'll be sending people out who you know will die. It's not always pretty and you can't save everyone but you have to understand. For the Hokage the village must come first, I tried to think of a way out of this but to do so would have caused a political incident."
"I'm sorry, Naruto I tried. The best that me and Jiraiya could come up with was to make your life a bit better with it."
"You mean like the new house?" he asked her. Although he liked his apartment it wasn't fit for more than just him really and living in a real house was something he never thought that he would be able to do.
"Plus a little pay rise but it was the only thing I could do. This was done before I got here and so I wasn't in the loop when it happened. Naruto you have to know that this is most likely the most important duty, the most important mission you could take up for the village. You could always say no but there will be consequences so I want you to understand that."
Naruto thought long and hard about it, sure he didn't want to do this but this was something important for the village as well. He never went back on his word and he always completed his missions. Naruto thought about what could happen if he didn't do this, although he wasn't sure what exactly would happen he guessed it wouldn't be good if this was really important.
"How much trouble would be caused if I didn't do this?"
"A lot, our relations with Suna could be damaged and it could really harm our alliance and given both our weakened states it wouldn't be good for either of us." She told him.
Naruto took a look out the window for the village, it was true that he loved the village more than anything. It was his home despite how most of the village had treated him in his life. This was his home and the Third Hokage, the first person to acknowledge him and show him kindness had died to protect this village. In that moment he knew that for a Hokage you had to do whatever it was for the village even to give your own life. If the old man could give his life then this wasn't as big a deal.
"Okay...I'll do it," He said softly.
Tsunade smiled down at the boy and placed a hand on his head, he looked up and gave her a small smile in return. She knew that this wouldn't be easy for him but maybe there was hope for it after all. He wouldn't be alone in life but she just hoped that the two of them could learn to like one another as being trapped in a loveless marriage wasn't something she wanted for him.
Meanwhile outside of her office the others were already talking about the big news.
"I can't believe that Naruto of all people is getting married," Ino whined, "I mean I don't want to marry just yet but still I never thought that the first of us to get married was him."
"Would you have preferred that they set you up with someone from Suna?" Shikamaru asked her resting against a wall.
"Yeah, what if you had been set up with someone like that Gaara guy?" Choji asked her.
"Don't even joke about that!" Ino yelled at them both. The thought of being married to that scary red headed boy from the exams would have been a nightmare. Not only would she had lost her chance at Sasuke but that Gaara guy was just really scary.
"Hey," Kiba said as he walked over to them with Shino in tow and Akamaru riding on the boy's head. "You guys seen Hinata anywhere? She looked kind of upset and we wanted to see what we could do to help."
"I haven't notice to be honest," Ino said looking around and not seeing the shy girl anywhere.
"Why not ask him?" Shikamaru pointed to Neji.
It stood to reason since he was Hinata's cousin plus with his eyes he could find her easily enough. Although both Kiba and Shino hadn't liked the guy for the longest time not after nearly killing Hinata in the chunin exams when they fought against each other but after Naruto had beaten him the guy had changed. Sure he was still uptight like most Hyuga but the malice in him was gone. He had even been nice to Hinata again and she had never been happier. They walked cautiously over to the older boy who was with his team.
"Hey you," Kiba said to him earning a glare from the Hyuga prodigy.
"You know where Hinata ran off to? She was upset and we can't find her." Kiba said.
"What happened to get her upset?" Tenten asked them both.
"We are uncertain that is why we are searching for her," Shino said in that usual monotone voice of his.
Neji closed his eyes as he activated his eyes, the veins on the side of his face enlarged as his eyes looked more strained. He could see all around him, and through anything. He started his scan within the building and then moved outside of it. They waited for him to finish and after a few seconds he deactivated it.
"Well?" Kiba asked him.
"She's in good hands, don't worry about it." Neji told them simply.
Outside the building Hinata was on the ground hidden from view as she was crying. When the new Hokage told them that Naruto was being forced into a marriage she felt her young heart break. For years she had liked Naruto, he was everything that she wanted to be and he never gave up. When she had been fighting, Neji it had been him to cheer her on, it was him that gave her the strength to get stronger and to improve herself. He had given her the old Neji back that she had missed for years. Every time she tried to say something to him she stumbled over her words, just once she wanted to tell him how she felt.
But she had waited too long and now it looked like she would never have her chance with him. She silently cried her heart out until she felt a familiar arm around her. She jumped and looked up into the face of Kurenai, her sensei and who was like a mother figure to her after she had lost her own mother at an early age.
Kurenai had known about the young girl's crush, she had suspected something for a while but it wasn't until that moment when she had seen Naruto cheer on her student and how she reacted to him did she finally figure it out. But when that announcement had been made she had kept an eye on the young girl. She had seen how she had been controlling herself from crying right then and there. Hinata had left the room as quickly as she could and she had followed knowing the girl needed comfort.
She put an arm around the small girl as she hugged herself to Kurenai's chest.
"I'm sorry Hinata," she said softly to her.
"I-it's n-not f-f-fair," she cried into the woman.
"I know it's not, life sometimes isn't fair," she told her gently stroking her short hair. She wished this didn't have to happen to her and she also wasn't sure how Naruto would think on it either. It just seemed that the happiness of two young people had just been crushed for the sake of politics. Losing your first crush wasn't easy, she remembered her own first crush and how he had just dumped her after a few months. She had been very depressed for awhile until she got over it, but she was stronger for it and Kurenai only hoped that Hinata would eventually get over this as well.
Next up chapter 3: Preparations
Sorry for the wait, had a shoulder injury to get over and the chapter got a bit longer than normal.