Tayuya lives in Konoha. A glimpse into her life there, a few looks at how she got there, and how she keep Naruto to herself. NaruTayu One-Shot

Written in response to a request by jere7782.

Naruto, the reigning Hokage of Konohagakure, smiled as he took a slow walk around the village. Being Hokage wasn't so tough. Not nearly as hard as the old man had made it seem, and far less difficult than Tsunade had constantly told him it was. For fuck's sake, why hadn't either of them thought to use shadow clones to get through the paperwork? The clones knew all that he did, and so they could make intelligent decision about stuff, and the real Naruto never needed to bother with that shit, even once.

Whoops. Naruto caught himself using crass language again. At least he had mostly pruned it from his speech, although he still sometimes slipped. Gaara had seemed rather amused at the last meeting by the blonde Hokage's outburst of foul language, after hearing about the recent developments in Iwa.

But it was only to be expected, since he spent so much time around Tayuya, who was only slightly more civil than when she first entered the village, though she was much less hostile.

He waved to the old man at Ichiraku's as he passed. Somehow, that guy was still in business, and still working, despite having his daughter and son-in-law also working at his stand. Naruto was about to shout a greeting when he felt a familiar pair of arms wrap around him from behind.

He smiled and leaned back into Tayuya. "Hey, Tayuya-chan. What brings you out here, hm?" His eyes glittered and danced as he craned his neck to look at the woman behind him.

Tayuya just smirked, and replied in a confident voice, "Just wanted to say hello, shit-head." Her arms tightened around him as she rested her head on his back. "You don't mind, do you?" Or maybe she wasn't as confident as she wanted to be.

Naruto twisted around in her arms and embraced her firmly, before pulling back and putting one arm over her shoulder, steering her alongside him as he continued his walk at a slower pace. "Of course not, Tayuya-chan. I never mind having you around."

Tayuya grinned, and shot back. "That not what you said at that mission briefing last week."

Chuckling, the blonde leader of Konoha rolled his eyes. "I don't mind having you around. It's the stuff you do sometimes..."

Tayuya hit him playfully on the shoulder, then nuzzled against it, messing up her hair, which had already been in a state of disarray.

"Besides, Tayuya-chan, you're a lot better than you were on your first day here. Real progress. I bet in a few years you'll be as tame as a bunny rabbit!"

Tayuya unleashed the full fury of her puppy-dog eyes, which looked odd on her normally fearsome face. "You don't think I'm good enough now, Naruto?" She even managed to make her lower lip tremble.

Naruto knew it was a ruse, but couldn't resist pulling her close again, resting his chin on her head. "I like you just the way you are, Tayuya-chan. Even back then, you weren't so bad..."

The red-headed kunoichi endured silently as she was hauled back to the leaf village, not uttering a single complaint as every time her captor leapt, her legs shrieked in nearly-unbearable agony.

She'd been captured. Found by the Konoha ANBU scanning the area of the last mission. And now she was on her way to the village she had just been running from, and would no doubt be interrogated for every bit of information she had about the Sound.

But that was alright with her. Orochimaru was not a nice man, by any stretch of the imagination. Even if the leaf brought out the worst they had to bear, they could not hold a candle to the unutterable atrocities Orochimaru committed daily.

And this was her best chance, her one, real chance, to get away. Because Orochimaru did not tolerate dissent. He did not abide treachery. If at any time Tayuya had tried to run away, Orochimaru would have reached out through the cursed seal and sent her into the terrible, stabbing torment of the seal. Or killed her instantly.

But now, after a brush with death so close that even the curse seal thought she had died, and so faded, Tayuya was free. Free to escape from Orochimaru, to rat him out to his worst enemies, and help them fight back against the cruel, pale man who had once been the genius of the Legendary Three.

When she was first asked, as a matter of courtesy, to tell them everything she knew about the Sound, not a one of them expected her to say anything. Ibiki was already waiting in the back of the room for her inevitable refusal. The Hokage was standing in the doorway, ready to leave as soon as the interrogation started. The ANBU around the room were waiting in silent anticipation of her loud, screaming protests. Because she had screamed and cursed and cussed all over the hospital, and so surely she would be even more obnoxious now.

Only the weird blonde kid who had brought her from the hospital room seemed unsurprised when she cleared her throat and began to tell them.


Out of habit, Tayuya rubbed at the spot her cursed seal had once been, though it had faded years ago. And, also out of habit, Naruto took her hand, and gently brought it to her side, reminding her without words that there was no reason to be anxious, no reason to worry about that snake any longer.

She snuck a glance at the blonde Hokage, and almost jumped when she say him staring straight back at her. Damn, he always scared her shitless like that, staring like he was some sort of moonstruck lover.

Which, she supposed, could be true. He had expressed a preference for her, over and above even that pink-haired slut who was constantly asking him out for lunch, or coming up with various reasons that she needed to see him, alone. Honestly, did she even think before she did stuff like that? It was so obvious, to everybody.

Everybody except Naruto. Tayuya sighed, and leaned further into his embrace, inhaling his slight male odor, with a hint of a woodsy tint to it. She closed her eyes and tried to relax, tried to forget about that pink-haired bitch who was constantly vying for his attention. Naruto never got it. For some reason, the otherwise intelligent leader of Konohagakure never noticed that Sakura's outrageous flirting, and never commented on it.

And he still called her Sakura-chan! Tayuya opened her eyes, narrowing them in anger, and, she admitted, a bit of jealousy. Naruto was Tayuya's. He took the red-head out to meals all the time. He relaxed with her in his spare time. He shared his thoughts with her, even some of his worries.

Nothing like that stupid medic. So why did he call her Sakura-chan? Tayuya found it hard to believe that it could be just because that was what he had always called her, but that was what Naruto had said. Could it really by true?

Tayuya gripped him a little tighter, reassuring herself that this man was hers, and only hers. It had been that way ever since...

Tayuya blinked, and blinked again. What the fuck was going on?

She tried to use a genjutsu dispelling technique several times, and rubbed her eyes furiously in an effort to throw off what had to be an illusion. Shit like this didn't happen.

Tsunade, seeing her disbelief, explained it again. "Since you have been so helpful, and your information has led to one of our greatest achievements in the entire history of Konoha, and since you are physically incapable of doing major harm to other ninjas, because of the permanent damage to your legs, we have decided to put you on parole. If you can behave yourself for the next five years, then you'll be free to go wherever you like."

Still unable to take it in, Tayuya just stared at the blonde old hag in shock.

Tsunade sighed. "Naruto, just take her outside, will you please? And make sure she gets to her apartment, okay?"

He nodded, and gently led the stunned red-head out into the streets of Konoha. Feeling suddenly nervous, Tayuya clung to his arm, then remembered herself and shoved his arm away. What the hell? She didn't need his help.

Except that she didn't know where this apartment was. Naruto gestured for her to come with him, and led her slowly toward the place she would spend the next five years.

Tayuya followed close behind, maintaining a slightly intimate proximity as she made sure that she didn't fall behind. It was hard to keep up with his pace, since her legs could barely walk, let alone move at any great speed.

It was the that the pink-haired bitch first showed up. When Tayuya first saw her, she recognized the glint in the medic's eyes. Envy.

Feeling possessive, and not willing to just give up, even though she hadn't really staked a claim in the first place, Tayuya took a hold of Naruto's hand and glared at the other woman.

Sakura spoke softly, barely concealing her jealousy. "Hey, Naruto. Who's that?"

"Sakura-chan!" Tayuya stomach tightened even as her grip on the blonde's hand did so also. "I was just taking Tayuya to her new apartment. You know, the girl from sound?"

"Oh. Well, when you're done, do you want to go to lunch with me? I'll pay." Sakura had a victorious smile on her face, a look so smug that Tayuya couldn't stand it. Even if she had just met this guy, she wasn't going to lose him to some bitch like that.

Speaking up quickly, Tayuya made sure to keep her voice relatively calm. "Hey, I don't know where to get lunch. Maybe we could do that before you take me to the apartment?"

Naruto, oblivious to everything going on around him, smiled and replied to both of them. "Hey, why don't we all go to Ichiraku's for ramen!"

And so it was that the three of them found themselves eating ramen, Naruto sitting in the middle of the two girls as he happily chowed his way through several very large bowls of the steaming noodles, never noticing the death glares the females shot at each other at every opportunity.

But it was what happened next that stayed with Tayuya for years, and characterized Naruto's behavior ever since.

Finishing his last bowl, Naruto sighed in contentment. "That was great!"

Sakura forced a smile onto her face, while somehow managing to glare at Tayuya at the same time. "Great! Hey, can you walk me home, Naruto?"

Tayuya's breath hitched. Sure, she had just met the guy, but... he had always treated her well, even when everyone else had shunned her as 'the spy.' And now, before she could even think about what might happen someday, maybe, this pink-haired slut was trying to take him away.

But her worry was in vain. "Sorry, Sakura. I've got to take Tayuya to her apartment, and help her move in and stuff. She's new, and so she's gonna need my help."

Failing to notice Sakura's stunned and hurt expression, Naruto turned to Tayuya and offered her a hand.

"Let's go check out your new place, huh?"

Tayuya gratefully accepted his hand, and let him lead her away. She never let go, the whole way there.

And now, as always, Sakura arrived. From over Naruto's shoulder, Tayuya could see her face twitch in pain, but then, unlike every other time, it softened, into... acceptance?

Tayuya watched the other girl's lips carefully, as Sakura mouthed, "Take good care of him."

Tayuya watched the medic walk away slowly, and relaxed into Naruto even more.

The blonde chuckled. "You alright, Tayuya?"

She smiled. "Never been better." And she kissed his cheek.

And that is the end of this rambling, random fic. Sorry if it's not up to par, but it's late, and I wanted to post it and go to bed. Hope you liked it, despite the small amount of time I put into it.

For those of you following the daily updates, be warned. This may not keep up for long. My life is so much busier now. Damn.

Anyway, let me know what you thought.