Hi there! :D
I'm here with a translated fiction of mine... I've wanted to write this in English for a while now, but couldn't get out of my lazyness enough to do it before two days ago. This idea came from a sort of challenge between me and my cousin, who hates Naruto but - oddly enough... or maybe not - loves Minato: she stated writing a father/son fiction with the few knowledge she had of the story and I started something with a similar topic :P
The story is setted in future Shippuden-canon/verse, Naruto is more or less 20 and still oblivious about his parents identity (a bit clichè, but who cares XP); it contains really minor spoilers concerning Jiraya and Kakashi, just so you know.
Disclamer: Naruto does not belong to me... I so wish I could at least rent some of the characters (try guess who... LOL)
The Day Has Come
by Temari 88
The day had started out like the usual spring-closing-in-to-summer day in Konoha: hot but not so much as to be annoying; the heat was relived by a soft breeze blowing every now and then. The sun, with its rays, was happily illuminating the entire width of the village and of its villagers, who were all bristling about the streets.
Today was very special: THE ceremony would be held within hours; all of the citizens were occupied to prepare everything that would be needed for this occasion – some of them had been preparing for the past two days, even – and streets and alleys were constantly assaulted by passer-bys, the stores and the shops were making loads of money, kids were more hyper and energetic than usual.
In the air, excitement was tangible. Just a few more hours to go.
There was a tad of melancholy, at the thought of Tsunade giving up her title as Hokage… in these years, since when she took Sandaime-sama's place, everyone had gotten used – and why not, fond – of all the weird perks of the ex-medic ninja's character: falling asleep on top of a pile of important documents; drinking sakè at whatever time of the day and remaining, for the most part, sober enough to do her job; the way she could smash a wall ever-so-easily and, topped to that, being able to make a ninja of Jiraya's level fly through said hole…
Konohanians were so used to all that, they didn't even think anything of that anymore. After all, people get used to everything, given a bit of time.
In fact, nowadays, there wasn't a single person who got worried if all of a sudden shouts and sounds of smashing objects came from Tsunade's direction… especially if there was a certain blond young man by the name of Uzumaki Naruto in the same room: their fights – the two were like mother and son, fighting for the most trivial things – had become routine; it was a sort of comfort, to hear them yelling at each other day in and day out.
During the last four or five years, the villagers of Konohagakure had drastically changed their opinion, their view and especially their attitude toward Naruto. It was beautiful to see the people laughing and joking along with him, to see the children get close to the blond ninja without their mothers hurrying and taking them away, to hear the kids at the academy saying that Naruto was their model to follow and look up to, to see everybody get worried when he was sad – it was enough to make the hearts of those who had always believed in him swell with pride.
And precisely thanks to this 'new' point of view, the entire village was blanketed in this feeling of anticipation and rightfulness and euphoria.
Naruto, for his part, could not be any more nervous than he already was. Finally the dream he'd been shouting at everyone for his entire life was about to become reality: he'll be Hokage! The thought alone was more than enough for him to feel the faint sting of tears of happiness – the number of emotions swimming inside him was such that it was impossible to name them all.
Tsunade had said she had a very special thing for him, a sort of gift. Naruto couldn't wait to see what it was, but he knew he had to be patient.
Just then, someone knocked on the door of the room he was occupying for the time being (one of the many guest bedrooms inside the Hokage Tower): it was the Godaime Hokage in person. As soon as she saw Naruto, the woman smiled – the smile was small but absolutely sincere – and drew nearer, halting a few centimetres in front of him.
They stood there in silence for some time, looking at each other like a son facing his mother in a day of vital importance for them both. Then Tsunade smiled again – how unusual, to see her being sweet – and rested a hand gently on Naruto's right cheek.
"You're so much like him… I might think I've gone back in time…" said the woman, her voice low, barely a whisper.
"… Of course, he did not used to call me 'Baa-chan'…" added Tsunade as her voice turned back to normal and regarded Naruto with a reprimanding look on her face.
"Tsunade-sama." corrected the blond young man, a mischievous glint in his blue eyes and a small smug grin, before continuing. "Who are talking about?"
"Ah… I was referring to your father, Naruto…"
"My--? You knew him?"
"Oh, yes." answered Tsunade, laughing. "I knew him quite well. He was very well known, to tell the truth."
"And who…?" Naruto couldn't bring himself to finish the question, but the blond woman understood all the same.
"This is exactly why I'm here, Naruto; I think the time has come for you to know the truth… you're about to become Hokage, after all: it is only right that you face your people knowing of your inheritance."
Naruto could feel his heart beating madly: never had he thought of ever knowing who his parents had been; to be honest, he had never even thought about the problem before… he had gotten used to be alone a long time ago, in a bit of a run down and old fashioned apartment. It seemed unreal, for him, the chance to finally hear the names of the ones who had wanted him, who had loved him – despite an early death.
To him, who had had to suffer from all the villagers' hatred for so long, it was hard to believe in the existence of someone that had been happy of having him born in this world.
So, in that moment, in that room, he waited… waited, with bathed breath, to hear that name – those names.
Tsunade could see clearly in those blue eyes all the emotions Naruto could not express out loud; the woman herself, standing in front of that boy who she'd ended up considering a bit a son, a bit a little brother and a bit a nephew, could feel a knot forming in her throat.
A part of her was afraid. Afraid that Naruto, once he known the truth, would end up hating the man who, more than anyone else, had sacrificed all he had for the village he had promised to protect no matter what.
"Naruto… please, before I say anything, keep in mind this: your father loved you more than his own life. He had always had faith in your potential and in your possibilities: he knew you would have been able to face even the hardest obstacle. So, don't hate him…"
"Baa-chan, I don't--"
"No, listen to what I'll tell you without asking questions, all right?" asked Tsunade. When Naruto nodded, she made him take a seat at the table present in the room; then she sat down as well, across from the young man.
"The best thing, I believe, is being straightforward and direct…" she paused, then went on. "Naruto, you are the son of Minato Namikaze…"
"… Namikaze…? But… my name's--"
"Yes, I know. When you were born, it was decided to name you after your mother: Kushina Uzumaki. You see… after what had happened with the Kyuubi… the Sandaime Hokage thought it was not wise to call you 'Namikaze'… the village, back then, was in total chaos: your father's sacrifice had had a harsh effect on the whole of Konoha…"
"What…? Why should my father have anything to do with Kyuubi…??" said Naruto, disbelieving.
The blond ninja stayed in silence for a couple of minutes, then his eyes widened to saucer size and all color disappeared from his normally tanned face. "… No… it-it can't be…! It's not true… it-it cannot be him…!"
"Naruto… calm down…"
"You're kidding me, right?!"
"No. This is the honest truth: your father is the Yondaime Hokage, Minato Namikaze."
"Why are you doing this, uh?!" Naruto stood up abruptly, making his chair fall to the floor.
"What do you mean…?" Tsunade had feared exactly this.
"You want me to believe you don't understand?! For twelve years I've admired the Fourth Hokage for the courage he showed, sacrificing himself to defeat Kyuubi; then I found out in the worst way possible – from the mouth of a traitor – that the fox had been caged inside me… and now… now you're telling me that the Yondaime was my father and that he died deciding to seal the demon inside his own son…?!?!"
"No, Tsunade, let me finish…" Naruto could see the Hokage's face, but the tears blurred his sight. "I-I don't hate him: I never did. I understand, really… it's just-if he hadn't been Hokage… I would have a family, now…! How can I be happy? Not now. Right now I'm not proud to be Minato Namikaze's son…"
"I understand… I simply hope you haven't changed your mind…" said Tsunade, trying to lighten a bit Naruto's heavy heart.
"Oh, I've no intention to…!" answered the younger blond, smiling a little.
"Good. I'll leave you alone now… but before, I have something for you. Here."
Tsunade gave Naruto a letter, turned on her heels and exited the room.
Naruto remained stock still, staring at the white paper, for who-knows how long. He turned it over in his hands and saw that on the side where the seal had been placed (a spiral engraved in wax) a name had been written. He hoped to find some detail, however ethereal, about the life and the character of that woman and that man who had, that first time, held him to their chests and had thanked the Gods for the gift they had received…
It was handwritten. It was addressed to him.
His heart was beating so fast, as he let a finger caress the paper under the fold to finally break the seal and open the letter.
My dear son –
Oh, what the heck am I writing…? This letter is not addressed to one of those stupid stuck up council members! Ehm, ehm… anyway, this should be a serious thing, so…
Well, where should I start from?
You have no idea how many things I would like to talk to you about, Naruto, but I don't think I have the time: my time is about to end; even now, while I write these words, I can see in the distance the malicious gleam – and feel the eerie power – of a terrible chakra. The Kyuubi is at farther end of the Fire Country's border; it won't take long for it to reach the village.
If you are reading this letter… the cases are two: either I gave it to you, or my sensei gave it to you.
Even if I'm not the pessimist type of person, I doubt I'll be able to hand these pages to you personally: I know very well how that ritual works, and I know that if I'll be the one surviving… you will not be here, and vice versa. Unfortunately, Fate has decided to not let us know each other how we should have: as father and son.
I know it is sad, but I prefer it's you who will stay alive… if I happened to find myself, twenty years from now, reading again this letter… I think I'd wish to die: I wouldn't be able to face this world without you, not when I've already lost Kushina…
This said, it is very likely it'll be Jiraya-sama to give you these pages. I hope that, during your lifetime, you will have the chance to know him: he is a very particular and powerful ninja – he's one of the three Sannin of Konoha, together with Tsunade-sama and Orochimaru – despite his (sometimes embarrassing) obsession with women…
You know, Naruto, I want to tell you a secret: Jiraya… well, let us say you can consider him your godfather, and something akin to a grandfather if you want…!
Your name comes from one of his novels, you knew that?
I hope he'll let you read it, one day… it is the story of a ninja who, to remain faithful to his nindo, doesn't worry about what other people think of him; as time passes, that same people – who had despised him before – start to recognize his courage and determination… the main character of this story is named just like you: Naruto.
I know it might seem granted from me, as a father, to say that I'm positive about you becoming exactly like that character… but, believe me, I'm sure you'll make it.
It is for this reason – because I believe in your strength – that I know I can leave to you the responsibility of controlling Kyuubi and protect the village your mother and I (and all the ones I care about) have always loved with all of our heart. Do you understand what this means, Naruto? Do you understand why, in this moment, my heart is getting heavier and heavier as minutes pass by?
I know what consequences will this choice of mine bring… for me but, especially, for you. For your life.
I decided to sacrifice my future and my life, for Konoha; I changed what your destiny could have been.
I left in your hands my soul, because I know – I know – you can sustain the weight of a responsibility that is, right now, too heavy for your tiny shoulders… I place my complete and unwavering faith in you…
Even in these moments, while I write, as I see you sleeping away peacefully and completely oblivious to the danger we're all in – with Kyuubi drawing nearer – my smile is firm and sure: the time will come when, from the top of the highest tower (the Hokage's one), you'll look down and you'll see your people greeting you as the great ninja you're destined to become.
And know that, when that day comes, I'll be there beside you. Proud as – and more than - every other father seeing their sons reach their dreams.
You see, Naruto, I'm not afraid to die: it is one of the few certainties of life, after all. The idea of facing a demon – the strongest demon ever known to mankind – does not scare me, because I know that there will be others, once I'll be gone, looking after everything that I love… still, there is one thing I'm afraid of…
A shudder runs down my spine, thinking that you – once you'll know the truth - might end up hating me for what I'm about to do.
… For my part, I do – and always will – love you and, even if I've known you for just a few days, I feel you have a very special power… I'm sure you'll do great things, once grown.
Your mother and I will always be by your side.
You are our blessing. You are our angel.
You are our Naruto.
Without noticing, Naruto had started crying; silently, the tears rolled down and he couldn't find the strength to stop them… it was like he had gone back to being a kid: a saddened child, comforted and held by his parents as they caressed his hair slowly, slowly – to calm him down and tell him everything was fine and that they would forever be there for him…
Yet in that moment, he couldn't help but feel also immensely alone because, reading those words, the reality of what his childhood had been… seemed even more empty and unfair. He had revered a face engraved in stone for this long, not knowing he was actually looking at his father: the person he'd wished to know more than anyone else in his life. Everything had the bitter taste of a very cruel joke.
Naruto gently placed the letter atop the table in front of him, he got to his feet brushing his hand over his eyes and breathed in. He stood there a bit before starting to get ready for the ceremony that would permit him to finally achieve his greatest dream.
It was some minutes after midday, when all the Konohanians had taken their positions: civilians and genins were gathered all around square in front of the Hokage tower; all the chunnins, jonnins and ANBU members were standing on the roofs of the adjoining houses or stores. On top of the tower, were standing the Council members, the Damiyo of the Fire Country, a number of others nobles of different origin and, especially, the Kazekage – Gaara was not wearing his blue-and-white robe because he'd decided to participate simply as a very close friend of the almost Rokudaime Hokage – escorted by his 'body guards', Temari and Kankuro.
At the center of everything, at the very top of the Hokage building, stood Tsunade and Naruto.
Tsunade took a step forward and everyone went quiet. She started her speech, but Naruto couldn't concentrate on paying attention: his gaze continued to shift from face to face, from a house to another, from tree to tree… it was as if he was seeing everything for the first time, when in reality it had always surrounded him…
This was what, form now on, he had the task to protect and preserve with his whole soul. He would do his very best, because this was his home, his treasure, his people and he loved them all with their virtues and their defects. He wouldn't give a thing in exchange of this for the world.
Naruto had promised, first to himself and then to everybody he cared for, that nothing would ever happen to Konoha, as long as he had air in his lungs. And - it is worldwide known – Naruto Uzumaki never backs down on a promise!
Naruto was so lost in his own thoughts, he had failed to notice that Tsunade had come to stand in front of him with a trench/vest-like cloth in hand; he came back to his senses only when she rested the fabric on his shoulders, with more force that needed, before pushing him forward shouting.
"And now, here he is for you: Naruto Uzumaki, Rokudaime Hokage from this moment until he'll die of ramen overdose!!"
The crowd all around laughed light heartily, before quieting down once again to let Naruto do his first formal speech.
"… I- don't know really what to say, except: thank you. Really. Being here, in front of all of you, is a life time dream coming true and wearing this vest is the greatest honour Tsunade-baa-chan could have done to me… I hope I'll be a good Hokage for you – certainly I won't be worse than Tsunade…!"
Everyone laughed again, while Tsunade hit Naruto on the back of his head for the 'offending' judgement. Once again serious, Naruto went on.
"You won't have to worry of at least two things: I'll do my best, as I always did, to protect you and the village from every danger that might present itself and… I'll NEVER die because of too much ramen!!!"
All of Konoha exploded in laughter and in celebrations. Tsunade throw the oddly shaped Hokage hat at Naruto, hitting him square in the forehead. Naruto laughed excitedly and continued to run around trying to avoid the raging woman to the point of hiding behind Gaara who, very elegantly and with a small smile visible on his lips, sidestepped to not attract Tsunade's wrath on himself as well.
In the middle of that chaos, Naruto spared a thought to those who could not participate in his joy like everyone else.
"Ero-sannin… Kakashi-sensei… mom… dad… I hope you're proud of me!"
Hope you liked the story :P Ja ne,
Hope you liked the story :P