Five Years Later . . .

The windows rattled against the raging winds, the rain pounded loudly against the tin roof, and add the loud rumbling thunder outside – it was simply impossible to find any shut eye tonight! Usually thunder storms didn't bother Kyou, but as the gennin turned over onto his other side and attempted to close his eyes again, he was starting to wonder if it was only just the storm that was keeping him up.

Green eyes slowly opened to stare about the darken room, and finally he caught sight of his travel pack and hitai-ate near the door. Tomorrow morning he and his team would be heading out on their very first B-ranked mission. At first Kyou had been so excited to go on a mission outside the village with his sensei and other teammates (Chojiro and Saya) . . . but now he wasn't so sure how to feel. The mission itself was easy enough, just to escort a merchant back to Suna. Their customer was quite elderly and just wanted some protection in case any bandits decided to take advantage of him. According to his sensei, the mission would be easy enough, but it would also be good experience for them all.

However, Kyou had heard stories . . . and the first time his sensei had been sent out on a 'simple' escort mission, it had turned into a 'bodyguard against assassins' mission where his sensei's team had almost been killed. He had been assured that the same thing would not happen, but Kyou could not help but think of the worse possible scenario.

Thunder rumbled in the sky again and before Kyou could think of any more problems that may happen on their mission . . . his eyes fell onto the bell sitting on the night table. A smile slowly started to spread across his face and he reached forward to pick up the small object. I'm thinking about this mission way too much . . . he sighed inwardly, fiddling with the bell in his hand, its small jingle sound relaxing him. Whatever happens happens. I'm a ninja of Konoha after all! A mission like this shouldn't scare me! Compared to the missions Naruto-sensei has been on, I'll take this escort one any day . . . for the time being at least, until I get more experience.

Feeling much better, he rolled over onto his back and with his mind clear, he tried to fall asleep again – but a certain part of his body was rather hungry as his stomach growled loudly. Laughing softly to himself, Kyou realized he hadn't exactly eaten a lot during supper (his mind being to preoccupied with the mission, thus the loss in appetite at the time).

It was moments like this, that he was really glad his family owned one of the 24hr convenient stores. If at any time he was feeling hungry, he could simply go downstairs and pick out something quick to eat. The only downside for the family business was the doubt people had placed on him of for ever becoming a ninja. After telling his parents what he wanted to do in life, they were behind him one hundred percent and encouraged him to do his best. Even his sister had been there to back him up, which was very surprising since the two of them mostly teased each other and argued half the time. It had been others around him that had been skeptic, thinking that he could ever be a ninja. No one in is family had been one before. However, Kyou had blown their doubts out of the water when he had passed the Academy exam with flying colors. He had to admit, that his knowledge and skill with Genjutsu and Ninjutsu were pretty impressive – it was just his Taijutsu that needed work on and his sensei had said that would be an easy fix if he trained with Lee-sensei. Kyou shivered at the thought of his weekly lessons with the Taijutsu master.

Silently he tip toed down the wooden stairs into the storage room and then out the next door which lead into the store itself.. He was quite thankful to see his sister was working the late night shift instead of his mother – Kyou was really not in the mood for a lecture about staying up so late.

"Can't sleep brat? Did you wet the bed and need someone to change the sheets for you?"

Kyou decided to ignore her wisecrack remark and simply went over to where they kept the ramen - trying to decide which flavor he wanted, "Been busy tonight, Tomoyo-neechan?"

His sister shook her head, "Nope. I doubt anyone will come with the way it's raining outside. Are you guys really supposed to go out on a mission tomorrow in this weather?"

"Yup. Doesn't matter what the climate is like, if we get a mission we do it in any condition - but I am hoping that it does clear up a bit . . ."

Tomoyo nodded and went back to reading her romance novel. The two of them were six years apart in age and usually didn't get along, but now that he was out of the house more, the two of them seemed to be getting along better – probably because they were no longer around each other all day.

"Oh by the way, mom packed a lunch for you and some snacks for your teammates. She figures you guys could use something better to eat then those ninja ration bars on the mission."

Kyou smiled brightly as he poured the boiling water into his instant miso ramen, "Really? That's awesome!" Using the chopsticks to stir the noodles around, he inhaled the warm ramen scent that always made him drool. Turning around to bid his sister a good night, Kyou was interrupted by the bell on the store door.

"Irashaima – sen . . ." Tomoyo welcomed at first in a cheery voice, but paused as she stared at the drenched customer who had certainly seen better nights.

Wordless the blond shopper slowly walked through the store, taking one step at a time so sluggish it looked like he was a walking zombie. Kyou tried not to laugh. He silently watched his idol move about the store at a snails pace, picking up weird combinations of food that someone would not normally eat all together. When his sensei picked up a package of cinnamon rolls, it finally clicked in Kyou's mind who he was buying most of the food for.

"Hinata-san still having her nightly cravings, Naruto-sensei?"

The blonde ninja stopped mid step and turned to the owner of the voice who had called him, "Why are you up so late Kyou? You should be in (yawn) bed . . ."

"I could say the same thing for you, sensei."

Naruto's eyebrow arched in slight annoyance before going back at his task, "Yeah well, (yawn) I, at least have a good excuse for being up so late."

Kyou laughed softly.

After picking up a few more items, Naruto made his way over to the cash register and paid for his purchases. For a moment the blond ninja just stood at the door and eyed the rain outside, not looking forward to the journey back home.

"Do you want to borrow an umbrella?" asked Tomoyo, "At least you would be a little more dry this time."

Naruto shook his head, "Nah that's (yawn) alright. I'm more awake now so I'll just use my Hiraishin no jutsu to get home faster. I'll see you tomorrow, Kyou."

"Night, Naruto-sensei. At least you won't have to keep doing this for much longer! Hinata-san is due in a few weeks right?"

His sleepy, frowned face soon turned into a magnificent grin that Kyou was always used to seeing him wear, "Yeah. I can't wait to meet my son . . ." And with that, Naruto stepped back out into the raging weather and disappeared in a flash.

Smiling, Kyou made his way back towards his room, "Goodnight nee-chan, I'll say goodbye to you tomorrow before I go on my mission."


Hinata happily ate her cinnamon roles and for the life of her she could not care that she had almost consumed all in the box – there had only been four after all. When her cravings had first started, she would feel ashamed and awful when she ate more than she used to, however Sakura and Naruto had reminded her that she was eating for two now.

She had also felt bad at times when sending Naruto on his midnight errands to get her whatever particular food she would be craving at the time. However, that guilt no longer lingered in her conscience since, after all it was his fault in the first place she was having these cravings . . . and it also had to do with the way her hormones were out of whack while she was pregnant.

Hinata giggled softly, remembering the day when she had told Naruto they were expecting.

He was quiet . . . too quiet for her liking. He simply just stood there with a blank look on his face and if Hinata didn't know better it looked like he was about ready to throw up. Her heart started to pound faster in fear; however it was short lived when he opened his mouth and softly asked, "I'm going to be a father?"

Tears welled up in her pale violet eyes before she nodded softly. Finally his face broke out into a huge grin before he whooped loudly and embraced her tightly. Then after releasing her, he kissed her soundly on the lips before leaping out the door and yelling at the top of his lungs, "I'M GOING TO BE A FATHER!"

Pale violet eyes moved down to the figure that was kneeled in front of her, his hands lightly caressing her round stomach and whispering words she could not hear to the child inside her. Smiling down at her husband, Hinata ran her hand through his hair – massaging his scalp with the pads of fingers.

"I can't wait till he's born . . ." whispered Nartuo, his blue eyes meeting hers, "I can't wait to meet him."

Hinata smiled and nodded in agreement. For the past month it was all Naruto talked about, wanting to meet and hold their son. It made her heart swell with happiness that Naruto was so excited, but frankly so was she. Both of them could spend hours talking about what they couldn't wait to do with their child.

Thankfully her pregnancy had gone completely normal (so far at least) and if continued down that road, she had no doubt in her mind that this wouldn't be the first. Naruto did after all want lots of children, and so did she . . . but maybe she would be able to talk him out of having ten . . .

Both of them were oblivious to the raging storm outside and the only thing they were focused on was each other. After seeing that his wife was done eating her midnight snack, Naruto helped Hinata to her feet before they slowly walked back to their bedroom.

"Kakashi-sensei kind of feels bad for sending me out on a mission tomorrow with my team, but he promises I'll be back in time. Are you sure I shouldn't call Hanabi or Kiba to come stay with you? I'm sure they wouldn't mind, I'm only gone a week."

Hinata lightly slapped her husbands shoulder as he helped her into the bed, "Naruto-kun I'll be fine. Besides, Otou-sama has offered that I stay over at the Hyuuga estate while you're gone – just in case something happens."

Naruto nodded and sighed with relief that his wife would not be alone while he was gone. Turning out the light, he rolled over onto his side and held his wife from behind, burrowing his face into her hair and inhaled deeply. Hinata's sweet scent made his body relax instantly and under different circumstances he would have made a more seductive move instead of just placing his hand on her stomach. Slowly, the two of them fell asleep in each others arms with one final thought . . . wondering what the next step in life would be like – when they took on the role as parents.


Author Note:

Well everyone that is it for Closer. I have you have enjoyed my first Naruto fanfic, I know I had quite a time writing it. Many thanks to all the reviewers and my two betas. Both of them are very very busy with exams this week, so I looked over this part quite carefully, but if you still see any mistakes please let me know and I will fix it!

So Happy Holidays to everyone and please please review! Even if you never have before I would like just one to know how you liked this story as a whole.