The Family That Grows Together
Chapter 1: Father-Son Talk
Written by: Jaeromaru
"Its official, you've gone completely senile old man."
Sarutobi Hiruzen, Sandaime Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato sighed wryly at his son's dry witty retort in response to his proposal. He expected as much considering the circumstances regarding their souring relationship. But even so, a man never becomes Hokage without skills in the art of diplomacy: although he never expected these skills would be necessary to talk with his son.
"Asuma, as much as I enjoy hearing how you worry about my mental health, theres is still much more to discuss and-"
"What do you mean theres more to discuss?" Asuma interrupted with an even tone. "You've literally had me dragged here to be blindsided with this 'request' when you know what my situation is right now."
The younger Sarutobi was clearly not thrilled with this talk.
We literally had one foot out of the gate when he had his masked cronies pick us up. If it wasn't for Nai-chan calming me down, I wouldn't even be in this office right now....
The elder Sarutobi rubbed his temple, "Asuma I know we haven't seen eye-to-eye lately, but can you please just hear me out before this becomes another pissing-match?"
Have I really let you down this much my son that you were so adamant to leave without saying goodbye...seems this job truly is a curse on the families of those who hold it.
Despite being somewhat skeptical of the manipulative prowess of the veteran Hokage, the younger man decided this once to fully hear his father out.
The second I think you're trying to pull any shenanigans, discussion over.
"You've got five minutes old man, but remember the second I think you're pulling a fast one, me and Nai-chan are heading to the Daimyo's court double-time and were not looking back again." said Asuma crossing his arms while burning his gaze into his estranged father.
Smiling sadly that his son thought this little of his sincerity, yet still decided to listen, he began;
"Son...Asuma I need you to take the boy, Naruto, with you out of Konoha."
"I heard you the first time," frustration evident in his voice, "but you are still neglecting to tell me WHY, it has to be me of all people to take the squirt. Last time I checked, every clan from Aburame to Yamanaka have offered to adopt the boy." said Asuma throwing his arms around in a circle to emphasize his point.
Rubbing the bridge of his nose in preparation of the coming headache, the Third continued.
"I know and they all sincerely wish to honor the wishes of the Forth to protect the boy. Thats not the problem..."
"You're losing me pop.." said Asuma tapping his fingers against his crossed arms. What have you got up your sleeve old man...
Looking up to stare his son in the eye, "The problem is in the last week alone since the sealing of the fox, I've had to order the execution of eight skilled leaf ninja that tried to slit Naruto's throat in his sleep."
"So? The bastards deserved to die for trying to kill a child. I don't see the problem." said the younger man. Especially if it were up to me, I'd have gutted em personally with a spoon and a crazy straw.
"I see... even after all the boasting that you knew better than myself about how the world operates, your eyes still can't see the bigger picture." muttered the Hokage with a look of haggard disappointment.
"If I knew you were going to lecture me again Hokage-sama," spitting the last part out. " I'd be out the door already with Kurenai heading for our new lives at the capitol. Now get to the damn POINT!" shouted a now thoroughly pissed and indignant Sarutobi Asuma.
Still thinks he has the right to act like hes been a real father to me. This goddamn village came first always ALWAYS, while me, mom, and bro had to sit second string on his thing-to-do list.
"The point being is if Naruto were to be adopted into a respectable clan within the village and offered protection, not only would Naruto still be in danger of continued attempts at his life, but I would also be forced to execute even more shinobi that I simply cant afford to lose with our forces already thinned from the Kyuubi's attack." wearily responded the Sandaime, exasperated by the events of the past few weeks.
"He simply can't stay in the village, no matter who's protecting him."
"So you're trying to sweep this kid under the rug because you don't want to execute baby-killers that still have use as leaf ninja? Is that what you're telling me....because if it is then I think this village is doomed even if the damn fox is gone." angrily laughed Asuma while shaking his head in disappointment.
"DAMNIT BOY! Don't you think I know that?!" the Hokage's tone catching Asuma off-gaurd.
"The only reason I'm back in this infernal chair taking care of this forsaken place is so Minato's sacrifice, and that of his son wasn't in vain!"
Sinking into his chair and looking every bit the fifty-plus years old he has lived, the Hokage looked back to his eldest child once again and noticed his surprised look.
Wearily he clarified, "Yes, Naruto is Minato's legacy in more ways than one. I trust you can keep this secret since its enough trouble as it is with Konoha ninja trying to kill him, only to have to deal with Iwa nin on top of it looking for retribution against his father."
The Hokage looking down sadly, continued.
"I know I haven't been much of a father to you or your brother, and I know for a fact its far too late to make up for it, but this child wont survive here as long as the weak minds of the villagers continue like this." the elderly man's voice just barely above a whisper.
Looking up to see his son's wide-eyed expression, he wearily continued, "Even I, a man too often blinded by his love for his village and its people, understands that it takes more than strict laws to squelch S-class secrets to change the hearts of men and women. These people are too self-righteous and stubborn to let the fear of execution stop them from killing an innocent child."
Asuma still a tad surprised to hear these words come from his father responded, "I can understand why you need to get the boy the hell out of this monster clusterfuck, but still....why trust me of all people to do this?"
Smiling at his son he clarified, "Just because I've always tried to get you to question yourself and your views on different things Asuma, doesn't mean I don't have faith and trust in you. Quite the opposite in fact."
Smiling wider at his son's even more shocked look by that praise, the Sandaime continued, "Yes I could order someone else to take him out of the village as a mission and provide sterile protection, but I know in the end they would fail to do the one thing I would need them to do the most."
Asuma firmly interested in the answer asked "What would that be?"
Again staring straight into Asuma's eyes with a soft expression he continued "Giving the boy a loving family."
Reeling from hearing his father declare such faith in him, the young man contemplated this task his Hokage, no, his father asked of him. He really needed to weigh the options. This wasn't some run of the mill request given on a whim.
He knew Kurenai was firmly adamant about starting a family soon, and from his understanding, those in the court of the fire Daimyo wouldn't be privy to the identity of the container for the nine-tailed fox leaving Naruto safe from similar dangers like in Konoha. There was so much to take in all at once, but like all men, Asuma knew heavy decisions like these really came down to the approval his better-half.
After a few minutes of deep thought, Asuma looked back up to meet his father's eyes.
"Just so you know, I still think you've completely lost your mind old man."
"Duly noted" said the Third with a smirk.
"Well regardless of that, I certainly wouldn't mind having a little squirt calling me pops. But still, I'd like to get Nai-chan's input about this since I don't think she was planning on diaper-duty this quick."
Chuckling the elder Hokage responded, "Well lets go find my lovely daughter-in-law then. Although speaking from experience, if you think you can push all the baby-duty on her alone, expect many nights alone on the couch my son. Especially with a wife with as much fire as your mother."
With a shiver Asuma retorted, "Thanks dad, real nice. I really need to know I married a woman like mom. Anymore traumatic comparisons you got lined up?"
Laughing at his son's indignant look, the elder Sarutobi stood up, "Come on my boy, lets go find Kurenai and see what she thinks about this arrangement."
After the two Sarutobi's left the Hokage office, they asked the receptionist if she could point them in the direction where the genjutsu mistress had slipped away. After a sly wink from the younger Sarutobi to the woman at the desk, and a roll of said woman's eyes; the two headed toward the direction of the nursery where Kurenai was last seen entering.
"Stand down captains." ordered the Hokage to the two ANBU stationed at the door.
With a quick "yes sir" from the ANBU and a muttered "kiss asses" from Asuma, they entered the room to a most unexpected sight.
Sitting in a chair near a lone crib, sat Sarutobi-Yuuhi Kurenai lovingly holding and cooing a very loudly giggling baby Uzumaki Naruto. Not even aware of additional company in the room, Kurenai continued her assault of tickling the child's stomach, laughing herself at his response.
The two male newcomers in the nursery smiled at the sight and exchanged a look that clearly said "no point in asking now."
Leaning to his son, the Hokage whispered, "I'll take care of all the adoption paperwork and have some of my ANBU gather up Naruto's things for you. Then once the red tape is out of the way, you can set out before nightfall."
Seeing that his son was still smiling at the scene before him the Sandaime continued,
"For now though... go to them my boy. The rest can wait."
Turning to see his father's 'grandfatherly' smile, Asuma nodded and before his father left he said words he never thought he'd hear himself say.
"Thanks dad... for the talk."
Smiling and giving his son a thankful pat on the shoulder, the Sandaime left allowing Asuma to head over to greet the new addition to his family.
The old fart knew this would happen...I almost feel like he played me. But seeing this though, I know better than that. Thought Asuma as he edged behind his wife, and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.
Slightly startled by the contact, the beautiful young raven-hair woman looked up and smiled seeing her husband standing there with an amused, yet warm, smile on his face.
"I see I cant leave you alone for more than a half-hour before you're off finding stray children to cuddle with." joked the young man to his counterpart.
Smirking back she said, "You're just jealous because this little guy here is in my arms and not you."
Mocking a shocked look, Asuma smirked back, "Well if I knew we were having such an open relationship I would have made my moves already." with a mischievous glint. "Hmm, I know Anko is pretty adventurous and-"
"One more word monkey-boy, and you'll be finding new ways to smoke those death sticks without full use of you're mouth." mock-growled his loving wife pointing her finger in his face.
"Whoa, alright I give." laughed the young man waving his hand in surrender.
Throughout the exchange the young Naruto was busy giggling and gurgling at the two's actions as if it was the funniest thing in the world.
"Hey help me out here squirt, your new old man needs some backup here." smirking at the small baby, then refocusing on the puzzled look on Kurenai's face.
"Asuma-kun... did I just hear you right? Because if this is another joke it really isn't funny." said the young woman in a tone belying hope.
"Me and dad had a little 'heart-to-heart' and he asked me if I wanted to raise the half-pint here and take him with us to the capitol. At first I thought he was trying to dump his burden of protecting the boy on me as his last big 'eff-you' for taking the Daimyo's offer."
Looking down at the wide blue eyes of Naruto, he went on, "Then I realized this isn't about him and me and all the crap we've got going on. Its about a poor kid who won't get a chance to live a normal life because the needs of this stupid village outweighed his."
A lone tear fell from his eye, "I more than anybody else knows how it feels to have your needs thrown aside for that of this village, and I'll be damned if I let this little man grow up not knowing the love of a mom and dad."
Looking back to the soft, tearing red-eyes of Kurenai he smiled, "And besides that, I love you way too much to let this opportunity to raise this child to slip by."
Kurenai looking back down to the now sleeping Naruto replied softly, "You know me too well...Asuma-kun."
Softly kissing the top of her head. "And I wouldn't change a thing."
The new family sat in the nursery in quiet silence for nearly an hour before Asuma decided to check and see if his father finalized the rest of their traveling papers and adoption write-ups. Kurenai decided to remain behind and gently laid a sleeping Naruto back down into his crib.
Standing up and stretching out the kinks in her body and hearing Asuma's off hand comment of "time to get our family started," Kurenai was reminded of something that she hadn't yet told her loving husband.
Deciding to screw with his head a little bit, the raven-hair beauty donned a grin that would put a jackal to shame.
I was going to wait till we got to the capitol but.... oh yes, this is going to be fun....time to make you sweat dearest
"Oh Asuma-kuuuuuuuun." called Kurenai in a overly sweet tone.
"Even though I love your enthusiasm about all this, but what if per chance we had gotten a head start on our family started even before lil Naruto showed up." said Kurenai grinning like a mad woman.
Asuma still wasn't fully grasping the underlying message as indicated by his intelligent response of:
After rubbing her stomach with both hands, and giving the poor oblivious sap a wink and a nod, realization finally dawned on the future guardian of the Fire Daimyo.
And in true male fashion, his response was equally as enlightened.
He gurgled, rolled his eyes and subsequently fainted.
His wife's response was a chuckle followed by "Far too easy love."
Oh wow, thats the first Chapter of my first Fanfic. I feel sexy...who else wants to feel sexy with the captain? Remember kiddies, reviews, good or bad, doesn't matter. I'm a big boy after all.
Next Chapter: Back in Time. Oh the suspense is killing me!
My brand writing style is inspired EroSlackerMicha and his awesome stories. I hope your father gets well my friend. Essentially, I'm following his method of shirking excess fluff, while inserting a mix of humor, surprise and serious action. If you like this fic, you'll love his.