Naruto had found the old wheelchair in the closet, as Tsunade had instructed. He pulled it from the dark dungeon in which it was buried,. The wheels skidded across the floor.
"Shit!" he muttered, as he tried to figure out how to unlock the safety guard. Tsunade hadn't told him how to do this. "Fuck!" he said, more loudly. After ten seconds, he gave up, picking up the wheelchair and breezing upstairs to the kitchen. As he passed through the large dining room, everyone suddenly became quiet as the crazy man barreled through the crowd with a wheelchair over his head.
"Excuse me!" he interrupted the once-animated partygoers. "S-sorry! Hope you are all having a good time!" he nervously joked as he broke through the door to the kitchen. Literally.
"What's that all about?" Ino murmured to Shikamaru, who shrugged. It was normal Naruto behavior to him.
Kiba looked around expectantly, as if someone would explain the situation-at-hand. No one had seemed to notice Tsunade and Shizune's discreet exit to the kitchen. Naruto, on the other hand, was not as careful. Murmurs broke out, as Kakashi nodded to Kurenai knowingly. She handed him Obito, as she quickly and quietly entered the kitchen.
She could see Tsunade bending down, speaking softly to Sakura, who was currently seated in the wheelchair. Naruto was darting around nervously. Kurenai smiled, this was exactly how Kakashi had been.
"How far apart are your contractions?" Tsunade murmured, her glowing hands fluttering over the pink-haired kunoichi's abdomen.
"Not close enough," she growled, arching her back in pain. "Shit."
"Sakura, I need an estimate. In minutes, preferably," she smiled sadly. She had never been able to experience the gift of childbirth. Dan had died so long ago, and she had buried herself in her work, drinking, and gambling to mask the pain. The years had passed quickly, and she soon found herself too old to bear children. The only comfort she had in her decision was that she had finally found someone she could share her life with, and he had been there the entire time. She pushed her silent regrets to the back of her mind.
"I…don't know," she huffed, as another wave of contraction hit her. "They are irregular, but are more than ten minutes apart."
"She's not in labor quite yet," Shizune spoke, "though her water broke." She knelt down to examine the contents of the amniotic fluid. "There's no blood," she confirmed. That was good news, or so Naruto thought.
Sakura nodded, "I'd been having them for quite some time, but they weren't…this serious!" she breathed as the contraction passed. She grabbed Naruto's hand as he was frantically trying to make Sakura more comfortable, "Naruto, quit running around! It's going to be alright, we have time until the baby comes." She gestured toward her back, "Could you remove the wad of napkins you stuffed back there. Not as comfortable as you think."
Naruto stood wordlessly next to her, his heart still pounding. He crinkled his brow, as if in thought, then spoke to Tsunade. "Isn't still early, yet? Will the baby be alright?" he asked, in rapid succession.
Shizune muffled her laughter, he was so nervous. Tsunade sent her a warning look. "Yes, it is a little premature, but it is not something we worry about. Especially since she is a first time mother. It is common for early births in such circumstances. The most concerning thing is lung development, and we are past that, which means that everything should be fully developed in this child. Do not worry, Naruto, she is in good hands," the Fifth patted his shoulder as he looked at her, panic in his eyes. She smiled reassuringly, "Trust us. We've trusted you on many occasions, have we not?" Naruto nodded, a small smile showing on his face.
Sakura squeezed his hand, "The baby will be fine. Promise." Now I, on the other hand...
"I'm worried about you too!" he blurted. She smiled, kissing the back of his hand.
"So, you are on your way to being a mother?" Kurenai spoke as she approached Sakura.
"Yep, it's about time," she said, patting her stomach. She immediately winced. "Oof, I don't think my uterus liked that."
Suddenly Ino burst into the room, "OhmygodKakashijustoldmeyouarehavingyourbabySakura!" She spoke so quickly that it took everyone a moment to realize what had just come out of the blonde kunoichi's mouth.
"Yes, Ino, the time has come," Sakura confirmed.
"Yes!!!" she squealed, jumping up and down, waving her arms excitedly. "I'm going to be godmother! Finally! Yes!!!!"
"Settle the hell down, Pig!" Sakura retorted.
"I won't be able to call you Sakurazilla anymore, huh?" Ino pouted.
"I don't remember ever saying you could in the first place" she replied, a smile twitching on her lips.
Suddenly Kiba and Sai broke into the kitchen, "What's going on?" Kiba asked, looking around. He spotted Sakura in the wheelchair and looked at Naruto questioningly.
"Sakura's going to have the baby," Naruto responded, his face pale.
"Ah," Sai replied. He turned to Sakura. "When you feel the contractions, it helps to breathe deeply, like so," he gave a tiny demonstration of how a woman should breathe to make her contractions more bearable. Tsunade would remember to laugh about it later. Right now, her former student was her first priority.
"Thank you, Sai," Sakura smiled, "I will try to do that."
"It's supposedly very helpful," he replied, seriously.
Kiba looked at the pale man, "You are fucking weird, you know?"
"I read it in a book," he replied. "It was about the female reproductive system."
"Who in their right mind even knows that?" Kiba gagged. He liked female's reproductive tracts, but mainly the part that was most useful to him.
"There are only so many books to read in Konoha's library," Sai shrugged. "It seems quite interesting, this whole birthing process. I rather enjoy it."
"Oooh, you can become a vagina doctor," the dog-nin joked, putting his hands in the air to emphasize his sarcasm.
"I've thought about it," Sai replied.
Kiba looked horrified. He noticed the liquid on the floor, pointing at the puddle, "Is that…baby juice?" he asked, almost gagging at the thought of it.
Ino, disgusted with their conversation, pushed the two men out of the kitchen. "Go be annoying somewhere else," she chided. She turned, her arms crossed across her chest, an evil smile crossing her face. "Now, let's get this baby out of there… I don't have all day, you know!"
Sakura's contractions had become more numerous in a shorter length of time. She found the breathing technique that Sai had offered to be quite useful—even though she had known about it from her own experience as a physician. She had delivered many babies in her time, so she knew the ins and outs of childbirth. It was experiencing it herself that made it all the more complicated--as if her years as a physician had been thrown out the window. She laid back in the soft bed, sweat running down her forehead as she forced herself through the last contraction. "Why is the epidural not working?" she groaned through her teeth.
Shizune shrugged, "It has a different effect on everyone. Some are completely numb, some only get a small benefit."
"How about those with no benefit?" she growled.
Naruto stood silently by the bed, staring at his feet. He didn't know how to make Sakura feel better, though he wished he could. He held a wet cloth on her forehead.
"Thank you, Naruto," she breathed, "that feels wonderful."
"I wish I could help more," he said softly. "I don't like seeing you hurt so much."
"It's all part of the deal," she said, gesturing to her abdomen. "And this deal better not take too much longer, or I'll remove it myself."
"Sakura! Don't say such things!" Naruto said. Sai had warned him that a woman's demeanor changed when she was in labor, but he wasn't prepared for Sakura's heavy sarcasm and constant cursing.
"SHITMOTHERFUCKER!" she yelled as another contraction ripped through her. "Can I push yet?"
"Not yet, Sakura," Tsunade replied from below the sterile drapes separating Sakura's lower region from both mother and expectant father. Naruto didn't much mind that part. He knew it would not be an appealing sight. He had no disillusions that a head was much larger than…other things. "You're only about nine centimeters dilated, and your cervix isn't thin enough. It'll be soon, I promise."
"Give me another epidural," Sakura hissed at Shizune, her eyes flashing their anger.
Shizune gulped, she feared the birthing woman. "I—I cant!" the older medic yelped, feeling more helpless with each passing moment.
"FUCK!" she yelled, pushing her head into her pillow. She knew that most of Konoha could hear her cursing. Mainly because they were in the delivery waiting room, which was next door. She grabbed Naruto's hand tightly, "This is all your fault! I'm going to kill you for doing this to me!"
Naruto cringed at the unexpected pain, "S-Sakura, you're squeezing too hard!" He was positive that she would really kill him, given the chance.
"That's not even close to how much pain I'm in right now, Naruto!" she breathed. The contraction passed, and she let go of her grip. "Sorry," she said, closing her eyes and licking her lips.
Naruto put another wet towel across her forehead. "It's alright, I know it hurts," he replied, smiling. He gave her a spoonful of crushed ice.
"What's so funny?" she asked, her green eyes half open as she lazily peeked at him through heavy lids.
"It's just that you have fought many battles, been through so many injuries, and are stronger than anyone I've ever met," he began, "and you are completely freaking out right now."
"This is unlike any pain I've ever experienced," she smiled softly. "Think about something being ripped out of your—"
"Stop it!" he shouted, plugging his ears with his fingers and dancing around wildly.
She chuckled to herself. "I suppose I am a beast right now. I'll apologize profusely later. I promise. And you can have all the ramen your heart desires."
"You're due for another contraction," Shizune warned, watching the monitor carefully. "Get ready."
"Ready?" Naruto asked softly, handing Sakura his hand. "Squeeze as hard as you want."
Sakura shook her head, "No. I shouldn't take this out on you. I'll use those." She indicated the handles that were proferred at the sides of the bed. The beds were constructed for just this purpose, with metal stirrups, handles, and a bed that was partially removable below her rump. She gripped the bars until her knuckles turned white.
"They are occurring more," she gasped, "And they are worse in severity!" She moaned as the pain became almost unbearable.
Shizune spoke to Tsunade, "They are going off the chart, perhaps you should recheck her cervix."
Sakura couldn't see Tsuande's head behind the drape, but she could slightly feel the pressure of her fingers as they pressed into her. Perhaps the epidural was working somewhat….
"Holy hell! She's ten," her muffled reply was barely audible over the sterile drapes. "I can feel the head. It's descending nicely."
"Dammit!" Sakura cursed, as she grabbed the sterile drapes and pulled them off of her knees, "I can't hear anything!" Suddenly she tensed up, as another contraction tore from her back and into her abdomen. "Can I push?" she screamed as the pain began to peak.
"You can push," Tsunade replied from her stool between Sakura's legs. "Put your feet into these," she pointed to the stirrups. Naruto gulped. So, this was how it was done? This was far from what he expected. He had always imaged the babies just sort of….ell out. It was a rude awakening for the young jonin. He made a mental note to make it up to Sakura later. For the rest of his life, even.
"What are those for?" he leaned over to ask Shizune, pointing to the tray of shiny objects.
"Those are instruments used to help the birthing process. Those scissors are used to cut the skin to make way for the baby's head," she began to explain as Tsunade picked up the sharp object.
"The one that Tsunade is holding?" he whimpered. Suddenly it hit him. She was going to cut Sakura…down there!
"What are you doing?" he bellowed, startling Tsunade as Sakura pushed. He faintly registered Sakura's pushing grunts.
"I'm going to cut the skin to make sure your child's head fits though here," she pointed at Sakura's lower region.
"W-why?" he yelped, his face draining of blood.
"Because," she rolled her eyes, "for starters, she's a first-time mother, so the skin is not prepared for the head diameter. And secondly, if I don't do this, it could tear. And that's pretty ugly!"
"T-tear?" he echoed. He suddenly felt lightheaded.
"Just don't watch," Tsunade nodded. He averted his gaze, and could hear the sickening sound of skin being cut as well as the pounding in his ears.
"Ok, Sakura, push again!" Tsunade instructed. Naruto could barely see what she was doing with her fingers. It looked as if she was stretching something. Sakura readjusted her position as she strained to push again. "Holy hell!" she screamed. "This is…the worst pain…ever!"
Naruto gripped the bed rails to steady himself.
"I can see the head, Sakura!" Tsunade replied through her face mask. "Almost there. A few more pushes."
Naruto instinctively looked toward where he thought Tsunade may see a head. All he saw was blood and…stuff. It was too much. He could feel everything becoming dark around him as he hit the floor.
"Fuck! Are you kidding me?" Sakura yelled. "Are you fucking kidding me? Naruto!"
"Yup, he's down for the count," Shizune replied as she felt for his pulse.
Sakura rolled her eyes, as the contraction passed, "Get him out of here."
Tsunade smirked as Shizune dragged Naruto out of the room by his feet. "He hasn't seen anything yet," she told Sakura.
"I'm surprised he lasted this long," she responded, pushing her sweaty hair from her forehead. "I gave him ten minutes. Ino gave him twenty. I can't believe I lost to her." Another contraction.
Shizune returned as Tsunade told Sakura what to do. "You know the routine," she instructed.
The room was suddenly filled with Sakura's screams.
Naruto opened his eyes to blindingly bright lights. The faces looking down on him were shadowed by the overhead lighting of the…waiting room?! He jumped to his feet! "Sakura!" he groaned, slapping his forehead with his palm.
"Dude, you got kicked out!" Kiba pointed to delivery room doors. "They lock them from the inside."
"Naruto, what did you do?" Ino asked tapping her foot on the tile floor. "All you had to do was stand there like a good father."
"I-I don't remember. Tsunade said she could see the head and I looked—"
"Enough!" Kiba howled. "Don't tell us!"
Shino looked over Naruto, "Are you feeling alright, Naruto? How is Sakura?"
"She was doing alright, I guess. It's very painful," he trailed off.
Shino nodded, "I'm sure it is. Childbirth in itself is no easy task." He sadly remembered that it was his birth that had caused his mother's death.
"It sure isn't from the sound of it," Kiba rolled his eyes.
"I think you should probably cool it, Kiba," Shikamaru offered as Ino nodded her agreement.
"Fine, fine, I'm just saying!" he said, raising his hands in defeat.
"You've been saying too much this entire time," Shikamaru shot back. "How about we show a little concern about Sakura and Naruto's baby?" Ino was impressed by her former teammate's remark. It was unlike him to worry about anything. She squeezed his hand in appreciation. Shikamaru grumbled something incoherent his face flushing from the attention.
Kiba remained quiet as Naruto paced around the hall nervously. "Try having a seat, Naruto," Ino said softly as she guided him to the chair by his elbow.
He sat on the soft furniture, placing his head in his hands, "Oh man, she's giving birth, and I can't even stand there and be a good boyfriend while she's doing it!" He slumped his shoulders in defeat. "I really suck!"
Ino rubbed his back, "Naruto, it's a terrifying thing, and you're worried. The most important thing is that you care about both baby and mom. I passed out during my first birth in the hospital," she shared.
"Really?" he asked, startled at her admission.
"Yup," she nodded. "Pretty embarrassing, actually. It's hard to watch a birth, and I have those parts!"
Naruto sighed, standing, "Thanks Ino. I needed that!" He was going to break through the doors and be by Sakura's side, no matter the cost. He could do this!
"Go get 'em, Naruto!" Ino gave him a thumbs up. Shikamaru nodded. Even Kiba offered an encouraging smile.
Suddenly Sakura's scream roared through the waiting room, "FuckshithellkillmenowgetitoutgetitoutgetitoutI'mgonnakillNarutowhereishethishurtsholyhellmotherfucker!" Naruto's face paled as he felt his mouth go dry. He had the sudden urge to empty his stomach.
Suddenly the shrill cries of a baby rang out through the waiting room. Everyone immediately began cheering, as Naruto stared incredulously at the double doors. Well wishers surrounded Naruto as the congratulations began.
"Wow, Naruto, you have some strong swimmers!" Kiba said, patting him on the back. Hard. Naruto fell forward a few steps.
"Huh?" he replied, dazed. He blinked, trying to remember where he was.
"Strong swimmers…you know…?" he asked, looking at Naruto carefully. "Dude, are you alright?"
"Yeah…I think so," he said licking his dry lips.
Suddenly the doors opened, and Tsunade stood there, holding them apart. She looked exhausted after three hours of labor followed by a successful delivery. Her eyes fell on Naruto, "Well, Naruto, want to meet your daughter?"
Naruto nodded slowly, as if in a daze. He walked through the doors, following Tsunade. A second round of cheering broke out in the waiting room. Ino hugged Choji and Shikamaru tearfully. Shino sat quietly, a small smile on his face. Tenten made her way through the crowd, leaving ANBU early to be at the hospital. She found Shino in the corner, tears softly falling down his cheeks. She didn't say a word, and instead took a seat next to him, silently holding his hand as he mourned for his mother. He will make a wonderful godfather, she thought. There was much more to him than bugs and a stoic personality. She smiled at her fate. Perhaps later she would share her good news with him. But, right now, it was another story for another time.
Kiba and Sai were high-fiving. Sai suddenly becoming serious. "His 'swimmers' could very well be strong. I saw his penis once, and it wasn't as small as I originally thought." He was making a reference to six years earlier, when he, Sakura, Naruto, and Yamato had stayed the night at the spa soon after he joined the team.
Kiba, however, was not privy to such information. Instead, his mouth fell open, as he stared at the former subordinate of Danzo. "You are one sick fuck!" he replied. Even that was too far for Kiba.
"Are you excited for your child?" Tsuande asked, as Naruto followed her down the corridor.
He realized the Fifth had spoken to him. "Huh?" he asked, lost in thought. His eyes were almost glazed over, as if he was somewhere far off.
"Your child. Aren't you happy?" she repeated.
"Oh. Yes!" he said softly. Tsunade smiled knowingly. She had seen many nervous new dads over her years as a physician. Naruto was no exception. He had faced off against Akatsuki, the Nine-Tails, and his former best friend. But he was no match for labor.
They stopped before the door to Sakura's room. "She's resting in there. I repaired the, uh, damage. You won't notice a difference," she told Naruto. He chewed his lip, taking in the Hokage's words. He cringed at his realization. He felt her hand rest on his shoulder. "Naruto…," she began, her tone soft, "I think that she may say yes. She loves you." She slowly walked away, leaving her cryptic words hanging in the air.
Naruto watched her walk away, blinking a few times before he found his voice. "T-thanks, Tsunade. For everything!" He could hear his voice echo down the hall. She waved her hand in acknowledgment.
Sakura heard the door click open. She looked up to see Naruto peek his head into the room.
"Hi," he whispered nervously.
"Hey there," she replied. "Come in." He looked over her face. She didn't look like a woman who had just lived through the most painful event in her life. In fact, only her hair was slightly mussed. He thought she looked absolutely angelic. A half-smile spread across his face.
"I was just feeding the baby," she glanced toward the child that was latched to her breast.
"Yes!" Naruto grinned. "New baby and peep show!"
"Pervert," Sakura smiled, aware that this was Naruto's way of easing his nerves. "Come meet your daughter, silly."
Naruto slowly approached the bed focusing on the small human swaddled in the soft purple blanket. "She's so small," he whispered.
"Want to hold her?" Sakura asked, pulling her breast from the baby's mouth.
"M-me? Hold her? Aren't you worried? What if I drop her?" Naruto asked, his eyes wide with fear.
"I'm not worried. I know you love her just as much as I do. Here," she said, holding their new daughter out for Naruto to hold. He reached toward the child with shaking hands. "You can do it," Sakura said softly. She nestled the baby into the new father's arms. He watched the small child carefully resting in his arms, suddenly looking up at Sakura and grinning his trademark smile.
His attention was called back to the neonate as she made a small noise. He stroked a finger across her small, soft cheek. "She's so tiny. I can't believe she's ours."
"Believe it!" Sakura replied in her best Naruto tone, complete with a thumbs up. Both chuckled softly. Sakura studied Naruto, "I'm sorry for all the yelling. Uh, earlier."
Naruto met her gaze, "No worries. I just wish I could have done something. Anything. I'm no good at all of this," he gestured. "I'm sorry for fainting."
"Yeah, I suppose you did pass out. Kind of a sissy move," she teased.
"Yeah?" he asked softly, smiling at his new daughter.
"Just a bit," she nodded.
He stared, dumfounded, at the new life for a few minutes. Sakura enjoyed the comfortable silence. Her pain medications helped, too. Naruto's voice cut through the quiet,"Did you choose a name for her yet, Sakura?"
"No, I was hoping you could help me," she replied, pushing the blanket off of the baby's face, revealing a headful of light, strawberry blonde curls.
Naruto allowed his fingers to lightly fondle the soft locks, "Where did she get red hair from? Are you sure she's ours? Or mine, even?" A smile tugged at his lips. He knew this was his baby.
Sakura punched him lightly, "Don't start! Of course she's ours. I just wanted you to see her in her full glory before we choose a name."
Naruto couldn't tear his eyes away from the tiny infant. He studied her small fingers with their tiny nails. His baby girl was sleeping soundly in his arms, comfortable against her father's chest. "I would be happy with whatever you choose. I'm sure it'll be something fitting. Something beautiful."
Sakura smiled softly at Naruto's immediate paternal feelings. She was happy that father was bonding with daughter. She spoke, interrupting the silence, "I was thinking we could name her…Kushina."
Naruto's head shot up. "That's my—," he began.
"I know," she nodded as she raised her hand to quiet him while she explained. Her eyes searched his, hoping for his approval.
"But, how did you know?" he asked as he met her soft green gaze. He felt his throat tighten at the memory of a mother he had never known.
"Tsunade told me all about your parents while you were gone," she said, taking a moment to stare off in to the distance. "I wish I could have met them. "
"I do too," he confirmed, pulling his finger from his child's grasp. "So the old bat knew my parents," he murmured thoughtfully.
"Yes, she knew your mother quite well, actually. And," she said, brushing her hand softly over their daughters soft reddish hair, "your mother had red hair."
Suddenly it all made sense, not that he ever doubted Sakura or disagreed with her name choice. He hadn't known that about his own mother. Perhaps he would have to speak with the Hokage himself. "Haruno Kushina," he murmured. He liked the sound of the new name.
"Uzumaki Kushina, you mean," Sakura corrected him.
Naruto's eyes widened in surprise, "You don't have to give the baby my surname, you carried her for all of these months—"
"I know," she said, raising her hand to silence him again. "But, I want to."
"Sakura…," he murmured, the familiar pricking sensation of tears in the back of his eyes. He took a deep breath, thinking back to what Tsunade had said. When he gained the courage, he spoke ardently, "Marry me."
Sakura sighed, closing her eyes. "Naruto, I told you before—"
This time it was he who interrupted her, "I know what you told me before. I do. But, I don't want to spend my life with anyone else. I've always loved you--ever since our days at the Academy. Even when you loved Sasuke. But now, I know that you love me too. So why not? It makes sense," his voice relayed his excitement as his eyes sparkled. He settled himself in the bed, alongside Sakura. "I'm not asking you to marry me because we have a child together, or because I think it's the right thing to do. I'm asking you to marry me because you love me."
Sakura studied his face as his cheeks became pink from his outburst. She met his stare, looking into the depths of his bright blue eyes. It was in this moment that she knew, definitely, that she wanted to be with Naruto always. He would be a magnificent father, she knew, and an excellent partner. It had always been Naruto that she could depend on. It had always been Naruto that she had come back to, even as children. She had been grateful to him for sacrificing himself for Konoha, and helping her to become who she was today. Yes, it had always been Naruto who had held her heart. She sighed, sitting back on the bed. "Ok."
"But Sakura—" began, already prepared for defeat. "Wait, what?"
"Yes, silly. I said, yes."
He immediately broke into a wide smile, "Really?"
"Don't make me regret it!" she warned, furrowing her brow.
"You won't," he smiled, kissing her forehead. "You have made me the happiest person alive, Sakura. I never knew it was possible for me to be this happy!"
"Well, start imagining it," she said, "You're stuck with us now."
"I would have it no other way," he said as he put an arm around her. She snuggled her head onto his shoulder, feeling truly content for the first time in a long time. She wanted to enjoy this moment before their visitors came to see their new baby. To see Kushina.
She remembered, a long time ago, that Kakashi had said that the new generation would soon take over. It was ironic that two children were named after the generation that came before their parents. Perhaps that was the circle of life that Kakashi had so fervently talked of, years ago. Perhaps that is how it will always be: each generation feeling the impact of the prior one. She sighed with happiness as she thought about her future with Naruto. He had been her past and present, and now they would enter a new chapter of both of their lives: parenthood. Neither had expected their fate to intertwine like this, and she looked forward to the unwritten future that they would share for eternity.
Well, Ladies and Gentlemen--that's the last chapter. I am very sorry it took so long, but I really put thought into this. I hope it was a good mixture of humor and seriousness (and medical knowledge)! Thanks for enjoying the ride with me. I originally intended to end this after Naruto came back (the first time) and wanted to stay with Sakura. But, chapters later, I think this is much better.
I will consider a sequel, but it won't be right away. I'm currently working on a Bleach fanfic, so perhaps after that. I'm also considering at Shino/Tenten story (if you caught that little bit of a hint at something BIG earlier). I'm also working on a oneshot that I promised Minniemousemom (I'll PM you when it's done).
To everyone that read my story: thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I hope that you could at least enjoy some of it--if not all of it.
To everyone who reviewed: your words mean much more than you'll ever know. Feel free to PM me with suggestions, etc. Hopefully you can somehow find my sequel when I get around to writing it. Just add me or someting (or come back later!)
Enjoy & thank you, again!
PS: I did consider making the daughter into twins, but somehow I felt that would be too overwhelming to both Naruto and Sakura. But that was after MUCH debate.