Summary: It's the biggest challenges that make the biggest impact.
Pairing: NaruSaku/ hints of ShikaTema
A/N: This was seriously overdue. I dunno. I kinda just made most of the stuff up as I went along.
"Ugh. Honestly, Naruto." Sakura comments, standing from her position on the couch, empty bowl previously filled with popcorn in hand, and trudging past Naruto, who's crouched cowardly behind the sofa.
Naruto peers through his fingers, blue eyes darting around the room. "I-Is it done?" He says shakily.
"Yes, Hokage-sama." Sakura's sarcastic voice echoes from the kitchen. "It's done. Chuckie's dead. We're all alive thanks to your unyielding bravery."
Naruto breathes a sigh of relief, shoulders dropping. Immediately, that foxy grin reappears on his lips, almost instantly forgetting about the murderous doll, and he scurries off into the kitchen. As he sees Sakura washing the dishes, he walks towards her and snakes his toned arms around her waist from behind.
"You smell nice.." He declares, burying his face into the crook of her neck and drinking in her enticing scent.
"I showered." She says through a smile.
"You smell better than ramen."
She laughs, and is reminded why she loves him. "I would hope so." Wiping the wet off her hands, she turns so she's facing her husband. She drapes her arms around his neck.
"Shouldn't you be getting ready for bed? It's late, and I know you have a ton of paper work to finish tomorrow."
Naruto pouts, whining. "Can't I let Shikamaru take care of it?"
She smiles. "No, you can't. You're Hokage now. The higher the rank, the heavier the work." She gives him a quick peck on the lips. "And besides, Shikamaru has to get home early tomorrow. It's little Asuma's birthday, remember?"
Naruto smiles softly at her.
Everything feels so surreal now. He's married to Sakura- theSakura he's been pining for since his genin days. Shikamaru and Temari are married, and have two kids. Naruto would love to have a family of his own someday as well. And just like Shikamaru, he wants a girl first.
Looking into his wife's emerald eyes, he can't help but press their lips together. She even tastes better than ramen, he thinks. He pulls her closer, and they're both reminded of their wedding day.
Eventually, she pulls away, albeit hesitantly. "Naruto.. do you remember.. the night we got married?" She looks up nervously at the pure blue of his eyes, entranced.
"Of course." He whispers as he rests his forehead against hers, eyes fluttering close and heart going crazy.
"Do you remember how you said.. you wanted a daughter?"
"Woah! Congrats, dude!" Kiba bellows happily, softly pounding Naruto's back.
Naruto grins sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. "Thanks!"
"Don't celebrate just yet." Shikamaru says, a mischevous, all-knowing smirk on his lips. "If Sakura's anything like Temari, your next 9 months aren't gonna be fun."
"Wha-what d'ya mean?"
The corner of his lips twitch wider in sadistic amusement as he lifts himself from Ichiraku's stool. "You'll see." With that, Shikamaru stalks off.
With a crease in his brow, the current Hokage trudges towards the Hokage Building, reluctant to start with the piles of paper work. He's made sure to go through the long way too. He has a lot to think about.. the baby.. Shikamaru's vague words.. what the hell he's gonna do with all the paperwork.. if letting Shikamaru do the paperwork will get him into trouble.
Incidentally, it's through that way that the Uchiha compound stands, barely still intact.
For a moment, Naruto stops. He stands there, staring up at the red fan decorating the arc above the entrance. He doesn't know how much blood and death the seven-year old Sasuke witnessed. He doesn't know if watching someone you love kill your parents was better than not having known your parents at all. He doesn't know why Itachi would ever choose for Sasuke to live a life of hatred and revenge- what kind of life was that? He doesn't know what compelled the council to kill one of the strongest clans in the ninja world.
When it all came down to it, Naruto didn't know a lot of things.
He doesn't know where Sasuke lived after the massacre. He doesn't know if he ate three meals a day. He doesn't know if he ever liked a girl.. He doesn't know if, even for just one second of his life, he'd ever felt something for Sakura.. And he doesn't know what happened that night Sasuke left.. He doesn't know why Sakura was the first person to know he was gone..
Come to think of it, he doesn't really know if she's truly moved on.. Or just.. Letting him be happy.
"Seriously. We really have to leave."
He gives her another chaste kiss, eliciting a small smile from the kunoichi.
"We're gonna be late, Naruto." She almost wants to laugh.
He kisses her again.
"Oi. You already got her pregnant. No need to make it twins."
Naruto sends Kiba a heated glare, before turning towards the pinkette in his arms. "Are you sure you're gonna be okay? I mean, this can't be good for the baby-"
"I'm fine, Naruto." She coos gently, slowly pulling away from his embrace. "The baby's fine too. It's a simple delivery mission."
"All missions are dangerous. You know that. There's no knowing what could happen."
"Nothing is going to happen, okay? We're going to go to Iwakagure, deliver the scroll to the Tsuchikage and come back unharmed. And I'm going with Team 8- one of the village's best reconnaissance team, so don't worry too much, alright?" She smiles, waits for a nod and gives him one last kiss before walking out the gates and farther away from his line of vision.
"Finally! Didn't think he'd ever let us leave." Kiba muses, walking alongside Akamaru in a comfortable stride.
Sakura sighs in agreement, looking down at the path before them. "He's just worried.. You know, with the baby and all."
"He should be busy with Hokage duties, shouldn't he?" Shino comments dryly.
Sakura scoffs, eyes rolling. "He's probably making Shikamaru do all of it. Again."
"I understand why Naruto-kun is so worried." Hinata looks up at Sakura. For a minute, she's suprised at the lack of stutters and the firmness of Hinata's tone. She's never heard her seem so confident. "You are the Hokage's wife now. Most probably, there are a lot of people looking for you."
"She's right. We gotta be extra careful." Kiba nods, a serious look on his face.
Suddenly, a flare of chakra appears behind them and it seems to be going at full speed. But the chakra signature is familiar.. It feels like it's..
Sakura watches in horror and frustration as her husband comes bounding towards them, panting as he ran.
"NARUTO? What the- What are you doing here?" It's been ten minutes since they left; can he really not leave her for more than ten minutes?
"He's probably just stalling from doing his paperwork." Kiba comments, scowling.
As he nears them, Naruto can clearly make out a pissed off Sakura (yeah, that's not good), an equally pissed off Kiba (who cares?), a suprised Hinata and Shino, who isn't really as expressive. He slows to a stop and he can practically feel the earth quivering beneath his feet at Sakura's every stomp.
"Mind telling me what you're doing here? You're SUPPOSED to be in Konoha, doing paperwork!" She glowers angrily, eyes practically flaming with rage.
"I-I know." Naruto whimpers. "I just- I have to ask you something, and I don't think it can wait after the mission."
And then he gives her a look.. A look of urgency and pleading, and instantly, she melts. She sighs, cursing the weakness of her will-power. "Fine." She huffs out reluctantly. She can practically hear Kiba's scowl grow deeper.
"Um, in private." Naruto glances at the trio of shinobi behind her, urging them to leave, just for a while.
Kiba sighs in defeat, leaving hesitantly with Akamaru right behind him. Hinata gives Sakura an encouraging look before walking away. Shino bows politely before leaving as well.
And then they were alone.
Sakura gives him an expecting glare, crossing her arms above her chest and impatiently waiting for whatever it was that couldn't wait.
Naruto looks at her, into those eyes. "I.. I stopped by the Uchiha compound yesterday."
Immediately, Sakura's expression soften.
It pains for him to look at her eyes, those green eyes that hold so much nostalgia. "Yeah.." He tries to smile, but feels like it only came out as a painful grin. "I realized, we were close enough that he felt like a brother to me.. but I didn't know a lot about him. I didn't even know where he lived.. I didn't know what happened that night he left.."
Sakura tenses. Naruto notices.
"S-so, um.. I asked around. Kakashi-sensei didn't seem to know anything.. Neither did Iruka-sensei.. And then I asked Grandma Tsunade.. She said Kotetsu and Izumo came in reporting that you told them that Sasuke left.."
Sakura's gaze is fixed on the ground, away from her husband's piercing blue eyes. She knows that one look into those blue orbs of his, and she'll be reduced to nothing but sobs.
"I just.. You never told me you were there when Sasuke left.."
The sheer sadness of his voice stabs at her heart, and immediately, she's choking back tears.
"No, no! I didn't mean to make you cry!" He flails around in panic, unsure whether to kiss her or hold her or wipe away her tears.
She shakes her head, as if to tell him that it isn't his fault. "It's fine. I'm just.. I'm over reacting.. Hormones, I guess."
"So, I'm guessing you're not done yet?"
As expected, he shakes his head, albeit sadly. "N-no.. I was hoping to ask you something.."
He looks at her, into those eyes again, and before she knows it, she's holding back sobs again.
Before he loses his backbone from seeing her cry, Naruto quickly spits out. "Do you regret anything you've done? I mean, a-are you sure.. I-I was the right choice?"
Hearing that, she almost wants to slap him.
"What?" She says disbelievingly, tears continuing to fall. "You think, you think that I wouldn't marry, wouldn't want to have kids with you if I didn't love you? Do you think that for one second, if Sasuke came back, I would go crawling back to him?
"I married you because I fell in love with you! I love you, okay? Sasuke's a friend that was consumed by darkness, but you.. You're brighter than the sun.. And I know you would never let yourself be reigned by power or revenge.. That's why I LOVE you, okay?" She grabs his head and pulls him in for a passionate kiss.
"I-I want to have kids with you. Not just one. I want three." She says between kisses.
He chuckles, letting the tension slowly dissipate. "I want to teach them Rasengan." He adds, pulling away from the kiss. "And then you teach them medic-jutsu."
She laughs, nodding. "They'll grow up to be great shinobi. Not to mention beautiful."
He pulls her into an embrace, nuzzling her cheek. "Just like their mother."
"What would you like to name him?"
Suddenly, movement in the room stops.
"She's a boy?"
Kiba's cackles echoes through the room. "Tough luck, Naruto."
Said blonde sighs, arms draped around his wife's shoulders, when abruptly, he sits up excitedly. "Ooh, I know!" He cries, looking up at the crowd.
As the nurse gently lowers the infant into Sakura's arms, Naruto smiles warmly.
"Masao." Naruto mutters. "Means 'the righteous and just'."
Sakura smiles up at him in approval, grinning at the bundle in her arms. "Welcome to the world, Masao Uzumaki. Meet your new family."
Without hesitation, Sakura looks up at Konoha 11.