THE REASON I RETURNED

Story originally by: Zentary… Posted and edited by me at his request.


Naruto sighed as he got up that morning. "It's been two months since I failed to bring Sasuke back," he thought to himself.

Flashback

Naruto had just arrived back in the village, passed out on Kakashi's back and looking pretty beat up. Naruto woke up looking like a mummy when Sakura and Kakashi came in, with Sakura asking where Sasuke was. Kakashi just sighed. When Naruto told her he couldn't bring him back she got so angry she tried to punch him senseless but Kakashi stopped her and dragged her out of the room kicking and screaming. Naruto didn't know but Hinata saw what happened but couldn't bring herself to go in or say anything to him.

End of flash back

The blonde Genin just grimaced as he thought why he actually used to like Sakura after that incident they hardly ever spoke to each other anymore unless they had to. Naruto was walking through the streets of the village on his way to leave on his next mission. The mission he had been assigned was a C ranked mission he and his team which include Sakura and Kakashi were to escort two people to their country's border. Naruto thought to himself, "This is just going to be an easy mission." But life is never so kind to this blonde ninja.

They had just completed there mission and were on there way back when they came across an unknown ninja who suddenly attacked them, taking the team off guard. The unknown ninja used some various fire jutsu in quick succession, which were all aimed at Sakura, but Kakashi saw this and leapt to get her out of the line of fire, but wasn't quite fast enough and they were both seriously injured. Naruto saw what happened to his teammates and lunged at the ninja in blind fury, driving the ninja as far as he could form his injured team mates. It only seemed like less then a minute had passed when a massive explosion shook the ground. Dread befell Kakashi when he realized what the explosion could have been. He arrived to see a crater seventy feet in diameter where those two had fought. All he could find was what was left of the unknown ninja and Naruto's head band. Kakashi searched for four hours but he knew he had to get some medical help for Sakura He was able to stabilize her enough to get her back to the village, but all he could think about was how he had failed his two former teammates again. Kakashi arrived in the village the next day to drop Sakura off at the hospital and report to Tsunade on what had happened. He opened the door and saw her doing paper work at her desk she looked up and wondered where Naruto and Sakura were she wasn't expecting his answer.

Kakashi dreaded what he was about to tell her and was trying to brace for what was about to come. He said in a sad voice, "I lost Naruto. I'm sorry." It took her a minute to process what she heard, but when she did she leapt over her desk so fast that Kakashi had no time to react, as he was sent through three walls before coming to a stop. He was about to get back up when Tsunade was already on top of him and grabbing him by his jounin vest, angrily asking him why she shouldn't kill him now. Kakashi told her his side of the story. At this point, she just went back to her desk sat down and tried as hard as she could not to cry, but to no avail. After a few minutes Kakashi was able to stumble back into the room telling her that she should send out some search parties for him, because he couldn't find a body and he could still be alive out there. That day Tsunade called in all the ninja that Naruto knew which included the Konoha nine (well, seven at this point). As she told them what had happened, everyone looked to see Hinata break down crying into her hands on the floor of the Hokage's office. Hinata cried the rest of the day and well into the next few days, because she had just lost everything and her world had came crashing down.

After two months of searching had passed, they still couldn't find even a sign of Naruto. The council of the village had told Tsunade to stop wasting resources on trying to find Naruto and mark him as KIA, but she couldn't accept that. She kept thinking he was still out there, but she couldn't send anyone out there to try and find him, so she put Naruto on the MIA list until any type of remains were found. Hinata and the rest of Naruto's friends came into Tsunade's office they stood there for a moment until Hinata couldn't take it anymore. "Why haven't you given Naruto a funeral yet?" she cried. Tsunade just looked down at her desk, not wanting to believe he was dead. Later that day all of Naruto's friends gathered at Naruto's funeral they all paid their respects one by one and placed a white rose next to his picture. Later, everyone had left except Hinata, who started to break down and cry she cried out, "I never got to tell him how much I loved him!" she continued to cry for another hour until she passed out from her sorrow.

Tsunade was sitting at her desk taking a sip of some sake when she pulled out a picture of everyone's favorite blonde knucklehead. She sighed, and thought to herself, "It's been two and a half years since you've gone missing Naruto. I hope you're alive." She put his picture back in her desk and went back to the reports on her desk. She was looking over a file of a person named Mr. Nine. The folder didn't contain much in it as they knew next to nothing about this mysterious ninja. All they knew was a general description: male, blonde hair, large red coat with black flames on the bottom, a face mask, fox ears, and a three foot long fox tail. No one knew if these features were real or not. This mysterious ninja took on dangerous missions that most other shinobi wouldn't even accept. This got the attention of the other villages, but none of them had any success with trying to recruit him.

Tsunade put down the report and just wondered who this person was in the two years he's been around. This is all the information anyone has ever been able to gather about this person. No village, no matter how hard they tried, was able to get any new information on him. The Kages of the villages agreed to share whatever they could find on this man, but in two years they couldn't find anything out other than his general appearance and that he goes by the name 'Mr. Nine'. She began to get an idea he was said to be a master tracker and assassin, so maybe he could help her track down Naruto to see if he was alive or not. Tsunade called Kakashi, Sakura, and Hinata into her office to send them off on a mission to find this man named Mr. Nine. The three ninja entered the office. Tsunade looked at Hinata and sighed. She never got over Naruto's disappearance.

Hinata was a shell of her former self. She was still a ninja of the leaf, but she almost stopped speaking or caring about anything unless she was on a mission.

Tsunade gave the three of them their mission and they headed out in search of the man called Mr. Nine...

Team Kakashi set off on there mission to find Mr. Nine, since they had several villages that he was rumored to be staying in. They arrived at the first village and they split up to ask around, but after a few hours of asking around no one had seen him in a month and the next few villages were the same, until they came to the last one. "This is the last village," Kakashi muttered under his breath. Hinata had been told why Tsunade wanted them to find the man called Mr. Nine and she had been much happier these past few days in hopes of finding him, so he could find Naruto.

Hinata began to sadden more and more, with each town that had no new information as to where this man could be. Kakashi saw how depressed she was and tried to cheer her up, by saying in a cheerful voice, "I'm sure he will be in this town and then he can find Naruto for us."

Hinata looked up at Kakashi with a sad smile "I hope so," she said in just above a whisper.

They all took part of the town and began to ask the residents. Kakashi asked quite a few people before a come to a clothing shop vendor asking about Mr, Nine. "I saw him just yesterday," the tailor said and this made Kakashi smile under his mask.

Sakura had been walking around asking people, but most of them would not talk to her about the man. "Why don't people talk about him?" she asked herself with a frown. They spent half the day asking around both Kakashi and Sakura got some answers, as to where he might be in town, but no one knew any real specifics.

Hinata had not been so lucky she couldn't get anyone to talk to her, but then she saw some one wearing a fox mask she ran after him as he turned into an alley she quickly turned the corner and smashed into him.

They were both in a daze, the collision knocked the mans mask off she saw the man's face and her eye's started to water "Naruto!" she screamed and before he could do anything Hinata had jumped on him and wrapped her arms around him.

He was shocked he never thought he would see any of his friends out here looking for him or his persona Mr. Nine. He looked down noticing she was crying. "Why are you crying Hinata?" he asked.

She looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "I thought I had lost you."

He didn't know what to say he didn't know anyone cared that much for him.

He looked down at her and said, "I didn't think anyone cared that much about me."

She looked down and quietly replied, "I never was able to get up the nerve to tell you before you disappeared." She then hugged him as hard as she could not wanting to let go.

He then looked down at her and said, "Thank you." She started to calm down at this.

They released each other from their embrace. He then looked into hear pale lavender eye and quietly said, "Beautiful." She blushed three shades of red and he continued, "So you don't care about the fox accessories?"

She looked at him and replied with a shy smile, "Of course not."

She looked at him and he sighed. "Why didn't I ever realize?" he whispered. She didn't care about anything else in the world she was just happy to be with the boy she's loved for so long.

"So why were you looking for my persona Mr. Nine?" he asked.

She sighed releasing him from the hug not wanting too, but had to explain. "Tsunade-sama was hoping that you could find yourself, but you are him," she said with a smile.

He looked at her sitting there with the smile on her face all and he could think was 'Beautiful.' "Alright right I'll go back, but you can't tell anyone who I really am till I want you too," he explained, to which she just nodded.

He got up and held out his hand to help her up, she blushed at the gesture and took his hand. "Alright Hinata-chan lets go get Kakashi and Sakura and head back to the village," he said happily.

She looked at him in confusion and asked, "You knew?"

He nodded and replied, "I was actually trying to avoid you guys, because it brought back too many painful memories." She looked at his sad expression before he put the mask back on.

The both went out the other side of the alley walking in a direction where they would meet up with the rest of her team. They made small talk along the way. She giggled at his stories and he loved the way she giggled.

They walked for about five minutes before Kakashi heard Hinata giggling. He hadn't heard her giggle in years, so when he turned the corner and saw Hinata talking with Mr. Nine. He walked up to them had greeted Hinata and Mr. Nine. "I take it you know why we are here to require your services?" he asked, only to get a nod. They found Sakura and headed back to the village.

Hinata and Mr. Nine talked as if they had known each other for a long time this made Kakashi wonder why he seemed so familiar.

They had a few days before they would get back to the village. Kakashi kept glancing at Mr. Nine. "The ear's and tail are real," Mr. Nine said bluntly, Kakashi and Sakura gasped, while Hinata just giggled.

The sun began to set and Kakashi looked up at the darkening sky. "We should set up camp for the night," he said and they all nodded agreement. They set up their camp site Mr. Nine didn't have any camping gear, so Hinata offered to share her tent which stunned Kakashi and Sakura. "Alright I accept the offer, and don't worry, I won't take advantage of her," he explained and they all turned in for the night.

During the night Naruto and Hinata talked about what happened during his two and a half years while he was by himself. They both decided to go walk around the forest in the moon lit night they got a decent distance away from the camp before they began to talk Naruto wrapped his arm around Hinata and she blushed at the contact.

They walked through the forest until they came to a lake where the moon shown off the water it made Hinata pale skin and pale lavender eyes shine, so she looked beautiful and Naruto couldn't help but stare at her.

Kakashi had woken up and noticed that Mr. Nine and Hinata were both gone, so he tracked them down, only to find them near the lake. He watched the two of them and waited to see what was going to happen.

They both looked at each other. Naruto took off his mask and they both gazed into each other's eye's their faces inched closer and closer under the moonlit night.

Kakashi stared wide eyed at what he was seeing, Hinata Hyuuga was kissing Mr. Nine and although he couldn't see Mr. Nine's face, he could just make out his spiky blonde hair and fox ears.

The two of them kissed under then moon lit night by the lake, while Naruto's tale wrapped around Hinata and pulled them in for a tight hug, as they continued to kiss. 'I hope this night never ends,' both of them thought.

They stayed that way for a several minutes before there perfect moment came to an end. Kakashi came out of the trees, which made Naruto quickly put on his mask before Kakashi could see his face.

Kakashi looked at the two and said, "Well it seems you both have known each other longer then a day." He glared at Mr. Nine trying to figure what kinda game he was playing. Hinata was still in Naruto embrace, but she just looked at the ground and then blushed two new shades of red.

Kakashi looked at Hinata and asked, "Why where you kissing Mr. Nine here?"

Before she could answer, Mr. Nine spoke up and said, "Because she wanted too and I'd be a fool to not accept an offer from such, a gentle and beautiful woman." She blushed at his admission.

He walked over to the two I hope you haven't forgotten about my former student she looked at Naruto and whispered "cant we tell him" Kakashi couldn't her it "no" Naruto replied "he can wait" Kakashi could hear what Mr. Nine said and grew irritated. Alright lets go back to camp and sleep Mr. Nine said both nodded and went back to the camp in silence "Sakura never woke up the entire time" Kakashi said

Hinata just giggled and they went to there tents and slept till morning.

The next few days on there way to the village were rather uneventful but this time when Hinata and Naruto out of camp to be alone they made sure they wouldn't be followed. They loved the nights they had to together, but they know it would be much harder to have time alone once back in the village.

They walked in the forest for the last night before the they got to the village "why cant it stay like this forever?" Naruto started to sulk Hinata just hugged him "it will be alright Naruto-kun we can still see each other" they looked at each and had a passionate kiss she moaned a bit from it he loved it when she did that "I know it just wont be easy even when I tell everyone who I am Hinata-chan" they stayed there with Naruto's tail wrapped around her keeping her in their embrace for as long as possible

before they knew they had to get back

they began to walk the rest of the day to the village Hinata and Mr. Nine still talking they had known each other for a long time all the way there, which still puzzled Kakashi once they reached the site of the village gates the two of them became very silent.

Kakashi looked back at them "well its time to report to the Hokage" Mr. Nine stopped "I have to do something you go ahead ill be there in a few minutes" before Kakashi could reply he vanished.

Mr. Nine ended up at the jewelry store the owner was a bit scared of the man with fox features "hello I am Mr. Nine I would like to purchase a silver chain for this jewel." It was a large and beautiful lavender colored gem that matched Hinata's eyes.

Tsunade looked annoyed that Kakashi would let Mr. Nine roam so freely around the village. "I didn't mean to let him. He just vanished and I couldn't track him, so we came hear," he explained defensively.

"He will be here," Hinata replied.


Kakashi looked at the young Hyuuga, and began to say in a jaded tone, "There is something I need to talk you about Tsunade-sama."

"What is it?" Tsunade asked with a raised eyebrow.

He looked at Hinata and said, "I caught her and Mr. Nine kissing in the moon light next to a lake."

Both Sakura and Tsunade's jaw dropped and her eyes looked like they were about to pop out of her head "what!!!" was all both Sakura and Tsunade could exclaim.

They were about to discuss what the hell Hinata was thinking when Mr. Nine appeared in the room.

He looked at his Hina-chan's expression and said, "From there expressions I take it Kakashi told them." She only nodded in reply.

"Well I guess we couldn't hide if for long, could we Hina-hime?" Naruto sighed and then asked. She just looked at the ground and blushed. He then continued, "Tsunade I hear you're looking for a person named Naruto is that correct?" She nodded to his question. He smiled under his mask and then said crypticly, "Well he's closer then you might think."

She looked up at him quizzically and asked, "What do you mean?"

He pulled off his mask to answer the question. The three other people in the room stood there in shock that Mr. Nine actually was 'Naruto'. He scratch the back of his head and asked, "It's been awhile hasn't it baa-chan?" The three stood that in shock, as Hinata stood next to him and just hugged his arm.

"Why didn't you come home, Naruto?" Naruto sighed "Baa-chan these fox features aren't for show"

He looked at Hinata, sighed and said, "The only reason I came here was because of Hina-hime."