The Greatest Gift of All

Based on a song belonging to Jim Brickman. Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. Note: played as if the characters lived in the real world. Merry belated Christmas.

Naruto was sitting in his living room. It was December 24th and he was taking some time to reflect on the year. He'd been married to Sakura for nine years. A nice, quiet celebration of that anniversary was a couple months ago. His daughter started 1st grade this year. She was so eager, just like her mother. He saw so much of Sakura in their daughter, it made him cry.

He looked over at the fireplace and saw a letter on the mantlepiece. It'd been there for years. It was a letter Sakura sent him when they'd been apart on Christmas seven years ago. Sakura's father had a heart attack and had to leave immediately, but they couldn't get a plane ticket for Naruto. He always read the letter on Christmas Eve. It reminded him of how much Sakura meant to him. He took the letter and read it.

Dear Naruto,

This is it. We've spent the last five Christmases together. Now we'll have to spend this one apart. I know it's hard for you, because it's hard for me too. I love you so much, Naruto. I miss you terribly.

Dad is doing fine. He should be up and about by Christmas Eve. I wish you could be with us, but I have to stay with dad until I'm sure he'll be all right. He keeps telling me to be with you, but I just can't. A heart attack attacks the victims loved ones too. I am so sorry that you have to spend Christmas alone. Maybe reading this letter will help you feel like you are not alone. Thank you for being so understanding, my love.

Mom is okay, or as okay as she can be. She's been so depressed lately that she didn't bug me about giving her grandchildren until today. I had to get her off my back, so I told her that we've been trying. She's thrilled. Gave me an entire list of names. She could at least wait until I'm actually pregnant! I'm starting to think the nagging only began with having kids.

But what I really want to do is reassure you. Let you know that you are not forgotten. That you are loved. You have given me so many gifts, but all I wish for this Christmas is your love, your time, you. You're love means everything to me, Naruto. There is nothing you could give that would not pale in comparison to your love. All the flowers and the ring on my finger mean nothing compared to you standing by my side. You could give me the sun, the stars, and the moon, and would still mean nothing, compared to your love.

I find my strength in your eyes, and comfort in your arms. I would be lost without you. There is nothing is this world I need more but your love. I can't imagine ever loving anyone as much as I love you. I can't imagine anything that could mean more to me than your love.

Love, Sakura Uzumake

Naruto folded the letter and replaced it. He must have read that latter a hundred times. He felt the same, save the last two sentences. He knew someone he loved as much as he loved Sakura, perhaps more. He knew someone that meant more to him than Sakura's love. He could hardly believe it at first, but it was true. Sakura's love wasn't his greatest gift from her. It was their daughter. The last piece of his wife that he had. The most important person in his life.

"Daddy," said girl, named Tsunade, called from upstairs.

"What is it sweetheart?" Naruto asked.

"I can't sleep," Tsunade said, "Can I sleep with you tonight?"

Naruto looked at the girl. She looked like Sakura, but with his blond hair. Not only did she look like Sakura, but she acted like her too. Naruto could have sworn they even pouted the same way.

"Sure thing," he said, scooping her up and kissing her, "Merry Christmas, sweetheart."

"Merry Christmas, daddy."


How'd you like THAT plot twist? In your face M. Knight Shamalon!