Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
The sun's rays flittered through the windows of the Hokage tower as birds chirped lovingly melodies into the gentle breeze. One could hear the sounds of markets opening shop and the early steam of restaurants cooking rice and broth in their kitchens. Konoha citizens strolled through the streets with smiling faces and exchanged friendly greetings with passersby, for it was the start of a good era.
Thanks to the new Hokage, of course.
Everyone was relieved, to say the least. Legend has it that Naruto Uzimake had finally ended the war with the help of Sakura Haruno and ironically, Sasuke Uchiha. If he hadn't killed his best friend in the most crucial fight of any war ever witnessed by Man, things would have gotten a lot worse. Naruto would not have been able to defeat Madara before he unleashed the powers of the tailed-beasts, and with him gone, everything else seemed to fall into place. Negotiations were made between the warring nations, and only one peace treaty was enough to sustain the whole world. Surprisingly, the son of the Yellow Flash took part in constructing this treaty. Apparently, he had a knack for oratory.
Even though fighting Sasuke and bringing him back to Konoha had been his wish for the longest time, Naruto would never have guessed that he would bring his best friend back to Konoha a dead man. When he made the decree that he would fight Sasuke and that they would both die, he never would have guessed that he would be brought back to life from the overwhelming nature energy stored in his chakra system, which in turn got his heart to start beating again after a few minutes. What pained Naruto the most was the fact that he saw Sasuke—the real Sasuke he knew—after their last hit. He saw the sparkle in his eye that implied that he was smiling and he saw the words he mouthed. He was looking forward to spending a whole lot of time with him in the next life. The coming nights after he killed Sasuke, he kept having dreams, moreso reenactments of what Sasuke said to him right before they both blacked out. The words took a stab to his heart, and Naruto started to believe that his words were the finishing point of his life in the first place. He would never forget them:
Naruto wiped the incoming tears from his eyes with his sleeve before they could reach the wooden desk. Trying to take his mind off the subject, he blankly studied the Hokage's—his—office with a scowl. It didn't take long for him to get sidetracked. How boring could a room get? He opened the drawer in front of him, but there was nothing in it save for a few black letters seemingly etched on the side. He closed it again and continued his thoughts. Sure, he knew the plainness was only for his own safety. If there was even one other piece of furniture, an assassin could use that as a hiding place. Still, Naruto was not the kind of person who went for something toosimple. He had to have at least a plant to keep him company, for goodness' sake. He noted to himself to get some plants from his garden when he retired back to his house. Then he wondered if they were still being tended to… He slumped; he didn't really tell anyone to take care of his babies in the first place. Oh, well.
Nevertheless, a plant would be nice to have. The Hokage then imagined an ANBU Black Ops trying to hide behind a tulip, which made him smile slightly. The thought dissipated from his mind too soon, though, for he slipped into boredom again. There was no one in the room to keep him company because he gave everyone a day off, so he spun around in his chair to face outside. Maybe there was a commotion outside he could watch? An infiltration he could muzzle? A sign of Sakura wandering the streets?
This was agonizing.
He did not expect the job of Hokage to be this bland. Now he could understand why Tsunade was so irritated: so much paperwork and missions to control yet nothing entertaining to do. And Naruto couldn't even drink yet, but he would never consult to that. Not even a copy of Jiraiya's Icha Icha Fantasy to amuse him. He would have picked reading that over doing any of the work on his desk, too.
With an exasperated sigh, he got up and stretched his sore limbs. Smiling to himself out of the pure happiness from achieving his dream, he picked up his formal hat from the table and felt it over with his thumb.
You are my heir, after all.
Naruto could feel the tears coming again. Boy, was he being a little too emotional for his taste today. Screw it, he couldn't help but feel the surge of happiness again. When he found out he was the son of the Fourth Hokage, that was the most overwhelming, joyful moment of his life. That feeling would stick in the back of his mind forever. After not knowing who he was for his whole life, he was glad to have at least something to tell people when they asked about it. Who are you? The Fourth Hokage's son.
Yeah, that sounded nice.
"Dad…" Naruto looked up and at the door, as if he were talking to Minato face-to-face, "You were right…" He set the hat down on the table and walked around the room with his arms crossed and face beaming. Naruto thought about the conversation over and over again, replaying it in his head way too vividly. After pacing for what seemed like hours, he stopped and looked down at his feet, hands resting on his hips.
What was this feeling? It felt like… relief. Relief from finding out his identity, the truth. The truth that was locked away from him for sixteen years because the Third Hokage wished it.
Naruto thought about how supportive his dad was. After meeting him face-to-face, he felt a certain peace about him. His voice sounded so reassuring that Naruto wanted to talk to him for hours on end. There was a certain air about him, an air of greatness. The cloak he wore seemed to reinforce his image as a powerful, highly-regarded shinobi, and the youthful look in his eye contrasted beautifully. Then Naruto thought about his dad's words… It amazed him that even though his dad spoke little, he felt as if he was given overflowing wisdom. The Fourth Hokage, Naruto thought, was the best. And he believed in me…
"You believed in me," he said aloud. He didn't care if anyone listened at the moment anyway, "I didn't let you down. I'm your heir after all. I wish you could see me now… Dad," Naruto grinned again. Truth be told, he was just happy that he could use that word and see the face of who it stood for. Then, that was when he wondered to himself:
Who is Mom?
He walked a couple more steps before he heard a small thump in the drawer.
In a flash Naruto spun around to face the desk with a kunai in his hand, eyes painted with the sage markings. Seeing that there was nothing there, the boy took cautious steps toward his desk and rounded the right corners to get to his seat. Standing in front of the drawer, he looked around for any sign of movement. Above? Beneath? Left? Right? No… Naruto stared at the drawer with narrow eyes. Something was inside.
Swallowing air, Naruto slowly opened the wooden compartment, kunai ready. When he saw what was in there, he stared in awe.
A bundle of scrolls.
There was nothing in there the first time he checked, and he would not have missed that. How…?
They were tied by a red string and they looked pretty old. The scrolls were worn and crumpled, but in their own way looked surprisingly neat. Out of Sage Mode now, Naruto blinked a couple times before slowly reaching for the pack. It wasn't until he picked up the bundle that he realized how heavy it was. He switched the pack from left hand to right, wondering if he should unfasten the string holding them neatly together. Only a couple more minutes passed before the Hokage decided that he had nothing else to do anyway.
Instead of untying the string, Naruto just slid the top scroll out from underneath it. Setting the bundle on top of his desk, he took a seat in his chair and opened the loose flap of the worn-out paper in his hands. On the top part of the scroll was the name 'Kushina' and it was dated. Naruto took it out and opened it to find very neat handwriting in eerily straight lines, straighter than Jiraiya's. Looking around one more time for eavesdroppers, Naruto only spotted two birds fluttering about outside his office window. Seeing that the coast was clear, he began to read:
The territory we were sent to guard is not all that bad. Most of the posts have already been conquered and overtaken by Konoha forces before we got here. Our captain has us situated in the C12 unit, which happens to be the least guarded, but do not worry. Since this place is not heavily guarded, it means that it is just used for look-out duty. We have two Hyuugas joining our ranks, so nothing within 900 kilometers will come as a surprise to us. The supplies here are meager, but we will manage.
I have been working on a new jutsu that reminds of you. Although it is not near perfection, I will inform you when I make a little progress.
I hope you are making yourself at home. I know my house is not that extravagant, but I know you always make the best of things. Did you see the flowers that I got for you? Hopefully they are not withered already; I would like it if you started a little garden in my yard for me. You have a knack for gardening, Kushina.
Well, I have to go now; it is time for my shift. Write back when you can, you know how much I love hearing from you.
Naruto squinted his eyes after reading the letter. Who is Kushina? Who is Minato?
...Was this a joke?
To be continued...
Note: I have been working on this story for some time. Currently, I think I am already up to three chapters. Let me know if you want me to continue! Thanks for reading.