Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
"Minato… What on earth are you doing?"
The man in the blue long-sleeved shirt looked up from his scroll and gave a light smile. With a soft voice, he replied, "Just writing something."
Kushina folded her arms over her slightly bulging belly, huffing, "Again with the cryptic answers. I told you not to do this when I'm pregnant. Idiot…"
Minato just put the scroll down on the wooden desk he was sitting at and walked over to his wife. Lifting one of his arms, he gently caressed her fiery red locks before moving his hand down to cup her chin. Tilting her face up, Minato kissed her forehead as light as he could. "I wasn't being cryptic, love. Sorry for angering you."
Not having any more strength to argue, his lover could only lean into his chest and smell his clothes. It reminded her of the first time she had encountered his familiar smell, high up on the treetop he rescued her on. She took a moment to reminisce, closing her eyes. On her back, she could feel Minato's hand rubbing her gently and she could feel his breath running through her hair. Whispering, she said, "How do you do that?"
Minato raised an eyebrow at her question and looked down at her red head. "Do what?"
Kushina pinched her eyebrows together slightly, already berating herself for ruining the moment; as soon as she asked him that question Minato's hand stopped its relaxing stroke on her back. She just decided not to say anything, wanting nothing else but his hand to gently rub her again. It had been hard, after all, carrying a life inside of her. At first she had no problems, and she even got to the point of showing off to her husband just how much she could still do with an extra load on her chest. However, the past few weeks have been especially hard, and her back was constantly aching from nonstop work.
After a few moments, Kushina didn't say anything, so Minato could tell that she wasn't really looking for an answer to her question. Years of knowing her trained him to recognize all of her little gestures and quirks. If anything, she was just voicing what was in her head. And, judging from the lack of words, there was probably something else on her mind. Glancing at his wife, he noticed the tiny sheen of sweat on her brow, and in an instant he found his answer. Resting his head back on hers, he went back to stroking her back, finding and pressing out all the kinks that her muscles had acquired over the long hours of the day.
Kushina smiled into Minato's clothing, still in awe of how well he knew her. As soon as she was satisfied, all hints of anger and frustration gone from her body, she slowly untangled herself from her husband's embrace and looked him in the eye. Without missing a beat, Kushina asked, "Can I see what you're writing?"
There was a flicker of uncertainty in Minato's eyes when he looked at her, but he flashed her a smile right afterwards and guided her to the nearest piece of furniture for her to rest on. When she settled on the couch, the blond fetched the scroll he was writing on and made his way to sit down next to Kushina. When he unraveled the parchment, the woman next to him peered at its contents, eyes shifting up and down the page.
After she scanned the writing over, Kushina looked at Minato with a confused expression. "What is this?"
He looked down at the page, almost lovingly. "Something for our child," he murmured.
Kushina raised an eyebrow before scanning the contents of the scroll a second time. Wanting there to be some hidden meaning in between the lines, she slowly pondered aloud, "Uhh… But… this is just…"
Monday: Trained for a couple hours. Time: 0:02.12. Went to the market to grab fish, tomatoes, cabbage, salted pork, apples, pears, watermelon, figs, beef, dango, chocolate, carrots, and twenty-three cups of cup ramen for Kushina. Took Kushina to Ichiraku three times.
Tuesday: Finished half of the reports for the month before taking a break to exercise at the Training Grounds for an hour. Time: 0:02.09. Came back to Kushina making dinner. Her cooking is much better than mine.
Wednesday: Trained early in the morning. Time: 0:01.43. Finished one report before silently making my way out of the office. Went to go make Kushina lunch in thanks for the dinner yesterday. She was nice enough to sit through the whole thing even though I messed up the broth. Took her to Ichiraku for dinner to make up for the ramen failure.
Thursday: Still managed to escape the office before anyone could catch me. Went to visit Kushina back at the house, but she was still asleep. Trained for a couple hours before going back to the office and worked on the reports all day. Time: 0:01.32. Lectured by my subordinates for a few hours. Went to Ichiraku to bring something home for Kushina.
Friday: Reports. After getting down to a third of the pile, went to go train for three hours. Time: 0:01.12. Made another trip to the market for another round of groceries and ramen. Had a nice dinner with Kushina and sat on the roof of our apartment to look at the stars.
Naruto put down the first blue scroll and scratched his head. "This is totally different from before…" He skimmed the scroll over again, pondering its contents. What were these letters for? What did it mean by 'Week 21?' Was that the twenty-first week of their marriage? For one thing, he was proud of his dad for training everyday—not that he was surprised. He had heard countless stories of the Fourth Hokage's greatness, and his favorite part of those stories was how people always mentioned how hard he trained. Of course, his sharp mind and high level of intelligence boosted his credibility as the greatest shinobi to have walked the earth; but, Naruto firmly believed that his dad wanted to convey to everyone that training was the final deciding factor.
"But… What's with this 'Time' thing he wrote during each day," Naruto wondered aloud. He tried to guess that that was how long he spent training, but Minato would already specify how long he trained for before that. Then he thought that it was the time of day he went to train, but that ended up not making any sense either.
There were so many questions that arose in Naruto's head, only adding to the stress that the previous letters had given him.
He figured out one thing for sure, though: exactly where his ramen obsession came from.
The young man couldn't help but smile at his mom. It sounded like he would've really loved her, and just from these scribbled events, Naruto could tell just how much his parents loved each other.
The Hokage peered out the window with watery eyes, noticing that the sun was making its way down to the horizon. High above, the sky was slowly changing into its nightly colors; the clouds turned silvery from the approaching light of the moon. With a passing thought, Naruto realized that he had stayed in his office the entire day. He got up from his chair and walked to the window, looking down at Konoha's streets.
A million thoughts ran through his head, the prominent one being I wonder if Dad did this same exact thing…
The lines of laundry serving as thin bridges between buildings swayed in the breeze, ruffling the articles of clothing in soft waves. A genin team ran through the streets chasing a black cat, probably all exhausted for trying all day to catch the feline. Naruto chuckled at this, remembering way back to when his team was that young and innocent. He put his arm down on the windowsill and put his chin in his hand. His white cape flowed down his body and his blond locks swayed lightly in the breeze. Peering down at the Konoha scenery, Naruto spotted numerous people still roaming the dirt roads, checking into their homes or finding good places to eat.
Come to think of it, Naruto could use a good place to eat right now.
And the many mentions of Ichiraku in the last letter he read only inflamed his cravings.
With one final glance at the city, he turned around and put the scroll he read last back into the drawer in its exact place. Before shutting the wooden contraption, Naruto glanced over the scrolls tenderly. He reached with one hand and softly ran it over the colored pieces of parchment, a chill creeping up his spine. To think that these scrolls were touched by his parents, it was an ethereal feeling to experience.
Finally, Naruto brought his hand back to his side and shut the drawer slowly. He walked around his desk and made his way to the door of his office, a look of content on his face.
After he opened the door, the Hokage hesitated to leave, scared that the letters would disappear as soon as he left them. However, he shook it off and told himself not to be silly; they would still be there when he got back.
When Naruto made it to the dirt road, he looked around at Konoha's nightly life before stuffing his hands in his pockets. He started for Ichiraku when he heard his name being called.
She was everywhere today!
"Sakura-chan!" Naruto held up his hand to greet her as she walked toward him.
When she was close enough, she gave him a weird look. "You actually stayed in there all day..."
Naruto scratched his head in embarrassment. Shakingly, he replied, "Yeah… Those letters are keeping me interested, that's for sure."
Sakura could only nod. She was shocked when Naruto finally told her about his new findings. She wanted to ask to read them also, but she figured that those letters were meant to be just for him. Sakura teared up at the idea of the letters, though. At last, Naruto had something of substance to remind him that his parents did exist. There was no question that the letters were real; the mark of the Fourth Hokage was on every single one, also on the inside of the desk drawer. This was the closest thing that Naruto had to his parents, so it really was no wonder that he stayed in his office all day reading them.
There was an awkward pause as Sakura poured over her thoughts, but with one glance at Naruto, she could tell that he was in his own train of thought as well. Deciding to break the atmosphere, Sakura chirped, "You're going to Ichiraku, huh?"
Naruto widened his eyes and rubbed his belly that just released a fatal growl. "Ehh… Yeah…"
Sakura huffed, feigning annoyance, "Hmm, I guess my ramen didn't satisfy you after all. You even acted like you enjoyed it, too."
The man waved his arms in defense. "No, Sakura-chan! It really was good but that was four hours ago! Don't hurt me!"
Sakura laughed at the irony of the situation. Naruto could beat her in a heartbeat, but there he was, clad in Hokage fitting, telling her not to hurt him.
To be honest, it was kind of endearing.
Sakura just punched him in the arm lightly. "Idiot. I was joking!"
Naruto blinked a couple times before straightening up and laughing. "You're mean, Sakura-chan."
Their jabs at each other lasted them all the way to Ichiraku.
To be continued...
Note: Yay! Minato and Kushina finally made their appearance in the story! They are so fun to write. If you want me to include them in future chapters (of if you don't) then let me know!
Note 2: Thanks for all the wonderful reviews! They seriously encourage me to keep going with this story! Thanks for reading!