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A/N: A sequel to Promises Kept & Broken and Aftermath, but not necessary to understand the story. Spoiler warning! No flames, but reviews welcome!
Chapter 1: New Assignments
It was a fairly pleasant day in Konohagakure no Sato. The change of seasons had brought a mild breeze to the usually warm country. Many residents had opened their windows to allow the coolness to enter their homes and inadvertently allowing noise outside. The loudest source of this noise came from an apartment, the sound of a young woman yelling at her companion.
"Naruto, why is your apartment always a mess? I just cleaned it for your homecoming last week. Tsunade-sama has summoned us," said the woman. She was ready to start pulling out her short pink hair.
"Relax Sakura-chan. It's a five minute walk to the Hokage's office," her blond companion answered. This was true; most mornings when he was summoned, he took more time getting ready than actually walking there.
"Not today, it won't be. You're still injured and I don't want you rushing," Sakura answered, observing his stiff stance. The usually hyperactive and energetic ninja was still healing physically after his battle with Sasuke. In particular, his broken ribs, his broken arm and strained tendons concerned her. Since his release from the hospital, she had essentially moved-in to make sure he didn't strain himself.
"Well I'm ready to go," he answered. He was dressed simply in his civilian clothing, a black shirt with the Leaf symbol and a pair of orange pants.
"So am I," she responded, taking his hand as they left for the Fifth's office. Once again Naruto was stuck by how much had changed in the past week. Ever since the fatal battle with Sasuke, Sakura had been at his side, healing him at the Valley of the End, staying with him in the hospital, remaining at his side at Sasuke's funeral and living in his apartment since then. He was still confused about their kiss in the hospital the morning after that battle. In the days that followed, they had no opportunity to discuss it. The blond wondered how it would change their relationship as comrades and friends. Would he finally achieve that old dream of winning her heart? These thoughts concerned him as they walked on the streets of the village to the office.
"You're unusually quiet," commented Sakura. "Are you feeling okay," she asked, knowing that he was only usually this quiet when he was in pain. They were almost there. The front doors of the Hokage's mansion were in sight.
"I'm fine," he said, giving her one of a smile. He knew that she couldn't resist his smile.
"You sure," she asked again, not convinced. He then took a risk and kissed her gently. She responded with a catious passion. They soon broke apart.
"Is this a new form of greeting," asked a familar male voice. They turned to see Sai behind them.
"You were summoned too," asked Sakura, ignoring the question. The artist-nin nodded.
"I wonder what's going on. Is she going to assign us a mission?" Sakura hoped they would not because Naruto was not up to even a D-level mission in his current state. They entered the building and soon found themselves in the familiar office. Tsunade was at the desk, a cup of tea replacing her sake. Kakashi was leaning against the wall, reading his usual book. Yamato was looking out the
"Hello. I've summoned Team Kakashi to inform you that I will be formally disbanding the team," said Tsunade without hesitation.
"What! Why," responded Naruto without thinking. Why would she destroy their team, the first real family he had known? Instinctively his hand found Sakura's and he grasped it.
"I have to because it is a waste of your talents to remain a team," responded Tsunade. " Your actions during the Fouth Shinobi World War and the defeat of the Akatsuki, including the last of the Uchiha clan, has demonstrated to the village and the world that you are destined for more than a mere chunin team. I will give you your new assignments. Kakashi step toward."
The silver-haired jounin stepped forward. Naruto wondered what his new assignment would be as the jounin had a long and distinguished career of as a ninja.
"You have a long and successful career of more than 25 years of service. Your new assignment will be to inflict your wisdom on the next generation, teaching at the Academy."
He nodded, expecting an assignment such as this.
"Yamato." The brunette jounin stepped forward.
"Your assignment is over. ANBU will welcome you back as a captain."
"Sai." The artist-nin stepped forward.
"You were originally a member of ANBU's ROOT division, but I will be transferring you to its main branch."
"Sakura and Naruto." The two stepped forward, holding hands, a detail that the Fifth noted to herself.
"My legacy as a ninja is being the strongest kunoichi in the world and the Fifth Hokage. This legacy will be passed onto the two of you. Sakura, you're the best I've ever trained as a kunoichi and a medic. I am naming you my successor at the hospital. Naruto, I've watched you grow from a genin to the powerful shinobi before me. When the time is right I am naming you my heir. You will be the next Hokage."
For once the usually loud blond was speechless. His lifetime goal was achieved. He did the first thing that came to mind; he took Sakura in his arms and kissed her passionately in front of the whole room. The kunoichi responded likewise.
"So how long have they been together," asked Kakashi. "I need to settle an old bet with Gai."