I am such a doofus! I'm sorry if there is like...a double alert for this chapter or something like that. I was a ding-dong and forgot my thank yous. I cannot close this story without thank yous! What was I thinking?
Anyway, Thank you to everyone who wrote me a review. I really enjoyed writing this story. Your encouragements kept me going. I seriously thought this was going to be a flop because it was so cliché. To my astonishment, it pulled through. I also am a sucker for happy endings...Fail on my part. I'd like to wish everyone Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Et cetera, Et cetera.
"So there I was, back home, safe and sound with the man I loved. Believe what you will, but take heed to my story folks. What I have told you is the truth. That is my story to you, the youth of Konoha. Never give up. Never let your Will of Fire falter. Stay strong, and you can never, and will never lose." I said as I glanced up to the Hokage monument.
The sun shone brightly as the warm breeze kissed my skin. I looked back to my little audience, young academy students with big eyes and awed expressions. I beamed at them.
Konoha's future looked promising indeed. Such good little childr-
"Yeah Grandma!" A boy shouted from the center of the crowd, pumping his little fist in the air.
He wore orange and blue, just like Naruto did in his youth. He had shocking blond, spiky hair with hints of red at the roots. His grin was the give away though. A hundred megawatt smile like that was hard to miss. The boy received a loud, hard punch from a girl next to him. She had short pink hair with blond tips. Her eyes were blue-green, and she had the same smile as the boy.
"Sorry Granny, Nii-san is a baka." She apologized.
Chuckling, I couldn't help but marvel at my grandchildren. They were so much like their parents, who in turn, were so much like Naruto and myself.
I smiled and waved to the crowd. "Now, run along. Remember what I told you."
The children began to rise and depart to their homes, or find their parents at the academy entrance. My grandchildren, Jiraiya and Tsunade, stayed behind with me. Soon, my son entered with my daughter-in-law. "Sorry to keep you waiting Kaa-san. I was helping this old la-"
"Can it." I snapped playfully. "I'm old and I know your tricks by now, Minato-kun."
Minato chuckled sheepishly. I ran my wrinkled hands through my silver hair with care. I continued on. "Minato-kun, you need to change your habits since you are the next Hokage in line. Honestly, where did your father and I go wrong?"
Minato laughed. "Konohamaru-sama will let it slide for now Kaa-san! Relax!" He pacified. I shook my head as my family departed with smiles and waves.
It's been seventy-nine years since I returned to earth. Seventy-nine wonderful years to share with everyone. Naruto became Hokage two years after I came back to earth. He just retired not ten years ago. He named Konohamaru as his successor before he sank into retirement. Being the baka he is, retirement didn't settle too well. He soon was begging Konohamaru for missions again.
Naruto and I got married when we both turned twenty, and had our first child, Minato, at age twenty-five. At age thirty, I had our daughter, Kushina. I began to take on apprentices and trained them in medical arts and justus. Life was peaceful as the years passed.
Soon, my pink hair faded to gray and Naruto's hair soon followed. Our skin began to wrinkle and age. We both began to feel aches and pains that soon progressed over time. We both got old.
Now, I was coughcough years old. Naruto never noticed my aging though. He always told me I was beautiful.
After I retired from the hospital, I became a mentor for academy students. I told them my story, and let them learn from it. I loved it, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Ino and Choji got married a year after Naruto and I, and had one daughter. Shikamaru married Temari and had two little twin hellions. Kiba and Hinata wed soon after Naruto and myself. They had a litter soon after.
Shishou passed on twelve years after Naruto became Hokage. I held her hand as she moved on.
Shizune-niichan married Iruka-sensei. Gross I know, but both passed on around three years ago at a ripe age of one hundred and six.
Neji married TenTen and they both traveled the world together.
Lee...well...he came out of the closet...I think.
Kaka-sensei was killed on a mission while I was in labor with Kushina. We visit him every week in the graveyard.
Yamato-sensei was sucked back into ANBU and hasn't been heard from since. Only Naruto knows what happened to him.
I sighed as I strode through the polished halls of the school. I brushed my hand on the door to my old homeroom. How time flies. Seems like only a week ago, I was a gangly academy student strolling through these walls. I walked out and stared at the Hokage monument. There were workers touching up on Konohamaru's face while Naruto's face smiled over the village with watchful stone eyes.
I then felt warm hands wrap around me and slowly turned me around.
There was Naruto. His gray, thin hair nearly blinded me as the sun reflected off it. His face was full of wrinkles and his smile was wilted. His eyes, however, never aged. They still held that deep, cool lilt of childish power and joy.
"Hey honey." He murmured to me. I smiled and merely led him off without a word. We already knew what the other wanted to say.
As we lied in bed that night, snoozing away, I felt that familiar presence. A presence similar to the one seventy-nine years ago.
I opened my eyes and saw Kanji beaming at me.
I smiled, knowing full and well what was happening.
She held out her hand and pulled me up with a gentle tug. I glanced behind me and saw my body laying on the bed, resting peacefully. Kanji giggled at my calmness and moved to Naruto and pulled him up.
As he rose and left his body, his yellow hair shocked me. His hair hasn't been yellow in years.
I checked mine and saw that familiar pink. We both were twenty again. Naruto looked warily at Kanji, then to me, silently begging for an explanation. His eyes widened at my appearance.
I was dressed in that white kimono again, my pink hair straight and glimmering once more. He glanced to the bed and saw our bodies intertwined. I saw his face fill with fear.
I moved forward and touched his arm. "Naruto, it's alright. I'm here." I whispered.
He looked to me and nodded silently. Kanji greeted me and led us to that elevator once again.
We passed through the waiting room and down those, now welcoming, white halls.
We passed the room I had first met Kanji in.
We passed the room I had my hearing in.
We passed the chute that they dropped the condemned down like dirty laundry.
We stopped at the end of the hall at this ivory door. Behind it was songs of joy and light. Kanji turned to us and bowed.
"Sakura, Naruto, I welcome you to the eternal kingdom. May you find peace there." With that, she opened the doors and let us pass through.
Once inside, we were greeted by old friends. Ino, Choji, Shikamaru, Temari, Gaara, Kankuro, Hinata, Kiba, Lee, TenTen, Neji, Mother, Father, Kaka-sensei, Shishou, Nii-chan, TonTon, Jiraya, The Hokages, everyone was there.
Naruto took my hand and squeezed it gently. Our eyes met, and we silently told each other how much we loved each other. We would never be separated again. We are together for eternity.
Together, we moved with our kin into the unknown.