Welcome to the first part of my three part NaruSaku Christmas story! Part 2 will be out on the 24th, and part 3 will be out on Christmas! Enjoy!
Standard disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or else I would be filthy stinking rich and Naruto would ride Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer into battle against the abominable snowman, and use his gift to turn the snowman into a good guy (even though the snowman becomes a good guy on his own anyways...)
Anywho... Please do enjoy "All I Want For Christmas" Chapter 1- December 23
Snow was falling in Konoha as a 20-year old Naruto Uzumaki walked through his village. It was December 23rd, only two more days until Christmas. Naruto had grown to become a handsome man. Standing at 6'1, he was tall, but not the tallest. Years of exhaustive training finely toned his muscles so that they stood out, but weren't unnaturally large.
His eyes were a shining sapphire blue, and his hair long and spiky; it looked exactly like his father's. As a matter of fact, he had lost count of how many times a villager walked up to him to tell him he was a mirror image of his father, except with whiskers.
Three years had passed since Naruto defeated Madara and save the world, and two years since he finally convinced Sasuke to return to Konoha.
Two years… It's only been two years since I've talked to Sakura-chan… It seems like so much longer… The day that Sasuke walked through the gates of Konoha had been the last day he had talked to his pink-haired teammate. He hated not seeing her and talking to her every day, but he had no choice. Naruto could not watch her be with Sasuke, it would just hurt too much.
The blonde had not said a word to Sasuke since he returned to Konoha either. He didn't ask his friends about either of the two, and no longer went on missions with Team 7. As far as he knew, Sakura and Sasuke were happily married with tons of little Uchiha children running around.
Naruto really had not gone on many missions at all in the past two years. He spent most of his time with Tsunade, learning the inner nuances of how the village works. Under Tsunade's tutelage, Naruto had learned much in the ways of politics and as a result was able to keep his loud outbreaks to a minimum.
Tsunade said that she was getting sick of the job, and told him she was going to step down soon and name him the sixth Hokage. Naruto smiled at the thought, he was so close to achieving his dream. He was so close to backing up the words of a brash, loud little boy craving attention.
Truth be told, even though Naruto no longer talked to Sakura and Sasuke, he still had a good life. He had great friends, the villagers loved him, and his name was respected all across the land. As he passed the academy, he couldn't help but stop and stare at the familiar swing he used to sadly sit on as a child.
When he was younger, the Christmas season was his second least favorite time of the year, the only time he disliked more was his birthday. Christmas for a young Naruto always reminded the boy that he was alone. Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage, usually made sure to stop by and visit Naruto sometime during the Christmas season, but as Hokage, he was too busy to visit often.
For young Naruto, the Christmas season was one when he had to watch as families came together, gave each other gifts, and enjoy each others' love and warmth. Naruto spent his Christmas season huddled in his tiny apartment, eating bowls of instant ramen, while trying desperately to distract himself from his loneliness.
As Naruto got older, he fought and fought for recognition. And slowly but surely people began accepting him. Naruto would never forget when Iruka first found out about Naruto's typical Christmas plans…
12-year old Naruto and Iruka sat in Ichiraku's eating ramen together. It was Naruto's first Christmas as a gennin and the two were chatting about random things.
"So Naruto, what are you going to do for Christmas now that you're a genin?" Iruka asked peering down at the small blonde boy. He was caught off guard as the blonde's normally cheery face was tugged slightly downwards in a small frown.
"Probably the same thing I do every year Iruka-sensei. Eat some instant ramen, watch some TV and go to bed." The young genin replied in a sad voice.
"What? Naruto that's no way to spend Christmas!"
The small blonde put a fake smile on his face as he scratched the back of his head. "It's not that bad Iruka-sensei. Any night spent with ramen is a good night!" he said in an overly bright tone of voice.
"That's no way for a kid to spend Christmas. You're coming over to my place for a real Christmas dinner."
"Iruka-sensei… I don't want to intrude…"
"Nonsense, you won't be intruding. It will be nice to have you, and besides, I need to give you your present anyways." Naruto fixed Iruka with a stunned glance.
"You got me… a present?" the startled gennin sputtered.
"Of course I did! It's Christmas, that's what people do on Christmas. Buy gifts for the people they care about!"
Tears fell down Naruto's face as he hugged his sensei. "Arigato sensei."
Naruto smiled at the memory. That was the first Christmas Naruto had enjoyed. Iruka had actually prepared a full meal, with ham, mashed potatoes, corn, deviled eggs, apple pie, and of course… ramen. His former teacher had given him his very first Christmas present, well presents.
Naruto received a bright orange fleece blanket with the kanji for "Uzumaki" woven in, a blanket he still treasured to this day. He also received free ramen coupons, and a lot of them. His sensei knew him well.
Naruto chuckled, as he walked into a toy store.
"Naruto-sama, welcome!" the store owner called out. "I like your new outfit!"
"Hehe, thanks. It's a bit more festive than my usual one." Naruto was clad in a jumpsuit that looked like his traditional orange and black one, except it was red and white. He wore a white cloak, with red flames like his father's famous cloak, except instead of the kanji for Namikaze, it had the kanji for Uzumaki. Naruto refused to take his family name until after he had become Hokage, he wanted to achieve his dream as an Uzumaki. As an Uzumaki who had started his life hated and shunned by his village. He topped off his outfit with a santa hat, which his long spiky blonde hair leaked out from underneath.
"I agree Naruto-sama! So what brings you hear today?" Naruto smiled and unsealed a large red satin sack. He dumped the sacks contents onto the shopkeeper's table, and little papers fell out.
"Ah I see. It's hard to believe it's already that time of year again. It seems like just yesterday you were in here buying toys for all the children at the orphanage."
"Hehe, yea. Time sure does fly ne?" the blonde replied scratching the back of his hand. When Naruto started working directly with the Hokage two years ago, he began using his greatly increased salary to make sure that every orphan in Konoha got what present they wanted for Christmas. He remembered how horrible it felt not receive anything for Christmas, and now that Naruto could afford it, he was going to make sure no child ever had to experience what he did.
"As the shopkeeper rang everything up, Naruto pulled out his frog wallet. He slightly grimaced at the final price, 41,000 yen (about $490 US). Toys get more and more expensive every year. As the blonde pulled out his checkbook, the shopkeeper interrupted him.
"Please Naruto-sama, this is for a good cause. Don't worry about the price." This certainly caught Naruto off guard.
"Nani? That's 41,000 yen worth of toys. I can't let you do that, it's too much."
"Nonsense Naruto-sama, I've been thinking about this a lot since last year. What you're doing is a great thing, it's what Christmas is all about. From here on out, every year you decide to do this, the toys will be on me." The shopkeeper said with a warm smile on his face.
It's hard to believe that 10 years ago this same shopkeeper would've kicked me out of his store. Naruto smiled at the thought. This man was just another shining example of him achieving recognition and acceptance from the villagers of Konoha.
"No no, I can't do that. It's too much, and it's nothing I can't afford. Besides, Tsunade baa-chan said she's going to be making me Hokage soon." Even with his political training, Naruto still had not stopped caling Tsunade baa-chan, he just wouldn't be Naruto if he didn't.
"Fine, then how about a compromise? I'll sell you these toys at the price I pay for them, that way I'm not losing any money."
Naruto realized this was the best he was going to be get from the shopkeeper, so agreed to the deal. After punching in some numbers Naruto raised an eyebrow at the new price. 8,341 yen (roughly $100 USD).
"Are you sure that's right?"
The shopkeeper offered Naruto an innocent smile. "Of course Naruto-sama. You don't think I would lie to the future Hokage do you?"
"Uh huh…" Naruto sarcastically replied as he handed the shopkeeper a check. "Thanks."
"No problem Naruto-sama!" The shopkeeper and future hokage wrapped all of the toys, and addressed them to each orphan, before finally putting them all in Naruto's red satin bag. Just before Naruto walked out of the store, he stopped at the door and looked over his shoulder.
"Yes Naruto-sama?" the shopkeeper replied.
"Make sure you deposit that check. I'm going to check to make sure you do."
"I wouldn't DREAM of NOT depositing it Naruto-sama." Teruchi replied as he whistled innocently. Naruto just shook his head as he walked out of the store.
Next stop, orphanage.
As Naruto was walking towards the orphanage, he caught a flash of pink hair.
Just as emerald eyes caught site of sapphire, Naruto hirashined to his apartment.
"Whew…" Naruto sighed to no one in particular. "That was a close one. Ah well, my apartment is closer to the orphanage anyways." The blonde-haired jonin walked out of his apartment and locked the door. In five minutes he was standing before the doors of the orphanage.
Thanks to Tsunade, the Konoha orphanage had received increased funding and always had their own special Christmas day for the orphans. So Naruto decided he would deliver the orphan's toys on the 23rd. This way the orphans were happy to receive toys on the 23rd, happy to play with their new toys during the entire day of Christmas Eve, and got to have a nice dinner on Christmas.
As he walked into Orphanage little kids began crowding around him with excited shouts of "Naruto nii-chan!" Naruto smiled as he hugged all of the children and tossled some hair here and there.
"Who's ready for presents?" Naruto yelled out in a loud voice that was common to Naruto when he was younger.
The children all cheered, and Naruto began handing out presents, while telling them all not to open their presents yet. He liked to have the kids open their gifts in order from youngest to oldest. It made the present opening last longer, and the kids got too see what each of their friends got.
A true and gentle smile adorned his face as the kids one by one opened their presents. He looked out the window to see a couple of his friends standing outside, watching the scene inside with a smile. Well, Ino was, Shikamaru looked like he would rather be at home laying around.
"What do we say to Naruto nii-chan everyone?" the kind old woman who ran the orphanage asked the happy group.
"THANK YOU NARUTO NII-CHAN!" the grinning kids attempted to say in unison.
"Hahaha, you're welcome. Now go have some fun with your new toys!" Each kid hugged Naruto and thanked him personally before running off to play with their presents.
"Thank you again Naruto-sama." The old woman said with a smile.
"It's my pleasure, have a nice Christmas." The blonde replied before exiting to talk to his two friends.
"Hey Ino, Shikamaru! What brings you two here?"
"That's a very nice thing you did Naruto." A warmly smiling Ino responded.
"We were walking in the area and saw you, and this one," Shikamaru pointed at Ino, "Wanted to talk to you, so we stopped and waited for you, even if it was troublesome."
Ino smacked Shikamaru in the back of the head. "Oh shut up you scrooge! You can't tell me you're not happy you stopped and got to see that. It was so heart-warming!" she cooed.
"It was nice seeing the looks on those kids' faces I guess." The Nara genius mumbed.
"What did you want to talk to me about Ino?" Naruto questioned, although he had a bad feeling he knew what exactly it was.
"Sakura said she saw you today, but you used the hirashin to flash away the second you saw her." Ino said with a disappointed look on her face. When Naruto didn't reply, the Yamanaka put her hands on her hips and huffed, "Well?"
"I… wasn't careful enough I guess. Usually I can sense Sakura-chan's chakra well enough to avoid…"
"When the hell are you going to stop avoiding her Naruto, she…"
"I don't want to know Ino," Naruto replied. "Have a great first Christmas as an engaged couple." He winked before flashing back to his apartment.
Naruto treasured his friendship with Ino, but sometimes she just annoyed him so much. Ino made it her job to constantly try to talk to Naruto about Sakura. No matter how many times he tried to convey that he didn't want to know, no matter how many times he flashed away from her mid-sentence, the girl just didn't seem to get the point. He cringed as he heard a loud yell ringing through the streets.
" NARUTO!" Crap… While Naruto had flashed away from Ino many occasions, the platinum blonde never seemed to get used to it, and the end result was a fuming Ino every time. Naruto had honestly lost count how many times he had been bashed upside the head by a seething platinum blonde.
Shaking those scary thoughts from his head, the blonde-haired jinchuriki again left his apartment, heading off to Ichiraku's. He had gone nearly 12 whole hours without ramen. To be honest, Naruto was fairly impressed with himself. Much to his pleasant surprise, both Iruka, and his wife of one year, Shizune, were sitting in the stand sipping on a glasses of water.
"Iruka-sensei, Shizune nee-chan! What are you doing here?" the smiling blonde boy questioned.
"Waiting for you of course Naruto." Iruka replied matching Naruto's smile with one of his own.
"Nani? I don't remember scheduling a ramen dinner with you two."
"Oh so you're scheduling now huh?" Iruka smirked. "How very hokage-like of you." Naruto blushed a little.
"I guess Baa-chan is rubbing off on me." Naruto laughed as he scratched the back of his hand.
"Please, Tsunade hates scheduling nearly as much as you do. I'M the one rubbing off on you Naruto-kun." Shizune said with an exasperated sigh. "You better not plan on having me be your assistant, I have a feeling you're going to be worse than Tsunade-sama."
This caused everyone in the stand to erupt in a roar of laughter. As everyone's laughter died down, Naruto peered at Iruka and Shizune.
"But seriously, how did you know that I was going to be here?"
Both Iruka and Shizune shot him a look that said, 'are you stupid?' as Teuchi replied.
"You've changed a lot since you were a boy Naruto, but one thing that hasn't changed is your love of ramen." The ramen-stand owner answered, smiling at his favorite customer.
"Yep. You only need to look one place for Naruto Uzumaki if it's around lunchtime in Konoha." Iruka said. "Now sit down so we can finally eat, Shizune was making me wait for you and I'm starving!"
Shizune whapped Iruka on the back of the head.
"Stop complaining, it's only polite and proper that we wait for everyone to arrive before we begin to eat. I don't want our baby girl to grow up with a father who has terrible manners!" she scolded as she patted her swollen belly.
"How's the pregnancy coming Shizune nee-chan?" Naruto asked.
"Well, I can tell our little girl is getting restless to get out. She likes to kick a lot. She should be coming next month." Shizune replied, smiling softly at Iruka, who returned her soft smile, rubbing her back.
"That's great! Have you guys come up with a name yet?"
"Yea. You're going to be the uncle of Keiko Umino." Iruka said, soft smile still plastered firmly on his face.
"I can't wait to meet her!" Naruto said as he pumped his fist in the air.
Shizune smiled at him. "Neither can I, because that means I'll finally have her out of here. I'm tired of being so fat!"
"Now now honey, you're not fat. You look good for a pregnant women!" Iruka said, hoping to make his wife feel better about her appearance.
Teuchi smacked his head, remembering how Ayame's mother was when she was pregnant.
Shizune gave the well-meaning instructor a death glare. "FOR A PREGNANT WOMAN?" she growled dangerously.
Realizing his mistake Iruka tried to rectify the situation before his wife decided to use her excellent knowledge of poisons against him.
"Did I say for a pregnant woman? I meant for a beautiful goddess. Yea, you look good for a beautiful goddess is what I meant to say…"
"That's what I thought!" Shizune growled, before turning back to Naruto with a happy smile on her face.
"Soooo Naruto-kun, are you seeing anyone special yet?" All the men in the ramen shop sweat-dropped and unanimously thought, pregnant women are crazy…
Naruto sighed, Shizune always questioned Naruto on his love life. "No, not yet nee-chan."
Shizune let out a sigh of her own, "Why not? As a handsome future hokage like yourself must have a lot of beautiful ladies clamoring for the opportunity claim you."
Naruto blushed a little at the compliment, but a small frown found its way on his face.
"Well… I do have a lot of fan girls now, I think mine even outnumber Sasuke's back in the day," Naruto nervously chuckled as he scratched the back of his head. "I'm flattered, but I'm not interested in any of them like that. I don't want to lead anyone on."
"Well if that's the case I don't see why you just don't go talk to Sakura! Really Naruto-kun, this is starting…"
"Shizune drop it. I don't want to hear it." Naruto forcibly interrupted.
"No Naruto, you need to stop…"
For the third time in the day, Naruto flashed away, back to his apartment. Sorry Iruka-sensei, Shizune nee-chan, I can't take news about Sakura. Naruto looked out his window at the village below. Even though he now had plenty of money, he had yet to move out of his old apartment. He didn't really see the point of moving into a bigger space when he just lived by himself, there was no need.
Naruto opened his window, climbed out of it, and shut it again before dropping down to the street. He really didn't feel like re-locking his apartment yet again. Naruto calmly strode through the village and eventually stopped when he reached the top of the Hokage monument.
He was standing on his father's head, looking out at the village as the snow fell. Konoha really looks beautiful in the snow. Thought the blonde as he took a seat.
"It sure is beautiful up here." A lazy voice interrupted Naruto's thoughts.
"Shikamaru… you here alone?" Naruto asked with a cautious voice.
"Yea, I managed to get away from Ino. She's really pissed at you this time though Naruto, I know you've survived the likes of Pain and Madara, but they're nothing compared to Ino when in the state she's currently in. I'm not going to say much more than this, so don't go flashing away, but Sakura is her best friend and it frustrates Ino to no end to see you avoiding her."
Naruto nodded at his friend. "So is that the reason you came up here?"
"No, that was simply a friendly warning, so you can survive long enough to become the next hokage. I came here to see if you were coming to the Christmas party tomorrow night? Everyone's going to be there, the Rookie 9, Team Guy, Sai…"
"…And Sakura and Sasuke right?" Naruto interrupted.
"Yea, but it's not like they're…"
"I'll see what I can do Shikamaru. But don't count on me being there."
"Naruto… this is getting troublesome. We want you to come, everyone wants you to come."
"It's not like I don't hang out with everyone Shikamaru."
"True, but you never come to gatherings where we all get together."
"You know why Shikamaru, please drop it."
"Tch, troublesome." The genius sighed as he turned to leave. He paused, and called over his shoulder. "I'm not giving you any information on those two, because I know you don't want it. But you should stop assuming the worst. You're not going to be truly happy if you keep on as you are."
"I'm happy Shikamaru. I have great friends, the village loves me, and I'm about to become the next hokage. Life couldn't be better." The blonde lied with a fake grin plastered on his face.
Shikamaru sighed again. "Troublesome." He muttered as he walked away.
Naruto tried to block out Shikamaru's words as he laid down and closed his eyes. He fell into a peaceful slumber as the snow blanketed the ground.
A pink-haired kunoichi stood on top of the Hokage Monument staring at the sleeping, shivering form of the future hokage.
"You're still as reckless as ever Naruto." She sighed. Note to self- thank Ino for making Shikamaru tell me he's up here. The baka is going to get sick if he sleeps out here.
She peered down at her former teammate with a sad smile. It had been two long years since Sasuke returned and Naruto stopped talking to her and completely avoided her entirely. His cloak ruffled in the wind as the harsh gust of cold air blew over the mountaintop.
She laid a gentle hand on his forehead. "Baka… you're burning up." She muttered softly as a green glow enveloped her hand. Once she was pleased with her work she gently picked Naruto up. A silent chuckle escaped her lips as she realized the irony of the situation. Here she was carrying Naruto bridal style, it was supposed to be the other way around.
Pushing chakra into her legs Sakura hurried to Naruto's apartment, wanting to get him out of the cold as soon as possible. As she sped through the village, the soft smiles that adorned the villagers' faces at the sight of her carrying their hero did not escape her notice, causing her to blush.
Arriving at his door, she fished around in his pockets until she found his key, and unlocked the door. She walked up the stairs into his apartment.
I can't believe he still stays here. The kunoichi thought as she walked towards his bedroom. Sakura begrudgingly put Naruto in his bed, tucking him in. She would've rather held him in her arms a little while longer, or better yet, climb into bed and curl up with him.
But Sakura knew that wouldn't end well. She knew from her friends that Naruto went to great pains to avoid her, and avoid any information about her altogether. She was reminded of this today when she saw Naruto in town. It had been the first time in two years that she had actually seen him, and she hoped that she would be able to at least say hi. But as soon as he spotted her, the sage flashed away.
She sighed as she sat down by him, stroking his hair. If only you would stop being such a stubborn baka Naruto…
She would never forget the day that Naruto brought Sasuke back...
Sakura rushed to the main gates of Konoha, Naruto sent a messenger toad to her saying that he had finally managed to convince Sasuke to come back to Konoha and he and Sasuke would be back soon. Today was the day. Sakura was so excited. Naruto had finally fulfilled that stupid promise she made him make all those years ago. She no longer needed to worry about him going and getting himself killed because of her 12-year-old self.
Her face lit up with a huge smile as she saw two familiar figures walk through the gate.
"Sasuke!" she yelled happily running forward and wrapping her old teammate up in a hug.
"Hello Sakura." The Uchiha quietly responded.
"Naruto thank you… Naruto?" Sakura asked as she looked around for her teammate who had never left her. A frown adorned her face as she realized Naruto had disappeared. "Where did he go?"
"He seemed pretty drained our entire walk here. I think our fight took a lot out of him. He probably just went home before he passed out in the street." Frown still on her face, Sakura nodded.
"He could have at least waited for me to thank him! I'm going to go to his apartment to say thanks and check up on him." The pink-haired kunoichi said as she started walking towards Nartuo's apartment.
"Don't you think you should let the dobe sleep? I've never seen Naruto as drained as he was on our way back here. Other than being drained, he's fine."
Sakura sighed, "I guess. Want me to walk with you to the Hokage's office? You're going to need to see her to be reinstated as a Konoha shinobi."
Sasuke simply gave an affirmative grunt as the two old teammates walked towards towards the Hokage Tower.
It had been two weeks since Naruto brought Sasuke back to Konoha, and much to Sakura's despair, she hadn't seen Naruto once since then. For the first few days, Sakura wrote it off as Naruto needing rest. But the more days passed, the more she began to wonder if he was avoiding her. She couldn't believe that Naruto would avoid her, the blonde had been crazy about her his entire life. And since she realized just how much he meant to her, she hadn't treated him poorly in years.
As Sakura walked towards Team 7's training grounds, she was filled with excitement. Today would be the first day that all of Team 7 is reunited since so long apart. More importantly, Sakura would get to see Naruto today. There's no way that the whiskered man would skip out on a training session.
Sakura arrived at the bridge first, and greeted Sasuke, Sai and Yamoto as they arrived. She was a little surprised that Naruto hadn't arrived yet, but knowing the baka he had probably overslept and was sprinting to the training grounds now. By the time Kakashi arrived, he was two hours late, which was late even for regular Kakashi time.
"Sorry I'm late I just came from…" Kakashi began.
"YOU'RE LATE!" Sakura yelled, missing the other yell that usually accompanied her own.
"Well… as I was explaining. I just came from the Hokage's office. Naruto has withdrawn from Team 7 so he can spend his time with the Tsunade-sama getting political training he is going to need when he takes over as the Rokudaime Hokage."
"WHAT?" Sakura yelled. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE WITHDREW FROM TEAM 7? SASUKE'S FINALLY BACK. WE CAN FINALLY BE A FULL TEAM AGAIN!"
"I tried talking him out of Sakura, I even offered to train him in tact during missions, and Tsunade–sama offered to give him political training every night. But he refused because… and I quote… "I'm not going to be the greatest hokage ever if I don't learn how to act around Daimyo's and other village leaders!" Nothing Tsunade-sama said could convince him otherwise. You know how he gets when he sets his mind on something…"
"But… but… shishou should've refused him then! He needs to be here with us. We need him here on Team 7!"
"Sakura, try to understand. Naruto is going to be Tsunade's successor, as hokage, she cannot turn down her successor when he asks her for help. As hokage it is her job to ensure that he is fully prepared for the role." Kakashi attempted to reason.
"Fully prepared? Everyone knows that Naruto is ready to be the hokage. He's already going to be the greatest hokage ever. Learning political stuff from Tsunade-shishou isn't going to help him any more!"
"You know that, I know that, and you're right, practically everyone else knows that. Everyone except Naruto. He's the son of the Yondaime, he has a lot to live up to." Yamato interjected.
"Sorry Kakashi-sensei, but I'm not going to be able to train today. I'm going to Tsunade-shishou's office and knock some sense into that baka!"
Sakura stomped off, both angered and hurt that Naruto suddenly decided to leave Team 7. Today was supposed to be a happy day. Her team was supposed to be reunited and she was supposed to be seeing Naruto after two long weeks.
Sakura didn't even bother knocking as she slammed the hokage's door open.
"Sakura?" her master asked in a slightly confused and very annoyed tone.
"Where is he."
"Where is who Sakura?"
"You know who, WHERE. IS. HE?" she ground out.
"Naruto isn't here Sakura…" the hokage sighed.
"Alright. Then tell me shishou, why did you agree to this? He would already make a great hokage, and he will still make a great hokage as a member of Team 7."
"I'm agreeing to this Sakura because he practically begged me to. He has his reasons."
"What aren't you telling me shishou?"
Tsunade let out another sigh, "Nothing Sakura. Naruto isn't here."
"Alright fine. If he's not here, then where is he?" the pink-haired kunoichi questioned.
"I'm not sure Sakura, I dismissed him for the day, he didn't tell me what his plans for the rest of the day are."
"Fine, but don't think this is over shishou, I'm not going to stop until you tell me the real reason you agreed to this." Sakura huffed as she left the hokage's office.
Sakura had spent the rest of that day searching for Naruto. Then the rest of that week, then the rest of that month. She never found him, but her friends had seen him, so she knew he was still alive and in Konoha. She tried everything she could think of to see him, she would spend an entire day quietly sitting with Tsunade in her office, waiting for the blonde to arrive.
She would sit in Ichiraku's from open to close, she would sit in front of his apartment. One time she even broke his door down and sat in his apartment for an entire night. But she never saw him. She tried using her friends who still were in contact with Naruto to get him to meet with her. She wanted to know why he was avoiding her.
When she first realized he was avoiding her, she took a long hard look at herself. Looking for any flaw that would suddenly make Naruto want to avoid her. She searched her memories for some action that drove him away. But she could never find any.
And so Sakura's life went on, she kept hoping against hope that she would happen to stumble upon him out and about in the village, and every time her friends all got together she kept her fingers crossed that the spiky-haired blonde would suddenly show up. But he never did.
And while she was sad to be living life without her best friend, she still enjoyed her life. She still had both of her parents and a great group of friends. Team 7 minus Naruto wasn't as fun without him, but it was still enjoyable. Sakura's life had been good. She wasn't miserable, and she was relatively happy enough.
Sakura was brought out of her musings as Naruto subconsciously turned towards her in his sleep. She smiled down at the man. Knowing that Naruto waking up to her sitting by him stroking his hair would not help her cause, she stood up. The pinkette bent down and gently kissed him on the cheek, before sending one more sad smile his way and leaving his apartment through his window.
I might see him at the party tomorrow… Sakura thought in an attempt to cheer herself up. But she knew the truth, Naruto had never shown up to any of their gatherings. This was probably the only time she would be seeing him during the Christmas season.
Naruto was confused as he woke up in his warm bed, surrounded by his comforter. His cheek felt very warm, and it was… tingling. From the looks of things, someone had tucked him in. The last thing he remembered was falling asleep on top of his father's head. How the hell did I get here? The confused man wondered. How long have I been asleep? The future hokage was surprised to see it was dark outside, and felt a familiar growl in his stomach.
Naruto sat down in a meditative position, determined to find out who brought him here. He gathered in natural energy and entered sage mode, hoping his enhanced senses would be able to pick up some clue. He walked though his apartment looking for anything, a footprint, a strand of hair, a dropped pen, anything. But he couldn't find any clues. He was interrupted from his investigation as his stomach again growled, announcing its displeasure to Naruto.
The again sapphire-eyed man dropped out of sage mode and left his apartment. While he was tempted to stop at Ichiraku's again, he was a little worried that Shizune would be there waiting for him to resume their discussion from earlier. So instead Naruto walked into a little hole in the wall bar that had great food. There's no way Shizune would be found in a bar.
"Naruto?" Tsunade hiccupped as she spotted him.
"Good evening Baa-chan." He greeted her with a smile. "Drunk already ne?" the jinchuriki winked.
"Shut up gaki. I'm not that drunk yet. What are you doing here?"
"I just woke up from a nap and was pretty hungry, and I had already gotten Ichiraku's for lunch today so I decided to come here. The food's great!" he finished with a toothy grin.
"Well sit down and join me then! Want some sake?"
"You know I don't drink that stuff Baa-chan."
"Believe me gaki, you will once you get my job." She winked.
"I highly doubt that Baa-chan." An exasperated Naruto replied. He would never understand why the hazel-eyed Hokage and his deceased master loved the stuff so much. It tasted awful… A waitress came and Naruto ordered some chicken dumplings.
"I heard that you stopped by the orphanage today. I'm proud of you brat."
"Thanks, but Teruchi gave the toys to me at an extreme discount this year. I'm not even sure if he's going to deposit the check. Is there any way as hokage you can force someone to deposit a check?"
Tsunade's laughter filled the bar. "Sorry Naruto, but no. I think you're about the only person in the world who complains about someone not depositing your check. Most people would be thrilled at the chance of not having to pay anything."
"Hehe, I can afford it Baa-chan. So there's really no need for Teruchi to give me so many toys for free."
"Teruchi is just another of the many people you've changed for the better Naruto. You should be proud that he wanted to donate the toys in the first place. I don't think he ever would have even dreamed about doing something like that ten years ago."
"I guess you're right baa-chan." Naruto said with a sheepish grin as the waitress brought his dumplings.
"Damn right I am, I'm the hokage!" she proudly huffed.
"For now!" the younger man retorted.
"Actually Naruto, I'm glad I ran into you. I wanted to talk to you about that. I've begun the process of hiring your assistant."
"Ne? Isn't that something I should do myself?"
"Nope! Generally the hokage hand-picks their successor's assistant. It's been too long since Konoha has had a hokage that could actually choose their successor!"
"I see… So how long is this process going to take?"
"Well, the hokage's assistant is a very important position. Especially if YOU'RE the hokage. Your assistant is going to need to be able to keep you in line, so I'm going to need to extensively interview each individual candidate."
"Oh come on Baa-chan, I won't need to be kept in line…" Naruto mumbled.
"Oh sure you won't, " Tsunade snorted. "Anyways, I think almost every single female in Konoha applied for the position, so it's going to take me about a month to conduct all the interviews.
"Please don't tell me you're going to hire one of my fan girls as my assistant…" Naruto muttered as sweat dropped down his head.
"I'm going to hire whoever I feel is best for the job, whether she or he is a fan girl or not."
"You should be excited gaki. Hiring an assistant is really the last thing I have to do before handing over the title to you. Hopefully by this time next month, you'll be the Rokudaime Hokage!"
Naruto smiled at the thought. "Thanks Tsunade-sama… for everything."
"Tsunade-sama? I could get used to that!"
"Well don't Tsunade-sama because as soon as I become hokage I'm making it law that everyone calls you baa-chan!"
Tsunade's fist knocked Naruto's head through his now empty plate, through the table, where he made an indent in the floor.
"Brat…" Tsunade muttered. "Keep that up and I'll make Konohamura Hokage." She huffed with a smile. "Leave the brat there with the bill for my drinks AND repairs." The Hokage said to the owner of the bar with a cruel smile on her face.
"Merry Christmas Naruto."
"Mean old hag…" Naruto mumbled. After paying the large bill, Naruto began walking home.
"Hey dobe." he heard someone call from behind him. Naruto didn't need to turn around to know who said those words. There was only one person in the village who had the guts to call him dobe. Not wanting to talk to this particular man, he used his hirashin and was startled when he did not arrive in his house.
He looked around the room, confused. The walls were painted a dark red, and the house smelled like… I could never forget this scent… SHIT, how did I get here?
"Good to see you Naruto." Sakura called out directly behind him. A shocked Naruto spun around to face the woman he had spent the past two years of his life avoiding and gasped as he saw her twirling a three-pronged kunai around in her fingers.
He had forgotten how beautiful she was. And her beauty had only grown over the past two years. She was still much shorter than him, standing at about 5'3, but her pink hair now just reached her shoulders. Her figure was the epitome of perfection, it had always been in Naruto's opinion. She had all the best curves in all the right places. Her breasts had began growing even before Naruto had stopped talking to her, and they had now grown into perky c-cups. The perfect size for her body.
She was currently wearing a tight, white, spaghetti strap tanktop that left her belly exposed, and a pair of short black cloth shorts. Naruto blushed at the sight, and did everything in his power to hold back a nose bleed. He focused his eyes on the kunai in an effort to distract himself from the perfect scantily clad body of the kunoichi standing in front of him.
Seeing his eyes land on the familiar kunai, Sakura smirked. "You really should get a different escape tactic. To be honest, I'm a little ashamed I never thought of this before, and I'm even more ashamed that Kakashi-sensei recommended it. Also, you should really lock your windows, breaking into your apartment is too easy baka."
"Sa…Sakura-chan... what's going on?" Naruto sputtered, his mind furiously trying to come up with a quick escape plan. I really should've set up more kunai around the village…
"What's going on? You avoid me two years, forcing me to take extreme measures just to SEE YOU, AND YOU ASK ME WHAT'S GOING ON?" the pink-haired girl screamed as tears began forming in her eyes.
Pain shot through Naruto's heart; if there was one thing he hated seeing, it was seeing Sakura cry. But he didn't know what to say. It wasn't her fault she loved Sasuke. And it wasn't Naruto's fault that he loved Sakura. But what could he say to her? 'I'm sorry, I've been avoiding you because I love you and seeing you together with my best friend who tried to kill me on multiple occasions would just hurt too much?' That wouldn't do anyone any good. All Sakura would do is feel bad, say she's sorry that she doesn't return his feelings, and everyone involved would just feel worse…
"Well?" Sakura huffed, obviously waiting for an answer.
"Well what? What do you want me to say Sakura-chan?"
"Oh I don't know… How about telling me why the first time I saw you in two years you were asleep on top of the Hokage Monument in the cold and had started to catch a fever!"
"Ino made Shikamaru tell me when you were on the Hokage monument, so I went up there hoping to catch you. And what do I come across? You, asleep, shivering and burning up. Two long years and the first time I see you I don't get so much as a hello…"
"You were on the Hokage Monument? " Naruto's eyes widened in realization. "So you're the one who…"
"Yes baka!" Sakura snapped. "Now tell me Naruto…" his former teammate's voice wavered. "Why? Why have you been avoiding me?" the tears she had been holding back began slowly seeping down her cheeks.
"Sakura-chan… it doesn't matter. Knowing my reasons won't make either you or I any happier. Just drop it, and accept it… please." the blonde pleaded.
"Drop it? Accept it? ACCEPT THAT MY MOST PRECIOUS PERSON IS AVOIDING ME? ACCEPT THAT MY MOST PRECIOUS PERSON NO LONGER WANTS TO BE AROUND ME?" Sakura was screaming so loud now that people in Suna could probably hear her.
"Your… most precious person?" Naruto gasped. I had to have heard her wrong. Sasuke is her most precious person…
"YES YOU STUPID STUBBORN BAKA. YOU ARE MY MOST PRECIOUS PERSON!" Sakura suddenly leapt forward and caught Naruto in an embrace as she laid her face in his chest and sobbed.
"But… but… Sasuke." Naruto stuttered.
Sakura punched Naruto straight into the ground.
"If you had actually talked to me about Sasuke, or let any of our friends talk to you about Sasuke or me you would know that I don't love Sasuke. We're just friends. I haven't loved Sasuke for years…" Sakura picked Naruto up from the ground and embraced him again.
"Nani?" Naruto muttered. His eyes widened as he broke from Sakura's embraced and crossed his hands. He closed his eyes...
"KAI!" Naruto cautiously opened an eye. I'm still in Sakura-chan's apartment, Sakura-chan is still crying… This has to be a genjutsu. He closed his eye and again flared his chakra.
Naruto was interrupted when Sakura crashed her lips into his. She pressed desperately into him, her lips mashing against his. As soon as Naruto realized what was going on, he pressed into Sakura, deepening the passionate kiss.
Sakura's mouth opened and he followed suit allowing their tongues to wage war with one another. Happy tears fell down the faces of both Naruto and Sakura as they continued the passionate kiss for five minutes before pulling back, gasping for air.
Matching soft smiles adorned their faces as they leaned their foreheads together, entranced by the others eyes.
"I'm sorry… I had no idea… I just assumed that you…"
He was again interrupted by Sakura pressing her soft lips to his. She pulled back, still smiling at him.
"Well you know what happens when you assume." She giggled.
"Yea yea, I know, I make an ass out of you and me…"
"Wrong, you prove that you're a baka and you owe your girlfriend big time for taking some initiative." Sakura mock scolded with a cute smile on her face.
For the hundredth time since flashing into Sakura's apartment, Naruto gasped.
"Did you just say… girlfriend Sakura-chan?" the kunoichi giggled some more at his startled expression.
"Of course baka. You don't think I broke into your apartment, stole your kunai, had Sasuke trick you into flashing to aforementioned kunai, and finally tell you my feelings just so we could be friends do you? Sorry Naruto, but I'm not giving you a choice. You're my boyfriend, I'm your girlfriend, no ifs ands or buts!"
Naruto smiled the largest most genuine smile he ever had as he stared into her beautiful emerald eyes.
"I think I can live with that Sakura-chan."
"Good, because I wouldn't want to have to pound the future hokage within an inch of his life for being a baka!" Sakura cooed sweetly causing Naruto to sweat-drop.
"Now come on. It's late and I'm tired, we're going to bed now."
"We're going to bed? So you tell me when I'm going to bed now?" the blonde playfully questioned.
His girlfriend looked him in the eye. "Damn straight I do. If you think I'm going to let you wear the pants in this relationship, you got another thing coming baka."
"What if I'm not tired yet?" Naruto pouted.
Sakura gave him a seductive smile. "I can think of a few ways to tire you out." Yet again, Naruto gasped.
"Oh jeeze Naruto, I've been waiting two years for you. Stop acting so surprised. Now come on. Bedroom. Now!" she ordered as she grabbed his hand and dragged him into her room.
As they neared the bed, Sakura stopped and smiled sweetly.
"Help me out of this will you? It's pretty hot in here."
Naruto cheeks burned red as nervous sweat fell from his body, he just stood there staring at her, dumbfounded.
"Not sure what to do? Here, let me show you." Sakura said in a sultry voice as she walked up to him and took off his jacket. Naruto gasped yet again as Sakura took his pants off. He now stood in front of Sakura in a white undershirt, his Christmas tree boxers, and his Santa hat still over his spiky-haired head.
Sakura leaned forward and gave him a soft kiss. "There, like that. See, it's not so hard. Now your turn." She said with a cute grin as she held her hands up. With trembling arms Naruto pulled the spaghetti strap tank top over her head and nearly fainted when he saw Sakura's breasts being contained in a tight black lace bra, that didn't leave much to the imagination.
Sakura rewarded him for getting her shirt off by giving him another soft kiss, encouraging him to continue. The whiskered man dropped to his kness and pulled Sakura's black shorts down around her ankles, and again nearly fainted when he came face to face with Sakura's black lace panties.
Sakura kept her soft smile on him as she pulled him up. She was pleasantly surprised when Naruto instigated a kiss, and furiously returned the kiss. Pulling away, she pulled off his undershirt and gave him an approving look as she stared at his bare toned chest.
Before Naruto could do anything, she threw him onto her bed and pounced on him like a cat on a mouse. She captured his lips again and the two began to passionately make out. After what seemed like years, the couple pulled away from each other gasping for breath.
Sakura entranced Naruto with her seductive smile as she reached back and unclenched her bra.
"Sakura-chan… Are you sure you want to do this?" Naruto questioned meekly. She layed down and put her head on his chest as she wrapped her arms around his body, she shivered in delight as she felt him wrap his arms around her body. She could tell that he wanted this, yet here he was, thinking about her fist. Making sure that this is what she truly wanted.
She laid a gentle kiss on his chest before raising her head up and softly kissing her boyfriend on the lips. The pink-haired girl then brought her lips to his ear.
"I'm sure Naruto. I want to be yours and I want you to be mine." She whispered into his ear. She giggled lightly as she felt his body shiver, and placed a soft kiss on his ear before sitting back up. The two just stared into the other's eyes.
"I love you Naruto."
"I love you too Sakura-chan." The new couple smashed their lips together.
Both Naruto and Sakura would forever agree that this was one of the best nights of their life.
Next part up tomorrow! Please do review!