Disclaimer: All Naruto characters are the copyright of Masashi Kishimoto. I'm just borrowing them to write up a story with no intention of making any money. This is for fun. That's all. :) No copying of my story is allowed. That's stealing if anyone copies my story into his/her own story. Write your own story without taking others' works! (angry glare)
Big Thanks goes to Lazruth for betareading for me! Thanks! (big grin)
Before-story Author Notes: For everyone who has followed my "Unexpected Love" fic, this NaruTen short fic is for you! This story takes place in the "Unexpected Love" universe, providing some romance and love on this special day, which celebrates love. I'm not going to spoil the story, but I had given a 'hint' in Chapter 18 of "UL" why this Valentine's Day is special for Naruto and Tenten. ^_^
Lasty, to those who have not read "Unexpected Love," I highly recommend to read "Unexpected Love" first before reading this fic. Things will make more sense in this fic, if you read "Unexpected Love" first. :)
Second Note (Editted in June 5, 2012): This fic used to contain lemons, but I'd removed them due to FF Net cracking down on lemon fics. One does not need to read the lemon part to enjoy the plot of this story. Yet if anyone wants to read the lemon, you can find this story, lemon and all, over at AFF Net. Links can be found in my Author Profile.
Story rating: M (R)(for adult and sexual themes)
Written: January-February 2011
Summary: Naruto and Tenten spend Valentine's Day with a special goal in mind. NaruTen.
The Lady in Red
An Unexpected Love fic
By JuPMod (aka JPMod)
Life. Every day as the world continued the daily cycle of day and night, life forged ahead with its existence on the planet. Creatures of all sizes went about their everyday businesses, from getting food to finding or building shelter. This cycle had been going on every since the birth of the Earth, and it would endure up to the day the world died.
As one of Mother Earth's many children, human beings were no exception to this day by day routine. They too went about their many affairs, taking for granted the world around them. Some might say humans were a fickle species, given they were the most technologically advanced race on the planet. Yet despite their unpredictable nature at times, humans, when it came down to the basics, were just like all the others; seeking food, shelter, and a mean to raise their young.
Raising young for humans though meant forming communities and governments to keep things in order for their young to exist. Communities and governments meant forming nations, especially if each one has different views compared to others. Those nations that were big and strong were more likely to have a chance to raise their young in peace, depending on many factors.
One of the most powerful nations was the Fire Country, one of the five major shinobi nations. Ever since it was formed an hundred years ago, it had grown to become great economically and militarily, thanks to the wise daimyos and the tough yet tolerant Hokages, who knew when to draw their swords to defend the country and when to extend a hand in peace and friendship.
Thus it would not surprise anyone today how well Konohagakure no Sato, the Fire Country's shinobi village, has thrived so well through the best and worst of times in the past century. Today, thanks to its current Hokage, the world was more at peace than it ever was before. Thanks to the non-aggression pact signed between the five major military powers and many smaller ones, people were enduring the Golden Era of Peace.
Yet despite this peace, it did not mean the end of robbery, murder, scams, and any other negatives that plague everyday society. Thus despite there being no more wars for the shinobi to fight, it did not end people hiring them, from doing escort missions to the occasional control of bandits looting and terrorizing the countryside. Once in awhile, the typical greedy individual would rise to try conquering land and wealth through fear and might, yet they were quickly brought down by one or more of the five major shinobi villages.
Yep, there was plenty of work for shinobi to go about in this age of peace.
Not far from Konoha's Main Gates, two kunoichi were strolling toward their village's main entrance. After completing a simple escort mission, they took their time heading home, even though one of them was a mother, who, like all mothers, just felt somewhat odd to be away from her child for a certain length of time.
The younger of the two female shinobi smirked a bit at her older companion just in front of her. "Eager to get home? Having known you for nearly five years now, I know you want to get home to make certain your mother has not corrupted your son."
The older kunoichi chuckled as she shook her head, her brown eyes twinkling. "Don't go there. You know I value these missions as short mini-vacations from the hassles of being a mother. They make my time with Tetsute more valuable to me, when I'm back."
Giving a warm, knowing grin, the younger woman sighed. "There are times I envy you, Tenten-sensei, especially with your relationship with Naruto-sensei." A frown formed on her young face. "I wish I can find someone who can love me like that."
Uzumaki-Namikaze Tenten, 27-year-old wife of the Rokudaime Hokage Uzumaki-Namikaze Naruto, shook her head again as she chuckled before giving an amused glance at her younger companion. "You're 16 years old, Oki. It's not like you're becoming an old maid. You'll find someone." Her sight returned to the road in front of her and the village gates not far ahead. "If not either of your teammates, it might be someone who you least expect." Lips formed into a warm grin. "It happened to me, as you know."
The brown-haired teenage kunoichi snorted as she rolled her eyes. "Please. Toshi or Ringo? Both of them are perverted pigs." She quickly amended herself upon seeing her superior raised an eyebrow at her. "Okay," she sighed. "They're good friends and teammates, and I trust them, but I really can't see being with either one in a romantic way." Her comments paused for a moment before continuing. "Maybe Toshi, given he's not as big a pervert as Ringo, who I definitely will not want to date." A scowl creased her face. "Perverted pig."
Chuckling again, Tenten once more focused ahead, the two main gates looming larger now as her mind journeyed down Memory Lane regarding her husband's genin squad, Team 5.
Nearly five years ago, Naruto had been given a genin team to train from that year's Academy graduates, and he ended up with Team 5. At first to him, the three 12-year-olds felt like a rag-tag bunch, composing of a loud boy, a quiet yet knowledgeable boy, and a chatty know-it-all girl. However, during their genin test, the blond jounin knew these three were more capable to work together from the get-go than Team Kakashi ever had. So Team Naruto was born, and ever since, the three youngsters have learned a great deal from their sensei, who made sure to help each individual discover his or her potential.
Donki Toshi was the tallest in the group and the most normal looking. He was quiet at times but not afraid to voice his intelligent thoughts in a calm matter. His brown hair was an odd mop that looked like a palm tree, yet other than a birthmark on his jaw, there was nothing physically out of the ordinary about him. Yet his intelligence and cool nature had made Toshi the ideal leader, making him the first to achieve the rank of jounin at 15 years old with his vast ninjutsu skills, including his impressive water jutsus.
If Toshi was the calm leader, Souryo Ringo was definitely the loudmouth clown. A bald boy who always worn his hitai-ate backwards in a bandana, much like Genma, he was joking at times and full of life. He had some leadership abilities as well, but since he had a hard time finding his shinobi 'niche' that would work for him, the boy barely passed the Chuunin Exams while taking another year or two after Toshi to become a jounin. Surprisingly to Tenten, Ringo found his craft in chakra-string weaponry with some knowledge in puppetry, mixed in with some Lightning jutsus. It was why she and her mother were the only ones in the village who could teach his trade, other than the Suna Puppet Brigade during a rare inter-village training exchange.
Last, there was the lone kunoichi of the group, Yutaka Oki. Yammering most of the time, she was the shortest of the three, but she made it up with being knowledgeable but not Haruno-Sakura smart though. Yet, the girl, who wore her dark brown hair in a large, low side-bun, was not afraid to wear revealing clothes, which had compromised of a short-spandex suit with a corset. Given her well-endowed chest a few years later, it was no wonder she was confident in her beauty.
However, out of the three, Oki was the only one who opted not to seek being a jounin. She was happy being a chuunin with Jack-of-Trades skills ranging from taijutsu, weapons, some fuinjutsu, and several ninjutsu with her main element being Fire. She even took basic first-aid field courses to be the team's main medic at hand.
Tenten though was glad she had convinced the girl over the years to wear clothes a bit less revealing. Today, Oki wore her hair in a high ponytail, like Ino used to do, while she traded the spandex body suit for a more mature half kimono with spandex shorts and high-heel boots. The gray/white kimono though was bit tight on the chest, outlining her bust, but least there was no cleavage for ogling male perverts to drool over.
After strolling pass the Main Gates and both kunoichi waved to the guards, Tenten headed toward her old home as she continued the conversation with her young charge. "As I said, Oki, you're young, and I have no doubt you'll find someone."
"I know," the teenage girl admitted with a sigh before her eyes took on a far-away look. "It will be so cool to find a guy, who is as loving and caring as Naruto-sensei." Her lips curled up on one side. "Planning anything special tomorrow for Valentine's Day, Tenten-sensei? I know it's a special anniversary for you two."
Giving an amused expression at her husband's student, the Weapons Mistress of Konoha waggled a finger. "That's for us to know, and you to find out afterward." Oki giggled, knowing she spoke the truth, regardless that eventually everyone in the village would find out what the village's First Couple did on Valentine's Day.
Several minutes later, the two kunoichi entered the front door of a two-story weapons shop and apartment building, where Tenten's 50-something mother, Kyohaku, came around the front counter and greeted both warmly. "Ten-chan, Oki! Welcome home!"
"Thanks, Mom," Tenten grinned while being briefly hugged.
Kyokaku then similarly hugged the teenage brunette, who, as usual, called her 'Kyohaku-sama'. The older woman took the honorary in stride, even though for years she kept insisting Oki to just call her by name. Yet it shouldn't be a surprise to her to be called 'sama' given the girl and her two male teammates called Naruto and Tenten 'sensei'.
"So, given you're here watching the store, I presume you found someone to watch Tetsute?" asked Tenten, after her mother and Oki broke their hug.
Kyohaku grinned knowingly. "She volunteered to look after my grandson for the day. They're upstairs now."
Tenten shook her head while amusingly smiled. "You're not going to tell me who she is, for you want me to find out anyway, right?" Her mother's twinkling expression gave her the answer. "Fine, I'll find out." With that said, the 20-something weapons expert walked pass her parent and the door frame separating the store and rear storage area before climbing up the stairs to the living quarters on the second floor.
Oki immediately followed her superior, but not before giggling when Kyohaku gave her a witty wink.
Upon opening the door into her former home, Tenten's eyes immediately spotted the person who had volunteered to look after her son for the day. The person was sitting on the couch as she read to a brown-haired, 3-and-an-half-year-old boy on her lap. It was not hard to recognize the long blonde hair in two ponytails and green jacket with the kanji word for 'gamble' on the back.
Having heard the door open, the blonde woman paused in her reading to look at who had entered. She gave a natural warm grin upon spotting the younger kunoichi. "Welcome home, Tenten."
"Tsunade-sama," Tenten returned the greeting, enjoying the sight of her idol and son sitting together like this.
A moment later, Oki came through the door. "Ah! Godaime-sama!"
Tsunade sighed. "I'm no longer the Hokage anymore, young lady. I keep telling you that."
Tenten fondly grinned at Konoha's former leader. "Just because you're no longer Hokage, Tsunade-sama, doesn't mean people will stop seeing you as the Godaime. You are the Godaime, even retired."
The blonde woman gave a mock snort with twinkling honey eyes. "True, but I like very much for people just to call me by name. It's like they still think I'm the village's leader despite Naruto being the one they go now to complain." One side of her mouth curled upward. "Least the gaki have me as back-up, just in case." Both women laughed at the joke.
Ever since she retired as Hokage, after handing over the position to Naruto, Tsunade was free to relax and enjoy life but not after wanting to do some reorganization of Konoha's medical establishment. It had taken a while, but least the few hospitals and clinics around the village were even more efficient than during her time as the Godaime. Besides, Naruto also had wanted her to be one of his councilors, and she couldn't refuse, given how much she still at times wanted to help the gaki, despite he had put together a good administration staff.
"Mommy!" interrupted Tetsute as his twin brown eyes spotted his mother.
Dropping her backpack next to the couch, the Uzumaki-Namikaze Matriarch took the few steps to pick up her child, and while the two lovingly hugged each other, she sat down on the couch next to the only member left of the Legendary Sannin. "You've been a good boy to Grandma Tsunade, Tet?" she asked prior to pulling her son away a bit to look into his face.
"Hai!" he cheerfully responded. "Weapons cool!"
All three women chuckled or giggled before Tsunade spoke. "As I said many times before, he definitely will grow up to be like you, Tenten. When it comes to weapons, he just couldn't get enough of them."
Tenten chuckled again. "Well, having a weapons smith for a grandmother would do that, just as it did with me growing up with Mom."
"I say he's influenced more by his mother than his grandmother," teased Tsunade, who softy laughed at the grinning 'Oh, really?' expression Mrs. Uzumaki-Namikaze produced.
Giggling again, Oki dumped her backpack next to the other on the floor prior to take the remaining spot on the couch, next to Tenten's left. "Knowing Naruto-sensei, I'll not be surprised if he wants to teach Tet other things. He always kept telling Toshi, Ringo, and I to broaden our horizons."
"Oki!" called out Tetsute upon seeing the teenager, who bent down to allow small arms to give her a hug, which she returned with one hand on the small boy's back. A moment later, the girl slightly pulled away with a small yelp upon feeling a tiny hand tugging her long brown locks.
"Easy there, Tet," Oki softly and amusedly chided as the other two women snickered at her plight. She managed to uncurl the small yet firm fingers from trying to yank her hair out of its roots.
As her son paid attention to the younger kunoichi, Tenten continued the topic they had been discussing. "It's true that he will definitely teach Tetsute a lot of things, but knowing my husband, he'll not care less whether Tet becomes a weapons expert, fuinjutsu expert, or a ninjutsu expert. As long as our son grows up happy and becomes what he wants to become, Naruto will be okay with whatever path our child takes."
Tsunade softly smiled. "That's why I knew he was ready to become Hokage. When I saw how he taught his genin team and the love he gave to Tet, I knew it was time for me to step down and for him to take command. That is the type of leadership Konoha needs."
Giving a nod as she lovingly sighed; Tenten couldn't help but to think of warm thoughts regarding her spouse. "Despite all the bad things he has endured, I'm glad he came out to be the kind and gentle person he is."
"Yeah, that's Naruto-sensei," Oki agreed just as Tetsute turned his attention back to the weapons book in Tsunade's hands. "I'm glad to have him for a teacher. Even Toshi and Ringo appreciated how much they had learned from him."
While Tenten guided her son through the book she took from Tsunade, the retired Hokage snapped her fingers upon remembering something. "Oh, you should know, Oki, your teammates returned from their mission yesterday."
Young dark eyes lit up upon hearing that bit of news. "They're home?"
"Yes, they are," Tsunade continued prior to lips producing a smirk. "I'm sure you know what they are doing now."
Oki rolled her eyes and gave out a huff of air. "Of course, I know where they are. Boys..."
Tenten and Tsunade eyed each other with amused expressions, for they too knew what Oki's teammates were doing, especially the day after coming home from a mission.
"Curse you, Toshi! I'm not going to let you waterlog my puppets again!" shouted out Ringo, while dodging several streams of water, trying to hit him, like snakes aiming to devour their prey. His two puppets managed to disperse the 'snakes' before their master landed on his feet, facing his opponent. "You are so going down."
Standing on a small pond of water, Toshi laughed a bit. "If you think I'm going to let you zap me with your puppets' lightning abilities, I'm no fool, my friend."
Ringo devilishly grinned. "Then I just have to make you a fool, my friend!" With that said, his battle puppets launched a barrage of kunai from two barrels, which popped out of their bodies.
Toshi launched into the air, dancing through the trees above to avoid being hit. He threw several of his own kunai at the bald-headed puppet user, who only grinned wider as his puppets managed to intercept the thrown projectiles with their own.
Landing on a tree branch, Toshi barely have time jump in the air again to avoid being sliced by a whirling windmill shuriken being guided by a chakra string. In mid-flight, the brown-haired jounin managed to form several hand signs prior to placing a funneled right hand to his mouth. "Katon: Housenka no Jutsu (Fire Element: Phoenix Fire Technique)!" he yelled.
A volley of cannonball-sized fireballs rained down on Ringo, who in order to avoid being burned to a crisp swiftly ran away, maneuvering his puppets above him as the wooden and metal contraptions unfolded steel shields on their backs to protect their master. The 16-year-old boy had gotten behind a tree, when the attack stopped.
"Who's making who a fool, Ringo?" the puppeteer heard Toshi laugh.
Whirling out of his hiding spot, Ringo glared at his cheerful friend, who was now standing on the ground from his flight in the air. "Fuck you, Tosh!"
Holding up his hands, a still-laughing Toshi shook his head. "Whoa! I don't swing that way!"
After giving another few seconds of glares, Ringo smirked evilly. "I don't swing that way either. However…" With a few wiggles of his fingers, an arm on each puppet extended swiftly to connect with the other puppet's arm, and upon connection, two spikes popped out the top of the heads. "When I'm through with you, you will be wishing you swung the other way!"
Brown eyes went wide as an accusing index finger pointed at the evil-grinning teenager. "Hey! We're not supposed to be using any major destructive techniques here!"
"I'm sure Naruto-sensei will get the trees replaced! Again!" Ringo yelled before hollering out his jutsu. "Raiton: Su-Pa Sumasshu (Lightning Element: Super Smash)!"
After activating the raiton seals inside the heads, two giant lightning bolts blasted out from the puppets' head spikes right at the brown-haired jounin, causing a huge explosion upon impact. Several trees were blown to bits, leaving behind smoldering stumps.
"Ahhhh!" said Ringo satisfyingly. "I just love the smell of charred wood!" Seeing his friend nowhere in sight, the bald boy quickly became serious as he narrowed his eyes. After pushing chakra into a ground, he suddenly looked down with a smirk. "That trick won't work on me!"
He jumped out of the way just in time to see Toshi burst out of the ground with a swirling ball of chakra in his right hand. Seeing this, Ringo speedily transfered control of both puppets to his left hand to free his right hand to create his own spinning chakra ball. Both jounin-rank teens shouted out their sensei's jutsu.
"RASENGAN!" the two voices yelled prior to smashing their chakra balls together. The two whirling blue spheres were pressed together as each boy gritted his teeth, trying to push his ball through the other's.
Suddenly, the two Rasengans exploded, violently tossing the boys back hard. Ringo hit a tree with a painful grunt before sliding down to the ground, while Toshi skidded across the ground before coming to a stop. As the two adolescents slowly gotten back on their feet, their ears picked up a male voice - a voice of the very man who had taught them for nearly 5 years now.
"Boys…" sighed Naruto, as he approached the pair after watching their spar. "How many times do I have to tell you? Each of you can only manag to produce a regular-size Rasengan, thus you will cancel each other out. Unless one of you can create an Oodama Rasengan or an element variant, like the Fuuton: Rasengan, neither of you will win."
"Aw, come on, Sensei!" Ringo chuckled before pointing back-and-forth between himself and Toshi. "It's only a matter of time before one of us will create just a slightly bigger Rasengan to win over the other."
Wearing his Hokage outfit, consisting of standard male jounin attire with a red haori that had orange flames on the hem, Naruto shook his head as a grin appeared on his face. "Not with your chakra reserves. Neither of you have the capacity now to create an Oodama Rasengan without massively draining yourselves, and do not even get me started with Kage Bunshin. Both of you barely can create two Kage Bunshin, thus after creating even just one, you do not have the chakra left to try merging your element affinity with the Rasengan." The blond Rokudaime crossed his arms with a knowing smirk. "Unless someone becomes a Sage, it seems it is true that I'm the only one who can safely use Oodama Rasengan and an element variant."
Ringo and Toshi did not appear to be deterred. "Don't count us out yet, Sensei," the bald-headed boy grinned challengingly. "Toshi and I just have to increase our reserves." He eyed his teammate. "Right, Tosh?"
"Yeah," the brown-haired boy agreed. "You said it yourself, Sensei, that we can still increase our chakra reserves due that we have not reach our limit yet. We're only 16 years old."
Naruto nodded in acknowledgment. Being teenagers, the boys still have some physical growth in the years ahead, thus their chakra coils would also grow as well as their reserves. All shinobi eventually would reach a limit to how much chakra they could create and hold, thus only then could one determine just how much he or she could expend on chakra. It was a natural cycle for all ninja growing up.
Yet, having huge reserves were not always a good thing, especially if you did not have the control. As his own chakra capacity increased over the years since adolescence, Naruto kept training to keep his control in check. It was nice to have Natural chakra and the huge Kyuubi reservoir to back-up his own humongous personal chakra, but all that power was not good if his control was like it was when he was twelve. With all the chakra at his disposal, the gold-haired man knew he would not ever achieve superb control on par of Tsunade or Sakura, but it was essential to have good chakra control to achieve creating certain techniques, like his father's famous Hiraishin jutsu.
Mentally chuckling, the Sixth Hokage knew things would have been very different, if he had gained chakra control like the Fifth Hokage or his former pink-haired teammate. "I would have enough power to literally destroy the entire village with one punch or kick, leaving a crater bigger than all of Konoha."
"Anyway," Naruto spoke, getting his mind back to reality, "Toshi is right, Ringo. Tenten and I had told you many times to not use any of your major destructive techniques while sparring in our backyard. My wife is not going to be pleased with you."
"She's not here at the moment, Sensei," Ringo shrugged a bit cockily. "Everything will be cool, once we get Yamato-taichou to grow new trees."
The teenager's jounin-sensei shook his head with a knowing grin. "My wife already knows, Ringo," he proclaimed while thumbing behind him.
Eying where their teacher was pointing, the two boys watched as Mrs. Uzumaki-Namikaze emerged from behind a tree, holding her young son in her arms. She walked casually, until she was standing next to her spouse. Her expression showed she was not pleased at all.
Chuckling nervously, Ringo waved a bit at his other teacher. "Hi there, Tenten-sensei. You're back from your mission."
"Ringo," vexed Tenten. "We've told you, Toshi, and Oki to not use any of your most powerful jutsu in our backyard due to the proximity to our home." She pointed her left thumb over her shoulder to the ranch house seen through the trees a few hundred yards away. "We do not want risking the chance any of you will damage the house. Not to mention, I personally do not want to see my backyard looking like a smoldering battlefield." She let out a huff of air as her eyes looked at the burning trees.
"It's no problem, Tenten-sensei," the bald boy tried to pacify the older kunoichi. "As I said, we can get Yamato-taichou to grow new trees."
Konoha's First Couple shook their heads, frowning. "Ringo," the Rokudaime began. "The last time we spoke to Yamato-taichou a few months ago after the last time you caused this much damage, he said he was going to start charging us for any future repairs."
"WHAT?" shouted Ringo at the same time Toshi and their jounin teacher began snickering.
A tiny smirk formed on Tenten's face, before she pointed at the slack jawed boy. "It's coming out of your pocket, young man."
Ringo just couldn't believe it. "Awwwww, mannnnnn," he whined with one hand over his eyes.
Toshi stopped snickering. "Well, at least this will be motivation enough for Ringo to stop using those lightning jutsu of his."
The other boy whirled to glare at his friend and was about to speak, but Toshi beat him to it. "We have a child in our mist, my friend. No swear words, remember?"
The dark eyes of the young puppeteer sighted Tetsute in his mother's arms. Ever since his birth, his parents told the three young shinobi to not use any 'bad' words around him. It was true that the boy would grow up to learn and know about such text, but his mother wanted him to be older until he heard such language.
Tenten sighed. "Tet already heard your use of the F word a few minutes ago, Ringo. If I had shown myself then, you guys would know not to speak such words, but since neither of you knew I was here with Tet, I'm not going to blame you for the use of such words." Her eyes quickly narrowed at Ringo and Toshi. "That does not mean you can use them now. Am I clear?"
"Yes, ma'am!" acknowledged both boys with smirks.
While her husband chuckled, the Weapons Mistress of Konoha shook her head with a tiny smirk of her own. "You're both too cheeky for your good, boys."
As two young jounins approached their teachers, Toshi smiled and shrugged. "Ringo is the cheeky one, Tenten-sensei. I just enjoy the occasional joke once in awhile."
Ringo snorted a laugh. "Yeah, yeah, we all know you're an angel and not a devil like me." With a twiddle of his fingers, his two battle puppets began waving and making faces at Tetsute, who immediately laughed and cheered, his hands reaching out with the desire to touch the wooden and steel devices.
Toshi ignored the teasing heckle and decided to focus on something else. "I presume Oki is home as well, Tenten-sensei? Naruto-sensei told us yesterday she went with you on a mission, while Ringo and I were away on our mission."
While holding her excited son, who continued to be entertained by Ringo and his puppets, Konoha's First Lady answered with a grin. "She was here just a few moments ago. She too watched your spar up to the stalemate conclusion. Afterward, she just huffed 'Boys', rolled her eyes, and went inside. By now, she should be preparing to use the onsen."
"What!" Ringo raised his head from looking at Tetsute to Tenten. "Tosh and I were going to use the onsen after our spar!"
Tenten apologetically grinned. "Sorry, Ringo, but it seems you boys will have to use the guest bath, while Oki uses our private onsen. You know well there's no divider, and there's only one changing room in the master bath."
"Aw, man," grumbled Ringo. He was so looking forward to that small hot spring, which was a nice, cozy, and private place right outside the master bathroom with a wooden fence surrounding the area. The spring was big enough to fit six people comfortably, yet it would be roomy for just one or two people. It was a luxury that all of Team 5 had knew that they would be fools to pass over compared to using the public hot springs.
Yet the glum expression on the puppeteer's face quickly went away to be replaced with a witty one. "Well, I know I'm not welcome, but I'm sure Oki wouldn't mind Toshi joining her."
"Ringo!" shouted Toshi in embarrassment. "You know well that Oki will not tolerate either of us in seeing her naked!"
With one hand still controlling his puppets, the weapons expert of Team 5 wrapped an arm around his friend's shoulders. "That was a year ago, Tosh. I saw over the year how much you kept checking Oki out, and she scoping you." He snickered. "I think she wants to ride your bone."
"Ringo," gritted Toshi, his face turning red on the dirty mental images his friend made him think with that last statement. For the teenage jounin, he couldn't deny how much Oki had filled out over the years.
Chuckling along with his wife, the Rodudaime certainly agreed with his weapons-admiring student how much things had change in the past year, leading the blonde to think how much his three students had changed over nearly 5 years. Not only did each grow strong as a ninja, but also changed their attire to fit the change. Oki wore somewhat more mature clothing, while Ringo and Toshi now wore the typical jounin outfit. The difference was that Toshi was keeping the traditional look, while Ringo opted a wild appearance by cutting the shirt sleeves, leaving his jounin vest open, and wearing heavy-duty combat boots.
Glancing at his spouse of nearly five years now, Naruto knew it was not just his students who had changed their work outfits. After becoming the village's First Lady, Tenten had traded her white golden-dragon Chinese dress attire for a more traditional look. She wore now a gray, short-sleeved, Chinese center-clasped shirt, which looked much like her old pink shirt she had as a genin. Over the shirt was her jounin vest, which she kept open but was stringed by a golden rope at the collar. Black regular pants covered her legs, while her feet wore slightly-high heeled regular, open-toed shoes. Her typical fingerless gloves were on her hands, and forearms protectors were on her arms. Overall, she kept the Chinese appearance, yet gave it an even more mature look with the jounin vest.
Tenten's warm voice brought the Sixth Hokage out of his momentarily appraisal of her clothes. "As I said, you boys are free to use the guest bathroom to wash up. Oki is using the onsen. Meantime, I'll be washing up in the master bath, while my husband…" She temporarily stopped to place Tetsute into Naruto's arms. "Will be watching over our son and preparing dinner."
Both boys chuckled. "It must be great for you to have a husband who can do multiple tasks around the house, eh, Tenten-sensei?" Ringo laughed.
"Yep," chirped Tenten while eying the man she loved. "He certainly comes in handy." She finished with a wink at him at the same time Ringo and Toshi laughed out right. With that done, she strolled back toward the house with Naruto and his two male students following suit.
Keeping his blue eyes forward, Naruto spoke over his shoulder. "Are you boys staying for dinner?"
Toshi shook his head. "Thank you, but no, Naruto-sensei. I told my parents I'll be at their place for dinner tonight."
"Same here," Ringo replied. "I told my parents and younger sibs that I'll be home for dinner."
After stepping up onto the wooden walkway, which extended all around the back of the house, Tenten turned enough to face the approaching men. "Oki told me she too will not be staying for dinner."
Naruto nodded. "So I'll just be making dinner for three tonight."
Ever since he became the jounin-sensei to Team 5, Naruto had occasionally invited the three youngsters to dinner. It had been awkward for the three during that first dinner at the Uzumaki-Namikaze residence a month or so after their teacher's wedding, but over time, the teens had gotten used to eating at their sensei's home that the place became like a second home to each of them, especially when Tenten had become like a second teacher to the team. When Tetsute was born, the team became sort-of unofficial big brothers and sister, even volunteering occasionally to watch over their teachers' son. It was odd, but it was like Naruto had started his family with his team, for once that special bond was forged, it pretty much would last a lifetime. It was something he even now felt with Kakashi, who he still called 'sensei' today.
As he watched his wife enter their home through the living room's glass porch sliding door and Ringo sealed his puppets in the large scroll he had left on the walkway, Naruto inwardly smiled at the warm thoughts on how huge his 'family' have become. All his friends were also married by now and having children, thus the 'family' has grown by leaps and bounds during the past decade. It was a very good feeling to know.
Yet, Naruto, upon looking at his son, knew the Konoha 12 Family was going to get even bigger, especially with what he and Tenten have in mind for tomorrow. Yep, the 'family' definitely would be getting bigger.
TBC (End of Chapter 1)
1) Before anyone asks, yes, Ringo, Toshi, and Oki are OCs from Shivakashi's "Medicinal Lullaby," and before anyone yells that I had stolen them, I did ask permission from Shivakashi and she said "Yes" to me using her characters. Thanks, Shiva! (big grin)
Why did I bother using another writer's original characters? Well, simply put, it will take time for me to create my own, and since I want to try to get this fic finish by Valentine's Day, I just simply do not have the time to create my own OCs. Besides, I just love how Shiva written Toshi, Ringo, and Oki. They would be perfect to be Naruto's students in the UL universe, not to mention they would get along with Tenten well enough to think of her as a sensei as well. Ringo in ML was last seen experimenting with weapons, thus I figured Tenten might be ideal to help him in his new chosen field. :)
2) I had in mind to make this a one-shot, but with Valentine's Day near I went ahead and post this first chapter. I know it does not contain any fluffy, smexy love or anything, yet I assure you that will be all in the next and last chapter. :)
3) Before anyone bother to ask me, Ringo's lighting jutsu is his original jutsu created using seals embedded inside his puppets. His chakra strings can activate the seals to release the bolts created using his affinity. The Su-Pa Sumasshu (Super Smash) technique is created combining both puppets lightning seals to form an even more powerful attack. Each puppet though can create a lightning bolt of lesser power, which is simply called Raiton: Sumasshu (Lightning Element: Smash). As for the ranks, I say the regular Sumasshu is least C, while the Su-Pa Sumasshu is B-rank, close to A.
As for why I gave these names, it is obvious. Given Ringo's personality, he would be the type to give cool sounding names like this. ;-D
4) Last, I'm not going to bother explaining what Ringo's puppets look like. I'm leaving that to everyone's imagination. They do have arms though and heads, but beyond that, I'll leave that everyone to imagine what they look like. ;p