A/N: Weeeeeelll now! The world hasn't ended now, has it? No? Didn't think so! I just watched the 235th episode of Naruto Shippuden and all I have to say is this: NARUTO NO BAKA! If you do not know what I am talking about, than I strongly suggest that you watch said episode before reading this fic, else you will be supremely confused. You should be able to find it on Animefreak . tv or something. That being said, you have been warned! If you don't watch this episode then you will be hopelessly confused! Also, I may have...changed some aspects regarding the episode...and the ending XD
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!
No man or woman is worth your tears, and the one who is won't make you cry.
Uzumaki Naruto was about to begin what would later be known as the most dangerous battle of his shinobi career. If he won-and he REALLY didn't want to win-then he would be married to a girl he'd never met before and taken back to her village. If he lost-and he DEFINITELY didn't want to lose-then his life would be rendered forfeit and she most likely would slay him on the spot for his failure to defeat her.
The girl in question was a kunoichi, hailing from the village of Nadeshiko.
The families of this village were organised through matrilineality. Meaning, women from this village must venture outside to find men strong enough to defeat them, resulting in them being taken to the village to marry the kunoichi they defeated. That would be Naruto's fate if he triumphed. And if he lost...well, he was dead. He didn't like either of those options! He couldn't become Hokage if he got married, and he couldn't become Hokage if he got dead, either! Both options sucked!
Thankfully, he hadn't come here to fight. He'd come to talk. Rather, that had been the plan. One that had gone horribly, terribly awry the moment he'd laid eyes on her. That, of course was not his fault! It was Ero-sennin's! The damned pervert and all the "research" they'd done together was slowly bubbling up in Naruto's mind, even as he tried his best to deny it. From what he'd been told, the women of Nadeshiko were beautiful. Exceptionally so.
And as he'd just found out, this kunoichi was no exception.
Damn you Ero-Sennin!
"I'm here to fight you." The hooded figure announced, reaching back to peel the cloak away from her face and body. "So I can see how strong you are." Naruto began to open his mouth, to say that he wasn't here to fight, but rather to talk, when the obstructive cloth fell away from her shoulders and laid her figure bare for all to see. Damn. Damn it all to hell! He tried to find the words, to say what he'd come her to say, that her village's rule was absolute bullshit. Instead, all he managed was a small, croaking sound. The kind of sound that a bullfrog might make.
She was a fair-skinned girl of average height and dark hair.
He took in the large eyes, perfectly coifed hair, clear skin, full lips, and lean, firm curves and he marveled at her. Hers was a beauty beyond describing, but, ultimately, it was the eyes that ensnared him him. Her eyes were large, twin pools of deep, verdant green, much unlike his own. Hers were eyes that knew pain, but at some point that pain had been taken to pieces; it had been dissected, dissasembled, examined from every angle, and then, summarily consumed.
Her attire was that of a common Nadeshiko Kunoichi uniform,which is grey-colored set with a right shoulder-armor, grey gloves, and opening in her shirt which, unfortunately, revealed something that he hadn't seen in a very long time. Once more, Naruto silently cursed his late mentor for instilling the ancient art of perversion in him. He really was turning out to be just like him, after all!
Despite all the majesty her eyes held, keeping his gaze focused upon her face was quickly proving to be a trial of its own, thanks in part to the open blouse and the glorious sight that lay within. Naruto felt his cheeks inexplicably darken as a result. Then he chastised himself with a shake of the head. He was a shinobi for crissakes! He should not be staring at such things! So why...why couldn't he stop staring at her...her...her...
"My eyes are up here, Konoha Shinobi." The Nadeshiko kunoichi glowered darkly. "And make no mistake, we will fight." Before he could protest, she'd armed herself with not one, but two full hands of kunai; the deadly projectiles already making their way through the air toward him and forcing Naruto to bound backwards in retreated.
Oh yes, things had gone awry.
Terribly, totally awry!
Yamato-sensei was bound to realize he'd left a shadow clone aboard the ship at any moment. And once everyone realized that they'd been duped again, they'd be sure to rush back to the island and spirit him away before he could wrap things up. The prospect of facing his angry sensei was not a pleasing one to say the least. No time to mess around then. I'll end this in an instant, he re-assured himself. He just needed a few seconds...
"W-W-Wait just a second!" Naruto cried loudly, flinging his hands up before the battle could commence and before Shizuka could strike him down. "I haven't prepared myself!"
Shizuka paused, taken aback by this sudden declaration. Incredulous at this interruption, her hand stayed by indecision, she lowered her weapon. Naruto breathed a heavy sigh of relief as she straightened out of her predatory stance.
Exhaling deeply, Naruto dropped, falling into a folded crouch upon the forest floor. He forced his eyes shut. Willed himself to be calm. To sense the natural energy around him, and within him. He let the world and all of his worries fall away from him, just for a moment. For the briefest of instants, he was still. He was calm. Serene. And in that instant as he breathed in and out and in again, he was able to tap into the natural energies he required.
He rose in one swift movement, his eyes gleaming and golden, much like that of the Toad Summons. Yellow irises, horizontal bar-like pupils, and reddish-orange pigmentation around the eyes; bearing the true signs of a sage, he rose and took on a taijutsu stance.
"Alright," He began softly, "Let's do this."
"So you've finally prepared youself?"
Twelve seconds later, and it was over.
He'd won of course. Oh, there had been an intrusion, but the fool had been pitifully weak and as such, he was easily defeated. But in the end, he simply refused to deliver the final blow to Shizuka. He'd never been interested in a duel to begin with, or so he'd argued. But for some reason, he just didn't have it in him to mention that he held feelings for his teammate, Sakura. Because, quite frankly, he'd been doubting those feelings for quite some time now. His little scuffle with Shizuka had been the lynchpin for him too, and he'd since begun to wonder if he was just fooling himself. He knew that Shizuka had also loved someone once as well, and subsuquently locked her heart away after that someone had been slain. She too, knew what it was like to have loved and lost. Perhaps...
But that was another matter for another time. For now, he returned to his musings of how everything had somehow worked out in the end.
After an encouraging and much needed pep talk-and a tongue lashing from Yamato-they'd resumed their journey once more. Naruto had bid Shizuka farewell at the docks, as cordially as one might expect of a Konoha shinobi. Now, he waited at the stern of the ship, waving goodbye even when he was certain that she could no longer see him. After what felt like hours and with a visible act of willpower, Naruto forced himself to lower his hand.
"So that's it, huh?"
As Naruto watched the island recede into the distance, as he watched it become little more than a pinprick of brilliance on the horizon, he couldn't help but wonder. Would she heed his advice? And if so where would she go now? Where would her newfound journey take her? Would he ever see her again? Unlikely. Oddly enough this thought brought, not relief as he'd hoped it might, but despair. His eyes began to sting, bringing but the faintest sheen of moisture to his eyes. A tear slipped through. A tear. Naruto blinked, a balking at them as they ran down his cheeks.
Despite all that he'd said and done, he really was going to miss Shizuka, wasn't he? The thought caused Naruto to bite down, his molars grinding against each other in a rare bout of anger.
"The sea breeze feels nice today, doesn't it?" A soft voice asked from somewhere beside him.
"It sure does." Naruto nodded to himself absentimindedly. "I think I'm going to miss it, though. And her, too."
"Is that so?"
"Yeah." The blond jinchuuriki sighed, resting his head within a palm. Then he groaned. "Arrrrrgh! This sucks! Why am I thinking about this now!"
"Could it be that you were actually thinking of marrying her?"
"I dunno...maybe?" Naruto shrugged, still spacing out at the flat surface of the sea. "But its too late for that now. I mean, what would she say if I even asked her?" A sheepish chuckle. "I'll tell you what she'd say! She'd probably laugh it off right in my face!"
"I wouldn't be so sure about that." The voice insisted.
Wait a second.
Naruto blinked, drawn from his reverie by the slight hesitation with which the voice had spoken. The faint sticking point between syllables was awfully familair. Wait. Wait one free-frickin second!
He knew that voice.
Slowly, Naruto came about, the sights and sounds of the sea briefly proving to be too much for him. He squinted through sleep-gummed eyes to see, to finally see a hand resting lightly over his own. Attached to the hand was a wrist, to the wrist, an arm and, as his gaze traced the length of said appendage, he found himself staring into the most eerie pair of brilliant, jade green eyes.
The thought sparked something in him; the faintest of tingling sensations, and of remembrance. Who was it that had eyes like that, again? For a moment, shock numbed him; for a moment, he couldn't believe his eyes nor his ears, nor any of his other senses, all of which were screaming at him, insisting that this was, in fact:
A/N: BWAHAHAHA! You're not losing your "wife" that easily, Naruto-kun! Sorry if its short! The next chapter will be much longer, and will, of course, get too meet Killer Bee and begin Naruto's training in earnest! It ought to be interesting, now that he has a bride-to-be, wouldn't you agree? Hope you liked it! I try to stay true to their personalities and I think this came out quite well!