~ooO (5) Full Bloom Ooo~

You know it's kinda awkward knowing exactly who I'm going to be writing to. So I'm going to keep calling you Kage-san in this journal. I can tell Kage-san things I might not tell Itachi because Kage-san is more relaxed and hopefully more willing to respond back now.

Since you haven't written anything I'm going to start off by prompting you.

Tell me about your family.

Naruto

~o~

Naruto-kun,

I apologize for the delay. It took longer than anticipated to write this entry. As you know it is difficult for me to share my vulnerabilities. Family is my vulnerable point. At least they were in the past. To be more precise the only two kin who I cared about were my weaknesses: my mother Mikoto and brother Sasuke.

They are my only regrets. I wish my mother had been strong enough to defy my father, to not defend him when I was carrying out my mission. I can only hope Sasuke is well and healthy. I had plans to ensure he grew up strong and capable. Coming to this world threw some of those plans into disarray but I'm certain Sasuke is okay. Sandaime-sama would have kept an eye out for him. He is probably a jounin by now.

I believe I will follow your example and sign off as Kage. I hope this is an acceptable response to your question. Please let me know your thoughts on this.

Sincerely,

Kage

~o~

Kage-san,

I hate to say it, but Sasuke is a prick. At least he was when I attended Konoha Academy. I don't see it changing just because he got older.

Naruto

~o~

But you definitely have Naruto-kun.

Do you honestly think your younger self would've known who he'd become one day in the future? Oh, he might have had dreams about becoming a shinobi but would he have known what sort of person he'd grow into? Who you are today?

Kage

~o~

Perhaps Kage-san, but I grew up in a completely different environment, surrounded by completely different people. Before everyone hated me, I lived alone, I didn't have anyone who really helped me with day-to-day life. When we came here all that changed.

Sasuke, however, has been growing up in the same environment all these years, in the same village, surrounded by reminders and memories, and the blind-worship of groupies, fanclubs and civilians.

Tell me Kage-san, how is he supposed to change if nothing around him has changed? If there is no one to provide a good example to follow?

I'm sorry if this disturbs you but it is something you must consider.

Naruto

~o~

You're right, Naruto-kun.

It was one of my fears, one of my conditions when I accepted the mission. And it's not as if I can check-up on Sasuke now, or interfere. I must trust Sandaime-sama would have made good choices for his jounin-sensei and genin team-mates.

Kage

~o~

I wouldn't hold out on that hope too much Kage-san.

Jii-jii failed lots of times in the past. What do you think happened in my case? If Sasuke hasn't gone on a psychotic bender, Jii-jii probably thinks everything is fine and dandy.

Now that I really think about it, he really should have retired ages ago.

Naruto

~o~

Few have the temperament and skill to become Hokage. Most of them were killed in the Shinobi and Iwa wars. Those who survived were killed in the Kyuubi attack. Understandable, since Konoha's most skilled nins had to do all they could to delay the bijuu, to give the Yondaime time. And then the Yondaime himself died sealing the bijuu. Sandaime-sama took up the mantle again because there were no other choices.

Correction, there were options but they were most unsuitable personality-wise, or were desperately needed elsewhere.

Kage

~o~

I understand that now Kage-san. I only wish that things were different back then. But then you know what they say: if wishes were broomsticks, everyone would fly.

But you know the weird thing? I don't regret it. All the pain and suffering I endured from before. It made me stronger, more capable than most teens my age. If it wasn't for Akatsuki trying to extract the Kyuubi from me I wouldn't have come to this world, I wouldn't have discovered magic.

I think it's a fair enough trade, a bright self-determined future for a difficult childhood.

Naruto

~ooOoo~ooOoo~ooOoo~

Question Kage-san,

Which do you prefer or see as better, or more useful? Shinobi or Duel Master training?

Naruto

~o~

That is a difficult question Naruto.

A truthful answer would be both. Each has good and bad points, strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to find the points that would armour and protect your vulnerabilities, to integrate them into your skill set.

Kage

~o~

So you admit to having weaknesses?

Naruto

~o~

Everyone has weaknesses. I just hide mine better.

Kage

~o~

Sasuke is one.

Naruto

~o~

So are you.

Kage

~ooOoo~ooOoo~ooOoo~

Naruto-kun,

I notice you've been doing a lot of research into non-magical sciences. Is there a particular reason for your new interest in physics?

Kage

~o~

Sort of Kage-san,

I've been thinking a lot about this since the Healers told me I was a mage. Everything I've studied in theory and witnessed in practice makes me think I'm on the right path.

Energy is energy, whether it is magic, chakra, electricity, nuclear, or cosmic.

I'm particularly interested in the physics of electrons and photons, in electricity and light. I have a few pet theories I want to re-check before discussing with you.

Naruto

~o~

Naruto,

Any particular reason why electricity and light?

Kage

~o~

I'm not crazy enough to experiment with ninjutsu and explosions so I decided to try something that can be done with all three methods: illusions.

We know we can create illusions with chakra, case point bunshin. And there are genjutsu that influence the victim's chakra system and make them believe in what isn't real.

Illusions, mind and matter/energy manipulation is common place in magic.

Non-magical scientists have theorized the possibility of solid or non-solid holograms for decades, they only lack the hardware to create them. They can manipulate and affect the mind via drugs and conditioning.

Both you and I know all the methods have their weaknesses, their tells and detection points. I'm looking for a way to create an illusion, or to directly affect the mind that is not a traditional known way.

I know it sounds crazy, that hundreds of magicals and scientists have worked on this for decades if not centuries, but none of them had working knowledge of all three ways (chakra, science, magic).

So tell me, oh, venerable elder, any tips? Any other potential research avenues?

Naruto

~o~

Naruto,

I will ignore the elder comment and provide you the benefit of my experience.

Research the more common set of stealth and mental charms. Repelling, Notice-me-not, Obliviate. See if you can measure any energy involved using non-magical means. It could give you a baseline from which to start.

Kage

~o~

Actually I did Kage-san.

It's one of the reasons why I spend some of my weekends off the estate. I can't believe the enclaves have not been detected before. If you know exactly where and how to look it is impossible to not see that something happened. And when a mage tries to shield or hide it creates a signature that can easily be detected by chakra-users and scientific instruments.

I want to create a method that will sneak by everyone: scientists, chakra and magic users.

Naruto

~o~

Naruto,

I experimented with blending chakra and magic during my own apprenticeship.

It doesn't work.

Kage

~o~

Then treat them separately for the most part, like oil and water. Shake together at the critical point, when needed, like salad dressing just before you're going to eat.

You get different results then.

Naruto

~o~

Naruto,

Are you experimenting on your own time?

In private?

Kage

~o~

Uhh, what would happen if I said yes?

Naruto

~o~

Naruto,

Just don't.

Make notes and theorize all you want but don't test anything without me around. Even if it's an insignificant idea. You could get killed.

Kage

~o~

Kage-san,

Thank you for the advanced Arithmacy and Rune lessons. I didn't realize you could check experimental spells for power instabilities this way.

Did you know you can use the same techniques for ninjutsu and fuuinjutsu? So you don't blow yourself up when you're creating something new.

Naruto

~o~

Naruto,

I've given your contact information to a few of my fellow masters with students.

I expect you to start and maintain a correspondence with them.

Kage

~o~

Are you nuts Kage-san?

I've got plenty on my plate.

Naruto

~o~

Naruto,

Sometimes a different perspective can help. Each master has their own speciality/twist that they pass down to their personal apprentices. Few would be willing to share with others. But they would be willing to consult if they trust you and know you will reciprocate.

Developing such trust is hard, especially when the master is mature and set in their ways. It is best to start as early as possible.

Besides if you intrigue your fellow students they might be willing to ask their masters on your behalf.

Kage

~o~

Oh all right Kage-san.

But don't blame me if my progress slows down.

Naruto

~ooOoo~ooOoo~ooOoo~

Naruto,

I know I told you this, but I want to write it as well, for enduring proof.

I am proud of your accomplishment. You've created your first personal jutsu! And it's something you came up with completely on your own, not modified from an existing one.

I never thought to see Nara shadow-manipulation skills to be used in such a fashion.

Where on earth did you get the idea from?

Kage

~o~

Kage-san,

Believe it or not, some of my brainstorms come from fantasy novels. And your stories. I got this idea from Mizu-nin creating mist to hide in. Only I decided to try using shadows, because they are common, especially at night.

My technique is a blend of genjutsu and magical glamourie that makes it doubly hard to be broken by shinobi or mage. You would have to be both, like you and me. And it cannot be detected by the current level of hardware available to non-magicals. I'll just have to keep up to date on the latest advances in physics and keep tweaking my technique.

I never realized what a rush it would be…creating something completely new, something unique that only I can do. I can't help but feel close to my father right now. Knowing that he probably felt the same things when he created Rasengan and Hiraishin. But at the same time I feel sad that I will never be able to share this with him. Or jii-jii.

I'm so glad you decided to come clean, about our shared past. I think I would only be half the person I could be without you teaching me about chakra, encouraging me to increase my knowledge of science.

Naruto

~ooOoo~ooOoo~ooOoo~

Kage-san,

Thank you for trusting me with your current project. Decomposing and analyzing the extraction fuuinjutsu used by Akatsuki was so cool! I definitely learned a lot breaking down and examining the fuuin using Arithmacy and Runic techniques. It was most intriguing, using a pensieve to watch the Kyuubi's chakra reform the seal into something more like a transportation technique. It reminds me of something I read in Tenshiro's library. Did you know before the Floo network was developed and common place, the more wealthy families set up private portal networks linking their estates and allies?

It might be possible to use elements from the old portal enchantment and Kyuubi's modification of the extraction fuuinjutsu to create a new and different portal spell. One that could possibly cross dimensions.

Naruto.

PS. Could I borrow the pensieve to analyze my own memories?

~o~

Naruto,

I truly appreciate your ingenuity but you need to get into the practice of thinking things out. How do you plan on determining where you're going? Or are you fool enough to step through a portal blind, with no destination in mind?

Kage

~o~

I'm not an idiot Kage. Jumping blind would be pretty stupid.

What do you think about linking the transportation spell to a scrying spell? A map would anchor the focus, blood would provide a target to locate by Gregori's Fourth Contaminant Principle. And perhaps a mirror to act as an observation window?

Naruto

~o~

A most intriguing proposition Naruto.

It would be easier to enchant a mirror to keep an eye on who we are interested in. Magicals ward against such spying, but shinobis in the Hidden Villages are not aware of magic and do not have defences to detect or prevent it.

I would recommend using my blood as a focus because I know I should have at least two surviving relatives in the Elemental Countries: Sasuke and Madara.

Kage

~o~

I was thinking we should also use my blood as a target focus. I know my parents are dead but I might have other relatives who are still alive.

Naruto

~o~

Fuck it Kage,

I did not expect that! Senju Tsunade is my relative. Did you know? Does she know?

What's she doing in Konoha? I thought you said she vowed to never return after her lover and brother were killed. Do you think she knows? That she's related to me.

Naruto

~o~

Naruto-kun,

I swear I had no idea. I only came to know who your parents were after I became an ANBU captain. For security purposes. As far as I knew Senju Tsunade never had a child. And she is the only surviving direct descendant of the Shodaime. There may be other Senjus but they are from other branches and married into other families.

And about your second question, I strongly doubt she knows of her relationship to you. She left the village in despair because her family was gone. If she knew of you she would have taken you with her. And I don't think she would have let the Kyuubi influence her decision. She is a skilled and powerful kunoichi, one with enough experience to know the difference between a kunai and a storage scroll.

As much as I hate to say it the Sandaime might have known and kept it secret, to keep her from taking you when she left Konoha.

Kage

~o~

Kage-san,

I'm sorry for accusing you. When I calmed down and really thought about it I realised I could just as easily have received the Senju genes via a male Senju relative. A one-night stand, or Senju who died before he could marry his girlfriend. I'm not going to worry about how I'm related to Tsunade, it's over and done with.

Whichever way it is, it really works for us. With Tsunade as Hokage we have a perfect target anchor who will be in the centre of the action. If anything happens in Konoha sooner or later it's going to be reported to the Godaime Hokage.

I know we have the Automatic Notetaker Quill but eventually we'll have to read everything being recorded. Or figure out a spell to extract or highlight keywords.

I'm going to read up on computer programming, search engines, and Boolean logic. I don't think it will be too hard to come up with a suitable spell.

Naruto

~ooOoo~ooOoo~ooOoo~

Itachi,

I'm so sorry about Sasuke. I truly am.

I might have predicted this but I never wanted this to happen.

Naruto

~o~

Naruto,

You did nothing to feel sorry for.

It was his choice.

Itachi

~o~

But he's such a bastard Itachi!

He had so much opportunity. Teachers, friends, admirers. Everything I never had.

And he didn't do it just once, but twice! Running to a psychopathic traitor who only wants his bloody kekkai genkai! Can't he see that Orochimaru only wants the Sharingan?

Fuck! He's such a selfish brat. If I ever run into him I'm going to thrash him good.

Are you sure he's your brother? He doesn't have brains, patience, or common sense.

Naruto

~o~

He's more like our father I suppose. Mother was the calm level-headed one in our family. I guess I took more after her in personality.

Itachi

~o~

So how are you really feeling Itachi?

Naruto

~o~

Badly. For him, not me.

He's destroying his life, closing doors, burning bridges.

Itachi

~o~

Like you said, it's his choice.

Itachi, do you wish you could do something? Then or now?

Naruto

~o~

I'm not going to drive myself insane over what ifs. Sasuke is old enough now to make his own decisions and I did all I could for him. If he wishes to make a mess of his life, it's on his head.

Itachi

~o~

So if we could go back, you're not going to try and fix things?

Naruto

~o~

You know, at one point in time I would have. Because my little brother was the most important person in the world. But now I have someone else who I consider as most important and Naruto, I'm not going to do anything that might separate us.

Itachi

~o~

I'm sorry for the long silence Itachi. I just didn't know what to say in response to your last entry. No one has ever chosen me over anyone else. Not just anyone though, everyone. No one, until I came to this world. No one but you.

I want to write this, so you know. I feel the same. You are the most important person in the world to me. I will choose you above everyone else.

Naruto

~ooOoo~ooOoo~ooOoo~

Itachi,

Have you ever had a boyfriend before? Or a girlfriend for that matter? I never heard anything when you were a student and even after you took me as an apprentice.

I won't take it as a personal offence because we weren't together back then. I'm just curious and want to know.

Naruto

~o~

Naruto-kun,

I'm not a virgin, if that's what's on your mind. I know exactly how to please and satisfy you.

Itachi

~o~

It's not that, you bastard! It's just that you always seemed so alone and isolated.

Even when I became your apprentice I could see you had lots of acquaintances, colleagues and allies. Bur real friends? I didn't see it.

Naruto

~o~

My apologies Naruto,

You are right. I didn't have friends who I could confide personal concerns in. It's hard to have friends when you're hiding a large part of your history and skills from them, things that shaped and affected you, because you can't explain them away without revealing what they cannot handle.

My ANBU trainers taught compartmentalization, to isolate and lock up your emotions and personal views so they do not affect the mission, but that only works when you are 'on the job', not if you want to have a meaningful and fruitful personal life.

It's one of the reasons why I kept tabs on you. Because I knew you would be one of the few people in this world who could understand where I'm coming from.

Itachi

~o~

Itachi,

You never answered my original question. Have you ever had a boyfriend, or girlfriend, before?

Naruto

~o~

No relationships per se.

Just one night stands with professionals.

Itachi

~o~

Translation: whores.

Naruto

~o~

Correction Naruto-kun, geishas not prostitutes.

And before you protest please read what I have to write.

Geishas are individuals skilled in the arts. You pay for being entertained with good conversation, poetry, music, and dance, not sex. True geishas are always free to choose who they have intimate relations with.

I patronized geishas for other reasons. The more experienced and sought after geishas are trained to soothe the hearts and spirits of powerful and influential individuals. They were more discreet and dependable than a Hidden Village psychologist, whose case files are not confidential, like they are in this world. They were also better equipped to understand the conflicts and stress in the life of a shinobi.

Regarding my past intimate encounters, I met a few who were gracious enough to invite me into their bed because it is a privilege that is not bought. A real lasting relationship was never in the cards for me, not until this world, not until you.

Itachi

~o~

You know, you aren't making me feel any better since I get the feeling most of the geishas you visited were girls. And they sound so high-class. What do you see in me?

Naruto

~o~

I'm bi-sexual and I don't have any real gender preference. I have slept with men before, mostly team-mates or fellow ANBU.

And remember Naruto, I don't care about social status or wealth. Other magicals might be wealthy and influential but they are weak or fragile. And those that are strong do not interest me. I want you. Because you are willing to listen and not judge.

Itachi

~o~

I get the impression you've never had any other strong, platonic, relationships with a non-shinobi. If it's because you believe they would never understand, I can sympathize.

Naruto

~o~

It's odd how perceptive you are at times. But yes, at that point in my life I had little trust for anyone outside my limited circle, certainly none for a lover. And in this world I was more interested in learning and developing my network than romance.

Itachi

~o~

I think I've been avoiding forming connections with others myself. Because I subconsciously have always known that I'm different. That they won't understand me as I need, as you do. And because I was more interested in studying as well.

Knowledge is something that cannot be easily taken away from you.

Naruto

~o~

And what do you do when you've reached a level of knowledge-skill that is acceptable for your current needs?

Itachi

~o~

That, my dear Itachi, is something you will be finding out soon enough.

Naruto

~ooOoo~ooOoo~ooOoo~

Itachi rolled the last of his cargo pants and tees into a compact cylinder and tucked it into his expanded duffel bag. He went through the dresser to check he had not forgotten anything. There was a fresh set of clothes on a single hanger for tomorrow. He needed to do a load of laundry to wash his used clothes and the household linens for storage. It was almost the end of summer and tomorrow afternoon, after lunch, this sojourn would be coming to an end. Naruto would be returning to the orphanage for three weeks before leaving for his Seventh and final year at Tenshiro.

Itachi himself needed to make a few trips to pick up some special commissions he had placed before the calendar year had even begun: live steel weapons, capable of being used in heavy physical and magical combat. Naruto had sufficiently advanced in his shinobi training and needed such tools to advance further. Of course Itachi also had to prepare for the new academic year. Hazuno Tetsu had somehow persuaded Itachi into agreeing to give one-hour optional DMA lectures twice a month. Itachi strongly suspected copious amounts of alcohol and wagers had been involved.

He looked up, feeling a magical aura cross his threshold wards. There was only one other being with a magical core within twenty miles of the estate.

"Naruto," Itachi's expression turned concerned. "Is something wrong?"

The blonde teen stepped into the room, closing the door behind him. "No Itachi, nothing's wrong." Itachi watched confused as the younger male cross the room to stand beside the futon, gracefully lowering himself to sit on the edge, crossing his legs.

Itachi was suddenly very conscious of the way the material stretched and strained over flat defined planes. Naruto was not wearing any layers under his burnt-orange yukata. Dark grey eyes fell down and took note of narrow bare feet and long toes tipped with neat clipped nails.

A small surge of hope burst within him, but Itachi was not the sort to act without at least some indication. "Naruto?" he asked hesitantly.

"I want to be with you," the younger male confessed in a quick rush.

Itachi did not stop himself. In a flash he was kneeling by the futon, in front of the blonde. He reached out to cup the faintly scarred cheeks, tilting the face up to look him in the eye. Blue eyes met grey without flinching and Itachi's breath caught at what he saw. He leaned down and pressed his mouth against soft moist lips, lips that parted for Itachi. An invitation Itachi took full advantage of.

When he lifted his head he was pleased. Naruto's expression was dazed, eyes dilated, mouth swollen and red. The teen made a soft kittenish noise of protest, lifting his hand to cup the back of Itachi's neck, pulling him back down. Itachi resisted, keeping scant centimetres between their lips.

"Are you sure?" he asked, his usually low smooth voice harsh with tension. "I don't want you to regret this."

Naruto smiled sweetly up at him. "I'm sure. And I won't."

Itachi stared down at him for a brief moment before placing both hands on his shoulders and pushing Naruto back down onto the quilted coverlets. He did not hesitate to follow, pressing his body flat against Naruto, almost trapping the smaller male beneath him.

One hand reached down, tugging at the ties on Naruto's yukata, pushing the fabric aside to touch lightly tanned bare skin.

What followed made it the most memorable night of both their lives.

~ooOoo~ooOoo~ooOoo~

The next morning Itachi woke with a start. His senses reached out reflexively. He was both disappointed and worried to find Naruto was not in bed with him. Then he heard the distinctive scratch of a metal pen nib on paper. He turned in the direction and was surprised to see Naruto was awake and sitting at Itachi's desk, writing something in the linked journal.

"What are you doing?" he asked, tugging at the twisted covers.

"Writing to Kage-san."

Itachi was confused. "You know you can talk to me. I'm right here," he pointed out.

Naruto looked up and Itachi's breath caught at the warmth and love in those bright blue eyes. "It's a habit Itachi. I write about all the important events in my life to Kage-san," he teased. Both of them were well and aware Itachi was Kage-san. "I think my first lover is something important."

"Your only lover," Itachi corrected fiercely, before rising from the futon and moving to stand next to Naruto.

Naruto blinked. "You sound pretty confident of that," he murmured lightly though his eyes were serious and watchful.

"I am," Itachi vowed. "I know you are the one for me."

Naruto absorbed the information and simply nodded. They stayed like that for a few minutes before Naruto broke the quiet.

"So what now?" he asked.

"We have commitments. We need to see to them," Itachi murmured. "I will see you when the school year starts."

Naruto's lips turned downwards. "What about us?" He waved at the futon. "Our relationship. I don't want to pretend it didn't happen. Not after all the work we put into making it work."

Itachi bent from the waist to brush a kiss against Naruto's temple. "Neither do I. I did some research into master-apprenticeship laws. We aren't breaking any laws because our relationship is consensual and you approached me first. You are receiving your training from me but your final testing will be done before a panel of other Masters."

Naruto's expression relaxed fractionally. "Do we have to hide while I'm still a student at Tenshiro?" he asked.

"Legally we are doing nothing wrong, but society will frown on our relationship even though I will not be grading your work and tests."

"I don't want to go back to just a master-student relationship," Naruto confessed.

"We won't. As a Seventh Year you will have more freedom to leave the Academy grounds during the weekends. And as my apprentice no one will question why you have access to my personal quarters and resources." Itachi frowned. "Things could become uncomfortable and nasty if others find out. People can be jealous and spiteful," he warned.

Naruto nodded. "I understand and I will be careful." He hesitated before asking the question on his mind. "What about when I graduate?" he asked diffidently.

Itachi smiled faintly. "On that day I would like us to go public about our relationship. Not to the whole school, just those who matter to us."

Naruto grinned. "Good. I want you to meet my orphanage family. Some of them aren't magical but they are really good people."

Itachi blinked surprised. "When you graduate?" he asked.

Naruto frowned. "No, today. I might have talked a lot about you in my letters," he admitted. "I think Keiko-san suspects I have feelings for you. I asked her how one knew they were really in love right after I first kissed you. And there isn't anyone else around here but the two of us."

Itachi hesitated but eventually nodded in agreement. "All right. I will."

Naruto grinned feeling relieved, pleased, and eager. All was right in Naruto's world. He couldn't wait to introduce Itachi to his family, to Keiko, to Kaede, and all the oba-sans and oji-sans. He felt so happy he thought he would burst. Ten years ago he lived alone in a badly maintained cramped apartment, hated and reviled by those who should have protected and cared for him. Now he had everything he had hoped for back then…friends, family, and a confidant turned lover.

He gave a small prayer of thanks to the nameless Akatsuki agent who had kidnapped him all those years ago. If he hadn't, Naruto dreaded to imagine how he would have turned out…without his orphanage family, his teachers, and magic.

"I never thought I'd be grateful for being kidnapped," he confessed. Seeing Itachi's confusion the teen explained. "The Akatsuki. In a way they are responsible for us being here, for us learning magic, discovering a world where we aren't held responsible for what we can't control…the actions of other people."

Itachi nodded and then voiced a question Naruto had never expected.

"If you could, would you go back?"

Naruto didn't have to think twice. "Of course not! I have people I care about here! I'll never abandon them for a village that hated, hates me. I hope you don't want to go back, do you Itachi?"

Itachi relaxed. "No. I came across a way we could but I would prefer to remain here. I might be good at killing but I don't like it. If we go back we will eventually be recognized and dragged back." He gestured at his face. "Our looks are too distinctive. The more you mature the more you resemble the Yondaime."

Naruto turned pensive. "Maybe we can visit. With a big supply of polyjuice and anchored glamouries," he allowed. "I would like to raid the shinobi libraries for information on chakra and jutsus," he confessed.

Itachi stared aghast at Naruto's gall before bursting into laughter. "How about this: focus on graduating and completing your Mastery. If you're still interested we'll take a trip to the Elemental Countries."

Naruto smiled, very pleased Itachi had not taken offence. Now he had a new goal to work towards after graduation—completing his Mastery and sneaking into shinobi villages to steal from very well-protected libraries. His heartbeat quickened as his mind began racing, making mental notes on various avenues of research, using magical means to by-pass defences designed for chakra users and non-magicals. But more than that his spirit soared at the thought of forever with Itachi. Naruto was no longer alone, he had someone special, someone who loved him above all others.

~ooOoo~ooOoo~ooOoo~

The End.