Disclaimer: I WISH I owned Naruto, but if wishes were real I'd have a million bucks as well... (do not own it...)

Naruto Returns

Naruto's training trip with Jiraiya took a little longer than anyone expected. It has now been seven years since he left instead of the original three that everyone had been planning for and no one inside of Konoha has seen him since. Not to say that he has been doing nothing but gallivanting across the Elemental Nations without a care in the world…

No, much has occurred since his trip began. Three years in he fought against Sasori of the Red Sand and Deidara from Akatsuki alongside his teacher when Gaara was captured. Though, he still had the Ichibi removed Gaara was saved when Granny Chiyo sacrificed her life to reanimate him. By the time Konoha's team had arrived to assist in the rescue Naruto and Jiraiya had left already.

Since that incident Naruto fought with Akatsuki off and on for another two and a half years until he had eradicated all of them. In the final fight against Sasuke and Madara (Obito) Uchiha Much was lost…

Jiraiya was crippled even further than the loss of his left arm in a fight against Pein and now wears an artificial right leg. After the battle Naruto had him to return to Konoha where Tsunade forced him to retire as an active shinobi and he now sits as an advisor among Konoha's counsel, though he still gets knocked around by Tsunade whenever he does his 'research'.

Madara may have been slain in the end, but Sasuke was another matter. Using the last of his strength he used the eye he had gotten from Madara to use a space/time jutsu to teleport away to safety. Sasuke had lost both of his eyes during the fighting before Madara had performed a quick transplanting jutsu to give Sasuke his one Sharingan right as Naruto decapitated him. Sasuke lost his right arm below the elbow just as he teleported away, and Naruto has been looking for him ever since.

Naruto spent the remaining year and a half destroying any remnants of Akatsuki and finding proper hosts for the other seven bijuu (Killer B and Hachibi were the only other jinchuuriki pairing to survive), training to become even stronger, and taking care of someone important to him…


-A Saturday Evening Seven Years After Naruto Left-

"Did you hear? Jiraiya-sama says that Naruto is finally coming back! He should be here within the week!" an excited Ino said to those around her. She was talking with the rest of the Konoha Eleven who had all started gathering at a local hibachi steakhouse every weekend, when they were not on missions, to give each other updates on what had been happening with them.

-Pause-


-FYI- :P

Sakura now ran the hospital alongside Shizune. Ino was working with her father Inoichi at the Torture and Interrogation Department. Shikamaru had taken his seat as Clan Head and was also in charge of the foreign affairs office, which made Temari happy since that meant she got to see her fiancé more often. Kiba, Choji, and Lee had started working as a reconnaissance team since most of the others had various duties to attend to, luckily they had finally gotten Lee to calm down some, although he still liked to spout off nonsense about his "FLAMES OF YOUTH!" every once in a while. Shino had become a member of Anbu, not that he would really say much about it (not that he said much anyways…). Tenten and Neji had also joined Anbu, but they would at least talk about the fun they had on old missions with everyone, of course they got to talk a lot more when they had gotten married the previous year! Hinata had finally proven herself to her father and taken up her title as Clan Head of the Hyuga and now taught at the academy.


-Play-

"Are you serious?!"

"It's been ages since we've seen him!"

"I wonder wh-what N-Naruto-k-kun looks like now…"

"Man… just when I thought things couldn't get any more troublesome. Still, it'll be nice to see him, especially to see how strong he's gotten…"

"I am betting his FLAMES OF YOUTH are burning BRIGHTER than ever!"

"I can't wait to see him!"

(Order spoken: Kiba-Tenten-Hinata-Shikamaru-Lee-Sakura… just in case you were wondering)

"Are you sure that's what Jiraiya said Ino? The last time someone said Naruto was on his way back was after he beat Sasuke and Madara, the time before was when he saved Gaara, and the time before was when he was supposed to come back," said a slightly irritated but extremely hopeful Sakura. She had essentially lost one of her teammates for good almost eight years previous when Sasuke had abandoned the village, not being able to see her only other teammate in seven years made her a little touchy anytime she thought he would be coming back. The first thing she planned on doing to the baka was hitting him over the head and yelling at him, "What took so damn long?!"

"She's telling the truth Sakura," said Neji, "I was guarding the room at the time when I heard Jiraiya telling Tsunade."

Ino continued the telling, "When Tsunade asked him how he knew he said they had kept in contact through their toad summons, heheh… Then she punched him through the building since he wouldn't tell her anymore on top of not letting her know they were in touch the whole time."

"I know what you mean," said Shikamaru, "Even official correspondence between Naruto and the village has been all but non-existent for almost three years, so if Jiraiya knew what he was up to he should have let us know. As far as the Information Department has been able to figure out ever since his fight with Madara he has essentially disappeared, he only shows up on their radar once or twice a year. It's been a total drag hearing them gripe about it to Foreign Affairs."

Kiba snickered and everyone looked at him, "I wonder what he'll do when he realizes he's still a Genin?!" Everyone burst into pure laughter, even Shino gave a hearty chuckle…


-Six Days Later, Mid-Morning"

Izumo and Kotetsu were sitting in their seats at the gate guard hut feeling utterly bored. They, like all of the other shinobi of the village, had been excited when the rumor went out that Naruto was on his way back, but as the week wore on their excitement was waning. It didn't help that the mood was spoiled slightly by the regular citizens who hadn't heard even half of what Naruto had done and thus thought of him as a demon still.

That's probably why they didn't recognize the man who had just stepped up to them. He was 6'1" with blonde hair, had three faded whisker marks on each cheek, and was heavily muscled (but with a runner's body). He wore white cargo pants stuffed with scrolls with a dark orange sleeveless shirt over his mesh t-shirt. On top of that was a sleeveless light gray cloak with a red fire pattern trimming on the bottom and had 'Will of Fire' written down then back. Not that you could see the writing what with a slightly moving bundle covering it…

"I need to see your identification, and your reason for visiting," yawned out a bored Kotetsu while he was scratching his scar through the bandage on his face.

"Sorry about that, I knew I forgot to put something on this morning," the man said. Smirking as he pulled out a long black Leaf hitai-ate that reached down to his mid back. Doing this got Izumo to look up and pay attention to what the guy was doing.

Recognition slowly dawning on his face he said, "You're…," but he didn't get to finish as the disappeared in a gust of leaves using shunshin to leave the gate area in favor of going further on. It had been seven years since he was home and he was too happy to wait around.

"Who was that?" asked a confused Kotetsu.

"You BAKA! That was…"

"I'M HOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMEEEEEE!" yelled out the man from on top of the tallest building within a block of the gates announcing to everyone in the village that Naruto Uzumaki (-Namikaze (not that anyone but him and Jiraiya knew that part… yet)) was finally back at the place he had been born and raised at. This was followed by a small cry from the bundle on his back…