Naruto: Road to Hokage

The Leaf Village was the crowned jewel of the land of fire. It was much bigger than some other villages and had more than capable ninja. Under the guidance of their present Hokage Kakashi things had turned around since the war that nearly destroyed these lands. Kakashi was known far and wide as the 'White Fang of the Leaf'. But still there were even greater legends of even better fighters in the Leaf Village.

At that moment Sakura Haruno made her way around the Hokage's mansion. She'd been summoned from her duties from the Hospital, leaving it presently in Ino's hands. She had been called to the Hokage's Mansion on what was called 'Urgent Matters'. The messenger would tell her no more than that.

The pink haired ninja wandered the halls of the mansion before coming to the office of the Hokage. She knocked once and was beckoned to come in by a voice she knew well on the other side. When she walked in she saw Kakashi in the Hokage's cloak sitting behind his desk.

"Sakura." He said." I'm glad you could come."

"What's this all about?" asked Sakura with her hands on her hips." I'm needed at the hospital."

"Right to the point then." Said Kakashi. Then Sakura watched as he disappeared behind his desk and remerged with a piece of paper in his hands." You'll want to see this." He said stretching it out to her.

Sakura took it and began reading it over. As she got deeper and deeper into it her eyes bugged open and a hollow feeling hit her stomach. She'd seen tragedy before and has had to fix it, but this time it hit home.

Then she turned back to Kakashi."Where is Naruto now?" she asked.

"I've already sent Anko to get him. He should be here shortly."

At that time Anko made her way around the Leaf Village in search of the blonde haired boy.

All the legends told inside and outside the Leaf Village were the tales of Naruto. Naruto the great fighter of the leaf village, who in the face of certain doom fought an enemy nobody thought beatable. But all his great power was nothing for his character, his willingness to never give in, and his compassion for others was his greatest strength of all.

Anko made her way around the leaf village until she came to the training grounds. Even before she could see it with her eyes she could hear the sounds of an intense sparring match going on. Then it came into sight and she waited outside the perimeter of their battle.

There was Naruto training with his pupil Konahamaru.

The two locked up and began trying to move the other. In this aspect Naruto won as he had both height and weight on the smaller Konahamaru. Naruto effortless lifted Konahamaru and tossed him across the ground.

The smaller ninja slid across the ground but quickly jumped back to his feet, ready to go again. Naruto smiled at his pupil's eagerness and prepared himself as Konahamaru lunged at him.

Konahamaru lunged forward and swung a punch at Naruto which he dodged. So then he threw another only to be dodge done more. Konahamaru jumped up and swung his leg at Naruto, only for the master to raised his arm and block. Then Naruto turned and wrapped his arms around and grabbed Konahamaru's leg, then he twirled him around and tossed him into the ground once more.

Naruto stood up panting while Konahamaru slowly rose to his feet, his long scarf over his head and he struggled to get it off earning a laugh from Naruto.

But once he got it off Konahamaru was ready to fight again but Naruto raised his hand.

"Enough." He said." Let us take a quick break."

"Okay." Panted Konahamaru. Anko took this as her cue to walk out from the sidelines and complete her assignment.

Naruto and Konahamaru sat on the grass.

"Your improving." Said Naruto to him." Your techinuqe is nearly perfect."

"But this is child's play." Was Konahamaru's reply."When will you teach me something like the rasengan or the summoning jutsu?"

Naruto let out a chuckle before his reply." Everything in its time." He told.

"Naruto Uzumaki." Said a female voice. Naruto and Konahamaru turned around maybe expecting to see Sakura, but were surprised when Anko stood there." You are requested to come to the Hokage's mansion at once."

"What for?" asked Naruto as he rose to his feet.

"I can't say." Said Anko." All I can tell you is that your presence is greatly requested." Naruto turned from Anko and to Konahamaru. The two looked at each other with confused looks and then shrugged.

"Well what are you going to do?" Said Naruto quietly to himself." We'll continued this lesson next time." He said to Konahamaru before taking his leave.

Naruto made his way over to the Hokage's mansion. He made his way around the hallway and stood before the door. Then just as Sakura has done before him he knocked and when the voice on the other end told him too he entered.

But then to Naruto's surprise Kakashi was not the only person in the room, leaning against the wall with a suspicious look on her face was Sakura.

"Kakashi." He said upon entering. Then his vision trailed around the room and over to Sakura." Sakura." He said somewhat shocked but then a smile grew on his face." What are you doing here?" Sakura looked up at him and he didn't notice the hostility on her face, if not stopped she'd probably hit him.

"Naruto." Said Kakashi cutting in before such a transaction could occur. The blonde ninja look over to his former teacher now present Hoakge. "We have an urgent matter to discuss here."

"Urgent matter." Repeated Naruto as he stationed himself before Kakashi." Like what, a mission?"

"Naruto." Spoke up Sakura drawing his attention to her as she stood up." We've received a letter from some Princess, or something." Naruto looked at her plainly but there was some malice and prying intent in her voice as she displayed the letter in her hands. "Something you're not telling me?" she asked turning back to him.

"Princess Sara." Naruto said." I met her when I was training abroad. I haven't seen her in years." He added and then took the letter from Sakura's hand and began reading it silently to himself, smiling as he did so.

"Will you read that out loud?" Sakura pleaded and gave Naruto a slight shove in his shoulder.

"I'm not hiding anything." Replied Naruto as he looked to Sakura and then back to the letter. Then he began reading it aloud." Dear Leaf Village, I am Princess Sara dwelling in a small kingdom between the Waterfall Village and Grass Village. There is great unrest here and word of a revolution. For the safety of me and my people I wish to immigrate to your village in the land of fire. The task will be perilous and only the best ninja can be provided for the job. I am an old friend of Naruto Uzumaki and request his presence on this assignment. Sighed Princess Sara." Naruto stopped and turned to Sakura." Not exactly the most romantic request is it?"

"I guess not." Said Sakura with her head lowered to the ground.

"Kakashi." Said Naruto as he turned over to the present Hokage." What is it you would have me do?"

"She's asked for you specifically." Said Kakashi." Choose your team and get going." Naruto turned and began heading out the door.

"I've already got the boys in mind." He said to himself as he left. Sakura and Kakashi stood in the aftermath of his leaving, Sakura feeling very foolish for how she acted.

Meanwhile at the Hyuga mansion.

Shikamaru, Choji, Kiba and Shikamaru sat around a table. A small target had been placed on the wall and they were trying to hit it. There were several knives already in it, one already dead center.

These were some of the other Leaf Village Legends up there with Naruto.

Kiba grabbed his knife and swung it with great force at the target, hitting it off by the left. Shikamaru putting an unlit cigarette into his mouth prepared to throw next.

But then Choji tore the cigarette from his mouth, forcing his throw to be very off. Shikamaru grumbled but then Neji stepped up and effortlessly threw his knife, hitting the target dead center atop the knife already there.

"Neji." Said Kiba." How do you do that?"

"I aim for the middle." Said Neji pointing to it. At this point Tenten let herself into the house and made her way to the sound of the four roaring voices. She silently made her way over to them.

"Hey why do you guys think I like butter but not cheese?" asked Choji as he sat back." They're the same color yet I only like one."

"Now wait a minute." Said Neji." You do to eat cheese; I've seen you eat it."

"No I haven't." defended Choji. It was at this moment that Tenten walked into the house, and upon seeing Neji at the table she walked over to him.

"Hey." Said Tenten as she had walked close enough without making herself known and was now choosing to do so. Four heads quickly darted over to her. She looked right to Neji and while she looked him over quizzically he looked at her nonchalantly." Neji I have to-"

"Tenten you've seen Choji eat cheese haven't you?" he asked to her avoiding her statement.

"Neji we need to talk." She reinstated. Neji sat back with a shrug of his shoulder prepared to listen but Tenten only looked at everyone else looking at her." In private." Neji raised his brow but then stood up from his spot and motioned for her to follow.

Everyone followed the two with their eyes as they walked across the room and into Neji's, shutting the door behind them. Immediately after the door shut the three boys jumped and ran to the door.

They scrambled from their seats, Kiba jumping over the table and landing on Choji. The two stumbled forward until rolling out over the floor. When they looked up they saw Shikamaru walking by but then they both reached out and grabbed his legs, forcing him to fall to the floor. Then the three crawled to the door, pushing and pulling at each other until they were piled on the other before the door.

Kiba looked into the keyhole trying to see, Shikamaru rested his ear against the door to hear, and Choji tried to hear and see from the small slot at the bottom of the door.

"What's this all about?" asked Neji as he stood in the middle of the room. Tenten scanned around the room. Outside the other three still maneuvered themselves to try and hear what was going on inside.

Right then there came a rapid knocking at the door, and Hinata being the only other one around went to answer it. She shuffled along as faster as the knocking on the door increased. She grabbed the knob and opened the door to see Ino standing there.

"I-Ino what a surprise."

"Yeah." She replied with an annoyed tone." Is Shikamaru here? Last time I heard from him he was coming here."

"He's in the kitchen, with Neji and the others." Ino then let herself in and pushed past Hinata making her way to the kitchen. Hinata then followed after her.

The two walked down the hallway and came to the kitchen, Ino's determinate look turned into a confused one and she stopped in her tracks. Hinata came up from behind her doing the same thing.

There they saw Choji on the floor with Shikamaru and Kiba laid out on top of him, the three piled before a door. Ino and Hinata then looked to each other with raised brows before turning back to the spectacle before them.

Tenten all the while was having trouble saying what she needed to say, Neji all the while getting impatient with her. He crossed his arms and tapped his foot against the floor, finally he'd had enough.

"Tenten!" he said strictly snapping her attention to him." Whatever you have to say, just say it." Tenten opened her mouth preparing to speak.

Naruto at that time let himself into the Hyuga home. He was of course welcome there anytime, but when nobody had answered he let himself in.

"Neji!" his voice called as he made his way down the hall." We're planning an adventure." Then he turned the corner and met Ino and Hinata who were still looking over Kiba, Shikamaru, and Choji.

Naruto had the same reaction as them and stood frozen in his spot.

"Hey Naruto." Said Ino in a normal tone, not taking her eyes off the three.

"N-Naruto." Said Hinata.

"Ladies." Said Naruto. Then he turned his head to the trio." What is this?" he pointed to them.

"Don't know." Said Ino." They were laid out like this when we got here. We're waiting to see what happens."

"Lucky this saves me a trip." Said Naruto. Then he squeezed between the two girls and walked towards his group." Good new boys, I've got us a mission."

"Oh a mission." Said Shikamaru not taking his ear off the door." Real interesting, tell us all about it."

"I'll tell you on the road." Said Naruto grabbing him by his shoulders and helping him up, despite his protest." Where's Neji?"

"In there." Said Choji from the bottom pointing to the door." With Tenten."

"Doing what?" asked Naruto as he just got Shikamaru onto his feet.

"Probably getting it on." Chuckled Kiba.

"And your listening?" asked Naruto.

"Well if you'd be quiet we'd know for sure." Said Choji. Shikamaru returned to his previous position and rested his ear against the door.

"This is ridiculous." Said Naruto reaching for the knob." I must speak with him."

Inside Neji could hear faint voices and could make out Naruto's distinctly. He turned his attention to the door.

"Neji." Said Tenten getting his attention once more." I'm-" Naruto grabbed the knob and began to turn it. Choji, Kiba, and Shikamaru still listened on. Neji turned back to her and his pale eyes met her soft brown one's." Pregnant."

"WOW!" exclaimed Choji. It startled him so much he jumped up. But when he did he hit Naruto in the groin. Naruto groaned but leaned forward his hand on the doorknob. Choji jumped up also jerking Kiba and Shikamaru forward. Then the four fell forward, pushing the door open and the four of them being spilled out along the floor.

A shocked Neji stood there in the aftermath, mouth wide open and eyes wide.

The five boys then found themselves at the Hyuga's kitchen table while Ino and Hinata spoke with Tenten in the next room.

Naruto sat at the head, Kiba and Shikamaru on his sides, Neji next to Kiba and Choji at the opposite end. Choji with a small meal before him.

But Neji had said little to nothing since Tenten had told him, his facial expression had not changed either.

"Now don't get yourself so down." Said Kiba as he slapped his hands onto Neji's shoulders." It could have happened to anyone."

"Yea." Neji muttered." Anyone."

"Well." Kiba continued." Not anyone. I'm smart enough to use protection." Then he let out a cackling laugh and slapped Neji on the back. He was in such a rut that he did not care Kiba had inadvertently admitted he's had sex with his cousin. Neji just sank down and slammed his head against the table.

"Shut up." Said Shikamaru to Kiba." I want to hear the details of this mission." Then he turned to Naruto.

"Aye." Said Choji as he licked his fingers." Me too." The mood lightened now and they all looked to Naruto, Neji picked up his head to listen.

"Simple." Naruto said." We go, collect a princess and transport her back here."

"I don't like royalty too much." Commented Kiba as he sat back and crossed his arms." All snotty, thinking their better than me."

"You're just being picky." Said Shikamaru.

"It simple enough." Said Choji." When do we go?"

"Now hold on." Said Naruto raising his hand." It's not as simple as that."

"Not as simple as that?" questioned Kiba." You just laid it out to us as simple as that. What's stopping us?" He didn't notice it while he was talking but Shikamaru cocked his head over to Neji and after he'd finished Naruto did as well.

"What are you looking at me for?" he asked.

"Your predicament here." Said Naruto turning back and seeing Tenten in the next room." Changes things." He turned back and faced Neji.

"What are you saying?" asked Neji sitting up more.

"I want you to stay behind on this mission." Said Naruto." To look after everything."

"Look after everything?" asked Neji getting angry." What you're saying is I'm useless."

"I would never dismiss your talents unless they were for the right reasons." Said Naruto pointing his finger for emphasis.

"Nonsense." Said Neji standing up suddenly." I can still fight, I'm still good."

"I know." Said Naruto calmly still sitting." I am not dismissing you because I think you are soft." He turned and looked at Neji and the two connected their eyes."Should this mission get hairy." Said Naruto." I would not put you in the situation where you may not come back. You who now have more of a reason than all to come back."

"Sit down Neji." Said Shikamaru." It's for the best." Neji nodded and did as he was told.

"Very well." Said Naruto." Then we're off." Then he stood up, the trio following after him. They each on their way out gave Neji some reassurance in their own way.

"Keep your chin up." Said Shikamaru as he patted Neji on the back. But Neji was unresponsive. Choji looked on from the doorway and noticed how glum Neji looked.

Naruto, Shikamaru and Kiba were already outside and making their way to the village gates.

"Naruto." Called Choji as he hurried after them. The blonde ninja turned around and faced him.

"What is it?" he asked. Choji walked up and stood before him.

"Naruto." Said Choji." I'd like to stay behind on this one." Kiba and Shikamaru cocked their heads to each other." And help Neji with his predicament." Naruto heard what he said and let it sink in, then he nodded his head.

"Alright." He said." If that is your decision."

"It is."

"Then I will not keep you." Said Naruto. Then he reached out and the two embraced each other." Keep an eye on the horizon, we will return soon." Then Naruto turned and walked off, Shikamaru and Kiba following after saying their 'Goodbye' to Choji.

Meanwhile Neji had picked himself up and walked into the room where Tenten was. He stood in the doorway, leaning on the frame. Ino and Hinata turned to him.

Neji ran his hand threw his hair and then motioned for the two to leave. They quickly did so and hurried out of the room.

They exited but then came to an empty room with no Kiba, Naruto, Shikamaru or Choji around.

"Oh damn it!" exclaimed Ino." Where have they gone off to now?!" Then she hurried off after them.

Neji closed the door behind him, drowning out any noise. Tenten was sitting there against the wall, clutching her knees to her chest. Neji cleared his throat but then made his way over to her, his feet stomping against the floor as he walked over to her. Then he placed his back on the wall and slid down until he was sitting next to her.

It was silent for a moment but then together the two let out a sigh and afterwards turned to each other.

"So now what?" Neji asked.

Meanwhile Naruto, Kiba, and Shikamaru were at the village gates, saying their final goodbyes for everyone who was there.

Kiba with Hinata in his arms kissed her and hugged her tight.

"Naruto." Said Rock Lee as he walked alongside him." Are you sure you won't need an extra man? For more support?" Naruto stopped and looked at him.

"We'll be fine Lee. But your help is appreciated." Then Naruto stuck out his hand.

"Very well." Said Lee as he shook it." Good luck." Then he turned and walked off. Naruto then turned to Kiba and Shikamaru.

"You know." Said Ino as she drew a circle on Shikamaru's chest with her index finger." It's a shame you had to run off like this and at such an important time."

"Hehe." Shikamaru chuckled nervously." Well." He cleared his throat." Duty calls."

"Alright boys." Naruto said getting their attention." Let's get ready to move."

Kiba with Hinata's hands in his brought them to his lips and kissed them." I love you." He said as he walked away, her hands slipping from his. Shikamaru stumbled away from Ino after she slipped a very passionate kiss on his lips, smothering her lipstick on his face.

Shikamaru walked up to his comrades wiping his face. Naruto looked to them and nodded.

"Alright boys, let's move." Then he made a sharp turn on his heels and prepared to move, however someone stood in his way. Naruto looked down, Shikamaru and Kiba over his shoulders and they saw Sakura standing there with her arms crossed.

"Sakura." Said Naruto." I was hoping you'd come." He leaned down to her." I wanted to say goodbye." He moved his hand towards her.

"Save it." Said Sakura shooing his hand away." I'm coming with you."

"The team has already been chosen." Said Kiba as he stepped out from behind Naruto's shoulder." Naruto, Shikamaru and myself." Sakura turned her attention over to him and her glare made Kiba shrink back behind Naruto's shoulder.

"Your short your usual five for missions." She said turning back to Naruto." I, a medical ninja would make an excellent addition to this group." She stood there standing by her argument. Naruto saw no need to deny her and in fact he welcome her on it, but she had an alternative motive.

"Very well." Said Naruto." You can come along." Sakura flashed an 'I told you so' smile as Naruto turned back to Kiba and Shikamaru." Boys, let's get going." Then Naruto moved past Sakura and made his way down the path.

"So." Said Shikamaru as he and Kiba came onto opposite sides of Sakura." Why are you really coming along?" Sakura shot a glance at both of them.

"None of your business." Then she followed after Naruto. Kiba and Shikamaru stayed behind and looked to each other confused. Then together they shrugged their shoulders and then followed after Naruto and Sakura.