Naruto and Kakashi had meanwhile made their way to the training grounds. They stood several feet apart, starring the other down. The Master and Student at a crossroads of destiny.
"Is this truly what you want Naruto?" asked Kakashi." You would stand against me like this?"
"I seek only to claim what is mine." Said Naruto.
"I grow tired of this insolence." Stated Kakashi with authority in his voice." I am the Hokage of the Leaf Village." He held his arms open wide, then turned and pointed to Naruto." And it is MY way that is the way of the leaf village." Kakashi knew what the outcome of this battle would be so he tried with all his might to put the fear into Naruto hoping he'd back down.
"We both knew this day was coming." Said Naruto." The circle is now complete, when I left you I was but the learner now I am the master."
"Then you leave me no choice!" said Kakashi spreading his arms out, causing his Hokage's coat to flap into the wind as he entered his battle stance.
There was no choice for the two of them now battle was the only way. Whatever happens next was of their own making. Fate had brought them to this moment.
The wind blew softly in the air, the grass rustled and the stream nearby made small splashes as the two ninja starred each other down. The in one quick motion the two kicked off the ground and lunged at each other.
Then they clashed. Kakashi led throwing a punch but Naruto ducked and dodged him. Then Naruto came up and tried to uppercut Kakashi who stepped back avoiding his punch. But then Naruto stepped forward and swung with his other arm. This time Kakashi put up both his arms and blocked the punch, causing Naruto to bash his fist against his arms. But the present Hokage took the hit, it forced him to staggered back but it was nothing really.
Kakashi looked up and saw that Naruto was charging at him. So he cocked his head back and shot a fireball at Naruto.
The young ninja jumped out of the way as the fireball scorched the ground he was just on. But then when Naruto looked up Kakashi was before him. The older ninja swung his leg forward but Naruto put up his arm and blocked.
But then Kakashi dropped to the ground and pulled out a knife and swung it at Naruto. But Naruto ducked back avoiding the blade as it narrowly missed him. Then as Kakashi's arm passed him Naruto reached out and grabbed Kakashi's hand, steading the knife hand. But then Kakshi swung up his other hand and punched Naruto in the face.
Naruto took the blow and stumbled back, while Kakashi lunged at him again. Once again he swung his arm forward but once again Naruto managed to dodge. Naruto quickly swung his leg out and kicked Kakashi's hand, knocking the knife away.
But then Kakashi grabbed Naruto with both hands, Naruto struggled against him and grabbed onto his former teacher. The two struggled and pushed against the other with no one clearly winning.
But then Naruto swung his arms around hit Kakashi's arms, forcing him to let go. Then Naruto kicked up his legs and sent Kakashi staggering back, forcing a small gap between them.
Kakashi picked his head up and looked at Naruto and Naruto looked back at him. Then Kakashi held out his hand and began forming a rasengan, Naruto quickly formed a clone of his own and began forming his own.
Within seconds the two prepared their techniques and were ready to continue fighting. Then they kicked off the ground and lunged at each other. They swung out their arms and their attacks collided.
A large burst of energy was released and a gust of wind exploded around them. It created a large gust of wind and a cloud of smoke in the sky.
All over the village, everyone saw it. Naruto's friends even saw it from the village gates, and the group looked in the direction of the explosion confused.
"What was that?" asked Hinata. Sakura looked off in the direction of the explosion, knowing full well Naruto was there and that his battle with Kakashi had reached a new height.
She took a step forward, ready to rush off to the battle ground and help him but before she could Shikamaru reached out his arm and stopped her.
"Whatever happens." He said when Sakura turned and looked at him." He must conquer this on his own." Sakura turned back and looked at the battleground far away.
Meanwhile with the battle for Hokage.
In the aftermath of the explosion Kakashi slowly regained consciousness and opened his eyes. He perked himself up with arms and looked around. The area he was in had been shredded. The ground was uprooted, trees knocked over, and all the water had been knocked out of the river nearby.
Kakashi looked around not seeing Naruto at first thinking he hadn't survived the attack, but upon further investigation he could see the yellow haired ninja amongst the rubble.
Kakashi stood himself to his feet but found it hard to walk at first, the blast must have done more damage to his body than he thought. But he pressed on through the pain and began staggering towards Naruto.
The blonde ninja slowly began to pick himself up from the ground, pushing himself up onto his knees. But right when he sat up he felt cold steel against the back of his neck, Kakashi held a knife there. They stood there silently for a moment as both thought the situation over.
"It is over Naruto." Said Kakashi." You have been beaten." This battle had truly taken it's much out of Kakashi, his body was broken and beaten but he had come out on top. He had won yes, but what's to say in the future that Naruto wouldn't try again?" If you vow to forever serve me, I will let you leave." He waited for Naruto's reply.
"I have made my choice." Said Naruto putting his hands up and on his head.
"It did not have to be this way Naruto." Said Kakashi." This is of your making."
"I will stand by it." There was no choice in it now Kakashi had to kill him. If he didn't Naruto would just keep coming back and one day he would win. There would be some retaliation from his friends but with Naruto gone they would fall back into line and never question Kakashi's rule again. This was the only way.
Kakashi held up his knife and then swung it down, Naruto never moving from where he was. The knife swung down and was plunged into Naruto's back.
The young ninja struggled and squirmed as blood began to pour from his mouth. But then as quickly as it happened it was over, Naruto disappeared into smoke.
"What?!" exclaimed Kakashi. But not a thought could pass in his mind before he was attacked. Naruto sprung up next to him, holding a rasengan in his hand.
Kakashi was caught completely un prepared and was hit. The attack sent him flying back into the ground. Naruto however stood over him triumphant.
Kakashi slowly picked his head up and saw a great distance between him and Naruto. He couldn't give up he was Hokage, he was the strongest, the greatest! Kakashi propped himself up preparing to continue the fight but before he could get off the ground Naruto was on him.
Naruto hovered over his former teacher one arm stretched out passed Kakashi's head and touching the ground, in his other hand was a knife pressed at Kakashi's chest.
Kakashi rolled his eyes up and looked at Naruto's face. The battle was truly done now and despite how hard he tried Kakashi had lost. There was not a doubt in his mind that Naruto would undoubtedly strike him down. After all Kakashi was going to do the same to him before, there would be no mercy.
But Naruto just stood back up to his feet, putting his knife away. The battle was over in his mind with his victory. Then he reached out his hand to Kakashi on the ground.
He was surprised at this show of mercy but Kakashi did take his hand and was lifted to the his feet. The two took deep breaths as they surveyed the scene of their battle.
"I'd say that's enough for one day." Panted Kakashi. Naruto nodded and spoke next.
"So what says you?" he asked. Kakashi was silent and looked the blonde ninja over.
His time had passed. He'd helped the village in its time of crisis only to be distracted by keeping his own power recently. Perhaps it was time to step down and let the younger generation carry the torch.
Kakashi said nothing but began removing the Hokage's cloak form his back and then held it out to Naruto.
"My time has passed." He said. Naruto smiled and took the coat." It is your time to rise." Naruto swung the coat around his shoulders and put his arms in, then he stood there and let it hang. It was somewhat unreal, after all his life of wanting to be Hokage he finally had it. He felt lighter than air, as if he awakened from a dream. " It suits you." Naruto turned his attention back to his former teacher. The previous Hokage held his hand out to the new one. Naruto smiled and shook his hand. There was no ill-will between them, their battle has just been business.
After they shook hands Kakashi just nodded his head and went about his way. The Leaf Village no longer would look to him for leadership it was Naruto's time.
Naruto wore the Hokage's coat and stood proudly. He closed his eyes and turned his head towards the sky as the sun's light shined on him.
Meanwhile far off on the other side of the village at the Hyugga estate. The rest of the friends had met up with Neji and Tenten, the still soon to be married couple.
The group sat and talked amongst themselves. Kiba and Shikamaru told of the mission while Neji and Tenten would talk of their own misadventures. Sakura listened on but found her attention drawn elsewhere.
She would often drift away from the conversation and look out the window, expecting Naruto to walk up any time now.
"Sakura." Spoke up Ino getting the pink haired girls attention. She turned around and saw everyone looking at her." What do you see?"
"Nothing." Said Sakura moving away from the window. She walked several paces and then sat down amongst the group.
But then there came a knocking at the door. Everyone darted their heads over and Sakura amongst them quickly jumped to her feet and ran to the door.
It wasn't her house so she shouldn't have answered but she was too excited for whom waited on the other side. However she would only be disappointed with it.
She flung open the door to see Konohamaru.
"Sakura." He said upon seeing her. She sighed and greeted him.
"Hi Konohamaru." She said.
"I have a message for you." He spoke. Sakura cocked her head and looked at him. Konohamaru looked past her and saw Shikamaru, Choji and all the rest." Actually it's for all of you." The rest of the group began to stir, standing up and looking at the door.
"What's the message?" asked Sakura.
"Your needed at the Hokage's office." Told Konohamaru.
"Right now." He assured. Just then Neji and Kiba appeared behind Sakura.
"What's the rest of the message?" asked Neji.
"There is nothing more." Told Konohamaru." That is all." Neji and Kiba looked to each other confused. Before anybody else could ask anything he young ninja was gone leaving his confused elders behind.
"Well if we've been called." Spoke up Shikamaru." We'd best get going."
"Do you think it could be about Naruto?" asked Tenten. Shikamaru stop and looked over to Neji, the two making eye contact and having a silent conversation.
"Could be." Said Neji. Then he moved forward and led the way as the group made their way to the Hokage's office. But once they got there something strange happened.
They walked up to the Hokage's office and knocked on the door. However after they knocked no voice called for them to come in. So they knocked again only to once again be met with no reply.
So Ino took a step forward and opened the door and the group entered. But they found themselves in a dark room with the Hokage's chair facing the window.
Kiba, Neji and Tenten all ventured over to the desk, peering around it only to see no one was there. The Hokage was nowhere to be found. So they all stood there exchanging confused looks and speech as they tried to come to the bottom of this situation.
All the while Sakura's heart was beating like a drum. Naruto had left before and had entered into an epic battle for the Hokage's position. But she had not heard from him since and now the Hokage was missing, something was seriously wrong here.
But then the group's attention was called to the door.
"What are you doing here?" The group turned to the door to see Kakashi standing there.
"Kakashi." They acknowledged him. Kakashi walked into the room, holding onto his sides. It was very clear to everyone the battle he'd been in must have been strenuous. But when offered help he refused and continued on his way to his desk.
The young ninjas there all assumed that the battle had not gone in Naruto's favor, since here was Kakashi in his office.
"Lord Hokage." Spoke up Choji." You summoned us?" Kakashi ducked down behind his desk as he began to get several things.
"No I didn't." he said casually.
"Yes you did." Confirmed Ino." You told us all to meet you here." Kakashi stopped what he was doing and looked at the confused teenager's faces.
"Oh." He said as he realized it." You might want to try the roof." Now everyone was more confused and looked at each other in such a manner." Go to the roof." Told Kakashi." That's where you're needed."
So the group did as they were told and exited the Hokage's office and headed for the roof. Kakashi meanwhile stayed behind and grabbed the last of his things.
The group went outside and climbed the stairs onto the roof. That is when they saw him.
There was Naruto standing with his back to them, arms crossed with the sun shining down on him, and he wore a new coat. The Hokage's coat.
He began to turn and saw his friends as they all stood there gawking at him. Then when it took a step forward everyone there realized this moment was real.
Then in one quick motion Kiba and Shikamaru jumped forward. Both grabbing Naruto and congratulating him. Then Choji walked over and grabbed all of them in his big arms and hugged them.
Once he let go everybody else came over and did the same.
"Well done Naruto." Said Shikamaru with a pat on the back.
"Always knew you could do it." Said Hinata.
"You deserve it." Said Tenten. Sakura just walked past everyone, them stepping aside so she could get by. She walked up and stood before Naruto.
He tilted his head down so he could see her. She looked up and then swung her arms forward and hugged him, burying her face in his chest. Naruto smiled and return the hug.
All their friends stood around them but in the beauty of the moment Neji spoke up with an important question.
"Do you think you're ready?" he asked. Everyone stopped and turned over to him. "Do you really think you're ready for such a responsibility?" asked Neji. Naruto looked to Neji and then looked at the rest of his friends. He realized that his new position meant new responsibilities, he was now responsible for the welfare of the entire village. He was now part of a sacred line of Hokage's, the leaders and defenders of the Leaf Village.
"No." Naruto replied honestly." But then again I'm not alone." He turned around and glanced at all his friends." I am never alone, so long as I have all of you with me." He turned around and saw his friends smiling and nodding with him.
Sakura walked over and hugged Naruto. He took his arm and wrapped it around her. Then the two turned and looked out onto the horizon with the sun shining down on them.
It was a new beginning for Naruto and his friends. The Leaf Village now under their protection it was up to them to defend it's people. New trials and enemies would come, but united by their bonds of friendship and love they would overcome.