SAIGO NO (final):

Winter passes, the sakura blossoms scatter
Your favorite season, summer, passes
We come to our second autumn
And I still haven't been able to tell you anything

-Gackt (Peace)


One month later:

"Pops!" Naruto bellowed from the kitchen as he dragged in the last bag of potatoes from the truck. "You home? I've got all the groceries in. I'm going to stop by Hinata's house for a bit and…"

His voice trailed off as he walked into the living room and saw his father hunched over several documents spread out on the low coffee table. From the way those broad shoulders were slumped and his face buried within his hands, Naruto felt his heart rate quicken in growing panic.

Oh shit. Please don't tell me…

Was it finally their turn? Had those sharks made a move on his father to take over his business? Was this really the end of the Uzumaki legacy on the seas? Were they going to be forced to move out of their home as the others? Damn it! Why now?!

"Father," he began carefully, resorting to a more respectful tone as he fell to his knees beside him. "Father…what's going on?"

Without looking up, Hashirama pushed the top letter toward Naruto, who picked it up with trembling fingers. For a moment none of the words made sense to him, until he calmed himself down to really understand what the letter was saying. As he read, he could feel it; a light tingling sensation that began from the tips of his toes, into his belly and culminating with a warmth in his heart that made him want to burst into song. He settled for shaky laughter, looking up from the letter and toward the now wet visage of his father. The older man hadn't been slumped in despair, but with shocked happiness. The tears on his face evident of just how much this miracle meant to him.

"I don't know what happened," Hashirama said in a hoarse whisper, "But we no longer have to fear the big guns taking over our businesses, Naruto. Can you believe it? Someone bought them all off and has urged our colleagues to return if they choose to. And as if that's not good enough, look…this anonymous buyer has offered to reduce our interest rates. Do you know what that means? We get to make even more profit from our sales! No more getting swindled by the customers!"

Naruto laughed in glee. "Awesome, Pops!"

Hashirama slapped his hands upon the desk and grinned. "I think this calls for a celebration! I'm going to call up the boys and tell them the good news!" He rose to his feet and would have dashed right out of the house, but not before stopping before Mito's shrine to bow his head in honor.

"Sweetheart," he gushed in excitement. "Looks like we won't be leaving this place anytime soon. Keep watching over us, all right? We love you!"

Naruto chuckled at the sight of his old man looking ten years younger as he skipped out of the house with a song on his lips. He reached for the documents again and scoured them thoroughly, hoping there wasn't some fine print with a dreadful catch to dampen their good spirits. However, there was really nothing to scowl over. Every page simply detailed all that was required of the local fishermen, which was to simply go about their businesses as they would have with no threat of being bought out by any competitor in the near future. The letterheads claimed they were from some innocuous law firm in Kyoto, but Naruto knew better.

Oh how he knew, for it could be only one person responsible for this, and he was currently somewhere in New York city having the time of his life.

Naruto shook his head and reached for his phone; heart still pounding but this time with a gratitude that made him weak-kneed and helplessly close to tears.

With trembling fingers, he rewarded a certain man for his behind-the-scenes efforts with a simple loving phrase.

Fuck you, Sasuke.

And barely a minute later, there was a similar loving response which filled his heart with an emotion he wasn't even going to try to explain.

It was my pleasure. I'll see you on the seas again, Poseidon.


It's just one word

Just the word "love"

The reason why I can't tell you

Is because I really love you

-Gackt (Peace)

THE END