If anyone had walked in the room at this time, they would laugh at the sight before them. Of course, the ones who had to clean up the mess would be angry as well. Why? There were several empty bottles of Sake littered over the floor. Plates with crumbs sat on the table with some glasses that still had a bit of Sake left in them. There was food dirtying the floor and napkin thrown all over the place.
What was funny was the ninjas in the room. Naruto was lying on Sasuke's lap curled into a ball. He looked like an over-size kid. Sasuke was holding on to Naruto as if he was a teddy bear. Kurama had his hand on Itachi's head with his fingers in Itachi's hair. Itachi was lying down with his arms cross and his legs stuck together as if they were held by glue. Neji's stomach was on top of Gaara's stomach forming a cross. His hair covered Gaara's face. Gaara's hands were on Neji's back. Sakura was spread out on the couch with a Sake bottle sill in her hand. There was a hole in the couch which she had made earlier that night. Karin was sitting at he feet covered in Sake as if someone had poured it on her head. Suigetsu was half-melted into the corner of the room. It was as if his left side was removed and he had a puddle of water under his butt. His sword covered his front. Jugo was trapped in his curse release state but had the look of a happy puppy. There was a plate next to him and whipped cream on his chin in the form of a beard. Kakashi has his book on his hand. It has a kunai in it. He was standing against the wall with his eyes closed. He had fallen asleep that way. Yamato was in a wooden cage that he had made himself. Kankuro was sprawled out on a chair that had tipped backwards on the floor. He was drooling and he was only wearing his boxers. Temari had her fan out and was leaning with her back against it. There were dried trails of tears on her face. Sai looked like he was the only one that was normal. He was sitting in a chair at the table with his arms folder on the table and his head in them. Every ninja was asleep and it looked like none of them would be able to move any time soon.
It was Naruto who awoke first. He looked up to see Sasuke still sleeping. He removed himself from Sasuke's lap and blushed. He looked around at the others until his eyes found Kurama. Red eyes looked at blue ones. Kurama removed his hand from Itachi's head and shifted so he too could stand up. Gaara moved out from under Neji and walked over to Naruto and Kurama.
"That is the first time in a long time that I have been able to get a good night's sleep," Gaara said.
"I thought being able to release Shukaku allowed you to sleep more," Naruto said.
"Yes, but not as comfortably," Gaara said. He looked as Neji who rolled over but remained asleep.
"Looks like the others got really drunk last night," Naruto said. "Gotta admit that I like not being able to get drunk."
"It does make me feel better that I don't get hangovers," Gaara said.
"I could have drunk a lot more than I did," Kurama said. "Though I guess emptying Suna of all its Sake is not the way to go."
"That would be bad," Gaara said.
"We should get some medicine for the others for when they wake up," Naruto said.
"Wouldn't want two annoyed Uchihas on our hands," Kurama agreed.
"Temari would be worse," Gaara said.
"I think Sakura might destroy more stuff," Naruto said looking at the couch. "Sorry about that."
"At least it's just a couch," Gaara said.
"Kakashi-sensei won't be happy when he wakes up," Naruto said. "Karin's kunai sure hit the mark."
"Suigetsu looks like he peed himself," Kurama chuckled.
"Who gave Jugo the beard?" Naruto asked.
"I think it was Kankuro," Gaara said.
"I feel bad for whomever has to clean this up," Naruto said.
"That's what servants are for," Kurama said. "Gaara here can just order someone to do it."
"May be I should make you clean it up," Gaara said.
"Oh hell no!" Kurama yelled. "I'm a demon not a maid!" His voice rang throughout the room causing the other to stir.
"Shut up you stupid fox!" Sakura yelled. Her head was spinning. "I think I need to sit down." Kurama was about to point out that Sakura was already sitting, but then he saw the hole in the couch and kept his mouth shut.
"What time is it?" Sasuke muttered.
"Almost noon, little brother," Itachi said looking at the clock.
"Arg!" Neji cried. "Remind me to never get drunk again!"
"Jugo looks so funny!" Suigetsu laughed.
"At least I didn't pee myself," Jugo said as his curse mark release disappeared. Suigetsu looked down then quickly regained his form.
"You guys are so annoying," Temari said. She walked over to Gaara and held out her hand. "Medicine, now!" Gaara quickly left only to return with four bottles of medicine. Temari took a bottle and threw three pills into her mouth. Kankuro sat the chair back up then did the same. Soon, everyone except Gaara, Naruto, and Kurama were taking pills to get rid of their hangovers.
"Lady Tsunade will want as back soon," Kakashi said. He had put his book away. No one saw him take his pills, but they were gone from his hand.
"Should we use my teleportation jutsu?" Naruto asked.
"We should take the long way," Kakash said. "I don't think anyone can handle Lady Tsunade's voice at the moment."
"I fully agree," Sakura said. "Lady Tsunade were yell at us for returning with hangovers."
"Then it will take us three days to get back to Konoha," Naruto said.
"If you want to go back so fast," Sakura said. "Go alone." She glared at Naruto threatening as if saying that if Naruto did go on ahead, she would kill him. But Naruto had no idea way she'd think to say that.
"Then we will leave soon," Yamato said.
"I'm gonna stay here," Neji said. His blush quickly appeared then vanished. "I have some stuff to do." Naruto and Kurama smirked. They were the only ones that had seen the blush.
"Ok," Naruto said. 'May be I can get Shikamaru to come pick Neji up, though I bet he'd find some way to stay longer himself.'
"Let's get ready," Yamato said. Everyone nodded. They took turns in the four showers. The girls finished first so that they could talk a bit more. Naruto and Kurama were that last of the boys to take a shower. Kurama took a long one sice he loves bathing in his human form. Naruto felt the same way even though he didn't have anything but a human form. Once done with their showers, everyone who was going back to Konoha packed. They then returned to Gaara's office to see that it had already been cleaned.
"Guess I'll see you again in the future," Naruto said to the Sand siblings.
"Take care of yourself, Naruto," Temari smiled as Naruto hugged her.
"I'll send Shikamaru for Neji," Naruto whispered so only Temari could hear. She blushed then thanked him.
"Tell Shukaku that we will fight again," Kurama said to Gaara.
"He said bring it on anytime," Gaara said. The others said their good byes and started their trip home. After awhile, Sakura could no longer take the silence.
"Everyone is so quiet," Sakura said. "Guess the hangovers are effecting our mouths."
No one said anything. Then Jugo broke the silence. "What is it like being a leaf ninja?" He was looking at Naruto when he asked this.
"Well, just like any other ninja village," Naruto began. "we go on missions. Some involve finding a cat or escorting someone important."
"Do you have a favorite mission?" Karin asked.
"Probably the mission to the Land of Waves," Naruto said. "Someone taught me something very important while I was there. He said, 'When a person has something important they want to protect that's when they can become truly strong.' I fully agree with those words."
Kakashi smiled. "I too agree."
"My favorite mission was to the Land of Moon," Sakura said. "Naruto, Kakashi-sensei, Lee, and I have to protect a prince and his son on their way home. We had to fight a ninja that could turn people to stone. Kakashi-sensei got his arm turned into stone and Naruto got his leg. But I was able to heal them. I also got to kick that evil woman's butt. As if Genjutsu would work on me!"
Sasuke hear this story and knew that it was a mission they got after he had joined Orochimaru. He felt sad that he was not there to help them.
"Naruto defeated the leader of the ninjas," Sakura said. "It was really cool." She paused. "Though not as cool as the mission involving the capture of a lost pet ferret and delivering it to its village."
Suigetsu looked at Sakura as if she had two heads. "How can finding a lost pet be cool or exciting?"
"Shikamaru, Naruto, and I were assigned the mission," Sakura said. "After we caught the ferret, some strange knight attacked us."
"That cat kept running away," Naruto said. "It liked that knight too much."
"Naruto," Sakura sighed. "It was a ferret not a cat."
"It was more like a cat," Naruto complained.
"You're just mad because it caused you to fall off of a cliff with that Temujin guy," Kurama said. "I had to heal you."
"Thanks for that," Naruto said.
"Anyway," Sakura continued her story. "While searching for Naruto, Shikamaru and I came across some looked up children. We freed them of course. The Sand siblings helped out on that mission too. Temujin's master had destroyed some villages and attacked Suna. There were some crazy women on Temujin's team. Shikamaru defeated one with Kankuro's help. I got the other one by jumping onto some crystal structure that created echoes. When that woman, Fugai I think her name was, howled, the crystals collapsed on top of her."
"That was a smart thing to do," Itachi said.
"Thanks," Sakura said. "Then we had to stop a Space-Time path. Temujin created the void to get rid of the mines that were spiralling out of control. The Galel stone mixed with Naruto's chakra stopped the void. Naruto saved Temujin using his clones as a rope to grab Temujin's hands. Naruto could have died from doing so, but he didn't give up. To be honest, I found it very hot."
"It was nothing," Naruto said blushing. "What about you Kakashi-sensei?"
"My favorite mission?" Kakashi thought for a moment. "The one where I had to destroy a stone army." Everyone was confused. "You know the one with that Priestess?"
"Ah!" Naruto exclaimed. "I wonder how Shion is doing. I still needed to keep my promise." Kurama laughed. "What is so funny?"
Kurama chuckled. "May be the whole 'my power must be passed onto the next priestess. What do you say, Naruto? Are you going to help me?' Do you seriously still not get what she meant?" Suigetsu's mouth dropped. Jugo and Karin looked shocked. Itachi and Yamato sighed. Sasuke was pissed. Sai just shook his head.
Naruto thought over her words. "I don't get it."
"Naruto!" Sakura yelled. "You are an idiot! How can you not get her second meaning?"
"Second meaning?" Naruto asked.
"Naruto," Kakashi said wanting to slap himself in the face. "Shion basically asked you to be the father of her children. That was her second meaning."
"And you were so clueless you said, 'Sure! I'll do whatever it takes!'" Sakura yelled reading to punch Naruto.
"Wait!" Naruto said. "She asked me to get her pregnant?"
"Yes!" Kakashi, Kurama, and Sakura yelled.
"No way!" Naruto blushed. "I can't believe how dumb I am!" He paused. "But I promised to help her. I can't go back on my word. That's my nindo way!" Sakura and Kakashi were silently happy to hear Naruto say those words. "What did I get myself into?"
Sai saw Sasuke clenching his fists. He looked ready to kill. "So Sasuke," Sai tried to get Sasuke's attention so that he could avoid the bloodshed. "What is your favorite mission?"
Sasuke had to think for a while. He had gone on many mission including ones for Orochimaru. But he wanted to pick one that involved Naruto. "The one to the Land of Snow." He finally said.
"I wonder how Princess Koyuki is," Naruto said.
"Do you still have that picture?" Sakura asked.
"I do," Naruto said. "It is in a photo album. Though there aren't that many pictures in the album." The atmosphere grew tense. "I wonder if the old hag will let me go on vacation. I want to visit Princess Koyuki, Temujin, Hikaru, Shion, and Amaru. May be even see all those people I met while waiting for Jiriya to take me out training."
"Like Sasame?" Sakura asked. "I'd like to see her again."
"I bet the Fuma clan is doing better," Naruto said. "Those chakra threads were really cool, but scary. Having one connected to your heart is painful."
"I never want to see that again," Sakura said. "That guy almost killed you."
"That guy ripped his own heart out," Kurama said. "He was ready to kill himself just to kill you. And he almost did. It was lucky that Sasame was able to cut them."
"The shock from them being cut almost killed me," Naruto said. "Again you saved me."
"And I'll keep saving you if you need me to, Kit," Kurama said.
"We are still linked," Naruto said.
'No Kit,' Kurama thought. 'Even if we weren't, I'd save you. I'd give up my life if it meant saving yours. But I'll never admit that to you."
Sasuke's fist clenched tighter than before. 'He almost died so many times. And I was never there to help.'
"It isn't your fault, Sasuke," Itachi whispered. "Naruto is a ninja and the life of a ninja is a hard one."
"I should have been there," Sasuke whispered back. "I should have protected him."
"But you weren't there," Itachi said. "It is too late now. All those things have already happened. You can only change the future. Stay with him from now on."
"Itachi," Sasuke looked into his older brother's black eyes. "You aren't mad at me?"
"Why would I be?" Itachi asked.
"I... I won't be able to continue the Uchiha line," Sasuke blushed.
"That's not a bad thing," Itachi said. "We are the last Uchihas. But we can still make our partners happy." He looked at Kurama. "I would be willing to give him anything he wanted if it meant he was happy. I know you feel the same way about Naruto."
"Then you are ok with my loving Naruto?" Sasuke asked.
"Yes," Itachi said.
"I'm glad you found Kurama," Sasuke said. "I want you to be happy."
"I've only known him for three days," Itachi said. "But I feel like it has been a life time."
"I think that just means you belong together," Jugo said. He had heard their entire conversation. "Just like Naruto belongs with Sasuke and Suigetsu belongs with Karin."
"Suigetsu and Karin?" Sasuke looks taken aback.
"Yeah," Jugo said calmly. "They just need to realize their feelings."
"They remind me of you and Naruto," Itachi said. "One is cocky and stubborn while the other is proud and foolish." Sasuke did not know what to say.
Over the nest few days, Naruto and Sakura spent the time telling the others about their missions while Sasuke was away. They noticed that Naruto never talked about his Anbu missions, but no one said anything about it. Sasuke was happy to learn more about what Naruto was up to, but he was also sad that he was not there to spend it with him. But he promised that he would make that up to him.
"Well," Naruto said stopping. He pointed to Konoha's gate. "We're home!"