The Way Home
I DO NOT OWN NARUTO!
"Naruto!" Sakura cried out as she jolted awake. "Sakura." Ino jumped to her friend's side. "Sakura relax, you're still not healed all the way yet." She tried to get her frightened friend to calm.
"Ino…" Sakura croaked leaning back into the pillows. "What…? What happened?"
"That's what we've been waiting to ask you." Tsunade said as she walked into the room. Even two years after the war, Tsunade still was not back to her power. She held the title of Hokage but she would never be back to her old power, only a few knew of her weakness, and she was determined to hold the office until it was time to let someone take over.
"Do you remember anything?" Ino asked.
"Sakura? Oh Sakura!" Her mother called running to her side with her father. "You're finally awake." She smiled.
"What happened? Who did this to you?" Her father asked as Sakura's eyes started to slide closed.
"Naruto…" She trailed off as she looked at Ino before she was unconscious again.
"Naruto?" Kizashi asked. "The boy who saved the village?"
Tsunade looked back at Sakura. "I can guarantee Naruto wasn't the one who did this to her.
"Then why would she name him?" Mebuki asked angrily.
"She was on a mission with him." Tsunade explained
Kizashi stood back trying to figure things out, trying to think of a reason this would have happened and why his daughter would have named Naruto. "Could he have lost control?"
"He wouldn't do that." Ino shook her head. "Especially not with Sakura around. Naruto wouldn't risk her being hurt."
Sakura's parents looked from her and back to their daughter before the Hokage, looking for answers. "It's no secret he made a number of enemies with his powers during the war. Could they have gone after them?" Kizashi wondered.
"She's not safe around him. No one is, lady Tsunade, you need to keep him away from her. I don't care if he saved the village or the world, I won't have my daughter in danger because of him." Sakura's mother half yelled while her father stood looking between the two women.
"Naruto would die before he let anything happen to Sakura." Ino tried to defend her friend.
Mebuki looked back at Tsunade, fire in her eyes. "Then why don't you ask him what happened? He's here getting healed too right?" Ino looked at Tsunade wondering what she was going to say. They had kept word of Naruto missing and Sakura's injuries as quiet as possible. Only family and the little group of friends, who were searching for Naruto, knew the truth.
"We're looking for him. I have several teams deployed to find where he is and what happened. We found Sakura injured just inside the border with no sign of him." Ino could tell Tsunade was worried about him.
"Naruto…"Sakura mumbled. "Naruto…"
"How could someone do something like this to their teammate?" Mebuki said softly as she smoother her daughter's hair from her face.
"Naruto wouldn't do this. He would have been really hurt or something to have her this bad and be nowhere around." Ino tried again. Sakura groaned and opened her eyes again, looking at Ino as if pleading.
"Naruto…" Sakura looked at her with tears in her green eyes. "He was so hurt…. So much blood…. I couldn't… is he okay?" She asked as she started to lose consciousness again.
Ino held her hand and smiled down at her. "We'll take care of him. Just worry about getting better. You know how he gets when you're hurt. Just get better; because I don't want to deal with that idiot, he's your problem now." She smirked and watched as Sakura smiled and was back out again.
"She seems more worried about that boy than herself." Her father noticed.
"She has been for a while." Ino blurted out before she tried to shrink out of the questioning looks. She looked at Sakura as if apologizing before she looked back at the adults. "No one is supposed to know. Me and our friends figured it out but no one is supposed to know." She took a breath before she explained everything. "Naruto and Sakura have been dating for the last two years. He didn't want anyone to treat her different or put her in danger because of him, even if everyone treats him better. He tried to keep everything quiet because he didn't want anyone hurting her. Like I said he wouldn't have left her like this if he had a choice."
"You can't be serious!" Mebuki yelled. "I would know if my daughter was dating him!"
Tsunade sighed shaking her head. "Let me know if she wakes up again. I need where they were attacked, we might be able to find Naruto faster." Ino nodded before the woman left Ino and Sakura's parents in silence.
After another two hours, it was just Kizashi watching over his daughter. He heard a groan from Sakura making him move his chair closer to the bed. "Sakura. Sakura are you in pain?"
"A little." She slowly opened her eyes and looked at him with a small smile. "I'll be okay." She laid her now glowing soft green hand over her ribs and began to heal herself. "What's going on?" She asked as the pain eased.
"You've been unconscious for almost two weeks." Kizashi told her worried. "You don't remember anything?"
"I remember…" She trailed off thinking before her eyes went wide and she sat up with a wince. "Naruto!" Her father eased her back. "Naruto. Is he okay? He was hurt so bad and the hit he took for me… even in Kyuubi mode it still…" She trailed off with tears in her eyes worried about her boyfriend.
"Sakura." He father started. "You were the only one that was found."
"What? No! Naruto… he…!" A tear slipped from her eye as she tried to get up again. "He's going to die if he's not taken care of. Even with Kurama the injuries…" She cried.
"The Hokage has people out looking for him, has been since you were found." He tried to calm her. "You remember what happened?"
"We were on a mission to frost and we were ambushed. We had all kinds of jutsus up and still didn't notice them."
Kizashi smoother back her hair. "It happens." He said making her look at him as he gave her a small smile. "What happened?"
"We were almost to frost and they attacked. Naruto tried to get us out of there but they sealed us in. We tried to fight but they just threw so much at us…" She trailed off. "Naruto…. He…" She started to cry again.
"Take your time." Kizashi said lovingly as he looked at his distraught daughter. "What did Naruto do?"
"He tried to make a path so I could get away but they just attacked harder and there was a water jutsu…. They made spikes and tried to hit me but Naruto moved in the way… he was hurt so bad but I could even stay on my feet to protect him." She started to cry and her father wrapped his arms around her to comfort her as best he could.
After a minute, he pulled back and dried her tears. "It's true you love him." At Sakura's startled look, he gave a small smile. "We had to force it out of Ino. Well you're mom and the Hokage did." He grinned before looking at her serious. "Why didn't you tell us?"
"I… I didn't want you and mom to get upset about it. I know you don't see him as the Kyuubi anymore but I know you still don't exactly like or trust him. Well I know mom doesn't."
"Sakura, you're growing up. You have to make you own choices and even though I don't like to think about it, that means men too. Your mom and I just want what's best for you."
"It's Naruto." She said sternly. "He didn't want to have any problems start between me and you and mom. He didn't want anyone to have a problem with me or treat me different because of him." He gave her a soft smile.
"From what I've seen him do and what I've heard he did in the war and with you on this mission… I couldn't be happier you chose a man who loves you and would give his life for you."
"You're not upset?" She asked wiping another tear away.
Kizashi shook his head. "No. I'm upset you felt you needed to hide the fact you were dating him but I'm not upset you chose him."
"What about mom?" Sakura asked worried.
"Don't worry about mom. Just worry about healing and getting Naruto back. I'm going to tell the Hokage you're up."
Sakura nodded and stopped him as he was about to leave. "Thanks dad." He smiled brightly at her before he left to get Tsunade.
It only took a few minutes before Tsunade walked in followed by both Sakura's parents. Mebuki ran over to hold her daughter tight in her arms with a bright smile. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah. Had a little pain but I took care of it when I woke up." Sakura smiled at her mother before looking at Tsunade.
"You remember what happened when you and Naruto left on your mission?" Tsunade watched Sakura nod slowly.
"We went north, into the hot spring country…."
"Naruto, we should stop for the night." Sakura said as the sun started to sink. "We can camp here and we should get to the border by tomorrow night."
"You set up and I'll get the wood?" He smirked at her making her shake her had with a small smile as he wandered off.
It took only a few minutes for him to get the wood and make a fire. Once he was done Sakura walked over, kneeling behind him she wrapped her arms around his neck. "We should get some sleep." She said resting her chin on his shoulder. He only nodded in response before she kissed his neck.
"Thought we needed sleep?" He asked as he turned his head to look at her only to find her lips connect with his.
"We do." She said before kissing him again. He gave a growl-like sound as he pulled her around to fall in his lap with giggles. "Naruto. We're on a mission."
"You started it." He mumbled as he kissed her neck, making her squirm in his arms.
"Naruto." She gasped. "After the mission."
"Sakura-chan." He whined making her smile up at him.
"I promise. After the mission we can get away for a couple days, just you and me." He gave her a grin before they kissed again. "Come on. Bed time." She smiled as she climbed from his lap and led him to where they had their bedding laid out.
The next evening they were almost to the frost country when they were forced to stop seeing ten men standing across the road. Naruto and Sakura glanced at each other as they stopped.
"This is as far as you go." One said.
Another walked forward with a smirk as he eyed Naruto. "Looks like we're lucky. Yagito will be happy to have the famous Naruto Uzumaki."
"Yes." A third agreed as he realized who was in front of them. "Lord Yagito will be pleased."
Sakura started to shift her stance as Naruto slowly reached for his kunai. "Then let's take him to base." The first man said before the group pulled their weapons and charged all at once while Naruto was still trying to figure out how they had slipped past being noticed by himself and Sakura.
"Kill the woman. We only need him." The leader called to the others. Naruto pulled Kurama's chakra and threw his opponent back before moving to Sakura's side.
"Sakura, go tell Granny what's going on." He said softly before they were forced back into combat where the ten men matched them weapon for weapon, jutsu for jutsu. There was no way out.
Sakura heard one laugh making her look over at Naruto as he pulled a kunai from his abdomen. She was not given long to worry as three attacked her at ones. She fought back holding her own as best as she could as a fourth man joined the fight. She did everything she could to avoid the attacks but she began to slow. She was being hit more and more as Naruto tried to fight his way over to her, to try to help her. They were both shocked and worried as the six men held their own against Naruto who was still using Kurama's help. They caught each other's eye before pushing full speed at each other to fight back to back.
Once clear Sakura could see the wounds all over Naruto all seeping to gushing blood, she had been doing her best to heal and stop the bleeding in her own wounds but she knew he couldn't do that. she felt a blast of pain through her chest making her try to turn past the pain to find ten more men, one with a chakra enhanced fist connecting with her ribs. He grinned as he pulled back and jumped away. She gasped as she felt Naruto grab her waist as the time slowed. Naruto spun them around seeing one of the others moving through hand signs. Her eyes went wide as the water around them collected into spears in midair before being flung at them. Naruto covered her as the spear went through his upper abdomen. He grunted with pain as she gasped feeling it dig through the flesh of her lower chest.
"I'm going to make a hole. Get to Granny, and stay safe." He told her, spinning before she could say anything, he charged at their enemies. To their surprise, the twenty men were able to stop him and push him back with even more wounds. He winced and felt blood flow free from a new wound on his head, matting his wild blond hair. He only had a moment for the pain to settle before a man charged punching him in the gut causing blood to come from his mouth.
"Naruto!" Sakura screamed and tried to run to him only to get another chakra filled hit to her diaphragm, pushing all the air from her lungs and causing the world around her fade to nothingness as Naruto dropped to his knees. They had never seen anyone so powerful before. To have someone take down the best ninja and the best healer in the world was beyond amazing and scared them both.
"The famous Naruto Uzumaki falls." The leader smirked at him as he dropped unconscious with another blow to the head.
"Naruto." He heard a deep growl. "Naruto." This time more forceful.
"What?" He asked himself as the pain seeped into his consciousness. "Need sleep."
"No. Naruto you have to get up and fight."
"I don't want to." He whined.
"I didn't give my power to a weakling!" the growl deepened and Naruto saw red. "Get up and move!"
"So much pain." He groaned
"Now!" Kurama commanded.
Naruto furrowed his brows. "Kurama." He said as the darkness cleared and he saw a smirking nine tailed fox.
"That's it. You're not safe, you have to get back."
"Back?" Naruto asked before he saw a smiling face. "Sakura." He whispered.
"Naruto, you need to run. I can give you what little power I have left, it's not much but you will be able to run."
"So cold." Naruto mumbled.
Kurama nodded in agreement. "Open your eyes and run." Suddenly he snapped open his blue eyes with slitted pupils. He could hear the men off to the side making him look at them sitting by a fire, laughing a joking. "Go!" Kurama roared.
Naruto rolled onto his stomach causing pain to surge through his body making him gasp. He took a quick breath before crawling to the shadows. He propped himself against the tree breathing heavily, trying to control the pain as blackness invaded his vision. The pain and cold of the region was too much. Glancing at the men again the fire caught his eye and a memory flashed through his mind. He was sitting under the stars next to a warm fire with a pink haired woman laying her head sleepily in his lap with a soft smile.
"Go Naruto. There's not much power left." Kurama pushed as Naruto let his head fall back against the tree. "I've seen you fight through everything. Think of the vixen."
"Vixen?" He asked softly before he saw Sakura again, this time with a loving smile and arms wrapped around his neck. "Sakura-chan…" He breathed out.
"Yes. Think of her. You have to get back to her." The demon fox encouraged and felt Naruto fight back the pressure of passing out. "Move Naruto get to her."
Naruto gave a small smile as he pictured Sakura. Focusing on her he pushed from the tree and fought his way as far as he could, leaving his captors far behind. He needed to get back to Sakura but the pain was becoming unbearable, quickly.
"I can't go any more." He gasped as he stumbled trying to keep his feet moving.
"You have to. You're not safe yet. They are following you and they're going to catch you in no time if you stop." Kurama argued.
"It's too much." Naruto protested as he stumbled on. His blurry vision picked up on shadows and he could hear someone talking. "I can't…" He stopped. "Sorry Kurama… I'm sorry Sakura-chan…" He trailed off as he dropped to the ground.
"Naruto!" A female called. "Naruto. Open your eyes. Please, you don't have to be sorry for anything, just open your eyes." He felt a gentle hand cross his forehead pushing his blood soaked blond locks back. He force his eyes open, he knew that voice.
Above him was a teary eyed, smiling face that had gotten him through all the pain he had been feeling. "Sakura-chan?" He croaked.
"Yeah Naruto." She said as a tear fell from her eye.
"This isn't a dream is it?" She gave a laugh and shook her head. Slowly he pushed aside the pain as he reached up touching her cheek gently. "Don't cry." He said before his body forced a cough making immense pain blinded him as his body spasmed.
"Naruto." She said worried. She started to assess his injuries and started to heal. He looked up at her and tried to talk. She shook her head trying to push back her tears. "Don't talk. Save your strength."
"Rest easy. We'll get you home." He heard making him roll his head to see a tall man with pink hair that connected to his mustache. Naruto blinked before everything went black.
"How bad is he?" Kakashi asked as he moved closer with Pakun beside him.
"It's not good." Sakura said softly as she fought back her emotions. "His wounds are so massive…"
"Let me help. I'm not an expert like you but I can heal a bit." Kizashi said making Sakura look at her father, blinking away her tears.
Sakura gave a small smile and nodded. "Start healing the wounds to his head, I'll keep healing his chest." Kakashi sat watching Sakura and her father healed what they could.
"Sakura." Kakashi said seeing her sway a bit. "You're not healed completely. You're not even healed all the way, yourself, besides; you're not even supposed to be out of the hospital."
"I know." She said softly as she looked down at Naruto's face. She could not believe how much he had become a part of her. She really loved him. He would put his life on the line for her without a second thought and she wasn't about to back off cause she's not 100%.
"He must have a hard head." Sakura's father said. "There's no fractures, but it looks like he took quite a beating."
Sakura could not help but laugh as Kakashi smiled. "You have no idea, dad." Sakura smiled brightly before she scanned over the wounds again. "He'll be okay to move now. There's still a lot of damage, I'll keep an eye on him, but he's stable enough." Kakashi moved closer and between him and Kizashi they hoisted Naruto up and started back to the village.
After two days, Naruto was still unconscious. Sakura sat beside his hospital bed, healing him and her own injuries little by little. She was leaning back in the recliner chair watching over Naruto when she heard a knock on the door. She looked over and saw her parents. "Can we come in?" Her father asked.
"Yeah, sure." She said sitting up more in the chair.
"How is he?" He asked.
Sakura looked at Naruto. "He's doing better. Most of the injuries are healed. I was able to set and heal most of the fractures so we're just waiting."
"Waiting to see if there's any lasting damage." Kizashi smirked
Sakura laughed looking at her father. "I'm not entirely sure we would know the difference."
"I heard that." Naruto croaked making Sakura move to his side quickly. She held his hand as he opened his blue eyes.
"Oh yeah? And what are you going to do about it?" She teased.
"Not much a can do." He started to chuckle but it soon turned into a coughing fit. Sakura helped him turn to his side
"Naruto, you have to take it easy. I healed what I could but you're organs took hits that I can't heal all the way." She explained as he rolled back heavily. She moved a lock of blond hair from his damp forehead.
"Sorry Sakura-chan." He said softly as he caught his breath. She looked at him a little worried as he looked extremely pale and unenergetic, completely not Naruto.
"You don't have anything to be sorry for." She told him, trying to calm him in hopes that he would doze back off for some more much needed rest.
Naruto nodded as he gently touched the scratch on her cheek. "I should have been able to stop them from hurting you." They had both forgotten Sakura's parents standing at the foot of the bed watching, realizing, and seeing for the first time, what they had been blind to for so long. Their daughter was in love and the man they had always thought of as a demon loved her with all his heart. There was no way around it. They were madly in love.
Sakura's mother gave a smirk. "Well from what I hear, she wouldn't be standing there if it weren't for you." The two looked at the woman, finally realizing they were not alone in the room as she walked closer to the bed.
"Sakura told us everything, how you took the attack to protect her." Kizashi added as he moved to his wife's side.
"Naruto." Sakura gave his hand a slight squeeze seeing his confused face. "These are my parents. Mebuki and Kizashi."
"Wait till the guys hear I met someone famous." Kizashi laughed as the two women rolled their eyes.
"Sakura's told us a lot while she healed and before she demanded to go find you before she was even allowed out of the hospital." Mebuki gave a slight glare at her daughter.
"Sakura-chan…" Naruto said before he saw her give him a stern look.
"I had my doubts about you." Mebuki continued. "I never thought you would be more than a problem in the village, and I never trusted you could handle that demon. I still am not completely satisfied, but I know from what I've heard and what I've seen that you love my daughter very much." Naruto nodded quickly. "And I know she loves you."
"Mebuki and I have talked and we are willing to trust you a while longer to take care of our little girl. Not that our opinion matters much but we're here to support you both as long as you chose to be together."
"As long as you take care of her and don't go making me a grandmother, or else." She said making Naruto gulp and nod. He and Sakura only recently started exploring more intimate parts of their relationship even thought they had been dating for two years.
"Mom!" Sakura scolded angrily as Kizashi laughed.
"She just doesn't want to feel old yet." He chuckled until he received a hard elbow to his ribs. "Just make sure you don't keep anything else from us." Both teens nodded.
"Make sure you don't hurt my daughter, and keep control of that demon because if something happens, there's nowhere on earth you can hide from me. Got it?" Mebuki asked as Naruto seemed to squirm under her gaze before he grinned.
"You don't have to worry. I'd die for Sakura, and Kurama would too. He's pushed me close to it a few times to get back here cause he knew Sakura was hurt in the fight." Naruto explained. "Kurama's not going to do anything, I promise."
"Naruto?" Sakura asked confused. "What do you mean he pushed you close to get back to the village?"
"He just yelled and kept reminding me that I had to get to you." He shrugged. "He kept me focused on you so I could push off the pain and to keep moving."
Sakura frowned. "You almost died because of that." Naruto just gave her a soft smile as she rolled her eyes. "He's lucky I can't get to him or we would be having one hell of a talk."
"Sakura." Her mother scolded. "Language." The two adults glanced at each other before Mebuki moved closer to Naruto. "You get better so Sakura gets some sun light soon. Take care Naruto." She gave a small smile and rested a comforting hand on his shoulder. He looked confused before Kizashi held out his hand with a smile.
"We'll check in later. Feel better." Naruto shook his hand, still confused. "We'll leave you alone. Sakura make sure you get something to eat and you get plenty of rest." Sakura smiled and nodded as her parents left the young couple alone. Sakura looked down at him as he sat thoughtful.
"You okay?" She asked him and received a nod. "What are you thinking so hard on?" He looked at her as if trying to play it off. "Don't even try it, Naruto, I know you too well. What were you thinking about?"
Naruto paused a minute before he gave a sigh knowing he was not going to be able to talk around this one. "I was just thinking what it would be like to come home to my wife." He saw her look at him confused. "To have you meet me at the door to our house and heal my injuries from my mission. What would it be like to have you as my wife?" He shrugged, as he green eyes seemed to burrow into his blue ones.
"Sakura, I wouldn't have found my way home if it weren't for you." He said softly, looking away. "I've known you were the one since we were kids. I want to be able to call you my wife one day." Before he could say another word, she crushed her lips to his.
"Yes, Naruto." She said with a bright smile and tears in her eyes. He could only look at her shocked as a small smile grew on his face.
"You would really want to be my wife, Sakura-chan?" He asked surprised
Sakura rolled her eyes as she put her hands on her hips and looked at him. "Are you trying to get out of it?" He shook his head before she even finished her sentence. "Well then, why wouldn't I want to be married to you? I love you after all." She smiled making him grin.
"Where's my jacket?" He asked looking around as he tried to sit up in the bed only to be pushed back down by Sakura. "Can you get it for me?" Sakura rolled her eyes. Once again, they were having a moment and he had to go and be, well Naruto. She grabbed the jacket from the closet, gave it to him and watched as he dug through the pockets.
"Naruto what are you looking for?" She asked before he gave the brightest smiles that she thought she had ever seen him give as he held out his closed fist.
"Well, Sakura-chan…" He trailed off as his heart started to go faster, making the monitors he was hooked to beep louder. "If you are really sure about this, will you marry me?" He opened his hand to reveal a simple white gold ring with a small diamond set into it. "I had it specially made so you can wear it when you use your jutsus." Sakura started to cry as she leaned in and kissed him deeply.
"Naruto, I love you. Of course I'll marry you." Naruto chuckled and wiped the tears from her face before they kissed again and he slipped the ring on her hand. "When do you want to get married?"
"I think your mom would want us to wait another year." Naruto chuckled as Sakura giggled. "But that will make it so I can give you the wedding of your dreams."
"How about we wait a year so we can both have our dreams?" She suggested but was surprised when he gave her a tender smile and ran his hand over her cheek again.
"I already have my dream. I have my dream, my future, and my home right here." Sakura smiled at him as he gave a yawn. She ran her hand over his whisker marks and felt the stubble of his beard, just another sign they were growing up and not those twelve-year-old genin they were when they first started to get to know each other. "Get some rest. We can talk more and plan the wedding when you're completely healed. I'm not going anywhere."
"Good, I don't want to have to find my way home again." He mumbled as his eyes slid closed. Sakura couldn't help the smile plastered to her face as she pulled the chair closer and held his hand as she fell asleep leaning her head on the bed. He found his way home and was safe and sound now with her beside him.