"Is he goin to be alright?" Kushina asked worried as the nurse looked sadly at them.
"He's out of surgery, it took a while to fix him up but everything's sewed up and he's resting comfortably. He had a massive infection setting in, we were surprised to see it not progressed too far. We cleared out most of it but there is still some in the wound that he is receiving iv antibiotics for."
"So he'll be fine?" Minato asked as tears gathered in Sakura's eyes.
"We aren't sure when he'll wake up but yes, he should recover from this." The nurse said making Sakura begin to ball as she dropped to the ground. Minato knelt beside her to comfort her as Kushina got the last little details from the nurse and the others sat watching as Sakura went to the ground crying, making them all worried that something was wrong with Naruto. As the nurse walked away, Kushina knelt on the other side of Sakura making the others gather around as Sasuke knelt in front of Sakura.
"He's going to b alright." She told him. "They don't know when he's going to wake up but he's going to be alright." Sakura cried relieved that Naruto would live.
"Come on, le's go see him." Kushina whispered as she helped Sakura stand up. "Can you watch the children? I don't think it's time for them to go in there." She saw Sasuke nod as everyone stood watching as Kushina walked Sakura into the room Naruto was in.
"He must be in real bad shape." Ino said sadly as she walked over to stand next to Sasuke. The only children in the waiting room were Sakura and Naruto's, the others had been dropped off at family's so that the adults could sit and not worry about the children getting into things and worry about Naruto.
"Naruto's never had any problems healing. Whatever that sword did to him screwed with his chakra." Shikamaru thought aloud. "If he can't heal himself then he's as good as us, but to have it so no one can heal it…. It may be a death sentence."
"Shikamaru!" Temari scolded her husband. "This is Naruto we're talking about, he'll pull through anything."
"Yeah, but how can he work his way through this if he's never gone through it before?" Choji asked making all the women roll their eyes.
"He'll find a way." Hinata said softly. "He has to." She whispered making Kiba wrap his arm around her, knowing that she may not be in love with Naruto but Hinata was one to worry about those who were close to her.
"The brat's strong; he knows what's at stake if he doesn't." Tsunade said as she walked over to the large group. "I know the brat well enough to know he's not going to let his kids or his wife suffer any more than they already have."
"Granny!" they heard making them turn to see Azumi run at her with tears in her eyes. "Where's daddy?" she asked as the tears began to fall. Tsunade knelt in front of her with a soft smile.
"He's sleeping right now. He needs to get all the sleep he can to feel better."
"Can I see him?" Tsunade began whipping the tears from the little girl's cheeks before looking at the others. Minato started on his way down the hall to see if it was alright with Sakura before they said yes or no.
"We'll see, for now you just need to be patient."
"You need to be strong while we wait." Akemi told her with a soft smile.
"But I wanta see Daddy. I don't want him to die." Azumi said with fresh tears falling as Kaori knelt down.
"From what I hear you're just like your father." Azumi nodded. "What do you think he would be doing right now? You think you can be strong just like him for a little bit longer? Your mother is going to need that strength to get through this." He watched as she nodded as she whipped the tears away giving a very Naruto-like grin. "That's more like it."
"Azumi." Minato said making her look up at him as he walked over. "Sakura said Azumi can go in and a few friends at a time, the room is tiny so it can't ft everyone at once." Azumi walked over and grabbed Minato's hand as she waited to be taken to the room to see her father.
"Remember to be strong, like your father." Kaori told her as she gave a nod and a grin while the others figured out who would go to see Naruto when. After a couple minutes it was decided and the tiny group walked down the hall to the room. Minato opened the door letting Azumi walk in first. They all saw her stop in her tracks as she saw Naruto lying in the hospital bed with wires hooked to him, an IV in his arm and oxygen on his face. She took a deep breath repeating in her head that she needed to be strong like Naruto.
"It's alright, Azumi." Sakura smiled at her with puffy eyes from all the crying she had been doing. "Come here." The girl moved to her mother quickly giving her a tight hug before turning to look at Naruto as the others walked in slowly.
"How's he doing?" Asuma asked as he stood next to Sakura.
"He's stable, that's all the news we have for now." She told him as she watched Azumi stare at Naruto. "Go ahead, he can hear you. He knows you're here." Sakura whispered to Azumi making the girl nod before walking closer and reaching out slowly to grab his hand.
"He'll get through this, he always gets through everything." Tenten smiled at Sakura knowing how tough this must be. Sakura gave a small nod as the group slowly filed out to let the next one in. Minato and Kushina leaned against the window sill watching as the new people came in to see how their friend was doing.
"How are you holding up, Sakura?" Jiraiya asked as he stood next to her and the others spread around the bed.
"I'm alright. It's just tough waiting and not knowing what could happen. I've never had to do this before; he's always been the one waiting for me." Jiraiya nodded understanding as he remembered all the times he saw Naruto have to wait to see if Sakura would be alright. After a few minutes everyone but Naruto's parents, and Jiraiya left to let the last group in to see Naruto. Minato watched as Kakashi, Anko, Sasuke, Ino, Rin, Obito, Kaori, Akemi, and Tsunade walked in.
"Is he alright?" Akemi asked as she gave her daughter a tight hug.
"He's doing alright. He's stable for now, so all we can do is wait and see what goes on." She told her mother as everyone took a few minutes to listen and look at Naruto, hoping he would pull out of this sooner than later. After five minutes people from the last group began to leave as several decided to stay. Jiraiya, Kakashi, Sasuke, Kaori and Tsunade stood with Minato and Kushina talking low as they watched Azumi stare at her father with her big, glistening, bright green eyes."Azumi." Sakura said making her turn and walk to her mother.
"Is daddy, gonna be okay?"
"Yes, he'll be fine. He just needs a little sleep and then he can take you, your sisters and your brother out to the park again." Sakura gave a brave smile as tears gathered in her eyes and fell, only to be whipped away by Azumi.
"Don't cry mommy, daddy won't make us wait too long." She gave her mother a grin that she knew all too well making her smile and hug her daughter. "We have to wait for daddy to get better, just like he does when we get sick." She hopped off her mother's lap and went back to the side of the bed and tried to jump up only to need help. She smiled as Ino helped her onto the bed to sit next to Naruto and wait.
"You're just like your father." Sakura laughed softly as she watched Azumi lean closer to Naruto and give him a kiss on his cheek. The others watched with small smiles as Azumi tried to take care of her father.
"you're father gave her a talk before she came in here. We all see how much she takes after Naruto, and he told her that she needed to be strong like him." Akemi told her daughter with a smile when Azumi pushed hair out of Naruto's face.
"She's just like Naruto, strong and tough but tender and sweet when she needs to be." Ino smiled. This was the first time they had seen such tenderness from the girl who was always rough and stubborn. There were only a few times any of them had witnessed any kind of tenderness and they were amazed at how the tough little girl went from beating people up to treating her father like a sick child.
Naruto slowly opened his eyes to see nothing but darkness; his bright blue eyes searched the dark before resting on a little flame. As he walked closer he felt the gates that contained Kyuubi and saw the two bright red eyes of the giant fox look at him.
"It's about time you woke up kit."
"Kyuubi, what happened?"
"After getting hit with that damn sword it screwed with mine and your chakra. The vixen tried to fix you up but something was set in the wound and she couldn't heal it. It's like you're just like another regular human. There's nothing we can do but wait for the effects to wear off."
"Damn. I have to get back to Sakura and the kids."
"It's not worth trying."
"What do you mean?"
"I already tried to talk to the vixen but I can't take over. I doubt you can get through either." The two sat talking, trying to figure out what to do until they heard a tiny voice whisper in the darkness.
"Daddy, I'm gonna stay here until you get all better, just like you do when I don't feel good. Mommy and everyone fell asleep and are all worried about you. Feel better soon cause you gotta take us to the park like you promised."
"Azumi?" he whispered her name as it echoed around him.
"I love you daddy." Naruto gave a small smirk as he thought of Azumi trying to be like him. She had gotten sick once, so bad she had to be in bed for two weeks. Every day of those two weeks he would stay with her as long as he could telling her stories and holding her. He never liked when any of his children became sick, and tried his best to make them feel better.
"Sounds like she misses you." Kyuubi said. Naruto smirked as he watched the kyuubi lay his head down. Over the years of him finally being free to walk around, he had become more open and gentle, especially when it came to Naruto's family. They shared the same feelings and needs to keep them safe, as a fox's instincts direct them. Working together they made sure that little ever happened to make the family hurt.
"Yeah, she's being her tough, stubborn self that she gets from Sakura." Naruto grinned as he thought of Azumi and how she took after him in so many ways. "I never thought I would have Sakura. Never thought we would go any farther than friends because she loved Sasuke, but here I am married to her for seven years. We have a six year old little girl who is always tough and willing to help others and three year old twins. Saki is turning out to be exactly like Sakura and Satoru is exactly like me. And we still have Takara, I couldn't ask for a better life."
"You better start focusing on healing so you can stop worrying them. You know how the vixen is when you're hurt."
"Yeah, I know. But I have to let this one heal on its own."
"At least until the effects of that sword wear off. Once it's gone I can heal it." Naruto gave a nod and took a seat waiting for Kyuubi to say it was done. He sat with his eye closed meditating for what seemed like hours before he felt groggy making him open his eyes to see nothing, even the kyuubi was gone. Slowly he began to feel something move his hair from his forehead. Naruto closed his eyes again before slowly opening them as they became heavy. As his eyes opened slowly he found Azumi sitting next to him on the bed as she pushed his hair off his forehead.
"daddy!" she smiled brightly as he gave a small smile seconds before he saw Sakura on her feet leaning over the bed with a relieved smile on her tear stained face.
"Be quiet Azumi, you don't want to wake everyone." Sakura told their daughter who nodded with a smile that reached from ear to ear. "Naruto-kun…" she whispered as she placed her hand on the top of his head.
"Sakura-chan…. What happened?" he mumbled.
"You were hurt pretty bad, Tsunade had to do surgery and we didn't know when you would wake up. Are you feeling alright?" Sakura explained.
"As good as I can be with this wound on my side." He smirked as he blinked slowly. "Where are the other kids?"
"The others are with Kiba and Hinata, Sasuke and Ino would have taken them but they decided to stay here, and Azumi refused to go anywhere."
"Sasuke and Ino stayed?"
"So did Tsunade, Jiraiya, Kakashi, my parents and your parents. We had to move you to a bigger room because they all wanted to make sure you were alright. You really scared us, Naruto." She said as tears gathered in her eyes. Naruto gathered the little strength he had left and pulled his hand up to rest on her cheek as he spoke softly.
"I'm sorry I scared you Sakura-chan. I would never do anything like that on purpose."
"I know. I love you so much, I just don't know what I would have done if I lost you, Naruto-kun." She smiled as he gave her his famous grin.
"I love you too, you know I would never leave you or the kids, and I still have some annoying left to do." He gave little chucked from his raw throat. Sakura smiled and laughed softly as she smoothed his hair back and he put his arm back on the bed beside him.
"Go back to sleep for a while and we can talk more when you wake up."
"You two too." He smirked as Azumi nodded and cuddled up next to him and Sakura nodded and sat down as he fell asleep again, leaving her to drift off in the chair beside his bed.
A week later Sakura started helping to heal the wound that had been taking forever to heal. Finally the effects of the sword had worn off and they were able to get it to heal, allowing Naruto to get up and move around. Slowly h was able to move more and more and finally the wound was completely healed after a week and a half.
"You ready to go home?" Tsunade asked as she stood at the foot of the bed and watched Naruto nod and smile brightly as he stood up completely dressed and ready to go. "Alright, let me take one last look at it, and then you're in Sakura's hands." Naruto lifted his shirt to revile the scabbed over wound that still refused to heal all the way with healing jutsus. Tsunade watched as Naruto moved slowly trying not to move his side muscles any more than they needed to be moved, as they were still bruised deep within the tissue. "Alright. I'm leaving you in Sakura's care."
"Thanks granny." Naruto grinned as he grabbed his jacket and they walked out to see his parents, Sakura, her parents, and Jiraiya waiting for him. "Having a party for me?" he chuckled as he walked over to them.
"No we were going to have a party if you had to stay." Sakura smiled at him before as wrapped her arms around him.
"I'm leaving him to you, Sakura. Make sure he doesn't do anything that would cause more damage and that includes training, Naruto." She looked at him as he grinned.
"I've lived this long taking care of myself; I think I can handle this little thing." Tsunade and Sakura looked at him hard making him chuckle softly.
"Naruto, the only reason you survived so long was because of Kyuubi healed you." Sakura told him making him smirk.
"I did have some help from you too, Sakura-chan." he said making her give a small smile before she shook her head.
"Well let's get you home before the kids get home and try to tackle you." she smiled as he put his arm round her shoulders and she put hers around his waist and they walked out of the hospital while everyone stood watching.
"So he's been reckless like that for years?" Kaori asked. After being back for several years he had begun to fit things together about his daughter's life and the way Naruto was. He had heard small stories but no one really wanted to go in-depth on any of them.
"This was nothing. He's had much worse, and has done much worse." Jiraiya told him with a smirk. "Always trying to save everyone, even if it coasts him his life."
"I still think that's ridiculous." Kushina said softly.
"Yes, it is but he's always wanted to be acknowledged growing up and that led to pranks, and once he became a ninja…. Well it only led to him protecting everyone." Tsunade explained as the small group started walking down the streets of the village.
Sakura and Naruto walked into their house where he would be able to sit and relax for only a few minutes before their children ran at him and bothered him until they collapsed. Sakura smiled as Naruto sat heavily in a chair as she went to make some food for him, when suddenly they heard screaming and cheering only seconds before the door flew open and four children ran into the house and jumped on Naruto. He smiled and chuckled as they all grabbed a hold of him and held him tight trying to all talk at once. Sakura smiled and glanced at the door to see her in laws walk up with small smiles.
"They just couldn't wait to see him. You should have seen Minato trying t stop Azumi as long as he did." Kushina smiled and watched Naruto try to calm the four children as they began fighting over who would talk first.
"Alright one at a time." Naruto chuckled as he tried to cover the two youngest mouths. "Alright now, Takara. You're first." Sakura smiled as she went back to making food for Naruto as Kushina and Minato walked farther into the house.
"They've been talking like that since they heard he was coming home." Kushina told Sakura. "Need any help?"
"No, just making something for him to eat." Sakura smiled. "They keep you up at night too?" she asked and watched Kushina nod slowly as the three looked at the children still talking with Naruto.
"Here, I'll take this to him. You make something for yourself to eat." Kushina told her as she took the plate with a sandwich from her and started towards Naruto. Sakura smiled as she shook her head and started looking through the cabinets to find something to eat.
"you want anything to eat?" she asked her father in law and watched as he looked at her shaking his head before looking back at the laughing children sitting all around Naruto as Kushina talked to them. "You okay?" she asked as she watched Minato watching as if in a day dream with a slight smile on his face.
"yeah, I'm fine." he told her glancing at her with the same bright blue eyes Naruto had making her shake her head and put a hand on her hip as she looked at him harder.
"You know you can't lie to me. I know the second you do lie, so tell me the truth." She watched as he looked at her a moment before signing with a small smile. "You're worried about not getting them in time and having the deal taken away." She said low as she walked closer to him making him look at her surprised.
"How do you do that?" he asked with a smile as Sakura smirked.
"You forget I'm married to one of the best. He hides everything that worries or hurts him, after all these years I think I would know how to read you. Besides, your eyes gave you away, they're the same as Naruto's" she laughed softly as she turned back to trying t find food. "So tell me, why is the great fourth Hokage worried?"
"You really are one to watch out for." He chuckled as he stood leaning against the counter to talk to her. "There are too many out there that we're supposed to catch and we are down to our last year to get them all."
"Don't worry so much. You've been with us for three years and you still doubt Naruto and the others." Sakura smiled as she looked at him with a soft smile. "We will all do what we have to, to get them taken care of so you can all stay. The kids love you all and we all missed you. Naruto took it hard enough when Jiraiya was killed, I don't want to see him go through Jiraiya dying knowing that we had the chance to keep him here. And you and Kushina, he finally was able to talk and get to know you. I'm not going to let him lose you two after all the years of trying to find any information on you."
"You really are stubborn." He smirked making Naruto laugh as he walked over to them.
"You don't know the half of it." He laughed as he put his plate on the counter.
"Like you're one to talk." She smiled at him and saw him winced slightly. "Let me see." She told him as Minato watched his son obey and lift his shirt to show the scabbed wound that began to bleed slightly. "I told you to take it easy."
"Yeah yeah." Naruto winced as she laid her hand on the wound softly as he hand was surrounded by a soft blue color as she eased the pain and healed what she could again.
Naruto stood with the large group of friends as they sat in the backyard of Naruto's house in the Namikaze compound. They talked low as they waited for Tsunade to show up so that they could start talking about planning to end the war. Naruto sat in a bench seat with Sakura leaning against him all talking and laughing about when they were younger, when they heard a knock that echoed through the house and out the open back door making Sakura get up to open the front door.
"So you're plans are what exactly?" Tsunade asked as she walked into the backyard to see everyone waiting.
"We are going to go after them." Ino smirked as Tsunade looked at the others as they all sat back quietly.
"Who is included in this?"
"All of us."
"No." Sakura said making everyone look at her as she sat up next to Naruto. "We talked about this Ino. This is hard enough without dragging everyone into this and tearing apart even more families apart."
"So it's still okay for your family to be the only one torn apart?" Ino shot back making everyone look between the two knowing how stubborn they could be when they set their minds. "Why do you refuse our help? We all want t help to keep everyone here and if that means we all go into war, then so be it."
"Ino, I told you why we won't let anyone else go. We are the most qualified and able to take care of the enemy. You all still don't know a thing about most of the enemies. I've seen and gone through more than you can imagine and I refuse to have to see friends die in front of me again because they tried to help." Sakura told Ino making everyone confused before Naruto set his drink down and stood up next to Sakura.
"Why don't you go inside and see how the kids are doing?" he suggested and watched her turn and walk into the house, not being the only to see the tears welling up in her eyes.
"She has too good of a memory." Tsunade said low as Naruto nodded and sat down while Tsunade took a seat next to him. "She never got passed it?"
"No, and I don't think she will. She has been dealing with that for years and this…. This could be a replay of back then I it all turns bad in the middle of the fight."
"What happened? Why is she upset? What did I say?" Ino asked concerned never seeing her best friend like that before. "Is she alright? Should I go talk to her?"
"Relax Ino, you didn't' know what happened. She'll be fine, she just can't stand seeing her friends being hurt, and even the thought bothers her." Naruto explained. "Years ago when Sakura and I were traveling and doing those insane missions, we had friends from all over the world. One day we were with a group in grass country and we were attacked again by a group of scavengers. Our friends said they would help and stood ready to fight, but when the fighting started the scavengers took down almost everyone. Sakura and I were able to make our way through most of the army and went up against their leader. We were able to kill the leader and take out a few more soldiers before the rest took off, but it was too late for almost all of our friends. Sakura tried to heal them and pushed herself well beyond her chakra but she couldn't save one of them."
"She never said anything." Ino said sadly as she shied away while the others looked at Naruto who looked at the ground for a moment before he smirked.
"We've both tried to put everything that we've seen and been through behind us. We never want to relive those days but, you telling her to let you fight beside her… Ino, you have a way of bringing those memories back to her."
"I never knew. If I had known…"
"You would have tiptoed around her. She knew you well enough and knew she couldn't tell anyone what she saw."
"What about you? Why didn't you say anything?" Temari asked him making him look at her blank for a minute before he smirked and shook his head.
"I told you, neither one of us want to remember what we've seen and been through."
"Well it's out now, so why don't you tell us everything. Make us understand what you and Sakura have been hiding from everyone." Temari asked and looked around finding most of the people interested, waiting for Naruto to oblige. As Naruto opened his mouth he heard the children laughing and giggling as they ran out.
"Tochan!" Takara called as she ran out and stopped in front of him. "Kachan said that you need to go inside." She looked at Naruto and turned her head inquisitively. "She looked really sad." Naruto furled his brow slightly before he set his drink down and stood up.
"Stay out here with your brother and sisters." He told her as he walked into the house while the children started keeping the other adults entertained. He walked in to find Sakura in the living room. "Sakura-Chan?" he asked as he walked closer to her as she looked up at him with tears running down her cheeks.
"Naruto-kun…" she trailed off as they wrapped their arms around each other. Naruto held her tight as she cried on his shoulder. "I can't… I just can't go through it again. Naruto-kun, please…"
"Shh. It's alright nothing's going to happen to them. We're older now and are more able to take care of them." He told her as she pulled away and he began drying her tears. "Why don't you go back out side? The kids are bound to be getting into something by now." He chuckled as she laughed softly working to put the images behind the mental wall. She nodded and started out to the back yard as she finished drying her tears. Naruto sighed, he knew that it was hard on Sakura, especially being the only one who could have saved the people, he didn't know how to help her get passed it but knew she was going to have to sooner or later or they wouldn't be able to finish this war. He took a deep breath before he turned and walked out to see everyone talking and playing with the children.
"Alright you four, go back inside and play so we can talk." Kushina told the four children before Takara grabbed her younger siblings and drug them into the house to play a game. "So what are you planning?" she asked Naruto as the children disappeared through the doorway and he took his seat back next to Sakura.
"We need to get moving if we're going to end this and be able to keep you guys here. From the report I've seen they've spread out again. I think it would best if we made teams and went to each one individually. It might take a bit longer but if we have the teams made up we can make quick work and move on to the next one."
"I don't think I've ever heard you sound so smart, Naruto." Ino teased making everyone laugh. "So you think we should make several teams and go to each one together?"
"I think it would be best to make three or four man groups. Head out in one large group but spread out as you get closer so you can get more information and we can attack from all sides." Sakura offered.
"Alright, you two being your smart selves, who goes with who and who stays. We can't have everyone go." Temari asked as Naruto looked around for a moment before Tsunade spoke up.
"It will obviously be the ones that were given this chance and we will place others as they fit." She stood looking at everyone. "I'm sure you know what teams you will need to pull this off so you can figure that out and I will fill in the gaps." The original death ninja nodded as they looked around and Minato started splitting them up.
"Kaori, you'll go with Kushina and I, Rin and Obito, then Jiraiya, and Asuma." Minato told them as they all nodded and turned to look at Tsunade as she thought who would be best with whom.
"Kakashi, you're with Rin and Obito, Neji you will go with Jiraiya and Asuma, and I want to add another group. Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and Itachi. That makes a total of four groups to gather information and attack on all angles." Everyone nodded as they accepted who would go and who would stay.
"You can deal with telling the kids this time." Naruto chuckled as Tsunade smirked and shook her head. "What? We go away and have to deal with the screaming and yelling at us for having to go…. It's your turn."
"Fine, I'll do it this once. It's not like it can be that bd."
"Wait till Azumi hears." Naruto smirked as he took another sip of his drink.
"Satoru is just as bad now. Between the two, I don't know who's worse." Sakura said softly as she leaned comfortably against Naruto.
"Well who ever tells them, you should do it soon that way they have time to calm down." Jiraiya chuckled as Naruto and Sakura looked at Tsunade who rolled her eyes and nodded.
"Kids?" Sakura called towards the house to see all four children run out to her moments later. "Granny wants to tell you something." They all looked at Tsunade waiting for her to talk.
"You know how there's the bad people out there trying to hurt everyone?" Azumi and Takara nodded as Satoru and Saki climbed into their parent's laps. "Well we have to make one last trip to make sure they don't hurt anyone else." Azumi looked at her parents before she glanced at Tsunade as everyone sat waiting to see what happened.
"so you have to leave again?" she asked and watched Naruto and Sakura nod before the twins looked up at them upset and Azumi started to get the look in her eye that both her parents knew well. "But… but….no!" she screamed and pounded her foot.
"Daddy, no go!" Satoru yelled. "Mommy stay?" he asked Sakura who looked at him sadly and shook her head. "No! No go!" he screamed as he sat in Naruto's lap. Saki started tearing up while Takara looked at her parents and then to Tsunade before she looked down at the ground. The others watched as Satoru began squirming in Naruto's arms still screaming while Azumi continued her temper tantrum and Saki cried.
"I told you." Naruto said as he handed the screaming boy to Tsunade. "This is nothing." He smirked as Azumi started screaming louder. With the boy in Tsunade's lap Naruto reached out to grab Azumi as she continued to scream and throw her fit.
"NO! You can't go again! It's not fair! You have to stay! You said you wouldn't have to go again!" she screamed as tears ran down her cheeks. She looked at Tsunade and screamed at the top of her lungs. "I hate you!"
"Azumi Uzumaki!" Sakura scolded bust was stopped when Saki started to cry louder. "It's alright Saki."
"I'll take care of that one." Naruto sighed as he followed Azumi into the house and into her room where she slammed the door. "Azumi." He said softly as he opened the door to see her lying on her bed crying.
"Why do you always have to leave?" she cried as he sat down on the edge of the bed and leaned over her.
"Because we have to keep everyone safe. We told you before that we would come back no matter what, and every time we've kept that promise. We hate leaving you and your brother and sisters. We can't wait for the day when we can stay here and just be with all four of you."
"I know daddy, I just…. It's not fair. You always go and then we stay here and then when you come back you and mommy are hurt…. Can't you stay with us, just this once." She asked as he leaned over and dried her tears.
"If there was a way, your mommy and I would jump at it. We love you so much, and would give anything for all of this to be over. We want to make sure you're all safe and can grow up happy. The only way we can do that is to get rid of these guys who are threatening to hurt you."
"Why can't we go too? I can fight too. Mommy and you taught me." She said with a sad smile.
"I know, and you're great at it, but not this time. Mommy and I would be so worried that you would get hurt that we wouldn't be able to focus on the fighting. You think you can practice while we're gone and then you can show me how good you are when I get back." She smiled up at him as she nodded.
"Okay. Can me and Takara learn together?"
"Sure. Now come on, you should say you're sorry to Granny. You know it's not her fault that she has to send us out. She really hates having to make us leave you guys here." The girl looked away sadly. "Come on." He smiled as he stood up and had her walk out in front of him.
"Better Azumi?" asked Tenten who watched the girl nod and start to walk away when she heard her father.
"Azumi, don't you have something to say to Granny?" the girl looked at him as he leaned against the back doorway. She looked at him then walked over and looked at the ground as she spoke softly.
"I'm sorry Granny." She said as Tsunade smiled. Naruto smirked as he took the boy from her and she pulled Azumi into a hug. "I know you don't want mommy and daddy to leave either." She said as everyone watched amazed to hear the girl apologize.
"Is she really your kid?" Kiba laughed making Naruto chuckle and glance at Azumi as she giggled in Tsunade's arms.
"I'm pretty sure she's his." Sakura laughed and glanced at Naruto who was holding Satoru in one arm while he held a plate of finger food in the other hand so the boy could eat. "Who else would she take after?"
"Who knows, sometimes she can act like Sas-gay." Naruto laughed. "I think you're a bad influence on her." Naruto grinned brightly at Sasuke who rolled his eyes.
"She definitely takes after you, dobe." Sasuke said as he looked over to see the girl pull from Tsunade and run over to try to start a game with Takara.