After three months of back to back infiltrating missions Naruto and Sakura knew the elders were trying to punish them for not following orders. Tsunade had no control after the elders began finding jobs for everyone else leaving the two as the only ones available. Naruto and Sakura sighed as they stopped back at the apartment for a few minutes before they had to go meet with Tsunade.
"Want to grab something to eat before we have to restock and head out again?" Sakura asked as she went to the frig to look at what food they had that wasn't bad. Naruto sighed as he looked over her shoulder and found that everything they had had gone bad.
"Let's just stop somewhere on the way." Sakura shut the frig door and took a deep breath.
"Naruto I don't know how much more we can take of this. We barely sleep when we're back here let along trying to keep watch and use our chakra. You slept I think twice in the past three months, and I'm not much better."
"I know, but there's not much we can do. Unless we want to tell the elders and deal with the new problems."
"At the moment I think that is our best option. At least they can't use us living together and not being married as an excuse."
"We'll we have to meet with Granny in a bit anyway and they're always there now, we can tell them today. It might give Granny a reason to not send us somewhere right away."
"Think we'll be able to handle everything that comes after this?"
"I think we'll be fine, but remember you're going to be pulled into my world after this gets out"
"Alright. Let's go do this now." She smiled before she ran into the bedroom and came out with a little black box. Naruto grinned as he watched her take the little ring and put it on her finger with a bright smile. "I'm ready now." Naruto kissed her before they grabbed hands and left towards the Hokage tower not even stopping to eat.
"Come in!" they heard from behind the door. They slowly opened it and walked in to find Tsunade looking unhappy from behind her desk and the elders off to the side. She looked at them strangely as they walked in with bright smiles. "You two back already?"
"Yup. There was nothing, absolutely no rumors or anything." Naruto reported.
"Then what are you so cheerful for?"
"Naruto and I are going to get married." Sakura said with a huge smile and held her hand out to show her the ring. Tsunade smiled up at them, she had guessed this would come up but knew she needed to play their game.
"That's wonderful. The little brat's growing up." She smirked and gave them a wink. "When do you plan on having the wedding?"
"We haven't really discussed it but we figured we would have it soon. Probably in the next six months." Sakura told her knowing Tsunade was going to try to get them off or small missions at least until after the wedding.
"Then I'll give you off until after the wedding. Go relax and have fun planning."
"You cannot do that!" one elder yelled as Naruto and Sakura turned to leave.
"You have no right to do that. They are the best Ninja in the village and the most able. We need them out infiltration and gathering information with the threat of Madara and the others."
"Too late. Besides they have been working nonstop for the past three months without complaints. You keep pushing them and they won't be able do their job properly let alone continue without complaints." She gave a nod to dismiss Naruto and Sakura and to signal them that she would take care of the elders. Once outside the office Sakura and Naruto hugged tight happy that they were finally able to have off and not be bothered by the elders and their made up missions.
"Now we have to go tell the others." Sakura smiled brightly.
"That won't be too bad, Ino already knows we are together and I'm sure everyone else knows but is keeping quiet."
"For some reason I couldn't care less. I feel so great that we have off and we can't be bothered by the elders until at least until after we get married." Naruto smiled as they continued out of the Hokage tower holding hands all the way to where they would find several of their friends.
"Hey, how long you back for this time?" Ino asked as she watched them walk up to her and the others.
"We'll be here for a while unless Granny really needs us."
"She in a good mood today?"
"Actually she is. But I really wouldn't go see her for a little while; she's fighting back against the elders."
"What?" the small group yelled at the same time.
"She's got her hands full for now."
"Why would she do that? It's only going to make things worse for everyone."Ino told her, shocked.
"We gave her the reason." Sakura smiled and held out her hand to show Ino. Everyone looked at the two in shock as Sakura showed everyone the ring and Naruto stood behind her grinning and rubbing his head.
"Are you serious?" Ino said and hugged Sakura. "I can't believe it, when did this come up?" she asked as they pulled back.
"Well it was a while ago but we wanted to wait to say anything until we had everything with the elders fixed. But we figured it would give Shishyou something to use against them." Sakura smiled as the others were speechless.
"At least you don't have to go out right away."
"Yeah, she is arguing about that now." Sakura smiled.
"We should start shopping." Ino smiled making Sakura excited as Tenten joined in agreeing to help and Hinata agreed reluctantly. It was the first time in her life that she began having thoughts about how to get Sakura and Naruto to split and for him to go out with her.
"I'll meet you at home." Sakura told Naruto with a bright smile "I won't use all our money." She laughed making Naruto grumble about her leaving only a few dollars left.
"That's one way to get out of missions." Kiba chuckled.
"We're trying to get the Elders off our backs, at least for a bit and maybe this will throw them off of everyone and go back to their job."
"Well I hope you guys know what you're doing." Neji said. "How have the missions been?"
"they don't let us do anything but the little ones." Choji told him as he shoved more chips in his mouth. "They want us all to stay close to the village."
"Do they have information that hasn't been passed on to us?" Neji asked
"Not as far as I know. Although they have been coming up with some information somewhere about rumors and sightings. That's why Sakura and I have been going constantly." Naruto said making everyone wonder. "They have something going. They want their way and they're trying to find away to get it."
"That what do we do? With you and Sakura-chan out of the picture they'll be sending us. Even the power of youth cannot stand up to what you two do." Lee said sadly.
"Let me see if I can talk to Granny. We have to keep us between them and you guys."
"With what they want, they'll be sending us to our deaths."Shino added. They all watched Naruto think before he bit his thumb and summoned a small green toad.
"Ah. Naruto my boy." The toad said with a smile before it slowly slipped away. "You look like you could use a rest."
"Yeah, it's been a little too busy for rest recently. You think you could sneak up and talk to granny without anyone knowing?" Naruto asked and waited while the toad thought.
"I believe I know a way. What's going on here?"
"It's a really long story; I'll have to tell you another time. I need you to get Granny to meet me at Myobokuzan. Take her to your hut and I'll meet you guys there."
"Sure kid. Don't use too much energy; you look like you could pass out now."
"You really think I would let that happen?" he chuckled as the toad shook his head and disappeared. "Alright, you guys want to come?" Shikamaru shrugged, Kiba agreed while the others declined. "Meet me at my place in ten minutes." He called as he turned and started for the shops in the village. Ten minutes later Naruto was walking up to his place with Sakura and Ino following behind him.
"You're taking all of us to the toads?" Ino asked as she saw how many people Naruto was going to have to transport. She watched him nod as he took a medium scroll from his back and unrolled it in front of them. It was unlike anything they had ever seen before, the writing and symbols were completely different that what they should be. "Naruto, this scroll is wrong. It looks like someone was just drawing on it." Naruto smirked at her as Sakura pulled her forward and Naruto slammed his palm onto the center of the scroll. Suddenly the light dimed before it lightened showing grasslands, waterfalls, rivers and nothing but quietness.
"Still think it was wrong?" Sakura smiled as she let go of Ino. "Naruto is a master of scrolls and seals. He made this scroll a while ago just for him, no one else can use it." She looked and saw Naruto breathing slightly irregular and now with the lack of sleep and the amount of chakra they had been using recently this trip took a toll on him.
"Naruto!" they heard from ahead. Everyone looked to see Tsunade standing by a small hut waiting for them to walk over to her. "Very cleaver, brat."
"Yeah, well needed to have somewhere to talk without getting the elders involved."
"Are they planning for us not being available?" Sakura asked the fifth Hokage.
"They are still arguing with me but it seems they are planning just in case they can't win. It doesn't look good for the others."
"That's what we thought." Shikamaru interjected. "With these two out of the picture they are going to need someone to continue their missions."
"They don't care if you're trained for it or not."
"Is there any way to get you back in control before they send us to our deaths?" Ino asked.
"Only if they win. The only way for that to happen is for Naruto and me to give in." Tsunade told the young woman. "I sure as hell am not going to give in to a bunch of old farts."
"You can say that again." Naruto grinned.
"I'm trying to sort through what they are making up and what is really going on. As soon as I do that I can start pushing for specific people. Right now I have the ANBU working on the missions they wanted to give to you two. As soon as your back I can work on getting the others involved."
"Then bring us back now."
"I can't remember I gave you off and if I go back on it…."
"Then don't." Sakura smiled. "You just said after, so if we do it sooner we all only have to wait a month and we can start." Everyone looked at her and Naruto. Naruto shrugged and grinned.
"It'll give those bastards more to piss and moan about." He chuckled making the corners of Tsunade's mouth twitch.
"Two weeks should be long enough to get things together. Just a little one at least for now." Sakura added. "Then send us out and we can start pulling some heat off of you and the others."
"But in the mean time we are still stuck." Kiba said.
"What if you two taught us how to do the missions?" Ino suggested.
"And how would they do that? They aren't supposed to be doing any of that for a while." Shikamaru countered.
"Sakura and I can go on a vacation for a little while and just meet the team you send a mile from the main gate… we can take them through the mission and show them what to do and when."
"Or we can make it easier. If we can't do the missions and even if we do that, they will start putting them on some of the missions that we have problems with." Sakura told him.
"That's another thing to consider. With you two unable to complete these missions, sooner or later they're going to catch wind of the other ones I send you two on." Tsunade warned them making the two look at each other thinking of what they could do to save their friends from being sent after Madara and the others.
"What if we plan earlier, can you pull us back to duty sooner?" Sakura asked her old teacher. "It might look suspicious but it would work."
"How soon are you talking?"
"A couple days?" Tsunade looked between the two young ninja knowing they were pushing everything so close only to save their friends from being put into harm's way. She saw the determination in their eyes and knew she had to go along with it; there would be no changing their minds.
"The soonest I could pull you back without major questions is two weeks. I should be able to stall them from sending any one out till you two get back, but you know they'll be putting more pressure on you than before." Naruto and Sakura gave a nod knowing full well what they were getting themselves into.
"You are only going to be put somewhere to be killed. We can handle the missions, just teach us what we need to know and do and we'll be okay until you get back to duty." Ino told them.
"Ino, there are some things that we can't teach you to do. We are the only ones who can survive on the high risk missions." Sakura told her.
"These two are better than even my very best ANBU. They are sent on things that Jiraiya and I probably couldn't have done. You need to understand they aren't just doing this because they don't think any of you can learn, but they know what it entails and to be honest I don't know how they survive some of the wounds they come back with."
"But I've never seen you two come back with anything but exhaustion." Ino said as Shikamaru and Kiba looked at the two who smirked.
"That's why we're the only two that can survive these missions." Sakura said. "We have a little extra help when we get hurt bad." She smirked and glanced at Naruto who rolled his eyes.
"He thinks he's all high and mighty as it is; don't boost his ego any more than it already is." Naruto said as he looked away to the waterfall that was close by and two large toads sitting by it talking. "Yo!" he called over causing them to jump before they realized it was Naruto.
"Naruto!" the red one called as they both hopped over to him.
"How's it going Gamakichi?
"Did you bring me snack?"
"No, Gamatatsu, I'll have to bring you some later." Naruto smirked while the others stared. They had seen him summon toads before but the interaction was still strange to watch.
You look like you could use a dip." Gamakichi said watching as Naruto gave a small nod. "Want us to take them home?" Naruto turned and looked at the others as Tsunade was still talking with Ino.
"They're gonna take you guys back, we'll see you there in a little bit." Sakura told the others as the two toads came closer, Sakura walked over to Naruto and the two toads disappeared with a small pop taking the others with them. "Figured you would need someone to make sure you don't stay here." She smiled and followed him over to a little pond. He took the scrolls he carried on his back off, slipped out of his jacket, shirt, pants and shoes and jumped in. Sakura smiled as she watching him relax in the pond for a moment before opening his now toad like eyes.
"So what are we going to do when we get back?" he asked as he came to the side, resting on the bank, looking up at her as she sat down.
"I don't know. We only really have one option." She said as they sat knowing what they had to do.
It had been two weeks since Naruto and Sakura had gotten married. They only had Tsunade, Shizune and Kakashi present, wanting only the smallest one to be able to go back to work. It was their first day back and they were sitting in the Hokage office being interrogated by the elders.
"Why did it only take a few days to be married and why the rush to get back to work?"
"We feel that we are needed to be able to gather enough information and help our village. We were given till after our wedding and we wanted to get back to work as soon after as we could." Sakura told them making them look between them.
"Why would you marry the demon?" asked one before Sakura or Tsunade could open their mouths to protest Naruto was on his feet.
"We are back to work waiting to be sent out on yet another wild goose chase you people make up. You have no right interrogating us like we are criminals. You have no right having any control here at all; you are to be advisors not the actual Hokage, that position is filled. I suggest you leave the real Hokage do her own job and you but out and back off to your actual position." The elders looked at him not knowing what to say. One opened their mouth and took a deep breath before stepping forward.
"You have no right speaking to us that way boy. You are the one going against all of the rules and you would be punished if it were our job, we are only overseeing the Hokage to make sure she does not favor some."
"So your job is to make everyone miserable, put specific people into harm's way for no reason and to ruin lives? It's a shame you can't have the control you desire. You can try to send me off and hope I don't come back but in the end, I'll always come back, if only to piss you off." He narrowed his eyes while Sakura and Tsunade exchanged looks, they knew he was enjoying this, he was actually making them speechless and they were afraid.
"I believe you are dismissed for the day." Tsunade said to the elders who could only nod slowly and walk from the room quietly. Once out of the room Naruto sat down in a seat with a bright grin.
"That should help for a little while anyway."
"You'll be lucky if they don't come back with vengeance on you." Naruto grinned and rubbed the back of his head while Sakura smiled. "Alright, I want you to go to the grass and see what you can come up with. From what my ANBU have gathered it seems the Akatsuki member, Zetzu is hiding there and there are death ninja looking for him. Be careful, we don't need you dying after such a great speech." Tsunade gave a small smirk as Naruto and Sakura left the office to gather what they needed.
A year had passed since Naruto first started to fight back against the elders, he had gained several powerful allies and made a few bad enemies but he was still fighting on, even after they found out Sakura was pregnant. Tsunade had put Naruto on small missions, postponing the dangerous ones until after the baby was born, while Sakura was taken off of duty all together. Naruto was walking through the main gates when he saw Sakura walking up to him.
"I knew you were almost here and thought you might want someone to walk with." She smiled as she rubbed her swollen belly. Naruto smirked and wrapped his arm around her shoulders and they started walking through the village. They still received whispers and remarks about the two but they ignored every last one knowing the truth behind their relationship.
"How was Lee's wedding?" he asked remembering that it was two days ago. Nearly all of their friends had found someone and were now married. Only Ino, Shino, Kiba and Hinata were left. Hinata had taken it bad enough when she heard they were to get married, she was jealous that Sakura could have Naruto and she couldn't but it only steamed to depression when she found out they were going to have a baby together.
"It was nice. Lee and Guy were crazy like always but it was nice and relaxing for a change."
"Hey it's always nice and relaxing for you. You get the easy job." He chuckled. Sakura lightly pushed him with a smile, it was a little humor to top the fact that they couldn't go out together anymore on missions and the fact that Naruto was working and she was told to stay home.
"Yeah right." They laughed as they reached the office door and knocked. Naruto walked in leaving Sakura to wait just outside the door.
"Everything went fine, no problems at all."
"Good. I don't have anything else at the moment, so go enjoy your time off while you still can." Tsunade smiled as Naruto smirked. The baby was due any day and Naruto had finally gotten the elders to back off and let Tsunade do her job. It was time to relax a bit before things became hectic.
"Yeah, yeah. Any problems from the elders?" he grinned as she shook her head. "See ya granny." He laughed as he left to rejoin Sakura. "Wanta head home and get something to eat?" He had learned over the past nine months that pregnant women can't survive on ramen, let alone Sakura who was sick any time she was around it for the first five months.
"Sure. Then we can go over to visit Anko. Kakashi-sensei's out for a couple days, Sakumo is getting so big. You have to see him, he's adorable." Sakura smiled thinking of their teacher's six month old son. The two walked back to their apartment talking about what Naruto had missed in the three days he was gone and everything that is going to happen in the future. Sakura was due any moment and it was starting to wear on her, she had next to no energy, she wasn't able to do much anywhere and her chakra levels were at an all time low. Naruto cooked a little meal for the two of them while Sakura sat and relaxed. After they ate Sakura said she was going to lay down for a bit and they would visit Anko another time. Naruto sat watching TV while Sakura slept with her head on his lap. After a few hours Naruto's head fell back and he dozed off.
"Naruto!" he heard a harsh whisper and someone shaking him. He opened his eyes and saw it was Sakura. "Naruto, it's time to go." She said with a small smile making him jump up and grab his jacket not knowing what to do before scooping her into his arms and taking off to the hospital where Tsunade was called.
"It sounds like it's gonna be a brat like its father, waking me up at all hours of the night." Tsunade said as she walked into the room. It didn't take long for the time for pushing to come along. After an hour a tiny scream filled the air. Tsunade handed the baby to a nurse to clean while she finished with Sakura. Once everything was done she walked back over with the little bundle in her arms. "Looks like you have a daughter." She smiled as she handed the baby to Naruto.
"Lady Hokage." They heard from the door and saw another nurse peeking her head in. "there is a very large crowed here wanting to know how things are going."
"Don't tell them anything. Let them wait it out." She smiled as she glanced at Naruto as he bent down to let Sakura see the little baby with cotton candy pink hair and bright green eyes. "You better have everything ready to tell them before they trample over you to see for themselves."
"Yeah, but I think they can wait a little while longer." Naruto grinned.
"That's awfully mean Naruto." Sakura said but slowly broke out in a smile. "It's going to kill Ino." Tsunade and the others left the room and snuck the other way down the hall to avoid being interrogated for answers.
"What do you want to name her?"
"I think she looks like an Azumi." Sakura smiled and gently touched her new daughter's cheek. "We're going to have to send word to Takara. She's been dying to know." Naruto smirked, although they weren't Takara's parents anymore, they were still as close as a family. She always called the unborn baby her new brother or sister and wanted to know everything about it.
"We'll plan a trip when Azumi's a little older and we'll go visit." He said as Sakura took the baby and held her close. There was a slight knock on the door before a nurse peaked her head in.
"There's a woman here who is demanding to come-" the nurse was cut off as the woman pushed her out of the way and walked in.
"I am her mother, you have no right to stop-"
"You gave up the right to be her mother when you kicked her out of the house two years ago." Naruto said as she stood up blocking the older woman from seeing Sakura or the whimpering baby.
"You took my daughter from me. You have no place to open your mouth-"
"I have every right. I took her in, loved her, married her and at this moment I have every damn right in the world as the father of her daughter." He said as his temper began to rage. The woman looked stunned and tried to see beyond him but could not see around him until Sakura called his name.
"Naruto, this isn't the time or place for a fight. We can fight and argue when I'm able to, for now let her see her granddaughter." She looked at her mother as her temper was obvious in her eyes as the door to the room flew open and Tsunade walked in fully intent on dragging the woman out.
"No. I will only let this happen because she is your granddaughter and I am too tired to fight and argue. You may see her but you are to stop treating Naruto like some demon when he is a human being. Like it or not he is your son-in-law and the father to your granddaughter. Do you agree?" The woman looked at her daughter for a moment not expecting her to say anything before giving a small nod. Naruto stepped out of the way and glanced at Tsunade who moved farther inside incase anything started.
"She is precious." Akemi said looking down at the now sleeping baby girl. "What did you name her?"
"Azumi." Naruto said from behind her.
"Azumi Uzumaki." Sakura smiled as she looked back down at the baby. Naruto walked up beside the older woman and smiled down at the little girl and glanced at Sakura who smiled up at him.
"would you like to hold her for a bit?" he asked softly making Akemi look at him shocked that he would let her touch his daughter after everything that was said and done. "I still don't like how you've treated Sakura-chan and how you act, but you are her grandmother and I don't want her growing up not knowing any of her grandparents." Sakura lifter the baby up slightly and her mother took her and smiled as tears gathered in her eyes. Sakura watched as Naruto moved to stand next to Tsunade.
"You have half the village waiting out there." Tsunade told him as she watched the woman hold the baby.
"Yeah, figured as much."
"That was nice of you to do."
"Like I said, at least she'll know one of her grandparents." Naruto crossed his arms and watched carefully making Tsunade smirk.
"Your parents would be proud of you. So would Jiraiya." Naruto glanced at her and grinned.
"It's a good thing pervy sage isn't around, I can just imagine what he would have said about me and Sakura-chan and now with Azumi…" he chuckled making Tsunade laugh softly knowing exactly where Naruto was going.
"Mom, why don't you and Naruto take her to see the others?" Sakura said with a small yawn. Her mother looked at Naruto as he spoke to Tsunade then at Sakura. Naruto walked back over to Sakura's side and kissed her forehead.
"Get some sleep. Granny'll be here if you need anything." She smiled up to him as her eyes slowly closed. "Let's go battle the village." Naruto chuckled before Akemi handed the little baby back to Naruto.
"You are her father after all, you go show her off." She smiled as Naruto gave a small grin and took the baby and the two left the room. As soon as they were outside the room Akemi stopped Naruto. "I …I'm sorry for everything I said about you and to you. Sakura is all I have left of my husband who died fighting…."
"I know. But I'm not the one you need to apologize to. I hear worse when I just walk down the street. Sakura's the one you need to apologize to. You kicked her out for loving me and you stopped talking to her and everything for the past two years. You never came to her wedding and you come out of the blue when you here she had the baby. You were never around when she needed you most, when she needed advice on things, when she found out she was pregnant, throughout her pregnancy. You have a lot of making up to do with her."
"I know. I just wanted to apologize to you also. You are the man my daughter loves, the father of my first grandchild and my son-in-law. I had no right saying anything I did."
"I forgive you as long as Sakura-chan does. Right now you're looking pretty good on that end." He smirked. "Let's go, I'm gonna need all the help I can get battling these people off." He chuckled making her smile and wipe the tears away as she followed him to the waiting room.