5 years have passed since the events prior to Konoha's destruction. The new rebuilt village now stable at the hands of the ever present Lady Hokage. After she woke from coma her title was given back to her. Sasuke even came back to the village after half a year or so, after he learned of his brother's secret and that maybe the village's destruction was the last thing he'd think about now. Konaha 11 is now again 12 because of his comeback. Now there's nothing to worry about. It's time for the next generation to take over. Things we're going interesting as the original Rookie Nine began to settle down as the people in village experience a new breeze coming its way. A young blond Sage sat atop the Yondaime's head began think about his future. He might be daydreaming? Well, maybe, up until someone got to his back.
"N-Naruto-kun" she said shakily. She's still the same as ever.
"Hinata? What are you doing here?" Naruto said as he got up from his position.
"Everyone's gathering tonight at a club to celebrate Konoha 12's reunion. It's going to happen at the same bar we've all been going to. They want me to let you know…" She said rather fidgety.
'Why do they always let Hinata do these things?' Naruto thought in his head. Well, not to deny the fact that they we're having each other as company recently. She was pretty simple and sometimes her simplicity is what has won his attention over Sakura's. He had given up in his long-term crush especially now that Sasuke's up and about in the village again.
"Ah! Sorry… I'm just thinking a lot of things recently, hehe". He grinned as he hid the fact that he was mesmerized at her. Hinata had much confidence over the years, being able to control her emotions for Naruto. Even so she could, one fact never changed. She loved HIM more than anything.
"So… Can I fetch you later?" Naruto said a little shy as he turned his head a little to hide a slight blush on his face.
"Um.. Sure!" She said accepting his offer happily.
"So I'll see you later at 7?"
"Hai!" After that Hinata said her farewell to Naruto. She said that she still has things to do and left to finish them before tonight's party. She has been living independently since a few years ago, though the Hyuga Clan tends to keep a close eye on her through Neji. Hinata wanted to live alone for some reason and she didn't accept anybodyguards. That's why the clan is lucky that Neji is just around the corner checking out on her. When he came to his sense, Naruto stood there for a few more moments before he went down to the streets of Konoha.
Though Konoha had been rebuilt, it felt like it was still the same. It's still the placed he'd call his home. During this time of the day, a lot of people are gathering up at the stores for lunch is approaching. Just then as he was strolling around the town he noticed to familiar figures from a distance. It's Iruka and Kakashi-sensei. He ran to meet his former sensei's to greet them
"Yo", said the ever masked guy Kakashi.
"Kakashi-sensei! Just got home from a mission?" He asked. He hadn't seen his sensei in a while so he thought he had a mission or something.
"Yeah, took me a while, but I'm back good as ever". Kakashi said, as Naruto saw a smile shot through under his mask
"I have to turn my report to the Hokage before I talk to you. Maybe I'll see you later again. Ja na Naruto, Iruka", and gives them his famous salute before he vanished in a puff of smoke.
"So how are these days Naruto?" His favorite sensei asked him.
"Well, things are going pretty well for me Iruka-sensei… Our time to take care of the leaf has finally begun huh?"
"Hmm? By the way you said those words I can tell there's something bothering you", his sensei said as he looked at his former student's face
"Ha?! Nothing! There's nothing really!" He said putting up his hands in defense of this teacher's statement.
"Say. It's almost lunch.. The stores here are packed, so how 'bout Ichiraku?" His former teacher smiled.
"Sure! It's your treat though dattebayo!" Naruto said, smiling happily. Iruka loved this student like a family and this part of him seemed to never change even through the years. Naruto was also appointed jounin recently and now that graduation at the Academy is nearing he'd soon find himself around genins calling him 'Taicho'. 'I wonder if the upcoming genin team assignments are the reason.' Iruka thought to himself as he walked with Naruto to Ichiraku for lunch.
Meanwhile Kakashi was making his way to the Hokage's mansion to turn his reports regarding his mission. His mission is to track some remnants of the Akatsuki and is considered top secret. Neither Iruka nor Naruto knew about this. He expected the hallway before knocking on the door.
*Knock knock knock*
"Tsunade-sama? May I?"
"Enter!" said the Lady Hokage.
Shizune is also in the office with Tonton in her arms. The Hokage is facing the window, as if enjoying the sight of her peaceful village. She turned back to her desk, she sat down and her hands clasped.
"So, how did your mission go?" Her tone was serious and a bit uneasy of what will be heard of his mission.
"As you said, I've gone to the nearby areas surrounding the Land of Waves. I've dispatched Pakkun and the others for at least noon to midnight to patrol but couldn't find anything. Tracks or scents are nowhere to be found around the area, Milady." Kakashi addressed politely.
The Lady which has been quietly listening turned to sigh at his remarks.
"Well, I just gambled on the possibility. After Sasuke got back here he said in one of his reports that he and Taka had been hanging around there for a while up until Madara finds them out. I just thought the others might have been close since it was a few months since then but I think it's too late. Well, thank you Kakashi, you may leave."
"Hai, Tsunade-sama". And he vanished in a puff of smoke.
Tsunade left out another sigh about no reports of the Akatsuki. Shizune noticed this and decided to make tea for her master.
The day was already making its end. The sun is bright orange as started to set. The whole village is drenched in its rays as the young Sage walked past the village stores. He stopped by one a bought a Popsicle. Just as he exited the store, he ran into Kiba and Akamaru who just happened to be running errands around the town.
"Hey, aren't you too old for those treats?" teased Kiba with a grin in his face.
"Eh? What do you mean to old?!" Naruto said as the two friends settled in a nearby bench. Naruto removed his Sage coat and hung it up on the bench.
"So I see you're still good with Akamaru huh?" he said as he patted Akamaru on the head.
"We aren't losing our edge here especially that Sasuke's back. Well, things been good around me and Akamaru, so, how 'bout you and Hinata ha? Going well I hope?" Kiba said with a sly teasing grin. Akamaru barked at the statement of his master. Naruto was dazed for a few seconds as he reorganized his thoughts on how to explain that topic to his friend. Scratching the back of his head he started.
"I can't really tell. But to tell you the truth it looks like we're having a mutual understanding for a while now." Naruto said with a single brow raised as he finished eating his treat. It looks like he's confused at the moment.
"If you're having that mutual understandings then go for the goal, before she gives up on you baka!" Kiba said hitting his friend slightly on the head.
"Itte! What do you do that for?!" Naruto said placing a hand on his head. He's glad that he'd already finished eating or else he'd drop them.
"Besides, Hinata's not that person to give up on a person." 'Especially me' Naruto thought to himself.
"Sigh… whatever the two of you is just the same as I can see." His friend said as he stood up the bench.
"Well, just so you know, I don't like anyone who hurts my teammate. So be careful of what you're going to do", Kiba threatened. Naruto saw through his friend even though he couldn't see his face directly. He nodded silently as the two started to walk away.
"You're going to the party later right?" asked his friend.
"Yup, Hinata told me this morning and I'm fetching her"
"Okay, see you then", then his friends took off.
'Maybe I should really think about this when I have time. I don't like his threat very much' Naruto said as Kiba's threat went through his spines. Naruto raced through the rooftops. His mind's still deep in thought of what are his true feelings for Hinata. It was almost time for the party and before he knew it he was in front of her apartment. It quite little if you look on the outside, 'I think she picked up rather quite a small one but I think it's just enough for her' Naruto thought.
The door opened and revealed a beautiful Hinata. She was wearing a light violet kimono style dress that flowed just to the level of her knees. It would appear that is was made for informal parties such as tonight's but it looked pretty well with her as her hair was also on a loose braid. Naruto was shocked to see this other side of the ever simple girl he knew. Looking embarrassed, Hinata giggled at Naruto's expression. He shook his head and with that, he knew he wasn't dreaming.
"Hey, with that dress on I think you're prepared enough dattebayo." Naruto said smiling at the girl.
Hinata just nodded as she was still stunned to see Naruto's shocked face earlier.
"Shall we then?" As he reached out to reach her hand
"Hai", Hinata said shyly as she walked out of her apartment. The moment she's finished locking her door they left for the bar. The stars were up as they we're walking down the streets.
People are also busy as the evening reached its peak. Hinata's arm was cringed to Naruto around this time though he didn't seem to care. The night's breeze is also up, making the atmosphere a bit chilly. In a while they could see their hang out place in just a few steps close. Sakura and Sasuke were just about to enter when Sakura noticed Naruto and Hinata. Hinata removed her cringed arm on Naruto. He did seem to wonder why though.
"Hey you guys! Just in time are we?" Sakura said with a teasing smile.
"Uh.. Same goes with you two dattebayo!" Naruto shot back at his teammate.
"Hn. Let's just go.." said the ever cool raven haired Uchiha.
"Shut up, dobe"
"Naruto-kun?" Hinata asked looking at his face.
"Come on you two! Quit it, this is a celebration not a time for rivalry". With what Sakura said the two calmed down as they entered. They found their friends in two booths at the end of the bar. The girls were separated from the boys.
"So I see your partner for tonight is Hinata?" asked Shikamaru who was sitting across the Naruto
"Yeah? So what about it?" Naruto shot back with a brow raised.
"Sigh.. See Shikamaru? I told ya!" Kiba who was just at the left of Naruto.
"Oy! Told you what? HA?!"
"Naah, it's our secret" said the lazy shadow user.
Naruto just pouted on the last conversation he had with his friends. He also didn't notice that Sai is just on the other side of Kiba and on the last chair was Sasuke and of course, Choji is with Shikamaru and Neji on the other side of the table. Meanwhile on the other booth the girls seem on to the latest gossips in Konoha.
"Hey Ino, aren't you jealous of Sakura having Sasuke around her?" Tenten asked with a sly glare at Ino.
"Ha? Nope. I'm not that little kid with fantasies over him anymore", Ino said and earned her a glare from Sakura.
"Are you saying that I'm childish?! Ha?!" Sakura said as she shot her another of her deathly glares.
"Hey hey! Calm down! I never said anything like that. It's just that missing nins are just 'dreamy' when they are still missing"
"I don't get it", Tenten said as she looked confused.
"Ino, are you saying that Sasuke you had fantasized is not the Sasuke now?" Hinata asked, trying to sum up what Ino said.
"More or less like that Hinata. For me, he's loosed his touch over the years. That's my opinion! Case closed!" She remarked as to not anger her friend again. The girls laughed at how it is as they continued to have their chat. The beat of the music is fast and some of the guys took the shot to the dance floor. Naruto and Kiba were dancing and after a while the others join except for Shikamaru, Neji, and Sasuke. The boys were fussed over by the fan girls of the club but some were disappointed because they were looking forward to see Sasuke dance. Sasuke didn't care at the conversations neither on the music or the fan girls.
"Go dance if you're jealous that they're having fan girls. Sai is even having a few." Neji said teasing Shikamaru, who was irritated at how the guys were fussed over their dancing.
"That… will be such a drag. How 'bout you, why wouldn't you?" he said and drank as he turned to look at the Byakugan user.
"Well, I have my reasons. And that doesn't concern you."
"How 'bout you Uchiha?" as Shikamaru turned to the Sharingan user.
"Hn. Not interested."
"That part of you … never did change", as the shadow user sighed at how the conversation died out immediately. 'Menduksei' he thought to himself.
The beat of the music began to slow down. The other guys that were dancing earlier got their partners. As for the Konoha 12, Sai was the first to make an attempt on dancing with the girls.
"May I Ino?" asking with that famous pale smile of his.
"Wow, thought you'd never ask." She said as he took his hand and the next thing they knew they were dancing on the dance floor. Naruto wasn't sure if he wanted to dance with Hinata. His heart was racing he himself is wondering why.
"Hey Naruto", Kiba said as he patted Naruto's shoulder. Naruto was startled at pat he was given.
"That startled me!" He said rather whispery.
"Come on! Don't be a sissy now! Take her hand and dance will you. Who knows, maybe you'll end up realizing your feelings." Kiba advised his friend. Before he knew it, Naruto was walking toward the booth of the girls.
"Uhm… Uhh…" He stood there rather shakily.
"Naruto-kun? Is something the matter?" Hinata asked looking worried at her partner's remarks.
"What is it Naruto? Would you snap out of it?" Sakura said while she sipped the last of her cocktail.
"Uhmm… Hinata… would you… care to dance with me?" He said as he let his long bangs fall to his face covering his slight blush. The girls giggled in amusement at what Naruto said. Hinata just smiled not to let the redness take over her face. She was able to do this for a while now because she was always with Naruto recently. The two remaining girls thought that something was going on.
"Sure Naruto-kun." She said happily. Naruto took her hand and placed it on his shoulder and his hands were on her waist and for some reason he wanted to hold her close. He swayed Hinata across the floor with gentleness and a bit of spark. Both of them felt that spark lit up and it confirmed their feelings for each other. Naruto smiled at her, for a second, he never thought he'd fall for such a simple but beautiful kunoichi like her. At that moment he was her world. She was already imagining a future with him for the rest of her life. It wasn't long before they noticed that their friends are already curious at what is actually happened. The music died down at the moment they returned to their booths. Both Naruto and Hinata are quite content that they were able to dance like that.
"So, I see something's up?" said Ino, the ever gossip queen. At the same time Kiba confronted Naruto on the other booth.
"I see the dance got through well… but how 'bout your feelings? Has something lit up?" His friend asked him smoothly not to startle of confuse him again.
"Yeah, think something's up with me and her… I kinda get the feeling I'd best act before it's too late like you said", Naruto said as he smiled to his ever persistent friend to made him realize something big. Kiba returned the smile and started to mess around his hair as guys do when they are rooting for someone. After that time people were starting to go home. Their group also started saying their goodbye's as the guys accompanied the ladies to their homes. Of course, Naruto walked home with Hinata. This time of the night only a few are still outside. Naruto took her hand as they walked home. It was the first time he wanted her this bad as company. Hinata noticed this and looked at him with confusion. Naruto just smiled as a reply and that made her feel a little more comfortable. Soon they reached Hinata's apartment.
"So you're home. I'd better go home on the double too", he said looking at what time is it. Hinata signaled for him to lower down a bit, he was one of the tall ones in their group when he hit the last of his growth spurts. Naruto lowered down.
"I love you, Naruto-kun", she whispered rather nervous on what will he reply. Naruto felt shocked at what he heard. His face is almost red! He let out a short laugh at how he reacted to Hinata's statement. He stood up straight enough to clear her forehead and kiss her.
"I think… I already love you too", he said smiling to her. She was on the verge of tears and was to cry when his voice cut through them.
"Don't cry… I don't want to see you cry, I confessed to you today. You should be happy right?" Naruto said as he put his arms around her, hugging her tight.
"N…Na…Naruto-kun… thank you!" She said as her tears of joy overflowed.
"Now, that's enough for tonight. Good night, Princess", he said as he kissed her in the forehead.
That ended their night. As the blonde raced through the rooftops he could tell that he was someone anew, like someone who has overcome his problems in just a day. It was a great time with his friends and the person who he never thought he'd consider 'precious' to him.
-End of Chapter 1-