This has been something waiting in the bowels of my computer for months... Just needed to finish it and get it out.

Not proud of the ending, please enjoy.

"It's finally over, isn't it Sasuke?"

He had gotten lonely over the years, after leaving the heavenly sanctuary of the village, their bonds, their love, their chains. None of that to hold him back. He left with his own path in mind, and he'd spent years perfecting his art, no longer needing the demon within him to win each battle. His old rival had been defeated by him with hardly any effort, because there was no great battle, no fight that changed and shaped the lands. He'd learnt what a ninja really was. It was silence, it was quickness, it was accuracy, it was deadly.

He'd killed Sasuke.

He'd killed him with nothing but a stab to the back of his spine, severing it completely, killing him instantly, nothing flashy. He didn't die with honour, with dignity, just stabbed in the back.

Died how he deserved to die.

He didn't bury the body, only leaving it in a nearby forest for the wildlife to slowly consume it. His unmoving face forever masked in a silent shock.

"But where should I be off to now?"

It was a question that Naruto had to ask himself, he'd been to almost every hidden village, and almost every minor village, even ones that people hadn't heard of.

All except one.

"Hmm, that's where I'll go next then."

He turned around and walked out of that hallowed forest, not turning around or looking back once.

It had been many years since he'd first set foot into that village; it was about time he went back.

"It's about time too, I've missed their sake."

He started walking; he already knew he was going in the right direction, having memorized most of the layout of the land already. Even though he could get there almost instantly, he didn't mind having a little walk, it energized him, and cleared his head of thoughts.

For him, walking meant silence, and silence to him meant clarity. Clarity brought self peace, and he was easily able to attain self peace now that the last evil thing connected to him was destroyed, he made sure to sever all possible ties between him and those that would seek to chain him down.

It was all too easy.

"Maybe this will be the last time, just maybe."

He'd been walking from village to village for years now, trying to find a place to settle down, a place to belong. Although there had been a few places that called to him, the call was so weak it was easy to disregard it, but maybe he hoped, just maybe, that this final village, this final stop, would be able to finally let him settle down, and cleanse his mind, body and soul of taint.

He stared into the gathering mist as he walked on, measuring his strides with accurate precision, his stance commanding utmost respect. But while his body outside was a construct that demanded attention and radiated power, his mind was a swirling pit of negative emotions, self doubt and anxiousness ran rampant in a supposedly unbreakable structure.

Through that negative emotion, and through the storm that was his mind, he was only able to say a short statement that almost summed up his entire conscience.

"Is there anywhere I truly belong?"

1 day later

"Ahhh, the mist does smell good today."

He'd been walking non-stop for a day, eager to reach his final salvation. Eventually he came across the massive walls that housed the precious village inside, large doors depicting the word 'Mist' with a single Kanji were the only thing between him and what he wanted.

"Let's see if anyone's home."

Walking up to the doors, he slowly but surely raised a fist back, before bringing it down, the dull sound of flesh hitting wood alerted those on duty to his presence. It was common place for people to be travelling to and from the village, even at odd times, but it was the middle of the night, no one dared to travel that at night, even with the newfound peace throughout the lands.

Sliding back the metal hinge to a peaking hole, the guards inside were able to immediately tell who had knocked, there was no mistaking it, no other person had a shade of hair so vibrant.

So red.

He was able to hear hushed whispers from behind the gate, the guards, he realized, most likely recognized him. As stated before, it wasn't that difficult.

6 foot 2, broad shoulders, lean muscle, whisker marks on cheeks, a scar mark on his chin, vibrant red hair. It wasn't that difficult to see that this was Naruto Uzumaki.

The gates opened with a shrill whine, the motors slowly pushing the massive doors outwards, allowing Naruto to finally get a good look at his destination. He moved his head upwards, taking a whiff of the air and letting out a content sigh.

A guard moved up to him, almost hesitant to address a man of such power, but his duties overruled his conscience as he asked his question with easy to notice hesitance.

"Please, state your name, and reason for coming to this village."

There was a piercing stare, and silence for a few seconds as he moved forward, slowly reaching into his coat. A tense moment was shared between the two before he pulled out his passport, handing it to the guard with almost agonizing slowness.

"Name: Naruto Uzumaki. Reason for coming into the village..."

He stared straight into the eyes of the guard.

"To find a home."

The Mist ninja seemed most befuddled for a few moments, processing the information he'd been giving, before coming back to his senses.

"I'm sorry mister Uzumaki, but I can't let a ninja with your level of power without having you meet the Mizukage. I'm sorry for the inconvience mister Uzumaki, truly, but I can't let even you into the village without notifying my Mizukage."

Naruto wasted no time in answering, this was definitely much better than he'd expected.

"Lead the way."

Mizukage's office

Mei Terumi was having a bad day. No one was dying, the village wasn't under siege, and although the marriage proposals were getting annoying, there was nothing like this monstrosity that could irritate her more.

"This...This... This FUCKING PAPERWORK! What I wouldn't give to burn you to the depths of hell! How would you like that you filthy pile of shit?!"

The beautiful redhead had almost had enough of the stuff, the endless pile of writing that needed to be signed and filed.

"Where do you even come from? There must be a void! A Kami damned void! Oh Kami... I just need something to distract me! Anything!"

*Knock knock*

"Mizukage-sama?"

A look of relief flashed on the beauty's face.

"Yes, what is it?"

"I have someone here that wants to be allowed into the village."

A tick mark formed on her forehead, she didn't have enough time for this shit.

"Well! What's their name?"

A cough came from the other side of the door.

"Naruto Uzumaki, Mizukage-sama."

As soon as that name was spoken, Mei felt like Kami was finally smiling down upon her, this was just what she needed, an excuse to get away from that blasted paperwork. Calming herself and relinquishing her violent thoughts of the paperwork feet from her, she cleared her throat and addressed those behind the door.

"Well then, let him in."

The door opened and in he walked, not even tired or rugged from constantly walking, and if she had to admit, he'd gotten a lot better looking. The years had definitely treated him quite well.

He stood in the middle of the room before she silently motioned him to take a seat. A moment of silence was shared as they sized each other up; the first to break was the Mizukage, even with her power.

"Quite impressive Mr Uzumaki, the bingo books truly don't do you justice. So now answer me if you may, what would a SS ranked missing nin want with my village? Not possibly for the scenery if I was to take a guess."

The air was tense after that, but he couldn't risk losing this chance, not so early after he'd gained hope.

"As I told your guard ninja at the gates, I'm here to find a home. "

The Mizukage was either shocked or hid it quite well, since the only thing she allowed through her stone facade was an amused smile.

"Find a home? I guess that's understandable, most missing nin seek out an either temporary or permanent home after they've left their original village. I guess even the powerful Naruto Uzumaki isn't immune from this urge."

He expertly hid a smile that was threatening to break out on his face, how long had it been to find someone that hadn't flinched at his presence, let along attempt to challenge him on his motives.

'Yes' He thought behind closed eyes 'This Mizukage is becoming quite the treat.'

They continued to stare at each other for a few moments, before it was once again broken, although this time by Naruto.

"You see, Mizukage-sama, I'm afraid that I have no illicit intentions in this village, what I say is the truth. I do in fact want to settle down, I'm tired of having nowhere to belong."

Mei watched him for a few moments, sizing him up and determining whether or not he was seaking the truth. She sighed after a while, before standing up and motioning for him to do the same.

"I'll allow you passage and homage into our village Mr. Uzumaki, although you do realize the risk of having a man such as powerful as yourself here, roaming free to do as he pleases. I'm afraid I can't let you go unsupervised, you'll be staying in my compound, in one of my guest rooms, so that i'll be able to keep an eye on you for a few weeks."

She flashed him a daring smile.

"Consider it your trial period Mr. Uzumaki."

As she walked out of the room, motioning Naruto to follow her, he couldn't help but admire the figure walking feet in front of him. While she was overall one of the most beautiful woman he'd ever met, he'd later realize it wasn't the way she swung her hips that drew him to her, it wasn't the way she pursed her lips and hid a smile whenever he said something interesting, it wasn't even the way she looked in that gorgeous blue dress of hers. It was something simpler for a normal person, but for him it meant more than anything she could offer.

He was drawn by her luscious auburn hair. There was just something about it, something that set her aside from the rest.

As she looked back and smiled at him from behind the veil of hair, he felt shivers go down his spine, either from nervousness or excitement, he wasn't sure.

4 weeks later

How long had it been since he'd set foot into his new home? For him it felt like years had passed. He could feel it, this was it. Having spent so much time here, with her, he knew that this was a place he could stay forever, and he knew she'd agree. It was better than he'd thought, he'd not only found the perfect home, but the perfect woman.

She kindled and lit a fire inside him that he hadn't felt in years. He knew after the 2rd week, that he belonged here. The villagers were kind, the air was cool, and the sake was brilliant.

He was going to do something crazy, but he was crazy, it was the perfect plan. But for now, he had a sparring session to get to.

It was after the 1st week, he had gotten bored, and asked the Mizukage to spar with him in her own private training ground; the results were impressive to say the least. She forced him to try, with her combined Lava and Acid Kekkei Genkai, he at least had to release his 2nd tier seal. He'd kept his real strength locked in seals that only he could release, in order to train at a lower level of power, therefore increasing his overall experience and strength. Now he was going to put the Mizukage to the test, and afterwards, he'd test his own mental fortitude.

"Are you ready?"

Naruto smirked at the invitation.

"As ready as one can be, now, attack me before I feel like going hard on you."

Mei growled, reacting to the statement and flashing through handseals, releasing a sharp stream of pressurised water right at his stomach. The attack causing Naruto to go through handseals of his own, and invisible barrier of air erecting in front of him and forcing the air to turn 90 degrees, hitting a tree instead.

A cloud of dust appeared as the water collided with the tree, and with it Naruto disappeared, appearing behind Mei with one of his hands going for her kidney. She reacted by sweeping one arm behind her and pushing the hand off course, while throwing a punch of her own straight at his throat. The act causing him to back off slightly while guiding her arm slightly to the right of his face with the use of the air. He struck out with a leg, forcing Mei to back off to a safe distance.

Neither of the two were puffed in the slightest, Mei was a Kage level ninja, and Naruto was possibly the strongest mortal being in existence, one level below a God. The air was silent as no one spoke a single word, Naruto smirked as he created a gust of wind to push the dust away, leaving a clean battlefield where he lifted one finger towards Mei, gaining her curiosity.

"Lesson 1, Taijutsu." He spoke calmly, but the smirk on his face infuriated her, she was just about to charge in an attempt to blindside him when he started to form a long sequence of hand seals.

"Lesson 2, Ninjutsu." Done with his handseals he stood in place with his hands still focused on the Tiger seal. The wind picked up around them, and with it dust particles.

From where she was standing, Mei could tell he was focused on something, and she learnt in the past week that when Naruto focused with handseals, something very bad was going to happen. Gathering chakra in her throat and placing her hands in the Tora sign, she spat out a glob of mud in front of her, erecting a massive wall, in the same time blocking Naruto from her field of vision.

Naruto had seen her attempts to block his oncoming attack and only smirked slightly wider. His concentration reached new peaks as he focused on the speed of the wind, and the dust particles picked up with it, speeding it up so much that the dust particles colliding together created a burning smell in the air.

Mei stood still, amazed at what he was attempting to do, it was crazy, it was impossible.

He was trying and succeeding at lighting a fire mid air, with only high pressured wind and dust.

"My Kami..."

Everything froze for a moment as a hole appeared in her mud shield, just enough for her to see through with one eye. It was as if time itself had frozen as she stared into the kind eyes of Naruto, his focused expression breaking into a small smile.

A jolt went through her spine, what was this feeling? It was something she'd never felt before, although akin to attraction, it was something... more.

Sure she'd felt attraction for guys before, the urge to see what love felt like. But no one had ever given her that. They had all wanted a quick fling, for a chance to have bedded the Mizukage, but none had given her the love she yurned for. Even she had given her most precious, her chastity, to someone that offered her nothing but falsities and lies in order to get into her pants. He was long dead of course, killed by her own hand after his treachery. After that she'd closed her heart off, not allowing anyone to get close, while taunting them with what they could have.

It was a fun form retribution, but in her eyes it was well deserved. But this boy, this man, made her spark come back, his very stare shot waves of pleasure through her spine, and that scared her. She hadn't felt these feelings in so long, how would she respond? Why did he do this to her? Was she weak, weak for falling for a man she'd only known barely a month? But no matter how she tried to deny it, or push herself down another path, she couldn't deny herself.

In only a few weeks, he'd managed to worm his way into her heart, his entire presence brought her peace and comfort, and just the knowledge of his existence made her heave a small smile.

She didn't love him, but she could get used to the idea. She was helpless against her hearts own desires.

She was attracted to Naruto Uzumaki.

Time once again sped up and the sky around her was set ablaze, only around her though. He showed his immense mental power by holding back the flames from touching her. But with the fire in the air, the oxygen around her was quickly consumed, leaving her gasping from air. Just as she was about to faint the fire ceased to exist, and the much needed oxygen flowed in. Naruto ran over to her, catching her in his arms as he sat down with a calm look on his face, placing her head against his chest.

"Mizukage-Sama, would you give me the honour of taking you out on a date tonight?"

Her eyes showed the shock she felt, as she released a smile through her veil of hair, reaching up to touch his cheek.

"Naruto Uzumaki, I would love to go on a date with you."

Later

Naruto was anxiously waiting at the bottom of a set of stairs. He was dressed up in a formal blue Kimono, shifting from foot to foot. How people would laugh at him if they could see him now. A man who's able to face down S-rank ninjas and Bijuus without blinking, but flustered while waiting for his date.

But flustered he was, and when he heard the steps coming down the stairs, he could do nothing but look on in shock and excitement. She was taking her steps in a pair of blue high-heels that accentuated her long legs, her eyes surrounded in blue masquara with silver earings in her ears. But probably the most beautiful thing was her dress. A one piece dress the two straps going around her shoulders, and the cut stopping just on the top of her breasts, leaving most to the imagination, finished off with a cut going down the base of the dress to her mid thigh, showing off even more of her amazing legs. All this was topped off with the dress being a deep red colour.

She smiled at his stare, silently relishing in his approval while doing a twirl.

"So, whaddya think Uzumaki-san?"

He snapped out of his stupor and smiled widely, offering his arm to her, which she gracefully wrapped her own around, and cuddled into his side.

"I think that you are the most beautiful woman that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, may I also have the greatest pleasure of offering you my arm?"

"My my Uzumaki-san, I didn't know you were so courteous! Well, let us head out, I have an amazing restaurant that I like to eat at. They make the most amazing food! You'll love them."

Naruto smiled as he let her lead him out the door and onto the street, taking great pleasure in her humming and soft smile. He also took close notice to the stares they were getting, growling lowly at the men staring at them, and mostly Mei. With Mei doing the same thing to the women that were staring at Naruto. It created quite a hilarious picture, and as they realized what they were both doing they couldn't help but chuckle.

They had walked for quite some time, just enjoying each other's presence and the vibe of the village before they reached their destination. It was a nice homely type of restaurant, not being too big, but not small enough to feel cramped either. For Naruto, it was just perfect. Their seats were pulled out for them by a waiter, as they sat down and ordered, talking about nothing, just enjoying each other's company.

Dinner was finished all too soon as they made their way out of the confines of the city and to the top of a small hill.

Naruto noticed Mei was getting slightly cold, and looked at her with a soft smile, handing her his jacket.

"Here, you look like you need this more than me."

She responded with a grateful smile, shrugging on the jacket and cuddling up to him as they both sat on the ground, staring at the beautiful night sky.

"You know..." She began, causing Naruto to pause and look at her. "This has been the best night of my life, what you've given to me, even if it was just taking me to dinner... It's more than anything I could have asked for."

Naruto smiled as tears brimmed in his eyes. Reaching up and stroking her tender cheek with his palm.

"You've given me more than you'll ever know Mei... It makes me wonder what I've done to deserve a woman as beautiful and talented as you."

Their faces were slowly brought together, as they shared a passion filled kiss.

That night began a new life for both of them, a life of love and discovery. The life that Naruto had been craving his entire life, and as they laid next to each other in their time of passing, children hudded around them in sadness, they could feel nothing but happiness for the life that they'd lived. A life that had almost escaped them.

A life that had come together in the most perfect of ways.