It was only after I began brainstorming this answer that I realized... we've seen the future of all the Rookie 9... and we only gave Ten Ten and Lee left as genin ninjas.

I've made a decision and unfortunately, I won't be doing the future of the parents. However, I will be taking requests for who's future you'd like to see as a bonus after this story is 'officially' finished.

So send in your requests in my messages (whether on Wattpad or FFNET) or if you're apart of the Discord (tho I rarely check that but go ahead, I do see the notifications)

That being said... the persons left are Kurenai, Asuma, Gai, Lee and Ten Ten.

So... Asuma steps up to the plate.

Let's go...

Asuma Sarutobi was a man who knew how to enjoy the smaller things in life. He was a relaxed person, and rarely did he left himself worry about situations that may have seen dire. After all, he was relatively young and had a beautiful not-so-secret girlfriend in his life.

But now... now he was left unsure about his life.

After all, he had discovered that he was going to die before getting the chance to see his daughter if he inferred correctly from Ino's future and that could mean he could within the next year or the next decade.

As a shinobi, death was commonplace. But his was confirmed.

It wasn't the experience he had expected when he got the summons from his father.

But he had to face the music sometime, and that was why he was now channeling his chakra through the seal matrix, hoping to find a future worth looking forward to before he bit the dust.

Unnoticed by him, he was watched by the steely gaze of his father, Hiruzen.

The Third Hokage was someone who had seen many things throughout his life. He had lived through the ninja wars, seen the image of his student who he had considered a son distort into an unrecognizable and watch too many young shinobi lives cut short.

But if he was to see the death of his son after losing his precious Biwako, that would no doubt be his breaking point.

"Their footprints are irregular. Their impatience must have strengthened their fatigue," a muffled voice murmured. A gloved hand slowly traced a solitary footprint in the sand. It was clearly a print made by a shinobi sandal, alongside many other prints and oddly enough, a set of dog tracks. "They're getting tired. We'll catch up to them soon enough. They won't getaway."

"A tracker shinobi?" Sakura asked the room.

''More than likely," Kakahshi answered his student.

"But then who is he tracking? Asuma-sensei?"

Kurenai tensed, wondering if she was about to see Asuma's last moments.

A chorus of dark chuckles was the reply to the speaker's assessment as he stood from where he was crouched on the ground. Dusting his hands, he motioned his head towards the direction of the footprints, deeper into the foliage. They were surrounded by trees, and the distant sounds of several battles softly echoed in the place of scurrying creatures who had long vacated the area.

An explosion boomed several miles away.

"This will be easy pickings."

He was a tall shinobi, clad predominantly in gray. He wore a black ski mask and his neck was adorned with a thick, wooly camouflage cover. The only sign of his allegiance was the iron plate sewn on to his mask over his eyes.

The Third narrowed his eyes. Those clothes seemed to match the description Jiraiya had sent him a few weeks ago. There were rumors of shinobi cropping up in small groups around the Land of Fire.

Jiraiya had said they looked to be a new, but small group of shinobi. Had they turned hostile against the Leaf?

A single music note carved on it.

Around him were a dozen other shinobis, all dressed in the same uniform. Undoubtedly, they were a squad of shinobi tracking down their target.

"Let's go," the leader barked, and made to move yet his body seized up, and refused to obey.

Dropping from the tress, the familiar figure of one Shikamaru Nara confronted the squad. With his shadow adjoined to theirs, the reason for their lack of mobility was explained.

Shikaku sighed as he watched his son's future self drop from the trees. The fact that this image looked just like Shikamaru now proved this wasn't far into the future. A few months to a year, he'd estimate.

And with the fact that he was apparently alone confronted this squad meant that Shikamaru was either forced or had voluntarily chosen to be a decoy so the others could leave. And knowing his lazy son, something dire was happening.

"This doesn't seem that far into the future," Shikamaru commented. "I look exactly the same right now."

"It must be around the same time as the upcoming Chunin exams," the Third said. "Those trees are the same as the ones around the village and the Chunin exams are the only reason I can think of for hostile enemy shinobi being so boldly close to the village."

"But why would there even be enemies at Konoha?" Choji asked.

"I don't know. But we will be watching these exams a lot more closely."

He had them trapped.

"Sorry," he drolled. "I'm supposed to be the one that's a coward and avoids confrontations, but I guess today just isn't my day."

The genin was visibly disgruntled and fatigued. He was without his signature jacket, and his clothes were skewed and riddled with cuts, tears and damage.

"You were right about one thing though, I am tired. But I guess that's easy to tell," he said. "But the footprints are fake. I made them myself with this."

"That's smart of you kiddo!" Tsume piped up. Glad to see the young genin outsmarting the ninja squad.

"Yes. But he is alone now, and visibly tired. Is it he that ha laid the trap, or he that is trapped?" Shibi murmured from being the collar of his coat.

Shikaku tensed at the man's observation, fearing the same. Glancing at his son, he realized Shikamaru had realized the same.

He held up a branch in his hand, with the end of the branch whittled in the fashion of a dog's footprints. He had faked the tracks and led them astray.

"We knew someone was following us, so I stayed behind to keep you all company."

He looked confident as he spoke to enemy nins, but the telltale signs lied with his jutsu, as the shadows wavered and shook with each passing second.

"He's still only a kid," one of the Sound ninjas said. "And to think we fell for his trap,"

"Is this the famed Shadow Binding technique of Konoha that I've heard about?" he asked, seemingly unbothered by his situation.

"That's an outdated way of saying it old man," Shikamaru said. "Those days are gone, we call it the Shadow Imitation now. But you're right, this is the same technique."

"Wow, who knew you could seem so cool Shika?" Ino said, laughing as the boy grumbled under his breath.

Doing a headcount, he realized there were only eight shinobi in front of him. But his intel had confirmed they were being followed by nine. Quickly grabbing his shuriken, he threw them at his trapped victims and was pleased to see the weaponry intercepted mid-flight by kunai.

With a smirk, he turned to face the direction that they were thrown from.

"So that's where you are," he mumbled.

"You have a good head on your body Shikamaru," Asuma said. "It's smart to always be aware of how many enemies you'll be facing. Even the hidden ones."

"Indeed," Kurenai agreed. "But I wonder what this has to do with your future Asuma. This looks like it's focused on Shikamaru."

"Maybe I'll show what an awesome sensei I am and save my cute little student when he's in trouble," Asuma bragged.

"... not cute," Shikamaru muttered.

A tendril of his shadow extended towards the hidden shinobi, before wavering, and slowly retreated.

The leader smirked. "I was right. You don't have enough energy left to take us all on. You're on your last legs and we know how your technique works. The only one trapped here is you."

Shikamaru looked unaffected by his words as he looked skywards.

"I... just wanted to do this ninja thing normally. Get paid normally and marry a girl that's neither ugly nor pretty," he thought silently. "I'd have two children, the first one a girl and the second a boy. I'd retire after the girl gets married and the boy gets a job and then pass away in my sleep before my wife. That was all I wanted."


She made to grab her startled son but was blocked by the firm hand of her husband.

"Maa, why are making such a racket, you troublesome woman? We've already seen how his future turns out. He's the Hokage's assistant, so pipe down,"

... That was the wrong thing to say, Shikaku.

Again, for such a smart man, you would think he'd realize that it was not wise to insult your wife. Your high-tempered wife. Your high-tempered wife who have proven herself a master of the art of the hidden frying pan.

Poor Shikaku. Another casualty to the frying pan.

With a loud sigh, Shikamaru released his techniques. With a pitiful waver, his shadow retracted back to him. The shinobi were free, and he was finished.

They all knew that.

"Oi!" the leader shouted. "You can come out now. He has nothing left."

Shikamaru flinched as he sensed the presence speeding towards him, but rather than the sharp sting of a kunai that he expected, he was greeted with the familiar smell of smoke.

Standing behind Shikamaru was a bearded man, with a line cigarette stick protruding from his lips. He was dressed in the standard Konoha jonin uniform with an odd handkerchief hung at the waist. Tucked under his arm was an unconscious Sound shinobi who had a trickle of blood that seeped down the side of his head.

Asuma Sarutobi had arrived.

"So cool," Naruto said.

Clutched tightly around his fists were a pair of chakra blades worn like brass knuckles and they were thrumming with energy.

"I guess I'm late to the party," he said.

"Asuma!" Shikamaru cried in shock and relief.

Looking down at his student with pride, Asuma smirked. Glaring back up at the ninjas that dared to attack his ward, Asuma moved instantly.

He launched the unconscious ninja he had under his arm to the side and the Sound shinobi watched as their friend's body soared through the air, taking their eyes off the jonin.

Their first mistake.

Without a cry or warning, Asuma dashed through the middle of their pack and with a strong punch, sent their leader flying.

"Whoa! You sent him flying Asuma-sensei. Way to go!" Kiba cheered with Akamaru barking in agreement.

The startled Sound ninjas stumbled back in fright, caught flat-footed by his speed.

Their second mistake.

With an explosion of chakra, he attacked two more of the enemy with a dual knife swipe at their throats. He had seemed to miss his targets, with his blades failing to hit either ninja yet they both went down in a spray of blood.

Shikamaru noticed an ethereal blue hue that covered the blades.

"What's that?" Sasuke asked, intrigued by what seems to be an effective fighting technique.

"That, Sasuke, is me using my chakra nature to boost my fighting technique. I'm have a wind-type chakra nature so I coat my blade with wind chakra and that makes my blade a lot sharper and a farther reach."

Sasuke nodded along in understanding. Beside him, Naruto sneaked a peak at Kakashi who indicated that he'd explain it all later.

Gathering their wits, the Sound ninja retaliated. A pair of kunai was thrown at Asuma and had seemed to hit him square in the back before a puff of smoke revealed that he had used the substitution jutsu.

He reappeared above his attacker, curb-stomping the shinobi into the ground before a downward slash finished him off.

Two of the shinobi decided to work together to take him down from behind but he caught their attack with ease, slamming his elbows into their chests, before slamming then mercilessly into the ground.

With only two remaining, he easily dispatched the squad of Sound ninjas before taking a final toke of his cigarette, smirking at an awed Shikamaru over his shoulder.

"What was that about?" Shikamaru snarked. "Do you think you're Kakashi-sensei now, trying to make some sort of cool entrance? Guys like us are meant to be cool!"

"And you ruined my moment," Asuma grouched at an unimpressed Shikamaru who met the statement with a deadpan.

Kurenai chortled at his expression while glad to see that she would not be witnessing the death of the father of her future daughter.

And there we have it... Asuma's chapter done and dusted.

I hope you all are staying safe, especially in these times. I know it's going to be difficult to adjust to the new normal but let's all play our part and stay indoors. The sooner we do this, the sooner we can see a light in the tunnel of this virus.

Take the time to focus on a hobby if you have nothing else to do and try to improve on yourself. That's my advice to you in these trying times.

I'm adjusting as well. The university that I'm attending had shut down for about 3 weeks and they've finally reopened for online classes so this is new for me as well. It's really tough seeing that this is my first year at university so it's going to take a lot of adjusting.

Until next time, signing out.