This is it folks. The very end. It's been a fun ride. Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson.
Naruto's reign as Hokage lasted over forty years, nearly tying the Sandaime for total time served. He ruled fairly and wisely and the people loved him for it. Under his rule, there were no wars, but that was mainly because Naruto wasn't afraid to strike first. He was an excellent Hokage and revered as one of the best ever.
He and Sakura had married after his first six months in office and the event was all over Konoha. Celebrations broke out everywhere and when it was announced a month later that Sakura was pregnant, the people rejoiced more. She couldn't wait to be a mother and Naruto couldn't wait to be a father.
Tsunade had moved onto the Namikaze estate after announcing Naruto as her successor and she couldn't have been happier. She could drink when she wanted, sleep when she wanted, and once the baby was born, she got to play the doting grandmother. Tsunade literally smothered the Namikaze children with love and affection. She passed on thirteen years after giving up her title and all of Konoha mourned her passing. The last of the original Sannin was gone.
Heaven was never the same either when she was met by Jiraiya at the gates and crushed him in a hug before pummeling him into the ground for leaving her all alone. She then took her time going through her list of other victims, including Minato, Sarutobi, and even Kushina. None were spared her wrath.
Anko kept her title her whole life and refused to pass it on to someone else. The title of Snake Sannin was cursed, she said, and she wouldn't give that to anyone else. The snakes demanded too high a toll for their services besides and she had the contract destroyed. She and Iruka had a couple of kids…and they were holy terrors. They were also some of the best ninjas to hit Konoha in their age group.
Naruto and Sakura's children grew up to lead Konoha to a new age, an age that saw the nations unite and a golden age come in. It was at the end of his rule that Naruto saw this come to fruition and so, he had no regrets when he finally passed on. The Kami was apparently looking out for him, because he and Sakura both passed in their sleep in each other's arms.
Naruto opened his eyes to find nothing but clouds as far as the eye could see. He blinked and felt a weight on his chest and turned his head to find a head of bubblegum pink hair. Wait, bubblegum pink hair? Sakura hadn't had pink hair in years. A glance down confirmed that it was indeed his Sakura, except she looked like she was twenty again. When the hell did she learn Tsunade's technique? He brushed his hand over her cheek and stopped when he saw the back of his hand.
It was smooth again, no wrinkles or veins showing. What the hell was all this? He shook Sakura awake and watched as she groggily sat up.
"Whassa matter, honey? One of the kids need advice again?"
"No, this is different. Look around, Sakura. Where are we and why are we young again?"
She looked at him and was on her knees immediately, stroking his face and looking into his once again cobalt blue eyes, not dulled with age anymore. She shook her head, trying to find out if it was all real.
"I don't know. We went to sleep and we woke up here. I don't know where we are."
They stood to their feet and looked around, surprised at first that the cloudy substance could support them. Off in the distance, they could see a slight glow and began to walke toward it.
It seemed like only a moment and they had reached the glow. The sight before them was awe-inspiring.
A massive crowd stood before them, all with smiles on their faces. All their friends that had passed on before them were there. Their masters and teachers, family and loved ones, all stood before them. At the head of the crowd stood a blue-haired woman with a kind, benevolent smile who seemed to shine with ethereal light.
"Hello, Naruto, Sakura. Welcome to Heaven. We've been waiting for the two of you."
Sakura gasped as her parents stepped forward and she rushed into her mother's arms, crying and sobbing with happiness. She stopped sniffling for a moment and turned to call out to Naruto to come say hello to his in-laws and found him in the same place he had been, staring at two people in particular. A red-headed woman and a blonde-headed man.
Naruto had not taken his eyes off the two since he had seen them. He had barely heard the Kami speak and had not even noticed when Sakura bolted off to the side to her parents. His universe centered down to those two and all others did not matter for the moment. The woman stepped forward slowly with tears in her eyes.
"Naruto? Son? It's me, Uzumaki Kushina. I'm your mother."
Naruto locked eyes with her and whispered in a soft voice.
The blonde man stepped forward and stood beside his wife, right in front of the blonde giant. It felt weird to have to look up to his child.
"Hello son. I'm Namikaze Minato. I'm your father."
Naruto nodded and whispered in a small voice again, as he hung his head.
Kushina didn't know what to say. She couldn't see his beautiful blue eyes anymore with his head down. She had always wanted to hold her baby just once and now she could forever, but he didn't seem to know what to do. She leaned forward slightly and caught a drip coming off his nose.
It was tears.
Kushina's heart tugged and she lurched forward, latching onto the giants's waist and burying her face in his chest.
"Oh, Naruto. My poor, sweet Naruto. I love you, honey."
That was all it took for Naruto to break down and begin sobbing like a child as he hugged his mother against him. Minato took the moment to creep up and was immediately enveloped in his son's enormous grip. Naruto did not let go for quite a while.
Sakura watched her husband with tears in her eyes. He had longed to know his parents and now here they were. He had all of eternity to get to know them. She turned to her own and saw that they were biting back sobs as well. A glance around gave her the chance to see that all present were fighting back tears.
Such was the power of Namikaze Naruto to touch people…
Naruto finally calmed down enough to allow his parents some air and looked back to the crowd, his face beaming. In a choking, but happy voice, he waved to the three people he had longed to see forever.
"Baa-chan, Ero-Sennin, JiJi! Get over here. It's been so long."
The three came forward and exchanged hugs and hellos with him. Minato and Kushina wiped their eyes and crossed the way to where Sakura and her parents stood.
Sakura was somewhat fearful as the two approached, but stood firm. Kushina smiled at the girl, her eyes shining with happiness.
"Hello, Sakura. We finally meet."
Before Sakura could say anything, she was enveloped in a tight hug by a newly weeping Kushina.
"Thank you so much for taking care of my baby. He would have been lost without you. I couldn't ask for a better daughter-in-law."
Sakura felt guilt welling in her heart as she looked Kushina in the eyes.
Kushina put a finger to Sakura's lips, quieting the girl.
"I know what you're going to say. Don't. All these people thought the same thing when they first met Naruto. You changed because you got to know him dear, because you let him into your heart. He loves you unconditionally, and so do we."
Sakura choked back a happy sob and flung her arms around Kushina's neck. Minato shook hands with Sakura's parents and they made their way back to where Naruto and the rest stood. Naruto put his arm around Sakura's shoulders, pulling her to him as she wrapped her arms around his waist. He looked at Kami and then to the crowd.
"Who are these people, Kami-sama?"
Kami smiled again and waved her hand over the crowd.
"These are people that you met in life, Naruto, and changed for the better. All of these people are in Heaven because you gave them an example of how people should treat one another. They're all here to thank you."
Naruto smiled out at the crowd and wandered over to the first two he found, Haku and Zabuza. He shook the two's hands and smiled at Zabuza.
"I guess you went to that place, huh Zabuza?"
Zabuza smiled and nodded his head.
"The snow is beautiful there."
Naruto nodded and clapped the two on the back before continuing on. He had a lot of well-wishers to see…and a Heaven of his own to build with his family.
Namikaze Naruto had finally come…home…
Samehada and Kubikiri Houcho sat beside each other in the underground vault of the Namikaze house, several hundred years after Naruto had gone to Heaven. They knew their charge was there, because a soul such as his was too much for Hell to handle. They waited patiently for their next master.
Then, they felt it. That spark that told them that one who was worthy had come, one who would help them shape a new age.
Light crept into the dark room and a young boy stepped in, his blonde hair eerily similar to that of their last master's. The two swords shared a grin and called out to him.
Come, boy, and retrieve us. We are yours to command. It is time for us to rise again.
Yes, young master. Come to us. Tell us your name.
The boy grasped the hilts of the swords, noticing that they felt light in his hands.
"My name is Namikaze Kazuma. What are you?"
Ah, a Namikaze. Our last master was a Namikaze. We are Samehada and Kubikiri Houcho.
We are the zanbatous that helped bring about the Golden Age. We have chosen you, Namikaze Kazuma, to carry on your ancestor's legacy.
The legacy of the Master of the Zanbatous.
The boy held the swords aloft and grinned. He whispered into the night.
"Just like the man in the book. I'll change the world for the better. I'll be just like Namikaze Naruto. I'll save them all."
The swords hummed happily. A new era was about to begin.
Jiraiya sat his pencil down and held the book in his hand. The people of Heaven would love it, but this story needed to be told to all that would read it. He talked to Kami and she allowed him to travel into one author's dreams, a man with the name of pudgypudge, and tell his story. For generations people would know the story of Namikaze Naruto, the Master of the Zanbatous...
I enjoyed writing this story. I really did. I hope you all enjoyed reading it, but the ride is over now. I'm sorry to see it end. It's my second finished story. To those of you who stuck with it all the way, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's always a pleasure to make you people laugh. I know this story was silly at times, serious at others, but I hope it was always a trip that left you with a smile.
This is pudgypudge, signing off Master of the Zanbatous for the last time.
Remember: Hate only begets hate. Spread the love.