This Chapter was written by PlasticWolf94. Neither he nor I own Naruto.
Edit (PlasticWolf94): Hey guys! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Anyway, you'll be seeing me doing a lot of reediting. I'll leave a small author's note at the start of a new chapter if I added a few things more that I think would help the story. However it will mostly be correcting the grammar that I have missed. This chapter especially since I was on the verge of collapsing near the end and couldn't keep my eyes open! Don't worry, it's because I had an extremely tiring day yesterday. Now please, enjoy the chapter! ^^
A month had passed since that meeting with Hiruzen. After that meeting, Kakashi and Naruto focused on improving their student's skills. So they decided that Team 7 would undergo a series of mock battles for the next month and a bit. A cycle of 7 days where the battle will occur at the start of each week followed up by revision. How they failed and what they needed to do to avoid it the next time. They will redo the battle again under different circumstances the next week. Completion of this exercise will be on the 4th week. After Team 7 had completed these skirmishes, Kakashi and Naruto will upgrade their sessions to train them individually.
The battle simulation is of a 3 Vs 1 situation. Team 7 against Naruto where: lethal force would be allowed to be used against him while he would only mark them with paint to indicate that he had injured or killed them. Furthermore, Naruto will only be using practice weapons that were modified to have seals that leak paint when they struck something. The volume of paint expunged depends on how much force he had dealt. The weapons he will use are as follows: A blunt bokken, a bo-staff, a bow with blunted arrows, training shurikens and rubber kunai's. He would not should his Sharingan on them. That was all the information they were getting out of him.
On the 1st week, their team work was barely passable resulting in them being 'killed' several times over. Taijutsu being the main cause as to why they failed. It didn't matter how many powerful Ninjutsu you had. If that was all you know, the moment your opponent closes the gap between you and them. What was the point of being alert when you couldn't even notice the signs that you were underneath a Genjutsu? A slash mark was made on all their throats when they realize it too late. That was their biggest shame that day, Sasuke taking it harder than his teammates as he possessed the Sharingan and he hadn't even activated it. They swore to start researching and studying on the other aspects of Shinobi combat. Understanding now, that there was more to a fight than casting techniques. They revised. Analyze their mistakes. Corrected them. Train to cover said mistakes then redid the simulation the next week.
On their 2nd week, their team work improved considerably but it still wasn't enough. Receiving just as many 'deaths' as last week if not more. Sasuke theorized that their Sensei went harder on them because no enemy was the same. Further evidenced on how Naruto was utilizing different elemental Ninjutsu from last and using a noticeably different fighting style. Finally stating that they had to improve on tactics to where they adapt it to any situation. So for the remainder of the 2nd week, they discussed strategies using what arsenal they had. Sakura had a revelation that since Hitomi and Sasuke had larger reserves they would be the main assault component of their team while Sakura would provide cover fire with her Suiton and poisons where she had started her studies on. A tip given to her by Kakashi. So after preparations were made they redid the mock battle for the 3rd time.
On their 3rd week, they noticed Naruto-sensei was performing in a much weaker capacity than he was capable of as well as focusing more on Ninjutsu than anything. Proving Sasuke's theory from the week before. However they still lost. They didn't receive as many 'deaths' this round even when their sensei was acting weaker. Hitomi and Sasuke would train together back in the Uchiha compound to increase the synchronicity of their combos. Sakura would delve deeper into her poison concoction scroll. In one of her trips to the dango shack, she encountered a certain torture specialist who spotted the book Sakura was reading while she ate. It led to a discussion that helped Sakura gain a better grasp on toxins. The Kunoichi even suggested to her to perhaps explore the many intricacies of the human anatomy. When the pink haired Genin asked why she was helping her, the vaguely clothed woman simple said she was in a good mood. After reconvening with each other they went over their battle plan. They asked Naruto-sensei if they could postpone their mock battle till the end of the 4th week which he agreed to. Kakashi complimented them saying it was good idea. Sometimes a team needed to retreat for a bit if they knew that the enemy combatant was too strong. In doing so, they had created some time for back-up to arrive or finalizes their battle plans after going over what they knew from their encounter with their adversary. Perhaps choose a time and location where it was an advantage to them rather than to the enemy. He cautioned however that since this wasn't a real skirmish the enemy might not be so generous and would most probably continue their pursue of them regardless.
So on their 4th week, they revised their battle plans over and over. Sometimes not realizing that it had already gotten dark. Hitomi and Sasuke were now confident in their combination techniques to the point they can cast 3 to 4 of them in succession. Ninjutsu varying from a Katon foundation technique being augmented by a Futon one. A multi target technique utilizing scatter shot Katon blasts and Kage Bunshins. The next one however would be their most powerful. Inspired by their 1st combo they toyed the idea where, that with a perfect union of fire and wind. After getting some tips from the Hokage, Hitomi and Sasuke spent their days creating a technique where they could unleash hellfire to burn their enemies. Out of all the odds, they finally created the monstrosity both of them were proud of. Finally an entire team combination using Bukijutsu, poisoned senbons, Genjutsu, weapon henged Hitomi's and timed body replacements to confuse their enemies and strike them from behind when their attention wasn't on the various thrown weapons on the ground. Finally they fought against Naruto-sensei for the last time.
On their 4th and last battle simulation they performed brilliantly. Hitomi swapping Sasuke or Sakura with her shadow clones when Naruto was about to strike them down. Sakura throwing poison laced senbons when her teammates couldn't turn around in time to defend against their relentless teacher. Sasuke using his favourite ninja wire maneuvers to redirect shurikens and kunai to defend their perimeter. Once they saw their chance, Sakura used her Suiton to distract her Sensei while Hitomi and Sasuke cast their hellfire combo. They celebrated when they saw it hit their Sensei but became disheartened when they say Naruto step out of his vortex without a shirt on. They became disappointed in themselves. Even after all that planning. After all their time training. Where they sweated, exhausted themselves and even bled a little, they still couldn't land a hit on their Sensei. They were surprised when they heard their Sensei laughing joyfully and congratulating them on their success.
Pov change: Naruto
Naruto had to admit, he was starting to enjoy this dance he shared with his students. Their first 2 battles had disappointed him a bit but their 3rd dance surprised him. He knew they were getting close in hitting him. His anticipation grew when he heard them ask to postpone their last fight to the end of the week so they can fix and polish the kinks in their plan.
Whenever he would strike one of his students down, the other two would provide support and pull their friend out. Whenever he would push forward, they would break apart, regroup at another location while defending their perimeter. Whenever he would cast a powerful technique, his sister would always make sure she replaced her teammates and herself with shadow clones so they would be far away from harm.
Whenever he gave them a chance to retaliate, they performed perfectly coordinated attacks at him. The one that impressed him was the Genjutsu opener with the team throwing a wide variation of throwing weapons soon after. Senbons, kunai, shurikens, knives and fuma shurikens. He would dodge them of course and just as he was about to dash at them. He felt one of the fuma shurikens that had been thrown, dispel it's henge revealing his sister and attempt to hit him. When he forcefully dispelled that shadow clone, two kunai suddenly transformed back into Hitomi and engaged him. For every shadow clone dispatched, 2 more would rise and take it's place. By the time the shadow clones ran out he saw that his Genin had regrouped at another part of the field. This distraction allowed them to have a breather and brainstorm ideas with one another. He didn't show it, he had to resist it. He wanted to smile so badly at his students.
They reminded him so much of the times when he would team up with his godfather in defending his troops so they could retreat. Or when his full blooded brother would fight with his back against his own, keeping the other safe. Or when Kuro-hime and he would be ambushed by the occasional Kumo Nin, the lovers unleashed their power. Their elements singing in harmony with one another as they danced through the battlefield together. It was at that moment of nostalgia did his students exploit his guard.
Sakura performed a water whip that had some concoction of poison inserted in it that he had to evade. It was the moment when he landed did he freeze in shock. His half siblings casted a technique very similar to the one he and his beloved would often use. He would admit, if it weren't for the fact his Mangekyou had given him access to the Kamui dimension and all of his years spent training to use it as a reflex to phase through attacks that would have been fatal, he would have been downed and critically injured.
His Kamui now active, he phased through the hellfire that was similar to his most powerful affinity. If he had been even a second late, he would have been incinerated along with his shirt. Though a little bit of that hellfire followed him to the Kamui dimension, leaving a small but noticeable and nasty looking burn mark at the center of his chest. He vortexed out to a part of the training ground near his students. He couldn't resist the tug on his lips and let out a proud smile that reached from ear to ear.
"FUHAHAHA!" He couldn't stop from joyfully laughing at what his students accomplished. He went to them and gave them a mighty, bone crushing hug while congratulating them. His students were confused obviously. He thought it was probably because they didn't land a blow on his body. He showed them the mark on his chest to which Hitomi and Sasuke apologized profusely.
"Forget about it. After a few days this mark will heal leaving only an impressive looking scar. Be proud my students. There's only a handful of people I can count who have left a scar on my body, all vastly more powerful than you individually and yet you succeeded where thousands have failed!"
"But Onii-Chan, if so how did we hurt you?"
"I admit, if I had gone all out with a full tank from the start you would have been defeated every time but that wasn't the point of this simulation. The point was for you to be familiar with higher level combat. I only lowered myself to a Jonin level in all my dances with you. Mid, High, Low and finally High again."
Hearing that, all three members of team 7 looked at each other and smiled. Sakura then asked a question that suddenly popped into her head.
"But Sensei why did you make us do this? Not that I'm complaining or anything!"
Naruto mood turned serious as he took his time explaining why he and Kakashi decided to do this.
"You all are exceptional Shinobi. If Kakashi had only been selected as your instructor, you would have never received these lessons so fast after graduating. Don't be cocky. Just because you could hit me while I was at Jonin capacity, that does not guarantee that you will prevail every time you go up against a Jonin level enemy that heads your way. Sit down with me."
As everyone sat down in a comfortable position they listened to their teacher's lecture attentively.
"Anyway, the reason why we did this was because I was selected to be this team's co-instructor. Now that we know that Iwa is sending a team, we started to prepare you because they might target you in the exams."
"Exams?" Sasuke asked.
"Yes. In a week or so, the Chunin Exams will be held in Konoha. Suna, Iwa, Ame, Kusa and a new village: Oto, are sending team's to compete. Since we suspect Iwa has sent their team possibly on recon duty because that old fence sitter knows of my existence, we suspect that the other villages would be doing the same. After all, even if they didn't become Chunin, if they brought back word of how they had defeated the team that was being taught by the fabled Sharingan Kakashi and the Son of the Yellow Flash, prestige would follow them. Knowing you three, you wouldn't like that now would you?"
They all shook their heads, agreeing they would indeed not like that at all.
"That is why we came up with this simulation exercise. So that you are able to fend off persistent and stubborn competitors. Kakashi and I doubt there'll be Jonin level Genin in the ranks of the other competitors but at least now, you can fend off several Chunin level teams should they decide to team up against you."
Realizing how late it was getting he decided to end their training session here and declared to his team that they will now start on their individually specialized training regimes. While he did not expect them to complete them by the time the exams start, it would be a good idea to give them a head start. Allowing team 7 an edge over their local competitors.
"Now that is over, let's get some dinner. My treat. For your excellent performance today." Smiling as he dusted off the dirt that now clung to his pants.
"Yosh! Let's head to Ichiraku's!"
"Dobe. No. Let's get something more filling like BBQ. We'll need to consume some protein to help regain the energy we spent today."
"Why don't we go somewhere else Sasuke-Kun? I don't want to eat too much meat. It'll ruin my diet."
"Very well, let's go have some BBQ like Sasuke suggested. I'm hankering for some pork belly. Hitomi-chan, I'll take you to Ichiraku's tomorrow. Sakura stay behind. I need to talk to you about something. Oi Kakashi! Bring the other 2 to the Akimichi place! If you don't go! I'm teleporting that hidden stash of books of yours underneath your home office table to a place you'll never be able to find them! Especially that golden cover one!"
"DON'T TOUCH THE PRECIOUS, YOU DEMON!"
As Kakashi dragged his two students so his precious won't be held ransom. Training ground 7 now only had 2 occupants.
"Sakura, do you know why I told you to stay?"
Letting out a sigh Naruto proceeds to ruthlessly crush the last remaining fan-girl mentality that plagued his pink haired Genin. Hopefully it will die today.
"Sakura. It isn't healthy to continue that diet with the level of intensity our training is going. With what you're eating now, I can tell you for a fact you'd faint midway with the training plan I drummed up for you. In fact I would be impressed with you if it wasn't for the fact that I'm already seeing the signs looking at you now. Your legs are trembling."
Sakura stays silent, a sudden interest grew in her at that moment. She focused on the detail of the ground beneath her instead of looking at her Sensei. She knew he was right but it still hurt to see her sensei disappointed in her.
"You've recently have been studying the anatomy of the human biology, have you not?"
"Good. Let me tell you of a few Kunoichi and their dietary habits. First off, your teammate Hitomi. You know what she eats whenever she can, yes?"
"Then you know for a fact that instant noodles contains ingredients that would normally render one overweight if they did not burn it off through excessive exercise and ate like they had black hole for a stomach like my sister's. Ichiraku's isn't a factory made ramen shop. They make the noodles themselves and add in more ingredients so that their Shinobi customers can take advantage of the nourishment and get some bulk to use from eating there. That's why I haven't curb-stomped Hitomi's ramen addiction out of her. I stopped her from eating instant noodles but not Ichiraku's because they give her the necessary nutrition she needs. In fact, comparing calories, Ichiraku's has a lot more than packaged ramen."
"Have you noticed that my sister is starting to get taller? Nearly reaching my chest? Also from what mother has told me, she had to go buy new upper undergarments for Hitomi-Chan. 2 sizes bigger than what she would normally wear because she noticed that Hitomi would constantly tug at them. As if she was feeling constricted."
He pauses as he sees Sakura nodding without saying anything again.
"Now let me tell you of another. The Kunoichi that you meet at the dango shack you told me about. Did you know she would eat dango's without abandon, nearly reaching the same volume as my sister?"
He could tell that Sakura's mind had started turning the cogs in her head from the way she flinched. 'Good now for a lightning round...heh heh.' he giggles at his own pun.
"Tsunade of the Sannin is notorious for the amount of sake she drinks. Yet according to Sarutobi-Sama, she possesses the largest bust in all the nation. Uzumaki Mito, the Shodaime's wife, while it was not known to the public she had an intense liking to mochi's and candies. Hashirama-Sama would always bring her a box of sweets to satisfy her enormous sweet tooth she had. From what Sarutobi-Sama has told me about his dearly departed wife, Biwako-sama. She would enjoy relishing a wide spread of dishes ranging from fried rice to stir-fried lettuce and has told me that she still retained the same figure she had when he summoned the courage to ask her hand in marriage. Mother has a liking for tomato based pasta and other combinations with the fruit. Sasuke has inherited her love for tomatoes and he consumes them just as much as his mother. His favourite being tomato spaghetti and yet they have a fit body."
Naruto pauses then motions to his exposed upper body. "I myself have a diet mainly consisting of pork belly, roast beef, chicken breasts, char-siu rice and the occasional bout of ramen addiction I inherited from my step mother and yet you don't see an inch of fat on me. Now a pop quiz for my cleverest Genin. If all of the mentioned ate foods that easily make a body gain in weight, how is it that we don't have an inch of fat on us?"
After a few minutes or so passing, Sakura's voice is finally heard.
"It's because of the extreme exercises that Shinobi and Kunoichi undertake to get stronger. All fat is processed then shaped into muscle tissue after training. Some Kunoichi have furthered their training by using high level chakra exercises to direct the chemicals that turn fat into muscles to the areas they wish to enhance. Some going for the core, condensing their abdominal muscles to increase their stamina. With their breasts growing as a side effect."
She takes a breath then continues. "Some regulate it to their hips to increase the power of their kicks while having the unintended effect of having their Gluteus Maximus i.e. the buttocks, becoming bountiful which some males are attracted by. It also enhances natural bouncing aspect their rear takes on. The calf muscle on the leg is also preferable so they can increase their speed while running. The result of rerouting the chemicals there is that the legs becoming aesthetically pleasing to the eye and their thighs becoming big and firm. Others focus on the arms for stronger punching power with the side effect being; the skin tone on the arms having taken on a smooth healthy sheen due to the blood vessels being closer to the heart." She pauses to take a breath and hears her Sensei hum in approval of her knowledge she gathered from her studies.
She finishes off with a final statement. "It's rumored that because of those methods, those who have perfect or near perfect chakra control are able to greatly enhance their features. The Genjutsu Mistress and the Slug Sannin being the prime examples in Konoha."
Satisfied with her answer, Naruto moves for the final blow. "And did you know Kakashi and I believe that you have the level of chakra control on par of Senju Tsunade?"
Sakura's head jolts up in surprise knowing that Senju Tsunade, other than being infamous for her sake consumption and gambling addiction, was fabled across the land of having perfect control of her chakra despite her immense reserves. That was why she was a renowned medic across the Elemental nations.
"Sakura, if you were a civilian then I would have no problem with your diet. I'd in fact would have recommended it. However you're a Kunoichi. On a team that is being considered to be the next Sannin according to the Hokage who has been receiving weekly reports of team 7. All we need to do, for you, is to increase your chakra reserves."
Sakura's eyes widen in surprise now knowing that the Hokage had placed an enormous amount of faith on her and her teammates potential.
"That's why, don't be worried about getting some meat on your bones. Knowing Sasuke as we share the same blood, he like me would probably prefer a female with some muscles and meat on her. Besides, he would feel safer in knowing that his intended had some meat in her body so she could pound the ever living crap out of her enemies. Besides, Uchiha men are known to be... Carnivorous." A devious smile on Naruto as he finishes his lecture.
Her face turning the same color as her hair, Sakura blushes at the innuendo her Sensei had implied. Reacting characteristically. "SENSEI!"
Naruto laughs at his student's reaction. "Come on. If you hadn't noticed the last part of my lecture devolved to the point that it had the word 'meat' in every sentence. I'm starting to get extremely hungry. Let's go."
Walking along with his student, he takes a small detour to his home and wears a new shirt then heads out and finds his mother. Holding onto Sakura's and Mikoto's shoulder, he Kamui's the three of them to the entrance of the Akimichi clan owned BBQ eatery.
Pov Change: Choza
After settling his student's in a table within the section reserved for VIP's, Kakashi ordered some drinks while he had a chat with his students. The waiter who greeted them was happy that the customers he got had decided to take the VIP course. An expensive meal that had a minimum charge of 200,000 ryo with 25% of the total bill going directly to the waiter assigned to them as a tip. 30% if the customers enjoyed the service their waiter provided. But upon seeing Hitomi his face soured. Sasuke noticed and unconsciously moved his body forward to shield his teammate from the glare. The waiter would have told them to go somewhere else to eat if it weren't for the fact that the manager of the restaurant, Akimichi Choza the Clan head of the Akimichi's, stopped him and told the group to enter. Before Choza walked to their table, he told the waiter to take the rest of the night off and to don't come in for work for about a week. The waiter was about to object until he saw the manager give him a stare that made him known as "The Mountain" in the bingo books. The waiter promptly left the restaurant and never came back.
After that was settled, Choza walked over to Kakashi and told him and his Genin students that he would personally be overseeing their meal and will make sure they had a fantastic time. Resulting in Hitomi giving her off her patent-now-in-pending thousand giga-watt smile. Choza couldn't help but smile in return. Now, as to why the Clan head was an active manager of a restaurant as opposed to having a inactive role? Especially in business where it can be extremely stressful when it got busy? Because Choza lived to see his customers leave his establishment with a full belly and happy smile. The mark of a dedicated chef. While he could cook, it was nowhere good as his loving wife who he works together with. That was why he had fallen in love with her and her him. He fell in love with her cooking. She fell in love with his overjoyed expressions when he finished eating.
His wife commanded the kitchen while he lead the waitstaff out front. Her phenomenal cooking prowess plus his amazing ability to detect what customers would like and offer the perfect recommendation, is it any wonder why this restaurant was a big hit in Konoha? He had branch shops stationed around Konoha of course. But the one he personally oversaw was the biggest the Akimichi clan owned. However to help balance out the restaurants, the main one was tailored to have more high-end cuisine. Better quality meet to satisfy the taste buds of the civilians. Better nutritional ingredients for his active Shinobi customers so they had some protein in them. A tactic he learned early on from a certain ramen chef.
Naturally this made the main shop vastly more expensive compared to his other branches. Usually people would have to reserve a month in advance and if anyone had cancelled they would have to pay a large penalty fee. Which Naruto had accepted when he made his reservation a month ago. It seemed the dimensional hopper had faith in his students in succeeding long before their training started. He had confided in Kakashi that even if they hadn't, he still would have brought them here. To increase their morale before the exams.
Now back to Choza. Like many in the Shinobi council barring a few, he along his wife did not see Hitomi as the demon she held in her stomach. One day during an all-men poker night, Nara Shikaku confessed to his former teammates, the previous Ino-Shika-Cho team. Consisting of Shikaku himself, Choza and Inochi, the Yamanaka clan head, that Hitomi looked similar to their close friend Minato for it to be a mere coincidence. This conversation took place a few years before Hitomi had entered the academy. If it weren't for the elder counsel overruling their decision, they would have attempted to adopt the suspected offspring of Minato. If not, provide a dedicated protective detail around her consisting of family members who had the same view as them: seeing that she isn't the Kyuubi. But alas, they were blocked. So when he heard that Namikaze Naruto and Hatake Kakashi had a reservation for 6 for a team celebration, he marked it down in his calendar so he could remember to be near the entrance when Hitomi showed up. Looks like Shikaku's predictions about one of his waitstaff attempting to turn her away despite the VIP course was true.
"I'm sorry about that my dear customers. He has been causing some trouble for the past few months and after that stunt I decided to relieve him of his job. I don't need employees who turn away customers. I can't have their money being used somewhere else now can I?" He lets out a hearty laugh. "Let me get you some appetizers first while you wait for the rest of your group. On the house!" He departs to the kitchen to order their course for them. After all, he spent a month planning their meal. It was the least he could do for his dearly departed friend's daughter.
Pov change: No one.
After Choza departed, Kakashi decided to strike a conversation with his students. Considering that the two sitting opposite him were overjoyed in succeeding in their training, he decided the topic he would have will be their specialized training Naruto foreshadowed earlier.
With Sasuke. He told him that his Ninjutsu training will overseen by himself, since like him, Sasuke possessed a primary lightning affinity. The young Uchiha was a little annoyed that it wasn't his half brother who was teaching him considering Naruto's Raiton potential power output was stronger than Kakashi's. However, the silver scarecrow explained that while his half brother's control over the element is superb, lightning wasn't his primary element. It was merely his favourite. Surprising both Sasuke and Hitomi. To seal the deal he explained that since his lightning wasn't his half brother's primary affinity, there was only so much he could teach the young man. Finally he revealed to Sasuke what Naruto had revealed to him about his past. "It was me who taught your brother to bend lightning to his will." Surprising the hell out of Sasuke. Who knew his lazy teacher had that caliber of power in him.
'Well not me per-se but the Kakashi back at Naruto's dimension. But Naruto told me after some one-on-one training between the two of us. I could and would get to that level of my dimensional doppelganger as well as get rid of the rust I accumulated since retiring from Anbu all those years ago.'
With Hitomi, he explained that Naruto had a non-practical regime ready for her. Which bummed her out. But he assured her that once her brother explained as to what it was, she would take a very big step towards her dream of becoming Hokage. Which obviously pumped her up.
Whilst they were chatting, Choza appeared much larger than before carrying a few plates. A miso broth with grilled salmon for Kakashi. A tomato salad with sweet lemon sauce on it. A char-siu appetizer that had been marinated in soy sauce. Thanking Choza, they all said a prayer then eat. The moment the food entered their mouths, flavors exploded onto their tongues. Suddenly the energy they had spent talking redirected to eating. Choza happy with their reaction retreats back to his kitchen to prepare the appetizers of the 3 remaining members of their reservation.
Kakashi hadn't even notice Naruto, his mother and Sakura joining them. It had been so long since he had good tasting food of this quality. Choza returned with recently arrived trio's appetizers: Gravy mashed potatoes for Naruto. Garlic spinach for Sakura. A similar tomato salad that Sasuke had but had syrup instead and some additional red onions. While Sakura and Mikoto had hearts in their eyes when they tasted their appetizers. Naruto's eyes widen in surprise at the exquisite taste. He wished for his wife could be here so she could taste it with him. Maybe if he played his cards right, he could get into a relationship with this dimension's version of his sweetheart. It would be a hard task but that's a problem he would tackle later. He had food to eat!
Literally the second they finished their appetizers, Choza arrived carrying a bountiful amount of dishes. Meats marinated in various sauces. BBQ sauce, mashed tomatoes, soy sauce, gravy, red wine. Since the table had 5 large in-built grills they had enough space to cook all the meat. The two on the left would be for pork, the middle: chicken and the 2 on the right: pork. The smell around the grill was a heavenly mixture of chicken, beef and pork and the various sauces they had been marinated in. Everyone's mouth had drool coming of it. When they started eating, mayhem ensued. Kakashi would sometimes steal the chicken breast Naruto was reaching for. Sakura would snatch the beef Hitomi was about to grab with her fork. Sasuke used his chopsticks to defend his pork from Hitomi and his mother's sneaky utensils. Naruto was even abusing his Kamui, teleportating beef directly above his mouth with his head tilted backwards only for Hitomi so dexterously swipe the meat out of the air and gobble it. Mikoto would distract her 2 sons while she looted the delicious treasure that laid on their plates. It was chaos that roamed the table that night. Be that as it may, people could tell they were having fun on closer inspection.
Choza stopped for a bit and asked his wife to come out and see the group. They both smiled and held onto each other's arms as they gazed upon the scene. It was a well known truth in Konoha that Kakashi suffered from episodes of depression. Seeing him now however, you would never would have guessed. Sasuke's tragic past was infamous around the world but here he looked like a child befitting his age. Smiling like he should be, free of the dark tragedy that fell upon him. Hitomi was neglected her entire childhood. No one abused her physically thankfully but that didn't stop people from hurting her mentally. Now her giga-watt smile seemed to be permanently attached to her face.
Mikoto did not recover well since the night her first born decided to murder her clan. She knew why he did it but she would still have nightmares of her son returning to finish the job. Offing Sasuke and herself forgetting that he would never do so. She would often catch herself screaming as she woke up from her dreams. She acted strong in front of Sasuke, key word being acted. It wasn't until she somewhat adopted Hitomi did some semblance of her old self began to come back. It grew back fully when her son from another reality suddenly popped into her life. She knew it was impossible but even now she wished Itachi was here messing around with them and just having some good old-fashioned fun.
Naruto had not have this much fun in ages. The only time he remembered partaking in some tom-foolery was when he decided to flick some water at Kurotsuchi when they were 10. He briefly forgot about the mental scars he got from the war he participated in. Gone was the memory of the soul crushing despair he experienced as he read the stone tablet at the Naka shrine. The battle against his soul mate and leaving her behind with his daughter alone slipped from his mind. It might have seemed selfish, but he was focusing on enjoying himself at the moment in a rare moment of peace within him.
In a flash, Choza froze as the image warped in his brain. Minato's face replaced Naruto's who then playfully pats the head of a suddenly older Hitomi. Kushina pulling the cheeks of her daughter as she squeals about how cute she was. Naruto had moved one seat down and was now sitting in between Kakashi and Minato as a ghostly image of a woman sat next to Naruto with her head on his shoulders between them a toddler a perfect mix of the two. Mikoto along with her husband Fugaku were laughing while for some reason the figure of Itachi was next to his mother, mischievously teasing his younger brother. Sasuke on the other hand glared halfheartedly at Itachi for teasing him as he sat next to Hitomi. His hand on top of hers with a ring on their left hand. Sakura was eating away happily with a familiar diamond shaped purple tattoo on her forehead.
Choza, overwhelmed by this blissful image, sheds a tear at how beautiful it was. Maybe in a perfect world, this image could have been a reality. After tonight, he would need to meet with Inochi. So he could preserve this memory and perhaps gift it to his now favourite customers if possible. It was too perfect not to share.
The image ends when Minato turns to Choza smiling before slowly disappearing revealing a smiling Naruto. "Manager! One more of everything please!"
"You got it!". He escorts his wife back to the kitchen so they may continue in their jobs. Both are glad they had taken their time out of their lives to bare witness a heartwarming view.