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Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Author: Bloodthirstydemon

Well, I'm not entirely back to writing Slayer, but I thought that by going over my older stories something would come to mind and I would get back to writing while doing college stuff. Instead my English comp class taught me that my older works could do with a rewrite. So this is the first part of Whirlpool re-written(mostly re-worded, they're are more changes in the second part) and the second part is about halfway done. I hope That I can get part two in the next week or two so that the gap isn't huge.I do want to get back to Slayer again, but writing has become more of a hobby now than before, so it may take a very long time to get done with. (I may actually do a comic for it once I learn how to in school) So for now I'm just keeping my skills up and trying out what I learned in school. Thanks for stopping by and checking this out. I appreciate it alot.


Child Saga

Chapter 1

It was a short journey for the shinobi of Konoha, but for the citizens of Whirlpool it felt like a lifetime. Only thirty people were able to escape the initial attack of the village, and six others were taken down by the Iwa while they were on the run. If the legendary white fang and his two squads hadn’t shown up in time, the villagers would have been slaughtered. From there Hatake Sakumo and his two teams lead the survivors back to Konoha, which was a week long trek.

The gates of Konoha soon loomed over the horizon, and a sense of relief seemed to pass over everyone there; but the people of Whirlpool would never forget what they lost. Near the edge of the cluster, walking near one of the shinobi guards was a red haired girl. Her short hair was covered was covered in grim, and the clothes she wore were torn and dirtied beyond recognition. Her arms and legs were covered in cuts and burns, and there was a nasty gash that covered her right brow. She hadn’t said a word the entire trip to Konoha, and her emerald eyes stared straight ahead, all the life in them sapped away. The Konoha shinobi that traveled along with her would spare her a sympathetic glance every now and then, but she took no notice of it. The young shinobi sighed, knowing what she lost in the last attack. But what saddened him most was to see a child so broken. He had seen the others here. Most of them were elderly and the young couples with their toddlers. She was the oldest child in this group.

I hope taichou has better luck back there.’ He thought to himself. Just as he turned back to look, he could see his captain running towards him, instantly recognizing his silver hair.

“Taichou!” the ragged looking jounin slowed to a walk as he came up to his subordinate. The chuunin could see the downcast look from his superiors eyes; he already knew the answer, but anything could be possible. “Were there any-”

“None. The village is completely wiped out. From the looks of it the jounins of whirlpool destroyed the village themselves in order to protect its secrets.” The white fan shook his head in remorse, rubbing his eyes tiredly. “If only we have arrived sooner…” the young chuunin looked away somberly.

“I don’t think it would have made a difference taichou…” He said quietly

“Taichou!” A new chuunin landed in front of the two coming from the village; Sakumo straightened up, all signs of his previous grief disappeared.


“Hokage-sama wants all of the refugees to be taken to the hospital for treatment and evaluation.” Sakumo nodded.

“Tell him that we’ll be there shortly.” While the two of them were conversing, the red haired girl was clenching her fist tightly; her nails biting into her flesh, drawing blood. The young chuunin noticed this and let out another sigh.

“Poor kid…”

“These are all the survivors?” Sarutobi asked as his medical team busied themselves by helping the whirlpool civilians. Sakumo stood next to him, crossing his arms

“I’m afraid so Hokage-sama.” The Hokage let out a slow breath.

“There are barely two dozen people here.”

“The village was small to begin with.”

“They were still a force to be reckoned with; one of our strongest allies.” Sarutobi rubbed his temples tiredly “Iwa struck a mighty blow to both our villages today.” The two men remained silent, until Sakumo glanced back at his Hokage.

“What’s going to happen to these people Hokage-sama?” Sarutobi took a long dreg from his pipe, exhaling slowly.

“When word came to me about the level of devastation that struck Whirlpool, I knew that any survivors would be relocated here until the time came for them to rebuild. Unfortunately with the amount of people here and none of them being shinobi…I don’t think it will be possible for them to rebuild at all.”

“Even if they had the numbers to rebuild the village, the power of the jutsu the Whirlpool shinobi used was…well unbelievable. It destroyed the land.” Sakumo began looking over the survivors once more. “It was like a typhoon went through and sucked everything up. In all my years as a shinobi I have never seen anything like it.” He said that last part quietly, though Sarutobi heard him clearly.

“These people have lost too much already. Therefore I had my assistants bring in citizen registry forms here while the medical staff is examining them.” His brows furrowed as he bit down on his pipe. “These people will be looked after; that I promise.”

A loud crash sounded throughout the room. Everyone turned their attention to towards the corner, where the red haired girl stood rigid, head downcast. At her feet lay broken shards of several syringes.

“It’s not fair! Why didn’t sensei let me fight with everybody else! I’m a shinobi too!” she cried out. “I could have helped them! I’m strong enough!” the Whirlpool survivors couldn’t look her in the eyes, not knowing what to say to her to calm her down. An elderly woman came up to her, reaching out for the girl’s shoulder.

“Oh Kushina-chan…” the girl violently slapped the woman’s hand away, raising her head up in the process; the tears she had been holding back flowed freely down her cheeks.

“No! He made me leave while everybody else got to fight! Why couldn’t I stay? Why?!” she collapsed to her knees, anguished sobs wracking her body. “Didn’t I earn my place? I trained like everybody else, so why couldn’t I stay?!” she fell forward, her hands holding her up, as more tears splashed onto the tiled floor. “Why did he send me away?” she choked out softly.

“It’s because he wanted you to live.”

Kushina looked up to see the Hokage kneeling in front of her. He reached out, giving her shoulders a comforting squeeze. “It wasn’t because he didn’t believe in your strength child; rather it was his duty to protect you, like everyone else in the village.” Kushina stared back with red, puffy eyes into the wizened old face of the Hokage. “The desire to protect others…It gives us strength to fight off those who threaten our loved ones.”

“Then why didn’t he let me protect him?” She asked desperately “After my parents…He was all I had left!” she fell forward into Sarutobi’s embrace, and began sobbing. He gathered her up in his arms, and began rubbing her back in comfort. Her mind wandered back to the beginning of the week’s events; when she last saw her sensei.

Iwa has broken the line at the eastern gate! Takamaru, we need you there now!!” the man known as Takamaru cursed lightly to himself, rubbing away the sweat from his brow. He had been fighting in the war his entire life, but he never thought the Iwa would make a bold enough move so far into enemy territory. He turned back to his comrade, giving him a curt nod.

Send out the word. We are initiating fall back plan omega.” The other shinobi’s body stiffened as his eyes widened with shock.

S-sir? Are you serious?”

Unfortunately we don’t have a choice. Alert the others and evacuate as many civilians as you can.” Takamaru’s gaze bore into the young mans intently. “If the Iwa think they’re going to gain anything from us they can think again. Now go!” quickly regaining his composure, the other shinobi gave a nod of his own before running off in the opposite direction. Takamaru then turned his attention to the only other person there; his twelve year old student Uzumaki Kushina.

Whirlpool had always been a small village. Children who qualified to be genin were given their own jounin instructor to work with until they were promoted to chuunin’s. Due to the war, children were often pushed into early service, especially so in Whirlpool. He had been training and teaching Kushina for three years now. Her parents were killed while she was still in the academy, and being a temperamental child, relied little on others. The death of her parents left deep emotional scars, so she often got into a lot of fights, but she was still an exceptional kunoichi. When he first took her in under his care, they argued all the time. He never had a student before, and he never planned to either; but with the increase of graduates at the time, he was forced by the jounin council to take on a genin.

The first month together was rough, almost to the point where he was going to give her to another jounin instructor. But when he found out more about her from her neighbors, he became sympathetic; even more so when he saw that she was living alone at her age. After forcing her to move in with him, and getting her to open up a little, the two of them became closer, and he started treating her as a daughter. Even when they had the occasional fights, he would she a small smile on her face as she turned away. The two continued on missions together, even after he was accepted into the ruling village council.

So the young girl now stood before him, waiting for his orders. Fear flashed in her eyes for an instant when the ground shook from a nearby explosion, but it was quickly replaced with sheer determination. He smiled back at her. In time her skills would have greatly benefited the village. But fate seemed to have other plans for their home; a plan that he would everything in his power to prevent her from sharing.

I’m ready to go sensei!” she said anxiously. His smile turned into a frown as he bent down to her level.

Not this time Kushina.” her expression quickly changed into confusion “This isn’t a battle we are going to win. I want you to head west with the rest of the villagers. Meet up with the Konoha shinobi and go with them.” Shocked, she shook her head in disbelief. “No! I’m staying here, we can still fig-”

That’s enough!” He cut her off with a piercing shout, she remained silent, but he could still see the tears beginning to form in her eyes. Letting out a tired sigh, his gaze turned towards the east side of the village, where the majority of the battle was taking place. Kushina couldn’t quiet read the expression on his face. Was it anger? Fear or hate? She expected any one of those emotions but none of them seemed to fit the look on his face right now. “This battle is over, we’ve lost. The village will be destroyed soon.” He turned his gaze back at her, his expression letting her know that he was completely serious with her. “But that doesn’t mean you have to be destroyed along with it.

I know you want to fight Kushina. Your fighting spirit is something this village hasn’t seen in a long time.” He smiled again, ruffling up her hair affectionately. “It’s refreshing to see that sort of thing in a war that’s lasted this long. You’re a good kunoichi Kushina, you’re meant to do great things; not die here.” He stood up once more, adopting the stone cold look he put up when giving out orders. “Your final mission is to escort the remaining villagers out of the west gate and rendezvous with the Konoha shinobi. Do you understand the task given to you?”


Do you understand!?” He shouted fiercely, causing her to flinch. She bowed her head, her shoulders trembling.

Yes…” Takamaru let out a quiet sigh, but he was relieved that she relented without a fight.

Good. Now-MOVE!!” acting on instinct, Takamaru’s hand shot forward, grabbing Kushina and yanking her into his chest. She could feel the material of her headband being cut away; she turned her head and saw it lying in the rubble. She made a motion to grab it, but Takamaru jumped away as soon as her arm reached out for it. As she saw her headband get smaller and smaller, the area surrounding it was soon crushed by several large boulders. When Takamaru landed on the ground, he jerked his body to the right to try and cover Kushina with his body as much as he could. She heard another explosion, and could hear rocks pelting the ground all around them. A piece of the debris tore across her right brow, causing her wince from the sharp pain. When the area was quiet once more, Takamaru let go of her and pulled out several explosive tags; seeing the potent of the tags he held, Kushina’s eyes widened in shock.

Those are you most powerful tags!” He answered her with a curt nod.

These are only a distraction for what’s to come. I’ll hold them off; run. I don’t want you within a kilometer of the village in five minutes.” He slammed a single explosive tag between them and jumped away from her. “RUN!” he shouted out with every fiber of his being. She stumbled for a moment, before heeding his call. The hot air from the explosion burned her bare arms and legs, even though she was a fair distance away. Biting her lip and holding back her tears, she ran westward at full speed, never looking back.

Calming down, Kushina pushed herself away from the Hokage, her head still facing downwards.

“If I stay here…can you help me get stronger?” she asked. Sarutobi gave her a pointed look.

“That depends. What will you use that strength for?” he replied. She lifted her head, looking around to see the remaining habitants of Whirlpool. They gazed back at her as she scanned the area; eyes full of worry, confusion, and sorrow. A small hiccup escaped her lips but she stared back at Sarutobi eyes, her own filled with determination.

“I don’t want what happened to my home to happen again. I want to be strong enough to prevent that.” Her bandaged hand formed into tight fists. “I want to be strong enough to protect those precious to me!” she declared fiercely. She could feel her throat tightening up again, and let out another sniff. But she held back her tears; she was done crying.

Sarutobi gazed intently at her for several more moments before he made a hand motion to the medic next to him. She handed him her clipboard; he pulled out the pen behind the clip before holding the board out in front of Kushina.

“Then you will get all the help you need here.” He replied, smiling down at her. She looked at the paper on said board, and saw that it was a Konoha citizen registry form. She grabbed both pen and board out of his hands and began filling it out without hesitation. Once she finished she handed back to Sarutobi; he looked it over once, and smiled at her.

“Welcome to Konoha Uzumaki Kushina.” She gave a curt nod in reply, and a slow smile crept onto her lips.

Watch me sensei…’

A week had passed by since the Whirlpool survivors first arrived in Konoha. The Hokage’s promise to get them settled in was genuine, and he had some genin teams helping them at the moment. There were several old apartment buildings at the east side of town near the monument and Sarutobi had the genin teams help renovate it for its new tenants. Tired of doing nothing, the citizens of Whirlpool started to pitch in and help out the genin teams as well. They quickly became friends with the shinobi, but as they were getting acquainted Kushina was busy exploring the complex.

When she reached the top floor of the building, she found that there was only one door on the entire floor. Deciding that there was no harm in going inside, she made her way over and turned the knob. The apartment itself was small, but more than enough space for one person; it had an open kitchen that connected with the living room, and a single bedroom down the hall that was separated form the bathroom. The walls were filthy, and the counter tops were in shambles, but that was to be expected of a building that survived this long during times of war.

Walking further into the living she saw another door, she opened that one and found that it lead out to a small patio outside. She walked outside and stood in awe at the sight before her. She knew that Konoha was big, but never expected it to be anything like she would see from here. Her old home seemed like a shack town if you compared the two. And the trees were so massive that they towered over most of the buildings in Konoha. She had seen big trees, but they were nothing like the ones she stared at. After staring slacked-jawed for what seemed like an eternity, she grinned to herself and quickly made her way back to the bottom of the building where everyone else was working. She quickly declared that the top apartment complex was hers, and that anyone took it she would “kick their asses”

The Konoha jounin-sensei’s present were taken aback by the girls’ declaration, but the Whirlpool residents chuckled, and agreed to the request. Excitement flowing through her veins, she quickly rushed back up with the proper tools and began working on her new home. Several hours passed by, and around noon, an elderly woman walked in, causing Kushina to pause mid work. The woman smiled, holding up a bento box.

“Why don’t you come down and eat with the rest of us Kushina-chan?” Grinning enthusiastically, she patted off most of the dust off her clothes and bounded towards the old woman.

“Sure!” she graciously accepted the box from her and the two of them walked back downstairs into the lobby where the rest of the future residents were enjoying their meals. Kushina greeted them with a smile, and then plopped onto the floor unceremoniously and begun eating like a wild woman. She heard everyone in the room starting to chuckle.

“You shouldn’t eat like that Kushina-chan. It isn’t becoming for a pretty lady such as yourself.” One of the men teased. She paused in mid-chew, ignoring the bits of rice on her face to glare at him.

“I’m nothing like those dainty little sissies. Besides, I got things to do.” She went back to shoveling more of her lunch into her mouth. More chuckles erupted from the people.

“Ahhh, but you would look so pretty in a cute kimono Kushina-chan!” The same man taunted.

His forehead was suddenly attacked by an empty bento box, causing him to fall backwards in surprise. Laughter erupted from everyone in the room as Kushina let out a low growl.

“Wanna shut your mouth before I kick your ass?” she felt something lightly grip her shoulder, and saw that it was the old woman’s hand, and she was giving her a pointed look. After calming down a bit, she let out a quiet apology as the man got back into his seat again. But he just waved her off with a sheepish grin.

“It’s alright Kushina. Everyone here is just glad you’re acting like your old self again.” She blinked owlishly several times, before smiling at everyone.


“Hey, you should go meet with the other genin that are here. After all you are going to be your new comrades.” Another villager piped in.

“Really? There here?” She asked, slightly interested. A woman nodded.

“Yes, they’re out eating their lunches in the courtyard.” Kushina rubbed her chin in thought, before shrugging.

“Why not? Guess I’ll go take a look.” She stuck her hands into her pockets, walking towards the courtyard to get a look at Konoha’s genin.

As she got closer to the buildings entrance, Kushina started to hear several voices shouting. She crept to the side of the door, peeking around it cautiously trying not to be seen. She saw six genin, in two groups of three sitting across from each other; two boys and a girl in each group, all looked around her age. They were arguing about something, so she remained quiet to find out what.

“Like that ever happened, you’re a freaking liar Takushi!”

“Ha! You’re just jealous that we got to go out and do a C ranked mission and you guys are still stuck doing kiddy stuff.”

“Then what are you guys back here for if you’re done with the ‘kiddy stuff’?” the one called Takushi and his two teammates turned red with embarrassment, and began looking away sheepishly. The boy who was mocking him laughed, “Looks like you guys screwed up and you’re stuck with D ranked missions again. Figures.” Takushi’s team stopped blushing, and all of them got to their feet to glare down the other team.

“Watch your mouth! You don’t know anything about what happened!”

Now that she was fully interested in the conversation, Kushina decided to make herself known to the others. She came out of her cover and walked over to the others.

“What was the mission?” everyone turned their attention towards her, wondering where she had come from. Looking directly at Takushi, she asked him once more. “What was the mission?” Takushi crossed his arms, giving her a suspicious look.

“Why do you want to know?” The boy arguing with Takushi gave her the same look, and waved her off.

“Yeah you’re just a civilian. You should stay out of shinobi business. It’s too complicated for you to understand.” The boy struck a nerve, and Kushina let out a low growl, glaring at the genin.

“It’s not that hard to get when I’m a genin as well!” one of the kunoichi crossed her arms, clearly not amused with Kushina’s statement.

“Saying you’re a genin when you’re obviously not will only get you in trouble.” Kushina turned her glare to said kunoichi.

“I am a genin!” she said again, with more force in her tone of voice.

“Then where’s your head band?” one of the boys asked.

She flinched, remembering the last time she saw her headband.

“It got lost… during the invasion-” she trailed off quietly, but the others only heard the first part of what she said.

“Hah! Liar! What kind of genin loses their headband?” Everyone started laughing at her, missing her clenched fists and her body shaking with anger.

“Honestly, she shouldn’t lie to get our attention like that. It’s just bad taste.”

“Yeah, what a-Wuaaaah!!!! Takushi was caught off guard when Kushina suddenly appeared next to him; grabbing his arm and chucking over to the other genin team. After they all gathered their wits, they stared in disbelief at her. She stood perfectly still, her shoulders hunched and hair covering her eyes.

“I may not have a headband right now…” She said ominously. Her head shot up, and they could all see the anger blazing in her eyes. “But that doesn’t mean I need one to kick your asses!!” One of Takushi’s teammates charged at her back, but she dodged them with ease, and kicked him into the others. They all got to their feet and into battle stances.

“Who the hell do you think you are?!” Takushi snarled out in anger. A wicked grin grew on her face, as she also got into a stance.

“My name is Uzumaki Kushina! Student to Manako Takamaru! And I’m the newest Konoha genin!” She cracked her knuckles by making a fist. “And you're all gonna pay for calling me a liar!”

“Why did Sarutobi-sensei have to give my team such a boring mission?” The big man complained, scratching his rather thick white hair. he and the three children with him were waking down the older east side of Konoha, heading to one of the renovations sites nearby. He crossed his arms and let out an angry huff. “I’ve got better things to do than this.”

“Maybe if you were on time this morning instead of the women’s bath house we would have better missions Jiraiya-sensei!” The girl shouted at him. Her other two teammates decided to stay out of the upcoming argument.

“There’s the building. Come on, we’re already late as it is.” The blond boy piped in, he and the other teammate sped up to get there faster. As they were about to round the corner to the courtyard, a body came flying out in front of them, crashing to the ground a couple feet away from them. They stood staring in confusion at the pitiful site of the moaning boy, until the blonds’ teammate recognized him.

“Hey that’s Takushi!” Jiraiya grinned widely, feeling the excitement bubble within him.

“Now this just got interesting.”

“Come on!” The blond lead his team around the corner, ready for anything that could happen. Only they weren’t prepared for the site before them.

Teams three and five were scattered about on the ground, all of them moaning in pain. They all showed sins of broken bones; one of them looked like they had two broken arms. Standing in the center of the chaos was a lone red haired girl, panting heavily. Her green shirt and tan pants where torn and dirtied, but that seemed to be the only damage done to her. The witnesses that were there were laughing or shaking their heads in disbelief, not really caring that there were a bunch of injured children.

Suddenly the girl in the center stomped the ground, raising up an arm and slapped her bicep with her other hand.

“Who else wants some?!” She declared, her eyes blazing with fury. She then kicked the nearest body to her in the stomach “Call me a liar eh?” She mocked the poor boy beneath her.

That was the last straw for Jiraiya, and he collapsed in a fit of laughter. The blond boy rolled his eyes at his sensei, turning to his teammates.

“Looks like we’ll have to fix this ourselves since Jiraiya-sensei is incapacitated at the moment. You two help the others, I’ll get the girl.” They nodded, agreeing with the plan and they rushed in as one. The blond was able to get behind Kushina without any trouble at all, and pulled her arm back into painful hold.

Kushina felt a sharp jolt of pain shoot up and down her arm as it was pulled back forcefully. She let out a small hiss, trying to hide her discomfort.

“That’s enough, you don’t need to fight anymore.” She heard a soft voice whisper to her calmly. Her eyes flashed, and she growled in annoyance that she was caught off guard.

“Like hell I won’t!” She cried out, then slammed the back of her head into her captors face. He let go of her arm instantly, falling backwards onto the ground. His hands flew to his nose as blood began to pour out. Kushina turned around, holding her arm but still ready for a fight; though when she got a better look at her opponent, she became confused.

“Hey! You’re not one them!” She started to panic, realizing what she had done. “Oh no! I’m so sorry!”

“What the hell is going on here?!” She jumped at the commanding voice, slowly turning her head to the right.

Two jounin stood at the courtyard’s opening; one was trying to calm the laughing Jiraiya and the other was glaring right at her. Deciding to take a chance, Kushina glanced at the surrounding scene. All the genin that she fought against were lying on the ground, battered and broken. All were moaning in anguish, some of them attempting to get back to their feet. She noticed two more genin nearby that she didn’t recognize, but they were staring in shock at the blond boy next her, and occasionally looked at her in awe for some reason.

She winced in pain as her arm flared up again, causing her to look back at the jounin glaring at her, still waiting for an answer. She gulped to herself, letting a sheepish grin cross on her face. “I can explain?”

“Four broken arms, two broken ankles, a broken leg, a fractured collar bone, and an ‘accidental’ broken nose. Not to mention all the severe bruising and cuts they have.” Tsunade said as she was listing off her injury report. She glanced up from her clipboard, arching a brow at the girl sitting before her. Said girl was glaring at the wall, her arm in a brace. “I understand the rivalry between the genin teams, but you somehow managed to rile up two teams that hated each other and got them to work together in order to come after you. Yet you’re the only one who got off with the least amount of injuries.

“A small fracture in your left arm and some cuts and scrapes while taking on six people. And according to witnesses, your taijutsu resembled that of a bar room brawler.” Tsunade shook her head “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jiraiya laugh so hard. You’ve certainly made a big impression Kushina” The little girl let out a huff.

“Bastards had it coming…” She muttered off to the side. Tsunade let out a snort writing more notes on her sheet.

“You sure get riled up easily. I would work on that temper of yours if you want to make any friends.” Kushina’s head shot back in Tsunade’s direction.

“I was trying too! But then the fat one-”

“None of them are overweight.” Tsunade remarked. Kushina glared at her.

“Well he’s got a fat head! Anyways he called me a liar when I said I was a genin. He told me to prove it but my headband was…” She trailed off, and went back to glaring at the wall. Tsunade let out tired sigh.

I see, they opened up fresh wounds. Poor girl’ Tsunade knew all about the annihilation of Whirlpool, and knew who the survivors were as it was her team that evaluated them when they arrived. She had to go through all their profiles in order to turn her final report in to Sarutobi.

“From there things just got worse. And somehow that third team got involved…Don’t know where the jounins were, but they weren’t there when the fight broke out. After a couple of minutes that white haired guy and his team showed up. I didn’t mean to break his nose, but I thought he was one of the other’s that I was fighting.”

“I fixed his nose, but you can go apologize to him yourself. As for the others…I think they’re humiliated enough as it is. Six on one and they lost; even their jounin-sensei’s are going to be embarrassed about this.” Kushina grinned, holding her head up proudly.

“Well, I was trained by the best in my village.” She gloated

“Bar room tactics will only get you so far, little lady. I suggest you work on your taijutsu.” Kushina flinched, but chuckled in good nature.


“So why didn’t you use ninjutsu?” Tsunade asked her as she finished writing up the rest of Kushina’s medical sheet. The girl looked up in confusion at the medic.


“From what I was told by the others, they used ninjutsu and everything else they had on them. Why did you only use taijutsu?”

“I didn’t want to hurt them.” Tsunade paused in her writings, giving Kushina a disbelieving look.

“You ‘didn’t want to hurt them’? I think it’s already too late for that Kushina.”

“Yeah but I could have really hurt them if I used ninjutsu on them.” Kushina shook her head “Nah, a beating is good enough for a bunch of pig-headed morons.” Tsunade let out a bark of laughter, tucking the clipboard under her arm.

“Alright, that covers everything. You’re free to go now Kushina.”

Letting out a victorious whoop, she made a get away for the door. “Just make sure to take it easy with that arm. It’s healed, but don’t do anything that might strain it. And please don’t send in anymore genin into my hospital.” Tsunade called out. Kushina paused at the door to look back at Tsunade with a grin.

“Not making any promises. Thanks Tsunade-san!” She then took off down the hall at breakneck speed, wanting to get out as soon as possible. She rounded a corner with a slide, maneuvering her body to keep her balance, before speeding up once more.

“Oh man, I can’t believe you got a broken nose. You! A broken nose! Aren’t you supposed to be a genius Minato?” The blond boy smiled sheepishly, chuckling at his teammate.

“Nobody’s perfect Hosobiki.” His teammate started laughing at him once more. Hosobiki had a slightly heavier build than his two teammates, but he wasn’t overweight. With his hair shaved close to his head and donning simple dark blue robes, he had the appearance similar to the monks at the fire temples all through out the country.

“But nobody can lay a hand on you! Not even Makanai and I can touch you during training. Then you go and try to stop a fight and some girl breaks your nose with a simple head butt.” He started cackling again, and their other teammate, Makanai began laughing as well.

“I wasn’t really expecting her to use the back of her head to fight back.” Minato said, blushing softly.

“Come on guys, let’s find Jiraiya-sensei.” Makanai said, standing by the door. She had a simple headband tied around forehead, keeping her bangs out of her eyes. She then slipped a clip to the back of her head to tie up her lengthy hair in a bun. She wore a light blue jacket that had a wide collar; metal studs circled all the way around the collar. Tied to her left arm was her leaf head band. She wore simple spandex shorts that had several holsters tied around her leg that could hold kunai and throwing needles.

Hosobiki did a flourished bow at the door towards Minato, holding his arm out at the door. Minato rolled his eyes, but grinned back in good faith. He walked past Makanai and waited for the two out side in the hallway.

“Excuse me!” A girl’s shout sounded out through out the hall. He looked up to see the red haired girl from earlier running towards him at an alarming rate. She was able to twist around him with ease, and continued on her way.

“H-hey!” Minato shouted at her, raising a hand in a futile attempt to stop her. Fortunately, she heard him and stopped at the corner to look back.

“Eh? What do you want?” she asked, her face scrunched up in bemusement. By this time, Minato’s teammates were in the hall with him, and saw her as well. Hosobiki’s face lit up with recognition and he grinned.

“Hey! You’re the girl that took out teams three and five!” Kushina walked back to the group, getting face to face with Hosobiki. She squinted trying to recall where she had seen him

“Am I supposed to remember you?” She asked, then moved over to Minato repeating the same action. He pulled his head back from her proximity, trying not to blush. “You don’t look like one of the guys I fought…”

“You should at least remember the guy whose nose you broke.” Makanai scoffed, crossing her arms. Kushina let out a small shriek, jumping backwards in shock. She bowed to Minato, rubbing the back of her head with her free hand.

“I’m so sorry about that! I thought you were one of those bastards coming at me with a cheap shot.” Minato waved his hands, laughing lightly.

“It’s alright really. No big deal.” He noticed her arm brace and pointed at it. “What about your arm? I didn’t break it did I?” He asked with a trace a worry in his voice. She raised her bad arm up, waving it around with a grin.

“This? Naw, just a fracture. Nothing big. But what about your nose? There was a lot of blood.”

“Tsunade-hime healed him up. It looks like it was never broken.” Hosobiki replied. Kushina let out a sigh of relief, glad that it wasn’t worse than it was.

“That’s good. Oh yeah!” she held out her good hand to Minato, still grinning widely “My name is Uzumaki Kushina by the way. Again, sorry about your nose.” Minato grinned, and took her hand.

“Namikaze Minato. These are my teammate Chekka Makanai, and Hosobiki Bushi.”

“Hosobiki is fine, please.” Hosobiki blushed from embarrassment.

“Great! Nice to meet ’cha guys.” She turned her attention back to Minato, “Hey can you show me that move you did with my arm before I broke your nose? That was a good technique!” Minato chuckled, scratching the back of head sheepishly.


“Great! I’ll come and find you guys later. I gotta finish fixing my new apartment.” She then did a 180 and ran down the hall once more, stopping before hitting the corner. She waved enthusiastically back at the trio “See you guys later!” she shouted before disappearing from sight.

The members of team nine stood in silence for several moments, not quiet sure what to think of their new eccentric friend.

“Well…she certainly was…lively.” Makanai said with a crooked grin.

“She was able to take on six gennin and win?” Hosobiki asked in disbelief. Minato smiled at his teammates.

“If you have the will for it, then you can do anything.”

“Heh. Guess you’re right. Well come on, let’s get out of here.”

“He’s late again…” Makanai said with a dark tone.

“Well what do you expect? This is Jiraiya sensei we’re talking about.” Hosobiki replied. He turned his attention to Minato. “What do you think his reasons are going to be this time?” Minato shrugged.

“Does it really matter? In the end he’s always at one of the bath houses.” Makanai muttered angrily.

“Should we go get him?”

“Yeah, might as well before he gets in trouble with Tsunade-san.” Minato remarked. The threes of them made their way off the bridge and back into town. Five minutes into their walk they heard a familiar shout.

“Hey!” turning to the source of the shout they saw Kushina running towards them. Her arm brace was gone, and she looked much better without all the dirt and cuts on her. She wore a forest green long shirt with black pants. When she was caught up to them, she was grinning widely, pointing at the object tied to her arm. “Check it out! Ji-san gave me a headband!” Hosobiki grinned back at her.

“Congratulations! So were you put in a team?” She chuckled lightly, and blushed with embarrassment.

“Ahh, no…As punishment for starting a fight, I have to work with both teams three and five for awhile…As for me being on a team? I don’t know…I’m used to going solo with my old sensei.”

“I’m sure Hokage-sama will find a team for you. It’s just going to take some time with the war going on.” Minato chipped in. But Kushina shrugged, not to thrilled with the prospect of being on a team in the first place.

“Hmm… I guess so.” She grinned at them once again. “Hey are you guys busy at the moment?”

“Not terribly, why?” Makanai asked.

“You guys want to train with me? The other teams have breaks before they go on their missions, and oji-san is going to have me train with team four tomorrow. I have nothing to do today.”

“Hokage-sama gave you the day off and you want to train?” Hosobiki asked, blinking at her. She slapped her bicep with her free hand, her grin getting wider.

“I was given another chance, so I gotta get stronger!” Her grin faded slightly as her eyes shone with determination. “I have to get stronger. For my sensei.” She added in a more somber tone.

Minato smiled after hearing her statement. He turned around and motioned for Kushina to follow.

“Come on, we’ll take you to our training spot.” Kushina grinned, and bounded after the blond.


“Hey! What about Jiraiya-sensei?” Hosobiki asked

“Forget him. I hope Tsunade finds him and teaches him a lesson he never forgets.” Makanai replied darkly, and then followed after the two. Hosobiki let out a shutter.

“Scary…Hey wait for me!”

Several hours had passed by, and currently Kushina was lying on the ground, panting heavily. Her clothes were dirty and slightly torn, and she sported some new bruises and scrapes.

“Wow…you guys…are a lot better than the other teams…” She gasped out. Hosobiki was standing a couple feet away, hunched over from exhaustion.

“You’re not so bad yourself.” He panted. Makanai was leaning against a nearby tree, resting from her earlier bout with Kushina. The red head had insisted on fighting each of them one at a time, wanting to fight them at full strength rather than they split into groups of two. They only agreed to it if the spars were limited fifteen minute bouts; to make things more fair since she was at a disadvantage. But with some light taunting from the fiery girl it lasted to a half an hour.

She was regretting taunting them; but only slightly regretting it. This was the most fun she had had in a long time. Minato walked over to and offered her a hand up.

“No thanks. I think I want to get reacquainted with Mother Nature for a bit.” She declined politely. The blond chuckled, and made his way over to Hosobiki to help him up.

“That was awesome though! Your first bout with Minato was amazing! You kept up with him the entire time!” Hosobiki gushed, but Kushina let out a short snort.

“He wasn’t even trying…” She lifted up her head to gaze at Minato from her spot. “You should take a fight seriously.” Minato grinned sheepishly

“I do. But this was just for fun right? I don’t see a reason for anyone to visit the hospital when we’re having fun.” Kushina grinned wickedly at him.

“Afraid I might break your nose again?” Minato’s teammates burst out laughing, making him turn red in embarrassment. Satisfied that the comment struck home, she let her head fall back onto the grass, staring up into the deep blue sky.

“You guys want to get some lunch?” Makanai asked as she was walked over to meet the group.

“Oh yeah…we usually make Jiraiya-sensei get us lunch cause he’s always late…where is he anyway? He should have showed up during the first spar…” Hosobiki mused quietly to himself. Makanai shrugged, still angry at their sensei for ditching them yet again.

“You two can go ahead, I already packed a lunch.” Minato said, pointing to his pack by three training posts nearby.

“You always pack a lunch. You never take advantage of getting a free one from sensei.” Makanai remarked as she walked up to Kushina. “What about you? Want to come with us?”

“No thanks. I had a late breakfast so I’m good for now.”

“Alright, we’ll grab some food and come back here to eat. You don’t have to wait on us if you want to eat Minato.” Makanai finished, and began walking off towards town. Hosobiki leaned backwards, cracking his back before he followed Makanai off the training grounds.

“See you guys later!” He shouted back. The duo waved them off, and Minato then sat cross legged next to Kushina.

“I’m curious.” She tilted her head towards him, raising a brow.


“How did the fight start between you and teams three and five?” He asked.

“They called me a liar when I said I was a gennin.” Now it was Minato’s turn to raise a brow

“Why would they say that?”

“I didn’t have a headband. But they still didn’t have to be such assholes about it.”

“Those guys always had an attitude problem… they always egged each other on back at the academy which usually made things worse in class.” Kushina propped herself up on her elbows, fully interested when he mentioned the academy.

“How big were your classes at the academy?”

“There were twenty four of us, but only half of us were able to become gennin.” Kushina let out a low whistle.

“That’s still more than double than what we had…Back at my village there were only five of us, and the next group wouldn’t be ready for another five years.” Minato’s eyes widened in shock.

“That small?!”

“Not all villages are like yours. Though I got to say that having a sensei to myself was nice…”She looked back up to the sky “We may have been a small village, but we were strong…but it wasn’t enough…” The boy looked at the ground solemnly.

“I’m sorry…” Kushina raised one of her hands, gazing at her palm with a rather peaceful expression on her face.

“It’s alright…It’s hard but I have to overcome it sometime.” Her palm turned into a tight fist. “Takamaru-sensei would have beat me senseless if he saw me moping around like a loser.” She turned to grin at Minato “No offense to Konoha or anything, but you guys are very sore losers. It’s been a week since I kicked their asses and they’re still mad at me.” Minato chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck.

“That sounds like them.”

“What about you?” He blinked rather stupidly at her question.


“Have you ever lost a fight and could never get over it.” She leaned forward to get a better look at his face. “I heard it from the others…well when they weren’t blatantly ignoring me. You were number one in the class, no one could touch you.” She said, causing him to blush and scratch the back of his head in embarrassment.

“There are a lot of shinobi in class that were better than me.” He said shyly, causing her to grin.

“They also said you weren’t one to flaunt it around either. I bet your parents are proud.” His look of embarrassment turned into a sad one.

“Ah…my parents died awhile ago.” she winced at the quiet reply

“Sorry…Were they shinobi?”

“No. My mother died while I was young, and my father died a couple years ago from pneumonia. He was a carpenter.” He sat up, smiling fondly in memory. “He may not have been a shinobi, but he did his best to help the village in anyway.” He turned to face her, and she could see his eyes lighting up as he continued on “Konoha was attacked a lot when I was younger, and he would do everything he could to help make people’s lives easier by fixing their homes free of charge. He wanted people to be happy.” His chest puffed up with pride.

“He’s my hero. I want to be like him.” He started to laugh to himself, blushing lightly. “But I wasn’t really cut out to be a carpenter. So I went where most children around my age ended up; the academy.” Kushina snorted

“You can handle deadly weapons but not a hammer and nail? You are definitely a weird guy.” She panicked slightly, waving her hands around frantically. “Not that I think you’re weird or anything!” When he laughed at her remarks, she calmed down slightly.

“Yeah, I am weird like that. But I don’t regret becoming a shinobi. I can still help the village, even if it’s in a different way.”

Kushina repositioned herself so that she could get a better look at Minato. He started to squirm a bit under her intense stare. “S-something wrong?” he asked

“You…You’re too nice.” She said out of the blue, making quirk his head in befuddlement.


“You’re too nice to be a tool, but you do it anyway…” Minato’s face scrunched up at her comment.

“Well I don’t like to think of myself that way.”

“Then what do you think of yourself as?” She asked. He grinned widely showing off his white teeth.

“A protector.” He answered earnestly. “I want to protect everyone in this village.”

Kushina’s mouth dropped open as she stare at Minato in shock. But that quickly gave way to a grin, and her eyes sparkled in mirth.

“Is that so?” she asked.

“Yep.” He replied with a nod.

“Ok…If you really mean it, then I’m going to hold you to it.” She bounced to her feet, getting into a stance. Her sudden movement caused her to jump, and he gave her a strange look for it. “Which also means you have to get stronger! I’m going to sure that you keep up with your training so that you’ll accomplish your goal.” He blinked several times, going over what she said before he smiled up at her.

“So what are your goals then Kushina?” He asked as he got into a stance as well.

“The same as yours.” She said with a smile. As she was about to make the move to attack, a loud, growling rumble pierced the air, causing her to stumble forward. She grabbed her stomach, trying to keep it quiet, but it was far too late. Minato broke from his stance, laughing without restraint. She turned away trying to hid her embarrassment. When she felt her shoulder being tapped, she slowly turned around, still blushing madly. Minato was holding out his lunch to her with a cheeky grin.

“If we have the same goals, then I feel obligated to help you as well. Strength is important, but so is taking care of yourself.”

Still blushing, she accepted his lunch with a quiet "thank you" and she sat back down onto the ground. He sat down next to and watched as she shoved an entire rice ball into her mouth. After she finished chewing, she offered his lunch back to him.

“I’ll split it with ya.” He smiled, and accepted a rice ball. He watched her take a bite out of another rice ball before he spoke up

“If you have any free time, you should come here.” She paused in mid-chew to look at him, blinking several times. He coughed lightly, blushing ever so slightly. “Well uh, if we are going to be helping each other out, we should… you know, have a meeting place…and all that…” she smiled, tossing the rice ball up and down in the air.

“Ok. When is a good time for you to meet up?”

“How about in five days? Jiraiya-sensei is going to take us on a border patrol mission tomorrow and we won’t be back until then.”

“Is that a promise then?” She asked, smirking slightly. He nodded, matching her grin with a smile and held out a free hand.

“A promise of a lifetime.” She took his hand and held it firmly in his own.

“Better not slack off during that mission of yours! I’ll be stronger by the time you get back!” He let out a bark of laughter, grinning widely.

“Right!” The two of them continued to eat in a comfortable silence. Kushina smiled, looking up at the sky. Oh yes, she was definitely coming back here.

She would return sooner than both of them thought. Ten minutes later Minato’s teammates returned, giving the news that they had the next two weeks off. Turns out that Jiraiya did run into Tsunade in the hot springs and she had put him into the hospital because of his actions.

Chapter 2

Adult Saga

“Come on Kushina-chan! Let’s get some drinks!!”

“Hey if you’re buying, why not?” Kushina pumped her fists into the air “Let’s get shit faced!” Her teammates copied her motion.

“Yeah!!” They all started all laughing, and Kushina draped her arms around her teammates shoulders, and the three of them began making their way through the village in high spirits. Kushina had been living in Konoha for four years now, and had recently become a chuunin. She had just completed her latest mission, one that had taken a month to finish, so her new friends wanted to celebrate her promotion and their success. As they walked through the crowded streets of Konoha, Kushina noticed a familiar face in the crowd. She grinned, stopping for a moment.

“Minato-kun! Over here!” She shouted.

The two had become close friends since their first spar four years. They would find the time to spar, and spend time together when they had the chance. When he and his teammates reached chuunin rank three years ago they all went solo, to do their part to help the village. Unfortunately, Hosobiki lost an arm in a Iwa Skirmish. Refusing to go into early retirement, Sarutobi found him a job in one of his intelligence units, involving bulking up Konoha’s defenses. Minato was the first out of his team to reach jounin rank two years ago, and Makanai became a jounin a year after that. She was soon accepted into the ANBU. She became part of one of the infiltration teams, and was never in town for more than a week at a time. Minato was saddened by the rift between he and his teammates, but Kushina found a way to keep him busy. Jealous of their quick promotions, she would find him every chance she got, and drag him to their training ground. She declared that he was slacking in keeping their promise, and she was going to beat him senseless until he stopped moping around and help her get stronger so that she could catch up.

But right now, he didn’t acknowledge her presence, and continued on his way. She glared at his back, and then did a quick pat on her teammates back. “I’ll catch up to you guys in a bit.”

“Alright, but don’t take too long Kushina-chan, this is your party.” She waved them off

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll see you guys later.” She began back tracking through the crowd to catch up to Minato. As she got a couple feet away from him, he still didn’t take notice of her. Her glare intensified, and she jumped onto his back, getting him in a headlock. “I’ve been gone for a whole month on my first mission as a chuunin, and when I call your name you ignore me? That’s unforgivable Minato!” He spun around several times, trying to keep his balance. “Apologize damnit!”

“Kushina!” He let out a gasp. “Can you let go of me please?” He pleaded, and began pulling at her hands.

“Apologize!” She demanded once more, tightening her grip.

“Alright I’m sorry!” She slide off his back, and watched as he turned around to face her with a slight smile on his face. “How is it that you are the only one able to catch me off guard?” She grinned, and giving him the peace sign.

“I’m just that good.” His smile faded, and his features took on a somber look. Kushina lowered her arm, concern creeping on her face. “What’s wrong?” She asked

“A lot has happened while you were gone…” He said with a sigh. She grabbed his hand and began dragging him through the streets, in the opposite direction of her team.

“Come on, we can talk about it over drinks. Looks like you could use one right now.”

She dragged him into a nearby restaurant, and took him to the bar. They both sat down, and she ordered a jug of sake for the both of them. Normally, the bar keep would never let under aged teens in his bar. But this was a time of war, and he knew that the life of a shinobi was a harsh one, so he allowed it. Kushina leaned onto the bar, facing Minato.

“So, wanna tell me what’s making you miserable?” She asked. The bartender brought the sake and two cups, pouring for the both of them. She said a quiet thank you to the man and took her cup, drinking from it.

“You know Hatake Sakumo?” Minato asked. Kushina snorted into her cup.

“Who doesn’t? That’s a stupid question to ask.” She then gulped down her remaining sake.

“He’s dead.” He replied somberly. Kushina choked, and began coughing and sputtering. Minato patted her back, until she regained her composure.

“What?! How?! Was he killed in his mission?” Kushina remembered the white fang leaving for a mission before she was assigned hers. He and his team were in high spirits, and she wished them good luck, since she knew how important the mission was to Konoha. Minato shook his head.

“No. It was suicide.” He took a slow sip of his sake. Kushina couldn’t believe it.

“…Why? He was so strong. Why would someone like him do that?” Tears began welling up in her eyes as she stared at the table

“He and his team failed their mission.” She looked over at Minato, her anger began to seep through onto her features.

“That can’t be the reason why! I know it was important, but to commit suicide over a failed mission is ridiculous for a guy like him!” Minato laid a hand on her shoulder.

“Calm down Kushina.” She looked away, wiping at the tears in her in her eyes. He poured her another cup of sake, and she drank it in one gulp. “A week after you left, Sakumo came back, carrying his teammates on his back. They were severely injured, very close to dying. But they survived. They failed their mission. He abandoned the mission so that he could save his teammates instead.” He took another sip from his own glass, looking at the mirror on the opposite side of the bar. “Konoha suffered a great loss because of it, and people began blaming him because of his actions. Even his own teammates blamed him.” He said quietly “Eventually it was too much for him to bear. So he took his own life.”

Kushina was silent for several minutes, then her hands balled into fists, cracking her knuckles.

“That’s a load of crap! Why would anyone be mad at someone saving lives?” She slammed her fist onto the table top. “Sakumo gave the best years of his life to this village! I would have done the same thing in his shoes!” She suddenly turned her anger at Minato. “Do you believe he failed the village by not abandoning his comrades?” Minato poured himself another glass, but did not reach for a drink.

“I understand why people are angry at him. This mission was supposed to be a major victory for us. It could have cut years off the war, saving hundreds of lives. And he threw it all away to save two.” Kushina was about to shout at him, but he raised his hand to silence her. “But I agree with you. I would have done the same thing in his shoes. Even if it meant being disgraced. He’s still a hero to me.” She smiled at him, wiping away more of her tears.

“Good. I didn’t want to have to kick your ass Minato-kun.” He chuckled, then raised his glass to her.

“To Sakumo.” He said. She quickly poured another glass for herself, and clanked it with his glass.

“To Sakumo.” She repeated, and they both drank to the fallen shinobi. Kushina let out a breath, and poured another glass. Her body started feeling warm, and her senses were beginning to get fuzzy. But she had the day off the next day, so she could care less. “First Tsunade-san leaves and now this…” She said quietly. During her musings, she remembered an important fact about the white fang.

“Didn’t Sakumo have a kid?”

“Yeah. He just turned seven.” She let out a frustrated sigh, pouring another glass.

“He shouldn’t have to deal with this…” She murmured.

“He’s a strong kid. Made chuunin two months ago. But you’re right, a child shouldn’t have to go through something like this.” Kushina’s brow twitched irritably.

Some kid beat me at becoming chuunin? I need to up my training…’ She downed her cup again, then glanced at Minato out of the corner of her eye.

“How do you know that?” She asked, slightly suspicious.

“The Hokage has put him under my charge. I’m going to be his new sensei.” She arched a brow.

“Are you going to get genin team then?” She asked. He shook his head.

“Not yet. He’ll get a team in a couple years, but for now it’s just Kakashi and I.”

“So that’s his name…have you meet him yet?”

“A couple times before his fathers death, but I never got to speak to him. He admired his father very much.” Minato took another drink from his cup, then set it down. “He was the one to find his father’s body.” Kushina let out a sad sigh, pouring herself a glass.

“That kid is going to have a lot of problems…” She said quietly, gulping down her drink. Minato gave her a crooked grin.

“You should take it easy Kushina. I don’t want you passing out on me.” She waved at him dismissively, pouring another glass.

“Bah! I was gonna get drunk with my new friends anyway before I ran into you. The only thing that’s changed is the circumstances and the company.” She downed another drink, and let out a breath. “You can start worrying about me when I start ssslurring.” She paused, then frowned. “Damn…” She cursed lightly. But she just shrugged, and reached for the sake jug. Minato grabbed it first, pulling out of her reach.

“You’re slurring.” He commented, grinning widely. She glared at him, flexing her hand, motioning at the jug.

“Give it.” She demanded.

“You had six drinks already, and you drank them quickly. You’re going to get sick if you drink more at the rate you’re going.” He pointed at her face. “Your face is flushed, your pupils are somewhat dilated, and you started to slur. You’re drunk.” She stared his finger, causing her to cross her eyes. He started laughing at her, which caused her to get angry.

“Don’t laugh at me you jerk!” She went to punch him, but instead fell off her stool, causing him to laugh harder. The bartender came over to grab the sake jug from Minato.

“A lightweight eh?” He said, putting the jug away. A loud moan could be heard from below.

“She isn’t like Jiraiya-sensei.” Minato said after he calmed down. He pulled out several bills and laid them on the counter, then bent down to pick her up. He situated her on his back, and then walked out of the restaurant, with her continuing to moan pitifully.

“I hope you don’t throw up on me Kushina-chan.” He said in a teasing tone. She rested her head on his shoulder, eyes half closed.

“Jerk…” She muttered. He chuckled light heartedly, then adjusted her so that he could get a better hold of her. “So…about this jutsu you were going on about before I left…did you get any farther while I was gone?”

“I’m still in the planning stages. I haven’t had a lot of time to focus on it since Sakumo’s death.” She pushed on his shoulders, positioning herself higher.

“His death means we have to work harder to protect the village.” She leaned back onto his shoulder, feeling slightly dizzy “For his sake.”

“Right.” He agreed.

The two of them soon came up to a bridge, and as Minato neared the center, Kushina patted his shoulder excitedly.

“Hey, hey! Let’s go down by the river!” Minato turned his head, arching a brow.

“You want to go swimming?”

“I just want to be by the water, now are you gonna take me or am I gonna have to go myself?”

“Like you could make it down there as you are now…” He mumbled quietly. He jumped off the bridge landing on the water’s surface, then jogged to the riverbank. She slid off his back, then laid on her side, so that she was parallel to the water. Minato sat down next to her, watching her as she reached her hand out and dipped it into the water. Her hand disrupted the waters current, causing a small whirlpool to form behind her palm. A small smile formed on her face, as she fondly watched the water

Minato watched the whirlpool intently, losing himself in the vortex. Kushina would move her hand slowly, ruining the first whirlpool, but then would stop and wait for a new one to form behind her palm again. Lifting up his arm he looked at his own hand. He began to look back and forth between her hand, the whirlpool, and his own before a grin formed on his face. She looked up from her position when she heard him laughing.

“What’s so funny?” She murmured, slightly miffed about being disturbed. He shook his head, grinning widely at her.

“Nothing. I was just struck by sudden inspiration.” She gave him a funny look, before she went back to making more whirlpools. Minato stared at his hand once more, before making a fist, The gears in his mind turning.

Three years later…

“Wow…you really out did yourself this time Minato.” She remarked as she stared in awe at the swirling orb of chakra in his hand. The ball dissipated, and his face took on a slight pout.

“Unfortunately, this is all that I can do…I can’t take it further than this…”

“You could rip somebody apart with that thing as it is, and you had more planned?!”

“This is only half done. There was more that I wanted to do…” Kushina let out a snort

“I thought that I was the one that did things half-assed…” Minato blushed, while chuckling nervously. “So do you have a name for it?”

“Rasengan.” She slowly nodded

“Not bad. I like it.”

“Sensei, we need to get going.” The nine year old Kakashi said impatiently. He had been waiting for an half an hour, while Minato and Kushina had been catching up since they last saw each other two weeks ago.

“Ah don’t get your panties in a twist Kakashi-chan.” Kushina teased as the boy gave her an icy stare.

“No, Kakashi is right. We’re keeping our new friends waiting.” Both Kushina and Kakashi turned to him in interest.

“What friends?” They both said at the same time. Kakashi sent her another look, but she ignored him waiting for an answer. Minato turned red from embarrassment, and scratched the back of his head sheepishly.

“I guess I forgot to mention it…This year some of the classes at the academy are graduating early…you’re getting new teammates Kakashi.” The boys’ eyes widened slightly, while Kushina started laughing. When Kakashi glared at Minato, his sensei returned the look “Don’t give me that look. You knew this day was coming sooner or later.”

“I preferred later.” The boy mumbled behind his mask. When Kushina calmed down, she wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes.

“I’m just sorry that I’m going to miss the introductions…” She grinned at Minato “I’ll have to meet the kiddies later, I need to go and see ji-san for my next mission.” She bent forward, patting Kakashi on the head, still grinning. “Now you play nice with the other children Kakashi-chan!” She teased. He pushed her hands away, glaring at her fiercely. She winked at Minato “Good luck, and take care of yourselves!” Then she ran off down the road. Kakashi turned his glare at Minato, who just smiled at his student, and ruffled his hair.

“Come on, let’s go meet your new teammates.” Kakashi brushed past him, walking towards the training ground.

“If you insist…” The chuunin sighed out.

Several hours later Kushina was walking towards the training ground, grinning widely. Her mission would not begin until tomorrow, so she decided to go meet the new genin Minato and Kakashi were saddled with. But she took her time, wanting the genin to get settled in with their new team. So she spent the morning enjoying herself by walking around the village, taking in the sights. Even though it’s been seven years since she came to Konoha, she was still enthralled by the village’s atmosphere. Around noon, she decided to drop by and see how they were all doing.

Once she was in the vicinity. She jumped up to a nearby branch, watching the group up ahead. She immediately spotted Kakashi and Minato, then she saw the black haired boy and brown haired girl. From what she could tell from their posture, they had just finished a training exercise. The boy and girl were on their hands and knees, while Kakashi was stretching out his arms. Minato was shaking his head, obviously not pleased with them. The black haired boy pointed at Kakashi, hearing him shout some nonsense or something, while the girl seemed to try and placate him. She grinned, already liking this new team already. As if sensing her mirth, Minato’s head turned towards her direction.

Kakashi also seemed to sense her, as his head suddenly snapped towards her, and he let fly several kunai. Her brow twitched in annoyance, and she jumped from the branch. She landed on the ground gracefully, then charged at the chuunin with inhuman speed.

I’ll show that brat…’ As she got closer, Kakashi recognized her, and his eyes widened slightly in shock. Before he could react, she was at his side, with a feral grin on her face. She maneuvered around his back and delivered a strong kick to his backside. He stumbled forward, and she was at his side again, this time lazily sticking out her foot. He tripped, falling onto his face. She kneeled down to his level, ruffling up his hair.

“You may be a genius Kakashi, but you forget that I’m a jounin now, and I’ve been training with Minato for years.” She pulled him back up to his feet by the back of his shirt, grinning. “You got a long way to go before you can get me by surprise Kakashi-chan!” Kakashi’s eyes twitched, and he swatted her away with his arm. Minato let out a sigh.

“Kushina.” He greeted. She turned to face him with a slight glare, hands on her hips.

“Well hello to you too sunshine.” She heard some giggling behind her, which brought a smile to her lips.

“I thought you were going on a mission?” Kakashi remarked. She turned her smiling face at the boy.

“Not until tomorrow. Why, did you miss me already?” He let out a snort, turning away from her. Kushina let out a huff, seeing that Minato was awkwardly scratching his head.

“Well if you two are going to be like that then I’m just going to mingle with these guys.” She did a one-eighty degree turn, kneeling down to the two genin’s level.

The black haired boy was grinning widely at her. She took notice of the orange goggles that hung around his neck, and wondered if he actually used them. She got a look at the girl, and saw red stripes on her cheeks, which she figured to be a clan thing. “So, what are your names?” She asked, her tone light and happy.

“Uchiha Obito!”

“Tomodachi Rin.” She raised a brow.

“A Uchiha eh? You ought to give Kakashi a run for his money.” Obito blushed slightly, and was about to reply when Kakashi beat him to it.

“Not really…He’s proved to be pretty useless so far.” Obito’s face turned red with anger, but Kushina laid a hand on his shoulder, calming him down. She leaned into his ear.

“This coming from the chuunin that went down by tripping over a foot…” She whispered. He laughed out loud, and she heard Rin giggling behind him. She pulled away from him and stood up. “Name’s Uzumaki Kushina, nice to meet you both.”

“Are you one of sensei’s teammates?” Rin asked.

“Naw, just a friend.”

“More like a pest…” Kakashi remarked. Kushina’s eyes flashed with anger, and she pulled out an explosive tag from her flak jacket. Minato stood in between the two of them, snatching the tag out of her hand.

“Ok, that’s enough out of both of you.” He sighed once more, looking at his students. “We’re done for the day, so head home. I hope you all remember what I said today. I want all of you to meet here again tomorrow morning at seven…Pack a lunch but don’t eat breakfast…”

“Sensei?” Rin asked, she and Obito’s eyes slightly wide in confusion. Kakashi looked mildly interested as well.

“The training I’ll be putting you all through will be rough…You might even throw up!” He said cheerfully. Rin and Obito twitched in fear, while Kakashi’s brow rose slightly. “Now go. Get to know each other. After all you’ll be teammates from now on.” Then he waved them off. For a couple seconds, they didn’t move. Then Rin and Obito started to leave, While Kakashi stayed behind. With a pointed look from Minato, the boy reluctantly gave in, and followed after them. When the children were gone, Minato let out a sigh and rubbed the bridge of his nose.

“That bad eh?” She asked.

“Remember how you met Takushi and the others?” He asked. She winced in sympathy.

“Ouch…guess you have your hands full then.”

“Kakashi is used to working with chuunin and jounin. The idea of working with genin isn’t settling well with him. First greetings started out ok, in fact when he found out Obito was from the Uchiha clan he was looking forward to the training session.” He let out a light laugh. “That’s when things went down hill…”

“Obito wasn’t up to his standards.” Kushina answered for him. He nodded. “And being the perfectionist he is, he gladly told Obito all his faults.” Again, Minato nodded. “And Obito has a temper doesn’t he?”

“It was a disaster…” Minato groaned out. “Rin was trying to calm them both down, But Kakashi seemed to thrive off of antagonizing Obito, and Obito wasn’t going to back down from Kakashi…” He let out a sigh “They need to work on their teamwork if they’re going to do any missions.”

“But it looks like you already have something in mind.” Kushina replied, stretching out her arms. He ginned sheepishly.

“Not really, I was just bluffing. I’ll figure something out though.” Kushina snorted, then began leaning backwards, cracking her back.

“You’re usually more prepared than this.”

“I just need to come up with an exercise that forces them to work together.” His eyes lit up, and he started back towards town. “I know what I’m going to do.” She jogged to catch up with him.

“That was quick.”

“It’s a training exercise that Hokage-sama came up with Jiraiya-sensei’s team. I need to get some bells.”

“You going to tell me about it?”

“The goal of the exercise is to get two bells from me. Whoever doesn’t get the bell will be punished.” She let out a snort.

“And that promotes teamwork how?” He laughed lightly.

“I know it sounds ridiculous, but bear with me. Do you really think that any one of them can take me on by them self?” He asked. She looked up in thought.

“Kakashi might think so, since you’ve been training with him for three years. He’ll be the most confident out of all of them. But the other two won’t stand a chance.” He grinned, pulling out an oddly shaped kunai, with a strange seal wrapped around its base.

“I still have some tricks up my sleeve.” She raised a brow.

“What’s that?” His grin seemed to grow wider.

“That’s a secret.” She shrugged, then brushed past him

“Well I thought we could talk more over lunch since I’m leaving tomorrow.” She let out a dramatic sigh “But since you really don’t want to talk…” He fumbled with the kunai, quickly putting it away before catching to her.

“I never said that! Kushina wait a second!” She hid her smile from him, humming a pleasant tune.

“Another successful mission?” Sarutobi had asked, smiling. The red haired woman before him grinned, holding her head up high. At twenty one years old, Kushina had become a powerful jounin. She may not have been as well known as the yellow flash, but she was still a force to be reckoned with. Her fiery red hair had grown, almost reaching her hips,

“Of course ji-san! This is me we are talking about!” She bragged. Although she had matured greatly over the years, she would still bring out the child from old to brighten the mood. The third chuckled, straightening more papers on his desk, then reached for her pay check, signing it.

“I’m glad that you came back without any injuries.” He held out the slip of paper for her, which she eagerly took, folding it and slipped into her pocket.

“Like they can touch me.” She said, buffing her nails on her sleeve.

“I’m giving you a week off. Enjoy your vacation.” The third said. She paused, then looked up at him with a questioning look.

“Why a week?” She asked warily.

“Team sevens mission was a success, Konoha gained a huge victory-” her eyes narrowed, and she frowned. She knew something was up, and interrupted him

“I know you better than that Hokage-sama. Even with the victory, it’s still a time of war. You wouldn’t slack with giving out missions. Tell me the truth.” The smile on the thirds face disappeared. He laid his elbows onto his desk, leaning into his hands. Kushina suddenly got a horrible feeling in her stomach.

“Does it have to do with Minato’s team? Are they all right?” fear gripped at her heart as she waited for an answer. She knew about Minato’s mission, since it was Kakashi’s first one as a jounin. It was a near suicide mission, even if Minato could handle it. But she was more concerned about his student’s role, since they were going to be on their own. The third let out a long sigh, gazing back at her with a sad expression.

“The mission was a success. And because of that the war may be over within months. But there were causalities.” He said in a serious tone. She didn’t move, or make a sound, so Sarutobi took it as a sign to continue. “Uchiha Obito was killed in action.” Kushina eyes widened in shock, and began welling up with tears. She quickly caught her composure, and bowed.

“E-excuse me Hokage-sama.” She said quietly, then ran out of the room. The third shook his head in remorse.

The clouds loomed ominously overhead, as rain began pelt the ground. The rain fall started slowly, but increased rapidly, and ruthlessly drenched all those unfortunate enough to be caught in the sudden onslaught. As other villagers took cover, Kushina ignored everything around her, solely focused on getting to her destination. Ten minutes passed by and she slowed to a stop, panting slightly. She stood at the edge of a clearing, and in the center, a single stone, surrounded by trees. The memorial stone.

She made her way slowly, the ground sloshed with every step she took. As she got closer to the stone, she could see a bouquet of flowers placed at the base. As she took a step onto the slab she saw another item, instantly recognizable to her. Obito’s goggles. She fell to her knees, her hand tracing lightly over Obito’s name, freshly etched into the stone. A sob escaped her lips, and she leaned forward, resting her forehead onto the stone. Tears mixed freely with her rain soaked face, her body shaking with every silent sob she let out.

Minutes passed by at an agonizing pace. She barely heard the footsteps slowly coming behind her. When she turned her head, she saw Minato standing a couple feet away. His uniform was soaked, and he was looking at the ground in remorse. She stood up, and carefully made her way towards him. The she wrapped her arms around his neck, laying her head on his shoulder.

“I’m so sorry…” She half whispered, half choked out. He responded by pulling her close, holding her tightly against him. “I want to know what happened.” She said quietly.

“Not here.”

“Then we’ll go to my place. It’s closer.”


She detached herself from him, but grabbed his hand and firmly held it within her own. Ten minutes later, Kushina was fumbling with the keys to her apartment. She got the door open, and the two of them walked inside. She let go of his hand, making her way to her bedroom, then returned with an oversized long sleeved shirt, pants and some towels. She handed them to Minato.

“I don’t really have anything that would fit you besides these. They were gifts from my neighbor…she always buys things oversized, but I could never say no to her.” She prattled on. He smiled, taking the items from her. “I’ll be back in a bit.” And with that, she returned to her room, leaving him to change privately.

Several minutes later she reemerged, dressed in a t-shirt and long pants, rubbing a towel in her hair. She saw that Minato had changed into his clothes, and that they were too big even for him. He motioned for her to sit with him on the couch, and she did so. They were silent for several moments, then Minato began telling her what happened.

Twenty minutes later Kushina was hunched forward, wiping away more tears, as Minato was rubbing her back sympathetically. She glanced over at him.

“How’s Kakashi and Rin taking this?” She asked.

“Very hard. Especially Kakashi. He blames himself for Obito’s death. But we’ll be there to help him. We’ll be helping each other get through this.” He replied. A sad smile crept onto her face.

“Right.” Her eyes flashed at a thought, and fear crept into her chest. “What about the Uchiha clan? What did they think about Obito’s gift?” Minato removed his hand from her back, and rubbed his eyes.

“They’re not happy about an outsider gaining ‘their’ eye. Especially when Obito awakened it at a young age. He had a lot of potential to become a powerful asset to their clan.”

“They aren’t going to try and take it back by force are they?” There was some anger laced in her voice.

“Due to the success to the mission, the people in the village see us as heroes. If they did try to take back Obito’s eye, then the Uchiha clan would be disgraced in the eyes of the villagers. They would lose their standing and their place as Konoha’s police force.

“They’re bending to Sarutobi’s will, and promised to leave him be. But they won’t train Kakashi to use the sharingan either.” Minato’s eyes hardened “Even if they did try something, I wouldn’t let them do anything to harm him.” She smiled, then leaned into him, causing them both to lean back against the couch.

“I wouldn’t let them either…Not that you would need my help though, eh ‘yellow flash’?” She glanced up at his face, and grinned to herself when she saw him blushing. She decided not to tease him, and instead chose a different subject to talk about. “Oji-san says the war should be over in a couple months because of the success of your mission.”

“T-that’s what he told us when we returned.” He stammered out.

“I’m glad…” She let out a sigh. “This world jumps from one war to the next…” She let out another sigh. “I’ll be looking forward to some peace and quiet for a change.” She felt his arm go around her shoulders, and squeeze her lightly.

“Me too.” He agreed quietly. The two of them stayed silent, listening to the rainfall outside in content. Eventually, sleep took them both, exhausted from the days events.

Six months had passed since Obito’s death, and the day everyone had hoped for came. Iwakagure had finally agreed to negotiate a peace treaty with Konoha, and in turn led other countries involved in the war to follow their lead. The Kages had agreed to meet in the Grass country, since being a natural country they had no part in the war. After a week of tense negotiations, all the Kages came to terms, and the Chuunin exams were born. All the villages suffered greatly during the war, especially Konoha. But they still came out strong.

Spirits rang high in Konoha when the Sandaime returned. Villagers were celebrating in the streets, and even though the Konoha shinobi were still on their guard, they too couldn’t keep the smiles off their faces. Kushina had spent most of the day celebrating with Rin and Kakashi, since Minato was part of the Hokage’s elite guard in the Grass country along with Jiraiya and Orochimaru. At sunset, she decided to leave the two teens alone, and headed for her training spot.

She arrived a half hour later, and as she got to the center of the field she fell backwards, laying spread-eagle on the ground, staring up at the dimming sky. She let out a content sigh, and smiled.

“It’s over…well, hopefully over. Unless somebody decides to pull a cheap shot then we’re screwed…” She said to herself, then frowned. “I hope not…”

“Me too. I just spent the last week listening to all the Kages complain about everything…Sarutobi-sama is certainly an amazing guy. To have that sort of patience he must be a god-send.” Recognizing the voice, she smiled and sat upright. Minato was standing there in his uniform, grinning widely at her. Her smile turned mischievous, and she jumped to her feat, then pounced on him unexpectedly. He lost his balance, falling backwards.

“Welcome back.” She said cheerfully. Having grown used to her behavior and habits, Minato chuckled, and hugged her back.

“Thank you. It’s nice to be back.” She detached herself from him, and sat on the ground to his right.

“Was it that bad?” She asked. He pinched the bridge of his nose.

“I thought Orocimaru was going to slit the Tsuchikage’s throat.” Kushina let out a snort, shaking her head.

“I don’t know what Sarutobi was thinking when he decided to bring Orocimaru along to sign a peace treaty.” She leaned forward, wrapping her arms around her knees. “He’s changed since I first met him… In a bad way…but one thing hasn’t changed.” Her eyes narrowed. “I still don’t like his eyes.”

Minato fidgeted uncomfortably, and looked off to the side. Kushina’s glare turned onto him suspiciously.

“What’s wrong?” He scratched the back of his head, and he blushed lightly.

“I know why Sarutobi-sama brought him…It was a test…” Kushina turned her body so that she was facing him entirely.

“Go on.”

“Well…Sarutobi-sama is getting old…” She snorted.

“He’s been old for the last two decades, get to the point already.” He chuckled nervously.

“Jiraiya-sensei already told him that he wasn’t interested, so he’s been watching me and Orochimaru for awhile now because he’s going to name a successor.” Her eyes widened in shock.

“What?!” His blush became redder, as he grinned lightly. “So, he’s finally going to call it quits?”

“Yeah.” She smacked his arm playfully, smiling.

“Look at you! I haven’t seen you this embarrassed since you caught me reading your sensei’s book.” He turned a bright red, and she fell backwards, rolling around on the ground laughing loudly. When she did finally calmed down, she looked up at him from her position on the ground. “So, did he bring you together after he reached a verdict?” He shook his head.

“No…He came to us individually.” He said, then went quiet.

“Well?” He turned and grinned at her

“Well what?” She smacked his thigh, causing him to laugh.

“What did he say?” After a couple moments of silence, He fell backwards looking up at the sky.

“He asked me to be his successor.” He said in a calm voice. More silence followed after his reply, until Kushina sat up instantly, looking down at Minato in disbelief.

“Are you serious?!” He nodded.

“He just asked me about an hour ago. He told me to take a short walk with him and he asked me at the Hokage’s monument.” She fell backwards, looking up at the sky again.

“Wow…” She sighed out. “That’s just…”

“Unbelievable?” He answered for her.

“Yeah…” She heard him chuckle.

“Tell me about it.” She propped herself up with her elbows, to get a better look at his face.

“Are you going to do it?” His eyes shifted at her, and he raised a brow.

“You think I should?” He asked, wanting to hear her opinion. She looked up in thought, before she decided to flop horizontally across him, resting her arms and head on his chest. He let out a gasp of air and several coughs before she spoke up.

“First off, Sarutobi-jisan is the smartest, the kindest person I know. If he believes that you can lead and protect this village, then you can. Second, this is the greatest honor any shinobi could get. So if you don’t accept it, then you’re a bigger idiot than I thought. And third…” She trailed off, letting out a sigh. “If the choices he had were between you and Orochimaru, then I would have left this village if he chose that man over you.” Minato lifted his head, getting a better look at her.

“You really mean that?” He asked, his voice rising in pitch. She pushed herself up and readjusted so that she sat on top of him. Then she crossed her arms, giving him a pointed look.

“Of course I do you moron! I respect all the shinobi in this village…But you,” She poked his chest for emphasis “are on another level of respect. One that I had only for one other person in my life…” She trailed off softly. She shook out of it, and looked back at him. “What I’m saying is…I think that you should take up Sarutobi’s offer…” She finished, somewhat lamely. He raised a brow at her.

“That didn’t sound very convincing.” She blushed, looking away.

“That’s because…I thought with the war over and all…that we could…” Her blushed deepened, and she mumbled something that Minato almost missed. He grinned widely, and poked her side, causing her to jump slightly.

“What was that? I’m afraid I didn’t catch that last part.” He teased.

“I said that we could maybe spend more time together…Jerk.” He let out a bark of laughter, which seemed to agitate her more. She rolled her eyes and went to get off of him, but he grabbed her arms and held her back. When she looked down at him, he was grinning widely.

“Do you really think that becoming the Hokage would get in my way in spending more time with you?” Her blush returned, and she looked away in embarrassment.

“…A little bit…” He let out a snort, sitting upwards, causing her to slid off of him slightly, but his arms went around her waist, catching her.

“Who’s the moron now?” She blinked in surprise, and her mouth dropped open slightly. Then she started laughing, smacking his shoulder in good nature.

“Where did that come from? I have never heard you insult me before!” When she calmed down, she grinned at him. “Then again we can’t have a spineless Hokage now can we?” She glanced down at his arms, and looked at him smugly. “Looks like you’ve become more bold as well.” He shrugged.

“Well I can finally relax a little with the war over.” Her arms slipped around his shoulders, and she leaned in close, their forehead centimeters apart.

“How relaxed are you exactly?” He smiled, closing the gap between them.

It was a simple light brush of the lips, and lasted a couple seconds. But it made Kushina feel like she was on top of the world. When he pulled away, she grabbed the back of his head pulling him back. This time the kiss was fiercer than the first, as she poured more of her want and need into it. They broke apart for air after a minute, and she smiled, letting out a content sigh.

“I’ve waited a long time for that.” He blinked, confusion shone in his eyes.

“Really?” She nodded.

“Yep.” She leaned forward, resting her head on his shoulder. “You really are slow though. I thought that I was going to have to make the first move there for a second.” Minato’s face flushed with embarrassment.

“Did you really have so little faith in me?” He asked, his voice raised up several pitches, causing her to chuckle.

“You’re hopeless…”

It took four months to prepare Minato for taking on the roll as Hokage, and another three after he had been inaugurated for him be become acquainted with all the fire country’s nobles. He also ended up having to go to the first chuunin exams being held in Suna. During that time Sarutobi watched the village for him. It was also during this time that Orochimaru left the village, after rumors of his experiments on humans pushed Sarutobi to search his lab. Hurt by his comrades betrayal, Jiraiya left the village as well, wanting to keep tabs on his former teammate.

When Minato finally returned to Konoha, he was tired, dirty, and wanted nothing more than to find Sarutobi and “Shove that damn hat up his ass!” as Kushina would say. But when he entered his office expecting to see the old man sitting there, he saw Kushina sitting in his chair with her feet on the desk, smiling widely with Kakashi and Rin who were standing next to her. Kushina got up from her seat, took off his hat and jacket, and lead him out by the hand, saying she found a great restaurant that had the best ramen in town.

“I have other jobs that need to be taken care of Kushina-chan.” He argued.

“Not for another week.” Minato raised a brow.

“Oh? Why is that?” She turned around, giving him a peace sign while grinning mischievously.

“I won a bet with Sarutobi-jisan, so consider the next week a vacation. Now come on, you look like you could use some food.” He pulled her back and embraced her tightly.

“You are so wonderful.” He said, kissing her lightly. She grinned.

“I know, which is why you love me. Now come on, I’m hungry too.”

The new restaurant would become Kushina and Minato’s new place to meet when they had the time. Those close to them noticed how the two seemed to become inseparable, meeting anytime they would be free. Several more months passed by, and Kushina found herself walking to the Hokages office, eating several different sweets that came from the bag that hung loosely around her arm. Walking beside her was a grinning Rin.

“Don’t you think he’ll guess?” She asked. Kushina snorted, before taking another bit into her popsicle.

“This is Minato we’re talking about. He may be a genius, but he’s as sharp as a butter knife when it comes to things like this.” She polished off the popsicle and pulled out a box of dango in her bag and started munching on those. She waved at the guards who just nodded curtly at her. She rolled her eyes at the shinobi, and turned to Rin. “So uptight.” The teen giggled into her hand, following her inside.

Minato glanced up from his desk, and smiling at the two as they entered. But his smile quickly turned to a worried frown.

“Aren’t you sick? You’ve been throwing up for the last couple weeks.” He said. Kushina shrugged, taking another bite from her snack.

“I was, but now I’m feeling better.” She replied nonchalantly. He smiled again.

“That’s good. But what’s with all the junk food?” She finished the rest of her dango, and was about to grab another when she paused, looking up in thought. She turned to Rin, handing her some money.

“Rin-chan can you go get some pickles for me?” Rin grinned and nodded, then ran out the door. “And whip cream!” Kushina added quickly. Minato’s confusion rose even further.

“I thought you didn’t like pickles.”

“Well I’ve been craving a lot of weird stuff lately…” She hinted. Minato scratched his head in bewilderment.

“Huh…” He looked back up at her “Are you sure you’re not still sick?” Her brow twitched in irritation.

“Positive. Anyway…do you remember three weeks ago?” He looked up in thought.

“What about it?” Her temper rose even further, but she kept it in check.

“Do you remember what we did one ‘special’ night, those three weeks ago?” After several moments of silence, his eyes light up.

“You mean on my birth-” He instantly blushed, and cleared his throat “I mean yes. Yes, I remember.” She began examining her nails.

“I got another surprise for ya.” His blush intensified, and he panicked slightly.

“Kushina! We can’t do that here!”

Her patience had finally cracked, and she chucked her bag of treats at him. He ducked under his desk for cover and slowly brought his head out, peeking cautiously over the surface of his desk to stare at the raging woman before him.

“I’m pregnant you idiot!” She turned around, throwing her hands up in the air. “By god, why do the nice ones always have to be so dense!?” When she turned back around, he was instantly in front of her. He grabbed hold of her hands, and had the biggest smile on his face she had ever seen. Her anger seemed to melt away.

“Really? You’re pregnant?” He asked in disbelief, but the tone of his voice was light, and he sounded happy. She chuckled, then squeezed his hands lightly.

“Yes.” He let out loud whoop, picking her up spinning her around. But then he immediately set her down, bending down to her stomach, looking worried.

“I didn’t hurt the baby did I?” He panicked. She laughed, pulling him up by the ear so that they were face to face again.

“I’m only three weeks in, so you’re fine.” As he let out a sigh of relief, she let go of his ear. The expression on his face changed into a serious one.

“You’re moving in with me.” She was taken aback by his abrupt statement.

“That’s very kind of you, but I like my apartment.”

“I won’t be around most of the time, but I want to be around to help as much as I can.” He explained. She arched a brow.

“Won’t that raise a lot of questions? I mean not a lot of people know about us, and all of a sudden the Hokage now has a pregnant woman living with him. That’s going to cause a lot of unwanted attention.” She replied. Minato narrowed his eyes, looking off to the side. He was silent for several minutes, before looking back at her with a completely serious face.

“Marry me.”

The statement caused Kushina to lose her balance, but Minato caught her waist, keeping her upright. She looked at him in disbelief.


“Marry me.” He said again.

“Just like that?” He nodded. Worry and fear began to race through out her body, and she began to pace around his office.

“I-I don’t know. I love you, don’t get me wrong, but this is all happening so quickly…It’s just a little overwhelming.”

“Everything would be the same with us Kushina, it just would be official.” She turned to face him again.

“That’s what I ‘m nervous about! Being the wife of the Hokage… I need to sit down.” Minato rushed to his desk, grabbing his chair and offered it to her. She fell unceremoniously onto the chair, and looked up to him. His attention was focused entirely on her, eyes filled with concern. She couldn’t help but smile up at him.

The big oaf…though maybe I am overreacting a little bit. Not that I’ll ever admit it but…’ She glanced down at her stomach, laying her hand over it. ‘Never thought I would have a real family…’ She smiled fondly to herself.

“Alright. Let’s get married.” He grinned, and just as he was about to say something she held up her hand. “But not now. Let’s wait until after our kid is born.” She smiled brightly at him. “So that the whole family is there.” He blinked a couple times, before grinning back at her.

“I’ll agree to that.” She stood up and kissed his cheek.

“Good. Now I’m gonna go find Rin. She’s taking too damn long and I want some pickles.” She turned to leave, but glanced back at him. “I’ll still be expecting to get missions. I got bills to pay after all.” He gave her a suspicious look.

“I thought you were going to move in with me?” She stopped before she reached the door, grinning smugly.

“I am, but that was until after we get married. Besides, it’ll give me time to start packing my things.” She left the room, hearing him groan loudly which caused her to chuckle. As she walked down the hall she heard him skid to a halt at the door.

“If you’re gonna play that game Kushina then I’ll have Rin and Kakashi watch you for me!” He argued back. She turned around smiling at him.

“Good, that means they can spend more time together!” She laughed as he let out a frustrated shout, and stomped back into his office. She looked down at her stomach once more, grinning.

“I drove him nuts before, but with your help I finally made him lose his cool. You’re already doing great things for me.” She said proudly, rubbing her stomach fondly.

“I can’t believe he put me on paid leave! I can still do missions! I never thought I could be so bored in my life!” Kushina whined. Seven months into her pregnancy, her stomach bulged out like a beach ball. Minato decided to cut her off of missions a month and a half ago because he didn’t want her to do anything to harm herself and their child. At that point he was only giving her over paid D rank missions. To say she was upset was an understatement. Rin, who happened to be the unfortunate member of team seven to be at there at the time was on the receiving end of her rant.

“K-Kushina-neechan, he was only doing what he though-”

“To hell with what he thinks! I’m still capable of doing my job! Ow!” She winced, then glared at her stomach. “Stop kicking me so hard damnit!” She slowly got up from her couch, and glanced at the clock. It was noon. A wicked grin appeared on her face, and Rin suddenly looked very nervous.

“Kushina-neechan?” She asked warily. Kushina ignored her, walking briskly past her, going to the side table. Opening the drawer, she pulled out a couple kunai. She then turned and faced the door, spinning one of the kunai around her index finger idly. She stopped when she heard muffled footsteps coming from down the hallway outside her room. Kushina raised her arm back, aiming at the door. The footsteps quieted, then stopped completely. The two women could hear voices arguing on the other side. They could barely make out the tones, but one of the speakers sounded worried, even fearful, while the other sounded as if the former was crazy. The door opened, and as soon as Kushina saw a figure she threw her kunai. The door immediately slammed shut, the kunai embedded into the wood. The door creaked open the second time, and stopped about a foot into the room. Kushina reached for the lamp on the side table, then waited patiently once more. When the door opened completely, she threw the lamp, and it shattered as it hit her target.

“Take away my missions will-eh?” She stopped her rant when she saw the victim on the floor. Rin let out a gasp, and rushed to his side.

“Kakashi-kun!” Kushina looked up at the doorway, seeing a slightly worried Minato looking down at his students. Kushina glared at him.

“That was cowardly…sending your own student into the slaughter…” He shook his head.

“I warned him, but he just said that I was overreacting.” He replied, grinning.

Kakashi sat up, giving Kushina a flat look.

“Honestly…A lamp?” He asked. Kushina shrugged.

“I didn’t have any more kunai so I improvised.” The teen rubbed his head irritably, standing up. “Maybe this’ll teach you to listen to your sensei Kakashi-chan!” She teased, chuckling at him. She suddenly winced, both hands going to her stomach “Ouch!” Kakashi smirked as Minato moved to her side.

“Karma sucks, doesn’t it?” She glared back at him.

“I have more lamps…” She warned him darkly. Minato placed a hand on her stomach, and she calmed down. She smiled at Minato’s grinning face, but winced slightly as she felt another kick. He began to chuckle lightly.

“Looks like we’re going to have our hands full aren’t we?” Her smile turned into a smirk.

“Well if things get too out of hand we can always leave the kid with Rin and Kakashi while we go and have some fun for a day.” Minato arched a brow. “I think Kakashi would crack if left in the vicinity of children too long.” She finished. Kakashi looked like he was about to retort, but Rin gave him a pointed look, and he decided to remain silent.

“Did you want to go get some lunch?” Minato asked.

“Not really. I was going to cook up some instant noodles, want some?” She slowly made her way to the kitchen, Minato right behind her with a slight scowl on his face.

“That’s not very healthy.”

“Tell that to our child.” She replied flatly, pulling out a large pot.

“Minato-sensei, we’re going to head out.” Rin called out to him. He acknowledged them with a nod, and the teens left the two the couple alone. As Kushina was finishing filling the pot with water, Minato grabbed it out of her hands and set on the stove for her. She glared lightly at him, and was about to tell him off when he held up his hands in defense.

“I have something for you.” She perked up instantly, grabbing his hand and dragging him back to the couch.

“I forgive you then. Now let’s see it.” He helped her settle on the couch comfortably before he sat down next to her. He began fishing around in his pockets.

“It’s long over due, but I got the one you wanted.” He pulled out a small box and opened it. Inside was a simple gold ring, no stones or intricate designs on the band. She smiled as he plucked it out of the box. He reached for her left hand and she watched as he slipped it on her ring finger. She held up her hand and admired it as the ring glinted in the sunlight. “The jeweler kept trying to sell me the ones that had huge gems on them, even though I told him that you wanted this one.” She rolled her eyes.

“I want to be able to wear it all the time. It wouldn’t be practical to wear a ring with a huge rock on it during a mission, I’d just lose the thing.” She glanced down at his hand and saw that he wore an identical one as well.

“Matching pair.” He answered.

“It looks good on you.” She gave him a quick peck on his cheek, smiling. “Thank you.”

He smiled back, but she noticed that it wasn’t like his usual smile that he wore. She grabbed his hand and gave it an affectionate squeeze. “What’s wrong?” He sighed, falling back and sinking into the couch cushion.

“I’ve been hearing disturbing rumors.”

“About what?”

“All of them are saying that a Bijuu has awakened, and destroyed several towns across the country.” Kushina sucked in a breath, gulping lightly. She heard rumors several years ago about a Bijuu that attacked the Kumo during the war, and how much devastation the village suffered. But a Bijuu was said to come only when the evil in the world was at it greatest. It didn’t make sense now that the Great War was over.

“Is it coming here?” She asked fearfully. He sat up, leaning forward into his hands.

“That is what has me worried. The towns that I heard were attacked were in completely opposite directions. The places in between them were untouched. If a Bijuu woke up, then it would leave a trail of destruction of where it has been. This one seems to be appearing randomly…” Kushina laid a comforting hand on his back.

“What are you thinking it could be?” His eyes narrowed.

“I can’t say…” Kushina scooted to the edge of her seat, getting a better look at his face.

“You can’t or won’t say?”

“It’s something that I’m going to have to research about. I’ll have to do some digging in the archives.”

Kushina let out a sigh, rubbing her temples tiredly. Minato rubbed her back soothingly.

“The last thing we need is more trouble…” She muttered. He placed his other hand lightly on her stomach. He was smiling at her, and she could see the strength within his eyes.

“I’ll do everything in my power to keep our home safe.” He squeezed her shoulder lightly. “I promise.” She smiled back, then leaned forward, kissing him lightly.

“If you need any help, I’m here.” She winced, another kick from her stomach. “We’re here.” She corrected. “That, or the water is boiling…do you mind?” He chuckled, standing up. He kissed her forehead before heading into the kitchen. She leaned back into the couch, rubbing her stomach with her left hand. She couldn’t let go of that bad feeling that gripped her heart.

Will we be ready?’

“Hokage-sama! The Demon is getting closer towards the village! What are your orders?!” The jounin next to him shouted over the chaos that was around them. Villagers we’re panicking in the streets by the west wall, trying to salvage what they could from their homes. Shinobi we’re doing what they could to calm them down, but it seemed useless. Minato knew this day would come, he just wished he had more time to come up with a better solution than the one he had. His gaze hardened at the giant fox in the distance, as it let out a powerful roar that shook the earth.

Will it be enough?’

“Sensei!” He and the jounin turned to see Kakashi land in front of them, panting heavily. He looked up at Minato, his one eye showing how tired he really was. “She’s-” Minato held up hand, then nodded at him, knowing what he was going to say. He turned back to the jounin.

“I want all jounin and chuunin be ready at the wall. Every genin fifteen years and younger will evacuate the civilians here to the underground caves. I have a plan, but it requires time.” He placed a hand on the jounin’s shoulder. “Can you hold off the demon until I return?” The jounin nodded fiercely, and wore a feral grin.

“That monster won’t know what hit him!” Minato nodded back, then ran back towards the center of the village. “Kakashi you’re with me!” He shouted back, and his student followed behind him quickly.

They jumped from rooftop to rooftop with ease, never slowing down for anything. Time was a major factor, and at full speed it would take them a half an hour to get to their destination. Minato glanced at Kakachi out of the corner of his eyes.

“Are they both alright?” He asked him, worry evident in his tone.

“As far as I know yes. I left to get you as soon as the medics said the head was crowning.”

“Thank you.” His sensei said gratefully. Kakashi caught up to Minato so that he was face to face with him, this time he was the one to look afraid.

“Sensei, will we be able to fight the-”

“I have a solution Kakashi, and you’ll hear it soon enough. But I have to get to Kushina first if I’m going to do anything. She has a right to hear this, and a say in it as well.” He turned and smiled wryly at Kakashi. “Trust me alright?”

“I always do sensei.” The hospital soon came into view, and Kakashi took the lead to show Minato where he needed to go. Out of breath, and not looking his best, Minato walked into the room that Kakashi had pointed at.

Inside, Rin was standing at the foot of the bed going over the charts with the other medic with her. She turned when she heard him taking another step, and smiled.

“Sensei.” She acknowledged, the medic looked at him

“There were some minor complications, but nothing we couldn’t handle. As long as she gets some rest, she’ll be fine.”

“Thank you.” The two of them then stepped aside so that he could get a full view of the bed. Kushina was lying on the bed, looking down at her arms fondly. She was covered in sweat, and her long hair was matted, and some strands stuck to her face. She looked up and saw Minato standing at the end of her bed. She had never seen him look so awestruck in her life. She grinned, her eyes full of mirth.

“You’re late.” She joked. He smiled, letting out a laugh. “Come here and meet your son.” He complied, and made his way to her side. He hunched over, getting a better look at the bundle in her arms

The baby squirmed in his mothers arms, never staying in one position for too long. Minato reached out and lightly brushed his son head, feeling the smooth blond hairs on his head. “I don’t know what his eye color is… But he has your hair. I’m a little jealous.” Kushina adjusted her self so that Minato could hold their son. He gently held him, but their son began squirming even more, and let out loud moans of protest, but never started out right crying. Minato smiled at Kushina

“He’s got your personality. He draws attention to himself by being loud.” She smacked his leg as he laughed, but she smiled, not caring too much about it. The smile immediately left her face, turning to fear as the floor violently shook. Rin and the medic steadied themselves on the wall, while Minato bent over Kushina protectively to cover both her and the baby. When the shaking finally calmed down, the baby began crying softly. Kakashi rushed in, fully alert and looking around for any sign of danger. “Looks like the Kyuubi breached the wall…It’s started.” Minato said solemnly, handing back their son to her. She held him gently, cooing softly to him to stop his cries. It worked, and she was able to spare a glance out the window, seeing smoke rise in the distance.

“Did you find a way to beat that thing?” She asked, fear gripping at her chest. Old memories began resurfacing from long ago. She never thought she would see something like this again happen here. Minato hesitated, and only answered her when she turned her attention back to him. “Minato?”

“After going over the forbidden scrolls, I was able to develop a new jutsu.” He replied. He didn’t go on, instead looking remorsefully out the window. A horrible feeling gripped at her chest. She turned her attention to the medic.

“Could you give us a minute?” She asked politely. The medic bowed.

“Of course.” She replied, and left the room. Kushina looked back at Minato.

“I sense you’re about to say something that I’m not going to like.” He let out a sigh.

“You would be right about that…”

“Then let’s stop jumping around the subject and spit it out already.” He nodded, then straightened up.

“A bijuu can’t be killed, they’re immortal…but it can be trapped, or rather sealed away.”

Kushina kept her gaze on him, so he continued. “But the Kyuubi is too powerful to be sealed away in an inanimate object like the Ichibi…It can only be sealed away in a living host…

“I spent the last couple months researching any possible containers…” He let out a tired sigh, running a hand through his hair. “The only container that can hold the Kyuubi is a human…” Kushina shut her eyes, fearing what was coming next. “A baby to be precise, since its chakra pathways have not formed, it can adapt to the demonic chakra …”

Kushina’s arms gently tightened around her son as tears leaked out the corner of her eyes. Minato remained still, waiting for her response. After the ground shook a second time, she let her head fall back onto the pillow behind her, gently calming the crying child. Her gaze turned to the window, and she could see smoke rising over the rooftops in the distance. When the child quieted down, she finally spoke.

“There’s no other way?” She asked in a low voice.

“No…” Minato said remorsefully, but then reached out and gently turned the side of her face, looking her in the eyes “If you don’t want to do this then I under-” Balancing their child with one arm, she silenced him with her now free hand.

“Will he be alright?” He reached up and cupped her hand with both his, looking intently in her eyes.

“I promise that he won’t be harmed.” She squeezed his hand.

“And what about you?” He looked away, letting out a long breath through his nostrils, she tightened her grip on his hand more. “Minato!” She pressed him.

“In order to seal away the Kyuubi, I’ll need help from another…‘Otherworldly’ source. I’ll be making a deal with death. My life to seal away the Kyuubi.” She let out a shaky breath, shutting her eyes tightly. “Kushina-”

“This isn’t fair! The war was finally over! Things were suppose to calm down…” The baby began crying again, and she calmed down to comfort him once more. “Getting married was going be the first normal thing we were going to experience after so long…” She felt his arms wrap around her shoulders carefully, offering her some comfort.

“Why don’t you get married now?”

Minato and Kushina both looked up at Kakashi, who was standing at the foot of hospital bed. He shrugged “Technically you can. Sensei has the power, Rin and I are witnesses, and you two have the rings already…” Kushina blinked several times. She motioned for Minato to hold their son, in which he complied quickly, then she looked back at Kakashi passively.

“Could you come over here Kakashi?” She asked, her tone an unusually polite. The teen looked at Rin nervously, who was nudging him forward. He looked back at Minato, still unsure about the whole thing, but his sensei was just smiling at him. Steadying his nerves, he moved to the opposite side of the bed, standing beside Kushina rigidly. She reached out with both hands, cupping the side of his face. She pulled down his mask, and kissed his cheek. His mouth opened and closed several times, a deep blush forming on his face. She smiled brightly.

“I forget you’re a genius sometimes Kakashi-chan.” She pulled his mask back up and lightly patted his cheek. He shook out of his stupor, and looked away in embarrassment. Kushina looked up at Minato expectantly “Are we going to do this?” Minato smiled sheepishly.

“Oh! Right uh…Rin come here.” She did so, and Minato handed her the baby. He looked back at Kushina blushing brightly. “I uh…I don’t the right words to say…” She shrugged.

“Just cut to the end then. We don’t have a lot of time anyway.”

“Right…” His blush deepened before he continued. “Do you take me to be your husband? To have and to-”

“Yes, yes I do and you know it.” She said, smirking up at him. “Do you take me to be your wife?” She asked in a teasing tone. He smiled back, grabbing her hands and squeezing them.

“I do.” She looked down at their hands

“Rings are already on our fingers…” She looked over at Kakashi and Rin, who was rocking her son back and forth. “I doubt you have any objections…” She said. They shook their heads. “Good.” She turned her attention back to Minato. “Well?”

“By the power invested in me, I pronounce…” He paused for a second, looking up in thought, then grinned “Us, man and wife.” She gave him a smug smile.

“You gonna kiss me or not?” His reply was swift, and he met her lips kissing her deeply. Her hand reached up and cupped the side of his face. She could feel his hand lightly run through her own hair. All of their feelings that they felt for one another were poured into this kiss, knowing that it was going to be their last. When they finally broke apart, a tear slid down the side of Kushina’s face. She sniffed quietly, wiping the tear away.

She looked at Rin, and motioned her over with a wave of her hand. The girl walked over and handed Kushina the baby, then went back to Kakashi, trying to hold back her own tears. Kushina looked back at Minato. “He needs a name.” She said. He laid his hand lightly on their sons head.

“You go ahead and choose.” She remained silent for several moments, then a grin split on her face.

“Naruto.” She said simply. He raised a brow.

“Really?” He asked, not quite believing what he heard. She frowned at him

“I’m dead serious!” He chuckled nervously, but smiled.

“Alright.” The ground shook once more interrupting their moment. “Time’s running out...” He said quietly.

Kushina looked down at Naruto, who began squealing again. She rocked him gently, calming him. The baby slowly opened his eyes, and she finally got to see their color. Two deep sapphire orbs gazed back into her own, looking at her curiously. She smiled, kissing his forehead softly, then handed him up to Minato. He held Naruto for several more moments, a sad smile graced his features. The smile disappeared, determination flashing across his eyes.

“Rin, Kakashi.” The two of them were immediately at his side. He carefully placed his son in Rin’s arms, then reached into one of his pockets, pulling out several scrolls and a map, handing them to Kakashi. “There’s a hidden cave by the monument. Follow the directions on the map to find it. Once you get there, follow the instructions on the scrolls. I want you done within a half an hour. Understood?” Both his students looked at him fearfully.

“Minato-sensei-” Rin began to protest, But Minato’s eyes hardened.

“That wasn’t a request Rin. Do you understand?” She flinched lightly at his tone. But she nodded. Minato got down to his knees, laying his hands on both their shoulders.

“I’m proud of you both.” He said quietly, smiling. The two teens looked down at the ground, unable to meet his gaze. “Now go. Time isn’t on our side tonight.”

Without hesitation, they rushed out the door. Minato brought his thumb and index finger to his lip, letting out a high pitched whistle. Immediately, an ANBU ran into the room, wearing a cat mask and bowed their head.

“Hokage-sama?” A feminine voice asked.

“I have an important mission for you.” The ANBU’s head snapped up.

“But what about the de-”

“This ranks above that.” He pulled out another scroll holding it out to her. “Jiraiya-sensei here in the village somewhere. It is the utmost importance that this note gets to him.” She accepted the scroll, but her body language showed that she was uncertain. “I know that you want to be with you squad, but this has to get to him Makanai…Afterwards you can join your squad mates at the frontlines.” She stared at the scroll for a moment, then tucked it away in one of the pouches in her belt.

“It’ll get done.” She said. He nodded, and she went to the door.

“You and Hosobiki take care of yourselves, alright?” He said. Makanai paused at the doorway, turning her head to the side to look at him.

“Right…” She was gone in an instant.

Minato turned around, walking back to Kushina side. He reached for her hand, but she beat him to it. He squeezed it affectionately, seeing her trying to hide her tears from him.

“Thank you…” She let out a light snort.

“For what? I’m so useless right now…”

“You kept our promise…I couldn’t have gotten this far without your help.” A watery laugh escaped her lips, and a sad smile formed on her features.

“Somebody had to make sure you wouldn’t slack off.” His other hand brushed the side of her face, pushing her hair back behind her ear. She leaned into his hand, and reached up with her free hand and gave it a light squeeze.

“I love you.” He said quietly. Closing her eyes she inhaled deeply, savoring the moment. she opened her eyes to gaze back at his own, holding back her tears.

“I love you too…Go. They need you more than I do.” He gave her hand one final squeeze, then broke from her. He pulled out several of his signature kunai, and jumped out the window.

She was alone now. The medic walked back into the room, and began checking up her charts again. She wiped away the last remnants of her tears, her eyes flashing. She began getting out of the bed, and the medic started panicking.

“Uzumaki-san! You shouldn’t be moving!” Kushina stood up, her body shaking slightly. She looked at the medic, letting out some rattled breaths.

“Get me a soldier pill.” She demanded. The medic looked mortified, knowing what she was going to do.

“Absolutely not! If you put anymore strain on your body you could die!” Her look turned into a fierce glare.

“You can either get me a soldier pill, or I can tear this place apart looking for one. And I’d like to see you try and stop me.” They stared defiantly at each other for a minute, before the medic sighed, and conceded. She reached into a pocket and tossed a pill to her.

“I hope you know what you’re doing Uzumaki-san.” Kushina swallowed the pill without hesitation, feeling her chakra flow throughout her body. She reached for her bag of belongings that Rin brought in when they arrived at the hospital hours earlier, and began digging out her clothes.

“I do. You should go. The injured are going to be here soon, and there’s going to be a lot of them this night.” The medic gave her one last look, before sighing and left the room, leaving Kushina alone to strip out of her hospital gown.

I’m sorry Minato, Naruto. I can’t sit here and do nothing while you fight.’

Five minutes later she was dressed in her jounin outfit, though her vest was unzipped since her stomach was still protruding out some what. She picked up her forehead protector and tied it tightly around her forehead. When she was ready, she jumped out her open window landing on the ground softly, then ran as fast as her legs could carry her towards the chaos. She ran up the side of a nearby building, getting to the rooftops to get a look at what was happening.

She held back a gasp at the sight before her. At the edge of the village, the Kyuubi let out a deafening roar, shaking the earth. The demon waved a single tail, and the forest behind it fell like a line of dominos. The Kyuubi slashed at a nearby building, and it seemed to disintegrate in an instant. The dominating aura overwhelmed all of her senses, leaving her shell-shocked. She heard the stories of a Bijuu’s power, but actually seeing it before her was a new experience entirely. But when she began to think of the sacrifices Naruto and Minato were making, her fear disappeared. Her hands formed into tight fists, cracking her knuckles. She broke into a run once more, heading towards the demon. As she landed on another rooftop, she heard shouting just ahead of her.

“This is impossible…There’s no way that we can take this thing on!”

“Who would’ve thought the Kyuubi would come here…”

“We have to pull back! We’ll die if we stay here!” Up ahead were seven chuunin, all were gathered in a circle. They were all very haggard looking, covered in dirt and their uniforms ripped. The expressions on all their faces looked like they agreed with the last man’s statement.

Anger quickly rose within Kushina, and she jumped in the center of the circle.

“Is this the extent of your loyalty to the Hokage? You run at the first sign of trouble?” Her eyes flashed, burning into each chuunin present.

“S-sempai!” The smallest of the group stammered out.

“You can’t expect us to go out and beat that thing!” The same man from earlier argued.

“I also don’t expect you to abandon your duty as a shinobi to this village!” She bit back. He pointed at the Kyuubi, staring back at her in anger.

“Do you see that? That thing took out twenty of us with a single swipe of his paw. His paw!!” Kushina brushed past the chuunin, and gazed intently at the Kyuubi. Then after several moments of silence she spoke.

“All I see is an overgrown rodent with an attitude problem.” She turned back to the chuunin, glaring at them intensely. “And I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to let some rabbit-eared bastard destroy my home!” She turned around, and took a couple steps forward before stopping again. The ground shook once more, but it was not caused by the Kyuubi. A large toad, Gamabunta, landed in front of the Kyuubi. She lightly fingered the ring on her left hand ‘Minato…’ She turned her head to look at the group of chuunin one last time.

“Stay here and be cowards, I’m going help my husband.” She took off again, running quickly towards Gamabunta and The Kyuubi. Thirty seconds later, several of the chuunin from earlier caught up to her. The smallest one she recognized ran at her side.

“We’re with you sempai!” He said fiercely. She grinned at all of them.

“Gamabunta has now become the distraction for the Kyuubi. Your job is going to be a search and rescue at ground zero. Is that clear?” She shouted.

“What about you sempai?” Another chunnin shouted.

“I have a personal score to settle. Now were my orders clear?” All of the chuunin gave an affirmative shouts, and they pushed themselves to run even faster.

As she leapt to another roof top, she allowed her thoughts to wander. She began to see the faces of all her loved ones in her mind. Naruto, Minato, Rin, Kakashi, Obito, Sarutobi. Then the face of a smiling Takamaru appeared. She thought back to the day when her first home was destroyed, and remembered the look her sensei had on his face. Back then she couldn’t figure it out that strange look. But now having grown and matured greatly since then, she knew what it was, since it was the same look she wore now.

She knew what she was doing was suicide, but she also knew that she it was something that she had to do. She wasn’t afraid of death anymore, and it lifted a great burden off of her shoulders. She felt content. She let out a light sigh, smiling as she landed on the last roof top before she would enter the battle zone.

Sensei, Minato, Naruto…’ She channeled chakra into her legs, and shoved off. She felt the heat of the multiple fires that burned hit her skin, the rush of air that flew through her hair. She reached inside on of her pockets, pulling out several of her strongest tags, and looked at the Kyuubi’s feet. The content smile turned into a feral grin.

Watch me…’

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