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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Last Time Anyone Felt the Wind

The Last Time Anyone Felt the Wind
by: karkashan

A roar resounded throughout the village hidden in the leaves, and fear let itself be known in that very instant. The greatest of the tailed beasts, or Bijuu, the Kyuubi no Kitsune was currently launching an assault against the village hidden in the leaves, Konohagakure. Its nine tails flailed about, destroying house and home, tearing flesh and bone.

As it inched closer to the Uchiha district, several Konoha Military Police and Uchiha clan members launched themselves at Kyuubi. While some of the weaker ones thought to keep it distracted by launching Jutsu after Jutsu at it, the most powerful Uchihas used their Sharingan in an attempt to stop the nine tailed fox.

The Kyuubi’s eyes widened at the sight of over two dozen Sharingan eyes blazing. A deep growl emanated from its throat as it spoke to the assembled clan members, “So, you mortals have that accursed eye, the eye of that bastard, Madara. It has been said that it is one of the few Doujutsu that can stop my awesome power. Unfortunate….” The Uchihas smirked, the fox continued, “…for you that is. Contrary to popular belief, that eye has no effect on me. Actually, due to its nature…”

The fox seemed to smirk in satisfaction before a wave of killing intent mixed with its chakra was directed at the Copy Ninjas. They began to clutch their heads in pain and fell to the ground. The Fox continued to elaborate, “It allows me to control YOU. Now then my servants, go attack your fellow villagers. Revel in their pain, take joy in their sorrow, find pleasure at the very sight of their blood spilling from their veins.”

Unwilling, yet having no other choice in the matter, the Uchihas in possession of the Sharingan that had attacked the most powerful of all the Bijuu started attacking their fellow Leaf Ninja. But since the majority of the rest of the shinobi population had a deep respect for the Uchiha, they did not attack them with the intent to kill. Therefore they fell prey to the controlled Sharingan wielders. The Kyuubi just stood there, watching, grinning, and taking a dark pleasure from the carnage that he was witnessing.

All of a sudden, a bright Yellow Flash appeared and knocked out every single one of the controlled Leaf Shinobi. The Kyuubi growled at the newcomer, “Now why did you have to go and spoil my fun, gaki.”

The Fourth Hokage stood on a tall building that was near the Kyuubi. It took all he had not to quake in fear at the awesome sight in front of him. He sighed out loud, why of all the nights to attack Konoha did he have to attack the very evening his wife had gone into labor? Life just simply wasn’t fair at times.

The Yondaime went through a series of seals before slamming his palms into the ground. Markings spread along the ground, before a giant cloud of smoke obscured the Kyuubi from sight. Using his extraordinary speed, the Fourth jumped up onto the back of the appearing Gamabunta. The giant frog took a puff from his pipe, before drawing his blade. He didn’t really even need to ask why the gaki had summoned him.

The Yondaime moved into a battle stance, but before attacking asked of the Kyuubi, “Why have you attacked Konoha? What point is there into attacking this village?”

The Kyuubi replied, “What if I told you that while I had been resting in my den, a leaf ninja that smelled of snakes tried to kill me while I slept. I went completely psycho at this, going on a rampage, unable to stop myself.” The Yondaime was about to reply when the fox’s expression turned from pitiful to a sneer. “Psych.”

The fox then slashed its tails across one of Gamabunta’s eyes, leaving a few permanent scars. The Fourth Hokage’s eyes narrowed before he said, “So be it.” He then went into a flurry of hand seals before beginning the fight in earnest.

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A scream was heard, this time a woman’s scream. Doctors and nurses rushed about the delivery room and the adjoining hallway, doing their best to insure a safe delivery. The woman currently on the birthing table was starting to tire. She knew she had to keep going, if not for her sake than at least for her baby’s sake, but it was just really hard. The pain was akin to pulling one’s bottom lip up over the top of the head, and then that would only scratch the surface. She felt the pain hit her real hard, and she gave it one last hoorah, before she heard more than felt that something had happened. Her heart stopped for what seemed like an eternity, before she heard the welcome sound of her child crying its little heart out.

After a couple of minutes, one of the nurses took the little infant to her. The new mother almost laughed at the sight of her little boy. He really did look a lot like his father. The blonde hair and the color of his eyes were his father’s. Judging by his voiceful objection earlier, she could tell that the kid had inherited her personality.

She smiled slightly when her son quieted down so that he could close his eyes and snuggle close to her. She talked softly to him, “I think I will name you Naruto. Not only is a cute name for you my son, it’s also your parent’s favorite ramen topping. Hmm…, you know, I think I would rather you have my name, rather than your father.” She brushed her red hair out of her eyes and smiled. She just hoped her husband was alright. It was the ultimate Bijuu he was facing after all. She heard a small hiccup and stared down into the sleepy eyes of her son. She couldn’t help but hug him tighter to her body, smiling widely as she did so. He was just too cute to dwell on a serious topic for long.

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The only good thing about the Shiki Fuuin, the fourth decided, was that since he had to give his life as a sacrifice, he did not have to worry about suffering Kushina’s wrath. She was probably worse at times than the Kyuubi could ever hope to be. And finally, after two years of marriage, the Yondaime finally admitted it. He was whipped.

Making sure his son would not fall of the back of the giant toad boss, the Fourth performed his jutsu. The sky seemed to darken even more so than it had before, and it seemed like the life was already starting to drain from him. He performed the seals necessary to finalize the agreement between and the Shinigami, before turning around to look at mentioned Death God.

The Fourth Hokage paled visibly at the sight before him, most importantly, at the very sharp claws that the Shinigami had in place of fingernails. “This is gonna hurt, isn’t it.”

The Shinigami’s pointy teeth filled grin widened, “You bet your pretty little ass it will, Namikaze Minato.”

And with that, the God of Death shoved it s very pointy claws into Minato’s stomach, as well as the Kyuubi’s neck. He then grabbed the fox demon and shoved it into the teeny tiny seal on the blonde babe’s stomach.

The Fourth Hokage, Namikaze Minato, smiled before falling several stories to the ground.

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The Talk

Disclaimer: I don’t own NARUTO, nor am I making any money by writing this…so don’t sue…please.

Notes: AU, modern-era, non-ninja, pre-Naruto, spoiler-lite. One-shot follow-up to Seasons and There’s Something Wrong With Him…—if you haven’t read them yet, you should. It’s a lot of fun, I promise.

…Anyways, on to the story!

The Talk

by: Quill of Molliemon

“This is a bad idea,” Minato muttered.

“Why?” Kushina frowned.

“It just is,” he grumbled.

School had just let out for the summer a week before, and a record-setting heat wave had gripped Konoha. It was too hot to stay outside so they needed to find a place with air conditioning. But the places that they could go were limited.

It was Sunday, and with the heat wave, not many businesses were open, or would be open very long. His friends either weren’t answering their phones, or away on vacation. She said that they couldn’t go to her house because her father was home and she didn’t want to deal with him. So that left his house…

Jiraiya-oji-san said he’d be meeting with his publishers today. He should be gone all afternoon. The house should be empty.

The last thing he wanted was for his guardian to meet his red-headed love interest. Leaving his friends out of the loop had been a mistake. He’d been so caught up in carefully courting her (and because she attended a different school, so they had no idea that she existed) that it slipped his mind to tell them what was going on. But he was purposely keeping his “uncle” in the dark.

“Are you sure we can’t go to your house?” he asked.

“My dad gets edgy when I only bring one guy over to the house. If I bring a group, he’s cool, but if I bring just one he seems to think we might be dating or maybe we’re going to fool around or something stupid like that. So he hovers and he listens outside my door and he glares and it’s just a big mess.” She rolled her eyes. “Do you really want to deal with that?”

“…No,” he sighed.

“Good, so we’re going to your house,” she grinned.

They rounded the corner and headed down his street until they reached the medium-sized house that he shared with his godfather. It was a red-and-white house with a neatly-trimmed lawn and some old shade trees fringing the property. There was a birdbath in the front yard and all kinds of frog and toad lawn ornaments scattered everywhere.

“Nice place,” Kushina observed as they walked up the asphalt driveway. “Lots of toads.”

“Jiraiya-oji-san has a thing for toads,” Minato shrugged as he fished his keys from the pockets of his shorts. “There’s a lot more inside.”

He got the front door open and sighed in relief at the blast of cool air that rushed out from inside. It wasn’t just hot outside, it was horribly humid. The air was thick and sticky and sweating did no good as it wouldn’t evaporate and cool them off.

Leaving their sandals by the door, he got them some pop cans from the fridge and took her to his room. She was curious about it, and that’s where he kept his drawings and personal photographs. It was also porn-free—something he couldn’t say for sure about the rest of the house.

They settled in—he sat on the edge of his bed, she sat on his desk chair. He showed her some of the new drawings that he was working on, some of his favorite old drawings, photos of himself and his friends and explained the stories behind them, and even tried to explain some of the poems he’d written to her…with limited success. Things were going great and he really started to relax.

…This was a mistake.

“I’m ho-ome!” he heard his godfather call as he banged in the front door.

Minato flinched. “We should sneak out the window.”

Kushina crushed her empty pop can and frowned at him. “…You do remember that we’re on the second floor, right?”

“Doesn’t matter, if we just hide out on the roof for a while…”

His bedroom door swung open and a towering, white-haired man leaned in to grin at him. “There you are, Minato! They ended the meeting early because the building’s air conditioning unit melted down…and…” Jiraiya trailed off as his eyes landed on Kushina.

“…There’s a girl in your room.”

“Yes, uncle,” Minato sighed, bracing himself.

“There’s a girl in your room.”

“You said that already.”

“There’s a girl in your room.”

Minato awkwardly rubbed at the back of his head. “Um…”

Jiraiya lunged and enfolded the blonde in a fierce bear hug. “Oh thank god!” he cried joyously. “I was starting to worry that you were gay or something!”

“…What?!” Minato yelped.

The older man gave him one more good squeeze before backing off and flashing him a lecherous grin. “Heheheh, stay right there, I’ll be back in a minute!”

As soon as his uncle had left the room, Minato turned to his guest. “We need to escape while we still can.”

“I dunno,” Kushina snickered. “This is pretty funny. I mean, first your friends think you’re getting into drugs, and now your godfather is worrying about you being gay.”

“You don’t understand,” he sputtered. “Jiraiya-oji-san he-he’s—”

“I’m back!” Jiraiya laughed as he bounced back into the room with a brown paper bag in his hands.

Minato suspected that this bag was prepared in advance with how quickly his guardian had returned.

“I’ve brought a few things that you’ll need,” the older man grinned excitedly, shoving the bag into Minato’s hands. “And now, I know you’ve heard this all before, but it’s been so long you might’ve forgotten, so…” He cleared his throat and tried to put on a grave expression. “Now…The Talk.”

Minato stared at his “uncle” in absolute horror and dearly wished that the floor would eat him.

“Now let’s skip over puberty and focus on what to do with girls.”

“Oji-san, she’s still in the room,” the teen whimpered and set the suspicious paper bag aside.

She’ll hear everything. This is worse than what happened in the fall. She’ll dump me and never speak to me again!

“So?” Jiraiya shrugged. “She can learn a few things too, I’m sure.”

“There…are condoms in this bag,” Kushina muttered as she poked through the bag that Minato had put down. “…And dirty magazines.”

Oh god…I knew this was a bad idea!

“Where’s your spare paper?” Jiraiya frowned, glancing around the room. “I want to draw some diagrams…”

Kushina had pulled out a tube of dubious gel and was squinting at it.

Minato was tempted to cry.

Then a new voice piped up from down by the front door. “Jiraiya? You home?”

The white-haired man froze and muttered: “…Tsunade-hime?”

This was Minato’s chance for escape. He immediately darted from his room to peer down the stairs at the front door. Sure enough, his “aunt” was there.

“Oh hi Minato,” she smiled. “I wanted to ask Jiraiya if I could borrow his small booze fridge. My refrigerator broke down and I don’t want my milk and things to spoil.”

“Hi,” he grinned tensely. “Yeah, he’s home…and he’s encouraging teen sex again.”

The busty blonde woman’s cheery expression immediately darkened. “Is he now?”

“Yes,” Minato nodded.

“I see.” Tsunade stepped inside and shut the door behind her. “Where is he?”

“My room.”

She nodded sharply and marched up the stairs, brushed past him, and continued on down the hallway to his bedroom. When she arrived there, she found Jiraiya trying to look innocent and a red-haired girl frowning at a pair of furry handcuffs she’d pulled out of a bag. Jiraiya’s childhood friend exploded.



Tsunade didn’t let him explain; she grabbed him by his long white ponytail and dragged him off.

“How dare you!” she raged. “Teenagers have enough sex on their own—there’s no need to make it worse! And sex toys?!”

“Tsunade-hime!” Jiraiya whined as he was towed away.

“Don’t you dare try and justify this!”

Minato slipped back into his room and shut the door with a relieved sigh. “Urgh…”

Kushina stared blankly at him. “…Your uncle is a pervert.”

“Yeah.” He trudged over and flopped backwards onto his bed. “He writes smutty romance novels for a living.”


He heard her set aside the paper bag and then felt his bed move as she came to sit beside him.

“I think I understand why you didn’t want me to come over.”

Minato turned his head to look at her…and found that she was smiling a little.

“Maybe we should go to my house,” she suggested. “My dad will be a pain, but at least he won’t give us cherry-flavored lubricant.”

“Yeah,” he eagerly agreed. “Let’s go to your house…”

Order of Dominance

Spoilers for recent manga chapters, specifically Ch.367 and a bit of Ch. 371, if you squint real hard. As usual characters and setting belong to their respective owners.

Order of Dominance
by: i Mel-chan i

“You okay?”

Jiraiya looked down at his pupil for the umpteenth time, still not receiving one word from him. The young blond held a white rag over his nose, spotted with red blood stains from a damaged nose. His left eye was half closed, watery and slowly dulling to a nasty prune color. “So are you going to tell me what happened, Minato?”

The younger boy said nothing, preferably shutting his mouth even tighter. Instead he shifted the icepack gently on his swollen face.

Jiraiya sighed, sitting next to him in the grassy meadow. It was a nice cool day in the Whirlpool Village, breezes blowing gently on the landscape and clouds scattering over the blue sky above. The village was small and not too well known, but it still made an excellent site for training.

He’d been doing research when he left his three students instructions for the day’s training. After a few shrieking ‘perv’ and three slaps across the face, Jiraiya came back to where he left his students, only to find a crowd gathered around and Minato dead in the center, barely conscious with blood down his front. Panicking, but still able to yell out instructions to his other students, Jiraiya managed to get an ice pack, an antiseptic and within a few minutes wake the boy.

God, he would have had a heart attack, right then! When crystal blue eyes peered up at him, he could have just cried out in joy. There was no really damage, it was all completely dramatized in his part; so after shooing away the crowd and telling his other two students to go scurrying along and finish their training, and reassuring them that he had everything under control, (really he did! It was just something in his eye!), pupil and master were left alone. Jiraiya told himself he had everything under control, but that was two hours ago, and Minato was just as tight lip as ever.

“You know I can just ask Konan.”

Minato sighed, muttering something before taking off the cool icepack. His handsome face sure looked distorted almost making the older man wince at the bloody damaged. “Someone hit me.”

“What?” Jiraiya asked more astound than anything else. Namikaze Minato was a genius and just about good on everything he set his mind on. His speed was incredible, and he was still building on it, amazingly enough. Few people could actually touch him, much less sent him such a crushing blow. Indeed, if someone managed to hit him that hard than that was certainly a person to fear.

People would call him the “Yellow Flash” in a few years to come, but until then he was just the talented student of one of the Legendary Sannin.

“By who?”

Minato fidgeted for a bit, playing with the tip of his shirt, but not answering his question. “It… was a… girl…” he muttered more like a whisper than anything else.

Jiraya’s eyebrows raised high by his student’s embarrassment. He didn’t believe the entire male dominance (Tsunade had squashed that out of him), but still a girl managed to sock Minato that hard? Here he was thinking it was enemy nin, but a girl? Half the girls were usually fawning over him, much less hitting him. He must have done something really upsetting, something he would do. “So… what y’do to this girl?” He asked conversationally.

“Sensei... it’s not that big of a deal!” He said standing up, but was pulled back down.

“Surely, Minato, I didn’t think I would get an assistant in my research.”

“Huh?” He asked turning around, but when he saw the suggesting eyebrows of his sensei, his face turned red, except for his bruised eye. “It’s nothing like that sensei!”

The toad sage laughed loudly, while Minato kept turning just as red. He was trying to loosen up the tension, get the boy to laugh and forget about this whole situation. “So what really happened?”

“Well,” he said sighing. “She was playing with a bunch of boys… but I didn’t know she was a girl… because of that stupid haircut and that ugly orange jacket….”


“I called her a boy…”


“…three times.”


If there was one thing Jiraiya picked up from the female species it was definitely that none of them like to by called a boy, no matter how much they act like it. No wonder that girl had hit him so hard, but really with such a nasty eye maybe it wasn’t too off to have mistaken her for a boy.

“I mentioned if she was sure, and the next thing I knew I was lying on the floor, seeing stars over my head.” The blond was quiet, probably humiliated to what his great teacher thought of him. Perhaps he was expecting the great barks of laughter from his teacher, yelling out something along the lines of “a little girl beat the crap out of you?" But he did no such thing,

Jiraiya smiled at him, putting an arm around the boy’s shoulder, shaking him a little, to help ease away the embarrassment he was under. Minato had always sent Jiraiya a sort of parental pride to him for his determination and incredible speed to learn any jutsu. Right now, the boy must be feeling humiliated that he had for once said the wrong thing, and that a genius such as himself could get beat that easily. And right now the boy needed someone to tell him that it was alright that these things happened, sort of.

“Don’t worry about it, girls are just weird like that… too touchy about their femininity and all that crap.”

“I guess.”

“So a girl socked you. I’d be lying if I say a girl didn’t beat me once. Tsunade, now that girl could punch! One time she broke both my arms, six of my ribs and punctured several of my organs. I was this close of dying,” he demonstrated by putting his index and thump finger a few centimeters apart.

“Anyway there’s no rule saying that boys have to be stronger than girls or anything like that, so don’t let it bum you out, kay?”

“Alright,” he said grimly.

Jiraiya sighed, and then grinned brightly. “How ‘bout I take you out for ramen? My treat.”

That seemed to have cheered him up, and in a few hours they sat down the stools of a local ramen stand, and slurped down salty noodles and broth soup. The black-eye around Minato’s right eye was still just as bad, but he didn’t seem to be bothered by it now that he was enjoying ramen. “Jiraiya-sensei, you’re not going to leave me with the bill are you?” he asked suddenly his eyes narrowing suspiciously, and stopping his slurping mid way.

“Ha, when have I ever done that?” He answered laughing off the matter, while ordering another bowl.

“Every time.”

“Bah, kids, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Anyway,” he asked noticing that his student was in a much better mood, so it would be alright to ask him anything. “What was that girl’s name?”

“Huh? Kushina. Uzumaki Kushina,” Minato said thinking to himself how much the bill was going to tally up.

"You should apologize. Get her gift or something. Trust me you don't want to deal with a female that had a grudge against you."

"She was the one that hit me!"

Jiraiya just shrugged. "Just saying."

The blond rolled his eyes that was probably the worst advice his master ever gave him. Namikaze Minato told himself, then, that he’d never ever want to cross paths with that tomboyish red head.

You and Him

HI!!!! Do I dare mention how long it has been since I last posted something? I don't think I dare, people are probably waiting around the corner with rifles and knives for me. I'm so dead.

It's not like I can help it. For those who has read As the Season Fall, I am still occupied with the stupid project (God knows how much I hate it by now) and won't be able to have any time of my own again until the start of March.

So I hope this humble little one shot, I was writing during a lunch break, will be able to help you overcome your dreadful long wait because the story is not dropped, just delayed until all this project-hated-...-thing is over!


Don't own, so don't batch your prosecutors on me, ok!


Naruto looks like the Yondaime, but what is the truth? What does the Sannin keep within his heart that the blond doesn't know?

You and Him

by: Shitza

The sun was shining and the road ahead was dry. The wind came softly with a fresh wave of grassy smell that made it clear summer was upon them. A blond fourteen-year-old teem was strolling down the lane, hands in the air stretching and blue eyes watching the landscapes come and go as they walked. His aura seemed orange, which wasn't surprising as his clothes screamed orange, which fit horribly to his already blond hair and tanned skin. Beside him walked his not-so-beloved-teacher-always, the Legendary perverted sannin Jiraya, with his wild untangled mane of hair and his weird facial expression as they passed another tree, another rock and another pack of wild animals. Birds chirped in the trees, watching them come and soon went to hide themselves within the protectiveness of the leaves. The two humans, were having one of their usual talks, which involved high voices. The only creature who normally did run in range of hearing something, the deers, stood still however happily eating on the green grass. It became obvious even for their simple minds that these two wouldn't even notice them as they came. They could also sense that they meant no harm, and only wished to travel, not to mention their prey was something completely different. A young deer stood watching these weird creatures for a while, then found himself a much more interesting leaf on the ground he decided to taste.

“We'll soon be in the Hidden Grass, Naruto” Jiraya suddenly said as they walked. “Before we cross their borders I want you to remove your hitaiate for a while and swear to me you won't mention Konoha even in your breath. There is a lot of rivalry between our villages, and they trust too few, less us from Konoha. You do remember during the Chuunin Exam that three of theirs were slain, and used as masks for Orochimaru's purposes. They say Orochimaru was our fault, I think you can guess the rest.”

Naruto looked at him most bewildered. Before realisations hit him.

“Then how come you are coming along?!” he asked pointing his finger at him. After all, it would seem quite unfair if one would have to carry a mask and not the other. “Your face is planted on every rock and stone outside the village's borders.” After all, Jiraya was far easier to recognise than an hitaiate. Many lower rank shinobi could not recognise the Leaf's symbol yet kids in all other villages were still being frightened by horror stories of the Sannin, and Jiraya happened to be a quite famous one.

“Well, that is true!” Jiraya said laughing heartedly. “But, they will not stop me from coming or going, like they could. No, Tsunade also sent me on this mission to do her a last small favour as I have already been spoken to about whisking you away.”

“Yeah, as if...” Naruto said. “And what kind of favour?” he asked, suspiciously knowing how the Legendary Sucker probably owned the five countries more money than the Fire Country's Lord had ever owned.

“Just delivering a letter, it's not what you think it is.” Jiraya said, ending the topic. Naruto kept trying to figure out more, but the white haired Sannin wouldn't help him. All he received was a secretive smile as his newest student seemed to pull his hair in frustration over something that wasn't even worth it. Naruto was obviously not in the best mood as he had been told to do everything he usually did not, that went straight against his personality. Keep quiet and don't receive attention, which was the normal ninja rules. The poor boy was the precise opposite, he loved attention, hence his usual loud self.

The blond teen walked ahead pouting and as Jiraya watched the blond locks from behind, dangling in the wind, he couldn't help but to think about a boy that once as well, had been something special in his life. A boy, with blond hair and blue eyes that he used to teach, many years ago.


“Hurry up boy!” Jiraya yelled over his shoulder, stopping for a moment to wait for the young teen to catch up. The blond teen looked away from the herd of deers he was watching, sighed before speeding up to catch his teacher before he left.

“I'm sorry sensei.” the teen said. “I was just watching the deers in the clearing.”

Jiraya shook his head. We can do that later, right now we are in a hurry after all. The Nara clan keeps a patch of deers by the village, why don't you ask your friend Shikaku to take you there instead?”

The blond teen stared at him. “Him?” he said with a sigh. “He more cares about sniffing his flowers than his animals, guess why he gets along so well with his teammates. He and his team are such weirdos.” he commented having seen Yamanaka Inoichi and Akimichi Chouza having a staring competition over something so stupid as a riceball that Hyuuga Hizashi stole later claiming it was his, since his dear twin brother had stolen his own earlier.

They continued walking silently as the blond teen, who we should mention was known as Kazama Arashi by name, was watching a couple of squirrels chase each other around.

“By the way.” Jiraya said right into the open air. “How is that new technique of yours going? You know, I haven't seen you since the Chuunin Exam, you are too busy for your own good it was with a miracle we have time to talk again.”

Arashi smiled warmly. “Great, it's getting better and better. I still haven't reached a powerful level enough, though it has been two years, but technicality, this technique will be better than the Sandaime's Diamond pole. You know, my dream is to succeed the old man once he retires. I want to become the best Hokage there has ever been.”

“Well, so far so good then. You passed the Chuunin Exam on your first try and you are equal to many Jounin already. Sometimes I can't believe you scored so low in the Academy, seeing you are quite sharp minded when you feel like it.”

Arashi looked as if he had swallowed something bitter. “I couldn't stand listening to old Taro-sensei's boring lectures, normally I kept my ears from listening.”

Jiraya laughed. “You're funny.” he said ruffling the blond hair.

Arashi fought the two larger hands from his head. “I'm not!” he said complaining.

“It was meant as a compliment.”

“Do you think Tsukiko-chan will think the same?” the blond asked, with enthusiasm. They proceeded by staring into each other's eyes before breaking out in a loud laugh. That until Arashi interrupted again.

“But honestly, Jiraya-sensei, do you think I can become the Hokage one day? Perhaps Tsukiko will like me more if I do, after all the popular guys seem to get more attention than the usual amount.”

“Better you than me, then. But don't tell Tsunade-hime about it, or she'll probably try to dislocate your ribs until you get better and more rational ideas. That woman, she's been like it for a long time and will probably never stop. Poor Sarutobi will have to stay in his position for a long time, with her in charge over the hospital.”

“But, what about Orochimaru-sama?” Arashi asked sounding bewildered. He had never thought of the head of the hospital as such an anti-Hokage person.

“No idea, but he us a choice. Not the best though, he sometimes lets his own ingeniousness take the better of him. Only last week did I find him with his hand in a snake's nest. He's lucky he didn't get his eyes poked out.”

Arashi nodded, though he had never truly liked Orochimaru, but he respected the man's vast knowledge in methods that he couldn't help but to agree at this statement of being a pure genius. He had, after all, a feeling he wasn't on Orochimaru's best side as well, seeing those poisonous gazes. He liked his new student though, Mitarashi Anko. Compared to her sensei she knew how to relax and enjoy life, she knew how to laugh and crack jokes. Sadistic ones perhaps, but still jokes.

“Jiraya-sensei, can I ask you something?” Arashi asked slowly.

“Sure, sure... go ahead.”

“Do you believe in fate?” the blond asked, looking curiously at his teacher.

Jiraya looked at him. “What do you mean?” he wondered back.

“You know, during one of the fights in the Chuunin Exam, I fought Hyuuga Hizashi. He said that it is fate that decides our future, and lately...”

“Now, don't go listening to them boy!” Jiraya said before the teen could continue. “Though they are one of the village's strongest clans, but most are kind of weird. Their eyes have probably damaged their way of thinking.”

Arashi looked stunned at him. Jiraya looked back, smiled and started to laugh wildly again.

“You are so dumb!” he said ruffling the teen's hair. “I was only joking. I know why Hizashi said what he said, and he has his reasons.”


“Another time perhaps, another time.”

Arashi stared at his teacher before ge started to laugh as well. The blond teen clutched his stomach laughing as his teacher continued down the road, without his student even noticing it. The white haired man looked back, noticing that his student had once again stopped walking.

“Hurry up, will you! We haven't got all day!” he shouted.

“Yes” he heard his student answer before five seconds later, in which he stood beside him. The white haired man, who would one day be known as the Frog Hermit Jiraya, ruffled hi student's hair for the last time that day, a boy who would one day become Konoha's Yellow Flash and the Yondaime Hokage. Neither knew that within the next coming years their lives would be a great influence for their village, and their achievements archived in gold.

-End Flashback-

Jiraya chuckled watching Naruto chase a squirrel from his small package of food he carried with him. This teen was the last living evidence of a long history of ninjas and the son of his beloved student Arashi, though he did not know. Jiraya could still remember the years afterwards when Arashi and the girl he loved, Tsukiko, had married after many arguments between the clans, which resulted in a tragic fact that Naruto was all alone. All of his relatives had been slain, thanks to an unwanted marriage that was well unknown to most since it would prove a scandal beyond scandals. The reason for this was because it had been uncertain if Tsukiko could bear an heir to the two clans, which caused an uproar.

It had taken years before Tsunade had been able to help them to solve the problem, and Tsukiko became pregnant the year, three years after her husband became the Hokage so the news became extraordinary.

Ironically enough, if Naruto would have been born the day they had predicted his birth tom he would have been raised as a spoilt brat knowing who he was and he would probably had a much easier life. But his father was more careful than that and had sealed a protector within his child.

Arashi had died with the seal, and Tsukiko had died in labour. In the end, few knew who he was. Jiraya quietly laid his hand on Naruto's shoulder. The blond teen tensed, wondering what was going on. Jiraya said:

“Let's sit down for a while, Naruto. There is something you need to know.”

A few minutes passed as they sat down on top of some boulders, a few metres from the road, facing each other. The fire was burning with some teawater. The white haired Sanning picked two Bamboo cups which he filled with the steaming liquid, giving one of the cups to his student.

Both took a deep gulp of the warm liquid, feeling utterly refreshed.

“When are you born, brat?” Jiraya asked suddenly.

“October 10” Naruto said in bewilderment.

“And it was the same day as when Kyuubi no Kitsune was sealed into your stomach and Konoha's Yondaime died, wasn't it?”

Naruto nodded.

“I am going to tell you why, the real reason why and why only you would be the one.”

Naruto's lower lip trembled slightly. He was listening, licking down all the words like a ct cleaned her bowl of milk.

“But before I start, I must warn you. If you spread this to someone else you will not only put the village in danger, but also yourself. If worse I will be forced to kill you, because this is one of the best kept secrets in the village. Only me, Tsunade and the Council know of it, no one else.”

Naruto nodded slowly. “I won't say anything, Ero-sennin.” he said. “That's my ninja way.” he added.

And Jiraya told him, told him everything late into the night. About the two clans, about his parents and about their sacrifice. As he spoke Naruto's hands started to tremble and unknowingly tears had started to trickle down from his eyes. When the blond teen had finally, after many more tears, fallen to sleep that night, Jiraya smiled. An image lay abode the blond's features and it amazed him how someone could be so much alike Him.

He really is your son, Arashi. He truly is, my dear friend.

The End

Red night of betrayal memories of murder

Red night of betrayal – Burning all bridges

Memories of Murder

by: Sasaki Jun'ichi


That this night turned out to be a red night, didn’t surprise him at all. Although it had been a hot summer, it was cool tonight. A nice wind had set up, and the trees where softly breezing against the dark red glowing background. The woods where rather quit these days, or so he thought, except if someone from his clan came here to train, but that wasn’t very often anymore.

The Uchiha had become a tranquil clan more and more, too busy with their position in Konoha than their duty as its police force. At least that is what he thought, but Uchiha Shisui, didn’t think that it

was going too last very long. “The clan must also see that if their going too keep their attitude towards Konoha like this the village, the Anbu and even the Hokage was going to be against them, and even would call for a disbandment of the clan. If the clan would be disbanded, it would mean the end of Uchiha, and also that it could mean than the clan would be shattered into multiple groups.

If that would to happen, the Uchiha’s power would be broken, and we become a fugitive clan, just like the Kaguya clan from the hidden mist village, Shisui thought and shivered at the very thought of that.

He had moved pretty far out until now. Konoha was at least a couple of miles back now, and the woods where getting thicker from here. The trees where in their bloom this summer, and where beautiful at daytime, but at night the thick leaf package they had, blocked the light from the moon and stars, in that amount that the ground already was pitch-black, and the bushes became grim shades, standing out from the ground.

Slow but alerted Uchiha Shisui moved along, jumping from tree to tree in the dark forest.

As he jumped down onto the ground he did it almost silently, making no sound at all he moved along a hidden path. Still in deep thought about what the situation was in his clan he didn’t really focused on his surroundings. Somewhere he heard a wolf cry , and when he looked up a crowd of bats flew into the night.

Shisui was thinking about this afternoon, when he had an argument with Yashiro-san.

Uchiha Yashiro was one of the leading inspectors at the headquarters of the police force.

Commander of the whole squad was Captain Uchiha Fugaku, who was Yashiro’s superior.

Uchiha Fugaku was also the one taking responsibly towards the Hokage.

Yashiro had been babbling on and on about how we had to maintain the clan in it’s original state, and how on laying low for a while things would clear of with the Anbu and Konoha.

The trick according too Yashiro was to keep an Uchiha inside the ranks Anbu and so build up a connection between them and Konoha. This Uchiha turned out to be the oldest son of the commander: Uchiha Itachi.

“Not weird at all,” Shisui thought. In reverence too those pathetic others Itachi-kun was a genius and he and Itachi even shared same opinions about how too keep the clan away from disbandment.

In order too move you can not maintain, but you must allow changes around you and others, in order to co-exist. However commander Fugaku and Yoshiro didn’t share his opinion at all and used Itachi too keep in contact and make a run with the Anbu.

He remembered his word towards the young genius: “Don’t worry, just do what they tell you to do, and it is going too be all right.”. “I can’t make them change their plans, but they will find out on their own, that this is not the way too keep our clan out of trouble, and in the end they will do the right thing, and the clan will be saved” Shisui said.

“For I strongly believe in the uprightness of the people of the Uchiha clan” he added with a smile towards the young Uchiha, but Itachi only lowered his head and kept silent. At little bit worried Shisui had asked Itachi if something was the matter. Itachi gave a short answer which came down to: “No, everything is alright”.

He didn’t start another conversation with Itachi about it, but noticed that after the last gathering of the clan, Itachi didn’t act the same as he used to. In a strange way, he was very quiet, didn’t talk much anymore, and when he talked it usually was something very short. Shisui couldn’t quiet place his finger on him, and when asked if something was wrong, he didn’t answer or merrily said that everything was in order. He also started missing clan gatherings, from that day on. When asked why, he simply said, “My work at the Anbu demands a lot of time, and I can’t always attend to the Uchiha gatherings", or he simply said: “Forgive me, Senpai...". Shisui didn’t say anything for a long time, and against Itachi he kept silent, but among the other Uchiha members he was trying to find out why Itachi suddenly had changed so much. It almost seemed as if he was detaching himself from the clan, as if he didn’t want to know the Uchiha’s anymore. Of course it could have been pressure, but on the other hand he had informed himself with the Anbu’s general mission co-ordinator, and he claimed that Itachi didn’t have any huge missions yet.

"At his age we don't send them of in the tricky zones yet, and the highest rank in mission is for him C rank until we hear differently from his supervisor" The Anbu said.

There was a gathering tonight at the central plaza, at the Uchiha residential area. Uchiha Shisui was, apart from being a police force shinobi also a watchman, who always checked the borders of Konoha for any unusual activity. Through the years as watchman he had trained himself well, and was and excellent tracker and trail seeker. I will see if Itachi-kun attends the gathering tonight. If he doesn’t that will mean that I have to going to follow him and find out his every move. Thinking about the gathering Shisui decided too make this his last checkpoint, and then he would return to attend the Uchiha gathering.

His last checkpoint was Nakano River...

As he arrived at the river everything seemed silent. The Nakano was a river that founds it existents somewhere on the borders of the hidden river country, went through the fire country, made a split to the left set at Konoha’s gates and then went all the way through, to the valley of the end.

“Mah, looks all normal here” Shisui said to himself to confirm that nothing unusual was going on.

As he was planning to leave he noticed a shadow coming out from over the other end of the river. At first Shisui thought it was just an animal and the figure itself was very blurry, however it came closer very quickly.

As the shadow came closer Shisui saw that it wasn’t some kind of animal but more a human like shade, and he took out a Kunai, and shouted: “Hold it right there, this as a border of Konoha, identify yourself, or else I’ll…

…Have to attack you? a voice said across the river finishing his line.

Shisui listened up, for the voice sounded familiar. Finally the figure came at the bank from the river and when Shisui recognized the man, he almost dropped the Kunai.

“I-Itachi-kun, what in the world are you doing here” Shisui yelled out, more of surprise than suspicion.

Uchiha Itachi came closer, and Shisui could see that he had his Uchiha clothes on with the Uchiha emblem on the back, but over that he was wearing his Anbu armour, with a Katana tied to his back

His eyes look weird, lit up by the falling moonlight, and he shouted back: “Long time no see, Senpai, how is it going Shisui-ni-san…?

“Chotto Mate Itachi-kun,” Shisui began. “You are not answering my questions, fact is, you stopped a long time ago giving answer to questions.

Itachi gave him a smile, and he scratched his head, while saying: “Sumimasen Shisui-ni-san, Looks like I haven’t been myself lately”

Shisui stopped for a moment and then though: No,… no that’s not it, you are trying to be the Itachi-kun I know, smiling at me like you used to, telling me you are sorry with a kind of naïve feeling to it, but it has its cracks. It doesn’t look real Itachi-kun. What are you hiding?

"Ara,… nan desu, what do you mean Shisui-ni-san, I don’t quiet understand what you mean ?."

Itachi was still holding of the boat trying to play it dumb, or not knowing what this was about.

"Don’t try to…" Shisui began, but in the blink of an eye he saw that Itachi was trying too hide something behind his back underneath his armour. Shisui was getting irritated, knowing now that Itachi was hiding something from him. Without a warning Shisui closed his eyes and when he opened them he shouted: Sharingan…and the moment he said that his eyes became deep red with three black flames inside them.

Meanwhile Itachi’s face had become serious. He moved his gaze upon Shisui’s eyes and know began moving towards the elder shinobi’s position.

“What is the meaning of this Shisui-san”, Itachi asked with a little bit of upcoming malice in his voice.

“Senpai, are you thinking on using your Sharingan against me,… are you threatening me ?

“Heh,…Shisui gave him an angry smile,” you really now how to bring it Itachi-kun, however, I’m not the one threatening you, now show me, what is behind your back”.

Itachi slowly closed his eyes…

"Ara,… nan desu, what do you mean Shisui-ni-san, I don’t quiet understand where you are going with this ?."

Itachi was still holding of the boat trying to play it dumb, or not knowing what this was about.

"Don’t try to…" Shisui began, but in the blink of an eye he saw that Itachi was trying too hide something behind his back underneath his armour. Shisui was getting irritated, knowing now that Itachi was hiding something from him. Without a warning Shisui closed his eyes and when he opened them he shouted: Sharingan…and the moment he said that his eyes became deep red with three black flames inside them.

Meanwhile Itachi’s face had become serious. He moved his gaze upon Shisui’s eyes and know began moving towards the elder shinobi’s position.

“What is the meaning of this Shisui-san”, Itachi asked with a little bit of upcoming malice in his voice.

“Senpai, are you thinking on using your Sharingan against me,… are you threatening me ?

“Heh,…Shisui gave him an angry smile,” you really now how to bring it Itachi-kun, however, I’m not the one threatening you, now show me, what is behind your back”.

Itachi slowly closed his eyes…

As he opened them again the three black flames of the Sharingan where looking at Shisui in a dreadful way. Itachi had no intention of going easy on his best friend. He then lowered his armour, and took out the little packet he had hidden underneath it. Unfolding it Shisui finally saw what it was; it was a long black coat, with a certain amount of small red clouds on it.

As Itachi was putting on the coat Shisui lowered his defence. “Nanda,…only a coat? Shisui said with unbelief in his voice. You where hiding a coat from me, why Itachi-kun what is so…?" Shisui began but he stopped talking as he realized that this coat was brand new, which meant that Itachi had just gotten it now,… from someone else.

Shisui quickly looked around with his Sharigan, searching the area, however Itachi came in between any further investigations as he said: “Don’t bother Shisui-ni-san, the person who gave me this already has left this area, and besides, he can hide his tracks pretty well, almost impossible to locate...even for me"

Shisui turned his head to Itachi again and said: “Then why do I have the feeling that someone is watching us?”

“That,” Itachi stopped for a second, gave an arrogant smile and continued: “is for me, not for you, THEY are testing me by sending their spy to watch me when I’m going to execute the test they gave me”.

Meanwhile the river stream was beginning to lower and the water didn’t run as fast as it did anymore, and functioned as a final border between the two Uchiha’s.

A little bit deeper in the woods, an owl was sitting on a tree. The moonlight coloured the eyes of the animal bright yellow. It was the only witness of the incident between the Uchiha’s.

The only one...?

From somewhere the noise of cracking wood was scaring away the owl, and from a big tree, a huge plant was growing into the night, until it had the size of an average build human.

As the plant was opening a figure stepped out of it, and slowly began too walk.

As Zetsu was sneaking through the woods moving away from the Nakano river area, he jumped onto a tree, and melted his plant like body into a big brown branch. "Let's see how this turns out..."

"Let's do that...” a dark voice answered, as the creature nested his way into the tree.

As his eyes where glowing in the dark, like the ones of a wolf, Zetsu shifted his gaze, and it almost looked like he was staring into the void of darkness, However with a special dojutsu, he was moving his eye vision into the fighting area the Uchiha's had chosen as their battlegrounds.

"Seems like we are far enough out of the area to be detected" the high voice said.

"Shut up, and watch “The dark voice said. "It all comes down to this act, and if Itachi fails, Akatsuki will not have any need for him, since we already have one former leaf genius".

"And if he succeeds?" the higher voice asked.

"IF that happens he will gain something that might even make him surpas the sannin, even us..." the dark voice said but then stopped. "Hush now, it seems to be getting interesting..."

"They?" Shisui replied. "Who do you mean by TH..."

While Shisui was still talking, Itachi didn't gave him time to finish, for he made a series of hand seals, which Shisui knew well, and yelled: Katon, Gyoukaku No Jutsu.

As Shisui saw the huge fireball travelling his way, he reacted not as fast as he would have wanted to, for he could feel the fire burning his left shoe as he jumped towards the right side..

"Damn, he is good, I can't believe I’m fighting Itachi-kun, but for some reason he seems on the edge"

"Don't worry Shisui-ni-san, I'll make this quick" Itachi reacted.

"Chotto, Itachi-kun, what are you doing" Shisui yelled back at him "I don't want to hurt you, but if you go on I'll..."

But before he could finish, Itachi suddenly, with amazing speed stood in front of him and rammed his fast in his chest and with almost a cold voice asked: "You will do what,...Senpai ?"

Shisui could hear his ribs breaking, and he went down. "What the hell,"he said with a short air supply, and he began coughing up blood.

It was deep and dark red, and as he looked up Itachi was gone.

"Shisui-san, this fight is already over" Itachi's voices sounded from a far distance.

His voice seem to come from everywhere, it seemed to be trapped between the dark trees, who looked like giants now, that where dancing on the melody of dead, that the wind was playing for him.

A slight panic overcame Shisui, followed by a cold shiver.

Itachi's body appeared in the middle of the river, and as he smiled towards Shisui, he made a fist, so strong that he wounded his hand, and dark, almost black blood fell from Itachi's hand in the silver moon lighted river.

Suddenly the water began to flow harder, and the water began gusting out of the rivers stream onto the land, like a huge pool of liquid iron, metalizing the land, and its surroundings.

As the river turned into dark blood, and came at Shisui like a tsunami, he realised it was to late,... that the grand fireball was a trap, and that it had been used just to lead him into this genjutsu.

As the dark water swallowed him, his body fell deep, and the smell of blood penetrated Shisui's nose. He couldn't see anything or hear anything only the flow of the blood pumping through his veins.

"Is this it, this death" Shisui thought, as he closed his eyes, shutting himself down.

But as he opened them again he could see Itachi's face above him. the water was blurry and waved, and he felt that strong hands where pushing him down. And then he realised, that the genjutsu was broken, and right now, Itachi was drowning him.

As Itachi was holding the wounded Shisui under water, he decided to release the genjutsu. For a fact it was very troublesome too hold it up and as he released it upon Shisui as he broke his ribs, from then till now, already 5 minutes had gone by where he had held his friend under water trapping him in a genjutsu. As he saw Shisui opening his eyes and realising that Itachi was holding him down in the cold Nakano River, he panicked, started to shake like a fish on dry land, gasping for air. his mouth went up and down, but Shisui didn't had the power anymore to fight back, for he had been to long underneath the water already, and Itachi knew this.

Looking with his crimson eyes, in the one of them down in the water, he saw the panic in his eyes, but it wasn't panic of dying, it was the panic of betrayal.

That someone of his own clan would kill him, in this way, Shisui would have never dreamed that, even in his worst nightmares.

"Please,..."Itachi began slowly, and with a steady voice, who showed no signs of emotion, panic or guilt, "Please do understand, I don't hold any grudges against you, in fact you are the only friend I have. Therefore you must do this for me...for there is something I can only achieve by doing this, so Shisui ni-san I need your help".

Shisui saw that Itachi's lips where moving but he couldn't hear him and the last thing he thought before his mind slipped into everlasting darkness was,..."Itachi,..why,..why you Ita-chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii"

As the grip softened around Itachi's arms, the last bubbles of breath made its way above water. Shisui's body was not resisting anymore, and Itachi slowly walked out of the river.

He moved himself to a tree and fell down,...for darkness covered him,...

I can't...see anymore, what in the world...He though, but his mind already flew away together with the dead body, below the waves of Nakano river.

Dawn started to appear, and as Itachi opened his eyes, the deep red tone, had the same colour as the scarlet sky above him.

Melted all in one was a fearsome black star in the middle, with whom he could see and feel everything.

So, this is what it feels like, Itachi thought. To burn ties with someone so close to you, and obtain the final truth of betrayal.

He felt like the whole truth of every sprout of grass was in his hands right now, and he knew by obtaining this next level of the fearful Uchiha dojutsu, that he would need to practice it for the next couple of weeks. This also meant that he could save himself a spot in Akatsuki, for he had obtained what no other Uchiha had.

There are only little things to take care of now Itachi thought as he walked along

He started his way back to the village, and he knew that Zetsu "who had been watching" would do his duty and call in with the Akatsuki.

For the first time in months he smiled.


Disclaimer: This is a purely fan-made piece that is using the world and characters from Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto and is made entirely for enjoyment. No financial gain has been made in the making of this piece

Summery: Iruka thinks tongues are gross

Author’s Note: Written for Combine2Rinraw. Possible out-of-characterness

Constructive Criticism is always welcomed

Published: 20 March 2008

Rating: K


by: Durgas Dragon

Iruka glared at the offensive piece of meat in his mother’s shopping basket. It tried to pretend that it wasn’t an odious bit of food, but it couldn’t fool him. He knew the evils that it presented and what would happen to it.

It meant that Iruka was going to be sent to bed without dessert again.

He glared harder at the bottom of the basket. Tongue was gross. It had all these little bumps on it and it didn’t taste as good as regular meat did, no matter what his mother said. He knew his mother said it was cheap and with his father and her on leave, they couldn’t afford much more, but Iruka would have been happier to skip the whole thing. They didn’t NEED to have meat with dinner every night; what was wrong with having ramen instead?

“Stop glaring at my basket.” His mother’s voice interrupted his cross thoughts. “I know you don’t like it, but we need the iron and protein.”

“Can’t we just take pills for that? Kotetsu says—”

“I don’t care what Kotetsu-kun says.” His mother cut him off. “When you’re old enough to live by yourself, you can take whatever new fangled health ‘pill’ you want, but when you live in my house, you will eat my much-healthier food.”

Iruka stuck his tongue out at his mother’s back and muttered something about running away. His mother—used to such behaviour—ignored him and continued to examine the smoked fish.

Bored, Iruka kicked at a rock near the road. He watched as other ninjas and civilians bargained for food and other products with the merchants at the market. He wanted to go play Infiltrate with Hayate and Izumo and all the other kids from his class, but his mother said that he was still grounded from not cleaning his room earlier that week, so he had to go shopping and do all sorts of menial errands with her instead.

Iruka suddenly straightened up and felt his face get hot. Coming down the road with a basket of his own, the Yellow Flash himself was out doing some shopping.

Even though he knew such behaviour was childish and below the mature elder he’d become, Iruka darted over by his mother. The famous man always made Iruka’s stomach flip and heart pound. He was just…just…just so amazing! Iruka fantasised about the day he graduated and got to train under a jounin. He hoped with all heart that the Yellow Flash would be taking on teams and Iruka would be on his.

Iruka felt his face getting hotter as the blond man came up to the stall that Iruka and his mother were at. His mother nearly snapped at him, but then she saw the Yellow Flash. He smiled at her. “Good day…Umino-san, is it?”

His mother bowed and for once, she didn’t have to smack her son into following her example. “Namikaze-sama,” she returned the greeting politely. “How are you?”

“Oh, doing well, doing well.” He shrugged slightly, grinning. “Just out to get Kushina-chan some of that smoked fish she loves so much.”

Iruka wanted to duck behind his mother when the Yellow Flash glanced down at him. “And who’s this little fellow?”

Iruka bristled a bit at being called little; he was in the academy! But his indignation faded quickly back into a blush when his mother pulled him forwards. “This is my son, Iruka.”

Blushing brightly, Iruka mumbled out something that could pass for a greeting. His heart rate sped up when the Namikaze-sama smiled at him and ruffled his hair before asking Iruka’s mother about the fish she was looking at buying.

Iruka tried to pay attention. If this stupid, boring thing was important to the Yellow Flash, then he would try to learn more about it.

“I actually don’t care for this stuff that much,” The Yellow Flash was saying. “I’m much more partial to cow myself—tongue, in particular.”

Iruka gaped. No way could someone as handsome and awesome as the future Hokage like something as gross as tongue! No WAY!

“Really?” Iruka’s mother gave her son a significant glance. “Iruka here hates them.”

He glared at her. How dare she tell Namikaze-sama that! This was the most powerful man in the entire village (not to mention the best-looking)! You didn’t just tell him—

The blond man laughed, making butterflies appear in Iruka’s stomach and start up a tumbling routine. Iruka was also fairly sure that his face resembled an apple when Namikaze-sama said “That’s too bad, Iruka-kun. I think they’re delicious.”

Iruka tried to think of something cool and smooth to say in response, but could only come up with babyish replies.

The blond jounin glanced up at the sun. “I’m sorry to have run like this, but I have a few more things to get before I have to meet my team.” He smiled at the Uminos and Iruka felt his knees go weak. “Give my best to your husband, Umino-san. I hope that you can give tongue a second chance, Iruka-kun.” He waved as they bowed.

Iruka looked down at the piece of meat at the bottom his mother’s basket. It still was an offensive bit of flesh, but perhaps he’d misjudged it.

He wondered what tongue tasted like in ramen.


Warnings: violence, death, masturbation, voyeurism, implied sex.

Minato, 25; Genma, 18; Kakashi, 15


by vernajast

(hope, comfort, love)

When Kakashi returns home from yet another S-ranked mission in yet another foreign country, he expects to be greeted as always. Craves it, though he would never admit that, even to himself. (He's not allowed to need or crave or even want, they're weakness to be exploited. Obito wanted. Rin wanted.)

Instead of a familiar blond head bowed over the Hokage's desk, signing and stamping and miming the bureaucrat, he finds Shiranui lounging on the couch. (Blood red like the carpet; it hides the stains when an injured young jounin comes tumbling through the window, though it hasn't happened like that in ages.)

"Yo. He'll be back. He got called away about an hour ago."

A fine silver brow shifts up behind Kakashi's hitai-ate and he asks, but makes it a statement because his mouth is already forming the question before he decides to remain silent, "He left you alone in his office."

"Yeah, well, we're supposed to go out later, and it was easier than sending me home. After all, Ichiraku is on this side of town."

The way Shiranui flicks the senbon in his mouth from one side to the other is infuriating, but in the same tolerable manner as a fly buzzing at a sealed window or a drip of water in a wall. The water will eventually cause the wall to swell, and perhaps it will burst. The fly will leave a dry black corpse on the sill by morning. And Shiranui?

Sensei is, always, a bright light in the dimness of everything. "Kakashi-kun! Welcome back. How was your mission?" The smile as he crosses the room is wrong; it isn't for him, and Kakashi glares at Shiranui, who has stolen Sensei's smile, his couch, his trust.

With a stiffness that obviously sets the blond on edge with suspicion, Kakashi replies quietly, "Mission complete, Yondaime-sama," and wonders if he's ever addressed his mentor by his formal title.

"Kakashi." Sharp blue eyes read the reasons through his skin, always able to see through him, and the blond head bows slightly. He's standing close enough to Shiranui that the older teenager's extended hand reaches out and slips into Sensei's and he lets it, and Kakashi's crawling out the window before ten-count. The hand in Sensei's hurts, whether making a claim or offering comfort. (The first Kakashi knows all about, while the last is a mystery he's never cared to explore.)

He doesn't think they'll follow him, and he's right.

It isn't until, hours later, that Sensei finds the near-sixteen-year-old and tries to explain. But he smells of sweat and smells of ramen and—Kakashi looks to Pakkun, who stands off to the side and gives a short doggish nod—and smells of sex. He can't be taken seriously.

But, neither can Kakashi. He isn't angry that Sensei has been distracted lately. It's only that he wanted to be the distraction. (There's that want again, persistent like an itch on the roof of his mouth, and it's his own fault Obito's not here to double-fist scratch it like always. Before.)

He lies through the mask and sends the blond away, aware that he's fooled no one.

Later, Kakashi is perched on a windowsill across the village in an unfamiliar apartment complex, listening to their soft sighs—Genma!—and muffled, drawn out moans—Min!. He bites his lip to hold his own ecstatic groan inside when first Sensei comes, and then himself. (And, gods, who knew the man could be so damned beautiful with his head thrown back and his lips panting someone else's name?)

When he looks up again, soft, watery blue eyes are watching the window. Sensei's expression languid in the after, with Shiranui's arms around his chest and his teenage lover's senbon clenched between his own teeth.

The next day, Kakashi's presence at the window goes unmentioned, though there is a lingering look in Sensei's eye that makes it obvious he has disappointed the man. The silver haired slip of a boy makes a vow to train harder, perfect the art of moving through shadows in a way the Nara have never dreamed. Somewhere lurking in his mind is the hopeful suspicion that he can be good enough one day. (Hope is something with which Kakashi has even less experience than comfort, otherwise he might have understood that it was hopeless, early on.)

(Or, perhaps, he does understand as he counts Shiranui's gurgling breaths. His slit throat gapes and grins, and Kakashi wonders if Sensei will have room in his heart for him now.)

Did You Ever Think?

Did You Ever Think?
by: Samurai101

Did you ever think you just weren't meant to be great?

I was fifteen, and I'd been fighting in the war for almost as long as I could remember. Jiraiya-sensei tried to keep me and my teammates out of the war for as long as he could, but I showed great 'promise' so he had to take me out. Ulitmately, Jiraiya's loyalty was to Konoha, and if he had to sacrifice me for Konoha, so be it, he would. He tried to help me--to keep me close, but he couldn't do that all the time.

I was wild, loose, and terrified out of my mind half the time. I was killing to save, but the sight of the carnage I caused made me sick. I fought through it, trying to stay one step ahead of my hysteria. The backlash of all my deeds was sure to catch up with me, but I ran from it as fast as I could. I didn't realize that when that finally caught up with me it would be twice as bad for all my running.

It slapped me across the face the second I stopped moving, and if Fugaku hadn't been there, I don't know what would have happened.

It was Fugaku who told me to stop laughing at nothing. It was Fugaku who had the guts to slap the hysterically laughing brat who'd just slaughtered fifty people across the mouth and shout at him to shut up. It was Fugaku who make sure I didn't get dehydrated afterwards, when I kept puking every five seconds.

That was really how our relationship always was. I messed up and freaked out while Fugaku set me straight and cleaned up.

I was twenty-one and I'd been fighting in the War for almost four years straight. I missed my family, and I was sick and tired of all the blood and mud around me. I wanted to go see Mikoto, and convince myself she hadn't married someone else. Maybe she thought I was dead. Maybe she just wanted to marry someone who was there. It wasn't a very happy day for me, but no day was back then.

It'd been raining for three days straight when I met Minato. Our company was cornered, and out of the blue, this giant toad appeared, and there was this flickering all over the field. People were falling, dying, and it was horrific. It was wonderful, because we'd been in a deadlock for the past five days, and we needed to get out. Fifteen to seventy-two were not good odds, and whatever was happening, it was evening out the odds. There was a lull, a pause where no one knew what to do, and then someone gave the signal to go--to fight. I leapt on it.

I was out of the trench in a second, and there was a bone chilling scream as I managed enough chakra for a summons. Black death streaked along the ground in front of me in the form of a giant cat summons, and I released a fireball at the closest enemy. It didn't do much but shout 'hey look UCHIHA!'. Everyone wanted a piece of the Uchiha right now. The Hyuuga were too afraid to come out of their comfy little compound, and they weren't really suited for the brawling nature of war. The Uchiha were in the thick of all the fighting, dying and bleeding for Konoha every second of every day. The only clan doing as much was the Inuzuka, but people were more afraid of their dogs than them (rightly so in my opinion, though neither should be underestimated).

There was something to be said for tonfa, especially after exploding someone's head with one like an overripe watermelon. With my chakra low I had to use plain tonfa with only a little chakra to enforce my blows, but it was enough to kill. The summons had used up a lot, but she was worth it. People dropped and screamed as she passed, perfectly silent death. Ninja were definitely cats. For about fifteen minutes there was nothing but blood, fighting, screaming, and death all around, and then it was gone. Whatever--whoever had appeared had killed most of the enemy-nin.

It, I discovered quickly, was boy, neon yellow hair crusted with blood, and eyes wide and shocked looking. The toad was gone, presumably his. He was probably the kid Jiraiya-sama had taken on. Someone stepped forward to congratulate him, but the kid's eyes were stuck on the carnage around him. He smiled, and it wasn't happy. I knew that look. That was the 'I'm about to snap' look, and anyone near was going to get caught in the recoil. I started moving. I wasn’t going to watch another frantic child turn comrade killer.

Then kid let out this noise, and it took me a while to realize it was a laugh. It was a terrible laugh--horrid, stretched, and hysterical. It bubbled out of him in shrieks, and it went on and on. Everyone stared, and I stopped. Some backed up. Plenty of insane ninja were allowed on the battlefield, especially if they could do what this kid had just done. Everyone was caught again, hesitating and afraid to break the kid’s laughter--afraid he might go off on them whether he was insane or not. I listened to two more shrieks, and then stalked forward.

"Just shut up already!" I slapped my hand across his face, hitting his mouth more than his cheek. The kid's head snapped sideways and he stared up at me with huge blue eyes. He was shaking all over, chakra exhaustion evident. After a month in the war you became intimately familiar with all the signs of chakra exhaustion, and this kid was showing tons of them. I grabbed his by the collar and hauled him off towards the trench, intending to make him rest and maybe force feed him some sedatives until he calmed down. I ended up forcing fluids to keep him from dehydrating as he puked all night.

It was only later I learned he was Jiraiya-sama's little pet student, and, actually, that first meeting set the tone for our friendship. Minato ran in and saved the day, and I ran after and saved him.

Fugaku was the only one who ever treated me like a human after I became the Yellow Flash. After I become great, Fugaku could still look me in the eyes, slap me on the mouth, and make me drink water until my eyeballs swam. He did that once when I had Kakashi trailing after me, and if that didn't make the Kakashi turn red and splutter.....

Fugaku was the one who always knew what to say to me when I felt like I couldn't get up again for anything. He gave me that one last shove and smiled as he did it, even when he knew I was going to break bones when I hit the ground. That was okay, he'd always been there and done that, and broken more bones than I could ever imagine. He actually remembered life before the war, and he could push to get that back. All I remembered was sunshine and sunflowers, and that didn't seem like a thing to kill over.

He also had a wife and kid waiting in Konoha, and I didn't know if I even had a friend left alive--except Jiraiya-sensei. Kakashi didn't count. He was just a kid.

"Oy, Butana-chan, mooch your butt over," Fugaku commanded as he prodded the said butt with a foot.

I did, and as soon as he sat down I fell over across his lap with a dramatic sigh. "Am I dead yet?"

Fugaku leaned down and gave my head a healthy sniff. "You smell like it, but you're breathing, so maybe not. If you start rotting we'll know. You might want to stay out of the sun just in case."

"Mm," I rolled over and looked up at Fugaku's stern face. "Oi, you think Itachi-chan's walking yet?" I had never been complimented for my long attention span. The opposite was usually true, in fact.

"I don't know," Fugaku replied, and his face got dark. Oh, he missed Itachi, and, come to think of it, I did too. I'd only seen him once, but he was a cute little pudge-ball. I was looking forward to being an honorary uncle, if Fugaku would let me, that was.

"Hey," I tapped him on the cheek with a blood-encrusted gloved hand. Flakes of blood fell off onto me and stuck to his face. It was a good thing he didn't have facial hair, otherwise the blood would be stuck in it. Fugaku didn't even flinch, but he never did with me. Poor man had built up a tolerance to me, and any motion I made while close to him.

"What?" Fugaku asked, trying to look very disgruntled. I knew he wasn't. He was too tired to be disgruntled.

"If I get recalled before you, what do you want me to say to Mikoto for you?" I asked, eyes slipping closed. Fugaku's chakra always helped me relax. It burned gently against my senses, strong and silent.

"Hn," Fugaku gave a small sigh. "That I love her, obviously, and I'm doing okay." Fugaku peeled some of my blood encrusted hair from my cheek. "Before you say anything to her, you had better take a bath."

"Hmmm," I hummed and wished I could fall asleep. There was a little sunshine on us, and I was exhausted. Everyone was. "Don't worry I will."

"And give Itachi a hug and kiss for me, all right?" Fugaku added after a lull where some birds tried to sing. Most of the wildlife had been chased off by the excessive ninja fighting. I missed the songs of birds…what I remembered of them, anyway.

"Absolutely," I yawned and stretched.

"What about you?" Fugaku asked, still peeling bloody hair off my face.

"What 'bout me?" I slurred, letting everything relax. Fugaku's lap was the most comfortable thing I had sprawled across in a long time.

"If I go back before you, who do you want me to give messages to?" Fugaku pressed. I winced as he pulled too hard on a particularly stuck lock of hair.

"I dunno, my mom, I guess, and Jiraiya-sensei, if he's there," I rubbed at my face, crumbling off caked blood. "I don't have much anyone else, 'cept you, of course."

"I'll be sure to deliver a message to myself then," Fugaku drawled, something he only did when he was making fun of me. I tried lazily to smack him in the jaw, but it didn't work. Fugaku chuckled at me, sort of condescending, but not enough to get riled about. I kept my eyes closed and tried to block out the smell of blood and death that rose off of me and the land around me.

That was usually how things went. I tried to escape from reality, and Fugaku watched out for me while I did.

Minato sat with his feet braced on my shins, and I gave up on trying to get him to move his feet. He was anxious, twitchy, and about to drive me mad, but that was how everyone was now. Peace treaties were being talked of, meaning we were to expect fiercer fighting as the end drew near. Minato and I sat on either side of a hollow in a tree in which Minato's team slept.

"Sorry to hear about Obito," I almost whispered to Minato.

"People die in war," Minato tried to be casual, but I could see it bothered him. Thoughts were rushing through his mind. What could he have taught Obito that would have helped him live a little longer? "Did you know him?"

"Obito?" I grimaced. "I did, but I only met him two or three times. He was mostly loud and annoying, but he was a good kid."

"Aa," Minato closed his eyes and leaned his head back till it pointed towards the sky. "Everyone's a good kid after their dead, huh, Fuugaku?"

"They are, but Obito was a good kid before he was dead," I replied. It was the truth, and, more importantly, it was what Minato needed to hear right now. Minato smiled a little at the sky, and looked back down to me. His eyes were tired, and even his hair seemed to droop.

"How far in debt do you think Konoha is?" Minato asked, pitching his voice low.

I glanced over at my own squad, all three up in one of Konoha's monster trees. Two were playing a dice game while one was one watch. He caught me looking up and gave a discreet wave. I returned it and looked back to Minato. "Their hearing isn't that good, and none of them are interested in politics. "

Minato smiled and leaned forward anyway. "Fugaku, they want me to be Hokage."

I nodded. "I know. I'm going to be head of the Uchiha clan, and I get informed of these things. I think you'd make a great Hokage."

Minato gave me a strangled look. "Oh, yes, I've spent most of my life fighting, Fugaku. What do I know about running a village?"

"You'd be a figurehead, Butana-chan." I leaned back and looked him over. "Ninja worship you as a savior already, and making you Hokage, especially as the war ends, will make you basically a god. Sandaime-sama's still alive so he can help you out with the technical things. We'll need a strong leader when this is over, and you can be that."

Minato gave me a wry smile. "I don't feel like a very strong leader right now. Did you know we'll have been fighting this year for fourteen years in a few months? How crazy is that? That's more than half my life, Fugaku."

"Almost half mine," I intoned. He was right. This war had dragged on for too long, and it was showing. Konoha had to hire unaffliated ninja to dress as Konoha-nin to fool Iwa into thinking we were stronger than we actually were. There was all the debt Konoha was accumulating, though unaffiliated nin worked cheap compared to ninja with a village to support. My own squad was unaffiliated-nin. From what I'd heard, mine were well-mannered and competent compared to the other nin we'd hired.

"Butana-chan, you'd make a great Hokage," I repeated. "You should accept."

"Eh," Minato scrubbed a hand through his hair. "Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live for yourself for a while? I mean, to stop running and killing for Konoha, and just do what you want?"

"Every time I see Itachi-chan, and every time I have to leave Mikoto," I replied honestly. Itachi was four years old now, and he barely knew who I was. I wanted to get back to him and Mikoto so badly my chest ached.

"Mm," Mintao was probably thinking about Kushina, the pretty little kunoichi from Whirlpool he was fond of. "Do you think this war is ever really going to end?"

"It had better," I growled. "Itachi is not going to grow up fighting in a war, Minato. I don't care who I have to kill to make that happen, but he won't."

Minato was silent, possibly wishing he had someone he could fight for like that. Ever since his mother's death, Mintao had been mostly alone. He fought for Konoha, and that was all. I was fighting for: my wife, my son, my clan, and my village--in that order too.

Minato let out a long sigh. "If I become Hokage, than you'll be right. I will just be a figurehead, won't I?"

I nodded. "For a bit, at least. You'll grow out of it quickly, I'm sure, and the council will be eating out of your hand like pigeons."

Minato made a face. "I hate pigeons. They smell, and they poop everywhere."

I sniggered. "The council is just like pigeons. They stink of plotting, and they're full of crap they like to deposit on your shoulders."

Minato gave me a scandalized look, as if he couldn't believe I had just compared the esteemed council members to a flock of pigeons. I smirked at him, and he burst into laughter. After he became Hokage he said they were more like falcons. They reeked of plotting, tried to poke your eyes out, and then deposited a load of crap on your shoulders.

That was how it went, I gave Minato a tiny push, and he ran headlong into whatever catastrophe lay ahead and made it work.

"Butana-oji-san," Itachi, now five, tugged at my robe. He gave me a solemn dark-eyed look. I grinned and picked him up. He immediately latched onto my neck and gave a huge sigh. Itachi was the most solemn child I had ever met, but that might have been because he was mostly raised by his very serious mother.

"You'll spoil him," Fugaku warned.

"Itachi-kun is above such things like being spoiled." I grinned down at the kid, who was watching me with his calm eyes. He closed them and gave me a smile.

Fugaku grunted. "Tell that to Mikoto. Now, did you have a bad day, Hokage-sama?"

I smiled and sat down in the middle of the garden, Itachi held in my lap. He was warm and comforting. "How did you ever guess?"

"You always appear in my backyard and squeeze my kid when you've had a hard day." Fugaku looked back at me and smiled. I stuck my tongue out at him, and watched as he ambled over and sat down in front of me. He held out his hand to Itachi, who yawned and leaned back against my chest.

"Itachi-kun likes me best," I crowed, hugging the child to my chest. I gave his downy soft head a kiss and gave Fugaku a wicked little smile.

Fugaku rolled his eyes. "I can't wait for you to have your own. When's Kushina due?"

"October," I grinned like an idiot. "That's just six months away! Your kid will only be three months older. Itachi-kun, you'll have two little brothers!"

"Nn," Itachi muttered.

Fugaku smiled. "He's tired. Does 'Butana-oji-san' want to put him down for his nap, or shall I?"

"I'll do it. I think I need all the practice I can get, ne?" I struggled to my feet holding the limp bundle of Itachi. "Up we go." Itachi made some muttered noise, and clung to my arms.

"When do kids stop taking naps?" I called back to Fugaku, who was trailing us inside.

"It depends. Itachi loves his nap, and he really can't last a day without one." Fugaku pointed me towards Itachi's room, which had been moved since the last time I had visited. Itachi's older and smaller room was being given to Fugaku's new kid, who was coming in three months.

"His cousin stopped taking naps when he was four, but he goes to bed a lot earlier than Itachi ever does. The kid's a night owl," Fugaku said with some pride. A good ninja liked the night, and there was no doubt Itachi was going to be a ninja. He was already showing great promise.

"All right, to bed with you!" I sing-songed as I carried Itachi into his room. I flipped him upside down and dropped/put him down on the floor. Itachi gave me a look that said he was far too tired to deal with my antics right now, and went over to the corner of the room. I helped him pull out the futon and tucked him under the blankets. I crouched, looking at him, his still-chubby hand up by his round little face. He looked so young and innocent. I smiled.

Itachi cracked an eye open and looked at me. "You have to sing a lullabye."

I blinked. "I do?" He nodded solemnly. "Uhm....all right."

"It'll be good practice for when you have a kid," Itachi told me as he snuggled deeper under the blankets. He gave me an expectant look with his still open eye.

I cleared my throat and wracked my mind for a lullabye--one that didn't involve dismembering enemies. I started singing softly, unsure of what my voice sounded like.

'Nenneko shasshari mase,
Neta ko no kawaisa.
Okite naku ko no
Nenkororon, tsura nikusa.
Nekkororon, nenkororon........'

Itachi was asleep before the song was over, but I finished it anyway, and sat watching him sleep. I heard Fugaku pad in behind me, and lay a broad hand on my head.

"You'll have your own soon enough, Butana-chan."

I breathed out softly. "Fugaku, would you mind being the godfather?" Fugaku mussed my hair, and then crouched down beside me. His knees popped. I cast him a cheeky little grin, and he cast me a dark look. If Itachi weren't asleep in front of us I would have gotten a fireball in the face, or a fist at least.

"Sure, but shouldn't you be offering Jiraiya-sama the honor?" Fugaku had his eyes glued on Itachi, and he had a soft smile on his face. Those first few years of Itachi's life had been torture for Fugaku. He knew his kid was home growing up, but he couldn't see his kid growing up. They would forever be trying to catch up. I was grateful I would get to be with my kid while he grew. I would get to watch his first steps. I'd get to hear his first words. I'd rock him to sleep in the small hours of the morning. I would be a father--a dad.

I almost laughed. "Jiraiya would rather attend a council meeting, but if I ask he will. I'd rather my kid grew up in a more, erm, stable family if something happened to me and Kushina. I love Jiraiya, but, well, you know Jiraiyai."

Fugaku chuckled. "Sure, he's going to be practically living here anyway, isn't he, Butana-oji-san?"

"Watch it, Hatseun-oji-san," I teased, elbowing Fuagaku. He knocked me in the head with the palm of his hand.

Itachi twitched and seemed to be coming awake. I started singing the lullabye over again. Fugaku cast me a look with a smile hidden in it, and started singing with me.

'Nenneko shasshari mase,
Kyō wa nijūgo nichi sa.
Asu wa kono ko no,
Nenkororon, Miya-mairi.
Nekkororon, nenkororon.

Miya e maitta toki,
Nan to iute ogamu sa.
Isshō kono ko no,
Nenkororon, mame na yō ni.
Nekkororon, nenkororon.'

We both heard the door open and Mikoto calling she was home. Fugaku and I stood, padding out of Itachi's room with all the stealth of life long ninja and to the front foyer. Fugaku had a smile on as he walked around a corner to see his wife standing there. I felt a rush of warmth go through me as I saw Kushina standing by her. Kushina saw me and smiled.

"How did I know you'd be here?" she asked. "I met Mikoto-san in the market, and we decided it would be easier to find you if I came here."

I took two steps forward and hugged her, feeling the already-growing bulge of her stomach against me.

"Ah, Mikoto, Butana-chan has asked us to be the godparents of his and Kushina-chan's child," Fugaku told his wife, just loud enough for us to hear. I pried my face out of Kushin'as hair to look at her. Mikoto was much sterner than Fugakuu, but she cast me a smile.

"Oh, of course we will be, and I'm sorry we can't return the honor. My cousin is already Itachi's and this one's godfather," Mikoto patted her stomach as she spoke.

That was how it went, I made plans, and Fugaku was the back-up that never fell through.

Komnoha was beautiful, green, and growing. Massive trees towered over everything. Poeple swarmed the streets laughing and living. It was amazing. It was heart warming.

Konoha was burning. It was dying. I crouched in the lee of a building, and took a long draw from the canteen in my hand. The warm water did little to abate my thirst, and it did nothing to wash away the acrid taste of smoke in my mouth. I rubbed my face on the back of my ash smeared hand, and wished it weren't so hot. The October air was burning.

Two Uchiha ran by, one with a ghostly cat summons at her heels. There was so much to do. The Uchiha were in the thick of it again, trying to divert the blazing fires with any other ninja who were good at fire jutsu. Sometimes it worked, and sometime the fires rose up and devoured the ninja who tried to tame it. Sometimes there was still demonic chakra tangled in the flames, and it leapt back up the ninja-born flames to burn and kill. I had seen three people burned alive from the inside out today, and it was terrible.

I shuddered as I felt the press of demonic chakra on me. It was driving some ninja mad. I'd seen some war veterans broken down and sobbing because of the chakra. I felt like I was being suffocated. My own chakra felt like it was being crushed into a tiny space--compacted. It made me want to run--to get away from what was causing the feeling. I wouldn't run. I wouldn't budge an inch for the Kyuubi.

This was devastating. Konoha was still crippled from the war, and this. Now a demon that was laying waste to Konoha indiscriminately, killing ninja and civilian alike with ease. I took the last draw of water from my canteen and grimaced. I wasn't going to give any ground. I was going to fight for every inch of Konoha that burned. I was going to keep my village--my children's village from being destroyed. I had just finished fighting a fourteen year war so my children could grow up in a peaceful village. I wasn't going to let this demon drag their lives down. I'd do everything I could to stop it.

My kids would not be rushed to their death like so many other young ninja had. They were going to spend time doing boring Gennin missions pulling up turnips and chasing after lost cats. They weren't going to be crippled and hollowed by too much bloodshed too young. They weren't going to die before they were even thirteen. They were going to live-to grow. I'd make sure of that.

I stood, and nearly threw a handful of kunai as the Yellow Flash himself appeared in beside me.

"Shimatte! Butana-chan!" I almost scolded. Minato looked as bad off as I felt. I hadn't been this low on chakra since the war, and Minato was pale with purple bruises under his eyes. This was his village--his responsibility. Every death was one of his own. I heard the far away screams and winced. It was hard to believe only yesterday we’d all been laughing and happy.

"Gomen ne." Minato gave me a tired smile. "Just hold on a little longer. I'm going to stop it now, well, as soon as I get out there."

"And how will you do that?" I asked. Everything ached, and I wasn't as young as I used to be. Neither of us were. It would take us days to recover from this, if we survived it.

"I'll seal it," Minato replied. Of course, sealing was one of the things he was best known for.

"In what? The seal would have to constantly be maintained, and eventually it would break down. What could you possibly seal it in..." I trailed off as I realized what he held in his arms. "Minato, don't."

Mintao shrugged. "It's the only way, Fugaku. I have to." He was moving back.

"You'll die," I blurted out, feeling suddenly drained and frantic. The idiot, what was he thinking?

"It's me or them, and I'd rather it be me, Fugaku." Minato gave me a very clear smile. It spoke volumes. He had to do something. He couldn't stand here and do nothing. He could save them. He had to save them. I reached for him in one frantic moment of selfishness, and my hand closed around his coat. I looked down at the bundle in his arms, and felt a small smile rise on my face.

"Naruto, ne?"

Fugaku bent his head down, and his spiky blond hair brushed my forehead. "Hai."

"Congratulations, Butana-chan." I placed a hand on top of his head, and Minato cast me one last brilliant smile before he was gone.


I got back home before Mikoto did. She’d taken Sasuke and Itachi to a shelter. Luckily none of the flames had gotten close to the Uchiha district. After all the charred remains I’d seen today I almost cried when I saw everything untouched. Ash coated everything, but nothing was burned to the ground.

She brought Itachi and Sasuke in and put them both to bed before coming to find me. She stopped just shy of me, and looked down at the messy little bundle of blankets in my arms. I looked up at her, and tilted the bundle so she could see the sleeping face. "They're dead." was all I could say. Kushina had died soon after childbirth, and Minato...Minato had died the hero he was. Mikoto looked at me, and stepped forward. She took the bundle from my arms and smoothed the blonde hair back from his forehead.

"He needs a bath," she observed in a solemn voice. She cast me a look.

I shook my head. "We were going to make the guardianship official after he was born, and now...." Now there was no one to do that. I gently took Naruto from my wife. "I'll go wash him." Naruto felt like a fragile little doll in my arms. I kissed his ashy forehead and swore to Minato I'd watch over his little dandelion fluff. I'd watch him for as long as it was allowed, and anyone one who wanted to take the little fluff from me would have to fight for him.


Title: LoveHateTragedy
Fandom: Naruto
Pairing: FugakuKushina. Yeah, you read that right.
Summary: Between the two of them, they’ve built so many lies and broken so many promises that they don’t even bother accusing each other anymore.
Disclaimer: Naruto © Masashi Kishimoto.

Notes: For ohwhatsherface, who wanted FugakuKushina, which is actually non-existant in fandom, even though it makes no sense whatsoever. But now, I wish it was canon and that I did this pairing justice, and Pina, just look at the monster you have created. DX

Her prompts were “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon5 and weeds, which make even less sense together than Kushina and Fugaku do.


by: allurement

Uchiha Fugaku never liked Namikaze Minato.

Sure, the other man is a brilliant shinobi. In fact, he is one of the strongest the village had ever produced, and Fugaku thinks highly of his abilities even if he isn’t the blonde’s biggest fan, but—

(“Say that again,” he orders.

“He’s going to be made Hokage,” she whispers, her hands shaking)

—at that moment, Fugaku loathes Minato.

Fugaku may have the respectable family name, the elegant dark looks, and the admiration of more than a few female hearts, but Minato is the one who will end up winning the biggest prize of all. Now he will have both the village and her, and Fugaku can’t help but be envious of him.

When Fugaku first began seeing Kushina — because what they were doing could hardly be called courting — he knew that she was dating ‘that hopeless, blonde romantic’, and he was all right with that. Besides, he could hardly tell her to leave Minato when he himself was too cowardly to present the redhead to his parents, for fear of their criticisms against her.

He thinks he will be a hypocrite just this once.

“Leave him,” he says suddenly.

“I—I can’t, Fugaku,” Kushina replies hopelessly, wringing her hands in frustration. “He’s the Hokage now, for pity’s sake! And he’s done so much for me, I can’t hurt him. You know I don’t love him — you know I’ve never loved him, don’t you?”

She had always told Fugaku that she never loved Minato, and Fugaku believed her every single time. Now, however, he questions it.

“So you’re just going to stay with him, stringing both of us along?”

“No!” Kushina cries. “It’s not like that, and you know it, Fugaku. He’s helped me so much, I can’t leave him. He loves me—”

“And you think I don’t?” Fugaku demands.

An inexplicable look flashed across Kushina’s face.

“You have… no right to talk to me like that,” she hisses. “You won’t even show me to your parents because you’re ashamed of me—”

“That’s not true—”

“Oh, isn’t it?” Kushina challenges.

“For once in your life, use your bloody brain, Kushina,” Fugaku says, not lying to her, but not telling her the whole truth. “How can I present you to my family if you’re supposed to be dating that goddamn Namikaze? How do you think that would make me look? Like you said, he’s our Hokage now. Having an affair with his girlfriend wouldn’t exactly raise my clan’s social status.”

“So what am I supposed to do?”

Fugaku is a cautious man—


—and he chooses his next few words carefully.

“You’re supposed to choose one of us,” he says eventually. “I won’t play second-fiddle to that bastard anymore, Kushina.”

“But you won’t be!” Kushina protests. “I told you, he means nothing to me.”

“Then prove it. Leave him.”

“Fugaku,” she says, stepping towards him and closing the space between them, “I love you. And Minato’s sweet and funny, but he doesn’t — I don’t—”

She pauses, and Fugaku waits for her to continue.

“I love you, Fugaku, and I love who I am when I’m with you,” Kushina says. “The way you look at me… it makes me feel like I’m actually worth something. I don’t deserve you, but then again, I don’t deserve a lot of things.”

It begins to rain.

“You make me feel loved. And you’re the only person that makes me feel truly alive.”

“I’m getting married,” he says.

Kushina freezes, and takes her hands out of Fugaku’s hair. She places them in her lap and looks at him with a hurt and confused expression on her face.

“I—My parents,” he explains, looking away from her. “I’m already eighteen, yet I don’t have a wife. They want me to have a family before they pass on the clan’s legacy to me. Since I haven’t found a potential candidate on my own…” he trails off.

When he receives no reply, Fugaku looks back up at Kushina. Her hands are curled into fists and she is staring at him with angry tears in her eyes, and Fugaku just wishes he could take her away from all of this, to a place where nobody knew them, where all of these expectations weren’t heaved on his shoulders, where Kushina wasn’t a nameless girl-woman who had no manners whatsoever and where they could be happy. Together.

“So,” she says in a low voice. She speaks softly, and there are birds chirping loudly in the distance, but Fugaku can hear every word — every syllable — that she is saying, clear as day, and her voice is like a melody, with their hearts beating as one accompanying it to play a song too beautiful for words.


“Where does that leave us?”

Fugaku has no words, and he pauses and tears his eyes away from her once again. He thinks about his parents, about his clan, about what’s best for all of them. Then he hears Kushina exhale and he thinks about what is best for him, for them.

“Answer me, Fugaku,” she says coldly.

“I don’t know, Kushina,” he admits. He is a man of few words, and rarely ever says what he thinks, but as he sees Kushina hastily wipe away a tear as it falls from her eye, he wishes he could tell her how much she means to him, how much she had changed him, how glad he is that he has met her.

But he can’t.

He is an Uchiha.

“I see,” she murmurs, more to herself than to Fugaku.

“I’m sorry,” he says.

Kushina slowly raises a hand and touches his cheek with such a tenderness he knows he will never find anywhere else. She is uncouth, scruffy, rude, and impolite, but he thinks she is perfect anyway.

“So am I,” she whispers. “I’m sorry for not being good enough. But I’ve tried Fugaku, I have.”

This is a lie and Fugaku knows it, but it is a comforting lie, so he lets it slide.

“When is the wedding?” Kushina asks.

“Next month. I haven’t met her before.”

Kushina chuckles.

“She’s a lucky girl,” she says. “Where will it be held?”

Fugaku can see where she’s going — he may not be as strong as Minato, but he’s still a genius of a genius clan.

“I don’t want you to come to the wedding.”

“Why not?” she demands.

It will be harder for him to go through with the wedding if Kushina was present. Of course, he couldn’t let her know that, so he settles on a, “I don’t want to see you there.”

Kushina narrows her eyes dangerously and takes her hand away from his face.

“Well then,” she sneers, rising to her feet. “You might as well not see me anywhere else from now on, Fugaku.”

With that, she storms off, leaving him—


It is Fugaku’s wedding day today. He is marrying a girl from one of the branch families; Mikoto, he thinks her name is. She is a distant cousin of his, distant enough for it not to repel him, but close enough to ensure that the Sharingan will be passed on to any children they should have.

The thought of being with anyone else besides Kushina makes Fugaku’s heart ache more than a little.

Presiding over the ceremony is none other than Minato himself, and Fugaku resists the urge to slay the man where he stands.

Not that he has a chance against him, Fugaku thinks bitterly to himself. The man is the bloody Hokage for God’s sake, and even if Fugaku was as strong as him, the ANBU surrounding them would have him dead before he could say “I do”.

So he waits by the altar, standing next to the man he despises more than anything else in the world, the man that is his fearless leader, and waits for his bride to walk down the aisle.

Fugaku throws a brief glance towards the young Hokage and sees him smiling at someone in the gathering of people. The soon-to-be Uchiha patriarch scans the crowd for who Minato could be looking at, and sees none other than Kushina.

She came, Fugaku thinks, his heart skipping a beat.

He forgets to be angry at how she disobeyed his orders, and is instead relieved that she has forgiven him.

Mikoto appears at the end of the aisle. It is the first time Fugaku’s ever seen her, and she looks like something from a dream. Any other man would be thrilled to have a bride as lovely as her, but all Fugaku sees as his soon-to-be wife walks closer to him is brilliant red and a flash of turquoise.

As Minato begins to speak, Fugaku looks over at Kushina once more. She smiles at him from her seat in the crowd, but it is a sad smile, and Fugaku hates himself for being the one who placed it on her face.

She is beautiful. Not beautiful in the way Mikoto is, and many would say that the latter was the better-looking one of the pair, but the never-ending hope in Kushina’s eyes, the lack of restraint in her smile and the happiness that practically emanates from her make everyone else pale in comparison.

She is like a sunflower—

(so bright and effervescent, but not poised enough to be a rose)

—amongst weeds, and Fugaku wishes she were his.

“Of course I still love you, you moron,” she says.

The corners of Fugaku’s mouth lift up into a small smile. He knows that he is shaming his family by his actions, but he finds that he doesn’t really care.

She loves him, and to him, that is a perfectly justifiable excuse for going against his principles.

He’d go against the world for her happiness.

“Mikoto gave birth yesterday,” he says.

“Oh?” Kushina says disinterestedly, plucking a few weeds from the flower-bed. “Is it a boy or a girl?”

“It’s a boy. His name is Itachi.”

Kushina snorts and sits up straight.

“Weasel? You called your kid that?” she asks incredulously. “God, Fugaku, how much do you hate the poor boy?”

“The clan has already arranged for the names of all children Mikoto shall bear.”

“So you and your wife don’t get a say in it?”


“Let me get this straight,” Kushina says. “So if you wanted to call your next son Naruto, for example, they wouldn’t allow you to?”

Fugaku eyes her warily.

“… Why would I ever want to call my child that?” he asks.

“Because it’s the best name ever. I would call my kid Naruto.”

“Namikaze Naruto,” Fugaku says out loud, snorting. “Yes, I can already imagine the mere name striking fear into enemy-nins’ hearts everywhere.”

“Shut up!” Kushina laughs and swats Fugaku lightly. “Besides, who ever said it would be Minato’s?”

Fugaku’s smile fades.

“Anyway, shouldn’t you be with your weasel now?”


“Your son,” Kushina says. “He was just born yesterday. Shouldn’t you be showing him to your clan or whatever it is you snooty people do?”

“Mikoto can handle him,” he says offhandedly. “She and the maids are fussing over him now. We’re presenting him to the clan elders tomorrow, anyway.”

“Does she know you’re here?”

“In your garden?”

“No, idiot,” Kushina snaps. “In La-la Land. With me, of course. Does she know you’re with me?”

Fugaku ponders over that question. He’s never told Mikoto and, being an elite shinobi, he has never been caught, but Fugaku has to give his wife some credit. She’s a Jounin, and a highly capable one at that, so she must have noticed him disappearing now and again.

But he doesn’t want to worry Kushina, so he says, “No. She has no idea.”

“I must have been a very special kind of stupid to fall in love with you,” she says.

Fugaku himself doesn’t know why he continues to see Kushina behind closed doors. He doesn’t know whether it is love or not, because he is only twenty and still a boy in more ways than one. He’s always been a good boy, an obedient boy, so he thinks that he must love her to be going against his parents’ orders like this.

He wonders what would happen if they ever found out.

One glance to the redhead besides him tells him that it doesn’t matter anyway.

Mikoto would be heartbroken, he knows, but would still carry out her duty as his wife faithfully, regardless. If Kushina were in her place, she would beat the crap out of him and attempt to poison his food the following evening.

That is the difference between them. He knows for a fact that he does not love Mikoto, even if his feelings for Kushina are uncertain.

He feels sorry for Mikoto sometimes. She is a good wife, Fugaku thinks, but she does not complete him the way Kushina does. Mikoto is polite, respectful and well-mannered — everything that Kushina isn’t.

But Kushina is everything that Mikoto isn’t and so much more.

Mikoto is loyal and she loves Fugaku despite his detachment from her, but she is also too submissive for Fugaku’s liking. He knows it isn’t her fault — it is the way she was brought up, and if she weren’t obedient, she wouldn’t have been betrothed to him in the first place.

He looks at Kushina once more. She is loud and brash, and isn’t afraid to hit Fugaku if he deserves a beating. She isn’t afraid to stand up to him.

And it is these flaws—

(perfections, Fugaku corrects himself)

—that draws her to him; the reasons why she would not be a good match for him are why he adores her so.

Fugaku is very narrow-minded and old-fashioned, but even he can appreciate the irony of the situation.

“Not really. You’re just a very annoying type of stupid,” he replies with a smirk.


“I’m pregnant,” she says.

Fugaku understands the implications of her words, even if she doesn’t.

“… Hn.”

“It’s Minato’s,” Kushina says unnecessarily. Fugaku already knew it was his.

“Have you told him?”

“Yeah. He’s over the moon. He’s already planning the wedding,” she says, looking everywhere but at Fugaku. “He wants it to be before I’m due, but with the war going on… Well, it’s complicated. The council want us to wait, since they think it wouldn’t look good for their leader to be focusing on anything but protecting the village, yet they don’t want their Hokage to have a son out of wedlock, so the shit’s been constantly hitting the fan, and there’s crap strewn just about everywhere at the moment. Bloody idiots.”

Fugaku doesn’t reply.

“You know what this means, don’t you?” she asks tentatively.

He does. He looks at Kushina’s stomach, which shows a faint bulge already, and finds he already hates her unborn baby that has come between them. For although she doesn’t love Minato, she will love her child unrequitedly, Fugaku knows this, and will try to do right by it.

“Hn,” he says. “Maybe it’s time we both grew up and stopped this childish behaviour.”

Kushina narrows her eyes.

“Is that what you think this is? Childish behaviour?” she demands. “Is that what you think we are?”

“Why does what I think matter all of a sudden?” Fugaku throws back. “It’s never seemed to matter before.”

“You—” Kushina begins, but halts mid-sentence. Instead, she glares at Fugaku and rises to her feet. “I hate you,” she says before stalking off.

Fugaku sighs and shakes his head wearily.

He knows she is bluffing. Between the two of them, they’ve built so many lies and broken so many promises that they don’t even bother accusing each other anymore.

But now, they’ll never have the chance to.

I’m sorry,” the note says.

Fugaku can’t recognise the handwriting, but he knows who it is from. He folds the piece of paper and keeps it close to his heart.

“The Demon Nine-Tailed Fox has fallen!” someone says.

Everyone else on the battlefield looks to where the shinobi is pointing to, and they see no monster in sight.

As one, they rejoice.

“But where is Yondaime-sama?” another asks once the celebration has quietened, and before some can register it, dozens of shinobi are fleeing to where they last saw the Kyuubi to search for their leader.

Fugaku stays where he is, blood dripping off of his Jounin vest. He doesn’t bother going with the others to see whether Minato had survived or not.

Minutes later, those who had rushed off return to their comrades who were too severely wounded to follow, and they say with regret in their voices and mourning in their hearts that their Hokage has died.

“He sacrificed himself for the village,” one kunoichi says, unabashed by the tears that are streaming down her cheeks.

Everyone stops whispering at her words, and a hushed silence falls over them.

They all silently mourn the death of the hero who had saved their homes, but Fugaku is the only one amongst them that sheds no tears for his death.

“Uzumaki Kushina is dead,” one of his clansmen says.

It takes all his years of being a shinobi put into practice to pretend that that information doesn’t have some sort of effect on him.


“We don’t know, Fugaku-sama. They’ve found her body in a hut on the outskirts of the village, near where the Yondaime-sama defeated the Kyuubi. There was a baby with her.”

“A boy, if I’m not mistaken? What is his name?”

“The boy is Uzumaki Naruto, Uzumaki Kushina’s son. They say that the Yondaime-sama has sealed the Kyuubi inside of the boy, but we don’t know why he of all people was picked. They haven’t located the boy’s father yet, so he’s being looked after temporarily by the Sandaime-sama.”

“Very well. You may go now.”

“As you wish, Fugaku-sama.”

That arrogant bastard, Fugaku thinks once he is alone. It’s one thing to sacrifice himself, but to ruin her son’s life?

He conveniently leaves out the fact that the boy was Minato’s son too. He might as well not be. That sonofabitch didn’t even have the decency to let the boy take his own name, and few villagers knew that he was courting Kushina before they had died.

Was he too ashamed to besmirch his status with someone like her? Fugaku wonders. Then, he chuckles sardonically to himself, as maybe he and Minato have something in common after all. Stupid, stuck-up piece of shit.

But he is the only one who will see it that way. The village will continue to praise him for getting rid of the demon and they’ll shun her son for containing it.

The woman he loved and the man he hated are gone now. And in the end, their story was just one of the many tragedies told in the life of a shinobi.

As Fugaku contemplates what he has left to live for, Mikoto slides open the door of his room and excitedly tells him that she thinks she saw a flash of red in Sasuke’s eyes when she was feeding the boy and, won’t you come and see, Fugaku?

Fugaku stares at his wife for a few seconds before he slowly stands up and follows her out of the room. As they are walking to the West Wing of their mansion, he finds his answer.

He will live for his wife, his sons and his clan. For his family.

And for her memory.

“I’m home!” his son says.

When Sasuke comes home from his first day at the Academy, he chatters away in the kitchen to Mikoto, who is preparing dinner. He talks of his teachers and how they say he is a genius and how powerful he will be one day, but Okaa-san, does that mean I’ll be stronger than Aniki? Mikoto merely smiles gently and goes along with what he says, and Fugaku thinks that she is the perfect mother for his children.

His traitorous heart tells him otherwise.

Sasuke talks about his classmates and how weak and untalented they are, how he is better than them. He speaks of one boy in particular, Uzumaki Naruto, and how all the others shun him, even though he doesn’t know why. He doesn’t take the lessons seriously at all, Sasuke says, contemptibly. He always shows up late for classes and makes a joke of the whole thing, and he shouldn’t have been allowed to be a ninja in the first place.

Fugaku silences him immediately and sends him to his room.

They call Uzumaki Naruto a demon and that may be true, but he will hear no evil of her son.

Fugaku has never attended any of Sasuke’s parents’ evenings at the Academy, Mikoto having always gone in his place, so he had never seen Naruto in person until one day, when he is walking with Sasuke back from the lake where he was teaching the Katon to his son. They walk through the village centre, past shops and restaurants, when he hears a little boy’s obnoxious voice asking for more ramen.

Sasuke looks at Ichiraku, a ramen bar, and Fugaku follows his son’s line of vision until he sees a small blonde boy practically inhaling a bowl of ramen.

The boy — Naruto — seems to feel the two pairs of eyes on his back, and he whirls around on his stool to look at Fugaku and Sasuke.

There is nothing of Kushina in this boy. He is the spitting image of his father, and Fugaku is disgusted with himself for feeling relieved at that fact.

But then Naruto grins and calls out to Sasuke, sticking a hand in the air and waving it enthusiastically. Sasuke, unsure of how to reply to that, simply waves back uncertainly.

Fugaku sees Sasuke’s hesitance and tells him to hurry up; they have no time to dawdle around, and he quickens his pace, forcing his son to jog to keep up with his strides.

He has witnessed the exchange between the two boys and that is all he needs to see.

Uzumaki Naruto has his mother’s smile.

Fugaku pretends that that doesn’t hurt.