Chapter 1: Rainwater
A/N: So this is my first FF. For those who have noticed, the title is based loosely on that of the Season 4 episode of 'Castle'. Team Seven, Itachi, Kakashi, Shisui, Minato, the Sannin, Akatsuki and most of the Rookies shall have important roles in this fanfiction. Manga spoilers for later chapters.
So far, I haven't thought of any pairings, though that MIGHT change. The 'Linchpin' of the story is an OC (and hopefully he won't become a Gary Stu.) I'm going to give equal importance to all the involved characters, so this isn't going to be a 'centric' FF either. I've reread this 3-4 times to check for typos. Please inform me if I've overlooked any. Without further ado, I present to you, The Linchpin!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of the involved characters. This is purely a work of fiction. [Though Tensui (the OC) is pretty much mine ;D]
Minato Namikaze-the Forth Hokage, known by all and feared by many as 'Konoha's Yellow Flash' and heralded as the fastest man of his generation- was in sheer distress. It wasn't due to an S-Rank Mission, or an SOS call from a warzone. Issues like those would never shatter his composure.
The reason Minato was worked up, and was rushing to a training ground on the outskirts of Konoha was the arrival of a panicking Chuunin at his office a few minutes ago. Panting heavily, Shisui Uchiha explained the predicament.
Even after being appointed Hokage, the blonde prodigy insisted in mentoring a team of young shinobi-in-training. He often wondered whether it was so that he could warm up to the idea of having kids one day(Minato was terrified of toddlers), or that he simply wanted to assure himself that he could train a squad that lived long enough to reach adulthood. On the request of a long-time friend, Fugaku Uchiha, the Head of the Konoha Police Force and Leader of the Uchiha Clan, Minato agreed to take young Itachi who was barely five years old, and his ten year old cousin, Shisui under his wing.
The third child was a seven year old named Tensui. Minato didn't know much about him, except that he was orphaned-as was the case of around half the children in those times- and that he was found by Hiruzen Sarutobi, the now-retired Third Hokage. For some reason, the Third was tight-lipped about the circumstances and condition Tensui was found in, and Minato didn't press for information either. The Third Hokage was, after all, very respected, and Minato trusted his discretion.
Yet, as Minato sped along the rooftops, slowing his pace so that Shisui could keep up, he began to doubt his assumption that the Third was as clueless as he initially thought. There had been rumors about young children who showed prodigious talents being abducted and trained by various organizations. 'Hmm, this kid hasn't really displayed any particularly special skills so far, so I guess I'm just over-thinking things. Come to think of it, he has shown no sort of Ninjutsu or Genjutsu, and is just average at Taijutsu', Minato thought, and then began chuckling when he realized that he just described Might Guy when he was a Genin.
Frankly, the only reason Minato decided to mentor Tensui was because Hiruzen specifically emphasized on him having a really strong heritage. That, and Tensui seemed to have excellent chakra control. Unlike most instructors, when Minato found something excellent, it was excellent. Infact, he had briefly contemplated handing Tensui over to Hiashi Hyuuga. It was a unique ability that wasn't really all that awe-inspiring, but did carry a lot of potential for future jutsus. It probably could qualify as a Kekkei Genkai if mastered.
'Focus!' the Yondaime reprimanded himself.
Shisui recounted how Tensui suddenly collapsed while sparring with Itachi. It wasn't a strange occurrence per se, but those suffering from chakra exhaustion generally regained consciousness within a few minutes. Kakashi Hatake, Minato's only living student, had been supervising the training, and immediately sent Shisui (who had gained incredible skill in the Shunshin under Minato's guidance) to the Hokage Tower.
'I hope it isn't anything serious…I am responsible for this boy's life, and I intend to keep him safe, atleast until we find a foster home.' His train of thought was interrupted when they arrived at the scene of the incident. Without wasting a second, he placed his palm on the unconscious boy's forehead and channeled his chakra through him.
Kakashi's diagnosis was spot on-Tensui collapsed due to chakra exhaustion. However, the cogs in Minato's prodigious mind started turning.
'I asked Kakashi to supervise a simple sparring session. Surely this boy doesn't possess such a tiny chakra pool that a simple exercise like that would exhaust him', Minato reasoned as he looked deeper into the chakra networks of the unconscious, dark-haired, pale-skinned boy.
There was a sudden hitch in Tensui's chakra flow…then another one. In a few seconds, the boy's chakra began to go haywire in response to the intrusion. Minato's eyes widened and the colour drained from his face. In his time as a Jounin in various warzones, Minato had come across these symptoms far too often in refugees and prisoners-of-war to miss the indication.
He whipped around in a sudden motion, and nearly yelled," Kakashi, I need you to bring Inoichi Yamanaka here, NOW! Shisui, go and inform the Third as to what happened, and escort him here as soon as possible! And this goes without saying-don't tell ANYONE what happened." Without waiting for a response, he barked," Itachi, help me move his body into that clearing", gesturing towards the forest at his right, in the direction of the supposed clearing.
The two youngsters, a little unnerved by seeing their ever-so-calm Sensei in such panic, rushed into the village. Meanwhile, after moving Tensui into the said clearing, Itachi asked Minato, putting on a passive façade, "Sensei, what is the matter? I know that what Tensui is suffering from isn't plain chakra depletion, but is it really that bad?"
"Oh, it's worse", Minato said exasperated, and continued while massaging the bridge of his nose, " He has symptoms similar to the victims of crude, but highly efficient S-Rank chakra and mind seals. They were frequently employed during the Second and Third Shinobi Wars, to suppress the wills of prisoners of war; they were also used on shinobi from radical groups, so that amnesia would be induced on capture, and information would stay safe. However, the jutsu used to place these seals generally embedded them directly into the brains of the receivers. Someone of Tensui's age cannot handle that kind of mental strain!"
Minato, finally calm, ignored Itachi's reaction to this bit of trivia, and put his mind to work. 'Okay', he thought, 'these seals generally require a lot of chakra, and complex procedures. Kushina once said that seals of this caliber were declared illegal even in the Land of Whirlpools. The only shinobi who should be capable of them are either from Konoha, or from Iwa. Thankfully, due to Konoha's security measures, I can rule out the possibility of Rock ninja snooping around Konoha to perform such a complex jutsu. That only leaves the seal-masters from Konoha…"
All of the panic Minato had felt mere minutes ago returned to him tenfold. This reeked of one man, and one man alone. For the first time in his career, Minato hoped that it was a misunderstanding, and that his gut-feeling was incorrect.
Minato turned to see the Sandaime and Inoichi jumping into the clearing. Hiruzen had a tense look on his face, probably due to hearing Minato hiss the name of his former-teammate with such rage and disgust. Not too long ago, when the Third Shinobi War had recently broken out, Danzo Shimura had come forth with a petition to be exempted from his duties as an advisor, and to be allowed a grant for a new shinobi training programme. He called it 'ANBU Root'. Though it was a helpful project, both the Sandaime and the Yondaime agreed that it was unnecessarily ruthless, and Root was disbanded. The whole affair left a bitter taste with Minato.
"Inoichi-san, thank you for coming on such short notice. I need you to look into this boy's memories and tell me what you see. However, please do not be surprised if you encounter and mind-blocks or memory seals", Minato began. This, predictably, got a gasp from not only Inoichi and Hiruzen, but also Itachi, Kakashi and Shisui.
"Umm…. Okay… Hokage-sama, I do not know what's going on here, but if you wish, I might be able to project them for you to see. It's a new jutsu the Clan has developed". Minato was obviously impressed, but this wasn't the time to dish out compliments.
"What you see now, is highly confidential. I trust that you three," Minato gestured towards the minors," understand the severity of this." On getting affirmations, he performed a few hand signs and with a soft hum, a barrier erected itself around the clearing. "Go ahead", Minato said to Inoichi, who placed his palm on the frail boy's temple.
A haunting silence filled the clearing. Everyone was presumably contemplating what they just witnessed. Apparently, Root wasn't as disbanded as people presumed. On any other occasion, Minato would be overjoyed. Konoha had, after all, just gained potentially valuable intelligence that could alter the course of history. However, this accomplishment came at a cost-the ruining of a life, probably two.
Minato was the first to come out of his reverie. In a swift movement, he dashed forward and punched a tree. The loud crack that ensued seemed to rouse the others from their thoughts. Minato was practically radiating rage and murderous intent, and his chakra was spiking rapidly.
"There's something I should have told you, Minato. I discovered it recently, only a month ago", Hiruzen began with a tone that was as apologetic as that of one who was Hokage for more than 40 years could get. 'That's 10 months since I met Tensui', Minato calculated, calming down.
"His parents were both Konoha shinobi. Do you remember when I told you about his heritage being valuable? I just had suspicions back then when I handed him over to you. However I've confirmed them." All the shinobi in the clearing were waiting with anticipation.
"Do you remember the fiasco that occurred a few years back? The one where an Uchiha went missing?"
"Yes, Sarutobi-sama", began Inoichi, "it concluded in him being branded a missing-nin."
"I remember. Fugaku was pretty tense then. The Uchiha Clan Elders were supposedly putting a lot of pressure on him. Come to think of it, Fugaku was tense that whole month", Minato commented.
"Yes, that's the one. What you don't know, and what I've discovered, is that he had been assassinated by the Clan Elders."
This got a reaction…
"What! That cannot be! I'll talk to Fugaku about-"
"That wouldn't help!" Hiruzen cut off Minato, "The only ones involved were the Clan Elders, and we have no tangible proof of it- just a suspicion based on what I found."
Shisui spoke up, "There is only one thing that could have happened." All eyes darted to him.
"According to the scriptures-which are insanely long and boring as hell- in the event that a member of the Uchiha Clan…uh…fraternizes with an outsider and fathers a child, it is considered high treason and the senior-most members of the Uchiha Clan are allowed to kill him. Infact, it is their duty to do so."
"In any case", Hiruzen began, before he was interrupted again, "his father was murdered. I suspect that his mother met the same fate. The other boy we saw was probably his younger brother. As you all now know, they were put into and orphanage in the neighboring town and subsequently abandoned in the Konoha forests when Tensui was barely six. I found him in the burnt and destroyed field. He had no recollection of anything except his name. The rest is….Minato, I didn't know; both that Root was still active and that there were members of Konoha in need of help. I guess I owe him an apology"
After a few moments of silence, Minato spoke up, "There's no point in fretting over it now. I'll confront Fugaku when I get the time, and explain the predicament. I'm sure that he'll understand, and might just adopt Tensui."
Shisui was quick to comment, "Sensei, I think the problem lies with Mikoto-sama. She's pregnant, and already has to look after one weirdo." This earned him a glare from Itachi, though he was fairly used to his cousin's playfulness.
"Anyway," Minato continued, "till then, he will stay with Kushina and me. Who was his mother?"
Hiruzen let out a long sigh. "She was one of the great-granddaughters of…the Shodai."
It all fell into place.
"That's right. This boy doesn't have talent. However, he has potential, and a lot of it. If honed correctly, he might become one of Konoha's Top 10 Shinobi of the next generation! That's probably why Danzo was after him. He's technically a genetic treasure-cove, and whether he becomes exceptional himself or not is irrelevant to Danzo."
Minato seemed to think about this for a while, before addressing the Yamanaka, "Will he remember all that has been suppressed? What about the Kekkei Genkai? If he was able to access it at such an age, there'll be uproar!"
"I cannot be sure of when, but he'll probably get his memories back eventually. Generally, jutsu of this type wear off in a month or so. However, Tensui is quite young, and doesn't have the mental strength to handle something of this magnitude. We may start therapy, but I suspect that you want to keep this a secret from him in favor of him regaining them naturally."
Minato nodded approvingly, and Inoichi continued, "The seals are probably rigged to come undone after a certain phrase or chant is said. That is the basic algorithm for these kinds of jutsus. Considering that Danzo is involved, it would be foolish to start guessing. As for the Kekkei Genkai, you may relax. I may not know much about the Sharingan, but I know enough to say that what happened to him was a simple fluke. The circumstances were favourable due to which it awakened-it probably has nothing to do with Tensui's skill level... I wouldn't be too worried about it. As with his memories, he will only regain his bloodline abilities when the seal is undone. He ofcourse, will be able to re-awaken the Sharingan through training."
Minato was relieved at this, and so was Hiruzen. The last thing the village needed now was another Madara Uchiha, who, according to the records, managed to have awakened his 3-Tomoe Sharingan at the age of 5.
Kakashi spoke for the first time, "What will the seal release be like?"
"Basically, he'll regain all the hidden memories and lost abilities. It shouldn't hurt, but quite frankly, I don't have enough to work with to know that. The process will be overwhelming at the least. Oh, also, it might be a little strange for those who know him. The seal he has is probably programmed to suppress ones personality and will. On release, you might find that Tensui has some traits and qualities which he didn't have earlier. In layman terms, it will feel as if he has matured overnight."
"Thank you Inoichi-san. Now, to get to business. Sandaime-sama, we must tackle the issue with Danzo as soon as possible. I'd like to hold an impromptu meeting with the Elders, bar Danzo ofcourse. Itachi-kun, please ask your father to attend it as well. However, don't tell him anything about what we just witnessed. Inoichi-san, with the exception of Ibiki-san no one must know of this. Infact, I prefer to keep the existence of Tensui a secret from as many people as possible, since it is clear that Danzo probably thinks him to be dead. That itself is a trump card-his existence has fed us with enough information to change the course of history."
'Why is Minato making such a humongous deal of this? Is there something that I've overlooked? In any case, I must put my faith in him', thought Hiruzen.
Hiruzen and Inoichi left at once. Shisui, Kakashi and Itachi stated behind for further instructions.
"The three of you may go. Itachi-kun, can you inform your father to see me in 20 minutes in my office?"
"It's 1:15pm Sensei. Father is probably busy with….." Itachi trailed off on seeing the Yondaime's face pale, and his expression twist in pure terror.
"FUCK! I'm late again! Kushina is going to kill me!" Minato nearly screeched. "I'll see you boys tomorrow. Same time, Kakashi is in charge", he instructed, though he was clearly distracted. Picking up the prone figure of the unconscious seven-year-old, Minato disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Itachi looked on in confusion while Shisui and Kakashi sweat-dropped. "Kakashi-san, what was that about?" the youngest of them asked.
As if on cue, a loud, feminine, angry voice was heard coming from the direction of the Hokage Quarters. "YOU'RE LATE, 'YA KNOW! AGAIN! FASTEST MAN MY ASS! WHAT DO HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF THIS TIME? Oh a kid! How cute! HOLD IT MINATO! I'M NOT DONE WITH YOU…."
"I see", Itachi commented empathically. Then, the three of them walked off silently, as if the just hadn't overheard the village's strongest shinobi being yelled at by his wife.
A few days later at midnight, a lone shinobi with a long, white mane snuck through a window into the Hokage's office. Minato looked up from his desk.
"Rough night eh, kid?"
"Oh Jiraiya-sensei, you have no idea. The paperwork just doesn't end! Anyway, I'm glad you stopped by. You may submit your report on Kumogakure tomorrow" was Minato's fatigued reply.
"You should really hire some assistants here. Cute assistants."
Rolling his eyes at his former sensei's antics, he moved to address more important topics.
"I need more reconnaissance work done…..on Root."
Jiraiya's expression turned grim. Anything that involved Danzo generally breached a lot of moral codes and standards, and that was saying a lot in a community where people killed for a living.
"So it's true? It still exists?"
"Very few are privy to this information. Please be discreet. Excluding the Council, only Sandaime-sama, Inoichi-san, Itachi-kun, Kakashi-kun, Shisui-kun and Fugaku know at present. Kushina knows as well."
"Wait, what? That's an odd group, don't you think? Minato, what is going on? Even the old man's poster-boy-prize-student-Mr.-perfect Orochimaru doesn't know?"
Minato sighed in exasperation, and explained the predicament.
"That's real rough kid. This boy Tensui, what is going to happen to him?"
"Currently, he's staying over with Kushina and I. He's taken a real liking to us, as if we were his foster parents. Unfortunately, with Kushina pregnant, things are going to get really bumpy in a few months. I addressed Fugaku with this issue, and unless the Uchiha Elders get really anal, he has agreed to adopt the boy."
"Do you trust him?"
"Yes," Minato spoke after a moment, "even though it may seem that he is a little too stern-"
"- he's simply under a lot of pressure from the Uchiha Council. Politics gets really troublesome at times."
"Hah! You sound just like the Nara. How is Kakashi? He took the demise of his teammates pretty hard, didn't he?"
"Same old, same old. Though he's begun picking up Obito's habits-namely his tardiness- and honestly, it's a little unsettling. All in all, he seems to be doing much better. Kakashi is astonishingly mature for his age and has come to terms with the fact that death is a part of life."
"Atleast he doesn't harbour any resentment towards his new team."
"Kakashi's not like that. Actually, he seems to get along pretty well with Shisui. However when it comes to intelligent conversation, he turns to Itachi."
"Ah, the Uchiha Heir! I'm given to believe that he is a genius too. Be careful Minato-even though we rant about how the new generation will surpass the old, I doubt you'd want to be done away by a pair of brats that can't even buy sake!"
"Sensei, I've asked you, on numerous occasions, to stop calling me a genius haven't I? It makes me sound…pompous."
"Hah! You'll live! Anyway, I should really get going. A lot of hotties are going to be really disappointed if I'm late. Your job will be done. See ya!" The Sannin disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Minato felt sorry for him. Ever since Lady Tsunade developed severe Haemophobia and left Konoha indefinitely, Jiraya had been down. Orochimaru was always immersed in some experiment or the other. Nobody likes to see the team they had belonged in for decades collapse like that. Hence, he often kept himself busy and distracted with recon missions and peeking at naked women.
Tensui was a mystery; atleast that's what Minato speculated, when the former moved in. In two days the mystery was all figured out.
Tensui seemed empty, for a loss of a better word. After one got past that, Tensui was generally…..bored. He often seemed lost in a world of his own. It was quite infuriating at times, especially when he grumbled. If Minato didn't know any better, he'd say that Tensui was a grumpy child. However, Minato understood and read Tensui pretty accurately.
Probably due to the memory loss, Tensui often seemed to be mulling over something or the other; basically he seemed distracted. He was surprisingly understanding when he was informed that he'd have to wait for the seal to release and his memories to awaken naturally. However, he seemed…..insecure. He also complained a lot, though most of them were obviously shallow comments that weren't meant to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, not many grasped that.
'It's those damn Uchiha genes!' Kushina concluded. 'It amazes me how Mikoto can stand Fugaku, much less love him.'
Minato, being more reasonable and tolerant attributed it to the seal, though he wondered what kind of a person Tensui was meant to be.
'He's quite intelligent and observant. Unfortunately he also seems passive, and that might hinder him being a shinobi. I wonder if he doesn't want to be one….. In any case, he seems to excel at strategic planning, and not the conventional short term discretion that 'good' leaders are supposed to have.'
It was true. Minato had recently taught him shogi and they played a game regularly after dinner everyday. Minato noticed that Tensui would do a very peculiar thing. He would seemingly neglect his own pieces (he was however, very much aware of their positions) and observe his opponent's strategy instead. Then, he'd throw a wrench into it, usually be doing something unusual like sacrificing his piece. He never won ofcourse, but frequently managed to keep Minato aware and careful. When asked about it, he simply shrugged and said, "There's no way for me to win the war. Hence, I simply focus on winning the battles, and rendering your strategy useless is a victory in itself."
"I suppose he'll make a fine strategist and fit well in the Intelligence Department." Minato said to his wife one evening.
"Minato, don't worry about that. Gosh, don't you ever step out of your role as Hokage? We do have a child coming. How do you think Naruto would feel if his father didn't have time for him?"
"I know that Kushina. I'm sorry. It's just that the situation is very tense. A war just ended, and we may see another one pretty soon. Iwa has enforced an intense training programme-you know how old man Onoki can get- and according to Jiraiya-sensei's intelligence, Kumogakure is getting suspiciously interested in the Byakugan. The situation with Suna is tense as it is and Kiri is being...Kiri. In all this mess, I'm worried about Konoha. You know how Kakashi lost his comrades at the age of ten; how the Uchiha Council made Itachi visit an outpost to gain experience, which ended up being attacked by Stone shinobi. Hizashi-san's son, Neji also has displayed fast development-at the age of seven months, he could walk without support and began to access chakra. Prodigies have it hard, and even though Tensui hasn't been exceptional, he has latent abilities. If trained well, he might end up being one of the village's strongest shinobi", Minato finished by paraphrasing the Third Hokage's words.
"Minato! You are starting to sound like those old bags at the Council! He's just a child for God's sake, not a tool!"
"Believe me Kushina; I know very well what and who I sound like. However, you weren't there. You know the censored version, but you haven't seen what Tensui has gone through. Soon, in a few years, either he will regain his memories or Danzo will come to know that he is still alive, and that it is because of his memories that Root has been exposed. At worst, both will happen. Now Tensui doesn't seem like one to be overly driven by emotions, and I know that Danzo isn't really vindictive and that he doesn't maintain personal grudges, but I rather not test the limits of human emotion. In any case, he isn't in a position to become an average, everyday Chuunin who performs menial tasks and B-ranked missions. He will need to learn to fend for himself."
Both the Hokage and his wife stilled. They turned to see Tensui standing on the threshold of the room, with a surprisingly calm expression on his face. The usual irked frown was nowhere to be seen. Sadly, his facial expressions didn't always reflect his mood and thoughts. He could be ecstatic and yet manage to pull off a decent frown that'd convince most of those that didn't know him.
"I know my responsibilities," he continued, "and I'm also aware that I probably wouldn't have an average life. I'm ready to undertake the challenge Otou-san. I'd like you to train me with Itachi, Shisui and Kakashi-senpai"
Minato smiled both at Tensui's maturity and the way Tensui addressed him. Kushina was however quite nervous.
Sensing this, the boy continued, "I'm really grateful and thankful for being taken in by you, and I frankly don't know what I would have done otherwise. Okaa-san, I know that you're worried, but you need to have faith in me, just the way you'd have faith in Naruto. In a way, I'm your son, aren't I?"
Kushina seemed to tear up, though this could just as well be attributed to pregnancy and hormones. She swooped down and hugged the boy and said, "Baka! Ofcourse I have faith. Just promise me that you'll be careful. And you don't need to thank us for something like that! Infact, I should thank you for spending time with me when this knucklehead was busy with his duties." She mock-glared at Minato.
"Relax you two…I'm going to train Tensui well. I'll make sure that the four of you become some of the most well known shinobi the world will see…though Kakashi already has a reputation of his own", Minato added as an afterthought.
"Good! Now Tensui, go to bed."
"But is only seve-"
"I said GO!"
Tensui promptly turned around walked to the adjacent room thinking, 'Damn, she can be really scary…'
When Mikoto answered the door one afternoon, she was quite taken aback by the visitor's identity.
"Hokage-sama," she said cheerfully, "what brings you here?"
"How many times have I asked you not to call me that Mikoto-chan? Anyway, I need to see Fugaku. May I come in or must I send a petition 12 hours in advance?" Minato said with a grin.
Mikoto giggled and ushered him towards to verandah that overlooked the pond behind the house. Fugaku joined him shortly and Mikoto brought them tea and snacks.
"So how are things? Itachi-kun is doing very well by the way. He might be more of a genius than you people make me out to be. He can already perform Katon and basic Genjutsu."
"I'm glad to hear it. Sadly the Council won't leave him alone in a few years if he continues to show that much promise", Fugaku sighed.
"They're still at it eh? Wasn't sending him into a warzone enough? He's just a kid for God's sake…"
"You think I haven't said that? "In this world age doesn't matter. Power is all that does!" is what they said. Quite frankly if you hadn't threatened them with arrest and exposure after that incident, they'd probably pull something of the sort again."
"They're still mad about that?" Minato asked.
"Yeah. Thankfully they've backed off from Itachi and started to give Shisui a disturbing amount of attention. Still in every meeting it's basically- "Yondaime-this", "Konoha-that". If I didn't know any better, I'd say that they don't like you very much, Minato."
In three seconds, both of them burst into chuckles. Minato had this uncanny ability to put Fugaku at ease. It was one of the major reasons that he treasured their friendship so much.
"Anyway, that is my burden to bear for now. What did you want to see ma about, Minato?"
"You forgot already? I did send you a message you know… Not something a Hokage generally does", Minato said with a mock-sulk.
"Right. I'm sorry, it slipped my mind. And Minato, please don't send frogs into this house. They spooked the heck out of Sasuke-wouldn't stop crying for hours. If I'm not mistaken, Kushina-chan is due in two weeks, right?"
"Yeah. This year's babies are going to make one heck of a generation! All the major clans- Inuzuka,Nara, Yamanaka, Akimichi, Aburame, Hyuuga, Uchiha and Uzumaki- are having kids."
"I wonder how the Tsuchikage reacts to this information", Fugaku commented slyly. It was no secret that Ryotenbin-no-Onoki was jealous of the amount of clans-both major and minor- that Konoha housed.
"It'd be priceless", Minato agreed, "though we really should get down to business now. If I'm late again, Kushina might just follow through with her threat of gutting me with a rusty Hiraishin Kunai."
Fugaku cringed and led Minato into his office for privacy.
"So, what do you think", Minato asked Fugaku who seemed to be meditating.
"Your hypothesis is correct. Now I cannot reveal any Clan secrets, but the presence of Senju DNA will certainly interfere with the Sharingan. Tensui's Sharingan seems to be different. It probably is superior in fields like deciphering chakra patterns, but the part of it that copies Ninjutsu and performs Genjutsu hasn't developed. Tell me, what jutsu can he perform?"
"He cannot perform any. Atleast not in the conventional sense. He is incapable of moulding chakra with handseals."
"He has a peculiar ability. He is able to...let's call it manipulation... yes, he can manipulate chakra outside his body, just like the Sandaime Kazekage manipulated Iron Sand."
Fugaku's eyes widened slightly.
"Minato, what I'm about to tell you consists of some of the Clan's most revered secrets-the one's even the Hokage isn't supposed to know."
Minato said nothing, but waited silently. If the importance of the information outweighed the need for it's secrecy, he knew without a doubt that Fugaku would tell him.
"In the Clan's secret meeting place, there lies a Tablet rumoured to be left behind by the Rikodu Sennin, which contains directions for awakening the doujutsu. I'm sure you already know that both the Uchiha and Senju Clan's are said to be his direct descendants."
"Where are you going with this Fugaku?"
"The Tablet cannot be read normally. However, it can be read partially with the Sharingan. The Mangekyou Sharingan reveals more information."
"How many Clan members possess the Mangekyou?"
"Only I do. I haven't really trained it for battle, but it's awakening has allowed me to read about 60% of the Tablet. After referring to other ancient scripts and making speculations, I've come upon a theory."
"I believe that the Tablet can only be read completely by a higher doujutsu."
"Surely you're not suggesting what I think you are..!"
"Yes Minato, I'm referring to the King of all Doujutsu-the Rinnegan. I know that it's just said to be a myth, but...What?"
"Jiraiya-sama told me that many years ago, he encountered a boy in Amegakure who possessed the Rinnegan! However, he died sometime later..."
"Then my theory has some ground!" Fugaku exclaimed.
"Possibly. What I don't understand is what is the connection to Tensui? Are you saying that with the union of Uchiha and Senju blood, he can awaken the Rinnegan?"
"No. His Sharingan isn't the conventional one. The probability of him awakening it is very slim at best. The connection is that I've read about Tensui's ability while I was going through some ancient scriptures. Before the time of the Rikodu Sennin, there were a few monks who could manipulate chakra in such a way. I believe it was infact called 'Chakra Manipulation'. The Sage merely developed a much easier and more effective way of handling it when he created Ninjutsu."
"Aren't there any scrolls that-"
"No, just a passing mention. He is pretty much on his own when it comes to figuring and inventing jutsus."
"And do you suppose that he'll be able to use conventional Ninjutsu and Genjutsu?"
"He might be able to use crude derivations of normal jutsu-for example, he could use Suiton by channelling his chakra directly into water and trying to control it; this too is mere theoretical speculation. He should be able to use Genjutsu, though it'd take a lot of effort and training on his part. It would be a little strange wouldn't it? A shinobi with chakra control that'd make the best medics and Hyuuga look like genin having trouble performing Genjutsu?"
"It doesn't matter. With proper training, Tensui will learn to live around his weaknesses."
With that, both of them stood to leave.
On emerging, Minato was surprised to see Kushina chatting animatedly with Mikoto in the living room.
"Oh, there you are honey", Kushina said in a deceptively kind tone, and pulled out a rusty Hiraishin kunai.
Minato blanched, and both the ladies burst out in giggles. Fugaku cracked a smirk.
"Very funny, dear. By the way, where is Tensui?"
"He's upstairs with Itachi-kun and Sasu-chan", beamed Kushina.
"Really?", asked Minato, "they don't look like they'd enjoy play-dates."
"They're reading." Mikoto said dryly, "They're reading scrolls."
"Studying ahead?" Fugaku asked with a hint of pride.
"Itachi called it 'light reading'. I swear Fugaku, he better not become a stuck-up antisocial outcast who doesn't like to have fun!" Mikoto exclaimed. Hanging out with her best friend usually brought out her dormant immaturity.
"Stop overreacting dear. I get enough of drama in the Council meetings as it is" came the Clan Head's irritated reply. "Don't you have to return to your duties Minato?"
Sadly, Minato saw through the obvious ruse. "What's the matter Fugaku? Are you kicking the Hokage out of your house? I was hoping for a spar, but is seems that you're simply scared" he teased.
"Fine!" said Fugaku. "Let's do this."
"Okay, but I won't use Hiraishin or Fuuinjutsu. Wouldn't want the Uchiha Clan head to die in a second, now would we?" the Yondaime cracked a grin.
"Sure. I won't use Genjutsu either! We cannot have the Hokage having nightmares and wetting his bed!" Fugaku retorted with a smirk.
"Hey!" Minato yelled indignantly, "I was eight and that was a really creepy Genjutsu used by a missing-nin. Why Jiraiya-sensei even spoke about it is beyond me!"
The women sweatdropped as they witnessed the strongest man in Konoha and the ever-stoic Uchiha Clan Head squabble like children.
"Well," said Mikoto after a short while, "it's nice to have Minato and Fugaku over, instead of the usual Forth Hokage and the Head of the Uchiha Clan roles they adopt."
"Yeah!" agreed Kushina.
The two continued to enjoy each other's companies for the rest of the day. After all the death and destruction the Third Shinobi War brought, the situation was steadily improving and things were finally looking up.
A/N 2: So, how is it? I know most of this chapter has revolved around the OC (though he was barely conscious for most of it), but that'll change real soon. Two weeks until Naruto is born...hmm...I wonder what that means nudgenudge
I'll probably update in 7-10 days, though I'd like atleast 3-5 reviews before doing so. Suggestions are welcome, so is constructive criticism.
Also I know that Fugaku is quite…well…not stuck up-the thing is that we don't really know whether he is really a wife-beating, puppy-kicking tyrant to declare him OOC.
Anyway, please review.