I do not own Naruto
"I failed to kill Obito," Naruto thought solemnly to himself. It had been an oversight during the battle, but Naruto had no choice now. He would have to manipulate the events to come to save the future.
"No use crying over spilt milk," Naruto internally sighed to himself. "The Uchiha massacre won't happen for eight or so years if it happens at all. Minato could very well prevent the entire thing, and I got the Kyuubi out of the village quickly enough that the sharingan in Kurama's eyes might not have been that noticeable. Either way I won't have to deal with it for years."
"Kumo is going to try and steal Hinata in about three years. They could try to steal any other children from the Hyuuga or the Uchiha, but they need an heir to legitimize any new clan they form if they don't want a war. However, the situation resolved itself even if it led to a bloody cold war that almost sparked another war. Plus, it doesn't have anything to do with Obito's plans, but it would be the in the best interest for everyone if I smooth over the situation."
"Rin…may she rest in peace…died a year or so ago, so the Sanab, which has three tails, won't reform another two years. Obito won't try to incite a several war there for that amount of time, and ironically it is in the best interest of everyone that Kiri stay strong until the villages rebuild after three almost consecutive world wars. Then there are any other plans Obito has laid out."
"Orochimaru is an important problem at the moment. Having a rogue S-class joining Atatsuki with knowledge of DNA and immortality fetish, could very well be the worst thing at the moment. I know for a fact that the virus Yagura unleashed upon the bloodline faction originates from one of his labs. After what he did or will do to all those innocent people, I feel the need to rip his body limb from limb."
"The most important thing however is Atatsuki. I don't know when Yahiko dies and Nagato gets his god complex, but I have to destroy those eyes either way. The Rinnegan cannot be allowed to fall into Obito's hands, but I need information stat in Rain. Plus, if I can kill a some of the rogue S-class nin, I can keep the Atatsuki under Pain's rule from gaining traction, though I don't relish the idea at the moment. Then after all that is done and over with, I will track done Black Zetsu and end him."
Naruto snapped his opens and rose to his feet. The training ground he had been meditating in was suddenly to quite. The birds had stopped whistling and the bugs chirping. Lowering his visor, he immediately felt the lack of Goose, Cat, and Bear's presence.
Having stuck to his side better than super glue for the past month, Naruto knew how the water vapor caressed their bodies. "Where are those three?"
Naruto used his Water Vapor to feel all along the trees looking for someone or anything to reveal the reason for the odd quite. Expanding his range, Naruto felt it deep in the forest hidden from regular sight, a one armed and one eyed cripple. "Danzo? Perfect he could tell me the situation in Rain."
"I know you are there, Darkness of the Shinobi," Naruto yelled out into the dense underbrush of the forest ground.
"The reports weren't exaggerated about your sensory abilities. To find someone with a non-bloodline ability so similar to the Hyuuga is…concern worthy," Danzo replied coming into the training ground clearing but staying on the edge though Naruto felt Danzo's eyebrow raise. "Then is your knowledge of the shinobi world you really shouldn't know about."
"Have you come to kill me then," Naruto asked putting his hand on one of his two swords strapped to his back.
"Accept the Hokage's proposal to become a Konoha shinobi or mine to become a ROOT shinobi, and I assure you no harm will come to you," Danzo replied with a smooth savvy voice that Naruto was sure had sweet talked many people into doing things they shouldn't have.
It didn't work on Naruto though. Pulling out his blade an inch, Naruto replied, "I would lose too much freedom if I became a shinobi." Shaking his head, Naruto continued, "I only came to Konoha because I found out Lady Kushina was here."
"And if Kushina to where to say suddenly disappear from Konoha?" Danzo questioned losing his savvy voice.
"I would leave to rebuild the Uzumaki clan in the Land of Eddies," Naruto almost truthfully. The Land of Eddies was and is unlivable for large populations without major amounts of money and manpower to clear the destroyed building and refertilize the soil from the salt Kiri, Iwa, and Kumo laid.
"I find that unacceptable," Danzo replied with an edge. Using his one good hand, he snapped his fingers that resounded all throughout the clearing.
Being his own technique, Naruto knew his Water Sight's strengths and weaknesses, but his opponent's always thought he was blind and tried using sound sounds to interrupt his ability to perceive surroundings. Obviously, they all spectacularly failed, but Danzo was not a street thug but an actual shinobi with knowledge of bloodline very similar.
Naruto never saw it coming. Four shinobi each in ANBU attire but with blank masks with an elemental kanji for water, wind, earth, and lightning painted on the mask erupted swiftly from the ground around Naruto's feet. The shift of the earth around him threw Naruto off balance allowing two the shinobi to grab his arms, the third to yank both blades out their scabbards consequently out of Naruto's reach, and with the final one going for a kill shot with a kunai to the liver.
It all happened so fast…for the attacking shinobi that they didn't have the chance to react especially with close quarters.
Channeling quite a bit of chakra to his left arm, the arm not held above his head from pulling out sword a few seconds ago, Naruto pulled hard enough to yank Lightening off his feet and twist him into the Earth with the kunai heading to his liver. The kunai did manage to pierce skin, but it did not however go deeper than the first knuckle of a person's finger.
Lightening collided with Earth sending them rolling away, but Naruto didn't stop moving. Perhaps it was all the combat experience from his previous life or his father's harsh and grueling training taught with a heavy stick, but in a fight with multiple armed assailants, Naruto knew to keep moving and keep his distance. Continuing his momentum, Naruto punched Wind who had been holding his right arm hard enough to stagger him into letting go of his arm.
Water who had taken his swords carved up Naruto's back of a swing of the swords, but Naruto surely would have died had he tried to turn to fight him, however followed his gut instinct and jumped forward so that the swords only shallowly cut through his skin.
Not having a moment to breathe, all four ANBU who hadn't been seriously damaged enough to slow them down, once more surrounded Naruto or tried to. Slamming his hands onto the ground, Naruto channeled his Hyoton chakra for Hyoton: Athena's Battlefield.
The ground around them turned into ice and because the ANBU surrounded Naruto in a '+' formation, Lightening, Wind, and Water slipped and fell only to skid several yards past where they intended. Earth however skidded straight towards Naruto.
Hyoton: Hera's Embrace, an ice clone split from Naruto's back and quickly trapped Earth in a tight embrace before exploding violently to cover his entire body trapping him in ice unconscious.
Hyoton: Poseidon's Frozen Wave. A wave of ice the size of three people raced towards the other three ANBU. All three ANBU dodged out of the way, but Naruto hadn't intended for it to kill them only to make them lose their line of sight of him, while Water Sight allowed him to never lose line of sight.
Clapping his hands together and, Naruto cast another jutsu. Ranton: Apollo's Torrential Arrows. Four dozens arrows of Ranton chakra arrows sprang from his hands. Never having a moment's rest, the ANBU managed to get out of the way, but Wind took a chakra arrow to the knee.
Having the result intended to separate them, Naruto rushed the downed ANBU and cast Hyoton: Poseidon's Trident. Thrusting the trident of ice into the Wind's torso, blood squirted onto Naruto's visor covered face, but it did not kill the ANBU.
Letting go of the trident, Naruto jumped back from Water who still had Naruto's swords swiped at him with them. Water however never gave up on the pressure. Naruto ducked underneath a horizontal slash before side stepping a diagonal slash. Trying to get his hands into the appropriate hand seals, Naruto jumped backwards as Water began to use both swords to his advantage.
Another weakness of Naruto's Water Sight was even though he could 'see' everything in his range, Naruto couldn't process everything in it; as such, Naruto jumped backwards intoLightening's waiting arms.
"Dammit," Naruto cursed under his breath and felt Water smirk under his mask. Water jumped forward trying to run Naruto through while Lightening held the red head still. Seeing no choice, Naruto took the sword but twisted his torso enough that it grazed his side instead of killing him, and he jumped up so that his legs rested on Water's shoulders. Using the extra leverage, Naruto jumped behind Lightening slipping out of the hold as he couldn't do so still with his feet on the ground.
Naruto punched ANBU 1 in the kidney, who grunted loudly and painfully, and pushed the man into Water. The two stumbled into each other, but they didn't fall to the ground as their shinobi training and grace kept them upright.
Naruto did have the time to make some hand seals and cast Hyoton: Ares's WarHammer. A large pillar of ice formed above the two from the water vapor and fell onto the down ANBU. Lightening who had been pushed with his head down hadn't seen the ice pillar above was flattened by the ice, but Water managed to jump away.
Being a one on one, Naruto now held the distinct advantage. Now of the four ANBU been more than chuunin in rank, and Naruto would conservatively place himself as an A-rank jounin on a good day, maybe S-rank given the element of surprise, an opponent matched to his strengths, and 11 tails worth of chakra.
Jumping with Water and slipping inside of the ANBU's guard, Naruto punched the man in the stomach hard enough to make the man lose his breath before grabbing the man's head and slamming it into his knee breaking the mask and subsequently a noise as well.
Naruto felt the blood run down the man's face with his Water Sight as he staggered backwards and his swords as they dropped to the ground. Finishing the little skirmish, Naruto calmly grabbed the man's black hair and pulled him close and twisted him to put Water in a choke hold. The man struggled of course, but the knee to the face really disorientated the crap out of him. The last of the ANBU passed out after a moment.
Before Naruto even let the man fall to the ground, Danzo once more appeared out of the forest. "Finish him," Danzo commanded.
Letting the ANBU fall to the ground like a sack of potatoes, Naruto vehemently spat, "I know the game you are playing, and I won't do your dirty work."
"They are all alive," Danzo stated rather than asked.
"Of course, I knew the second they weren't ANBU when they appeared out of the tunnels. The uniforms didn't quite fit them because if they had, the guy who had my swords would have had his own and probably would have killed me in the beginning if his clothing hadn't restricted his movements. Then the tunnels they came out of were a little too efficient. Nothing like what Konoha shinobi can do. Plus, you screamed it to the heavens by painting the kanji for their nations on their mask," Naruto commented still pissed. "As much as I think it would put them out of their misery, I won't kill for you."
"Your knowledge of other nation's shinobi fighting styles is surprising," Danzo commented strolling forward to inspect the man with a trident in his torso. "This looks fatal."
"The ice is slowing down his heart rate and congealing the blood so that it scabs over faster. Trust me, I have been using Hyoton ice to carve up people for a while now," Naruto said never taking his Water Sight off Danzo and the edge of the forest.
"I see," Danzo replied impressed if the tone of his voice said anything. "You show a remarkable sense of battle. You moved almost like water."
"My dad's doing. Warriors flow like water cresting on the beach, ebbing and flowing. He taught me to always be on the move, and go for the killing blow only when someone wouldn't give you the killing blow a moment later," Naruto replied letting his happy memories of his childhood replace the anger he felt at the moment. "What was your game here? Have me fight a shinobi from each village and see which one I didn't kill."
"Intelligent as well," Danzo complimented.
"Save your kind words for someone that wants a nose firmly lodged up his ass," Naruto spat. Danzo's presence started to become more than irksome to Naruto.
"Alright then how about honest criticism, your movements while graceful are predictable and sloppy. In battle determined solely by taijutsu, you would lose to any chuunin," Danzo stated no longer happy or his version of it because he no longer had his blank face, just a frown.
"Well that happens when your sparring partner is a 120 year old man that cannot do chakra anymore," Naruto retorted.
"Your father? I would like to know more about him and how he sealed so much chakra into your body without you exploding," Danzo stated as he watched Naruto collect his swords and re-sheathe them.
"That was actually my mom's doing. She was the scholar of the two; she would go crazy every time a new seal idea popped into her head," Naruto commented remembering Matabi fondly.
"Not much to say. He was a hard ass that took little shit. He felt the need torture me every day with grueling training. Eventually, he realized that he couldn't provide with me an adequate sparring partner, but he made sure to run me into the ground," Naruto replied remembering Kurama less fondly knowing the time wasn't right to ask about Rain.
"Very open and trustworthy," Danzo replied walking right up to Naruto despite the fact he knew Naruto could kill him in his crippled state. If Naruto did kill him, Danzo knew that Naruto would be hunted for the rest of his life for killing a village elder.
"Hardly," Naruto huffed out. "I just know that being secretive here is a one way ticket to an early grave. But since you care so much about my secrets, I still have plenty more locked away."
"Hmm," Danzo hummed thoughtfully though not finding fault with the boy's logic. "I have to do is ask the right questions. Interesting!" Danzo thought gleefully though kept his face impassive. "If you don't become a shinobi, what will you do with your life, wander aimlessly through the nations or settle down here."
"Like I told Minato-san and you not a moment ago, as long as Lady Kushina or Little Yume calls this place home, so too will I call this place home," Naruto replied again truthfully. Konoha is center stage and would be home eventually, but there are many other moving parts to be addressed.
"A roundabout answer, but I will accept it," Danzo commented on how Naruto's non straightforward answer. "What will you do for money? Konoha will not financially support you or allow to stay in the ANBU HQ forever."
"Fuinjutsu is a near dead art, and I know Konoha could use a shop dedicated to its mysteries, and if a shinobi came looking for something more than a seal, I could offer a class or two," Naruto vaguely hinted at offering his services for teaching. "I know Konoha boasts many seal masters, but I find it lacking in many quantity."
Danzo looked intrigued at the prospect, but Naruto also thought the face he was making belonged on a pensive looking statue in a thinking pose. "I am sure Konoha wouldn't mind your input on a building or two."
"My idea home would be near the clan districts or shinobi district because the ANBU patrol more often around there. All buildings should be at least two stories these days as technology as progressed well enough to make those cheap and affordable," Naruto replied picking up on the not so subtle clues Danzo left lying around.
"The Admin building was damaged in the attack too, so any loyal citizens would get new papers," Naruto felt Danzo's pointed gaze burning its way through his visor as he spoke those words.
"As long as you aren't going to send a citizen into a war zone, I am sure the citizens would feel safer," Naruto replied feeling less like a piece of meat when Danzo's gaze left him.
"I am sure citizens would indeed feel safer in Konoha," Danzo said metaphorically shaking Naruto's hand in agreement. "Now what else can you do?"
"Lots of things," Naruto replied but felt the time was right to ask about Rain. "You are going to have to be more specific, and I am willing to go into more detail if you can tell me more about what is going on in Rain."
Danzo recoiled and visually collected himself at the unexpected question which Naruto didn't take as a good sign. "Why would you want to know that?" Danzo asked with under laced message of you-better-have-a-good-reason-for-your-question-or-I-kill-you.
"The Admin building in Uzushiogakure wasn't too badly damaged, and before I left, I managed to read some relatively unburnt documents of locations of Uzumaki settlements," Naruto replied with a shrug which Danzo seemed to accept. "There were three of note, one was on the border of Land of Water, but it doesn't take a genius to know they are dead. Another in the Land of Tea, but I checked there and it was burned to the ground. The last was in the Land of Rain."
"I see," Danzo said with a nod of the head, and while Naruto couldn't see any indication of approval or disapproval, Naruto knew Danzo's wheels were spinning. "If you promise to bring any survivors to Konoha, I am sure I can scrounge up some reports on the area."
"Perfect," Naruto replied with a smile.
"Oh, Hiruzen, did Minato-sama call you here too," Danzo asked as he came into the waiting room outside the Hokage's Office seeing his longtime friend.
"Yes, Hokage-sama called me here for a meeting," Hiruzen chastised seeing his old friend.
"The boy?" Danzo asked curious as to the purpose of his friend's metting.
"Shimura-san, Hokage-sama will be right with you. He is in a meeting at the moment," the female assistant said with a bright smile. Both Hiruzen and Danzo knew she was dead on the inside from all the paper work on her desk.
"Thank you miss," Danzo replied politely as he took a seat next to Hiruzen.
The aging men sat in relative comfortable silence. Their relationship had repaired itself over the past few months since Hiruzen retired as Danzo's ROOT program caused a lot of friction between the two. After five minutes, the door to the Hokage's Office burst open and irritate looking Orochimaru fumed out.
"I will not forget this Minato," Orochimaru spat accusing with I will get revenge tone.
Minato walked into the reception room just as pissed. "Neither will I Orochimaru," Minato replied deadly calm that all who heard it meant business.
Orochimaru only looked more pissed at Minato's bravado and unworried air of self-confidence. Storming out, Orochimaru spat out some obscenities as he left.
"What were you and Orochi-kun fighting about, Hokage-sama," Hiruzen asked with a small sigh. When Hiruzen made the decision to make Minato Hokage, he knew Orochimaru would feel slighted and betrayed something Hiruzen could understand. It also been Hiruzen's hope Orochimaru would see that he could continue his research unburdened by leadership duties and help Minato as a future village elder. Every day it seemed as though Orochimaru continued to fall deeper into anger.
"He wanted access to some files about early Konoha experiments," Minato replied cryptically. Hiruzen nodded his head in understanding while Danzo saw an opportunity for later.
"Orochimaru-san will cool soon enough," Danzo stated knowing Orochimaru would cool his head but afterwards was another story. "I suggest we discuss the reason why you summoned us Minato-sama."
"Yes, do come in Sandaime-sama and Danzo," Minato replied showing respect to Hiruzen and being just as disrespectful as Danzo.
"Yes lets," Hiruzen quickly interjected and stood to his feet before another argument could break out. Thankfully, Hiruzen knew that while Minato and Danzo had little common ground, Hiruzen also knew Minato valued Danzo's blunt and need to be said ideas.
All three men silently walked into the office and sat in their chairs with Minato behind his desk and the village elders sitting in the two chairs in front.
Minato began by asking, "Which nation's shinobi did he not kill?" Danzo and Hiruzen both detected a hint of hope in his voice.
"None of them," Danzo replied.
"What!" Minato and Hiruzen exclaimed.
"It is true. He apparently saw through the ruse almost instantly and identified each nation's unique fighting styles which I find eerie to the point of unnerving," Danzo replied bluntly with a shrug of the shoulders.
"He identified them by fighting styles," Minato asked amazed and disturbed.
"Amongst other things yes, but we didn't really hide our intentions though."
"Well that bodes well for him at least," Minato muttered under his breath that both aging men heard.
"What else did he identify?" Hiruzen asked curious.
"Ill-fitting clothes mostly," Danzo commented. "He is quite observant for never being formally trained."
"How efficient is he in his bloodlines," Minato asked more curious about his abilities.
"Also no formal training in either, but he has stumbled his way through well enough. Considering he never had any scrolls on either bloodline, he has come up with some simple but effective jutsu," Danzo replied and both men could tell from Danzo's voice that he was impressed. "He does seem to have a love of old mythology."
"That comes from the Uzumaki. From little Kushina has told me about her clan, I know the Uzumaki used to believe in those a few generations ago before they progressed in technology," Minato commented scratching his nose trying to remember some of those old stories but gave up. "With his devotion to sticking to old traditions by calling Kushina 'Lady', I imagine sticking to or remembering old traditions brings him closer to his dead clan."
None of them would ever understand Naruto's love of his clan. No matter how much Naruto tells himself he doesn't allow his past life's emotions to affect this life, inevitably some emotions boil to the surface and no matter what life Naruto is still Naruto. As such, he held this deep seated desire for family and for his long dead clan.
"The boy also adamantly defied every attempt at recruitment," Danzo said moving the conversation to something more useful.
"Why," Hiruzen asked confused. "He has shown Konoha nothing but a good will. He has to know that with his powers no other nation will be as lenient as us."
"I do not believe it is a matter of leniency, but a matter of something else entirely. He claims or at least won't say it directly, it is because he wants to be near Kushina and Yume at all times, but I believe it is something else entirely," Danzo replied putting his thoughts into the pot.
"What do you believe it is," Minato asked eager to hear Danzo's opinion. Minato almost smiled as at his decision to keep Danzo around for his ability to see something that couldn't be seen.
"From our reports, the boy showed great animosity for the Masked One with the teleportation jutsu," Danzo said almost salivating at the thought of such a jutsu and waited for both men to nod their heads in agreement. "I believe the boy knows the attacker personally or at least has a score to settle."
"So what do you suggest we do?" Hiruzen asked hope that Danzo wasn't suggesting what he thought his old friend was going to.
"We leave him be," Danzo replied and he could see the disgust in both men's body language. "Here me out on this, the boy has offered his services on teaching our shinobi fuinjutsu, and we could use more users of such a powerful art, while we keep an eye on his progress finding the Masked One. As I find it doubtful the boy will tell us anything about his past he doesn't want us knowing. He also has shown interest in finding lost Uzumaki, and if we leave him to his devices, he could find some."
"It does have some merit," Minato said rubbing his chin.
"You cannot be serious," Hiruzen stated astounded Minato would consider such a game. "There is too much risk. What if the boy decides to grow roots in another village or gets himself killed?"
"Naruto wouldn't do that. He has already stated where Kushina's home is, his home is too. As for getting himself killed, at least he won't have sired children else were," Minato commented still mulling the situation over. "We could use more fuinjutsu users."
"Hokage-sama, we need to bring the boy into the family," Hiruzen begged him trying to see reason.
"And have him betray us later because we force his cooperation, I think not," Danzo replied airing his opinion.
Rubbing his chin, Minato asked, "Have there been any new leads on the Masked One, Hiruzen." The thought of Obito popped into his head, but Minato quickly banished it.
"It has only been a month," Hiruzen pleaded.
Minato sighed really not liking his options, but the Masked One was the biggest priority at the moment. "As of this moment, Naruto Uzumaki is a civilian and shall be treated as such for the moment. He will be given papers saying he is a regular Uzumaki and former ANBU with disability pay for two years," Minato commanded comprehensively as possible as he knew Hiruzen would try and weasel something into his decision he wouldn't want.
"It will be done Hokage-sama," Hiruzen and surprisingly Danzo replied.
After Naruto left the training ground, Naruto went straight to the Hospital to get a few stiches. Unfortunately, the Hospital was still full up a month after the Kyuubi attack, so he had to sew himself up they had given him. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.
Leaving the Hospital, Naruto immediately left for the Hokage's Tower to see Minato about Danzo. The route Naruto wanted to take went through the heaviest damaged portions of Konoha which was closed off for construction.
Naruto instead went through the secondary market, the place most of Konoha's shopping went to. Naruto walking through the newly located district saw something he shouldn't have, long red hair.
"Lady Kushina!" Naruto shouted which caused Kushina to turn around. Naruto wanted her to smile from some lingering mother/son relationship or from being a part of her clan, but she quickly turned around and walked away with a purpose in her step.
It was difficult with all the bodies blocking the way in the market, but Naruto caught up to Kushina eventually. "Lady Kushina you should be in bed resting," Naruto said incredulously that Minato would let Kushina be out of the hospital. With his Water Sight still on and visor down, Naruto felt her caring a sack of food and had a big sling around her chest. She wore the same dress she usually wore when out and about.
"Naruto, it has been a month. I feel just fine," Kushina replied resentful and angry that people kept forcing her back in bed. Naruto could also feel Kushina pacing nervously and metaphorically standing on her tip toes as she spoke.
"You had a bijuu ripped out of you, and you are still addicted to its chakra," Naruto said making his point. "I should know I have to adjust your seal every few days."
"I know, I know," Kushina replied frustrated and on edge. "I just cannot sit in a bed for days on end without doing something ya know."
"Regardless, you need your rest," Naruto said then feeling a head poke its head out of the sling on Kushina's chest for the first time. "Is that little Yume?"
"Little Yume? Oh right, I forgot that is how warriors addressed underage royals," Kushina said slapping her free head with her free hand as the other held a sack of groceries remembering her time in Uzushiogakure and reading her mother's diary.
"May I hold her?" Naruto asked politely.
"I don't know if that is a good idea," Kushina politely refused.
Naruto sighed frustrated knowing her problem. "I had hoped when we finally meet your reaction would have been warmer."
"I know I have been giving you the cold shoulder, but I just…," Kushina paused looking for the right words, "have a hard time knowing I won't accidentally compel you to hurt or even kill yourself."
"Random thoughts that pop into your head won't compel me," Naruto replied exasperated.
"What about my words!" Kushina exclaimed. "What if we got into a heated argument about rape or torture, and I accidently compel to you to do those things to a person."
"If you actually bothered to learn how to make it a voluntary, you wouldn't have that fear," Naruto said almost asking to help Kushina who didn't pick up on it.
"Who would have I gone to for help for such a thing," Kushina retorted slightly angry.
"No one," Naruto muttered under his breath. "But I am here now."
"I don't think…" Kushina began to say but was interrupted.
"Do you want to avoid one of your last distant clan cousins for the rest of your life?" Naruto asked curious. "Might I add our lives will last for at least another century."
Kushina was silent for a moment. She opened her mouth trying to saying, and Naruto leaned forward to hear her but nothing came out. The red head beauty shut her mouth, put her groceries on the ground, and pulled Yume out of her baby sling. "Hold her with both arms and support her head."
Naruto gladly took Yume with both hands cradling her to his chest and refused the urge to tell Kushina he knew how to hold a baby. "Is the swaddle supposed to be this tight?" Naruto asked concerned as vague memories of his previous life's children coming to the surface.
"You don't it so loose that it unwinds and suffocates her, and when I get home, I unswaddle…deswaddle… remove the blanket so she can move her arms around," Kushina replied picking up her groceries and really looking at her fellow clan member.
His hair fell past his shoulders and only the ratty ness of it kept it from looking feminine. His body was lithe and slim still in the growing stages of puberty and hadn't quite put on the muscle a grown shinobi has. He was shirtless except for string around his chest to hold his sword sheathes and barefoot with only castaway looking pants that seen better days and honestly were too small for him. He looked homeless, but being on island his whole life, Kushina could forgive his lack of proper attire.
Kushina cautiously and gently put her small hands on Naruto's visor and lift it up uncovering his purple amethyst eyes typical of the Uzumaki. "Sorry, I sometimes forget I have those on," Naruto said blinking his eyes at the bright light and the dazzling array of colors instead of varying shades of blue.
"Mind if we walk and talk?"
"Sure," Naruto replied making a motion for Kushina to lead.
Walking forward, Kushina asked curious, "Can you even see color with your visor down?"
"Color? No, it is hard to explain, but everything is shades of blue if I have to describe the color," Naruto looking down softly at Yume. "I have gotten to the point where it is a passive ability, but for best results, I need my eyes covered so that my brain can focus solely on Water Sight."
"Interesting," Kushina commented. "Was Uzushiogakure in bad shape?"
"I left about a year ago, but the Land of Eddies will probably never support the Uzumaki clan as it once did," Naruto replied sadly which caused his shoulders to slump and Kushina looked away saddened. Yume picked up on the difference immediately and began to cry.
"Here trade with me," Kushina said abruptly turning around at the sound of Yume's wails. Naruto handed her over gladly and took the groceries from Kushina.
"Where are we headed anyways?" Naruto asked picking up the grocery bag.
"To get you a haircut and new clothes," Kushina replied with a smug smile that made Naruto groan.
"Well you certainly clean up nicely," Kushina appraised as Naruto walked out of the dressing room in the clothing store.
Looking in the mirror, Naruto admittedly thought he did too but after three different clothing stores and an hour long heated debate about what to wear, made Naruto think shopping was too much of a hassle.
No longer was Naruto's hair falling at his shoulder, but it now was extremely short like he used to wear it when he was eighteen or so. Unlike when he was eighteen, his red Uzumaki hair fell somewhat flat but still had some spike to it that Naruto would only ever internally refer to as flatly-spiky.
His former island pants Kushina had burned the moment he found clothes he liked, and instead he now had on navy blue shinobi pants and a shirt with sleeves that fell just above the elbow and same color shinobi shoes. Despite his protests about becoming a shinobi, Kushina forced him to buy, with her money, a light weight, leather, and nondescript chest guard with no shoulders or pouches on it, but it did have sheathes on the back for the swords. Naruto also wore this harness that could hold three scrolls on the lower back and attached at his legs that could hold a kunai pouch on each leg. Plus, it had two hooks for attaching shinobi utility pouches.
"I can feel the air on my ears. It feels so weird," Naruto said rubbing his sensitive ears.
Kushina rolled her eyes at the comment. "When was the last time your hair was so short?"
"Probably since I was eight or so, we couldn't really cut hair with any sense of precision or style. My mom, dad, and I just walked around with long hair. Dad didn't even shave his beard," Naruto replied feeling the need to blow hair out of his eyes that wasn't there.
"I can see that," Kushina replied thinking that good looking hairstyles needed equipment or sharp blades with shaving cream which wasn't readily available on a deserted island. A light bulb went off in Kushina's head and she asked, "If me and Minato went out on a date tomorrow, would you mind babysitting?"
"Of course, Lady Kushina. I would be happy too," Naruto replied with shrug.
"Great!" Kushina exclaimed clapping her hands like a giddy school girl. "It has been awhile since me and Minato have had real fun."
Kaguya Ootsutsuki a woman who once desired peace above all else, ate the forbidden fruit of the sacred tree, the Shinju. The result granted great power and subsequently tied Kaguya to nature chakra as the Shinju was nothing but a construct of nature chakra.
The age old saying of 'Absolute power corrupts absolutely' never held truer in the history of mankind. She bore two sons, and she despaired that they inherited her chakra. Eventually, she created the Juubi or Ten-Tails in vengeance at her disobedient sons. History is history, as her sons sealed her away and stored the Juubi's body on the moon.
The process had an unintended side effect of making Kaguya's will attached to the foundation of all chakra, nature or otherwise. Black Zetsu an agent of Kaguya's will felt every disturbance in the flow of chakra. A use of jutsu caused a ripple, but a single jutsu was too small to be of notice. A powerful jutsu dealing time or space made much bigger ripples that Black Zetsu could feel quite well.
Over the millennia Zetsu felt every time Ashura and Indra were reincarnated, but fifteen years ago, but Black Zetsu felt a ripple unlike anything he had ever felt. The disturbance was unlike anything Black Zetsu had ever felt. For years, Black Zetsu never found any trace of what it could be, but fourteen years later, Zetsu felt Ashura and Indra reincarnate themselves not in babies but young men. The transcendent of Indra, Zetsu knew to be Obito. Ashura's transcendent, Black Zetsu found a year later, an Uzumaki of all things with Ranton and Hyoton.
The night of the Kyuubi attack though, the boy, Naruto, knew too much about the plan to unleash the Kyuubi. The whole situation felt wrong to Black Zetsu, and something told the black being of chakra of malevolence that the young man had something to do with the ripple fifteen years ago.
While Zetsu had no way of confirming Naruto's past, Zetsu then decided he would keep a close eye on him, a very close eye, but something had to be done in the meantime. Zetsu had just the idea, and looking down at the dead body of Rin Nohara, Zetsu smiled a smile that could stand the hairs on even the vilest of men.
Picking up the girl's tightly wrapped and degraded corpse barely more than a sack of bones, Black Zetsu was glad he couldn't smell and used his ability with Mokuton to command the roots of the giant trees in Konoha to move the dirt to recover the girl's grave in the Third Great Shinobi War Memorial. Satisfied with his work, Black Zetsu nodded his head at the near undisturbed looking ground and merged his body into the ground.
"Mother will be here soon," Black Zetsu thought with glee.
Deep in a cave far below the light of day, Obito punched the wall hard enough to send cracks all the way to the ceiling. "What do you mean, you found nothing," Obito demanded angry an emotion Obito noticed himself gravitating to more and more each day.
White Zetsu cowered beneath Obito's wrath. "None of us found any mention of him anywhere in Konoha's files even the deepest and darkest ones."
"What about the ANBU HQ? Did you check there," Obito demanded once more.
"We checked there too, and we never found any mention of him," White Zetsu whimpered out. "I even checked the other nations files as well; no one had anything even remotely mentioning him."
"Dammit," Obito cursed as he punched the wall again cracking it further.
"Alright think Obito think," the fallen Uchiha thought to himself angry. "He must be a ghost or some sorts. I remember Minato talking about other nations having organizations even more mysterious than ANBU, so cannot Konoha have a program similar. Normally, I wouldn't care, but he knew about my powers, my weaknesses. I cannot allow anyone to humiliate me in such a way."
"Calm down. You are Madara now, and that means being calm even when frustrated. I cannot risk Zetsu being discovered and repeated attempts at infiltrating Konoha for some files will only let them onto his existence. For now, I have to wait and see what happens. Madara would let the cards unfold, and I am Madara now."
"Zetsu continue with the plans we have laid out but cease any the implementation of any new ones," Obito commanded not even looking at his subordinate.
"What about Nagato and the Rinnegan?" Zetsu asked curious.
"I will personally take over the situation with Nagato," Obito replied looking up at the giant husk of the Juubi and let the widest and nastiest grin the world had ever seen. "And I know just what to do."
Sorry about the long delay. Over the spring break I didn't have access to a computer to write. I did spend the time wisely though by outlining what I want to do.
Sorry about the short length but the last scene I had wanted to do and have semi done will add an upwards of 5k words. While, I do plan on most of my chapters to be around 8k words, the only reason why the first two chapters had 10k and 11k was because I wanted to get above 20k as soon as possible as I define that to be the point a writer will stick with his story and worth reading.