Author's Note: Shhh, love me for my many flaws and nothing more. So I was fortunate enough to join a group with wonderful people that are helping me reawaken my deep love for Naruto, as I'm slowly transitioning back into the fandom again like a bobbing levy. I promise this is only a harmless one-shot, and I am going back to my other stories now. With all my love! Lol sorry about the rating weirdness. I am just not used to stories like this. Enjoy!

Dedicated to all the wonderful people in the Discord for making me feel so welcomed and blessed.

"Mikoto!"

Mikoto smiles, recognizing that sing-song voice no matter where she is. She twists around slightly in her chair to see her best friend bouncing over to her in the little shop. Kushina plops down into the bench across from Mikoto, throwing her long red hair, blazing like fire with the light filtering in through the window behind her.

"Hey Kushina," Mikoto greets, grinning at her best friend. She turns around to stare at the redhead. "Late, as always, I see."

Kushina rolls her eyes, stretching out her long legs beneath the table. She waves the blue-haired woman's words away as if they were a buzzard flying around her head. "My dear Mikoto, I am never late, you are just always super early. It's a trait I find very deplorable in you." She shakes her head before sitting normally on the bench.

"Deplorable," Mikoto echoes, amused, "that's a thousand yen word."

Kushina laughs. "Thanks. Minato was teaching it to Naruto last night. Honestly, never heard of it until then."

Mikoto raises pristine dark eyebrows, intrigued. "Okay, and can I ask why Naruto was asking about that word? Homework?"

"Yep, something he's working on with Sasuke and Sakura. A group project, I think," Kushina says, waving her hand around again. Mikoto watches the movement as the redhead continues, "Minato always did stuff like that in school. He was the smart one. He used the fancy a thousand yen words that wowed the senseis. I just tagged along and leached off his grades."

Mikoto rolls her eyes. "I know. I was in class with the two of you, remember? I was also in those groups."

Kushina grins at her best friend. "We are so lucky Naruto is a hard worker like his dad. I could just never get into school. It was always so boring. I mean, Naruto doesn't like school either but put him in a group with Sasuke and Sakura and he'll actually do stuff. That's when he puts in the real effort."

"Just like his mom," Mikoto points out.

Kushina laughs. "Well, I had this huge crush on Minato back then, so I would just stare at his pretty face while he was explaining stuff and somehow it stuck in my brain." Kushina runs her fingers through beautiful red hair, smiling fondly. "I'm so lucky my baby boy looks like his dad. Minato is so handsome."

"It's funny," Mikoto says softly, "I know that you hate your red hair, but Naruto, Sasuke, and Itachi all love it. It's so pretty and unique."

Kushina sighs. "Aww, those boys are sweet. Speaking of, how is Itachi? I heard he just got back from a mission, what? Two days ago?"

Mikoto nods. "Yeah, he got back in late. I guess it all went well, but you know him, Itachi doesn't share a lot when it comes to stuff like that. But he made sure to get up early yesterday morning to go out training with Sasuke. I swear, that boy doesn't know when to put on the breaks and rest for a moment." Mikoto rubs at her forehead. "I'm afraid he's gonna burn out. He works so hard, and while I'm so proud of him, I worry."

"Chill out, mama bear," Kushina says teasingly. "Itachi is the smartest kid I know. He's got a good handle on things. Plus you know he can't say no to Sasuke."

The shop owner makes her way over to see what they would like. They order tea and some dumplings to share. The owner nods and heads off to get that ready for them while Mikoto looks back over at her friend.

"I know. Itachi is such a good big brother."

"He is," Kushina gushes. "He took Naruto under his wing too. Basically all of their little friends."

Mikoto laughs, at sudden remembrance. "Do you remember last year? All those pranks that Naruto and some of the other boys would pull?" Kushina throws her head back in a jubilant laugh, eyes crinkling. "Do you remember when Minato would send Itachi to hunt the boys down?"

Kushina waves her hand around. "No, no, listen. So it started with Minato hunting them down. When he got word that Naruto, Shikamaru, Kiba, and Choji fired a huge bag of sugar at Iruka-sensei in the middle of class and made a run for it, he left his office and systematically hunted down all four boys. Naruto, being crafty like his mama, was the last to be found. I would have thought that with how much of a chewing out those boys got after that, that they would have gone on the straight and narrow, but they didn't."

Mikoto laughs, wiping away a tear that was building up in the corner of her eye, thankful that the little shop was basically empty. "Was it Minato that yelled at them?"

"No, Iruka," Kushina says through her giggles, "but Minato had to stand behind him, glaring at the boys. I don't know how any of them made it out without bursting into flames."

Mikoto shakes her head, thanking the shop owner when she dropped off their tea for them. "That's right. And after they pranking persisted Minato couldn't keep leaving his office to track down his wayward son."

Kushina grins devilishly. "So he hired help from the best bloodhound in the village. I swear Itachi can find anyone in the village in record time, especially Naruto and Sasuke."

"And the one time Sasuke gets tangled up in Naruto's mischief," Mikoto says, busting out laughing again. Kushina joins her, covering her face with her hands as her entire body shakes and both women just sit there laughing.

Finally, after almost an entire minute of laughing, Kushina manages to force out, "Of course Itachi would be hunting for them the one time Sasuke got involved! Of course!"

"I'll give Itachi this," Mikoto giggles, "I don't know what his methods are, but he certainly knows how to put people on the straight and narrow, that's for sure. Sasuke was walking on eggshells around Itachi for a week, always saying, 'Yes, sir' and 'No, sir' whenever Itachi deemed it right to say something to my poor baby."

Kushina is grinning broadly, shaking her head as she wipes her tears away and Mikoto takes a nice sip of the tea, humming happily before giggling a bit and shaking her head.

"That boy is going to be an amazing Hokage one day," Kushina says affectionately. "Minato is so proud of Itachi."

Mikoto smiles lovingly. "I am too, and so is Fugaku. Once Minato told him that he was planning on Itachi one day being his successor, Fugaku gave his blessings and started showing Sasuke the way to lead the clan for when Itachi transitions over from clan head to Hokage."

"That's sweet," Kushina says fondly.

"Hello, madam!"

Kushina and Mikoto glance over at the shop owner to see the little old woman smiling at a young pink-haired girl. She lays down the tray of Dango that was for Kushina and Mikoto to quickly grab a bag to pass to Sakura.

"Here you go, dear! Tell your mom I said, hello!"

Sakura grins brightly at the old woman. "Thank you, madam! I will."

"Sakura-chan!" Kushina calls out in her singing voice once more, waving her hand over her head as if the young girl wouldn't have been able to find them in the empty shop.

Sakura bounces over to them with the shop owner who drops their Dango off for them and leaves again. "Lady Mikoto, Lady Kushina," Sakura says politely, bowing respectfully as long pink hair slides over her shoulders.

"How are you doing, Sakura?" Mikoto asks, smiling at the young girl. Only twelve years old and Mikoto can tell that she's going to grow up to be even more beautiful than she is now.

"I'm good," Sakura says, flushing a bit at the attention of both Naruto's and Sasuke's moms. "I actually came to pick up some Dango for Naruto and me. He and Sasuke are already waiting at my house for our project."

"Not for Sasuke?" Kushina asks, surprised.

"Sasuke doesn't like sweets," Sakura and Mikoto say at the same time. They both glance at each other and Sakura flushes again in embarrassment.

"I already got cabbage at home for the weirdo," Sakura says playfully, despite the blush on her cheeks, "so, yeah. This is just for Naruto and me."

Mikoto and Kushina share a look before Mikoto says, "Well, it was lovely to see you, Sakura. Make sure those boys of ours stay in line, won't you? Nothing gets done without you around."

Sakura's green eyes brighten up at the praise, nodding quickly. "Yes, Lady Mikoto! Have a good day, my ladies." With that Sakura bows again, deep enough for all of her bright pink hair to fall over her shoulders before straightening up quickly and dashing from the room, face flushed at the attention. Both moms watch her go before looking over at each other.

"Naruto is going to marry that cutie pie, one day," Kushina sighs.

Mikoto stares at her, face neutral. "That's not going to happen. Sasuke's been crushing on her forever."

Kushina purses her lips. "No way."

"Yes, way."

Kushina and Mikoto both stare at one another in silence. Both of them lost in their own thoughts. Mikoto sips delicately on her tea while Kushina stuffs a full Dango into her mouth. Kushina chews it up, swallows, then says, "No, I've thought about it. It's going to be Naruto."

Mikoto rolls her eyes. "You don't have executive control over that. Besides, Sakura Uchiha is a far more fitting name than Sakura Namikaze."

Kushina's face scrunches up. "Oh.. oh no. I love my Minato more than anything, but there was a reason I kept Uzumaki."

"That's not very nice," Mikoto chides playfully.

Kushina glares back at her best friend playfully, "Two things. One; you have absolutely no say, you married your distant cousin, your name stayed the same. And two; it was given to him as a ward of the state, he's not overly attached to it either. In fact, he wanted Naruto to have my last name, so there's that."

Mikoto concedes, shaking her head as she eats a Dango carefully. Kushina stretches her arms up high over her head, her joints cracking as well as her spine before she relaxes and tosses another Dango into her mouth.

"There is a chance that she won't marry either of them," Mikoto says. "I mean, they are twelve..."

"She might be able to pass up Sasuke, but not Naruto," Kushina teases, grinning wolfishly at her best friend.

Mikoto rolls her eyes. "Naruto is adorable, don't get me wrong, but Uchiha don't get turned down."

Kushina jumps to her feet, beautiful violet eyes burning with excitement that Mikoto couldn't help feel course through her as well. Kushina always knew how to get Mikoto's blood pumping with that look alone. "We'll just have to see, won't we, Mikoto?"

Mikoto smiles, nodding her head. "I agree. Don't worry, I'm certain you'll be invited to the wedding."

Kushina snorts, pumping her fist up into the air proudly. "Of course I will, it'll be my son's wedding."

Mikoto laughs as Kushina plops back down into the seat and tosses another Dango into her mouth. Kushina takes a long sip of her tea before grabbing the last Dango and eats it, chewing thoughtfully. Both moms turn their gaze out to the busy streets of Konoha.

From where Mikoto is sitting she can see the mountain, carved into it is the faces of the four Hokage, and in her mind, she tries to imagine Itachi's face up there. Despite her playful jests, and while she would love for Sakura to be part of the family, all she really wanted was simple; she wanted her boys to be happy. Itachi has never asked for anything in his life, but at the prospect of being Hokage, his dark eyes and somber expression lit up so brightly that Mikoto's heart ached for him. She loved him so much and his love for his village made her proud of him. She hoped that he would be Hokage soon and it would be everything that he hoped for.

And for Sasuke, well, it was a little different for him. Sasuke was a free spirit, ready to take over the mantle of the Uchiha for his big brother - and that's assuming Itachi will need it when he becomes Hokage, but Hiruzen didn't when it came to the Sarutobi clan so maybe Itachi won't either - but his desires for the future were much broader. He wanted to become a strong ninja of the village and a proud example of a good Uchiha.

Fugaku was proud of his boys, and his relationship with Minato was strong. The blond being his best friend as the habanero was her's. Their families were intertwined from the beginning and Fugaku couldn't be more proud of his boys, which warmed Mikoto's heart to no end.

And Mikoto just wanted them to be happy. For them to live their lives to the fullest with no regrets.

Kushina thought, of course, about her sweet boy. Naruto, who was the light of her life. Her son was a freer spirit than even herself. Nothing held him back, nothing held him down and he is destined to be king of the world one day - in her eyes at least. Naruto dreamed of one day being Hokage too. Vowing that once Itachi was done with the job, he would be the sixth Hokage, and better than every single one before him. And Kushina believed him. She had absolute faith in her beloved baby boy.

And her love did too. Minato, for all of his wonderful traits, proved to be the pinnacle of perfection with his family. He worked hard and did everything he could to ensure that Kushina was never lonely and Naruto felt loved even though he couldn't be there as much as he wanted. He always strived to make a better life for all of those in Konoha and wanted nothing more than Naruto to live long and happy doing whatever it was that made him happy.

The two moms smile at one another, best friends for many years, and wishing the best for the other. Neither knew the future, but both knew that they would be together. Their lives are good, for what they are worth. They have their lives, their health, and each other. Nothing is perfect and life won't always be easy, but they have each other and these moments help to make it all worth it. Neither know what is to come, but at least for now, everything is peaceful, as it should be.