I don't own Naruto. This is for fun and not profit.

The Winged Fox

Chapter Two: Reunions and Flashbacks

Naruto looked at his treacherous former sensei and continued to fight against the red chakra paw holding him down. He tried focusing chakra to his muscles for an extra boost, but he just couldn't get enough to throw off the paw. Every time he felt the desire to just give up, Ayame and Teuchi's faces would show up and smile at him. Finally Old Man Hokage's peaceful smile came as well, and Naruto's eyes lit with inspiration.

He still had a kunai with him! That would help get the great red paw off his back. The boy squirmed under his oppressor and finally pulled out the small kunai he had strapped to his leg ever since Old Man Hokage had given it to him. Now armed, Naruto once again began focusing his chakra.

"Stubborn brat! Still fighting are you? Can't you see that I've won? How can you possibly hope to beat me? I am centuries old with experience and power beyond your comprehension, and you're a seven year old human brat who needs someone to hold his hand to do anything."

Kyuubi's cruel laughter cut deep into Naruto's spirit, bringing despair again. Naruto saw Ayame's smiling face and just focused on it. His desire to protect her and her father, his first real friends, drove him and made him keep building chakra for one big blast. The Kyuubi didn't see the knife in Naruto's hand, and even if he had, he would have thought the weapon useless.

Kyuubi finally noticed Naruto's building chakra and decided to let the whelp try whatever he had planned then the fox would savor demolishing the brat's hope. This time was a little different than the others when Naruto erupted in the blue blaze of chakra and drove his tiny chakra covered kunai backwards into the paw. The paw recoiled off of his body allowing him to get off the ground.

Naruto got a good look at the chakra extension and saw bubbles where his kunai had pierced it. Within seconds the bubbles settled into a small discolored scar. Kyuubi's chakra glowed with a hellish light and the paw changed to a gnarled hand with wisps of its foul chakra coming off giving the impression of hair. After flexing itself experimentally, the newly formed appendage lunged at Naruto and held him tightly in a burning grip.

Exhausted, Naruto tried to catch his breath and noticed that his vision was starting to blur. He recognized this as an early sign of chakra exhaustion, something he'd gone through repeatedly. He hung his head in defeat, knowing he'd reached his limit. He didn't even have the energy to moan in pain at the burning chakra the Kyuubi now had him in.

The Kyuubi chuckled darkly, "My my that was quite a bit of chakra you just released. And you tied it with a mental construct, I'm actually impressed. I never even taught you how, did I? I must be a better sensei than I thought." Naruto glared weakly at the cruel humor in the Kyuubi's malevolent voice. Whatever foul remark the Kyuubi was about to make was interrupted by the shriek of a bird and a ball of crimson fire high in the mindscape.

Naruto looked limply on in confusion at the mysterious fire as it cut the chakra hand then drove the rest of Kyuubi's chakra back into the cage. Naruto fell limply onto the ground and rolled painfully to see what was going on. The fire had settled in front of the cage, and he watched in amazement as it took the form of a giant bird. The bird's crimson fire fought the Kyuubi's red chakra and for a moment Naruto couldn't tell which red fire was whose. Then the fire got hotter and brighter and Kyuubi's chakra was beaten further back.

So engrossed in the fight was Naruto that he barely noticed a final burst of the Kyuubi's chakra and a tiny needle coming right for him. He weakly held a hand up in a meager defense and felt a familiar yet more intense burning in his right hand as the needle hit and poked out the other side, lodged in his palm. He held onto consciousness long enough to hear a woman scream something, but he had ceased to care by that point.


Singing was the first thing to greet him as he woke up. Naruto, still with his eyes closed, felt very comfortable and warm. A nice soft bed under him and a thick warm blanket on top made for one very content and very sleepy boy. The beautiful singing coming from nearby only added to his desire to stay under the covers.

Unfortunately, the sleepy boy could feel pressure building and he really didn't want this nice bed to get wet. So he raised his head and peeled one eyelid back to look around. The small room didn't really have anything but the bed he was laying on with one door to his left. He mechanically removed the red and yellow blanket and swung himself off the bed. He staggered to the door and opened it slowly.

Once in the hallway, his senses of smell and hearing made him turn and follow the singing which was accompanied by the smells of cooking food. Right before he reached the door he heard a pleasant voice call out, "Bathroom's the other way, second door on the left."

Naruto stood shocked for a moment before the pressure reminded him of his more immediate needs. Turning around, he practically ran to the desired room and relieved himself. With his bladder now empty, Naruto' stomach began to make itself known with a loud growl. The sound reminded him of the Kyuubi's voice.

The Kyuubi . . . Naruto gasped in shock at the renewed sense of loss. Tears began to well up in his eyes when the pleasant voice again called to him, "Breakfast is ready! Come get it before it gets cold!"

Deciding that eating was better than crying, he slowly walked back down the hall and opened the door a crack. Peeking through he saw a table covered with a clean white tablecloth set with two plates of food, though Naruto couldn't say what kind it was. The singing was clearer now, but he still couldn't understand the words. Then he saw the person singing.

It was a woman with long golden-brown hair wearing a white apron over a simple sky blue dress that ended just above her ankles. She placed two glasses of milk in front of each plate and turned to the door, looking intensely at Naruto with bright golden eyes. He shut the door quickly, and found that just the thought of that penetrating gaze made it hard to breath. "Are you coming to eat?" He could hear some hurt in her voice, like Ayame's when he didn't want to try a new dish.

He cautiously cracked the door again, and saw that the woman was sitting with her back to him. "Please eat. I won't hurt you," she spoke without turning around. Naruto froze at her words and took an involuntary step away from the odd lady. He stopped when he saw her head bow sadly, and it reminded him so much of Teuchi that he just couldn't help but be curious about who she was.

Abandoning his fear for the moment, the young ninja in training slowly opened the door and walked silently to the other plate. He didn't look at the woman; he just focused on the smells that again made his stomach growl. With hunger overriding all caution, Naruto jumped into the chair and dug into the tasty food with his bare hands. Once his plate was about as clean as when he started, he licked his fingers and wiped them on his shorts.

"Please use a napkin."

He paused at her tight voice. He slowly looked up at her and was relieved that her eyes were directed at her plate and not at him. Her right hand was pointing just to his left and he saw a cloth napkin sitting under a metal trinket of some kind. Grabbing the tool, he studied for a moment, noticing the four dull points at one end and decided it wouldn't make a very effective weapon.

"That's a fork. You use it to eat."

His eyes leapt to the woman across from him and saw that her eyes were still focused on her plate. He wondered if she was somehow reading his mind.

"Just your emotions, not your thoughts."

Okay, now he knew she hadn't looked at him and this was getting creepy. Who was this woman? He finally blurted out his question and her sad smile just made him more on edge.

"How about a story to explain?" her voice sounded cheerful but Naruto had heard a similar tone from his own mouth and knew something was wrong.

"I don't want to hear a stupid story! I want to know who you are and what's going on!" His chest heaved as he worked to catch his breath.

"The story is about me and how I came to your rescue from the demon Kyuubi no Kitsune." The false tone was gone, replaced with a calm resignation. Naruto looked at her and shrugged.

"OK, let's hear it." If she wanted to talk, he'd let her talk.

"Close your eyes, please." The polite nature of her voice threw him off as no one was polite with him. It was either really familiar like Ayame and her dad or the hateful, resentful, empty, or spiteful way the rest of the village regarded him with. He shrugged and for once did what he was told without comment. He heard her take a deep breath that was followed by several tense moments of silence. His head felt a bit weird for moment but it past quickly and he decided it was just nerves.

"Very well, now you may open your eyes," she said with power behind her quiet voice. His opened to a wide crowded hallway, filled with the oddest looking people the boy had ever seen. Scales, fur, and feathers seemed to take the place of clothes and some of the "people" even looked like animals that decided to get up and walk on two legs. They walked past him and didn't even look at him, which made him scowl in anger.

"Don't be angry with them. They really can't see you, seeing how we're inside my mind." He was getting really mad at her reading his mind . . . wait just a minute, did she just say they were inside her mind? He looked at her sharply to find her facing to his right, in time to see her eyes move away from him.

Naruto took that moment to really study her face, not just those intense eyes. Her nose now stood out as her most prominent feature, with its sharp point. Her forehead rose gently from her small brown eyebrows at a gentle slope, giving her head a sleeker look. Her tiny chin almost made the fierce looking woman appear to have a slight overbite, but her mouth was the right size to match it. Overall, her profile made him think of a hawk turned into a woman.

"It isn't polite to stare," she said, her eyes looking towards him without her head moving. Naruto had the decency to blush at his behavior before his expression turned to one of anger.

"So what are you waiting for?! You going to tell your story or not?" The loud mouthed youngster shut said mouth when the woman turned and looked him straight in the eye. With her powerful golden eyes focused on him he could barely breathe. Try as he might, he couldn't look away from her. He gulped for breath once she ended her stare.

"My apologies, I did not mean to make you wait," she said. She started walking straight through several of the animal people. "Please follow me. I shall begin my story." Naruto walked over, at first careful not to touch any of the imaginary "people" walking by. Then he walked through a man with ram's horns on his head and didn't even feel anything. After that he ran straight to the woman's side regardless of who or what was in his way.

She started speaking in the same quiet yet strong voice. "This is the Ophani Court. The Ophani are a beast people whose duty it is to protect and guide the human race towards the Source."

"Like angels?"

"Similar, but not as powerful. Ophani are also not immortal as our angelic brethren are."

"What's 'brethren' mean?" He knew what immortal meant from the Kyuubi's many taunts about his weak mortal body.

"They're are considered family to the Ophani, as well as humans."

Naruto's face fell at the mention of family. The woman's followed soon after and she picked up her tale with a small sad smile. "I am over there." He followed her pointing finger and saw a grinning double of the woman he was standing next to. He gaped openly at how carefree and young this other version of his guide seemed. "I was just declared a master of the Polymorph technique." At his confused look she added, "That means I can change how I look."

Naruto's eye's lit up, "You mean like the transformation jutsu I saw at the Academy?"

She laughed softly, "Polymorphing is a much more powerful technique than the simple Henge (Transformation) that they teach at the Academy. Henge will only change your outer shape; Polymorphing can alter my body down to the very genetic code. Basically it means no one short of soul reader could tell I wasn't who I was pretending to be."

Naruto's mouth was hanging open at the mere thought of such a technique, with drool already falling to the floor. The woman smiled at his behavior and waited a minute before she reached her hand under his jaw and gently closed it without getting any drool on her in the process. The now enthusiastic child looked up at her with new appreciation.

Her smile grew slightly with his improved opinion of her. "Now back to the story, Naruto."

"How do you know my name?! I thought you weren't reading my mind!" His outrage at the supposed betrayal was very evident in his tone and body language.

The woman raised her hands in defense, "I haven't and if you will remain quiet and allow me to finish my story, you will learn how I know your name." He nodded in agreement, but his face was still stuck as a scowl mixed with a pout, which took some of his fierceness away. She sighed and started her story again.

"I had just been declared a master and was planning to go celebrate with some friends when I met an interesting young man."

Naruto looked silently as the grinning version of his stoic storyteller went off with a large group of mixed Ophani and the scene changed from the hall to a long beach with crystal clear waters and tall trees that were both filled with Ophani of many different races. Naruto's eyes widened at the change and looked to the storyteller to let him know what was going on.

"This beach is a common gathering place when different kinds of Ophani want to do something together. Food and shelter for almost all creatures can be found here. Over there is the young man I mentioned."

Naruto looked and saw a blond haired teenager, who looked very familiar for some reason, awkwardly sitting with a group of odd looking lizards who seemed to be talking to him, but he couldn't hear anything they said. Then he realized that he couldn't hear what anyone was saying. He turned to the storyteller to ask what was going on, but she had again predicted it.

"I've cut the sound since I didn't think you wanted to listen to the senseless chatter of Ophani youth. Anything you wish to know I can tell you, seeing how these are my memories. Now remember to remain quiet so we can get through this, then you may ask whatever you want. Alright?"

Naruto nodded quietly.

"Alright, now that young man over there is Namikaze Minato, and he was just promoted to Chunnin in the Village Hidden in the Leaves. He is sitting with his distant cousins, the sky dragons of the East. Minato only had a tiny amount of Ophani blood in him, but Ophani care about family no matter how distant. They brought him here to help him get acquainted with his noble heritage."

The scene blurred a bit as young Minato was practically thrown by two of the dragons over to where the woman's other self was sitting, talking with a young man whose eyes had a similar intensity to them.

"He interrupted a conversation between me and Denning, my boyfriend at the time, and shyly asked me if I would go on a date with him. I asked him who he was and when he proudly said he was Chunnin, I had no idea what that was. Denning and I talked with him for a while and learned that he was only fifteen at the time. For Ophani, who live five or six centuries at least, fifteen made Minato seem almost a toddler to us. We treated him like the young child we thought him to be and found him to be quite mature for his young age.

"Eventually it was time for everyone to go home and Minato asked me again if I would go on a date with him. Not wanting to hurt his feelings I told him if he wanted to go on a date with me he had to earn it. His task was to create an Ophani-style technique using shape manipulation of his human chakra, meaning he had to bend his human chakra in such a way that it would impress even an Ophani."

The beach scene faded and was replaced with a wide pine tree.

"We parted in good spirits and I honestly thought I would never see him again. To my surprise a few years later a much taller and older looking Minato came to my home looking for his date. Fortunately for him, I had a perfect memory and remembered who he was and what he was doing there. When I asked for his technique, he showed me the Rasengan. A mass of chakra with many different rotations all compacted into a ball no bigger than an orange."

The new blond who looked even more familiar to Naruto held a ball of blue energy in his hand. The ball swirled and pulsed with power that even in the memory looked impressive.

"It took my breath away to see such a beautiful way to mold energy. So he got his date and many more. Denning and I had drifted apart with our different courses of study. After a few more years, Minato asked me to marry him. My heart said yes, but my mind said that it would be mistake to marry a human who couldn't even live another hundred years.

"He was heartbroken when I told him no."

The image of the devastated man made Naruto want to cry himself, and made his resentment for the storyteller grow. How could she hurt him like that when he loved her so much? The scene changed again to show the storyteller herself crying, and his resentment faded as his confusion grew. He saw a beardless old man with long grey hair up and put his hand on her shoulder. He said something that made her stop crying and a surprised, almost fearful look covered her face.

"A month after I told Minato no, the great Vermillion Bird, the Guardian of the South asked to see me. The old man you saw was my Great-great-great grandfather, and the only one of my family who understood my feelings for Minato. I was such a mess it seemed to take ages to get myself ready for the meeting with the Vermilion Bird Suzaku."

Naruto by now was used to the shifting scenes but was speechless at the grandeur of the Temple of Suzaku. Massive pillars of crimson flame that seemed to actually hold up the giant building didn't seem to bother the form of the storyteller as her younger self walked through the front gate. A middle-aged man in bright red robes greeted her warmly and motioned for her to walk with him. They went inside a room that had a giant fire that took up an entire wall, with bare ash colored stone making up the rest of the large room.

"This is where I was tested and found worthy to become the next Suzaku. I couldn't believe that they were asking me to overlook the Southern Hemisphere's safety and progression. The old Suzaku told me that I had been chosen, and due to my test, which focused on my feelings for Minato, I was found worthy to take his place. I was greatly surprised when he called for Seiryuu, the Western Guardian."

Out of the fire came two men, an older man with silver hair and a gentle smile wearing a blue robe with a silver belt securing it at his waist. The younger man was undoubtedly Minato, grinning happily. The Suzaku-to-be in the room was shocked and looked at the blue eyed man with a bit of shame and fear. He just went over and hugged her fiercely.

"Minato wasn't idle in the month after I rejected him. He went to his ancestor, Seiryuu, for help. The old dragon had his distant descendant sign a contract that would enhance the power of his Ophani blood and help him live for the centuries that we live instead of the decades that the human race has. We were married in the same ceremony that I was made Suzaku and was granted all the powers of a phoenix."

Naruto saw the massive crowd that watched the event and almost laughed when he saw Old Man Hokage sitting next to Tuechi and a blond woman holding a baby. There was also a tall white haired man that seemed to smell or something because no one wanted to sit near him. His jaw was nearly dislocated when the newly appointed Suzaku burst into flames and flew above the crowd. Her husband was smiling proudly, enjoying his wife's moment in the spotlight.

The scene moved to show a similar ceremony taking place in Konohagakure no Sato (Village Hidden in the Leaves) where Minato was wearing the white robes of the Hokage. That's when Naruto felt like slapping himself. Namikaze Minato was the Fourth Hokage! He'd been watching his hero's story and didn't even know it.

"He became Hokage less than a year after I became Suzaku. Our lives grew a lot busier, but we somehow were able to find moments together. Which brings up the last part of this little story, the Kyuubi no Kitsune."

Naruto felt dread at hearing that and wondered what Suzaku had to tell him about his old sensei.

"He attacked when I was giving birth to our firstborn, a little boy. Minato's old teacher Jiraiya had gotten a tip that the fox was going to attack the village. Demons like Kyuubi get stronger by eating live beings, absorbing their powers into themselves. It was possible he was after my phoenix power. The fox would have been unstoppable if he'd succeeded, but Minato and I made a deal with the Angel of Death. The Angel would take Kyuubi to the next life to await his Judgment, and in exchange I would give up one of my phoenix lives.

"Unfortunately, while I was on my way to the site of the exchange, I was attacked by Denning. He wanted the Suzaku title and believed that by killing me he could get it. My flames ate his winds, but he was a skilled warrior and managed to wound me. Then he started to insult Minato and our son, and I lost control."

The sight of a giant gold and crimson bird erupting in flames and an equally huge brown hawk fighting above amazed Naruto and when Suzaku formed a giant Rasengan in one of her taloned feet, he felt a shiver of excitement go up his spine. The hawk sent a small column of spinning wind at Suzaku only to have it burned to nothing with a flap of her massive wings. Suzaku sped through the dying flames and rammed the Rasengan into Denning's brown feathered chest. The explosion sent both flying backwards, Suzaku recovered and spun to face Denning again.

He was already beat, one wing was gone and his chest was ground to paste. His massive body hit the ground and Suzaku proceeded to torch the remains. Once Denning was nothing but ash, she took off tiredly towards where the Kyuubi was attacking.

"As I was flying, my strength failed and I was forced to land at the foot of a mountain near the battle. The Kyuubi was indeed a fierce opponent and might have defeated me even at full strength, but with the Angel taking care of things we didn't have much to worry about. I just needed to get there. Unfortunately, one of the Kyuubi's tails hit the mountain I was resting by and collapsed it on top of me."

Naruto could sense Suzaku's anger when her past self was caught in the debris and trapped under the mountain of rubble.

"Exhausted as I was, I didn't have the strength to escape and without any heat or light it would take a decade or more to heal properly from everything that had happened. Seven years past and I was awakened by your telepathic call when the Kyuubi tried to take control of your body."

She seemed drained after telling the lengthy story, and Naruto started wondering about something. He knew that he wasn't the smartest kid in his class, and that she hadn't told him everything about the night Kyuubi attacked.

"Your son?" His question brought tears to her eyes and he wondered if his guess was wrong.

She turned and looked into his bright blue eyes and with tears in her own whispered, "He called and I answered."

Naruto's eyes grew wide and tears formed in his eyes as well and he couldn't speak though his mouth kept opening and closing. The silent woman just looked away sadly as her son dealt with this newest shock.

"You're my Mom?" Naruto's recovered voice was weak with emotion.

His mother just nodded.

"For reals, no joke, right?"

Another nod.

Naruto's face lit up like the sun and started to dance around his Mom, all the while chanting, "I've got a Mom."

He stopped when she kneeled down to wrap him in a tight hug, which he returned full force. HE HAD A MOM! And his Dad was Yondaime! Naruto's mind was still wrapping itself around this new information when his Mom pulled back. He looked at her confused and more than a little hurt.

She smiled, "We have company."

Knock, Knock

Naruto's head swirled when he was abruptly dumped back into reality from his mother's mind. The faint echoes of a door being knocked made his ears hurt for some reason.

"Sorry about that, I forgot that you're new to mental traveling." He gave his Mom what he hoped was a reassuring grin as she went to answer the door. He stayed in his seat trying to stop the room from spinning when he saw

He faintly heard the door open and people enter, but the dizzied ninja in training was caught completely unaware as a brown haired mass tackled/hugged him to the ground. Everything went blurry and he found he couldn't get up because whatever hit him was still on top of him. And whatever it was seemed to be crying. He tried to lift his head and found that to be a bad idea and rolled it on the ground to so his eyes could see what was going on.

He found chocolate brown hair covering his chest. He tried to say something but all that came out was a sickly gargle. The hair moved at the sound and equally brown eyes, wet with tears, met his confused blue.

"Aaaay (gargle) aaaameeee (gargle)?" His Naruto thought that his ramen friend was currently sobbing into his shirt as they lay on the floor, and some part of his frazzled brain thought that odd. The rest was trying to figure out since when Ayame had two sisters identical to her.

Ayame breathlessly rambled into Nauruto's shirt, "Narutoareyouokay? IheardyouwerehurtandHokage-samawouldn'tsayanythingtous-"

"Ayame-chan, you might want to let the poor boy up. I think he might have a concussion from that hit," Sandaime Hokage Sarutobi chuckled at the pair of children lying on the floor.

Ayame blushed in embarrassment and was quick to get off her friend. While she was straightening her clothes her father, a silver haired masked man, and Naruto's Mom came in. Once his mother saw his new position, she was kneeling by his side quick enough to make the non-ninja jump at her speed. She pressed a hand to his head and green chakra surrounded it and went into the boy's aching head.

Naruto didn't know what his Mom was doing, but it just reaffirmed that he had an awesome Mom. That phrase made him so happy for some reason that he just lay there quietly while she fussed over her boy.

"Now that we're all here and of sound mind and body, why don't we start this little meeting. Starting with what happened to Minato," Suzaku said. Standing behind her son with her hands on his shoulders, she locked the Sandaime with her intense eyes.

The Third Hokage Sarutobi had been in this position many times, telling someone that their loved one was never coming home. It never got easier for him, and even at 64 years old he could never find the best words to comfort those left behind. Now, like many times before, all he could do was give a list of events that lead up to the loss.


Minato stood panting from the battle with Kyuubi.

Both Jiraiya and I had to physically restrain him to keep him off the battlefield.

For no apparent reason he looked off his right, and after a moment I was sure my successor would cry.

I heard him murmur, "She's not going to make it in time."

He vanished in a yellow blur using Hiraishin (Flying Thunder God).

The last we saw of him was on top of Gamabunta, using the Shiki Fuin (Dead Demon Consuming Seal) to seal Kyuubi away into Naruto.


Naruto looked down as he heard the other side of his parents' story of his first birthday. He felt his Mom's hands tighten into his shoulders during the whole tale and they were really starting to hurt. She let go when she heard his groan of pain.

"Please excuse me a moment," Suzaku said quietly.

Naruto felt helpless as his Mom left the room. He moved to follow when the Hokage stopped him with a wrinkled hand. The boy noticed how tense everyone looked and his brain finally wondered why Teuchi and Ayame were there. When he asked the question, he got a most surprising response.

"Ayame felt Kushina's chakra and I couldn't keep her away. We met Hokage-sama and Hatake-san on the way here," Teuchi said with a small smile.

"Who's Kushina?" Naruto asked, his face scrunching to its middle with his confusion.

The adults laughed and visibly relaxed. The silver haired guy with one eye answered him. "That's your mother's hu . . . that's her name. Uzumaki Kushina of the Whirlpool Country."

Naruto froze for a moment before a face-splitting smile appeared and he began to dance around the kitchen. He even pulled Ayame into it at one point, swinging around the others in a child's happy moment. The Hokage and the other men looked a bit confused at why Naruto spontaneously started to dance.

Teuchi felt the need to ask why. "Naruto-kun, why are you dancing?"

Naruto stopped spinning and the others were taken aback at how brightly his eyes shone with joy. They almost seemed to be glowing. "I finally met another Uzumaki. I thought I was the only one, but now Mom's back and she's an Uzumaki, too!"

The Hokage smiled and ruffled Naruto's hair, making the boy seem to smile wider. Sarutobi felt at peace that this unfortunate boy was getting some well-deserved recompense for the loneliness and pain he had gone through.

"Old Man Hokage-" Naruto began before he was cut off by Ayame.

"Naruto-kun, you shouldn't talk to Hokage-sama like that. You should show more respect," Ayame scolded Naruto kindly. It made the Hokage laugh to see Naruto blush in embarrassment.

"It's quite all right young lady. Naruto-kun has always called me that, and I suspect he always will. Now what did you want to ask Naruto-kun?" The Sandaime's peaceful smile put Naruto at ease. He relaxed and said what was on his mind.

"Is my Dad dead?"

The room went silent and the happy smiles became sad. Sandaime's voice was quiet as he told Naruto more about what happened.

"Naruto-kun, the Shiki Fuin is a forbidden sealing art because it requires a life be given to the Shinigami (Death God) to work. Your father gave his life to seal the Kyuubi away."

Naruto didn't say anything, trying not to cry in front of everyone. He kept his head down, and he was surprised when he felt himself drawn into a hug. Since Ayame was the only one her close to his size, he figured it was her.

"Naruto-kun, you're not alone. You have your mom and others. The Yondaime wasn't alone either. He had an older sister, Namikaze Safaia. She was my mother Naruto."

Her words took some time to penetrate his sad mind, but the time delay was made up for with impact. Naruto looked at Ayame and froze. Seconds ticked by.

"Naruto-kun, are you okay?" Her compassion laced her voice but still the boy remained as he was, just staring at her.

He didn't even flinch when two cold fingers touched his neck, looking for a pulse.

Kakashi grinned under his mask. "I think you broke him."


A/N: Dang! That took a long time to do. I had most of it done and then Naruto's parents got names! I had to revamp my outline and that took awhile, and then my beta took some time to get back to me on corrections. I hope the next chapter doesn't take as long to write.

Don't worry if all answers haven't been given. I'll answer indivual concerns when asked when they don't spoil the story.

Please review and let me know what you think and what I can improve upon.

Thank you for reading.