Naruko sat quietly in the study reading a long scroll cradled in her delicate looking fingers. She had been here for over an hour now, just enjoying the peace. Kyuubi had given her a rare break today and she was utilizing it. The fox had said she could go out but she had no intention of doing that when he refused to put the genjutsu in place.

When she reached the bottom of the scroll she sighed. She had the whole day in front of her and yet she could not go out and enjoy the pleasant looking afternoon. She placed the scroll on the desk and walked to her room straight to her closet. She picked up a short summer dress, fingering the material she wore it and looked at herself in the mirror.

She'd never admit it aloud but she knew she looked much better as a female.

'A classic blonde'.

That brought a chuckle to her lips. Her brother insisted that she kept her hair as it was, saying that it was too beautiful to be cut. Some part of her agreed as she treaded her fingers through the silky strands. It fell around her face brushing against whisker-less pale cheeks. She looked down at herself, the gentle swell of her breasts and then to the small expanse of her waist. She had relatively long legs, all her shinobi training making each part of her firm and taut under gleaming pale skin. Giving herself a last look she left her house.

As she walked through the village several eyes turned to her but all out of curiosity. Of course they didn't recognize her as their demon so there was no reason for contempt. A frown marked her pretty features as she walked with her head down cast. Would she have to be a stranger in her own village just to earn some respect? She was her father's daughter, the heir to one of th elite clans in Konoha. Yet they did not know. If they did, would they respect her? If they did respect her, would it be the right kind of respect?

Even though Kyuubi was out of her body she was going to have to deal with contempt of the village. It seemed so easy for them to transfer Kyuubi's sins onto her. It might have been easy for them to deal with the pain when they had somebody to blame. She wore the pain of Konoha from that fateful night.

A dejected sigh slipped past her lips as she continued walking. Her training with Kyuubi had improved her a lot. She could manipulate wind properly but she was having much more difficultly with the other elements.

Kyuubi had told her that each element had its own corresponding emotions. Wind was for peace and tranquility because it usually caresses everything it passes by, providing its comfort. Water was for generosity and kindness as it enriches the lands so that plants and animals could survive. Fire was for passion and determination as it blazes and inspires everyone. While earth was for wisdom and age old knowledge, being the origin and the sustenance of everything living on the planet.

Kyuubi said that wind was the first to respond to her because she was meditating and it seemed to be her natural defensive element. It seemed to react to her emotions. Fire too would be easy for her to manipulate as wind and fire were linked. But she would have some difficulty with water and earth would be her toughest.

She closed her eyes for a moment, so lost in her thoughts that she did not realize much of her surroundings. She was just about to bump into somebody but stopped and looked up to find Sakura. She immediately tensed at her narrowed eyed look but relaxed knowing that the girl couldn't recognize her. "Excuse me." Naruto murmured as she sidestepped to walk past her but she was blocked again. This time by Sasuke. Slight irritation flashed through her cerulean eyes as she looked up at the intense ebony.

The images of Sasuke apologizing to her passed through her mind. The way her arms surrounded the boy, the way he relaxed and let his guard down.

She frowned, she did not want to deal with Sasuke right now, nor Sakura. It was her day off and she wanted to relax. Her eyebrow twitched when Sasuke did not move just continued staring at her. The guy would never stop being high and mighty, 'Uchiha Sasuke does not move out of the way, people move out of his way.'. Scowling slightly she raised an eyebrow at him and asked, "What's so interesting?"

Sakura was taken aback, no girl had ever, ever treated Sasuke like he was nothing. She had no right. "Hey don' talk to Sasuke-kun like that. Don't you know who he is?" but the blond girl just waved her off with an elegant flick of her wrist and walked away, "Don't care." As she walked away Sakura could only gape at the girl. However, Sasuke's eyes sparkled with rare interest as the girl walked in the direction of the training grounds.

Eyes unfocused and movements automatic, Naruto walked into the woods that surrounded the training grounds. Her mind wandering from one thing to another never seemed to be at peace. So many events happened in such a short time, first Sasuke's betrayal, their fight, bringing him back. Then there was the release of Kyuubi, finding out that he was actually a girl, then that Yondaime was her father.

The whole experience was rather daunting, it still managed to baffle her how much happened in such little time. She sighed and laid down by a small stream, looking at the clear sky above. Gentle breeze whispered past her and she let out a long sigh. Constant training and missions helped keep her mind of these bothersome thoughts. Now they came back with full force.

She closed her beautiful cerulean eyes and draped one arm over them murmuring, "Why do things always have to be so complicated for me? I just want a normal life, is that too much to ask?"

The soothing scent of the forest greeted her evolved senses as the shadowy music of various of the woods lulled her into a sense of peace. She spoke as thought she was talking to them, the trees and animals of the forest, "Sometimes I feel what would it be like if Uzumaki Naruto did not exist. No one would care right? I mean, if I disappeared." Opening one eye she stared at the sky again and said, "Che! What's wrong with me! This is not the way I think."

"That's my girl." Naruto's eyes widened as she turned her face to look at Kyuubi. The demon smirked and sat down beside her, "You always stop yourself don't you." He reached forward and brushed a strand of soft golden hair off her eyes and said, "Naru-chan, things get difficult sometimes. And I understand that you sometimes doubt yourself. I don't blame you, I don't call you a coward to show your fear, to consider giving up." He smiled as she kept her head on his shoulder and murmured softly, "It is when you face your fears that you grow strong. It is when you get up after you fall that you are brave."

Running his long skillful fingers through her silky tresses he stated seriously, "I have seen everything little one. I have lived for so long, I have yet to see a human as determined as you are. I saw you stop your tears before they even started to fall. It takes courage at heart to have strength in body. Remember that."

Naruto smirked and spoke softly, "Hai nii-san." Kyuubi absently stroked Naruto's hair and said, "Tsunade had a meeting with the council and the clan leaders this morning." The blonde immediately stiffened. Tsunade meeting with the council meant several things, but she couldn't help the feeling that she was involved somehow. She lifted her head from Kyuubi's shoulder and waited for him to elaborate.

Her elder brother smiled uncertainly and said, "I don't know if you would like this my love but you should know. Tsunade told them. She said that Kyuubi is dead, she told them that you were Yondaime's child and he placed a genjutsu on you to make you look and grow up like a normal boy would." Naruto gulped and looked at Kyuubi with wide eyes, "How did they react?"

"She wouldn't say. I was sent to get you ready for a meeting with them this evening." Naruto's eyes grew wide in panic as she shook her head in refusal. Kyuubi held her head in his hands and said, "Listen to me Naruto. You are the heir to the Uzumaki clan which like the Uchiha clan is nearly extinct. The clan leaders most likely want to acknowledge you as the heir. The whole village would know that you are Arashi's daughter soon enough." Naruto groaned in dismay. She didn't want that. She did not need people pointing at her and comparing her to her father. Just as Sasuke was compared to his brother.

Her breath hitched. 'Itachi...'

That was someone she did not want to think about. She didn't know how one touch, one lingering kiss affected her so much. She looked up at Kyuubi with clouded eyes as he leaned in to kiss her forehead, "Naru-chan, I won't be there to help you. Nevertheless, don't forget where your roots are. Show the council your true self not the mask you tend to hide underneath." Naruto tore her gaze away from him.

Her mind was such a maze right now. She didn't know what to do, "I'll gave you sometime to compose yourself. Be at Tsunade's office in an hour alright?" She just dumbly nodded.

As Kyuubi left, she brought her legs to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. Things were getting even more complicated. "What do I do? How do I face them, I don't know what they'd ask."

"Don't let them intimidate you." came a bland and quiet voice. Naruto whipped her head to the right only to find her worst nightmare sitting right beside her.

Uchiha Itachi.

'Why does everyone keep appearing out of nowhere today.' She thought.

He did not look at her. His gaze was trained on the shallow stream that flowing before them. Crimson eyes with the dreadful sharingan were hooded in a look of thoughtfulness. "I heard you and that man talk."

She found that she couldn't take her eyes off him. He looked so similar to Sasuke yet there was such a vast difference. She couldn't describe it but Itachi was just different. He continued looked ahead of him when he said, "You have to keep your calm in front of them as they are not someone you'd want to show your weakness to." he them turned to look at her and spoke softly yet emotionless, "You belong to a bloodline which is very powerful yet we know very little about it. They could try to milk information out of you from time to time. You can't allow that to happen. Your family's secrets are yours to keep."

Naruto blinked blankly at him for a moment and asked, "Why are you here... why are you helping me?"

The elder Uchiha looked straight into her eyes and said, "I have my reasons."

The blonde grit her teeth and stood up. Pointing an accusatory finger at him she exclaimed, "What is it with you damn Uchihas! Both you and your brother are making my life miserable!" Narrowing her eyes in anger she looked at his impassive face, "What do you think, I am your property or something! At first Sasuke took it upon himself to kill me because I was his god damned best friend! For what? For the power to kill YOU! You take it upon yourself to show up randomly and start kissing me! I..."

"I haven't kissed you yet." Itachi interrupted, the corners of his lips tilting slightly at her antics. She crossed her arms and pouted.

Itachi had the right mind to actually do just that, kiss her senseless. Seeing her angry could break any man's resolve, her clear blue eyes showed specks of angry silver as her full lips pulled themselves into a tight line. A healthy flush stained her pale cheeks as she glared daggers as it him, as if daring him to utter one more word. His eyes sported a dangerous glint as he said, "Besides my foolish brother will always be just that, foolish."

His arm shot out and grasped her wrist, with a yank Itachi successfully brought the young blonde onto her lap. Naruto let out a yelp and growled, "What was that for teme!" her face turning red with anger and embarrassment. But soon all color drained from her face and her eyes went wide when Itachi's hot breath landed on her ear, "Would you like me to kiss you Naruto." Naruto shivered at the husky voice.

"How did you know it was me?" Naruto asked, narrowing her eyes and gazing at the Uchiha steadily. Itachi looked at her squarely and said, "Ninja's are supposed to be observant." He ran a finger along her cheek and said, "I have been observing you are a long time and I can safely state that there is no one who can ever have your eyes." he leaned and whispered against her ear, "I'd recognize you anywhere my beautiful Naruto."

"Stop this Itachi." her voice was low and soft, revealing pain, uncertainty, sadness. Itachi looked at her questioningly as she closed her eyes. "I'm tired of being a toy in everyone's hands Itachi. My life is being controlled by everyone but me. I didn't ask to have the fox inside. I didn't ask my father to make me grow up as a boy. I didn't ask Sasuke to me my best friend. I feel that no matter how much I try I'll always be betrayed by the once I care most about."

She took a shuddering breath and said, "It hurts. Nothing feels real to me anymore, except the haunting pain. It is the only thing I can take for granted. The pain is the only thing know that will accompany me all my life. I... don't ... I don't know what to do any more."

Itachi stayed silent. He just let a speak, inwardly glad that she let it out. With both his arms around her and her back pressed against his chest he pondered with he should do, what was the right course of action. He leaned forward and brushed her long golden locks off her shoulder. "You will figure it out, you always do."

She immediately tensed but he paid no heed. He lowered his lips onto her neck causing Naruto to stiffen even more. She was free to leave his embrace with his arms wound loosely around her, however she found that she couldn't bring herself move. Not when his lips seemed to brand her as his. Not when the warmth from his body seemed to be soothing her very soul.

"Itachi you're a criminal." she whispered shivering as Itachi ran his tongue along her skin.

"I know." was his reply, soft and heavy with some unknown quality. Naruto frowned and was about to turn her head to look at him when a slight moan passed her lips.

Itachi softly bit her skin, marking the soft mass an angry red. He needed to mark her, she was his. Naruto would always be his. He smirked at her gasp, soothing the bite with tender kisses. "Tell little brother to keep his hands off." he growled.

Naruto closed her eyes and melted into him easily. It was odd, not odd, bizarre that she was so comfortable with the man who had been hunting her for the demon inside. It was so strange that he was the reason for Sasuke's hunger for power. He was more comfortable than he would be with anyone else, except Kyuubi of course.

His arms tightened around her as she tilted her head to give him more access, "Itachi... I don't... I don't understand." She turned her face to him and he seized that opportunity to seize her luscious lips with his. Growling at the back of his throat he pressed her firmly against him. His tongue lapped her lower lip, demanding entry. It was perfect, the way her body fit to his, he could feel every curve of her body through the fabric of her dress.

Naruto parted her lips with a heavy moan, feeling lightheaded. Her fingers buried themselves into his hair as he invaded her mouth. Shivering slightly at his ghost like touches on her skin she whispered against his lips, "This is wrong."

"Than why does it feel right?" Itachi answered as he nipped slightly on jawline. Sampling her taste, he couldn't really place what she tasted like, somewhere between spice and honey. However, he knew he was addicted. He lifted his head and his now ebony eyes glittered with heavy male pride as he took in her appearance. Her eyes were glazed over her bruised lips parted as she tried to steady her breathing, her pale cheeks were flushed in the passion of the moment.

He pulled her closer and caressed her flushed cheek and whispered, "Who is to know what's right and wrong my love?" He leaned in so much so that his lips were a mere whisper apart from hers and asked, "I am asking you to be selfish for once, just for this moment. Tell me do you want me to leave? If you do I'll never see you again." Naruto's eyes widened and then softened, "Who knew that the great Uchiha Itachi would fall for the demon of Konoha."

Itachi smirked and nuzzled her cheek saying, "You got it all wrong little princess. Its the great Uzumaki Naruto falling for the demon of Konoha." Naruto laughed weakly and dug her face into his chest saying, "You are an enigma Uchiha Itachi. It's like I see two different you. The cold hearted bastard trying to kidnap me and the cold hearted bastard trying to seduce me."

She yelped when Itachi punished her with a small bite. "I want an answer Naruto." his tone was bland, normal in a sense. It did not contain the huskiness and the softness of before. Then again, this was something she was familiar with. She could handle him being like this then how he was a few moments ago. Itachi deposited her on the ground gently and walked over to the stream. The aura of warmth that was around him disappeared for good but Naruto's lips did not loose their smile.

Seeing how quickly Itachi covered his slip up made it clear to her that what she had experienced a few moments before was true. His touches were true, his kisses were true, most of all his words were true. He was not acting.

She laid there observing the grace with which he carried himself and felt her heart flutter every time his gaze landed on her. He was waiting for her answer. She settled her gaze at the sky and said, "Never to see you again... I don't know why that prospect daunts me. Frankly I don't know what to think of you or what to make of my feelings towards you. You killed your own kin Itachi."

A painful glint came into her eyes as she closed them, "I should hate you, the one who so carelessly threw away something to cherish. The one who constantly pushes his own little brother to insanity. So much so that he would readily kill his best friend."

"My life means nothing to me Itachi, I have nothing to live for. I don't care if Sasuke kills me today just to gain power. But I fear what it would make him and I dread the day he manages to kill you." She opened her eyes and saw Itachi still kneeling by the stream. Sighing she said, "I won't ask you why you did it. I have been told that you did it to test your true strength. I don't believe it. I know there is a better reason and I know you'd trust me enough to tell me one day."

She sat up and gazed at Itachi's back as he failed to turn to her. 'There is goes with that wall again. After years of reading people, he thinks he can fool me.' A small smile hinted her lips as she said, "I don't want you to leave, I want to see you as many times as I can." She smirked when he did not turn to her. She knew he wouldn't.

She stood up and dusted her clothing. Running her thin fingers through her hair she made herself descent enough to go to the Hokage and not be suspected of something. "Ja!" she whispered as she started to walk away.

A rush of air was her only warning and she found herself pinned, she grinned cheekily at Itachi and said, "So."

His eyes glinted dangerously as he leaned in and ran his tongue along her lips and bit harshly on the soft flesh of her lower lip, smirking triumphant at her gasp. With one hand firmly holding her by her waist the other grasped her hair and tilted her head back so he could have her neck. Her moan of delight sent chills down her spine as he tasted her delicious skin, sucking and licking wherever he found a particularly sensitive spot.

There was a light pressure against his chest and he pulled back a little to look questioningly into Naruto's eyes. She tilted her head to the side and blinked innocently at him and said, "You didn't forget that I am needed at the Hokage's did you?"

He nodded and stepped away. Dropping a small kiss on his cheek Naruto walked away.

Kyuubi's eyes narrowed as Naruto entered the room. Tsunade was sitting and discussing something with Jiraiya so he discreetly pulled Naruto to the corner and hissed in her ear, "Why is His scent on you!"

Naruto sighed, she knew that Kyuubi would notice. She lifted her gaze and looked at her adoptive brother straight in the eyes.

Kyuubi managed to hide his surprise well. Naruto's eyes had been sullen and confused, they had lost their luster. The uncertainty, the weakness he saw in those eyes ever since the child had woken up from his coma. The blue eyes which were so mesmerizing in their strength, so strong that you could see potential just rolling off her in waves.

That was before Sasuke's betrayal. And until today that strength did not surface.

Was that murderer the reason for the strength that returned in her eyes. Was he the reason that her whole being seemed to radiate the confidence she used to project before, the only difference now was that the confidence was backed by power and new found wisdom.

Kyuubi's eyes softened as he whispered, "Be careful my child. I don't trust him." She beamed up at him and said, "Perhaps someday you will nii-san." Kyuubi reached forward and petted her hair into a semblance of control and "I'll have to see for myself my love. Now go. Tsunade will take you to the elders."

Naruto nodded and walked over to Tsunade who smiled and led her to the room where everything would be discussed.


"I know. Don't worry Tsunade-baa-chan. I won't let you down." Tsunade smiled. She had missed the air of confidence around the blonde. The hyperactive kid she loved seems to have return, only his extra energy now seems to have turned into raw power.

Tsunade wondered briefly what Kyuubi did to bring forth such change in just a month worth of training. Naruto swept into the room with the air of confidence and the grace attributed to a princess and bowed a little to show her respect to the council.

She could see, all the elders were there. All clan leaders gazing at her with assessing eyes as she sat in front of them. She met their eyes squarely, respecting them yet not letting them intimidate her. The silence that existed was tense but Naruto paid no heed to it. She remembered Itachi's words perfectly, and he being a prodigy meant that he had experienced this before. She was wise enough to heed his words.

It was Hyuuga Hiashi who spoke first, cutting the silence with his commanding yet soft voice, "I will not question you on anything regarding the demon for he is not my concern." The clan head noted that the girl in front of him did not show any reaction. Mentally nodding in satisfaction he said, "The council and I along with the Hokage have spent a long time discussing this. First off, I have been told that you resumed your training not too long after being discharged from the hospital?"

Naruto nodded. Hiashi noted her eyes narrowed shrewdly, he smirked. She knew that there was something underneath is questions. The Hyuuga clan leader looked straight into her eyes and asked, "I assume you were fit health wise to continue. I have heard from my nephew, your tendency to overexert yourself."

"Nothing of that sort Hyuuga-sama. I was is good enough condition to resume training." The man nodded.

"I want you to answer my questions as truthfully and precisely as you can Uzumaki-san. This is utterly important and we would know if you lie. Is that understood?" Naruto nodded without hesitation or nervousness. It told him that either she was not about to lie, or was overconfident of her lying skills. The Hyuuga nodded again and looked at his peers for their approval.

Receiving that he turned to Naruto and asked, "Do you swear and oath that you would be absolutely loyal to the Hidden village of leaf?" Naruto looked at him dumbfounded and said incredulous, "Of course." Tsunade smirked. Naruto thought it was obvious, her loyalty towards the village.

Yamanaka Inoichi smiled a little at her and said, "You have been trained under Kakashi-san and Jiraiya-sama?" Naruto just nodded. Inoichi then asked, "I know this is a bothersome topic for you, however we need to know exactly what happened during your battle with Uchiha Sasuke at the valley of the ends."

Naruto's face did not show anything but Hiashi noted the slight pain in her eyes. She took a deep breath and said, "He didn't want to come back. He wanted the power to defeat Itachi and he said that he'll eat the devils fruit to get that power." Clearly distressed, she ran her fingers through her hair, her gaze trained in front of her was distant and clouded.

"We fought, I had no other way to stop him. As I was meeting him blow to blow he started going all out. Then he used the Chidori."

Nara Shikaku frowned and asked, "Chidori, Raikiri. That is Kakashi-san's original jutsu." Naruto nodded. Hiashi narrowed his eyes and said, "That is a powerful tool Naruto. How did you counter it?"

Naruto gave a dry laugh and said, "Father's Rasengan." numerous gasps echoed throughout the room. "Not as powerful and perfect as his, but was able to fend off Sasuke's Chidori." Naruto bit her lip, this was the difficult part. "He then activated the curse seal. I could not keep up with him at that point. I had not tapped in Kyuubi's power yet so there was no way I could keep up with the seal. He summoned the Chidori again and this time before I could summon Rasengan he plunged it through my heart, at least that was his aim. I managed to avoid so much that it went right through my shoulder."

Tsunade managed to hold back a gasp. She was not told about this. Naruto never said that Sasuke intentionally tried to kill her.

"I think my heart stopped for a moment there, I had to summon the Kyuubi's power to defeat Sasuke then. But he just took the seal to the next level. There is only so much power I can handle from the demon inside. Sasuke was not giving up. He summoned the Chidori again, it was harmful for him to use Chidori more than twice but he did and again aimed at my chest. It took most of Kyuubi's chakra to revive me then but I manged to scratch his forehead protector and also knock him unconscious then."

A tense silence filled the room following her story. Everyone contempelating the issue at hand.

Aburame Shibi looked at Naruto and asked, "What other techniques you know that belong to your father?" Naruto closed her eyes and said, "I know Kuchiyose no Jutsu. I have a toad summoning contract and can summon Gamabunta. Then there is Rasengan. I am working on the seals, I can do Shisho Fuin (Four symbol seal.) The other two I will learn just in case. That's all I know of his techniques."

Hiashi looked at her with assessing eyes and said, "Those coupled with Kage Bunshin, all are high ranked jutsus. Any other skills we should know about?"

Naruto looked at Tsunade uncertainly but she nodded, giving her a small smile. Naruto sighed and looked at Hiashi, "Shihohappo Shuriken (Shuriken from all directions), Shuriken Kage Bunshin no Jutsu. Uzumaki Naruto Nisen Rendan, Uzumaki Naruto Rendan. Bunshin Taiatari (Clone body blow), Kawarimi no Jutsu. Tajuu Kage Bunshin no Jutsu, Konbi Henge (Combination Transformation with Gamabunta.) Sennen Goroshi (One thousand years of death). I just finished learning Fuja Hoin (Evil sealing method) and I am working on a seal of my own to counter Orochimaru's curse seal, I am close but I haven't perfected it yet, I need more info on the cursed seal for that."

Tsunade looked at Naruto with slight disbelief on her face while others were equally shocked. All those techniques were either A or B ranked. They never knew that Naruto had such high skill level. There were a lot of silent whispers in the room. The eventually everybody fell silent, looking at Naruto.

Then they came to the crux of the matter. Naruto's eyes narrowed. Now this was what she waiting for, the real reason behind this meeting. Tsunade was the one to speak this time, "Naruto, since you are the Uzumaki clan heir, you have certain duties. Hiashi-sama. Would you please?"

The Hyuuga nodded and looked at Naruto, "You will be trained personally. I understand that you already have a guardian to help you with your bloodlines. Apart from that, you will be taught a sizable amount of other techniques. You shall come to he Hyuuga mansion every weekend for me to test you and your capabilities. Moreover, as we have been informed of the details of your resent battle with Sasuke. Taking that into consideration we have come to the conclusion that you are not safe around Uchiha Sasuke. You will sever all ties with him for the times being, his loyalty to the village has yet to be proved. We cannot risk your life for a boy's foolishness."

Naruto's eyes widened as she objected, "Sasuke is unstable granted, but it is imperative for me to stay alongside him Hyuuga-sama!" The Hyuuga frowned at the lack of manners and said in a condensing tone, "And why is it imperative?"

Naruto quickly got hold of her bearings and said, "Please consider, I was the only one who could manage to bring Sasuke back from his darkness. I am the only one who can reach to him on that level. I am his best friend."

It was Shikamaru's father who spoke up next, "And what is to guarantee your safety when the ultimate power of the Sharingan eyes requires the holder to kill the one he cares deeply about? Uzumaki-san, had we known that you were Yondaime's daughter and the survivor the elite clan we wouldn't have let you be raised as you were. You need refinement and we plan to do just that."

Hyuuga said, "Sasuke may not be able to defeat you in a full blown battle. You have already proved that you are more powerful than both Uchiha Sasuke and Hyuuga Neiji. Both are trained to be elite fighters since a very young age. You lack that kind of intensive training."

Naruto looked at Tsunade with desperate eyes and then back to the elders, "The Uchiha prodigy would slip through your fingers. Please reconsider Hyuuga-sama. I made him believe that there is something in the village of his birth that is precious to him, that he would like to protect. I worked so hard to bring him back. He needs support not separation. He doesn't trust others yet. Give me sometime. Please."

Hiashi looked into her eyes and frowned, "Naruto, I cannot allow that. We cannot contain the Uchiha heir or we would face heavy opposition from the village. To ensure your safety we have to separate you. That is an order and you will follow it with utmost sincerity. Once the Uchiha is proved loyal and stable, you will be allowed to resume your friendship under supervision."

Tsunade sighed when she saw the pain in Naruto's eyes. She closed her eyes when the blonde just walked out of the room without a word. Hiashi looked at Tsunade and said, "It is for her own good."

"I know." Tsunade nodded and said, "But... their friendship runs deep. I can safely say that Sasuke may hold some romantic interest in her."

"All the more reason to separate them." Tsunade frowned and asked, "What do you mean Nara-san?"

The strategist looked at her and said, "From what I gather the Uchiha kid does not know that Naruto is a girl. Moreover, even if it does not matter to Sasuke, I still think allowing things to proceed further would be a wise choice. Should they get involved into a relationship and then the Uchiha decides to betray the village again then the girl would be at the end of her tolerance."

Hiashi nodded saying, "It is best to keep Uchiha Sasuke away from Naruto."

Kyuubi frowned when Tsunade walked into the room, his eyes narrowed in disapproval as he cradled Naruto close to his chest and said, "What did you do to her that she sheds tears?" Tsunade flinched at the icy tone and said, "The elders command that she has to sever all ties with Sasuke for her own safety. In short, break friendship with her only true friend."

"Hmm..." Kyuubi looked down at the sleeping blonde in his arms. It was late, that meeting had lasted long. They had to wait for Tsunade to come before they could leave.

"I find myself to agree with your council." Tsunade gaped at Kyuubi and muttered incredulous, "You can't be serious! You know that Naruto is the only reason Sasuke is back!"

Kyuubi's eyes narrowed as he said, "You will not raise your voice to me if you know what's good for you human. I will concern myself with Naruto and her welfare. I don't care what happens to the Uchiha." Kyuubi laid Naruto on the couch and said, "The council is being wise. I am not saying that completely separating them is a good idea, but I consent for them meeting only under supervision."

Tsunade narrowed her eyes, "They are risking too much for this."

Kyuubi waved her off and sat elegantly. His expression was curious as he commanded, "Tell me what you know of Uchiha Itachi." Tsunade stiffened and those golden eyes immediately narrowed when she avoided his gaze. "You know something that I don't." Kyuubi hissed.

"Why do you ask?" Tsunade inquired, trying to change the subject. But of course she knew that she could not challenge the wisdom of a thousand year old demon. "I have my reasons, now answer."

Tsunade sat down and said, "What do you want to know?"

"Did Itachi massacre his clan to test his power and skills?" Tsunade hesitated under Kyuubi's intense gaze and muttered, "Yes." The demon smirked and raised a mocking eyebrow, "Did he now Tsunade? Your stench is that of a liar." The Hokage sighed in defeat, Kyuubi was just too unnerving. There was no away anyone could lie to him. His steady gaze was still intent on her. She still was not sure why Kyuubi was so interested in Uchiha Itachi but she had a feeling that she would not be informed of the reason behind this curiosity.

"He killed the Uchiha clan to fulfill his duty under the orders of the Third Hokage."

"Aah..." Kyuubi smiled knowingly. His eyes holding contempt for the whole human race. Looking sharply into her eyes he asked, "You asked him to execute his own kin, his mother, his father by his own two hands. Poor child."

Tsunade shuddered at the images that single sentence conjured up in her mind. "Itachi killed his best friend when he was found sneaking into Naruto's room at night to assassinate her." Kyuubi went rigid at that declaration and raised an eyebrow, "Conspiracy against Naruto to kill the demon of the village and gain more popularity and power. Invariably making Uchiha influence stronger than Hyuuga. Accused of secret dealings with S-class missing nin Orochimaru. The whole Uchiha clan was involved, and their punishment to be caught red handed by Itachi and his Anbu squadron was execution."

"That doesn't explain Itachi becoming a missing-nin." Tsunade sighed and said, "That was his own choice. He said that staying in this village was suffocating for him. That is what my sensei told Jiraiya and what he told me. He wanted this all silenced, he did not want Sasuke to grow up in disgrace and humiliation of what his clan did."

"How noble." Kyuubi said sarcastically. Glancing at the sleeping form of Naruto he said, "You people do not know how to raise your youth. Either they are shunned as Naruto was, coddled as Sasuke was or pressurized as Itachi was. Pitiful."

Kyuubi stood up and walked over to the picture of Yondaime, "If Itachi were to return, you are to drop all charges against him and accept him back as leaf shinobi."

Tsunade glared him and said, "I don't care if you are the Kyuubi, no one goes on ordering me!" Kyuubi glanced at her from over his shoulder and his gaze itself froze her in place. Turning his face back to Yondaime's picture he said, "Sasuke was forgiven very easily. Don't tell me that Sasuke is different. The magnitude of Sasuke's crime is greater than Itachi's. Sasuke came close to becoming a missing-nin because he betrayed the Leaf. Itachi became a missing-nin because Leaf betrayed him."

Tsunade flinched at the remark. "They are mere children whose minds are fragile and hearts uncertain. They need guidance not punishment. Stop treating ninjas as weapons and start treating them as human beings. I can assure you that the strength of your ninjas will improve."

Kyuubi gestured at Naruto and spoke, "Take my kit for example, she had it very hard at a very young age. Had I not been there to console her when she cries, those wounds she inflicted on herself to get away from the pain would have been deeper, more deadly. Is this how you raise kitlings? We, the creatures who you consider evil treat our children with much more care and tenderness."

Tsunade sighed, whatever he said made sense. If one looked at it from his point of view, they were raising their kids poorly. "What would you have me do? He broke the laws of this village."

Kyuubi said, "He had no other road to walk on. Either stay here and loose his sanity or leave. He chose to leave, which may I remind you was the same path you chose after your lover and brother's deaths."

Tsunade's eyes widened at she gazed at Kyuubi's molten gold eyes. The stare was unwavering, daring her to object and prove him wrong. Slowly she nodded, agreeing to the demon lord. He walked over to Naruto and scooped her in his arms and disappeared without saying a word.

The Hokage leaned back in her chair and rubbed her temples. 'Now that he put it that way. I understand why Itachi left.'