Disclaimer: Seriously… what else is new?

Beta by: Soul-Nin

XXXXXXXXXX

Uzumaki Kushina wasn't sure what to make of the situation that she, quite literally, kicked in the head. Here it is: her son, who she thought she would never get the chance to meet, not with her own crappy situation that life decided to throw her into was just knocked flying by yours truly. Of course, that's just it; she only knows that he is her son. She doesn't know where he came from, only that she used to be there. Minato said that it was a place called Konoha; surrounded by trees and it seemed to be spring all year round. She had no memory of it, much to Minato's frustration and confusion, despite him somehow retaining all memories of his… past life you could say.

Reincarnation is quite the strange thing, because she didn't remember him at first when she moved here with her parents. She was just a happy little girl that moved to a new place, ready to make new friends and start new adventures. Then he came up to her, introduced himself, and gave her THAT smile. A strange little smile that is sad yet happy at the same time. That was how Uzumaki Kushina made the acquaintance of Namikaze Minato, and as they grew, she learned that it was actually their re-acquaintance.

It was confusing at first, because she didn't know what to make of the flashes of images and visions as well as unexplained facts such as how fast a human can throw a kunai or how much strength you need to put into a punch to decimate a brick wall (and it freaked her out because she never wanted to decimate a brick wall). Then the faces, voices, and names that were here and there, yet were neither there nor here. She started to 'remember' people, some just voices with a face, other a name with the voice, and there were times when she could recall a person so well even though she had never met them. When she finally confided in Minato who was starting to become her best friend, he just gave her THAT smile. It was also the day she 'remembered' that she loved and adored that blonde munchkin she called her best friend. Then, like they said, the rest is history.

However, there are still some strange facts that Kushina isn't quite sure how to react to.

For example, Kushina remembered who she was, not what she was. The red head knows that she was, and still plans to be when she is of legal age, Minato's wife. Her love for the blonde is there, just as it was in her past life. She has flashes of faces with names and some names that don't come with faces, some voices have names attached to them, and some faces with no voice attached to them. She has a memory of a particular white haired man named Jiraiya who she has this unexplainable urge to mop the floor with and this really old man call Sarutobi Hiruzen that is like another father to her. She retains memories of certain things like what taijutsu is, but not why she knows them. She has methods that can make her appear like super-human with this chakra thing, moving at speed thought otherwise impossible, yet not why she knows them. She knows that most of the faces and voices and names can do similar things that she and Minato can do, but not why. When she asks Minato about it, he just smiles this THAT smile, saying that it's better if she doesn't remember. Kushina isn't sure if she should envy Minato or not, because unlike her, he retained everything.

As in… every single little deed, ranging from stupid things to stuff dangerous enough to get you killed. He remembered them all. It caused Kushina many moments of envy, yet at the same time she sometimes can't help but pity him because there are moments when he has this far away look on his face that is full of sadness and regret. At times, he'll sneak into her room, drenched in a cold sweat with this look on his face that pulled at her heart, and they'll stay up the entire night just talking about everything and nothing. There were also times when she said something that simply came to mind, and he'll burst into this joyful grin that could out do the sun.

However, what this situation requires is a set of one particular memory.

That one particular memory of Kushina is both happy to have yet at the same time isn't sure what to make of it.

She had given birth once, and that as far as she knew, her SON was just a few minutes old. On the one hand, she is happy to know that she is…was a mother. On the other, she can't help but be sad knowing that she wasn't be there for her little baby, or if he is dead or not.

So when she literally kicked him, sent him flying, obliterating a trashcan with him, destroying a fence with him, and then damaging a particular nice obaa-san's house with him. Well… she wasn't quite sure if she should be happy that he's here, sad that he's here, cry her heart out that she probably just ruined her first impression, jump for joy that she can kick her son's ass (she blames her hormones and her second teenage period), or be angry at Minato because there is just something about him being here that screams at her motherly instinct that Minato has fucked up; big time.

After staring at the mess for a while, the reincarnated mother just settle for one reaction. She smiled at him softly and thinking 'My, you've grown…'

"Oh no! Onii-chan?! Speak to me!" The voice breaks Kushina out of her wonder as she watches a little blonde girl, no older than 13, rush up to her son (Kushina still finds it weird to call him that). She has long since kneeled down next to him after prying him out of the dent in the wall, and is now lightly slapping his cheeks to try and get him to wake up. Wincing a little to herself as she sees the bruise in the shape of her boot print form on his face, Kushina scratches the back of her neck and turn her attention to the blonde woman who only arches a fine eyebrow at this display of… power let's say and settle with that. The blonde woman just graces her with the same arched eyebrow, and Kushina returns it with a small bow of apology as the little girl goes from light slap to full blown shaking. The girl probably is doing more harm than good, if the way Naruto's head is flapping around like a rag dolls is any indication.

"H-hey! Stop that, you're making it worse!" Kushina blurts out as she quickly walks up to the girl, only to yelp is surprise as she turns a rather fierce and protective look on her. The red head could swear there is an aura of doom about her. If you just add a pair of fluffy ears and a long tail, you'd be seeing a kitten hissing at her, ready to tear into her if she approaches its master. Of course, she is not a cat, and Naruto is not her master. With moves that she has perfected then reinvented, Kushina easily slips past the blonde girl's rather weak and pathetic defense, a hand touching the side of her head that freezes her while the other makes itself comfortable against Naruto's pulse. Counting out the required six seconds, Kushina nods at the regular and strong heart beat, prying open an eye lid just to see the eyeball rolled back in the customary unconscious form. Reaching back, she lightly traces his skull for any wetness while she also marvels at the quality of his blonde hair. When no other injuries present themselves, Kushina sighs and slumps down as she straddles Naruto's stomach to get a better look at him. The face, the lips, the nose, everything about him screams Minato's influence, but he has her general eye shape. The six marks on his cheeks are different though, but she thinks that she has an idea just how they got there, but she's not sure if it is true.

Gently tracing his face with a finger, Kushina finds herself bubbling with happiness that is different from the feeling she gets from Minato, but still similar. "Well now… this is quite the situation…" The girl says softly with an equally soft smile, one that only a mother can produce for her children and that she doesn't know she is capable of. She is vaguely aware of how strange this picture may have been, but she doesn't care. Not yet… reality can wait.

"Y-You stay away from onii-chan!" Oh right, how could she forget about the harmless kitten? Kushina turns amused eyes to the blonde girl that has taken one of Naruto's arms, as if she'll manage to pull him out of here. The redhead doubts that very much, seeing that she is obviously exhausted for some reason and that- hold on! Ducking down, Kushina manages to avoid a rather large sword from taking her head off, and tracing it, she finds herself staring at a silver haired DOLL of all things. She recalls something about puppetry from her memories, but this? "Suigintou!"

"Well, as much as I dislike the baka ningen, I can't let you harm him either. We have a score to settle after all." The doll says as she rests that oversized blade (especially held in her delicate little hands) against her shoulder. Kushina actually has to take a few seconds to register the fact that the doll is smirking at her with a leer. Now this is turning out to be a weird experience.

"Hold on… I'm not hurting him. The girl was just shaking him too much and he might already have a concussion." Kushina says before coming to the fact that they are probably his companions… Oh shit. "W-wait! I'm sorry! I mistook him for someone else! I didn't mean to kick him! I meant you no harm!"

The doll deadpanned, and Kushina cringed for some reason as she says, "Well… could have fooled me."

"…Does it make it better if I said that I'm sorry?" Kushina meekly says as she claps her hands together.

XXXXXXXXXX

A few minutes later, the little group finds themselves in Kushina's home, or more specifically her room as Naruto lies on the bed, still unconscious and now with a rather nasty bruise on his face. Kushina has, after much apologizing and damned near begging, managed to get the group to agree to come to her house so she can treat Naruto's bruise. The motive behind it is rather clear to her. She is responsible for the bruise, and also she wants to spend some more time with him, even if it's just gazing at his unconscious form. As the red hair does a scan of her room, her eyes land on a particular object that she has manage to grab.

A yellow fruit in the shape of a star: the poupou fruit… she hasn't got the chance to share it with Minato. That was why she was so frustrated and become angry with him. That is also why this happened… though she is thankful even when the reality of it all crashes down to her during the trip back to her house.

Here he is, the son she never knows, all grown up and stuff. Here she is, the mother that can't really prove it and is practically a stranger to him. Plus she kicked him rather hard, and you have some issues to deal with; one of which is the little girl and the doll that are somewhat hostile to her and the woman that has yet to say a word during all of this. Turning her attention from Naruto (she hope it's Naruto because they agreed to name him that), Kushina puts on a sheepish smile and says, "You know… I never did get your names…"

"Larxene."

"Suigintou."

"I don't have to answer to you."

Oh dear, the girl is still angry at her. Kushina can easily tell that she's a little disgruntled due to exhaustion, but snappy? Oh, fine, she'll admit the blonde girl has every right to be snappy, what with her and kicking Naruto. Still, you'd think she'd be more worried about him. "Um… right. I'm Uzumaki Kushina-."

"Uzumaki? Isn't that the name the baka ningen use?" The doll Suigintou interrupts as she turns her violet eyes to Larxene, who too blinks in astonishment. Kushina can't blame them, because you can't forget a name like Uzumaki once you heard of it. As far as her memory of her past life tells her, Uzumaki is her last name. In this life, she also goes by this name and she always introduced herself as Uzumaki even way before she met Minato. She always likes the name; it just fits, and it strikes at her as something that is rightfully hers. Call it her pride or whatever, but she is of the whirlpool; of the Uzumaki. This is one thing that she is happy about; her biological parents of this life are also of the Uzumaki.

Of course, it makes her smile knowing that her son uses her name instead of Minato's. She doesn't know why, but while a part of her tells her that it's more for safety reason than anything, she still has something over her beloved. "Is it? That's interesting, because other than me, there aren't any Uzumaki around."

"Hmm… I know his rightful name is Namikaze, but he insisted on using Uzumaki. I wonder why." Suigintou says, more for the benefit of amusing herself than to explain the situation. Kushina still grins, knowing that even though Naruto knew his rightful name, he still chose to keep to the whirlpool. "That aside, is there any other reason you have to bring us here other than to tend to his bruise?"

Alright, the doll is sharp, Kushina will give that to her (and she surprises herself by actually referring the doll as her for some reason). There is just this predatory grin on her face that makes her uneasy, as if she is guilty of withholding some secret or was caught with her hand in the cookie jar and the other already stuffing one in her mouth. Whatever the case…

"Hmm…?" Suigintou presses on, levitating into the air and doing wonders to Kushina's nerves as she invades her personal space. Her violet orbs pierce into emerald green, the doll's smirk turns to an actual leer as she says, "You're hiding something… aren't you?"

"O-oi, I like my personal space you know…" The red head says while she curses herself for such a weak comeback that only seems to make Suigintou even more devious. Frowning, Kushina leaned forward, making Suigintou lean back, not expecting the advance as the red hair says, "Why do I have to explain it to you anyway?"

Suigintou was just about to open her mouth when she was yanked back by a hand, making her yelp as she found herself within the arms of the blonde girl. Suigintou blinked a few times before turning her eyes to the girl, who is glaring daggers at Kushina like a cat glares at a dog. Kushina responds by smiling sweetly and giving her a little wave, amusing herself as the girl acts just like a kitten would. It still confused her about the whole 'onii-chan' business when it came to Naruto though. "So… who is he?" Kushina asked, pointing a finger at the unconscious young man while keeping her eyes on the girl. She is provoking her, and Kushina wants to see how she reacts to get some idea of what she has to work with. Naruto being her son (in one sense or another) is one thing, but this girl she doesn't know. The other two pose no threat as long as she doesn't provoke them, and while she's going to assume the blonde woman won't do anything, the doll is currently occupied so she can't exactly answer any questions. That is why she turns her entire attention onto the girl, and Kushina wonders if she should satisfy her own little desire for some… playtime teasing the little kitten.

"Onii-chan is onii-chan, and that is all you need to know."

Hmm… she is cute, Kushina will give her that as she watches the little girl pout and glare at the same time. Kushina can't truly fathom why she is angry at her, maybe because she kicked Naruto for no apparent reason. Still, she needs to know something, and to make sure she gets it…

"Alright. He is your onii-chan… but who is he?"

When the girl opens her mouth to answer, she pauses, and then clicks her mouth shut. Kushina feels saddened by this, because even the girl can't answer that question.

So instead, Kushina turns her gaze at the young man that now rests on her bed, sporting a bruise that was rather nasty not too long ago already healing up. There isn't a doubt that he is who she thinks he is. He is Uzumaki Naruto; he is the child of Namikaze Minato and Uzumaki Kushina. He is the boy who she secretly wanted to meet for a long, long time now.

He is Uzumaki Naruto… and he is one big puzzle and a stranger to Uzumaki Kushina, who can't help but frown at this little piece of information.

"This will be a problem…" Kushina says to herself, low enough that none of the others can hear her (though whether they can read lips or not remains to be seen). As she thinks of what to do in this situation, her emerald eyes scan over the other three occupants within the room, judging each of them by various things. For example, the blonde girl is the closest to him while the woman Larxene is the most aloof, probably due to them only meeting sometime ago or just keeping things professional. The talking doll (that startles her a little now that it's finally registered that yes she is a doll) seems to have some love-hate relationship with him, or at least she seems to give off that feeling… "Suigintou?"

"What is it?" The doll replies instantly as violet eyes zoom in on Kushina. Having squirmed out of Alice's grasp, the doll is now settled comfortably within the crook of her elbow. The fact that she's rubbing the arm with small, soothing circles isn't lost on the red head.

"You are probably the next person who knows this guy the most. So why don't you tell me something?"

Somehow, that question sounds suspicious. Kushina can't help but blink at that as she ponders the words over in her mind and nods in that yes, it sounds rather suspicious. A sweat drop appears on the back of her head as her face blanks out, thinking, 'This will take a while…'

XXXXXXXXXX

"So… have you found the answer?"

That is the question that has been keeping Naruto here, on the glass platform in silence with the woman in front of him for who knows how long. It began with him losing consciousness, waking up here to find Kyuubi leering at him with this look on her face, and then asking that one simple question.

But if it's such a simple question, why hasn't he provided an answer yet? In fact, just what is his answer suppose to be, and what was the answer originally for? Still, as he ponders upon that question, his eyes have long since locked upon one of the nine circles that surrounds his portrait.

It is the red haired girl that kicked him into oblivion. For her to be in this means that she is important, just as the Kyuubi points out Alice's portray. Suigintou and Larxene also have theirs on the platform, but does this mean the redhead is coming with him? Is this what Kyuubi is getting at? Is this the answer he's supposed to be looking at? Or is this the question that she is asking, and the answer that she expects him to have?

"Hmm… obviously you don't have it yet." Kyuubi purrs out as she drapes herself around Naruto in a shameless embrace that rubs her body against his. It is only his iron will and spending the amount of time he has around Jiraiya that enables Naruto not react to such an obvious attempt at seduction. He mentally wonders if the Kyuubi has changed tactics in trying to get him to free her, but shoves it aside as he glares at the vixen in return.

"What am I looking for?"

"It seems that you have forgotten…" Kyuubi says softly as she taps her chin in thought. Naruto silently observes the fox that he is rather fond of calling a fur ball as she gives a hum every few seconds, as if coming up with then discarding ideas as fast as she goes through bodies and corpses. He isn't stupid to think that the woman is harmless. She is the legendary Nine Tailed Fox, who can sink a mountain or create a tsunami with a wave of her tail… or so it says. There is no doubt that she is powerful, but Naruto has no idea the extents of it…

He is only staring at the yang part of her after all.

"Well, instead of asking for the answer, I'll just ask you this: have you found peace?"

Huh? What is that suppose to mean?

Then Naruto is suddenly awake, in the world of the living as he stares at an unfamiliar ceiling of some dark room. Judging by the small amount of light coming from the window next to the bed he was resting on, it's night time (because though it has its curtain drawn, there would still be a orange halo around it should it be morning or afternoon). It has long since become old to wake up at unfamiliar places (Penelope's house not included), what with their travel and all. But he doesn't remember coming… oh, that's right.

Remembering the events before he was sent into blissful unconsciousness, Naruto sits up and rubs his head. Thanking whoever it is that is keeping the light off, Naruto lets his mind mull over what the Kyuubi asked of him.

There was a question that he was asked some time ago… and that question was important, that much he knows. However, what was it, and did he already answer it?

Actually, there is the other question that bugs him.

Has he found peace?

Well, that one seems easy to answer.

Click! The light suddenly turns on, blinding him as he shields his eyes from the sudden change in brightness. Suppressing the groan that threatens to escape his lips through years of ninja training, Naruto carefully opens his eyes to survey his surrounding.

It isn't much. It is a moderate sized bed room with baby blue walls, numerous posters of some singers and bands here and there as well as framed pictures of people that he can't quite make out the details of at this range. The bed isn't big, just enough for one person to stretch out on, and for someone of his height, it is barely long enough to lie him down. Ignoring the blue bed sheets, his eyes first focus on the book shelf filled with books directly at the bed's foot, then slowly travel to a closet and complementary dresser with a practically naked girl drying her hair out. Next to the dresser is a desk pilled with what looks to be school work with a simple chair pulled back with a jacket draped over it. Further along is the one window leading into this room, with its curtain –which is orange by the way- drawn. It is a plain room and room of a girl if the plushies he sees here and there are any indication. There is a strange star-like yellow fruit on the desk, but he pays it no mind.

After all, for some reason he feels like he missed a very important detail…

It isn't much. It is a moderate sized bed room with baby blue walls, numerous posters of some singers and bands here and there as well as framed pictures of people that he can't quite make out the details of at this range. The bed isn't big, just enough for one person to stretch out on, and for someone of his height, it is barely long enough to lie him down. Ignoring the blue bed sheets, his eyes first focus on the book shelf filled with books directly at the bed's foot, then slowly travel to a closet and complementary dresser with a practically naked girl drying her hair out. Next to the dresser is a desk pilled with what looks to be school work with a simple chair pulled back with a jacket draped over it. Further along is the one window leading into this room, with its curtain –which is orange by the way- drawn. It is a plain room and room of a girl if the plushies he sees here and there are any indication…

With a practically naked girl drying her hair out…

With a practically naked girl drying her hair out…

Ah… "Shit."

"Hmm? Who in the… oh…" The girl says, half dressed (meaning in only her panties and bra… orange, good choice) turns around before pausing as her emerald green eyes (the same eyes of the person who kicked him) makes contact with his own wide and horror filled ones. The silence that fills the room is very tense as the girl slowly brings the towel she discarded up to cover herself. Naruto continues to stare at her, not sure whether he should blush crimson or pale pure white at this situation. He remembers very well her kick, and this situation warrants an ass kicking to be dealt out even if it's an accident (him waking up at this moment, she deciding to conveniently forget about him in her room).

Deciding to get the inevitable over with, Naruto closes his eyes, sighs, swings his legs off the bed, sighs again, then look up with serious eyes that morph into one who expects death as he gives a small wave. "Hey…"

"…Is this the part where I scream 'hentai' and kick your ass?" The girl asks with an equally serious face, one hand clutching the towel to her chest, the other planted on her shapely hip. The way her still damp hair falls off and frames her face makes her a work of art… one that can give you nightmares if looked at the wrong way. Naruto knows this very well, especially that silent rage that burns within her eyes. You really don't travel with someone like Ero-sannin for two and a half years and not recognize the look of a woman pissed as hell. Of course, being a male, he will appreciate the sight 'offered' to him by her, but he really believed that unless given willingly, it is never worth it.

So while his resolve is still strong, Naruto puts on a brave smile and says, "Yeah… this is the part where you scream and kick my ass."

Uzumaki Naruto expects many things to happen at this very precise moment. One of them is an ear piercing scream that can wake the dead and bring his doom about him. The other is a beating that will make lesser man faint and war hardened soldier flinch at the cruelty. Hell, he is even expecting to see some form of light at the end of some dark tunnel only to wake up at some hospital, bandaged and banged up. What he didn't expect is the foot that connects with his head with such force that if his neck didn't turn with its force, it'd snap.

Of course, it just confirms that she has one hell of a kick.

The kick did manage to force him back onto the bed with a grunt. Knowing that resistance is futile and that running only makes it worse, Naruto closes his eyes to wait for the pain to start raining down. If the girl can deal out justice herself, then he is not going to stop her. He's had enough run-ins with half naked kunoichi to know that running only make matters worse. While this girl can't qualify as a kunoichi (he thinks, because she sure hits like one), he isn't about to run.

He isn't about to run when a weight settles on his stomach.

He isn't about to run when tiny fists take hold of his shirt.

He isn't about to run when a shadow falls over his still closed eyes.

He isn't about to run when arms surrounds his neck in a hug.

He isn't about to… Huh?

"Well, it's good to see you awake. Since the punishment is dealt out, I think we can put that behind us, ne?" Her voice that was so serious before turned soothing as it caresses his ear. Naruto pops his eyes open to be greeted by a curtain of crimson tresses falling over one creamy shoulder (and the orange bra strap, but he ignores that…). The blonde shinobi isn't sure how to react at all to this situation. Usually he either has escaped with his master (may his soul rest in… ah, screw it, let him burn in hell before drowning in a sea of women) or is in the hospital beaten and bruised. This is an entirely new experience… "Besides, I'm happy to finally get to meet you…"

"Huh?"

"Onii-chan? Are you awake? What is… oh my…" Hearing this, Naruto bolts up, taking the red head with him as he stares, eyes wider than before as he looks at Alice as she blinks back. Her face however transform from surprise to a blank look before morphing into an exceedingly sweet smile that radiates death… or what looks like death anyway. "Onii-chan, if you were busy you could have just said so."

Naruto wonders just what the girl is talking about when he finally takes in the pose he and the redhead are in: his hands a few centimeters from touching her with her being almost naked on top of him, with their hips rather close to each other and her arms around his neck in an embrace. Well, that explains everything. "W-wait Alice, this isn't what it looks like!" Naruto quickly says, waving one hand wildly while the other ends up holding the redhead so she doesn't fall off… Wait no! That just make it worst! Looking at his other hand, Naruto's face grimaces as he tries to decide what to do with it. It would make a rather comical sight, and still is to the redhead, if his life probably doesn't depend on it.

"Oh, no worry onii-chan. You are a man after all, so you should do as you please." Alice says as sweetly as she did the last time, somehow making Naruto cringe as she brings a hand to her mouth to cover it. A strange 'ufufufufu' emitting from behind her hand as a dark aura surrounds her while she says, "So please, don't mind me. I'm just a naïve little girl that stumbled upon something that she shouldn't see. I wonder what Penelope-nee-sama would say when I report this to her."

Naruto had long since begun trembling when Alice said naïve. If he doesn't get this misunderstanding out of the way soon…

Mental Image…

"Na~ru~to~~~!" Penelope says as she looms over Naruto, a whip in her hand and a sinister smile on her face. There is only murder within her eyes, and there is no hiding from her. He is doomed, doomed to die as she raises her hand and brings down his death!

Mental image break down: Error! Error! Too much horror!

"N-NO WAIT! THIS REALLY ISN'T WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!" Naruto yells in fright as he tries to stand up, only to fall back down again with a yelp from the red head who continues to cling to him, first in surprise, but now in fright of being drop. "Um… this is… err… L-let me explain this misunderstanding."

"Explain what onii-chan? I perfectly understand… there is no misunderstanding." Alice says, her aura oozing irritation and annoyance and… jealousy? "Now… don't let me disturb your fun. Continue what you were doing. I'll be… nearby." The girl says, still smiling sweetly as she gently closes the door to the room, leaving a very terrified Naruto who is beginning to sweat coldly.

This is not his day…

"Ara, this is quite troublesome." The red head says as she stands up, still only dressed in bra and panties as she casually walks to the closet and pulls on a white sleeveless shirt and a black, knee length skirt. On the front of her shirt, written in crude letters are the words "Who's your mommy." Turning around, the girl raises an eyebrow at him and says, "Well, what are you waiting for? Come on, let's go save your ass."

"That… THAT'S RIGHT! YOU'RE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY!" Naruto shouts, his panic induced mind not even registering what is spilling forth. While he doesn't fear Alice per say, he really does hold genuine fear for Penelope. He has first hand experience how she earned the name "Iron Maiden" when he lived in her mansion (and until she died, it will always be HER mansion). "THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!"

BONK!

"Quiet down. No need to panic. I swear you're just like Minato… Wait, no, I should expect that already." The girl says with annoyance as she rubs her fist that has sent Naruto into the ground. The young man has a surprisingly hard skull. Naruto stares up at her in confusion because it probably has to do with this Minato person again. There is a connection between them, and he's not gonna rest until he finds out what other than the similarity they share. Now this makes him recall what she said to him though…

Why would she want to meet him? In fact, how does she even know him?

XXXXXXXXXX

"That is not peace… it is but a mad man's illusion and the construct of stupidity… Peace cannot be achieved this way." He has said, his blue eyes morphing into yellow ones with horizontal pupils as orange marking surrounds his eyes. With a snort, Uzumaki Naruto lowers into a stance and asks, "What do you know of peace, when all you did was cause pain and suffering?"

Ah… Why is this one the first memory he sees after waking up…? There really is no answer to this question. Still, pushing it aside for the moment, he focuses on one fact that is… still hard to believe.

As he moves a hand to his eyes, he feels bandages surrounding them. Lightly pressing down, he feels what he wants, or rather, what is lacking there. The usual resistance the eyes offer when pressed against gently is not there.

…So his eyes are really gone… No, his brother's eyes are gone. His were lost a long, long time ago.

When that mad man told him he is taking his eyes, he never took it seriously. But now the promise is proven true. His brother's eyes are gone. The Eternal Sharingans are lost to him, and are instead in the hand of a man who he considers even madder than him; a man that calls himself Hojo.

Putting it aside lest he drives himself into a rage; he spreads out his senses, trying to come about just why he's still alive. He remember somehow escaping through a cold… something, ended up in a room that smells of old papers, and then hearing a scream just after the sound of a door opening. Smelling some sort of herbal mixture coming from somewhere, he decides that it is obvious whoever screamed last time he was conscious took pity on him and healed him… or as much as they can anyway. That broken bone in his arm is… oh wait that is healed. They did a really nice job with this…

Either he is really sleepy, or really disorientated to have missed that. He leans toward the latter. Shinobi don't do sleepy.

Pushing himself into a sitting position, he groans a little at the way his muscles protest, telling him that it's probably a while since they moved, so he was probably out for at least five days. Holding his head a little, he can feel the way the scars marked his face, and he wonders how the people react to the way the left side of his face is disfigured. He wears that mask for a reason other than just to hide his identify.

The sound of the door opening alerts him to someone entering the room he is in. Turning his head just a little, he wonders if he was captured before remembering that it's unlikely, seeing the Kyuubi not only sucked Uzumaki into a portal, it took him with them too except he ended up somewhere else instead. Still, now to get some idea of where he is. "Excuse me… do you mind telling me where I am?"

"…Oh just wonderful. I don't understand him, and he probably doesn't understand me either. For some reason I feel like this is déjà vu… Ugh, where's Alice when you need her. She knows what to do with this… I think." A voice that definitely belongs to a female says, full of irritation as the sound of cloth ruffling can be heard. When something touches him, he flinches away in reflex, his hands already moving towards weapons that weren't there only to realize that it's a hand, and he can now smell new herbal mixtures. How she even gets close to him without making sound on the floor is beyond him. "Hold still. I need to change your bandages."

Feeling something coming undone, he has to wonder just how he missed those too. He must have been really disorientated then, because shinobi just don't do sleepy.

As he feels the bandages pull at dried blood and leaving his irritated skin exposed, he resists the urge to scratch because he'd likely aggravate whatever wound is under it. Ugh, he hates this feeling. That's why he even got that space-time jutsu in the first place. He wonders if his brother is snickering at him somewhere, saying that his big, bad brother is afraid of some pain. He does not; he just hates that irritating feeling of skin healing. (2)

The woman who is changing his bandages lets out a sigh as she applies fresh ointments, the herbal mixture assaulting his senses yet soothing at the same time. He lets out a grunt as her fingers dance across his flesh, and he wonders at the last time he even felt a woman's touch. "I will admit I am curious about your situation, but I will not pry. You will tell me when you're all healed up."

Hmm, what is she saying? It's strange that he's listening to another language because he certainly doesn't have that problem with Hojo. The Sharingans probably isn't the issue, because while they are powerful, he knows their weakness all too well. How else do you think he gets to where he is? "You could at least tell me your name right?"

Again, he does not understand… "Oh, maybe I should of go first? You may call me Penelope. I'm the owner of this mansion that you are currently staying in."

Ah, that sounds like a name; Penelope is it? The other are just mumble jumbos, but Penelope is a name. A name he can do, but what should he introduce himself as? While he doubts anyone knows who he really is, it never hurts to be extra cautious now does it? Hmm, yes, it never hurts…

"I'm Tobi… And Tobi is a good boy." (3)

XXXXXXXXXX

"…Are you talking to me now?" Naruto asks, doing his best attempt at the puppy dog eyes at Alice, who continues to smile sweetly and gives him the cold shoulder treatment. Seeing that it isn't working at all, he instead aims his puppy dog eyes to the red head that has introduced herself as Kushina during the act of leading him toward the kitchen, where a smiling Alice is instructing Larxene and Suigintou on how to prepare dinner. When asked, Kushina just said that her parents are out of town and Alice volunteered. When asked why Larxene and Suigintou are helping, they just shrug and give him this look…

You know a look that either says you screwed up or says you tell me. So far, Naruto believes very well that it's the latter of 'you tell me' aimed at him.

Suffice to say, he is not having any success in mending his relationship with Alice… though he can't say for sure if it's even strained in the first place. In fact… why is Alice so angry in the first place? Nothing happened… honestly.

Still, sighing in dejection, Naruto plops himself on a chair at the dinner table, where an amused Kushina sits munching on a piece of cracker. Seeing this, Naruto sighs again before slamming his head into the wooden surface of the table, wondering just what he has to do in order to pacify Alice while at the same time save himself from future… let's call them 'sessions' with Penelope. The whip may be his imagination, but the woman is the Iron Maiden, and he has unfortunately encountered it and lived to tell the tale… which shall remain untold because just thinking about it sends him into a horror induced spasm (and it requires Kushina chopping him in the head with the knife edge of her hand to get him back).

Thanking her for it, Naruto sets himself into a non-assuming pose, but doing it in such a way that he keeps his eyes upon the red head that not only kicked him, but gave him a show not too long ago. She strikes at something within him that he cannot place or reach. There is just something about her that calls out to his mind, as if there is something about her that makes him remember certain things such as how he doesn't have parents… It is a weird thing really.

"Why do you want to meet me? Actually, how do you even know me?" Naruto asks his voice low so that it only reaches Kushina over the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. The red head turns so one emerald eye comes to rest on him as he slumps back against his chair. "I mean, as far as I know, this is the first time we've met…"

Kushina continues to munch on her cookie, her expression as blank as Naruto's, both seemingly sizing the other up. It would appear to be a staring contest, but for the experts on human body language such as the Hyuuga, it isn't so much as a staring contest, but rather one man asking for some form of answer from someone that knows what he seeks. It isn't anything dramatic, and it isn't anything that will go down in history as some great event or some life-changing discovery.

It is simply the need for Uzumaki Naruto to understand.

With a resolute crunch, Kushina pops the rest of her cookie into her mouth and crushes it into millions of pieces and mush before swallowing it. During it, her expression has morph from blank to a smile that Naruto has seen plenty of in his years as a shinobi. It's the smile of someone who knows something sad, but accepted it for they know that it is what defines them. Propping her chin on a hand while her elbow rests on the table, Kushina's smile widens into a small grin as her eyes narrow softly and she says, "Well… this is something that's really complicated. I personally would prefer if Minato-kun was here to help me explain it. He understands exactly what is happening. Besides, I think he wants to see you too. Just try and refrain from kicking his ass okay?" The last part comes out as a joke, accompanying a beautiful smile that fits Naruto's imagination of what a mother's smile looks like. He'd seen it often times during his academy days when mothers would praise their children with that same beautiful smile, and it is one of his many envies that he hid deep inside him over the years. "Either way, why don't you tell me a little about yourself?"

Naruto blinks. "A little about myself…?"

"Yeah, you know, likes, dislikes, any dreams. Stuff like that." Kushina says her smile on her face the whole time and eyes, having fully turned her head to regard him now, shine with light of happiness.

Naruto can't find himself rejecting a request coming from that expression, shinobi rules about not revealing himself be damned. Besides, he feels compelled to do as she asks. It's different from Alice's own form of control in that instead of doing it before he realized what he's doing, this is but a suggestion; a little nudge in him that tells him to answer honestly. Oddly enough, he does not find it invasive as opposed to Kyuubi's own persuasion. He just feels the need to do so.

"A little about myself…" Naruto repeats, this time as a statement as he thinks about what to tell her. This is the first time in a while that anyone even asked him to tell them about himself. Alice never did, simply accepting the fact that he is Naruto, and who Naruto is doesn't really concern her (or so she makes it appear). The last time he really sat down and talked about himself was in a little bar on the border of Iwa and Kumo during his training with Jiraiya. It was to a waitress if he remembered correctly. Someone who simply offered to buy him a drink for some reason and sat with him as he went on and on about his life while neglecting any information that can be used about his home. Strangely enough, she never once judged him; only nodding when appropriate and asking some questions that seemingly always tapped into his own emotional view and moral values. The influence of alcohol isn't great, seeing that his metabolism took care of most of it, leaving only enough to make him feel a slight buzz as opposed to the numbness most seem to aim for, though it is still enough to loosen his tongue about himself.

It was about a day after his first kill…

He never did find out what happened to that waitress when news of the town being ransacked by bandits reach Konoha.

"Well, I'm Uzumaki Naruto. I'm… 18 years old I believe, because I haven't been keeping track of my birthday, what with all the stuff I'm doing." Naruto starts off, adding a little chuckle as he remembered that he really doesn't know if he is 17 or 18 at the moment. Those world hops are not good for his time management. "My likes are ramen and to train so that I keep in a fit condition. I also like to learn about new things. My dislikes… well, I can't say I dislike anything. I'm a very accepting person I suppose." Yeah right, Naruto mentally adds, thinking back to all the bullshit he gave to his friends when they start to die off one by one. It changed to survivor's guilt as Ino once said, and he has never come to terms with what others said about it not being his fault. He holds the Kyuubi right? The Akatsuki wants the Kyuubi right? So what isn't his fault?

"Hmm, how about your hobbies, do you have any?" Kushina questions, her smile still on her face, whether ignoring the slight shift of his tone or being oblivious to it, Naruto doesn't know.

"I like pranks. I like to prank people, partially because I love to see how different people react to different pranks." Naruto says, recalling all the various reactions to his many pranks over the years. Civilians often act out with hostility or annoyance at his prank, while the shinobi population mostly take it as a lesson, knowing that if they can be pranked by an academy student, then they can be killed by a ninja. Sandaime usually scolded him before praising him for coming up with some brilliant ways of executing them. Iruka yelled at him before making him clean it all, though it somehow always ended in him being treated to ramen. "There are times when my pranks caused me some nasty problems, but nothing that wasn't fixed by the end of the day." He remembered how one prank accidentally broke the arm of a little girl. He rushed her to the hospital and even paid for her treatment despite his meager allowance. It earned him the gratitude of a worried mother and the approved glance of a Jounin father. There was that time when he and the Konohamaru Corps accidentally set the hot spring on fire, though it did smoke out Jiraiya before it was put out by a Suiton jutsu.

The strangest one would probably be that one when he played a prank on the visiting ambassadors to try and distract himself from his own guilt. It ended with him pranking the Mizukage accidentally, and culminated with him tied to the bed and naked save for a pair of boxer screaming his lungs out as she stared at him with a hungry look. How he got out of that without getting ravaged remained a mystery to everyone, even him. That woman is a little too desperate for her own good.

Though he will admit that she is extremely beautiful, and if Jiraiya was alive, he'd beat the shit out of him for not letting her do as she pleased.

It was also how Konoha gained a very favorable alliance with Mist, but the blonde shinobi is still convinced that she did it just so she had a reason to come more often to Konoha to harass him.

"It's actually good training, pranking I mean." Naruto said as he gains a far-away look while a small smile tugged at his lips. "You'd be surprised how many tricks you can pick up just by learning how to set up a good prank without being caught."

"That's interesting." Kushina replies as her own smile widens a little and her eyes shine brighter. Naruto blinks at that as she leans towards him and says, "You know, that's a nice smile. You have a really beautiful smile."

That is one way to put it…

"Ku-Chan?" A voice drifts in from the living room, and Naruto blinks as Kushina perks up before jumping out of the chair and dashing into the living room with speed that would make ANBU jealous. The sound of two bodies colliding, falling onto the ground and then moaning clues Naruto into just what Kushina and the new arrival is doing. Rolling his eyes while casually tossing a "I'll check it out" to the other three in the kitchen (a curious Alice who has forgotten to be angry, an amused Suigintou who steals a piece of food, and an aloof Larxene that continues to watch over the cooking), Naruto ventures into the living room to break the make out session off when he froze in his track.

He has a head of blonde hair in a strikingly similar style. A build that is eerily similar to his, only lankier and taller as oppose to his stockier build. When the new arrival opens his eyes, blue eyes a shade slightly darker than his shine in happiness before they focus on him and then widens in shock.

Uzumaki Naruto knows who this is, and the new arrival knows who he is too.

How can they not? Father and son never forget each other.

"Well shit… this is a surprise." Namikaze Minato says with a blink, his eyes still widen in surprise while his arms are still looped around Kushina's waist. The red head frowns at the crude language before turning to Naruto, opening her mouth to say something only to close it with an audible click. Minato explains her reaction with, "Now, now… is there really a need for that maniac grin on your face…? So um… could you please not grin like that? It's creepy…"

Naruto just nods, his face nearly splitting in half by the crazed grin on his face. His eyes shine with an unholy zeal in them while his hands twitch in anticipation. He is vaguely aware of the dark chuckles forming in his throat, and he wonders at the strange desire to do something in his chest. The Kyuubi is stirring within him either from anger or sharing some of his twisted excitement, Naruto isn't sure. What he is sure of is this: he isn't angry. He isn't angry, no, far from angry. In fact, he is ecstatic because here is someone who he admired, adored, and hated at the same time. Here is the person who is partially responsible for all the crap that happened in his life, and he promised himself that he would kick the ass of this 'Minato' person. So when it turns out that this 'Minato' happens to be Namikaze Minato, the Yondaime of Konoha…

Some explanation is in order here.

"Onii-chan? What is taking so… on dear, this could be trouble. Larxene-san, Suigintou-san, we might have a situation out here…"

But first, Naruto believes he has an ass kicking to give out…

XXXXXXXXXX

Author's Corner:

Eh… I have to say, this probably isn't my best work. Not the worst I can assure you, because my worst is horrible, but it certainly is not the best I can do with it. However, it is the BEST I can do with THIS chapter. For some reason, it just doesn't flow as smoothly as some of the others. Maybe it's because I lack experience when it comes to certain things, but other than that, I cannot for the life of me see what I can do to make it any better than it already is. Maybe I'm trying to hard? Either way, if it's still to your liking, then we have no problem. If not, said so in your review and WHY so I can try and fix it in the upcoming chapters. I make no guarantee that something like this won't appear again.

As for Madara's appearance… let's just say it's crucial for what I have in mind. He will play a role in the story, but surprise of surprise, he won't be a villain. Nope, not in this one he won't.

Next up, for those who suspected or actually guessed the place where Naruto and Co landed in, congratulation to you. For those who didn't, it is Destiny Island. I actually right out said it in the beginning of chapter 13. For those that caught it, pat yourself on the back and for the rest who didn't, just laugh until you are silly for missing it. It is a worthy mistake to be laughed at because I personally find it funny. I would probably make the same mistake too.

Well, here are some things I feel I should explain:

1) If you think of Powerpuff Girl Him, I don't blame you. But rest assure, it isn't haha!

2) Healing itches and it's annoying because you scratch it unless you want to possibly make your injury worst. Why do you think people hated casts so much? It's because (according to those I knew that broke their bones because I never did) their broken parts itches, but they can't scratch it. Ugh!

3) There you have it, the mysterious person who dropped in, bleeding and practically dying at Penelope's feet. For those that at least suspects it, give yourself a big round of applause. As for why he's so calm? He is disorientated (because shinobi don't do sleepy). So expect Uchiha Emo Syndrome eventually.

Next chapter I'll probably just write. No thinking, no plotting, no scheming, just write while taking care to not make something happen that derails it.

So until then, enjoys.

APH, SIGNING OFF!