Title: Uzumaki Chronicles: The Swirling Tides
Author: AkashXD
Rating: Mature

Author's Notes:

The wait wasn't that long, but in case some of you are thinking 'what the hell was going on again?', here is a list of some characters and a story summary for your convenience!

Naruto Uzumaki: Age; 18 physically, 12 by birth | Height; 5'10" | Main Character / Blond

Kasumi Uzumaki: Age; 16 physically, 12 by birth | Height; 5'4" | Naruto's Twin Sister / Redhead

Natsumi Uzumaki: Age; 15 physically, 14 by birth | Height; 5'3" | Naruto's Elder Sister / Blonde

Kushina Uzumaki: Age; 19 physically, 30 by birth | Height; 5'5" | Naruto's Mother / Redhead

Kyūbi no Yōko: Age; 19 physically, Unknown by birth | Height; 5'6" | Naruto's Demoness / Redhead

Takane Kurama: Age; 18 | Height; 5'2" | OC Kurama Clan [Branch Family] / Brunette

Super-duper brief summary from chapter one through twenty five: [1200 words]

Sharingan can't control the Kyūbi, so Madara didn't use her in his fight against Hashirama. Neither Mito nor Kushina become the Kyūbi jinchūriki. On October tenth Kyūbi ended up attacking Konoha to relieve stress after being enraged by Madara's escape from her, and ended up getting her yōki sealed in Naruto's twin sister Kasumi and her soul in Naruto by Minato, who died in the process.

Five years later Kyūbi contacts Naruto for the first time and strikes a deal with him, and by the end of his sixth year he's able to obtain the sharingan and activate his rinnegan, fusing them together to form the Yogengan (Eye of the Prophecy). He is then trained by Kushina in basic ninjutsu and taijutsu for two years along with his sister, after which he leaves on a training journey.

During his four year long training trip, he rescued Natsumi (his long lost elder sister), found another Uzumaki survivor who joined Kushina and Kasumi in Konoha, and met the Ame trio - Nagato, Yahiko and Konan. They became quick friends since Naruto saved Konan from Hanzō using the right moment of distraction, and then later they found out Nagato and Naruto were cousins.

Four years later he came back to meet his mother and sisters, getting together with Kasumi almost right away. He's easily Kage-level by this time. Together they took the graduation exams, breaking all previous records by a large margin, and Kushina managed to get them into team eleven with herself as their sensei.

Tobi contacts the Ame trio around this time and takes over the Akatsuki. Secretly Konan informs Naruto about this and tells them what they know about Tobi's plans. The Uzumaki discuss how to deal with the situation among themselves and conclude that they should collect as many suitable clans and powerful shinobi as allies as possible and revive Uzushiogakure no Sato.

Kushina managed to acquire some info on Orochimaru's plan to invade Konoha, so they plan to use it to their advantage in escaping Konoha during the invasion, also causing a lot of damage while at it.

To make sure Orochimaru doesn't permanently harm any of them with his cursed seal, they decide to study it first just in case, kidnapping Anko as a way to acquire the seal. Once done with understanding and removing the seal, they give Anko the offer to join them (or die), she accepts but they still decide to block her memory until the invasion.

They convinced the Kurama clan to join them and abandon Konoha with Takane's help, who is also the most talented genjutsu user of the Kurama clan. They then unsealed Yakumo's power and tamed it with a fūinjutsu that also enabled them to keep that power from being used on one of their own, just in case.

Meanwhile, Mikoto figures out Kushina's intentions to leave the village and decides to join them and also try to find Itachi to get some answers.

Team seven is given the mission to Nami no Kuni, where Kakashi gets injured and decides to call for backup. Naruto's team is sent as backup there so that Sarutobi could assassinate Kushina out of Konoha, since recently she's been becoming too much of a risk and showing subtle signs of rebellion. He handpicks a team for the job consisting of a sensor, a raiton expert, Takane as the genjutsu expert, and an unknown shinobi (not an OC).

Team eleven moves to Nami no Kuni as ordered, but decides to use this opportunity to their advantage. They can't just leave since they also need to move Kurama clan out of the village and cause a lot of destruction in Konoha, which will only be possible during the invasion.

Once they arrive in Nami no Kuni they move in to Tazuna's house and get themselves up to date with the situation. Natsumi pretends to heal Kakashi and Sakura but doesn't actually do anything. The Uzumaki girls are revealed to have been working on two big fūinjutsu projects — one for the barrier outside Uzushiogakure when it is reestablished and one to make giving birth less fatal for Uzumaki females.

Naruto rescues a highly skilled blacksmith and his granddaughter in Nami no Kuni from thugs, and the old man agrees to pay off his debt by working for Naruto. He also accepts Naruto's request write down his techniques and tips in scrolls so he could learn them later. Naruto then settles them in the newly created safe house in Nami no Kuni, which is self-sufficient for the most part.

Meanwhile, Rin's infiltration of Konoha is discovered by Nina, who manages to almost capture her, but the Inuzuka girl escapes at the last moment thanks to a fail-safe by Arashi. After a brief exchange, she is again set off to go find Kushina and continue her previous mission.

Around this time in Nami no Kuni, Kakashi and Sakura regain consciousness, and somewhat catch up with the situation. Kakashi is adamant about helping team eleven with his own genin, even though he's in no condition to use chakra at this time. Kushina refuses but he still decides to train his team to prepare them better.

Gatō puts out a mission for high level missing-nin to take care of the threat of reinforcements from Konoha, and Kīrotsuchi (Tsuchikage's granddaughter, OC), Kagura (an ex-Konoha ANBU, game character) and Aoi Rokushō (anime character) accept the mission. Takane's team detects the new arrivals in the area but decides not to interfere for the time being.

Kushina then has her children try to locate Gatō's mansion, which Naruto manages with ease by using his mind reading abilities on a few thugs. Once they get there, they proceed to kill all the thugs and bodyguards stationed there, vastly increasing the number of souls in Naruto's Ryūjin.

After scouring the mansion out for useful things, they proceed to write down Gatō's will, which they have him sign forcefully when he comes home, after which he's left to Kushina's wrath until his life bleeds out. Naruto collects all the items he thought could be useful in the near future, and then Kasumi uses a large jikūkan fūinjutsu to seal the entire mansion into a scroll, to be used later if needed.

Kakashi teaches team seven tree climbing by having Sakura try it. She gets it after a few tries even without a demonstration. Once Ami and Sasuke are able to do the same, Kakashi gives Sasuke a fire jutsu scroll, which pisses Ami off so she decides to go off and train her own.

Her desperation to learn something to better defend herself works in Naruto's favor, who convinced Ami to have a seal put on her to ensure her loyalty to him before he teaches her anything. Even though he made it clear that he will never teach her any personal or family techniques, she accepts the general training more than gladly. The fūinjutsu will enslave her completely if she ever thinks about betraying Naruto.

Once this is done, Naruto and Ami head back to Tazuna's house, where their arrival under certain conditions leads Kasumi and others to believe that they had sex — which wasn't true — and Kasumi huffs and walks upstairs. At the same time, Kakashi and the rest of team seven walks into the house. He is especially proud of Naruto for being so perverted, even though they don't talk much, that's one thing he can respect.

Chapter 26: Crux

Tazuna's House | Nami no Kuni

Tsunami hummed a merry tune to herself as she set the plates around the table for dinner. She was in high spirits thanks to the presence of so many ninja in her house, and Naruto's personal help. She hoped that soon her country will be a happy place once more, at least then Kaiza's soul can rest in peace.

"Why are you people acting like this is a game?! You're all going to die! Gatō will kill you all!"

Naruto blinked as he tried to look for the source of the squeaky voice. "Was it just me, or did something speak?"

Natsumi giggled, assuming that her brother wasn't being sarcastic and just couldn't see the small boy from the opposite side of the table. "It's Tsunami-chan's son on the other side of the table. He's kinda short so you can't see him."

Meanwhile Tsunami was trying to reprimand Inari without coming off as too harsh, and at the same time convincing Kasumi to stay downstairs for dinner and stop pouting in jealousy over the girl on Naruto's lap. After a while she'd had enough. "STOP! On the chairs, NOW."

Inari was in his chair faster than a shunshin, and Kasumi was left blinking in shock at the blue haired woman's apparent courage to order her around.

"You don't have any right to..."

"Kasumi... Chair, now."

Kasumi duplicated Inari's action even faster, having already reached her destination before Kushina was halfway through saying her name.

The redhead gave her daughter a sweet smile. "Good girl. And Ami? My son is not a chair." She looked rather annoyed at how doe eyed and lovey dovey the Ami was being with Naruto. She really hoped her son knew what he was doing.

The dark haired girl sitting on the blond's lap had the decency to blush and hurriedly move to a nearby chair.

Kakashi chuckled at the group, relieved that for once the other team wasn't behaving like they were on a mission. They were, but that didn't mean they had to be so serious all the time. Truth be told, the Hatake himself had been like that before his teammate had been killed all those years ago. But now he knew that wasn't how it was supposed to be like. "I was wondering... Have you met Jiraiya-sama, Naruto?"

The blond shrugged at the silver haired jōnin's question, but didn't see any harm in replying. "Caught him peeping on my sisters, that's the only time I met him."

Kakashi's eyes opened wide in shock. "How impressive." 'To be able to influence someone this much in just one meeting... Jiraiya-sama's perversion is more infectious than I thought! But then again, I'd expect nothing less of a legend like him...'

Naruto suppressed the sinister chuckle that almost got out of his throat. "Impressive indeed, I'm still shocked he survived."

Kushina sent her son a subtle look, hoping he wouldn't give out any sensitive information. While the other jōnin was relaxed and laid back at the moment, he wouldn't fail to catch any facts Naruto might let slip unintentionally if he talked too much.

To Kushina's relief, her son didn't speak any further on the matter, and Kakashi just chuckled thinking the toad sage had been caught peeping and was beaten till he was a twitching mess.

Tsunami then proceeded to serve the dinner for everyone, happily taking in their pleasantly surprised reactions. While the food on their first day had looked like some mutated monstrosity, this time it looked completely normal. That was quite an accomplishment considering the ingredients hadn't been changed at all.

"Wow Tsunami-san, how did you make this? It's completely different from what you made yesterday, it looks good, and probably tastes better."

The bluenette blushed at the praise but gave him a nod of acknowledgment. "If you're interested you can come to the kitchen and I'll show you."

The grin from the blond had Tsunami giggling as it reminded her of an eager child.



Naruto nodded his head in approval. "I see... so the trick lies in making sure it's dead before serving."

He grinned at the woman. "Your management skills are exceptional. To be able to do all this with such limited resources is no small feat."

Tsunami looked away, embarrassed at the continuous praise. "Stop already, I get it you liked the food, but it's nothing that special..."

Naruto chuckled as he shook his head in amusement. "No, it is. Actually, if you're willing to give it a try, I might give you something bigger to manage. As a bonus, it'll help your family's situation greatly."

The blue haired woman frowned, having no idea what he was talking about. "What do you mean something bigger? I don't understand..."

Naruto tapped a finger against his chin as he thought of the best way to put the offer forward. It wouldn't do to reveal what they had actually done, she didn't need to know that yet. "Hm... well, you may not know this, but my family is quite rich. Unfortunately, we have too many things to focus on to be able to really pay attention to business, so most of that money lays dormant."

Tsunami nodded mutely, wondering where he was going with this.

"So to put it simply, let's just say if we were to give you the management of a large company here, will you be willing to manage it with full capabilities?"

"W-w-wait! I think you don't understand, I'm just a housewife! I don't have any skills in business management!"

Naruto shook his head as he grabbed her shoulders and stared into her eyes. "Tsunami... I've been observing you from time to time, and I'm satisfied with what I've seen so far. You're someone willing to work against all odds, you supported your father even though you knew he probably never stood a chance against Gatō. You're someone willing to compromise... I was more than a little forward with you, and yet you didn't protest for the sake of your father and your country. You're someone who can make something great out of negligible resources... just look at what I gave you, and what you made from it. Natsumi was eating your food happily, and let me tell you that girl has always been treated like a princess, so that says something!"

It was true to an extent, while Natsumi hadn't been loved prior to meeting her family, she had received the best possible diet for the sake of enduring that her bloodline developed as expected. And once Kushina got her daughter back... needless to say she'd been spoilt silly.

"While that would have been enough for me, you're also the person managing this household's finances, right?"

Tsunami just continued to stare at him in shock as she nodded dumbly.

Naruto nodded in satisfaction. "I've seen how people here are almost destitute. For you to be able to keep your family in such a good condition despite the circumstances is nothing short of impressive."

The bluenette bit her lip. "T-that's not something you should be giving me credit for, Tou-san is the one who earned that money, I just made sure he didn't spend it all on drinking and that we had enough saved up for an emergency."

Naruto smiled. "See, that just shows your forethought."

Tsunami looked away uncomfortably. "I still don't think I can manage any company properly. And not to mention that no business can prosper as long as Gatō is here."

The blond waved his hand, dismissing the threat level of the pudgy businessman so casually that the woman couldn't help but gape. "Don't worry about that, it's something that will be dealt with. What I want you to do right now is to seriously think this over. Your father isn't getting any younger, and then there is your son, who needs to be looked after for quite a while yet."

Gatō would have been extremely dangerous had he know that it was Kushina he was dealing with, a kunoichi so powerful that she could go toe to toe with the Yondaime Hokage before his death. In that case he would have taken full advantage of his more than decent contacts, and if Naruto's calculations were accurate... He would have informed the Raikage of it.

Even Naruto wasn't sure how his mother would fare against the fearsome combo of the Raikage and Killer Bee. Both of them were high S-rank, and from what he'd heard they worked together like real brothers. Kushina would be hard pressed against such a duo under normal circumstances, but since lightning was her weakness and both of them were high level lightning users...

They were lucky it hadn't gone that way, but even if it had, Kushina was counting on Naruto and Kasumi to protect their sister and help her gain an edge in the fight as well. It was an undesirable situation though since Kasumi wouldn't fare well against lightning either, the fight had a good fifty percent chance of resulting in their defeat.

Tsunami winced. "Okay, I'll think about it. Let's go back now, or the others will start wondering why we're taking so long."



Kushina rolled her eyes in exasperation. While Kasumi's regeneration was impressive, it wasn't something that could counter hunger. Too long without food would start affecting even her. "Why not? The food looks completely normal. Eat it already."

Kasumi pouted. "I told you I'm fine Kaa-chan."

Her mother huffed. "Do what you want then! Don't come crying to me later."

Tsunami giggled at their banter. She would never have believed it if anyone had told her that the redhead could be so cute before today, especially with the scary first impression Kushina had given her.

"You're all going to die!"

Kakashi swallowed another bite through his mask before nodding at Naruto, completely ignoring Inari's declaration of death. "So have you read Jiraiya-sama's books yet? 'Icha Icha: Violence' is especially good."

The blond shook his head, wondering why the jōnin seemed to act like this even though they hadn't ever talked to each other before this mission. "No I haven't, and I'm not interested, really. I'd rather do things myself than read about it."

Kakashi nodded. He had seen that the blond was quite forward with girls, and had bagged Tsunami and Ami quite quickly. And his twin sister obviously allowed him to touch her, but Kakashi was sure that's as far as he went. It may be tough keeping hands off such a beauty, but the Hatake knew Kushina wouldn't allow such a thing to go too far. If they wanted to improve their standing in the village, then doing something so scandalous was out of the question. (Even though incest among bloodline clans wasn't unheard of and quite acceptable, it was usually limited cousins or distant relatives).

Not to mention that if Kushina was a diplomatic thinker, she'd know that marrying Kasumi off to a noble would help them greatly. Maybe not with Naruto's stigma problem, but the Uzumaki family as a whole would surely be able to live better lives that way.

Kakashi himself was a great candidate for Kasumi, considering the probability of him becoming the Rokudaime was quite high. Jiraiya and Tsunade were the prime contestants for being the Godaime, but in his generation Kakashi was the only one aside from Asuma who had both the skills and intelligence for the position. Asuma was out of the equation thanks to his status as one of the twelve ninja guardians, so unless Itachi came back with a miraculously squeaky clean record, there was no one better than Kakashi for being the Rokudaime.

Unless Kushina decided to settle for some clan leader - which really wouldn't help her as much as a Hokage - Kasumi would have to marry either Jiraiya or Kakashi. Given Jiraiya's chances of becoming the Godaime weren't high thanks to his poor reputation of being an irresponsible pervert... Kakashi was quite certain that eventually Kasumi would have to marry him.

Kushina could, of course, give Natsumi's hand to Jiraiya as well and really aim high in social standings. At the very least she would gain the political power needed for mass adoption of orphans to kickstart her clan to prosperity once more.

Letting his eyes caress the young girl's delicate curves, Kakashi stifled a giggle as he imagined them with him. Natsumi was pleasant for his eyes too, but he personally preferred the red haired girl due to her brother complex. If she was willing to allow Naruto to touch her like that, he knew she'd be more than willing to act out on some of his more kinky fantasies.

He decided to keep his thoughts to himself though. They probably already knew but didn't say anything due to Kasumi's obvious brother complex. Shaking his head, Kakashi cleared his thoughts. It wasn't going to happen for a few years yet. As sexy as Kasumi may be, she was only twelve and he wanted his sensei's daughter to have a happy life. He knew he would indulge all her desires when she married him, that's the least he could do for his teacher's sake. "Touché, but doing things yourself isn't something we can always afford with our career, I'm sure you'll discover this when you advance in ranks."

Naruto didn't respond verbally, opting to simply shrug. He had no particular interest in talking with the jōnin. He knew they'd be enemies as soon as his family turned against Konoha. Still, Kakashi's attempts at getting familiar with him were somewhat amusing.

The jōnin seemed to pick up on his lack of interest and sighed in disappointment. 'Damn, I had a good conversation going with him too, I paused it for too long in my fantasies... Hm, his sisters are too close to him. If I manage to befriend him then they'll be nice to me too, and I know then Kushina-chan won't be able to be angry at me for too long. Then I can finally be a part of sensei's family... It may be years before Kushina-chan even considers arranging her daughter's marriage, I don't want to wait that long to befriend them.'


Naruto winced as he rubbed his ear. He had decided to ignore the brat's insults for Tsunami's sake, but it was becoming rather hard with all the constant yelling. "Ouch… that hurt my ears pipsqueak. Tone down the volume, will you?"

Inari snarled. 'Since the moment these strange people have come, they've been acting like Gatō is no big deal. After all we've gone through, after all this suffering… how dare they treat our problems as if they aren't even worth worrying about?!'

"You don't understand how hard our life has been!"

The room's temperature dropped as Inari realized that perhaps he went too far, but the boy was far too angry to apologize for it.

The words echoed in Naruto's mind. 'You don't understand how hard our life has been!'

A cold rage descended upon Naruto's mind. Images came to him, of his own past. Kasumi's desperate, tormented expression, haunted by guilt for a sin she did not commit. Kushina's exhausted face, weighed down by pressures she had no choice but to bear. The snarling visage of the villagers praying for his death, all for a burden left to him by his own father…

'I don't understand how hard life can be?'

The chair clattered behind him as the blond abruptly stood up, glaring at the startled boy in front of him with malice. "I'll tell you how hard life can be! Since the moment I was born, I've been treated like scourge of my village. You've had one man to worry about, and even he wasn't focused solely on you. I, on the other hand, had a whole village who despised my very existence. For years I've trained and trained and trained till my body gave up, and then some - just so they couldn't take away everything and everyone I love. The first attempt on my life took place when I was a three year old - I barely survived, and my sister has been mentally unstable since then…"

Kasumi pouted at being called mentally unstable. "I think I turned out okay…"

Naruto continued, ignoring Kasumi's protest. "I've been through things you can't even imagine, and I've never cried even once."

'What about that time when I was giving you genjutsu lessons? Remember?'

'HELLO? Angsty speech in progress here, can I finish it without being interrupted, Kyū-chan?'

'Uh, sure, be my guest...'

Others took his momentary pause as a sign of him thinking something over. Naruto continued, not bothering to go into further details since Kakashi was right there, and Inari wouldn't understand anyway. "I know about what happened in your country. And let me be frank, I am not impressed."

"Maa… That's enough Naruto, he's just a kid."

Kakashi sighed in defeat when said blond just glared at him. Knowing that further argument would ruin whatever progress he'd made with his sensei's son, the jōnin decided to back down for now.

Naruto leaned forward on his table, eyes narrowed dangerously as he glared at Inari. What he had found out from those thugs' memories had been pitiful, but not enough for him to go around preaching others. When actively provoked, however… even he had his limits. "One man, one man stood up against the guy who tried to push your whole country down, and when he needed his people the most, no one came forward! People like that don't even deserve being saved. I say his life has been wasted on this country!"

Inari slammed his hands on the table, tears trailing down his cheeks. "STOP IT!"

Naruto smiled almost kindly, but his eyes held no sympathy. "Ah, now you gain the courage? It's much easier standing up against people who you think won't hurt you, eh? News flash dear boy, I'll kill you faster than Gatō can pronounce his own name. Don't piss me off, but I suppose it's already too late."

Tsunami blinked in shock as she realized Naruto had already moved and was kneeling down on the table right in front of Inari. "N-Naruto-kun, please stop!"

"That's enough Naruto!" He may want to fix certain relationships, but innocents didn't need to be sacrificed just for that.

The blond gazed unaffected into Kakashi's eyes. "Hatake, you're not my sensei. I'm under no obligation to follow your orders in presence of my sensei."

Kakashi closed his single eye, knowing that while Kushina was there he couldn't order Naruto around even though he was a jōnin. "Kushina-chan, please tell your genin to…"

Kushina closed her eyes as she leaned back in her chair, she didn't bother wasting energy by correcting his improper suffix to her name. "Our mission is to protect Tazuna until his bridge is built, and even that mission is optional to complete. The main objective is to make sure your team returns to Konoha with minimal injuries. Right now, none of these guidelines are being breached."

Inari shivered in his seat as sweat ran down his face. Tazuna sat there in his chair, shocked. Tsunami was biting her lip and trying to control the tears threatening to spill from her eyes. Kakashi slumped back in his chair, defeated. There was nothing he could do. He had no authority over Naruto with Kushina right there, and he couldn't use chakra without permanently damaging his body. His genin just looked on in disbelief.

"But you know what Inari? You'll live. Not because you're not annoying, but because you have a mother like Tsunami and a grandfather like Tazuna. I can respect those two because unlike you and the rest of this pathetic country they're at least willing to stand up for their respective ideals without caring for the odds. That, and I don't like killing children. You're still young, perhaps you can change."

Tsunami sighed in relief. She knew that Naruto wouldn't have killed Inari, but it was still great to hear the confirmation from him. It didn't help Inari's shivering though, his entire world was shaken to its very core. Ever since Kaiza was killed by Gatō, Inari had convinced himself that by dying his father had betrayed the promise of always protecting him. But when Naruto had put raw harsh facts in front of him, he could now clearly see that it wasn't Kaiza who betrayed them… it was Inari and the people of Nami no Kuni who betrayed Kaiza.

"It was one thing to not be able to step up against Gatō while Kaiza was being executed. But to not even think about standing up against him after Kaiza's death for so many years, and worse, blaming the one person who did stand up for you and died for that reason? That's pathetic on a completely different level!"

Tsunami would normally have interfered him by now, but her anger at the blame put on Kaiza even though he did all he could and died kept her from stopping the blond. Inari did need a wakeup call.

Natsumi gave him a pleading look this time. "Naruto-kun…"

Naruto clicked his tongue and in a blink he was at the door. "Fine, I'll go and cool off. I'll come back tomorrow morning. But remember this Inari, Kaiza's life was a complete waste. Not because he died for you, but because you decided to spit on his entire life by letting Gatō oppress you and your people for so many years!

Even now, instead of helping your grandfather by emotionally supporting him, you spout off those words of discouragement and despair. Do you enjoy trampling on Kaiza's grave? If my father was even half the man that Kaiza was, I would have been proud of him..."

Well, that wasn't the complete truth. He didn't actually know Kaiza, so he couldn't be sure. Minato was a self-sacrificing man as well, but the problem with him was that it wasn't SELF sacrifice if you use a baby for it. It was child 'sacrifice', even though it wasn't really a sacrifice at all. The only saving grace the man had was the fact that he too, had died. The same could not be said for many other Kages, who had made dozens of child 'sacrifices' to make weapons for their villages. It was for this fact that Naruto wasn't too keen on moving from Konoha to Kiri, aside from the fact that they actually were a part of the forces that attacked Uzu, unlike Konoha that only allowed it to happen. But it gave him some relief to know that it would only be a temporary arrangement.

Without giving anyone a chance to form a reply, the blond walked out of the door and into the woods surrounding the area.

Kushina blew out an exasperated breath. It won't do to leave him alone when an ANBU squad with questionable intentions was somewhere out there. They won't risk stalking her all the time, but that didn't mean they could be completely relaxed while outside the temporary barriers set up around Tazuna's house. "Go after him Kasumi-chan."

The redhead gave her mother a nod as she followed her brother. He was walking at regular pace so it didn't take her more than a few moments to catch up with him.

She nudged him playfully. "I'm not unstable, you know."

Naruto rolled his eyes at his twin sister. "Come on now, just because you're unstable doesn't mean I love you any less."

The redhead blinked, and then a grin lit up her face. "Then it's okay."

"It's strange though…"

"What is?"

Naruto wrapped an arm around the girl's waist, pulling her close as they continued walking deeper into the woods. "Large masses of people… sometimes they can be so ferocious, and at other times so pathetic! Look at Konoha, the people there are so quick to spite anyone they don't like without a hint of fear. And then look at Nami… with just a hundred or so thugs and these thousands of people are left groveling."

Kasumi rested her head on the blond's shoulder as she closed her eyes, letting her brother guide her path. "I think they are brave against those they think can't harm them, and weak against those who stand a chance against them. That can change with the right manipulation and a few words though!"

Naruto chuckled at her theory. "You're right. In Konoha the civilians have never been threatened, they're always the first priority to protect in case of even a hint of an attack. They feel invincible, even against a demon container. But here their strongest man was killed right in front of them, exposing their vulnerability."

"Mhm... I don't really care, Onii-chan. Why did you even bother with that kid? Let them do what they want with themselves."

Naruto frowned. While he would have no problem with doing just that, certain factors needed him to go along with a particular plan to resurrect Uzushiogakure. He'd be needing a few allies like Nami no Kuni to sustain that village. Only then could they stand a chance of contending against Akatsuki, Madara, and perhaps even an invading hidden village along with various other threats. He would be happy to ignore everything like Kasumi, but he knew that would just get them killed eventually. As strong as they might be, they were not infallible.

"It's not that easy Kasumi. I have plans for this place, I hope you understand. I don't want a bunch of pathetic wimps living here. Even though Gatō is dead, I need these people to at least have some sort of spirit in them, or they'll be completely worthless." He sighed tiredly. "Furthermore, the fact remains that the new Uzushiogakure is going to be a large mass of people as well. The old Uzushio contained just our clan, they were like a family, so they didn't have to worry about something like this. If the new Uzushio turns out anything like this place or Konoha…"

His dōjutsu became visible as his chakra flared, black flames coated his hand, blazing yet not burning it. He clenched his fist, smothering them out. "I'll raze it to the ground with my own two hands, as soon as they fulfill their purpose."

The redhead grinned cheekily. "I'll help you Onii-chan. But still, what did you mean by me being unstable?"

Naruto looked at her oddly for a few moments before shaking his head. "You've changed since that day Kasumi… you used to be a bright, cheerful girl who always saw the glass half full instead of half empty. Afterwards, you simply didn't care for the glass at all, just me and Kaa-chan. And then I made perhaps the worst decision of my life…"

Kasumi frowned. "What do you mean Onii-chan? And everyone changes, it's called growing up."

The blond clicked his tongue. "I understand perfectly well what growing up is, and complete change of personality is not it. And by the worst decision of my life, I meant leaving you for four years. Before that, you still retained some part of what you used to be…"

He stopped walking and turned to the girl, trailing the back of his rough hand against her cheek. "Now I only see glimpses of that girl. Tell me, how desperate were you to see me for those four years I was away? You could hardly stay away from me before... I should have known staying away from you for years would ruin you… Moreover, when I came back, you cried for a while and then went back to a seemingly normal girl with a slight obsession for her brother. But I can see what's really there."

Kasumi stepped back, with what felt like fear clear in her eyes. "I'm f-fine!"

The blond narrowed his eyes as his grip on the girl's wrist tightened. "Don't hide from me!"

Tears welled up in her eyes as she looked down. "Fine! You want to hear it? I wanted to die when you weren't there! Happy now?! Are you?!"

The blond stepped closer to her and wrapped her in a tender hug. "No. I just didn't want you to keep bottling it up, you know I love you."

The girl sniffed into his chest. "I was never good enough for you, was I?"

Naruto groaned. "This again? Come on Kasumi, I've told you many times if I had any choice, I'd leave everything behind and live alone with you, just the two of us somewhere far far away…"

"Then why did you have sex with..."

"I didn't. You misunderstood me, just trust my word on it."

The redhead was silent for a few moments before she nodded.

"I noticed you had that glint in your eyes after you found out about me and Mikoto too, but you were too scared to voice it, eh? What were you thinking? Don't even think about hiding anything if you really love me."

Kasumi sighed into his chest in something akin to defeat. "Onii-chan... as I said before, you've never been satisfied with me and I know it. If I protest too much you might just leave me again. A-and I really can't live with that, not again…"

The blond half demon scowled, feeling... guilty. It wasn't an emotion he experienced often, but he couldn't help it this time. "Kasumi… you're my first life partner, we've been together since before our birth. Four years of separation, is that enough for you to stop understanding me?"

Kasumi cringed. "Are you disappointed again?"

Naruto removed her from his chest as he pushed her down till she was sitting on the ground. Then he sat down facing her.

Naruto stared right into her eyes and deactivated his eye lens. "Look into my eyes and tell me, do you really think I care anymore for myself than I do for you?"

Kasumi bit her lip as she looked away. Naruto shook his head.

"I'm a half-demon now, Kasumi. Do you reject me because of it?"

Her eyes snapped back to his, holding his hands tightly in her own as her soft blue eyes focused back to his metallic rippled ones. "No! I don't care about that, I'll always love you! Even if you turn into a monster of carnage, I wouldn't care!"

Naruto smiled as he tugged one of the girl's long crimson locks behind her ear. "And that's why, even though you're far from the little cheerful girl you used to be, I'll always love you just as much."

Kasumi blushed as a genuine smile lit her face.

"Now moving on to other topics, I'm still a half demon, and I'll instinctually lust after almost every desirable female I see."

The redhead made a sour face, clearly unhappy with the idea. "Even Sakura?"

Naruto cringed, she said the strangest things sometimes. "I said desirable."

Kasumi blushed, but couldn't keep the relief off her face. "Oh…"

The blond shuddered once, trying to rid himself of the mental images. "Even if I fuck them, I won't love anyone but you with the same intensity. I do love Kaa-chan, Natsumi, and Nina. However, I can assure you I never have and probably never will love anyone else like you. Sex is not always love, get it yet?"

The gorgeous redhead looked down, feeling confused. "So… uhm… are you mad at me because I got jealous?"

Naruto chuckled. Truth be told, he thought it was cute when she was huffing and pouting, but she didn't need to know that. "Not at all. Get jealous all you want, but I need you to understand that you will always, always be the most valuable girl in my life. No, you are my life... If I had to pick just one person to spend the eternity with, I wouldn't think twice before picking you."

Kasumi smiled at him beautifully in genuine happiness. "Thank you, Onii-chan."

She leaned forward and planted a soft kiss on his lips, and then pulled back with the slightest blush dusting her cheeks. "I was thinking that maybe you weren't happy with me so you were going for others. But… as long as you come back to me… I can live with that. I don't like it, but I will accept that part of you as readily as I have accepted every other one. I won't have to let any of these other girls touch me though, right?"

Naruto stood up and patted her head affectionately. "Of course not. And thank you, that means a lot to me."

He grinned at her as she looked up to meet his eyes. Tangling his hand in her hair, he pulled the girl up until their lips met in a fiery kiss. His eyes opened a little wider as he felt Kasumi kissing him almost aggressively. They both panted as they pulled back a few moments later.

"Whoa… what's gotten into you?"

The girl blushed as she smiled sheepishly. "I don't know…"

She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled herself up until their lips melted against each other again. She smiled gently as she stared unflinchingly into his eyes when she withdrew for breath. "I don't know…"

And then they were gone in a red flash.

Naruto blinked in shock as they reappeared much farther away with him lying on his back while his sister straddled his waist. Kasumi had teleported more than ten times within a second. 'Damn… I just realized that this technique is MUCH faster than Kamui…'

Kasumi grinned self-consciously at him as she pulled her top over her head. "Is this okay?"

The half demon just grinned as yōki began flowing into his veins at the sight of the most beautiful girl he had ever been with undressing willingly for him. "Yeah, yeah… it's fine. More than fine."

She leaned down once more as their lips connected in a rough kiss. The blond couldn't help moaning into their connection as one of her soft hands slid under his shirt to rest against his chest. Her soft lips and tongue were much too delicate to actually be 'rough' to kiss, but the girl still tried her best.

It was only so long before Naruto lost control and flipped them over, tearing the rest of her dress off with his claws. The girl broke into giggles but wrapped her legs around him before they resumed kissing again. Moderately long red nails dug into his back as she pulled him closer into her.

They were both left gasping for breath after a few minutes, and not for the first time Naruto found himself comparing his sister to the other girls he'd been with. Her kisses were so much more passionate and filled with love, much softer and more welcoming than anyone else. He groaned as her nimble tongue massaged his strong one with skill she'd been rapidly gaining each time they locked lips.

'Goodness, she's a damn fast learner, it's like she's been doing this all her life. I wonder if she practices with her shadow clones?'

He chuckled as the rather erotic thought of two Kasumi's kissing each other filtered through his brain. 'That would be something worth watching...'

He felt Kyūbi nod in agreement, an odd occurrence given she mostly remained silent when he was intimate with any of his life partners. It was something the demon queen found herself uncomfortable with, but it seemed like she was slowly getting used to it.

He didn't have the time to ponder on that much further as sharp blades of water started ripping his clothes, or tried to. He'd reinforced his ANBU armour and clothing with quite a few reinforcement seals so nothing short of an A-rank technique could really dent it, hence Kasumi was left pouting cutely. She could easily produce enough power to shred them, but that would have been a waste now that she knew her brother had spent time enhancing them.

The blond grinned at the cute pouting face of his twin as she got off of him to let him take his clothes off, it took him barely a minute, much to Kasumi's relief. This time her approach was much more delicate as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her soft delicate lips firmly against her brother's.

The redhead broke their kiss a few seconds later and looked into his eyes. "I know you'll be doing this with some other girl in the future... but I want your best moments to be with me, is that okay Onii-chan?"

Naruto gave her a gentle smile. "It's more than okay..."

"Thank you."

The half demon groaned as soft nimble fingers wrapped around his length and began stroking him. There was a heat in his sister's gaze right then, a heat that had been much milder every other time they'd been together.

Was it lust he saw? Kasumi hadn't really ever shown lust for him. Always love, always an approval for his actions, a soft welcoming embrace for his desires.

The warm loving gaze he was used to from his sister's eyes were now replaced with a smoldering heated look that made him shudder in anticipation and reciprocated lust.

Kasumi rolled them over with surprising strength from her delicate looking body, her enticing heat pressed against his balls as she pressed on top of him, stroking his length gently with his tip rubbing against her smooth belly. He shuddered as the girl pressed the tip against her belly button, and rubbed his length up and down faster. A spurt of precum shot from his tip, entering her belly button as the twins shuddered at the strange but welcome sensation. For a moment Naruto almost lost control and made up his mind to shove his entire length in there, but realized it would be rather impossible given the depth of that particular orifice was no more than a centimeter or two.

The blond let his hands roam free as they groped and explored the gorgeous female offered to them, while Kasumi's lips pressed against his neck - an action that he had often performed on her. For a moment he wondered if she would bite him like he did to her every time he did this… would she be as thirsty for his blood as he was for hers? That question was answered with a no when the redhead pressed her lips against his own again.

'It's a demon thing Naruto-kun. She probably won't feel any pleasure drinking your blood like you do...'

Naruto just hummed in response, too busy enjoying how Kasumi's lower lips parted along the length of his shaft as she rubbed herself against it, how her silky skin and soft breasts felt against his sensitive tip, and how her nimble tongue and fingers pleasured his mouth and body.

He groaned as Kasumi broke the kiss and started trailing her lips down, kissing his neck and all over his chest. He anticipated that skillful mouth and soft lips and tongue pleasuring his dick next, but to his surprise Kasumi arched her back and pulled up again, pressing his tip against her sex.

Naruto blinked as he realized that she was rushing. "Wait Kasumi, there's not enough..."

She shushed him with a finger against his lips. "Sorry Onii-chan, I can't wait anymore... Tell me if it hurts you."

Naruto blinked. It wasn't him that was going to be hurt in penetrating her, it was her. And then she pushed downwards, gritting her teeth to keep the scream in, making Naruto groan at the amazing tightness and resistance her body showed against his entry.

His tip was slick with precum, so it slid inside her hot body, and any resistance he might have had melted right there as he gripped her butt with both hands roughly and started pushing the heavily breathing girl down with as much force as he could muster.

They both groaned as inch by painful inch of his length tore into her depths. The friction was so high that it was a miracle he was able to enter her at all. Aside from the tip, his shaft had barely any lubrication, and while Kasumi was aroused, that was nowhere near enough to have been able to take his massive length and girth in her. Yet, somehow it happened.

The duo let out a synchronized groan as his tip bumped against her womb, releasing a massive spurt of precum as the amazing sensations of friction, heat and tightness around him proved too much. He was gripping her butt so tightly that it was a wonder she wasn't bleeding, and their groins were pressed so close together that had there been any space left inside her, even his balls would have entered the already overstuffed girl.

Kasumi shifted slightly after a few moments of letting him settle inside her. It hurt so good as she felt his hot tip poking her womb, she almost wished he could pierce her and actually enter there. From what her mother had told her, it was a rather unpleasant sensation and hurt quite a bit, but Kasumi found herself curious as to what it would feel like to have him so deep inside her.

She winced as she felt sharp claws dig into her delicate skin. She had waited too long and her brother was getting impatient. Mentally debating aggravating him further so he would lose control and really take her once his lust overwhelmed him, she found herself wanting him move inside her too much to wait any longer.

The redhead lifted herself just an inch from her brother and gently pressed down. It took quite a bit of her strength to do so, given the lack of lubrication, and she almost screamed as pain shot through her. Naruto's claws left her butt as one of them grabbed her luxurious red locks while the other molested her breasts, much to her relief as she could now move more freely. The sensations overwhelmed the two for the next few minutes as the redhead used her freedom of movement to almost completely pull herself off him before shoving down powerfully, uncaring of her delicate body as she trusted her healing factor.

Naruto didn't know what happened next, and neither did Kasumi. Pleasure overwhelmed him for the next few minutes as the girl's body seemingly lost control and slid on and off him completely, the heat, tightness, and friction amazing to both of them.

Naruto found himself panting as he rolled them over and pinned the girl down, for her own sake. There was a brief struggle before the smoldering hot lustful eyes of hers gained control once more. He almost couldn't control himself and let his sperm go inside her right then.

Kasumi blinked as she came back from her frenzied state. Her body felt like it was on fire, and a burning hot iron rod was shoved into her as far as it would go. It hurt so much, and yet it felt so good, so satisfying. The combination was so intoxicating that she found herself wanting more. Her wishes were answered as Naruto started pumping into her from above, grinding his body against hers with each thrust.

The pain was constantly receding as Naruto's hard, rough thrusts felt almost gentle to the girl. Anyone else would have thought he was being ruthless, but Kasumi had taken much worse and liked it. She arched her back to increase the friction between their bodies, and shivered in delight as the sensations intensified. Her brother felt so good inside her, she couldn't wait till he flooded her body with his sperm. "Mhm..."

The blond half demon groaned as he kept pumping inside her harder and harder, loving how she seemed to enjoy it as much as him. This was the first time Kasumi had shown him lust, and he loved it. His gaze roamed to her delicate neck that was exposed by her arched back, and he couldn't resist leaning down and taking a love bite. The redhead mewled as she rubbed his back in a comforting manner.

Kasumi bit her lip as she felt her brother's fangs brush against her skin, she knew what was coming next. As expected, within moments a sharp pain entered her senses as his thrusts intensified and his fangs pierced her skin. She felt her energy being drained as her brother drank more and more of her life essence in big gulps.

The half demon was lost in a world of pleasure as a combination of delight from drinking the heavenly life essence of his lover and the overwhelming pleasure from his lower body took all his other senses away. "I'm going to cum in you..."

She mewled into his ear. "Mmmm... Let it go Onii-chan..."

His thrusts became erratic as boiling hot yōki-intensified sperm was released inside the girl below him. Her scream was lost in a gasp as it struck her how hot his cream was. Still, her pleasure had been constantly building up despite the pain, and she felt her body tighten even further against his length, stopping the flow of his sperm as the cavity became too tight for him to continue release.

The half demon roared in frustration as he started thrusting harder, cracking the earth beneath them with his thrusts as the girl whimpered below him as she rode her orgasm. Relief came to him almost a minute later, and so did his senses as Kasumi's body finally relaxed just enough for him to be able to cum in her once more. She was still spasming as the aftershocks of her orgasm and Naruto's violent thrusts went through her.

The boiling hot cream filling her womb almost felt like a soothing remedy now, and she found herself giggling at how her brother lost control almost every time they had sex, and how she herself had done something so unlike her and lost control as well, if only for a while.

A serene smile came on her face as she realized her brother had fallen asleep on top of her. It was the first time she had been able to retain consciousness longer than her brother after their bouts of intimacy, and she found herself treasuring the moment as she gazed lovingly at his peaceful face. It was somewhat weird to be certain, since she could still feel the hot rod inside her twitching and releasing more and more of that boiling hot cream she loved.

Perhaps her ability to stay awake came from the need for her to do so now that they were not within the safety of their compound. Perhaps her brother had enough trust in his instincts to rely on them while he slept, but Kasumi had very little field experience and as such didn't want to take any risks by falling asleep.

The redhead sighed contently as she allowed the feelings surround her... of her brother's heavy body on top of her, his hard hot shaft twitching inside her, and his fluids boiling in her. The girl groaned as she felt her womb starting to stretch. Gently, she rolled them over and slid off him. A few spurts sprayed her belly and breasts with the demonic sperm before she could get his tip in her mouth, and she almost jumped back at the sheer temperature of the fluids. She could see steam rising from her skin where his sperm had hit her.

Focusing on her chakra, she gulped down her brother's semen, tugging on his length for enhancing his pleasure as the sperm on her belly and breasts seemingly sank into her skin. It was a technique she could only perform thanks to her godlike water affinity, intaking any kind of fluid through skin contact and converting it into chakra before letting it flow through her system. With a normal male's sperm, it would be like a very small soldier pill without side effects. Naruto's fluids however, were poisonous. Kasumi didn't care.

She would treasure the next few hours while Naruto slept.

Next Morning

Takane found herself feeling an odd sense of jealousy as she watched the sleeping pair of twins from her spot on top of a tree at the edge of the clearing. They made quite a beautiful picture as the gorgeous redhead lay curled up against the rather peaceful looking blond. Their nudity and intimate expressions made it almost impossible to believe that they were twins, yet Takane knew it as a fact.

What concerned her though was the fact that she was jealous. Of what? It took her a few moments of contemplation before she realized it. Her clan had always treated her like their child, as family, but she never really had a real sibling or parents. The closest anyone came to being real family to her was Yakumo, who was like a little sister to her. But she knew even that was somewhat one sided as the clan heiress felt somewhat bitter with the fact that Takane mostly never spent time with her, being busy with ANBU duties to help her clan's status.

The brunette grumbled to herself as she silently moved down from her position and stalked as stealthily as she could till she was right next to the sleeping pair. All things considered, this was a rather lucky situation for her. She had been wondering how to pass the information of her presence to the Uzumaki, and found it almost impossible to do before now.

'What are they doing so far away from the bridge builder's house anyway? I never expected to stumble upon them while patrolling.'

She had taken a completely random route for the regular scouting, just to make sure everything was as expected in the area. While Eiko was a good sensor, her range was limited and could never cover up more than ten percent of Nami no Kuni at a time. Given she was in the opposite direction, Takane was confident that her actions right now were out of her radar.

She bit her lip as she slipped the note explaining her situation to them in the clothes lying nearby, and then she leaned down and pressed her soft lips against Naruto's cheek, hoping he wouldn't wake up. She didn't have the confidence to really explain her situation face to face. What would she say? That she's part of a team sent to assasinate his mother?

She grimaced as she slowly stepped back, and froze as her soft brown eyes met cold blue. 'She's been awake all this time?'

Kasumi's breathing pattern hadn't changed, and her gaze remained unpanicked, cold and calculating as she looked at Takane. She didn't seem to be sure what the girl really waned, but made no outward movement in favor of not disturbing her brother. Takane decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and made a quick exit as silently as she could... At least she wasn't interrogated.

Kasumi rubbed her belly once Takane was gone, it kinda hurt. And she knew what that meant.

'The fuuinjutsu over my ovaries that Natsumi-chan put to keep me from getting pregnant almost broke, again...'

It wasn't the first time, she had had to get it fixed almost every two three days. Normally that fuuinjutsu was permanent, but Naruto's youki intensified sperm seemed to burn it rapidly enough for it to need renewal every three days.

'Mhm... I think they'll hold for two more sessions... That's good because Onii-chan might be waking up in a few minutes, it's about time.'

An hour later

Haku blinked at the scene she had stumbled across. She had been collecting herbs for her master's treatment when she had felt the rather strange fluctuations in chakra nearby and decided to investigate. What she had found had her blushing and wondering if she should take advantage of the situation and get rid of two future enemies or just leave and not invade their privacy.

She didn't really know if they were with the Konoha team, but they were definitely shinobi from their chakra levels so she knew the chances were rather high. The two lovers were obviously enjoying the afterglow of love making, if the fluids trickling down the girl's inner thighs were any indication. Both of them had no weapon on them and seemed defenseless, so Haku was confident she could take care of both of them at once if she used the element of surprise.

Normally she wouldn't have considered killing them, it wasn't the type of thing she wanted. But her mentor had nearly died — he would have if she hadn't interfered in the nick of time. This wasn't the time for her to be taking chances. She knew Zabuza-sama was too stubborn to leave and let his defeat go unanswered, and if Konoha had reinforcements helping their current team her master's life was going to be in danger even if they both went completely prepared. Silently, two senbons slipped into her hand from the long sleeves of her kimono, and a grim expression crossed her face as she shushined right in front of the two lovers.

"Forgive me, but it must be done for my precious person."

Unexpectedly, the two of them seemed not only unsurprised by her sudden appearance, but also unphased by her threat. She didn't ponder on it though, and let the senbons fly to the point in their necks where she knew would kill them.

Much to her surprise, an invisible shield seemed to have stopped her senbons before she found herself trapped in a sphere of water. "A water prison?! B-but when?"

She saw no one holding and maintaining the sphere, and the two in front of her still hadn't moved. Then the pressure around her increased and Haku found herself wondering if she would be crushed to death like this. Her resolve hardened as she started freezing the water around her. Whoever was controlling the water was an expert, she couldn't move it. But if it was Ice, no one but her could control it!

The pressure seemed to have stopped immediately as the red haired girl in front of her seemed to blink in surprise and the faintest hint of awe, along with the boy. Within moments the sphere broke apart into shards of Ice as Haku started going through the one handed seals of her Ice technique.

"Wait Kasumi, don't kill her."

That's when Haku realized with a sense of dread that a water blade had been inches from her neck in the short time it took her to form the hand seals. 'These two... they're way beyond my level! They might even give Zabuza-sama a challenge. I need to use the demonic ice mirrors to kill them...'

Her actions were stopped when the blond unexpectedly held up his hands to calm her down. "Whatever you're planning, don't bother. We don't want to kill you, so just listen."

Haku found herself cautiously obeying. She wasn't completely confident if her strategy would have worked, and if possible she would prefer to get out of here alive so she could tend to Zabuza's wounds. If she died here, her master's chances of survival were close to none.

"I'm Uzumaki Naruto, and this is Uzumaki Kasumi. What's your name? And what's someone like you doing in Nami no Kuni?"

Haku hesitated for a moment before deciding to answer with a half truth. "I'm Haku, and I was just collecting some medical herbs for an injured friend. I thought you were here to kill him too since he was attacked by shinobi a while ago."

The redhead seemed to view her suspiciously while the blond's gaze was somewhat more welcoming and accepting. Naruto nodded. "I see, you're clearly a kunoichi, and given the description by Kakashi's team you're likely Zabuza's accomplice."

Haku winced. She hadn't wanted them to be able to figure that out, but knew that it was rather likely unless they were ignorant. "Actually I'm a boy. And please, I beg you to let me leave, I don't want to fight you. I may not look like it, but I'm sure I can kill at least one of you before I die, so I don't think you should want to fight me either."

Kasumi frowned at her words but didn't say anything, letting her brother handle the situation. She had decided to use Naruto's cloak to cover herself up once Haku mentioned that 'he' was a 'boy', her clothes had been torn in their activities last night but she didn't feel comfortable letting a boy see her like that.

Naruto didn't seem to care about her declaration a whole lot, but nodded nonetheless. Unlike his sister, he seemed to have no intention of covering his nudity. The blush on Haku's face had Kasumi questioning the 'boy's alignment. That, or 'he' was really shy.

"I expected as much, but you should know that regardless of if you leave or not, Zabuza is going to die if he fights against our sensei. She's a lot stronger than the guy your master fought before… he doesn't stand a chance. Why not join us? If it's money you're fighting for, I can offer you more. Besides, you won't be getting anything even if you complete your mission, your employer is dead."

Haku gaped at him in shock. He had just told her that the business tycoon who could buy out whole countries, who was supposed to pay them... was dead. This meant that her mentor had no reason to fight anymore.

She winced as soon as that thought processed through her head. That wouldn't go as planned. Zabuza was too prideful to let his defeat go unanswered. He would surely complete his mission no matter what.

"I will tell that to Zabuza-sama, can I go now?"

Naruto seemed to hum in thought for a while before giving her a firm nod. "Yes, you can leave."

Haku wasted no more time as she used a shunshin to move away as far as possible. She could collect the herbs from somewhere else, where the risk was lower.

Kasumi looked at her brother in confusion once the Ice user was gone. "Why not just capture him, Onii-chan?"

Naruto smiled. "First, she was a girl, I can tell from her scent. Unless 'he' rubbed girls' vaginal fluids all over the body to mask it, which would have made the scent too strong and that clearly wasn't the case. Second, I could have, but we're looking for allies and Zabuza would be useful. We don't need him, but if he decides to be smart then there's no harm in taking him in, is there?"

The redhead tilted her head, wondering why someone would want to hide their gender like that. It seemed rather unfruitful to her, but she didn't care too much about it. "If that's what you want Onii-chan. Takane-san left you a note by the way, it's in your clothes."

Naruto blinked. That earned the girl some points, to have taken the risk of being found out by her team to warn them. "Ah... 'kay. That was nice of her."

There was a pause as the redhead hesitated with her words. "Onii-chan..."


"The water... She took control of it..."

Naruto raised an eyebrow, the awe in her voice wasn't missed. "Is that so shocking?"

The redhead bit her lip as she looked at him nervously. "It's been a while since even Kaa-chan has been able to do it... So I was just surprised. Only she was able to take water away from me, and that hasn't happened for more than a year now either... And that girl..."

The blond sighed. Having a permanently active dōjutsu made it so he never missed any details even if it came at a time he wasn't prepared for it. As such, he knew exactly what happened. "Don't fuss over it Kasumi. You're looking at it the wrong way. That girl can't take water away from your control, she simply changed it into Ice, which you have no control over. For someone with the Hyōton kekkei genkai, water users are easy pickings. But I'm sure you've learned more than just water manipulation, and you're on a different level from her, so it's okay."

Kasumi frowned sheepishly. "Actually Onii-chan... I've only really paid attention to suiton ninjutsu and fūinjutsu..." she mumbled the next part "... and I use water to form seals."

Naruto gaped. "Kaa-chan let you get away with that unbalanced skill set? I thought those were just your preferred styles, not the only ones you knew..."

"Uh... I do spar with Natsumi-chan, and my summons train me in some stuff."

"I know you haven't been slacking off during the years I've been away, and this surely explains your extreme skill in jikūkan fūinjutsu, but over specializing can be a bad thing too, ya know."

The redhead gave him a sheepish grin as he grumbled to himself.

'She's definitely highly skilled with what she can do, but to limit herself like this... She's pretty much screwed without water. Given she can make it out of her chakra, there are still people out there like Haku, and not to mention Raiton ninjutsu users...'

"You will fix this."

Kasumi giggled as she gave him a salute. "Aye, sir."

A smile graced Naruto's face as he looked up at the passing clouds. 'Hyōton... what a truly fascinating concept. If someone faster was wielding it, Kasumi would be completely at their mercy. I must learn it, if only to discover its secrets...'

"No, Haku. This changes nothing."

"B-but Zabuza-sama! They're really strong..."

She flinched as her mentor's cold gaze turned on her. "I-I'm sorry I didn't mean to question you, but we won't gain anything by taking this risk, so I thought..."

"It doesn't matter what you think!" He snapped, then continued in a softer tone. "I have worked under someone before, and it was a complete disaster. After all that, I'll never work under someone else again, no matter what. You're too young to understand this now Haku, but some day you will."

The two of them were silent for a while before Zabuza grunted. "Besides, a white haired bitch came asking me about that damn Kakashi and his team. I knew of these new people already, but it doesn't matter. There are others on Gatō's side, and I wouldn't trust a random Konoha shinobi's words so easily. We have no way of knowing for sure, but Gatō is probably still alive."

Haku could only frown grimly as she continued dressing her mentor's wounds, hoping everything would turn out in their favor in the end.


[¤] There was some discrepancy about Kīrotsuchi's name, I apologize for that. But it won't be changed given it's just a name and doesn't really matter that much. Just to clear it up, she's Kurotsuchi's sister and Tsuchikage's granddaughter.

[¤] If you're curious about power levels, Kushina can beat both Raikage and Killer Bee, but only if they come at her one by one. If they team up, she's screwed. Trivia: For some reason my spellcheck keeps changing Raikage to Wreckage. I think it suits him!

Again, I'm sorry about the delay.

Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a review, thanks for reading!