A/N: So. Not dead.

Horribly sick and depressed with the state of the world, but not dead...though I feel like it.

Been rewriting and repairing a lot of old stories. I know its been awhile, and for that I'm sorry. I've been going back through this, rewriting things and...well. I've come to a realization. Dear god I was crap when I first wrote this story. Thankfully I've matured a bit since then, enough that I'm willing to take a crack at this once more.

You see, originally, I was writing this with the help of a friend and a second co-writer, but I haven't heard from either for ages.

Doesn't help that one of them vanished off with the script I had planned, leaving me to wallow in my confusion. *sighs*

I hope nothing happened to them, but I can't wait any longer for a reply. To be honest, I'm not expecting all that many reviews here after being gone for so long. Its been years. I'm not doing this for the reviews. I want to stay true to the fans that helped me get to where I am now.

So! Here goes nothing! Minor verbatim for the last chapter here.

"I'm so proud of you."



Kushina loved her son.

From the bottom of her heart.

More than anything, more than life itself.

She would gladly give her life to make sure Naruto's would continue; she'd already done so and would gladly do so again. Even meeting him here now was something of a miracle, one wrought by Minato's seal. She'd not thought to lay eyes on her son again in this lifetime. That they'd gotten this moment of respite at all? Well! She wasn't the sort to waste such an opportunity.

She was going to milk this moment for all it was worth.

Here in the Seal, everything was life. Energy. You could see it everywhere. You just had to focus. And it was impossible to miss that tiny spark glowing in the girl's belly. Well!

Well, well, well!

It was a mother's sworn duty to embarrass their son, after all. They wouldn't have known if she'd kept her mouth shut, wouldn't have discovered the truth for weeks. But where was the fun in that? She wanted a happy memory to take with her to the afterlife. And so:


There was another silence in the void. You could hear a pin drop.

Naruto blinked in rapid succession. Shizuka mirrored him. Kushina laughed.

Yes, she awaited their inevitable explosion with an impish smile. They really were too easy to tease. Not at all like her Minato. Had he met this girl? Did he approve of her? Did he know their son was happy and well on his way to starting a family of his own? There was so much she wanted to say, so many questions she wanted to ask, but there wasn't enough time. Almost made a girl bitter, that did.

Oh, there it was! Shizuka's pale face burned scarlet.

"D-D-Did you say more?" the poor girl turned beet red, burning to the very roots of her hair. "What's that meant to imply?!"

"Yeah, what she said!"

"Oh dear, you mean you didn't know?" the redhead feigned innocence, touching a finger to her cheek. "I mean, you're still pretty early, so I'm not too surprised that you wouldn't be able to tell yet."

She took in their flushed faces and laughed.

...I just said that out loud, didn't I?"

"HAH?!" Too precious!

She wasn't alive here inside the Seal; not really, and she knew she wouldn't last much longer. Once they dealt with the fox, she knew she'd fall apart. Even now she was running on the last dregs of her chakra, her soul flickering like a candle in the wind. That was fine. She'd gotten to see her son again, to meet the one that was so near and dear to his heart. That was reward enough for her. But more than that! She was going to be a grandmother! How could you be angry about that?!

Still, she couldn't resist one last jab before they got down to business. "Its going to be a girl, by the way."

"MOM?!" It was super effective. Naruto fainted.

Kushina absolutely cackled.

A/N: Way too short for my liking, but its a start.

Feels good to brush the dust off this and get back to work on one of my first big hits. It helps that I've got a team with me on this, so we can focus down on multiple projects at once.

Although, reading through this now, I want go back and smack my younger self upside the head. So. Many. ERRORS! So many spelling problems! What the fuck was younger me doing?! Fool! Perhaps that's the perfectionist in me these days, but my grammar's improved by leaps and bounds since I last penned this. Now then...I've got some work to do.

So...in the Immortal Words of Atlas...

...Review, would you kindly?

Took the previews out, I'm rewriting the hell out of them.

Got some polishing and fixing to do, gotta get this story up to snuff like the others...

R&R! =D