Naruto and his friends were created by Kishimoto Masashi. This is fan fiction.

Author's Note: I probably shouldn't be writing this as I'm starting to have too many fics in my rotation, but my muse wouldn't leave me alone.

"Minato-koi," Kushina begged, "don't do this to him! Let me seal it back into myself and take it with me into the grave! I'm dying anyway."

"If we do that, it will just reform in the middle of Konoha in nine years," Minato protested. "I don't like it either, but this is our only choice."

Kushina began to cry. She knew how jinchuuriki were treated in other places. The only reason she had gotten off lightly was that very few people knew. That monster Danzou had always been after her. With neither Minato or herself to protect him, would he get his claws on her baby?

"Seal me inside him too!" she commanded.

Minato faltered. "What?"

"I'm dying anyway. This way I can help him and make sure he can survive. You were planning on using that technique—don't deny it! With neither of us there, he'll need something. Plus, I can teach him his heritage. He's the last Uzumaki, Minato, but without me to teach him, so much will be lost."

Minato nodded thoughtfully. "Maybe I could seal a Shadow Clone of myself in him too."

Kushina and Minato started to toss back and forth ideas on how to modify the Eight Trigrams Seal they were using as a base to accomplish what they wanted, while Minato made sketches. They were both Seal Masters, but they had different styles. Kushina had an intuitive, outside-the-box understanding on how seals worked that was common in her clan. Minato had a very analytical style that was much more methodical. Together they could do amazing things.

They had just finished designing how to get their baby's chakra to support her within the seal and bring her out of stasis once he had enough, when they heard the Kyuubi's roar.

"No time," Minato said sadly.

"It won't take long to duplicate what we've done here to support both of us," Kushina protested.

Minato shook his head. "If it's unbalanced, it will bring down the whole array."

"Maybe you should be the one then. . ." Kushina said.

"No," Minato interrupted firmly. "He'll need his mother. Plus, I'm the one who has to do the sealing, you don't have the strength right now. It will work better if it's you in there."

Minato picked up their son, Naruto, and gave him a kiss on the forehead. He placed him in Kushina's arms and then gave her a firm, but brief kiss on the lips. He grabbed her shoulders and they disappeared in a yellow flash.

They appeared at a personal retreat that Minato liked to use, just outside of Konoha. Minato disappeared in another yellow flash and reappeared with a couple of blankets and boxes. Minato set the boxes up to make a stand on which to lay Naruto, so that he could paint the seal on his stomach. The arrangement kind of reminded Kushina of an altar with Naruto's blanket draped over the top of it. She lay down beside the stand.

"Almost done, Koi," he said. "I just need some blood." He handed her a kunai and she pricked her thumb with it and then handed it back.

"I could have held the beast down while you worked," Kushina said.

"This'll work better if you save your chakra," he said. "Hiruzen-san and the others can hold the beast off for a few minutes. You should say your last words to him now. You won't see him again for a few years."

"I don't want to steal your time," she protested, "since you won't see him again."

"I've managed to put a little of my chakra in him like a Shadow Clone, but I don't have the time to make it self-sustaining. I'll be able to have a few minutes with him. I'll leave the trigger in your hands."

A flash of hope shot through her. If she was patient, she might have time to figure out how to adapt Naruto's chakra to reinforce Minato's.

"As soon as I leave, I'll grab the Kyuubi and start the sealing immediately," he said. He turned to their son. "I'm really sorry about this, Son. Listen to your mother. She'll help you out. I love you."

With another yellow flash he was gone.

Kushina started babbling. She was not quite sure what she was saying. Before long, her husband reappeared with the Kyuubi. He ran toward them and yelled, "Seal."

A giant specter with a tanto appeared above them, summoned by the Death Reaper Seal that reinforced the Eight Trigrams Seal. It parted the giant fox with its blade and then shoved half of it into Minato and the other half into Naruto. The last thing she saw was her husband being pulled into the specter's mouth.

Author's Note: Since the Prologue is short, I'm uploading Chapter 1 as well.