One Shot number two:

Okay, here's another "One-shot"… More like a short story really... Its word count equals that of four or five normal chapters. So yeah, I might have gone a little overboard... It was made/stitched together months ago. I was trying to improve my romance writing skills... It might sound dumb but I find it useful.

I'm sorry about grammar mistakes, this is un-beta'd and English is not my native language.

I'm focusing more on characters that didn't get as much story time as I would have preferred in Second Wind. Therefore Tobirama, Izuna, Itama and Izumi will have a larger role in this story then usual, but of course team one is in it too.

This is a mix of scenes either newly written or different ones removed from Second Wind. And it's rather…. intricate? I'm not sure how to explain it, but the many scenes are connected. They're not always obvious, but I like to imagine they slowly become more connected the more you think about it. It's a sort of an experiment, and while it's way too long you'll probably have to read everything for the ending to make much sense. I love hiding hints when I write, and some are more obvious then others.

Simply put; together this is a time lapse story that tells different tales of different types of love.

Love Story

A love story is a story whose central interest is a love relationship.

She had red hair and her eyes were so dark. So deep. Like a bottomless well that never ended.

Stone laid on top of stone leading down to an abyss of secrets and uncertainty. You could almost fall into them, just like his younger brother Tobirama had done when falling into the well back home in the Senju village. But luckily that one hadn't been bottomless.

He wasn't sure if he liked her eyes though. She could look very strict sometimes, and it was her unreadable gaze that made her seem so. A clashing contrast to the pale skin and vibrant coloured hair.

The girl was standing by the wooden pier today, looking up at the flying seagulls instead of to the roaring waves rushing down bellow.

She liked heights…

It was a fact Hashirama found amusing; she lived on an island where there was no peaks.

Only hard smooth rocks and boulders where the greenery consisted of grass, hardy bushes and a few odd trees he suspected had been planted. Not grown up naturally to the heights they now reached.

"Would you ever have liked to be someone else but who you are?" The girl asked in her high voice, looking sideways at Hashirama while the wind blew her hair in every possible direction.

Hashirama hadn't known that was possible. He had always assumed the wind came from one direction only, but in Uzushiogakure a lot of the things he thought he knew was proven wrong.

"Nah, I like being me." Replied Hashirama and smiled cheekily. His brown thick hair blowing into his eyes while his head tilted up. Straightening his posture to match that of the girl. He considered himself to be tall for his five years of age, but this girl was tall for her age too. And she was a year older which actually meant he was shorter.

"I would have liked to be a seagull." Informed the girl and grinned up at the birds screeching to one another. The sound was rather unpleasant. A tiresome note that made Hashirama's ears cringe. Nothing like the soothing blows of breezes though leafs. No gentleness of an owl hooting in the night.

"A seagull? Why?" Asked Hashirama.

If you first wished to be anything other than a human - why a seagull? There were many better animals, not to mention way better birds. Falcons, eagles and even ravens. Hashirama liked ravens when he was young, but after seeing one pluck out the eyeball of his dead aunt on the battlefield he hadn't been as fond of them.

"Because if I was a seagull I could fly around in the sky and still be close to my home. I'd get the best of both worlds."



1.5 Years Since the Founding of Konoha…

"… Mito is dead."

His brother said it very clearly, not wavering in his deceleration while he stared back into his brother eyes. Tobirama's grave face left no room of errors. This wasn't some big mix-up. There was nothing to misunderstand. It was simple really.

Mito… dead.

He stopped his own thoughts in their track. Wondering why they almost sounded comical inside his own head. The answer came to him at once; it was because it was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard.

This wasn't some battlefield during war. This wasn't even a slightly risky mission. This was his wedding damn it, and somehow his bride had died? What sick joke was this?

Tobirama had turned sideways when Hashirama looked up again, and he was paying attention to someone else. It seemed Kurou had spoken up, asking if Tobirama was certain.

The Hokage didn't bother to listen further. As unbelievable as it might seem, his brother was not mistaken. Hashirama knew almost from the moment his brother returned from the woods and started sending the guests home.

But what was he supposed to do? How was he supposed to act? For some reason this death message felt very different from the other ones.

And that idiotic memory of him and Mito on the docks in Uzushiogakure was the only thing he kept coming back to. Watching the waves crash in towards the hardy rock. Taking their sweet time to file down the rocks surface to smooth and slippery top. A workmanship at its most delicate and patient level.

Hashirama was currently standing in a flower decorated dance floor with messy tables on all sides. The traces of the events this evening.

A cup Madara had given to Izuna still stood by the flower pot where he'd left it when he went out to dance. It remained there because Izuna forgot where he'd put it and taken a new cup instead.

There was a purse someone had left behind when Tobirama had ushered them out.

A plate they had forgotten to take back after dinner.

A kunai lay casually on the table where Katsu had been eating with Hana and Izumi.

Dirty smudges on the table where someone had dropped some food or drink.

A stack of a few papers Hashirama didn't know the story behind.

All these things stood out; they were a part of the event that so suddenly had been uprooted.

Everything now felt like painful proofs of how wrong the setting was.

Because nothing should go from the spikes of euphoria to the depths of misery in such a short span of time. During the war Hashirama was always waiting for messages like these. They were unavoidable and therefore easier to prepare for. It had left a constant knot in his stomach for years, but at least he had known it was a possibility.

This moment stood out because it was the first and only time it came completely unexpected. A shock.

And next to him was Mito's family. Who today was supposed to become part of his family. Instead the glue that bound them together was forcibly ripped away. Leaving them all in a void disbelief that Hashirama had yet to grasp the depth of.

He walked to the corner of the platform where the band had been playing not twenty minutes earlier.

The confused and disbelieving man sat down at an abandoned chair and stared out into the darkness of the village surrounding him. How could this have happened? It just didn't make sense…

When was the last time he saw Mito tonight? Everything had sort of blurred together after the ceremony. People had kept coming up to them, congratulating and telling them thanks for being invited.

Everyone wanted a piece of Mito and him, and he'd been instructed beforehand to take proper care of their guests. Hashirama hadn't seen anything wrong with that either. Because just like Madara had said before he left that evening; they would have the rest of their life together.

How ironic… how cruel those words were in hindsight.

Why hadn't he been more attentive to Mito? She had said she wasn't feeling well. Mito had been vulnerable this evening… And he'd spent his time talking to who knows who the entire time.

The last hours of Mito's life had been spent attending to different matters. Pointless chats and diplomatic antics. While the last precious minutes he could have spent with her had slipped between his fingers like sand.

It wasn't before Hashirama noticed how oddly Tobirama was looking at him that the Hokage realized he was crying.

Why was he crying? He'd seen enough death to deal with these situation. He'd gotten this message so many times he'd lost count after he turned fifteen.

Kurou and Hachirou had already left. Hashirama saw them running up the pathway towards the hospital.

Hashirama suddenly felt the a grotesque urge to see her. Take in with his own eyes what had befallen Mito.

Tobirama hadn't explained properly yet, but at least he knew Yasu-dono was in the hospital too. Though he was probably located a few floors further up than Mito. The corpses were always carried to the morgue down in the basement.

He touched his cheek with his fingers, noticing less tears were coming from his eyes and feeling thankful. He couldn't be in this sort of state now.

Mito was dead…

The Hokage wasn't sure how long he sat there, to him time was flowing strangely. Simultaneously slower than usual and too fast for him to follow it properly.

All he knew was that that Tobirama came over and told him to come up to the hospital with him. First then did Hashirama finally get to his feet again. Feeling oddly better about being able to stand. Do something. Anything other than thinking.

Mito's family was already gone or on their way to the hospital. All except for her twin sisters. They were standing in a corner together while one of the twins were crying against the shoulder of the other.

It was a really bad trait that Hashirama had never been able to tell them apart.

He had married their sister today, and he still didn't know which was which. What sort of husband didn't know that sort of thing?

Someone who lets their wife die on their wedding apparently.

Hashirama managed to stop the hysteric giggle that almost burst from his lips, and let his face cradle in his hands while he got a hold of himself.

There was things that needed to be done...

"Tobirama. Naruto saw what happened didn't she? I need to arrange a hearing after I've been by the hospital and seen to Yasu-dono. She can tell us who did this. I should also see the body. I know her parents will be more than enough to identify her, but I have to see her myself. And someone should get Mad-" Hashirama instructed, but was stopped by a hand touching his shoulder gently.

Letting his hand fall from his face he looked into his brother's warm eyes watching him concerned. "We'll go up to the hospital together. I'll deal with everything and get Madara up as soon as we know what is happening with Yasu-dono. Let us first see what they know so far." Tobirama suggested softly in a voice Hashirama had not heard for a very long time.

After the span of time it takes to breathe he realized it was the voice Tobirama used when telling night time stories to their younger brothers. Soothing and calm.

Back when Kawarama had been amongst them and all four would swap bedtime stories. Kawarama had been the best storyteller but Tobirama was a close second. He had always told the scary ones. The ones that made a three year old Itama stay up at night until he slipped underneath the covers that Hashirama was occupying. Too scared to fall asleep and desperate for some security.

Could this just be a story too? A horror story created by Kami itself...



Hashirama grinned back, not really understanding what she meant. "Why a seagull? Why not a bird of prey? An eagle?" Asked the Senju, noticing how her pale skin had burned after being out in the sun for so long. Her face was as pale and spotless as porcelain, but her upper arms were freckled. Disguising the burn better than her face did.

"They're too threatening. I don't like when people threaten me, so I wouldn't want to be something that threatened others." Explained Mito and kicked at the bare planks underneath her feet. "What about you? What would you be if you were an animal?"

Hashirama thought it over for a long minute, hearing footsteps of someone coming towards them from behind. Maybe it was his father. Butsuma had told Hashirama they were leaving Uzu today.

Had time gone by so fast?

"I'd be a big wolf who can run swiftly through the forest and protect my turf."He answered, feeling proud of his choice.

She smiled haughtily and turned to face Hashirama head on. Her toothy grin revealing that she was missing a tooth on her left side. Similar to the one Hashirama also was currently missing, he was still waiting for it to regrow.

"Heh, that's what I expected. You're just like all the others aren't you, Hashirama? I guess it's not that surprising… But I think you would do better as a fox. A fox can run swiftly and has just enough weapons equipped for it's needs. Nothing more and nothing less. It's weaker then the wolf but survives just as easily as someone who's bigger a stronger than itself. The fox is smart since it knows when to attack and when not to. Be like the fox, Hashirama. Only do what's needed. Nothing less and nothing more. That way you might survive the war your clan is fighting. I really hope you do."



Fighting down the childhood memory, Hashirama tried to slow down his stride. He didn't want to run but he felt very restless. The first person he noticed when Hashirama and his brother reached the hospital was Naruto with Itama sitting next to her.

She had looked very beautiful this evening dressed up in her kimono. But the state of her attire had seen a drastic change since the last time he saw her.

The most obvious difference was the blood stains. None of which was was apparently hers.

She seemed fine and was sitting mutely in her chair, looking dead in the eyes as they met his own. Though for a moment Hashirama wondered if they were her eyes or his. They certainly radiated all the emotions he felt himself.

Tobirama had taken her aside at once. Hashirama watched the two walk away and disappear behind a corner in the hallway to discuss something.

It took him several moment to realize what it probably was about.

Naruto was the only one seemingly unharmed, and whatever happened tonight the guilty one hadn't been caught. Tobirama would have told him as much if they had. Therefore Naruto was the only suspect and source of information at this point in time. Tobirama would be sealing away her chakra, maybe with the seal Mito herself taught him.

The idea left a bitter taste in his mouth, surprising Hashirama slightly since he didn't believe himself capable of feeling much after the wide spectre of emotions he'd gone through the last twelve hours. He had believed himself unable to take much more in.

But he knew this was protocol, Naruto would be cleared within a few hours at most. The Yamanaka would prove it.

As she came back Hashirama took notice of a couple of changes to her attire he hadn't noticed before. The large tear up her leg would in any other setting make her look incident. But the thought barely registered before it again focused on the blood stains. Was it Yasu's or Mito's blood? Or maybe the one who'd caused this. Who had? Why hadn't he asked this yet?

"What happened?" He demanded, his gaze set into Naruto. He was ready to know and he still wanted to see Mito. Make absolutely sure…

Naruto took a deep breath and started to explain.



Hashirama shifted from foot to foot, pondering over the girl's answer. He could understand some of what she meant, but he'd never want to be someone who didn't have ambition.

"How are you supposed to make a better future if all you do is enough? Sometimes you have to take action and grow stronger to make a difference. A fox sounds cowardly to me. Someone who refuses to do more than demanded of them, never lifting a finger to change problems. And who knows, if the fox did try to change things then it might be happier. If everyone did nothing more and nothing less wouldn't we stay still forever? I don't want thing to stay the way they are." Answered Hashirama, looking over his shoulder and seeing it was indeed his father coming towards them. But he had stopped and was talking to a chubby man further down on the pier. Hashirama turned towards the red head.

She was frowning and thinking hard over his words. One finger was pressed against her chin while she considering her answer. "Um… Maybe… But why change the things that work? Isn't greed the reason people fight one another? Grandfather says so. He says if we all could be content with what we have then there wouldn't be anymore fighting. He says power is the ultimate evil. Though I'm not sure exactly what he means by that. Grandfather is the strongest ninja in the village and I don't think he is evil..." She muttered with a shy smile on her lips. An expression he'd yet to see before now on the usually headstrong and argumentative girl.

"Huh… I never thought of that..." Admitted Hashirama and looked over the ocean surface.

It was a nice clear day, but the wind was blowing harshly. The wind whipped against the water, forcing the waves to crash and swirl. It was a powerful sight of the eternal battle between wind and water. Two elements that was never allowed to interact without causing conflict.

He wondered what pushed the wind do blow. Maybe there was a fan out there at the edge of the ocean that moved the winds.

"It's windy isn't it?" She asked, tilting her head back to watch the seagulls again instead of the far more fascinating water patterns. Vortexes made of water was creating humming sounds. Adding to the roar of contrasting elements.

Maybe the girl was so used to them she took them for granted.

"The wind is allowing the seagulls to surf on the wind, look!" She shouted suddenly and pointed to a bird a little ahead of them. "It's barely flapping it's wings, and yet it flies!" She shouted excitedly, standing on her toes as if she was trying to reach them.

She was right though, the seagulls were lying outstretched on the harsh breeze. Neither moving forwards or backwards. Like they'd been frozen in time, unable to move further, but enjoying every second. The wind ruffling through their feathers as they glided on the air.

At that moment his father cried out, his voice was partly lost on the wind but Hashirama caught it anyway.

The red head turned too, following Hashirama with her eyes as he started walking towards Butsuma. "See you, Hashirama. Be careful..." She said in farewell, once again becoming serious.

The Senju turned around and smiled warmly at her. "Yeah, see you, Mito! You should try to take some risks every now and then. How do you know if you can fly if you never dare to leave the ground?"

1.6 Years Since the Founding of Konoha…

The wind felt welcoming when Tobirama stepped outside for his lunch break. It really shouldn't be allowed to stay inside that long without seeing a peek of sunlight during the tedious time spent reading documents.

He wondered if there was a way to automatize the proses. Make it go smoother so it could be dealt with faster. More efficiently. Distributing the workload over more people who could make quicker work of it. He considered it for a moment before he agreed with himself that there was some merit in that idea.

The only problem was that it would mean more people knowing sensitive information. It would need some more thought, but he had yet to completely dismiss it.

The Senju jumped over the rooftops while he steered in the direction of the booth down in the main street selling fish. They had the best fish in Konoha because it was brought from one of the larger rivers west of the village.

Tobirama had once upon a time often gone there with Hashirama to fish themselves, and he still swore nothing to date could top it either.

His head was filled with the picture of the calm scene. The cerulean water so transparent nothing was able to hide underneath the gently rippling surface. It made fish extremely easy to catch and they never went home empty handed. He'd learned and practised his water affinity there too. Working for hours on end on the blue river.

Shaking his thoughts back in order and coming to a halt, Tobirama noticed the line to the booth and prepared himself for a long wait. It wasn't just him that had noticed the quality of this particular fish dealer.

He fleetingly wondered if he should bring back something for Madara too, but he was sure Izuna could deal with his own brother.

As of late, Tobirama had seen more than he'd cared for of the two brothers. Especially Madara - seeing as the Uchiha leader was temporarily his new boss.

Which in all honesty didn't sit well with the Senju.

Hashirama was still on his leave of absence. Making it unavoidable to stay clear of Madara and his dark chakra. Tobirama really couldn't stand it for very long. He was too used to the happy and warm chakra of Hashirama, not the constantly jabbing and agitated one of Madara.

In his job Tobirama used chakra every day, sealing and unsealing was probably the most common skill he repeated. And every damned time he activated his chakra in close proximity to the Uchiha leader, Tobirama sensed it.

It was making morning meetings very uncomfortable.

The only times Madara's chakra was alright to be around was when he was in the company of three specific people. Izuna, Hashirama and lastly Naruto. It got especially different around Naruto.

Tobirama could easily guess the cause.

He looked fleetingly up towards the building opposite the fish booth. Knowing perfectly well that Madara's ever growing frustration was coming from the person who had barricaded herself within the upper parts of the construction in front of him.

Though it had to be said Naruto was a far cry from her usual bubbly self too. She seemed to deal with Mito's death even worse than Hashirama.

He scowled as his mind drifted to the catastrophic wedding. A bride dying on the day she got married. It was too unbelievable that even he - who'd seen the scene of the crime - had problems comprehending it…

Tobirama considered for a short moment if he should go up there and see for himself if Itama's claims were true. That there were in fact dead animals decomposing in there. Maybe the blonde had really snapped. It would be best to at least check if she was alive…

On the floor bellow Naruto's apartment a small shop sold children's toys. Tobirama noticed the pinwheels being caught by the wind and spinning madly in never ending circles.

"I haven't seen her for a while." Said a voice suddenly, making Tobirama look around in surprise to the person in front of him in line.

He'd never talked to Uchiha Izumi before, but he knew well who she was from countless battles and her resident application sheet.

At first Tobirama was sure she was speaking to someone else, since very rarely did an Uchiha willingly converse with him.

But Izumi was staring right back at Tobirama, waiting for the Senju to reply to her words.

"I haven't either." He answered eventually. Again looking up towards Naruto's window. He could vaguely spot a pinwheel attached to the frame outside Naruto's living room window. Just like the ones in the shop bellow. It was spinning so quickly it had turned transparent by the speed and at first Tobirama hadn't noticed it.

"I don't know Namikaze-san very well, but I think she's hurting. Normally people call her nosy; always chatting with strangers like she does. But she's been absent for a while now. I heard Namikaze-san was close to Senju-san." Continued Izumi to say, completely baffling Tobirama.

People were starting to look oddly at them, clearly wondering what was happening for the two of them to stand there having a civil conversation.

Tobirama was wondering about that fact too.

It took the Senju longer than he'd like to admit to understand who Izumi was referring to. He had never been given the chance to call Mito by anything other than 'Uzumaki' as a family name and it took him a moment to make the connection.

"Yes. Mito and Naruto-san was very close. When Naruto-san was abroad she stayed with Mito and the Uzumaki clan for years inside Uzushiogakure. Naturally she's mourning what befell her friend." Answered Tobirama, trying to come up with something else he could say, but there really wasn't.

Izumi sometimes came by the office to deliver her reports, but in general he had very little to do with her.

Naturally she worked closer to Madara since she was part of his ambush squad. Her rather unique fighting style made her excellent in the arts of silent killing. Mostly because nothing seemed to ever crack her composure. She was a harder rock to break than Madara himself. Ambush was therefore the perfect station for her and so she reported to the Uchiha leader instead of himself, Hashirama or Naruto for that matter.

Though truthfully, Tobirama was confused by Naruto's resent behaviour.

The blonde had never come across to him as someone who would be kicked down that easily. He struggled to picture her as anything other than the constantly positive ball of sunshine that he'd come to know. But somehow a single death had caused her to go back to being a loner who refused to interact with anyone. Just like back when she was sleeping in caves and living from hand to mouth.

It made Tobirama wonder if Naruto was really mentally fit to be a ninja. Seeing as deaths of comrades and family was an expected outcome in their occupation. In all honesty it was absolutely unavoidable if you survived longer then your early teens.

"Hmmm… Yes, but I think she's upset about failing to catch Black Zetsu more than Senju-san's death." Suggested Izumi as the cue moved forwards.

"Oh?" Asked Tobirama and folded his arms in front of him. Sceptically he gazed down at the black haired girl. She was looking curiously at the fish of the day being served to the customers and didn't seem to notice his doubt.

"She probably feels guilty she failed Senju-san and the Uzumaki by not capturing him sooner. It must frustrate her greatly since she's been hunting him for a very long time. At least that's what Izuna-sama told me." Continued Izumi explaining and looked up at the window herself.

Tobirama cast a quick glance in the same direction too, and was surprised when a shadow was visible in the window.

Naruto was standing with her back to the glass and next moment a flash went off. He and Izumi continued looking up towards the apartment to see if anything else would occur, but after the rather unnerving flash the window was again obscured by darkness.

Clearly she was doing something in there. The Senju just hoped she knew enough water jutsu to quench any fires breaking out during the proses.

"I live across the street with my father, and I can see through her living room window from my bedroom. She's always in there practising that flash thing. I believe she's working on a jutsu, and because of recent events I assume it is to catch that creature that killed her friend. Namikaze-san must be very driven. I have yet to see her go to sleep. She is practising when I wake up and still working when I go to bed." Stated Izumi when it was finally her turn to be served.

While Izumi turned to order, efficiently stopping the conversation as quickly as it had started, Tobirama was left to muse about Naruto's doings.

Five minutes later, while Tobirama looked up at the wooden building, he wondered if he should still go and check up on Naruto. But thanks to Izumi he had a much clearer picture of the state Naruto was in, so there was little more he could do.

She would probably show up again once her jutsu was completed.

Tobirama could understand the desire to stay occupied when you were trying to avoid your inner demons. No pun intended.

He was a prime example of this practise himself. Tobirama wasn't known for having invented more powerful jutsu than anyone else in the Fire country for nothing. It was a perfect pass time activity to stay mentally and physically occupied and be productive simultaneously.

Chewing slowly on his last bite of baked salmon he decided to leave her be. It was for the better.

1.7 Years Since the Founding of Konoha…

A pinwheel was a strange birthday gift thought Hashirama. Itama seemed to think so too since he looked confused down at the lazily spinning paper wheel in the Hokage's hand.

There wasn't much wind inside the office except from the draft of cool October wind coming in through the window. It had little effect. "Thanks..." Muttered Hashirama and gazed up at Naruto with one eyebrow raised in question.

The girl shook her head and smirked without it reaching her eyes.

"I'm kidding." She said and dropped of a package she had hidden in her weapon pouch. It wasn't large, but at least it wasn't shaped like an oversized lollipop as the one he'd just opened up to reveal an orange pinwheel.

Hashirama looked for a moment between the girl and the package before unwrapping it. Inside lay a small dark stone with a seal inscribed into it. "Thanks…." He repeated, this time more teasingly. Naruto gave a quick smile before it died out again. She still wasn't acting normal.

Naruto's obsession with Mito's death really wasn't healthy. He'd tried talking to her himself. It had helped a little, but she was still very different from the Naruto he was used to. The lack of smiles being the most obvious change.

"It's a storage seal I designed… It contains chakra. Mine and Kurama's chakra to be more precise. All you need to do is hold onto it and release the seal. The chakra will automatically transfer into your chakra coils. So if you ever run out..." Explained Naruto and shrugged her shoulders.

"It's not as much as I could do if I'd been there in person, but you can see it as a safe guard." Supplied the blonde and started instructing him how to hold and release the seal properly.

Hashirama looked searchingly from the small object in his hand and up at Naruto. That was an extremely useful gift. Was this what all the dead animals were for? The fact that you could transfer bijū chakra mixed with Naruto's made it more adaptable for everyone else to utilize too. This was something Naruto herself had explained to him months ago.

It didn't hurt to have a convenient item that fitted easily with his other weapons in his equipment pouch either. It could be very useful during the right circumstances.

In all honesty he wasn't sure who was better in fuinjutsu between Naruto and Tobirama.

The blonde used her time on more trivial seals, things that was handy for everyone to know and take use of. She also never struggled much with the composition of seals, but she had poor knowledge in the theory behind it. Still; Naruto had much quicker progress in her work and so produced more than his brother.

Tobirama on the other hand went for large scale and intricate seals. Experiments that made Hashirama's head hurt just looking at the jutsu notes. And there were a lot of them.

But he was slower, much more so. He could use years on the same thing, adamant he'll get it right before moving on to the next thing. The seals were both nearly impossible to invent and extremely difficult to use. It was also not suitable for everyone the way Naruto's was.

"Thanks, do you have any plans for you birthday next week? We could organize a dinner for all of us to celebrate both of our birthdays? Nothing big, just the normal people." He suggested and put down the stone to examine the pinwheel.

There was markings on this too, though Hashirama was sure it wasn't fuinjutsu. It took him a moment to realize they were birds. Small birds littered the surface in minuscule scale. They actually looked very nice.

They had a similar design as the ones which had been sown into the wedding dress of his dead wife, but he decided not to point out that fact.

"Where did you get this?" He asked curious and spun the wheel with his finger. Amused he watched as the speed made the wings of the wheel look translucent when spun quickly enough.

"I got it from the store underneath my apartment. They have a good selection of them." Answered Naruto and looked uninterested at the toy she'd bought Hashirama.

The Hokage smiled and got up from his seat, walking over to the window he opened it carefully.

Outside he made a root sprout out from the wooden wall. Not a large one, but one just big enough to wrap around the handle of the pinwheel so it could blow in proper wind.

1.9 Years Since the Founding of Konoha…

Itama propelled forwards, his fist raised as he readied his punch.

Naruto was already in her stance, her eyes fixed on the way his body prepared to strike her down. Just as the blonde raised her hand to stop his fist, Itama abruptly stopped. He twisted sideways and kicked out with his leg, making it sweep sideways and hit the blonde in her side.

It hadn't been entirely successful though, because Naruto had softened the impact with her left hand and now she had a hold of his leg. With a painful twitch, he was forced to the ground. Naruto holding a kunai to his throat.

"That was really good, Itama! Damn, you're really fast. I guess you must be training with Tobirama a lot don't you?" Said Naruto excitedly and helped him up.

He let her help him. When he got to his feet he brushed of the dust and grass attached to his clothes and grinned back. "Yeah. What did you think of my new technique?" He asked eagerly.

"It looked really painful. I hope you weren't actually trying to hit me. That lightning technique could blow limbs off." Said Naruto while looking concerned towards the cliff that had been smashed to pieces.

Itama grinned proudly. Yeah it could. And it was his own invention. He'd worked hard on it and was really pleased to see how well it worked.

"What did you do? It was a middle range attack..." Asked Naruto thoughtfully.

"I transformed the shape of the more traditional lightning spear technique. Basically it acts like a lightning web." Explained Itama, quite ready to hold a whole speech about his new technique.

"It certainly looked like a spider web. I would have thought it really pretty if I wasn't struggling to find a way to escape the thing." Laughed Naruto and roughed up Itama's hair. He was taller then her now and it didn't really have the same effect anymore. But old habits die hard and Itama was sure she'd never be able to let the habit go.

"I'm glad you showed up Itama. It's been a while since we sparred. What made you late though?" Asked Naruto as they walked over to the edge of the training ground they'd been sparring at.

"Oh, just office stuff. I had to help my older brothers with some preparation for the meeting with the leader of the Subaku clan next month." He replied and pushed away some of his brown hair from his eyes.

He really needed to cut it again soon. He preferred his white hair more than the dark. The brown hair always got in his eyes because it lay so flat. The white hair was spiky, which actually helped with getting the hair out of your eyes. Itama had no idea how his oldest brother could handle having long hair.

"I see. So they're still cooped up in there? It's getting late though.. Maybe I should go help out? It's not like I have better things to do since you have to go already." Muttered Naruto, making Itama feel guilty when she looked pointedly at him. Naruto could be surprisingly good at guilt tripping people when she wanted to. She rarely did, so she must've been really bored for her to start using this tactic now.

"Hey! I'm going to help Hashirama right now. I could leave earlier since he's cooped up in the office with Izumi to double check the guards the Subaku is bringing." Answered Itama indignantly. Not being drawn in by those blue, doe eyes anytime soon.

"I see…" Muttered Naruto and moped.

2 Years Since the Founding of Konoha…

"How did you make Madara-sama fall in love with you?" Asked Izumi as blunt as ever. Naruto turned slowly around, facing away from the trunk she'd been hitting repeatedly for an hour. She was working on her punches, and really wasn't expecting Izumi to be here at all.

"Um… What?" Asked Naruto surprised, tilting her head sideways as if she was uncertain she'd heard correctly.

"How did you make Madara-sama fall in love with you?" Repeated Izumi in the exact same tone, not an octave pronounced differently.

"Eh? What.. um… What makes you think he's in love with me? We're friends. Have been for years." Said Naruto quickly but couldn't hide the blush growing on her cheeks. To hide it she turned hurriedly around and continued hitting the trunk.

They were much more than friends at this stage. Especially considering the activity they'd been doing just the evening before.

"I know it's a secret, but everyone already knows. It's a public secret and no one can say anything until they have proofs. I'm not going to tell anyone what you say to me in private. I'm already carrying much larger secrets for you as it is. So how did you make Madara-sama fall in love with you? I need to copy what you did." Explained Izumi, and Naruto spun quickly back to face her again. Her eyes widening.

"You want Madara to fall in love with you?" She asked, feeling outrage bubbling right underneath the surface.

Hadn't Madara mentioned something about Izumi being one of his old admires once?

Something had happened concerning a scarecrow with a beehive for head. She didn't remember the details anymore, but Madara had claimed that had been the end of Izumi's crush on him.

Izumi blinked three times very slowly. "No. Why do you think that? I asked how Madara-sama fell in love with you." She asked confused, her eyes not meeting Naruto's, but that wasn't unusual.

Izumi never met anyones eyes. Even when she was looking in the correct direction her eyes seemed… glossy. Like she wasn't actually paying attention to what she saw. At first Naruto had wondered if Izumi didn't need glasses, but The Uchiha had proven her wrong on many occasions.

Naruto nodded absent mindedly, feeling relieved she didn't have a competitor in Izumi. It would not have bode well for their friendship if something like that came up.

"Um… Well…" Said Naruto and roughed up the back of her hair while she thought through her answer. It looked like Izumi wouldn't give up before she had something concrete, and if Naruto continued denying Madara wasn't in love with her they would be here for eternity. That was the type of person both of them were.

"I didn't really do all that much… He didn't either. But he was very direct though. He's not really shy so I've known for a while how he felt. Mainly we continued being friends until we were both ready to have a relationship. Somewhere on that road we developed feelings for one another." Explained Naruto. Wondering if she was sounding like a teen magazine from her own time.

She'd once read Sakura's issue of 'Cool Kunoichi Club' and it had been an oasis of information to Naruto at the time. The blonde had for the first time learned there was something called intercourse and she'd seen pages upon pages about what was cool to wear and what type of body you needed for them to sit right. But after travelling with Ero-Sennin she'd had a few of her facts proven wrong.

"Oh… And how did you know how long to wait before getting together? Did you plan a date?" Asked Izumi and sat down on a rock close to the tree trunk.

"…. No." Replied Naruto, wondering why she couldn't have been left alone for the day. All she'd wanted was to train, instead she was having 'girl talk' with Izumi. Seeing as they both had their social handicaps it couldn't possibly end well.


"… Is there someone you are in love with Izumi?" Asked Naruto eventually, seeing as there was no getting away from this conversation. But Izumi looked really lost.

The dark haired young woman looked up, her eyes slightly more focused then usual. "Yes."

The blonde shifted from foot to foot, knowing she'd regret asking what she was about to ask. "Do you want me to help you get to know this person? I'm not sure what I can help with really..."

Izumi tilted her head to the side, considering the offer and blushing slightly before answering. "Well… You can tell me what he likes..." As she finished she blushed even deeper.

Naruto blinked once, twice, thrice, and then she blushed scarlet.

"What? I'm not telling you that!" She shouted indignantly.

"Why not? You know him a lot better than I do." Izumi retorted stubbornly.

"Yes! But we're together! And what we do together is… private..." She whispered the last words, and for a moment Izumi seemed to be under the impression Naruto was talking a different language.

Then she laughed. Her high soprano voice ringing pleasantly in the forest.

"I don't mean Madara-sama. I meant Hashirama-sama." Clarified Izumi.

"Oh! Good, ah,… I thought you meant... Haha, I'm sorry." Naruto said and felt her own cheeks heat up. Yes, this type of conversation really wasn't her strong suit. But then it slowly dawned on her just what Izumi had said.

"Wait! Hashirama? You're in love with Hashirama?!" Naruto exclaimed baffled.

"Yes." Answered Izumi miserably. There wasn't much change in her expression, but the tone of her voice said it all.


They latched into silence, both pondering the situation.

"Well… Hashirama is open minded, Izumi. I doubt he'd let the fact that you're an Uchiha get in his way. I mean, his best friend is an Uchiha. If anything; be happy you didn't fall for Tobirama. He's much more stuck up than Hashirama. Hell, even Itama is better at holding grudges than Hashirama." Naruto said comfortably, sitting down next to Izumi while still wondering how to help her friend out.

"I know that. Now I need to find out how he can view me as more than a friend." Izumi explained, twiddling her thumbs and looking down at the grass bowing gently in the wind.

"That you do… Maybe you could just tell him? Hashirama appreciate honesty." Suggested the blonde, but the hard look Izumi sent her shut her mouth shut quickly.

So that was not a good advice… what else could she say?

"I'm barely a friend, and it only happened because I know of your secret after the Zetsu incident. Hadn't that happened I'd still just be one of the Uchiha woman." Replied Izumi and her shoulders fell.

"Hey now… Hashirama always say you are the most patient person he's ever met. And I've seen you fight. You wait out your target until the timing is juuust right. Maybe the timing just isn't correct right now, but if you're patient that might change." Said Naruto, scratching her upper arm as a fly tickled her skin.

Izumi thought long on that before she slowly nodded. "I am patient, but I also always have a strategy. Unlike you I've never gone in blind."

2.2 Years Since the Founding of Konoha

The weather came down in harsh, punishing puddles and the fog lay like a cloud over the landscape.

Madara was unsure if anyone could see more than a couple of steps in front of them. The only one in the company who wasn't down about the weather was Naruto. She didn't seem to mind the rain as much as the rest.

To begin with it hadn't been that bad, but after two hours of steadily increasing rain and wind Madara could no longer feel his toes nor fingers. Why oh why did he use sandals? At least he didn't use fingerless gloves like Naruto.

"Okay. That's enough for today. Lets find some shelter and get a good nights rest. I don't want all of you to get sick before we can finish this mission." Shouted Madara over the howling wind.

They were five people instead of the usual number four. Naruto wasn't supposed to come along, but Tobirama had gotten annoyed because she had been distracting Hashirama, and sent her along on the mission.

"Thank kami." He heard Izumi mutter from somewhere to the right. He could spot the outline of two people there, and knew it was Izumi and Shin from their chakra signature. Had it not been for his sensor skills he could have easily mistaken them for anyone.

Naruto came up next to him and smiled brightly. Though she was wearing a coat she looked drenched to the bone. Her bangs were plastered to the side of her face along with the hood of the cloak. Her cheek and nose were red and she created fog for each breath she took. Madara suspected he didn't look much better.

"There's a mountain side not far away. Maybe we can find some shelter there." Naruto suggested and pointed towards the side.

The terrain had been changing for a while. Going from rich green to more rocky and rough. He nodded and shouted for the rest to follow. He had to shout in this type of weather, the wind and rain carried away the sound and if he'd used sign language no one would have seen it.

They trotted in a file between boulders and free standing trees. There were less of them in this area, but the terrain was far from dead. The landscape was rich with moss, bushes and grass though the fog made everything look sad and grey. There was an overrunning river not too far away, and the mountainside had an uneven surface. Making it easier to find shelter from rain, and if they were really lucky, also the wind.

They were half lucky. They found a place that sheltered for both rain and wind, but it wasn't large enough to fit them all. He allowed the others to take it, seeing as Madara himself could never sleep so close to people he barely knew.

He would start feeling claustrophobic in that setting, and he liked his space. Madara would rather sleep under a bush than so close to everyone.

After giving his orders and tomorrows password, he left to find a place to sleep. It took him a long time, and by then the sky had grown dark and the rain had gotten even worse. Both thunder and lightning was coming in from the east, and he realized that Kami was not on their side on this mission.

Madara was certain that every single one of them would end up with a cold before they returned to Konoha in two days. He would even have bet on it against Hashirama.

Instead he found a good spot in a dark shallow cave he'd found. It wasn't as good as the other one, but it was better than a bush.

He took of his armor. It was not something that was comfortable to sleep in, and wondered what he should use to shelter himself from some of the rain. He'd left the rain sheet they used to screen against rain for the others, leaving him without such comforts.

Sighing he managed to find a groove in the mountain were he could hang up his armor, it screened him slightly from one side, and he had the mountain on the other and slightly above him, making it the best place to sit for the night.

Leaning his head against the hard surface behind him Madara closed his eyes and tried to will himself to sleep. It wasn't easy. Madara had slept in many places over the years, but this was one of the more uncomfortable ones.

At least it wasn't uncomfortable and dangerous. It was just uncomfortable. They were not under any threat as far as they knew, and this was only a scouting mission where they weren't really expecting to find anything. But it was better to be safe than sorry.

"Hey." Madara's eyes snapped open and he knocked his head back, causing stars to glimmer in front of his eyes as he hit his head against the mountain side.

"What are you doing here?" Hissed Madara back, massaging the tender spot at the back of his head while looking scornfully at Naruto.

One thing was for her to sneak into his room at night back in Konoha. They had more privacy and no one knew what they were doing there.

Out here on the other hand three people had just been told exactly where Naruto was going and could probably guess what had happened if she didn't return. Izumi had long since figured out what was going on between him and Naruto at any rate.

"I came to check on you. I can't sleep." Naruto told him and walked up to Madara and sat down. The wind blew her hair sideways, making water drip everywhere.

"Come here. You're splashing water everywhere." Madara muttered and opened his arms. Naruto happily snuggled into them, sharing the small shelter together with him. He was glad she'd taken off the armor too. This would have been even more uncomfortable if she hadn't.

He foolishly tried to run his fingers through her hair, but the rain had made it tangled and very knotted. When he removed his hand a few strands of Naruto's hair was stuck around his fingers. Muttering about Naruto getting a haircut he tried to dry his hand against his thigh. But his pants was just as wet and he made small progress. Naruto chuckled.

"You're in a good mood." Madara observed, peeking down at the girl sprawled across his chest. He was sitting while he tried to sleep and Naruto was curled on his lap with her head against his shoulder, his arms around her.

She was warm, and Madara suddenly found the position less annoying than he'd expected.

Naruto always felt more warm than everyone else, and when they slept in the same bed he could never stand to sleep with her in his arms. He just boiled up. She was an inferno. At least it felt like it.

So after they had sex they would talk for a while, but when they fell asleep it was usually with some space between them. Naruto knew how cranky he got when she tried to snuggle. It wasn't pleasant waking up and feeling like you had a fever, only to realise the heat was coming from your over clingy lover that tried to hug you in her sleep. Usually he just rolled her over, and thanks to Naruto being a heavy sleeper she had never woken up.

"I am." Replied Naruto and smiled into his shoulder.

"Why? The weather is absolutely abysmal. I can't wait until we're back home." Madara replied and hugged her a little tighter. Smelling the top of her hair while he closed his eyes. Thanks to Naruto's heat Madara was quickly growing drowsy.

"Oh, I'm used to this type of weather. I slept outside for years, remember?" Naruto explained and laughed.

"The others will be asking questions tomorrow." Madara answered, but felt one side of his lips twitch upwards.

Naruto shifted in his lap, making a small space between them where a gush of wind managed to find it's way. Madara hugged her back quickly. Right now her ridiculous body temperature was exactly what he craved.

"Tsch, no they wont. Everyone knows what we're doing." Naruto said a snickered to herself.

"No they don't. They suspect. They don't know. This is just more proof that their suspicion is correct." Madara retorted and opened one eye to peek down at her. Naruto was pouting, but didn't object to that statement.

"Well, we shouldn't have to hide it. It's stupid really. I mean, if men goes to a brothel it's alright, but if they have a steady girlfriend it's a scandal! What is that?" Naruto muttered annoyed and leaned her head back on his shoulder.

"Girl… -friend. I will never get how that word came to be." Mused Madara and shook his head.

"I won't either, but you didn't answer about the double standard, dattebayo." Naruto complained and shifted again in his lap, trying to find a position that would be more comfortable for her.

"I don't know. It would be more than fine if we were courting. Not everything we do of course. And it's not like men brag about going to brothels. It's a private thing. Somewhere to… relive stress. It helps in the wars." Madara said, and had to snicker at the angry glare Naruto sent him.

"Did you?" Naruto asked slowly, one eyebrow raising while she looked up at him.

Madara swallowed. Yes… Yes he had gone to brothels.

Back before she returned he had been there three times. He hadn't once he started perusing Naruto for real, and now he really didn't see a point of going there. Having sex with Naruto beat the hell out of any whore. He didn't have to hold back. She wasn't fragile and was a very good partner.

Maybe it was because she was a ninja, but Madara liked to think they just were good for one another. Their battles were much more enjoyable in bed than when they sparred anyway.

"Of course not. I was waiting for you." Madara said a beat too late. Naruto shook her head from side to side. Leaning back against his chest but didn't say anything.

Madara swallowed. Knowing Naruto hadn't bought his lie. He tried to come up with an explanation. An excuse. He shouldn't have to though. It was before Naruto. Why would he have to apologize for that? Everyone went to the brothel. At least everyone who could afford it. He was pretty damn sure even Hashirama had gone there at least once since Mito's death. There was just some things overworking yourself couldn't help with.

"But you haven't since we…?" Naruto said, her voice clipped while her fingers dug into the fabric of his sweater. Madara denied it at once.

"Of course not. Why would you even-? It was years ago." Madara replied stubbornly.

"Don't lie then." Naruto said, still sounding angry, but because of the position she was lying in he couldn't see her face, just the top of her head.

Madara felt his stubbornness ebb out. He could give her that much. "Okay… I won't lie." He answered at last. Naruto nodded against his chest.

"Good." Naruto replied and snuggled against him. He was surprised she hadn't blown up on him. But then Naruto rarely did what he expected her to do.

Madara still wasn't sure why he loved Naruto so much. In a way they didn't fit together. He usually liked to know everything beforehand. When they were at war he always wanted to know what a situation was, who they were up against and what they could do.

Naruto was a wild card. She was a tornado without direction. Just blowing past him and causing destruction in her wake. Well… Destruction on him at last. He couldn't help being drawn to her. She was the biggest challenge of his life to date. Maybe Madara just enjoyed struggles. On the battlefield, during sparring, with his friends and also lover. Maybe...

"You know what?" Naruto said and turned her head so she could look at Madara more clearly. He looked down, trying to figure out if he was in for a mouthful of swear words, or if she was changing the topic. It looked like it was the latter.

"No." Madara replied when Naruto didn't say anything. Naruto seemed to be thinking hard, and suddenly she drew away from him. He missed the warmth at once but allowed for her retreat.

"What?" He asked, starting to grow nervous as Naruto's face changed expressions. Going from thoughtful to annoyed to hesitant. Maybe she was going to start arguing after all.

"Will you marry me?" Asked Naruto instead.

Madara stared blindly at her for a moment. Not having expected that at all. He blinked more times than he could remember afterwards, and then wondered if she was joking. "What?" He replied.

"Will you marry me? You know, you keep saying I should be your wife but you've never actually proposed to me. So instead I'm proposing to you. But you should know that if you accept then I'll castrate you if you ever dare to sleep with another woman." Naruto said and smiled brightly.

Madara opened his mouth, closed it, opened it again before closing it a final time. Sighing he smiled warmly to her.

Instead of answering - and his cheek burning in embarrassment - he nodded. Madara couldn't believe he'd never proposed, but she was right. He'd always sort of blurted out a comment about how much easier it would be if they were married. Or suggested it as a form of topic.

"You have to answer properly, Madara. Seriously. You're lousy at proposal stuff, even when I'm the one doing the job." Naruto said, but she was still smiling.

"Yes." He said shortly, still feeling like the biggest loser in the world. Izuna was never going to let this drop. Madara had to figure out how the hell to keep Naruto from telling people she was the one to propose.

Naruto beamed and swooped down to kiss him.

Afterwards she snuggled back up against him, her head resting against his chest while the rain worsened even more, coming down in hail while lightning lit up the sky. Madara could no longer be as annoyed about it though. Here with Naruto in his arms he was warm and content.

2.5 Years Since the Founding of Konoha

"What are you doing! Give those back, Naruto! I just finished organizing them!" Shouted Hashirama as Naruto threaten to throw his recently finished workload out the window of his office. Which incidentally was on the sixth floor.

"I hereby declare you unfit to make proper decisions, Hashirama. I'm sorry to announce that you need to get out more often." Answered Naruto with one eyebrow raised.

Tobirama was standing next to his brother and looked exasperatedly at her, but Naruto didn't pay attention to him.

"I don't have time to get out, Naruto. I'm swamped with work. If you're so bored why don't you bug Madara instead? Or Itama?" Replied the Hokage, his hands still outstretched towards Naruto's position by the window. Next to her raised hand with papers was the pinwheel he'd received from her the year before.

He always made sure to take it in when he left the office or if the weather turned bad. It still looked in good shape and the spinning mechanism was working as if new. It had started making a low humming sound though, and on windy days such as this one the sound intensified. Right now he wondered if he should throw it out the window just to show how displeased he was with her.

"I didn't want to hang out with Madara or Itama." Retorted Naruto quickly.

"I'm guessing they told her to get lost." Muttered Tobirama and walked over to his favourite chair in the corner of the office. He plopped down and readied himself for the unavoidable confrontation coming up ahead. If he tried to snap the documents up Naruto was guaranteed to release the papers into the wind. She never uttered an empty threat...

Naruto had heard the Senju and sent him a narrowed eyed glare before focusing back on Hashirama.

"Stop being ridiculous then. Give me back those papers. I used a long time finishing them and I really, really don't want to redo them." Said Hashirama pleadingly, noticing how slack her grip had become.

"I'll stop being ridiculous when you start being social again. You're always working, and you know what? I think you're slowly suffocating yourself. What about hanging out with me or Madara outside the office for once? We haven't had a dinner together in ages. Or what about you going on a date for a change? I mean, you wont stay young and good looking forever, Hashirama."

They had both been introduced to the concept of 'dating' from Madara. The Uchiha leader had told them one evening in the office how where Naruto were from they didn't have arranged marriages. That they had something called dating instead of courting, and that he in general wasn't sure how he felt about the whole thing seeing as at the time, Naruto didn't want to marry him.

But since Hashirama knew what the term meant his face heated up and he turned a little red around the ears. After every 'date' Naruto and Madara went on they always looked quite content afterwards.

It was the odd look on Tobirama's face when he noticed the change in Madara's chakra that first tipped him of.

By default Tobirama could tell everytime Madara had a 'date' with Naruto who was now officially his fiancée. Something that never failed to make his younger brother uncomfortable.

Hashirama sympathised, and was happy he didn't have such an inconvenient backlash to his own powers.

"I… No. I've got no one I want to… date… right now." Muttered Hashirama back, his eyes still fixed on the papers.

How many was she clutching? Fifty? Maybe even more…

"But you're not even trying, Hashirama… You're a social person and even Madara who's a hermit compared to you is more out and about than you are. And he has a girlfriend already." Added Naruto.

Girlfriend and boyfriend was also a new concept to them, but Madara had cleared up this misunderstanding as well. Naruto had a habit of calling Madara her 'boyfriend' instead of fiancée, so it had been a little confusing in the start. Madara saying Naruto was his fiancée while she was calling him a "boy friend" was confusing a lot of people.

And boy-friend? Hashirama was very curious as to how that word came about.

"I'm working for the good of the village, Naruto. There's a lot to do, and when I'm finished for the day I'm usually too tired to socialise." Argued Hashirama. Knowing the reply would fall on empty ears even before he started talking.

"You have options though! Look what I found in the mail-room! It was in the trash can, so I think someone mixed it up with the wrong pile." Said Naruto, and to Hashirama's horror she fished up a few letters from her pockets with her free hand.

With swift fingers she'd somehow opened one of the folded letters without dropping the rest and started reading.

"Dear Hokage-sama." She started formally, and from the corner of his eye he noticed how Tobirama's eyes were shining with mirth, already knowing what was coming. Naruto continued without noticing anything amiss.

"You probably do not remember me, as we met long ago and there were many people you were introduced to that day. I'm writing to you now because my heart will not allow me to stay silent any longer. I have watched from afar how you fight on the battlefield and I know the hardships you have suffered. It has made me grow to admire you as a leader, trust you as an ally and love you like a husb-"

But further she didn't read because of the loud snicker coming from the corner of the room. Tobirama was trying very hard to make it appear like it had been a cough instead, but they could both see he was struggling to keep his scowl in place.

"Stop this. Please. I throw those letters away because..." Started Hashirama, not entirely sure how the end the sentence.

Naruto was a woman with some very strict viewpoints that quite often conflicted with his own. Especially when it came to the roles of a housewife. She was the exception to the general rule though, and he was terrified of her when she got mad so he tried to appease her on this particular point.

"The letters doesn't really..." He said, trying to word it differently but again not managing to find the proper words.

"He gets so many love letters he don't have time to read them all. Some of his admires write every day." Supplied Tobirama unhelpfully.

Naruto looked taken aback towards Hashirama, not really picturing the Senju as the typical fan-girl obsession material. But then again, he was handsome, kind, powerful and respected.

It shouldn't really have been a surprise, but yet it was. Naruto guessed she still in some ways viewed Hashirama as the scrawny twelve year old boy with a bowler cut.

"My God you are lazy, Hashirama! Here you have more admires than you can count and you can't even muster up the effort to reply to any of them? What if one of them are really cool, dattebayo?" Complained Naruto, her hands gesturing while she spoke. Making the papers flap up and down in sync with her arm and Hashirama to grow increasingly nervous. She might just drop them without thinking.

"They are all probably very nice, but it's not my forte." Answered the Hokage in defence. Knowing there were many letters Naruto would be outraged by. It wasn't so bad now that the blonde was engaged, but he'd read quite a few colourful paragraphs concerning his close friendship with an unmarried woman in the past. Especially from other unmarried woman.

"He is actually busy too, Naruto-san. We're getting more applications every day from people wanting to relocate to Konoha. Not just ninjas either. There's a sea of civilians who wants to become part of Konoha." Added Tobirama in his brother's favour. Noting that Hashirama seemed a little at a loss on how to deal with the conversation.

He agreed to some of the points Naruto had come up with, but they really did have a lot to get through before the end of the day.

Naruto turned towards the younger Senju and sighed exasperatingly. "I get that, but that doesn't mean he has to give up all other aspects of his life. I know for a fact that if your brother wanted to be out and socialise, he'd manage just fine to balance his time. And stop calling me Naruto-san, Tobirama! We've known each other for years and if you believe that by continuously addressing me by -san that I'll start doing it in return then you're in for a disappointment." Retorted Naruto heatedly. Her arm waving up and down and loosening the grip she had the papers.

Tobirama was getting slightly annoyed. Naruto clearly did not get the dilemma since she was still threatening to dispose of their morning workload.

"Humph, I don't think you really do. You are too unlearned to understand the thoughts and planning going into the running of this village. It takes time and since Hashirama is the Hokage it demands a lot out of him. To you it might look like he's just sitting behind a desk all day, but in truth he has to know everything going on at all times of the day. It's far too much for a woman to comprehend, I get that. But you at least need to have some understanding of the fact that you're not kids anymore, and that Hashirama has other obligations for the time being."

Once Tobirama was finished with his speech Naruto was gaping. Hardly believing how lowly Tobirama thought of her. She might not be the smartest of people, but even she wasn't that much of an idiot. And; far too much for a woman to comprehend? Clearly this guy would get poorly along with TenTen if they had ever met.

Naruto snapped her mouth shut, readying herself for the explosion of feminism that had been building up over the years. But before she could start Tobirama continued with his rant. Not noticing the look of growing panic on his brother's face.

"Please leave him be and let us get back to work. While I know you're probably the strongest ninja in the village, these matters aren't for simple minded people like yourself who don't understand the workings properly. You might be on the council but you're also hardly ever awake… Naruto-san."

Tobirama looked calmly at her, waiting for her to do as he'd instructed.

Naruto arched one eyebrow challengingly, then dropped the papers out the window.

2.6 Years Since the Founding of Konoha…

Itama took a careful gulp from the beverage and his whole face twisted up in a grimace. The expression was followed up with a deep coughing as Itama bent forwards while Tobirama good naturedly hit his younger brother on the back.

Looking up the youngest Senju wheezed out through teary eyes. "How- How can you drink that stuff? It tasted horrible..." He muttered and combed away some of his dark hair from his face. The white half of his hair was too spiky and gravity defying to give him the same problem.

"Hah! The kid can't hold his liquor. I should have made a bet, I knew this would happen." Chuckled Izuna and took another gulp of his own sake. Not showing any outward reaction to the burning taste slithering down his throat.

"Of course you knew this would happen. It happens to everyone the first time they try sake." Replied Tobirama tersely.

"You must have killed your taste buds by consuming too much of this revolting beverage. How can you endure this?" Wondered Itama aloud.

"With the will of fire! Watch me be the dragon consuming my flaming prey." Exclaimed Izuna loudly, turning his cup upside down and throwing the clear liquid down his throat.

"Clearly Izuna is the one who can't hold his liquor… He's drunk Itama, so don't listen to him. Sake is traditional and since you're now of age you'll have to get used to the taste of it. Now empty your glass, once it's finished you don't have to take another one." Explained Tobirama and sighed while he looked around the crowded bar.

Izumi and Naruto was still chatting together at the other side of the bar in the furthest corner from themselves. Their contrasting appearances making them look like yin and yang in the smoke filled and darkly lit room.

"I can't figure out what Izumi's doing these days." Muttered Izuna just as he'd finished ordering a new round for all three of them, making Itama look nauseous at the glass being put down in front of him.

"Oh?" Asked Tobirama and turned his head to the Uchiha sipping his sake and looking in the direction of the girls.

"Yeah… She's been out on her own a lot. Her father says she's being distant with him. I'm not sure what's going on, but it looks like Naruto is in on it." Muttered Izuna and peeked quickly towards Itama who was still trying to muster up the courage to down his first drink in one gulp. He was failing so far.

"If you don't hurry up kid, I'll take that drink myself." Snapped Izuna and gestured towards the small glass waiting for a consumer.

Itama seemed to find some comfort in those words, and he simply nodded in reply.

"I'm not sure what she's up to either, but she came and talked to me the other day. Weird really, seeing as I've never talked to her much before. But then Izumi isn't exactly normal either." Tobirama supplemented as he downed his third glass of sake.

He was starting to feel light headed but was still far from drunk. At least a lot less than the Uchiha at their table.

Izuna looked narrowed eyed back and forth between Izumi and Tobirama, a speculative glint in his eyes. "She hasn't got a crush on you or something does she?" Snapped Izuna suddenly, looking quite angered by the words that had just spilled from his own mouth.

Tobirama, who'd been about to take another gulp of sake, choked slightly on the drink, making some of it go down the wrong pipe. Coughing in a similar fashion as his brother had recently done Tobirama stared annoyed back at Izuna.

"What? Of course not. She's an Uchiha." Stated Tobirama as if that should clear up the misunderstanding. Which it did.

Izuna leaned back in his seat, his head resting against the wall right behind him while he closed his eyes briefly.

"She's a woman. Who knows what planet they live on, and Izumi is even more of a mystery than most." Muttered Tobirama to himself, still trying to shake off the image Izuna had implanted in his mind. It wasn't a pleasant one in the slightest.

"Women are a mystery… Yuko is being very cross with me because of wedding preparations. It's not like I give a shit about those things. I'm envious of big bro sometimes. Naruto didn't give two damn what her flower arrangement consisted of. Hell, if Izumi hadn't pointed out there should be flowers in the shrine she wouldn't have thought about it at all. Madara was the woman when it came to planning their wedding. At least he had one of the clan women help them out seeing as there was no way Naruto had any clue or interest." Rambled Izuna while stirring his cup lazily. Tobirama indicated to the bartender that they wanted another round.

"She raised herself while living in caves. You can't really blame the girl for not being traditional seeing as she never learned these things properly." Replied Tobirama. Looking swiftly in the blonde's direction as she talked animatedly with a waiter that had just stopped by their table.

She unconsciously ran her hand over the back of her head while she spoke. A habit Tobirama had noticed she frequently did. It forced her ponytail further up on her head while she talked.

"Eh, I guess." Answered Izuna with a shrug of his shoulders. "I thought she was an angel." The Uchiha randomly blurted out as an afterthought. Tobirama looked away from the women in the corner and stare surprised at Izuna.

"You know, after the battle between you, me and Kurou when I got injured. That would have killed me you know." He added and stared angrily at Tobirama sitting directly opposite him.

Tobirama didn't bother to take the bait and instead waited for Izuna to continue with his angel talk. Which took a while seeing as their bartender came over with a new round of sake.

"Okay, so... I was lying there in unbelievable pain. I knew Madara was coming in and out of the room and trying to change my bandages. But it hurt like a kunai to the heart and I was ready to die. Death was certainly better than the hell of living with that agony." Explained Izuna darkly, his hands trailing the round shape of the glass edge.

Tobirama tilted his head sideways, surprisingly curious as to where Izuna was going with this.

A more cunning part of him came to the conclusion that he should get the Uchiha drunk more often. Though they were allied clans the Uchiha still liked to keep some things hidden, though some had leaked. Like how the Mangekyō Sharingan was activated for example.

"Then I started feeling better, and I was sure the sinigami had finally come for me. Instead I was met by the sight of Naruto. I tell you, no one has healed me the way Naruto did. It was a mesmerizing experience. And I was sure for a moment that Naruto wasn't a mere human being, but an angel sent to help out those who couldn't help themselves anymore. I still think to this day that if my brother hadn't had dibs on her, I might have made her my wife because of that incident alone." Stated Izuna jokingly.

"You're in love with your brother's wife?" Asked Itama in a hiss. For the first time speaking up in some time, and Tobirama had quite forgotten he was still there. Itama was obviously getting more used to the taste of sake too, seeing as there was three empty shot glasses in front of him.

"No you idiot, I didn't say that. But the experience is burned into my mind. It made me love her, but quite differently than my brother does. She's my sister now, but I say if things had been different then Naruto could have been an option. I'm not sad or anything, I love my fiancée and don't want anyone else. But if things had been differently..." Izuna rambled before trailing off.

Tobirama felt a little mystified by the whole topic, and again looked in the direction of Naruto.

She did have a habit of making people love her and the white haired Senju understood where Izuna was coming from.

Madara was by far not the only one who would have asked for her hand in marriage. The troops loved her, she was always a comfort to have in a battle and she looked very exotic compared to most others in Konoha.

The thing was that everyone also knew of the Uchiha leader's intentions even before he'd said a word about it. They had been rather obvious after all. And it had scared everyone shitless with just the idea of stirring his wrath.

"Naruto-san has a strange affect on people. It's a lot like what older brother does too. It's hard to stay discouraged in their presence." Thought Tobirama aloud. "I still don't understand why she isn't listed as a medical ninja though. I thought you'd die from that seal Kurou-san activated on you. That was a lot of blood you lost. The blood stains ruined my old uniform since it was impossible to wash out."

Tobirama didn't care much for the look of fury that flashed in Izuna's eyes, and instead downed his own glass of sake before again refilling it. He knew he was reaching his limit very quickly, but today he just wanted to relax. Forget about work and personal crap.

"It was a lucky shot." Argued Izuna and barked out to the waiter who had previously been by Naruto's table for more sake. Ordering him to bring them a bottle instead of these; "Whiny kid glasses."

"I heard Naruto can't preform those things anymroe. Apparently it was some sort of seal that had been placed on her from… someone… I can't remember what older brother said… Her grandfather? An old guy at least. And it was used up gradually each time she used it. It wasn't her own power." Explained Itama seriously, looking curiously at the green bottle coming towards them on the tray held up by their waiter.

"Not her own? Seriously?" Asked Izuna surprised, the trivia fact snapping him out of his brooding.

"That's what I heard. It's why she never listed it as a skill on her resident application sheet when she was accepted into Konoha." Itama explained further, peeking up to Tobirama who wasn't sure what to make of these news. It did explain a few things he'd been wondering about.

Naruto was now leaning towards Izumi who was sitting with perfect posture to contrast that of the slouching pose of the blonde. She was tapping her hand against her thigh. Restlessly somehow. She was always restless, Madara must get exhausted just being in the same room as her day in and day out.

"Well, I'm still grateful I'm alive. At least she prioritized me to use her seal on. Even if it was also a seal that rendered me in that situation in the first place." Said Izuna and muttered under his breath a few sentences neither of the Senju brothers could hear.

"But you're not in love with Naruto then." Clarified Itama with a raised eyebrow.

"Who do you think you are, brat? The Naruto protection force? It's none of your business even if I did. But I'm not. She's like my sister. Legally she is my sister now too." Said Izuna and shook his head in exasperation. "You need to get over that crush. It's over. You lost. Deal with it." Izuna added and focused on draining the sake from the bottle and into his glass with deep concentration. His hands weren't steady anymore.

"I don't have a crush on Naruto." Snapped Itama in defiance, his cheeks heating up because of how loudly he'd said it. Luckily for him it seemed the girls in the corner hadn't noticed it though.

"Sure you don't. You just act like an ass to my brother because you find him so easy to threaten." Izuna jeered with a roll of his eyes.

"No, I really don't. I might have when I was young but I'm over it by now. I just don't think they're that good of a couple. They argue all the time and Naruto is like a sister to me too. I don't want her to be unhappy." Retorted Itama stubbornly.

The two ninjas was eyeing each other as if reading themselves to fight. Yes, they'd both had too much to drink it seemed. Maybe inviting Izuna over to their table earlier had been a mistake…

"Naruto-san isn't unhappy, Itama." Stated Tobirama, his eyes flickering in the direction of the blonde again.

The Senju felt like Naruto always smiled no matter what time of the day it was. Even when she was grumpy there was a positive energy radiating from her. It was her chakra that was responsible for that, Tobirama would know seeing as he could pick up on it a mile away without actually trying.

"She's content and married to the person she loves out of her own free will. Which is more than can be said for most." Added the older Senju brother and gulped down the glass of sake. No longer feeling the burn or the bitter taste.

"Yeah, she is. So shut your trap, brat. And while we're on the subject." Said Izuna with a smug smile in Itama's direction. He then turned towards Tobirama and his mischievous smile grew downright evil. "When are you going to settle down yourself Tobirama? I don't see you courting anyone..." Asked Izuna in a slurred voice before he started giggling. "Even Itama has made more progress than you."

Tobirama sighed, knowing the evening had already reached that stage. When the participants were too hammered to do much more than be nosy idiots.

"I have obligations to the village. Even if that hadn't occupied my time I still have no wish to find a bride." Answered the oldest amongst the group. Leaning back in his seat and putting the glass to his lips.

"Because Konoha has such excellent brothels?"

Tobirama didn't reply to that one, instead he took notice of how his brother's cheeks were heating up. He had been by one a few times, but not a soul was ever to find that out.

"Please don't share your unsavoury habits in front of my younger brother, Izuna. And especially not so close to your own wedding..." He muttered in a low voice.

"I was sure you were in a relationship with that Tōka girl for a while. But I guess I was mistaken. Maybe if you did get laid you would stop acting like an ass. It certainly helped for my brother." Snickered Izuna with a wicked glint to his eyes.

"Maybe I have my proprieties in order." Answered Tobirama annoyed. This wasn't a subject he wanted to talk about. Not for a second longer.

"Whatever you say, Senju." Replied Izuna, falling back to his old habit of referring to Tobirama by his family name.

3 Years Since the Founding of Konoha

"Anything else to report?" Asked Hashirama, looking over to Izumi who was standing in full Konoha armor. She'd been out of the village for two weeks on a mission together with Naruto's team. As part of a separate unit she was required to give her own report without the influence of the others. Tobirama said it helped for spread revision safety of… something.

"No, Hokage-sama." Answered the Uchiha woman.

"Good, because I've been meaning to speak to you about a different matter." Continued Hashirama, now scribbling down the last of the notes he had in mind after the oral report Izumi had just given.

"Okay... Hokage-sama." Replied Izumi, sounding a little unsure.

He looked up and smiled warmly. His personality switching from that of the stressed out Hokage to the more relaxed Hashirama. "Good job, it seems you and Naruto's team are quite suited for each other. Madara has informed of such many times, but I truly wasn't expecting you to be back already." He started saying, wanting Izumi to get some encouragement for her hard work.

"Thank you, Hokage-sama." Replied Izumi while her cheeks heated up.

It was very easy to see when Izumi was either tired or embarrassed. Mostly because of her pale skin. She didn't go red but instead a rosy pink. It was also rare for people to offer her compliments.

Not because she wasn't skilled or lacked beauty or wits. She was all of those three, but her personality put people off. She seemed completely normal until she suddenly took you by surprise. It was usually her brutal honesty with no filter applied to it, but she also had some questionable beliefs.

"Well you ought to know. I also wanted to talk to you about your rank. You've been holding the title of Tokubetsu Jōnin since your first evaluation by Naruto when Konoha was founded. You were one of the first ones weren't you?" He said, remembering back to one of the fights he'd overseen together with Madara and Naruto.

"Yes, Hokage-sama. I was in the second test group on the first day. We were unable to get the bells and no one got a hit in on Naruto-san." Answered Izumi, still standing like rooted to the spot in the middle of the room. Hashirama smiled encouragingly back.

"I remember… Well, what I'm interesting in knowing is if you're interested in a second testing? You've gotten many recommendations from different stations over the last year, and the test would be to see if you're good enough to move up to jōnin." Asked Hashirama, seeing how Izumi's eyes suddenly glinted.

"Yes, Hokage-sama." She answered after an unusual long break.

"Good, then you will have to meet up tomorrow at eight on training ground thirteen."

"Yes, Hokage-sama." Izumi repeated. He could see her excitement though. Or maybe 'see' was the wrong word.

Izumi hadn't changed outwardly since he'd made the deceleration, but he still felt it. Because of Izumi's closed off personality, making her happy felt like twice the achievement compared to anyone else.

This type of happiness she usually only showed after battles. Izumi was a great fighter. A unique one too. Her many battle limitations had always made her progress slow in the beginning, but if anything that made him respect her all the more.

It was therefore a little amusing at times, seeing as Izumi bore a strong resemblance to Madara outwardly. It was in the lines underneath her eyes, her dark long hair and skin tone. It was easy to mistake them for close relatives. Cousins... Maybe even siblings. But according to Madara they had no direct relatives that was even vaguely close.

Izumi was rather far out compared to the main family, and it showed in their own individual ways that had nothing with her appearance. Compared to anyone in the Uchiha clan Izumi was very different, but especially to Madara.

Their way of fighting was one of them. Where Madara was a tornado when he fought - a lot like Hashirama himself really - where buildings and mountains shook as he forced his way through. There Izumi was a calm and razor sharp breeze. A leaf so fine it cut your hand to the bone if you even grazed it, but yet harmless from afar.

Madara always changed his tactic, but Izumi stalked her prey in the same fashion until her target was exhausted.

Where Madara was constantly narrowing his eyes, Izumi never strained her gaze. It sometimes astonished Hashirama just how much her fleeting looks could catch.

They were similar, but nothing alike. It was something unique with Izumi Hashirama hadn't seen in anyone but her. He wasn't sure what it was though.

"I'm almost finished here for today… Do you have time for a quick meal? I was going to the fish stand, but it would be nice with some company." Hashirama asked, not sure where the impulse had come from. He actually had a lot to do.

Izumi smiled. Hashirama wasn't sure he'd ever really seen her smile, but she did now. It made her look younger. "That would be great, Hokage-sama."

Hashirama smile faltered a little when he got up. Not sure why he suddenly felt nervous, but ignoring it for the moment. He needed some food if he was going to finish his paperwork, and Izumi was usually entertaining to be around.

And it wasn't like he could withdraw the invitation now.

4 Years Since the Founding of Konoha

"Tell Tobirama he's being unfair!" Shouted Itama the moment Naruto and Izumi entered the Hokage office.

Itama had his arms folded, and his teeth was clenched in growing frustration. Izumi raised an eyebrow, but Naruto had to fight down a laugh at the murderous look Tobirama was sending his younger brother. Itama wasn't helping the matter either.

"What's happening? And since when did Tobirama listen to a word I said?" Wondered Naruto aloud as she threw her latest report on the desk and looked curious around, trying to figure out where Hashirama had gone to just by seeing his office.

"Tobirama listens to you. He just have an unsuitable habit of contradicting you. It's probably because you remind him of his older brother." Izumi answered Naruto as matter of factly as if she was reciting a children rhyme she knew by heart.

Itama cracked a smile, but if anything Tobirama grew even more bad tempered.

"Namikaze-san is very different from Hashirama. I disagree with her because I have misgivings about her knowledge. Sometimes I'm wrong, and others I'm not. It stands to reason that I make sure before I listen to anything she has to say." Retorted Tobirama, but it was with less of a bite in his voice than Naruto was used to. She took this as a good sign. The middle Senju brother was growing increasingly snappy at her these days.

"I agree. But you can't deny you're often unnecessary impolite to her. A lot like you are with Itama-san." Izumi answered without a care in the world.

Naruto was considering putting her hand over the Uchiha's mouth. Just to prevent her from doing anymore damage then she already had.

Tobirama readied himself for a biting reply, but before he could Naruto addressed Itama and cut him off. "So what is Tobirama wrong about? You seem less than pleased about being with your brother today." She said hurriedly, and the scolding look Tobirama sent her was enough to make Naruto take an unconscious step backwards.

"He's saying I' not qualified for a promotion. Apparently I'm not jōnin standard, and he's denying me a chance to do a second test. I have five letters of recommendation - one from you in fact - and he still says I'm not up for a promotion. It's not fair. He still thinks I'm six years old!" Hissed Itama out in frustration. His eyes narrowing dangerously at Tobirama who still had his arms folded in front of him.

"This has nothing to do with your skills. A jōnin needs to have the wits too, Itama. It's not all individual work. You need to lead people. You will be responsible for their lives. I think you'd do better if you gave it a few years before going for a promotion." Tobirama said back just as heatedly, punctuating certain words to hammer them into his brother.

"Hashirama was sixteen when he took over the leadership of our entire clan! You never spoke up then because you're younger! If I had been your older brother instead of your younger brother we wouldn't have had this conversation! I'm not a child!" Itama said so full of anger he was shaking.

Izumi smiled absent mindedly and wandered over to the chairs by the book shelf. Sitting down she watched the two brothers as if it was an entertainment show. Naruto wondered about joining her, but she knew how hurt Itama would be if she did.

"You are reckless! That's not a trait a jōnin has. Maybe you could try for a tokubetsu jōnin in a year, but no way are you responsible enough for a jōnin position at your current level of maturity. Not to mention that people will assume you got the position because of Hashirama, and having subordinates that doesn't respect you is the most dangerous situation you can get into. If you really was mature you would accept this dismissal." Growled Tobirama, taking a step forwards while he tried to burn his little brother with his gaze alone.

Naruto had to hand it to Itama - he didn't even flinch under Tobirama's stare. The middle Senju brother could be absolutely terrifying when he got pissed off. And right now he looked close to snapping completely.

"You always dismiss me! I sometimes wish you weren't my brother, because then you could be objective about my skills. You still believe I'm that idiot who tried to use fire wire to increase my healing ability, and it is not fair. You always say older brother is an idiot, but that's never made you question his abilities. Why am I so different?" Asked Itama, his voice growing louder. Naruto would bet a lot that everyone within the building could hear them by now.

"Hashirama is a singular case! He has proven himself countless times since then. I did have my misgivings at first, because while I knew he was the strongest I also believed him to be too immature to take over the leadership. But I as an individual couldn't stop his promotion. It was a vote and I voted against him becoming the Senju leader. He still got the promotion though, but do not think for a second he had an easy time. We spared you from a lot of the details because of your age at the time; but Hashirama was not ready to be a leader when he was sixteen. It was war, and desperate times caused for desperate solutions. That's not the case anymore. The reason Konoha was founded was to give children a chance to grow up safely and not be forced into situations like that too early. How can you not see that?"

"I see that! But I'm. not. a. child! And you refuse me the chance to prove myself because you're delirious with subjective opinions! For someone who's known as a genius you can be so dimwitted I'm surprised you ever find your way in and out of your armor in the morning!" Itama retorted heatedly, taking another step closer to his brother and holding his ground.

Tobirama looked visibly offended, and next moment he'd grabbed Itama by the neck of his shirt, pulling him forwards forcibly with a tug. Before either could do more than stare furious at one another, Tobirama was flying across the room and Itama fell backwards on his behind. Naruto had acted on instinct.

"Please refrain from becoming violent." She told them seriously. "You're both correct but I think this is taking things too far."

Tobirama got shakily to his feet just as Itama did the same, both of them staring daggers at Naruto this time.

"Itama and I train together regularly. I've also been on missions with him and I know he is strong enough to take a jōnin position." She continued, making a glint grow in Itama's eyes while he peeked eagerly at the enraged Tobirama.

"But..." She continued and met Itama's eyes with her own. His smile was wiped away. "You just showed recklessness in this conversation, though I have to admit, so did Tobirama..." She looked over at the Senju who for once didn't disagree with her. Instead he met her eyes head on, red against blue.

"A test doesn't hurt… But it should be different from the bell test. As I said he is strong enough, but there's more to being a jōnin than being powerful. I'm sure we can make arrangements for him to do a scouting mission where he leads a team. He might surprise you Tobirama, or he might find out for himself just how ready he is for more responsibilities." Naruto suggested casually. Still standing in the middle of the room with everyone's attention on her.

"Though I have to say..." Naruto continued, now hardening her eyes as she looked at Tobirama. "You have very little faith in your younger brother, Tobirama. Not everyone has been given the chances you have. Itama is correct when he says you are treating him like a child."

The tension in the room rose like an inferno, and the silence that followed her words was like the calm before the storm.

Naruto readied herself for the downpour that was sure to follow. Tobirama could go from a calm stream to the worst tsunami in a heart beat, and she was certain she'd just made him royally furious.

To her surprise Tobirama did nothing of the sort. All of a sudden the tension faded from the room, and he turned the tiniest of red and looked away. But if it was from anger or humiliation she didn't know.

Itama was grinning widely to her, wholeheartedly agreeing with Naruto.

Izumi seemed to think the show was over and got to her feet. Her attention on Tobirama's reaction more than Itama who looked very close to gloating. Luckily he refrained. Itama knew perfectly well how much hell he'd get for it.

"You'll vouch for me, Naruto?" Asked Itama excitedly instead, trying but slightly failing to keep himself serious.

"I will, but you still have to do a darn good job on your test. Konoha don't make anyone but the best jōnin, dattebayo." Naruto answered calmly. Her eyes were smiling, and it was so infectious Itama's composure completely cracked and he smiled without restraint.

"Now that's sorted out. Has anyone seen Hokage-sama? I have something he needs to sign." Said Izumi and looked towards the door.

As if on cue Hashirama walked in and looked confused as Tobirama left the room without a word or a glance in his direction. He didn't storm out, but the tempo of his stride made it very obvious he wanted to be anywhere but inside the office.

4.4 Years Since the Founding of Konoha…

She was aloof, bordering on impassive.

Her dark glinting eyes looked even further away then usual as she took another sip of her sake before gently putting it back down on the table.

Next to her Naruto laughed and smacked Izuna over the head. He must have said something rude again. The blonde never let the charming, young ladies man get away with his own self-importance. It was badly needed role in Hashirama humble opinion.

"But Naruto! You're an Uchiha, you need to know these things!" Retorted Izuna and gently massaged the back of his head gingerly.

They were eating dinner at Madara's and Naruto's house. The first one in fact, seeing as they both needed quite a while to learn how to use the stove properly before they could invite anyone over for a meal, far less dinner.

"I certainty do not!" Answered Naruto, her cheeks flushed, but her eyes clearer than anyone else gathered around the table.

It was late, and they'd worked themselves through several bottles of sake by now. Itama had long since fallen asleep in the living room chair, his whole upper body leaning heavily on one side, and somehow defying gravity with the way he hadn't tumbled over the armrest yet.

Izuna and Naruto was bickering while Madara was gently running his hand through the bottom strands of Naruto's loose hair. It was rare to see the blonde without her usual ponytail, and Hashirama had decided she looked beautiful.

Madara seemed to agree. He had long since stopped being a part of the conversation, and instead seemed content with drinking, occasionally letting a short sentence out, and studying his wife.

It was almost a little sickening to watch the two sometimes.

It wasn't that they made gooey eyes at one another or had problems keeping their hands away while they were in public. It was in the small gestures.

The way Naruto would instinctively stop Madara's hand from touching the scolding hot pan of rice. That their hands would brush feathery against one another when they thought no one was watching. That though Madara's face stayed stoic as ever, a smile still lit up in his eyes when Naruto looked at him.

It was obvious to those who cared to look.

At first Hashirama had been nervous about how he'd deal with their relationship. After Mito's death - watching happy newly wed couples was far from on top of his priorities.

But he worked closely with both Madara and Naruto so the occurrence was unavoidable. He was surprised and relieved to find out he had no problems with it. Because nothing had really changed. Madara was always lighter at heart with Naruto around, and in return the blonde was more grounded. He'd watched it for years and a few vows made in the shrine had made very little difference.

"Sake bottle." Ordered Tobirama. His eyes fixed on the dark green glass next to Madara.

It was a testament to how drunk the Uchiha leader was when he didn't snap back at Tobirama. Instead he smiled faintly without looking away from Naruto and pushed the bottle across the table with a sweeping motion.

Tobirama caught it and gulped down a large mouthful. His eyes meeting Hashirama's. He looked quickly away, landing on Izumi who to Hashirama's surprise was now looking intently at him.

She still looked… gone. Hashirama knew it wasn't true though. Izumi had the ability to look through a person. Not at you like Madara, not into you like Naruto, not searchingly like Tobirama. But pin straight through you.

Like you were the front window of a kitchen. You know you're not looking at air but your attention is more caught by the light flickering behind the transparent surface.

It was interesting, because Hashirama knew for a fact Izumi's eyesight caught everything. In you, on you and around you. She had trained her eyes to see and not just… look.

She smiled when Hashirama didn't break the eye contact, and instead held it with an intensity that was directed at him but felt wildly off target at the same time. Hashirama wondered fleetingly how much she saw now that she was well into her fifth glass of sake. "Are you feeling alright, Izumi? Maybe you need to slow down on the sake? I know I'm far past my limit as it is." Hashirama said and couldn't help his own grin.

Izumi had a pleasant gaze. It was nice not being pinned down by a stare. He had enough of that in his daily life.

Naruto could take the prize for most expressive gaze in the history of the world. She could both convey her own emotions and read your own with those eyes.

Izumi found that too draining. Wasted energy. So instead she just saw and watched without meeting your eyes properly.

"I'm alright, Hokage-sama. The sake is pleasant." She answered and raised the glass yet again to her mouth. Taking a careful sip she continued looking through Hashirama.

"That's for sure, but you seem to have a higher alcohol tolerance then myself. You can almost beat Naruto if I didn't know that was impossible." Hashirama said and smiled widely.

"How is that impossible? She's not smaller then Izumi but she's a far cry from us men." Muttered Tobirama, taking another swing straight from the bottle. When the glass clang against the wooden board of the table it made pleasant smacking sound that rumbled through the room.

"Well… You know why. Her condition." Supplied Shin after taking a short glance in the direction of Itama. Making absolutely sure the boy was lost to the world. Then his eyes travelled to Izuna who was still bickering with Naruto, but had still caught the exchange.

"What condition?" He blurted out while Naruto was telling him off for saying she should quit her job as a ninja and focus on having a baby instead.

"I'm highly tolerant to poisons. It's hard to get me drunk because I heal up so quickly. It's flushed through my system so quickly it doesn't have time to get into my bloodstream." Answered Naruto matter of factly, repeating the lie Madara had drilled into her.

It wasn't really a lie, but they had yet to figure out where exactly the poison went after consuming it. The blonde never had the urgency to go to a toilet more than anyone else. She didn't sweat more, and in general they were dumbfounded by the abnormality of Kurama's healing ability. It was like she absorbed the poison but her body processed it as a slightly annoying mosquito bite.

"How come I didn't know this?" Exclaimed Izuna looking hurt in the direction of his sister in law.

"Because you are unobservant when it comes to the constant aspect of your friends and family. You only detect things that wasn't there to begin with, and since Naruto-san always had her healing ability you never picked up on it. Though if she suddenly stopped having it you would probably be the first to realize it. But this does not apply to people you don't trust." Said Izumi bluntly, her eyes trailing fleetingly in the direction of Izuna but never lingering on any aspects of his face before landing back on somewhere around Hashirama.

Everyone was silent for a moment, before Tobirama of all people burst out laughing. Izuna looked slightly offended, but even he was fighting back a smile. The others started laughing too, everyone except Hashirama and Izumi.

"I think you're right. I never thought about it… But that might be true." Muttered Hashirama thoughtfully.

"I am correct." Izumi said, her voice even more monotone than usual. The Hokage guessed the alcohol was affecting her more than he suspected. Usually Izumi would come with a comment around now that would shut the rest up for laughing at her.

It was the source of some of his fondest memory over the last couple of years. Izumi putting Shin in his place which was quite a feat, seeing as few people had as much wits as the Nara. The time she'd walked in circles around Madara for being late for his mission, and more recently an incident with Tobirama he'd been forced to never speak of ever again. It didn't stop him from reminiscing it with a wolfish smile though.

Things had certainly changed over the years. From arc nemesis to something that could be called friends.

He tried to overlay the picture of Izuna as a child together with the man he was today. The Uchiha had been an enemy back then, but today Hashirama could honestly say he would die to save Izuna.

It was a strange revelation, because it wasn't out of duty that Hashirama felt this way. Izuna meant something to him. Even if Madara wasn't in the picture he'd still do anything.

Back in their childhood Hashirama had also taken notice of Izumi. It had been rather hard not to, because… um… she had been sort of… well… absolutely useless.

It was hilarious to Hashirama that this had once been the case, and out of everyone the attempt to overlap the young counterpart with their adult state was almost ridiculous when it came to Izumi. She had probably changed the most out of everyone. At least from what Hashirama had seen himself.

The woman was born without much ninja talent and realized it very quickly. She had low chakra reserves and had problems with her control. Her Sharingan took fifteen years to activate, and she was far from a natural at more traditional weapons such as swords, kunai and shuriken.

In truth the only skill she seemed above average with was avoiding attacks. Which was the only reason she was still alive. For a long while she was dismissed, doomed to be the useless kid amongst her peers.

Hashirama remembered it well, because whenever he was forced to go up against her he never worried about her as a threat. Izumi was the useless one. The one who wasn't a challenge.

Because the most impressive thing she could do was give a bitch slap so hard it stung for two days. Hashirama knew this from an incident when they were about thirteen. And yes, the only hit Izumi had gotten in was a slap to his cheek. Hadn't Madara cut their fight short Hashirama was sure he would have killed her. It was just the way it had been back then. Kill or be killed.

But Izumi had soon after started gathering attention. Suddenly she started moving differently. She was hard to hit, she was clever and she was unique in her fighting. All these things applied to the Uchiha woman, but the one that described her the most was; resourceful.

The desperation over her lack of skills had made her train differently. She no longer tried using jutsu. She could to some extent use the great fireball technique and other fire affinity attacks, but she very rarely did. Izumi knew she'd never be of help if she continued stretching for something her body wasn't compliant with. So she found a different path, a unique one for the Uchiha clan. Hashirama had yet to see someone fight exactly like Izumi.

The easiest way to explain it was that when an attack headed towards her she simply sidestepped it.

Just enough. Nothing more.

When she hit someone back it always made contact. Because she'd mapped out her opponent until she was absolutely certain it would. There was extremely few cases where she'd missed. Naruto being the only one to date who had avoided everything.

When her Sharingan activated it was always at the précises moment it would be useful so not to waste her chakra. Because using the Sharingan was extremely draining for her, and instead she'd fund a different way of using the skills she had. And excelled at them.

Hashirama could swear that her dark expressionless eyes saw ten times of what the Sharingan could. In a way she saw the future with her back gaze, and made her body move as little as possible according to what she'd seen to save up on the energy and powers she had.

It was a specular sight to see her spar. Because Izumi didn't fight, she danced.

The Uchiha used small step that twirled and glided over the earth while avoiding attacks. Her back always straight, her shoulders leaned far back and her head held high.

It sometimes looked surreal how much control she could get during a battle, as if her opponent was part of a choreography she herself had designed, and the attacks towards her was only part of a whole routine. Meant to awe the audience but never to actually harm.

This way of thinking and the resourcefulness of her own limited power made her terrifying in a battle. She wasn't strong because she had the Sharingan, she was strong despite it.

Hashirama smile broadened, but Izumi didn't react to it. Not even a small flicker from the corner of her lips. If he'd ever though Mito's stare was an unreadable well of secrets, then Izumi was a cloud drifting aimlessly and unbound by the current of the wind.

You never knew what it might do, but it was there for everyone to interoperate in their own fashion.

The smile on Hashirama's mouth was wiped away form his mouth at this last thought.

He felt guilty about comparing Izumi to Mito. The Uchiha woman noticed and suddenly her eyes lost the glossy film over her pupils. They focused on Hashirama's face and for the fourth time in memory Hashirama was subjected to the full stare of Izumi.

He tried to smile, feeling foolish about the sudden jab of unease he'd felt, but the motion wasn't genuine. Hashirama didn't imagine for a second that Izumi had failed to notice.

"What's bothering you?" She asked, her voice sounding strange.

"Nothing. My mind went to darker memories." Hashirama replied, not sure if he was telling the truth. He'd felt rather happy until the last few thoughts entered his mind.

"You have many of those." Answered Izumi and shifted in her seat. Both of her hands were on top of the table, gently cupping her beverage. Her fingers were only gracing the surface, not touching, just holding a protective sphere around the cup as if it might break if something came in contact with it.

"We all do." Replied Hashirama, his voice humourless but still sporting a wry smile.

"True. But which one did you dwell on this time?" Asked Izumi, being uncharacteristically pushy.

"That's a little personal, isn't it?" Wondered Hashirama aloud, not really answering her and was instead voicing his own musing.

"It is. But we're friends." Stated Izumi, and her focused eyes on him made strange things with his stomach. No… Certainly not…Why did that reply disappoint him? Why was his heart suddenly beating at twice its normal speed?

"We are..." Hashirama answered slowly. Dragging out the words while he tried to make sure he wasn't imagining things.

Izumi meant a lot to him, but so did everyone around this table. Surely Izumi was no different than Izuna. "I was thinking of Mito's death." He said quickly. It wasn't true, but he was not sure how to voice the sudden guilt that had flared up in him.

He was expecting the Uchiha woman to back down. Go back to her usual self and be content with just seeing, and continue to not participate deeply in all the small chats going on around the table. Hashirama couldn't have been more wrong.

If anything her eyes focused even more and she leaned forwards, revealing more of her pale neck as her wide collared top followed the pull of gravity. He kept his eyes respectively at her face.

"Why?" She asked simply, but Hashirama had a feeling the question was anything but polite curiosity.

"Not sure..." He trailed off and shrugged, feeling rapidly more and more uncomfortable trapped in her stare. Maybe Naruto had a competitor after all. Izumi's eyes was certainly able to give a stare when she wanted to. It was made all the more effective by the fact that she just about never did so normally.

Instead he forced his gaze around the table, wondering how the others could still be chatting animately to one another as if the world wasn't tilting on its side.

The only one paying attention was Tobirama. When Hashirama finally took notice of this his brother raised both eyebrows. Asking wordlessly; What the hell is going on?

Yes… What was going on… Hashirama looked back to Izumi. She was still waiting patiently for him to continue explaining, but a small wrinkle was visible on her brow.

"It was just a long train of thoughts. It ended with Mito and then you asked." He explained, for some reason feeling his cheek heat up. Annoyed at his own reactions Hashirama realized he should have stopped drinking about five glasses ago. He wasn't thinking straight.

"…" Izumi had opened her mouth, but then she shook her head, her stare breaking, and Hashirama on impulse took a deep breath.

Wondering if he'd been breathing at all under Izumi's watchful gaze. Her eyes went back to it usual lofty appearance. As if the curtains was once again drawn, but yet Hashirama suspected she was sobering up quickly.

"I'm going home. Hashirama-sama can you follow me home? I have a few things I need to discuss with you." Izumi said and got to her feet.

Everyone turned to look at her, Naruto's smile was long gone. Maybe she'd been paying more attention then she'd let on.

Tobirama was leaning forward in his seat. Still with the appearance of someone who looked dumbfounded with realization. Hashirama would sorely like to know exactly what his brother had concluded with, because he himself was out of ideas.

But deep inside he knew that was a lie. He knew perfectly well why he kept Izumi at a distance. Well, attempted to keep her at a distance…

"Sure. I've had enough for the evening too." Hashirama found himself replying.

This was a bad idea. A very, very bad idea.

Izumi smiled and walked out of the room without as much as a wave to the rest. Once she was through the door Naruto and Tobirama was the ones who stared the hardest at him. They for once seemed to have drawn the same conclusion. A strange occurrence when water and wind for once was just as still. Maybe it was the calm before the storm...

Madara had fallen asleep, his head was resting against Naruto's tense shoulder and he had a content look on his face. Shin was pointedly looking away out the window while Izuna looked very confused about everything happening around him.

Just as wordless as Izumi, Hashirama got to his feet and followed her out into the hallway.

Taking his time getting his sandals on Hashirama tried desperately to sober up. Get his head cleared.

When he eventually left through the front door Izumi was waiting outside next to a pinwheel he guessed Naruto had tied to the fence outside the house.

It was spinning comfortable around, indicating it was a calm evening with not much wind. But still the night was foggy and the moisture in the air lay thick around them. Izumi smiled quickly to Hashirama and together they started walking.

Failing to come up with anything to say, Hashirama followed in mute tension. Izumi didn't seem as strained though. In fact, the more tense he got, the more she looked to be relaxing.

"So you finally realized." She said when they had walked for five minutes. It felt like more, but Hashirama was sure it was his own internal fretting that was dragging out time.

"Hmm… What… exactly are you.. referring to?" He asked, saying it both clumsily and slowly. As if the situation wasn't bad enough to begin with…. He'd done it now… An Uchiha… His brothers would burn him alive and then the rest of his clan would dance on his ashes.

"I think that's what you're slowly getting to realize, Hashirama-sama." Said Izumi and smiled. She looked innocent when she did that. An internal light lit her up from the inside and only by looking closely could you spot the light rays. Not like Mito. When she had smiled she lit up a room. You didn't even have to look at her to notice the change. Izumi was the opposite.

How long had he been watching her so closely? A week? A month? Maybe even a year? He was feeling increasingly foolish at his own blindness. Most of all because he was growing confident that Izumi had been watching him in return. Probably even longer.

"I think… You are right." He said with a sigh and came to a stop. His arms were folded in front of him and he looked concerned over to Izumi.

Izumi had stopped simultaneously as him, and she was avoiding looking at his face while she studied something at his right knee.

"Am I being unrealistic? Is there…" Izumi faulted. Her whole chest rising in a deep breath while her hands shook slightly. It was both heart warming and heartbreaking to watch. Finally she looked up at him. Her eyes still seeing through him but with a determination that only snapped patience and frustration could create.

"Would you ever give me a chance? I'm an Uchiha, and I know you have mostly viewed me as an ally. More recently I've become a friend to you, but do you think there's room for more of me? Could you ever grow to love me?" She asked, not flinching away and staying her ground. She didn't even blush.

Hashirama couldn't help the smile that lifted his mouth. A warmth spread in his chest, a warmth he'd been burying for a very long time.

Without replying he took her hand and slowly lifted it while he bent down. Softly he kissed it, his eyes taking in how Izumi's gaze was fixated on his actions. Finally she blushed.

"I think..." He replied, straightening up so he could see her better but still not letting her hand go from his gentle grip. "That this is something I'll be willing to give a chance." He said and felt his own cheeks heat up.

Izumi smiled brilliantly. And shifting her hand more firmly into his own Hashirama walked her the rest of the way home. An exciting roar bubbling inside him as they strolled through the night.

Taking all the time they needed before the day broke and reality came crashing back down on them. For now they would both enjoy being able to see each other clearly for the first time.

5 Years Since the Founding of Konoha…

"We're here today to talk about the future of this village. I've been asked by Tobirama and Madara to name a successor to my position in case something happens, and..." Started Hashirama saying, his eyes trailing in the mentioned people's direction across the table from him. "… this means I need to see who would consider taking the position at all. All four of you could be the next Hokage." Finished Hashirama and looked from Naruto sitting next to him, over to Madara, Tobirama and lastly Izuna on his other side.

Naruto's hand immediately shot in the air, everyones eyes following the movement as she almost bounced up ad down in her seat. "Me! I want to be Hokage." She said rather childishly.

Madara shook his head from side to side. They needed to have a discussion about acting professionally. It wouldn't be good for Konoha's reputation if their Hokage came of as a joke to the other hidden villages.

"I've already listed you, Naruto. I think I'm right in assuming that Madara do not want to take the position?" Asked Hashirama and turned towards the Uchiha leader. Madara nodded once, and Hashirama scratched out Madara's name on his notepad before turning towards Izuna. "And you?"

Izuna looked thoughtful for a moment, before he shrugged and leaned back in his chair. "I'm not opposed to the idea of becoming Hokage, but I believe there's better alternatives." He said with a short glance in Naruto's direction.

Hashirama nodded and turned towards his brother last, already knowing what his answer would be but was still a little startled by how hard Tobirama's eyes were.

"Yes, I'm still interested in becoming Hokage." He replied without Hashirama having to ask.

The Hokage nodded absent mindedly while Naruto who sat next to him tensed up.

5.1 Years Since the Founding of Konoha…

It was before the sun had peaked over the horizon, and the light had yet to lit up the morning sky. It could be classified as night because of the darkness surrounding Naruto, but yet the morning was not far away.

The reason the blonde could tell was the orchestra of birds singing to one another. Catching up with one another before the sun rays hit their nest and silenced them all.

Naruto had always wondered why that was. That the birds was always so talkative before sunrise but became silent the moment the sky lit up. Only the odd screech here and there could be heard afterwards. She suspected it had something to do with predators though. The jinchūriki was no expert, but maybe the birds used the hour before sunrise to communicate because it was more dangerous to talk as much once the sun was visible.

She turned back towards the two men currently talking in low murmurs to one another on the other side of the table. It was an unearthly hour to get up at, and Naruto couldn't believe Hashirama managed to awake so early most days.

No one had an alarm clock in these days, and without the sun to wake you up naturally she wondered how on earth he got to work on time.

Maybe his brother came by his house every day and dragged him up. Tobirama was a machine when it came to being precise, so it didn't surprise the blonde half as much that the white haired Senju managed to get up at this hour.

Hashirama said something, ending their mostly silent conversation and looked over to Naruto with a smile. "Are you still conscious, Naruto?" He asked and chuckled when Naruto only gave a grunt in reply.

"If you want to have a chance at becoming Hokage you will have to start getting up at this hour." Explained Tobirama. A little snidely thought Naruto.

He was rather opposed to her becoming Hokage, like most men in this time he didn't believe a woman able to lead anything other than the house. Far less a clan or a village.

Though the Senju was better than a lot within the Uchiha clan, where only Madara's intimidation act was saving her from many nasty glares. That could also have something to do with the fact that Naruto had a habit of forgetting to introduce herself as an Uchiha. And instead went around and said her name was Namikaze Naruto though she was married with their clan leader and lost the argument of keeping her old name.

The blonde was working on her Hokage campaign though. No one could deny she was powerful enough for the job, but just like Tobirama most thought her too unstructured to lead Konoha. And she was a woman. That argument came up so often Naruto could have drunk herself to death if it had been a drinking game. Which says something as Kurama was the best antidote anyone could dream of.

"I'll manage. I have an internally built alarm clock I can bully into waking me up on time." Answered Naruto and stretched her hands over her head. From within Kurama growled angrily, clearly insulted Naruto had talked about him in such a manner. The blonde was too sleepy to care and continued talking. "When I become Hokage I'll also be a lot more efficient whenever I'm in the office. Meaning I probably wont have to stay in for as many hours as Hashirama does."

Tobirama let one eyebrow raise, folded his arms and leaned back in his chair. Wordlessly challenging her to continue with her train of sleep deprived thoughts.

"Yeah, you know... My clones. I can make a thousand, so if I have a thousand working with me for an hour I'll have done a thousand hours of work. Don't come here and tell me Hashirama can beat that feat." Replied Naruto and chuckled at how still the Senju became.

She wasn't sure it was out of impressed disbelief or concern of having a thousand blonde Narutos running around making havoc. Considering the fact that Tobirama was an eternal pessimist she guessed it was the latter.

"Um… Maybe not use all thousand at the same time… I don't think I've reinforced the structural bearing of the building enough to hold up the weight of such a crowd." Suggested Hashirama while a small smile was playing at his lips. Naruto giggled despite her foggy brain was still trying to wake up.

Even Tobirama lifted a corner of his mouth and then let the matter drop.

"Maybe we should get to the agenda?" Asked Tobirama and opened up a folder placed in front of him on the table. When the others didn't disagree he continued talking. "Today Naruto-san is being introduced to the inner process of Konoha's dealing as she's one of the candidates who may eventually take over the Hokage seat. On agreement from the council she and I am the two most likely ones to one day take the seat, and as she so far has mostly dealt with field work and very little paperwork she needs to be introduced to these aspects to see if she's fit for such a position..." Tobirama explained and would have continued but was interrupted by Naruto.

"I'm on trial?" Asked Naruto surprised.

The youngest Senju in the room looked affronted up, but Hashirama was already nodding. "Yes, we need to make sure you can handle the more tedious jobs that comes with this position if you're truly going to be a candidate in the future." He supplemented. Naruto nodded, feeling some of her mind finally sharpen. Her competitive nature waking up at last.

"Now that obvious fact has been cleared up..." Tobirama said slowly, and Naruto narrowed her eyes in his direction. "we can get to more specific tasks."

Turning a page he looked challengingly up at Naruto. "At five you are expected to be in the office. Your work tasks may vary according to what we're dealing with, but safe to say we'll mostly start every day with a morning meeting. In busy times you can also forget having a weekend lie in."

Naruto nodded, determined not to show how horrible that sounded. "We try and get most of the job done before evening, seeing as unexpected occurrences might throw the day of. At times you might be sent on diplomatic mission to dangerous clans we are trying to ally ourself with. Every time you do that we expect a complete log that has everything said and done in detail. Fail to do this and we might oversee something vital. When you return you need to deliver an oral report and a written one. Explaining not just what happened, because that should already be in your log, but also your interpretation of the events."

He handed Naruto a sheet filled with columns and a few papers that looked blank. Probably the sheets that was used to write the log on.

"We always have an eye out for the growth of out village, and a lot of that is dealing with numbers. How many residents are actually at work. How many of those pay their taxes so we can use them to simulate the market. How much food do we need to produce and how is the water supply. Is the roads cleared for bandits. Is the boarders secured. How much do we get in trade, and what are we trading back. All these numbers and many more are carefully logged and later analysed. We have help with this of course - mostly from the Nara clan - but it is still something you need to learn. You are expected to know the numbers at all times." Tobirama listed of and continued to the next page. He must have skipped a bunch of text, and Naruto suspected he was "dumbing it down" for her. Still… She wasn't going to complain.

"Then there's the academy reports. All students are followed up closely, we also seek out potentials from the civilians. Because of the massive growth Konoha is seeing there is always someone who needs to be tested. There's a whole file with papers concerning age groups and potential ninjas within the civilian population, and I'm recommending you go and read that before I go more into detail." Again he switched paper and handed her a stack of filled out forms Naruto had problems reading because how tightly the letters were placed.

"We have the training program, the rehab program, the promotion program and the maintenance program. These are all nicknames Hashirama and I use because the titles are a mouthful but they all apply to Konoha's ninjas." He said and this time dropped no less than twenty papers to her growing stack of documents.

"Learn them and how we proceed them. Eventually we want someone else to start taking over the running of the hospital and health section, but at the time being we've been to busy getting Konoha up and running to start figuring out who'd be suitable. A lot of trust is needed and right now we're having a clash of clans streaming into Konoha. Just keeping the village peaceful is a full time job. The Senju and the Uchiha is far from the only two clans who has had disagreements in the past." He continued explaining, growing increasingly satisfied the more pale Naruto went.

"Do you still want to hear the rest?" Asked Tobirama playfully, knowing perfectly well that Naruto was too energetic to be able to sit still for that long. To be honest he wondered if the job really suited her. Naruto was too restless, too impatient and too sociable to be forced behind a desk, and this was partly a test for himself.

He wanted to see if she could truly manage this job. The one who became Hokage could impossibly manage it all on their own, but they still had the main responsibility. In the end they had a large say in which direction the village took, and he didn't wish it on either Naruto or Konoha to suffer.

Naruto met his eyes calmly, the hesitation that had been blooming on her face was slowly ebbing away, leaving a calm and collecting gaze that was nothing but certain. "Yes, please continue Tobirama." She answered, leaning forwards and resting her elbow on the table. For once not trying to find a comfortable position so she could take a nap while the others discussed. Hashirama smiled.

Tobirama gave one last look, making sure she was not just playing with them, and then continued going through the list. It would be some long hours until lunch break.

5.11 Years Since the Founding of Konoha..

"So who will have to change their name now?" Asked Naruto while trying to tie her hair up in a bun. An impossible feat she should have know by now. "I mean, it's an Uchiha and a Senju getting married. Who gets to keep their name?"

"Well…" Said Izuna who still was in denial of the wedding he was attending in a couple of hours.

"He is Hokage. Hashirama will get to keep his name." Replied Madara sourly while taking a deep gulp of sake. "What has the world come to?" He muttered and closed his eyes.

"I think he's really nervous. Did you know I'm not allowed to speak with his bride without him present today? Like I'd let a bride follow me if I catch a threat this time." Grumbled Naruto as the hair band snapped and her spiky hair sprang free from the bun she'd been attempting to tie it into.

"Damn! This won't work, this is the third one I've broken today. What's so wrong with a normal ponytail anyway? Why does wedding discriminate people with spiky hair!" Exclaimed Naruto in frustration as she threw the hair tie in the trash can.

Madara looked pointedly at her with one eyebrow raised. "You don't count! Everyone is too terrified to tell you to get a haircut."

"You two are going to have the most spiky haired kids in existence." Stated Izuna thoughtfully.

Madara slapped his brother over the head while Izuna chuckled.

"Actually... Naruto?" Said Madara pointedly to his fiancée.

"I thought we didn't want to tell anyone today. Something about focusing on Hashirama. You know, so he doesn't chain up his bride in a single doored room so he can guard the entrance constantly to make sure nothing happens."

"It's Izuna, he wont tell."

"Yeah, it's me, Naruto." Said Izuna eagerly, but then he got a look of horror. "Shit! You're pregnant aren't you? I mean, that's great but I thought you hadn't arrested those guys selling contraception herbs on the black market was for a reason."

"I'm not pregnant, idiot." Said Naruto looking very offended. "And those are overpriced. You can find them about three hours out of Konoha. Only desperate civilians who can't make that trip actually buys those."

"You seem familiar with that place, Naruto."

"Izuna!" Cried Naruto blushing madly. "Don't speak to a lady like that. You have no shame."

"Lady? There's no one here, big bro is the feminine one in your relationship." This time it was Madara who smacked him over the head. Hard.

"Kurou is getting married. He on the other hand did manage to get his fiancée pregnant. It's in two months and we're all invited. I could feel it on her when I visited last week."

"Or more like Kurama noticed and told you. I swear, he's quite the gossip." Said Madara and laughed, the alcohol clearly getting to him. "Who would have thought Kurou could break the rules like that? He's a bigger snob about those type of things than Tobirama."

"Well, we should get going anyway and meet that snob now, big bro." Said Izuna to his brother. "Hashirama is probably a wreck, especially after what happened when he proposed."

"Wait, what happened when he proposed? I haven't heard this." Asked Naruto.

"Nothing, dear." Answered Madara innocently and leaned down and kissed her on the cheek.

"Don't do that! I wanna' know, dattebayo!"

"Let's just say the father of the bride is more superstitious then Hashirama himself is about this marriage. He might also have a problem with getting a Senju as his son in law. Honestly, if there is a murder during this wedding too it will be Hashirama taking the blow."

"Just half an hour ago you were complaining about how this was the worst thing that's ever occurred to the Uchiha clan. That your forefathers were rolling in their grave and that this whole marriage was an abnormality." Huffed Naruto and rolled her eyes. "I think this is a wonderful thing, not only can two people who has slowly fallen in love with each other spend their life together, but this helps the relationship between your clans. It's good. Be happy, and Madara, you need to rinse your mouth before the wedding, your breath stinks of sake."

"Well, you make sure Izumi finds her way to the shrine, okay? You can be damned sure none of her Uchiha friends will be of help today. And of course you'd think it was a good thing, but you're an abnormality too aren't you?" Replied Izuna while he snickered at the growing frustration on Naruto's face.

The brush Naruto threw at the Uchiha hit dead center, and during the wedding ceremony Izuna spotted a large darkening mark on the middle of his forehead.

6.5 Years Since the Founding of Konoha

The small puffs of snowflakes fell softly down on her cheek. A cold caress.

Naruto looked up at the grey sky above her with squinting eyes. Though there wasn't any sunlight escaping through the heavy layer of clouds, the whiteness of the smoky sky made it uncomfortable to look at.

There had been an unusual amount of snow that year and things had been tough in the village. There wasn't much done through food trade in these times, so most of the food supply was grown or hunted by themselves. Naruto had never thought much about where their food came from her first seventeen years of life, but now she had grown an intense dislike to whenever the seasons acted different than usual. Bad weather had never been so difficult to deal with.

It was a blessing that they had Hashirama amongst them, because he could do more than just grow wood into different shapes. He could help plants grow quicker, though Naruto was also a help in this regards.

It was of great help seeing as there was no way they would be able to feed all the new arrivals showing up in Konoha if they hadn't. It was problematic to keep up with the population growth spurt, but they'd managed alright so far. Again because of Hashirama's convenient housebuilding skills.

Madara - who had only been home for five minutes since his last mission - came up to Naruto and kissed her gently on the cheek. They were standing in the empty side street next to the Hokage building. No one was around and they were married so it wouldn't be the worst thing if anyone saw them, but they both preferred to keep some things just between the two of them.

The blonde turned fully towards him and took a hold of his hand, smiling up to him. In all the soft shades of white surrounding them, Madara's black spiky strands was a harsh contrast. And the small bits of snow stuck to his hair looked out of place.

He had a new cut on his cheek but it was healing nicely. In general he looked well for being on such a risky mission. The only change was that he'd grown thinner, but Naruto knew from experience he'd be back to normal quickly. No one said no to Madara, and even a food shortage wouldn't hold him back.

"I hear you've been in the hospital while I was away..." Stated Madara and let his hand fall to the top of her head, slowly letting it glide down while he brushed his fingers through her hair.

"Yeah, I broke my arm on my last mission but I'm fine now." Answered Naruto and leaned into her husbands chest. Glad to have him back in Konoha again.

He'd been out for a month and it had gotten boring to be alone. She was too used to having him around every day both at work and at home.

He let his fingers intertwine with hers before lifting her hand up. Exterminating that it moved properly. Naruto chuckled.

"It's fine Madara. I'm all healed up, but you know what else?" She asked and gave her husband a crooked smile. She told him the answer before he had time to guess. "Apparently we're going to be parents..."

The look of surprise on Madara's face didn't last long, and instead he smiled gently and pressed Naruto to him, giving her a tight hug.

"I'm happy to hear that." He said and pulled her softly away again to look her in the eyes.

It was a very reliving message indeed. They had been trying for two years and Naruto had yet to get pregnant before now. It had made them both wonder if they would ever have one. But now Naruto was pregnant. They would have a child…

The concept made Madara both proud and scared at the same time. Proud because obviously having a child was something to both celebrate and be proud of. But he was scared that something would happen to Naruto or the baby.

He'd heard stories of women giving birth to still born babies before. Or be killed themselves because of childbirth. He'd seen children get sick and dying from illnesses when they were young too. He was scared something would happen to undue what they'd finally achieved.

But most of all he was terrified they would mess the child up royally. Because among all the possibilities that one was the most likely.

They'd discussed it many times, and Naruto would not give up her ninja career to have child. She wanted to go back to work as soon as possible after having the kid, and no matter how many counter arguments Madara threw back at her she'd been unmoveable. While she wanted a family, she also wanted to be Hokage.

Leaning down he kissed her slowly. Savouring the sweet moment. Naruto kissed him eagerly back.

The kiss was unlike the passionate ones, different the casual pecks when they left the house in the morning when it was something they'd done a thousand times before and this was just one of the many more to come. This one felt precious though, the moment so complete no words of joy was necessary between them. With the snow cooling down their heated faces.

"Oy, no public indecency!" Shouted a sharp voice from behind Naruto. The moment efficiently ruined, they hurriedly parted and turned around. Spotting Izuna, Itama and Tobirama carrying their own share of bags filled to the brim with equipments.

"Well… this wasn't public a moment before." Snapped Naruto and huffed at the wolfish smile on Izuna's face.

"Welcome back, Madara." Said Itama politely, Tobirama nodded as a way of greeting them.

"Thanks, it's good to be home again. It looks like winter beat me back though. The snow layer is really thick so I guess it must have been going strong for a while now." Answered Madara while still keeping an arm around Naruto's waist. Not to press her against him, but to just make sure she was there. Within reach.

"You look happy..." Muttered Izuna and gazed calculatingly at his older brother.

"Am I not allowed to be happy about being back home?" Asked Madara and grinned back.

"You're a little more than happy though." Muttered Tobirama and looked impatiently towards the Hokage mountain. Naruto realized they must be transferring equipment to the new base constructed within the mountain. Publicly it was said they were constructing a shelter - which was true - but they were adding a few secret rooms too.

"Could it be you got some good news?" Asked Izuna slowly, noticing the unusual show of affection between the married couple. They always disliked showing affection towards one another in public, and Izuna had not overseen Madara's hand around Naruto's waist.

The blonde smiled brightly and nodded. Not seeing the point of holding back the news now that Madara knew. "Yes. We're expecting a child in about seven months." Answered Naruto while scratching the back of her head and feeling oddly shy. An emotion she wasn't very familiar with really.

Itama gaped, Tobirama froze and Izuna gave a loud whoop. "Congratulations!" He shouted and next moment he was hugging Naruto, forcing Madara to let go of her.

As quickly as he'd grabbed a hold of Naruto he releasing her while smiling genuinely to his brother. "I'm happy for you." He stated sincerely.

Itama seemed to have found his voice again, since he cleared his throat once before offering them his congratulations too. Which he kept short seeing as he wasn't entirely sure what else to do in this situation.

The only other parent within the group was Izuna who had a daughter and a pregnant wife at home. Yet he felt he should say more to Naruto than just congratulation. She was like his sister.

It was just a shame she'd married such a bastard…

Tobirama kept it short too, giving them a word of well wishing and a slightly unfelt smile. But then his older brother had never been one to do much more than smirk.

Itama was pleased to see his brother was well distracted from continuing his slave driving. Tobirama had been quite strict these last few months, and he seemed hell bent on getting as much of the alterations to the Hokage Monument finished as fast as possible.

"It'll be arriving early autumn then?" Asked Itama after Izuna was finished rambling about how little sleep they'd get and how children was the loudest creatures on earth. Even louder than Naruto when being offered a bowl of miso ramen.

Tobirama on the other hand was again aware of the task ahead of them, but since he was too polite to say they couldn't keep congratulate them, he instead tapped his foot and looked pointedly towards the mountain with equal spaced intervals.

When Izuna got onto the topic of never having privacy again, the oldest Senju in the group had enough and cleared his voice. Making all four of them look curiously towards him.

"Aren't you forgetting something, Izuna?" He asked with a mocking humour to his voice, again gazing towards the Hokage Monument.

"What? The construction can wait. I want to take my brother out to celebrate. They're not exactly newly wed so this is great news!" Retorted Izuna indignantly.

"No, I'm not referring to our current job task which we're neglecting." Said the Senju and shifted the grip on the bag he carried in his right hand.

For a moment all the two men did was look at one another, Izuna attempting to figure out what Tobirama was getting at simply by looking hard. It worked. A light seemed to turn on inside Izuna's head but it was followed by a sudden look of horror.

"No! I don't believe it! Hashirama won the bet… Again..." He moaned and gave his brother a dirty glance, as if it was his fault that Izuna didn't know when to stop making bets with the Hokage.

7.2 Years Since the Founding of Konoha

"We should go with Eichi… I think it works nicely. Short and it stands for the prosperous one. So you don't have a problem with the name being a synonym for something you don't want the child to be associated with." At this Naruto actually snorted at the end, taking it as a personal insult. Probably because only two months ago - before the baby was due - he had hinted that Naruto was an odd name.

It was the best name in the world, and not boy-like at all!

"It's so… Unimpressive." Muttered Madara and looked sideways down into Naruto's lap where their newborn was fussing.

He had dark blue eyes and two whisker marks on his face. His hair was darker than Naruto's but a far cry from the blackness of his own hair too. A brown-ish colour that might turn darker with the years.

"Gah! Are you ever satisfied? I still say we name him Boruto."

"No." Chorused their spectators. Naruto frowned back to Shin, Izumi, Izuna, Itama and Tobirama who stood in their garden. They had come over with a few gifts for the baby that they said would help raising him. Seeing as neither Naruto nor Madara had any idea how this worked they took every little help they could get.

"What…? But it's a great name! It sounds awesome and means bolt! Isn't that dramatic enough for you Madara?" Asked Naruto and turned at once to her husband who was scratching the back of his head uncertainly. He shook his head from side to side.

"Fine… Do you guys have any suggestions? Because we can't agree on anything..." Muttered Naruto and bumped her shoulder against Madara's arm.

"Hmmm… What about Ichiro? First born child?" Suggested Izumi and shifted from foot to foot.

"That seems a little unnecessary. We only have one child… It's not like I'm going to have problems remembering which is older when he's gurgling next to Madara." Muttered Naruto and picked up her son to walk around.

He was always awake - at least it felt that way to Naruto. He would sleep for two hours and then wake up screaming. Day in and day out. Naruto was loosing her mind especially seeing as she was still referring to her child as 'little boy'.

Izumi shrugged and looked at Izuna expectantly. Waiting for him to come up with a suggestion. "Um… Kosuke?" He said uncertainly, saying the first name he could think of that wasn't already in use by someone else.

"Now that one I like." Stated Madara to his younger brother with an approving nod. "Rising Sun. It's a good name." Said the Uchiha leader and looked expectantly towards Naruto.

She looked to be thinking hard, but then shook her head. "Nah… I don't like it much."

"Why? It's a perfectly good name." Argued Madara back.

"So is Boruto, but yet I'm not getting any say in that one either. So no, not Kosuke. For some reason it reminds me of Sasuke… This little guy is nothing like Sasuke. For one I've never heard Sasuke use his voice chord so much in his entire life as our son has used it within the last week."

"What do you think Tobirama?" Asked Naruto and looked up at the man who was currently poking the pinwheel she'd hung by the fence gate with a calculating look in his eyes.

"What about Hayate? Sound of Wind… You do have a large obsession with these pinwheels." He said pointedly and looked at the wheel spinning from Tobirama's help. It was a wind still day and the houses surrounding Naruto's and Madara's house blocked out a lot of the breeze.

"Oooh! I like that one, but I know someone who already had that name..." Muttered Naruto and pouted.

"What about Naozumi?" Asked Itama and looked back at the baby.

Naruto looked expectantly at her husband who in turn was looked a little annoyed in the Senju's direction. "It can go in the maybe file..."

11 Years Since the Founding of Konoha

"I was wondering…" Said Naruto uncertainly and Tobirama looked up quickly. He'd been reading through the equipment order for next week and hadn't noticed that there was only himself and Naruto left in the meeting room.

"Yes?" He asked and continued reading superficially, just to have an idea of what the forces lacked. It was becoming tense out in the field these days. Iwa was not letting them much space for missions, and there had been some unfortunate run ins between the two nations.

"Well… I'll become Hokage next week and… I need an advisor." Finished Naruto nervously, looking up over the pile of scrolls in front of her.

For a moment Tobirama wondered why she was telling him this, and then the obvious answer occurred to him. "You're asking me to be your advisor?" He asked surprised, his face showing nothing but a business demeanour but feeling surprisingly happy at the same time.

"Yes. You've done an excellent job with Hashirama, and you already know the job in and out. You could be Hokage really, but unfortunately for you I'm more popular." At the end she sent Tobirama a cheeky smile that made the Senju huff and look away.

"So you want me to pick up your slacks. Don't you have a husband to do that job for you already? I was sure you'd ask Madara to be your advisor." Answered Tobirama and continued to read, this time more carefully.

"Well, I could, and he probably would say yes once I'd convince him. But he really doesn't want this job. Especially because of the situation out by the borders. He want to be where the action is. His words, not mine." Said Naruto pointedly before continuing without letting Tobirama reply.

"I see where he comes from, I want to be out there too. And I will if it's called for, but in the meanwhile I want to help Konoha as Hokage. Truthfully I'd rather have you as an advisor than him. You're excellent at it and I can't see a better suited person for the job." Finished Naruto, her tone going warm as she smiled to Tobirama.

The Senju looked fleetingly up, catching the smile and started to reply. He had to forcibly stop himself, and thought about it for a moment. There were many arguments for why he should take the position.

There was also a lot against it too.

Training someone to do the job Tobirama was currently occupying was beneficial to the village, since sooner or later someone else would have to take over. But Tobirama was still perfectly able to carry on doing his duty the way he'd done for the past eleven years.

"Well…. I'll think about it. I appreciate that you asked Naruto-san, and I'll let you know within a few days." Answered Tobirama eventually, going back to reading his documents.

"Are you still going to call me Naruto-san when I become Hokage?" Asked Naruto with one eyebrow raised, tapping her finger against the desk while she stared intently at the younger man.

The Senju registered her words immediately, but continued reading on for a short while. "No, I'll refer to you as Hokage-sama, Naruto-sama or Nidaime-sama. I'll have to see which fits better." Stated Tobirama and gave a short smirk to his documents. Knowing that Naruto was taking his refusal at dropping the honorific as an insult.

He waited for her to start lecturing him, but instead his ears was met by a heavy sigh and he looked up on instinct.

Naruto was smiling unhappily to him, her fingers intertwined on top of the scrolls. "You still don't like me very much do you, Tobirama?" She asked seriously, she attempted to put on a brave grin. He thought she succeeded.

"What makes you think that?" Wondered Tobirama, honestly feeling mystified by the conclusion Naruto had drawn up. Sure, they weren't exactly close… but they greeted each other every day and had a polite professional relationship. Just what Tobirama had been aiming for.

Though it was true that he'd once banned her from the Senju village, but that was past history. Tobirama had done far worse things in his life. Naruto had too.

"I just know." Replied Naruto and picked up one of the scrolls to lay it neatly next to another just to have something to do. She reached for another and continued placing scrolls neatly on the table.

"I don't. So obviously you're mistaken." Answered Tobirama a little bemused. Naruto seemed to really dislike the idea of him disapproving of her.

"No I'm not. I know you're a good chakra sensor Tobirama, and you know how chakra changes according to the state of mind. I'm a sensor too you know." Answered Naruto in a mutter so low Tobirama barely caught it.

He felt his stomach drop. Of course he knew Naruto was a sensor, but he'd never thought she'd noticed his reluctance of her. Again the blonde was proving him wrong...

"It's not… I do not dislike you Naruto-san." He answered truthfully. In all honesty he actually admired her and he agreed with Hashirama's decision to name her his successor. It had taken him a very long time to admit that though. It hadn't just been about her being up for the job that had made him reactant either, but like always Naruto knew how to win someone over.

The blonde looked annoyed up, her mouth turning downwards at the corners.

No, Tobirama didn't dislike Naruto. But he did have a problem with her.

"So you won't let your dislike of me cloud your judgement about being my advisor then? It's in Konoha's best interest. We are becoming frighteningly close to war at the moment and our village running smoothly should be all of our first priority."

Tobirama frowned, knowing Naruto must have picked up on his mood again. She was a much better sensor than he'd expected if she could sense without activating her chakra. Hashirama had been down playing her abilities it seemed.

"I do not dislike you, Naruto-san. And of course the village comes first, I am the last you need to remind." Stated Tobirama, being entirely truthful. Naruto must have picked up on this too, since she looked searchingly at him for a moment before she got up. Naruto nodded once, picking up as many scrolls from her neat pile as she could carry and left the office.

Tobirama listened as her footsteps faded down the hallway while he wondered what to do next. Trying to make sense of his conflicted mind.

Hashirama looked up as Tobirama stepped into his office, he was not wearing his uniform today and instead was wearing his black all black clothes.

Tobirama greeted him and Naruto before he sat down on the chair in the corner next to where the blonde was sitting. Hashirama looked up curious.

"I've been thinking about it thoroughly for three days, and I've concluded that it's best we divide our knowledge with as many trusted people as we can. Especially after the report we got in yesterday from the northern boarders. I think I want to become part of the main forces again, since strategist and jutsu specialists will be needed no matter which turn this disagreement with Kumo takes. I also think it best that if anything was to happen to me and my knowledge isn't passed on it will be to the village's disadvantage. I therefore decline your offer as Hokage advisor." Explained Tobirama professionally while he made sure not to break eye contact with Naruto.

"This has nothing to do with me disliking you. I honestly believe that my resignation as the advisor to the Hokage will be beneficial to Konoha in the long run." He added in all seriousness. Knowing he was speaking the truth and feeling relief in finally being able to give an answer to the question that had plagued his mind for days.

Naruto looked disappointed back, letting the book she'd been browsing through be placed in her lap before she answered. "I see. You do have a point I guess… And you're being honest with me, which I appreciate." She answered dejectedly but still mustered up a smile while roughing up the back of her hair.

Hashirama smiled at the habit Naruto would never get rid off. It always made her look very humble, which was the direct opposite of what she truly was. Tobirama was still waiting for Naruto to say if she accepted his decline or not. But he had visibly relaxed some by Naruto's attempt at lightning the mood.

"It's fine Tobirama, you'll have to train up your replacement though. So you might be forced to stay on the job a little longer then you wished to. I hope that's alright?" Asked Naruto teasingly, smiling good naturedly back at the Senju.

Tobirama mirrored her expression, turning back into his more casual self. It was his day off and they hadn't actually expected him to reply before work the following day. "That's what I expected anyway. Any ideas as to whom will take over my current duty?" He asked and made himself more comfortable on the wooden chair.

"A few. Nara Shin is an obvious one, but I'm leaning more towards Itama."

"What?" Both Hashirama and Tobirama exclaimed at the same time. Naruto laughed at the look of surprise filled horror on their faces.

"You two underestimate your youngest brother greatly! He is actually very sharp. He knows the ins and out of this office because he has spent a large a part of the last ten years in here just like you two have. He's practical and his adventurous behaviour has subdued some now that he's older. I can't think of a single reason why he couldn't do a good job as an advisor." Argued Naruto heatedly. Clearly being serious about making Itama her advisor.

"He isn't organized enough." Retorted Tobirama the moment Naruto finished talking.

"He is actually. You just have a habit of selectively remember the times he made a mistake, which is about once out of fifty times. It's not as good as you Tobirama, but then Itama was never taught how to the job properly either. And he's already helping me out, he has for years. To be honest no one is a better candidate at the moment except for yourself, Tobirama." Explained Naruto exasperated. She really didn't understand why Itama's brothers refused to see that he had grown up.

While he had once been a risk taking child, by now he had mostly learned to control that side of himself. He was intelligent - much more so than people gave him credit for - and he thirsted for an opportunity to prove himself to his brothers. Itama had always been compared to his two outstanding siblings and always falling short.

It was no wonder the Senju had been trying to get attention when he had people like that to compete with every waking moment. Constantly being compared and never being allowed a chance to gain the same respect.

Predictably an argument broke out now that Naruto had admitted her plan B to Hashirama and Tobirama.

While it was true Naruto wanted the middle Senju brother as advisor, it was mostly because she still felt guilty for taking the Hokage position. She also knew Tobirama would do a hell of a job as Hokage advisor - he'd proven that for years already. Itama was a close second though, he had many suggestions for the village and had a good idea of where Konoha needed improvements.

After a long argument - where Naruto felt she got her points well across - she left the office for her lunch break. Knowing the brothers would be discussing this turn of events until she returned in an hour. She was partly right.

"She might be right… At least we should give Itama the chance. He is our brother after all." Muttered Hashirama eventually.

Tobirama was tired of arguing in circles, so instead of immediately disagreeing he allowed some leeway. "Maybe, but it would be hard on him if he failed."

Hashirama smiled sadly in his brother's direction. Knowing that Tobirama talked from experience.

"Yes… Sometimes we have to let a good thing go for the sake of our village, do we not?" He asked mysteriously, keeping his brothers expression within sight.

Tobirama didn't answer and calmly looked up when Hashirama didn't elaborate. "Exactly. The good of the village should always come first." He replied in tone that indicated that the fact should be more than obvious.

"Still..." Continued Hashirama and turned to face his brother properly. "You're always unnecessary rude to Naruto though I know you have nothing against her. I think you could have handled being her advisor... but I can also see that it would be cruel to you."

For a moment the two brothers stared at one another, the message not being understood by the younger for a long time.

But then Tobirama grimaced and he quickly got up from his chair. Walking over to the book shelf while he started looking for a title.

"I'm sure I could do the job, but why bother when it will be for the good of the village that I don't? Unnecessary conflict of interest has no place in this office. We deal with others personal drama enough as it is. Let's not add our own to the pile." Answered Tobirama, not bothering to find out how Hashirama possibly could have known. Not even Tobirama himself allowed himself to know…

At last he found the book he was looking for and started reading through the index, scanning the page with his eyes superficially to find the chapter containing border laws.

"You are selfless, brother. Sometimes I wonder if you're not a little too selfless... Though I can't argue with the results. Konoha has been a success so far. Your actions has at least helped us avoid some tension with Madara, though it came at your own dispense." Said Hashirama and got up from his chair too.

He walked around the desk and over to the door to grab himself a quick lunch before Naruto came back. They still had a lot of discussion left to do regarding Itama.

"I see it as a necessary sacrifice. It was also ridiculous of me to end up in this situation in the first place, since it always had a dark lookout whichever approach I followed through with. But I'm content with knowing Konoha never suffered as a result of my own stupidity." Answered Tobirama nonchalantly.

Hashirama halted and stared at the back of his brothers head for a long minute. His eyes sad but filled with understanding and respect.

Without a word in reply he opened the door and left.

Tobirama read on for a while, not taking in properly what the words on the page said and had to go back and re-read them. Once he was sure his brother was far away he slowly looked over to the Hokage desk. Wondering what it would have been like if he'd been chosen Hokage instead of Naruto. It didn't matter now though. What was done was done, he'd already made his choice.

He placed the book on autopilot back in its proper place on the shelf, knowing he'd have to go back and find it later but right now his head wasn't in it. Tobirama had completely forgotten that he wasn't technically on duty.

Instead he strolled casually over to the desk his brother had occupied for eleven years. He sat down in the seat, looking out over the empty room that soon would belong to Namikaze Naruto. No.. It was Uchiha Naruto now.. Though it was years since they married Tobirama still had a habit of calling her by her maiden name.

He adjusted his sitting position, taking in the view from the desk his brother must have gotten very used to over the years. It was a boring sight in all honesty. Just plain walls that needed a paint job with a door in the middle.

Though Hashirama's office chair was vastly more comfortable than Tobirama's, he took comfort in the fact that at least his view was better. What a waste to have the Hokage office on the top floor and yet have the user unable to enjoy the scenery…

Sighing he got up, knowing Hashirama would make a deal out of it if Tobirama was caught testing out his chair. He'd probably start imagining Tobirama was still angry about being overlooked in the favour of Nam- Uchiha Naruto.

Then again he probably wouldn't, seeing as he'd figured out the real reason behind Tobirama's sedated inner turmoil.

Sometimes personal gain was not what was for the greater good. Sometimes you had to let a chance that could result in something great pass you by. The reasons could be many and varied; but it didn't stop them from being reasons.

Tobirama pictured Madara's face if Hashirama ever dared to break his brother's trust. It wouldn't happen though. His brother would take Tobirama's secret to the grave. Just like he himself would.

Looking over to the picture of Naruto sitting in the corner - ready to be placed on the wall the day of her entrance into office ceremony - he walked over to it and bent down.

Picking it up carefully Tobirama noticing the smudge mark on the glass right above Naruto's eyes. With benevolent care he cleaned it up with the sleeve of his sweater. As he did so he took in the blue eyes of the next Hokage.

Tobirama loved the colour blue, he always had, and in his opinion no one had more beautiful eyes than Naruto. It had from the beginning reminded him of the forest river he and Hashirama fished by in their childhood. Bright, fresh and translucent. You could see all the way to the bottom.

Though in the picture she looked serious, something that came of as unnatural to Tobirama. It didn't really capture her essence. Nothing really could except being in her company.

Tobirama felt the old envy bubble up inside him and pushed it forcibly away. He'd mastered this already... Madara got what he wished for and everything was all the better for it. Tobirama had long since accepted that.

Placing the picture precisely where he found it Tobirama turned back and stared out the wide window. A pinwheeel Naruto had given to Hashirama many years ago for his birthday was still tied to the window frame by a root, spinning repetitively around and around.

It looked like it was desperately trying to get somewhere but was stuck in place. Doomed to keep going around in circles and never move forwards.

With deliberate steps he moved slowly over to the window and untied it. Ripping out the root accidentally in the progress because of the brutality of the tug.

Lifting up the toy to exterminate it closely, Tobirama saw the many signs of wear. Years of being exposed to uncontrollable elements had left irreversible rifts. It was incredible the children toy was still functional. The thick orange paper was richly stained and looked fragile by the many years of fruitless spinning, but was still strong enough to keep trying. Attempting to get somewhere…

He noticed the patterns that was no longer recognisable. Time had honed them away until only red, random markings was all that remained of what they once had been. What they were supposed to be Tobirama couldn't remember.

The Senju held it up, for a moment hesitant. But when his stomach knotted painfully Tobirama attempted to clear his mind without too much success. Giving up he instead aimed the pinwheel precisely, measuring the weight as he held onto the handle.

Frustrated he threw it out through the open window and watched as the pinwheel flew out into the air. He felt disappointment when the action didn't have the desired crash effect.

It fell for a moment before the wind picked it up and blew it sideways. The breeze was stronger than the pinwheel and lifted it back up. Making it move in aimless directions while the pinwheel tried to follow the pull of gravity. But was thwarted by the wind current.

It was strange, because despite its inability to fly, the pinwheel was surfing on the wind.





The end

Author note: Thank you so much for getting through this overly long "One-shot"… I tried to show the different types of love was between the characters of Second Wind with this piece. Love lost, love found, love continued and love unrequited.

These things are shown through the different characters. Hashirama loosing Mito, then later moving on and falling for Izumi, Naruto and Madara continuing to be together despite a lot of arguments, and Tobirama never acting on his own emotions.

I hope I wasn't too vague about Tobirama's part in this story. I was attempting to subtly hint that he had a romantic interest in Naruto. One that he constantly suppressed.

Back when writing the Second Wind I was seriously playing with the idea of making Tobirama a love rival many times. The reason I didn't is my dislike of stories where the main female character is sought after by potential partners like some sort of magnet. It can get really tedious... And even if this was included, nothing would ever come out of it except more animosity between Tobirama and Madara. And Itama was already filling out a similar but more light hearted role.

So to explain Tobirama's viewpoint: Keeping a good tone between Madara and Hashirama was crucial to the alliance and his own emotions couldn't be justified in Tobirama's eyes. It was also more likely Naruto would choose Madara anyway, creating a conflict without gain for either parties since he never stood a chance. It's an unrequited love that Tobirama deals with by distancing himself from Naruto, which is why he never grew close to Naruto in Second Wind and often came off as rude. Sometimes love doesn't work out, and I think Tobirama's story is relatable to that concept. He gives up before even trying.

I also feel a little bad about what I did to Tobirama in Second Wind. I broke his nose, had Naruto take credit for some of his techniques, made him lose the Hokage title, and apparently he lost in love too. So yeah... Who wouldn't be a little grumpy after all that...?

I hope you liked the story. It's not the most traditional love story, at least not here on fanfiction, but it's my take on it. Personally I find love stories that doesn't go the way you expect to be better than the easy going ones. My interest rarely stays with a story if everything is just roses and butterflies all the way through.