***I still own absolutely nothing***
Since this story is in the first person perspective, please note the italicized name before the section to avoid confusion.
Taking a deep breath I let it out in utter annoyance. Why did being the Hokage have to be so difficult? Or maybe it had always been as such, and Hashirama just made it seem easy.
There is a picture of him on the wall, with that ever present smile on his face; the one that simply filled all those around him with warmth and confidence.
Such confidence, why couldn't I possess even half of what he did?
Shaking my head I return my gaze to the documents below me.
Apparently both Iwa and Kumo had taken it upon themselves to prepare for a major invasion of our closest ally, Uzushiogakure, and had already built up a massive force to do so with. The estimates predicted it would be ready to launch in only a few months and would continue to grow until then.
"There is nothing we can do... even if we could gather our army in time we wouldn't be able to defeat them without annihilating ourselves in the process" reaching forward I grasp the small glass of alcohol and take a sip, the liquid creating a rather unpleasant burn as it settles. "Uzushiogakure will have to fend for themselves..."
Of course I know this is a death sentence to them, and the Uzumaki in particular but... "what else can I do..."
Glancing up at the portrait my brother looked... different. Instead of the warm friendly smile it almost seemed to be disappointed in me, looking down with a scowling frown.
"It isn't my fault... I'm not like you brother..."
The image continues staring, and I can practically hear his disapproving remarks.
"I can't just go around threatening everyone like you could. I am not charismatic like you were... I AM NOT AS GOOD AS YOU WERE OKAY!? ARE YOU HAPPY NOW!?"
The frown deepened, or at least seemed to.
"It's not like I can just threaten two nations with..."
Wait... why the hell couldn't I? A spark of inspiration lights and I already have a scroll in hand as I begin making notes, this might just work.
I never notice that the picture goes back to the warm, approving, smile.
"Sir... orders from the Raikage"
What the hell did that man want now? First he orders an invasion of Uzushiogakure, then he postpones it while 'reinforcements' arrive. After that it was specific orders on people to kidnap for his 'bloodline continuation program'. If the man wasn't so powerful I would stab him myself for what he intends to do.
Ripping the scroll from the messenger, and sending him fleeing with an angry scowl, I hastily unwrap the item and begin deciphering the coded message.
'Withdraw all forces'
Is the man a freaking idiot!? If we withdraw now we will not have the correct weather for another invasion for another two seasons. The island nation is notoriously difficult to reach by those who do not have the correct Uzumaki forged ships. Six more months meant that Konoha would be able to aid their ally. That meant more casualties on our side, added to the horrific ones that my attendants assure me are practically unavoidable. Not only is the island hard to reach and reinforce, but the Fuinjutsu masters have undoubtedly lain hundreds of traps and deterrents.
'Invasion postponed indefinitely due to outside interference'
Now what in the three hells did 'outside interference' mean? Well it doesn't much matter, the Raikage's will is law until someone takes the hat from the man.
With a gesture several messengers come running in, and my short grumble relays the orders. We are packing up and going home.
"That is good sir, from what I have... overheard Iwa intends on doing the same as well." one of the stuck up young pricks butts in. They really do need to drill obedience into the brats at an earlier age, why when I was just a private I didn't even think to mouth off to a superior officer. But his information had reached me, even if it had probably been overheard by some drunken assholes. Iwa had decided with withdraw alongside us? But why? We might have declared this war out of a sick fascination with the bloodlines but them... they actually hated the Uzumaki. Why would they bother to retreat when their victory seemed to assured?
With one last glance down at the message scroll I read over the second line one more time.
"Outside interference indeed."
***Nameless Servant Boy***
"Blasted Konoha sticking their noses where it doesn't belong..."
Flinching at the Raikage's booming, raspy voice, and the anger that goes along with it, I ask myself again how I ended up in this hell hole. Why did I have to be selected for one of the man's personal servants? Why do I have to be 'marked as nobility' as they said.
More of a curse, than a gift.
The man has been ranting for over an hour now, and demanding refills on his wine. In the process I managed to sneak several glances at some of the documents sprawled out before him.
'Withdraw your forces immediately'
'Uzushiogakure is our ally'
'Your nation will burn'
From the few lines I had read the intention was clear. If we invaded their allies, then Konoha would burn us and Iwa to the ground while our forces were deployed.
Konoha was said to be the strongest of all the nations in the world, I had no doubt they could do so with little effort if pushed far enough.
Apparently the Raikage and Tsuchikage had found a means to do just that.
"Damn them and their 'perfect bloodlines'. Damn them and their 'Will of Fire'. DAMN THEM ALL!"
In his drunken rage the man flails, and backhands me across the room. I am not sure how many bones he has broken, but as a civilian I am sure that it will be a long recovery, if it is possible at all.
"Stupid boy... getting in my way..."
Struggling I attempt to pick myself up, but with my left arm practically useless at this point it was a failing effort. Seconds later an army grips the back of my shirt collar and I am dragged from the room.
"I'll show them... I'll show them that my bloodline is just as great as theirs..." he drunkenly slurs.
Realizing what is about to happen, and knowing in my heart that there is nothing I can do, I try and force myself to accept fate. I have heard enough stories about attendants being taken into the man's bed chambers to be 'used'. Although no one dares speak a word of it, the man has a perverse attraction to younger boys, those of my age, and I know from the whispers what is in store for me.
Perhaps he will be merciful... and simply end my life after he is done with my body? There are more than a few rumors about not being granted such an end, and being forced to endure for days on end while he 'pleasures himself'.
Torbirama Senju would never realize the true impact of the actions before his untimely end came. With the writing of two letters he had saved an entire nation, and earned a powerful ally that would influence the world for centuries to come.
By the time the next war came, and Konoha was forced to face off against Iwa and Suna, the Uzumaki were there beside them.
When a small nation known as 'Ame' became terrorized by a cruel and heartless man Uzu stepped in and intervened. They had been saved from annihilation by a compassionate gesture, and thus would strive to save those who needed aid as well.
Although Hanzo could not be eliminated, many of the families that were 'at risk' could be smuggled out. In total nearly half the population was able to escape from the monster's regime, including a young boy named Yahiko and his best friend, Konan.
As Kirigakure became embroiled in a civil war, and the bloodline purges began, Uzugakure was the only nation to become involved as well. In order to avoid being dragged into the conflict though they were forced to the same tactics that had been deployed, and perfected, during the Second Shinobi War.
Thus dozens of bloodlines were saved, and thousands rescued, from the hatred and fire that threatened to consume them. With this act Uzugakure had become the unofficial 'safe haven' for all refugees, and all were welcomed with open arms.
Less than fifty years after its rescue the small island nation had quadrupled in size. Luckily the inhabitants were Fuinjutsu masters of the highest regard, thus creating and raising new land was a simple task for them.
The pretty girl turned, her piercing violet eyes staring back into my own. Though she made no sound a slight gesture told me to continue.
"I was just wondering what your name is."
"I am Kushina"
"Oh, my name is Minato Namikaze, it is a pleasure to meet you. I was just wondering why I have never seen you around the village before. You seem like a really nice but quiet person. Why are you so quiet? Are you feeling okay? Do you feel sick at all? Can I get you something to feel better? I bet some ramen would help. I really like ramen, it is like the best food ever. Jiraiya-Sensei says that I eat too much ramen, but I really don't think that is possible do you? I mean ramen is like the best thing ever right? Of course it is, I can already tell you are silently agreeing with me. So do you have a last name? I bet it is really pretty, you are really pretty by the way."
She just stares back at me, maybe I offended her? Sensei has told me that I tend to talk a bit too fast at times, or all the time, and I really need to slow down when meeting someone new.
"I am from Uzushiogakure, I was raised to listen first and speak second. I am feeling okay although the trip here has been rather rough. I should be alright once I get settled down. I am not a huge ramen fan, but we don't really make much at Uzugakure. My last name is Uzumaki... and thank you."
I take a step forward to shake her hand, most of the time when people first meet me they scowl or call me annoying. At best they smile in the way that I know they want to call me annoying but just don't feel like it.
She actually answered me, and she has a really pretty blush. She shakes my hand a bit awkwardly, she must be royalty if she is so unused to shaking hands.
Her hands are so very soft, and she smells like the open air, like the roaring seas. It is a beautiful scent.
She is so beautiful.
"Minato-kun, could you show me where my hotel is? I went to find some fish for dinner and now I appear to be a bit lost..."
My grin must have been the stupidest looking thing ever, but she smiles anyway.
I think I am in love.
"This is going to get rough Minato"
The blonde sighs, before closing his eyes in concentration. I know that look, I have seen it so many times when he is going through all of the possible scenarios in his head. I have often wondered if he might have some sort of Kekkai Genkai but I know such things are a bit personal, so I have never asked.
"I don't like the idea of Kakashi, Obito, and Rin going on the mission alone Sensei. I know they are ready but..."
"No one ever wants their kids going out by themselves" I answer. The first solo mission that Minato had... I still have nightmares about it. Sensei told me he would be safe, that it was a simple information retrieval mission but... I still had to fight down the urge to go running to his rescue. Of course he hadn't needed it but still.
I see the man as the son I never had.
"I know, I know. I still don't have a very good feeling about this."
"Do not worry too much Namikaze-Sama."
I knew about the intruder only moments before he spoke, a kunai is already in my hand as I prepare to strike the man down.
Minato doesn't even respond, save for a slight smile. "Ah so does that mean Uzu has chosen to intervene in Konoha's war?"
"With all of the other major nations participating as well did you really believe that we would stand by and let our ally fight alone?"
My son... my student merely flashes that boyish grin. "Well I hoped that you wouldn't but... I did forget to buy Kushina-chan flowers last Valentines day so..."
The foreigner flinches. Hell even I remember rage emanating from her during that affair. Even if she chose to stay calm and silent...
"Indeed... she was quite insistent that you, and I quote, 'stay the hell out of combat because if you so much as get a scratch I will come down there and remind you why I wear the pants'."
Okay now even Minato flinches at that threat. An enraged Kushina was one thing, but one who was willing to prove her dominance was another terror altogether.
Both of my teammates ran towards me, obvious panic on Obito's face and... shockingly Kakashi seemed quite worried as well. Strange though, I have never seen him appear as anything more than slightly annoyed. But it is too late... it is all too late...
"S-stay away from me!"
Both froze, Obito looked... hurt, and even Kakashi had winced slightly. That wasn't my intent. I didn't want to hurt them. But if I had to in order to protect them from me, from what was now inside...
"Rin what's wrong?"
"I... Kiri sealed a tailed beast inside of me... once I get into Konoha it will break loose. I have to..." suddenly a terrible plan emerged, it would be the most awful request of all but... "I need one of you to kill me."
Forget panicked, now they both looked horrified.
"A-absolutely not! We are not going to hurt you Rin. We will figure this out, right Kakashi?"
The other boy nodded, it was nice to have such friends who cared about me but the village came first. It had to come first.
"No, you have to..."
"Excuse me, but we couldn't help but overhear your situation and thought about lending our assistance."
Turning, I notice a small group of Ninja slowly approaching. They had no weapons out, which meant that they were not immediately hostile but... the swirl on their armor.
"Rin has a tailed..."
"Oh yes we overheard that. Don't worry about it, sounds like they just created an cursed tag modification to the seal. We can have that fixed in a jiffy. The problem is that you will be a Jinchuriki but that is way better than dead, no?"
Relief and joy wash through my bones as they get to work. Maybe there will be a happy ending after all?
Letting out a deep sigh I direct my wandering gaze over the village, and specifically to the Uchiha compound. Tensions were slowly escalating in the village. The Uchiha had, once again, distanced themselves from the other major clans, and population in general. They felt scorned after the last meeting where I had announced my formal retirement to take place in the next few months.
Immediately several council members had put in their own nominations, mostly themselves. Among these had, of course, been the Uchiha. That was when the conflicts immediately started.
The Hyuga 'would not allow' the Uchiha to become Hokage.
The Uchiha pointed out that 'perhaps the Hyuga should mind their own business'.
It had quickly escalated into near shouting levels of volume.
Truth be told I want to continue on, to continue guarding and protecting my village... and also because there hasn't been a decent candidate since a young blonde man named 'Namikaze' left some years ago for Uzu.
But I am old, and my reactions, my mind, and my stamina are all suffering due to this. Someone needs to take my place, but who? Perhaps I should just let them fight it out, let them kill each other and whoever remains standing can take the damn hat.
None of my remaining students want it.
The remaining few who might be halfway decent at the job are either too young or also refusing.
It appears as though the only option left is to let someone else choose for once. Maybe I can even retire to somewhere outside of Konoha... I hear Uzu is lovely this time of year.
"I promise it will be fine. You know that Jiraiya is good with kids."
"No" I want to argue, to scream, to shout that the pervert isn't going to spend a single hour looking after my son... but I also know that the Sanin had practically raised my husband. If Minato could turn out to be as amazing as he did... "I know that it will be fine, I just... I don't like Naruto being alone, especially in Konoha."
"I know how you feel about it right now, and I worry too but... we can't just lock him away until he is an adult."
"Adult? Please I was thinking about keeping him under house arrest until he is thirty. That should give him time to master Fuinjutsu, the Uzumaki bloodline techniques, Rasengan, and Hiraishin."
"Oh come onnnnn Kushina-chan! How will he ever get a girlfriend if he isn't allowed into public?" the man whines out. Naturally as soon as he added the 'chan' my heart starts pounding in my chest. The bastard knows this, of course.
"That is sort of the point Minato-kun. I don't want any of those... hussies getting near him."
His pouting face turns into a smirk for less than an instant, but I see it and he knows it.
"How about if I make Jiraiya promise no perverted stuff, under penalty of 'Kushina beatings'?"
I do enjoy a good 'Jiraiya beatdown', hell maybe I can even find Tsunade as well. She has been rather protective of Naruto ever since we named her 'Godmother'. "Fine... but nothing had better happen to him when he is there, including peeping!"
The blonde haired angel smiles and makes a cross at his heart as a symbol of his promise. No wonder I fell for him so quickly.
I hate being out this late, even if it is just Konoha. I understand that father feels I need the extra political training, but to send me all the way to the Hokage's tower at dusk is a bit much, and now I have to walk back to the clan quarters at night.
Perhaps this is another training method? He knows that I still feel nervous at night after the 'Kumo incident' so maybe this is just his way of trying to build my confidence back up, to show that I have nothing to fear in the village.
"Hey, do you know where..."
A voice sounds from behind, and my mind goes back to the horrible night. The fear and terror of being kidnapped, of being dragged to Kumo... of what they were planning to do to me...
I spin on my heel and strike out upon instinct.
It is a mistake and seconds later I realize that the blonde boy laying below me unconscious is most certainly not a Kumo ninja. He is barely my age, if even a bit younger. His breathing is shallow and labored, a result of the Juken strikes no doubt.
What have I done?
So brief authors note, this is my first attempt at a 'first person' story, and for that and many other reasons it will be a relatively short story. Do not expect anything in the 20+ chapter length, hell I don't even know if it will break the 10 count at this point.
Regardless the idea came from a very simple premise, I wanted a story that doesn't star Naruto, and I wanted one that allowed Uzu to remain a nation. How to do both? Make one small change in history. We aren't really told how or when Uzu is destroyed, so I just made up a reason, and then gave history a slight nudge in a different direction.