The forest was very quiet.
It was too quiet. There were no small animal noises.
Naruto stepped out into a clearing, looking around him, feeling the breeze pull at his hair and the lose ends of his robes. It was a wonderful and natural feeling, one he rarely took time to appreciate, now that his responsibilities included more than his own family.
"I know you're out there," the Sixth Hokage said. "I'm a busy man. You asked for a meeting, and I've kept it secret for your benefit. You are the one in charge, aren't you? I hope you're not still somebody's lackey."
"You're still just an arrogant boy at heart, aren't you?" The voice was familiar. "Arrogant and naïve, even after all these years." A man stepped out of the forest opposite from Naruto. His eyeglasses reflected the light of the midday sun. "Did you really think that I would come here to negotiate? I fooled you as an idiot boy at the Chuunin exams. I tricked you once again, today." He raised his hand.
A dozen ninjas appeared at the fringe of the tallest trees. They had Naruto surrounded. Each of them wore the colors and forehead protectors of the Hidden Cloud village. By their appearance, all would be jounins or special jounins. They were the very best that the Lightning Country had at its disposal.
"Maybe you did," Naruto said. He didn't seem too surprised. That fact did not sit well with Yakushi Kabuto. "No doubt you believe you have the Raikage twisted around your finger, and maybe you think you can take his place as the top dog in Kumogakure if you kill me here today." He thumbed his nose at his long time adversary. "I did you a favor when I helped get rid of Orochimaru, and when I played a role in the downfall of Akatsuki. You were playing a dangerous game there."
"It's what I do well," Kabuto said, a touch of pride in his voice. "I had one of the legendary Sannin thinking he knew everything I was doing. I had an organization of the world's deadliest criminals fooled. Those were difficult games to play. This is much easier, since my opponent is so simple minded."
"I am?" Naruto shrugged. "You may be right. Then again, I've tripped you up before, haven't I?" He made it a point to finger the First Hokage's necklace. "Who was it that stopped you and Orochimaru from getting what you wanted from Tsunade?"
"You will be taking such quaint memories to the grave with you, I'm afraid." Kabuto smiled. He took out a whistle and blew on it. Twelve more ninjas appeared. These wore the equipment of the Sound. All were superior to the Sound Five that the Rookies had faced when Sasuke went to join Orochimaru. "Your death will serve a number of purposes. It will weaken your village, and destroy the alliance you've been able to hold with Grass, Rain, and Earth. It will make me the de facto power behind the Raikage. And, it will make me the Otokage, with the resources to have that title finally recognized by the other villages."
"Sounds like a pretty good plan," Naruto said. "You always were a sneaky bastard. Oh. Before I forget. Were you Orochimaru's love slave? A number of people always wondered that. You kind of have the look about you."
"Still making stupid jokes, even at the end." Kabuto bit his words off angrily. "I wouldn't expect anything less of you. Just like I knew you would keep your word, if I could get you to give it. That's why someone like me, who is not afraid to break the rules, will always be able to defeat someone like you."
"Blah blah blah," Naruto said, yawning. "Yada yada yada. Do you mind if we finish things up quickly here? My wife will kill me if I keep the kids away from home for too long."
"Kids?" Kabuto made a face. "What are you talking about."
"Children," Naruto said, sounding like he was talking to an idiot. "Offspring. Little one. You know… kids…" He smiled. "The things you get when you have sex with women instead of men."
"I know what children are!" Kabuto clenched his fists, willing himself to remain calm. He must not show any sign of weakness in front of the men he had chosen. "And I have more than my fair share of women."
"The kind you blow up?" Naruto smiled. "The inflatable kind… the ones that don't laugh when they see your… you know…" He laced his fingers together and cracked his knuckles, as if he didn't have a care in the world. "That probably wouldn't cut it, though. They couldn't nag you the way Orochimaru did."
"Listen up everyone," Kabuto called out to his men. "Mark the final words of the Hidden Leaf village's greatest Hokage. Impressive, aren't they!"
"While you're at it, enjoy the last words you will ever hear," Naruto called out to the same men, making it a point to wave to each of the enemy ninjas he had spotted. "Your time in this world has come to an end." He turned back to his old adversary. "We were talking about children. I think it's time that I introduce you to mine."
"What do you mean?" Kabuto looked around him. "Just what kind of nonsense are you babbling about now?"
"I never promised that I would come alone," Naruto said. "I just gave you my word that I would not bring any of my underlings with me. I didn't. I brought my family." He knew it was possible point of contention. But, he didn't consider his children to be his underlings. He whistled loud and long.
"Do you think we have anything to fear from children?" Kabuto shook his head, smirking. "Any handful of children you might have had with that worthless girl won't amount to much, even if they all have the full Hyuuga talents."
"You really need to keep up on things," Naruto said, smiling. The first of his children had made their ways to the edge of the clearing. He knew that the ones with kitsune mothers were communicating telepathically, passing hand signals to his children with Hinata. "I have a rather unique home life. I'm surprised that your spies haven't picked up on something as noteworthy as that."
"I am much more interested in the number of shinobi the Fire Country has," Kabuto said with a contemptuous wave of his hand. "Why should I pay any attention to the sordid details of your pathetic life? You can cavort with foxes all you want. I suppose that's the best you can do, seeing that you have the Kyuubi trapped inside of you."
"You were right father," Toukon said, walking up as if he didn't have any concern about the ninjas from the Cloud and the Sound. "He really is a blowhard."
"And a choice asshole," Shinrin said, joining his half-brother.
"You two behave," Takara said. "Mother told us we should always be polite." She winked at her father. "Even to rat bastards."
"None of our mothers are here now," Yama said.
"You're right," Takara said. "Say whatever you like, then. I won't tell." She took out some string and began making a cat's cradle.
"No doubt these little cretins belong to you," Kabuto said, making a number of hand motions of his own. "I can see the resemblance. The world will be a much better place without them." He watched as more youths walked over to join Naruto.
"Tsk… Tsk… Tsk…" Tani sighed. "Such a sad little man."
"Rude, too." Sora brushed some dust off of her sleeve.
"LET'S GIVE HIM THE UZUMAKI FAMILY SALUTE!"
Naruto's shout brought an immediate response. Each of his children, from the oldest to the youngest, followed his lead. They all gave Kabuto the finger. That had their enemy clenching his teeth and calling out the signal to attack.
Everything took place in a blur after that. Naruto's children were all very talented, thanks in some unknown fashion to Kyuubi, who was mortified to know that he had been helpful. Prodigies, most of them would be accepted into one of the village's ANBU squads, had their parents allowed it.
The Uzumaki family was more than skilled. It was also very large. Over the years, before Hinata finally had her fill of childbirth, he had amassed quite a brood. It helped that the Nine Tail's presence always led to multiple births. With Kuko, he had two human sons, two kitsune sons, and two kitsune daughters. With Tenko, he had two kitsune sons and two kitsune daughters. With Shakko, he had two human sons and two kitsune daughters. With Nogitsne, he had two human daughters and two kitsune daughters. With Genko, he had two human sons and two kitsune daughters. With Koryu, he had a human son, a human daughter, and two kitsune daughters. With Kiko, he had two human sons and two kitsune daughters. That was in addition to the four sons and four daughters that he had with Hinata.
Life had become very hectic when all of the kitsune children had decided to live in Konoha, even though their mothers kept to the forests and mountains. But, on days like this, the joy of family took on a whole new meaning.
"If you think there's a lot of them now…" Naruto squared of with a rather shocked looking Kabuto. "Just watch." He cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted:
Suddenly, as far as the eye could see, the clearing and the surrounding woodlands appeared to be filled with clones.
"Man… you should see what meals are like…" Naruto smiled, despite the gravity of the situation. The enemy was outnumbered and outclassed. He called out one final time:
"GIVE'M HELL, KIDS!"
It was a very bad day for the Cloud and the Sound.