The next two days of training were spent learning to do the next step of their elemental training, Ino needing to create fire using her body heat as a source, and Naruto, in light of having no waterfall nearby, was made to sit on the far wall of the spring and split the pool without damaging the floor. It is on the twelfth day that we find the two following a nearly bouncing Tobi, looking exhausted. "This is the fastest I've ever heard of someone learning elemental manipulation, even with your clones 'lives' added in."
Naruto smiled at the masked man. "We just have a good teacher."
Ino nodded smiling also. "Yeah, if it weren't for you neither of us would have even gotten started. So what's next sensei?"
"Truthfully, most people stop where you are now simply because you can create flames from practically nothing, and since the wind affinity is so rare, coupled with how difficult it is to use, only the most dedicated or stubborn users ever master it."
Naruto's smile brightened. "Then I have nothing to worry about."
Ino giggled. "Especially since you're both." Tobi shook his head as they continued down the stone hallway with Naruto pouting. After a quick dinner and soak in the hot springs, the two blondes bid Tobi good night and headed off to bed.
Later that night, Naruto woke to a bright red light in the small sleeping chamber. He groggily noticed that Ino had her face pressed into his chest, probably to avoid the light. Untangling himself from her, and making sure her head was turned away from the light source, he stood to find out what it was. Rubbing the sleepiness from his eyes he quickly realized that the light wasn't coming from the doorway, but rather some of the symbols on the wall. 'Kyuubi, you awake?'
He heard a sleepy grumble before the demon's voice filled his head. 'What do you want brat, you're not the only one who needs sleep you know.'
'Sorry, I was just wondering why the symbols on the wall are glowing.'
In the few seconds of silence, Naruto felt a great amount of uneasiness wash over him as he felt Kyuubi's awareness go from nearly nothing to full attention. 'Which symbols are they?'
'Well, um… there's 'Koki', 'Nan', 'Tounan', 'Inu', and 'Go'. What does this mean Kyuubi?'
'It means we're going to have to cut this trip short kit. The Gobi is in my territory, and the only reason he would head that direction from where he entered is if he wants to take it for his own.'
'But wouldn't he have to beat you to take it, isn't that how it works?'
'Under normal circumstances yes, but ever since you humans learned to seal us away, we decided that should a demon be sealed, the only way for another to take their territory is to finish whatever task the sealed demon was doing when they were sealed. Which means…'
'Which means he's headed for Konoha.'
'Exactly. Now even at full speed, it'll take him a day, probably two since he'll likely rest before attacking, before he reaches the village. If you let me out, I'll go ahead and warn Tsunade so she can start mobilizing the other ninja while you get the other two ready to leave.'
'Not that I'm complaining, but why are you so gung-ho to save the village that sealed you?'
'Because I will not lose my territory, sealed or not, to that mangy mutt.'
Naruto made a cross with his crossed fingers. "Kage Kitsune no Jutsu." In a puff of smoke Kyuubi stood there and was gone in a burst of blue flames before the smoke cleared. Kneeling down next to Ino, Naruto gently shook her shoulder. "Ino, you need to get up."
Rolling over on to her back, Ino opened her eyes with a groan. "Naruto? What's with the light?"
"Ino, I need you to get up and get ready to leave, while I get Tobi. We're leaving, tonight."
Ino quickly sat up, all thoughts of sleep gone. "What's happened?"
"Short version, Konoha's in trouble because Gobi's heading their way. Kyuubi thinks that he's head to finish what Kyuubi started, there by taking over Kyuubi's territory. He already went ahead to warn them." Ino nodded and started gathering up their things as Naruto rushed down the hallway. Reaching the main chamber, he could barely see anything due to the red lights of the seals, but he could make out the shape of Tobi laying on the ground. Slowly making his way over as not to trip on anything, he shook the man awake. "Tobi get up, we have to head back to Konoha tonight, we've got a problem."
The man yawned. "You didn't get her pregnant did you, cause if you did, either you're both really quiet, or there are some impressive privacy seals in that room."
A tick appeared over Naruto's left eye. "We haven't done anything like that you perv."
Tobi laid back down. "Then what's the problem?"
"Gobi's heading for Konoha."
In an instant Tobi was standing up. "Are you sure?"
"That's what Kyuubi said."
"You realize this will likely attract some of my former associates don't you? They could try and take you as well as Gobi in the chaos."
"I don't think even they're crazy enough to try and take on the Gobi at full power, they'll most likely wait till someone is forced to use a sealing jutsu on him and take the infant or object."
"And how do you plan to stop them, if they know you're there, they'll send more members to retrieve one, if not both of you."
"Honestly, I don't know, but I'll find a way, because if a child is used, I'll give my life to keep them away from those bastards."
"You'll make a fine Hokage someday Naruto."
Naruto turned around and could just barely make out the shape of Ino by the doorway. "You all set Ino?"
"Yeah, I even packed your stuff since you never came back."
"Thanks Ino. Is there anything you want to take Tobi?"
The man bent down and there was a light scraping on the floor before he stood and slipped his mask over his face. "Just this."
Ino made her way over to the two of them and Naruto flipped through a few hand signs. "Grab hold both of you, and be sure not to let go, or who knows where you'll end up." He felt Ino wrap her arms around his chest, her chin resting on his shoulder, while Tobi grabbed hold of his shoulder in a tight, almost painful grip. With a final hand sign, blue flames erupted beneath them and swallowed them up.
Kyuubi appeared in Tsunade's office to find it deserted, and while he growled in annoyance, he remained calm. Using his kitsune sense of smell, he followed her scent outside of the tower, through town, and to a moderate sized, two storied build surrounded by a large fence. Smelling the Anbu guarding the place, he let a smirk cross his lips and his flashed through the seals for Shunpo. In the blink of an eye, he went from outside the gate to Tsunade's bedroom, where she was, snoring away. 'I would have thought it'd be harder to get this far.'
Walking silently up to her bed, he was about to touch her shoulder when he felt the cold steel of a blade at his neck. "You are good, I'll give you that, but did you honestly think you could kill Hokage-sama in her own home?"
Kyuubi turned his head towards his attack, a man by his voice, wearing a white cloak and a Kuma mask. His red slitted eyes looking into the Anbu's eye slots. "If I had intended to kill her, I would have destroyed the building. I'm here to warn her of an impending attack."
"And how do I know you're not just trying to save your own ass?"
"If you would be so kind as to wake her, she could verify that I mean not harm."
Kuma turned his head so as not to let Kyuubi out of his sight. "Neko, wake Tsunade-sama." He turned his full attention to Kyuubi as the Neko masked Anbu approached the sleeping blonde. "You had best hope you speak the truth."
After a couple of minutes, Tsunade was awake and looking at the Neko Anbu with restrained hate. "What is the meaning of this?"
Neko backed away as Kuma spoke up. "I'm sorry milady, but this intruder claims he brings news of an impending attack, though he snuck passed the guards instead of following normal protocol."
Turning on a bedside lamp, Tsunade caught sight of Kyuubi's face and nearly gasped. "It is alright Anbu, you can stand down, this man means me no harm." Kuma removed his blade. "Leave us, I must speak with him alone." Kuma gave a stiff nod, though his body language showed he wasn't happy about her order. Once every Anbu had left the room, Tsunade turned to Kyuubi with a slight glare. "Now what's this about an impending attack, and damn well better be important, cause demon lord or not, you do not disturb my sleep for something trivial."
The glare and killing intent she focused on him, while not substantial, caused a chill to run down even his spine. "I would not be here if it were something trivial. Gobi is headed this way, it is likely he intends to finish what I started so he may take over my lands. The kit is getting the other two ready and will be back soon, you have a day, possibly two to rally your forces before that mutt gets here."
"Is there any other reason why the Gobi could be coming this way?"
"Not with the direction he's coming from." They both became quiet, but Kyuubi spoke after a moment. "Neither the kit nor I wish our fate on another of either of our species, but it may be the only way to stop Gobi. It would be wise to call the toad pervert if he is not already here."
"I can try, but I don't know if he'll return in time. For now let's return to my office and wait for Naruto to return."
Both used they method of transportation and appeared in her office to find Ino sitting in one of the chairs, Tobi looking out the window, and Naruto leaning back against the desk, his eyes on the floor. After noticing them, Naruto looked at Kyuubi. "Have you told her?" The kitsune nodded. "Good that makes things easier. You've probably already guessed, but this is Tobi, and I'd like to make it clear that he's not to be interrogated or harmed in any way."
Tsunade glared at the blonde. "And what makes you think you can order me around?"
Naruto glared back and she nearly flinched. "He saved my life, I'll gladly repay the favor, even if it means going against you and sensei." His glared quickly ended as his eyes shut in a large fox-like smile. "Besides, anything you'd like to know, he's already told us." Naruto's eyes scanned the room. "Kurama do you think it'd be possible to secure the room from sound escaping."
Kyuubi looked at bit shocked by the use of his cover name, but looked about the room, his kitsune ears picking up a light buzzing sound. "I think so, but it may take a couple of minutes."
"Do it please." Kyuubi moved about the room following his ears before stopping in front of the Nidaime's picture. Gently removing it from the wall, he found a small indent with a microphone and wireless transmitter. Tsunade's eyes went wide seeing it as he turned it off and placed it on the desk. With that finished, he took six blank pieces of paper from her desk and quickly brushed out the same seal on each before charging them with his yokai and threw them at the four walls, ceiling, and floor were they stuck and spread the yokai till the room was encased in a red glow. "It's set."
"Alright brat, what the hell is going on?! And how the hell did you know that thing…" She pointed at the microphone. "was in here?!"
"First, I didn't know that was in here, I only wanted him to put up seals. As for why they're up, I found out I'm not the only Jinchuuriki in Konoha."
Tsunade's mouth opened. "What? But how… when? Who is it, and which do they hold?"
With an unnoticeable look at Ino, he saw she was looking at the floor her body slightly shaking. "It doesn't matter, they don't hold one of the Bijuu, so they're safe from Akatsuki."
"Alright gaki, so how'd you find out?"
"Same way I found out about Gobi." Tsunade. "See, Kyuubi's got this security system thing that encompasses his entire territory, that goes off whenever a demon enters it, giving the direction its headed, the general area it entered, the type it is and the number of tails it has. Well, it told us that there was a Rokubi kitsune in the heart of his lands, which is Konoha, and the only demon he's let into his lands was his mate, also a Rokubi kitsune."
"And you think it's her because?"
"He attacked cause he thought some people from Konoha killed his pregnant mate, but what they probably did was sealed her inside of the other Jinchuuriki, and apparently one of them came back with them before Kyuubi killed the group. After that, well you know what happened. It's either that, or there's a Rokubi Kitsune in human form living here."
"So even after he killed them, he still attacked us, why."
Kyuubi growled. "They hadn't suffered enough, their families still lived while mine was taken from me, could you honestly say you would not have done the same?"
Tsunade glared at the demon. "I was in your place when Dan died, and while the thought did cross my mind, I didn't act on it, nor did I have the massive power you threw around in you're attack."
"I'm a demon, I'm not bound by your human morals."
"Kyuubi stop antagonizing her, or I put you back. Now, I know it's late, but you need to call a council meeting to inform them of Gobi's approach."
"And how do you suggest that I explain where I got the information, I can't very well say Kyuubi's alarm system told us!"
"Tell them that while on a mission, Ino and I saw him headed in the village's direct and that as a precaution we should start rallying forces and getting the civilians to secured places in case he keeps coming at us."
Tsunade blinked several times while looking straight at him. "That's actually not a half bad excuse, and it even mostly true."
Tobi turned around nodding. "The best lies are made from a bit of truth."
Tsunade turned from the masked man to Naruto. "You know that the council is going to hear this from one of you two right?"
"Yeah, I'll do it." Ino looked up at him in shock and he smiled back. "You should go home and get some rest Ino. Tobi, would you make sure she gets there safely, then you can head to my apartment if you like or see if you can get a hotel room." Ino sent a light glare at him. "It's not that I think you need an escort, but with the lack of sleep after exhausting yourself during training, I'd feel better if he went with you just incase."
She begrudgingly nodded. "I'll make sure she gets there, and I think I'll take your advice, but I'm getting a hotel room. If your clones in the armory are anything to go by, your apartment must be a mess." Tsunade, Ino, Tobi, and Kyuubi laughed as Naruto blushed lightly.
As the two left, Kyuubi turned to Naruto. "Well kit, I'm going to go back in and try to rest some more, have fun dealing with those annoying bastards."
"Sure." 'Leave the seals up through would you?'
Kyuubi's body went poof, but he spoke as he did. 'Plan to confront her about what the toad said?' Kyuubi never got an answer. 'Fine.'
Tsunade moved around her desk with a sigh and sat down. "You know, in order for me to gather the council those seals are going to have to come down."
Naruto turned around to face her. "I asked Kyuubi to leave them up."
Naruto's eyes hardened. "So I could find out why I had to learn that the Yondaime was my Tou-san from a toad instead of you or sensei."
"Damn that Gamabunta, he knows Jiraiya wanted to tell you."
Naruto glares at her. "It wasn't him, and I don't give a damn if sensei wanted to tell me, he had plenty of opportunities, so did you, and Ojii-san, so tell me why I had to learn it from a stranger."
Tsunade looked at him strangely. "What do you mean a stranger, just who did you summon?"
"His name is Fukasaku, but he said everyone calls him Pa." He saw Tsunade's eyes widen. "I take it you've heard of him."
After a few seconds, he heard her chuckle. "Only you could summon a elder sage on accident. He was one of the ones that taught Jiraiya in the ways of being the Toad Sennin."
Naruto nodded. "It would seem it runs in the family cause he told me of another young blonde boy summoning him, and even something very interesting about you." She couldn't explain why, but when he spoke those words, Tsunade's blood ran cold. "Want to hear about it?" She numbly nodded.
Naruto sat in a large forest clearing, several barrels of sake sitting beside him. 'Now just to summon Bunta. I better use a lot of chakra, just to make sure I get him, don't want to be here all day, the other's might get worried.'
'Ha, you're just afraid of what Ino will do if you make her worry needlessly.'
'What do you think Kiku will do to you if you don't help me get back soon?'
It was quiet for a moment before he felt some of Kyuubi's yokai flow into him. 'Well, what are you waiting for, summon the bastard toad already.'
Naruto smirked as he quickly ran through the seals after biting his thumb hard enough for it to bleed. "Kuchiyose no Jutsu!" Slamming his hand on to the ground, his vision was blocked by a large cloud of smoke, and when it cleared, instead of the massive toad he had been expecting, it was a small toad in a black cloak with white bushy eyebrows and goatee.
'Hahahaha, even with my help you still managed to screw it up!'
Naruto hung his head. "What's the matter boy, not what you were expecting?"
Naruto crouched down with a smile. "Not really, I was hoping to get Gamabunta, I'm suppose to share a drink with him."
The toad nodded sagely. "I see, so my boy's still using that excuse to drink huh, well Ma will just have to straighten him out I guess. Oh right, my name is Fukasaku, but everyone just calls me Pa."
Naruto cocked his head to the side. "No offense Pa, but I'd have thought you to be bigger, I mean since boss is so huge I figured the older toads got, the bigger they got."
He heard the old toad laugh. "You remind me so much of both Jiraiya and Minato, though only Jiraiya asked me the same question. The truth is, not all of us grow to be Bunta's size, some like me and Ma remain small our whole live, but just because we're small doesn't mean we're weak. I, for instants, can beat Bunta, but we try not to fight amongst ourselves outside of training." Pa got a fond smile on his face. "You know, this reminds me of the first time I met Minato, he was trying to do the same thing as you were, when I first saw you standing there, for a moment I thought you were him." A sad smile appeared on Naruto's face. "What's the matter boy, why the long face?"
"You're not the only one to think so, but I suppose I should at least be grateful you didn't calling me by his name."
"I take it little Jiraiya has." Naruto nodded. "I see, I wouldn't take it personally, in fact I would consider it an honor to be compared to him, he was the Yondaime after all."
"But I'm not." Naruto sighed as he sat down. "I just… it seems like I'm just a replacement for him to sensei."
"I can assure you, you are more to little Jiraiya than a replacement, however, he was very close to Minato, and his lost effected him greatly, and training you like he once did your Tou-san, it is understandable he would think back on those days and get the past and present confused."
"My Tou-san?" Pa started to sweat a bit with a nervous smile. "You're telling me that my Tou-san was the Yondaime and sensei never told me about it?!"
"I don't know all the facts, but they thought it best you not be told till you were older."
"His sensei, Tsunade, and him, they didn't want you to be targeted by Minato's enemies."
Naruto's eyes went wide as tears started building up. 'They all knew?'
'Stupid, stupid, stupid, I just made it worse, why'd I have to go and run my mouth?' "Come on boy, cheer up, it's not like they intended to keep it hidden from you forever."
Naruto managed to clam himself down, but he could bring himself to look the old toad in the eyes. "Could you tell me about him, my Tou-san I mean?"
"To be honest, I didn't really know him that well, not nearly as well as Jiraiya did at any rate, but I can tell you that he was an orphan, just like you, except his parents didn't die, they gave him up. I remember one conversation I had with him in particular, it was when he was only a little younger than you…"
Minato sat in front of Pa, a cup of tea in each of their hands. "I know it's her Pa, ever since Sandaime-sama brought them to the academy, I've felt this connection between us. Ibiki says it's just a crush, but I know it's not, sure I want her attention, but not for the same reason, and I also feel like I do when I'm with sensei, that I want her to be proud of me. Whenever she smiles at me, my spirits soar and I feel like I did something right, but the look of regret she tries to hide in her eyes, it scares me. What if she regrets what her and Tou-san did, or just having me? Could she possibly regret giving me up? What do I do if she does? I've always wished I had a mother, but what do I say, how do I act, would I be able to see her as my Kaa-san after she give me up? But if she regrets giving me up, why wouldn't she tell me who she is?"
"Because you put on a strong front so others don't worry about you, you appear to be doing fine without her, she's probably afraid that by telling you, she'll ruin what happiness you have or that you'll reject her. I'm curious though, what does Jiraiya have to say about all of this?"
Minato looked down at his cup. "I haven't told him, he'd probably just laugh at me."
"You don't give him enough credit, while he may think it's a joke at first, he'll see that you're not kidding quickly so long as you do not back down on your opinion despite his laughter."
"Maybe, but I don't want him to think I'm so childish that I still need my Kaa-san to wipe my nose."
"Even so, he was once her teammate, even if she was able to hide it from others, few things got past each other." Pa sighed before he finished his tea. "Whether you speak to him or not is up to you, and I'll not say a word to him about it if you do not wish me too."
Minato smiled. "Thanks Pa."
Pa smiled back. "No problem my boy, and thank you for the tea, but I must be going or Ma will start to think I've got a girlfriend." Minato laughed as the toad disappeared.
One Flashback End:
"As far as I'm aware, he never spoke to either Jiraiya or Tsunade about his suspicions. That was one of the last times he summoned me, in fact he rarely summoned any of us except Bunta, and even then it was few and far between. Jiraiya would tell Ma and me about him whenever he got the chance to come to Myouboku Mountain, he even spoke of having him come to train with us in the Sennin Arts, but he never came, though whether it was his decision or because there were signs of another war, we never found out. Then after years of almost no summons from him, out of the blue he summons Bunta, who couldn't have been gone more than ten minutes, and when he returns, his eyes bleeding and he tells us Minato's died sealing the Kyuubi of all things."
"What's the likely hood that he was right about her?"
The old toad shrugged. "Who knows, it's not uncommon for a bond between a woman and her child be so strong that even without having seen each other for years, they would know each other at a glance. There are even some animals are born away from their parents but feel an instictive draw to them. All I know for sure is that their chakras were similar, but his personality was closer to Jiraiya, though that's understandable since by the time I met him, he had been under Jiraiya tutage for the better part of two years."
Tsunade's facal expression remained the same through out the entirity of his story, but Naruto could see masked pain in her eyes. "So Minato thought I was his mother, so what. Why bring it up?"
Naruto's eyes traveled to the picture of the Sandaime and he smiled fondly. "Did you know that until I was six, I called Ojii-san Hokage-sama like everyone else? It took him that long before I warmed up to him."
Tsunade looked to be getting angry. "Alright gaki, what the hell is up with you? First you bring up Minato, then you change the subject to sensei instead of answering my question."
Naruto's eyes locked with her and she saw a seriousness she hadn't since they had first met in that bar. "Why do you think I started calling you Baa-san right away when it took Ojii-san six years." The confusion on her face made it clear she didn't have even a guess. "It was because I felt a something similar to what Tou-san described to Pa. I had no idea why, but I felt I could trust you with anything, tell you anything, and you'd be there for me."
"So what? Because the two of you feel a certain way it makes it true?"
"If you prefer, there's an easy way to settle this." Naruto pulled out a scroll and unrolled it to show it was blank, before grabbing her ink brush and quickly drawing out a large seal with two small open circles and a large one in the center.
Tsunade looked it over as he replaced her brush. "What is it?"
"A seal Jiraiya felt I should know, even though I didn't take after him. It analyzes blood and determines whether the two who gave the samples, which are placed in opposite circles, are related, and depending on how closely, how they are."
Tsunade looked between him and the scroll before sighing. "There's no need for this gaki, I'll tell you. Minato was right, he was my sochi, and I did and still do regret giving him up, but with the threat of war looming over us and being so young, I wasn't able to take care of him the way I should have."
Naruto smiled and put his hand behind his head sheepishly. "I'm glad you told me, cause this thing doesn't actually work, I just threw some shit together." He got a thoughtful expression while Tsunade prepared to pound on him for tricking her. "I wonder what would happen if I added chakra to it." A fist impacted the top of his head and sent him crashing to the floor.
"I can't believe you lied to me you little brat! And as for this, you should know better than to fuck with something like this, you have no idea could happen!"
Naruto stood up a little worse for wear, but otherwise alright. "Sorry Kaa-san, I won't do it again."
"Damn it Naruto I told you to stop… wait what did you say?"
Naruto had a foxy smile on his face. "I said Kaa-san. Ino's helped me lower my mask, only her, Tobi, Ojii-san, and now you have seen completely behind it."
Tsunade looked hurt by his statement. "Why leave it up around Jiraiya and me, you said you trust me at the very least."
Naruto looked down sadly. "It wasn't a matter of trust. I just felt that both of you didn't really see me, that I was just a replacement, and I didn't want to be, so I used the nicknames I came up with for you and sensei to separate myself from them." Looking up at her, she saw some of his playfulness return, but still with the seriousness she had already seen. "So I take it you never told Jiraiya he had a son, since he's never said a word about it and I know he would have had he known."
Tsunade glared at him. "What makes you think he's the father?"
"Simple, Shizune's shown me a picture of Dan and if he was, Tou-san and I wouldn't have spiky hair, not to mention that Jiraiya has the same big smile has I do, and he once told me that before the war in which the three of you fought Hanzo the Salamander, that he got to experience heaven, if only for a single night, and as he usual speaks about you as if you were a goddess, I can only assume you and he…"
A blushing Tsunade cut him off. "Okay, that's enough." She sighed and got her blush under control. "You're right, alright. He's Minato's father, no I didn't tell him. I had planned to after the war was over, but he stayed in Ame no Kuni with these three kids, and when he got back he took on a team, Minato being one of his students. After that I couldn't tell him, the kid was with him almost 24/7, then Dan died and I completely forgot about Minato. I didn't remember till Jiraiya came looking for me at his request shortly after he became the Yondaime, to see if I'd be willing to come back. After that, I guess he didn't think I cared about him or the village, hell I didn't even know about the Kyuubi's attack till a month after when sensei sent a message to me. Jiraiya sought me out soon after and he told me the full story, including who your parents were. You wouldn't believe my surprise when he told me that Minato and Kushina named me as your godmother, said sensei wanted to know if either of us would came back to the village and take you in. I couldn't do it, and Jiraiya, could you imagine what you would have turned out like if he had, on top of that he had his spy network he had to maintain, so in the end the three of us decide it was best if you weren't told who your parents were till you could defend yourself against his enemies."
"I don't entirely agree with that, but I can understand why you did it, but as soon as this is over, both you and Jiraiya are telling me everything." 'Okay Kyuubi, you can let it down now.' He got no response, but the tags stopped glowing and fell to the floor. "Well, time to inform the council about Gobi."
Just as Tsunade's hand was about to touch the button under her desk that would summon Anbu, she stopped. "Naruto, just so you know beforehand, some of the council isn't going to be very happy with you because of what you did to the Uchiha."
"I kind of figured that."
"No, it's not what you're thinking, whatever you did to him in your battle left him without the ability to use chakra."