As is part of my ways of writing, I usually start off with comments in the beginning, and the end. So, all I have to say at the moment is that this story may seem different to a few, or maybe unoriginal to others. But recently, I lost a lot of files for my two other fictions that I love dearly: Live the Life on the Rails and Hollow. I had a lot of chapters that I never had the chance to download onto here, and it really got to me to lose all that really hard work, along with original works of fiction that I had hoped to do something with. So, I was in a funk for about a month. Then, this baby started forming because I just felt like typing mad like the mad woman I am. And, well, here is the result.

This first chapter, as established at the bottom, is just the beginning of the life of Naruto. I felt that it would be nice, for once, to start of a fiction not with Yondaime, as it is by far the more popular choice, and instead with Kushina's life. A change, and I hope some people like it. And to be honest, this is the first time that I ever had any problems naming a story. Odd, but it's true. I've always had a title, even before writing the first words of a story. But with this, it's honestly taken me 3 days to think of a worthy name for what I call my 'recovery' story. Now, here you go. The name means whirlwind, and to me, it means a raging force of power, a storm that is worthy of being watched over. And Naruto means maelstrom. Naruto is power incarnate. Naruto is a storm.

Words of the Wolf:

-Some times things fall apart for other things to fall into place

-Whoever said nothing is impossible, never tried slamming a revolving door...

Disclaimer: Obviously, I do not own Naruto, but I love it dearly. However, the plot, story, and characters that do not exist in the Narutoverse, all of it belongs to me, baby. Believe it.


She was being trained as a ninja

She shouldn't cry. She should see this as a mission, a great opportunity to see not only her mother's family, but a great opportunity to prove herself, like her older sister Kasumi, who was already going through the training.

But it still hurt. She didn't want to leave her mother and father, and especially her baby brother. She was only 6, and they were sending her to the home of her clan, the Uzumaki, in Whirlpool. She didn't know her grandparents, and she didn't think Kasumi would spend much time with her, already a ninja of the Whirlpool. She was going to be alone with strangers.

She sat gazing at the moon through her bedroom window, hands cupping her face as she sighed, long red hair down for the night. She never heard the quiet entrance or the figure that crept up on her. But she wasn't surprised at the strong comforting arms that encircled her and picked her up. She leaned back, knowing her father would hold her.

A gentle, rumble voice was heard in the night. "My hime, you are not happy? You have wanted to train as a ninja for so long." She turned her gaze to see her most favorite person, her father, and the Daimyo of the Land of Fire. He was tall and elegant, with a lean frame and manly aristocratic face. He had black hair to his shoulders, and deep green eyes, which she got from him.

"I want to go, otou-san…but I don't want to leave home." She heard him chuckle as he sat down, facing the open window that showed the beautiful full moon.

"All children must leave at some time. How else do they grow up? And your grandparents, the Daimyo of Land of Whirlpool and her decorated husband, would love to see another of their Uzumaki daughters. When they learned of your bloodline awakening so soon, they were so proud of you. And with your silliness-" She stuck her tongue out at him, which he only laughed at quietly, "-they were most happy to have you stay with them."

"But why can't I be a Konoha ninja?" His eyebrow quirked, "You don't wish to honor your family?" She squirmed at those words, a small pout on her face, "I do, but I want to go to Konoha, and be one of them. That way, I can be closer. And I can learn their really cool jutsu!" She smiled broadly, eyes crinkling at the thought. The Daimyo, Daiki, merely shook his head with a small smile.

"Your mother would not be pleased to know of such." Her beautiful smile crumbled, and she spoke, "Okaa-san is never happy with me. It wouldn't be any different." Her father scowled, not knowing what to say. He knew very well his loving wife's constant anger at their youngest and wildest daughter. Of what he could understand, it was because the two were so much alike, whether either wanted to admit it. Stubborn, with a streak of brashness, though his wife had tamed down in the past few years of their marriage, and the constant desire for adventure. A true Uzumaki, he understood.

Silent, he merely hugged his daughter tighter, and whispered, "You two are so much alike, but neither of you will ever understand." His wild daughter's face scrunched up, disbelieving. "Then why is she always mad at me, even when I haven't done anything?" He sighed, "Because you two are so much alike, you drive each other crazy. Just know, hime, that she loves you with all her heart none the less. No matter what you say or do, your mother loves you."

He knew that his daughter would brush it off, but he had wanted to say it. Looking at the moon, he sighed again, almost reluctant to let his baby girl go. But, it was for the better. He knew in his heart that despite her royal status, she was made for better things, she was made for the world, where excitement and adventure coursed through her veins.

He saw after awhile that the girl had nodded off, her long beautiful red hair glistening in the moonlight, pale skin soaking in the rays of the night. She and her sister were truly going to be the most beautiful women in the world, but both would naturally hide it. He cared not, for it meant less boys knocking on his door.

Standing up, he carried his daughter to bed, and kissed her forehead, smoothing her hair down before he stood up, gazing at his daughter one last time, knowing tomorrow everything would change.

"Sleep well, Kushina-hime. The horizon has just started to lighten for you, and the path is long and treacherous. But you will make a name for yourself. This I know."

He left the room, most certain to close the door quietly behind him.

"Kushina-chan, you must raise your head higher. There, much better. Now, remember to smile as you pour drinks, while keeping an eye on both your guest and the drink."

The seven year old was grinding her teeth at this, but complied to her grandmother's orders. She could see in the corner of her eye her grandfather, uncles, and male cousins laughing quietly at her predicament. They knew she loathed this part of her 'training.' If you could call it that. She wanted to be a kunoichi, yes. But this was ridiculous!

Kunoichi were fighters just as much as men were. So why in the hell did they only have a woman doing such stupid things! But of course, she already knew the answer. She calmed herself down, finishing the last of her grandmother's and aunt's lesson of serving guests and table manners, along with her female cousins. It was still odd to play 'girl' with anyone. As a hime, she had no such duties, except to behave properly at functions. But now she had to learn all types of styles for women of different stations: language, acting, composure, and other silly things. But she memorized it none the less.

The second the seven girls were dismissed, she quickly excused herself from the table, and left the room. Then she ran for the hills…or her bedroom, to be truthful. Quickly, without the help of the awaiting maid, she stripped out of her exquisite and no doubt expensive attire, and changed into her more comfortable training clothes.

It was a black chain mail jacket with thousand of pockets on the inside, and orange long sleeves with a blue swirl and wooden toggles on her left arm, the family insignia of the right turning swirl in orange on her back. The Uzumaki was the founding clan of Whirlpool, and to honor them, the family crest was made as the village's symbol. The collar was fur lined. Her pants were black with orange stripes on the sides that went to her shins, and black ninja shoes. Her hair was taken out of its fancy do, and put into a messy bun, with the strands at the sides.

Leaving her room, she saw her grandfather and the other men were already at the training area designated for the family, and she quickly joined them in taijutsu practice, and none of them mentioned the earlier lesson.

Ok, one of her cousins mentioned it, just as they were about to spar together. He was teasing her again. She tried so hard to not do anything. But you know, it never is wise to anger an Uzumaki woman.

And her cousin learned that the second they were told to fight. Her adrenaline was pumped with anger, and she surprised them all with her speed, and they all saw her eyes spinning in the family doujutsu. Fearful, beautiful eyes. The last thing her cousin remembered before being knocked out for a day was her angry face, and her fist pulled back before delivering the nose crushing blow.

Calmed down, she was swept up into a hug by her grandfather, who could only laugh at his most spirited grandchild. She was a true Uzumaki. He spoke, finger tapping her nose,

"Kushina-hime, you are an unpredictable ball of trouble. And I would have you no other way."

"Kushina-hime, you are nine! Act your age, instead of a three year old!" yelled her tutor Hotaka, a lean tall man with reddish brown hair, jounin outfit on, his hitae-ki proudly placed on his forehead to show the swirl of Whirlpool, exactly like her family symbol.

She sighed, wanting so badly to retort back that civilian nine year olds acted the same way, but she cut herself off knowing full well she would lose the long argument. Civilians were just that, civilians. They were not raised as ninja, who act twice their age, and had no ninja bred traits. And she was one of the heirs of the Uzumaki, the noblest clan in Whirlpool country and highest breeding. A bunch of blah if you asked her.

"Hai, Hotaka-sensei." Though inside, she was laughing her head off. She had just pranked a couple jounin that were being rather perverted, and she felt they deserved what they got for peeking into the hot springs. In fact, they got off lightly. She had put them under a genjutsu with her doujutsu, Kamigan, God's Eye. Nothing harmful, to be honest, as it was a benign genjutsu to make the victim dream of happy thoughts. It was mainly used on trauma patients or those with mental problems. But she had tweaked it a little to make them dream of what they were currently looking at, but on a much larger scale.

'Men can't handle anything, and don't think at all with their heads unless a fight happens.' She scoffed. It was disgusting what proceeded, but when they were caught, the women from the hot spring beat the shit out of them. It was a most impressive display, she had to say.

Hotaka rubbed the bridge of his nose, knowing full well she would not feel guilt on this. Kushina was a clever girl, very clever, especially with the use of her doujutsu. He had heard about other doujutsu users, here and in Konoha, who were treated like royalty for such bloodlines. Kushina, despite all the trouble she gave him, at least earned her skills through practice and hard work. And she was royalty.

"Come, we have another lesson to finish before the day is out." She smiled, jumping up from her seat, ready to learn what ever he threw at her. He smirked to himself. One thing he enjoyed about teaching the hyper troublesome girl was the fact that if you wanted to teach her, she was eager to learn. Any attention you gave her was better than anything.

The red head was quickly beside him, following her sensei while bouncing in her shoes, her orange and black jacket hefty from all the weaponry she carried. "What are you teaching me now, sensei? Oh come on, gimmie a hint!!"

Laughter could be heard from the jounin, as the left the clearing.

She was 11, and announced as an official Whirlpool ninja, graduating a year early by special permission. She had nothing to learn there since she was 9, but they kept her in for two more years before they realized they were stunting her growth.

But unlike the others, she wasn't placed on a team of genin, just like they did to her sister, who was now an ANBU. For her protection, they had said. A princess of the Land of Fire and Whirlpool was better kept safe than in the hands of the enemy.

Liars. They were out casting her like always because she was an Uzumaki. Compared to all the others, she was an elite in several ways. She hated it. She didn't ask to come from such a great family. It just…wasn't fair that they separated her from everyone.

Unlike the other genins, she was placed on a team of jounin and chuunin, with Hotaka-sensei of course team leader. The only good thing about being on such a team was that she was now put on higher missions, and would get more experience. Hotaka-sensei explained that she would have more to go on, and learn so much more. He of course was trying to comfort her, but she was thankful for that at least.

But it didn't stop the tears she shed, hiding in her favorite spot, the highest hill that was surrounded by the forest, a small but beautifully hidden clearing that showed all of her village.

It wasn't long until she had company. Her grandfather had always been able to find her, along with Hotaka. No one else seemed able to. Then again, this spot was known only to the three of them.

Her grandfather was a great man, one of her three favorite men. She loved her cousins and uncles, but they were not impressionable to her. The older man came to the clearing, and sat down beside his granddaughter, quiet like the ninja he was. She could smell from her heightened senses, sweet tobacco and mints and flowers from her grandmother's and aunt's gardens, and hear every breath he took and shift of his clothing. They sat in silence for a time, before his gravely gentle voice spoke,

"Hime, life will never be fair. But you are an Uzumaki, and you will move on, like the whirlpool. Every life has a different wave, and this is the one your path shall ride. You will stumble, as we all do. But you must always pick yourself, and continue on the path you choose to ride. It will be hard, and dangerous, but whatever choice you make, understand that your family will always love you, and we will support you in what ever you desire."

She felt almost struck by this comment. Very few times in her life did someone even think to give her a serious lesson, let alone actually give her one. But her grandfather was right. She was an Uzumaki, and had no time to dwell in the pity and politics of this village. She was going to get stronger, and prove to them, that she was worthy of all they had given her. She would protect them like they protect her. They were family.

She swiftly took out her favorite tanto, a gift from her mother, and to the surprise of her grandfather, she cut deep into her right hand, the crimson blood oozing out of the deep wound. She turned to him, deep green eyes sharp and determined, that changed to the Kamigan's silver and gold pupil with four black triangles, and she swore, right hand clenched tight, the blood dropping to the forest floor.

"Then I swear I will ride the path of my life, with no regrets, no broken promises, and no blood shed of those I protect that is not my blood first." Her grandfather was silent at first, before he stood, his dark green eyes also shifting to the Kamigan. He took the tanto from her hand, and cut into his own old right hand, and nodded his head at her.

"No regrets, and no broken promises. To protect our precious people to the bitter end." With that, they clasped bloody hands, letting their blood mix as determined and excited faces stared at each other. And then Kushina smiled, thinking of something rather funny.

"I think grandmother will be angry with us when she sees our hands." The old man gave a hearty laugh, grinning at his precious granddaughter. "That she will be, Kushina-hime. Let's just call it a training accident." Kushina giggled, her long red hair falling out of its bun, and the wind played with the dazzling hair, face open to the world to show her slowly becoming a beautiful woman.

She never saw the sad, bitter sweet smile on her beloved grandfather's face. To the bitter end…


She had been an official ninja for only 3 months when she had been put on a B ranked mission to escort a wealthy merchant. At first it was an easy going stride, and she was slowly becoming acquainted with her high ranking teammates, and trusting them to help her become a better ninja.

Despite the time that had passed, the scar on her hand was still there from her sworn promise to her grandfather, and she knew it would stay with her for the rest of her life. She looked at it every night, as a reminder of what they had said that night.

But this mission was different from the others. This time, she had to kill. It was on the third day that it was becoming suspicious that there was no trace of possible ninja attackers. But as she had learned from the old saying of the elder Uzumaki, the calm of before the storm is what truly drives you mad.

The other's were just as restless as she was, but they controlled themselves better. It was to the point that Hotaka-sensei had her learning while on the trip. For a girl she was quite a stamina and chakra freak, and needed to have something occupy her time.

But it was because she was kept busy, that she didn't notice the wary looks on her teammate's faces, and only knew just as the attack happened what was going on.

She was scared, and confused. What did they want her to do? Where was she to go first? Her first battle, and she was wasting the seconds by staring on. But then it clicked. It was ninja vs. ninja. And her body went into action, instinct setting her in motion, Kamigan out for the fight. She took one of the ninja and started attacking, diverting him from the older whirlpool ninja.

Due to her surprise, she easily knocked him, a swift jab at pressure points. She congratulated herself, but in the corner of her eye, she saw something. Because of the Kamigan, she saw exactly what was about to happen.

25 feet away on the mini battlefield, an enemy ninja was about to strike down Hotaka-sensei from the back, as he was occupied by two others in front of him. Instinct and chakra got her there with in a second, and she took the jab of the katana through her middle, and blood started spewing from her in seconds. But her adrenaline was so high that she barely felt it, ears pounding and all senses focused on her target, her beautiful terrifying eyes freezing the ninja on spot.

He barely uttered the words, "An Uzumaki.", before her special ice kunai swiped his throat, spraying onto her, but she didn't care. She turned to see Hotaka-sensei already finished, and he was staring at her like the others, amazed and pride in their eyes at their youngest teammates first real accomplishment. Then it turned to worry as they all saw the sword still sticking through her, and it clicked in Hotaka-'s eyes when he saw their positioning.

She had saved him, for the possible price of her life. But Kushina just smiled at him, knowing he was safe, a v-sign put up, as she fell, the adrenaline gone and the pain to much to bear that she slipped to unconsciousness.

When she woke a few days later, it was to see her sensei and grandparents all taking watch on her, apparently they had all nodded off, and all had dark circles under their eyes. Trying to sit up, she yelped in pain as her abdomen was put on fire. This made all three wake, and immediately came to her bedside, worry, pride, and happiness all etched on their faces.

Her grandmother was holding her closely, careful of her granddaughters stiff body, and cradled the girls head near hers, hands running through the silky red tresses. Her grandfather sat beside her legs, a hand on her knee. And her sensei just smiled at her, pride beaming at his surrogate daughter.

But Kushina's smile was bright, despite the pain, as she opened her palm to show all of them her bright red scar, and looked to her grandfather, and her voice, raspy from lack of use, spoke of her on pride,

"No regrets, no broken promise." He nodded at her, eyes softened, as he finished it "And protecting our precious people."

Of course, this led to her grandmother asking what the hell the two crazies were talking about, and Hotaka laughed quietly to himself as he saw his student and the Uzumaki elder, both proud, stubborn, and strong people, cower before the old Daimyo woman, and her evil eye.

No. No. It wasn't happening. She had promised. She would never break this promise. Especially to her grandfather. But…he…the old bastard had forced her to.

They came out of no where. There was no sign of who was attacking, no hitae-ki or specialized weaponry. She had woken up when the sirens went off in her head, and she was dressed and ready with in seconds.

She joined her family and the other ninja as they tried to hold back who ever it was that was attacking, but there was so few Whirlpool available, as most had gone to help out the war with Konoha against Kumo, her sister among them, and the rest on missions.

Slowly, the tide of attacks took their toll on the ninja of Whirlpool, but at least most of the civilians got away unharmed. Now, it was time to get the royal family out. But the Uzumaki clan had no where to escape to. They were surrounded on all sides at the Daimyo/ Uzumaki compound.

Hotaka-sensei was with them, and along with her grandfather, they sealed her into a safe room that would open at a time lock, in the hidden room behind her grandmother's throne. She had never screamed so hard in her life as she clawed and punched the door and walls, searching for someway to get out, to protect her family. But she was locked away with the family scrolls, treasures, and documents. And her grandfather's favorite shogi board.

Why had they stuck her in here!? It wasn't right! She was a kunoichi of Whirlpool, and was prepared to die like the rest of them. Why had they made sure that she was the only one kept safe? Even her cousins had helped make a path to protect her, getting in the line of fire. Why? She wasn't important. They could have sealed 20 others in here, there was enough stored food, water, and ventilation. But they left her alone in the dark room.

While they died to conceal her presence. While they died as Whirlpool ninja, as she was hidden away like a fragile princess.

For three days, she stayed inside the dark room, dieing away slowly as she ate only a little, her body in shock, as her mind constantly went over what happened over and over. There was no reasonable explanation other than the wrath of her father, but that wasn't enough. She knew that it wasn't that. Her father had told her long ago that he was prepared for her and her sister's careers, and he meant everything that came with it.

Why did…they left her…as the last Uzumaki heir. Tears formed in her eyes, but she couldn't cry, not yet. There might be a chance. A slim chance. But it was a hope she was willing to hold onto.

On the fourth day, she woke up to the seal being opened, the wall/door cracking open, and she could start to hear noises and voices outside her little room. Getting up, despite her weak and tired body, she stood firmly, ready to attack any pilfers or thieves of her family's last treasures. Her eyes gave light to her vision, even in the dark room, and she prepared her kunai with wind and water element to sharpen the cuts.

As the light finally showed the entire room, she saw many standing people in the throne room, and two that stood near the room's entrance that had undoubtedly opened the wall. With the burning fury that fueled her veins, she went on the attack, red hair flying behind her as she went to the one on her near right. She didn't care if she was out matched. If these were the bastards that had attacked and planned to steal anything from her family, they were all going to die by her hand.

She got in several good cuts on this very skilled ninja with black hair and weird red eyes, before she was roughly held by someone from behind, with long spiky white hair. She fought with all her strength, but it was giving way as she saw the bodies strewn about in the throne room. Blood was everywhere, with scattered weapons, kunai stuck in the walls.

Then realization came to mind, as the scenario played out in her mind. There was no chance for any of them to have lived. They had all gone into the throne room to protect her grandfather and Hotaka as they sealed her away. They had no chance as they fought to make sure she lived.

She wanted to hate them. She truly did. But she couldn't, as she stopped fighting, and stood there, the tears ready to fall. Her whole body had seemed to have gone numb, and her eyes returned to their green hue. She quietly stepped down the dais, and the bodies of two of her favorite men close to her hiding room. From the looks, they had died a hard fight.

She didn't bother hiding from these strangers what she felt, as her hands shook touching her sensei's head and taking hold of her grandfather's withered and cold hand. As she gazed at the rest of them, she knew they all died hard. A Whirlpool ninja's death. An Uzumaki's death.

The tears now fell down her cheeks, and she didn't care if these strangers saw. How could she care? Her home was destroyed, and she was the last Uzumaki that held all of the secrets. The one with all of the last memories of her beloved and beautiful home. She was the one who had to remember.

She spoke, remembering what her grandfather had said, her raspy voice heard by all in the vast throne room.

"No regrets, and no broken promises. To protect our precious people to the bitter end. That is what you taught me, Grandfather Uzumaki. But in the end, you denied me, and made me break my promise to you and our clan. Why, you old bastard. Why did you leave me alone? WHY!?" She had screamed out the last question, letting out her frustration as she did so, head facing the ceiling as she cried out.

No one made a move as the last Uzumaki let herself succumb to her sadness. She sat there, for nearly an hour, and none of them denied her that small chance to grieve for her clan.

After awhile, she calmed down. Standing on slightly wobbly legs, she went back to her prison for the past four days, and took an empty scroll, and began sealing everything into it. Then she went throughout the compound and took anything of value; clothes, jewels, documents, scrolls, weapons, you name it, she sealed it. After she was done with that, she put it in her jacket, and groomed her hair into a messy bun, and washed her face off.

She honestly didn't know what to do now. Go home to her parents was the only option she saw (as life as a homeless ninja was something she did not see as a calling). But that also meant giving up certain freedoms for her mother's respite. Giving up on herself…was against her character. Her mother may not be happy with her, but Kushina could not destroy herself to make the woman happy.

Her dilemma was solved for her, in the form of the white haired ninja that had stopped her from killing the red eyed guy. He crept up on her, although horribly in her opinion. He stood at a distance close for her to know he meant no harm, but at least 3 feet, least she attack again. Though it was of no use. They weren't the attackers.

"You know…I believe Konoha wouldn't mind having a little trouble in the form of a pretty red head. Some Whirlpool ninja are still there, though most are planning to join Konoha now that…Whirlpool has been debunked. If you want, I can take you there, and we can try to settle you."

She was silent, then an idea came to mind. "Can I join a genin team?" An eyebrow rose. "Weren't you on one?" She shook her head. "Here, they used to treat Uzumaki as royalty. It was stupid in my opinion, though, we are the Daimyo's family. But it was still stupid. And because of that, I graduated ahead of time, and was put in a team of jounin and chuunin. So…I want to start like everyone else. At the bottom. And in Konoha, no one will know who I am, or steal my bloodline, as there are others of my blood, and none of them are known, so it is safe. No one knows me. No one will treat me like royalty. I'll have to earn it, just like an Uzumaki always does."

He stared at her, face contorted in an odd mixture that couldn't be described. But he nodded, "Well, Sandaime should have no problem with that. You'll have to go to our Academy for a couple months, as our next graduating class is then, and you'll be among those your age. It's below your talent, but it's something."

She smiled softly at him, wind pulling on her hair, and he was awed at how beautiful this preteen looked, the storm above clouding the sky, the wind pulling on her softly, and he knew this as her element, her home. An Uzumaki was home in water and wind. But as she said goodbye with only a nod and a sad smile, he had to say, it was the greatest first impression he had of Uzumaki Kushina.

Upon arrival to Konoha, she was almost swept away by its large size, and the gates of Konoha of course burned into her, a beautiful sight to attest to Konoha's strength. She had no time to sight see, as she was Shunshined to the Hokage's Office by the white haired man, Jiraiya.

He introduced himself to the Hokage, and now that Kushina was in a place that she knew was safe, she introduced her full name to him. "Uzumaki Kushina, princess of the Land of Fire and Whirlpool…or the once Whirlpool. The last heir of the bloodline and last bearer of the family secrets. And last living soul to see Whirlpool. My brother's will never be ninja or heirs, so they can not take the secrets. And my elder sister…I know not if she lives."

Her little speech shocked both men (and later she learned the ANBU as well) and then she quickly lost her temper at their lack of speech, "Oh come on!! It's not that hard to just deal with it! I'm not asking you to call me Kushina-hime. Hell, if you do, I'll kick your ass until I get my point across. I'm an Uzumaki before I'm a princess, and whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me!"

This woke the ninja from their stupor, and Sandaime chuckled, having long heard of the traits of the Uzumaki, and the fiery temper was one of them. This would really be interesting to have her here. But…

"What about your parents? They must be worried?" She was silent for a few minutes, before she looked him in the eye again,

"You can send word that I live in Konoha, that I am safe, and starting anew here. My father will accept this. What ever my mother says, don't bother remembering. And if my father wishes to see me, tell him I will do so when I can, if you permit me, or if he wishes to come here."

Sandaime nodded, but he along with Jiraiya stored the little information about her mother for later prodding.

"Alright then, we can do that. And as for living arrangements, we can easily get you an apartment, but for the next few days, you will be living with Jiriya. And as for money, I'll arrange for a stipend for you, so you have no need to go into your family accounts just yet. You will be starting the academy in three days."

She nodded, and after a little more, she left with Jiraiya as her escort, finally moving her hitae-ki from her forehead and tying it around her neck. He took her around the basic streets in Konoha, and they talked. He learned quickly that she was a girl not to be messed with, and hated perverts. And oddly hated being in woman's clothing. She learned that he was a super pervert, a jounin that might be taking on a team soon, called a toad sennin (she had to admit, the toads were cool), and one of the Sannin.

And oddly, they got along quite well despite some bickering between the two stubborn shinobi.

She refused to get Konoha quality clothes, despite the different climate, because these were her clan clothes, and high quality to boot, despite being baggy on her for growth and comfort.

And Jiraiya's home was actually pretty clean despite her first impression of the guy. It was a traditional style, two story, and had an adjoining dojo and above ground walk way that was covered. A small garden was near the back, with a mini lake, and he had a nice piece of land with thick trees around the fences.

A beautiful home, and quickly was comforted by its simple taste and elegance. She explored the home, with Jiraiya rolling his eyes, before she went to explore Konoha itself. It would take some time to truly understand it and get everything down, but it was a start.

On the third morning she found her way to the Academy slightly late because Jiraiya had forgotten to wake her (on purpose was more her thought), and she entered the building as the bell rang.

Running to the class on the second story, she stopped before the door to take a quick breath and calm her nerves. 'Come on, this is nothing. I've faced death, and I've killed. I was once a proud ninja of Whirlpool, and I am princess of the Land of Fire. I can handle this easily. These kids have no experience, and they are not even ninja…seriously, feet…move now….alright, you need to get ready, understandable…NOW…seriously, your pissing me off.'

While she was going through a mental tirade of cursing her feet, she didn't notice someone behind her until they were about to touch her, but again, her blood fueled and the Kamigan swirled, a kunai in hand and ready to attack who ever was about to disturb her. The kunai was met with another, and the hand still grabbed her, firmly to prevent any more movement, but not to hard to hurt her.

She saw a tall man with brown hair and burly build, an eye brow raised on a generally amiable face. Kushina smiled nervously, cutting off her chakra and turning off the doujutsu, kunai going back into the pouch. She calmed her blood again, and apologized quietly so only the two can hear,

"I'm sorry. It's…a reflex." The teacher nodded quietly. He wasn't going to tell her that he knew of her situation, both her clan name and then of what happened to her home village. Almost everyone in Konoha knew about the attack on Whirlpool. Though only the ninja knew about her being from the Uzumaki clan, and it was well known from jounin to genin about how she was found, and that was even seeping into the academy students. He had just seen first hand the greatness of that family, and he had a feeling that wasn't all this spitfire had to offer.

He spoke gently, "It's alright, Uzumaki-san. I'm your new teacher for the next few months, Umino Isamu. Just call me Isamu-sensei." She nodded, and he opened the door for her to enter first. But something wasn't right, and her hand grabbed the eraser before it was a foot above her head. She glared at the object, then her eyes shifted to a spiky blond hair boy with tan skin and manly aristocratic features, but he still had some baby fat. His eyes how ever were what attracted her attention. They were a blue that the sky should be jealous of. Crystal.

She quickly averted her eyes as she stood in front of the class, putting the eraser on the desk as Isamu-sensei stood beside her, hand on her shoulder. He glared silently at a certain blond before he spoke, "Class, we have a new student. Her name in Uzumaki Kushina, of the Uzumaki clan of Whirlpool. She has already been through the Academy there, but she will be joining us for the Hokage's reasons. Welcome her, and treat her with respect like you do to each other." 'Though that isn't much in itself..' he thought to himself before beginning the day's lesson.

Kushina sat near the window, eyeing the world outside while she listened to Isamu-sensei go on about history of the nations, and founding's, and all that other jazz, which she had been through since she was 4. 8 years of it got tiring really fast. But she would respect him for doing his job, and listen.

Because of her absentmindedness, she didn't pay attention to the class that was staring at her when Isamu-sensei wasn't paying attention. When it was time for taijutsu practice, she followed them out the door, but noticed that they avoided her like the plague. But she didn't let it bother her for now.

At the practice field, everyone was paired off, and she was offended that she was facing a girl that was obviously weak. She spoke allowed, her anger evident,

"Excuse me Isamu-sensei, by why are girls and boys separated? Isn't that sexist?" Isamu's eyebrow rose again. This girl sure spoke her mind. "That's the way the system is set up. Why? Do you want to fight one of the boys?" Her own eyebrow was raised as if saying 'No duh, why do you think I pointed out this fact?' He mumbled to himself, before reviewing the clip board of names. If she wanted to fight a boy, then it would have to be one of the weaker ones for the first time. He didn't know her skills, and wouldn't want to overwhelm her.

"Alright then, Kushina, you fight with Nara Shikaku. And Shikaku, actually fight. Don't give up with in seconds." Shikaku mumbled something that sounded an awful lot like 'troublesome' before he moved to face her. Isamu started the match, "Begin."

Kushina waited a few seconds, to see if he would do anything. But seeing that he didn't, and just stood there in position, she ran forward first, fist cocked ready for a punch, which he blocked, only to realize to late that it was a distraction as she dropped to the floor, and swept his legs out from under him. She had her hands positioned near pressure points and asked, bored, "Do you yield?"

Without missing a beat, he nodded, "I yield." They stood up, and Kushina had an annoyed look on her face, and Isamu tried not to sweat. He had barely seen her move, and it was simple and planned that it was beautiful. And this was coming from a Chunin.

He looked up on the list. Inuzuka Tsume was by far the only female he thought had a natural standing chance, and she was a powerhouse. But Kushina looked ready to start trouble, and he might as well give her another boy to fight to sate her fiery temper.

"Up next, Uchiha Fugaku." The Uchiha scoffed, but did as ordered, and faced her, without even bothering to get in position. Only he and Namikaze were top of the totem pole, and he doubted this know nothing girl from a no name village was worth his time, despite her already being a genin.

But, maybe Kushina should have warned this village with certain things about Uzumaki. Especially the well known rule of never pissing off an Uzumaki female. And when the Uchiha refused to take a fighting position, he should have known he was fair game to any humiliation she was about to put on him.

Kushina wasted no time after Isamu told them to begin. She knew about the Uchiha eyes, Sharnigan. Well, Kamigan was in her opinion much more useful. She called her eyes forth, which surprised the class to see that one of the rumors were true, she did have a doujutsu, and despite it being beautiful to look at, it was scarier than the Sharnigan.

She spoke up, warning him, "If you so much as try to copy any technique I throw at you, Uchiha, I will kill you and every last one of you copy cats." And with that, she was in a burst of speed, heading toward him, knowing he could easily see her, and as he was about to land an ax kick at her, she dived under on her back, kicking her leg up and straight into his groin.

It was quite satisfying to her to see the proud Uchiha fall in pain, and saw several of the guys in the crowd covering theirs and their faces showed sympathy, while the girls were giggling. She hopped up, prepared for him to come back at her with intent on revenge, which he was. It wasn't long before the match started becoming serious, as he wielded the Sharnigan. She made sure to show only basic taijutsu, preserving her clans privacy, knowing full well he will copy it.

After awhile he huffed, "What is the name of your eyes. And why aren't you fighting for real. You're holding back." He accused her, eyes narrowed. And he was right. Kushina just blinked at him,

"My doujutsu is called the Kamigan. And I'm holding back so you can't copy. My family fighting style is meant for my clan because of our body structures and the taijutsu itself is a bloodline. Any one that tries to practice them, even with supervision, will kill themselves. I'm not willing to let you kill yourself because you think it is alright to copy without asking for people's permission. And that goes for my other jutsu."

Isamu was rather impressed. Kushina knew her stuff very well, and the name of her eyes was…terrifying. They were beautiful to look at, but it honestly scared him. And add to the fact that no one knew what they could do, except her. And she would probably tell no one but her future team mates, and the Hokage.

The two continued to fight, until Kushina came out on top with a most impressive display of pressure point and vitals attacks, along with hard hits to distract, but the style was completely unpredictable, hard to follow, to overwhelm the enemy with power, and would have been deadly if she added chakra (he had a sneaking suspicion that they usually added chakra). When she meant the style was only meant for her, she meant it, as no one besides family would be flexible, strong, incredibly fast, and have such power to back it. Her clan had been bred to be the best in so many areas.

From what was noticed about the fight, her eyes could see about 180 around her, and as if by instinct, she knew where the Uchiha was going to be and moved to counter it. Add to the fact that she seemed to hit the boy in points that reminded him of tenketsu, but with a variation. All together, it was like her eyes were a variation of both Sharnigan and Byakugan.

For 3 years, she had lived in Konoha. After a week living with Jiraiya, she got her apartment, but she hardly lived in, as she constantly was training. It was a nice apartment, with one bedroom, bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen. Simple and sturdy. Just what she needed for now.

She of course decorated her room with her family's old mementos and trinkets, and had the furniture from her old home brought to furnish the place, and give her some form of comfort. She didn't bother bringing out things that were worth anything real expensive, except her grandfather's shoji board, grandmother's tea/ sake set, a weapons wrack with a naginata, halberd, katana, wakizashi, and a tanto, some scrolls, and the bonsai Hotaka-sensei got her for her 10th birthday, which sat on the large low table in the center.

It was homely and the scents of the familiar objects gave much comfort. So far, besides Jiraiya and the Hokage, she had only shown it to three other people, who had become her fast friends. Inuzuka Tsume, Hyuuga Keiko, and Haruno Miyako. They were strong girls, and liked to fight as much as she did, though Keiko was a quiet and shy girl naturally.

But there was a slight problem with her new life. A blond boy by the name of Namikaze Minato had become the bane of her existence, along with his band of friends. She didn't know why, but she had been picked out as his special target, bickering with her, fighting with her, pranking her, or teasing her. You name it, pretty sure he did it. She didn't no how many jokes he made of her clothes or her tomboyish ways.

And he was her equal in taijutsu and ninjutsu, to make it worse. At least in genjutsu, she had a chance to out do him, though he easily could get out of it after awhile. She had no clue as to why he started picking on her, but she didn't let it down her day, especially when she had visits once in awhile from her father, sister, and baby brothers. She never let them know how it hurt her that her mother didn't even bother to care, as it made her happy just to see them.

Graduation had come and gone, and she was sadly placed on a team with Minato and his (neutral to her) friend Hyuuga Hiashi, though they at least had Jiraiya as a sensei. He cut the bickering down a little. Though the two pranked each other most of the time as it was. Even though they had been a team for two and half years, the two just fought like cats and dogs. And she never let him know where she lived. She didn't want to risk the Namikaze destroying her home. The Hyuuga on the other hand knew where she lived, but never really came inside. But she could say she had been to both their clan homes many times, if not had to stay at each and Jiraiya's many a times from exhausting herself.

But she was 16 now, and by Jiraiya's standards, ready for more adult missions, as he was one of the few who knew her body was fully developed into a young woman's (he trained her when he wasn't training the other two), despite Minato's jokes that she was by far no girl.

So it was to her utter embarrassment that they got a mission for spying. The Third Great Ninja War had long started, and Team 7, sometimes called Team Jiraiya, was going to be sending their only female member out as a spy as a geisha at one of the more popular establishments on the border of Suna and Iwa. Oh how she wanted to ring the man's neck. He knew she hated female clothing. It was always tight, showy, and uncomfortable. She didn't like the idea of being a pervert's ideal girl. And what if something got out of hand, huh? How does she explain killing the guy? Cause like hell was she ready to give up her virginity, she was only 15!!

But she had no choice. It would be a five month long information retrieval. And she LOATHED every second they made their way there. Of course, it was under cover, and no one knew who she was except that she was a young apprentice searching for temporary work, normal enough.

While her three team mates kept back and rented a room for the time being, she had to live in an okiya with several geisha and meiko, and for the first two weeks, was serving as a maid, until one night, she got lucky, and the owner of the house saw that she had an appealing form and face, and would be allowed as a geisha for a time being at some of the tea houses.

As she was getting dolled up, she knew exactly what to do, and how to do it, thanks to her grandmother's training. Oddly, the woman had been right that she'd have to train to be like all women of all stations. So her long red hair was in fancy hair style she hadn't done in two or so years, and oddly, it comforted but saddened her, but she quickly got over it as she donned her kimono (she had brought her own, not knowing if they'd allow her to use theirs), and face painted as a meiko, and she went to tea house after tea house.

She knew that Jiraiya was the one always watching her, as his signature was familiar to her. For a month, this was her life, until one night, she hit the jack pot of all information. A handsome Iwa nin jounin with a little to much sake was her escort that night, and the second she flirted with him, he boasted about him being in charge of an attack on one of Konoha's best resources for steel.

It was a risky attack, but if successful, Konoha would be in a lot of trouble. She never knew her charms would be that irresistible, because he told her almost everything under the sun; about his family, his pet dog as a child, how hard he worked to get to his position, the bloodline's and secrets of Iwa, and even about his dream of having a pretty wife one day to have kids with. What shocked her was the look in his eyes as he said this.

She blushed, playing it off as being bashful, but he took it to far, taking hold of her and kissing her, his hands in places she wasn't ready to have touched by anyone. She hated it, he smelled and tasted disgusting; sweat, alcohol, and some of the pills she gave him that made him talk. And he stole her first kiss without her consent. She would have killed him, but her mind forced her to act like a geisha, not an Uzumaki.

She quickly separated the two of them, slapping hard but not enough to send any signals to him, and she spoke coldly, "You go too far, Inada-san. Good night." She then left, wishing the mistress good night, and ran as fast as her legs could go in her geta and kimono.

She wanted to cry, oh the pain her chest wanted to burst. She had lost her first kiss to an Iwa. She normally wasn't girly, but this along with other things were some of the things she held onto, wanting to preserve what little femininity she would allow herself to show. And if she would have chosen a first kiss, it definitely would not have been an Iwa nin that was most likely going to die when she got the information to Jiraiya. No, if anything, it would have gone to that blond bastard…wait…Minato? Surely she wasn't thinking of Minato…

No matter what she tried to deny, it was Minato she wanted. The Uzumaki blood demanded him, desired and yearned for the blond prankster that caused her so much trouble. Oh, how she hated her blood for the moment. But she quickly collected herself, and with by far the most impressive display of secrecy, she sent a kage bunshin back to the okiya she stayed at to sleep, while she herself went to the apartment, not trusting anything else to get the information to them.

Her blood was pumping, adrenaline racing in her like always, but this time it was different. She had two missions. Kiss the hell out of the Namikaze (she will make damn sure that it is her real first kiss) and then relay the information. And she didn't give a damn if Jiraiya or Hiashi saw this.

It wasn't long that she reached the apartment, and to her luck and joy, both Hyuuga and pervert were heading to the bathhouse, and the blond was just lazing about the rented room, experimenting on some seals on a scroll.

He looked up when he felt the door open and close, and saw by far the most beautiful woman in the world, red hair up in a style that permitted some of it to be down along with many combs and trinkets, and her make up was almost washed away, except the red lips, and the several kimono made her hourglass figure beautiful. But seeing those determined green eyes made him start. Kushina?

She didn't say anything as she glided across the room, letting her smooth hand cup his cheek for a second, which shocked him, but not as much as when the other grabbed a fist of his hair at the back of his head, not to hard, and she kissed him softly, tasting like sweets and tea. For the first few seconds, he didn't know what was going on. But he gave in to his instincts, one hand on the small of her back, while the other was at the back of her neck, feeling the soft red hair, and he kissed her back gently, not wanting to scare her.

It didn't take long for the soft kiss to become more passionate, and she straddled the blond bastard, getting more leverage on him as she kissed his neck, biting and sucking softly, eliciting a moan from him as he held her closer.

This would have kept going, had she not felt that Jiraiya was on his way back, along with their other teammate. She stopped, leaving a chaste but teasing kiss on his lips, and she moved away from him, waiting as the toad sannin and byukagan user entered. Jiraiya was surprised at was quite surprised at her being there, which turned to anger when he realized she was endangering the mission.

She put her hands up, quickly interrupting his thoughts. "It's better in person than leaving you little notes. I had a talkative jounin tonight, and you're going to like what the songbird told me." She explained everything in detail, including what she knew about the guy, and said they could possibly use his person as a disguise if need be. At the least, they knew of some bloodlines that might be used against them, and could make counter measures. Jiraiya thought it over and agreed that it had been better that she had appeared in person. This was valuable information. But then he noticed something off. When she spoke about the jounin, he saw that Uzumaki fury in her eyes. His own narrowed, concern laced with protective anger that came with having a female student, especially one like Kushina who never really had experience in men,

"He did something to you, didn't he?" She was unusually silent, and that was enough for all of them to get angry. Though she only thought it for two reasons. One: Minato would think she used him to cleanse herself (which in a way, she did, but even now that the adrenaline was gone, the feelings still remained) and Two: she was claimed as a Konoha nin. And for some odd reason, the men of Konoha did not like the idea of their kunoichi handled by others, especially enemy nin (which made her think it odd when they put kunoichi into these types of situations. Hypocrites, all of them).

Then Jiraiya did something none of them expected. He walked across the room, and hugged her fiercely, and whispered, "As long as he didn't do anything permanent, it's ok." She knew he meant that more for himself, so that he didn't out right kill the man that thought any harm upon her, but when he said that, she felt the tears coming again, and this time, she didn't stop them. She would be a girl, at least for tonight, and give in to the fatherly embrace that was protecting her from the cruel and harsh world, like she had given into her lust for the blond.

She hugged the burly man tightly, as her body wracked as she cried her heart out at the frustrations of this mission and the idea of being touched in a way she did not want. Her muffled cries were echoed in the silent room, and Minato and Hiashi just watched as their teammate cried for the first time in front of them, and they could only feel immense guilt at what she must be suffering for Konoha's survival.

As time went by, her tears dried, and she sat in her sensei and fourth favorite man's lap, like she was a little girl again, and she didn't mind as she felt protected by the fact that he was here, and that her teammates were nearby as well. It felt so good to feel safe for once in so long. Not even in Konoha did she feel this safe.

She looked at her scar that had been present since she was 11, and would forever be there. What it meant to her. Jiraiya caught her looking at it again, and asked softly, though the other two were listening carefully,

"You've never explained what that scar was. It wasn't from when I found you, nor was the sword wound in stomach. But this one obviously means something." He left it open for her to talk, giving her a chance to open up. And she took it, letting them in on one of her secrets.

"When I was 11, right after I became a genin, they forced me onto a chunin and jounin team because of my royal status as princess of the Lands Fire and Whirlpool. They cheated me because I'm the Daimyo's daughter, and they thought if anything ever happened to me, an Uzumaki heir, then my father would put his wrath upon them.

"My father has long prepared for anything that would ever happen to me or my elder sister, as we are the only children he could allow to become ninja, as my baby brother's are the heirs, while we are only potential. But they didn't understand this, and forced me to be protected.

"I was so angry at them for taking away my chance to be normal for once, but then my grandfather found me hiding in the clearing that I chose as a hideout that faced our village. And then he told me what I needed to hear. 'The path is hard and dangerous to take, but as a daughter of the Uzumaki, you should take the path, and ride the course.'

"And then he told me to carry on his nindo. 'No regrets and no broken promises. To protect our precious people to the bitter end.' But, I still don't know why he and Hotaka-sensei sealed me in the treasure room alone. I was left in the dark for four days, alone, when they could have sealed me away with some of my cousins and aunts. But…they all died to make sure I was sealed away…and they made me break my promise. I was supposed to help protect them. They didn't even let me die with them."

Jiraiya's eyes were shocked, never hearing her account of the story. She had never told anyone, for that fact. And he felt honored that she had finally opened up. For most of the night, she talked on and on, and they listened to her stories of her old life, from her life in the Fire palace, to Whirlpool, and then to her last day in her homeland. And her teammates quietly listened, letting her get everything off her chest as she laughed or wiped away a tear or two. She even explained the ongoing bad connection between herself and her mother, though she herself didn't understand why.

Two hours before dawn, she realized that she needed to go back, and she slipped out of Jiriya's lap, and stretched, a soft smile on her face that had never been there before. She walked to the door, not even looking back, as she whispered, "I'll come back later if I get anything else."

Little did she know that a certain blond was telling Jiriya of something that wasn't to be said out loud, trying to figure out what was going on. All the while the white haired man laughed to himself at the Uzumaki.

They had finished the mission, and sadly she had no more real reasons to go back to the apartment during that time. So upon reaching Konoha and being debriefed by Sandaime, she headed back to her apartment with sagging shoulders. She had wanted so badly to tell Minato how she felt, but then she thought he would make fun of her again.

Honestly, the guy didn't have the greatest track record with her, so you'd have to understand her dilemma.

But as she was walking to the apartment for the first time in months, she was surprised to see Minato sitting at a nearby bench. Unsure what to do, she stood there, confused and uncertain. He made the choice for her. The second he caught sight of her, he stood, the tall, lean muscular teen was a handsome boy, his baby fat long gone to give way to his more rugged aristocratic features.

He motioned her to follow him with his head, and she did, slightly suspicious, but quickly by his side as they walked through the village. It was weird, when they weren't fighting, but she was waiting for another one of his comments that would undoubtedly set her blood on boil.

He entered a ramen shop, parting the curtains for the both of him in a gentlemanly manner, and she sat down, and him beside her in seconds. After they ordered, they were quiet, and she was still confused as to what the hell was going on. The order came, and they ate with no word between, which made the owner wonder, but he left well enough alone. And then Minato spoke quietly in his husky voice, sending shivers down her spine.

"That night, you know, when that happened…did you mean it, or was it a cleansing?" She was surprised that he was so straightforward…but he always was, so it shouldn't take her so long to answer. She gulped, unsure, but would not let it go unsaid, and she was determined in her answer. No regrets.

"I meant it. Every part of it. And I'd do it again every single time. And if you have a problem with it, tough. Because you're going to be dealing with it from now on, blondie." She saw the blush on his face, along with that wide foxy grin of his, a chuckle came out of his throat. After they finished, he paid for the both of them, and they walked out.

The second they did, he took her face in his hands and kissed her softly, and she blinked in reaction, a slight blush came to her face. He smiled, before he kissed her again, chaste this time, and he whispered in her ear huskily,

"Then I guess I'm going to be enjoying myself quite thoroughly with you, whirlwind." He then let her go, walking off in the direction of his family compound, congratulating himself on not only getting a great girlfriend, but a nickname that she isn't offended at and he could tease her endlessly with it.

Little did he know that he created new said girlfriend to faint, yes, faint, from too much blood going to her head. The ramen shop owner, Ichikura Teuchi, was laughing his head off.

Damn it, not again, please not again! She couldn't live with the thought of her team, dieing. They had been on a routine patrol mission, and everything was good until the ambush came. Obviously they were outnumbered, 3 jounin on 1 jounin and 3 chunin. Seriously, uncool guys. But she took up the challenge wholeheartedly.

Until she realized her team were outmatched even with their teamwork when they were facing the one she left for them. Just as one of them was about to get a fatal wound, she sped in and took the hit for the young Maito Gai. It was only a small wound for her, but it could have killed the kid, if it had hit. She grounded out, taking out the sai, which looked clear of poisons. "Get the hell out of here, and get me back up. I'll cover you, but when I say run, you run like your asses are on fire, got it?" While the Aburume stayed quiet, Gai was worried about his sensei, but nodded furiously. He would not let her down.

With that, she used her chakra to create an ice wall, thick enough to stop the three of them for only a moment. "RUN!" And they did as she ordered.

The ice was quickly shattered through, and she was faced alone with three very angry Iwa nin. She grinned mischievously, which she got from Minato, and got into position,

"Which one of you wants to go visit the Shinigami first? Aww, come on, at least one of you needs to speak."

It wasn't until three hours later that a team found her, awake but in serious trouble. She smiled softly at her long time friend Tsume, who was apart of the tracker team, and trying to staunch wounds to prevent too much blood loss. "Well, I must say that was not one of my better fights, ne, Tsume-chan?"

But Tsume was crying, frantically doing what she could before the runner got there. She tried to smile for the red head, and sobbed out, "Shut up, whirlwind, or I'll knock your head off." Kushina chuckled a little, before she smiled again, nodding off, tired, and the pain was getting to her…stupid Minato just had to tell everyone about his little nickname for her.

She didn't know how long she had been out of it, but the change of scenery was a lot better, she had to admit. She had woken up in the hospital room, her entire body sore, and she could tell quite a bit of surgery had been done to make sure she lived. The room was packed with flowers, candy, and get well cards. It smelled like her team had been here quite a bit, along with a good helping of her friends. But the over powering smell of the three men of Team Jiriya was by far more comfort than anything. Sitting before anyone could tell her otherwise, she cursed silently to not attract attention.

She sat there for less than 10 minutes before in walked the most handsome man she ever knew, and he was all hers. But as his eyes came to look at her, she realized they were blood shot, clashing with the crystal blue she loved so much. The second that it registered that she was awake and smiling at him, he was crushing her in his bear hug, and she felt the tears falling on her shoulder as his body shook.

Concerned, she wrapped her arms around him, rubbing his back and her fingers through his spikes. What the hell happened while she was out? Did someone die? Please say it wasn't any of their team. Please Kami, grant her this one.

After awhile, he calmed down enough to explain what happened while she was out. He had been on a mission as well, and one of his genin, Uchiha Obito, had died saving Rin, and Kakahsi, was given Obito's finally awakened Sharnigan in the left eye, as his was destroyed in a fight. And when he got back, she had been in what was kindly called her deathbed.

Not knowing how to tell him everything was alright, she kissed him softly, and hugged him to her chest, telling him in her quiet way that she was alright, and that in the end, everything was going to be alright.

Laying there in her arms for awhile, he finally mustered up the courage to ask what he had wanted to since they were 16. She was in her own little world, running her soft fingers through his hair, which always made him feel safe and loved by this miraculous woman.

"Kushina?" Her green eyes turned to him, and he felt that jolt of excitement run through him like always. "Hmm?" He was unsure how to say this without messing up, but he did what he always did. Straightforward and to the point.

"I've loved you since we were 16. Will you marry me?" Her eyebrow quirked at the Hokage to be, and said, smirking, "Took you long enough, baka. Do you know how long I've been waiting?" Minato grinned that foxy grin that she absolutely adored.

"Long enough." And he leaned in to kiss her like he was a man dieing of thirst that had found the most delicious water in the world to drink.


Honestly, what was keeping him? This was their wedding he was about to miss, and so help him, he had better have a damn good excuse.

Several of their male friends that were present could feel her murderous intent were sweating bullets, while the others were frantically asking each other if they had reminded the blond if today was the big day. They all said yes, and had even left post it notes everywhere, including his forehead, and even on his instant ramen.

So where the hell was the walking dead man?

Five minutes before he was late, the blond walked in, pristine and in the traditional wedding attire, as she was in the kimono. He had a big grin on his face, like he had a secret that she wouldn't find out until later. It both tickled her curiosity and aggravated her at the same time. He was always good at that.

All those present were their friends through the years, her father and siblings, his mother and sisters (who came out of hiding for this event, though would immediately return to their hidden home away from Konoha), even her mother showed up, though like always since she was 12, said not a word to her daughter. Her genin/ chuunin team and his, or what was left. And then Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Hiashi. Sandaime had the honor of wedding the two love birds. He even got to call her by her title, Kushina-hime, several times, in which she glared daggers at the old man through out half the ceremony. And Minato got some hits about taking so damn long. Aww, this was a good day to be Hokage. He could pick fun at the two, and neither could do anything about it.

After the wedding and the reception, small and quiet, Kushina was whisked away by her blond husband to her new home, the Namikaze compound, and that night was by far better than any before it.

Every time she thought about it, she giggled to herself, and smiled softly. Namikaze-Uzumaki Kushina. Long, but it was nice. And he didn't care when she had told him that she would not give up her last name. In fact, he just smiled and said. "I would never have you give up yourself. I fell in love with you, remember?"

He lay beside her, fiddling with his wife's red tresses, as she smiled softly. Then he remembered what he got for her. Getting out of bed, he grabbed the little box, and then got back into the futon with her, smiling like the fox he was all the while. He gave her the box, and she took it, curious, and opened it while he watched her expectantly.

And her smile said it all. It was a stylized swirl, as both his clan and hers had the same design, but different colors. Hers was red and black, like on the back of the jounin and chunin flak jackets, as it was the style a long time ago to celebrate the Daimyo Daiki's new wife by putting her family's symbol in Konoha's fashion.

His clan was blue with gold lining, in exactly the same position. So, for his new bride, he gave her the red swirl, with the gold lining. On the back was an inscription that meant the world to her, as she wore the scars on her body to prove it.

'Mai Senpuu: 'No regrets and broken promises. To protect our loved ones to the bitter end.' – Uzumaki clan nindo, to celebrate the union of Namikaze and Uzumaki.'

She put it on, feeling the weight comfortably fit around her neck. And then she proceeded to make her husband a very happy man.

Why! Damn it! Why?! The day her son decides to come to the new world, Kyuubi just had to attack. No, he couldn't wait, could he? Had to drag out her husband, the Fourth Hokage, while she is lying in pain because they won't give her the drugs. So help her, if they would let her out of this damned place, she'd take down the beast in seconds. No problem for a pregnant Uzumaki. She guaranteed it.

Pain ripped through her body once again, and she did her best to cover it, but damn it, it hurt so bad!! Her blood was boiling to kill anything in range, but she had no target available. She was going to make her son pay with all the extra training she was going to give him. He would feel the wrath of 19 hours of labor!

The doctor kept telling her to push, and she just wanted to tell them to shut up, but they were there for her son, her Naruto. Tsume and Miyako were with her, holding her hands and kissing her head as she pushed and pushed, and she wanted so badly to just cry at this never ending pain. And finally, he came into the world, crying and screaming with the heartiest lungs she ever heard. Her son alright.

She let some tears fall as she waited to hold her son, and when he was tucked into her arms, she felt like she accomplished the greatest thing in her life. It didn't matter that she was an S-rank ANBU, or wife of Namikaze Minato, the greatest and most favorite man in existence. It didn't matter that she was the last to know her clan secrets, and would one day share them with the child, her child. Or that she was the Daimyo's daughter, and princess to the Land of Fire and Whirlpool. It didn't matter at all the accomplishments she had made. This boy, this handsome boy that looked exactly his father, from spikes to ticklish toes was the greatest accomplishment of her life. And he had the crystal blue eyes that made the sky jealous, and that she loved. He was a prince to her and the Land of Fire, and for a baby, had large chakra coils.

Tsume and Miyako stayed with her as she feed her son, and while Kushina rested. The Hokage's wife and son needed some sort of protection, and if anything, they would help the two evacuate since Kushina was so weak. The many hours had taken their toll on her, but the smile on her face was so big that they didn't say anything.

But the happiness ended when Minato came through the door, battle hardened, and the stench of death on him. One look at the scene before him, and his face crumbled into a mix of sadness, pride, and happiness. Confusing, but not to be worried about. He went to his wife's side, holding her tightly while careful of his son's small body.

He kissed her on the forehead, and said the words that terrified her to no end, "I have to do it Kushina. There is no other way." While the other two didn't know what he meant, Kushina's face paled even more, a sense of deep sadness swept through her. But Minato had no other way, and to save the village they loved, it was a sacrifice needed to be made. And not even Sandaime could take his place. She was torn at the idea of losing her husband, the man she would love to the bitter end, but this was for their son, so he could live like all the other children.

She kept her face straight, so he wouldn't see her tears in the last hour of his life, and she smiled for him one last time, before taking two scrolls and putting it in his hand. "Put this with all my scrolls. And make sure Sandaime gets the letter about Naruto getting the scroll when he is 7. It has to be 7, or any later will cause problems. And this scroll goes to my sister immediately." She placed a scroll in his hand, as he searched her eyes for an answer. She smiled softly, trying to not sob.

"I will pass not long after you, Minato. My body isn't able to handle that much longer. I will stay for Naruto as long as I can. But I will see you in a short while. I have no regrets, because out of everything, our son, our Naruto, is my greatest and proudest accomplishment. I know that he is made for great things. He is after all, a Namikaze- Uzumaki. He was born to be a legend. And soon, you will do your greatest accomplishment, and save this village. These were things we were meant to due, Minato. Our time has come."

The Inuzuka and Haruno were surprised by the face of their greatest Hokage thus far. It was so broken, so lost, and there was nothing anyone could do. Tears fell down his face, even though he tried to smile for his wife, the love of his life. Steeling himself, he kissed her one last time passionately, before letting go, kissing her forehead softly, and then took his son and the scrolls in his arms, and stood up, gazing at this amazing woman one last time.

As he turned to leave, he stopped at the door way, and that foxy grin was on his face for the last time for her, "I love you, whirlwind. I always will."

And then he left, taking her son, her pride, with him. The tears fell from her eyes, and Tsume and Miyako were at her side with in seconds, not bothering to ask what was going on. From what they could understand, something big was going to happen, that involved Naruto, and the death of their friends, two powerful, humble, and wonderful friends.

Kushina grabbed a couple scrolls that she had hidden away, and gave them several each, with their own names on some and names of others as well. She took off her necklace, fiddling with it while she explained herself.

"I love the old man, but I don't trust Sandaime. After this happens, Sandaime will hide my son away from my family, and for that, I will not bother, because here, he may be safer. But…what Minato is about to do is risky. Both of us wish that this village would do his last requests, but we both know that they won't. And I'm afraid the old man will make the situation worse. So these are my last requests, for when Naruto is older and when I…I can't be here for him like I wish.

She sobbed quietly, before continuing, "All I ask is that you do not hate Naruto. This burden he will soon bear…it is to protect this village. The last resort. I know it is a lot to ask, but I beg you, help my son grow to be strong. Do not hate him like everyone else will." Both of the women were confused, but nodded, swearing not to hate the beloved and awaited child of the soon to be dead couple.

With one last look at her necklace, she gave it to Tsume. "Give this and the two scrolls to Hiashi, and tell him to give this to his godson when the boy turns 6. And then give this to Jiraiya, along with his scroll, and tell him to come by when Naruto is 12, if not earlier. "

She pulled out a small package, and handed it to Miyako. Tsume had a wavering smile, as she tried to joke, "So, you finally pulled your biggest tricks out of the bag. Got anything else to magically pull out of no where?"

Kushina laughed despite her tears, thankful to pass on with friends beside her. She was so used to thinking that a true Uzumaki death was in battle, among comrades. But her death was noble as well, because she had given the world her greatest gift, in the form of a handsome blond boy named Naruto.

She hoped with all her heart that he would raise hell. After all, this is her and Minato's son the world was being blessed with.

Author commentary:

I fucking love this whole thing! You have no idea how proud I was for this. You never really see that many Kushina oriented stories (though this was just a chapter in my story of Naruto), so this is my pride and joy to add to the collection. Certainly different, and it'll definitely cause some big differences in the Narutoverse, but it's my story, so bleh.

This chapter was concentrated around Kushina's life (there will be no Minato chapter), little moments here and there, that defined her character, and showed that Naruto had quite a few of her personality quirks, as well as Minato's (along with the Hokage's looks). It also is an introduction to the life Naruto will lead, and the way life will be different for him because his mom prepared everything for him, because she just knew the sandaime was up to something.

Sadly, no, Naruto will not be treated as a prince in the beginning, but he will get there very soon. And yes, just so everyone knows, this is POWERFUL NARUTO fiction. I'm gonna superpower the boy up on stereoids, and he will kick ass. And though I like the idea of bashing him, Sasuke will not be turning into an evil emo with a spiked stick up his ass, and for this fiction, I don't plan on him turning over to Orochimaru's side.

In fact, pretty much all the main cast has their personalities changed, just because I want them to. Sometimes I just don't like things, and I like the idea of the world just being a happy place. So, change a characters personality, and I am happy. Live with it.

So far, I'm leaving this NarutoxSakura, but I am considering Naru x Harem (no Hinata or female Haku or older kunoichi. Sorry). Dunno. We'll see when I get to it.

And I'm proud of myself for another reason. I'm so used to doing drama and tragedy, even though in real life, I don't really care for it. I just write pretty damn good in that area, even though I'd much prefer action and comedy to be my forte, but at least I got some type of skill. So you have to understand that little fact about me, to understand why I love that little ending. Even though both of them knew they were going to die (I loved Minato's last line. It honestly made my heart soar), without seeing their son live a couple hours, it's just the idea that they had done something for the world, their greatest and proudest moment. Minato's was to save the village. Kushina's was to give birth to a legend.

And even facing death, the proud Uzumaki woman laughed her way to death, still proud, and strong, and did not regret anything in her life. How many people can you say today actually has that ability? So even if she dies young, she had the greatest man as a husband, and a son with the most adventurous future to make her proud. She did not hate her son in her last few moments, but instead hoped he would show the world the old Uzumaki motto: 'Give 'em hell or die trying.' So with me ending her death, I wanted her real character intact. An adventurous, stubborn, determined woman, laughing to the grave, and followed her nindo every step of the way, and I'm proud to have pulled it off, instead of putting my readers in tears, I make them laugh, to celebrate (not mourn) the death of such a great woman.

Alright, now that I am done with that long introduction of the Naruto I create, and my little speech, I must bid my awesome readers sayonara, and all I ask is you continue reading and reviewing, and hope you all are starting off your summers with a great hit.

Love to laugh, because that is the only way to live. – Tiffany Carr