A/N: This is my first fanfic. Suggestions welcome.It may seem OC-centric, but believe me, the focus is still on Minato. I just felt like telling his life story from one of his acquaintances, instead of himself.

Bolded sections mean they happen in present. Everything else happened in the past.

Introduction - Moonstone: Dreams

Light from a crescent moon glides over the cemetery, bathing each grave with silver. Then, it focuses on one tombstone in particular, as if puzzled. There is no mound of earth to indicate that someone was buried there. Instead, a bare tombstone stands. There is no name, no inscriptions at all. Indeed, for there is no need. Her name, like hundreds of others, have been carved on to the memorial stone, to be forever remembered by Konoha.

Beside the tombstone stands an ebony chest. Inside lies her most precious mementos: albums of her with her teammates, her teachers, and her friends. Different frames with different pictures taken on different occasions: happy, sober, and sad. A tattered headband. A leaf-shaped kunai. Most eye-catching of all: A white cloak with the red words: Yondaime Hokage.

The chest itself is tattered and stained, but one could still make out the symbol carved on the top: Uchiha.

Lying on the lid of the chest was a shattered picture frame. One could make out a white-haired teacher standing proudly beside his three students: a smiling blonde boy with startling blue eyes, a serious girl, and a tanned boy with dark brown hair.

Everyone has dreams. Once they die, they are gone forever.

The dream begins…

A light rain drizzled down, with thunder rumbling softly overhead. Rain…rain…rain…

A bleak mood settled over the village. Here, in front of the Hokage Mountain, a funeral is being held, a funeral without a coffin.

The villagers, shinobi and citizens alike, bowed their heads in respect, stepped up, placed white roses in front of a black-framed picture, and returned to their positions.

A shinobi…must never, NEVER, show their tears…

Various clans attended this ceremony: Hyuga, Inuzuka, Aubrame, among others. Surprisingly, one prominent clan was missing: Uchiha.

An outsider would have been bewildered, for the funeral was dedicated to a member of the Uchiha clan. However, They would not know that the dead young woman was exiled from clan territory despite her mastery over the Sharingan, a valuable asset to the position of her clan.

Her few friends, expressions somber, placed the flowers next to her picture.

A shinobi…must never, NEVER, show their tears…

She wanted her friends to remember her as she was when alive. She told them this when she signed up for the mission. If she were to see them now, she would have strangled them on the spot, or perhaps run them through with a kunai, or...

The Sandaime Hokage, a shadow of what he had been before the war, stepped up to the platform.

"We gather here today," he began, "in memory of Uchiha Mikazuki, revered student, teammate, and teacher." He didn't bother to mention her position in her family, for most would know that she had been disowned.

"Her mission was a success," the Hokage continued, "which, in turn gained us a prominent upper hand in battle with Iwakagure."

His audience shifted uncomfortably at the mentioning of war.

"Sadly, her body was irretrievable, so," the Sandaime pointed to an ebony chest, "we decide to bury this, with her most precious memories. If you have something that you would like to put in this chest, please do so." His voice broke on the last part.

Several figures emerged from the crowd, carrying pictures, weapons, scrolls…they placed them in the open chest without a word, and moved away.

A shinobi…must never, NEVER, show their tears…

Off to the side, a certain distance away from the crowd, was a lone man. His left arm had been lost in the war, yet he held himself with the proud air of a shinobi. He was holding a picture, the picture she had given him before going on that deadly mission. He looked down at the picture, a sad smile tugging at his lips. It was taken when they had just finished their first B-rank, and was sitting under a larch tree. A single tear slid down his tanned face as he remembered that day…

"Argh…where the HELL is sensei?!" The girl with the onyx eye growled. Her black hair was cropped short, often making people mistake her for a boy. She actually had to escape from several fangirls once. Her two teammates, one blonde and one brown-haired, laughed.

"I'll bet you one month's pay that he is at the women's bathing house, doing re-sear-ch." The blonde boy rolled his unnaturally-blue eyes and challenged the girl.

"Che. We don't need to bet. We know that he is there." The girl retorted, clearly ticked off by the blonde's poor attempt to distract her. Bored, she jumped up to a branch, dangling upside-down and holding on with charka.

The blond boy jumped to a branch parallel from the girl on the other side of the tree. "Then why do you ask?" His blue eyes danced mischievously.

"Shut up Minato!!" The girl swung her right leg at the blonde, who dodged and jumped to a slightly higher branch, out of the range of her leg.

"Temper, temper, temper," Minato teased. "It is going to be the death of you one day, Zuki-chan." He added the suffix on purpose.

The girl glowered.

Hoshibiki decided to stay out of this argument. He sighed. They haven't changed one bit. Ever since their return from the mission, they had been acting like age-old enemies, as unpredictable as fire and ice.

Speaking of fire…Hoshibiki saw a flash out of the corner of his eye and ducked his head. A burst of flames traveled down a thin string and headed straight for Minato, who gracefully jumped to a higher branch. Hoshibiki looked in astonishment at Mikazuki, the string twined around her hands, which are in the tiger seal.

"Hey! You didn't tell me you are developing a new technique!" Minato complained.

"It is not new." The girl replied flatly as she broke off the string, leaving it dangling from the burned branch. "I am merely experimenting with ways of increasing the range of fire-attacks without exerting a larger amount of charka. It was inspired by the demon we met during the mission." She looked at the branch ruefully, for only the bark was burnt off. "It still needs more work."

Minato let out the breath he has been holding and leaned back against the trunk of the tree, confident that Mikazuki had expressed enough of her anger at their perverted sensei to not unleash it on him again. He inwardly pouted. He hated to admit it, but Mikazuki took him by surprise. Damn, I need to work harder, he thought, blue eyes flashing.

"Hey…" Two pairs of eyes turned on him, one blue and one black. Hoshibiki sweat dropped. I am so glad that looks can't kill. "Do you two hear something?" he said.

Mikazuki and Minato were about to reply when a commotion turned all three of their heads to the right.

"Eeeek!! Pervert!!" A scream was heard, followed by a storm of 'bangs' and 'crashes' and more screams.

Mikazuki sighed. "I am guessing that we will have to drag him to the hospital instead of train, again."

Hoshibiki grinned, flashing his teeth like a wolf. "Indeed, for Tsunade-sensei will be here any minute."

All three of them shuddered.

Sure enough, a blonde blur was seen, literally crashing into the bathing house.


The said man's three students winced and cringed as 'crashes' and 'thuds' shook their larch tree. Mikazuki and Minato almost fell off. Leaves fluttered down around them.

Then silence.

Mikazuki grinned. She made a bunshin, who jumped off the tree and walked out a distance from the tree. The bunshin held out a camera, adjusting the lenses so that the tree, part of the bathing house, and a large portion of the sky were in focus.

"Anytime now," both Mikazuki and her clone smirked. The Uchiha smirk. The evil, up-to- no-good smirk. The smirk that makes her teammates wonder if they should check just to be sure that she didn't stick explosive tags all over them.

A large noise turned all of their heads, except the bunshin's, to the bath house again.

"YOU, BIG, FREAKIN', PERVERT!!" One more sound of a fist connecting with face, and a small, black, figure flew out of the bathhouse. The camera clicked.

The bunshin poofed away after throwing Mikazuki the camera.

"Geez, do you carry that thing everywhere?" Hoshibiki asked, exasperated.

Mikazuki laughed. She jumped down from the tree after Minato, and put her arms around her teammates' shoulders. She ruffled their hair, making both boys protest.

"Let's go get sensei to the hospital."

A shinobi…must never, NEVER, show their tears…

Yet, more tears slid down Hoshibiki's face. Even though he is only twenty-six, there were wrinkles on his forehead, wrinkles from crying, crying over Minato, Kushina, his sensei, and now, Mikazuki.

"All gone," he whispered, his voice hoarse. "All gone."

The picture frame dropped to the ground, glass shattering.

He sensed someone behind him. "Hokage-sama," Hoshibiki nodded his head in acknowledgement without turning back.

"Kaguya Hoshibiki," the Hokage placed a hand on his shoulder. "I'll understand if you don't want-"

"It is okay, Hokage-sama," Hoshibiki swallowed and interrupted. "I want to do it."

The Hokage nodded and led him to the chest, which was nearly full. Hoshibiki placed the shattered picture into the chest, right on the top, and closed the lid.

He watched with dull eyes as the chest was carried to the Uchiha cemetery, despite the protests of that arrogant and ignorant clan. Mikazuki…he laughed weakly. If only she wasn't born into this clan, who thought itself superior to all others, her life would be much easier. But then again, she would also not be able develop that personality of hers, that willingness to learn and apologize, lacked in most Uchiha.

He looked over his shoulder at the Hokage, who nodded in approval of his leaving. Hoshibiki jumped to the roof of the closest building, and sped away. Some may call him a coward, but he didn't care. He could not bear to think of another teammate been packed away in a box and buried in the ground, to be gone forever. He had hardly stood it when they did the same thing to Minato, if it weren't for the silent gestures of support offered by his sensei and Mikazuki. Now, with them both gone, he was alone. Alone.

His eyes cleared as he realized the place he had arrived at without thinking: the memorial stone.

He stepped towards it, puddles sloshing around his sandals. He still remembers the day when he tripped in such puddles and brought down Mikazuki and Minato with him into the mud, resulting in Tsunade-sensei yelling at them to wash themselves before going into the hospital to help. They had laughed about it for months afterwards.

He reached out a hand and traced the names on the stone. He stopped at the last one, the newest addition: Uchiha Mikazuki.

The rain continued its ceaseless drizzle. The thunder continued to rumble softly overhead. And tears still traveled down the face of a war-torn veteran, who cried for his fallen comrades.


Author: Well...what do you guys think? I sincerely apologize for verb tense problems. Grammar is never my strong part. XD I hope to finish the next chapter soon. I have already started on it, but i can't be sure when it would be up. I have finals for school and a piano exam, and summer school after that... T.T I will never give up on this story though! So please bear with me. Arigatou!

The idea for this story came to me a long time ago after seeing the picture of Minato with his teammates. I finally decided to write it down. Constructive criticism are much appreciated. I am not exactly clear on the timeline, so some might be altered to suit the story. Yes, Obito is going to be in here, Kushina too. XD Thank you, everyone.