Gone… Nothing was left of it. The creature which was just ravaging Konohagakure, a massive fox demon with nine tails known as Kyuubi was no where to be seen. It was like it was all a dream, like it never even happened. Or rather, that is what most in the village would like to believe. However, that was not the case. The destruction that lay in its wake, was still visible to the naked eye. All the brave men and women that fought to stop it, dying in the process would still not be coming home. All the innocent lives could not come back. Then, there was the saddest loss of all. The leader of the village, the fourth Hokage, otherwise known as the Yondaime was gone. He sacrificed himself. He gave his life to save them all. The village and its people. Ally and foe alike, both friends and strangers. He performed a forbidden jutsu, sealing the unstoppable Kyuubi into a vessel, where it could no longer cause any harm… Yes, very little was left of the incident… Save for one thing. If one could listen closely, they would hear the faint sound of a child… no, an infant crying into the night. And it was this sound that fell to the ears of a small group of people trying to locate their leader.

"I hear something." a young man called. He was wearing the typical ANBU uniform of the village. A wolf mask was covering his face, with tall, spiky, silver hair standing at an angle. "A baby… I can't imagine what one would be doing here."

"I might…" an older man replied, most likely middle aged. He had long, white, spiky hair that descended down his back, with red paint around his eyes. He wore a strange headpiece, with a hitai-ate marking him as both a shinobi of the village, and one of the legendary Sannin. "I knew it was coming… But was it… No, it couldn't be."

"Do you know something, Jiraiya-sama?" the younger man asked back.

"I'd rather wait until I'm sure, Hatake." Jiraiya answered.

The group seemed to agree with this. Other than the Toad Sannin and ANBU agent, there was the previous Hokage, known commonly as the Sandaime, as well as a few clan heads, including Yamanaka Inoichi, Hyuuga Hiashi, Nara Shikaku, and Akimichi Chouza. Also several members of the Konoha council followed along. Some of them close friends of the Yondaime, and concerned for his safety and current condition. A feeling of dread began to sit in, one that grew as they drew closer and closer to the sound of the infant's crying. The destruction caused in the battle seemed to grow with every step, and a feeling of sickness grew set in. Eventually, the small group arrived at the location, and the dread and sickness reached an all time high. The demon was no where to be found. Only the continued sound of a crying infant in the air, and on the ground, the body of the Yondaime.

"Sensei!" Kakashi declared as he started to run forward, only for Shikaku to put an arm on his shoulder.

"Gomen, Kakashi…" he replied quietly. "But… He's no longer among us."

Kakashi's shoulders seemed to slump in defeat from this. He gazed back over to the body of the Yondaime, and knew it to be true. Inoichi stared in disbelief. He slowly walked forward, falling to his knees and looking at the body of the Yondaime.

"You damned fool… You always had to be first for everything… You always had to outdo everyone and give it everything you had…" he muttered.

The Sandaime walked to the Yamanaka and put a hand on his shoulder. Jiraiya began to walk forward and look around.

"Gomen, Inoichi-san… I know you two were close… no, best friends…" he replied.

"That sound… A baby is around here somewhere…" Jiraiya mused aloud. "Hiashi, do you see anything out of the ordinary around here?"

The head of the Hyuuga clan gave a silent nod. Taking a deep breath, he activated his Byakugan, and began to look around the field. His eyes gazed over every inch of the area before him, his already enhanced eyes widening when he passed by the Yondaime's body.

"There." he said pointing. "In his arms."

Inoichi's head shot up at this. He quickly pulled himself to his feet, and began to run to the Yondaime. He was followed quickly by the Sandaime, Kakashi, and Jiraiya. Inoichi stopped in front of the Yondaime's body. Slowly and gently, he began to roll the body over, his eyes widened in the process.

"Minato…" he whispered.

"I see…" Jiraiya replied. "I had a feeling about this… But I was hoping it wouldn't be true."

"Jiraiya-sama, what are you talking about?" Kakashi asked.

"Kakashi, surely you knew that your sensei was expecting, correct?" the Sandaime answered for the Toad Sannin. Kakashi nodded in response. "Well, I believe that his child may be his…"

"No, it is his." Inoichi replied, taking the baby from the Yondaime's arms. "Look at its eyes… its hair."

"So… Wait… Why would sensei bring his child here?" Kakashi asked. "At a time like this?"

"Because… He used a jutsu…" Jiraiya replied. "My idiot student used a stupid, sacrificial jutsu!"

"You don't think he would…" the Sandaime began to question.

"Only one way to find out." Jiraiya answered. "Inoichi, open the blanket wrapped around the baby."

Inoichi looked confused for a moment, but did as he was told. Jiraiya and the Sandaime both moved closer, which was followed by the rest of the group doing the same. Jiraiya gave a silent nod, as the former Hokage gasped in surprise. Around the baby's navel were several strange markings, and on its cheeks, several whisker-like marks began to appear.

"I don't understand… What does this all mean?" Kakashi asked.

"Your sensei used a sacrificial jutsu." Jiraiya explained. "It's complicated, but basically he sacrificed himself. He gave his life to seal the Kyuubi into a container. The demon was too strong to kill, so sealing him was the last resort."

"This type of jutsu relies on a living being to be sealed within… Normally, only an infant will do." the Sandaime continued. "He probably couldn't bring himself to ask such a burden on someone else's child so…"

"He chose his own…" Inoichi said, slowly stroking the baby's cheek. He looked the baby over and smiled sadly. "His own daughter…"

"The question is, what do we do now?" Shikaku asked. "Our village's leader is dead, and Kyuubi hasn't truly been stopped… More like he's just hit a road block."

"Don't you see?" Hiashi asked. "The Yondaime knew what he was doing. The Kyuubi is helpless in his current prison. The child must be killed." Inoichi looked up in shock at this. "Kill the child, and that demon will die with it."

"You can't be serious, Hyuuga." Chouza remarked. "The child is innocent. It's like killing her for something she has no control over."

"Life isn't always fair." Hiashi replied harshly. "But the child is no longer a child… It's simply a demon… A demon reborn."

"It is cruel… But it may be for the best." Shikaku said. "I'm no expert with seals… But I do know they all have their limits… If the seal gives way…"

"Correct. The demon will be able to get loose." Hiashi said. "It is for the safety of the village."

Inoichi looked on as the group began to argue. Some wanting to kill the baby before the seal and Kyuubi could pose another threat. Others wanting to save it, to remember it as the legacy of the Yondaime. The Yamanaka looked down as he felt a light grip around his finger, seeing the baby's deep blue eyes wide open, and looking right into his. He cleared his throat for a moment, gaining the attention of the two closest to him at the moment, the Sandaime and Jiraiya.

"Hokage-sama, Jiraiya-sama…" he whispered quietly. "Might I have a word with you?" The two nodded. The three of them moved away from the bickering group without being noticed. Once they were a safe distance away. Inoichi looked both of them in the eyes. "I want an honest answer… What will be the most likely fate for Minato's child?"

"Honestly?" Jiraiya asked. He looked over to the Sandaime and nodded. "Unless we can somehow find a way around it, she will probably be killed…"

"The council seemed to be agreeing mostly on that decision…" the Sandaime added. He looked at Inoichi sadly. "Gomen, Inoichi, but I do not think there is anything we can do…"

"So not only will do I lose my closest friend… but his child will be lost too." Inoichi mused. He looked back down at the baby girl, who had closed her eyes and drifted to sleep. "She reminds me of my Ino… I wouldn't mind taking you home and raising you myself…" There was a slight silence that came from that sentence. No one said a thing for a moment. Slowly, Inoichi looked up from the baby and back to Jiraiya and the Sandaime. "Is that an option?"

"Adoption?" the Sandaime asked. "I don't know… It could be a very fickle matter…"

"Although… It could convince the council to allow her to live too." Jiraiya added. "I have a feeling that if an appropriate selection was made to keep check on her… Probably one of the Konohagakure clans, everything would be okay. The problem is, which one? Hiashi has already sided with those that want her to die, so the Hyuuga are out. I'm sure the Nara clan and Uchiha clan wouldn't be too different either."

"I'll do it." Inoichi replied, a bit too quickly. He bit his lip a bit and took a deep breath. "I want to raise her." The two watched as he walked forward, and stepped into the middle of the area. "I will raise the child."

The declaration caused all arguments to fall into a hush. The tension became so thick, you could cut it with a knife. Hiashi raised an eyebrow, and moved forward.

"Inoichi, surely you know of the threat this child could pose… If the child's seal fails… We could all be done for. We must kill her." he said.

"But will that really solve anything?" Inoichi asked. "What if the seal doesn't stop the Kyuubi from breaking out? What if her dying just causes it to escape sooner?" There was another silence. Inoichi smiled faintly and continued. "What I am suggesting, is give the child a chance to live. I'm sure we could arrange check-ups to make sure that the seal and her chakra are still functioning properly."

"What do you propose, Yamanaka-san?" one of the council members asked.

"Every so often, have a member of the Hyuuga clan check on her condition. They can check the seal and make sure the chakra is still functioning as it should. If the seal is weakened, we could alert Jiraiya-sama. He is a seal expert too, correct? I'm sure he could repair it if the need arises, right?"

"Hai, that would be no trouble at all." Jiraiya answered, smiling at Inoichi's quick thinking.

"Seems to be a quite logical idea…" the Sandaime replied.

The council members present and clan heads began to whisper among themselves. Inoichi was sitting on pins and needles, waiting to see what the verdict was. He wanted the child to live. He wanted to take care of her. The Yondaime was a close friend of his, ever since they were both in the academy… It was the only thing left of the man alive. But most of all, she was a child. And no child deserved death. He was shaken out of his thoughts when he heard a slight clearing of throat.

"Very well…" one of the council members said. "We shall allow the vessel to live. However, she will be checked up on by a member of the Hyuuga clan every three months to ensure that the seal and chakra is functioning properly. You are to keep a close eye on her for anything suspicious. If you find something to be out of the ordinary, you are to bring her to us immediately. Are we clear?"

"H-Hai! Of course! Arigato…" Inoichi replied. He looked down at the sleeping girl, and sighed in relief that his sudden outburst hadn't caused her to awaken.

"However, we have decided that there will be other rules and regulations." the council member went on. "The truth about the girl, about her being the container of the Kyuubi shall remain a secret. It is not to be revealed to anyone outside of this group, save for your wife of course." Inoichi nodded. "Along with the secret of Kyuubi, goes the secret of her origins. The Yondaime had many enemies outside of the village. We do not need them coming in by the dozen and hunting after a simple child." Again, he nodded. "You may leave Inoichi. I'm sure you have some things to think and discuss with your wife."

Inoichi nodded, and thanked the members of the village present, before turning foot and heading back to the village. As he leapt from rooftop to rooftop, he looked down at the sleeping baby and smiled. So much of her true father was in her… That same golden hair, and her deep blue eyes. However, at the same time he saw much of his own daughter, Ino in her as well. He smiled, hoping that Mia would be excepting in the baby. He landed outside their door and took a deep breath.

"Well, here we go… Let's hope you get to stay… Though you will if I have anything to say about it." Inoichi mused to the baby.

Inoichi quietly went inside the house and looked around. He smiled weakly, as he spotted Mia sitting on the couch in the den. Her light, blonde hair went down to her shoulders. She had emerald green eyes, and a fair complexion. She was thin, but curvy, and stood about to her husband's shoulders. She was humming a small tune while holding an infant wrapped in a blanket to her breast. She slowly pulled the baby away, and laid the child down gently in a nearby crib.

"I was so worried about you, Inoichi-kun…" she whispered gently, wrapping her arms around her husband gently. "Is everything alright? You're not hurt are you?"

"I'm fine, Mia-hime… I'm fine." Inoichi replied, kissing her lips gently. "I wish I could say that for everyone though…"

"Nani? I don't understand…" she said.

Inoichi smiled weakly, and sighed. He walked his wife to the couch, and had her sit down. He then sat down beside her, Mia's eyes finally noticing the wrapped bundle in his arms.

"I'm afraid… The Yondaime didn't make it tonight." he began. "He sacrificed his life to save us… the whole village."

Mia listened intently as Inoichi told her everything. He told her about the sealing of the Kyuubi. He told her about the council's arguments… And finally, he told her about the child. Every so often, her eyes would drift down to the bundle in Inoichi's arms. She waited until he was done speaking, before she spoke up.

"So… Is this… Is this his child?" she asked, holding her arms out for the child.

"Hai… His daughter and only child…" Inoichi answered.

"And you want to adopt her? Mia asked. "Even with all those conditions the council put on her? I dunno… It just sounds so troublesome…"

"Don't. Your sounding like Shikaku." Inoichi sighed.

"Gomen…" Mia giggled. "But in all honesty, are you sure you want this? I mean… It is a big risk should something go wrong… And Ino wasn't born that long ago to which we're still adjusting…"

"I know." Inoichi began, but paused soon after. He rose to his feet and moved over towards a picture on the table. It showed a picture of him and Minato shortly after they graduated. "But… It's the least I could do for him. His only daughter… I can't just ignore her… And… I owe it to him, as both a comrade of Konohagakure… And his friend…"

Mia rose to her feet and walked over to Inoichi. The baby was held in one arm, and she put her free hand on Inoichi's shoulder.

"Alright." Mia replied. "Looks like our little Ino is going to have a little sister."

"Arigato, Mia-hime…" Inoichi said quietly as he leaned in and kissed her on the lips once more.

"Now… What are we gonna call our new daughter?" Mia asked. "I think you should name her, since it was your idea to adopt her."

Inoichi looked down at the girl and smiled. He began to chuckle a bit, and gave a nod to his wife, taking his new daughter from her arms. She looked at him curiously, for a moment thinking that her husband may have lost his mind.

"I know it. The perfect name." he declared. "We will call her Naruto."

"Isn't that a ramen topping? It sounds kind of like a boy's name too…" Mia mused.

"Oh… Right… Well, he did love ramen…" Inoichi replied. "Right… How about Naru? Yamanaka Naru?"

"I love it." Mia said, kissing her new daughter on the forehead. "And so would he."