Disclaimer: I...sadly...don't own Naruto
It was October 10th, and we find our favorite loudmouth ninja on top of the Hokage monument. I wish today would never have come, thought Naruto. For Naruto, October 10th was the worst day of the year.
For the citizens of Konoha it was a time when they gathered to celebrate the bravest hokage the village had ever seen, the fourth hokage, Minato Namikaze. For Naruto however, this day had always reminded him of the life he never had. A life without knowing the love of a parent…never having those special people to turn to with all of his problems.
Why do I always feel like this every year?
"Because of me, kit."
I know that much Kyu! I meant, why do I always feel this empty?
"It's not for me to say kit…sorry"
Not for you to say?! What do you know?
His thoughts were shattered when he heard the voice of a familiar kunoichi, his first love and teammate, Sakura Haruno.
"Naruto! Where are you Naruto?"
Naruto heard who was calling him and said…
"I'm up here Sakura-chan!"
"Naruto, there you are," said Sakura.
"Why don't you come and enjoy the festival with us?"
"Sakura, arigato…but I can't…you wouldn't understand."
"Wouldn't understand? What's to understand, Naruto?"
"Never mind…go and have fun…I want to be alone."
"Naruto…we're teammates…what is so difficult that you can't talk to me???" About this time Sai showed up and sat with the two.
"Naruto…even though I haven't been a member of this team long I can tell there is something you are hiding from us…we just want to help."
Since joining Team 7, Sai had gone from being a very introverted person to someone who was truly beginning to understand people…someone who was finally becoming more human. He knew he had Naruto to thank for that, and for that reason he was genuinely worried about his teammate.
Seeing the devotion of his teammates, Naruto finally decides to share his secret with them. "Well…I'll tell you, but you have to promise not to hate me afterwards…"
"Of course we won't," replied the two ninja.
"You all know the story of the Yondaime from 18 years ago correct?" They both nod their affirmative. "Well, he didn't kill the Kyuubi, he sealed it inside a baby boy…that baby was me." The two ninja gasped audibly, they had realized something was different about Naruto, but they never guessed it was this big. "The reason I can't enjoy this festival is because I am the Jinchuriki that the villagers despise so much…when I was a kid I would be beaten almost to the point of death on this day every year." Naruto paused to wipe a stray tear from his eye. "I see everyone having so much fun with their families and I know that I will never have that…I never knew my parents and I would hate to intrude on anyone else's fun…"
Sakura finally realized why Naruto would disappear the day before the festival and stay gone throughout the entire time over the years. After a few minutes she finally spoke up. "Oh Naruto, we had no idea. We all assumed you were never there because you couldn't leave the orphanage or your apartment. We had no idea that you just wanted to let us have fun in your absence." Sai spoke next, "Naruto, I know that I have only known you a short time but please accept my humblest apologies…we never meant to make you feel like an outcast…"
Naruto was shocked by how well his teammates were taking this information. "Guys, really it's not your fault! And besides things have steadily gotten better over the years, I mean look at us, we are all ninja, living out our lives in the ways we have always wanted to." After seeing the love his friends had for him he decided that they really did want what was best for him. "Ok, you guys go and have some fun…I actually need to go and get something to eat anyway…could we meet up later and I promise we will go and have some fun." The other two nodded and the trio went their separate ways.
"Come in!"Tsunade yelled from her office.
A familiar white haired Jonin stepped through the door. "You wanted to see me, Tsunade-sama?"
"Yes Kakashi, please sit down," said the Godaime as she motioned to a chair in front of her.
"So...what is this about exactly?" asked Kakashi.
"Well...it's really a long story...but you know most of it already," came the reply. "You know that today is Naruto's birthday, as well as the anniversary of the Kyuubi attack."
"Yes, but I still don't see what this has to do with me"
"After the attack, everyone was told that the 4th Hokage, Minato Namikaze, gave his life while sealing the demon away,"
"That's right, I was there that night," was Kakashi's reply.
"Well, as it turns out, Minato didn't die that night. He fell into a severe coma and has been kept secret for the last 18 years."
A look of horror overtook Kakashi. "You mean to tell me that all this time the 4th, my sensei has been alive?!?!?!"
"I know this is hard to process but, yes and there's more. Minato is also Naruto's father."
Kakashi just stood there for what seemed like an eternity. Not only had he discovered that his sensei was alive, but that he was also Naruto's father. This was way too much for one person to handle.
"Kakashi, you need to snap out of it! The fact is, the council agreed that on Naruto's 18th birthday he would be given all the information about his heritage. As it would seem, Minato is also out of his coma, which means that he will want to meet his son. That's where you come in."
"What do you need me to do?"
Seeing that he was serious about the task at hand, Tsunade began to explain everything to Kakashi in minute detail.
Back in Konoha
Naruto disappeared into the crowd and made his way toward his favorite eating spot, Ichiraku's. While not looking where he was going he accidentally bumped into his Jonin teacher. "Ow! What the hell?!!? Oh...Kakashi-sensei, gomen, I wasn't looking where I was going."
"It's okay Naruto. Besides I was looking for you anyway."
"For me? What has someone said I've done now?"
A look of sorrow flashed across Kakashi's face "Oh no, it's nothing like that. Hey, today's your birthday isn't it?"
Naruto just stared completely awestruck
"Naruto? Did you hear me? I said today's your birthday right?"
"Y…Yeah it is, but how did you know about that? No one knows and if they do they just ignore it."
"Yeah I know, gomen, but how about I treat you to some ramen?"
"Huh? You mean you actually want to spend time with me? What's wrong? Who died?"
Kakashi chuckled "Naruto, I just want to try to do something nice for you, since today is a special day for you."
Naruto just stood there looking at Kakashi for what seemed like hours…finally he nodded and followed his sensei to the ramen shop.
Kakashi and Naruto took their seats at the counter and ordered two orders of Miso Ramen.
"Naruto…" said Kakashi after a few minutes.
"Yeah, sensei?" came the reply from the golden-haired boy.
Oh…how will I begin to phrase this??? Kakashi pondered this for a few moments before speaking. "You know, birthday's are supposed to be a very special time in a person's life…and I know that for you this day has been nothing short of hell on earth," before continuing, Kakashi checked Naruto's expression to consider how to proceed. "I have to tell you that I have been waiting for a while before I thought you were ready for this but I think the time is now."
"What is it Kakashi-sensei?" asked Naruto.
Kakashi reached into a pouch, pulled out a scroll and handed it to Naruto. "I want you to have this," said Kakashi. Naruto began to examine the scroll and noticed that the seal on the outside was similar to the one on his stomach.
"Sensei, what is sealed inside the scroll?" Naruto asked. Kakashi took a minute before replying. "Well, the seal, you have no doubt noticed, matches the one on you…inside the scroll you will find a gift that your parents left for me to give to you when the time was right."
"My parents…you knew my parents?"
"Of course…they were very special people…and very dear to my heart." Kakashi began to reflect on the time he had spent with Minato and Kushina. Naruto was too enamored by the fact that his sensei had known his parents to realize that Kakashi had slipped something into his ramen.
As the two ate Naruto began to feel a bit sleepy and soon fell asleep without finishing his ramen. Kakashi paid Ichiraku and carried Naruto back to his apartment. Before leaving the apartment, Kakashi took the time to leave a note about the blood seal on the scroll and how Naruto was supposed to open it. He also mentioned how Naruto was supposed to wear what was inside and meet at the bridge Team 7 used as a starting point for their training rituals.
As he leapt from the window he began to think about what the following days would mean for Naruto. Naruto, I hope that the situation you are about to find yourself in won't unhinge you…although you have always been a shinobi with a strong spirit…no doubt you inherited that from your mother. Kakashi chuckled as he jumped from roof to roof into the night.