A/N: Hi there! Sorry for leaving you guys hanging all these months. It has been a really hectic couple of months for me. Thanks for all the words of encouragement, reviews, faves, and alerts for this story. An idea came to me the other day while I was in class going over the Conceptual Foundations of Psychology and I have decided that I am going to update at half chapters instead of huge 8k word chapters until I am able to get back on track. Understand that I am doing this as a HOBBY not as a JOB. I have a very real life and very real responsibilities to take care of. I may have mentioned before that I am a graduate student so I am extremely busy. I appreciate all the words of encouragement. Remember after this chapter, the chapters will be very short but then I would be updating more frequently. My writing style may have changed a little from the previous chapter and I am sorry for that but I hope you still enjoy the story. As always thank you so much for reading and please don't forget to review at the end of the chapter..I'm hoping to reach at least 200 reviews with this story so review.I could really use your encouragement and input...
Thanks again for the 206 alerts, 154 favorites and to everyone who has reviewed so far... My readers are the best!
When he had been younger he had always wondered what his parents would be like.
He had imagined his mother being a woman of extreme beauty with long, flowing blond hair and piercing green eyes who held the title of nobility but could throw one hell of a kunai. His father, well he had imagined his father being a powerful man who could take down entire countries with only one kunai. In fact, most of his childhood daydreams consisted of finding out the Yondaime Hokage was indeed his father. Never in his wildest, ok maybe not wildest, daydream would he ever imagine that would be true.
As he watched his father sit on the edge of a branch quietly, Naruto had a revelation. He should have NEVER coaxed his father into sparing with him. When he had proposed the idea of sparing to his father, he had thought maybe he could get in a hit or two but he hadn't imagined he would face the colossal beat down his father ensnared on him.
In his mind, he still couldn't believe he had knocked him out. In one hit, nonetheless.
It kinda bummed him out to know that his father wasn't even trying and pretty much knocked him on his ass.
A cold breeze trembled his muscular frame as it blew his blond hair out of his blue eyes. A shiver racked his frame all the way to the core.
He would hate to see his father in action when he actually tried.
As the cold breeze drifted around the people of Konoha, in a tower high above the village one blond, amber eyed Hokage stood overlooking her village with a sad smile upon her face.
For some reason, she knew there was more to come than the winter approaching. Things were taking a turn for the strange. When Jiraiya had returned to the village after being pretty much pronounced dead, she knew there was more to it than what the old pervert was telling. There was a look in his eye that had never been there before.
It was the look of "I looked death in the eye but I'm still here." She had seen that same look once before in a patient who had been on the brink of death. It was a strange look. One that never really seemed to go away...And now Jiraiya had that same look in his eye...Could it be possible that he cheated death? And if he hadn't then why on Earth was he still here?
A soft knock against the wooden door brought her out of her inner musings.
For a second, she had hoped that it was Shizune coming by to tell her that she had plainly overslept. But, deep inside she knew that wasn't true. Shizune was never late. Nor she would never be as callous not to tell Tsunade where she was...Something was out of place here.
The plain white mask gleamed underneath the harsh lights as the ANBU commander stepped forward. He had been the one in charge of the search party for Shizune. Even if she didn't know who was under the mask, she would immediately took his erect stance to mean that whatever news he had for her was not good.
"Report" she asked bluntly.
"My apologies Hokage-sama but there does not appear to be any sign of Shizune-san."
Her hands began to turn a pale complexion as the words sank in. Shizune was missing and could be possibly dead.
"Have you checked the fields? Her home? Genma's house?"
The ANBU nodded, as he continued to stare at her blankly. "Hai, Hokage-sama we have searched all the vicinity surrounding Konoha. There is simply no trace of Shizune-san."
She shook her head, as if to clear it before standing up and moving back to the window surrounding Konoha. "Continue the search and if you so much find a hair of hers report it to me. Got it?"
The ANBU bowed before disappearing in a poof of smoke. "Hai, Hokage-sama."
As the smoke cleared the elderly woman turned back to the window, her gaze was intense and unrelenting.
"Yamato, I hope you find her."
"You, I am going to kill you!" one, hot tempered, red-head screamed at the masked man who she hated with all her might.
It was because of this masked man that she had lost her husband, her son, her home, and her very extensive kunai collection. This man was the cause of everything and just as sure her name was Kushina Uzumaki Namikaze she was going to kill him.
"Calm down Kushina-san. There is no need for such pleasantries" the masked man, Uchiha Madara/Tobi, responded.
She snorted. "Maybe you haven't noticed but you are the reason why I am dead. If you think I am being pleasant to you then you have another thing coming, dattabattyo!"
Madara blinked, surprised. "Tobi, didn't mean you no harm Kushina-san. I just wanted to play with the fox thingy inside you. It wasn't personal."
The redhead stared hard at him, a frown lining her pretty face. "It wasn't personal? Well, excuse the hell out of me! Not only did you kidnap me but you also kidnapped my son and tried to persuade the nine tails to kill me. How in the hell is that not personal?"
A evil smirk came from the man behind the mask. Even though she couldn't see it, she knew it was there. She could just feel the evil radiating off the man.
"As I said before, Kushina-san, that attack was not meant to be personal. I was trying to take something from you and you just happened to be in the way...but as I said before it wasn't personal" Madara said in response to the fuming redhead accusations.
'He said it wasn't personal. Is he really kidding me right now?' the redhead thought, fuming to herself. He didn't really believe that? Did he?
"Then what the hell was it?" Kushina demanded sharply. "If it hadn't been for you, then I would have been able to see my son grow up. To spend a lifetime loving my husband but it was you who screwed everything up for me. If I was at my full strength right now, then I would kill you where you stand."
Madara, who had been listening intensely to the woman rant for the last ten seconds, did something she had never expected him to do.
"You bastard! I am going to kill you." she said before moving forward, despite the blood that seemed to clinging to her body like a second skin.
Madara shrugged once again, his eye focusing in on the young woman who was determined to end his life. He smiled once again his eyes crinkling into happy slits.
"But, Kushina-san, if you kill me then how else are you going to save your son...and your husband?"
"Naruto, I told you...I am not your father so can you please stop calling me that right now?" Minato asked blankly.
He was growing tired of reminding his fellow blond that he was not his father. Sure, he felt connected to Naruto but he wasn't quite convinced that he was his father given the fact that he was only 16 years old. He had an active imagination but it wasn't that active.
"Naruto, you have been saying all day that I am your father but you have yet to provide any proof." Minato explained calmly.
"Proof?" Naruto asked with an eyebrow raised.
Minato shrugged before turning back to the window of his hospital room. Yes, he had gone back to the hospital but only because he wanted to make sure that Naruto was ok. He hadn't meant to hit him as hard as he did when they had been only sparring. It was just...the stress had finally gotten to him.
"Yes, proof." Minato said quietly before he glanced around the room once again.
"So, you will not take my word for it dad? Do you not trust me?" the blond asked his father with a gleam of sadness evident in his sapphire eyes.
Minato sighed, his frustration beginning to grate at his nerves. "I have always been taught to never believe in something without proof. I am a ninja, Naruto. Proof is everything to us. You understand...don't you?"
Naruto nodded solemnly, before walking over to where his father stood at the window. "Baa-chan told me not to tell you anything before she could figure everything out but I think you need to see this..."
Minato frowned, but he continued to watch as the young man raised up his orange t-shirt until his belly was showing.
"Naruto, I don't understand" he replied, before looking up into the now watering eyes of the blond.
"Channel your chakra into your hands and touch my stomach." Naruto said quietly.
"Just do it Dad," Naruto snapped, his sapphire eyes filling with guilt and pain. He knew he was taking a dangerous step by showing this to his father but he need to see this. His father wanted proof and by God he was going to give him the proof he needed.
Minato frowned once again but he did as he was told.
He channeled a bit of chakra into his right hand and touched the blond's belly. The sadness, pain, hurt, and guilt was the last thing he saw in Naruto's eyes and his world became nothing but...darkness...
A dark puddle of water greeted him as he stepped into a world filled with darkness. He tried to scream but no words were able to come out. He tried to lift his hand to see the hand in front of his face but he could not. It seemed as if he was in a state of being where he could not do anything but stare into the darkness.
An evil aura, one he was sure he had felt before, seemed to be ebbing from his surroundings. It was a strange feeling. To be in a world where he couldn't see of feel anything. It was as if he had entered the twilight zone...
A low growl began to get louder as he began to move forward. He couldn't understand how he was moving forward but all he knew that he was moving forward as the growls continued to get louder...He was at the point of the loudest growl when he saw it...glowing in the light like a beacon was A Seal?
At the age of 16, he wasn't quite the seal expert just yet but Jiraiya had taught him a few things to the point where he could say that was not a novice at sealing. But, this seal...the one that seemed to glow before his eyes was something he had never seen before. Looking at it he knew it was complex, multi-layered even. But, there was something about it that made him want to reach out and touch it...as if it was calling his...
"Don't touch it." a voice growled in a low voice behind him.
Minato looked up and just as he did his bright blue eyes clashed with another pair so familiar to his own.
There standing in front of the seal was...the grown up form of himself?
'What in the hell was going on here?'
He must have spoken the question aloud for the ghostly figure of himself turned to him with a sad smile.
"Who are you?" Minato asked the figure.
"Who am I?" The ghostly aspiration repeated the question with a smile. "I am you..." the figure said with the same sad smile covering its features. His blond hair gleamed and his blue eyes twinkled despite the dimness of the dark cavern.
"But, how are you..." Minato began as the questions began to fill his mind. He had to figure why this ghost was saying that he was...well him...
The ghost tilted his head to side as if he was measuring the man in front of his eyes. Curiosity must have still been evident upon his features for the "ghost" turned to him and tilted his head in a "follow me" gesture.
"Come now,we have things to discuss."
"So, you're telling me that you brought me here, from the dead, so I could unseal the dead demon seal my husband and I implanted on our son the day he was born?" the redhead asked with her hands on hips, her teeth grinding together in anger.
'He better be thanking Kami that I do not have the strength to fight.' she thought to herself as she stared at the man. She had enough time to figure out as well as before that the masked man who called himself "Tobi" was out of his mind.
Literally out of his mind.
Madara smiled from behind his mask.
Things were going according to plan. Now that he had told her his plan he was sure she would corporate with his efforts. After all, the only thing he was trying to do was make the world a better place. There was no wrong in helping your fellow man, despite how stupid and stubborn they may be, to become better. Right?
A bright smile lined the redhead's face as the ridiculousness his plan began to seep in. One chuckle and then another escaped her lips as she continued to analyze the absolute sheer idiocy of his plan.
This man was completely nuts to believe that he was going to rule the world by projecting the sharigian onto the moon.
Madara continued to stare at the woman until his alter ego, Tobi took over and began laughing with the woman. He had no idea what she was laughing about but it was bound to be funny.
She had stopped to gasp for breath when she looked into the eyes of the masked man. His lone eye seemed to be crinkled up in laughter and that sobered her up instantly. This man was laughing because of the pain she endured at his hands.
Her senses tingled with anger. This man was very evil.
"You must be insane to think that I am going to unseal the nine tails from my son." she stated with a scowl.
She was tired of playing nice. She wanted to get out of here and go back to the place where she had been resting in peace.
An explosion of laughter escaped the masked man as her frown began to deepen.
'What was so funny about what she said?'
The laughter stopped abruptly as she locked eyes with the man and noticed the sharigian spinning lazily in his left eyes.
He noticed her expression and glared harshly. His sharigian began to spin wildly in his lone visible eye.
"Me insane? No, my dear Kushina-san, what is truly insane is to think that you... had a choice in the matter..."