Hey all! Abarat Fox here!

I claim no rights to Naruto. None whatsoever. This is purely fan made.

And before anyone asks, I'm still doing Clay Fox! I got out of surgery yesterday morning and my pain killer drugged mind came up with this thing. I was quite literally drooling blood while I typed this. -_-

So you can wait until I'm off my meds for the next chapter of Clay Fox, okay? Good! Please enjoy my latest story; Twisted Roots!

Sarutobi paced in his office as he waited for one of his ANBU to bring him news on the young Naruto's condition. Until then, the old man's mind was free to wander free and no matter how he distracted himself he always ended up thinking about the Nine-tail's attack on the village the night before.

Kushina's seal must had been broken during childbirth, but she had survived past the seal's destruction and the Kyuubi had not killed her immediately. Why? And why had Minato not prevented the demon from escaping? Perhaps the fox truly had been too powerful…

Poor Naruto, he was just over day old but already the nine-tail's jailor and an orphan. What kind of life would the boy lead? Sarutobi knew that the villagers would have a difficult time separating the boy from the demon despite Minato's wishes. He had even gone so far as to ban people from speaking of the demon to try to help the hatred against Naruto be abolished and he had arranged to have ANBU watch the child grow up and protect him but would all that truly keep Naruto safe?

Sarutobi almost regretted giving Naruto his mother's name. It was not a well known fact that Minato and Kushina had been married and it was possible that people would be kinder to 'Namikaze Naruto' than 'Uzumaki Naruto'. Or people could hate the boy even more.

Sarutobi stopped next to his desk and rubbed the back of his neck. He hadn't had any sleep since the death of his successor and it was finally starting to get to him. He had given up the title of Hokage and had just been settling into retirement when this had happened. Now he had a village to fix, graves to be dug, and Naruto to take care of without so much as a moment's notice.

"Sir," Sarutobi looked over his shoulder and saw an ANBU with a vulture mask sitting on his window sill. He waited patiently until the old man gestured for him to continue speaking. "Naruto's condition is stable. One nurse made aggressive actions towards him and Hawk escorted her off the primacies. Currently Cat is guarding him in his room and Hawk is patrolling the area."

"Is it safe for me to visit?" Sarutobi asked and Vulture seemed alarmed the exhaustion in his voice. He studied his Hokage for a few moments before he reluctantly nodded. "Accompany me back to the hospital and return to your post."

"Yes sir!"

Cat stood at the window and watched Naruto squirm in his crib. The ANBU had been struggling to suppress the urge to pick up the infant and comfort it, he had been squirming earlier and the ANBU had noticed that the doctors had only touched him as much as they absolutely had to. That kind of behavior wasn't exactly abuse so Cat had been unable to insist on a new doctor.

The door swung open and Cat snapped into a respectful salute as the third Hokage entered. "How has he been doing?" The old man asked.

"He has only just managed to fall asleep, sir." Cat said and Sarutobi nodded.

"Has there been any more aggressive behavior towards him?"

"No, sir."

Sarutobi seemed to relax and he smiled kindly at the young ANBU member. "You have done well, Cat. I will send relief for the three of you in the morning."

"Do you mind if I ask who?"

"Bear, Swan, and Dog."

"Dog? Sir, I don't think Dog is currently mentally able to handle his ANBU work so soon after the death of the fourth." Sarutobi ran his fingers through his thinning hair and frowned. How had he forgotten that Dog was Kakashi? The boy was probably mourning the loss of his teacher!

"Then Eagle will do."

"Yes sir." Cat watched the Hokage move to the side of the crib and smile affectionately at the sleeping child inside. The old man reached down and placed a hand on the child's cheek. Cat smiled under his mask as the infant snuggled in to the first kind touch he had received in his short life but it was over all too soon and the Hokage withdrew.

"Keep up the good work."

"Yes sir." Cat watched the old man leave before he sat back down on the window sill and waited for the relief team at dawn.

When Sarutobi got back to his office, someone was waiting for him. "Danzo?" Sarutobi asked as his ex-friend placed the Hokage hat back on the desk. "What do you want?"

"Just a chat, old friend, nothing more." Danzo said without turning around and Sarutobi lifted an eyebrow. Since when did Danzo come 'just to chat'? "I want to discuss Naruto."

Sarutobi felt his heart leap into his throat. It could not be good if the war savvy ninja wanted to discuss Naruto. There was no doubt that all Danzo saw the infant as was a potential weapon…or threat. "What about him?"

"I want to keep a closer eye on him." Danzo said as he turned to look at Sarutobi.

"The same way you did with the Uchiha clan?" Danzo's eyes flickered with some unknown emotion but it was gone before Sarutobi could identify it.

"No. I want to make Naruto a member of Roots." Sarutobi's blood ran cold at Danzo's words. Roots? Even Danzo couldn't seriously think that was a good idea!

"Naruto is only an infant, Danzo."

"He will grow. I want to keep a closer eye on him in case the seal gives in any way and inside Roots he could become a valuable asset to Konoha."

"No, Danzo, I will not allow you to do this. You will not bring this up again unless you wish to see Roots disbanded." Sarutobi said as calmly as he could and Danzo simply nodded. The old ninja walked past Sarutobi but he paused at the door.

"If the nine-tail's chakra ever starts to leak then I will recruit him, regardless of what you want." He said coolly.

"Very well, Danzo." Sarutobi said and the door clicked shut. The Hokage had no doubt in his mind that Minato's seal would hold no matter what. The promise he had made need never come to pass. But there was a tiny doubt in the old man's mind. If Danzo wanted Naruto, was there any length he would go to, any level he would not stoop to so that his goal would be achieved?

Cat trudged home and stifled a yawn. He was exhausted, he had not stopped working since the fox had attacked and he was looking forward to returning home. Cat had been told that his home had not been among the ones that had been destroyed which relived him. That meant that both his parents were safe.

Cat drew level with a small, gray house and he climbed in through a first floor window and into the living room.

"Welcome home, Shin!" His mother said from the couch. Shin took off his cat mask and hung it one a peg on the wall.

"Good morning, mom." He grumbled as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. He walked behind the couch and kissed the side of his mother's cheek. "Where's dad?"

"You're father went out to help with repairs." The black haired woman said brightly and Shin couldn't help but to smile back.

"I'm going to go to bed, okay mom?"

"Alright, come find me when you wake up and I'll make you some food." She said. Shin twirled a strand of silver hair between two fingers and he reached down and rested a hand on his mother's swollen belly.

"Good morning, Sai." He mumbled to the unborn child before he walked upstairs and collapsed on his bed.

So how was that? I won't know what you thought if you don't review! ;)