Many years later, when people asked him what was the most inspirational moment of life, Naruto would always think of that night. It wasn't because of the person who he had the conversation with, even though he was still trying to figure out who it was, nor was it because of the revelation he had earlier that day. No, the person they were discussing was what made it so life changing.


It was rather late when he had finally reached his dingy apartment. He rested his cheek on the window panes, watching the beads of rain sliding down it. He wondered at the fact that he was still breathing and he knew he was breathing because he could see smudges of white clouding the glass whenever he took a breath. He closed his eyes, sighing.

"Naruto-kun…"

His eyes flashed open and he leaned against the wall so he didn't have to watch his back in case of an attack. The only warning he got was soft tinkling of wind chimes before someone slammed him into the floor and held him there.

"Naruto-kun, you shouldn't struggle. This is for your own good, after all." The same voice crooned into his ears, mocking him with a soft nudge in his ribs and he heard a soft rustling of silk. "I'm going to let you go now. Don't try to escape. It won't do you any good."

They released him and he jumped to his feet, nearly tripping over leftover instant ramen bowls. He narrowed his eyes, trying to keep the person in his sight while slowly backing away. So far, he could only make out spiked hair and a kimono that reached the floor. His eyes squinted further. How could he have been tackled and restrained by a civilian. No sane shinobi would wear kimonos when they could so easily get stained with blood, after all.

"Who the fucking hell are you?" The figure shifted and he felt a rush of smugness. But it disappeared with what the person said next.

"You shouldn't swear at someone who has the power to kill you and make it seem like a suicide." He gulped, knowing that this person could have killed him just then when he was pinned down. "Please sit down," the other gestured to the rickety chair in front of him. He sat down with a heavy feeling in his stomach. The person seemed mildly amused with his obedience.

"Who are you?" he tried again.

"I guess I'll indulge you. I will not tell you my name, but you may call me Obito, Uchiha Obito." For some reason, they sounded like they were telling him a very funny joke. But he ignored it because there was another name resounding in his head.

'Minato!'

'Port? What kind of name is that?'

There was a chuckle and he could see the other shaking with mirth.

"Oh, I feel so appreciated. Kyuu-chan still remembers me." There was an animalistic growl in his head that made him shiver. The other's mood suddenly shifted and there was a serious air around him.

"Naruto-kun. Your father, do you want to know who he is?"

And there wasn't enough air in his lungs and his muscles tensed and he realized he was shaking. And his lungs burned and there was a metallic tang on his tongue from where he bit it. And his eyes unfocused and it was like everything was on an odd angle because his head was spinning and the room was slipping away. And, and… it was like the ground was ripped from under his feet and all he was, was a freefalling drop of rain like all those outside.

"Your father was the Yondaime."

Yondaime. Yondaime-sama. Hokage-sama. The one who ruined his life .And what was this emotion surging though his veins? Love? Hate? Sadness? Forgiveness? Anger? Why? Why? Whywhywhwywhy? And the only thing he could think was 'Why?' Why did he feel like his heart had been ripped from his chest and shredded to pieces? Why did he forgive that man? Why did he believe this person? Why did he feel like he was going to cry when he had promised himself that he wouldn't? But most of all…

"Why would he…? How could he… to his own child?"

"It was not some heroic reason and nor was it because he believed that you would use the power well as his son. He did not sacrifice his life to be made into a martyr either. He did it because he was human, and humans are naturally selfish. Some people call it selfless, but in reality, he was being selfish. You must remember that your father had never met you. He had never held you in his arms until he was running to his death. He had never sang you to sleep and nor had he ever watched you grow up. Love is not an instantaneous thing. It takes a long time to develop and you and he did not have that time. He had precious people in Konoha and he would rather have them alive even if it meant forfeiting the life of a son he didn't know. Surely, if you were in his situation, you would have done the same. If your teammates and friends lives depended on it, you would have sacrificed the life of someone you didn't know, as well." The other tilted his head as if daring him to prove him wrong.

Naruto closed his eyes. He didn't want to hear anymore. 'Obito' seemed to understand and he felt the aura ebb away in a chinking of wind chimes.

That night he fell asleep with the image of wild mane of sunlight and eyes that were like the sky; so wide and deep yet so hazy like a passing dream. He dreamt of smile that could light the shadows.

'You lied, Minato-san. He did love me; there was just no other choice.'

Outside the window, someone smiled at the boy, the rain passing through him as if he were never there.

'You've grown up so well. I'm proud to call you my son…Naruto.'


The next day, when Naruto asked Kakashi if he knew who Uchiha Obito was, Kakashi fainted dead away.

And the spirit watched with pride in his eyes.


END