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Family Time, and a Message from the Past
A day later
Naruto rose from his recliner in Hinata and Hanabi's room, where he had stayed the night. Looking at the bed that held Hinata and Hanabi, he smiled, feeling happy for the sisters. They got their mother back, and everything was great. Of course, he also got his mother back, a thought which made him grin.
Getting up, he grabbed a clean set of clothes from a box in the room before he left to go shower. When he shut the door, he accidentally woke Hinata, who smiled as well. Nudging her sister, she said, "Time to get up, Hanabi-chan!"
Hanabi yawned loudly, stretching her limbs haphazardly and nearly falling off the bed because of said action. Looking around the room, she asked, "What happened to Naruto-niichan?"
Hinata giggled. "I think he went to take a shower. I was nearly awake when he first got up, it just took the door closing to really rouse me. He grabbed some clothes, so I have to assume he's taking a shower," the blunette answered.
Hanabi frowned. "I hope you don't peek at him with your Byakugan," she muttered under her breath.
Hinata blushed like crazy. "O-of course not! If he w-wanted me to see him naked, he would have a-asked me to get in the b-bath with him, like before!" she exclaimed in a hushed tone.
Hanabi frowned even deeper. "I really don't approve of you two being that intimate with each other. It makes me worry. I know he's a good guy, but I really don't think you two are ready for something like that," she stated, then added, "You can't blame me for worrying. You're really special to me, Neechan..."
Hinata nodded, wrapping her arms around the small brunette. "I know," she said softly. "I remember back when you were little, and I decided to be your 'mommy', since my mom had passed away, and yours wasn't trustworthy enough to take care of you. You made me so happy. I remember all the time I spent with you, and I loved every minute of it."
Hanabi sniffled. "You were a great mommy, Neechan. Your kids will be so lucky when you end up having some," she said softly.
A voice from the doorway giggled. "My baby girl really was a great mommy to you, wasn't she, Hanabi-chan? I was so happy to see you two bond like that when I was up in Heaven, and I'm even happier now to see it in person!" Izumi exclaimed, then walked over to the bed and hugged the two girls.
A comfortable silence occupied the room for a moment, until Hinata decided she had to ask her mother a thing or two. "Mom? I have to ask, what kinds of powers will I have when The Change is over?" she asked curiously.
Izumi smiled. "Well, you've already experienced two of them, though you've only actually used one of them. The wings you grow, though ethereal, are not just for show. I'll be teaching you how to fly with them soon enough. The other one, obviously, is your angelic barrier. It should work at all times now, both automatically responding to threats, and appearing when you call upon it willingly. The first day you were going through The Change, it didn't respond to threats once, when that one Hyuuga elder grabbed you up, because you hadn't 'changed' enough yet, but now, as I said, it'll come up whenever you want it to, and whenever an imminent threat is perceived. Very few things can pass through it without resistance, two of them being your pact partner and air, though the air only comes in and doesn't go out, so it can be used for underwater travel for a time. It would take something very powerful, like a Bijuudama, to break through your barrier. If it's broken, it will take a moment to recharge before it can be erected again, so be careful.
"Another power you'll gain is the power to heal yourself and others, either through the use of life chakra, with your blood, or, when you have babies, with your breast milk. Speaking of your breast milk, when you do produce it, it will have some nutrients that aren't in human breast milk, which will be essential for your babies to gain their angelic powers. If you were a male angel, then mating with a human would temporarily give them the ability to produce this milk for their children, so if you have any boys, don't worry about them being unable to pass down their powers," Izumi explained.
Hinata smiled, blushing. "I would d-definitely like to have b-babies with Naruto-kun s-someday," she mumbled happily.
Izumi grinned. "That's good. I'm hoping to get grandkids at some point, and I know for a fact you and Naruto-chan would make some very cute babies," she replied, then added, "And that means you'll get another ability. When you eventually make love with your pact partner, you will gain their abilities and skills. The Hyuuga elders don't know this, obviously, but I can use the Byakugan, and I'm well-versed in Juuken, since your father is so good at it. You, Hinata, would gain the ability to shape-shift like Naruto, and if you ever lose your immortality, you will live a long life thanks to his Uzumaki genes. You'll also gain his enormous chakra reserves, and whatever skills he has at the time, and when he learns new skills, you'll learn them as well. You'll also be able to use Kurama's chakra, but you should really ask him first. He'll feel better about it that way."
Hanabi raised her hand. "Mom? Who's Kurama?" she asked.
Izumi lightly smacked herself in the head. "That's right, you guys only know him as Kyuubi. Well, the fact is, all of the bijuu have a name that was gifted to them by the Sage of the Six Paths. Kyuubi's happens to be Kurama. He'll show you a decent amount of respect, Hinata, since he's got a soft spot for angels, due to befriending several of our kind long ago. The only real reason he hates humans is because they've kept him either controlled or sealed within a jinchuuriki for over a century now. In all honesty, it's not hard to blame him for attacking Minato and Kushina like he did when he discovered he was going to be sealed in Naruto-chan. He only wanted to be free," she explained.
Hinata frowned. "That's...that's actually very sad...The Bijuu are all sealed at this point, and probably have been for a while...They're victims just as much as their jinchuuriki," she contemplated.
Izumi nodded. "I get the feeling that Naruto will bond with Kurama soon enough, though. Just don't tell him Kurama's name. He'll tell Naruto that when he starts to see him as trustworthy, and he might take offense if somebody else tells it to him. Just do me a favor and spend time with him occasionally. The big guy might not admit it, but he gets lonely in the seal sometimes," she explained.
Hinata nodded. "I will, Mom," she replied. Hearing the shower water stopping, they decided to drop the subject. "I'm pretty sure Naruto-kun is going to want to train with Kushina-sama today, so I'd like to be ready and dressed soon. If you two could help me out, that would be great."
Hanabi and Izumi nodded, and the three of them started preparing for the day.
Later, in the Hokage's office
Kushina's shadow clones toiled away, occasionally cursing their creator for leaving them to do the paperwork so that she could spend time with her son. Then again, they couldn't really blame her. If they were the original, they'd have done the same thing. Soon enough, though, a distraction appeared...an old, perverted one.
"Jiraiya, stop hiding out there and come in through the window like you normally do," one of the shadow clones said blandly. Soon enough, the man in question had come through the window, as he'd been asked to.
"Sorry, Kushina. I've just been so nervous about seeing you again, especially here and now, since there are currently five of you..." the toad sage said.
The clones decided that the one that had beckoned Jiraiya in should be the one to talk to him. The clone pointed out a seat for him to sit in, and he did. "Jiraiya, I'm not mad, or at least not as mad as I was when I first learned you weren't looking after Naruto. Knowing you, you were keeping people in Iwa from learning about his heritage with misinformation and the like, and I doubt the council would have allowed the Sandaime to set Naruto up with his apartment. You did a good job, considering how busy you were with your spy network. Don't think the real me isn't going to beat the crap out of you later, though!" she explained, shouting the last sentence angrily.
Jiraiya frowned. "And I'll let her. I deserve it, if what I've heard about the gaki's life is true. Either way, our forces suffered some serious injuries during that invasion. I was thinking I could go look for Tsunade-hime so she could help our medical staff. I'm pretty sure she'd be happy to see you again, too. If you want, I can take Naruto with me, too, so we can get to know each other better, and I can start teaching him the Rasengan or something," he said.
Kushina frowned. "I'd say yes, but the fact is, Naruto can't be away from Hinata at this point, due to what's going on with her body, so I'm going to have to decline," she replied.
Jiraiya grinned. "But he would be here, too! Didn't he tell you about that incredible technique of his, that True Clone Jutsu? It'd be as if he'd never left, and yet, he'll still be with me, learning all kinds of stuff! How does that sound?" the old pervert suggested.
The chakra construct nodded. "Yeah, I guess that could work. Just give me a second to let my original know," she replied. She immediately made another shadow clone, who dispelled, and a few seconds later, she had the original's answer. "You can take one of his true clones, but I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in saying that if you corrupt him, I will hurt you."
Jiraiya nodded. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'd have to worry about some Juuken as well if I did that. Don't worry, I won't make a super pervert out of your son!" he said, then added, "I'll meet his clone at the east gate tomorrow at eight in the morning. Today, though, I'm going to help you, Naruto, and Hinata move into your old home. It's probably getting crowded in Kurenai's apartment at this point."
The clone nodded again. "I'll let them know. But for now..." Jiraiya was suddenly kicked in the nads, and the clones all worked together to shove him out the window. "GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!"
Needless to say, Jiraiya was feeling sore for a while.
At training ground seven, with Naruto, Hinata, and Kushina
Kushina grinned as she sparred with her son. "Atta boy-ttebane!" she shouted as Naruto dodged some kunai she'd thrown his way.
Naruto smirked, and formed a single hand seal in midair. "Shadow Clone Jutsu!" he shouted, creating a single shadow clone who grabbed him and threw him straight at his mother.
Kushina smiled proudly. She'd be able to dodge such an attack easily, but most enemy shinobi would be startled enough by the technique that they'd get hit, so she let him ram into her, wrapping her arms around her son as she laughed happily. "Good job! I'm so proud of you! However, next time, you should throw your shadow clone, instead of the other way around, especially if you're going up against a shinobi as strong as I am. You know the Akatsuki will be coming after you at some point, so try to think of your safety more."
Naruto nodded, frowning slightly. "I'm sorry you had to come back to such a crisis," he said softly.
Kushina smiled warmly. "I didn't come back to the crisis, honey. I came back to you!" she replied, hoping to lift her son's spirits.
Smiling softly, Naruto replied, "Thanks, Mom."
Kushina's smile turned into an all-out grin. "Let's take a break. Hinata must be getting lonely under that tree over there!" she laughed.
Naruto and Kushina quickly got over to the tree at the edge of the field they were sparring in, where Hinata relaxed, just looking up at the sky. Looking over at the two of them, Hinata smiled. "You two are so strong, I hope I can be, too, someday," she said softly.
Naruto grinned. "You already are strong, Hinata-ttebayo!" he replied.
Kushina nodded. "Yup! And that's why I wanna take you on as my apprentice!" she exclaimed, then added, "Though it's also partially because I wanna get to know my future daughter-in-law. Oh, and it's because I like you, too, obviously. You're a very likable person, just like your mom-ttebane!"
Hinata smiled. "Thank you so much, Kushina-sama! But...what will you be teaching me?" she asked, curious.
The redhead grinned widely. "Fuinjutsu, obviously!" she replied, then continued, "I'm a Master-level Fuinjutsu user. And while my taijutsu and ninjutsu have probably weakened due to me having been out of combat for over a decade, fuinjutsu is like riding a bike! You never really forget how to draw the seals and use them!"
Hinata flinched for an instant. Sensing that Kushina had noticed, Hinata decided to explain herself. "I'm sorry...I just don't have a good history with...seals..." she explained.
Kushina nodded. "Right. That bastardized doujutsu-sealing seal that your clan uses would make any witness with a heart sick to their stomach. It was originally an Uzumaki seal, but the elders of your clan hired other fuinjutsu users to modify it after my clan gave it to you. Jerks, the lot of those old farts-ttebane!" she exclaimed, then calmed down and elaborated, "Don't worry, Hina-chan. Seals can be used for more than just inflicting pain on people. They can be used for training, by making your body go against more force than it's used to, or for protecting your allies with barriers! If we manage to get Tsunade back to the village, it's even possible that we could make seals that can help our village's healers, like by turning regular chakra into the healing chakra used in medical ninjutsu through a seal! Trust me, if you become a seal master, you'll be able to help a lot of people in our village, and around the world!"
Hinata smiled. "You're right. I can't wait!" she exclaimed.
Naruto pouted. "Aren't you going to teach me fuinjutsu, Mom?" he asked.
Kushina grinned, patting the blond's head. "Don't worry, Naruto. Jiraiya will teach you fuinjutsu until you get to the more complicated stuff. And if he shirks his teaching duties to peep on women or anything like that, just let me know, and I'll set him straight!" It should be noted that this last sentence was said with a smile that would have scared Naruto horribly if the pain it promised was aimed at him. As it was, he only flinched a little bit when he saw this smile.
"And speaking of that pervert, I'm going to be sending a true clone of yours and him off to find Tsunade tomorrow morning. He's going to be teaching you the Rasengan while you're out there," the former Kyuubi jinchuuriki elaborated.
Naruto tilted his head. "The Rasengan? What's that?" the whiskered boy asked.
Kushina smirked proudly, and held up her hand. "This," she said as a spiraling orb of chakra appeared in her hand, "is a Rasengan!" Suddenly, the redhead leapt at a tree further away, and smashed the sphere of energy against it. A large hole went straight through the tree where the Rasengan had impacted, leaving Naruto and Hinata's jaws on the ground. "It's a technique your father invented, Naru-chan," she said from behind the two of them, where she had leapt after using the technique, sounding somewhat sad.
Naruto frowned, turning to his mother. "You miss him, don't you?"
Kushina nodded. "Every minute of every day, Naru-chan," she answered softly.
Hinata frowned, and wrapped her arms around the woman, gesturing for Naruto to do the same. Kushina gasped, then began crying and held the two children to her as they spoke words of comfort and encouragement. Hinata took a quick look at Naruto, then turned back to the task at hand, thinking to herself, "I'll make sure Naruto-kun and I don't suffer this kind of thing...We'll always come back to each other!"
Soon enough, Kushina was done crying, and she stood. "Why don't we get some lunch? We've got work to do soon, to get our stuff moved to my old home, and we can't do that on an empty stomach," she said, smiling brightly despite the tear stains.
Naruto nodded. "That sounds good, Mom. Come on, Hinata-chan!" he said, picking the smaller girl up in his arms as they headed to where they had put her wheelchair.
The three headed off to lunch.
Later, at Kushina's house
Jiraiya smiled wistfully. "It's been a while since I've been here," he said, then turned to Kushina and added, "I've paid to have the exterior of the house taken care of over the years, but the interior can only be accessed by you, me, and Naruto here with the protective seals in place."
Naruto gripped his mother's hand. "Are you ready, Mom?" he asked softly.
Kushina nodded. "As ready as I'll ever be," she said, moving ahead of Naruto and entering the house.
In her wheelchair, Hinata reached back to grip Naruto's hand. "I'll be with you, Naruto-kun. I-if you need e-emotional support, let me k-know," she said softly, smiling up at her crush.
Naruto nodded, gulping a bit. "Thanks, Hinata," he replied.
Entering the house, they first noticed that everything was fairly clean, despite having been left alone for over a decade. Naruto and Hinata wondered how that was possible, until they heard Jiraiya's voice from upstairs say, "Thank Kami Minato adjusted that protection seal to keep dust out of the house when it's activated! Otherwise we'd have to clean a lot more than just whatever food is rotting in the cabinets and fridge!"
Naruto grinned upon hearing this. "My dad really was a genius, wasn't he, Hinata-chan?" he said happily.
Hinata smiled back. "I-I think I prefer p-proud failures like y-you," she replied, tipping her head cutely.
The two of them wandered a little, just looking around. Feeling drawn to a specific room, Naruto headed over to a door, still pushing Hinata. Opening the door, he peered inside, seeing that the room was dark. Once Naruto was a ways into the room, the two of them sensed chakra being used. A small seal glowed on the floor as well as on the wall, and a projector, along with a screen for it to be played on, appeared. Another seal appeared, and the projector suddenly activated, apparently being battery-powered, and on the screen appeared Minato's face.
Naruto gasped. "D-Dad?" he murmured to himself.
The Minato on the screen grinned. "Hey, kiddo! It's me, your dad! Now, before you try to talk to me or something like your mother would probably do, let me tell you right now that this is a prerecorded message. If this is playing, then it means I'm not around anymore, and your mother might not be, either. If your mom is still around, tell her I love her. Either way, it means something didn't go right, and I'm not here to be your father anymore," he said, ending on a solemn note.
"I left instructions for the Sandaime to take care of you, and I was the one who told him not to tell you who I am. I didn't want my enemies coming after you if they found out you were my kid. There are some pretty tough ones out there, let me tell you. I left this message, though, so that I could tell you something important, something that will help you continue on towards the future.
"I love you, my precious son," he said. At this point, Naruto began tearing up, and Jiraiya and Kushina had entered the room. The blond gripped Hinata's hand, and the former heiress squeezed back, letting him know she was there for him. "I love you very much. You're one of the two best things to happen to me in my life, the other being your mother. I want you to remember, whenever things get tough, that your mother and I loved you so much. And we will continue to love you, from wherever we are now, no matter what. Whether it winds up being for a few minutes or a lifetime, I will be very proud to be your father.
"One more thing, Naruto, now listen carefully. The wings of the Thunder God lie where true heroes rest. If your mom's there, she should know what that means. If not, well, you've got talented parents. Surely we gave you enough talent to figure out this riddle!
"Good luck, son. I believe in you!"
And with that, the recording ended.
Kushina fainted, Jiraiya catching her and setting her down against the wall. Naruto stood tall, however, sobbing hard as he listened to the most important words of that message play back again and again in his head.
"I love you, my precious son. I love you very much."
Hinata extended her arms out to Naruto, and sensing her do so, he turned around and wrapped his arms around her, sobbing into her jacket. Hinata patted Naruto's back, tears emerging from her eyes as well.
"He loved me, Hinata...he loved me a lot," he whimpered.
The blunette smiled at the boy in her arms. "He did...and he's not the only one," she said softly, running her hand up and down the jinchuuriki's back.
Suddenly, the room was filled with light, as the boards that had apparently been on the windows dropped, allowing light to shine into the room, showing that it was the nursery. Naruto's eyes widened, darting around the room as he took in the different features. There were stuffed animals, big and small and in between, all around the room. A changing table sat against a wall. There was a crib with a mobile that had star decorations hung above it opposite the window.
Naruto squeezed Hinata's hand. "This...this is my room, Hinata...this is where I was supposed to grow up!" he said happily, the tears still coming down his face like crazy.
Hinata smiled. "It's nice...And look, it's colored orange!" she exclaimed softly.
Jiraiya grinned. "They took my idea. The Yellow Flash and the Red Habanero come together to make the Orange Hero," he said nostalgically.
Kushina grinned from her spot against the wall, having regained consciousness in time to hear the Toad Sage's words. "It was most certainly a good idea," she said softly. She then made a few shadow clones and told them, "Let's get to work! This isn't a room for a baby boy anymore! We've gotta get a new bed in, a dresser, and some toys more appropriate for a twelve-year-old! When they ask for the bill, tell them to take it out of the Uzumaki treasury!"
One of the clones raised its hand. "What if the council did something stupid while you were comatose, and liquidated the Uzumaki treasury?" she asked.
Kushina grinned. "Then find some of the councilors, grill them for information, and rob them! If they have a problem with that, tell them they should have kept their hands off Uzumaki property!" she suggested sinisterly.
The clones grinned and rushed out of the house, some secretly hoping that the council did do something like that, just so they could do something incredibly humiliating to them.
Naruto smiled, his tears having finally quit. "I'll help out, too! Come on, Hinata, let's get you settled somewhere where you can watch us run around like chickens with our heads cut off!" he exclaimed.
Hinata frowned. "I thought you were going to be moving furniture," she said.
Naruto chuckled. "It won't look much different, trust me," he replied.
That night, Naruto and Hinata slept in separate beds in what was once the nursery, content with their lives as they were right then...
End Chapter Seven