Hey guys, this is my new one-shot. It's about naruto realizing who his parents are. Enjoy!
I Dreamt of My Father. (Naruto-Minato one-shot)
"Get away freak!"
"Don't look at him!"
"He's a MONSTER!"
Seven year-old Naruto Uzumaki cried and sniffled, but no one felt pity for him. The road was empty; the park was empty; the whole village was even emptier. Naruto will love to play, to goof around, to buy snacks around, but with whom? Everybody avoided their children from playing with him and called him monster out of nowhere.
Those glares… how Naruto really like to crush those glares and tainted himself with their gore. Oh, he will, if a warm big hand didn't reach for his shoulder a moment before. He turned around and saw a man in the same shade of blonde as he, smiling warmly, warmer than the sun.
"Let's go home, Naruto." said the man, Minato Namikaze.
Naruto nodded and walked hand-in-hand with his father, who was also the Yondaime Hokage of the village. "Dad, why is everyone glaring at me? What did I do?"
"Are you sure you wanna know?" asked Minato with a worried face streaking his handsome feature.
Naruto nodded eagerly.
Minato sighed very deeply for a second before he finally muttered, "We'll talk about it at home, OK? I'm sure you're hungry." Minato replaced the concerned face with a wide smile he inherited to his son. Naruto's expression cheered up.
"Ramen!" he said loudly and Minato carried him on his shoulders.
"That's right. Mom is cooking ramen for us! That's our family's favorite food!" Minato chuckled.
Minato couldn't take off his smile as he saw Naruto eating his many bowls of ramen greedily. Kushina was giggling at his speed of eating. However, Minato's smile faded out into a grimace, and his eyes met with Kushina who nodded in approval.
"I'm done! That was great, Mom! Thanks!" said Naruto in his childish voice.
Kushina smiled, "My pleasure, Naruto." She then took the last bowl of Naruto's ramen and washed them in the kitchen. In the meantime, Minato talked to Naruto.
"Um, Naruto…about what you asked this afternoon…about the people…"
Naruto's brows dropped but he listened.
"The reason why they hate you so much is because…" Minato gulped, "you held a demon beast inside your body."
Naruto gawked at his father and Kushina bit her lip to hold herself from crying. "A demon beast…?"
Minato nodded, "That's right. In the day when you were born, the demon fox, Kyuubi was sealed into your body. It was to protect the village and the people in it from doom."
"But that doesn't mean I'm a demon, right Dad? I'm still just a kid. And I'm your son too, the Yondaime!"
Minato frowned. He rested his forehead in his hands, trying to figure out how he should interpret this to his very young son. "The thing is, son, you can actually use that Kyuubi's power for yourself or perhaps you lost control of it. That's what the people feared of. They're afraid you'd lost control of the Kyuubi's power and become the Kyuubi itself instead."
"But you'll be there, right Dad? You will be with me, right?"
Minato let out a wry, bitter smile, "Of course I will. No one can hurt you as long there's me." He took a deep breath, "Right now. Go brush your teeth and go to bed."
Naruto replied the smile even though he didn't quite understand the sad smile his father was using right now. He hopped off his chair and hugged his father tightly. "I love you, Dad." he whispered.
"I love you too, sport."
"Night dad. Night Mom." Naruto rushed to the bathroom, leaving his parents to their own time. Minato walked to Kushina who was still washing the dishes—Naruto ate quite a lot. He rested his head on his wife's shoulder, lost in his negative emotions.
"I don't know whether I should say the truth…" he mumbled.
"He's still seven years old, Minato. Take your time."
"I know but…it might be too late if we waited another few years before telling him the real thing. He might become so angry, and ran away or even worse: gone berserk that the Kyuubi take advantage of him. I don't know, Kushina, I'm so confused."
Kushina turned off the tap, dried her hands, and circled her arms around her husbands head, comforting him. "Let's just wait for the time to give us the perfect chance. I'm sure Naruto will understand."
Minato raised his head up and nodded. "Yes. I hope he will." he kissed Kushina on the forehead and headed to his bedroom.
The next day was an important day for Naruto: he got accepted in the academy! The ninja teachers there congratulated Minato for having his son in the academy. When Naruto came to his father, he cowered behind his father's Hokage clothes. Minato smiled at him wryly and said, "Don't act like that. They're your teachers, you should respect them. C'mon."
Naruto stepped out of his father's loose protection and bowed before them. The teachers bowed back and the Yondaime motioned Naruto to go and play with the other kids. Once Naruto was out of hearing, he said seriously, "Please, whatever personal opinion you have in mind, don't let him hear or see or smell or feel it. I want him to be treated as normally as possible, am I understood?"
"Yes, Sir!" replied the teachers.
Even though they have sworn their oaths, Minato was still not sure. Somehow, other than his closest friends and family, he couldn't trust anyone else to take care of Naruto. At least he didn't have to worry about him not being alone in class.
He began left the gate of the academy, taking one last glance at his son. He couldn't stop worrying, even though he was now hundreds of meters away from the academy where his son will learn the steps of being a ninja. He stopped as he saw a pair of ninja shoes appeared before his down-casted eyes.
"Hi, Minato-sensei." a young adult with silver hair stood before him, wearing his ANBU uniform.
"Oh, hey, Kakashi. Let me guess, you're here to escort me to the building?"
Kakashi chuckled and said something not related to Minato's question, "Congratulations for having your son in the academy, sensei. I'm sure he'll be a great ninja."
"Oh, thanks, Kakashi."
The silver-haired ANBU noticed a huge sense of sadness coming from his former sensei. The sadness was too strong to be unnoticed. "Sensei? Is there something wrong?"
Minato snapped his eyes opened wide and smiled at Kakashi, "No, no, I'm just fine. Right…I'm going to the office now. Don't trouble yourself escorting me, Kakashi, I still remember where the building is."
Kakashi dashed away after nodding understandingly. Minato's pace slowed down, he looked skyward, "God…what am I suppose to do?"
"Hey, isn't that Yondaime-sama's kid?" a student whispered behind Naruto.
"You're right. The Hokage himself came at the ceremony, you know." whispered the other student. Both were unaware that Naruto was listening.
"My mom said not to play with him. I wonder why?"
"Psh. Maybe because he's the Hokage's son, he'll be too cocky to play with ordinary kids like us. Or because the Hokage spread threats to the village that for anybody who hurts him will get a punishment." the student snickered.
The other one sneered, "What a daddy's boy! Let's see how he cries." The two of them giggled devilishly and the only thing that Naruto could do was to slouch in his seat.
Even here too? Naruto thought hopelessly and before he could shed a tear, he blinked it back. He will show them who the real daddy's boy was.
First lesson has begun, the teacher walked in, telling the kids to sit neatly and the lesson started its progress until the end of the day.
I promise I'm gonna be like Dad! Yeah! That's Naruto Namikaze for you all, Konoha! Naruto focused all his thoughts on the lesson. But we all know he was kind of slow…
The door was being knocked. When the sun was about to set in about four hours later.
"Come in." Minato replied.
"Are you busy, Yondaime-sama?" asked a mid-aged man with two streaks coming down from his eyes. He smiled goofily as he stepped in to the office.
"Jiraiya-sensei! Oh, please come in! You're always welcome in here, no matter how busy I am. Please sit down, sensei."
"Aw, shucks, Minato, you don't really have to sacrifice your works just to talk to your good ol' sensei here."
"Actually, sensei, I really need to talk to you."
Jiraiya's eye squinted in puzzlement.
"It's about Naruto."
"What about him?"
"You see, yesterday, I told him about the presence of Kyuubi inside him and the reason of placing it inside his body." Minato recalled the conversation with his forehead on his palm.
"And the worst part is…I didn't tell him that the one who sealed the Kyuubi inside him was me, myself."
Both Jiraiya and Minato's head whipped to the small opening on the door. A bag lay on the floor, the books were scattered across the floor. On the covers were written the name of the owner: Naruto Namikaze.
Minato's sapphire gems broadened as shock and alarm devastated him. He stood and dashed away, chasing over his son. "Naruto!"
Naruto has never been this spirited up this much in his life. He got his first-day grade and wanted his father to be the first one to see it. Well, it was B minus, but that was the best he could try on the first day of school. No one expects a kid to have an A plus on the first day of school.
For some reason, his ears were deaf from the insults and mockery of the villagers. His eyes were blind from their bloodshot glares. His mind was too bright to sense the presence of coldness as he passed the street, a small bag across his shoulder. His mouth was too happy to frown. The only thing he wanted to see and hear was his father's comment. If it came out bad, that won't matter, he will try harder. And if that still not satisfied his father, he will try even harder until his father has to stop him himself.
The people may be mean to him, but many of the ninjas didn't mind too much about him, for they understood the good will of their Hokage. Some of them greeted Naruto and Naruto quickly greeted them and kept running to his father's office. The knob was slightly over his height so he had to raise both hands to turn the knob. That was when he heard is father's voice saying in such a depressed voice, "…the one who sealed the Kyuubi inside him was me, myself." he froze in place.
It took him less than a second to release the knob and dropped his bag in front of the door which was not even half-opened. He ran again, but this time, his expression bore the opposite of the expression he came with. Tears welled in his eyes; his heart ached much too painfully he felt like tripping off his own shoes. He heard a faint voice calling him. Strange…that voice sounded familiar.
It was all a lie, he thought. His father hid the very truth from him. Why? Doesn't he love him? Doesn't he trust him? Doesn't he care about what he feels? What was he thinking of sealing it inside him?
The brain under those spiky blonde locks couldn't bear the questions anymore. It felt like overloading. The only way to throw them is to stop and cry. He sat, leaning against a lonesome tree on the side of the road. He pressed his hands against his eyes, together wiping the flooding tears from his eyes.
A scornful laugh buzzed beside him. "Look! The monster is a crybaby! Man, why should we be afraid of this punk?"
"Yeah, he's just a little kid. He can't even fight!"
"The best thing he can do is to bite."
"Whoa, watch out! Rabies! This kid has rabies! HAHAHAHA!"
"If you're such a monster that means your father is also a monster."
"Yeah! Like father like son, both are monsters, or worse, he's father is worse than a monster!" they laughed maniacally and that was it for Naruto.
Naruto had had enough. Calling him a monster might be bad, but to call his father something worse than a monster was way too far. There was nothing more he wanted than making their eyeballs into key chains. Oh, how lovely that will be!
Naruto's father-like blue orbs flared into hot red. The pupils slanted like a cat's; his fangs sharpened, sharper than a dog's.
The people who insulted him jolted looking at the blonde boy's sudden change of aura. He jumped at them with a war cry, fist tightened and he didn't care that he was just a puny little kid. The guy he was about to attack already flung a fist at him too; hopefully he could break the kid's nose.
Minato came right on time to impede Naruto's out-of-control attack and blocked the bully's fist with his bare hand. He pushed the fist away and saw the terrified faces of the bullies. He could just punish them with whatever jutsu he felt please with, but no, not in this case.
"Call me whatever you like! Call me monster or worse, and I will keep standing still! I will sacrifice my pride, or my job, or even my life for my family!" Minato said out loud, but not so loud it could be considered as shouting. His grasp on Naruto tightened protectively. "I know my son contains a demon inside him, but are you people blind? He's just a kid! He doesn't understand anything yet! Why can't you all see that all he needs is love?"
The bullies were speechless and Minato was desperate; he put Naruto down on the ground. Finally, scurrying away, they screamed, "We're sorry, Hokage-sama!"
Minato didn't want to bring up scandals about him attacking villagers. However, he just made Naruto more secluded from the community. Though he was sure their hatred to his son will cease some day, he just doesn't know when.
He turned to Naruto who faced his back toward him still in frustration. Naruto tried to escape when Minato hugged his shoulders but his father's arms were too strong for him to heave.
"Naruto, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for causing you this trouble."
"It was you who did it?" Naruto asked painfully.
"Why? Don't you love me, Dad?"
"I do. I do love you so much. It's just…I'm afraid…"
Naruto's eyes snapped open wide. The Fourth Hokage was…afraid?
"I'm afraid that you're not ready to be told about the truth behind the sealing of Kyuubi inside you. I'm afraid you might ran away, hated us, your parents. I just don't want that kind of thing to happen. I wish…if that incident never happened…" Minato trailed off, he was lost for words. There was no use to explain any further. He knew he did wrong for Naruto that time, but he did what was crucial for the village.
Shadow crossed over Naruto's features.
"I know as a father, it's my duty to prioritize the life of my family, but as a Hokage I have to prioritize the life of the people. It is confusing, even for me. But when you're bigger, I'm sure you'll understand. You want to be a Hokage too, right?"
Minato felt a downward movement of Naruto's head. He smiled.
Naruto turned and hugged Minato back tightly as he began to wail silently. In a simple soothing and comforting stroke, he calmed down Naruto's unstable emotions.
"I'm sorry, Dad…" Naruto whispered between sniffles.
"No, I'm sorry. I was the one who made you hated by the people. But as I promised: I'll be there for you, my son."
They pulled apart and Minato turned his back to Naruto, his hands were set behind his back as well. "C'mon, I'll carry you home."
Naruto climbed up and leaned forward to his father's broad and warm back. Minato walked slowly, he didn't want to ruin the sweet moment with his son. The sun was red on his left side.
"I left my bag in front of your office, Dad." said Naruto.
Minato's face went stupidly astonished. He laughed out, "Well, I guess I just have to tell someone to get it for you. So how's your first day of school?"
"It's OK. But there's a very good kid at school. He can throw shuriken on the middle of the dart board. I'm not as good as he." Naruto pouted with jealousy. Then he added, "My first grade was B minus."
"B minus? Well, that's quite good for a beginner." Minato giggled, "You can practice with me or your mom. What do you say? Weekend?"
"That's great Dad! But promise! You often cancelled promises we made because of your job!"
"Not this time, I promise. You can eat my ramen if I do."
"Alright, so that's a deal." Naruto held out his pinkie and Minato grasped his pinkie with his own. Naruto's mouth extended into a yawn and he snuggled on Minato's back.
"It's OK, I'll wake you up when we got home." said Minato.
Naruto's eyes opened in shock and a faint gasp escaped from his mouth. He was in his bed, still wearing his casual clothing, his headband, and his shuriken pouch. He sat upright, slinging his feet to the side of his bed. He ruffled his hair in dismay and muttered with his head bowed down, "It was just a dream…" he stared at his bare hands; he was sixteen again.
He lifted his head up and gazed at his side table. To be more precise, to a newly given artifact Tsunade and Jiraiya gave him yesterday afternoon. A framed photograph of him as a bundle of joy, carried by a woman with a blonde man sitting beside her. He knew who the blonde man was. It was the fourth Hokage, his utmost admired Hokage from the history. However, he never thought that his idol was his biological father. That made him…happy, of course, but also sided with shock and confusion. But his mother…that woman was his mother? Of course…she did look like Naruto.
Tsunade and Jiraiya explained to him about the reason of sealing the Kyuubi inside him and that made him almost restless throughout the night. And that thought even interrupted and modified his ramen-filled dream into a dream of his childhood in his current state but with a family.
Their voices, their smile, their touch, their stares, Kushina's cooking…all seemed so real, too real to be a dream. Unconsciously, Naruto dropped a tear and he wiped it immediately. He was an orphan since he was born and after knowing who his parents were, he began dream of and yearn for them. Iruka's affection towards him did felt like a father's but how about his real father's affection? Would it be the same or different? If it's different, will it be stronger or weaker?
Naruto couldn't think of anything, not even a denial of what he didn't know. He looked at the clock on the wall across his bed. Eleven a.m... Usually it made him jumble across the room, shouting frantically of being late to do something or whatever. But this time, since he had no schedule, all he can do was to stare at the hands of the clock blankly.
He stood awkwardly and walked to the bathroom, having a short shower and grabbed the photograph of his family.
Someone knocked on his door. "Naruto? Are you home?"
Gaara came to Konoha for no reason but visiting Naruto, his closest friend. He found out that Naruto left the door unlocked and, with a little guilty feeling, he walked into Naruto's apartment. Before he could say 'hello' Naruto was already not there. The room was left messy. Gaara closed the door and went searching for him.
He spotted two people walking on the streets as he hopped from one roof to another. "Sakura! Hinata!" he called.
The two girls tilted their heads and Gaara landed in front of them.
"Hey, Gaara." Sakura greeted.
"Did you see Naruto?" Gaara went straight to the point he called them.
"No, why? Have you looked in his apartment?"
Gaara shook his head, "He's not there. Would you guys…help me find him?"
Both girls nodded and the three of them began their search for Naruto. Luckily it didn't take them hours to find one bright-blonde boy with black-and-orange jacket. They found him sitting solitarily near a river. Gaara saw a difference in his happy-go-lucky expression. He did see him with saddened expression before but not like that. That one, though, he understood somewhat.
"Naruto…" Gaara called.
Naruto whipped his head around and replied, "Oh, hey, Gaara. Hey, Sakura, Hinata."
"You alright? You don't look like Naruto I remembered fighting against." said Gaara, sitting beside him.
"Nah. I just woke up. I'm just a little groggy, that's all." he said, though you couldn't say it was a lie.
"You woke up at eleven?"
Naruto nodded and the girls sat on the other side of him. Hinata saw that Naruto's lowered hands were holding an object; something square.
"Na-Naruto-kun…that thing you're…holding, um…"
Naruto lazily lifted it up, showing it to the three of his friends. "This? Granny Tsunade and Perv Sage gave it to me yesterday. It's a picture of me and my parents." Naruto expected them to look at him dumbfounded. "Yeah. My father was the Fourth Hokage apparently. I was as much as struck by a thunder as you guys." he added. "They also told me the secret beneath the sealing of Kyuubi. After that, for some reason…I never lose my appetite this much."
A silent. It may go longer if Gaara didn't break it.
"I know, ever since we fought, that we had so many similarities, Naruto. But…I never imagined having that much of similarities. My father was a Kazekage too and he also made the decision to lock Shukaku in my body, with the help of elder Chiyo. I think we're like, what they call it, separated twins."
Naruto buried his chin between his knees as desperation continued to overwhelm him.
"But I think you're much more fortunate than I, Naruto." Gaara added. "At least you get to know that your parents loved you from the depths of their hearts. My father, to tell you the truth, sent my uncle to kill me. My father hated me. Even though I have a family, but they didn't give the love I needed, save for Temari and Kankurou. If my father ever loved me…probably I won't have killed anyone till this second."
Naruto lifted up his head and stared at Gaara, "Thanks, Gaara." he said with a small smile. He stood and arched his back in a morning stretch pose. "OK! That means I have to work even harder! I'm not gonna lose against you, Gaara! Believe it! I'm gonna be a Hokage too, just like my dad!"
Gaara smirked at the return of Naruto's fiery spirit. Hinata and Sakura just smiled. "Hmph, colorful words as always. That Naruto…" Gaara grunted as Naruto grabbed his arm and dragged him to some place.
"C'mon, Gaara! Let's celebrate my knowledge of my parents! We'll eat ramen! I just got paid for a mission, so I'll pay. But you have to pay me back later."
"I'm the Kazekage, I can pay you as easily as saying 'Mama'."
"Cool! That means we can a lot!"
"No, sorry. But I'm happy with my current physique."
"What does that mean?"
"I'm slimmer than you. That simple."
"What? You just found out?"
The blonde man, wherever Naruto went, he will always be watching over him. His father was right, when he was older, Naruto will be able to understand the intention of his father to seal Kyuubi inside him instead of anybody else. Now that he understood, he didn't blame his father but instead be grateful for it. It made him gaining interesting friends such as Gaara who shared the same fate as he.
"I'm gonna be the greatest Hokage!"
"Sure you are."
"Love you, Dad."
"Love you, son."