A/N: (01 June 2012) Something to keep in mind, folks, is that the original version of this story was deleted, a separate updated version was posted, and now the original story was restored. However, this restored fic is revised to ensure its safety and I deleted the other separate version. If you've read this before, it will be slightly different.
I also want to say that this story is not breaking any site rules. I originally revised it months ago so that it wouldn't and, like I said, I have once again revised it this evening to avoid any trouble. I kindly ask no one report it again, as I have done more than enough to ensure this story is sufficient.
A special thank you to the team here at FF for restoring the original version. I appreciate the gesture very much!
By S. Muffin
Kushina is fifteen years of age when she gets her first haircut in over three years. She is hesitant when she makes the appointment at the salon, secretly and unreasonably afraid that any slight change to her appearance will cause a certain blond-haired, blue-eyed shinobi to lose interest in her, so when it comes time for the hair dresser to ask her what she would like done, Kushina (threateningly) asks her for a simple trim.
Because Jiraiya is not only his sensei, but a respected and strongly admired shinobi of Konohagakure as well, Minato often turns to the Sannin whenever he is in need of advice. Unfortunately, he learns the hard way never to take Jiraiya's advice regarding women, because the moment sixteen-year-old Minato calls Kushina a "sexy babe," his life flashes before his eyes many, many, many times.
For their first proper date, Minato takes Kushina to Ichiraku Ramen, knowing full well that it's her restaurant of choice, and what better way to please one's new girlfriend by treating her to her favorite dish? Eventually, though, he begins to regret this decision, for it is also where their second, third, fourth, and fifth dates take place before he finally manages to persuade her to go somewhere else.
Their first kiss is sweet and innocent and everything Kushina has always dreamed it would be, but it is also spontaneous and unexpected, thus catching the rambunctious kunoichi completely off guard. After the fact, once she fully realizes what they've done, Kushina abruptly pushes Minato to the ground in embarrassment while her cheeks turn a shade of red that almost competes with the color of her hair. As he falls, Minato demands, "What was that for!" to which Kushina responds by shouting, "You don't, like, kiss a girl without warning her first, y'know!"
Much to Minato's relief, their second kiss turns out much better than the first, and this time when they pull apart Kushina offers him a brilliant smile in place of a shove.
Being the soft-spoken and placid person that he is, for someone to successfully ruffle Minato's feathers would normally require great effort on his or her part. But whenever he sees Kushina within three feet of an Uchiha male, his blood instantly begins to boil with overprotective rage.
After almost four years of dating Konoha's Yellow Flash, Kushina is one day criticized for her "dependency" on Minato by a know-it-all chuunin that is notorious for sticking his nose into everyone's business. In response, Kushina casually informs her accuser that, if it weren't for Minato, she would have no qualms about "beating you to, like, a bloody pulp, jackass!" Knowing how to react in such situations is only one of the many reasons why Kushina is grateful to have someone like Minato as her partner; his patience, intelligence, and maturity cancel out her stubborn, brash, and violent tendencies.
Kushina is fiercely independent, but without Minato by her side she just isn't whole; she is merely half.
Minato also finds a sense of balance in his relationship with Kushina. She helps him break out of his shell, inspires him to be daring and adventurous and free-spirited like she is, and, on occasion, she also convinces him to help her pull a prank or two on the Sandaime.
When Kushina teaches Minato the Uzumaki clan's renowned sealing techniques, he realizes then that she would actually make an amazing sensei. Despite her short temper and characteristic impatience, her detailed instructions and virtually flawless methods of explanation help him master all of the techniques within forty-eight hours.
The night before his inauguration as Yondaime Hokage, Minato proposes; Kushina joyfully, tearfully, and wholeheartedly accepts.
As she watches him stand before a massive crowd of villagers, made up of both shinobi and civilians alike, while he swears to protect all of Konohagakure as the Yondaime Hokage, Kushina could not be any more proud of Minato and all that he has worked so hard to achieve.
Minato, on the other hand, firmly believes in the well-known saying that behind every great man is an even greater woman. He knows perfectly well, without a fraction of doubt in his mind, that the only reason he is even able to address the village as the Hokage today is because of Kushina's undying love and support. She continuously pushes him to reach past his limits, motivating him to be the very best he could be and so much more, because being Hokage is not just his dream alone; it was once hers, too. And now, it can be theirs together.
Minato thinks that Kushina is the most beautiful woman he has ever laid eyes on, so on the day of their wedding he vows to remind her of that fact every single day as long as they both shall live.
While the ceremony is both romantic and breathtakingly beautiful, their wedding is actually only the second best moment of both Minato and Kushina's lives.
The best moment of their lives occurs nearly two and a half years later, when Naruto is born.
Over the course of their relationship, Minato gives Kushina three incredibly valuable gifts: a diamond hairclip to be worn on special occasions, a large and lovely home to share their lives in, and, of course, a beautiful, healthy baby boy. In turn, Kushina gives Minato the robe he wears once he becomes Hokage that she hand-sews herself, his original set of Flying Thunder God Kunai crafted from genuine silver, and, of course, a beautiful, healthy baby boy.
Minato also teaches Kushina three incredibly valuable lessons: the knowledge that one never has to walk through life alone, the importance of self-worth and loving oneself before loving anyone else, and that even tomatoes can be delicious when seasoned just right. In turn, Kushina teaches Minato to find something to laugh about every single day, the importance of hard work and following one's dreams, and the technique that will ultimately save their son's life.
Just as he is about to take his final breath, Minato leans forward and whispers, "I love you," in Kushina's ear.
When Kushina closes her eyes for the last time, she smiles and tells Minato that she loves him, too.