HEY! My first Naruto fic, and I'm excited and all sorts of nervous. This was inspired by a similar fic, by xxHinaAngelxx, called Reading the Future: Naruto's True Nindo, which i liked a lot. Graciously, she gave me the go ahead. So, let me know what you think. Naruto fics i read a plenty, but to write one . . . never had the courage until now. So without further ado!

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto does.

Knowing the future to what's to come had never been done or known in the Elemental Continent. For this was dangerous for many reasons. The balance would tip, and the wicked would undoubtedly use it for their benefits.

This was the unspoken rule: "Do not meddle with the future. In order to prevent even greater darkness and suffering, even with pure intentions in our hearts, we must never attempt to know the future."

This was a rule that all should follow. . . Even if it was unspoken. Naturally, you were to assume this.

Unfortunately, there was a go-with-the-flow kind of person who quite frankly didn't give a shit for such rules (and why should she? She is a deity) for she was the one in control and knew this would help bring peace to this world, along with her companion. The two were garbed in cloaks, the first in a brilliant scarlet cloak, and the second in one of pitch black.

"Things are going according to plan. All we need to do is stop the time of this world while they're in that dimensional room I created for them," The melodious voice of a woman spoke up from the scarlet cloak.

"It's a good thing he gave his permission for them to know the future," From the pitch black cloak of the second figure, came the voice of a boy— perhaps just emerging into adolescence.

"Yes, our mistress has been anxious for them to know and change the Nation's future, and help that person." The scarlet cloaked woman said.

"Let's hope for the best," The boy in the pitch black cloak said worriedly.

The mysterious woman giggled in a fluid and musical tone. "I'm sure it will! Even with any changes he'll still grow into the man of legends; it's just in his character. This I am sure of!" In her voice, you could practically hear the wide smile.

"But...how will you know his father will even survive Kyuubi's future attack? I'm pretty sure that's something our mistress cannot prevent, along with his mother's death," The cloaked boy said.

The woman merely replied, "This is the Yondaime we are talking about. He can do the near impossible. He has shown that over the years in Konoha. He is Naruto's father for a reason. Not to mention our mistress will most likely have us prevent his mother's death,"

"Then I guess we'll set up the jutsu into motion," The boy sighed.

The woman nodded. "Yes. Let's get this over with."

A bright pure light engulfed the two people as they began the jutsu to change the future for the better.

Chapter One

Rise, Uzumaki Naruto!

It was a relatively relaxing day in Konoha, the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Many of the Leaf's finest ninja were out and about in the battlefield of the Third Great Shinobi War in the Elemental Continent, or out doing missions to show their village's strength. The war had been going on for quite some time. As the war continued and months turned into years, more and more the sadness and heartache that accompanied war seemed to smother the people of the village.

This war was something that one specific shinobi wanted to end. The hatred and blood being shed was tiresome and eroded the spirit— even in the battlefield as he killed his enemies, he still felt pity and sadness for those whose blood was on his hands. He was a kind man, but would do everything in his power to help and protect those whom he held dear to his heart.

This man was better known as Namikaze Minato, the rising star of Konoha's ninja corps.

Right at the moment, the extremely handsome young man of outstanding reputation was on a rare off day, and was running a bit late to meet his girlfriend.

Slowing down as he approached the local ramen bar, Ichiraku Ramen, he jogged into the little place, ducking under the short curtains. Sitting rather impatiently with her arms crossed tightly under a firm and decently sized chest, was the woman of his dreams, Uzumaki Kushina. Glaring at him as soon as their eyes locked, the beautiful young red head started in on him.

"What took you so long Namikaze? We were supposed to meet up here fifteen minutes ago! You had better have a good reason." She growled at him, grumpy from being surrounded by delicious ramen, but unable to have any of it just because she as nice enough to wait for him!

He smiled sheepishly, bringing up a hand to rub the back of his head. "I'm so sorry Kushina, but I had to tell my team that there was no training today— and you know them, so it took a little longer than I had anticipated. Forgive me?" He clapped both hands in front of his face, shoulders stooped forwards in a classic pose of penitence. She frowned at him for a minute, before gustily sighing.

"You're lucky I like you too much to give you what you deserve." She mumbled in mock annoyance, before smiling at him.

Just barely holding back a blush, Minato returned her smile with one of his megawatt grins, that only increased when he saw a blush race across her face before she hid behind her amazingly long fall of red hair, scowling. Finding her embarrassment inexplicably cute, he quickly took the seat next to her and brushed the hair hiding her face from his gaze back behind her ear. Who knew that the fierce girl who declared herself his rival for the Hokage's seat, as well as holding a fervent disdain for his "flakiness", would end up being his one and only.

"Well, shall we get started?" He asked kindly, and still blushing, she agreed. But, as they intertwined their hands, and got ready to order, they were engulfed in a white light, before they and the white light vanished from sight.

At the same time, about ten miles from the village gates, a tall and imposing figure with an equally impressive mane of long spiky white hair in a ponytail, turned to his smaller yet equally as impressive blonde haired companion. The blonde beauty (who the man now known as Jiraiya would attest to being the greatest beauty in all of the Elemental Nations— though to be fair to the red head his student Minato was seeing, she came a very close SECOND) also turned to her partner, wariness in her honey brown eyes.

"You feel that too?" Jiraiya asked, the serious tone coming from the usually jovial and carefree man the blonde beauty— named Senju Tsunade— let her know this was serious.

"Yes," she nodded in agreement, sharp eyes tracking anything unusual in their surroundings, "that power . . . was unlike anything I've ever felt."

No sooner had that last syllable left her rouge red lips, when both she and Jiraiya were engulfed in the white light that claimed Minato and Kushina previously, before they too vanished from sight.

At the EXACT same time at Training Ground Seven back in Konoha, there were three genin who lazed around uncertain with what to do with the free time given to them by their sensei Minato Namikaze.

A spiky black-haired boy yawned loudly, jaws looking as if they would crack if stretched anymore. "This is so boring!" Uchiha Obito complained in a petulant voice. A brunette by the name of Inuzuka Rin, rolled over onto her side from where she lay in the grass next to him, eyeing him tiredly. The corners of her mouth pulled down, making the purple markings on her cheeks stretch a little, as doe brown eyes glared into pitch black ones, hidden behind orange goggles.

"And you don't think we are as well? Give it a rest already." She sighed wearily, tucking a lock of shoulder length chocolate hair behind her ear.

Obito cast puppy dog eyes at the girl (who also happened to be his not-so-secret-crush), and whimpered, "But . . ."

A snort from his other side made his head snap around so fast you could hear the bones crack, glare as hot as a Katon jutsu ready and aimed at his rival. "Got anything to say bastard?"

A handsome young boy sat isolated away from the other two (by choice, thank you) on a large boulder, in the classic pose of a brooding douche— I mean . . . affected young man. Hatake Kakashi, whose no doubt handsome face was half covered by a mask, silver gravity defying hair kept out of his face by the Konoha Headband he wore with pride, turned his head enough for Obito to make out the pure disdain in the cobalt eye. "You should keep quiet dobe." He said in a monotone voice.

"Why you—! Say that to my face!" Obito spat, temper flaring at the outright disrespect coming from the smug silver-haired boy. Just as he was about to lunge for the throat of his teammate, they were engulfed and taken by the white light.

Now, it would be up to these seven individuals to change the future . . . for better . . . or for worse.

This narrator just wonders . . . how has nobody witnessed this?!



"Dobe get off me!"

"You! Get! Off!"

"Damn! Kushina-koi you alright?"

"Yeah— hey! Jiraiya, move. Your. Hands."

Eventually the ragtag group disentangled themselves from each other. Confused, they assessed their situation. They, for some strange reason, had been taken from Konoha, and dumped into a large white room. The room was decorated in whites and spring colors. There were four doors, leading to other rooms but the doors were closed. The walls of the room were a pristine white with green and gold detailing, like vines crawling up the corners to the ceiling. In the middle of the room was a large ivory couch that curved into a half circle, with lemon chiffon and vanilla pillows. In the middle of the couch was an oak wood coffee table with a cinnamon vase holding yellow and pink roses and a remote control. To the right was a decent-sized kitchen. On the wall directly across from them were a fire place and a flat screen— their TVs were still rather large boxes. There were no windows.

"What the hell?" Kushina aptly simplified everyone else's thoughts into that one blunt statement.

"Well, see, it worked! And you weren't a believer, were you silly!"

"I never said I didn't believe, don't put words in my mouth!"

Whirling around, the Konoha group faced the two new strangers that suddenly entered the room. One was a small figure in a scarlet red cloak, with— they noticed with shock— two large storm gray wings folded up behind her back, the other figure in an ebony cloak loomed over the first figure.

The figure in the scarlet cloak spoke up, identifying herself as the female that spoke first. "Well, I'm so glad to see you all here, you really have no idea. You lucky people are being given a little something special."

"I won't trust the words of a stranger, especially one whose face is hidden from me. Identify yourself!" Tsunade barked, honey eyes narrowed yet blazing.

"Calm down, fine!" The woman said with mirth in her voice. She took hold of her hood and pushed it back, revealing her face. A lovely woman perhaps in her late teens or early twenties stood before them. Her hair was a deep navy blue and gently wavy, surrounding a cherubic yet mature face. A hair band pushed back her hair from her face, where two sets of amethyst eyes looked directly at the group, curiosity glinting in their depths. A lovely Cupid 's bow mouth was curved into a smile. Turning to her still-cloaked companion, she spoke, voice musical and happy.

"Well, now yours. They won't listen to a thing we say if you insist on being antisocial."

The other figure grunted. "Keep babbling on and they'll tune you out." The voice was smooth and male, if still rather high, indicating that he was even younger than the girl.

He too pushed back his hood, revealing a young yet handsome face belonging to someone in their mid-teens. The boy's hair was like Minato's excluding the red and black highlights. His eyes which had a slit pupil were the yellow of a hawk, showing some nervousness, but never wavering from the group. The left corner of his mouth was being chewed on by a lengthy canine.

"Nice to meet you, name's Anazawa Tohru." The boy drawled, smiling at them.

"And my name is Takigawa Mitsuki!" the bubbly raven beauty chirped.

"May I ask why we're here?" Minato was the first to speak up, voice calm and warm.

"You all have an important role in the future. Some more than others, but you'll figure that out. Though in the end things worked out fine, a lot of pain and suffering could have been avoided. It was too cliché for our tastes so we wanted to mix things up, and help our favorite hero, who will bring peace to your world. And with your help, by reading the events of the future, we can do that." Mitsuki boldly declared.

Though the group were confused, their facial expressions remained neutral and distantly polite— if these people had the power to bring them here, wherever here was, then it's best not to anger them needlessly.

"Whether you believe or not is your choice. However, you're here, so might as well not waste it." Grinning at them, Tohru turned to Minato, and from his cloak procured a large book. The book was leather bound, with the title printed in large, glossy gold lettering over the orange front. Handing it Minato, he took his place by his companion's side once more.

"Naruto: Genesis of the Nindo." Minato read aloud for the rest to hear. Huh. Naruto, like the character in Jiraiya-sensei's book? Looking at the Toad Sage, he could see the man had reached the same conclusion. Turning around to the group, they all had a silent conversation, looking into each other's eyes. Jiraiya was the spokesperson this time, turning to speak to the two odd beings.

"We accept, and thank you humbly for this." He said, straight to the point. Tohru and Mitsuki smiled.

"Ah, one last thing!" Mitsuki said, pointing to the flat screen.

"That is for visual effect every now and then, you'll be glad for it. Whenever a point comes into the story where you can watch or see something specific, just take the remote and press the large button in the center. OK?"

With that, Mitsuki and her companion faded away, both of them silently wishing the group from Konoha the best of luck.

The group still stood around even after the two had left. Obito, deciding to be the one to break the stupor, clapped his hands together, as if he was trying to dispel bad energy.

"Well, come on people! To the ridiculously comfy looking couch!" he cried, already making a beeline straight for it. Most of the others chuckled, before they all followed his lead. Rin, Kakashi and Obito took up the right side of the couch, Minato and Kushina took the right, with Tsunade and Jiraiya in the middle.

"Oooohhh, it is comfy." Jiraiya sighed happily, sinking into the cushions of the couch.

"I know." Obito said in complete agreement, following the sannin's lead. Rin and Tsunade hit their respective couch mate's upside the head, scolding them.

Ignoring the horseplay, Minato asked, "Who wants to go first?"

Kushina extended her hand for the book, fingers wiggling. "Me!"

Smiling at her, he gave her the book, chuckling when she quickly opened the book to the first page.

Clearing her throat she began, "Naruto: Genesis of the Nindo.

It is said, that one decision can change it all. One small, inconsequential act, has the potential to rewrite the future. Uzumaki Naruto did not care about that at all.

"Uzumaki? Kushina-san, there's a relative of yours out there somewhere?" Kakashi asked, brows furrowed the tiniest bit.

"No, I'm the only Uzumaki left far as I know. At least the only one who still carries the name." Kushina said, also thinking about this.

"Since this is the future, then that's most likely your son Kushina." Tsunade informed her, a small smile at the thought of a mini-Kushina wreaking havoc around Konoha.

"If that's so, then why did he take my surname, and not the father's?" Kushina asked, half to herself.

Minato wondered the same thing, only slightly different.

His name is Uzumaki, but where am I? Who is the father? He thought anxiously. Jiraiya, seeing his student's expression, caught Minato's eye and smiled reassuringly, getting a soft smile of gratitude back.

Pushing the questions back for later, Kushina read on.

Whoever out there that wanted to analyze every choice and acted like every single one mattered, good for them. Sitting atop the head of the Fourth Hokage,

"So sensei either kicked the bucket or threw in the towel." Jiraiya said, smirking when Tsunade lightly punched his shoulder.

Here's hoping it's me! Minato thought, focusing back on the story.

The eleven year old had the best view of the village. Down there the civilians were heading home or getting last minute dinner supplies. He snorted, seeing how happy and friendly they were to each other. However, he had other things to think about. Like who the hell signed him up for the Genin Exam. This was his second one taken, and the second one failed.

"He's about as dumb as you Obito." Kakashi snorted. Both Obito and the irate Kushina loomed over the unfortunate boy.

"What was that?" they growled out simultaneously. Kakashi scowled but didn't relent, glaring right back at them.

"Enough! Kakashi, quit it with the insults! Kushina, Obito, sit down." Tsunade's world as final, and the others knew better than to don anything else but comply.

Naruto smirked. 'Suckers.' He thought vindictively.

"What?" they all said, confused.

"Shut up and let me read, and you can get the answer to your question, -ttebane!" Kushina pointed out, then scowled when she realized she had slipped up with her verbal tic. Glaring at the sniggering forms of everyone, especially Minato, she continued reading with a huff.

The first time he had taken it, he knew full well that he would fail, but he thought it's be a good idea to see the types of things that would be on it anyway.

Tsunade nodded approvingly. "Kids got good sense, even I wouldn't have thought of doing a recon on the Genin Exam."

Jiraiya snorted. "You didn't need to Hime you passed with ease. I agree though. Kid's doing you proud, eh Kushina?"

The Uzumaki princess didn't answer, but her tender smile was enough answer for everybody as they smiled at the soft expression on her face.

From the talks he had overheard from the older kids, back when he first started, the test didn't change too much. It was true; this second test was a basic copy of the first, give or takes a few extra things. However, this second time, he figured one of the Academy teachers who hated his guts signed him up in hopes that failing a second time would depress him so much that he would drop out of the Ninja Academy.

No such luck. Say whatever you want about Uzumaki Naruto, but he was nothing if not determined(stubborn).

"Sounds like you Kushina." Minato said warmly, amused at the boy's attitude.

Kushina snorted, tossing her head proudly. "Damn right, that's what Uzumaki's are all about, so it goes without saying my son would feel the same way!" The others laughed at her enthusiasm and obvious pride in her son.

He had purposely failed the exams, since he had no desire to be teamed up with some older punks who thought they would be better than him simply due to being older. Standing up, Naruto cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, "Nice try JERKS! I'll never give up, haven't you figured that out yet!? I'm not going to stop 'til I'm the best shinobi Konoha has ever churned out!"

Jiraiya snorted, laughing raucously. "That's Uzumaki Kushina to a 'T'." The others followed suit in his laughter, even Kakashi, though he only gave a short chuckle.

Kushina, wiping away a tear from her eyes from laughing so hard, took a couple deep breaths before continuing.

"Is that what you want to be? To be the best?" A voice came from behind him.

The man had barely started his sentence when Naruto whirled around, all emotion now gone from his face as he held a kunai that came from his jacket sleeve in his right hand. He faced a man in a ragged, torn dark brown cloak, the hood covering up to his nose, so all he could see was the man's mouth.

"Who the hell is that?!" Obito demanded, as the others looked worried. Kushina shook her head, also nervous.

"Give the kid props on his reaction time." Minato said, hoping to dispel some of the nervousness from his girlfriend's features. Seeing her face lighten up, he breathed a quiet sigh of relief.

The stranger raised his hands up, to show he meant no harm.

"You make it a habit of just popping up unexpectedly for total strangers?" Naruto asked, still keeping a neutral expression.

"Only for the important ones." The mystery man chuckled, slowly lowering his hands back to his sides.

"What's your business with me, stranger?" Naruto hadn't relaxed out of his defensive position, unlike the man before him.

"Good, you aren't too trusting are you?" The man smiled at him. Continuing on, he replied, "I just want to know if that's truly what you want, and why?"

"And I should just . . . tell you?" Naruto looked incredulously at the man. Who the hell did this guy think he is? As if he would be stupid enough to just start talking freely to a mysterious man like this dude!

Kushina nodded her head. "Good boy." She said firmly.

"This guy obviously doesn't know how to deal with Uzumaki's." Tsunade snorted, laughing when Kushina mock glared at her.

"That mystery guy is pretty stupid." Kakashi agreed.

"Humor me, Naruto. I won't hurt you, you have my word, and my word once given, cannot be broken." The man said with so much sincerity, that Naruto softened a little against him. Sighing heavily, but still keeping his kunai, he put all his weight on his right leg and crossed his arms loosely.

"Okay . . . it's just as I said. I want to be the best shinobi. I want to surpass all before me, even all the Hokages. There's nothing more to it." Naruto said simply.

"Does that mean you yourself want to be Hokage?" The cloaked man asked.

"If he answers yes, then he's your own carbon copy Kushina!" Obito cried excitedly.

"I'm curious as well." Minato said, smiling at the red head. Blushing at the charm that just seemed to ooze from her blonde boyfriend, she continued on.

"NO." Naruto said bluntly.

"That was unexpected." Jiraiya mumbled a little shocked.

"I know it just doesn't seem to fit right?" Rin agreed, twirling a short lock of hair around her finger. "With all that determination and he said he wanted to be the best. Aren't Hokages the best?"

"Well there's also a case like the Sannin." Minato pointed out. "Easily all three are Kage level, but two of them don't want to be Hokage, and the other is just no."

"Still, he seems so much like me, and I wanted to be Hokage at his age." Kushina said, contemplating the enigma her son seemed to be.

"That was quick. Now onto the second part of my question: why?" the man pressed.

"Why do I want to be the best, or why do I not want to be Hokage?" Naruto countered.

"Those two questions sort of blend with each other don't they?" the man noted.

Naruto snorted, but answered anyway. "To protect that which is most precious to me, I need to become strong. For those who acknowledge me and care for me, I'll protect them with my life, and protect the village they love and live in. But I have neither the desire, nor the obligation to go any further than that. I only want to love them, not the rest of those assholes down there. I have a rough understanding of what Hokage entails." Images of his precious people drifted through his thoughts. The Ichiraku's, Iruka-sensei, The Sandaime, and his best friend in the whole entire world . . .

"Why am I not mentioned?" Kushina asked, troubled. They all looked at each other, uneasy with this. Rin, unable to bear the look of sadness on the usually feisty woman's face, directed their attention elsewhere.

"I'm sure there's an explanation, but—we just have to keep reading" Rin said sympathetically.

Here he paused, and turned his head to look at the village below them, stained orange and red from the sunset. As he spoke again, he continued to look at the village.

"The Hokage is responsible for everything in this village. It's his responsibility to protect everyone here, and to make sure they are safe and happy with their village. He tends to the finances of this village, the rules, the daily events, everything. He controls every single ninja who bears a leaf headband, and basically directs when they live and die. This job is not for the faint of heart, and only for someone who loves this village deeply." Naruto's voice was low, but the man could hear him clearly.

He turned back to the man now, a disinterested expression on his face.

Minato shook his head. "That's better than a 'rough understanding.' This kid has the position of Hokage down pretty well." Jiraiya nodded, looking impressed.

Obito looked nervously at Minato. "And that's the job you want sensei? It seems too much . . ."

Minato nodded with a happy smile on his face as he was reminded of the village he loved. "Yes. It seems like a lot, and it is, but if you love something enough you do whatever it takes." He said resolutely.

"Well, the young Uzumaki doesn't seem to hold your fervor. Let's find out why." Jiraya said, directing Kushina to keep reading.

"This village is deserving of neither my love, nor my attention, beyond what my duties as shinobi will entail. I'm not fit for the position of Hokage." Naruto said, shrugging.

The man nodded. "I wouldn't be so sure, but let's drop the subject for now. Does that mean you hate this village?"

Naruto shook his head. "That's too predictable! On the contrary, I like the village. It's one of the most beautiful and lively hidden villages of them all right? I just dislike the villagers."

"What have the villagers been doing to my son?" Kushina asked suspiciously, an edge in her voice. Sensing her temper rising, Minato pulled her closer to him, her form resting on his as he held her close. Kushina looked at him, grateful, and Minato smiled. Returning her attention to the book, she took a deep breath.

"Naruto, I've seen how your life has been in this village." The man said with sadness in his voice. "They ostracize you, made you into an outcast, and hate you for something totally outside of your control. Hell, you were too young to even remember it."

. . . .

. . . .

"WHAT THE HELL?!" Kushina roared, struggling against Minato's restrictive grip on her. Fury erupted inside her like a volcano, seeking to crush any threats to her future baby's happiness. "What has the village become in the future?! How DARE they treat my son like that!"

"What the hell is going on in the future?" Tsunade growled, angered by their treatment of the little boy. "He's just a child!"

Jiraiya frowned, working through possible scenarios, though none of them seemed likely. Rather, there was one . . . but he didn't want to even consider it . . .

Naruto's guard went back up again, but he never returned to his defensive pose.

"So you know about the mobs that tried to hurt me, the drunks that would hit me when they saw me? Do you know of the curses and spitting? The isolation? You're just a stalker aren't you?" Naruto asked, chuckling in dark amusement.

The book trembled violently in Kushina's shaking grip, too shocked to notice she was in danger of ripping it. She blinked rapidly, the sudden dryness a bother to her, as well as the dryness of her mouth.

Minato looked at her with a subtle alarm. He reached towards her slowly, unsure. "Kushina-koi . . ."

She didn't acknowledge his voice, but after a minute or two she licked her lips, and when she spoke her voice shook with suppressed emotion. "Where am I? How could I let such things happen to my child . . . Just what the hell kind of mother did I turn out to be?" tears spilled out from violet eyes clouded with misery. Minato took the book and threw it behind him to Jiraiya, before gathering Kushina close to him and cuddling her.

"I'm sure there is a perfectly good explanation for ALL of this. We just have to keep reading, and remember that the purpose of us reading this is to be able to change things, for the better." Minato said, soothingly yet firmly to the distraught woman in his arms. She made no reply, but she sniffled and nodded her head. Wiping away the tears from her face.

Deciding that was as good as it was going to get, he turned to Jiraiya and motioned for the man to pick up where Kushina left off.

Jiraiya thumbed through the pages until he found the last place they were on, and with a last sad look at the Uzumaki princess, read on.

The cloaked man nodded, sadness even heavier in his voice. "I do. But you turned out wonderfully despite all of that. You really are amazing Naruto."

Naruto shot the man a small smile. "Flattery gets you nowhere stranger. Why did you need to know all that? For that matter, why do you know so much about me?"

The man smiled, straightening up from his saddened slump. "Like I said, I've seen your life. You are an important player in the future Naruto. Even now, your choices are important. When I was first assigned the task of scouting you, I thought you would be a lot worse off with the condemnation of the village. How could I expect a child such as you to accomplish so much? But then I found out your secret. You had a little help from that best friend of yours huh?"

Naruto shifted, now moving into a vaguely threatening offensive position. "I'd prefer if we kept to safer topic, stranger." His tone darkened on the last word, reminding the man of his place.

Obito couldn't help it, he chuckled. When he was met with stares of either confusion or irritation, he shrunk in on himself a little.

"What's funny about this dobe?" Kakashi asked harshly, thinking Obito was just being an idiot again. By the look on Rin's face, so did she, and that hurt him more than anything, but he soldiered on.

"It's just, he seems pretty protective huh? One might say almost possessive?" he chuckled weakly. Mentally, he hoped this would be an opportunity to lighten the mood a little.

Jiraiya, sensing where Obito was going with this, played along. "Yeah, for an eleven year-old he sure is." Though Tsunade was frowning at the pervert sage's leer, she sensed that this was going somewhere, and remained quiet.

"He had to get it from somewhere. Are we getting some insight into you two's relationship? Poor Minato-sensei." Obito simpered, grinning widely at his sensei and Kushina.

The couple's eyes widened and a massive blush spread across both their faces. As they spluttered for an answer, the others laughed with lighter hearts. Eventually they caught on to Obito's intention, and sent warm smiles to the young outcast Uchiha.

The man didn't speak for a moment, for he was too caught up in Naruto's eyes. Those blue eyes had quickly changed from the warmth and openness of the sky and ocean, to cold and flinty, not giving an inch. Those eyes seemed to examine his whole being, like the scales of the Shinigami. He was reminded of another blonde shinobi, one of the strongest shinobi to have ever lived in the ninja world, whose enemies were treated to eyes like that— just as cold . . . as calculating . . . as deadly.

Jiraiya and Tsunade's eyes widened. 'This seems like a clue.' They both thought, giving each other significant glances.

"Naruto, I gave you my word, but perhaps I was remiss in it? I said I wouldn't hurt you. That includes anything or anyone precious to you, doesn't it? I can tell, that to hurt her would hurt you." The man said with a soothing tone of voice, hoping to get the young boy before him to relax again.

Naruto's eyes widened infinitesimally, as he mentally cursed himself. He should have known his response would garner the man's surprise. He had ended up putting more attention on her, instead of the opposite like he was trying to do. He'd have to remember to curb his response to her. Still . . . he eyed the man. He had given his word.

He relaxed again, and shot the man a grin. "Sorry, can't be too careful."

The man nodded. "I know your true intentions now, and I cannot wait to see this story unfold. I'll be in the shadows, young Uzumaki, and will aid you along the way on your path to greatness when it is needed. Farewell." He turned around and walked into the shadows, disappearing.

Naruto, though he could not see the man, still replied. "Farewell, stranger." He made to follow the same direction back home, before stopping and cursing. "Damn! I never got his name. Probably wouldn't have given me it anyway, would have ruined the 'mystery'." He muttered in annoyance. Shaking the thoughts away, he returned back to his course and headed home.

"Crap, I wanted to know." Kakashi muttered mutinously, and then stiffened when he realized he said it out loud. Ignoring the others curious and surprised stares, he waited for Jiraiya to start.

Though the Sandaime had given Naruto an apartment of his own when the boy turned five (and was subsequently thrown bodily out of the orphanage by the seemingly kind old orphanage matron), he hadn't stayed there for more than a few hours since he was six. His new unofficial residence was towards the back of Konoha, in the more woodsy area, near the clan compounds, and where neighbors were spaced far apart with lots of acreage in their backyards.

He stopped in front of a simple two-story house, which really wasn't a simple house at all. The place screamed, "home and comfort." Saffron with a russet roof, and vines of wildflowers crawling up the side of the house, Naruto finally allowed his body to relax, taken in by the peace of the home.

It wasn't his, not totally anyway. It belonged at first to a fierce, proud woman named Kuroshio Nami. He affectionately remembered her as 'Nami-baba.' However she had passed away about two years prior, and the current owner was his best friend, and his precious person.

The level of interest in the room raised several notches at the way the boy phrased this.

Rin wiggled in place on the sofa. "I think we get to meet Naruto-chan's crush!" she squealed, excited. Kushina, pushing back her dark mood, leaned forward in interest, totally missing Minato's look of relief and adoration directed at her.

The door of the home opened, revealing the person of his thoughts. Kuroshio Katsu stood illuminated by the lights from inside the house, orange peel-colored hair like flames as she halted. Poppy gold eyes locked with ocean/sky blue eyes for a few moments, the only sound in the world his heartbeat. She grinned and gave him a two-finger salute, jumping over the steps to the ground below.

"I like her already." Kushina stated firmly, soft smile on her face.

"Where have you been? I was getting worried, but I couldn't leave since I was cooking dinner!" she sighed tiredly, opening the wooden picket fence gate as he walked to meet her halfway. "Well, I was held up." Coming to his side, Katsu turned around to stand side by side—even though she was shorter by a few inches— as he slung an arm around her small shoulders.

"Was it villagers?" He glanced down to see large gold eyes look at him sharply. Smiling he shook his head. "Nah, just some otherworldly dude with a God-complex."

Katsu opened her mouth to say something, but thought better of it and instead went, "Ok. Dinner will have to be rushed tonight, remember we have that extra lesson with Juu-sensei at 8:30? So that'll be 45 minutes to eat and get there."

Naruto snorted, rolling his eyes as he tucked her into his side a little closer. "The perfect end to my day." He quipped, smiling softly at her answering snort.

Jiraiya set the book down on the coffee table, sighing heavily. He dragged a large hand down his face in exhaustion.

Kushina finally straightened up, sending Minato a look to convey she was alright, as his arms hovered around her.

"We have to keep reading. I need to know where the fuck I am in all this. I just can't see myself allowing my son to have such a horrible future." Her voice was quiet, but filled with resolve and determination.

Minato agreed. "There's a lot of question that need answering, and the next chapter will probably clear things up for us a bit." The others agreed, until Tsunade spoke up.

"Look at the screen." Her own honey eyes were already trained on it, and the others saw what she was seeing. A message was displayed on the screen, though nobody knew how it turned on.

A Freebie!

You have the option of choosing whether or not,

You wish to see what Naruto and Katsu look like.

Under the message were two options: Yes or No.

"Well of course we want to see them!" Rin shrieked, diving for the remote and quickly pressing yes. The screen dissolved into rainbow colored pixels, gently floating around, before coming back together and forming the pictures of the two children in a millisecond.

Jiraiya gasped, and then whooped.

Tsunade choked out a hysterical laugh.

The lens of Obito's glasses— when did he put those on? — broke.

Kakashi quietly swore in awe.

Rin squealed, in happiness or shock, this narrator cannot quite tell.

Minato whooped getting up from the couch to jump up and down with Jiraiya.

Kushina made a strangled sound, before blushing massively.

Naruto— her beautiful son— was the carbon copy of her boyfriend, Namikaze Minato. Oh, the face was hers, but even then there was a mix of Minato in there as well. The same spiky and uncontrollable blonde locks covered his head, sans the jaw length bangs Minato sported. The same intensely blue eyes set into an adorable face (she could tell he would be extremely handsome, like his father, when he was older). Same tanned complexion on his skin. And the grin— so large his canines showed— was the perfect mix of hers and Minato's. The only thing different were the three whisker marks on each cheek. She wondered how he got those. He stood at about 4 feet 9 inches, only a little under average height. His head was held straight up, shoulders sloped back elegantly. He stood, challenging the world. Still, what was with the kill-me-orange jumpsuit?

Kushina smiled, tears filling her eyes again, but this time they were tears of happiness. "Isn't he beautiful?" She felt familiar arms surrounding her, and trembling breath by her ear. Minato had suddenly lost his voice, so he settled for nodding.

"Congratulations you two! I knew you had learned something from your old sensei Minato my boy!" Jiraiya shot the younger man thumbs up, a dirty blush covering his face. That same face soon met the floor as Tsunade decided enough was enough. Blowing on her knuckles, she turned towards Kushina and Minato, smiling brightly.

"He's the best of both of you." She said warmly.

Team Minato— well, Rin and Obito anyways— were besides themselves, cheering loudly and jumping around the room. Kakashi just gave a quiet but heartfelt word of congratulations, and somehow it meant just as much as Rin and Obito's obvious glee.

Rin quickly returned her attention to the screen, pointing at it. "His taste in women comes from sensei then!" she declared, a wicked grin on her eyes. The statement reminded them that there was another person on the screen, and they crowded closer to see the girl that had so obviously captured the Uzumaki boy's heart.

Jiraiya whistled. "You're right about that Rin."

The others nodded, in complete agreement— a slim figure, with curves already making an early hint on her body, flowed up into a slender neck and a cute face. Large, expressive gold eyes filled with warmth and good humor, looked straight at them, and scrunched up by her grin. Her pink lips were also stretched into a large grin, though not as large as Naruto's. Her shockingly orange hair waved and curled down her back, spilling across her shoulders, and her bangs swept messily (yet cutely, they noted) into her eyes. She wore a loose mid-thigh length black dress, and orange pants that closed in under knee, with black, orange, and red Chinese slippers. Her wrists were adorned with multiple bracelets, and she wore a simple black necklace with a gold coin around her neck.

"Our boy has good taste." Minato said, bumping shoulders with Kushina. She grinned back at him.