It was the worst tragedy in Konoha history. The Kyuubi, which had safely been contained in Kushina Uzumaki, had been released by an unknown assailant. It went on a rampage and was only stopped by the brave sacrifice of the recently instated Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze.
But this isn't about the sacrifice of the Fourth and his wife. Nor is it truly about their precious son Naruto, who was used as the container for the Fox and it's dark chakra.
No, this story is about a pair of twins that would shape the world. And their names...were Anko and Mochi Mitarashi, or as their parents affectionately called them before being killed by the Fox, the Dango twins.
Two years before the fox attacked Konoha, Orochimaru was revealed to be a traitor and fled. But not before condemning his apprentice (and her sister by extension) to the dark rumor mongers of the village. Anko had often switched places with her twin, and Orochimaru never once saw through the deception.
Only one chunin could ever tell the two apart, and her name was Kushina. It was through her efforts that neither of the twins died by their own hand. She even took Mochi on as an apprentice.
But now, we must get back to the real story.
Mochi could barely see past her tears. Her sempai and favorite teacher was dead. Dead because someone was idiotic enough to unleash the thing she kept sealed inside of her. Oh yes, Mochi knew that Kushina had the Kyuubi, but after she saved her and Anko, she just didn't care.
So to repay that debt, she would take in Kushina's son.
When she entered the room, it took a good split second to realize what she was seeing before she killed the nurse in a fit of rage. The woman charged with insuring baby Naruto was alright after the sealing process...was trying to smother the boy instead!
Someone must have blabbed about his status. Despite Minato's intention, there was little chance Naruto would ever be treated right by the villagers after the Kyuubi had attacked. She had seen how they reacted to her, thinking she was Anko. She would never allow Naruto to go through that pain.
She grabbed him and fled to the seal portal that Kushina had shown her once, when she learned she was pregnant. She trusted Mochi enough to key her into the seal wards around it.
Before the Hokage or the ANBU could learn what she had done, she activated the seal and vanished.
It would take an entire day before anyone realized that Naruto was missing, and a week for someone to finally investigate where he had gone. Only Anko knew where the brat was, and she wasn't talking.
Daichi and Shizuka Uzumaki held their grandson in sadness. While they were grateful Mochi had enough sense to take him to where he would be loved, they were saddened that it had come to the point where Mochi had to kidnap him in order to save him.
Kushina had been so excited to learn she was pregnant with her first child. But now she would never have a chance to hold her son.
Mochi was planning to return to the village, but Shizuka stopped her.
"You might as well stay a while, at least until the uproar dies down. I'll lend you a hawk so you can send your sister word of where you've gone."
Mochi nodded. If she appeared now after kidnapping Naruto, she might well be labeled a traitor and forced to reveal his location. Besides, her bond with Anko was strong enough to let her sister know she was safe.
For the next three years, she stayed in the secret village which contained all that was left of the Whirlpool shinobi. After the Mizukage tried to destroy the village, the Uzumaki clan managed to save most of the shinobi forces and a good portion of the civilians with a seal that was still in the prototype stages. Those that died were remembered for their courageous actions.
In an effort to protect the survivors, the Uzumaki clan had sent Kushina and a number of their shinobi forces to Konoha to promote a peaceful treaty. Every so often they would exchange genin and chunin to strengthen their forces.
Mochi was one of the chunin selected for that exchange, while Anko remained in the Leaf. Officially, Mochi was a Leaf jounin, but in reality she was a Whirlpool Special Jounin.
The civilians who tried to live outside the village had started to mysteriously die off by shinobi hands, which was why the new Hidden Village had stopped sending shinobi out. After Kushina's death, they had stopped communicating altogether. Only select merchants were allowed in and out, and even they had seals that made it impossible for them to speak of where the village was.
When Naruto was four, Mochi took him on a special trip to Konoha, with his grandparents blessing. No one would know who they were, or that Naruto was the Kyuubi jinchuriki.
Sarutobi sighed heavily. Four years ago, he had been forced to retake the position of Hokage, and had learned that mere hours before that, Naruto was kidnapped. The nurse in charge had been murdered by a precisely thrown kunai, and the kidnapper had successfully left the village without a trace. The most he could hope for was they hadn't killed the boy.
Suddenly someone knocked on the door.
"Sir, there's a Redpool delegate here to see you."
Interest perked, Sarutobi allowed them in. Redpool was the name the Whirlpool village had taken in an effort to protect their village from annihilation.
The woman who walked in had him staring, but it was the child beside her that made his heart stop. The blond hair and blue eyes that haunted him every day since Naruto was taken...was staring right at him.
"Redpool Special Jounin delegate Mochi Mitarashi, reporting. Say hi brat," said Mochi.
"Hi Oya-jii!" chirped the happy blond.
"Mochi, what is the meaning of this?"
"You think I didn't know about her son? Give me some credit! I did what you failed to do, which was protect Kushina's child!" said Mochi offended.
"Do you have any idea of what you've done? All the trouble I went through?" he growled.
"Blame whoever leaked his status out. That nurse was trying to smother him when I got there! I know how the village would have reacted old man."
He conceded her point. It took them two hours to learn someone had leaked the name of the newest container of the fox, and considering the timing...
"Where has he been?"
"Kushina keyed my blood into the Redpool wards a week after she learned of the pregnancy. They took me in once I brought Naruto to them."
"Change of status?"
"Special Jounin now, and they've elected me as the new delegate for the village. Mostly because thanks to Anko, no one would realize I knew where the village was."
Sarutobi leaned back in his chair, feeling as though years had fallen off of him. Naruto was safer in Redpool than he was in the Leaf, and he knew it. Beside, Redpool was exclusively loyal to Konoha because of the treaty.
"Mochi-nee-chan, can I go play?"
"Sure brat. Remember, your name is Naru, got it?"
Naruto nodded. Mochi had explained clearly that in Leaf, the name Naruto would be met with anger and bring more trouble than it was worth. However, most people called him Naru-kun anyway, so it wasn't too bad.
Naruto ran to the park, where a boy and his older brother were playing. He walked up to them and said "Hi! I'm Naru, wanna play?"
Itachi stared at the blond kid, who he had never seen before. Sasuke had no reservations as he grabbed the ball and tossed it to Naruto. An hour later his older sister showed up, and Itachi was really sweating.
Anko Mitarashi was his sister?
"Having fun brat?" she asked cheerfully.
"You bet Nee-san!"
"You can keep on playing for another two hours, then we'll go out for ramen later."
"Ramen~! Can Sasuke-kun and Itachi-san come too?"
"Meh, if they want."
Sasuke gave his older brother the dreaded puppy dog eyes, and Itachi winced. His little brother had clearly hit it off with the blond.
Fifteen minutes later a few other children came to play, and Naruto really had fun. Mochi grinned as her little brother played with the kids. There really weren't that many children his age to play with in Redpool. Most of the kids were at least eight to ten, and they were too busy learning to be shinobi.
Mochi ended up paying for three other kids and their watchers. Only Itachi was brave enough to sit next to her though.
"Who is that boy?"
"The son of the Red Hot-Blooded Habanero. We are a special delegate of the Redpool village renewing the old treaty."
Itachi decided to look into the treaty the second he had a chance.
Before Mochi left the village, they crashed at her sister's apartment making a mess of the window. The look on Anko's face (and the horrified one on Kurenai's, her roommate) made the entire thing worth it. Especially when Kuranai realize that no, it wasn't a shadow clone bent on making her life an absolute hell.
"MOCHI!" squealed Anko, tackling her sister. Naruto promptly dislodged himself from her back to great Kuranai properly.
It took a good ten seconds for Kuranai to leave the sight of TWO Anko to return his greeting.
"Heya Sis! Miss me?"
"Hell yes! This village is boring without you! Plus I miss the looks people gave when they realized you weren't a clone!"
Mochi grinned evilly. And gave her best imitation of Gai as she said "Then we shall hit the dango stands and bars! If not, then I shall have to stick around for a week to give Ibiki a heart attack! Yosh!"
Anko clapped her hands in evil glee, and the two went to terrorize the village. Kuranai realized with horror she had been drafted into being a babysitter for the kid without even saying a word in edgewise.
Fortunately the kid was very sleepy, so she quietly got drunk and then let the kid curl up next to her on the couch.
By the time Mochi and Naruto went home, they had accomplished three things.
One, they had left a large amount of dango stands and shinobi crying into their sake cups until they had the sense to see a medic nin who specialized in psychological trauma.
Two, they had renewed the hidden treaty between Redpool and Konoha, which meant there would be a secret influx of shinobi in the next few years between villages.
Three, they had left a wave of pranks that would take months to clean up after. Though the Hokage did like the one where they painted the Hokage mountain in almost living color. It would remain that way until the next rain storm, to the disappointment of the villagers.
Naruto, age eight
"Got your weapons ready?"
"Scrolls sealed up properly?"
"Remember how to break people psychologically?"
Mochi was far too much like her sister in some aspects. She had taught him (to the horror of the Uzumaki elders) how to torture someone until they crack without leaving evidence behind.
Today would be the first day of the Academy. In accordance with the treaty, Naruto would attend Konoha Academy until he reached genin. Then they would decide whether he would return to Redpool and join their ranks instead.
There was already an influx of new students from the village, and the Konoha elders were none the wiser.
Only the Hokage knew about the treaty and the village of Redpool. Well...the Hokage and Itachi. Concerned about Mochi, he had asked about the treaty. Since it wasn't really an S-class secret, he allowed it.
Naruto cheerfully went with Mochi to the registration desk. Officially, Mochi was his guardian.
Unofficially she was the contact. While Naruto went to school and bunked with Anko and Kuranai, Mochi would go to the other villages and try to find who was killing off the Redpool villagers that were hidden in them.
Her secondary mission was to rescue any sane people from Kiri who had kekkei genkai. Jiraiya had mentioned the extermination, and, eager to spite Kiri, the Redpool village was more than happy to take them in.
The Hokage didn't have a problem with that, as long as the elders didn't discover that they were a way station to the village.
"Yo! Sasuke!" yelled Naruto.
"Naru-kun!" said Sasuke in relief. When he heard about the new transfer student, he had dreaded the idea of a new fan girl. Naru was a welcome surprise.
To the annoyance of his growing fan base, Sasuke cheerfully gave Naruto the only chair next to him. He had learned the hard way to sit on the outside of the desks, which made it harder for fangirls to gang up on him.
"Everyone, this is Naru Uzumaki. He is part of the exchange program from outside the village. So be nice!" said Iruka.
In order to keep Naruto safe, Mochi expanded on her little ruse involving his name. So long as the village believed his name was Naru, they would leave him alone. The only ones who knew of his true identity were the Hokage, Mochi, Anko and Kakashi.
Kakashi only figured out who the boy was because of the strong resemblance to his former sensei, and even then he had to be sworn into secrecy.
Mochi wasn't going to chance her brother's safety just because someone wanted to brag.
In less than a day, Naruto had developed his own fan club. Unlike Sasuke, they learned to keep their distance. Mostly because thanks to Mochi's training he had a quick aim with senbon.
The girls learned pretty quick that sneaking up to him or crowding him usually lead to a senbon in a sensitive part of the anatomy which varied with where they were positioned.
After that Sasuke decided to ask Mochi how to throw them as well. The girls were getting very annoying. He had no idea he gave his brother nightmares of a male Anko running around the village.
Itachi was in a bad place. He had discovered that his father was planning to overthrow the Hokage. Which was probably why he didn't even notice the infamous Mochi coming up from behind.
"Not now Mochi."
"...How did you know it was me?"
"You sister is a bit more flamboyant."
"Damn. Knew I forgot something. I heard from the Hokage about your father. Anything I can do to help?"
Itachi thought long and hard, and the only thing that came to mind was...
"Kidnap my little brother for me?"
Normally, a request like that would make people stare, but then again Mochi never claimed to be normal.
Itachi decided that it was time to make someone else's day worse.
"During Academy classes. Might as well scare Iruka."
"What he do to you?"
"He keeps telling Sasuke that he isn't allowed to use senbon on his fan club, even though Naru does it all the time."
Mochi grinned. Naru had complained repeatedly that Iruka kept taking away his senbon. Time for a little payback!
"Deal. It alright if I send him to the Village for some real training?"
"He'll need it. The civilian council has all but ruined the last three batches of genin."
"Ain't that the truth..." muttered Mochi. After learning how much the Civilian council had cut back at the Academy, they had started to only send Chunin level shinobi into the ranks. They didn't want their people to become weak because a bunch of tree huggers ruined things.
While they were talking, someone overheard their plans.
After Mochi went to make the preparations (namely informing the Hokage that a new potential would be moved tomorrow) Itachi killed his best friend before he could blow his cover.