Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Saving Minato's Soul
Smiling eyes, silvery blue in the moonlight. His arms were warm and secure as he cradled her, holding her close.
"I didn't want to lose you," he said softly.
He held her to his heart, standing on the pinnacle of a treetop amidst a kingdom of green.
They were on top of the world, but everything has to fall eventually.
In the end, she was the one who lost him.
"You need rest. You should sleep."
He ignored her protests, and gently lay her down onto the sleeping bag.
"You need to recover your chakra. I'll take this watch."
He kissed her on her forehead, his fingers brushing a strand of fiery hair out of her face, and then sat under the pine tree, his back against the rough bark.
Less than a second later, the sound of crunching grass.
He met her gaze, gentle admonishment in his own.
She glared at him, before making herself comfortable.
His lap was a better pillow, and he smiled, stroking her cheek.
"It was only to sleep."
"Want to – be with you," she stifled a yawn.
"You always will be," he assured her.
A broken promise.
Where she tugged and pulled ferociously, he was gentle, his hands threading through the red waterfall as he eased the tangles.
"Mm, you're so good at this. How can you be so patient?"
"Your hair is beautiful."
He could picture the expressive roll of eyes, but she leaned into his chest.
"You're a sap."
"I was being honest."
"Will you brush it for me, every day?"
She turned around and his nose bumped against hers.
"Even after I'm Hokage."
She smiled against his lips.
Eventually, she had to struggle with her own hair, despising it for reminding her of the man it had once linked her to.
"We have to go visit Whirlpool with Naruto! When he's old enough!"
"I hear it's called Land of Waves now! Can we, Minato, please?"
Grey-violet eyes sparkled and her voice lilted with excitement. He could never say no.
He rested his head against her swollen belly and smiled.
"Of course we will."
He added another thing, another wish to their increasingly lengthy list.
A list they would never begin to complete.
The last remnants of the sinister chakra faded away.
There was an emptiness, blood gushing out, where a demonic claw had once been.
Pure air, no longer reeking with malice. Pain, inexorable pain. The ringing cries of a child.
"Na-Naruto," Kushina cried, collapsing to the ground.
The seal flared, but was stable.
"Mi-Minato – we – we did it…"
Everything blurred and tilted to the side. She fought to move her screaming muscles, feeling the life pouring out of her.
She pressed backwards into a hard chest, as bloodied as hers, and clutch desperately at her husband.
A fading heartbeat, ragged breathing.
"Minato, Minato," she gasped, "Anato wo aishiteru!"
His trembling arms encircled hers, and he tipped forward, his forehead resting against hers.
"See you – in a few years," he rasped.
Darkness took over.
His smiling face was the last thing she saw, a light amidst the shadows.
They died like lovers, in each other's arms.
They died smiling.
They died unknowing.
Author's Note: This is my response to the debate that's been going on, about whether Kushina and Minato will live together in the afterlife, considering the fact that he's sealed himself in the stomach of the Shinigami (Death God). Though I'm sure, Minato being Minato, found a way out, or that the two are connected somehow or something; because I will not accept the fact that they are not together in canon. I mean, Kushina said she was leaving to be with Minato, so there must have been some loophole that Kishimoto forgot to tell us about.
Nonetheless, the idea that the two would be separated tormented me, and this story is my response to that. It'll be about 7-8 chapters long, I estimate, and it will have MinaKushi, along with a lot of other characters. It takes place in a universe that could be canon, and follows the canon timeline, but its the afterlife, so in that way its sort of AU. This is going to be pretty angsty and sad for the first couple chapters, but I promise it gets better. This is just the prologue, I'll start posting the chapters in a day or two. Please review!