This story is pure fan-fiction. The characters and locations are the sole property of Shonen Jump and the series' creator, Masashi Kishimoto. Nor do I own any rights to Flame of Recca, published by Viz media and created by Nobuyuki Anzai nor Hercules: The Legendary Journeysproduced by Sam Raimi and created by Christian Williams. At no time is this fiction an intent to infringe upon their rights nor properties. Ohhh, that includes the Spartans, their culture, etc...
((First off, a shout out to Bri999 for inspiring me to do this story. I am only using a similar basis of the story but at no time am I duplicating his/her story. Second, the technique Kushina used is a variant on the concept of the forbidden jutsu used by Kagero in Flame of Recca anime/manga. Third, I am also incorporating a few elements from Hercules:The Legendary Journeys.
Nuff said. Let's begin!))
Hi No Kuni, Land of Fire
Konohagakure no Sato, The Village Hidden in the Leaves
Konoha Hospital, Physical Therapy Wing, Room 10,Water Therapy
She slipped into the water slowly,wincing as the sutures in her back and abdomen pulled with the motion. She just ignored it as she began wading slowly until the water reached her waist. She looked at the sleeping face in the sling tied at her shoulder. She felt tears well up and spill over to run in thin trails along her cheeks. I can't believe its come to this...that I have to do this to protect my child...She lifted the child in the sling gently and kissed his forehead. She couldn't help but smile when the child opened sleepily to gaze her with eyes the color of a deep ocean. "I don't know if you'll ever forgive me...Naruto. I can only pray that in time you will understand and can forgive me for what I am about to do." she whispered as the child fell back asleep, trusting the owner of the voice without hesitation. She looked around the large therapy pool and nodded to the three women with her, standing guard on the tiled floor surround the pool. "It's time. Yuugao, Hana, Kurenai...Just know that when we return, I don't how things will go..."
The women answered with a nod and turned their backs to her. Each one sworn to protect the woman who had become a substitute mother to them. Each one knew the wading woman's heartache as they watched for threats of any kind. The tallest of them, bearing red inverted triangular tribal marks on her cheeks replied. "Don't worry, Kushina-sensei. We will weather the storm while you are gone and we'll face whatever comes when you come back to us." The red-eyed brunette that stood across from her nodded in agreement as did the purple haired woman with a katana strapped to her back.
The red-haired woman took a breath as she began to gather her Chakra to use the Kinjutsu passed down through her Clan and Village since the time of the Rikodou Sennin. Letting the bundle rest against her bosom, her hands came up and she began flashing through the near two hundred hand signs. Even as she did, she couldn't help but think back to a week ago when this ordeal began...
((Flashback- 8 days earlier))
Riding in the wheelchair as her legs wouldn't work, she looked at the two ANBU that escorted her to the Council Chamber with the utmost of respect. She looked up as she felt a comforting hand rest on her shoulder and she smiled. "Thank you for doing this Kurenai-chan." As she did, she noted to other two women that walked with somber faces behind them all. One a brunette with her hair pulled back and braided into a ponytail. Her Clan/tribal marks on her cheeks standing out against her pale complexion. The other wore an impassive expression. Her purple hair contrasting sharply against the dark clothes she wore. "You two as well, Hana-chan, Yuugao-chan. You three didn't have to escort me here..."
The Chuunin Genjutsu specialist with black hair and ruby eyes smiled in return. "Not at all, Kushina-sensei...There is no other place I would rather be. I have mourned as has the village. Now my place is with you to help you and..." she glanced down at the bundle her mentor and mother figure held protectively. "I look forward to helping train my new otouto..." the sad smile grew and her eyes sparkled.
Kushina chuckled, "My son will have one hell of an education, that's for sure. Not many can say they had four of the Village's strongest Kunoichi not just as sensei's but as his kaa-san and his nee-chans." About to say more, she paused as one of the ANBU spoke quietly.
"We're here Uzumaki-sama." said the one wearing a Boar mask as he and his partner,wearing a Weasel, knocked on the doors and after moment reached for the handles.
As the double doors opened, the ANBU stepped aside and bowed at the waist in mournful respect to the woman in the wheelchair. Widow of their beloved Yondaime Hokage. The first woman to receive the same SS-ranking in foreign nations' bingo books as her husband,Konoha's Yellow Flash. Uzumaki-Namikaze Kushina. The Hot Bloodded Habenero. Red Death of Konoha.
She noted the show of respect with a nod of her head as she was ushered inside with Hana and Yuugao flanking her while Kurenai resumed pushing the wheelchair. Her green eyes hardened as all conversation in teh chamber ceased. She watched impassively as the civilian side watched her entrance with a myriad of negative emotions visible on their faces. To their credit, the shinobi half rose in respectand each bowed to her. Focusing, she met their bows by nodding though her gaze stopped on Sarutobi Hiruzen, her husband's predecessor. Noting he was once again wearing the conical hat of Hokage. "I see they pressed you back into service Hiruzen-san."
"Unfortunately, Kushina-chan." he replied with a grimace. "The needs of the Village outweigh my desires for retirement." he said as he met her gaze unflinchingly.
Her eyes in return narrowed as the message was received. Sooooo whatever they have planned its not his doing. Her gaze traveled quickly over the council and she noted that every chair but one was filled. The chair representing the Namikaze and Uzumaki Clans. At least they weren't stupid enough to try to remove me from the Council...But, if that isn't it, what are they up to? she wondered as she now noted the way the members of the shinobi side didn't meet her eyes, a fact which sent chills up her spine.
One of the members rose and spoke softly, wrenching her from her musings as his words penetrated, "Uzumaki-san, we apologize for intruding on your grief this night but we must discuss with you any plans you have for the child."
An eyebrow lifted slowly,"Plans, Danzo-san?" she asked in feigned respect. "My only plans for now are to raise my son not only as a Jinchuuriki but as a shinobi of this Village. He will have hard life but I plan to be there for him every step of the way."
The single eye of the old War Hawk crinkled as he replied. "With your injuries it will be some time before you can raise a child. We must think about the danger that...child...represents to the Village."
Now she knew what this was about,but instead of simply leaving, she pretended to misunderstand. "I'm not sure I follow. What possible threat can a newborn be to a Hidden Village?" she said in a cool voice that made a few begin to sweat. Hiruzen included.
"Your child bears a burden unlike any before him. Even you, the former Jinchuuriki, didn't have to face this as a newborn. The threat of the beast escaping is at it greatest while the child cannot stop it."
Kushina cut him off, "Do you really think so little of my and my husband's sealing skills? The Shiki Fuuin variant my husband used can't be broken by any but Naruto himself and only if he has the key. Which he doesn't."
"Where is the key then?" a civilian asked suddenly.
"Hidden in a place no one can find it until the time is right for my son." she replied sharply and with a gaze that had the civilian going pale. "Now if there is nothing else?" she said as she looked to Kurenai who nodded in silent reply.
"The little beast should be killed!" a civilian burst out suddenly.
The reaction was immediate as the three experienced Genin surrounded their mentor and drew kunai or sword. Sarutobi had turned and launched three kunai with a wave of his arm. Gasped were heard all around as the three kunai pinned the man to the wal at the head,throat, and heart.
"SILENCE!" the aged Hokage said with his Chakra spiked. THe sheer level of it bearing down on the Council as if gravity itself was about to crush them into paste. "I warned you...if I heard even one threat...even a hint...I would kill the one responsible. YOU pressed me to retake the mantle now you deal with me."
Danzo raised a hand placatingly. "So we did and so you have. This only illustrates my point. How long before the boy's true status gets out? How long before the shunning begins? You know what awaits him."
"Yes I do..." Kushina answered as her students parted slightly. "No matter that my husband's last wish was for this Village to regard our son as a hero for the sacrifice placed upon him. That his duty is protect them all from the Kyuubi no Kitsune for his entire life...at the cost of his life and happiness...I know better than you ever could, Danzo-san. Now get to your point. Naruto will need his feeding soon...and I must rest so I can begin the therapy I'll need to get back on my feet."
Danzo nodded, "Very well. I recommend that one of two options are placed into effect. One, that you relinquish the child to the custody of the Village until such time as you are fit and physically capable of raising your son." By that time, I'll have you and your three little bitches killed so I can put him into the Ne Program. Thusly loyal only to me... " Two..."
"Forget it. I will raise my child. Not some orphanage." she retorted harshly, cutting off Danzo. "None of you can override the decisions of the living parent. We are done here." she settled back as Kurenai wheeled her out of the chamber to the shocked silence.
Once they were heading down the hallway,did she speak. It took that long before she could get past her anger. "I will see to it that this becomes your primary mission, my dears."
Hanna stepped up and spoke softly,her eyes watching everywhere intently. Just as she knew Kurenai and Anko both were now doing as well. "Mission, sensei?"
"Yes...this will be your first A-rank mission. To bodyguard me and my son." she said coldly.
((Four days later))
The house was a battle zone. Furniture was destroyed as were walls and the entire ground floor. Three bodies were being cleaned up by an ANBU detail. Each one wearing the clothes and hitai-ite of Iwa. Kushina looked on impassively as the Hokage tried to make her see reason.
"No, Hiruzen. I will not accept an ANBU detail. I don't know them and I cannot trust that they aren't going to finish what was started here. Just like the last three attempts." she said coldly.
"Kushina...what are you implying?" he asked coldly.
"I'm not implying anything...I'm telling you. It's hardly coincidence that every assassination attempt has taken place only AFTER you are "forced" to send my girls on a mission. And that the ANBU guards arrive only after it is over, no matter how long it took. I don't care what they are wearing...this was an inside job. Add in that my every attempt to start my therapy has been denied or thwarted. I'm not stupid Hiruzen...Despite your repeated warnings, it continues...If Uzushiogakure still existed I would have gone there. At least there we would be protected..."
He cursed under his breath as he couldn't refute her claims. He knew Danzo was responsible but the man made sure there were no loose ends. "I can pick them myself, until Anko, Hana, and Kurenai return..." he looked at her solemnly. "They will not fail you." he then added, "And I will have little talk with the hospital...I promise you that your therapy will begin tomorrow."
"For now...You have this one chance." she replied, not liking it one bit.
((Two days later))
Pinned to the floor by the heavy body, she could only watch in horror as the nurse took up the scalpel and began moving towards the baby with a sneer of hatred on her face. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo !" she screamed as the scalpel lifted. Dragging her body painfully to try to save her son from death. Imagine her shock as a boy with a scar across his nose passed by and reacted immediately. She could only cry hysterically as his kunais ripped into the nurse with unerring accuracy to pierce the vitals. She continued to struggle as the boy rushed in to check the now dead nurse with one hand, a kunai held tightly in his other hand.
The boy, Umino Iruka, looked first to the woman pinned at the knees by the body of what appeared to be two ANBU operatives. Without waiting, he moved and uncovered her. Grunting as he lifted her back up into her wheelchair. "Easy now...It's over."
She sobbed uncontrollably as she tried to get to her son..."Naruto! Is he alright? Did that bitch get to him?" she screamed in hysterics.
He moved quickly and looked at the child carefully," Naruto? You mean this is..." his face hardened. "That means your Uzumaki-Namikaze Kushina...Widow of the Yondaime..."
"Yes." she replied in sudden terror. Did he just replace the assassin? "What are you going to do?" she asked fearfully even as her hand drifted to the holster hidden behind her. She knew she would only get one chance...
"Nothing." the boy said as he faced her with a sad expression. "You don't blame the scroll for the kunai held within it." he put away his weapon at her obvious relief only to watch her tense up anew, "But I won't help him either...I've lost too much to beast within him." he turned to leave.
"What is your name?" she asked as she reached the crib and gathered her son into her arms. "I have to tell the Hokage who saved the lives of my son and myself."
"Umino Iruka. I am a student at the Shinobi Academy." he said quietly.
Kushina nodded as she saw the way he battled his anger and loss. "I will remember you." she said bluntly. Let him make what he will of that...
The day after Yuugao, Hana, and Kurenai returned to learn firsthand of the events that transpired. They never once questioned their former sensei about what she was planning. It was probably better that way.
With well over half of the hand signs completed, Kushina didn't let her focus diminish. Even so, a very small part of her mind reflected on what she was doing. This is the only way...the assassination attempts won't stop until they succeed. It's only a matter of time... I can't trust anyone in the village anymore. Danzo has his fingers and spies everywhere. The toads are our only chance. The contract between them and Minato was being upheld. The Storage Toad accepted the key...they know that Naruto will come for it eventually. Mt. Myoboku is our only safe haven...They will make sure Konoha knows we are protected and safe from their machinations. I just hope this works. Without the ability to summon one of the toads to take us, I have to use the Spatial Displacement justsu of my Clan...
The three guards all felt the Chakra being molded and growing higher and higher to new levels. More than once they had been tempted to look over their shoulders to see what she was doing that took so much time and concentration. Yet they all knew better. One can't reveal what they didn't see or weren't told, after all. Just as they knew that Morino Ibiki, the new head of T& I was going to grill the hell out of them when this as over...
In the hallway, Hiruzen Sarutobi was growing ever more worried as he felt the Chakra in that room reaching Kage levels. He looked at the doorway and was cursing whoever created the damanble barrier seal he was having the great misfortune of trying to figure out so he could remove it. Simply put, it was an absolute masterpiece. Layers upon layers stared at him mockingly. He couldn't just order them to demolish the door nor the adjacent walls as the barrier extended to protect them. And he was pretty sure it went all the way around the room. He knew without a doubt that Minato didn't create this one...which meant that Kushina had. She had taught her husband the ancient art and the unique Shiki Fuin seal he had developed and used on the infant was proof of just how good she was at the art as well as how good of an instructor she was. He paused to glanced around him and saw the squad of ANBU were slowly growing restless as precious seconds passed and the energy levels inside the room only continued to grow.
Completing the last seal, she whispered softly. "Uzumaki Forbidden Technique: Spatial Displacement." The built up energy rushed from her and into the pool. It's effect obvious as the water began swirling madly, forming a large vortex. It's center turning black. Kushina took a breath as she felt the drain, but didn't allow it to deter her from her path. Taking the first step, her eyes narrowed as she quickly offered up a prayer of success to Kami. That's when she felt it. A surge of dark, malevolent Chakra. One that for the life of her, she couldn't name. "Nooo!" she said but in her weakened conditioned couldn't stop as the bundle tied to her upper body was ripped from her. Her shock delaying her reaction, so when the child fell into the dark vortex her fingertips barely missed the fabric. She dove into the pool after him as the wall behind, where the door had been, exploded in.
Hiruzen rushed in with his squad flashing inside with the Shushuin to subdue the trio of women standing guard. Women that hadn't been lax as the ANBU had a hard but very short fight. He stard in shock as the turbulently swirling waters of the pool grew calm. "Dear Kami, what has she done?" his question was made moot a moment later.
Kushina erupted from the pool like a dolphin breaking it surface. She held up trembling and empty hands. Looking up to the ceiling she screamed one word before Chakra exhaustion overtook her. A single word filled with anguish, terror, rage...and loss.