A/N: Lets call this a late Christmas present ^^ Minato's generation are about 18/19 in this one-shot. Enjoy and as always constructive criticism is appreciated.


Dust of Possibilities

There was something odd about Namikaze Minato. Perhaps it was due to the fact that his skills were phenomenal to the point of freakish. Or maybe it was because he could only be described as beautiful with his sunshine hair and sky blue eyes. If you flicked through a copy of Kunoichi Chic you would find Minato rated as the number one hottest Shinobi in Konoha, even though he was barely nineteen.

However, it wasn't just about his talents or his good looks. Shikaku scowled. Some say the Second War had scarred him. That was why he didn't appear to be on the same planet as everyone else. Yet… Every ninja had been traumatised by the war whether they were a genin or a veteran. Shikaku had seen just as much blood as Minato. They had been posted in the same camp after all.

No… Shikaku shook his head. That wasn't the reason. The prodigy, Minato, was just downright weird. He had always been a dreamer. Shikaku recalled back in academy the numerous times Minato had sat in the classroom with a slack jawed expression as he stared into space. He had asked strange questions, lapsed into daydreams and even in battle he would slip into a trance. Everyone thought he was a gormless idiot until the first set of exam results.

Minato hadn't changed since then, if anything the dreaming had become worse. Shikaku glanced over at Minato who was sitting in the jonin lounge with a strange, dreamlike expression upon his face. He had been sitting like that for almost half an hour. From the opposite couch, Shikaku scanned the area in the attempt to see what Minato had been looking at. All he could see was a plant pot, a coffee table and the glare from the skylight above them.

Then Minato slowly stretched his arm out, his fingers flexing as if he were trying to grasp something. There was an almost awed expression of longing in those blue eyes.

"Namikaze!" A loud voice cut through the spell. Inoichi flopped down beside Minato and slapped him on the back. "Whatcha' staring at?"

Minato glanced at Inoichi with bemusement and he mumbled, "Dust."

Inoichi gave him a look that clearly told him he was insane. "Dust?" He said in disbelief and he let out a snigger. "Man you are strange. Only you Namikaze, only you." He gave Minato another friendly slap on the back again, and then left to join Choza on the other side of the lounge.

Shikaku studied Minato as the supposed Hokage candidate blinked, then left the sofa. With a frown Shikaku stood then sat in the spot Minato had been seated. Trying to understand Namikaze Minato was as hard as trying to comprehend the meaning of life. However if there was someone up for the challenge, it was the heir of Nara clan.

He gazed around searching for this magical dust. Shikaku scanned the lounge then his eye caught a flash of crimson. Uzumaki Kushina swept into the room her hair waving behind her in one long, shiny waterfall.

Immediately every eye in the jonin lounge was drawn to her exotic face and graceful gait. No one dared to approach her however. Kushina was like a wild animal, beautiful yet highly unpredictable. One moment she would be full of smiles, the next she would be beating you to a pulp. Women were troublesome enough in Shikaku's opinion but Kushina was the most troublesome of them all.

So it would seem utterly bizarre that Minato and Kushina were friends. Well, at least they insisted they were only friends, everyone knew that the two were destined to be together. Yet… Shikaku watched as Kushina let out a belt of her uncouth laughter at something Minato said. The two were so in sync. Minato had the mysterious ability to be able to pacify Kushina's rages. Shikaku had seen it himself once. Up until then he thought only her sensei, Hatake Sakumo, had been able to reign in her anger.

It was Kushina who dragged Minato out of his shell. She was the one who got him into trouble, who had managed to get him drunk at her sensei's wedding. People said that she was a bad influence on the poor boy but Shikaku saw otherwise. Uzumaki Kushina had taught Minato how to live.

The two were so wonderfully attentive to each other that it was hard to be around them sometimes. There were so many in jokes that were impossible to understand for an outsider. Shikaku had discovered Minato and Kushina had a strange silent language between them. Sometimes they would just sit together in silence yet communicating a thousand words with a single glance.

Inoichi said it was creepy and shouldn't Minato have shagged her yet? Choza always smiled when he saw the two together but Shikaku was fascinated by them. Relationships were certainly troublesome, illogical things but he constantly found himself wondering if that would ever happen to him. There was always the fearsome, bossy girl Yoshino who worked in the cypher division but Shikaku was far too intimidated to approach her. He doubted that anything would happen anyway if he did.

Shikaku glanced up to see Minato and Kushina walking out of the jonin lounge. Suddenly Minato stopped, turned and caught Shikaku's eye. With a flash of a smile Minato pointed a finger upwards, swept it down then followed Kushina.

With a frown, Shikaku squinted upwards against the glare of the skylight. He let his eyes slowly drop… Then Shikaku saw it. Dust. Wonderfully entrancing dust. The sunlight that was streaming down from the skylight transformed the seemingly mundane dirt into something that appeared to be falling from the heavens.

Shikaku stared as the golden dust swirled, his mind telling him that it was nothing but a phenomenon created by the lighting… Yet it was so beautiful that it was a tragedy that most people would never notice it.

The heir of the Nara clan leant back on the sofa and a rueful smile pulled at his lips. "Genius… Namikaze," Shikaku muttered. "Genius."

Most people looked but never saw… But Minato… Behind his strange, gormless appearance there was something far more perceiving. Perhaps more perceiving than Shikaku could ever be. Maybe that was why Minato had been the only one in academy not to mock Kushina. He saw her not as a dirty, wild foreigner but as a girl who was so lost that she hated the entire world.

That was why Minato was a cert to be Hokage. Talented, intelligent and a strangely magnetic charisma… All of these helped but it his vision that made it. No one saw things quite like Minato. Like the dust that floated by unnoticed, Minato was able to capture it and see the wonderful possibilities contained within it. He saw things with such a unique and optimistic vision, that with something like that, Konoha would flourish.

But to have such a deep empathetic understanding like that… Shikaku gazed upwards at the skylight to see a solitary cloud roll by. He let his eyes slide shut and Shikaku decided, "Too troublesome."