For the sake of the story…we're going to assume that Naruto never lost control of the Kyuubi during his fight with Pain, and therefore never met his father.


"Forgive me, my wife…my son…" the blond haired man whispered. But even if he had shouted it, it wouldn't have been heard over the terrifying sound of the wind as it whipped around him, pulling him back, literally into death's waiting arms.

How ironic…the man thought to himself, that it was the wind who would damn him now. This wind, that he had lived and moved with, that had carried him and danced with him, making him powerful and fast, making him invincible. But now, for the first time in his life, he was fighting against the current, hopelessly struggling against the inevitable vortex of destruction.

But he couldn't help it. All his life, it had been his instinct to flee from death, and now, even though he knew this would be the outcome when he chose to sacrifice his son, his precious little boy, he couldn't help but struggle to stay with his family, the two people he was supposed to spend years and years protecting and aiding.

"Kushina…Naruto…" he nearly sobbed, looking over at the baby boy who lay wailing and screaming from pain as his only hours old body adjusted to the mass of evil and chakra now contained in him, and at the woman with long, crimson red hair laid sprawled on the ground where she fell when the Kyuubi's claw had dissolved into her son. Her body was motionless in death.

No, not dead…there was still a chance! The chance that she was just unconscious from blood loss and chakra exhaustion. If medics arrived in time…she could still be saved! She could raise their son, and ensure that he not have to bear his burden alone! It was that chance, that slim hope for his precious ones, which kept him from losing his mind.

His sharp blue eyes stared longingly at her form, praying that she be all right. When suddenly, her body began to move. But to his horror, it wasn't that she was awakening, rather the wind was pulling her too.

"NO!" he shouted, twisting around to face the shinigami. "What are you doing! She was not a part of the deal!"

The terrifying face leered above him, ignoring the human as he pulled the two adults towards his waiting stomach.

"STOP!" he screamed, and this time the god of death looked at him with his piercing eyes.

"I have seen the destruction of this world," his voice issued, hissing and rasping with likeness of the wind. "My realm thrown into chaos…your soul belongs to me, Namikaze Minato!"

"LEAVE THE WOMAN!" he cried, his only concern for his wife who was now moving steadily to the fate he had resigned himself to…for her! For her and the son she had given him, however so briefly. "SHE WAS NOT PART OF THE DEAL!"

"Your soul is mine! And she is of my domain!" the unforgiving voice boomed over the clearing.

"No! She isn't dead! Not yet! Not yet! She can be saved! LEAVE HER!" his tears fell freely. This wasn't supposed to happen! She was supposed to stay and care for their son!

"Child of prophecy…keep the balance! Restore my realm! I bestow upon you quittance!" the shinigami roared, and the wind picked up, Kushina's body flying suddenly into the mouth of the shinigami.

"KUSHINA!" Minato bellowed, leaping after her, using the wind one last time to aid his speed.

His arms closed around her body as they entered the jaws of death, the screams from his son echoing around his head.

"Forgive me…my wife, my son," he cried silently as he held his love, shielding her from the darkness that swallowed them whole.


He could feel the wind blow across his face, gentle as a caress, as if greeting an old friend. But…that was wrong…the wind wasn't his friend, not anymore. It had pulled him and his wife to death, pulled them away from their son, their Naruto.

The breeze was gentle…completely opposite of the harsh gales from before. But it was chilling, and he felt something held close to his body shiver.

His eyes snapped open, and his vision was assaulted with a dominating red. He was lying, sprawled out in the tall grass, trees surrounding the gaping clearing. In his arms was a sleeping woman, her long red hair spilling around them both.

He felt confusion sweep over him. Was this the shinigami's stomach? He tried to sit up, but stopped when a sharp sting shot through his body, causing him to hiss in pain.

So then…he wasn't dead? After all, there was no pain in death, was there?

He tried to move again, sitting up slower this time. He held the woman carefully, trying not to jolt her. He could feel the gaping wound in his stomach, and he knew that he needed medical attention.

Looking down at the still figure in his lap, he recognized his love. The crimson of her hair was not the only red that stained her body, and he felt his heart sink when he saw the blood that coated her.

"MEDIC!" he yelled, not caring if it were friend or foe that heard him. All that mattered was that Kushina was bleeding…dying, and she needed help much more than he did. "HELP! MEDIC!"

He began moving his hands over her wounds, trying to seal them up with the meager chakra he still had, but he didn't have enough after the sealing to do anything. His hand merely glowed green for a moment, before the light flickered out, his chakra spent.

"MEDIC!" he cried again, and he began to move to his feet, stumbling as he held his precious cargo close to his chest.

Suddenly, a figure dressed in orange burst through the trees, yellow eyes landing on the struggling man. Minato felt relief shoot through his system when he saw the Konoha headband around the young man's head.

"Hold on!" the boy shouted, as he ran to them, making the hand sings for shadow clones. "Go get Sakura!" he ordered one as he took Kushina from his trembling arms, and the other moved to pull Minato onto his back. The clone nodded, instantly speeding off in the blink of an eye.

"Don't worry, I'm friends with the best medic in Konoha! We'll get you two patched up in no time!" the boy's clone said to him as it locked it's arms under Minato's knees, starting after the original as he moved swiftly with Kushina.

"M-My son!" Minato pleaded with the boy, remembering the baby with a jolt. "Please! My wife just gave birth…he's here, somewhere!"

The boy seemed surprised. "Don't worry, boss'll find him! But I have to get you two to the hospital!" he tried to sway Minato's worries.

The boy was running, careful not to jerk the injured man on his back around, and Minato could see the original boy doing the same with his wife up ahead.

The village gates were up ahead, and Minato stared at them in shock.

Hadn't the Kyuubi's tails crushed them?

They ran straight past the bewildered guards, and Minato nearly fainted at what he saw.

The entire village looked different. Buildings were being built all over, and it looked like the entire plain had been leveled. Shinobi and civilians alike were working on construction, and women and children were darting in and out of tents like they were makeshift houses.

"Can you tell me what happened?" the boy's clone said to him, not even slowing down at the sight.

Minato couldn't speak. He suddenly had the very bad feeling that something big had happened. How was he even here? Alive? The shinigami had just taken his soul…his and Kushina's. He should be inside the death god's stomach, and yet here he was in Konoha, but not the Konoha he recognized.

Something had gone wrong when the death god took him…but he couldn't figure out what.

He didn't answer the boy's question. Minato doubted the teen even knew who he was. But he couldn't find it in him to care very much at the moment. He just kept picturing the two people he cared most about. "Please," he managed to choke out. "Save my wife…save my son!"

The boy sensed his confusion and fear, and let the subject drop. There would be time to answer questions later, but first he had to save these two people.

The original boy carrying his dying wife slipped through an opening in a giant tent, and the clone carrying him followed. "Sakura-chan!" the original shouted, drawing the eyes of the few conscious patients around them.

"Over here!" a girl with pink hair rushed forwards, wiping moisture from her hands as she prepared to heal the wounds on Kushina's stomach. "Lay them down on those mats!"

Minato was gently lain down on a straw mat, and he watched with frantic eyes as the young girl quickly got to work on his wife, cleaning the blood with one hand as the other used chakra to speed up the healing process.

Unable to stand the separation, Minato reached out to grasp the unconscious woman's hand. "Come on," he willed aloud, only barely conscious of doing so. "Come on, Kushina, hold on! You can't leave yet…you can't leave me alone with our son! He needs his mother! Please Kushina…" he knew he was nearly crying again, but he couldn't find it in himself to care, even if he was the Hokage.

"Naruto, drop your sage mode, you'll make the Shinobi in here restless!" the pink haired girl said, making Minato's eyes snap up at the sound of his son's name.

"Sorry, Sakura-chan! I forgot I was using it!" the voice of the boy answered the girl, and Minato froze.

His heart felt like it had stopped beating. Minato turned wide disbelieving eyes at the blond teenager. That girl…she hadn't called him what he thought she had!

"Who are these people? What happened to them?"

"I'm not sure," the boy said, and Minato noticed that his eyes were no longer yellow, but a sickeningly familiar blue. "She was unconscious when I found them, and he was in too much shock to answer any questions."

Minato was trembling now. Because those eyes were the exact shape of his wife's eyes. And the color…they were the same blue he saw every time he looked in the mirror.

"Can you go get Shizune? This woman has post delivery trauma, and I've never treated anything like it before."

"I can't, Sakura-chan," the boy scratched at the back of his hair, the same gesture Kushina made when she was scared or nervous. The blond spikes were the same color and texture as his own. "I've got to go find this man's son! He was just born, but I couldn't sense him when I picked these two up. I sent a few clones to look, but they haven't spotted anything, he's probably still out there!"

The two teenagers didn't notice as Minato slowly pushed himself off the ground, his eyes trained on the blond's face. This boy…this teenager…had three whisker-like lines running across each cheek.

"I'm going to go help my clones, but I'll send one to look for her!"

The same markings he had seen on his only hours old son.

The boy finally noticed Minato as he stumbled forwards towards him, his eyes full of disbelief and sorrow. "Eh! Sir you really should lay down until Sakura-chan can heal you! You've got a massive hole in your-"

"Naruto?" the name came out as a whisper. Fearful, almost. The boy looked at him confusion written across his own features now.

"Uh, yeah, that's me, 'ttebayo," he said carefully.

Minato stared; he couldn't help it. He could see he was alarming the boy, but he was searching, trying to disprove with his mind what his heart was telling him.

Suddenly Minato reached forwards, grabbing the teen's shirt and lifting up before the shorter blond could stop him. As soon as the skin of his stomach was exposed, a familiar seal materialized, almost haunting him.

The Shiki Fuuin.

His hand was knocked quickly away, and the boy…Naruto, pulled his shirt down. "Just what do you think you're…" the boy's angry yell died in his throat as tears fell from the man's brilliantly blue eyes.

"Naruto…" Minato whispered, trying desperately to wrap his exhausted mind around what the facts were saying.

This boy was Naruto. The same little baby he had held in his arms only hours previously. The same child he'd sacrificed for the village. This was his son.

Unable to control himself, Minato practically fell on the shorter boy, his arms engulfing the startled teenager in a crushing embrace.

"Forgive me!" he cried, and he felt his son stiffen underneath him. "I failed…I'm so sorry! I'm sorry, my Naruto! My little boy!" His words were rendered incoherent, too lost in his grief and guilt to make them understandable.

His knees gave way, unable to support him any longer, and he could feel himself slipping into unconsciousness. His vision went dark as he fell to the floor, and the last thing he saw was his son, nearly a man, staring at him with wide and disbelieving eyes.

And despite the soul tearing feeling of knowing that he'd failed his only son, for well over a decade, Minato felt the slightest sense of peace in his heart.

Because Naruto was alive.

So this has been crowding up my laptop for a while. This is the first 2,500 words of 10,000 so far, and since writing a lot is kind of hard for me right now, I'll update this every now and again when I can't get my other stories updated!

To everyone who's wished me better, thank you so much! I appreciate your concern :)

anways I know this is probably a well used idea, but I'd still love to hear what you think! Leave me a review and tell my what you thought and what you'd like to see! thanks so much :)