Chapter 17

Finding Tsunade, would at first, be a difficult task, so to take up the slack that his team would spend hours with absolutely nothing to do, Hiryu began developing a training schedule. Naruto had been given the final stage for the Rasengan while they waited for Jiraiya to finish his scouting and 'research'. To which both he and Sakura would spend time trying to master the A-Class jutsu, getting the rotation and the power to synch up to form the spiraling ball of destruction, that it is known for. While they practice that, Yakumo went over the two taijutsu styles Hiryu had selected for her, these styles fit into her role as a defensive fighter, her task with the team was to provide Genjutsu support and back up to Sakura when the rosette haired was administering medical aide to Naruto or for Naruto should he need to get behind someone in battle to either kill or incapacitate.

The taijutsu the Kurama heiress was using was a hybrid of Aikido and Tai chi, both styles were primarily defensive taijutsu made to divert or redirect an enemy shinobi's assault long enough for her to use her genjutsu to slip away or use her kekkei genkai style genjutsu to cause physical harm to her opponent. Naruto graciously summoned a shadow clone for her to practice on and spar with. Yakumo took a glance over at her teammates and saw them both struggling with condensing their chakra into a ball. Sakura seemed to be faring better, but that was only because she had the control.

Tsunade's trail would only get warmer once the Hokage's suspension of her assets finally hit, and since messenger hawks traveled faster than a person on foot many of the towns that had banks within the land of fire were now blocking access to the Senju accounts.

XXX

Tsunade growled looking at the bank teller, "What do you mean my account is frozen?"

"Orders from the Third Hokage, to suspend your account until you return home," The poor teller looked at her client fearfully as the older woman seemed to get angrier.

"Damn it, sensei!" The blonde haired medic-nin growled. She knew of two ways to make enough to make it to the next gambling town, problem was the first way she absolutely refused to do. Regardless of the fact she was a kunoichi, she hated the assassination missions she did when she was younger where she used her body to get close to her targets. So that left option number two, go to the local hospital and sell herself as a healer, this was frowned upon mainly because it could be tracked. She had no idea what her former sensei had in mind but she knew her former teammate was already looking for her. "Shizune, we need to leave."

"We can't Lady Tsunade, we have no traveling supplies and now we can't get supplies because we have no money," The dark haired apprentice explained to her master.

"Damnit," The blonde woman left the bank muttering to herself looking left then right, her face laced with fear. "Jiraiya is searching for us, sensei put that block on my account to drag me back to that cursed village."

"But why, he's never bugged you before," Shizune asked.

The slug sannin nervously paced not sure what to think, neither had been back since before Minato had taken the Hokage hat and he had only sent them periodic messages on how things were doing in the village and to let Tsunade know that her cousin was doing well. The last message the two had received from Minato a few months before the Kyuubi incident giving her the great news that Kushina was pregnant. Sarutobi never explained what happened to her cousin or the baby. What's going on, what should I do? Tsunade, while fearful of being dragged back to the painful reminder of her past, she had plenty of questions as to why her sensei would suddenly interfere in her life when he ignored her before. "Find the hospital Shizune, we'll earn some money enough to stay here for a week or two should be enough time for the pervert to find us and we'll get some answers."

XXX

"She's waiting for us then," Hiryu stated to Jiraiya the moment the toad sage explained that his spies had located Tsunade in the next town over, which was roughly a week away if they traveled at a leisurely pace, three days if they pushed it to assault speed.

"Makes sense, by now her accounts have been frozen so she knows she's being hunted, if she hasn't moved from that town it means she's likely going to force a confrontation," Jiraiya stated sipping some tea while watching both Naruto and Sakura work on the Rasengan, Naruto started using a Shadow clone to help him contain the ball, while Sakura had formed it naturally. Poor kid's chakra is just too potent for him to control it normally, probably going to need sage training or master the fox's chakra. Still, to master the Rasengan in two weeks is way beyond even my expectations; he's truly your son Minato.

Hiryu rolled his neck before grabbing his gear and pulling out a storage scroll, "Let's push it to assault speed, I need Yakumo ready for those exams and if Tsunade is already using a hospital it makes things a lot easier."

XXX

Squad Seven and Jiraiya arrived in the small town of Zaneku not far from the Hidden Rice and Land of Fire borders. This was where spy reports placed Tsunade and her apprentice Shizune. The moment the group reached the town they split up, Jiraiya and Naruto headed off to the bars, while Yakumo and Sakura went looking into the gambling halls. Hiryu went by himself to the hospital, upon arriving he spotted someone he was both anxious to see as well as loathing at the same time. "Shizune," he said simply, no emotion showing on his face.

"Hiryu," Came his reply, the dark haired young woman stared at him, her own features unreadable. "Did Lord Jiraiya ask you to come?"

"No this mission was mine, I asked the Hokage to put a hold on Tsunade's accounts to prevent her from running and had Jiraiya track her down," Hiryu said calmly.

"WHY?!" The black haired woman shouted. "Do you know what her life was like!?"

Hiryu rolled his eyes, "Cry me a fucking river. Instead of facing her problems like a shinobi she ran, throwing her money away on drinking and gambling, wallowing in her self-righteous, self-pity what's worse you enable her to it!"

Shizune growled softly, "How dare you, I've been trying to get her stop!"

"Great job, you travel from town to town watching her gamble poorly and drink herself into the gutter. This isn't a life Shizune, this isn't even existing," The plain face jonin just sighed heavily, finding it refreshing he could yell at the woman that little over twenty years ago he followed around like a lost puppy. It confirmed something that he was worried about, it showed that the feelings he once had for her were all gone now.

The dark haired woman stared in shock, this wasn't the teenager she left twenty years ago, "You've changed Hiryu, why do this?"

"Same reason I did before, I protect my family. Kushina-sensei was my mom in every way but blood, and right now I'm looking after the family she left behind. Her son, her nieces wherever they are, her older brother if I can ever find him, and her cousin. I'm using tough love on that woman to get her back to who she was before her brother and lover died, for Kushina-sensei and Naruto. If you truly want to help her, stay out of our way," with that Hiryu turned and left the hospital.

XXX

Tsunade was not having a good month. First, she couldn't win at blackjack to save her life, than her bank accounts were frozen. Now she had to do medical ninjutsu to earn enough money to at least get drunk, which meant no gambling until her stupid teammate found her. But the worst part is she didn't think her current situation was Jiraiya's or her sensei's idea. While it was in the realm of possibility for her sensei to do, she doubted he would. Jiraiya, while crafty, had this hands off policy regarding her and her personal life as much as it was annoying it was also endearing. No, this kind of strategy screamed of only two people, Shikaku Nara and Hiryu Himura. She immediately ruled out Shikaku, mainly because the lazy genius would consider it too troublesome to implement. But Hiryu on the other hand had complex motives on top of complex motives, what one person would think is troublesome; he did it to prove them wrong. Just like a certain red-headed jonin sensei that trained him, the blonde haired woman irritably thought downing her sixth saucer of sake.

"Ya know that stuff pickles your liver, believe it!" A young male voice stated behind her.

The slug sannin turned to see a blonde boy which caused her to nearly drop her saucer. She was currently staring at a boy who looked like Minato back in his genin days, minus a few differences, this boy had whisker marks on his cheeks and his face was a bit thinner. She frowned slightly, looking at her sake bottle. "This must be some strong stuff, I'm hallucinating. Go away Minato, it's not funny."

The blonde boy's frown however was strange, it looked like something she would see on Kushina, "Pervy-sage, you sure this is her?" The blonde boy asked, turning to stare behind him.

"Yeah, that's her," Jiraiya walked up, his brows twitching at the boy's blunt critique of his pass time. "Why do you need to call me that?"

"Hiryu-sensei told me you like to peak in the women's bath house and you write those weird Icha-Icha books Kakashi reads," The blonde boy explained.

Tsunade activated her medical ninjutsu to neutralize the alcohol in her system, and with growing clarity came both awe and shame. "What's your name, gaki?"

"Naruto Uzumaki," The whisker marked blonde stated, which in turn caused the older blonde to mentally wince enough that it made it to her eyes. "Yeah, so cousin, where have you been all my life?" He asked with a frown which only deepened when a certain toad sannin let out a perverted giggle. "Get your head out of the gutter, Pervy-Sage!"

"Naruto, asking Jiraiya to stop being perverted is like asking Kami to stop making it rain," Hiryu responded as he, Sakura, Yakumo, and Shizune with Ton-ton appeared.

"I knew it," Tsunade grumbled glaring at the plain faced jonin. "What do you want, Hiryu?"

"Several things, most of which I can achieve on my own, thanks," Hiryu smirked, crossing his arms over his chest. "What I want is nothing compared to what I need, I need you to returned to the Hidden Leaf, not as a member of the Senju clan but as a member of the Uzumaki clan," He raised one finger to click off a point, "I need you to help Yakumo here with any medical treatments that can build up her constitution to the point of being a healthy teenage girl," His second finger went up followed by a third, "and lastly your sensei has declared you his successor."

Tsunade's eyes flashed at the last one, "I refuse both going back to the Hidden Leaf and becoming Hokage. I rather be hunted down than, take that death sentence," She growled only to freeze feeling a sharp point at her neck. "

"If it wasn't for the fact Naruto, would never forgive me, I'm half way tempted," Hiryu whispered into the woman's ear. He leaned back slightly raising his voice conversationally. "You think you have it so bad, that you are the only one who lost loved ones," Hiryu's voice was cold as ice. "Naruto has spent the last thirteen years experiencing horrors you can only dream of, I lost my father to an ambush during the war, I lost my mother to her own grief. I lost my surrogate mother to a hundred story biju, the same night that Naruto lost his parents. Do you think for one moment you're better than us?"

Tsunade was shaking not out of fear, though she was shocked at the amount of speed the younger man had. No, her reason for shaking was that of grief and regret, "How can you possibly go on?"

"Because as much as I have lost, I've gained back more. I have my fiancée who loves me so much and her family; I have my squad to whom I commit my future to. You've lost a lot Lady Tsunade, but you still have much left, you have your apprentice who cares a great deal for you. You have your dimwitted, perverted teammate still here and cares for you probably more than you imagine, and you have your sensei. Plus you still have family, one cousin standing before you and three others scattered to the four winds," Hiryu sheathed his sword eyes slowly warming. "Sensei once told me she wanted to be the first ever female kage; she gave up on that dream when she fell in love with Minato-sama. As her student I wish to give you her dream of being the first female kage as a member of her family."

Tsunade sat quietly tears falling down her cheeks. It wasn't until she felt two warm arms wrap around her that she looked up and saw Naruto embracing her that the dam broke. All the wrong decisions she made in her life, all the anguish and grief crashed down around her, she vaguely remembered a member of the Yamanaka clan stating she needed to let her grief out before she could heal. However instead of letting it out she bottled it up until she became bitter, and less like her old self. With a simple gesture of love and compassion from a boy she just met, yet had ties to, she finally had a way to let her grief go.

XXX

Author's Note: The Uzumaki clan is by far the most mysterious thing in Naruto, it has ties to the Sage of the Six Paths, the Uchiha, and the Senju clans, it was a well-respected and feared clan. But it only has three confirmed clan members left, Naruto, Tsunade, and Karin. Nagato was a member of the clan, but died after his clan mate knocked sense into his head. With that said, is there any fics out there besides my own that depict Naruto, Karin, and Tsunade as a family and not in the romantic way.