This is something that came to my mind when I was watching the chuunin exam arc again. I just couldn't let this go. It was so heart touching that I just had to write this. Took me a few days but It really made me feel good.
Tell me what you guys think of my attempt.
Read and enjoy. Leave a review if you like it.
Edit: 7 sept '13 - Just some spelling mistakes fixed...
Sarutobi felt himself let loose a sigh of relief as the coffin marked 'Four' did not work as it should have. To have Minato as an opponent would have meant his instant death. Orochimaru looked a little disappointed as well.
"It seems the Death God doesn't allow the souls he claims to be summoned. Too bad, kukuku. I was hoping to use him to wipe out all the jounin before I took my sweet time with the others."
Sarutobi frowned as the Shodaime and Nidaime strode forward. Orochimaru chuckled at the wary stance his sensei had taken. "I know, sensei. How about we use a replacement? Someone who will cause you equal pain to fight." Orochimaru's yellow eyes glinted with twisted humor. He clapped his hands together again and another coffin rose out of the ground. Sarutobi wondered who it could be, prepared for anyone. Still, he was stunned when the coffin door fell and revealed the occupant.
"Kami…." Hiruzen's eyes widened with shock.
Red strands of hair billowed out of the coffin by the wind.
"Kushina-chan." Sarutobi's voice was filled with pain.
"Do you like my idea, sensei? Didn't you and Biwako-sensei think of her as a daughter?" Orochimaru laughed. "How do you like fighting her? You've already failed her once, letting her son be treated as trash."
Sarutobi turned shocked eyes to his student, only to meet the teasing gaze the traitorous Sannin.
"What?" Orochimaru asked, "was it supposed to be a big secret?"
Sarutobi hardened his gaze and in a speed beyond what you would expect from a man his age, dashed to Orochimaru and swung a staff at his student's head who just smirked and leapt back.
"So easy to goad, sensei." Orochimaru admonished as he landed, the two Hokage also landing in front of him, acting as shields. "Really, a man your age should know better."
Sarutobi glanced up and Orochimaru frowned to see that his sensei was smiling.
"Still too easy to trick, Orochimaru." , the Sandaime said. "Really, a man your age should know better."
Before Orochimaru realized what Sarutobi's true intentions were, the man stuck a handful of explosive tags on the red head's coffin and dragged the undead form of the woman out as he leapt back.
Orochimaru screamed in fury as the coffin exploded into smithereens.
Eyes with black scelera blinked in confusion as Hiruzen glanced down in shock.
The eyes blinked again.
"H-Hokage-sama? What – Where?" Kushina asked.
"Orochimaru resurrected you using the Nidaime's forbidden technique to destroy the village." Sarutobi explained as he dropped the woman onto her feet. "I saved you before he could put you completely under his control."
"Resurrected?" Kushina's mind was still blurred. Then it all cleared in an instant. The night she went into labor. Giving birth. The masked Man. The Kyuubi. Oh Kami, Minato and her sealing the bijuu into their son. Naruto. Her son, Naruto.
"Naruto." She gasped out.
Hiruzen seemed to understand, her reaction.
"Is fighting for his village outside, right now." He said. This seemed to bring Kushina out of her stupor. She glanced at Orochimaru and frowned.
"I don't know why you are trying to destroy the village, Orochimaru-san, but you should never use this jutsu on seal masters." She said, making hand seals. A web like pattern appeared all over her body and Orochimaru felt the small control he had over the woman's soul fade away.
"What did you do?" he hissed.
Kushina grinned in a way that reminded Sarutobi of Naruto. "Wouldn't you like to know-ttebane."
Orochimaru cursed his decision to summon the damned woman's soul. He had forgotten that the jutsu revived the soul's with all their techniques in life. He narrowly avoided the chakra tail that thrashed the ground he had been standing on. Kushina was covered in red, bubbling chakra that seemed to automatically lock onto him. The damned chakra chains whizzing past him every few seconds did nothing to help. Sarutobi was now fighting the Nidaime. Kushina had somehow sealed the Shodai in the very beginning using some complex Uzumaki sealing technique. Right now, the Shodai's resurrected body was covered with glowing sealing runes, completely motionless, and to his dismay, the Sandaime was actually keeping up with the Second Hokage. In his moment of distraction, the chakra tail lashed at his chest like a whip. He could feel the evil taint of the chakra burn his body's skin and muscle. The miasma was poisonous. If he did not remove it, this body would disintegrate in a matter of days.
"This is useless." He hissed, one hand over his bleeding chest. "Retreat for now."
In an instant, the barrier dropped and his body guards rushed after him as he jumped towards the wall.
"Sandaime-sama!" Kushina rushed to the aged Hokage, who was panting heavily now. "Uzumaki Sealing technique: Three Locks Seal." She slammed her palm into the Nidaime's back. Sealing script spread from her palm and the Nidaime's body started turning to stone.
"You did well, monkey." The Second Hokage smiled as he regained control before his features hardened into graphite.
Suddenly the Nidaime's stone statue glowed and a light shot up from it. The Shodai's sealed form did the same.
"What was that?" Kushina asked, surprised.
"Orochimaru released the jutsu." Hiruzen panted as his ANBU Arrived next to him, assessing Kushina for any threats. "She is an ally." Hiruzen straightened. "What is the status?" he asked his ANBU general.
The Masked General saluted and reported. "The Enemy is in full retreat. The Sand nin have surrendered after finding out that it wasn't their Kazekage who ordered the invasion. Sound nin have either been killed, apprehended or have retreated along with their master. The Ichibi was defeated by Uzumaki-san in the forest. He and his teammates are on the way back."
"Uzumaki-san?" Kushina blinked. As far as she knew, she had been the last Uzumaki in Konoha.
"He means Naruto." Hiruzen said.
"Naruto?" Kushina's eyes widened. "But why does he have my clan name? Shouldn't it be-?"
Hiruzen silenced her with a signal, and she stopped, confused.
"After you and the Yondaime passed away," the Sandaime said, pointedly glancing at the other ninja who had arrived to their Hokage's support, "it was believed that it would be better if Naruto took on your name, lest he become target of his father's enemies."
Kushina's eyes widened in understanding. Then she realized what the Third had said.
"So, after I and his father passed on, who took care of him?"
A look of sadness came into the Hokage's eyes that filled Kushina's heart with foreboding. Before he could reply, the Hokage was interrupted by an ANBU that appeared next to him.
"The genin have returned." He reported.
"Very well." Sarutobi nodded. "Lead the way to them. I think someone would like to meet them."
The ANBU nodded and leapt away, the entire group behind him.
Sasuke dropped the unconscious form of the dobe onto an empty bed in the hospital courtyard where non critical patients were being kept. Why the dobe was being put here instead of the intensive care unit was something that the raven haired boy was thinking furiously about. The way Naruto had fought, the damage he had taken, he should have been dead or at least close to it, but by the time they returned, most of the cuts on the blonde's body had closed up. His breathing had gone back to normal. It seemed that as the blonde slept, he healed almost five times faster than what medical nin could do. It was another thing that Sasuke was wondering about Naruto.
How was the dobe so strong?
Sasuke had expected the blonde to improve from the idiot he had been in the academy over time, yes, but this was ridiculous. How did the idiot get a summon? How could he summon such a big summon? How could he defeat that – that monster that the gourd boy had become?
How Was The Dobe So Damn STRONG?
Sasuke stood and glared at the unconscious boy as if it was all the blonde's fault. Sakura stood confused behind Sasuke-kun. Why had Sasuke-kun been in such a bad mood ever since she had woken up after that demon had knocked her out?
He had said that Naruto had fought and defeated the sand beast. She was sure that Sasuke-kun was just being modest and wanted Naruto to get some credit too. He was so kind. (Squeal! So cool!)
"N – Naruto-kun?"
Both members of team turned and saw the most timid member of team eight walking towards them.
"Is he a – all right?" Hinata asked.
"Hn." Sasuke grunted. In his mind, it was safe to do so because Hinata wouldn't squeal and try to glomp him if he responded to her.
"Woah! He looks like he was put through a blender." Kiba arrived, just behind his teammate. Shino walked slowly behind him as well.
"Uzumaki-san looks like he is improving by the second." He observed.
"Yeah, right!" Kiba snorted.
But Sasuke could see that Shino was right. The smaller scratches were actually fading right before his eyes.
Everyone turned to see Ino and her team coming towards them. "How are you? I heard from Shikamaru that you guys went after that demon boy."
"We did." Sakura nodded. "I was knocked out by him and almost died. Sasuke-kun saved me and defeated the beast boy." She made heart shaped eyes at Sasuke who whipped his neck towards her and growled.
"How many times do I have to say it before it enters your useless brain?" he seethed. The two girls were taken aback by his intense response. "I did not save you." He said. "It was Naruto who defeated the sand boy. It was Naruto who rescued you. Not me. Put it into your big forehead."
"Naruto?" Ino asked shocked. "I can't believe it."
"I can." A new voice said. Again, the group turned and found Team Gai standing near them. To their surprise, it was Neji who had said the line.
"Naruto-san is strong." He said, his eyes looking beyond them, into the crowd. "Not just in the physical strength. His will is like a mountain. Whatever hits it, has to bend around it, unable to move it."
"Are we talking about the same guy?" Ino asked, snorting.
"Naruto-kun has always been strong." A red faced Hinata put in her two cents worth.
Suddenly, Neji and Sasuke looked up, alert. The entire group tensed but relaxed as their sensei landed next to them. Kurenai looked a little disheveled but the other three jounin looked as always. Suddenly more ninja arrived, followed by ANBU squadrons and the Hokage himself, along with a familiar looking beautiful red headed woman.
To Sasuke and Sakura's shock, Kakashi's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates when he saw the woman. Asuma's lips parted in surprise and he dropped his cigarette. That caught Shikamaru and Neji's attention, as well as Kurenai's. All of them looked at the woman that had elicited such a response from the two veteran jounin.
"K – Kushina nee-sama?" Kakashi stuttered as Asuma just blinked like an owl.
"Kakashi-kun? Is that you? Kami, it is you. You're the only one who called me that" the woman looked surprised. Then she grinned and again a wave of familiarity washed over the genin. None of them could pinpoint it, but the woman's features reminded them of someone.
In a flash, the woman was beside Kakashi, ruffling the jounin's hair fondly. "Look how you're all grown up now. You're taller than me."
"I always said I'd would end up taller than you, nee-sama." Kakashi said, his voice heavy with emotion.
This alone almost gave Sakura a heart attack. Their sensei, their absolutely apathetic sensei looked as if he was ready to cry any moment. The woman pulled him down gently and softly kissed his masked cheek. Kakashi's body shook as he suppressed a sob. The woman looked around.
"And is that Asuma-kun?" the woman turned to the smoker and frowned. "You also took up the bad habit of smoking, did you?"
"S-sensei." Asuma choked out hastily stepping on his smoke stick in an useless attempt to hide it.
Shikamaru's eyebrow's rose. The woman looked too young to be his sensei's sensei.
"H – how?" Asuma asked.
The woman's smile vanished and the Sandaime Hokage's somber voice took over.
"Orochimaru used a forbidden technique that summons the soul of the dead and bind them to his will to fight for him. Unfortunately for him and fortunately for us, that backfired on him as Kushina-chan overthrew his control and almost sent him to his grave."
The woman grinned again and tapped her biceps, flexing her muscles. "That felt so good. After six months of mood swings and backaches, it felt nice to let loose like the good old days."
Asuma and Kakashi's shudders did not go unnoticed by the genin.
"The souls of the dead?" Sasuke asked thinking of his dead parents. How he would love to meet his parents, even if under the effect of that jutsu. The woman turned to him and her eyes widened with joy.
"Oh Kami, you look just like Mikoto!" she exclaimed.
Sasuke was taken aback by the mention of his mother's name.
"I know," the woman slapped her fist into her palm. "You're Sasuke-kun." She grinned and walked to him. Before the boy could react, his cheeks were being pulled by the woman. "Wow, look at how much you've grown. The last time I saw you, you peed on me." She said, much to the embarrassment of the genin.
Sasuke's cheeks were red by the time Kushina let them go. Kiba moved a few steps back, keeping a safe distance from the weird lady.
"I and Mikoto always wished that you and my son would be good friends, dattebane." She grinned.
Sasuke's eyes widened at that word, as did Neji and Shikamaru's. Shino's eyebrows went up behind his glasses.
Sasuke's mind was in a whirl. It couldn't be. But then his mind asked, why not?
"Your son?" Sasuke asked, even though he was sure of the answer.
"Yeah." Kushina nodded and then her eyes went wide. "Of course, that's why I came here. To see my son and his teammates. I wonder how he looks now. You may know him. His name is Naruto."
Nobody said anything. The woman grinned and everyone realized that it was Naruto that she kept reminding them of. It was clear now. This woman was really Naruto's mother.
Kiba found his tongue first.
"You're Naruto's mom?" he asked incredulously.
Kushina turned to him and grinned. "Yeah." She nodded vigorously just like Naruto. "You sound like you know him. Are you his teammate?"
"N-no." Kiba shook his head. "They are." He pointed to Sakura and Sasuke.
"Ooooh." Kushina clapped her hands together and turned to look at the two. "Sasuke-chan and Naruto-chan are both teammates. How nice. Mikoto must love it."
Sasuke was still reeling to process that his and dobe's mothers had been friends. Sakura on the other hand found her manners first.
"H-hello Uzumaki-san." She bowed politely and Sasuke followed. "I'm Haruno Sakura. Nice to meet you."
Kushina also bowed. "Hello Sakura-chan. Nice to meet you too. Thank you for taking care of Naruto in my absence."
Sakura shifted uncomfortably. She hadn't been that tolerant of Naruto in the past and was feeling guilty. She was wondering what to say when she was saved by Neji of all people.
"Uzumaki-san." He stepped forward. Kushina turned to look at him as Neji looked at her closely. This was the mother of the ninja who had shown him that Fate could be changed. He bowed. "Please accept my gratitude. Your son has taught me a very valuable life lesson."
"He did?" Kushina asked, grinning. "He must have gotten his father's brains then."
"Not really." Kakashi said, his voice dripping with amusement. "He is just like you nee-sama. I'd know I'm his sensei."
"That is true." The Sandaime chuckled. "He is an even bigger troublemaker than what you were at his age."
"He painted the Hokage monument as a prank." Asuma shook his head with mirth.
"He what?" Kushina blinked.
"Painted the Hokage monument." Kakashi pointed to the mountain. "All the Hokage's. In fact, he gave the fourth quite a makeover."
"Minato-kun?" Kushina said, her smile fading a little. She turned to look up at the monument. Kakashi mentally cursed himself. He had had more than a decade to come to term with the Yondaime's death, but for Kushina it would be a very recent memory.
"Naruto wants to be Hokage too, you know." Sandaime said, trying to turn Kushina's attention away from painful memories.
"He does?" Kushina immediately brightened. "Like parents like son, huh?" she smiled. "He will become a good Hokage one day."
Unlike usually when Naruto said it, nobody from the genin snorted or laughed.
"He is very well on his way to it." Kakashi nodded. "I heard he just defeated the Ichibi and saved his teammates as well as the village."
"Ichibi?" Sasuke asked, his eyes narrowing. That thing had a name? "You mean that sand monster?"
Kushina looked at Sasuke and frowned disapprovingly. "Don't call him that."
"But he was a monster." Sakura shuddered as she remembered. "He was small but he certainly looked terrifying."
"He got big later." Sasuke admitted. "Taller than the tallest trees of the forest."
The other genin ha their eyes wide at that. The forest had some humongous trees. Ino couldn't take it anymore.
"Then there's no way Naruto could have defeated him."
The temperature rose around them as Kushina's hair started flailing around her. "What do you mean, dear?" she asked, her eyes taking a red glint.
There was a scream from a nearby ninja, one of the many who were watching the odd group in the hospital's courtyard. He looked to be around forty-ish. He was pointing towards Kushina with a shaking finger.
"It's the Red Habanero." He shrieked like a girl. "RUN!"
Many more senior ninja paled after looking closely at the woman. Many just jumped away, leaving a very confused younger generation behind. Sarutobi chuckled and the heavy atmosphere dissolved as Kushina looked at the now almost empty courtyard behind. Ino was trying to edge behind her sensei to use him as a cover. Even Shikamaru was impressed and he lived with his mother. Damn, Naruto's mom was Scary.
"I think what Ino was trying to say was," Asuma tried damage control. He knew perfectly well how his sensei became when she was pissed. "That for a genin to beat the Ichibi is improbable."
"So what if Naruto is a genin?" Kushina pouted. "He is my son and Uzumaki don't give up. We fight until we win."
The genin listened with interest. Apparently Naruto's determination was an inherited trait.
"But still," kiba asked, making sure to keep his voice as free of the incredulousness he was feeling, "how could he take on something that big? Huh Sasuke, did you see anything?"
Sasuke heaved a sigh. He was there so it was up to him to either say something or just lie. He looked up and Saw Kushina looking at him anxiously and the expression somehow reminded him of his own mother. In a moment of weakness, Sasuke succumbed.
"He summoned a toad." He said slowly. Everybody was listening closely.
"A toad summoning?" Kushina's eyes went wide.
"But how did a toad help? Aren't they like really small?" Ino asked.
"Well, this one wasn't." Sasuke snapped at the girl. "He was almost as big as the sand monster itself and had a huge sword."
"Was it smoking a pipe?" Kushina asked, excitement leaking from her voice. The genin were looking at her in a 'Are you even listening to what you're saying' manner but the elder nin looked at Sasuke, who nodded.
"Gamabunta-san." Kushina said, wide eyed. "Naruto summoned Gamabunta-san?"
"Gamabunta?", Sakura asked. "Who's he?"
"He's the boss summon of the Toad contract." Kakashi explained to his student. "And," he looked towards the mountain at his sensei's face, "he is famous for being the battle mount of the Yondaime Hokage."
The genin looked really surprised. Sakura looked over her shoulder at the blonde in the bed. Kushina followed her gaze and stiffened as her eyes stopped at the full head of sunshine blonde hair. She took a hesitant step forward.
"I- is he okay?" her worry dripping from her voice.
"He'll be fine." Kakashi said softly. "He's inherited your healing."
Kushina realized he was referring to the Kyuubi and she nodded silently.
The others watched as the mother knelt beside her son's bed, her eyes wet. She bent down and kissed him on the forehead and a tear drop fell.
The others almost jumped back as Kushina suddenly started to glow with a bright light.
"Kushina-chan." Sarutobi was at her side immediately. "what's happening? Is Orochimaru doing this?"
The jounin and ANBU stiffened at the mention of the traitor's name.
"No." Kushina said softly. "Meeting Naruto has given me a sense of peace that is causing my soul to lose it's forced anchor in this world."
"You mean…." Kakashi began but stopped as Kushina weaved her hands through Naruto's locks.
"It seems I'm leaving you again, Naruto.", her voice soft and full of love. "I'm sorry." She whispered, putting her forehead on top of the unconscious blonde's and tears flowing from her eyes. "I'm so sorry."
The other's watched uncomfortably. They were infringing upon the blonde's very private moment.
"I can't tell you, how difficult it was for me last time. You had been born hardly an hour before your father and I had to fight the kyuubi." Kushina pulled Naruto's limp hand towards her lips and kissed it. "But we don't regret it at all. I loved you and your father loved you so much that we didn't care if we died saving you." She sniffled and sobbed, "But I was so afraid that we had left you all alone."
Kakashi and Asuma bowed their heads in shame. Sarutobi looked in immense pain.
"And now that I've seen the wonderful friends you have, I can rest in peace."
The genin looked uncomfortable. They hadn't been Naruto's friends. They had seen Naruto as just, well Naruto. The closest that Naruto could call friends were the boys who ditched classes with him.
"Now listen," Kushina said as she slowly started to disintegrate into light, "Listen to Kakashi-kun, all right. Don't give him trouble." Then she half chuckled and half sobbed, "At least not too much." She hugged his prone form. "Always remember, I and your father loved you very much."
With that final message, Kushina faded away.
The gathering lowered their head in respect as the girls and Kurenai were openly weeping. The others just kept their faces bowed and hidden from sight. They were still bowed when a groan brought their attention to the bed.
"Ughh." Naruto rubbed his forehad.
"NARUTO !" Sakura shouted and rushed to his side.
"Dobe." Sasuke moved to the bed's other side, his anger and jealousy forgotten, replaced by concern.
"How are you feeling Naruto?" Sarutobi asked, his voice in control and he walked up the blonde's bed as well.
"Jiji?" Naruto looked at the old man who smiled sadly back at him. "I'm okay I guess." He looked around and was surprised to see so many people around him. "What's everyone doing here?" then his eyes went wide as he remembered.
"JIJI! THE VILLAGE…. IS EVERYBODY ALL RIGHT?"
Sarutobi chuckled. Just like his father. Thinking of the village before everything. "Yes, Naruto-kun." He put a loving hand on the blonde's head. "The village is fine now. We took some hits but we won."
"That's good." Naruto grinned and everybody could see the similarity between the red haired woman that had been there moments ago. The his mood sobered up. Sarutobi noticed and looked closely at him. "What happened Naruto kun?"
"I just had this weird dream.." Naruto brought his arms closer to himself, subconsciously. It made him look so small and sad. "I can't remember much. I just remember this really pretty lady with long red hair."
Everyone exchanged glances.
"Tell me about her, Naruto-kun." Sarutobi sat down on the edge of the bed.
"I can't really remember." Naruto scrunched up his face in a hard effort to remember. "I just remember that her hair was very pretty and she was really beautiful. Even more than Sakura-chan." He said unaware that Sakura was standing right next to him. When he realized his faux pas, he immediately looked up in panic, "I- I didn't…"
To his surprise, Sakura sobbed and smiled instead of pounding on him and hugged his head to her stomach. "I'm sure she was Naruto." Everybody smiled, "I'm sure she was."
I hope you guys liked it. I enjoyed writing it.