So glad you all enjoyed the last chapter with Kurama rearing her head against the Kumo-kidnapper. We'll see more of her soon, but for now, let's see how Jiraiya and Sarutobi deal with Naruto's sudden transformation.
Jiraiya and Hiruzen Sarutobi watched as Tsunade ran her healing hands over the blonde child's sleeping body. Behind them were Hiashi and Hinata, looking worried for the boy as Tsunade raised up, "Physically, he seems fine," she said, "His Chakra coils have been strained a little, but it's nothing major and should be back to normal by tomorrow. Mentally, I'm not so sure. After something like this, I'm certain that there is some sort of mental trauma."
The Hokage stepped forward, "I'll send for Inoichi to check on his mental state," he said, directing his attention to Jiraiya, "In the mean time, what about the seal? Are we certain it's holding?"
"As far as I can tell, it's still holding strong," Jiraiya said, sighing in relief, "It seems the fox was telling the truth when she said she was merely protecting the boy."
"And that raises a question; why would the fox do something like this?" Tsunade asked, placing her fingers under her chin as she thought about the reasons why the demon beast would willingly help a human.
"Self preservation would be my first guess," Hiruzen said, stroking his beard, "If Naruto were to die, then so would the Bijuu inside him."
Jiraiya nodded, "That's what I thought at first...but if that were the case, then why would she pursue that shinobi that injured him after he fled, leaving Hinata behind in the process?"
"A-ano," Hinata spoke up, catching the adults' attention. "K-Kyuubi-san d-didn't s-seem mean to me. She told me to find my Otou-san, and Jiraiya-san after she came out."
Hiruzen sighed, "And so we have another problem...little Hinata-chan knows about the fox now."
Hinata blinked, "Is that b-bad?" To which Hiashi reached down and patted her head gently.
"Its top secret, my dear," he said to his daughter, "If anyone else knew about this, then they might try to hurt Naruto-chan, or make him hurt others."
"He wouldn't hurt anyone!" Hinata yelped, "He's so nice, and is always smiling, even when the villagers are mean to him!"
"I know, dear, believe me, I know," he said, kneeling down to hush her, "But not still, you must keep the fox a secret." He said, looking at her sternly, "Never tell anyone. If you do, someone might try to hurt Naruto, or worse, control him."
Hinata nodded vigorously, "I promise, Otou-san, I'll never tell!"
Hiashi smiled, "That's my good girl."
Hinata giggled just as Inoichi came into the room, "Hokage-sama, I have the information you wanted."
Hiruzen smiled, "Ah, speak of the devil. Inoichi-san, we were just talking about you."
"Oh?" Inoichi raised an eyebrow, "Something I can do for you?"
Hiruzen nodded, "As a matter of fact, yes." He gestured to the sleeping blonde child, "I'd like you to take a look into Naruto-chan's memories and makes sure there's no mental trauma from tonight's events. From what we understand, the Kyuubi erased everything from the moment he was knocked out and there on."
The blonde Yamanaka nodded, "I suppose I can have a look...but won't the Kyuubi become violent?"
Jiraiya stepped in, "So long as you don't pose a threat to her host, I don't think she'll take action."
"She?" Inoichi said incredulously, then shook his head, What have I gotten myself into? Still, he stepped toward the boy, reaching out yo place his hand on the child's head gently. Mind Reading.
Inoichi suddenly found himself in a very different place. No longer was he in the hospital but a snowy field surrounded by pine and fir trees. "What the hell is this?" He wondered aloud. He looked around, seeing nothing that seemed dangerous, even seeing a few deer milling around, paying him no attention.
His breath came out as a mist as he took a breath, "This is amazing. Naruto's mind is...so vast!"
He jogged through the field a short way, looking for any sign of Naruto, or the Kyuubi for that matter, but saw neither one.
Though the terrain was snowy, Inoichi felt warm, almost like a fire was burning right next to him. "This is strange." He mumbled, "I should have at least caught wind of some thought noise by now." He stopped and scratched his head, "Then again, with a mind this vast, finding anything is like finding a needle in a hay stack."
"Perhaps you need only ask for something to find it."
Inoichi jumped at the sound of the voice, whirling around for a fight, only to catch sight of a large fox nestled under a tree with its nine tails wrapped around her. The blonde Yamanaka stood as still as stone, "You're the Kyuubi!"
"I am," she dipped her head, "And you are of the Yamanaka clan. I knew of your people from the whispers carried on the winds of old. Tell me, what business do you have inside the kit's seal?"
"This is the seal?" Inoichi asked, surprised, "I intended to enter Naruto's mind, not the seal."
Kurama grinned toothily at him, "The seal, though it is located on the kit's stomach, stations me inside his mind, so that I may converse with him from time to time, while my Chakra flows from his already vast well. Again, I ask, why have you come?"
Seeing no reason to lie to the Bijuu, he nodded, "Hokage-sama and Jiraiya-sama were worried that some mental trauma might have been inflicted on the child, and they asked me to find and heal it...but I can't seem to find Naruto in here. Could you show me to him?"
Cocking her head to the side, Kurama's grin seemed to widen, showing off her impressive fangs. "It is good to see that my kit is so loved. I had feared that he would always live in my shadow of hatred...he is here." She said, lifting her tails to reveal a tiny blonde fox kit nestled against her stomach.
Inoichi's eyebrows shot up, "That's Naruto?"
"You are surprised?" Kurama asked, chuckling, "When he passed out, he came here and became a fox to recover."
"And his memories of the event?" Inoichi asked.
"Gone," Kurama said, "I cut all ties to him once I took over so that he would not see through my eyes as I see through his so often. He will not know what happened afterward, nor will he see what I had done through my thoughts and memories."
Again the Yamanaka clan head nodded, "Then the Hokage and Jiraiya-sama truly have nothing to fear on that aspect...but I have to ask you...why did you help him?"
"You mean why did I save the kit from dying at the hands of that enemy shinobi?" Kurama said, sighing when Inoichi nodded in confirmation. "Do you truly think me heartless, Ningen? Am I not a Kitsune? I have had my share of kits in my long life...and I have had to watch them all age and die before me...while I live on. Seeing a kit so young," she said, regarding Naruto for a moment, his head resting on his tiny paws, "I could not bare such a thing."
Inoichi crossed his arms, "You're telling me that you protected him out of maternal instincts?"
Kurama's head snapped up, her mouth dropping open in a monstrous snarl, "Do not doubt me when I know you would do the very same for your own kit!" Inoichi stumbled back in shock, "Do not act so surprised. I smell your mate on you, and I smell your kit! She's no older than Naruto!"
The man nodded, seeing no reason to lie now than he had earlier, "Her name is Ino." He said, smiling as he thought of his daughter, "She drives me crazy, just like her mother, but I'd do anything to make sure she was safe from anything...that includes you." He looked at the fox square in her eyes, daring her to question him.
Instead, Kurama dipped her head, "Then you are a good father. Now, I believe your time here is done. You have your answers, so you may leave and tell the Hokage and the pervert that the kit will sleep until morning."
The Yamanaka clan head bowed slightly, "Thank you...Kyuubi-sama."
"Go!" She snapped, and the vision of the snowy fields blurred as Inoichi tumbled back, landing on his backside in the hospital.
He was immediately surrounded by the Hokage, Jiraiya and Hiashi, who was still holding Hinata.
"Don't, I'm alright," Inoichi said, waving them off, "But you're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you!"
Minutes later, Inoichi had explained everything, much to the shock and surprise of the other elders in the room. Hinata was smiling slightly when she heard the fox was described to be a maternal creature above all other things they had thought. Tsunade thought for a moment that it made sense since the Bijuu turned out to be female in mentality.
"So she won't try anything to injure the gaki?" Tsunade asked.
"I don't think so," Inoichi sighed, "She seemed sincere enough. As a parent myself, I know the look of someone that wants to protect their child."
Hiruzen nodded, "Be that as it may, what do you propose we do about her? Being able to take over Naruto-chan's body is not something any of us planned for."
Jiraiya raised an eyebrow, "You want me to tighten the seal?"
"That may be best," the Hokage nodded.
Jiraiya thought for a moment, then stuck his pinky in his ear, "No."
Thankful for the partial blockage of sound in his one ear, it didn't save the other one when Hiruzen and Tsunade yelled.
"Scary," Hinata shivered, trying to hid in her father's shoulder, the man nodding in agreement with the child as the Sannin faced down his former teammate and sensei.
"Think about it," Jiraiya said, rubbing his ears, "If the fox wanted to be released, then she would have done so a long time ago. Minato made the seal on Naruto based on an Uzumaki Tori Fuin. The double Tori, or Eight Trigrams sealing method is much more powerful than any, and I mean any of the other seals used on the Jinchuuriki I've studied over my travels, and that includes the current vessel of the Hachibi."
Hiruzen nodded, "Yes, and it seems that the Kyuubi is stronger than most of the Bijuu if she can force herself through the seal in such a way."
"I don't think so," Jiraiya shook his head, "Minato was a genius in most things, and Fuin no Jutsu was the top of his game. He even topped me, the man that taught him, making him the greatest sealing master Konoha has ever seen."
"So what's your point?" Tsunade asked, crossing her arms under her breasts, "Are you trying to tell us that Minato actually meant for this to happen?"
"Exactly," Jiraiya grinned, "Think about it. Kushina once told me that she could subdue the Kyuubi with love...and what better to do so than the innocent love of a child?" His smile was beaming as he let this sink in, "Don't you get it? Naruto is unconsciously taming the most powerful tailed beast in the Land of Fire!"
Jiraiya was suddenly sent flying into the opposite wall, courtesy of Tsunade's now smoking fist.
Hiruzen looked after his former student as he sat there in the imprint he'd made on impact. "Was that really necessary, Tsunade-chan?"
"No," Tsunade said, rotating her shoulder, sighing, "But it made me feel better. I was getting a headache after listening to him for so long."
Inoichi sweatdropped, This is the woman Jiraiya-sama wants to marry?
Tsunade then bustled her way to Naruto, scooping the sleeping child up in her arms. "Either way, tell the old pervert that I've taken Naruto-chan home. Tenten-chan and Shizune are probably worried, and he should wake up in his own bed if this is all to be a dream."
After seeing what happened to Jiraiya, no one wanted to get in her way.
Hinata looked after the blonde, "Tsunade-obaasan is scary."
"WAKE UP!" Iruka roared.
Shikamaru opened his eyes lazily, "Here..."
Iruka rolled his eyes, Naras. "Alright, Naruto?"
"He's sick," Tenten pouted. Iruka looked down at the girl, who was sitting with her face cupped in hands in irritation,"It's not fair. I wanted to stay home, too."
Weird, Sasuke thought, Naruto-nii never gets sick. Maybe I'll ask Kaa-san if I can stop by after school.
"Alright then," Iruka sighed, "Kiba!"
"But why couldn't I go?" Naruto whined sadly.
"Because," Shizune said, smiling, "You took a hard knock to the head last night, and I don't want you hurting yourself in Taijutsu class today."
"But I feel fine," Naruto pouted, much like Tenten was doing unknown to him, "Do I have to stay in bed?"
"Yes," Shizune said sternly, "Tsunade-shishou will tell you when you can go play. Now suck it up like a boy and go to sleep."
Groaning, Naruto laid back on the bed, "Yes ma'am."
Shizune smiled and reached out to ruffle the boy's hair, "Don't worry, you'll be back in school before you know it. And guess what?"
"What?" Naruto asked curiously.
"You know that little trip you and Jiraiya are going on in a few months?" Naruto nodded to her question, "Well, Tsunade and I will be going with you!"
"Really?!" Naruto cried excitedly.
"Uh-huh," the young woman nodded happily, "And it looks like Jiraiya will be taking Sasuke-kun with us."
"Cool!" Naruto lept up out of bed.
"Naruto!" Shizune yelped as the child raced for the door, "Come back!"
"Aw, did you have to hit me so hard?" Jiraiya groaned as he applied an ice pack to his head, "I swear, you're gonna bust my head open one of these days!"
Sitting across from him, Tsunade huffed, "Suck it up. You're a man, aren't you?"
"As many times as I've peaked, do you really need to ask that?" Jiraiya smirked, despite is pain. Tsunade had the decency to blush.
"Oops, the little typhoon's awake," Jiraiya smirked as a tiny blonde blure raced into the kitchen and hopped right into his lap. "Morning, Naruto-chan."
"It's afternoon!" The boy grinned, "Can Sasuke really come with us on our trip this time?!"
Jiraiya grinned, "Seems like Shizune spilled the beans. Yup, it's true. Once summer roles around, you, me, Tsunade, Shizune, Sasuke and little Tenten are going to Iwa!"
"YAHOO!" Naruto yelled, jumping from Jiraiya's lap.
"Someone's feeling better," Tsunade grinned as Naruto came back down.
"Of course I feel good!" Naruto yelled happily, "I can't wait!"
"I'm home!" They heard Tenten call from the entry way.
"Ten-neechan!" Naruto yelled, racing to the door, and blowing past Shizune as she came down the stairs.
"Whoa!" Shizune yelped, "Naruto-chan, don't run in the house!"
Jiraiya laughed loudly, thumping the table, "Oh, brother! This is one wild family!"
Tsunade smiled as Tenten and Naruto started chattering animatedly about school, and what he'd missed throughout the day. "Yes, it is wild...but...its our family."
"Our family?" Jiraiya smiled warmly.
"Don't get the wrong idea," Tsunade grumbled, blushing again, "I mean I am his obaa-chan, aren't I?"
Jiraiya chuckled, "You may be that," he said, reaching across the table to take her hand, "But you're still my Hime-chan."
Tsunade blushed so hard that steam was coming out of her ears.
What happened next was, however, to be expected.
"Jiraiya, you old perv!"
"What the hell did I do?!"
"Obaa-chan and Oji-chan are fighting again!" Naruto laughed.
"Not again," Shizune moaned.
Tenten watched the two adults going back and forth in arguments, looking between the two. "They...do this a lot?"
"Lots," Naruto nodded.
"Too much," Shizune nodded.
"What the hell did I do that was perverted?!" Jiraiya yelled.
"You touched me!" Tsunade roared.
"Just your hand!"
"That's still harassment!"
"You are such a prude!"
"Wha'd you call me?!" WHAM
"Will you two stop destroying the kitchen!" Shizune yelled helplessly as Jiraiya was sent careening into the wall again.
"S'not a problem," Naruto grinned, "Hokage-jiji will just send another Genin team to fix it up!"
"Naruto-chan, that's really not the point," Shizune deadpanned.
"This is kinda fun," Tenten said, smiling slightly as Jiraiya peeled himself off the wall.
"That's family," Jiraiya groaned.
"And what a family," Tsunade growled, cocking her fist back for another hit.
"Oh no you don't!" Jiraiya roared, and lunged forward.
"Waaaa!" Shriekd Tsunade as Jiraiya tackled her to the floor. "GET OFF'A ME!"
Jiraiya grinned, then looked over at the children, "I'll take you both out for sweets tonight." Their little faces lit up, "All you have to do is tickle Obaa-chan until she says I'm the greatest!"
"Get'er!" Naruto yelled gleefully with Tenten right behind him.
"Naruto, no! Don't you dare!" Tsunade yelped as the two children jumped, "Help! Shizune!"
"Leave me outta this," the girl smirked as Tsunade shrieked when the two landed and went to work.
"That's good Sasuke," Fugaku smiled as Sasuke fell back on his rump after he finished with his Jutsu. "You're getting better. It won't be long until you've mastered that technique."
"Yeah," Sasuke pouted, touching his mouth where the fire had burned him, "But the fire ball is still smaller than Nii-san's."
Fugaku chuckled as he knelt beside his youngest son, "You can't expect to be great at it right off the bat, you know? Even Uchiha have to train with their Jutsu."
"Yeah, but - "
"Sasuke," Fugaku smiled, "You know Itachi is always training, even with his Sharingan. And the Hyuuga with their Byakugan. We with the Doujutsu kekkei genkai should never allow ourselves to be blinded because we have special eyes that let us see movements before they are made or copy a technique."
"But I don't have my Sharingan, yet." Sasuke mumbled, "And Itachi had his by my age..."
"You are not Itachi," Fugaku said, placing his hand on the boy's shoulder, "You are Sasuke, and no one else. Look at the Uzumaki - "
"The very same," Fugaku nodded, "They, too, had a Doujutsu known as the Rinnegan, the very same eyes as the sage of six paths. It was rare, but when it did surface, that person was trained to be the best of the village at using the Jutsu those eyes provided, and nothing else. True, they were powerful, probably more powerful than either of the other Doujutsu, but that meant nothing if they didn't train with it, and learn to master it when it came to them."
"You think Naruto-nii will have one?" Sasuke asked curiously.
Fugaku shook his head, "I doubt it, since he's only a half-blood Uzumaki, but he already has their fabled wellspring of Chakra. And that by itself makes him a blank canvas for unrivaled strength if he trains properly." He smiled down at his son, "Just like you do, Sasuke. You're fairly strong already, knowing a Katon no Jutsu at your age in academy is fairly advanced."
Sasuke grinned, "I'll be stronger than Nii-san!"
Fugaku laughed outright, "Let's not get ahead of yourself!" He smiled, "First thing's first; go inside and get those burns treated."
"Hai," Sasuke grinned and ran for the house. Fugaku smiled after him. A sad smile. Unrest was building in the clan, as he had told the Hokage, many feeling they were falsely accused for the Kyuubi attack. Being moved away from their former lands in Konohagakure was bad enough, but the loss of honor had cut them all deeply, and now the wound was festering.
"Sometimes I envy the sweet innocence of children," he murmured to himself before looking up at the evening sky, "Sasuke...Itachi...please forgive me..."
Sorry for taking so long, but I got lost on the road of life...dear god I sound like Kakashi 0_o
Anyway, gotta a question. Though this is a Naruto-centered fic, but I've also thrown in some JiraiyaXTsunade. What I wanna know is if you'd like to see those two together in this fic?
Don't forget to review!