Uzumaki – Chapter 3

Chapter 3

If she could hide the sigh that always escaped her lips when she walked in the door, she never actually tried. It was an ongoing joke among the up and coming jounin that any visit to the office of the Hokage would always find him in the same spot when they walked in. He always stood behind his desk, facing the gargantuan window behind him, looking out over Konoha, a far away look in the aging man’s eyes. Thoughts on the reasons for it circulated among the ninja, and were as varied as the jutsus under the old man’s belt. Some said he wanted to give off the appearance of intimidation his predecessors had in spades, but for some reason, he never went far to scare his shinobi in line. He usually preferred a smile and a kind word, which seemed to work better for him. The other reasons were stranger as the Jounin’s began to come up with them, slowly bordering on insanity.

She knew the real reason, her family had been intimate with them.

“Hmmmm?” he grumbled, less a request for her to repeat her statement as it was a surprise at her presence at his back.

“I said,” Tsunade began, “Do you have to be doing that every time I walk in? It was bad enough when I was competing with that view for grand-pa’s attention… Don’t make me do it with my own sensei, now.”

He turned slowly, his eyes still bright and vibrant despite middle-age and its pangs upon his body, heralding what most called a descent into old age. “You above anyone should know why I do this, child. How many men in your family have borne the name ‘Hokage?’”

“So far, three…” she answered wistfully. She could feel her brother’s bittersweet memory on her lips, though he had barely made it up into the ranks of Konoha’s ninjas, in her mind, he would always be deserving of the title of Hokage.

“Its the beauty of Konoha… I can’t help but be struck by its beauty each time I see it…” he said, smiling at her. “Its my hope that one day one of you will be standing behind this desk seeing it the way only a Hokage can.”

“Please, Sarutobi-sensei… I know you don’t want to show favoritism, but we both know you want Orochimaru to be your successor…” she said, burying Nawaki’s memory once more in her gut.

“I thought your boyfriend Dan wanted to succeed me as Yondaime…” he said, taking a seat behind his desk.

“He does… But let’s face it… When Jiraiya is is higher on the totem-pole than you are, you still have a way to go. And, taking stock of your other students, I prefer medical posts, and the name circulating among the women of the village for Jiraiya is ‘walking hard-on.’ Oro is a stack of books with legs, and can summon in his sleep. So far, he’s at the top of the list,” Tsunade said with a smile. “Godaime or Rokudaime, maybe…” Tsunade crossed her long legs, and sat across from her teacher, her blue-eyes and long hair catching the light as it streamed in through the window. As Sarutobi regarded her, seeing the beautiful woman Tsunade had become, he could see why Dan had been given the name, “that lucky son of a bitch.”

“Yes, I admit I would love for Orochimaru to succeed me, its true… But…”

“But what?”

“Its nothing… Either way, I’m not dead yet… I’ve got a good ten or so years left in me before I need to worry about choosing the Fourth… But, speaking of senseis…”


“You didn’t let me finish…”

“I’m not taking on genins… No…”

Sarutobi actually frowned, “Jiraiya said he would…”

“Jiraiya’s an idiot…”

“Orochimaru has said he’ll choose an apprentice,” he began.

“Orochimaru is an idiot.”

“I trained you from a fetus to be a fine shinobi, you’re called one of the legendary three, and you’re telling me you won’t pass that on to some Genin?”

“Pretty much.”

“I change my mind… I want you to become Hokage one day…” he said, uncharacteristic scorn in his voice.

“You are an evil old bastard… You really are.” They laughed for several long minutes, Tsunade finding a few moments relief in it.

“I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to be Yondaime,” she said, “I’m not sure its a burden I could handle.”

“I think you’d do well…”

Those words. It was always those words that Tsunade went back to when the pressures of being Godaime Hokage began to thicken and coalesce about her to the point of suffocation. It was times like this that her aide Shizune went from valued subordinate to the top of the Bingo Book, s-class rating. She had to admit to missing the life she led between the days after Dan’s death and the day Naruto Uzumaki entered her life like a loud, annoying meteor from the heavens. The precious lack of responsibility, riding the wind and living from gambling IOU to IOU, ducking loan sharks, and fearing for her life when luck usually went her way. To her, sometimes, it seemed as though her manning the post of Hokage was the ultimate expression of her nickname, “the legendary sucker.”

Then, there was now, and in leaning against the glass of her window, taking in the sight of the village of Konoha, letting it wash over and consume her, she found connection with the feelings she always felt so strongly in her teacher, her lover, brother, and grandfather. The post of Hokage was never un-challenging, never unwavering in its assault on one’s senses. The constant barrage of politics, logistics, planning, and administration was enough to make a saint into a blood-thirsty cannibal. It was a labor of love though, and one she gave her all… when she was sober.

It was also comforting to remind herself that she also considered herself a temporary shepard of the position, knowing who waited in the wings to take on the position when she was ready to lay it aside. He was annoying enough to knock a buzzard off a gut wagon, but she knew what he had in his heart, and it was the one bet she would risk anything on. Knowing four Hokage’s as well as she did, she felt easily qualified to say who would do well with the position, and who would not. He had growing to do, but then so did Yondaime, according to Jiraiya at the very least.

Her eyes fell gently on his picture, sitting assuredly there on the wall next to three of the men she admired more than any god that might exist on Earth. “Maybe I should have gotten to know you better,” she said to the air, “Your advice might have been better than the old man’s.” She smiled, then turned back to her desk, taking a seat, and reading over Kakashi’s report once more.

Her one great hold-out for Konoha’s future had gone toe to toe with one of the men who sought to capture him, and take the demonic prize within his belly from him. In the battle, Naruto’s body had begun to generate a field of intense chakra, that had taken on the form of his dark prisoner, and he became reckless and incoherent. Kakashi had been there, luckily, and with the help of a seal created by Jiraiya, had managed to seal away the boy’s chakra. They had returned home with no problems, aside from Kakashi’s powerful exhaustion, Naruto’s irritation at being denied the follow-up mission, and Sakura’s embarrassment over Naruto’s tantrum.

The truly scary part happened next in a meeting she attended with Jiraiya, Kakashi, and a nameless Jounin. She began to blush as Jiraiya began removing his robe, then lifted the mesh shirt beneath, “I’ve come close to dying twice in my life… Once when Tsunade had her way with me,and the second, fighting Naruto…” The scar easily ran the length of the old master’s chest, and for others gathered, was painful merely to look at.

Jiraiya went on to describe the formation of four-tails in the complex chakra creation, how the shroud of powerful energy appeared to protect Naruto, but in reality caused his body great harm. “He’s covered in his own blood by the time its over… And, afterwards, his body heals as though nothing out of the ordinary has happened. If he keeps this up, he’s going to end up shortening his life…”

“And that, is where we would need you…” Tsunade spoke to the nameless Jounin.

“I see a but coming up here…” Kakashi interjected from his place in his hospital bed.

“As do I,” the usually nameless Jounin said. “We’re all aware of the abilities I inherited from your grandfather, Hokage-sama…”

“Exactly,” Kakashi added, “If you’re going to send my team on the mission to the bridge, Yamato’s the perfect choice to lead.”

“My thoughts exactly…” Tsunade said, “Or, they were until I met with Sarutobi-sama’s advisors about the mission. Guess who showed up…”

“Naruto… I figured he’d stay on you till you let him have the mission,” Jiraiya guessed.

“You would be wrong, my friend,” Tsunade replied. “Far worse than Naruto breaking into a classified meeting. Danzou was there.”

The groan from Jiraiya was audible and powerful. Kakashi could almost feel it in his ribs. “We’re talking ‘the’ Danzou, right? The one with the balls to try and go against the choice of two living Hokages for the right to replace them?”

“One and the same,” Tsunade said. “Worse, the advisors were in his corner.”

“Hell’s frozen over… I would have thought we’d have heard from him when Sarutobi-sama died,” Jiraiya said grimly, not wanting to experience the memory too vividly.

“I don’t need to explain the implications here at all. Only that he wants to be the one to suggest the new member of your team, Kakashi. I’ve no doubts he’d have only been too happy to suggest a Jounin to command as well,” Tsunade’s hands were clenched in rage.

“Naruto isn’t going to be happy,” Kakashi chimed in.

“Tough for him,” she replied pointedly, “He’ll have to learn to subsume his own desires for the greater good of Konoha if he wants to be Hokage.”

“So… What’s the plan?” Jiraiya asked.

“Yamato, you’ll be on your usual duties, but you’ll be close by Konoha in case of an emergency. If Yondaime’s seal is degrading, we may need you here to control Naruto. Kakashi, I want you getting well, so Shizune will be supervising your care.”

“That’s it? He’s just got to get well…” Jiraiya asked.

“I have the hardest job of all, Jiraiya…” Kakashi said.

“True, controlling Naruto will be a hand-full.”

“I’ll have Sakura to help me… Besides… They’ll be quite busy… Hokage-sama… I could use a nice line up of D-rank missions…”

“You’ll have them,” Tsunade said. “Jiraiya… You know you’re role already.”

“Akatsuki… I already have a line on them… I’ll be gone about two months. I can also get you some recon on the Grass Village as well,” he said.

“Do it,” the Hokage replied.

“What about the mission,” Yamato asked.

“I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it anyway,” Kakashi said, “It seems an awful lot of trouble to find someone whose probably a Sound Genin who’s going to tell us that Orochimaru touched him inappropriately.”

“Good point…” Tsunade agreed, “Still, I’m going to have a hard time convincing them to kill this mission. I can do it, though. Until then… I have research to do.”

Jiraiya nearly choked on his tea, “You? Research? Voluntarily?”

“Yeah… Believe it or not. I’m going to dig up every bit of information we have on Naruto… If his health deteriorates too far, we may need to dig up some info on any family he might have… anywhere,” Tsunade said, her chin cupped in her hand.

Jiraiya once more, choked on his tea. “Thats… ahem… A tall order, Tsunade…”

Tsunade considered this, “I know, but if Akatsuki manages to steal Kyuubi from him, or if Naruto manages to exceed its recuperative abilities… Any genetic match, no matter how remote could make it easier to save his life.”

“I didn’t require one for the implantation of my sharingan,” Kakashi said.

“Which is a testament to Rin’s ability as a surgeon, and your body’s own adaptive abilities… Not everyone shares those.. Close genetic relation makes transplants far easier, and lessens the possibility of rejection,” Tsunade answered.

“Still… It’s a… tall order,” was all Jiraiya could work up.

Tsunade had looked back upon Jiraiya’s reaction several times, and had puzzled over it each time she thought back over it, his evasiveness strange each time the needle of her mind passed over the memory’s groove. Her reverie was halted though, by a knock at her door. She thought about getting to her feet and facing the window, but all that came from it was a short chuckle.

The knock came again before she gave her assent to its entry. The door opened with a creak, and in stepped a young medic nin, barely nineteen years of age, black hair slicked back, and clad in his typical white coat and lab attire. He adjusted a pair of round-framed glasses, and sat down across from Tsunade as she motioned to the chair. “I hope I’m not interrupting…”

“Not at all, Hibiki. Between reading Kakashi’s report, and waiting on Yoshi’s, I could use some good news. Tell me what you’ve found,” Tsunade said.

“Well, Hokage-sama…” he began, his hesitation irritating Tsunade instantly.

“Hibiki… You’re the most talented researcher in the hospital, and we managed to save all the records from the Kyuubi’s attack. I put you on this because I knew if anyone could sort through the mess that was in there, it would be you. I have had a very rough two days trying to convince people who want to do something very badly that they should not do something. Please, God, Please… Tell me you have good news…” Tsunade broke the pen in her hand as he shook his head.

He placed a file before her on Tsunade’s desk, “The files for Uzumaki’s birth year are spread all to hell… Some are kept in the basement of the hospital, others were in medical offices around Konohagakure… It was a mess… But I did manage to find this.”

Tsunade opened it and examined the single sheet of paper, she mouthed the words on the page, “Ordered sealed by Sandaime Hokage…”

Hibiki nodded, “I also found the sign in sheets for the night of his birth. We do have that information, and from what you’ve told me, he’s always known his birthday.” He handed her a second file a moment later, “This, however, is golden compared to that.”

Tsunade took the file but did not open it, “Golden? How?”

Hibiki cocked an eyebrow,”Well, I run across a file like this every now and then. The Hyuuga’s personal physician maintains an office in the hospital, and has asked me to retrieve the files for Neji-sama and Hinata-sama before. Both were sealed by Sandaime as well. We maintain the empty folders pretty much for record-keeping purposes.”

Tsunade opened the file and thumbed through it, “That’s a courtesy extended to elite clans like the Hyuugas and the Uchihas… I’ve never heard of the Uzumakis…”

Nor have I… I didn’t find a single mention of the name prior to that file in fact,” Hibiki indicated the one in her hands.

Tsunade looked it over, “What is this?”

“Its an emergency report. They’re filled out if someone shows up for emergency care, but isn’t in the filing system…”

“Typical procedure,” she finished for him, “Keep going.”

“Well, that report reads out that a woman was admitted for emergency care on the night of Uzumaki’s birth.”

“What for?” she asked.

“Premature labor…”

“Brought about by Kyuubi’s attack?”

“As near as I can tell. It fits. She was in so much pain,and she would only ever identify herself as ‘Ms. Uzumaki.’ From there, the hospital was attacked by Kyuubi, and the maternity ward was nearly destroyed. ‘Ms. Uzumaki’ was killed… From what I was able to dig up, she was cremated several days later. By order of Sandaime.”

Tsunade’s eyes narrowed, “This just gets weirder and weirder… I can understand sealing birth records for Naruto’s… special circumstances. But why order her cremation without a living will… Strange… There’s no way Naruto can know about this.”

“The stranger thing is… How hard it was to find these records…”


“Well… I kind of… Well…”

Tsunade’s eyes narrowed, “Hibiki…”

“You know I’m a big history buff, right?”

“Yes…” Tsunade said, her jaw set in irritation.

Hibiki was almost shaking in his chair at the grim look on the Hokage’s face, “Well… See… I know some places… Spots where I know some sealed records are kept. They’re ordered sealed…”

“Under order of Sandaime Hokage… I’m beginning to see your theme, Hibiki.”

“I know where they are, and I figured since I had your mandate for this research, and considering who I’m researching, I used the opportunity to get in there and poke around.”

“You pushed my orders to the breaking point, I got it. We’ll worry about that later… Right now, get me whatever info you can on Uzumaki… This is farther than it would seem anyone has to go to keep the Kyuubi out of the spotlight, though.

“Not that I’m an expert, but you’re right. These look like measures taken to keep people in Konoha from finding these records,” he said, “I can get you just about anything else… His records past the night of his birth are in the right places…”

“I never said to look for them, though, Hibiki…” Tsunade said, a golden eyebrow cocked in near suspicion. “If it were anyone else, I’d think it strange, but I did make you head of the records department because of your obsessive compulsive streak.”

“I do my best,” he said with a smile that Tsunade considered a shit-eating grin. “I can tell you, though. Prior to his entrance into the academy, Uzumaki-san’s visits to even small practitioners are rare.”

“The only reason that would increase is due to the incident report regulations. As a Konoha shinobi he’s required to report every injury he receives to the best of his ability.”

“Will there be anything else, Hokage-sama?”

She could tell he had not slept, and had brought her these records after a long nights work. She was about to wave him off and tell him good night with highest orders to get a good night’s sleep, but she was stopped as a pointed beak pecked against one of the smaller windows in her office. It was a window only that only hawks with important messages would come to. She stood, her mind leaving Hibiki for a moment as she opened the window to let the predatory bird perch on her arm. She reached for its talon, withdrawing the small note attached to its leg. She read over the coded writings slowly, her heart nearly stopping in her chest, and her eyes widening as shock over took her. She dropped the note, and turned to face Hibiki. She could not even eek out the words to tell him to move as she sped past him into the hall. He fist caught the door, nearly splintering the wood work. She cried down the hall, “I want ANBU here! Now!”





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *