Snap Back To Reality 68
Uchiha Fugaku Part II
Kushina was an intense lady. It was not the quiet intenseness of his wife when she was angry, or the general intenseness the Uchiha possessed on their day-to-day routine, it was an intenseness that Fugaku was not used to. She paced, and mumbled, and seethed. Her steps seemed to bounce with unending energy when she walked, and her eyes would fixate on a spot as if she was seeing something he couldn't see himself. It was unsettling at best.
"We need a better location. We cannot have the birth within Konoha, I don't think I can handle that stress," Kushina admitted.
"There's secure locations outside the walls within our borders. But it has to be within Konoha's range. Should the Kyuubi break free, there needs to be a Shinobi force nearby to respond." Fugaku said.
"And the seals?" she asked.
"Minato has been looking over your notes for long enough. Have faith in your husband," Fugaku reassured.
"This would have been a lot less scary if Tsunade or Jiraiya were here to check on the seals as well," Kushina sighed, as she slumped down on her seat, and held her heavily pregnant stomach.
Her baby was due any day from now, and despite having gone over the plans numerous times, she would still occasionally barge into his office and rant the same frustrations to him again and again. He was beginning to wonder if he needed to hire new ANBU. If a pregnant lady could somehow get through them, then he wasn't exactly safe. Although he wasn't sure if they were doing that on purpose because they didn't want to face Kushina's infamous temper. He couldn't blame them…
"Tsunade has a phobia of blood, and Jiraiya is on a time sensitive mission at the moment. I will be present, as well as the ANBU you handpicked, so there won't be a need to worry."
"I know—I know but—"
Before Kushina could continue her worried rant, she groaned, holding her stomach in pain as she bent forward to catch herself. A trickle of water dripped from between her legs and Fugaku was instantly by her side to catch her before she stumbled back from the pain.
"Falcon, alert the team, and bring Minato to the rendezvous now!" Fugaku ordered.
His ANBU agent body flickered out after a quick nod of acknowledgement and Fugaku was left with a heavily pregnant woman, reminded of the feeling of anxiety he had when Mikoto was giving birth not too long ago… except this time a giant raging demon could kill his entire village if something went wrong.
"I will be carrying you. Is that alright?" Fugaku asked.
"Just promise not to tell anyone," she groaned.
"It's an S-class secret," he replied.
Kushina made a sound between a chuckle and a snort, and Fugaku wondered when he had found out this new ability called humour. He'd been sorely lacking in that department his entire life, and he'd managed figure it out now during a crisis. He picked her up bridal style before shooting out of his office and towards the woods. Once they had reached the rendezvous, he let Kushina down to the ground and into the arms of her husband.
"Are the seals ready?" he asked.
"Yes," Minato said, eyes flitting to his wife every few seconds in mute panic.
Kushina was rushed to lay on the bed in the bunker. She grit her teeth in pain, her contractions beginning, and Fugaku was certain she'd broken some bones in her husband's hands from the way she was clenching it. Despite this she did not cry. Shinobi faced far worse pains.
"It really hurts, you know!" Kushina huffed in exertion.
"It'll be alright. I will hold the seal, just focus on the baby," Minato assured shakily.
Kushina nodded, before cringing as the next wave of contractions hit. Minta put his hands on his wife's stomach, activating her seal. He needed to keep her chakra steady throughout the process. He conjured the word 'bind' onto the seal and focused his efforts there. Kakashi had taken off his ANBU mask and stood by the woman's side. It was his turn to have his hands crushed. Minato was grateful for once that Fugaku had ordered more security during this birth. He'd intended for it to be a private affair, afraid of the village's thoughts on the matter, but the Uchiha had assured him their opinion meant very little in the scheme of things.
"Push, Kushina," the midwife urged.
"It's coming! The Kyuubi!" Kushina cried, the seal on her stomach glowing.
Fugaku gritted his teeth. All this preparation and it still wasn't enough. Minato was working his seals as best as he could, but Fugaku could only hope it would work. He had no guarantees here, other than the knowledge that his Mangekyo could control the Kyuubi in the worst-case scenario.
That's when he felt a presence outside.
"On guard," he whispered, signalling orders to the ANBU.
Whoever it was had exceptional control over their chakra, enough so that they'd nearly masked their presence even from him. But chakra wasn't all that mattered. Intent was as much a part of masking one's presence as chakra was. Whoever this was harboured some seriously negative emotions. Fugaku wasn't in the mood to play.
"Come out. Don't bother hiding," he ordered.
"Tsk. Looks like I've been found out," a rough voice said from behind the trees before emerging into the light.
Fugaku didn't know who this was, but he knew an Uchiha when he saw one. The orange mask, seemed to swirl into the centre point of the mask, familiar red eyes glowing from behind.
"Hokage-sama," he greeted mockingly.
"Don't wear out the title," Fugaku replied dryly. "I assume you're here for the Jinchuriki."
The ANBU jumped from their positions, attacking the unknown hostile. To Fugaku's surprise their attacks barely did anything to the man. It seemed to pass through him like he was a mirage, but he didn't need the Sharingan activated to know this wasn't a clone or illusion of some kind. Space Ninjutsu possibly? He didn't have an idea, and that was a frightening thought. Fugaku activated his Sharingan.
"Straight to the point as ever, I see," the man said, slashing the neck of the last ANBU guard.
Fugaku narrowed his eyes. Physical attacks had no effect on him, but he did rematerialize when he needed to attack. That meant he didn't have enough control to keep only part of his form intangible. That gave Fugaku more than enough on how to defeat him. He would have to strike when this man intended to strike him. It had to be subtle enough that it deceived him into believing Fugaku hadn't seen through his tactics. He pulled out his kunai and prepared himself.
"You've made a foolish move," Fugaku said, flipping a kunai in his palm.
And then he flung into battle. The traded a flurry of swift punches, kicks, and slashes. To Fugaku's surprise the unknown enemy was able to keep up with his speed and was maybe even a little faster. And despite activating his Sharingan, the man had managed to punch him in his stomach, sending him back a few feet. He readied another stance. It wasn't that the enemy was more skilled. It was that being unable to grab or get a foothold on an intangible man was throwing Fugaku off entirely.
The fight barely lasted a minute, before Fugaku activated his Sharingan. Fugaku had expected to control the battle from here on, but his illusions weren't working. As fast as he saw, the other man saw faster. And soon the small cuts had accumulated and Fugaku cursed as he'd barely made a few scratches himself. In a last ditch attempt he'd manoeuvred himself into a vulnerable position, allowing the man to attack him so he'd become tangible, only to shoot out a fire jutsu last minute, catching his opponent in the flames. The man phased through him before coming back, clothes scorched, and then he disappeared.
"Dammit," Fugaku cursed, pulling the kunai out of his side before chasing after the elusive figure.
Kushina had just finished giving birth, and Fugaku had come into the scene to see their attacker cutting the umbilical cord from the baby as he held it away from them. Minato had murder in his eyes and Fugaku was feeling the pressure now.
"Get away from the Jinchuriki, if you value your child's life," the masked figure demanded.
"Naruto!" Kushina screamed.
Fugaku made for another attack, but Minato stopped him, eyes wide with terror. Fugaku stood down, understanding the other father's anxiety of losing his son.
"Please calm down. Don't hurt him!" Minato shouted.
"I'm as calm as can be. You however—"
Fugaku cursed as the man threw the baby in the air, along with a kunai. Before it could hit, Minato was on Naruto, grabbing him. Fugaku noticed the seals under the cloth and pulled it off the baby, throwing it away before it could explode and kill them all. He body flickered away, but not nearly as fast as Minato had, before the building collapsed around him and he was thrown back.
"Naruto you're ok," Minato whispered in relief.
"No time to rest Minato. He's taken Kushina," Fugaku said, noticing the empty bed, under the rubble. "This isn't good. Take Naruto somewhere safe. I will search for Kushina."
"Hai Hokage-sama," Minato said, not waiting to use his hiraishen to leave.
Fugaku didn't waste time running to where the enemy had gone. It wasn't hard to tell. Kushina's chakra was leaking out like a broken tap, and with it the tainted chakra of the Kyuubi seemed to turn the air hot. But despite his speed, Fugaku was nowhere near fast enough and the worst possible scenario played out in front of him. The Kyuubi was freed. Before it could slam its hand down on the prone and tired woman, Fugaku had pulled her out of the way.
"Is Naruto alright?" Kushina asked weakly,
"Minato took him to safety," Fugaku said, before Minato was by him in an instant taking Kushina from his arms.
"You really are as quick as a flash," the man commented.
This wasn't looking good. Fugaku knew that Minato was an ideal matchup for this masked man. Fugaku was fast, but Minato was the fastest Shinobi in the world. They needed that speed if they wanted to hit him. And Fugaku, he was more of an ideal match up for the Kyuubi. But they couldn't reseal it into Kushina now. She was dying. Her chakra was barely there, and even then, it was a flicker. Minato was a prodigy, but to hold something like the demon fox required more chakra reserves than even Minato had, and a young body that could adapt to the almost malignant and pure chakra.
"Minato, we need to seal the Kyuubi back into Kushina before it destroys the village. I'll hold it of as long as I can until then."
Fugaku saw the realisation dawn on Minato. No doubt it was a painful one. Fugaku didn't have the ability to seal something as immense as the Kyuubi into anyone. It would take the combined effort of Kushina and Minato to seal it back into her, and even then, she would die. It could maybe buy them a few years before the Kyuubi reformed. Fugaku had no doubt Minato would go through with it. He had expressed a desire to protect this village even more than Fugaku had. He had a love for it that Fugaku could not hold a candle to. He would do it, even to his own wife.
"I will do what I must, but I have to take Kushina to see our child for at least a little while," Minato said gravely before Fugaku faltered.
He was condemning this man's wife to death, and his child to a life without a mother, so it was the least he could do to give him this much. He nodded, allowing Minato to leave at such a crucial time. He would have to hold off fighting the Kyuubi for just a little while. The beast had already begun its charge to Konoha.
Fugaku turned to their attacker. He had undone the Kyuubi's seal and shown the ability to teleport via his Mangekyo. Fugaku only knew one man in history who had been able to do those things, but it was such a far-fetched idea, he had refused to believe it until now.
"Are you Uchiha Madara?" Fugaku asked, before he doubted it again. "No, that's impossible. He is dead."
"I wonder about that," the man replied, pulling down his hood.
Fugaku scowled. "It doesn't matter who you are, but why are you targeting Konohagakure?"
The lackadaisical way the man moved was infuriating. "I could say I did it on a whim, or that I planned it, that it's war, or that it's for peace."
"Tch, Minato will take care of you," Fugaku said, as the blonde man appeared besides him in an instant.
"The Kyuubi is nearly at the village. Go, I'll hold him!"
Fugaku nodded. He left Minato and rushed to the village. His first priority was his people. And even from afar he could see the damage done. And when he finally reached the Hokage monument, the sight before him was devastation on a level he had never seen. So this was the ultimate weapon of war. The kind of weapon Villages horded zealously. And here it was being used against his people. The tailed beast was throwing buildings with its tail almost like it was nothing, and beneath its feet were hundreds of crushed and mangled bodies. Fugaku activated his Mangekyo Sharingan and connected with the beast before it could produce a chakra blast to level the whole Village. It froze, and Fugaku was met within its dark world.
Large yellow eyes rolled down to look at him, the circular Sharingan narrowing into slits, and with it, awareness. Fugaku held his seal in place, despite the strain it was putting on his eyes fighting another Sharingan. A few more minutes and he'd be fully blind at this stage.
"ANOTHER UCHIHA! I WILL KILL YOU! KILL YOU!"
"Be silent you mutt. You will do no such thing but hold still," Fugaku shouted, as black inked seals wrapped around the fox's legs and tails.
"NO! I REFUSE! I REFUSE TO BE CHAINED AGAIN!"
"I am this the Fourth Hokage, Uchiha Fugaku, and you are under my command! Do not forget this Kyuubi No Yoko!"
And Fugaku held like a sturdy rock against the hurricane that was the Kyuubi. He screamed in exertion, breaking hold of the other Mangekyo's control, whilst simultaneously holding the Kyuubi in place. His vision turned red, red blood trickling down his cheeks as his eyes burned from the pain.
"For my people! For my family!"
And finally Madara's hold on the tailed beast broke, and Fugaku sank to his knees from the chakra drain. He had held as long as possible. He had expected another attack, but he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he turned to see familiar red hair draping over a shaking figure. Kushina was beside him, coughing blood to the ground, and when Fugaku turned he was shocked to see golden chains holding down the Kyuubi.
"What are you doing? You'll kill yourself," he told the woman, holding her before she fell.
"Ha… Mikoto is going to be disappointed," Kushina whispered.
"What?" Fugaku asked, bewildered by the odd response.
"We promised each other that Sasuke-chan and Naruto-chan would go on play dates," she said, smiling past the tiredness wracking her form. She coughed blood before resolve took her eyes.
"Kushina!" Minato said, finally appearing from his fight, looking only slightly worse for wear as he dropped besides his wife. Naruto started crying and Kushina chuckled, stroking her baby's head.
"Sorry Naruto-chan. I didn't mean to make you cry… Minato, Fugaku… I'm going to draw the Kyuubi with me to my death. So we can delay the revival of the Kyuubi, with what little chakra I have left. You can get out of this alive. T-Thank you for everything you've done for me," she said.
"Kushina," Minato said, tears rolling freely from his eyes. "You made me the man I am today."
Fugaku stood by the intimate moment, still holding onto the Kyuubi's will, so he could not break from Kushina's chains. Kushina was a strong Shinobi. Her resolve for her family and village was admirable. But Fugaku worried for the future. If the Kyuubi was taken with her, then it was only a matter of time before it reformed here again. It was simply delaying the inevitable.
"Kushina, there is no need for you to die with the Kyuubi today," Minato said, catching both Fugaku and Kushina's attention.
"Preserve what little chakra you have left for a reunion with Naruto. I'll seal all your remaining chakra within Naruto. It will be part of the Eight Signed Seal. Then I'll take the Kyuubi with me, with the only sealing Jutsu a non Jinchuriki can do—the Reaper Death Seal!"
Fugaku froze, and Kushina coughed in terror. "But the user of that Jutsu will—"
"And one more thing," Minato said, cutting her off. "I will only seal half of the Kyuubi. Sealing a power this immense is physically impossible to us. It's also strategically unwise. If you take the Kyuubi with you when you die, there won't be a Jinchuriki around when it reforms. That will upset the balance of powers between the Tailed Beasts. The Reaper Death Seal, will seal half of the Kyuubi's power within me forever."
"And the other half—" Fugaku said, turning to the baby in Minato's arms.
"I will seal into Naruto with the Eight Seals. I know what you want to say Kushina," Minato said, stroking his wife's cheek gently. "But remember what Jiraiya said… the world upheaval. The calamities that would follow. Two things have been confirmed for me today. The one who will bring disaster to this world is that masked man… and the one who will stop him is this child. I don't know why, but I am convinced of this."
Fugaku watched on in disbelief as Minato placed his child on the ground and turned around towards the tailed beast. This day had been on big mess. Fugaku sighed. He had no idea what Minato was spouting about calamities and world upheaval. He sounded like Shikaku. He groaned as he ruffled his hair.
"What you need to do, do quickly Minato. Kushina and I can only hold of on its power for so long," Fugaku said, before he hesitated and added, "Your sacrifice will not be forgotten. You have my word; your son will be taken care of."
Minato turned and nodded, a small, relieved smile taking his face. Then Fugaku watched as Minato summed the Death God himself, his chakra streaming behind him like a waterfall of sparkling blue, held together by the chains of death.
"Let's put our trust in Naruto. After all. He is our son! When I'm finished with the Reaper Death Seal, I will summon your chakra into Naruto. When he tries to control the Kyuubi as the Jinchuriki, I want you to help him."
Kushina grit her teeth, body shaking in terrible grief. Fugaku knew she was seeing her own eyes through the child. A village where he was hated, where they feared him for what he was. She saw what happened to her, happen to him.
"He's our baby… To put this burden on him… my Naruto. And why did you use the Reaper Death Seal! Just for me to see my boy grow up selfishly… to keep the balance of the Tailed Beasts… for the Village why must Naruto be sacrificed? Why must you die for me?" she shouted bitterly, tears clouding her clear green eyes.
"To forsake one's village is the same as forsaking your own family," Minato said, taking Fugaku's breath away, and while the man was still addressing his wife, Fugaku thought Minato was talking directly to him.
"Your village was destroyed Kushina, so you of all people should know… the harsh life of those without a country. Besides, our family is Shinobi! And finally… I'm no match for you Kushina. There are only some things as a mother you can tell Naruto. Things I can't. I'm doing this for Naruto too."
Minato turned to Fugaku and he nodded. Fugaku held the illusion firm on the Kyuubi, allowing Minato more time to for the Reaper Death Seal. The Death Gods hand went through the man's chest, extending out to the Kyuubi and taking half the chakra. Fugaku watched as the Beast reduced to half its size. Minato completed the seal, taking in half of he Kyuubi's chakra, but there was still on more seal left.
"Fugaku, I leave this with you. It's the key," Minato said, handing him the scroll.
Fugaku accepted, unsure of what was handed to him, but knowing Jiraiya would be able to fill him in later. Minato did not have much time, and Fugaku would not take what little of it away from his wife and child. Putting a hand on Minato's shoulder. "What you're doing for this Village won't be forgotten Minato. Once you complete this seal Naruto will be under Uchiha protection. Now go… you have some final words to impart don't you."
Minato looked like he was blinking back tears. Fugaku regretted not talking more to this man before today, regretted not accepting him as a Hokage candidate. Minato was… exemplary in every way. Stronger, more charismatic, and most importantly, in his eyes were love unlike any other. It made Fugaku question the love he held for his own sons, the cold distant love, compared to the warm embrace of the couple before him, dying, but still smiling as they hugged their son on a summoned altar for his sacrifice.
"Kushina, I have very little time left. Do you want to say anything to Naruto before we go?" Minato asked.
Kushina gulped, and then smiled at her baby, trembling hands holding him tight. "Naruto, don't be picky. Eat lots and grow strong. Make sure you bathe every day and stay warm. Make sure you don't stay up too late because you need sleep to grow. And… make friends. You don't need lots of them, just a few close ones you trust. I wasn't very good at it, but keep practicing with your studies and Ninjutsu. Remember that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, so don't get too depressed if you can't do something well. Respect your upperclassmen and teachers at the academy."
Fugaku didn't know why, but he memorised her words, engrained them into his head. Because they seemed important, more important than anything in the world to the child about to be sacrificed. And Fugaku had promised… promised to take care of Naruto. This was his mother's last wish, and Fugaku wanted to impart these lessons himself, no matter how coddling they sounded to an Uchiha parent.
"Oh and this is important. It's about the three prohibitions of a Shinobi. Be extra careful about lending and borrowing money. Put your mission wages into your savings account. No alcohol until you're twenty, and please drink in moderation. Another prohibition is women, or men. Just pick a good one like me. And speaking of the Three Prohibitions, be wary of Jiraiya Sensei…"
And the light tone of her words were becoming laboured, her breathing heavy as she struggled to stay lucid to get as much as she could said in the little time she hand. She hugged her child and cried.
"Naruto, from now on, you're going to face lots of pain and hardship. Be true to yourself. Have a dream, and have the confidence to make that dream come true," Kushina said, before she devolved into a coughing fit. "There's so much… so much more I want to pass onto you. I love you Naruto. S-sorry Minato. I took all your time."
"Oh it's ok… Naruto my message to you is… the same as your nagging mother," Minato stumbled out, fighting away the closing of his own eyes.
And then Fugaku watched as the light left Kushina's eyes, and her crying stopped. Minato hugged the back of his wife's lifeless form and finished the seal. And the strain on his Sharingan stopped as the Kyuubi's howls died in the night. And Fugaku was left in the wake of his destroyed Village, and a boy he would come to call his own.
That was the birth of Uzumaki-Uchiha Naruto.
I had so many different routes planned for how this should go, since Fugaku also had the Mangekyo Sharingan at this stage. Anyway I spent months stuck on this chapter and decided to end up killing Minato and Kushina somewhat like it happened in the Canon, except this time around, the village wasn't destroyed as bad, there weren't as many casualties, and Naruto is now an honorary Uchiha.
Though the Kyuubi attacking does not bode well for the Uchiha Clan. Anyway give me your thoughts so far. I have a feeling I messed this up somehow and I can't seem to put a finger on why. I've read through it a million times and still can't figure it out. I'll go back and revise it if someone can let me know if they spot any plot holes.