Six Years Too Long - Chapter 1 - Strawhat_Pirate (2024)

Chapter Text

This is cross posted on Wattpad

Third person pov

The Kyuubi attack had been devastating, as one might suspect. The lives lost that day were immeasurable, and the structural damage done to the village had left them vulnerable and several without homes. The tensions it caused politically nearly tore Konoha apart at its seams.

Losing their Fourth Hokage had taken a toll on them. Such a tragedy was not one they easily recovered from. The Yellow Flash of Konoha was a war hero revered across the nations and loved by his village. The news of his and his wife's death brought great mourning to all who'd looked up to him. He'd given everything to the Leaf Village. Including his life in the end. He was a respectable Kage-- a true hero.

One issue that was severely overlooked was the lack of Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki's bodies at the end of it all. Last anyone had seen of either of them, they'd both had a gaping hole through their middles and Minato'd been performing the Reaper Death Seal. When no one could find their remains, they hadn't been surprised. They'd taken what little remained of their Fourth Hokage's robe and gotten closure as best they could, pulling Kushina's headband from her home and placing that alongside it.

They were a little too concerned about their decimated village to try and figure out the exact way the bodies of their beloved leader and his wife had been destroyed. Perhaps it was a side effect of the seal, or the Kyuubi's overwhelming chakra. It hadn't even crossed their minds that they-- that Minato-- could be alive.

But he apparently was. Because the guy woke up alone in the woods, nearly six years after said nine tails attack, completely unscathed, confused, and.. and sad.

His last memory was of Naruto. He was so, so tiny, wailing so loudly as the Nine Tailed Fox was sealed in him. Minato had been ready to seal the other half in himself when his world went blank. The last thing he heard was Kushina cursing and beginning the very hand signs he'd been prepared to do himself. His heart dropped when he realized that probably meant she'd done what he'd been planning to.

His head weakly turned, searching for signs of... well, anything, really. He very clearly recognized this location as the place he'd teleported the Nine Tailed Demon to, but the destruction that had been wrought was missing. Green grass spread where there should've been scorch marks, and fallen trees were either cleared or overgrown. The movement of his head made it spin. Nausea lit up in his stomach like a warning.

Something wasn't right. Minato knew this, but he couldn't find the energy to inspect it too much further at the moment. He simply laid there and watched the clouds drift by lazily, the grief of undoubtedly losing his wife bubbling over into tears that forced their way out of his eyes.

He'd known the danger of losing her was strong going in. They'd both sat down and talked about it beforehand several times, but this was something Kushina wanted to do more than anything. To be a mother, even if it was just for a second. The raw image of her weakly smiling at their son made his heart ache so badly he had to wonder if he was dying.

He could almost hear her shrieking at him to get up and go find their son. He'd been so absolutely little, and Minato hated himself for what he'd had to do. With no where else to seal the Kyuubi, he'd placed that awful burden upon his son. What kind of father was he? Naruto had been helpless. So tiny and warm, and scared. Minato could almost imagine the infant's weight in his arms when he thought about it hard enough.

The first moments of his life had been so stressful and full of terror. Minato's heart thundered when he thought about all that could've happened to his son. How long had it been? Had the masked man gotten to him? Was he okay? Minato hoped Naruto would forgive him for what he'd done, one day.

The questions swirling through his head prompted him to sit up. There was no pain from it like he'd expected there should've been. He rubbed at his eyes, feeling endlessly exhausted and like he was about to tip over. His heart felt heavy. He had to get up. He had to go find Naruto. How long had it been?

His injuries were gone. While his cloak was missing, he still bore the attire he'd had on under it. It was unscathed, making him wonder if everything had been some sort of dream. It was an idea he entertained only briefly. No genjutsu could ever be that vivid. The pain he'd felt had been too real, and the gravity of the Kyuubi's chakra signature wasn't something that could be successfully faked. This was something he knew for sure. He took a deep breath.

His thoughts weren't in order. He knew this, but he couldn't seem to fix it. He felt he was zoning out, or on the verge of losing consciousness, perhaps. A small part of him wanted to lay back down and never move again, but he couldn't bring himself to, no matter how sick and off kilter he felt.

Naruto. He had to get up for Naruto. He needed someone to take care of him, and Kakashi was still so young. That wasn't a responsibility he wanted his student to have. What if Minato had messed the seal up? He had to go and make sure Naruto was okay. He could feel panic swelling in him as the gravity set in.

The reality that his newborn son-- with his shock of blonde hair and whiskered cheeks-- was missing. That Minato had no idea whether he was dead or alive, safe or in danger. His heart leapt into his throat. He could mourn Kushina later-- grieve for her and the sacrifices she'd been forced to make. She'd never forgive him if he let anything else happen to their son. He'd never forgive himself.

He got up on wobbly legs that felt like sticks of jello. He steadied himself, head turning slowly about as he tried not to dizzy himself. He couldn't sense a single chakra signature. That was both a good and bad thing. Where was Naruto? He wondered if the village was okay.

They had to assume he was dead. He'd thought so too when he first opened his eyes. There was always a chance he still was, but he didn't feel particularly like he had. Not that he really knew what being dead felt like. He doubted it was like this.

Moving was agony, and a heavy haze kept attempting to descend over his mind and incapacitate him. It felt an awful lot like chakra exhaustion, but different at the same time. Minato wasn't in his right mind, no, but he couldn't let that stop him.

He flexed his fingers, one hand snaking into the kunai pouch strapped dutifully around his leg. Muscle memory guided him to one of his legendary three-pronged kunai. He drew it out with a slow breath, his arm coming up to wipe at his eyes again. The kunai brought him a sense of comfort, allowing himself to steel himself.

He pulled the inner Hokage out of himself and set his face in stone, doing his best to push back the exhaustion nipping at his heels. He had to get to the village. He could pass out, but not until he knew Naruto was safe.

He had to stay calm. If he was alive, there was a good chance Naruto was too. He had to confirm for himself. Minato's mind struggled as he tried to figure out how this could've happened. The kunai flew from his hand unrestrained as he mulled, the familiar feeling of his Hirashin pulling him forward lulling some of his panic.

It was going to be fine. Naruto was okay, and Minato was going to go get him. He was going to be able to hold onto him and never let go, and shower him in all the love he's missed out on in Minato's absence. How long had it been? It felt like no time has passed at all, but the overgrowth in the clearing he'd woken up in begged to differ. Had it been a month? Two? Even more than that?

The village wasn't far. The familiar sight of its gates only served to make him go faster. His presence chased his kunai dutifully, moving so fast that the world seemed slow around him. Minato knew he probably should've stopped at the gate. Let someone official send word that he was alive before going on his way, or confirm he wasn't an intruder.

He couldn't quite bring himself to do so. He felt nearly dead on his feet, but Naruto was the only thing on his mind. The name repeated in his mind like a mantra. He allowed it to push him forward. If he stopped now, he was not sure he'd be able to use his Hirashin again without passing out completely.

Izumo jolted up when something seemingly yellow blurred past Konoha's gates, his head whipping in the direction of the electric haze. Kotetsu turned a page in his book, not seeming to have noticed what had raced past. Izumo blinked a few times. Surely he had to have been seeing thing, correct? They'd been on the job only a month now, and nothing had really come up. He settled back in his seat for a moment with a frown, glancing back and forth between the road and the village's gates.

There were no visible disturbances, nor any he could sense. The man had to blink and rub his eyes, wondering if he'd perhaps stayed up too late the night prior. Kotetsu shot him a questioning look, and the bandana-wearing ninja decided it had to have been a trick of the light.

Minato Namikaze zoomed into the village so fast he had half the place doing doubletakes. It took the blonde man a good moment for his slowing brain to catch up and realize that this was not necessarily the Konoha he remembered. The fact settled in rather suddenly, hitting him hard enough to make him stop in his tracks in the middle of an unfamiliar backroad.

The destruction the Kyuubi had wrought was completely missing. The craters and rubble it had created were nowhere to be seen. Minato cluelessly spun around, his brows furrowed and a frown set deep on his face as he precariously teetered. This wasn't correct at all. How fast had they managed to rebuild?

Businesses and buildings he didn't remember were placed sporadically between what was familiar. Even those places he knew and recognized didn't look quite right. Certain storefronts were the wrong color, or had signs that looked newer-- more updated. Minato's head hurt worse than it ever had before. His vision blurred.

He had to have been gone longer than he thought. This wasn't something that could be accomplished in a week or two-- or even a month, for that matter. The realization made something cold settle in Minato's stomach. He did his very best to push the feeling away, gulping and shaking his head.

It didn't matter how much time had passed so long as Naruto was safe. If anything, it was a good thing to see the village like this. It had clearly recovered itself well. That didn't change the fact that he couldn't find his son.

He gnawed on the inside of his cheek, his chakra stretching out in search of any familiar sort of presence. The Kyuubi would be a plain marker. The man took a deep breath, pushing himself off of the fence he'd found himself leaning on.

Minato began to walk, Naruto's name still repeating in his mind. He could only sense chakra so far. Deep down somewhere, he knew it would be best to go to Hokage tower. The logical part of his brain told him in no uncertain terms that they would, undoubtedly, know his son's exact location. There was an just an... odd disconnect in his mind that prevented Minato from entirely realizing this.

The man felt distinctly like he was walking through a cloud. A dream he couldn't wake up from, walking aimlessly towards something he desperately wanted yet was unable find. His heart thundered in his ears, drowning out the sounds of an older woman asking whether or not he was okay. He walked past her, focused on one thing. He ignored the way exhaustion was beginning to creep its way into his chest.

He cannot waver. Not yet. Not now.

A few people do a double take when he stumbles by, their wide eyes following and darting between the dazed man's face and the one carved grandly on their proud mountainside. Minato is a ghost shuffling through the streets, eyes bouncing back and forth in a systematic manner as he scans for someone who will help him find Naruto. The people here feel unfamiliar, and though he catches wisps of signatures he thinks he may recognize, they don't stick out as sorely familiar to the Fourth Hokage. His head pounds the longer he stays upright, and he knows he has to collect himself if he's going to find his son before passing out.

Konoha isn't right. None of this is. Minato realizes rather belatedly that he's probably not going to find an infant in the bustling streets, but rather tucked away somewhere protected, warm, and quiet. That's what Minato hopes, at least.

He feels like crying. It's hard to breathe, and even harder to think. His vision blurs as his head turns. He brings a hand up to his forehead, closing his eyes and taking deep breaths. He hears someone trying to ask him something-- someone else trying to figure out whether or not he's okay. Minato doesn't respond, everything and nothing at all swirling around him. The man feels like he's drowning.

But then... it hits. And Minato's eyes fly back open.

He'd recognize that chakra anywhere. It feels more suppressed here, the raging, angry inferno subdued under the strength of a powerful seal. It bubbles just beneath the surface, and Minato is sure he wouldn't have outright noticed it were he not looking so hard.

He stands up a little straighter, his head held a little higher. His focus sharpens, gaze finding a small body being shoved out of a food stall by an older woman's foot. The child tumbles, and Minato is breathless. The world vanishes around him. The pounding in his head isn't so loud anymore as everything else melts away.

The child can't be more than five or six, with hair a familiar shade of sunshine yellow and blue eyes that mirror his own to an exact T. He can see Kushina in the curve of his nose and shape of his face. There's defiance alongside his fear, and confusion swells in his chakra so clearly that Minato can almost see it tangibly.

Minato takes a small step towards the scene, his heart pounding. He would recognize this chakra signature anywhere, he's sure. He can still remember basking in it-- feeling it grow and change in his wife's belly, and then finally being able to truly reach out and touch it for himself when Naruto was placed in his arms for the first time. He doesn't know how it's possible, but this is undoubtedly his son. His son, who is hurting. Who is being hurt.

Tears roll heavily down the boy's cheeks, which are donned with familiar whisker markings he can still remember running a tender hand over. The boy's shoulder's are lined with fear. He pushes himself further away from the woman, who's throwing words like 'monster' and 'demon' around with careless abandon as the small boy scrambles away.

Minato is speechless-- struck still by the horrifying sight, and in wonder of his son. He's so, so... tiny. But not tiny in the way Minato recalls. He's grown, and Minato's heart sinks when he realizes that Naruto has been growing up without him all this time.

It's no mystery that Jinchuriki are often treated poorly. But this is his son. A boy who was never supposed to have this burden-- who had no choice. This is his baby. That's his baby. Minato has a son, and though he's not as small as he remembers, he's still his.

Naruto isn't an infant anymore. He's been without Minato this whole time. Minato felt sick, his rage growing like a pot about to boil over. No one steps forward to protect the boy, who was too innocent to be treated like this. Disdainful eyes glare down at him, and whispers attack the child from all sides.

Minato is horrified, because Naruto doesn't flinch at these. He's used to the glances and the whispers-- maybe even the physical attacks. Minato feels himself being ripped apart from the inside, his thoughts spinning into a raging tornado that makes him all the more dizzy.

A cold sweat warns him that he doesn't have much time left, but he pushes that back. He refuses to fall now.

The woman raises a hand to strike Naruto. Why, Minato doesn't care. He's darting forward before he realizes his feet are moving, arms reaching out and delicately scooping Naruto up and off the ground. The woman pauses in her assault, and Naruto freezes in his arms like he's terrified for his life.

It hurts. It hurts so badly that Minato can't stop his own tears from falling, his head still spinning and his stomach still in turmoil. He cradles the boy, turning to look at the shop owner with a look so dark it would send a whole platoon of enemy ninja running for the hills. He can see the color drain from her face.

He recognizes her vaguely, he realizes. It only serves to make him madder. Naruto sits stiffly in his arms, afraid and clearly not used to being picked up. It isn't fair. Minato hates it. He feels sick. He's tired.

"Do not," Minato grounds the words out, holding Naruto close. The boy stares up at him with fear and unknowing, and Minato wonders why in the world he wouldn't recognize his own father, deceased or not. Minato's heart bleeds. The woman mouths his Kage title, taking a small step back. Minato sneers, "touch my son."

A hand is chopping into the back of his neck almost as soon as the words leave his mouth. He feels Naruto get taken away from him again-- snatched from his arms whilst he's unable to do a thing about it. The last thing he feels before he passes out is rage.

Six Years Too Long - Chapter 1 - Strawhat_Pirate (2024)

FAQs

What if Minato Namikaze never died? ›

Minato's time as a Hokage was rather short. Though he was a better leader than Hiruzen, the time he was in power was too short to fundamentally change the village and the way it operated. However, had he been alive and continued to work as the Hokage, he could have easily put an end to the secret organization.

Is Naruto the only Namikaze left? ›

Yes, he is, in a sense…if the Namikaze are a clan. Uzumaki Naruto is the son of the 4th Hokage, Namikaze Minato, but we aren't given any details about Minato's past and heritage. We never see Minato's parents or get any details on them. In fact, we never hear mention of any other Namikaze at all.

Who is Minato's father? ›

Minato's was into a Tsunade and Dan Kato. His father's name is Dan Kato and his mother's name is Tsunade. Tsunade was pregnant while she dating Dan Kato. She also gave birth before marriage.

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