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Chapter Text

Fires burned and raged across the village, razing down homes and consuming already damaged structures. The flames created dancing shadows, as if demons were flying down the street, leaving horror in their wake. The sounds of fear pierced the air, blending in with the cries of those dying. The smell of the smoke and the mutilated corpses left in the wake of the attack suffocated the small, blonde child as he ran towards the source of the destruction.

A monster stood over the village, its massive features filling the sky as its blood red eyes glowed with hatred. A flick of its tails tore down another section of buildings at it roared at the shinobi who attempted to bring it down.

None of this mattered to the young boy as his tiny legs carried him towards the giant fox. The only thoughts that crossed his mind were those of his parents, who he knew had to be near. Fear thundered through his veins, making his tiny heart beat faster. He looked up as a giant toad landed on top of the fox and he searched for the summoner. He caught a glimpse of yellow on the head of the giant toad and the sick feeling in his gut faded slightly. His father was alive.

The monster thrashed beneath the toad, knocking against another collection of buildings. Unfortunately, they were much closer to the child than the previous ones and some of the rumble struck him, the toxic red chakra washing over him as it flared with the movement of the demon.

He lay on the ground, his left arm screaming in pain and the right side of his face feeling unbearable hot and raw. The pain was excruciating. His entire body rebelled, as he felt every cut and bruise inflicted with brutal focus. He cried out, tears filling his eyes as he felt the worst he had ever endured in his short life. The fear and pain overwhelmed him, pulsing within his ears and his breaths were ragged and short. As his eyes slid shut, he caught a flash of silver in his vision.

Then everything went black.

Hiruzen strode through the hospital, listening to the howls of pain and dying from those caught in the Kyūbi’s attack. He tried not to think of the list of dead that would be drawn up, and the funeral that would follow. Since he had retaken his position of Hokage, the matters requiring his attention had piled up. The death of the Yondaime had been unexpected and there had been no successor lined up to take up the post. Yet Konoha needed a leader.

He could hear Jiraiya’s steps behind him and knew if he turned to look, he would see the same weary, pained expression that had settled on his face since the news of the death of Minato and Kushina had reached them.

He stopped at one of the doors. How was he to face the man’s son?

He took a deep breath and opened the door, stepping inside with Jiraiya closing the door behind them. He scanned the room his eyes resting on the young boy in the bed.

His once bright golden hair was now dull and flat and the sole blue eye that once matched clear blue skies now looked at Sarutobi, dulled and pained, sorrow spilling from them. He was skeletal and his left arm was completely wrapped in bandages up to his shoulder. The entirety of the left side of his face was also covered.

Paired with the multiple scratches and bruises, he looked as though he had been through hell and back, which was not that far off.

“Naruto-chan, you were very lucky today,” Hiruzen started, wincing at the glare he received in return.

“If you had been struck even slightly closer to your eye you would have lost it. The medics also managed to save your arm, but you will have trouble using it in the future,” he continued, the young boy refusing to waver.

Jiraiya stepped forward, his face somber, with the beginnings of anger colouring his features. Hiruzen had never seen Jiraiya more distressed than when news of Minato had reached them, and then when they had found out what had happened to his son…

“What were you thinking? You were supposed to be in a safe zone with Kakashi but we find you within range of the Kyūbi itself? Why Naruto, why did you get yourself hurt?” Jiraiya burst out, releasing the tide of worry he had been holding since he had heard his godson was in the hospital.

Naruto looked down, a shadow of guilt crossing his face.

“I wanted to see Kaa-chan. If the bad monster was there, it’s not with her, which’s bad,” Naruto mumbled, his high voice quiet, the opposite of the loud, bright boy from before the attack.

Jiraiya sighed and rubbed his eyes.

“How do you know about the fox and your mother?” Hiruzen interrupted, curiosity bothering him despite himself.

“Monster feels mean and red. Kaa-chan has that in her tummy.”

Hiruzen’s brows rose in surprise. He had not known the boy was a sensor, especially this young. His demeanor slumped again as he gazed at the boy before him.

“I’m sorry, Naruto,” was all he could offer the child.

The young boy dropped his gaze as Jiraiya sat beside him, putting an arm gently around him. He then looked towards the crib next to his bed.

Hiruzen walked over to the crib, looking at the baby wrapped in blue blankets. A tuft of yellow hair was on top of his head, and he knew if the newborn were to open his eyes, they would be same unique shade of violet his mother had had. He was missing the whisker marks on his cheeks that Naruto was known in the village for. That would make things easier.

“Did you hear your parents discuss a name?” Hiruzen watched the older boy edge closer to the crib.

With Minato gone there would be more risk for these two from Iwa and Konoha’s other enemies. The newborn would be safer as most did not know Kushina was pregnant again, but Naruto was well known throughout the village.

The Yondaime’s bundle of sunshine.

If the fact that Naruto’s brother now housed the Kyūbi was also taken into account; both needed to be protected but the best protection the Sandaime could think of would hurt Naruto even more so.

“Think they did, but I only heard one.”

“Well?” Jiraiya prompted, coming to sit next to the crib.

“Norio,” Naruto replied, reaching down with his working arm, resting it on top of the newborn’s head gently.

“Man of Principles. It’s a good name,” Jiraiya smiled sadly.

“Naruto, we have something to talk to you about,” Hiruzen looked into a sole blue eye that now looked far too old to belong to a three year old. No child should have to go through what he did today.

Naruto retracted his hand and looked towards his grandfather figure.

Naruto had never been in this much pain in his life. He had broken his arm once when he got too excited at the playground, but right now his body ached.

But that was nothing compared to the pain in his heart.

Though he was young, he was the son of ninja, so death had been always been a part of his life. But now he knew he would never see the bright laughing face of his Tou-chan nor feel Kaa-chan hugging him before bed; it became so much more real.

Everything was fuzzy after he had woken up not long ago, but he couldn’t feel his parents anymore. He knew what that meant.

As Jiji caught his attention, he kept glancing to the tiny bundle in the bed next to him. The last tie to his parents he had. He had the same mean red feeling in his tummy as Kaa-chan but the rest of him felt like Tou-chan; a calm, blue feeling.

“Naruto-chan, now your father is gone, bad men may come after you and Norio. Norio now has the fox in him like your mother, which means he could be in even more danger. Now we have an idea to protect you but it will be hard,” Jiji explained, peering down at Naruto.

Naruto switched his gaze to really look at the infant. He was the only family left, the only other Namikaze.

“Okay. If it helps Rio,” Naruto mumbled, feeling a strange resolve strengthen in his gut. He would protect his brother.

He kept his eyes on Rio as his godfather started unsealing supplies.

“We’re going to change both of your names to Uzumaki, your mother’s maiden name. This will keep your father’s enemies away from you somewhat. Norio-chan will be fine as he has enough of your mother in him to throw off others.”

“You, Naruto-chan, are already known throughout Konoha. So we need to alter how you look. Jiraiya has a seal that will connect to your chakra so it’ll always be active and this will change your hair colour. The wound on your face will leave a scar so that will change your face but we need to hide the whisker marks with the seal too,” Jiraiya finished.

“You must not let anyone find out who you are. Kakashi will be informed but we are the only ones who will know,” Jiji added.

Naruto digest these words. He had to abandon Tou-chan’s name. He had already lost his family today but now he had to give up who he was? He looked the tiny bundle. This might be the only way he could stay with his brother.

Naruto nodded, though he made one request.

“Red, like Kaa-chan; since Rio looks like Tou-chan.”

Jiji nodded, glancing at his godfather.

As Jiraiya prepared the seal, Jiji looked sadly at the two brothers. Namikaze Naruto perished in the Kyūbi attack alongside his parents; but Uzumaki Naruto and his newborn brother, Norio, were newly orphaned and innocent of any of the events of that day.