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What the Deep Sea is to a Puddle

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1) Minato spends the next four months literally living in the Hokage’s office.

But not in the way that he doesn’t get to care for his newborn son, like, Naruto is there too. It’s kind of unprofessional, but no one wants to tell the Yellow Flash to give up his son for five goddamn minutes and not have a baby in the office. Because if anyone suggests it, Minato gets this slightly manic look in his eyes and goes cold into what is commonly known throughout the Konoha shinobi forces as his “Murder Mode”. Except there’s no murder, and somehow that’s even more unnerving.

Minato always seems so nice and like such a pushover and a little bit ditsy until he very suddenly isn’t. (Also the first and last person to suggest that Minato let his son out of his sight for more than five minutes… well, it’s classified.)

The Hokage’s office has a partition now, with beds and a portable stove and a small closet. It’s actually more luxurious than you’d think, since the office is so large, and shinobi are pretty good about space management. Better than the rest of the office, which generally looks like a filing cabinet exploded over it because the Kyuubi Attack isn’t something that goes away overnight.

Kakashi is there too. All the time. He refuses to let Minato or Naruto out of his sight. He doesn’t know what the hell to do with a baby, but he’s not about to let his overtired sensei try to do everything at once. He never expected to be a co-parent at fourteen, but he is determined. If Minato is not holding Naruto, then Kakashi has him. 

Naruto does most of his “firsts” in the Hokage’s office, even after the Head Desk Shinobi finally puts their foot down and forces Minato to get an actual residence again. First smile, first crawl, first steps. Minato hasn’t missed a single one; Kakashi knows to call him. Minato flashed out of a Council Meeting to hear Naruto laugh for the first time (for some reason, the kid thinks Kakashi imitating Gai is the most hysterical thing on the planet; Naruto isn’t exactly wrong).

You haven’t really experienced weird until you’ve gone into a meeting with the Yondaime Hokage to talk about construction expense reports and he’s got a three-month-old baby in his arms and spit-up on his hat. You kind of get the feeling that he’s not really listening to you, or awake, or generally alive, but somehow he is. No meeting has ever gone so smoothly or quickly before. He has been up since four this morning, he has no fucks left to give or the energy to say more than absolutely necessary. Your complaints are noted and dismissed as fast as you can say them. He has transcended efficient.

The infamous White Fang’s prodigy son with the Sharingan eye is wearing an apron with dogs on it, cooking rice in the back with a Katon jutsu, and ushers you out of the office for Lunch and Naptime. You almost trip over a pug puppy on the way out and you think it may have somehow just flipped you off.

 

2) Naruto wants to be his mom when he grows up.

Look, don’t get him wrong. His dad is the Yondaime Hokage, the Yellow “Flee On Sight” Flash, and the absolute Coolest Dad and Person Alive, but his dad is also a total loser. Like, complete dork. Dad, please stop ruffling my hair. No, you don’t need to walk me to scho- Please, don’t. Nooooo. Oh my god, Dad, no, please don’t… please don’t try to tell jokes.

“Make him stop,” Naruto demands of Kakashi, who has lived in their house for as long as he can remember and attends every single Parent-Teacher Conference and PTA meeting without fail.

“Death is the only way. What do you want for dinner?” Kakashi answers without missing a beat, having long-since adjusted to being a permanent member of the Namikaze household. He has an immaculately filed collection of refrigerator art and once got into an actual fistfight with Uchiha Mikoto over the Annual Hotpot Fundraiser. (He lost.)

On their way to the kitchen, they pass a massive photo of Uzumaki Kushina. It has also been there for as long as Naruto can remember. She is the Most Badass Mom Ever and the Prettiest Mom Ever and before she died, she beat Dad as the Coolest Person Alive. She came from Uzushio and used Chakra Chains and was the Best Prankster to Ever Live - she was a jinchuuriki and amazing and Naruto looks just like her.

She wanted to be Hokage and Naruto is gonna become Hokage for his mom. Maybe he is kind of following in his dad’s footsteps too, but Naruto wants to do it for her more. For the Uzumakis and Uzushio. For dreams that died before their time and because Naruto wants to protect his precious people so that nobody and the collective world ever loses somebody like her again.

Kakashi and Minato have both found sketchbooks and doodles on scraps of paper with the signature Uzumaki Naruto on it.

“I think it has a certain ring to it,” Kakashi says, as Minato just stares fondly and a bit wistfully.

Naruto has never gone a day in his life without knowing who Uzumaki Kushina is and how amazing she was.

 

3) The Uchiha Massacre and general alienation never happens.

Minato is not about to let the village fall apart. He is going to pull it together and make sure that it sticks. The Kyuubi Attack has left them weak and Konoha cannot afford to be divided, no matter what happened that night.

Minato and Fugaku have known each other for a long time. They’re in a similar age group and have worked together in the past - they have kids around the same age. Mikoto and Kushina were on the same genin team and the village cowered before them. They all fought and bled in a war made from stressed desperation, ignored problems, and the egos and fears of older generations.

They investigate and compliment. They bring people into the village, make them feel like they’re accomplishing something and rebuilding something new worth having. They talk and listen. They stomp on rumors and start working to make people trust each other. Fuck it, maybe they do actual dumbass Konoha Shinobi Picnics (with booze) and Trust-Fall Activities with Shinobi HR.

The main thing is that Minato is just Not Having This Shit. He fought a war with these people. He became Hokage for these people. Naruto has playdates with Itachi and Sasuke several times a month. (Sometimes Shisui comes too because “He’s kind of near your age, Kakashi. You need to socialize too. How about I invite Gai?” “SENSEI, NO.”) Kushina did not die for this.

The first person to try and give Naruto shit about the jinchuuriki thing in Mikoto’s hearing got set on fire out of Naruto and Sasuke’s sights. Jinchuurikis are not outcasts. The Uchihas are not planning a coup. Everything is good and happy and Konoha is so strong for it. (ROOT is rooted out soon enough, as soon as anyone tries to creep on these kiddos being kiddos. Rookie mistake, Danzo, thinking you could get one past Namikaze Minato. Yeah, he’s blond, but he’s not that blond.)

When Itachi is revealed as a prodigy and the elder members of the clan are pushing and pushing for him to push and push himself. And as soon as Itachi makes genin, he gets scooped up as another “Student of the Yondaime” and expects to be pushed and pushed and pushed a-

It turns out that “Student of the Yondaime” actually consists of babysitting and fetching coffee and minor paperwork. Kakashi swoops in and takes Itachi under his wing as a fellow genius. They do train and go on missions and stuff sometimes, and everyone thinks Itachi is basically being trained up to be the next Hokage, but actually Itachi is basically a glorified babysitter and secretary and he loves it. He wants to be the Head Desk-Shinobi* when he grows up.

Naruto and Sasuke are Best Friends Forever, have a ton of friends in the Clan Kids and also this pink-haired girl who packs a punch in their class, and good fucking luck trying to catch the Yondaime Hokage not having a kid with him. If it’s not Kakashi, it’s Itachi with a mini-clipboard and glasses, or Naruto and Sasuke, or a small pack, or all of them, or that ROOT kid that Kakashi’s apparently adopted and brought into the house without asking. Minato thinks his name is Tenzou or Yamato, but it’s been a couple days since the kid appeared at their breakfast table and now he’s almost too afraid to ask.

 

4) Minato brings Tsunade back to the village.

Relentless letters. Minato sent her relentless letters, and extra copies to her apprentice just in case she was throwing them out. He has both Shizune and Jiraiya on his side and refuses to lose this fight.

The Hospital is a fucking mess and he needs someone competent heading it up, especially since apparently certain people weren’t following the village’s NO HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION rule. Yamato mentioned he was thinking about cutting his tongue out and trying to regrow it and Minato was pretty sure the kid was kidding, but oh god, what if he’s not? (Yamato was kidding. Mostly.)

It was a very delicate plan. In that Minato sent her so many baby photos over the years. More baby photos than you would expect any person to have. And then he cut her off. “Sorry, my camera broke! I guess you’ll just have to stop by and see for yourself! He’s got a birthday coming up!”

Minato is not afraid to guilt-trip. These big, baby-blue eyes are a major asset for him and he’s at least 65% sure that he would not be Hokage without them. He learned how to guilt-trip at a young age. Yeah, sometimes he’s obvious, but sometimes obvious works.

Also, he taught Naruto to call Tsunade and Jiraiya “Granny” and “Gramps”. And he’s pretty sure Jiraiya told Tsunade and convinced her to come back so she could punch Minato in the face for that. And through a wall.

It hurt. But it worked.

 

5) Jiraiya and Tsunade give Naruto the Talk.

Minato and Kakashi both nope out of there so fucking fast.

Naruto is the most knowledgeable and progressive and educated and generally liberated kid of his age. He is so chill. So responsible. So medically knowledgeable and generally confident. He gives mini-lectures to the rest of his class, much to Iruka’s horror and fascination.

Tsunade is a medical professional and very experienced, embarrassingly shameless (if thankfully private) adult woman. Icha Icha is actually more realistic and researched than anyone gives it credit for (at least for the kinky bits, because safe sex is serious business, kiddos). No one wants to ask which one of them taught Naruto what “Safe, Sane, and Consensual” means in context.