Chapter 1: Chapter One: Kukikio
There were many signs that something was wrong, the first was the sound of birds signing in the distance, the second was the fact that she wasn't in any pain. The fourth shinobi war had been going on for more then five years, and she had lost most of her friend's.
Naru only groaned as she looked at the blue sky, the breeze was gentle as it pushed the branches of the trees above her.
'Blue sky? Trees?' she thought turning around, she picked up a lock of long white hair. Her seal had worked, how far into the past she had gone she didn't know, she didn't care at the moment.
She in a forest, it wasn't just broken up land, there weren't any scars on the land. Despair wasn't hanging in the air, she could it was there, so she didn't arrive during any time of peace. Through she would be surprised if she did.
Naru could play her hands in the river next to her, pushing herself up, a giant grin on her face. Looking at her face, she placed her hand on her check. She was covered in blood, and it looked like she hadn't had a bath in three years. She was pretty sure she didn't smell nice either.
Her clothes weren't any better, but she had placed a few different styles in a seal. She could blend in from the warring era, through she knew a kimono styled outfit was a safe bet.
Pulling off her dirty orange jacket and shorts, she only glared at them. She didn't think she could look at the colour the same again. Tobi's mask was orange, and he was the reason Madara had came back. He was the reason her sensei had been killed, along with Gai.
"Poor Lee," she whispered to herself, scrubbing her skin clean. She would burn her clothing the first chance she got, Naru didn't need the consent reminders. She had a feeling she would be getting a lot of nightmares.
Placing a hand over her seal, she knew it would be a year or two till she could talk to Kurama. He would be fusing with his past self, along with going through his old memories.
She hated the fact that she came back as a child, but when she saw pale skin she only smiled. Naru knew she would make it, no one would know that she was Kurama's prison.
"I guess I should take a bath," she whispered to herself. "Now I have freedom, no more Naru Uzumaki. Now I'm Kukikio. Oh, Sakura, if you only you came with me."
"If only I could find a clue of were I ended up," she whispered to herself, she didn't know what era she was in, but she had to remove herself from her first spot. "Any, I wish those notes weren't so damaged."
She hated the fact that seal removed pigment from her hair and eyes. In fact, she hated the fact that she reminded herself of Tobirama of all people.
Blinking, she only watched a figure ran past her, knocking her onto her bottom. Kukikio knew she had more careful, she couldn't afford to be so spaced out.
"I'm sorry," he told her helping her up. He froze when he saw her appearance, she reminded him of his brother. Through he hoped she wasn't like him. "I didn't see any one there."
"Guess we both made the same mistake," Kukikio told him, he remained her of Lee and Gai, she didn't care what he was wearing as long as he didn't start wearing green.
If he did, she didn't know what she'd do. So until then, she'd put up with the strips. Through she doubted she was any better, since she was wearing a plain blue kimono.
"Is something the matter," she asked he hadn't move a muscle in five minutes. "Hello? Hello, earth to brown haired moron. No wonder he called me an idiot."
She only placed her hands on her hips, before pushing him into the river. It worked with Sasuke, so she was better sure it would work with him.
"Just what I feared?"
"I pushed you," she told him, crossing her arms. She hated being ignored, hated, hated it. "You were really out of it."
"Hashirama, my name's Hashirama," he told her, he was glad she was the only one who saw him like that. He was pretty sure his father would have punched, after he killed her. "It's nice to meet you."
"It's nice to meet you, Hashirama," she told him, a smile on her face. She was in the warring era, at least she knew she could trust no one. "I'm Kukikio. You might want to get out of the river. You might not want to catch your death."
"You're the one who pushed me."
"You wouldn't happen to know where we are?"
"Naka River. Why?"
"I was a bit lost."
"Is anyone with you?" Hashirama asked as he let Kukikio pull him from the river. "Parents, siblings?"
"Don't have any. I'm an orphan," Kukikio told him, blinking as he dropped to his bottom, hugging his knees to his chest as a black cloud hanged itself over his small form. "Do you have bi-polar? Or is this a one time thing?"
Hashirama only looked at her. He hadn't meant to offend her, but she didn't look offended. She looked puzzled, tilting his head to the side he pictured her expression on Tobirama's face and started laughing.
"Is something funny?" she asked, he had been muttering apologies one minute and almost killing himself with laughter the next.
She looked around herself for a rock, she really wanted to throw one at his head, or even punch him into the nearest tree. Instead she only sat down and waited for him to finish.
"So you live by yourself?" he asked. If she did, then she went against everything he had been told. Children wouldn't be able to live by themselves.
"Mum died when I was born."
"I don't know," she told him. She did know, but she looked like a Senju, so she might as well make a story were Hashirama couldn't accuse her of lying down the road. "They told me she came by herself, never mentioned anyone."
"I know," Hashirama said, he had always wanted to achieve peace and his mother told him, the first step was to start small. Make friends. "Friends?"
Chapter 2: Chapter Two: Itama Senju
Kukikio had been woken up from her nap when she heard a large amount of footsteps, it was like someone was trying to follow a deaf person. Through, she had been told by Kiba that her hearing was almost as good as his own, through she doubted the brown haired boy would admit to someone being better then him at something.
Pushing herself out of her hiding place, she only glared at the sight before her. Grown man were surrounding a child, a boy who couldn't have been older then seven. She hated people like, since it only served to remind her of her own childhood.
Kukikio only sighed as she jumped in front of the terrified child, a sword in her hand as she knocked the kunai out of the man's hand, looking into his eyes her eyebrow twitched. She wasn't going to stand around and watch them kill a child, she was sure Sasuke, Itachi and Shusui would understand the reason she killed some of their clansman, or at least she could only hope that they did.
Through if they were anything like Sasuke in terms of skill, then she was going to have fun. Making a clone, she quickly got the white and brown haired boy to a near-by tree, she didn't need to have him caught up in her mess. Or his mess, damn her messed up morals.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" she asked, while Kukikio had been training since she had arrived on the Naka river, she knew being cocky would be the death of her, like it almost did back in Wave, before Sasuke jumped in front her. Haku had good aim, she was lucky he wasn't one to kill when he didn't need to.
But she knew it would annoy her enemy, Uchiha's always had a problem with their ego, it was one of the reasons Itachi was forced to kill them. This allowed her to cut three of their throats, just above were their armour stopped.
"Why you," one of the two remaining told her, his eyes going red and she knew he had just awakening the thing, so it meant she must likely killed a friend of his, or a family member. To her they liked far to similar to easily tell apart. "You'll pay for that."
"And you'll pay for choosing a child to kill, you bunch of wimps," she told them, her sword clinched in her hand. She was ready for a fight, after all, Sasuke had trained her to be immune to his eyes, and his were in the final form, unlike the morons in front of her. "Especially in my presence asshole."
"Well, now I safely see why they're after children," Kukikio whispered to herself while her clone appeared behind her, looking at the person she had saved, she felt her heart break a little. Tears were going down his checks, while he was pressing his face into her clones neck. "And you are?"
"Well, I see why the Uchiha were after you."
Itama only blinked at her, she had the same colouring as his older brother, through he was glad that she didn't have the same expression and her face was rounder.
"Through your too cute to be part of an evil clan."
"The Senju aren't evil," Itama told her.
He only looked at her, before huffing. She was laughing at him, like he was missed the joke and the punchline. The girl in front of him simply smiled as her hair covered on of her red eyes. "Who are you?"
"Kukikio," she told him sticking out one of her hands for him to take. "It's very nice to meet you, Itama Senju."
"You're going to have to be more specific."
"Why save me, I could be an enemy."
"Not everyone is out to kill you, kid."
"You're a kid too."
"Not denying that, but you're younger then I am."
Itama only sighed, he had to get home, hut how was going to keep this from his father? His training was already brutal as it was, he didn't need it to get any harder. If it did, he might die at his clan's hand instead of the enemy's.
"You're a sensor kid," Kukikio told him putting her finger on his forehead. She was one, and it was easy to spot someone who shared her skill, through her father's clan was skilled in blood seals, like how her mother's were skilled in seals. "You didn't know this?"
"How do you know that?" Itama asked he knew Tobirama was a sensor, Hashirama could sense things through plants, but he was nothing like his older brothers. He was a crybaby at best.
"Don't worry Itama, I'll help. One sensor to another." Kukikio could only smile at his face, it was like someone had just told him the impossible. It looked like he had her old problem, no one believed in him, so he didn't believe he could become strong. Damn people who believed being a shinobi was a natural skill and not a learnt one. "We'll unlock your ability, mark my words or my doesn't mean snow."
Itama glared at her as he put his hands on his knees, he didn't know why she was helping him, but he could sense her clone and he knew she had done something.
He didn't know how long he had been training, but he could barely sense her clone, but she looked like he had handed her the moon.
Kukikio was glad her student was doing so well, he wasn't the best at sensing, but he was doing better then Sakura when she tried to teach her friend. Much, much better then Kiba and both of them had gotten the skill after enough training.
She knew Hashirama was looking for his brother, but it looked like the others who were with him had left. She knew Itama was Hashirama's brother, since both of them shared a base chakra, she guessed that Itama had a change of unlocking the wood style as well, but she had never heard of him. Guess she had stuffed up history, already.
"See," she told him jumping from her spot and patting his head, Kukikio knew that Itama could become as great as his brothers, he only needed a push. "Didn't I tell you that you were a sensor, now you can show Hashirama."
Itama only looked at her with wide eyes, she knew his brother? Was that the reason she helped him? Before it made no sense, no one helped someone with a reason, not when they could turn around and kill as quickly as you helped the.
Thinking about it, Hashirama never mentioned knowing this 'Kukikio'. Not that he blamed his older brother for not telling anyone, he was sure their father would order them to kill her, or get her to join the clan.
"I met him," Kukikio told him, she almost laughed at the faces he pulled while thinking. It was cute. "If that's what you were wondering. But only recently, like a yesterday recently."
"Did I know you were his brother. It's hard to explain," she told him, how could she tell him about 'similar base-line chakra' without looking like a nut case? "Like genetics, you share a similar base line feel to your chakra, both yours and Hashirama's chakra feels like water and dirt."
"You're a sensor."
"Yup. That's how I knew you were one."
"That's how I know Hashirama's coming," she told him a smile on her face. She was glad that it was only Hashirama coming, it meant she didn't have to leave. "Hey Hashirama, you never told me you had a cute brother."
"Kukikio?" Hashirama asked his armour green, he didn't tell her his last name and was now worried, Itama didn't know not to tell others your last name. "What are you doing here?"
"Long story? Besides you better get going back to the Senju compound," she told him, she was going to have explain that she didn't care later. "I don't care that your a Senju, Hashirama, in the end your still my friend. Along with Itama, also, I'll kidnapping your brother later."
"Kidnapping?" Itama asked then he remembered their clan symbols on their armour. She would have known even if he didn't tell her.
"To train you, duh," Kukikio told him. Patting Hashirama on his head, she whispered that she would explain later. "It was lovely to met you, but I best get going. I'll see you tomorrow Hashirama."
Chapter 3: Chapter Three: Madara Uchiha
Kukikio was glad she was about to explain to Hashirama what happened, so Itama was able to. But since then she had been able to get in about five training sessions with Hashirama's baby brother.
Through she didn't know if Hashirama was able to use the Wood style, she guessed she would see in time. Through she only smiled as she walked towards the river after her bath, she had found a spring in a cave, so she didn't have to worry about her friend seeing her without her blue kimono.
Looking at the person Hashirama was fighting, she was reminded of Sasuke, through she found most males in the Uchiha clan reminded her other either Sasuke, Itachi or Shusui. Even Obito to some extant.
Through in her living memory, she had never seen a Uchiha with light coloured hair, only with really dark eyes and hair. Such as black or a really dark shade of brown. Kukikio just guessed that they didn't marry outsiders a lot.
"Most likely the reason why some children in said clan get really sick," Kukikio whispered to herself, she had seen how inbreeding effected animals, she guessed humans wouldn't be any different. Clan or not. Through she felt sorry for that Shusui look-alike, since she knew how Hashirama was, and even then she was ready to throw him to were Suna would be sometimes. "Might as well go and save him."
Kukikio only smiled as she appeared behind Hashirama, only for her foot to connect with his ribs, kicking him back into the water below them. Before grabbing the black haired males arm and throwing him further down the river before landing on her feet. She loved doing that sometimes.
"Kukikio!" Hashirama said as he swam back to the surface. He was surprised when she knew how to fight, and how to fight well, but she explained she needed to be able to since no one likes clan-less orphans.
"Hashirama you forgot I was coming." Kukikio only looked at him, fake tears in her eyes, before laughing at his shocked face.
"Why must you make it sound like a statement," he told her, he had gone back to the bank, where he curled up into his ball of despair.
"Sorry about that," she told the shocked male, it looked like he couldn't believe what he was seeing. Or he had seen it before and thought Hashirama was being silly. "I'm Kukikio, and you are?"
"Madara," he told her keeping his eyes on Hashirama, even when he pushed himself back to standing on the moving water.
"Nice to meet you Madara."
"You know when he's going to snap out of it?"
"When I kick him into a tree."
Hashirama only looked her with wide eyes, before jumping back onto his feet. He thought she was joking when she told him she would kick him into a tree, she ended up kicking him into two trees when he continued.
"Dear kami," Kukikio said putting her hands over her mouth in fake shock, Madara looked at him with narrowed eyes, a smile twitching on his lips. She hadn't been able to act this silly, not since before the Chuunin exams and that was only a mask. Hashirama had the ability to bring out most people's inner goofball. "He's thinking, we better start digging his grave."
Madara only looked at her, before looking at his only friend, besides from his brothers. He never did get along with other children. "Hashirama, thinking?"
"I know it's such a rare thing."
"Hey!" Hashirama told them, his eyes growing wider. He knew the two were teasing him, through he wished they didn't get along at his expense. Hashirama was glad that Kukikio and Madara would be able to get along, he didn't want to lose either of his friends. "I have great ideas."
"And I'm a donkey, what's your point?" she asked a smile on her face. Kukikio only rolled her eyes at them of them, before giggling into her hand. "Any way, you were in the middle of a fight. Madara, if you want to kill, I won't stop you."
"I thought we were friends."
"Donkey's don't have friends."
"Stop making fun of me!"
"Then stop making it easier then breathing."
Madara only blinked at them, wondering what in the world he had gotten himself into. He knew that Kukikio wasn't serious about her suggestion, in fact, he had an idea that if he tried killing the bi-polar male, then she'd kill him. But still Hashirama was acting like she was digging his grave herself.
"Well, then," Kukikio said ignoring her friend, since she knew if she looked she would have an urge to kick him through a couple of trees. She would have to thank Tsunade for training her during the war, it made her threats that much more fun to give. "Why don't we continue that fight? You were here to train right?"
Kukikio only smiled as she laid down between Hashirama and Madara, before they copied her training work-out. She knew they wouldn't care if she worked out what clan they were from, since she quickly told Madara she was an orphan.
Only with telling him if he ever needed help, then she would do what she could, since she didn't have anyone to worry about besides them.
Through the reason she told Madara, was because her Taijutsu was a mix-up of different clans, making her more movements harder to keep up with. She had learned from watching others, and that skill had saved her more times then she cared count
"Told you she would keep up," Hashirama told Madara, as Kukikio cooked three fish over a fire. He didn't know what she did not to get caught, but so far, neither of them had been found. "Also her cooking is amazing."
"I swear you only train with me for my cooking," Kukikio teasing passing him a plate, she always kept six on her, so she only had to wash them ever two days. She was lazy and had better things to do with her time. "And your pride, if I hadn't already destroyed it."
Chapter 4: Chapter Four: A Wonderful Sight
Kukikio didn't know what to make of the scene in front of her, it was like someone had given Hashirama too much candy, or anything with large amounts of sugar.
"I think we've broken him," Madara told her, his eyes were almost as large as hers as Hashirama bounced along the Naka River, through she did have to remind herself that both of her friend's were only twelve years old.
"Madara, I don't think that's possible," she told him since she had arrived just before Madara did, to the scene that was currently playing out before their eyes. A giant grin and shinning eyes, to her it was a sign of trouble. Lee and Gai were the same, it resulted in her having to keep up with them for a hundred laps of the Leaf's outer gates. "That means once upon a time, he was all there, you know, that there was something to break. How easy is it to get sugar around here?"
"I think only nobles can afford it."
"I see. Someone gave him a drug."
"It isn't killing him."
"It will, Hashirama, cause of death," she said putting her hands in front of her face, sliding them to the side as she spoke. "Running off a cliff and breaking ever bone in his body due to a sugar, or drug, crash."
"I found it, finally I found it," Hashirama told him, he didn't know what they were talking about since he was trapped in his own excitement. But he had done it, he had found the perfect spot for his village, one that he could keep an eye on his baby brothers, along with his best friends. "I found the perfect spot, Itama helped."
"Really?" Kukikio asked after a few seconds of silence, Madara was still looking at him like something had been broken in the brown haired boys mind. "What did you found? And for what?"
"For our village."
Kukikio only looked at him, tipping her head to the side, narrowing her dark red eyes. She knew the spot he was talking about, but she wasn't going to allow him to know that. Knowing Hashirama, he would take out his 'depression cloud', as she and Madara started to call it.
Madara looked like he knew what he was talking about, like she did, but wasn't fully getting what he was talking about. Hashirama must have sensed their stares, since he was a trained to be a shinobi no matter how much he acted like an excited puppy.
'Through,' Kukikio thought as he grinned at them, like they were meant to know what he was talking about. 'How he lived to become the greatest shinobi of all time, more like, how's his still breathing is a mystery.'
"Village?" she asked when it felt like crickets were starting to fill the silence between the three. "What Village."
"The one Madara and I were talking about."
"And I was meant to know this, how?"
"I didn't tell you?"
"No. You didn't."
"Sorry," Hashirama told her if there was one thing he had learnt about Kukikio, is that she was almost as scary as an Uzumaki when angered. Along with her hair pulling out of her many tail, going into nine parts. It was almost like the Nine tails. "I must forgotten, but Madara didn't tell you either!"
"But he's not the one who 'found it' or starting yelling about a 'perfect spot', now was he?" Kukikio asked her anger raising, she could only hope that she wasn't like this as a child, or wasn't like this the first time around. Kukikio mentally apologised to everyone she had met as a child if she was. Blinking she only sighed as he curled up into a ball, a black cloud over him. "Sorry Hashirama, you were saying?"
Madara only sighed at his best friend, whenever he or Kukikio would snap at him, he would curl up into a ball and said muttering something. Neither of them knew what he was saying, and he doubted Kukikio actually cared, he didn't.
It was almost like he had suffer Bi-polar, swapping from extreme to the next, even Kukikio didn't change her emotions as quickly as Hashirama did, and he was glad that at least one of her friend's was emotionally stable, she was simply more prone to fits of rage and anger.
"Yes, it's perfect. You'll love it. You just have to follow me," Hashirama told them jumping his spot, before running on it. It looked like he was ready to run and leave them to catch up. Both Madara and Kukikio had given up on asking/yelling at him about it. "Trust me, it's perfect. Nothing bad's going to happen. Let's go."
Kukikio smiled as she looked at a view she knew from when she was young, through she'd admit there were more trees. Even then it still calmed her.
This was the first spot she went to after knocking into Hashirama, now both of her friends had seen it, along with a race climbing up the edge of the cliff using chakra, one that both she and Madara agreed that he cheated.
Both of them had gone home a few hours ago, but to her, this spot was always going to be home to her. She smiled as she ran her hand over her purple-markings. Ones that looked like to cuts, through she was slight annoyed that they looked almost like Tobirama's, par the one on his chin.
"Through he's almost look like tattoo's, mine as just markers," she whispered to herself, shrugging her shoulders as she looked at the night sky. "It's almost like they're trying to point out I'm different, thankfully Hashirama and Madara can be quite the brick heads."
She knew the Leaf Village wouldn't be her friend's home for a few years, from what she could remember, not until they were adults and were head's of their clans.
"I should've known, homesickness." She had been suffering it from time to time, but seeing her favourite childhood spot, simply made it worse. Not that she was going to tell either Hashirama or Madara bout her feelings, she didn't need the raven thinking he had befriended two nut-cases along with questioning his own sanity, she had learned that never helped, that and Hashirama was filling the spot of 'crazy friend' so perfectly, that she didn't have the heart to take the title from him.
Chapter 5: Chapter Five: Itama and Nori
Kukikio didn't know how she got into situations like this, sighing, the two boys in front of her. Both of them were glaring at the each other.
She had been training Itama, when stopped and looked to the right. Kukikio would admit she was proud he was able to sense the kid, since she knew he was coming from a mile away, but since he didn't have the same chakra as the Senju guards, she hadn't said anything. She didn't know who he was, or what clan he came from, but guessing from Itama's reaction, he was not from one who were friends with the Senju's, such as the Uzumaki's.
The raven haired child reminded her of Itachi, just he didn't have the same stress lines Sasuke's older brother did. In fact, he looked to be around her students age. So Kukikio didn't know what the problem was, until she thought about, Uchiha. It was a Uchiha and Senju problem.
"Itama, what's wrong?" she asked jumping down from her tree, she was glad neither were close enough to start a hand-to-hand to fight and she could now stop them if they tried to.
"Uchiha," Itama growled fists tightening by his side. It was the Uchiha clan that had almost slaughtered him like an animal. Cornered him to rock when he couldn't fight back, he hated the Uchiha clan and everything they stood for. They were nothing but cowards and liars. He had thought Kukikio would hate them as well, but he had told him outright when they started training, that she didn't hate an entire clan because of the actions of a few. "He's from the Uchiha clan, Kukikio-sensei!"
"And I've told you once, meaning I've most likely told you a million times before," she said crossing her arms over her chest, standing between the two, her kimono brushing the ground. "That I don't care what clan someone comes from, I'll judge them from their actions only. Remember, I told you a Senju tried killing me once, I don't hate you for it."
"Of course sensei."
"Now kid." Kukikio turned around to look into dark eyes, she was glad they weren't red. It meant she'd have time to explain the situation before having to get out of some genjutsu. "What's your name? I'm Kukikio, and that's Itama."
"Nori," he told her hiding his face with his collar, he thought they were going to try and kill him, he couldn't do that to his brothers. Not so soon after both his twin and older brother's death, both killed during a mission gone wrong. But it looked like they were only training. "Are you going to kill me, Senju?"
"Sorry to disappoint kid," the white haired girl told him, blue markings on her checks. Narrow red eyes reminded him of someone Izuna hated from the Senju clan. "I'm not a Senju. Orphan, Itama's choice if he wants to tell you his last name or not, but I suggest going home. You know, we're both risking our necks here. Senju territory and all."
"What?" Nori asked he thought she was part of the Senju clan, she looked like one of the members after all.
"We need to leave," she told him patting Itama on the head, her head turned to the right. "I'm sure you're family likes you in one piece."
"We won't say a word. Will we Itama?"
Itama only looked at her, before sighing and nodding his head. He knew that Hashirama wanted to live in peace, so he guessed being nice to a clan enemy was the first step to helping his brother. Along with his sensei, since he knew his father would either kill her, or force her into the clan. If he ever found out about her existence, along with what their training. "I won't tell a soul. But Sensei, we might want to find a new training spot. We've had too many close calls."
"You're a good student," Kukikio said him as she grabbed Nori's hand, Itama only sighed as he started to run home. She had to get Nori to safety, since for all she knew, he could be one of Madara's brothers. She didn't want to risk what happened in the future, so she guessed she could help the children of the Uchiha clan.
"Sorry about that kid," Kukikio told Nori. She had teleported the two into her small treehouse, she had her clones built it as she trained with Hashirama and Madara. It had everything she needed, but at the same time, she could leave it behind her if she needed to. "I won't be able to take you home, but I can take you to the borderline."
"Why?" Nori asked. He didn't see the reason she would take him out of Senju territory, not after he had walked into it. At least he lost the Senju guard that was after him.
"Why what?" Kukikio asked him as she picked up an apple, she had a few apple trees growing nearby. "Sweet heart, your going to have to be a bit more specific."
"Why help me?" Nori didn't know why an orphan would help anyone from a clan, much less of a clan that was a enemy to her students. Unless she meant what she had told Itama, that she didn't care what clan someone came from, as long as they didn't attack her or her love ones. But that was silly, family meant everything. You died for your clan, and it was the greatest honour. "You meant what you said before."
"Of course. Why waste time with words that don't mean anything."
"You look a lot like someone my brother hates."
"That's the one."
"Don't worry. He's most likely not alone on that one."
"You've met him?'
"Thank the heavens, no."
Nori only stared at her, he guessed he'd hate someone he looked like, if they weren't from his family. If for the only fact that he'd hated being attacked without a reason, other then being mistaken for said person. He was sure some of his own clan might have attacked, thinking she was part of the Senju clan, or even Tobirama's twin sister. There was rarely time to ask if a person was in a clan or not. "Hn."
"Don't worry Nori," Kukikio said handing him a apple as well, a smile on her face as she tried to sense the nearest Uchiha team. So she didn't have to worry about him being attacked on the way home. She loved worrying about everything, she really didn't. "We'll get you home safely. I promise."
Chapter 6: Chapter Six: Hashirama's Tag-Along
Kukikio didn't know if she wanted to hug or punch Hashirama the next time she saw him, since she it looked like he didn't know Tobirama was tracking him. Itama following close behind. The only reason she knew his chakra was because he had tried to track one of her and Itama's training sessions.
He'd almost caught her the first time, but Itama told her it was his brother. Still, she didn't need the reason she sometimes got attack by the Uchiha clan facing her, along with a number of other problems that he'd cause when he was older. She'd have the Senju clan on her ass faster then she could blink if she did. Still, now she'd sense him, before he'd sense her.
"I wish I could rub it in his face," she whispered to herself, but she had already left a coded message for the moron. It was one of the first things they did after Hashirama showed them the cliff of his would-be village. "This is going to become a habit isn't it?"
So far she'd kidnapped Itama and Nori, now she'd have to kidnap Madara. The things she went through to make sure the idiots she called friends didn't get caught.
"Hopefully he doesn't whine and gets the message." It was a simple message, 'won't be there, moron, you're being followed. Neither will Madara. Train and get over it.' "Acts like an idiot, but he knows how important it is not to get caught."
Sighing, Kukikio stood when she sensed her friend coming towards her, jumping in front of Madara she pulled him into a hug, but the looks of it, he almost had a tail of his own, but whoever was following him tripped over one of her haunting traps.
"Kukikio?" Madara asked patting her head as she pulled him into the trees, Izuna walking out a second later. A rope around his leg.
"You were being followed, is he your brother?" Kukikio asked a smile on her face. It looked like Izuna had only sighed before walking home, through to her, he looked slightly panicked. "Cute, but I need your help for something. Someone was more successful in following Hashirama. Also, you told me about your mother, I have something that might help her."
"Does the idiot know?" Madara asked tipping his head up, he had gotten careless. He won't let his brother follow him again, but he would have to explain how he disappeared so quickly to Izuna, along with Nori if he knew his brothers well enough. Also, he was tired of his clan pushing his mother to keep having kids, even when the healers had warned her, her body might not be ready for another child.
"Madara, it's Hashirama. So until he reads my note. No, he doesn't." Kukikio was glad Madara didn't look to angry about his own tail, he just looked disappointed. Either way, she had something for his mum, which she felt was more important. She's have to thank Sakura, if she ever got the chance to, through the girl might not know who she is. "Anyway,I have some tea to help strengthen your mother's body. Along with keeping the baby healthy."
"Why would I lie to you?" she asked putting her hand on her pocket, she had it sealed in a scroll, but she could make some more if it was needed. "Madara, you're my friend. Friends help friends."
"How far along is she?"
Kukikio only blinked at his answer, handing him the scroll with the tea in it. Explaining how much she should take in each month, and many cups she could have in a day. She could only hope that no one questioned how she knew it worked, since she was only ten years old. She was only two years older then Itama and Nori, and a year younger then Tobirama.
"Baby brother or sister?" she asked after a ten minute silence, Madara had held the scroll to his chest, before placing it in his pocket.
"As long as they live," he told her.
"How many siblings?"
"I used to have five brothers."
Madara only looked at her with a lost look in his eye, she had told him she was an orphan. So she doubted she'd understand his pain, but he doubted he'd understand hers. Being left behind by her parents, never knowing a loving home. "Three of them have died in battle."
"That's the risk of going into battle, isn't it?" Kukikio asked a sad smile on her lips. She had seen so many people die in front of her, some of them died while she was trying to heal them, she had felt their hearts stop beating. She had tried to help Kiba, Kakashi and Karin, but she was too slow to stop them from dying. "Both sides suffer such loses, yet, no one wants to think about how the other side suffered. I'll admit, thinking about the enemy as less then human keeps one sane.
"I've killed, and I most likely have to do so again." Kukikio knew it was rude cutting him off, but when she sensed Hashirama leaving after training, she could only smile and nod. That meant Tobirama had left as well. She could only hope he didn't whine too much, since that would make Tobirama question it, or not, Hashirama was odd in that sense. "It's sad, you know, being able to heal. But neither being fast enough to safe those who matter to you. To protect is to kill. I've expected it, but peace will be something that won't happen for some generations."
"You don't believe in peace?" Madara asked as he leaned against the tree next to him. "Kukikio, do you think it's impossible."
"Madara, you see this forest. Once upon a time, it was only felt earth." Kukikio didn't want Madara to give up, but at the same time, she didn't need him diving off the deep end. Again. "And like this forest, peace will take time to grow, so don't you give up hope Madara, you're family will be safe. I promise, now go, give your mother that tea. It'll help your newest sibling grow up nice and strong."
Chapter 7: Chapter Seven: A Burning Village
Throwing her coin purse in the air before catching Kukikio sighed, she had been taking missions whenever she could find them, through she usually was hired to help someone who was lost in the forest, either to a major trading port, or to the next nation, she didn't care. As long as they paid her to protect them, it helped getting things she wasn't able to grow, such as training and shinobi supplies.
Blinking, she covered her mouth after she sealed away what she had earned from the last travelling group that got lost. She was sure it was some type of circus. Looking up, she was glad that she didn't need to carry anything, or else she would have dropped it.
Kukikio knew that smoke was never a good thing, she had learnt this during her childhood, but it was strengthened during the Four Shinobi War. The first year it was a sign of either Obito or Madara, but then it slowly become hers when the two brainwashed Uchiha were taken care of.
But still by that point, all the five major villages were burnt to the ground and the world was slowly going to hell. She didn't want to be trapped in memory line, but the picture of burning buildings and bodies would never leave her mind. Gai and Kakashi would the first two victiums she was forced to watch burn, as Obito laughed at them from a distance. She was glad that she was the one who killed the mad idiot, she really was. The bastard had taken too much from her.
"This isn't good," she whispered to herself. Kukikio didn't want to remember everyone who had died fire eating away at their bones, but it was hard to forget Hinata and Ino, who faced Madara's attack hand-in-hand, smiles on their faces as they were finally getting away from the year long war. And way was it, that one year felt like twenty?
It was moments like these, that she wanted to track Madara done and hit him, but she didn't. He hadn't done anything, he was younger and ignorant to all the crimes his older self had pulled. Madara Uchiha was innocent, and Kukikio would do anything in her power to keep him that way. Even if it meant taking his place in history, she would do it in a heartbeat.
"Why not?" she asked jumping in front of the burning town, it was small and didn't look like it had many travellers going through it. Jumping into a nearby tree, one that wasn't quite on fire yet, she watched as people ran into the forest, in their hands were either small bags, or a small child. "Damn it, need to stop the fire."
"Mummy, daddy, big brother!" a voice cried snapping her out of her own thoughts, she knew some water jutsu, but none of them were safe to use around people. Anyone left in the village would die the moment she put the flames out, but it would be quicker then burning to death. "Big brother..."
Kukikio only shock her head, before running into the village quickly pushing past panicking villagers. Praying that she was going to find the poor child, she was a tracker, sure. But it was harder to find a target when everyone around you was panicking, flaring their own energy. Which had caught her attention before the fire did. Placing water seals on her legs, one that would stop her and said child getting burnt, she jumped into a flaming alleyway.
Soon spotting a young boy crying over the body of, what seemed to be his parents. Looking at the dead bodies, she could see the slit cutting them ear to ear. Sensing his chakra, she almost fall over, it reminded her of Hiruzen, Asuma and Konohamaru, along with the rest of the Sarutobi Clan.
"God damn it, a Sarutobi," Kukikio whispered under her breath before picking up the small body. Just her luck, in less then six months, she was able to run into three different clans. Uchiha, Senju and Sarutobi, not only that, save one of their younger members. It would be her luck to find out that the child in her arms was part of the main family, more so the child of the Clan's Head.
Leaving the two dead behind, she used her seal to appear outside the burning village, only to have the child try everything, and anything, to get out of her arms.
"It's okay sweetie," she said as she water started to put out the fire, she had carefully placed the seal from her leg onto the ground. She knew the fire would go out in the next three minutes, but the shield that had followed would keep anyone in, but should still let anyone still in the village out of it. "I've got you."
"Sachi!" a voice screamed and Kukikio sighed, the boy in her arms look up and she could only smile.
"Are you Sachi?" she asked and when he nodded, her smile grew but she made sure to hide any of her teeth. Because of Kurama, her teeth had became sharp, more like a fox's then a human's. "Nice to meet you, Sachi. I'm Kukikio, is he your brother."
"Yes," he told her before a male, one she would guess would be around Madara's and Hashirama's age, ran out of the forest only to stop and look at Sachi in her arms. "Brother!"
Putting Sachio onto the ground, she quickly placed her hands in the air. Showing that she wasn't going to harm him, or his brother. It was silly, but she thought it was better then him trying to shove that sword into her torso. She had enough nightmares without adding that to her ever growing list. Through, she was becoming more and more distant to the people she was killing. Soon, she beat she'd be complete immune to the act.
"Mummy and daddy are dead," Sachio cried when his brother pulled him into a hug, leaving Kukikio feeling a bit awkward, she would have left. But it looked like Sachio's big brother wanted a word with her.
"Damn him," he whispered under his breath, his uncle really did kill his parents. He had tried to kill Sachio, meaning he was going to come after him next. Damn that man's greed for power. "He really did kill them."
"And who are you?" Kukikio asked as the boy's sword went back into it's hilt. Now she could put her hands down, but she would have to do so slowly.
"Sasuke," he told her, she didn't look like she was carrying weapons, but her clothes were loose enough to hide that fact, but not loose enough were he could see any of her skin. She must have been ten at most.
"I see that you weren't caught in the fire, Sasuke," a man said, his armour slightly dulled. Kukikio only stared at the man her best friend was named after, he must be good with a sword and a good man, since she doubted Mikoto would have named her son after anyone less then a hero. "Why don't you and Sachio come with me?"
"But my clan -"
"Most likely won't know your gone," Kukikio told him. Sure, she had cut him off, but she didn't remember anyone named Sachio Sarutobi. She must likely had already messed history up, so why should she follow what had lead to the horrors of her own time. She wasn't an idiot, the founding of the village would be a major historical point, but she didn't know what else was. "I'm not going to tell them, whoever they are, neither is he. Go, then come back and kill whoever would burn down an entire village to kill three people."
"I see," the man said humour in his voice, his face was covered, but she didn't get a bad feeling from him. "And you are."
"She saved me," Sachio said pointing to her, a smile on his face. Brown hair covered his eyes, as brown eyes glowed happily. "Can she come with us?"
Chapter 8: Chapter Eight: Sasuke and Sachio Sarutobi
Smoke continued to fill the sky, and Kukikio knew it had been a day since she had put the fire out. Renjiro turned out to be a nice man, but she didn't think she could stay with them. She had a feeling that she had missed up history enough as it was.
In fact, she had a bad feeling that something had happened at Naka river when she was gone. Sighing, she looked at Sachio's sleeping face. Sasuke and Renjiro had gone off to find breakfast, but she was sure Renjiro wanted to talk to Sasuke. Or start his training.
"Are you going to come with us?" Sachio asked as he pulled himself up. She didn't know what to tell him, he was cute, but so were Itama and Nori. "Renjiro said you could, and he said he'd keep an eye out of our uncle."
"Someone needs to help Renjiro keep an eye on your uncle," she told him, that and she was worried about Hashirama and Madara, along with Itama and Nori. She didn't care that she had been friends with Hashirama and Madara for only close to a year, they were still important to her. "I'm almost eleven, Sachio, and my friends are almost fifteen. December isn't a good time to be picking up strays."
"But your not a stray."
"Don't worry, it's a term of expression."
"Do you think they'll miss you?"
Kukikio only blinked at his question, she knew Hashirama would miss her. He had shown her that when she returned from on of her two week long missions. She could only get jobs from people who couldn't afford to hire shinobis from clans. "If I stay away too long, they'd think I was dead."
"Do you think uncle tired to kill us?" Sachio asked his eyes wide as he looked into hers. He remembered the grief he felt when one of his friends had died during one of his missions. "He never like mum and dad, said they were too soft."
"He did," Kukikio said putting her hand on his head, before pulling him into a hug. He was too young, but she guessed during the clan war era, there wasn't a thing as 'too young'. "That fire wasn't one to scare you two, he meant to kill you. Sasuke is the rightful Clan Head."
"He's going to tell everyone that Sasuke and I are dead."
"Then things work out in the end. You'll see, everything happens for a reason."
"Yea, you need to be believe in time, Sachio," Sasuke said a pole over his shoulder, a few fish hanging off ninja wire. She would have to make not of that, since it might help her when she needed to catch fish. "We'll go back and bring the Sarutobi Clan back to their former glory. Once we're stronger."
"Renjiro will help," Sachio said a giant smile on his face, before hiding it in her shoulder. Kukikio wished she could go back to that childish mindset, but if she wanted to live. It was one mindset she could never get back, not after everything she had seen in her life.
"I promise," Renjiro said carrying a small pile of wood, it was safer to burn a camp fire during the day, then it was at night. That and he had the perfect place to train Sachio and Sasuke, he did owe their parents his life. It was a shame that he wasn't able to help them in time. "Kukikio would you like to join us?"
"I wish I could, but I have friends waiting for me. That and I can spy on the Sarutobi clan, I know for a fact that your not," she answered, she just hoped she was only a few hours away from the Naka river. "We lose too much to let go of everything in our lives, friendship is one of those things. Along with family. But I'll write and won't tell a soul about your location, even under torture."
"Loyalty and honour," Renjiro said a smile on his face as he put a hand on her head. "That's what a Samurai aims to live by, you best be on your way."
"Yes, thank you," Kukikio said but blinked when she was handed a piece of paper. But then she remembered she didn't tell them that she could simply track them down. "I won't tell a soul, I promise. Sachio, Sasuke, when we meet again."
"Okay, Kiki," Sachio said and she only shock her head at the nickname, a smile on her face as she made her way towards the Naka river. "Good bye."
Kukikio wished she had been wrong about her bad feeling, but it turned out she was correct. Sitting from her spot in a tree, she watched as two grown man threw kunai at Itama, along with a small boy she guessed was Izuna.
Looking at two grey stones in her hands, she threw them towards the weapons knocking them into the river. Jumping down, she appeared in the middle of Nori and Itama, both boys only looking at each other with sadness.
"Another one," the browned haired male whispered, his gaze still on Madara's father. Kukikio ignored him while unsealing her katana.
"We're outnumbered," Madara told his father, a scrowl on his face as he looked at her with bright red eyes. "Izuna and Nori can take out the brats, but Hashirama and Kukikio are stronger then I am."
Kukikio couldn't even look at Hashirama as she too retreated into the forest, like Madara had said. They were outnumbered, her more so then he was. But she didn't need to be caught up in their pity family fights.
"I'm sorry," she mouthed to Itama and Hashirama, Tobirama she only glared at, before masking her chakra so she couldn't be followed. "I'm so sorry."
Kukikio looked at her tree-house, tears going down her face. It would figure that the moment she was gone more then two week, that everything would fall apart. "Damn it, damn it. The next few years are going to be hell."
Chapter 9: Chapter Nine: Itama's Trouble
It didn't take Kukikio long to find Itama. She would have tried to find Nori as well, but she didn't think Madara was going to let his brother out of his sight for a long time. When she came back, no one warned her that Madara was worse then a mother hen!
More so since he thought his mother was going to die in a month's time. Not on her watch she wasn't. She had been spying on the Uchiha Compound with her shadow clones, it wasn't like anyone knew the jutsu.
It was too early for Tobirama to invent the thing. So she would be taking his invention from him. Perfect payback from how he shoved the Uchiha Clan into a corner, and no she didn't care if he hadn't done it yet. Revenge was sometimes best served cold.
Spotting the white and brown haired male, she jumped next to him, letting him lean into her side as tears flowed down his face. It was most likely caused by his father screaming at either him or Hashirama during training.
She had learned from the last few months that Itama was soft hearted, almost like Itachi had been before Sasuke killed him, forced into situations that pushed them into corners.
But she was glad to know that there weren't any greedy elders to make him chose between his family and clan. It was sick and messed up, almost made her glad that Sasuke had killed Danzo. Through she wished she could have watched that fight go down, it would have been interesting.
"It's a real mess, isn't it?" Kukikio asked as she closed her eyes seeing if there was anyone close enough to hear them. Close enough to try and kill her. While no one was there, she knew she couldn't keep her camp near the Naka River. It was far to dangerous for her.
"Big brothers keep fighting," Itama whispered he had spent the last three days listening to Tobirama and Hashirama scream at each other about what happened. "They won't stop."
"Of course not," she told him putting her arm around him, she didn't think they had duck-type in the Warring Era, but rope might be a good replacement. "As they say; silence is gold and rope is sliver."
"Rope is sliver?"
"Tie their mouths shut, they can still breath through their nose."
"They're not going to stop fighting are they?"
"Not unless you tie their mouths shut." Kukikio didn't know what to tell him. It wasn't like she had siblings growing up, she didn't even have friends until she was twelve years old and then she didn't speak to anyone her age until she was sixteen,
Like she knew what teenage boys did when they didn't agree, grown man she could understand. She had been around pervy-sage long enough to know that much. But children and teenagers escaped her more often then not.
"Hashirama missed you and Madara," Itama told her his voice soft as he pulled his knees to his chest. His chain resting on his knees. "I miss Mum, she could always stop them from fighting."
"I'm sorry," Kukikio told him, it looked like this conversation was one where she was just going to have to put up with being out of her depth. She was still expecting him to jump up and scream at her for not understanding. How would an orphan girl understand his pain? Sasuke had screamed that her more times then she cared count.
"I don't want to lose."
"You're still my annoying little brother. You're stuck with me kiddo."
"You won't leave me."
"Not unless I die."
"I'll be around, but I can't always be with you."
"Because of father?"
"He most likely think I'm with the Uchiha."
"But your hairs white. And you saved me."
"Hatred and angry makes one blind. More often then not."
"Do you think Nori hates me?" Itama asked he had enjoyed training with the Uchiha. It was the only reason he never joined Tobirama and Hashirama's fights, since they didn't know that he was also training with an Uchiha.
Kukikio only blinked at his question. She hadn't been expecting that one. But she guessed she should have. "The if I know, do I look like a mind reader to? Sorry, but my hair's not blonde nor are my eyes blue."
Itama only looked at her before giggling into his hands, a giant smile on his face as she crossed her eyes before pointing at them. A large grin on her face as he fall backwards.
"Oh laugh it up Itama. Laugh it up."
"Kukikio is silly," Itama giggled as she joined him on the ground, a hand covering on his shoulder as she did so. He knew what clan she was talking about. Mind reading wasn't easy to do, so they were usually hired when one was needed.
"You still go on missions?"
"Father won't let me stay at home. I have to help the clan gain glory."
"Don't be surprised if I tag along on your solo's. I can find most I things I need in the forest anyway."
"How would you know?"
"I'm a Sensor kid."
"But how will we talk before that?" Itama asked since he doubted Hashirama wasn't going to leave him alone for awhile, and he didn't trust Tobirama not to follow Hashirama again. "Tobirama will only follow him again."
"And you'll be the one who gets screamed at." Kukikio didn't know what stick was up Tobirama's ass, but she guessed he might have been born with one up there. He was almost as bad as the Uchiha clan. "Such a wonderful family you have. Clan of love my ass."
"He's not that bad."
"And pig's fly backwards."
"You say weird things."
"Seals?" Itama asked wondering how she came to that word, he knew that his clan's sister clan knew them. But the Uzumaki's didn't teach outsiders. They rarely left their island unless they were marrying into the Senju clan.
"I have a number of them," Kukikio told him a smile on her face, they were easy to use. So she didn't have to worry about him messing it up. "I don't think you're clan will argue about you learning sealing."
"Father would sent me to the Uzumaki's to learn."
"I'll start you on the basic's, but you better write if you do go."
"Yes, big sister," Itama said a smile on his face as she handed him a book. It looked like it Kukikio had been the one to write it.
"Good," Kukikio said wondering it was a good idea to almost give herself away like this. He was going to figure out she was part Uzumaki. It wasn't like Itama was stupid, but she hoped he didn't really think about too much. "This is easy, so don't worry, you'll be fine."
Chapter 10: Chapter Ten: A Birth. Welcome Maemi Uchiha
A month had followed since she started to use shadow clones to spy on the Uchiha Compound. Making sure Madara's mother had enough tea to see her through her pregnancy.
Doing so also helped her train her sensory range, she had kept an eye on her chakra from Wind Country. Making sure she didn't go into labour too early. That would have placed both her and her baby at high amounts of risk.
Screams could be heard from her spot just outside the clan's compounds. She doubted she'd get caught, seeing as she ran away from ANBU level shinobi while wearing bright orange during her first childhood. But it never paid to be too overconfident in one's skills, something she had learnt from Sasuke's death.
"This is for Madara and Nori," she whispered to herself jumping onto the nearest roof, making sure to active the seal on her neck. It didn't do anything grand, just one were others would just over look her.
Through none of the guards looked up, it was like they were distracted from the screaming. They were lucky Kukikio wasn't there to kill all of them, because she had a feeling if anyone was, most of them would be dead before they could blink.
Thinking of screams, Kukikio didn't find them hard to follow. Nor was it hard to get into the birthing chamber, or at least she hoped it was. Since it was a surprise the women was by herself, not a midwife or medic in sight.
Helped her, but that wasn't the point. She thought she'd have to knock a poor women or two.
"Hello miss," she whispered replaced the cloth on her head before putting a seal on a wall, one that would keep the door close and everyone out. She would need the time. "It looks like they've given up."
"Who are you? And what do you want?" she asked her black eyes looking at her with clouded pain. "I won't give you my child, my baby."
"Don't worry dear, I'm the one whose been making you the tea Madara's been giving you," she told her. Placing her hand on the women's stomach she quickly checked the baby's health. "Also the reason you're about to be in a lot of pain. Screaming with it, in face. But don't worry, you're waters broke and everything is going as it should."
Kukikio only smiled as her hands glowed green, there was no point in telling her that Maemi was almost lost. It would cause unnecessary stress. Besides it wasn't any that couldn't be healed, but she would have to check her over to make sure everything was in working order.
It was going to be long night, since some births could take up to sixteen hours. Some even longer then that.
"I'm Toshi," she said pulling Kukikio out of her thoughts as she kept an eye on Maemi. Just in case the baby thought of doing anything funny before she was born.
Kukikio didn't know what to tell her. Madara knew her name, so would his father if the man had any say in the matter. So her nickname was most likely safe. "Kiki."
"Thank you," Toshi told her closing her eyes tightly together as she bite her lip. Screaming in pain as blood went down her chain, it wasn't as painful as the last one, but she knew that was Kiki and not because she was getting used to it.
Toshi was sure her pain getting closer and closer together was a good sign. It meant she could hold her baby girl before she died.
Kukikio knew it would take awhile, and she was right. Maemi's birth did take sixteen hours. The sounds of her cried were music to her ears.
Through Kukikio did feel guilty that she was the first one to meet and greet Maemi Uchiha. But that fact couldn't be helped, since she had to place her in a near-by crib the moment her cord was cut.
She had almost lost Toshi. While her tea had strengthened the women's body, it couldn't stop her from bleeding out. But she was sure a seal could stop this from happening again.
"You owe me," Kukikio whispered to herself as she stopped the bleeding. That was going to be a memory she wasn't to recall anytime soon. Black locks covering her face.
Kukikio had a feeling that the black dye was going to stay in her hair for awhile. But it would prove useful in the long run, since she had to go spy on someone in Iron for about a month and report on their actions.
Some women thought her husband was cheating on her, but she couldn't afford a shinobi from a clan. Kukikio hated them the most sometimes. She really did.
"There you are," Kukikio said as she placed the bundle in her mother's arms. A smile on her face as Toshi looked at her daughter, a fondness she hadn't seen since she spotted Kurenai with her child.
She would find why Toshi was by herself in a moment, since Sakura told her a midwife would stay with the mother until the baby was born.
Toshi's husband she could understand, no matter how much blood and gore they had seen. Men could rarely watch a child coming into the world without fainting on the spot.
"She's early," Toshi said a light smile on her face, like what happened wasn't a problem. "My daughters' have always been impatient."
"My beautiful daughter. Thank Kiki."
"You're welcome. May I ask."
"Of course dear."
"Why were you by yourself?"
"They thought I was going to die. My husband should be around with the boys soon."
"You're not going to die," Kukikio told her. The women talked like she was expecting to pass away at any moment. That she was going to be leaving her daughter the moment she held her.
As amusing as the sight was, it made her want to kill her husband, medics and elders. She was putting that seal on her, give the poor women's body time to heal.
"No, I've strengthen your body. But you can't keep having children forever you know."
"The elders will want me to continue having children."
"I'll put a seal on your body. That why, you'll have time to give your body rest."
"Are you an Uzumaki?"
"Nope. But you should wait two years before removing it."
"Why two years?"
"It gives the body time to heal from the strain."
"The elders don't understand that."
"Blind males," Kukikio whispered to herself the sun hadn't raised from the horizon. But she would need to leave soon, since it had been a long night. "But you'll be fine my dear. I'll have to leave soon."
"You'll come back," Toshi said keeping her eyes glued onto her form. Her husband wouldn't be back for awhile. "You're not part of the clan, but you're still my daughter's godmother. You'll need to check up on her."
"If you wise Toshi," she told her. She didn't see this coming, never would she had seen this coming. "We'll have to organise it before your husband comes."
"I have a crows summons."
"Then this shouldn't take long." Kukikio had a feeling that her life was always going to be one surprise after another. It was most likely karma from when Kakashi called her the 'most surprising ninja of the Leaf Village'. "I'll check Maemi, but afterwards I'm going to have to leave."
"I promise not to tell a soul."
"That would be for the best. Thank you."
Chapter 11: Chapter Eleven: Bloody Christmas
December Twenty-fifth. It meant nothing to Kukikio, not as her life as Naru Uzumaki and not as orphaned Kukikio. The only thing December meant for her, was less jobs and less food. It was like, nobles didn’t want to face the weather. Even to start fights with neighboring countries or villages.
Madara’s birthday was the day before, Kukikio had sent something for him. She was glad that Toshi wouldn’t tell him who the present was from. Madara’s and Maemi’s birthdays were the only two that she remembered. December the Twenty-fifth and November the twenty-second.
“What the?” she asked herself as a bird landed in front of her, a crow. Kukikkio was glad that Toshi was smart enough not to send her something with the Uchiha clan symbol, she didn’t think her those around her wouldn’t notice the red and white fan for what it was. Unless they were stupid.
Kukikio had a feeling that even Hashirama wouldn’t fall for something so simple, but he has surprised her in the past with the amount he misses. More so when he doesn’t want to see something for what it was, living in a fantasy land where everything worked out for the best.
“Oh, Toshi,” Kukikio whispered as she took the stroll from the pouch on the poor things back, replacing it with one of her own. She had made a doll for Maemi, along with a scroll of wind jutsu for Madara and a painting for Toshi.
She could only hope that the seals would stop the thing from being burnt. The Uchiha clan were known for their fire jutsu.
“Can’t rely on what I know to be true,” she whispered. She didn’t know much about the Warring era, but no one did. They were legends, but a lot was lost when someone burnt the old records at the end of the second shinobi war.
Unsealing her gift, she almost laughed at the thicker winter clothing. It was something she was happy about, since she only owned one thick kimono and pants. Toshi might not have given her black, but the blue was dark enough to almost pass off as navy or black.
“Time of peace my ass,” Kukikio muttered to herself following the scent of blood. Along with Sasuke’s chakra, it looked like someone had tried killing him, most likely his uncle. Kukikio hadn’t spied on the Sarutobi clan for a while, but it looked like she would have to pay the old man a personal visit, along with traps that would shave a few years off his life.
“Sasuke,” she said as she jumped down next to him, Sachio wasn’t with him. She was glad that Sasuke was smart enough to keep his younger brother around his teacher.
“Kukikio?” he asked looking at her clothes, before looking her in the eyes. She could see that he was relieved, why she didn’t know. Most likely he was glad that she wasn’t someone else trying to kill him. “What’s today's date?”
“And I killed three people.”
“I don’t see any markers.”
“I would say uncle. Most have thought your guard would be done.”
“I hate him.”
“Don’t we all.”
“I was almost killed on the day of peace.”
“No wonder it was easy.”
Kukiko only sighed, she had seen enough dimwits give their life to revenge. She was almost one of them, Madara had ruined her life in the future. Him and Obito. At one point she had wanted to kill him, but he was just a child now. He hadn’t done anything to her, she had a chance to make sure he never became a missing nin and never give in to the curse of hatred.
“Don’t kill him for revenge.” Kukikio was surprised when he looked at her with wounded eyes, almost like a puppy being kicked by its owner. “All you do is waste your life, it’s like a never end black hole and once you’re in it. It’s almost impossible to drag yourself up from the numbness.”
“What are you doing?” Sasuke asked her, not wanting to think about her words. His sensei had told him the same thing, so it was something he was going to have to think about.
“I need to find somewhere to hide for the winter.”
“Why don’t you stay with us?”
“Why not,” Kukikio told him, it had been awhile since she learnt swordplay. She should still know enough to keep up with Sasuke, but only just. She also didn’t mind knocking him on his ass, again. “Only if we practice ninjutsu and taijutsu.”
“I’m going to loss,” Sasuke told him a grin growing on his face, Kukikio look at the seal on her arm. She was getting better, as was Itama. So she’ll be able to sent messages to her little brother, not matter how far apart they were. It was safer this way, less likely to be caught by the Senju and killed. “Sensei said he found someone to help with your seals.”
“So what are we waiting for?”
Sasuke smiled before running off, Kukikio following soon afterwards. Winter might be a time jobs weren’t there, but she was sure Sasuke and Sachio wouldn’t let her die.
After all, friends help each other.
Chapter 12: Chapter Twelve: Hashirama's Healing
Kukikio had been looking out for Hashirama and Tobirama, since they had been hired to take the scroll that she was delivering to Wind Country. Some noble wanting to make an alliance with another.
Her plan had worked, so far. It helped that Tobirama didn’t know he couldn’t sense. So they were following one of her clones, it would annoy the little shit. It had annoyed Neji during the fourth war. Since he wasn’t able to keep track of her, and she had almost gotten herself killed because of it.
It would take a few hours to catch up to her, at least she hoped it would. But there was something wrong with her seal, the man had paid her the full amount up front. So Kukikio had a funny feeling that something was going to go wrong, something always went wrong with her missions. Warring era or not.
Looking at the scroll in her hands, her eyes widened. Landing she threw the thing away from her, but it was too late. The symbol was already a bright red.
She had been used to get rid of Tobirama and Hashirama, the two Senju heirs. So that meant someone would be after Itama, why wouldn’t they use an orphan. Who was going to miss her?
“Kukikio!” Hashirama shouted as wood covered her form, covering most of her body from the blast. Which would have taken half of her arm off otherwise.
“A trap,” Tobirama growled as he looked at the form on the ground. She was the reason some shinobi thought he was cross-dressing, the only thing they shared was colouring, but he knew that was enough for idiots to think he had killed one of their loved ones.
“Tobirama, go back and tell father,” Hashirama told his brother, his back straight and voice firm. He wasn’t going to let Tobirama fight with him, not when his friend’s life was in danger.
Wood shield or not, he wasn’t fast enough to stop the injury to her head and it looked like it was bleeding pretty badly.
“Went off near my head,” Kukikio told him, once Tobirama was gone. She would have to be careful from now on, so that someone didn’t try killing her, to get to her friends.
“Don’t worry,” Hashirama told her, picking her up. He was going to have to move her, so his father didn’t try killing her or force her to join the Senju clan. “You’ll be safe. Tobirama thinks you’re dead.”
“I won’t hurt you. You and Madara are my friends. I’ll keep you safe, always.”
When Kukikio opened her eyes, something just felt off to her. Lifting her arm, it felt like the day before didn’t happen. That her client hadn’t been using her to kill off her friend; and his little rat of a brother, not only that. But when she looked at her arm, it was bare, like the blanket was the only thing covering her bare body.
Pushing herself up, she wasn’t wearing anything. Hashirama was sleeping at the other side of the cave. He had seen her naked body, well, at least she didn’t have to worry about him walking on her during a bath. He had already seen everything, she guessed.
“I’m going to kill that bastard,” she growled, pushing herself up, it wouldn’t do if the idiot died healing her. She didn’t know how she would tell that to Itama, little brother or not, she didn’t think he would forgive her. “Such an idiot.”
“Kukikio,” Hashirama said opening his eyes, before turning bright red and pointing to cloth in the middle of the wooden room, where a bundle of cloth rested. A black cloud hovering over his head, she guessed some things never changed.
“You’re still the same,” Kukikio told him, pulling the thick shirt over her heart, pulling on the dark blue pants. She was glad he didn’t give her his clothes, his fashion sense was still horrible to look at. Better then Guy and Lee, but Kukikio knew that wasn’t hurt. “What a way to start spring. I don’t think my teacher’s going to be impressed.”
“They tried to kill you,” Hashirama muttered, his eyes growing dark enough that she could barely see his pupil. He wanted peace so he wouldn’t lose another friend, another brother. And he had almost lost Kukikio, he was just glad that he remembered her little trick with her clones, or else he would have been too late.
“I think they were aiming to kill you and the white rabbit,” Kukikio told him, humor clear in her voice. “Hashirama, you can’t protect everyone. You need to trust me, k? Sometimes, I might be badly injured. But I promise I won’t kick the bucket.”
“Till my hair starts to fall out, I’d say till I’m old and grey, but my hairs already white.”
Hashiama looked at her with large eyes, before Kukikio knew what was happening. He had pulled her into a hug, tears going down his checks. She might not know what was going through his head, but she was glad that he was still able to cry.
Crying didn’t make a man weak, it just meant he knew when enough was enough. Kukikio was proud of Hashirama, even if he was almost breaking her ribs. Hugging him back, she felt tears go down her face.
She wasn’t going to watch someone else blame themselves for something out of their control. She had seen Sai blame himself for his brothers and Ino’s deaths and that was enough to break her heart. She didn’t want that to happen to Hashirama, he was too cheerful, a ray of light in a storm.
Hashirama blinked when Kukikio hugged him back, he didn’t know if she liked physical contact. Since she avoided it just as much as Madara did, they were similar in that sense. Doing something for him, even if it caused them discomfort, but at the same time, Tobirama had told him that he hugged to much. Itama loved, but he guessed that might be the reason Kukikio and Madara avoided it.
“Tobirama isn’t a rabbit,” he told her.
“You’re right. More like a snow leopard.”
“You and Tobirama are snow leopards then,” Hashirama told her, Kukikio smiling before slapping the back of his head. She was glad that the goof ball was back. “Itama -”
“Would be my cub, now how is he?”
“He’s getting stronger.”
“You make that sound like a bad thing.”
“Father’s sending him on more missions.”
“He’s always been more of a healer then a fighter, why doesn’t he sent him to the Uzumaki’s?” Kukikio knew that Itama was getting stronger, she was the one who kidnapped him to make sure he could sent up to her clone. Anyone would a dimwit now to notice his growing skill set. “I’ve been teaching him what I know about sealing, but he’ll improve more under someone who knows what they’re doing. If that doesn’t work, Medics are always needed.”
“Medics aren’t sent on missions.”
“I thought that was the point.”
“I’ll talk to father.”
“Make sure snowy’s on your side.”
“Tobirama loved Itama.”
“I do not doubt that. Idiot.”
Hashirama pulled his knees to his chest, the black cloud was back and Kukikio removed herself from his arms. She didn’t know if she wanted him to change.
He was fine the way he was, mood swings and all. Through she wouldn’t mind if he stopped muttering to himself, something about being out all night and Tobirama yelling at him.
“Come on, dimwit,” Kukikio told him, pulling him back onto his feet. “You best get going, I’ll be fine, but I have a feeling that Tobirama and Itama are worried about you. Must not give your family, more reasons to scream to you.”
Chapter 13: Chapter Thirteen: Chandan and Itama's Meeting
The teacher that Renjiro had found her during the winter was a man from Wind Country. His face was always covered in cloth, meaning she barely knew what his face looked like. Not that it mattered, he had already started on her on the basics, she was just glad her style wasn't like the Uzumaki's or she feared that he would kill her on that principle alone.
Kukikio had a feeling that he wasn't impressed with her, not since she was almost killed by a newbies bomb. To be fair, it was a seal that she had never seen before in her life. A bomber clan had created it.
"What did we learn?" Chandan asked her, dark brown eyes glaring into her own.
"Always check scrolls, even when their from an employer," Kukikio told him. She had learnt her lesson, next time Hashirama wouldn't be there to make sure she didn't bleed onto the snow.
"Good. You'll join me and my clan for the next four months."
"Yes, Chandan-sensei." She could tell that the next four months were going to be hell. But at least she didn't have to worry about Itama, since he had told her that he was being sent to their cousins, the Uzumaki's, to learn both healing and sealing. Something that'll keep him off the front lines for the rest of his life. She could only hope that no one attacked the Senju compound when he returned from his own training. After all, the Uzumaki's didn't join the clan wars, even through her teacher's clan hated them on principle, something about disagreeing about what responsibilities those who knew the sealing arts had.
Not that she cared. After all, she wasn't planning on joining any clans if she could help it. Chandan already knew this, he was teaching her because he owed Renjiro several favours and this was easy to complete.
"We'll continue with the basics," Chandan told her, walking father into the desert. Passing a scarf for her to wrap around her head, so that the sun didn't burn her skin. She had already changed into the light airy cotton of his people, the light peach colour reflecting the light. She thought she looked odd in the colour, but she guessed as long as she wasn't being baked alive she could live with it. "Once you've impressed the elders, we can start your training in cloth sealing."
"Remember, this style of sealing can be traced back to the first nomadic tribes. This style is almost lost to us."
'And it was forgotten,' Kukikio thought to herself. She didn't know how, but something had killed off most of the nomadic tribes, since they never wrote anything done. Cloth sealing become nothing more then a myth, along with blood sealing. She would have to start tracking down different styles of sealing, so she could write it down. 'Nothing like the present. Hell on earth, here I come.'
Chandan was a better teacher then Kakashi and Jiraiya, he was also a borderline slave driver. She was just glad that she would train with him four months on and off, since he didn't want to bring her with him when he went to Lightening Country. Her pale skin would stand out, and it wouldn't do her any favours.
Not that she was complaining, since it gave her time to perfect the seals he had already taught her, without the stress of having to have them perfected within a spin of a couple of weeks.
But she was surprised when Itama had asked her to meet him, the seal she had shown him allowed the two to write to each other with a diary. One she warned him to keep on his person, since the pages would appear to be blank to anyone who wasn't allowed to read it.
So with hers, only she and Itama could read the messages, she didn't know who could read Itama's, but she hoped that he kept it a secret.
"How's your training?" Kukikio asked, her qipao styled dress a dark blue. But she found that it was more useful in battle then her kimono had been, since she didn't have to worry about a belt being cut off. The only problem was that she had to start wearing black leggings and shorts, but that was the only problem. "You've grown, who said you could be taller then me?"
"The Uzumaki are scary," Itama told her, colour draining from his face. He wasn't lying, his teacher and Mito was scary. He was starting to see similarities between them and Kukikio, since they weren't to be crossed or your death would be a painful one. "But I've learnt a lot. Mito's taught me a sword style that works."
"See? I knew you could do it."
"Of course he did. But your safer and I'm not going to go any whiter."
"Who knows, if there's a will, there's a way."
"Cloth sealing and binding."
"Never heard of it."
"Not a surprise. There's few tribes who know about it, but it's an old art. A pain in the ass, but worth it."
"I'll teach you, once I've perfected the basics myself. Doubt I'm going to be a master of it. Not for a long time."
"Mito was surprised I knew the basics," Itama admitted. Hand going through the white of his hair. "Asked who had taught me, since it wasn't a style she knew."
'Of course not,' Kukikio thought. Jiraiya had taught her, and she had taught herself during the war. So her style was a mix match between several different ones. Through she didn't think the Uzumaki princess who have cared enough to ask, she didn't even know if the Senju clan had anyone who knew the sealing art, or that was the reason Itama's asshole of a father didn't blink twice when Itama asked to learn.
"But I didn't tell her. I don't want father to hurt you."
"Is that the reason she's scary?" Kukikio asked him. She didn't want to cause him any trouble, Itama was her little brother and the person who hurt him, better pray that something killed them before she got them.
Anko had taught everything she knew about torture before she was killed by a look-a-like. Dead people were the worst enemies, because they were hard to kill a second time.
Itama nodded. He didn't know why Mito wanted to know about Kukikio. No one else asked him any questions, he guessed they assumed that he taught himself before dong the smart thing. Even still, he couldn't risk it.
Not when he didn't know if they'd tell his father. It would put her life at risk, and he wasn't going to be the reason his older sister was hunted down and killed. She was one of the few that didn't compare him to his older brothers, who believed he was strong and could learn two difficult arts.
"So this is your teacher," a voice said, Kukikio's eyes going wide as she pulled him behind her. A sword in her hand as she swore under her breath. Bright red hair pulled into two buns, dark blue eyes staring at them. "And who would you be? Itama wouldn't tell me a thing."
Chapter 14: Chapter Fourteen: Uzumaki Princess and Snow Orphan
Kukikio cursed herself, an Uzumaki shouldn't have been able to sneak up on her. Not with their dense chakra and life force. The only thing she could think of, was that she had gotten to cocky and that mistake could be the reason she was killed.
And the worst part was that she didn't know if the Uzumaki could sense her. Or if she was looking for Itama, who didn't know how to hide his chakra like she could. Taking a breath, she looked at the pieces of paper hanging from her head dress, they had to be the reason she couldn't sense the women in front of her.
One that was most likely a personal seal that was lost in time, through the purple dot on her forehead was familiar. Kukikio almost went to attack her, when Itama stiffened behind her. Worry taking place of fury.
"Itama," the women said, her smile was kind and she looked to be around Hashirama and Madara's age. Fifteen. "Why don't you introduce your teacher?"
"Why don't you introduce yourself?" Kukikio growled, dropping her tone. Making it as deep as Kurama's growls, which reminded her that she spend way too much time with the fox in the last few years of the war. It wasn't like she was getting much sleep and there wasn't really much to eat, with Madara and Obito burning away most of the plant life. "It's rude to ask for someone's name before giving your own, but I can't expect manners from an Uzumaki now can I?"
"I'm Mito," she told her, her voice calm, but her hair was trying to get out of her buns. Before staring at her like she was trying to pick her apart piece by piece. "And you?"
'Mito,' Kurama growled from her seal. Kukikio was just glad furry was up from his two year long nap.
'She can't get to you,' Kukikio told him, almost rolling her eyes as she looked at Itama, then Mito. 'You're already in a seal, Madara can't get to you either.'
"Kukikio," she told her. Hands tightening around her sword's handle. "Just Kukikio."
"Not a Senju."
"No. I'm an orphan."
"Mito," Itama whined pulling on Kukikio's qipao. "She's my older sister."
"Figure. Don't worry Itama," Mito told him, jumping down from her branch to stand in front of Kukikio. Not moving towards Itama as she stared into her eyes. "I'm not going to tell father, if that's what your worried about. Tell your teacher to put away from weapon, I'm not going to have her killed."
"Teacher has ears," Kukikio told her, lowering her sword and sealing it back into her arm. She could get it out in a heart beat if Mito was lying to her.
Besides, Mito didn't need to know that Kukikio knew more then the basics when it came to sealing. And hell would freeze over before she told her about her teacher. That man trusted her not to tell the Uzumaki clan anything.
"Good." Mito said putting out her hand, Kukikio staring at it, she didn't trust the women in front of her. Even if she was Tsunade's grandmother. "Now we can talk."
"That would depend," Kukikio told her, Itama moving to sit on a log to the right of them. Watching to make sure neither of his sister figures tried killing each other. "What do you want to talk about."
"Sealing. Of course."
Mito smiled as she sat down next to Itama, her arms going around his shoulders. "We can compare notes."
"I don't have many," Kukikio admitted. She didn't know how many of her notes were safe to share. Let alone how many of them would work.
"That diary," Mito pointed out, handing her a book. Blank pages staring mockingly at her as she glared at the red head. "Itama has one, it's safer this way."
"You noticed the seals on Itama's."
"You made the seal on your head dress," Kukikio pointed out, the seals were clearer now that Mito was closer. Nope, she had never seen them before. Even when she looked at pictures of the Uzumaki Princess.
"So we're comparing notes?"
"And trading seals."
"I guess I can live with that."
"I'd teach you the basics..."
"But I already knew them enough to teach someone else."
Itama was glad that Kukikio and Mito were getting along, but he feared for Hashirama, since he had a feeling that his older brother was going to regularly annoy the two. As long as he wasn't a target for their pranks, then he could live with it.
"I have a seal that changes a person's hair colour to hot pink," Kukikio told Mito, Itama's eyes widening. Hot pink? During war, he could think of several ways that could end someone's life. "Or neon green, blue or orange."
"Useful," Mito agreed.
"I'm not going to rid of you two, am I?" Kukikio teased, she might not know what Mito actually wanted, but until she showed her true colours. She guessed it would be nice to have a friend who was the same gender. As nice as Sasuke, Madara, Itama, Hashirama and Sachio were. They just didn't get some things.
"Nope," Itama and Mito told her.
"Annoying little brother," Kukikio sighed.
"Big sister," Itama whined.
"If we're family," Mito said rubbing her fingers across her chin, while grinning. "That makes me the oldest sister."
"I'm not fighting you for a silly titles," Kukikio told her.
"Father wants me to marry Hashirama," Mito told them, she was glad to find someone to compare notes to. But she wanted to know what her future husband was going to like. Many who married outside of the clan was dragged into the ongoing war, and she wasn't going to fight for someone she wanted to kill herself on a regular basics.
"Have fun with that," Kukikio told her.
"I thought you were friends?" Itama asked as Kukikio sat on his other side, crossing her legs before pulling her white hair from her high pony tail.
"It's because we're friends that I make fun of him," Kukikio reminded him. Her hair brow raising to her hair line. "Plus, his mood sings annoy me on a good day, let alone a normal one."
"Food?" Itama asked unsealing a basket from his wrist, he was sure that Mito would have brought something as well. "Notes? Seals?"
"All three," Mito said unsealing a blanket so they didn't have to sit on the grass. "We have all day to get to know each other, father thinks we're on a hike."
"Then he's the fool," Kukikio told her. Grin slowly growing on her face. "Now let's trade notes, I have to leave soon and not get killed."
Chapter 15: Chapter Fifteen: Red Eyes and Ambushes
Kukikio didn’t know how long it had been since she had seen Nori and Madara. Along with Toshi and Maemi, she knew her little god-daughter was almost three. She was almost fourteen, her old friends would almost be eighteen.
She still didn’t remember when Hashirama’s birthday was, but he seemed to run into her on that day. So it was a habit to carry around a present for him. Just in case. Hashirama and Madara were still at each other’s throats.
Fighting each other if the Uchiha and Senju were locked in combat, same with Izuna and Tobirama. No one went near those fights, no one. Not since that women got her head cleanly cut off her shoulders, nothing had happened since.
She guessed even old dogs could learn. Kukikio was only graceful for one thing, Nori was in training and Itama was still with the Uzumaki’s, even if their horrid fathers were still alive, slowly tightening the rope around their own necks.
Pausing she looked around herself, Mito seemed to think it fit enough to befriend her. Which confused Kukikio only slightly, it was like Mito knew something Kukikio didn’t want her to know.
Not that the red head would tell her, not until Mito felt like it or it would give her some gain. Kukikio hoped that wasn’t the reason, maybe she was getting paranoid. But her paranoia had kept her and others alive; so far.
Thinking about her paranoid and Nori. She could have sworn she sensed him nearby, along with forty other people. Turning around, she drew closer to Nori’s position, but nothing could prepare her for what she found.
Nori was holding a boy’s body, his shirt covered in blood to the point that Kukikio didn’t know if it was his or the body’s he was holding. Half the dead man or from the Uchiha clan, but the other half she didn’t know. Even as she jumped in front of a man about to cut her foster baby brother in half.
Dark brown hair and tanned skin. Wind or Lightening country most likely. Empty black eyes make her bet Lightening, which meant she didn’t know which clan he was from.
If he was from any at all. He could have been like her, an orphan fighting tooth and nail to live, narrowing her eyes she turned right to look into something a pair of eyes that had haunted her dreams since the war started.
Nori’s eyes are red. Sharingan. “Oh, Nori,” Kukikio said as she looped her arms around his shoulder, letting him drop the body of his friend. His arms around her, tears going down his face, she knew it was better if Toshi was here.
But he had her and she guessed that it was better then being by himself.
“I wanted to protect my friend. Hishi. I wanted to protect him,” Nori told her, his arms tightening around her neck. Skin going whiter, even as Kukikio started to heal what she could reach, a ligjt green glowing around her arms. “Then everything started to slow down, and he was dead. They killed him, because he looked funny for a Uchiha.”
“It’s okay. You’ll be fine,” Kukikio told him. It felt like a lie, he was never going to forget Hishi being murdered in front of his eyes. Never. At least that was what Sasuke told her, that he never forget the day he killed his brother. He could recall the whole event by the second.
Snapping her head around, she could sense someone moving towards them. Sarutobi, Kukikio thought. He had the same chakra pattern as Sasuke Sarutobi did, so it was a high chance of being his uncle.
“It looked like Sasuke is final home,” she whispered, raking her hand through Nori’s hair. She didn’t know when, but at some point, he had fainted in her arms.
She needed to get him to Madara. Picking him up, she quickly hid in a cave. They were bound to start looking for their missing squid, Madara more so then others, since Nori was with them.
“Please, be quick,” Kukikio whispered.
Whoever was looking for her still hadn’t found them, but Nori had woken up. His eyes were black, the horrors of his bloodline wouldn’t leave Kukikio’s mind.
She didn’t know how much he knew, but she doubted that he knew about the next stage. No one did until Madara and Izuna got them.
“Hishi’s dead,” Nori said, his voice flat and his eyes wide.
“He is,” Kukikio told him. “I’m sorry for your lose, but you know you’ve got it.”
“Izuna’s not going to be happy,” he admitted, a hand next to his eye. Tapping slowly as he looked her in the eye. “I got mine before him.”
“And I wish you didn’t.” Kukikio was sure he didn’t know about the horrors. She had already healed him, but now she would have to pinpoint Madara’s location and get him away from her trackers.
“Nori do me a favour?”
“Work on your speed first, just because you can see what’s coming. Doesn’t mean you’ll be fast enough to dodge it.”
“You know about the Sharingan?”
“Nori, Nori. It’s well-known.”
“But you know more then them.”
“I had a friend. He’s dead, but he told me about it.”
Nori narrowed his eyes at the well. He didn’t know about an Uchiha telling outsiders about their bloodline, but Kukikio didn’t look like she was lying. “I see.”
“I don’t think you do,” Kukikio told him. Smiling, as she picked him up. His arm around her neck, as she walked out of the cave looking around herself.
Jumping down in front of Madara, Kukikio didn’t have time to say anything to him. As he looked at her like she had another head, she dropped Nori into his arms.
She never did tell him that she knew his baby brother, but she guessed he knew now. Using her father’s trick, she disappeared in a blur of white.
Either the person following her was stupid. Or he was waiting for some sort of backup. It had been five days since she returned Nori to Madara.
And they still hadn’t caught her. Even as she lead them in circles, more and more people joining. Until their were at least twenty following her around the woods.
Three years since the fire that took away the last Sarutobi Leader, along with almost taking his heirs. Kukikio guessed it was time for the idiot to learn that they were still alive.
Kukikio didn’t think the Sarutobi Clan had idiots, but she guessed there was a rotten bunch in all family trees.
Turning around, she spotted Sasuke’s Uncle. A man with dark brown eyes and hair. She guessed his colouring suited the site of his heart, it was most likely just as dark. Why else would he kill his own brother? And then go after his nephews?
Most likely to lead the clan himself, Kukikio thought to herself narrowing her eyes as she unsealing her sword. She didn’t trust him, not when his aura was murderous.
She dealt with Kurama enough not to be unnerved from his killing intent. No one beat a pissed of nine tailed fox.
“There’s a reason you’re following me,” Kukikio told him, the dimwit holding his sword with his left hand. “And I doubt it has nothing to do with me.”
“Where is Sasuke,” he demanded.
“Sasuke? Who is Sasuke?”
“You know where he is.”
“No. I don’t.” And even if I did, Kukikio added in her head, I wouldn’t tell you for all the money in the world. “You’ve just wasted your time.”
“My spies saw you with him,” he accused.
“Then you need to get better spies.”
“You killed them.”
Kukikio only lifted an eyebrow. So he’s the idiot they belonged to, much to obvious. Jiraiya had taught her everything he knew about spying, everything he knew about sealing, even if she hadn’t thought much of either at the time.
“You were with the Uchiha boy,” he told her, slowly side stepping to her right. Kukikio left her sword, and she faced him her back never leaving the tree behind her.
She didn’t trust him, and she didn’t trust the people he had brought with him. She trusted Madara, who had just arrived and was waiting behind him.
“You’re the one who that clan attack them,” Kukikio asked, turning her hand slightly. The blade going across her body and she bite her lip. “I’m guessing that you’ve sent another team after the Senju’s as well.”
It seemed Madara had improved his speed from the last time she saw him, since he had already killed Sasuke’s uncles back up and that was all she needed to race forward and stab him right in the heart.
“You think you’re going to scare me?” Kukikio asked, Madara appearing behind her. He crossed his arms in front of his chest and frown. “Madara, I told you I was a sensor. How’s Nori?”
“Fine. Mum’s looking after him,” Madara told her, tapping her on the head. “She told me what you did for her and Maemi.”
“You’re my friend. Even if you don’t see me as one,” she told him, her hair tie broken and her hair flowed down her back, dented slightly at her neck. “Toshi is your Mum. That’s a lost I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. No, I would, but you get my point.”
“You risked your life.”
“I knew I could help her. And I did, no regrets, wait doesn’t that mean your father knows?”
“He died this morning.”
“Oh.” She hadn’t known that, but she knew that Madara became Clan Head at a young age. Eighteen was far too young to led an entire clan didn’t war.
But then, many didn’t live to see thirty. So what would she know about it? Madara nodded, before starting to walk the direction he had came from.
Kukikio watched as he went. Turning his head, he glared and she followed. It wasn’t like anyone would know where she went and she trusted him.
He started the war that killed most of her friends, and she trusted him. Naru would never had followed her worst enemy, no matter what happened.
But Kukikio was his friend, and he hadn’t done anything to her and she doubted that he would. Or at least she hoped he wouldn’t, at least she was going to see Maemi.
She wondered how fast her god-daughter was growing, and how spiky her hair was going to be. The sliver lining, Kukikio thought to herself. Always look for a sliver lining.
Chapter 16: Chapter Sixteen: Toshi's Strenth and Madara's New Role
Toshi had Maemi on her hip. It looked like her goddaughter had gotten her mother’s hair instead on her father’s, since the black locks seemed to be as straight as a ruler. Her eyes were as black as her brothers, her skin just as pale.
Madara nodded as he took Maemi into his own arms, Nori and Izuna standing behind their mother. A black band around their right arms.
“Kukikio,” Toshi growled as she walked up to her, her hands on her shoulders before she started to shake. Kukikio’s white hair going back and forth with her movement. “If you think you can go a year without sending me a letter! I’ll hunt you down myself!”
“Yes ma’am,” she told her, her vision spinning as she was pulled into a hug. She was sure her own mother, Kushina Uzumaki, would have done the same thing. Now she was glad that they would never met, it was a near terrifying thought.
“I thought you were dead.”
“It was a near thing,” Madara admitted, Nori looking at her with wide eyes. A smug smile was on Madara’s face, at least that was what it looked like once her vision returned to normal. “Exiled Sarutobi cornered her.”
“There were no corners in that valley,” Kukikio told him, Toshi letting her go and allowing to set at a long table. “Therefore, I was far from cornered.”
That didn’t stop Nori from sitting next to her, wrapping his arms around her torso. Or stopped Maemi from climbing into her lap. It seemed Izuna didn’t like her, not that she cared. He was the one she had the least amount of contact with, therefore what he thought meant little.
“Why did you save her?” Izuna asked as he sat down, Toshi next to him and Madara at the head of the table. “Anyone else would have left her.”
“Madara is my friend,” Kukikio told him slowly. It would seem that Toshi had told her sons what she had done. Wonderful. “And family is important to him. So why wouldn’t I?”
There was one thing that didn’t make sense. She could never figure what why Toshi had been by herself. Did they think that the baby was lost to them? That they were already dead inside Toshi’s womb? Or did something tell him that he was only losing a baby girl? And not another male heir for his army?
No matter the answer, Kukikio had a feeling that his reason would puss her off. Now she wished that she had killed him herself, she hoped his death was as painful as the one he had almost left his wife to suffer through.
“We’ve had a fight with the Senju Clan,” Madara told her, pushing a pot of tea to the middle of the table. This was the most relaxed that she had been in years, not since the fourth shinobi war had started.
Even she had to admit she had gone back further then she had planned, in fact, she had been aiming for the start of the third shinobi war, hoping to stop Obito’s death from happening and killing Madara in his old age.
“You’re always in a fight with the Senju Clan,” Kukikio pointed out, she didn’t see why this time was different. Winching slightly as Maemi decided that her hair was the perfect thing to pull, keeping herself amused as she twisted her fingers into Kukikio’s long white locks.
Kukikio was happy to be used as a cushion. Children had always been her weak point, and always would be. She wouldn’t take a job if her target was under the age of eighteen, instead she generally killed the person who had asked her to push her morals to the side.
Her childhood had it’s good moments, but for the most part it wasn’t one she’d wish on her worst enemies. Nor did she think it was healthy, but her goal in life was to make sure those around her didn’t suffer the same fate.
“And the Sarutobi Clan,” Madara continued. “It both us and idiot Senju’s walked right into a civil war. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that?”
“And why would I know anything about it?” Kukikio didn’t know why he was asking her, it wasn’t like she told anyone about that day. It did tell her why he knew she was being followed before anyone else did. “That’s how you knew Sarutobi wanted me dead.”
“How do you know the current Clan head?”
“Saved his little brother from a town fire. A bit before you know what happened.”
“Yes, a town fire. His parents were already dead,” she admitted, she didn’t know Sasuke’s uncle name, and she didn’t want to know it.
“You’re a softie,” Nori muttered, his head on her shoulder, his hair going down her shoulder. “Someday, someone’s going to use it against you.”
“Whatever you say Nori,” she told him, patting him on the head, she had to admit he was growing. Kukikio had a feeling that he was going to be tall then her. Then again, that wasn’t hard, Itama and Mito were taller then she was.
Mito was the same age as Madara and Hashirama, but Itama and Nori were only a few years younger then she was. At least two years young, while Izuna and Tobirama were two years older.
“Father had been killed,” Madara continued, Izuna nodded as he showed her his sharingan. Blood red with a single red dot, she knew he would get all three in no time. “Hashirama’s father as well.”
“We just need to fight with the elders for peace,” Toshi told her, smiling as she looked at her hands. “Madara has told me about his and Hashirama’s plan.”
“A village,” Kukikio echoed. “A village for ninja, their families and boring people.”
“Merchants. They never do know why to shut up.”“They’re the worst,” Nori agreed.
“It’s getting late,” Toshi told then, nodding her towards the window. “Kukikio, your room is next to mine. No escaping now, Maemi’s will cry.”
“And I can’t have that,” Kukikio agreed. Maemi had fallen asleep at some point, her tiny hand still wrapped around her hair, but if there was one Kukikio could live with it, it was a bit of pain, more so if it brought her goddaughter even a moment of peace and happiness. “Maemi is prettier when she’s smiling. Everyone is.”
Chapter 17: Chapter Seventeen: Peace of Heart and Letters
Kukikio knew it wouldn't take long for Hashirama to write a letter to the Uchiha clan. Madara had admitted that their friend had sent him a few letters, Kukikio wanted to roll her eyes, since it seemed that he was trying to get his friend used to the idea of an alliance.
At least he wasn't going to push him into the deep end. While she respected everything he had done to make peace in Fire Country.
There was a nine out ten chance this had been Mito's idea, what backed her point was the fact that the letters started after she had met the Uzumaki. When Itama told her that he missed Nori and their friendship. Itama's kicked-puppy-eyed showed be illegal, she was sure he could talk into walking into the middle of a pit of lava with them. Then again, so could Nori and Maemi, her little siblings of different families.
Anyone touched them and she'll rip their arm off and throw the rest of them for Shukaku to deal with. She was sure the one tails wouldn't mind having new toys to squeeze the life out of. Once she found his location, which shouldn't be too hard. Just follow the blood trail.
Toshi smiled as she sat down next to her, Maemi crawling out of her lap onto her own. A wide smile as she crawled her hand into her shirt. Like she was trying to stop her from running.
Madara eyed darkened as he handed Toshi the letter, this time around he wouldn't have to make the hard decisions by himself and Kukikio was relived that Toshi was willing to help her son.
She didn't know how they were going to bring anyone to the idea, much less the elders. The Uchiha clan would need to feel like they had the upper hand. That would be one of the few ways this would work.
That and she had a feeling that Zetsu would be getting desperate soon. Madara was strong enough not be controlled, unlike the previous Uchiha's he had twisted into their sick little games.
Nori and Izuna was sitting across from her, while Toshi frowned and handed the letter back. A maid walked in with a pot of tea on a tray, putting it down before exiting the room.
"What did the idiot Senju want?" Izuna asked.
"Peace," Kukikio told him, frowning as Maemi's eyes closed, at least she would be spared the screaming that would follow. She was too young to be used as a pawn, but she knew the elders would want her to marry someone for an alliance.
"An alliance," Toshi echoed. "Between Uchiha and Senju, before we wipe each other out."
"Peace will never happen," Izuna told them.
"No it won't," Kukikio agreed. Someone was always going to be fighting over something, it was just something that she had come to accept over her two life times. The powerful would always prey on the weak, it would took a certain strength for those in power not to abuse it.
"You don't believe in peace?" Nori asked her.
"No," she admitted. "Not world peace, someone will always abuse power. The peace I believe in, is not sending six year olds out into the field to die, to be safe enough to walk out of your house in some safety. To live in a world where losing your friends every week in normal. That is peace, it is selfish, but it's the only thing I care about."
"We're on the wheel of fate. Senju and Uchiha," Izuna said his eyes darkening. Madara hadn't said a word, why she didn't know, maybe he wanted to know what they thought of the subject. "The wheel can't be knocked off, we're always fighting. ONe being stronger then the other."
"Bull," Kukikio told him, maybe Zetsu was already poisoning this one's mind. It would explain why he didn't expect medical aid, along with the stupidity that came out of his mouth. "Fate doesn't control a thing. This wars been continuing because the elders of both clans can't let go of their hurt. They want revenge for those they lost, not caring how many they sacrifice to go so. This won't stop until someone ignored the blood of centuries past, do you want Maemi to be killed because of someone else's pride?"
"Do you want her hands to be stained with the blood of another? What if she wanted to be a healer? Would the elders allow her to be anything she wanted to be?"
"Then we need to ignore the centuries of blood shed, so that we don't add anymore grief. So our grief doesn't become the grief of others."
"Won't be easy to convince them," Toshi admitted getting up and pulling Izuna into a hug. He looked shocked, so did Madara. She wasn't surprised, she had never told them about the friends she had lost. How she had lost the family she built out of her friends.
"My family used to be made out of a rig-tag of different people, orphans of clans lost," she told them. Which was true, most clans had been lost as the rabbit goddess continued her war. "They were still killed for it. I don't want my child to feel like they had to take on an entire clan for my sake. I'd want them to be safe and happy, vengeance never ends. Don't let it ruin your life."
Kukikio doubted she's have children, Kurama admitted that it would be hard. She would have to tell someone about her seal, she would need them at the birth, if she ever got pregnant.
"If there's a will there's a way," Toshi added.
"We're family, right?" Nori asked taking Toshi's old seat, she felt this meeting as turned into musical chairs. Bright red eyes looking at her.
"Of course," Kukikio told him, Toshi smiling as she wrapped Izuna into her arms. The little girl purring in her arms like a kitten, this was family. Hell would freeze over before Zetsu pulled it apart, she'd rip limp by limp before sealing him away with his psychopath of a mother. "Your about as annoying as any little brother would be."
"I still don't trust them," Izuna muttered.
"Of course not dear," Toshi told him, her arms tightening in their hold. Madara drinking his tea without saying a word, almost as if he was lost in his own little world. "Trust comes with time. Why don't you go with your team and scot the woods?"
When Izuna left Toshi looked at her with sad eyes, Kukikio didn't know what happened. But she had a feeling that was a piece of information missing. One that had something to do with Izuna's hatred.
"He needs time," Madara told them.
"Or he needs to be dumped on his ass by a pretty Senju kunoichi, I hear there's one in Hashirama's group. We know how Izuna us about strength in woman," Kukikio joked, she hadn't been in the Uchiha compound long and already she had been able to pick up his tastes.
He might not trust her, but that didn't stop him from admiring the muscles in her arms, legs and abs. Along with her ass, she didn't think he was a fan of her face, which made sense, her colouring was most likely too close to Tobirama's for their comfort.
"I'll need to bring this up in the next meeting," Madara told them, pinching his nose as he looked at his mother, sister, brothers and friend. "The elders will want to add conditions."
"Which will be rejected for the safety of everyone," Kukikio mused. "No doubt they'll try to ruin the Senju clan in their demands, I'm sure Hashirama will control the Senju ones, we need an upper hand. One that makes it feel like their in control."
"As always," Toshi agreed. "I'll join you, son, they'll use your age to dismiss anything you tell them."
Nori giggled behind his hands. None of them liked the elders for good reason, they were busy being trapped in their youth. She had a feeling that something was going to happen, something that would make getting an alliance with the Senju that much easier, but Kukikio couldn't put a finger on it.
Chapter 18: Chapter Eighteen: Bait and Elders
The seal on her diary glowed as she washed her hair, Toshi was kind enough to give her clothing and bathing things. Madara didn't want a large number of people knowing she was there, she would stand out with her white hair. So it wasn't like she was comfortable enough to use the bathing house and she could do without being stared at.
Instead, she was happy to put up with a metal tub that she could seal away when needed. Once she was used to the Uchiha women, she might join them.
Looking at her desk, she saw that Mito had tried to connect her through the same dairy that she made Itama. The red haired women had told her about Itama's process with his training. Either with Sealing or medical jutsu, but there was one thing that made her pause.
It would seem that Itama had accidentally grown a tree in the middle of their forest. So it wasn't just Hashirama who could use wood-based jutsu. She knew it was a bloodline,something that was bound to pop-up from time to time.
The fact there was another one, wasn't going to make any of the Uchiha knew jump up and down with joy. Aparts maybe Nori, but she had a sneaking suspicion that Nori didn't like girls. Maybe he had a small crush.
It would be Madara's nightmare, Izuna's as well once she thought about it. Since one person being able to control the layout of the battlefield, but now there were two of them?
She didn't see how the Uchiha elders were going to take this, not that she cared all that much all that much what they thought. Elders were a pain, when she was a child the last time around.
She wasn't really going to listen to them, Madara was known for not listening to elders. Hashirama was known for not listening to their elders, most of the leaders of this time weren't listening to their elders.
"Nori, I'm dressed," she told her younger brother as he went to knock on the door, even as she gently tugged on her collar, closing and sealing away the dairies that allowed her to connect to with Itama and Mito.
Pulling her hair into a ponytail.
"Madara's been able to make the elders think we have the upper hand over the Senju," Nori told her, as he entered the room and sat on her bed.
She looked at Nori with questioning eyes, now he was he able to do that?
"I'm Hashirama's friends," Kukikio said grinning as she thought about it, if they thought she was a bargaining tool. Now they might follow through it without as much arguing. "And know that idiot, his family would have been better. But that idiot's always wanted peace for family and friends."
"Why do you call him an idiot?" Nori asked.
"Because he's an idiot," she told him, when the village was built. She had to make sure that Madara wasn't the one who was hated because of what happened during the war. She also had to make sure that the crazy lady's soon wasn't allowed anywhere near him, nor was her plant. "And I'm guessing we have to pack?"
"We need neutral grounds," Nori told her.
"I can connect the Sarutobi," Kukikio told him, grinning even as Madara walked into the room. He went to say something, but he just looked at her and she just blinked at him.
"Sarutobi?" Madara asked her, shacking his as he looked at her like she had lost the plot.
"Sasuke Sarutobi owes me a favour or two," Kukikio told him, grinning as he looked stunned. "And we happen to be friends, he'll be able to help."
"Write your letter, I'll keep this from the elders," Madara told her, and Kukikio rolled her eyes.
"And Izuna," Nori added.
"Izuna will be fine," Kukikio told them, grinning as she looked out her window. Before unsealing a dairy, the one she had given Sasuke. Once he became Clan Head, it was harder for them to sent letters to each other. "I think he's gone on patrol, he might be dumped on his ass. But at this point of time, I think Hashirama will only sent out people knows will follow his orders to the letter, unless your man attack them."
"We'll have to prepare," Madara told them, Kukikio smiled and both she and Nori followed him. She had a family, a patchwork of different people and believes. But it was hers and she be damned if she allowed anyone to mess with what was hers.
Nor would she allowed the rabbit to touch them either, her little creation would die and her family would finally be allowed to have a peaceful life. Would finally be allowed to rest in peace in the afterlife.