It was midday. All members from both Team Minato and Team Seven had met up on training ground three at various intervals earlier that day. Minato had begun the training for his team and adult Kakashi had told the genin to follow suit before sitting in the shade closest the Memorial Stone and began to read some of his beloved orange book. Currently, Kushina was watching the training to ensure they were safe whilst Minato was attending a meeting with the Hokage.
"I have decided it would be best if life carried on as it would have before Team Seven travelled to our time." Hiruzen told Minato as he puffed on his pipe and leant back in his chair. "It had been decided that you and your team take the mission to the Kannabi Bridge, as I am sure you have suspected."
The news caused Minato to think back to the conversation he had had with Kushina just three nights previous.
Minato had been seated crossed-legged on the floor reading a book whilst Kushina sowed some of his cloths together again after suffering a round with his team.
"You know, Kakashi really is getting a lot better." Kushina stated as she worked.
"Yeah, you're right about that. For his age, he's doing great." Minato agreed in slight distraction as he continued reading.
"Rin is growing well, too." Kushina carried on happily. "They're really becoming a good team."
Minato chuckled slightly, attention now mostly on the conversation he was having with his lover. "Don't forget about Obito." He mock chided her, causing her to falter slightly in her work before she stopped and rested in on her lap.
Kushina spoke in a low, mildly annoyed tone. "He's hardly more than a bragging little half-pint. He's always tripping over himself, he can't throw a shuriken, and he's jutsu set-up is just..." Kushina huffed out a breath. "He'll need some work." Kushina got back to her sowing as Minato smiled at her gently before turning to his book, but not reading.
"Well, just like you said... Obito does have a lot of things that he needs to work on. But still. He's bright and outgoing attitude is really important. Obito being there deepens the bond between everyone one the team. And that's a fact." Minato finished.
Kushina smiled gently to herself. Minato paused, as if in thought, before looking at Kushina again in cheerful amusement.
"Wait. I don't need to tell you. You know." He tilted his head with a bright and cheerful smile. "I mean, he is your favourite, isn't he?"
"Oh?" Kushina questioned with a smile. "You sure about that?" She then got up and gave Minato his mended clothing back with a gentle, "Here ya go."
"Hm? Thanks." Minato examined the clothing as Kushina walked over to look out the window.
"By the way, is the next location of your next assignment going to be decided soon?"
Minato lost his smile as he became more serious. "Yep. I should find out for sure in just a few days' time, but..." He trailed off slightly before finishing. "I think that it's going to be at Kannabi Bridge."
"Kannabi Bridge..." Kushina whispered to herself, troubled. "I hope the war ends soon."
Minato had been right in his assumption then. With a sigh, Minato received his debriefing and left the Hokage Tower with an unsettling feeling in his chest.
Kushina was watching the two teams' interaction in amusement. The girls had paired up together and were hassling both Obito and Naruto about their skills. Sakura was being harsher in her comparisons to Sasuke whilst Rin was gently appealing to their pride and dreams. The two boys were responding in a whingey tone whilst little Kakashi and Sasuke just stood back from the rest of the group with their arms folded and a look of stoic annoyance on their faces.
As she watched Naruto and Obito, she though back to a conversation she had had with Minato a few nights before.
"Come to think of it," Minato started. "I forgot to ask, but..."
"Hm?" Kushina questioned as she looked over her shoulder.
"Why do you like him so much anyway?" He questioned.
"It's because he's part of my dream." She explained softly with a gentle smile.
"Dream?" Minato questioned in curiosity.
"One day, if we have a child... I want that child to be bright and forthright and to grow up to be..." She explained enthusiastically. "Just like Obito." She finished breathlessly as she imagined their child. "Our child doesn't have to be smart and can even be cocky." She continued in humour. "But, I want our child to value friendship and have a cheerful spirit... with a will that can't be broken. I want our child to be strong like him!"
Kushina was smiling to herself. I guess my dream will come true. Her expression turned slightly wistful. I just wish I lived to see it.
"Kushina." Adult Kakashi called out quietly from beside. Kushina turned towards him. "You're worrying Naruto with your sorrowful gaze." He explained gently, tilting his head slightly to the blonde boy.
To the eye of those around, Naruto was the way he always was. Loud and obnoxious. But to those who knew how to look underneath the underneath, they could see the slight tensing of his muscles and the way his eyes would jerk towards Kushina at random intervals. A surge of warmth flowed though Kushina as her smile went from wistful to loving.
I may not get to watch you grow, Naruto. Kushina thought. But I do get to see you in your prime and your potential to be the one I know I'll be so proud of.
Mikoto and a young Itachi suddenly came into view carrying a basket. "Kushina! Boys and girls! I've got lunch!" She waved.
With a cry of joy, the kids and Kushina rushed over to the Uchiha Matriarch and began to fight over the food until Mikoto ordered them back and had Sasuke help her layout the blanket and set-up the food.
The picnic was loud and cheerful as they socialised with one another and enjoyed a hearty meal after an intense work-out.
That was the scene that Minato walked in on. "Any room for one more?" He joked taking a seat besides Kushina and giving her a kiss on her head.
There were cries of "Minato-sensei!" and "Dad!" as he settled.
Naruto leaned around Kushina and began to open his mouth to say something when he froze at the feeling of a hand ruffling his hair gently. He looked into the warm and loving eyes of his father as he felt his own moisten while his entire being was filled with an overwhelming warmth. Instead of continuing what he had been about to say, he smiled to big and bright, his eyes closed. He leant into the touch slightly before moving back and trying to start a conversation with Sakura before turning to Obito and Rin as he was ignored in favour of her precious 'Sasuke-kun'.
As Minato watched this beautiful scene, he felt his heart tear as he cleared his throat to gain their attention.
"As you know," He started seriously. "Team Minato were mission active before those of you from the future dropped by. The Hokage decided it would be best to carry on as if there wasn't an interruption to the time flow and therefore Team Minato have a mission that we need to prepare and depart for tonight. Our location is Kannabi Bridge."