Title: Do Over
Summary: Naruto and Kurama accidentally end up in the past, on the day of Naruto's birth, and are forced to live their lives all over again. They make the best of it, to everyone else's extreme confusion. Alive Minato and Kushina. (Humor)
Notes: I feel no shame. I will never feel shame. I'm not sorry, no matter how stupid the things I write.
1. Naru-chan is (re)born
"So this is it. I guess this is where we say goodbye," Kurama commented, flicking his tails idly. As Naruto sniffled and began to tear up, the great fox sighed gustily. "Stop that. It was a long road, but I don't regret any of it now. Not being sealed in you, not becoming your partner, not even parting like this…"
"Kurama…" Naruto said, now crying shamelessly. "Me too! I would do it all over again!"
"Well, I suppose I have one regret," Kurama mused. "Naruto, I should have said this before. It was my fault you grew up alone. I'm sorry. If there is anything I would change, it's that."
In short order, Kurama would have another regret.
The mental space around them had flared white, and that was the last either of them remembered. Of that timeline.
Kurama would come to dearly regret those words, even if he would never, ever admit that ending up sixteen years in the past was probably somehow at least partially his fault.
Given that the last thing he remembered was saying his goodbyes to Naruto, about to become one with the other bijuu, Kurama was understandably confused to find himself under a clear night sky, totally free and, yes, with both halves.
Also, in the middle of Konoha, which appeared to be newly wrecked… most likely by him.
"Ah, it's that night," Kurama commented, nodding to himself sagely.
Admittedly, it was his first time suddenly ending up sixteen years in the past. Even for a bijuu, that was just weird. But on the other hand, everything involving Naruto had been just weird, so why not this too?
The mob of Konoha shinobi around Kurama completely missed his relation and his sudden change in alignment, attacking him with another wave of explosive notes. Kurama was not particularly bothered — he'd taken Naruto's beloved RasenShuriken to the face, this was nothing — but it was still annoying, and his great eyes narrowed dangerously.
"Cut that out, you worms!" Kurama roared.
The force of his voice alone was enough to knock most the shinobi off their feet, but it was the shock of hearing the bijuu speak that made them freeze for several long moments. Sarutobi, Enma's staff form in his hands, paused before he could use it to push the Kyuubi out of the village.
He flinched when the bijuu singled him out, leveling its crimson stare on him.
"You, monkey old man," Kurama said sharply, in a tone that was a tad impatient, but rather calm for a bjiuu. It still sounded like thunder to the humans around him. "Go find your other idiot leader."
'Before he does something stupid,' Kurama added mentally. 'If he drops that fat toad on me again, I'm biting off an arm, no matter what Naruto thinks.'
"Minato?!" Sarutobi blurted out. All of his years as a ninja had not prepared him for this. "What do you want with him, you monster?!"
Reformed or not, Kurama couldn't let that pass. "Watch how you address me, old man! I could rip your wrinkled hide to shreds!" he snapped. It was a pretty empty threat, given that Kurama had automatically taken to addressing him by Naruto's affectionate "Jiji." He didn't even want to think about how annoying Naruto would be if Kurama really did harm the old monkey. "Now go find your other idiot leader!"
"There's no need for that," Minato said calmly, flashing into sight next to Sarutobi. "I'm here."
"Did you get him?" Kurama asked. Even though he already knew Minato hadn't, Kurama reserved some hope for a positive answer. After all, Naruto definitely wouldn't. There would just be lots of heartfelt speeches and emotional revelation, and at the end they'd become friends. Which was nice and all, but wasn't quite as satisfying as a good old fashioned revenge killing.
"No, he escaped," Minato said, frowning.
"Pathetic," Kurama judged. He quickly went on before Minato could start asking questions. "But since you freed me from that man's control, I feel a certain degree of… gratitude." A blatant lie, Kurama had felt nothing of the sort and wasn't feeling it much now, but it was a convenient explanation.
"Ah," Minato said and stopped, apparently unsure of how to go on. It had been a long night already, and it showed no signs of ending.
"What man?" Sarutobi asked Minato, recovering admirably and throwing himself into damage control mode. If there was anything his years as the Sannin's teacher had taught him, it was how to accept ridiculous, insane situations and start dealing with the fallout.
"There was a masked man. He summoned the Kyuubi to Konoha after taking control of it. I broke his control and…" Minato explained, in a rather disjointed way that gave away his own confusion. He gestured abstractly, to indicate their entire current situation.
"If he escaped, then he could return at any time," Sarutobi said, ignoring all the not immediately threatening parts. "What can we do?"
"…There's only one solution I know of," Minato said. "To seal the bijuu."
In other words, create a new jinchuuriki. 'Excellent, we're right on schedule,' Kurama thought, nodding to himself.
"Get on that," he ordered, making the two Hokage jump. They had apparently forgotten about him, somehow. "I'll wait over… there. And if you try to summon the Shinigami, I'll gut you before you get to the third hand seal."
Minato choked. "H-how do you know about that?" he wondered, then quickly shook his head. "I don't know any other seal that can contain, um, you."
"Then you'd better ask someone who knows a lot about seals, and bijuu, and jinchuuriki," Kurama said. And because this was, after all, Naruto's progenitor, he added rather dryly, "For example, the successor to that tree man's wife."
Kurama was about to add something else — 'You know, the redhead,' 'The one who knows all about jinchuuriki, from personal experience,' since Naruto probably wouldn't have gotten it until it was spelled out in full detail — when Minato suddenly paled.
"Yes," he said, sounding slightly strangled. "I know just who to ask. I'll… go do that. Wait here."
Then he flashed away.
Just to be contrary, Kurama leaped out of the village in a single, long bound, leaving the assembled shinobi staring after him in shock.
The reason for Minato's hasty departure was simple — Kushina was going to kill him.
He had no doubt that she was already awake and already annoyed. And Minato, well, he had never won a single argument with her. As far as he was concerned, Kushina had never lost a battle. Kushina was like a force of nature. Biwako said a man couldn't handle the pain of giving birth? He definitely believed her. Anything that put so much strain on Kushina was to be feared.
Kushina had been put through that and through having the Kyuubi extracted, then left alone to worry with no information about what was happening.
She was going to bite the head off whatever poor fool she laid eyes on first. And unfortunately that was going to be Minato. Who was now going to ask her about how to seal a bijuu in their son.
Thus, Minato was completely prepared to stare death in the face — the Shinigami, he was certain, would have nothing on her — when he teleported into the safe house where he had left Kushina and Naruto. He braced himself… only to have a second, and then another, pass by without doom descending on his head.
Had she left?
That distressing but all too plausible possibility made Minato's eyes, screwed shut in fear, snap open.
But no, Kushina was sitting on the bed where he had left her, cradling their son tenderly. There was murder in her eyes, but a beautific smile on her lips. It was incredibly disturbing, since Kushina had never bothered hiding her rage or bloodlust before.
"Look, Naru-chan," Kushina cooed sweetly, "it's Daddy. Naru-chan has been worried about you, Mi-na-to."
The way she said the three syllables of his name was like the staccato of kunai biting into wood, ever closer. Minato didn't question how she knew what a newborn was thinking and feeling, or how a newborn would know to worry. If Kushina said so, it must have been true.
When Kushina carefully tilted their son toward Minato, the infant made a soft sound and reached out for him.
'At least I'll get to hold my son before I die,' Minato thought optimistically, accepting Naruto's tiny, blanket swathed form.
"So," Kushina said. "What have you been doing since you left me here?"
"Ah," Minato said. "Well. Yes. The thing is…"
By the time Minato returned, the amazing Konoha rumor grapevine had made it common knowledge that the Kyuubi had attacked because it was controlled by someone, and that person had been fought off by the Yondaime. So everyone was able to mostly ignore Kurama, who had curled up a ways from the village, like a new, fuzzy hill.
Minato arrived with Kushina in his arms, Naruto in turn in hers.
"Minato! Kushina?" Sarutobi exclaimed, approaching them. "Is it alright for you to be here? You just…" had a bijuu extracted, "…gave birth!"
As soon as he heard the old man's voice, Naruto mewled and began to wave his tiny arms. Kushina turned to Sarutobi with a smile that was terribly reminiscent of Mito at her most displeased. "Oh, Sandaime-sama," she said. "Naru-chan is happy to see you! And of course I have to be here too. How else is Minato going to know what to do?"
Proving his massive ears weren't just for show — or that he could sense the special kind of fear Kushina so often instilled in the male population — Kurama lifted his head and turned to stare precisely in their direction.
"It's about time," he rumbled. "You're slow, human."
That wasn't something Minato was often accused of. "And you're being awfully cooperative," Kushina noted shrewdly as Minato obediently flashed toward the Kyuubi. She glared up at the bijuu, apparently unintimidated.
"I hate being controlled more than I hate being sealed," Kurama said.
"Hmm," Kushina drew out unconvinced. But they weren't really in any position to look a gift horse in the mouth. "Fine. I'll have Mito-sama's seal set up. Now for the host…"
"I'm not going in you," Kurama quickly declared. "I hate chains. And stakes."
Kushina refused to feel any guilt.
"And I'm not going in that idiot either," Kurama added, gesturing with his snout to Minato. "What if he goes and martyrs himself? I don't want to be sealed in suicidal idiot." Or at least, not that one.
"Oh, and what do you suggest then?" Kushina demanded, scowling.
Kurama pretended to think about it. He knew exactly what he wanted to suggest, but if he said it, they would probably refuse on principle, assuming he was aiming to possess the child or something. Minato opened his mouth to speak his opinion, only to be cowed into silence by Kushina's glare — she already knew what he was going to say, and she had made her views clear before.
Baby Naruto chose that moment to gurgle happily and reach his stubbly arms toward Kurama.
"What? No, Naru-chan! You don't want that!" Kushina tried to convince him. "It's mean and probably has fleas! Mommy will buy you a nice kitty or a puppy, okay?"
Naruto stubbornly made grasping motions toward the Kyuubi.
"Hmph, I suppose the child will do," Kurama said with completely fake reluctance. "He has your accursed blood after all."
Kushina shot him a glare that said exactly how much she value his opinion — negative thirty three. Naruto cooed, and her expression crumbled.
"Oh, I… I guess," Kushina caved. "If that's what you want, Naru-chan…"
'I see. So Naruto can beat even Kushina,' Minato thought, nodding to himself in satisfaction. 'I knew he was amazing. He really can do anything.'
And that's how Naruto became the Kyuubi jinchuuriki once more.
"What the hell did you do?!" Naruto, teenage version, roared inside his mindscape.
"I should be asking you!" Kurama roared back. "This sort of thing only happens when you're around!"
"What sort of thing?! Ending up in the past?!" Naruto refused to back down. Fortunately, not being a physical existence, he didn't need to worry about lung capacity or sore throats. "Cause the last thing I remember is you talking about how you regretted acting like that the night I was born, and the next thing I know we're on the night I was born!"
"Now, of all times, you figure out how to think logically?!" Kurama protested.
Naruto scowled at him, deeply unimpressed.
"The last thing I remember is going to join the other bijuu, to become one again," Kurama admitted grudgingly. "And maybe — maybe — I was thinking about how I wished I could change the, hmm, whole killing your parents thing…"
They stared at each in silence.
"It's not so bad," Kurama grumbled, turning away and curling up a little. He could already feel a headache coming on.
"Not so bad? I'm a baby! I can't even talk! I can't even eat ramen!" Naruto wailed.
Some things never changed.
But… some already had.
Hahaha... please review?