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: Last chapter! Ending is super weak as always, but I basically ran out of inspiration. Every issue left can probably be handled by the heroes, so there isn't much to say.
One thing: I can't believe all of you thought there was some kind of pairing thing going on last chapter. This is gen. All the way. No het, no yaoi, nothing - except MinaKushi, I guess.
7. The boy named Naruto
All of nature was one. It had come from one and to one it would return. In a way, the world itself was just a dream of that one — an exciting, touching, tragic, beautiful dream.
And those that became one with nature and the world, truly one, could take a step back and see the course of that dream a little more clearly.
So Gamamaru, or the Great Toad Sage, as he was more commonly known, slept and dreamt.
He had seen many piece of the dream called the world — the dream he had told Hagoromo, of a boy who would bring the bijuu together, the dream he had told Jiraiya, of a choice to decide everything, and many, many others.
Now, he even dreamed of himself dreaming, and telling that dream to a boy named Naruto.
"Hmm," the Great Toad Sage drew out, stirring awake. "Well, that's just strange…"
"Oogama-jiji!" his two students, now venerable elder sages in their own right, exclaimed in loud, nagging voices. There wouldn't be any going back to sleep after this.
"I dreamed… of a great fox attacking Konoha, under a masked man's control," Gamamaru said slowly, thinking back. It was unusually easy to recall the details.
"That already happened, you geezer," Shima snapped. "If you can't even foretell things anymore, what good are you anyway?"
"Ma!" Fukasaku protested.
"And the fox was sealed in a boy," Gamamaru continued, as if he hadn't even heard Shima. Well, his hearing was getting pretty bad, like his memory.
"Yes, yes, Jiraiya-chan told us all about it," Shima grumbled.
"Despite carrying this great burden alone, he grew up bright and mischievous," the elder Sage went on.
"…Naru-chan is mischievous," Fukasaku allowed. "And he carries a great burden. But I wouldn't say he's alone…"
"He became a great shinobi, and even saved the world," Gamamaru said. "It was a good dream."
Fukasaku and Shima exchanged a slightly confused look.
"Too bad those brats had to go and wipe it out of existence," the elder Sage concluded rather tartly.
There were three pops and bursts of smoke, which cleared to reveal three humans — one tall, one short, one in the middle.
Jiraiya's perverted giggle cut off into an undignified snort of surprise at being reverse summoned so suddenly. Minato looked thoughtfully at the brush he still held in one hand and the sheets of paperwork in the other. Naruto quickly hid a balloon full of something liquid behind his back.
Three toads greeted them, one giant, two small.
"Ma! Pa! I was in the middle of research!" Jiraiya whined.
"It's an honor, Fukasaku-sama, Shima-sama, Oogama-Sennin-sama," Minato said respectfully, with a bow.
"Eh," Naruto drew out, looking like he wished he had something to hide himself behind.
Minato and Jiraiya turned to look at him in surprise.
Jiraiya paled. "Minato, please tell me you didn't let your Academy student kid sign the toad summoning contract," he said. "Because if you did… Kushina is going to kill us both."
"I did not," Minato assured him. Jiraiya eyed him dubiously, trying to figure out if he was lying. "Did Naruto summon himself here like Sensei?"
"That boy is more fox than toad," the toad sage rumbled. "And we summoned him the same way we do with any of our clan."
Naruto and Jiraiya wore matching looks of bewilderment, but Minato just nodded thoughtfully. "A summoner has to be reverse summoned through the contract scroll, but toads can summon each other directly… What a fascinating distinction."
"Forget about that!" Jiraiya complained. "How is Naruto part of your clan? He's a human!" He glanced at Naruto with narrowed eyes, as if trying to determine if he was actually a toad in disguise.
"He uses nature chakra the same way everyone in our clan can, so of course he's in our clan," Shima scolded. "It's the same for you, Jiraiya-chan!"
"Oh? Does that mean Sensei can summon you like a toad would, without a blood sacrifice?" Minato asked with interest.
Naruto tried to edge away discreetly, while they were preoccupied.
"Naturally," Fukasaku said, then chuckled at the pun.
"Wait, what? Why didn't you tell me?! Do you know how many times I bit myself for summoning?" Jiraiya whined.
"You should've figured it out yourself!" Shima said.
"Who the hell would?!"
"It makes sense," Minato pointed out. "I guess members of the clan all use nature chakra in the same way. It must be due to Mount Myouboku's special atmosphere. All the toads learn the same "style" of nature energy. Maybe that's why people who train to become sages with the toads all gain toad-like characteristics…"
"…Oh, forget it," Jiraiya griped. "More importantly, why would your kid know a "toad-like" way of using nature chakra?"
As the two of them turned to look at Naruto again, who had unfortunately not been able to make his escape yet, he panicked — and chucked the balloon at Jiraiya's head. Pink paint covered the Sannin's face and hair, making him flail in outrage.
Naruto tried to use the distraction to run for it, but Minato appeared beside him in a flash (but not a Hiraishin one) and scooped the boy up. Squirming as he was carried back to Jiraiya, Shima and Fukasaku, Naruto tried to think optimistically — at least it wasn't a choke hold or anything; Minato was carrying him like any parent with an over-enthusiastic kid, even if Naruto was getting a bit too big for that — but mostly he just felt dread.
Kurama was more useless than usual, just muttering something about how it was bound to happen, suck it up and deal, and sneezing at the weird, to him, natural energy of the toads' home.
"So? Why does Naruto know how to use nature chakra?" Jiraiya demanded impatiently.
"Because he learned it here," the toad elder said. "But a here that does not exist except in his memories."
Naruto twitched. What a blunt way of putting it…
"So it's time travel," Minato said. "I thought so."
For a while, everything descended into pure pandemonium.
Apparently, Minato was the only one who could come to such a conclusion — as Jiraiya loudly pointed out. Shima and Fukasaku agreed. They still barely believed it, after hearing about it from the Great Toad Sage.
"Well, what else could it be?" Minato insisted. "Naruto always knew things no one told him. And so did the Kyuubi. Even more, Naruto always had emotional reactions to people he had not met. There were other things too, like all the jinchuuriki expecting him to be taller — older. So the obvious conclusion is…"
"There is nothing obvious about that," Jiraiya said flatly. Shima and Fukasaku nodded. So did Naruto, reluctantly.
"Well," Minato said, "it was obvious to me."
"And you… felt no need to, I don't know, inquire further? Find out what was going on? Learn about the future dangers?" Jiraiya said.
"If there's something I need to know, Naruto will tell me," Minato said. He smiled. "I trust him."
Naruto shuffled his feet awkwardly, but Jiraiya just facepalmed.
"Okay," the Sannin said. "Okay, let's just… go with that for now. Should I even ask how this whole… time travel thing happened?"
"I told that Hagoromo brat to watch his damn kids," Gamamaru said, shaking his massive head, "all eleven of them, but no… And this is what we get. Reality completely out of whack!"
"Is it… that bad?" Naruto wondered uneasily. When the universe didn't imploded within the first week or so, he and Kurama had decided there probably wouldn't be any space time continuum consequences, but some small amount of worry had remained at the back of his mind.
"Who knows," the Great Toad Sage grumbled, huffing. "I've got nothing."
That was not very encouraging.
"I'm sure it'll be alright," Minato said optimistically. "More importantly… how are we going to tell Kushina?"
Naruto and Jiraiya turned to stare at him in pure horror.
"So," Minato said over the dinner table one evening, "it turns out our Naruto is actually a timetraveler from an alternate future. The Kyuubi too. Pass the salt?"
"What do you need salt for?" Kushina asked suspiciously, handing him the salt shaker. "I'm sure I…"
Minato didn't actually need the salt. Kushina's food was perfectly seasoned as always. But he hadn't known what else to say, and he kind of hoped she'd dismiss the first half of what he told her. Unfortunately, that was not to be as Kushina trailed off, the realization filtering through.
Naruto tried to hide behind his oversized bowl of ramen.
"Overall, that went rather well," Kurama commented encouragingly, later that night.
Naruto sent him a dirty look. He had been sent to bed without dinner for the first time in his new life. Admittedly, it was more of an oversight than intentional punishment.
Following Minato's oh so smooth revelation, Kushina had quickly cycled through shock, anger, confusion, outraged bewilderment, and tearful concern for Naruto, then back again, up until Naruto's designated bedtime (something he was still baffled by), when she suddenly went right back to responsible parent mode and sent him to his room.
Naruto felt like there was a fifty-fifty chance that he would come down for breakfast the next day only to find everything going on as if the night before hasn't even happened… or he would come down for breakfast the next day only to find they needed a new Hokage.
On the other hand, Kushina hadn't seemed angry at Naruto (or even Minato, really). So it could have definitely gone worse.
Naruto allowed himself to feel cautiously optimistic.
"At least you finally got that out of the way. It was bound to come out at some point," Kurama commented. "I'd hate for it to be in the middle of a high-tension dramatic battle."
He and Naruto shared a look. Yeah, that was not a nice way to have a huge revelation dropped on you. Any of them.
The next morning, Kushina greeted Naruto with a smile, a hug that was twice as long as usual, and breakfast. She also patted him on the head a lot.
"Minato told me everything," she said brightly while Naruto nibbled on his toast. "It took a while, so he's taking the day off."
Naruto couldn't imagine the elders particularly liking that, but he also couldn't imagine them being able to tell Kushina no. Before he left for Academy, Kushina hugged him again rather tightly. It was, honestly, the opposite of what he had expected her behavior to be like, post revelation about his true age.
What in the world did Minato tell her?
Because, thinking about it, Naruto had only told his father about major things like Pain and Akatsuki, and Orochimaru's Sharingan ambitions, not anything about himself personally.
"He would have guessed you grew up an orphan," Kurama pointed out. "It's not even hard. So maybe she's overcompensating to make up for that."
"Maybe," Naruto allowed, then shrugged.
It really could have been a lot worse, and it wasn't like he minded. And now, he had a entire new day of teasing Sasuke to look forward to.
"So, I've been thinking," Naruto began, and Kurama immediately knew he wouldn't like what followed.
He didn't like what followed.
Now that the secret was out to Naruto's parents, Naruto felt it was finally time to stop procrastinating and let the other jinchuuriki know, especially since the period when Akatsuki truly became active was quickly approaching.
And while he was at it, why not combine it with two other things he had been wanting to get done?
So not too long after returning home from Mount Myouboku, Naruto ran away from the village. Well, he told Minato and Kushina ahead of time, but only them — Kushina was far from pleased, despite all reassurances, but ultimately caved to Naruto's determined, wide eyed looks.
At the same time, eight other jinchuuriki did the same thing.
No country took it well, Kumo worst of all, followed by Kiri, given that they were suddenly missing their Kage. Infuriatingly, the jinchuuriki then sent cheerful postcards back home explaining where they were and what they were doing — "first annual jinchuuriki pow-wow," supposedly. It was Naruto's idea.
Mifune was bemused but overall welcoming, especially when Naruto explained his goal — world peace — and his reasoning — gathering the Five Kages together in one place.
Minato would come, of course. He already knew the plan and supported the idea. Yagura was already there, and his entourage would join him in short order. A didn't even hesitate before tearing off after his brother, again, and the Kazekage only held back long enough to stop by Konoha and ask Minato for advice — was this just a thing with jinchuuriki children? Running away from home? He'd heard about Fuu's little adventure, before she was sent back to her home village, and there were all those stories about Hachibi's B…
Of course, with the other Kages all going, Onoki had no choice but to put in an appearance, or Iwa would be at a disadvantage.
While they waited, the jinchuuriki quickly scandalized the samurai and proved to the entire Tetsu no Kuni that ninja were completely insane.
Gaara sulked about the cold until Naruto convinced him to use the opportunity to cuddle with Roushi, who was always warm thanks to his Yoton and quickly caved to Gaara's sweet pouts. (And Naruto sometimes still couldn't believe how different Gaara had grown up.)
Yugito and Han got into a fight that melted the snow off one of the Sanrou Mountain's heads, and then huddled up together and started giggling disturbingly. Kokuou refused to acknowledge that anything was going on, deep in sanity preserving denial, and Matatabi only muttered something about how Yugito had recently decided that boys were boring and smelled funny and that girls were much better.
(Apparently, Yugito and Han were coming up with a plan to set up a hot spring with their bijuu's powers, and then peep on the customers. Ero-Sennin would have been proud.)
Fuu and Utakata came up with a far more innocent game involving flight and bubbles, though Fuu had a tendency to blush whenever Utakata bent over and showed off more of his chest. B enthusiastically cheered for them both and theoretically kept score, though he tended to get distracted by writing down new lyrics.
Yagura just napped. Being a Kage was tiring, and you didn't really get a lot of vacations — or any at all.
Everyone accepted the time travel thing with remarkable ease. It made sense, after all as much as any other explanation why Naruto had looked sixteen in their shared mental space for the last decade or so, and in life still looked like a kid.
And then the second Kage Summit began.
Well, no one died. That was definitely a plus. In Naruto's opinion.
On the minus side, nothing much got accomplished — probably because no masked megalomaniac pretending to be the ninja boogie man showed up to lecture about fairy tales, unveil a completely insane world domination plan, and declare war on every hidden village at once.
Onoki spent the entire time giving Minato looks that could not be accurately described with words. Yagura casually caused a near riot by revealing that he was planning to step down within the next couple of years — Minato almost made several attendees pass out by revealing his own intend to do the same in five-six years.
("What is he talking about? What's going to happen in five years?" Naruto asked Kurama.
('You'll be sixteen again,' Kurama didn't say. Apparently, Minato thought that was a perfectly reasonable age for a Kage. If you could take down an actual goddess and save the entire world, you could run a village, right? Right?)
The Kazekage enjoyed Mifune's excellent tea and pretended he wasn't surrounded by complete lunatics. Maybe the Hokage and the Mizukage had the right idea. Pawning this horrible job off on some unsuspecting fool sounded rather nice. Serve the village, they said. Protect your comrades, they said. No one told him about this…
A almost completely lost it when the assembled jinchuuriki revealed that this thing really was, in fact, going to be an annual event. Yearly. Every year.
"Next year, I think we'll meet up in Ame," Naruto said brightly.
Nagato, he bet, would be really surprised to see them.
Kurama just sort of groaned and didn't even bother protesting.
It wasn't quite world peace, but life was pretty peaceful.
It wasn't an Allied Shinobi Force, but three villages were in alliance, which was promising to remain steady and firm in the reign of their fifth leaders.
It wasn't Senju and Uchiha united, but the Uchiha clan was slowly becoming truly part of the village.
It wasn't the bijuu becoming one, but they were probably on the best terms they had ever been since their creator's death.
It wasn't a revolution, yet. But the world was changing.
There were still obstacles out there, of course. Orochimaru, who had slithered off somewhere. Absolutely no one knew where stupid Tobi had gotten off to. Zetsu too. And of course Kaguya and Madara were still waiting for their chance to subjugate the world.
Though at least Nagato came around, next year during the second annual jinchuuriki pow-wow. That was another incident no one ever spoke of, except in a mix of groans and pained moaning.
There were other concerns too, like Kumo and Iwa being slow to warm up to the whole peace, love and ramen thing. Many lingering grudges. Distrust that was not so easily lifted.
A timeline that still hadn't quite sorted itself out.
But that was okay. Naruto believed they would overcome all of it. They had the first time, despite all odds, and this time the odds were in their favor. Kurama didn't worry either, though he rarely did anyway. After all, Naruto had decided on it, and he never gave up.
For now, Naruto was happy to just graduate again, honestly this time, earning his forehead protector and putting it on proudly with the rest of his class - in front of his parents, cheering and proud.
After all, becoming a genin was the first step to becoming Hokage. (Believe it!)
There are lots of loose ends, and also slightly strange comedic turns, which I will try to explain here.
SasuNaru - This rumor just wouldn't die, even years later. Hilariously, it actually boosted the Uchiha clan's reputation. In certain fields... Naruto never noticed, since to him, his former classmates were just cute kids, and totally out of his dating range.
Actually, Naruto's dating history is best not discussed. Though Jiraiya did write a best selling series about it.
Hinata - Minato was probably the only one capable of having the guts to deny her a place on Naruto's team - or living through it. She never quite figured out how to speak confidently, but by the time she took over the Hyuuga Clan, everyone was too terrified and awed to dare to speak against her, even when she stammered and pushed her fingers together bashfully while announcing the complete dissolution of centuries of tradition - and a certain seal.
Hilariously, she had her own unnoticed overprotective stalker in the form of Neji. They even had the same sort of secret shrine in their closets that the rest of the clan politely pretended not to know about. A Hyuuga bloodline trait?!
Kushina - Equally, Minato was probably the only one who would dare to turn down her demands to be Naruto's jounin sensei. Minato still didn't sleep at home for a long while.
Tsunade - She lost a bet. The rest is history.
Tobi - Who knows? He just disappeared! (But maybe, one day, a certain Uchiha Obito turned up at the gates, totally confused and with a hell of a lot of amnesia. Naruto never did figure that one out, and Shisui never owned up.)
Nagato - "I see. I am not the one who has become 'god.' It is you... Uzumaki Naruto." Six paths of Pain were amazing, but nine jichuuriki were a bit more so. Telling Nagato about the time travel thing might have been a mistake though. He had a very... unique reaction.
Black Zetsu - Got into a loud argument with Naruto about which of their mothers had better hair. Kushina, touched by Naruto's deep admiration of her childhood self's most hated feature, provided great irony by using the distraction to seal Black Zetsu away - fitting for such a mother complex.
Uchiha Clan - Naruto tried to convince Minato to make Itachi his successor, looking like he was manfully holding back tears the entire time. Minato suspected he would get murdered in his sleep if he dared to actually follow through (Naruto's dream! Naruto's tears! Unforgivable!), but fortunately Itachi didn't want the job. He tried to pawn it off on Shisui, who paled and quickly refused too.
Itachi, being a genius, turned it all around and ultimately presented "Naruto as Godaime" as a wonderful show of trust - despite their epic doujutsu, they were trusted not to be using Naruto as a puppet, despite him being a jinchuuriki. Or something. It certainly sounded very moving when he said it.
Somewhere along the way, Fugaku had a shocking and somewhat horrifying revelation - he had gotten it backwards, regarding which out of Minato and Naruto was giving the orders. He went home, got drunk and when he woke up hungover, dumped clan leadership on Sasuke, because Itachi had somehow managed to disappear and Fugaku felt too awful to go looking for him. (All according to plan, Itachi thought when he returned.)
Orochimaru - Lived a long, long life, marred by continuous accusations of pedophilia. Also, the only person to hate blonds more than Iwa-nins.