I guess its customary... so, I don't own Naruto or Bleach, but I am a huge fan of the inspiring stories written by both Masashi Kishimoto sama & Tite Kubo sama. That being said, this is a fanfic based in the worlds they created featuring the characters they created & events from the cannon that I will be using to weave a fantastic fanfiction Lets do this dattebayo! - AQ
Chapter 1: We have come this far...
As Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura & Kakashi stood on the barren landscape in the dimension between dimensions & watched as Kaguya raged & raged... they could feel the world shaking below them as the most powerful adversary they had ever faced unleashed a power that seemed almost incomprehensible.
Standing there, side by side with his protégés in what was nothing less than the most important battle that he had ever fought... Kakashi could not help but feel proud to see how far they had come.
Sakura, the once flimsy flower petal was standing side by side with her comrades as an equal. Her path had been the most difficult in many ways.
She had always been chasing them. At first she had been chasing Sasuke for his affection, like a hapless novice mesmerized by the genjutsu of his good looks. She had almost dedicate her whole existence to winning his approval, but as Sasuke began to see in Naruto what Kakashi had always known was destined to rise in the son of The Fourth, he had began to feel a slight disdain for the ditsy airhead that seemed to dismiss his rival offhand, like all the others that worshiped his family name. She had looked down on Naruto for his rootless upbringing... the same rootless, lonely upbringing that he had endured.
Soon Sasuke's eyes began to grow cold towards Sakura & perhaps out of a need to quell the icy expression of irritation that Sasuke began to gaze at her with, Sakura had begun to see Naruto as well... & soon, without realizing it, she found herself chasing not just Sasuke's heart, but Naruto's determination as well.
But of course, these where the halcyon days. The days before Orochimaru had changed their fates forever by coming to claim Sasuke's body & mark him as his vessel.
The days before Naruto had awakened his demon & showed Sasuke a glimpse of the powers he possessed, powers that Sasuke & his juvenile sharingan lacked.
Soon the last hope of Sakura's daydream was cut away on the edge of her own kunai, as Sasuke walked off into the distance & embraced the darkness... leaving Naruto for dead.
Kakashi looked at his rose haired apprentice... Even as the giant ball of chakra began to form above Kaguya while she screamed & cried in hatred, The Fifths apprentice stood resolute, radiating the power of her now fully released Hyakugou Seal.
Sakura had surprised him. As Naruto had followed Jiraiya into the distance to train to fulfill his vow, Haruno Sakura had done perhaps the last thing anyone would have expected her to do... she had approached the 5th Hokage & become her disciple.
She had taken it upon herself to no longer chase after her classmates, but to catch up to her teammates. She had walked down her own path & like her team members had become the understudy of one of The Sannin.
It was this action that had made Kakashi finally begin to see Sakura as more than just the kunoichi in his team. It was this action that had propelled her along the path of her own destiny. It was this determination that had lead her to this point... to the point where she could stand next to Sasuke as an equal. The determination that she had inherited from Naruto.
Of course, Sasuke's path had been the most perilous. As he looked at the young Uchiha he could feel the tears welling up in his eyes. He swallowed hard & looked up at their adversary, narrowing his eyes as he did. After all, it was because of her & Black Zetsu that Sasuke had almost lost his soul.
Though he had shocked the world & returned to aid the battle against the Uchiha aggressors, the mangekyou sharingan in his eye was proof that his path had tainted him forever.
The things he had done to achieve power... The lengths he had gone to, to murder his weakness... the destruction he had sown to avenge his pain... they where things he & he alone would have to deal with & Kakashi feared, would never be able to erase. They where things that should have darkened his soul. It was a miracle indeed that he was finally here, by their sides, ready to die with them again as a member of Team 7.
Kakashi shook his head in amazement... indeed Uchiha Itachi was perhaps the greatest shinobi he had ever known. Not because of the hatred he had born to protect the village. Not because he had damned himself to protect the future. Not even because he had defied death to turn the tide of a war that they could so easily have all lost by the numbers. No... he was the greatest shinobi that ever lived because it was his sacrifice that had allowed his little brother to survive & ultimately endure. It was Uchiha Itachi that had illuminated Sasuke's path all the way to this moment of redemption.
"Kakashi sensei..." Kakashi looked to his right to see Naruto gazing at him intently. "Are you okay Kakashi sensei?" Kakashi nodded & put his hand on Naruto's shoulder. "I'm alright Naruto, I really am."
Even as his eyes blazed with the sharingans he had inherited from his fallen, but now redeemed comrade Uchiha Obito & even as the electricity arced all around them & the ground began to tear open & spew molten rock into the sky... there was no place he would have rather been than at Naruto's side. Yes... It was Naruto's path that had been the most inspiring, albeit the most improbable.
The secret of Naruto's birth & heritage had been the most difficult mission he had been entrusted with. From the moment he had arrived in the forest & found the fallen bodies of his master & Kushina still shielding the blood soaked infant, he had vowed to dedicate his life to helping Naruto fulfill his destiny.
Though Kakashi could still not forgive himself for being too late, he had known that all the shinobi of The Leaf had to defend the village at all costs & he had fought with everything he had to aid his comrades.
But his mind could not stop searching for clues of his adoptive parent's whereabouts amidst all the violence & eventually he had seen the rampaging Kyuubi become entangled in the adamantine sealing chains as Kushina & Minato fought with all they had to protect Naruto.
Without a thought he had leapt out of the battle field & across the rooftops and treetops as he raced at near break neck speed to aid his master.
As he arrived at the horrific scene, he had taken off his mask, dropped to his knees & screamed to the heavens as tears of pain & disbelieving sorrow had fallen freely down his handsome face.
When The Third finally arrived with the victorious ninja forces, it was a catatonic Kakashi that they had found clutching Naruto in one arm as he tried in vain to resuscitate Minato & Kushina with his raiton. Holding up his arm to halt everyone's approach, Sarutobi Hiruzen had walked over to Kakashi & knelt beside him in silence for a moment before putting his hand on the young man's arm, cancelling the electric sparks enveloping his hand & had shaken his head. "Kakashi..." he had said solemnly. "There is nothing we can do." "But Orochimaru..." started the unmasked young man in desperation, visions of Rin & Obito flooding his mind.
"KAKASHI!" interjected The Third. "It's too late." The young Hatake looked down at the infant in his arms & wiped his tears off Naruto's forehead, before clutching him tightly & raising his face to the heavens as he tried to fight back more tears. "Kakashi..." Kakashi looked at The Hokage. Hiruzen had never seen such grief from a shinobi. Indeed, he had never seen Kakashi this way. No. He had. But only one other time. It had taken him months to council the teenage Kakashi following the events of Kannabi Bridge. But this... this he knew he would never be able to save Kakashi from.
"Ka-ka-shi..." the two shinobi looked in astonishment at the body of Minato to find that he was... alive! "Sensei..." "Kaka-shi. Put on your mask." whispered Minato with a smile. As The Third motioned for the ANBU to rush to him Minato put his hand on his predecessor's knee & shook his head. "I... I used the 8 trigrams s-sealing jutsu." The 3rd Hokage's eyes widened in disbelief. "Im-a-fool I know." As he attempted to chuckle, he coughed red & Hiruzen took off his bandana to wipe his protégés face. "Sa-ru-to-bi Sen-sei... please..." Minato's eyes widened as he fought to finish his words "Naruto... let the village know... Naruto is a hero. Na-ru-to..." "Fourth..." mumbled Kakashi "Minato Sensei... MINATO SENSEI!"
Yes... Naruto was a hero. He had been born a hero. He had even lived a life of shame & rejection & continued to be a hero. Though Kakashi had wanted to take responsibility for his little brother, the meeting of the elders had concluded that Namikaze Naruto was to be hidden from the eyes of the world & he was named Uzumaki. The Third had told Kakashi that the enemies of The Fourth would want to erase his bloodline if they where to learn of "The Fourths Legacy" & indeed Kakashi would be at the mercy of his own enemies if he was to claim Naruto as his own. And so he could only watch from afar as the young man grew up with the hatred of the village for the events that had rocked the village on the day of his birth.
Though he had ensured that Naruto was kept safe from harm, Naruto could never know that he was his hidden guardian. Indeed, between his watchful gaze, The Thirds shielding guidance & Jiraiya ensuring that Naruto was clothed, fed & had a roof over his head, "The Fourths Legacy" had been kept a secret long enough for Naruto to reach The Academy. But even this almost didn't happen.
As the day of enrollment had approached, Kakashi, fresh from an A-Rank mission to protect The Fire Nations princess had been summoned to The Hokage Mansion & assigned a B-Rank mission "Of high importance" to lead a group of builders to the boarders of The Fire Nation. Dutifully he had obliged & prepared to go... but something in the look in The Thirds eyes & in his gut had told him to delay his departure. Instead he had stopped off at his usual perch outside Naruto's window & watched as his young charge stared intently at a document on his desk before throwing the fork he had been clutching at it & running out of his apartment & heading towards the river.
As he was about to leave in the knowledge that Naruto was okay, Kakashi paused on the edge of the branch & stared at the face of The Fourth on Hokage Rock. Shaking his head, the jonin leapt through Naruto's window, landed silently on the floor & walked over to the table.
Looking down at the paper, he smiled "Academy Enrollment Form huh?" he mused to himself. "Fourth... he wants to be a shinobi too." Smiling, Kakashi turned around & walked over to the window & was about to leap out until he suddenly realized why Naruto had been staring at the blank form so intently. "He has no one to enroll him into the academy!"
Kakashi began to laugh. He laughed for a good long while & even had to sit on the edge of Naruto's bed as he chuckled to himself. "A B-Rank mission" he mused. "Okay. B-Rank it is!" Taking out a pen, he signed his full name in the section of "Parent/Guardian" & then, lifting up his forehead protector he activated his eye "Sharingan!" & cast a timed genjutsu on the document. "This is all I can do Naruto." he said to the quiet room & then, after making sure he removed all trace of his having been there, he left the room the way he had come in & sped across the rooftops towards his mission.
As The 3rd Hokage, Sarutobi Hiruzen watched Kakashi leave on his crystal ball, he smiled at his ingenuity & decided to go & find Naruto so that he could walk him home & personally retrieve his Academy Enrollment form.
Of course Naruto would not see the name of Hatake Kakashi because of the genjutsu & neither would the chunin instructors. But by the time Naruto's form was pulled out of the pile & put aside because "unfortunately the brat has no signature to approve his entry" the gathered jonin could only whisper in astonishment as the now genjutsu free form clearly displayed the signature of Hatake Kakashi.
"What are you playing at Kakashi?!" demanded Ebisu. "The fox brat will only cause trouble if he is allowed to learn ninjutsu! Is it not enough that your father disgraced the village? Now you would copy that too... Copy Ninja Kakashi?" The normally calm Kakashi narrowed his eye & before anyone could intercept him, tackled Ebisu to the ground & landed 2 quick blows to his face, breaking both his nose & his glasses. It had taken both Maito Gai & Sarutobi Asuma to pull the two apart. Without a word, Kakashi left the room & shortly thereafter he had left the village, venturing off to find Jiraiya.
A few years elapsed before, to the surprise of the assembled jonin, Hatake Kakashi returned to the village in the wake of the forbidden scroll incident. Without hesitation, had asked to be assigned as the jonin instructor of both Uzumaki Naruto & The Last Uchiha. After agreeing to never reveal Naruto's heritage or his role in his life to him, Kakashi was assigned as Naruto's instructor & Team 7 was born.
It was from this new vantage point that Kakashi was able to watch Naruto embrace his destiny, as he was finally able to impart to him the knowledge The Fourth had taught him. Kakashi became the brother he had always wanted to be to Naruto & he also took the broken Uchiha child under his wing.
But destiny began to play its role & soon the world began to fall to chaos again. Soon the enemies of The Fourth began to close in on Naruto & finally, he unleashed the dormant demon inside him. Of course, the village called for Kakashi's head. He was accused of losing control of "the jinchuriki" & was even in danger of being demoted. But the timely return of Jiraiya who began instructing Naruto as well & the commencement of the chunin exams by The Third, which meant that Team 7 could not lose their jonin until they completed their trial, ultimately saved him.
Danzo however was not willing to let it go as he felt that "the jinchuriki" would be of better use as a member of root. Unfortunately for him, the attack on The Leaf by Orochimaru & the death of The Third would forever remove the idea of removing Kakashi from Naruto's detail off the table as escalating events meant that Naruto & Sasuke's protection began to become a high priority. As the highest ranked ninja in the village apart from the Kage & The Sannin, it was agreed that Team 7 would remain with Kakashi as a matter of security.
"But besides that" Kakashi thought to himself as he looked at Naruto & marveled at the younger shinobi's golden aura "besides that, Naruto... you began to prove them wrong. You saved the village. From Kurama. From Orochimaru. From Gaara. From The Akatsuki. From Pain. Even now... you fight for them."
Following Naruto's gaze, his eyes settled on the frightening Kaguya as she stared right back at them.
"This time," he said aloud "we will save the world, together! Let's go... Sakura, Sasuke, Naruto!" "Hai!"
"Come Gin... let us go to the real Karakura Town" smiled Aizen as he turned away from the scene of his apparent victory over the shinigami forces. As a visibly shaken Ichigo looked on, Aizen Sosuke opened up a garganta & stood poised to walk off into the darkness & towards his home town.
Getting up off of the slab of granite he had been sitting on, Ichimaru Gin walked casually over to his leader & waved absentmindedly at the orange haired teenager sprawled on the floor as he passed him "Ja na... Kurosaki kun" he said as he smiled & fell in line next to his taller comrade.
As they stepped over the threshold, Ichigo could only watch in horror as the mouth of the portal closed behind the 2 former shinigami & all hope faded away.
Though they had put up a valiant effort & leveraged the entirety of their available fighting forces, the Gotei 13 had been utterly defeated by the forces of Hueco Mundo.
Looking around him, Ichigo could only see desolation. Many had been maimed. Some had been killed. All of them had been vanquished. Even his 2 mentors & his father had been defeated. Though it had shocked him to see Isshin on the battlefield, the shock had been more because his father had appeared before him... clad in the shihakusho of a shinigami, referring to Aizen by name. By now though, Ichigo was used to finding out improbable truths about himself. He had come this far in such a short span of time in what every last person who encountered him deemed was a miraculous fashion. So this revelation was in fact the answer to a question that had long plagued him. There was no need for Isshin to explain himself. Not now anyway.
His fathers fighting prowess had been rather spectacular. With a flick of his finger he had sent the arrogant Aizen crashing into a distant building & he had even wielded his zanpakuto with the deadly fluidity & force of a seasoned fighter, even after all these years, forcing Aizen to have to defend himself against the onslaught from his old foe.
Ichigo had wanted to fight by Isshin's side, but Gin had decided to choose this of all moments to join the fray & the younger Kurosaki had found himself being one of a handful of people to bare witness to the former 3rd Division Captains mysterious bankai... Kamishini no yari.
Ichigo soon found out that he had no need to worry about his father... as the older Kurosaki had in fact not come alone. He had arrived as part of the cavalry that consisted of him as well as both Urahara Kisuke & Shihoin Yoruichi.
Together the 3 former captains had put Aizen through his paces & lead him into a trap that had allowed Isshin, to Ichigo's amazement, to fire off a point blank range Getsuga Tensho that would have obliterated most enemies. But of course... Aizen Sosuke was not most enemies. In the end he had stepped into the garganta... unscathed.
As Ichigo sat there with his hands in his face & the heavy weight of helplessness on his shoulders, Kurosaki Isshin gingerly pulled himself out of the rubble of the crater that had formed when Aizen had flung him onto the concrete. It had taken him an entire lifetime to reach this point. He had left Soul Society on that afternoon to go & investigate the condition of the girl he had saved & to get some answers... & had never seen Soul Society again. It had been 20 long years but he had finally been able to face Aizen, only to fall by his hand again.
"Masaki..." he mused as he spoke to the memory of his late wife. "I was so close Masaki. I nearly made him pay for what he did to you." grimacing as he propped himself against the wall behind him he surveyed the area.
Urahara was out cold on the far left, Yoruichi was sprawled in a heap to his right & Ichigo was slumped over a few meters in front of him. In the distance, the shinigami where scattered across Fake Karakura Town where they had fallen in defeat.
"You know" he continued "I think it was never meant to be me Masaki. Your avenger was meant to be someone cooler than this old man. No... it was always going to be Ichigo. Our Ichigo, who has carried your strength & mine with him all along."
Isshin smiled as he looked at his son. He had never imagined his little Ichigo would have developed this quickly. Though he had been aware of his sons spiritual pressure in the years after Masaki's death, he had expected it to fade away or at least fall under control as time went on & diminish as he grew older. But it had grown & he had been forced to create a barrier around his home to mask Ichigo's ever increasing power. He had even began a rigorous training regime of full contact surprise attacks on his son to help him apply the training he had received from the martial arts classes he had encouraged Masaki to take him to as a child.
Eventually Ichigo's spiritual pressure had even permeated through the barrier & he could sense it whenever he would go to train with Urahara, Ryuken & Yoruichi. And then he had seen the Kuchiki girl leap into Ichigo's window & sensed the hollow approaching his clinic & everything had changed.
"So... I will have to teach it to him. Even though I could never master it. It is our last hope. I will have to find a way to teach him... Saigo no Getsuga Tensho" and then it hit him. The Dangai! "ICHIGO!" Ichigo looked up to see his father propped up against the base of the building to his far right. "Ichigo, come here. We have to go." Ichigo looked quizzically at his father. "Go where? We... we have no more options." "And what options do Yuzu & Karin have? What options do your friends have Ichigo?"
Within seconds the young Kurosaki was helping his father to his feet. "What do we do?" Isshin smiled at his son, "We go after him of course. But we will need to hope that he has destroyed the Kototsu... or my plan to defeat him wont work." Kurosaki Ichigo looked at his father in amazement. It was as if he was only seeing him for the first time. This man... this man was a captain of the Gotei 13. He was the only man, other than himself who was still standing. And where he had lost hope, this man was still clinging to it. This was the true face of his father. "Ichigo... lets go." "Hai."
Next chapter will be an important one. It will be the chapter where our 2 worlds collide & alter the timelines indefinitely. Hope the opening act of our saga made sense? For now, in the words of Gin "Ja na" :) - AQ