***I still own absolutely nothing***
In all of my years in this world I have never moved so fast. Time seems to freeze as I race through the hospital corridors, and near my son's room. Once there, and I am ashamed to admit this, I just outside. Do I want to go in? Can I bear to see the mangled corpse of my child upon the cold, unforgiving ground?
After taking a deep gulp of air I push aside the rubble and enter the room.
Flames flicker slowly in the air as I glance about until my eyes fall on...
A large white object stationed in the middle of the room, right where my son's bed would be. It is oddly shaped, a dome with lines crisscrossing it, almost as if it was made of...
Time resumes as I shout for Konan to report, praying desperately that the woman is as skilled as we all think she is. A slight flutter allows a few pieces to fall, revealing a woman gazing out at me, to confirm my identity.
Moments later the rest collapses, and I make a mental note to give the kunoichi a promotion upon our return. They are safe, all of them are safe and unharmed.
The blue haired woman glances back at Tsunade, who is going over a few checks on Hinata just to be safe.
-Moments prior to explosion-
"Listen I'm just saying that she has spent enough time holding his hand, it would be better if someone else could as well."
"We all understand exactly what you are trying to say Anko, but she needs to let go of some of that guilt."
"Well she should feel guilty!" the purple haired girl hissed, earning an eye roll from Tsunade. The two females had been having a whispered argument for the past ten minutes or so and while it was originally very cute to see the 'snake mistress' so concerned about the young boy it was beginning to get on her own nerves.
"Anko, we are planning on returning to Uzu today. Since I really doubt that Hinata is coming with him perhaps you can just let her have this time. You will be able to spend all week with him if Kushina-Dono allows it."
The young girl blushes, but nods. It is always funny to watch others observe my negotiating talents. They tend to forget that I am practically the reason that Yahiko and Nagato haven't strangled each other yet.
Of course it can be difficult for me not to strangle them but that is another issue entirely.
Glancing over to the Rinnegan wielder I take note of the concerned expression on his face. "Is something wrong Nagato?"
"Hm?" strange, I usually can't startle him to such an extent. "No... no it is nothing."
"We are in the middle of a potentially hostile ninja village, I do not think that it could be 'nothing'."
The man nods, before giving a sigh, "It just feels a bit quiet."
"Yeah," he is nervously scratching his head now, never a good sign. "I mean we have been here for over a day and there has been surveillance on us of course but lately... it just seems a bit too..."
He nods, before returning his gaze out the window.
"Perhaps they are just realizing the error in their ways Nagato" I placate gently, before walking towards my chair near the door. "I am sure that Konoha wouldn't be so foolish as to..."
The room erupts into fire a split second later.
By the time I had reached the hospital room it is mostly empty, Naruto has been loaded onto a stretcher, being carried by Anko and Karin while Shizune is busy wrapping him in blankets. She is such a nice girl, and is one of the few that my husband and I have secretly agreed upon allowing to date our son in the future should they desire to. The fact that it would drive Tsunade's former lover crazy is just icing on the cake.
"Is everyone okay?"
The last Senju nods before responding, "yes and I do believe we have worn out our welcome here."
I agree, "then it is time to leave. We will drop Hinata off as close to the Hyuga compound as we can."
The young girl nods shyly, probably not wanting to be a bother or some such nonsense. Regardless I am not going to let her wander about, even in the middle of the day, in this village. Not after everything that has happened.
"We can leave immediately, as long as we aren't running Naruto will be fine."
That is going to slow us down, but I have no intention of pushing our luck. Nodding at the medic's suggestion I give him one last kiss to the forehead and we slip away through the hallway, a few Genjutsu preventing anyone from noticing our presence.
The young Hyuga girl gives one last smile, a soft thanks, and a promise to write before running off into her clan compound. She really is a sweat girl, despite how much Anko looks like she wants to skin her. Yet another example of someone far too innocent to be involved in the path that she will eventually walk.
"We need to start screening his mail... I don't trust the little brat." the purple haired girl is mutterings softly, earning a few knowing smiles from the other adults. We all know she just wants to keep the young blonde boy to herself, and that she feels threatened by the clan heiress for some odd reason. I don't really understand why though, Naruto hasn't shown anything more than friendly interest in any of the other girls... and he has actually been awake when he met them. Anko practically live within walking distance of the Uzukage's residence, and sees him every few days. As much as I would like to think that I have a chance with the adorable young boy, I probably don't in the long run.
"Lady Tsunade what are we going to do now?"
My mentor, and the woman I look up to more than anyone else in this world at this point, smiles down at me. "We are going back to Uzu for the time being Shizune, once Naruto makes a full recovery and we figure out what the heck is going on with Konoha then we can make a more lasting decision. Hopefully Dan..."
She falls silent, as do those who have, undoubtedly, overhead her. The subject of her failed relationship, and the man who is currently spending his time either sucking up to the Konoha nobility or taking missions, has been considered a taboo conversation ever since their split.
The fact that he refused to even consider starting a family with her until 'the political climate was right' was the reason that I chose to stay with her over him to begin with. He had changed in the past few years, and it wasn't for the better.
The village gate is within sight now, and we are almost out of this horrid place. Just a few more minutes and...
A handful of ninja appear, directly blocking our path.
Konoha believes that they can stop us from leaving their village with only eight ANBU? Hell it would be a simple task for Konan or myself alone to destroy them, much less Lady Kushina or the Uzukage. Secretly though... well secretly I hope that it is the Kage who challenges them. I have heard of the man's exploits, of his defeat of another of his rank without effort, of the ability to end battles before anyone can even react... okay so Yahiko is right and I have a little case of 'hero worship' for the man, who wouldn't?
"Stand aside, we are part of a diplomatic envoy. You and your village have no right to stand in our path." I am not sure who made Konan the unofficial spokesperson for our group... but it was a good decision nonetheless, I probably would have just insulted the man.
"The Hokage has denied your request to leave."
"We are not requesting his permission." I growl back, at Konan's side I am ready for any sort of situation this might progress into, this battle will be quick.
"If you do not surrender we will be forced to apprehend you." I am starting to wonder where Konoha finds their ANBU recruits, they don't even outnumber us... who the hell do they think they are fooling?
"If you do so then we will be considering this a formal declaration of war against Uzu."
Kushina-Dono's declaration freezes everyone. It was one thing for myself and the ANBU to size each other up, throw insults, and even take part in what Konan calls 'dick measuring contests' but it is something entirely different to escalate potential consequences to war. She is right though, this has gone far beyond a simple little 'our village is better than yours' argument. They are attempting to imprison us after, yet another, failed assassination.
Even the enemy seems to understand what is at stake here, as they seem to glance wearily at their squad leader with indecision. I do not blame them in the least bit, no one wants to be claiming responsibility for breaking one of the oldest alliances in the shinobi world.
"As I have stated... the Hokage has commanded that you remain here, and we are to ensure your cooperation through any means necessary, even if force is required."
My Rinnegan swirls in activation, the poor bastards do not know what is about to happen to them, but before I am ordered to turn these jokes into paste on the nearest walls a hand on my shoulder halts me.
"You should not be the one to start this Nagato."
The tone is warm, but I can already hear the weariness in it. Minato Namikaze doesn't want this... but he knows that it is most likely inevitable at this point.
I nod and take a step back with the others while the man steps forward alone.
"Just remember Nagato... don't blink." Kushina teases me in a whispered tone, undoubtedly Konan has spoken to her about my excitement to see the man before me in action. Regardless I focus my mind and my sight on the scene before me.
My military leader, some say the greatest warrior alive, pulls a three pronged kunai from his pouch, and tosses it forward... completely missing every single enemy soldier as it sails through the air between their forces.
I blink in confusion, and less than a second later every ANBU falls over dead, cut to pieces in various ways as the blood begins to pool on the ground.
A sigh escapes my lips as the kunai freezes in its path, directly in the center of the enemy. Well to be fair it isn't necessarily stopped but from my perception it is.
Flashing forward I pull another of the tri-pronged weapons from a satchel strapped to my waist, and slash one of the ANBU's throats. It was a shame really, such a situation would most likely end in either massive change to Konoha's government, or flat out war.
Obviously I am praying for the former option.
The next two soldiers have been 'dropped' during my pondering, it is almost scary how quickly I end lives without even thinking about it.
This next ANBU appears a bit younger, maybe late teens? It feels like a crime to take the life of one so young, yet another reason that Uzu holds back on our enlistment age later than the other nations, sure it means that our army is technically the smallest, but it also ensures that our recruits are older, and more experienced, than the others.
There is no reason to throw children into combat, as Konoha seems to do so often.
Choosing a swifter end I snap his, or perhaps her, neck. It is the least I can do. Even if I were to spare them, the current Hokage would undoubtedly have them executed, or placed into some sort of 'rehabilitation' program if they merely failed in their task.
Only two remained, one was ended with a stab through the heart from the front and rear, the last was quickly ended with a slash through the brain. At this point my task is done, and I flash back to my original starting position, where I had dropped a kunai at the beginning for this specific purpose. Sure I didn't need to do it this way, but there had been a slight chance that the enemy set up traps between our two positions to dissuade close combat.
Time resumes, and the kunai hits the wall behind the ANBU, who all fall dead an instance later.
"Bah worthless ANBU..." It is beyond annoying to have such useless soldiers under my command, clearly I should have sent the Sharingan wielding agents to deal with the Uzu royalty but there was no reason to waste such talent on them.
Or so I had thought.
Now it seemed I had miscalculated. Regardless they wouldn't get far, even if I had to stop them myself. Luckily they weren't able to move too quickly due to the child being carried with them, thus I caught up with them at the clearing just outside the village walls. It might have become a tedious battle, if I had not brought along so many of my personal, Uchiha, guard. Even Itachi was there, who I had no doubt could defeat any member of their unit by himself. He is a prodigy among prodigies after all.
"Halt, I believe we need to have a discussion."
The company halts at my declaration, as our forces begin to size each other up.
"Ah Hokage-Sama, I would agree we do. Seems as though some of your ANBU were rather confused about their role in the world, thinking that they had the authority to arrest us and all."
"And I believe you owe me for several of the lives you have taken." True it wouldn't be for much, those ANBU had been from Danzo's personal forces but regardless it was important to play the part.
"Well to be fair they were warned, you do know that attempting to arrest either the leader of a nation or their Kage is grounds for war correct? Your forces did both, and on your orders according to the leader."
"If that is your decision then we will settle this here and now." To my astonishment it is not the Uzukage who steps forwards... but his wife. I am well aware of the rumors surrounding Kushina Uzumake, some of them implying that she might be the only woman alive that I would hesitate to face in battle, but regardless of whether they were real or mere propaganda does not matter at this point. I cannot back down and nor do I want to, she will fall beneath the supremacy that is the Sharingan, just as the Uzukage will.
My eyes morph a moment later, allowing perception of the world to a far greater degree than any other can possibly hope for, yet I hold back on my true power. No reason to reveal the Mangekyo to such unworthy targets.
The redhead is... unimpressed it appears, and the actions she takes amount to a few steps forward, and away from her allies. Now she is merely waiting... fine if she will not take the initiative then I will. My hands blur, and a dozen shuriken are whirling through the air on a direct collision course with her... until they veer to the side at the last second, passing in an arch behind her as the ninja wire begins to entangle its target. A single hand sign later and flames flow down the glimmering metal.
Moments before it reaches her a wave of force rips forward, tearing the thin, yet deadly, wiring apart and dispersing my fire like a torrential breeze. It is only through my enhanced reactions that I am able to dodge backwards in time, yet oddly enough her allies are not even affected. Not a Ninjutsu then, probably Fuinjutsu based on how well it could be controlled, and her own origins.
With practiced ease I launch a massive fireball towards the woman. Soaring across the open field it detonated ten feet from its target, the resulting explosion curving and molding around her, held back by an invisible force stronger than any wall.
It is... impressive that Fuinjutsu can repel such an attack with no visible effort from the creator. Truly this was the one great shortcoming of all Uchiha, we are masters of Genjutsu and can copy Taijutsu and Ninjutsu without effort, but the art of sealing has remained a mystery to us. In all the history of our clan not a single member has ever shown to have even the basics of skill in this form of ninja combat.
Another two Jutsu are thrown towards the queen of Uzu, one lightning and the other made of earth. Both are harmlessly deflected before even coming close to threatening the woman. She appears to be immune to Ninjutsu, at least from this range, and after the last display of power I have no interest in testing my theory on her prowess in close combat either. This leaves just one form of combat, and unfortunately for her it is one that I excel at above all others.
It is time to humble queen.
My eyes morph once again, changing into a kaleidoscope pattern, The Mangekyo Sharingan. Even with this obvious change the Uzumaki looks... unimpressed, bored even. I will teach her the error of her ways.
In an instance we are transported into the monochrome world that I control, a world that I rule. Again she seems unimpressed, even while tied to a large black cross.
"This place will be the end of you Kushina Uzumaki, here I control time and space, and here I shall bask in your screams."
"Screams of boredom perhaps, don't you think that you could have spruced the place up a bit? Maybe added in some comfy chairs or..."
"ENOUGH! I grow tired of your insolence, here you shall suffer for three days at my hands as I torture you. Here you shall..."
My confused, and annoyed expression, earns a chuckle from the woman.
"I said that I am disappointed, all of this hype about the first Uchiha Hokage and... well it is a bit of a let down. I mean sure you have your stupid upgraded eyes but the way you wield them is so very pathetic."
"Oh? Then how should I be using them?" It is difficult to keep the anger from my voice now, her insults are beginning to wear on my nerves.
"Well it is just that... I mean you don't even think ahead or contemplate your opponent. You just rush in like some kid with a toy and think that because you have the shiniest kunai that you will win. But you forgot something."
"And what is that?"
Her smirk sends a shiver down my spine for some reason, obviously I have overlooked something but I cannot...
"This Genjutsu of yours forces me into your mind... but I come as a package deal Fugaku, you seem to forget that I am a Jinchuriki..." her smirk widens as she gives a head nod to something behind me, and I can feel hot breath on my back.
Slowly turning I behold a sight that stops my heart in its tracks. The Kyubi is inches from my face, its own expression one of snarling rage. The beast's mouth opens in a roar, and closes the short distance between us.
I am just able to cancel the Jutsu before it can devour my mind.
Once back in the real world I leap to the side, narrowly avoiding a dozen golden chains that tear through the ground where I was once standing. Now that my techniques have failed, now that I have tired due to the Chakra usage of my last Jutsu, she strikes. I had forgotten that Kushina Uzumaki is first and foremost a kunoichi.
Another wave of chains, and the destruction they create, is narrowly avoided with the help of my superior eyes, but the fact of the matter is that my reactions have slowed due to the deactivation of the Mangekyo, and my Chakra usage, if I do not make a change it will become annoyingly difficult to deal with the Uzukage after her.
Difficult but certainly not impossible for an Uchiha.
A Genjutsu allows me to slip back into the environment unnoticed and flank around from the side while she is focused on where a silhouette of my former position was keeping her occupied. I am only a few steps from reaching her by the time she will notice, and by then it will be too late.
"Is that it?"
This time my reaction is not fast enough, and the chains that had somehow been slipped into the ground during my movements tear into my legs. This will be a severe limitation to my defensive abilities, and limits my offense as well.
It is time to stop playing around, and to show these fools just what an Uchiha is capable of.
My Mangekyo spins into existence once more, and skeleton made of purple flames forms around me, followed by armor.
"Behold, your end."
She has the nerve to roll her eyes at me, and a moment later I understand why as hundreds of those damned chains rip through the air and wrap around my Chakra creation. Despite limiting my movement they do no harm though, despite their strength they are no match for that of my own power, the ultimate defense.
Then I notice her skin has changed hue, to a bright gold, her hands extend forward as an orb of pure Biju Chakra begins to form before her.
I had heard rumors that the Queen of Uzu had mastered control of her Biju, and discovered a form of destructive power that could not be matched, but even our spy network had dismissed this idea, it had never happened before so why would we give credit that it would change now?
The blast is launched, and the Chakra form that surrounds me is strengthened with the rest of my reserves, I can practically feel the energy radiating off of it as it streaks towards me. The impact forces me to wince as I struggle to hold back to force.
Then it detonates, and all I know is pain.
The enemy ninja make a strategic retreat as I make my way slowly towards the fallen Kage. Part of me regrets the outcome of this battle, and yet the warrior inside of me understands that it had to end this well.
Fugaku Uchiha lay on the ground, half of his body completely gone from the power behind my wife's attack. A slight groan escapes him, indicating that he lives, even if barely.
"You really should have known this would be the outcome, and with everything that has happened it will only get worse for your village."
"I-it doesn't matter, you will lose."
"Lose? Lose what? The war that Konoha cannot win and doesn't want? Your actions have ensured that most of the remaining ninja world will be on our side if your nation forces the conflict after this. You will not be able to stop Iwa, Suna, Uzu, and Kumo should we ally together, and based upon the current affairs of things... all you have done is ensured that Konoha's strongest ally is gone, and it has no military leadership in a time where stress and mistrust in the village is running at an all time high."
Anything else he was about to say died on his lips, along with the first Uchiha Hokage.
"Excuse me, sir"
Danzo gives me a slight glare, before snatching the letter from my hand. It isn't like it is my fault that their plan has prompted such a reaction, and if the rumors from the spy network are true...
"Army poised across border... Naval invasion imminent... Estimated penetration to within five miles of capital before defenses could be hardened... Other nations beginning to withdraw their own agents as well... Potential war on multiple fronts..."
Apparently it is worse than I thought
"Blasted Uchiha, all he had to do was one simple task, get himself killed so that I could take over without destroying the other alliances and village in the process, maybe even get a marriage contract if best case scenario. Instead his own foolish actions have brought calamity upon us, and my plans are ruined for the moment."
I wait for either further orders, or for a dismissal... neither I expect to come anytime soon, especially when my leader is in one of his 'moods'.
"According to the council a warning has also been delivered by Uzu only a few hours ago, threatening retaliation if their leaders are not released. Apparently they are not bluffing. This will take a far more delicate approach to arrive to the desired conclusion, but perhaps I can still show the council who the true Hokage should be..."
With that the man stands and leaves, either forgetting about my own presence or simply not caring. It looks like another night of standing at attention in the darkness then.
It is good to see sensei after so long, unfortunately the situation does not call for any celebrations. We are well aware of what has occurred up until now and with the Hokage dead...
"I was wondering when you three would catch up to us..."
There is a sort of... sadness in his voice. Perhaps he thinks that...
"Are... are you going to try and stop us as well?"
Now it is unmistakable. Our sensei, and the man who I consider to be a father, I know Kakashi and Obito share the same idea, is thinking that we are going to try and harm him and his family as well.
"Please... I don't want to fight you three but you know that I will but... please just don't."
My heart breaks, despite the love he has for us he will put that aside for his wife and child... and I don't blame him in the least bit.
"Sensei we aren't here to try and stop you, we just wanted to..."
"PLEASE FORGIVE US SENSEI!"
Kakashi groans, and smacks Obito in the back of the head for embarrassing us, even if it helps break the tension.
"Are you three coming with us? We haven't had dinner together in so long." Kushina inquires, and I am forced to hold back a few tears. Even with everything that has happened, even with Konoha's betrayals and manipulations she still views us as the children she never had.
"Unfortunately we are just here to see you off, as much as we would love to come back and just stay in Uzu we are still Konoha ninja."
The Uzukage nods in understanding, even with the slight sadness in his eyes. "You will be careful?"
"Of course sensei, we will not abandon each other, and the village needs us right now. Once everything is settled down we will be glad to come over for some home cooking."
Kushina nods in happiness, "you take care of yourselves, and remember our door is always open."
The message relayed and says more than her words ever will. It isn't just for us, but all of Konoha. Uzu will always be willing to take in refugees or those who simply need help, and they always will be that symbol for hope in the world.
It takes another week to finally get enough of a report from Jiriaya, and our own spy network, to receive a comprehensive picture of the situation. Konoha is on the brink of civil war. After our departure the Uchiha clan demanded retribution in the form of military action against Uzu.
This, due to the absence of a Kage figure, called for the council to vote. Unfortunately it was so split that the council itself practically disbanded into various groups. Most of the ninja clans were against further damaging our relationship, and knew the situation for what it was. Thus they were trying to simply stop the catastrophe from escalating.
The civilians were too busy worrying about their own wealth and political power once a new Hokage was chosen.
Danzo, to no ones surprise, declared his own ambitions, and caused even further chaos.
Now the village was at risk for being split into several factions. The Uchiha and their few allies, most of the remaining ninja forces, Danzo's own surprise personal army, and the civilian council members along with their 'purchased' militia.
Most of the remaining civilians were just trying to stay out of the crossfire. Ironically enough my husband has suggested offering Uzu has a safe haven for anyone who wants to escape the oncoming conflict, and despite my own hesitations that this will be seen as some sort of plot on our part I cannot help but agree. It is our role in this world after all.
Right now though our plan is to wait and see what happens, will a new war erupt? Will Konoha be able to find a peaceful solution to their own problems, or will we be forced to step in?
Movement from the bed refocuses my attention, and I walk over to check on Naruto, seconds later a miracle happens... and my son opens his eyes.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this story this fanfiction was never intended on being a longer fic, instead I had always planned for this to be around 5-6 chapters. It ended up as five.
This was my attempt as several 'experiments'. The first being whether I could write an entire story, or at least almost, as first person. I did, but I was not a fan.
Second, I wanted to do a massive change in the history of cannon, and explore some of the implications behind it.
Finally I wanted a story where the main character was not the primary character of a story.
I had a bit of trouble with all of them, and although I might take some ideas from this story and put them into later stories, such as keeping Rin and Obito alive as well as adding some Anko x Naruto, but we will see as time progresses.