It was the Wedding day. Oh, Shinigami take him now, Naruto was nervous.
"You've literally faced down small armies, and getting married is what scares you?" Kurama asked with a grin that could be heard.
"Yeah, well, this is something I can very easily mess up without even realizing it!" his partner snapped back.
"Oh, believe me, kit! They'll all make sure you realize it!"
"NOT HELPING THE NERVES, HERE."
"Of course I am! Look how much I've distracted you already!" the laughter was almost malicious.
Ignoring the jab, Naruto went right back to worrying. "Did we rush this? Are we too young? Oh, Kami what if they regret this for the rest of their lives!"
"Ugh,"the great fox was realizing he was going to have to play wingman. "Look, Naruto. You are a NINJA. The risk of you dying is so statistically high you aren't supposed to see the end of puberty. There is no such thing as rushing things for you lot. You find what you love—"
"Who you love, and hold on tight. I know!"
"Then what's the issue! Your parents weren't much older than you when they got married, and they were fucking for way longer!"
"I DID NOT HAVE TO HEAR THAT!"Naruto's internal monologue devolved into a wail.
"Look. You love them, right?"
"You would do anything for them, right?"
"Is there anyone else you'd rather have children with, spend your life with?"
Maybe not anyone else OVER them, but he might be adding to the list… "No…"
"Then believe me when I say you should jump at the chance. Not everyone gets the same one. I'm not even joking about sleeping with two women who are okay with it, either! You found love, Naruto. Keep a grasp on it."
The blond was actually calmed down a bit, and he was breathing easier. This was fine. He was in lovefor Kami's sake, and a lot of people don't live long enough to enjoy it. He got lucky and found it early, damn straight he's jumping on the opportunity!
Sasuke walked in, blank faced as ever, and looked Naruto dead in the eye. In the brief second that passed in silence, Naruto realized there was only an hour left.
"Naruto," the Uchiha greeted.
"Sasuke," the blond returned.
The raven-haired teen was the first to break the silence.
"What have we dOne?" his voice cracked in what could have been fear.
And just like that, all of Naruto's nerves were back. He whispered, "Oh no…" and things got moving.
Kakashi laid down on the tree trunk, on the far border of the Land of Fire. They had two weeks left to get to Ame and find Orochimaru and Yagura. If they could dig up some dirt on the Akatsuki as well that would be great, because apparently, they have some kind of influence in the minor countries.
Obito was resting nearby, in his own tree. The pair had travelled hard, but regardless, Kakashi felt like he was missing something important. No matter how hard he travelled, he felt late. And not the good kind, either. Obito didn't have the same feeling, though, and Kakashi figured it was just him being paranoid.
So why did he keep thinking about his— the kids? Was this what maternal instincts felt like? They better not be doing anything stupid and/or dangerous.
"Hey Kakashi?" Obito spoke up from his branch.
"What's up?" he asked in a forcibly bored tone.
"What do we don if we run into Pein?"
There was a beat of silence.
"That… is a good question," Kakashi told him.
"I mean… I've put some thought into it and… how would you feel about having a full set of Sharingan?" Obito said this so quietly Kakashi could have fooled himself into thinking he daydreamed it.
"What?" Kakashi's voice was stern, and it made Obito flinch. Some things never did seem to change.
"If we could snag his Rinnegan… think about it! Having those eyes on our side of the war… and since I have all this Senju DNA stuff grafted to me I should be able to use them!"
Kakashi didn't respond at first. "How long have you been thinking about this?"
Obito mulled the question over for a few seconds before answering, "I mean, a good while. You can't turn my eye off because you don't have the matching set or an innate connection. We can't get you the innate connection, but I have the other eye. If I could just grab an upgrade we'll be absolutely peachy!"
Kakashi didn't like that train of thought. "Obito, that man killed Jiraiya with half of his total strength, if that. You said there are sixof his paths, and There were only three tops at Iwa. We'd need the rest of my team here for that. Maybe just Naruto if he doesn't lose his cool."
The smaller of the two men thought about that. "The thing is… I don't think any of those paths are really him."
"What?" Kakashi asked, honestly confused.
"Think about it! We know one of them can revive the rest, but I know for a fact that one has been taken out before. Kakuzu killed it when Pein was proving his strength in recruiting him. So if the healer isn't the main one, then the rest of them are equally as expendable? It doesn't make sense. And I've seen every body but the Deva path replaced over the years. He's just an extreme puppet master."
"Then…" Kakashi took in the theory quickly, "If we could find his real body, we could end him quickly! But what about the woman? The paper one you mentioned?"
"Konan? She's always by his side, but no real match for me. Together, Kakashi, we can do it."
"… We'll see how it goes. What if I gave you your eye back? You have the Senju DNA, couldn't you just awaken the Rinnegan?"
"NO!" the outburst surprised them both. "I mean, I gave you that eye, Kakashi. I don't want it back. Not for something stupid like getting a better pair. It's yours."
"All right," Kakashi said.
The pair stood, stretched, and took off once more, again leaving room for a third teammate.
Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Hinata, and Karin stood up on a raised platform in front of all their closest friends and family. The girls stood to the outside of their respectful man, Naruto being flanked on either side. Everyone involved was dying of nerves, but Tsunade didn't give time to second guess. This wasn't a big, romantic gesture. This was a military, spartan wedding. She had three more to do today alone, and if the coules (triple?) wanted to renew their vows once they had won some peace they could do it as romantically as they liked.
"We are gathered here today to join together some wonderful young adults in the holy bond of matrimony," the Hokage started. The crowd silenced.
"I know, they seem so… so young to be making such a commitment, and I imagine it is especially impactful on the paresnts that taught them to walk seemingly yesterday!" she paused to allow the chuckle to fade.
"But young love, though fickle we may sometimes find it, is no less real than that of a couple together for fifty years. No, it's not as tested, but it is real. And in times like this, when these upstanding men and women risj themselves for our home as they do… no one has the right to begrudge them their love."
As she spoke, the boys on stage felt their fears ease, their anxiety lessen.
"These young men and women, forced to grow up before our very eyes to keep us safe, now prove to both themselves and their loved ones that they are worthy of being seen as an equal. No amount of laws dictating how a ninja is an adult regardless of age can mean as much as someone showing the maturity of dedicating themselves. They've already done so to our home, and now they do so to love itself, in the form of the person or people they will spend eternity with."
"Naruto Uzumaki-Namikaze. Do you take Hinata to be your wedded wife, in the eyes of our law and our gods, to love and to hold, for the rest of the days you are blessed with her?"
"I do." There was no shake in his voice, nothing but the certainty of his conviction, of his love for her.
"Naruto Uzumaki-Namikaze, Do you take Karin Uzumaki to be your wedded wife, in the eyes of our law and our gods, to love and to hold, for the rest of the days you are blessed with her?"
"And do you vow, to your second wife, to our gods, and to the witnesses here today that you will love her equally, as if she were your only love in this life?"
"I do." And he would, in time. He already knew he would.
"Hinata, no longer of the Hyuuga. Do you take Naruto to be your wedded husband, in the eyes of our law and our gods, to love and to hold, for the rest of the days you are blessed with him?"
"I do." There was no stutter, no shy hesitation that most expected of her.
"Karin Uzumaki. Do you take Naruto to be your wedded husband, in the eyes of our law and our gods, to love and to hold, for the rest of the days you are blessed with him?"
"Please, join hands," Tsunade demanded. They did so, their triangle complete yet showing the crowd no-one's back. "With the power I hold as the Godaime Hokage, I bind you. May your souls find comfort in one another for the rest of time, and may your love last even longer."
"You may kiss your brides."
Kakashi was resting once more with Obito, a fresh kill roasting over the fire. He was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of intense pride, and tears came unbidden to his visible eye. Luckily, Obito was napping, but the feeling wouldn't abate. Those kids must not have done anything too stupid after all.
Naruto stood with his wives, elated and giddy. He watched with previously unprecedented joy as the process was repeated for his teammates, and cheered with the rest of the crowd when they kissed and sealed the deal. Did that happen for him too? He didn't notice.
His hands were never free, and his mind was much the same. As Tsunade gave the finishing rites Naruto's eyes struggled to leave the happy faces of the girls he was with. Before he knew it, he was being shoved around the crowd, receiving congratulations and praise all around. He saw both Hinata and Karin getting much of the same treatment, and there was plenty to drink.
"Naruto!" Sasuke finally found him."
"Sasuke! Are you still concerned about what we've done?" the jinchuriki asked with a grin.
"I don't know why I was ever worried. We're going to get going, we only have two weeks for a honeymoon… and I'm REALLY intent on reviving my clan."
Naruto playfully smacked his shoulder. "Oh you rascal, you! I guess I can't tease you guys about that anymore, huh?"
Sakura flowed over to them, Naruto's wives in tow behind her. "Nope!" she exclaimed happily.
"Naruto, can we get going home too?" Karin asked impatiently, her legs rubbing together as if she needed the restroom.
"Sure, You girls only have what, two weeks?" Naruto looked to Sasuke for a nod, "to get pregnant. We have a LOT of work to do!"
The little group laughed at Hinata's blush, Karin ignoring her own excited one to laugh instead.
Sakura grabbed Karin by the shoulders and looked her up and down. "See you in two weeks?" she didn't really have to ask, but the redhead nodded vigorously anyhow.
"Two weeks," they all chorused.
****If it's requested enough, I can always jot down the details of what those two weeks entailed over on A03. Don't want to play with Fanfiction's rating too much*******
Obito lay in the gutter absolutely stock still. They had been in Ame for a week now, doing their best to avoid the rain. If anyone else had come here without that knowledge Pein would have sensed them immediately. Sometimes it was nice to be a traitor against the bad guys.
Kakashi was right next to him for both minimizing need for cover and for warmth. The near constant drizzle left things horribly wet and cold.
"Two weeks in, We really should have seen the targets by now. At least heard rumors," Kakashi said from Obito's left.
"Have faith, worst case scenario we find Pein's body, remember?"
"And how do you suggest we do that? Rumors around here say he's an actual god, no one knows where to look for him," Kakashi reminded his partner grimly.
"How much you wanna bet he's in the tallest tower like a princess."
Sometimes Kakashi still wanted to smack the other man upside the head. Did Sakura get that from him?
"Actually, that would give him the best vantage point for both surveillance and casting the rain jutsu…"
Obito agreed immediately, "Exactly! That's what I was talking about, that right there and nothing else."
Kakashi rolled his eyes and then froze. Someone was behind them.
"Not a bad guess, unfortunately you can't live long enough to find out," a woman said from behind the two.
"Ah, hello again, Konan! It's been a while, yeah?" Obito tried.
"You will die the slow death of a traitor, Tobi, I hope you know this."
Kakashi snapped, "Handprint!" and dashed forward into the rain. A missed swipe with his Chidori drove Konan to the side, the lightning sizzling the paper she seemed to be made of. The rain abruptly stopped, and Kakashi knew time was short. He blazed through a few signs for a fireball, and herded Konan even further, and he was right to guess she feared fire more than lightning.
The would-be epic fight was cut short, however, when Obito stepped in. One quick touch to the paper on her neck as she was evading fire and she was gone. Sucked into Obito's other world.
"Kakashi, he know's we're here! We need ot go before he realizes Konan—"
"Where is she?" a cold, painfully familiar voice asked from above.
Both Sharingan users looked up and saw a barely apathetic Pein above them.
"Listten, Pein! Konan is gone!" Obito started, trying to bluff their way out. He was no fool, and Kakashi was happy to let him take the reins here. He's had more interactions with the self-proclaimed god, after all.
"I see that, and for this I find that I must thank you."
That confused both Konoha nin.
"You have granted me the last possible gift of Pain this world could offer me, and I have finished my ascension. I think I'll reward you with a taste of this enlightenment."
There was a sudden squelch as Obito felt his stomach get tore into. He dematerialized as soon as he could, but the object that entered his back almost made it all the way through to the front. This would be fatal without Rin here to patch him up…
"OBITO!" Kakashi screamed in fury, another Chidori blanketing his right armas he spun to the base of the long projectile. It seemed to come from nowhere, and that could mean one thing.
His arms sank into and killed the giant chameleon, but the damage was done. Obito was dying , again. In front of him, AGAIN.
"Savor this pain, Kakashi of the Sharingan, and I'll be sure that there is more waiting for you at home. This is my thanks, for taking Konan from me…"
And they were gone. Kakashi didn't care to understand how, because his friend was in his arms bleeding out, something much too familiar for comfort.
"K-Kakashi, I'll tell Rin you said hi right after…" a deep shuddering breath. The tongue had been quite large in diameter and Obito was losing a lot of blood. "Right after I ask her why she didn't come down here and fix me."
Kakashi couldn't even muster the strength to laugh at the poor excuse of a joke.
"Here!" Kakashi exposed the Sharingan within his skull. "Take this back, awaken the Rinnegan, and heal yourself! You can do it!" Kakashi nearly demanded the act be done.
Obito looked like he wanted to argue, but he had very little strength left. "F-fine. But if I die anyway, you gotta promise to take them both. L-live up to your name, mister of the Sh-shhh-aringan."
Kakashi didn't even register the pain in his eye socket, the blood minimal with the skill it was plucked from his skull. It may have helped that it wasn't his to begin with.
Obito shakily set it in place, and eveything hooked itself up as if it had never left. It wasn't SUPPOSED to do that, the long term emptiness should have rotted everything important away. But maybe those Senju cells were the key…
Suddenly, the eye was in. And it wasn't a Mangyeko anymore.
It was spinning, and Obito was gasping as he was dying, but it was definitely becoming the Rinnegan.
"It's working! Obito, Obito hang on," Kakashi's voice was gruff and desperate. "I don't know why, but it's working!"
Obito felt the power, the abilitiesat his fingertips. Unfortunately, Orochimaru's theories were right. It wasn't the full rinnegan, but it had what he originally wanted.
"Kakash, the strength was back, but not by much. "I have to apologize."
"What?" the now truly one-eyed man was confused.
"I… I have been using you. All of Konoha, really. I needed Pein's Rinnegan to… bring her back."
Kakashi clenched his fists, not caring in the slightest. "That doesn't matter now! You're here, and she's not, just heal yourself and we can forget it! I won't report you, Obito…"
"No, Kakashi, I'm dying. I don't have the full Rinnegan, this isn't genuine because of the false DNA. But I can… bring someone back. At the cost of my life, I can bring them back."
This wasn't wasn't going to do this again.
"Don't be stupid, Rin wouldn't want to come back," he tried.
"I wouldn't bring her back now as it is. Too much war, she could just… get hurt again. No, I have someone else in mind. Naruto can… meet his dad… and you can tell Sensei I said hi," a weak chuckle.
Kakashi wanted nothing more than to wake up at that moment. Forced to choose between talking his friend into saving himself or sacrificing himself to bring back the Yondaime. If he even could.
"It's not… your…" Obito was starting to glow, and his voice was starting to fade.
"Decision!"a guttural word tore itself from Obito's throat, and Kakashi almost recoiled.
"What?" Kakashi was more than a little confused at the whole ordeal. This was so far out of his league.
The glow was gone, and the peace on Obito's face was replaced with fear. "Kakashi! Its Zetsu! He's— Don't mind me, just need to borrow a pair of eyes, is all!— trying to take me over!"
Kakashi gripped a kunai, unsure what to do even as the realization dawned on him. The Senju half of Obito. Zetsu could… no…
Obito gave another look of agony as he fought for control in his dying body. Zetsu wasn't healing the wound on purpose! He needed him ewak to take over!
"Kakashi! You have to stopMe? Stop ME? Don't be foolish, child, I'm older than any of you can comprehend! And I need to bring back a certain Uchiha…"
"KILL ME KAKASHI!"
And the heart of the last Hatake stopped and shattered. He couldn't do that, not again. He couldn't even do it the first time around… and now so much more was at stake.
"Do it, Hatake. Go on,killme. Ram your Chidori into my heart, that way we have something in common to talk to Rin about."
And that was it. Kakashi froze, and Obito lost his battle. There was a blinding white light, an explosion of chakra that sent Kakashi flying backwards, and a perfectly healthy, whole ninja of untold power standing before him.
"Mmm. How good it is to be back."
Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Hinata, Karin, and Haku all stood outside the entrance to the hospital chatting amicably. They would normally wait inside for the final verdict, but it was just so gorgeous out that they couldn't waste a second of the day.
After an… eventful two weeks, the girls went to see Tsunade about the results of their efforts.
Naruto and Sasuke, understandably, weren't quite grasping the scope of the coming news, but what teenager is ACTUALLY ready to be a father? To be fair, what adult is truly ready? And since the average life expectancy for a ninja evens out at 22, it's best to start early.
Tsunade came out with a grim look on her face, and all of the teenagers fell silent.
"Well, I'm almost actually impressed." Tsunade said to no one in particular. "It's too early for standard, more definitive tests, but all three of you girls seem to have interrupted your coming cycle. In my experience, that means it's an 80%chance you're going to have a child."
There were cheers all around, and hugs, and kisses, but the good news didn't last long. Four ANBU materialized near the Hokage bearing urgent news.
"Lady Hokage, there are six fast moving signatures flying towards Konoha from the West. We have a vague Idea of who it is."
Naruto felt his blood boil.
"Karin, Hinata, lovelies, would you mind waiting back at the compound for me?"
He was met with a pair of hard no's.
Tsunade looked at Team Seven. "Get battle ready as soon as possible, You are the first line of defense with Obito out. Kakashi is with him, wherever they are," she looked to the ANBU," Start evacuating civilians to the—"
She was cut off by a deep Whump!
Everyone's eyes went skyward and they could see the Konoha barrier fail untder the assault.
"Well fuck, he's quick."
"He's fucking dead. I'll kill him, then have him revived so I can FUCKING kill him again."
The hospital was fairly central in the village, for logistical purposes. That being said, Team Seven was looking almost straight up by the time the six figures stopped in midair..
Villagers were streaming outside, ninja and civilian alike. There had been no time to evacuate.
For some reason, the six were just floating… maybe waiting…
"Naruto! Shinra Tensei! You have to summon me NOW!"
Naruto's memories flashed to the rubble of the town he first met Pein in. Konoha was about to meet he same fate.
Naruto had almost enough Chakra flow from his arms to his back before he heard the devastating words, "SHINRA TENSEI!"
The force of gravity coming down started the same time Kurama started shooting up in his full nine-tailed glory.
Villagers screamed, their worst nightmare was happening again, and nothing Naruto did at the exam could have prepared them for this. Before Kurama could get up to full height, up to his feet, gravity met his back.
"ahHGHH!" the deep, guttural roar was one no one recognized from the 'rampaging' fox. Pain, pure agony.
Naruto watched with tears in his eyes as the bones in his friend's front legs snapped under the pressure. His right front leg had a shard sticking out of the upper portion, and the left leg was much the same but lower. Skin and fur were dragged down to the Earth, although muscle and bone resisted. Sloly, Kurama went to his knees, in agony of the broken bones.
People watching were horrified for a new reason. This… man was subduing the Kyuubi. With a single technique. The thought alone was horrifying. And the building that had tops taller than the Kyuubi on its knes were reduced to rubble, flattened unfer the intense gravity.
Kurama never quit. There was nothing Naruto could realy do, nothing he threw up there would get past the wall of sinking gravity. All he could do was watch on.
Soon, Kurama's shoulderblade cut through muscle, skin, and fur. The harsh white was splashed with blood, even as his legs broke further and his screams of agony grew worse. The village started to sympathize only the smallest bit, but Naruto may as well have suffered the injuries himself.
Kurama could stop at any time, allow himself to be dispelled. But it would mean the death of the village, of the people Naruot loved. And he could not allow that. Mustering what strength he could, Kurama pooled chakra to his back legs and tried to stand in defiance. His femurs, snapped, the upper portion stabbing out through skin again and burying the jagged ends into the dirt. More incoherent screams of pain. Naruto saw another path fly to the side, and a massive three headed dog was summoned in the sky.
Kurama saw this, and only had one shot in him. It would have to work, or the village and everyone in t would die.
"LEAVE!" His shout was for all the world to hear. Heavy, black and blue chakra started to pool quickly around Kurama's mouth, and Naruto knew what would happen. "MY!" the ball wasn't condensed enough, but no one could blame Kurama for it when he was in such a state. "HOME!"
The blast didn't leave as a tight ball in semblance to a Rasengan. It was a constant stream of pure hatred for the enemy, anger at the intrusion, and Will of Fire to protect people. And it all came from Kurama.
The three headed dog stood no chance and was vaporized in a gory mist, blood rained down in the heavy gravity. Kurama swept the beam over, and almost managed to take out the group. The important thing was he scattered them, and the gravity jutsu was cancelled. He had done it.
Kurama collapsed onto his side, sobbing ninja running up to him in worry and thanks, Naruto chief among them.
"I've done what I can, kit. Protect your village, your people. Save our home."
And Kurama disappeared in a poof of white and blood red smoke, back into Naruto to recover.
The ninja and civilians who witnessed the exchange knew then, Naruto was right. The Kyuubi was not their enemy, but now they know who was.