A/N: And here you go. Five thousand words, weeks worth of blood sweat, and tears.
Could somebody give A Most Unlikely Gunner a read, if you have the time? I worked really hard on that one and so far it seems to be the second-weakest of the bunch...T_T
Alright, now that we've gotten that out of the way...
ALTERNATE UNIVERSE INCOMING!
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED, YA SCALLYWAGS!
I'll say it right off the bat, this story involves...twins.
That's right, Naruto and Naruko, and all the chaos they bring.
They also speak a touch differently than what one might expect, FYI.
As such, this one is a looooong story, because I wanted you to understand the characters.
Really get to like them, you know? Get a feel for their personalities, where they stand all that. And of course, to make you smile.
(EDIT: Unfortunately this only has two reviews to speak of at the time of this edit; all that time spent to make this fresh and different and...and...it makes me a little sad...T_T
People are saying I'm only updating my Fate stories. That I can't do anything else anymore. Excuse. Me? I've updated Son of the Stag, Imperfection, I Am Not the King, A Man of Many Faces, This Silence is Mine, The Empire's Blade, An Angel's Ninja and others over the last month! Hell, "Angel" was the most recent updated of the bunch!
WHAT SAY YOU NOW?!
I'm trying something...new.
Also, heard ya'll like Demon Slayer.
There's a BIG honking reference to it here, as a homage of sorts.
Can I just say that Nezuko is absolutely adorable and too pure for this world?
Out to be bloody obvious, but I won't give it away for the sake of those who don't know.
As ever, this will be gone in two days if people don't like it. I'm serious about that, though it pains me.
Here, have your classless Servant, your wraith. I promised that, did I not? I don't think anyone's done this before.
So let's clarify. Naruto looks almost exactly like himself, only with longer hair and a scratch across his headband. Naruko the same in a sense, but minus the headband. Furthermore, her hair's down and...well...why not read on and then see for yourself? And as you're about to see, they're far, far, FAR from their original selves. But in a good way. As someone who is the oldest of MANY children, I love my siblings to death.
One last thing.
The "pose" that Naruto strikes in this story?
That's pure Jiraiya right there, no ifs-ands-or-buts about it~!
"My brother. Mine."
"Okaaaay? Are you alright-
"Yes. Just don't move for now."
"Why're ya being so clingy today?"
A Most Unlikely Duo
We were twins.
Naruto and Naruko.
I had my sister. I had my brother.
Two halves of the same coin; two parts of a greater whole.
Yin and Yang. Light and dark. Not only of the Kyuubi and its chakra, but ourselves. We came into this world together, and because of that, we were never alone. Not truly. We always had each other, even in our darkest moments. Even when it felt like the world itself was against us. Do you know how much of a blessing that is? To have someone like that? Not an older sibling, nor a younger, but one who is truly yourself? Someone who knows what you're thinking before you even say it, someone who truly understands you on a spiritual level? That was us.
By the time we were five, we understood how the other worked, how they thought.
I was always the rash one, prone to pranks and chaos.
I was calmer. Quieter...more emotional than my brother.
We saw no distinction between the two. We were simply...us. What one of us was bad at, the other covered. I was better with ninjutsu. She excelled in genjutsu. I was faster. She was stronger. We protected one another, shoring up our faults and guarding one another-believing in each other!-as only children can.
When no one would feed us, we fed ourselves.
When no one would teach us, we taught ourselves.
When no one would show us affection, we cared for ourselves.
Its easy to hide at first in an orphanage, then later, when we were forced into an apartment of our own. We were young. Small. Little. We looked alike...for awhile. Even when we began to grow, we were careful to try and disguise ourselves as best we could. To make ourselves less of a target. It worked. For twelve years. We learned first by watching, then by seeing, and eventually by doing things together. We did not develop a foolish crush on a foolish girl. Why would we, when we had each other? We had one another. That was all we needed.
Then the world began to change.
Until graduation we had lived for ourselves and each other. We were born together and swore that we would leave the world together or not at all. From the village we had...taken whatever we'd needed. Together. All that changed when Mizuki tried to manipulate us. We saw through it. Him. The Scroll, his plot, all of it. We hurt those who tried to hurt us. We hurt him. Made certain we would be together on a team. Together. Just the two of us. Two bodies, one mind. We were clever. We passed the test given us with flying colors and afterwards followed Kakashi-sensei like a pair of shadows.
I think he pitied us.
Did he, brother of mine? I wonder about that.
No, he definitely did. Why else would he let us live with him?
Hmm. Perhaps you have a point. Where were we then? I know Mist, came next-
Look, sis, are we going to tell this story together or separately? Make up your mind already!
We made allies were we could find them; friends, in the most unlikely of places. A boy wearing a mask. Haku. A brash girl who liked to use bells and needles. Kin. A fiery redhead that swore like a sailor. Tayuya. Others of course, but they were the first. Our first true friends. We helped them. We saved them. From our adventures, an unlikely band of rogues began to form. Not quite a band, more a...gang? Is that the word? We never knew why the Third Hokage tolerated us and our growing band of misfits. Perhaps he was simply happy to see us happy. Who can say? We never had a chance to ask.
With the Chunin Exams, everything changed again.
The Exams were...unusual for us. We were only two. They were many. If not for Shadow Clones, we might've died time and time again. If not for Sensei's training, we wouldn't have made it out of that forest. But he still taught us well. Perhaps it was because we were the children of his sensei. Perhaps he simply didn't have an Uchiha to focus on this time. Pity. Such a SHAME that one was too ill to enter. The screeching pink demon was never able to take the test as a result, nor the emotionless puppet.
You had something to do with that, didn't you, sis?
I can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of your statement.
I don't buy it. Don't you think it was a little...too convenient, ya know?
Why, we have no idea what you mean, brother of ours! They simply fell ill. Back to the story!
We reached the tower first with both scrolls. In record time at that. With Haku's strength joined to ours, the three of us made quick work of any opposition. We cleared a bloody swathe through the Forest of Death and a certain Snake never came near us during that mad dash. Why would he? His target was the Uchiha, and the Uchiha was most assuredly not here.
That was where we met Kin.
My lovable brother fell for her at first sight, sadly.
What?! I did not! I have no idea what you're talking about!
You most certainly DID! Even after you trounced her in your match! You beat her so badly that she cried and THEN you picked her back up! You offered her a place with us! You liiiiiiiiiiiked her! Say I'm wrong! Do it!
Gonna play that way, eh? Fine! What about you and Gaara? Didn't you fall head over heels for him after-
Shut up shut up shut up! Stupid brother! I'll bite you!
Alright, alright! Moving on! Despite a few...hiccups, the invasion still happened. Gaara was unleashed and so were we. Ever seen two foxes and a toad beat a raccoon into the ground? Yet empathy stayed our hands, and rather than another victim, we made a lifelong friend. Then everything fell apart when the Snake killed the old man.
We tried to stop him, we really did.
Have you fought a Sanin before? Its like fighting a storm. Impossible to win. As a Genin? All the training in the world couldn't have prepared us for that. We raced back to help him, but we couldn't do anything. Even with Jiraiya backing us up. All of our training meant nothing to one such as Orochimaru. We were an ant leaping into a maelstrom. It was a miracle we survived at all. We...We had to watch. We liked the old man. He had been good to us, despite opinions to the contrary. We loved him like a grandfather. We didn't want him to die. We cried for him. Mourned him.
We were still promoted to Chunin in the aftermath somehow, but that was the least of our worries.
The villagers had seen the fox-both halves of it!-and the old man wasn't around to assuage their worries.
Even his successor wasn't truly able to tamp down on all that anger and distrust, not truly; if she had, it never would've come to this.
When Sasuke left months later, we gave chase with a squad of our own. We fought through his guards and hunted him down. At the Valley of the End we fought that two-timing, traitorous Uchiha to the bitter finale...and we killed him. Had it merely been one against one, the outcome would've remained uncertain. But we are never alone. We ganged up on him. Blinded him. Tore him apart. Many hated us for it-the pink one especially-but we did what had to be done. We did not hesitate. We used all of our power and brought him down. We managed to save Tayuya at least, so it wasn't a total wash.
That's when it happened; we began to lose ourselves. We went...feral.
Too many fights, too much power, too much tainted chakra.
No. That's not right, sis.
You lost herself.
I blocked her mouth with a piece of bamboo bound to a red cord and held her until she calmed down. She seemed to like that, so she kept the damn thing. Started wearing it all the time. Maybe it was something for her to bite down on. She gets...stressed without it, ya know? If I take it off, she goes berserk. Sometimes its slow; she'll be able to talk for a bit. Other times she'll just fly into a rage. Sometimes I have to sing to her just to calm her down when she takes it off. Trust me, you don't want to hear me sing. I'm awful. I could etch glass when I try to pitch my voice that high. Still, it kept her safe.
...yes. You saved me.
C'mon, it was nothing. I would've done it for anyone.
No, you wouldn't. You did it for me. I repaid the favor, didn't I?
So she saved me. And thus, I saved him. Funny how one good turn makes the world go around.
We trained under Jiraiya and learned what it meant to be a sage. When he crawled back from Rain missing an arm, we chewed his ear off for days. If the old man was a grandfather to us and Sensei was...well, sensei, of course, then that made the old pervert an uncle. Family. We PROTECTED family.
A world, even.
Until the latter turned on us.
We'd gone too far. Become too powerful. Many loved us, but more hated us. Feared us. So we left. Fled, with those we called our friends and family. Found others like us. Outcasts. Exiles. Even other jinchuuriki. Made a place of our own, with our own. With those that remained. Those that had not been hunted. We made peace. Our own little community. Though the villages searched for us-for each of us!-they never found us. We were too secure, too careful, too well hidden. No, they never found us, for we did not let them. They. Never. Found us.
We fought them.
They lost to us. Badly.
We had the dying Uchiha to thank for that. He surprised us; turning on his comrades in the thick of things. We used him well. With his help, the masked man was easy to trick; with our numbers we swarmed him until he finally made a mistake. One swing of Uchiha Itachi's sword sealed him in an endless illusion pocket dimension, forever. And the rest of them unraveled like bad yarn.
The false god we overwhelmed, all of us. We blasted each of his bodies until only stains remained.
The black plant we painstakingly uprooted, body, mind and soul. He plotted no more.
The fishman had his head torn off as we took his sword for ourselves.
The undead we scattered to the winds, never to return.
The paper woman froze in a maze of looming ice.
The bomber was crushed in a coffin of sand.
The zombie burned alive in holy hellfire.
The puppet we shattered completely.
We won. All our adversaries lay dead or dying at our feet. Now we rest. Now we will raise our family in peace. The Demon of the Gate, they began to call us-for we never let the enemy past that arch. Never allowed them up the mountain pass. We held the line. We held the gate. They crashed upon us like waves breaking against the shore, and they did not pass. We have no class, no designation. We simply...are. We guard the gate. We will keep the path. Nothing else matters. Only us.
This is our home. Our world.
Let our enemies come.
You shall not pass.
Caster was not having a good evening.
Actually, scratch that. She wanted to hurl herself from the temple steps and dash her head against the stones.
No, no! She couldn't do that! If she was dead then she wouldn't be able to be with Souichirou. Bad Medea! Bad! None of that!
Marshaling the tattered threads of her thoughts, the elusive Caster willed herself to step away from the circle she'd created and regard her abject failure.
Not only had she failed, but she'd done in such a spectacular fashion that she genuinely didn't know how to react beyond wiping the slate clean and starting over. The false Command Spells she'd fashioned for herself did nothing to ease her fears, nor the sight that stretched out before her. It boggled Caster's mind; because she hadn't been trying to summon this. She'd sought a guard for the gate leading to her temple, a pseudo-Servant of sorts, preferably one who excelled in physical combat, the better offset her own poor physical skills.
Indeed, she'd thought herself clever.
By using the Greater Grail to circumvent a loophole in the summoning system-as it had yet to summon Assassin-she had hoped to stack the deck in her favor. Having another ally would be dead useful. And yet she felt no tug on her energy-or the leyline she'd claimed-whatsoever, which in turn, led her to believe she'd brought naught but a weakling into the world.
How little she knew.
"Good evening!" a young man's voice flooded the night as the smoke continued to clear. "You called us?"
Medea opened her mouth to refute such a claim-
And her world turned scarlet.
Her noble reply dissolved into a startled shriek as a pair of towering kitsune burst out of the smoke with a wordless roar to bare their fangs in her face. One light, the other dark. Had she possessed a full set of wits-and wasn't busy screaming-she would've seen through the illusion; would've realized they were little more than a ghastly apparition of crimson light molded into the shape of a skull than the actual entity. Unfortunately, she did not and the sight of them nevertheless knocked her back on her hindquarters. Sucking in a sharp breath between her teeth, she flailed for Ruler Breaker in a desperate attempt to defend her very soul, only to watch the fox-skulls be sucked back into the void when she looked at it.
'What have I unleashed?'
As if awaiting that very thought, the arcane haze began to clear, revealing what-who!-she'd summoned.
She glimpsed two unassuming individuals, but the first had her gaping.
What was with that ridiculous kabuki pose?!
First she noticed the young man with his legs spread apart and arm thrust forward; a beaming teenager clad in a hideous orange-black jumpsuit over which he'd thrown a crimson coat. Blue eyes framed by whiskered cheeks set in a handsome face, framed by a shaggy mop of blond hair only loosely held back by a tattered headband. That might have been a leaf insignia, once. Before someone carved a flat line across it. All things considered he looked extraordinary...ordinary, at a glance. But. But! She saw the massive sword hanging from his back like the prized trophy it was. One could even say its long bandaged length lent a great deal of weight toward his appearance and thus caused her to immediately reassess her previous opinion.
That was before the young man glanced over his shoulder and started prodding someone behind him with his elbow.
"Don't by shy, sis." he nudged the shadow lurking well within his own. "Introduce yourself."
A young woman's face appeared over his back, badly startling Caster.
It certainly did nothing to dissuade her doubts!
The woman was another matter.
She had some sort of strange bamboo gag pressed tightly into her mouth, its fine red cord wrapped tight around her own whiskered visage, to then flow toward the back of her head. Its color stood in a sharp contrast to the black haori-jacket!-worn over the mystifying orange getup she wore. Unlike her companion, she wore no such headband, instead opting to leave her tan forehead bare. Yet those wide eyes were different somehow. Brighter. Almost unnaturally so. Her hair was smooth as silk-almost made her jealous really-cascading down her back in a golden wave. She looked almost harmless by comparison. Were it not for her own sixth sense shrieking otherwise, Medea might've been tempted to lower her guard.
As it stood, she was only made all the more wary by her unassuming appearance. Just what had she summoned?
And why did the young man seem so familiar? Almost as if she'd met him before...
"Naruto and Naruko Uzumaki at your service." the young man flashed her a sunny smile as he abandoned his pose. "Thanks for summoning us. Feels good to be alive again. So! What do you need?"
"Oh." Medea managed eloquently, before her brain rebooted itself.
She laid out what she intended for them in no uncertain terms; at the end of it all, the unlikely duo tilted their heads.
"That's it?" Naruto blinked. "You just want us guard this entrance?"
"I mean sure, we can do that, but this...this is weird." the young man continued with a hum, scratching the back of his head, heedless of her confusion. "We're not quite a Servant, but I'm pretty sure you are. What does that make us, then? Assassin? I don't feel like an Assassin." his shoulders rolled, jostling the great weight that was Samehada on his back. "Don't much feel like a Saber, either. Any ideas, sis? Remember, blink once for yes, twice for no." he turned his squinting gaze on his sibling, with all the air of an expectant parent. Rather than reply, his companion offered a mute shrug and brought her blazing blue eyes to bear on the still-stunned sorcerer.
Quick as a whip, the smaller of the two stepped forward and stretched out a hand...
The Witch of Colchis tensed, expecting an attack of some sort.
...and faltered as she patted her head.
Hers was a gentle touch; that smooth palm idly gliding-tracing across her pale hair. For a moment, just a moment, Caster couldn't bring herself to move. That innocent guileless gaze grew on her like a charm, rooted her; prevented her from immediately lashing out and shoving the girl away as she otherwise might have. When she finally managed to wriggle free and get the girl at arm's length, it was half-hearted at best. Even then the young woman kept trying to reach up and touch her cheek, humming insistently despite Medea's best efforts to escape.
"W-What are you doing?!" she flailed. "Get off me!"
Naruto beamed. "You're lucky. She likes you."
Medea bristled. "Excuse me?!"
Planting both hands in his pockets, the blond arched an eyebrow. "If she didn't, we wouldn't be having this conversation."
Something deep inside Medea bridled at the insult. "How so?"
"You'd be dead."
Naruto hadn't spoken just now, she realized.
The voice was hoarse, yet feminine and it clearly belonged to another.
Glancing down, she found herself gazing into Naruko's unclouded eyes, glimpsing her sharpened teeth.
Thankfully the little blond replaced the bamboo just as quickly as she'd removed it; then her brother stepped forward quickly to bind her mouth and seal it once more. Medea restrained a shudder at the sight. Her Servant-no, wraith, more like-made no threat; it was a statement, a promise, a surety, as sure as if they were discussing an oncoming storm. A scarlet spark flickered through her eyes-like the illusion she'd glimpsed before-only this time it was real. Terribly, horribly real. Gods above, if they actually tried to kill her, she might not even be able to...!
"Right, then!" Naruto's hands collided in a sharp pop of sound and his sister skipped back to him, ending the standoff as quickly as it had began. "You summoned us, and Naruko here likes you, so we've got your back."
Without another word, the duo turned and began to climb the steps leading to the temple.
Mildly put out, Medea hastened after them.
"Just like that?"
"Yup." his smile didn't falter in the least when she moved to match their stride. "We're loyal to those who take care of us, for the most part. Don't betray us, and we wont betray you, ya know?" slim shoulders rolled in an easy shrug. "So long as you're good to us, we'll be good to you as well." Naruko prodded him mutely and he pursed his lips for a moment before considering the matter anew. "Oh! Food would be nice too, I suppose."
His questions stretched into the air between them and the witch found herself face-palming silently.
"You're not strictly alive. You don't need to eat." Medea put in, utterly incredulous.
"Neither do you." the other half of the wraith pointed out. "We still like it."
Naruko hummed softly and began patting his head in return.
Naruto began to fidget, trying to squirm away.
"Oi, stop that, will you?"
For a moment, Medea almost considered refusing their request, if only out of petty spite for all the trouble they'd caused her thus far. Her "guards" frightened her. They were clearly capable of more than they let on-or possessed Independent Action of a significant rank at the very least-and didn't seem to have any qualms about their task. That didn't mean they could be wholly trusted, however. In the end, she thought better of it. No need to antagonize her new ally outright. Better to keep them happy; after all, was it not better to lead with the carrot rather than the stick?
...fair enough." she relented with a petulant sigh. "I'll see that the monks provide you with something."
Naruto snapped off a snarky salute, and after a moment, Naruko mirrored him.
"You got it. We'll kill anyone who comes through here. Don't worry."
"Confident, aren't you?" she snapped archly at his jest.
At that, the blond finally deigned to face her fully.
"This was our home, once upon a time." a small, sardonic smile quirked the corner of his mouth, bringing with it another strange pang she couldn't recall. Blast! Why did this feel so familiar?! "Our fame was well known here, and as such, we're at our peak on this mountain, you know?" Naruto's voice plucked her back to reality and quite suddenly she realized he was kneeling, actually kneeling to take her hand in his own. "We'll defend this place, and you, until our dying breath. You have our word. And we never go back on our word." a fist pounded his chest. "Leave it to us, boss."
Medea actually blinked at that.
To have someone swear to protect her...how quaint.
A small, slow smile blossomed on the witch's pristine visage.
Well, well, well. Perhaps I might actually win this time around...!
A/N: As ever, this will be gone in two days if people don't like it. I'm serious about that, though it pains me.
You might get their actual life story in A Most Unlikely Collection if its well-liked enough. Naruto's a bit of an imp to begin with, more so with a sister egging him on.
Naruto/Naruko summoned by Medea.
With EX Ranked Indepent Action. They aren't bound to a set location-though Medea would love to keep them there-and are free to do as they see fit. As far as skills go, Battle Continuation, Eye of the Mind (True) and Madness Enhancment-when Naruko removes her bamboo gag-as well as a host of others. I'd be more than happy to list them in a PM if you like. Unfortunately they also have, a very bad case of EXTREME codependency to the point that they're a mess with out the other. No Game No Life would be a good example of this.
As ever, this will be gone in two days if people don't like it. I'm serious about that, though it pains me.
Also, just about every spot here's open here, considering, so by all means, cast your votes via review...and pity Medea for the madness that is to come.
Technically, our two blonds could be called a Gatekeeper of sorts, now that I think about it. Oh, well. A Most Unlikely Duo just has a better ring to it. TWO MORE! Master!Naruto on the moon, and then Moon Cancer! Then I can finally open the floodgates and unleash the updates.
Again, Demon Slayer was a heavy inspiration for Naruto and her appearance and I don't own jack.
And of course Naruko took a liking to Medea straight away.
Poor Caster has no idea what's she's in for.
Naruko is MEANT to remind you all of Nezuko. Consider it a homage of sorts. In this case, both brother and sister are so tightly intertwined in one another's legend that they're literally regarded as one entity, even though when aren't. They're also hideously powerful together, but weak apart.
So in the Immortal Words of Atlas...
...Review, Would You Kindly?
And enjoy the previews!
Caster balked, regarding the ruined crater that had once been a Servant.
"Wait. You can LEAVE the gate?"
"'Course we can!" Naruto snorted.
Medea smiled. It was not a pleasant smile.
"You don't say~! Would you like to go for a walk, then~?"
This time, when the twins moved to high-five her, she met them half way.
She quickly turned that innocent gesture into a crushing embrace for each of them.
"Oh, my precious little dears~!" she cooed. "We're going to get along swimmingly, you and I~!"
"Why...is she cuddling with me?!"
Naruto shrugged. "I DID say she likes you, ya know."
Gilgamesh growled low and deep in his throat at their stubborn silence. "Stand aside, curs."
Naruto simply reached back and plucked the gag free from his sibling's mouth.
The King of Heroes glimpsed sharp teeth and bright red eyes.
And for a moment, he felt...fear.
Naruko absolutely hissed.
Her brother smiled.
Lancer nearly lost a hand.
They made it all of three steps up before a crimson blur tackled them.
The Twins began to writhe and shift, their bodies turning crimson. Tails bloomed as the madness overtook them.
Lancer had all of half a second to swear before they barreled down at them.