I originally posted this chapter as an idea I had while writing Bushido no Jutsu, my first Naruto fiction. Eventually, it survived the massive cuts and additions over the years and has become my most well-received story. This rewrite is long overdue and I feel I owe the Black Sheep fans much more than I can give. This is for you guys. New edition started on 2/13/08.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or massive rewrites!
Chapter 1: Eye of the Beholder
"Obito…" A young man leans down over a fallen comrade. Even though half of his face is covered by a mask the emotion is conveyed through his eye. Right beside the half-blind ninja stands a young blonde girl. She's trying to hold in her sobs but it's not working. The dying boy is trapped underneath a large bolder with only half his head exposed, the end for this particular shinobi is ever-approaching and his comrades know it.
His breath hitches as his single red eye swivels over to the man nearest to him. There is a sad, but yet accepting, expression on his face as he rasps, "Kakashi…I just remembered…I didn't get you anything…as a present," There is a pause as he hacks up spots of blood. Despite the pain, though, he presses on. "This Sharingan of mine...I want you to defend the village with it."
The girl standing off to side has finally regained some measure of composure and manages to walk over to her fallen teammate with minimal effort. Cracking a painful smile, Obito looks up at the only woman he had ever loved and ran his shaky fingers along her own as she clasped his hand. "Rin, I want you to take this eye of mine and make Kakashi whole," the young man requested. Not looking away from Rin's face, Obito continued, "Kakashi, don't just defend the village...protect Rin. Please, for me. You...you could do a better job, I know you can..."
With that, Obito took a deep breath and raised his head enough for the young medic-nin to begin the procedure. Although the pain and loss was evident on her face, Rin's hand never quivered as the delicate treasure that so many had fought over was given freely. Now blind, Obito closed his empty socket and did his best to hang on for just a little longer.
"Hey, Rin," Obito called out after the young medic's hand found his once again, "take care of everything for me...our child, too." There was a look from Kakashi and although the Uchiha couldn't see it, he joked, "Heh, I was...good for something. But Rin...don't let him become an Uchiha. They'll rip out his soul and turn him into a monster."
"I will," Rin promised. "I don't know where we can go, maybe back to my clan, but I will raise him well...please, hold on. Minato-sensei will be back soon, then we can-"
Obito's finger over her lips silenced the emotional girl. "It's too late for that," he whispered. His voice was still as warm and tender as always, but it was fading. "Hey, come on, don't worry about it. Kakashi, go out there and get that guy for me...alright?"
Kakashi could hear the Jounin gearing up for another jutsu and grimly nodded. As he leapt out of the hole, Rin looked after him but Obito's laugh shifted her attention.
"Heh, he'll be fine...Rin..." the Uchiha rasped. "Just...look after him...alright? I know you will...he would have been a better father, right? Sorry...you had to settle...too much sake, I thi-" This time it was Obito who was silenced.
Rin looked down at the funny, irritating, spectacular young man laying beside her. For years he had dropped subtle hints but she had turned him down. Nicely, of course, but still. She didn't know what it was, maybe just one subtle rejection too many, but Obito was there with a shoulder to cry on and more. But yet...yeah. She was sure. "Obito," Rin started, "I've...always liked Kakashi. Always. But you...I couldn't imagine a more amazing person to be the father of my child. That will never change, Obito. I want a future, our child's future, to be full of people like you."
With a sniff, the young Chuunin tried to laugh but only a happy sob came out. "You couldn't have...said something like that the day you found out? I lost a tooth when you punched me..."
This was the strange scene Kakashi intruded back in on. A crying Rin and chuckling Obito. "I...I dealt with him but reinforcements are going to be here soon. We...we have to get Obito out of here, Rin. Help me move this bolder and we'll-"
"No...!" Obito's harsh cry cut off his teammates. "You two...have...to get out of here...now..."
Rin looked over the large rock and took a deep breath. Obito was right, his entire body would be crushed. It was miraculous that he's been conscious as long as he was. "Kakashi, we-"
"Doton: Retsudo Tenshou!" The ground suddenly started to quake beneath the group as a group of Iwa-nin outside started their jutsu. With rocks falling all around him, Kakashi leaned into the hole with his arm out. "Rin! We've got to go!" he called out in a panic.
Obito slapped away Rin's hand when he felt her not moving. "Time...to go. Don't forget...you're not just living for yourself anymore..." With only one last look back, Rin leapt up at Kakashi's arm. Now alone, Obito smiled sadly, only allowing such emotion to come out away from his teammates, as the small enclosure collapsed around him.
Due to a great deal of luck, Kakashi and Rin managed to escape behind the cloud of dust created from the cave in. Although he knew that the large group of Iwa-nin would soon track them, Kakashi opted to stop for a moment on a high tree branch to catch his breath. Suddenly, a noise from behind caught their attention and Kakashi found himself staring into the eyes of a cocky Iwa-nin. Rin pulled a kunai as the man started to talk, but Kakashi motioned for her to run.
"You are in no condition to fight, Rin," Kakashi wheezed, ignoring his opponent's speech as he started doing seals. The blonde was about to argue with him when she was blinded by the bright chakra surrounding her teammate's hand. The noise was deafening; it was as if thousands of birds were chirping throughout the forest. Rising to his feet, Kakashi stated, in a low voice, "I can't let you fight, Rin. Obito would haunt me forever if you...or his child were hurt." The Jounin managed to smile even as several rock-nin leapt at them from a nearby tree. The last thing he heard was Rin yelling out and a bright blonde flash running across his vision...
Eight Months Later…
"Only four months after I take office and something like this demon attacks. I really have the worst luck don't I, Kakashi?" Minato asked his guest with a humorous chuckle.
The pair were currently sitting in a field hospital on the outskirts of Konoha. Several days ago, a report came in from the boarder of Fire Country that shocked Konoha to its very core; the Nine Tailed Fox had awakened. That alone was cause for immediate concern but what was even more pressing was that it was headed straight towards the village. Forward lines were set up at the direction of the new Hokage and things were as ready as they would ever be.
ANBU, however, was trying to draw the beast away from the village but all their attempts had failed. Now the entire ninja population of the village was out in force willing to give their lives to stop the onslaught.
"Well, you're luck is about as bad as Rin's I'd say." Kakashi said with a smirk. Rin, happy but annoyed, hit the Jounin with her pillow. Kakashi sighed and scratched the back of his head while the Hokage snickered. "What? Only you would have your kid on the day of a demon assault. Even worse is that you're now stuck in a field hospital because you were too stubborn to stay in the village."
"You know I can't just sit back in the village while my old teammates are fighting that thing! Even my child wanted to help so he decided to meet you all sooner, that's all," Rin responded as she stoked the little puff of blonde hair on the child's head. The Fourth leaned over the bed to get a good look at the kid.
"So...what are you going to name him? I'm guessing you and Obito at least talked about it when you first found out you were pregnant." At the mention of the fallen Uchiha, both Rin and Kakashi grew quiet and the Fourth immediately knew he screwed up. After several moments, a torrent of cries broke out from the child and Rin gently rocked him back to silence.
"Well, I thought of a family name for him. My clan didn't approve of me having the child and Obito didn't want his family involved so they don't even know." She took a moment to smile at her son. He had quieted down and was looking around the room with his bright blue eyes. "Uzumaki. I think Obito would have liked it so I decided on that as his family name." Kakashi and the Fourth looked up at the young woman who was smiling at her child with varying degrees of surprise.
"Kushina... She would be happy," the Fourth said as he looked at the small child. His late wife would have been so happy to be a godmother and someone to carry on her family's name. He was certain it would die out ever since Whirlpool was destroyed.
Rin looked over at Kakashi with solemn eyes. "Kakashi,I would like you to name him. I know Obito would have liked that." The Jounin looked shocked. He was about to protest when a ninja ran into the hospital screaming for the Hokage. Immediately Kakashi, Rin, and the Fourth looked up.
"What is it?" the blonde Hokage asked once he waved the man over.
"I-I-I-It's the Kyuubi! It's attacking faster than we thought, it will be here within the hour!" the man said.
"Damn it! It wasn't supposed to be here for another day! Jiraiya was going to be here soon to help me deal with it..." the Hokage sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. He looked over at Kakashi with stern eyes. "Kakashi, until Jiraiya gets here you'll have to help. Go to the forward lines and tell them to prepare to meet the beast. We can not let it get near Konoha!"
Kakashi nodded and started to head out of the hospital with the Yondaime but Rin caught his hand as he walked by. Be careful, Kakashi. I don't want you or sensei to die..I can't lose anyone else," Rin said, solemn.
Kakashi smiled and patted the baby on his head. "We won't. This is a good thing; I'll have time to think up a good name for the kid. Once the fighting starts, stay here and be safe," the Jounin called back as he jogged out of the large tent, following the Yondaime. Rin could hear the camp buzzing to life as hundreds of shinobi prepared to have their own meetings with destiny but right now the only thing on her mind was her son...and her family that was marching off to face the demon.
"Well, this sucks," Kakashi mused as he watched the Kyuubi simply walk through the first line of defense.
The demon had ripped into the forest surrounding the Hidden Village of the Leaf with wild abandon. Its eyes were glazed over and the killing intent rolling off of it froze the defenders until the Fourth managed to calm them down. Now, the Hokage was trying to buy some time atop one of his summoned animals.
Gamabunta was fending off the fox's tails with his massive katana and random ninja were launching hundreds of jutsu at the beast. The only attacks there were even making the beat flinch were coming from Gamabunta; most of the casualties so far were from ninja that were getting to close to the massive fox and getting crushed under-foot. Kakashi's group was somewhat lucky, they were mostly seasoned Chuunin who knew better than to throw themselves in the path of such a monster.
Suddenly, the fox got in a hit with one of its tales and sent Gamabunta flying. The massive quake that erupted from the frog hitting the ground made most of the ninja topple over in shock. Kakashi was starting to get a bad feeling when he looked over at where the fox was. Its tails were swishing in the air and the killing intent tripled, sending weaker ninja into a panic. It was glaring at a now-downed Gamabunta.
'Great, if he goes down no one will be able to stop that thing.' The Jounin sighed and pulled up his hitai-ate, it was time to get serious. Although, Kakashi wondered exactly what he was going to do against something that massive...
Back at the Hospital…
A few minutes earlier, a massive quake shook the tent that was currently housing the few wounded ninja that made it back alive. Rin, although still recovering, was helping wherever she could. Of course, there was only so much one could do you were taking care of a newborn child. The wounded were streaming in with various tales of personal horror. From what Rin could gather, things were not going well. She was working on a man with a broken leg and managed to catch something in the way of news from his shell-shocked ramblings.
"T-t-t-the last thing I saw was that demon fighting the giant frog! One of its tails hit and then the thing fell over! What the hell are we supposed to do now that the Fourth is dead?-" Rin stopped mid-treatment and looked down at the man in shock.
"No...no!"She backed away from the man and hit into another bed. The woman sitting in it winced at the shock and cursed. Slowly, Rin got a hold of herself and turned on the young woman currently cursing at her. She had purple hair and was wearing an odd half-outfit made of fishnet. In a flurry of emotion, the blonde medic looked over at her bed where her child was sleeping. "Minato-sensei...Kakashi...I can't lose anyone else!" Decision made, Rin grabbed onto the shoulders of the wounded girl to get her attention.
"Listen to me!" Rin yelled at the young girl, cutting off her protests, "That child over there, look after him for me! I'll be back after I check on some people at the front!" Before the stunned Genin could argue, the medic-nin was already sprinting out of the tent. With a sigh, the wounded teen hobbled over to the bed the baby was sleeping in, wondering just what she should do.
She felt the ground quake yet again as a deafening roar erupted from the front lines. Everyone stopped talking as they listened to the cry. Even the grouchy teen cringed. The child started to cry and her attention was back on her tiny charge. She hesitantly sat on the bed and held him with her one good arm. "Stop crying, you little monster! You don't have anything to worry about; your mom will be back soon." The girl paused as if thinking that over for a moment before continuing, "Well, if she doesn't get stomped flat first. Don't worry, until she does come back you'll have Anko-sama to look after you!"
The baby stared at her and Anko could have sworn she saw its eye twitch before it crying even louder than before.
A Few Moments Ago…
"Chidori!" Several of Kakashi's men shielded their eyes from the attack. His hand had gathered an incredible amount of pure chakra in it and the noise was deafening. Still, most of the squad looked hesitant to follow their leader into the fray.
"Listen to me," Kakashi called out, "I'm going to go distract the fox long enough for the Fourth to get Gamabunta back on his feet, understand? Stay out of my way and keep launching jutsu at him, aim for the head. Don't worry about hitting me, just focus on landing hits that will do some damage."
Not bothering to wait for a conformation, Kakashi darted forward. He tore though the ranks sending various shinobi jumping out of the way of the Chidori but his aim was focused on one thing and one thing only.
The Kyuubi loomed over a fallen Gamabunta as a tiny blonde blur started to gather a massive amount of chakra. The fox scoffed at the human; as if anything could possibly harm it. Focused as it was on the Hokage and the frog, that the beast didn't even notice the large chakra source running up it's leg until the thing was on it's back. The demon didn't pay much attention to the quick human as it attempted to swat the tiny eyesore with one of its tails.
To its shock, the fleshy thing dodged its tail as if it knew it was coming and ran along the fox's spine. Looking over its shoulder, the Kyuubi was mildly curious at the amount of chakra the human had managed to gather as it sped towards his head. A sudden shift from the front brought the fox's' attention back to the massive frog who had now returned upright. Great, just when it had gotten the amphibian on the ground. Opening its mouth, the Kyuubi started to gather a ball of chakra large enough to destroy not only the frog, but most of the surrounding forest as well. Just as it was about to fire, a sheering pain shot through its ear, causing the massive creature to shake its head violently. That damned human had punched a hole through its ear!
"Damn you, human! I'll grind your bones for that!" the beast growled as it watched the frog catch the object of its hate. Although the small hole was instantly repaired, the wound had still hurt.
Minato caught his rattled former student once the Kyuubi had tossed the poor Jounin. "Idiot, now you've got its attention on you," he sighed. The Hokage was grateful for the distraction, though.
"Well, I just happened to be in the area," the silver-haired nin said as he sat up on the massive frog's head. Gamabunta had a smirk on his face as he looked at the bijuu currently glaring in his direction.
"Well scum, you have just signed the death warrant for everyone in your pathetic village," The Kyuubi growled as it started to suck in breath for an even larger attack than before. Gamabunta immediately ran at the demon but the beast was no longer playing around; it used its tails to swat the creature away as white-hot fire erupted from it's mouth, heading straight for the mass of ninja launching weak attacks at it...
"Bring me the wounded!" Rin shouted into the decimated ranks of shinobi before her.
The new mother had just arrived at the front and was treating anyone that was wounded. She had asked where Kakashi was and was told he ran off to fight the Kyuubi directly, the idiot. Rin was about to take off after him when a man had started screaming for a medic-nin. Her inner doctor won out and she was now tending to the wounded. In the middle of trying to heal a ANBU's leg, someone tripped over her in a rush. She was about to yell at the man when she saw what he was running from. The Kyuubi was launching a massive fire attack and it was barreling towards the line. She saw Gamabunta struggling to right itself but there was just no way it could get on its feet in time. Sighing, she mearly stood to watch the massive maw of fire baring down on her rather than flee helter skelter like those around her. At the last moment, she noticed two figures clinging to the top of Gamabunta's head and smiled.
"Kakashi, Minato-sensei...I'm glad you're still alive. Please watch after my son for me...I'm going to catch up with Obito," Rin whispered to no one in particular. A look of peace was set on her face as the fire engulfed the line, instantly cremating all those caught in it.
"NO! You monster, there where hundreds down there!" Minato yelled as he watched the line of fire engulf a wide swath of the front line. Kakashi was seething beside him as he charged up another Chidori. The Fourth grabbed his shoulder and shook his head. "You'll be killed if you try that stunt again," he hissed. Kakashi couldn't remember ever seeing his Sensei this disturbed. "I have a plan, though. Go and get Rin's baby, I need him for this," he ordered with a determined expression.
Kakashi, though, looked at the Hokage as if he were insane. "Why the hell do you need him?-! I can't bring him to a battlefield!" the Jounin yelled. The look from his sensei shut him up. It was both painful and determined; the look of someone that had an ace up his sleeve. "...fine, I trust you know what you're doing," the Jounin responded as he leapt off of Gamabunta's head. Smiling at his former student, the Yondaime started doing a long string of hand seals. His frog summons shifted its eyes away from the angry demon fox for a moment and grunted. He knew those seals.
"You aren't going to use that jutsu, are you? You'll die, you know that," Gamabunta said as one of the Kyuubi's tails was fended off with its giant katana.
Minato nodded. He more than anyone knew the price of this particular fuuin. "It's the only way to win now. This beast is so powerful, even the regular jutsu won't be enough. I'm going to have to modify it," the Hokage said as he ran though the sixth seal.
"...fine. I'll hold this whelp off until you get done. It was a good fight, Minato," the massive frog said as he slashed at the fox with his sword, trying to drive it back a bit. Gamabunta frowned as the Yondaime finished the jutsu with the ninth seal.
"Fuuin Jutsu: Shiki Fuuin!"theYondaime yelled. He started to glow with a eerie light as the Kyuubi watched with disdain. A fancy light show.
"What good do you think that will do? If anything it makes me notice you more. Not exactly a subtle target,"the Kyuubi sneered. The Fourth met his gaze and said nothing. The demon narrowed his eyes as a shadowy figure appeared behind the blonde human. It's mouth hung open as he recognized the form; it was death itself. "You don't have the stones for it, mortal,"the giant fox responded. It was steadily becoming more worried, though, despite its assertion.
"Mif this life of mine can save the village, I will gladly give it up. Be sealed!" The young adult screamed as a titanic hand made of ethereal mass plowed through his chest, clutching the Kyuubi. While it tried to escape, Gamabunta managed to hold onto it while the burning soul of the bijuu was ripped from the living world.
In a cloud of smoke, the massive form of the fox lord disappeared from the battlefield, leaving an odd calm in its wake. The Fourth looked down at his stomach and the seal that was now embedded on it. Even though the beast was gone, this was only temporary. He didn't have the life force necessary to hold such a beast. Kakashi had to hurry if this was going to work...
Kakashi sprinted towards the field hospital, ignoring the cries from the few that had survived the Kyuubi's fire attack. They needed treatment but there was nothing he could possibly do about it. Passing medic-nin, he rushed into the tent and ran to the bed where Rin and her son were supposed to be. What he found was a purple-haired girl holding the crying baby and no Rin in sight.
"Where's Rin?!" Kakashi asked in a hurry. Anko shot him a glare that could silence the dead and the Jounin calmed down a little. "What are you doing, Anko? Where's that boy's mother?"
"She left him in my care, something about going to save your sorry ass. Ran off to the front and left her noisy brat with me," Anko huffed. When Kakashi fell to his knees and turned white, the Genin wondered what was wrong. "What's with you?" she asked, slightly unnerved.
"Now she's gone," Kakashi whispered to himself. He was shaking as he pushed himself off the ground. Anko was about to ask again what was going on when she noticed several drops of water hit the ground. Oddly, they were coming from his left eye. It was as if it were crying by itself. "Give me the child, Anko. The Yondaime ordered me to get him." Anko looked down at the sleeping boy. So, his family was gone now as well. She rubbed his face before handing the baby over to the copy-nin.
"Don't let anything happen to him, you got that Kakashi?" Anko demanded as Kakashi walked away. The Jounin stopped and turned back to the woman with a look that gave even her pause. It was the most fierce look of determination she had ever seen.
"Nothing will happen to this child while I draw breath," Kakashi stated as he ran off into the burning battlefield.
For a moment, Anko looked after him before laying back on the bed in a huff. "You better hope nothing happens to him, Kakashi. He's a cute little brat," she said as she rested her eyes.
"How are you doing, Minato?" the giant frog, Gamabunta, asked his summoner. The Hokage was lying on the ground with a high fever. He knew his time was almost up.
"Heh, pretty good considering I have a demon running loose inside my head," Minato responded, "You should hear some of the stuff he's saying about you."
"Worthless being, I'll crush you and your village to dust! The frog clan too will not escape my wrath!"a booming voice called out from the dark recesses of the young man's mind.
"I would like to see you try. Somehow I don't think you'll be around too much longer."
The demon seemed to calm itself a bit at that. Minato could feel something akin to smugness coming from the creature. "I am a greater demon, you scum. My soul is what gives me my power once you die I'll break your weak seal and devour your precious city."
The young Hokage was now a bit worried. He knew the jutsu wasn't 100 fool-proof, but that is what the revision was for. For it to work, he would need a newborn baby. Something with an astounding life force to contain this demon and slowly sap its power. Finally, Minato's tension drained away as he saw the familiar shape of Kakashi run over to where he was lying. What was better is that he was holding the savior of Konoha in his arms.
"Minato-sensei! I've brought the child as you commanded." Kakashi held the boy out to the blonde man but became nervous and started looking around. "Where is the Kyuubi? Did you kill it?"
Yondaime coughed up some blood and rubbed the babies head, waking him up. His crying caught Gamabunta's attention and the massive beast leaned down to look at him. "You could say I killed the Kyuubi. It is sealed at the moment, but this child is the key to Konoha's survival. My chakra is low, though. Lend me a soldier pill so I can live long enough to do this thing."
Kakashi eyed his sensei but nonetheless handed him a red pill from his pouch. After taking it, the Hokage sat up and held the child. Biting his thumb, he began to draw runes on the boy's stomach while giving out instructions. "Kakashi...I don't have much time to explain this. The Kyuubi is not completely destroyed. I have to make a stronger seal to keep him under control until he fully dies. I myself am but a shuttle. If I die now, the Kyuubi will be restored and everyone dies. I have to seal him in something full of life energy, something young, so that he will merge with his vessel." Kakashi's eyes grew wide as the Fourth finished the runes. "This child…is a hero. He will play the part of the demon's jailer. Let the people know of the sacrifice of this boy and tell all of this to Rin, alright?"
"...of course," Kakashi lied. It was obvious that his sensei was on his last leg and any stress would just kill him faster. Yondaime smiled and started doing hand seals. A few hundred seals later, the spiral on his stomach started to glow red hot. A roar of wind swept over the battlefield as a chakra storm erupted from the Hokage. A killing intent far greater than anything Kakashi had ever seen froze him in place as a stream of red lanced from his teacher to his nephew. It was blinding.
"You human scum! One day I'll be free of this seal and you will die. I am immortal, I am power incarnate! You will never be rid of me!" the demon howled as it was being ripped from the Yondamie's body. Inside, as the cage for his prison was being built, something else stirred...something that helped the process along by binding the Kyuubi's chakra as it came in. Once the entire essence was moved, the force left, leaving nothing but an empty shell of a prison and prisoner in its wake...
Unknowing of the events transpiring inside, Minato smiled and tumbled over, completely spent. Kakashi scooped up the child and wrapped him back up after eying the new spiral seal on the boys' stomach. Amazingly, it was a multi-part elephant seal. So very complex for the amount of time spent on it. Kakashi leaned down and felt for a pulse on his fallen teacher. As he had expected, there was none.
Above him, Gamabunta sighed. "And so goes the strongest ninja in this world," the massive frog mused as he sheathed his sword. He was about to leave for his own dimension to rest, but decided to ask a question before leaving. "What is that whelp's name? I think I want to remember it." Kakashi looked into the boys' blue eyes and smiled. Rin decided on the family name, so Obito would have picked this one. Something simple...yet powerful.
"His name is Uzumaki...Naruto and he comes from a strong line of proud shinobi..."