Nobody'll realise that I rewrote this chapter. I guess. It's not too much of a change. Just a bit of fixing up here and there and, you know. *whistles innocently* I hope that people would still like this. I tried to make it flow better, removing a lot of the Japanese words that were used like the Hokage generation titles and the jutsu name and well "Sandaime-jiji." I kept sensei though because I like the sound of that word. (
I slumped down against a tree, sighing tiredly. I could taste the rich metallic taste of my blood in my mouth. My right hand was placed over the left side of my abdomen, trying to hold back the blood that was trickling out from the poisoned wound. I willed it to heal... knowing, deep down, that it was impossible since I had used up all my chakra and a large portion of Kyuubi's during the battle. Even if I managed to survive from this wound, my life as a shinobi was as good as gone.
My left arm was dead and would never function ever again, even if Kyuubi assisted in the healing. My right eye was fuzzy or maybe it was my eyesight in general. I couldn't really tell at this point.
I sighed, looking up at the blue sky, wincing at the pain caused by the slight movement of my body. At the very least, my sacrifice was worth it. Orochimaru was dead after thirteen long years of war against the Sound. Sasuke had been saved a long time ago and now lived with Sakura and their two brunette sons and one pink haired daughter. They were both happy now and that was all I had ever hoped for the both of them. He had finally managed to live life for himself once the truth was revealed to him about the Uchiha Massacre and she had managed to get out of fangirl mode and become a decent mother.
A small smile formed on my face as I felt blood trickle down from the side of my lips. I had kept my promises; to Sakura, to Konoha and to myself. Everyone I cared for was now safe and Orochimaru would never be able to sink his fangs into Konoha ever again. Akatsuki would no longer be a problem for the Leaf if I were to take Kyuubi with me to the next world.
As the Sixth Hokage and sole legacy of my father, the Fourth, I was proud to sacrifice my life for my village and its people.
But... tears slid down my cheeks as I thought of the people I didn't want to leave behind. I had readied myself for this. I had always told myself that it was going to be worth sacrificing myself for Konoha and my friends. There was sweet Hinata, the love of my life, and I would never be able to see her again. The tears would not stop flowing and I wanted to sob but I didn't have the strength to. I had no will to stop the tears. I was grieving over the things I was going to lose in a matter of seconds.
"You're safe now," I whispered into the air as my strength faded. A bitter smile formed on my face as I felt myself slip away. My wish was going to be fulfilled. I remembered that I once told Kakashi-sensei that I wanted my name upon that memorial stone.
"Put me beside my father, sensei."
Now, it was really going to happen. My eyes slid close as I welcomed the darkness that I was falling into. It consumed me and I embraced it. My consciousness was fading but the last thing I heard was...
I don't want to die yet. Not now, not yet.
When I opened my eyes, I was surprised to find myself staring at a white ceiling. I blinked a few times until my vision had focused better and saw white curtains flapping with the wind when I turned my head to the right. I breathed out tiredly when I saw that everything was as white as fresh snow.
"Is this... heaven?" I asked myself, "Or is it hell in disguise?"
A familiar voice answered my question from the back of my head.
It's Konohagakure, kit.
I closed my eyes and let my consciousness sink into Kyuubi's domain within my subconscious. I grabbed the bars of Kyuubi's massive cage, hissing, "What do you mean Konohagakure,Kyuubi?"
"You know, Konoha. Ruled by a Hokage. Ninja village of the Fire," replied Kyuubi nonchalantly. I could hear his tails swishing impatiently within the boundaries of the cage.
"That's impossible you dumb fox!" I exclaimed, "I was dying! I don't think I need to spell that out for you but I was D-Y-I-N-G!"
A low snarl escaped the Kyuubi as he tried to jam his snout between the bars. He bared his teeth angrily at me.
"Well, you and I both know that you didn't want to die!" growled the fox.
"But what did you do?" I snapped back.
The fox huffed and once again I could hear his tails swishing about as he said, "Simple. We're in the past. Your body then was dying but this body isn't." He explained it with an air that made me feel stupid and little. Something I haven't felt in a while. Not many people made the Hokage feel stupid, I supposed.
"What?" I asked, rather dumbly.
"You're about five I imagine," said Kyuubi. I could imagine that if he was in his human form, he'd be glancing at his nails nonchalantly as if even they were more important (or smarter) than I was at this moment.
I looked down and saw my usual jounin vest over my long sleeved black shirt and the fishnet undershirt, which I often wore with the standard long black pants. My hair came down to about my shoulders, a little spiky at the top but smooth and silky as it came around my ears. I was pretty sure that I looked like I did since I turned nineteen.
"I don't look five," I stated. The fox sighed tiredly and muttered something under his breath, which went along the lines of, "Stupid Human. I don't recall bringing your mind twenty years back." He stretched a little, his back arching as his tails curled around his feet before he kicked me out from my own subconscious.
I found myself in the white room again when I opened my eyes.
It must be the hospital... I deduced this time around. That was probably why it looked familiar. I used to walk in and out of the hospital all the time during the Third and Tsunade's reign. Then, I saw the Third. His features were creased with worry as his eyes shone with hints of unshed tears.
The Kyuubi must be right. The old man was still alive. Tears formed in my eyes as I realised how much I had missed him over the years.
"Are you alright Naruto?" asked the old man. His voice was as kind as I remembered it to be and it evoked memories that I had struggled to bury. His death, his funeral, Konohamaru crying as the rain fell on us.
I looked up at him, blinking away the tears. I opened my mouth to reply but the words wouldn't form themselves. I frowned as I tried to say something but I couldn't and the frown was mirrored on the old man's face.
"What's wrong?" he asked and I shook my head before pointing at my throat. The words wouldn't form.
Was there something wrong with my throat? Had someone tried to poison me? Why was I in the hospital? All these questions ran through my mind as the Third called for the nurse.
A brown haired woman scurried in and the old man questioned her. She glanced at me briefly and a look of distaste distorted her pretty face. My frown deepened as I thought of all the prejudice and hatred I had to go through all over again. I sighed mentally as I drifted off to speak to the fox once again.
"Kyuubi," I said, shortly, turning away when I noticed that he was licking himself clean.
His tail swished angrily as he gave himself a final lick before he turned to face me. "Yes Rokudaime-sama?" mocked Kyuubi impatiently.
"Shut up," I hissed.
"If I do shut up, how can I answer your question o' smart one?" replied the fox. I glared at him.
"Fine, fine. You're no fun. Anyways, when I did that little trick to bring us to this time, I had to transfer your consciousness into this kid. Understand? It's really not too hard. So, somehow or rather, this will change a teeny weeny fraction of your past so that this body could 'fall asleep' and I can move you in without a hassle," explained Kyuubi with a tone that said, "Well, duh. Obviously."
"And?" I asked, tapping my foot on the ground.
"Well, the kid, or you, tripped and fell on your head, effectively knocking himself out while stunning a part of your brain that disabled your speech. It's only momentary. I can feel it healing already," said Kyuubi. "Only you would really trip on flat ground and hit your head on a rock like that." The fox laughed. He was as easily amused as ever.
"Can't you fix it faster?" I asked, annoyed.
"Well, can't you be POLITE?" growled Kyuubi.
I grumbled before I said, grudgingly, "Can you fix it please?"
"That's better kit. I'll help speed along the healing process. You'll probably be able to speak within hours," he replied before he kicked me out with a, "Now get out and get used to being puny!" I could hear him cackling as I woke up again. I sighed before I focused on the old man who had been sitting there the whole time, watching my sleeping body.
"The doctors said that it'll heal Naruto," he said and I nodded, smiling brightly despite sighing on the inside. I felt so guilty.
I wanted to tell him but I knew that I couldn't. Nobody would believe me. It was unreal. If I told him, he probably laugh and say, "Naruto, you have such an active imagination." with a fond smile. I frowned mentally before I looked up at the old man, gesturing wildly for a pen and a notebook. It took him a while to understand but eventually he did.
When he brought it back, I took them eagerly and started to write. I was careful to write using the slang I used as a child.
'Old man! Can I leave now?' I wrote. He pondered for a moment before he hesitantly nodded his approval. I smiled and bounded out from the bed. I opened the cupboard and dug out the hated orange jumpsuit. I maintained my smile as I walked to the bathroom, cursing the orange abomination mentally. I then closed the bathroom door and walked towards the mirror.
I stood on the stool and stared at my reflection. I really was five years old. My hair was like a spiky neon sign but the colour never really did change that much even as I grew older. It was from my father, I had learnt. The whisker marks, which I had eventually grown out of were back in full force and I rubbed dismally at my cheeks, willing them to come off. I knew that they made me look unique and different but in the world of shinobi, standing out wasn't something ninja did. I didn't want to be a fool again. I had grown up but I was going to have to act like the fool I once was.
I'd have to pretend to be unable to control my chakra properly thanks to a certain annoying demon and tests that were, I quote, 'too troublesome'.
The fox huffed indignantly at the back of my head and I replied with a, "Yeah. Whatever Kyuubi."
I slipped off the hospital garments and threw them into the laundry basket before I donned the disgusting orange jumpsuit. I very much preferred the suit I wore during my training with Jiraiya but then again, beggars can't be choosers.
The old man held my hand and walked me all the way back to my apartment. My small, dirty apartment which I would be calling home once again. It was really a downgrade after getting used to living at the Namikaze mansion and sleeping overnight at the Hyuuga's. I sighed and sat on the floor, rolling around on the dusty tiles. It was as bare as I remembered it to. Plus, there was no way that I'd be able to afford new furniture at this point in time. I was also pretty sure that the Third would never allow me to go to the Namikaze mansion now. "Not yet," he'd say, "Naruto is too young for the truth."
My father's mansion had been heaven on earth. I sighed yet again as I stood up, dusted my clothes and walked towards the drawers in my room. According to my memory, I used to keep a small envelope under a dusty old book in the third drawer. This was the money I saved up from the monthly allowance I got from the Third. I counted it. It was enough for either clothes or a good grocery shopping. It wasn't that I hated ramen. It was just that I preferred other things over it, like Udon which was more costly but old man Teneuchi and Ayame at the ramen place were nice so it'd be alright, right?
I pondered for a moment. "To go out or not to go out? Hmm."
It took about three seconds before I decided to go out. I could train myself after shopping, to test the capacities of my body.
"Hell's Technique: Demonic Transformation," I said in my head as I formed the seals. I transformed into my twenty five-year-old form except I was wearing civilian clothes to not attract attention. I stretched, trying to remove the kinks in my muscle as I thought to myself that I loved this technique. Its basic ideas were like the elementary transformation technique but this particular technique actually altered your body structure. It was quite painful the first time but afterwards, one just got used to it. The added bonus of this technique was that it could not be uncovered by any of Konoha's bloodlines like the Sharingan and Byakugan.
I rolled my shoulders, trying to adjust before I did a few simple stretching exercises. I then tried to talk but the words didn't come out so I was guessing that Kyuubi wasn't done yet.
I closed my eyes and made the seals for the teleportation jutsu, teleporting myself to Training Area 7. A small smile appeared on my lips as I found myself at the familiar training grounds. My eyes fell upon the three stumps and I remembered our test with Kakashi-sensei. It felt so long ago. I walked towards the stumps and rested my hand on the middle stump where I was tied up. Back then, I had been so happy when Sakura and Sasuke offered me food and then so scared when Kakashi appeared, huge and ghostly.
Yet, they were simply fond memories of yesterdays that I could never return to. A part of me laughed bitterly. I missed them: Sakura my first love and Sasuke my first friend. I went through so much because of them but I still loved them. I even missed their pink haired daughter that was too stoic for her own good.
Suddenly, I felt a presence behind me and I peeled off a small splinter of wood before flicking it in the direction of the one who had intruded my personal space. The bushses shook a little before a shadow came leaping out. He had bits of branches stuck in his silver hair, wore a Konoha headband that covered his left eye and a mask that covered his nose and mouth. It was none other than my teacher whom I had been thinking of, Hatake Kakashi, the Copy ninja of Konoha.
"Minato-sensei?" questioned Kakashi before he ran towards me. I prepared myself to counter any attack that he would possibly launch against me but what happened next was the least of my expectations and was, in fact, very new.
"Man, this feels so wrong," I thought as Kakashi glomped me. I paused. "Wait. Did he just call me Minato?"
I chuckled mentally before Kyuubi popped in as a miniature fox in my thoughts.
I'm done kit. You owe me big time. The fox's tails curled around its body before it disappeared.
"Minato?" I asked, amused. "You mean the Fourth Hokage?"
Kakashi released me and started studying me before he uncharacteristically blushed and apologised.
"I'm very sorry. I had thought that you were my teacher," he said as he scratched the back of his head in a sheepish manner.
"Namikaze Minato was your former sensei?" I asked, sounding impressed. I smirked a little before I said, "How about a battle? I'll tell you things you didn't know about him if you win."
Kakashi didn't look too impressed by a challenge from a civilian. Later, he would realise his mistake.