DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THE IDEAS OR CHARACTERS FROM NARUTO
(A/N): Hey, everyone! Thanks for reading… This idea has been bugging me for a long time, so I decided, hey, why not give it a shot…
I am an amateur writer, so please bear with me and I apologize for any grammar or spelling mistakes I make.
On another note, CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM is welcome. Please, do not be cruel without giving a reason and at least have the decency to tell me what I did wrong & how to fix it.
SUMMARY: Extreme AU. The problem with being three different people all at the same time is that there are too many people you have to lie to. I should know, after all, I was Uchiha Obito, I became Namikaze Yuichi, and now, I'm Uzumaki Naruto…
"Memories of what other people said"
"SENSEI!" a young boy screamed as he zoomed over a bridge towards training ground 7, "sorry I'm late… You see, when my alarm clock rang, I woke up and threw a kunai at it, so I had to buy a new one before I forgot. On my way to the store, I bumped into my baby cousin, who wanted to play. I told him I couldn't, but he kept bugging me and trying to drag me to his house. Anyway, after I got away from him, I went to buy a clock, but they didn't have any! And then-" the boy explained, panting as he brushed aside his messy black hair.
"Obito, shut up so we can start, stupid Uchiha." a silver haired boy muttered, glaring at his shorter comrade.
"What was that, Kakashi-teme?!" Obito yelled, shaking his fist at the other genin.
"Obito, don't." A petite, girl exclaimed, trying to hold back her enthusiastic team mate.
"But Rin-chan, the teme started it!" the Uchiha whined.
"Boys, knock it off." a tall blonde man ordered with an exasperated sigh, "and Obito, next time wait until after our meeting to buy your clock. A ninja shouldn't be late for their meetings unless there is an exceptionally good excuse, understood?"
"Hai, Minato-sensei." Obito nodded, a sheepish grin adorning his pale face, "so, what are we doing today? Are there any good missions?"
"Well," Minato began, "First of all, there is a bridge we need to destroy to cut off one of the trading routes between Iwa and Kusa. Once we finish that mission, Sandaime has requested my help in dealing with the peace treaty with Kusa. I'm going as a representative of Konoha to negotiate the terms. If you guys promise to be polite and well behaved, I'll take you along. It'll be good for you to learn how to handle foreign relations and diplomacy."
"Really?! Awesome!" Obito celebrated jumping and dancing about.
"Baka!" Kakashi hit him before turning to his teacher, "Sensei, when do we set out?"
Quirking an eyebrow at the boys' antics, Minato chuckled a little, then answered, "Three days from now. Make sure you pack all of your things. It's going to be at least two weeks travel on top of the time it takes to destroy the bridge. We leave at day-break, so don't be late." he finished, giving a pointed look at Obito, who cringed, "Alright, you're dismissed."
After saying good-bye to his team-mates, Obito rushed off into the village, weaving in and out of the bustling crowds of Konoha's market place, and finally disappearing into the distance.
It was late. The sun, in all its blazing glory, had long since fallen behind the majestic form of the Hokage Mountain. With passing of twilight, the energetic chirps of the cicadas had vanished into a serene quietness, disturbed only by the soft rustling caused by the wind as it danced through the forest of leaves. High above, partially hidden by light gray clouds, a pale sliver of light, the cresent moon, illuminated the dark training grounds below.
"Baby cousin, I see you came." A soft voice floated across the grounds, "You shouldn't have. You know I'll get in trouble once your parents realize you're missing."
"Obito-Nii, I left a kage-bushin." A small child replied calmly as he stepped out from behind the trees, "Besides, I'm the one who snuck out. They can not blame you for my actions. It would illogical."
"Perhaps," the older boy answered skeptically, "But I am the reason you're sneaking out, Itachi."
"I wouldn't be sneaking out if you hadn't been kicked out of the compound." the younger boy retorted.
"Ah, well I suppose that is my fault," Obito sighed.
"That isn't true," Itachi stated firmly, almost vehemently, "they had no right to throw you out like that!"
"Itachi," Obito began softly, before being cut off.
"I've heard them, all of the whispering. They call you a disgrace to the clan as a full-blooded Uchiha who hasn't awakened the sharingan at your age." Itachi spat, "But that's not true. You've already gotten the sharingan and with three tomoe too! Why can't you just show it to them?!"
"We've been over this before," Obito sighed, "I will not become just another tool for them to throw away once my usefulness has run out. If anything, I want to accepted by them simply for being myself, sharingan or no. Besides, I don't even want to think of what they'll do to me if they ever find out about the Mangekyo…"
"I," Itachi hesitated, "You're right. To be a nothing more than a tool is a cruel fate. That's all they see in me. Still, you don't deserve to be treated so poorly."
"Maybe…" Obito conceded, "But I'm content with my life now, despite being on my own. Although, you have a point. A person shouldn't be shunned by their own blood simply because they aren't good at something everyone else is. Tell me, Itachi, do you remember what I told you about family?"
Nodding, the younger boy answered, "Unconditional love and acceptance. That's what holds a true family together and gives the individual members strength."
"and this strength that you speak of?" Obito asked, smiling. My beloved baby cousin… You're the only one that sees me as I am…
"It is the great power that surfaces when you protect your loved ones." Itachi answered, a tiny smile of his own adorning his normally blank face as he notes sheer pride radiating off of his older cousin.
"Excellent. So, what would you like to learn tonight?" Obito inquired, "Kage-bushin is the only high level jutsu you've really learned. But that's a pretty big accomplishment, especially for a five year old, although I bet it's a real drain on your chakra supply."
"It is," Itachi agreed, "but I still have about three eighths of my chakra left."
"Hmm… three eighths," The older boy contemplated, "Well, Uncle Fugaku will probably teach you the Kanton jutsus, so I'm not too concerned with those, although I've noticed are clan's techniques are pretty much limited to those… Ah! Would you like to learn the Kirigakure no Jutsu?"
"What does it do?" Itachi asked curiously.
"Well, the Kirigakure no Jutsu will envelope your surroundings with a thick mist that works to inhibit your opponent's sight, making them easier to take out. You can control the density of the mist. I learned it off a scroll I bought from a merchant in a village on the outskirts of Wave. It's pretty easy once you've picked up the concept." Obito said, launching into an animated explanation, "We should probably start near a source of water. Once you get the hang of it, we can probably try learning to do it without any water in the area. There's a stream near by. We can practice over there."
"Alright. But how would I be able to do the jutsu without a water source?" Itachi wondered.
"I'll explain that to you after you're able to pull it off quickly and efficiently while near water." Obito answered, "Oh, and Itachi?"
"Hn?" The younger boy grunted as the pair made their way towards the stream.
"I'm leaving for a mission to Grass-country in about three days." Obito stated.
"How long will you be gone?" Itachi asked.
"It's two weeks of travel to get there and probably another two weeks back, considering the war's almost finished and things are pretty tense between Konoha and Iwa. Our mission's just to wrap things up by signing a peace treaty with Kusa to force Iwa into a cease-fire. I probably won't be back until the end of the month at earliest." Obito replied.
"I see," Itachi frowned, "Don't die."
"I won't," Obito promised before changing the subject, "By the way, why were you so eager to play earlier?"
"I was bored," came Itachi's light, seemingly careless answer.
"You made me late for the meeting with Sensei… Again." Obito dead-panned before muttering, "Kami-sama, it happens every time I have some sort of meeting. I swear, it's like you have some sort of extra sense for those things or something…"
"Gomen nasai," Itachi murmured, cutting off is irritated cousin's rant, "Demo, Mother was ill again and everyone was busy."
"Aunt Mikoto is still sick? Did they find out what's wrong?" Obito asked.
"Father said that mother is pregnant and that when she's done, I will have a little brother." Itachi stated blandly.
"Wow, congratulations." Obito remarked, "Sensei's wife, Kushina-san, is pregnant too. She's due sometime in October. Hopefully everything will be settled down by the time both of the babies are born."
"We're here." Itachi pointed out.
"Alright, let's get started." Obito laughed enthusiastically, "The hand seals are…"
"Obito, I'm sorry…" Kakashi choked and turned away, unable to handle the site of his dying friend, lying crushed under the boulders in a pool of his own blood, some of which had seeped out of his now empty eye-socket.
"Not…Your fault…" the Uchiha scolded, a grimace adorning his blood stained face, "Please, before you go… promise…"
"Yes?" Kakashi asked solemnly.
"M-my baby… cousin… t-take care… of him… for me." Obito pleaded as his remaining eye began to droop, his sight spinning, blurring. Itachi… I'm sorry…
"I swear to." Kakashi pledged, "on my life and honor."
"Thank you…" Obito sighed, offering his friend a sad, bitter-sweet smile, before fading into oblivion, "Good-bye…"
"Well, well, well," a gruff voice broke through the cacophony of the falling rocks and debris of the surrounding cave, "If it isn't the little leaf-bastards who wiped out our second and third squads."
Whipping around, Kakashi came face to face with what appeared to be the leader of the newest wave of Iwa-nin.
"Ah, so that pitiful little Uchiha brat is dead? Hehe, it figures, that weakling wasn't much of a shinobi." The large, bulky man mocked the stunned ninja, his face breaking into a malicious sneer, "Still, the guys back home will just love slicing him up for that Sharingan of his... Pity, a couple of years and he'd have made a damn good whore, although the girl will do…"
"YOU BASTARD!" Kakashi screamed as he shook himself out of shock and rushed forward, new sharingan spinning wildly as he brought his Chidori to the enemy's chest, sending the man flying across the cave and into the stone wall with a reverberating crash.
Suddenly, more rocks fell as the surrounding walls cracked. The cavern was caving in.
"Kakashi! We have to get out of here!" Rin screamed.
Rushing out of the cave, Kakashi glanced back over his shoulder, taking a final look at Obito, who lay there, smiling peacefully as the slate boulders of the Grass country cavern entombed him. The broken, bloody image of his best friend would be forever burned into his mind, haunting the silver haired man for the rest of eternity.
The sky above Konoha was shadowed by thick, ash gray clouds. Flashes of lightning corresponded with the rumbling thunder on this cold, miserable day. Rain poured, drenching the few people running for shelter and flooding the fields, a testament to the unusual weather.
In the center of a deserted training ground, near the very place he had learned to use Kirigakure no Jutsu, sat Uchiha Itachi, staring off into the distance, unheeding of the biting cold and his soaked clothes.
"Good riddance!" Aunts…
" It's about time shameful brat died." Uncles…
"Idiot had it coming."
"It figures, the poor bastard was too weak to hold his own…"
"Well, at least he was entertaining while he was around…" Cousins…
"Don't do this to yourself, Itachi. Obito-san's not worth it." Shisui…
The young boy brought his knees closer to his chest, clenching the wet fabric of his pants.
Mother, how could you allow the others to dishonor him so? How could you say nothing as they cut him down? Obito deserved so much better…
"It doesn't matter. That child was a disgrace to the clan. The boy's better off dead. Forget about him, Itachi." Father, how could you say such a terrible thing?
They had scorned and belittled Obito when he was alive… and now… Does no one in this God forsaken clan have any respect for the dead? To dishonor his memory in such a way… Even denying him a funeral… They've hurt him so much… My greatest teacher… My best friend… My beloved cousin…
They'll pay! When I'm stronger, I will kill them… I promise… I will make them repent for their crimes against you.
Closing his eyes, Itachi recalled one of his earliest memories of Obito.
"Can you see me?" The older boy asked.
"Yes, I'm not blind and you're not hiding. Why wouldn't I be able to see you" An even smaller Itachi questioned.
"That's not what I meant, dear cousin." Obito smiled serenely, a hint of sadness seeping through his expression.
"What do you mean?" Itachi asked, confused.
"Can you see me as I am?" The other boy asked again earnestly, "Not as the Uchiha disgrace, the idiot, the loudmouth, or the orphan child, but as me… Obito."
Blinking, Itachi stared at his cousin, puzzled, "I don't understand."
"That's alright," Obito comforted with a soft sigh, "Someday, you'll get it."
"Obito-nii," Itachi whispered, gazing up into the now lightly drizzling rain, "I understand…"
I looked past your mask, past the person you pretended to be, and saw who you truly are… My most precious, beloved cousin…
I died… right? Then… Where am I? Obito slowly opened his eyes. Looking around, he found himself surrounded by darkness. No pain? Looks like all of my injuries are gone… Still, no help, considering my condition…
"Mortal," a deep, chilling voice resonated from beyond the curtain of darkness, "You were not meant to die."
"W-who are you? And what do you mean I wasn't meant to die?!" Obito exclaimed.
"I believe the ningen call me Shinigami. As to your second question, by all calculations, you either hated your team-mate and would have been glad he had died or were indifferent and didn't care. Of course, those calculations were wrong, seeing as they were done by the newest and most inexperienced of my many assistants." the voice explained, "however, since your actions were courageous and more importantly you seem to have one of the purest ningen souls I've seen in the shinobi world in the pass few decades, there might be a way to salvage the situation."
"How?" Obito asked curiously.
"There is an uninhabited ningen vessel growing in the womb of your sensei's wife." Shinigami began.
"What do you mean uninhabited vessel?" Obito screeched in alarm.
"It has no soul, and with out one, the child will be stillborn." Shinigami replied.
"W-what?!" Obito stammered, "B-but Minato-sensei was looking forward to…"
"Your soul can be transferred into the vessel and you can be reborn as that man's son." the spirit continued.
"Really? But, how does this work? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one whose ever been in this situation before." Obito stated..
"You are. Although others of pure soul had been killed when they weren't supposed to, they were simply reincarnated immediately after their death in lieu of waiting the usual decades between lives." the disembodied voice stated.
"EH?!" the dead boy cried, "Then why am I so special?"
"Do you remember that dying fox you found in the forest of death? The one you nursed back to full health and released into a safer area?" Shinigami inquired.
"Yes, but what does that have to do with anything?" Obito asked.
"That fox, was in truth a great spirit Akihiko, Lord and Progenitor of the Eastern Kitsune Clan, in disguise. After saving it and showing great compassion, the nine-tailed spirit gave you its blessings. That was another major factor in the decision to give you another chance, for you are the first, and only mortal to have ever received so great a gift." the death god explained.
"So I'll be reincarnated, then?" Obito wondered.
"No, mortal child." Shinigami answered, "reincarnation is the complete renewal of the soul, in which all past memories and experiences are erased, never to be remembered again. Such purging will cleanse the soul, allowing it a fresh start. The more corrupted the soul, the longer the reincarnation takes and the longer the reincarnation takes, the lower the form of the soul's vessel."
"Then, if it's not reincarnation, what is it?" Obito asked.
"You will be reborn, allowed to retain your memories and past experiences, despite the new body, although since you are an unusual case, there will be side affects." The death god immediately replied.
"Side affects?" Obito inquired, his eyes narrowing, "Please explain Shinigami-sama."
"Considering that your past experiences will be kept with you, it will give you several… odd… abilities. One of which will include shifting into your previous form, which will still be in tact, including your kekkei-genkai.." the spirit answered.
"So, I can turn my body into that of my dead self's?" Obito attempted to clarify.
"Yes, it is possible because of Akihiko's blessing. You must remember that the kitsune are masters of illusions and transformation, both skills complimenting their cunning nature. It will take at least two years for you to gain control of this ability." Shinigami stated.
Obito nodded thoughtfully, "So I can shapeshift?"
"That depends on the nature of the blessing. You may need to consult Akihiko-san, should you ever see him again." The death god responded before continuing, "Akihiko's blessing has also granted you an extended life span, more than triple that of the average ningen, accelerated healing, which is not a surprise considering that the specialty of Akihiko's kitsune clan is healing, and the potential to gain thrice the normal amount of chakra held by the kage of your realm, which is probably due to the immense spiritual power of the kitsune. With the healing, chakra potential, and extended life span, you will age at an exceptionally slow rate."
"Slow? How slow?" Obito asked with dread.
"By the time you turn eighteen, you would look like a twelve year old at most and only if you are in excellent physical condition. By your late forties until your early sixties, you would pass for a twenty-five year old, again that is given your physical condition. Once you reach your eighties, you should look around thirty. Should your physical condition be insufficient, then you may appear even smaller and younger." Shinigami supplied.
"Woah… Is there anything else I should know about?" Obito murmured.
"Not at the moment. It will be at least another seven months or so until the child will be born. Until then, you are free to do as you wish…" the voice said as it faded away.
"Great…. What's a dead person supposed to do for seven months?" Obito sighed, gazing at the empty void around him…
(A/N): So, what did you think? I've been tinkering with this idea for a while, but I haven't found the time to write it until recently. However, I must unfortunately inform you that this fic will take a long time to get done, considering the amount of work I have to deal with in real life, so please be patient.
On another note, I must also tell you that I'm a complete amateur when it comes to writing, so if you spot any errors in spelling, grammar, or anything else, please feel free to inform me. Also, ideas for where to take the story would be great…
Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed. Your input is greatly appreciated!