Breaking the boundaries

Here is a little idea after reading some Bleach and I decided to incorporate bits of it into the Naruto universe. While it does use some of clichéd parts of the two fandom's, I hope to make a semi original alternative universe out of it. If not, then I hope for an enjoyable story nonetheless.

Many thanks to Juopunumies and his editing skills. In his words, I hope this acknowledgement is a "dream come true" and makes him "happey"

Filthy lies… -Juopunumies

Dialogue normal/external speech
Dialogue inner thoughts
Dialogue Kyuubi speaking aloud
Dialogue Kyuubi thinking/musing

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Bleach. They still remain the intellectual property of their owners. Which is not me. Sadly

Chapter started: 08Jan08
Chapter edited: 23Mar08
Chapter revisited: 26Oct08

Chapter One

As for all things, there are beginnings, which are sometimes known as prologues. This is one of them.

Namikaze Minato expected a few things when he summoned the Shinigami into the mortal realm. Something on the lines of a large, skeletal monster, possibly with some sort of knife or scythe. Definitely a scythe. But he most certainly didn't expect a blonde skinny man in a bucket hat with a cane by his side.

Did I make a mistake? Double checking his seal array, he desperately tried to see if there was anything wrong with the summoning he had just performed.

Meanwhile, the other blond man looked around himself with a semi amused and dazed expression. Here I was working on a new gigai, and I get sucked into this place. Where the hell am I? This doesn't seem to be Earth, or any place like it. And what the hell is that?

The thing in question was a giant red fox with nine tails. Narrowing his eyes, he released some reiatsu to try and identify what it actually was.

Odd, it is emitting an energy that I have never seen before. It's powerful, and seems to be like reiatsu, except not. Yet it seems oddly like a hollow's cero. I wonder …

The Yondaime, after some muttering, scribbling and staring at the other blonde, decided to speak. "This might be a stupid question and all, but are you the Shinigami by any chance?" he asked hopefully.

The other turned around to him and said, "Of course not, I'm just a handsome and perverted scientist," where a fan popped into his hand and was raised to cover his mouth.

Minato sweatdropped. Scientist? He thought with a puzzled expression.

Seeing that his audience was slightly confused, and noticing the rather decidedly low levels of technology in the surrounding areas, he decided to be slightly more serious. "Relax, to answer your question, yes, I am a shinigami. My name is Urahara. Urahara Kisuke. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that you're the one that summoned me here, ne?"

"Well, I tried to summon something to help me seal that," he pointed to the rampaging Kyuubi, "into my son," he pointed to a cute infant lying on his back, blissfully unaware of what was going on.

"Well, questions about your parenting aside, why can't you just defeat it, or drive it off?" asked a genuinely curious Kisuke.

"Trust me, I would if it was anything other than a damned elemental beast where one strike of its tail can cause tsunamis!" replied a rather indignant Hokage.

Kisuke looked at the fox with more respect now. Sure it was large and intimidating, but so were many other hollows, much like Gillians. It was in his experience that the most deadly things were those that resembled humans. Intelligence was a wonderful and terrible thing, in equal measures.

"So, what do you expect me to do about it? I'm not sure I can seal …" Before he could finish that question, the bijuu finally took notice of them. Then again, when you are riding on top of a massive toad summon, its hard not to attract attention. It tried to take a swing at both of them, bellowing as it did.

Gamabunta jumped away, drawing its tanto to defend itself. It was getting increasingly nervous. It took the Yondaime a good half an hour to prepare the summons before he rode off to confront the nine tailed fox. As things were not turning out as well as planned, they were out in the open and presenting a lovely target. Things were not looking good.

"I hate to rain on your last parade gaki, but if you don't do something soon, you're not going to be my underling anymore. I know I'm good, but really…"

"I'm trying dammit, well Urahara-san, is there anything that you can do to help us? Konoha will be ever thankful for your assistance."

Normally Kisuke was a laid back kind of person that wouldn't really interfere in such things. Hell, it wasn't really a hollow per se, and he had no obligation or duty to send its soul. It was doubtful to whether it had a soul in any event. But seeing the desperate shinobi beneath him fighting and dying to delay the great beast, and the frantic and determined look that Minato was giving him, he was not indifferent to the situation and his suffering.

And hell, he wasn't the taichou for the twelfth division for nothing. He loved nothing more than a problem that he could find a solution to. But first he needed to study it.

"I'll see what I can do." He gave a preoccupied wave of his hand, his mind currently working on the issue. He really did need to minimise the damage the fox was doing first though.

Bakudou Ninety Nine "Kin"

Fabric burst out from his hands and tried to bind the fox in an effort to immobilize him. Iron shafts then tried to pierce through to hold it in place. Sadly, it didn't work. It would have taken a hell of a lot of reiatsu for him to begin to bind one limb, let alone the whole beast along with its tails. Ok, I guess I have to call in for some help.

One thing that Kisuke was good at was creating portals. It wasn't something that Soul Society approved of, as they liked to control the movements of their shinigami. But because of his position as head of the Research and Development division of the Gotei Thirteen, he had a semi legitimate excuse for things that would land others in hot water.

This one thing was a summoning stone that he gave to his closest friends. If they ever needed help, they could use their own to summon the other. Kisuke wondered if it would actually work, as he didn't really know where he was at the moment, and he had the nagging suspicion that he was in another world.

Luckily for him, they did.

The sound of fabric tearing got his attention, and when he looked up into the sky he saw a hole open up and out came two figures. One was a tall male and the other a dark skinned female. Both of them wore black robes with a white haori and carried swords with them.

The man looked around him, found Urahara and stormed over to him.

"You idiot! I was in the middle of something dammit, why did you call me to this place?!" He asked this with a dead serious expression on his face, and some severely clenched eyebrows.

Not to be left out, the other came over and snarled at him, "And I was busy teasing my fuku-taichou as well, you better have a damn good reason for calling me here! She nearly laughed dammit!"

Kisuke gave a sardonic grin and pointed to a slightly perplexed looking fox with nine tails. The others turned around and were silent for a few moments.

"Well, I've seen you do some weird shit Kisuke, but that takes the cake," commented the woman.

"I didn't create that thing you idiot! This man," he pointed to the Hokage, "managed to summon me here to seal that thing into his son!"

Isshin looked incredulous, "Into his son?! Man I know I'm never going to be as bad a father as you are". Little was he to know that he would regret those words in the future.

Urahara coughed to redirect their attention, "Well that aside, I was wondering if you could try to kill that with me, and if we cant, would you hold it off while I try to think of something?"

"Hey don't write me out of this picture dammit!" Minato gave a slight pout at this. While he recognised that the three of them were probably more powerful than him, he still wasn't a push over. There was a reason why he was named the Yellow Flash and had ninja flee on sight if they ever encountered him. Being discounted like this made him feel awfully helpless, a new and entirely unwelcome feeling.

The three shinigami gave him an appraising look. Thankfully their powers were not limited by the Council and they could fight at full strength, though killing it was another question altogether. But they also recognised the look of wounded pride in his eyes, eyes that had seen comrades stand and fall in their desperate attempts to stop a frenzied beast. They understood that they could not ask him sit back quietly.

The three of them simply gave a nod to him before they burst into action.

Well, things could have gotten better.

The three shinigami first assumed that the Kyuubi was some sort of Gillian Menos Grande. Large, slow and powerful. Well, it was large and powerful, but was more agile than what was physically possible and managed to fire red flames at them. Things turned out for the worst when all nine tails were used in the fight that they could barely hold back with their zanpakuto's. It appears that it was holding back its power until the shinigami had appeared on the field.

What amazed them was that Minato was using odd techniques to fight off the fox, things that they had never seen before. Things that he called jutsus that seemed to manipulate a form of energy called chakra. Kisuke deduced that it was the same thing as reiatsu, except that it was only used by living beings.

Urahara was observing on the sidelines, trying to think of a way to finish off the bijuu. Straight forward attacks were doing no good, as it was regenerating too fast for it to do any damage. Chakra based attacks were not really effective against it, but oddly enough reiatsu was.

I wonder, reiatsu is the spiritual energy of the dead. Chakra is the physical and mental energy of the living. That would mean that they are diametrically opposed to each other…

In the background, Kisuke could feel the unleashing of a zanpakuto's shikai.

That means that kido spells should be effective against this. But the most powerful destructive spells were made against humanoid enemies, even a Kurohitsugi wouldn't be enough against it…

The initiative was regained by the remaining fighters, with the Kyuubi roaring its fury at the both of them.

I wonder, if I could manage to seal it into a gigai that is filled with reiatsu so that it would absorb or annihilate its chakra…

But I don't really have enough time to do this. The cry of a baby brought him out of his thoughts. He slowly walked over to the child and his face furrowed again in thought.

Wait, if we could sever the body of this beast and seal the soul into the child, we could then infuse this boy with enough reiatsu for that purpose. For all purposes, that damn fox is still alive, and its power would still be there even if we took the physical body. It really was an interesting animal…

In the battle, the cry of bankai could be heard. Combined with shunpo and the Hiraishin technique, all the combatants were a blur against a howling mass of red fury.

Shit, they are unleashing their bankai already?! Ok, well I don't have any other plan so I guess we have to wing it. I'm sorry for this kid, but when you die I'll try my best to send you to Soul Society.

Things never really turn out the way we wanted.

The ad-hoc plan was to convert all of Minato's chakra into reiatsu, and then infuse it into the child. Doing so would cause the death of both the child and the Fourth. Minato was willing to accept his death, but not that of his son. But given the choice of two deaths as opposed to everyone in the village, it seemed like there was no choice.

Giving the two a moment together, Minato held his child with much tenderness.

"Son, I'm so sorry that it has come down to this. What I'm about to do is unforgivable, and I can't really ask you to forgive me anyways. At least we will all die heroes because of this," the last part was said with much bitterness.

The baby looked up with a dazed gurgle, unable to comprehend the sacrifice that was being forcibly imposed upon him. He reached out his small finger to grasp at his father, who looked down on him like a god. Minato had to suppress a shudder as he steeled himself for what he was about to do.

The three shinigami came up to him, where Kisuke said, "It's time, our binding spells won't hold for much longer."

"Of course, I … just wanted him to know …how much I love him." Tears were slowly sliding down his cheeks. Minato had given much in his service to the village that he loved so much. But asking for his life and that of his son seemed to be too much to ask. But the cold fact was that at this moment in time, there was no one else that could do this. All the villagers were evacuated and the only reason that his son was still there was because of delivery complications that forced him to remain in Konoha.

Minato held his son's little outstretched hands, and for the last time his heart broke at the cries that he was making as he subconsciously realised that something wasn't right.

Kisuke gave them a few moments before asking softly, "Before we do this, let us know your name and his, so we can honour your sacrifice."

Minato laughed hollowly. "My name? Call me Namikaze Minato. And my son, well I'm sure his mother would have loved to have called him Naruto…"

He stopped himself before he became more sentimental than he was already, "Before we go, let me write a letter to let everyone know what really happened on this day."

With nothing left but determination in his body, he steeled himself for the coming darkness and said, "Let's finish this."

What was left was silence.

On a fallow field the Fourth Hokage lay dying, his body nearly empty of the chakra that a human needed to live. Through the use of a kinjutsu and some shinigami help, he had managed to infuse all of his chakra into his son, before it was converted into pure reiatsu by Kisuke.

Against the combined bankai of three shinigami captains, the physical body of the Kyuubi was torn to parts. But the truth was that the Kyuubi was more a being of pure chakra than of flesh. Its container was merely a medium to separate the soul from contamination of the outer world. As the soul was out in the open and exposed, they used their skills to force it into another medium. It was finally held in place by a complicated seal from Minato to prevent the fox from escaping.

A human body was never meant to hold reiatsu, and its presence would normally cause a person to die. However, Naruto managed to stay alive and this scared the crap out of Urahara. It could only really mean one thing, one thing only.

Naruto had somehow become a shinigami.

Not only that, he had the entire chakra of the Kyuubi at his disposal. This meant that he was a being with a hell of a lot of power that should not have been able to coexist at the same time. Even that wasn't really the truth of the matter.

Kisuke was left pondering this and was tempted to take the baby back to Soul Society with him, but he realized that if the others found out what he just did, he would be lucky to be exiled. An execution was not out of the picture and he realized that he needed to do something really quick. And that was a good old fashioned cover up.

He had just managed to create a human-shinigami hybrid. And sealed within it was a hollow like soul. If he didn't know any better, he had just created something that defied the boundaries of existence. This shocked him. It also perversely pleased him at the same time.

What the hell do I do know? he asked himself. If this ever got out, he would be lucky if he was allowed to draw another free breath. His frantic musings would have gone further if Konoha forces were not arriving on their very location.

Only the dark skinned female seemed to be aware of the implications of their actions.

"Look, we have just exhausted all of our energy to take out that beast, we need to get back to Soul Society before they realize that we just vanished into another world. We can deal with the fallout then, but we need to leave now!"

Nodding his assent, Urahara looked around him and said, "I think I can find my way back to this place once more, and we really need to keep an eye on this boy. This should have never happened in the first place..." he muttered with confusion.

Kisuke managed to open a portal back to Soul Society, and as they stepped back into the R&D division, the black haired man asked, "And what the hell was that black ball that you used to convert that energy into reiatsu?"

"Well Isshin, that was a little something that I was working on when I was summoned to that place. I think I'm going to call it the hogyoku…"

The Sandaime sighed as he read the last testament of his predecessor and successor. The irony of such a situation was not lost on him.

Dammit, it was for me to pass the flame onto him. The will of fire travels from the oldest to the youngest generation. It should have never have ended like this.

But life rarely gives us what we want, and it is how we deal with our burdens that really shows the measure of a man. But some burdens were never meant to borne by anyone, at least not alone.

The Fourth's last wishes were that he and his son be remembered as heroes. Especially his son, who had no choice in the matter. Things did not work out as he had expected, and who would have thought that the mere fact of survival would make things more complicated?

Right now, the wounds were too fresh. Corpses lay scattered across the field, most of them in pieces. Grieving loved ones were eager to turn their anger on any target that presented themselves. Reason and rationality be damned, they wanted their pound of flesh now.

The fact that that hatred was slowly and surely being turned onto the small blonde child on his desk made his heart clench in two.

What am I to do with you Naruto? The Hokage thought sadly. The Council of Fire was slowly, but surely, rallying under those that demanded Naruto's death to completely eliminate the Kyuubi threat. While the Sandaime had every confidence that Minato did the job properly, many were unconvinced that a mortal could seal a beast such as the Kyuubi no Yoko, and they needed to finish off what he had started.

A mortal couldn't, but with help of three death gods, it was just possible.

Sarutobi snarled at such thoughts. Those fools would spit upon the last wishes of their saviour, and dare claim that they were carrying out his wishes. Disgust swelled up and clouded his thoughts, and he tried his hardest to dispel them and get back onto the problem at hand.

Just then, a person knocked at his door and opened it. In came the wan and haunted figure of a red haired kunoichi.

Ah, the real tragedy starts to unfold. Uzumaki Kushina had endured much in her short life. Having the love of her life taken away after having a child together was a bitter blow. But having the child used as a sacrifice by said man was in many ways something that she couldn't ever accept or forgive.

Even now, I'm not sure if she is happy that Naruto survived, or if she wishes him to be dead. Sarutobi had monitored her actions towards the blond baby and was seriously disturbed by what he saw. At times she hugged the child like she would never let go. At times it looks like she was about the crush him with a cold and detached look in her eye.

The medic nins said that she was suffering from post natal depression. Even with an ANBU trailing her, I'm not sure if she will be the child's saviour, or the one to take his life away. While logically Naruto was the most innocent one in the whole room, there was a part in all of them that feared and blamed him for what he held, and what might be in the future.

What am I supposed to do?

A mother that could be a threat to her own child, a council calling for his death, the civilian population grieving and mourning their losses. Other nations were aware of their misfortune, and if they showed any bit of weakness at all, then all of these sacrifices would have been for nothing. Minato, couldn't you have found another way? At least one that left you alive to clean up your mess? You selfish son of a bitch...

Getting back on track he turned his attention to his more immediate problem, "Ah Kushina, please take a seat, we have much to speak about."

The day of the sealing was something dark and terrible. It all began with a decision, with the best intentions that spawned something unexpected.

It is here that the story really begins.

There you have it. I'm not particularly happy with this for a couple of reasons. For the most part, writing about the sealing is boring and overdone already. It's a fine line to tread between getting too angsty, and getting too flippant about it. I have tried to strike a compromise about this. But the next few chapters will have more original content and I can play around with some of my ideas, and hopefully I won't need to explain as much and leave some mystery left in the story. But this was necessary for the foreshadowing of the fic. This will be AU from now on, but respect will be given to the canon universe.

Oh yeah, I formatted it so it actually looks like a nice and polished piece of work on the 23March2008. I'm sure I spell checked this, but apparently it didn't work the first time around. It was further redone with the help of Juopunumies.

Please read and review.