Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
New Summary, because someone pointed out to me the previous one sucked: With nothing left to hold or protect, he could turn only one way. Back. To the one person who would never betray him. The one person that truly understood him... Himself. Timetravel Fic.
Does this one still suck? If so, could anyone please hand/throw me a few suggestions?
Author's Note: In the beginning of this story, future Naruto had warned present Naruto about Madara, not Obito. This because it had been many years after the event for future Naruto. Obito turned ally in the end, after all. (watch Manga)
Also, the Akatsuki all know each other in this fic.
He had never been one to underestimate his opponents and he had had his fair share of defeats in the past. But ever since he had mastered the use of the Rinnegan, he'd gotten a bit arrogant. And now that he had the ability of mobility again, even more so. Now, he didn't consider many opponents worth anything. These two, however, were tricky.
"Kuchiyose: Edo Tensei." Both Kabuto and Orochimaru performed the forbidden revival technique.
Kabuto had summoned the First Raikage and Orochimaru had summoned the White Fang.
In response, Obito stepped forward and by use of Kamui, spat out the two Iwa Jinchuuriki Han and Roshi. "These are under my control. Jinchuuriki Pets. They will destroy your puppets and Otogakure." With a snap of his fingers, the two Jinchuuriki transformed in Two-Tailed State and engaged their summoned corpses. As soon as the two Jinchuuriki and the two revived Shinobi were close to one another, the Uchiha used Kamui again to send them away from the battle. Nagato stepped forward and smirked at them. "I believe this is better, Shinobi should fight their own fights. Let us begin."
Obito appeared behind Orochimaru and teleported the both of them away instantly, making Nagato shortly frown. 'He's rather serious… Using Kamui that often.'
Kabuto looked alarmed at the sudden disappearance of his master, but didn't have time to worry about Orochimaru's safety as Nagato pulled the grey-haired nin towards him with "Banshou Tenin."
The glasses wearing Shinobi managed to point both his arms forward towards Nagato and activated his Chakra Scalpels. Nagato didn't dodge and slammed Kabuto straight into the ground, even when Kabuto's fingers had already reached Nagato's chest. Kabuto quickly rolled to the side to avoid being skewered with a black rod Nagato had thrown straight at his head. "Shinra-" Nagato snarled as he had to dodge three Kunai quickly thrown towards him.
Kabuto managed to put some distance between them here. 'My Chakra Scalpels vanished as soon as they touched him. A Chakra absorption skill?'
Nagato didn't let up and performed intricate handseals. "Shidai, Kotaka!"
Kabuto's eyes widened greatly as he sensed the danger in the five medium-sized flaming falcons sent his way. 'A true Uzumaki… The Chakra needed for that Technique is massive.' His perceptive eyes had seen how the fire falcons were surrounded by the Fire Element, but carried the Wind Element inside. Upon touch, those birds would ignite into something else entirely. He wouldn't survive even one of them.
So he would let them collide with something else. He threw a Kunai towards one, but while he expected the explosion to be big, it was way bigger. He was sent straight into a wall.
Nagato snorted as he and the four remaining falcons remained unharmed. "Die."
Kabuto didn't even have time to look up from his position as the four other firebirds collided with him.
Chapter 21: Misplaced Wrenches
"Hatake Sakumo." While under control of Obito's Sharingan Eye similar to how the Yondaime Mizukage Yagura was under his control in the past, Han still kept being Han somewhat. "Why is a Konoha Shinobi still alive in front of me?"
For the White Fang it was quite the same. While in Edo Tensei form, he still retained his own personality. "Not necessarily alive, if you'd notice."
Han shot a glance to the side and saw how his fellow Jinchuuriki didn't have time for words as his opponent kept barreling straight towards him no matter where he ran off to. "An adept Raiton user…" Han murmured as he regarded the quick First Raikage. "And you…. The White Fang, also specialize in Raiton."
The Jinchuuriki shunshined to the left and right by a few inches in less than a second as Sakuma threw two Lightning Jutsu his way. "Fuuton, as well." The Hatake grinned. "You didn't dodge that entirely, Han-san."
Indeed, while not harmed directly, Sakumo's Jutsu did rip off the armor on Han's right arm. "Gasu Shitsu." Han's entire body went up in smoke, dissipating into wisps of fog around Sakumo. "Be careful, White Fang. You might just die…" Came his voice moments later, all around Kakashi's father.
"Again, I already am." Sakumo tilted his head with a frown etched on his face. "Perhaps you should know that I cannot die, Han-san. My strategy will include the fact."
Han's voice echoed throughout the clearing and both individuals heard the explosions and eruptions from the fight between the Shodaime Raikage and Roshi. "It is true this Jutsu usually cuts off your oxygen, but I will use it differently. Seeing as you have no need to breathe."
Sakumo nodded his head, glad his point came across. He didn't want this fight to end too early. "Good, a restriction Jutsu might just work." He was the type of Shinobi who always knew his opponent's strategy and used that to his advantage.
"Suiton, Taijuu Ningen Bakudan."
Kisame slightly dropped to his knees as he had shot a massive amount of water bullets all around him from his mouth. Already Samehada was quickly feeding him back some Chakra.
"Interesting Jutsu. Deidara might just get jealous." Kisame chuckled as Sasori approached him from behind. "He is the jealous type, after all."
The Jutsu the shark-like man performed was quite morbid. It took a great amount of Chakra, but the results were satisfying. Injecting some of his Chakra into his opponents through Water-infused Chakra bullets, Kisame was able to change people into walking Human Water Bombs. Of course, it had to meet certain requirements, as in, the opponent had to have a low Chakra Presence, similar to a Chuunin's. But even the strongest opponents, when faced with adversity, might drop to Chuunin Level Chakra Presence during a tough fight.
Right now their opponents were mostly Chuunin anyway.
"I don't see why you would use such an obvious Kinjutsu against these incompetent fools." Sasori walked past the shark-man as Shinobi around them were still exploding into bloody showers. The puppeteer spit out a small scroll that floated in front of him and aimed both his palms at it.
Kisame grinned as the massive fire wave completely eradicated any remaining opposition in front of him. The scroll had exploded outward with Fuuton Chakra, empowering the fire. Sasori's puppet face didn't allow for satisfaction to show however. "Of course, you have the Chakra needed for it. I prefer to use no Chakra at all…"
These two were actually well matched, they both realized.
Uchiha Obito looked down at the remains of Orochimaru's body. It took a fair amount of his Chakra, but he didn't feel like messing around with a sneaky person like Orochimaru. He simply used Kamui to send separate body parts to places he didn't care for. Orochimaru was thoroughly defeated, but the Uchiha was sure at least one Orochimaru was still alive.
Those Curse Seals with his Life Energy sealed within were a real pain.
"Zetsu, try to find out if there any other doppelgangers of this snake vermin around. He needs to be disposed of, he knows too much."
A head emerged close to Obito's sandals. "Of course. Most of them are dead already, courtesy of Hidan and Kakuzu."
"Those two were late, but at least they're useful."
"Hidan's got a lot of people under his control at the moment." Zetsu quipped. "He's really having fun."
"I'm sure." Obito crouched down and inspected what was left of Orochimaru. Half of his face and the left side of the torso. Oh, there was still a right foot lying around. He burned it all with a minor Katon Jutsu. "What about Itachi?" Above them, Deidara was throwing bombs all over the place. Otogakure would be under Akatsuki's control soon enough.
"What about me?"
Obito turned his face to see Itachi, in form of some crows, appear behind him. "As sneaky as ever, Itachi-kun." Obito was still very wary of the younger Uchiha. Itachi might still be his biggest threat to him, even if he was part of Akatsuki. "I trust you've done the necessary things?"
"The ring." Here, Itachi handed Obito Orochimaru's ring. "The underground has been destroyed completely. All the tunnels are no more. All experiments are destroyed." That meant all organic as well. "Otogakure, all of it, will fall in one hour."
Itachi's eyes were getting stronger and stronger, if his Shouraizou could already tell that far ahead. It was a Doujutsu also acquired through special means, but even Obito did not know how. "Losses?"
"The Jinchuuriki Han. We'll have to intervene within ten minutes if we are to keep him with us. He is fighting the White Fang."
"Heh… The White Fang…" Obito murmured softly as the trio began trudging towards the sounds of battle. Obito's gaze hardened as he remembered events of the past. "Let's deal with him."
He was slightly impressed that his opponent survived his assault. He would have to try harder.
In front of Kabuto, stood two damaged former semi-Jinchuuriki. "Kinkaku! It seems we are facing an Uzumaki!"
His brother nodded his head, a grim look on his face. "I hate fighting Uzumaki. They always know more about our weapons than we do!"
Kabuto was slightly surprised at the comment as he was gathering himself. The twins had taken the attack for him while in Chakra Cloak form. But he was still hit by Nagato's attack even through that defense. The Uzumaki was truly a powerful man. "Kinkaku and Ginkaku. I will be taking that vile Chakra inside of you." The red-haired Uzumaki casually strolled forward.
While they were usually goofing around and playing with their opponents since they were stronger anyway, this time, they were both dead serious. You don't mess around with Uzumaki people. "Brother, I think we should-"
While the gravitational force was usually activated with his body at the centre, Nagato could now choose the centre independently. This time, the small area between Ginkaku, Kinkaku and Kabuto was the centre of it. All three were separated now and Kabuto remained down while Ginkaku and Kinkaku were already regenerating.
"You have no chance here, surrender." Nagato hovered forward aiming his left hand at Ginkaku and his right at Kinkaku. Both were able to dodge the sudden black rods that shot out Nagato's sleeves. He was wearing the standard Akatsuki Cloak. Nagato narrowed his eyes as he spotted the Benihisago. The gourd that could capture his soul if he spoke the words he spoke most often.
He was no fool, though. He knew exactly which words he shouldn't speak from now on. It meant he was down one Jutsu for a second or two. The words he used the most were Shinra Tensei, after all. Or maybe God.
The Rinnegan wielder shook his head at the pointless of it all. It simply didn't matter. "Banshou Tenin."
And just as easily as that, the legendary items Ginkaku and Kinkaku were wielding slipped from their grasp into Nagato's. "There is no need for these." He easily crushed all of them with a minor Shinra Tensei and readied himself to attack once more. "Do you see the futility now?"
Meanwhile, Kabuto had managed to stand straight again. He was way out of his league here… He had to escape in the midst of the battle. 'So Obito was able to escape with Orochimaru from the barrier surrounding this area… Hn. Maton Ninjutsu.' He quickly performed a different version of the Edo Tensei, one that left out the summoned's personality.
As Ginkaku and Kinkaku were keeping a rather bored looking Nagato a bit busy, Kabuto quickly turned to the his new summoned undead subordinate. "Take me as far as possible from this place."
Without personality given to him, Namikaze Minato tilted his head slightly, trying to sense the Hiraishin Kunai furthest away from the place. "Kojima no Taro…" He murmured.
'The Island of Taro, that should be far enough.' The glasses-wearing nin pushed his glasses up.
"Naiha Tensei." Kabuto's eyes widened as Nagato let the bodies of both Kinkaku and Ginkaku implode into a small ball of rubbish.
The Uzumaki snarled as the Yondaime and Kabuto vanished by usage of Hiraishin. "Annoying fly." Sounds from behind him alerted him to the regeneration of Ginkaku and Kinkaku. He moved his hands together and uttered. "Kouyaku Tensei."
Now that the two semi-Jinchuuriki were entrapped in a Chakra barrier quite similar to the Water Prison Technique, Nagato dropped his head. "That slimy little fool actually got away from me. I can't sense him anywhere close."
"He summoned Minato-sensei. Very smart of him." Appearing by usage of Kamui, The Uchiha walked up to the Uzumaki from behind him. "The bigger threat has been dealt with. Otogakure is ours." He took a look around and saw Ginkaku and Kinkaku floating in a Chakra Bubble in mid-air. Around them were still some of Orochimaru's subordinates. Akatsuki's true leader grinned at the two semi-Jinchuuriki. "Let's add to our army with these failures around us."
Amidst the chaos, Suigetsu was actually doing a very fine job of hiding, as his body was all over the place with little Chakra. Even Nagato couldn't see him very clearly with his Rinnegan. "Kabuto has two versions of the Edo Tensei. I think I'll be hunting for him for a while. He mentioned the Island of Taro."
"Don't bother. I think I'll send Itachi after him, he has a Jutsu suited for a mad fool like Kabuto." As Obito started up his teleportation technique, he couldn't help but dwell on the doubt. 'This was all too easy... Orochimaru… I hope we killed all of you off.'
"That was rather disappointing."
He had lost a lot of his puppets and actually used a bit of the little Chakra he still had left in his body in this fight, but he agreed with his comrade. There was no challenge in taking something from a weakling. "Is there anyone left?" He asked not Kisame, but a person who had just walked up to them.
"No one who matters." The third man had a small duffel bag he was opening as he sat down on a boulder. "I took a lot of wallets. Hopefully these losers had money where they lacked the strength." He had entrapped quite a few Edo Tensei Shinobi but it would be unlikely that those carried any money on them. And none he had faced carried legendary items either.
The shark-like man of the trio chuckled and joined the masked Kakuzu. "So… how many did you kill?"
"I don't know, thirty maybe?" Kakuzu started to think about it, but realized quickly he didn't really care about it. "I'm not Hidan, Kisame. I don't care how many I kill, I care about how much money I've found."
"Hidan's still playing with a few of his cursed victims. He's got seven locked down. It's…. like a party." Sasori threw in as he summoned a puppet to sit on.
Meanwhile, the sounds of explosion were still booming around them. "Deidara and Hidan sure like mayhem."
"We're done." The three of them saw Zetsu emerge from the ground. "Orochimaru is dead."
"Well I'd hope so. I've killed him at least three times… Weird copies." The others agreed with Kisame. "Who did him in?"
"Obito separated his body." Kisame chuckled at Zetsu's answer. "There might still be some left to eat though…"
"They've already returned. Nagato wants us to stay in Otogakure while he returns with Obito." Itachi had seemingly appeared out of nowhere behind Kisame. "He's sending Ame-nin this way and Konan is to rule over Oto. We are her protection."
It had been a very weird week for him.
For two weeks.
Every time he woke up, someone else was there to greet him. He expected his team and they were there most of the times, but sometimes the weirdest people were present. He somewhat expected Kakashi there reading his book, which happened, but he didn't expect Sasuke reading a book in his hospital room! He was kind of disappointed it wasn't Icha Icha, for some reason.
He hadn't seen Hayate and Yuugao for months, but even they visited him! The old man, Sarutobi Hiruzen was there at times, smoking his pipe while half-hanging out the window. Tsunade and a very attentive Sakura. Shikamaru(sleeping in the chair) and his loud team, or loud Ino and of course, the eating Chouji.
A feverish looking Hinata who had her hair grown long, which he absolutely approved of, sometimes greeted him as he awoke, alongside the boisterous Kiba and Shino.
Of course, there was Iruka, who he really needed to catch up with.
Today though, he awoke alone and he chose to take advantage of it. He entered Sage Mode and investigated his own body. Whatever Tsunade and Sakura did with their medical thingies had nothing on Senjutsu.
It seemed Kurama left quite the big Chakra Presence behind, lest he be killed. He could somehow sense how far away Kurama was out there and wasn't happy to know he couldn't cover that distance just yet with his current condition. He casually formed Rasengan on his fingertips to prove to himself just how much better his Chakra Control was now that he didn't have another entity inside of him.
"You should really cut your hair."
The blonde quickly deactivated Sage Mode and grinned at the newcomer. "Good morning, Hokage-sama!"
Tsunade tilted her head playfully while she held some charts in her right hand. "It's evening, actually. Your entire rhythm is screwed up, Naruto." She then threw the charts on Naruto's stomach. "You're in the clear. You're in perfect health, in all areas. You're the first person ever to survive an extraction of a Bijuu. There were a few dark days, though. I had your entire team, old and new, guarding you the first few days."
"Ughh, I really was that out of it, huh…"
"But not anymore. Even if Akatsuki doesn't know yet, you're no longer one of their targets, you don't have to be on the move all the time anymore. You'll be staying in Konoha again, seeing as you are… one of its Shinobi, after all."
"Yes, that was the plan anyway." The former Jinchuuriki agreed. "I can now continue my real training. That Technique you created to save Shizune-san-" he paused at Tsunade's glare. "Teach it to Sakura, please? Hokage-sama?" he finished over-politely.
"You want her as your training partner then? She's become quite the busy Medic-nin, you know." The big-breasted woman folded her arms. "But I don't think she'll mind that much."
"Actually, I want Sasuke to be more around my team as well, if possible. His Doujutsu needs to be upped if we want to face our enemies equally."
"Again, another person that wouldn't mind. If you want to up Sharingan, though, why not include Kakashi?"
"Oh, I thought that was rather… obvious?"
She offered him a dry stare. "He is one of the busiest Jounin in Konoha."
"He is right. When in the vicinity, they know not how to behave. It affects my motor functions greatly. It is as if… everywhere is somewhere else."
"How enlightening." The Yamanaka heir threw the Aburame heir a short, little exasperated jaw-drop as she, Shino and Kiba were heading up to Naruto's hospital room. Shino was talking about the bugs housing his body.
"Akamaru doesn't even dare enter the room. Bastard's got more Chakra asleep than when Chouji has all his pills and Anko-sensei goes Curse Seal combined!" The Inuzuka involuntarily shivered. "I'm not as good at Chakra sniffing as Akamaru, but even I can smell the Chakra in the room."
"It doesn't make sense, though. The Kyuubi isn't sealed inside of him anymore, how can he still have that much Chakra?"
"How? I believe it is residual. Why? I've been told it has quite the… animalistic presence."
Ino and Kiba stared at the Aburame. "Who,exactly, is telling you this?"
"Who? Quite obviously, my comrades. My destruction bugs."
"Yeah… Anyway, Akamaru says the same thing. That extraction wasn't a complete extraction, if you ask me. And Naruto doesn't seem worried in the slightest, so I think this is all part of a plan! But Naruto isn't that much of a thinker, so how-"
"You're rambling, Kiba." The blonde girl walking between Kiba and Shino interrupted. "You trust Naruto, right?"
This earned Shino incredulous stares from his two companions. "I guess I agree with that, yeah." Kiba added after a moment.
She perked up and lead the way, quickening the pace through the corridor. "Well, then don't worry! Did you guys know Naruto is in the Bingo Book? He has various entries! You should see the one Iwa has!"
"Yeah, yeah…" Kiba waved her off from behind. "Guy's become too famous if you ask me! Hell, even Sasuke can't hold a candle to him!"
They both stopped as Ino turned and offered the boy a bored look. "Sweetie, Sasuke couldn't hold a candle to him back when he got his ass handed to him in the Chuunin Exams all those years ago. I think it's pretty much a given how powerful he's become now."
"A-ah? Are you… Did you? Huh?" Even Shino was frowning as Kiba fell over his own tongue. "But! You're a Sasuke fangirl!"
The dog-like Shinobi quickly dodged three very dangerous looking needles and had to duck to avoid a fourth. "That was a long time ago! We've all grown older and wiser. Or haven't you?" Akamaru, who was strutting lazily behind them, barked. "I guess Akamaru is the more mature one out of the two of you, huh?"
"Heh, well maybe he is!" Kiba shrugged with a grin on his face. "Ain't nobody better than Akamaru!"
"But you are correct." Shino entered the conversation and picked up the pace again. "The dead-last made us face our own ill judgment, we were more the fool than he. Now, he is quite possibly… no, most likely, the most powerful Shinobi in Konoha."
This time, Ino and Kiba were completely shocked by the statement.
Akamaru, however, agreed with a bark.
"I have one in Snow, one in Wave and one in Tea Country." As Kiba, Ino and Shino entered the hospital room, they were met with Tsunade lounging in the chair next to Naruto's bed. Naruto was lively explaining where he had apartments set up. "But! But! I actually don't have one in Konoha!"
"You can stay with me!"
Kiba's and Naruto's jaws dropped as Ino jumped forward with the suggestion.
The Hokage only seemed amused and Shino was… Shino.
As he was able to pick up his jaw, he barely managed to let out "But… I barely know you? … Ino?"
After receiving the pointed stares, Ino looked at the floor. "I… I was just kidding! I still live with my parents! Haha…"
"Don't worry about it. It has already been taken care of."
"What, did you think your team was sleeping on the streets? They were staying, just like you, in hotels all over Konoha until a few days ago. I've managed to secure an entire apartment building for you, your team and Jiraiya. That pervert never had a place to stay here either. It's about time you guys stayed here, permanently."
"Yeah!" The other blonde female in the room agreed. "You're always gone as soon as you get back. It's boring! We never see you anymore!"
"Well… We were never really that close… remember?" The young man in bed brought up. "in fact, if you'd recall-"
"Oy! Leave things in the past in the past!" Here, Kiba was pointing his finger at the blonde. "You and I are going to be going on missions together soon!"
Naruto's gaze was a bit clouded as he regarded the feral man in the room. "… You have become a good tracker-nin, huh?"
"The best!" Was a loud shout as reply.
"Then perhaps I already have something in mind…"
Somehow, Kiba didn't like the look on Naruto's face.
Neither did Tsunade.
"This place needs a woman's touch."
"No it doesn't."
"I don't see any women nearby."
Naruto had taken Sakura and Kakashi with him to check out his new apartment. Ever since he and Jiraiya and the rest of his team started traveling all over the world, his old apartment was no longer his. His team had bought some things already, like a corner sofa, a dinner table, a few closets, a fridge, a stove, a bed and the usual household items.
"It looks fine to me already." The blonde uttered as he landed himself on one of the two couches in the living room. He eyed Sakura and Kakashi as they got comfortable too. "So… How's life been for the two of you? I know I haven't been around much these last few months."
Giving him a gentle smile, Sakura started. "Well, I almost have enough high-ranked missions accomplished to be assessed to become Jounin and my work in the hospital helps heaps with that. I'm on par with Shizune when it comes to Iryo-Ninjutsu and Tsunade-sama told me I might be getting my own personal team when I become Jounin!"
"My little kids are growing up so fast…" Kakashi mumbled as he hung back on the couch. "You have a nice place for yourself here, Naruto."
Naruto nodded his thanks and created a Kage Bunshin with the mental order to make coffee.
"But boss! I don't know where everything is in this place!" The clone complained immediately.
"Figure it out! I know squat about this place either!"
"You have an interesting relationship with your clones." His teacher observed.
"I'd rather not talk to you about relationships, Kakashi-sensei."
"Hey yeah… Why aren't you married anyway, Kakashi-sensei?"
"I've been married twice already."
"WHAT?!" Naruto spat out as he jumped from the couch. Sakura however, just shot him a skeptical look.
"My first wife was Icha Icha Tactics. My second-"
Naruto threw an Icha Icha at Kakashi's face. "Hu-Hey! This one's new!"
After Kakashi had bid them a good night, Sakura and Naruto were the only ones left in the apartment. Naruto had learned that the entire apartment complex was just his team. He lived on the third floor with Fu as neighbor. Temari and Tayuya were on the fourth, Kankurou and Dosu on the second and Gaara and Jiraiya on the first. They all had their own apartments.
"I… Heh, this is pretty hard." She seemed to be having trouble with her words. "I just… What was it like? Going to the academy? And how did, how did you live before the academy?"
"Ah, I don't know what you mean, Sakura… Academy? It's such a long time ago." He was scratching his head. "You're suddenly bringing things up I don't even remember…."
"I mean, being a Jinchuuriki. I remember, you know? Maybe not how it was before the academy, but I do remember what it was like IN the academy." She swallowed a bit nervously. "All the teachers hated you… Even… Even all the kids hated you…"
Naruto turned silent as he regarded Sakura, who was staring at her hands. He noticed she was trembling a bit. "That's right, everybody hated me… I'd forgotten all about that."
The blonde shifted back a bit on the couch at the sudden yelp from Sakura. He noticed instantly she was very serious and very… emotional.
"Liar…" She turned away from him again and narrowed her eyes. "I remember you had to do cleaning duty every day. Even though everyone knew it was always someone else's turn every other day. I remember what I thought back then." She clenched her fists tightly. "I thought 'Ah, Naruto-baka will do the cleaning after class anyway.' And I'm pretty sure that's what everyone else thought too!"
Naruto didn't respond as he had the feeling Sakura wanted to make a point.
"And I remember that you always got blamed for everything! Even when Kiba was yelling in class, you took the fall! When Ino and I were shouting at each other, you took the fall! When Chouji was eating in class, you took the fall!" Her fists unclenched weakly. "You always took the fall. The teachers really, really hated you."
For a tiny fraction of a moment, Naruto's eyes darkened greatly...
But it was gone before even he noticed it.
"I'm really, really sorry… Naruto."
He laughed uncertainly as he tried to wave Sakura off. "It couldn't really be helped, you know. The older people told the younger people I was bad news."
"Naruto! I don't hate you!"
He was surprised by the sudden outburst. "H-hey, I know that!"
"No, you don't! You've been hated all your life so you probably think everyone still hates you! I… I've never hated you, you know! Even if I…. Even if I said those words…"
"… What words?"
"Back when we had our very first team meeting. I told Kakashi-sensei… The thing I dislike the most is…. Naruto!"
"Oh… Heh, you get used to it, you know. Everyone always-"
Naruto's eyes were widened as Sakura threw herself into him for a hug, whilst sobbing. "I'm sorry, Naruto!"
The blonde didn't know what to do with the crying mess surrounding him…
"You know, Sakura… I'm a lot stronger than you give me credit for."
"Uh-unnn" He felt her shake her head in his shoulder. "You're the strongest person I know." She murmured.
"If so…" He continued in a gentle voice. "You should know it ain't that easy to bring me down. As the next Hokage, a few people hating me is nothing, you know." Somehow, the words didn't give him the confidence that usually came with them. His worry was short-lived though as Sakura responded.
"Ha! You mean all of Konoha that hates you!" She let out scornfully.
"Wha- Not all of Konoha! The old man never hated me, Iruka-sensei-" He frowned as Sakura cut him off.
"Iruka-sensei hated you too, you know. When he first began as teacher. I don't forget, remember?"
Absentmindedly, Naruto noted Sakura was still hugging him. Her pink hair was a real mess in his face. "But that changed. Who would I be if couldn't forgive a person who was misinformed. What kind of Hokage can't forgive the people he vowed to protect?"
"Naruto…" She released him here and stared intently at him. Naruto grew very uncertain at this. "I believe in you. You're a great person and you'll become a great Hokage!" She rose up from Naruto's lap and bowed to him. "You have my vote, future Hokage-sama!"
Naruto chuckled and patter her once on the head. "There's no need for this, Sakura."
Smiling, Sakura tilted her head and regarded the easy-going Naruto. "You know… You've become really cute, Naruto."
All the thoughts in his head vanished at the sudden statement. "…. I think something's wrong with you, Sakura. It's time for you to go home."
She laughed at the serious reaction. "No, I mean it!"
Embarrassed, Naruto scratched the back of his head. "Ahhh, thanks? Man, it's really weird hearing this from you… I used to have a big crush on you in the academy."
"Yeah, I remember!" She cheekily grinned at him. "People change, huh?"
His look turned distant at the saying. "Yeah… people change."
"Well, I'd better get going. I have an early shift tomorrow. Let's catch up on old times soon, ok? I'm glad you're staying in Konoha. I… We've all really missed you."
"Alright." He nodded his head and they both started walking to the front door. "I have a meeting with a few ANBU Members tomorrow, maybe I'll swing by the hospital. I have to talk to Shizune anyway."
"That would be nice." She grinned at him. "Maybe till tomorrow, then!"
As he watched her walk away, Naruto called out a last time. "Sakura… You look pretty good yourself." Earning him a blush and wave back.
As he closed the door, Naruto couldn't help but think 'Not as cute as Samui, though…'
"What is this place?"
"A place where we can go all out when we train."
"Everything's dead. Barren. It smells."
A shake of the head and a roll of the eyes. "Well no shit. I just told you we go all out here, teme. In case you're not realizing, that means this is where three Jinchuuriki and a legendary Sage fight all out. "
He was ignored. "Why did you bring me here? Wherever here is." Sasuke didn't like not knowing everything.
Naruto had used Hiraishin to teleport Sasuke and him. "We're in Tea Country, just across the borders of Fire Country. You're pretty antsy, man." Naruto pointed at a massive crater in the distance, the both of them were standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking what seemed like a wasteland. "You see that one? I did that! I slammed a massive specialized Rasengan down on Gaara. I completely defeated him, I mean his Sand Clone! It was awesome!"
"Whatever. Why am I here?"
"Alright, alright. You haven't changed at all! You can still piss me off in five seconds! Sit down." The blonde grumbled as he dropped himself on the ground and stretched a bit.
"Neither have you, dead-last." Despite the complaining, the Uchiha followed Naruto's example and sat across from him. "You still piss me off in only one second."
He sighed and fought the urge to throw Sasuke a Rasengan or sixty. He turned to what he wanted to discuss instead. "Sasuke… I want to give you a top-secret mission. I found something in Konoha that was definitely not meant for my eyes." The former Kyuubi Jinchuuriki seemed a bit restless. "It will be really difficult for you."
"Drop this sorry act. Hurry up and tell me what you want me to do."
"How good of a Shinobi are you now, Sasuke?"
"I'm a better Shinobi than you will ever be."
"Ho~w predictable." Naruto drawled ever so slowly before he slapped his own forehead. "I'm serious, asshole!"
"I'm an Elite Jounin. I get the occasional S-Ranked Mission. I am among the best of Konoha. Does that answer your question?"
"What about your stealth? Can you be… invisible?"
"I can use my Sharingan to make people think they've never seen me."
"That's a definite plus… This will be very risky, Sasuke. I don't know if you can pull it off."
Sasuke dropped the dead stare on Naruto. "I can pull off whatever you want." He stated harshly.
"Ew! Sasuke! Shut up!" He chuckled as Sasuke, predictably, gave no response and remained serious. He thought he glimpsed a minor twitch around the eyebrow, maybe? "Fine, I'll have your back, anyway. Remember how your Sharingan can see my Fuuin Bunshin?"
"No, I forgot." Leave it to Sasuke to be sarcastic AND condescending.
"Well, there's a secret camp underneath Konoha. I've found several entrances. But it's part of Konoha's military force. I found out several things about the organization."
"This sounds like a prank, dead-last." His birthday wasn't anytime soon, right? Was Sakura planning another boring lame surprise party? That was hell, but worse. "I'm out."
"This has to do with Itachi, though."
Sasuke immediately snarled at the mention of his brother. All thoughts of anything not-serious died out. He had activated his Sharingan to try and see if Naruto was serious. "Elaborate."
"It's history, IMPORTANT history." He gave a Sasuke a look that told the Uchiha exactly what kind of history he was talking about. "… I can't tell you what I've found out, but you sure as hell need to know this." The blonde gathered some Chakra to summon a scroll. "In here is a map of the entire base. The red dots are guards, the blue dots are cameras, the short brown lines are hidden entrances that go down, the orange ones go up. Yellow short lines are entrances to areas on the same level. They are also hidden from view. I marked the area where you need to be green."
"Hn, not bad. You've put some effort in." Sasuke quickly scanned the map and gave it back to Naruto. "I've memorized it with my Sharingan."
"Damn." He gave the Uchiha an impressed look. "That Sharingan is pretty cool."
"Pretty. Cool." The avenger repeated dully. "What else you got?"
"Uhm? It's… red?"
The Uchiha glared at the blonde. "I mean. What else you got for me in this? Why do you want me to do this? Infiltrate this base?"
Naruto grinned. "Because it needs to happen. Your view on things is still limited. I've learned of something that will blast your view on things to nothing. But I can't tell you because you won't believe me unless you see it with your own eyes. The greenly marked area on the map is a big archive. I managed to get in by use of Fuuin Bunshin, it's highly guarded by three Jounin-leveled ANBU Shinobi. I'm not sure if you ca-"
"I can and I will. If what you're saying is true they have information on the Uchiha Massacre… right?"
Naruto gulped nervously. "Yes."
"And you think, judging by your reaction, I'm going to freak out?"
The former pranker nodded once. "… He~ll yeah."
"You have some sort of plan?"
"You obviously know the way once you step foot inside seeing as you have the entire map memorized in your head. But I'll have Fuuin Bunshin around you constantly. I will also give you some of my special Kunai in case you get spotted or worse… captured."
"… Obviously, if that happens…"
"Yeah, we'll have to kill everyone down there." Naruto nodded. "I don't want to, though. The existence of that secret Military Force… They're called Root, by the way… They might be necessary for Konoha. So I want you to promise me something…"
Sasuke deactivated his Sharingan. "This might turn very personal for me. Any promises I make now may turn forgotten when I'm in those archives."
"Oh, I definitely think so… That's why I don't want you to read the scrolls with information of that night there. As soon as you have the scrolls you need, my Fuuin Bunshin will notify me and I will… use Hiraishin to take you away from there."
"… Why don't you just take the scroll yourself and give it to me?"
Naruto tilted his head a bit dangerously as he regarded Sasuke with a serious gaze. "Where would the fun go if I did all the work?"
Sasuke decided he didn't like the look on Naruto's face.
Naruto deliberately didn't mention WHERE he would be taking Sasuke after his dangerous mission. The Uzumaki suspected the Uchiha would want Danzo's head after this, and quite likely Hiruzen's, Homura's and Koharu's too…
He didn't know if this was a good move, since he quite liked the way Root was operating from the shadows and protecting Konoha. But he didn't really trust Danzo and what he really wanted was…
That Sasuke would lead Root.
But despite what he said about his friend being predictable, he didn't have a clue on how Sasuke would respond to this…
He really, really hoped he didn't have to fight Sasuke in the end…
'Sorry, Itachi. But I'm gonna speed things up now that I'm where I want to be.'
In the next chapter I'll focus more on Naruto and what changed with his body now that Kurama isn't (fully) sealed inside of him anymore. I said I would include Iwagakure more in this chapter, but I think it's time to stabilize Konoha first. And with stabilize, I mean, work out the kinks that the Uchiha Massacre created. I seem to have skipped the entire part of how the Kumo-nin and Kiri-nin all returned to their Villages... I'll include this in the next chap.
Obviously, Orochimaru is not dead. I still have use for him in this story. And Kabuto will be a greater threat than in Canon. Maybe you think I've overpowered Obito, seeing how easily I had his defeat Orochimaru? Perhaps you've noticed everyone is actually stronger than in Canon in Akatsuki? This is true, because I wasn't really impressed with Akatsuki in Canon that much. I thought all of them carried so much potential, Kishi killed all of them off way too easily.
This fic will be NarutoxSamui, but don't expect me to include much romance in here. I like action more. Just like with other Manga/Anime, the main character will be getting more popular with females as he grows stronger and more competent. But this will NOT be a HaremFic.
Shidai, Kotaka – Four Element Fusion: Falcon attack
Nagato controls all elements. In this Jutsu, he combines Fire and Wind.
Gasu Shitsu – Gas Chamber Technique
The Jinchuuriki Han controls a wide area with his body reformed in gas. With it he can take away the power to breathe from his enemies. Think Caesar Clown of One Piece.
Suiton, Taijuu Ningen Bakudan – Water Element: Multiple Human Bombs
Injecting his own Chakra in the body of his opponents, he is able to change their bodies into bombs. Think of the Crimson Lotus Alchemist Kimblee of Full Metal Alchemist.
Naiha Tensei – Heavenly Implosion
Nagato lets a small area implode.
Kouyaku Tensei – Heavenly Entrapment
Nagato creates a sphere of Chakra similar to the Water Sphere Zabuza used on Kakashi in the Wave Arc to entrap his opponents.
Alright, that's about it! Hopefully I didn't make too many grammatical errors in this bit.
Thanks for reading!