Title: Crisis Reverted
Genres: Drama, sorta-angst, adventure, romance.
Warnings: Crack, swearing, shounen-ai, shojou-ai, het, time bending.
Verse: Canon Redeux.
DHC: Oh, god.. The emotional overhaul in this chapter almost killed me. I blame my depression. Also, I hope you all enjoy this. one, sorry if it isn't what you were expecting.
A month had passed since Minato's revival and Konoha had mostly settled down back into the normal rutine it had. The children had been in awe of Naruto's power when he introduced his father to them. Minato had smiled and only chuckled to himself when they all began to ask questions about him, especially Seki, who he found from Naruto's memories, had been from Iwa.
He also took a moment to pull Uchiha, Mikoto aside and offer her a heartfelt thank you for having taken in and watched over Naruto. She had smiled and replied that she was happy to have watched Naruto grow as far as he had.
The two of them were currently watching Naruto and Sasuke spar out in the Uchiha training field with Sakura on the side, cheering them both on. Naruto had avidly run into the Uchiha compound that day, exclaiming he had "figured it out", and while Mikoto and Minato did not understand, Sasuke and Sakura seemingly did and Sasuke had nodded hurriedly and they made their way out to the training ground.
Both were doing their best to avoid one another's attacks, and when Sasuke withdrew a Fuuma Shuriken and threw it hard at Naruto's recovering form, Minato's mouth opened to let out a yell, but Sakura's gasp overtook his own sound as in that instant, Naruto's body did a mild flicker and the shuriken passed straight through.
"Wha...you really did it!" Sakura gushed.
"So you really did figure it out, dobe." Sasuke replied as he landed from his jump.
Naruto nodded as he went to where the shuriken had embedded in a tree and pulled it out, allowing Sasuke and Sakura, as well as Mikoto and Minato see that it had not drawn blood or made any scratch on him.
"How did you do that, Naru-chan?" Mikoto asked with astonishment.
Minato knew Naruto had been developing a theory on altering space-time based off of his own formula, but this...?
"Well, uh..." Naruto looked around seriously, as if people could hear before answering. "The reaper explained to me how space-time works in a better sense and told me how I can use a move called a 'Body flicker'. Think of time as many threads woven together, albeit, loosely. There are pockets, or, seams, if you will, in between these threads. Basically the Body Flicker works by placing part of your body into that seam, it's called "Zero-Space", and you can only be within that seam for a short while otherwise you risk crushing whatever parts you've stuck in that space.
"Since I am a jinchuuriki of time, I can enter it without worry of being crushed. However... If Sasuke or Sakura tried, they could only be within it for maybe thirty seconds or so depending on how durable they can withstand the pull of the zero-space, since it's like a black hole." Naruto explained.
Sasuke looked like he wanted to say something, but he nodded and Sakura gave a mild nod as well. "It...does make more sense now that you've explained it that way." She admitted.
"The Reaper told you this?" Mikoto asked, still a bit in shock.
"Yeah... He's been teaching me a lot of things while I sleep, I absorb it better, he says. So I've been working on this and when he said I had it correct, I came to test it for sure." Naruto replied.
Minato finally realized what Sasuke had wanted to ask. How Madara, or rather... His eyes flickered with pain as he had come to realize from Naruto's memories that the person he had fought back then had been his own student, Uchiha, Obito. He knew now how Sasuke had wanted to ask how he could use the space-time like that for so-long without being crushed.
"Naruto, show me?" Sasuke asked seriously.
Naruto looked at his bestfriend and nodded. "Show Sakura afterwards, too."
The sable-haired ninja nodded before his eyes bled to the Mangekyou and he copied everything the Reaper had taught him about Space-time before turning to Sakura afterwards and relaying the information to her the same way.
The three then nodded. Sasuke now understood and Minato was a little jealous that Naruto would not speak of it to him. Hell, he had not even taken a moment to tell Kakashi, either. He could understand Naruto's reasoning, but still, it was wrong of him to not tell him.
On the other hand, he knew well how very unstable it would most likely make the man, since he still grieved deeply for the loss of both Rin and supposedly Obito. Finding out that said person was alive and an enemy of all things, well... That would not go over well. But he still would find out sooner or later, whether he had to tell the man himself or if Naruto did.
"There's other tricks I can do now with space-time, but those are still in the works." Naruto replied cheerfully, threading his hands behind his head. Mikoto chuckled quietly, unaware of the deep thoughts that Minato was having and patted the blond boy on the shoulder. "You always keep surprising and amazing me, Naru-chan. You're well on your way to making Jounin if you keep this up."
Naruto beamed brightly. "Thank you, Miko-chan." He replied to the compliment, turning and sticking his tongue childishly out at Sasuke. "Hear that, teme? I'm more awesome than you!"
Sasuke rolled his eyes, not even bothering to scowl at his teammate and snorted. "Idiot. You'll never be better than me. Just watch, I'll make Jounin faster than you can." He replied.
Sakura only laughed. "Out of the three of us, I'm more qualified to be a full Jounin at this point. All I have to do is ace the exam and trial again! So, that means, boys, that I am even *more* awesome than both of you!"
Both teens looked to their female friend, and back, before looking put out at the same time.
"You ruin the fun, Sakura-chan." Naruto teased.
"Hn." Sasuke agreed.
Sakura smirked. "It's what I'm here for: To keep your ego's down."
Mikoto laughed and Minato snapped back to reality to hear Sakura and put a smile on as well. "Hate to break it to you, but she is right. Sakura's Tokubetsu-Jounin, it would only take just a little more effort for her to make full-fledged Jounin. You two have got some catching up to do."
"Tou-san!" Naruto whined, pouting for a long moment before brightening again. "Don't worry, I'll be the best in no time!"
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "If you don't stop bragging, you're never going to get anywhere."
"Look who's talking, Mr. I'm-the-best-at-everything." Sakura teased.
Sasuke glared playfully at her. "Shut up."
All of them laughed before heading back to the Main House where the children were heading off to the Academy since it had been at breakfast that Naruto had barged in to announce that he had perfected his jutsu.
"Ah, looks like it's time for work, then." Sakura said as she waved goodbye to the children. "I'll see you all later, Shishou said she wanted to show me something special today so I'd better not be late!"
They all nodded.
"Take care, Sakura-chan!" Mikoto said.
"Don't piss baa-chan off," Naruto snickered and both Sasuke and Sakura hit him upside the head.
"Right, then! See you!" She called before jogging off towards the Hokage Tower.
Sasuke and Naruto looked to one another and shrugged. "I guess I'll go help Iruka-sensei at the academy today." Naruto replied. "Catch you later, everyone!"
"Bye, Naru-chan!" Mikoto said kindly as she hugged the boy.
"Don't let the children get the best of you," Minato teased.
Naruto pouted. "Hey, just because they managed to tie me up ONCE doesn't mean they got the best of me!" He whined.
Sasuke snorted. "What about the time you nearly got to be a pincushion for all their projectiles at throwing practice?"
Naruto scowled. "Don't bring that up! Anyway, gotta go! Bye!" And with that, the blond disappeared in a red flash.
Sasuke shook his head and sighed. "I suppose I'll go see about a mission. I hope it's not another D rank..." He murmured.
Minato intervened. "Sasuke, instead of that, would you mind helping me at my house? I've bought new furniture and things to decorate Naruto's room and I want to surprise him."
Sasuke looked at the Yondaime, sensing there was more to what the man wanted, but nodded. "Sure."
"Great. Let's go." Minato said with a smile and motioned for the Uchiha to follow.
"Farewell, Sasu-chan." Mikoto called after them. "Goodbye, Yondaime-sama."
"Goodbye, kaasan." Sasuke replied.
Minato only smiled. "Minato is fine, Uchiha-san. Farewell!"
The two made their way to Minato's estate and there was random parts of furniture strewn about the living room and various tools there to assemble the parts that were not put together.
"Thank you for helping, Sasuke. Naruto's going to enjoy this." Minato said cheerfully as he stepped further into the house.
Sasuke nodded. "It's no problem, but..."
Minato turned, brow raising. "But...?"
"What's the other reason you asked me here, Yondaime-sama? I am not so blind as to not think you're merely asking me here to help when so much is going on behind the scenes." Sasuke answered bluntly.
Minato had the nerve to look surprised in Sasuke's opinion before the man looked sheepish. "I'm sorry, I know you're smart, I shouldn't have tried to deceive you. It's just...Naruto doesn't tell me anything. I'm his father of all things, and I feel as if he's purposely leaving me out of things. I need to be in the know, Sasuke. Naruto is my son; if anything could endanger him-besides the Akatsuki-I need to know what's being planned. It could mean his life. I can't allow you three to take those risks when his very life is concerned."
Sasuke's expression darkened, and he bit back a scathing reply, but hissed out through clenched teeth. "Yet you're the one who placed the burden on him in the last time-period."
Minato flinched and looked away. "I know, it does no good for me to put on a concerned, loving fatherly face now, not when I know what happened in Naruto's last life; but you must believe me when I say that I was, and am now, a completely different person. I had seen everything Naruto had been through until that point in the last life, this life, I had no clue, no idea as to what would happen as he has not activated the eighth tail in this time period.
"All my chakra had been embedded in that area of the seal. He unlocked that part when he put my soul into the clone. How could I possibly have reacted any other way than I had before? I know it's no consolation to you, or to him, for my reasoning, but he is my son; and now, at this very moment, I iam/i being a father to him, and I need to know, Sasuke."
Sasuke was quiet for a long while, taking in the man's words and slowly letting them sink in, slowly willing his indignant rage to die down so he could think and reply calmly.
"...He plans to face and destroy Obito sooner than before. Before he can even begin to whisper the start of the war. I don't even know when, or if he's even concerned with Orochimaru at this point. All I know is that he plans to create kage-bunshin and place them all into the seams of time, trapping Obito into this time-space, unable to warp or cross the seams, so he will be vulnerable to attack. Kurama knows more about it than me, but I doubt you'll get that furball to talk."
"..." Minato flinched at what Sasuke was telling him, looking almost heartbroken that Naruto did not tell him any of this himself. Feeling himself growing even more guilty at the fact that he was part of the cause, he finally managed to croak out hoarsely, "I see... Thank you for telling me, Sasuke."
Trying to put on a smile, he turned towards the furniture that still needed to be assembled. "Shall we start setting everything up now?" He asked, averting any further discussion of his son's plans for the future for the time being. Sasuke saw the blantant avoidance for what it was, but did not pressure the man any further and simply nodded his head. "Un," He grunted as he moved to begin setting up the bookcase.
Three hours later found the project a success and when Naruto walked into the house, he was very surprised when Minato told him to come with him upstairs. He climbed up behind his father and they went to his room. With a broad grin, Minato opened the door to reveal Sasuke...sitting on a huge queen sized bed!
With a small gasp of wonder, Naruto stepped into the room, looking around at all of the new furniture and items placed into the room. Aside from the bed and the dresser, there was a new stand for all of his ninja tools, a bookshelf for his books and scrolls, a small work desk, a mirror, and shelves hanging up high that shelved all of his pictures and small trinkets.
"S-sugoi..." He whispered before turning to his father, smiling brightly. "Thank you, tousan."
Minato smiled warmly. "Sasuke helped, too."
Naruto nodded, turning his head to look back towards his teammate. "Thanks, Sasuke."
The Uchiha had the slightest of smiles on in return as he nodded his head back with a small sound of approval.
"It's wonderful," Naruto continued, daring to step up to the desk and run his fingers lightly along the wood, admiring the craftmanship on it, before his eyes wandered to the bedframe of the wood and the intricate designs along the headboard. He felt in awe, and though on the inside he felt he didn't deserve it, he also couldn't stop the guilty feeling of knowing it was most likely because his father felt guilty and he knew he had put him into that position.
Finally, he turned again and smiled again. "It really is amazing."
"I'm glad you like it. Are you hungry? After all this work of putting it together, I've worked up an apetite and I'm sure you have too, Sasuke." Minato said with a chuckle.
Sasuke rolled his eyes a little, "Like father like son," He murmured amusedly.
At that, the two looked to one another, before at the Uchiha and back before they broke out into roaring laughter.
"I guess so!" Naruto said brightly.
"It seems that way, ne?" Minato replied. "C'mon, let's go get something to eat."
Nodding, the two followed after him and they found their way walking down the street to Ichiraku's.
The three ate and Minato paid for the meal, despite the protests of the two and waved them off. Minato and Naruto walked Sasuke back to his estate and on their way back towards their own house, they saw Sakura who waved their way as she went, her own path leading her towards the Hyuuga compound.
Once reaching their house, they sat in the living room and relaxed. Naruto was deep in thought when a red flash appeared and Kurama appeared, making the two startle.
"Woah!" Naruto cried, his hand curled around a kunai and Minato had already crossed the room, one of his own kunai directed at the fox's throat.
"Jeez, I didn't think you'd react that badly, Namikaze." Kurama murmured softly so as not to further startle the man.
Minato blinked a few times, before retracting the kunai from its position and put it back into his holster. "I can't even be careful in my own home?" He teased back.
The fox snorted. "I suspect not once the Akatsuki or Orochimaru find out you are alive." He said back.
Naruto frowned darkly at the demon in response.
"Don't get that look, brat. You know that it will happen."
"I...know. But that doesn't mean I like the fact that it will happen. I was hoping to keep tousan's return a secret from them as long as possible. Like a backup plan, per se. Not that I'm using you, dad. I just..." He sighed, dropping his head into his hands for a long moment in distress.
"I just don't know how much longer we have time-wise before Orochimaru sends his minions for Sasuke again."
Finally, the reason for Naruto's actions this past month made perfect sense sank into Minato's mind as he remembered the Sound Five. He gave his son a strained smile, at once feeling guilty that he had not taken any of his son's feelings into consideration, too worried about Naruto to see that his son was worried for another.
"I understand, Naruto." He answered slowly. "And I know you're not using me. And I'm sorry, I had completely misfigured your recent actions and seriousness as something else; had I thought more about it, I would have come to the conclusion, but I foolishly jumped ahead, thinking you were going to make a move against the Akatsuki."
Naruto looked at him with tired, weary eyes. "No, not yet. I want to get Orochimaru out of Sasuke's side before I start on them. However, that may require me to start a few steps of the process. I think I'm going to try and reach out to one of the members and attempt to form an alliance."
Minato frowned in concern, wanting to speak out against his son's plan, but he knew that he would not listen. "...I see," He finally said.
"No disagreement?" Naruto asked with a surprised tone to it.
"I would rather not upset you further by doing so, and though I'm sure you know I don't agree, I also know I cannot dissuade you. You are an adult, and I as a father have no real say over your course of actions. But I, as a Shinobi, can at least help you in your endeavors, if you will let me." Minato answered honestly.
Naruto's eyes welled for a second. "Dad..." He began.
Kurama looked between the two and sighed. "You two are too much alike. It's like the Unstoppable Force meeting the Unbreakable Wall."
Naruto snorted. "Which one is which? He asked cheekily.
Kurama rolled his eyes. "Figure it out for yourself. Anyway, If you're willing to listen now, I've had my ear to the ground and I've located Orochimaru. I've already informed Tsunade and Hiruzen. They're wanting your imput before they mobilize any sort of operation to take him out."
Both looked to one another, before Naruto nodded. "Alright. When do they want us?"
"Tomorrow morning. Now, I'm heading back to monitor him some more. I will send you word if anything changes."
"Right. Thanks, fox."
With another flash, Kurama disappeared, leaving the two there in silence once again.
"...This is something I can't ignore, tousan." Naruto began softly.
"I know. You're going to strike at him, ne?" Minato asked.
"Yeah. If we can do it right, we take two of the factors out of the equation. If we can get rid of Kabuto and Orochimaru, then that will give Madara less options to use when the time comes." Naruto replied.
"Why do you still call him that, when you know who he really is?" Minato asked.
"Because I know it's painful for you to hear 'his' name, and I would rather call him that infront of Kakashi still. I don't know how I'm going to tell him..." Naruto replied softly.
"You can't keep it from him forever, Naruto."
"I know, but I need to keep it from him for as long as I can for now. Please, don't tell him. I need to tell him this, myself. It's only right that he hears it from me. He may end up hating me for it, but..." He looked straight into his dad's eyes with a sad smile. "That's why there's you."
And with a sad melancholic smile in return, Minato understood his son's motives. He figured Kakashi would hate him and to soften, or at least ease some of the burden would be to know that he himself was alive as some sort of comfort and silent apology. He knew he should feel used, or at least indignant about this, but he couldn't find it in himself to blame Naruto.
After all, it was how he'd been taught. Make up for your losses by gaining something else. It was the world they lived in. He realized bitterly just how much the world had changed in the span of time he'd been dead.
"...Are you mad, or upset?" Naruto quietly asked him.
With a swish of his hair as he shook his head, he answered, "No, I'm not. I can't find it in me to blame you. I just came to realize that this is the world we live in; whether I like it or not, this is how you've been taught, and I can only try to accept."
"..I'm sorry, dad."
Giving his son a small, but sad smile, he shook his head again. "There's no need. As I said, I as a father, do not agree, but I as a Shinobi, can understand. Come on, it's getting late; we should get some rest for tomorrow."
Standing up, Naruto nodded grimly. "Yeah..."
Minato watched as his son climbed the stairs and disappeared and could hear him walk to his room and close the door.
Sighing heavily, Minato ran a hand through his locks, feeling his age sinking into him as he gazed at the picture on the coffee table of Kushina holding Naruto and him with his arms around her, both of them smiling proudly down at the blond baby.
'Kushina...' He thought sorrowfully. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he stood and slowly headed for the stairs as well and ascended to his own room and shut the door, heading to his bathroom to shower. When he returned, he climbed into bed and rolled onto his side, staring out the large-paned window at the stars, trying his best to hold back the emotions that were churning around inside of him.
Finally shutting his eyes, he willed himself to sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a big one.
DHC: Oh my...so much drama. Again, I blame the angst and I do hope you all enjoyed this. Thanks for reading!