"You aren't joking are you." Kakashi said, finally breaking the silence that had fallen over the room after Naruto's revelation.
Honestly, Naruto's being from the future answered one or two questions that had begun to crop up recently regarding the boy and the oddly changed team dynamics that couldn't entirely be attributed to how he was teaching his students. Of course, it had also raised a number of questions. Questions like, exactly how old was the boy, what sort of timeline was he from, why did he come back in time, and, most importantly, could he be trusted?
While he would normally say that Naruto could be completely trusted unless there was a prank involved, this Naruto wasn't the Naruto he knew. This Naruto had snuck around listening in on his Jiraiya's and Tenzo's conversations and never said one word about being from the future. Add in the fact that his, Jiraiya's, and Tenzo's timelines had been almost completely different after a certain point, and it was not inconceivable that Naruto's couldn't be wildly so. There was even a possibility that the boy's timeline had diverged at some point other than where his, Jiraiya's and Tenzo's had seemed to have diverged.
Naruto had mentioned a shared experience with Tenzo that Tenzo had appeared to recognize but, there was a question of whether or not it was the same experience considering the somewhat general terms he'd used, and if it was, how far in Naruto's past it had been and what Naruto had done after that day and why. A person usually had to be pretty desperate to travel back in time, considering the number of ways it could go wrong and how the means of doing so could just as easily be suicide as they could time travel.
There was also the fact that Naruto was fond of and somewhat protective of Sasuke. Sasuke who had betrayed Konoha in all three known timelines. When he'd thought of him as a child, it had seemed innocent but, considering the fact that Sasuke's turning traitor appeared to be a constant, it wasn't exactly a good sign now that he knew that Naruto was not the naive child he had believed him to be.
"No, I'm not joking." Naruto eventually replied, pulling him out of his musings.
"So," Jiraiya asked. "When do you come from?"
"About four and a half years in the future." Naruto replied.
The boy's reply sounded honest, and the kid still acted like a teenager most of the time but, there was no way of proving that he was really telling the truth. He knew it, Jiraiya knew it, and he was relatively sure that Tenzo knew it as well, as they could only assume that each of the others had been telling the truth about their timelines since none of them had any physical proof of the happenings in each.
"What was Orochimaru doing in your timeline when you left?" Jiraiya asked, apparently hoping to gain more intel on his former and soon to be dead teammate.
"Itachi already took care of him." Naruto replied.
"What was Pein doing in your timeline?" Tenzo asked.
"Nagato? He died." Naruto replied, honestly looking and sounding sad about the death of what was supposed to be the enemy but, then again, his Naruto had cried over Haku and Zabuza's deaths.
Interestingly enough, Jiraiya's reaction to the name "Nagato" had been a rather unusual one. If he'd been drinking at that moment, the Sannin would have almost assuredly choked on said drink.
"What was Sasuke doing? he asked, figuring that Naruto's reply would tell him all he needed to know about him.
A pained expression crossed the boy's face after he asked that question, as if the answer was something that he didn't want to remember.
"He was about to help Madara and the rest of the Akatsuki extract the Kyuubi." Naruto replied sourly.
"Who the hell's Madara?" Tenzo, who most likely came from a timeline that could arguably be considered the closest to the one Naruto came from based on his responses, asked.
"It turns out that Tobi was Uchiha Madara, and he's the real leader of the Akatsuki." Naruto replied.
"I'm sensing that there's a long story behind this." Jiraiya said.
"Yeah, Sasuke told me about it after I got captured." Naruto said. "You see, it all begins when Uchiha Madara's younger brother Izuna died...
Sasuke punched his pillow and sighed angrily. His throat felt slightly hoarse because he'd woken up screaming, and he knew exactly why. That reason why was blonde, had a large pair of tits, and held and ate his dango in a way he'd only ever seen one person do.
That part of himself that still loved his brother and wanted to believe Naruto's story about how Itachi had sacrificed everything for him so he could live had happily greeted the man who had killed his family as if such things hadn't lain between them tainting any love he might have felt for him, and as if he hadn't been gone for more than four years. Only later, after the ANBU who had been chasing after him had been called away for more important things, had reason asserted itself and he fully realized what had happened and how he'd had That Man right in front of him and let him go without alerting anyone. Even later still, that part of himself that was still the small child who had come home to find his parents dead, and his brother standing over their bodies had turned up and turned into a gibbering wreck that had fed him the all too real nightmares he'd been trying to forget.
He wished that he could go back to when things were simple, back before Naruto had told him about what had happened to his clan and why. Back then, he'd been the avenger, and he'd had only one goal in life, and there had been nothing to sway him from that path. Now, things weren't nearly so clear and simple, he loved Itachi, and he hated him, and while he didn't want to forgive him, a part of him did because Itachi was all he had left.
Neji swung himself back as far as he could in order to gain the necessary momentum to make another swing towards the table.
His uncle had finally caught him when he'd tripped over a rock on the path up behind the Hokage Monument and stumbled. Considering how pissed his uncle had been, he'd half expected the man to activate his Curse Seal. In fact, he'd almost prefer it if he had. It would have been less humiliating for one...
His uncle had proven to have a sick sense of humor when, instead of activating the Curse Seal, he had personally strung him up by his ankles and left his dinner on the table in front of him. Initially, he had ignored the meal and that glass of water that was just tantalizingly out of reach but, he had grown thirstier and thirstier with each passing hour.
Now, to figure out how to drink water upside-down...
Kakashi, Naruto, and Gai watched as the shattered pieces of Tobi's mask fell. Upon seeing Tobi's true face, all three of them expressed surprise but, each for different reasons. Surprise gave way to confusion for Gai, understanding for Naruto, and complete and utter shock for Kakashi.
"I was wondering why he seemed younger." Naruto muttered, breaking the silence.
"But...I...You...We...After the bridge...We...Funeral...Your Father...You're Dead! You Died! We dug up your body!" Kakashi said when he finally found his voice.
"Um, Kakashi-sensei, different timeline." Naruto said, bringing Kakashi out of his stupefied state.
Kakashi took a couple deep calming breaths and centered himself.
"Did I kill Rin here as well?" he asked, sounding like he hoped to God the answer was no.
"Yes." the Obito Tobi spat.
"I can see why you turned evil then." Kakashi said sadly.
"I'm not evil, it's this world that is evil!" Obito yelled.
"Unfortunately, it's the world I live in so, I'm afraid I'm going to have to fight for it." Kakashi replied.
Obito moved into a fighting stance.
"Don't worry old friend, if you die here, I'll make sure you get a proper funeral so you can rest easy." Kakashi replied.
"I've got a good recipe we could try." Naruto said.
Obito paled slightly at that.
"Naruto, manners." Kakashi said as he smacked Naruto on the back of the head. "One, you're not supposed to talk about the specifics in the open, and two, talking about that while they're still alive is almost as bad as trying it on someone who's still alive as far as the Uchiha are concerned."
"Oh," Naruto said, looking slightly embarrassed. "Sorry."
Obito didn't seem to be placated if his expression was any indication. In fact, he seemed to be subtly trying to edge away from Naruto.
"Something wrong?" Madara asked when he showed up and noticed the distinct lack of fighting.
"Other than the fact that they're already planning my funeral?" Obito replied, sounding rather disturbed.
"Hmm, I've always been fond of stir-fry." Madara said.
Author's Note: I've gone back and edited Chapters 1-30, improving wording, making some slight changes here and there, and adding a few things here and there. For those who are curious about what may be different feel free to go back and read them.