Hello everyone. This is the Naruto/Bleach crossover that was chosen in the polls. Now, this story is still in the works, so please do the other poll that dictates the pairing of this story. If no one does that, then I'll be forced to choose a pairing that not everyone might like. So do your self a favor and go to my profile page and do the poll. Ok...thats over. On with the story!
A Second Chance
The Offer, Prologue
In a world such as this, one embraced by a cloak of shadows, it is difficult to spot the few specks of light and hope that are surrounded by the masses of darkness. Because of this, it is much easier for us to see only the darkness of life and not the light. Those who see nothing but darkness do so, because they cannot see the light. Some of us were born with higher breaking points than others; we are able to see the light in life instead of the overwhelming darkness that far outweighs it, because we can withstand the terrible things life throws at us. However, others are not so lucky and their limits are broken far easier, causing them to see nothing but darkness, while being drowned in life's sorrows. And even when the world crumbles around us, those who see the light serve as pillars that support what has not yet fallen. Those who see light have to the duty of shying away the darkness, making way for more than a mere speck of light; they allow rays of light to shine through the blanket of shadows that is ever present.
I am one those people that has to withstand all that life gives. I have to allow more light to be shine into the world. Even if it means, sacrificing my own light and much, much more. Even if it is the exact opposite of what everyone expects me to do. Even if I am told to give up, ridiculed, hated, and misunderstood. Even if I'm against seemingly impossible odds. Even if I have to put all others before me, even those that do not deserve it. And lastly, even if it means eliminating those who cast the darkness itself, no matter who they are.
My name is Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze. I have watched the world crumble to pieces around me, no matter how hard I tried to prevent it. I have watched countless people die meaningless deaths; those who were close to me and those who were not. I've seen civilization forced to its hands and knees, all because of one man's dillusioned plan for peace and control. He said that he wanted to the world to be without chaos, war, conflict, hate and replace it with eternal peace. An honorable, but foolish goal. However, the ends would never justify the means in his plan. He simply wanted to control every single person in the world, preventing them from living their own lives; but that would only be a cowardice escape from actually fixing the problem. Although, maybe he was right in his intentions. Maybe he knew that true peace just wasn't possible and force was the only way to make it happen. Maybe he knew that the world was always and will always be in a constant state of war; therefore, peace was simply not possible.
Yet, he had no right to decide such a thing. That is the reason peace is not possible. Who can ultimately decide what was right and wrong, black or white? No one can. Not without others disagreeing. People will always want different things. It's why the world is separated and always will be; the people of the world will never unite, unless it is forced to, in which the chances are slim to none. It's why peace should not exist; the means to achieve it are never peaceful. Even so, certain people will never seize to strive for peace. Knowing it is impossible just causes them to try harder. My Sensei was on of those people. He knew he would not accomplish this, so he passed the torch to me, probably knowing I couldn't do it either. I tried though. I tried as hard I possibly could, yet continued to fail repeatedly. What is of the world should be the absolute proof of such failings. Bringing peace to a world that thrives on war and killing is just impossible. No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, you will fail.
Being burdened with such a responsibility would bring and normal man to his knees. I never fell, but I stumbled. I could not fall. Too much depended on me. Too many depended on me, even if they didn't know it. If I fell, so would they. I could not allow that to happen. The burden of regret would eventually be the thing to bring me to my knees though. I did fail. I wanted to say it wasn't my fault, even if really wasn't, but a part of me will never believe that. A voice that will never go away will force constant whisperings of failure into my mind, never allowing me to have a peaceful state of mind. Sad is it not; the one place peace is possible is taken away from me.
I did unspeakable things, attempting to accomplish my goal. In a world such as this, I can not be the 'hero' everyone expects me to be. I could not accomplish my goals by ordinary means that are deemed, good. I did unspeakable things. Things that others would regard as evil or dark. However, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Sometimes it is necessary. In order to gain the power to do what was needed, I made a deal with the devil, or at least the closest thing to the devil you'll ever find. I sacrificed a part of my soul in order to become something more than human. I knew I would be seen as a monster, but I was willing to accept that; I was never seen as human in the first place. What others thought of me eluded my concern long ago anyway.
Anyway, I made a deal with the Kyuubi no Kitsune. The very demon that was sealed away in me at birth. The very same demon that almost destroyed my home village. The very same demon that basically made my life a living hell. I wanted to become something more and he wanted to live forever, no matter how pitiful his existence would be. I wanted immortality because I would need time to accomplish my goals, and if I was immortal than so was the Kyuubi once more. He was reluctant at first of course, but he didn't really have a choice; I knew, he knew it, we both knew he would accept eventually.
Now usually, in this world, when you hear of immortality, you think many things. In this world, the meaning of immorality has been skewered and twisted into something unrecognizable. True immortality means unending life. It means that time does not effect the body and spirit, but only the mind. It simply means everlasting. I knew of a few men who claimed to be immortal. Two of them surprisingly achieved it. The means they achieved it through were unnatural though. One was given immorality by the power of the cursed eyes of his own brother. The other gained it through religion, which may seem natural, but it wasn't. And although my means to gain immortality were much darker than theirs, my intent was not the same. They intended to use it for their own selfish, destructive means. I intended to use it so I could help those I cared for, even if they didn't see or know it. Did my end justify my means? I liked to think so, but I really don't know.
In the end it didn't matter. The end I strived for never came. An end came for sure, just not the one I wanted. But maybe this end was meant to happen. Usually when the entire world is in danger of being destroyed, some higher force wants it to happen. Things like this just don't happen because of one man's greed. Even so, I couldn't accept that. I wouldn't believe that the world had to be destroyed. No matter how much evil and darkness there was in the world, there was too much good and hope to be discarded on a whim. It wasn't fair. It just wasn't fair.
I sat upon the once great Hokage Monument, looking over the once upon a time Konoha. The village that used to be alive, majestic…and populated. Now it was in ruins, covered in a thick layer of ash and dust. It was completely desolate, just as the rest of the world was. Not a sound could be heard. There were no sounds. All but the faint breeze that carried the now stale air of the world. I looked at the sky and couldn't help but frown. The sky used to blue with white fluffs moving about it. Not blood red, with clouds darker than night itself.
I laughed a bitter laugh. It used to rain. It used to storm. No more though. The world had become a barren wasteland. It's rather ironic. I made a deal with devil in order to live forever. Now I would give anything to die. Life was pointless now. The very reasons I live disappeared. I lived to protect, yet I failed spectacularly. There was nothing to protect. Yet, some small part of me didn't want to leave this world. I knew it was foolish to want to be a part of this world anymore, but… Sigh.
I held immense power, unimaginable power. I held the power of the most powerful demon in existence, but even that could not deter the events that were set into motion. It was if was set in stone, as if it was destiny. I hated that word, that and fate. I refuse to believe that no matter what you did in life, you will always end up at the same spot, in the same situation. Fucking bullshit. We are given the ability to make choices, no matter what. It would be pointless if these choices didn't effect our end, but only how we get there.
I suddenly felt a presence behind me. I didn't turn around. I dint need to, I knew who it was. The only true God there was. The Shinigami. The manifestation of death. Ironic that he…it actually controls a lot more than the flow of death. It controlled everything. It controlled life, death, creation, destruction, time…just everything and anything. It could end a world with a simple snap of his finger if it wanted to.
"Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze." The entity said in a slow, deep, raspy voice. Then it laughed. It laughed a cruel, torturous laugh. Like nails on a chalkboard. "How is it? To be the only one left, just as you wished. Do you like it? How does it feel to break the rules or mortality, the rules I laid down myself. How does it feel to defy a god, to defy nature, to defy me?" It said with what looked like a smirk on its ghostly face. I turned to look at the near transparent figure of the Shinigami, but did not respond. It continued, the smirk leaving its face. "It wasn't enough was it? It never is for you. No matter what you do, it's never enough. You gave up your very humanity and soul, thinking it would be enough. You can deny it all you want, but you know that you were born to fail…at least in this world you were. Everyone has more than one fate, Naruto. You should know that better than anyone. You didn't deserver the fate that received. You were given an impossible task, that all needed you to accomplish, yet even they did not believe you could do it." It paused. "For that I am truly sorry. I, the Shinigami, offer you repentance in the form of another chance. Not through time though, but through space. Even I do not want to meddle with time. You will have another chance at saving a world…I know you want to. It's just who you are. A protector, who will protect at all costs."
I stared into the black depths that were the Shinigami's eyes. I could easily feel the fear the emitting itself from the Kyuubi. The Shinigami had the power to take its soul and rip into a million little pieces. I did not fear death. If I could, I would embrace it, but I knew that there was no escape from the hell I put myself in. No end to the immortal life I gave myself. No end….what a terrible fate. The Shinigami did have the power to give me another chance. Again, with a measly snap of his ghostly pale fingers. I would accept it. I only other choice I had was to wait out eternity in the empty world I was currently stuck in. I made it look as if I was thinking over what to do. Neither of us was fooled. I stood up and faced the Shinigami before it moved first.
The Shinigami slowly waded toward me through a nonexistent pool of liquid. I dared not move. Not because I was afraid, but because what was about to happen was inevitable; anything the Shinigami wanted to happen was inevitable. I didn't know what was going to happen, but I dared not move. The Shinigami slowly lifted its frail looking arm when it was no less than a foot from me. He placed its deathly(ha ha) cold hand on my forehead. The touch paralyzed me. All at once, a tirade of information flowed into my mind too fast to make any sense of it all. So much information filled my head at once, I thought my head was going to explode. The pain almost brought me to my knees, but I withstood the pain, like always, and was left with the feeling of dizziness as the Shinigami removed his hand.
"This shall help you through your journey, Naruto. Knowledge you have no right to know…yet you deserve this of all things." I heard the Shinigami speak barely through my dizzied state. Images and information appeared in my mind, too fast to make out any of it still. Just a useless, painful headache, until the information sorted itself out. It wouldn't take long; I had two minds after all. I began the motion of sitting down, yet nothing was there to sit on. I unconsciously waved the hand the wasn't holding my head, and a crude seat of rock rose from the earth. Element manipulation is a very handy thing. I sat there, waiting for the information running through my head actually make any sense. For over five minutes, I sat in silence, slowly gaining the knowledge the Shinigami granted me. I gave a low, bitter chuckle once the information sorted itself. The Shinigami was cruel entity indeed.
I looked up to the Shinigami, who was standing before. Its face held a cruel smirk, finding whatever I found out, just as amusing. "You know of everything you need to know of that world. I have no doubt you will be perfectly fine. You are a demon, are you not? Yes…Yes you are. A terribly powerful demon at that. You should be fine, indeed. The faux demons there should be no match for you. But to save the world is not the main reason why I am sending you there. As I said before, I am giving you another chance, another life. This may seem like trading one hell of another. One war for another. But compared to this world, the world I'm sending you to is much more calm and forgiving. I'm giving you another chance at happiness. Another chance to finally achieve your dreams and goals, and not those of others." It paused and looked over its shoulder, where a traditional Japanese sliding door appeared out of thin air and opened, revealing a white blank space. "As you know, the world you will go to risks the chance of veering into chaos. The balance I set, is in danger of being upset." The Shinigami said. He paused. "As I said, this should be a simple task for you. Another fool attempting to break the boundaries. You have dealt with many like this."
Despite my self, I smiled at that last part. Yes, I have dealt with those like that. "This should be no problem. No problem at all." I said. I looked to the gate that was still there. "So, I will be leaving immediately? Fine by me." I sighed tiredly before standing up. I looked at the Shinigami once more. Surprisingly, his face held a small smile, and his features were as soft as they could be.
"Do find what you are looking for in life, Naruto. I have taken too much from you for the things you truly want to constantly be out of reach. Do not waste this chance I am giving you. That would be foolhardy. And remember, not all demons are evil, nor all angels good. Don't judge a book by its cover as you humans would say. You are what you are. And you are not a monster, Naruto. You hold to much good in you to be called a monster. Your ends would have justified your means if things went the way you wanted them to. All good things in the universe come at a price. You know this better than most." The Shinigami paused an looked back into the gate. "Please make use of this opportunity. And lastly, farewell Naruto."
I didn't bother replying, instead I just looked at the Shinigami with a smile and nodded. No words could possibly portray how thankful I was, so I dint speak at all. I walked to the gate, but stopped when I was directly in front of it. "Thank you." I whispered. "For everything. I will not fail this time." I paused, before chuckling to myself. "Believe it."
With those last words I walked into the light, never to look back at the world I failed to protect. I couldn't bear the shame. Once I walked into the light I closed my eyes, waiting for it open again in my new home. The new home, that I would save from the darkness.