I've always wanted to do a time travel fic, and here we go! Time travel, Kakashi, and Minato; my three favourite things -what could go wrong?
Note: While this first chapter is in Naruto's view, the story will majority be following Kakashi's perspective/Kakashi centric.
Chapter One: What do you mean, 'what's the worst that can happen'?
Let's set the point straight beforehand. It's not like he wanted to go, really. In fact, all things considered, he was relatively happy where he was.
So, alright, maybe it irked him that at fifteen, he was still a genin - the only one among his friends (excluding Sasuke). But that fact could've easily been dealt with by taking the next Chunin Exam. It's not like any one expected Naruto Uzumaki to fail, considering he was one of Konoha's strongest ninjas. He did, after all, train with the legendary sennin Jiraiya, and most importantly, managed the impossible - brought Sasuke back home.
Half a year earlier, right after Sasuke killed Danzou, Sakura and Kakashi-sensei had rushed in to apprehend the Uchiha. Both of them failed. After watching Sakura stop her sneak attack a mere hair's breath away from beheading Sasuke, Naruto knew he also wouldn't be able to fulfill this farce of a mission. Sasuke was his teammate, his best friend, his brother. Like Sakura, he could never stomach the thought of slaying Sasuke. So, instead, he brushed aside the Hokage's orders and commenced his original plan of dragging Sasuke home.
After bashing in Sasuke's head a couple times, the Uzumaki finally did his magic and convinced the broody boy that his vengeance had been achieved; both Itachi and Danzou were already six-feet-under. They roared and raged at each other, chidori and rasengan colliding, because that was how true men talked. Then, Naruto almost lost hope as Sauske turned calmly away from team seven in favour of his former allies.
But he'd been wrong to doubt Sasuke and himself. The blond fox-container's smile returned to Sasuke's unexpected betrayal towards Zetsu, right after he called Madara out.
Madara was a slippery bastard. With the combined efforts of Naruto in Sage mode; Sasuke with Sakura behind him healing wounds and sending him chakra; and Kakashi with the Mangekyō Sharingan out, they just barely managed to do some harm to the "immortal" Uchiha. He disappeared into his space-time jutsu, irritated and fuming mad at the damage done and Sasuke's deceit.
That was the last time they saw Madara Uchiha - or at least for the time being.
Near death, and limbs giving out, the search team slowly made their way back to Konoha with Sasuke and Karin in tow.
With Danzou was out-of-commission, Kakashi was quickly promoted to apparent Hokage. His first task was to reappoint Sasuke as a leaf-nin - only after stripping him of his privileges, of course. There was willfulness and there was stupidity, and Kakashi was far from stupid. He had faith in his former student, but not unconditional trust, because though he liked to think the best of these precious students of his, they were still shinobi, forged from blood and death.
Still, for a defector, Sasuke wasn't treated too horribly. There were only a few rules he'd set on the teen. No longer was Sasuke allowed to carry any other weapon other than standard kunai in the village. He was watched twenty-four seven, and could be immobilized at any time he seemed to be a harm. Neither was training was not allowed unless supervised. Naruto's immense trust was the only reason why the teen wasn't treated any worse.
The villagers for the most part, listened to their temporary Hokage. When Tsunade-sama awoke from her coma and retook the position, they grudgingly accepted Sasuke back. This was only after Naruto whined at her for days to trust Sasuke herself.
The village of Konoha treated Sasuke with as much scorn as they had once given Naruto, if not more. Who could blame them after Sasuke's attempt at their lives? The girls no longer swooned after him, and Sasuke, although accepted, was left to his lonesome self.
As for Sakura, although she occasionally visited Sasuke, she spent most of her days in the Konoha General Hospital as a medic-nin. Her skills quickly improved under proper tutelage, until she was relied on as much as Tsunade herself. Never one to disappoint her growing reputation, she dedicated all her time to her skill – to the point where she was practically living in the hospital as her second home.
And the girl, Karin; not much could be said about her. She died before they could save her, still calling out for Sasuke.
But really, life wasn't so bad, with the war seemingly on a halt. The village was prospering again, and Konoha was almost back to its former glory. Yes, everything was going great, so why did he decide to listen to Kakashi of all people!
The day started out fine as Naruto routinely called Sasuke out for a quick spar. As usual, it ended with an ANBU showing up to tell them they were causing too much ruckus. He dallied around the village after that, before heading to check on Iruka-senei and his current Academy class, trying to corrupt his students. He was chased away by an angry Iruka, grin stretch on his prankster face, as Konohamaru and his pals held the chunin back. Good assist!
With nothing more interesting to do, he visited Sakura next, of course, interrupting her check ups and making her still-growing lists of patients wait hours more. The pink-haired girl was forced to shoo Naruto away before he could do any more damage, hands dangerously twitching into the form of boulder-breaking fists. Even Naruto knew better than to test his luck to that.
So lunch it was, then. There was no better place than Ichiraku.
If Naruto knew the insanity of trouble that he would soon be shoved head-first into courtesy of Kakashi, he would've skipped out on his favourite ramen that day, because no amount of good ramen was worth it. It was a shame he didn't, though.
As Naruto merrily made his way to the Ramen bar, Kakashi intercepted him with a "Yo."
"Joining me for lunch, Kakashi-sensei?" the blond asked, not even batting an eyelash at his sudden appearance. He was used to Kakashi showing up when-ever and where-ever he wanted.
"Maybe later," the silver-haired man said, patting the teen on the head. "I was just wondering how much you knew about seals."
He stopped mid-stride at the word. "Fuinjutsu?" Naruto confirmed, "I studied a bit on it with Jiraiya, and then after on my own when I found out the Fourth was my dad." The boy grinned sheepishly, and muttered something about living up to his dad's legacy in an embarrassed tone.
The jounin nodded, knowing full well of this. "At the moment, you are the most qualified seal specialist in this village. Perhaps that's not saying much, but you've studied it more intensively than anyone else present. What is your current level?"
Naruto let out a long "uhhh," before shrugging. "I know a fair amount. I'm sure I could recognize seals, if that's what you want me to do. Plus with a bit more studying, I could totally make my own!" he added enthusiastically. "So what's this about?"
Instead of an answer, the jounin's eye just creased up into a smile."That works," Kakashi replied with a satisfied nod. "If you're curious, come along," he said cheerfully, turning around in spot.
Naruto watched him warily.
"Coming?" Kakashi urged, with a tilt of his head towards the village gates, as Naruto stood unmoving behind him.
Naruto blinked blankly. "Now?" At Kakashi nod, he groaned out loud with a sulk on his lips. "What about my ramen? I was going to Ichiraku's for lunch!" he whined.
Kakashi hummed and beamed back in response, a chilling chuckle echoing from the back of his throat. Naruto hid a shudder from his teacher's smirking expression. "Maa, I think you can skip out on lunch once in a while, Naruto. Don't you want to look good for the ladies?" he said casually, strutting down the road.
Naruto froze. "Are you calling me fat?" he demanded, as Kakashi continued on his way, seemingly oblivious to his cries. "I train it off, I swear. ...Sensei? Hey, Kakashi-sensei, are you listening to me?"
The man turned his head. "Maa maa, if you say you do," Kakashi agreed aloofly. He waved a hand, gesturing at the gates once more. "How about this, Naruto: if you do a good job, I'll treat you to the ramen you missed," he negotiated half-heartedly, because it didn't take a genius to guess the blond's response.
"Alright!" With a whoop, Naruto's steps turned to leaps as he dragged his teacher out the village gates.
"A rock," Naruto deadpanned, "I skipped lunch and ran all that way so you could show me a rock."
"It's a very special rock," Kakashi corrected. Somewhere between Leaf and Cloud Country, the silver-haired jounin stumbled among this very rock while he was making his way back home post-mission.
Naruto lifted an unamused eye at his teacher, "What's so special about it?"
"Ahh, that's a good question," Kakashi said airily, but didn't elaborate.
The blond stared incredulously at him. "You mean you don't know? So we really did just come here to stare at a stupid rock?"
Kakashi tsked at the boy. "I didn't say that." The 'stupid' rock was about a meter high, eroded through weather and environment until it was shaped to something akin to an inverted pyramid. It sat deep in the forest on an uneven terrain of rocks and upheaved dirt. Trees surrounded the place densely like needles on a porcupine. If it weren't for Kakashi pointing out that particular boulder, Naruto would have dismissed it for being the boring rock he sorely believed it was.
"So…?" Naruto urged, when Kakashi was only being a pain, grinning mysteriously at his confusion.
Kakashi stepped forward and touched the large boulder. "Alright, teasing aside," the man finally said, kneeling down beside it, "Just watch." He channeled chakra out of his hand. The moment it reached the rock, the floor lit up in a pale red colour. "It looks to me like those are seals on the floor. I landed on the rock on my way back, and it absorbed chakra through my feet ."
Naruto dropped down, studying the seals. "I can't see them very clearly; it's too light." Kakashi poured in more chakra, and the seals lit up brighter, expanding further around them. Naruto looked cautiously over at his teacher before turning back to the seals. "It's not going to activate on us, is it?" he asked with due paranoia.
Kakashi shook his head. "I experimented on it before I reported back, and it hadn't changed within that period of time. The results were the same if I continuously poured in chakra, or if I fed it in bit by bit - the seals would light up before slowly fading away. I've tried translating the seals, but I haven't actively studied fuinjutsu, and this is out of my league."
Naruto let out an interested 'huh', before turning back down to the ground. He spoke and he worked: "You know, Sensei, studying something potentially dangerous sounds like something I would do. Aren't you usually the voice of reason against this stuff?"
"I believe that's Sakura nowadays," Kakashi joked lightly, before giving the boy a guilty grin. "I do admit, this intrigues me; I've yet to see a seal this intricate before." Kakashi studied the curving lines, face growing serious. "And with Madara liable to return any day now, I think it's best if we figured out what this does before he finds it and uses it to his advantage. The man has more experience and knowledge than any of us - if anyone could make use of this in a heartbeat, it would be him." That, perhaps, was the merits of being an immortal; his accumulative wisdom exceeded that of average shinobi.
"Right," Naruto said suddenly, motivation renewed. "I'll do my best too!" He clambered beside Kakashia and dropped to the man's side to press his palm by his sensei's. Kakashi raised an eyebrow. Naruto shrugged in response. "You're too slow. I can't see anything. We'll take all month at this pace and by then Madara would probably be back. Everyone's depending on us!"
"If you want to light up the whole thing, it'll take more chakra than I want to spare without winding myself," Kakashi answered honestly.
Naruto shrugged at that. "That's why you've got me!" The blond focused on his hand on the stone, calling up the Kyuubi's power. "Are you sure it's safe, Sensei?" Naruto added suddenly, unable to help the bout of doubt that cropped up at that moment.
Kakashi mused over the question for all of a minute before answering reasonably. "If worse comes to worse, I've told Tsunade-sama about my plans for today, and she'll dispatch someone to look for us if we don't return. Otherwise, the Kyuubi won't let anything happen to you, and I have enough experience to tackle most worse-case scenarios; what's the worst that can happen?"
And then they both forced their chakra into the rock.
The pale red slowly shone brighter, until it was as red as blood, lighting up the mossy, leaf littered grounds. Between the cracks that were the dead leaves, strokes of patterns could be seen, weaving in and out in complicated scrawls. It ran far down the forest until it was out of their sight, only faintly visible from their vantage point by the glow it reflected off the tree trunks. Naruto watched it expand, eyes widening as he saw it continue further and further on. Kakashi finally looked a little worried.
"If you can, cut off your chakra," the man ordered abruptly. "Now."
"Yeah-" Naruto began, but then the wind suddenly picked up. It grew violent, hurling whichever way it pleased. It whipped and slashed brutally at their skins, threatening to leave red marks the next day.
"I'm stopping!" the blond yelled over the howling wind, hair flapping messily around his face. He tried to let go, but his hands stayed firmly attached. His chakra involuntarily spilled into the rock, as it sucked it in greedy. "It's stealing my chakra! I can't let go!"
A glance at Kakashi showed that the man felt the same as he did. His masked head drooped as the man quickly lost all his energy, and his wincing eye conveyed more emotion than the trained shinobi would ever purposely allow. "Sorry, Naruto," the man hissed out, before he dropped. His body collapsed into a boneless slouch, yet despite so, his hand was still firmly attached in place.
"KAKASHI!" Naruto screamed. He tried to thrash around, but his body stood still. His mind had no control over his actions. "Damn it, let met GO!" His attempt to blast himself out with chakra, but it failed as the rock merely absorbed it all in. "I'm not dying here, I'm not!" He cried determinedly.
If pulling out wasn't possible then he'd do the opposite, damn it. He charged his chakra at it, hoping for it to overload the rock, for it to involuntarily self-destruct. If there was one thing Naruto was confident of, it was his chakra reserves.
Even so, he felt winded as his chakra was pulled out faster than anticipated. Still, for a moment Naruto was optimistic it would be fine in the end - and then, it turned red. Like toxin, raw Kyuubi chakra flowed out, stinging his coils as it coursed through his system. He'd used the red chakra before, but never this amount, never this quickly. His heart rate accelerated, his stomach dropped, and he wasn't able to stifle a scream as he felt like his soul was being ripped out through his throat. His blue eyes bled blood-shot in pain, before he drooped, falling much like Kakashi had done not moment's ago. Naruto tried to stay awake, but it was a futile attempt.
"You owe me so much ramen for this, Kakashi," he murmured out moodily, before blackness finally swallowed him up whole.
There was a flash of red light; 'lightning' the villagers close by thought, and the two unconscious bodies disappeared from sight. There left no sign of a seal anywhere, and no residue chakra lingered to be traced. In short, there was nothing there to indicate anything happened in the forest. All was left was a meter tall rock sitting innocently on the rocky terrain, looking as suspicious as the presence trees in a forest.