Yeah… this is really just something to pass the time. Don't expect too much.
The Uzumaki clan of Hidden Whirling Tide was renowned both for their natural genius at fuinjutsu and their long life spans. Prodigies seemed to be hereditary among the ranks of the small-ish clan. As one could imagine, inherent mastery at the most difficult, most dangerous of the ninja arts, combined with a longevity that increased the retirement age by twenty years, made the clan more than a few paranoid/jealous enemies.
Naruto Uzumaki, of course, didn't learn about any of this until he was already ass-deep in alligators. I mean, really. Complete control of the Kyuubi's chakra, a fanatical estranged friend hell-bent on destroying his home, the killer of his family plotting to capture and kill him; your lineage becomes background noise amongst all that.
Well, all of those things eventually died down. Uchiha Madara was killed in an epic battle, appropriately at the Valley of the End. His many-times grandson was eventually returned to Konoha, with a broken spine and both his eyes ripped out. The Shichidaime Hokage visits him in the ANBU prison occaisionally.
Yup, you heard right. Naruto finally did it. After all the dust settled, the Daimyo held another council to decide the new Hokage, this time without Danzo's mind-control. The man decided that Naruto's actions were those of the most honorable, pure-hearted young man he'd ever met. More chakra than anyone on the Elemental Continent, half a dozen S-ranked victories under his belt, an unyielding dedication to his friends and village, plus those gosh-darn cute looks, and it was an open-shut case.
Surprisingly, the citizens of Konoha had no problem with this. Apparently, having your ass dragged out of the fire by the same person three times in a row makes it hard to hold a grudge. After the public announcement of Naruto's ascension, which included the truth of his heritage, the villagers were falling over themselves to forgive him and praise him.
So the story had a happy ending. Naruto ruled for many years, fostering friendship and peace across the continent. No one ever mistook him for a weakling, though; any and all who tried to threaten his village were lucky if there were ashes left to bury. He married Hinata, resolved the strife of the Hyuuga clan, passed the reigns to Konohamaru, and finally settled back to grow old in peace.
Over the years, Naruto got more and more interested in the world of sealing. As his limbs began to weaken and his senses start to dull, he became more and more focused on matters of the mind. Except for the affairs of the bedroom, if the literal dozen balls of sunshine in his house were any indications.
The Kyuubi's regeneration combined with the resilience of his mother's line practically doubled Naruto's lifespan from that of a healthy human's. Hinata eventually passed away, as did the rest of the Konoha 12. Naruto mourned their losses, but he didn't obsess over it. He knew that one day he too would die, and when he did his friends and family would be right there on the other side waiting for him.
More years passed, until Naruto was easily the oldest person in Konohagakure. The Technology Revolution had long since swept the world by then, so he lived in comfort. The very nature of Shinobi had changed by then. Though the 'old ways' were still practiced, they were largely ignored in favor of such awesome weapons as 'guns', 'computers', and 'missiles'. War had turned cold, fought in courtrooms and the mind than in real life. However, even as towering giants of steel and glass popped up, the Hokage Monument remained unchanged, a constant reminder of the days of the past.
On his 162nd birthday, though a stranger would place him at no more than eighty, Naruto eased himself out of bed. The symphony of snaps, crackles, and pops (which secretly explained his aversion to breakfast cereal) was a familiar routine by now. He had finally yielded to his eldest daughter (145) and her demands that he start using a cane, though she herself disdained such tools.
Naruto lived on his own under his own power. He had an amazing amount of muscle and energy for someone his age, though the days of being the angel of women's secret dreams were long over. His hair fell to his mid-back, still bright gold at the tips, though it went through the spectrum of aging until it was pure white about an inch from the roots. He remained clean-shaven, because Hinata said she liked his whiskers. His eyes had a slightly milky tint to them, which might explain why he had trouble telling all relatives past his great-great-grandchildren apart.
Naruto grinned happily as he slowly cooked his breakfast. It was ramen. Some things never change, though in his defense, it was a brand-new low-calorie brand that was actually pretty decent in terms of healthy eating.
As Naruto ate, he checked the screen built into his table. It informed him that it was his youngest descendant's birthday as well and he was expected there at noon. Naruto chuckled. 'Ah, my dear Hinata-chan, I wonder if you ever once pictured the day we'd visit our great-great-great-great-grandchild on their fourth birthday.'
Naruto left the dishes to clean themselves. Though he had bent to the demands of the times and allowed his entire home to be configured with the new-fangled gizmos, he still lived in the same house he and Hinata had bought over a century before. This meant that his office still held all the materials that had slowly accumulated over two lifetime's worth of research.
Naruto woke with the dawn these days, and he had plenty of time to work on his latest project before calling for a shuttle. It may have been several generations since his term in office, but the people of Konoha still held great respect for the retired Hokage, always smiling and waving on the streets, always offering him complimentary services. Naruto felt a bit overwhelmed by the whole system, even after so long to get used to it. Still, it proved useful.
The old man continued to examine and tweak his newest experiment. In layman's terms, it was a seal that would, within a controlled environment, allow him to examine objects in all ten dimensions. Naruto had turned into quite the scientist, though it was really a hobby now these days.
Naruto glanced at the clock. 'Hmm, it's getting close to noon. Gazera will kill me if I'm late.' Naruto took a minute to chuckled at the irony of who his great-great-great-grandchild-in-law, the mother of little Ara-kun, was. 'You always complained about troublesome women, Shikamaru. Now you have a woman more hot-headed and childish than Anko and I combined as a descendent.'
Naruto took one more look at the seal. 'Bah, I'm old. I can indulge a little. One test run, then I'm off to the party.'
Naruto's chakra deserves, quite frankly, could have powered the city for a full week. They had been monstrous on their own, had nearly tripled when the Kyuubi's reserves had combined with his, and they had only continued to grow from there as he produced more and more mental energy for the mixing pot. Add that to more than enough time to practice towards control, and Naruto now could unleash more juice than the Juubi could.
Hence, it was no challenge at all to activate the seal which required low-Kage levels of energy to function. Time and space began to warp under the influence of the seal, the very cornerstones of existence twisting and bending. Nature hadn't intended that at all and of course there were consequences.
Naruto regarded the wormhole that had torn itself from the fabric of reality just a few feet in front of him. "Well… shit." And then Naruto got sucked in.
Naruto blearily opened his eyes. That, in itself, was good news. "Okay, mental note, never fuck around with the foundations of the universe again, you senile old lump of fox crap!"
The ground underneath him was soft earth, not the asphalt and concrete that had become so popular. Naruto, in a slight daze, couldn't tell anything about the light other than the fact it was green.
Naruto shook his head as he shakily got to his feet. He absently noted he was naked and his cane was nowhere in sight. Typical. He looked around, his mind already clearing. He wasn't a veteran Kage for nothing. His eyes swept the terrain with the effortless ease of a natural skill honed to the point it was reflex. His mind was ready for anything, be it a jungle of dinosaurs or the surface of Polyphemus II.
Compared to those scenarios, the gates of Konoha as they were a century and a half ago, the mountain behind bearing only four faces instead of twenty-two, shouldn't have been that big of a shock. And yet they were.
"Shukaku's dusty balls! What the hell!"
Well, he was old. He wasn't only an experienced killer when he made the effort to be. And really, getting sucked into something that made Kamui look like a kid playing dress-up and popping up back in the times of your glory days just isn't something you can possibly prepare for.
Naruto was so shocked to be where he was, he didn't notice the presences behind him until a loud yell entirely too familiar to the old man broke the silence.
"Ewwwwwwwwww, Kakashi-sensei! Why is that old man naked in the woods?"
Naruto slowly turned around, making sure to keep his emotions in check. Couldn't have a heart attack here, could he? That would be far too embarrassing a way to die. When he saw the four people behind him, he had trouble deciding whether he wouldn't prefer that quick escape.
Team 7 faced him. Sakura when she was still that twittering school-girl with a debilitating crush. She seemed to be attempting suicide through willful aneurysm, if her growing blush was any indication. Naruto felt a slight breeze caress his privates. Ah. Naruto vividly remembered the bloodstains on the walls and ceiling after his and Hinata's honeymoon. Naruto was still convinced that that nosebleed had broken a few unofficial records and remained untouched since. The young woman had proven to be a female version of Jiraiya, just better hidden. It's always the quiet ones, after all.
Sasuke, considerably less Emo, more ambulatory, and slightly less arrogant than the last time Naruto had seen him on his deathbed. The last 'loyal' scion of the Uchiha was staring at him as if his very existence was an insult to him, wearing the blue top and khaki shorts get-up he'd worn when they'd first been formed. Kakashi was there as well, looking very healthy and full of energy. Well, at least compared to how he was after Anko dragged him into a shotgun wedding. The poor sap had no idea of what was coming. BDSM freaks wept with both joy and envy when they heard what the snake mistress had in store for the Copy-nin.
And finally, there was his younger self. He was still rudely pointing right at him, his eyes closed in childish anger. Naruto felt the urge to gag when he saw the attire he had worn when he was 12. Kill-me-orange and blinding blue. Really, what had he been thinking at that age?
Kakashi looked up from his little orange book, unaware of the acts with a violet-head in his impending future that would make even those fictional athletes beg for mercy. "Maa, maa. Sir, I know that it is none of my business what you do with your time, but could you perhaps have done something other than streaking a few yards from the main road? I'm fairly certain that that breaks a few laws."
Old Naruto stared at the figures straight from his distant past for a full minute, before bringing a hand up to pinch his nose. 'You just HAD to test out that seal, didn't you?'
Since the decommissioning of the Uchiha Police Force due to obvious reasons, any and all crimes had to be evaluated by the Hokage. It was one of many loop-holes Danzo and Sarutobi's old teammates had slipped into the works in order to tie the Sandaime up in paperwork and keep him out of the way. It was one of many flaws that Tsunade had to fix. Naruto had had his fair share with cleaning up after Danzo.
Old Naruto stood with a slight hunch in the 'mission room', thankfully covered with a blanket that Kakashi kept in a scroll. The thing smelled of lust and dog, which shouldn't have surprised the ex-Hokage. He tried to keep his mind off what acts Kakashi had done on lonely cold nights with this blanket as he pieced together what happened to him.
The seal had gone wrong. Badly. In retrospect, Naruto was happy he hadn't just blown reality to little pieces. As it was, he had apparently fallen through the rabbit hole approximately 150 years into the past and about 2 kilometers east. Once again, Naruto felt lucky he hadn't wound up in outer space.
Of course, this raised the question of what he was going to due with the new hand fate had dealt him. Neji had gotten to the blond after numerous philosophy discussions later in the Hyuuga's life. Naruto, however, maintained that fate was fickle and could be influenced to decide based on the actions of those she watched over.
The reminiscing didn't prevent Naruto from listening in on every conversation in the room. From the random chatter among the room combined with the formal report Kakashi was making to Sarutobi, the Shichidaime had already concluded that he had appeared right after the Wave mission, just as Team 7 was coming back, in fact.
Old Naruto held in a chuckle at the antics of his younger counterpart once the subject of Zabuza came up. 'Geez, I was brash this early on.' The elder of the two incarnations tuned out the other as he focused on the Sandaime, whom he was perfectly aware was regarding him with the same subtle intensity.
Sarutobi Hiruzen looked like Old Naruto's lazy, lackadaisical cousin. His face was almost permanently creased with smile lines that almost outnumbered the frown lines. Liver spots abounded all visible skin, and he held himself with a careful posture that hinted at much greater pains of age than those Naruto suffered, though he was technically twice as old. If there was a pageant for old men, Naruto would have obliterated Sarutobi in the first round.
Naruto had barely thought of the 'old' man for over half a century. He had just faded away, a small, warm memory from his early childhood, nothing more. Like Haku, he'd left his mark, but Naruto had collected a lot of such marks over the decades.
Naruto continued to keep half an ear on the report as he considered the nature of his existence here. Would his actions alter the timeline and give him the cosmic eraser, or was he from an alternate timeline and thus merely an outside influence? Kind of hard to tell, considering that his was the first experience of its kind. Even if it wasn't, it would be kind of hard to find records of such accounts, eh?
The report wound down, and Hiruzen nodded with approval to Team 7. "Excellent, excellent. You three have proven that even in times of great trouble, the power of teamwork and the love for your comrades pulled you through. You have my praise. The mission has been upgraded to A-rank, and the records and pay will reflect this. I look forward to your future success. Dismissed."
Naruto waited until the genin had left through the door and Kakashi had Shunshined to who knows where. "I recognize the need to uphold an image and bolster morale, but that level of patriotic glorifying either goes right through a young child's head or inflates it to the level they think they can take on A-rank criminals blindfolded."
Sarutobi's eyes snapped to Naruto, the gentle exterior disappearing. Conversation in the room stopped as the air seemed to grow a few degrees cooler. "You are hardly in a position to criticize, stranger. This has got to be he worst infiltration attempt I've ever heard of. Who sent you?"
Naruto met Hiruzen's eyes unflinchingly, the fraying angles of his face setting into stone. The tension in the air seemed to increase tenfold as the wills of the two old warriors clashed. They weren't even using killing intent, but the atmosphere was tight as violin strings. One of the administrative Chunin forgot to breath.
"Let me guess what you're thinking," Naruto said, settling into the cool calm he used when a battle was a hair-trigger away. "Sixty plus, 180 lb, knows how to handle himself. Came in on streaking charges, obviously a weirdo. You notice a series of quirks as you listen to the little Genin's report. Eyes aren't roving around. No twitches to shift weight. Slight twitching of the pinnae, as if using advanced hearing. And most importantly, no fluctuations in chakra, despite the fact that even a civilian's spikes mildly. You reach the conclusion that he is a spy, a retired ninja sent by another village to become a plant, under the pretense of becoming a citizen. Only the attempt is obviously staged, an amateur's job, it must be one of the minor villages. Right now, you're listening to my analysis, acknowledging the skill and experience needed to place yourself in another's head, and rule out Hoshigakure and Takigakure. Kusagakure is a likely option, as they have shown hostility in the past. You're final assessment is that I am a retired Jonin from Amegakure, trying to frame Kusa by my 'admission'. Unless I'm a missing-nin, in which case you have no idea of guessing my motives. You are going to signal the ANBU in the northwest corner to detain me… now, while the back-up she called for during my lecture make their way here. ETA, seventy-two seconds."
As Naruto talked, Hiruzen's face steadily got harder and more panicked as his entire thought process was spelled out in perfect detail. The instant Naruto had said 'missing-nin'; Sarutobi grabbed the kunai in his robes. He did indeed signal the ANBU in the room exactly where Naruto said.
The ANBU operative lunged forward, her standard-issue blade already being drawn for a quick strike. Naruto, with a level of speed and control that would make many Hyuuga seem clumsy, dodged to the left a quarter second before the ANBU reached him. In the same movement, a gnarled hand flew up to pinch the nerve cluster at the back of her neck. Lynx collapsed to the ground without a sound.
Naruto's eyes had never left the Sandaime's.
The Chunin in the room were frozen. They were paper-pushers, secretaries. They'd gone on a few missions, but all the bad guys had radiated their intentions to do harm. Enemy shinobi had K.I., bandits had bloodlust, and even corrupt executives had soulless greed. This, the terrible efficiency of the old man who gave away nothing, freaked them out more than if he'd hurled lightning around the room.
Naruto kept a hand clutched on the blanket. "A reasonable reaction, old Hokage, but short-sighted. For all you know, I'm a time-traveling Kage here to fight your battles for you. Besides, I'm wearing nothing but this blanket. If I have to deal with the two squads approaching, it might fall off. I personally don't feel that anyone here deserves that kind of trauma."
Hiruzen was now officially on high alert. This man was dangerous, capital D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S. There was no hesitance in his eyes, no flickers of indecision. There was only that implacable calm. There were only two explanations. First, insanity. The guy honestly didn't view him as a threat due to a twisted worldview. Second, the guy didn't see him as a threat because his own level far surpassed his. Hiruzen glanced at his downed elite, and felt a sinking feeling it was the latter.
Naruto grinned; no. He showed his teeth, barring them in a predator's smirk. God, he was having more fun playing with his 'grandpa' then he'd had chasing his grandkids around the amusement park. The thrill of the knife's-edge soared through his veins, so long away that it was almost unfamiliar, and all the more a rush for the rediscovery.
"Hokage-san, let's be reasonable. I literally have more chakra than you had in your prime in my right hand, along with control that would make Tsunade feel like an academy student. I have offered no direct threat. We can settle down and chat like men our ages should, or we can see how embarrassing reports of ANBU falling to an old man are."
As Naruto finished, the room was suddenly filled with black. Masks of every description of woodland critter covered the faces of Konoha's elite. All of them were poised to attack the old veteran, who regarded their numbers with a detached amusement. Naruto decided to give a bit of a show, and relaxed the vice-grip he habitually kept his chakra ever since it exceeded the Ichibi's levels by about a quarter.
The old man seemed to burst into fire, there was so much chakra. It flooded the room, burning with a clear, piercing blue light that could probably be seen from a mile away. It was enough chakra to summon Gamabunta ten times over. Any ninja worth the name within a hundred miles felt that massive spike of chakra. It was a sheer heart-stopping, life-flashing kind of display of power, the kind that long ago had made mortals fall in abject worship and fear of those that displayed such energy. It was power worthy of a god.
The men and women in the room, ANBU or otherwise, tried and failed the urge to collapse. Only the highest among the ANBU and the Sandaime managed it. All others fell to the ground, struck dumb by the unstoppable flood of energy, as terrifying and primal as Atlas's shrug.
The thing that had Hiruzen almost losing control of his bowels was the fact that every drop of that chakra was under complete restraint! That release of chakra could and should have leveled the entire tower, seal defenses within the walls or not. And yet it was contained within a perfect sphere around this stranger. That level of power and control… it simply could not be human. Minato, the strongest ninja in history, would have been like a genin going through the bell test if he ever faced this being. The old Sarutobi was coming very close to dying of shock.
Naruto rolled his shoulders, working out a few kinks. "Ah, it feels good to relax a bit. So, what's it going to be, Old Hokage?"
Panicked, one of the ANBU forgot all of his training and flung a kunai right at Naruto's head.
Sarutobi's eyes widened. 'Fool, there's no way that will work! You've signed your own death warrant! How…'
Everything stopped as the kunai hit its mark. Naruto grinned. And went up in a puff of smoke.
Sarutobi felt a cold sweat break out on his forehead, feeling as if someone had pulled the rug out from under his feet in a dark room. 'That much power, that much skill. And it was a Kage Bunshin. He could be anywhere!'
The Sandaime spoke, his voice slightly shaking as he attempted to lay order in the shocked haze of the mission room. "ANBU, I want every inch of the village scoured until you find that man. Treat him with extreme caution. Capture if at all possible, but react with extreme prejudice. Go!"
Naruto blinked as the memories of his Kage Bunshin flowed into his mind. The action might once have felt strange, but by now it was as natural as breathing. He wasn't 'Konoha's One Man Army" for nothing. Personally, the aging Jinchuuriki felt that there was nothing funnier then the sight of an enemy army once they watch one man become thousands of Rasengan-wielding, Sage-powered suicide bombers. That last one had led to his other nickname, "Kami's Demolitionist".
Seriously. Picture thousands of clones, formed at a thought, all of whom can explode with the force of five bomb tags… if you aren't curdled into the fetal position shivering, then you are too much of a pyro for your own good.
Naruto shrugged as he walked into a clothing store. He was in a Henge in which he was clothed, so he drew no odd stares.
Naruto quickly found, tried, and decided on an outfit not unlike the one he had lost. He had a grey gi top, loose black pants, and sandals that were practically slippers. He Shunshined out of the changing room, so there was no issue of paying with no money.
Naruto appeared in the Forest of Death, always a favorite haunt of his. Really, once you reach a certain level, it becomes less a pit of nightmares and more a park that never gets dull. With barely a hand sign to concentrate, Naruto formed a staff of stone to use as a cane.
Finding a comfortable spot to sit down, and sending one of the giant tigers running with its tail between its legs as a message to the creatures of the forest, Naruto sat down and began to meditate.
It didn't take any time to reach his mindscape. Over the years it had slowly morphed from a sewer, representing the dark, muddied nature of his mind, into a massive garden full to bursting with life. Trees that made the giants of the physical forest around him seem like twigs, flowers of, quite literally, every bloom and shade imaginable. Naruto moved briskly through the happy treks of his mind, briefly pausing to savor the images of a significant memory in the pools frequently found.
Eventually, Naruto reached the Kyuubi. It resembled nothing more than a dog stuck in a cage two sizes too small. The fact that the cage was made up of interlocking traditional gates only added to the weirdness. Blood-red eyes too tired to be malevolent opened and tracked Naruto's approach.
"Hello, fleshling. I'm guessing you want to know what in hell's name happened with that seal."
Naruto shrugged as he sat down cross-legged, his staff planted in the space between his legs and leaning against his shoulder. "Considering that I toyed with the primordial forces of the universe, I figured I'd ask a primordial demon on the specifics."
The Kyuubi sighed. After more than a century trapped inside a being with no hatred for him to feed off of, it'd lost the will to be contrary for the sheer sake of being a demon. "Basically, you threw boiling water on ice with that stunt of yours. The past 150 years just… never happened. Since you were at ground zero, you managed to land in the world proper, but basically everything else got wiped clean. You are now a relic of a future that will never happen."
Naruto nodded. "Hmm, well this is a heck of a birthday present. I get to be the puppeteer who silently changes the course of the future. The irony is that it isn't out of some megalomaniacal urge; it's because I have nothing else to do. Inamaru would laugh himself to death."
The Kyuubi grinned. Well, it was always grinning, but it lost its malevolent edges. "Ah, the youngest of your litter. That boy showed true potential as a prankster. He reached it when he surpassed you in the realm of tricks. Remember when he spiked the water supply with vodka and remodeled the town into a bunch of storybook houses in one night? Everyone was still convinced they were drunk for hours after they finally managed to get sober!"
Naruto grinned. "I never really found out how he did that. My boy had a gift."
The Kyuubi chuckled, before focusing on Naruto intently. It was its version of putting on a game face. "Let's stop reminiscing and get to why you really came here, eh?"
Naruto sighed. "Fine, I'll come out with it. Frankly, I am sick of being old. It was okay when I had all my young kin, but now they only exist in my memories. I don't want to go insane while waiting for all the major stuff to happen, so I'm asking you straight: is there a way to turn back my age?"
The Kyuubi grinned wider. "As you know, my chakra sustains you by burning off weakness, such as injuries. However, even without my will poisoning the chakra, it is still fundamentally a force of destruction. I made your cells stronger and healthier with each usage, but I burned through the number of times they can copy to do so. If it weren't for the increased number of copies that the Uzumaki clan has, you'd have burned out at 120. At this point, any attempts to burn age out of your cells would burn through the number of copies you have left. Rather counterproductive, eh?"
Naruto raised an overgrown brow. "You are a force of nature. Even locked inside my family for three generations, you still have that link to the world. What method would work?"
The Kyuubi grinned like the creature it pretended to be. "Thinking outside the box. Par for the course with you. Yes, there is a natural method to reverse age; that 'Fountain of Youth' myth didn't get started by itself. However, the process would require a pure heart, the ability to draw in Natural Energy, and enough stamina to form and hold an Oodama Rasengan for six hours straight."
Naruto threw back his head and laughed a full belly laugh that made the air around him literally glow with mirth. "In other words, it is custom-made for me. I take back everything I ever said about you, Neji, cause if this ain't fate then nothing is!"
Kyuubi laughed to itself. "And why, exactly, do you want to not be old, kit?"
Naruto took that remark in good grace; compared to an immortal being, he was still a child. He'd learned enough humility to admit to that. "Aside from the daily aches and pains vanishing? Isn't that enough?" Here, Naruto's eyes got a far-off look. "Besides, there are plenty of women in my life who never had anyone love them. If I get to change the future, and reclaim my youth, then I'm starting with that."
The Kyuubi snorted. "Aren't you supposed to remain faithful to your lavender goddess, remain pure of heart even in the face of outright seduction?"
Naruto gave the fox a level look. "My bed has been cold for nigh on seventy years now, and all my family who filled the void are gone. Now I have a chance to give all the women I know the kind of devotion and affection that I gave my Hinata-chan that they obviously deserve."
Kyuubi's grin widened further, until it seemed to split his face. "Did I honestly just here you use your long, very successful marriage to justify having a harem with all the females in your life who never had anyone?"
Again with the level look. "I had twelve, count them, twelve children. Even taking into account Hinata-chan's appetites, that is a whole lot of virility right there. Considering I can think of four or five different women off the top of my head that died alone, I feel it my duty as their friend to give them the joys of family when it's within my power to do so."
The Kyuubi leered at Naruto, a mixture of amusement and sardonic weariness on its face. "I'd call you a lustful, self-justifying pervert like your sensei if I didn't know for a fact that you mean every word. As it is, you are going to have those women eating out of your hands. Which ones are they again?"
Naruto focused. "Let's see. Sakura had Lee, Ino got Sai, Temari whipped Shikamaru, Ayame fell for Chouji, Tenten finally bagged Neji, Hanabi and Moegi had to share Konohamaru because of the CRA, Shizune seized Iruka eventually… along with the obviously taken or exempt, that leaves at this time Hana, Konan, Yugito, Shion, Koyuki…"
"Stop there!" The Kyuubi yelled. It might understand human relationships even less then it understood advanced quantum physics, but even it knew that was a bit much. "A hard-ass Alpha female, an S-ranked origami chick, the container of the 'Hellcat', a holy priestess and banisher of demons, and the Daimyo of Snow/Spring? Any one of them would be as bad as your first mate, and you want to take on all of them? Are you insane? Even I would have trouble replacing your nuts if they get torn off."
Naruto sighed. "One, I was married to the woman who could have sold Jiraiya out of business had she taken up the pen. Not only that, but every single teacher I have had, including some of the females, have been perverts in one way or another. It was bound to rub off sooner or later. Two, I am probably the only man alive who could match any of them. The only thing that turns on an Alpha female is an Alpha male who can dominate her, which solves Hana and to some extent Yugito. Konan is practically devout to peace, and I am light incarnate after all. As for Shion, she practically hired me in the first place to get a child off her; I was just too blunt at the time to catch the hint. Koyuki, likewise, already had a bit of a crush on me after I saved her country, if all those invitations to movie premieres were any indication."
Only here did a small hint of lust appear on Naruto's face. "Plus, you're forgetting that I didn't figure out the Chi Bunshin until Hinata and I had started 'slowing down'. Armed with that knowledge, I could probably satisfy every woman in Hi no Kuni."
The Kyuubi shrugged a rather difficult motion in its super tight cage. "Bah, who am I to complain? It just means more interesting memories to peruse through. I must say, the number of ways you fleshlings find to mate is fascinating."
Naruto didn't blush. Blushing is for those embarrassed by their actions. Naruto knew he could give these women love to spare, no matter how large their appetites. There was no reason to have shame in that.
"Back to the subject at hand. What's the secret to regaining my youth?"
The Kyuubi's eyes went out of focus a bit, as if focusing on a far-off memory. "On top of the highest mountain in what you call Kaminari no Kuni, there is a garden. Find it, reach it, and I'll tell you more when you get there."
Naruto nodded, before loosening his concentration. In an instant, he was back in the real world.
Facing Mitarashi Anko.
The twenty-something, as per usual, was wearing what at first glance far too little clothing, at second a carefully considered ploy. Much like the Oiroke no Jutsu, Anko's wardrobe was designed to throw people, giving her enough time to lunge in for the kill. If he didn't already know she had her eye on a one-eyed wolf, Naruto might have considered her. But no, he wasn't quite that depraved and/or desperate.
"I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the only reason you haven't had your snake bite me is because you aren't sure whether I'm just mentally disturbed and wandered in by accident." Naruto calmly reached behind his neck and grabbed the small viper by the mouth. A small effort later, and it dispelled as its brain matter was crushed.
Anko, deprived of her daily dango due to a shipping delay, was already in a cranky mood. When the old geezer went and killed her summon, she didn't even consider the level of skill needed to do that. So she flung her kunai at him. On a whim, Naruto let it skim his cheek. Anko appeared behind him, the kunai at his neck, his blood beading along the blade.
"Listen to me you old fuck, I am in a very bad mood. So you are going to follow me out of my little garden so I don't have to deal with all the paperwork surrounding your death. The choice you have is whether you leave conscious or dragged by your balls." Anko absent-mindedly licked the blood, her sadistic instincts kicking in. She immediately froze.
Naruto sighed as he slowly got to his feet. Anko remained unmoving as a tidal wave roared down her taste buds and down her spine, sending sub-zero chills throughout her body. With the level of chakra infused into his blood, it was akin to licking a live transformer.
Naruto slowly turned to the woman. He gently tapped her on the forehead. She fell over unconscious, her mind still on sensory overload from the taste of his blood. Naruto slowly turned towards the northeast, towards Kumo. "Well, I'll be back ten decades ago. Don't miss me too much." With that, Naruto took a step and disappeared.
Naruto had, half out of a desire to get more power to protect his village, but mostly out of boredom, taken the effort to master all five elements. He had nothing but time to practice after retirement, and with Kage Bunshin he could cram ten years of practice into a mere week.
Experimenting with combining the elements, Naruto had stumbled onto one of the greatest scientific discoveries of his time. Everyone knew the earth was magnetic, but Naruto was the one who found the electromagnetic fields that held everything in sync. Upon further research, Naruto had discovered a technique, not even a full jutsu that put the Hiraishin to shame.
The Hiraishin, in essence, involved attaching your body to a light wave, which would bounce among the various seals that made the network until it reached the one the user intended. This is what gave Namikaze Minato the illusion of instant teleportation. He had literally been moving at the speed of light. It was actually sheer dumb luck that he had made the seal in such a way that he wouldn't turn into a lump of radioactive molecules.
Naruto's idea was more akin to geomagnetic roller-skates. By combining lightning and earth natured chakra and focusing it to his feet, Naruto could skim across the electromagnetic field of the earth. The effect was akin to mythical seven-league boots. Naruto would take a single step, and move miles with that movement. He actually went so fast that he phased right through physical matter. It had taken years of constant practice with Kage Bunshin to get the knack of it and to stop falling into the ocean. (Note: I would like to thank the author of The Raikage for having the idea for Shunpo, which I used as a springboard for this idea. I do not claim to own the idea.)
As such, it took less time to reach the mountains of Kaminari no Kuni than it had taken to walk from the gates to the Hokage Tower. Naruto stopped his travel and looked up. And up and up. He had stopped on a dime right at the base of the mountain Kyuubi had spoken of. Everest in our world would have looked like a small hillock compared to this monster. It looked like a pillar soaring up to the sky to touch the heavens themselves, which might explain why the Mountain was named "The Bridge to the Sun".
Naruto let go of his cane. It would be of no use for the climb. "Well, I'm a ninja. I'm supposed to laugh at nature. Hell, that's how I got here in the first place. Come on, Naruto, just get on with it."
With that, Naruto tensed his legs before jumping as high as he could. He kept on going.
By now, Naruto knew wind the way Gaara knew sand. He held complete mastery over it to the point of reflex. When Naruto wasn't inclined to use his 'earth-step', he preferred to settle back into a tangible whirlwind, the wind acting as a cushion literally soft as a cloud that could travel long distances in no time. Once again, due to the unnatural levels of chakra and mastery needed, it was something only Naruto could do.
Naruto continued to rise at a goodly pace, chewing up the mountain's face at astonishing speed. Still, the top remained out of reach. Naruto focused on drawing oxygen into his lungs as he climbed higher and higher. Through sheer bodily control, Naruto could slow his heart rate to five beats a minute, and live off raw chakra for everything else. In this way, Naruto could last a few hours with little activity without breathing. Managing his whirlwind at the same time, the time was considerably shortened. Naruto prayed he could reach the top.
The height of the mountain was ridiculous, a thing of legend. It was literally measured in miles. Naruto actually passed into the stratosphere before the top finally came in sight. Already seeing spots, Naruto alighted on the summit, and suddenly there was air. Naruto cautiously breathed in, and the cleanest, purest air he'd ever tasted flowed into his lungs.
Naruto slowly regained homeostasis. When he did, he looked around and, even with his decades of experience, even with a lifetime of wonders to look back on, he was struck dumb by his surroundings.
His mindscape was a dying window garden compared to this paradise. The trees were unlike any Naruto had ever seen, though the most closely resembled willows. Ten or twenty spanned the summit. They were covered in leaves the color of sunset, literally glowing with health and vitality. The grass beneath Naruto's feat could have mocked marshmallows for being too rough. A small pond rested in the center of this Eden, the water bluer than even his eyes, and clear as the air he breathed. The sun seemed to rest on a bed of clouds that spanned the horizon. Everything, every tiny facet of the place, was full to bursting of a perfection that no creature of mere flesh and blood could replicate. It was the Kami's Garden.
The Kyuubi rumbled from the depths of Naruto's mind, heard as clearly as if it stood at its container's shoulder. 'This place is a dream of a dream to your kind. A few leaves were blown down to the earth, and an old hermit chewed some of them. He literally became ten years younger overnight. Rumors abounded, and soon every superstitious fool on the planet came to search the land for the 'leaves of youth'… and if you make a pun about that fitness maniac in your village, I will render you impotent.'
Naruto was still stunned, and so did not respond to the threat. 'That's the secret, isn't it? I have to absorb the Natural Energy of this garden. Of course, I'll need a ridiculous amount of chakra to counteract it. The energy of this place is so pure that I'll have to 'filter' it through mountains of chakra to keep me from turning into one of these trees. The tiniest nuance out of place, and I'll be sucked up by the earth.'
The Kyuubi growled its agreement. Its container was sharp as Tenten's finest blade; it was no surprise how fast he had reached the right conclusion. 'I'd get started if I were you. Juubi knows how long you'll be here.'
Naruto nodded, before slowly lowering himself to the earth in the lotus position. He was tempted to just keel over and take a nap in the sinfully-luxurious grass, but he maintained his focus. Taking a deep breath, Naruto went completely still, allowing the energy of nature to flow around and into him. He'd stopped moving around and surrendered to the embrace of the planet.
Naruto felt more alive just by feeling the energy of the garden touch him. Age would be washed away like a bad stain under the tide of that vibrant power. Drawing every ounce of his not-inconsiderable concentration, Naruto focused on drawing in the Natural Energy of the place.
It was worse than the first time he'd tried on Mt. Myoboku. The energy rushed in with an unquenchable force, seeking to transform and break down the muddied chains that held the true elements of his form together in the shape of flesh. Naruto stopped himself from going over the point of no return by a nanometer. He smothered the rush of Natural Energy with his own chakra, beating it down and saturating it until it subsided and melted into his reserves.
This titanic trial occurred within the split-second he first reached for the energy. It continued for half an hour. Roots reached up from the soil to caress and hug Naruto's body as he did what no mere man had ever done before: subjected the might of nature herself to his will. Naruto didn't even notice as his body morphed and shifted, evolving into something beyond simple Homo Sapien under the direct influence of raw nature.
Muscles rippled, shifted, and reformed as they strove to reflect the perfection flowing in. Naruto's skin cleared as it repaired itself and more, until he glowed like a statue of pure bronze. His hair shifted into a gold that put his old shade to shame. His eyes deepened and brightened until they shined like the unearthly pool in the center of the garden. The clothes he'd acquired in Konoha crumbled into dust, obliterated by the run-off of the miracle occurring within the person wearing them.
The human race, like all living things, was like a painting that nature had drawn at the dawn of time and had left largely untouched since, the slowly fading and chipping under Time's heavy touch. What Naruto was going through was akin to a master restoring that painting and adding their own flair.
The Kyuubi huddled in its cage as it felt the metamorphosis its host was going through. 'Inari's tits, what the hell is going on?'
Naruto, more exhausted than he could ever remember, finally closed off his body from the flow of nature as the last of his chakra tamed the final wave of energy. He collapsed to the ground, unconscious before his head touched the grass.
I figured I'd stop here. I've been caught up in One Piece for so long that I figured I'd use Oda's vacation as a chance to return to my roots. Hope I haven't lost my touch. Ja ne.