Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Old Man Logan
This story is based on a Wolverine story arc called Old Man Logan. A look at a world thirty years into the future where the villains have won, how has the world changed? How has Naruto changed? What dark secret does Naruto hold that haunts him to this very day?
Old Man Naruto
Chapter 1: A mad, mad world
The sun was hot that day as an old fisherman cast his nets into the pristine waters of the open sea. His small boat gentle rocking in the calm ocean waters as a slight breeze grazed his face. He pulled his nets and saw only a handful of fish and grimaced.
"Another poor day", he muttered to no one.
A voice calling him from the shore rouses his attention and he looks back to the beach and sees a woman waving to him. He smiles and waves back and watches her return to a small cottage just beyond the sand. He couldn't make out what she was saying but guessing from the noonday sun, it must be lunchtime. He hauls in his second net, again grimacing at his paltry catch, and begins rowing back to shore.
He enters the house and can smell the soup his wife is making. He takes off his straw hat and hangs it up running his fingers through his now slightly graying blonde hair. He's about to walked to the kitchen when his leg is caught by a pair of small arms. He looks down to see a small five year old girl with brown hair and blue eyes staring up at him.
"Daddy", the young girl squeals happily. He smiles at his daughter, picks her up and carries her into the kitchen.
"Hello to you too angel, have you been helping mommy with lunch", he asks giving his daughter a kiss on the cheek.
"Un huh", the little girl said nodding her head. "Mommy says I'm the best potato peeler ever!"
"Is that so", he says chuckling at his daughter exuberance. Well I'm sure were going to eat soon so go wash up Yumi and find your brother. He places Yumi down and again chuckles as she stampedes out of the room.
"She really is your daughter Naruto", the woman at the stove sighs not turning around.
"I would hope so Inabi", Naruto says hugging his wife from behind. "She isn't someone else's is she", he asks with mock hurt in his voice.
Inabi playfully slaps his hand from her waist and returns to cooking. "Just go wash up before lunch you idiot, it'll be ready in a few minutes", she scolds trying not to laugh at the childish pout on her grown husbands face.
Naruto walked outside to pump some water from the well and looked back at the small cottage he now lived in. Most people who saw it would think it as nothing more than a shack, but compared to his old apartment it was a palace. Thoughts of his old apartments led to thoughts of Konoha, which in turn led to thoughts of the fourth shinobi war, which would ultimately led to memories of that night. A shiver went up his body and he could feel the tears welling in his eyes. Even after thirty years it never got any easier.
He finished pumping the water when a slight tingle was felt in the back of his mind. Although he was no longer a ninja, the skills never diminished as his body alerted him to three chakra signatures approaching his house. He couldn't make out the first two but the third he knew all too well and before he could even turn around her presence was made know.
"Uzumaki! Uzumaki, answer me when I'm talking to you!"
Naruto turned to see two men, probably no older than twenty sneering at him with the arms crossed in front of their chest. Their black hair falling in front of their hitai-ate which sported the crest of the Uchiha clan. They were grunts and here only to provide muscle and intimidation for his landlady. She stood behind them, hands on her hips with an annoyed scowl on her face, her spiky red hair flaring in the ocean breeze with the sun glinting off her glasses.
"Hello Lady Uchiha", Naruto sighed walking over to meet his "guests".
"Don't bother with the pleasantries Uzumaki, we're here to collect your rent for the month", she scoffed.
"Why the bodyguards, you know I swore to never raise my fists in anger. And I never go back on my word."
"I am well aware of your eccentric promises, but my boys here would never allow their mother to meet alone with the dangerous shinobi Naruto Uzumaki. No matter what silly promises he made."
"Naruto Uzumaki huh", one Uchiha boy snorted. "Where's the rest of him?"
"Now, now Fugaki, what has father told you about underestimating your opponents. One should never go by appearance alone, which goes for you as well Moto", Karin scolded.
Both Uchiha's rolled their eyes and mumbled their apologies to their mother.
"I still don't see why we had to come all the way out here", Fugaki groaned, "just because this old fossil used to fight and lose to father back when they were kids."
"Your father has a very special relationship with Uzumaki, it's why he's been allowed to live for this long", Karin said cooly.
"I didn't know that the ruler of Suna still thought of me", Naruto said trying not to sound too sarcastic.
"This land is no longer Suna Uzumaki. This is the Kingdom of Uchiha, too call it any other name is an insult to both my husband and my family. You wouldn't be insulting my husband or my family would you Uzumaki?"
Naruto clenched his teeth before lowering his head. "No, of course not … Lady Uchiha", Naruto said quietly. Karin held a vicious smirk of victory watching the once proud and powerful ninja humbled before her.
"That's good to hear Uzumaki, because while I am very forgiving, my sons here", she said pointing to the two Uchiha body guards, "are not nearly as understanding when it comes to slights against the family name." The two young ninjas both smiled and release a bit of killing intent towards Naruto. As strong as it was, Naruto had felt and generated worse and stood still not even flinching against the onslaught of hostile intentions. His family was another matter.
"Naruto", Inabi yelled rushing out of the house and to her husband's side. She held a small bag of coins, the rent money, which she tossed to the nearest Uchiha son who caught it without even glancing her way.
"That's the money for the month, please just go", she said tears running down her eyes as she held onto her husband's arm.
"Inabi, please go inside." The command was quiet but forceful as Naruto hoped he would be able to calm the situation before it got much worse.
"GET AWAY FROM MY FATHER!" The situation had just gotten worse.
Naruto turned to see his ten year old son, Haku, standing on the porch brandishing a staff. He looked back over to the Uchiha's who merely had the look of amusement in their eyes and a slight touch of madness. The silence was broken by the sound of chuckling, which soon became full blown laughter from the two Uchiha enforcers.
"That was a good one punk", Moto said brushing fake tears from his eyes.
"Yeah, it's a good thing you were joking, otherwise we might have had a problem", the Fugaki said glaring into the young boys eyes. "You were joking weren't you punk?" Too Haku's credit he never faltered and continued to glare hatefully at the two Uchiha's. The two stopped snickering and a vicious smirk like their mothers crossed their faces.
"I think he was serious Moto", Fugaki said pointing at Haku.
"Really? But that would make that a threat", Moto said faking shock. "I don't like being threatened."
"Neither do I Moto. He is just a kid though, maybe he doesn't know any better. Maybe we should teach him", Fugaki yelled charging towards Haku. Moto followed close behind with Inabi screaming for her son and Haku too scared to move. Suddenly Haku was whisked away in a blur and placed beside his mother with Naruto in front of both of them, hands at his side but between them and harms way.
"I didn't even see him move", thought both Uchiha's momentarily stunned by the speed the supposedly washed up ex ninja just displayed.
"Please we gave you your money, please don't hurt our family", Inabi cried holding her son.
"That brat threatened an Uchiha, he needs to be punished", Fugaki said slowly approaching the family. He took two steps before Naruto stepped in front of him, hands still at his sides.
"You looking for trouble old man", Fugaki hissed poking Naruto in the chest. Naruto head was lowered to the ground until Fugaki's finger hit his sternum. In an instant Naruto's head snapped up revealing silted blood red eyes. Fugaki instinctively flinched and stepped back in fear dropping his guard for just a second, but one second too long. Naruto gathered the chakra in his hand and a long forgotten ball of light formed.
"Rasengan", Naruto yelled thrusting his attack into Fugaki's chest. The devastating swirl of chakra ripped through bone and tissue spewing blood as Naruto's hand emerged on the other side of the long dead Uchiha.
Another sharp poke snapped Naruto out of his thoughts as he turned his head up to look into Fugaki's eyes. Blue eyes met black and the cocky sneer of the son of Uchiha. "You deaf old man? I asked if you wanted trouble."
"Please", Naruto said pitifully. "My son is just a child and doesn't understand when to show respect. As his father it is my fault he spoke out of turn. If you need to punish anyone, please punish me."
Fugaki smirked at the man in front of him and then back at his mother who had a bored look on her face. Karin looked back at her boys and shrugged back at her sons. "Very well, but make it quick, I want to be home in time for supper."
Fugaki and Moto stood on either side of Naruto cracking their knuckles and grinning with near manic enthusiasm.
"Inabi, take Haku inside and lock the door. Do not come out no matter what happens", Naruto ordered not taking his eyes off the Uchiha brothers.
Inabi understood and forced Haku into the house and locked the door. No sooner had the latch clicked was Naruto sent flying by a punch to his jaw. Moto grabbed Naruto off the ground and threw him into the air. Fugaki jumped after the airborne target lifting his leg and bringing down a crushing axe kick across Naruto chest sending him flying to the ground and creating a small crater in the hard earth.
Fugaki landed and picked Naruto up by his neck. "This is the guy who father talks about all the time", Fugaki snorted. He threw him to Moto who delivered a swift kick to Naruto's back. The sound of breaking ribs were heard as Naruto flew straight into a tree snapping the trunk with the force of the impact of his body. Naruto slumped against the tree stump as Moto and Fugaki stood before him making the same set of seals and in unison bringing their finger and thumb to their mouths.
"Grand Fireball Jutsu", they yelled together. The fire erupted from their mouths and consumed the blonde and the trees behind him, the roar of the flames the only thing muffling the screams of terror coming from inside the small cottage.
"That's enough you two, it's time to go", Karin said nonchalantly. She turned to the cottage and shouted to the family inside. "When he wakes up tell him next month we'll expect double rent for all this trouble. If we don't get it we'll kill him and then you. She turned and began to walk away before stopping. "No, that isn't right", she said spinning around and pointing a finger at the smoldering body that she knew was still watching them. "If you don't pay, we'll kill your family and then you, Uzumaki." She turned and the three disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Later that day
Naruto was helped inside and bandaged with what medicine they had. Despite his claims that he would be fine, his wife and children were hardly consolable. Inabi had given up putting on a strong front and had been sobbing on and off for several hours. Yumi had cried herself to sleep and had fallen asleep in a chair next to her father's bed. Haku refused to cry but had done nothing except sit in the corner silently shifting between rage and shame. It was because of him his father was hurt, because he was stupid, because he was weak. Almost as if he could hear his son's thoughts, Naruto looked to his son and sighed.
"This is not your fault Haku", Naruto said sitting up.
"If it weren't for me they never would have…", Haku began.
"No. Never apologies for protecting your family, I'm proud of you", Naruto said smiling softly at his son. "But you know that they do not need much of an excuse to cause problems", he said lightly scolding his son. Haku dipped his head but raised it again at the sound of his father laughing. "Next time just leave it to your old man", Naruto said giving his son a thumbs up, "I may be old but I'm still tough."
"You also look like shit", a voice called from the bedroom door. Both Naruto and Haku looked up to see a man with short, shaggy brown hair and dressed in a loose black shirt and pants. He stood leaning against the door frame until a hand came swinging from behind crashing into his head and sending him crashing to the ground.
"Language", yelled Inabi disappearing back into the kitchen.
Both Naruto and Haku waited for Inabi to leave before snickering at the fallen man in front of them. He quietly cursed under his breath as his hands searched the floor for his walking stick and a pair of sunglasses. He stood finding a chair with his staff and pulling up a seat. The dim candlelight of the room flickered reflecting in his opaque eyes before he covered them again with his sunglasses.
"What would you know you're blind", scoff Naruto. "Nice shades, all you need is a high collar jacket and you could pass for an Aburame."
"Please, you know there hasn't been any Aburame around for seven years. The last of them fell when that rebel group was killed in Spring Country", he said matter of factly.
"I was kidding you idiot", huffed Naruto.
"I know", came the reply followed by a smirk as he leaned back in his chair.
"So why exactly are you here Kankuro", Naruto asked warily eyeing his friend.
"What? A guy can't check up on his only friend", Kankuro asked placing his hands up defensively.
"Well as you can't see I'm doing just fine", Naruto said gesturing to no one.
Kankuro snorted and looked in the direction of his friend. "I may be blind but my sense of smell is still that of a jonin and the smell of blood and medicine is not the smell of just fine".
"So the Uchiha's showed up and started a little fight", Naruto shrugged, "nothing I can't handle."
"I'm sure your plan of breaking their hands with your face worked like it always does. Seriously man what happened to you? Punks like those would never have even touched you in your prime."
"That was a long time ago and the man you're talking about is dead. I made a vow for reasons that maybe one day I'll share", Naruto said getting out of bed, "but not today."
Kankuro was about to press the issue until the sound of small feet scurrying was heard followed by the squeal of a girl.
"Uncle Kankuro", Yumi yelled launching herself towards the old puppet master. He returned the small girls embrace with a smile as he stood from his chair. Quickly she produced a pair of dolls and excitedly waved them in Kankuro's face. "Uncle Kankuro, do your trick, do your trick", Yumi cried happily.
"What do you say Yumi", Naruto reprimanded.
"Please", Yumi said clutching her dolls.
"I'm sorry Little Yumi, but I'm a little tired from my trip, maybe tomorrow okay", Kankuro said sleeply.
"Okay Uncle Kankuro", Yumi said disappointed.
Yumi turned to leave when suddenly the two dolls in her hands flew away and approached Kankuro.
"Don't tell her you're sleepy you lazy bum", the dolled yelled at him. "How can you say no to that face", the other puppet said smacking Kankuro in the head. "But I am tired", Kankuro said dodging the dolls swipes. Yumi jumped up and down giggling as her favorite uncle argued with her puppets, even Haku laughing at the besieged puppet wielder. Naruto left to talk with his wife, silently thanking his friend for taking his children's minds off the day's events.
It was almost midnight when Naruto, Kankuro and Inabi had gotten the kids to sleep and were now sitting around the kitchen table. Kankuro was filled in on the entire story of what had happened and sat quietly while husband and wife decided what could be done.
"We should leave while we have the time", Naruto said staring out the window.
"Where could we go that isn't worse than where we are now", questioned Inabi. "From what we've heard this is the only country that hasn't fallen into chaos. Here and what is left of the Land of Fire and Konoha."
Naruto flinched at the name of his former home which did not go unnoticed. Inabi placed a hand on her husband's arm to calm him. "Don't worry, the only place worst than a land ruled by Uchiha's is a land ruled by him."
"But what choice do we have", Naruto sighed. "We both know we can't pay the rent next month if we leave we could try to escape to an island in what's left in the Land of Water."
"How would we get there, on the fishing boat? There isn't enough room for all of us and we would never get past the patrols that guard the region. We would need to pay someone to smuggle us in and they would want five times what our rent is", Inabi said shaking her head.
"Sooner or later they will kill us. They didn't know I was here until five years ago and it's simply gotten worse and worse. If we do nothing we will die", Naruto said too calmly.
They sat in silence for a few minutes until Kankuro spoke up. "I may have a solution, but you will definitely not like it."
"I was waiting for you to tell me what you really came here for", Naruto said slightly annoyed.
"Well in truth I figured I'd ask even though I know you would turn me down, I was actually just going to do this job myself but it looks like you could use the payday", he said slumping back in his chair.
"So what's the job", Naruto hesitantly asked.
"Just a little escort mission for an old blind man and his precious cargo", Kankuro said tapping a sealing tattoo on his arm.
"I thought you said you were going alone", Naruto's suspicion getting the better of him.
"Well the cargo is what's really important, escorting me is just an added bonus", Kankuro said smirking.
"What is it you're delivering?"
"Sorry Naruto but that information is not for you to know. But what I can tell you is that this mission will pay enough for you to pay rent for the next fifty years", Kankuro said hoping it would seal the deal.
Naruto thought it over but was still not convinced. "You said I wasn't going to like this, why?"
"The cargo is to be delivered to the Land of Waves", Kankuro said quietly.
"You do know whose territories that land is in don't you", Naruto sighed.
"Yes I know, but we won't be near the capital city and the Land of Waves is just inside the boundaries of his territory. We sneak in deliver and we get paid. It shouldn't take any longer than two weeks tops. You get back and pay the Uchiha's or disappear forever, your choice."
Naruto mulled it over and he had to admit, Kankuro's pitch was pretty convincing. He looked to Inabi who also seemed to be considering and when their eyes met the unspoken decision was reached.
"Okay Kankuro", Naruto said quietly, "you have yourself an escort."
The Next Morning
Naruto stood outside his house checking his pack as his wife and children stood side by side waiting to say goodbye. Kankuro likewise stepped out the cottage and found his way over to Naruto.
"We should get going if we're going to make it to the Land of Waves in a week", Naruto said shouldering his pack, "especially if I have to carry your blind ass halfway across the country."
Kankuro brushed the jab off and unrolled a large scroll he had brought with him. He cut his thumb spreading blood across the seal. "You may want to step back", Kankuro said pumping chakra into the scroll. A poof of smoke later and in front of the family was a small carriage. It was short but thickly built with sturdy sides and large wheels. Naruto could see several hidden compartments that no doubt held some of Kankuro's more deadly surprises. Where a living horse might normally be stood a wooden replica and after a few flicks of Kankuro's fingers the horse came to life much to the delight of Yumi.
"That is certainly impressive buddy, but won't controlling a puppet for so long wear you down pretty quickly", Naruto asked eyeing the horse.
"Well now that I have a living chakra battery like you with me that shouldn't be a problem now should it", Kankuro said grinning.
"But I don't know how to use a chakra puppet", Naruto said somewhat annoyed at being compared to a double A.
"Who said anything about you driving", Kankuro said climbing into the driver's seat.
"But you're blind."
"And you are here to tell me when to stop or turn, come on we're wasting daylight", Kankuro huffed.
Naruto took it in stride and went to his family. He kneeled down and hugged Yumi who tried her best not to let him go. "I'm sorry Yumi, but I have to go."
"Do you promise", Yumi asked pressing her face into his chest.
"I promise." Yumi released her grip knowing that her father never went back on a promise. Naruto stood and placed a hand on Haku's shoulder. Haku put on a brave face refusing to cry. He needed to be strong for his mother, his sister and for himself.
"You're the man of the house Haku until I get back. Look after your sister and do as your mother says."
Naruto smiled at his son and embraced his wife. She didn't say anything partially because she didn't trust her voice but mostly because she didn't need to.
"I will be back", Naruto whispered into her ear. She nodded and gave him one last kiss. With that he climbed onto the carriage and sat down as Kankuro brought the horse puppet to life and began to march away. Naruto continued watching over his shoulder until his family and home were out of sight. He looked forward towards a world he had left behind. A mad, mad world.
What is Kankuro delivering? What is Naruto's dark secret? Who is the mysterious ruler of the Land of Fire? Find out next time as Naruto and Kankuro begin their road trip and stumble upon a few distractions.