AN: After 6 sticks of mint chocolate chip gum, the first chapter of my first real story is complete! As this is my first story, there will definitely be an abundance of grammar errors. (I have serious problems with past/present/future tenses) Feel free to point them out; I won't be offended! Enjoy the story!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, or the characters in it. If I did, the series would probably suck.
Word Count: 2,294 words
Chapter 1: Theoretically Speaking
It was a chilly morning, yet the streets of Konoha bustled with activity. It was market day, and even in the earliest hours of the day hundreds of people filled the streets to shop for necessary goods and admire expensive antiques. Savory smells from nearby bakeries wafted through the air; high-end shoppers haggling with merchants were almost everywhere in sight; children loudly begging their parents for that shiny new toy could be heard clearly through the standard market noise.
Yes, this was the chaos that was market day. However, amidst the chaos, a little boy dressed in tattered clothes desperately sprinted through the crowd of people, a balding middle aged man hot on his trail.
"Thief! Get back here, you monster!"
Naruto stumbled over the rocky path, frantically getting back to his feet to avoid the angry merchant behind him. Thin legs buckled as exhaustion began to settle in, and he swerved quickly to avoid running into anyone.
He clutched desperately onto the old loaf of bread in his hands as his stomach gave another lurch. He didn't mean to steal; really he didn't. But Naruto hadn't eaten in two days, ever since his monthly allowance ran out (it wasn't his fault they overcharged him for everything!), and as usual no one showed any sympathy. After all, he was the demon brat; let the thing starve, they say.
But he had finally given in to his hunger and stole some bread from a bakery. He even made sure to pick the oldest loaf from the far end of the shelf, as it was the lowest priced, and he didn't want to steal more than he had to. Naruto doubted it would sell anyways, and knew it would've probably just been thrown out at the end of the day.
The merchant didn't care either way, however, so Naruto ran away as to not suffer the merchant's wrath. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your perspective, he had plenty of experience in escaping from angry citizens. It wouldn't be the first time he was forced to steal, anyways.
Naruto heard the shouting behind him get louder and louder; the man was catching up! Among the man's shouts and screams were several other voices; Naruto guessed that more people had joined in the chase. Naruto sped up his pace, and looked around for any escape in sight.
There! A small gap rested between two tall buildings. A perfect hiding place. It was surrounded by two other stands, so if Naruto was lucky he could dart through unnoticed.
Swiftly Naruto changed direction, bolted into the small alley, and held his breath. He could hear the shouts of the mob getting farther, farther away, until they subsided altogether.
He let out a sigh of relief and checked to make sure the bread was still intact. Luckily for him it had only been slightly squished from his tight grip.
He couldn't help but feel a sliver of guilt, though. Maybe he should've just scavenged for berries in the woods, even though he had no way of telling the poisonous ones apart. Even if the man was just as condescending and mean-spirited as the rest of the village, Naruto still felt bad about stealing from him.
"...sorry," he mumbled quietly, as if the merchant could hear him.
But his stomach gave another uncomfortable lurch, and any previous hesitations he may have had vanished as he ravenously tore into the fruits of his labor.
Naruto lay on the ground and gazed up at the night sky, hands tucked under his head. Millions of bright specks shimmered in the black canvas that was the sky; it was a wonderful sight to behold. Even with cold air biting at his skin, and the tickling sensation on his legs that he knew from experience were insects, Naruto couldn't help but sigh in content. It was moments like these that made him forget why he was sad in the first place.
"But Oboro-san, rent isn't due for three more days!"
"I don't care, brat! Don't even think of coming back here until you can pay up!"
"I'll have the money for rent tomorrow, I promise! Just please don't kick me out!"
"I don't want to hear another word, you monster! Now get out of my sight before you regret it!"
Oh yeah... Right. Oboro-san, the landlord of his apartment, decided for 'no particular reason'to demand early rent payments this month. Again.
And because he doesn't get his monthly allowance from Jiji until tomorrow, Naruto was left on the streets for the night. And like all the other nights he spent outside, Naruto went to a place where no one else was; the top of the Hokage Mountain. According to the law he technically wasn't supposed to be up there, but since when has something like that stopped him? And Naruto didn't want to ask Jiji for help; he was already enough of a hassle, and besides, he could take care of himself!
Naruto shivered as the cool night breeze picked up, and removed his hands from behind his head to hug himself, trying to retain any body warmth he could. He tried to place these uncomfortable feelings in the back of his head, and focused on the bright stars above him. Naruto once attempted to count them all once when he was younger, but fell asleep at number two thousand forty-eight.
Jiji once told him that each star was the soul of a deceased person, and that whenever someone died a new star would appear in the sky. Naruto absentmindedly wondered how many more stars would be in the sky in ten years, and after a little thinking went back to stargazing. He noticed how some stars were duller than others, and how some were so bright that they appeared to swallow up the entire sky.
'I wonder, when I die, will I be a bright star? Or will I be a dull one?' Naruto pondered. His mouth then upturned into a small smile, and his eyes shone with determination not normally found on the face of a six year old.
'I'll make sure that when I die I'll be one of those bright stars! I'll do whatever it takes!' he vowed to himself silently. 'In fact, I'll be the brightest star in the whole sky!' Naruto closed his eyes and imagined it; oh, it was such a great plan! He would be the biggest and brightest star in the sky, so that whenever anyone looked up, they could still see him even after he died! Then they would have to acknowledge his existence! They had to!
And little did Naruto know that when he made that promise to himself, two stars in the sky glistened brighter than all the rest.
Naruto opened his eyes again after several minutes of day- err, night dreaming, when a sudden thought struck him.
'I wonder… are my parents up there? Jiji told me they died in the Kyuubi attack six years ago, so they must be,' Naruto wondered how Jiji knew that, since he claimed he never knew who Naruto's parents were. He shoved that idea into the back of his mind, however, and dreamt of the parents he never had.
Naruto shut his eyes tightly, determined not to shed a single tear.
"Mom… Dad… I wish I knew who you were," Naruto quietly whispered, and couldn't help but let a single tear slip past his eye and trickle down his face. "I wish you were still alive. I wish… I wish we could've been a family!" Naruto rubbed his wet eyes with the back of his hand: he wouldn't cry, he wouldn't!
Abruptly, Naruto felt a strong wind behind him; a stark difference from the cool breeze of earlier. He stood up quickly, only for the wind to knock him back to the ground. He got up again – slowly, this time – and turned around to face what was behind him. And, needless to say, it wasn't anything he expected.
A figure stood, tall and imposing, a billowing cloak adorning its form. Naruto could discern nothing else about it. It was cloaked in – white? black? Naruto couldn't tell; it was too dark outside. The figure appeared to melt into the background, and it was difficult to distinguish it from the surroundings behind it. Naruto couldn't help but feel as if he should be honored to witness this sight; as if he should be bowing in respect.
'Should' being the keyword. This is Naruto, after all.
"Hey! Who are you?" Naruto yelled at the figure. No one else should be up here! This was his secret place, his sanctuary; no one else could be here! Technically Naruto wasn't supposed to be here either, but he chose to ignore that detail for now. A minute or so passed by, yet no response came from the figure.
"Hello? Did you hear me? Who are you?"
The figure remained silent.
"Hey, you! Are you ignoring me? Can you even talk?" Naruto asked angrily. He was so sick and tired of being ignored! By the villagers, by the teachers at the academy, and this guy too! He was sick of it! Just because he was an orphan, just because he didn't have a family didn't give them the right!
The direction the voice came from was unclear. Was it from behind him? Next to him? Above him? Naruto couldn't tell. All he knew was that the voice reverberated power, strength, wisdom, and age.
"Huh? 'Very well'? 'Very well' to what? Hello?" Naruto questioned rapidly. Was this guy crazy or something?
But the figure gave no sign that he heard Naruto's inquiries. Its head bowed down a little, and the figure's arms clasped together in front of it. Naruto wondered what it was doing; maybe it was going to do one of those awesome jutsu he'd seen those jounin use at the training grounds!
And quite unexpectedly, it promptly vanished. Just like that. If not for the strong wind still brewing, Naruto probably would've convinced himself it was a hallucination. After all, there was no way that huge windstorm came from the little breeze from earlier!
The wind's ferocity increased. Naruto threw his arms up to shield his face, and dug his feet into the ground to avoid falling over. What was going on? Naruto had never felt a wind like this in his entire life! And he was already six whole years old! The fierce wind only got fiercer, stronger, and harsher; it was almost unnatural. No, it was unnatural.
Eventually Naruto's feet could hold no longer hold himself up. With a shout of surprise, Naruto was flung into the air, like a leaf in a breeze, limp and helpless to defend itself. Naruto did not that feeling.
And then he could see the Hokage's carved faces in front of him. He absently observed the lack of a wart on Jiji's face, and also noticed that the heads were getting smaller… and smaller… and smaller.
'Why are their heads getting smaller? And why does it feel like I'm fall-' Naruto's train of thought was cut off as he suddenly realized what was going on.
He was falling.
The wind blew him off the Hokage Mountain! Right off! But details weren't important now.
He was falling!
He was falling!
Naruto frantically tried moving his arms upwards, as if he was at the bottom of a lake trying to swim to the surface. His efforts were in vain, however, as Naruto could see the Hokage's heads getting farther and farther away… and the ground closer and closer.
The last thing Naruto saw was the Yondaime's carved face, but it appeared to be looking right at him.
And as he hit the ground with a resounding crack, hundreds of stars faded from the sky, including two that had shined unusually brightly earlier.
You see, the theory of time travel is a delicate topic. Hypothetically, if one were to send their mind to the past, it would be impossible for them to coexist with their previous selves. Having two sentient beings comprised in one brain would be a complete and utter paradox. Two minds couldn't live in one. Therefore, their mind state from the past would be erased from existence, to be replaced by their future mind states. This would have to happen for the time travel theory to be logical.
However, it would also be a paradox to send your mind and body to the past, yet a differing one. It would not be possible to have two of the same person living in the same time period. You would experience thoughts that weren't yours, and yet at the same time they were. You would have feelings that weren't yours, and yet at the same they were. Because of this, both you and your past self would die of insanity before long, unable to differentiate between eachother.
So, to make the time travel theory realistic, only one of you would be able to live.
If your past self lived instead of you, then any type of time travel becomes irrelevant; you would still only be dead.
So, theoretically, to make time travel plausible, the mind and body of your past self would cease to exist.
And as you cease to exist in the past, you cease to exist in the future. And as you cease to exist in the future, it becomes impossible for you to go back to your own time. You would no longer be in the past. Your past would become your present.
Theoretically speaking, of course.
And a little ways away, a woman with long crimson-red hair collapsed to the floor screaming in pain, her hands clutched tightly around her midsection.
AN: So… How'd I do? I know it's short, but I couldn't think of what else I should put in. I tried to make the time travel theory sound intelligent and convincing (not too sure how that worked out). I came up with it myself, so it probably has a few patches here and there. And in this story, Naruto entered the academy at age six, so he's currently in the middle of his first year. Anyways, if I did a good/bad/horrifying job, let me know! Thanks! And also, this story is currently unbetaed, so if you would like to beta it please let me know!