Summary: It is not for nothing that Naruto has gotten the reputation of being the most surprising ninja. As if to keep this reputation, the blond often lands himself in unusual situations that ask for the most unusual solutions. However, after fighting Madara to the bitter end and caught up in a clash of jutsus, waking up in Obito's body and buried under piles of stones was not something even Naruto thought possible. How will Naruto take care of the upcoming threat of Akatsuki and Madara in a past he does not know while starting a new legend for Uchiha Obito?
Beta: Unbeta'd for now. Please ignore the mistakes or help me correct them.
I'm not even going defend myself. It started with simply trying to see where the plot about Obito's identity being Tobi/Madara went, to being somewhat disappointed by the odd powerjumps that had suddenly happened within such a short amount of time that he could suddenly face off against the Fourth Hokage and control a Nine-tailed fox, and ended with indecision on where I wanted to go with my story.
But! I'm not going to quit this! I'm actually hoping to finish this within another five to ten chapters.
Several point I would like to discuss as well. One, my dear Animecrzylove (AngelsFallBeforeUs on DA) has made a sketch of what will probably become the 'cover' for this fic. I'm very excited about it. Please check out my profile for the link if you are curious. Second, I heard from a dear reviewer that someone used a large part of my story for her own fic as inspiration… I have to agree that it seems a little more than inspiration. It's French, so I don't know how much is copied, but I can guess. She did mention me though, but never asked me outright. So I'm not sure how I should feel about that yet. Any ideas?
Anyway, enough rambling.
~ Next morning ~
Grass and trees rustled in the wind. Sounds of laughing and giggling, drowned by the sound of water splashing, echoed softly as said wind carried it away.
It was a peaceful morning in this quiet part of Konoha, had it not been for one odd sound that didn't quite seem to belong.
The man stifled his giggles as he peered through the little wooden fence that was meant to give the women on the other side the 'privacy' that they wanted. Little did they know that they were letting their guard down a little too much, chattering about everything that happened the past couple of days, the tiny little gossips in town and other irrelevant stuff that happened in their lives.
The experienced shinobi easily ignored the pointless stuff during his 'research'.
"Did you hear? There was this shinobi that was spotted near the hospital. He disappeared as soon as he had been spotted." A woman's voice spoke quietly.
The man's interest peaked as he heard the whisper.
"I know right! Those Jounin's keep escaping the hospital. Really, Jori should just accept that he will be dragged back in no time." Another woman replied with a sigh of disappointment.
The Sannin sighed mentally in disappointment as well. Still nothing. It didn't stop him from continuing to listen in though, while as well admiring the view. As long as he wasn't spotted, he might be able to hear something interesting ye-
"I have a question for you."
That didn't come from behind the fence.
That question came from right behind him.
'I just jinxed himself, didn't I?' The man pondered.
Jiraiya's shoulders tensed as he slowly turned away from the small hole in the fence he had been peeking through. He met the stern expression on the woman's face – whose temper could rival Tsunade-hime – somewhat sheepishly.
"Hehehe… Ah Kushina-chan! Lovely morning isn't it! Beautiful weather as well! It's not what it looks like, really! I, err… I was just about to get back to the Hokage tower to greet the Old Man and Minato-kun. So if you would excu-"
The woman pointedly took a step forward to block his escape route.
"Sure you were." She nodded at him in a rather unconvinced manner.
"Of course! I-I wouldn't dar-"
"I will hit you for peeking later" She brusquely cut him off, making the man gulp nervously.
"But at the moment, I'm more worried about other things than your little perverted obsession of yours." The red-haired woman told him bluntly as she crossed her arms over her chest, alerting Jiraiya almost immediately.
He immediately dropped his usual automatic behaviour – more a routine of sheepish and perverted façade that he acted out when he was spotted.
'Worries?' Jiraiya repeated mentally and took in the troubled expression on her face.
Yes, there was something bothering her. The Sannin slowly stood up, his face now more serious. If there was something bothering Kushina, it was often troubling.
"It is the fox?" He immediately had to ask, mentally going through several seals that could be used if there were any problems.
The Kunoichi frowned for a moment, automatically reaching for her belly, where her cursed seal was situation.
"Not… exactly. It's more about Obito-kun." She admitted, calming him somewhat.
At least there wasn't a demon alert then.
"Ah." Jiraiya nodded slowly, his thought going to his student's student. "He has been acting out of character again?"
"Not really… well… I mean considering what he went through." Kushina added after a pause and sighed.
"Well, his tale might not be completely truthful." Jiraiya had to point out, which was met with a pointed look that told him that she was well aware of the possibilities.
"He is genuine as far as I can tell." She couldn't help but defend the Uchiha.
"There is just something… off. There is not much to say about it. It is those small things. He is moving about too much. He is restless. I swore I caught him using chakra yesterday, but it felt too different. I thought another shinobi had entered my house. In fact, I'm worried that that particular shinobi approached him again. It was gone within a second though and when I quickly checked, Obito-kun was simply meditating. Still … I feel like he want to tell me something, but keeps it to himself."
She kicked a small rock in frustration, which disappeared into deep into the woods in a flash. Jiraiya decided not to comment on it.
"Yes… I had the same feeling. We will talk to him later about that." The Sannin agreed instead. "Maybe it really has to do with the shinobi that was looking for him like you said before. Did you recognise the chakra?
"No. I didn't have enough time before."
"We will talk with Obito-kun soon nonetheless."
Kushina nodded but didn't say anything as she thoughtfully stared ahead.
Jiraiya caught her still rubbing her belly and frowned. "What about the seal?"
The woman's head snapped up at the question. "Wha-? Oh right. Well, there haven't been any problems. If anything…" She bit her lip as she looked for the right words. "I don't feel the… exact amount of malevolence that I normally always feel within me."
"It has calmed down?" Jiraiya rephrases, frowning as well. "That never happened before right?"
"Yes. It feels like it has… become more withdrawn." She agreed reluctantly. "It's not like I don't mind. In fact, I can't help but feel more relaxed without this bubble of… hate constantly nagging me in the back of my mind."
The Sannin hummed in understanding, though it didn't do anything to crease their worries.
This was something new.
There was something going on with the fox.
Was it planning something?
"The seal is still as strong as it always has been?"
Kushina nodded. "I can't find anything wrong with it."
"Can I check?" Jiraiya asked.
The woman regarded him for a moment, her eyes glancing to the fence he had just been peeking through, before she nodded.
"Fine, don't try anything funny or I will go to Minato." She told him with a glare. "You better believe it."
The Sannin laughed sheepishly. "Ah there is no need to threaten me like that Kushina-chan."
"Just so we are clear." She muttered absently.
"We are." He couldn't help but defend himself.
"Good. Now, if we go to Minato's house, then we can pick up Kakashi and Obito before we go out to meet Minato and Hokage-sama about the situation." She offered, glancing at the sun to estimate the time.
Jiraiya nodded, well aware of the situation, seeing as he had talked with Kakashi about worrying and odd mission that had gone wrong yesterday. The Sannin had not been quite sure how to handle it without the leaders present – the two Hokages should really be made aware of this development – so they had send the boy to sleep while Jiraiya went out to find more information.
There was something fishy going on. Something that could be very dangerous.
Especially if the boy had really been dragged along with Minato's jutsu of all things.
'And then the fact that Kushina said that maybe that same person probably approached Obito… What role does he play in this?'
All the more reason to alert the Hokage and Future Hokage, he had decided and had summoned a toad to inform the two men to get back as soon as possible.
After this, the Sannin had spent hours trying to look for the "red-head young man" that Kakashi had described, but hadn't been able to find anything. No hints at the location where, according to Kakashi, he had a left with an odd jutsu – it was like popping a clone but different. If it hadn't been a replacement with a clone, then it might have been another transportation technique. Much to Jiraiya's frustration, the ninja around the town hadn't reported any sighting. The gossiping woman hadn't heard about anything either, nor the Kunoichi he had been targeting to eardrop on.
Nobody had seen anything.
The redhead had disappeared.
"-raiya? Jiraiya!" He blinked as he realised that he had spaced out with a rather thoughtful expression on his face.
The woman frowned at him, but didn't comment on it.
"Let's just check the seal and then wake up the boys alright?" She asked him instead, to which he nodded.
As both of them flashed through the seals to transport quickly back to the house, Jiraiya couldn't help but think about Obito.
'I'm missing something… He was about to tell me something before.'
His eyes narrowed and both of them flashed out of the clearing.
'I'm going to find out what is going on.'
~ Back at Minato's place ~
Kakashi's eyes snapped open as he shot up into sitting position. Sweat dripped down his forehead and he shivered. The young ninja took a deep breath to calm his racing heart and to slow his panting. It took a moment for him to get out of his shock, before a wave of fear washed over him once more.
'Obito!' His mind immediately ordered him and his eyes shot towards the bed that his teammate was sleeping on.
He was there, still soundly asleep.
'He is safe.'
The thought slowly registered in the boy's mind and he slumped forward in relief. The fight from the day before had spooked Kakashi more than he had shown to the Jiraiya and Kushina. He had been pretty much in a daze when he retold what had happened. Though maybe the Sannin had noticed it, seeing as he had asked Kushina to let him sleep in the guest room. Maybe the man had seen how shaken he had been after all.
Maybe he had understood his need to make sure his teammate was safe and sound.
It had been the pillow fight and the familiar conversation with Obito that had calmed him enough to sleep after that. His friend's presence had allowed the teenager to savour the moment and he had slipped into the dreaming world too quickly to actually notice.
Too bad that his nightmares had decided to remind him of what had happened.
The fact that the masked man had been talking about Kakashi like he knew him and then continued to indirectly threaten Obito…
It scared him.
That masked man was strong. Kakashi had been able to feel the amount – if not only a part - of chakra and killing intent that the man possessed. Kakashi was well aware that the man could have killed him without him even realising that he had been there. He had enough experience with sparring and fighting with stronger opponents – like Minato-sensei – to know that if the man hadn't been playing with him…
Kakashi growled as he felt another tremble course through his body.
'Don't be so weak!' He told himself. 'You are a ninja for a reason damn it!'
The scolding calmed him somewhat, but the young shinobi couldn't quite shake the surreal feeling that he had actually managed to survive that encounter…
'Had it not been for the redhead…' Kakashi thought, the blanket scrunched up as he clenching his fists, knuckles white.
'I would have been dead… and Obito and Rin would have…'
He gritted his teeth as one of his hands slowly reached towards his left eye, Obito's Sharingan. He closed the eye slowly and rubbed it.
The words of the redhead still roamed in his head.
'But I can tell you this Hatake-san. That man is an enemy of mine and I won't hesitate to hinder him any possible way. So be careful with that eye of yours.'
He once again looked at Obito.
'So be careful with that eye of yours.'
There was a threat for the Uchiha out there.
But who was that guy? How did he know where he was? How the hell did he know Minato's jutsu? How the hell was he able to appear behind him without a warning? What had happened after the two of them had disappeared? How did he know about him and Obito?
Now restless with all the questions roaming in his head, Kakashi stood up and snuck toward the sleeping boy who was spread out on the bed, snoring softly. He couldn't help but smile somewhat grimly as he saw the peaceful expression on his friend's face. It made the scars on his face only stand out more.
How could he ever have underestimated his teammate?
There was not a moment that Kakashi couldn't forget the expression that had been on Obito's face when he had flung Kakashi out of the way of that boulder.
It was the bravest thing one could do.
Kakashi's hand slowly reached forward and gently moved away the streaks of hair that were covering Obito's face, exposing the scars more clearly. Kakashi's dark eye stared at the lines and the raw skin with an odd expression on his face, before he gently moved the hair back. It felt like he had to respect Obito's wish of being somewhat discrete about it.
Even though this was the biggest sacrifice that anyone had ever made for Kakashi.
This sacrifice didn't only limit itself to being physical wounded. It wasn't even only his life that Obito had sacrificed in the end. Nor was it the fact that he had given him the Sharingan before they all believed that he would die – Obito included.
It was the consequences that Obito was facing for his actions. Two personalities, the suspicion that was directed at him and the isolation that was put on him, were just the larger ones. The sacrifice was genuine as well, making it count even more. The fact that that stubborn 'Dobe' didn't even want his eye back was proof on its own. Obito had even told him that he was stupid when Kakashi had mourned him before Kakashi knew that was actually still alive in front of him.
It was difficult to describe the feeling that Kakashi felt when he looked at those scars.
There was one thing he knew for certain, he was never going to take Obito for granted again.
He was going to protect him.
'Even if it requires a sacrifice on my part.' Kakashi decided firmly as he turned around and walked out of the door.
He was going to meet up with Minato-sensei and Hokage-sama the moment they were back. He had to tell them what happened.
The sooner they knew, the better.
~ Obito's Mindscape ~
There hung an uncomfortable vibe in the air that was difficult to ignore.
It didn't have to do with the fact that they were waiting for the body to have been fully rested at all. It often happened that Naruto and Obito 'woke' up from in their mindscape before Naruto really woke up in the real world.
Normally they would discuss training, plans, stories or share memories that were interesting. Sometimes they went to chat with Kurama when he was awake.
Sometimes they simply acted like little brats – much like the time that Minato and Inoichi came by. Sometimes, they simply rested; enjoying a peaceful silence between them that you could only have with people you were comfortable with.
Today was different though.
They weren't talking.
The silence between them was bothering both of them – the youngest more than the other.
Even with his eyes closed, Naruto couldn't help but feel the unease oozing from the other boy sitting near him. He could practically hear the wheels in Obito's brain spinning, trying to find a right approach to figure out what was bothering him.
The blonde could practically feel the question coming – it was on the tip of the boy's tongue - much to the blond's displeasure.
Naruto didn't want to talk yet.
Too bad, because he could practically hear the black-haired Uchiha thinking…
'Something is wrong.'
'He is acting oddly.'
'Why isn't he talking?'
'Why is he ignoring me?'
'I didn't do anything wrong right?'
Something was off.
Naruto wasn't sharing something.
These thoughts were completely justified as well. Which was exactly the reason that Naruto didn't want to talk about it. He even considered fleeing just for a moment, but he didn't allow himself to move. He was not a coward like that, he reminded himself. Even though he knew that the teen would open his mouth any moment now and ask him-
"Naruto-nii-san…What is bothering you?"
Well… that question.
It took a few seconds for Naruto to react – which was far too long in Obito's opinion and made him only more suspicious - before Naruto slowly opened one of his eyes.
The blue color reflected brightly in the light of the illuminated moon as the blond looked up into the questioner's direction, tilting his head back in the process. He didn't move from his position, spread out in the grass where he had dropped himself a while ago to watch the stars. His arms folded back behind his head made it difficult to simply shrug it off.
Instead, Naruto quietly took in the figure that sat cross-legged in the field, watching as the teen absently rubbed together the torn grass that was captured in his hand. Obito dropped it without even looking at it and started pulling out more grass, returning his attention back to Naruto.
A pair of narrowed dark eyes met its gaze.
They kept their eyes locked for a long time, studying each other, before the blue eye glazed over and closed. Naruto sighed tiredly but couldn't find a right way to answer.
"Naruto-nii-san… What's wrong?"
"Are you angry with me?" The question sounded unsure, worried.
Not at the boy in front of him, Naruto reminded himself. Yet, he couldn't help but link him to the bitter and dangerous enemy that he had become in the future.
How had this foolish boy fallen so deep?
"Naruto-nii-san. Are you? Angry that is."
The question was more forceful this time.
"Obito, it's noth-…" Naruto started, but he couldn't get himself to finish that sentence either.
It would be an obvious lie.
Not that it made a difference; Obito already knew that he didn't want to talk about it. It just showed how much it bothered him if Naruto was nearly willing to actually lie to him. It made his suspicion rise to a level that he couldn't ignore it anymore.
There was sound of movement; Naruto could hear the boy move closer to him through the grass as it rustled. No matter that was their mind that they were resting in, some things were just the same.
The two feet stopped a few inch away from the top of his head, where he laid spread out in the grass.
A shadow formed over his face as Obito leaned over him, blocking the light from the full moon.
"What's wrong?" Obito repeated, leaning his hands on his knees as he bowed over his 'Nii-san'. He didn't even bother to hide his worry and frustration that he felt.
Obito really wanted to know what was going on.
They regarded each other for a long time and Naruto couldn't help but wonder why he thought of Sasuke at that moment. There was something about this situation that made him remember the brother that he had lost. He quickly pushed those memories away.
But it had effectively reminded him that Naruto didn't want to lose another one.
So, with some difficulty, Naruto sighed. "I'm sorry. I don't want to talk about it."
"It is bothering you." The Uchiha insisted.
"No… You are bothering me." He snapped at the boy – which in a way was actually the truth - and groaned when the boy winched.
The teenager shifted uneasily, unsure whether Naruto was actually angry with him and whether he should simply give him some space after all.
"Sorry that was uncalled for." Naruto apologised after a minute of Obito's indecision.
"It's alright. I just want to help." Obito prodded again, seemingly not giving up quite yet.
"It's stupid." Naruto sighed as he closed his eye in an attempt to dismiss the conversation.
"It's not stu-"
"No." Naruto told him as both of his eyes snapped open. "It is."
"Why is it stupid?"
"I don't want to talk about it, Obito."
"I'm going to bother you until you tell me." The Uchiha stubbornly told him. "I have never seen you like this before so it can't be stupid."
"Why can't you just trust me?" The time-traveller demanded sharply. "I'm being silly."
"Why the hell can't you trust me?!" Obito returned just as icily. "We are in this together!"
"Then why don't you tell me?!"
"Because-" Naruto paused for a moment. "It's just stupid!"
"IT'S NOT just stupid! Right now, you are acting stupid by just saying it's stupid! I will form my own opinion myself." Obito protested, actively provoking him.
The blond angrily continued to tear off the grass at his sides as he spoke. "You don't understand Obito! I have been trying to hide from the fact that I can't do it alone! This whole situation is stupid! I have been stupid. I have been evading trouble that I should have faced head on. Only to figure out that the whole picture is completely different! I probably only made it worse."
Obito blinked. He didn't quite know what to say to that very vague reply.
"What are you talking about?" He tried, his fake angry tone lost.
Naruto chuckled without any amusement in his tone. "I don't know what to do anymore Obito."
A shiver went down Obito's spine when he saw the look in Naruto's eyes. Where had Naruto's determination gone?
That made Obito really worried and he crouched down causing the shadow shift. Naruto's shadowed eyes made him look grim.
"What is wrong with our plan?" Obito questioned somewhat meekly.
"The threat has changed."
"Madara changed?" Obito frowned.
"No, he is still out there." Naruto denied, dismissing his question.
"We saved Kakashi from him right?"
"Yes. I guess you did." The blond agreed absently.
"We did. I wouldn't have gotten away without you." Obito tried to get his attention, but Naruto wasn't really listening.
"It's just… Everything can be different. What is Madara now? How did he survive? How skilled is he now? Weaker? Stronger? How much does he know? Where the hell is his past one? Which one did we fight? What happened to him anyway? I'm not sure anymore." The older shinobi angrily threw away the grass.
"But-" Obito tried, but was once again cut off by Naruto's rambling.
"That bastard must know something if he came after Kakashi's eye. But why didn't he come look for us – I mean for you?"
"Nii-san…you are still part of me!" Obito growled out warningly. "We are in this together and you are only making me more confused!"
Naruto's eye finally focused on him once again. "It might be better that way."
"Just tell me the truth."
You won't like to hear the truth."
"I don't care. I want to know."
"Ignorance is often considered a blessing." The blond quoted.
"Well, it doesn't feel like one right now! Ignorance can kill you just the same anyway." Obito countered pointedly.
"It won't change anything that happened. It is already different." Naruto tried again when he couldn't really counter that argument.
"I don't care!" Obito shouted at him, standing up abruptly and crossing his arms.
"But I do!" Naruto hissed back at him as he pushed himself off the ground. "To tell you the truth, I don't want you to know!"
"I don't care."
"I care! I care about you Obito!"
"Just tell me damn it!" Obito demanded as he took a step closer to Naruto, nearly stepping on his feet.
"Just leave it!" Naruto tried to push him away with his arm – a physical attempt to brush off the subject – but Obito had had enough.
It had become physical, a sign of just how frustrated Naruto was.
His 'Nii-san' was clearly troubled by something big and Obito was not going to let Naruto play the little protector and get away with it! He was in this as much as he was!
So, when Naruto moved to push him away, Obito's hand shot out and wrapped around Naruto's wrist. He squeezed the wrist firmly and pulled the arm between them. Then, with the other hand he grabbed the front of Naruto's shirt and pulled him closer.
He was absently reminded of the argument that he had with Kakashi before the cave-in incident.
"You are only making it worse." Obito stated, twisting the fabric of the shirt to create more tension.
"You don't know anything." Naruto tried, though the blond already realised how stupid that sounded.
The young Uchiha didn't know how to react anymore. "What are you trying to tell me?" He demanded, giving him a rough shake. "I care about you too! I love you! Somehow, it is as if I am part of you! That doesn't make it less frustrating to know that you are keeping something from me while it bothers you so much! Tell me!"
"I dare you to make me! I don't wa-"
"No! I'm sorry alright! I should have kept my mouth shut. I will make sure to keep silent in the futu-"
There was a long pause as Obito glared at the blond sitting on the ground, his hand covering his 'painful' cheek.
Obito slowly lowered both of his arms, one more outstretched after having punched the blond in the fact.
"Your appearance changed back to the old you this morning." He started. "You are looking at me oddly and it has to do with that masked figure. You are refusing me to face my own problems and knowing you, you are trying to 'protect' me from something that I won't like. Will it make me upset? Why?"
Naruto silently stared at him as Obito's glare softened slightly. He continued his analysis, knowing that was close.
"What makes you reluctant to tell me? Would I want to kill him even more? Will I want to hurt you if you tell me the truth? I have already seen what this Madara guy has done in most of your memories, so I doubt anything he has done right now will make that worse if you told me about it. So the first option is less than likely. Will I be angry with you? Maybe, but then you would have been more willing to tell me…" He trailed off thoughtfully.
Obito nodded in confirmation when saw his partner grit his teeth.
"Now the only thing that would make you actually lie to me, is if you had to protect someone. Kurama… I doubt it. However, maybe…-" The boy continued.
For a moment Naruto was distracted from his rather accurate observations, as a familiar pull suddenly erupted in Naruto's stomach. The blond stubbornly fought against it. This was not a good time to wake up.
If Obito noticed anything, he didn't comment on it. Instead, he tapped his chin thoughtfully as he continued to talk.
"So that makes me conclude it has to do with me… Something I can't find out about myse-…" Obito trailed off and his eyes glazed over ever so slightly as realisation hit him.
The Uchiha felt like the boulders were crashing down upon him again. He felt so heavy. His knees lost their strength and he flopped to the ground.
"I'm… Do you mean that I'm really…? That I'm actually..?" He couldn't bare to finish the sentence.
Naruto regarded him with a sorrowful expression. He didn't look angry with him at all. It was just sadness. Sadness that Obito had managed to figure it out after all.
"B-But how?" Obito stammered, visibly shaken.
Naruto quickly stood up and approached him carefully. Obito tried to shuffle away but Naruto wouldn't let that happen. He grasped his arm, pulled him up and hugged him before he could disappear.
"Listen to me Obito, you are not him." The time-traveler growled into the teenager's ear as Obito trembled.
"But he is-." Obito protested weakly. "You were comparing me already."
"You are not him." Naruto insisted, but didn't deny the fact. "There are too many differences." He said instead.
"Listen to me."
"You are not him." Naruto repeated.
"How could I… W-why would I?" The Uchiha's throat choked up.
"Everyone has a breaking point." Naruto simply said, as it was the only thing that the blond could come up with. "You were right. You deserve to know the truth, but I just wanted to prevent this reaction from you Obito. I was trying to think of a better way to tell you. You understand?" Naruto explained, ignoring the now painful pull that was trying to wake him up.
The boy slowly nodded into his shoulder, a sob escaped him. A part of him wished to take his words back, that he would never know that if Naruto hadn't even been there…
He would have turned into that… that…
He would have preferred to die.
"It's alright." Naruto whispered to him and before he knew what was happening, Obito was sobbing.
After a few minutes, Naruto hissed. "They keep trying to wake me up."
"Y-you should wake up." Obito tried, his voice muffled.
Naruto looked at him and reluctantly nodded. "Give me a second, I will be right back."
Obito sighed as Naruto's form disappeared.
'Damn it to hell.' He couldn't help but think as he started sobbing even louder. "I hate myself."
"Don't say that Dope!"
Obito startled as Naruto suddenly stood behind him. "W-what… that's not enough time to explain what is going on."
"They can wait." The blond said stubbornly as he put an arm around the boy's shaking form.
"They will be worried." Obito tried again.
"They are already worried about us anyway."
Obito couldn't really argue against that.
~ At the Hokage's office~ half an hour later ~
Their welcome into the office anything but quiet.
"Jiraiya-sensei! Kushina! What's going on?" Minato practically yelled as the pair bounded into the office.
"What is the situation?" The Sandaime demanded.
"What's wrong with Obito?" Asked Kakashi's voice from the other side of the room.
They had been in the middle of Kakashi's story when the pair rushed in.
"He isn't waking up. He keeps going back to sleep." The Sannin gently put the teenager on the couch. "He 'politely' asked me to leave him alone though. I don't even want to know where he got to know that kind of scary threats. Not to mention that he managed to call me a couple of rather rude names after that. All in all, he was deadly serious." The Sannin grumbled.
"So, it's not a coma?" Minato insisted as he accepted Kushina's hug.
"No… It's probably his own doing." Jiraiya answered as he nodded towards the Sandaime.
"Why?" Kakashi asked, giving his friend a worried glance.
Minato frowned and quickly gave Kushina a kiss on her forehead. "Please tell us what happened."
"Let's listen to Kakashi's story first." The Sandaime offered and Kakashi nodded reluctantly.
"Is Inoichi here yet?" Jiriaiya informed quickly. "I want to get started as quickly as possible."
"He could be here at any moment." Minato told him.
The Sannin nodded. "I will be right back."
Something was going on in that boy's mind and he wanted to know what was happening as soon as possible.
~ Back in Obito's mindscape ~
The pair sat next to each other, playing with the grass as they sat in lotus position. Naruto tore up the blades that he had in his hand and slowly let the wind carry them away. Obito watched him absently, rolling his own ball of grass in his hands before letting it drop to the ground.
"I'm so sorry Naruto…"
"What?" Naruto asked, startled when the boy looked at him guiltily.
"I'm so sorry that I turned out like that! I don't know how to-"
"Stop that already! We talked about this enough! You still don't get it right?" His friend ordered Obito, shaking him gently.
"Get what?" The boy repeated glumly.
"What I mean is…" Naruto paused, before he decided to take another approach. "Would you, Obito?" He demanded.
The boy looked up at him, surprised.
"Tell me, would you become the man that I showed you?"
"Why wouldn't you?" Naruto pushed him.
Obito didn't even bother and took the bait. He pushed himself to his feet and pacing restlessly. His arms waved in the air as his thoughts rolled out of his mouth.
"Because! Because I don't want to kill people like that! I don't want to kill the people I care for! I don't even want to kill my family!" He yelled at him. "I want to protect! I have to protect everyone! I love Rin-chan! I love her! I love my team! I love Konoha and the precious people in my family! I don't care how strong it would make me! What use is being stronger than Kakashi if I can't act like a brat about it towards him? What good would it do if he wouldn't be there?"
"Then why did it happen?" Naruto asked quietly after the boy calmed down and sat down again.
"Because… I'm weaker than I thought." The boy's shoulders slumped.
"But…" Obito didn't understand.
"Because someone must have manipulated you while you were on the edge. Friends are important. Why? Because they can pull you back when necessary. They can return you back to the right way of thinking. Even Sasuke…" Naruto sighed. "We may have failed him in many ways, just as he failed us. But in the end, he realised this and that allows me to feel somewhat – just a little bit – at rest."
"So… so what are you saying?" Obito dared to ask, slowly having calmed down.
He would just have to remind himself that he was never going to be that person. Naruto had saved him from becoming that person. He had to push that horrible feeling away for now. He was a Shinobi damn it.
Naruto's expression turned dark.
"There is someone else out there, besides the future you that apparently might have tagged along somehow. Not quite like we did, but still there. This someone is what turned you into what you became. If this can happen to you… Being headstrong as you are. It must be a master at manipulating." "
"You know whom he is?"
"The original Madara himself." Kurama answered for him, growling venomously.
No way, Obito thought.
"But I though… Seeing as I – my other future me was a fake Madara…" He tried.
"There is still a real one out there somewhere." Naruto said, sounding convinced.
There was a pause.
"Just when you thought a situation couldn't get more complicated… " Obito whispered.
"Welcome to my life kiddo."
"I never agreed with this you know." The boy sighed tiredly.
"Well, life isn't exactly fair."
"Watch you mouth." Naruto almost automatically teased him.
"What, are you my dad or something?" Obito returned, crossing his arms.
"Getting cheeky aren't w-" Naruto didn't end the sentence as he felt the intrusion already present.
"I guess that the guests will be arriving any moment now." He warned as he shifted back into Obito's form.
Obito twitched nervously, quickly whipping away any remaining tears.
The boy turned towards Naruto and blinked at the wide grin that Naruto directed towards him. "You are not and will never be that horrible man in the future alright? We are going to kick both their asses."
"Right." The reply wasn't as determined as the blond had hoped for, but he could understand.
The two turned towards the right, where they could see the two figures approaching. They couldn't hear them quite yet, Naruto knew, but the air that they carried was different that the visit that they had had before with Minato.
"Ne… Nii-san. What the hell are we going to do now?" Obito muttered under his breath as he smiled somewhat tiredly at the privacy invaders.
"I don't know." Naruto told him under his breath as he crossed his arms and glared at the pair.
If there was one thing that Naruto could expect from his teacher, was that he was always prying into things he shouldn't.
"Hi, Ero-sensei." He called out calmly. "I didn't expect you like this. It's not really nice to enter without knocking right?"
The Sannin grinned at him. "Well, you weren't really polite to me either this morning, so that makes us even."
"I guess." He said somewhat sheepishly, vaguely remembering the nasty words that he had told him. "I'm sorry about that."
Naruto's eyes glanced towards Inoichi and nodded lightly at the blond mind-reader, which the man returned. Naruto secretly was pondering how to get rid of the man. He wasn't even sure whether he was able to evade Jiraiya's prodding, but the last thing he needed was an eyewitness if he happened to find something.
Speaking of his 'future sensei', he turned his attention back to Jiraiya.
"Is something wrong?" He asked.
"You know fully well why we are here, brat." The man told him, this time without any smile.
Naruto's grin dropped and Obito twitched right next to him. Jiraiya was being a little too serious for Naruto's liking. Did he know something? Their eyes met and the time-traveller suppressed a cringe when he recognised the look in the man's eyes.
Ero-Sensei was looking for answers.
Answers that Naruto wasn't sure he was willing to give.
~ End Chapter ~
But will they give it to him? Would Jiraiya knowing even give an advantage? What about the puzzle that is now Madara?
Please share your thoughts with me. I would really appreciate it.
I'm finally going to bed. Sweet dreams
Update: Hiatus status for time being... due to real life stuff. -_-