For those of you who don't know, this is the sequel to A Chance to Change. It takes place in the Shippuden years, so don't freak out or anything if I say someone's fifteen or sixteen :)
I don't own Naruto Shippuden.
~Four Years Later~
I woke up smiling, my eyes closed as lavender filled my nose. I pulled Hinata-chan closer to me, opening my eyes when she chuckled.
"Good morning," I mumbled, smiling. Hina-chan chuckled as my hand found its way to her abdomen, the distinctive baby bump hiding under her nightshirt.
Hinata-chan was only a month along with twins- who she was sure were both boys- were growing at a faster rate than most babies, just like Hana had. In the last timeline, Hana was born after about three and a half months, perfectly healthy. We attributed the difference in time to trait inherited by me from Kyuubi.
She was off duty for missions now, helping within the village. I chuckled to myself, chuckling as I remembered her jounin exam.
~Flashback, One Year Ago, the Hokage's Office~
Jounin stood around the old desk to attend this week's meeting. I glanced around myself, seeing old friends in the crowd; Shikamaru and Neji had joined our ranks as jounin ninja. Sakura was beginning to take on more high ranking missions, not officially a jounin just yet. Sasuke was getting stronger, determined to last against me for his jounin exam. Tsunade, as the Godaime Hokage, had decided that it was in the best interest for prospective jounin to only have to last a solid five minutes against me when I was on the offensive.
"This time of the week again," Tsunade sighed, stretching. She glanced at the papers on her desk, pausing as she recognized a form. "Hold on, looks like we have another chuunin that wants to take the jounin exam… Any volunteers?" The jounin all looked to me, expectant.
"Sorry, obaachan, I can't do this one," I said, my hand at the back of my head. Tsunade glanced again at the paper.
"You're right, you can't," she studied the paper. "That means I'll need at least three jounin to test this kunoichi."
"Why can't Naruto do it? This is so troublesome," Shikamaru sighed. I smiled.
"It's Hinata-chan that wants to take the exam. I can't fight my mate, even if it's just a jounin exam. Don't you remember the Chuunin Exams, Shikamaru? You wouldn't go all out against Temari," I pointed out. The jounin fought a blush and I smiled victoriously. He might not be married to the Suna kunoichi- yet- but that doesn't mean he is exempt from my sense of humor. A few older jounin volunteered to test Namikaze Hinata and I chuckled at their enthusiasm.
"Do you have something to add, Naruto?" Tsunade growled. I shrugged.
"I'd like to witness the exam. If Hinata-chan is going against only three jounin… It'd be best if you have an extra medical nin on hand," I recommended. Tsunade studied my face before nodding.
"Get Hinata. She'll have her exam in Training Ground Seven in twenty minutes," Tsunade told me. I nodded and Hiraishined to Hinata-chan's necklace charm.
Thirty minutes later, Tsunade was congratulating Hinata-chan on becoming a jounin. I sat in a crater, healing one of the jounin's snapped ulna. I finished the jounin, activating demon eyes to survey the damage done to the rest of the jounin.
"Tsunade?" I called. The Godaime glanced at me, standing over the healed jounin. "I might need your help."
Tsunade raised an eyebrow at Hinata-chan, who blushed accordingly. I almost regretted teaching her the warau akuma.
"Do you have to go so early?" Hina-chan asked me, pouting. I smiled, kissing her on the forehead.
"I wouldn't if you hadn't promised Gai that I'd race him at sunrise," I countered. Hina-chan scowled adorably at mention of the Green Beast.
"That man needs to take it easy on the energy drinks. And whatever else he's on."
"Just be glad you're learning taijutsu from me," I smiled. "I still don't know how Tenten and Neji survived." Hina-chan chuckled, sitting up and stretching. She caught me glancing at her stomach and she chuckled.
"I'm naming them," she said determinedly. I raised my hands in surrender, not wanting to spark any early hormones. I leaned down, smiling when our lips met.
I pulled away, grabbing my Sage coat from the closet, glancing in the mirror. I had grown my hair out a little longer, about the same length as my father's hair. My flak jacket was a darker green than other jounins', the Uzumaki swirl a brighter orange. My Sage coat was the same, red with black flames at the bottom.
"Beat Gai fast," she ordered. I chuckled, nodding.
"I love you."
"Love you too," she smiled. I turned away, walking down the hall before Hiraishining to the Hokage Monument. Seeing a flurry of green movement, I cringed.
"Yosh!" a voice called out. I made the mistake of turning towards Gai, just in time to see his infamous 'nice guy' pose. To this day, I had no idea how he created the sunset.
"Let's get this over with, Gai. Hina-chan's waiting for me," I said quietly, releasing my weights. "You can count."
"Yosh! In three… two… one!" he shouted, racing away. I sighed before running to catch up.
"What's the score?" I asked, watching Gai breath heavily as he leaned on his knees. Standing on the Academy roof, I glanced below us, watching the students file into the building as they raced to class. "I lost count around… 46 me, 12 you." Kakashi jumped down from a tree, laughing under his breath.
"Yo," he greeted. "Naruto, I think you should tell Tsunade whatever you wanted to talk to her about."
"Hai. Ja ne," I shrugged, walking towards the stairs without a glance behind me. I held my hands to my ears when Gai began preaching about my hip attitude, something he claims I've inherited from Kakashi.
I walked into the office without knocking, chuckling as I saw Shizune trying to grab a bottle of sake from her mentor.
"Should I come back later?" I said, trying and failing to keep a straight face. Shizune glanced in my direction, blowing her hair out of her face.
"Oh! Hello, Naruto… I'm just-"
"Just- gimme the- bottle!" Tsunade growled. I rolled my eyes, stepping up to the desk. Carefully, I reached my hand in and snatched the bottle. "Hey!"
"Shizune is right, Tsunade-obaachan. You really should take it easy on the sake," I said, handing the bottle to Shizune. The dark haired kunoichi grinned victoriously at her mentor, walking away with the confiscated sake.
"Thank you," she smiled, safely on the other side of the room.
"Yes, thank you oh so much… And stop calling me that!" Tsunade grumbled. I smiled briefly at her childishness. "So, why are you here?"
"I will never stop calling you that, Tsunade-obaachan. I'm here because I needed to tell you something important," I said. The day of my return, in the previous timeline, was approaching. If the timelines were still similar, that day would be the start of it all. I had been considering tell Tsunade about my different past. Kakashi and Hinata-chan thought it was a good idea so I planned to debrief the Godaime before too long.
"Go for it," the blonde kunoichi grumbled, still upset about her lack of alcohol. I resisted rolling my eyes at the Hokage. I rocked back on my heels, deciding to tell her.
"First, there are a few things you should know about me. I'm not exactly who I appear to be," I hinted. Tsunade raised an eyebrow.
"What are you trying to say, Rokudaime?" she smiled slyly. I guess my face must have given away my surprise because Tsunade chuckled conspiratorially. "Sensei filled me in when he retired."
"That-" I paused, unsure of what to say. It suddenly occurred to me that I was always the first person Tsunade referred to when she was assigning missions. She must have known that she should maintain the timeline, I realized. Kyuu laughed in the back of my mind. "-makes a lot of sense."
"It's pretty obvious you aren't a regular sixteen year old, Naruto," Shizune chuckled behind me. I shrugged.
"Did you know that Kakashi and Hinata-chan came back with me?"
Victory! The two ninjas' jaws fell. Kyuubi's chuckle grew into a booming laugh.
"Really?" Tsunade asked, recovering. I nodded and her expression grew thoughtful. "So how did we die?" Ouch, tough.
"Honestly? I'm still not sure about you… A little while after I became Rokudaime, you took a team outside of Konoha on a recon mission. Only Sakura came back and she didn't say a word about what happened. Shizune, you had died earlier in the war, a few weeks after your wedding."
"Wedding?" she asked, an emotion I couldn't recognize coloring her tone. "Who did I marry?"
"Spoilers," I winked. "All I can say is I hope he speaks up soon; you two were really happy together." I smiled remembering how Kakashi had always smiled each time she had walked into the room. We could've just lost dozens of men and women on the battlefield for nothing; she'd be there and make it better for him.
Shizune's eyebrows knit together in concentration. Tsunade thought about it for a moment before deciding to ask another question.
"So Team Seven were the Neo-Sannin?"
"Yep. We all had the same jounin sensei- Kakashi-, and each of us were trained by one of the original Sannin. Sakura was your student, I was Jiraiya's, and Sasuke defected and turned to Orochimaru."
"I heard something about that from Hiruzen," Tsunade murmured. I nodded sadly.
"Sasuke is one of the reasons we came back. It might have been stupid, but I didn't stop trying to save him until he-" my voice caught as the memory rose in my mind.
I knelt, wincing as I coughed up blood. I heard a harsh laughter- his laughter- over me. I could hear Hinata-chan, still evacuating the falling camp. I glanced up, Sasuke standing over me, sword raised.
"When will you stop chasing after me? Oh, well; I shouldn't be surprised. You always were an idiot, dobe," he smirked. I rolled away as his sword came down. Standing, I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand, ignoring the blood. I closed my eyes, ready to Hiraishin to the seal I had on his back. Sasuke narrowed his eyes, staring around him for my mark. Finding it, he raised his blade to deflect my kunai. I ducked down, spinning my leg out to trip him. Recognizing the move, Sasuke easily jumped away from it, landing close to Hina-chan. He glanced in my direction before smirking and moving closer to my mate.
I growled protectively.
Hinata-chan! I shouted through the seal, running towards my mate. Glancing up, Hinata-chan could only widen her eyes as the steel sword sliced the air as it moved towards her in a deadly arc.
I'm not sure what happened next. All I know is that I found myself staring into Sasuke's hate-filled eyes, his sword cutting into my palms as I held it away from my mate.
"Naruto-kun," Hina-chan murmured, her eyes wide in panic. Kyuubi's chakra enveloped me, surrounding my in a protective and dangerous shield of demonic chakra. I felt my hands heal, the metal melting away from me. Sasuke narrowed his eyes, jumping away from me again. I collapsed, falling to a knee. I glanced over my shoulder, my eyes reddened by Kyuubi's chakra, the early form of akuma no me.
"Hinata-chan… Get out of here. Don't look back. Run," I ordered, glancing at Hinata-chan's abdomen. Hina-chan's right hand protectively went to her womb and she nodded, her eyes watering.
"Come back," she ordered, her lavender eyes wide with worry. I smiled confidently, just for her, nodding as I stood up.
"I always do. Kage no bunshin!" An army of shadow clones appeared, surrounding the Uchiha. He scoffed, lifting his sword as Hinata-chan made her escape.
"Until what?" Tsunade asked quietly. I shook my head.
"That's not important. This Uchiha Sasuke is not the man I've fought with for the better part of a decade. You should know that," I said, remembering Tsunade's happiness when she found out that Sasuke and Sakura were officially dating.
"I think it is important," Tsunade said, studying me. "What did he do?"
"He- he tried to kill Hinata-chan. She was six weeks pregnant. Both the baby and Hina-chan got out unharmed but I couldn't forgive Sasuke again. There were too many crimes on his head."
"Boy or girl?" Shizune asked, smiling as she seemed to ignore my other words.
"Girl. Her name was Hana," I smiled at the memory; her blond hair and lavender eyes had not been forgotten.
"So what forced you to come back?" Tsunade pressed. "Were things really that hopeless?"
"More than you can imagine. A few weeks before we left, I heard through my spy network, what was left of it at least, that Sasuke, Kabuto, and Madara were planning a final attack on Konoha itself. You need to understand, Konoha was the face of our attack force. When other nations were driven out of their homes, they came to live in and fight for Konoha. Most of our fighting force was camped in and around Konoha.
"When I got news of the invasion, I began to evacuate. Two days after my orders were given, they came. Kabuto had mastered Orochimaru's Impure Resurrection technique, reanimating every dead and powerful shinobi he could think of. Konoha was razed in a battle that lasted for almost four days. I can't even describe it. I was forced to summon Kyuubi in our own streets, just to defend our backs while we tried to save everyone left. At the end, almost all of our shinobi were dead or missing, the rest injured or weakened. Most of the Konoha Eleven and their sensei were dead. The only survivors from the Rookie Nine were Shino, Sakura, Hinata-chan, and myself."
"Sasuke?" Tsunade asked gravely. I glanced downwards, at my hands.
"Dead. Not until after he killed Shikamaru and Kurenai's son. He was seven." I clenched my fist. I did not envy Kurenai. She was forced to bury both her lover and her son. "Konoha fell, the Allied Shinobi Forces with it. The war ended, Madara and Kabuto had won. I was the final piece stopping Madara from completing his plans, the last jinchuuriki. I knew he'd try even harder to capture me and that even more lives would be lost. That's the main reason I went back, to stop him while we could. So, yes; things really were that helpless."
Tsunade nodded, processing. Shizune tried to keep her face straight, hugging Tonton tighter.
"So what are you going to do now?" Tsunade asked.
"Pretend like we never had this conversation. You need to understand, for my plan to keep working we have to maintain the timeline as much as possible. There will be things that I'll change, and I'll tell you about everything I'm changing. I can tell you right now that I'd like to go to Ame soon. They're going to be having a civil war, if it hasn't already started."
"Ame? Really," Tsunade said, leaning back in her chair. "Why shouldn't you just go in there and stop it now?"
"Do you remember, back during the Third Great Shinobi War, the three orphans that you met in Ame? Orochimaru offered to kill them to spare them of the world's cruelties?"
"Of course; Jiraiya stayed with them and taught them for a while. They died a while after he came back to Konoha," she answered. I shook my head.
"One of them died, yes. The three formed the original Akatsuki to stop the fighting in Ame. Hanzo offered a truce then betrayed them, using the girl, Konan, as his bargaining chip. He forced Nagato to kill Yahiko. What Hanzo didn't know was that Nagato possesses the Rinnegan. After Yahiko was killed, Nagato attacked Hanzo to free Konan. They got away with Yahiko's body."
"I thought all three died," Tsunade said softly, shocked. I shrugged.
"Everyone thought that. That's what Hanzo wanted everyone to think. It wouldn't be good for the legendary Hanzo of the Salamander to have lost his prey in his own country."
"So, what happens? Nagato and Konan take over Ame?"
"Basically. They actually do a lot of good for Ame; they stop all the fighting. The problem is that we came in at the wrong time, after it ended. Konoha, meaning you, sent one of our best ninja into Ame by himself, to gather information on a war we thought was still going strong. He was discovered and attacked by Konan. Nagato, now called Pain, used his Rinnegan to control six separate bodies that all wielded the Rinnegan. Our man was outnumbered, six to one. We couldn't even recover the body."
"Who died?" Tsunade asked quietly. I lowered my head slightly.
"You were the last of the Sannin, Tsunade," I answered, just as quiet. I glanced upwards, faking a confident smile. "Don't worry. I lost my shishou once; I'm not going to let it happen again."
The room grew silent. Shizune took the opportunity to leave the office, dragging Tonton with her. After a while, Tsunade stared into my eyes. I saw the worry as she glanced at the Shodai's necklace, hanging next to my fox charm.
"Obaachan," I said quietly, getting her attention. "In the other timeline, you told Jiraiya that I had this ability; that I could make people see things my way. I don't know how, but it works. I grew up, hated by everyone, then became the Rokudaime. Lady Chiyo sacrificed her life to save the Godaime Kazekage because she had faith in me. I defeated Pain by myself using the Toad Sage mode. I found the real Pain, Nagato, and told him my story. I didn't fight him. He gave his life to save everyone he killed in his invasion of Konoha. Konan died protecting me from Madara, trying to keep him away from the Rinnegan. I've already told you, I'm not going to leave."
Time passed as Tsunade bit her lip, trying to come up with arguments to make me stay. Eventually, she sighed quietly, defeated.
"I don't want you going alone," she said, her voice stern. I grinned confidently.
"Does that offer only extend to Konoha shinobi? It might make a better impression for Nagato to see someone else with me. He's still under the impression that nations cannot coexist without tearing each other apart. Also, he lost his parents to Konoha shinobi when he was younger. I think I should take someone with fewer connections to the Leaf."
"You're taking Jiraiya," she ordered. "If either of you don't come back…" he voice drifted off menacingly. "When are you going?"
"Not for a while. I need to go to Suna for a few days, though. The Akatsuki are going to make a move on Gaara. Don't worry, we have a plan."
"Can I know something about this plan?" Tsunade asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Nope," I said, reaching for a scroll. Checking to make sure it was the right one, I smiled and unsealed the bottle, tossing it to Tsunade. "From Rice Country. If Shizune finds out, it was not from me."
I laughed as Tsunade grinned at the bottle, now in her hands. I watched as she stood from her desk and walked to the portraits of the Hokage. Stepping to her own, she shifted the portrait away, revealing a small cubby. I chuckled as she stored the sake among a number of glasses.
"I'm guessing you don't want me to tell Shizune about that?" I asked as Tsunade sat back at her desk.
"Tell me what?" Shizune asked, distractedly walking into the room. Tsunade groaned, noting the stacks of paperwork in her arms. Watching the Godaime's expression fall, I smiled incredulously.
"Is this a Kage thing?" I asked Shizune. The raven haired girl looked at me confused, dumping the sheets of paper onto Tsunade's desk. I watched Tsunade, trying not to laugh. "You seriously didn't figure it out?"
"Figure what out," the blonde kunoichi growled. I chuckled.
"The trick to paperwork. I figured it out in the first week," I smiled. "Kage really like to complicate their lives; I had to tell everyone else, too."
"Tell me what."
"Hold on, let me celebrate this moment," I grinned. My grin melted when Tsunade narrowed her eyes, standing as she raised her fist. "Okay, calm down. Just use shadow clones. You learn everything they've read and cut down time you sit behind the desk."
Tsunade's expression was priceless. She glanced at Shizune, completely stunned. Shizune shrugged, not caring as long as the work got done. Still in shock, Tsunade's hands formed a cross.
"Kage bunshin no jutsu!" she shouted. Four clones appeared around her, grumbling as they grabbed a stack of paperwork. I cleared my throat.
"You're right, you do owe me one," I smirked. "Give me a reason to be in Suna four days from now and I'll call it mostly even."
"Four days? Can't you Hiraishin over? Why do you need so much time?" Shizune asked from the opposite side of the room, watching one of Tsunade's clones busy at work.
"I've gotten the impression that most villagers, and Kage, aren't very happy when a Konoha nin flashes into their village. Also, I need a team for this one," I added. Tsunade sighed.
"Team Seven and Team Gai. I know Team Gai is on a mission right now. I'll send a fox to intercept them. Team Seven will be going directly to Suna. Do you want me to fill out a mission request? It might be easier," I suggested.
"Just give me a mission name, summary, and ranking," Tsunade said, rolling her eyes as she pulled a sheet of blank paper from a desk drawer.
"Okay. Make sure you change the date on the official records. Mission name: Rescue the Kazekage. Summary: Subaku no Gaara, Godaime Kazekage, kidnapped from Suna by two adversaries, rank unknown. Recover Kazekage safely and cease adversaries' movement by any means necessary. Mission rank: we're going to call this one A rank for now. We'll switch it to S-rank later." I shrugged. Tsunade rolled her eyes, hiding her worry as she wrote the details.
"Shizune can you-"
"I can get them together," I offered. "Sasuke, Sakura, and I were going to spar later, for old times' sake. Kakashi was going to watch and make sure Sasuke doesn't pass out from chakra exhaustion," I said, smiling as Tsunade sweat dropped. "We'll leave tomorrow morning around eight if you want to see us off."
"All right," Tsunade nodded. I waved, saying goodbye, as I walked out of the door- and into Jiraiya.
Mwahahahahahahaaaaaa! First chapter and it already ends on a cliff-hangery thing :3
So this is it, the first chapter of the sequel. Tell me what you thought for it and what you want to happen. Unlike A Chance to Change, this story is not yet set in stone. To give you some inspiration, you should know that Naruto will be taking on a genin team, two girls and a boy. They'll play to the stereotype: one overactive loudmouth, one shy but goodnatured kunoichi, and one quiet loner type. Think of all the fun :)
Itachi will also be growing into the story. I know that, in the original, I neglected him but that was because of how little he had to do in regards to Naruto. All he had to do was send in weekly reports and he was done. Now he'll have to encounter his Rokudaime and try to make it look good without dying. Not to mention that his son is now a genin *hint hint* at age eight or so. Tera, his daughter, is still in the Academy but she'll make a few cameos. She won't play a major role but she'll support the others.
Also, I don't want anyone to freak out about how young they are, Hinata shouldn't be pregnant, blah blah blah. Take a look at the life expectancy for most ninja. It's not that high. So, following logic, the younger ninja are forced to grow up early to be able to kill and torture in the field. Also, they were in their twenties, with a daughter, when they went back in time. And no, Hinata wasn't sleeping with Naruto when they were twelve. That's still at the lunch date at Ichiraku's stage.
I'm not really sure when I'll update again- I don't want to tell you a chapter a day, only to run out of material a week later- so I'm going to say every Monday and possibly Thursdays. That sound good?
Until then, R&R, follow, favorite, etc,
^.^ Susie ^.^