Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Highschool of the Dead
Falling. The sense of the wind rushing through your hair. The cold breeze grazing across your skin. The panic you feel when one realizes that they are falling, likely to their death from an extremely high place. The conscious thought in a person's mind yelling at them, telling them that they are falling and they are going to die. The effect is often times a detrimental horror in it's own right. The subconscious thought of ones self knowing that they are going to die sends their entire body into a severe panic attack that proceeds further into a heart attack as their plummet to the hard ground below, often dead before the impact.
None of that was what Uzumaki Naruto felt as he dived through the sky with his eyes calm and focused. All of his senses were virtually blocked out as he slowly watched the ground approaching closer and closer. The only sound he heard was his steady heartbeat. A heartbeat that summed up the situation for the falling shinobi up into one simple fact.
He had done this before. It was during this time suspended in the air that the seventeen year old shinobi was able to reflect on his life.
The slightest frown grazed the young shinobi's features as he thought to himself how his life turned out. He thought to himself that perhaps if he had lived a different life, things would have ended up differently. Maybe if he grew up in his life playing the fool, acting the idiot. Maybe when he officially made it onto the legendary Team 7 genin team, things would have turned out differently.
He wouldn't have passed the chunin exams his first time around.
He wouldn't have been able to save the Old Man, The Third Hokage.
He wouldn't have surpassed Sasuke so effortlessly in the shinobi arts.
He wouldn't have turned down Jiraiya's offer to be his apprentice.
He wouldn't have joined Anbu shortly after becoming a chunin.
He wouldn't have been offered Pein's eyes to carry on his dream.
He wouldn't have found Konan to become his most loyal and faithful partner.
A sudden grimace graced the warrior's features as he grew closer to the planet's surface as a stray but disappointing thought passed through his mind.
'Perhaps...' he began dryly in his mind as he closed his eyes blocking out the world around him. 'If I hadn't done all of those things, I may have been able to stop the Shinobi World War...'
The blonde haired shinobi suddenly spun in mid air before a loud crash sounded across his landing zone. A giant crater formed in the ground as the short grass surrounding the field he was on literally rippled from the impact as the ground began to break apart into a fissure ever so slightly.
The Kyuubi Jinchuriki stood up slowly from the crater he formed before calmly dusting off his black mix of standard shinobi and ANBU gear before looking out carefully to where he exactly was with a thought being voiced.
"And perhaps I wouldn't have fallen for the masked man's trap..." Naruto thought dryly as he drew a kunai and began walking to the building that stood before him.
Earlier that day
A young teenage boy unlike another was quite well grounded as he leaned on the railing of a staircase in his school, overlooking the school courtyard, but more importantly the gate. The gate of a school to many students was a symbol for many things, besides the most obvious which was the school.
Perhaps most importantly to many, It was a symbol for safety. A place parents could reliably send their children for the day, and they would know they could rest easy as the went off to their various jobs. However for Komuro Takashi, a symbol for safety was anything but what he felt the gate was.
Takashi stared off into the distance at the gate coldly as he recalled upon memories of the past. His mind wandering more to the fact that the gate before him was his freedom when it was open, and his prison when it was closed. This wasn't to say Takashi was one to follow the rules, and not find a way around the gate if he wished to, but it was the symbol that mattered to him.
These days he had taken to skipping classes entirely. Well most of them anyways. He shared far too many with his childhood friend Rei. Now for most people that may be a dream come true, sharing a class with their childhood friend that had grown to become quite the attractive woman. However there was one key fact that completely ruined any time they could share together.
His childhood friend that he had made a pinky promise to become married with had went on to date his best guy friend. To say the relationship between the three of them was in shambles would be an understatement. They were capable of acting civil around one another of course. However beyond acting civil? The three of them rarely ever talked.
"Pinky promise..." the young man said in a sing song voice as he overlooked the school courtyard from the railing he leaned against, "If you lie I'll make you swallow one thousand needles..."
He barely noticed the pink haired school genius come up beside him and call him an idiot. "Takagi?" The boy questioned in mild surprise.
The pink haired female rolled her eyes in annoyance as she moved closer to the delinquent teen. "Every time you have to face something you don't like, you always escape to the same place. That's so elementary."
"So that's what they call it these days? Escaping things I don't like? And here I thought it was simply cutting." he mused to himself no longer looking towards the pink haired arrival.
"Not funny." the light brown eyed female said in annoyance. "The first semester just started, and you have skipped nearly every class. At this rate you might as well get your things together for the supplementary classes."
It wasn't long after that when the pink haired girl dubbed Takagi began to rant on about how stupid her friend was. Something the boy had long since learned to tune out as he leaned against the railing. Although one comment pierced through his practiced ignorance.
"Whats your deal?" the pink haired girl mumbled, her previous fire in her voice fading. "Just because you got dumped by your childhood friend? That's stupid." she finished coldly before walking off with a frown on her face.
Takashi resisted the urge to flinch at that. However in the next few moments he would find that chaos would erupt at the gates of the school, and his past troubles would be the least of his worries.
Naruto grit his teeth as he walked through whatever complex this was. He could only assume it was some form of school given the layout and the fact that there were so many teenagers walking around. But his patience was wearing thin as he walked through the large school with multiple floors.
First off would be in regards to the school. At first glance from the outside, it may appear perfectly normal. But on the inside it could only be described as death and pestilence. The mindless drones, former shells of people walking around only served to really bring him back to a world or dimension he had just left behind.
Naruto knew ever since he had joined Anbu shortly after being promoted to the rank of Chunin that dangerous things were on the horizon. The Old Man had opted to tell Naruto about his parents the moment he achieved the rank of chunin. And if he was perfectly honest, he didn't entirely know how he felt about the situation. Both of his parents died the night of the Kyuubi attack, that was simply the facts. But for Naruto it didn't shake the reality that one of his parents didn't have to die that night.
Sarutobi Hiruzen had given Naruto full access to the mission report he had filled out himself that night. Naruto could tell just in the man's eyes that the aged leader was gravely sorry due to holding back information from Naruto. But as Naruto grew older, and proceeded into the more taxing areas of the shinobi profession, he realized that he likely wouldn't have lived past the age of five if it weren't for the Old Man's personal interferance with his lineage.
The documents he had gained access to were simple, yet revealing. Both of his parents died that night sealing the Kyuubi. But one of them could have lived. Whether it be if his mother just opted to sit down and let his father handle the tailed beast, and make him the next jinchuriki for Konoha. Or if his father had just allowed his mother to take a heroes death, and take the nine tailed demon with her. Instead they opted for some ridiculous middle ground where they both ended up dying, and Naruto grew up in poverty alone. To say that irked Naruto a great deal would be an understatement. The fact that the Third Hokage repeatedly told him how much they loved had loved him was the only thing that kept him from pissing on their graves.
For a boy growing up with no family what so ever? The closest thing he had to family connections were to the Old Man and the owners of the local ramen shack. To say he had learned to put the values of family and friendship over everything else would be an understatement. It was when he came to this realization as he stood face to face with the Rinnegan user that he realized that his dream to become Hokage was no longer a dream he desired.
His dream was to protect the people he held closest to him, the people that acknowledged him. That was all it had ever been. The title of Hokage was just a convenient place of power that would have given him those things. He promised himself that he would never become like his father. A man that had chosen others over his family, his loved ones. At least in Naruto's eyes. That was a man he could never grow to respect. He may have been an excellent shinobi, but that means nothing when being judged by the eyes of a son. It was probably for the very same reason he simply couldn't stand being in his godfather's presence.
Naruto shook his head free of his thoughts as he flipped the kunai in his hand as he had been absentmindedly walking down the hallway filled with the walking dead. They may have been strong in contrast to the young civilians walking down the halls. But to a shinobi, to say they were a threat would be laughable.
Naruto had gone through war, a war that was still going on and he had survived. He had fought some of the trickiest and toughest opponents in the history of the shinobi world. Opponents from Hanzo the Salamander to Nagato's resurrected form in his prime.
To even reference these walking dead as a challenge with their predictable sluggish and lunging movements. That was probably an insult of the highest accord. Naruto had seen animals with more intelligence then what stood before him. It was due to that he could simply walk down the hall, kunai in hand, plunging it into the skull of the dead walking by effortlessly.
If he had a choice he knew he would have done most destructive means of clearing out the dead. Naruto held back a sneer as he rubbed a lightly glowing metal shackle on his wrist. He resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he focused on the shackle while side stepping an unintelligent lunge from the festering corpse that caused him to bump into the hallway window, nose first.
Supposedly indestructible metal combined with chakra absorbing and suppressing qualities found from technology of the Hidden Snow village. How he had allowed the masked man to get the jump on him, and slip this atrocity on his wrist was beyond him. But Naruto knew in his head that he would get the blasted thing off. Everything has a weakness, it was a lesson he had learned and taught throughout his shinobi career. The weakness just needed to be found.
Naruto was broken from his thoughts as the moment he kicked open the double doors before him leading onto a long overhang, he heard the most horrible scream. He hadn't heard anything so terrified since Pein's destruction of Konoha and it's civilians.
Accross the way he saw a pink haired girl with a short chubbier boy with glasses. But he could tell they weren't the source of the screams due to the boy's almost horrified gaze as he looked over to where the bridge split into a "T", a number of students that had been formerly trying to get into a room for safety found the place to be anything but.
Two of the walking dead burst forth from the doors, the one in the front viciously grabbing one of the four male students by the face tackling him to the ground giving him a thoroughly disgusting kiss on the neck. That site was all it took for the pink haired female to rush accross the overhang, leading the chubby boy closely behind her.
They seemed to be on a mission as they ran right up to the blonde shinobi with a bloody kunai in his grip. Naruto's gaze however remained on the group of teenagers being slaughtered. And it was at that point he had to ask himself, 'When did I become so desensitized to death...'
The memory hit the shinobi like a ton of bricks.
Naruto a young chunin that recently was selected to join the anbu division was currently sitting next to his purple haired comrade in a tall tree overlooking a large camp.
"How can they ask us to kill all of these people Yugao-chan?" a young thirteen year old asked with his mask clipped to his mask. A mask that he had specially tailored to remind him of the boy who spared his life in Wave Country.
"How many times must I remind you to wear your mask Uzumaki-san?" the young woman asked back in an almost teasing tone. A grave contrast to what the situation before them was asking the two of them to do.
Naruto grumbled a bit as he adjusted the mask onto his face, waiting for certain seals on the mask to adjust and return to him his vision. "There I'm wearing my mask, your turn." he said stubbornly as he looked over a camp filled with over a good couple hundred bandits. It reminded him of the battle at the bridge all over again.
The purple haired woman frowned behind her mask as she mulled over how to respond. "Naruto... you are going to learn as you grow older that in our line of work, people die. Sometimes for the right reasons, and sometimes for the wrong reasons. Our job is to protect the people of Konoha. Sometimes that means saving the lives of several people. And sometimes that means executing dangerous people. Both ways help."
Naruto and his partner sat in that tree for a good few moments in silence as Naruto let what his teacher said sink in. "But is it the right thing to do?"
The woman stood up as she overlooked the men and few women gathered around scattered campfires in the area, "I don't know if it is the right thing Naruto. All I know is the wrong thing is standing by doing nothing while innocents die."
Naruto snapped back to reality as the gravity of the world came crashing back down around him.
"Hey you! Are you stupid or something? Come on, we need to move! Quit standing around!" yelled the pink haired girl as she came running at Naruto. It was only when she reached the young blond that she was actually frustrated. He hadn't moved an inch.
Naruto shook his head free of his thoughts as he looked over to the group still being attacked by the two corpses. He turned to the pink haired girl standing in front of him before he spun his kunai around in his hand and offered the young girl the handle. "Here... take it." He mumbled as he all but dropped the knife into the girl's surprised hand.
"Hey! Come back! We need to get out of here!" she yelled to the blonde with wide eyes as he rushed past her at quite incredible speeds. Although in her mind, if he was going to rush off to die, that was on him. She already had enough stupidity with Takashi for the day. And with that thought, she turned around and ran, knife in hand.
Naruto rushed across the platform, his eyes had shifted from a calm blue sea to dark intense waters in an instant. The eyes of a battle hardened killer. Something that a seventeen year old should not have.
He was already beating himself up on the inside, truthfully he knew that if he was anything like his past self, he wouldn't have hesitated in the slightest with saving the unlucky students. And now here he was, forced to watch as the two girls in the group were being attacked by the now six walking monstrosities.
Although Naruto wouldn't admit it as he ran across the way, drawing a kunai. One of the girls had certainly gained his respect. She stood in a well refined martial arts stance, which stance to be exact? He couldn't tell. Perhaps it was Karate. He never particularly bothered with knowing which stance which martial art originally started in. Shinobi simply used "Taijutsu" which in truth was just a generic term form them to describe mixed martial arts. Shinobi never truly wanted others to know what they were actually capable of.
She was swift on her feet delivering well placed kicks and punches all the while effectively gaining distance. He had the underlying feeling that if the girl was alone, she actually would have been able to handle herself just fine.
However the platinum blonde haired martial arts girl was no doubt protecting a younger sister. The other girl had fallen to the ground in fear, clutching at her chest as faint tears began to roll down her face. Her breaths were shallow, and her eyes unfocused.
Naruto leapt into action against the attacking dead with quite precise stabs that went completely unnoticed. But by the time he arrived it was too late for the young fighter. The platinum blonde who had spent her entire last moments just now protecting the younger girl that could have been her twin if only slightly older. One of the dead had spun it's head after getting a vicious punch, and had take to biting the hand that had punched it.
Naruto grimaced at the recent memory of how many teenagers he had passed up on helping only to see them suffer this fate. He silently wished he had reached this desire to help sooner.
Naruto finished his last couple kills as the dead dropped to the ground once again. The blonde haired fighter had since fallen back onto her butt and wrapped an arm around the shell shocked girl beside her, while looking up to the shinobi.
"Thanks for coming to the rescue. I was almost afraid you wouldn't when I saw you watching us over there." she gestured with a nod of the head to where he was standing not even a minute ago.
Naruto grimaced as the truth set in that he could have in fact been at her side in less than a few seconds if he really need to, even without chakra. "Yeah, but I obviously wasn't fast enough." he said with a bitter taste in his mouth, slightly angry at his own personal failure. To his surprise however he was only greeted with a smile.
"It's the thought that counts. My father says that you can judge the character of a person by the way they treat those that can do nothing for them."
The thought of Pein reviving everyone he had killed in Konoha on his death bed instantly came to mind for Naruto. With a weak smile, Naruto simply nodded his head, "Smart man."
The light laughter the blonde girl gave despite the situation around him brought a smile to Naruto's face. In truth she almost reminded him of himself when he was younger. "A bit eccentric though." she added on at the end with a grin. She offered her free hand which wasn't bloody, "Kimeko Sinjah. This is my younger sister Ayane."
Naruto looked to the side to glance at the still shell shocked Ayane. He didn't have nearly as much respect for the girl as he held for Kimeko. He gave a slow nod of the head for recognition, but said nothing to acknowledge the girl beyond that. "Uzumaki Naruto." he replied calmly doing his best to hide his guilt.
"Nice eyes." she said before heaving forward with a nasty cough.
Naruto shook his head slightly at the laid back mannerisms of the dying girl before him, "Nice hair." he bit back in amusement.
"Wish I had my mom's." she gave a toothy grin, but her teeth were already getting coated in her own blood which in turn caused Naruto to frown.
They stared at each other for a few moments before Kimeko spoke, "Do me a favor Naruto. Look after my sister for me. She suffers from anxiety due to something she saw something happen to our father when she was younger. She just needs her meds from the nurse's office. I know you can help her, I haven't seen anyone move like you do in a fight except for that purple haired crazy Saeko." With a hacking cough Kimeko continued, "I'd do it myself, but I'm afraid I'm going to be pretty indisposed in a minute or so blondie."
Naruto's grin faded as this weight suddenly got put on his shoulders. He looked over towards Ayane whom was finally becoming a bit more responsive. It was at this moment that he truly wished that the two girls didn't look to be nearly twins. The guilt he was feeling beginning to rest on his shoulders was... awful. He squeezed his eyes shut before he carefully scooped the girl up into his arms. He dropped his kunai to the ground next to the older sister, who in turned gave a big grin to the shinobi before.
"If you want to..." he left the message hanging in the air, but the older sister gave a bark of a laugh not even a second later as she picked up the kunai knife.
"What? Go out like a coward? Ha!" she said as she pushed herself up onto shaky legs. "If I'm gonna die, I'ma die helping the people still alive." she answered in a confident tone.
Seeing Naruto not leaving as he continued to stare at the platinum blonde in a deal of respect, the act only caused the young woman to blush under his gaze. "Well get going before I bite you." she said, a joke in poor taste.
Naruto shook his head in a sigh and stood up onto the stone wall of walkway, ready to simply jump down to the next level.
"Find our little brother Ayane..." was the last fading sound he heard from Kimeko as he jumped off the side of the walk way, only feeling the slightest shifting of a nodding head in his arms.
Now that this chapter is done, time to lay some things out.
Alright well this is chapter one. I didn't know how I would go about splitting up the chapters. I have been frankly writing this story for a bit... and I am probably about sixty thousand words into the story. Right now I am just deciding to post it and I'm figuring out how I want to go about splitting the chapters up.
Normally I am a person that usually posts longer chapters. However for this story I think I will actually be opting to shorter chapters this time around given how the story translates from the manga.
This story is going to be quite a bit more in depth and detailed than the actual series. A lot more ripples will form as well in this story in contrast to how Naruto's presence usually effects this universe. Some characters will be expanded on, some characters will survive things they normally wouldn't. There will be OCs. Frankly there will be a lot that frankly just isn't in your typical Highschool of the Dead cut and dry crossover plot line.
Another thing I felt when I started writing the story. The typical Naruto simply CANT, and I do mean that with all caps. He CANT fit into the Highschool of the Dead universe in his standard implementation. The reason for this is pretty simple. Naruto is pretty much a hardcore paragon, a hero of heroes. He will not only go above and beyond the call of duty for his friends, but he is even willing to do that for his enemies.
So the idea that Naruto would go into the story, and then not make 1000 shadow clones in order to save not just the core group, but everyone in Japan? Well that idea is silly. That is exactly what he would try and do. So before I was able to start the story with Naruto, I needed to craft a Naruto that was still his typical "Jinchuriki born and raised in Konoha" while at the same time obtaining a different mindset.
So the Naruto in this story without giving too many spoilers is inspired by another story a bit. "Potential Realized" a story where the Sandaime lives and promotes Naruto to the rank of Chunin, and Naruto begins to take his shin obi career seriously. I took this concept and gave it my own spin to make a Naruto that wouldn't utterly try and walk over and wipe out the entire zombie invasion. But at the same time he would be willing to protect those close to him as he ventures through this world.
NOW final note...
A lot of fan fiction writers don't realize this for zombie apocalypse stories like Highschool of the Dead or whatever. While we the viewers know the enemies that they are facing are "zombies" the actual characters do not. The actual characters are put into a universe that know nothing of Zombies, and as such that is why they don't know to go for the head when they are first encountered, or that a bite infects them. Etc etc etc.
So the vocabulary used during the first bit of the story to is there to depict that, using "Them, Those Things, Walking Dead, Monstrosities, Atrocities, etc etc etc" is used to capture the feel for the rest of the characters. Later on a name does get developed for the zombies, as to simply not cause confusion. (In Highschool of the Dead, they call the zombies "Them", which works in a manga because you can see the image panels. However in writing that simply won't work because everything is visualization.)