This is an AU Naruto fic. Basically the gist of it is what if Orochimaru's body possession technique lasted five years instead of three? What if Naruto was never found after the climactic battle between him and Sasuke? What if, three years after running, Sasuke found out the truth behind the Uchiha massacre? What if he came back to Konoha on his own volition after defeating Orochimaru? This story starts out seven years after Sasuke's betrayal, so all of the gang at Konoha are 19 or 20. The Akatsuki has yet to make their move, so as a side effect, Jiraiya is still alive. All of the Naruto movie story arcs also happened before the beginning of this story. I know it seems to make the story line convoluted, but I didn't want to waste 15 chapters or so explaining all the interactions with Konoha and how they worked. Also in this fic, Kushina was never sealed into Naruto, nor did she die that fateful night, and i will delve deep into that in this chapter. So, if these type of stories aren't the kind of things you are into, then this fic may not be for you, and it might be in your best interest to seek out other fanfics that are more of your taste. To those who are interested, enjoy! Reviews are welcome and encouraged, but please no flames.
I do not own Naruto.
Konohagakure, October 10th.
There were festivities all around the village, dedicated to their fallen hero Minato, better known as the Yellow Flash. The sun was already beginning to set behind the Hokage monument, painting the clear sky a myriad of deep crimson and orange, as if in testimony to the nine tailed fox. The festivities would draw well into the night, and showed no signs of slowing down as paper lanterns were lit in preparation for the coming night. Tsunade gazed hatefully at the scene of the village, guzzling down sake in her office at the Hokage tower. This day of the year was always the worst for her. Just how many times, how many times did this village have to take away those she cared about till it was satisfied!
There on her desk stood the picture frame of the smiling blonde boy who had gotten so close to her in a span of a few days. After the loss of Dan, and her little brother Nawaki, Tsunade thought it was impossible to care for anyone other than Shizune, and her sensei and perverted team mate. But sure enough, the little blonde gaki had wormed her way into her heart, becoming like a son to her. And now...now he was gone to.
"You would have turned twenty today...sniff...Naruto..." Tsunade choked, trying to keep the tears at bay. After that fateful day, all that the hunter teams had been able to find were his bloodied headband, and a his charred severed left arm. She had refused to believe it, and had went to the site of the battle to prove them wrong. To this day that sight still haunted her. The blood...oh god the blood was everywhere...the water was drenched with it. She had thought she had gotten over her fear of blood ever since the fight with Orochimaru. But the sight...it was just too much. She didn't remember much after that, and woke up in one of the hospital beads to find Shizune standing by her bedside to tell her the unfortunate news. The DNA samples came back positive for Naruto.
It was too much. She broke down and cried in her apprentice's arms, who shed her tears as well. Shizune had come to view the little blonde as a little brother. The council had denied the right to a grave for Naruto. Tsunade had been livid, and threatened execution on the civilian council. Danzo crushed any hope of a memorial for her little blonde, stating that without a body to confirm the death, the most that they could do was list him as M.I.A. Fate was just too cruel.
While there was still some bad blood between her and the civilian council, things had lessened much when Danzo, the ring leader, had died in his sleep. To this day, no one knew the cause, whether it was old age or something else...
Tsunade was broken from her reverie when her office door cracked open to reveal an equally distraught red head.
Two years after his death, Kushina, the Naruto's mother everyone thought to have died, had returned to Konoha with a daughter four years Naruto's junior. They had been residing in Kiri, where they found that the girl's father had died in the bloodline wars. When Tsunade saw Kushina along with a girl look alike of Kushina, she had been furious with her old friend.
Konohagakure 5 years ago, same day.
"How dare you..." Tsunade seethed at the women, after confirming that she wasn't delusional. How...How dare she walk in now trying to be a part of the boy's life!
"Tsunade, look, i know you're upset, but-"
"15 years. 15 GOD. DAMN. FUCKING YEARS! Where the hell were you all this time! Where were you when he needed you!" She screamed.
"Tsunade, I KNOW! How do you think I felt when I finally pieced myself back together after Minato's death? He never told me what he was going to do with Naruto! He just said he wanted to hold him! After that, i was unconscious and the first thing i wake up to is that my husband is dead and that my son now carries my burden? How was I suppose to handle that!"
"BY STAYING BY YOUR SON'S SIDE DAMMIT!"
"I tried! But, I was just so full of pain that i wanted to get away from it all! By the time I was slapped myself out of it, I was stuck in Kiri when the bloodline wars started! But now I'm here, and, I want to make up for lost time. Tsunade, please, where is my son?"
"Well you should have fucking thought of that BEFORE he died!" Tsunade snapped, she was in no mood to try to ease Kushina into this.
"Tsunade. That was a horrible and cruel joke. Where is my son."
"A joke. A JOKE! Tell me, is it a fucking joke that the council saw fit to send a team of genin after a team of A class Sound nin to retrieve a traitor! Is it a joke that that same traitor, who killed him, was his damn FRIEND! Is it a joke that the only thing left of him was his headband and a severed ARM! DAMMIT KUSHINA!" Tsunade cursed, she didn't care to watch her language in front of the little girl beside her mother, who started to tear up.
"M-mommy...onii-chan i-is dead?" the girl asked fearfully.
"No...no...Tsunade, you're lying. YOU'RE LYING. TELL ME WHERE MY SON IS!" Kushina screamed. No matter what Tsunade said, Kushina tried denying it. Tsunade was fed up with it and took them to Konoha memorial stone where it listed those dead or missing. After seeing her sons name on that stone listed as M.I.A., she broke down crying, holding her grieving daughter. After that they had taken up permanent residence in their former family home. It had taken several months, but her and Tsunade had resolved their differences.
"I thought I'd find you here Tsunade-san." Tsunade humphed.
"If Shizune sent you in to stop me drinking than you can tell her-" Tsunade shut up when Kushina revealed a high quality vintage bottle of sake from behind her.
"I relieved Shizune a couple minutes ago and told her I'd watch after you. Unlike her though, I know that sometimes sake is good for the soul." Kushina stated, plopping herself down on a seat and poured herself a cup as well as one for Tsunade. The two drank in comfortable silence for several minutes until Kushina broke the silence.
"Seven years" Tsunade nodded. nothing else needed to be said.
"Where's Tsuki?" Tsunade asked, wondering where Naruto's younger sister was if her mother was here. Ever since her brother's death, Tsuki devoted herself to becoming a shinobi to carry on Naruto's dream. She was one of the most dedicated and driven kunoichi in Konoha, and may Kami have mercy on the fool to badmouth her dead brother, for she won't show them any. Only sixteen and she was soon to be promoted Jonin, and was hailed as Konoha's newest genius.
"She's spending the day at Hinata's" Was her mother's reply.
Tsunade nodded in understanding. Hinata had come a long way since Naruto's death. After hearing of his death, she had taken on black robes of mourning customary to the Hyuga, and declared to the council that she would never take on a suitor. Hiashi, of course, had challenged her, stating that if she should lose that she would be forced into wedlock with a suitable partner to continue the Hyuga line. Hinata astounded many that day with a show of unseen strength, wiping the floor with her father in front of the council. And as per agreement, Hinata would not be forced to take a suitor and became clan head, and full filled her promise of removing the caged bird seal. The story had become quite popular amongst the younger kuniochi as a tale of tragic unfounded love. As the years progressed, Hinata's innate beauty became more pronounced, attracting a horde of hopeful suitors who hoped to capture the heart of "Konoha's lavender maiden."
Though each and every one of them were sent back with their tale between their legs by her protective cousin Neji. No one would dare mess with the ANBU captain, and those that did, well, lets just say it was not pleasant. After Tsuki had found out about Hinata's affection for her deceased brother, the two had bonded, and often spent this day in Hinata's personal garden, the only place in Konoha were there was a memorial for their departed blonde.
"Such a shame..."
"I hear she still won't let the Uchiha visit her garden." Kushina said. Tsunade chuckled. Hinata, while polite towards the last Uchiha and Sakura, still would not let them visit the memorial in her home. They would ask her every year, and still she would not allow them. Even kakashi, who had taken the loss very hard himself.
"I think her exact words were 'While Naruto-kun may have believed you to be his friends, I will not, nor ever trust you. Now get the hell off of my property.' "
"She would have made one hell of an Uzumaki." Kushina sadly chuckled.
"Yeah-!" Tsunade's reply was cut short when Jiraiya burst through the window, scaring both women.
"TSUNADE!" Jiraiya yelled, his face greeted by her fist plowing him into a wall, where he comically slid off.
"DAMMIT JIRAIYA! USE THE GOD DAMN DOOR! YOU WANNA GIVE ME A HEART ATTACK! YOU-"
"Tsunade, call an emergency meeting with the clan heads in ten minutes." Jiraiya cut her off, as he got up wiping the dust off him. He was serious.
"What is it about?"
"I'll tell you at the meeting. I need to get some things ready for it." And with that he was gone.
"Dammit Jiraiya!" Kushina got up and corked the bottle shut.
"Come on, it must be urgent." Tsunade sent several ANBU to notify the appropriate people before following her out of the door.
Konohagakure Hyuga compound, Hinata's personal garden
Hinata sat there with Tsuki, telling tales of her brother's antics during the academy days as they sat in the shade of the sakura tree next to the memorial stone.
"I remember the day before the academy exams, Naruto pulled his biggest prank. He said before he graduated he wanted to do something big before he began his ninja debut."
"What did he do? "
"I remember that Hokage Hiruzen was so mad, Naruto had painted the Hokage monument in broad daylight. The ANBU had chased him all day, but could never catch him. To this day, no one knows how he did it." Hinata chuckled.
"N-no way!" Tsuki was baffled. was that even possible. Sure, Konohamaru and his friends had mentioned it, but they left that little detail out.
"Yup. Konohamaru tried to do it after Naruto, but they caught them before they even started." Both of them chuckled for a while before sitting in comfortable silence. Hinata had grew her hair long since Naruto had told her one day that he thought she would look beautiful with long hair. She was dressed in her traditional black kimono with an orange obi in tribute to her dead beloved. Tsuki was clad in a chunin vest, her Konoha head band tied around her left arm. She wore the traditional navy blue under shirt and pants and shinobi sandals. She let her red hair fall down free much like her mother, framing her blue eyes all the more for the passing admirer.
"Do...do you think Onii-chan is proud of me?"
"Naruto would be proud of you no matter what you choose to do, as long as you never give up." The heartfelt moment was cut short as Neji arrived in ANBU gear.
"Hinata! Pardon the intrusion! Tsunade has called an emergency meeting with the clan heads in ten minutes!" Hinata and Tsuki got up immediately to leave. Hinata bowed before the stone before leaving the clearing. Tsuki made way for home, until Hinata called out to her.
"Will you not come with us Tsuki-chan?"
"But, isn't this a clan head only meeting?"
"Yes, but you are one of the last of the Uzumaki clan, I think that will call for an exception. Come." and with that the three headed out to the meeting.
There was a relative vacancy of seats as the civilian council was not present. Though the numbers had gradually dwindled down after Danzo's death. Murmuring was in the air as everyone was at their seats. Once everyone had been accounted for, Tsunade turned to her fellow Sannin.
"Jiraiya, now will you finally tell us why we are here?" Tsunade demanded.
"Hold on hime"
"Goddamit Jiraiya, I told you not to-!" at that moment Kakashi dashed into the room holding a tape.
"Sorry Jiraiya sama, it was hard to find. Hello Hokage-sama." Jiraiya thanked him and took the tape.
"You may stay Kakashi, this pertains to you too. This contains information from the Land of Spring that you may find very...interesting."
"Well then, what are you waiting for! Play the damn tape?"
"Ok ok!, jeesh." The room darkened as the projector started, only to reveal a movie trailer for the unannounced next sequel to the princess gale movies.
"JIRAIYA! YOU CALLED US IN FOR A FUCKING MOVIE!"
"Tsunade, will you please shut up?" Jiraiya asked with a serious expression that made her falter. He turned to Kakashi.
"Kakashi, pause the video, aboooouuuuuut...NOW!" The screen froze to show a new character that was not present from the previous movies. He was clad mostly in black, though his upper body was exposed. He wore a mask similar to the hunter nins, and had long wild blonde hair that reached his waist, along with several braids amongst the blonde mane that ended attached to what resembled chakra blades. The left arm was made to be a black gauntlet, a movie prop most likely.
"Now if you have seen any of the previous movies, you would know that this character has not been in any of the other movies and is a new addition-"
"What are you-?"
"I'm getting there Tsunade! Kakashi, stop at three minutes and forty three seconds of the video." The screen now showed the back view of the character as well as a close up of the left shoulder.
"Now if you notice here, here, and here, that the left arm is actually not a prop or CGI, but actually a prosthetic." Jiraiya pointed out with a laser pointer. "Zoom out please Kakashi." The picture changed again to show the whole figure. "Now notice that their are only nine braids ending with blades. Nine. Sound familiar?"
"Jiraiya, we all know Koyuki held Naruto in high regard. This is an actor though, he's not-"
"Tsunade, what side arm was found at the site?" Sasuke cringed at the reminder of the battle. He hated himself for what he did to his friend.
"The left arm." Tsunade bitterly replied.
"Was that ever made public knowledge?" Everyone's eyes widened. Hinata held back tears threatening to fall. The movie progressed to show the character intercept an enemy's punch and throw them over their shoulder. "There. That move was from one of the toad style Taijutsu katas that I taught Naruto." The movie then fast forwarded to a close up of the characters mask. "Kakashi zoom in and enhance the image." As they could hear the furious typing of the copy cat nin, everyone awaited with baited breath.
C-could it be? I-is my son still alive?
N-naruto-kun? Is it you?
Dobe? Are you still alive?
They were awarded with their patience when the screen zoomed in on the narrow eye slits and revealed a pair of cerulean blue eyes.
"Naruto is alive. And he's in the land of Spring."
There! Finished, I hope you guys liked it! hope you readers liked it.