This is the rewritten version of the prologue. My beta believed the original version was far too big with several unnecessary parts and I agreed with him. The end result is a heavily edited version with a 70% of it rewritten from scratch. Some things have been changed.
Most of the original notes are left untouched:
This is going to be a fairly AU fic, diverging from canon as we know it the further we progress. The events of Naruto/Naruto Shippuden are also AU, but you won't find the full extent of such changes, as it has been mostly left to your imagination. However, some of them will be stated throughout the story, so it could give you an insight into Naruto's previous life.
Pace of the fic is relatively slow.
Pairing is a possible Fem!Surana/Naruto. Don't expect them to be making babies anytime soon, though. If they do end up together, it will take pretty long, so don't expect an overwhelming amount of romance in this fic.
The chapters won't be lower (almost always) than five thousand words long.
If you ever need to ask something or point out a detail about anything, feel free to contact me.
Disclaimer: I do not own either Dragon Age: Origins or Naruto.
Of Endings and Beginnings
A blob of blood left his mouth as he writhed in pain. His arms were shaking noticeably and he had to make a conscious effort to keep himself upright.
He was Naruto Uzumaki , the last Jinchûriki. He was Naruto Uzumaki and he was on the verge of defeat.
"You see now? My power is unmatched, you simply can't hope to surpass the sheer chakra output of seven Tailed Beasts," his opponent stated confidently, folding his arms in front of his chest. He was not even worried about being attacked while he took his sweet time gloating. The only who could even hope to have a chance at that was lying at his feet in a bloody heap, after all.
"Ugh… ne-never! Power… isn't everything that there is to fighting, Madara," the blond Uzumaki growled.
"Quite right," Madara agreed amicably. "That's something many in this generation don't seem to understand. However, raw power on a certain level… trumps over anything else," he proclaimed as a potent burst of chakra created a deep crater around him. "Look around you, Naruto! Out of everyone who stands against me, you are the only one left that could pose a challenge to me. And you failed! You can't hope to defeat me in such a state, boy. You stood up to me and managed to injure me many times, something that few apart from Hashirama could boast about accomplishing. You have gained my respect… but you can't win, Naruto. Just give up, surrender and let me use the Infinite Tsukiyomi."
"You've got to be… kidding me." Naruto groaned, gritting his teeth in pain as his various injures flared up.
"Is not the chance to see those of your friends that died worth enough? Is not the chance to be with her once more reason enough, Naruto? Isn't that what you wanted?"
"Don't you dare talk about her!" the blond ninja roared with pure hatred. "You've got no right! You don't get to talk about me as if you know me!"
Madara shrugged carelessly, looking around at the scorched field they had battled on. "Don't be foolish, young Uzumaki. If you refuse, I'll simply rip Kurama from your gut by force. It makes no difference to me, really..." Madara mused before gaining a far away look in his eyes. "I don't really have anything against you, you know. You're only the product of your era; had you been born in the Warring Clans era, before all the hidden villages, I'm sure you would have become even more deadly than you are now. A legend, even, on par with Hashirama and myself… All the glorious fights that could have been... Sadly, the end of constant strife and fighting softened the Shinobi as a whole, no matter how many wars the world has been through since the Warring Clans era," the elder Uchiha finally sentenced, starting to walk towards him. "However, that soon shall end. With Infinite Tsukiyomi, everyone will finally reach the ultimate understanding. There will be final, everlasting peace."
'Kurama… I need you to give me some more chakra. Just a little for one last shot,' Naruto thought, getting a grunt of assent from the Bijû.
'Yeah, yeah, just shut him up, brat. I really tire of his endless yapping.'
Setting into his usual stance with difficulty, Naruto held open a palm and started gathering chakra on it, quickly forming into a Rasengan. Seeing it, Madara stopped dead in his tracks, though he didn't seem overly worried about the attack.
"Another Rasengan? You should have realized something that simple won't work on me after the fifth attempt," he shook his head with amusement before growing serious. "One trick ponies are the first to die, after all… Still, if you're so eager to die… then I shall humor you," he stated, his hands flying through several handsigns.
Naruto chuckled to himself, not even bothering to try and move out of the way. He wouldn't be able to do it in time, anyway. He was too tired and beaten to move quickly enough. The only option was to stand and resort to his last ditch effort as he kept gathering chakra for the Rasengan. Either he'd be faster and throw the attack or he wouldn't and he'd receive Madara's attack head on. Either way, everything would be over.
Madara proved faster.
"Katon: Gouka Mekkyaku!" The elder Uchiha's attack would have worked fine in normal circumstances but as Madara opened his mouth to spit the attack, Naruto was able see his eyes widening in shock… just as the attack blew up in his face.
Blinking in muted surprise, Naruto could say that was definitely something he hadn't been expecting but he didn't let that deter him from his efforts. The Rasengan was quickly getting everything he had left and it was already turning into a rapidly-growing Rasenshuriken. Meanwhile, Madara emerged from the deflagration scathed and burnt all over... but very much alive and the scowl on his face didn't promise anything good.
"Your luck is beginning to really grate on my nerves, Naruto. It would appear the Beasts see in you a friend and are actively hampering me from the inside… No matter, I will make them respect their master after I'm done with you." His voice was calm, but the dark undertone in it belied the feeling. He was not bothered at all by the Rasengan, which was already finished.
With his senses dulled from exhaustion, Naruto moved one second too slow. In a flash, Madara was in his face, holding his wrist above his head in a dead-lock with one hand and his throat with the other. "Did you really think you could defeat me with this?" He smiled. "You might have wounded me quite a bit but I still can move faster than you. You fought well… but not good enough. It's over, Naruto."
"I… promised her I would… end this war. I…" the Uzumaki grunted.
"Never go back in my word, I'm aware. Your stubbornness is… commendable. Still, you're defeated. Resisting further is pointless; I will extract the nine tails from you now. The Infinite Tsukiyomi will be finally completed."
However, Naruto only smirked. "Too late for that, Madara," he mocked and this time it was the elder Uchiha who reacted too slowly to the commands of his brain, which had caught up quicker than his body. Two arms seized him in a lock, making him let go of Naruto.
'Oh, I can't feel my legs…' he observed indifferently as if it was no bother, though to his credit it really wasn't. "Do you really think a clone can hold me? You're more delusional than I thought," he replied. Dispelling the clone with a brutal reverse headbutt, he wasted no time in going after Naruto, who had jumped back after the clone's appearance to fire the Rasenshuriken, but Madara was almost on him already.
He wouldn't have the time to get away from him. In the following fraction of a second, he realized that there was really no turning back. The stakes were raised to the maximum and it was time to end the war, one way or another. Just as Madara reached him, Naruto closed his eyes and unleashed his final jutsu.
The improved version of his dad's original jutsu quickly engulfed them both, already beginning to work on their bodies. Amidst all the pain, Naruto couldn't help but realize this was his last stand. He could hear Madara's screams of pain but they sounded faint, as if he was really far away from him.
'This is it. This is the end. Everybody, this is for you.'
For Sakura, who had readily given her life protecting an entire camp of wounded soldiers. For Chouji, who sacrificed himself to seal Chûkichi. For Neji and Tenten, who died together fighting against an entire platoon of White Zetsus.
Naruto couldn't help the scream of agony when one of the tiny chakra blades cut particularly deep into his right arm. He detachedly realized that this is exactly what everyone who'd been on the receiving end of the technique had felt.
For Kakashi, who still treaded the fine line between life and death almost a year into the war after having fallen into a coma from his fight against Chiyo, Kimimaro and a squadron of White Zetsus. The only reason he was still alive was that Gain and Darui reached to him quick enough but the doctors told everyone concerned that they couldn't assess how long would he be in coma.
For Jiraiya, who had become something akin to a father figure through the years. Perhaps after Madara's death, his vision of peace would finally be achieved.
He was doing this for Bee, who had also been captured. His was one of the deaths that hit Naruto the hardest. As fellow Jinchûriki, they had formed a bond of kinship that no one could really understand, apart from Yugito, the only other surviving Jinchûriki. It spoke highly of Kumo's military prowess and training that their two Jinchûriki had survived through everything up to that point but after Bee's fall, Madara's victory had been a little closer.
Only Kurama and Nekomata had remained… for a time.
For Mei, who was always trying to find new ways to cheer up the men and women under her direct command. When he'd been placed on her platoon, she had always had kind words for him whenever he'd felt down…
He was doing this even for Sasuke. The last Uchiha from the latest generation had died at his own hands and while he knew it had been something that had to be done –Sasuke would not stand down, damn it, why would the stupid prick not stand down?!-, there was the tiniest sensation of remorse for everything that happened between them. He felt as if he should've done more.
So many more had died, so many had had their lives cut short because of Madara's crazy schemes… He was doing this for them.
But he also did this sacrifice for those who still lived, for those who believed he could end this once and for all.
For Lee, who would still sprout random shit about youth and train his body to insane limits long after the war ended, just like his sensei Gai did. For Shikamaru, just so he could find a nice girl, settle down and mutter 'Troublesome' to his heart's content every time his future kids caused any ruckus or his own wife bossed him around. For Grandma Tsunade, so she could drink and gamble as much as she wanted. For Ino, who had struck the oddest friendship ever with a serious ANBU operative from Konoha with purple hair.
For Gaara, who had achieved what had been the closest thing Naruto had to a dream, even if he never really thought actively about it too much. He would keep his people's love and recognition for many years and he would serve them well as Kazekage. He was sure of it and it made him happy for him, the first person who he'd related to on a very intrinsic level. For Temari, who didn't really scold Shikamaru as much as she used to and everybody knew it was just a matter of time.
Everyone in the Elemental Nations was counting on him and he would not fail them.
Ultimately, the pain was too much, however, and his mind fled reality, taking shelter in memories of happier times. His mind retreated within itself, into its last fortress.
The droplets of water falling into the floor were the only sound present in the silent chamber as they stared at each other.
"You know this wasn't supposed to end like this, right?"
"It's still more than we hoped for, Kurama. Madara was just outrageously overpowered from the very beginning. He practically had everything going his way with all the bullshit powers of the Sharingan and Rinnegan. The only reason I killed him was because his arrogance made him think I wouldn't go through using the Rasenshuriken to blow us both up."
"Well... at least, he's dead."
"There's that, yes."
Kurama's muzzle twitched in annoyance at Naruto's passivity. "Moreover your remaining friends are all alive. They will rut like rabbits and have ugly little babies just to become dust with time. They will be forgotten by the end of three centuries and nobody will no longer care about boring history no one's interested in but oh, well... such is life." Kurama mused with an air of indifference. Glancing surreptitiously at Naruto, the chakra construct could see he only was looking at him with a mildly amused expression. "Ugh, I hate it when you give me that look. Shouldn't you be more upset with your own death than, you moron?"
Making a non-committal grunt, Naruto shrugged. "I don't see why I should be upset. We killed Madara, the world is saved, and everyone who's still alive is safe now," Naruto said as if that was all that mattered. To him, it probably was.
Kurama only stared at him with a displeased grimace on his bestial face. "So you're just gonna lie down like a pansy ass and wait for your death? I didn't know you were such a coward, running away from an entire life, Naruto," the last of the Tailed Beasts mocked him, trying to get a rise out of his Jinchûriki.
However, Naruto only chuckled before any levity on his face was replaced by a deep sadness. "How could I even begin to live when I've lost the woman I wanted to spend my life with?" he questioned. "She was the one I wanted as my equal in everything. Yugito was the one for me, Kurama."
"The one for you? I would laugh at your face if it wasn't for the fact I'd lose badass points if I laughed at something you said. Many say the same thing for their chosen companions, brat, but they always end up with someone else if the other dies or leaves them! Very few things in this world are eternal, you hairless ape. I, of course, am one of those. Then again, what could you expect from awesomeness personified?" Kurama boasted with a booming laugh, earning an amused snort out of the blond ninja. "Besides, you're under the assumption I'm just gonna sit here and let you die like that…" he continued, giving Naruto an unreadable stare.
"… No, Kurama, I'm tired. I just want this to end and go on to whatever waits me on the other side. Is that too much to ask?"
"Absolutely. I'm not about to let you die here if I can do anything about. Had it not been for me, your corpse would have been festered by maggots long ago, no way I'm letting all my work go to waste like that!"
"Oh? Do tell, then. How are you going to save the day today, Kurama?" Naruto asked him with amusement, and the both of them knew he was only entertaining him.
"Doubting my word, eh, boy? No matter, you will realize for yourself the sheer awesomeness that is my pure existence! When you see what I'm about to do, you'll shit your pants just from awe alone!"
"That... was just painful. Could we just get this going? We'll kick the bucket sooner or later, so…"
"Don't interrupt me, damnit; I was getting to that part! Anyway, with our powers, we Bijû are practically able to do almost everything your tiny mind could think of. Don't snort brat, I'm serious here, why do you think the Jûbi was a being outside of mortal understanding?! So, with a great amount of our powers, we could even rip the fabric of creation itself. We create a way to other universes, for simpler minds," he explained with an amused chuckle.
"Fuck you too, furball," Naruto shot back with a small huff.
"Bite me! Anyway, bottom line is, I'll use my remaining reserves of chakra to create a fissure in the space-time continuum. I can't influence the final destination, so you could land practically in any kind of world, which means I can't know what you will find there. I'd advice to be cautious here, so you should curb that goddamned annoying 'happy-go-lucky' attitude of yours. Seriously, you can't go through life making friends with people who are trying to kill you, dumbass," he growled. "Then again, knowing you, it's probably a hopeless request."
Naruto groaned. "Are we still on about this? I was able to get through you; I'd be able to get through anyone by now."
"That's not the point and you know it, but whatever," Kurama retorted. "Now, shut your mouth! I need to concentrate and I certainly can't do that if I hear you annoying voice."
"Well, then. You better hurry up, furball..." the blond muttered in a passive tone. It really didn't matter to him if Kurama's scheme failed or not. Boasting aside, he really didn't think Kurama could do that and besides, he could see his inner… soulscape -for a lack of a better term to define the dimension where Kurama resided-, begin to crumble into dust.
Just then, Naruto felt a weird pull in his chest and saw a point of light that appeared far way from where he was. It was rapidly getting brighter by the second though, as if approaching him. Then he felt Kyuubi talk to him with a serious, completely different tone from his usually slightly sadistic voice.
"Naruto… you were kind to my brothers and sisters, liberating them from that accursed Madara. Even if we were in bad… well, the worst terms possible for most of your life, I… I... oh, fuck it, I'm shit at this. Look, I always thought you to be a fraud and an idiotic, inbreed little cum-stain, but in this war you showed me genuine kindness and friendship, which is more than I can say about your own sadistic mother. I still have the marks of those chains, you know… Still, the fact is that you cared… In your own twisted way to make your enemies your friends but cared, nonetheless. And for that, I'm grateful," he said in what might have been the only time in centuries he truly talked about what he genuinely felt and thought about someone else. Naruto's face was understandably torn between confusion and self-satisfaction.
"There's also the fact that with me out of the picture, no one will be able to resurrect the Jûbi again. They might attempt to, but they won't be able to succeed. My brothers and sisters will be safe from the likes of Madara and I'm sure they will be more careful from now on, so they won't be captured without good reason by the villages when they reform."
"Kurama … what the hell are you on about?" he warily asked. He almost sounded as if…
"No time for that, brat. It's time for you to go, explore and discover the place where you're going. Make it your new home, find someone else to spend your life with and crush a few heads for me…"
"WHAT? What is this bullshit, Kurama? You can't die! Were you lying to me, bastard?! I've lost most of my friends in this fucking war and you expect me to have a second chance when you're sacrificing yourself to give it to me?! How do you expect me to live with it?" Naruto yelled in shocked fury. "Everyone else is dead… Yugito is dead! What good is going to another world alone?! We've been trough hell together, you furball, you can't...! Damn it, Kurama, don't do this! I don't want to be alone… "
"YOU MORONIC FOOL! Don't reject something that is willingly given! Listen to yourself, whining like a little child! Okay life's tough, so what? You can only suck it up and get on your feet again to prove you're not going to stay down!" Kurama roared and Naruto fell silent as the soulscape disintegrated. "Look… for what's worth, I regret the fact you lost everything before it could really start. Matatabi spoke fondly of your girl and from what I saw, she was perhaps the only one apart from Bee that could understand you to the fullest, after all the others like you were captured… but you need to pull your shit together, Naruto," Kyuubi ranted at him, trying to cheer him up as best as he could, which was admittedly not really good. He then sighed when Naruto failed to respond.
"Just think on it… look, it's time," Kurama told him. The light shone even brighter and engulfed Naruto, who started screaming because it freaking hurt. It felt as if his entire body was picked apart bit by bit with the most destructive force that could be mustered. There were also the last parting words from Kurama before Naruto was knocked out.
"Goodbye, Naruto. Should we see each other in hell, I'll kill you then," Kurama uttered. Then, the most powerful of the Bijû let out a dark chuckle, yet with a slight touch of warmth. "Live well, brat. You deserve it."
And finally, darkness claimed them.
A shaking sensation rocking his body was the first thing he registered, but to be honest, it quickly took second place to the pain that had set itself as the most important thing in his mind almost immediately. Every part of his body felt like it was breaking apart. That was informative, at the very least. Pain was real; pain meant he was still alive. Kurama had actually pulled it off. He'd have said something, but the only thing that escaped his lips was a hoarse scream of pain. The mere memory of the transition from the Elemental Nations to wherever the hell he currently was felt real enough to burn all and every one of his pain receptors. The pounding of drums in his ears was strong, why was someone pounding the drums so hard? He couldn't hear a thing…
Even opening his eyes hurt, and it felt like a titanic effort just to keep them open. Not that really helped, since he was only able to keep them half-lidded. There was a shadow just above him, peering at him, but he couldn't see too well. His shinobi instincts kicked in and he raised his arm to crush the throat. It was not to be as his arm dropped a second after rising from the ground, letting him know just how much of a stupid thing trying that had been.
He could faintly discern something moving around the place where the mouth would have gone in a face. Was the shadow talking to him? Shadows didn't talk, obviously, and no sound came from it. Talking shadows only existed in fairy tales, in worlds with magic, after all. Kami, why wouldn't they stop the drums pounding? Whoever was fooling around with them was in for a world of pain after he got better.
The Shadow moved closer and this time he could discern for a moment he thought he'd seen a flash of brown in the face area. Did shadows have eyes too? It was dark and he couldn't see very well. Perhaps it was night? Swallowing heavily, he immediately recognized the taste of his own blood and as if struck by lightning, he suddenly realized that there were no drums near him.
They were only in his head.
Or rather, he connected the maddening pounding of the drums as that of the frantic beating of his heart. With a supreme effort, he raised himself just enough so he could take a look at himself. He was very dazed and the pounding grew even worse, eliciting a pained moan out of him but he'd been able to check his state.
He was covered in blood, from head to toes. What else had he expected?
A sharp stab of pain in his head dropped him again to the ground and the rhythmic pounding on his head grew even worse yet, if that was even possible. So, because of that, he did the only thing that he could do in his state.
He fell unconscious.
Story of his life, really.
Author's notes: I'm planning to do the storyline of DA:O, but as this is a crossover, it will be (obviously) an AU. Don't worry, I have several ideas and I'd like to explore a bit the culture and history of Ferelden and Thedas. I want to add some things that I saw in the game and intrigued me, as well. Can't say much, though, so you'll have to find out.
BTW, Naruto will be in his early twenties. You'll understand the how soon enough, but it fitted much more in the fic and for what I have in mind.