I have added a family tree (as understandable as I possibly could) at the bottom as I assure you it may be a little confusing. I tried to explain it as well as I could in the text, sorry!
Chapter 17: Fourteen
It was so dark, everything was so dark and cold. Everything was so cold, yet he could feel nothing. He was so confused. Wetness seemed to seep into the darkness, he knew it was there, yet he couldn't feel it on his skin.
He was numb, but he felt as if something inside his chest was tearing. He felt as if only half of his being was still intact.
So scared. So confused.
The water was suddenly warm. He was no longer cold. The darkness was lightening. He was no longer blinded in darkness, but instead in light.
Raising a hand he squinted his eyes from the harsh brightness, a wet stickiness falling onto his cheeks. At first his foggy brain thought he was crying, instinctively moving his hand to wipe away the traitorous tears. The thick liquid smeared onto his cheek more from the contact, he jerked his hand back instantaneously, knowing the liquid must've been coming from there.
His eyes snapped open, not caring for the pain of the light that burned his retinas. Bright sunlight scorched his skin, the Fire Country's sun comforting yet viscous. He looked down to his right side to see the disfigured skin a rich black colour, blotches of pale skin bleeding through until there was no black left. This is always how it was when he blacked out, his mind would fall into unconsciousness. He had no idea what was happening, only to wake up with skin so dark it looked as if it was covered in paint, only to see it fade away before his eyes. He sat up slowly, limbs aching before he looked to his palms and froze.
What were usually light and calloused were deep, burgundy red. The blood of a dead man. His head snapped around the area to heaped bodies, the torsos disfigured and burned. He crawled towards one as tears fell from his eyes, this time he did nothing to detour their path. The closest body to him was of a young man, possibly only a few years older than himself. His green eyes were wide and staring directly into his own mismatched irises, one black the other a creamy chocolate brown.
He moved to close the boys accusing, dead eyes. When he caught sight of his own blood stained hand however he lurched back, clutching them to his chest and away from the already dead bodies as if he could hurt them more than he already had.
It had happened so many times now: his consciousness would fail him, he would feel dead inside, and then he would awaken surrounded by bodies and bloodshed. Dead, disfigured bodies and pools of blood on his hands.
The boys Kirigaure headband glittered in the light, he didn't know what they were doing in South Fire Country, but that didn't matter. He didn't remember, but he knew, he just knew that these Shinobi's lives were on his hands. Falling onto his back, his body curled into a foetal position, his bloody hands raking through his hair as he cried out for help. He didn't want to be this way, he didn't understand why he kept losing control like this. Why did he keep waking up surrounded by bodies?
"Please! Help! I can't…I just can't…" a wheeze shuddered from his chest, the grating of his throat a welcomed pain. He deserved the pain, he should suffer pain after what he has done. So much bloodshed should be granted with equal pain.
"Hey now, that doesn't sound very happy," he looked up at the voice through teary eyes, the deathly pale figure smiling a demented grin.
"Get away from me!" he growled through clenched teeth, scrambling backwards until he felt a fleshy heap behind him. Still warm. He lurched forward again, away from the body of a middle aged man. The blood singed dry from burns, burns that he was very capable of inflicting.
"Tsk, tsk little man. We helped you, this is no way to repay people that help you. We always are the ones that help you," there was no accusation in his voice, no sincere hurt. Twisted glee was all he could hear, he was happy at the broken boy in front of him. He found it amusing.
"What have you turned me into?!" he cried, his body slumped forward. The pale humanoid in front of him made a scoffing noise, rolling his head back to stare at the sky with his hands on his hips as if impatient.
"We did nothing to you yourself, we manipulated your body. This–" the pale white man threw up his arms up to indicate the bodies around them, "–this is all you," he said, slowly drawing out the last part of the sentence, tantalising him.
"No, you're wrong. I would never kill without reason, I would never massacre,"
"We can help you control this side of you, just like how we help you mend your body. We can help you Obito," his mismatched eyes looked into the inhuman stare of the pale humanoid in front of him. The man's naked body was devoid of any genitalia, his teeth pointed and jagged, his eyes completely without irises or pupils.
But he was right, he had helped mend his body. They had helped him, he needed help. He didn't want to see the carnage around him any longer, all the bodies fallen from his hand. They could help him, they could make him better.
"Please help me, Zetsu," he whispered as he stretched out his hand towards the abnormal man. Zetsu smiled a jagged leer, his teeth the same paleness as his skin which practically glowed in the midday sun.
"Yes, yes Obito. We will fix you, we will make you all better," Zetsu ushered the boy hastily away from the debris of bodies, his fear and muddled mind had made him confused. Zetsu wanted to take him away from the butchery, before his mind sharpened enough to realise that he had not killed them. The bodies were day old and only warm at a slight touch, the sun's rays heating their dead skin.
He couldn't let Obito know that he had not been killing. But they needed him to break, to become malleable. He was crucial in their plans, and right now he was exactly where they needed him to be.
He was confused.
He was broken.
The boat rocked back and forth lazily as they travelled north alongside the Land of Fire, unable to sail out into open waters in the small inconspicuous boat. The whirlpools that surrounded Uzushio were not to be reckoned with, the harsh and unyielding currents a graveyard of many unfortunate souls. Uzumaki Mei however knew the terrain, which included the powerful water that surrounded the large island. The tremendous swells the protector of the land, used to be the protector of the people.
Momochi Sandayū watched the ancient woman as she knelt at the front of the boat, her hands held out in front of her. The water pushed the boat forward with ease, the ebb and flow of the boat almost soothing as it smoothly sailed across the surface. He wondered if she would ever tire, she'd only stopped controlling the water once to sleep on their so far one day journey.
"Just how much longer do we have until we reach Uzushio?" he asked finally, boredom obvious in his voice. He fingered the white mask that sat around his neck, the humid air making it too uncomfortable to wear. Mei chuckled slightly as she turned her gaze to him, eyes playful.
"If you dare say 'are we there yet?', I will be sure to throw you overboard," Sandayū sighed, rubbing his hands over his naked face.
"Why were the two of us sent? I am pretty sure you are completely capable of transporting her by yourself, I am literally sitting here doing nothing,"
"It may feel that way now, however I cannot stay for more than a few nights when I reach Uzushiogakure. My great-granddaughter needs me in Kirigakure, I cannot leave her," Sandayū seethed at her words, his fists balling until his knuckles were white.
"And you think I have no-one in Kiri to leave behind?" Mei's eyes were sad when they looked to him again, almost pitying.
"How is your brother?" she asked after a few moments of silence. Sandayū's face morphed into a grimace, he was relatively handsome and the scowl was a sad marring of his features.
"I can't seem to get through to him, he is not within my control. He is turning more and more into a killing machine, I just don't know what to do," Mei hummed, she was well aware of the wellbeing of Momochi Zabuza: Demon of the Mist.
"The both of you had a difficult childhood, which is understandable and not uncommon for Shinobi families. You were forced to raise him from a young age Monochi-san, he could see the strain it brought upon you. I am sure he feels he did the right thing by entering those savage competitions before he even entered the academy, don't write him off as a lost cause just yet," Sandayū sat silently at the back of the boat, his hands gripping the edges with white knuckles.
"Why did you even bring me along?" he asked finally, the sound of the waves around them feeling muffled in his ears. Mei was quiet as she looked at the young man in front of her, the lines of stress that showed his hard life were apparent on his face. Dark bruise like circles were growing deeper beneath his eyes, eyes that looked on the verge of breaking.
"We needed all the help we could get, I'm sorry it came to this," Sandayū looked to the woman bitterly, he understood the risks he was taking by trying to get the girl that saved his life out of prison. However as soon as the adrenaline left his system, he couldn't dampen the feeling of regret and self-consciousness. He wanted nothing more than to be at home where everything was more simple and unchanging, to be with his little brother despite their recent differences. He was beginning to wonder whether or not this girl was worth everything he had given up, all due to a rash decision fuelled by a sense of justice and adrenaline.
His musings were interrupted when he saw land ahead, the once regal walls of Uzushiogakure crumbling like pastry under the turmoil of waves around them. He heard Mei sigh a shaky breath, her ancient eyes hard as she stared upon her once home.
A lone figure stepped out onto the muddy sand of Uzu's beach, her long and pure white hair was clasped at the nape of her skull. Uzumaki Mei stood quickly and looked to her in surprise, Sandayū could feel the power radiating from both women as they communicated through their charka. The bursts reminded him of Morse code used before the Shinobi wars, this language was foreign to him completely. No-one bar the Uzumaki's and eventually Konoha Shinobi communicated in this way, and that was only via the influence of Uzu on their sister nation. Pulling ashore, the sagely woman stood with hands clasped in front of her, hidden beneath the folds of a heavy robe.
"Welcome home Uzumaki-sama," Mei pushed her way off the boat and clasped a hand on the younger woman's shoulder.
"I thought you were dead, Senju Amami," the woman shook her head and sadly smiled, it had been a long time since she had heard her real name.
"No, just hiding like a child. I returned here only recently, trying to find answers when I heard the young Uzumi child was the Kyūbi beast's Jinchūriki. You and I both know she is not the true holder…So why is it she holds such a power so similar to the despicable beast?" Mei sighed and took the woman's hands, it had been too long since she had seen someone from her past life amongst the Uzumaki. She never thought she would ever meet anyone again from her past life.
"Your hands are rough Amami-chan, nothing like the delicate paper white skin you once had,"
"Times have been hard Uzumaki-sama, we all had to do what we could to survive. But something I cannot figure out, is how a girl could exist with the Kyūbi, when I am well aware that my niece Kushina is still alive and well," Mei grunted in response and turned back to her boat.
Sandayū stood quickly and scooped the unconscious girl up into his arms, carrying her over to the two elderly women. Amami looked to the dirty child in shock, her dark blue eyes trained on the familiarity of the girls face.
"Amami, this is Uzumaki Naruto, though she goes my Uzumi in Konoha. I have looked into her chakra and blood, I personally can confirm that she is a direct descendant of my brother, as well as containing at least some of the Kyūbi's chakra. I believe she is such a close relative that she could be Kushina's half-sister even," Senju Amami shook her head in protest before Mei had finished.
"No it is not possible, there is no way. I saw Kaito and my sister die, I saw them when the Kumo scum removed their heads from their bodies. My niece was lucky enough to be in Konoha when they laid their filthy hands upon our home, your brother may have sentenced that girl to the life of a Jinchūriki, but he protected her by doing it," Mei sighed and racked her brain, if Kaito died then the girl wasn't Kushina's half-sister. But she was still a direct descendant of her brother's somehow.
"What about Yoichi?" Mei asked hesitantly, her eyes sad when she saw Amami flinch at the mention of the man.
"It isn't possibly, Yoichi has been missing for decades,"
"It makes sense Amami, Yoichi was my brother's first son before Kaito. Him having a child would shed light upon how this girl could have such strong royal blood within her veins,"
"Your precious brother, Suien was a man whore that could have fathered many children behind his beautiful wife's back—" Amami was unable to finish her insult as Mei's weathered hand clasped around the younger woman's neck, pinning her to the side of their homes ruins. Mei's eyes glowed as chakra pumped through her body, intricate seals spreading across her skin until she was an intricate pattern of chakra induced lines. Her once leather skin turned smooth and her grey peppered hair turned a vibrant red. Sandayū looked on in amazement as the once elderly woman before him was once again young and beautiful, not looking a day over thirty.
"You do not insult my family as such, Suien made one mistake in his life which he paid for tenfold when they butchered his family in front of his eyes before kidnapping his bastard daughter. His wife took on that little girl with open arms and an open heart, do not insult my family simply because you cannot bear the thought of my nephew loving another woman besides yourself. I thought you were dead, Yoichi was out of Uzushiogakure when the massacre happened, I would not be remotely surprised if he too thought you were dead," Amami looked down in shame, her face red from embarrassment as Mei released her. The chakra drained from the older woman's body until she once again resembled her old and wise self.
"What about his bastard daughter? Perhaps the child is a descendant of hers," Mei shook her head and clenched her eyes closed.
"I just don't know, to have blood as strong as hers I thought she would need someone with more royal blood in her veins. A descendant of Kaito's would have been more likely, unless Yoichi managed to have a child with someone with Uzumaki or Senju blood. Which is why I think his daughter is also not a possibility, when she was kidnapped, she was much more likely to have been used as a breeder for Kumo, so there is little chance she had a child with someone with such strong royal blood. There are many possibilities, none of which make much sense," Mei began walking past Amami, further into the ruins of her once home. Sandayū followed behind hesitantly, his eyes glancing to Amami's rigid body. Her blue eyes trained on the girl in his arms.
When they finally stopped, Sandayū placed the girl on an old and weather worn bed. He placed a hand on her head as he stared down at the girl, his lips tugging upward when a smile lit up her face and she nuzzled closer into his touch. He took off the jacket he donned and placed it over her little body, her skin dimpled with goose flesh. Mei walked in with Amami in tow, the two women quiet as they resolved their earlier skirmish through advanced chakra communication.
Mei placed her hand on Naruto's forehead, black lines appearing before dissolving into the musky air around them. Naruto's eyes shot open and took in her surroundings with lightning speed, sitting up she felt pressure on her chest as a hand pushed her back down.
"It's okay young child, you are safer here," Naruto took in Mei's old form before she noticed Sandayū, she sighed as her heart slowed. She recognised what the woman had said, 'safer' not 'safe'. No one was safe in a time of war.
"Where are we?" she asked, taking in the partially destroyed and upturned room.
"Uzushiogakure," Naruto trained her eyes on the third figure, the woman's eyes wide as she stared at the girl.
"Naruto, this woman here is Senju Amami,–" turning her eyes off Naruto, Mei looked straight into Amami's shocked eyes, "—her eyes are just like your sister Naru's, are they not? The colour is a few shades lighter, but you especially cannot deny their shape. That is why this whole thing is confusing, to have the royal bloodline she would have to be a descendant of either Yoichi's, Kaito's or that daughter of Suien's. But even I cannot look past those eyes," Amami walked forward and stared into Naruto's eyes as if they held all of the answers she sought.
"What was your name?" Amami knew the answer, but she needed to hear it again.
"Naruto?" she said it like a question, unsure as to what was going on. Amami cringed, the name was too similar to her sister Naru's. All of this was impossible.
"How old are you?" Naruto blinked, her nose scrunching up adorably in thought as Sandayū laughed.
"What is the date?"
"It is the middle of the 9th month of the 2056th year of Uzushiogakure, however as you are from the Fire Country I believe that would be the equivalent of 61 years after Konoha's founding. I believe my family decided on AFK and BFK as the Fire Country's official time did they not?" Amami replied, unsure as to whether or not her maths was correct.
"The ninth month of 61 AFK? Crap! That is September!" She launched from her bed, this was not good. 61 AFK was the year of her birth, she had less than a month before she was supposed to be born, and less than a month until Madara planned his attack on Konoha in her time.
"What is it?" Mei asked as she stopped the girl from barrelling out the door.
"Kushina-san and Minato-sensei are in danger, I need to help them!" Amami and Mei stopped dead and stared at the girl. Amami rushed forward and grabbed Naurto's shoulders, shaking the girl until they were eye to eye.
"You tell me right now! What is going on? Kushina is my niece, you tell me right now what is wrong!" Naruto froze and stared at another newly found relative. Her head was swimming with confusion, her family tree was building faster than she could keep track of. "Tell me!"
"She is going into labour next month, the seal is weak in the time of child birth and I know of people that are going to take advantage of this,"
"Wait! It only takes three days to travel to Konoha from here, you need to rest and build your strength again. After months of immobility, your body is not what it used to be," Naruto looked down to her weakened body, her mind turning internal as she sought out Kurama.
"How long before we can regenerate my muscles until I can face against Obito?" Kurama tilted his head in thought, he had been trying to maintain her muscles throughout the months of his chakra being supressed by the Mizukage's many seals.
"I would say two weeks until you are close to what you were, now that my chakra is free to move again," Naruto grumbled with impatience.
"I can't wait that long!"
"You can and you will!" Naruto glared up into Kurama's red irises, her blue pools swimming with worry. A sudden flare of chakra shocked her from her mind, she looked to everyone in the room with wide eyes, the people around her staring back, no-one knowing what to do or say. Her chest suddenly warmed as a heat was pulsed through her body from the familiar pendant that settled between her collarbones. Without a second to spare, Naruto fled from the room in a blur of gold, her chakra flaring as she ran. The trio stood still in the room before their minds caught up to what just transpired.
"Where is she going?" Sandayū asked finally, the two older women swore suddenly before running after her, only just faintly able to sense the approaching chakra figures. He stared after them before looked around the old room, his skin rising into goose-like flesh when he spotted a half burnt doll in the corner of the room. Its empty eyes stared back at him, the burnt side of its face melted down into a gruesome frown. With one last shiver he bolted from the room after the crazy women he had suddenly found himself stuck with.
Kakashi, Rin and Gai were so close as they crossed the dangerous waters leading to Uzushiogakure. If there was any place in the world that they could find a way to stop the ticking time bomb inside Gai, it would be the archives of Uzu. Kakashi pulled the green-clad ninja closer to his side, taking more of his weight from Rin as she looked ready to collapse from exhaustion. He wasn't any better as his sweat glued his clothes to his body despite the chilling autumn air, his muscles aching as he kept the steady flow of chakra through his feet. The water below them churned with vigour, the unrelenting whirlpools of Uzu their cover from any Kiri Shinobi that could possibly still be following them.
Kakashi faltered suddenly as his chest flared with heat, the slightly cracked pendant throbbing with energy. His heart rate slowed as the warmth surrounded his hurting body, his coils replenished as Naruto's chakra expertly melded into a form that matched his own. He could feel her all around him, through him into the depths of his stomach where his chakra grew like a burning fire amongst the dry forests of Suna. It wasn't long before he felt as if he had rested for days. Hoisting Gai onto his back, he ran forward until he was again next to Rin, his tired teammate meeting his eyes with a weary gaze. Both the teens breathed a sigh of relief when their feet touched to the ground of Uzushiogakure, the forest around them lush and moist as they breathed in the humid air.
"Kakashi," Rin's voice drew his attention to the beautiful girl by his side, he didn't meet her honey brown eyes however as they were trained on his chest. Looking down he finally noticed the pendant he donned, its molten middle glowing with valour as the heat increased until it was almost painful. The glass lifted until it levitated before him, the gentle tug around his neck increasing, urging him to move forward. He took a hesitant step in the direction the necklace was taking him, the glass practically singing with approval. Rin followed slowly behind him, both teens looking to the necklace with confusion.
"It must be something to do with Uzu's seals or something, it has never done this before," Kakashi guessed, his mind racing.
"Jeez, all I can feel is her chakra everywhere," Rin shivered as if a ghost had stroked her skin with the mix of Naruto's chakra's radiating from the necklace, the plants around them bloomed from the welcome presence of her life's energy. Uzushiogakure was breathtaking as the flora radiated with their arrival, the ruins of many buildings covered in a natural camouflage.
"Imagine what this would have looked like before the massacre…It's beautiful," Rin stepped forward, looking down upon the crumbling city that once was Uzushiogakure. She squinted when she suddenly saw a flicker of movement down in the still city, grabbing Kakashi's arm the trio ducked suddenly to watch for more movement. Kakashi's pendant suddenly glowed brightly before a high moan resonated from the glass. Rin jumped up and clasped her hands around the screeching necklace to silence it, crying out she snatched back her hands as the heat blistered her skin red.
"Rin!" Kakashi yelled before inspecting her hands. On each palm sat a raised spiral, Kakashi could feel Naruto's chakra pulsing through the wound and healing the damage before his eyes. The screeching of Kakashi's necklace intensified, forcing the pair to the ground, their palms pressed to their ears. A throb began to echo within Kakashi's mind when the sound suddenly stopped. The sound stopped, only to be replaced with a sound so heavenly he almost thought it wasn't real.
"Rin? Kakashi?" he was frozen as his eyes laid upon the figure before him, her once golden hair a light brown from grime. Her tanned skin had paled from months indoors and her body was smaller and skinnier. However despite the differences, there was no doubt. In front of him was Naruto.
"Naruto?" he whispered finally, his eyes wide when hers began to pool with tears. Without another thought he launched himself forward and wrapped his arms around her, she was so small, much smaller than he remembered. They had once stood at equal heights, and now the top of her head only just reached the tip of his nose. He didn't care for the filth that covered her body, he crushed her to himself as if she would disappear if his grip loosened even in the slightest. His fingers laced through her oily hair, crushing her head to his chest as he rested his cheek atop her messy locks. He could feel her fingers gripping the leather straps of his grey ANBU vest and the trembling breaths against his chest as she drew in air.
"By the Great Sage himself I can't believe you're alive," he whispered, her body shuddering in response as her keen hearing caught his sighed words. A whistle pierced her muffled brain, acting reflexively, both Kakashi and Naruto pulled the other to get them out of the way of the projectile. The kunai planted itself into Kakashi's forearm, the blood spurting abruptly from his skin. He ripped the weapon from his muscle and flipped it in his hand, ready to throw it at the coming assailants.
"STOP!" Naruto yelled before anything could happen, she recognised the chakra's as Amami, Mei and finally Sandayū. The coming trio jumped into their vision, weapons raised and eyes wary as they took in the scene.
"Please, they are my friends," she stepped in front of her teammates and Gai's unconscious body, forcing herself between the two groups.
"I'm sorry, it looked like he was trying to suffocate you," Sandayū said tauntingly, eyeing Kakashi with a steely and untrusting gaze before lowering his kunai slightly. Kakashi narrowed his eyes back at the older boy, the bloody kunai in his hand lowered but ready to throw.
"Kakashi, Rin and—" she stopped shortly when she went to point out Gai, noticing again with curious eyes that the usually enthusiastic boy was unconscious "—Gai, these people are Momochi Sandayū, Senju Amami and Uzumaki Mei, they helped get me out of Kiri," Kakashi straightened and Rin bowed in thanks next to Gai on the ground.
Gai suddenly coughed, the air expelling with a wet gurgle. Rin's hands lit up immediately, the green glow eerie in the sunset. Uzumaki Mei walked forward and knelt beside the boy, she knew exactly who he was as she had been the one to seal the part of the Sanbi inside of him.
"We will move him to a better place to rest, he has a long journey ahead of him," Mei stood and beckoned for Sandayū to carry the boy. The oldest boy didn't move, his eyebrows shooting into his hairline.
"Did you bring me here to be your errand boy or something?"
"I'll carry him," Kakashi stepped around the two women, hefting the sickly boy onto his back.
"Are you sure? I mean he is the size of you and we don't want you dropping him or anything," Sandayū smiled in reply to Kakashi's glare, his big toothy grin teasing and mischievous.
Kakashi stared at him with as little emotion as he could muster. The older ninja however had originally seen the small tell-tale signs of irritation. Sandayū did not doubt that this boy could probably hand his as to him on a shiny silver platter, one that he would be polishing during their fight. He recognised a high ranking Shinobi when he saw one, but there was something about the boy that just made him want to tease him.
Maybe because he reminded him so much of his own little brother. The thought made him look down in pain before planting a smile on his face and following the odd group they had accumulated.
Life couldn't possibly be boring with this group.
"Please Great Sage of Six Paths, the all-powerful Rikudō Sannin. The one true God of Shinobi and all that is holy! Release me from this boredom!" Sandayū oomfed in pain as the blunt end of a kunai impacted with his vulnerable belly, stopping his tirade.
"That—" he said as he retrieved the weapon "–was not very kind of you Kakashi-san," the grey haired teen showed no reaction as he kept his one visible eye trained on the bickering bodies of Senju Amami and Uzumaki Mei.
"I cannot believe you used this seal array, you are such a disgrace to the Uzumaki name Mei-sama. This northern point should have been connected to the fire of the eastern border of the seal, not the earth," Mei's skin grew progressively redder with each word that left the younger woman's lips. Amami was younger than Mei by at least a decade, however the Senju woman could be mistaken as older with her white hair and aging face. Unlike their Uzumaki cousins, the Senju had not been so fortunate to inherit the longevity the clan seemed to have possessed.
"Well I am sorry for not being a master at sealing, unlike yourself child. I did not delve into the art of Fuuinjutsu like my brother, I took the path of nin- and ken-jutsu so as I could be with our military where I belonged. I was not a quivering girl that wanted to hide behind her family as they died on the front line," Amami stopped suddenly and stared to her kin, hands clenching into fists. Mei suddenly looked down, ashamed as to what had just left her mouth, yet unwilling to take back what she said. As much as she hated herself for saying it, she believed every word she said.
"I am going to see what is left of the library. I need to consult the scrolls and fix this disastrous seal you have subjected this boy to," Amami stood and turned towards the door. A mop of blonde blocked her way, the two nearly colliding as the older woman tried to flee from the room.
Amami brushed pass the confused girl, the blonde's eyes wide and oh so similar to Uzumaki Naru's that it increased the burn of an omnipresent pain within Amami's chest. Naruto took a look around the room to find any indication to what just transpired.
Sandayū was sprawled over a lounge that was much too small for his tall frame, his body radiating boredom. Rin stood by Gai and Mei, watching over the green-clad boy, his belly exposed with the dark ink that encompassing his skin.
Lastly, her eyes landed on Kakashi and a warmth burst across her chest. She didn't know if it was from the chakra infused in her pendant, her own chakra, or both. Whatever it was, it was warm and comforting and she never wanted it to go.
"Naruto-san," the girls head snapped up to the sad and sagely voice of Mei.
"Please go after her, she shouldn't be alone," Naruto just nodded minutely before turning and following after the other woman.
"Don't look like your puppy just got kicked, she'll be back," it only took Kakashi a moment to realise that Sandayū was speaking to him. His only visible eye rolled to the older ninja languidly.
"Believe me Momochi-san, if anyone even managed to kick one of my pups, they would be dealing with a hell of a lot more than a dejected look," Sandayū smiled and rolled into a sitting position, fully aware that though Kakashi really could be talking about his famed ninken, he was also referring to anything he declared precious.
Sandayū could only guess that a certain blonde was one of those pups.
"So you admit you were 'dejected' by her leaving without a goodbye kiss then?" his only answer was the pointy end of a kunai.
"Next time I won't miss,"
"Amami-san?" the woman's shoulders tensed as her hand paused over a scroll, the intricate seal that danced across the surface was fascinating and invigorating as Naruto understood the complicated array. 'Uzumaki blood seals' she read amongst the foreign language, her mind piecing together the swirls that had once looked so alien.
"What is it child?" Amami asked, her face never turning to look at the young blonde.
"Would you like help? I have studied seals from Jiraiya of the Sannin. I could be a little helpful, and I'd be interested to learn more," the older woman bristled and turned with a scowl.
"To use them for what? Would you dare stain this art with the blood of your so called enemies? No, I will not teach sealing to a nin-child, this is not an art that should be used against others," Naruto's eyes widened as she listened to her great-aunt. Unsure as to what to say as the woman continued her rant.
"This world is disgusting, it is common practice to raise a child from the age of five and sometimes younger to be a killer. What kind of world is this? People actually think the life of a Shinobi is glamorous, they think it's an honour to throw away their children's lives over the ability to do a few tricks with their chakra? This whole ninja system does nothing but take lives.
"The Uzumaki were a peaceful clan for thousands of years, they practiced seals and the arts. Not to kill but to create! To push beyond boundaries…But due to this world of bloodthirsty ninjas the whole country was wiped out…
"I was there you know, when it happened. I saw children even younger than you behead children even younger than them. I saw men and women torture my people without even flinching. What kind of world, war or not, raises children to kill?" Naruto was speechless. She thought she understood Jiraiya when he said that the ninja system was the problem. But now she really understood, down to her very being she understood just how wrong it could be.
"I may be young but I have witnessed a lot of hatred in my life. I have seen and dealt death, and I was completely aware of what I was doing…And that is the cycle. He killed my friend, so I will kill him, so his friend will kill me and my friend will kill him. I am thirteen years old and recognise this cycle Amami-san, don't give up on the world please. Or at least I ask that you have faith in the next generation, and have faith in me.
"I will break this cycle of hatred, if there is such a thing as peace I will find it. I have said it numerous times and every time I believe it. I will find peace, and I refuse to die before I do. I won't give up Amami-san, that's my nindō," She really did feel like a broken record, she had said these words so many times. However every time she said these words they stuck inside her even more.
She wouldn't sit back and let things happen anymore. Now she was going to actively change the future. She didn't care how unpredictable the world became, she needed to change things.
"Oh to be young and naïve…"
"No…I may seem young but I have seen enough of the world for two lives. I am not naïve Amami-san, I will make a difference," the older woman looked into the girl's eyes. She didn't know what she wanted to see there, and it pained her to see the hardened eyes of a war veteran in the sockets of a teen.
"That look right there Naruto-chan is the look I mean, that look should not be on the face of one so young," Naruto's eyes softened as she smiled at her kin, the mature eyes still unnerving on one so young.
"Maybe, so it's just up to us to make sure it isn't in the eyes of the younger generation. I will happily sacrifice my childhood for theirs. It's our duty to pass on our experience to the future of our village, it is up to us to protect them," she smiled widely. She knew she hadn't fixed the problem with Amami, the experienced look in her eyes showed Amami exactly what she hated to see.
A child that knew the worst of the world. A child that has seen the horrors.
But there was beauty amongst those horrors and this small, young and blonde child could see those diamonds in the rough. Perhaps she too could eventually see those stones that shine amongst the soot, the lights that will lead the way.
"Come child, tell me what you know of sealing,"
The energy around her was beautiful, the power of nature's chakra almost overwhelming as she sensed the immense forestry that now engulfed Uzu no Kuni. It had been two weeks now, and her body was finally ready, but Gai had yet to wake. The chakra inside him has rampant and unyielding. The seal Mei had placed on his skin had been stable enough, but the Sanbi had created a consciousness of its own, and it wasn't giving him back.
"The necklace always seems to know where you are now, that would have been helpful a few months ago," Naruto looked up to her silver haired teammate, her eyes fixed on his one grey orb before focusing on the swirl that hung between his collarbone. Her eyebrows drew together when she saw the hairline crack marring the pendent, her own chakra leaking from the tiny crevasse.
Reaching out, she felt her chakra move to her palm to fix the damage. She stopped suddenly when a leather bound hand entrapped her wrist, Kakashi's slender yet callused fingers causing a vice-like grip.
"Please don't, I can't lose you. Not again," Naruto smiled sadly and looked up into Kakashi's eye.
"It is only attracted to my chakra because it is broken. You won't be able to hide your presence with that leaking out everywhere," she said quietly, her warm chakra radiating with the forest. Orange leaves sprang to life with green vigour, their bodies rising to attention.
"I will risk it to know where you are, to know I haven't lost you," he knew that could be taken the wrong way. He knew it could sound possessive, but he really just couldn't bear the thought of not knowing she was okay.
She replied with a sigh and moved her free hand towards his hitai-ate, curling a finger under the rough fabric. Kakashi's other hand moved then and trapped her free hand in his, her small palm engulfed.
"Please don't," he whispered again, the fear trembling through him at what she would think of him when she saw the Sharingan within his socket. What she would think of him when she finds out that not only could he not save her, but he couldn't save Obito either.
He didn't know, but she already knew what would lie beneath the cloth. She had hoped, hoped to death that it hadn't happened, but she needed to see it. She needed to see if Kakashi had lost his eye, or if the Sharingan lay in its place.
He closed his eyes as his hands fell to his side, the trek from her skin long and painful. She moved slowly and lifted the wet fabric from his face, tears streaming down his left cheek, following the marring scar that fell across his eye. She placed her right palm on his cheek and traced her thumb down the rough skin, the salty wetness sliding over her nail.
"Please look at me Kakashi," his eyes closed tighter in a cringe, he didn't want to open them and face her. He was acting like a child but he didn't care, he was fourteen years old. It didn't matter that he was an ANBU of Konoha, it didn't matter that he was legally an adult ninja since the age of five. He was fourteen years old and still a child, and right now he couldn't face his fear.
"Trust me," at those two words, Kakashi's eyes flew open immediately and focused on the azure blue of her own. When he saw her eyes focus on the red iris of his left eye he cringed at the sadness that overtook her features.
"Sweet Sannin, Kakashi I am so sorry," she moved forward then and wrapped her arms around his torso, burying her face into the crook of his neck. He felt the tears on his skin soon after, forcing his arms into action as he encircled her small body as if he could protect her from this pain.
"Don't you dare blame yourself Kakashi, you didn't know that was going to happen. How could you possibly have known that would happen?" she cringed at her hypocritical words. She blamed herself, none of this was Kakashi's fault. She didn't know what mission it was that Obito had died on in her timeline. For all she knew, this had been a completely different mission that had panned out the same way. She didn't know enough and that scared her stiff.
She just didn't know what was going to happen. Which made her realise that before her birth, she really didn't know of anything that was supposed to happen. She knew no dates, she knew no facts except for small snippets that Kakashi told her.
She knew that sometime in the next two weeks, Rin was supposed to die in front of Obito to make him mad. But Rin had also contained the Sanbi, but now Gai contained the Sanbi. Nothing was the same yet everything was the same, sometimes she felt as if this was all meant to happen and other times it was like she was changing it all.
She had no idea what she was doing and it scared her.
Kakashi suddenly slipped from her grasp, the boy falling to his knees in front of her. He lurched forward and wrapped his arms around her waist, burying his face into her toned belly. He didn't want to cry, he didn't want her to see him like this, but the tears just wouldn't stop. He just couldn't make the damn things stop!
He felt her hand press into his collarbone, followed by the blistering and welcomed heat of her chakra. He flinched back when he realised she was repairing the pendent, no he couldn't let her do that.
"No Kakashi," she said firmly, his whole body flooding with peace as her chakra melded itself to fit perfectly with his. Her left hand traced up the side of his face, her fingers sliding beneath his hitai-ate before slipping the material off, her nails scraping his scalp soothingly. With her right hand still pulsing chakra into his chest, she lent down and pressed her lips to his left forehead where his scar began.
He shuddered when the chapped, pink skin of her lips descended to his eyelid, kissing the thin and disfigured lid. A shaky breath left his lips as her left hand slid down to cup his cheek, the warmth of her chakra intensifying in his body. Naruto slipped down into a crouch in front of Kakashi, her mouth on his cheek where the scar ended.
He opened both eyes, the tomoe of Obito's Sharingan spinning as he unknowingly recorded the moment. Her half closed eyes finally rising to meet his, she brought her right hand up to cup his other cheek, trading the warmth of her chakra for the warmth of her skin against his.
"You don't need a flaring necklace that will give away your position to find me, we will always find each other Kakashi," his eyes descended to her lips and then his own thighs, her knees faintly brushing against his. Raising his eyes again he almost whimpered at seeing her blue orbs again. It had been two weeks, but even that wasn't enough time for how much he lost when she'd been captured.
His fingers were fisted in the clothes at her waist, the tightening of his grip urging her to move closer. It was then that the heard it, the rustle of earth as a body moved. Rin stepped out from the foliage, her eyes at her feet and her hands clenched at her sides.
"Gai's awake," she said stonily before turning and marching back into the forest. She hated herself, she hated what Kakashi and Naruto shared, she hated Obito for leaving her here like this. She had been jealous of Naruto, she always has been. First when she had liked Kakashi, the girl came in and instantly drew his attention. Rin was jealous of how she was so skilled, picking up everything she learned with her determination to move forward. She was jealous of what Naruto shared with Kakashi, that friendship that was blooming into so much more.
She hated it all, she didn't want to feel so damned jealous anymore. But seeing everything they had that she didn't, she couldn't even see the bad things in Naruto's life. All she could see in her haze of green envy was what the girl had that she wanted, she didn't want to be like this anymore.
She just wanted Obito back.
October 10, 61 AFK
He couldn't stop it as the darkness began to take over, tears streaming down his cheeks as the black depths snaked across his eyes.
He didn't want to kill, but he couldn't control it anymore.
He didn't want to kill.
But now he did. The urge pulsed through his chest as bright as a fire jutsu.
They needed to die.
Namikaze Minato was tired and his nerves were shot, he wouldn't be surprised if his chakra system was out of control. He was nervous beyond belief. Kushina had yet to go into labour however from the scroll of memories, today was supposed to be the day that their little Naruto was to be born.
Jiraiya sat in front of him, his blonde teammate at his side. The older woman stood with her arms crossed, her hazel-brown eyes refusing to look out the window at the bustling city below. No matter how happy the city looked, whenever she saw the smiling faces it reminded her so much of what she had lost. She had left all this pain behind.
"There is no reason to have me here, you and Jiraiya are seal masters as is Kushina herself. As for the medical side of it, Biwako is a fantastic med-nin and an experienced midwife. I do also believe Taji is in ANBU now, she is a med-nin I taught myself. You have plenty of capably people, so why did you so abruptly call me back Hokage-sama?" she ended with disdain evident in her voice. Minato smiled calmly at the woman, understanding her scorn. Jiraiya frowned at his teammate, however she would understand soon enough.
"I was hoping you would have arrived yesterday, however I have very little time Tsunade-hime, and I have a very important scroll I need you to see. It's of the utmost of importance for both myself and the village, perhaps even the world. A select few have seen this information; Sarutobi-sama, Jiraiya-sensei, Yamanaka Inochi-san, Kushina and I have seen this. Now I would like you to be a part of this, I ask not as your Hokage, but plead as a friend for you to read this scroll," Minato hefted the heavy scroll from the floor at his feet onto the desk, the kanji large and in plain sight.
'The Scroll of Memories'
"What is this?" she asked, glaring down at the large parchment. She couldn't think whose memories they could possibly want her to read.
"This is the scroll containing the memories of Konohagakure Shinobi: Uzumi Naruto," Minato placed his elbows on his desk, his hands folded together and pressed to his mouth. The look in his eyes as he stared up at the slug sannin showed a sagely knowledge that you'd only wish that people of his age wouldn't possess.
"I have heard of the child, I also heard that she went MIA months ago. So what is the use of a dead girls memories to the world?" the look of fury that passed in Minato's eyes was almost startling, Tsunade felt a spike of chakra to her left after the comment only to see the same look in her teammates eyes. It was at this point that the blonde woman looked to one of the photos on the Yondaime Hokage's desk, the one that contained the blonde man and four teens.
"Ahh—" she said in realisation, "I apologise Hokage-sama, I forgot she was your student," she sympathised, but deaths happened in the ninja world every day.
"Uzumi Naruto was not only my student Tsunade-hime, I implore that you read the scroll now. I am running out of time fast and need you to decide now or never, please don't insult me or waste anymore of my time, as I'm sure there are many other things both of us want to be doing right now," anger flashed across Tsunade's face, her mouth opening to tell the young Hokage exactly where she would like him to shove the ginormous scroll. She liked Namikaze Minato and respected him above most Shinobi, however she would not tolerate being in this town any longer.
"Tsunade, we never once bothered you after the second war. It was your wish to leave and be left alone and we respected that, so do you really think that we would've asked you here for no reason? This is important, and Minato isn't lying when he says we are running out of time, we needed you here yesterday when you said you would be. We need help," Tsunade stopped at her teammates serious words, he had never used that tone with her before and it unnerved her to hear it coming from him.
"Fine," she agreed after little thought, frowning with guilt as Minato closed his eyes and sighed with relief, "Give me the damn scroll with a bottle of Momo Sake, this better be worth it."
"Believe me Tsunade, it'll be a number one bestseller,"
Their pace was fast, but not fast enough. Naruto could feel her heart beating erratically, not from exertion but from fear. Her whole system was in overdrive as the sun began to set behind the trees, a mantra of swears resounding within her skull.
They were running out of time, it was the tenth day of the tenth month, and it was nearly over.
"Naruto we need to stop, we'll run ourselves into the ground," Rin said, her chest heaving with shaky breaths, Gai had passed out long ago, Naruto resorting to Sandayū carrying the fallen boy.
"No we can't we need to get there now,"
"I understand you are excited to get back but we need to recuperate, we can rest and make it back by early morning," Senju Amami suggested, not actually wanting to go to the large city. She had never visited before but right now she was the only one keeping Gai's seal stable.
"No you don't understand, we need to be there tonight, there is going to be an attack on Konoha," the group froze at her words. Kakashi turned to the blonde girl with furrowed brows.
"Who is going to attack Naruto?" Naruto's jaw suddenly clenched, she didn't know what to say. She couldn't tell them it was Obito, or could she? They would never believe her, and they didn't have the time to sit around and tell stories and sing campfire songs. She just needed them to trust her.
"I can't tell you but I will, I promise I will," she pleaded with her eyes, the blue orbs looking to each member of the group.
"How do you know this Naruto?" Rin's eyes were suddenly hard, her posture stiff as she moved forward slowly, her hand grazing the weapon holder strapped to her thigh.
"I can't tell you right now, it will take too long. I promise I will tell you, but we need to leave now. The attack is tonight, I have a plan to stop it but it won't help if I'm not there!" she was practically bouncing on her toes as she waited impatiently for her teammates to take a leap of faith.
"All those years ago, were you sent here to spy on Konoha?" the words felt like a kick in Naruto's gut, a sharp pain searing through her chest at the idea of her teammate thinking so little of her. She couldn't blame Rin, as all the pieces were fitting together to give a well-supported case against her. But they had no time.
"What? No! I swear to you Rin I'm not a spy!"
"Then tell us what you know!" the girl yelled, a kunai brandished in her palm. Kakashi went to move forward and seize Rin's arm but froze, he knew Naruto, they'd been teammates for years. There is no way she could possibly be an enemy nin, but how could she possibly know about an attack on Konoha that she refused to share information about.
"I can't right now Rin!"
"You traitor! Obito died and you dare stand here and show that you fooled us all?!" Naruto stepped back when Rin surged forward in blind fury.
"Rin wait!" Kakashi called, half-heartedly stopping her as his mind raced. He refused to use this flimsy evidence to condemn their teammate, but things just started making sense.
"Hey stop!" Sandayū and Amami moved forward as Rin slashed at her blonde betrayer. Amami was no use against a chūnin, she wouldn't even hold up in a fight against a Genin unless she unleashed her seals upon them, and that was something she never wanted to do. Sandayū however was a fresh Jōnin of Kirigakure and had no qualms with injuring the girl if it meant protecting Naruto.
"Rin you just need to trust me!" that one phrase kicked Kakashi into action, his feet moving without a second thought. He may have been ANBU, but he knew that the most powerful person here would be Naruto. If the blonde wanted to harm their healer teammate than she would have done so by now.
Naruto stoped, her eyes wide in shock as they stared off into the distance above Rin's head. The brunette surged forward, evading Sandayū's outstretched hand and slashed downward with her kunai. The blade stopped mere centimetres from the blonde's chest, Kakashi's gloved hand holding her trembling forearm.
"Let go of me Kakashi," Rin growled, her other hand inching towards another kunai.
"Innocent until proven guilty Rin, you are letting your grief over Obito's death cloud your judgement –"
"Cloud my judgement?" Rin laughed a humourless laugh, her grip shaking as she pressed down harder with her kunai. "No Kakashi, it is your judgement that is clouded. You can't see past your infatuation with her! You think she can do no wrong that you are disregarding the evidence right in front of you!"
"She warned us that there was an attack, if she didn't want to save Konoha why would she have told us anything? Why would she be pushing us to get back to the city if she wanted to destroy it?" Kakashi stated calmly, not showing the nerves and uncertainty that presently coursed through him like an electric current.
"She has to be there to help destroy it! She is the Kyūbi Jinchūriki, she has immense amounts of power at her disposal. You just can't see this because you love her!" Kakashi's eyes widened and his grip loosened minutely in shock. But that is all Rin needed, she slipped her hand from his grip and continued to slice downwards.
That was until everything exploded.
Naruto let loose an ear piercing scream, her whole body alight with golden chakra that slowly bled to a deep burgundy red. Her makeshift jacket burst outward, a black ink pooling the front of her shirt before oozing down her body.
She collapsed onto her knees, her hands feebly trying to hold in the ooze of the seal on her belly.
"You need to take me to Konoha, now!" she gurgled, hunching in pain as she spoke.
"She's a time bomb! She'll explode with one step into Konoha!" Rin lay several feet away, a green glow surrounding her hand as she healed her shoulder where the kunai had been forced into her flesh from Naruto's episode.
"No, mine and Kushina's seals are connected. We both hold the same beast split into two, the fact that my seal is like this is because Kushina has gone into labour and the other seal is weakening. I need you Amami-san to stabilise my seal, the Kyūbi now has two exit points: one in Kushina's seal which Minato-sensei will currently be stabilising, and mine," Amami moved forward and pressed her hands into the deteriorating seal, her hands coating black.
Rin sat with wide eyes as she stared at Naruto. She hadn't known about Kushina being the container of the beast and looking to Sandayū's shocked face, she now understood why Naruto couldn't mention it at the current time. Naruto just had to most likely reveal an S-class secret, all because she had no control over her own damn emotions.
But that didn't explain the news of an attack. Nothing was making sense and tears of frustration flooded from Rin's eyes. She had had enough of all of this, she just wanted a release, and she just wanted this cruelty to end.
She didn't want to live in this shit storm of a world that resolved around nothing but death and brutality. She just wanted it all to end.
"Rin," her honey eyes raised slowly to meet Kakashi's grey iris, the determination forcing her body to react mechanically. Without conscious thought she stood to attention, the fact that she even stood both amazed and terrified her. Amazed that her body wanted to carry on, and terrified that her mind did not.
"We're going to take Naruto and Gai to Konoha, after that we are all going to request leave and sort out our lives. It doesn't matter that we're in a war, we will figure this all out Rin," Kakashi, in all his awkward glory, reached forward and hugged the broken girl to his body. She stiffened on reflex before relaxing, her body shaking with her attempt to stop her tears.
"We'll get through this, but right now we have a teammate that needs our help," Rin looked down and bit her lip before nodding. There was little life in her eyes, but she was moving now and that was a start.
Kakashi turned and scooped the writhing Naruto in his arms. He couldn't carry her on his back as Amami needed her hands in contact with the seal to stabilise it while on the run, resulting in an awkward jog the small distance back to Konoha.
Tsunade stood beside Kushina, her hand in Kushina's vice-like grip. One that could even rival her own. Minato stood across from her, sweat building on his brow as he poured his chakra into the seal.
The women all bantered back and forth over the softness of men and their low pain tolerances. It was light hearted yet all a façade. Those in the room that had read the scroll were all on high alert, waiting for the arrival of the 'could-be Naruto'.
The loud cries filled the room, the two parents looking down to the tiny bundle in Sarutobi Biwako's arms.
"Congratulations on your baby boy," Kushina and Minato looked to each other in shock, not knowing what to do with this information. The air suddenly rippled behind the elderly lady, her breath catching as a kunai sliced down towards her neck. Another kunai implanted into the intruders arm before the weapon passed through as if he were nothing.
The man spun away from the newborn as Jiraiya and Tsunade sprang forward, herding him away from the child. The piercing screams reverberating throughout the cave painfully. Kushina cried a blood curdling scream that erupted from her chest with fury.
"Jiraiya there's something wrong with the seal! We're losing the Kyūbi!" Minato yelled frantically as he expertly moved his fingers through the patterns of the seal, trying to find where it could possibly be going wrong.
"What the hell do you mean 'we're losing the Kyūbi'?!" the white haired man shouted back as he evaded another blow from the masked man, simultaneously stopping his path towards the immobile couple and their newborn child.
"I mean that the Kyūbi is leaving her but not through this seal!" Jiraiya suddenly froze, Tsunade rushed forward and deflected a kunai with a push of her immense chakra, saving Jiraiya from harm.
"The fight you idiot!" she yelled with frustration as the man turned and rushed towards the couple, leaving a furious Tsunade to defend.
"It must be coming through Mahna!"
The masked man stopped, recognising the name from what felt like a century ago. Tsunade lashed out, her fist finally connecting, though the infuriating man morphed at the last minute and deflected the rest of the attack.
"Oh damn no, the Kyūbi…It's gone,"
An ominous roar resounded outside of the cave, the huge mass of deadly chakra poured through the entrance and stuck to their skin.
"Jiraiya!" Tsunade yelled as the man suddenly began to morph, his body disappearing into air.
"We need to find her now! Biwako, we need to take the baby and Kushina somewhere safe," The toad sage walked towards the woman and tenderly lifted the baby boy into his dwarfing arms. Minato nodded to his sensei and picked up his wife, the two disappearing in an instant before the blonde man returned mere seconds later.
Minato almost cried when he held his son in his arms for the first time, but now was not the time. He had a former student to stop, and his daughter to save. With one last look to his sensei, he nodded and disappeared, his child in his arms.
"Minato! Menma!" Kushina cried when he appeared, placing the little bundle into his wife's arms. He smoothed back her sweat drenched hair before standing, his hands clenched as he moved.
"Thank you Minato, good luck. I'll kill you myself if you don't come back to us," he smiled sadly as he pulled the Hokage coat from where it had been discarded over a chair.
"I'll be back before you know it," he said before disappearing within the blink of an eye.
"Look at your Dad, already trying to act cool in front of you," she joked half-heartedly, tears streaking down her cheeks as she thought of what awaited her husband.
'Please come back.'
The small group had been scattered when the ginormous Kyūbi had erupted from within Naruto, her whole body convulsing as the chakra burst forth. An ominous screech shook the night air, buildings in Konoha shuddering as the sound waves reached the large city.
"KURAMA!" Naruto screamed with what little strength she had. Kurama's ear twitched, but she already knew the fox couldn't quite hear her. She'd seen the Yin and Yang halves merge before erupting from her seal. She'd seen their consciousness's colliding into one entity, she had no idea if this Kurama could understand her at all.
She looked to where she'd seen Amami land, the woman was slumped against a tree, her fragile body unmoving. Naruto cursed, unable to see anyone else from their crew. She stood shakily, amazed that she was even alive after having a Bijū ripped from her gut.
The demon fox looked down to her weakened body and roared, the trees flattening from the pressure of the charka. The same roar she'd used all those years ago before being forced into the past, the one she'd used to push everyone out of the way of the way of the swirling vortex she'd been sucked into.
The nostalgia faded quickly when a large paw suddenly descended upon her, the Kyūbi's claws glinting in the early evenings light. She felt a pressure on the side of her body, followed by the wind as she sailed through the air. She landed in a heap of legs and arms, another body twisting with hers. The two stopped rolling, giving Naruto enough time to see the blood stained silver hair of Kakashi. She couldn't reply as a blood splattering cough erupted from her chest.
"We need to get you to the hospital," Kakashi stated as he moved to scoop her into his arms.
"No! Not yet, I need to seal the fox," his eyes widened almost comically as he stared at the girl in shock.
"You can't be serious, the sealing will kill you!" Naruto didn't answer and instead stood from her position. She was weaker than she had ever been before, she could already feel her life leaving her as black spots clouded her vision.
"Hey Kakashi," she said reaching up and pulling down his mask with a movement too fluid for her dizzy state. He didn't move as she pulled his face down to hers, her lips pressed to his softly and quickly. The kiss was short, a feather-like brush of her lips against his, though it felt like a burning fire had erupted in both of the teens chests.
"Forgive me," the boy had no time to react as Naruto performed quick hand signs.
"Fūton: Daitoppa" she whispered meekly, pushing Kakashi away from her with a gust of chakra infused wind. His hands reached for her body, his fingers slipping through air as he grappled. He watched as he sawed away from her, a small and sad smile gracing her lips.
"Kekkaimon Gofūjutsu" she palmed her hands into the ground and watched as seals spread rapidly from her location, trapping herself and the deranged Kurama in an impenetrable barrier. One she had derived to even stop Obito's dimensional warping. No-one was getting in…and no-one was getting out.
"It's just you and me Kurama, just like old times,"
Minato spun in mid-air, his hand controlling a ball of dense charka as he slammed it into the young man below him.
"Rasengan!" the chakra sphere collided with skin, the man being forced into the ground. Minato cradled his arm, blood pouring from an open wound as he skipped away from the man, avoiding the slashed of a kunai.
"OBITO!" the man faltered, his movements jagged as he fumbled to stand.
"Obito please you need to listen to me," Obito stopped, cradling his head as he closed his eyes in pain. He was so confused, he had no idea where he was.
'You need to kill him, if you don't kill him he will kill you,' the deep and ominous voice whispered through his mind like velvet across his skin.
"I don't want to kill anyone," he said aloud, tears beginning to fall from his eyes.
"Obito you need to stop this you are hurting people," a choked sob erupted from the man's throat.
'He's lying to you! Kill him!' But I don't want to kill anyone. I don't want to hurt anyone.
"Jiraiya he is freaking out, we need to seal him before he realises what is happening," Minato whispered to his sensei, they couldn't fight any longer. They needed to get to Naruto and the Kyūbi, they couldn't leave her and every second away is a second that she could die.
Obito screamed, clutching his head as he fell to his knees as if in agony. Jiraiya dropped to the ground, his hands pushed into the earth as the snaking lines of his seal slithered towards the rampant teen.
"OBITO!" Minato cried one last time, the soaring wind suddenly stilled. Everything in the forest was deathly silent.
"Sensei?" he asked, the mask slipping from his face as the black snakes encircled the teen, binding his body.
"Kill me sensei, I'm a monster," the words were muffled as the seal wrapped around the rest of his body. Obito's whole body turned black as the seal engulfed him, sealing him into a large scroll.
"There's no time to rest, we need to get Naruto,"
Naruto cried out in pain as she was blasted into her own barrier, the strong chakra burned as the Kyūbi rampaged in the confined arena she'd created. She jumped when she felt spikes of chakra collide with her seal, she'd know those signatures anywhere.
Minato, Jiraiya and Tsunade.
Tears escaped her as she shakily stood, her knees weak and failing beneath her. Every breath was laboured, every step was pain. She almost couldn't fathom how people survived without the healing abilities she possessed. She shouldn't even be alive right now, and she can only chalk that up to her Uzumaki lineage.
She turned behind her and could see the small figures of the people she considered her closest family standing a mere few feet away from her, separated by a wall of chakra. She placed her hand on the wall, the energy hot to the touch.
She looked each in the eye, she knew immediately they all knew who she was. They all knew the real her. They weren't looking at Uzumi Naruto, but Uzumaki Naruto; daughter of the Yondaime Hokage and Uzumaki Kushina, god-daughter of Jiraiya of the Sannin. Konohagakure's number one most loud-mouth, knuckleheaded Shinobi.
Minato placed his hand over hers on the other side of the wall, his eyes wide with panic knowing exactly what she was about to do.
"Naruto please, don't do this. Let me do this," she smiled and shook her head.
"No way in hell Dad–" both of their hearts ached at the name, elated to hear the simple word "–I can't let that little baby grow up in the world I did. This world needs you, the Yondaime Hokage. You are the child of prophecy, not me. Heck, maybe the 'me' of this world is the child of prophecy. But this will be my great change. It may not be word changing, but it can change the world for one child at least…" she stopped as a sobbed escaped her chest, the jealousy she felt towards a baby to overwhelming.
"Please Naruto, I love you, please don't leave, let me do this," he pleaded, tears falling from his eyes as he watched his daughter walk towards her suicide.
"I love you Dad,"
"No Naruto! NARUTO! Please no!" he banged on the barrier, uncaring for the burns to his skin. He watched in horror as the Kyūbi turned, its maniacal sneer leering down at his daughter.
"Torii!" she slammed her hands into the ground as large red Torii gates appeared above the fox, slamming down and pinning the beast beneath their mass. She collapsed with the effort, blood falling from her mouth as she forced herself to stand, ignoring the yelling from outside her seal. She turned to see dozens upon dozens of Shinobi outside her barrier, watching as she struggled within the seal.
Turning back to the large fox, she smiled sadly and slowly made her way through the hand signs for what may be her final technique.
"Sorry Kurama…Shiru!" she fought the blackness that threatened to engulf her, staying conscious as the mighty beast writhed as it was forced back inside her. With a final twist she felt her insides tighten painfully.
Then her whole word went black.
The barrier fell as soon as she collapsed, many of the Shinobi stayed in place, not moving as they stared at the young girl that just sacrificed her own life to save theirs.
"Naruto!" the loud yell caused several of the Shinobi to jump, the silver haired teen brushing past them. He skidded to a stop beside her, his hands instantly rolling her onto her back ad checking for a pulse. Tsunade soon batted him out of the way and pressed down on her chest, her hands beating in and out with compressions, her healing chakra pulsing in with each push.
She leaned down and breathed into the girl's lungs, her chest expanding with each breath.
"Don't you dare die on me Naruto?" Tsunade screamed breathlessly as she continued her compressions, hoping to bring life back to the girl's eyes. Kakashi leaned forward, the pendent she'd given him had begun to resonate softly, the sound growing stronger and louder as the time went on. Soon enough the whole clearing was filled with the screech of his necklace, the glowing glass pendent floating in front of his face. His eyes widened when the glass suddenly cracked in two, unleashing Yang chakra to burst forth.
Large chakra fox-like creatures surged forward, rushing around the clearing before forcing themselves into the girl's chest, her body convulsing with each shock of chakra. The foxes stopped, their majestic light leaving them blind as they disappeared back into their original host.
All was silent as no-one dared to breathe, waiting, their eyes transfixed on he still girl before him.
With a raging gasp her chest raised with fury and coughs erupted from her throat. A sob escaped Kakashi as he saw her eyes open, the beautiful blue orbs alive.
She was live!
"Did I do it? Is everyone okay?" Minato dived forward and scooped the girl into his arms, really holding his daughter for the first time.
"You are never leaving me ever again," he cried into her hair, his hand pushing her head into his chest.
"Promise?" she asked, her own tears soaking his shirt.
DONE, OH MY GOODNESS IT IS DONE! (I will upload it now and edit again when I come home from work. It is 1:40am and I have work in a few hours so I won't edit it now, upload it because you people deserve a chapter, and I will edit it before I pack for placement)
On another note, I DON'T HATE RIN I SWEAR. I really like her and am not trying to bash her character, however right now she is a teenager that is traumatised by war. She has had to watch her mother slowly die over the course of a few years and she has suffered friends dying left right and centre in the war.
I am touching on sensitive topics of suicidal thoughts and other such emotional abuse that these kids probably have to face. I myself suffer anxiety and have suffered emotional abuse in the past, it is a deep subject that I am trying to share. I hope I do it justice and just hope I can convey the emotional healing these guys will go through.
I also decided to keep the name Menma, as it was something Kishimoto himself came up with. It also takes blame off myself in case I chose a shitty name.
Ps sorry for the long ass hiatus, however first semester of second year is now complete. My first 2 weeks of winter holidays will be spent on placement interstate so I can't write then. I think I may have failed one of my exams, so if I did I won't be updating for the rest of the holidays as I will be studying for that, if I didn't then happy days and I will be trying my hardest to update!
The Family tree is a little hard to keep track of sorry. Many new characters have been added, and people like Senju Amami had only been mentioned previously in Kushina's bingo book entry in Chapter 13 as an aunt and possible hostage material (it is a little difficult to follow without arrows or anything sorry).
Uzumaki Suien (Uzu Clan Head)
Uzumaki Mei (Younger sister of Clan Head) Terumi Mei (Great-Granddaughter – "see Fourth Generation")
Uzumaki Yoichi (1st son of Suien)
Uzumaki Kaito (2nd Son of Suien) Married Senju Naru – Senju Naru had an older sister Senju Amami
Uzumaki Kimi (3rd Child – bastard daughter of Suien)
Uzumaki Kushina (Daughter of Kaito and Naru – niece of Amami, niece of Yoichi – granddaughter of Suien – great-niece of Uzumaki Mei) Married Namikaze Minato
Uzumaki Naruto (Daughter of Kushina and Minato, great-niece of Amami, great-niece of Yoichi – great-granddaughter of Suien – great-great-niece of Uzumaki Mei)
Terumi Mei (Great-granddaughter of Uzumaki Mei – great-great-niece of Suien)