They dug for most of a day and a night, when they reached the bottom of the hole, there was a gasp of shock, and a cry of pain and anguish...
Tobi frowned when he noticed that there didn't seem to be any guards around the cave in which Kushina was to give birth. If he hadn't heard people inside, and felt Minato-sensei's presence, he would have been willing to swear it was a trap. But, who would know enough to trap him now when he was so close to his goal?
Feeling more apprehensive than he had been previously, he made his way into the cave. When he'd caught sight of that squalling thing that had just come out of Kushina's...crotch, several things fell into place.
He knew that he should have remained silent, and that he should have not alerted his former sensei to his presence until he had a hostage with which to catch him off guard and drive him off balance, but...
"Its name is Naruto isn't it." he said as he looked down at the tiny whisker-cheeked blond that the Sandaime's wife was cleaning.
His former sensei looked up at him in startlement, his eyes widened with shock.
"...Yes." the man eventually said, almost hesitantly.
As he stood there looking at the baby, he knew that no matter how far he got, he would fail. Naruto had survived. Naruto had survived, gone back to the past, come face to face with the man who had caused a great deal of suffering in his life, who had killed his parents tonight, on this the night he had been born, and found himself unable to kill him because he had seen himself in him.
Madara-sama was dead, but...no, his plans wouldn't live on.
His former sensei cautiously approached him and placed a hand on his shoulder.
"You...You haven't killed anyone yet have you?" his former sensei asked.
"No." he replied as he stared down at the baby who had grown up to be a young man who had been unable to kill him despite the fact that he'd apparently tried to kill him amongst any number of other crimes.
But...Rin had died, and for that, the world, the world where Rin no-longer existed, deserved to burn and be replaced with the world as it should be, the world he and Madara-sama would create if he could find a way around his failures, even if it meant destroying the infant in front of him.
He grabbed one of his kunai from the pouch at his side, and lunged forward to deal with the small obstacle in front of him only to find that he couldn't move.
"I was afraid it would come to this." his former sensei said sadly as he was led off by the members of the Hokage's personal guard.
Seven Years and Some-odd Months Later:
"Hey dad." Obito said as he stood next to the door of his father's study.
It had taken him a great deal of time to get past the mind-fuckery that Madara had put him through in the year between when he'd been captured by the man, and when the old bastard had died leaving him to fulfill his insane plans. He had good days, and bad days, but his family and the few friends he had left including Kakashi and Minato-sensei had helped him pull through. Today had been a good day. It had also been his twenty-second birthday, which had reminded him of something.
"What?" his father asked, looking up from the origami pig he was making.
"I was wondering if you wanted to help me help Naruto glitter-bomb the police station." he replied, having remembered the story about the "dream" that the Future Naruto had told them the time he'd stayed the night.
His father had unbent a bit over the last few years, but he wasn't quite sure the man was at the glitter-bombing the police station stage yet. He had to ask though. Fortunately, Now Naruto had parents to live with, so it wasn't like his dad would do something crazy like move in with the kid.
"Sure." his father, who had been using ryo notes to make the little origami piggies for some strange reason replied with an evil smirk that would be more at home on Future Naruto's face.
"Fine me for loitering will they..." his father grumbled under his breath as he made a final fold on one of his ryo note pigs as he left the room slightly freaked out by his father's uncharacteristic smile.
Eleven Years and Some-odd Months after that:
Naruto yawned and stretched as he awoke, idly noting that his stomach was a bit sore from where his father had socked him in retaliation for that prank he'd pulled before he'd been put in stasis. Kurama was great at healing injuries that would otherwise be fatal, but he never really bothered with the minor bruises.
The first thing he noticed when he fully woke up was the man in the swirly orange mask that had haunted his nightmares for years.
"Rise and shine Naruto-kun." Tobi said.
To his dying day, he would swear that he had most definitely not shrieked like a little girl.
Rather than attacking him, Tobi had taken his mask off and started laughing like a hyena.
"Man," Tobi choked out between laughs "You should have seen the look on your face!"
It was at that moment that a Genjutsu dropped revealing several people where a wall had once been. Two of those people were Obito's parents, or at least he thought they were. Two of those people had been his parents. One of those people had been Kakashi who was holding a video camera, and one of them looked just like him.
"Next time, you'll think twice about tricking your father into drinking spit." Namikaze Minato said, smiling down at him.
"Next time you'll think twice about sealing the Kyuubi in your kid!" he shot back, even though part of him knew that since his father and two of him were in existence as well as a pair of Uchiha who should be dead, he'd managed to screw the timeline sideways.
"Do the what to what now?" his father said, looking somewhat gobsmacked.
He replied by lifting his shirt and funneling Chakra through his seal, making it visible.
"Oh...shit." Tobi said as he and the rest of the group stared at the seal in absolute horror.