A Wish Fulfilled.
The following chapter starts from Chapter 601 of the Naruto manga and recaps a lot of the action in there before going on its own course. This is because I feel it's important to ground things and establish a strong plot first. I also wanted to follow canon as much as possible because for me, it makes things more believable. But don't worry – we will have a lot of romance and angst too! That's what this story is all about after all – so onwards!
Usual disclaimers apply – The Naruto story and characters are the property of Masashi Kishimoto. I am writing this story for not for profit, entertainment purposes only.
Chapter 1 – The Confrontation
"…I want to build a world where heroes don't have to make pitiful excuses in front of graves."
Obito Uchiha to Kakashi Hatake
Rocks flew up in the air with the sheer force of the chakra permeating the area. The sky was dark and ominous with the portents of the Ten Tail's rebirth. Obito Uchiha (or Tobi, either name meant nothing to him) stood looking down at the ragged opponents before him. The Eight-tails' giant tentacled form splayed out across the battlefield, monstrous in its size and power but Obito's Sharingan could see the great beast was well into his reserves of chakra. A few more Biju Bombs and he would be ripe for the picking.
As for the others, perhaps it was fitting to see his former self's comrades for the final time. They would be a final sacrifice of the old world, in whose flames his new, perfect reality would arise. The real block to that was standing in front of him, blazing with light. Despite himself, Obito couldn't help but be impressed with Naruto's growth. Who would have thought that such a brat would be capable of fully taming the hatred of the Nine Tails so they now worked together as one.
The boy stood there, defiance written all over his face, his anger channelled into his determination.
This is the Will of Fire, Obito thought, he is the embodiment of all I despise.
The Gedo Statue beside him let out another agonised roar as the Jubi's awesome power continued to manifest within it.
Yes! Obito exulted. This is my time. This is the final obstacle. All the pain and suffering have been for this. Rin… only a few moments longer.
They had survived his latest attack – Fire Release: Blast Wave Wild Dance - with the aid of the Kyubi. But in the aftermath, he heard a voice he had not listened to in years – the deep, cutting tones of the real Madara Uchiha.
Emerging from the smoke to stand beside him, his Master smirked, remarking
"You seem to be having fun here… Obito."
Recovering from his shock, the younger shinobi smirked back.
"You defied Edo Tensei, how very like you."
Madara's face was a picture of scorn, his waist length hair whipping in the wind. He crossed his arms and ignored his apprentice's praise. The fact he had even been trapped under that ridiculous jutsu, created by Tobirama Senju of all people, was embarrassing enough.
The shouts below him caused Madara to focus on the Konoha shinobi.
"That one's a Kage Bushin too. Where's the original, Obito?" Madara said, looking at Naruto across a landscape of destruction.
Before Obito could reply Naruto angrily burst in, demanding to know what happened to Madara's previous opponents he had seen on another battlefield.
Making their peace with the Shinigami, Obito thought smugly. His callous prediction was confirmed by Madara's sarcastic reply.
"Who knows…" The legendary Uchiha smirked. "They are probably… not ok."
Naruto's response was instant. The Kyubi's tails blazed out, grabbing the chakra receivers that pinned the Hachibi and hurling them at the two Uchiha with violent force.
Before I could even use the sealing chains on the chakra receivers, Obito thought in mocking admiration.
He was unfazed however. Calmly unhooking the gunbai from his chain, and without removing his eyes from the oncoming chakra receivers, Obito threw the fan to Madara.
"You can have it. It's yours after all."
The elder Uchiha smirked as he again held the fan that was his trademark. Fiery chakra ignited around him and formed a barrier that stopped the giant receivers in midair. As the huge metal bolts fell harmlessly to the ground, Madara noted the roars of the Gedo with dissatisfaction.
Why did he start the plan before time? The Hachibi and the Kyubi still need to be sealed, Madara thought with impatience.
He ignored the Hachibi's attempt at bravado and addressed his apprentice. They needed to sort out this mess before the Gedo fully transformed. He had not endured defeat and spent decades languishing in a dank cave, to leave the job half-baked.
"Obito. Did you start the Project midway, before we could absorb the Hachibi and the Kyubi?"
Obito looked slightly perturbed.
"You were too hasty, Obito." Madara abolished. "Is that also the reason you revived me like this?"
Obito shifted uncomfortably. It would be hard to explain his forced alliance with Kabuto and the even worse revelation that the Rinne Tensei no Jutsu was no longer available to them. It looked like failure and that was the thing Madara despised above all. Obito knew he could explain it properly in time but given the circumstances he would just have to risk it.
He felt the Mokuton cells within him complete the healing of his arm as Madara spoke again.
"Well it is you…I guess you have some plan…" Madara said grudgingly. "But what have you being doing so far? What happened to Nagato? I should have been revived with the Rinne Tensei no Jutsu at the right time." He said walking forward.
Naruto was incensed to hear of Madara's involvement with his fellow disciple.
"Did you try to use Nagato?!" he cried, his anger growing with every new piece of information.
"He betrayed us." Obito stated grimly, ignoring the Kyubi brat – his time would come shortly. "He used the jutsu on the people of the village."
I may as well get the worst out of the way, Obito thought as he waited for Madara's incandescent reaction. He was ashamed things had worked out this way. He had hoped Madara's revival would have been accomplished via a loyal Nagato, not under the control of that ghoulish disciple of Orochimaru's. Obito had wanted the first thing Madara's Rinnegan to see when they opened was a full contingent of the Akaksuki with the Gedo and an incapacitated Naruto, ready for sealing. He had achieved a lot but thanks to that boy's continual interference and the damned snake, this was how things had ended up.
Madara was silent for a moment. "Everyone is doing as they like…" he said quietly as he regarded the impetuous figure of the Kyubi's jinchuriki.
Internally the elder Uchiha was incredibly angry, but he concealed it behind his coldly arrogant facade. His thoughts raced as he considered their options. Nagato had a change of heart? After all he was put through? I even gave him my damn eyes for Kami's sake, what a waste! Typical Uzumakis, still a thorn in my side.
Still, Madara thought, as he repressed his anger in favour of the cool detachment that had served him so well. We can easily win this. All we need to do is tidy up.
"Whatever, we're still in time." He said curtly. "I'll catch the Hachibi and the Kyubi!"
Naruto had had enough. Tails swishing, he rushed forward in his Tailed Beast Mode and leapt to attack the bastards that had dared to challenge them, legendary Uchiha or not.
Forming the Mini-Tailed Beast Ball one handed, he smashed it into Madara while shouting "You were dead once, don't mess with us!"
The Ninjutsu Master blocked the epic attack with his fan, leaving Naruto and his teachers in amazement.
Uh? Why doesn't it explode? Naruto thought desperately.
Madara lunged forward, pushing the clone back with the fan and smirked saying "Uchihagaeshi – Return of the Fan."
There was a rumble and a flash of blinding light. Naruto's eyes widened and then he felt the full force of his Beast Bomb explode out at him from the fan itself.
The force ripped through the area in a cone of fire, destroying Naruto's clone and ground around him.
Not missing a beat, Madara spoke to Obito, whilst gathering his chakra.
"I'll deal with the Hachibi and the Kyubi." He repeated. "You can take care of these two, Obito." He finished and leapt over the shocked forms of Guy and Kakashi.
I hope you're watching from whatever cursed afterlife you sank into, Mito. Madara thought triumphantly. Watch, as I destroy your kinsman and everything you and Hashirama wrought to bring about my new world!
Hearing his Master's words, Obito fixed his former friends with a resolute stare.
Battling with shock and exhaustion, Kakashi asked the question that had been plaguing him ever since Obito's face was revealed and Madara had arrived.
"Obito…" he shouted. "What happened to you? Why did you team up with him?!"
Images and memories flashed before Obito's eyes. He remembered the horror of awakening in darkness, illuminated only by sensations of pain and the red glow of Madara's Sharingan. He remembered his conversations with the old Uchiha and his slow revival under the earth. He had trained and believed so hard that he could return, that he had been given a second chance to prove his worth and make his dream of becoming Hokage and protecting his friends come true.
And Rin… he remembered her, all the thoughts of her, day after day in that cavern, where time seemed to stand still. At last he would grow strong enough to protect her, to prove to her that he was more worthy of her than Kakashi. He had dreamt of her soft smiles and taste of her lips…
He had constantly thought about their reunion and what he would say, how they would react. Should he sneak up on them? Or perhaps sidle up like nothing had happened? Perhaps he should meet them at their favourite ramen stall – Ichiraku's? Just be sitting there nonchalantly as they passed by and wait to hear their shocked gasps and feel Rin's tight hug.
She would hug him, he was sure of it. After all being crushed by a boulder and sacrificing your eye for your friends was at least worth that! He should, by rights, get a kiss too, because returning from the dead wasn't something people did everyday. Of course Kakashi would say something snide but he would just be jealous to have the attention taken from him for once. Get used to it, Kakashi. The young Obito had thought. There's going to be a new hero in town! Of course he was also looking forward to working with Kakashi as his friend too. In fact, he thought, as he'd practiced his taijutsu in Madara's underground complex, they would work even better now as a team. Madara had said two Sharingan only worked properly when together and Obito couldn't wait to show his team and his Clan how much he had developed. It was all he had hoped for.
Then had come that fateful day. That nightmare, when all he had dreamt of and hoped for was shattered before his eyes.
He had raced to his teammates aid on Zetsu's instructions, defying the elderly Madara with all his stupid talk of pain and illusion. He had got there just in time to see a sight he would never forget until his death. A vision that would only be washed away by the birth of a new reality. The sight of his beloved Rin viciously impaled through the heart by Kakashi's own hand – the very boy who had vowed to Obito's dying face that he would protect her.
He never knew Kakashi's exact reasons for doing it. Frankly he didn't care. A world where such a thing happened, where Rin lay in a pool of her own blood, was a world the young Obito refused to live in. Blame meant nothing at that point, despite his subsequence slaughter of the Mist nin that had been pursuing them. After hearing Madara's vows of creating a world based on peace, a world where even the dead could be revived, Obito had made his choice.
As he cradled his treasured Rin in his arms, bathed in the light of a sorrowful moon, he made her a promise – that he would create a world where she was alive. A world without pain or suffering, where no such horrors would ever have to occur again. And Obito was a man who kept his word. That was his Ninja Way.
As the thoughts of his childish self faded, the adult Obito looked back at his erstwhile teammate.
"If you really wish to hear the truth, Kakashi, I will tell you, but I'm not sure you will understand it. I simply refuse to live in Hell." He said emphatically.
"But what you are doing is wrong!" Kakashi cried. "I don't know all that happened but…" He trailed off in anguish. "Obito, this isn't you."
Obito's laugh echoed around them, as the landscape continued to be torn apart the forces within the Gedo statue. The edge of hysteria and malice in it, reminded Kakashi of Sasuke's laugh at their last confrontation.
I can't take this. Kakashi thought, as his knees trembled and sweat began to run down his back. I thought I'd lost him once…but now this?! And all of it was because of my failure to protect Rin…
"Snap out of it Kakashi!" The burly figure of Might Guy said as he hit his rival across the face. "We can't be distracted now! Bee's in combat and if the Naruto with him is a clone too then where's the real one?"
They could hear the sounds of fighting behind them as Madara engaged Killer Bee. The older jinchuriki was wiser than Naruto and didn't unleash a Biju Bomb directly at the Uchiha but it was difficult to counter the faster ninja in such a gigantic form. Naruto was attacking the Konoha Founder too but Kakashi couldn't believe the Uchiha had mistaken him for a clone. That had to him…otherwise the one that Kakashi had transported via Kamui was…
"Where's Naruto you ask?" Obito said with a wicked grin as he leapt towards his former friends.
"Why, he's exactly where you left him, Kakashi! Trapped inside my other dimension!"
Trapped inside the other dimension? Kakashi thought wildly. That's what I dreaded but how? But I thought the one I sucked in with Kamui was a shadow clone?! Why did he let his real self go there, when that's just what they were after!
But before the Copy Nin had time to react, Obito had launched his attack – another fire jutsu - to separate the Konoha nin. Kakashi was still rooted to the spot, his reaction time dulled, so Guy had to throw him out the way. The Green Beast leapt in another direction to avoid the range of the flames.
This is exactly what he wants, Kakashi! To separate us! If we aren't fast and work together, he'll kill us both. Guy thought as he rolled out of the way.
Time for some long awaited payback, Might Guy. Obito smiled, remembering the Chunin exams and Guy's defeat of Kisame. A clone of the Uchiha appeared out of the smoke in front of the Taijutsu Master. Guy whipped around for a powerful Leaf Hurricane kick only to be caught by massive, twisting roots.
Mokuton? Guy thought disbelievingly. Can he perform even this jutsu? In that case it's time for the Final Gate. He thought with resolution. I'm sorry Lee… Kakashi, but this is it!
He began powering up and felt the mammoth vines release their hold on him, pushed back by the explosive force of his energy. The sweat poured out of his body, running blue as he opened the 7th Gate of Wonder and focused on his heart, where the Eighth Gate lay. But just as the Taijutsu Master was about to make the final sacrifice, he inexplicably felt his energy decreasing.
This isn't possible! Guy thought as he began to weaken and then he felt the rough grasp of a hand through the Mokuton roots.
"Preta Path." Obito explained succinctly, while he engaged his Sharingan in a genjutsu. Guy tried to close his eyes but the vines grew around his face and the choking pressure forced open his lids.
"I don't think so." Obito said, as he flowed his nebulous chakra into the other man's mind. Guy felt his limbs grow old and wither and his strong, proud muscles sag and droop with age. The Power of Youth! He thought, his brain becoming more and more senile. Where has it gone?
"Well that was satisfying." Obito said as he sank a sharpened root into Guy's chest and turned to find Kakashi. "Who said one can't find some pleasure in this wretched existence."
His vast roots and trees had kept the Copy Nin at bay, just long enough for Obito to dispatch Guy. But now he was nowhere to be found. The smoke was clearing and the younger Uchiha could see Madara also utilising Mokuton to restrain the Hachibi. Black ink from Killer Bee's jutsu ran over the dusty ground, filling the cracks, but Madara was like a skilled animal tamer, herding the huge Ushi-oni to its death, inch by inch.
"Kakashi, come out, come out, where ever you are!" Obito called with a snigger.
He's probably using his Earth Style jutsu to hide from me. Obito used his root system abilities gained from Zetsu to locate the silver-haired Jonin.
There, he smirked, sensing a human presence underneath him. I can't tell if it's a shadow clone but it's more than likely he has another one around here, knowing him.
Just as Obito scanned above to see if there were any others, the earth rumbled and Kakashi, just as he predicted, leapt up towards him, cutting through the debris with his Raikiri blade. Obito leapt up through the air and from behind heard the sound of shuriken being thrown as the shadow of the real Kakashi fell across him.
Trying to stop me from phasing, eh, Kakashi? Obito thought as he ordered his clone to teleport to the other dimension and distract the waiting jinchuriki.
Once assured his dematerialisation wouldn't be hindered as he deflected the metal blades, the Uchiha then allowed the body of his former friend to pass through him. The Copy Nin quickly bounced off his own clone and on to a flying boulder, letting the Kage Bushin continue its lightning based attack.
I'm bored with this already. Obito sneered. Madara can handle him. I'll take care of Naruto.
Obito activated his own Kamui, allowing himself to be pulled into the other dimension to capture the Nine-Tailed brat.
But just as his scarred face was disappearing into the vortex, he had a few parting words for his ex-friend.
"Foolish move, Kakashi, letting Guy die, but then, as I recall, you are good at that."
The last sight he saw was the white-haired Jonin's look of absolute horror and despair before it was replaced by the eerie blackness of his own pocket dimension.
Now to deal with Naruto, he smirked.
Cliff-hanger Ending no Jutsu!
Ok there was a lot action in this chapter but this story is in the Action/Romance genre so expect fighting as well as love. I'm trying to keep it as close to the Naruto manga/anime style as possible within the realms of my inspiration. But don't worry, our Rin will be making an appearance soon, just to add to poor Kakashi's angst and our very own anti-hero Obito's too.
Could the real Naruto please stand up!
Also as much as I wanted to keep to canon, I had a hell of a time in the manga trying to establish which one of the 2/3 clones was the real Naruto. Currently at the time of writing, Madara's question about where the real Naruto is could lead to one of 2 likely possibilities -
1) He's the guy hiding in front of Bee and Madara looks slightly dense for not noticing him at first, with his epic Rinnegan.
2) The real Naruto disguised himself as a clone and got transported inside the other dimension, which is the option I've gone with. It's something he's done before in his fight with Kakazu, and it was more interesting and suited my purposes.
But guys, I tell you, I went through the chapters over and over again and even searched on forums and I couldn't find out anything conclusive. And because we are in the middle of an epic Flashback no Jutsu from Obito we aren't going to get any confirmation from Kishi until at least next week and quite frankly – I can't wait that long. I might try to change the chapter if possible if it turns out I'm wrong because I'm a perfectionist but this is fanfiction after all.
Finally, I want to update this story regularly and I have a lot of it drafted out but I also have lots of other commitments so please be patient if I am late. Thanks!