A/N – Hello everyone! I hope you liked the first chapter. Sorry the second took so long. I've had a really busy schedule these last two weeks. This is also a pivotal chapter that was very difficult to write, so I wanted to take my time to get it just right.
I want to say a special thanks to my reviewers and those that favourited/followed the story – xXxKimikoxXx, Nekoo-Kun, Vicky27 and ya'aburnee. You get a big thumbs up from Kakashi, a dazzling smile from Rin and a promise from Obito that, when the Eye of the Moon Plan comes to fruition, all your dreams will come true.
To all my other visitors – please let me know what you think. Your comments fuel my passion for writing, so if you want to know what happens faster - drop me a review!
This latest chapter is a bit Naruto-centric, again to tie into the manga but… guess who makes an appearance? Please also note this chapter has some violence/slightly gory descriptions in it, but nothing too heavy.
I also listened to some great songs while writing this so I recommend them as a soundtrack for this story. I will post a list/links shortly on my profile.
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 2 - Dream world
'When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright, are bright in dark directed…'
Sonnet 43, Part 1
"In a dream, anything is possible. Even the dead can be revived."
A young Obito's thoughts on Madara's Eye of the Moon Plan
Inky blackness, much like Obito's tainted soul, stretched out before him as he manifested within his own personal dimension. The strange lunarscape was populated entirely by rectangular prisms of various sizes, spanning off into the shadows. The eerie, white blocks rose up like monuments to a forgotten culture, giving off a dim, bluish glow. But it was nothing compared the raging light of Naruto's chakra as he battled Obito's clone with unrelenting attacks.
Easy to spot, aren't you. Obito thought sardonically. He will sense me almost instantly so I better make this count.
And with that, the fallen Uchiha stretched out his black, gloved hands. He couldn't resist allowing a feral grin to twist his scarred, handsome face as he began to manipulate the space before him. In this place, every shape, every atom, even the physical laws binding them, bowed to his will. And once he became the Ten-Tails jinchuriki, so would all aspects of the outside world as well.
Naruto…welcome to my lair…
The golden jinchuriki turned his head sharply as he sensed a new, threatening presence behind him, only to find himself being smashed between two gigantic blocks.
His orange chakra claws wretched the cubes apart just in time, but the pressure was almost backbreaking. The whole landscape around him began to shake and change as the bizarre cubes morphed and struck out at him in shifting formations.
The Konoha ninja wretched himself free with sheer force of will and leapt out the way of more incoming blocks. The Obito he had been fighting had disappeared, as had the other one that had just arrived before this freakish stuff started to happen. Naruto attempted to sense them via Kurama's power but he was having too much trouble trying to dodge the monstrous shapes that threaten to crush him at any moment.
It was like something out of a nightmare. Wherever he leapt, the prisms followed, shape-shifting faster and faster. Some had begun to levitate, wrenching themselves free of their foundations to follow him. The atmosphere was thick and choking with a malevolent aura, as if the very core of this place was soaked in darkness.
Even with speed of his chakra cloak and the Kyubi's arms he was beginning to tire and find it harder to evade the grey masses that seemed to anticipate his every move.
Anticipate? That was it! Tobi, no, Obito was here, and he must be controlling this. If Naruto could get him – both versions – then this would stop. But he would have to be fast. He could feel his clone in the real world splitting again and using up yet more of his precious energy.
Suddenly, gravity itself switched and Naruto cried out as he began to fall upwards towards a massive cube that was careening towards him. His Nine-Tails claw shot out to push him away from the block, when gravity changed again and the golden ninja found himself smashing headfirst into another landform, propelled by the force of his own thrust.
As he lay in a bleeding heap, he heard Obito's mocking voice, laced with false concern.
"Oh Naruto, what have you done? Remember, I need you alive for the extraction."
Before the Konoha shinobi could answer, another block smacked into him from the side, causing him to fall unconscious on the cold, marble-like, ground.
"But I will settle for barely alive." The Uchiha said, smirking at the battered form of the Kyubi brat.
It would have been a lot easier for you if you'd come quietly. He thought, without a trace of remorse.
Just he was about to collect his hard-earned prize, a vortex opened and Obito narrowly avoided being hit in the face by a spiralling Rasenshuriken, followed by another Naruto clone.
The Uchiha avoided the attack, thanks to the predictive abilities of his Sharingan, but he was disturbed to see the desiccating remains of a red armoured limb that had travelled in the clone's wake.
Damn you, Kakashi. I should have dealt with you first. Obito cursed himself. Madara won't be pleased with this.
They were obviously giving Madara a hard time, if Kakashi had managed to land a direct hit. Obito had thought the Jonin too weak and broken to manage another Kamui but he had clearly underestimated Konoha's finest.
It's just a shame you can't put out your best when it's really needed. The Uchiha thought bitterly, remembering Kakashi's failure to protect Rin.
Not that it really mattered now. None of them were a match for two of greatest Uchihas who had ever lived.
The raven-haired shinobi leapt away from the oncoming clone and mentally directed his own kage bushin to deal with it. He couldn't allow himself to be distracted now.
Leaping on to a higher prism, he noted the real Naruto rising fitfully from the fractured crater his impact had caused. Thanks to the Kyubi, his wounds were already healing.
The Nine Tails host glared at him and shining chakra again burst forth from his body, but Obito's Sharingan could tell these were his final reserves. That was fortunate as the Akatsuki leader was also nearing his limits, but he still had a few surprises up his sleeve and for his dream, he would push on to the bitter end.
The two ninja locked eyes, radiant gold to molten crimson and purple. Iron strength of mind fuelled them both. In a way they were mirror images. One gleaming with light, the other wrapped in darkness, but at this point both men were beyond noting the symbolism. Neither could afford to fail. All their hopes and dreams had led them here to this final confrontation. Here, with the last of their strength, was where it would end.
My friends, my family. I will not fail you. I will not break my promise! Naruto thought, as he looked up towards the dark spectre that had blighted his life for so long.
Obito fixed his demonic gaze on the final impediment to his plan - a plan that had been sixteen years in the making, claiming the lives of so many in the process. All that time, all that pain, all that waiting. But soon, no longer… As he felt his clone destroy Naruto's and expire, he smiled in victorious anticipation.
Rin…my love…we will be together soon.
And as if summoned by the magic of his thought, a vision of her appeared in his mind. Rich, soft, brown hair, bright eyes, and purple clan markings on that perfect, round face. Together with a smile that would calm the roughest oceans. His atrophied heart quickened suddenly in a phantom spasm of its former self.
For you, I will erase the past. He thought passionately. For you, I will remake the world and nothing will stand in my way!
And with that he launched himself at Naruto. The young Uzumaki responded by leaping up to meet other man in midair.
Naruto knew with the Rinnegan he couldn't beat the Uchiha with ninjutsu attacks and with his power levels fading he couldn't summon any, anyway. He would just have to rely on what he did best - punching the crap out of the bastard with the remaining power and speed of his Nine Tails mode. His eyes widened as Obito channelled the Asura Path's abilities and fired a barrage of chakra receiver blades at him.
I'm travelling too fast! He thought desperately. I'll just have to drive through them – I can't lose now!
The jinchuriki's chakra cloak blazed with his determination and like a comet he smashed through the projectiles, deflecting them, and hit Obito with all his might.
The older shinobi managed to absorb most of Naruto's charge as they collided, and both ninja fell to the ground, grappling with each other.
"Who are you really?" Naruto snared at him as they wrestled. "You said you were just a nobody! That you don't want anything! So why are you fighting so hard? I have my friends… people I can't let down and what do you have?" He said, breathing hard as he tried to force the other ninja to capitulate.
"So you better give up." Naruto continued. "Because you're going to lose!" He shouted as he shoved Obito away from him and followed the movement with series of powerful kicks and punches.
Obito blocked the jinchuriki, Rin's image still before his eyes. He twisted Naruto's arms adeptly, his age and experience showing against the younger shinobi, as he brought the blonde's limbs behind his back in an excruciating lock.
"Who am I really, Naruto?" Obito repeated from behind him. "I am what's left when all worthless rhetoric you are spouting fails! I'm what's left when the Senju's Will of Fire dies and the only thing that that remains is achieve your goal in darkness. In death!" He spat as he wretched the jinchuriki's arms and heard Naruto scream in pain. "And I am the one who will never give up!"
Kurama felt Naruto's shoulders dislocate and shared his host's gut-wrenching agony. The Kisune tried to channel as much of his energy as possible into healing the grievous damage and give his partner the strength to break the Uchiha's steely grip. But the Fox was fatigued now as it had been only been a few times in its long life. Images of Madara and the First Hokage flashed before its eyes as it remembered that epic battle, followed by memories of Minato and Kushina.
No… He thought, as he fought through the pain. They entrusted me to him. I hated them then, but now I understand.
Naruto! The Nine-Tails cried. Naruto, get up!
And with a final blast of power that freed him from Obito's grasp, Naruto stood.
Both ninja staggered back from each other temporarily, Naruto still suffering from his injuries and Obito, rocked by the Kyubi's retaliation. They were both at the outer limits of their strength and breathing heavily, but despite their exhaustion, each was still unswerving in his resolve.
Naruto gasped as the ripped nerves and ligaments of his shoulders began to nit together under Kurama's direction. Obito's Mokuton abilities were also healing the burning, flayed skin that Naruto's last chakra blast had caused, but he knew he couldn't rely on it too much. Already his energies were out of balance and he could feel Hashirama's cells beginning to flux and destabilise within him. He needed to finish this quickly.
They launched themselves at each other in a final dive, reminding Naruto sharply of his last two significant battles with Sasuke. The blonde's eyes widened in amazement when he saw Obito's features whitened out in a burst of light, as the same luminescence began to radiate around them.
Naruto leapt back, holding his arms defensively, and relied on Kurama's sensory ability until his sight returned to him. But there was no attack from Obito. When at last, his eyes lost their sensitivity, he noticed with astonishment the exact same dome of light encircling him, that he had confronted Sasuke in at the Valley of the End. Sparks and shimmers of energy undulated around both opponents, as they regarded each other and this new development with suspicion.
Obito was slightly unnerved, although he hid it behind his usual mask of detached contempt. He had been charging at Naruto, fully intent on finishing him, when a strange radiance had appeared, transforming their battleground from the geometric blocks of his Kamui dimension, into a vast, shining sphere that extended all around them indefinitely.
Hashirama's cells had stabilised under this new influence and with that, he engaged his Sharingan, determined to unpick the secrets of this unknown jutsu. With shock, he suddenly became aware of Rin standing beside him as she had in his mind's eye, her body translucent. Everything was as he remembered it, from her petite, winsome form to the pink apron and medical pouches.
The sight of her standing there so real, that he could almost reach out and touch her, was so arresting, he temporarily forgot the blonde fool he had been battling and fixed his gaze on his treasure. Rin was like a delicate spring flower, plucked before her time.
I wonder what she would have been like now, at my age, if she had been allowed to grow up? She would have been so lovely… He thought with yearning.
Suddenly, as if in answer to his thought, she seemed to grow up before him. Her body became taller and more willowy. What had been a girlish figure now became fuller and curved. She was still slim but her limbs were longer and more defined. He gaped as he saw her face lose its childish roundness and her features settle into adulthood.
Rin… he thought as she stood before him, enveloped in light. You are beautiful.
"Is that what you want?" Naruto's voice cut in on his reverie. "You want a world without anybody or anything? Because that's not what I'm seeing."
Obito whipped around, stunned at Naruto's last sentence. His eyes flicked between his enemy and the love of his life, who was regarding him with heartfelt pain.
How could Naruto be seeing what he was? Obito had thought it was just a mental manifestation of his desire – an ethereal wish that he would soon have the power to make real. But if Naruto could see Rin, then was this actually a genjutsu the brat was creating?
But that was impossible! Naruto was not a genjutsu user. Could it be the Kyubi or a special quality of the sphere they were now locked in?
Genjutsu. It must be. But she is so real! The thoughts raced through his head.
His red eye could detect no irregular chakra flow in the woman before him or in the surrounding area. In fact, the chakra signature was just as he remembered it – achingly so.
He hardened his gaze on the woman before him, making his exhausted left eye bleed as he forced it to engage the Mangekyo Sharingan and dispel this foolishness. He crushed the rebellion in his deadened heart that pined to take in the glorious vision of her for longer.
She will be in the world I will create. She is too pure for this one… He thought as he performed the hand seal that would erase her presence from this tortured existence once more.
But Rin did not disappear. In fact she seemed to grow more tangible, the more he focused on her.
"What is this? Where are we?" Obito angrily demanded of Naruto, finally losing his patience with the jinchuriki's games.
How can he be doing this? And how does he know what Rin looks like? He didn't even know who I was a few minutes ago!
Naruto grinned at him and pointed at the female beside the Uchiha.
"Well I don't know where exactly, but there wasn't a hot chick here, the last time I visited."
Obito was enraged. No matter how he had done it, the Uzumaki brat was using his most beloved possession against him. He would have been prepared for this against an opponent like Kabuto or even Kakashi, but the fact that the 'holier than thou' whelp of Minato's had done it, had caught him totally off guard. He glared at Naruto ferociously, only to be taken aback and then irritated by Naruto's look of obvious appreciation as he stared at Rin. The lecherous boy clearly wasn't in control of her apparition if he behaved like this, unless he was a far better actor than Obito had ever given him credit for.
If he doesn't stop looking at her in that way, I'm going to rip his eyes from his skull! Obito thought furiously.
"Who'd have thought your mind was filled with those kinds of things, huh?" Naruto said slyly, his eyes moving back to Obito. "And here I was, thinking you wanted to take over the world for the sake of 'Truth' or 'Peace' or something!"
"She is… that is not… I am not discussing this with you! Prepare to die, Naruto!"
Oh that voice… He hadn't heard it in such a long time…
"You are not rea…." But he could not finish his dismissal of her.
He hung his head, disbelieving that, at the final moment; this of all things should come up to counter him. He should be able to resist it, but for some reason, whether through exhaustion, shock or finally giving in to the sheer need to be with her again, he could not.
"Obito, why?" Her voice echoed through the vacuous space.
Naruto's face became grave as he looked at the beleaguered Akatsuki leader and this strange, beautiful woman. She wore a Leaf headband and for some stupid reason, she reminded Naruto of Sakura, despite the difference in age and colouring.
Obito was silent, struggling with a storm of feelings. He glared at Naruto viciously through his pain and asked.
"What jutsu is this, Naruto? I didn't think you had any skill with illusions. And my Mangekyo should be able to see through it, in any case."
"It's not a genjutsu." Naruto replied, smiling at the memory. "It's what happens when high level shinobi battle each other. We are able to understand each other's hearts better through our fists than through our words…"
The young shinobi looked back to the pretty-looking woman. "But I really didn't think I'd find this. To think you, of all people, really cared about someone."
Obito vaguely remembered the idiot blabbering about this nonsense to Sasuke at their last meeting. Could he really have lived this long and still believe in such pitifully, soft notions? Did Naruto honestly believe he could understand the depths of the Uchiha's anguish and somehow make him repent through a mere trading of blows?
No, there must be something more to this and Obito was determined to find out what it was. He forced himself to smirk maliciously, concealing his fury that his most precious secret was being poured over by this brat.
"I commend you for being able to pull this out of me. I didn't even know it still existed." He lied. "However such a move will have no effect on me."
Rin's eyes looked over the disfigured Uchiha with a deep sadness and regret. Obito ignored her sorrowful gaze with all of his consummate restraint, but he wasn't the sort to take such a wounding lightly. The cruel man cocked his head to the side, deciding to use Naruto's emotional weakness against him, to reveal his true intentions.
"But just out of interest…is this your way of trying to get back at me for killing your parents?" Obito sneered and waited for the barb to hit its mark.
It was a low move, even for him, but he wasn't going to have Naruto look down on him like some self-righteous saint, whilst using such underhanded tactics.
Let's see how the 'Saviour of this World' deals with that little reminder. Obito thought coldly, repressing any sense of shame he might have felt before Rin became involved.
The boy needs to realise he isn't the Sage of the Six Paths yet.
Naruto shook with rage as he looked at the hateful being in front of him. There was a roaring in his ears as he grappled with the connections that began forcing themselves into his consciousness after hearing those words.
He knew that this man was essentially responsible for the terrible act that he claimed. He was responsible for Naruto growing up without a loving family, and for being made a jinchuriki and consequently hated. He was responsible for the Akatsuki and therefore not only the deaths of the rest of the jinchuriki, bar Bee and himself, but the World War and all the misery that had caused.
Tobi or Obito, whatever his name was, had manipulated Nagato and so was also indirectly accountable for Ero-sennin's death. He had caused the attack on the Leaf village, killing hundreds like Iruka-sensei's parents. In doing so the man had also raise suspicions about the Uchiha Clan, and precipitated the Uchiha coup d'etat. He had then helped Itachi destroy them and turned Sasuke away from the Leaf. In essence, the bastard could be held to blame for virtually every act that that ever caused Naruto or his loved ones pain and suffering.
Hatred, the likes of which Naruto had never felt, boiled up in him. His skin ignited in sheer fury as the accumulated pain of all those years rose up in him and swallowed him whole.
This man… He was the one!
Naruto's eyes like bloody twin suns, locked on to Obito's. The Uchiha stepped back as he saw Naruto's chakra turn from bright gold, to darkest obsidian.
Rin's spirit gasped as the energy around them became dense and heavy with murderous intent. Shadows sprung out of Naruto resembling the black flames of Amaterasu and loomed hundreds of feet above them like thrashing tails. The aura was so intense that its severity forced Obito to his knees and even Rin, who was incorporeal, was affected, gasping for the breath she no longer needed.
Obito lifted his head, pushing against the force that threatened to crush him into the ground. Then he felt horror engulf him as he looked up to see Naruto's form began to merge with the vast, twisting shapes around him.
What happening? I never intended this! The Uchiha thought, desperately trying to contain his panic.
Obito had only seen the immense and terrible silhouette that was emerging twice before. The first time had been in Madara's vision and the second, when he had read the inscription on the secret stone tablet in the Naka Shrine. But those representations paled into insignificance against the awesome reality that was awakening in front of him.
The Ten Tails! He thought, sickening fear gripping his entire body. How is this possible?
A/N – So what you think? Intrigued? Confused? Looking forward to more – I hope so!
Also, I hope Obito's characterisation is holding up. He is one difficult guy to write because he has so many conflicting sides to his (crazy) personality, but I do love him.
The poem at the start of the chapter is Shakespeare's Sonnet 43 – one of my absolute favourites! In my acting training, I've recently thrown off the boring English class memories of Shakespeare (oh the pain!) and rediscovered him for myself. Try reading some of the sonnets – they are so beautiful - especially when read aloud. This one, I thought, was perfect for Obito as it talks about the power of eyes and the imagination, with the poet finding more light in his dreams of his beloved than in the daytime when she is gone. He longs to see the reality of her in the waking world. The lines 'Darkly bright is bright in dark directed.' also conjures up, Obito's dark, conflicted character – doing the right thing for the wrong reasons or the wrong thing for the right reasons. See – William Shakespeare – secret, time travelling Naruto fan! Or is it the other way around? Anyway…
PS – Typically Kishi decided to reveal the whereabouts of the real Naruto in the last manga chapter after I said he wouldn't and guess what – it's not where I chose! Thanks Kishi, you just keep throwing those Wood Dragons into the mix to trip me up! Nah, I'm just kidding! Also – new Naruto manga tomorrow – woohoo!