Nine demons: Shukaku, Matatabi, Isobu, Son Goku, Kokuo, Seikan, Chomei, Gyuuki, and Kurama.
Nine Jinchuuriki: Gaara, Yugito, Yagura, Roshi, Han, Utakata, Fuu, Bee, and Naruto.
Seven demons sealed in a statue, two in their Jinchuuriki.
Six Jinchuuriki dead, one freed of his demon, and two working with their demons to take down the statue that held the sealed ones.
Ten years of time in reverse.
"Jashin, if this fails, I will kill you once and for all. Immortal gods we may be, but I will find a way to do it."
"Now, now, Kami-chan." A scathing, mocking, irritable tone. "Remember, these are your mistakes I'm fixing. I'm even making sure to keep Shinigami's little plan intact, right Shinigami-san?"
"Focus on the problem, not each other. I know you'd like to throttle each other, but now is not the time."
Nine demons in discussion, one of them insane, one of them resigned to the fact that his holder could not be easily saved, the other seven planning, planning, planning.
"Konoha, then. One month. Go."
Six-year-old Naruto woke up in an apartment, knowing that he had not slept in this room since it had been destroyed in the attack by Pein. He noticed his body, and recalled that his last memory was meeting the six demons and six hosts that the statue had trapped, barring Shukaku, since she was insane and Gaara alive.
So of course, he chose to sink into his mind and speak with Kurama.
"Oi, I thought…?" He blinked at the seal that was no longer there. His mind was still a sewer, but there was no cage, and Kurama was drastically larger. "Whoa. What happened?"
The great fox, who was now halfway between the size he had been when Naruto had last seen him and the size he had been prior to his sealing at Naruto's birth, opened one large eye. "Time travel. The gods have their own issues, and they've decided to push part of the problem onto us Bijuu."
"What?" Naruto stared, horrified. "How could they possibly think that's fair?"
Kurama huffed out a breath, sitting up. "They think it's fair because the two main causes of this problem were the Juubi and the Rikudou Sennin. Since the nine of us are what remains of both, it's partially our problem."
Naruto was a little more subdued. "But… how many of them are there? What's the problem? Why just then? Why am I involved? Why are you so big?"
"Don't ask so many questions. In order: three; there's a barrier; the dimension was collapsing because of that deer kid; Shinigami said so; I got the missing half of my power back."
Naruto blinked. "Uh… details? And what was that about Shikamaru?"
Kurama rolled his eyes, large as they were. "There are three gods: Kami, Shinigami, and Jashin."
Naruto's eyes widened at the last one. "You mean…"
"Wait for me to finish, you little brat. Kami runs the realm of the living; Shinigami runs the realm of the dead; Jashin runs the realm of the demons. They used to have real names, but… well, s*** happened. To put it in terms that your puny brain can understand, souls used to travel from Kami's realm, to Jashin's realm, to Shinigami's, to Kami's again, and the process would repeat itself; that's what you humans call reincarnation. When the Rikudo Sennin tore the Juubi apart, its chakra did something that made it so that a barrier came up between the demon realm and the living realm that made travel between the two impossible. For reasons I'm not going to bother explaining because I don't feel like it, that made the demon realm start failing. If one realm fails, the other two get dragged down with it."
Naruto frowned. "I thought you were going to be nicer after we finally started getting along during the war."
"I'm allowed to mock you for your lack of intelligence. Fine, not all humans are insignificant gnats, but even you must be able to admit that your theoretical understanding is not your strength. And is that really the only thing you caught out of all that?"
"Of course not!" Naruto seethed. "But I don't see how the 'dimension' hasn't collapsed then. I don't see what Shikamaru has to do with anything. I don't see why I'm involved. You haven't explained anything!"
"Jashin asks for sacrifices to keep the demon realm from failing. The last of the Jashinist temples were destroyed a couple of years ago, or a few years from now, by some Kumo-nin. Your friend with the shadows put the last Jashinist, the only immortal one, out of commission. Does that answer a few of your questions?" Kurama's voice was… irritated. Maybe a little amused. Certainly gruff.
Naruto's voice was small, with wide eyes. "Oh."
"You're involved because the Shinigami decided to make you involved. He figured that if a prophecy was made, then it would have to be filled, so you'd possibly fix the mess. In trying to fix the smaller problem that you saw, you worsened the larger problem that you didn't know about. Congratulations, you were headed away from your goal of bringing great peace."
Need I say that Naruto was gobsmacked?
"Fortunately, something got twisted when they sent us back, and that problem's gone. I already took care of all of the time-travel paperwork. The immortal Jashinist remembers everything, and so do all the Jinchuuriki except the Mizukage, though that's the fault of the masked man."
"I thought that was…"
"No idea how, but it's not actually Madara. I'm not sure who it is; I've just been told that it's not him."
"So… I almost made the dimension collapse?"
"No, the deer kid did, without realizing it. One more thing: how could you help that Nara kid get revenge for his teacher but repeatedly tell that blasted Uchiha that revenge isn't the way?"
"Shikamaru was looking for revenge? I thought he just wanted to get rid of some Akatsuki."
Giant foxes look amusing when they facepalm.
Gaara stumbled on the spot, automatically drawing his sand around him in a sphere, grabbing his head in his hands.
Small hands. Small head. Voice in his head.
"Oh? Did you miss me, sonny-boy?" Shukaku cackled in the back of Gaara's head. "I haven't seen for almost a year, Gaara-kun. Give your momma a hug?"
Her crooning sent shivers up his back, especially since he hadn't heard her sound this sane in… ever. Sure she was mocking him… but her sanity scared him. It meant she was intelligent now. She knew things.
"Oh, yes. I do know things. I'm done trying to make you insane. I gave up on that. It's useless. But that doesn't mean I'll respect you~. Especially," She was relishing in this. "Since you're just a six-year-old little whelp of a human now. Mental time travel does that to a person, you know."
Her cackles filled Gaara's head again, and he flinched. He reached up to his shoulders, his chest, his head. He was small. But his head was the last thing he checked. His head was bleeding.
From his tattoo.
He lowered his sand, dreading what he would see.
He was surrounded by ANBU, and a dead Yashamaru was leaning against the wall of the building next to him.
Shukaku's laugh went through his head. "Looks like we didn't go back far enough to help that weakling, eh, sonny-boy?"
Gaara actually had to struggle not to cry.
"Oi. Bee. Get up." Guukei tried to get Bee up.
You know what, let's just skip the rest of them. There's really not much of a point, since you can guess. All that's really left to know is that Yagura didn't get his memories because of the brainwashing.
We cool? Cool.
A thirteen-year-old boy in Yuugakure, one with hair as pale as snow and eyes that were, of all colors, magenta, woke with a scream.
…Well, at least he wasn't buried in a hole anymore.
A/N: THIS IS NOT TEASER.
Alright, just had to get that out there first. The first full chapter of the expanded version of Teaser, which shall be called Teased (mostly because I felt like making a joke about the title of the pilot) should be out somewhere in the next few weeks. On to the actual author's note:
I decided to finally post all the stories that I've been considering writing but have never gotten around to. Which one I continue quickest will be a determined by both my own interest in the story, and the number (and QUALITY) of reviews. The chance of one of these stories dying isn't high, but they will definitely be slow, so if you really want to see one continued, leave a review, one more than just a line or two long. The other stories so far that I've posted that falls under this labeling are A Child's Fantasy and Two Moons.
EDIT: Someone mentioned that this seemed rather…kiss-up-ish to Hidan. Let me explain:
Within my stories, there is a running mythology theme regarding Jashinism. It started as a throwaway line by one of my 'minions' in AK: PCO, and then grew from there. In any case, the whole thing was always about Jashin himself, never revolving around Hidan. When I did get to Hidan, my goal was this: to compromise as little of his characterization and backstory as possible while still making both him and Jashin sympathetic.
Tall order, and I've had some trouble filling it. If you've read AK: PCO or Gender Confusion, you've probably noticed the growth that the whole thing's gone through. I'm not trying to make Hidan sympathetic because he's 'pretty' or 'funny.' Personally, I could care less about how he looks, though I will admit that he's amusing. The point was always to contradict as little of canon as possible while still developing a whole storyline that developed a mess of a theo-political scene, despite only having three players.
Hidan's still going to laugh while killing people. He's still going to make you want to hate him sometimes for being such a jerk. He's still going to BE part of Akatsuki. His personality is still a cesspool of nastiness. He's just... not quite as bad in his goals.