Hindsight

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen


Tobirama Senju had died a long time ago. As deaths go, it wasn't a particularly bad one either; he had sacrificed himself in battle against a squad of elite Kumo ninja during the first Shinobi world war to ensure the survival of his younger comrades. Yet somehow, here he was, not dead anymore. As the coffin's lid crashed to the ground the Second Hokage took stock of the situation. 'Nasty case of dry, flaky skin… body feels unnatural… long dead brother stepping out of another coffin… black eyes… ancient looking Hiruzen… Yep, I've been Edo Tenseied, apparently by that freaky looking guy behind me.' "It's been a long time, eh, Monkey?"

At his side, Hashirama blinked in surprise. "Ohhh… It's you … You've grown old, haven't you, Sarutobi?"

The Third Hokage looked at his two mentors, grim determination on his face. "I never thought I would meet you two again in a situation like this… it's regrettable. Please, prepare to be defeated, Shodai-sama and Nidaime-sama!"

'Sweet, Monkey boy here's seems pretty confident in himself! I'm almost looking forward to seeing how much he's grown. To survive to his age and remain Hokage… he must be stronger than either of us!' Tobirama looked over his shoulder to study the jerk that had dared to revive him. "Edo Tensei, huh? So this youngster is the one who summoned us? He's really something." 'Arrogant little twat, using us to take care of his dirty work! He probably didn't even think of the danger in using this technique on its creator.' Tobirama could easily have broken free of the jutsu and put the impertinent youngster in his place, but the risk of spending an eternity as a zombie was rather unappealing. The afterlife was nice and peaceful, and besides he wanted to see how his protégée fought after so many years. If the idiot behind him felt like he needed both brothers… well, Sarutobi could probably deal with all three of them without difficulty.

"If that's so, then I guess that means we have to fight against you Sarutobi!" Apparently his brother's thoughts were along the same line, and he had seen even less of Sarutobi's meteoric rise than Tobirama had.

Well, that settled it; they'd let their successor deal with the mess. Trust in future generations, yadda yadda yadda. Really, they just wanted to see how their former student would fight. Though, it would have been nice to see the look of horror on the pale freak's face as they tore him apart. Seriously, what was with fashion these days? Sarutobi looked resplendent in his functional, black battle outfit, but it was hard to take their summoner seriously in his tan… dress with that ridiculous oversized purple bow. 'Kids these days.' Tobirama thought as the kid jabbed a control kunai into his skull. 'Well, time to see how this goes, what's the worst that could happen?'


One epic fight scene later:

Tobirama looked on in pride as Sarutobi finished the seal that (presumably) would send him back to the afterlife. It looked like his faith had not been misplaced after all. "Sorry for the trouble, Monkey." He said with a grin as his soul departed the fake body. 'Well, that was fun. Now, back to being dead!'


Dozens of chapters and one incredibly drawn out death sequence later:

Tobirama was getting annoyed. He was DEAD, dammit, resting peacefully in the afterlife, drinking cocktails on a beautiful beach with a dozen or so of his favorite people, not wherever... this was. The surroundings were odd to say the least. The sky was a riot of colors, swirling around in random patterns bathing the landscape in a pulsating and entirely unnatural light. The landscape looked something from the darkest crevices of the mind of one of those dreadful artists that were all the rage shortly before he died; spotted yellow grass, rolling hills, deep, chasms, sudden crags, and a stream of purple magma flowing uphill. It reminded him of that one time when he was young and his brother still experimenting with the Mokuton, and they had eaten those strange mushrooms then gone to the tavern with those extremely well-proportioned twin waitresses… Tobirama shook his head; now was the time for action, not reminiscing about the good old days.

His brother was standing a few paces away, a horrified look on his face. "The fuck is this?!" Hashirama had even less patience for philosophical metaphysical crap than he did, perhaps one of the reasons he and Madara Uchiha never really got along. He had never seen his brother happier than when he returned from their final battle, covered in dirt, grime, blood, and bite marks of all things, but immensely pleased that he finally got to "smack some sense into that whiny little upstart."

"Perhaps we placed a bit too much faith in Sarutobi? I'm not entirely sure what he used to seal us away, but it doesn't seem to have worked right."

Just then, there was a pop, and Sarutobi appeared with a content expression on his face, alongside a pair of dismembered arms. Sarutobi's eyes cracked open, and the old warrior let out an undignified squeal of fear.

Tenzo, the ANBU implanted with Hashirama's cells, had developed what he called his "scary face," a visage of horror based on the legends of the Senju brothers. Much like the man himself, his expression was a pale shadow of the twin expressions of doom now focused on the unlucky third Hokage. These were the originals, developed by the Senju brothers themselves for their annual staring contests with the Uchiha and field tested on (among other things) various creatures such as basilisks and gorgons. Needless to say, despite the power of their trademark Uchiha glare, once the brothers finished their work the Senju dominated all subsequent staring contests.

"Care to explain what's going on, Monkey?" Tobirama asked pointedly. Despite his annoyance with the situation, the second Hokage was enjoying himself. 'It's been far too long since I've messed with Hiruzen or since brother and I have been able to dish out a good glare combo. Reminds me of the good old days when we sent Madara and his little puke of a brother screaming in horror. Natural decay my ass, it was US who caused them to go blind!'

Unwilling to let his brother have all the fun, Hashirama entered 'First Hokage, founder of Konoha, and arguably strongest shinobi since the Sage of the Six Paths' mode. "Indeed young Sarutobi. I thought you had sent us back to the afterlife, but instead we find ourselves in this… place with you as well. Care to explain?" he thundered solemnly.

Sarutobi sighed resignedly, like his ever annoying dental and doctor's appointments it was better to get this over with quickly. "Well, you were summoned by my student Orochimaru –"

"Student?" Tobirama interrupted? "Why was your student attacking you?"

"Ex-student to be precise. Orochimaru was a genius beyond geniuses, but had a great darkness in his heart after his parents died –"

"So you trained him without even insuring his love of the village?" Hashirama asked in disbelief.

"He's obviously forgotten our lessons brother; the most important duty of a teacher is not to make their student powerful, but to ensure that they use their power responsibly."

"Yes, yes, he was my greatest failure and I regret everything dearly, now can I get on with the story?" Sarutobi huffed with exasperation. "As I was saying he became a legendary shinobi, but abducted and experimented on his fellow villagers. After I confronted him he left the village and became a missing-nin."

"Escaped a confrontation with you? You should have retired as Hokage then and there!"

"Tried that, but the fourth died a few months after he was appointed. It was a nice little vacation though. Now, as I was saying, he became a missing-nin, organized a village of his own, and then duped Suna into allying with him to attack Konoha. You two were summoned in the middle of their invasion during the Chunin exams, in a barrier his men set up so he could finish me off at his leisure."

"You let an invasion slip into the village?" Hashirama said in disbelief"

"Rather incompetent of him."

"Well, it was during the exams you designed sensei. They managed to slip in their forces amongst the visitors. They're doomed without Orochimaru and the Kazekage though. I'm fully confident our comrades in the leaf can defeat the now leaderless invaders."

"Isn't that your job Monkey?" Tobirama asked acidly. "When we were Hokages our enemies never even got within sight of our walls!"

Sarutobi growled in annoyance at his mentor's pestering. "Questions of competence aside, I was trapped with my younger and more powerful student as well as you two in a fight to the death. I used a suicide jutsu, the Grim Reaper death seal, to seal you two and Orochimaru away forever in return for my soul."

"So we're-"

"Trapped inside-"

"The Shinigami-"

"FOREVER?!" the brothers shouted in outrage.

Sarutobi grinned weakly. "Well, I didn't have much of a choice, and if it's any consolation so am I."

"Where's this Orochimaru?" Hashirama growled. "I'm going to shove a tree so far up his ass people will think he's the Log incarnate!"

"Well… I kind of failed to seal him entirely." Sarutobi muttered, gesturing the dismembered arms which were engaged in making a variety of extremely sophisticated rude gestures. Eyes narrowed, the third walked over and gave then a vicious kick.

"Couldn't even finish the job properly? What a disappointment." Tobirama sighed.

"I guess we'll have to take out our anger on you instead!" Hashirama giggled, and Sarutobi's face paled considerably. "Before we begin though, how's Konoha doing? And the Senju clan? And my darling little Tsunade-chan?"

Sarutobi blanched at the thought of his gambler-alcoholic student, but then brightened as he hit upon a clever plan to distract the brothers from the topic of him and his faults. "Well, I'm not sure if you know this, but shortly after Nindaime-sensei ascended the other nations began an extensive series of assassinations targeting the Senju clan, which eventually decimated their numbers…"

"What?!" Hashirama screamed as he glared at his brother. "And you didn't stop this?!"

"We were at war, and by the time we realized what they were up to most of our best and brightest, including you, were already dead!"

"That's no excuse; you should have protected them better! What happened to Mito? And my kids? And my grandkids?!"

"Oh, shut up, you died before our clan started dropping like flies, and your family stayed mostly intact. I lost all my wives!"

"WIVES?! I thought we agreed to ban polygamy when we founded the village? Because if the Uchiha were allowed to marry ALL their fangirls we'd quickly be up to our ankles with snot-nosed, Sharringan-wielding, emo, psychopathic brats! You were always a perv, but that's excessive, even for you!"

Tobirama glared acidly at his brother. "Don't get your panties in a bunch; polygamy is still illegal, unless monkey boy here decided to change that. After my first wife died I re-married… then my new wife was assassinated too. It was a vicious cycle; I'd fall into a depression, meet another one who would lift me up with her love, then she'd get assassinated…" Tears were falling out of his eyes as images of his beloved (and exceedingly attractive with a propensity for revealing clothing) wives passed through his mind.

"It was very tragic." Sarutobi said sympathetically, comfortingly patting the grief stricken man on the shoulder. "They even started going after his girlfriends, past and current! Eventually, his grief and fear of loss forced him to abandon all contact with women – "

"What?!" Hashirama yelled in shock. 'Brother not chasing tail… that's just wrong! He was the biggest flirt in the entire leaf!'

"-fake the deaths of all his remaining-" Tobirama let out a great sob at this point "-children, and sever all connection with them for their protection."

"It was terrible! I couldn't even look at them without being afraid they'd be targeted!" Tobirama sniffed. "It was almost a relief when I died; the last few years were terribly grim."

"There, there sensei, I know that at least one of your descendents is around. I trained your grandson myself, and he's now just as strong and twice as perverted as you were!"

"Really? That's nice. I hope he married a nice girl and kept her safe."

Sarutobi coughed in embarrassment. "Actually, he's a little too perverted, he started overcompensating after Tsunade turned him down which drove all the decent women away. Now he's an acclaimed erotic novelist and manages our intelligence network… mostly from brothels."

"What?!" Tobirama screeched with rage as he took a menacing step towards the Sandaime.

"Now hang on a moment brother, I want to hear about Tsunade before we… discipline our student. Surely she turned out better?"

"WELL?"

Sweat was pouring down the Sandaime's brow; he really didn't want to answer this one. "Well, despite not having your Mokuton or remarkable regenerative abilities, she became the best medic ninja in the world, and had excellent taste in men."

"Understandable, I had the best Senju DNA since the sage himself! You'd have to clone me if you even wanted to come close to my power! Or maybe inject my cells into your body, but the only person I let that happen to was Mito!" Hashirama preened while his brother rolled his eyes.

"Unfortunately… her little brother and then her fiancée died and she became hemophobic, then left the village to gamble and drink away her sorrow. She's been at it for over a decade now" There, hopefully they wouldn't take it all in if he said everything in a rush.

No such luck, both brothers were absolutely livid.

"So let's get this straight, your brightest student turned into a psychopathic cross-dressing freak who wanted to destroy Konoha – "

Sarutobi took a step back

"And you turned my grandson into a super-pervert who can't even get laid – "

"Actually, he was like that when I met him." Sarutobi muttered.

"And my granddaughter into a miserable, lonely, drunken, gambler?!"

"ARGH!" Tobirama screamed in frustration. "I knew I should have reversed the Edo-Tensei and beat the snot out of that snake freak!"

Sarutobi suddenly felt a massive blaze of anger. "What?! You mean you could have broken free from the jutsu?!"

"Of course I could have, I designed it!"

"Well then, WHY THE HELL DIDN'T YOU?!"

"BECAUSE I THOUGHT YOU COULD HANDLE IT!"

Hashirama stepped in. "Yes, perhaps we miscalculated a bit, expecting that our star pupil would be able to handle things… clearly he couldn't even handle training his students or defending the village. Makes me wonder what else went wrong during your reign, did you antagonize the Uchiha and let them pull off a coup or something?"

"Actually, I killed them all before they could-"

"WHAT?!" The brothers shouted in disbelief.

Sarutobi sighed in vexation. It wasn't as if he was a terrible Hokage, it was just that everything seemed to go wrong for him! Besides, they were only hearing about the bad parts, he needed to give them a more positive image before they started getting… physical. "It didn't all go wrong during my rule, honest! We won some wars, stayed mostly strong, and I kind of indirectly trained the Yondaime." Sarutobi babbled. "You remember that blonde with the twin tails, Nindaime-sensei? Kaname? We couldn't save her, but her grandson was trained by Jiraiya and became the strongest, nicest, most awesome ninja ever and was appointed Yondaime!"

"That's wonderful! And what happened to him?" Tobirama hissed menacingly?

"Well-"

Just then, the previously ignored yet supremely bizarre surroundings made themselves known as a line of black slashed across the technicolor horizon. In the distance the Kyuubi let loose a fierce roar of pure, unadulterated rage.

Hashirama's eyes widened in shock and fear. "Oh, no, no no, no, no, no, NO! I will NOT put up with this shit again, once was more than enough for me! Don't tell me were stuck with that beast for an ETERNITY?!"

Tobirama rolled his eyes; it seemed that Hashirama was still slightly traumatized from that battle with Madara and the Kyuubi. "Oh come on bro, you were practically born to fight tailed beasts. At least Madara isn't here, right?"

"Don't even THINK that! Next thing you know some idiot will seal him here with us!"

"But sensei, didn't you kill him?"

"Of course, I left him impaled! Didn't even need to check his corpse, nobody gets up after a sword through the chest. Except me of course. Besides, Mito was very, erm, needy after having the Kyuubi sealed inside her" Hashirama said with a slight giggle.

In the distance, the Kyuubi swung around and raced towards the three Kage at an astounding rate. Silence fell as the ancient warriors prepared to face their foe.

Suddenly, a white and yellow blur flashed past the Kage, did a double take, stopped and turned around. "Sandaime-san?" Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage asked in disbelief.

Further conversation was interrupted as the Kyuubi loomed over the hill. "YONDAIME!" He yelled, and then his eyes fell on the gathered Kage. "YOU!" he screamed in rage as he saw Hashirama. "You're the bastard that started this whole sealing business! I'LL KILL YOU!"

"I see you remember me Kyuubi" Hashirama said with a smirk. "Perhaps you remember this? Suck my WOOD DRAGON NO JUTSU!" Trees erupted from the ground, and an oddly shaped wooden dragon quickly ensnared the giant Fox. "Huh. That was easier than I remembered."

The three Hokages turned to inspect the newcomer, who in turn regarded them with wonder. "Wow, I never expected to see the three of you here! Oooh, what are these?" Minato exclaimed as he picked up one of Orochimaru's dismembered arms and used it to vigorously scratch his back. "Aaaaah, you have no idea how good this feels! That bastard's been chasing me for years! Literally!"

Nearby, the Kyuubi, bound securely restrained by Hashirama's wood dragon growled in impotent rage.

"Careful Minato, those are Orochimaru's, you don't know where they've been." Sarutobi warned.

"Eeeew" said Minato with a grimace. "Hey Kyuubi! Open wide!" At his side, Hashirama grinned and twitched his fingers, forcing the fox's mouth open. With a smile Minato tossed the arms, now frantically making plaintive gestures, into the gaping maw.

"Well, that's a relief! I don't know how you guys got here, but I sure am glad for the help! Hey Sarutobi-sama, how's my son been?"

Sarutobi smiled at the memory of how much the boy had developed over the past year, culminating in his triumphant fight with Neji just hours ago. It was good to be able to talk about a happy subject for once. "Naruto is doing great; recently he's performed superbly in his first Chunin exams and even made his first friends!"

"That's great!" Minato said with a big grin. "Wait a minute... first friends?" he asked, brow furrowed in confusion.

Sarutobi sighed in despair. 'I should have just lied my ass off and hoped none of them noticed.' It was going to be a very long eternity.


Author's Note:

Poor Sarutobi! At first I didn't intend for this to happen, but once I got the conversation going it invariably went down this route. No bashing was intended, just a humorous recounting of everything that went wrong during his tenure. Originally this was supposed to be a more serious story about why the Nindaime didn't break free of the Edo-Tensei (yeah, I know, Kishi retconned it so Madara would remain), but it quickly turned into a slapstick comedy as I wondered about how the third would deal with his teachers in the Shinigami's stomach. And yeah, I made the Nindaime the original super pervert and grandfather of everyone just for laughs. Seemed like a fun idea, I wonder why more people don't make him related to Jiraiya? They have the same hair, and similar facial markings. This was my first foray into comedy, how'd I do? Please review so I can improve.

So, I wrote this before 618 came out. Then that... happened. Here's a little epilogue with SPOILERS just for fun.


SPOILERS to Manga Chapter 618

Epilogue: Three years later

As the years passed, the Hokages had taken up a variety of hobbies to pass the time. Letting the half-Kyuubi loose for a good fight, and beating up Sarutobi were favorites of theirs, but they were presently engaged in another, less conventional activity. Four voices rang out in disharmony across the disturbing landscape and the half-Kyuubi shuddered in mental agony at the ghastly singing.

Is this the real life?

Is this just fantasy?

Caught in a landslide

No escape from reality

Open your eyes

Look up to the skies and see

Sarutobi:

I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me

Chorus:

Because I'm "easy come, easy go"

Little high, little low

Any way the wind blows-

Their offense against music was suddenly interrupted as the sky above them was rent by a giant knife. Before they could react, the Hokages, the Kyuubi, and Orochimaru's arms were sucked up out of the Shinigami's stomach.

Tobirama slowly opened his eyes. 'Huh, I've got a terrible feeling of déjà-vu.' Flaky skin, unnatural body, dead comrades to his side, freaky snake guy in the same freaking outfit, now accompanied by a mini-Madara and some others. "Seriously, AGAIN?!"