Another new story, hope you enjoy.
Naruto Uzumaki stared at his opponent apathetically.
Across from him, on the other side of the river, Sasuke Uchiha stood, snarling and glaring at him with his Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan active in one eye, the Rinnegan in the other.
"Why won't you die?" the black haired man roared at him from across the river. "How much do I have to take from you before you give up!?"
"Since when have I ever given up?" Naruto asked with a wry smile, heedless of black electricity surging along Sasuke's arm. "And you really shouldn't be that surprised. After all, you know the old saying. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times..." His eyes flickered over to Sasuke. "I'll beat your ass to death with a socket wrench."
He looked up at the sky for a few moments, before barking out a laugh.
"What's so funny!?"
"Oh, I just realized something," he replied, chuckling humorlessly for a few seconds more.
Sasuke gritted his teeth in rage as the air around him began to thrum, uncontrolled chakra leaking from his body.
"Alright, relax, duck-butt," Naruto said, waving him off. "I just realized. This all seems so familiar, doesn't it?"
Sasuke spared a glance at the surroundings. Piles of rubble stood everywhere. Craters were smashed into the ground, while any trees or bushes still in the viscinity were either half dust or on fire.
A giant stone head, once attached to an equally large statue, looked at both of them. Madara Uchiha's severed head.
The irony wasn't lost on him.
"It's funny because I was actually wondering something similar," Naruto chuckled. "How many times do I have to stop you before you finally learn something?" He raised his arms, looking around. "This is what happens. This is what has always happened. We trade some blows, fling a few techniques, insult each other, do the exact same thing all over again."
Naruto turned back to his former friend, his smile fading. "Only this time, you took something from me that can't be replaced. And here we stand again," Naruto looked down at his bandage-wrapped fist, and it slowly tightened. "And I'll be the one leaving after this battle has ended, not you."
"Don't count on it," Sasuke ground out through gritted teeth. "I've learned something new since I've been away. Maybe with my new technique you'll finally learn how to die."
"Really now? Come on then," Naruto said, holding a hand, nature chakra mixing with demonic energy in his hand, condensing into a swirling sphere.
The ground cratered where they had stood as both men charged at each other, moving so fast they would have appeared invisible to anyone watching.
It was as if a star had been born where their techniques clashed.
Sasuke was sent flying, propelled so fast that the air around him caught on fire. By the time he'd finished skidding across the ground, there were very few bones in his body that remained unbroken.
As he lay at the end of the trench he'd dug into the ground, coughing up blood and trying to make his useless limbs work, a shadow appeared above him, obscuring the sun.
Naruto glared down at his last friend and oldest enemy, heedless of the blood that flowed from his left eye and the burns that trailed up his right arm.
"You told me you would make me suffer, and you succeeded," he said, a current of rage beneath his otherwise calm tone.
He lifted his leg and brought his foot down, directly on the shattered remains of Sasuke's knee. A strangled yell escaped the man's throat as his pain grew all the greater.
Slowly, Naruto bent down to look directly into his friend's eyes, his own becoming dark with rage.
"I hope you don't mind if I return the favor."
He lifted his foot again, and brought it down again.
Knowing his future would be painful and short if he didn't do something, Sasuke opened his eyes and used the last technique available to him.
With a growl, he glared up at his best friend, turned greatest enemy. With the Sharingan he'd stolen from their shared teacher, he uttered the technique's name.
Even as Naruto's fist drove into the ground through his skull, it was already too late. The space around the Last Hokage began to spin into itself, dragging him to somewhere he might not be able to escape.
And rage swept through him again as he saw the final glimpse of Sasuke, who'd spent his final moment on one last act of spite.
And the dark, foul chakra of the Ten-Tailed Beast bled from his form, melting the flesh from Sasuke's bones even as it mixed with the chakra sustaining the teleportation technique and twisting its purpose, altering time as well as space.
And Naruto Uzumaki disappeared from the Elemental Nations forever.
When I woke up, I was in a different place, and I was six years old again.
SIX YEARS OLD.
What the hell, right?
I saved a man who called himself Eddard Stark (which was a weird name, by the way) from an ambush. He was fighting against the Targaryens with his friend Robert Baratheon, and they had started a Rebellion against the 'Mad King' Aerys Targaryen.
I honestly had nothing better to do, so I helped them out a bit, always using but a fraction of my power.
The rebellion ended a little while later when Jaime Lannister shoved his sword through his the Mad King's back, killing him and ending the Rebellion.
By then, I was a hero in the eyes of the people, thanks to my actions in dozens of battles against the Targaryens. My skills and 'magical powers' became the subject of many songs and poems, much to my chagrin.
Then, six years later, a moron named Balon decided to start his own rebellion, so I went and knocked over a few castles again. The mountain Pyke stands on still has a few chunks missing.
What? I was annoyed. Stupid Ironborn interrupted my nap.
Anyway, after that was done, I was tired of all the fighting. So, I settled down in Winterfell, Ned Stark's castle in the North, and lived there.
Since I was a few years older than Robb Stark, Ned's oldest son, I helped to raise him and all of the children that came after him.
This is how this next story begins.
Bran pulled back on the string of his bow, trying to hold it steady as he aimed it at the target.
He was in the courtyard of Winterfell, surrounded by his older brothers, Robb Stark and Jon Snow, and his younger brother Rickon Stark.
He let the arrow fly; it slammed into a barrel five feet away from the target.
"Go on," Jon said, putting his hands on Bran's shoulders. "Father's watching. And your mother."
The boy looked up behind him to see his mother and father, Catelyn and Eddard Stark, looking down at him, his mother with a slight smile, his father with a serious face.
He pulled on the bow again, struggling to keep it steady, and shot. This time, it overflew and went straight into the bushes beyond the wall.
Robb turned away, smiling, as Jon chuckled.
"And which one of you was a marksman at ten?" came the serious voice of Ned Stark from above, and they all stopped laughing, but continued to smile. Ned nodded to his second youngest son. "Keep practicing, Bran. Go on."
The boy nodded and drew another arrow.
"Don't think too much, Bran," Jon said from beside him.
"Relax your bow arm," Robb advised.
Before Bran could shoot the arrow, another one flew past him into the target.
They all turned to see Arya Stark, Ned's youngest daughter and second-youngest child, holding a bow in her hand. She grinned and gave a curtsy. Before Bran could do anything, a knife imbedded itself into the center of the target, slicing Arya's arrow clean in half.
"To answer your question, Ned, I was a marksman at ten," a playful voice came, and they turned to see their blond and blue eyed teacher, Naruto, who was smiling as he hung upside down over Arya, his feet sticking to the ceiling.
He dropped down next to her and flicked her on the forehead with his index finger, earning a small yelp of pain.
"Never get cocky, Arya. There's always someone out there better than you," he said, earning a slight glare from the young girl, which turned into a rueful grin.
Ned smiled as he looked down at the man below him. Naruto was barely older than Robb, yet he was one of the most amazing and interesting people the Warden of the North had ever met.
He'd been six when he'd saved Ned from an ambush, catching the Targaryen soldiers from behind and dispatching them with an ease that was unnatural for his age. Ned had taken the boy with him, and he had proven himself again and again that he was more than a match for any opponent that crossed his path. The boy was as mysterious as he was good with weapons, never talking about his past or where he came from. He became famous in the war for saving Cersei, Tywin Lannister's daughter, from a group of Targaryen sellswords.
Then later, Ned had received a message from King Robert that the Greyjoy's were in rebellion. He of course called his bannermen to his side and marched to support the King, as was his duty.
However, both armies had arrived only to find several castles that had been destroyed already and one very irate blond who was tearing pieces out of the side of the islet the Great Keep of Pyke was standing on.
When the Rebellion came to an end, Naruto had decided to come with Ned to the North, to Winterfell, and stay there. He'd always seemed like he'd seen too much for his age, and was definetely more mature than most of the boys the Stark patriarch had seen.
He helped Ned raise his children, always treating them like they were all equal in his eyes, even the girls, Jon, Ned's bastard, and Theon Greyjoy, Ned's ward.
All of the children, especially Sansa, Jon and Arya, had come to admire him, and he even suspected that his eldest daughter may be more interested in Naruto than even she knew. The blond, of course, was completely oblivious to this, considering the fact that he was never very experienced when it came to girls.
His good mood was ruined when Ser Rodrik came up from behind him with a message.
"Lord Stark, milady. A guardsmen just came in from the hills, they've captured a deserter from the Night's Watch," he said. Ned became serious again at this news.
"Get the lads to saddle their horses."
"Do you have to?" Catelyn asked.
"He swore an oath, Cat," he said.
"Law is law, milady," Rodrik added. Ned looked up at him.
"Tell Bran he's coming too."
"Ned!" Catelyn said. "Ten is too young to see such things!"
"He won't be a boy forever," the Stark said grimly. "And winter is coming."
"Why are you Northerners all so serious?" Naruto said from behind them, and they saw that the blond was crouched, balancing on the railing easily. "There's no need to be all dark and dreary all the time. Seriously, Ned, how many times have I told you to lighten up a little?"
"One too many," Ned grumbled, bringing smiles to everyone's faces.
"Anyway, I'm going hunting. The stock of wild boar has gotten a bit low, and you never know when we could use some more," Naruto said. "Do you mind, Rodrik?"
"Not at all. We could always use more meat."
"Awesome. Tell me how the execution goes!" the blond said jovially, before jumping up and climbing past them up onto the roof.
"I'll never understand how he's so cheerful all the time, what with everything he's seen," Ned stated, shaking his head.
Naruto whistled a tune as he ran along the rooftops of Winterfell, moving with a grace that few could match.
"Naruto! Naruto!" came a soft voice, and he looked down to see Sansa looking up and waving at him.
He slid down a thatched roof and jumped off the end, landing on his two feet a few meters away from the Stark girl.
"Hey, Sansa. What's up?" he asked, and she blushed right down to the roots of her hair. Naruto had always been handsome, and the last few years had seen him grow considerably in that regard. He was tall and muscular, and ridiculously strong. He was also naturally tan, which was odd for someone living in the North. The three whisker marks on each cheek, as well as his oversized canines, gave him a somewhat feral appearance, though the whisker marks were somewhat hidden by the light growth of stubble on his face. Lastly, his left eye was always shut, the scar from an old wound stretched from his eyebrow down his cheek. His right eye however, twinkled with happiness.
"U-um, well, I was w-wondering when we're going to have our next lesson," she asked, cursing herself for stuttering. Naruto's smile widened considerably. The lessons she was referring to were something that were kept between them, though he suspected that Ned knew.
When Sansa had been growing up, all she'd talked about was how handsome knights were going to rescue her when she grew up and whisk her away to their castles and fall madly in love with her. She'd always thought of herself as a helpless damsel who needed to be saved.
Naruto literally beat this attitude out of her, encouraging her to stand up for herself, and began to teach her kenjutsu, or the technique of the sword. Since then, she'd grown into one of the most proficient sword masters in Winterfell. Even Ned Stark had a hard time beating her with a sword.
However, the real secret was that Naruto was teaching her taijutsu, or the technique of the body. He was showing her many forms of martial arts, most of which were considered outright deadly. He always told her never to use them unless her life was in danger.
"Well, I'm going hunting right now, but maybe tomorrow," he said, and she nodded mutely, still blushing, which he didn't notice, thankfully.
"A-all right, see you later," she said.
"See you later!" he said, smiling, and took off again.
A few hours later, Naruto returned.
He'd gotten a few kills in, most of them huge, and they were held in a sealing scroll in his kunai holster on his right leg.
He walked through the gates of Winterfell, nodding to the guards. He came across Ned and Cat, both of whom looked grim, as well as Robb and Bran, who had two small pups following behind them.
"Hey, Ned. What's up?" he said, walking up to the older Stark. He could tell that the Warden of the North seemed especially upset.
"Jon Arryn is dead," Catelyn said solemnly. Naruto grimaced.
"I'm sorry." The Stark patriarch acknowledged his words with a nod.
"Robert is coming up from King's Landing to Winterfell," he said, to which the blond raised an eyebrow.
"Only one reason for that."
"I thought the same thing," Catelyn said.
Before any of them could continue, the two pups ran up to Naruto and yipped happily. He crouched down and took a look at them.
"Hullo. Who are these little guys?" he said, scratching behind the pup's ears, to which they responded with zeal.
"We found the body of a direwolf and six pups, one of each of the Stark children," Ned said.
"Including Jon?" Naruto asked, looking up to see Ned nod and Cat look away.
"I'm surprised that they like you so much," Robb said. "We only got them a little while ago, but now, if anyone tries to touch them, they'll snap and start biting everything in sight."
"I've always been good with nature, come's with being a Sage," he blond said, giving a final pet to the two pups before standing up. "In the meantime, I have some food to deliver, and then I've got to get started on the feast."
"The feast?" Ned said, raising an eyebrow.
"We're having a feast?" Cat asked, looking at Ned, who shook his head, indicating that he hadn't known of any special event planned.
"Of course we're having a feast! Nothing beats a bad mood like good food!" the blond said, rubbing his hands together. "I'll make this one extra special!"
Before any of them could protest, he was already running towards the kitchens. Ned rubbed his eyes and sighed tiredly.
"I'll never get used to that one."
That's a wrap. I hope you like this story.
Alright. Fuck it.
Well done, I'm finally convinced. The big reveal was dumb. It's gone now.
I honestly just can't bring myself to care anymore. I posted this story a while ago with no idea of what I was doing, so edits are probably going to happen more frequently.
Goodness. Now that I think about it, this happened way too late. Anyway, hope everyone's pleased. I know I am, at least.