A/N: I have no idea where this idea came from. I was literally working, minding my own bussiness, when I overheard someone mention Back to the Future. I wasn't all that interested, but when I heard the line "Great Scott!" an inkling began to form. Incredibly, this story was spawned merely from hearing that infamous line. I'm not quite sure if this idea has been done to death, but I at least wanted to try my hand at it.
...hope you're satisfied! =D
Uzumaki Namikaze Naruto opened sleep gummed eyes and promptly snapped them back shut. Hanging before him against the endless white was a creature straight out of nightmare; its golden black eyes framed by a wave of white tresses, bleached of all color, deathly white, from which two horns of crirsom peaked. Palid, purpilish emaciated skin, ribs exposed beneath the robe. A dagger clenched firmly between its jagged teeth, its lips pulled back in a ghastly grin. He wanted to deny it, to refute its existence, but there could be no mistaking it.
"Do not close your eyes." Unbidden, the last Uzumaki watched his lids snap open, forcing him to regard the imposing apparition once more. A cold chill shot down his spine at the sight of the spectre looming before him, one he quickly quelled. If he was going to hell, then he'd at least face his afterlife with dignity.
"Oh, its you."
"Rise." the reaper intoned.
Naruto grunted, propping himself up on his elbows. So he really was dead, then. Funny. He'd always thought death would've hurt more. Not that his death had been painless mind you; using the Shiki Fūjin to seal away Madara's soul had been anything but painless. He'd known there would be pain; that even should he succeed nothing but hell awaited him in the afterlife. He'd known this from the beginning. It was a tenuous desperate last resot and although he'd failed to seal Obito in the bargain, he still considered it a victory.
Honestly, it was still something of a miracle he'd even managed to get his hands on one of them at all; with the Jyuubi flinging menacing balls in nearly every direction, he considered himself lucky to have accomplished half of his mission at all. Even with an undead/immortal body, nothing could've protected his immortal soul from being plucked from said body and sealed away. Granted, he'd lost an arm and a leg in the proccess but a win was a win in his book.
Uzumaki Naruto had left the world of the liviing knowing that, while he may have failed to preserve the lives of his friends and family; he'd managed to take the man responsible for their deaths, with him in the end. He could take some small solace in that fact, at the very least. He was sorrowed to have lost so many, with nothing to bring them back.
If I could do it over again...
"The world as you know it is coming to an end, mortal." The reaper droned on, dragging out each syllable with the deep double timbre befitting of an entity of its stature. "You may have sealed the one known as Uchiha Madara, but his legacy lives on. Already there is an imbalance in the souls I have come to collect. Yours is among them."
"You think I don't know that?" Naruto allowed a single tear to slip from his eye, to plink back into the white, into oblivion. "We failed. I failed. The war is over. We lost." Because they had failed. The Shinobi Alliance had been all but decimated. All but the Raikage were dead. Madara might be gone, but Obito had likely gained possession of the remaining bijuu by now, his own included. His only regret was that he hadn't been able to try and drag Obito with him to hell. That man deserved to burn in the ninth circle for the crimes he'd committed in the name of his so-called peace! Not that there was anything more to be done about it.
If I had another chance...
Even with Kurama's power, he wouldn't have been able to stand up to three Uchiha at once by himself; his one regret was that despite his best efforts to make it otherwise, his final sight before death had been that of Uchiha Obito, the last sound that of his determined growl that the Moon's Eye plan would come to fruition no matter what he-Naruto-did, that he'd at most delayed 'peace' by preventing the world from being cast under an infinite, endless genjutsu.
...Konoha was gone.
What more did the reaper want from him?
"Oh?" Naruto creaked open a broken iris, regarding the spectre of death with blank indifference. "What does it matter if its acceptable or not? They won. We lost. There's nothing I can do to change it now, so just let me croak already. Besides, its not like I've got anything left to live for. Kakashi-sensei, Sakura-chan, baa-chan, Neji, Hinata, Shikamaru...they're all dead. I already know I won't be joining them. You might as well devour it now. My soul, that is."
The shinigami stared at him for a long moment, as though weighing its decision. If it was going to eat him, he just wanted it to be over with already. But the shinigami did not devour him. Instead its gaze became aloof and distant; as though it t'were peering at something many leagues in the distance.
"There is an imbalance." The reaper repeated. "I cannot allow this to stand."
Inwardly, Naruto bit back a groan. He had a bad feeling about this...
"Can't allow what to stand?"
The shinigami rounded on him with a hiss of breath.
"The Uchiha's genjutsu." Was its growling reply as it spun away from him. "With so many under its spell humanity no longer fears death; nor are there any souls left for me to reap. Unacceptable. This transgression cannot-shall not-go unpunished." White robes whistled soundlessly as it wheeled around to face him again, golden eyes ablaze. "Mortal. What are you thinking in this instant?"
"Your thoughts." the reaper repeated.
"I was thinking of-" Naruto bristled, the rest of his sentence left unspoken. He'd been contemplating what he'd done wrong; what he could've corrected if he had a second chance; a fresh start. A second chance. At first the reaper didn't seem to register its words; its unholy eyes shrinking to mere pinpricks of brilliance. Suddenly and without warning, it reached a clawed hand up to its hair and yanked down. Hard. Naruto didn't have a chance to protest; he could only gag as his soul flowed from reaper's mouth, and into his own; pouring life back into his body. Sensation flooded his limbs as life returned to them, enabling his body to move properly as he wished.
"This one would ask a boon of you mortal; undo what has been done."
"I shall return to you the Yin chakra of your tenant, bequeathed to me by your father." It decided after a moment's consideration. "Be thankful." Before Naruto could protest, the shinigami removed the knife from its mouth and, without warning, plunged it to the hilt in its stomach. Gore squirted out of the wound; wrenching Naruto's stomach from within, though the wound was not his own.
"W-What the hell are you doing?!" He gawped as the shinigami dragged out a milky-white substance from its stomach that looked succintly like...was that a soul?! Without a word, the reaper drapped its essence across his prone form, suffusing his body in a warm glow from his head to his toes. He struggled to his feet, gawping as the nine tails chakra flared about his body, only to vanish an instant later. He could feel the power of his tenant rushing through his veins; the only abscence was its concsiousness.
"There." The shinigami took the knife between its teeth once more. "Your chakra is restored to you. Use it well and wisely."
"I don't want it!"
Like an iron trap, the Shinigami's gaze locked onto the shinobi's own. The sheer intensity of its stare, the sudden ice in its expression, was enough to silence the blond. Nothing moved. Nothing at all. And then it spoke, voice black as pitch, eyes cold as the coldest winter.
"Your soul is already in my domain, mortal." The shinigami rumbled. "It is now mine to do with as I please. You have no say in the matter. Regarding that, you, will require more than just the chakra of your tenant to succeed in your mission. Much more." Naruto felt his stomach twist in disgust and revulsion as the reaper plunged a long-fingered hand deep into the gaping wound in its stomach; driving its arm to the elbow as it sought something within its innards. Naruto looked away, unable to bear such a sight. Rather, he tried. Something in those golden-black orbs riveted him, forcing him to look on as the shinigami finally found what it sought.
Abruptly it stilled, its cold eyes locking upon Naruto.
"Prepare myself for whaaaaaaaaaaargh!" Naruto cried out in pain and surprise as the scalding liquid struck his eyes, searing itself into his retina. He doubled over in utter agony; it felt like someone had plunged burning brand into both his eyes! They burned! Oh dear kami did they burn! "You-what the hell did you just do?!" He glowered at the shinigami, or at least, what he thought was the shinigami; everything was so blurry he could barely make out coherent shapes.
The reaper laughed; it was a deep, throaty sound.
"Behold yourself and the blessing I have given you, Uzumaki Naruto." It paused, contemplating. "Or perhaps I should call you...Uchiha Naruto?"
The reaper beckoned, indicating the reflective surface that served as the ground at their feet. Naruto followed its direction and balked alarmed to find a stranger staring back at him. His blue eyes were gone darkened to almost charcoal, his hair having faded to black as well. His skin was a tad paler than he remembered it being, having lost most of the luster it'd gained over the years. It was still his face; whiskers and all, but even as he looked on those faded, diminished in the wake of this strange transformation. He scarcely recognized himself. His visage was still his own somehow, only not. Thankfully, the voice that emerged was still his own; if that had changed he would've lost his mind.
"W-What have you done?"
The shinigami offered a rictus of a grin.
"Consider it proof of my trust in you."
"I look like a fucking Uchiha!"
"That was my intent." the godlike entity replied. "Your existence as Uzumaki Naruto will pose a hindrance to the task I have assigned you; thus, you are Uchiha."
"Oi!" Naruto hissed out in a fierce whisper. "Cut the crap! I don't give two shiiiits if you're the reaper or not! Don't go changing people's faces without asking, ya know! I don't want this! And I sure as fucking hell don't want these damned eyes! Madara's eyes! Now change me back right now or-
"Or?" the reaper met his ire with a flat stare and licked its lips. "If you'd rather I consume your soul here and now, then by all means, I shall do so."
Naruto blanched, his resolve wilting in the face of this threat. While it was true he'd accepted his demise, he wasn't all that eager to enter into the belly of the beast. If there was something-anything-he could do to right the wrongs made by Madara and his twisted ideals he should jump at the chance, right? But he was tired. Oh so very tired. Tired of fighting. And if the shinigami really was about to return him to the land of the living, it would be his one chance; his only chance; a chance to make things right. A chan from the land of the dead
"You will act in my stead." the apparition continued on unheeded, "But on one condition: you must undo the damage that has been done. Right the wrongs of the past; correct the mistakes of the old generation for the sake of the young. I will give you as much time as needed. But know this; if you fail your assigned task you will suffer the consequences of your actions. Should you falter, your deeds will be known to me. Should you hesitate, I will come for you. Should you perish: before completing your assigned task, I will devour you; trapping your soul in my stomach until the end of time. This is our pact. This, is our contract. But we have tarried in limbo too long. There is work to be done, and you are the one who must do it."
"Don't I get any say in this?" Naruto groaned.
"None!" The reaper growled. "Now be off with you!"
"Now wait just a damned min-
Naruto blinked and the white was gone. In its place hung a full moon, peeking out beyond the rim of the clouds, gazing upon a sea of trees below. Falling. Falling! He snarled in surprise, flinging a hand out to snare the nearest branch in his grasp, his fingers wrapping around the damp pines like an iron vice. Grunting as he struggled to arrested his momentum, the former jinchuuriki tethered himself to the tree with chakra, sticking to its surface as one would the ground.
He hung there for a moment, his senses still reeling from the sudden drop in pressure.
"Oi, oi," he grumbled to himself, at least drop me on solid ground, ya know? He frowned up at the moon; evidently Obito had yet to enact the Moon's Eye Plan. Inwardly, he heaved a sweet sigh of relief. Thank kami in heaven. There was still time, then. Time enough to find that prick of an Uchiha and drag him down to hell! Then he would find Sasuke, beat the ever-loving crap out of him and...Hmm?
What have we here?
Taking a moment to orient himself, he caught sight of a telltale flicker of movement only a few feet below his perch. Stilling his breath he waited until they were past before taking stock of them. Three grown men, and one girl with strikingly scarlet hair. She couldn't have been more than four years younger than him, placing her near fourteen or fifteen years of age. He couldn't see their faces as their backs were to him; even so he'd doubted he would've been able to make them out in the gloom. Still, something struck him as odd.
Though the group of shinobi encircled her, suggesting they weren't, in fact, an escort after all, her hands were held behind her back. Why would anyone walk like that? A knot of rope around her wrists merely confirmed his suspicion, as did the hands of the man who held it. Kidnappers! Naruto's mind raged, torn between reluctance and resistance. Did he really have the time to play hero right now? For all he knew, Obito was preparing the Moon's Eye Plan even as he dithered here. Eventually anger won out; he felt his eyes begin to burn as he watched them creep further and further away, blissfully unaware of his prescence.
That didn't last long.
He descended feet-first from the trees, dropping like a wraith toward the head and shoulders of the straggler, the one holding the rope. There was a brief moment of tense silence; the man's knee's buckling beneath his sudden and unexpected weight his fingers falling slack around as he reached up to remove the obstruction. By the time he'd realized his own peril Naruto's hands had already closed around his mouth and face, mufflling his cry of pain, as his knees struck the damp earth.
The jinchuuriki felt no pity for his victim; a viscious twist of the wrist and he was gone, the life leaching from his eyes before his body could touch the ground. Naruto bolted upwards from the corpse and lunged forward, hoping to take the reamining shinobi by surprise. And for a moment, it seemed that he would. Both men still had their backs to him; they were yet unaware of the sudden demise of their compatriot; ignorant, that their captive had slowed her pace to a near crawl behind them. Naruto dared to hope he might yet escape from this scuffle unscathed and continue on his way. His hope shattered as a small squeak pierced the air. Both men rounded as one, a brace of shuriken flying from their fingertips in the time it took a lesser man to blink.
Thankfully, Naruto was not a lesser man.
In the time it took the girl to squeak in surprise he'd already dropped flat to the road; the deadly throwing stars now whistled harmlessly over his head. As the last of the lethal projectiles whisked themselves by he was already in motion, lunging into the moonlight, throwing himself between the men and their captive before they could even comprehend his prescence. Beneath the light of the moon. he was finally affored a clear picture of her captors, and they, him. Their faces weren't even remotely worth mentioning, although they did stiffen as he stood to his full height.
"Oi oi...the hell do you guys think you're doing?!" Naruto growled, recognizing their hitiate as belong to Kumogakure. "Doesn't your Raikage have better things to do than kidnap little girls?! We're in the middle of a war for crissakes!" he balked as the two remaining cloud shinobi exchanged a glance, took one look at him, then at his hitiate, and drew their kunai.
"Shit, an Uchiha!" One of them exclaimed.
"Hey! I'm not an-
"Kill him!" cried the other.
A muscle jumped in the blonde's jaw.
The last of her abductors toppled backwards, gurgling as he clutched at his now broken windpipe with both hands. Naruto contemplated him a moment longer savoring his stricken expression, before a roundhouse kick smashed into his now unprotected stomach. A third and final blow put him out of comission altogether, sending his body careening through the undergrowth. Naruto watched himfall and had to visibly bite back a laugh at the ease with which he'd dispatched his opponents. And to think they called themselves shinobi? Their movements were slow and predictable it was almost laughable. No, it was laughable!
He needn't have killed those two, but with those injuries, they wouldn't be waking up for a good long while.
A soft whimper abruptly reminded him of his place.
Naruto rounded on the voice with an exasperated hiss, his eyes wild...and stopped. The redheaded girl was looking up at him with something akin to shock...or perhaps it was awe? He couldn't be certain of it in the dim light. He was, however, certain that she was looking at him.
"Oi, I'm not...
He frowned down at her, the words dying on his lips as he caught a glimpse of himself in a nearby puddle. Sinister scarlet orbs stared back at him, ringed by a single tomoe in each iris. Sharingan. Naruto bristled at the sight of the cruel crimson eyes, unable to accept that they belonged to him; to the sinister visage staring back at him. So it wasn't a dream after all. The shinigami really had fucked with his DNA; apparently that angry outburst earlier had been enough to unlock the vaulted eyes of the clan. Not his clan. Not! Naruto refused to think of himself as one of those stick-up-their-ass avengers, even with his newfound powers and appearance going hand in hand.
Damn you to hell shinigami!
He contemplated the quivering kunoichi-she had to be at least a genin-for what felt like an eternity. Clearly-judging by her hitiate-she was from Konoha. But why would Kumo try to kidnap someone so suddenly? There was a war on, for the love of kami! What possible purpose could the kidnapping of a single soul serve? Ah, hell. He had to at least try and get her back to Konoha. She didn't look to be in any real shape to make it back on her own anyway.
"Hey...you alright?" he asked.
She continued to stare at him, her mouth agape. Naruto took a deep breath and closed his eyes, when next they opened he saw no hint of the accursed copy-wheel in them. "Hello? Anyone home?" Scowling, he waved a hand before her face, eliciting a slow series of blinks. Doubtless she was still in shock over her recent release.
"How did you find me?" she asked softly.
"She speaks!" Naruto couldn't help but chuckle to himself. "As to how I found you...well, I guess you could thank your hair?" He didn't feel like explaining to her how he had literally fallen out of the sky. Still...there was something oddly familiar about this girl. But what was it? The eyes? Her hair? He couldn't quite place his finger on it...
Inexplicably, the girl flushed.
"You...You...followed me because of my hair?"
"Not just because of your hair." Naruto tried and failed to keep the grin from his face as he poked at her hitiate. "Because you're a comrade. You know what they say; those who break the rules are scum, but those who abandon their comrades are even worse than scum." As he looked on her cheeks continued to darken, as though heated by a furnace from within. Why was she blushing?
Shrugging, Naruto stooped to untie her, slicing through the knot binding her wrists with a simple slice of a kunai. The girl mumbled her thanks and rubbed at her wrists, still refusing to look him in the eye. Strange. She refused to look at him even after he'd saved her? It hardly looked as though she'd be walking back to the village, either.
Seeing no other way, he reached down and smoothly swept the genin off her feet as easily as a groom would his blushing bride. That got a reaction out of her. The kunoichi sputtered in surprise, her face flaring a shade brighter than even her silky scarlet hair.
"Hey! W-Wait a minute!" she cried, "W-W-What're you doing?!"
"Isn't it obvious?" Naruto couldn't believe her gall; here he was trying to help her, and still she was being indignant! "You can't walk, so I'm carrying you." The girl grew still at this, her large eyes growing larger still. It was as if she were truly looking at him for the first time.
"What's your name?"
"Uzu-erm...Uchiha Naruto!" He instinctively ammended, cursing himself for using that cursed clan name. "And just who the might you be, chibi?"
The girl puffed out her cheeks in defiance.
"I'm not a chibi! My name is Uzumaki Kushina, dattebane!"
Naruto dropped her like a hot potatoe. He felt color drain from his face; felt a cold sweat break out across his broken and battered body. Before his mind shut down, he understood two things. First, and foremost, this little girl was beyond any shadow of a doubt, his mother. Second, apparently when the Shinigami had tasked him to "right the wrongs of the past" he'd been speaking literally, as well as figuratively. Because this little girl was his mother and she was wearing a konoha hitiate and he had the succinct feeling he wasn't in his own time anymore. Oh dear kami...
"Hey, are you alright?" The girl who would one day become his mother asked, "You're looking kinda pale...
And what did Naruto do upon realizing this, you ask?
Why, he fainted of course!
A/N: And there you have it! I don't recall ever reading a story where Naruto was dropped into this precise situation. He's already unknowingly messed with the timeline by saving his own mother! I hoped you enjoyed the "Great Scott!" bit there at the end! Now, I'm sure you're all wondering, why oh why did the shinigami screw with his DNA and give him Madara's eyes? Weeell for those of you who don't understand, just try and stew on this for a bit: Which clan has caused the most trouble in ALL of the timeline? The Uchiha.
Pairing is up in the air, but Mikoto is most likely going to be involved, although I will gladly take any other recommendations that are offered.
So...in the immortal words of Atlas...
Review...would you kindly?