'I need to get control over it. I won't let it control me.' Naruto thought as he was trying chakra control exercises, only not with his own chakra. 'I've been able to become everything I am today despite all my obstacles, I will not let something like a stubborn fox stop me now.'
In his last battle he had to fight Kabuto and came close to dying. If it weren't for the kyuubi he would be dead. But Naruto knew the fox hadn't done it to be kind, it was self-interested help. Much like most of the help Naruto had gotten in his life.
'The fox's chakra is the only reason I'm still alive. Despite my training, both official and unofficial, I was overpowered by Orochimaru's henchman. Sure that's my fault, I didn't control my anger as much as I should have. I need to figure out how to use this chakra myself so I stop doing that. So I won't need the fox to save me later on. In case he ever decides to let me die for some reason.'
So there he was, trying the chakra exercises that led to him using the rasengan only with Kyuubi's chakra instead. The problem was each time he tried using a small amount of it, it didn't stay small. It grew and threatened to devour him, but luckily he could stop it by cutting off the source. He was certain that he could change this with practice, but it was easier said than done.
He didn't realize that he was being watched by two people, one a girl his age and the other an older man.
'Naruto-kun, what's that you're using? Why is your chakra red right now?' Hinata asked herself, having seen him use red chakra before in his fight against Neji but still unsure of what it was since normal chakra was blue.
'So he's trying to control it already. I doubt he can but let's see how good he can do at this point. Sensei did say this was his one obstacle to his true potential in the past. Well, that and the people he had to hide from of course.' Jiraiya thought, observing his student's struggle.
Things were going normally, or at least not as bad as feared, but suddenly something unexpected happened. The red chakra started to turn a bright pink, almost like it was glowing.
"What the-?" Naruto asked himself, and cut the flow of chakra to avoid anything unpleasant. However the chakra remained, covering Naruto despite him not channeling it, and the glow got steadily brighter.
"What's going on?!" Naruto all but shouted.
Hinata activated her byakugan. 'That chakra... it looks like it's trying to swallow him.' Panicked by the thought, Hinata ran to him. "Naruto-kun!"
Jiraiya then had the same thought as her and tried to get to the whiskered blonde, but the glow became blinding, like Naruto had just turned into a pink sun. So much so that Jiraiya had to turn away and cover his eyes before he went blind for real. Despite the fact his eyes were closed he saw just white.
After a bit the white faded and he saw the normal black people see when their eyes are closed. 'Is is over? That was fast.' Jiraiya's eyes took a moment to refocus, but once they did he couldn't believe what he saw. "Naruto?"
"Naruto!" He repeated, louder, hoping this time he'd hear something.
All he heard was an echo.
"Not good. I need to go tell Tsunade right now." He said to himself before running to his former teammate as fast as he possibly could, hoping she would be merciful.
Naruto and Hinata were also blinded by the light, but Naruto recovered quickly. "What the heck was that?" He checked himself and saw he wasn't glowing anymore.
"Naruto-kun?" Hinata called out.
"Hinata-chan?" Naruto asked, recognizing her voice. He turned and saw her wobbling around, hands out in front of her. "What's wrong?"
"I... I can't see. I'm blind." She told him, her voice full of fear.
The blonde immediately went up to her and held her hands to comfort her. "Can you see anything? Any shadows or anything?"
Hinata blinked a few times, her eyes still unfocused. "I... I think I'm starting to get better. I can see a blur now. Naruto-kun, I'm so scared, Hyuugas aren't supposed to be blind." She started shaking like she was cold.
Naruto on impulse put his arms around her to make her calm down. She froze a bit, but relaxed in his embrace. "It's okay, my eyes were hurting too from that light. Maybe your eyes just need a bit longer to readjust. And if not, I can help you see again. You won't stay blind, I promise."
"What happened to you Naruto-kun? You're not hurt are you? Please tell me you're alright." She pleaded, ignoring his unusual claim that he could fix her eyes.
"I'm fine, same as before. But I have no idea what that light was." He said. 'She sounds so concerned for me, wish Sakura-chan could do the same.' He thought as he now took notice of his surroundings. "Umm... Hinata-chan? Don't panic, but we're not where we originally were."
"Huh?" She asked, not understanding him. Looking at him she began to see yellow and orange but he was still blurry.
"All I know is I had been standing in a clearing before with the trees some good distance away from me. Now the trees are close enough I can practically touch them. Also, I could see the Hokage Monument from where I was, and now I can't." He explained.
Hinata glanced around, seeing just a brown blur. "I still can't see clearly. Maybe we should walk around a bit to see if maybe you're right."
"Good idea. Stay close to me." He said, letting go of her but keeping ahold of her hand, making her smile.
'If you ever asked I'd never be anywhere else.'
"Dammit Jiraiya can't you use the door just once?" Tsunade complained as she turned to see the toad sage at her window. She unlocked it and let him in. "This better be important."
Tsunade raised an eyebrow. "Come again?"
"I was observing him training in chakra control when all of a sudden his chakra turned pink and began to glow very very brightly. So bright I had to look away. When I could see again, he was gone. Vanished without a trace."
Tsunade was shocked and understandably worried. "Did someone attack him?"
"This didn't look like any attack to me. My first thought was Kyuubi was trying to break free, but if that were the case then why isn't the fox here attacking?"
Tsunade nodded. "Still, this couldn't possibly be nothing. Was Naruto practicing a sort of teleportation jutsu and activated it?" She gasped. "Was it the Hiraishin? That creates a flash of light."
"No way. There's no way Naruto can know the Hiraishin." Jiraiya insisted.
"Couldn't he have maybe learned it the same night he learned the shadow clones?" Tsunade asked, remembering Naruto's tale of how he became a genin and learned a kinjutsu at his age. Which to her was highly suspicious. How could a boy with no help in learning jutsu manage to pick up the shadow clone jutsu in a couple of hours? That would be like writing a book only after you just learned to read. Tsunade suspected Naruto wasn't telling her everything.
"I asked Naruto how much he learned from the scroll and he said shadow clones was all he had time for." Jiraiya assured her.
"But maybe he copied the instructions and has been working on it in secret all this time." Tsunade theorized.
Jiraiya thought it over. "Maybe, but I don't remember ever seeing Minato glow from the jutsu. The flash was a by-product of the jutsu, not something that happened before it was used."
"Nevertheless, Naruto disappearing is not a good thing. Gather up all his friends and have them search the village. They're likely to find him, I hope." Tsunade ordered.
"Uhh... about that. One of his friends was watching Naruto at the same time I was, but not by my design. When he began to glow she jumped out to him ahead of me and she... vanished too." Jiraiya explained, hoping this wouldn't upset her.
It upset her.
"What? We have two genin missing thanks to who-knows-what? Who was the other one?"
"I didn't get a good look, but I'm positive it was a girl." He answered.
"Round up all of Naruto's friends. The one who doesn't show up is bound to be her. Don't tell them what's going on, just tell them to come here ASAP." Tsunade told Jiraiya, who nodded and left the same way he came. Fatigued from this, Tsunade slumped in her chair. "Naruto, wherever you are you better be safe, because I'm going to pound you for something like this."
"Hinata-chan, don't panic, but we should have reached the village by now, and we haven't."
Hinata nodded. "I thought so. We weren't that far away from something recognizable. We should have seen something by now."
"How are your eyes? Can you see yet?"
"A little. I can make things out but it's blurry, like my eyes can't focus just yet. But I can see you just fine, maybe because you're so close to me right now." She answered, having to squint at everything around her.
All of a sudden Naruto stopped, and Hinata could feel him tense up. "Hinata-chan, stay quiet. I hear something." He whispered. She nodded and stayed still. With them unaware of their exact location it wouldn't be wise to be defenseless.
"Did you find it yet?" An unfamiliar male voice asked, sounding rather impatient.
"Yeah, I found it but I'm still looking around." An unfamiliar female voice responded, quite sarcastically.
On reflex Hinata activated her byakugan. Her eyes stung but she could see as clear as she always could with her doujutsu. "Naruto-kun, there are only two people here." She whispered. "They seem to have normal chakra levels but nothing about them looks like... a... ninja?" She trailed off.
"Something wrong Hinata-chan?"
She nodded. "Naruto-kun, the boy, well, they're both older than us by a few years, but the male of the two... has dog ears."
"Dog ears?" Naruto repeated, louder than a whisper but still generally quiet. "No offense Hinata-chan, but maybe your eyes are still messed up."
She squinted as if that would improve her vision. "No, he's got dog ears, claws, and chakra levels close to high chuunin or low jounin. The girl of the group has high genin chakra at best, and looks normal, but there's something strange about her eyes I've never see before."
"And neither has any hitai-ate or Konoha symbols?" Naruto asked.
"No, nothing like that."
"Then we should be prepared for them to be enemies. Keep your eyes on them Hinata, and I'll see if I can trap them somehow and find out where we are."
"I get the feeling the jewel is around here somewhere." The girl said calmly.
"It better be." The boy said gruffly, then stopped and sniffed the air. "Something's here."
"Not sure, but it reminds me of kitsune and human at the same time. Maybe another hanyou."
"Are kitsune as dangerous as I'm told?" The girl asked.
"Sometimes. They're more annoying than anything else but the multi-tailed ones can do more than just annoy. But they're not as effective if we know they're coming. They're worse when they have the element of surprise, which isn't the case now." He then tensed, looking ready to pounce. "I'm going to get them first. Before they take the jewel from us."
Looking thru the foliage, sniffing the air as he did so, his eyes locked on one direction almost right in front of him. "Got him." He said just before he pounced, disappearing in a flash. He got his claws out to attack without warning, and saw his target, a boy trying to hide. 'Why is he wearing orange?' He asked before he reached his target, hitting him, only for the boy to go up in smoke.
'A kitsune trick.' He looked around. 'Where's the real one?' He tried sniffing but the scent seemed to be coming from all directions. Even downwind.
All of a sudden a lot of orange-wearing boys jumped out all at once, providing the answer to why the scent was all around. On impulse he slashed in a revolving manner, meaning he spun in place with his claws out striking them all almost at once. They all dispelled and created a lot of smoke that blocked his eyes and his nose.
From under his feet the earth trembled and one boy came up quickly with an uppercut punch, striking the dog-eared fellow in the jaw. The attack registered but showed no signs of being effective.
"Is that the best you can do kitsune?"
Naruto frowned deeply. "I am not the fox!" He created one clone and started to work on a rasengan with it.
"Inuyasha?" The girl called out, seeing the boy and was immediately confused by him. 'Is that really a kitsune youkai or hanyou? But why would someone from the Feudal Era dress up like that? That looks more like clothes from my time.'
"Stay back." The now-named Inuyasha told her. "He's trying some strange kind of fox fire."
"Fox fire? That's one I've never heard before, and I've heard just about every insult possible." Naruto commented as the chakra orb got ready. Inuyasha kept his claws ready but he didn't look the least bit afraid.
Before the girl could step in, and she did try to, Hinata appeared byakugan active and stood before her. "You stay out of this."
"Your eyes... are you hurt or something?"
"Who are you and where do you come from?" Hinata asked, ignoring the question. All she wanted was to keep Naruto's opponent from having back-up. 'This girl doesn't have any weapons on her, but she probably doesn't need them.'
"My name is Kagome Higurashi, and I'm not from this place to be honest. I'm from a city named Tokyo. Where are you from? You're not dressed right for this culture."
'To-ki-o? Never heard of a place like that. Could it be a codename for one of the hidden villages so these guys appear more like civilians?' Hinata asked herself, her byakugan telling her behind her Naruto and Inuyasha were about to clash. It was blurred but she could identify them.
The two attacks missed each other but struck the main bodies of the attackers, meaning Naruto took Inuyasha's claws to his chest and Inuyasha took Naruto's rasengan to his own chest at the same time.
Hinata gasped in horrow when she saw Inuyasha's claws come out of Naruto's back. "NARUTO-KUN!" She screamed then turned around to look at him directly.
Naruto's rasengan persisted but had little effect on Inuyasha's haori, but it did push him back thus forcing his claws out. Inuyasha lost his balance and fell down, with Naruto collapsing to his knees trying to stop the bleeding. Hinata immediately came up to him and tried to help him.
"Please be okay Naruto-kun. Don't die on me. You can't die on me!" She said, panicked and fearing the worst. She pulled out some medical wrap she kept in her supply pouch. "Take off your jacket. This will help you." He complied, letting her get started.
Kagome decided to check on her own companion. "Inuyasha? You okay?"
He waved it off. "I'm fine. That attack barely did anything." To Kagome's surprise his haori only had a few rips on it. "This outfit is made from fur of the fire rat. It's as strong as most armor, just more convenient to wear. His fox fire didn't hurt, but it had a surprising amount of force behind it."
Kagome gasped. "Inuyasha..." She suddenly paused.
"Yeah?" He asked, wondering what she was concerned about now.
"Inuyasha, what if they're not demons? I mean, you've never seen anyone or anything dressed like that before have you?" Kagome asked.
"I've never seen anyone or anything dressed like you before. What's your point?" He stated.
"I think these two aren't from around here. They're dressed more like my time, though not exactly. Maybe they've traveled through time like me." Kagome suggested.
"But how could he use something like that if he's not a youkai?" Inuyasha asked.
"I don't know, but we should ask before we kill them."
Naruto had to lay down as Hinata finished wrapping him up. She no longer had her byakugan active but her eyesight was back to normal without it, the temporary blindness having worn off. She even used some of her personal balm to soothe the pain. "How are you Naruto-kun?"
He smiled despite his difficulty breathing; it hurt but wasn't impossible. "I'll be fine. Thanks Hinata-chan, you should be a medic ninja someday."
Hinata blushed from the praise. "Thanks, but I don't think anyone would let me."
"There were people back home who if they had their way wouldn't let me be many of things I am, but I didn't let them stop me." He pointed out.
"Excuse me." Kagome gently called out to them both. "Who exactly are you two?"
Hinata frowned and stood protectively over Naruto. "Why should we tell you two? You just tried to kill my best friend."
"You attacked us first." Inuyasha pointed out.
"We're lost, trying to figure out where we are. We were trying to see who you are or what country you're affiliated with without being noticed. You ambushed Naruto-kun and he responded justly. Why should we be courteous to you?"
Kagome held up her hands. "How about we all agree to a ceasefire and settle the confusion before-" She stopped, feeling a strange new sensation coming at her from above. "What the...?" She looked up, with Hinata looking up at the same time, and saw the head of the crow demon she had shot and destroyed earlier coming at her, making her scream for a second.
Reacting on instinct Inuyasha leapt and slashed at the disembodied head, rending it to mulch. The only thing that remained was a tiny shiny thing that fell into the grass. "What was that?"
Curious as well, Kagome bent down and picked it up. Whatever it was, it was pink and definitely a mineral, and it gave her the same sensation she had felt earlier, especially when she had the jewel on her person earlier that day. 'Oh no, could this be...?' She asked herself, her face now reflecting her worry.
"What is it?" Inuyasha repeated.
Kagome got up and faced him, holding up the fragment. "I... I think this is a... piece of the shikon jewel."
Inuyasha was aghast. "Wha... what did you say?"
"I think I broke the jewel." Kagome said apologetically.
Inuyasha was too shocked to react.
Kagome just held the shard in her hand since she didn't have any pockets on her outfit, then she looked at the two younger people. "Are you two after the jewel?"
"What jewel?" Naruto and Hinata said together.
"You don't know about it?" Kagome added.
"We're not interested in some crystal. We just want to know where we are." Naruto insisted.
"You're right outside a small farming village somewhere in Musashi's domain. I'm not certain of the specific year but this is called the Feudal Era where I come from, which is Tokyo, Japan, in the year 1997." Kagome told them.
Both genin looked confused. "I did not understand one bit of that." Naruto claimed.
"Me neither." Hinata said.
"You two are not youkai right? And the girl isn't really blind?" Kagome asked as she sat down. Inuyasha got out of his shock but stayed standing beside her in case these two did something.
Naruto frowned. "I'm not a demon. I've been telling people that for years and if you're too stupid or arrogant to listen then do me a favor and leave me alone."
"I meant no offense, I'm just not certain what to think. Inuyasha said you smell like a fox but you dress like my era in a way so I wasn't sure what you are. Can you tell me your name please?"
"I'm Naruto Uzumaki, and no I'm not a fox."
"I'm Hinata Hyuuga, and no I'm not blind."
"Where are you from?" Kagome asked.
"We'd rather not say until we know you're not an enemy." Naruto claimed.
"Actually Naruto-kun, if they were enemy shinobi they could have kept attacking now, not trying to chat with us like this." Hinata told him.
"Shinobi? Oh, I'm no ninja. I don't even know how to fight. Is that what you two are?" Kagome asked.
"You two look nothing like ninja." Inuyasha stated.
"Well what are you?" Naruto asked.
"I'm just an ordinary girl far from home, and he's an inuhanyou." Kagome answered for Inuyasha.
"Inuhanyou?" Naruto and Hinata repeated, looking at the dog-eared boy. "Half human, half dog demon?"
"What's it to you?" Inuyasha asked gruffly, like they were insinuating something he didn't care for.
"Something tells me getting things settled between us is going to take a while." Kagome said to herself quietly.
"Is this absolutely everyone?" Tsunade asked the group in front of her.
"Everyone except Hinata and Naruto." Shino answered.
"Well that answers one question." Tsunade commented before standing before the group of genin. "Everyone, something strange has happened today. According to eyewitness Jiraiya, Naruto was out training by himself today and became engulfed in a strange light. When the light faded, he was simply gone."
She paused for a moment to see their reactions, glad to see shock instead of 'good riddance' or 'who cares'.
"We are not sure yet of the cause of this event, or intention behind it if any, and we likely won't until we learn where exactly Naruto is. I need all ten of you to search this village as best you can without letting anyone know who exactly you're looking for. Repeat, don't let anyone under any circumstances become aware that you're looking for a missing Naruto."
"Why?" Sakura asked.
'Can't tell them the real reason, that some citizens would overreact and possibly reveal more than needs to be learned or his enemies will try to beat them to finding him and silence him in this golden opportunity.' Tsunade advised herself. "Because I said so. We need to assume that this wasn't an accident. If we're lucky Naruto just goofed on a shunshin and is somewhere in the village, but if not we need to rule out the possibility. Then we can begin searching outside Konoha in case this is an abduction."
"What about Hinata? Why isn't she being told this?" Kiba asked.
"Yeah, if anybody can find the knucklehead it's his personal stalker." Ino added.
Tsunade narrowed her eyes. "Because the eyewitness said just before Naruto disappeared, one of his friends was there and tried to save him, only to vanish with him. Hinata's absence confirms that she was that someone, meaning she is missing too. And thus another reason why you must remain silent on this matter, since the Hyuuga will not be happy about her being unaccounted for."
"Hinata-sama's gone too?" Neji asked.
"Did I stutter? Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuuga are currently unlocated, and I need you ten to go out and find them before someone else does. Now get out there and don't stop until you either find them or hear a recall order from me."
"Yes Hokage-sama." The Rookies said before departing.
Tsunade looked outside her office, looking over the village. "Naruto, where are you?"
Far away, an old toad opened his eyes. "Something strange just happened."
"Excuse me Prophet-sama?" One of the smaller ones asked, caught off guard by the prophesying toad halting his meditation.
"Something is about to happen, something that will tie two worlds together, but I'm not sure how." The giant toad said before closing his eyes again. "It's clouded right now. I will require some time to get a proper glimpse."
The smaller toad left the room to avoid distracting the prophet toad, who was trying his best to see what to be on alert for.
A young man was sitting in a castle room enjoying his dinner when he felt a strange sensation in the air.
"What was that?"
"Did you say something Kagewaki-sama?" One of the guards posted outside asked.
"Nothing important, just thought I saw something for a moment." He lied calmly then looked back outside. 'I grow tired of this masquerade as Kagewaki Hitomi. I should prepare myself for another transformation and find a new role to set myself into, then check out what that was I felt. But first, it might be wise to let these foolish humans begin an inspection for me. Or maybe one of my puppets.'
With that he pulled out a hair and wrapped it around a wooden doll. 'When they go to sleep my double will go out and see if anything significant has occurred.'
In another far-off place a masked man felt the same thing but couldn't identify it.
'Hmm... I get the feeling something happened that could pose a real hindrance to me later on.'
"Tobi, what are you doing now?" Deidara asked.
"Nothing, Tobi wasn't doing anything." The masked man insisted, remembering where he was.
"Then get back to work."
An old man having a drink suddenly stopped, resulting in him nearly choking. "Could it be? Has Inuyasha-sama been awakened? I must go see for myself."
"What did you say Myouga?" Another old man said as he hammered away on a weapon freshly pulled out of a forge fire.
"I need to be off for a bit Totosai. I think an old acquaintance of mine is back."
"Want a ride?"
Myouga shook his head. "No thanks, this I should see on my own. And since he doesn't have the Master's fang yet there's little reason for you to waste your time on it."
"Then safe journey old friend."