Summary: The creation of an ascended being puts a strain on reality. A little too much effort on his part or even just a slight loss of control may very well result in a tear—a warping of time and space itself. Unfortunately, Naruto and Sasuke have to pay the consequences. [Time-Travel. Warring Clans Era. No Yaoi. No Bashing.]
Disclaimer: The Naruto franchise is owned by Masashi Kishimoto, Shueisha, Studio Pierrot, TV Tokyo, and Viz collectively. Please support the official release.
Rating: T (Contains violence, swearing, and sensual themes.)
Betas: sendicard, Infamous Storm
Author's Note: This story is the one I've put the most effort into by far, but that doesn't mean I'm squeamish about criticism. Don't like it? Feel free to tell me why. If I don't have a legitimate answer to whatever points you bring up, I'll fix it with some edits and profusely thank you for bringing it to my attention.
That said, I hope you enjoy!
Hands of Time
Prologue: To Change the Past
A monstrous battle ravaged the great forest, leaving the former homes of birds and beasts a barren field of death. Titanic craters littered the land as did the bodies of thousands, but it was the living that truly marked the place.
It was the men and women whose chakra raged with the power of a raging tempest that marked this wasteland as something . . . more.
It was also where one man became a god—unstoppable.
Tens of thousands of shinobi looked on in revulsion, horror, and unbridled awe as Uchiha Obito shed the chains of mortality and ascended.
Thunder rumbled through cloudless skies as a jet-black ball of mass destruction stretched from his hand like a spear, blasting clean through what was considered by many to be an indestructible shield. The Susanō struggled to repair the damage, but it had served its purpose. Sasuke casually allowed the skeletal frame to mend as Naruto landed lightly on the ground beside him, having narrowly missed being skewered.
Off balance from his redirected attack, Obito took a moment to steady himself, glaring at his fellow Uchiha all the while. His demonic body glowed with an unfathomable power, the same power that radiated from his enraged mismatched eyes.
Anyone who looked upon the newest jinchūriki was filled with a sense of profound danger.
His body was mismatched, split right down the middle. Every part of him down to his toes screamed unnatural!
Obito's left side, however, was almost . . . normal. The skin was smooth and human, if a little ashen. The exception being the compressed Tailed-Beast-Bombs that hovered behind his hands and the spikes which sprouted from his upper and lower back.
His right half was another matter entirely.
It was completely covered in blank grey scales. This unbreakable armor sheathed him from his bare feet right up to his hairline, evidence that the Jūbi's influence would not be completely contained with anything less than the ripple-eyes.
Even Obito's hair had transformed from the standard Uchiha black to a startling bone-white, yet more proof of the immortal beast trapped within him.
The cursed eye for his demon half, and the eye of creation for his human half.
On the jinchūriki's back was a total of ten long, bone-white spikes, five at the top just below the junctions of his shoulders, and five at the bottom along the small of his back. Situated right between his shoulder blades rested the eeriest symbol of the a large magatama with concentric circles in its head. Nine smaller magatamas presided under it in rows of three.
Nine Tailed-Beasts under one greater than them all.
The teens shivered despite themselves as the monster in front of them looked up with mismatched eyes that glowed.
Sasuke watched silently as visions flashed before his eyes: visions of quieter days, of his time as a genin of Konoha. Naruto; the loud mouthed idiot who could never do anything right; Sakura, the useless fangirl who had no ambition; and finally, Kakashi, the man who opened the gateway to his greatest techniques by teaching him the Chidori.
He had left them all behind so long ago. Now . . . now they were here. Now they were strong.
But that didn't mean that he would let them change the fate of this world. He had already decided to change it, as was his duty as the last untainted Uchiha. That was what Itachi would have wanted, for him to take fate by the horns.
It was with the quiet grace of an real Uchiha that he lowered his head, allowing his hair to shadow his eyes.
"Not you . . ." he said, his voice not much louder than a whisper. Naruto and Obito looked on in confusion, not entirely understanding what he meant.
The wind suddenly blew with a vengeance, picking up dirt and debris wherever it could in that barren wasteland. Dust and defiance filled the air.
When Sasuke finally looked up, his Mangekyō glared out from the shadows of his eyes. In his mind's eye, Naruto's image in their Team Seven picture was suddenly slashed in two, eradicating the blond from his mindscape.
"I . . . will erase the past!" His Susanō's skeletal arm brandished its sword of black flames menacingly.
Naruto stiffened as he remembered Sasuke saying something similar a bit earlier in the battle, back when they had both combined their most powerful attacks against the Jūbi.
The Bijū are inside that big thing, too! When it's weakened enough, put out those black flames! Kurama and I will take back the Bijū!
No. I'll burn it down.
Sasuke wanted to change the shinobi system.
He wanted to destroy the Bijū . . .
That meant that he would eventually come after Kurama.
The thought alone was enough to make Naruto see red.
Obito face was impassive and his eyes were frosty pits of apathy—Sasuke's declaration hadn't affected him in the least.
He was so far beyond them that, in reality, this conversation was only occurring because he was so generously allowing it.
After all, does a god stop to consider a cockroach? He might pause to squish it for making noise, but nothing more.
And now, Obito was a god in every sense of the word. He could feel everything—the rocks, dust, the very air—but most of all, he could feel the shinobi that surrounded him. He sensed the desperate emotions coursing through their chakra, felt their frenzied heartbeats and the fragility of their life-forces, and he knew that they were weak.
They were all insects, cockroaches beneath his feet—insignificant, irritating, and easily disposable.
Top it off, the Uchiha before him seemed dead-set on making noise, on daring to challenge him.
Just like a particularly annoying bug.
Oh, that wouldn't do at all.
Like a ripple in a pond, something changed. Whether it was Obito's posture or his face, no one could tell, but somehow the man seemed far more menacing than before.
The ultimate power that resided within him was finally making itself known, building up its strength with the rising tide of a tsunami to finish everything off in a single, overwhelming blast.
As if in complete dismissal of Sasuke's declaration, Obito's singular Rinnegan pulsed with terrifying power, paralyzing everyone in range with its sheer potency. There were thousands of shinobi from every great nation on that field, many of whom were strong and battle-tested warriors, but that single chakra-pulse speared its way into their beings, immobilizing them with ruthless efficiency.
The pressure in the air built up to an unbearable degree, then it broke free like a river blasting through the offending dam as Obito finally made his move.
He moved like lightning, tearing through the air so fast that he was just a blur. If any truly focused their ears just then, all they would have heard was the whooshing of the wind, almost like a gentle breeze drifting languidly through the plain. That is, until they heard the sonic boom as the sound barrier was shattered.
When Obito struck, he did so as a vengeful deity. His grip was iron and his feet obscured in a blur of motion.
He materialized in front of Sasuke and Naruto in a show of supersonic speed, his only human hand clamping down on Sasuke's face and steadily crushing the his skull with a grip that could rip through steel.
When Sasuke's world turned black, he knew that he didn't stand a chance. After everything, this was it. This was the end.
The last thing that he was aware of was Naruto being dragged to his own personal hell right alongside him.
Off to the side, Minato screamed out his fury and loss as the Tailed-Beast-Bombs hovering behind Obito's hands suddenly changed shape and shot at the two captive teens.
There was an explosion, that much Sasuke had realized. Then he knew no more, and his awareness drifted into the abyss, his soul cast into the eternal night.
For a long while, there was only the howling of the wind as frenzied zephyrs kicked up clouds of dust which sunk the land into darkness and obscurity.
When the air cleared, one man stood alone, his hands dripping with crimson essence. There was no one else to be seen, nor even any other chakra signature to be felt.
Naruto and Sasuke were gone.
But Obito wasn't. The winds were heavy with dust and fear as eyes of power glowed.
Thousands upon thousands looked on impotent fury and sorrow.
They had lost. They had lost!
And now there was no turning back.
The world despaired as the Rinnegan-bearing god roared his victory into the moonlit night.
Author's Note: It's just a prologue, so it doesn't really matter, but feedback of any kind would be nice.