Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Final Fantasy VII
Naruto belongs to Masahi Kishimoto
Final Fantasy VII Belongs to Square-Enix
Pairings: Naruto & Aerith / Cloud & Tifa
A/N: This begins two years before Final Fantasy VII
Prequel: The Broken Kitsune
It was the only way…
After all the hell and torment of the Fourth Shinobi War, and near death of the Bijuu's container by the hands of the now dead Obito and Edo Tensei Madara. With upon the final death match that brought an end to one Sasuke Uchiha, closing the door on the traitorous Uchiha Clan forever.
The now dying 20 year old Naruto Uzumaki lies barely motionless on the ground. Blood seeps from countless sword and Jutsu wounds, his now nearly lifeless cerulean eyes look into the night filled sky. A weak smile graces his lips as his crimson life force slowly pools underneath him, snow gently falls from above highly reminiscent of Haku's death some years before.
"Least now I can get to see you again." he spoke weakly.
"Kur… Kurama..?" Naruto's voice dry, cracking, and strained as he spoke.
The old Demon solemnly shook its head while observing everything of the outside world in Naruto's mind. "You can recover from this brat. I honestly doubt she would want us to die alone with that wretched Uchiha corpse rotting beside you."
Despite his partially blurry vision, the blond shinobi tilts his head, eyeing his once former friend and teammate. But all the feelings of the once brotherly bond shared died, when Sasuke killed her. His sword running through her chest forever burned into his brain, her light forever silenced from this world.
"Can't I just rest? I am so tired partner..."
"… Partner, what I am about to do will let you rest but also keep us alive. And maybe help you heal… I just hope you won't hate me for this… but this is the only way."
Before the dying blond could comment The Kyuubi concentrated all of its demonic chakra as it out its claw-like paws went into a ram seal position.
Kokudo Tensou No Jutsu: Gaia
The last thing Naruto remembered was white light slowly enveloping his body as he slipped into unconsciousness.
XxX ~ xx ~ XxX
"You were right Naruto; the view up here is beautiful!"
"I told you it was dattebayo!"
Sitting with a smile both he and her look out on the head of the Hokage monument overlooking all of Konoha. It felt like eternity since his heart felt so light, gently their hands were together with their fingers interlocked. But soon his smile turns solemn.
"This is a dream isn't it?" It came out more of a statement than a question from him.
Her shoulder length rosette hair flowed partially in the wind as she looked mournfully at him. "Yes…"
"I'm sorry…" He looks down as the pain rolls through his heart. The blond Feeling the overwhelming guilt of his failure tearing at his very soul.
With her free hand she goes and gently touches Naruto's chin to lift it. His cerulean eyes lock on to her brilliant jade. "I told you I never blamed you… How could I ever blame the man I love? Now, time to wake up..."
"I don't want to… I want to stay with you."
"I'm with you always, you Baka." The rosette haired girl smiled softly rubbing his cheek. "But you have to move on… Promise me…"
XxX ~ xx ~ XxX
His eyelids flew open as he quickly sat up, her name coming from his lips. He instantly regretted sitting up as tremors of pain course through his limbs. By Kami his whole body ached all over as he felt like Tsunade Baa-Chan used him for training dummy, fixed him up and used him again. His vision at first being blurry and unfocused as he gently rubs his eyes.
The former Anbu's mental functions soon kick in as his cerulean orbs regain their focus. Feeling himself in a soft bed, as lilacs assault his sense of smell as his surroundings become clearer seeing himself in a small bedroom with pink accented walls. Just by the tastes of the décor this was a woman's house, or least he got that vibe seeing the vases with several types of flowers along with a feminine dresser.
Still, this could be enemy territory, or it might not be considering how well bandaged most of his upper torso is. But he wishes he at least had a kunai with him to be safe rather than sorry.
"You won't need it kit, there are no enemies in this place."
Freezing in place the blond knew only of one person who calls him 'kit'. However the voice that spoke it was usually deep, masculine, and ancient tone. This was feminine, with a husky and sultry edge tone to it. But also one other point…
The voice of his longtime friend came usually from within his head.
Shifting his gaze towards his right, there, leaning with her back to the wall is a beautiful redhead is just a shy two inches shorter than he is. Creamy milky white skin, the woman has a slender, voluptuous figure, with her crimson hair in a partial bun ant the rest going down to her waist with two bangs framing her oval chiseled face. The redhead wears an almost regal looking crimson Yukata with a black corset replacing the obi.
Her fingers and bare feet are claw-like as her glowing slit crimson eyes show both concern and mischievousness at his shocked gaze; "Heh, almost wish I had a camera for this look on your face kit."
"Kur… Kurama?" Naruto slowly finding his voice. "But I thought…"
"I was a male kitsune?" The Bijuu woman scratches her cheek. "I kinda do that on purpose. And given in my kitsune form you really can't tell, especially with the voice. But it is exactly how I want it to be."
"Okay, you learn something new every day." Naruto shakes his head before looking around again. "So where are we, and how are you outside of me?"
The Bijuu Queen takes a deep breath; "The reason I am not sealed within you is also the reason we are both here." Seeing the blank look of confusion she continues. "Even with my power, you were still dying after killing that wretched traitor. So I did the only thing I knew that could save you. I used a specialized jutsu meant for demons or other unique beings and realm jumped us."
A pregnant silence takes the room as Kurama lets her former container process what she said. Much to her surprise he did not yell, or even have a single outburst of her action to save him. Kurama would be lying in saying she did miss some of that old brash and loud Naruto, but after what happened, she could not fault her blond from changing.
Naruto rubs the back of his head. "Okay I will bite, where are we? Is jumping realms even possible?"
"Anything is always possible kit; realm jumping is fairly easy if you have enough power. And given what I am originally from, any Bijuu can do it. As to where we are, this planet is called Gaia. And unlike the Shinobi World, here a natural force called the lifestream nearly is overflowing in power."
"Lifestream?" The blond Uzumaki tilts his head.
Kurama sighs. "Short version it is living spirit of a planet that keeps it alive. It is immensely powerful energy that I used in healing you. As for me being outside of you… The laws of realms are never the same for any world. The moment we got here I appeared outside of you in human form, of course our landing left to be desired."
Naruto lifts a brow seeing the sheepish expression from Kurama; "How did we land?"
"A Free fall which led to crashing into the roof of a church..." The Bijuu queen groans.
XxX ~ xx ~ XxX
Normally, her day usually consists of tending to her beautiful flowers at the church and picking them to sell in the main square near the marketplace, helping her mother with shopping, cooking, or avoiding them. Never in her wildest dreams did ever even suspect more people would be falling from the sky and into her church, scaring the living daylights out of her… again. The life of 21 year old Aerith Gainsborough was never dull, though at times she wished it was; the heart could only take so many surprises.
She sighs slightly as she walks up the stairs inside her house, her dainty fingers light sliding on the wall. In her other hand are some clean clothes which looked like they could fit the cute blond, since his were badly torn up and covered in blood. The clothes for the unconscious redhead did not even look damaged when she also fell in for some strange reason.
She blushes at the 'cute' comment of the blond a little as she shakes her head, had to focus.
Wonder where they came from. The planet said they were 'outsiders', but what did that mean? Still the energy around feels so strong compared to anyone I ever been around. And that woman's glowing eyes, I wonder if that redhead and the blond are from SOLDIER?
Her thoughts were interrupted as she reaches the top step, hearing voices coming from the room that was housing her guests. Those two are awake? How was that possible, last I saw them, they were close to death!
"We fell through a roof of a church?"
"I wasn't really guessing on our trajectory, Kit."
She tip-toed quietly to the closed door leaning in putting her ear close enough to the door to listen in on the conversation.
"So healing me ended up with me getting hurt again?" She could hear the small sarcasm in his tone.
"Oh hush you brat; you're still breathing aren't you? Plus you've survived a lot worse."
The brunette could feel the man nod. "True, oh and whoever is behind the door please come in."
Both Naruto and Kurama smirk hearing a surprised squeak. Slowly opening the door Aerith peeks in before walking inside. She wasn't a very tall young woman, but quite beautiful with a full hourglass figure.
Wearing a very elegant blue and white dress with a red camisole underneath and white wedge sandals with pink straps, the outfit fits her figure just right. Her brunette hair having segmented bangs which framed her heart-shaped face and the sides, and was also pulled back in a thick plait with a pink ribbon tied around it.
The blond and red head also noticed a white orb within the ribbon which held a faint glow, both could feel a faint power coming from it. She has fair but beautiful skin tone and vibrant emerald eyes, they noticed she wore no makeup, but in truth she did not need it.
Just like her…
Her slight embarrassment fades seeing Naruto sitting up in bed. "You should be resting," her voice soft and warm melodic as she walks over and sits beside Naruto.
"How long was I out?" The whisker marked blonde asks.
"Nearly a day and half, I am surprised you're even up." Aerith lets her eyes wonder over Naruto. He was fairly tall, probably 6'2 if she were to guess, a light tanned skin tone. Unlike most men she has seen with muscles, his form had a more wiry muscular build than bulky, which fit his body structure rather nicely.
That and unlike someone who came from a gym, he looked like a man who used his muscles than rather having them for show. If it wasn't for his upper body wrapped up, she would be blushing at his toned chiseled chest and abs.
But that hardly stopped her imagination any if at all.
His face was angular with whisker-like marks on his cheeks which made him almost look like a fox in a way. Spiky sun-kissed blond hair with blade-like bangs half way going down his face. Then there is his eyes, cerulean in color but had such a radiant glow which amplified the tone. Is he a part SOLDIER?
Does he know him?
Hearing a clear throat brings Aerith out her muses with a faint blush. Looking she sees an amused grin on Naruto's face with Kurama's looking more mischievous.
"I know; it's hard not staring at good eye-candy when it's right in front of you isn't it?"
A roll from the eyes comes from Naruto as a blush crosses Aerith's cheeks. "You'll find Kurama is a natural smart ass." The Bijuu nods proudly. "By the way, sorry not saying first, name is Naruto Uzumaki."
"Aerith Gainsborough, I am just glad you two are alright. You gave me quite a scare when you fell through the roof of the church. It took me and two others just to get you back here."
"Sorry for any trouble." Naruto says earnestly. "But thank you for taking us in and helping us."
"It was hardly any trouble." The brunette waves it off. "You get dressed, mom is cooking so if you're able come down for supper, but I can bring it to you if can't move right now."
At that the blond snorts. "The day I can't move after a day's rest the sky will be falling. I'll be down in a minute."
"Okay, maybe during then if you don't mind what brings you two to Midgar," Aerith smiles as she stands.
"Midgar..?" Both former Anbu and Bijuu woman say together.
XxX ~ xx ~ XxX
Walking down with Kurama in tow Aerith so Naruto could get dressed; the brunette sees her mother starting to cook supper. While the Bijuu woman kept a respectful silence, as Aerith sorted her thoughts. How could two people not be familiar with Midgar? The biggest industrial city of Shinra Inc., and why did her instincts keep saying it's a more complicated answer than she thinks. Then there was the feeling she got from the Lifestream, it told her earlier these two were foreign to Gaia, strangers in a strange world to them. But at the same time the planet seems to be enraptured by their energy, Kurama especially.
"Mom, the two people from yesterday are awake!" Aerith comments as she enters the kitchen.
Turning her head Elmyra looks over at surprise when seeing that the tall red head was also up. Kurama gives a slight bow to her head as Elmyra returns it. The Bijuu woman knew off the bat that this was not Aerith's true mother, her scent alone made that obvious. Still it was none of her business, these two saved Naruto, which was enough for her to like them. Plus it wasn't unusual to see a foster parent.
"Now that is surprising. But I'm happy to know that both of you are alright, my dears." The woman said motherly as she smiles.
"Thank you for helping us. It shows real honor to help strangers when it would be better to leave them to die."
Elmyra shook her head. "My daughter and I would ever let someone die. You are welcome here the both of you. Aerith please help me set up the table."
Kurama smiled slightly as she watches mother and daughter prepare the large dinner table. Not wanting to be a third wheel the Bijuu woman eventually joins in, simply stating she was not a freeloader. At the same time the women hear footsteps as they see a dressed Naruto coming down. He smiles warmly at Aerith and Elmyra he smirks coyly at Kurama who glares daggers at him.
"Not one word…"
The blonde only chuckles as he walks over, Elmyra begins fixing dinner. Naruto being the gentleman he sits both Aerith and Kurama in a seat before he took one in between them.
"Thank you." Aerith smiles.
"My, my aren't we the little gentleman. Who are you and where is my Kit?"
The two women giggle at the mock glare Naruto gives to his former tenant. Sighing as he shakes his head he looks over to Aerith's mother as she walks in with the food. "Thank you for helping us ma'am."
As she puts down the tray of food the kindly mother simply smiles. "It is quite alright sweetie. Please call me Elmyra, and you both are welcome here as long as you like."
The two thank her as they start eating their meal. The mood was quite lively as Aerith spoke to her mother while Naruto and Kurama listened quietly. Taking notice of this the younger brunette spoke to the two.
"So where are you two from exactly?"
Both blonde and red head froze as look at each other in the eye. Now this was going to be an interesting dinner conversation.
XxX ~ xx ~ XxX
Aerith and Elmyra thought was a normal getting to know your guests became something of an experience. It turned into something they thought was out of a movie or a really strange long running television or manga or novel series.
But the conviction from both Naruto and Kurama in their voices showed that neither was lying.
Moreover, Elmyra had seen that look in the blond's eyes she had seen once before during the Wutai war. With despite having the vibrant glow that could have marked him as SOLDIER, his gaze is hollow, haunted, broken.
A man who lost something very precious to him…
"How is… something like that even possible," Aerith asks in a tone of disbelief. How could anyone take such a story at face value of two people who actually came from another dimension?
The Bijuu Queen chuckles; "my dear, there is nothing within space and time that is impossible. I brought both Naruto and I here to Gaia in order to save him from dying… I just did not plan on us crash landing into church."
"And in your world, a shinobi is more or less a soldier?" The matriarch of the home asks and receives a nod from Naruto.
"It's a child's choice, and since I was an orphan, I chose to be a ninja. Wasn't until I was sixteen when I learned my late parents were also ninja, the two greatest of my village…" He pauses. "I'd be lying in saying I wasn't angry it was kept from me till ranked Chunin. I punched my late godfather so hard I had broken his jaw, and did not speak to him or my adopted mother, Tsunade Senju for two weeks."
Longest he ever stayed angry as he could ever recall now thinking on it, and still felt quite justified about it. It wasn't till a certain rosette dragged all three of them off to a place and forces them to talk it out that things healed up between them.
Elmyra looks at the blond; "And there were four major worldwide wars?"
"I was in the last one that ended two year ago…" Slowly Naruto's voice trails off. The past as vivid as ever, seeing her lifeless body on the ground.
Aerith quickly leans over resting her small hand on his. "You don't have to tell us. But know my mother and I will help you and Kurama with anything you need."
"… Thank you." The blond says quietly with small smile.
XxX ~ two days later ~ XxX
Sitting in the rose garden behind Aerith's and Elmyra's house, Naruto sits in meditation after everything spoken of the other day, letting the reservoir which flows like a waterfall near the house calm him. After their tale, the two brunettes' gave a brief history of their world.
More specifically Shinra Corporation, the organization which holds all the political and military power in the world. They explained; this was no simple group, but rather a massive self-made conglomerate that decided almost everything in the world. Most of the reason for this was through the use of Mako reactors which harness the very Lifestream into a power source, it gave them complete dominance over Gaia itself.
The two brunettes' explained Midgar, was Shinra's crown jewel and later became the capital of Gaia. With several large Mako reactors in a circle pattern, the capital is divided by an upper and lower city sections called plates. They explained about the vast differences between the upper and lower plates.
In the upper sections you had the wealthy, the high society, and the Shinra building at its center. Below were the slums where people find any way they can survive, which also gives way to a high volume of crime. Naruto and Kurama were sickened by this and it reminded them too much of the crime lords like Gatou who held some villages like Nami No Kuni in the depths of depression, before Team seven had liberated it.
For Aerith and her mother, they lived in the Sector 5 slums which were near a church the young woman goes to tending to flowers. She said she picks them to sell them up top for a Gil which was the currency of this world. The former Jinchurriki and Bijuu Queen took it all in varied strides.
XxX ~ xx ~ XxX
Naruto lightly smirks. "I give you an 'A' for trying to hide yourself." Hearing a squeak he opens his eyes as he looks over to Aerith hiding behind some of her flowers. The young woman slumps her shoulders somewhat, soon walks over and sits beside the young Sannin.
"What will you do now?"
It was a reasonable question. "Don't really know. Guess see what I can do here along with Kurama. Become a Mercenary maybe."
Aerith lightly frowned, while she was against killing people, she knew skills like Naruto's were most likely rare. She just hoped nothing ill would come of it.
"Do you want to go back to your own world?"
Naruto blinked, he finally came to really think about it. But he shook his head; "To tell you the truth, there is nothing really left for me there. I am surprised you actually believe us."
"I admit it does come out of some weird science fiction novel or a really cool anime. But the way you two both spoke of 'the elemental nations', how could we not believe you."
Naruto grins at that. "Because most sane people would consider us crazy."
"Sanity can be vastly overrated." Aerith grins back waving her hand dismissively.
The two look at each other in silence then begin laughing. For Naruto it had been a long while since he felt this light hearted. It was nice to remember the feeling. As they settle down they go into a comfortable silence.
"In a way... You can start from scratch. A new world and a new life. I think you and Kurama have more than earned it Naruto."
Looking over his cerulean gaze into her emerald. A small part of him felt like he was looking right into her eyes. But he knew that was not so, and Aerith is very different compared to… He looks away as the pain goes into his heart. Seeing his sudden change in emotions her dainty hand touches his shoulder.
"Sakura." his voice was low almost to a whisper as his eyes look off distantly.
Sakura..? "Who is Sakura?"
Gasping quickly clearing his head, he focuses back to the present smiling weakly. "So what this stuff called 'Materia'?"
She knew that it was weak deflection of her question, but seeing such an intense pain in his eyes, she let it go. But a small part of her hoped someday he might tell her everything, Lifestream willing.