AN: So, I didn't want to start another story with how many stories I already have, but this idea snuck up on me and hasn't left me alone all week. So, I've decided to at least start it. I've wanted to do a time travel fic for a while now, hopefully it's alright for a start
'Go back, fix it...'
'I know what Sasuke planned when he gave you his eyes.And if anyone could do it, it would be you, Naru.'
A blonde woman sat against a wall, her head back and her eyes closed. She was what some would call beautiful, although as a kunoichi she didn't put much stock on appearance. Her skin was lightly sun-kissed and she had three whisker marks on each cheek.
Her hair was long, falling down past her knees and while it was straight, it was also somewhat unruly. If it was short it would probably be more apparent and more like her father's hair. But as it was, it was more reminiscent of her mothers. The left side of her bangs held back by two clips.
She had on a sleeveless long white haori similar to her father's (the Yondaime Hokage), but the flames-like motifs on the edges were dark red instead of orange. On the back of the haori was the Uzumaki spiral and under that she wore an orange, low cut, tank top which stopped short above her navel. Along with a mid-thigh, dark violet-blue apron skirt which was slit on the sides. Under that was a pair of short black shorts, and she wore knee high black shinobi boots.
"Have you given up?"
Obsidian eyes snapped opened at the voice she knew wasn't from her mind. She looked up, the haunted irises shining in the light that came through the windows from the rising sun, and gazed into stoic looking green eyes.
"You know me by now, Gaara, I don't give up," she muttered and Gaara took a step forward.
He hardly looked different from when they were sixteen, maybe an inch or two taller (though he'd always been short) with pale skin, messy red hair, and a love kanji on his forehead. However, there was now a scar that went from the corner of his left eye to the corner of his mouth. The Fourth Shinobi War hadn't been kind to anyone, or maybe 'wasn't kind' was a better description. It still wasn't over, though many of the major players had been dealt with.
The only person remaining was Madara himself, and thankfully the plan involving the Jūbi had been put to rest years ago. The war had started when she was sixteen and now she was nineteen. Many had been lost, killed protecting their homes, comrades, and family. The most harsh on Naruto was those of the Konoha Eleven and other precious people. Kakashi, Tsunade, Shizune… all dead. The most scarring on Naruto's psyche being Sakura and Sasuke; they had been some of the last to die.
Before five months ago she'd had bright blue eyes, but now they were deep black. The same eyes Sasuke had before he used a forbidden Uchiha jutsu to transfer his eyes to her, more-so his bloodline. Without Kurama to help the new DNA mix with her own properly, Naruto probably would've died from the jutsu, since she wasn't an Uchiha by birth.
The genetics the jutsu transferred along with the eyes were simply the genetic code that held the Sharingan bloodline. Thus allowing her to use it, otherwise it would have simply been a jutsu that swapped eyes. This also meant if someone compared her DNA to Sasuke it would show she had Uchiha blood but was not directly related to him.
Every time she looked in the mirror it amazed her that something like the technique existed. It seemed somewhat out of character for the Uchiha clan to have created such a jutsu, but at the same time she could understand why it existed. Given the Uchiha clan's penchent for needed to swap eyes (usually because of the Mangekyō) and the fact medical-ninjutsu wasn't always what was today. It was probably forbbiden now for a reason.
Everytime she saw her eyes though, It was still a shock to see black eyes staring back at her, and just as painful knowing just whose eyes they were. Sasuke and Sakura had died on the same day, leaving her the last surviving member of Team Seven. The first to go had been Kakashi, then Sai, Yamato, and finally even Sasuke and Sakura had left her.
Over the years she'd lost everyone, other than a select few. Gaara was one of the few still alive, Killer Bee another, Hanabi (Hinata's younger sister), Konohamaru and his cousin – Kurenai and Asuma's daughter; Mirai.
"I know," Gaara said, a barely noticeable smile on his face. "You haven't done much of anything, other than prepare in case we're attacked and stay in this room. Mind sharing whatever it was Uchiha and Haruno said to you before they died?"
Naruto sighed, standing up slowly.
"There's a seal that Jiraiya and the Third Hokage worked on together. A time-space seal which allows one to go back in time... theoretically speaking."
Gaara raised an eyebrow.
"Theoretically?" he questioned.
Sighing, Naruto continued, "Yes, they never finished it. After the Kyūbi attack it just sat in storage in the Hokage vault, but Tsunade and Sakura found it when they were going through things. Then after the war started, Sakura and I began looking into it. I had some help from Kurama, who isn't completely ignorant of fūinjutsu seeing as he was hosted by two fūinjutsu mistresses in the past. It wasn't until Sasuke returned we made any real progress, but we weren't sure if it was a good idea."
"I don't understand how it couldn't be. Explain," Gaara stated.
She nodded. Pulling one of the larger scrolls from a desk in what was actually the Hokage's Office, Naruto spread it out before her. As she pointed out some of the characters on the intricate seal she explained.
"Messing with time isn't easy, we had to basically come up with some of these seals through guess work. We knew what we wanted them to do, but if they actually work properly... well, it's not a seal that we can test. In the end, we weren't sure if there would be consequences and what they might be. For all we knew it could cause an instant paradox, or blow up killing everyone involved. Theoretically, one should arrive back in time in their present body, leaving a copy of their younger self walking around. But Sakura thought of the problems with that. For one, we don't know if it's possible or safe for more than one of us to be around. We assumed it would be since souls are always changing until adulthood. And even after one reaches full maturity it'll make small changes – or pulses – to correspond with events in ones life, traumatic or otherwise, and ones personality and moods. In theory, that means the person who travels past-self wouldn't be identical soul wise, allowing for them to coexist in the same timeline."
"That sounds complicated."
"It is," Naruto said, sighing. "Sakura was much better at explaining, and it gets even more complicated. We also can't choose how many years we go back, for all we knew we'd end up before we were even born. Before Konoha was even founded. We don't even known if a person can survive going back in time. Like I said, it could blow up or the strain on the body being pulled through time could cause brain hemorrhages or heart attacks."
"Instant death," Gaara said, frowning. "So it won't do us any good."
Naruto shook her head.
"Not necessarily. Kurama mentioned that if it did work, and he eluded that it was possible to travel through time, it would take a lot of chakra... Bijū chakra, in fact. It makes me the perfect person to attempt it, and the others believed that it would be safest for a jinchūriki to use. Kurama also mentioned that giving someone a bit of his chakra would basically, in theory, give them safe passage as well. We had planned, before that battle, to use it, but..."
"You three never got the chance," Gaara said, a bit of sympathy in his voice. He could understand, he'd lost friends and comrades in the war as well, along with his sister and brother.
"I think I understand, but what I don't understand is what you mentioned before, about souls. How can you be sure the soul changes over time, or that you won't just create a new timeline separate from this one? How can you be sure you won't end up in a different dimension, similar to the one Madara threw you and Sakura into years ago?"
Naruto blinked at Gaara's questions and then exhaled in a defeated way, frowning deeply.
"I don't," she admitted. "It's all theory, Gaara. There is no way to prove any of this. I suppose someone who didn't believe in the existence of a soul probably wouldn't even think twice about the possibility of if two of the same person can coexist in the same timeline. It was just a theory and a possible solution. It makes sense if the soul does exist that over time, as a person grows, it would grow and change depending on what kind of person someone becomes, or changes to be. I don't know if I'll end up in the past of our reality, the possibility of dimensional travel instead is a possibility we discussed, but we decided the pros outweighed the cons in the end. We're loosing the war. We've lost over half of our best shinobi.
"I assume this is what your teammates said before they died." It wasn't a question, he was stating a fact.
"Yes," Naruto answered. "I think it's our only hope."
"And this timeline?" Gaara asked. "What happens to it?"
"From what we theorized, one of two things. It stays as it is, a separate timeline to where I end up, or it's erased after the past is altered." Naruto bit her lip. "There is one other possibility, Kurama brought up. Since I'd have to use a heavy dose of demonic chakra with my own this timeline may... implode after the seal is activated and I've gone. It's a temperamental seal, and unfortunately a one way trip. I'll never know what exactly becomes of this timeline, that is what is making me hesitate from using it. It could be either a death sentence for everyone here in this timeline, or a miracle solution."
"You have to do it," a calm voice said from behind them.
Turning around Naruto saw a teenager with dark hair that was rather spiky, and dark eyes = Konohamaru. Beside him was Hanabi, who had long brown hair tied back and the usual Hyūga white eyes. She resembled her sister, but at the same time took more after her father. She was only a few inches shorter than the boy she stood beside.
Holding her hand was a toddler with shoulder length black hair and deep crimson eyes – she greatly resembled both Kurenai and Asuma, though children usually did resemble their parents. She was recently three years old.
"What?" Naruto asked. "Konohamaru-kun, if you've been there as long as I think you have, you heard what I said. The consequences..."
"Don't matter, Lady Hokage," Hanabi interrupted.
Naruto winced momentarily. She'd never get used to that title. She'd achieved her goal of Hokage, but it was bittersweet. It wasn't part of her dream to become Hokage in the middle of a war zone.
She shook those thoughts as Hanabi continued, "Excuse me for interrupting you, but I think we all know we're losing. Even if this place does cease to exist, at least you can try to fix it in another timeline. Like you said, the pros outweigh the cons."
"Hanabi-chan is right," Konohamaru said, smiling at his friend and the person he'd seen as an older sister since he was a child. "This might be our only chance."
Naruto stared at them for a moment, looking at all three of them before she sighed. She didn't want to take the chance, at least part of her didn't, but she knew they were right. Even if she never got to see them again, at least not the way they were now.
"Alright," she said. "We need to prepare though. If we're doing this, we need to do this soon."