Avoiding Fate

Chapter I

"Out of a Long Dream…"

"Augh!"

He yelled as he sat up fast in his bed grabbing at his chest. He felt like the world was pulsing with a bronze overlay. His blood pumped faster than he ever knew, pounding in his ears. He felt like he was going to hurl every ramen he had ever eaten, and then the few sweets he had managed to try over his short life.

Sweat drenched through to the bone as a cold chill caused him to shiver as he pat himself down checking for wounds, but got nothing. He wasn't bleeding or dying, and he's certain the afterlife won't be in his apartment bedroom.

He could barely struggle to get breath as he thought of that vision of anger and hate, no hesitation in those spinning crimson eyes. Shaking his head his normally spiky blond hair was plastered to his head, splattering some salty sweat into his cerulean blue eyes.

It was just a bad dream he kept trying to convince himself, but it wouldn't be the first time that he had survived something that should have killed him and been refused hospital treatment. Its amazing that he even survived that then.

In many ways, the sealing of the Kyuubi was both a curse and blessing. It is a curse because of the ungrateful jerks who would murder him for it and a blessing to have its power or he wouldn't have survived those attacks.

He collapsed back, shivering as he realised his bedding is soaked and he'll have to change it, but more so as he recalled the class A assassination technique shattering through his stomach.

"Mental note, Naruto Uzumaki," he muttered to himself tiredly. "If Sasuke tries to go nuke-nin again, just kill the bastard because even in a dream that hurts and Sasuke is not worth it!" he verbally berated his dream self for being so moronic when Sasuke just wants power.

Not to mention thinking back on things. Well, he sighed in exhaustion. If it ever did happen, he won't promise that pink-haired annoyance…

Stopping his thoughts Naruto's eyes widened, as he had never thought like that about Sakura before. He didn't understand, but thinking back the last time well. He remembered the first time he met her. It was at the playground. They were around four years old. He protected her from bullies. The bullies turned on him, and she joined in his beating.

How could he forget something like that? It is so important. Why did he just now remember? Then she keeps attacking him even to this day, just for being nice to her. How can he be so ridiculous?

Blinking his eyes several times, he calmed his breathing down, taking some deep breaths. Something is certainly different, and as he watched his vision returning to normal, he noticed something he hadn't a moment ago.

"My voice, what the hell!?" he demanded, his energy near returning in one go as he panicked and jumped up from his bed to his feet, terrified. He wobbled a bit before standing up straight and looking down.

"I… I'm very short," he muttered to himself as he stopped himself from falling by holding onto the wall. He wrenched open his wardrobe where he keeps all of the rags of clothes he manages to buy for ridiculous prices since some shouldn't be given away.

The wardrobe had a mirror on the inside and he couldn't help but hiss out in shock as he looked at his tiny child's body. Looking around he realised that it can't be long after his fifth birthday when the Hokage finally found him after a Kyuubi-day beating and gave him the apartment.

He had lived on the streets for a few months after the orphanage threw him to the curb. He had to wonder now why the Hokage ever told anyone about him, much less that he let them all know what he looks like, and his name.

Naruto had picked up a few hiding and stealing tricks from the streets, and it wouldn't be for a few years that he would find his favourite ramen bar so he wouldn't have to steal to survive anymore.

He had learnt that the shops either wouldn't want to know, or they would steal the money he got each week, and in some cases the envelope delivering his money would go missing on route, meaning a shinobi stole it.

The old man never had believed that the ninja delivering his living allowance sometimes stole it. He always hated that about the old man, under the surface.

He didn't know why he was feeling this now when he looked into his cool and calculating eyes. This was before he started acting stupid, playing up. He had seen that people didn't consider idiots a threat. So he played like that, and surprisingly people reacted different.

They didn't start liking him, but they just acted like he was a joke, tormenting him for being stupid, and over time his act wore thicker over time. It became second nature over time, and he couldn't stop no matter how much he wanted too.

"I… I had been close to breaking," he muttered thoughtfully. "Sasuke got everything and appreciated nothing. I was stronger than any of my peers, and defeated some of them, like Neji. But they still treat me like I was weak. I had even defeated the one-tails, but… I honestly don't know whether I was credited that or Sasuke.

"They would probably say that Sasuke weakened it, when he started its transformation where it got stronger. I'll never become chunin. No one will let me. So I have to become a S-Class ninja instead. Rank is just a title of authority. However, that authority means shit if I can kick the crap out of them…"

He was smirking in amusement at the thought when he looked in the mirror again. His PJ's are soaked through, and he realised something more pressing than beating the crap out of losers who think rank holds power.

"How the hell am I a kid again?" he asked himself looking befuddled. "Is this Kyuubi-powered time travel?" he asked himself in thought before shaking that thought away. Everything had gone blurry after the attack to the gut and his Kyuubi-rage demon chakra had gone by then.

"I-I was asleep?" he muttered looking back at his bed, confused. "Could it just have been a weird and really long but vivid dream?" he asked with a tired sigh as he pulled off his soaking PJ's just then a window shattered.

He cried out in pain as glass rained onto him with a boom blasting him back, flying into the wall. He looked up blurry-eyed at three men as they loomed over him. He remembered this, it wasn't a good day.

Naruto blinked, confused, there wasn't any weird blurry thing going on but it was as if he just lived in the here and now, at the same time as then. It was crazy. He looked down at his soaked PJ's still on his body, and did the logical thing and panicked as he had tried to forget that day. He thought that memory long since buried.

His eyes flickered to the window and he ran, tearing open his bedroom door and throwing himself through it as the glass shattered with an explosion. However, two men were waiting for him, and he got a kunai in each thigh, felling him to the ground in pain.

Naruto threw himself out of the bedroom door without thought of what's going on as the glass shattered in a boom. This time however, he didn't even acknowledge the two men waiting in his battered old living room kitchen combo.

He dodged the kunai skidding across the floor and hid in the kitchen, behind the ruined breakfast bar.

"Come out, come out little demon, we won't hurt you!" one of the men called out with a sickly sweat voice.

Naruto grabbed a kitchen knife as the man leapt over the counter, landing on him, stopping him from using his weapon, laughing.

Naruto grabbed the kitchen knife and rolled in one motion, spinning, he flicked his wrist and the disgusting man stopped, startled as blood soaked his ninja garb with a large knife sticking out of his chest.

The blonde boy moved, pulling the knife free he charged round the corner where the other four could only star in shock as their 'buddy' fell down, dead.

Naruto didn't try to fight, once they came back from shock they would torture him, then kill him. Instead, he threw himself to the window as he flung the knife at one. He didn't know what happened as he was cut up as he smashed through the window.

Not looking back, Naruto landed the six storeys in a roll and ran. After all, in his dream he had already learn some chakra control moves for augmenting strength. It was surprisingly simple in his smaller body, less chakra to control he supposed.

Naruto ran and ran through the bright streets of Konoha, not stopping even when his muscles started to burn when he ducked into a side street, near collapsing, he rested. He was panting for breath, his chest aching with the effort of just breathing.

"Hey, what ya doing?" asked a chipper voice.

He was startled as he saw a small girl with a skipping rope with light brown hair up in buns on the side of her head and a giant grin.

"I think you're weird!" she declared as if that was nice. "Daddy says jammies are for bed, not playing outside!"

"I-I…" he didn't know what to do or say. He had never met Tenten this young before.

"There it is!"

He turned too late and knew this was the real deal as little Tenten screamed as the leader sneering grabbed Naruto's throat, slamming him into the wall.

However, a moment later the man was smashed off him to drop on the floor by a lean looking man with short brown hair and trim goatee holding a long red lance; his brown eyes a raging storm.

One of the other men charged him. "Stay out of this civilian!" he demanded only to fall to his knees at the inferno of killing intent the man emitted. The other men dropping with them.

"Ten-chan!" the man commanded. "Take your new friend inside while I deal with these 'men'."

She quickly got to it taking his hand and helping him up she pulled him inside a door that had been left open, leading into the side of a shop containing mountains of weapons from swords to huge metal hammers.

Tenten started as Naruto letting her go caught two swords that fell out of brackets as a boom hit the wall.

"Wow," she said greatly impressed. "That was a cool trick, you didn't even look."

He smiled sheepishly as he hadn't needed to as one smacked him on the head knocking him out in one, and the other, after he caught the first would then stub his toes, and hurt like hell.

"Na, this is a cool trick," he said, putting the swords down, and picking up a practice kunai and with a flick of his wrist it seemed to have disappeared. He couldn't believe that he stopped learning and improving his tricks, they are useful; he'll have to make sure to get better this time. It was nice to watch her smile as he made it appear in his other hand.

"Wow, that's like magic, you must be a magician!" she declared, clapping her hands together.

Naruto blushed as he had not been complimented before. In this life, or the one to come. Though, he did have to say even to himself, seeing the future is the freakiest power he had ever heard of, let alone the fact it seems to be his power. It had to be the most useful special-power he had ever heard of too. He wonders what it could possibly achieve. How fast can he see if he tries? He hopes he can control it or it won't be as good as it could be.

He sighed, smiling lightly when his smile dropped as the man returned looking down at Naruto as he placed his lance up against a wall, blood soaking the blade. He was just glad Tenten wasn't paying attention to that or she might freak out or something as she hadn't lived a dream-life that is looking more real by the second and really is a little kid.

"Come on gaki, let's get you washed up and dressed for breakfast…" the man began but then paused. "Tell ya what, Ten-chan take your little friend here and make sure he takes a nice long shower and washes properly. I'll pick out some clothes and start breakfast now," he said looking to his wristwatch it was a little after breakfast time, but he is normally late with that when new stock arrives.

"Okay daddy!" the girl chimed out happily, as she grabbed the confused boys hand and pulled him out back.

Naruto wasn't sure what was going on and no matter how hard he tried he could only seem to see a minute or so forward so couldn't work it out. It was frustrating knowing he had awoken some cool super-awesome power that made Sasuke's stupid eyes stupider, yet he couldn't control it more than looking forward a minute or less. That was lame.

Tenten was whistling a tune as she dragged him into the bathroom upstairs in the apartment above the shop. It was huge in comparison to his. She turned on the shower in the bathtub. He doesn't have a bathtub. He's surprised that it actually has a shower and toilet. Though, his land-person doesn't let him have hot water so this will be a treat.

"There you go!" she chimed out cheerfully. "Oh… I don't know your name…?" she asked him sheepishly. "I'm Tenten."

"I-I'm Naruto Uzumaki," he answered quickly, almost tempted to shout out his dream of becoming Hokage when he really doesn't want to know anymore.

"Nice to meet you," she said, not even asking why those men were chasing him. He suspects growing up with a ninja, or ex-ninja father if he remembers correctly, she had come to know that some people are just that bad.

"Here, Naruto-kun!" she said glare pouting at him as she tugged at his sweat soaked top, trying to get it off him. He obliged, lifting his arms up, and she pulled it off, dumping it in the laundry hamper.

Then she went for his bottoms, and he almost let her before blushing and stopping her. The first time around he wouldn't have cared, and let her take them without a thought as he hadn't learnt modesty until sometime after starting the academy.

She was blushing a little herself; glare pouting. "Naruto-kun, daddy told me to make sure you're washed and cleaned," she reprimanded and managed to wrestle him naked, which, given several years would be a good thing, and he wouldn't fight so hard. He should have seen this coming as she looked before looking away, giggling while Naruto felt uncomfortable as he climbed in the shower.

He felt really-childish as she ordered him to use the sponge and shower gel. She ordered where he should wash himself with the embarrassing threat that she'll have to wash him herself if he doesn't do an acceptable job. Treating him like a naughty little brother who can't clean himself without supervision.

He was just finished and wrapped in a fluffy white towel when the door opened and Ten-chan's dad came in smiling and rolling his eyes. He left some clothes on the closed toilet seat lid and told them breakfast will be in ten minutes.

Naruto was still baffled over all of this as he dried up and climbed into some white boxer shorts that fit perfectly. He had forgotten all modesty in front of Tenten, as it didn't seem important anymore. He just wasn't sure what was going on.

Shrugging that off, and waiting for the surprise of not knowing what will happen next. He pulled on some white socks, surprised. He hadn't worn socks since joining the academy and wearing ninja sandals. He then pulled on some black combat shorts with all the pockets and a white tee shirt.

Then pulled on some white running trainers. He looked to Tenten as he used the velcro to tie them. She was wearing some pale blue trainers similar, and a little blue dress version of the outfit she would wear in the future.

"Come on then Naruto-kun, breakfast!" Tenten cheered as she latched onto his left arm in happiness and pulled him along, out of the bathroom, into a hall, and then into the kitchen dining area where three plates stood on the breakfast bar with some stools.

"Here you go, Ten-chan, Naruto-kun!" her father said, and Naruto didn't find it odd that he knew his name. He found it odd that he was being this nice to him as he dished out a large breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast.

Naruto climbed up on one of the end seats with Tenten in the middle, and her father the other side of her.

"Eat up Naruto-kun, eggs are good for you!" the man said, laughing as Naruto's tummy grumbled and he tore into breakfast as he realised he is starving. "My name is Sato Musgrave, and I'm sure Ten-chan has already introduced herself."

Naruto nodded but didn't stop eating until he had finished his plate. "T-thank you Musgrave-san… I… you have been so kind to me."

"Think nothing of it, and just Sato is fine," he said smiling. "Here, follow me," he said after a moment, helping Naruto down from his chair. The boy almost started crying when he was led into an empty room with one neatly made double bed. "This is your room now. I don't care what that blasted old man or the council think. I'm not going to stand by and watch my friends' son…"

He trailed off looking like he might have a seizure as Naruto look at him with wide eyes. "Forget I said anything kid, and once you're older if the old fool doesn't tell you. I will!" he said before leaving Naruto to flop back on the bed, eyes still wide.

Naruto could barely believe his luck. This man was letting him stay, and he knows whom his father or mother was. Then he confirmed his suspicions that the Sandaime was always lying to him when he asked. It sounded like whomever this man knows was pretty well known.

Maybe the Sandaime was just protecting him or something, but then Sasuke was the last Uchiha and no one did that to him to protect him. The Uchiha had gathered many enemies that would love to end them, but no one had ever tried.

to be continued...