Summary: AU. Time couldn't be stopped, but it could be reversed. Naru, Shikamaru and Choji were proof of that. They were also proof that war even corrupted the kindest of people. Sent back to their genin days, they want to be prepared for the 4th War, something that is inevitable. But they now have the chance to make everything right. But hatred lurks everywhere. Beware. Fem!Naru.
"Namikaze!" Kurotsuchi's roar echoed through the village hidden in the leaves. The Iwa kunoichi ripped off her pink duvet, glaring at the pink room and pushed her equally pink hair out of her eyes. She forced out a chakra burst, "Kai!"
"I'm going to kill her," The young woman muttered murderously to herself, "Hokage or not, she is dead!"
An ANBU who had come to investigate the noise, smartly stayed in the shadows as he creeped away. The fish masked operative wasn't risking his ass by involving himself in that mess, he was a black ops for a reason and it wasn't to be a target of female fury. A clearly smart decision, because he winced when a scream of mortification pierced the air. It had seemed that she had found the bathroom... and a mirror.
On the other side of the village, a young blonde cackled in her seat as she brought the Hokage's hat down to cover her eyes. A group of genin stood there staring at the leader in horror as their sensei palmed his face with his hand. It was a lesson to all.
She winked at her minions, "Never try to out prank a prankster."
It was amazing what one Jonin Commander and a lone ANBU could do in the span of two days. While Kakashi had a clone train them, the ever so brilliant idea courtesy of Naru, the older men were gathering information from Tazuna and Tsunami. That was until Kakashi realised that she already was past the point of water walking and made her the one to teach her team mates.
Unfortunately, while Sasuke had acknowledged that she was stronger than she had let on, he didn't like the idea of being taught by her.
"C'mon Sasuke-chan," Naru picked at her nails with a kunai, she shot him a blithering glare, "Get your shit together and walk up that tree. I'm sure you'll get it done quicker than I could."
"Don't yell at Sasuke-kun like that!" Sakura felt extremely unattractive at that moment, sweating from head to toe, trying to control her chakra enough for her to walk up the tree calmly apparently did that to you. "You should have taught this to us earlier!"
She shrunk in on herself when Naru simply looked at her condescendingly, "I did try, you bastards didn't want to know. So I just gave up trying to train with you guys and trained with Team Ten." Glancing away to her other team mate, she sneered catching them off guard, "At least they know how to get stronger properly."
Sasuke grit his teeth at that remark, what the hell did she know? There was only one way to get stronger properly and that was through hate and perseverance.
Rolling her eyes at his expression, Naru leapt off the the branch she was sitting on and landed quietly beside him, "Look, it's simple. You have to find the balance between applying too little chakra or too much. Being frustrated won't help. As far as I can go, it's not actually something I can teach. I can sit here and supervise, but it's something you can really only do yourself. As it's your chakra not mine."
"So you're saying you're pretty much useless right now?" Sasuke growled and Naru shook her head.
"Yes and no. I can tell you when you're applying too much chakra or too little. But that would be easy to figure out," She tilted her head in Sakura's direction, both of them saw her attempting once more to walk up the tree. "I'm mainly here to keep an eye over her. To stop her from burning out her chakra coils. I didn't need to watch over you, because I know you're intelligent enough to work this shit out on your own, if you would actually stop for a moment to take a breather."
"You make it sound like I'm a prodigy," the word felt bitter on his tongue, he hated that title, it was the same title given to him.
Naru watched him carefully, before shaking her head, "You're no prodigy." He blinked and she grinned, "You're human though, that's a lot more than most people can say about themselves."
"Deep," Sasuke deadpanned.
She shrugged, "I have my moments." She turned away, about to walk towards Sakura and called over her shoulder, "You will defeat him Sasuke, the question is, will you be able to handle the emptiness that follows?"
When she expected him to snap back, she got nothing and she couldn't help but roll her eyes.
What a dramatic scene.
"She's much more than we thought isn't she," Shikaku landed quietly next to Kakashi, his eyes on the girl he already considered family, "Just imagine what she would be like if she hadn't been exposed to the life she has had."
Kakashi heard what he really what he was trying to say, "You mean if sensei was still alive?" His eyebrow twitched at the thought, "Naru would be one happy girl, she would have family, a village who loves her and an overprotective father waving a kunai at every male that even dares to look in her direction." He tilted his head towards the Nara, "You came here of choice?"
"Hokage-sama is not the only one with personal interest in this team."
"She spends a lot of time at your compound?" The younger man concluded.
"A few nights a week," Shikaku watched with an unsympathetic face as the pink-haired teen fell to the ground with a mighty thud, "Yoshino wants to adopt her."
"You can't?" Kakashi didn't sound so surprised, prodigies were quick to pick up on politics.
"The roots run deep within our village," Kakashi glanced up with an alarmed expression and Shikaku nodded to confirm his words with a grim look. "He wants her Kakashi, but he knows he can't have her, she is too much of a public figure. So he's using any and every chance to isolate her from the village, especially from those precious to her. So when the time comes and he makes his offer, she'll go willingly."
"She won't though, she's unwaveringly loyal to the village."
"Exactly why he's leaving her alone for now," Shikaku closed his eyes and leaned against the truck of the tree, "She's too smart to get caught in his games though. She can sniff out a rat from a mile away." His mouth firmed into a thin line, "She doesn't really approve of the Inner Council, I doubt she even likes the outer."
"The civilians?" Kakashi snorted when Shikaku grunted, "No surprises there."
"It's not like the civilian council members hate her because of the Kyuubi," Shikaku sighed, he ran a hand over his hair, "They're smart enough to know the jailer from the prisoner. It's just that as the only three representatives for the civilian sector of our village. They get badgered a lot by the ones who need a kunai up their ass, the ones that think she's the demon reincarnate. I doubt that makes their day any easier."
"Sounds annoying," Kakashi mused.
"Troublesome more like it," Shikaku glanced more at the blonde, "She knows we're here, she can sense us no doubt."
"Her sensory skills are that good?" Kakashi felt like a jackass for not knowing more about his genin's skills, it was becoming a common factor with his blonde student.
"Depends on how much chakra she's misting the area with and considering we're are kind of in hostile territory, she's probably increased her range, especially with the threat of Zabuza out there." Shikaku wore an approving look like a proud father, Kakashi felt annoyance bubble up within him. It should be Minato-sensei wearing that expression. "She probably thinks we're being creeps."
Without another word, Shikaku leapt down to the ground and slouched lazily when he finally landed. The two genin that were training started in surprise at his abrupt appearance, but didn't comment when Kakashi dropped out of the tree beside him. True to the Commander's words, Naru didn't seemed surprised at all by their presence.
"Where's ANBU-chan?" Naru tilted her head at the men.
"You can't ask that Naru!" Sakura hissed, "It must be confidential work-"
"Actually ANBU-san," Kakashi stressed the honorific so his blonde genin would hopefully pick up on the hint on not to antagonise the secretive masked bastard who had a license to kill and would do so in the name of the village, "Is currently scouting Gato's headquarters. Apparently he stays in an ostentatious manor one click north-east of the village."
"Scouting," Naru bit her lip as she thought, "The only time you would scout out an enemy's territory like this was if you planned on infiltrating for-"
"Assassination," Sasuke finished her thoughts, ignoring Sakura who had gone pale.
Their sensei eye-smiled at the teens as a grim pride coloured his voice, "So quick with their assessments." He turned somber, "It will be quick and it will happen tonight. I want you three to watch over the village for any backlash from Gato's thugs. With their pay cheque gone, I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to take out their anger on the villagers themselves. If it comes down to it, aim to kill."
"T-This is happening tonight?" Sakura squeaked out, she dropped her head in embarrassment when everyone turned to her, but continued to speak, "What about Zabuza and his accomplice? What if they come along?"
"Zabuza Momochi is a professional," Shikaku told her, the serious look in his eyes contrasted heavily with the lazy slouch he had going on, "He's smart enough to know when to back out of a job. I wouldn't be surprised if he's caught wind of what's happening and has disappeared already."
Naru rubbed the shell of her left ear absently as she thought about his words. While Shikaku was probably right, it left her feeling kind of sour and she knew why. The thought of Haku continuing to think of himself as a tool only for his precious 'Zabuza-sama', was a dark thought indeed. While she probably had no chance of convincing them to return to Konoha, letting them go back out into the real word as nuke-nin wasn't a chance she could take either. If she could convince them to return to Mist, maybe that could work out for both sides.
"You okay Naru-chan?" Naru made a face at the nickname, but nodded at Shikaku.
"Don't call me that! Even Anko doesn't call me that," She pouted.
"Anko, huh?" He rubbed his goatee and she found herself regretting speaking the she-devil's name for some strange reason. "Speaking of Anko. Want to explain to me about why she was raging about you breaking a promise? About going on your first A-rank mission together? And how said promise was made when you, Shikamaru, Choji and Anko decided to go get drunk at a bar the night you graduated?"
"I was under duress?"
The others backed away from them both as Shikaku began to radiate a faint killing intent, "Try again."
"A black cat forgot to cross Sensei's path, crossed mine instead and I had to cleanse myself of bad luck?"
"Not good enough," He eyed her evilly, though he was quietly amused when Kakashi beamed with pride at his youngest genin, "No more bars until you're at least 16. If I have drag you home myself, I will." She definitely regretted that night when he smirked, "Or I'll set Yoshino on you. Are we clear?"
Another pout crossed her lips, it was bad habit of hers, even when she was Hokage. Sandaime smoked, Yondaime drew random seal notes on official documents and Tsunade-baa-chan drank herself sober. She, however, abused the kage bushin no jutsu and pouted at almost everything and everyone. No one really could deny a pouting blue-eyed blonde though, especially one that fluttered her eyelashes in a scary way that generally promised some form of pain.
"Yeah Shikaku-san," She grumbled, she folded her arms, "I can't even get drunk anyway. My chakra burns the alcohol off in five minutes."
"Don't care," He ruffled her hair, earning himself a tiny growl, "Adult by law or not, you're not allowed to drink until you're sixteen. I'm willing to bet that Sandaime will agree to that as well."
He wouldn't live past the Chunin exams, but she had been playing this game way too long to give away anything and huffed quietly, "Fine."
"Don't look so grumpy genin-chan," Kakashi sounded terribly amused that it made her want to hurt him, "Now why don't you three head back to the house and prepare for tonight, try and get some sleep if you can. Don't try to dangle Inari out the window this time Naru, he may be a brat, but he's just a sad little kid."
"Well said 'sad little kid' is going to be tossed out the window next time he kindly informs us that we're going to die," Naru snorted, before turning away and stalking back off to the house. "And there will be a next time. Misery loves company and all that crap."
The two men stood there watching as the other genin ran after her, not wanting to be left behind. Well Sasuke tried to look dignified at the same time, but it didn't work as well as he thought.
"We need to work on her language."
"Where's blondie?" Ino asked the moment Shikamaru was near enough for him to hear her. He grunted and she placed her hands on her hips, "I asked you a question Shikamaru! Where is Naru?"
"Out of the village on a mission with her team," He started on his stretches and glared at the ground, "The client lied, Dad and an ANBU have gone to back them up."
Chouji arrived in time to hear Ino shriek, "Sasuke-kun is on a mission out of the village and you didn't tell me!"
The Akimichi, whose body was already hardening into tough muscle much to his pleasure, cleaned out his ear with his pinky. "Damn Ino, shatter some glass while you're at it. It's too early for you to be shrieking. Tone it down, would ya? Some of us have sensitive hearing."
There was a moment of silence, before Ino screamed and clutched at her hair. The boys winced and then watched as she stormed towards their training grounds, muttering about over-confident Akimichi's and their ass-like Nara friends. Sharing an amused look, the boys started to follow after her at a more sedate pace. Just happy to enjoy the day as it passed by. Something they had taken for granted when they were younger.
"She's more stubborn than I remember," Choji muttered quietly to Shikamaru, "I actually am starting to believe that she preferred me being mousey and you unmotivated."
"She could understand us then," Shikamaru shrugged, "We weren't hard to figure out, now we're the veteran definition of paranoid and she can't stand that she's not on the same mental level as us. I think it's a Yamanaka thing."
Choji hummed in agreement, "I still didn't expect her to become so friendly with Naru so quickly though."
"Naru is practically the only female her age that she sees more than once on a weekly basis and even though Naru pretty much grew up a boy, she can at least understand some of what Ino says," Shikamaru tilted his head back so he could gaze at the cloudless sky as they walked, "And despite what she says, Ino can hardly hate anyone."
"Except Ami," Choji added absently.
The Akimichi heir glanced at his friend when he heard him sigh, "You alright?"
"I can't help but worry Naru."
"Are you still worried over your one sided rivalry with the Uchiha?" Choji dropped the smile when Shikamaru's face didn't change from his serious expression. "What are you really worried about?"
"We've only just got her back to how she was before we got back here," The shadow user muttered quietly as he kicked a stone, "But there is three years that our memories were absent. Three years that she didn't have us, three years that she had to carry life on without drawing attention to her new habits. You remember what she was like, she was vindictive and you could tell she was tired of the village."
"If our memories hadn't returned to us at that point in time, we would have lost her to herself," Choji's eyes hardened, "This village is ungrateful."
"Always has been," Shikamaru grunted. "Yet we keep trying to save it's ass."
There was that one cliche every mission, where someone would yell that she couldn't achieve something, because boohoo there was a tragedy and a sob story to go with. Generally she was fine to hear it, but going through a war had changed her perspective on some things and she wondered if all war veterans felt like this when they heard, yet again, another sob story.
"You're not a hero!" Inari's face was red as he glared at her specifically.
Why did they always target her?
"You're right, I'm not!" She snapped back, catching everyone by surprise. "However I am a shinobi and you are a civilian. By telling us that we are going to die by Gato's hand is the same as telling us to slit Tazuna's throat for him. Do you want your grandfather to die?"
"N-No.." Inari didn't know how to react, the stupid shinobi wasn't meant to reply with that.
"Then keep your mouth shut," Naru glared, her chakra flooding the room, overpowering Kakashi's warning flares, "And let us do our job. Gato is a civilian, nothing more, nothing less. He is not powerful, his thugs aren't powerful. By shinobi standards, even a fresh academy graduate can hold their own against several at one time. Don't assume you know more than us!"
"You don't know how we have suffered!" Inari tried to win the argument once more.
"And you wouldn't have suffered if the rest of the village had stepped up to defend themselves with your father!" Naru snarled back, she shrugged off Sasuke's grip and slammed her fist on the table, causing it to creak and shudder. "But no, they were cowards and because of that cowardice, the village suffered. But at least you still have your mother and grandfather. And at least they are trying to improve their situation."
Inari, too frightened to move, burst into angry tears and Naru felt no need to comfort him. Sure, she had sympathy for the child, but she was furious as well. Past her would have yelled at the kid and tried to prove him wrong. Present her wanted to help him, prove him wrong and rip his ideals to shreds with harsh realities. But that also made her a monster and she was slowly starting to not care at all.
Sighing, she slowly released her chakra and rubbed her temples, "You won't understand right now Inari, but you what you are doing is exactly what Gato wants. There are some things you have to fight for, this is one of them." She stood up and glared down at him, "At least your father understood that."
Perhaps, her 'repeat' had made her more bitter than she had realised. It was heavy feeling, the responsibility of shouldering a burden that seemed unimaginable to others. Stomping her way upstairs, she growled under breath as she slammed open the door to the room she was staying in. She needed Shikamaru or Choji. She needed them to remind her why they were doing this again.
Because right now, her anger and self-loathing were making her forget.
"Naru," She turned her head away from her teacher, he was concerned, even now his chakra flickered exactly the same way she knew it would in the future. "What happened down there?"
"Reality," The jinchuriki snapped, "Don't get me wrong, I feel for the kid. But I'm tired of handling ungrateful bastards. Why did he target me?"
"Because you were the closest?" Kakashi's attempt at humour, however subtle it may be, fell flat when she shot him a glare. "I suppose I should reprimand you for yelling at a client and then talk to you about what you had said."
"But you're not going to," Of course the socially inept bastard wouldn't, he wouldn't even know how to breach the subject with a 'not-too-sure-if-she's-actually-a-genin' genin. "Because you feel I already know what I've done wrong, that I can correct myself and that any touchy feely stuff can be handled by Shikaku-san."
"Well actually I was going to say that I really just wanted to read my book," He eye-smiled back with 'hip' attitude that would make Gai tear up.
"Yeah, you need to get laid," Naru snorted into her pillow, missing the offended look on her sensei's face, "With an actual girl and not just your hand." There was a choking sound, followed by the tell-tale signs of shunshin and Naru smirked to herself. "Too easy."
"It's a shame I won't react in the same way," The drawl of Shikaku made her stiffen, he pierce her with one lazy eye, "Is there something you wish to tell me Naru-chan?"
I'm from the future. You died protecting your son from Madara. I know what's in that box on the shelf, you better believe that I'm going to be using it as blackmail. "Nothing, I'm just tired of little shits like that acting like they're the only ones who had suffered." Her eyes bored into the futon she was lying on, "In the red light district we have a saying, 'Nothing is more important than seeing the sun rise the next day', this village isn't even trying anymore. They've rolled over and allowed Gato to gut them, inch by inch."
"And that offends you?" Shikaku closed the door, aware of the young ears that was listening.
Naru, who could sense Inari, continued on without care, "Yes! That brat has a family, he has his grandfather and a mother who loves him and he still assumes that he is the only one who has faced hardships!" She ran a hand through her hair that was quickly coming undone from the braid it was in, "Out of Team Seven, only Sakura is the one with family. The village killed Kakashi-sensei's dad, Itachi Uchiha slaughtered Sasuke's clan and the Kyubi ripped me from mine."
She blinked away hot tears as they overheard a small gasp from the other side of the door, "If I didn't have the few precious people I have in Konoha, I would be buried deep into the world of Yakuza." She ignored the intensified gaze of the Nara head, "Did you know that I grew up and am still under their protection? That Hokage-jiji actually had to send me to his old friend? A crime syndicate was the one that kept me safe from the rest of the village?"
"I'm sorry," The Nara murmured, "If I had known-"
"You still wouldn't of have been able to do anything," Naru muttered bitterly, "I'm aware of the politics that come with my position."
There was silence until they heard the small creaks in the floorboards as Inari sneaked away, clearly done with eavesdropping. There was some movement downstairs and they listened as Sakura stomped up the stairs, Sasuke following more quietly. It was clear that the two needed more work on how to move without sound, but it was a lesson they could learn at a later date.
Both shinobi rose a brow at the exact same time Sakura burst through the door, scowl already on her face as she glared at the blonde. She shook a fist, "You embarrassed us downstairs!" She stalked forward a few steps, Sasuke leaning against the doorframe, eyes dark with thought as he watched what was in front of him. "Shinobi aren't meant to act like you did! Why can't you take example from me or Sasuke-kun!"
Naru snorted unkindly, "Right. Because I want to be a bratty, little civilian bitch, who risked her team mates lives and her own by fawning over a boy instead of training?" Sakura flushed a deep crimson and Naru waved her towards her male team mate, "Or should I be like dear Sasu-chan and brood sulkily for the rest of my life. Offending clients in the future, focusing only on my long term goals and be too impatient, or perhaps stupid, to focus on the actual steps that would get me there. At least I know I can count him, he actually has the potential to achieve his goals."
"My mother said you were a demon!" Sakura blurted out, before gasping and clamping a hand over her mouth.
The room fell into silence and Naru began shaking. Shikaku went to move forward, worried that the girl might do something out of anger, but all were surprised when she giggled, "Oh Sakura, sweet little Sakura." Her were cold, as she lifted her head to cut into the girl with her gaze, "I'm no demon. I just keep one prisoner."
"Naru, enough," Kakashi's voice came from the direction of the window.
"Sorry Kakashi," Naru's apology was accompanied by a mocking bow. "I'm just telling the truth you know. The Yondaime wasn't able to kill the Kyubi, how can you kill a mass of chakra? So he did what he was best at?" Leaning forward, she sent them a smirk, "Sealing. He sealed the bijuu, it's not uncommon really. There are eight other bijuu who have been sealed. But do you know the best part?"
"Naru," Kakashi warned, he glanced at Shikaku, seeing the mans brow frozen in thought.
She watched as realisation dawned on her two team mates, horror masking their features, "He sealed it into a new born. Me."
"Y-You hold the Kyuubi?" Sasuke's voice was pitched higher as things suddenly made sense.
Why nearly all the villagers shunned the blondes existence. Why most teachers outright ignored her, sans Iruka. Why she could never walk anywhere without a hate filled glare being aimed in her direction. Why she didn't show her true skill. Everyone fears a strong weapon, but they could live with a dumb one. It also explained why she was so chummy with the Hokage, it was a tie that kept her loyal to Konoha.
"Ding, ding, ding," Anger flashed in Naru's eyes, "Of course, I was the only one who could hold the beast back. Any other child, human, would have succumbed to the bijuu's corrosive chakra. Only an Uzumaki had chakra dense enough to hold back the beast, to stop it from levelling the village. Because of me, the village still stands. And do you know what I received in return?"
"...hate," Sakura whispered, her mind almost shut down from the information she was receiving. This was why her parents ordered her away from the girl. "You only received hate."
"Hate," Naru nodded, she fell back on the futon to stare up at the roof, "Oh don't get me wrong, I was never physically abused, aside from odd slap or shove. But I was never welcomed anywhere. The one person keeping them safe by holding the threat within and all I receive hate. The seal is perfect, it's based on Uzumaki fuinjutsu. It allows me to steal the Kyuubi's chakra and purify it as my own. By people, especically civilians don't understand that."
"They think she's the Kyuubi instead," Kakashi finished solemnly, he moved further into the room. "The question is, how are you going to react?"
Their eyes both wide, and frightened with understanding, lingered on the jinchuriki.
They had no idea.
A/N: Hey guys. Well this isn't rushed, well the ending is. But this went off into a tangent I barely understand and the jinchuriki thing came out earlier than expected. I was going to have them confront her after the bridge. But you know, whatever. Anyways, I left you with a cliffhanger. Because I'm a bitch like that and I enjoy riling people up. Also, I am apologetic about the late update. Real life is a bitch and when I seem to be motivated, it's mostly when I'm not near any computer. Unfortunate, really.
However, I loved the answers people gave me to my previous question in the last chapter I wrote. A few of you had interesting answers, so here's mine.
Honestly, I like Kakashi. Or let's say his progress to becoming a better functioning person, especially since he was consumed completely in darkness. But I'm also not afraid to say that he pisses me off. Especially with how he wasn't involved much in Naruto's younger years. But that could also be due to a lot of things.
-Political. He's a public figure, a well known one that is a possible Hokage candidate in the future. While not as obvious as the clan politics involving a jinchuriki, a bond with the container with his stature, could be considered a power play.
-Orders. There's the whole keeping the Yellow Flash's progeny safe theory. Kakashi is known as the Yondaime's apprentice/student. Any contact with blonde, especially so soon after the attack would draw attention. Especially from other countries, who would be looking for a opportunity to strike. Especially Iwa, who would be giddy at the fact Minato Namikaze is dead. But then again this could also be another political thing. The Namikaze heir, people would be clamouring for a chance to boost their status, even if meant cajoling with a so called demon.
-Ignorance. There is a chance that Kakashi doesn't know or chooses to not see underneath the underneath. Emotions are bitch and all that jazz.
But aside from all that, it's his character that gets me as well, well I mean personality. Lazy, but serious. Openly perverted, but aloof. Socially awkward. That and I bet he has feminine face. Like for reals.
Anyways that's it.
Apart from the obvious pairings, such as NaruHina, NaruSaku, SasuSaku or SasuHina. What are the odd pairings that you adore? For example. Naruto x Shizuka. Sasuke x Tenten. Naruto x Ino.