It all started... not with a beginning, but more like a middle

It all started not with a beginning, but more like a middle. You see, the beginning of this tale would be either twelve or sixteen years ago, depending on how you look at it. The middle on the other hand, could be anywhere between that beginning over a decade ago and the end, which is nowhere in sight. Anyway, it all started with a great big flash.

There were too many genin to count in the room. It was a fairly large room, with rows of desks and chairs taking up most of the place. They all faced towards one teacher's desk at the front of the room, which had a black board located behind it. Most of the genin were tense and on edge, and for a very good reason. It was that bi-annual time of the year, the much anticipated and also very much dreaded Chunin Exam. Those who enjoyed and/or looked forward to the regular event were usually one of the following:

A) Terminally stupid.

B) Sadistic.

C) Examiners.

D) Overconfident.

E) Certifiably insane.

F) Jonin


G) Two or more of the above.

Most ninja fit under category G.

Ibiki opened the door of the room to find a group of Konoha genin, who had already been nicknamed the Rookie Nine, antagonizing the more experienced genin, most of whom were foreigners. One overconfident, terminally stupid blond in particular was doing a fantastic job of turning the entire room against his kill-me-orange clad self and his friends.

The chunin watchers behind Ibiki observed as the head of T&I was about to open his mouth and yell at the canon fodder-sorry, genin- only to be interrupted. By a great, big flash.

It was a bright, white light that suddenly filled the room and, unbeknownst to everyone else, a dusty corner of the building where Kakashi and Guy happened to be meeting with Asuma and Kurenai while a Wood-style using ANBU jumped in through a window to find his friend Kakashi. The flash, should anyone wonder, happened at that moment because it was precisely then that seventeen people and a dog happened to be in the same building at the same time, for the very first time. In the exam room, when the light faded less than a second later and everyone regained their eyesight, something was different. More accurately, fourteen things were different.

Where there once stood fourteen children and all within a twelve to fourteen year old age range and a puppy, there were now fourteen teenagers and a dog who seemed to be the same people, but roughly three years older. They were slightly scuffed up and looked like they'd just come from a battle field. Several of them were in taijutsu stances or holding weapons. One was riding a large white dog. Everyone in the room was frozen in shock, most of all the fifteen suddenly older additions.

Ibiki could recognize several of the new?comers, albeit older versions of them than he was familiar with. Hinata Hyuga, the Hyuga heiress. Shikamaru Nara and Ino Yamanaka, whose fathers he worked with occasionally. Kiba Inuzuka, one-half of the pranking duo that regularly wreaked havoc on the village. Naruto Uzumaki, Konoha's misfortunate jinchuriki and the other half of the Leaf Village's most infamous pranking team.

The silence was thick enough to cut through.

In that little corner of the building where a quartet of jonin-sensei met, an ANBU landed on the floor unexpectedly and rather clumsily, immediately, getting back up and spying the group of four, ran towards them. He ripped off the mask covering his face to reveal that he was Yamato. Or Tenzo, if you wanted to get into technicalities. The last thing he clearly remembered was being brought to the Akatsuki lair by Kabuto and seeing that vile masked man, Madara.

"Kakashi! Guy!" He shouted.

The quartet of jonin spun towards the shout, the very confused Guy and Kakashi becoming even more so when they saw Yamato.

"Captain Yamato!" Guy exclaimed rather loudly. "Your Flames of Youth have escaped the Dousing of Evil that the Fiend Madara most Unyouthfully attempted!"

Yamato stopped running at that statement, sweatdropping instead. "Eheh. Uh, yeah. I think."

Kakashi's eyes narrowed in suspicion, the fact that both were revealed being a warning sign in itself. "Hold it, Guy." He used in arm to block Guy from dashing forward and crushing someone who appeared to be Yamato in a Hug of Youth. "He could be one of those Zetsu clones."

"Zetsu clones?" Yamato, Kurenai, and Asuma asked questioningly.

Suddenly noticing Asuma, miraculously alive and not a resurrection, the third Hokage's son took precedence over Yamato's appearance, which could've been explained by an escape whereas someone coming back from the dead wasn't quite so easily explained. Kabuto's Resurrection jutsu didn't count as an excuse. And as far as Kakashi knew, the Rinnegan's revival capabilities hadn't somehow been used, and he was also fairly sure that it couldn't work on someone who'd been dead as long as Asuma had.

"Asuma! My Peer and Comrade!" Guy exclaimed even more loudly. "You are Alive once again! And most Youthfully not a Resurrection!"

"Huh?" Asuma wheezed out as Guy crushed him in what the taijutsu master probably thought of as a hug. Kurenai looked at them awkwardly and with a lot of confusion, though not nearly as much as Yamato.

"Resurrection?" The ANBU captain asked Kakashi in confusion.

Kakashi on the other hand dismissed Asuma as already bound by Guy and interrogated Yamato. "Tell me something only Tenzo would know." He grabbed the wood-style user by his collar and glared threateningly.

"Shh! Don't call me that! I'm supposed to be Yamato, remember?!" He pushed Kakshi's arm away.

Kakashi blinked and then eye-smiled. "That'll do. Good to see you again, Ten-uh, Yamato."

He immediately turned back to Asuma, who was still being held hostage by Guy, who was crying Tears of Youth. Kurenai put her hands on her hips and demanded an explanation from Kakashi. "What's going on here?"

Kakashi took in Kurenai's not-swollen stomach and the view of the not-cratered village outside the window. And the four faces on the Hokage Monument. No fifth. "Time-travel? No, that's crazy. This has got to be a genjutsu."

At those words, Guy immediately stopped crushing the life out of a twitching Asuma and looked around himself. "That is a Perfect Explanation, Kakashi!" He exclaimed loudly, as he did with everything. "This Must be an Enemy genjutsu, designed to Trap Leaf shinobi like ourselves!"

After shouting the words louder than necessary, he clapped his hands together into a hand sign and yelled out. "Kai! Release!" With his eyes squeezed tightly shut in concentration. He opened them again and blinked in surprise at his surroundings, which were still the same. He tried again. "Kai! Release!" Besides a small wave of disruptive chakra, which did absolutely nothing to the supposed "genjutsu", nothing changed.

'Hmm...' Kakashi thought, looking around carefully with his Sharingan eye. 'This isn't a genjutsu. But that would mean... no, it couldn't be. Time travel is impossible.'

While Guy repeatedly tried to release a non-existent genjutsu, Kakashi remembered something. Or rather, someone. "Hold on, Guy, where's Naruto?"

Naruto sneezed, which disrupted the shocked silence of the exam room and finally triggered the trained response of the chunin in the room. Kunai and shuriken flew at the Konoha 11 and the three Sand Siblings, all of which were blocked by Gaara's sand.

The chunin immediately and quickly escorted the genin in the room outside and into the hallway

"Go, move it! They could be hostile!" One nameless chunin brought up the rear of the group moving out.

As soon as all the genin taking the exams were in the hall, a chunin who happened to be one of the gate guards ran down to the second floor to try and find at least one jonin. It was common knowledge among examiners that jonin sensei who ha"d students in the exams liked to wait on the second floor. Practically tradition, really. Speaking of tradition, attempts at attacking the host village during the chunin exams were pretty much to be expected. 95% of the time, they were stopped before they even started. 4% of the time, a lucky assassin made it to an exam site, only to be dealt with by an exam proctor. 1% of the time, something else happened.

It was the examiners' job to be on the alert for that 1%, and to have a plan if it happened. The gate guard, Kotetsu, who happened to also be one of the spotters of the first exam, was given the job of messaging the jonin whose genin students were taking the exam if something happened quietly enough to escape notice.

"Okay, what the heck just happened?!" Kiba yelled, accompanied by a bark from Akamaru, who he stepped off of after Gaara's sand shield came up.

"Yeah!" Naruto nodded his assent to Kiba's blunt way of putting their situation. "Where's Tobi-er, Obito, ugh, that Akatsuki jerk! Where'd he go?!"

Gaara's ultimate defense of sand streamed back into the gourd he carried with him. The Kazekage's arms were crossed, and although his expression was neutral, he was as confused as the rest of them were.

Shikamaru tensed, though he lowered the kunai blade he was gripping. "Questions later, situation now." He said. Shikamaru then blinked in surprise. What were they doing in a classroom? And with a good dozen armed chunin to boot? Wait, was that Ibiki glaring at them?

Yes, it was Ibiki glaring at the new additions who'd dropped in unexpectedly. He barked orders at them, hoping, but not counting on, their cooperation. "Stand down and you will not be harmed. We'll take you in for questioning, and if you work with us, we can sort this all out."

Upon seeing Konoha's infamous head of ANBU's torture and interrogation division, the drop-ins balked. This was an ally ordering them to stand down. The Konoha Eleven partially complied, putting weapons away, though keeping wary, battle-ready stances. Temari, having been involved with Konoha relations fairly often, also closed her open fan, though she didn't put it away. They were shinobi after all.

The rest of the Sand Siblings, on the other hand, didn't make an effort to comply. Gaara mostly because 'Standing down' for him wasn't that much of a difference between not. Kankuro, on the other hand, didn't because he was being a bit of an idiot at the time. "Hold on, Gaara's the Commander-in-Chief!" He pointed at his brother. "Unless you've got new orders from headquarters, you're out of line!"

A few of the spotter chunin glanced at each other in confusion while Ibiki growled. "You're the one who's out of line here, foreign shinobi."

"We're allies here, remember?!" Kankuro exclaimed, but then paused. "Wait, you guys must be some of those Zetsu clones!" He turned towards Naruto. "You said you got them all!"

"I did!" Was the irritated reply the puppeteer received.

Before any of the drop-ins could say another word, Ibiki yelled, silencing everyone. "QUIET!"

Shikamaru analyzed his surroundings during the moment of silence. He took in the stack of test papers on the desk in front of the black board. The time on the clock behind the desk. The all-too-familiar classroom. Ibiki and the spotter chunin. Subtly trying to disperse a genjutsu and detecting no change, he quietly said. "Neji."

The Hyuga prodigy replied. "I know."

Shikamaru then said. "Shino."

"I'm sure of it as well." The Aburame responded.

Before any of the louder members of the Konoha Eleven or the Sand Siblings could start something, Shikamaru nodded to Gaara. The Kazekage and Commander-In-Chief of the Allied Shinobi Forces softly but firmly gave an order. "Stand down. Now."

The Konoha Eleven and the Sand Siblings did so, taking hands out of kunai pouches and relaxing out of taijutsu poses.

Ibiki analyzed the situation. They didn't completely obey me, but put away their weapons when I asked. From the ones who look like Leaf shinobi, it's expected, but the foreign ones were a surprise. Besides that puppeteer. Though it's the red-head I'm worried about. They all listened to him, though a little hesitantly on the part of Uzumaki and Inuzuka. He waved to the chunin behind him, giving them the signal to relax a little. If Kotetsu did as he should've, we'll have some jonin in here soon. And ANBU. Can't forget ANBU. They've been watching this building for hours.

Right on cue, the door burst open to admit five jonin and several ANBU burst in through the windows.

AN: And scene! There's the first chapter. :) The time-travelers still haven't come to terms with the time-travel, though the more observant ones are beginning to suspect. I'm not sure when I'll post the next chapter, updates on this story are going to be pretty splotchy. I write for this when I feel like it.

Hope you enjoyed this chapter, and please leave a review!