"Your goal is worthy. Our power is yours to command."
Communing with the Bastard Fo—with Kurama had always been disorienting, but now there was a cacophony of voices in his subconscious, and he was so energized by the chakra of nine bijuu instead of one that he felt as if he could tear apart this final battlefield of the Fourth Great Shinobi War all on his own.
The White Zetsu clone soldiers were no match for him, and at this point only the mightiest of the Edo Tensei-revived warriors would be able to even see him. And, as if that weren't enough, the revived Hokage had all been freed from the Enemy's control. From the First to the Fifth, they were ranged behind him right now, their combined threat level keeping all others at bay, only having backed off to allow him the honor of the final confrontation: The secret Uchiha calling himself Tobi…and their battlefield-appointed successor—Uzumaki Naruto, Rokudaime Hokage.
Naruto's eyes narrowed as he glared at his opponent. The sharingan visible behind the tomoe-shaped holes in Tobi's white mask, by contrast, seemed to bulge, and the irides spun and twisted into an elongated pinwheel.
I know that eye! Naruto thought, his lip curling back from his enlarged canines. It was the last impression of his first mentor, forever burned into his mind from the man's final moments. That's Kakashi-sensei's eye! He stole Kakashi-sensei's eye!
"You look angry," Tobi drawled. "Perhaps that will protect you from despair for a time. As it is, you have been a thorn in my side too long, and I will have the power you seek to turn against me. I shall hold you until it is time to bring the Moon's Eye plan to fruition. Kamui!"
Naruto screamed. He felt a strange force that pulled at his body, which twisted his very existence the way Tobi's sharingan had twisted into the Mangekyou…
"No!" Naruto cried, and nine other voices echoed inside his head. He drew on the chakra offered freely by the nine bijuu within him, felt it flooding throughout his body until the overwhelming pleasurepainpower threatened to tear him apart itself.
And then, there was nothing.
In a dark tent, Sabaku no Gaara raised a hand to brush at his short red hair. Odd. He didn't wear his hair this short anymore.
As he shifted forward, lost in thought, he felt a weight on his back. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw an enormous cork. His sand-gourd? Odder still. Ever since he had learned to grind the earth beneath his feet into sand at a mere thought, he had ceased carrying the heavy thing around with him.
In any case, this cramped canvas around him reminded Gaara of nothing so much as the tent his brother had used en route to their first chunin exams. Gaara had never needed it, being unable to sleep without releasing his prisoner. As he recalled, he had only entered the tent to isolate himself during the full moon, two days before their arrival in Konoha. Staying out of the moonlight helped to quiet the rages of…
There was a tickling sensation at the back of Gaara's mind, a feeling that somehow recalled the sound of hissing sands in a glass. Gaara's teal-green eyes widened in disbelieving shock.
Nii Yugito yawned and stretched languorously, opening her eyes from her…she mentally smirked…catnap. She had chosen this apartment expressly because it had a small, thickly-cushioned bed in the South-facing window, meaning she could curl up in the sun whenever she wished.
Perhaps she should ask A-sama for a mission, though. It would do her good to get out of the village and stretch her legs. She must have been bored for too long, to have had a dream such as…that…one…
Despite the warm sunlight she was bathed in, Yugito shivered.
A small tower rose from a lake in the middle of the largest island in the Land of Water. Within, Karatachi Yagura blinked rapidly. This was…the Mizukage's office. His hands on the desk were cold; the chair uncomfortable, apparently from how long he had sat in it.
How many years had passed since he was elected the Yondaime Mizukage? How many years since his beloved village had celebrated his mysterious demise, after he had been made to instigate the bloodiest civil war the country had ever seen. How long since…
A small, soft noise from behind his chair made Yagura stiffen, and his fingers closed on the hooked staff leaning against his desk.
"Excuse me," he said quietly, politely. He smiled grimly at the shocked intake of breath. "I must ask you to leave my office at once."
Akahige no Roshi opened his eyes blearily. He was slumped on a wooden bar, his vision obscured by the huge, half-empty bottle sitting beside him. With a groan, he pushed himself upright, twisting his head so as to pop the bones in his neck. Onoki was always telling him that he would give himself rheumatism like that, but Roshi still moved without aches while Onoki complained daily about his bad back.
Roshi's head pounded. He picked up the bottle he had woken up staring at; raised it to his lips for a little hair of the dog…and felt a painfully familiar stab of annoyance in the back of his mind.
The bottle slipped from his nerveless fingers and shattered.
Han of the Steam Armour was, appropriately enough, having a steam bath to calm his nerves. The situation was…unlikely? Unusual? Impossible? Words seemed insufficient. Though the large man often seemed ponderous, he was anything but slow. Like his great-granduncle the Shodai Tsuchikage, the truth was that he often had trouble being still. Though he was no genius, his mind was always in full motion, taking in and going over everything he saw and heard and thought.
The steam he saw and smelled and felt now—so very separate from his own—merited such contemplation. By rights, he ought not be aware of anything at all. Particularly not the barely-contained charging force within him that he knew as well as he knew his own name…
Utakata gasped, and jerked away from the ropes descending toward him. He rolled out of the enormous sealing circle, came to his bare feet, and sprinted away as fast as he could. It was like a wide-awake nightmare; returned to that seal, to that place where his life had nearly been snatched away by a man who thought he was doing the right thing, a man he had respected and loved, a man he had called master…
Closing his eyes, the young man ignored the frantic cry of his name, the voice so achingly familiar, and forced himself to run even faster. He had run before and he would run again. He had to get away before it could happen again, before he could be betrayed and betrayer, before his shishou died for his own sins.
This was impossible, this was unacceptable, this was wrong, wrong, WRONG!
It couldn't be true, she couldn't be back here again. The village had been destroyed, its citizens slaughtered by Akatsuki, by their prodigal son Kakuzu; the Hero's Water had been stolen and the Great Tree razed, the dam destroyed and the reservoir drained straight through the village itself until the Waterfall nearly ran red…
Genjutsu. It had to be. Someone in the vicinity was forcing her to remember, to relive. She needed to escape, to disrupt it, to flee its range.
She had to get free!
Mintoha Fuu called forth her power. She scattered a shimmering, blinding powder all around herself, spread her wings, and flew off as fast as she could.
In a hidden cave within the Valley of Clouds and Lightning, Killer B sat quietly for once, his expression utterly unreadable behind the sunglasses he wore even here, in the pitch-darkness of his home-away-from-home. Alone though he was, he was deep in conversation, getting up to speed on everything that had happened after he…
So it had been an Uchiha after all. Perhaps Kumo's attempt to abduct the byakugan from Konoha should have been aimed at the sharingan instead…though the insanity which appeared to come along with those eyes was not at all worth it, in B's opinion. Perhaps it should have been early extermination, instead of kidnapping.
But B shouldn't be here. He knew that, and so did his partner. In fact, they specifically remembered collapsing this particular cave several years ago…
Naruto felt a hand close around his ankle as he fell upside down, and he reacted instinctively, drawing a kunai and slashing at the ankles of the person holding him. His captor released him, skipping sideways on the tree limb to avoid Naruto's cut. Naruto grabbed the branch at a narrower point with his free hand, used his momentum to swing a full circle around the limb, and planted both feet in the man's back.
"Ooof." With a grunt, the white-haired man went tumbling forward. His momentum thus cancelled, Naruto landed in a crouch on the branch, reversing his grip on the kunai and wondering idly why it was so small, without its signature three-prongs…
The man he had kicked caught a branch some ten feet below, swung around it as Naruto had, and stood tall, glaring back at his blond student with his one uncovered eye even as he slipped a small orange book into the pocket of his flak vest…
Naruto dropped his kunai, which landed point-down and stuck in the branch he stood upon. Naruto didn't even notice how close it had been to his foot.
"Who did you think caught you when you slipped?" the man asked, his visible eyebrow rising even as his eye crinkled in his usual smile.
Naruto launched himself at the branch on which his sensei stood, landed hard, and flung himself at the man. He wrapped his arms around Kakashi and buried his face in the Copy Ninja's flak jacket, breathing hard and struggling to hold back the tears.
"S-sensei…I'm sorry…I'm so sorry…" he was sniffling and babbling and this was probably a genjutsu he was trapped in, and he would ask the Bas—he would ask Kurama to free him in a moment, but for now he just wanted to hold his lost teacher.
"Uh," said Kakashi intelligently. He placed a hand on Naruto's head and ruffled his hair in the way the boy always hated, hoping it would help bring him back to normal. This behavior was a bit odd, even for Naruto.
"Oi. Dobe. Quit wasting time," called a voice from ahead.
Naruto gasped again, turning his head without releasing Kakashi to see the speaker, his miserable face twisting into a snarl as he drew another kunai, wondering again why it was not not triple-pronged and marked with the Hiraishin seal. No matter. He could still flow his wind chakra down it if needed; that should insulate the blade and render it strong enough to resist Sasuke's Chidori-enhanced chokutou. He met his rival-turned-enemy's eye…and froze. Sasuke stood before him, yes, and Sakura at his side like always. And yet…
Sakura was wearing a dress, her hair reached halfway down her back, and she was looking at him in puzzlement and frustration, but not contempt. Sasuke bore the uchiwa of his clan on the sleeve of his high-collared blue shirt, his eyes were onyx-dark instead of burning red, and though he too looked vaguely annoyed, his face was not twisted with hatred. Neither wore what he had last seen them in—oddly-cut black cloaks with a pattern of red clouds—and both of them had unblemished Konoha hitai-ite on their heads.
Naruto looked down at the hand holding his kunai. It seemed smaller than it should. He raised his other hand and felt his hair—shorter than he had worn it since before his first chunin exams. And his arms were orange to the wrists—orange sleeves, not black. He was wearing his all-orange jacket with the white collar that he had outgrown during his training trip with Jiraiya.
Between their collective height, clothes, and hairstyles…if he'd seen a photograph of this moment, he'd have said it was Team 7 sometime before their first chunin exams, which had been interrupted by the Sand-Sound Invasion and had ended with Hiruzen-jiijii's death. But this wasn't a photo.
Naruto put away his kunai, stepped away from Kakashi, and closed his eyes. Kurama? He could feel the fox, much clearer in his mind than their connection had ever actually been when he was this age. We need to bust out now. I'm counting on you to back me up if I need it. There was a faint growl of assent in the back of his mind.
Naruto interlaced his fingers in a hand seal he had learned from Asuma-sensei before his death fighting Hidan—a special seal the former Guardian called the Seal of the Outer Bonds—and momentarily halted the flow of his own chakra. Then he expelled his chakra in a massive pulse, yelling, "Kai!"
Naruto focused harder, trying again. "Kai!" No change.
Kurama! Naruto felt a far more powerful pulse, this time entirely of Kyuubi's chakra, but still the scene before him did not alter. Sakura was looking at him like he was crazy, Sasuke had activated his sharingan—just two tomoe in each eye!—and Kakashi was glancing around curiously.
"This is…real?" Naruto whispered. His eyes rolled back in his head and he fainted, barely aware of Kakashi catching him again.
A/N: Hello Internet! Welcome to a new idea that wouldn't leave me alone. As you can tell, this is a Peggy Sue story. Yes, I do have something of a soft spot for Peggy Sue stories. Now, I haven't read nearly all the Naruto Peggy Sue fics out there, but I haven't seen it done this way before.
EDIT: I settled on the family name Midorikatabami for Yagura in 2014, since he lacked one in canon. It means "green oxalis", referring to the flower on his hook-staff-thing. Kishimoto went and gave Yagura a canon last name at some point in Boruto, so I've updated it to Karatachi.
Roshi is called after his hair; Akahige means (roughly) "red whiskers". Likewise, I have given Fuu the name Mintoha, meaning "mint leaves", obviously an allusion to her hair.
The nine Jinchuuriki are all very different; they have individual personalities and distinct reactions to suddenly finding themselves in the past. If they mostly seem to accept the fact unrealistically quickly…I would argue that (except for Naruto) we haven't actually seen their reactions, only their realizations. Acceptance will be easier or harder on an individual basis for them, and will be handled in the time to come.