Naruto ~ Silent Guardians
The end of the 4th war had Naruto and Shikamaru as the only survivors, Kurama feeling the two fading acted fast, sent them back to their Genin days to make sure the war never came to pass. Time Travel AU! Pairings aren't a main focus.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or anything related to it.
"Is it over?" Shikamaru's voice carried over the silent battlefield.
The bloody, broken and burned remains of every ninja who fought bravely in the 4th Shinobi War lay in the massive area that extended as far as the eye could see and further. Shikamaru Nara, chief strategist for the Allied Shinobi Forces, personal advisor to the Rokudaime Hokage and Commander of the ANBU were on his back staring up at the dark blood red sky above. The clouds he had loved to look at had virtually disappeared from the world and darkness had taken hold. He was sporting a long gash starting at his right shoulder and making its way diagonally down to his left hip was staining his ripped and dirty green flak jacket and he could feel the last of his charka trying to hold on. He was dying and he knew it.
"It's finally over." Naruto answered, he was the only person left to answer Shikamaru's question.
The Rokudaime Hokage, leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces, Seal Master and Toad Sage and Jinchūriki of the Nine Tailed Fox was laying next to his best friend, his brother. His whole body was covered in blood and Naruto couldn't tell where the pain was coming from as all his nerves were being cut off. His charka was just almost bad off as Shikamaru's was. He was dying and he knew it.
"It's been an honour Shika." Naruto rasped out, turning his head to the side with the last of his strength to look at the Nara.
"Likewise Hokage-Sama… No matter how troublesome it was." Shikamaru turned his head to face his Hokage with a small smile on his lips.
"Nar…I always knew you would be Hokage, even back in the academy." He admitted.
"Shikamaru... Thank you." Naruto whispered and tried not to tear up as he spotted a single tear make it's way down the Nara's pale cheek cutting through the blood and grime.
"Like hell I'm going to let you die. This war wasn't meant to end like this." Kurama growled from inside his and Naruto's shared mind space.
"If you want to leave, I can use the last of my energy to break the seal… You will be free…" Naruto said back. Even his mental voice sounded drained.
"There is nothing left out there and I refuse to let you two die. As much as I loathe admitting it, you made life interesting. You and your friend may be ready to die, but I'm sure as hell not. Tell Shikamaru to hang on, we are going to stop all of this from ever happening." Kurama huffed, gathering his and his siblings remaining charka.
"Shika… The fur ball says he can stop this from happening. All of it…" Naruto croaked.
"…We have nothing else to lose, Kaguya and Zetsu took everything from us…I'll follow your lead like always Hokage-Sama." Shikamaru said with a hint of steel he used when ordering his ANBU around still heard in his hoarse voice.
"Do it." Naruto told Kurama.
Rainbow charka borrowed from the Tailed Beasts leaked from Naruto's stomach, reaching out and wrapping itself around the Uzumaki-Namikaze and the last Nara. The charka flared up and a large crack echoed across the mass grave for the fallen as the two dying bodies of the leaf ninja faded out of this plane. Slowly the battlefield started to fade away, the jutsu working and the timeline was being destroyed hopefully to never return.
Fluffy white clouds softly floated across the bright blue sky as a slight breeze carried them. Leaves rustled across the hill overlooking Konoha in the Land of Fire, the wind gently caressing the two 12-year-olds who lay on the grassy hill sleeping deeply. Out of nowhere rainbow charka engulfed their bodies and slight changes were made to the Genin.
The first Genin was one Naruto Uzumaki-Namikaze and the second was Shikamaru Nara. Naruto's seal lit up in like a colour spectrum as it changed to match the same seal he got from Rikudo from the future showing the Magatama Beads instead of the seal his father had placed on him and some predominant scars appeared on his body, including the scar from taking Sasuke's Chidori in the chest. Shikamaru only gained some scars, including the one from his shoulder to his hip that had been killing him ever so slowly in the future. They both gained their red ANBU tattoos on their upper left arms.
Naruto's cerulean eyes open and his whole body tensed out of habit. His eyes darted around taking in every detail, but at the same time not really seeing anything at all. Not until he landed on Shikamaru's 12-year-old body lying unconscious next to him.
"Shika!" Naruto crawled over to his best friend and gently shook him. "Wake up you lazy Nara, it worked! Kurama's jutsu worked!" Naruto exclaimed taking in his own 12-year-old body and his 'kill me orange' jumpsuit.
"God Nar, you're too loud…" Shikamaru groaned as he sat up, hand against his head. He blinked a few times and slowly took in his smaller body, Naruto's Genin form, orange jumpsuit and Konoha that the hill was overlooking.
"Oh hell." Shikamaru stated.
"I know right? It's all still here! Everyone is still alive! Kurama did it! We can change everything!" Naruto jumped up onto his feet and started to pace, hand going up to grip his spiky blonde hair.
His words exhibited excitement, but his actions expressed his worry and uncertainty. Shikamaru could easily pick up on his hidden feelings behind his words and actions; the Nara picked himself up off the ground. He dusted off his brown pants and grabbed Naruto by his shoulders and locked eyes with him.
"Hokage-Sama, you need to breathe." Shikamaru said a phrase he used a lot during strategy meetings for the war whenever it all overwhelmed the still too young Hokage. Naruto took a deep breath in and released it. He repeated this several times before he relaxed and flashed that bright smile of his at Shikamaru.
"Thank you Shika… We need to think about this logically." He guessed at what the Nara was going to say next.
"Logically? Kurama sent us back to the past! There is nothing logical about that! Do you know how he did this?" Shikamaru raised an eyebrow and the two lowered themselves back onto the hillside. The duo gazed at Konoha silently, taking in every detail they could, from the slitted pupils Naruto was sporting Shikamaru knew the blonde was talking with the Nine-Tails.
A sudden release of air drew Shikamaru's attention back to his Hokage.
"I can't get to his area of our mindscape. I think whatever he did, drained him of almost all his power and right now he is laying dormant." Naruto reported back as his pupils returned to normal.
"If we are truly back in the past, then we need to assess where our abilities are at, if we traveled with our charka, skills and whatnot. Tomorrow we can plan out what we need to do if we are to change the future." Shikamaru suggested.
"Got it. Training area 11 is usually empty." Naruto stood up and Shikamaru followed closely.
"Kai!" Naruto shouted after a few steps. "This isn't Genjutsu. So this is really happening."
"I guess it is…" Shikamaru nodded after doing a Genjutsu check of his own.
"Hold on!" Naruto quickly drew out a seal on some spare paper and a brush he found in his pack. He placed one of the seals on his left thigh, the seal sinking under the fabric and did the same to Shikamaru. "This will disguise our charka so they are back to the way they felt during our Genin years."
"I knew I would wear off on you." Shikamaru smirked and the blonde slugged his brother's arm good-naturally.
The two headed towards said training ground, they could have run there, but they just opted to walk through Konoha instead to take it all in. Shikamaru walked just slightly behind and to the right of Naruto, his usual position in the future. His eyes darted around the village, subconsciously taking in any and all threats and escape routes. By doing this, he saw the hate filled glares that were sent Naruto's way, along with some parents pulling their kids away from the orange clad Genin.
"Leave it Shika. It doesn't phase me anymore." Naruto's voice pierced Shikamaru's rather destructive train of thought, as he knew exactly what the Kage user was thinking.
"How you are still loyal to a village that hates you and beats you is beyond me." Shikamaru grunted, shoving his hands in his pockets to keep up his slacker image and to keep himself from pulling out a Kunai and gutting everyone who glared at his brother, his Hokage like he was worse than dirt.
"It's in my blood, but my precious people are here and I could never leave them." Naruto answered smoothly and Shikamaru only grunted once more. Shikamaru personally thought that the Yellow Flash and the Red Hot Habanero wouldn't mind gutting a few of these villagers for the way they treated their son, but he held his tongue.
The duo arrived at the empty training ground 11 and with hardly a look exchanged between the two before the time travellers instantly pulled out Kunai and Shuriken. The Genin threw them towards nearby tree trunks to get an idea of where their accuracy lay. Surprising both of them, their weapons hit dead on with almost TenTen accuracy, much like their aim in the future.
"If our accuracy with Kunai and Shuriken's are this good, then our Kenjutsu must have come with us as well." Shikamaru surmised and glanced over to see Naruto had henged a Kunai into a basic Katana and was swinging it around in a graceful arch.
"That's an affirmative." Naruto nodded as he let the henge disappear and he dropped his Kunai back in his leg holster.
"Let's give our Ninjutsu a shot." Shikamaru stepped back as Naruto did his signature hand sign.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu [Shadow Clone Jutsu]." Naruto intoned and the training ground became filled with a hundred of orange clad Naruto's.
"How many did you aim to make?" Shikamaru asked amused, as he was currently being held above the head of one of the clones.
"I was striving for ten." Naruto huffed and Shikamaru's eyes widened.
"You tried for ten and you got a hundred?" Shikamaru felt the urge to slap his forehead.
"Yeah… Looks like our charka control is shit eh?" The blonde laughed loudly.
"Kagemane no Jutsu [Shadow Possession Jutsu]." Shikamaru made his signature hand seal and watched as his shadow stretched out… over the entire training ground, catching every single one of the clones plus some falling leaves.
"Huh." He managed to keep it for a full minute before he felt a strain on his charka and he released it.
"You two, Rasengan. You four, RasenShuriken and you try out the Hiraishin no Jutsu [Flying Thunder God Jutsu]." Naruto ordered with ease as the unneeded clones disappeared. He stepped back to watch the clones try his signature jutsu's.
The two creating the Rasengan did it successfully after a few tries, the two dealing with the RasenShuriken, not so much. In fact it pretty much exploded, but the four clones jumped in the way of the explosion protecting Naruto and Shikamaru. The final clone disappeared and Naruto frowned at all the Intel that came back to him.
"It seems I can't do my Tou-San's Hiraishin just yet. RasenShuriken was overloaded with raw charka and couldn't keep it's form while the Rasengan managed to stay formed with a lot of focus." Naruto surmised.
"So using our elemental charka could be difficult… Doton: Renga no Jutsu [Earth style: Barrier]." Shikamaru slammed his palms onto the ground and saw that a 10-foot wall of solid earth rose up from inches in front of his palms. He covered his head as the wall shook before it exploded into millions of slivers of earth.
"Difficult huh?" Naruto quirks an eyebrow as he pulled himself out from behind a tree, dust and rock pieces covering his jumpsuit.
"More like troublesome." Shikamaru amended pinching the bridge of his nose.
"We lack charka control…" He was cut off by a tree falling over to show Naruto standing there with charka swirling around his right foot, a confused look on his face.
"I was going to try tree walking but it just broke…" Naruto explained.
"As I was saying… we lack any and all decent charka control." Shikamaru dusted himself off and sunk into his Taijutsu stance signaling Naruto to do the same.
Their Taijutsu was a mixture of the basic academy style, Gai and Lee's along with the Hyuuga's Jukenpo [Gentle Fist]. They breezed through their basic kata's before they locked eyes and after a few long moments. Naruto gave a small shrug of his shoulders and they both faced a tree. They had no idea of their skills in Taijutsu at this time and didn't want to hurt the other just in case.
"Konoha Senpu! [Konoha Whirlwind]." Naruto did Lee's signature Taijutsu move and stared in shock as the attack took down around seven trees. Shikamaru meanwhile did a few palm hits from Neji and Hinata's Jukenpo and watched in amazement as the tree trunk shattered.
"This could be an issue…" Shikamaru stated unnecessarily.
"We are beyond screwed!" Naruto threw his hands up in the air.
"We just to train… Intense training." Shikamaru rubbed his head as his mind worked out the problem that lay before them.
"We have time to work on it later. Right now I'm starving and I am in need of a solid night of sleep someplace safe." Naruto rubbed his stomach as he sat down. Shikamaru sat across from his Hokage while rubbing his eyes tiredly.
"There are some things we need to discuss first Nar." Shikamaru said stubbornly not letting Naruto's wide blue eyes prevented him from speaking like it did so many others. One of the other reasons why he was such a good advisor, he knew all of Naruto's tricks and could stay strong.
"Like what?" He asked cautiously.
"The kill me orange jumpsuit you are now wearing. I know that we cannot change our clothes too soon, as it will raise more questions than we already will get once people see our different personalities, but maybe we can change our clothes sooner than last time? I refuse for my Hokage to be viewed in that any longer than needed." Shikamaru huffed, squinting his eyes at the neon orange jumpsuit.
"All fair points Shikamaru, I think after the Chunin exams would be a good time for an upgrade." Naruto conceded the point as he plucked at the orange pant leg. "You just have to promise me something Shika."
"Anything." came Shikamaru's instant reply. He trusted Naruto with everything.
"Eat more." Naruto stated calmly. He gently grasped Shikamaru's pale wrist and let his index finger and thumb encircle it easily.
"I will if you do." Shikamaru jabbed Naruto in the ribs where the Nara knew he would be able to count the bones on the blonde's rib cage. While traveling with Jiraiya the Sannin made sure Naruto was well fed and got enough sleep no matter the circumstances.
"I'll try, but at this point in time… The villagers still hate me…" Naruto trailed off and Shikamaru growled lowly under his breath before he stood up, dragging the blonde ninja with him.
"You are coming home with me." Shikamaru said in his ANBU commander, no nonsense tone of voice.
"What? Shika… I can't…" Naruto trailed off. Shikamaru stood in front of the smaller blonde and pressed his lips together in a harsh line.
"You are my brother Naruto." Shikamaru stressed.
"My clan is made up of geniuses, if anyone can understand that you are NOT the Kyuubi then it is them. They will know you are only the jailer and I refuse to let you go back to that shit hole you call an apartment. We both need food and good nights sleep someplace safe. If my family doesn't want you there, then we will go back to your apartment together." Shikamaru stressed his words again.
"Besides once Kaa-San sees you, she will smother you… Also… I don't know if I can face my Tou-San and Kaa-San without you…" Shikamaru swallowed around the lump in his throat.
"Here I thought I had a way with words." Naruto joked weakly before he squeezed Shikamaru's shoulder. "I'll be right beside you… Brother."
"Good." Shikamaru blushed and the two headed towards where the Nara clan home was located, all of them still alive and thriving.
"I'm right here Shika." Naruto murmured to the Nara beside him.
"Thanks Nar…" Shikamaru steeled his nerves he could do this. He was the chief strategist, personal advisor to the Rokudaime Hokage and ANBU commander. He could see his dead but now alive again clan. He could face his father and his mother without giving anything away.
Bringing up all his ANBU training, he put on his old 'everything is troublesome' face and knocked on the front door to his home. Shikamaru tensed as he recognized the footsteps heading towards the door. The door slid open and there drying her hands on a deep forest green apron was Yoshino Nara, Shikamaru's mother. Shikamaru had to pull back his emotions; especially the ones that told him to go cling to his mother tightly and never let go.
"Shika-Chan! You're home just in time for dinner… Oh who's your little friend? He's too cute!" Yoshino gushed keeping a warm smile on as she looked over to two boys, taking in their dirt-covered clothes, pale skin and skinny forms.
"Kaa-San." Shikamaru breathed before coughing slightly, his cheeks pink from the nickname. "This is my friend Naruto Uzumaki… I know it's late but I was hoping he could stay over tonight…"
"Of course! Please come in Naruto-Kun, dinner is almost ready." Yoshino moved aside and watched as the two boys entered the house and took off their sandals.
"Arigatou." The boys said softly and a brief thoughtful frown marred her lips before she quickly replaced it with a smile as she led the boys towards the dining hall.
Shikamaru was feeling at peace at once again being inside of his clan home while Naruto was feeling the same; he had spent many hours inside the compound. After Jiraiya died, the two had bonded over the large loss of a mentor and they spent even more time there planning and bonding before Pain destroyed Konoha and the Fourth War destroyed everyone and everything that was rebuilding the village.
The door slid to the side to show that Shikaku Nara was already seated at a table, his chin resting on his right open palm, eyes shut like he was sleeping and Shikamaru smiled fondly at the sight. His heart beating rapidly and eyes burning as Yoshino crept up behind her husband and whacked him over the head with a wooden spoon in a familiar routine.
"Maa, why did you do that Yoshino-Chan?" Shikaku whined rubbing his head and Naruto smothered a snort.
"We have a guest dear." She said sweetly and Shikaku glanced over to where Shikamaru stood with Naruto beside him, his blue eyes wary.
"Tou-San, this is a good friend of mine Naruto Uzumaki." Shikamaru bowed his head a little, his heartbeat slowing back down to normal; he was slowly getting over the shock of seeing his family alive and well.
"Nara-Sama." Naruto bowed his head in respect.
"None of that, Shikaku is fine." The Jounin commander waved his hand absently as he studied the two Genin in front of that.
His son was standing at Naruto's right, only an inch or so behind him… That was how a solider stood when accompanying their superior. He took in how Shikamaru was slouched like he usually was, but now there was certain tenseness to it. Like he was consciously forcing himself to stay relaxed, the same could be said for Naruto.
He picked up on the twitching of their dominant forearms, as if they were preparing to grab a weapon to defend them selves. His eyes narrowed when he took in the looks in their eyes. They were the same eyes that he saw when he looked at himself in the mirror.
They both had eyes of war veteran's.
Naruto's had a look of fear in them; fear Shikaku realized was aimed at him. Fear of how he was going to be treated, if he was going to be hurt or rejected. Shikaku's heart clenched painfully at the sight of it, he watched mutely as Shikamaru shifted ever so slightly and the fear in Naruto's eyes faded. The way his son had shifted showed the trust the two had in each other, the shift signaled that if anything happened then Shikamaru would have Naruto's back and with that Naruto's fear was diminished.
"You too look exhausted, why don't you boys go sit down in Shikamaru's room. I'll come get you when the food is ready." Shikaku smiled softly at the two.
"Arigatou Tou-San." Shikamaru muttered, not making eye contact with his father, leading the blonde out of the dinning hall.
"Did you see that too?" Yoshino asked as she checked on the rice.
"I did… Something in Shika-Chan has changed…" Shikaku slumped back in his seat. "Naruto-Kun had fear in his eyes Yoshino… Minato's child was afraid of me." He ran a hand over his tired face.
"We all have heard about how the villagers and some shinobi treat Naruto-Kun, they hate him and for all we know they could have hurt him… We are unknowns and he is unsure of how we were going to react… All we can do for now is to show Naruto-Kun that we mean no harm. Besides he seems to bounce back quickly, did you see what he did to the Hokage Monument? That was pure Kushina. " Yoshino reasoned, ending with a snicker at the memory and Shikaku smiled tenderly at his wife.
"I knew there was a good reason why I married such a troublesome woman." Shikaku teased as he hugged his wife from behind planting a kiss on her head.
"Here I thought it was because I beat you at Shogi." Yoshino smirked and Shikaku made a noise in the back of his throat.
"I thought we agreed we would never talk about that again." He complained and she just smirked as she turned back to the stove.
"Well that went well." Naruto commented as Shikamaru shut the door to his room once the two were safely inside.
"I didn't pass out if that is what you mean." Shikamaru commented dryly, Naruto just snickered. "Tou-San and Kaa-San are onto us… Already."
"They are your parents Shika-Chan." Naruto teased and Shikamaru rolled his eyes. "I would be worried if they didn't pick up on our changes."
"I suppose you're right, still troublesome." Shikamaru looked around his room with a small smile on his lips.
"Tomorrow we have meetings with our teams… That is going to be rough…" Naruto commented as Shikamaru tossed the blonde a spare set of pajamas and the two quietly pulled them on. The two had grown used to getting changed in front of the other as they had shared a tent when on the frontlines.
"I'm going to see Asuma, Choji and Ino again…" Shikamaru said, his voice tight.
"I'm going to see Kakashi again… I have to deal with the young avenger Sasuke and fan girl Sakura…" Naruto said with a heavy sigh.
"They aren't the same as we know them…" Shikamaru muttered.
"If we do this right, then we can make them into the people we know… Some better than others… If we do this right we can stop Sasuke from defecting… We can stop them all from dying in that war." Naruto slipped into his Kage voice and Shikamaru unconsciously straightened up.
"Hai!" Shikamaru nodded his head before he crawled onto his bed and sighed happily. "However we can deal with all that tomorrow, right now we sleep."
"That has got to be one of your best idea's ever Shika." Naruto agreed and Shikamaru quickly made room for Naruto and pinned him with his ANBU commander look.
"I think so too…" Shikamaru replied drowsily as Naruto slid next to him, pulling up the blanket and the two passed out the moment they closed their eyes.
Shikaku wandered down the hall towards Shikamaru's room and paused by the closed door. He frowned; he didn't hear any voices coming from inside, even when Choji came by there were noise coming from the room. He silently slid open the door a crack and was shocked to see both Shikamaru and Naruto on the bed. They were both fast asleep and looking peaceful.
He padded into the room a bit further and took in how the two were positioned. They both were curled around each other, the black hair of Shikamaru and the blonde hair of Naruto clashed but represented light and shadow, day and night, yin and yang. The way there were curled around the other was one that screamed protection, the way their arms and legs were positioned showed that they could jump into action if there was a threat nearby. Overall it showed the utter trust the two Genin seemed to share with each other.
Another piece of the puzzle was added at this sight and he heard a quiet squeal coming from Yoshino who had come to see what was taking so long. She quickly rushed about the compound, gathering the woman of the clan and brought them back to Shikamaru's room and Shikaku heard them all give a collective 'awe' at the sight before them. None of them seeing what Shikaku saw they just saw two 12-year-old's being adorable. Yoshino brought out a camera and clicked a photo of the two for her photo album. Shikaku got the feeling that Naruto would soon become a permanent fixture in the Nara household and he didn't feel too worried about it.