Rating T for language or mild suggestive scenes, may bump up to M. Depending on certain factors
This fic features : Strong!Naruto, Fem!Naruto, Characters gradually acting OOC thanks to Naruto, etc. Read and enjoy, write a flame if it's that bad, but I appreciate constructive criticism.
Disclaimer : Naruto is owned by a mangaka that goes by the name of...well, I forgot. Me? I barely even own my laptop.
Flashback/past memory (or emphasis)
Shinigami's Apprentice, at your service!
That was what Naruto Uzumaki had to deal with ever since he became the God of Death's apprentice, which was maybe a century or two ago?
He really didn't know. Time just worked differently in the dimension he resided in. Heck, Naruto Uzumaki barely remembered his own name. If it wasn't for the Shinigami constantly calling on him he would have forgotten his name, just like he had forgotten his past.
He was sure there was a hidden reason behind him forgetting his past, because who could forget everything in the span of five decades? But what was the reason? Why did he forget his past? Why does he remember that he was a ninja, but not who his parents were? Why does he remember all his skills as a ninja, yet he can't even name the place he was born in?
With a tired sigh he looked at his reflection in the river, his blue eyes and his spiky blond hair were the only two things he was fond of. It was a wonder that the Shinigami had allowed him to keep his colorful features, but somehow he felt like one important feature was missing. Unknowingly his eyes darted to his cheeks, where unknown to him there were supposed to be whisker birthmarks.
He gave his reflection a dashing smirk before it morphed into a neutrally innocent expression as he turned around to see a furious Shinigami floating towards him, seemingly ready to send his butt seven ways to the next decade.
He's only seen the Shinigami lose his calm two times, now three.
The first time was when Naruto accidentally misplaced the Shinigami's tanto in the living world. The second time was when he released a few spirits back into the living world for shits and giggles. And now because-
He almost snickered seeing the rainbow color that was now the Shinigami's hair, instead he allowed his eyes to widen in surprise, "Your hair, it's, it's—"
The Shinigami glared at Naruto, "As if you didn't know," he accused.
"—hilarious! Who did it?! Was it Kuro? Mirai?" Naruto threw his head back in laughter.
"I should have never accepted the deal," the Shinigami grumbled glaring at Naruto, who seemed out of breath.
Naruto didn't know what the entity meant with the deal, but he knew he wouldn't get any answers either. So instead he just grinned, "Because you love me~" he teased.
"No, it's because you're an Uzumaki, though it was hard to believe the first time with your lack of any Uzumaki like traits or technique," the Shinigami seemed a bit smug, but Naruto had to squint to notice.
"Hey! At least now I've mastered all my Uzumaki skills!" Naruto protested, crossing his arms defensively.
"It took you a century," the Shinigami deadpanned.
"T-that was because, I, uh, have a learning problem!" Naruto defended.
"Or rather you were busy messing up with the after life as usual," the Shinigami stated.
"Ha! Admit it, the after life was dull without me, you were probably dying of boredom, but then the super awesome Naruto Uzumaki, strongest man to ever roam the living world came and everything became entertaining!" Naruto proudly pointed at himself.
"You know, I never should have allowed the Uzumaki the right to summon me. Nor should I have became their close allies."
"But you did."
"Because Uzumaki souls are delicious."
"Yet you didn't reap mine."
"Sadly, it's against the rules for me to do so."
Naruto raised an eyebrow in surprise, "Why?"
"Because you're not dead," the Shinigami answered as if it was the most obvious thing.
Naruto's eyes bulged out in surprise, "WHAT?! Oi, what do you mean I'm not dead?! I've been reaping souls for a century or so now, and I'm still a kid!"
"You already know that time works differently in this realm."
"Then why am I in my kid body?"
"It's because this is the form you liked most before your contract with me, if I recall correctly it's because your days as a Gennin were the most precious to you," the Shinigami patiently explained.
Naruto was dumbfounded. What was a anyways? Who would be comfortable with being a kid? "How old was I anyways?"
"Six yeasr after the Fourth War, so you were in your early twenties," the Shinigami answered.
"Why would a twenty year old man ever agree to sell his soul to a Shinigami?" Naruto pondered, not seeing himself as the person whom made the contract with the Shinigami.
"He didn't sell his soul," the Shinigami informed.
"What?!" Naruto yelled turning back towards the Shinigami.
"Though I agree that it was rather dumb of him, he agreed to be my apprentice in order to reap four million five hundred thousand three hundred and ninety four souls."
"What's up with that impossible number?" Naruto deadpanned.
The Shinigami shrugged, "Remember it yourself Uzumaki."
"Heh, my memories are lost," he looked up at the grey sky with a longing look, "This place is so boring. So dead."
"Well, it is the afterlife," the Shinigami pointed out.
"Yeah," Naruto sighed in agreement looking back at the Shinigami. He couldn't resist himself as he broke out into a fit of laughter.
The Shinigami twitched, "With that being said, centuries have passed and you're almost there. Five hundred thousand more to go."
"Wha? It'll take me a whole century to complete that amount!" Naruto whined tackling the Shinigami into a hug.
"Let. Me. Go."
"Sure!" and with that Naruto took off with the Shinigami's weapon.
"GET BACK HERE UZUMAKI!"
"Eh, sorry?" Naruto mumbled sheepishly.
"You ruined the after life," the Shinigami stated looking over millions of souls which Naruto had just released into their realm.
"...it was an accident?"
"You sliced open the soul jar with my weapon."
"Well, how should I have known what that the jar was holding the nastiest souls ever?"
"I told you billions of times that the jar was dangerous."
"I thought you meant fun."
Finally the Shinigami grabbed Naruto by the scruff of his orange kimono ,"I have been patient with you for years on end, forgiven you for countless misdeeds, but this? This is something I cannot tolerate."
Naruto gulped, even though the Shinigami wasn't yelling the aura surrounding the death reaper was unbearable.
"If sorry could fix things, then there wouldn't be any need for the soul jar."
"I didn't mean to—"
"I know you didn't mean it, just like you don't mean to do anything else! The problem is you don't think about your actions nor how they affect others around you, you only think about relieving your boredom."
Naruto looked down in shame, "I'm—"
"Save it, I should have been wiser and expected an Uzumaki to not handle peace and quiet well."
"No, you're not. You're just saying that you are, but you don't really regret your actions, do you? You don't have any idea what the word responsibility means."
"I do too!"
"Well, you have a nice way of showing it."
"...you're right. I'm not responsible, especially not when it comes to being your apprentice, but so what?! It's not like you ever trust me to do anything on my own, you're always doubting me or undermining my skills when you know perfectly well that I could beat your ass!"
"...you lack humbleness."
"I lack everything! Past, memories, sense of identity, happiness, family, friends and a dream! I have nothing."
"But you chose it yourself."
Naruto snapped his mouth shut at that. "Whatever, are you gonna beat me senseless? Throw me into the Void for a decade? Chain me in Hell? Or maybe make me take a Shinigami quiz?"
"None of those will please neither of us, so instead I'll make you entertain me and all the other death reapers from the living world. In a mortal body as a ninja."
Naruto's eyes widen, it wasn't like he had never been to the living world, but for a long period of time? That was new!
"Finally, old man! Thanks!"
"Oh, don't thank me," the Shinigami allowed a devious smile to curl up his features.
'One thing I learned from serving the Uzumaki for years is that revenge is best served in an unusual presentation.'
"I hope I don't ever see you again Naru-chan," he stated before throwing Naruto in a pond.
"And my future dream is to be the greatest Hokage! Then the whole village will stop disrespecting me and start treating me like I'm somebody. Somebody important!"
What was a Hokage anyways? A fire shadow? Who the heck would wanna be a shadow? Regardless Naruto was glad to know that he had a dream once, but he knew that when he wakes up he'll forget these words that were most likely spoken by himself.
'Being important, eh? A dream like that sounds nice.'
"Don't underestimate me! I don't quit and I don't run! You can act tough all you want! You're not gonna scare me off! No way! I don't care if I do get stuck as a genin for the rest of my life! I'll still be Hokage someday!"
Maybe his past self wasn't all bad, seeing as the past Naruto had the balls to defy authority and still expects to become a leader.
"I'm not gonna run away, I never go back on my word! That's my nindō: my ninja way!"
Honestly, Naruto wanted to snicker. What kind of ninja was foolish enough to stick my a moral code that forces him to be truthful? Apparently him.
"It's almost unbearable, isn't it… the pain of being all alone. I know that feeling; I've been there, in that dark and lonely place, but now there are others, other people who mean a lot to me. I care more about them than I do myself, and I won't let anyone hurt them. That's why I'll never give up. I will stop you, even if I have to kill you! They saved me from myself. They rescued me from my loneliness. They were the first to accept me as who I am. They're my friends."
An unbearable pain pounded at Naruto's guts, for some reason he really didn't mind forgetting the "loneliness" his past self had felt. But, then again he's been lonely for centuries now, yet he had a feeling that the loneliness he's been feeling in the last century couldn't compare to the past him's loneliness.
Friends. That word has a nice ring to it, maybe he'll find some "friends" one day.
What did friends mean anyways?
"Just give up… on trying to make me give up!"
Heh, he couldn't have said it better himself. Even the Shinigami gave up on making him give up years ago.
"Then I will break that curse. If there's such thing as peace, I will find it. I won't give up!"
Finding peace, eh? That sounded like a nice ambition.
"If you attack Konoha, I will have to fight you… So save up your hatred and take it all on me, I'm the only one who can take it! It's the only thing I can do! I will shoulder your hatred and die with you! Because I'm your friend!"
What was a "Konoha" anyways? And no thanks, Naruto dealt with enough hatred filled spirits, he wouldn't want to willingly shoulder someone else's hatred. And he was sure that if being "friends" meant shouldering the other's hatred, he didn't understand people as much as he thought. Because being friends sounded too much of a hassle if you ask him.
"Don't apologize… I had a lot of hard times growing up as a jinchūriki, but I never blamed you or Dad. I couldn't understand what a parent's love was like because you guys were never there… so I could only guess… But now I know… I live because you and Dad gave your lives for me and filled me up with love before the Nine-Tails was inside me! So here I am, happy and healthy! I'm glad I ended up being your son!"
What was a jinchuriki? So...does that mean he was an orphan? 'Cause that sucks. Would he really be glad to be the son of two parents that were never there for him? It didn't sound appealing in the slightest.
His eyes gazed towards huge green gates, a group of people he couldn't recognize for the life of him grinning at him giving him a warm feeling. Yet he didn't want to go to them, he didn't want to wake up...and forget them all over again. It was too painful.
"Welcome back, Naruto."
Without his consent his feet rushed towards the group, a wide smile overcoming him as he yelled: "I'm—"
"BACK!" Naruto yelled sitting up quickly.
He then sighed, "What was that about?" he questioned his own actions as he yawned, "Must have been a dream of the past or something," he concluded to himself lazily eyeing his surroundings.
His eyes landed on a frog that had the audacity to stare at him.
"Oii, what are you looking at, stupid?" he asked it.
Centuries ago he might have forced himself to stop acting crazy, but now? Craziness was a nice distraction. Before he could blink the frog sprang away. Naruto twitched. "How dare..." he growled running towards the frog.
His legs felt odd, a bit stiff, but manageable if he applied chakra. Centuries of boredom really helped out with his chakra control. Grinning gleefully at the feel of the wind brushing his hair he sped up, eventually passing the frog and making sure to stick his tongue out at the confused creature.
"Now first things first, gotta find some water. I smell bad," he scrunched up his nose in disgust at himself.
It didn't take him long to find a small yet deep river hidden deeply within the forest. Without any reservations he stripped out of his orange kimono and jumped into the river with a childish yell of: "Cannonball!"
After sticking his tongue out at some fishes he swam back up to the surface taking in a fresh breath of air, his sensory skills informing him that there weren't any humans near him and that he was only surrounded by nature and animals. Maybe he'd go hunting later seeing as he probably had to eat now that he had a more mortal like body.
Speaking of which...
He looked down.
"Sorry!" he squeaked in surprise seeing the image of a naked girl.
He turned around immediately covering his eyes.
Wait a minute, didn't the girl have blonde hair and blue eyes just like him? Uncovering his eyes he looked back down meeting the feminine face of a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes, just like him. In fact she kinda looked like the form he took on when he used his sexy jutsu.
He frowned. She frowned.
Okay, now that was odd. (Because even centuries couldn't fix the blonde's obliviousness.)
It almost seemed like...no way, he snorted. There was no way that the girl was him. It was impossible, but then again nothing was impossible for a Shinigami.
He stuck his tongue out. She did the same.
He glared. She glared.
It was kinda funny really. He chuckled, she chuckled as well.
"Okay it's official," Naruto decided as he stared at his, er, her reflection, "Maybe I pissed Shinigami-sensei off too much," she mused in amusement as her eyes landed on her female assets.
Blood trickled down her nose, not to sound arrogant or anything, but she was good looking. Sure, some people could beat her in the look department, but damn, she was sure she'd give them a run for their money.
Where did the sudden vanity come from anyways?
Naruto slowly brought up her hands and groped herself, "Seems like I'm really female now," she concluded to herself giving her breasts a squeeze, "And these are soft."
When she let go she frowned a bit, "But kinda heavy and distracting, man I have more respect for women now. How can they bear this weight? And imagine how it would be like when I get..." the blonde trailed off palling a bit, "Maybe pissing Shinigami-sensei off wasn't such a good idea no matter how amusing it was at the time."
She looked up at the sky, the beautiful blue sky which was decorated with white cotton shapes, so...breath-taking compared to the lifeless grey sky in the after life. Being a girl was a low price to pay if it meant she could experience this. Not to mention being able to eat the countless foods she often saw, if she recalled correctly there was this noodle dish she felt oddly attracted to.
"Question is, where exactly am I?"
Her nose twitched. She could smell it.
Ten kilometers to the North? Yes. A group of over twenty clashing with a group of over ten, it should have been a one-sided massacre but the group of over ten was holding their own pretty well. Their chakra signatures were rapidly getting fainter. Wrapping her black obi tightly Naruto set off towards the battlefield with a gleeful look. Violence wasn't something she liked, but she needed to collect herself some more souls.
And then maybe she would no longer be a death god, no longer attached to a red string connected by the Shinigami, she'd be free. The thought of freedom made her go faster.
When she arrived at the battlefield her face twisted into disgust and rage. There, in the middle of the clearing lay exactly twenty four corpses of children. It wasn't uncommon for Naruto to reap the souls of children, but it still made her mad every time. It's just too unfair, they didn't do anything wrong, they were just kids. Just children. They had a full life to look forward to, and it was taken away in under ten minutes.
Sadly Naruto couldn't do anything about it. Even if she had arrived in time, interfering would have dire consequences. Besides, now the kids could go to a better place. They deserved better after all.
Naruto had to swallow down a gasp at seeing a boy who seemed to be seven year old's eyes crushed with two separate souls.
"In the world of living, death is something that comes indiscriminately and randomly. So, there is no way to fight it." Naruto uttered the mantra that the Shinigami had taught her on the day she had to reap a baby's soul.
It didn't feel right to her for some reason, she felt like she was supposed to be fighting against those words she was saying. But for the life of her she couldn't remember why.
Her thumb brushed against her forefinger where a small seal was engraved before she placed her hand in her kimono to retrace a scythe. The handle was black, while the blade was a mix between red and orange. Without any hesitation she severed the string holding the children to the world of the living. She smiled sadly at the corpses hoping that the children would have a better life.
Letting her scythe go back to her personal pocket dimension she placed the bodies in a pile.
"Earth style : Earth Burial jutsu," she whispered into the open air not bothering with any hand seals.
For a second nothing happened, but then the dirt around the corpses shot up and swallowed them. Sparing a quick glance around the area just to be sure the Shinigami was nowhere in sight Naruto dropped on her knees and lifted her hands up into a praying position. With her eyes closed Naruto wished the children the best in the after life. Whether or not they were reincarnated was up to themselves.
"May your souls rest in peace, and may the sinners whom wronged you be repaid," it was a saying used by most reapers in the after life. It was with this saying that Naruto always ended her prayers for the souls whom passed on.
For a final touch Naruto brushed her thumb against her wrist, her hands then went to the sleeves of her kimono and she pulled out a single black rose. It was her calling card and a little signal to let the other reapers know that she was the one who had reaped these souls.
But even as she leaped away on auto-pilot when she sensed other signatures coming towards her there was one thing that plagued her mind. It was the symbol that those kids had. In her opinion it looked like a funny fan. But there was something about that fan...
"I'll admit it. I… lost."
The voice made Naruto come to a total halt, it was just so familiar. It brought her a warm feeling inside, like she knew the one who spoke those words. But who?
"I don't look to the future any more. Only the past."
Past and future? What was the difference anyways? They're both connected. Both shape you into someone by the end of the day. Why was the two important anyways? To her, it didn't matter. But maybe that was because she didn't have a past nor a future.
"Just shut up for once! What the hell do you know about it?! It's not like you ever had a family in the first place! You were on your own right from the beginning, what makes you think you know anything about it?! Huh?! I'm suffering now because I had those ties, how on earth could you possibly understand, what it feels like to lose all that!"
Her stomach clenched uncomfortably at those words. It wasn't like she didn't want a family. It wasn't like she wanted to be all on her own. She's suffering exactly because she doesn't know what she did to deserve this. She wanted a family. A mother to braid her hair, a father to pat her head when she did something good and maybe even a brother. She wouldn't say that she knew how it feels to lose her family, but she knows how it feels like to wish they were with you.
"While it's true I once desired destruction… and the only goal I had was revenge… things are different now. Because that which is destroyed can always be fixed and rebuilt. Villages freed from the clutches and employ of darkness… what I desire is to reform the entire shinobi world! What I am calling for, what I am bringing forth… that is… Revolution."
A shiver overcame Naruto at those words before she suddenly felt a wave of awe. Did she really know someone strong enough to destroy a system as strong as the ones ninjas created? Revolution, it had a nice ring to it.
"My name is Sasuke Uchiha. I hate a lot of things, and I don't particularly like anything. What I have is not a dream, because I will make it a reality. I'm going to restore my clan, and kill a certain someone."
"Sasuke Uchiha," she repeated out loud, "My best friend!"
A grin overcame her. She didn't remember much, but she knew that this Sasuke person was once her best friend. Almost like a brother to her.
"But why did he have to restore his clan?" she found herself asking as she continued to leap from tree to tree.
Author's Note: what you think so far?