Death

I was killed

We all expect to die one day, but I never anticipated the act to be so sudden. So stunningly fast and unavoidable.

The bullet which pierced my brain was like a shadow. A ghost of a feeling which I couldn't register in time.

There was no time.

I could not jerk, gasp or even twitch.

Death was like a tsunami. You could see the rolling wave. You could hear the thunderous roar. You could feel the frostbitten wind.

But there was no escape. No matter how hard you tried to run from it, there was only sight, shock, fear and then…

Nothingness.

Spark in the night

The life I lived before death was not a happy one. It was not filled with adventure, success or excitement. Nor was it excessively depressing. (At least not until the end)

I began my old life like many boys did.

A young and hopeful child who wanted to become an astronaut. I would play outside every day and gather strange artefacts – usually half buried plates and small coins. When I came home I would eat dinner with my mother and occasionally a friend. Life was peaceful.

Once I entered school, I was teased but not bullied. Just another face in the crowd.

By the time high school began I was doing well. I had many friends and was getting good grades. I would also go to martial arts practice and play with my new pet dog.

I named him pat.

Aside from movies, gaming and TV, I watched anime. This is what led me to the famed Naruto. My relationship with the show was never deep. I knew quite a few friends who could spout facts left and right about the storyline. I even knew someone who had memorised the basic hand-signs (he was full of youthfulness if you know what I mean…)

My interest was different.

Whilst the others had watched everything they could, I had barely seen the chunin exam ark. When friends recalled events I would give them a blank stare. When they spouted about hope and friendship and teamwork, I shook my head.

For me, Naruto has never been those things.

Naruto was my inspiration and measuring stick. The spark for the fire that ended my life.

Sweet, sweet corruption

A year after my introduction to Naruto, I became consumed with boredom and curiosity. What was I doing with my life? What could I do with my life?

More importantly, I thought back to that famous anime which I had watched for a while before moving on. There was something about the show which drew me in. not the story, Not the characters and definitely not the premise… so what was it? Why could I not help but remember Naruto of all shows?

And then it came to me.

The idea of fending for yourself and living off of your own skills was… intriguing.

More than that in fact. It was what I wanted. To be stronger than others both mentally and physically. To rely on none but yourself. To do the occasional dirty deed and benefit from it. To use resources that others can't and in a way that proves your superiority. And to protect your precious people when all others give up.

I would protect mother and pat from anything.

After that, my life began to twist and writhe towards a depressing end. My grades lowered and my enemies mounted. I was no longer a face in the crowd. In fact, it was difficult to spot me at all any more.

I often wondered back than if I had made the right choice, but I could never deny the cold satisfaction after a successful pickpocket. I could never ignore the thrill of the chase, no matter which side I was on.

As I got older my reputation grew. I was no longer the star eyed and innocent boy of my past.

I was a contract maker, a hooded vigilante, a thief in the shadows, the chill down your spine in a deserted alleyway and a settler of disputes - No matter the kind. I had blood on my hands but I didn't care. I was wanted by all (including my own mother) but I paid no heed.

And so, on a dreary day of October, I was shot in the head by the police.

I have no regrets…

Discovery

It did not take long to discover what had transpired – that my consciousness had been somehow reincarnated as a baby. It also did not take long for me to discover what universe this was. How could I miss the famed forehead protectors? The strange hair and eye colours? The hushed conversations regarding Konoha's matters?

The final nail in the coffin, was when the doctors extended their hands towards me as if to massage my limbs. Not even my adult mind could restrain my squeal when I was encased in glowing green energy.

In my terror, I almost missed the whispered words. The flashing hand signs. The Byakugan eyes…

"Shh… hush little one… you must be strong for konoha… uphold the will of fire" she whispered with a smile.

I shivered in barely restrained astonishment.

The doctor turned to her right "my Byakugan has detected extreme amounts of spiritual energy…" she looked back at me before looking over my shoulder once more "it appears that his chakra system is expanding to make up for it… I don't think his body can produce enough chakra to keep up…" she paused and her eyes looked uncertain for a moment "...Should we begin a chakra transplant?"

Someone replied from behind me "yes"

Goodnight sweet prince

When thinking back on my early life and its developments, I admit that I was abnormal.

This (To put it bluntly) unnerved my family. A lot.

Apparently it's unusual for even the most prodigious of children to achieve my feats. First of all, I was scarily intelligent. Under my penetrating gaze, adults would flinch. When I spoke my first words, my mother looked fearful and my father became pale. After a month on this earth, I learned to walk- and not only that- I would make barely a sound. Like a ghost. Like a ninja.

Of course, I was hailed as a prodigy.

Could I have avoided it? No - it would have been impossible. I already contained abnormal chakra. I could not have avoided konoha's watchers.

However, despite my best efforts to learn and improve, I had met a barrier to my attempts. There was just no more information around anymore. Maybe my parents had removed all books out of revulsion and desperation. Heavens knows that they were unforthcoming in the shinobi arts.

Yes. Joy of joys I had been born into an average civilian family. Perfect… I suppose this explains why my situation was so concerning to my parents. I mean, it's not often that a civilian child shows this level of rapid development. Like a prodigy.

I was a regular little Kakashi.

…Or maybe Itachi?

Anyway, back to the problem at hand. I had gone through all reading material that I could acquire and had begun to notice a lack of new information for my ninja studies. At least my parents were decent enough to gift me civilian learning material. However, their charity was misplaced.

Having gone to school in my past life, anything that they tried to teach me was useless and beyond boring. In fact, one night I got so tired of it that I tried to leave through the window. Upon my return from my brief escapade, my parents were furious - instantly locking me in my room.

Yeah… I won't be trying that again

Like I needed even more restrictions… (Sigh). Although, after being shut away from the rest of the house, I had far more time to myself – so it wasn't that bad.

I have a feeling that my caretakers preferred this too. They must have been creeped out by my perfect silence and searching eyes. (Damn civilians - why couldn't I have been born into a shinobi family?)

Due to my low contact with my parents (they would avoid me whenever I wasn't in need of feeding and changing) it was a long time before I discovered my name. At five weeks old, my mother was holding me to her chest and staring at me with her pale green eyes. Looking down into my unwavering emerald stare, she murmured the words "oh, my little daichi-chan… why are you so quiet?"

She tried again. "…Is-is there something wrong… do you need anything?" I stared back unyieldingly.

Flinching once again under the relentlessness of my eyes, she sighed and turned away. "Goodnight my little daichi…" she whispered.

That was the last time she truly hugged me.

Super baby

By the time I was four and a half months old I had begun to notice the build-up of chakra within me.

This was a big milestone for my enhanced development and I was ecstatic. This was it! The moment that I truly took my first steps as a ninja. Ever since discovering that I was within the Naruto universe I had been looking forward to the emergence of my inherent power source. Now all I needed to do was control it…

I immediately began to experiment on my strange new chakra.

Thinking back to the show and shinobi books I had read, I decided that my chakra was too underdeveloped to perform any real training so I resigned myself to just moving it within my body and getting a feel for its presence. This turned out to be surprisingly easy - due to how different it felt to anything I've experienced before, I found it natural to distinguish my chakra and how it moves between my tenketsu's. To be honest, it felt like a constant tickling sensation running through imaginary veins. And If I pushed hard enough, (which happened surprisingly often) I was able to coalesce the energy into specific body parts - which was fun - not just because I was making progress in my training, but because I could influence my muscle strength to higher levels. (Although this was somewhat exhausting)

It also turns out that I had a huge amount of chakra built up all along, and that It had only just begun to grow - which was convenient now that I think about it, because otherwise I would have run out of chakra long before I could do all that. (Lucky me)

Suddenly, I was no longer a helpless lump of pure baby. I could suddenly move, act and think like and adult again.

Ha-ha, take that Mother Nature!

Thankfully, the adults barely saw me anymore, so they didn't notice my vast physical improvement. I also remembered that at some point in the show, someone (sarutobi I think? Probably not…) explained that chakra control allows children to perform physical training without harmful side effects. That meant that I could start exercising… before I even turned one!

I once again threw myself into training - much like I did in my previous life - by performing push ups and sit ups whilst moulding my chakra.

For the next few months I trained in my room every night until exhaustion.

Kitchen catastrophe

When around eight months had passed, things started to get interesting.

The day started off like any other. I woke up (at the request/shout from mother), got dressed and headed into the bathroom to get ready.

Opening the door using a small chakra propelled leap (I am still too small to reach the handle) I walked silently into the pristine white room and ambled over to the sink where my makeshift box stairs were located.

After completing the climb I looked into the mirror and was greeted by a familiar sight.

There, in the perfectly clean mirror was the face of my new body. It was definitely chubby, with small rosy cheeks pointed cutely inwards. Situated there, was a small rounded nose which glowed a faint red. Above that my eyes – which were like miniature lakes of emerald – stared frankly back at me, as if judging their creator. Framing them, dangled silky tufts of brown hair that when caught in the light, reflected flecks of gold and silver.

I was like a tiny cherub…

Looking downwards in a disgruntled manner, I began brushing my teeth with determination.

I really needed to cover up my face if I wanted to become a respected shinobi. Clearly, I had received a larger percentage of genes on my mother's side than my fathers and the results annoyed me.

How was I meant to strike fear into the hearts of my enemies if I look like a fluffy kitten?

Yes, I definitely needed to get a face mask in the near future when I join the academy. It just wouldn't be right to learn and practice the shinobi arts whilst looking like an infant. 'Hmmm… but what mask to use? The ANBU masks were cool but I'm pretty sure they are off limits to regular shinobi. The hunter-nin masks are fearsome looking in their own right what with the slitted eyes and war paint, but it might give out the wrong impression.'

Massaging the bridge of my nose to relieve myself of the distracting thoughts, I headed over to the shower and proceeded to wash myself. Finally finished with the morning ritual, I got dressed and headed downstairs.

My clothing was very simple. A thin grey shirt which clung to my small frame comfortably underneath a loose-fitting black T-shirt that sported a huge collar – resembling that of the Uchihas. Below I wore knee-length blue shorts which supported multiple pockets. Completing the outfit were a pair of fingerless blue gloves and black shinobi sandals (purchased in secret along with a set of kunai and senbon)

Whilst descending the stairs, I noticed that the atmosphere in the house felt slightly off… I could see that it was much darker than it should be at this time in the morning.

Straining my ears I sought out the familiar sounds of chatter from my parents and tiptoed cautiously onwards. I frowned then – out of both frustration and concern – because by now there was no doubt that the house was silent.

Nothing. Not a peep.

This immediately got me tensing. In my past life, I would instantly have leapt out of the nearest window in order to avoid capture, however I was no longer living alone.

I had to find my parents – mother had definitely called me for breakfast – and as a result I felt obliged to stick around. After all, I was already more formidable in this body than ever before – and I'm pretty sure there are no guns in the Naruto-verse. (Granted, the enemies of this world don't need guns)

Having made my decision, I still thought to open the window whilst passing as it would provide a useful avenue of escape. Then, knowing that stealth and evasion would be the deciding factor in any engagement, I flawlessly transitioned to the ceiling where I stuck via my sandals.

I now paused – any unnecessary noise could reveal my presence and the consequences were unacceptable.

Considering this, I found myself crawling stealthily forward amid the shadows of the ceiling, making sure never to reveal myself for more than a second. If this had been another situation I would have marvelled at how the ground floor hallway looked from up here, however I could not allow any distraction or I would surely be killed.

The more I neared the kitchens doorway, the more apprehension I felt. Why would shinobi attack my house? We had no valuables – and any money we owned was stored elsewhere. Could it be me they were after? A sudden chill went up my spine.

Danzo

'Of course! How could I have been so stupid? Me, a one year old child able to channel and use chakra. A child with intelligence in abundance and a lack of concerned relatives. How could I not have expected him to come? If ROOT agents were to take me now, I would be defenceless and no one would miss me…'

I flicked my gaze around the room uneasily.

There was no movement, but I would not allow myself complacency. The situation was spiralling out of control. There could be dozens of agents around the house, all of them prepared to intercept escape attempts.

I felt caged, I was alone and likely to be taken prisoner by a mad man and his mindless drones. Destined never to taste freedom again.

'NO!'

I would not give in to them that easily. I had to grab my parents and get the hell out of here before it's too late.

Stealing my nerves, I prepared to leap from my ceiling perch.

Breathe in

Breathe out

'Go!'

Using as much chakra as I could harness, I propelled myself towards the kitchen door, aiming my rigid leg to collide with the lock.

BOOM!

The sound was deafening, and as I flew bodily through the shattered remains of the once locked door – wooden splinters and jagged shrapnel spraying in all directions - my eyes took in the scene before me…

In the centre of the room was a large table. I could not see its contents clearly but they appeared to host a variety of colours. Surrounding it was a large group people. Some of them were bending over, others were lounging, and the rest were standing stock still. All of them were staring at me in open mouthed astonishment. Above them was a huge banner coloured in reds and blues, and displayed the words;

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAICHI!