Living Twice: Altering The Present

I'm back again with a new fic. This one's personal and honestly; the story idea just spoke to me and it wouldn't leave me in peace no matter how many times I told it to have patience. I was going to wait 'till next year but I started typing… when is it? 12:44 am, September 29, 2015. Kinda sooner than I expected.

We've all read some time story about Naruto travelling through time, or seeing Naruto having very far off future visions and all that. I present to you…Something different.

- (MRAY 2021: Sigh, your ego is stifling.)

You'll see what I have done different when you read. Whether you think he's extremely stronger because of the difference or weaker will be your own opinion. The relationship will be Naruto Uzumaki and Kin Tsuchi, (yeah, the Oto girl) and I don't want any other pairing suggestions. The whole harem thing in Breaking limits has me flummoxed at present and it's making me feel sexist. (I mean come on, Naruto gets all the gals and whatnot. Girls have feelings too and I'm sure they don't write harem fics like this with one girl being with a harem of guys. Err, do they?) so after B.L. I swore off writing any more harems. One guy sleeps with a lot of girls and he's a player but if a girl sleeps with a lot of guys she's a skank. That's why it's couples only.

(Beta's Note: Solace here! As of 07/26/2021, I am going through chapters to weed out grammar errors, make things sound better, and fix continuity. FOR SHIPPING!)

So here it is.

A blessed Curse.

I knew…

It would happen.

I knew it would.

Should I stop it?

I could… but I won't.

What if I did but made things worse?

Or better?

Someone lift this curse!

I could stop it… and save you.

Or not… and kill you

Instead. Did you care for me

Back then? As far as I can see

You didn't. This curse belongs to God.

Please God! Take it away! Make it stop!

But I can help you.

Is it the

Right thing to do?

To kill you and save a thousand

Or kill the thousand and

Save you myself. But I can't.

To kill you

Would kill me also.

Why?

You make me whole.

But I don't want the curse.

By MRAY 4TW.

1.

He ducked his head deftly, allowing the spitball from behind him to go over his head and land on someone else.

"Wha…Ugh! Who did that?"

Naruto's face was that of a person who 'was bored out of his mind'. He used his thumb and pointed it behind him lazily. "Kiba did it."

Sakura got up from her place beside the Uchiha, stomped up the space between the rows of students until she was beside the blond boy who looked very disinterested still. Without warning she proceeded to give the Uzumaki a knuckle sandwich.

Attempted to.

Naruto simply leaned back and the rosette's knuckled hand struck the desk with a loud thud.

The girl yelped and pulled her hand back sharply and placed the back of it against her mouth to suck on it in an effort to dull the pain. "Agh!"

Naruto nearly sighed long enough to deflate. She had never hit him yet and the way things were going, she never will. This time around, she couldn't complain that he let her hit the desk by trying to hit him. That was dumb. In the back of his mind though, he could only muse about how old this was getting. Really, really old.

"Do you think I'm an idiot?! Stop lying! It came from your direction!" the girl shrieked in a small effort to regain some composure and respect.

"I said it was the Inuzuka. But I don't care if you believe me or not. Just leave me alone." The boy said with a roll of his eyes. The girl huffed and went back to her seat crossly, upset that her attempt at some justice went unfruitful. Everyone was minding their own business. This was nothing new. It was a constant that Kiba would try to prank Naruto but it never worked. In fact, Naruto was never surprised. If the worse came to worst and it usually did, Someone else would get it instead.

Naruto was an enigma. He never got caught, he never got surprised or frightened. He always told the truth, never lying. Above all, he was never lazy, just... bored, emanating utter disinterest in everything that took place around him.

There was something to him that no one knew.

Iruka came into the classroom and conducted the daily lesson as usual. He wrote on the chalkboard and gave his lectures. And as expected, as Naruto had done every day, he took notes of all that was taught, being a teacher's dream of a perfect listening student. As three pm struck, everyone filed outside to the Taijutsu mat, today being Friday. It tended to take place on Friday so if and when they got injured they could heal over the weekend and be well enough to return to school come the following Monday.

Today was no different.

The students gathered around the large square mat under the expansive shade of the two large trees that grew nearby. It was slightly padded to soften landings when the students fought each other. Anything else, one could say it was unusually smooth. It was said that this was to promote better fighting capabilities in slippery places but it was a well known fact the mat was replacing a coarser version after Kiba had practically sanded off someone's face on it when he was angry one day.

The victimized boy is now going to a civilian school these days.

Twenty-seven students stood around, crowding the mat while waiting. As expected, Iruka made his way through the students and stood at the center of the mat, waiting on the students to settle down. They soon did, knowing that the sooner they got this out of the way, the sooner they could go home and do whatever they pleased for two days.

"Alright. It's time for Taijutsu." Iruka announced, looking over the students. "It will be between those as I see fit. I won't pit weaker students against someone who's excellent in it, as usual. But be prepared for next week. You all know that the Genin exams are next week and if you know you need some extra work, then do it. I'll let free challenges go first. After that, I'll tell you who goes against whom."

The civilians challenged each other and made some small bets on the side on who would win. All too soon, it was the rookies/colorful people remaining; those were Shino Aburame, Choji Akimichi, Ino Yamanka, Hinata Hyuuga, Kiba Inuzuka, Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno, Shikamaru Nara and Naruto Uzumaki.

The nine did not make a move to challenge each other. They were the best in the class and they all knew who was the best in Taijutsu. It was the pecking order. It was almost as if they had their own society and social classes and each knew who they could beat, who they could match in strength and who they would lose against. Iruka knew this as well as them, and explained why they waited. There were nine of them; it was inevitable that one wouldn't fight or they would fight twice. Iruka would match them up so it would be fair… in a way.

"Hyuuga Hinata and Yamanaka Ino." Iruka stated to the crowd, almost as an order.

The two aspiring kunoichis came to the mat and bowed to each other.

Naruto closed his eyes. 'They'll run to each other, Ino being faster because she has more confidence. Ino will try to punch Hinata's right cheek but then she'll deflect it with her left hand and hold unto it. Hinata will feint a tenketsu jab at Ino's throat but when the Yamanaka tries to avoid that, Hinata will disable Ino's captured arm with a jab at the shoulder. Because it's so painful to her, she'll forfeit. Hinata will apologize a lot while blushing before fixing her arm and then Sasuke and I will fight."

Naruto opened his eyes to watch what he had thought play out before Iruka called out again.

"Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke."

"Hn."

"Forfeit."

The class started laughing at Naruto, Sakura being the loudest. "He's afraid of Sasuke-kun!" she catcalled with other students in agreement.

"I don't have to prove anything to any of you," he grumbled in a bored tone. Somehow, the low volume of his speech rose over the din of the laughter. His tone was a real buzz kill; the laughter ceased.

The Uchiha smirked slightly. 'He's got the right idea. Everyone here is substandard. The only people here up to par are him and the Aburame, and Kiba. Maybe Shikamaru on a good day.'

The class continued with Shino beating Sakura a bit badly, Shikamaru forfeiting to Choji. Kiba practically destroyed another civilian learner when Iruka called it quits. The students thought he probably did so before he could get into trouble for letting a sparring fight go too far. "Alright. That's enough, class. You may leave."

The students dispersed, going in separate directions to depart for their homes. Iruka beckoned to Sakura and the student who lost to Kiba to follow him to the academy's nurse to patch them up. Best friends paired up, clan heads and orphans went solo and soon, the area was empty of people.

=X=X=

The Uzumaki walked along the roadway, noticing the passers-by parting to give him way as to not let the boy even rub on them when they passed. Pretending to not care, he instead looked to the sky in the west before he hurried to his destination. After a brief time of speed walking, his countenance improved when he saw the ramen shop. He quickly parted the privacy flaps before he he seated himself on his stool of frequent choice gratefully.

"Teuchi-ojisan?! Ayame-neechan?!" he yelled in the seemingly empty ramen stand.

"Naruto-nii?" came the reply that sounded distant. "Coming!" A minute later brunette girl with dark eyes and appeared to be in her late teens came out in a white waitress uniform. "Hey, Naruto-nii!" Ayame said cheerfully.

"He, Ayame-neechan," he greeted in kind. "Doing well?"

"Doing well! But, uh, Tou-san isn't too up to it today." Her bright countenance darkened a little. The Uzumaki leaned over the counter conspiratorially and Ayame mirrored the action, with Naruto whispering into her ear.

"Did you stop him?" he whispered discreetly.

"Yeah. I accidentally burned him badly on his foot so he didn't come to work."

"So do you know if…" he trailed off.

"…Thankfully, no. I heard an ANBU arrested them at midday. They were waiting at the corner."

"Did you tip off the ANBU or something?" the boy asked.

"No. it was just by chance."

Naruto leaned back on his stool. "So all is well! That's great news!"

"Except dad's leg. He's getting some treatment later at the hospital. He could be here tomorrow or the day after. So… I guess it worked out"

His face adopted an even look. "It's the least I could do."

"No, no. It's a good thing you told me early this morning. You could knock a little quieter; nearly gave me a heart attack. Next time say something while I'm still awake, huh?" The girl started chuckling.

"Hopefully there won't be a next time." He frowned, deep in thought. Her mood soured as well when she thought of her father, getting attacked by the hoodlums at the end of his block. He could have been killed, just like that. We take life for granted. He looked up and saw her face and tried to lighten the gloom that had settled over them. "Well, how's about some ramen, huh? I'm starving!"

She sensed what he was trying to do and smiled a bit as well. "Yeah! We have cause for a celebration! This time, we'll both have it!" The boy announced that he could treat them both, and that got a laugh from the ramen mistress. "It'd be a first. Sure, why not. Easier on the cash flow!" she wandered into the kitchen and came back five minutes later with two large bowls of ramen, one pork and the other vegetable with red peas. She set the pork in front of her customer and the other beside his own. She then came to the other side of the counter where her bowl was and sat beside Naruto. With a quiet sounding 'Itadikimasu' the pair began to eat in silent contemplation. They had much to be thankful for.

=X=X=

Naruto could be found doing sit-ups in his apartment, trying his utmost at one more but failed. He sprawled upon the ground, panting heavily and sweating profusely. Damn! Three hundred's my limit! Now for push-ups! he rolled over onto his chest and started doing push-ups. 1… 2… 3 …4… 5…

As he finished somewhere in the low two hundred bracket he collapsed unto his chest, arms feeling like worn rubber. His stamina and biceps had failed him before he could struggle to get another one done. He sighed in resignation. 'Sit-ups must've drained me.' He reached to a nearby chair and pulled himself to his feet before removing the towel laid over the chair's back. He mopped his face with it and wiped his bare upper torso before balling it up and tossing it into the open dirty hamper. It made it inside rimlessly and the boy did a small fist-pump in pride. He then made his way to the bathroom to shower and clean himself up. His shower was quick and he was in bed, promptly at six p.m. Soon after, he was asleep, tired from his exercise. The boy was anxious to get to bed and rest, eager to get the day over with.

At the Hokage's office, a man dressed in red and white robes with a kite-shaped hat with the kanji for 'Fire' on it turned off his crystal ball that was focused on Naruto Uzumaki. Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Sandaime Hokage, the Professor, the God of the Shinobi ceased his monitoring of his grandson.

He was not related by blood; rather, they were related by the close bond they shared. It was one of solidarity. Or at least, the old man hoped they still had that. Hiruzen felt like he and the boy had been growing apart for years now. There used to be that wonderful feeling of companionship when the boy was younger. But they started growing apart three years ago when the boy turned ten. They were still 'close', depending on whose opinion you asked for, but not by the older man's standards. Naruto used to be more casual with him; calling him old man and all that. But now, while he called him so now and again, Naruto started behaving more formally.

Of late, he had kept a vigil on him, trying to figure out the blond. There was nothing unusual about him. He was almost completely normal. 'Almost' being the keyword, Naruto seemed too normal, which in itself was abnormal. He ate at the same time every day, always got around eighty percent in his academics, and being slightly above average everywhere else, exercised shortly before bed, and he always went to sleep early. This was as 'normal' as 'normal' could get but for Naruto, he was anything but the sort.

"ANBU."

A ninja wearing an animal mask depicting a boar materialized in front of his desk, at full attention.

"Boar, watch Naruto Uzumaki until sunrise."

Inwardly, the ANBU sighed. He just had to be the one to get the most unremarkable duty in the world.

=X=X=

It had been a week, and all the students assembled in their classroom promptly at nine. Today were the Genin exams and all were nervous/anxious to get it over with. The lesser confident could be seen still studying and the proud were seated, hands crossed. Iruka's class was certainly one that had its own order of society.

Naruto had bags under his eyes, indicating a lack of sleep. He had probably spent most of his night studying and training, neglecting to rest his body. The orange jump-suited boy's head was sagging down while he struggled to stay awake. His body finally gave out and he dozed off, head down on his desk. He slept for an hour which – if he was fortunate enough – would be enough for his revitalizing stamina.

At 10 a.m., Iruka and Mizuki walked in, papers in hand. "Alright! Everyone prepare for the test!" The two Chūnin teachers stood in front of the class, scrutinizing them. "I want you to do your best, and no cheating." Mizuki saw a certain blond who was apparently sleeping. "Someone wake Naruto."

Sakura whose seat placement was beside the Uzumaki saw this as a golden opportunity cracked her knuckles. She was about to rap her fist against the sleeping boy's head when the boy woke up with a deep gasp and grabbed her hand at the wrist. "One hour!" he all but screamed at the top of his lungs as he looked around wildly before getting his bearings together.

He was stared at by the class, giving him unnerving expressions but the teachers were not amused. "Naruto, prepare for the exam. You shouldn't be sleeping at a time like this." Iruka stated sternly while his fellow Chūnin nodding in agreement.

The Uzumaki regained his usual 'bored to hell' demeanor before his eyes closed, tempted to keep that way. "Hai, Iruka-sensei."

Iruka nodded once to the boy. "Alright. Mizuki, help me hand these out." He gestured to the tests. "I'll take this half of the class and you take the other half." The two men walked into the center aisle and started handing out the tests from the front to the back and from back to the front, working their way to the far ends of the room. When they had completed their task, they made their announcement.

"Begin!"

And that's the first chapter. Don't worry about the length, though. All my introductory chapters get that. The average length for this story will be around 5k-7k and the word goal is 75k-100k. Don't forget to review and tell me what you think.

Sayonara.

(MRAY 2021: 100k, eh? It's a good thing you didn't say 200k, or we'd be looking at a whole 'nother length.)