Living Twice: Altering the Present

(Stops memorizing storyboard notes to start typing.)

Happy Anniversary, Living Twice: A.T.P. It's been four years! You're not quite done yet, and at the risk of jinxing it, I'd say that you soon will be. Anyway, people, buckle up for the longest chapter to date: 12k. It's the story's peak, after all.

Disclaimer: Good luck finding me, 'Kishi. Though I get the feeling that you like Naruto f-fictions… unlike those other authors that the website keeps warning us not to 'plagiarize'. I respect you and admire you sir, and the world you've created.

Six P.M. (Part Two of Two)


Having Faith to Enter the Unknown

Naruto's watch beeped long and loud in the silence atop the stadium roof.

After Kin released his hand, Naruto's pale bijū eyes flitted from here to there, then to Kin, then back around his surroundings. Night had almost fallen, but he could tell that the village was different than it was before. Though it was close to nighttime, the time of day that he had an unconscious fear of, he still noticed in the dying light that the village was repaired. No, it wasn't repaired; the damage done to it had been undone. The boy stared in confusion, wondering if he had reversed time. It was something that he had once thought he had done before but had chalked it up to imagination. There was no way that he could reverse time, that was preposterous!

Then again, he had thought that even his time abilities were downright impossible when he first got them after his evolution.

He looked at the girl who was standing beside him when she had supposedly just died, who had also supposedly been killed by Orochimaru in the hideout, but she only silently returned his stare. The deep painful blanketing chakra on their bodies gradually receded, leaving them in a mostly translucent one that bubbled around them like a too-large Kyūbi themed shroud. As their reddened corroded flesh faux-healed, the sight of his significant other back beside him nearly drove him to tears in relief and happiness – when they were separated, it'd felt like a part of him had died, and Naruto had feared that she would, and DID. In his sudden rush of emotions, the feral teen nearly collapsed in euphoria, immensely glad that everything was resolved. Kin smiled prettily at him, despite her canines and slit-pupil eyes giving her face a wild bestial appearance. His self-proclaimed trademark whisker marks were etched into her face, sharp lines as if dug out with carving knives. With the Kyūbi shroud surrounding her entire body, her tails continued to slightly wave around her with an edge of violence and a touch of grace. Compared to hers, his own tails looked as if he was about ready to explode from confused internal stress, relief, and fear.

His watch continued to beep. As if only just now hearing it, in the act of turning his head to look at the thing through his bubbling red chakra, he noticed that the Sandaime was nowhere to be found. The rest of the people killed weren't to be seen anywhere else, either.

Everything was reversed. EVERYTHING was REVERSED! Everything was going to happen again! Even worse, it was sunset! He had no idea what was going to happen in his weakest hours, and things were going to be totally different than that of the first time, and or it could play out in more or less in the same way… no telling which one was the worse of the two! He couldn't prepare, he had no idea what to expect; not a clue on what to do! Looking down at his black arm, he was now starting to even doubt his own doubts and just as he thought he couldn't take anymore, Kin circled around to face him, and leaned forward. Unprepared for the act, it allowed her a moment to bump her forehead into his, akin to how dogs nudged one another. It failed to do anything substantial, and the act made Naruto pause. If for nothing else, it felt reassuring and calming, but the Uzumaki was still confused, and apprehensive.

His lone word question came out garbled and gravelly, but still easily interpretable. "W-What?"

"It's… alright," Kin growled out through her jinchūriki features. Naruto nearly shrunk back when he heard this. Right, they were still conscious. In the past, he'd come close to losing himself in the Kyūbi's rage and power before with each additional tail, but that was barely the case now. He suspected that his parents were still involved if he could have so many tails out in the shroud but the matter was that he was still conscious enough to make decisions and do what he wanted. He chose to smile back at Kin and told her how glad he was to see that she was alive and okay, deliberately not asking how she became a jinchūriki of the other half of the Kyūbi that had escaped him. "Yeah. I was gonna nip off and kill myself, and then I realized… What would you do without me?"

He laughed in amusement before his face fell. As was his feelings, so returned his habits. His disappointments. His worries. His fears.

The look on her face made him aware that she knew exactly what was bothering him.

They (probably) triggered a Vista Radial Zone that reversed time. Naruto didn't know how far back, but the remaining issue was that Kin kept staring out into the distance towards the south. Naruto followed her gaze and wondered why.


Oh no.

It was where he had been coming from.

The Uchiha Clan compound. That's where Orochimaru had been hiding out inside the village, evidenced by how he was brought back there to be experiment on-… it was a base of sorts, though it was basically glorified squatting. He wondered if she was aware of this, but he could feel her becoming incensed beside him. He was well aware of her hatred and fear of the Snake Sannin, but there was no way she would just know that he was there. She somehow knew, and at this point, someone could've let it slip, even his own father. Who knew what had been happening to her when they got separated.

"We're going after Orochimaru and finishing this! Right now!"

She was becoming tense. Wilder. Her hostile emotions started to affect him by proximity, and he understood that it was through the same sense of knowing how the other felt that had told her what was bothering him.

He was afraid of Orochimaru too. Even more so, he was afraid of doing anything without having knowledge of the future. It cost him too much. He lost his teacher to Mizuki because he didn't know what to expect. He killed one of his first friends because he failed to follow instructions. He didn't follow his vision in the forest in the Chunin exams and gotten caught and tortured by Orochimaru. He was forced to watch as Kin was killed in front of him. Only today, everyone he knew got killed — most of them died close enough for him to smell their blood… others got murdered right before his eyes.

It was sunset. He had no visions as reference. He didn't know what to expect, and he was afraid.

Faith-… he used to have so much of it. He tried to grow out of his comfort zone, but he came to realize that he had far more to lose than to gain in doing so. He wanted to be the one to always make the best decisions; he'd thrown that into the face of his teachers and friends and everyone else who had insisted that it was impossible. Yet, all he had done since then was prove them right over and over and over again.

He was so tired of it.

He was afraid. He was afraid of not knowing. He was afraid of doing anything without it. Despite how they were questionable at times, looking out for his 'best interests', they had never caused anything bad to him.

And to think that he was supposed to be the proactive one in the relationship — Kin was the one who wanted to go forward into a clash with the fallen Sannin?

His intelligence was starting to ebb away from him.

"Visions are not… the future," Kin rumbled through her long canines as she slowly got on all fours, beginning to behave like the monster she appeared to be. "They're a forecast. We MAKE the future by following them." Naruto stared at the girl, not quite understanding, but her already demonically-influenced speech through her Kyūbified form continued to deteriorate as if she was losing her intelligence. "Mistakes are a part of growing, Naruto-kun! If you didn't make these 'mistakes'… we wouldn't be together… a lot of people would be dead and so would we — there would've been no coming back. Some Visionsssselfish… good for one of us, not for OTHERS. You didn't do the wrrroong thing… you sacrificed your best future … trying… to… help… everyone ELSE." The girl next to him then belted out a roaring scream at the top of her lungs, so loud with chakra lacing that she caused a small shockwave to ripple visibly through the air. Without even realizing it, Naruto unconsciously started to echo her, as if they were mirrors of one another, though his roar wasn't nearly as stirring as hers.

With the barest of his intelligence remaining before it started to grow again, the Uzumaki grasped what she was saying, discovering that she was right. He was a coward, jarred by fear of doing the wrong things. He had done the wrong things… 'bad' things. He'd been looking out for everyone's best interests. He might've lost his Chunin teacher, but it helped prepare him for the bloody battlefield that the ninja world turned out to be. He might've lost Haku, but everyone in Wave was still alive. There was even a goddamn bridge up there that embodied his beliefs in having faith in one's own actions. The visions wanted him to abandon his team as distractions to escape Orochimaru, but he'd let them be the ones to escape instead. They wanted him to give up to Kabuto, yet all of his actions leading up to Konoha's D-Day had allowed his parents to engineer a complete workaround.

The visions were self-absorbed and selfish sometimes- … he knew that a long time ago. He ignored many of them, not even realizing that this was something his parents adored in him, what others appreciated and respected.

Just as the first scouting shinobis arrived on the scene, Kin growled something that sounded like Orochimaru's name and bolted off the stadium roof, taking off towards the Uchiha Clan Compound that was clear on the other side of the village.

He had to have faith in his actions and to keep going. He was human too, and he was allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. He wished that he didn't have it, sometimes — It'd be easier to just live life without being told what to do, what to expect and what to avoid. Regardless, no one was perfect, even when they knew the future. He'd put unnecessary pressure on himself to subjecting himself to the visions as his sole guidance, and it was the worst thing he could've done.

That killed his best quality.

Faith. Faith to keep going when times got tough. Faith in people who wrought some of the biggest surprises in himself — people he hadn't expected could change or help him or become his friends, or even his lover. Faith in stepping off the so-called perfect path when it was only the perfect size for one person to travel. Faith in taking his life in new directions and persevering even when the regrets started to pile up.

His parents admired it in him. Kin loved it in him. People believed in him, knowing that he could pull through.

As his sanity almost fully returned, the nine-tailed jinchūriki followed Kin and dashed off the edge and took a wild leap of faith into the unknown, tearing after her as they streaked to the Uchiha clan compound.

Normally, by now, his day would be finished. Today, it was only just starting.


Jiraiya yawned widely as he stirred awake suddenly, only to find a sheet of paper with a radical selection of fūinjutsu scribbled over it stuck to his face. He peeled it off his face gingerly in the realization that he had fallen asleep extremely early in the wee hours slumped over his table, as he couldn't remember when he'd fallen asleep. "Must've gotten two hours of sleep. It'll have to do." Still, it wasn't him to just rouse himself awake like that when he was exhausted. Something was happening that made him feel uneasy. He looked at the door leading out of the study.

'Might as well see how the kids are holding up.' Picking up his cold cup of coffee, he channeled a little fire-natured chakra into the beverage to help warm it as he sauntered towards his door. Just as he pulled it open, he found one of his ANBUs who was about to knock on the door and judging from the strange air coming from what should be one of the professionals of the shinobi force, the operative was nervous and confused. "Yeah? What's the issue?" Jiraiya asked just before he took a sip.

"They're not here," the man almost exclaimed, "the both of them just disappeared a few minutes ago!" Jiraiya nearly spat his drink and had to swallow the scalding liquid to clear his mouth for speaking. "One second they were here, the next second, gone without a trace! I can't find them anywhere. Rabbit's out sensing for them and still hasn't returned."

"Disappeared? What do you mean, DISAPPEARED?! Weren't you watching them? Were you slacking off?" He couldn't stop his anger from permeating his tone-… these ANBUs were supposed to be the best at what they did, and these select few were some of the Hokage's must trusted?

"No, we weren't," another one insisted as he entered the room via a shunshin, "they aren't anywhere about the property. But I just received word from a few comrades directly from Dragon-taichō — the Third Hokage has passed on. He just collapsed in his office at the Tower."

"… The fuck?" Jiraiya whispered tersely as if he expected the man to change his mind and tell him that he was just making a sick joke. "He's dead? The Sandaime? DEAD?"

The ANBU nodded. "That's right. He didn't have any sicknesses that any of us are aware of, and it appears to be natural causes. We might find out otherwise later, but… that's not the strangest thing."

And so, the hits kept coming. "You gonna tell me?"

"It's night outside."

"So? The sun rose later than usual. What time is it?"

"A few minutes after six am. It's what the clocks say, Jiraiya-sama," the ANBU said strangely and tiredly as if job nonchalance and decorum wasn't enough anymore. He pulled off his Horse mask so that Jiraiya could see his earnest face — it wasn't anyone he knew, but Jiraiya nearly gasped when he saw the man's face. It was completely twisted into shock and disbelief, and this was supposed to be a level of shinobi who weren't allowed to become disheveled. "I was posted outside when it happened. One second, the sun was rising in the east… all of a sudden, sir, the sun is about to set in the west. It's like we missed a day, or we went back a day… I don't know WHICH, and I've exhausted every explanation. No genjutsus, no tricks, no subterfuge. I was wondering… maybe those kids might've frozen us or something since Naruto has time manipulative powers, right? But it's supposed to have a limited range and time span. Either way, the whole ANBU core is a mess up at the Tower, 'cause they also think the whole day just went by in a split second."

Jiraiya conceded that point — after all, it was true. He ordered the man to get a hold of himself and to put his mask back on. The third and final member of the ANBU party that guarded both Naruto and Kin finally entered the room, having apparently just returned. "Jiraiya-sama, I've found Uzumaki Naruto and Tsuchi Kin. I sensed that a great deal of the Kyūbi's power is currently being released and used, and I went to investigate. There have been reports from other members of the core that state that the Kyūbi's chakra is somehow being used by both of them. They each have nine-tailed cloaks."

Jiraiya was honestly completely flummoxed right now. His teacher – The Hokage of Konahagakure was dead, they somehow missed a day (or even more, who knew) Naruto and Kin suddenly went disappeared a few minutes ago-… the former was a huge risk to the village because of potentially releasing the creature sealed inside him. One thing at a time, Jiraiya repeated to himself again, but each of his goddamned worries seemed like insurmountable steps all on their own. "Is the Kyūbi released, or NOT?"

"I'm unsure. I'm reporting based on what I can sense and have learned about the situation from others who are pursuing them," the third ANBU replied. "I did not follow them by trail — they're too fast. There is some good news, however. It's been confirmed that they've been traveling quickly towards the south. Consistently so. We can give chase and cut them off at a tangent – I can lead."

Jiraiya paused for a moment. So many things were dropped into his lap. He was no talented sensor himself as an elite few could boast, but he was good enough to get a feel of what was going on outside. He stepped out to see if he could sense the Kyūbi's particularly malevolent chakra was being used, and he could tell that it indeed was, and it was constantly in motion towards one specific direction, just as the man had said. It was so potent that his worries worsened even more than his confusion; his cup fell from his hand and smashed against the stone-paved path that led away from the building. "And you said that that they were BOTH using the chakra? As if they were BOTH jinchūrikis?"

"Hai. Both levels seem evenly matched. Each has nine tails too, sir."

"Alright. I'll know for sure when we catch up to them. When we do, we'll take care of it."

"What of the Hokage?" the second ANBU queried. Jiraiya noted him as the one who was close to losing his shit. It was understandable, and it was only his age and experience that kept the Sannin from crumbling.

"We'll mourn him later, as well as figure out his sudden passing. Our job right now is securing the Kyūbi… BOTH of these two runaways. Let's go. We can figure out everything else on the way."


She was just ahead of him, perhaps by a half-dozen meters or so, running like mad. Kin wasted some efforts in her four-footed dash, but she had more than enough to burn. Regardless, their streaking through the village did a large number on some of the infrastructures, particularly to some roofs when they both took the high ground to travel to avoid the befuddled civilians who mulled about below, confused as to how their day had come and gone so quickly. Naruto was somewhat used to the cloak and kept up most of his intelligence to back him, though Kin looked like she was turning into a literal beast, given how riled she was acting.

"I'm okay!" Kin yelled, not turning back to look at him as they ran.

"I didn't ask you-"

"You were going to!" Kin shouted again. "Just focus on running! Your dad told me that since Orochimaru and the rest will be hunkering down in sub-basements in the Uchiha compound, they won't sense us until we're right on top of them!"

"So we find him and end him, right?" They both ran out of roof, and leaped off at the edge so powerfully that they easily shot over a hundred meters as if the streets were nothing more than a valley-hurdle to cross, getting to another line-section of roofs. "And all these ANBUs chasing us because we look like monsters are gonna help fight the hebi, ne?"

"We're NOT monsters!" Kin grunted as she misstepped in her mad dash but corrected herself before continuing her four-legged style run. Naruto was able to catch up to her regardless of her quick rectification, now neck-and-neck as their tails flagged behind them. "I thought I explained to you what the difference between appearances and actions were. I obviously didn't expect to end up like you at the time, but my opinion hasn't changed."

Naruto shook his head. "Fast… but we're running on all fours like escaping animals, Kin-chan. Then there's the fact that every roof we ran on is probably gonna leak when the rainy season rolls around," he grumbled. As they continued to run and sometimes dodge ninja techniques meant to stop or slow them, Naruto suddenly called to mind something hilarious. Before he could tell it to Kin, she ruined it by asking one question, which also surprised him.

"Who the hell is Tora?"

"What?" He was thinking of mentioning the cat and frowned. "I didn't say it yet!"

"Wait… a cat? A cat that used to run away from her master? Named 'Tiger'? That hardly makes any sense!" Kin glanced at the boy next to her who was scrutinizing her. "Sorry, I should've said something before. I think your dad gave me an ability to help me fight Orochimaru — must be how he's so strong. It's some kind of way to see a little into the immediate future. It's hard to control 'cause it's like focusing on two different things at the same time. It's constantly coming into my head and it's giving me a serious headache. Nearly making my vision double, too."

"How far into the future-"

"Constantly by… ten? No… twelve, maybe fifteen or so seconds. I think I'm getting used to it, but damn, my HEAD!" The long-haired brunette blinked forcefully and winced. "It hurts behind my eyes! And then it heals, and then it hurts, and then it heals, and then it hurts… shit!"

"Maybe it's because you've got to get used to it, like my chains. That's what my mother gave me. I wonder how they pass it on? By giving us their chakra or something?" Naruto became somber as he thought of how he'd initially brushed off his mother and wondered if she was alright. He brightened up in thought, wondering if she was back inside his seal.

"Your mom's probably not in the seal anymore," Kin said sadly, knowing what he was feeling because he would've told her in a short while, "but I think your dad is. At least, I know he's got a construct in mine monitoring the seal on me. He's helping us both stay in control so I'm betting that he probably has a chakra construct in yours too. Your dad mentioned that everything sealed by the Shiki Fūjin doesn't get fixed with time reversal. The Third is probably still dead…"

"What was he trying to seal?" Naruto wondered out loud.

"Orochimaru, probably, 'cause your dad was upset. The bastard got away. Shame. We've got to finish what he started, what we started, and what Orochi-teme started. We're gonna take him down… for good."


"Simple," the girl said as she glanced behind her and noted how her hair streamed out perfectly horizontally them because of her sheer speed. Most of the ANBUs hadn't exactly lagged behind, but she could tell that they were probably unsure and leery of fully intercepting them. "It's a really simple solution. I'm gonna give the bastard a few gray hairs. Hey, let's see if we can pick up the pace even more." She lapsed silent after this and after a minute of this, she glanced at him sideways. "I don't know."

Naruto grumbled heatedly. "I hope that continuous vision or whatever you have can be turned off at will, 'cause it's annoying. Could you at least let me ask my questions?" She grinned with malicious glee, and it disturbed the teen for as long as it lasted. "What's with that smug look-?"

"It's not so nice when someone talks ahead of you, hmm? You just loved annoying me by finishing my sentences. How's karma taste?"

"This is on a whole 'nother level," Naruto said with a sigh. "Now, I kinda understand the silent treatment that you used to give me."

"I know, right?" Her grin fell into something more cheery. "I'll let you talk." Naruto studied her expression with interest. It almost felt forced, and tried to put it out of his mind; perhaps it was tied into the question that he had wanted to ask her before he had gotten cut off. She obviously knew the question and wondered how it worked. "Does the vision constantly update itself in your head whenever things change?"


"Does it tell you what to do? Like the fore-experience when we sleep?"

"Not really. It shows me what's gonna happen and forecasts my likeliest actions. I'm telling you now and I'll tell you again, we always have a choice in what we do. If it's good, I'll do it. If it ain't, I'm not gonna follow through with it. It would be better if I could shut it OFF. No one can live like this constantly…" Kin looked down forlornly, and her fanglike canines made her look like a sad saber-toothed animal. "I don't mean to sound ungrateful or insult your dad or anything… it's just the ability itself. It's kinda pissing me off." Seeing her glowing white arm and Naruto's opposite left that still hadn't faded, she wondered if it was tied into the Yang Kyūbi. "Maybe it's because of this state. I hope so."

Naruto nodded somberly. "I guess." It brought him back to his question and decided that he would ask it after all. "Why did you scream back there? Back on the stadium roof? You started to act like you were losing yourself, but I've never even really roared like that before. I know the feeling, but it doesn't seem very… Kyūbi-angry, you know?"

"I get the idea, but I don't actually know," Kin deadpanned, "First day as a jinchūriki? Duh. But I still don't know. It just came out. Like everything that was pent up for a long time just came out all at once. Actually crying for my dead mom. Sad that I haven't gotten to see my father for so long. I'm pissed at Orochimaru so that's definitely in there!" This succeeded in getting Naruto to laugh, and Kin smiled before going on. "Relieved too. I was going through a memory crisis-… I couldn't remember the names of my children, but it finally came back to me when you helped wake me up, or bring me back or whatever you did. Some bitchiness is in that mix too, on account of having to lecture you on something that you should know about already. I feel free, too. I felt like I was on cloud nine, too. I was all alone in that casket… I didn't know what was happening outside, and I was ready to kill myself. I was depressed, Naruto-kun, and I really missed you."

Naruto perfectly understood. "I was miserable without you too. I didn't know what had happened, and I was fighting through the village to get to you. It was right around here that I nearly got my head chopped off." Two of Naruto's tails angled and seemed to point in a span of directions, "And it was somewhere over there that I had to kill Haku, my friend, all over again."

"You roared like me too. You said you hadn't roared until today, so you meant that how you screamed like me."

"Scream is such an unmanly word," Naruto grumbled asininely as they did a small hop to clear over a rooftop clothesline before they bounded off the roof and landed on the ground at last. As soon as they landed, they took off like a shot again, maneuvering around the sparse number of civilians on street level. Some of the ANBUs followed them there, while many continued their pursuit on the rooftops. Their conversation was sparking something in him, and Naruto found himself crying. "I was happy when I saw you get up. Yokatta… I thought I lost you… I can't and I DON'T know what I'd do… Haven't ever felt this strongly about anything, and when I saw you just lying there… I think I snapped."

"I would too, in your shoes," Kin nearly whispered, "But it's no surprise. Back when I kissed you the first time? You asked me if I found any feelings and the truth was that I did… and I feel the same way. It's why I couldn't stand the thought of killing you or hurting you… I can't even handle anyone using me as an instrument to harm you, Naruto-kun."

The boy tried to blink away his years before his distorted vision hampered him too much. "Anything else?"

"That's it."

There was so much more than that. Kin knew precisely how she was feeling. And from how Naruto had joined in, at that point being empathetic to each other's emotions in that short while after their second stage cloaks receded. Love was there, along with some bond that kept them synchronized across time and distance. Both of these, likelier the former instead of the latter, handicapped them emotionally to the point that they couldn't cope without the other.

"Feel better?"

"Aside from this red chakra that's starting to sting and this headache that I've got? I'm perfect. Hell, I'm so happy that I don't think I mind those things. Anyway…" Kin seeming stared out forward intensely as she wove around a portly woman in the way who screamed at the top of her lungs when she saw the Kyūbified teens seemingly charge towards her, yet avoiding her at the last second. "Jiraiya and those three ANBUs assigned to be our guards are about to cross us. Hmm… they're gonna get in the way. We can't afford to just stop and explain. We'll need to split up around the far sides so they don't try to trap us or some other such bullcrap. You got control over your abilities?"

"Yeah. But It's gotten even slower than watching paint dry. I'm not sure if I can speed things up around me anymore. What about you?"

"I think I got control over my own."

"Doton: Doryūheki!" (Earth Release: Earth Style Wall)

Almost instantly, a wide mud wall rose up between them and their direct path to the south, filling up the entire large intersection. Naruto kissed his teeth. "That's their doing, huh?"

"They already set a deep pitfall trap behind it. They expect us to just go through the wall, or jump over," Kin said with a laugh, "looks like they know you too well, 'cause I'm seeing that it's exactly what you're going to do."

Naruto sighed at the girl's joke. "Okay, okay, let's go around. If we pass them, they'll just try to catch up. When they do that, then we can talk to 'em. We'll need Jiraiya's help, anyway."

Like the two demonic fox blurs that they were, Naruto and Kin came to a fast stop just short of smashing into the wall before putting their utmost into the ground like starting blocks before dashing to the two endpoints of the expansive obstacle. The ground where they ran on together splintered and broke up as they separated in their launch, and the ANBUs who were pursuing them suddenly realized the new speed and distance that the pair were employing against them. The chase up until then had been more or less in their favor as the two jinchūrikis had maintained a constant direction (though with rising speed as if getting more and more used to their powers) but the gap wasn't getting any smaller. The nearly two dozen ANBUs divided into two groups to follow each of them but Naruto only gave them a single glance.

'Wonder if Jiraiya is going to order them to stop so that they can defend the village or to help US? We still have to worry about outside ninjas cropping up to storm in. It might be easier for the ANBUs since they won't have to divide their attention between the Kyūbi and the ninjas, right?' He shook his head as he neared the wall's extremity. 'If Jiraiya's back, that means that our range reached his safehouse, which means that probably everyone is alive, right? Everyone in the leaf and people beyond must be freaking out. Maybe the goddamn murderers retreated too.' Finally at the end, Naruto turned the corner to see that a large section of the ground beyond was incredibly deep and wide; most of the houses that should've been in the space were gone inside too, likely evacuated before ending up as puny filler in the deep pit that was lined with a few seals. Eyes scanning around frantically as he continued to run on all fours as he and Kin circled around the far sides, Naruto finally spied the man looking as if he was in the middle of executing another jutsu, apparently having seen that his trap hadn't worked.

On the other side, Kin had leaped over the heads of their ANBU guards, yelling for them to get out of her way and it was much the same for the blond, that one being Jiraiya. Grinning as amicably as he could manage with his long canines, he sprinted towards the man in his way shouted the most Naruto-like thing he could think of to assure the man that he wasn't a threat.

"S'up, Jiraiya? You look a whole lot better now than you did a few hours ago!"

Jiraiya froze like a statue with a flabbergasted look on his face as he stared at the jinchūriki who was almost about to pass him. "WHAT?"

"C'mon! We're going after Orochimaru! If you can't keep up, me and Kin-chan are gonna leave you behind, dattebayo!" In the next moment, Naruto passed the man leaving nothing but chakra-shroud tracks and dust in his wake. "Hurry up!"

Jiraiya's head nearly swiveled like an owl's as he turned to gawk at the boy. Never in his wildest dreams would he have expected his godson to even be in control, let alone communicate when the seal seemed this far gone. He had used three tails before — once— but so many at once with a shroud when he had no understanding with the Bijū was supposed to be impossible. Being in control was good, but there was too much that he didn't understand, and what Naruto had said disturbed him. Not even realizing it, he was already running after the blond, and caught up somewhat, able to talk within earshot. "What the hell, brat? What's going on? Are you in control of the Fox? What do you mean I look better now than 'back then'? Why the hell are you and Kin running to the south and why does she look like she's a jinchūriki like you?!"

"One question at a time, Jiraiya!" Naruto's eyes wandered to his right, blandly looking at the sun in between the buildings as he flashed by. It had just finished sinking into the horizon, with only the barest of its rays lighting the west while nighttime had fully fallen everywhere else. With the last of his trepidation and hesitance gone, he ran a little faster. "Before I answer that, I need to ask you something. We're going after Orochimaru; he's hiding out in the Uchiha clan compound, probably since the days leading up to today's invasion. If he's underground over there, like a deep basement, would he sense us coming towards him?"

Jiraiya looked at him stupidly; obviously, Orochimaru was a priority but the Uzumaki seemed to be ranking it at the top of his list. He decided to answer, as the boy said he'd answer his questions as well. "Damn sure that everyone could sense you coming if you get close enough, being a sensor or not, though being in a sensor-proof bunker might work against him if he was hiding out perfectly — nothing a sensor does gets in or out. If that's not the case, and he can sense what's happening, he might think that the Kyūbi's escaping. However, since the power and influence aren't increasing and you keep getting closer, he'll suspect something."

Naruto frowned as both he and Kin converged at the other end of the round pit as did everyone else who was in the chase. "Then we need to go even faster. If you can talk while running faster then—"

"I can go faster," Jiraiya affirmed matter of factly. "Now talk, kid. What happened?"

"Short version? We reversed time after everyone got butchered today," Naruto said grimly, "Your ideas sucked, my ideas sucked even more, and Orochimaru basically won. But my parents have been helping me and Kin-chan all day. I met my mom in the seal. I wasn't…" Naruto nearly became awash with tears, "I wasn't a good son, but she helped me. It turns out that mom was the one who sealed the Kyūbi in me, and she split it into two while she did it. Yin half, and a Yang half. They helped boost my powers, up until when my seal ruptured and the balance went haywire." The Sannin told him to continue, and so the boy did. "Anyway, Orochimaru broke the seal today, and mom allowed the Yang one to escape before patching it up, saying it was too hard to fix with the both of them in there. After that, I got abducted to be used in experiments. I escaped, and went to where my dad was summoned; Kin-chan got used in the Edo Tensei to bring back dad."

"So everything was basically like your nightmares," the man stated as they re-grouped, before ordering his team and the ANBU's coming up behind them to stop engaging the pair. "Sounds rough."

"Nightmare sounds exactly right," Kin remarked as she turned her head towards Jiraiya who stared at her intently, "I got thrown into a coffin, and the Yondaime asks me not to off myself. I allowed myself to be used in the reincarnation, but I could always kinda hear what was going on. The Yondaime used my powers to escape Orochi's control and kicked everyone's ass. But he soon left to seal the Kyūbi in himself – IN MY BODY, basically. Used what… 'Shiki Fūjin' I think he said…? To hold the Kyūbi in place while he used some Hakke sounding seal on it. That's how I ended up like Naruto-kun."

"In every sense of the word!" Jiraiya exclaimed, easily recognizing her description. "It must be the Hakke no Fūin Shiki! That's what the kid's seal is!"

"Looks like I'm not the only one who can't remember jutsus when they hear it only once," Naruto joked to himself. One of Kin's tails swayed and reached closer to slap her boyfriend in rebuke, making him swear in pain as he nearly tripped. "Itai! What was that for?!"

She ignored his cry and continued speaking, "The Sandaime used some sort of sealing jutsu that could beat the Edo Tensei. But it's does something to our time powers too, like a weakness, according to the Yondaime. In any case, Orochimaru wasn't there before we turned back time. I'm guessing that means he got away. Since our seals are good now, the village is safe-ish and everyone's alive, we gotta get Orochimaru before he escapes." Her vision centered on the compound that everyone was rushing up towards. "He switched bodies, and it's nearly invincible. He probably knows about Naruto-kun's abilities because of how he counter-planned against us. He could learn more later on… time manipulation, me seeing visions now, as well as becoming a jinchūriki too. We can get the drop on him right now but if we let him get away, we'll have to look over our shoulders for the rest of our lives." Jiraiya's face became crestfallen. Seeing his expression as he ninja-sprinted behind them, Kin asked him what was wrong, before she stopped short, having foreseen the answer. 'Oh. He's gonna talk about Hokage.'

"Old man Sarutobi is dead. This weakness that you mentioned… When you turned back time… it must not work for the sealing technique that he used. It must be the Shiki Fūjin as you said. One way trip into the death god's stomach, so he didn't come back to life even when you reversed everything. But if he was forced to use that jutsu and still failed, then my old teammate must be packing a lot of power. What can we do without resorting to using a fūinjutsu like that? I don't know the handseals for it, let alone the fact that suicide doesn't appeal to me right now, especially since the Hokage's passed."

"Don't worry. Orochimaru's got no way of planning against us now when we're BOTH like this and what we can do now," Naruto growled, sounding like the beast that resided in him, "I can slow time down again, and it's even stronger than before, not to mention my mom's chains can disrupt even the Edo Tensei regeneration for a good while. Kin-chan can constantly see ahead, too." Naruto grinned with a nasty smirk, eager to finally put an end to the day. "We're gonna rip his fucking head off!"

Kin was in full agreement, though she knew that it wasn't going to play out like that. She looked around at the ANBUs backing them, plus Jiraiya who was rallying it in their support. They'd be a big help, but that wasn't going to even come close to what she could do – she'd be the one to end the man's life. Seeing the clan compound's doors coming up, she felt her bloodlust rise in anticipation and with a snarl, leaped forward and thrust a chakra-arm out that smashed the gate into pieces that everyone bolted through. "Everyone needs to do as I say! Got that?"

Most of everyone there glanced around uncomfortably at each other, including the battle-hardened ANBUs. They took some umbrage to what the girl said, but recalling that Naruto just said that she could constantly see ahead and knowing that a stronger Orochimaru and his goons were what they were up against, Jiraiya cautioned them that they'd take her orders as a de facto leader, but free to act as long as it loosely obeyed what she said. "Alright, that's the best I can do. What's gonna happen, Tsuchi?"

"Just keep following me… Gimme a second!" Kin said heatedly before she leaped to a rooftop, strafing left. Everyone followed her and soon had to switch over as she angled back to the right, then left again.

"Why are we doing this?"Horse asked the very question that everyone else had on their minds. Naruto would rather just head to the building that he himself had earlier emerged from but decided to wait. It was a strange change — normally, people would be the ones who had to wait on him, waiting on his decisions. He trusted his girlfriend to know what she was doing and asked the ANBU to be patient.

"I'm trying to use Descry to see ahead in different places…" Kin stared towards one corner of the compound, and then another before she ground to a halt and stood upright and still, everyone coming to a stop close by. "Alright, I have it! We've got some big ass snakes used in a distraction getting summoned in that corner!" she announced as she pointed towards a section at the distant edge of the compound. "Orochimaru's gonna be in the far opposite corner," Kin warned as she then gestured to the building left-most corner towards the back. "He's going to try to escape! Then, we have Kabuto in the middle and he's backed up by the Sound Four!" Kin thought furiously, seeing ahead that Naruto could handle Kabuto with his chains very easily, but the ANBUs fared off badly against the Snakes. She'd have to switch around some of the set-ups. "I'll take on the snakes!" Looking back at everyone behind and beside her, she nearly outright barked her orders at everyone else who was her senior in rank and experience, "ANBUs will fight the Four, and Jiraiya will take on Orochimaru with his team. Naruto-kun, you've got chains that can fight the Edo Tensei; you'll take on Kabuto-teme and then work your way through the Four and back up Jiraiya. Just make sure you stall him until I get there to finish him off."

"No problem, Kin-chan," Naruto said with a mock salute. To be able to slow time to near cessation? There'd be no problem.

Just as she finished speaking, a trio of three massive snakes suddenly came into existence with a huge explosion of summoning-smoke, hissing wildly with slavering jaws that dripped corrosive venom. Kin's white right arm seemed to glow brighter, yet the luminescence felt more threatening than innocent. "… Don't worry about them," she glowered as she dropped to all fours in a crouch, tensing her legs with growing power, "they won't even last a minute."

Jiraiya hadn't asked them to explain why their contradictory hands were pitch black and white, but it wasn't the time to make a query. It was probably some advanced form of their abilities, he guessed, evident from how easily the headstrong Uzumaki agreed to Kin's apparent confidence and her commands. Honestly, though, he was primarily troubled by the fact that Orochimaru was alive; what had he died for, then? As the girl leaped far off towards the summons like a pouncing animal, the Sage turned and yelled at the ANBUs who had been silently watching. "You heard her! GO!"

The group split into three, and just as she predicted, everything happened with the same set of events, though it was tackled differently as she'd advised. With the bulk of the ANBUs fairly close by, Naruto decided to wait until he got closer to his target before using his Yin release to assure his success while negating friendly offenses on them. Said target stood in the middle of the street, still wearing that ever-smug expression on his face that the jinchūriki despised. Naruto guessed that Kabuto had no idea that he could now beat him easily.

With that, he wondered if Sasuke was here on his compound. He hoped not. He recalled how he had to leave him behind, but since it didn't happen–

He couldn't pretend that it didn't happen. It happened, and he was going to take it out on Kabuto who kidnapped him in the first place. He was also the one who had killed Sakura and couldn't be bothered to allow the dead to rest in peace.

"You look good for a dead man!" Naruto fumed as he charged at him. Spying the others, he glared at the Sound Four who had kept him miserable in his days in the cell. "I ain't caged anymore, you pricks! Get ready for a one-sided slaughter as soon as I'm done with your leader!"

"Someone's being foolish just because they acquired some extra power," Kabuto commented easily, not at all put off by the lad's Kyūbified appearance. Edo Tensei granted him unlimited reserves and immortal regeneration, though the fact that it was nighttime when dawn should've been breaking warranted some concern and acute confusion. There was also the matter of Kin who had just flown by overhead looking exactly like the boy before him. "You can't kill the dead." He ordered the Four to use their cursed marks, seeing as they were outnumbered. It would've been nice to have Kimimaro around to help, but he simply wasn't around anymore. He dashed towards Naruto with his chakra scalpels, deciding that if he cut through the central point of Naruto's chakra network, he should either lose his Kyūbified state or simply release the Kyūbi itself – either was equally beneficial. Before he could even get close, Naruto adjusted his running to two-legged as one of his chakra arms elongated and reached forward to attack Kabuto. The silver-haired teen sidestepped and wound around it as well as Naruto's other attempts to get closer.

Little did he know that he was playing directly into Naruto's plans. Just as he used a body flicker to get closer to him, the white kanji for SLOW in the Uzumaki's palm lit up in stark contrast to his black arm. "Slow the fuck down, you bastard!" Just as he wanted, Naruto created a Vista Radial Zone that only just encompassed himself and Kabuto who was but a few meters away from him, his chakra-scalpel flaring. Naruto himself thought he wouldn't be able to move just like before, but he could, only just. It was only a little faster than Kabuto, but he didn't need handseals, or even the ability to talk to activate his Adamantine Sealing Chains. 'Kongō Fūsa!'

His chains flew out of the black void that was his stomach area and stabbed right through Kabuto's head. Not done there, it retracted and with the three others, piston punched through the dead's body, multiple times until there was hardly a trace of the man left to be called solid. Willing his Zone to subside, his chains shot straight up into the air, before coiling up together while falling down like a massive puck on a high striker carnival attraction. By the time it landed, it crashed into the ground broke it down, kicking up huge amounts of dust in plumes. Some of it was actually the remaining ashes of Kabuto, and Naruto kissed his teeth.

"Let's see you regenerate from that! Minutes or hours. Either's good enough." Already on the move, he hastened over to where the Sound Four were fighting the ANBUs who had some difficulty. Most of the said elites were at pains in trying to avoid dealing out friendly hits to their own while fighting against Orochimaru's lackeys, who had broken out into new freakish looks with their curse marks. "Holy shit, you guys!" Naruto yelled at the top of his lungs, "Just when I thought you couldn't get any uglier, you all actually started trying!"

He got Sakon's attention first as well what looked like the teen's body double. Capitalizing on their attention that was detracted from the ANBUs. He thrust one his arms out at them, but the pair seemingly relished seeing that he was trying to attack them. "You're just an uppity asshat just because you got sprung out. C'mon, Ukon!" Sakon retorted with a sneer as he and his twin formed the snake handseal. "Kuchiyose: Rashōmon!"

A massive gate erupted out of the ground before them, armed with a spiked top and decorated with a demonic face on the front. Recognizing the jutsu, an ANBU warned Naruto that it was supposedly impervious, and Naruto took it without skepticism. On the other side, the twins were still awaiting impact and were not disappointed to hear it. In the same second, however, the ground beneath the two crumbled apart as the second of the jinchūriki's chakra arms broke through. Though they were marginally able to dodge it, Ukon was a bit too slow in doing so, and one of the arm's fingers tore half-way through his thigh before pulling the arm back. The boy yelled in pain as he clumsily landed on his injured leg, already begging to enter Sakon's body in an effort to heal from his debilitating wound. Unbeknownst to them, Naruto had feigned fully attacking the gate and had already flanked around it, and now used his retracted arms to grab the crippled Ukon bodily in a hand-clasp and held him up.

"Brother!" Sakon yelled as Naruto's arm held him high out of reach of his assistance, the hapless Ukon screaming as he was burned alive by the acrimonious nature of the Kyūbi's shroud. "You motherfucker! Let him go!"

"Make me."

Falling for the easy taunt and distraction, he didn't even realize that one of Naruto's tails were seemingly missing. Rising up out of the ground behind him, it impaled him cleanly through the chest, the boy's innards bursting out with a mini shower of gore. At the same time, without restraint, the blond manipulated his arms once more to make them clinch even tighter and crushed Ukon to death. Dropping his broken, corroded corpse back onto the battlefield mentally jarred the remaining members of the Sound Four whose leader (by skill and pecking order) had been effectively killed in less than a dozen seconds.

"So… with some elite ANBUs to help, I've got to deal with a spider kid, a fat-ass and one potty-mouth redhead," he announced as they desperately tried to fend off the ANBUs and now worrying about him as their enemy, "easy."

In the meantime, Jiraiya wasn't having that level of an effortless fight, as Orochimaru now seemed to boast higher fighting capabilities than before. Honestly, the guy was already a monster, but turning a fucking battlefield into a growing forest of skewering bones was where he drew the line. Shikotsumyaku. Goddamn. He had thought it was an extinct bloodline.

"I'm starting to see how sensei had trouble with him," Jiraiya mumbled under his breath, "and how we got annihilated today. Gotta keep him lingering around in the fight now, or he'll try to escape." Going through a bare two handseals, he slammed his hands down on the ground separating him and Orochimaru. "Doton: Yomi Numa!" (Earth Release: Swamp of the Underworld)

Almost instantly, the ground between him and beyond the Snake Sannin was practically dissolved into quick-mud that fully sucked in the bones as well pulling at the enemy himself, trying to ensnare him. He had the skill to focus chakra onto his feet thickly before leaping off to a nearby building that was left out of the technique, laughing scornfully at Jiraiya for his efforts while the jutsu receded.

"Every team seems to have a bloody fool, Jiraiya. Our team was no different, it seems."

"Never pegged you for the type to put yourself down," Jiraiya commented as he clapped his hands into the snake handseal. "Gamayudan!" (Toad Oil Bullet) Spewing a huge amount of oil towards Orochimaru, Horse beside him only needed an instant to perform a fire jutsu, igniting it with a Karyūdan (Fire Dragon Bullet). The result was a sweltering fire technique that carried weight from the burning oil, one that Jiraiya used to make a cascading wall of fire behind Orochimaru as he dodged it. Seeing him penned in, Rabbit used Doton to create walls beneath the Sannin with a sudden drive that shot him up into the air, on a direct collision course with the real Jiraiya who fell down towards him from high up with a Rasengan in his hands. For the barest of seconds, Jiraiya wondered if his former teammate had allowed himself to be hit but still didn't shy away. Gripping it for another second more, he then let the Rasengan go that forced the Snake back to the earth, kicking up dust as he landed. He got up soon after, however, none the worst for wear. Still in the process of landing, the Toad Sage watched as Orochimaru pulled out a bone sword out of his hand and patiently waited for him to land, stabbing him once he soon would.

Before Jiraiya could enact his escape by summoning a toad or to simply do a substitution with his mud clone on the ground, Rabbit spied what he thought was an opening in Orochimaru's guard and dashed towards him with his wakizashi in hand. Swinging his sword aiming at the man's neck, the Snake Sannin turned at the last moment and parried the man's blade relatively easily; the shock alone ran through the ANBU's sword that made his hand vibrate, letting him know that he might as well have just tried to chop iron. Stabbing his bone sword at the ANBU, it just about pierced his mask before he got away with a speedy shunshin backward to his team in a panic. On the inside of his mask, blood ran down his face and dripped off the chin of his mask.

"Close. Really close."

He said that for more than one reason, as in the meantime, Jiraiya had landed on Orochimaru again because of the latter's distraction, this time with a massive Rasengan in hand that was nearly as big as the man himself. It destroyed the area around them and pummeled his former teammate, grinding him through the stone slabs of the first Doton jutsu, the bricks of the street and right down into the deeper soil and bedrock. Just before the Rasengan was intentionally warped, Jiraiya used a hasty kawarimi to replace himself with his earlier mud clone, leaving Orochimaru to his fate when the Rasengan exploded in violent swirling chakra. It was so massive that Jiraiya and his team had leap away to get out of the blast radius.

"That had to do some damage," the third ANBU said as he approached the pit and threw a few A-grade bomb tags inside to hopefully finish off Orochimaru if he was still alive. As an additional effect, it weakened the sides of the crater left behind by the Rasengan and caused a large amount of dirt to flow to the center and cover up his body. "If he's still alive, he'll just asphyxiate down there." Before he could leave, however, a long sword shot out of the hole and through the ANBU's chest, killing him instantly. It soon retracted, however, as Orochimaru's head rose up out of the pit on a drawn-out neck with a snake in his mouth, one that acted as some sort of sheath for the weapon. They all gawked in horror at his snake-like mutation as his body finished jumping out, and his neck receded to its former state. Jiraiya, in particular, was dismayed to see that Orochimaru's clothes were ripped up where the Rasengan had hit him, but his body didn't really suffer any injury.

'Sarutobi-sensei, what kind of fight did you go through earlier with him?! He just weathered that Rasengan as if it barely didn't even matter! He's a monster, but there has to be some kind of limit! Do I summon one of the bigger Toads for a Food Cart Destroyer Jutsu or one that can bludgeon him with weapons? No, he'll just bring in Manda and make it into a summon fight, and the collateral damage will just spread into the village!' Jiraiya thought furiously. 'Maybe I'll summon Fukasaku and Shima to help me with Sage Mode – '

Before he could finish his thought, everyone's attention was averted when they heard a loud screaming hiss from the earlier summoned snakes. Jiraiya stared at the snake trio as somewhere from behind a building close to the creatures, a massive Kyūbi chakra arm (with white light running through it like a vein network), shot up and through one of the snake's heads as if it was punching through wet paper. Like some kind of slightly delayed upshot, the hole created broke apart into dust as the arm was pulled back, then swung like a sword that cleanly bisected the others. Their wounds rapidly turned into dust that went on to consume them to the rest of their bodies, annihilating them before they could even de-summon themselves. Even Orochimaru was taken aback by the spectacle.

It was just then that the Toad Sage realized that while Naruto had the most overall usefulness by slowing time and using chains, Kin was wielding some of the most dangerous powers in the current war theatre. She had prescience that far exceeded that of the Sharingan by actually seeing ahead, and her time powers (no doubt her white arm) was probably aging everything it touched into dust whenever she wanted. Since it was only just discovered and Orochimaru wasn't the wiser, Jiraiya had to refrain from smirking as he turned to face his enemy.

'They might not be able to use this newfound power again outside of being Kyūbified and since the time-reversal wiped everyone's memories, he has no idea what they can do, aside from seeing the future. Kin's right… now's the best time to take Orochimaru down. We can still beat him… SHE can kill him! As she said… we need to stall him until she got here. No, she told that to Naruto. He's the one who's supposed to stall Orochi?' "Where the hell is he, anyhow?" In the same second that he uttered the words, a chakra arm crashed through the spot that the Snake Sannin had been in, had he not used a reflexive substitution with a mud clone.

"Oi, Orochimaru!" Naruto yelled angrily as he ran in and ground to a halt close to Jiraiya and his team, standing in a hunched stance as his eyes darted around, searching for his enemy while retracting his arm. "They're dead! Got any more surprises?"

This time, Jiraiya couldn't help but chuckle. The boy was going to live long. "Speak of the devil and he will appear." He got the feeling that he was tempting Orochimaru to continue fighting by using whatever trumps he had, but surely, the only one that was left would be… shit… the Edo Tensei. Kin did add that Naruto could fight it but Orochimaru didn't know that yet. Knowing how Kushina's chains worked, he decided to allow it to happen. He himself didn't know of any quick ways to seal them, but he could surely wrangle something that could seal their bodies once they were immobilized by the chains, no problem.

Right. Tempt Orochimaru to give everything he had into the fight instead of escaping like the slippery bastard he was.

"You've got a lot of nerve, child, especially when you're so close to releasing the Kyūbi," Orochimaru remarked nastily as he emerged on top of a building close to them. What perplexed the man, however, was how the brat seemed 'sane' so to speak, especially when the inner demon should've been on the brink of being released. Perhaps this state was meant to happen before then? And the day was ending when it should've only just started — that was the most disconcerting. Then there was also the fact that he had sensed two Kyūbi presences about. 'Probably clones. One killed my snakes and the real one is standing before me. As for what his arm had just done to the snakes, that strange black arm of his. I don't know what it does. Or… was it white?'

There was too much he didn't know. Why he was discovered, why it was night, why Naruto was like this and the strange abilities he was using. He had long decided to escape but was out of pawns to delay them. He did have the Impure World Reincarnation to fall back on. Well, he could always use them now and resummon them later, though it would spoil his planned method of attacking Hiruzen. Kin wasn't in an available casket, but Dosu and Zaku were already obtainable. Making up his mind to delay and carry out his egress, Orochimaru went through the handseals that summoned the reincarnated to his location, having already been prepared.

"I was saving this for Hiruzen, Jiraiya, but I'll settle for you for now. One rat is as good as another."

"Gosh Orochimaru, you're really humble." Jiraiya had to keep himself from laughing as he saw Naruto's black arm seem to burn blacker and ominously as if it was powering up, with the tell-tale feeling that another Kyubified presence was rapidly approaching. He looked down at Naruto, who met his eyes. "You're stalling him, right?" he whispered so low that only Naruto could hear, "so stall him. It doesn't matter that much, anyway, because you can combat that jutsu, right? No matter what happens, just keep him stalled until Kin comes and fucking turns him into dust, understand?"

Jiraiya had never admitted it before, but he liked winning his fights more than some people usually did-... it boosted his ego. Both the victory and the events leading up to it… knowing tha Orochimaru was already beaten was almost gratifying. Naruto's chakra arms continued to meander about, trying to catch up and attack Orochimaru, who kept dodging them until he primed the jutsu for activation.

"Kuchiyose: Edo Tensei!" Just like that, two coffins rose up out of the ground. In the second that the lids fell open, Naruto's Yin release finally became available for activation, slowing everything down to a near standstill. At that moment, Orochimaru was smirking, the two ANBUs were taking up defensive stances, and Jiraiya was caught laughing raucously. Naruto had already unleashed his chains, originally intent on piercing holes straight through Orochimaru and the caskets to destroy what was within before the corpses were activated, only to understand why the Jiraiya's face looked so amused.

Honestly, he felt like laughing too. The Edo Tensei had failed; only Dosu and Zaku were in the caskets, apparently unconscious.

'So that's why Old Man Hokage's still dead. He died to make sure that the First and Second wouldn't come back to make our jobs harder. I guess… it was pretty noble of him, but he probably shouldn't have. At some point, we would've found some way to release them without Orochimaru, right?' Instead, he refocused all of his chains on the miscreant, hoping to deal as much damage as he could before his zone wore off. They managed to punch through his midsection where bones were lacking and bashed him around with extreme prejudice, but no other lasting damage was dealt to him.

'Man, I can disrupt jutsus but I thought that I'd be able to deal more damage to this guy! What did he do to his body to get so strong?! Shit! Where the heck's Kin-chan?' he thought to himself impatiently as his chains unleashed a medley that finally broke one of Orochimaru's arms and a leg, 'she said that she could take care of him!' His chains started to coil around Orochimaru, hoping to pull him apart like a wishbone though it was clearly failing. How could he hurt him?

"Naruto-kun!" The yell came from the girl who was sprinting towards him, halting just short of entering his zone. "Can I get inside this and move?" As a test, she poked one of her tails into the huge black bubble that was his time Zone, but it slowed down as if it was moving through syrup once she did. "You need to drop this so I can finish him off!"

If he could even talk, he would've told her to give him a second to fully trap Orochimaru. Given how he failed to fully bashed the man around, it was obviously the real thing left to do. The only difficulty was that he wanted to ensure that the man didn't escape. If stopped time paused brain processes, reversed time reverted it, slowed time made it sluggish, then how could they kill Orochimaru by accelerating time? His brain would accelerate, or he'd simply move fast enough to escape.

What could he do –

Right. The chains weren't affected by time.

By the time the Yin Zone subsided, it was revealed to have Orochimaru completely tied with the chains, coiled around his body like the very same thing that the man himself was likened to. Their chakra-disruptive properties negated his ability to perform jutsus, and he hadn't even prepared a kawarimi as he didn't expect to get caught or injured; his arrogance had costed him dearly.

It was failure after failure as he tried to muscle his way out with increased usage of his senjutsu chakra from the curse mark he had as well as strengthening his bones further; he couldn't do anything against the insufferable chain he was restrained inside. There was so much pressure from the twisting chains that he couldn't even twitch, and his steel-hard bones were starting to cave-in bit by bit, rupturing his organs. For the first time, everyone was now hearing Orochimaru's screams and curses as he demanded to be released. The chains lengthened out of Naruto's seal to get their quarry closer to Kin, all while Naruto warned everyone to get away from Kin.

"So, just like that?" Jiraiya asked in expectation.

"If I can slow time to a near stop, I don't even want to know what would happen if she made a zone that sped things up. Kin-chan? Are we far enough out of the way?"

Kin didn't answer, as she glared poisonously at the Snake Sannin who was trapped inside the balled-up, crisscrossing chains, so much so that not even a single part of the man was visible, save for a tiny hole which he could see the girl through. She almost wanted to relish seeing him suffer more, but it wasn't the time for it and didn't want to potentially risk his escape. After so long in his service, she had finally gotten the strength to break out of his service and defeat him, one of the worst and most powerful people in the elemental nations. She'd avenge herself and everyone else he'd ever antagonised, hurt, killed, backstabbed or simply just made miserable.

"Imagine," she said with an air of impending violence, "you're going to get killed by your most pathetic soldier."

"KIN?" the man hissed, glaring at the girl. "What are you doing?!"

"Time can heal anything," Kin growled as her arm readied up with even more Yang release than she'd ever used up until now, "and it rots EVERYTHING."

As if only now understanding, Orochimaru's brain went into overdrive, trying to think of a way to escape the horrible predicament he was in. This was not to be, however, as a wholly black kanji emerged in her palm, stark against the white that was her entire arm.


There was an erupting Vista Radial Zone, one tiny and concentrated that encompassed Kin and Orochimaru who was trapped inside the chains. Orochimaru screamed for a long second as he was utterly killed in an instant, aged into dust. Kin kept up her Zone for another few seconds before it faded, everyone, watching in breathless anticipation. Jiraiya had some expectations, but by the time Naruto uncoiled his tightly balled chains, there was nothing but a trifling amount of dust that fell to the ground, some of which wafted away on a light breeze.

Orochimaru was dead.

"Holy crap. Kin-chan, that was… scary!" Naruto exclaimed. At that moment, their nine-tailed chakra shrouds started to recede bit by bit as they started to approach one another. "I mean, damn! You just aged him into dust!"

"He had it coming," Jiraiya stated, "that guy wanted to live forever. And what was what you just said, girl? You got kinda intense there."

"I heard it from the Yondaime. Sounded appropriate." Their cloaks were nearly almost gone, and Kin could feel the day's stress, the lack of faux-healing from the shroud and her severe headache come creeping in and clouding her mind. "I'm exhausted…"

"I'm completely wiped out too," Naruto agreed as they finally got together, 'normal', nearly leaning on one another as they hugged. It was one that comforted and supported one another as they finally came to terms that everything was over.

Jiraiya's eye twitched. "Um… what's with you two? WE WON! And we've only been fighting for what? Two and a half minutes?" He looked around as if expecting someone to refute his statement. "That's right… right?"

"Maybe closer to three minutes," Horse added. "Short fight."

Naruto tiredly turned to face Jiraiya, glaring daggers at the man. "For fuck's sakes… we've been fighting ALL DAY, you bastard—" he stopped suddenly, having realized that Kin had passed out. His face softened as he held her, not wanting to disturb her; asleep or simply unconscious, she'd already done enough to earn some rest twice over. He looked up at the starry night sky and smiled, knowing how few of them he saw and her encouragements for him to see the nighttime sights. "Yeah, it's a pretty good night."

-So, that's the end of the climax. This chapter is just so… man, this was an epic length, WITHOUT notes. 12k? That should keep y'all entertained for a while, 'cause I'm going to disappear for a bit.

-Well, I decided to confront the weakness of Time manipulation inside the fic. Souls that get sealed via Dead Demon Consuming Seal trumps everything, including time manipulation — they don't come back.

-Naruto and Kin are equally yoked. Chains beats folks, Kin insta-kills them into dust like Onoki's Dust Release. On that note, I've decided to just go in more depth on the time-reverse range later.

I'm gonna (yawns) do some resolutions in the village over a few chapters, maybe make a date chapter or two for some fluff, then an epilogue; all of that is in the air. I still don't think I'm going to stretch this into Shippuden, as I'm already planning to go on into other projects. Besides, not much love here to change my mind anyway.

Happy Anniversary, Living Twice.