So, recently I've had a rejuvenation on the fanfiction scene. While I was far from quitting writing, my update frequency for the past year or so have declined, and they weren't really all that great to begin with. I know about three years ago I wasn't going to publish any more new stories beyond my first five, but anyone who follows me knows that isn't true now. I was in a spot at that time where I just wanted to finish up and retire, no matter how long it took. I'm not in that spot anymore, and am more motivated than ever.
I've held off writing a Naruto/RWBY crossover for a while now, but now it just seemed inevitable that I would do one. I mean, my old fandom I've been writing in for six years now and my new fandom that I've come to love?
The only problem was that I don't take crossover choices so easily. My Naruto/Zelda one was made only after some careful consideration, and I've cancelled a few projects before I wrote them because the crossover wouldn't work, in my opinion. For the longest time this one also seemed like a "square peg, round hole" scenario.
It helps that I've read a few Naruto/RWBY crossovers that I feel are done well, and they inspired me to do my own take. This idea hit me like a ton of bricks today, so enjoy!
Chapter 1: Amber
In the barren crater that was once a proud civilization, there stood one monument to the past. Ten years after the return of Madara, ten years since the ninja world was leveled by the Fourth Great Shinobi World War, and the raging madman who could never have his plans realized.
Thirteen years since that failsafe ruined Akatsuki's plan, thirteen years since they had ruined centuries of careful planning and warring. It had unwittingly ruined the shinobi world, but the Bijuu would preserve their future, even as they and their hosts lay dormant. No matter how long they had to be in there, in the place where even Kaguya could not touch them. Not that she was around, the failsafe had ruined any chances of her ever being revived.
Their thought process was to better to be safe than sorry. Even they wouldn't be able to reverse it once the die was cast, for they too would be put into a state of hibernation. They had agreed to make it as strong as possible, in the hopes that it would last until the Akatsuki organization had folded, and even Kaguya's immortal life had wilted inside that moon..
If that cost them the shinobi world and their hosts their friends and family, then so be it. What the new world was like and what prolonged exposure to it would do to their hosts, the Bijuu had no idea. They had promised back during their creation if the situation got this bad, they would take countermeasures of their own accord without any regard or consultation from the Sage.
So, when the Akatsuki revealed themselves to the world and began to take action, the Bijuu instantly knew the motives behind that organization and telepathically coordinated their plan.
When Itachi and Kisame went for Naruto in that hotel, Kurama knew it was time to begin coordinating in secret with the others.
They put their plan into action simultaneously, before the Akatsuki could make any more moves and without any consultation from their Jinchuuriki. For Naruto and Kurama, it was some months into Naruto's absence from Konoha, during his trip with the Toad Sennin Jiraiya.
The master and apprentice had been staying at a hot spring's town, where Naruto would train and Jiraiya would work on his latest novel. One morning, at the hotel they were staying at, Jiraiya woke up to a rude surprise after spending the majority of the night passed out from a day's worth of... endeavors.
Tuckered out from his own training, Naruto was still perched in the position in which he had gone to sleep, clad in his orange jumpsuit and on top of his sleeping bag.
It would have been normal, except Naruto was encased in layer upon layer of what appeared to be solidified red-orange chakra. Like a pupa about to undergo metamorphosis, the dormant Genin could be seen underneath the slightly transparent nature of the chrysalis, but when Jiraiya saw him for the first time, he stumbled backward in shock, tripping over his own belongings and hitting the wall with a thud.
The boy was encased in a cocoon of chakra, appearing presumably overnight. It was a jutsu Jiraiya had never seen before in his life, if it even was a jutsu. Within the shell, Naruto looked asleep and peaceful, completely unaware of what was transpiring all around him. One would be forgiven for wondering if he was even alive.
Hundreds of miles away, in the Kaze no Kuni, the two older Sand Siblings would wake to a similar sight to what was occurring in the hot springs town. They would see their brother Gaara encased in his own sandy yellow cocoon of solid chakra, appearing to be asleep for the first time in his life. He was in the exact same predicament as Naruto.
Naruto's training trip was cancelled when the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki stayed in that state for an indefinite period of time. He did not awaken from within his capsule, nor did the surrounding chrysalis ever budge. A Rasengan tentatively applied to the edge of the cocoon was ineffective in even chipping some of it off, and any other jutsu Jiraiya tried to break through didn't make it budge.
The crystallized Naruto was brought back to Konoha at the befuddlement of Tsunade. Tirelessly, she worked hard with the best medical, scientific, and jutsu specialists in an attempt to crack this case, literally and figuratively.
Ninjutsu, taijutsu, genjutsu. Failure. The highest forms of sealing and unsealing as transcribed by Jiraiya. Failure. The best medical ninjutsu supervised by the world's leading medic-nin. Failure. They had never seen anything like it, and no procedure came close to solving the mystery. They couldn't even scrape off any sample of the cocoon to test it.
While Naruto remained in the basement of the hospital under heavy guard, an increasingly desperate Tsunade began to contact other villages, pleading with other leaders to lend their aid and help research this problem. Her mouth went dry went she learned the news about the other villages having problems with their own Jinchuuriki, in the exact same situation.
Crystals of chakra that harbor the Jinchuuriki, who appear to be sleeping. Every last one of them.
They were about to contact her for the same exact thing.
Eventually, Akatsuki completed its preparations and began hunting the nine Bijuu. Imagine their surprise when they came for Naruto again and found him in the state he was. They captured him beneath the watchful eye of Konoha and brought him back to one of their bases.
They tried unsealing the Bijuu using their planned methods, to no avail. They tried their own techniques, to no avail. Tobi and Pain reportedly threw a hissy fit for weeks after the fact.
Eventually, Konoha took Naruto back in the rescue mission of a lifetime, but failure after failure piled up. The chrysalis was utterly, completely and totally indestructible. The Fourth Great Shinobi War happened not too long afterward, and the ninja world became history because of it.
The ninja world fell into shambles. People in the aftermath slowly gave up on the idea of a ninja both as a mercenary and a soldier under a flag, with the daimyo of the nations disbanded the hidden villages after not finding it worthwhile to rebuild. The war had also left so many casualties that there was a lack of survivors to pass ninja techniques onto the next generation, with each ensuing one using them less and less before they faded out completely.
Konoha had been leveled in the war, and became ruins. Where the hospital once sat however, there was the crystallized cocoon with what appeared to be a young boy trapped inside, his eyes closed as though sleeping. For centuries, he stood as the singular monument and object intact in the ruins of Konoha, until the day came when erosion and weather catastrophe would end up burying the boy and the rest of the ruins deep within the earth.
The Bijuu underestimated their own ability.
The cocoon would hold, and Naruto and the other Jinchuuriki would lay dormant for eons as the ages flowed by. The cocoon would survive several thousands of times longer than the Bijuu had anticipated. Civilizations would rise and fall, their durations and peaks flowing by as mere seconds on the geological time scale. Eventually, the human race as the world knew it became extinct while the Jinchuuriki were preserved, only for a near identical species from the genus Homo to evolve again from dust.
The chakra chrysalises would end up holding for over one hundred million years. All within that time frame, humanity would've gone extinct only to evolve again, the moon would shatter into pieces, Kaguya's immortal life would have been shot off into the depths of space in the ensuing cataclysm, and continental shift and climate change would alter the terrain and landscape intrinsically into a world completely unlike the old one.
The Border of Vacuo and Vale...
When the leaders from centuries ago were drawing up borders, they must've been looking at simple geographical differences. While Atlas and Mistral were on separate continents and thus had natural borders with the ocean, Vacuo and Vale were on the same continent and thus had to fight like siblings over whose territory was what.
Vacuo, being the red-headed stepchild of Remnant's kingdoms, was left with miles and miles of useless desert, while Vale drew its borders right at the point where desert began to turn into lush forest and natural resources.
The border towns around the region were home to shady characters and illegal establishments, far away from the watchful eyes of either kingdom's metropolitan areas. Crime ran rampant, and anyone who was brave or foolhardy enough to make the border desert their home had to be strong and resilient, or become a victim.
On a more positive note, this desert and Vacuo in general was home to some of the oldest known archaeological sites in the world, not to mention its extensive fossil record. It was an archaeologists and paleontologist's paradise, but not even the most renowned professor at the University of Mantle knew everything about the place.
After all, no one had managed to dig up the perfect brownish crystal-like structure buried under a mile below the surface of Vacuo's border desert. Regardless, someone digging that one up or any of the other eight dotted around Remnant would have revolutionized the scientific community to the point where it would never be the same again. The origins of humanity would have been questioned, as well as the philosophical question on what it meant to be human.
Nevertheless, no one alive on Remnant had been privy to that cocoon's whereabouts or even that it existed at all, so the container's resident was allowed to sleep underneath the sands for eons, never once being disturbed from the rest he had been so deprived of before.
One day, millions of years after he first went dormant, Gaara's cocoon began to crack. It would be another few million years after that point, but over the course of that time it slowly began to crack more and more, began getting weaker and more transparent.
Finally, at the height of the current human civilization, Gaara's chakra cocoon gave way completely to age and weakness, shattering completely while still in its underground burial.
Exposed to the sand and dirt of the outside jolted Gaara's mind from its epoch long slumber, his brain slowly but surely regaining mental faculties after being dormant for so long.
Sand... he had spent his entire life surrounded by the stuff that he shouldn't have even noticed it was present now. But, for some reason, when he cracked his eyes open to get nothing but darkness and the feeling of sediment, he felt that it was something that he had been deprived of for so long.
He was... thirsty. He was never thirsty. But the tingling in his throat, of the dry scratchy feeling of sandpaper practically begging him for the life-giving liquid of water.
The redhead had no idea where he was or what he had been doing before. He could've said he had fallen asleep, but the concept was so foreign to him. It was ridiculous. Even that wouldn't explain why he would be underground, no sight of his siblings or village.
He tested his voice, the unused vocal chords giving out a pathetic rambling of a wheeze and a hack. His faithful gourd had followed him into the chakra shell, still filled to the brim with pristine sand that had been untouched for the past epoch.
The cork popped off the end of the gourd, allowing his special sand to flow out. He moved it against the other sand and minerals in his way, noting the pull of gravity wanting to push the flow of sand down. The surface must've been in the opposite direction, so he pushed back against it, creating an underground river of sand flowing backwards up to the surface, the sand at his rear pushing Gaara along.
A hole opened at the surface in the middle of the Vacuan Desert, miles away from a border town and hence civilization. A nearby coyote went up and sniffed the tiny hole curiosity, before there came a loud booming noise with the hole in the sand widening. The confused canine yelped and jumped back, the sudden event spooking the animal away.
Gaara gasped for breath as his red mop poked out of the hole first, followed by the rest of his head and then his body. The adolescent former killer groaned before crying out in pain and shutting his eyes. The light of the sun was beating down on his retina, unused for millions of years and accustomed to the dark.
Gaara closed his dark-circled eyes and recoiled from the sensory overload, his thoughts and vision swimming every time he attempted to open his eyes. His brain throbbed, but slowly and surely his vision began to adjust.
Rubbing circles on his head, the overpowered Genin finally felt it tolerable enough to open his eyes and bath in the sunlight. The Ichibi Jinchuuriki had been focused on getting his bearings and out of that hole, but now that he was he could think about more complex matters.
Complex matters such as his current location...
To the average untrained civilian of Suna, the desert before him would've held no difference from the Kaze no Kuni. They would've fallen asleep in the desert, woken up, and concluded they were still at home judging from this view.
Gaara... was not a civilian. Gaara knew deserts. He lived and breathed sand. He was the incarnation of sand itself, and it was an intrinsic part of his life with a bond that few people could begin to understand.
This desert was not the Kaze no Kuni. The sand was different... it was drier, and not as pure. There were certain contaminants in the sand that were not present in the Kaze no Kuni; probably the result of big business or technological innovation.
On a more obvious note, there was also the matter of... that.
"That" of course referred to the giant two-headed snake that had emerged from the desert sands. With one black head and one white head, the snake hissed menacingly at Gaara as it began circling around him, convinced in its mind that it had easy prey in a human boy.
Gaara didn't even blink at the snake's sudden appearance. But, at least it was another warning bell that he wasn't in Kansas anymore, or the Kaze no Kuni for that matter.
The white head coiled around him, Gaara blinking as the black head moved it in the opposite direction, the two halves of the snake's body forming a barrier. Like the twins that they were, they stopped in sync once they trapped Gaara, both lunging at him at the same time with their mouths open and their fangs outstretched.
The snakes gave a pained hiss and shriek as Gaara's reliable sand shield immediately came to his head, their heads bouncing off the shield as if it were made of brick.
The snake shook its two heads, hissing in anger as would anyone who just struck a brick wall with their skull. On pure animal instinct, they changed their strategy after they realized that ramming head on and biting the human would not work.
With that in mind, it began to coil around its prey, tighter and tighter with the intent of constricting Gaara to the point where he would be completely at the snake's mercy.
Gaara didn't react any further as the snake's body wrapped around his sand shield, gripping it tightly before squeezing, which would have turned him into a bloody mess, shield or no.
Nevertheless, all the snake was left with was a pile of sand, and Gaara was left to rise from the desert a few feet away, well out of the coil trap and the reach of the giant snake.
A Suna Bunshin was more than enough to fool a clearly mindless beast like this one. With his arms crossed, the Shukaku Jinchuuriki emerged on a torrent of sand. The redhead blinked once, before drawing his hands together into a seal. This beast was a fool for attempting to fight him in the desert. Drawing sand both from the gourd and the desert around him, a waterfall of sand surrounded the snake, the enhanced jutsu of Gaara's being necessary for a creature of its size.
The snake's twin heads hissed in pain and indignation as the sand engulfed and buried them, a fresh layer of the substance being added to the desert. The sand fell over the landscape like a blanket, but Gaara wasn't done yet. He put his hands down on the fresh layer of sand, channeling his chakra through the sand to create a shockwave that passed through the top layer of the sand.
With the coffin and funeral set, the snake's hissing came to a deathly quiet as its life was snuffed out by the sand. Sand gathered around the tip of Gaara's gourd, the cork settling itself in place once more.
The battle was easy, but the appearance of a thing like that raised more questions than answers for Gaara. He had never seen anything like it in his life, the two headed snake with the red eyes and the mask-like material on its face.
The boy's eyes scanned the landscape. Behind him was nothing but desert as far as the eye could see, but to the east there appeared to a mountain range and a distant palette of green that indicated the desert would turn to forest in that direction.
This land did not seem to be the Kaze no Kuni, but Gaara would get no answers merely hovering around in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps there would be human civilization closer to that mountain range?
Slowly and calmly, the Jinchuuriki set off in that direction, unknowingly heading to one of the border towns.
On the other side of the world, the swamps of Mistral provided a much different environment than the dry, sandy desert on the border of Vacuo and Vale. Teeming with alligators, giant insects, and Grimm of all kind, another paleontological marvel lay deep beneath the bog, far underneath the silt and mud.
Like Gaara, it had weathered all kinds of weather, erosion and even climate change, never moving. The blonde boy contained inside never woke from his near eternal slumber, even as his habitat changed from a village, to a forest, to a swamp over the course of eons.
At the exact same time as Gaara in the desert, Naruto's underground cocoon began to crack...
And we're done here! New story!
Y'know, I sometimes do my best work in the middle of the night when I'm exhausted. Half the time I can't even form a coherent thought, but sometimes I really start stringing together these weird ideas while under the duress of sleep.
Well, anyway, the ninja world is gone. Now, Naruto's endgame is so convoluted and confusing I can scarcely follow it, and I every time I do I end up banging my head against my desk wondering how we got to that from the way Naruto began. So, apologies if I got any of the Kagura/Madara/war bullshit wrong, but the only thing that's good for is some mild backstory ever now and again. Kaguya, Madara, the Juubi, and all that other stuff will not really be a factor from this point on.
With that said, I'm outta here, so I'll see you next time.
The God of Pikmin