I don't own Naruto.
A Thousand Lifetimes
Until the day I die
I'll spill my heart for you
As years go by
I race the clock with you
But if you died right now
You know that I'd die too – Story of the Year
"RASENGAN!" Two figures fought once again at the Valley of the End, hands blaring with their most favorite moves. Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto, once the best of friends and comrades, had finally started the fight that was going to decide the fate of the ninja world. For if Naruto lost, his demon would be taken and Madara would be able to get the Juubi sealed inside he and basically end the world with one big genjutsu.
Naruto and Sasuke's two moves reached each other and Naruto was getting the upper hand with his Rasengan. But then Sasuke pushed forward. It was a battle between the Chidori and the Rasengan, both made for the other. Naruto knew that he could easily unleash Kyuubi's energy or use senjutsu. Sasuke knew that he could easily use Amaterasu, Tsukiyomi and Susanoo. Sasuke or Naruto did not have the heart to do so. Naruto did not want to kill Sasuke nor did Sasuke think he could bring himself to kill Naruto, but in reality he really did not want to kill Naruto.
Suddenly, Naruto realized what must be done. He eased up the chakra to the Rasengan a little bit. Sasuke unconsciously pushed forward, but stopped himself just in time.
Then all of a sudden, both Naruto and Sasuke fell unconscious into the water below, not hearing the screams of back up for Naruto or that of Uchiha Madara.
Naruto opened his eyes blearily and sat up. He smelt rice and meat cooking somewhere, which should not be right because he was supposed to be fighting Sasuke. Naruto rubbed his eyes and took a look around. Sasuke was sleeping next to him on another futon. He reached over and shook Sasuke.
The dark haired avenger open his eyes, well what once his brother Itachi's eyes. Sharingan was off, thankfully. Both noticed they were bandaged up. The room felt familiar in a weird sort of way.
"Naruto," asked Sasuke, "where are we?" His temper was calm right now, because he was unsure that he should fight with Naruto right now.
"I have no idea 'ttebayo," said Naruto, scrunching up his fox-like face in thought. Then, a blonde haired girl a little bit older than them entered the room. She wore a white and black hakama. She carried a tray with two bows of rice, two plates of meat and two cups of tea. She stared at them with blue eyes. Sasuke noted right away, she looked a lot like Naruto.
"I see, our visitors have woken up," said the girl. She gave them each some food and drink. "You two were beaten up badly, you're lucky Rinji found you otherwise your wounds would have gotten infected."
"Where are we," asked Sasuke, the always blunt one.
"Ah, you're in a temple to the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. It used to be a set of four, one to another goddess and two to gods, but those were destroyed. I'm the head priestess here, my name's Maiya. Well, I'm the only priestess here," said the girl, sheepishly. Sasuke and Naruto exchanged brief looks at the mention of Amaterasu, which is the name of one of the Uchiha Clan's Mangekyou Sharingan techniques. "Rinji is a monk, but he's out searching for more medicinal herbs for you two."
"Hey, thanks for the food, Maiya-san," said Naruto, digging in. Sure it was no ramen, but Naruto was very hungry. Sasuke began eating more politely. Maiya just grinned. Sasuke almost choked on his food. This priestess Maiya had the same exact grin as Naruto. Something really weird was going on.
"What are your names? So, where do you two come from? I never saw you around these parts. Are you from a different island," asked Maiya, curiously.
"I'm Naruto, he's Sasuke. We're travelers. The two of us don't really have a home," said Naruto, simply. Thankfully, Jiraiya taught Naruto how to lie well. Never give real full names and say a believable profession.
"Well, while it may not look like much, you two are welcome to stay here until you can travel again," said Maiya. "It's the first time we've ever had any company. We don't have much, but Rinji and I are willing to help you out as long as you need." Naruto bowed politely, as he elbowed Sasuke to do the same thing. Maiya picked up the empty dishes and left the two boys to their business.
"What the hell, Naruto," asked Sasuke, rubbing his side.
"Sasuke, for now, we have to work together. I have weird vibes about this place, dattebayo," said Naruto, whispering the lowest he could. "That girl looks like me, have you noticed?"
"No shit," said Sasuke, rolling his eyes.
"Keep your voice down," said Naruto. "This could be some weird genjutsu or something that Madara put us in."
"I don't have to listen to you, idiot," said Sasuke, scoffing.
"What are you going to then? Are you going to go ax-crazy homicidal here, like you did at the Kage Summit," asked Naruto, snapping quietly. "These two people helped us out of the kindness of their hearts; we can't cause trouble for them." Honestly, Naruto was getting sick and tired of Sasuke's better-than-thou attitude. Sasuke quickly looked away from Naruto, for a moment in thought. Naruto got to Sasuke for once.
"Fine, so we're travelers," asked Sasuke.
"Yeah, make no mention of your Clan or Konoha or anything like that for the time being," said Naruto. Thankfully, Jiraiya taught Naruto how to handle being in every weird possible situation. Sasuke thought that Naruto was actually being smart about this whole thing. Maybe, Naruto was smarter than he (Sasuke) gave the blonde credit for. A voice, a strong, steady voice boomed through the complex.
"I'm home," said a male. Maiya from the other room exclaimed that it was about time and did he get lost, again? Naruto and Sasuke heard the shuffling of feet. Maiya and most likely Rinji entered the room. "I see they are up. I hope Maiya fed you."
"Of course, I did," said Maiya, whacking the man's shoulder. "I'll go fetch some more bandages, you start mixing the stuff." To the surprise of both injured boys, Rinji was a tall, imposing black haired and black eyed man, similar that to an Uchiha. Sasuke noted that the most, but Naruto couldn't help but gap at the sight of the similarities of Sasuke and Rinji. Rinji was really cool looking, though.
Rinji sat down nearby and took out mixing bowls and began laying out different plants and herbs. With skill and accuracy, he began working. As he worked, he smiled at the boys.
"Maiya tells me you are Naruto and Sasuke, travelers. We don't get many travelers. Is there anything in particular that you do to get by?"
"We do different things," said Naruto.
Rinji smiled again. "Then how in the world did you manage to get yourselves do beat up? There are not many road bandits."
"Wild animals," said Sasuke, quickly.
"Ah, yes, those can be a problem on occasion, especially snakes," said Rinji. "Maiya, hurry up with those bandages!" Maiya came in with white cloths. "Do we have enough food for dinner?"
"Yes," said Maiya, blankly.
"Maiya, get out, while we help our guests," said Rinji.
"It'll be faster if I help," said Maiya, stubbornly. Rinji and Maiya had a quick staring contest, which unnerved both injured boys. "Fine." Maiya lost and left the room, in a huff. Rinji rolled his eyes at her.
"Sorry about her, she sometimes forgets that she is a girl," said Rinji. Naruto blinked in realization. Rinji didn't want to expose Maiya to half naked boys. Rinji silently helped Naruto first with his wounds. Naruto quickly made sure that his seal was not visible, which it was, but Rinji made no notice of it. Perhaps he thought it was a tattoo. Naruto decided to ask a question.
"Any interesting news lately," asked Naruto. He had to find out where they were.
"Uh, yes, but it's not really news. Unfortunately, Juubi is almost through the barrier around the four islands, it has killed many outside the barrier. Too many refugees are flooding the towns, people are panicking. But it is nothing new, eh," said Rinji. Naruto almost began freaking out and realized where he was. He was somehow in the time of Juubi, in the time of the Rikudo Sennin. Sasuke looked bewildered at the realization in Naruto's eyes.
"Too bad no one can get rid of Juubi," said Naruto. Sasuke sent Naruto a look, which Rinji did not catch.
"Dealing with demons is the priestesses and the monks problem, well was," said Rinji, sighing.
"Isn't that you," asked Naruto. Rinji must be the Rikudo Sennin (Kakashi told him the legend of the Rikudo Sennin after Madara's story, it was thought that the Rikudo Sennin was a monk).
"Yeah," said Rinji. "But you don't understand, Maiya and I are the only priestess and monk, practicing. There are other monks, but those men are just in name to get free stuffy out of people."
"In other words, you and Maiya-san have no idea how to deal with the giant demon at your gates," said Naruto. Rinji finished bandaging him up. Rinji moved over to Sasuke.
"Well, we are trying," said Rinji.
"People are blaming you, I assume," said Sasuke.
"Always, that's why Amaterasu Temple is the only one left and it is slowly falling apart," said Rinji. "No one trusts us anymore, even though our parents sacrificed themselves for those people." The last part was said in a whisper but both Naruto and Sasuke caught it. Naruto realized what happened.
The barrier must have taken human sacrifices to put up and Rinji and Maiya's parents must have done it.
"So, are you and Maiya-san brother and sister," asked Naruto.
"Oh, no," said Rinji. "But we are as good as; our parents were the last two priestesses and two monks at the temple. Luckily, they raised us until we could fend for ourselves the past twelve years." Rinji finished patching up Sasuke. "Maiya, you can come back in!" She entered with more food.
"You didn't eat today, Rinji," said Maiya.
"Thanks," said Rinji. A knock was heard. The temple was quite acoustic. Rinji and Maiya quickly looked at each other. Naruto noted the panic. People hated Maiya and Rinji for something they could not help. Sounds kind of familiar, Naruto mused. "It's either a tax collector or an angry mob." Naruto winced (that's why he never usually answered his door until he became a ninja—money collectors or an angry person)
"Either of which, we are not answering the knock," said Maiya.
"Wait, they're taxing you," asked Naruto, unbelievingly. Temples were supposed to be sacred and people that ran temples usually lived off of offerings, barely. "But it doesn't look like you have much of anything to pay." Sasuke knew it was pissing off Naruto. Naruto was too kind-hearted for his own good.
"I'll answer for you," said Sasuke. Naruto gave Sasuke a warning look, not to kill anybody. Sasuke got up and then hobbled away. Maiya quickly caught Sasuke as the avenger almost fell.
"Get your chicken butt haired ass back to rest," said Maiya, commandingly. Sasuke blinked at the insult. She placed Sasuke back on his futon. She stalked in the other room. A few minutes later, she came back in with a pretty silver haired and brown eyed girl. She looked like a princess or something. "It was just Wakana-hime for Rinji." Maiya had the biggest grin on her face directed at Rinji. Rinji just looked like he wanted to die of embarrassment, though he was relived that it wasn't the other two options. Naruto could not help but grin. Rinji must like this Wakana-hime girl and vice versa.
"Wakana-hime, you shouldn't be out here by yourself. I don't want your father to get mad at you," said Rinji.
"I don't care," said Wakana. Her eyes told of an untapped strength. Maiya grinned as she patted Wakana on the shoulder.
"He's just worried, because he likes you."
"What I'm just telling her the truth," said Maiya, innocently. "So, you normally don't knock, hime, what's wrong?" Wakana shoved a pouch into Maiya's hands and also a handkerchief that looked like it was wrapped around something. Maiya looked into both and quickly handed it back to Wakana. "That is yours, you keep it."
"Look at the box, Maiya-san," said Wakana, "closely." Maiya sighed and looked the box that was wrapped in the handkerchief. Maiya blinked. "It is an heirloom, it's supposedly really old. I recognized it from writing in the front of the Amaterasu building."
"But the money, we can't take," said Maiya, handing the pouch back. "You'll get in trouble." The brown eyed girl looked seriously at Maiya.
"It's a dowry." Maiya looked bewildered. "You and Rinji-san need to figure out the way to get rid of Juubi, I know you're close. You've been working so hard. The money is for after that, so I can marry Rinji-san, and he won't have to worry about you." Sasuke thought that Maiya was about to through a fit, but Naruto somehow knew better. Rinji's face was red.
"Smart, Wakana-hime, I'll save it then," said Maiya. "At least I know Rinji will be well taken care of as well."
"Excuse me, I didn't realize you had company," said Wakana, finally noticing Sasuke and Naruto.
"Weary travelers," said Maiya. Wakana bowed at Naruto and Sasuke.
"I must go, or father really will wonder," said Wakana. She quickly exited. Rinji death glared Maiya.
"What the hell, did you just arrange for me to get married," he asked. Maiya waved her hand.
"She's been trying to get me to give you to her for ages," said Maiya. "We have to work now though. Naruto-san, Sasuke-san, will you please rest and if you need the bathroom there is an outhouse outside but please try not to hurt yourself." Rinji and Maiya left quickly, quietly arguing. Sasuke turned on Naruto.
"Have you figured out something?"
"Yeah," said Naruto. "But we have to keep quiet about it." Naruto whispered to Sasuke the story of the Juubi and the Rikudo Sennin. Naruto put the pieces together and realized that Rinji must be the Rikudo Sennin before becoming legendary and the two of them must have been sent back in time to learn something. Sasuke looked skeptical at him, but when Naruto talked about the Senju and Uchiha Clans being traced back to the sons of the Rikudo Sennin and the chain of hatred that began there. "Wakana must be Rinji's wife, who bears the children. I never heard of Maiya though. She might be my ancestor."
"Of course your ancestor would be in the middle of everything," said Sasuke, snorting. "So, this is either a time warp or a really good genjutsu because I have tried to get out of it and it's not working. And did you say something about the Rinnegan." Naruto sighed and explained what the Rinnegan did the best he could and that it only appeared in a person every once in a while. "Guess we are stuck here until we learn our lesson."
"You said it," said Naruto. "We can't let them know about this though. It sucks to lie to such nice people, but we don't want to mess up history otherwise who knows what might happen."